Archive for the Weddings Category

Nov 19 2014

Chalk Markers by Chalk This Way

Our obsession with chalkboards started as little girls, as we played school together taking turns as teachers writing lessons on the chalkboard.  Combined it is safe to say that we have over 10 chalkboards displayed in our homes!  When we were contacted by Chalk This Way to review their Brilliant Bold and Earthy chalk markers, we knew it was the perfect fit!  Some of our favorite seasonal, party and entertaining decor are chalkboard signs written with chalk markers.  Chalkboard signs are inexpensive, can be re-used for multiple events and the best part is you can personalize messages to fit the occasion.

Brilliant Bold Colors

Earthy Colors

It is really great to be able to buy one pack with so many color options and they are competitive in price with local craft stores!  You can even save money when buying multiple packs!  One thing we really love about the Chalk This Way chalk markers as opposed to some other brands we have used is that the ink really looks chalky and not just like a marker.  It looks more authentic on your chalkboard.  We also found that these markers had low odor; you aren’t breathing in heavy fumes during normal use.

We really like the soft muted tones of the Earthy set.  We haven’t seen chalk markers in these colors before.  They would be perfect for fall party or wedding signage.  They are a bit more elegant than your classic colors.  Two of our favorites from this pack is the deep cranberry and sage green (they don’t name their colors, but that is how we would describe them :) ).  Can’t wait to use them for Christmas signage this season.  The Brilliant Bold colors give a nice pop of color for birthday parties or holidays.  The classic white chalk marker came in both sets, which we loved because we tend to use that color the most.  These sets would be a great gift for the crafters in your life!  With Christmas right around the corner these would be perfect stocking stuffers!

Tried and True Tips:

  • Make sure you shake the markers REALLY well before using them.  If you don’t, it will come out as just greasy wet with no color.  Always shake with the lid on!
  • You have to push the tip into paper several times to get the color to drop down into the tip.  Try to push more on the back of the tip instead of the front so that the tip doesn’t get smashed.
  • Make sure to test markers on surface before use.  They are not recommended on porous surfaces.  (If you use them and something porous and it doesn’t come off you can just re-paint the surface with chalkboard spray paint)
  • The markers come off better with water when you don’t wait too long to wipe it off.  Directions say you can also erase with ammonia based cleaner.
  • Don’t push tips too hard when writing.  This will smash the tip.  To get more color to the tip of your marker, shake every now and again in between writing your message.  Again make sure to shake when the lid is on!

Check out some of the ways we used Chalk This Way chalk markers.  You will see, the possibilities are truly endless!  You can use these markers on chalkboards (including slate chalkboards), glass, plastics, mirrors, ceramics, metals and other hard non porous surfaces.  

Seasonal signage and decor.  The chalk markers worked really well on this slate chalkboard and cleaned very easily with a wet cloth.

Slate Chalkboard

Make signs for different activity stations at parties like we did here at our Fall Festival:

pumpkin carving

Parties galore!  The possibilities are endless with this one.  You could make chalkboard place-mats and let kids (and adults!) doodle.  Or you could write out your menu or make chalkboard labels for food like Alisa did here for her husband’s 30th birthday party:

Menu & Food Labels

Marissa used the chalk markers to make a wreath to welcome guests to her son’s 2nd birthday party.


Monthly baby updates and yearly milestones: I (Marissa) took a picture of my little man each month for the first year with a chalkboard behind him documenting milestones.  You could also do this with Baby bump pictures while you are pregnant documenting the weeks.  I had a lot of fun doing this chalkboard for my son’s second birthday!

b-day sign 2

B-day sign

Leave messages or encouraging notes on your bathroom mirror for your spouse to read in the morning.  This is sure to brighten their day! The chalk markers work great on mirrors.  They wipe off REALLY easy on mirrors with glass cleaner.

Notes on Mirror

Here are some other ways that you could use the markers for different projects:

  • Signs for weddings…all things weddings really anything from seating charts to menus to signage on tables.
  • You can show team pride by writing messages on your car (always test on a small area first!) like “Go Wildcats!” or “Great job Kelsey!”
  • Use all the different colors on a black board instead of just plain old boring white when teaching or explaining things to your kiddos.
  • Decorate your windows with your kids for the holidays by drawing fun pictures for the season.
  • Label glazed pots with plant or herb names.

Be sure to check out other products by Chalk This Way like their Self-Adhesive Removable Chalkboard Labels.

Thank you Chalk This Way for providing us with the chalk markers!  As always, all ideas and opinions are our own.


Sep 27 2014

Our Wedding: Part 2

Happy 1st Saturday of fall!

Yesterday my husband Todd and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!  If you missed yesterday’s post you can check out Part 1 where I shared some details of our wedding ceremony.  Today I’ll share some photos and details of our wedding reception.  The beautiful photos were taken by Jen Disney Photography.  You can see some of our engagement photos and more of our wedding photos in the gallery section of her website.  You may even see a few photos of Marissa and Mark’s beautiful wedding!  If you are looking for a photographer in the Southern California area I highly recommend Jen!

It was a perfect fall day (a little hot) but the weather was perfect in the evening.  I honestly could not have dreamed of a better day.  I have to thank my parents for such a beautiful event, especially for my mom who put a lot of time and effort into helping me plan.  Thanks to my family and friends who helped me set up!  Let me tell you from experience that you can have a beautiful wedding FAR below the cost of what they say is the “average” cost for a wedding.  You just have to get creative and put your money towards things with the biggest impact!  Everything went off  without a hitch thanks to our day-of coordinator Lana Meadows with Lana Meadows Events.  She made sure everything ran smoothly that day and really went above and beyond!

The Location

What if I told you that our reception was at the office building where my mom works…the images that come to your mind would probably not be what you would consider ideal for a wedding!  When I would tell family and friends where we were having the reception they politely said “Oh, that sounds nice”.  When they got to the reception everyone was blown away with the location.

Mason jars filled with flowers hung from Shepard hooks lined the path that led guests to the reception area.  (I have to give a shout out to my mom’s friend Michelle who put the flower arrangements in the mason jars together.)  The tables were set up in the beautiful courtyard next to a small waterfall.

Welcome path

Reception Tables


Reception Area

The dance floor was set up in the small amphitheater next to the courtyard.  Guests could sit at cafe tables or on the steps of the amphitheater if they wanted to take a break from dancing.

Dance Floor

The Details

As I mentioned yesterday I knew I always wanted a fall wedding.  That was the jumping off point for  wedding colors and decor.  We chose warm and bright fall colors; green, orange, brown, burgundy.  We used apples as decor throughout the wedding.  The funny thing is that a couple years after our wedding Marissa was reading a book about Johnny Appleseed to her class and she realized that our wedding date was the same date as Johnny Appleseed’s birthday!  This was a total coincidence…I had no idea when I was planning our wedding!

Reception Details

For the centerpieces we chose to do half the tables with flowers and the other half with glass vases  filled with apples.  I found the vases at HomeGoods.  This was a real cost saver as floral centerpieces can be quite expensive.  I made the table numbers with scrapbook paper and elegant ribbon which matched our wedding programs I showed you in yesterday’s post.  For the tables where kids were sitting I filled bushel baskets (similar to the ones I used here and here) with snacks and activities to keep the kids entertained.

We gave caramel apples away as wedding favors.  I ordered them online from Daffy Apples.  They were delivered right on time and were really fresh!  Two nights before the wedding we had a packaging party with my family and Aunt & Uncle.  I could not have packaged those all by myself!  A little story behind the caramel apple: Todd asked me out on our first date on Halloween night October 2005.  He was working at Starbucks and had to work Halloween night, so I brought him a caramel apple as a little treat he could eat on his break.  We now enjoy one every anniversary for dessert!


Lana Meadows made the beautiful fabric backdrop behind our head table and added the beautiful fabric touches to the head table and cake table.  I hadn’t actually planned much for the head table other than a few flowers.  This is why I say that Lana went above and beyond!  She has an eye for detail.  I couldn’t be happier with how the it turned out and the backdrop looked so much more elegant in photos than the glass doors behind them.

Head Table

This really cool dance floor structure was made by my mom’s friends’s daughter and her husband which they used for their wedding a few months earlier…I wish I was that handy!  We had twinkle lights and paper lanterns strung across the dance floor (thanks for family friends Bob, Randy and Keith..probably others too for putting them up).  Apples and burlap were arranged in the bases of the structure.  I purchased outdoor pillows that coordinated with our wedding colors for the amphitheater steps so people could sit and relax.

Dance Floor 2

The Grand Entrance

Grand Entrance

 The Wedding Party

Wedding Party

My sweet flower girls!  We found their dresses at TJ Maxx…my mom and I hit the jackpot and were so excited when we found them.  They were the same ivory color as the sash on my wedding dress.  When I asked them to be my flower girls I looked online for a cute flower girls book, but they were all really expensive.  So, I made my own little book describing all of the fun things that flower girls get to do at the wedding.  I wish I had taken  pictures of it!

Flower Girls


So many heartfelt well wishes and memories shared in the toasts by my dad, my sister and Todd’s best man Nate!


The Food

Light appetizers of salami, cheese, crackers, veggies and spicy sausage were served to guests as they waited for the wedding party to arrive.  Cold lemonade and iced tea tasted refreshing on this hot September day.

For dinner we had a made to order pasta bar.  Guests could choose their pasta sauce: pesto, marinara, alfredo, pink sauce or a simple olive oil and garlic.  There were several choices of meat like chicken, shrimp or spicy sausage.  Finally they could choose from a variety of vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions.  Salad and bread accompanied the pasts.  Everyone raved about the food and were able to go back for seconds…some even thirds!

Pasta Bar

Cake Cutting

The talented Jillian Witt of Sensational Cakes made our beautiful wedding cake.  The top layer and an extra sheet cake was lemon cream cheese and the bottom two layers had fresh strawberry filling.  It was delicious!  When planning the wedding I couldn’t believe that how a wedding cake was.  Some places were charging over $5.00 per person/slice.  We were referred to Jillian by one of my dad’s co-workers and her prices were very reasonable.  I’ve since used her for other events.

Cake Cutting

First Dance

We danced to Joshua Radin’s “Id Rather Be With You”

First Dance

First Dance 2

Father Daughter Dance

My dad and I danced to “What a Wonderful World”.  So glad I have this memory of us dancing together!

Father Daughter Dance

Mother Son Dance

Todd and his mom danced to “I Hope You Dance”.  Love that song and this photo of them dancing with all the twinkly lights behind them!

Mother Son Sance


Everyone had a really fun time dancing under the lanterns and twinkle lights.  Guests could get coffee and other hot beverages from the coffee station to enjoy with their cake as they watched people dancing.  Love the soft romantic glow that the lights gave off in the evening.


Dancing 3

Twinkle Lights

Bouquet & Garter Toss

Marissa, my Maid of Honor (and sister!) caught the bouquet!  I just love how that turned out!  Todd’s best Man Nate caught the garter!  I actually wore 2 garters, because I wanted one to toss and one to keep.  One was also my “something blue”.

Bouquet and Garter

Several months later Marissa got engaged to her wonderful husband Mark and they married the following July.  She’ll have to share her wedding photos with you on their 5th year anniversary next year!

Marissa and Mark

The Getaway!

For our honeymoon we went up the California coast…one of our favorite vacation places.

The Get Away


Lana Meadow’s EventsJen Disney PhotographyM’s Flowers | Mike Wandrey Entertainment | Lascari’s Italian Restaurant | Sensational Cakes | Create A Party Rentals

Thanks for walking down memory lane with me!!  Hope you enjoyed.  Have a wonderful weekend…what are you all up to?

Signature - Alisa

Sep 26 2014

Our Wedding: Part 1

First off thank you for your sweet comments yesterday…you guys are amazing!  There is still time to enter in the giveaway if you haven’t already done so.  The giveaway closes Sunday night.

Today is our wedding anniversary so I thought it would be fun to share some of the details of our wedding with you.  We got married September 26, 2009 B.P.  (Before Pinterest!).  Yes, I wish that Pinterest was around back then, but I’m still so happy with how everything turned out!  My husband Todd and I met in the college group at our church back in 2004.  We didn’t really get to know each other until almost a year later and started dating in the fall of 2005.  We’ve been together for a total of 9 years…crazy how time flies!  This post is picture heavy, so I will share Part 2 tomorrow with the reception details.

When we got engaged I immediately knew that I wanted to plan for a fall wedding.  As I’ve mentioned several times, fall is my favorite season!  Its also the season we started dating and I wanted fall colors for our wedding.  We got married at a beautiful church just down the street from the house where I grew up.  I had always wanted my wedding in a rustic barn, but there wasn’t really a venue like that near us that was within our budget.  Knowing my dream, my dad asked a family that lived near the church who had a small barn in their backyard if we could take our wedding pictures there.  They agreed and we got some of my favorite wedding pictures there in their backyard.

All of the pictures below were taken by our lovely wedding photographer Jen Disney.  If you are looking for a photographer in the Southern California area you should check her out.  She is an amazing photographer!  Choosing a photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding.

The wedding dress

I purchased my dress from a cute little store called The Dresser.  It was a soft ivory  dress made of Chantilly lace.

The Dress

Wedding Dress

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

My Bouquet

I love a simply white bouquet.  I tied picture frames with pictures of my grandmas who are no longer with us as a way to remember them on this special day.


Going to the Chapel

Going to the Chapel

family 2

 My beautiful bridesmaids that included my sister, sister in-law, friends since elementary school and one of my close college friends.  The girls also got their dresses from The Dresser.  As a thank you for being a part of our wedding, I gave them earrings that matched their dresses.

The Girls

the girls 2

 Aren’t these guys handsome?!

The Guys

The Guys 2

 The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party

Family Photos


Todd's Grandma

The Ceremony Details

I made our wedding programs which coordinated with  our reception table numbers.  For my wedding gift to Todd I bought him a watch and he bought me a bible with my married name and date of our wedding on the cover.  He also gave bibles to his groomsmen as a thank you for being in our wedding.   The guests signed a coffee table book with our engagement pictures that I made using Blurp.  I love how it turned out.

Ceremony Details

 The Ceremony

The pianist played George Winston’s Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel (It is the song that Annie walks down the aisle to in Father of the Bride…one of my family’s favorite movies).  We had a guitarist play Divine Romance by Phil Wickham as Todd and I took communion.  He was amazing…he sounded just like him!

Walking Down the Aisle

We do!  Our college pastor married us and did such a great job with the ceremony.  It was really personable and meaningful.  The boys played a funny joke pretending that they forgot the rings…I love that picture!


 Mr. & Mrs. Bloom!

Bloom Wedding 1


Bloom Wedding 2

 My dad had seen a Rolls Royce in the neighborhood and asked the guy if we could use it for our wedding!

Get Away Car

 I always enjoy looking through our wedding photos and remembering all the people and the little details that made our day so special.  Happy Anniversary Todd…I know you are reading :)  Thanks for 5 amazing years!

Stop by tomorrow for part 2 with pictures of the reception!

Signature - Alisa

Apr 25 2014

Photo Booth: Pick A Prop & Strike A Pose

We are here again today to share another little project we helped with for our friend’s wedding; the photo booth.  We chose a variety of props the wedding guests could have fun with: mustaches, cat eye glasses, bow ties, chalkboards, feather boas and an open picture frame.

Photobooth Table


Kim’s friend Kaylee Meinz made the cute “Photo Booth” sign for the table.  If you are interested in her custom calligraphy check out her Facebook page: Yours & Meinz.  Beautiful handwriting!

Photobooth sign

The photographer provided the backdrop frame and Kim (the bride) had burlap panels to hang for the backdrop.  Marissa created the adorable fabric bunting which matched the cake topper that she made for the wedding.  It was draped just high enough so that it would appear at the top of the pictures.  We have some handmade fabric bunting in our shop.  Contact us if you would like a custom made one with specific colors.


Michaels has an adorable photo booth prop collection.  They were so popular that they sold out completely and I was told they wouldn’t be ordering anymore.  I was so bummed as I needed a couple more mustaches.  My mom’s sweet friend was kind enough to pick some up at the store near her.  Good news is that I was just at my Michaels over the weekend and they have more props in stock.  Hurry before they sell out again!


The wooden props come unfinished.  I picked up some acrylic craft paint in colors that coordinated with the wedding: navy, yellow, white and black.  All of my paint (except for the black) was gloss finish, which I would recommend.  The black was matte finish, which I thought worked well for the mustaches.  I prefer using foam brushes with 1 inch tips for painting.  They don’t show the brush strokes like a bristle paint brush and the large surface area of the brush reduces painting time.  Apply the paint liberally as the wood really soaks it up.  The more paint, the glossier the finish.  I painted the front and back of the props, so no matter what way they were held up they would look great in the pics.  Once dry, I added some fun details like the polka dots on the bow ties (I used the end of the foam brush).  I used a toothpick to paint on the small dots on the cat eye glasses to make it look like little rhinestones (thanks for the idea Ron).

Tips: Place the wooden dowels of the props in a tall glass to dry (not plastic; it will tip over!).  When transporting the props, place them in individual plastic baggies (if you place them on top of one another they will stick together).


Kim – we just loved the photo booth idea, we all had so much fun!  It looked like the other guests did too!  Photos below were taken by Peter Thomsen Photography.  If you are looking for a photographer be sure to check them out!  They are located in the Santa Cruz area, but are available to shoot anywhere.  To see more photo booth pictures of the wedding and other props used (like the chalkboards and open frame) visit here.

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Little cuties!  I love the crackers in his hand and the random arms in every direction!

Photography by Peter Thomsen

Happy Friday everyone!


Apr 16 2014

Wedding Cake Topper

Hi Everyone!

We are back again to show you some more photos from our friend Kim’s wedding, specifically the wedding cake topper!  Be sure to check out our post on the Kid’s Wedding Table if you missed it.  Kim had a small wedding cake to use for the cake cutting and served sheet cake to the rest of her guests.  Both delicious and is a great budget saving option!  I love that the cake was so simple, yet so chic.

Wedding Cake

Marissa made the fun fabric bunting for the cake topper.  I think it frames the peg people nicely and adds the perfect finishing touch.  She used some leftover fabric that she used to make the fabric bunting for the photo booth (post on the photo booth coming soon!).  To make the bunting, simply cut small triangles from the fabric using pinking shears (notice the top edge is cut using regular scissors).  Next, thread a needle with coordinating bakers twine.  Hand stitch the bunting (fabric flags) together.  Leave extra twine on either side and tie each end to wooden skewers.  The end ties are finished with a simple bow.

And can we talk about the peg people for a second…adorable!  Kim’s friend Kari hand painted them.  To purchase your own custom peg people email Kari at  They would also make a great engagement party cake topper, or a sweet little birthday present for a little girl with pegs that represent her family, or close friends.

Wedding Cake Bunting

No detail was overlooked on the cake table.  It was anchored with a burlap table runner and delicate ivory lace was draped on either side.  Look closely and you will see the cake stand was lined with burlap as well.  The large galvanized flower market bucket held fresh hydrangeas and twigs which added nice height.  A pewter pot held a small plant which added a vibrant green to the table.  The lace covered votives and lantern added romantic candle light when lit in the evening.  Absolutely adore the rustic wooden tree with their initials carved in it made by Kim’s sister Allyson and brother-in-law Rich.  Allyson also designed their wedding invitations in which she incorporated the same tree design.  I love when details are incorporated in elements throughout the wedding.  Finally, you have the essential cake knife and server and wine glasses for the toasts.

Wedding Cake Table 2

Wedding Cake Table

Cake Table Details

Kim – you did such an amazing job!  We just love all the decorative elements you added.

Thanks for stopping by.  We hope you all have a great rest of the week.  It’s Wednesday!  You are halfway done; you can make it!