Rain, and Confidence

So, the original plan for today was to take pictures of our small balcony to share on the blog, because it is really cute. However, it’s really cloudy and chilly (in the 60s) and won’t even get into the 70s today. Just doesn’t feel like the right time to capture the summery happiness of our little terrace.

Then, as I was catching up on reading the design blogs I’m subscribed to on Bloglovin (follow this blog here), I heard really, really heavy raindrops on the roof. And you know what? For the first time since 2010 I did not wince in nervousness. I didn’t worry about a roof leak at all!


For those of you who might not be in the know, my first apartment in Kansas (shared with Lisa, then with Doug) had two glorious, magnificent, huge, and leaky skylights. Every Kansas thunderstorm that rolled through had the potential to become a lake in the dining room. Lisa and I got really good at remembering where the drips went and had an elaborate system of towels and kitchenware that we’d employ during those months. Added onto this was the absentee landlord who never really repaired anything. Although he was well aware of the leak, he employed our construction-savvy neighbor to do “band aid” fixes on it that never solved the problem one-hundred percent.

Our second place never actually leaked on us, but next door neighbors had clued us into its leaky history. Luckily, I think the person who my in-laws bought it from had ultimately fixed the leaks once and for all. However, the mystery behind the history of the run-down house always left me a little uneasy, not to mention the shadow I would have felt on my heart if my in-laws had ended up needing to shell out the big bucks for roof repair.

Today, however, was totally different. Not only did the heavy rain pass through in less than five minutes, but I had the confidence in the knowledge that if something had happened, there are two full-time maintenance guys that I could alert to the situation. It is their job to fix things out of control in the complex. My rent helps pay their salary to do that!! What a concept, right?

That, my friends, is why I’m currently A-OK with living in a cookie cutter complex.

[QUEST] Halloween Wedding Inspiration

Readers, get comfortable. This might be the longest post I’ve ever written (800+ words). I had a lot of fun.
Also, I’ll use this to introduce the QUEST tag. Most of the stuff I do here is focused on me and my house.  Posts marked QUEST will be labors of love I’ve done for a friend or someone who’s asked me what I think about x, y, and z.

I was incredibly flattered when a friend from college contacted me on Facebook and asked for my opinion regarding her wedding. (She said I was the most creative person she knows! This has gotta be impossible and I’m trying not to get a big head.) She has been shipped out to Afghanistan and will be planning from a distance. The themes that inspired her most for a fall wedding were Halloween, masquerade, and fall colors.

With that as my starting point, and the goal of making it fun without venturing into what I call “The Tim Burton Gothic Halloween Black Hole,” I consulted some of the blogs I followed religiously when planning my own “Big Day. ” This has actually been a lot of fun for me. Part of me thinks I’d love to be a wedding or event planner, so I could do this kind of stuff all the time. Then I realize that the kinds of brides that actually pay people to come up with this stuff for them are probably not the kind I want to work with.

Fall Halloween Masquerade Wedding

Click the image for the huge version! All sources at the end of the post.

In this imaginary Fall Halloween Masquerade wedding (see? I worked in all 3 themes) the bride and groom are celebrating outside in the crisp fall air that hasn’t turned cold quite yet. Preferably, at a park or on somebody’s property that has majestic large trees. If there are leaves on the trees, perfect–fall color. If not, perfect–more Halloweeny. A rustic setting and rustic “base layer” for all the decor, colors, accessories, flowers, etc will lend the perfect “old” (which can lend itself towards “creepy”) foundation to keep things from getting too 5th Grade Halloween Party.  And I don’t want to see any bats, unless they’re done right ;)

A vintage-looking ivory wedding dress blends in with the surroundings and isn’t too harsh against the warm colors. Black bridesmaids’ dresses let the fall-colored decorations colors pop without worrying about finding the “perfect” orange, red, or yellow–nothing clashes with black in my book. Plus, if you give the bridesmaids guidelines but let them pick out their own dress, they’ll go home with the perfect LBD that every closet should have in it. Keep them knee-length or a little shorter, preferably, to keep things fun & avoid the event from getting too stuffy. For groomsmen, black is generally the go-to color so that’s easy. Perhaps some of your guys already own a black suit–make life easier on them and let them wear it. Pick various jewel-toned ties (dark orange, dark red, navy blue) to keep from looking too cookie-cutter.

[Author’s note. This is the weak section because I really don’t care about flowers. At my wedding I left it up to the florist]  The flowers feature in-season fall flowers from a warm color scheme. However, somehow purple has worked its way into being a “classic Halloween color” which is fine because rich, dark purple flowers or dark purple leaves would look great in a fall-colored bouquet.

Ceremony Decor
The bride and groom would have preferred black wrought-iron looking chairs or benches (think Haunted Mansion at Disneyland) but who has that?  They opted for natural wood folding chairs over plastic white chairs to keep the muted color pallet going. Along the aisle, each chair has a small pumpkin next to it, with fall leaves (fake ones sewn onto a rope to outsmart the unpredictable Kansas winds) running the length from back to front. Again, due to the wind, programs are not pre-set on the chairs. Ushers hand them out as guests arrive.

Reception Decor
At the reception, as soon as guests enter they encounter two rustic baskets filled with plain black Halloween masks. The bride and groom have a white and black one (respectively) pre-set at their table.  The cake is a rustic-looking apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting, with exposed layers for graphic appeal and to set it apart from a sea of regular wedding cakes. Since the reception’s small in attendance, the bride opted for a 2-layer 8 inch round cake at each table instead of a giant one to feed the crowd. This way, guests can mingle without waiting in a long line for treats. Each place has a small clear bag with pieces of nut brittle in it for a take-home favor. Table decorations incorporate small pumpkins and small flower arrangements but aren’t too tall–this way the guests can see the person across the table from them.


BHLDNTulle Era Dress
The Knot: Ceremony 1, Ceremony 2, Flowers 1, Flowers 2, Bridesmaids Dresses
Bon Appetit: Fuji Apple Spice cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Martha Stewart: Centerpiece, Place Cards, Nut Brittle

If you want, you can check out my ever-evolving pinboard with photos you see here and perhaps some new ones! Plus, sometimes I put my opinions in the description.