Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Playlist

Summer is coming to a close, which comes with a mix of emotions. A lot of my friends are back in classes, which makes me sad, but it also means the warm weather is coming to an end, which makes me happy. Unlike previous summers though, I have thoroughly embraced the hot weather, but now I'm done. I need fall, I need sweaters, and I need to not be a walking sweat-balloon. Sorry for the imagery. 
So here is my summer playlist, I think these are the songs that will always take me back to Summer 2013, no matter when I listen to them. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Currently Making Me Happy: Bella

Bella lived with me for about 3 years. She is my roommate's cat, and I love her so much! I had never lived away from my parents or my own cats when I first met Bella, so she was such a huge part of making that adjustment so much easier. Now she is living in a new home (With carpets! What a lucky kitty.) and I miss her so much. Whenever I would get bored or anxious before, the solution was simple; find Bella and hug her. Now I'm making due without a furry friend by my side. I would also call her "Mimi". So world, say hello to the rumbliest, tumbliest, fuzziest, silliest cat in the world. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Comfy in Cobalt

If you've ever gone clothes shopping with me, you'll know that I start out the day saying "I'm not getting anything blue." and inevitably walk home with something blue. Let me clarify that this is not because I love the color blue, or that I think it looks particularly good on me, but because I have the blue curse. What's the blue curse you ask? Well let me tell you. Anything and everything that will fit me nicely, or comes in my size, or is within my budget, will be blue. No matter what, it will be blue. Despite how persistently I try to look for it in another color, if I really want whatever it is, I will have to settle for blue. 
HOWEVER, this season I am going to make an exception, I am currently very much intrigued by cobalt details. So much so that I may actually purposefully look for things in this color. (which leads me to wonder if the curse will reverse, and I won't find anything.) These are some comfy cobalt looks that I am really digging. I think the scarf may be my next crochet project.

All photos found via Pinterest

Friday, August 23, 2013

Honeymoon Makeup (for the pale girl)

As you probably know from a previous post, we went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I had never been before, and was thoroughly excited. I have a fear of flying, not being high up but rather the claustrophobic nature of airplanes. Though I was extremely nervous and shaky, I made the 5 hour flight without any notable hiccups. 
Aside from the flying anxiety, I was very nervous about my skin. I am pale. Not just a little fair, but paper white. (This is a feature I used to dislike about myself when I was younger, but have come to absolutely adore my snowy complexion as an adult.) I rarely even have to try out foundations because I will always need the lightest one. It's just a given. So needless to say, protecting my skin in Hawaii was at the top of my priority list. I used Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Body Mist sunscreen at SPF 100+. I don't mess around. Skin health is very important stuff, I went through 2 bottles of this during the trip. I loved using it because it was easy to apply all over my body, it smells wonderful, and didn't leave me feeling greasy and sticky.
Another amazing discovery I made, thanks to my friend Megan, was Aveeno Smart Essentials Lotion. It smells wonderful, has SPF 30, feels great and weightless on my skin, and is perfect as a daily face moisturizer. I used this every day, and even now when I put it on it takes me right back to our honeymoon.
Something I only started using recently would have been perfect for the honeymoon, and I wish I had known about it at the time. CC Cream. This stuff is great, it's so easy to put on, again- SPF 30, and makes your skin look flawless without a lot of effort. Next time!
As for the rest, I wasn't too concerned about doing my makeup everyday. The only person I saw was my new husband, and he couldn't care less what makeup I put on my face, so I went with easy, natural, long lasting, and hydrating essentials. Waterproof products were also great because we were constantly in and out of the pool or the ocean, and it would rain without warning everyday. So below are some of my favorite products I used on the trip.

Top Five Jesse Pinkman Moments (Spoilers)

Up Next- Jesse Pinkman. I started compiling my favorite moments of Breaking Bad, and like I stated before, it became clear that it needed to be broken up into characters. So here are Jesse Pinkman's Top Five Moments. (According to this random girl with access to the internet)

1. Magnets.
This is my favorite comedic line to come from Jesse, and I think it might be a favorite for a lot of fans. He's reacting the way any of us would to a giant magnet doing awesome things. Yeah bitch, Magnets!

2. Jesse Wakes up next to Dead Jane
This scene is incredibly heartbreaking, and is not the first time we feel sad for Jesse, and is certainly not the last. However, I think this may the the time I felt the worst for him. There's something about seeing Jesse lose a love like this. When we were introduced to him he was presented as too lost to feel something this deeply for another person. 

3. Jesse Shows the Mexican chemists what's what.
We see Jesse grow so much in the series, which is considerable when you realize that seasons 1-4 is only spanning one year. This is one of those concrete moments when we see Jesse coming into his own, and having unshakable confidence.

4. Jesse puts a gun to Walt's head.
Once again we are aching for Jesse. We see him reach his breaking point, and is viciously manipulated yet again by Walter. I honestly didn't know who to root for in this instance, and found myself just being an observer lost in complete emotional bewilderment.

5. Jesse's rejects self-acceptance.
This is such a clear insight to how Jesse thinks about himself. He is bringing all of his guilt to the surface, and admits that he is there to sell meth. Jesse does not accept himself, or the things he's done but feels like he can't change them, and has no choice. Once again my heart is aching for Jesse, and all we want is for him to get out, and be happy. 

Anyway, every time I feel really bad for Jesse I watch this, and everything feels a little bit better.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Once Upon a Time

I started collecting vintage storybooks a few years ago when my artwork took a turn for the storybook illustration vibe. I loved Winnie the Pooh as a child and always marveled at the drawings, and though I did like Beatrix Potter as a kid, I only really grew to appreciate her as an adult. These days finding a vintage or even antique storybook is one of the most inspiring things to me. My favorite pieces are my 1931 edition of Bambi, a 23 book collection of Beatrix Potter Tales (not pictured), and an 1897 edition of Through the Looking Glass
I like to accentuate the section of books with items like tea cups, and my Squirrel statue, Mr. Squiggles. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cloud Nine Cupcakes

These are my personal favorite cupcakes. The bottoms of these are French Macaroon-inspired brownies, they have a crisp outside, and an airy, then delightfully chewy brownie inside. I decided on the name "Cloud Nine Cupcakes" because of the light and airy brownie bottom, and the fluffy white marshmallow topping, but really it's just because I could die and go to heaven every time brownies and marshmallows find their way to each other, and this is just a fun pairing of the two.

Cayenne Pepper adds just a tiny bit of spice to the brownie bottoms, which really enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

For the Brownie Cake:
5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat your oven to 350˚ F.
Line a mini-muffin pan with mini-muffin liners, and set aside.
Melt the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a heat proof bowl over simmering water, pour the melted butter over the chocolate and mix together. Once fully combined set aside and let cool for a few minutes.
Whisk floursalt, and cayenne pepper together in a separate bowl, set aside.
Next, hand-whisk the sugar into the melted chocolate.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla.
Mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
Divide the prepared batter amongst the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the Frosting:
1 jar marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup unflavored vegetable shortening
scant 3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, or as needed.
Beat shortening and marshmallow fluff together in the bowl of an electric mixer.
On low-speed, beat in the powdered sugar. Add the heavy whipping cream as needed, and slowly increase the mixer speed to med-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. Scoop the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a larger round tip, and frost the brownie bottoms!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bride Tips: Wine

I am a huge wine fan, though my experience is still quite limited. I am much more of a red wine drinker, so picking a red wine was a bit more difficult than picking a white.
Where to start? Keith and I decided to have some fun with picking our wine, and made a family event out of it. Keith, his parents, and I went out and picked a selection of various wines, and had an at-home wine tasting. We picked up a nice cheese, some dark chocolate, and made an evening out of it. The red we wound up choosing was Cabernet Sauvignon by Valley of the Moon. This was a huge hit, and is currently my favorite red wine of all time.
For white wine, we went with a Pinot Grigio by Coppola. We came to an indecision between this white wine and another, and ultimately decided on Coppola's because of Keith's involvement with the film industry, and felt that some theming would be fun. 

Something else to keep in mind is; not everyone at your wedding likes wine (or alcohol for that matter). We felt it important that these people should not just be left with water or nothing, so we chose to serve Minted Iced Tea and Lemonade, as well as Sparkling Apple Cider for toasts. 

Some Helpful Tips for the Big Day:

1. As a Bride, I would very strongly suggest you stay away from the red wine. This was a little difficult for me as such a red wine lover, but it eliminated a lot of stress. Red wine will stain your dress dramatically if it spills, and also leaves stains on your lips. I stuck with Champagne.

2. Know your limit, and don't even get close to it! No one wants to see a drunk bride, including your future self. I am a lightweight, so I stopped after two flutes of champagne. 

3. This tip may be a little unnecessary, but if you are as paranoid as I was it might be something to consider. If you are sitting at a party table, instead of a sweetheart table, ask your new husband and Maid of Honor (or whomever may be sitting on the other side of you) if they wouldn't mind refraining from red wine during dinner as well. This may just be me, but I was paranoid about spills, and people get rowdy and excited at weddings.

4. If you are supplying your own wine like we did, you will need to know how many bottles you'll need so that your guests can have a decent amount, but won't end up costing you the whole aisle at BevMo. I used this Wedding Wine and Liquor Calculator. 

Photography by Nerinna Studios

Baby Shower

Over the weekend I went to my Sister-in-Law's baby shower. She is having a beautiful baby girl (as you can probably tell by the massive amounts of pink, and "baby girl" sign), and she will be my first Niece! I can not wait to be an Auntie! 
The baby shower was absolutely beautiful, and was put on by her Mom and Sister, and they did such an amazing job. It was held in her own backyard. There was a candy bar, tea sandwiches, pink lemonade, and OPI's "It's a Girl!" nail polishes for favors.
Aside from it just being a wonderful celebration of a new family member to come, I actually won a game! I never win shower games, and I LOVE them, so I was beyond ecstatic. The game I won was sculpting a baby out of chewed bubble gum. (Thank you art school.) I won't post a picture of my winning baby, because it was quite sticky and unappealing looking, BUT IT WON NONE-THE-LESS. Very excited.

I thought this would be a perfectly appropriate time to bust out my pink heart sunglasses. I fit right in with the candy bar!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Reconsider the Definition of Need

Lyrics- "Admit It" by Say Anything featured in image. Good song, I recommend checking it out.

Let me start this off by clarifying that I love shopping. I love clothes, I love make-up. One of my favorite activities to do with my girlfriends is to go out and come home with perfect little bag full of new treasures. I intend on doing future posts on fashion and beauty, and I follow a couple fashion blogs, it makes me happy.

Ok, now that that's out of the way; fashion is a fucked up world. What else is new right? (Pardon my French.) I did this piece after flipping through a Marie Claire and stumbled upon a page with an article titled "What You Need to DO, SEE, and TALK ABOUT". ...Excuse me? I know that the fashion giants love to tell us what we need to look like, but what we need to talk about? What we need to see and do? Why don't they just call the article "Feel like being Brainwashed?" 
What it comes down to is; fashion magazines are trying to convince people that material objects like a new shade of lipstick, the newest Jeffrey Campbells, or some old ripped up (but actually brand-spanking-new) band t-shirt will fill a void. Do you like Iron Maiden? Or do you just like the image of a rocker girl? Know yourself, and be true to it. Magazines are filled with articles on "How To get Men", in which the advice circles around what make-up to wear, and how to style yourself for a date. Lipstick will not get you love. 

Let's not even get into the weight thing. I think we all know the problem there.

Let us reconsider the definition of "need". We are all guilty of it; seeing that perfect sweater that may as well have been made just for you, and you say it. "I need that."
No we don't. We need to be warm in the winter, we need food, water, and clothes enough to cover our bodies. We need good relationships with other people, we need experiences that will expand our learning minds. We need to buy food and keep roofs over our heads. We do not need MAC's "Snob" lipstick. (Side note- why on earth would you name something "snob"? Are they actually trying to promote this character trait?) Continuing a habit of saying "I need that, I need this" becomes self-fulfilling. Maybe it started as just a way to express how much you want something, but pretty soon you start to feel an emptiness that needs filling. When something is out of price range, it becomes devastating.

You might confuse these opinions and think that I must not give into any of this. Not necessarily. I don't give in, but I do own Revlon's knock-off of "Snob", I like the color. My point is, make the decision yourself. Don't blindly accept that the people putting out these magazines and ads know what is best for you. No advertisement is working for you. Sift through the bullshit, and decide what you want for yourself. And know that you want it, I promise life will be just as good if you can't get the Louis Vuitton bag.

So I will continue shopping, and treating myself to make-up I don't need, and I'll participate in trends of the now, but not because I feel like I have to. I will do it because I want to, and because I am aware of the frivolity.
I will not let these faceless Prada-walkers tell me what to Do, See, and Talk About.

Building an On-Camera Makeup Kit

So today at work (I work for a film production company in the bay area) I was assigned the best task ever. Re-build our on camera makeup kit. I was handed an old red tool box filled with ancient makeup, and it is my job to renew it and make it more streamlined, while being more versatile at the same time.
We mostly do filming and production for Tech videos, conferences, etc. Nothing too exciting, so there is really no need for fun things like eye-shadows, eye-liners, glitter, so on and so on. Our goal is to make people look like they have perfect skin and hair.

This is was our makeup kit before. The powder compacts are ancient, a complimentary hotel lotion, and hair spray from God knows when. 

As you can see, they were kind of all over the place in the skin tone department. Most of the kit was made up of trying to find the right type of pale, and most of these compacts were too old and solid to get much use out of.

So off to CVS I went! Because what we do is so small scale, we didn't need any overly expensive make-up. I got a variety of compact powders to help fill out the remaining usable compacts we had left over. We now have a variety of concealers (we only had a single pale one before), much better hair spray, bronzer for both light and dark skin, clear mascara for eye-brow fly-aways, blush, an eye-brow pencil, and what I think is most important for on-camera action: Oil Absorbing Sheets. Lights get really hot and that will certainly create shine we don't want.

So there you have it! My little adventure in practical on-camera make-up. I can't wait to put this to use!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Top Five Walter White Moments (Spoilers)

In timing with the premier of Breaking Bad Season 5 part 2, I feel it is time for this post. At first my intention was to do "Top Five Breaking Bad Moments", but when I started listing all of the possibilities it got out of hand. It became clear that the character development is what sticks with me the most about this show. (also cinematography, which is soon to come.) So I started two separate lists, Walt moments, and Jesse moments. First up- Mr. White.

1. I Am the One Who Knocks.
This scene, without a doubt, holds the most quotable line from the entire series. The reason I chose this moment was because this is Walter admitting, out loud, to his loved ones that he is not the same man he once was. This scene shows that not only is Walter aware of the descent he has taken, but that it does not concern him the way it concerns Skyler. 

2. Say My Name.
Probably the most badass thing Walter White has ever said.
The ever-growing pride of Walter White has fully manifested, and we the viewers have no choice but to be taken wherever Heisenberg is going. At this point all we can do is watch in agony trying to figure out whether we are rooting for Walter, or just plain terrified of the chaos bound to come out of this. Maybe both?

3. Walt Pulls the Trigger.
Our first glimpse into just how manic Walter White is. The main character tried to kill himself in the first episode. Not in a well thought out, sad story moment that can only add to who this person is, but in a split-second of desperation when things got too intense for him to handle. One loaded bullet on day one would have changed everything. I think this is one of the biggest moments in the show (though often forgotten), and was one of the first that changed his course permanently.

4. Run.
Story and film-making gold! The way they went about creating this scene, and what it means as a story plot point is just fantastic. My husband, who is a film maker, always pin points this as the moment we realize Walt is no longer a man to feel sorry for, but as a calculated killer. (which is what we see come to fruition in the very next episode.)

5. Crawl Space.
Aside from some of the best acting I've ever seen, and Walt's terrifying-nightmare-haunting cackle, this is my favorite scene in the entire series because of the music and cinematography. The slow beats of the music give an almost "silent noise" effect that is truly haunting when combined with Walt's breakdown, and the camera pull back to look down at Walter is such strong symbolism for being trapped, and death.  He is lying on his back, in the dirt, underneath the floorboards, losing all mental capacity to handle the situation. He is literally boxed into a small frame. 
Walter White is dead," Bryan Cranston explains. "And Heisenberg rises from the ashes."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

That 70's Show Gave Me a Thick Skin

"Stop being so sensitive." was something I heard every day as a child. I somehow found a way to take anything and everything personally, and I would dwell on it and let it ruin my day. (I once cried because my second grade teacher thought my nail polish was purple and not blue. Yeah.)
My group of friends now is in a constant state of laughing at each other, and little girl Rachel would be crying everyday if she were here, luckily she isn't. 
That 70's Show taught me how to laugh at myself. If Eric Forman couldn't laugh at himself and let things roll off his back, frankly I don't know what he would have done. The group on that show knew how to laugh at each other, and how to laugh at themselves. There may be some cases where things said seem a little harsh, but the next day (or even the next hour) everyone was back in that basement loving each other.
I watched this show with my family, and eventually we got the seasons on DVD. It is a staple in our household, and shouting BURN across the living room became a thing.
I think being able to laugh at yourself is one of the most important attributes to have as a person. The fact of the matter is, you are going to screw up. You are going to say something dumb, you are going to trip and fall, you are going to make a fool of yourself. Laughing at yourself and moving on makes for good stories, and good friendship. 

Top Five Beers

I was a rare bird and waited to start drinking regularly until I was actually 21. I had had a few drinks before then, but nothing really worth mentioning. When I started drinking I thought for sure the only thing I would ever enjoy would be over-the-top fruity girl drinks. It has proven to be quite the opposite, there are only a few mixed drinks I truly enjoy, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred I will opt for a beer over anything else.
My good friend Bill is my local beer expert, and was one of the people to take me to my first beer tasting festival. Ever since that day beer and I have been good friends. I love trying new labels whenever I can, but so far these are the ones that have made it into my Top Five. 
(If I had to choose an all-time favorite, it would be a brawl between Old Rasputin and Delirium Tremens.)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Farmer's Market Flowers

Keith and I went to the farmers' market today, I was most excited about the flowers and Keith was most excited about the tomatoes. Getting up early on a Friday and cleaning the house, going out and coming home with fresh produce and bright flowers has been the highlight of my week. I worked so much, it was nice to get out of bed for myself instead of a boss today. The house looks so bright and happy with these flowers, and the hydrangeas have really inspired me for my next painting. I can't get over those colors! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bride Tips: Wedding Day Makeup

Makeup was something I put a lot of thought into leading up to the wedding. I started shopping around for the general color palette I wanted and started trying things on an everyday basis in order to get a feel for how I wanted to look once the big day arrived. I wanted to make sure I had a good balance of looking done-up, and still feeling like myself. I didn't want to walk down the aisle looking like a different person, and I didn't want my make-up running all over my face, so priming and fixatives are key!

Our wedding was very natural and on the casual end of things, so I decided to go with an enhanced version of my everyday makeup. I love a good cat-eye, natural lip, and some shimmer, so that's what I did. This was also my first time using fake eye-lashes, and I loved them! I would highly recommend it, I felt like my eyes really popped because of them.

These are some products I used, and very highly recommend. 
I have supplied links below the image. I hired a hair and make-up artist, and she did an amazing job, but looking back on the great work my bridesmaids did on themselves, I would have been fine just having them do my makeup for me. (My hair needs a professional though, there's no arguing that. It's a monster. But that's another post.)

Photography by Nerinna Studios

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Life Lessons

I am very young, so my lessons may not be as "worth their salt" by other peoples' standards, but at this moment I am the oldest I have ever been. It's all relative. I saw this article today, and thought to myself; What are life lessons I've learned? What have I learned for myself through personal experience, and what have I learned by listening to others? I think, though there are lessons that ring true across the board, everyone has a unique set. One lesson that may read the same in print could have very different meanings amongst different people. So here is my list, as of 2013 at age 23, some I learned on my own, some I learned from others.

1. Sleep is very important.
2. The situation will change, good or bad.
3. Worrying makes everything worse.
4. Things will end up OK because we make it so.
5. God is always there.
6. If you feel like you need to lay down, lay down.
7. Don't get your hair done if you are on a tight budget.
8. Independence is worth being broke.
9. Don't wait on money for love.
10. Most employers will not treat you fairly, accept it and move on.
11. Take time to chase squirrels. (or smell roses, whatever floats your boat)
12. Believe you can be the next big thing.
13. Drink enough water.
14. What others think of you does not matter.
15. Cross some lines.
16. Strive to do the different thing, even if you love what everyone else is doing.
17. Be eccentric now.
18. Always know how you're getting home before you go out.
19. Get donuts at 1am.
20. Speak up, make yourself known.
21. Always be a little kinder than necessary. 
22. Be there for your friends, you need each other.
23. Trust what your best friend tells you.
24. Invest in memories, not things.
25. Unless that thing is a vacuum cleaner, you need that.
26. Be clean, you'll be healthier for it.
27. Put the phone down.
28. Being afraid is ok, as long as you move forward.
29. Don't worry about wearing the same thing as someone else, embrace it.
30. Forgive yourself for your teen years.
31. Comparison only leads to misery.
32. Great painters were not born great, they were great because they paint a lot.
33. Choose the path less taken, it's worth the hike.
35. There are no bad drawings, just steps to good ones.
36. Laugh at yourself everyday.
37. Get a credit card as soon as you can, and pay the bills on time.
38. Embracing yourself does not mean you don't have to work on yourself.
39. College is not the only option.
40. Spread love and you will receive it.
41. No one is perfect, including yourself, and that is beautiful.
42. Be a geek, we do run the world after all.

Top Five Graphic Novels (Volume One)

I read comic books when I was a kid, but not regularly. I started getting into graphic novels when I was in high-school, and started collecting my favorites then. Graphic novels are so satisfying because you get closure, which is something that allowed me to continue reading them. With comic books I found I would get frustrated that I had to read 300 some-odd issues from 4 different titles, and so a commitment to the graphic novel was formed. In the grand scheme of things I have only read a few of the great graphic novels out there (right now I'm mostly a DC girl), but these are my top 5 so far. As I read more, I'm sure this list will change, so here is Volume One: 

1. Watchmen
Obvious I know, but how am I supposed to leave this one off? 

2. The Killing Joke
The Joker is one of my all-time favorite characters ever created, and this story does the best job of showing how twisted he really is. I have a vintage copy of this, and the 2008 recolored version, and in all honesty I actually prefer the original color.

3. Kingdom Come
Alex Ross is amazing. This story is huge and grandiose, and with Alex Ross's paintings it has a very strong sense of realism and weight. 

4. Invincible Volume 1
Ok, I know this is not actually a graphic novel, but C'MON. I can't leave this off my list, it is just too good. The art is fantastic, and it only gets better as the story goes on. This volume also contains a story event so big, that when reading it through the first time, I had to put the book down and walk around my apartment a few times before picking it back up. 

5. The Dark Knight Returns
This was the first Batman graphic novel I ever read, and it is still my favorite. Batman is at his most badass in this and so is Frank Miller. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Featured on Style Me Pretty

Our wedding was recently featured on Style Me Pretty, which is a wedding blog that I followed religiously while planning my wedding. I couldn't be more thrilled to find out that we are now a featured wedding of theirs! You can see the full gallery and post here.

Photography by Nerinna Studios

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bride Tips: Picking Flowers

Picking flowers for your wedding can be daunting for some people, though some brides know what flowers they want for years. For my wedding I wanted to choose flowers and plants that represented Keith and I, be it where we came from, what our personalities are like, even my maiden name. I also wanted to go a bit unorthodox with my flower choices. I did not want any roses, orchids, hydrangeas, lilies, etc. (even though I am in love with roses) I wanted our wedding to be green, organic, and wild. We got all of our flowers from this fine lady, and what we loved most was that all of her plants are organic and locally grown. No refrigerator flowers here!
As a representation of my birthplace, Florida, I requested Spanish Moss be used wherever possible. For Keith, who is a native Californian, we asked for Artichokes. I am a huge fan of succulents, so these were everywhere! 

My Maiden name is "Miller", so I requested Dusty Miller leaves for my bouquet.

Its a great idea to have a separate "throwing bouquet". Chances are you are going to be really attached to yours, and won't want to give it up before the day is over. In my case, my bouquet was built up of mostly succulents, which are heavy. So to avoid knocking some single lady unconscious, I had a separate bouquet for the toss. It was light and airy with lots of Baby's Breath, Dog Ear leaves, and Ranunculus.

HUGE MONEY SAVING TIP: Talk to your florist about vases. If they are willing to let you provide your own, this can bring the cost of your floral bill way down. I provided all of the "vases" for my flowers. I saved tea tins, lemon curd jars, cigar boxes, candy dishes, lanterns, bird cages, etc. This is a chance to get very creative, and further represent yourself and your husband. Keith and I are big tea drinkers, so having plants in tea tins felt very homey.
You may also have noticed that table name- "Rivendell". Yes our tables were Lord of the Rings themed! You don't have to use boring old numbers, do something fun and meaningful to the both of you. Little details like this are what make your wedding unique.

After the ceremony instead of having rice thrown, I requested an Herb and Lavender mix. Lavender is one of my favorite scents, and this way no birds will die on behalf of our celebrating. The mix included Lavender, Rosemary, entire flower heads, and a mix of random flower petals. 
Another money saver: Instead of buying pre-made bags or cones for guests to hold their throwing flowers in, I simply rolled paper doilies into cones and stapled them together. What could have been a $100 expense turned into $5. WHOOHOO!

Photography by Nerinna Studios