Imagine That: Coffee Filter Wedding Flowers

In The Studio

This month Imagine is highlighting weddings on their blog and, hey, if there’s one thing I know about weddings it’s all the different ways you can hand craft them.

I keep my DIY bouquet on display in my office and it still makes me smile to look at it!

Long-time readers know that I spent the two years leading up to my wedding with Todd making all the decorations for the ceremony and reception plus the invitations, favors, etc.

While my own bouquet was a mixture of papers, wood, knitting, and beading, I stuck to one main medium for this project: coffee filters.

They are both versatile and malleable (and let’s not forget inexpensive!) and there are a number of ways to make them into wonderful floral stand-ins with a bit of Fireworks! Spray, floral tape, and wire.

Make sure to check out the post for information on making four different types of flowers, plus greenery, and even a quick take on turning them into a small bouquet and boutonniere!

The Road Trips Reach 1 Year

Third Time Wife

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the Road Trips said I do!

The Road Trips, November 2, 2013 | photo via Pink Shutterbug Photography

The Road Trips, November 2, 2013 | photos via Pink Shutterbug Photography

If I had to sum up our first year of marriage in one word, that word would be “home.”

That might sound strange since we’d lived together for several years before getting married, but about 6 weeks after getting home from the honeymoon we put in an offer on a house and have been obsessed with it ever since. We’d been looking forward to relaxing after the wedding and holidays were over, just getting back into the groove of the day-to-day. Instead, we spent the next 10 months like this:

Sometimes you just have to take a chance on something--be it love or a handyman special home! Our "Gingerbread Dollhouse" pre-renovations.

Sometimes you just have to take a chance on something–be it love or a handyman special home! Our “Gingerbread Dollhouse” the day we first saw it in person.

  • Christmas through mid-April: trying to close on the house
  • mid-April through mid-July: required renovations to the house
  • July: moving (it took an entire month of weekends to fully move out of the rental and into the “Dollhouse”)
  • August through October: “triage” and unpacking

While it’s been absolutely exhausting at times and frustrating at others, the simple fact of the matter is that it only happened because we were together. I know I’d never take on a house that had been subject to so much neglect (or, as they say in real estate, “deferred maintenance”) if I didn’t have the very handy Mr. Road Trip by my side.

But a house is just a building until you make it a home. When we were living together pre-wedding it was in rentals, and the lack of permanence was looked at–maybe not by us on the day-to-day, but definitely by others–as more than just our living situation. Having a wedding, becoming husband and wife, reassures the people around us that we’re solid, that they know what to expect. Similar to the way your neighbors look at you when you buy a house instead of a renting one.

Even though the last several months have been trying, those tests have shown us just how much we can make it through (just in case we had any doubts). Dealing with banks, insurance agencies, and contractors on top of moving across state lines while trying to keep everything else on track was not what we’d planned for this first year, to say the least. But it showed us our best way of working together to solve a problem (or three) and we’ve built memories along the way. We see this house as our forever home, just the way we see forever in each other.

a pre-dinner selfie | Road Trips 2014

a pre-dinner selfie | Road Trips 2014

We keep anniversaries low-key in the Road Trip household, exchanging cards and simple gifts. Those of you who were here for the planning posts may recall that I refused to “restart the clock” on our relationship, and we were married on 6th dating anniversary. So this year was a combo of 1st and 7th anniversaries (for the curious, the 7th anniversary gifts are copper or desk sets). We went out to a fabulous dinner at a local restaurant on Saturday night and then spent our actual anniversary night dining in.

I am always grateful for a husband who enjoys cooking as much as I do!

I am always grateful for a husband who enjoys cooking as much as I do!

Since we had a brunch reception last year and need few excuses to have breakfast for dinner on any given night, we’ve decided to start a new tradition of having something brunchy for supper on our anniversary. It’s was Roadie’s turn to cook last week, so he made steak and eggs: grilled, bacon-wrapped filet mignon with Eggs Florentine. His plans for Mimosas were almost thwarted by Georgia’s no-booze sales on Sundays rule, but for the fact that I had several bottles of Champagne at home. Always prepared isn’t just for scouting!

What are we looking forward to in Year 2? I’d love to say relaxation but we know better! We’ll actually start the room-by-room renovation of our home in a few months (all of which you can follow on my blog,, keep working our day jobs, and I hope to finish my second book at some point in 2015. Maybe we’ll even get an honest-to-goodness, non-working vacation in there somewhere!

Anyone else go for the low-key anniversary their first (or seventh) year?

(This post was shared with, hence the self-referencing and nick-names–it’s a Bee thing!)

Floral Proportionals

64 Arts

I’ve got cakes on the brain right now, but that’s not totally separate from floral arrangements as I will now demonstrate.

Cake for 50, with Flowers for 45

Back when I was still doing a lot of cakes I was contracted to do a small wedding cake for all of about 50 guests. Small cakes are good and bad–fairly quick, no special equipment or ridiculous baking pans required, but they can also look a little small in the reception venue.

This particular cake, shown at left, was a bit dwarfed by the arch behind it and the large table it sat on but the worst part of it was the flowers.

No, that is not an optical illusion or a trick of the camera angle, the floral topper really was 2/3 the height of the cake.

From this I learned a very important lesson: Make sure the florist knows the size of the cake they’re prepping flowers for otherwise you might end up with something grossly mis-matched. It sorta reminded me of my first wedding where the florist (a friend of my mother-in-law to be) had started on the bridal bouquet (silk) before I’d even had a chance to talk with her. The flowers, if left unchecked, would have been wider than me (not a joke, I was much thinner back then)!

But it’s not just cakey applications where size matters! Think about your dinner table the next time you have guests over. If you plop a huge centerpiece in the middle, the folks across from one another won’t be able to see or easily talk to one another–not a good thing! Well, unless it was me and my (now) former mother-in-law. Same goes for overly scented flowers: while taste is technically a skill of the taste buds, the nose works in tandem with them and strong flowers can overpower the flavor of food.

So, the tall and the short of it is–Harmony. You want your flowers to match your setting, to complement it.

Just because flowers are a man’s way of making up for one transgression or another, doesn’t mean they are a band-aid for everything.