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wedding gifting

6 Apr

In this day and age where etiquette rules are made to be broken, your grandmother’s idea of a great wedding gift is probably not your idea of a great gift. Now, I’ve never been married, but I’ve attended many a wedding in the past couple of years.

pinterestI think times are changing, but that doesn’t give me a really clear picture of what to buy on someone’s big day. To be real, I think we’re all making it up as we go.

Registries, to be real I don’t love them. That being said, I think they are a necessary evil. If 200 people were all going to buy me gifts, of course I’d love to give them some direction. Thank your registry for the fact that you got one toaster and not seven. Unless you have friends and relatives who don’t understand how to use a registry and you still got seven. Lucky you, that’s a lot of toast.

People register for what they want, that’s what you should get them. It’s easy and some places even wrap the gift for you.

My mom has been to thousands and thousands (slight exaggeration) of weddings and showers, and has a few go-to’s.

1. Vacuum- She has a Dyson and swears by it. It’s her fourth child. If you are especially close to her and register for a similar vacuum, she will probably want to get it for you. My friend DR also goes to a lot of weddings. He told me that he always picks some type of alcohol glass off the registry. I guess napkin rings aren’t his jam.

2. Money- I like this one too. Just some cash to spend on a honeymoon or a giftcard to somewhere practical. Of course, I add a heartfelt message in a Hallmark card too. Is this the most exciting gift to receive? No, but on a day you get 200 new things, I’m ok with giving a useful gift. I always do giftcards for couples who get married in a different city than the one they live. Giftcards are easy to move.

3. Diapers- Mom always gets diapers for people having babies. Not so much to newlyweds.

pinterestNow with Pinterest, any fool with a glue gun thinks she’s Martha Stewart (myself included). Is it kosher to craft wedding and shower gifts? Or should we just stick to crafting for our own homes? Would you hang someone’s craft at your house? It probably depends on who’s crafting.

Sometimes I’ll run across something perfect for the bride or the couple and buy it for them. Venturing off the wedding registry is not for the faint of heart. Generally, I only do this for people I am really close with, certainly not everyone. Definitely not for the type of person who expects people to stick to the registry.

My favorite gifts that I have wedding gifted are art pieces. It’s more tricky territory though. I recognize not everyone shares my “bold” decorating and style sense (read: “often gaudy”). Before buying I ask myself and trusted sources, would the couple really love this? Would this work with their style? With some of the things they already own? I have to be 100% sure before I buy something that can’t go back.

So is it fair to stray from the registry for close friends? Are you pro-giftcard? Former brides (are would you consider yourself brides still? Once a bride, always a bride?), what did you like getting the best?

pinterestAll photos via Pinterest.




29 Mar

I just want to take a second and say thanks for reading this, whoever you are. Know that I appreciate it. Also know that I would like to meet you in real life someday, if you’re not creepy or anything.

This post is probably going to feel random, because sometimes when I blog, this is my sentiment:
michael scottAnd today is one of those days.

I’m reading Half the Sky right now by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It’s been at the top of my Read this next Google Doc, and I’m a little mad I’ve put it off for so long. It’s easily the most terrifying and encouraging book I’ve read in a long, long time.

Nick and Sheryl have traveled all over the globe and written about the oppression and opportunity of women. It’s nuts to think about ladies just like me in third world countries not some of the simplest freedoms. The best part of the book is all of the success stories woven in to the chapters on death, poverty and lack of education. It gives me hope that people, like me, can make a change.

Seriously, everyone should read it. My description may have made it sound heavy, but it’s quite beautifully written.  It will also make us rethink things like organic pet food and trading in our iPads for iPad 2’s.

On a much, much lighter note. My dad sent me the funniest text the other day.

Me: (telling him something I had been working on went well)

Dad: We had Gwen Stefani.

Me: Huhhhh?

Dad: No Doubt.

Isn’t he a chuckle? I was impressed.

The_20_20_Experience_(Deluxe_Version)And finally, you should treat yo self to a copy of The 20/20 Experience. The album is so life-changing that I’m almost to distracted to participate in real life.

So the three take aways of this post are:

  1. Half the Sky
  2. No Doubt
  3. Justin Timberlake

Happy Easter:)

equality & slack-tivism

27 Mar

If you are a member of any social network, you’ve probably watched your feed blow up in the last two days. Tons of this:

marriage equalityThose red equals signs are posted by people who support gay marriage rights. As what could and most likely will become a historical supreme court case boils in Washington, we take to social media to duke it out.

Some people are saying, the supreme court justices will never see you Facebook profile picture. They could not be more right. I’ve seen the phrase “slack-tivism” used to describe my generation who is quick to post a picture on Facebook, but less likely to actually send money or volunteer. Although social media is not the most effective of all of the ways to approach a topic, I think it is an easy and cheap way to get the ball rolling.

I’m not going to try to change your mind in this blog post or with what I wrote on Facebook and Twitter, that’s not the point. I support gay marriage for a long list of reasons. I’d love to tell you all about it over a fancy dinner. Senator Claire McCaskill nailed it here, I have to say I agree with her on this one.

Generally, talking politics or religion (although I would argue this is a matter of the former, not the later) is tacky and fruitless. We should probably stay away from those topics the first time we meet, and save them for a period in our friendship when we’re a little closer. A little more understanding of each other and where we come from, who we are.

Rick Warren

But once we get to that point in our friendship, we should talk about gay marriage. We should share how we feel about abortion and contraception. Let’s chat about the Affordable Care Act. What do you think of national debt? We should try to understand each other’s views on the war in the Middle East. I want to know what makes you go to church and why you read the bible.

If we spend too much time immersed in groups of like-minded people, we never understand. We never grow. I’m not saying we’ll change our minds, actually I’m fairly sure we will not. But Camelot’s Court isn’t healthy.

Our politicians and church leaders set a terrible example of dialogue for us. They tell us not to listen to the haters. Ok, maybe rappers say that, but either way, it’s time to listen. Even if we can’t totally agree, we can find some middle ground. Maybe then we can solve some problems.

Throwing down a bible verse or posting a photo isn’t the end, it should be the beginning of a compromise or at least understanding.

Although we may not see a decision until early this summer, at least we are having some big conversations.

Paula Dean for equalityC’mon, that’s just funny.


south america pants

21 Mar was so excited to see Kelly over at Messy Dirty Hair styling some Hammer pants this week with her #TheMessyProject. How mad am I that she got that blog name before me? Pretty mad. How excited was I to see these pants? So pumped.

Let’s back up a hot second. Once a month Kelly hosts #TheMessyProject. Four bloggers participate. She mails them each the same item of clothing. Each lady posts photos of her way of making it her own. Lots of the clothes she picks are a little loud or different from the norm. You can follow this link and see all the outfits posted this month.

So why do I care about these pants? I’m not a fashion blogger, and right now I’ve sworn off shopping. But when I was in Uruguay in January, I bought some equally as loud cheetah pants!

It was at a street fair by the bus stop. I stopped the first time when we arrived in Montevideo. There was a whole rack of cheetah pants! Of course Josh rolled his eyes. They were only $10, but when I started drooling he said, “Shannon, you will never wear those.”

So I passed them up. Then we spent two heavenly days on the beach. We swam. We got sunburnt. We learned to surf. We ate more steak. We ate a giant piece of grilled provolone. But those stinkin’ pants were on the back of my mind.

Bold flowy pants were ALL.THE.RAGE. in South America. Seriously everyone had them. It was the middle of summer, so it all looked so colorful and casual.

The second time we passed them, as we got on the bus to return to the ferry that would eventually take us back to Argentina, I knew they were mine. I bought the pants and Josh bought a blanket. He still thought I was a nut.

I wore them for the eight-hour plane ride home and my parents thought they were pretty funny when I got back to the  States. Now, Kelly is making them popular.

Do I look like I’m wearing jammies or do I look totally fabulous? Can I look both?

cheetah pantsSpecial thanks to Mandy my photog for the shoot in our purple entryway.



11 Mar

OMGeee, I totes forgot to link my instagram to my blog.

I’m sure if you read this blog, follow my tweets and maybe are my Facebook friend you are probably thinking… where can I see Shannon’s phone photos with vintage filters?!?  You lucky dogs, you can follow me on the ‘gram.


A little lame, but my name, my blog’s name and many other comobs were already taken. Girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. So follow me and use that little heart to like my photos. I’m excited to follow you back and see what you’re having for brunch.

Here’s a taste of what you’re gonna get…

callmeshannonw instagram

I’d love some feedback. Too many food shots? Not enough? More selfies? Sorry I don’t have a pet or a baby!

beautiful desserts: delish or disgusting?

1 Mar

Does that read like a Seventeen headline or what?

I think it’s time for a serous topic: cake. The other day I was eating a Minnie Mouse cookie my roommate gave me for Valentines Day. (Thanks Mandy!)

Very adorable (me and the cookie), I know. But the cookie wasn’t totally the most delicious thing ever. (Mandy your homemade desserts are

I think we can all agree that homemade cookies take the cake, pun intended, when it comes to taste. In my vast experience of eating sweets, I’ve come to realize that homemade aren’t as pretty or as uniform as Chips-Ahoy, a gamble I’m willing to take.

Is this cake as yummy as it is pretty?

Is this cake as yummy as it is pretty?

Wedding cake is hit or miss. I can’t imagine baking a cake a few days in advance, icing it to artistic perfection and it still tasting soft and moist. My cousin Jen’s was, but it was baked that morning. I think as a bride, that could be a little nerve-wrecking, but as a party guest, I appreciated it.

On Pinterest, there are millions of cakes for every birthday, baby shower and wedding color scheme possible. They look awesome, but the real question is, what the heck do they taste like? Are the cakes stale by the time they are done being decorated?

Does this one taste metallic too?

Does this one taste metallic too?

Brides out there, help me out! Do you pick a beautiful cake for the photos? Are you more worried about the look or the taste? Why is fondant the nastiest of all icing, yet the most popular? Why? Why?


So the question is, are taste and looks mutually exclusive in the dessert industry? No right or wrong answers.

I just can’t imagine the stress of someday planning a wedding if I have to make life choices like this.

Also, happy March ya’ll. That can only mean one thing… It’s time to start on the 100 miles! Join us:)

snow (night)

22 Feb

I didn’t get the day off work, but I did leave an hour early yesterday. Mandy and I decided to bundle up and play in the snow for a little while.

Her outfit was many slimming black layers. I decided her snow day nickname would be Black Magic.

Mine was my Grandpa’s old coveralls. He was a very small man. I decided my screen name would be *CarHArttPriNceSs23*


“Do a sexy car wash pose!”

stop sign in the snow IMG_1009 snow mandy IMG_0939

We came back in and warmed up with snow drinks, snowmade ice cream, sketti and homemade cookies. There was stretching, the Bachelor and SVU. Happy snow night, ya’ll.

snowmade ice cream