DIY: Ribbon Wall

 

So, it’s been a little while since I’ve provided a tutorial. Now that the wedding is way past over (sorry guys, running is all I can think about!), I feel like I should post a little more about the details that went into making it look the way it did. I knew I was a DIY bride from the beginning, but I can’t even count the hours that Chris and I spent tackling projects to provide the perfect reflection of us (thanks Pinterest …). Yes, I did just mention that the man in my life helped me craft. Totally a keeper!

I refrained from posting other tutorials during the planning process, besides the lace mason jar tutorial, because I didn’t want to reveal too much. I wanted to make sure that people would be wowed when they entered the venue and I couldn’t be sure of that had I shared it with the blogosphere. Especially since I like to share Passion & Laughter with the lovely people in my life, I decided it was better to keep my mouth shut til after the festivities.

Let me also just mention that I am the worst person ever at keeping my mouth shut. Even more so when I am SO excited about it. And if its about me. I was bursting at the seams waiting to divulge to anyone who would listen. When people asked about the wedding, I’d be all ‘RIBBON WALLLL’ and they would stare back at me like I’m a weirdo because I was going crazy over ribbon. The next question would always be “well, whats a ribbon wall?” And then I’d just be like “Wait and see!”

This ribbon wall was the crown jewel of my wedding projects.

Important to note that this is totally workable to suit your needs. Adjust when necessary and share yours with me! Chris and I used ours for a backdrop for the ceremony. We we’re lucky and had the structure (featured above) to base our measurements on. Seriously, we went there in January when it was freezing and measured so we were one hundred percent sure! I needed to do this though because on the off-chance our ceremony was moved indoors, it had to be able to fit into two different structures. Also, Chris is 6’4″ so the ribbons needed to fall to a certain length or it would’ve looked weird. We chose 6″. The measurements of the structure were 7.8″ all around.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get down to business!

DIY: Ribbon Wall

Supplies needed:

Ribbon (varying width, textures, colors, patterns)

Fabric scissors

3 – 1 1/2 in x 10 ft PVC pipe

1 -1 1/2 in x 2 ft PVC pipe

2 – 1 1/2 PVC pipe T joints

2 – 1 1/2 PVC pipe 90 degree joints

4 – 1 1/2 PVC pipe caps

1 small bottle of fabric glue

Spray paint (we chose white)

Diamond dust spray paint (glitter!)

Power sander or sandpaper

Small hack saw

Step one: Measure PVC pipe to desired length and cut with hack saw. We chose 7.8ft for our length. With the ends you just cut off, trim each piece to match the smaller 2 ft piece. This will give you four two-foot legs for the ribbon wall.

Step two: Use power sander or sandpaper to remove any markings on the pipe.

Step three: Spray paint the PVC pipe color of choice as the base coat. Be sure to cover any markings that remain. Spray paint every single piece of remaining PVC pipe for color consistency. Helpful spray painting tip: use something to stand the pipe up straight for even spraying. We used a card table flipped upside down covered in plastic and put each of the pipes on the legs. If you do choose to use the ground, wait until it is dry before flipping over to prevent streaking.

If after the first coat any additional marks remain, apply additional coats until you have reached desired color.

Step four: Spray the diamond dust over the dry spray painted PVC pipe. Follow same procedure as the previous color. Use lighter coats because it can easily get too heavy a coat if you’re not careful. Feel free to do several lighter coats rather than doing it all at once. Be sure to let it dry in between the coats.

Step five: Measure ribbon to desired length. We chose six feet. With your fabric scissors, cut the ribbons. I did mine in a slant rather than straight across to prevent fraying.

Step six: Place the PVC pipe that you’re using as the top of the frame onto the ground. Place the ribbon under the pipe with just a few inches above it, the rest laying below. With the few inches above the pipe, bring it over the pipe and connect to the longer end of ribbon. Be sure not to wrap too tight so you can still move the ribbon freely from side to side.

Step seven: Apply a small amount of fabric glue onto the inside of the piece you just wrapped over top of the frame. Gently squeeze the two pieces of together so the glue can adhere, but again remember not to make it too tight so you can move it along the top of the frame.

Step eight: Repeat steps five through seven for each piece of ribbon to fill the frame to your desired amount. If you want it full, you’re going to do this quite a few times. For a lighter frame, you won’t need to do as many.

Step nine: To assemble the base, take two of the leg pieces (two-foot sections of pipe) and insert them into the opposite ends of the T-joint to create one long piece. Place one of the PVC caps on each of the open ends of the pipe. Repeat process on other side.

Step ten: Insert the longer pipes into the remaining end of the T-joint on both sides. You will start to see your frame form.

Step eleven: Take the 90 degree joints and place on the open end of the vertical pipes used in step ten.

Step twelve: Insert the pipe with the ribbon attached to the open ends of the 90 degree joints. You may need an additional hand for this as the pieces are quite large.

Step thirteen: Step back and admire your amazing work.

Success!

And there you have it. Thirteen relatively easy steps to construct your very own ribbon wall. The best part about the PVC pipe is that it comes apart which makes for excellent transportation since this is expected to be a bulky item. All you have to do is make sure you remember to pack all the correct pieces and assemble when needed.

Chris and I worked diligently on this project. Mainly, I picked out and did everything with all of the ribbon while Chris did the sanding, spray painting and general construction of the large pieces. It’s love. Ha.

On the day of the wedding, we had a slight breeze. The wind pushing the ribbon around was so amazing. It felt like Chris and I were in our own little ribbon world.

I really feel like this could be used for anything. A birthday party, a wedding, a photo booth backdrop, and sort of holiday decor, a cool way to enter a room, etc. If you can think of any other uses, definitely let me know because I’d love to hear them!

Enjoy! And please please let me know how yours turn out!

**All photos were done by Korie Lynn Photography**

Food Love: Kitchen Successes

 

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the meals I’ve been making lately have been out of this world. I’m talking DEE-LISH-US.

From looking at the photos above you’ve probably already noticed that I like two main ingredients — cheese and vegetables. And to be perfectly honest, I really love cheese and vegetables. So much. The creaminess of melted cheese and the added flavor and mmm mouth watering over here. Vegetables, I could sing their praises every day. Raw, sauteed, roasted, steamed, frozen, canned, whatever – give them to me in any form and I will eat them happily. Before I started to explore the kitchen, I used to just eat like four or five servings of vegetables for dinner because I love them so much. My husband doesn’t always agree with my love of veggies but he just picks them out and puts them on my plate. More for me!

You many have also noticed that I like my meals to resemble side dishes rather than main courses. I’ve never gravitated toward the turkey, or the ham, or whatever for holidays. I always have wanted to know what else was being served with it. In college, my lunch everyday was a combination of three side dishes; usually mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and vegetables. Honestly, after typing that, I think I need to explore the world of casseroles more because they just popped into my mind as to being a giant side dish. Favorite casserole of all time — green bean casserole. Get in my mouth. But, seriously, it’s hard for me to get excited about adding meat to my meals maybe casseroles will help me get there without it feeling like a main dish.

Back to the meals featured above. A couple of times a week, I’ve been trying my hand in the kitchen. Usually on nights when I have a shorter workout planned and I always make enough to take for lunch the next day or for leftovers another night.

Top Left Corner: “Skinny” Baked Macaroni and Cheese
I saw this meal on Pinterest a few weeks ago and I knew I just had to have it. Please refer to my earlier tangent about my love of cheese and vegetables. This combined both. Broccoli and macaroni? Sign me up! This was also an incredibly easy meal to make. Combine broccoli and macaroni in pan with water. Cook macaroni to al dente (look at me… so fancy). In separate pan, make the cheese sauce by combining all the other ingredients. Put both in a casserole dish and let it bake. Boom then serve.

Top Right Corner: Crispy Cheddar Chicken and a Salad
So so so so easy to make. And delectable. I was licking my plate clean by the time I finished this one. Holy cow. Expect a future recipe post for this dinner because it is sure to please.

Lower Left Corner: Brown Rice with Veggies and Creamy Cheesy Sauce
Chris was not a fan of this dinner but he was polite enough to eat it. Me, on the other hand, loved it. We have a rice maker so I didn’t have to stress about actually cooking the rice so I just sauteed the veggies and I used a lot of veggies – orange, yellow, and red pepper plus mushrooms, broccoli, and zucchini. This also reheated really well. So a definite plus in my book.

Lower Right Corner: Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Cheesy Zucchini Rice and Roasted Asparagus
Clearly a theme that night for me. Cheese cheese and more cheese. This was my first time making stuffed chicken breast and it was so EASY. I’m still dreaming of these, so looks like I am going to have to make them again. The zucchini rice didn’t turn out as I had hoped. I think its because I don’t exactly follow a recipe measurement for measurement and that was one that should’ve been.

So, these are the goings on in my kitchen as of late. Do you want to come over for dinner? I’d be happy to make you whatever you like.

Weighted Down

I am a girl on the go. I’ve sort of discussed my social life in previous entries (here and here and here), but it’s not until you’re looking at a calendar trying to figure out how to fit everything in when you realize “Ohhhh, I am busy.”

With that being said, this past week was slightly ridiculous.

The first week of marathon training is officially complete! Hooray! Six days of running, cross-training, and weightlifting. I ran a total of 14.68 miles. It didn’t matter that I really didn’t want to some days or that I was exhausted others because I just have to do it. The hardest thing about working out is making it a habit. Let me repeat, the hardest thing about exercising is making it a habit. It takes time to develop and to find the time. My body is used to three or four workouts a week; not six. My friends are used to seeing me during the evenings on weekdays, not me asking if we can find a different day.

Chris has been patient with me by allowing me to go for a run Thursday evening after we got home before heading to Pennsylvania. And again on Saturday morning by letting me get one in before heading to Virginia Beach. He understands that I am making time where I can and while its not always convenient, its the only time I’ve got.

Besides getting myself used to running multiple days in the week, I feel like my exercise lacked elsewhere. I only say that because I am used to high-intensity cardio sessions and on Tuesday of last week I did a pretty tame interval walk. Pretty sure this feeling is normal when adjusting to a new regime and routine. Balance will come as this becomes habit.

On Sunday, I had the bright idea to weigh myself. Since Chris and I moved in together, shortly before the wedding, I hadn’t gotten around to buying a scale. This resulted in a lack of monitoring my weight and thus relaxing on my eating habits. Think more, “Yes I would love that set of triple tacos!” and less “I should eat a fruit or a vegetable.” The number shock when I stepped off sent me into a spiral of tears and negative thoughts, but at least I know. And I know I can change.

This got me thinking about how people had mentioned “the newlywed nine” to me and I laughed. The same way I laughed when people warned me of “the freshman fifteen”. I never got hit by “the freshman fifteen”, but damnit if the “newlywed nine” didn’t creep up on me like an evil curse.

The only thing I can do is continue to work toward reversing this unwanted gain. I had a fabulous time sampling every delightful food that came in front of me and now I have to politely decline. Thankfully, I am teaching myself how to be more productive in the kitchen and rely less on eating out. I am already training and in addition to cooking my own food I am keeping a food journal.

In regards to my busy social life and how make time for everything, I am swapping out dinner and drinks for manicures, shopping, or working out together.

Balance and I are going to become BFFs whether we like it or not.

How did you balance your first week of marathon training with your social life? Did you gain the newlywed nine or the freshman fifteen? What helped you lose it? Any suggestions for alternative friend dates that don’t involve food and booze? Let’s discuss!

Up She Goes!

Shortly after sunrise on Friday morning Chris and I took an hour-long flight in a hot air balloon! Definitely one of the coolest things we’ve ever done.

Until October of last year, I had never been on anything that could fly. Including airplanes. Yes, I said it. It wasn’t that I was afraid or didn’t want to travel that way, I had just never been anywhere before that it was necessary to take one. So this hot air balloon ride was a pretty big deal.

I was all set to go. Bright and early. Very early.

Since it was at sunrise, we had to arrive relatively early. For me, waking up at 4:30am is never an option. But, everything has an exception and this was one of them.

The crew was pretty hilarious, especially considering its about 5:30am at this point and everyone is sleepy. They were all really excited because this was the maiden voyage of their newest balloon — Gracie II.

Gracie is the name of the owner’s puppy.

Once they were all set to go and everyone boarded, we we’re off!

Some shots from the air. We only went about 1500 – 2000 ft.

It was really lovely to see the rolling hills and mountains of Pennsylvania and I imagine in the Fall it will be even more magical. I thought it was hilarious to wave to people as we passed.

Shadow of the balloon on the ground. Pilot said we measured about 9 stories tall.

We actually ended up landing in someones backyard. All of a sudden a bunch of kids under the age of seven ran out excitedly. They could hardly believe that this thing was in front of them.

Once we arrived back to our meeting spot, we popped open a bottle of champagne and discussed the history of hot air ballooning. The folklore behind the champagne says that back in the 1800s people on the ground thought the ballooners were demons/aliens (flight hadn’t taken off yet! *cue drum noise*) so pilots brought champagne to show proof they were civilized since there was a possibility of a language barrier and people understood alcoholic labels.

If you ever have an opportunity to take a hot air balloon flight, DO it! Seriously! I was shocked at how gentle landing is and just how it really felt like you were floating through the air. Hot air balloon rides are offered all around the world, imagine the various types of scenery you can take in and how unique each experience would be. Take flight!

Have you ever hot air ballooned? If so, where? If you havent, would you consider doing it? Let’s discuss!

Not a Kitchen Nightmare (Really!)

Before I got married, the only thing I did in the kitchen was bake. Seriously, my baking skills are top notch. You want super moist chocolate chip cookies and cookies n cream cupcakes that make your heart melt? Call on me, I’m your girl.

Actually, I take that first sentence back, I also doctored up boxed macaroni and cheese (add a can of tuna and a can of peas! It will change your life!)

Let’s be real, I wasn’t in the kitchen baking everyday. I saved my skills for special occasions, holidays and birthdays, and sometimes I did it just for fun. Baking takes time and I had a habit of just enjoying a few too many cookies at once. As well as eating too much raw dough*.

My meals came two ways: dining out (FREQUENTLY) or Mom (both bio and in-law).  The amount of money I’ve spent on just feeding myself delicious food from various places is disgusting (yet delish!) (ie food trucks). The amount of meals my mother and mother-in-law have provided for me since I graduated from college three years ago is slightly ridiculous. Being alone in the kitchen, having to cook something that tasted good/decent was a terrifying thought. Seriously. I can tell you all the best places to eat for lunch and dinner on a budget in or around DC, but I can’t tell you how to cook something from a bunch of ingredients from beginning to end.

Until I returned from my honeymoon. Reality sunk in. Chris and I could not afford to eat out all the time and I don’t think either of our parents wanted us to join them for dinner every night. Also, with training for the marathon, I want to eat healthier so I can feel better as I train. The food situation had to change for us. Essentially, I’ve had to put my money where my mouth is in the kitchen. Slowly, I am teaching myself how to cook… well, wikihow and Google answer my basic questions “how long do you bake fish in the oven and at what temperature?”, “what exactly is lemon zest?”, “can you cook with two pans in the oven when the oven has two shelves?” and more like it.

This is definitely (and will continue to be) an adventure. Shockingly enough, I am finding that the food I cook is actually really tasty (I’m biased). While my meals are pretty basic, we all take baby steps, right?

Here is a small example of what’s going on in my kitchen this past  month:

From left to right: chicken and veggie pesto pasta, hot ham & cheese with watermelon, chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries, and breaded salmon with roasted veggies and cheesy red potatoes.

Seriously not ashamed that dinosaur chicken nuggets are a staple in my freezer for nights I don’t feel like cooking. Some people have frozen pizza on the standby, I have nuggets.

I can’t say that I am in-love with cooking yet, but we are on our way to being friends. I do like the sense of power it gives me. It’s like this domestic goddess gene is slowly waking up in me and wants to be the hottest chick ever. Yeah, I can bake… but now I can cook. Double threat.

Also, its nice to know that if we want to have people over for dinner sometime, I can make them something they’ll enjoy and not just politely eat. Success!

What is your favorite meal to cook? Any tips for a beginner? Did getting married change the way you eat? How did your eating habits change as you trained for an exercise event? Let’s discuss! Recipes are welcome! 

*Don’t eat raw dough! Its bad for you! You can get sick and that would be terrible.