Being Thankful

November 26th, 2015

Social media tends to create the illusion that we really have it all together. It seems like we are always prepared for a photoshoot with our paper strategically placed on a white, clean blank space and beautiful flowers in the background for just a bit of color and texture. But this is so unlike our lives. Our lives are messy. They are more like our holiday kitchens—splattered and strayed with different dishes and many plates to juggle. But our lives are also real and so beautiful in their own way. We are so thankful that we don’t have to have it all together. We can admit that things don’t always turn out Instagram picture perfect. Instead, we can hand all of our mess over to the one who is the Author and Perfector of our faith.

As you mix and mingle with family and friends this holiday season, we hope your conversations be merry, vulnerable, and life-giving and all of the love you experience only reflects the love of our Heavenly Father.

As a sweet treat to your Thanksgiving Day, we have included a recipe for our yummy Apple Spice Cake, a timeless holiday recipe.

Apple Spice Cake

 

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Cake Ingredients:

-2 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour

-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

-1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

-3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

-1 cup packed light brown sugar

-1/2 cup granulated sugar

-3 large eggs

-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

-1 cup milk

-2 medium honeycrisp apples, finally chopped

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Icing Ingredients:

-8 oz cream cheese, softened

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

-2 cups confectioners’ sugar

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-1/4 cup chopped walnuts for garnish

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Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice.

4. Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

5. Add flour in 3 portions, alternating with 2 portions of milk. Mix just until combined.

6. Stir in apples, and divide batter between prepared pans and smooth evenly.

7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, and cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove pans to wire racks to let cool.

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Icing:

1. While the layers are cooking, place cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until combined and smooth.

2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, and add cinnamon and vanilla to mix well.

3. Place one layer of cooled cake on a cake plate. Spread half of the frosting over the top of the cake.

4. Place the other cake layer on top of the frosted cake layer. Spread the remainder of the frosting on top of the cake.

5. If desired, garnish cake with chopped walnuts.

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Photos Courtesy of My Dear Love Photography via The In Between Blog

 

Dearest,

July 7th, 2015

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Who is Emily O. Holmes? Although she wouldn’t put herself in the spotlight, Team EOH wanted to give a voice to Emily O. Holmes, giving insight to readers on larger topics that continuously grace our lives. In our new blog column, “Dearest,” we want to share some of Emily’s most treasured moments as she continues forward with her business, Emily O. Holmes Custom Stationers.

In the midst of a busy day, Madding, Georganna, and I sat down with Emily, each of us pursuing the unique gifts that make our unit and company work. Multitasking, Emily sliced olive-green paper for a rehearsal dinner while I voice-recorded our conversation. It only seemed fitting to discuss Emily’s wedding day for this first “Dearest,” post.

Also, a newly engaged bride-to-be, I selfishly awaited Emily’s insights and memories! With her talented invitations and down-to-earth insight, I was so thankful to get to do this interview in her element (even if it’s hard to slice and chat). Read on for our interview and scroll through as Emily addresses our dearest bride-to-be’s:

*Emily would like to add a disclaimer that there are many words and truths and thoughts she could share but for brevity’s sake, here are her answers. If you would like more raw insight then come for a walk with Emily or have a cup of coffee and play with Elsie while chatting!

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Prior to your wedding, what would you have changed about the planning process?

EOH: I planned my wedding, actually, and I did enjoy planning it because I am really into all the creative aspect (obviously). We had a month-of and day-of coordinator to help us stay on track with all the details – I highly recommend it! Wade trusted my aesthetic for the style, which I know some groom’s are more opinionated and not as laid-back.  Wade was my partner, he let me brainstorm and think out loud, giving input when needed but he mainly gave me great perspective. That is where brides often get overwhelmed, getting caught up in the details instead of the reason. The key is to give yourself time (quiet and alone, brainstorming with your girlfriends or honey) and keep perspective. Way easier said than done.

Going into your wedding day, what were the most important things to you in that moment?

EOH: Our most important thing was our worship service. Wade’s main opinions on our wedding day had to do with the order of the service. The most important thing was the fact that we wanted to keep it centered on the Lord. And it really was focused and worshipful. Wade wrote some of our worship songs as well; it wasn’t focused on the amazingness of the venue, napkins, or flowers. The service did not feel centered on us, even though we were at the “center” of the service; by having a time of worship, with all of our friends and family singing praise to God, it really helped both of us to stop thinking about all of the people staring at us and just lift our eyes to God as we looked to Him (and, exceedingly look to Him now, seven-and-a-half years and one baby into marriage!) as the focus of our marriage.

As you were walking down the aisle, what were your first thoughts?

EOH: In all honesty… Don’t cry. I remember the fact that I was looking up trying to keep it together when I saw my dad before the walk down the aisle and then taking deep breathes while walking down towards my groom. Then after, I just remember looking at him. Everything was clear. I remember it 100%.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

EOH: Venice, Italy! Basically, our idea of vacation is food and rest… sooooo, Yay, Italy!!!

When you came home from your honeymoon, what were your first thoughts?

EOH: It was so strange – you think, “I get to stay? Finally!” But then, it honestly also feels a bit odd… it’s just so new and different at first. It’s a gradual change where you become more and more comfortable. When you’re on your honeymoon, you’re on a vacation and in a little dream land.  When you come home, it’s a new feeling because now everything is different. Wonderful, but different. Hard to describe but you will know the feeling soon, Paige.

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Since you have gotten married, what has changed about weddings?

EOH: A ton! Oh my goodness, well, I got married in 2007, which doesn’t seem that long ago but so much has changed! This was before Pinterest was so big. I can remember taking magazine clippings to my florist. Wow… that sounds so dated now! I think social media has changed what we think of as a wedding. While it can provide a great tool (like, someone showing me their Pinterest page so I can get a good feel of their style… which is super helpful!), it can also provide a really unhealthy opportunity for people to constantly compare themselves with everyone and then their wedding day becomes more about competition than it is about this beautiful, life-long commitment they are making to their spouse. All of that said, I still kinda wish that we could have had that tool for a little extra umph.

What is the hardest part about getting married? After you got married?

EOH: While planning – you want to be so aware and considerate of everyone, but you also want to make sure that your wedding is actually your wedding. You and your partner have to figure out a balance between families’ wants/needs your own actual wants and needs – it takes time and some heated convos, but you’ll figure it out… in time.

After we got married, I would say our hardest adjustment was being fully honest. You might think that you are being transparent, but once you are married and living under the same roof you’re just juggling so many things….bills, community, bathroom habits, sleeping in the same bed (which is not easy when your hub is 6’5”), after-work routines, etc. Your day-to-day idiosyncrasies become super apparent super quick:) You are learning how to love each other in a different way. It’s messy and more complicated….and, yet, all at the same time, really fun since you are living with your dearest friend!

What is something you need in your first year of marriage?

EOH: You need a confidant—you need a friend, an accountability partner, or marriage counselor—to be open and honest about your first year of marriage. You need someone to talk to about these new experiences from habits to sex to just hanging out. You are going to need someone to process life with, someone who can ask hard questions as well as listen.  Having a loving and honest community has been one of the biggest gifts that our marriage has received. I am so thankful that we are not isolated but have so many friends who love us and know us so well.

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(Even during our conversation, Wade was able to pop in and chat about their first year of marriage. He had a few words of wisdom.)

Hey Wade, so this is for the blog. So, what was your first thought as Emily was walking down the aisle? Or just about the wedding in general?

One of the few details that was kinda “my job” for the wedding was the music. And, the song that Emily came down the aisle to was, of course, a big deal. I had it all perfectly mapped out. It’s this piece of music called “Tannhauser: Overture” by Wagner, which has this long build-up but then the trumpet enters and it’s huge and dramatic and moving and gorgeous, it felt like the perfect choice for the strings and the organ. I walked the band through the music and showed the people opening the doors the exact moment that they would open the doors right when that trumpet hit; it would be the first time of the whole day that I would see Emily. It totally didn’t happen as I planned/directed/hoped… maybe they couldn’t hear the trumpet out there… I don’t know. Either way, the photographer caught this picture of me where I’m making this totally annoyed face. Finally, after what felt like a few years but was probably a few seconds, they opened the door and Emily was (no shocker) breath-taking and my little trumpet-and-door moment of perfection was quickly forgotten. The other thing I remember was the worship… People always say you don’t remember any of the details of your wedding; I’d say that the first part of our wedding was kind of a blur, but then once we hit this segment of our service with the lights dimmed and a few worship songs led by some of our close friends, from that point on, I was totally focussed and present in the moment.

How have your expectations changed about marriage in the past 8 years?

EOH: You have to fight for each other. You are teammates. You must fight to connect with each other and not just co-exist. We now own our own business and we have a little girl, so we have to make it a point to say, “We’re going out on a date and we’re not talking about the business, we’re just going to be with each other and connect with each other.” As busyness continues to build up (and, I don’t know much, but I assume life doesn’t hit this slow season where you take five hour naps every day starting at 40), we’ll continue to need to fight to be with one another. It’s a fight worth fightin’.

We are so thankful for an amazing & inspiring leader at Team EOH! We are so thankful that we get to share her with you, too. Dearest, there is so much to look forward to, and we are excited that we get to be a part of it.

Elsie’s 1st Backyard Birthday

October 29th, 2014

EOH owners Wade and Emily recently celebrated their daughter’s first birthday with a simple + sweet backyard gathering. Surrounded by friends and family, they snacked on Elsie’s favorite treats, sipped on pink lemonade, and watched the little ones play on quilts. This darling party was filled with thoughtful touches that made the day feel like a sentimental celebration that reflected their baby girl.

With a paper-lovin’ mama like Emily, guests had to be invited to the party with something extra adorable…Cue birthday candle invitations from EOH! These letterpress invites were pressed in bright kelly green with a touch of pink and cobalt blue envelopes (with pink envelope liners!). Beautiful pressing done by Beth Lehman and Hand-lettered envelopes by Mary Dea Heldman. It set the tone for a simple but playful start to the party decor.

Wade and Emily loved the sweet idea of having a menu inspired by their baby’s favorite things! Elsie’s most-loved snacks included goldfish and cheerios. They also threw in some of mama’s favorite snacks when preggers: blueberry doughnut holes and pumpkin muffins, and daddy’s favorites: a cheese plate and his secret, homemade salsa!

Such a fun touch! Guests were treated to champagne cocktails with personality…Featuring pink lemonade, St. Germain, and limes, these sips were the perfect treat for parents to have in hand while relaxing in the great weather and watching the kiddos run around, play croquet and ride the vintage toy horse!

As far as first birthday’s go – Elsie did not TOUCH her cupcake! Either she is like her daddy and does not like sweets and/or she is having major texture issues. She was happy when she got a potatoe chip instead! All her favorite friends were present. Have you ever seen a cuter guest line-up?!  Pictured above are her future besties, the Mooney twins, Caroline and Bailey! And they had to get a snapshot of all the kiddos, just to document each year how they grow! Fun was had by all ages during this thoughtful, no-fuss celebration on a gorgeous September afternoon in Nashville. Happy Birthday, Elsie! We can’t believe you’re already one!

To see more adorable birthday party invitations designed by Elsie’s mama, scroll through our selection here!

Thanks to some of our fave photogs Camille Blinn Photography & Mary Deaton Studios for the photos!

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