Saturday, April 30, 2011

doily doily.

I never thought the day would come that I would say this, but I feel slightly obsessed with lace and doilies lately - is anybody else with me? 

Like Kate's (you all know who I'm talking about) wedding dress with those long lace sleeves - I DIED.  I loved them.

This simple doily chair decor is genius.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

coral on the brain.

A client of mine excitedly came to me yesterday afternoon to show me what color she and her fiance had decided on for their wedding.  

They settled on a beautiful summer palette of pinks, yellows, and oranges, with the bell of the ball being the color coral.  I love it.

Needless to say, I've been daydreaming about coral things all day today.  So this inspiration board I put together is quite fitting, don't you think? 

All images via


Sunday, April 24, 2011

sunday's thwacks and shout-outs.

Thwack (verb) : to strike with, or as if with, something flat or heavy.
Shout-out (noun) : a public expression of gratitude or recognition.


1.) I was out enjoying lunch with a client/friend/colleague (she's multi-faceted) at the Nordstrom cafe on Monday.  When we were done with our meal, the waitress naturally brought out our check and the little dessert treats, which happened to be individually wrapped chocolate sticks.  Without even thinking about it, I picked one up, unwrapped it, and literally touched the chocolate to my tongue before I realized what I was doing... I almost blew it!  I gave up chocolate for lent with the husband.  Not for religious purposes because I'm not catholic, so I wouldn't have been upset for that reason.  I would have been upset for losing the contest to the husband.

2.) It's never a good thing when the assistant needs an assistant.  That would be me.  I worked too many stressful hours this week at my day job.  I thought busy season was over?

3.) The weather.  Do you see a pattern with this thwack over the last many weeks?  Well, you should.  Although it may have redeemed itself this weekend, the weather was crummy most of the week.  As always,

4.) Although (as all of you already know) I love my dogs a million times over, I am so incredibly tired of all of their hair in every nook and cranny in my house.  It's never ending.  For reals.  I'm pretty sure if I swept and vacuumed every day, my house would still feel dirty.  All those in favor of shaving the labs, say aye.

The husband: AYE

5.) We are officially a single car family starting tomorrow.  I'm a little freaked out about it slash excited to be saving more monies for Violet Hills.  I'm sure you will hear more thwacks on this later.  Stay tuned.


1.) My awesome and thoughtful sister-in-law introduced me to the best font this girl has ever seen - Llama Font.

Check it out.

"I love llamas, don't you?"

Try it for yourself here, it's loads of fun.  Trust me.

2.) The husband and I discovered CamWow.  And, since it's been so long that we've actually spent time together, we're kinda back to those awkward first date moments where we don't know what to do together besides play with our phone and poke fun at each other.

Just kidding, that's actually not true.  But we do think we're pretty funny.  We spent the evening cracking up over our own funny-ness, actually.

Jay Leno - is that you in woman form? 

Poor Trudy got made fun of too.

3.) I got spoiled and lucky with gift cards this week.  My boss gave me a Starbucks card, Ryan got a Starbucks card (which he always passes along to me since he's not a coffee guy, which works out nicely because we can't afford to feed the addiction for both of us), and I won movie tickets and a Jimmy John's gift card at work.  SCORE for gift cards.

4.) I finally got to eat chocolate!  Giving up chocolate was actually harder than I was anticipating - gummy worms and sour patch kids got old pretty fast.  The husband and I stayed up until midnight to indulge - it was awesome.  Slash delicious.  Slash the last time I will give up chocolate.

5.) My sister and brother-in-law came to visit this weekend!  We went shopping, ate delicious pizza from a new-to-us local pizzeria right up the street, checked out some property on Green Bluff, bbq'd double-decker bacon cheeseburgers, watched movies, made chocolate dipped strawberries and strawberry waffles, and celebrated Jesus' resurrection at church.

6.) My blog's face lift is done - and I love love love it!  And to celebrate, I have a super-sweet-awesome giveaway going on right now!  $75 J.Crew gift card.  Go look... and enter!

7.) Sunday sunbathing pals.

8.) I booked a wedding planning gig with a friend and colleague of mine, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be her wedding planner!  You and me Jen, you and me.

9.) Saving the best for last: Jesus is risen!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

chalkboard signs.

What a cute way to tell your guests all the yummies you're serving.

Adorable.  And creative.  And inexpensive.  All positives.  

Go here for simple step-by-step instructions.


Friday, April 22, 2011

how beautiful is she?

I mean seriously, can she get any more gorgeous? 

And I swoon over her hair piece.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

j.crew giveaway + j.crew saves the day.

So I've had lots of things going on in this noggin of mine regarding this post.  

First of all, spring time makes me want to shop.  I get that little pep in my step as we're rounding the corner of winter doldrums working our way towards sunshine and warm weather.   When I want to shop, J.Crew always comes to mind.  If I had all the monies in the world, at least 63% of my wardrobe would probably be J.Crew.  I love their simple and classy spread.

Secondly, J.Crew saved, and I mean really saved, one of my best friend's wedding day.
Listen to her crazy story:

What girl doesn’t look forward to going wedding dress shopping? In reality it can be very exhausting, but the idea of it sounds magical. Needless to say, I was so excited to go with my mom and sister. We scoped out a few dress boutiques in the area and made a day of it. It was at the second stop that I found “the dress”, or at least the one I thought was. I fell in love with it. The price tag was a little steep, but still in the budget so we ordered it on the spot.

When the dress finally arrived (about six months later), I went back to the store with two of my bridesmaids and dearest friends. I tried on the dress for them and we all “ooed” and “awed”. The boutique said that they would store the dress for me in their secure shop until it was time for me to have it sized.

When the time came to have the dress sized, about a month and a half before the wedding, I went back to the shop with a different friend and bridesmaid so she could see the dress. After literally hours of the employees looking for the dress and me and my friend getting more and more worried, it came out that the owner had shipped my dress to a bride in another state to try on (a big no-no) and in an unfortunate miscommunication, actually sold my dress to that same bride. I was panicked because it had taken so long for my dress to come in in the first place. I went out to the car in tears and called my mom to tell her what happened. She was furious and demanded to talk to the owner. The owner was conveniently on vacation. After days of back and forth, my mom finally got a hold of the owner and she said she would do everything in her power to find another dress and have it shipped to me before my wedding. We were all so frustrated with the entire situation.

On a whim, I had heard that my very favorite store of all time, J. Crew, had started designing wedding dresses. Imagine my surprise when I found a dress on their website that I loved for nearly a third of the price of the “missing” dress (J. Crew’s dresses were relatively inexpensive when their wedding line first came out). I called the J. Crew customer service number and explained my entire story to a very understanding and empathetic employee. I felt like I was talking to an old friend! She felt so bad for me that she had two different sizes of the dress over-nighted to my house for free! When the dresses arrived they were beautifully packaged in large, off-white gift boxes with ivory satin bows tied around them. Inside was a personal note from the same understanding woman telling me how sorry she was for what happened to me. I couldn’t believe it! I tried on the dress and it fit like a glove. After everything that had happened, I loved the simplicity of the dress and I felt absolutely beautiful in it. Long story short, we got all of our money back from the original boutique (who has since gone out of business…go figure) and I walked down the aisle in my fabulous J. Crew dress. 

And the happily-ever-after ending.

And last, but not least, it's about that time for a GIVEAWAY!

The prize?

A $75 J.Crew gift card!

Yowzah!  For your J.Crew spring time shopping "needs".  Uhh yes please.

The rules:

1.) If you are not already, become a follower of this here blog via the cute little Google Friend Connect follow button on the right hand side over there.

2.) Leave a comment on this post.

Want additional entries?  By all means.

3.) You can blog about it, tweet about it, and/or Facebook about it.  Each gets you an additional entry into the pot.  Just let me know what you did!

Giveaway ends at midnight on May 15.

Good luck friends!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

fresh as a lemon.

Well friends, here it is. 

The new look of Violet Hills Weddings + Events.

I am SO thrilled with the look.

Thank you Megan from Red Pearl Designs for all of your hard work and dedication - you did a fabulous job!

And thanks to Erich McVey Photography, Ashley Sturm Photography, and Floataway Studios for letting me use a few images from your deep pool of amazing pictures.

What do you think??


Monday, April 18, 2011

turquoise + mustard

I am obsessed with the colors turquoise and mustard together lately - which explains why I made my wreath, my most recent craft project, in these colors.

I really do go through color obsession phases, but turquoise never seems to filter out.  I guess that's how I know it's true love.

Turquoise is here to stay for this girl.

And for now, she'll be paired with mustard.


Counter-clockwise from top left:
Dresser | Clutch Purse | Misc. Toys | Tape in a cup | Shoes on chair | Pinwheels on wall | Yellow pumps | Hanging dress | Boutonniere | Turquoise doors | Pillows

Sunday, April 17, 2011

sunday's thwacks and shout-outs.

Thwack (verb) : to strike with, or as if with, something flat or heavy.
Shout-out (noun) : a public expression of gratitude or recognition.


1.) I can't even count how many rugs I have replaced in my kitchen because of my little scallywag dogs.  For some reason, they looooove to chew them up when we're not home.  You think I'd learn my lesson and take them out of the kitchen, but for some reason I have a rare faith in them that they will knock it off.  But they don't.  I usually resort to keeping the chewed up rug in my kitchen for awhile, taking the stance that I'm too stubborn to buy yet another rug.  But then of course, I always break down because I'm tired of looking at the tacky thing.  This is our usual routine when they're in trouble for "the rug" incidents.

You'd think after having to listen to me for so long each time they get in trouble, that'd be enough to make them stop.

And yes, I broke down and purchased a new rug this weekend after staring at that one for a few weeks.

Also, feel free to make fun of my dog voice, I don't even care.

2.) It did this on and off this week.

Get it?  That's wind.  There has been a lot of it here.  I'm fine with being Deborah Downer here, I'll just say it, I hate it!  I hate wind! Since when did Spokane become the Windy City?  

I'm over it.

3.) I finally received access to Pinterest.  I know, kinda weird this is a thwack, but I go back and forth about it.  Today it's a thwack because it's so incredible that I just know it's going to glue me to my computer even more.  I'm on here enough already!!

4.) This thwack comes to you from Lola and Trudy.

"Seriously mom and dad?  This is ridiculous.  And boring.  And totally unfair.  You try running up and down these things over and over."


1.) I attended a super fun event this weekend - Spokane's Top Model.  It's the largest Spokane modeling show where aspiring models team up with a few local boutiques and salons to compete for the win.  I loved it - such a great way to support our local talent and creative way to showcase local businesses!

2.) I love this picture of Trudy - I think she looks like a mini giraffe with those long legs.

You'd think I was obsessed with my dogs or something.. ?

3.) You know that big proposal at work I keep talking about?  For that very large prospective client?  Well, we found out this week that we made it to the second round - yay!  Now they present for the Audit Committee on Wednesday, so again, we continue to cross our fingers.

4.) The Marshall family has officially survived tax/audit busy season and the husband being in grad school all at the same time.  The last few months have been a little crazy, but I worked my last Saturday a few weeks ago, and the husband worked his last Saturday yesterday. We made it!  PTL friends, PTL.

5.) The husband and I completed our last session of self defense class on Saturday.  It was awesome.  It made it 1235793087587 times better that he did it with me.  Good memories as husband and wife.

6.) During winter/busy season, I talked a lot about how I was really looking forward to getting to some of my craft projects once springtime decided to show itself and Saturday work days were history (for the year).  Well, I finally finished my wreath.

I LURVE how it turned out (lurve, like Celine Dion lurves things).

I put a bird on it just for the picture.  Spruce it up.  Make it pretty.

7.)  I leave for Italy with my mother in this many days:


Wooo I'm excited!

I have to say, I lurve how consistently my weeks are heavy on the shout-out side.

I live a good life - I am a blessed lady!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

need a steal of a deal wedding gown, fast?

A friend of mine recently introduced me to a few fabulous slash dangerous discount clothing/shoes/decor/accessories websites.

Fabulous, of course, because who doesn't love cute things on super sale?

Dangerous, of course, because I see lots of things I like and want to buy.  And shouldn't.

Ay yi yi the struggle to save monies.

Check them out for yourself:

One in particular I have to tell you about is  Right now they have a ridiculous sale on wedding goodies... yes... including dresses. 

Like these ones:

Eliza J Organza Gown - $199

Dere Kiang Beaded Bodice Bow Back - $429

Dere Kiang Rose Pearl Rosette - $479

Eliza J Strapless Mermaid - $199

Dere Kiang Open Back Lace Layer - $479

Jacquelin Exclusive Pearl Embellished Gown - $399

Max and Cleo Stellar Gown - $79

Um amazing prices, no? 

So the sale ends soon.  Like tonight.  So you better hurry!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

bridesmaids and prezzies.

I was recently asked if I would write a post on the subject of gift buying as a bridesmaid.  I agree with this friend-o-mine that it can be a touchy subject and leaves bridesmaids with the daunting question of...

I have to buy HOW many presents??

For those of you that have been a bridesmaid before, you know it's a super important role that includes quite a few "duties", let's call them.  But they are FUN things (well, mostly fun things) that strictly revolve around making this great friend of yours the happiest person alive.  This is HER time, so really, if the bride wants it, the bride should have it. Among other things, that list of duties includes attending quite a few pre-wedding events.  This friend-o-mine that asked me to write this post was faced with all of the following:
1.) Throwing a bridal shower
2.) Attending an additional bridal shower planned by someone else
3.) Helping plan and, of course attend, the bachelorette party (which is also a lingerie shower, 2-in-1)
4.) The wedding itself

Along with all of these must-do and without a doubt exciting events comes the obligation to buy presents for all of them.  But do you have to?  I mean, of course you want your friend to be spoiled beyond spoiled, but let's be reasonable, you have to draw the line somewhere, right?  So here's my take on the above events:

1.) Since you are spending money throwing the shower (invitations, decorations, food, possibly a venue, time planning and preparing, time is money friends), you do not need to buy a gift for the shower you are throwing.  A simple card will suffice saying something along the lines of "I hope this shower was everything you'd imagined - I wanted it to be just perfect for you!  I love seeing all of your close friends and family gathered together to celebrate you.  I'm so lucky and grateful to be a part of your big day.  I love you!"  

If you're really feeling that tug to buy something, consider spending a smaller amount ($10-$15) and going in with someone else to stretch your buck a little further.

2.) You should come to this shower bearing a gift.  I would spend around $20 considering the other gifts you will purchase and money you will spend being a part of the wedidng.

3.) You should come to the bachelorette party prepared to chip in for the bride's costs (dinner, drinks, etc).  I would also bring a gift for the lingerie shower, but again, something small around $20. 

4.) For the wedding itself, especially if you are purchasing your own bridesmaid dress, shoes, and paying to have your hair and/or makeup done, you do not need to purchase a wedding gift. 

I have been a bridesmaid 5 times, and I have followed these guidelines each time.  For 4 out of the 5 weddings, I had to purchase plane tickets to get there.  I was absolutely more than willing to do whatever I needed to in order to be there for my friends and sister, and stand in that coveted spot that represents their closest pals - it is such a great honor.  But with that being said, because they are such great friends, I knew they would get it. 

You get it, right?

Anyhoo, I hope this helps.  And because I dislike posts sans pictures, here are a couple of gift wrapping inspirations for you.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

sunday's thwacks and shout-outs.

Thwack (verb) : to strike with, or as if with, something flat or heavy.
Shout-out (noun) : a public expression of gratitude or recognition.


1.) I had a #1 enemy this week.  That #1 enemy's name was Color Printer on 17 (as in floor 17, the floor I work on).  I was working on an important project with a short deadline, and it kept jamming on me, over and over.  So TSS gave me access to Color Printer on 18.  Color Printer on 18 has its own problems - it doesn't hold very much paper.  And I had heels on.  So I was up and down the stairs multiple times adding paper to it.  In my heels.  And it took 10 minutes to print 2 copies of what I needed.  I needed multiple copies.  If I did the math, I wasn't going to meet my deadline.  Basically, the whole situation ruined my day.  I hated it.  What a stupid thing to ruin a day, right?  I know.  My solution?  

A. Suggest to my colleagues we go on strike until they replace the color printer.  

B. Come in late at night with a bat and do some business on Color Printer on 17.  Anyone seen Office Space?  Insert scene here.  You know which one I'm talking about.

Neither have happened.  Neither probably will happen.  I'm all bark and no bite about it, really.

2.) This happened on Wednesday.

Wednesday was April 6.  Barf.  Enough said.

3.) I had a very creepy encounter with two teenage neighbors in our cars in the alley way.  Although I know they were just messing with me like dumb immature teenage boys do, I still felt fairly threatened by the situation, and didn't sleep much that night because I was so upset about it.  Needless to say I'll be prepared to kick some neighbor butt if necessary, thanks to shout-out #4 below.

4.) The husband's cooking "skills" S.T.U.N.K. up the house again - and set off the fire alarms, again.

Really?  Bread?  I have decided I need to teach him a thing or two, in case something ever happens to me.  We shall work on that this summer.

5.) Dear Spokane chicas - just because mother nature finally decided to bless us with a little sunshine this week does not mean it's time for inappropriately short shorts, skirts, tank tops, and flip flops. It is still in the low 50 degree range. I can only stand looking at that icky-ness for a few months out of the year, so please hold off until at least June.  Get classy Spokane ladies.  Gracias.

6.) The husband and I went to the store last weekend for some ice cream.  They had this stellar sale going on - buy 1 get 2 free.  Uhhh, okay?  Please, pull my leg a little harder.  I was pretty sure we'd have ice cream for weeks.  Mmmmmnope - it is almost gone.  I guess I'm supplementing no chocolate with vanilla ice cream smothered in caramel sauce and heath bar niblets sundaes?  #layoffthesweetsfail


1.)  Remember that really big proposal for that really big prospective client that I was telling you about?  And I was in charge of putting that really big, important proposal together?  Well, we turned it in on Monday.  SUCH a good feeling to be done with it.  Now, we cross our fingers.

2.) I attended another fabulous LaunchPad women's networking luncheon and met a couple of really great people.  I love meeting other Spokane women at these events - I feel like it brings me closer to my hometown!  I was able to listen to Mayor Verner speak about her journey to mayorship (is that a word?), and I also met Michelle Baker with Windermere Real Estate - I think she's a real gem.

3.)  The husband was on spring break this week - it was nice to have him around all week!  I miss him when he's gone.

4.) I finally started a self defense class on Saturday!  I've been wanting to take one for a long time.  Last time I signed up, the class was canceled due to low enrollment.  In order to ensure they didn't cancel it this time as well, the husband signed up last minute to take it with me.  Our instructor is one if the highest ranking female black belts in Spokane - she is legit.  And kinda scary.  Slash she beat up on my husband.  It was awesome.  I meant to take some pictures showing some moves I learned - maybe next week's class I will?

5.) The necklace I have been eying for w.e.e.k.s. at The Loft finally went on sale!  And they had one left!  So of course I bought it!  Lots of exclamation points!  Good for the wardrobe, bad for the Violet Hills savings account.  But it was on sale..?  And I still had allowance left for the month..?

6.) Our awesome cousins took the pups all day on Friday while we were at work.  Friday happened to be a VERY sunny day, so the husband treated me to lunch and we went for a nice little jaunt around the park downtown.

I love this little brick street leading to Riverfront Park.

A few other sunshine enthusiasts with the same idea.

Hiiiiii.  I'm wearing my favorite shoes.  And my new jeggings that have been revolutionary for me.  Yes.  I did say that.  Revolutionary.

I love him.  And his sweater that looks like it's from the 7th grade.

The carousel was even up and running.

I loved lunch on Friday.

I also loved dinner on Friday, because we got to spend it with said cousins and then some!

We woke up a little discombobulated from nap time.  And we looked like the happiest mommy in the world.

We wore stunner shades.

We observed the dog petting zoo.

We looked really cute in our new hat.

We got clobbered by long dog tongues.  This picture makes it look like we were forcing little man into this purely for our entertainment, but trust me, he was loving it.

We stared at daddy's cone longing for another lick.

We double fisted it.

We de-chocolated our ice cream cone since we gave up chocolate until Easter.

And we looked really, really cute snuggled up in our geegee.

That's all friends.  Hope it was a good week for you too!