September 2017 - The Surznick Common Room

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Help Us Mend the Coastal Bend


Hi everyone - quick post today, but we wanted to tell you about a Hurricane Harvey benefit event that our friends have put together for this Friday, September 29th.

We mentioned in a recent Lately post that some of our best friends here in Pittsburgh are Texas natives, specifically from Aransas Pass, an area that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey last month. In an effort to help their friends and family back home, Jamie and Jessica have put together a benefit event at Lot 17 in Bloomfield to raise money for the United Way of the Coastal Bend.

There will be drink specials and appetizers, and all money donated will go towards disaster relief in South Texas. I know it would mean the world to Jamie and Jess if PGH locals can come out this weekend - we really hope to see you there!

The event is this Friday, September 29th at 7:30 PM at Lot 17, 2nd Floor in Bloomfield. Cash bar with drink specials and appetizers provided. Suggested donation of $20 to help in Hurricane Harvey relief. If you can't attend the event, but would still like to help, please consider making a donation directly to the United Way of the Coastal Bend.

Please visit the Facebook event for more details and to RSVP! Thank you all so much for reading and we really, really hope to see you on Friday.

Sarah & Nick

Monday, September 25, 2017

#MeetTheMeowburgs: My Bouquet


I've never really been interested in flowers. Nick knows better than to get me flowers for Valentine's Day or my birthday, and I certainly don't keep fresh flowers in our house on a weekly basis. When we first started wedding planning, I had limited knowledge about the costs that go into a wedding, but I did know that the floral costs can be pretty significant. To be honest, it also stressed me out a little bit. It's just one more thing that you have to plan and arrange before the wedding and have coordinated to arrive the day off. All that stress for something that I don't really care about.


To alleviate some of that worry, I decided early on in our planning that I would make a faux bouquet and that any other flowers we decide to have as decorations will also be faux. If you find the right faux flowers, you can definitely make a beautiful bouquet or floral arrangement that looks great. I purchased all of my flowers and greenery from Afloral, using this bouquet as inspiration. It was incredibly easy, and I'm still kind of surprised at just how beautiful it turned out.


Want to make your own? Here's what you need:
Note: In parentheses next to each item is the quantity I bought. Some require you to purchase a minimum quantity.
- Rain Tree Grass Bush (2)
- Lavender Mini Peony Bundle (1)
- Burgundy Protea Flower (1) (similar)
- Pink Open Roses (4)
- Mauve Roses (4)
- White Ranunculus (4)
- Forest Fern Bundles (3)
- Seeded Eucalyptus Spray (4)
- Green-Gray Lamb's Ear (3)
- Mauve-Pink Waxflower (4)
- Green floral tape
- Wirecutters


Here's what you do:
- Remove the tags from all flowers and cut extra leaves from flowers as you see fit.
- Begin to bundle together flowers and greenery, adding floral tape as you go to hold them together. If you've never used floral tape before, it's somewhat sticky, but you need to pull it taut when wrapping in order to get it to properly stick together.
- Continue adding flowers and greenery until bouquet is desired size.
- Cut stems to be even across the bottom of your bouquet.
- Add ribbon, lace, twine, etc. to cover floral tape, if you wish! (I did not do this yet, but will before our wedding.)


I've never made any sort of floral arrangement in my life, so honestly, pretty much all I did is bunch these together and call it a day. There was little to no effort involved and I am in love with how it turned out. My mom helped me make this (thanks, Mom!) and we finished it in about 30 minutes or so. I can't wait to walk down the aisle in a few months with this bouquet in hand. The best part is that I get to keep it! Or give it to another bride-to-be!


I ended up using all flowers and greenery listed above, with the exception of rain tree grass and forest ferns, which I had a few leftovers of. All in all, I spent about $100 on the flowers, so this wasn't exactly cheap, but I feel certain that it would be cheaper than purchasing a real bouquet. Not to mention, I don't have to throw this away because it will never die! Win-win.

xo, Sarah

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Alaska (Part 1)


Holy cow. We went to ALASKA! (It was over a month ago now but we're still pretty stoked about it.) It almost seems crazier to me than going to Europe, which is kind of weird, but the flight was longer than our trip to London and it's just somewhere that few people I know have been. Everyone and their mom and their mailman is going to Iceland right now (we did too), but ALASKA?! Nope.

My best friend, Bethany (the very same Bethany that took our engagement photos!), moved to Alaska a few years ago to be with her now-husband, Scott (it's a super cute story, by the way, and we are SO, SO happy for them!) Ever since she moved there, Nick and I have been dying to visit. Of course, life got in the way and year after year we didn't make it up there.


When Bethany and Scott announced their engagement and upcoming move back east, we knew we had to get there ASAP, while we had the chance. It was a short trip, but the entire 4 days were so jam packed with amazingness that it felt like much longer. Truly, the trip of a lifetime. It's not every day you get to visit Alaska and spend time with friends that LIVE there and travel, kayak, hike, etc. all the time. I know that if we had visited Alaska in an alternate universe on our own or on a cruise or something, we would never have done 90% of the things we did. We are so grateful to Bethany and Scott for hosting us on this trip and showing us their Alaska. THANK YOU GUYS.

So here's a little recap and a bunch of photos from the first couple days of our trip to the 49th state.

Day 1
We left Bethany and Scott's house in Anchorage early on Thursday morning and drove south for our long weekend. All 3 nights of our trip were spent away from their home, and the first night we tent camped near Portage Glacier. The glacier cruise was our first big plan of the trip, and it did not disappoint. So blue and beautiful!


After the cruise, we hiked back the Byron Glacier Trail. It's hard to describe how incredibly beautiful everything was, and these photos don't really do it justice. You'll just have to go sometime. After our hike back, we climbed up a huge rock and stopped to have a few Alaskan beers. You'll find that stopping to gaze at the beauty and drink a few beers is a recurring theme on this trip, ha.


Later in the afternoon we headed to Girdwood Brewing for some local beer flights. It was fun to chat with locals around the fire. Most said that they went to Alaska for a visit and never returned home (which seems to be a common theme.) Afterwards we grabbed incredible pizza for dinner from Chair 5 - no photos, I think we are it all too quickly. Speaking of pizza, Moose's Tooth pizza was very highly recommended to us, but we didn't get the chance to go there. The pizza at Chair 5 was killer though - highly recommend!

After dinner we headed to Alyeska Resort to take the tram up the mountain to watch the sunset. The resort itself reminded me of The Overlook Hotel from The Shining, mostly because it was so massive. I'd love to see it in the winter! We headed up the mountain on the tram around 8:30 PM and the sun didn't really start setting to close until 9:30-10 PM. SO COOL. It felt amazing to have this completely full day and not have to start winding down for the night at our usual 5:30-6 PM sunset. This first sunset we saw in Alaska was absolutely gorgeous and we couldn't have picked a better place to view it from.



Even though the tram takes you most of the way up the mountain, we had to hike a pretty steep trail to get to the very top, where we snapped most of our photos. It felt so incredible to get all the way to the top and be rewarded with that amazing sunset view. Finally, exhausted, we hopped on the tram to head back down the mountain, where we saw our first and only black bear of the trip! Then back to camp we went to recoup for day 2.


Day 2
We stared off our second morning with a home-cooked breakfast over the fire at our campsite. It rained pretty much all night and continued throughout the morning, but luckily the rain started to clear as we drove further south to Seward.


When we arrived in Seward, we stopped for lunch at Seward Brewing - both the food and the beers were great. Seward is a port city, so there were lots of cruise ships in the bay and people roaming around the town. We actually didn't explore the town and shops very much, but it was pretty cute from what we saw.

After lunch we went down to Miller's Landing to kill some time and check out the coast of Resurrection Bay. The Bay is HUGE - we'll share more about it in our second post. The color of the water is so blue-green and lovely. Naturally, we stopped to have another Alaskan Beer.


Later in the day, we headed to the cabin that we were calling home for the night. With a full kitchen and grill, we decided to cook a meal together and eat dinner by the fire. Day 3 was going to be an early one, so after a few more beers, we hit the hay. More to come soon!


Sarah & Nick

Monday, September 11, 2017

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging


A DIY, you guys! I finally got inspired to make something crafty last weekend. It was really easy and fun to make - with the exception of my cats thinking it was a toy for them (which was as frustrating as it was cute.)


The inspiration for this project came from Elsie Larson's nursery tour. The entire room is beautiful, but I fell in love with the yarn wall hanging she made. It's so simple, but I loved the colors and texture - it's different from anything I would normally hang on our walls.


I have so much yarn from various knitting projects, plus we had leftover copper pipe from our magazine rack, so I knew I could whip up my own hanging in no time at all. I went through my yarn stash and pulled out the whites/creams, blacks/grays, and three shades of green that I thought would look nice together. The beauty of this project is that you can use any colors or types of yarn you want, any type of dowel/pipe, and truly customize it to your liking. If you have all of this stuff on hand already, it's also free - which is always a plus in my DIY book.


Here's what you need!
- Yarn in several colors
- Scissors
- Tape measure
- Pipe or dowel



Here's what you do!
- Determine how long you want your yarn to be. All of your yarn pieces need to be double the length because they are folded in half when you loop them around your pipe. I wanted our hanging to be about 26", so each piece is 52".
- Start cutting! I started by cutting 6 pieces of each color and looping them to my pipe as I went. It's hard to tell how many pieces you'll need until everything is on the pipe and bunched together. I ended up using maybe 15-20 pieces in each color.
- Fold each yarn piece in half and loop them around your pipe. Bunch them together and add more yarn pieces as needed.
- Tie a yarn piece to each end and hang it up! (And trim the bottoms if you want, but it's not necessary.)


This DIY is obviously super simple and directions aren't really needed - so just start cutting and give it a try! I finished this in about an hour and a half or so and it didn't cost me any money at all. We have it hanging in our living room above our record player and I love the color and texture it brings to that corner of our space. I opted not to trim the bottom so it's super straight across, but I might in a couple months if the creases in the yarn settle a bit and it seems really uneven. Either way, I think it looks pretty great.

Thanks for reading!

Sarah & Nick