Sweet & Savory Life

S+S Wedding: Mood Boards!


If you follow me on Pinterest, then you already know that my wedding inspiration board, “i said yes,” is getting all kinds of action these days. But even though I am pinning just about everything that involves a mason jar and glitter, I thought it’d be a good idea for me to hone my vision a little bit… and share with you, of course! Shelton and I are in the throws of planning a beach wedding in Port Aransas, Texas, and while there are still some details to figure out, we are close to having everything done. And that is such a good feeling. Since this is not our first trip down the aisle (pun intended), we are approaching the whole planning process different. It’s much more laid back (though I don’t think it’s possible for me not have at least one freak out — I’ll save that story for another post). The beach is so special for us, and remains to be the one place we return to again and again… it only makes sense that we solidify our beach love with a beach wedding.


beach wedding mood board | sweetandsavorylife.com

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I have known for a while that I wanted gold to be a main theme/color in our wedding. When Taylor Swift’s Red album came out, in the booklet included with the CD she talked about that the only love she has experienced could only be described as “red.” Full of passion, but also short-lived — burning out. (I am paraphrasing here.) She went on to describe that real love must shine like gold, and that maybe one day, when she had experienced that kind of love she would write an album about what that felt like. I know this is odd and fairly random, but that little thought stuck with me. The love I share with Shelton is a lifetime love — and it sparkles more and more every day. So, gold. And lots of it.


beach wedding mood board | sweetandsavorylife.com

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I’d like the ceremony setup to be fairly simple with small romantic details, like the flow-y fabric shown on the archway. I guess if I had to specify an overall theme for this event, it would be… gypsy chic. I definitely want the reception decor to be fun and a little unexpected, with random things hanging from the ceiling and plenty of Christmas lights. Kitschy is good, very good. And there will be plenty of mason jars, because, duh. It’s 2014 and the mason jar trend is still in full swing and I am 100% okay with looking back at pictures 20 years from now and chuckling a little bit, hopefully thinking, “That was just so 2014.”


beach wedding mood board | sweetandsavorylife.com

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Yup, I am really am taking the gold to a new level. It’s gonna be on my body, too. I am not exactly sure how, but I am gonna figure it out. For my day-of wedding style, I’d like to keep my hair/make up fresh and not too “done up.” I think these earrings are so simple and sweet. Etsy will definitely be getting a good chunk of my money when it comes to accessories. No surprise there.


beach wedding mood board | sweetandsavorylife.com

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And of course! DIYs for days. Once our ceremony/reception details are ironed out, I plan on combing through all the DIYs I’ve pinned to make a decision on just which ones we will attempt. There are so many things I know can be cut with the Silhouette, and others I can easily style myself, like banners, glittered letters, and definitely something using the rest of the antique brass keys I found from an estate sale forever ago. A good crafter never gets rid of anything, and my stash is very, very full.


October cannot get here fast enough! I am so excited that all of this is actually happening. Being with Shelton is like living in a fairy tale, and to know that we’ll officially be husband and wife this year is just an awesome realization. I hope to have much more wedding intel very soon. Like I said, we are figuring more and more out every day. Consider this wedding post the first of many!

-The Future Mrs. Alves

The Proposal


So, picking up right where I left off in last month’s epic update, February 4th was shaping up to be your average Tuesday night. Well, as average as it could be with us in the midst of moving across country… We picked up food from Moe’s and settled in to watch some TV. Recently, I’ve become addicted to Alex & Ani bracelets, and had purchased two the previous weekend. They all have special meanings and I just love a trinket. As a surprise, Shelton got me one more to add to my collection, and he hid it in the utensil drawer. It was wrapped in black and white paper with an obnoxiously large pink bow.

When we got back to the apartment with the takeout from Moe’s, he told me to go get him a spoon for the queso. So, I did, but I didn’t see the gift in the drawer. I blame my severe hunger at the time. All I could think about was food! I gave him the spoon and sat down, proceeding to dress my salad. If he looked dumbfounded, I can’t remember. Then, I realized I didn’t have a fork, so I got up to get one. But… I still didn’t see the gift in the utensil drawer. As I walked back to the couch, he was laughing a little bit. “What?” I asked him. “Oh, nothing,” he replied. “You’re just funny.” Okay, I thought, and proceeded to plow through my salad.

A little bit later, he asks me to get him a new straw because his has a “hole” in it. I oblige, get him a straw from the same drawer, and still don’t see the gift. When I handed it to him, there was a sincere look of defeat on his face. “This isn’t the right straw,” he proclaimed. “This straw will work just fine,” I rebutted. He just laughed, and said, “Sarah, it’s the wrong straw. Go look again.”


Oh. I walked back into the kitchen, opened the drawer, and finally, I saw the big pink bow. I opened it up and immediately put the bracelet on my arm — now I had three! So exciting. In addition to the Path of Life and Feather charms, Shelton had given me the Because I Love You charm. It was so special. I immediately took a picture and posted it to Instagram (duh). We laughed at my cluelessness and Shelton told me that everything he did in life, he did it because he loved me, and he never wanted me to forget that. It was a sweet moment. He then grabbed my iPad and pulled up my Instagram. “Let’s look at all the pictures you’ve posted since we moved to North Carolina.” I was ecstatic, because there is really nothing more I love than revisiting our memories. As we scrolled through, we reminisced on all the good times we’d had. All the fun and silliness, the many beers we drank at Sup Dogs and our string of crazy nights with our NC friends. We talked about how amazing living in North Carolina had been, and how we’d always miss it. But that there were even better things ahead of us.

He stood up and said, “Let’s dance.” I feel like I need to interject and say that this evening is a what a normal evening at home is like for us. A little bit of food, a little bit of TV, but always a lot of love, a lot of sharing, and a lot of us appreciating one another. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for him to ask me to dance, because we do this at least once a week. He put on a sweet song and we swayed to the music in the living room. The Because I Love You charm signifies that the person you give it to has a piece of your soul. Shelton told me that I would always have a piece of his. There were more sweet things like this said. It was a beautiful moment. I felt so calm, so at ease, so happy. Then he pulled away from me and I felt confused. He got down on one knee, and pulled a little box out of his back pocket. More things were said, but I can’t remember them now. I cried like a baby. When I think back on it, I can just feel the outpouring of love between us, the connection there, and the sheer joy I felt. This was the moment. The most adorable part? He had opened the box upside down. I’ll never forget that mental image of him on one knee with the box in his hands and all the moving boxes half-way packed all around him. It was perfect. It was so us. I said yes, and he put the ring on my finger.


Then I hopped up and down in sheer excitement that we were really engaged. It was really happening. It is really happening — we’ll get married this year and I’ll become Sarah Alves and we will live happily ever after. In Texas.


A Post of Epic Proportions

“I have felt a definite shift in my life over the past few months and I just know that 2014 is going to be chock-full of amazing things.”

That is a direct quote from my last post, and wow, I really had no idea the events that would be taking place almost immediately after that blog. Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook are already privy to the massive amount of change I have experienced, but just for sh*ts and giggles, I wanted to do a post compiling everything. Just because it’s nuts. And amazing. But borderline unbelievable.

Also, (SPOILER ALERT) I don’t have a job right now, so I (yet again) have time during the day to blog.


January was a month for the books. We rung in 2014 with a bang in the VIP section of the Greenville Hilton, and then decided to start planning a game night party for all our friends. This is always a bit selfish on mine and Shelton’s part, because it’s our personal mission in life to introduce our friends to hobby board games like Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Dominion, the list just goes on. The point is to get them addicted, which is so easy because these games aren’t of the Monopoly variety (snore). Our game night was a huge success — apparently I won Cards Against Humanity, but I don’t remember that part (oops).

With the holidays over and the new year in full swing, all my personal vacation days for 2014 had kicked in and we decided to take a weekend trip to Washington, DC! It was an incredible experience — we totally fell in love with that city and did everything we could in the 3 days we were there. It was an unforgettable trip, and has only reinforced our addictions to Homeland, Scandal and House of Cards. Like, majorly reinforced these addictions.


We hit the following spots/museums:

Busboys & Poets / The Holocaust Museum / The Museum of American History / The White House / Ted’s Bulletin / The International Spy Museum / National Archives / The Lincoln Memorial / Korean War Memorial / Vietnam War Memorial / Washington Monument / Jefferson Memorial / The Pentagon / Arlington Cemetery / The Capitol / Georgetown

We got around via the Metro, Big Bus Tour Routes and our feet. I would recommend the Big Bus tour to anyone — it was a fantastic way to see the whole city in a short time frame. Also, going in the winter meant less tourists, so we never felt herded around and got to spend as much time in the museums as we wanted. The Holocaust Museum was my favorite, and the moments we spent together eating delicious treats (especially the homemade pop tarts and authentic French macaroon) I will treasure forever.

goodbye nc

A couple days after we got back from DC, Shelton’s regional manager emailed him and said that there was a promotion available at a property in Texas, and if he was interested she would recommend him for it. The great thing about Shelton’s company is that they are literally everywhere, so we have always known that moving back to Texas could be easily coordinated. After discussing it, I told him to throw his name in the hat — who knows what would happen? Right? He applied that night, had an interview the next day, and then the following day, they offered him the job. Let’s just say that I felt like the proverbial rug had been ripped out from underneath me, but in a good way. (If that makes any sense at all?) I went from thinking “Oh yeah, we’ll move back to Texas eventually,” to “Holy smokes, your start date is WHEN?” Also, on top of all this, I had told no one that moving back might be a possibility, so that meant that none of our family and friends knew, and most importantly… no one from my work knew. The day I found out about Shelton’s promotion, was literally the day I had to put in my two weeks notice. And then we do what we do best, we put our heads down, figured out everything that needed to be accomplished in the next two weeks, and made it all happen.


It was all extremely surreal though, and as I sit here in our nice, new apartment in Waco, Texas, the craziness that has been the past 4 weeks has not really sunk in yet. I don’t think I’ll really know how I feel for a while longer, but I can tell you this: without a shadow of a doubt, this was the right move for us. I know it deep in my bones. Texas has always been where we belonged, and crossing that state line felt like a true victory. Our time in North Carolina was so incredible special, and I will treasure it always. It defined us in every single way: personally, professionally, and as a couple. We made it on our own out there, and for the rest of my life I’ll romanticize those memories. Unexpectedly, I was really sad to leave, but Shelton said (quite sagely, I might add) that I was sad because I’d done North Carolina right. If I wasn’t sad to go, then the past year and a half was a waste. It most certainly wasn’t. We built incredible bonds there that will last a lifetime, and I know we will travel back as often as we can.

texas shots

Our last week in North Carolina was madness. We had going-away parties (so fun!), busy last days at work, and so much packing to do. Tuesday, February 4, was going to be our last “quiet” night at home, so we decided to take it easy. Little did I know that this would be THE night that Shelton proposed to me!

(SPOILER ALERT: I said yes. Obviously.)

The proposal story deserves it’s own blog — which I will post very soon! I will say though, that I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to close the North Carolina chapter and really begin the Texas one. The adventure continues! Stay tuned, as always.

Your Texas gal,


Hello, 2014

Another year, another beautiful batch of memories… I’m sure I’m not the only one who can believe 2013 has come to a close (can I nominate it for fastest year ever?), but at the same time I am so excited for 2014. I have felt a definite shift in my life over the past few months and I just know that 2014 is going to be chock-full of amazing things.


Learn how to make your own monthly photo board with this tutorial. Follow me on Instagram: @sarah1119.


Booyah — say hello to my 2014 word. After completing Susannah Conway’s annual work book, Unravelling 2014 (highly recommend!) I learned that in 2014 I’d like to take care of myself in a whole new way. I’m all about nuturing these days. What’s your word?


Oh yeah, and I pulled the trigger and bought a ‘spensive pair of shoes…


AND! I finished our 2013 scrapbook! Oh my god, finishing a scrapbook makes me want to punch dance in a field. SUCH a good feeling. I have already purchased our 2014 album and hope to get started soon. I’m continuing the Project Life system because I do find that it’s the easiest way to get our memories down on paper. Excitement!

One more thing… I have updated my About page to better reflect where I am in life. Take a peek if you’d like! I kept the old About and Intro pages also, because I still love going back and re-reading them from time to time, but honestly my life has changed so much in the past year it was time for a little update.

I hope you all had lovely Christmases and that 2014 has gotten off to a great start. Here’s to another year!

Rave on,


Special Announcement: I’m Open For Business!

I have a very special announcement to make: I have bit the bullet and opened an online store! This is something that I have always wanted to do, but always found reasons not to. Earlier this week I had an idea for a fun Christmas project and just decided that it was time. It was time to stop telling myself it wasn’t going to work and just do it already. And I am so happy that I did. I have no idea what to expect, and I am a-okay with that.

fiddlefishheader copy


2013 Advent Activity Calendar | $15 on fiddlefish.storenvy.com

Current Products:

* 2013 Advent Activity Calendar: Nothing says “I’m excited for Christmas!” like an advent calendar. Each day offers a different activity or fill-in-the-blank for you and your loved ones to complete. All activities are simple, free, and sure to get you in the holiday spirit! When you’re done with the calendar, it doubles as a scrapbooking layout. Also, every day is printed on removable flaps that can be added to your craft stash. Waste not, want not!

* Sweet Dreams Butterfly Mobile: This mobile adds a touch of whimsy to any nursery. Hang in a corner and watch as the butterflies float above you and your little one drifts off into dreamland…

* More to be added!

2013 Advent Activity Calendar | $15 on fiddlefish.storenvy.com

Help Me Promote fiddlefish:

I hope you’ll visit my shop and keep me in mind for any upcoming event you may need a special, one-of-a-kind gift for. I plan on adding more items in the coming weeks, and am honestly just excited to see where this goes. I’d greatly appreciate it if you could help me spread the word about fiddlefish–here are some different ways you can help:

* Pin images from the store to your Pinterest boards.

* Share an item on Facebook so that your friends can see.

* Include my products in a blog post.

fiddlefishheader copy


Questions you may have…

* What will you sell? I’ll sell unique paper crafts and other items for the home.

* When when you work on your products? In my spare time — evenings and weekends. Everything will be made to order.

* Do prices include shipping? Yes!

* I like something you have posted, but can I make a special request? Yes! I am super flexible and happy to adjust color or the layout of any item.

* Why “fiddlefish?” What the heck is that? When my sister and I were little, we thought that fiddlefish was a magic word and we’d use it to cast spells on broken things (usually the VCR). We’re both older now but it’s still a special word for us, and I still think it’s magic.


It feels so good to be writing this post and starting this new endeavor. And it’s so important in life to keep moving towards the things that feel good and empowering. Thank you for reading this post and following along in my journey. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.



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