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30 Awesome Things About 30

Maybe it’s not exactly a “Living Green” topic outright – but embracing your age can be quite the life-changing experience! Rather than lamenting about entering a new decade, I have the opportunity to embrace a new chapter of my life with zest and zeal!

Having turned the corner to 30 just this week, I’ve been considering all the shifts that are ahead of me. “What will 30 feel like?” “What changes will this decade bring?” “How will I grow as a person, wife, sister, and friend?” These are all incredibly important questions that force me to pause and think upon the life I’ve been leading, and how I can continue to improve upon it. And not in superficial ways, but in the things that matter most: friends, family, personal accountability, and faith.

The excitement and intrigue of entering this new chapter inspired me to create the graphic above – simply titled - 30 Awesome Things About 30. Call me cheesy or sappy – but I think it’s important to reflect on these kinds of milestones and to approach them with grace and thanksgiving – which is what I hope I’ve done!

So for any of you who are nearing a milestone, or have recently entered a new chapter of your life, I hope this post inspires you to look beyond a number and indulge in the beauties of enjoying a full life!

Happy aging!

Katie & Philip's DIY Wedding 2013

When it was announced that my baby brother was getting hitched – I could barely contain my excitement! Not only was I a mega-fan of the bride to-be, I also knew that this wedding would be different. Between the creativity imparted on Phil by our family, and the uber-crafty cunning of Katie, I had no doubt that this would be a DIY wedding to remember!

The Plan:

First things first, the bride made her own handy-dandy wedding planner in which she would list all the elements that would need to come together for this rustic, meets shabby chic, affair. Delegating out tasks across the familial pool, we each had an important part to play. The Krupinski side of the family was in charge of flowers, bridal party accessories, favors, and a portion of the food and centerpieces.

By inviting family and friends to take the lead in the preparations for their special day, Katie and Philip ensured that their wedding would hold sentiment for them, and all the guests who attended. 

diy wedding

Wedding Favors: With a little elbow grease and some heavy duty diamond tip blades, my father made over eighty drinking glasses for the guests using old soda bottles. Talk about being green! Each one was then scripted with the event date and initials of the bride and groom making them an elegant and functional wedding favor.

Centerpiece Stands: My brother and dad also gathered used wooden candlesticks and wood from a recently fallen tree trunk, and assembled the most ingenious centerpiece bases (which I plan to steal for use in my own home – shhhhh). White washing each candlestick and gluing the top to a cross-cut of the tree trunk, these homemade cake stands were used for elevating the light and whimsical baby’s breath table bouquets.

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013

Homemade Pierogi: As the pierogi-making queen of our clan, my mom was assigned the creation of mushroom-stuffed Polish dumplings for the event. The premise was to add a bit of my brother’s ethnic heritage to the food spread, since everything else on the menu was wholeheartedly American. Over the course of one week, my mother handmade, then froze, over three hundred pierogi. The woman’s a machine!

Bouquets & More: Our instructions for the bridal party florals were fairly open ended. We were told to aim for the wedding color palette, which was mint, mustard and cream, and beyond that, were entrusted to our own creative musings. Hopping down to the south-side of Chicago to a “renown” wholesale florist, my mom and I left with nary a stem. The selection was poor and the prices were a bit too steep. So, instead, we swung by the Lakeview Trader Joe’s and Jewel and found everything we were looking for: yellow micro mums, a variety of roses, mint carnations, peach privet berries, cream hydrangeas, white snapdragons, and the bride’s favorite, baby’s breath. Katie’s floral wishlist also included calla lilies – which we could not find in any of the stores. My mom’s brainy solution? To head to Home Depot, by a few calla lily plants, cut off the blooms and plant the rest in her garden. Brilliant! The final touch to each bouquet, boutonniere, and corsage was the sprinkling of wild greens that we had picked from an abandoned lot the day before – adding a much needed burst of texture and whimsy to each piece.

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013 Pierogi Picnic Petticoats

Pierogi Picnic Petticoats: Last, but certainly not least, the wedding wouldn’t be complete without a pinch of Pierogi Picnic! So the bride requested that I create eight custom-made petticoat slips for the bridesmaids. Not only would this give us more freedom of movement at the reception, it would add a bit of flair to our ensemble. So gathering up bits and pieces of vintage lace from some of my favorite local resale shops, the bride and I sat down to design and make each underskirt. And the result was perfection!

The Venue: The wedding itself took place in a farm turned event space in the nearby suburb of Willowbrook. A perfect blend of charm and honky-tonk, the venue allowed for the ceremony and reception to take place at a single location – eliminating the need for guests to burn additional fuel to travel to two separate sites.

KP wedding 1

One of my favorite elements from this phenomenal DIY wedding (besides all the goats, horses and geese that joined in the festivities) was the double-door entryway that the couple created. Since the vows would be exchanged in an open field, they felt it was important to ground the space while making it feel more ceremonial. Using two massive vintage doors, they rigged them up in a way that would gracefully lead the wedding party down the aisle. 

Making this wedding their very own, and including those closest to them, made it quite the affair to remember. 

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013

Philip & Katie's Do It Yourself Rustic Wedding

Katie & Philip's DIY Wedding 2013

Katie & Philip's Green DIY Wedding 2013Philip & Katie DIY Farm Wedding 2013

All of these beautiful wedding photos were taken by the talented Zipporah. Check out her website here

bicyclesI’m smitten! Is it a new pet, pair of jeans, flavor of ice cream? Why no! It’s my new vintage bicycle!

Penny Lane, as she’s been dubbed, is my ticket to riding throughout the city this summer. With her curvacious frame, light weight and lemon meringue hue – she’ll be my constant companion to the season’s fairs, fests and lake-side lolly gagging.

Now that I have a new “steed” I’m apt to fancy it up with some accessories to make the ride that much sweeter. Here’s a smattering of some of my favorite handmade and earth friendly finds for jazzing up a bike for the summer! Read the rest of this entry »

I love love love playing up each season in my home using knick knacks and materials that are already strewn about our place.

So when  curating the look of my home for Easter and spring, I thought it would be fun to put a creative twist on the traditional symbols of the season.

Can you spot the themes?

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (3)

For this fun and vivid display I collected all the bird-like objects that I had dispersed throughout our apartment and brought them together on a runner of bright green moss.  Compiling items with a similar shape, theme, color, texture or size is a great way to make an  “instant collection” with pieces you already own. Not a dime spent here!

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (6)

I’ve been obsessed with brass vintage figurines this past year. Having found a set of bunny statues a couple years back – I have found myself moving them around the apartment at the shift of each season. But with it being spring – they are front and center on my side tables.

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (5)Feathers feathers feathers! They’re so easy to find and there are endless ways of using them! Whether collected in vases or strewn across the fireplace mantle with twine and washi tape – these natural (and trendy!) wonders add an airy texture to any space.

pierogi picnic a touch of spring (4)

These pillows! I just couldn’t stop myself when they appeared in an email newsletter from fab.com. These unique animal plushies are created when artist Kristin Loffer Theiss draws out the image using thread. She then scans and prints the design onto the fabric and stuffs each with filling and love! The result is a collection of unbearably adorable pillows! Here I’ve collected several of the more spring-like animals together to sit upon my re-upholstered vintage chair. Read the rest of this entry »

Bedroom Makeover
The weather is officially dreary in Chi-town and the post-holiday slump is coming. The decorations have come down and the new budget is in full-effect, which means one thing: It’s time to re-decorate!

Now, when I use the term I’m not talking about going out, buying lots of new accessories and paint, and cluttering my home with more ‘stuff.’ To me, re-decorate (see the clever use of the hyphen?!) means to take what you already have in your home and re-arrange it for a new look. Read the rest of this entry »

Our foster dog Apple modeling with me.

Our current foster dog Apple modeling with me.

Tis’ the season for shopping, eating and looking at sparkly things. Many of us become caught up in the fast paced rush of the holidays, that we forget that it’s a time to focus on joy, peace and love. The greatest love of all is that which manifested in Jesus’s birth – which is indeed the reason for the season. But how can we, with all the distractions and chaos, re-focus on making it a time of substance? Read the rest of this entry »

It’s official – today is the day. Today is Earth day! But rather than focus on all the things we aren’t doing – what about keeping things positive and listing everything you are already doing to live consciously?

Share in the comments below the changes you’ve made in your lifestyle this past year.

And don’t just limit it to tactile things like changing thermostats and using fabric shopping bags. Include how you’re attitudes and viewpoints have evolved and how you’ve grown in your understanding of stewardship and responsible living.

 

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