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One Year Down, Forever to Go

Sarah West Ervin and Brian Anthony Ervin West on their wedding day

We’re not just celebrating Labor Day and having a day off from work today—we’re also celebrating our first anniversary! It’s hard to believe we were married exactly one year ago. This year has flown by!

Sarah West Ervin and Brian Anthony Ervin West holding hands

And you know what? It’s been a great year, and we can’t wait to tackle the next one. But before we do, we wanted to take a quick look back…

Brian Anthony Ervin West and Sarah West Ervin

at all the balloons,


and shoes,

Brian Anthony Ervin West, Sarah West Ervin, and a Harry Caray bull

and bespectacled bulls,

Brian & Sarah

and smiles,

reflection in bronze

and weird reflections,

Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner

and… just kidding …

boots & champagne

and toasts,

and side hugs,

red, white & blue outfits

and coordinated outfits,

and one happy year.

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A Westervin Wedding, Shopping Sherpa

New Wedding Bands for Our First Anniversary

handmade geometric gold and silver wedding bands

{ 1. Stardust Wedding Band } { 2. Gold Bubbles Ring }  { 3. Metropolitan Wedding Band }

{ 4. Gold Branch Ring }  { 5. Banner Ring }  { 6. Grid Ring }

{ 7. Starlight Wedding Band }  { 8. Gold Slant Ring }  { 9. Titanium & Yellow Gold Ring }

Brian and I are getting new wedding bands for our 1-year anniversary next month. Why, you ask? Well, we’ve come up with a few reasons to get a new set:

1. It’s fun! Finding new rings together to reflect our personal styles has been pretty enjoyable.

2. It takes the stress out of finding the perfect anniversary gift and trying to keep it a secret. (I’m very skilled in ruing surprises.)

3. We LOVE our current wedding rings, but I’d like to have the option of having a different style and color to wear.

4. I get that a wedding band is a symbol of your union to one person, so it makes sense for that ring to stay constant. But a marriage doesn’t stay the same from year to year. You grow and change together. Therefore, I want a new set of rings to reflect on and celebrate that we’ve made it, happily, through a full year of marriage together.

5. We’re keeping it affordable by purchasing handmade rings and avoiding solid gold or other high-priced metals. And I love supporting individual craftspeople and jewelry-makers!

6. It’s non-traditional. This might be a reason against getting new wedding bands, but we’re counting this in the “for” column.

The only problem? With so many awesome options out there, it’s been hard choosing the right one for each of us! Of the nine rings above, I think we’ve narrowed it down to the two we want. (The options for Brian are in the four corners.) But I kinda want your opinion! Which rings do you like best? What do you think about getting a new set of affordable, handmade wedding bands each year? Don’t hold back.

A Westervin Wedding

WE Thank You

Design by Victor Huckabee

{ insert dreamy, romantic or heartbroken text here. by Victor Huckabee }

Well, my darlings, the contest is over, and although I never stopped wishing on fallen eyelashes and shooting stars or quit nagging people for votes, I knew we wouldn’t make it to the top 50.  While we definitely won’t be winning a fatty wedding, I don’t regret all the effort we put into trying.  The long and frenzied road to 87th place has been nothing but fun and fulfilling.  From the bottom of our happy hearts, Brian and I want to thank every one of the 550+ people who voted for us.  Big hugs and kisses and cupcake sprinkles especially for everyone who wished us well, left a heartfelt comment of congratulations and cheer or entered our giveaways and helped us spread the word.  I wish we all could have won!  And I can’t give enough cupcake sprinkles and hugs to Lorena and Lisa who donated their crazy-beautiful necklaces for those giveaways.  You muh gurls!!!  Now, cue the exit music.  I think my 2 minutes is up.


Our dream wedding: You can help!

If you haven’t already heard, we’re engaged!  And guess what else.  You could help us have our dream wedding!  Just vote for us in the Crate & Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest, and we could win a big ol’ wedding worth $100,000!  We NEED your vote.  In the name of love and happiness and handmade, eco-friendly weddings, perdy-please vote for us here!  It will only take a few seconds.

EDIT: If you’ve voted for us, you can now enter our giveaway to win a stunning embroidered necklace from Marañón, a featured seller on Etsy.  Enter here.

Brian West and Sarah Ervin engagement photo

Our love story: I’m Australian.  On a family vacation in the states, we met and fell in love on a California beach.  In a happy twist of fate, my family decided to move there, and Brian and I ended up going to the same high-school together!  But Brian turned out to be a bad-boy, and my good-girl ways made it hard for us to be together.  But love conquers all!  Eventually, a song-and-dance number at a school carnival brought us back together, and we each realized that “You’re the one that I want”.

Ok, so that’s actually the plot of Grease… but our story is romantic, too!  Brian and I met on the first day of school (college), and we spent the first days of our friendship on a class trip to Memphis.  He put my number in his phone, listed as “Elvis”.  He fell in love almost instantly and spent the next three-and-a-half years patiently and tirelessly bearing the burden of unrequited love, making me mac ‘n’ cheese, taking me on dinosaur hunting adventures and holding my hand when I cried.  Eventually, I received a metaphorical slap in the face, and realized I would never meet another person more talented, fun, handsome or caring.  [insert more gooey-lovey-dovey stuff], and now we’re living happily ever after.

Brian West and Sarah Ervin engagment photos

Three important details about our Ultimate Wedding: Our dream wedding?  Picture this.  An underwater reception, a chorus of glittering mermaids, floating off into the sunset in a hot-air balloon piloted by Dolly Parton.

But if that doesn’t fit the budget, here’s Plan B:

1) Environmental and social responsibility:  We don’t want our special day just to be about us (for more reasons than Brian’s shyness).  With every detail, we want to support our community, environment, and small businesses.  We’ll have food from local farms, local wildflowers, a handmade dress from an independent designer, recycled-paper decorations and invitations printed on vintage silk scarves.

2) Nature meets Urban:  We’ll exchange vows atop a landscaped roof in downtown Chicago.

3) Bye-bye traditional:  Champagne pyramids, identical bridesmaids, 6-tierd cake?  NO THANKS!  Yes to cup-pies, quilt-covered hay bails, a bluegrass band.

Brian West and Sarah Ervin engagment photos

Our everyday dream day: Our everyday dream day includes shopping at Crate & Barrel *wink wink*  Then, blogging together, baking together, balloon dancing together, playing thought-jinks — all on a warm, summer Sunday, with the windows open and Sam Cooke vinyl crackling on the turntable.  After all that we would be tired little puppies, so we would take a nap until dinner, which would include grilled salmon and scrumptious inside-out BLTs, a Pink Slip (one of Brian’s original cocktail creations that includes basil and raspberries) and cinnamon rolls for dessert.  The rest of the night would be spent dancing with our wonderful friends.

Brian West and Sarah Ervin engagement photos

Thank you so much for reading and viewing all these vain pictures of us!  Please remember to vote for us here.  If you really want to help us (and I will love you forever if you do) please post this on your blog or website, asking your readers/viewers to vote for us, too!  Don’t hesitate to email me at if you have any questions.

Shopping Sherpa

The Shopping Sherpa: Engagement rings, cont.

For those of you waiting for the second installment of today’s shopping guide, the Shopping Sherpa is here to reward you!  He’s brought us 15 more killer rings to ooh and ahh over.

These wooden rings add a bit of warmth to the usual stone and metal ring.

1.  Cinco Zafiro from Naturaleza

2.  The Kendal Ring from Lotus Jewelry Studio

3.  This Sunshine Ring with yellow heartwood and citrine setting is bright and cheery.  { from Wood by Alex }

You don’t need a stone setting with these simple sculpted rings.

1.  Ratiba Ring from Sara

2.  Mod Pointy Stacking Ring from Nina Dinoff

3.  This Moebius Ring from Mynta could be a lovely symbol of your unending love.

To counter the mushiness of that last sentence, here are some sleek and dark ring options.

1.  Ebony and Sterling Silver ring from Arosha

2.  Halftone Ring from DMD Metalsmith

3.  Dark arts anyone?  Prague ring from Ach Ach Liebling

1.  Fire Opal Ring from Midwest Alchemy

2.  Apophilite ring from MSO Joies

3.  Lighthouse Ring from Dollybird

These last three are so sweet I wanna lick ’em!

1.  Silver Lace Rings from All Those 3hrees

2.  Forget Me Knot ring from Pauper’s Bounty

3.  Cute alert!  Bird Ring from Sian Bostwick

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Shopping Sherpa

The Shopping Sherpa: Engagement ring, anyone?

Prepare yourselves friends, because today’s guide from the Shopping Sherpa is a doozy.  In fact, the wise shopping guru found so many amazing items that we had to break it up into two installments.  As you may have read earlier today, B-bops and I are planning to tie the knot!  In my search for an engagement ring, I realized I’m not one for the conventional, but the perfect unique ring was proving difficult to find.  So the Shopping Sherpa sprung into action and found me a plethora of handmade and alternative rings to choose from.  I’m happy to say I finally found the right ring for me, but there were so many stunners I had to pass up.  I thought I’d share all my favorites with you, in case you’re looking for a non-traditional ring of your own.

One Stone New York

1. Numero uno is the ring I ended up choosing for myself.  The stone is a Herkimer Diamond, which isn’t a diamond at all, but rather a rare type of quartz crystal that comes from New York state, making it ethically and locally sourced.  This ring also makes for an environmentally friendly choice, as the band is made from 100% recycled gold.  AND it’s stunning, if I do say so myself.

2. If you believe in the healing powers of stones, you’ll wanna get your hands on this moonstone ring. Moonstone is said to relieve stress and enhance intuition.  However, if you consider that to be a superstition about as powerful as a Ouija Board, you can surely still appreciate how lovely this ring is.

3.  Wave Ring

The Be Side

1.  I fell hard for all the edgy jewelry at The Be Side.  These Big Knot Rings say “Yeah, I’m tyin’ the knot, and no, I didn’t need a big shiny diamond to try to distract you from my lack of style.  Jealous?”

2 & 3.  The Be Side’s Rockwell Ring collection is another big slap in the face for the diamond.  The “stones” set into this Karis Rockwell ring and these chunkier Rockwell rings are solid silver.  Take that, traditional engagement ring!

Oye Modern

1.  Let’s say you’re not into jewelry, but you ARE really into music, AND you want to celebrate your love for another with an engagement ring.  The Shopping Sherpa’s got you covered.  Behold the Turntable Ring!

2.  Caviar Ring

3.  Inverted Prism Ring

1.  These next three stunners are for the textile junkie — embroiderers, sewers, crocheters and all around crafty devils.  Who needs a cold, hard stone when you can flaunt a soft and sweet silk one with this Silk Stone Ring from Jia Style.

2. My runner up, I needed one of these Anti-diamond Rings from Recycled Rings in my life.

3.  Ribbon Ring from Filip Vanas

1.  This Reykjavik Ring from Ach Ach Liebling has a vintage glass gem, which gives you a bigger bling for you buck.  And the colors!  They’re like the sea after a storm…

2.  A Concrete and Recycled Glass ring?  Now that’s unconventional!  { from Concrete Ring, natch }

3.  Apolo Ring (with a Swarovski crystal) from Leela Bijou

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Daily Pretties

Daily Pretty: Some Special News

It’s official, ladies and gents.  The Westervins are an item.  A “taking a walk down the isle” sort of item.  A “till death do us part” sort of item. 

We’re engaged!

{ Remember by Katze Rubiano }  { Vintage photo found on MyVintageLove’s photostream }

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