My Cheap Chic Wedding Outfit |

Around Thanksgiving my baby brother James and his girlfriend  Virginia surprised my family with the news that they would be getting married Christmas Eve.


While the fact that they would be getting married was not a surprise (they have only been “dating” since 6th grade or so), the fact that the formal wedding was only 30 days away was a surprise.

And like any girly girl my first thought was “What will I wear?”

And since it is Christmas time which is usually very expensive I set out to make my outfit as inexpensive as possible.

I purchased this jumpsuit from Target which I thought was really cute and appropriate for a formal evening wedding.

But unfortunately it had REALLY ugly buttons on it (not pictured in the photo online). They looked like spikes from a dog collar.



So I took a trip to Hobby Lobby for some buttons for about $2.


I simply replaced the buttons and had a new outfit for the wedding for under $25!

And of course I forgot to get a picture of myself in the outfit but I promise it was cute :)

Congrats James and Virginia!

photo stolen from my sister-in-law’s facebook page :)

Another Wedding Weekend- Rodney and Alyssa

Someone asked me today, “So you don’t have anymore single siblings, right?”

No, I still have two more that I assume will get married eventually.

But they will need to wait until we all recover from this past weekend.

My brother Rodney married Alyssa Saturday. (I posted their engagement story here)

That makes five weddings for my parents in the last four years.

Gabrielle Grace Photography

It was a fun wedding held at Furman University’s Daniel Chapel.


The reception was held at the church my family attends.

My only real part in this wedding was helping my parents’ with the rehearsal dinner for about 60 people which they hosted at their home.

It was definitely a group effort.

We have done this so many times that it seems like everyone knows their job.

My mom and sister Annie made huge batches of coleslaw, baked beans, triple chocolate cake, and banana pudding. (recipes here and here and here)

I made five fresh strawberry pies (recipe here)

And then everyone pitched in with the set-up.


How cute is my mom’s pallet menu sign?

rehearsal dinner set up, photo by sister-in-law Holly
plenty of desserts at the rehearsal dinner :)

And my niece Bailee almost managed to steal the show.


Gabrielle Grace Photography


Our Cheap Chic Wedding Album

I made a pact with myself after I received all my wedding photos from my friend Mary.

I made a pact that I WOULD turn the photos into a simple album at some point.

That the disk with all the wedding memories would not just go into a drawer somewhere in our house.

Well over the last month, I finally got around to putting all the photos into an online album and then organized them through Artifact Uprising.

And I received the finished product in the mail last Friday.

I could not be happier with it! It is so timeless looking.

It’s gorgeous, and the images are beautiful on every page.

The whole wedding album project cost me about $15 plus a few dollars in shipping after I used the new customer coupon code.

Yep, you read that right $15 for a custom album (the quality does not even compare to the cheap drug store photo albums you can order).

I choose the 5×5 size with a soft cover.


I used the maximum allowed pages for the wedding album and then I also put together a book with our engagement photos, therefore saving on shipping costs that I would have had to pay with two separate orders.


I found the whole process to be VERY easy. Artifact has definitely streamlined their website. The hardest part was choosing which photos to use because there were SO many I loved.


It was fun going through all the pictures from the last two years since we got engaged. And since there is an option to add text so I also added our engagement story.

photos by Mary Campbell
photos by Mary Campbell
photos by Mary Campbell
photos by Mary Campbell

If you are in the market for printing photos I highly recommend Artifact Uprising. I could not have been more pleased.

Happy Wednesday!

PS this would make a great inexpensive Mothers/Fathers Day gift. I know your dad would appreciate it more than a tie.  :)

 Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. All opinions are my own.

Happy 1st Anniversary To Us!

The Domestic Lady- 1st anniversary

Today is our first anniversary.

This first year has not been perfect, but we are not perfect.

And thankfully God does not expect us to be perfect.

I am so thankful for my husband, and I am so glad we are doing this life together as a team.

We had two choices on how to celebrate our day.

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or a weekend at Lake Jocassee in Devil’s Fork State Park because we really wanted a low key (aka inexpensive) trip. I mean we did already go to Juneau, AK this year.

Anyway, we chose lake over steak. 

So we are spending our weekend hiding from reality.

But if you would like to read our story, my wedding day post, or the photos from our wedding go here and here and here.

Update: For pictures and info on our trip go here.

An Oldie but a Goodie- Hand Towel Gift Wrap

We are still on the road this week, but I thought I would re-post this simple gift wrapping project I used for the hostess gifts for my wedding showers.

Originally posted here.

Here is the breakdown for each person’s gift:

$13 – Personalized stationery from Naomi Lynn (I highly recommend her).

$6 – Jane Packer’s Guide to Flower Arranging (This book retails for $30 but I found it on sale)

$1.97 – Hammam Stripe Hand Towel from West Elm (These towels sell for $10 online but I found them on sale at the outlet)

As a gift Naomi sent me an extra set of cards for myself. How sweet:)
Towel “Gift Wrap”

Tada! Now I just need to create a cute tag for each gift.
A tip: To make the overall gift package look great, make all the gift components have something in common.
For this gift, I made sure that all the colors were in the same family and intensity.

Gift Wrapping

Have you ever used any usual products to wrap a gift?

Recipe Review: Pecan Tassies and Wedding Favors

Friday night a dear friend of mine got married.

They are a super sweet couple, and I wish them the best.

The bride and I had agreed to trade off some wedding tasks because she did all the wedding party hair for my wedding.

So I offered to help with favors for her wedding.

The bride readily accepted the help and turned the favor operations over to me.

So this is what I did.

Made 550 pecan tassies (see recipe below).

Saturday 24

Ordered pillow boxes from Oriental Trading.

The box was the perfect size to hold two little tassies.

Purchased twine from Dollar Tree.

Purchased pearl “ribbon” at Hobby Lobby.

Created tags on and then had them printed and cut at Office Max.

*The bride just requested a monogram and a fancy font. She was easy to please :)


If you are unsure how to create a tag, I would recommend just creating “business cards” through someplace like Vista Print, the first 250 you order are free. Then just hole punch the card in the corner and use it like a tag.

And purchased confection bags (which are simply ziplock bags without the ziplock) from Hobby Lobby to keep the oils from tassies from leaking through to the outside of the pillow box.


After several overheated oven disasters we finally completed 16 batches of pecan tassies; my husband was a huge help.

I worked on the crusts, and he filled the tassies with pecans.

We are a great team.

Sorry, I needed to brag a little.

Anyway, I finished all the baking on Saturday before Easter.

So  Easter Sunday after church, we loaded up the car with all the favor making stuff and drove over to my parents’ house.

There I enlisted the help of sisters, Mom, Grandma, brother’s girlfriend, and a sister-in-law.

They whipped out the favors so quickly….it would have taken me days to get all the packaging done.

Yay for talented family members.

Don’t be fooled. My brother just photo bombed this picture. He did not help :)

wedding favor crew

From top left: Russell (brother), Nancee Lee (sister), Holly (sister-in-law), Alyssa (brother’s girlfriend)

Bottom left: Me,  Poppi in my lap (begging), Annie (sister)

I loved the way the favors turned out.

275 favors. That’s a lot folks :)

wedding favors

Congratulations, Taylor and Rebecca!

Pecan Tassies

recipe courtesy of The Entertaining Cookbook

Makes approx 36



  • 3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour


  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Combine all the crust ingredients except for the flour in a mixer. Mix until a very stick dough develops. Add flour. Mix until well incorportated. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (Can be made and stored in the refrigerator for a week)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease tart pans (or mini muffin pans). Set aside.

Using the refrigerated dough, make approx 1 in balls. Press each ball of dough into and up the sides of each well in the tin. Set aside.

Combine all the filling ingredients and mix well using a blender. Fill each well in the tart pan (or mini muffin tin). You only want the crust to be half full of filling. The mixture rises when it bakes.

Top the filling with a tsp or so of chopped pecans.

Bake for 12-20 minutes. The crust should be lightly browned. (the baking times greatly varied while I was making these. Just keep an eye on them)

Place the tassies on a cooling rack immediately after baking.



1. Place one or two chocolate chips in each well for chocolate pecan tassies.

2. Drizzle with melted chocolate once cooled.

Married Life So Far…

To say I am enjoying married life is probably an understatement.

I love not having to say goodbye all the time.

I love not being on the road all the time between our two homes.

I love that I have not eaten a single meal in my car since I have gotten married.

I love that I only cook in one kitchen.

I love that I have a dishwasher now.

Actually the dishwasher might be my favorite part.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

But anyway I been cooking a good bit.

Here is what I have been making.

Good Ol’ Toll House Cookies

I made cookies to take to our post-wedding present opening get together with my family.

I used my new silicon baking sheets when I baked them.

Love them! The cookies browned very nicely but did not turn hard.

Worth the money if you bake a lot.

Silicon Baking Sheets, Williams-Sonoma

We were overwhelmed with how generous everyone was!

Then we spent a mostly quiet weekend at home before we had to return to work on Tuesday.

I whipped up a big batch of this stew and stuck half of it in the freezer.

I will admit that the main reason I wanted to make beef stew was because I wanted to use my new Le Creuset Dutch oven that my Grandma Deuink had given me as a wedding present.

I was just amazed how evenly it heated up. No hot spots on the bottom.

I can tell I will be using this gift often!

Because I try not to eat a lot of red meat, I cut the amount of beef the recipe called for by half, but I bulked it up with mushrooms.

Beef Stew

I received this olive oil as a house-warming gift from my sister. It is just lovely. I used it in the stew.

Then on Monday night I whipped up a loaf of banana bread to take to work as a peace-offering since several people had to cover for me for two whole weeks while I was out.

I just used my trusty banana bread recipe with the additional ingredients of chopped almonds(1/2 cup), almond flavoring(1/2 tsp) and chocolate chips(3/4 cup).

PS. Almond flavoring is one of my most favorite things.

Sometimes I just sniff the bottle cuz I feel like it.

I am a freak show.

I increased the baking time by a couple of minutes and it worked perfectly.

The banana bread received rave reviews.

Try this next time you make some banana bread. I liked it so much better than adding walnuts.

But then again I am not a walnut person anyway.

So I guess that makes sense as to why I liked it better.

Moving on.

As we were on our way home from our honeymoon, I clipped a few branches from the woods to use in an arrangement.

Every time I walk by the arrangement on the dinning room table I smile.

It’s a nice reminder.

Common sense note: The lemons did not come from the mountains of NC. Just thought you should know that. (insert sarcastic tone)

Our Honeymoon

Well we made it.

Our wedding day was perfect in every way.

But once we were hitched, we were ready to relax.

We (by we I mean me) had decided on a little cabin northwest of Asheville, NC.

Low key.


I didn’t have to get on a plane.

Relatively inexpensive.

And close to home.

It was all I had hoped for.

We had a blast basically doing nothing for five whole days.

 Watched movies, took naps, ate at nice restaurants in Asheville, shopped some and just enjoyed each other’s’ company.




from The Farm- A gathering place website
From The Farm- A gathering place website

Check out all their accommodations here, The Farm- Asheville, NC.

On our way home we stopped by my husband’s favorite fishing place in NC and snapped this picture.

We tried out the timer on my camera.
North Mills, NC

Today is my wedding day but do I need to get married?

Today is my wedding day.

As most girls, I have looked forward to this day for years.

But not because I would not be complete until I was married.

But because my wedding day meant that I had found someone who I liked above everyone else.

And that person liked me back, enough to propose and commit to living life together…as long as we both shall live.

Commitment to serving each other even when it’s not easy. A commitment that truly displays the Gospel.

This is not a super romantic thought process, but it’s the truth.

And I am blessed to have a man who knows the real me, loves me anyway and is going to marry me today.

But if I didn’t have him I would be okay.

It might be hard, but I would be okay.

Only Christ truly fills any void that I may feel on my own.

And it’s by this Truth that I can live a joyful, fulfilling and fruitful life.

I only bring this up because there was a time when I thought that I could not go on in life until I got married.

And if no one “wanted” me than that meant I was not worthy.

Not worthy to live a happy and fruitful life. 

And that’s what you hear a lot today.

“He completes me.”

“I could not live without him.”

“Without him I am nothing.”

What’s sad about this mindset is that it communicates to young women that “if you don’t have a man” than you are not complete.

I can’t tell you how much that mindset bothers me.

That kind of lie will cause so much heartache.

Grasping for any man who will show you attention.

Or doing anything to receive attention from a man.

It just leads to a relationship based on nothing other than a need to feel wanted and fulfilled.

But no one person can truly fulfill that void and make you happy.

And placing your happiness in someone else’s hands is just useless.

Not only is that a huge amount of pressure to put on someone, but everyone makes mistakes.

Everyone will let you down at some point because no one is perfect.

And when that person no longer gives you the happiness you desire, you will start looking for that happiness in something or with someone else.

Only Christ can truly provide lasting joy and happiness.

On this joyful and happy day, these thoughts are going through my mind.

(Along with about 100 other tiny details, like where I left my car keys and how in the world we are going to leave for our honeymoon without car keys)

But I am so grateful to God who has allowed me to love and be loved on this earth; and I can’t wait to see all He has in store for our future.


(for the last time as )

H. Rene’ Peery