Moving on up…

Well I had a very successful moving day on Thursday thanks to Two Men and a Truck.

I took lots of pictures.

And then my camera got lost in the shuffle.

So I will post the pictures once I wade through the boxes and find it.

On another note, we have reached our wedding week!

I have so many tiny details floating through my mind…And my schedule book looks like chicken scratch.

Lots of chicken scratch of important details and appointments that I can’t forget about.

Wish me luck.


Home Improvement- More Before and During Pictures

Our wedding date is coming faster and faster. 15 days I think?? Yikes.

It’s going to be a race to the finish.

But I wanted to post a few pics of our progress so far.

Guest/Kid Bath- Before 

Guest/Kid Bath- During


Sunroom- Before

Sunroom- During



Hallway- Before

Hallway- During

 Living Room- Before

Living Room- During

As of last weekend, we unanimously decided to have professionals paint the living room, dining room and kitchen.

And not because I am tired of painting:)

There are some sheet rock issues that need to be addressed on the ceilings.

We will leave that to the professionals.

And last but not least the kitchen.

So much to do in here but we are making progress.

Kitchen- Before

 Kitchen- During

These pictures give me hope….

…That someday we will have a sofa in the living room again.

…That the stove won’t be in the dining room.

…That our evening won’t be filled with the sounds of a generator to power nail guns.

…And that some day I will be able to cook again.

You can read about my paint projects here and here.

And about our flooring project here.




Wedding Planning- Bridal Shower Hostess Gifts Part II

(Seriously, the cutest invitation ever!)

My sister-in-law hosted a little lingerie shower for me last night.

It was just lovely.

Low key, relaxing and fun.

But somehow I forgot to get little gifts for the ladies helping with this shower when I bought the hostess gifts for my other bridal shower.

So I ran out this past weekend (while still battling the stomach flu, lovely I know right?) and picked up a little gift to each of them.

Tyler Candles and little painted magnets that were super cute from Palmetto Home and Garden.

I purchased some polka dot “take out” boxes as gift bags (from Cost Plus World Market) and I was good to go. Yay for quick shopping.

Please excuse the stomach flu medicine and black head removal strips:)

Sorry this is blurry but the food was so yummy!

Chicken salad served in endive sections.

My Aunt Louise’s sugar cookies.

Mini “sugar free” pumpkin cheese cakes.

Spicy hummus and veggies.

Strawberries with cream cheese dip.

Best Party Favors Ever!

Home Improvement- Removing Vinyl Flooring, Q-Tip cleaning, and Slip and Slides

Continuing our home improvement mad dash(31 days ’til the big day), I assisted Joe last night with the vinyl floors in the kitchen.

Because he is working so much over time at work, we didn’t even start working on this project until almost 9 pm. (Which is why I have bags under my eyes this morning).

Thankfully the builder of the house(complete nut job) was so bad that the floors were barely glued down.

So ripping up the subfloor and removing staples were the only hard jobs.

He pulled the oven out of the wall for me so I could clean it while he pulled up boards.

For the next hour I proceeded to clean the five years worth of “bachelorhood” off the oven with Q-tips no less because there was no other way to get in all the crevices and my super secret (incredibly powerful) cleaning solution.

Side Note:

Joe has owned the house six years.

Five of those years his single brother also lived there.

Plus Joe’s two teenage sons every weekend.

You do the math.

There is a lot of “bachelorhood” that I am removing from the house. :)

Anyway, we are super pleased with how much we were able to get done in such a short time, and Joe said ripping out those boards was good therapy after all the work drama/mess we are going through currently at our day jobs.

I had tried to use Orange Glow Cleaner (not oil) to clean the cabinets earlier, but the tricky cleaner did have oil in it and it got all over the floor.

So Joe looked like he was trying to remove vinyl flooring in a Slip and Slide.

By this point we were almost slap happy because we were so tired and were laughing hysterically.

And then I got sidetracked(real word?) and went in the living room to admire it for a while.

I did come back though and finish pulling up staples.

Common Sense note:

My super secret cleaning solution is not very secret as I found it on pinterest; but it does work amazingly well. :)

Rene’s (not)Super Secret Cleaning Solution

  • Microwave 1 cup white vinegar for 90 seconds.
  • Pour into a spray bottle with 1 cup of Dawn dish soap.
  • Shake gently to combine.
  • Spray on surface and let sit for 1-2 hours.
  • Wipe and then rinse the surface.


This product removed soap scum and grease build up that I thought would never come off.

Works incredibly well in bathrooms. I even used it to clean the floor.

Happy Wednesday!

Wedding Planning- Making Napkins and Wrapping Hostess Gifts

I started working on my wedding reception napkins this weekend.

First of all, I ordered a good pair of pinking shears for this project. I used pinking shears because my wedding is casual, and I didn’t feel the need to hem the edges of 80 napkins.

The finished edge the pinking shears creates will hinder the unraveling of the fabric.

Using fabrics left over from other projects, I simply cut out the size of napkin I wanted.

I will combine my “homemade” napkins with other white napkins belonging to my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Apparently, I have a great heritage of good linens in my family. :)

Fiskars 98987097J Softgrip Pinking Shears, 8-Inch
Used one of the ready made napkins to determine the size I needed to cut
I wore a glove as I cut because after making 80 of these I started developing blisters from the scissors. The winter glove worked perfectly as a buffer.

Then I started wrapping the hostess gifts for my bridal shower next week.

Here is the breakdown for each person’s gift:

$13 – Personalized stationery from Naomi Lynn.

$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:)




Tada! Now I just need to create a cute tag for each gift.

Gift Wrapping

2/19/13 Update: Here are the finished napkins at my wedding reception. Love how they turned out! 

Photo by

Wedding Planning- An Everything but the Kitchen Sink Post

This week as been busy on the wedding planning, home improvement, and work front.

I had planned to do individual posts on our hardwood floors, invitations, wedding announcements, making our wedding bands, engagement pictures, etc. And then life happened. So you are getting it all in one post.

Wedding Band Workshop

We made our wedding bands last Saturday. Joe, my fiance’, was able to melt down his birth father’s gold class ring (his birth father died at the age of 22 with a rare form of bone cancer) to use as his wedding band. It was a great experience. I highly recommend it! You can read all the details about the class in this post.

After much pressing, filing and polishing Joe’s ring is done!
Danielle notched my finished ring for me so it fit together nicely with my engagement ring.

I skipped several steps with my photos but the class ran from about 9am to 5:30pm. It was a lot of work but totally worth it!

Wedding Party Attire

Sorry, Holly. This is the only picture I had of us trying to shop for dresses:)

We finally got everyone’s clothes for the wedding. It only took me two months to figure it all out. It will be bright and colorful, and I love it!

Guest Book

My fiance’, Joe, is making the guest book for me. He is pretty artistic when it comes to this stuff. He is making it out of sheet metal. He started doing some small trials in order to achieve the right patina. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

Hardwood Floors

The hardwood floors got delivered this week! Yay. It was like Christmas in August. You can read the story behind these floors in this post.

1200 sq ft of hardwood. Joe has a lot to do:)
Prefinished solid oak floors- honey colored finish with “character”


I had given up on finding the random sized tablecloths I needed for the wedding. I had just decided to make them or rent them for $14 plus each. Eek! But on a whim yesterday I checked Craigslist just one more time….And I found a restaurant closing in Clemson, SC that was selling all their odd sized (the odd size I needed) for $3 dollars each. And most of the tablecloths were brand new. Yay. So tomorrow I am headed to Clemson to pick them up!

Wedding Invitations, Announcements, Programs and Thank You Notes

As of yesterday, I have all my “paper products” finished for the invitations, announcements, programs and thank you notes. Phew! It was a lot to get done.

Thanks to and Yellow Brick Graphics for the great products they made for me! You can read about my “free” save the dates here.

Engagement Pictures

We got our engagement pictures back this week, too. Love how they turned out. Photos by Mary McKittrick Campbell.

And this weekend we are cleaning out, making trips to Goodwill, and generally preparing Joe’s house for new floors. And I am so excited about it….weird I know.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Wedding Planning- “Free” Save the Dates

I have always loved the idea of saved the dates.

Well let me restate that.

I really love sending invitations or notifications for any of life’s big events.

So sending save-the-dates was fun.

And practical, in a way. I was so tired of answering the question, “When is your wedding?”

I didn’t want to spend a lot because there are so many other more important things that needed to be paid for.

I did some searching around the web for fun ideas.

I wanted something very informal and that gave a little hint as to the feel of our upcoming wedding.

After looking high and low, I settled on Wedding Chicks templates. has been great resource for me in all my wedding planning. Lots of free goodies, too.

Anyway, I settled on their mason jar template mostly because I have always wanted to use blue mason jars for my wedding, even before it was a trend. Ugh, trends!

Their free templates are so easy to use and require no large downloads, editing or heavy lifting, aka any non-computer person can do it.

Side note: Because I wanted to use the save-the-dates as postcards to save on postage, I did have to tweak the final copy in order to get it all to fit but it turned out fine.

I saved the front and back of my document; took it to a local printer in town. Viola!  80 “custom” save-the-dates for $15!

Then came the postage.

The “new and improved” postcard stamps from the USPS have a bright Hawaiian shirt on them. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

But bright Hawaiian shirts are not what I wanted on my postcard.

Most normal people would have smacked that stamp on there, and moved on with their lives but oh no! I can’t let a detail like that get by me. I have to fret about it until I come up with a solution.

I went to and created my own postcard stamp which in the long run cost me more than regular postage, but I didn’t care.

Common sense note: Because is an independent company not associated with the USPS, I did a quick Google search for coupon codes. Thankfully, I found a few good ones that worked! Yay, $ saved.

Here is the finished product. I loved the way it turned out except for the fact that one side was glossy.  I really wanted a matte finish all over but oh well.

Making our wedding bands

Tomorrow, my fiance’ and I are making our wedding bands. And no, we are not making them out of hemp or anything:).

We are taking an all day class off of August Road in Greenville, SC. Melting down the gold, shaping it and doing all the stuff to it so it looks good. Love all my technical terminology?:)

My fiance’ is really excited about the class; I am just along for the ride, although I am sure we will make some great memories.

We both work at a materials laboratory as our day job which means that we deal with metal processing all day, every day. Of course I just handle all the paperwork, but Joe actually works with metal on a daily basis so the class is right up his alley.

Wish us luck!

Danielle Miller Jewelry Wedding Band Workshop

Wedding Planning- The Shoe Saga

I am a shoe person.

At one point I was considering paying more for my wedding shoes than I paid for my wedding dress.

I would rather have shoes than clothes.

Although then I have to deal with the fact that I can’t go around naked.

Let me restate that.

I love to buy shoes more than I love to buy clothes.

That’s better.

Anyway I had four stipulations for wedding shoes.

  • Sling-back
  • Wedge heel
  • Not white.
  • Under $200.

I looked everywhere! And I mean everywhere.

I finally settled on Michael Kors Vivian Slingback Heels in Nude from for $195.

$195, Michael Kors Vivian Heels

And then I embellished them with these pearl bow clips from store, Gracefully Girly.

$28, Gracefully Girly bow clips

I was so pleased with how they turned out.

Stream-lined and classy.

Then I had buyer’s remorse that I had spent over $200 on shoes once I added in the $28 bows.

So for the last three weeks I have been in search for a look-alike shoes or at least a decent coupon code for the shoes I had already purchased but to no avail.

I had decided to give up.

I only had four more days before I could return them for a refund anyway.

Drumroll, please…

Last night I ran into Belks to make a quick return. Literally, ran. It was raining cats and dogs. (that is such a strange saying)

I rushed through the shoe department as my usual practice, just to glance at the clearance shoes.

And there they were.

My wedding shoes.

The same ones I had ordered from for $195.

Size 6 1/2

Color: Nude


And that, people, is why I love to shop.

The end.