Fascinated by Fascinators

Since the Royal Wedding, I feel like the fascinator trend has been all the rage. You see them everywhere, from Royal events to the red carpet, to Easter Sunday at your local church. So, when it came time to pick themes for bridal showers (which is apparently a much bigger deal than I had first assumed, because I always thought you just… had a shower,  this is not the case, party planners like to have a direction) I jokingly said, “hahah the royal wedding shower, lets all wear fascinators” then the more and more I thought about it, the more I was like… actually I do want that and I do want to wear one of those things and pretend like I am someone I am not for an afternoon. So, needless to say, this little shower theme has turned in to a full on obsession. I stalk them all the time on pinterest, etsy, and even google searches, and I think I have even developed a preferential taste for specific types of fascinators, which is so ridiculous because its not like I am going to wear one to work or to my next social outing (well thats not true because my next social outing is my royal wedding shower this weekend, hence this post, but on any other Thursday it would be true!)  But needless to say, I can’t just like the cutesy ones with the flowers or the dainty feathers, OOOOH NO, I like the statement fascinators, the large ones the protrude obnoxiously far from your body and make people turn around and say WHOA! I mean, thats really all I’m after. So, here are a few of my favorites, after weeks and weeks of research, since I decided to make my own fascinator for the shower (which I cannot wait to share pictures of next week, because I know there are a lot of DIY fascinators showing up, and I am SO ecstatic about it!)


Ok, this one is just too simply awesome not to love! I mean its a bright color, but it doesn’t have a bajillion things going on. Its just magnificent in its simplicity. I also love the singular stick protruding through the middle. Its very minimalistic, which David and I decided was key in making something that looks a little more authentic.

Royal Wedding - Wedding Guests And Party Make Their Way To Westminster Abbey

Then there was THIS beauty from the royal wedding, I mean how could we forget it?? She was on every fashion faux pas list you could think of, and her sister wasnt much better. BUT as much as I hated it, I kind of loved it. I mean she had everybody talking and people still remember it, I mean if I am going to wear something like that I at least want people to talk about it and remember it! Plus I love how it just sits right to the front of her head. Like she is a unicorn. I do have to say I am a fan of the bow, Im sorry. I can’t help it, bows are my thing.


Then we have things like this, a little more avant guard, but still really awesome! I love that it doesn’t use any of the traditional materials and it looks like she was inspired by her kids science project when they made a model of the solar system. I totally get it, so its fine, and its big, and eye catching, so again, I dig it.


Then you have this classical beauty! I love it Its so simple, but so chic at the same time. I really like the giant flowers peaking out from the underside of the hat and the silk edging, and the color and everything really. And again, I love that it is large and in charge! I think the best fascinators always are! She looks so fabulous. I neeeeed this one! I am not sure where I would wear it, but I think i could find an excuse!


While I do love the fun and whimsical fascinators, I think sometimes you have to stick with an air of class, so something classy like this will always do the trick. I mean its still full and tall… and all that jazz, but it doesn’t have a ton of colors and… stuff all over it. Clean. and. classy.


Apart from the fact that this mannequin head is super creepy, you have to admit that this head piece is pretty bad ass! I mean those curly peacock feathers and all the bright and coordinating colors, I just love it! I definitely don’t think I could ever pull something like that off, but I love the woman who is willing to try!




Ahhh, Kate Middleton, the ultimate wearer of the fascinator, and this is probably one of my favorites. I love the ones on the big disks and she always has hers sitting just right on her head shading her right eye. And they are never very complicated or over the top, just simple, chic, and classy. As we all know Kate often is (yeah were on a first name basis) I also like the pattern on base. It gives the fascinator a little something extra, I wouldn’t mind if someone bought me one like this as a gift hah!


Annnd then there is SJP… I mean this is a lot going on. Its definitely eye catching, but my eyes are so exhausted from looking at it I can barely handle it. I mean I totally respect the theming, the pinecone looking base, the leaves, the butterflies, I get it – I GET IT… but it just looks really top heavy and awkward. like a swarm of nature is hovering over her head. so weird.



And finally we have the bridal couture trend. I mean I love the fascinator, but it definitely won’t be part of my wedding day ensemble. And for some reason I feel like there are two options in bridal head wear, in relation to fascinators… HUGE annnd something with a birdcage veil. I mean what if I just want something simple and dainty…. thats not covered in feathers or attached to a headband. Can’t a girl just look like Kate?? Sigh. N wedding day fascinators for this girl… but I didn’t say no wedding shower fascinators! I can’t wait to share lots of pictures with you guys from this weekend, its going to be so fun!


Blinded by the Light




When we bought our house we thought we were getting such a deal by having them throw in the shades so we could save a few hundred bucks by not having to purchase new ones for the entire house. Well, we were young and stupid then. The blinds they had were actually terrible, which we discovered the first time we were outside the house at night, while lights were on inside. Guess what, you could see EV-ERY-THING. I’m talking like, down to what was on the tables.The worst blinds ever. So we decided that as money became available all other projects were pushed to the side and we were only focused on project privacy!  See how these see through blinds are terrible… even from the inside looking out during the day, so I guess its kind of a reverse effect, right?


I mean, we aren’t completely done covering all the windows, but we got the ones taken care of that matter, which would be the windows across the dining room, the half window on the front door, and the BIGGEST WINDOW EVER on the front of our house. We had to go to lowes like 3 times to get that stupid custom blind made, but we pretty much love it!


We decided to go with the Levolor custom fit faux wood 2″ blinds. We really liked the way they look, and with the exception of the custom blind, they were relatively affordable, between $30 and $40 a window. All we had to do was measure the windows from casing to casing and they trimmed them for us right in the store while we waited. We were kind of nervous about hanging them, A) because the walls in the dining room were freshly painted then, and David was mortified to drill into all the hard work and B) Because neither of us have ever hung anything other than a picture on the wall. So needless to say, figuring out the first one was a bit of an adventure, but after we got it up, the rest of them were up in 15-20 minutes! And they look great!


We haven’t outfitted the whole house but its a work in progress, the thing that kills me is the variety of window coverings throughout the house. bamboo shades in some rooms, roman shades in the master and faux wood shades in the guest room… so random. We only have 6 more windows to do, but 3 of them (the ones in the master) We’re not in a rush to get done, because they are on the back of the house, and we don’t mind the shades in there. They kind of keep the windows looking soft since we don’t have curtains there yet. So, thats a bit of what has been going on around the house. We have made a lot of progress on the guest room and the dining room, but still have a few projects and things to get done before we would call them “complete”, but we can’t wait to share them with you!

Puppy Chow

I promise I haven’t run off and forgotten about you, I just fell behind on my blogging ahead, life happens, ya know! We spent a few days at my family lake house relaxing for the holiday weekend, and I kind of went off the map, it was great to be disconnected until I came back and realized I hadn’t posted anything in almost a week!!! Good practice for when I disappear sometime near my wedding, which is just 74 (I think!!) days away!! Can you believe it? I can’t. Things are starting to get so crazy. But like I said, we took a little mini vacay, so hopefully we are rejuvenated enough for the final leg of this engagement marathon. And since we were headed to the lake which means lots of eating, drinking, and hanging out, we decided to take a few treats. I had thought about doing some fun little America cake pops with red velvet cake, white icing, and a blue drizzle, but A)those are complicated and there is not enough time in the week and B) My friend Katy came, and she is a Gluten Free fiend (not because shes on some fad diet, but because she is allergic, bummer!) But I like hanging out with her because it means I have to be a bit more creative in the kitchen. I have made a few GF baked good before, but then I started thinking about lake snacks. People dont really want to sit down and eat a piece of cake or pie or something, they want more of a grab and go treat. So we started tossing around the idea of chex mix, and then landed on Puppy Chow! If you have never had puppy chow before, drop what you’re doing and make it! Its so easy, and its always a hit! We made 2 gallon size ziploc bags full and brought NONE home. It was definitely a hit! 


  • 6 cups of rice chex cereal
  • 2 bags of freshly popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 a cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup of confectioners sugar
  • 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate morseles
  • 2 bags of Reese’s mini cups

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After you pop the pop corn equally distribute the base ingredients (popcorn, rice chex, and reese’s cups) into two gallon size zip loc bags – 1 bag of popcorn and reeses cups each, and 3 cups of rice chex.

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In a pot on the stove melt the bag of semi sweet chocolate morsels and butter, once they are almost melted, add the peanut butter. Mix well. Once the coating is mixed dump half into each bag. Shake the bag making sure the coat the entire mixture generously, then add a half a cup of confectioners sugar to each bag slowly as you toss, to make sure you get the mixture coated, then let cool and serve! A great pool side snack, but make sure to keep it in the cooler, because it gets melty and messy! 

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Home Enhancements: Kitchen Edition

I would be lying through my teeth if I said our kitchen was anything other than a VAST improvement from what we had in either of our apartments. Its large enough for people to congregate without crowding the cook, it definitely allows for multiple people to be in the same space cooking, prepping, cleaning, etc. and unlike the kitchen in my apartment we can actually open the fridge or the oven without completely cutting off functionality of the space. David’s apartment kitchen wasn’t AS small as mine, but I think there was definitely a lack of space and its corner location had you feeling claustrophobic with the addition of the smallest cooking utensils, pots and pans, let alone another person. I don’t know if “work in progress” is the right word for our kitchen considering its not really incomplete, we just have a few minor adjustments we want to make to it… over time, and when we have the money and time to make the improvements the way we want them done.

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The best “all encompassing shot” of the kitchen I could get

So, I will share a few shots of the kitchen will potential improvement ideas we have in the works. We will start with the sliding glass doors… while I like the access they provide, I am more of a french door kind of girl, so we are hoping to save of enough money to have them installed in the fall of this year or spring of next year

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Sorry for the terrible picture, but it was either take a picture at night so you could see my awkward reflection in the glass, or take on in the day so you can’t really see anything around it! But you get the idea!

… especially considering the door handle is broken… and we haven’t replaced it yet. I am all for super gluing the handle, David things we need to replace it. I would rather put that $40 to something we actually want in our home, not something we plan to throw out in the next year so the handle remains broken and that argument ensues.

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In our defense the handle was cracked when we moved in soooo, we aren’t completely mutilating the new place!

So while we wait on the doors we did want to create some type of privacy at night, so for now we have these obnoxious floor to ceiling  curtains that are too heavy and make the rod sag. Its not the most decorative and wonderful thing, but it works and gets the job done, and they stay open most of the day, we just like to be able to close up shop at night.

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Not the best curtains, but they get the job done! Also, note the bulky size of the table. It looks much smaller than it actually is because of all the open space but trust me, its kind of tight, and you cant push the chairs all the way under it.

I guess our next biggest investment would be a new table. David actually hates this table and says that even a coat of paint on the base wont change his mind, we also think its too bulky for the space. if you center it under the light you’re almost sitting in the doorway and you’re super far away from the wall, were looking for something to really open the space up.  the hunt continues for something else there.

A few cosmetic issues: There are these huge nail things sticking out of the wall that we cant figure out how to remove with out having to patch the walls in some ridiculous manner so i think all that will be fixed when we do the french door install which will also require some patching and repainting of the walls. So, with that being said, were currently looking for something to hang up and cover them.We also want to do a storage installation of sorts on the wall behind the table. But were not spilling the beans on that yet, however we do have big plans in the works that we can’t wait to share, once we nail down all the logistics. There will probably also be some new lighting fixtures to come, we’re not super jazzed about any of the ones currently in the kitchen. We’re thinking track lighting and pendants, but we shall see.

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Doesn’t that wall just scream installation?! We think so!

Also, in keeping with installations, we are thinking of installing a back splash but we aren’t sure where. Right now we have just restricted it to the wall with the stove, and we have no idea what we want. We really like the color on the walls in there so I am thinking that will probably stay the same, but we will see as things progress.

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Doesn’t that wall just scream for some type of bright accent or focal point?! We say YES!

And, most recently we replaced all our old ugly kitchen hardware. When we looked at the house there were lots of mismatched anthropologie knobs, not that that is our style at all but we were pretty sure we would swap them out. Well they ended up replacing those with the manufacturers knobs, which seemed like a positive improvement until I realized there was a finger sized groove on the back to constantly get your hands stuck in. Needless to say a few pinches and blood blisters later, we have replaced all the kitchen knobs. So, at least we are headed down the right path!

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New knobs! Thanks to some input from our friends on instagram!

We will definitely keep you guys up to date as we get these projects done and work to make it our perfect kitchen space for cooking and entertaining! Its probably one  of the rooms I am most excited about! Other than our dining room, which is almost complete and has just kind of fallen into place over the last few weeks, but more on that later!

Holy Guacamole

Since Memorial Day is this weekend, and everyone is sure to find themselves grazing tables full of BBQ, finger foods, and delicious dips, I thought I would share one of my summer favorites with you, Guacamole. I know that sounds really lame because it is the most seemingly simple dip to make, but I think the key is to go a little Sandra Lee on it, ya know, semi homemade! We use fresh ingredients buuuut we do cheat a little with a seasoning pouch, and I think that makes all the difference! Follow this simple recipe and your guac is sure to be a summer sensation!

2 avocados
2 ripe tomatoes
1 lime
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (or as much as you like, and we like a lot!!)
1 onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 guacamole seasoning packet



1. Half the avocado, remove the pit and peel and place into a blow, mix the two avocados with the seasoning packet until the avocado is a smooth and creamy consistency and the seasonings are mixed in well.

IMG_3543Once this is all mixed in fold in the chopped onions, tomatoes, and cilantro until they are all well distributed. Then half the lime and squeeze the juice of half the lime on top of the guacamole. Mix well, and then serve!


Movement Mondays – In This Shirt

Another great combo by Kate Jablonski! I feel like these people are moving in fast forward, and she always has such a great mix of new and traditional movement, I could watch her choreography all day. Its just so captivating! Happy Movement Mondays, and enjoy!

A Break-up Letter to Chevron

Hello Chevron,

I wish I could say it’s been a while but it hasn’t. I see you every day, on pinterest, etsy, and facebook, in target, on peoples cell phone and tablet covers, and no doubt this summer I will see you all over beach towels and bathing suits.Chevron, I’m over you and your childish zig-zag pattern, so perfectly spaced and immature. I need something more bold and simple. Like the stripe. OR just another geometric pattern all together. I am increasingly unimpressed by the generics of your mass produced pattern, because, like a stick of big red gum I can find you anywhere. On paper plates, napkins, serving trays, party dresses. stationary, the list goes on and on.


Listen chevron its time for you to  STOP BEING A PATTERN WHORE. The worst part about you, chevron, is that you are like a bad habit I just can’t kick.  I KNOW I see you everywhere and and on everyone, and Im trying to stop, but some things just look SO CUTE with chevron on them, even in my anger I have to admit, you and I have had a pretty good run. I had a blast learning to paint you on canvas for my craft projects, and making your perfectly symmetrical on my stationary designs, and I almost even bought you as a cover for my potentially new iPad wedding gift because you were on super sale, and you were shiny and gold, but your chameleon tricks don’t fool me anymore. You can’t just change your color to become the next big thing, the flavor of the week, it doesn’t work like that, Chevron. And furthermore  why are you always hogging all the monograms, they were cool before you, do you know that? They don’t need your help to enhance their reputation. Your time in the spot light has to come to an end sometime, and I think that time is now. I cannot handle another year of all the up and down, if you get my drift. While I have very much appreciated the vibrancy and playfulness you can bring to everyday life, I have decided its time for me to move on. No more chevron curtain lusting, no more chevron bathing suit cover ups, no more chevron phone covers. NO MORE. Its over, I have moved on. And, I’m perfectly happy with my new patterned love. Chevron, I think its time you meet your replacement.


Greek key, I mean he couldn’t be any more perfect, linear, yet complex, old but new, a bit more mature. He’s everything you could never be for me in my new adult life and home. Thanks for all the good times Chevron, its been real, but I think were finished here.


3 Months and Counting!

Our wedding is less than 3 months away and things are really starting to pick up with making final plans, attending showers, going to fittings, etc etc etc. And trying to remember all the legalities like getting a marriage license, obtaining new passports or loacting our old ones,  and trying to figure out how to become my new alter ego “Mrs. Stokes”, after the wedding. This weekend was also my second bridal shower. We traveled up to my Mom’s hometown to celebrate with some of my extended family, and my grandmother’s close friends/ friends of the family. My two aunts planned and coordinated the shower and they did an awesome job!


Wedding Shower Serving Table.

All the food was homemade and delicious! There were cheese straws, brie cheese, sandwich rolls, veggie trays, spinach dip, fruit trays, petit fores, and butter mints, and lots of other tasty treats! If you ever need an appetizer menu for a party, my family can hook you up, because we love some tasty appetizers! I was so blessed to spend the day with all my family celebrating at the shower!


Mom, Me, Mimi (my mom’s mom), My sister (The MOH!)

She was so sweet and played hosetess all weekend and even had a fun little pre-shower bunch on Saturday morning, which was also really tasty, because apart from appetizers, my family also loves breakfast, if you haven’t noticed a trend here….. my first bridal shower was a brunch! My grandma literally went all out, she had breakfast casserole, fruit, muffins, bagels, a variety of pickled veggies, mimosas, coffee, ya know the whole 9 yards! And she even set a fancy little table! Too cute!


Brunch table settings!

She was a great hostess for my “new family” and my Dad’s mom (my Nana) who all traveled from out of town to celebrate with us! It was definitely a fun girls weekend and I think we all enjoyed a break away from our respective male counterparts, since they all stayed at home!


Me with David’s Mom and Bridget, my future sister-in-law.

We had an awesome weekend, and I love being able to see my family so much, maybe I should get married every year! David and I are so fortunate to have so many people who love and support us and want to help make the beginning of this new chapter in our lives SO special!


Me with both my grandmas!

This weekend we’re off to Lexington for a couples shower and BBQ! I have to admit, I don’t hate all the delicious eats either! We’re having so much fun seeing everyone and celebrating with them I feel like I am going to be kind of sad on August 11 when its all over!!! But until then, party on!

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Flank Steak

This was one of the first meals we made when we moved into our new house, I haven’t been saving it for a special occasion or anything, it just kind of got put to the back burner as I was blogging about other things and then I found all the pictures a few days ago and remembered I never blogged it, so here ya go! Additionally today marks 2 months since we closed on our house and we probably couldn’t love it ANY MORE! On a pretty regular basis we just look at each other and one or the other of us says “I can’t believe we live here!!!” or something along those lines. Its like that new car smell, it really never gets old! But anywho, this was our first  fancy “new house dinner” and it was another stuffed meat. I think its some weird obsession we have, since we also had a stuffed meat type dish last night too, which I will be sharing next week, but they are just so easy and its like an all in one dish and you can just serve it over rice or pasta or something and there is no need to worry with so many extra side dishes. I had pinned this recipe a while ago but never really got into trying it because we don’t eat a TON of red meat, even though this will be my second post about red meat in the past few weeks. But, I’m glad we made it because it ended up being really delicious. I think it would be even better with a more delicious cut of meat, im thinking like prime rib or something fancy (aka a Christmas treat!) This isn’t a good meal for week nights unless you roll everything up and have it prepared to just pop in the oven, but the cook time isn’t too long, and its definitely a great way to impress the dinner guests!


1 flank steak (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 jar (7 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (we roasted our own, similar to the way we roast them to make the pimento cheese)
2 tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil



1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Lay steak on work surface. Holding sharp knife parallel to work surface and starting at a long side, slice flank steak in half to opposite long side, without cutting all the way through; open up the steak like a book. Flatten slightly to an even thickness.


3. Squeeze liquid from spinach; discard liquid. In medium-size bowl, combine spinach, cheese, peppers, bread crumbs, egg yolk, 1/4 teaspoon each of the garlic salt and the pepper.

4. Season steak with an additional 1/4 teaspoon each of the garlic salt and pepper. Press filling onto steak, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides.


5. Roll up steak to enclose filling, beginning on a short side; the grain of the meat will be running from left to right. Tuck any loose filling back into ends.


6. Tie steak with cotton twine at 2-inch intervals to secure. Rub outside with oil, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each garlic salt and pepper.


7. Roast at 425 degrees F. for 35 minutes, then increase heat to broil and broil for 10 minutes, turning once. Let meat rest 15 minutes. Remove twine, slice, and serve.

We served ours over a bed of Garlic Butter Orzo, which was QUITE tasty! And really simple to make! So like I said, you can impress all your friends and neighbors with this fancy looking meal that really isn’t too complicated, and its pretty dang tasty.


Movement Mondays – The Power of Concentration

I don’t even care if you don’t like dance! This is amazing! One of my dance teachers posted this over the weekend and it is unbelievably AMAZING. I cant even imagine if I tried to do something like this, and the feat just becomes more and more astonishing as the piece goes on. I know this isn’t movement in the traditional sense, its almost a lack of movement, but its still beautiful to watch someone create something so delicate in such a masterful way! Goes to show you can do anything you put your mind to! Happy Movement Mondays!