2010: a year in review

2010 Started at the beach. January brought the advent of my very first mouse ears in all my 28 years. This was followed by the baking and decorating of many,…

2010 Started at the beach.

January brought the advent of my very first mouse ears in all my 28 years.

This was followed by the baking and decorating of many, many, many cupcakes.

Somewhere in there I turned 29, and spring sprang in NYC, after which I threw my beautiful sister a baby shower in CA.

I booked a job in Alabama and met some amazing chick musicians, and we all got to pretend we were country singers for the summer.

Summer’s two great joys:  I got engaged, and I met my niece for the first time.

Fall:  I started this here little blog amidst a flurry of wedding planning.  Cut to me, immediately falling in love with the blog world.  Also was so happy to make it home for Paige’s baptism.

We celebrated Mr. Lovely’s birthday with more cupcakes and yet another trip to CA to watch the baby grow.  And to shoot little pumpkins out of enormous cannons.

Soon after that, we both booked work on the same national tour for 2011 — a huge blessing.  Then found and almost entirely decorated a new apartment in record time.  And started celebrating the holidays by trying to teach Paige to crawl.

Christmas at my parents’ house this year meant seven stockings, hung by the chimney with care — one of the best Christmases ever.

Tonight we’re wrapping up 2010 with family — an unexpected bonus, because our flight was cancelled due to the NYC blizzard.  But travel woes aside, it’s kind of lovely to get an extra few days down on the farm.  I hope that when you look back on your 2010, you find yourself fulfilled and grateful for the year.  Here’s to 2011; I think it’s going to be a heck of a ride.  xoxo

vintage pelouze postal scale

One of the things we’re planning at the wedding reception is a big, sugary candy buffet, kind of like this one: {Image via JenaD Events} I’m quite a sugar fan…

One of the things we’re planning at the wedding reception is a big, sugary candy buffet, kind of like this one:

{Image via JenaD Events}

I’m quite a sugar fan (although we try to keep that under wraps), so we figured on our wedding day we could just go to town and indulge.  We’ve been yard sale-ing to find lots of fun glass containers to serve the candy in, and one day in my travels I came across this little fella:

 

It wasn’t glassware, but it was a vintage Pelouze postal shipping scale, and it was adorable!  They were asking $5 for it, so I snapped it right up.  I thought it would be pretty cute nestled into the candy buffet somewhere — not that people need to weigh their goodies, but just as part of the display.  Maybe with a jar on top of it?  We’ll see where she ends up.

I brought it home and did some research; I think this particular model is from 1968, judging by the postage rates and some other similar models that I found online.

Regardless of how old it is, I’m pretty excited about the find, and I’m even more excited to figure out the best way to use it in the candy buffet!  I’ll have precisely 4 ounces of gumdrops, please.  xoxo

holiday sangria

One of the things on my 30 by 30 is to make my own sangria recipe.  When summer ended, I kind of figured that one would be a lost cause,…

One of the things on my 30 by 30 is to make my own sangria recipe.  When summer ended, I kind of figured that one would be a lost cause, and I was a little bummed out!  But when Mr. Lovely suggested we make a holiday sangria to go with a Christmas dinner he was whipping up, I jumped right on board.

I had a (super early and super lovely) wedding shower recently, thrown by some old friends from my hometown, and one of the gifts we received was this beverage dispenser (thank you, Linda!).  I think these things are the coolest, and I’ve wanted one forever.  Naturally, we had to test it out immediately.

We headed to the grocery store and collected the goods, sort of making it up as we went along.   We ended up with:

-2 bottles of cheap, fruity red wine
-a small bottle of brandy
-1 liter of club soda
-1 bottle of POMWonderful pomegranate juice
-2 oranges
-1 pear
-cranberries

Putting it together couldn’t be easier.  First, cut your fruit into pieces; I did thin slices of the orange (we only ended up using one) and pear, and just sliced the cranberries in half.  We used about a cup of cranberries and saved the rest for another project!

Toss all of the fruit into a your beverage container and pour in two bottles of wine, as much brandy as you’d like (we used about a third of the bottle), and the entire bottle of pomegranate juice.  Mix gently, cover, and let it chill and get delicious overnight.

When you serve it, top each glass with a little club soda if you like your sangria to have a little bubble to it.  Add some fruit to your glass and toast to a delicious evening (or afternoon, or morning…)!  :)  xoxo

beegee bag giveaway winner!

Well, my dears, December has been a lovely whirlwind of giving, and we’re buttoning it up with our grand finale giveaway: a clutch from the girls at BeeGee Bags! I’m…

Well, my dears, December has been a lovely whirlwind of giving, and we’re buttoning it up with our grand finale giveaway: a clutch from the girls at BeeGee Bags! I’m pretty excited about this one, because I won a BeeGee myself a few weeks ago, and I know how much I love it. So let’s get down to business! This week’s winner is…

Kristina Stamper!

Kristina, we hope that the clutch is the perfect wrap-up to your holiday season, and a fancy-pants way to ring in the new year!  Use it in good health.  We’ll contact you soon to send you the bag!

And a big, fat thank you to all of the rest of you lovelies, who have been reading along and entering the giveaways!  I hope you’ve enjoyed our holiday extravaganza as much as I have.  And even more than that, I hope your holidays have been warm, cozy, and full of cheer.  I’m so looking forward to 2011, and I hope you are too; there’s much more Lovely Indeed excitement to come, and a whole mess of adventures are awaiting, so let’s do it!

See ya back here tomorrow — we’re tackling another goal on the 30 by 30, so don’t miss it!  xoxo

a gift for grandma

Hello, lovelies!  Welcome back from our glorious Christmas break!  I have to say, I think this was my favorite Christmas to date.  Extra jolly, extra joy. So my adorable grandmother…

Hello, lovelies!  Welcome back from our glorious Christmas break!  I have to say, I think this was my favorite Christmas to date.  Extra jolly, extra joy.

So my adorable grandmother is 88 years old, and this year we figured she had enough “stuff.”  What we decided to give her for Christmas was a memory box — a box full of stories, greetings, and memories that we secretly collected from our whole family and all of her friends.

I can’t claim the idea myself; I found it online during a search for “unique Christmas gifts,” but have since lost the website and can’t find it again.  (If I do, I’ll be sure to post).  Basically, we sent a letter via snail mail to all of our friends and family, explaining our plan and asking for their help.  We included a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a few index cards on which they could write their memories.  We sent them out about 5 weeks before Christmas, and slowly but surely, they started trickling in!  When all was said and done, we had over 160 cards.

We compiled them all, put them into a little photo box labeled “Friends and Family” (typed out with our old-school Smith-Corona),  and wrote some instructions for Grandma on the top.  We told her she could read as many at a time as she wanted, but if she read one a day, there would be enough to last until June!

It was so lovely to see what some folks sent; it’s also nice to know that so many people will take time out of their busy schedules to help with a project like this!  Although I didn’t read them all, I peeked at a few, and I just know Grandma will have an absolute ball looking through them.  Verdict:  a very merry Christmas present, indeed!  xoxo

Grandma with her sister, Rose, opening the box and reading the instructions.
Nick, Paige, and Grandma.

merry christmas!

Well, lovelies, the time has come for us all to travel over the river and through the woods to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year!  I’m taking a few…

Well, lovelies, the time has come for us all to travel over the river and through the woods to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year!  I’m taking a few days off to soak up some time with my family — as we speak, the boys are planning three (yes, three) separate holiday feasts, so I’m sure I’ll be rolling myself out the door afterward!

Whatever you do to celebrate the season, I hope that you find yourself warm, happy, and surrounded by people that you love.  I find myself particularly thankful this year for all of the sweet, tiny, new members of my family, and for all of the happy things in the future.

I’ll leave you with a few photos of a ceramic Christmas tree, made (I think) about 35 years ago by my grandma.  She gave it to my sister a few years ago, and it sits with us in the living room for Christmas.  I think it’s just beautiful.

Sending each and every one of you holiday blessings and cheer.  See you on Monday!

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”  -Hamilton Wright Mabie

xoxo

semi-diy embellished tea towels

I love to give kitchen towels as gifts — I think you can never have too many, and they’re almost as fun as jewelry, because they’re kind of like accessories…

I love to give kitchen towels as gifts — I think you can never have too many, and they’re almost as fun as jewelry, because they’re kind of like accessories for your kitchen.  (Weird?  Maybe.)  But!  Anybody can just buy some towels, wrap ’em up and put a gift tag on them — this year, I decided to personalize some store-bought towels, in order to make them a little more homey.

I found some cute little kitchen towels at Target (Shh!  Don’t tell!) and pulled together some kooky trimmings that I had laying around.  This summer, I acquired some vintage rickrack at an estate sale, and decided to use that as well — a vintage touch is always cool, right?

Some of the towels were plain, bright colors — rickrack went on those.  The others had cute little patterns of birds and teacups printed on them.  I decided to embellish them with a little embroidery (thus knocking out another 30 by 30 goal!), so I picked up some embroidery thread in matching colors and used a split stitch to outline some of the designs.

Then, pompom trim went on the bottom of the patterned towels, and I paired them up in complimentary colors.  Ta-daaa!  xoxo

beegee bag giveaway!

Remember a few weeks ago, when I won a BeeGee Bag from a giveaway at Coco + Kelley?  I chose the George, and was so excited when it arrived in…

Remember a few weeks ago, when I won a BeeGee Bag from a giveaway at Coco + Kelley?  I chose the George, and was so excited when it arrived in the mail!  I opened the package and two clutch purses fell out, and I immediately thought there was a mistake.  Then I read the card from the BeeGee girls:  “We included an extra bag for good measure!”  I was floored!

Well, I felt lucky to have won just one bag, and almost a little guilty keeping two, so what’s a girl to do?  Give one to my amazing readers, that’s what!

One lucky reader will win a clutch purse from BeeGee Bags!


The clutch has a brushed nickel frame with a cream and deep lavender print, and is lined in sky blue.  It’s uh-dorable.  And here’s how you can win it!

Make sure you “Like” Lovely Indeed’s Facebook page, and leave me a message on the wall to say hello!  Congrats – you’re entered.

Want to up your odds of winning?  Get a second entry by following me on Twitter and retweeting the giveaway.

Many zillions of thanks to the gals at BeeGee Bags for helping us out with this giveaway!  Don’t forget to head over to their site and have a peek around.  It’s too cute in there!  Happy entering, lovelies.  xoxo

urban outfitters home

Two of our best buddies, Jackie and Codey, turned up at the apartment recently with some adorable little trinkets from the home department at Urban Outfitters.   Do they know us…

Two of our best buddies, Jackie and Codey, turned up at the apartment recently with some adorable little trinkets from the home department at Urban Outfitters.   Do they know us well, or what?

The little birdies have screws on the back that go right into the wall so they become little hooks.  And the key is a secret bottle opener!  Too cute.  The card said “Two love birds and a key to your heart.”  I mean, come on!

Anyway, after I stopped daydreaming about where to put the birdies, I decided to hop online and see what other awesome things I could ogle on the Urban Outfitters website.  Here are a few of my new faves.

1.  They have a pretty killer assortment of funky cameras — this one’s the Lomography Diana + Parisian Camera.   2.  Telling it like it is:  the York Trash Bucket.  3.  Who doesn’t need a Living Gnome Container to hold all of their trinkets?  4.  Waterfall Ruffle Duvet — just like my shower curtain!  5.  Been dying for one of these Marquee Alphabet Lights lately.  6.  Have you seen the new Fuji Instax Mini?  New generation of instant cameras.  Too cool for school.  7.  We’re considering this Faux Chandelier in our kitchen (especially since I just dropped and shattered the current light fixture).  8.  I’ve always secretly wanted a Dress Form to have around the house.

Pretty fun, no?  Can’t wait to figure out where our birdies are going to live.  Thanks, Jackie and Codey!  xoxo

smock swag giveaway winner!

I so hope you all enjoyed last week’s interview with the beautiful Cyd!  She’s just the coolest, and I’m so grateful that she was willing to fill us all in…

I so hope you all enjoyed last week’s interview with the beautiful Cyd!  She’s just the coolest, and I’m so grateful that she was willing to fill us all in a little more on her life.  She is certainly lovely, indeed!

And not to be forgotten is the winner of the giveaway in the same post — the gorgeous sticky notes and notepads from Smock!  These will make an extra special Christmas bonus for one lucky reader, and that reader just so happens to be…

Kristina Wing!

Congrats, Kristina — you’re the proud new owner of some darling Smock swag!  We hope it keeps you well organized and helps you keep all of your New Year’s resolutions.  😉  We’ll contact you soon to get you your goodies.

And all the rest of you lovelies had better get ready — our grand finale giveaway is launching tomorrow, and, boy, are you gonna flip!  Stay tuned.  xoxo