Saturday, June 25, 2011

This is it!

I'm awake before anyone else (except Linja, who must be channeling my nervous energy), sitting in the quiet living room. I'm afraid to drink coffee, because I'm already racing with nerves. Not bad -- just nerves.

Today is my wedding day.

Image: Martha Stewart Weddings

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello, Thailand!

This afternoon, Lindsay and I have been cleaning this house like house elves. No offense, Hermione.

We were, however, delightfully interrupted by a surprise call from our dear, dear friend Elizabeth; she's currently on the World Race and is in Ban Patong, Thailand now! We got to chat and laugh with her for a good two hours--marvelous.

Photo credit: Lindsay McKissick

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Distracted by pretty things

Being busy with wedding plans means that I am so easily distracted, especially by beautiful things.
So, here are some pretty things that are somewhat wedding-related.

Sparkle an Interest Heel
Image: Modcloth

Super sparkly, super fun, super chic!

I might wear them for a night on the town with this dress.

Starry Night Dress

I love the clean lines of this dress, but the print is a different surprise: spangly stars.

And maybe some pretty jewelry...

 Sterling Silver 14kt Gold Heart Rings Stackable 3
Image: Etsy

I have a new obsession with stacking rings, and I love the ones with little hearts or gemstones on them. I don't want a whole stack, just one little ring by itself. Lovely! So subtle, so feminine!

And, I'm getting married, so I confess I'm looking at pretty undies. Anthropologie (no surprise) has some of the pretties sets I've ever seen.

Like this one! So soft and feminine, but so unique. Love the ruffles and the bow!

And I absolutely love the picture on the right from a Franschhoek wedding, which is, appropriately enough, from The Pretty Blog.

I usually don't like kissing pictures, but this one is so romantic.

What pretty things have you seen today?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Final Jones Days

In a week's time, I will be Mrs. Andrew Sweeny, and be dancing the night away with my dearest friends!

The time is passing so painfully slowly -- some people are stressed and busy at this point, and I have practically everything done. I keep wondering what I'm going to do with myself the first part of next week. I feel like I'm standing against a fence, looking through at that green, green grass on the other side, so ready for the gate to open.

My turn yet?

I spent a pleasant afternoon earlier this week putting together centerpieces with Lindsay, Laura, and my newlywed friend Elly. I'm so pleased with how they turned out! And I can't tell you what they look like because I love surprises, but I will tell you one reason why they're fantastic. Paper airplanes.

I love these guys. Also, I have no idea how to make them.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Project: Project

Lindsay and I have been so busy doing cool things.

Cool project Number One: Welcoming sign for the driveway at the Hill House for my wedding.


Cool Project Number Two: Sugaring. This is make-it-yourself wax. We found the instructions here, and gave it a go. 

You basically make homemade caramel, and let it cool until it forms an impenetrable blob of goo that acts the same as wax for removing hair.

 It worked really well for Linja, but not so well for me. I may try it again, but at this point, I'm still a wax or razor believer.

Cool Project Number Three: Operation: No More T-Shirts.
My hometown has a beautiful old theater, so I snagged two tickets to the Neil Simon play that's running now, so we had a great excuse to get dressed up and do something fun.

No one else was around, so the big mirror was our best shot for a picture of us.

I also spent this morning making myself a roll pouch for my new make-up brushes out of a place mat. I was skeptical, but I think it will work very nicely. I'll post the instructions next time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pecan-Crusted Salmon

I love pecans. I promise if you put pecans in almost any food, I will be attracted to it. Pecan waffles? Pecans in a salad? Pecan ice cream? Peas porridge in the pot nine days old --with pecans? I will order that!

We have a new cookbook from Taste of Home of their most requested recipes. (You can buy it here.) Our first recipe from the new cookbook: Yup. Pecans. Not only pecans, but pecans and salmon. You can't lose. 
Pecan-Crusted Salmon
(Not my recipe, just passing on the goodness.)

Start with 4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each); place them in a large Ziploc bag, and add 2 cups of milk. Seal the bag and turn to coat them with the milk. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

It looks disgusting.

While the salmon is sitting, combine 1 cup finely chopped pecans, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons each seasoned salt and pepper.

Mix, mix.
You'll want to use a shallow bowl, because you'll be coating the salmon with this mixture.

Coat the fillets with the pecan mixture, gently pressing into the fish.

In a large skillet, brown salmon over medium-high heat in 3 tablespoons canola oil. Transfer the browned fillets to a 15-in by 10-in baking pan (basically, a cookie sheet) coated with cooking spray.

Ready to bake!

Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork.


You'll want to serve the salmon immediately, as it's best warm. The crust keeps the meat warm, but it's meant to be eaten soon out of the oven.

We paired the salmon with cornbread, steamed broccoli, baby carrots, and (of course) sweet tea.

As the darling Julia says, bon appetit!
Or, as my aunt Jenny says, "Pass things!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

Getting things done, getting things right

Days until my wedding: less than 20. We're talking terrible, loud-laughing, music-blaring, eye-rolling teens.

I have my calendar organized for the month of June, so that Lindsay and I are on top of what needs to happen, so that we get things done in an orderly manner, and enjoy these days without stress. The problem? I'm still feeling the stress. I have no idea why; I just am. Today, I felt so out of it, so far from caring, so disconnected.

The goal for this evening: purchasing a nice set of make-up brushes. I figure if Kate Middleton can do her own make-up for her wedding, then I sure am. I want to look like myself. I'm immersed in product reviews. I know the MAC brushes are supposed to be the best, but I'm not a professional, and I don't want to spend all my money, but I also want a quality product that will last and do the job well. Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today is the first of June, which means by the end of the month I will be married. Holy cow.

Lindsay is driving here at this very moment, to be my shoulder and laughter and roommate for the final 24 days. I haven't seen her in way too long, and I cannot wait. The house is scrubbed and clean, all ready for company... except that the upstairs is a complete disaster because I've been packing up my room. Boxes of books, lots of empty shelves, and random things, sadly disorganized, all over the place. But we're heading to Virginia this weekend to start moving in to my new house! Andrew was given the key today. We have a place to live!

The enormity of the change that is coming hasn't really registered in my mind yet. Getting married, moving away permanently, living with a boy for the rest of my life . . . those are all really big changes. I'm becoming more and more intimidated by the task ahead. I don't mean to say that I'm getting cold feet, because I definately still want to marry that wonderful man. I just mean that I'm beginning to understand the seriousness of the promises I will make in a matter of days. To die to myself, to love him every day, no matter the circumstance, no matter the offense, the attitude, or the rights I think I have -- and nothing until death will part us. There are no rights in marriage, only the betterment of the other person. So, pray for me, reader, for I have never needed the work, love, and grace of my Lord Jesus Christ so very much. There is no way I can be a good wife without the gospel continuing its overhauling of my sinful, selfish heart.

I am getting excited about marriage, don't worry. It's just that it's not to be taken lightly. I'm already thinking about what to pack for our honeymoon -- to the secret destination. Where are we going? I have no idea. Where do you think?