I just returned from SF and got a chance to look at all the photos from my brothers wedding and I could not wait to post this picture. The second I took it, I knew I got what I wanted. This photo captures the essence of a wedding — a beautiful bride in a serene setting on the outside, but behind the scenes, chaos, decisions, and delegation of tasks. Three bridesmaids all working to support and lend a hand to their dearest friend and sister on her special day.


Lots O’ Pictures + Lots O’ Frames

Another frame wall — seems like everyone has one in their house these days right?! Well, what are your options when you have a huge wall to cover, do not appreciate (nor can afford) a piece of overpriced canvas brushed with paint fine artwork, and you already have a stack of frames sitting in a corner waiting for a home?  A frame wall of course!

Ryan bought most of the black frames with white mats during his bachelor days (good tastes right?). Then along came our wedding which required me to buy several more frames for our guest book table which I used display our parents/grandparents wedding photographs. After the wedding, we merged more than just our bank accounts and these frames were part of that merger.

So now we had to decide, do we go with 100% matted frames or mix the matted and not matted together??? This question was debated over a span of several months. After months of moving the pile of frames from corner to corner, I decided to put some order to the pile!

During my process, I arrange the frames in various orders, each time snapping a picture with my iPhone as to not lose that layout once I started “shifting things around”.  I knew I had two options: 1)  Create equal spacing between the frames and have an uneven border (such as this) or 2) Use the frames to create a solid rectangle and space the frames as best as I could within that rectangle (such as this – although they achieved equal spacing and a perfect rectangle). Did I lose you? Needless to say, I chose option #2. So working within my rectangular constraints, I came up with this arrangement and snapped a picture on my iPhone.

Next step was to space the frames on the wall whereby I used the “newspaper templates” approached I discovered while cruising around John & Sherry’s blog, Young House Love. Check out the link for directions because I did not photograph this step (but I did manage to save Will & Kate’s royal wedding photos from the LA Times from being used as frame templates…whew!)

Finally, newspaper was on the walls, the frames were still on the ground and my husband was ready to hang without any of my girlie micromanager input.

You can see in the iPhone picture that two of the longer frames (one horizontal, one vertical) were actually matted for three 4×6 prints. I wanted something bigger in those frames, so I had custom mats made at Aaron Brothers to accommodate a more “panoramic” print.

Finally, here is the finished wall with the two panoramic’s, 6″x16″, in place. We hope to change out the photographs throughout the year, as we already have two pictures we are dying to get rid of (don’t worry, they are both of us!) We love you all to much to bail any of you from the wall! Mom – I am still waiting for you to make your debut!


Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 1

With the start of the new year, many photo enthusiasts like to start a 365 Project, which requires them to take a picture everyday! At this point, I do not have the time to create an interesting photograph everyday of the year (especially because I spend the best part of the day in a florescent lit office). So, instead I am going to try a 52 week project and will post 1 picture every Friday. So…….Ta-Da- here is my first picture!

While in Cambria, Ry and I decided to take  little drive around the town and Mark Epstein recommended this boat launching area near Moonstone Beach. It was raining so we both scrambled under the bridge to get some cover and I snapped this picture. I love the lighting and the  emotion of the black and white capture.

DIY Cookbook.

While I have lots of different cookbooks, there is one that is filled with more love and comfort than any of the others – and that is the homemade family cookbook. This cookbook began as a gift from my Mom during my college years, in which she filled it with all of the favorite family recipes, including the recipe for my favorite home cooked meal, spaghetti!

Since then, I have added clippings from Rachel Ray magazine or recipes from Better Homes and Garden.  I laugh because the dessert section is by far the biggest with over 20 recipes!!!

It finally came time to give this treasured book a cover that it deserved. So here is my 100% free homemade cookbook.


I used a 1.5″  black 3-ring binder and Avery top-loading clear sheet protectors for the labels and recipes. For the labels, I used Avery’s 8-tab dividers with printable labels. You will notice that if you place the tabs directly in the binder they will be the same width  as your recipes (so you will not be able to see them). To solve this problem, I inserted the entire white tab divider into the clear sheet protectors and cut a little slit in the sheet protector so that the tab would poke through. This allowed the tabs to be seen on the outside of the recipes. Sorry, I do not have a picture of this step.

We’ve created a free template of our cookbook and spine that you can download and customize with your own name on the cover and spine. Please note that you must have Photoshop to open the PSD and edit the type layers. You also may need to download the font that we used right here (it’s also free).



wishful thinking.

New apartment, new decor! With the recent move fresh on my mind, I can’t help but to think about all the possible decor options.  Because it’s only an apartment (i.e. not permanent), we don’t want to break the bank trying to decorate it.  So, we will be trying to use stuff we already have and mix in a few new pieces and accessories. I want to keep the colors black and white with splashes of possibly red.

Here is my current wish list of items:

I have many more things on the wish list, but these 6 made the top cut – a few others I would loooove to add are a black baroque floor mirror, a mirrored serving tray, an accent chair, and a chandelier.

1. Bukhara Pillow – Black & White 24″ from Z Gallerie ($69.95)

2. Patrick Demarchelier Hardcover Book from Amazon ($62)

3. Oversized Tufted Ottoman from Wisteria ($549) – this might be too “natural” to work, I am still looking for cream option

4. Hollwoood Pillow from Z Gallerie ($49.95)

5. Velvet Drape from Potterybarn ($109 each)

6. Lanvin Book from  Amazon ($53)