The Perfect Proposal

In late June, when Beau asked if we could go to Brooks Brothers to pick out new swim trunks before 4th of July I happily agreed. We had just been the previous week and in fact looked at swim trunks but who was I to argue with shopping. Beau seemed to have a plan for the weekend; relaxing on Saturday, shopping on Sunday. He stressed the need to get there early so we could return home to watch the baseball game.

On Sunday we woke, fed the dogs, drank a cup of coffee & I offered to make breakfast. Beau politely declined reminding me he wanted to leave shortly, asking if I could be ready in time.

As I brushed my teeth, he emerged looking quite handsome. He had on a light blue button down, madras plaid belt, my favorite khaki shorts adorned with little blue whales, and blue boat shoes. I commented on how good he looked and mentally thought I’d better step up my normal “Sunday shopping” game. My hair was not cooperating so I took a curling iron to it, threw on a silk tank from J. Crew with  coordinating jewelry & called it a day.

As we drove the 20 minutes to the “nicer” mall, I tried to coax Beau into having a car dance party with me (perhaps one of my favorite road trip activities). Instead, we chatted and made a mental list of all the things we needed to accomplish before heading back towards the house. Brooks Brothers was first and foremost on our list; however, when we arrive Beau pulled in and parked on the opposite side from Brooks Brothers. When I asked why he was parking there, he exclaimed it was shady and there were plenty of spots open.

I clambered out of the car confused and started to walk towards the Sax anchor. As we approached the doors, he made a sharp left turn and began to walk around the mall. “Let me get this straight, you parked on the wrong side of the mall and now we can’t walk through it but rather have to walk around?,” I exclaimed with a laugh. “Yup, I don’t think the department stores open until noon, my b,” he responded.

As we passed through the mall Beau asked again if I needed anything. I originally responded no but as we passed a gorgeous nautical sweater hanging in the window of J. Crew I changed my mind. “Maybe we can go in on the way back, I’m kinda hungry; we could go in Tiffany’s.” This is a joke Beau had taken to telling since Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my favorite movie. Each time, it elicited an eye roll and explanation that Tiffany’s is a jewelry store not a restaurant, only a mistake a man could make.

Me – For the last time, they don’t serve breakfast at Tiffany’s and I offered to make you breakfast this morning.
Beau – Well, I’ve never been in a Tiffany’s, we should go in and check it out.
M – Are you serious, what for?
B – They have the Great Gatsby collection on display, maybe we’ll see some of the pieces from the movie.

Now, I don’t know a single girl that would turn down that offer. In we walked and the friendly manager greet us, “Hi, what can we help you find today?” I stared blankly at Beau as he responded, “We’re just looking around. You guys have the Great Gatsby collection on display?” We each ooh & aah’ed over intricate pearl and diamond pieces from the movie when the manager offered to show us two speciality pieces they had on loan from the New York store. I followed her around the corner as she checked in with the security guard and pushed open pocket doors to reveal a small office. On the desk in the office were two mimosas and a small ring box.

For whatever reason, I didn’t immediately understand what was happening.  I actually thought we must be in the wrong place, where were the Gatsby pieces? As I started to process everything I just kept repeating, “What is happening, what’s going on right now?” over and over again.

Just as the manager shut the pocket doors behind her, I turned to find Beau unwrapping the ring box. His proposal is the sweetest moment in my life. He began to unwrap the ring box and get down on one knee as he said the following:

“I try very hard in life not to be wrong, for example, I’m pretty sure you can have breakfast at Tiffany’s but I know for sure I am not wrong about this. Will you marry me?”

Of course I began to cry; I gave Beau a kiss & my surroundings, which had turned in a gray haze, started to fill in again. I looked up to realize there was actually BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S. It was more than just mimosas; there was coffee, brie and assorted cheeses, fruit, scones, muffins. Beau and I sat to enjoy a few minutes of breakfast, just the two of us, although I must say I don’t think either one of us actually ate & I am certain I did not stop shaking for at least a few hours.

I've never been happier.
I’ve never been happier.

Looking back on it now, there were certainly a few clues to June 30th being a very special day for us but I’m so glad I didn’t pick up on them. The moment of surprise and the overwhelming rush of emotion made our proposal that much better.

And so our fairy tale is just beginning.


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Going to the Chapel

That’s right ladies and gents…Beau and I are getting married.

I’ve never been so excited, overwhelmed, and anxious in my life.  It’s been nearly a month since he asked & I said yes and let me tell you the last 4 weeks have been quite the whirlwind.

Beau proposed – in the most romantic way ever (I’ll share the story later this week) – on June 30.  We took about three days to get the word out to our closest friends and family before making it Facebook official and once we did the love and support was overwhelming.  The initial “love-high” stuck around for weeks.  Beau’s timing was impeccable because we were able to spend the first engaged weekend with our families at Lake Anna for 4th of July.

Lake Anna is one of our favorite places on earth.  Beau’s parents have a beautifully situated lake home in a peaceful cove.  Upon arriving we were able to shriek and squeal and celebrate with family in person.  Ok, so maybe it was just the women shrieking and squealing.  I enjoyed talking about wedding planning with Beau’s mom, sister-in-laws, and his brothers girlfriend.  The enthusiasm was contagious.

On Friday, July 5th, Mumma, Pickle, Peanut, and my nieces came to join the celebrations.  There was champagne, a beautifully decorated (and delicious) cake, hilarious napkins and Bride & Groom pins.  My cheeks ached from smiling so much but I couldn’t help it.

The weekend was such a nice preview of how special celebrating our marriage will be.  I just kept thinking all weekend….I can do this for the rest of my life!

 

The Beauitful Spread from our Families.  Does this ring make me look engaged?
The beautiful Spread from our Families. Does this ring make me look engaged?
Toast from Beau's family exclaiming now they don't need to adopt me.  I found it quite amusing, Beau not so much.
Toast from Beau’s family exclaiming now they don’t need to adopt me. I found it quite amusing, Beau not so much.
So excited to be celebrating with our families.
So excited to be celebrating with our families.
We may need to practice our cake cutting.
We may need to practice our cake cutting.
Such a wonderful 4th of July!
Such a wonderful 4th of July!

 


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Have you missed me?

I’m not even sure I remember how to do this.

Push keys on keyboard, form words, form sentences, form thoughts.  Ok – maybe it’s a little like riding a bike.  Do I remember how to ride a bike?

Can you believe it’s been over 6 months since I last posted?  How was your Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or B-day after all?

I can give you the old run around about how busy my life has been but in all honesty it hasn’t been any busier than normal.  This situation feels similar to when you haven’t talked to a good friend in a while.  You pick up the phone to call and decide you need more than just the 15 minute window you have.  The next time you want to call the task of catching up feels a little daunting – you think do I have an hour to talk on the phone?  Each opportunity only intensifies the feeling until eventually you feel like such a crappy friend you’re just hoping they call you.

So I suppose since none of you have written a post for me I have to be the bigger person here – thanks a lot.

Life has been moving along at a normal pace.  I was promoted in January which has certainly increased my workload. It also means I’m traveling quite a bit more.  My friends in DC joke they see me more now than when I lived in the suburbs up there.

I turned 30. Ugh.
It feels as if everyone I know is getting married, pregnant, or has had a baby in the last 6 months.  I suppose this isn’t uncommon for a 30-year-old women – for me it just means I’ve been cranky out crocheted baby items left and right.  I’ve had several orders placed via Etsy for my Hokie ensemble – and you can add “get Etsy store fully stocked” to my ever-growing list of To-Do items.

In fact – I feel most of my personal and professional life is being managed through lists.

  • Close deals X Y Z
  • Train reps A B C
  • Make blanket for baby N
  • Paint rooms D E F
  • Find a birthday gift
  • Make the bed
  • Take a golf lesson
  • Lose weight / Get healthy

Perhaps I should add learn to relax.

Anywho, that’s why I’m writing.  My hosting is set to expire on August 6th and I am personally contemplating what the value of this blog is both intrinsically as well as externally.  This is fair warning that Practicing Perfect may have seen its last post (or not?) – I’m sure you’re heavily impacted by this decision since ya know you seemed to have muddle through the last 6 months without my witty banter.  I’ll keep you updated – You never know maybe I’ll find some more inspiration.

With Love,

G


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Spook-tacular Times

Buffet Display

I’m not normally big on Halloween decor.  The traditional carved pumpkin, a couple of fake spider webs and I usually call it a day.

Perhaps it’s because we now live in a kid riddled neighborhood, or perhaps it’s the single family home syndrome, but this year I went all out.  In fact, I’ve found that I can’t wait to scoop up all the HEAVILY discounted decor this week to improve my plans for next year.

I decorated the repurposed dresser buffet by draping it with gauzy fabric and adding layers of spooky artifacts.  Some of my favorite finds this year were the Vampires sign (Target $1 bin I love you!) & the skull tapers from Home Goods.  I also scooped up a bag of eye balls from JoAnns and just floated them in vases of water.

With the inside giving me the creeps, I wanted to ensure the neighborhood kids knew where to stop tonight.

I stole a lot of the outdoor decor ideas from a bloggy friend (& now I can’t find the link – sorry friend).  The bats across the door seem just spook enough for me.  I think went a little crazy with the spider webs but I love it!!!!

I’ll take more pictures tonight to share with you tonight.  Beau & I are dressing up as Batman & Catwoman, brewing up a batch of spike Cider for adults & have over 600 pieces of chocolates for the kiddies.

Being spooky is fun!


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Dog gone it

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Life feels like it is moving at lightening speed.

I have 1/2 a dozen projects going on & on top of my personal projects, the Etsy store has been a hit.  I’ve been cranking out little Hokie gift sets faster than I thought possible.

Be sure to contact me if you need a little something special for little ones in your life – I have lots of patterns that I just haven’t had time to post.

So let’s recap what I’ve been working on:

Gift Items:
- Anniversary Gift for a dear friend – Complete
- Grocery List Update – Complete
– Breakfast Nook Makeover – In progress
     – Table
     – Rug
– Normal seasonal decorating – In progress
– B-day gift for Sissy – In progress
– Baby gifts for Baby L & Baby C – In progress
– Sunshine “print” for guest room – In progress
– Formal Living Room Makeover – OVERWHELMING & in progress
– Reupholster chair/ottoman – In progress
Solution for the dog cratescompleted – foiled – in progress

So let me explain on the Dog crate front.  This has been a challenge for me ever since adopting my precious Deja in 2005.  What in the world do you do with that ugly dog crate?

My first idea was to incorporate the dog crates as part of my breakfast nook.

Can I do this??? Where???
{House of Turquoise via Pinterest}

This led me to wonder if I could build my own window seat/dog crates.  I was “semi-successful.”  Using plans from Ana-White, I built 2 custom dog crates to the appropriate scale and size.

I was pleased with the outcome until we actually tried to use them; our dearest Palmer busted right through the doors of his crate.  Back to the ugly wire eye sore.

I tried spray painting them white – that took forever.
We took the stained top  and placed it right over the wire crate – still not appealing.

Finally I found to end table dog crates for a fairly reasonable price online:

I promptly ordered two in matching sizes and colors.  I beamed with pride as I finally found a reasonable solution to my doggie woes….until:

Dog Gone It – Palmer

Palmer clearly thought his new home was a seasonal tasty treat.

Back to square one on the puppy palace.

 


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Field for a Feast

Table1

On Friday, I showed you a one of my recent (relatively speaking) projects:  our Tailgate table.

Today I’m happy to share the tutorial to establish your own Field for a feast.  This project is so easy I feel silly showing a tutorial….but just in case.

Supplies:
Green Fabric of appropriate length & width for your table
White Grograin Ribbon (I used 1 1/4″ width)
Stitch witchery, hot glue, or white thread
Tape Measure

When I decided to go this direction I spent nearly a week searching for the perfect “base” for the project.  I decided on 108″ fabric from Joann’s, with a 40% off coupon I got a yard & 1/2 which was more than enough to make two table clothes.  I cut it in half , hemmed (with stitch witchery) loose edges & saved the rest for March (St. Patrick’s Day).

So I was left with an appropriate length cloth (you’ll notice mine hangs over the edges of my table; however, if I add the leafs it would fit almost end to end).  I did most of this project by look and feel as opposed to exact science.  For example, when deciding how many yard markers to include take into consideration the width of your ribbon, the space between yard markers, and where each marker will fall in relation to your table & other decor.  I knew I wanted to leave a space to eventually add an endzone but wanted to get as close to including all of the 10 yard lines.

I laid out the project on my table and began placing the ribbon.  I quickly realized that the lines were too thick and too close together.  Instead of returning to the store, I decided on fewer yard markers.  At this point it was easy.

To establish guidelines for my yard markers I ironed my tablecloth in half, and half again, and half again.

Now it just became a matter of attached the yard markers along my guidelines.  Along each crease, I layered my stitch witchery & grograin ribbon.  Cut the ribbon two inches longer than the width of your fabric so you have an extra inch of ribbon on each side.

Fold the extra inch of ribbon around the edge of the fabric to create a finished edge.

Now repeat, & repeat, & repeat, & repeat, & repeat….well you get the point.

Enjoy!


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Septober

Wait…..it’s October?  When did that happen?

I had/have so much to share with you but time flies when you’re having fun or working hard.  Since I’m so far behind, I’m going to pretend it’s September – because that’s what I have to talk about.

In our house September signals FOOTBALL!  We’re a sports house, in any given week you will find out watching some time of sporting event, in fact, we’re often watching two.  Last night for example, we watched playoff baseball and Thursday night football.  It’s not just professional sports though, college football and basketball get their fair share of attention around here as well.

This is how I watch football:

I never turn away puppy snuggles & even the pups get dolled up for football season.

Beau & I have gotten a chance to get out & watch a little football in person too.

When we don’t get out to watch football, I try to make sure we’re prepared at home.

Hot dogs – check
Hamburgers – check
Beer – check
Tailgate themed table…….CHECK

Our “tailgate table” includes football tributes to our alma mater, Virginia Tech, complete with the baby Hokie set which you can now get from Etsy, & a nod to Beau’s beloved Redskins.  Since Beau is a HUGE Redskins fan, and I’m a huge Beau fan, I try to keep him happy.

We just traded out our tailgate table for Halloween decor so maybe I’ll get a chance to show you that before Thanksgiving.  Just kidding.

On Monday, I’ll show you the step by step process to make your own football field.


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Grand Larceny

Jenna-Lyons-3

I have committed Grand Larceny, well maybe just petty theft, but this interview is far too good not to share.

In the interest of giving credit where credit is due…I stole this from Erin Gates @ Elements of Style (who stole it from Garance Dore to be fair).

Jenna Lyons is one of my ultimate inspirations.  I may not have attended Parsons but I did graduate with a Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design degree from the 15th ranked fashion school in the world.

I think Jenna’s real inspiration to me is her self-confidence.  She seems so comfortable in her own skin.  Her unique sense of style that draws from her small CA beach town upbringing and “stuffy” East coast family gifts seamlessly pulled together.

You think I can make my high school blazer and Florida white shorts work for me?


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Fall is Back?

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I must admit, I’m a bit jealous of all the Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and blog posts from my more Northern friends.

I’ve read about your hunt for black skinny jeans, your delight in the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the heightened hectic mornings, and the new bite in the air.  It seems that as you sent your children off to school and dusted the corners of your closets, fall descended in all it’s glory.

Welp, it’s 87 degrees here today.  I know exactly where my black skinnies are and they will probably stay there for at least a few more months.  I’ve tried the Pumpkin spice latte & while I love it – it just doesn’t taste right in 90 degree weather.  Before I’ve felt like I had to force myself to prepare for fall, now I feel as if I have to force Fall to visit Florida.

So in celebration of the “Fall” season, I’m drawing inspiration from school.

What a wonderful “homework station.
A Grown Up Homework Station

In addition to brainstorming about the perfect study space.  I’m thinking about the perfect study supplies, & right now I’m loving Poppin.

The bright colors make studying or maybe even working such a joyful experience.  What do you think?


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The weekend that keeps on giving.

GiftSet

So far we’ve talked about how AWESOME Bruce was, how ADORABLE my family is but let’s top off the weekend with how WONDERFUL my friends are.

After rough housing with my nieces and catching up with Mumma, Pops, Auntie, & Peanut, Beau and I headed over to celebrate his bestie’s baby.

Mr & Mrs. L are due to have their first little one in December and their family threw a wonderful baby shower in Little One’s honor.  We had the best time with Mr. & Mrs. L, as well as, several friends we had not seen in a while.  In fact, we had such a good time I didn’t take a SINGLE picture on my own camera.

I wore a new J. Crew (I know, shocker) top, skinny jeans, and lots of accessories.  I also went with my new go-to hairstyle:  the ballerina bun, which on a side note – I almost lit on fire via tiki torch.

 

Baby Shower Bun

Baby Shower Bun by withloveg featuring flats

More importantly, I have been busting at the seams to show you guys the Hokie ensemble I cooked up for the baby gift.

I was pretty proud of the Hokie tail feathers.  I’ve made the beanie’s before but this is a first time I’ve made the diaper cover & car seat blanket.  They turned out wonderfully.

They seemed to be a big hit at the shower and a couple of the girls suggested I open an Etsy shop.  If I did so, would you buy one?

I’m also thinking about making some tail feathers in Mr. L’s size – he has agreed to wear them if I make them. Sounds like a personal challenge.


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