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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Inspiration (27)


Menu Inspiration

I love the idea of menus at weddings, whether it’s a sit down affair or a buffet, you can still let people know what they are about to eat. It’s really the polite thing to do. And you know you can have assigned seating AND menus and still have a buffet, right? Don't let a lack of waiters dictate fun and pretty table settings!

At my wedding, I used the Brides template that I got at Michael’s (with my 20% off coupon, natch) because it was cohesive and easy for me to print and maintain a semblance of sanity. The cool part was that the waiters at Mere Bulles actually announced the dinner menu and options. I had no idea they were going to do this and it really personalized the dinner and got people interacting right off the bat. Here are my menus:

image  image


Photography by Nashville Photographer Jonathon Campbell Photography

Here are some other cool menu ideas, DIY and otherwise!



Found on Sunday Suppers. I wonder if you can actually print on paper bags? Hm. DIY possibility.


Double sided frames from Ikea $.99 via Ruffled. (Scroll to the bottom of the Ruffled link for the FREE downloadable template for this menu!)


Fancy-pants style butterfly menu found via Pinterest.


Calligraphy on tea-stained doily. I ♥ this! From Green Wedding Shoes.


Personalize menus and double them up as place cards! Via Adeline & Grace Photography. P.S. This is the same font I used on all my wedding paper goodies and it’s called Brock Script.


Hyper-personalized menus from Sparkle & Hay.

imageOn little stands - cute too! Via Calligraphy Lady


Tucked and tied via Alchemy Hour Designs.


Modern and groovy from Viera Photographics.


Don’t be afraid to accessorize with herbs, flowers, twine, buttons – anything that goes along with either your theme or color scheme or heart’s desire. Photo via Christian Oth.

Just remember, not too close to the candles….


Via Missy Cochran Photography

What are your wedding day menu plans? What did you do for your wedding?


Labor of Love


Today is Labor Day – the day Americans celebrate the economic and social contributions of workers.

I was about to start writing about who we should be thanking today: the firemen and policemen and doctors and nurses and retail sales people – all of whom are working today, holiday or no.

We should thank those people, profusely and often.

But I also want to thank the unemployed today. I want to address the people who are competent, intelligent, hard-working individuals who are unemployed to no real fault of their own (I could totally start a rant here about politics, just so you know…).

The National Unemployment Rate is at 9.1%.  The U.S. population is hovering at just under 312M. That’s 28.1M people out of work. Look at it this way too: 28,000,000. That’s a shit-ton of people.

The majority of these people get up every day and sit at their computers, trying to find the thing they hope will employ them. They go to job fairs, networking meetings, unemployment offices and libraries – all in hope of finding work.

Being unemployed these days is nothing like it was a few years ago. The technology we have at our fingertips allows for a sick amount of automation.

For instance:

Many on-line applications require you to fill out salary history or salary requirements as part of the application process. Bid yourself too high and you’re automatically rejected as a candidate (not that they’d tell you that, mind you). Bid yourself too low and you’re potentially hurting yourself financially, or simply under-valuing your skills that again, get you rejected before your resume has finished uploading.

Most resumes that are sent through job boards (like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.) and well as through company websites now have scanners and filters that reject resumes before a human eye gives it a cursory glance. It searches the digital resume for key words, so that every time a person applies for a position they must re-write their resume and/or cover letter to reflect the key words noted in the job description.

A few months ago there was a big hulla-baloo regarding a statement several companies had posted on their hiring sites: “the unemployed need not apply.”

Does that make you throw up a little in your mouth? It should. Here’s the rub: explicitly blocking unemployed people from applying does not qualify under the definition of discrimination, since unemployment is not a federally protected status like age or race. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been researching whether employers are discriminating against  groups because they are now overrepresented more than ever amongst the unemployed, such as African-American and older workers.

Yeah, great. But does that mean an HR person can’t look at a resume, see the dates worked and draw their own conclusions? That was Rhetorical Question number one.  And guess what?  If you lie about that on your resume (number two)? Don’t plan on being hired for long.

Between November 2010 and today I have applied no fewer than 5 times to a company here in Charlotte for positions that 2 or 3 years ago I wouldn’t have lowered myself to even consider. If someone has asked me if I wanted to be a buyer for a retail department store I would have probably sneered, rolled my eyes and expounded on the evils and ineptitudes of retail level employees. My, how things change.

What’s rough for all of the unemployed is the constant hum of rejection. To apply and re-apply to the company who apparently likes to reject me? That takes some doing. And the funny thing is, the rejection is in a form of absolute silence. You wait, not knowing, assuming after time period “x” that the position has been filled, your phone calls to said company being dejected and rerouted endlessly. Pleasant, no?  There’s another company I’ve applied to 3 times. At least those folks have the decency to send me a rejection email. I take some comfort in that.  At least  I know.

The name of the game these days? It’s all about who you know. It’s about making cold calls to people in your industry, to find out who’s looking before the job is even listed. It’s all about the inside track. It’s about working that inside track to within an inch of its life. There are teams of people who teach individuals how to do this these days. The unemployment  game is precisely that: a game of Who Do You Know.

But let’s get back to the point of this post: a celebration of Labor Day and what it means to me, right about now.

First, how about a quick list of what unemployed does not mean:










Unemployed simply means that you do not have a place of employment that pays you taxable wages. It most certainly does not mean that an individual is not working because let me tell you, being unemployed is one of the hardest jobs you can ever have. I guaran-damn-tee you that trying to find employment is working.

And let’s stop defining people by what they do, shall we? Avoid asking the people you’ve just met, “So, what do you do?” Think a little harder first. Try, “Tell me about yourself.” Or “What’s new with you?” or “What do you enjoy doing?”  Value the person, not their place of employment/non-employment. And if you find yourself compelled to ask that question and see the person squirm, shuffled their feet, look down at their shoes or attempt to grasp the answer with difficulty and apprehension? Give them a break. Interrupt yourself with a new and different question. If you stop defining people based on a job description, perhaps they’ll stop attempting to define themselves as well.

So on this American Labor Day holiday, I want to thank all of our domestic service people who must still work today to keep us up and running, safe and protected. I want to thank our soldiers here in the U.S. and particularly those who are far from home, for all the work they’ve done and continue to do for the safety and protection of our lives and country. I also want to thank the unemployed – those people who are working, and working hard to find a place; a place where their skills are needed and appreciated, a place to support themselves, their families and their souls.

Happy Labor day to us all. 


Fantasy Land Friday

Fantasy Land Friday

Where I can pretend I’m always planning my wedding…where there are no budgets, locale limitations, opposing religions, or back-talking in-laws.

Where back-fat is an unknown, shoes are always comfortable and the fondant tastes like buttercream.

A place where there are no choices, only the perfect.


The Dress.


The hairpiece.


The Shoes.


The Bag.


The Jewels.


The Bouquet.

Sigh…I love Fantasy Land Friday, don't you?

Happy long Labor Day Weekend, y'all. I can't believe summer....ZOOOM - there it went!


How to Edit Your Own Book: Just Stop Talking.


Our sad stories. Like that one lady said in that one movie we all hate now. You know, the actress with the teeny, squinty eyes who’s alien-looking skinny. She said that one line to the really bad actor guy who jumped on Oprah’s couch. No, not that line about “You had me at…whatever.” Not that line. The line about “Let’s not tell our each other our sad stories.”

Today (which will be tomorrow when you actually read this) I met a very nice woman who had many nice things to say. Nice things all around. It was a feel-good kind of meeting because it was spiritually uplifting in a non-religious way. There was none of that  come-to-Jesus-wave-my-hands-in-zealot-ecstasy sort of thing going on. It wasn't like that. So, I’m pondering my day and I’ve come to the realization that I can do what I’m doing and do my very best and try to succeed. I just have to keep doing it. Seems simple enough.

Today I told this nice woman my sob story of fear. How I’m paralyzed by my own inadequacies. As I was word vomiting onto this kindly bent ear, I realized I was sort of tired listening to myself.

Yes, taking chances is scary as shit. Even the thought of success is scary as shit. I think I’m to the point where I can, with the utmost of certainty, say I’m scared shitless.

However, that doesn’t have to be my sad story. Or my excuse. Does it? No, I think not. We’re all scared shitless. What makes me special? Not much. My fear is nothing more than what my husband is doing by starting his own firm. Or what several people I’ve met here in Charlotte are doing. Or even a few of my blog friends. None of us really know what the hell we’re doing, but we’re doing it the best we can.

So while I can be scared as shit, I think it can probably be assumed that it’s a no brainer from now on.  It doesn’t have to be a part of my story. Lots of stories have sad excepts, even whole chapters. I don’t have to flip back in my own book and re-read anything, do I? No. I may have written it, but it doesn’t mean I have to tell it. 1

So no more old, sad stories. New stories for now; mostly just making the shit up as I go along? Those stories are much more exciting. Don't you think?


1 GAH! Enough with the book metaphors.


{Inspirational Tablescape} A Perfect Proposal Table

I know what it’s like to be inspired by something: a paint color, a fabric swatch, the pattern on a manhole cover,a drawer pull – inspiration comes from anything and everything! I know an artist who painted an entire series of amazing works after she saw the documentary Grey Gardens (which is AH-mazing, by the way).

I think that’s why I like this inspirational tablescape, photographed by J and J Photography.  The inspiration came from the original artwork called, The Emergence of the Feminine, which serves as the background to the intimate table setting. Deborah Hunter, the floral designer of  Worship Luxury used both orchids and tulips – WAY sexy flowers, no?  And I love how the flowers, which have a lovely, fresh, almost garden-y feeling to them, are combined with the lines and harder edges of the painting and shiny table linens. Go on, get inspired. By everything.





Pretty, no?