I had the privilege this past weekend to photograph my friends Amy and John for their engagement portraits. We had a wonderful day walking around Bristol, RI, and we able to get some good shots despite the pouring rain! I can’t wait to attend their beautiful wedding in June! Congratulations Amy and John!
It’s official – I now have a wonderful set of ladies to help me celebrate our big day! I’m so excited and happy that they all said yes! The special group consists as my cousin as my maid-of-honor (I was hers two years ago for her gorgeous winter wedding), my future sister-in-law, and three of my closest friends.
Because they all mean so much to me, I wanted to find a special way to ask them if they would do me the honor of being by my side next September. I thought that a nautical themed bag would be the perfect touch!
I bought 5 canvas tote bags at my local craft supply store, as well as some navy fabric paint. I’ve always loved Sea Bags, particularly the ones with large numbers, and thought it would be a cute way to easily remember our wedding date! Typography and numbers will be a very important part of the aesthetic for our wedding, so the large numbers start to help enforce this theme.
I printed templates using the same typeface used on our Save the Dates, and cut out stencils. I then traced and hand painted each of the bags. A tiny “2014″ demonstrates the date, but I think that the bags have a more abstract numerical look – unless you knew they were meant to represent a wedding date, perhaps you’d never guess!
I attached the little note above to the top of each bag with a poof of turquoise and swiss dot tulle.
Inside each bag I included a bridal “cheat sheet” which had all of the information each lady would need, as well as a few simple rules. I also put together a set of swatches of preferred dress colors to choose from. I thought it would be an easy reference to bring out shopping!
The soft grey-green, white, and navy are our core wedding colors, with a punch of bright coral every so often. I love the coral envelopes I was able to find at the Paper Source, and am moderately obsessed with the little turquoise brads used to create the book and swatch package.
Overall, I’m really happy with how the bags turned out, and thrilled that everyone said yes!!
September was a crazy month for us! We wasted no time getting to work on the house, and item number one on the to-do list was tree removal. While we were certainly sad to see them go, we had to get rid of some to make way for our new septic system (thrilling post on this coming soon!). And what a difference it has made! We were shocked how many trees we had on our lot, and actually went from requesting that two come down to a grand total of 15! And there are still plenty!
To give you a sneak peek of the end result, here is a before picture:
This is what we have the pleasure of looking fondly on today:
So yes, it is a large dirt pit, but the septic system install removed all of the very minimal grass we had before. We’re working on the yard situation currently, but anyway, here’s a look at the whole process!
The day before the tree guys were scheduled to come, this is what we were looking at. We knew we wanted a very large oak tree, and giant pine removed, and went to the house to mark them (as if they could have missed them…). In the process, we also identified 5 more small trees, and decided to have them clear out all of the overgrown underbrush.
The team showed up bright and early, and got to work quickly. It was amazing to watch the transformation! The underbrush came up so quickly – our yard grew to almost double in size in under half an hour. The tractor thing they used was amazing!
In addition to the tractor, they used chainsaws to limb the smaller trees and then cut them.
Already looking better sans scrub pines and bittersweet bushes!
The light that now could come onto the property was awesome – what a difference from the dark, muggy yard from before.
Once the “easy” work was done (their words, not mine) the guys quickly got to work with their bucket truck. The slower process of limbing the trees and then topping them off in manageable sections was impressive to watch. All of the trees were between 80 and 100 feet tall, and the noise that the branches and trunk segments made when falling from that height was astounding. We certainly made an unavoidably obnoxious arrival into our neighborhood! So many people stopped to watch what was happening.
The tree that was most difficult for me to watch come down was the very large oak tree right behind the house. I was so sad to be responsible for removing an impressive piece of nature, but I knew it was the right thing to do. It was so close to the house that we were concerned about potential damage. We later found out when they dug up the stump for the septic system that the tree had NO root system…
See that giant rock at the bottom of the hole? That is all that 80 foot tree was holding on to. The tiny roots were balanced precariously on top, and when the septic guys pulled it up, we all stopped and just stared at it. They said they had never seen anything like it, and with one big rain storm, we may have had a crushed house. Needless to say, I was not quite as sad to see the tree go.
Back to the tree removal…they finished topping off all of the trees before going back to take care of the remaining 20 or 30 feet. To cut this part of the tree down, they carefully removed a wedge-shaped piece and guided the tree to the ground. Even though it was the last part to fall, it still made an incredibly loud landing!
The guys were very strategic about lining up the fall, and got it right every time!
As they removed trees, we kept identifying others that we hadn’t seen before. That’s how our total escalated quickly from 2 trees to 15. However, we decided that since the cost to remove the additional trees was much lower because they were already on the property we would just go for it, and our vision of an open backyard started to come to life. You can see how much more space we have now!
The guys were nice enough to slice me off a piece of the oak – now I have to decide what to do with it! The overwhelming majority of people seem to be sold on a table, but we’ll see. It’s so heavy!!
So overall, taking down the trees was the right thing to do. It made it easier to put in our septic system, and has given us hope for a nice large yard, while still retaining a lovely border for privacy. We will probably take out a few more small pines in the coming months, but it was great to have H.M Flagg come in and take care of the majority. We had an exciting first few days of being home owners, and made quite the entrance into the neighborhood!
I know, I know – no posts for months, and then an engagement and house announcement?! It’s a lot to digest, but we’ve been living it constantly for the last four months or so, so I figured it was time to share!
Our first house! It’s a four bedroom, one and a half bathroom house, complete with vintage kitchen! A whole lot of house for two 25-year-olds, but we’re very excited and have already begun working on it! (more on this to come)
The story behind the house is an interesting one, and we feel very fortunate to be the new owners of a fantastic property. After months of touring 5-8 houses per weekend, we had nearly given up on finding a new place to call home. We had put in 5 separate offers on various properties in the area and were constantly begin outbid; apparently we caught an upswing in the market and were outbid by as much as $50,000 over asking price. Yikes!
The weekend before we went on our annual Cape Cod vacation, we saw two houses in the same neighborhood as this one. On the way home, our realtor called and told me to turn around – she exclaimed that she had “found our house.” I was skeptical, but figured I’d go back and see what all the excitement was all about – after all, she did tell me it had a full basement and two car garage (love that storage!).
When I arrived I met the current owner, who had grown up in the house. Her mother had passed away in January, and she was preparing to sell the property. She was kind enough to give us a tour, and I knew it was perfect for us. Our realtor worked her magic, and a few days later we had made a deal! We were so lucky to be able to negotiate directly with the sellers prior to the house being listed.
The house has only had one owner since it was built in 1956, and we can tell it was well loved and taken care of. We can’t wait to make it our own with updates over time!
Okay enough back story…check out the inside! Love that oven!
(that’s the door from the breezeway into the house hanging out in the photo…)
Living room and Dining Room. Ignore the dusty floors – I may have gotten a little over-zealous with the orbital sander…
Upstairs Bathroom – check out that pink tub! And matching sink!
Bedroom 1 (all the others look pretty much the same, so we’ll just have one of these…)
Yard (spoiler alert: this already looks VERY different…stay tuned!)
The updates have already begun, and we have a whole list of items we’d like to do. From small items like updating switches and outlets, to large items like refinishing our floors, we plan on tackling as much as possible with DIY youthful vigor. I’ll keep you updated!
I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post! What a crazy spring! I do have exciting news, which greatly contributed to my busy schedule – I’m engaged! My boyfriend of 6 years asked me to marry him on April 6th on Coast Guard Beach in Eastham, MA.
My ring is a combination of three family diamonds and two new stones – the perfect blend of something old and something new. We are so excited to get married next September on Cape Cod!