pushin’ along

We raised an impressive $500 through the Petal Pushers fundraiser last week for our Bike MS: City to Shore team!  Just a gaggle of ladies happily arranging flowers while making a difference…

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4278

I am so grateful for this community, family and friends for all of their support!  We couldn’t have done it without our fearless leader and professional floral designer, Renee Tucci, the mastermind behind Petal Pushers.

We have about 6 weeks to go until the actual Bike MS: City to Shore ride and most of our riders have met or exceeded their minimum fundraising goal.  You can check out our team’s progress here.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4291

Multiple Sclerosis is a real part of our everyday life and business journey.  Those things are closely intertwined therefore I choose to share personal updates such as these here.  I hope to educate or empower someone by letting you in on our lifestyle.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4289

Ryan’s MS diagnosis has shown us that life truly is a gift.  MS has taught us to live for today and not put things off for ‘someday’.  We’ve become more adventurous and courageous.  Within reason, of course.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4282

It has been a year since we moved to Cape May and slowed down our pace of life while eliminating some stress and ‘stuff’ along the way.  A year!  Already.  And two years since Ryan’s diagnosis.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4288

I’m not sure that I ever made it explicit but Ryan has officially come on board with Circa Dee.  He is doing very well in this new lifestyle that we chose.  It seems to agree with him.  And me too.  Although change can be terrifying at first, it is certainly good and not to be feared.

petal pushers floral design MS fundraiser 2014-4281

a yard sale fundraiser

So this is happening.

f4f

It’s that time of year again.  Time for our multi-family yard sale, also known as the Fab 4 Flea, where a group of my friends purge only their best stuff.  The stuff you’ve been looking for.  There will be furniture, dishes, games, mirrors, art, designer clothing, china, books and yes, loads of vintage that I need to unload.  Everything is priced to move.  And early birds are welcome!

There is a twist this year…  Ryan and I will be fundraising via the sale.  The proceeds from all of the merchandise we sell will go to our Bike MS: City to Shore fundraiser.  You know this is a cause near and dear to us.

bikelogoOur team is working to meet our fundraising goals so we can bike together this September like we did last year.  Side note, if you want to join Team Recanize and ride with us in September, we’d love to have you.  Sign up here.  If I can do it, you can…

Bike MS finishline

We hope you’ll come out and find a new treasure while supporting our cause.  It is a win-win!  If you are going to be in Cape May on Saturday morning and want to visit our sale, send me a message for the address or look for our ad in the Shoppe. You’ll know it when you see it!

f4f

 

riding for a cause

Wow, what an incredible weekend we had!  This is my favorite season for so many reasons including the warm sunny days free of humidity followed by cool crisp nights and the subtle fall coloring that is settling in.

But this year we added a new reason to the list.  On Saturday, we rode our first Bike MS: City to Shore Ride.  It was a wonderful experience.  A tradition that we’re hoping to continue year after year.

Just one year ago, Ryan and I went to Ocean City, NJ on this particular day to see what the ride was all about.  MS was completely new to us.  Ryan’s diagnosis was all of about 2 weeks old and we were still wrapping our heads around what Multiple Sclerosis is and would mean for us.  Immediately we thought that we needed to get behind this cause and rally a team to ride with us.

Bike MS team

We came up with a solid team of 10.  We had 8 riders on Team Recanize.  Six of us did the initial 25 mile ride.  And 2 of our team members went the distance with the 150 mile round trip from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City and back!  They made us look good!

Plus, we had 2 team volunteers who rallied at the finish line.  This event wouldn’t be possible with out all of the volunteers along the route.

Bike MS team volunteers

I think we did pretty darn good for a rookie, start-up team.  Between the 10 of us we raised over $6000 toward the overall fund of over $5 million.  $6000!  I’m so proud of all of my friends and family who rode with us and also those who made generous donations making our team possible.

On a personal note, I have to admit that a 25 mile bike ride is not something that I would’ve thought I’d accomplish just a few years ago.  I’m not terribly athletic and have always had to work hard toward this sort of thing.  I’m more comfortable as a beach cruiser.  But this was an important goal for me.  Crossing that finish line felt like such an accomplishment on so many levels.  #recanize

Bike MS finishline

Ryan, on the other hand, could have done laps around me and will most likely go more than 25 miles next year.  It’s been a crazy year and I’m so proud of him too.  Here he is channeling his inner BMX rider…or something.

Bike MS

We’ll be back in 2014! Bigger, better and definitely branded.  Stay tuned, friends!

If you are in the PA/NJ/DE area, we’d love to have you on Team Recanize.  You can join us here.  Registration for the event is only $20 until October 4th and then it increases.

a DIY trailhead

Ryan and I will be celebrating a big ol’ 2 months of marriage tomorrow.  In honor, I’m sharing a wedding DIY.

Remember our big tent?

We popped up a party under that thing just like we pop up a shop under our 10×10 at various markets.  Except this was like 100×100 or something cray-zay big.

© Love Shack Photo

For someone like me, it was a dream to be able to build my reception setting from the ground up.  In the beginning, I insisted on not having a narrow theme as I thought it was too kitschy.  Our theme sort of evolved as we continued to plan details.  So did the color scheme.  I will give you one guess.

Yeah, aqua blue.

And the theme was a little more subtle with a nod to “On the way to Cape May, I fell in love with you”.  How could we not, seriously?

© Love Shack Photo

Once there was an established theme we conjured some fun details to deck the bare corners of the tent and tables.  With our guests in mind, we put together a trailhead highlighting all of the cities they had traveled from to be with us on our big day.  It was essentially a destination wedding since about 3 people invited (and, ahem, not invited. I haven’t told you about our wedding crasher yet, have I?) actually live at the shore.

The trailhead was also a subtle nod to Ryan’s love of hiking.

making a wedding trailhead (3 of 7)

I’ve seen a number of versions of wedding trailheads on pinterest pointing to the direction of the cake, dancing, drinks, etc. but never one quite like this.  We were pretty excited about our concept.  Feel free to pin it!

We started with an old coat rack since we wanted something that was freestanding and didn’t need to be staked into the ground or anything.  I don’t have a true before pic but it was a wooden coat rack with 4 brass hooks.  One was totally busted so it was super cheap.  I saved the 3 good hooks for a future project.  The base of the coat rack got a wash of milk paint in Ironstone.

making a wedding trailhead out of a coat rack

Here’s a roll of fencing that I’ve been hoarding.

making a wedding trailhead out of old picket fencing

I bought this at a yard sale a couple of years ago.  I share that because I don’t want you to think I stole it off of a sand dune that is now blowing away without the fence allowing the ocean to recede onto the road flooding everything in sight.  No.  Someone else probably did that and then I paid for it.  Or maybe it is actually just guilt-free garden fencing.

Anyway, I pulled each picket out after making a list of how far our guests’ home towns were in miles from Cape May.  With nothing more than a sharpee marker, I printed the city and miles shifting the orientation of the trail point somewhat haphazardly.  No one said it had to be exact.  We left the fencing color as-is since it gave some character to our trailhead and matched the Ironstone base pretty well.

making a DIY wedding trailhead

Enter Ryan.  The man with the power tools who assembled the project.

How to DIY a wedding trailhead

In the making, we had a bit of a duh moment.  We were destined to have white screws so they’d sort of blend in.  After searching the hardware store high and low for the right screws we turned to spray paint. Duh.  I paint everything else, how did I not think of that off that bat?  It took 2 seconds to pop the screws into a discarded box and lightly spray the heads.  Let that be a lesson to you my friends.  Spray your screws any darn color your choose because they pretty much only come in silver, black and brass.

poke screws in box to quickly change the color with spray paint

And of course, we couldn’t forget Cape May 0 miles, known locally as Exit Zero.  And known to us as Happily Ever After.  I’m so cheesy…

© Love Shack Photo

This was a lot of words for a 1-2-3 project.  But I’m chatty today.  I hope you like our version of the wedding trailhead.  By the way, don’t our friends and family live in some great cities?

© Love Shack PhotoDIYing a trailhead

All wedding photographs were shot professionally by Love Shack Photo.  All DIY photographs were DIY’d by me.

handmade inspiration

I just want to create things with my hands all day long.  Everyday pretty much.  I want to paint furniture, pick out fabric and turn it into chair seats, select wall paint (although not personally paint the walls), cut ribbon & cardstock to turn into pretty invitations, pretend to be a good baker, plant gardens to admire and eat.

You get the idea.

And if you’ve been following this blog for awhile now, you know that I really, truly love locally handmade as well as vintage.

We were honored to have a glorious bridal shower thrown in our honor over the weekend.  There were so many details made just for Ryan and I, from vintage gifts, to locally purchased and handmade ones.  And of course the registry ones too.  Here we are walking in…

bridal shower

I’m here to share with you a few of the creative, handmade gifts and details from the event.

A group of friends took the time to individually bake cookies for the shower.  They iced, they stamped, they rolled & cut, they bedazzled a ton of delicate cookies to all be combined onto darling trays to be passed around to munch on after lunch while I opened gifts.  I mean who doesn’t love a homemade cookie, really?  Especially ones emblazoned with our wedding date and cute aqua gingerbread men!

homemade cookies

Oh the gifts!

Here’s just a sampling of the handmade ones…

From our engagement session, our “trunk shot” is forever engrained on this wood slab.  This is a perfect addition to our rustic style.

wood photo

And I seriously think our friend who made this needs to open an etsy shop stat, don’t you?

wood photo

A for awesomeness!  A gift basket full of special occasions alcohol commemorating firsts in our married lives complete with poems.  Here’s a an excerpt…When your first year of marriage is done, drink this champagne in honor of anniversaries to come!  So clever!

special occassion alcohol gift basket

Check out the oil painting version of Ryan and I!  This is an image of us headed down to the beach just moments before Ryan proposed.  Wilson is right by our side.  And my pink paint pants are forever documented!  Such a masterpiece.  (If you missed the pink paint pant proposal, click here and scroll down.)

beach proposal oil painting

We also received some locally handmade applique dish, hand & tea towels.  Note the aqua colors.  Holler!

his & hers applique towels

And can you believe the state of New Jersey is on a cutting board with a little heart highlighting Cape May where we’ll be married along with our initials and date?  No, either can I!

NJ state cutting board with wedding date

By the way, I received an unbelievable amount of beautiful cutting boards.  My newest collection/obsession.  I love them all in a totally bizarre way.  Like I want to hug them.  Hopefully, they will help increase my kitchen productivity and cooking prowess.  At the very least, they will look pretty photographed in future vignettes.

Let me tell you about the favor…stop.  No words can describe.

Ball mason jar cookie favors

Yes, that is a life size blue ball jar.  Labor of love is an understatement thanks to my Sis-in-law.  SIL turned out like 60 of these and they taste wonderful too!  (I should know, I ate like 3 of them.)  Amaze-ball!  Get it? Ball? Jar?

Seriously, I can’t thank my family & friends enough for their thoughtfulness and generosity.  Ryan and I are so lucky!  Plus, they all have our style totally pegged which is just icing on the cake…oh the cake!  I can’t wait to share more details of the shower ASAP, just as soon as I seriously process it all.

Excuse me while I go eat another cookie…

the greatest show on earth

Happy Monday everyone!  I had a fabulous weekend and I hope you all did too.  Before I tell you about it, let me first announce the winner of the pair of tickets to Arden Theater’s production of Freud’s Last Session…drumroll…Karen M!  See you at The Scene for snacks, drinks & the show on Friday night!  For anyone else who is interested in joining us, you can purchase tickets for $30 each here.

Ok, now for the Greatest Show on Earth!  Seriously.  It was the greatest.

We hosted a circus theme birthday party on Saturday night and it was a blast!  It was everything I hoped and dreamed that a circus themed party could be…a little bit of vintage…a sideshow…creative costumes & styling.  Fire eating.  Yes, I said fire eating.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

Let me just cut to the chase with some pictures.  Don’t try this at home!  This man is a professional fire eater.

There was also a real live strongman but unfortunately I didn’t capture pictures of him doing his thing which included tearing a phone book in half, bending a horseshoe and other metal objects.  Crazy stuff that you’d probably only see at the circus.  Or at my house on Saturday night.  We managed to transform our sunroom into a theater and cram about 50 people in for the show.

THE COSTUMES

I encouraged guests to dress according to the circus theme and did they ever deliver!  I suppose we may have been a little Halloween deprived due to the storm.

Ryan was a lion tamer.

And so was our friend Leigh.  I was the bearded lady.

There were many clown variations including an entire family of rodeo clowns.

Followed by an entire family of circus gypsies.

Best costume went to the half man/half woman.

I had some bearded lady competition.

There were so many fun costumes and props.  I didn’t get to snap pictures of them all.  At some point I had to put the camera down and just enjoy everyone’s company.  Oh and there were lots of lions too.

THE DIY

I am guessing that if you’re still reading, you are thinking that a circus theme sounds like fun, right?  Yep, it is and it can be fairly easy to put together.  I planned a color scheme of red and blue with hints of white and pink.  No matter the theme pick a color scheme up front so the event has a consistent delivery.  Just like choosing colors when styling a room.

I wanted this circus to have a vintage look so I sourced an old poster, clown cornhole game, reproduction popcorn containers and more.  I also pulled out some mismatched vintage furniture from my inventory and used fabric remnants and linens within the color scheme.  You don’t have to buy all matching and new tablecloths when styling a party.  Always shop your stash first.  Again, just like styling a room – always shop your home.

You may have guessed that there was popcorn at the circus along with peanuts and animal crackers.  I also designed a few flower arrangements in the popcorn containers.  Half of the flowers came from my garden and the other half were purchased at the wholesaler.

When picking your color scheme, consider what the venue already offers.  Our dining room palette worked perfectly with the circus reds and blues.  I added a bunting that I had already made.

The circus theme is definitely all ages.  We had the aforementioned sideshow for the adults.  There was a pony corral for the young kids.  Ahem, rocking horses not really ponies.  Plus a pinata, hula hoops and some other games.  The fire eater also made balloon animals.

All in all, I have to say that this was a pretty great party.  Two days later and I am still smiling ear to ear!  I had so much fun celebrating my soon to be status as the big 3-0.  True story.  At the end of the month I’ll be 30 and I couldn’t be more excited.

Oh an I’m sure you are wondering where Wilson was for the festivities.  He was slinking around…