Appeasing Freckles

This past weekend, we hung an old chandelier that came from my parents’ dining room that I made pretty  for our bedroom, and after it was up and lit and decidedly not going to burn the house down, I decided the rest of the room needed a little makeover, too. I hit the computer, pulled up all of our engagement, wedding, and trash the dress photos, picked about 20 of my faves and turned them black and white, then uploaded them to Walgreens to have printed as 8×10’s.

Later that day when I went to pick them up, the cashier lady was a tiny little thing, she couldn’t have been taller than 5 feet and had sparkly eyes and a pretty smile. When I gave her my name, she lit up and became super chatty and started saying things like, “beautiful wedding!” and “amazing photos!” and was asking me all about the wedding and jumping in the ocean with our wedding duds on. And I’ll admit it was a lot of fun reminiscing. After our chat, I left with a smile and my photos in hand, I hit up the dollar store for a bunch of frames and mirrors, and hung them all when I got home.

Only, after they were all hung, I took a step back I realized they looked kinda…. vanilla.

Meh. There was way too much empty space on the wall that was screaming at me for more. So I went back to the computer, again, chose a couple dozen of my favorites, again, uploaded them to Walgreens, again, and the next morning I went to pick them up and do it all over – again. And this time when I got to the photo counter, there was a different cashier, a younger guy with moppy hair and freckles as far as the eye could see. I gave him my name and as he was grabbing the envelope with my photos he asked if I took the pictures myself or if they were done by a photographer. I was flattered that he not only thought I could take such amazing photographs, but that I could take amazing photographs of myself in the ocean from 100 feet away. I may rock a mean camera phone photo once in a while but I’m not that good. So I told him that we had them taken by a friend of ours, a photographer friend, and I waited for a repeat of the praise of the beautiful pictures I had gotten from the sweet lady the very day before. Only he started speaking another language that I had never heard before where ‘beautiful’ sounded more like copyright and ‘wedding’ sounded more like you can’t have these photos.

He said I needed a photo contract to pick up my pictures, little jerk all doing his job the right way and stuff. Where was that sweet little lady when I needed her? Lucky for me I had a signed contract at home and also lucky for me my hubs is super organized otherwise I’d be buried alive under my basement stairs and a pile of papers right now still looking for a contract we signed almost 2 years ago. So I went home, again, grabbed the contract, went back to Walgreens, again, and gave Freckles what he needed to hand over my pics to me. And finally my photo wall is complete.

I don’t remember when I had first been told to make a contract up for the rights to the photos but thank goodness I listened otherwise Walgreens would currently be the proud owners of 2 dozen pictures of my mug. Having a friendor as our photographer made it very easy to have all right and photographs signed over to us, he had no problem with any of that and while I’m not sure if a non-friendor photographer would be as quick to surrender any and all rights, if you need a starting point, this is our contract that was all copyright inclusive:

for an editable Word doc, click here —> Right of Photo Ownership Contract

Right of Photo Ownership Contract

1)      This agreement constitutes an order for portraiture services, including the taking of pictures, as agreed to by all parties:



and the below assigned photographer from: _____________________________ (Company if applicable),

on this ___ day of _________, 2012.


2)      Unless otherwise specified, it is understood that any and all rights including editing, printing, duplication, distribution and all other copyright ownership entitlements and privileges regarding proofs, final, sample prints, DVD’s, or any other media in connection with this event thereof, shall remain the property and authority of the above mentioned parties excluding the assigned photographer(s) and/or affiliated company and may not be used for advertising display, or any other purpose, without express written consent.


3)      We, the undersigned involved parties, hereby warrant that we are competent to contract in our own names. We confirm that we have read the herein agreement prior to its execution, and we are fully familiar with the contents thereof. This agreement shall be binding upon us, our heirs, legal representatives, and assigns. We verify that we have received a complete copy of this agreement with all blank lines completed.



Print                                                         Sign                                                          Date



Print                                                         Sign                                                          Date



Print (Photographer Assigned)          Sign                                                          Date


Please feel free to copy this if you need it! Have you ever run into resistance trying to print professional pictures without a contract in hand?

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this time last year

On a drizzly day in front of all the people I love,

I vowed to be by his side from now until forever…

…because he’s my favorite.

Happy anniversary, my love.

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My Bustle

Hi everyone! I’ve had lots of inquiries about my bustle so I decided to put as much info as I have about it here for you.

Here’s what I know:

My seamstress at David’s Bridal called it a ‘ballroom bustle’ but I now know that’s not the proper term for the style. One site I found refers to mine as the ‘train flip’, found here (last one on the page) although I did a google search on ‘train flip bustle’ and nothing came up…I’m guessing that’s just her term. Anywho, whatever you want to call it, I made a Photoshop mock-up of how David’s did it…

(picture the dress as see-through and everything I’m showing is on the underside of the skirt)

The red circles are buttons, and the black curvies on the end of the train are fabric hooks, all sewn to the underside. So basically the buttons come up right under my butt and the hooks are along the edge of the train, face down touching the floor. 

To bustle (again, this is all on the underside of the skirt so you don’t actually see any of this when the dress is on):

Easiest way is to start on one SIDE of the train, find the first hook and loop it over the first button, then work your way up and around the skirt till you get to the last hook and button on other side. So basically my friend ended up under my skirt in a very compromising position at one point🙂 It took 11 hooks & buttons to get my skirt up and the bottom to lay flat.

A few things to note:

My dress was asymmetrical. So if your seamstress tells you it can’t be done because your dress is asymmetrical, either I’m the exception or he/she is wrong. All it takes is a little tweaking of where the buttons would be attached. I’m certainly no seamstress but I honestly can’t think of any kind of train that this wouldn’t work on, unless of course it’s so long that pulling it up to your butt wouldn’t actually get it off the floor. Even then though, I imagine you could attach the hooks higher up the train so it folds over itself.

And here’s every picture I have that shows off the bustle (if even just a little bit):

I really hope this helps! And if anyone knows the proper term for this bustle style, I’d love to know!!


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Proud Momma

One of my friends got married a few weeks ago and it was a beautiful ceremony and reception. She was the perfectly calm bride who figured she had done her best to plan her wedding and if anything went wrong, such is life. I appreciated all of the details she incorporated into her day, things I didn’t have to consider when planning my destination wedding: bridesmaids dresses, all things flowers, color schemes, music lineup, etc. Then I stumbled upon this and I was so proud!

She made my card box and it looked so great! She even made the bow like mine and sewed the lid to the base using pieces of hanger, a la Mr. Nachos-MacGyver.

She put her own twist on it by decorating it with her bouquet instead of making the “Cards” tag. So smart!

Have you tried any of the Bee’s DIY projects? Did yours turn out like the original?

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Thank You

Well everyone, it seems all things wedding are over for us and if I could go back and do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Our thank you’s went out on Saturday and to me, putting them in the mail marked the closing of the wedding chapter and the beginning of the rest of my life with my husband.

For those that came with us to St. Thomas, we sent pretty postcards that we bought on our trip:

And clearly not being one to worry about little details, I decided to finally use my old stamps, heehee:

Those that attended our home reception and people that sent gifts were written nice little notes in traditional thank you cards:

Ooh, and I wrote you all thank you cards, as well! In case yours gets lost in the mail and Miss Seashell doesn’t find it, I wrote you the following:

“Dear Bees,

Thank you so much for being there for me through all of the ups and downs of our wedding planning. It would never have been the same without you, all the support, love and advice you have given me truly made the last 7 months a time in my life I will never forget. You encouraged me through the rough patches when I was feeling defeated and overwhelmed, and you shared my excitement and butterflies when I felt like I was walking on a cloud. You are a friend for life, and if you ever need anything – an ear to listen, internet hugs during the rough patches, or just a smile – I will always be here for you. I promise, I’m not going anywhere. Always know that I am here with you no matter how far away you may be, smiling and excited for you and all that you experience, just as you were and are for me.

Love you all,


p.s. If you’re not sick of me and want to follow my post-wedding afterlife, you can find me over at my personal blog, Rabit Stew. Happy wedded bliss everyone!

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We’ve Been Busy Bees!

I can’t believe it’s been almost 7 weeks since we got married! In the almost 2 months since we said ‘I do’, Scott and I have actually been pretty busy…

First off,

We’re under contract!

(picture it white, we’re gonna paint it)

Yep, we’re moving to the ‘burbs and I’ll completely miss the city, but we found a quad-level, 4-bedroom/2-bath house in Glenview that we fell in love with during our search, and bonus, I’ll be closer to my parents. It’s a short sale so it’s taken a little longer than usual, but the timing has actually almost been perfect. Although we were about a month too late to get the tax credit, we’re under contract and set to close in July. No more apartment renting!!!!! So many levels to decorate and find the perfect place for Scott’s “My Best Fart” jar!


Our registry is almost complete!

(my new favorite word is fulfilled)

Yes, the registry I didn’t even want in the beginning and I have since become obsessed with. After our party, we had a blast opening gifts, and I’m now at the point where I’m buying little things here and there off of it that we didn’t get, like the last few sets of our dishes. I’m holding off on the big stuff ’til after we close on the house, just in case. It’s killing me not to be able to order those cute tables and rugs I have all laid out in my soon-to-be living room in my head, but I can wait!


My tan is gone, but so are the bug bites!

Oh those nasty no-see-ums. Seriously, they were my only complaint from our trip, the bugs that I oh so briefly mentioned in a post not so long ago. If you’ve never experienced no-see-ums, they are exactly what they sound like: little bugs you can’t see that bite you relentlessly and cause really itchy welts that take weeks to heal. They are a big problem on islands and in the mountains, and we were technically on both at once. Luckily they waited to get me above the waist until after the actual wedding, but this was me 2 days after the ceremony…

The super duper close-up shots are SO gross but I figured I’d spare ya’ll a little by shrinking them down. We bought bug spray out there and I even started spraying down the bed before we crawled in. In the beginning, Scott wasn’t convinced they were in the bed until the first night I only sprayed my side because he didn’t want to sleep in bug spray. His arm the next morning said it all. We asked the bartenders how to get away from the bugs and they all either said the bugs didn’t bother the locals, or they had various treatments we didn’t have handy – dryer sheets, citronella, Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil, etc. So if you plan to go to the islands, I suggest you bring mega bug spray, ‘they’ recommend above 30% DEET for no-see-ums if you can find it. I have never had this problem on the other islands I’ve visited in the Caribbean except for Jamaica, although I’ve never stayed somewhere down there for 2 weeks either. For the St. Thomas trip we had 29% DEET and it definitely helped for a few hours after each spray down.

And finally the one I’m most excited about and proud of,

We quit smoking!

Smoking was an awful addiction we both had that I didn’t advertise in my blog, but I admit it, I’ve been a smoker since I was 16. Um, that’s almost 17 years of smoking (minus a year-and-a-half when I quit in my 20’s), but Scott and I had planned our quit date about 6 months ago, and set it for the day we got back from St. Thomas. And I’m happy to report we’ve stuck with it thanks to the patch on me bum. Main motivation for me? Future babies. Happy, healthy future nachitos. Oh, and this!

That’s just in 6 weeks since May 1st – $7.50/day/ person adds up quick! And the sad thing is that we spent so much money over the years and had nothing to show for it aside from gross lungs and smelly hair. All that money now is going in savings and will be put towards fun house stuff. Love it! So for anyone contemplating quitting, my advice is to set your quit date far in advance and psych yourself up for it – you really have to want to quit. And the patch has made it surprisingly easy, I’m seriously shocked.

So it seems we are moving full steam ahead and I love all the new challenges and adventures I’m going through with my partner in crime. None of this would have been the same without him by my side!

What big challenges or adventures have you enjoyed taking on with your SO/FI/husband/wife?

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Photoshop Tutorial

So I wanted to show you all something…remember this picture from my TTD post not too long ago?

Looks like we had the beach all to ourselves, right? Wrong. This was the original picture…

Boats, buoys, swimmers…we were definitely not alone. Scott and I had typed up a release of rights for our photographer who also happens to be a good friend (so we knew he wouldn’t object). Basically it gave us full rights to the pictures – free reign to legally edit, copy and reproduce our photos. And here’s how I made the public beach our private oasis in Photoshop 3.0 .

Open the picture and click on the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’…

Next, zoom in close and draw a box around the water right next to what you want to hide. Make your box similar in size to the object you’ll be covering. Sorry, the box is kinda hard to see in this picture but look just right of the boat…

Click Edit /Copy, then Edit /Paste (or ctrl+c, then ctrl+v). This will create a new layer with just your square that you copied from the picture.

Go back to your picture layer and change the opacity so you can see the new box/layer through it.

Select your new layer on the right so it’s your drawing layer.

Select the ‘Move Tool’ (little arrow with the cross looking thingy on the left) and drag your new box over what you want to cover.

Go back to your picture layer and change the opacity back to 100% so your picture looks like this…

Next you want to smudge the box you made to blend in with the main picture. I like the ‘Mode’ set at ‘Normal’ and the ‘Strength’ at 25%.

Um…..what boat?

I repeated the process over and over to cover everything and make us our own private beach picture. I also found that this process is very easy when using pictures with water because it blends very well.

So we went from this to that…

And how dare this woman try to grow out of Scott’s arm. Photoshop to the rescue!…

Good luck!

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