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A Joy, Renewed

This year marks my anniversary of five years….  Five years of being in business and five years in the business of being married, too.   I stopped to think about how we’d celebrate this milestone (5 years is a big fivin’ deal, friends!) and was inspired by a touching and personal event I was honored to participate in by providing paper goods for.

This amazing occasion, grown out of the love of Melissa + Dan + their three kids and who, after 8 years of building their lives together, celebrated their family with a glitzy-meets-backyard Vow Renewal.   The concept was borne of the talented proprietor of Simply Loves Wedding and Design.  In addition, FLORALS provided by Tami of Studio B Floral,  DESSERTS by Simply Modern, Tutu/Children’s Apparel by Little Dreamers Tutus, RENTALS by Apres Party and Tent Rental, and PHOTOGRAPHY by Brooke Ringdahl Photography.

The day’s details featured blue, gold, orange and honeycomb geometric designs.  The invitation and save the date were printed with gold foil accents, and all of it’s coordinating signs, program, guest book, save the date and food pennant flags contained a honeycomb with 5 insets filled, in honor of the 5 members of the Conway Family.


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We’ll be here… You?

You are cordially invited to attend The Grand Landmark Wedding Fair, 2013!   Some Minnesota’s best local vendors will be showing including floral from Studio B FloralPearls and Lace Bridal (they’re debuting a new bridal gown line!!); delicious munchies from Lancer Catering, ceiling draping + linens + large scale decor from We’ve Got it Covered; all with photography by Emily Theisen Photography… and more, more, so many more participating vendors!!  …. All in one space for 3 solid hours of wedding goodness!
Already booked one of your vendors?  Then this is a great time to meet with your peeps, dreamstorm your wedding details and meet other trusted vendors!

Where:  The Landmark Center, Saint Paul.
When:  Sunday, February 24, 2013 from 1-4 pm.
Tickets are $5 and include a FREE companion ticket.
Visit  to purchase tickets!

See you there, my peeps!



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My upside-down right on x-mas tree

Warning: this is non-stationery related.  It’s a lifestyle entry I thought I’d confess share.  If you’re looking for a new way to display your ornaments, try this!

In the Choi household, there’s a rule that x-mas decorations are limited to just The Tree.  But you all know me better than that and you know I like to hoard collect chotchkies and then collect some more junk around it.  To combat that compulsion, I tried to concentrate all my x-mas stuff into the tree; lest I start setting up entire x-mas villages complete with a dodgy end ghetto alley and outlying suburbs that require their own municipal works and commuter trains.   One year, I put outdoor lawn ornaments in the living room and tried to pass it off for tree decoration.  “No, no!  Don’t worry!  I’m editing!”  Right.

That tree became such a 8.5-foot bone of contention.  It had 20 strings of lights (pre-lit? Not bright enough, it needs MORE) linked together on 8 extension cords plugged into a surge protector.  It had rotating annual themes.  It required a 2nd story ladder to light and trim it.  It took 2-3 weeks to assemble after work every night.  The sheer weight of the ornaments alone exceeded 200lbs.   I’d spend the rest of the year adjusting those ornaments, rearranging them, trying to get everything to hang between the branches without sticking out a odd angles.  One-tree?  Who was I kidding?  It was becoming increasingly more stressful to accomplish.  We don’t even have kids or pets (imagine if!).  I knew something had to change.

And then one random July day, I saw this tree in a showroom.  It was hanging upside down in the corner like a chandelier.  It was only half the size of a normal standing tree and it was fully trimmed and pre-lit.   What?  An upside-down hanging tree?  You stand under it?   You can decorate it with hanging ornaments and garland like a regular tree?  I went straight home and popped on it.

Now look at us.   Vintage brass and mercury glass!   We even put a bird on it.

{Check out my upside down self}

It improved our life in so many ways….
- It takes 30 seconds to assemble:  take it out of the bag and hook it into the ceiling.
- Gravity does all your arranging!  All the ornaments look SO GOOD when they’re able to hang straight down and away from branches.
- It’s self-editing.  There’s a weight limit, so we’re forced to pare down and pick items with impact to achieve the look we want without exceeding the weight limits of the hanging hardware.

Standing under it, I get such a sense of wonder and delight.  It makes me feel especially short(er) and like a kid again.  When we first starting nesting our home, I took our one-tree rule to heart but stood it on it’s head, perversely.  Now we have a tree that’s been placed on its head and it feels so right.  So much more awesome sauce.  I don’t think we’ll ever go back to a standing one (unless we go fresh… even then, we might rig it for hanging).

{It’s bald at the top; my short arms got lazy.}

To camouflage the electrical cord, we fed it straight out the top of the tree, up the hanging chain then down a wall to an outlet.  This keeps the area under the tree completely clear.

{CHOI:  In case it forgets who it belongs to}

Tips to hanging your own tree:
- We used an eyelet hook that was rated to carry at least 275lb.  It probably only needs to handle 75lb.  When possible, drill directly into a ceiling joist to secure your tree.
- Use heavy duty chain to drop the tree to your desired height.  We have ours hanging with the tree tip about 6 feet from the ground (I like being able to reach of the tree still).  Wrap ribbon around and through the chain to hide it.
- Missing a place to put your presents?  We staged a round pedestal table underneath it with a tree skirt and piled our gifts on top.
- Hang to scale: put larger ornaments at the top with smaller ones at the bottom to help keep the tapered shape of the tree.
- Accessorize your accessories for impact.  We wrapped a branchy garland all around with faceted bead drops to refract more light and stuck feathers and picks in it, to add more interest.

Here are some more out-of-focus/blurry pics for your enjoyment:

Know of any other awesome sauce ways to update your family traditions?   Share!

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