Monday, January 23, 2012

Videography:: Dreamy and Whimsical

Videography is something that I've always wanted incredibly bad for our wedding, but nothing (until now) ever quite seemed to work out. Have you seen some of the incredible wedding videos out there?! They are AMAZING, dreamy, whimsical....more than simply a tape-recording of the day, that's for sure! Here are two videos that I keep going back to because I simply can't get enough. Stick with me because *gasp* the second video isn't a wedding video, but it is BEAUTIFUL and the aesthetic that I want for my wedding (also, I'm absolutely in love with food, so this video [for me] is quite fitting).

This first one gets me EVERYTIME. The pink church, the gifts and Wonderwall...just watch, you'll see.

nick+maria • england wedding from Paperback Weddings on Vimeo.

Now, this is the wedding-less video, but I'm pretty sure that you're about to fall in LOVE with Tiger in a Jar just like I have. The dreamy lighting, documentary style and just wait for the ombre pine nuts!

ribboned asparagus salad from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Now that you've seen those two BEAUTIES! Look at Jonathon Link Studios, the amazing videographers that I am going to have the privilege to work with for my wedding. They are an adorable husband-wife duo and JB and I are thrilled to have them on our team. Here is one of my favorite videos they've done, but really I love them all!

Two of my favorite things about Jonathon and Kristin Link are: 1. They are attending our rehearsal to get a better feel for how the day is going to go down. 2. They are shooting our wedding with 3 cameras (!!!). We met with them this past weekend to talk about details and were just so impressed with everything they had to say, I can't wait to watch our video for years to come!
I love the gift exchange from the first video and I always love when videos include pre-wedding preparations, but what are some other things that I have to make sure to leave time for my videographers to capture (other than the obvious ceremony and reception traditions)?

P.S. I'm less than 5-months out! Also, I found this the other day in a book at Pottery Barn and had to share...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Favorite Wedding Video {of all time}

This video by Shade Tree Films needs pretty much no introduction. Just watch and you'll see why it's so wonderful...what luck. P.S. That backdrop...swoon!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A re-dedication to my blog & Choco Labs

I stopped blogging in the spring, mostly because blogging was kind of a lot of work (I mean in my old format...make a recipe, take pics, upload, clean, blog). I've decided to take up this blog again mostly because of the wedding planning, but also because I just generally like writing, editing and collecting inspiration. This newly improved blog (like the new format?) will simply include whatever I dang well please. It's a chronicle of my current life, so hopefully (if the internet still exists), I can look back on it in years to come.

To start it off, here is a BEAUTIFUL video from Tiger in A newly discovered obsession. This video is pretty much my dream life: a choco lab ranch (well that's not exactly what it is, but you'll see). Side note, JB reminded me that having a dog ranch would require some possible gland squeezing...I said I'd do it (I probably wouldn't).

What's your dream life?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Cheery Break

When I first started my wedding obsession by reading blog post upon post, I kept reading things about planning being overwhelming, stressful and all-consuming. My first thought was "great" I LOVE weddings, so I'll love mine even more. My second was "these people must not be planners." Let me tell you, I'm a planner/organizer with a strong sense of what I like and this wedding planning is OVERWHELMING!
So, for a break from the wedding madness, my roommate and I threw a holiday shindig of our own. Now, I love throwing parties; I love rearranging the furniture in to the most mingle-able setting, I love browsing through appetizer recipes, mixing drinks, choosing serving platters and making the house look so elegantly "lived in." However, because we're both only 21, our collection of serving dishes, holiday decor and generally money is pretty limited, so here is our holiday soiree *on a budget* in three easy steps.
Is anyone throwing a holiday themed, wedding-y party? Wine and crafts? Holiday engagement? Winter bridal shower? Tell me...I LOVE to hear!

1. Candles! Votives are CHEAP, check out these at Dollar Tree (4 for $1) and glass jars are cheaper (do you buy pasta sauce, salsa, jam). We've been collecting glass jars to use at my wedding and figured, why not use them twice?! With all the DIYs out there, it so easy to find something festive...these are my faves. Psst, the first link has TONS of ideas.

one, two

2. Easy appetizers. What's easier (cuter, tastier...) than tiny potatoes wrapped in bacon? Add in a dipping dish of Dijon and you're ready to go. Also, brie was one of our splurgerier treats...but the stuff on top is just sugar and water!! P.S. Of our limited serving dishes, we do have a wood cutting board...perfect for cheese and crackers!

one, two

3. Simple, festive drinks (that you can make in BIG batches). We decided to offer two drinks, cider and nog (both of which were a HIT). The best part about these is that they are easy as heck, but still way classier than the usual 21-year-old party drink.

What do you do to break from the all-consuming wedding planning?
Don't worry, I'll be done with this hiatus next week, because this weekend I have my first WEDDING DRESS FITTING with my mom and all of my bridesmaids! I can't wait! Does anyone have any fitting tips?
P.S. I wish I could have a snowy, winter wedding...there'd be muffs and cider for all!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Wedding veils, hats and flower crowns

My extensive list of wants and ideas for this wedding is getting a little out of hand. My mom is continually trying to help me focus, which I've done on a few parts of the wedding, but on others, it seems like the inspiration and possible choices are never ending! That brings me to my wedding headgear (not the braces kind).

I've been searching for the perfect reception headpiece for a while now to no avail. It's not because I don't like anything, it's because I LOVE everything. I can't get enough of chiffon flowers, tulle bows, vintage pillbox hats and especially not enough of live flower crowns. Now you can see my true frustration and utter confusion because of the plethora of over-the-top duds to perch on top of my head. I keep telling my roommate that I want something ridiculous because when am I ever going to get the chance to wear a flower the size of my head in my hair ever again? But then I find precious little bobby pins and my vision shifts again.
Here are a few of my favorites (a FEW). Do you have this problem? What are you wearing in your hair? Veil, hat, fascinator, nothing? HELP ME DECIDE!
Also, almost all of these are from Etsy...I am an Etsy fiend!

Clockwise from top left: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen
P.S. I've already bought my headpiece for the ceremony, but you'll have to wait and see it at the wedding (my attire is the one thing I'm trying to keep secret from JB and let me tell you, keeping it a secret [even if JB doesn't really care] is HARD for me).

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lights and Love: Nighttime Inspiration

Before I get in to all the details that everyone always asks about like the venue, the dress, colors…and my obnoxiously overzealous list of potential DIY projects, I want you to get a feel for the atmosphere I’m aiming for (I’ve been told I’m a big picture person…so here goes all of my big picture thoughts).
For me, flowers aren't incredibly important (especially because my wedding will be at night...who can see flowers at night anyways?). So my focus for the wedding is on creating a dreamy atmosphere with candles...lots and LOTS of candles.
P.S. My ultimate wedding dream would be to release TONS of floating candle lanterns...thanks Texas for your constant state of extreme drought. I guess I'll have to settle for floating candles in the pool.
Do you have and neat nighttime inspiration? 

Clockwise from top left: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
P.S. The floating luminaries above (number eight), I bought a few of them and somewhere near 100 paper lanterns...these are the best deal, a TON of votives and instead of pillar candles (which are CRAZY expensive), I bought these.
Follow me on Twitter :: Get inspired on Pinterest

Monday, November 21, 2011

Engagement Photos...*swoon*

Have you had a chance to meet our Monday bride? Her name is Taylor and she is planning a backyard wedding in Texas. Read more about her!
I finally had my engagement pictures taken this past Sunday (we'd been waiting for the Texas weather to cool down because there's nothing I love more than a good "wrapped-in-a-quilt-snuggling" picture) and let me tell you, taking engagement photos is FUN. I love getting my picture taken regardless, but with a professional photographer and cuddling my lovey...there's nothing better!

We took our pictures in Prosper, Texas, (I told Braeden [our photog] I wanted a field and he delivered with some field-filled terrain) on an unseasonably warm November afternoon and I am thrilled (I made JB slowly scroll through the sneak peek photos for at least an hour) with the results.

These pictures were taken by Braeden Rogers at Ambient 11 Photography and I have got to say that he was absolutely stellar. From the moment we arrived to the second we left, the three of us were laughing and having a great time. As if just generally having fun isn't enough, his photo-journalistic images are to-die-for! They are so raw in the happiest, most joyful sense! I can't wait for Braeden to take the rest of our pictures in June!!

Quick advice! We had trouble deciding between a one-hour and a two-hour engagement session and after a friend's advice (thanks Mal!), we decided to go with two-hours. In my opinion, the two-hour session was the best decision we have made this far in the process. Two-hours allows you and your fiance to get comfortable being photographed, it allows the photographer to get to know you two as a couple and (especially if you're shooting outdoors) it gives you more time to find that perfect amount of sunlight that makes your photos oh-so dreamy!
So, if your budget can handle it, pick two hours, you won't regret it!
Without further adieu...

All photos by Braeden Rogers at Ambient 11 Photography

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bean Enchiladas (Veg Friendly)

The dish that I can absolutely eat until I'm sick: enchiladas. I've loved them since I was little and last night, as a birthday week present for myself, I cooked bean enchiladas for dinner.

An easy crowd pleaser, my mom and I have often made hundreds of enchiladas for events, and it never takes longer than an hour or so.

So, here is my easy, fool-proof recipe for enchiladas:

Makes 10
Bean Enchiladas (or meat if you want)

  • 1 can of refried bean
  • shredded colby jack cheese
  • 10 flour tortillas
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet McCormick enchilada spices
  • OPTIONAL: ground beef or ground turkey (cooked)
  1. Simmer tomato sauce mixed with spice packet until warm.
  2. Fill each tortilla with a large spoon full of beans, a sprinkle of cheese and a spoonful of sauce (add the meat and anything else you might want here too); spread evenly down the center of the tortilla.
  3. Roll tortillas and place them side-by-side in the pan (the closer the better)
  4. Top generously with cheese and sauce.
  5. Cook at 350 F for 25 minutes, or until enchiladas are hot in the center.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Enjoy!
These enchiladas are great re-heated! You can also freeze them for about a month and take them out one at a time for lunches or dinners.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I haven't been very good about writing lately because I've been working on Comida, my senior honors project. Comida is a mix of academic, journalistic, and sometimes humorous reflections on Spanish culture through food. It is also an album of memories, a souvenir from my life in Spain. Enjoy!

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