LIFE LATELY

My apologies for the mini blog hiatus. We have been BUSY! Life with a 15 month old is no joke, this girl does not stop moving, she is curious, she is observant, she is smart, and we are loving every single second! Her favorite pastime is emptying cabinets as fast as possible. Who knew saran wrap and tampons made such great toys?

Although Ruby takes up most of our time, Phil and I managed to escape to Nashville this past weekend for a wedding thanks to grandpa and grandma. A friend of Phil's from college married his long time girlfriend (who I adore!) at a gorgeous barn outside the city. If it looks like we are glowing in this photo, don't worry it isn't a new foundation, it's sweat. It was a hot hot day, but better sun than rain!

On top of travel and Ruby we have also decided that it is time to buy a house! I can't believe I just typed that, it feels so adult, and way too real. Phil and I are both nomads at heart and that fact that we like somewhere enough to BUY is mind blowing. Chicago (specifically Lincoln Park) has so much to offer and we honestly can't see ourselves picking up and moving to another city (at least right now ha!). Buying a house is stressful, especially in a market where home prices are high and the good ones are only available for a couple of days. So if you think about us, send us your prayers and well wishes that this process goes smoothly and that we find a house perfect for our family!

I'll leave you with photo of Ruby. We had just returned from a showing and she is clearly already exhausted by the house hunting process. Lord help us. 

BRIDAL PARTY RENTALS - NEW AND IMPROVED

Bridal party options have come A LONG WAY even in the two years since I have been married. 

Bridesmaids and groomsmen and typically forced to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that the bride "swears you'll wear again," or a tux rental that is so baggy you could pile all of the groomsmen into one ill fitting pant leg. But, they do it and don't complain (at least to your face) because they love you. With companies such as Vow to Be Chic and The Black Tux starting to pop up, these problems will hopefully become a thing of that past.

Vow to Be Chic allows Brides to shop thousands of bridesmaid dress rentals, pick her favorite, send invitations to her bridesmaids to rent the dress she has chosen for them, and track who has placed their order (good idea, since there is always a straggler). Simple! Dress prices start at $50 and go from there, the options are truly limitless (and stylish!) with this rental service. 

The Black Tux is the fashionable younger brother of  Men's Warehouse. Gone are the days of twenty somethings coming down the aisle looking like they dusted off the suit hanging in the back of their dad's closet. The Black Tux offers complete outfit rentals or individual pieces, depending on your needs. Bonus - their prices rival or beat typical tuxedo rental shops. Modern, slim fit suits and tuxedos guarantee a happier bridal party and fabulous photos. 

OUR WEDDING CEREMONY

My FAVORITE part of our wedding weekend was hands down the ceremony. Throughout the entire planning process I kept telling myself that as long as we were married at the end of the day, nothing else mattered. Yes, the reception was incredible, but that was for our guests, the ceremony was for us. 

Our wedding ceremony was held on the back lawn of the intimate St. Petersburg Museum of History. We were married under a tree that graciously shaded us from the (perfectly sunny) 78 degree skies. The string quartet ushered the families and bridal party down the aisle, Phil and I exchanged rings and vows, and just like that we were married! 

Although the pictures don't show it, there was a music festival happening right across the bay that started at the exact time of our ceremony (of course). Our wedding planner was prepping me for the worst as I exited the trolley that had transported us from the hotel to the museum and headed toward the aisle. For some strange reason the (overly loud, obnoxious) music didn't make me mad. I caught a glimpse of our guests all seated in perfect rows on the museum lawn, and literally didn't have a care in the world. It was completely out of character, but I'm so thankful for the wave of relaxation that swept over me in that moment. 

Vows were said, rings were exchanged, and a kiss sealed the deal. In the blink of an eye we were married, Mr. and Mrs. Phillip and Lindsey Mark. It was the best day ever.

The St. Petersburg Museum of History lawn.

Floral Chandeliers hung in the tree. 

Our wedding programs that Phil made. I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for so he created them himself.

Florals.

Phil's parents. Phil and Kitty.

My parents. Greg and Kristi.

My grandfather married us. Here he is followed by Phil. 

My sister and Maid of Honor, Kaylee. Phil's cousin and Groomsman, Chris.

My sister and Maid of Honor, Chelsea. Phil's brother and Best Man, Michael.

String quartet.

My two favorite men.

Married!

PAPER STRAW FLAGS TUTORIAL

A few weeks ago I blogged about my sister's bridal shower, with these cutesy DIY paper straw flags being the stars of the show. I chose to use them as a seating chart by writing the name and assigned table number of each guest on the paper flag. These straws could also be used as place cards or to display a uniform message (such as Happy Birthday). You can get as creative as you like by switching up the color of the straws, choosing a bright patterned paper for the flag and using stickers and jewels for a fun embellishment.

Paper straw flags are inexpensive and incredibly inexpensive to make - but their personalization and whimsy are not something your guests will soon forget!

 LIST OF MATERIALS

  1. Kraft Paper
  2. Double sided permanent tape (make sure to get the permanent kind)
  3. Paper straws
  4. Scissors
  5. Pencil
  6. Ruler

STEP ONE

Cut strips of Kraft paper into desired widths. I cut 40 strips, each with a 3/4 inch width.

STEP TWO

Place a piece of double sided tape the full length on one side of a Kraft paper strip. Lay the straw on the tape side of the strip about 1 1/2 inches from the top (leaving enough room at the top for the straw to be functional).

STEP THREE

Fold the strips of paper tightly around the straw making sure you press down firmly to ensure the tape adheres to itself. 

STEP FOUR

Cut a small "V" into the end of the paper strip, which gives it a flag like appearance. Write, draw or embellish the paper flags as you wish. Enjoy!

INTRODUCING MR. AND MRS. MARINO

What a wonderful, whirlwind of a week. The wedding was perfection and the bride was beyond stunning. The groom looked incredibly handsome and his ear to ear smile spoke for itself. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Marino.

I mean....gorgeous.

The flower girl in all her glory.

The delicious cake.

Cake cutting - harder than it looks.

Mother/Son dance.

Father/daughter dance.

My Brother-in-law!

These two. Adore.

Wedding dates for life.

They're married.

Disclaimer: Please ignore the terrible iPhone quality photos. Ugh.