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After seeing all the lovely projects the girls at Shanty2Chic have done using Rustoleum’s Heirloom White Spray Paint. I just had to check it out for myself! I’m more of a bright white gal, but I thought that the softer Heirloom White would be a great touch to add to my fall decor!

I also purchased some Ralph Lauren Glaze (tinted in Smoke) from Home Depot, as the Shanty girl’s suggest! (I also found that the Rustoleum spray paint is cheaper there than at Hobby Lobby- unless you have a coupon!- and Walmart)I had lots of fall decor that was ugly orange, yellow, brown and green. Well, ugly to me since I’m not a fan of traditional fall colors! They can be great in other people’s houses- just not mine!

Here’s some before pics of the stuff I painted with Heirloom White!

Cheapo looking plastic bowls

Silver candle sticks (don’t worry- not real silver!)
Cute but not my style Autumn and Harvest signs

Candle lamp my mom gave me a few years ago

I also painted a ceramic plate that was really ugly orange and green, some beaded candle garland and some mini pumpkins that I did not take before pics of!

Here are the after pics!

Much less cheapo looking “candy” bowls filled with candy
that doesn’t tempt us, but does tempt guests!
Autumn sign has some of the letters highlighted with Ralph Lauren Glaze.
(I’m still working on tweaking this space, not loving it yet.
I did have tea pots and teacups displayed here.)


Candle sticks and garland painted Heirloom White and brushed with glaze

Plate and candle lamp painted heirloom white, lamp brushed with glaze on the pop outs and trim.

Harvest sign painted Heirloom White and various letters and accents glazed,
mini orange pumpkins painted Heirloom White.

And here’s a look at how it all came together in decorating our dining room area for fall!



Funny that the tablecloth looks aqua! It’s really about the same color as the walls!

One thing I love about the details here, is a lot of them have meaning-things that were already there or that are newly placed!

  • The framed pictures are all pictures I took in NC- mostly Wilmington/Wrightsville beach area. One of my favorite places in the world!
  • The shelf was made by my grandfather who passed away many years ago.
  • The Joy sign was made by my sis-in-law and was our Christmas present last year from her and my bro.
  • The pillar candles and starfish are from our wedding.
  • The trifle bowl (with pinecones and real white pumpkin), china, and almost everything in the china hutch are wedding presents.
  • The candle on the hutch behind the candy bowls is an antique find that is a replica of a candle holder at the restaurant from our hotel on our honeymoon in Costa Rica.
  • The high chair shows off that we have a new addition in the family! Hehe!
  • The acorns are memories from Baby Girl’s first hike last week.
  • The pumpkins are from Baby Girl’s first trip to the pumpkin farm!

Here’s some closer pics to show you those details! You can also click on any of the pics above for a better view!






The other touches I added were the jute around the blue pillar candles, the scrapbook paper and/or ribbon around the candles, the vase of wheat, and wheat stalk stuck in the napkin rings.  Basically the only things that I bought were the pumpkins and gourds (the gourds I got free at the grocery store since I had coupons that “made” me money!), the spray paint, and the glaze, but those were really bought for another project I’ll show soon! My mom bought me the wheat at Publix, and it was only $2.99. I “shopped” my house for the ribbon, candles, scrapbook paper, and all the stuff I spray painted I’ve had for awhile.

This is definitely the happiest I’ve ever been with my fall decor! I am so happy that I discovered it is actually OK to not decorate in traditional fall colors! 🙂

I’m sharing my post at these parties! Visit the links below for more great fall decor ideas!


As previously mentioned, we held a cake reception and a dinner reception after our wedding! We wanted to be able to have the traditional dinner/dancing reception, but didn’t want to have to limit the guest list due to the higher cost of serving guests dinner! So we decided to do both! Everyone was invited to the cake reception, and family, wedding party, and anyone who helped with the wedding were all invited to the dinner. It was hard to decide who to invite to what, so that was what we came up with!

Our dinner reception was held at Old Natchez Country Club in Franklin, TN. Our coordinator, Debbie was fabulous! She made sure that every detail was put in place and carried through, from setting up our table designs, working with the chef on the perfect menu, shooing the kids away from places they shouldn’t be, to making sure that Ray and I actually ate something!


(I love that you can see my chocolate fountain in this pic!)

We had a buffet dinner, which I never saw, since our plates were brought to us, and which I heard was wonderful but didn’t really even taste it until we ate our goodie bag they sent with us later that night! The best stuff was the Coconut Chicken, with a mango sauce, and Marinated Flank Steak. Oh, that and the cupcakes and the chocolate fountain!

Of course, here is where the cupcakes I have so long raved about (here, here, here, and here!) made their debut! People are STILL talking about these babies!


          stacey-ray630          stacey-ray634

Here’s my favorite pictures of our decor. I worked my butt off planning all of this, since I’d kept the church decor simple and left the cake reception up to my mom and Sherri! While I didn’t actually put any of this out, I worked hard on buying, ordering, and designing it all! The lovely escort cards (which I was THRILLED with!) were done by my friend Susanna, with sand dollars I bought at one of my favorite beach shops in NC. (So yes, some things really were from the beach!)







During our official dances, we invited other couples, fathers and daughters, and mothers and sons to come join us about halfway through the respective songs. It’s kinda awkward to just sit and stair at one pair of dancers.

Our first dance was to “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers. My all time favorite song!



Our Father Daughter Dance was “Cinderella” by Stephen Curtis Chapman. It had just come out when I got engaged, and my dad had to listen to it for months in order to make it through the actual dance! He cried when we “practiced” a couple months before!


I loved seeing the other fathers dance with their daughters!  Here’s my brother, Rob, dancing with his girls, my brother-in-law Hector and Kaylee,  and then my Jr. Bridesmaids dancin with their daddy.




His Mother son dance was to Christina Aguilera’s “Por Siempre Tu” (Her Spanish version of “I Turn to You.”). He was super cute dancing with his mom, as was my brother Craig with our mom, and my sis-in-laws- Carla dancing with Nicholas and Lindsey dancing with Baby Grey!





After a few dances, it was dinner time!




Then a few impromptu speeches!





After all that, and an outdoor picture session (which I’ll feature pictures from later!), it was time for some serious dancing! It was so crazy and fun, it merits its own post! Stay tuned!

(I’m currently playing with layouts, as I didn’t love the sidebar placement on the last and trying to get my pics to show up normal! Sorry if you see a few changes!)

I’ve been seeing lots of bridal clearance at Walmart lately! Probably making room for their new lines- which are actually kind of nice!! Just wanted to post real quick about this- I’ll put up some pics later of stuff I just got! I got somethings before my wedding over a month ago now- cake server/knife set for one (more on that later! it was left in my car and never used!!), and somethings just yesterday!

Yesterday I got some bachelorette party stuff (somehow I’m the keeper of all bach party stuff among all my friends! even the stuff from my own!) and cute thank you notes- each item for $.50!!  I’ll post pics later, but I’m off to run errands now and maybe even to check out another Walmart or two for more goodies!! Definitely need more TY notes! Still working on getting those out!!

There’s also lots of invitations, flower petals, guest book pens, and many other things on clearance. They probably aren’t the best and highest quality, but some will definitely do for the price, if you’re in a pinch or throwing a quick wedding! I even saw a really cute hankercheif with blue rhinestone hearts that I would’ve loved to have had! But I did ask my aunt last minute for an old one of hers!

I also got my ring bearer pillows from their new line! I’ll also post more on those later!! Lots to do!!!

Ok, there have been lots of different wedding traditions/standards that I’ve come across lately that I think are just so silly! The price hikes on some things simply because they are for a “wedding” is ridiculous!

This is my latest complaint/pain in my side– Chair covers!!!

This is what the chairs at my reception look like….

Not bad…..except they don’t really match the “look” I’m going for or my colors! This is what my tables are shaping up to look like….

Ignore all the stuff along the edges, around the lantern will be some votive candles and scattered shells and confetti (more on the confetti later!!) Also the shells in the lantern will be arranged better!

I think they purposely make chairs that are least likely to match your decor, so that you have to rent the chair covers! They are $5.50 a CHAIR!! I have to pay $5.50 for every person at my reception to have a seat?? Crazy!! We’re expecting about 120, so that’s an extra $660 at least- not counting tax! AH!! We already have to pay to rent the table lines, and well there’s no way I’m not getting those!!

So, we’re looking into some other options–
– no chair covers
– rent chair covers for the head tables only
– borrow chair covers from my aunt’s friend for all tables (waiting to see how many she has and if we can borrow them AND if our venue will let us use other covers!)
– borrow chair covers from my aunt’s friend for the head tables only

Here’s my question(s!)….other brides PLEASE weigh in!! How important is it to make sure that your chairs match? Did you decided to go for it if your venue needed it? Have you ever even noticed whether or not the chairs at a reception matched the rest of the decor??

Let me know what you think about chair covers!!!!

In honor of today, I thought I’d share some lovely Mexican inspired wedding ideas! If I didn’t already have my theme planned, I might go with some of this stuff!!

And just for a little history lesson (I have to teach my students this every year!!), Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day (contrary to what many gringos believe!). It’s simply a celebration of the victory at the Battle of Pueblo. Somehow, it gets more attention in the US and is often celebrated by us crazy gringos here more than in Mexico! However, it is celebrated there too in great style! Trust me, I know!! I unknowingly stepped into the middle of a Cinco de Mayo parade once in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico- a border town near El Paso, TX.  Becky and I had wondered why they market was so quiet that day! Hehe! Also Ray heard lots of fireworks the other day while talking to his mom and dad on the phone- who are in San Julian, Mexico!

So here’s some fun inspiration, for weddings or for Cinco de Mayo inspired parties!! :o)

(pic from

Mmmmmm, mojitos! I love the contrasting splash of color with the pink placemat!

(pic from

You can’t really claim to be Mexican or like Mexican food if you don’t love Hot Sauce (Ahhhem! Ray??) How cute is this personalized hot sauce for favors?

This board is from wedding planner Linnyette Richardson, often featured on the Style Networks, whose wedding is it anyway. I LOVE these champagne flutes with salsa!!

(another from

Fiesta Lanterns from Oriental Trading Company

Fiesta Drink/Toothpick Parasols also from OTC

Separate reception areas ala Rosepepper’sfun/crazy beads! (see below for more Rosepepper info!)

A Mexican/Cinco de Mayo theme can also be great for a rehearsal dinner or shower! We might do our rehearsal dinner Mexican style. However, I’m slightly afraid to offend my new “Mexican” family, since an American’s idea of Mexican food, is NOT what is really eaten in Mexico!

If you’re in Nashville, be sure to hit up a great Mexican restaurant today or sometime soon! My absolute fave is Rosepepper Cantina. It’s a great little place hidden away in East Nashville. If I wasn’t on a diet, that’s where you’d find me today! Let’s hope I don’t cave in and head there anyways…..although just thinking about it my mouth is watering for their super delicious cheese dip, chimichangas, quesadillas, and drinks!! Yuuuuummmmm! If you don’t feel that adventurous, head to Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant (just google or citysearch it, they’re all over the place!)

I’ll be thinking about Mexico all month long with my student’s current Marketplace project! We’re recreating all kinds of handicrafts and practicing how to buy/sell them to each other!! Soon we’ll have a fun day filled with Mexican food and the kids all dressed up to show off the Mexican spirit! And then….school will be over!!! :o) YAY SUMMER!! I’ll drink a margarita to that!! :o)

I’m going to have a LOT of kids in/at my wedding! It’s going to be soooo much fun! Kids are such a huge part of my life that it wouldn’t be right, any other way! :o)

I’ve got 120 students and WISH I could invite them all- but they and their parents would take up most of the space in the church where there is only room for 300!! Yipes! So, I’m inviting my two homeroom classes, and a few kids of teachers, etc.

I’ve also got 10 kids who will be coming down the aisle/standing (or sitting!) up with us at the altar! Three flower girls, 3 Jr. bridesmaids, 2 ringbearers, and 2 jr groomsmen! Plus 4 other kids who will be passing out programs, bubbles, etc! They’re all cousins, neices, nephews and the kids that I nannied for (and continue to stay close to!). I wouldn’t want any of them to NOT be a part of things! (At least that will give us space for about 325 in the church with all the kids, wedding party, musicians, pastor, etc!)

Therefore, I’ve got to come up with a LOT of stuff to keep the kids occupied! :o) At our cake reception- I won’t have to worry about it too much! It will be fairly short, and we are having a smallish candy buffet. See my posts on candy ideas!  Candy Direct and Easter Candy

I have several shell/starfish shaped bowls and large margarita glasses to use, and plan on something like this- with the sand dollars, etc around it to give it a beachy feel!

And I wouldn’t do this one….but how beautiful is this! (from

I just came across this link to a favors site with a blog on candy buffets! It’s got a lot of great info on how to set up your table, where to get stuff, and lots of comments from readers with good ideas! How sweet it is!

For the kids at the family/wedding party reception, I’m sure we’ll take the leftover candies- if there are any!! But I am also planning on putting special stuff just on their table. Different games, toys, activities to keep them happy and out of trouble! I’m sure they’ll have lots of fun dancing, eating, and playing in the chocolate fountain too!

Last night, I spent WAY too much time in Michael’s searching through all the cute stuff they have! They have a good supply of $1 items, where I got some little gifts for bridesmaids and fun stuff for the kids table!

They also have these really cute beach buckets for $1 that I’m going to use on the table to put all the toys, etc. in! They are the perfect color- but they are a dollar, so the handles and shovel are a little cheap! Perfect for the table, but they wouldn’t be good if you wanted to carry stuff around in them- or use them for Out of Town Baskets!

Can’t wait to find more cute stuff for the kiddies!! 🙂 Speaking of kiddies….my third graders are here and ready for their test!!


I was shopping at The Dollar Treefor supplies for a school Easter project a couple weeks back, when I came across these adorable Chinese lanterns! At just $1 each of course!! So I scooped up a bunch in blue and white for my wedding! I wanted to share them earlier, but the pictures were stuck on my camera- and as I’ve mentioned before, I’d lost my USB cord (got a new one now, so we’re back in business after this post since I ended up using my camera phone for the lanterns!)

The are adorable 8 in lanterns that come with the lightbulbs inside. All you have to do is screw open the bottom and insert batteries and you are good to go! I wouldn’t turn them on until last minute though- Not sure if it was my batteries or the bulb, but some of mine were only good for one evening lit up! They had them in several different colors. I know there are lots of other places out there to get them too!!

I already had a few lanterns in my dining room from ones I’d found the year before…and I added some white ones to balance it out!! I’ll probably take them down to include them with the ones at the wedding! They’ll have to come down about that time anyways with me moving!

I found out just last week that I can’t hang up lanterns at either of my venues, so I was ready to take them back, until I went back through some blog entries on Ashley’s Bride Guide and saw these totally cute ideas for using them on tables! So I might go with that! Either way the lanterns are super cute and super cheap! :o)

I’ve used Oriental Trading Company before for things for school. Like these adorable Magic Color Scratch Sombrero Ornaments that my kids had a blast with around Christmas time. How can you beat a craft for 120 kids for only $30!?(although just saw right now I’d get the same amount for $18 on clearance!)

 OTC specializes in bulk/cheap items, but it never occurred to me that they might have wedding stuff!! I’m not sure why I never thought of it, but I hadn’t! I get catalogs at school all the time, but of course no wedding themed stuff was in there!

So in searching for stuff for out-of-town gift baskets/bags, I came across a forum that talked about getting stuff from there. Like these tote bags $9.95 for a dozen!


 I’m not going to make any claims on the quality of their stuff because I can only attest to the crafts I’ve ordered! They all came quick, and were well packaged! These bags are cute, but a little too beachy for me!

The possibilities are endless for what you can find from their site!!

Here are some cute things I came across (ahhhhem….my bridesmaids, you might want to take some notes- now that I know some of you are actually reading this!!)

How freakin cute are these flip flops!??! I’ve seen something like this before, but not exact. Totally great for the honeymoon!

Also VERY much a fan of these black and white flip flops, which also come in men’s (I’m a size 8, Ray is 11!) These might be cuter than the previous ones- which kinda look like garters!

These are totally cute iron-ons! I actually picked up some similar ones from Walmart for pretty cheap!

 Lots of fun bachelorette party stuff too like this party pack-

There’s lots of other great stuff too, but there are some goofy things as well. Like an inflatable arch! But a lot of stuff is cute, great for a bride on a budget, and lots of stuff can even be personalized! Like these cute glass champagne flutes (which I may be getting for myself!)

And this personalized banner!

Do some searching for yourself, and you just might find a few great things you’ve been looking for! Favor ideas, bubbles, centerpieces, there’s tons of items to chose from if their in the realm of what you’re looking for! And someone must be buying those inflatable arches if someone was crazy enough to think of the idea to make them!!

So I am still considering going the fake flower route, and have been searching hard for some matching ones! Just this weekend, Kelley and I were searching through Hobby Lobby and found pretty much the perfect ones! I’ll post my actual pics later, but for now, here are the pics from the Crafts, etc. site (the site Hobby Lobby sends you to, if you want to shop for florals on-line!) These hydrangeas match the bridesmaids dresses/sashes PERFECTLY!

We found several similar color roses to intersperse with the hydrangeas and white roses!

This is one (but not sure about all the shades of green in it too)

Or it may have been this similar one…not sure!

And I can’t find it on-line, but in the store there was another similar rose but with darker edges instead of the lighter green! They looked soooo pretty and I was practically jumping up and down when I got home and saw how closely they matched the dresses! YAY! :o) Possibly one more thing checked off the list!!

That reminds me….I need to go to my checklist at The Knot and mark off a bunch of the tasks I’ve completed recently! :o)

Ok, so I said I was quitting looking at Weddingbee, but yeah right! I kept on….I’ve found these great ideas of things to do with votive candles- could be used as centerpieces or as favors!

When I saw this blog entitled “I like cheap stuff”, of course, I couldn’t resist! As I myself….LOVE cheap stuff! :o) Now, I’m not a fan of the wedding cameras (see my idea to replace that in the previous post), but I AM a huge fan of the site linked to on this blog- Cudge! They have great deals on votive holders- WITH candles included! 72 for $36.77! Wow!! (They also sell the rose petals in this pic!)

This could work great with this idea from Miss Cherry Blossom to etch a design or pattern into the votives (check out her great step-by-step instructions and pics!)

And this super cute idea from Mrs. Emerald who stamped vellum paper, then wrapped it around the votives….she also has great step-by-step instructions!

I love both ideas….thinking the etching could be easier if I got the hang of how to do it?? Not sure if I want to tackle something that big for favors though! I do think it’s a great idea to etch our monogram or maybe just an “H” on champagne flutes!!!

Something like this……
But I wouldn’t do it that fancy for DIY!