I know y’all must think I fell off the blogging horse since I haven’t been keeping everyone posted on the progress around here lately… or perhaps lack of progress! BUT, I’ve finally scrounged up the needed time to give you a well deserv-ed update! Maybe I should take a lesson from the wise and learn to simplify my life a little bit!!! (Who am I kidding?)

So to give you a small glimpse into the last couple months of our crazy-busy lives, here’s an overview of the three main events I hold responsible for most of my “blogger’s neglect!”

1st: My little sister got married! Between showers, bachelorette parties, wedding plans, and all other duties that go along with being the ol’ matron of honor, I found myself busier than I remember being before my OWN wedding! I struggle with being a bit of a perfectionist, so I hope my sister didn’t get too overwhelmed with my overly detailed approach! We always joke about how I’m the high-stress type and she’s super laid back, which is likely the reason we get along so well;) I loved her funky neon color palette and relaxed outdoor venue… it just had “her” written all over it!

~ all wedding photos by the amazing Christopher Roe ~

Wedding Colors: NEON!

Bridal Party

Junior Bridal Party ❤

The Ladays

Me n’ my Hubby

Ring Bearers! Aren’t they SO precious!?

Ezekiel’s Outfit
Neon Onsie: American Apparel, Suit Pants and Vest: Ralph Lauren, Aviators: Children’s Place

Her Smile!!!!!!

Upon the bride (finally) choosing a theme, my sister-in-law Lexie and I went all out, collaborating to create the perfect invite that would capture the desired “PINK” brand vibe. The final invitation design resembled that of a Victoria Secret mailer, and Lexie even designed them a personalized crest, much like the ones you see on PINK clothing. The invites turned out to be one of my favorite details of the wedding<3

Invite Front

Invite Inner Fold

Personalized Crest

The idea for the alter was to create the feel of a bedroom, in an abstract way of course, so not to offend anyone! (although if you ask me, having a “bed” at the wedding is nothing when considering people used to consummate the marriage as part of the ceremony…….. awkward)! In order to create this bedroom feel, we made a headboard and placed the communion table in front of it, covered with a white sheet to form the “mattress”. We hung a “wall” of curtains behind the bed and suspended two baroque frames from the wall to represent his/hers bedsides. Finally, I spray painted a wooden chandelier that used to be in Ezekiel’s room and hung it over the bed. (For a DIY on how I made the tufted headboard, see notes at the bottom of this post!)

Original Sketch

Communion & Unity Candles


A GORGEOUS Reception

I discovered along the way that it’s pretty tricky to throw a fun, yet not-so-risque bachelorette party in the state of OR! Where do you go after 9 o’clock when your bride and her friends are under the age of 21? So what if the big ending to the night was hittin’ up the suburb Gelato Lounge and calling in her favorite song on the radio!? We had so much fun and I’m just happy that I was able to spend one last night with my single sis before the big “whoop”!** She was the most beautiful bride and I love her so:)



Check out this Instagram scavenger hunt I made in efforts to create some adventure throughout the “otherwise pretty tame” party! Feel free to steal this or take some ideas and make it better!


Meanwhile, amidst the wedding rigmarole, I was simultaneously planning event number 2: a surprise anniversary party for my wonderful Mamma e Papa! The day began with a stop at Starbucks to get them prepared for the long night ahead, followed by a visit to the parking lot where they first met, and the chapel where they got married. Then we drove to Portland for a very glamorous and filling dinner experience at Urban Fondue in their private loft!

Urban Loft

Fondue is an old Van Winkle family tradition

SO full!

Upon leaving Urban Fondue we were greeted by a limo driver who took us on a luxurious ride to the last hurrah of the evening… a big party where they were surprised by all their friends and family at the golf course my great grandfather built! I had to do my best to enjoy every activity throughout the day without fretting too much about whether or not everything was in-line and ready for us to arrive at 7:30p on the dot, but thanks to my wonderful and amazing cousins Alyssa and Kristin, all details fell together perfectly and I was more than pleased with the party in its entirety! My Aunt Bea and Uncle Charlie catered the event with their ice cream company, and the delicious polka dot cupcakes were created by the talented April Bonilla. My parents had a ball, which made all the hard work worth every ounce of time……  and tears… and money… and stress… and… love…


Invitation to “The Pearl”

A walk down Memory Lane

Original engraved toasting goblets from ’82

Let’s cut the cake!

And lastly, while planning the anniversary party, I had already started working on the plans for event number 3: This weekend was our annual October Kidfest at my church! No matter how busy, I love doing the creative planning and setup for this autumn celebration: Lanterns, pumpkins, and hay bales to create ambiance; cider-press, bratwurst, and DIY caramel apples to bring in the harvest; hayrides, cornhole, and costumes for traditional fall festivities! It was yet another fun-filled evening of food, friends, and fellowship, plus the weather was perfect:)


Cats n’ Dogs

Ezekiel and his cousin were quite the pair too!

Despite my worries that I would miss one of the many details I was juggling, all 3 events went very well (if I dare say so myself), but, I was both thankful and relieved to say goodbye to a LONG eventFUL summer n’all its heck, and ready to embrace the fall! This was a first for me… I am normally holding on to every last drop of sun while kicking and screaming about how my summer “got” cut short. But I think we Oregonians can all agree the rain was welcome at the start of a strangely warm October!

Now that Kidfest is over, I’m definitely feeling the beginnings of what some call the “Holiday season madness”… but I LOVE it.  Even with the chaotic roads and packed out parking lots, I have an odd amount of grace and patience around this time of year. I dunno if it’s because of the Christmas music playing on the radio, the cheery advertisements, or the eggnog latte pit stops, but I genuinely enjoy being part of the hustle-bustle. Especially BLACK FRIDAY, where the lines at Target are longer than the rides at Disneyland! As long as I’m WARM, I don’t mind pulling an all-nighter and having to park a quarter mile from the store entrance to fight people for the last $7 blender! Any other time of year however > I would lose. my. mindAnyone else wanna go #hardcore with me this year??? If only I used ridiculous language like, “YOLO”………..

I hope all of you are looking forward to the coming busy season as much as I am, after all, it comes but once a year! Before we know it we will be headed to our many Thanksgiving get-togethers, and trying to balance multiple family’s Christmas traditions;)

Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE and stay posted for what’s coming soon on le blog, “A KitchenAid UPgrade”

Enjoy your morning!

*Notes: DIY Tufted Headboard

Original Pier 1 Headboard


The wrought iron headboard was originally from Pier 1, but we found it for FREE on Craigslist and spray painted it neon pink using Rust-Oleum’s Specialty Fluorescent paint. We bought two yards of craft foam and three yards of metallic reptile pleather from Joann’s fabric @ 50% off, then fastened each material around the outer headboard posts with lightweight floral wire. With 3 random buttons, we used the floral wire again to create tufts by threading it through a button, puncturing the fabric, and pulling it taut. The iron slats from the Pier 1 headboard made it easy to achieve a tight tuft because we just wrapped the wire around the closest slat and did a “twisty-tie”, twisting and twisting until it looked just right. I then back-filled it by stuffing newspaper and tissue to give it a little more pouf. With the remaining fabric, my mom sewed on a backing and covered 3 large buttons, then attached those covered buttons to conceal the mismatched button tufts. FYI:This headboard was just a stage prop, therefore I used newspaper and a cheaper lightweight craft foam, however, with some fiberfill and heavy 6″ foam, this headboard would be perfectly suitable for your home and still VERY affordable!

Rust-Oleum Specialty Fluorescents

Jo~Ann Fabric 6″ craft foam

P.S. Jo-ann’s is ALWAYS having 50% off by-the-yard coupons! Just look online before heading out to purchase your supplies.