Saturday, February 28, 2015

28 While 28 #11 - Practice Calligraphy for 1 Hour a Week

11. Practice Calligraphy for 1 Hour a Week. By calligraphy, I mean hand lettering, brush lettering, etc. You know those 2 classes I've taken (here and here)? Well, I need to be putting them to use! I will be scheduling in 1 hour a week/52 weeks for practicing. If you saw my #9 post (completing a Bible study) I talked a little about Bible journaling. I may have already ordered a new Bible and bought twistable colored pencils. I'm pretty pumped to be adding this to my 1 hour a week! Maybe it will entice me to have more quiet time as well :) I hope all the upcoming practice will give me more confidence in my lettering...because I have a project planned for our master bedroom and I'll need all the confidence I can muster!

Friday, February 27, 2015

28 While 28 #10 - Buy Our Home

10. Buy Our Home. Oh dear... even as I'm typing this I have a pit in my stomach. What a responsibility!! This is a big one for both me and my husband. Along with the big purchase goes house updates, which we have somewhat started....and some are included in my 28x28 list. Eventually I'll post actual pictures of our updates. So far it has been wallpaper removal and painting. Lots of painting!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

28 While 28 #9 - Complete a Bible Study

9. Complete a Bible Study

I have a really bad habit of starting a Bible study (whether with a group, or on my own) and not finishing it. If it's with a group, I'll continue to attend, but not do the appropriate studying that it deserves. This year I have to complete a study with all the homework done on a timely matter.

I was also just made aware of Bible journaling. Um, this may be even more of an incentive for me to complete my Bible study....and help me work on my #11 28x28 challenge.

Laura of Pitter Patter Art shares her favorite tools to create her journals.

A calligrapher I follow on Instagram recently talked about doing this as well. LJDesignCo's idea is to do a new sketch everyday and at the end of the year gift to to someone special. What an awesome gift idea! She will be posting her designs on her Pinterest page. Here is one of her designs:

How to get started with your Journaling Bible.
Anyways...Bible journaling isn't why I added completing a Bible Study to my 28x28....but it's a new way for me (and you) to see a merging of scripture and talents. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

28 While 28 #8 - Take Bread Out of My Diet

8. Bread....Gone. This was originally called "take something bad of out my diet". Then my sister decided for me that we were going to take bread out of my diet, and that she would join me in my journey. In order to check this off we'll have to take bread out of our diet for 1 month. So, if you see us and we're really'll know!

I think this happened to my sister when she got off of carbs.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

28 While 28 #7 - Learn to Grill

7. Learn to use the Grill
I've always had a slightly unrealistic fear of cooking meat. That, and for the past 6ish years I've had this dork who grills in the snow. In shorts, and wearing crocs. That's right ladies, this guy is taken ;)

Anyways, I want need to learn. In order to check this guy off my list, I will have to learn propane and charcoal, and successfully cook a meal using our grill without Jake's help.

Monday, February 23, 2015

28 while 28 #6 - Gallery Wall

6. Gallery Wall. I've swooned from a distance long enough. I am THE WORST at making decisions, so choosing what goes in our gallery wall will be daunting....but we have the perfect wall, and it just needs to be done! Here are some of my favorite gallery wall inspirations:

gallery wall HONEY-AND-BEE The Doctors Closet Home Tour  Read more - displaying photos Love this... Caitlin Wilson Designs - would be beautiful in a powder room who knew that a boring brown living room cool be so cool with pops of colors?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

28 while 28 #5 - Read 5 Books

5. Read 5 new books. I'm pumped about this one. I've had a few books in mind that I want to tackle and now this just gives me a reason to make sure I get it done!

On my list:


I need a few suggestions. I feel like these 3 give a good sense of what I'm looking for: inspirational, funny or thriller/mystery. Suggest away!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

28 while 28 #4 - Find my Starbucks Drink

4. Find my Starbucks drink. This one is a little embarrassing...every time I head in to Sbux I get flustered. I never know what I want and rarely am I super happy with what I get. It could be a combination of me not knowing what I'm talking about and the consistency of how the baristas make the drinks.

I'm looking for something that is low in calories/fat but a special treat outside of my daily kcup, 1tbsp creamer and 2 splenda.

For this challenge to be completed I will not only have to find "my" drink, but I'm going to learn terminology as well. That way when I head in to local shops, I can order like a champ.

FYI- I have already come a long way. A few years ago, in the DEAD OF WINTER I ordered what I thought was a hot drink and ended up with a frappucino. To be safe, a lot of times I would just order caramel apple cider during the cold months, just so I wouldn't embarrass myself again. :) Wish me luck! 
 Barista probs

Friday, February 20, 2015

28 while 28 #3 - Join a Gym

3. Get my fitness on! Shocker...working out has made someone's "resolution" list. Both Jake and I decided to do join a gym. This is a loaded one...not only do we join, but we are going a minimum of 3 times a week.

 We didn't pick any gym to join. It's definitely not the cheapest. It's is on our way home from work. No alternate routes, nothing. We both pass it. It offers lots of classes at times I can go. No excuses.

In order for me to "check" this one off my list I will have to go 3 times a week for 2 months. Hopefully this goal is small enough that when I reach it I'll a) be encouraged that I finished my goal and b) have fit it into my routine so I'm more likely to continue going. I'm nervous about this let the encouragement flow! 
 ...and I yell, "This is my Jam!"

Thursday, February 19, 2015

28 while 28 #2 - Take a Photography Workshop

2. Take a photography workshop.

While coming up with my 28 while 28 list, I definitely considered my blog. It's a big part of my life, I'm constantly thinking about it, what can I post, what will make it better, so on and so on. My photography has been a S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E. I'm pretty embarrassed about some of the photos I've posted. I know that "blog maturity" has a lot to do with it, and my pictures have for sure gotten better, but they are not at the level I see when I picture my blog being at it's best.

Cue photography class. 

I want to learn the ins and outs of my DSLR, know my best lighting options, and just familiarize myself with my camera. I don't have a clue about who to take a class from. Any suggestions for OKC or Dallas area?

The Beacon Two-Twenty Five produced by Whitehouse Products, Inc., Brooklyn , New York from 1950 to 1958 is the big brother to their previous incarnations the Beacon and Beacon II, both smaller 127 roll film cameras.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

28 while 28 #1 - Host a Friends-Giving

In 28 days I will be 28! As kind of a bucket list for my year, I'm creating a 28 things to accomplish while I'm 28. Each day I'll add to my list something new, or a challenge for myself over my next year. Now, I know what some of you are thinking...Mallory, you didn't do very well with your last challenge. I know, I know... but I'm curating this list to be challenging and obtainable (not that the other wasn't, but 300 new recipes in 1 year would have been tough).

1. Host a Friends-giving.

This has been in the back of my head for years, but I've just never taken the time to really plan one out.

Mine won't be as pretty or photo-shoot worthy, but it will be a hell-of-a-lot more fun :) I also think that I want to do it in an off month, like during the summer or in the early fall sometime.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nashville - Anniversary Trip

Jake and I decided that each year for our anniversary we were going to plan a long weekend getaway to a new city. We each write down 3 cities and pick one. Well, when you both pick the same's pretty much a done deal.

It also made things easier that our good friends Boston & Janelle live there, and hanging out with them is always a good idea! Obviously, Boston and Jake had a terrible time...

We played lots of games, learned how to play Canasta, shopped and ate at some of Nashville's best restaurants. We drove up and down Music Row, but I'm not going to lie, Jake and I are not the "going out" types. So we didn't do the classic bar hopping that some might do in Nashville.

Before I get into the details of our trip, let me share with you a great website I stumbled upon when researching our visit. Nashville Guru is a site that breaks up the city by neighborhoods and tells you about their happy hours, restaurants, shopping, hotels, etc. I mainly used it to map out our shopping and a few places to eat. Seriously though, it's a very informative site...every city needs one!

We ate at the VERY popular (I'm talking 30 minute line out the door, been on The Food Network kind of place)  The Pancake Pantry. Go. It's worth the wait!

We got cupcakes from The Cupcake Collection. Trust me when I say you need a sweet potato cupcake. STAT!

My favorite place would probably be The Pharmacy though. Best burger, hands down. Also, their homemade cream soda was the bomb dot com. 

Sorry this is getting kind of food porn-y, but when you're on vacay you just go for it! :)  We also went to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams for the first time. Ice cream isn't my favorite dessert out there...but Jeni's takes ice cream to the next level. They have so many different options (ie Brown Butter Almond Brittle and Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam). It's good, it's fancy, deal with it. 
One morning Jake and I went out on our own and had brunch at Pucketts. It is smack dab in the middle of downtown, so we walked around and did some great shopping afterwords. Pucketts had a great brunch buffet!

Our last night there we went to Edley's BBQ

Here are a list of some of the shops I liked: KORE, Castilleja (Edgehill), Green Hills - plus they have an awesome mall. Two Old Hippies, Urban Outfitters (Gulch). 

We watched the OU game surrounded by Vanderbilt and Florida fans. 

The only thing that I wish were different (besides that outcome of the OU game) was that I would get to go to the Bobby Bones Show. I tried...but it just didn't happen for me this time. 

So, that pretty much sums up our Anniversary trip. Great, long weekend with friends.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day Print

Last week I busted out my watercolors that have been packed away since I'm painting my office. I was inspired by one of my favorite childhood songs that my sisters and I currently used to belt out on the reg. Hey Dolly, Hey Whitney! 

I found the perfect copper frame from Homegoods and that adorable box is from Target.
Now if only I can get the rest of my V-day decor up before Saturday!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vanilla Wedding Favors

For our wedding favors we decided on little, 1 ounce tinctures of cooking vanilla. We both enjoy cooking and baking, so we thought this would be something fun and USABLE for our guests to enjoy.

There are about one million great wedding favor ideas out there. But most of them either seemed really expensive or something that would just be thrown out at the end of the night.

My budget was about $1 per guest.

Bottles      28 cents each
Caps         22 cents each
Vanilla      19 cents (for 1 ounce of vanilla)
Label        11 cents each (These were designed by my wedding planners, Tiffany & Taylor)
The twine is from Hobby Lobby and we already had that....but even if we had bought it, it would have cost about 5 cents per bottle - at the most.

Total: 80 cents per guest! 

Mom and I used turkey basters to fill up the bottles and it took us an evening of watching TV to do about 220. Extremely easy, but a little sticky.

We had them at each place setting during the wedding. The ONLY downfall was that some of the guests didn't grab them on their way out. So, I now have  A LOT of really cute bottles of vanilla that I bake with on the reg. If I did it again, I would probably just put them on a table by the exit. Then again....I'll probably never have to buy vanilla again in my maybe it's not that bad of a downfall!

Monday, February 2, 2015


Hashtag your wedding: YES or NO?

There are two sides, and I 100% understand and get both of them. 

On one hand you pay THOUSANDS of dollars for a professional and you don't want your Great Aunt's - Second Cousin's - Dog walker to be front and center with their loud - bright flashing - out-of-date camera even looking at your wedding day. I get it. I toyed with the idea of having people drop their cell phones and children in a basket at the front so that my ceremony would be "perfect".

On the other hand, you have cool friends who get you. Some of them are even photographers themselves. They know how hard you (and quite frankly several of them) have worked on your wedding day and that it is impossible for that professional photog to catch every second of the day...regardless how much you beg. :) It's a great way to get your guests involved and capture some pretty cool shots of your day!

Think of the hashtag as the current version of the disposable camera that brides used to leave on the table during the reception,, ONE MILLION TIMES BETTER!

Here are a few tips, when and if, you decide to hashtag your wedding: 

1. Be creative. We used #stewpartyof2 for ours. The "party of 2" thing is very popular, so unfortunately another couple has used it as well. I wish I would have thought of something a little more creative so that I wouldn't have to worry about our hashtag being littered with a bunch of stranger's wedding pictures. 

2. ...but not Complicated. There is a fine line between creative and a hashtag too long for Twitter. If it's too crazy your guests will misspell the hashtag and you'll end up with a lot of weird variations of #jakestewartandmallorymcguiretogetherforeverandevernovemberthirtiethtwothousandandthirteen :) (Bonus points if you can figure out what it says!)

3. Start Early. I know that once you get engaged your wedding hashtag isn't your first priority. Something about getting distracted by shiny things...ya know :) Anyways, start using your hashtag early. On any and every piece of stationery that pertains to your wedding, add it! This way once your day has arrived everyone is already used to the hashtag, from using it while you're dress shopping, at your showers, rehearsal dinner, etc. I follow Kirsten Blowers on Instagram and not surprisingly- she rocked her wedding hashtag. She used #stuckeypartyof2 for EVERYTHING...even asking her bridesmaids and for her bachelorette party getaway. 

If you ever are wanting to full on stalk a wedding, plug her hashtag'll be on Instagram ALL NIGHT LONG drooling over every detail!

4. Signage. According to Wedding Chicks, we did this pretty well :) I had painted a few pieces of wood with chalkboard paint and had my sister Hillary write #stewpartyof2 on them. Then we placed them around so people wouldn't forget to use it. We had them in our lounge area, by the bar, on our head table, sign in table, etc. 

What we really enjoyed was during our honeymoon, we would browse the hashtag to see if anyone else had added new pictures. It was so much fun!

After going through our #stewpartyof2 hashtag, I decided I would give out awards to my favorites! 

First place in capturing our decor: Janelle Boston! It is always a wonderful feeling when someone "gets you"...and Janelle got my wedding decor. Love it.

First Place for most creative/hilarious pictures: John McElvany! No surprise here. John's picture of our first dance with Zoe might be my favorite of all time. And the smooshed face (us reenacting what parent's do to their babies in photos these days) make me laugh EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Plus my makeup looks on point (S.O. Molly!).

 First Place for "In the moment" pictures: Lindsey Hodous! Along with her mom and sis, Lindsey rocked the BTS of our wedding. They drove in from Arkansas to help with the set up and the flow during the wedding. They were champs and our wedding WOULD NOT have been as amazing without them. Lindsey captured some really special moments, but the first look takes the cake. 

Honorable Mentions:

So many wonderful memories! Excuse me while I continue to blog about our wedding for the rest of my life ;)

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