A Collected and Made Wedding: Archway Inspiration


When I got proposed to last year, I spent the first couple of weeks retelling how he asked me, showing off my ring to anyone who would ask and just feeling really excited about what was to come. We already have two kids together, so we have felt like family for the last four years, but something about having the same last name as him and my kids just made it feel different. Also, I’m really excited that my initials are going to be ASS.

Once the idea that I was going to get married in a couple of years and that I was going to¬† throw the biggest party I have ever thrown to celebrate marrying the man I love set in, it was time to get planning! Since the decor and gifts will be all DIY and vintage, I have been scouring the web to find inspiration, and have made multiple stops at the venue (a beautiful winery in Sacramento) to get the idea of what we will need. Fortunately, it’s such a beautiful setting that we won’t need much, but there are a few spots that could use our personal touch.


While the venue does have a laid-back setting, this archway is just not our style. And since we wanted to infuse as much of us in this as we could, we’ll turn this archway into something that’s matches our lifestyle.

And this is what I like so far:

This is so gorgeous! I would keep the iron, but I love the idea of putting a floral centerpiece on top and having the leaves on either side, and putting crates of flowers at the bottom. Those crates could definitely be reused during the reception, and the guests would be welcome to them after the wedding. Also, I discovered that Emmaline Bride is a handmade bridal resource, good to know!


Photo by Alyssa Maloof  | found through Wedding Party App

I think this one is so simple and yet, so beautiful. Perhaps the beauty is in the simplicity of it. We are using mason jars as our flower vases, so I would probably use those. Not sure if it would be too bulky though, so we would have to test it.


Since I have lace curtains, I love this idea of using them on the archway, and it would be really pretty to see the vineyards through the middle. I was also drawn to the asymmetrical flower arrangements; I think it makes it more interesting and is still beautiful.

I haven’t decided which route I’m going, but this is definitely a good starting point. If you have any ideas or tips, please feel free to share! I would love to hear them. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!


MADE: Oatmeal cookies and simplicity

By the time the kids and I packed up for the mountains last weekend, I was due for a meltdown. I was beyond stressed and it felt like any little thing could push me over the edge. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to spend a couple days with my dad and family at a cabin near Tahoe. There was no service or TV – just some good ol fashioned card games and conversation. We took walks and the kids explored for frogs and threw rocks in the creek.


There was no fighting over nap time or bedtime because the kids were so worn out from running around and playing that they had no trouble falling asleep. I had no idea how much I needed that time off until we got back. Since then, I’ve tried to keep that idea of simplicity going now that I’m headed back into another semester of school and things are going to get even crazier around here.

That held true when I made some cookies today. I wanted to make some oatmeal raisin cookies and instead of pulling out my old standby – the America’s Test Kitchen Baking Book – I used the recipe on the back of the oatmeal container. My mom, who is still the best baker I know, often uses recipes on the packaging (like the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back on the Nestle Chocolate Chips bag, which is one of her best crowd pleasers) and I realized something about them – they’re simple.

cookies1All it takes to make these cookies is:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar – firmly packed
  • egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c raisins

cookies2You heat the oven to 375 and start the mixing. First, it’s the butter and sugars. Then you bring the egg, vanilla, oats, flour, baking soda and salt to the party. Add the raisins and you’re done! The recipe makes about 24 cookies, and if you’re feeling like I did today, you can even add some cinnamon sugar to the top of each cookie before baking. It called for an ungreased pan but my mama taught me to use parchment paper every time to save my pans.

That’s it! If you have some time and want to have a good laugh, pull out an old cookbook and compare it to the cookbooks now. It’s crazy how complicated the recipes have gotten.

IMG_2804Another thing I have done to keep things simple and easygoing around here is to make a routine and to stick to it, but to not freak out if it doesn’t go accordingly every day of the week.Oh, and naps. Lots of naps. And lots of these cookies.

How do you keep things simple? Comment here and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!