Wedding: DIY wood "guestbook"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I was never really that girl who grew up dreaming of her wedding day. I didn't know what color bridesmaid dresses I wanted by age 10 or fantasize about the type of bouquet I would carry. So when it came time to actually sit down and plan out the deets, I was pretty clueless!

I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of elements from nature, like wood and flowers, and I knew I wanted to DIY some projects. After that, things slowly but surely fell into place.

Getting on Pinterest when you first start planning a wedding is out of control. There are literally zillions, cuz that's a number right?, and zillions of pins related to weddings. It's overwhelming and amazing all at the same time.

I think I started with like 8 projects I wanted to DIY for the big day and when it was all said and done I only did or used maybe half that. Take it from me, less is more my friends. Because even if you're the chillest bride on the planet, shit gets cray. Especially if you have two rugrats to watch while you decorate. Woof! Not my best idea!!! Babysitters, stat!!!!!

I definitely took a moment while setting up to think to myself, so this is why people marry before children.......

But I digress.

Lets talk about one super easy DIY you can do and actually treasure for years after the vows and first dance and cake and sweaty band/guests/dancers/everyone are all said and done! It was 1,000 degrees at our wedding but again, I digress....

Guestbooks, in my mind, are this sorta outdated and boring way of making people sign this crummy old book so you can look back when you're old and grey and remind yourself of who actually came to your special day because you're too old to remember what you ate for breakfast. If you even kept that book all those years later. Instead of going that route, we decided to make something that was a little more fun for people to sign and that was also pretty enough that we could display it in our home.

For this DIY wood "guestbook" sign you will need...

1 piece of plywood (or any smooth piece of wood) cut to the size of your preference
wood stain, I used Rust-Oleum Golden Mahogany
small towels for staining wood
rubber gloves
wood sealer
white paint pens, I found water-based worked best
acrylic paint, optional

When it comes to buying wood, always check the scrap wood at your local Home Depot, Lowes or other home improvement stores because it is so much cheaper than buying something engineered at certain sizes. Most of the people working there are happy to cut it to the size you need as well!

First, you'll need to stain the board. I stained all sides since it was going to be visible from all angles at the wedding. If you've never done it before, staining is super easy and one of my favorite things to do but it's really messy! If you don't use rubber gloves on your hands, vegetable oil works really well at getting stain off of skin.

Once the stain has dried, use a pencil to write in your names or whatever other messages you'd like! I tried to keep ours similar to fonts we used on our invitations and other paper favors at the wedding but the sky is the limit. You do you.

I used a paint pen to outline our names and then went over it with white acrylic paint to really make it pop. 

We displayed the sign with a little note telling everyone to sign the board and left a bunch of paint pens out. Once everything settled down, I was finally able to read all the sweet notes a few days after the wedding and it was so fun to relive it all again!

Once everyone has signed and the party is all over, you can seal the board with a wood sealer to keep it safe from water damage and years of wear and tear.

We now have the board displayed in our office/playroom and I definitely forsee it hanging on the walls of our future bar :) I love that I can read the messages and be transported back to such a magical, love-filled day. This project was simple and only took about 45 minutes to complete (without the drying time) and it's so meaningful! Even if you have no plans for a guestbook days before the big day, you can whip this together in no time. Which is pretty much what happened for us. Yay for extra plywood!

I hope this inspires you to stain some wood and make super cool guestbooks for your wedding because, why not?

Virtually cheersing this Sauvignon Blanc (bottle) to you my friends!


Check out my new blog! -----> Mama Thomp

You'll find family stories, recipes and some projects over there :)

Babe update: 5 months & a sassafrass

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Things with the babes lately seem to be on the real up & up. 

Everyone is getting more sleep (for the most part), Nora is becoming more and more self sufficient and Hadley is cracking us up left and right. And I have a feeling it's only going to get more and more comical from here on out! It's been so fun!

^^^ This skirt didn't leave her body for a solid 3 days.

At 5 months Nora is tipping the scale at 18+ pounds and at her last doctor's visit her head and height we're 99 and 96% respectively. So, basically, she's a beast. I shit you not, she weighs about 7 pounds less than Hadley and they can wear the same diapers. The other night, Josh put Nora on top of Hadley whilst wrestling and she legit couldn't move. It was hilarious. 

Nora, your thighs and cankles will always be one of my favorite things and in the world!!!!

She loves to practice standing up in her saucer, watching her sister run laps and the chewing on everything phase has definitely kicked in. Her favorite victims are the iPad and our phones. I'm waiting for a tooth to make an appearance sometime soon! 

So far she's tried avocado and sweet potato and still seems real skeptical about the whole food thing. I'm excited to introduce more and more over the next couple of weeks! 

She's no longer sleeping through the night and wakes up once for a feeding around 3 AM. It ain't horrible but I can't wait for that to disappear again. She's officially sitting up all by herself, with just a few face plants here and there, and loves all the new adventures with being so independent! She's assumed the crawling position a few times but that's usually quickly followed by screams that I imagine mean, "SHIT, I'M TOO HEAVY FOR THIS!!!"

Her coordination with her hands is getting so much better as well and I love seeing her wheels turn as she looks things over and tries to figure them out. So fun!

I think she still looks mostly like Josh at this point, but she's definitely got my little squinty eyes :) Your smile lights up the whole room, little Nora!

^^^ Chipotle baby!

As for our first born, she has been full of sass and sweetness these days. Her personality is coming out more and more, and she's proving to be a real comedian. And a real stubborn ass. An adorable stubborn ass!

^^^ This was quickly followed by, "MINE!"
^^^ I love Hadley grabbing on to Nora in this shot!!

She is still UHbsessed with her baby dolls. The other day I left her room after putting her down for her nap and I caught her on the monitor with 3 babies laying next to her in her bed. She was intensely reading them all books before she fell asleep. My heart melted into a million pieces.

Since she's gotten her sleep routine back on track her tantrums are definitely less than usual. They still exist, don't get me wrong, but it's usually related to a short nap and some form of not getting her way. For example, yesterday she wanted to walk around downtown Annapolis with her baby in her little stroller. I had just woken her up from sleeping in the car and was trying to get our big stroller and Nora all put together. I told her she needed to sit in our stroller before she could walk around because there we're so many cars nearby and she screamed like she was auditioning for a horror film. And we we're in a parking garage, so that shit echoed like you wouldn't believe. Cue the sweating. 

Her latest favorite things are anything and everything with the mini stroller (she slept with it in her bed the other night), wearing hats and Mickey Mouse is still the best thing since sliced bread. News flash: I had to sing the song to spell M-I-C-K-E-Y right..... #help.

She's talking like a little champ and I love hearing all the new phrases. My latest faves are, "Awww man!" when she can't break out of the baby gate or drops something and "Don't you do it!" wagging her pointer finger at daddy. It's too stinkin' cute!

With all these new words and such she also has become miss bossy pants. She's always trying to tell us what to do, where to sit, what not to do. I'll sing a song or start dancing with her and she'll immediately stop and say very sternly, "NO!" 

But most of the time, she's our super sweet little gal :) The other day I ran over my foot with the computer chair while zooming around the play room like an idiot and she came over so concerned. She looked my foot over very carefully and then lightly kissed it, looked at me and shook her head like all better, mama! It was adorable. 

My little girls, I love you both so much!


Here. a pop up shop

Friday, September 11, 2015

So in the midst of doing this whole wedding/marriage thing I've been working on some other projects with Forever Fireflying and I'm so excited for what is to come!

A few months back I heard about these two gals who were running a pop up shop in Annapolis, Maryland and decided to go check it out. I went with all intentions of seeing if my work would fit in with the products they we're already offering and pitch my designs to them, and I ended up leaving with a bag full of goodies. Whoopsie!!!! 

The shop was so awesome. They had a wonderful variety of unique items that we're handmade by artists living in and around Annapolis. From bohemian clothing, herb soaps and watercolor paintings to one-of-a-kind home decor pieces, flower crowns and Eastern Shore themed gifts, it was all so fun to look through. And on top of all that, Amy & El, who own and operate Here. a pop up shop, are pretty much the coolest and sweetest gals in town. You can tell by the pieces they carry in their shop that they really put a lot of effort into selecting art and merchandise that is of great quality and something they would buy themselves.

Good news is, Forever Fireflying designs will now be featured in their pop ups! I'm so excited! They just opened their newest location TODAY in historic, downtown Annapolis at 40 West Street. They'll be open daily from 10 AM - 6 PM until September 20th.

You'll be able to find my greeting cards, hard copy prints and a framed "Boss Lady" and framed "Wildflowers" print in their shop.

Tonight they're hosting an opening party from 6 - 8 PM at the shop. A local band will be performing and delicious food and cocktails will be served. Josh, Hadley, Nora and myself will be there checking out the shop and mingling so feel free to come join us!

If you want to keep up with Here. a pop up shop and all their future locations, make sure to follow them on Facebook.

Amy, El & I are also working on another exciting project that I'll be able to share with you soon so stay tuned!

Cheers friends,

Photo sources: 
Here. a pop up shop

We're married!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Holy bananas you guys, Josh & I are officially husband and wife!!!

This whole summer has been such a whirlwind leading up to the big day, hence my online absence. I had so much fun (and definitely some stressful moments) putting everything together and preparing for the party of our lives. Josh & I never imagined so much of our family and friends would turn up for us on a Thursday, but they did, and it was truly a day we will never forget!


I can't believe we're coming up on one week since the big day already. They aren't lying when they say it's over in the blink of an eye. 

I'll be sure to post more photos once we get them back from our photographer (so excited to see those!!!!) and some of my favorite details from the wedding. Until then, I hope all of these stolen photos suffice... thank you family and friends for documenting this day for us!

Joshua Beau, I love you to the ends of the universe. You have a heart of gold and I feel so lucky to be your woman!!!!! Wife for life!!!!!


*Note: These photos are not my own and we're not taken by me. 

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