Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding videography

When I was younger, I used to take out the VHS (who knows who converted it to VHS from its even-more archaic format) of my parent’s wedding and watch it frequently. It was just a 2 or 3 minute video taken by my father’s cousin. The quality is, of course, very vintage style and the clip is now set to music. In fact, my memory is that it's mostly of the receiving line outside of the church. I am just so in love with the motion images of my mom and dad, young and trim, laughing and enjoying their day—it’s moving art. Not to mention, the scene of all my grandparents in the receiving line. This is the only video we have of any family from that era, so seeing my grandparents in their youth is so priceless, especially now that all my grandparents are gone. I wish I could take it out and watch it right now.

I realize that my generation, at least in my family, is the first to have taken consumer video to the next level—shooting videos of their kid’s firsts, major events, etc. But I hope my children are able to watch my wedding with as much enchantment as I watched my own parent’s video.

I took photography class in college with a kid named Adam, and we used to have a lot of fun skipping class to take photos with film cameras. Then we graduated and he became a wedding videographer….so it was only natural that he film our wedding.

(Now’s a good time to hit play, pause, wait to load and finish reading. Just a suggestion for your viewing pleasure! Smile)

In fact, if it wasn’t for him, I’m not sure I would have entertained trying to find a professional videographer. And one major reason is because GOOD wedding videography is a relatively new concept (the camera technology alone has RAPIDLY changed in the past few years; think photography’s film and dark room developing being converted to digital) that hadn’t quite hit my home state. Until Adam. I guess I’m just lucky I befriended South Dakota’s best wedding videographer. It probably sucks having to do a service-type job at your friend’s wedding, especially when it’s 110 degrees and you’d rather be double fisting lemon water and a beer, but I didn’t give him a choice. There was no one else. And I’m so happy with the results. I now have the short highlight reel on this page, a 15-minute highlight reel, speeches, ceremony and uncut footage of the wedding day + an engagement video about how we met.

My husband was less than excited about the investment associated with a photographer, because he thinks that everyone puts their wedding album on a shelf to look at only a handful of times in life (which is why I’m contriving a way to prominently display my album—if I can ever figure out where to print it!), BUT he seems to love watching the videos. His best friend/groomsman and friend’s wife visited last weekend and my husband insisted we watch the wedding videos. So funny.

I hope you enjoy this clip; it’s set to very sentimental music for us, which I’ll try to explain on a subsequent Wedding Wednesday. Matt Maher’s “Hold Us Together”

Video courtesy of AJ Production Company (easier to watch on Facebook).

My other favorite videographer: The Capture Blog
And are you aware of the new trend, Super 8 Video—made to look vintage? I think it has its place and other times I’m afraid it may be a disservice to the vibrant color of the wedding. Everyone likes a different look. What do you think?

Here are some Super 8 Videographers that do a nice job: Kevin VonQualen
Vanessa McKellar Productions

*Stay tuned next wedding wednesday for unique engagement photo ideas!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Veggie cheese stromboli

For all of you observing Lent or maybe some kind of Meatless Monday, try this out. Or try it with meat. The main reason I may not cook with meat: too lazy to thaw ahead of time.

I made this stromboli last night, with my own revisions of course. First I whipped up Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust with my classic changes—use half whole wheat flour and a bit of cornmeal when rolling out, etc. This is one of my go to recipes that can always be found on my “Yumminess” page, I think. I guess I don’t remember. I’m not sure I love using other pages in blogger.

When you look at the recipe, try to look past the amount of flour it says to use in the ingredient list. You only blend the wet ingredients with 2 1/2 cups total flour, then add by the tablespoon if you need more, but chances are you won’t or you’ll only need a couple tablespoons. This pizza dough is awesome. Awesome awesome. When I make pizza on a small stone, it makes two crusts. Sometimes I freeze the other. When you thaw, plan to leave it out or in the fridge for a good long while as I don’t think you can hurry dough thawing. For this recipe, I didn’t really let it rise to its full capability and I used the whole recipe for the stromboli. I’d suggest that. 

From Pip & Ebby. I didn’t take any photos, because theirs are marvelous. Why disrespect that? Smile

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Coat the foil generously with cooking spray (this part is important).

Combine in your food processor's bowl:

1/2 cup pitted kalamata or black olives
8-10 sun-dried tomato halves, packed in oil
1 Tbsp. oil from the sun-dried tomato jar

Pulse until the mixture forms a rough paste.

ORRRR! I just used jarred sundried tomato pesto that I always keep on hand. It’s in your sauce aisle, usually hiding on the top shelf. Wally World even carries it. I use Classico brand. But then I ran out of  sundried tomato pesto, so I used basil pesto. Can you tell this is not my photo? But it’s pretty.

Lightly flour a flat working surface and a rolling pin. Roll 1 pound of pizza dough into a 14x10-inch rectangle (I don’t measure; are they kidding? hehe). Spread the olive-tomato mixture onto the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.

This looks just like my tomato pesto, which is precisely where I got the idea to use it.

Top with 12-15 slices of overlapping provolone cheese. I zero provolone and 2 blocks of mozzarella. So I cut and entire block of mozz to use. I think provolone would have been better, personally, but the mozz was ok too. That is a LOT of cheese, 15 servings actually.

Top this with a 10-oz. box of frozen spinach that has been thawed and squeezed (to drain water) and a 12-oz. jar of roasted red peppers that have been drained, patted dry and cut into strips. Make sure the pepper strips run parallel to the longest side of the rectangle.

I just roasted my own red pepper, because they were gorgeous and on sale in my teensy-tinsy local grocery store the other day. And because I’m cool like that and love to roast peppers these days. But I prob needed to do two of them. Get directions here.

Fold 1 inch of dough over the filling on the short sides of the rectangle. Then fold the long sides over and pinch the dough together at the corners.

Roll the dough, starting at one of the long ends, as tightly as possible. Or just plop it over once if you’re like me and hope to hell you can get it on your pan without serious breakage!

Brush the border lightly with a bit of beaten egg and pinch the seam to seal it shut.

Transfer the roll to your prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the entire surface with beaten egg. Or slather with your clean hands if you don’t have a brush. That’s how I roll.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when it is tapped.

If a bit of the guts have spilled out, take photos of it so you can show people how delicious it looks.

Close-up of the deliciousness.

Allow it to cool for a bit and cut into 1-inch strips crosswise.

Have you started making it yet?

If you can make pizza, you can make this. My other changes:

Sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes I had in the fridge in oil olive and added them. And I covered the inside with some Italian seasoning and I think I cut up some garlic and threw it in.


Click here for a printable recipe!
Copyright © 2010, Pip & Ebby -

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What’s on your house wishlist?

Warning: Long, photo heavy post ahead.

As we were drawing floor plans, someone recommended we make a wish list and pare down from there. Of course, I think everyone has a wish list in their head when planning a space or anticipating what the future holds, but I definitely saw the value of putting this to paper in places where multiple heads are involved in hopes of achieving the look I’m hoping for. Here’s what I could come up with:

1. House built into a hill—my husband has loved this since one of his customer’s in IL had one. This is our green initiative paired with Styrofoam forms filled with cement, rather than an exterior wood frame. Walls=3 inches foam, 6-8 inches cement, 3 inches foam. Hang drywall on foam. See: Fold Forms, Super forms, Super Blocks. Here’s a garage example:

2. Radiant heat: Under the floor, a maze of tubing carrying hot water will flow on different manifolds through the house. Result: Heated floors + hot air rises and efficiently heats the house.

3. I wanted a full upstairs. Compromise: loft with beautiful stair case. I dream of staircases.

centsational girls foyer and stairs


space understairs

                                          Source unknown

4. Cathedral ceiling in the living/great room, etc. with dark wood. Fingers crossed for decorative beams. 

awesome dark wood beams

pretty vaulted ceiling with beam

                                      Source unknown

5. Bedroom/guest quarters/man space/play room potential
built above the garage.  Since there will be no basement—built into the hill already, remember?—I wanted to have a bonus space to play with.

6. Office—must have. No if, ands, or buts. A catchall for paper tornadoes.

7. Four bedrooms, including master. Prefer 2 downstairs, 2 upstairs.

7A. His and hers closets in master BR (We have this now and it is amaaaazing).

7B. Nice master bath-2 shower heads.

7C. 3 way switches in all bedrooms, or at least master. This means you can lay in bed and flip the light switch off, because there is one by the door and one by the bed. Also have this currently and LOVE it.

7D. Bookcase/shelf build-ins in the bedroom.

bedroom with built in shelves and crown molding

I know I’ll find the source to this pic eventually

8. Wonderful kitcen—afterall, this is the heartbeat of the home, and where my heart spends the most time. Red heart 

8A. Breakfast nook.

8B. French doors to patio. Or maybe a dutch door?

Photo from Coastal Living via It’s the Little Things That Make a House a Home

8C. Many pull out drawers, rather than cabinets, including drawers sized for spices.

8D. Cooktop on the island. Island painted different color than distressed white cabinets for focal piece. I’ll paint the base of the breakfast nook table to match.

island and nook


8E. Built-in drainboard next to sink so water from washed vegetables will run right into the sink.

sink drainer


Basically, the kitchen is a direct copy from a Better Homes & Gardens issue (October 2010 “Better Together”)

9. Garage. Out of order. Whoops.

10. Skylights for the side of the home into the hill. Compromise: 9 foot sidewalls that will go above the threshold of the hill on that side to allow for small windows at the top of the side wall. My husband was afraid of how the skylights would leak or hold up to the snow we get in the Dakotas.

11. Adequate mudroom with separate entryway. And not combined with the laundry room; an utter nightmare for clean clothes if your husband gets really dirty at work, like mine. These mudroom plans are also directly out of BHG October 2010. Must have been a great issue.

11A. Mudroom lockers.

mudroom lockers2 Source unknown

I have two coat closets in the current house. It is rare if my family members hang up their belongings. I think these cubbies will work much better. If fact, if I stayed in the current home, I take off the stupid accordion/tri-fold door and turn my closet into some kind of cubby, similar to this. How cute. Wish I could properly give credit. If I figure out what blog I read this on, I’ll come back and update this.

built in mudroom closet2

Source unknown

Isn’t this idea from Upper Case Living fantastic? You can also buy cutouts of photos like these from Mpix and other photo printing websites.



Here are my inspiration photos:
I love the artwork above the coat hooks, the bench for things to land, and the large cabinets behind the door for longer-term storage.  And the bright color and charcoal stone tile.



Read the article from BHG here

12. Hardwood instead of carpet throughout most of the house, like this black tigerwood. We’d like carpet in the bedrooms, but I like the idea of hardwood flooring and just changing out rugs as able. I have heard too many horror stories about an inch of sand and dirt underneath carpeting. 

black tiger flooring


I think that’s enough for today, eh? Whew!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Have a lemonade stand at your wedding

With a late August wedding, I was prepared for some heat stroke. Refreshing guests that are willing to endure the hot sun is essential. I had plenty of kids (nieces and nephews) to work with, so I went for a lemonade stand.



Or should I say lemon water? I love lemon water. It’s thirst-quenchingly awesome. And let’s face it, most lemonade mixes are just fake lemon-flavored sugar. I didn’t want to be a poor role model. So we just stuck with the water. Cheaper too. In fact, with the money I saved on not buying fake-lemon sugar, I should have purchased compostable cups. But it would have cost $50-100 for cups vs $10 for plain janers. My inner budget bride kicked in. I’m pretty sure those that attended my 110 degree wedding were too hot to notice anyway.

And as much as I wanted one of those pretty drink dispensers for myself, especially when they were on clearance at Sam’s Club for $13 (!!!!!), I borrowed some from my mother-in-law and friend. You can find them on Amazon too. And Tarjay.


I’m sure it would have been super cute to build my own lemonade stand, but I had a picnic shelter under a tree that suited us just fine. The entire ceremony site needed to be dismantled in about 10 minutes post-wedding so everyone could get themselves to the air conditioning at the reception venue. Translation: use what you have where you are. Our set up was very simple.

Pictured above are the hospitality “staff”—my friends, relatives, etc preparing to man the lemon water, guest books, cards, gifts, and bubbles. I don’t think I even I got to see this area after it was set up. But I do know that it was a hot (no pun intended) cocktail hour spot prior to the wedding. Everyone wanted to hang out in the forgiving shade rather than sit in the starkly sunlit ceremony site around the corner away from the tree.


That’s why you need good photos, people. You’ll be surprised what you miss. And you’ll miss some things anyway. But at least your guests won’t go thirsty.

**All photos in this post courtesy Matt Lien Imagery. Minneapolis, MN.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The farmhouse bed is built

Look what I finished:


A farmhouse headboard and….


A farmhouse footboard with plans courtesy of Ana White and her farmhouse bed collection, inspired by this Pottery Barn collection.

All with the help of this little guy:
lamb help

A bottle lamb that our friends brought this weekend for the Kindergartener.
little bo peepLooks like Little Bo Peep and Henry are getting along well, wouldn’t you say?

Anyway, the 4x4 posts are a bit darker, because they are cedar. Cedar was the only untreated 4x4 post I could find in a decent radius of where I live, and I wasn’t entirely interested in bringing in the chemicals that come with treated wood (arsenic and whatever else) to my bedroom.

I just measured the lengths and widths of my bed to make sure things seemed to jive with the plans and headed to the lumber yard last week. I also had them do my cuts, as suggested by the plan, because I knew it would take me until next year if I did them. Then it was more or less like putting together a puzzle. The one snag I hit concerned proximal wood measurements. A 1x8 is not really a 1x8. The plan assumes it is a 1X7.5,  but I’d read comments that said it was a 1X7.25. So I said to the elderly lady at the lumber yard:

“Hey, are your 1X8s really 1X7.5s or 1X7.25s?”

Old lady: “They are 1X7.5s”

Me (in my head): “Sweet, now I don’t have to account for any differences or figure anything out.”

Wrong. They were really 7.25s. Moral of the story: Don’t always trust the old lady.
I should have just measured myself. Long story short, this left me with 1.75 inches of dead space where my planks go across the headboard braces:

short wood
My solutions were to: A. Cut off the extra 1.75 inches on all the braces (at least 8 of them + maybe some other issues) or B. Cut a skinny piece of wood to fit the dead space. I opted for B, because A would have entailed a lot of brace pieces needing to be cut and me probably screwing it up. B entailed my husband taking a scrap 1-inch thick piece of wood (leftover from my other cuts) to the nearest table saw and making a filler. Nevertheless, this took an extra day or so, as it had to be done at the farm, (home of the table saw) so it took me an extra day or two to finish the project. I’m sure with an able-bodied person that knows more about cutting and connecting wood than I do, you could easily finish this project in an afternoon. I was learning through the entire process, but it still didn’t take too long, maybe 8 hours after I obtained the wood. This was only my second building project after these inexpensive photo ledges:

Christmas shelvescompressed Yep, that’s a Christmas photo. Try not to be jealous of the wood paneling. This chic material is all over the house. Since I’m only in this house for 6 months, I’ve just lived to embrace it, or at least live with it. And paint the normal walls in the bedrooms.   

Anyway, I put the skinny filler piece at the center of the planks, so it looked “on purpose” rather than out of place shoved on the end.


Here’s my question for you. What color do I paint it? I was all set to go with a blue-ish color to complement my grayish room with teal/turquoise-shaded accents, similar to what is seen here:



But then I got to wondering if it makes more sense to paint it white, with distress, like this one:



I’ll have white trim (someday), complementing white accents and it should timelessly flow into any future color scheme. If I paint it blue, I am definitely looking at a possible repaint job someday. I will certainly repaint walls, dressers, nightstands, whatever. But is it worth it to repaint the bed, or should I go with something that may age better? PLEASE give me your input. Here’s what I’m currently putting it into; though I’m moving in a couple months, I’m probably going to go with the same design/décor theme as I have here in the next house.


So what do you think? Either color could really work. Forgot to mention my bedding is half white, but I love it and it’s not going anywhere soon.  Can you believe these photos were shot in the same lighting? Interesting, no?

Other note: Holy cow, the headboard and footboard are heavy. Not a one person job carrying those. I think it is a good for comparing how nothing else in my home must be made of REAL wood. It is going to be incredible to have substantial pieces as I start building. I am sooooo excited.

One more note: If you want to build this for yourself, I’d highly recommend checking out tongue and groove or beadboarding material for the planks. It will be lighter to move/carry and you may be able to avoid some of the issues with the proximal measurements of boards/might be easier to cut to size. However, you’d be pretty close to the plans if you alternated 6 1x6s (1x5.25) and 4 1x8s (1x7.25). Anyway, let me know if you have questions. Smile

Until next time….

P.S. Are you ready for the house wish list? I am.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: How about a little wakeboarding after dinner?

Saw this posted on my videographer friend’s Facebook wall and had to share. My husband spent the morning of our wedding water skiing and forever joked about skiing over to our reception site—we got married on a pier on one side of the lake and rode a boat to the reception on the other side—I was actually a little surprised when he didn’t. Just had to post this because I was so impressed by this couple and their wakeboarding wedding day. Not only that, they made blue and red look good together!

From Style Me Pretty. Credit at the end.

Photography by K. Holly Photography

K. Holly 001

K. Holly 003


K. Holly 005

From Ryan Koral at Epic Motion
Loved filming this wedding. Amanda had the best attitude of any bride. Super laid back and was constantly wanting to make sure everyone was having fun. So much so, that since it was taking people a little extra long to get the party going on the dance floor, Amanda and Ben decided to do a little wake-boarding on Gun Lake before the party really got going. Yes. This happened after dinner! ON THEIR WEDDING DAY. You gotta see it to believe it …

Amanda + Ben's Wedding Trailer {wakeboarding included} from Epic Motion on Vimeo.

Ben and I knew from day one we wanted to be married on a lake. We met on a water ski team years ago and have enjoyed many memories on the water together. After Ben proposed on a warm summer night we both started thinking about where would be the perfect place to be married. We heard of Bay Pointe and made an appointment to visit the venue. We checked it out, and feel in love immediately. After many days of browsing through wedding blogs, inspiration magazines and putting my own love for fashion and style into the mix I came up with a design and inspiration for our wedding. I loved every aspect of planning the wedding. Incorporating both our styles and seeing things happen was inspiring. We wanted the wedding to feel warm and relaxed.

The wedding party and the crew all stayed at Bay Pointe Inn the night of the rehearsal dinner. On the morning of the wedding, the guys all went out wakeboarding well the girls got ready. From the start to the end of the day we all had tons of fun together, we laughed, we cried, and we smiled. After the wedding ceremony the wedding party took off on the boat for a while to let the guests find their places in the pavilion where the reception we held. We made our grand entrance, had dinner and listened to some amazing toasts. After diner, Ben and I had our first dance, mingled around and realized it is way to nice out to start dancing. We had no intension to wakeboard in our wedding dress and suit but we thought well why not. Ben found me over in a crowd talking and said hey get your wakeboard. I was like umm what? He said to me, “Oh come on you can do it you won’t even get wet”. My response being, ok but we better not fall. We decided right then and there that in order to get this crowd moving we better put on a show. We quickly let the DJ, photographer and videographer know what was going on and said here we go. We strapped in, we said a quick prayer that we wouldn’t fall and away we went. Sure enough, Ben flipped right over me in my wedding dress and him in his suit. It was amazing! All our family and friends cheered, screamed and smiled. That moment was big. Not only was it amazing, it truly defined are style, inspiration and love for the water and each other. Not only was the wedding everything we hoped for it was just how we wanted to start the rest of our lives together!

Source for all on Style Me Pretty

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I’m a winner!

I forgot to tell you about a few exciting things--


I won a table runner from A Little Knick Knack blog! I can’t believe it, since I never win a darn thing. Megan is custom making it to fit the length of my table. I asked her to make it the length of the new table I’m going to make as soon as it’s above 25 degrees in my garage, this amazing X-table from


P.S. Thank you for being soooo awesome Ana White.

Just wanted to give Megan a little shout out, since she is so sweet for featuring lots of giveaways and has a great blog. In fact, this week, she and her friend from the Twinkle Toes Blog are beginning a Sew Basics class that I am hoping will force me to get out the two sewing machines my mother has gifted me from her past and figure out how to thread them:



And other exciting news? Valspar is giving away paint samples. It took a while, but I just received my kit yesterday, 100% free + $5 off your next gallon of pain. It is ready to go.


The ONLY catch is that they give away 1000 samples/day, so if you check at the end of the day, they may be out for the day. I didn’t do the best job picking a color. I was looking for a green similar to this living room wall over at 3 Men and a Lady

living room

Pretty sure I was way off. I don’t think that is even green. Who knows, paint looks different in every light. The paint chip I selected on my computer screen was waaayyyy different than the one I got in the mail. I officially do not recommend looking at paint chips online. Much better in person. The only way I would probably ever get that color right is to look at the paint formula in her FAQ section. Oh well, now I have some green paint…just in case.

It’s time to give you the basics of our hopeful future home design, isn’t it? Okay, next time.