Becoming the Callaways - Alison & Matthew Callaway |
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reading now

19 Jun What We’re Reading Now

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Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, MD.   I absolutely devoured his previous book, Grain Brain, and can’t wait to read more in this one.  I had already been gluten-free many years when I read his book about the lifelong effects of gluten on not just your digestive system, but your brain, and I still learned tons and walked away feeling like I hadn’t been doing nearly good enough job in my diet.  So, challenge me more, Dr. Perlmutter.  I’m ready to read everything you have to offer about the connection between your gut and brain!


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The Nest Newlywed Handbook.  For many of us, the endless internet research and pinteresting stops at planning the wedding.  The know-it-alls of the wedding planning process, The Knot, has a sister site, The Nest, and this is a treasure trove of information.  I only read a few tips each day, but I feel a little more prepared for our new married life situations now (example:  how do we file taxes? ugh.).


Want to see more of what we are reading?  Visit our bookshelf!



The Callaways

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09 Jun Invitations, Invitations, Invitations!

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The process of creating your wedding paperie can be extremely overwhelming.  Between the save the dates, party invitations, formal invitation, rsvp’s, enclosures, stationary, and more, it seems inevitable that you’re going to make a mistake (costly or design-wise, neither good).   I was extremely lucky to have a future-sister-in-law with killer design skills who offered to put together our wedding suite for us.  Matt’s sister (Meredith) spent hours and hours going back and forth with me via email, brainstorming on our ideas, and then presented the toned-down idea boards and then the mock invitations on these nifty presentation boards.

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We really wanted the formal invitation and save the date to go together, so once we had the overall concept down, we perfected the Save the Date.  Meredith also designed our duogram (a monogram with the married couples first initials only) and monogram.  In proper fashion, duograms are used before the wedding and monograms after, since the last name shouldn’t be given to the bride until she is officially married.

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We sampled all sorts of papers, fonts, inks, and print styles, and finally ended up with a combination of taupe letterpress and gold foil printing, blush pink and white Designers Fine Press paper, blind embossing of our duogram on the back of the invitation, and gold calligraphy.   We also had a stamp made out of Claire’s (the calligrapher) handwriting for the return address.  They turned out beautiful – thank you thank you thank you Meredith!

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^^ Claire Ferguson, our sweet friend and awesome calligrapher.  She was able to match the font we wanted on the front of the save the date envelopes, and had beautiful calligraphy on our invitations.  ^^ Father of the Bride received his Save the Date – that’s the “it’s really happening” moment!

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^^ Meredith holding her son, Logan, with me, at one of our invitation meetings.  You can see everything she prepared all over the table : color charts, presentations, paper samples galore.  ^^ The invitations were ordered from Paper Place in the Central Market Shopping Center.  Meredith communicated with them on sending over our custom design files and ensuring they were correct, and the awesome staff at Paper Place double checked each file and ensured the actual materials would print the way we wanted.  Then, the invitation stuffing party began!

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^^ Meredith and I with the finished product!  As you can see, we opted to skip an inner envelope (our favorite envelope company didn’t make them in the larger size envelopes) and did a band of stardream coral paper with the names there.

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^^ We paired the invitation stuffing party with a blind wine tasting, to pick the wines for the wedding : lots of fun! (Funny fact : we ended up picking none of these wines, but instead chose six of the awesome options that Cile brought to the bachelorette party where we relived the tasting! She is the sommelier of the group and it was too sad to leave her out of it!). This was a girls only event, but my dad helped stuff and drink beer, and Matt joined at the end to help us judge the wine.  It was so awesome being surrounded by so much love and I appreciate all the helping hands SO much!

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^^ We started getting RSVPs back!  I highly recommended setting up a place to keep all your cards, and keeping your tracking system organized.  My mom and I giggled at the difference between her RSVP tracking for her wedding (left) with my new computerized spreadsheet system.  Never throw away your RSVP lists!  These are a treasure to go back and see.  ^^ The parents of the bride are invited!
Save the Date and Invitation Designer : Meredith Callaway

Calligrapher : Claire Ferguson

Printer : Paper Place // Designer’s Fine Press

Stationary : Inviting Affairs

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04 Jun Best Bachelorette Bash Ever!

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I have the BEST MOH. ever.  (And I realize I’m already married but she’ll forever be my “sista moh”.)  But really, she is the best.  She took a red-eye flight, arrived in Austin at four AM, and got a total of three hours of sleep the night before my bachelorette weekend, so that she could take off the entire Friday with me to have fun preparing together and she could put all the finishing touches on the BEST BACHELORETTE BASH EVER.  So we went shopping at HEB, and then the Asian market, which was horrible, so to HEB for a second time.  Blair (thanks Blair!) picked us up and we were on our way to Gruene, Texas!  We had the best river house for the weekend.  It had a huge island, big enough dining table to fit all of us, and an awesome outdoor fire pit, right on the river.  Most importantly, everyone had a bed.  Christy (sista moh) made adorable kits for all the girls, filled with the necessities for an awesome weekend – gum, power bars, eye masks, hair ties,  emergen-c packets, and ring pops, and put them on each girls bed so they would know where to bunk up.

bachelorette blog post.002bachelorette blog post.003For dinner on Friday we rolled our own sushi (which was almost a disaster as we forgot to buy sushi grade tuna, but oh well, funny story, just cooked it, and it was excellent).  We also had miso soup, edamame, and nibbles as people arrived.  Cile was super kind and brought us lots of wine to sample for the wedding (thanks Cile!) so we had fun taste testing lots of different bottles and picking out our wedding wine.

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The next day after we had all woken up with a few cups of coffee we did DIY Spa.  (Isn’t my sista MOH creative?!)  We made coffee sugar scrub, lip gloss, peppermint foot scrub, and blueberry oatmeal face masks.  Christy even made us jars with cute little labels.  After we were fully covered in our way amateur DIY goods, we went to the river to rinse off (after all, it was organic, mostly oatmeal, and we didn’t want to ruin the plumbing!).  The water was freezing, and walking in the pedicure shoes in the river didn’t quite work, but it was fun!  Then, we were prettified to go out for the night.

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We went in a bus to Gruene-tini, in a really cute area of Gruene.  Then went to the more historical area of Gruene and while we put our name on the list for the Gristmill got a glass of wine from the winery.  One of my favorite moments of the weekend was sitting around the courtyard here with all the girls.  (We missed Jamie and Lauren, but they were SO sweet to send a glass of wine!)  The buzzer rang before I was able to give my “thank you bridesmaids” spiel – but I don’t think anything I could say to these girls could do what I want to say justice.  I love these girls and just feel so grateful to have them by my side!  They are truly amazing people and I love each one of them more and more each year we grow together, whether new friends or friends since each others’ first day in the hospital.

bachelorette blog post.011bachelorette blog post.012bachelorette blog post.013bachelorette blog post.014After the Gristmill we had some fun at Gruene Hall, then decided we mainly wanted to just dance party, just us.  We held the most epic dance party that night and I can’t wait till the next one of these girls gets married to do it all over again!  Until I get to pitch in on that end of things, THANK YOU so much to all these girls (MOH, best friends, new friends, bridesmaids, house party chicas, and even mom and gma who couldn’t attend but really wanted to) who helped make this weekend the Best. Bachelorette. Weekend. Ever.  xoxo


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