DIY Tutorial: How to Make a DIY Storage Ottoman – Part 1

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Images & Tutorial: Ribbons & Bluebirds

We’re back for DIY Wednesday with Part 1 of a DIY tutorial to make a super awesome upholstered storage ottoman – perfect for a home office, bedroom or nursery. I took the easy way out and bought a super cheap yellow one from IKEA for our nursery, but DIY maven Jenn’s is SO MUCH more awesome. One because she made it, and two because it’s completely customized! Take it away Jenn!

How to Make a DIY Storage Ottoman – Part 1: Building the Box

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Perhaps you have noticed a trend in my DIYs lately: I am very deep into my nesting phase. This is coming from someone who is pretty much always in a nesting phase, pregnant or no, so you know when it comes to my nursery I have been going a little overboard.

One of the trends I have been seeing a lot of in design and retail right now is the small storage ottoman – perfect for small spaces and a great way to keep clutter neatly tucked away.  I see this little ottoman as being a perfect place to tuck toys, books, or spare blankets! This tutorial is long, but definitely not complicated, and would be a great place for a beginner upholsterer to start.  Today we’re looking at part one: building the box. Check back soon for part 2 when we dive into the upholstery!

Materials (should all be available at your local hardware store or of course via Amazon)

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Tools needed:

  • Saw, if you are not having your pieces cut at the hardware store
  • Power drill and 3/8” drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Wood Glue and clamps

*NOTE* if you use a thickness other than ½”, you will need to resize some of the pieces of this list as some factor in material thickness. See diagram to determine your cut list.

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CLICK INSIDE FOR THE REST OF PART 1 OF OUR DIY STORAGE OTTOMAN TUTORIAL!

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Let’s Get Personal: Oh Hey There. It’s Been a While

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Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography | Our nursery

In case you don’t follow me on social media, I wanted to write a quick post about my utter disappearance on the blog these past 3 weeks (eesh! 3 weeks flew) – well my little bundle of joy decided to come 4 days earlier than her due date, leaving her mom no time to setup a bunch of blog posts to hold you all over while I adjusted to my new life.

But I am slowly getting back into things as I try to start a new routine for myself with Andy headed back to work today – a big adjustment after the biggest adjustment of my life that was 3 weeks ago. I hope to be back to blogging 4 posts a week but hope you’ll understand if that doesn’t happen every week.

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To make things even a bit more spicy, tomorrow is also my 30th birthday! Can we say, “feeling all the feels”? Two huge milestones in such a short time and I am just trying to take it all in stride. I can say that my readers, my wedding vendor colleagues, and my clients have been some of the MOST amazing people during these past 3 weeks. I mean, I already knew you all were super awesome, but man was it humbling to witness first hand.

We had dinners & desserts dropped off, cards & flowers delivered, offers of babysitting, and more congratulatory messages than I can count. It REALLY meant so much to me – so thank you again if I didn’t get a chance to thank you personally.

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For the rest of today’s post I wanted to share a few more images from our maternity shoot with Cynthia Shipp Photography – a mere 3 days before baby showed up! It’s so insane to look at these pictures and attempt to comprehend how much as changed in such a short time.

One of the cards we got from friends said, “and just like that , your lives are changed forever.” Indeed, no truer words have been written.

I hope you all had a fabulous memorial day weekend and I look forward to be back in the swing of blogging!!

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Caitlin & Michael’s Intimate Maryland Wedding on a Boat

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Images: Daysy Photography via Two Bright Lights

It’s been a week. This one felt long – maybe because it was officially my last week in an office until September (not sure that has really hit me yet). These next few days will mostly be me & my laptop, trying to get a bunch of posts scheduled for the next few weeks in case Baby Ryback decides to show up early (though my official due date is Thursday, so not that early!). I’ll keep you guys posted on the arrival and what the blog will look like during my leave, but please be patient as I really don’t know how it will all shake out!

In the meantime, we’re celebrating Friday and another end of the work week with a super cute, intimate Maryland wedding that took place on the water and then a boat!! It was planned in only a month – but everything came together so beautifully! Have a great weekend Romancers! We will be announcing our return address stamp giveaway winner soon AND launching a SUPER AWESOME giveaway on Monday. So stay tuned!

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We decided we wanted the wedding to be intimate and just the two of us. St Michaels was at the top of our list and we were blown away by its beauty and charm. The inn at Perry Cabin was both luxurious and cozy all wrapped into one and from the moment we first arrived to preview the location we knew it was the perfect setting for our wedding.

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I loved how relaxed and stress free the day was it gave us the opportunity to focus on each other and what the day was truly suppose to be about.Tell us about your wedding day fashions. Since we planned our day in only a month I ordered my dress and accessories all online from BHLDN.

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We wanted to stay in theme with our location on the water so blue was our main color. The bouquet was something I made myself using some flowers we purchased at the market their pinkish purple color was a nice complement to the blue.

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We took a boat ride right after the ceremony and it was the perfect setting to spend our first moments as newlyweds.

Ousler Nautical Elopement

Click inside for the rest of Caitlin & Michael’s intimate Maryland boat wedding!

Sarah & Matt’s Casual, Handmade Wedding at Stillhouse Manor in Virginia

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Images: Holly Cromer Photography | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Sarah and Matt were married at Stillhouse Manor in Hillsville, Virginia which is not your typical wedding venue, the families rented out the house for a long weekend so the true wedding celebration lasted much longer than just the wedding day. Sarah wore a pair of blue lace Toms as her “something blue”. Her mother brought along a bracelet for her to wear that had a church charm on it because her grandfather was a pastor. The whole wedding was handmade by family and friends and made for a very sweet & touching affair.

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From the couple:

The venue/weekend was special for multiple reasons.  Not only was the venue perfect in my opinion (130 acres with no cell phone reception down in a valley) it was the same weekend as my husband’s family’s annual family reunion in the town his dad is from.  The same weekend the previous year we found out Matt’s dad had cancer, and had experienced other family losses.  We just wanted a place where we could get together with loved ones, relax and celebrate together.

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Matt and I met at Campbell University my freshman year, he was a junior. A friend introduced us during welcome week activities. We shared mutual friends and throughout the school year we would see other at activities off and on campus. We were dating other people that year. My sophomore year we contacted again during early move in/welcome week activities. This time we were both single and started dating :)

Matt and I talked about marriage off and on for many years. After Matt’s uncle, Charles passed last June we decided we were ready to have a celebration of something we knew was going to be forever with our closest family and friends. We started planning (I actually bought my dress the day before he proposed). I had been gone for almost a week for work and when i returned, it was late and I needed to repack because we were leaving the next day to meet my matron of honor in DC. Matt made me go down to the sound by our house and proposed so we could celebrate with friends while in DC.

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Our colors…I knew the venue would be lush and green so we just really wanted soft romantic colors.  Pinks, off whites, pale blue…to be honest it didn’t really matter too much.  My bridesmaids were told they could pick their own dresses they wanted to wear and we purchased Khaki pants and ties for the groomsmen.  I just wanted everyone to feel comfortable, happy and like themselves as much as possible.

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Our wedding was basically hand crafted with the love and generosity from all of our family and friends.  Our flowers were mostly wildflowers handpicked in the area that morning by my husband’s two brothers.  The bouquets were assisted with purchasing some roses and hydrangeas and my matron of honor made the bouquets and flower arrangements.
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Some of my favorite things were the boutonnieres and corsages I ordered from a shop on Etsy called dustyluck-I wanted something that would last.  The flowers were made out of lace, burlap leaves and little details like buttons.  I LOVED our bourbon barrels that we wrapped in these little wire lights as cocktail tables.
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The mason jars we used for the flower arrangements were from Matt’s aunt/godmother that she had at her house and I decorated them with burlap and lace. Our officiant was my husband’s best friend from college and he wrote our ceremony for us.  I did not want things to be too matchy-matchy.  Instead of renting linens I bought different fabrics from the store for the tables.  I made the banner that hung above the sweets table with burlap and fabric.  My husband made the mason jar lights and wine bottles lights that were either hung or placed around the venue.  Our videographer/late night DJ was a good friend of ours from the OBX.
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Click inside for more of Sarah & Matt’s handmade Virginia wedding!

Grace & Ben’s Laid Back, Historic City Richmond Virginia Engagement Pictures

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Images: Imani Fine Art Photography

Did you all have a good weekend? Yesterday was gorgeous! Andy & I got some relaxing in and were mostly up to our eyeballs in all things baby prep. Now that we know how to swaddle we officially feel ready (well pending Andy making me the ultimate labor music playlist ;) so I guess it’s just a waiting game from here! I plan to blog as much as I can up to whenever this little guy or gal arrives and will keep you posted on when I will return to blogging as well. But in the meantime let’s get to today’s adorable engagement pictures thanks to Nadiya of Imani Fine Art Photography. She sent me the beautiful engagement session & love story of Grace & Ben. Check it out and HAPPY MONDAY!

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From the photographer:

Grace and Ben are an awe-inspiring couple. They are quirky, down to earth and deserve to be featured for they are the real deal times a million. They’re both from the D.C. area, and I’m based out of Richmond, so they planned a night stay in the lovely historic city in order to do engagement shoots with me that evening. As fate would have it took them a crazy 5+ hours to even get to Richmond from D.C. #justno. On top of everything it got mad cloudy and rainy, and I was actually supposed to go out of town right after the shoot! Tragedy? A cancellation? Nope, alas we made it work. I postponed my trip, and we planned a sunrise shoot at Libby Hill park overlooking the city.

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Before our shoot I got a chance to chat with them, and I knew right away that we would be friends. Grace is a high school English teacher, and Ben left a life of finance to start his own catering company up in D.C.: B.Lin Catering. He totally stepped out on faith and has been crazy successful, I loved it. We sat on my wide southern porch in the misty rain and just got to know each other a little better. Grace told me the back story about the engagement ring that I seriously could not stop starring at.

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Click inside for the rest of Grace & Ben’s adorable Richmond, VA engagement pictures!

Taylor & Nate’s Intimate Washington DC Pop Up Wedding at

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Images: Pop Wed Co

It’s FRIDAY! We made it. Woof what a week. Maybe it’s the whole pregnancy thing but this week just kicked my ass! Andy & I will be wrapped up in baby classes all weekend, but I am kind of excited for them! Hoping you all have a fantastic weekend too (how could you not? It’s the WEEKEND!). For Friday we have a super fun & awesome Washington DC elopement wedding from my favs, Pop Wed Co. Taylor & Nate didn’t want to spend a fortune on their wedding so they opted for a pop-up elopement instead. Naturally they picked the BEST elopement company in DC too. Here are all the amazing pics and details – have a great weekend!

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From the couple:

We went to high school together, and actually our younger brothers played baseball together for years when they were kids. Taylor’s mom used to point out Nate at the baseball field and say how cute he was and that they should date. Then a few years later, our German teacher and Taylor’s mom told us each that the other wanted to go to the prom together and essentially tricked us into being each others’ dates. We went, and started dating shortly after…that was nine years ago!

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Why they wanted a pop-up wedding instead of a traditional wedding:

We knew we didn’t want to spend a lot, and didn’t want a lot of stress. We weren’t really sure what that would look like until we saw the Pop Wed Co. piece in the Washington Post back in the summer; after investigating further, we knew a popup wedding fit our budget and sounded so cool and easy. Plus, good pictures were really important to us, and Maggie’s pics from previous weddings were so awesome!

Since we had to keep it small, and our family is not local, we limited it to parents, siblings, and our good friend/sorta-maid of honor. That gave us a good core group that included all the most important people but wasn’t too cumbersome to wrangle and lead around the city!

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In the spring our parents are also hosting a reception in Pittsburgh (back home) for our extended families so they’ll have a chance to celebrate with us too. It worked out really well and is the best of both worlds.

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Advice for other couples planning a more intimate or pop-up wedding:

The planning process was overall pretty easy, and we were lucky to have families who supported our popup vision. Advice for prospective popup couples: you WILL have to explain the concept to everybody, all the time, multiple times, because easy weddings blow people’s minds. This breaks all the rules! But there are no rules, and in the end almost everyone will think it’s a very cool idea and many will confess to wishing they’d thought of it when they got married.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE awesome from Nate & Taylor!!

DIY Workshop Recap: Top Knots & Hair Styling with Alison Harper & Co

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 Images: Brandilynn Aines Photography

Somehow we’ve already had our 2nd DIY Workshop of the year – I really cannot believe how fast 2015 is flying. We had a more intimate group this time around, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have FUN. I was super pumped to offer an ASL interpreter for this workshop after getting a request from a bride-to-be for her, her maid of honor, mother and mother in law. I really do want to ensure these DIY workshops are accessible and open to ALL and any couples or participants in the DC area.

Alison Harper & Co was our host this time around, teaching attendees how to create 2 different “top knot” looks. One a bit more informal, on top of the head, and a second, more formal look, in more of a low side bun. Check out all the fun images of the workshop and our sponsors below and don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for our next workshop, Mini Party Pinatas with Piccadilly Creative on June 28th!

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We have the BEST sponsors! The world’s best tea from Runningbyrd Tea:

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Delicious snacks from RIS DC:

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Chocolate chip banana muffins from Banana Love Muffins:

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And now it’s TOP KNOT TIME!

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Click inside for the rest of the images from our Top Knot DIY Workshop!

Amanda & Sean’s Romantic Winter Wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center

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Images: Candice Adelle Photography

Blush, white, and gold makes SUCH a romantic color palette for a wedding – especially when you throw in fireplaces and a wintry Josephine Butler Parks Center – one of my favorite venues in DC! Amanda & Sean wanted their wedding to feel more like an intimate dinner party, then a crazy reception and their decor & design (executed by Pure Whimsy Events) accomplished this perfectly. Check out the beautiful details of this intimate, DC wedding below!

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Our wedding party was family only. The best man was the grooms father, and the brides brother was the officiant. Having the brides brother marry the couple and write the entire program, coupled with the candle lit only ceremony made for a very romantic wedding.

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The bride hand lettered all the wedding signs, painted the monograms, and provided all the vases for the venue.

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Click inside for the rest of Sean & Amanda’s beautiful, intimate Washington DC wedding at Josephine Butler Parks Center!

Giveaway: Custom Return Address Stamp from Pomp Creative

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It’s been way too long since we’ve had a giveaway on the blog! Well that’s about to change thanks to Pomp Creative - a full-service design studio that specializes in wedding day branding for unique couples! I actually met the owner, Liz, after my panel participation at Wedding Wire World and was so happy I did! Lots of my clients & I would assume my readers, don’t know what “wedding branding” is OR they often ask me “how do I make our wedding custom/look like it’s “ours”? Well hiring a vendor like Pomp Creative would be the perfect place to start!

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First – a little more about Pomp Creative:

At Pomp Creative, sophisticated style meets modern simplicity. Pomp is a full-service design studio that creates wedding day branding as unique as you are. Specializing in foil stamping, letterpress and engraving, Pomp will design custom fine stationery for your Big Day. But it doesn’t end there! Pomp can also style the entire occasion. From favors to maps to gobos, we’ll design a cohesive look that is totally you. Call 516.514.POMP or visit pompcreative.com to start styling your wedding day today.

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And now onto that giveaway! We are excited to announce that Liz has offered to giveaway one custom return address stamp to one lucky winner. The winner will get to chose between 5 designs and will also have the option between a wood mounted stamp or a self-inking stamp. Details on the stamp types are as follows:

  • a wood mounted stamp which is made of high-quality, commercial-grade red rubber and mounted to traditional wood. Imprint size is approximately 2.5 x 1.25”.
  • a self-inking inking stamp which is good for up to 10,000 impressions before needing to be re-inked. Imprint size is approximately 2.45″ x 0.97”. Ink color is black.

Check out these GORGEOUS custom wedding return address stamps:

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Giveaway ends FRIDAY MAY 1st!

Details for entering are within the widget below! Leave a blog comment to enter before the contest closes on Friday and extra points for following Pomp Creative on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram! Good luck and Happy Monday :)

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