Beautiful Flowers, Yes Please


I was contacted by The Bouqs to receive review one of their bouquets.  All opinions are my own.  This post also contains affiliate links.

The Bouqs Review

Who doesn’t love getting flowers?  I love having fresh flowers in our house.  And who wouldn’t love to get flowers delivered straight to your door?  That’s right.  These flowers came from Ecuador and were delivered straight to my door.  They had a customs sticker on the box and came from a volcano!


After I opened the box and took the flowers out, I added the special food to the water.  Then all I did was trim the stems and place them in the vase.  The flowers started to bloom and have been gorgeous ever since.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I think this is a great alternative to gifts.  I know that my grandmother would love to get flowers for any occasion.  I mean, wouldn’t you?

The Bouqs Review

What I love about this service is that you can pick and choose to have these flowers delivered pretty much anywhere.  And the best part?  They last a really long time.  I have had these over a week and they are just now beginning to bloom.  The water hasn’t been changed in that week and it’s still crystal clear.  The roses are so full that I was able to take some pictures of my engagement ring with them.

The Bouqs review with wedding rings

The Bouqs Review

The roses are so full that I could fit the ring inside the roses instead of having to prop it on top.  Aren’t they gorgeous?

The Best Day: The Details


There are so many aspects of your wedding that you plan but never know how they will all come together.  These details are what set each wedding apart from each other (or in the land of Pinterest, how each wedding is very similar to each other).

Since our venue was located in the North GA Mountains, we knew early on that our wedding would be of the rustic variety.  Most of the details that we had at our reception were rustic things that I had seen on Pinterest.  So sit back and see all of our details that we had in our wedding.

Rustic Wedding Cake

The cake was something that Jeremy cared the most about.  I only really cared about how it looked – he cared out how it tasted.  It didn’t quite taste the way we thought it would, but it was delicious.  Oh, and one of our layers is a “dummy layer”.  Can you tell which one?  The flowers used were fake as well.  I personally love the simplicity of our cake.  The flavor was supposed to be like strawberry shortcake, but it ended up being some type of lemon strawberry thing.  Either way, it tasted great!

Rustic boxes for cards and programs at your wedding.

I bought these boxes from Hobby Lobby.  They were the first decor item that I purchased and I’m glad that we were able to use them.  My mom used her Cricut skills and created the letters for them.

Hand painted signs for the ceremony and guest book at the reception. #TheRidgesResort

I was going to dedicate an entire post to Joanna and her free hand skills, but she didn’t really like that idea, so here is her handiwork on full display.  The picture above, and the 2 pictures below were all her creations.  She created the front and back of the sign heading out to the ceremony.  She also created the small sign for the guestbook.  All I had to do was send her ideas I liked on Pinterest and she went to town.  I love how all of these signs turned out.

A hand painted Welcome sign at your reception.  #TheRidgesResort

She mentioned that she had to free hand this sign a few times to get it to fit properly.  I just love how it turned out.

Hand painted Mr. and Mrs. signs to hang on the chairs during the reception.  #TheRidgesResort

These 2 signs were last minute additions, but I’m so glad that we had these.  They were put on our chairs at dinner.  They were both rustic, but not overdone.

Lemon and wildflower centerpieces for the guest tables at your reception.  #TheRidgesResort

Each guest table had the choice between the lemon mason jars or the wildflowers.  We got so many compliments on the lemon jars that I sort of wish we had used only those for our centerpieces, but I also love the wildflowers.  Both of these ideas came from Pinterest – shocking, I know – and I am so happy that our florist made them happen.

Using the bridesmaids bouquets and the bridal bouquet for centerpieces on the head table.  #TheRidgesResort

The left bouquet is a bridesmaid bouquet that we used to help decorate the head table.  I didn’t get any extra flowers for the head table (because we ran out of money), but I am so glad that we got to use the bridesmaids bouquets and put them on display.  The center picture is my original bridal bouquet.  I was gifted the peony bouquet, so I didn’t even use this one at all.  I kind of wish I had a few pictures with it because it’s really beautiful.

I mentioned a few times how the lanterns seen below were a labor of love.  And boy – were they ever.  We traveled to many TJ Maxx’s to make sure that we had enough of these dang things, but I truly love how the table came together.  The farmhouse chairs were another last minute addition, but I am so glad we had those at the head table.  I think they really pulled in the vision we were going for.

Farmhouse table and chairs with lanterns.  #TheRidgesResort

Both of these pictures above were taken before the bridesmaids bouquets were added – before the ceremony.  The pictures look a little drab without the bouquets to add some color…that’s why the candles aren’t lit yet.

Wedding day decor:  lanterns on farmhouse tables with burlap.  #TheRidgesResort

Wedding reception with the head table in the center of the guest tables.  Farmhouse tables and chairs used for the head table with lanterns.  #TheRidgesResort

Wedding reception with the head table in the center of the guest tables.  Farmhouse tables and chairs used for the head table with lanterns.  #TheRidgesResort

What special details did you have at your wedding?

Our Vendors:

Ceremony and Reception Venue – The Ridges Resort and Marina
Photography – Jason Hales Photography
Videography – Kimberly K Cinema
Florist – Moore’s Florist
Cake – Cakelady
DJ – Lethal Rhythms
Farmhouse Tables and Chairs – Classic Party Rentals
Beaded Bridal Belt – Elegance by Kate
Bride and Bridesmaid Robes – Silk and More
Brides Earrings – Sticks and Stones NY

It’s now time to link up for Wedding Wednesday!  Grab our new button and link up any wedding post you want.  It can be from your wedding 5 years ago; it can be a post of you planning your wedding; it can be about your engagement.  It doesn’t matter.  Link up here and spread the word!

If you would like to co-host with me, please send me an email and I would love to have you!

Wedding Wednesday

How To: Figure Out Your DSLR


This first appeared on The Grits Blog, but I wanted to share it with you guys as well because I think it’s that good.  Just kidding.  I mean, it’s a pretty darn good post, so enjoy!

I want to share with you some easy ways to figure out your DSLR camera.  While I am no expert at all, I have had my camera for a number of years and I want to share some easy tips with you today to help you take better pictures – in manual.  It might sound scary, but it’s not that bad.

How To Figure Out Your DSLR - Chits and Giggles Blog #photography #canon #DSLR

I am very much self taught, but I don’t think that means I don’t know what I’m doing.  I’m also all about practice making perfect.  Practice for me means shooting anything and everything – including my cat.  While these tips are easy to understand, there is a lot of practice that goes into getting the pictures to look perfect.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

Anyways.  There are 3 things you need to know about your camera to shoot in manual.  I shoot with a Canon Revel xsi and I primarily use the 50mm 1:1.8 lens.  The 3 things you need to know about are shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.  Don’t worry, we will discuss these in more detail.

Err…what does all that mumbo-jumbo mean?  Well, the Canon Rebel is the camera body.  With DSLR cameras, you can choose any lens that will fit your camera.  While cameras do come with lenses, they are called kit lenses and aren’t the best at getting the correct aperture.

The Photography Triangle - Chits and Giggles Blog #photography

Learn this chart above.  You will use it all the time – just take my word for it.

A little back story:  For the longest time – and I mean a really long time – I was shooting in Av mode.  This is the mode that you select your aperture, and the camera comes up with the shutter speed and ISO necessary.  I didn’t start playing around with ISO for a long time.  And I wish I hadn’t done that.  You can tell a world of difference by setting the ISO yourself, especially if you are indoors.

Taking pictures in manual on a DSLR.  The difference between shutter speed, aperture and ISO - Chits and Giggles Blog. #photography


Essentially, this setting makes pictures look brighter.  The higher you can go, the lighter your picture will look.  Since my camera is an older model, the highest it will go is 1600.  But I haven’t had to use it that high yet.  An ISO of 100 would make a picture seem to be less bright.  I would use a lower ISO if I was shooting outdoors, on a sunny day.  You would need a higher ISO if you were shooting inside on a darker day.  The goal is to make your picture look nice and bright.

How To Meal Plan - Cooking a weeks worth of meals in one day | Chits and Giggles Blog

Shutter speed = 1/100s | Aperture = 1.8 | ISO = 1600

In the picture above, if the ISO was any less, it would look a lot more dark in the house.  Even though I had the windows open, we don’t get a lot of light coming in from that side of the house, so I had to use a higher ISO to get the look I was going for.

What I suggest that you do is play around with it.  Go outside and find something you want to start shooting and try different ISOs out.  You will be really shocked at how much of a difference it can make in your photos.

Shutter Speed

The way I think about this is to say, “If I want motion to stop, I need a higher shutter speed.  If I want to have the look of movement, I need a lower shutter speed.”  This confused me for a long time.  Since I mainly shot in Av mode, the camera determines the shutter speed for me.  I think it can be a good thing, but I also know that I lost a lot of control doing that.  I like having the control to decide what my shutter speed is going to be.

The shutter speed on my camera goes up to 1/4000s.  That means that it is basically stopping the motion of whatever you are shooting.  You could also think of high shutter speed as capturing a moving target – like a kid or an animal.  My animal is a lazy ass, so it’s easier to photograph him than it is a kid.

Compare the 2 pictures below.

Vogel State Park in Georgia Waterfall #photography #shutterspeed

Shutter speed = 1/800s | Aperture = 1.8 | ISO = 200

Vogel State Park in Georgia Waterfall #photography

Shutter speed = 1/50s | Aperture = 14 | ISO = 640

You can see how the different shutter speeds changes the way that the water looks, right?  With a lower shutter speed (the bottom picture), the water looks more like continuous movement.  In the 1st waterfall picture, the water looks stagnant.  Pretty cool difference, right?

Find things that have movement (kids, water, cars) and see the differences you can make with your pictures.  It might surprise you!


Aperture basically makes the backgrounds blurry in photos.  If you have a kit lens, it’s hard to get a blurry background (it’s not really made to do that).  Part of the reason I wanted to 50mm is because it give you the option to get lower in aperture and really get a nice blurry background.

Cape Cod Flowers with blurry backgrounds

Shutter speed = 1/400s | Aperture = 2.5 | ISO = 200

In the pictures above, you can see that the pictures are focused on the flowers and the blurry backgrounds.  I used an f stop (known in the photography world as the aperture) of 2.5 for both of the above photos.  I just combined them to make it a little easier for you guys to see them.  I love creating blurry backgrounds with flowers.  It’s so much fun to practice on flowers.

My best piece of advice for you is to practice and just get out there with your camera.  That is how I learned most everything – I tried to read the manual but that didn’t work very well for me – and I know that it will be best just to learn a few tips and practice!

So now that you have the photography triangle down, what are you going to take pictures of?


I am so excited to introduce you guys to Sarah who blogs at Sarahphrasing Life.  She is a member of the Small Blog Mentor Program and I am so happy that I have gotten to know her through the program.  Her blog is amazing.


One of my favorite things that Sarah does is that she creates meal plans for the week.  All of her meals look delicious.  She even will sometimes post about recent recipes she made, like the Puffed Chicken Pot Pie.  Can I get a Yummo?  Delicious looking.  She has so many recipes that I want to try.  They really all look delicious, and who doesn’t love trying a new recipe?

planting our baby peach tree at the family orchard

Sarah also got married last year and she looked gorgeous in all of her pictures!  I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love seeing pictures from other people’s weddings.  Hers looked amazing and she looked beautiful!

Email  /  Blog  /  Bloglovin  /  Twitter  /  Instagram /  Pinterest

Lets Get Acquainted


After I took my blogging break to plan my wedding, I never reintroduced myself when I came back.  Since there are some new faces around these parts, I wanted to take some time to say “Hi!” and give you a little more background on who I am and what you might not know about me – yet.


  1. I am messy.  Really messy.  As much as it bothers me to have things thrown all over our house, I also don’t really do a whole lot about it.  If I move something to a safer/more acceptable place, I will forget where it is.  This happens almost every time that I straighten the house.  Trust me, I have tried to keep a clean house, but I haven’t found any real way to do that yet.
  2. I like football – but I hate watching Auburn play.  It’s irrational, but I feel like when I am watching them, they start to suck and I can’t handle the pressure.  I’m also not a fan of watching football all day long.  I get antsy and need to get out of the house.  Jeremy – who loves football and could veg in front of the TV all day – probably thinks I’m crazy for getting so antsy.  I like to do things…not watch other people doing things.
  3. Jeremy and I were married in June, and after a VERY long engagement – we made it official.  Planning a wedding is stressful and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  They are also can be very expensive – so start saving your pennies.  You will need them.  One thing I have learned about married life is that it’s just as fun as being engaged.  I love it and I love calling Jeremy my husband…which I did constantly the first week.
  4. I really wish that I was crafty or creative in any capacity.  I am creative, but I feel like others are so much more creative than I am and it intimidates me.  I have things that I have wanted to start for months, but have been too scared to take that leap and just do it.  Like buying some watercolors and playing around with them.  I have ideas, but I just haven’t been able to execute.  Does anyone else have this problem?
  5. Fall is my favorite time of year – but don’t let those cute boots fool you.  I wore my new ones all day on Saturday and they tore my feet apart.  Someone should have told me (I should have known) that they needed to be broken in before we went apple picking.  Oh well.  Sunday was recovery day for my poor poor feet.
Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments!