Letter to the Editor

Sometimes you just have to voice your opinion about things.  It’s important to pick and choose your battles, but when you know you have a valid point – do something and make a difference.  After weeks of dealing with noise complaints, destruction of property and disrespectful college students I decided to write this article to the Lancaster New Era.  My goal is to reach the right people who have the ability to effect change –  whether it’s the college, the local police or the students themselves.  The people here in town deserve better.  There’s an elderly woman who lives next door to me and she doesn’t have the courage to tell these kids to stay off of her property, but I’m tired of seeing her flower bed littered with red solo cups and beer cans.  It’s time someone speaks up.

Local Residents Deserve Better from F&M

Attention:  Editor, Lancaster New Era,

For most people in the city, back to school means kids on the playground again, crossing guards at the corner and laughter in the street as children walk to school in the mornings.  As a resident of West Frederick Street, however, back to school means belligerent F&M students cursing and carrying on in the street between 11pm and 4am every Friday and Saturday night; destruction of property as these students stumble back to campus late at night, overturning planters and tearing down tree branches; and the tell-tale trail of red solo cups and beer cans that lead from the College Hill Apartments back to F&M College.

As a former college student myself, I can understand the allure of the college party scene, but I can’t understand the despicable behavior I’ve observed as a Lancaster City homeowner.  I’ve seen students walk through the fresh cement outside of my home after stealing the orange cones barricading the area. I’ve seen students tossing solo cups and other garbage into my neighbor’s flower beds.  And I’ve been woken up countless times by students arguing and cursing in the street beneath my bedroom window.  It seems no matter how many noise complaints are made, the students at F&M face no consequence for their actions.

I don’t know if these students are too drunk to realize that West Frederick Street is a residential section of the city and not an extension of their college campus, or if they simply don’t care.  What I know is that the hard working individuals, the mothers of young children and the elderly couples living on my street deserve better from F&M College.  A noise complaint should be taken seriously and the call should be answered by the city police, not the college security team.  Students need to learn that when they are off campus they are responsible for their actions and underage drinking, public urination and destruction of property are punishable by law.

I would expect a college that holds its students to such high academic standards demand the same upstanding behavior outside of the classroom as well.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rachel Highley

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Shabby Chic Wedding – DIY Ideas

8/23/2014 was my big day! My mother and I spent months shopping antique stores, running back and forth to Michael’s, and scouting the perfect venue but our hard work finally paid off!  My goal was “Shabby Chic” and I think we nailed it.

A big thanks goes to The Booking House in Manheim, PA for being the PERFECT event space with their beautiful staircase, exposed beams, gorgeous chandelier and original brick walls.  We were one of the first weddings to take place here and they could not have been more helpful!

Tons of people asked about our decor, where we found things or how we made them so this blog is dedicated to all of the other brides who are looking for the perfect Shabby Chic wedding, but may be on a budget. Without further to do…

DIY Burlap Pennants

DIY Burlap Pennants

Burlap is a must-have for any shabby chic theme. We purchased our burlap from a local craft store and used a regular fabric marker to achieve this look.  We sewed the top of the pennants over, creating a simple way to string them together with twine.  We found attaching a safety pin to the end of the twine made it easier to get through each pennant.   I found something like this at Michael’s for almost $40 – our version cost less than $10.

DIY Ring Bearer Pillows

DIY Ring Bearer Pillows

Close Up

Close Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the same burlap we used for our Mr. & Mrs. sign, I made two little ring bearer pillows.  My mom sews often so she had some lace leftover from other projects I was able to use for trim.  If you don’t have lace on hand you can purchase some from a local fabric store for less than $5.  I wove some twin into the top of the pillows and secured with a knot so that we could tie our rings onto the pillows with a simple bow. I purchased the stuffing for the pillows at a local fabric store for less than $5. You can find these kind of pillows on Etsy for upwards of $20 or DIY for less than $10.

We wanted to use Ball jars for the centerpieces at our reception but I wanted them to be vintage – not the new ones you can find at any old craft store.  This took some time, hunting them down at local antique shops, but eventually we collected 16 blue Ball jars.  Over the course of 3-4 months we spent about $100 on all of the jars but they were well worth it!  We used some of the jars to hold our favors which were also DIY. We wanted to do something sweet that would look pretty so we purchased jumbo pretzel sticks from Costco and bulk chocolate wafers from Wilbur Chocolates in Lititz, PA.  With pink and white pearl sprinkles the pretzel sticks were a huge hit!

Antique Blue Ball Jar with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stick Favors

Antique Blue Ball Jar with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stick Favors

In addition to the mason jars we purchased some antique glass to accompany our centerpieces.  These little bottles and vases were inexpensive and we found most of them at local antique shops.  Instead of having our florist create lavish arrangements for each table, we saved a ton of money by working with a local Amish lady who sells cut flowers by the five-gallon bucket.  We had her fill two five-gallon buckets with flowers of my choice and then we simply divided them among our tables to achieve a beautiful, country yet shabby chic look. You’ll also notice the hat box in this photo – this was an antique yard sale find that we used for all of our cards at the reception.  It only cost my sister 50 cents!

Antique Vases and Bottles Added a Splash of Color and Character at Each Table

Antique Vases and Bottles Added a Splash of Color and Character at Each Table

Another way we saved money was by creating our own programs, invitations and menus. You can spend countless dollars on stationary from websites like Minted, Zazzle or Etsy but at the end of the day no one is going to say, “Wow, my favorite part of that wedding was the programs!” Luckily, I have a background in graphic design so this part was fun for me, but as long as you have an eye for detail and a good sense of style you can achieve the same look.  Pictured below are our programs and menus.  I had the programs printed at Staples and I purchased ivory, sparkly card stock from Walmart for the menus which I printed on my own.

Programs for the Wedding Ceremony

Programs for the Wedding Ceremony

Menus for Each Table at the Reception

Menus for Each Table at the Reception

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving money on our decor and stationary allowed us to book the honeymoon of our dreams and pay for our first choice photographer.  We were able to achieve the shabby chic look we wanted by making smart purchases and taking our time to find the vintage items we really wanted like the blue mason jars. Here are some additional photos from the big day!

Bridal Party at The Booking House

Bridal Party at The Booking House

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Kline

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Kline