still snowed in? another free blockbuster rental code

Use this promo code to get a free one-night movie rental thru Thursday, January 13at your local Blockbuster Express (it’s the “blue box”).

7CHD1X (expires Thursday, Jan. 13 at midnight)

Thanks goes to Save the Coupons for the code! You can use codes like this online to reserve your movie and pick it up for FREE, or simply use it at your “blue box”.

You need to make sure you return your one-night movie rental before it’s due (9pm the next day) to avoid an additional night rental charge. And just like Redbox you can use each promo code more than once if you use it with a different credit card. Check to find your closest Blockbuster Express location .

 

 

daily inspiration

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

Mother Teresa

the undeniable influence of Charlie Louvin

I found this article about my grandfather on the Saving Country Music Blog.

http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/the-undeniable-influence-of-charlie-louvin

On February 22, 1956, Elvis Presley played a concert at the City Auditorium in Waycross, GA. Opening for Elvis that night were two brothers, Charlie and Ira, a gospel duo called The Louvin Brothers. In the crowd was a 9-year-old boy, a native of Georgia, born and raised in Waycross. How that boy felt about Elvis that night is uncertain, but The Louvin Brothers left an indelible mark on him that he would carry for the rest of his life.

That 9-year-old boy had a somewhat troubled youth and ended up in a boarding school, but eventually he got straightened out enough to attend Harvard University. Years later on the back of a hotel message pad dated March 8, 1969, he wrote to an old boarding school buddy who had requested of him an essential list of music, “Any Louvin Brothers record will do.”

After Harvard that same boy ended up on the West Coast, eventually hooking up with a traditionally psychedelic band as a salaried keyboard player. Once in the band, he began asserting his Southern influence and taste, eventually compelling them to completely change their direction and sound to a country feel, to record their next album in Nashville instead of LA, include a Louvin Brothers song on that album, and even play the Grand Ole Opry.

Even though that kid from Waycross, GA never became a huge superstar, his influence on music could still be felt on a national level, and it crossed genres. He became good friends with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, and heavily influenced the sound on albums like Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers. Now with a little money in his pocket, its said he paid people to scour the record stores of LA, looking for rare, out-of-print Louvin records. He also discovered a Country Music Hall of Famer by the name of Emmylou Harris.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, that boy from Waycross, GA was Gram Parsons, possibly the greatest ambassador for country music that has ever lived.

With The Byrds, Gram recorded The Louvin Brothers composition “The Christian Life.” He also recorded the Louvin song “Cash on the Barrelhead” on his solo project Grievous Angel.  Louvin music was essential to selling Emmylou Harris on the “simple beauty” of country.

“I want to play you something,” said Gram to Emmylou. Emmylou sits down and listens. “Who is that girl singing the high part?” Emmylou asks. Gram replies, “that’s not a girl, that’s Ira Louvin.”

Emmylou’s first #1 hit was “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” written by The Louvin Brothers.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It might be easier to list the country music legends who have NOT covered Louvin songs than the ones who have. I’ve always tried in my musical journey to find the source of good music. For example when you hear those great 70′s Rolling Stones records, you can trace them back to Gram, and then back to Charlie: like mining the true generation of the song to get at the heart of it. And when you do this, you find so much music originated from so few people, and one of those people is Charlie Louvin.

As part of the grass roots support for the mounting medical bills from Charlie Louvin’s cancer treatment, Judd Films is making a DVD of his recent show at Foobar Too in Nashville. In conjunction, Keith Neltner has released a limited edition of prints, with all the proceeds going back toward the DVD project. The prints can be purchased at Neltner Creative, 14 of which are singed and hand embellished by Keith himself.

And if you want to explore the relationship between Gram Parson and Charlie Louvin more, look into the album Hickory Wind: Live at the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull, Waycross, GA.

wedding details: our wedding

10.23.10

those of you who are married, engaged, or mothers know how tedious, stressful, complicated, and in-depth wedding planning can be, so I figured I’d post things I learned, sites I used, and mix in some of my favorite details of our wedding.

Before we get into the details, enjoy a slideshow of our beautiful wedding



Our Vendors

If you’re in the Nashville area, or just liked our style, here’s where it came from

 

Cake: Covered with Icing, Heather Noble

www.coveredwithicing.com

-our cake was delicious to say the least. In the beginning, cake wasn’t a big deal at all to me.  After all, most wedding cake tastes the same right? As I was leaving for Minnesota for the summer, I left many details up to my extremely helpful mother and cake was one of those.  A few weeks after I left, my mom informed me she had found this seemingly amazing cake.  Her and my dad had met with the baker, tasted it, and my dad LOVED it. My dad is not a cake person, at all, especially chocolate; and apparently he couldn’t get enough.  Next best part, she (Heather) would let us do multiple flavors, custom designs, the icing tasted good, and it could be my dream cake (which I still had no idea what that meant).  So I agreed after her insisting, I mean my dad liked it, it had to be amazing.  Upon returning home in August, I emailed Heather, we set up a meeting, and she let me pick 3 different flavors and icings to try and brought miniature cakes of EACH flavor I requested.  Enough to take home for a few days.  That’s just the beginning.  Every flavor was so rich, and so homemade tasting, and just mind-blowing.  First off, I’d never had such amazing cake, second off, wedding cake.  I was floored.  THEN, she said she wanted my cake to my my dream cake.  So we went through things I liked, things I didn’t, and just my general wedding ideas (which those of you who know me, know those weren’t very nailed down, ever).  She wanted to get my vision in her head so she could go with it with her artistic style and create it.  I showed her a picture of a topsy turvy cake (http://www.cakescapecod.com/images/topsyturvyopt.jpg) I liked but we both agreed that we couldn’t make a cake big enough for our 200+ guests in this style, so we decided on cupcakes and a cake on the same table displayed artistically.  And we used the scrollwork I loved from the topsy turvy cake, which she matched to my dress pattern.  AND best part, I could have ALL THREE flavors (Red Velvet, Lemon, Strawberry) in my cake on different layers and throughout the cupcakes because she baked each cake individually (to keep the flavor as great as possible I assume).   Throughout the next few months, Heather and I emailed back and forth constantly to make sure everything would be perfect.  My sister’s birthday was the week before our wedding and I really wanted to do something special for her and she loves chocolate cake, so Heather even made a special small birthday cake (chocolate chip cake) for Kelly!  Wedding day comes, everything is perfect!  As another surprise, Heather made us a small heart-shaped cake for Tom and I to take with us to eat on our Honeymoon AND instead of freezing a piece to eat a year later, she told us she’d make us a small cake for our 1 year anniversary!  Overall, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY reccomend Covered with Icing to anyone in the Nashville area needing a great tasting, great looking cake from a baker who really puts her heart into her work!

Photography: Myrick Studios: www.myrickstudios.com

-photography was the most important vendor of our wedding, to me.  So it was important to me that I find someone who not only would deliver amazing pictures, but who loved their job.  I’m a very passionate person, so for my wedding, I wanted a photographer who was passionate about their work AND who looked at their work as a lens into the world and a way to express not only their creativity, but to display the most important details of my wedding day, not just as another paycheck.  I searched long and hard for weeks across blogs, review sites, from married friends, and anything else I could find on google.  After meeting with several photographers and ruling some out because of sheer cost, I settled on Mike Cowart with Myrick Studios. Mike loved his job, was great at it, and had an eye for making sure the details AND the ‘moments’ of the wedding were captured.  He seemed to have a knack for capturing emotions through his lens. I was impressed.  This and the venue were the main 2 details that I HAD to have decided before I left for the summer.  So after emailing for several months leading up to the wedding, it was finally time :). Mike did an amazing job at capturing the moments of our day and getting them back to us FAST.  We had online proofs within a month!! I would recommend Myrick Studios to those of you looking for a creative, artistic, passionate photographer who captures the perfect moments!

Sparklers: www.captainboom.com

-being a pyro-maniac and obsessed with doing things differently and making every detail of our wedding personal, I wanted to have sparkers as we left our reception.  Originally, we planned to buy a TON after 4th of July, but that just didn’t work out, so after scavenging the internet, we finally settled on Captain Boom for our sparklers.  This site was by far the best priced, we got 144 sparklers for $50.  If you’re thinking of using sparklers, do not get the bamboo stick sparklers, we almost made this mistake due to the cheaper price point, but apparently they are a fire hazard, they break more easily, which can cause awful experiences, so don’t do it.  I LOVED the sparklers just as much as I thought I would.  It was perfect!

Favors: (Personalized Hot Sauce) www.tabasco.com

-continuing on the unique and personalized wedding theme, we wanted our favors to be something useful and something “us.”  After debating a few options and deciding against having our favorite spicy chicken restaurant (Murfreesboro’s Chicken Shack – go there!) for catering, we decided to have miniature personalized Tabasco sauce bottles on each of our tables.  We found these and knew it was perfect!  If you’re looking for personalized favors, don’t be limited by the typical ones, think of what you want, and see if you can make it happen within your budget.  You’ll be surprised what you can find!

Dress: David’s Bridal

www.davidsbridal.com

-David’s Bridal is such a default and first go-to place for bride’s for a reason, it’s great.  I’ve never been one to want to spend a ton or care much about designers or seasons of dresses.  If you are, David’s might not be the place, but it may be, I just didn’t look at brand or season when I looked, I just wanted a dress that would make me feel like a princess.  My dress was actually the first one that I tried on.  Stereotypically, it was nothing like what I thought I would get, it was lacy, somewhat poofy, and had lots of beadwork on it.  I put it on, though, and BAM it was perfect.  I tried on several more dresses but kept coming back to the same one.  We paired a pool blue sash with my dress which really added something unique to it (which I wanted).  I was hoping/intending to match the bridesmaid dresses (also from David’s) to this color, but the perfect dress did not come in Pool blue, but it came in another beautiful shade, cornflower, so we matched my sash and Tom’s tux vest and the girls’s dresses to the boy’s tux vests.  It worked out better than I even imagined.  It made Tom and I really stand out and have something special and unique just for us which made the day even more special and allowed me to have 2 shades of blue.   PS- David’s will tell you, but Mens Wearhouse matches the tuxes exactly to David’s Bridal colors, I’d reccomend it.  If you’re looking for jewelry or other accessories, they also have these, but I found mine elsewhere.

Hair and Makeup: Kayla Jenkins, Independent Hair and Makeup Artist currently at Hair and Body Day Spa, Gallatin, TN

www.kaylaleeann.com

-Simply put: I love Kayla.  She’s so sweet and does such a great job at keeping up with current trends that she’s always able to recommend hair styles or make up trends for you, not just because “everyone’s doing it.”  Kayla has been cutting my hair for a few years and we went to the same church growing up so we’ve known each other for a bit, but if you’re looking for someone who always has a fresh look on things and simply loves her job and loves the people who come in, go with Kayla.  She’s flexible, and so willing to work with whatever you want.  My favorite part was that Kayla let me do a “trial run” of my hair and makeup which I happened to coincide with my bridal portraits so we could spend a morning just playing with my hair to see how I wanted it.  You have no idea how much stress this can cut out of your wedding planning if you do this a few weeks before.  Check her out!!  Even if you’re just in the market for a new place to get your hair cut, give her a call.  Oh and her salon is a spa which has great pre-wedding massages as well!

Shoes: www.Zappos.com

I knew I didn’t want “typical” shoes for my wedding and originally I wanted them color matched to my sash, but after hearing and reading horror stories about dyeable shoes, I decided I just wanted blue, bright blue.  I’d used Zappos before for Teva flip flops and was amazed at how fast the shipping was.  So I ordered 3 different shoes to try, decided which one I liked, shipped back the other 2 (all at no shipping cost, free shipping all the time!) and it was all settled within a week!

Invitations: Social Graces-Nashville, TN

www.socialgracesonline.com

Invitations were also very important to me.  I wanted, again, something unique and something personal and custom just for us, but without spending a fortune.  A Catch 22 if you ask most people.  I’ve always enjoyed stationary shops, especially local ones, so I checked out a local shop I’d been to in college in Hillsboro Village of Nashville and settled on Social Graces.  The girls working were so personal and so in tune with making sure the invitation was what I wanted.  We went through hundreds of pages of paper, styles, etc and originally I was going to have an envelopment invitation where the invitation is the envelope, to save money and have something unique, but then the envelope was forever connected to the invitation.  So we settled on a metallic gray back paper, blue (matching my sash) middle paper, and yellow linen paper for the invitation.  They drew a weeping willow tree (representative of many of our dates in Nashville) with a heart with our initials (another thing Tom had done for me in our relationship) in the background.  The top part of the invitation started with lyrics from “Sweet Caroline” and the last line was “foreverandever. etc” which was the song Tom was humming when we first met.  They made the fonts perfect, the colors perfect, and after emailing a million times back in forth because I was in Minnesota we settled on the invite you see to your right.  They printed return addresses on the envelope, made RSVP post cards, and a cute hand drawn map to put in with the invitation.  They assembled everything which was so great! When I picked them up, they were all organized, tied with cute ribbon, and ready to be stuffed by myself and the lovely Katherine Hailey.  My invitations were exactly what I was looking for!

Save the Dates: Zazzle.com

I had seen post card save the dates and wedding invitations before and thought it was a great and unique idea, so on zazzle.com, we could custom design our save the dates and have however many we needed shipped in a matter of days.  So Tom and I designed post cards with one of our engagement pictures on them.  Overall, it was a great idea and saved a ton on postage because we sent post cards instead of full envelopes!

Programs: Designed by the Groom Himself

Continuing the theme of creativity, uniqueness, and personalization, Tom created, printed, and assembled our programs.  The front featured our names, the coordinates for where the original geocache from our engagement was placed (see engagment story), and the coordinates of the altar where we got married with a watermark compass behind them.  Inside were the usual names and music (check out Vitamin String Quartet for some great modern twists on classic wedding music) and the back had a picture of us with the ‘thank you.’ The colors were earthy but matched our theme and the twine on the binding of each program was unique in that it was our colors and twine Tom often used to create outdoor items.

 

Flowers: Flower Express-Hendersonville, TN

Flowers weren’t that important to me, but I wanted them to match.  I knew nothing about flowers, and the girls at Flower Express explained everything to me and helped me find in-season flowers that were within my budget perfectly without making the bouquets look too much like they were for prom or a funeral.  They turned out great!

Other Details

Centerpieces: designed by our wedding planner/coordinator: Vases found at the dollar store, petals from Michael’s , pearls and rocks (to incorporate girly and manly), and candles from 100candles.com, all sitting on mirrors from ikea.com.


Communion during our ceremony was beautiful.  We had the groomsmen take it throughout the sanctuary while “Tremble” – Audio Adrenaline played and we and the guests had a time of silence/prayer.

Rings: my engagement ring, wedding band, and Tom’s band all came from Bell Jeweler’s in Murfreesboro.  They were so helpful in teaching us about the different options, costs, etc and the engraving for Tom’s was free since we had purchased the ring from them!  I’d reccomend them to anyone in the area!
We had this sign, and one that says “happily ever after starts here” that we ordered from Etsy.com, specifically Craft Mart Texas. They allowed us to pick nearly every detail of the sign and shipped them super fast!  If you want personalization while supporting local businesses and crafti-ness, check out etsy for sure!
Unity Sand: we also ordered this from Etsy.com, specifically Say Anything Design.  We wanted our ‘unity’ item to be something we could keep and display in our home.  This was perfect!
Our other details (rentals, table cloths, other decor) were provided by local friends and family.  We were married at McKendree Memorial United Methodist in Tom’s hometown of Portland and we went on our honeymoon on a Holland America cruise around the Carribean.  The food was catered by Paula Nadar’s catering ( a friend of the wedding planner).  Day of Food was local orders from Sonic and Food Lion and of course my token pre-wedding mountain dew.  It was such an amazing day, thank all of you who were a part!

Ruth 1:16-17 (The Message)

16-17 But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I’ll die, and that’s where I’ll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!”

1 Corinthians 13:4-13 (New International Version)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

new year-ness

the word resolution is overdone….so i’ll call mine new year-ness.

this will be my first year married.

first year out of college.

first year away from my family.

and I’m sure many more firsts.

so why not make it count?

I’ll edit this over the next few days/weeks, but I really want to start setting more goals AND writing them down. Goals are more likely to be accomplished if written down.

1. read AT LEAST a book a month

2. go to the gym 3x a week

yes stereotypical thus far, I realize

3. find 1000 geocaches with Tom

4. sleep outside a minimum of 12x this year

5. learn to ski

6. Run 3 different 5k races

7. read through the bible chronologically by December 31, 2011 (thanks YouVersion!)

8. see out of state friends at least twice

9. prayer journal daily

10. take the GRE

11. develop a hobby inspired by Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Whitney Sewell, or Jes Jensen

12. travel to 5 new states

13. go on (at least) one mission trip

14. try 2 new recipes per month (AllRecipes, Pampered Chef, friends…)

my favorite price is free

so this year, I’m going to be more budget concious and try to find more coupons, free stuff, etc. I think I’ll chronicle a few through here in case others want to enjoy…

I found 2 free nights at a hotel in Reno…we won’t use it because the flights are what gets you…

Grand Sierra Resort

Free Contact Samples

Free National Geographic travel DVDs

Free Tire Pressure Checker

10 Free Itunes song sampler (not that great…unless you want warped tour music)

more to come….