flowers that come back each year

flowers that come back each year

The Mister and I have recently moved into a new house.  Well, let me take that back, we moved back into his home just outside of the city limits.

Remember Bella, she is SO much happier in the new home with a yard and easy neighborhood to walk around.  It makes my heart happy to see her running around in the yard playing with her toys and chatting it up with the other dogs.  This is from the day we got her… I just love this picture – and I bet she has grown 10 lbs since then!

bella the great dane



Anyway, the yard is in need of some help!  We need some flowers, some grass – you know… curb appeal!  So, I have been thinking about flowers that we could plant that can come back each year.   Perennials or Annuals – something easy.  I think I will stick with Perennials.  Here is the difference:  Annuals have a longer bloom time but die at the end of the blooming period. Perennials average a 3-6 week bloom time and may die to the ground during the winter, but will return every spring or summer. Source

Below are some perennials that I think I may try out in the yard!




ClematisDianthus | Phlox | Roses | Foxglove | Delphinium | Tulip | Bleeding Hearts

I can’t WAIT!   The yard will be amazing and I will have fresh cut flowers for my house!…. Image Source


fresh cut flowers

Mandi Heilig - Dry Ink Designs

10 steps to relieve stress

10 steps to relieve stress

Didn’t they say that we get a break over the holidays?  That things slow down?

Well, I haven’t seen that – have you?  With work, weddings, showers, and all… I am busier than ever!

late to bed quote



I did some research and came up with a few steps you can take to help relieve your stress!

10 steps to relieve stress


Cheers to a non-stressful week ahead!

Mandi Heilig - Dry Ink Designs

different styles of wedding stationery

different styles of wedding stationery

Well today is officially 4 months from when The Mister and I say “I do”.  I can’t believe how fast time is going by – we have SO much to do!

With my graphic designer pen in hand, you can imagine that I am quite busy with invitation design!  I have my design and cant’ wait to share it with you – that will be coming later!

As I was choosing the style of print that I wanted to use, I have talked with a few friends and realize the terms that are so common to me, are not so common to everyone else.  So… today I share the 4 most popular styles of printing for wedding invites!  Letterpress, Embossing, Thermography and Engraving.


wedding stationery styles of printingLetterpress.  This is the style that I have chosen to go with.  I LOVE it!!!  I love the history of letterpress and the amazing texture it creates!  The impression of the metal leaves an indention in the paper that you just can’t get any other way!  Here is a blog post I wrote about letterpress a while back!

Letterpress Invitations


Thermography.  – This is very simple to engraving but MUCH CHEAPER!!!  Thermography uses an ink that is applied to a paper.  Once the paper is heated, the ink rises and creates a print that you can fee sitting above the surface of the paper.  This application gives your invite a traditional look, especially with a script font.

thermography wedding invitation

Embossing.  You will love this style if you like the color on color look.  I think it looks great with monograms, initials, or floral design.  White on white with paper that has been “bent” in a way to create an image.   BEAUTIFUL!

embossed wedding invitation

Engraving.  If you have an unlimited budget and you want to go as traditional as possible… this is the technique for you!  Engraving is the traditional way to give you the same “look/fee” as Thermography.  For a better description on the difference between the you can read this article.

engraving wedding invitation


I just love this entire process!  Wedding invitations are so beautiful and so personal!!! Do you have any favorites?  What is your dream wedding invitation?

Mandi Heilig - Dry Ink Designs

engagement Photos – what you need to know

engagement Photos – what you need to know

So… the engagement pictures have been taken!  I loved taking the pictures and am so unbelievably happy with how they turned out!  I will tell you though – there was a lot of prep that went into making sure things went smoothly that day and I wanted to share a few tips that will help you when you are going to take engagement photos!

things to know for your engagement photos


1. Choose your photographer and book at least 3 months in advance.

Ok – 3 months is a minimum when choosing your photographer.  The fabulous lady I decided to go with, Crystal Stokes, is booked out a year from now.  A year… that is crazy, so find who you like and get on their schedule.  I looked at styles of photography, price points and the personality of the photographer and made a quick decision!  I believe that this is one of those “you will just know” situations.  I saw one of her photos and booked her – I mean look at that photo!  Here is that photo and the rest of the photos from that night can be seen herecrystal stokes carrigan farms wedding



2. Hire a make-up artist.

So, I would have not guessed this, but make-up artists book out just as quickly as photographers.  I went with Erin Ashley – and guess what, she is booked out a year from now as well.  She is amazing at what she does.  I could never get my makeup to look that amazing for photographs.  Wedding make-up artists work with photographers each week and know how to apply lashes, eyeshadow, blush, bronzer and all the rest to fit your style and how it will look in pictures.

3. Coordinate your outfits.

Choosing outfits is very important for your engagement shots.  I suggest having two outfits so every picture doesn’t look the same.  We chose a casual outfit with jeans and one that was a little more dressy.  I took into consideration the season and what it would look like outside as well as where we would be.  Think of fall vs. spring and a field vs. an uptown setting – dress for your location.  Finally – make sure your outfits coordinate… choose similar colors and styles for each outfit change.  Here are a few images I took and sent to a friend when I was deciding on what to wear… shirts for The Mister, my necklace and which jean jacket to wear!

choosing engagement outfits

4. Choose a location.

Choose a place that is of importance to you.  I wanted a place that was a little more personal and so we chose to go to my parents lake house.  While you can choose two locations, a good photographer will be able to work around one location and give you various backgrounds and settings.

5. Determine the time of day you want.

I love the warmth of sunset.  I believe it gives you  sun and light that you just can not get any other time of the day, so I decided to choose the end of the day.  Another option would be sunrise – the sun is off to your side and not direct above you.  No one looks good in direct sunlight – it just isn’t good – don’t do it!  🙂

6. Have and idea of pictures you want.

This will help you and will help the photographer – giving a direction of what you want and where to take the photoshoot.  Examples are:

  • Individual shots
  • photos of your ring
  • photos on a road
  • up close shots or shots in the distance

More than anything – have fun!  This will show in your photos!  Enjoy the moment and make amazing memories with your love!

Here are some of my favorites form the day – just some – I loved them all!  You can see a full blog post with more images here.

sunset engagement photo

lake sunset engagement photo

lake sunset engagement photo

engagement photo holding hands

sunset lake engagement photo


Does anyone else have any photo tips?  I have bridals and my wedding to go!

Mandi Heilig - Dry Ink Designs


hosting my first thanksgiving

hosting my first thanksgiving

I am so excited to be hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever for my husband and I’s families!  We just moved into our new house last December, so this is the first November in our house.  We were so rushed to even get a Christmas tree up last year, so we are really looking forward to the holidays this year now that we are settled.

For our big Thanksgiving feast, I have been racking my brain (ok, I have been digging through Pinterest) to find the perfect decor, appetizers, place settings, etc. I haven’t quite decided what to do yet, but I wanted to share with you some of the great ideas I have come across.


Mantle Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving Mantle Ideas

Thankful Garland (free printable)

Thanks Glass (DIY) | Fall Garland

Felt Ball Garland  |  Thanks Bottles


Table Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving Table Ideas


Gold Pumpkins  |   Candles on Cake Stand

Rosemary Place Cards (DIY) |  Velvet Silverware Ties  |  Gold Pumpkins

Candles with Acorns  |  Pinecone Place Card Holder (free printable)

Flower Gourds  |  Thankful For Placemats


We have the food down pat.  Our favorite casseroles will be lined up alongside the turkey.  YUM…I can hardly wait!  To spice things up this year, I’m thinking of making some Apple Cider Sangria – doesn’t that sound amazing?  Recipe HERE.

Apple Cider Sangria

Do you have any Thanksgiving decor tips to share?

Heather Johnson - The Creative Stack