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Then and now

Taking a trip down memory lane…

I didn’t take too many photos of the house before we moved in. Thinking back now, I wish I did. BUT… Here’s some then + now photos to see how far we’ve come.

Before we moved in

6 months after we moved in

Casual Dining/Living Combo
Now + I’m not done yet!
Entry then
Entry Now
Upstairs living then
Upstairs living now
Boys room then
Boys room now
Kitchen Then
Kitchen nook now
More on Kitchen to come
Laundry then
Laundry now
Our room then
Our room now

So much more to come…

This is just a glimpse of the transformations we’ve done, with much more on the way. It’s been an exciting ride and I can’t wait to show you guys more.

– Spencer Joii

Dear Abuser,

New readers, This won’t make sense until you read 955 Days

Dear Abuser,

I won’t say your name. You made the national news. You’re about to face trial for attempted murder. When I first heard the news, the revengeful side of me thought, karma’s a bitch. However, after all the articles, Facebook posts + people from my past messaging me… I started praying.

Sometimes I wonder what I would say to you if I ever saw you again…

Thank you for giving me my first son. He won’t know you, but will be warned about people like you. You’re missing out on a great kid. Thank you for punching me in the face… That woke me up from the spell I was under. I started to discovered my self worth and realized I deserve the world… And have found someone who has given it to me.

There are moments I feel sorry for you, but then I look in mirror and see the scar on the bridge of my nose. It’s a constant reminder that I survived you and I don’t have to be afraid anymore. You have no control over what happens and you’re completely powerless. I know the feeling.

It’s been five years since that morning; That day, my new life began. The girl that was tricked into loving you died that day. I watched my life go up in flames and I realized that the fire torched my chains along with it. Without you hurting me, I don’t think I would’ve been freed from those chains. The Khaleesi within me was born. As Ariana Grande says; Thank you, next.

When the police showed up you told them I hit you first, that I provoked you into hitting me. The same story you told everyone… That I was the crazy one. I was then 25% percent at fault in their book. Only 75% of my hospital bills were paid for because of that lie. You fooled the best; Police officers, judges, parole officers, pastors… Not anymore. A majority of us know who you are and what you stand for. I’m sure there are some out there that still believe the facade and I pray for them.

I pray that Talon won’t feel the affects of this. I pray that you don’t get set free and do this to someone else. I pray for your family and the pain you’ve caused them. I pray that I never see you again. Despite everything, I pray for your soul.

Some facts;

• Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.

• Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

• Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.

• Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.

• Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

• Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.

• Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police.

If you know anyone who’s struggling with this, or you’re struggling through it, PLEASE tell someone. Reach out for help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Hotline

Donate here

“I won’t let the pain turn my heart into something ugly. I will show you that surviving can be beautiful.” – Christy Ann Martine

Paleo Friendly Valentine’s Day Treats!

This weekend, I’ve been working hard to perfect some paleo friendly desserts for Valentine’s Day. Being real with y’all, it wasn’t easy. I went through 3 bad batches of both the cupcakes and cookies… BUT, I think I’ve nailed them! Here are recipes for Valentine’s Day that are paleo friendly, full of nutrients + yet, still satisfies our sweet tooth.

Note: Paleo means – NO gluten, NO refined sugar, NO processed oils + NO dairy.

Facts about a few ingredients;

  • Coconut flour is full of fiber.
  • Almond flour is a good source of magnesium + vitamin e.
  • Cacao powder (not cocoa powder) is packed with magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron + b vitamins.
  • Himalayan salt is full of energy-rich iron, vitamins + minerals.

Coconut Strawberry Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting

Recipe makes a dozen cupcakes

You will need

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

2/3 cup of coconut sugar

1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt

6 organic eggs

2 tablespoons of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup of coconut flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 cup of diced organic strawberries

For the frosting

2 ripe avocados 🥑

4 tbsp of maple syrup

6 tbsp of cacao powder

A handful of freeze dried strawberries slices

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Whisk oil, sugar, salt, eggs and milk.
  3. Mix coconut flour + baking powder.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients + stir until combined.
  5. Grease muffin pan or line with cupcake liners.
  6. Fill each with about 1/4 cup of batter, then a tablespoon of strawberries, then cover with another tablespoon or two or batter.
  7. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes – check with a toothpick.
  8. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes and then take out and put them on wire cooling rack.
  9. Once completely cool, you can start your frosting.

How to make the Frosting

  1. Using a blender or food processor (I used a food processor) put all ingredients in and blend until well combined.
  2. Take a silicone spatula and stir until you get whipped texture.
  3. Start frosting!
  4. I put freeze dried strawberries on top for decoration.

These have been demolished by all the boys in the house, so it’s safe to say they’re a hit!

Sugar Cookies With Chocolate Frosting

Recipe makes 2 dozen cookies

What you need

1/2 cup of softened ghee

1/4 cup of softened coconut oil

3/4 cup of coconut sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla

1/4 tsp of almond extract

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of Himalayan salt

2 1/4 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup of coconut flour

Note: I used King Arthur flour brand for both.

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer… Cream together the butter, coconut oil + sugar. Toss in the eggs, vanilla + almond extract, mix until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, almond flour + coconut flour. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients 1 cup at a time, mixing until combined.
  3. Form the dough into a ball with your hands and place on a piece of plastic wrap. Form the dough into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes + up to overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets.
  5. Sprinkle a clean, flat surface with coconut flour and roll the dough out until it is 1/4 thick. Rub coconut flour on your roller. Cut out the cookies using your choice of cutters. Work quickly so the dough stays cold. Using a spatula to transfer cookies to sheets.
  6. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  7. Cool on a baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Note: I used the same frosting + freeze dried strawberries (I crumbled them up and used them as sprinkles)

I liked these more than regular sugar cookies.

————————————————————————-

I hope you enjoyed these healthy goodies as much as we did!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How We Celebrate Valentines Day!

I’ll be honest… I haven’t always been a fan of Valentines Day. I think it’s a pretty overrated holiday. Mainly because I don’t think love should be celebrated one day out of the year. But this year I got in the spirit of February. I’ve put in the effort to make everyday leading up to Valentine’s Day full of special treats to remind all my boys how much I love them.

I’m not into decorating for holidays except Christmas 🎄 I put a few little things up around the house that aren’t over the top. Everything I either found in old boxes or Target dollar spot.

I wrote a love note to both boys for each day until Valentine’s Day. I really enjoyed it + I think I’ll make it a tradition. It made me more grateful for them + the quirks that make them special.

Talon’s Valentine’s 4 school;

Target has super cute ones that aren’t characters (I like to keep it classic and neutral). For his teachers, I got coffee mugs + bath bombs.

For the boys;

A cute shirt, book, some treats + a date night with me. Talon and I will go to dinner + a movie Friday night. Cohen and I will go out for breakfast on Valentine’s Day. Showing them love individually is important to me. I’ve been wanting to make this a monthly thing for a while now. Now is the perfect time to start.

Cute shirt

Book 1

Book 2

Trader Joe’s goodies for the win!

For Kyle;

We’re not big into gifting unless it’s our birthday or Christmas. SO… I’ll bring him breakfast in bed Saturday morning + let him play video games without interruption for 2 hours 😂 #thatslove. Hopefully we’ll catch dinner + a movie sometime this weekend and/or next weekend?

One of my goals for this year is to be more present, not stress the little things + give with experiences, not just gifts. Let the boys help me in the kitchen more, without micro-managing them. Showing them that I love them, not just telling them.

Paleo friendly desserts coming at ya this weekend! ❤️

How do you + your family celebrate Valentine’s Day?

What Made Me Change My Mind?

A couple of months ago, I was sitting in the truck with Kyle and the boys after my well woman exam. Tears steaming down my face and in pain, feeling like I was going insane.

Rewind 3 years… I had a beautiful baby boy. Before having him, I had signed off on getting my tubes tied. To be honest, my doctor didn’t question me (even though I was freshly 22 and this was my second child). He gave me a piece of paper to sign and I don’t even remember reading it. MY MISTAKE. At that moment, I just didn’t want another happy accident to happen. Even though I wouldn’t have had it any other way. They’re the best human beings that have ever happened to me.

For those who don’t know, I had my first son when I was 19… in the midst of an abusive relationship. After leaving that situation and meeting Kyle, not too long after we got together, we were pregnant. Despite using other birth control methods, I still got pregnant. So… I thought getting my tubes tied would be the best decision for me.

For the past 3+ years, I’ve experienced some symptoms that I didn’t have prior to having Cohen or getting my tubes tied. Just to name a few…

⁃ Frequent Headaches and Migraines

⁃ Abnormal bleeding

⁃ Stabbing Pelvic Pain (without PMS)

⁃ Depression and Anxiety

⁃ Weight Gain

⁃ Dizziness, lightheaded, vertigo feeling

⁃ Rapid heart rate

⁃ Hot flashes, chills, feeling clammy

⁃ Chronic Fatigue

The list goes on…

At first, I wrote it off as hormones.. body changes after second baby, blah blah blah. After a year or two… the issues weren’t going away + they only seemed to be getting worse or adding more symptoms. I would cut out diary, meat, sugar, etc. Daily yoga + walks. Nothing has helped. So, I started to do some research. Yeah, Dr. Google and me are cool. Judge all you want. I’m thinking PCSOS, Edometriosis… Something a lot those lines.

Dr. Google said;

POST TUBAL LIGATION SYNDROME

I’m thinking… is this even a real thing? It depends on who you ask. Most say it’s a myth. Some say it’s a real thing + a risk of getting your tubes tied. There are lawsuits pending + groups that speak against tubal ligations because they believe to have suffered from PTLS. There are forums that I’ve stalked looking for answers. A statistic from a tubal ligation reversal specialist;

Roughly 37% of women suffer from Post tubal ligation syndrome, following tubal ligation surgery. It is also said that of those 37%, women who have had their tubes cauterized at a younger age are at a higher risk for this syndrome.

September 2018, I finally go for an annual check up. I express to my primary doctor the issues I was experiencing. She didn’t seem too concerned + suggested I go to an OB to get an ultrasound + get my hormones tested to make sure but everything looked good. She does a pap smear and it comes back normal. Did a full blood panel, no red flags. Nothing to worry about, right? I’m a healthy 25 year old woman.

Then why do I feel this way? Am I just depressed? Should I be going to a psychologist? This body doesn’t feel like mine anymore… I haven’t felt myself.

Side note: They’ve actually preformed experiments on female lab rats with cutting tubes and/or removing the uterus to see how it affects the brain due to blood flow. What the experiments revealed was it did in fact have a negative affect on their brain and blood flow throughout their bodies.

Despite having all of these issues, I push through because #momlife. Some days are better than others. Y’all know how it is.

When the new year came, I decided to call a tubal reversal doctor to set up a consultation. I read women with PTLS that have had the reversal surgery and the symptoms dissipated within months of having it.

I spoke with one of their nurses, going over my medical history and surgical file. It was extremely informative + helpful. They said I’m a good candidate for the surgery… BUT insurance doesn’t cover it. Because it’s an ELECTIVE surgery. It’s not medically necessary so insurances doesn’t touch it. UGH. We’ll see how this process goes.

Next stop, OBGYN… Keep ya posted.

Despite being nervous to post this… I’m sharing this hoping that it will bring awareness to something that isn’t talked about all that much.

Have any of you dealt with PTLS or PTLS symptoms? If so, please contact me via comment, DM or email.

Shout out to my loving + supportive husband for always being there.

PS;

Men, you have no idea how hard it is to be a woman.

HoisiHouse Reno Inpso

Our goal for 2019 is to start on renovations for the house. This house was actually Kyle’s family home growing up. We’re doing this all ourselves, doing one room at a time, and it’ll take time. I want to take y’all along for the ride.

We’ve painted the main areas of the house, the half bath + the boys room. Our next big project is ripping up the carpet on the stairs + upstairs + laying laminate.

These are my personal inspiration boards that I’ve made for the house. Links to everything below the boards.

ENRY WAY 

I’ve always dreamt of brick pavers inside of the home. Loving this herringbone pattern

Brick Floor

Table

Mirror

Light Fixture

Fiddle Leaf Plant

 

OFFICE

Light Fixture

Desk

Chair

Rug

End Table

Loveseat

Bookshelf

DINNING ROOM 

Kyle’s building a table and bench similar to these.

Chandelier

Table

Bench

Rug

Chairs

LIVING ROOM

Fan

Sofa

Rug

Lamp

Table Set

Wingback Chair

Ottoman

End Table

KITCHEN 

We’re going to rip out the upper cabinets + put in open shelves. Probably keeping the lower cabinets + painting them an emerald green color. Kitchens and bathrooms are the spaces where I love going BOLD!

Countertops

Tile

Backsplash

Runner

Sink

Pendant Light

Pull

Knobs

Range – I’m obsessed with GE Cafe Appliances

Upstairs Living/Kids Living

Sectional

TV Storage

Side Table

Desk

Chair

Rug

Ottomans

Wall Art 1

Wall Art 2

Boys Room

Fan

Wall Sconce

Rug

Beds

Nightstands

Poster 1

Poster 2

Master Bedroom

Wallpaper

Bed

Wall Sconce

Rug

Wingback – I’m obsessed with these velvet wingback if you couldn’t tell 🙂

TV Hutch

Bench

Master Bath

Sliding Door

Wall Sconce

Wallpaper

Vanity

Tile

Shower Door

Bath Tub

Bench

I’ll be sharing our Reno journey through Instagram and blog posts so keep a look out for any updates!

Have you done any renovations yourself? Do you love it or hate it? Would you do it again? Comment below + let me know! ❤️

 

In The Kitchen With Joanna Gaines

One of the Christmas gifts Kyle got me was Joanna Gaines Magnolia Cookbook. So I’ve been cooking + baking anything + everything Jojo. I highly recommend it! My family has loved everything I’ve made from it. If you haven’t gotten a copy yet, go grab one!

Here are my favorites by category;

BREAKFAST

+ Pie Crust 

Pies are not my strong suit… I usually fail with pie crusts so most of the time I either, A. Don’t make pies, or B. Buy a pre-made one from the store. I was nervous to make this. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out great. It was super easy to make and very yummy; flaky and buttery. Could be used for savory or sweet dishes. It’s recommended with any quiche she has – there are a lot to choose from!

+ Overnight French Toast *****

I originally got this recipe from a Magnolia Holiday/Winter edition 2 years ago. I’ve been making it every Christmas morning since. I love a good overnight meal for a busy morning that you can just pop in the oven. It’s filling + delicious. Holiday food coma for sure!

+ After-School Banana Bread 

I’ve been making my grandmas banana bread ever since I remember, so I usually don’t veer off from that but I was temped to try this one. I love the different variations she suggested (adding pecans or chocolate chips to it) and I love the sugar on top; gives it a bit of a crunch. This is something thats fun to make with kids and they’ll eat it up like wolves afterwards. It was gone within a day.

LUNCH

+ Curry Chicken Salad *****

I’ve been craving this ever since we tried it. Looking at the recipe, it has unique + different ingredients than any other chicken salad but I’m never going back to a plain chicken salad again. I love pre-making things like this for easy, on the go lunches for Kyle and I. The curry powder and the water chestnuts are my favorite thing about it. It awakens your taste buds! This is definitely one of my TOP recipes from her book.

+ Poached Chicken Breasts 

For the chicken salad, I used this recipe to prepare the chicken breasts. I prefer this to store bought rotiserre chicken. Just a personal preference.

Appetizers + Starters 

+ Party Queso

Who can ever turn down a good queso recipe? Most quesos I’ve made in the past have  been vegan and we love them! Every once in awhile I like to treat us with the real stuff! I love how she added two different beans to this recipe to give it some sustenance. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m so happy she suggested blue corn chips with this because I’m a blue corn chip girl! I don’t even eat regular tortilla chips anymore unless we go out to eat.

+ Sheet Pan Nachos 

So I modified this one a bit. I used blue corn chips because duh, and we’re not big red meat/beef eaters so I use Trader Joe’s beefless meat crumbles. The only meatless crumbles that aren’t in the frozen section! One of my favorite things to do is fool people with them. Most don’t know they’re not eating real beef. Kyle can usually tell the difference if I get Morning Star or any other frozen section meatless crumbles. This is an easy lunch/dinner option when I’m feeling lazy and everyone in the house destroys it! I recommend pairing it with the party queso + a salad.

DINNER 

+ Mexican Rice + Beef(less) enchiladas *****

This was a straight win with all the boys/men in the house. Kyle asked me if I could make this once a week — Mexican food is his favorite. Safe to say, this is a staple. Honestly, I’m not usually an enchilada fan but this tasted better than most restaurants I’ve been to.

+ Chicken Spaghetti 

Talon + Cohen are spaghetti lovers so I had to make this. It was a hit! They loved it and even ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. That never happens. I definitely recommend poaching the chicken breasts ahead of time, otherwise it can time consuming to make.

+ Baked Chicken with Bacon Bottom & Wild Rice 

This was a treat because like I said, we don’t eat bacon very often. But I’m a wild rice lover. It took more time, but I actually made the wild rice from scratch. She calls for boxed wild rice. Let me tell you, this was greasy in all the right ways. If you’re looking for a healthy recipe, this is not the one for you. haha. Kyle couldn’t get enough of this. He was in heaven. Next time, for a healthier alternative.. I might try making it without the bacon.

+ Grilled Salmon With Meyer Lemons *****

We’re big fish eaters. Especially Salmon. We have it at least once a week. And I’ve tried a lot of different salmon recipes. This one is by far my favorite. I didn’t grill them… I pan seared them instead. It seems like a simple, lemon salmon but marinating it ahead of time made it very robust and I think the dill gave it that extra flavor that I loved so much.

+ Blackened Fish Tacos With Red Cabbage and Mango Slaw *****

This is another staple in our house. Taco Tuesday anyone? My favorite thing about this? The Red Cabbage and Mango slaw. I ate it the next by itself and loved it just as much, if not more. This recipe made us realize that we don’t have to order tacos to get the flavor we want.

+ Gaines Family Chili 

Another one I made beefless. Chili is my favorite thing to make on a cool Sunday Evening. This one is super easy to make and tastes like it’s been in the crockpot all day, yet it only takes less than hour to make. Kyle suggests mixing it with mac + cheese hahah.  * Tips from a foodie.

+ Jalepeno Cornbread *****

From now on, this will be what I make with every Chili and Stew. You can go without the pickled jalepenos, but personally… That’s my favorite thing about this cornbread. It’s not spicy, just has the right amount of kick to it.

DESSERTS 

+ Brownie Pie 

This was Talon’s favorite! The flaky pie crust and chocolatey gooey center makes my mouth water for more. She hits the nail on the head when saying it’s the best of both worlds.

+ Mina’s Lemon Bars *****

This was Cohen’s favorite! They were trouble to have in the kitchen because no one could stop eating them! The first day I made them, I think I ate 5. Cohen keeps asking me to make more but I can’t control myself when it comes to anything lemony. Special occasions only! Saturday is special right?

 

WHAT AM I MAKING NEXT?

+ JoJo’s Biscuits

+ Brussel Sprouts

+ Sour Cream Coffee Cake

+ Ricotta Pancakes

+ Lemon Bundt Cake

 

What are your favorite recipes from Magnolia Table? Comment below!

Easy Sunday Vegan Chili

This Vegan Chili is the easiest to make! Perfect for Super Bowl Sunday! This can be made in the crockpot (what I do, because I’m a crockpot queen) or the stove (takes about 30-40 minutes that way). A nice part about it is that all of these are pantry staples for vegan/vegetarians. So no running to the store for special ingredients. Beans, beans and more beans.

Ingredients

We’re Trader Joe’s people. Everything is non-gmo and it’s cheaper than buying organic anywhere else.

  • 15.5 oz Organic Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)

  • 15.5 oz Organic Great Northern Beans (drained and rinsed)

  • 15.5 oz Organic Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

  • 14.5 oz Organic Diced Tomatoes

  • 15 oz Organic Tomato Sauce

  • 15.25 oz Whole Kernel Corn (drained)

  • 1 chopped onion (any kind you want.. I use red)

  • 3 cups of Vegetable Broth

  • GARLIC! A little or whole lot… That’s up to you. (I use a sh*t load)

  • 1 tbsp of Cocoa powder (you should be this in ANY chili!)

  • 1/2 tsp of Oregano

  • 1/2 tsp of Cumin

  • 1/2 tsp of Chili powder (I use Chile Lime)

  • 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper

  • Salt to taste (Himalayan is my FAV)

You can add bell peppers or jalapeños to this. The bell peppers (especially orange or yellow) go really good with this. I just didn’t have any and it’s more time consuming.

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion + garlic on the stove with salt and olive oil for a few minutes. Turn your crockpot on low.

  2. Spray the crockpot with cooking spray of your choice and toss the onions + garlic in there.

  3. Throw all your beans, tomatoes, corn and tomato sauce in there.

  4. 4. Toss all your spices in there and mix it up real good + then put the vegetable broth in.

  5. 5. See my note below for time. Once you’re ready to eat, spoon it into a bowl and garnish it with tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro – whatever ya like.

***Note: Time all depends on when you start. If you start in the morning, have it on low until dinner time. I started at 3pm + we usually eat at 6pm. I set it to high until we eat. Here’s the cool thing about not having meat, it really doesn’t matter how long you cook it for. You just want it nice and hot to rock your socks off. Now, I usually make vegan, homemade cornbread BUT for this sake of this being easy, I always like having this on hand in the pantry because you just add an egg, some oil + milk (I use almond), pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes and it’s good to go! It’s super yummy.

Happy Super Bowl + This Is Us Sunday!

loves

Getting Married For 12k

November 19th, 2017 I married my baby daddy + best friend at Millers Creek Rustic Events in Montgomery, Texas surrounded by family + friends.

This industry is crazy + expensive. The average wedding cost in 2017 for the U.S was $35, 329. In Houston, it was $40,285.

We wanted to have a fun party filled with warmth and love without breaking the bank. I dreamt of a Pinterest worthy day and got just that. We were going for a Rustic-bohemian feel with lots of greenery. A lot of neutral tones with hints of blush and navy. Here are some tips to make your day possible for 12k or less.

  • New + Upcoming Venue, Park, beach or a friend/family members house/backyard
  • Do a Friday or Sunday and save $$$
  • Unconventional food (pizza, bbq, food trucks, etc)
  • Skip the wedding planner BUT get a day of person to keep things on track
  • D.I.Y flowers (more greenery than flowers)
  • Local Baker(y) or even Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Goodwill (any resale shops) for decor and special pieces. Plus Target clearance 😂
  • D.I.Y stationary (You can download a lot off of Etsy and print it yourself)
  • Rent groomsmen attire (even bridal + party attire too)
  • Skip the liquor. Doing only beer + wine saves you a lot of money. Plus nobody gets too drunk.
  • Have a friend or family member officiate. It’s free online. Takes a few minutes.
  • D.I.Y photobooth
  • A village of family + friends for set up and break down

I consider us very lucky. We found our venue while searching online. A sweet couple that lives on some acreage with a barn in Montgomery and does everything themselves. They do it for the love of love and are SUPER reasonable. They provided all the tables, chairs and have TONS of decor to choose from. Debra also does the day of coordinating.We chose the Sunday before Thanksgiving because family would most likely be in town anyway.

Pappas BBQ catered for us. People raved about the dinner bell menu (smoked brisket, smoked turkey, mac + cheese with green beans and rolls). It was tastier than your typical southern bbq plus it’s much more fun + half the cost than just chicken + potatoes. We bought beer + wine from Costco, and had soft drinks in ice chests for kids and non-drinkers.

Our flowers came from a local florist and the rest are from HEB + Whole Foods. All of the hard work was done by family, my bridal party and myself. My favorite part was the giant wreath hoops that we wrapped in greenery and hung from the ceiling.

Our cake came from BabyCakes Bakery. She was recommended by our venue and won awards for her cupcakes. If you live in The Houston/Conroe area, you have to try them! We also had donuts from Shipley’s + a bonfire for roasting s’mores.

Our glassware came from months of estate sales, goodwills and resale shopping. These were also our guests favors to take home with them. Our plates + silverware are from Amazon (they’re plastic) but looked like real tableware. We had glass liter water bottles on each table (24 per box from Whole Foods). Because of our connections to the service industry, our linens were borrowed from the Cheesecake Factory. The menus + thank you cards were downloaded off of Etsy and printed, cut and folded by me.

Invitations + programs were designed by Minted but printed by a family friend. A little cheat/hack. Saved us hundreds of dollars. That candle was actually made by grandparents for my parents wedding. Our cake plate was my parents wedding plate. Ring box is from Etsy. Fake moss from Michaels. Handkerchief was a gift from my sister, made by Regenerous DesignsWe rented Kyles suit from Menguin. They have a lot of choices and are very helpful and thorough with sizing and measurements. The groomsmen ties we ordered from Nordstrom Rack (originally $56, on clearance for $12). Groomsmen socks were ordered from Ties . I let my girls pick their own dresses that went with the color scheme.

The photo-booth backdrop was made by me. I got everything from Oriental Trading to make it, along with props to go with it. We had 2 Polaroid cameras out that guests could take pictures with + take them home.

Kyles sponsor officiated the ceremony. We used a non religious script that I found online and added personal touches to it. We also had a tree planting ceremony. Without our family and friends helping us with everything, the day wouldn’t have happened. We’re so thankful to have such giving and loving people around us.

Our photographer is a dear friend who has done all of our family pictures since Cohen was born. You’re a Godsend, Jordan White.

Vendors that helped make this day beautiful: Millers Creek Rustic Events, Pappas BBQ, BabyCakes Bakery, Jordan White, AGB Productions, Enloe Entertainment, Angela Karr, Menguin, and Davids Bridal. <

‘m going to post more pictures of the wedding this weekend. If you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to message me.