Thursday, March 3, 2011

a lil' heads up would have been nice.

boy there sure is a lot to do two months before your wedding. like, a whole lot.   and while i have had a few headaches and even more paper cuts (darn invites) i know it is all going to be worth it when i see this...

...that is my dear friend kerry (and all 24975 of her teeth) on her wedding day. and just seeing how happy she is, how much fun she was having, and how loved she felt i know it is all going to be worth it come may 15th.

until then, i'll be taking a leave of absence from the blogging world. you can still keep tabs on all things chantersouslapluie via twitter.

miss you already.

xoxo, ashley

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a nod to the "little guys" (or should i say gals?)

the wedding industry is a $86 billion a year industry. with that lil' stunner of a statistic its easy to see why so many brides get lost in the fuss of it all and planning wedding takes a turn from what really matters and becomes more of a factory churning out generic decisions.

when jason and i began planning our wedding i may not have known what i wanted everyone to wear or whether or not we would serve cake, but i did know i didn't want to lose focus on what this all was really about - us and the incredible journey we are about to embark on, together. and one way that has helped me keep focus is turning away from the big-businesses and using local vendors.

here they are...

engagement photos
tess smith photography

tess is an impressive and amazing mother of three. her love and passion for life is apparent in every photo she takes.  my heart melts with every sneak peak she posts to facebook (which is quite often, she is pretty popular) as she has the ability to capture the tiniest glint in an eye, a shrug of a shoulder, a gleam of a smile which makes each picture so personal and so so special.

*please don't judge her from the above photo it's not her fault we can't take a picture.
**also, her sweet and adoring dedication from her family keeps her from doing time consuming weddings, but don't worry - i have someone great for that too. keep on reading...

lil' owl graphics

well, i can't show you them yet, but trust me when i say they are stunning. like tess, jen is a mother who appreciates the little things in life and this enthusiasm for love and life comes shows in her work which is always on the right side of special. she is patient, kind, and a pleasure to work with.

and she doesn't just do design - she knits. she knits the cutest hats i'm pretty sure that have ever been made.

mila rose designs

i! know!

she is adorable.

and that veil... don't even get me started. i can not wait to put that bad boy on my head!

and melissa doesn't just do custom and/or bridal work. she makes also makes the sweetest of headband, clips, and other lil' accessories that make getting ready pretty fun! if you're not lucky enough to live near several of the stores across the country that carry her work, you can pick a little something up from her etsy shop.

full bloom photography

kayla had me as soon as i clicked on her website and the most darling of love songs started to play. "i'm in the mood for love..." is the perfect setting to look over her adorable and heartfelt pictures which like tess's, capture the sweetest of moments with just the right splash or artistic flair.  i can not wait to see what she has in store for us come may. oh and kayla is also a bride so besides running her own gig she is also planning her very own big day; check out her vendor recommendations here.

*also, this couple (as seen on kayla's blog ) is ridiculously bad ass. me and my pink/gold wedding are extremely intimidated.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

velocity, roost halo chandelier

 its official. i need this. (as seen here.)

bario neal

i admit - i have accessories on the brain. and this lil' gem from bario neal might have made its way into my heart. (and as if the jewels weren't enough to win you over, the packaging is equally as unique.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

fete by prismera designs

i'm not usually one to get caught up in bunting, but the fete collection by prismera designs stopped me in my tracks. love the charming french sayings (mon petit chou, je reve, joie...)! not to mentin, the custom initials and banner design is just the perfect gift for a darling little one in your life.

i take my coffee with 2 scoops of memories.

i love my coffee mug. thats it, right there. and yes, it is my only coffee mug, but i wouldn't have it any other way. see, thats my brother and me. and while it is quite possibly the worst picture ever - it makes for just the best mornings ever.  because everyone morning (coffee pot under the machine or not) i will always have my cup of coffee with a scoop or two of memories.

get your own  here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

press play. again.

today is a bit of an off day. it started with me making coffee without the pot in the machine if that gives you any idea of "off" this day has actually been.

so, here is an oldie (but goodie).

there are songs that within the first few notes, transport me to another time in my life. some happy, others sad. some reflective while others are plain out ridiculous.

the funny thing is, when people ask me what kind of music i like, i tend to respond with, "i'm not that into music." yet I can tell you my life story through a chain of songs.
put on your headphones and join me as i set the sound track to my life.

silent night - to most this is a christmas carol sung just 25 days or so out of the year. to me its a promise of comfort, love, and sleep. this is the song my mom would sing to me when i was a baby. and as a toddler, when waking up to put me back to bed a few times a night lost its novelty, this song was played to me on a music box i kept snuggly under my pillow. whenever i hear this song, to this very day, i am filled with an abundance of warmth, safety, and my mother's love from so so far away.

low rider, war- he wasn't in a band. and he didn't play any instruments (as far as i know). but my biggest brother (along with his buddies) recorded a cover of war's low rider and wow, when I heard that, IT was set in stone (i use to only think but now i knew) my brother was a rock star. was his number one fan. he was after all the one who drew maps when i'd wake up from naps so i knew where to find him and wouldn't feel afraid. the one who found me hiding from the family and a trip to the nursing home to visit my great grandmother (not even my dad who was circling the neighborhood in his company car could do that). the one who would sing songs about poop in my microphone with me. he was the one i wanted around all the time. so can you blame me for jumping on my low rider, er, big wheel when i woke up from a nap to find him gone and graduating from high school without me! but then the bugger one upped himself and went away to school, again without me! could you believe the nerve of this guy?! but after receiving a card with mr rogers on the front and a thingy of red play-dough (that i can still smell) i realized that he'll always be a rockstar in my eyes.

bette davis eyes, kim carnes - fast forward to third grade. my sister and (other) older brother were in high school. lets face it, i wasn't exactly the one they wanted to spend their time with and god forbid they be seen together. but one night for a few hours the star aligned and we not only spent time together but had fun doing it (gasp). we blame the perogies we had for dinner that night (the night did become known as "perogie night" afterall) because apparently my mom laced them drugs (or maybe just a dose of looooove). after a pillow fight, playing dress up, and throwing my sister's mattress across the room, we danced. with bette davis eyes on repeat we brushed our v-shaped fingers over our eyes and shook our hands like we were rolling a dice. man, we had moves. now whenever i eat perogies i anticipate something magical happening and of course, it never does. so maybe it wasn't the perogies maybe, just maybe, it was only some family wanting to have some good old fashion fun together.

one sweet day, mariah carey and boyz II men - my hair is perfectly flipped. my plaid jumper had never looked better. and my mary janes had never been so shiny. there i was at my first middle school dance. this song was on and my arms were wrapped around the love of my life's (well for that month at least and as far as middle school love goes) neck. his arms are around my back, no wait they're sliding down. what? where are they going? they're not suppose do go down there! what does he think he's doing? we never even kissed (well not kissed kissed). pure panic sets in as his hands come to their final resting place, my butt! gasp! luckily mariah hit her last haunting, utterly depressing note and the song came to end. phew, my virginity was still intact.

3 am, matchbox 20 - you can't make fun of me for listening to this song, everyone else was did too. heck, you probably had the cassette tape. you also can't make fun of me because this is the song i listened to as i got ready for my grandfather's funeral. while i was still young (in 8th grade) and didn't yet grasp the importance of getting to know your grandparents on a personal level, i did know there were things i was going to miss, things i took for granted, and thing i never ever told him were just great. his fedora. they way he knocked on the door when he came over. how he would always be the first to leave saying, "every party has pooper, thats why you invited me." how he'd take me to burger king on grandparent's day and always (always) acted surprised when i housed a whole whopper. his seat at the head of the table and the brown coffee mug he always drank out of. his hawaiian shirts. the little towel he'd wear on his belt when it was hot outside. the oyster crackers sprinkled with ranch seasoning that he never came over with out. all of that was gone and for the first time i grasped death. and it, my friends, is forever. but memories are too.

crazy game of poker, o.a.r -i broke up with my boyfriend of almost three years during my junior year of high school. and boy, was i scared. who the heck was i going to hang out with on friday nights now?! then my friend (and i won't name names because i want my parents to still like this person) took me, a few friends, and a water bottle full of booze (syphoned from a number of bottles from his mom's stash) out on the town. the goal: to teach me how to drink. a few swigs, several humiliating acts of drunkenness, and a box of powdered sugar donuts later i most certainly didn't know how to drink (i still don't),but i did learn the importance of friendship. barf (on all accounts).

bad day, daniel powter - i know, i know. these songs couldn't get much lamer, but hey its my life (as the equally lame bon jovi would say). so picture this i'm studying abroad in southern france my junior year of college. i have a like-new apartment all to myself with a cleaning service and fresh croissants delivered everyday. i have three of the bestest friends a girl could ask for all living within the same building. i'm traveling and eating and seeing things people only dream of. i'm drinking french wine by the kegs (literally, there were kegs of wine), sipping espresso in cafes, and wearing scarves like a true parisian. so whats so "bad day" about that? my dumb ass missed home so much, was so frustrated with the cultural differences, and couldn't bear waking up at 6 am to make it to class that i forgot to enjoy myself most of the time. and my bestest friends, well they were no help whatsoever. we moped around from futon to futon together with this god awful song on repeat (not by choice mind you. the french just really dug this song and would play it practically nonstop. why? i don't know - their french.) and putting down whole baguettes in minutes. mon deux, the songs are lame because i'm lame.

pda, john legand - at some point after meeting my current boyfriend (and again i won't say when that point was because i want my parents to still like him) i woke up in his bed. he jumped right out when the alarm went off, went to his closet and started getting dressed in a (wait for it) suit. you see i'm the creative type and i work in "fashion". a suit is a straight jacket to me. but hey, he works on wall street so what did i expect?! but then he turned on this song and i thought, "straight-edged white boy just might have some groove." you know that giddy feeling you get in a new relationship? well thats when it started and it hasn't gone away yet...

...that being said, i'm really looking forward to looking back on today's music and being transported to this time where i have never been happier, more in love, or more optimistic about what the future may hold.

i may not be in [to] music, but music is definitely in me.

whats your soundtrack?