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College Sweethearts Tie The Knot In True Southern Style

Michelle and Jeff knew that in order to pull off their dream Southern wedding, they needed a dream location. “We knew we wanted to get married at a place that encompassed all of the things we value which is family, friends and of course, animals,” Michelle said. Naturally, they turned to Georgia’s Barnsley Gardens as the backdrop for their entire wedding weekend and the result was a springtime affair filled with timeless style, Southern charm, and a whole lot of love. Take a peek at their special day (including a cameo from the couple’s darling pups!) all captured by Simply Sarah.

From the bride… Jeff and I met during our junior year at Clemson University and were completely enamored with college life full of friends, football, and fun. Our paths had crossed a time or two before, but it wasn’t until the night of a football game tailgate that we decided just bumping into each other occasionally wasn’t going to cut it. Jeff was on the baseball team at Clemson and although I rode horses and knew nothing about sports, we quickly realized that we shared so many other things in common and fell completely head over heels for one another.

After graduating college, Jeff was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and pursued a career in professional baseball while I moved back home to Atlanta to begin my first job. After only a few months of long-distance, Jeff retired from baseball and immediately jumped on a plane headed for Atlanta so we could be together again. Being ‘college sweethearts,’ we weren’t exactly prepared for the trials we would face in the transition from college to real life. Through that tough transition, one thing never changed and that was our love for one another.

On February 7th, 2016, after 6 years of dating, we went from just growing up together to growing old together when Jeff asked me to spend forever with him. It was truly the most amazing moment of my entire life! He knows me all too well and included the two most important things in our lives in his proposal: our bulldogs, Charlie and Sophie.

When it came to planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to get married at a place that encompassed all of the things we value which is family, friends and of course, animals. We wanted to get married close to Atlanta since it’s not only where I grew up, but where we now both call home. The moment we saw Barnsley Gardens we knew it was the place for us—not only is it completely beautiful and encompasses an amazing story of love, but it was the perfect place to host all of our friends and family in one location, including our two pups! Our one wish was to have a wedding weekend rather than just a wedding day, so we kicked off the weekend with a southern-style welcome barbecue in the beer garden and ended with a farewell breakfast in an old 19th-century farmhouse. We chose to have our wedding ceremony in a beautiful, intimate chapel on the grounds and then held a cocktail hour and the reception in the ruins and gardens of an old estate built in the 1800’s by Godfrey Barnsley for the love of his life. Is that not the most magical setting you’ve ever heard of to begin our new love story together?!

We aspired to have a celebration truly capitalizing on the beauty of springtime in the South. This became the inspiration for all of the design details throughout the day- from our ceremony in the chapel adorned in lush greenery to our reception in the gardens with floral arrangements in soft hues of blush, peach, ivory and blue. It’s funny where design inspiration can come from sometimes- during the search for dresses for my bridesmaids to wear, I fell in love with the steel blue color that my Maid of Honor wore. It ended up being the color inspiration in many places from linens to floral elements and paper goods. At the end of it all, we wanted to be able to look back and feel like the whole day just felt like “us.” Every design element we chose was selected with our own styles and personalities in mind; simplistic yet romantic and timeless. A day that we will look back on in 50 years and still think it was just as beautiful. The old ruins was also a huge inspiration to the design as well. There was so much natural beauty throughout the grounds that allowed the beauty of springtime to show that we truly didn’t need to do much!

Looking back we do have one favorite part of the day that stands out above all the rest. Instead of attending cocktail hour with our guests, we chose to take the time after our ceremony to spend just the two of us and reflect on everything from the day. There was dinner set up on a private patio where we could sit and eat and talk about our excitement to now be married. It was such a special moment and I couldn’t recommend doing this more to future couples! During this time, we were able to visit with our two pups too! The photos Sarah was able to capture during that time with them are some of my favorites!

Simply Sarah Photography was an absolute dream to work with! Sarah is incredibly talented and captured our wedding perfectly. Jeff and I were very hesitant when we first got engaged about being “bad” at taking photos. That thought was quickly whisked away when we met Sarah for the first time for our engagement photos. She made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and we couldn’t have appreciated that more. We truly can’t recommend Simply Sarah Photography more! She is the sweetest, most professional person and we felt so honored to have her capture the most special day of our lives. Best decision you can make is hiring her for your wedding!



Photography: Elizabeth Lanier Photography | Coordination: Kristen Scott | Floral Design: Lindsay Coletta | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Sugar and Slate | Invitations: Marked | Shoes: Aquazzura | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Hair + Makeup: Jennifer C Nieman | Band: Trotline | Groomsmen's Attire: Suitsupply | Venue: Barnsley Gardens Resort | Bridal Shop: Bel Fiore Bridal | Live Painter: Paint by Chloe | Rentals: 12th Table | Rentals: Crush Event Rentals | Wedding Design: Tailor & Table

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Cozy Winter Feast Inspiration

Melissa Schollaert has captured pure winter loveliness. Tailor & Table Design Studio crafted an elegant feast complete with cocktails while the channeling the romance of an English countryside whilst embracing the calming quiet of a Georgian winter. A dreamy Bel Fiore Bridal gown, richly hued florals, and an intimate fireside celebration have left me embracing the cooler months ahead… and you can see it all right here.

From Melissa Schollaert Photography… Our storyline is based on a wedding in the English Countryside at an old, abandoned manor. The look of it is very masculine, dark, moody and winter-focused, and is set at Barnsley Gardens in Georgia, a decaying renaissance home built in the 1840s. We envision a lively, turn of the century affair with an entire weekend of events ranging from pheasant hunts for the gentlemen to afternoon tea for the ladies. We also incorporated a traditional wintertime, English Cocktail called Wassail, which was drank on the Epiphany celebration on January 6th. The history of wassail is that groups would go out into the apple orchards on the feast of the Epiphany and sing songs to the trees in order to promote an abundant apple harvest the next year. We had an entire cocktail station with mulled cider, bourbon, apples and all of the spices necessary to make the beverage. We also had a traditional English feast of abundance with candied fruit, roasted vegetables and a whole chicken roasted over a fire created by the chef at Barnsley. Our models donned winter attire provided by London Trading Company in Atlanta – complete with authentic English hunting gear for the groom, as well as a shawl/cape and accessories for the bride in addition to her traditional wedding gown. We even included an authentic hunting hound to the shoot as well.

Photography: Melissa Schollaert Photography | Event Design: Tailor & Table Design Studio | Catering: Barnsley Gardens Resort | Makeup Artist: Andrea Carter Artistry | Venue: Barnsley Gardens Resort | China Rental: Vintage English Teacup | Coordination & Planning: Kristen Scott | Decor: Tailor & Table Design Studio | Gowns: Bel Fiore Bridal | Hairstylist: Robn Johnsen | Male Attire: London Trading Company | Rentals: Miss Milly's

Romantic Barnsley Gardens Engagement Session

These two? They’re pretty darn adorable. And their love for one another (proven by their sweet, sweet words below) is unmatchable. They teamed up with Gracie Blue Photography to capture that love at the beautiful Barnsley Gardens Resort, and the result is one of my fave love shoots to date. Have a peek for yourself right here in the gallery.

From Gracie Blue PhotographyLisa and Stephen wanted their engagement session to take place in a location that matched their relationship, which they describe as romantic, affectionate and private. They fell in love with the beautiful Barnsley Gardens and we all agreed that the setting matched them perfectly. What’s more romantic than a beautiful private garden with historic old ruins as a backdrop?

From the beautiful Bride-to-be…From the moment I met Stephen, I had this really good gut feeling about him. We hit it off right away. Stephen exceeded my expectations in every single way. During the 9 months of our long distance relationship, we flew to see each other as often as possible, and we talked on the phone and skyped all the time. We were addicted to talking with each other to the point where I was always tired at work. I always had to look out for how many minutes I was using on my phone every month because I went over the limit a couple of times. He worked really hard to get the job in Atlanta, which was extremely competitive, and there was a high possibility that he would not get that job. Despite all the obstacles and the distance between us, as cheesy as it sounds, he made me believe in love again. He gave me hope, and he made me feel a kind of happiness I never felt before. Usually there’s a lot of pressure to a relationship when someone moves for the other person, but I felt like with us, we didn’t have to try to make it work or force anything to happen. Instead, we fell in love and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

I want to remember how we never take each other for granted, and we are always grateful to be together. I want to remember all the inside jokes we have with each other. Our perfect Saturday together is hanging out at a park or hiking, and then, dinner and a movie. We like to keep it simple. It really doesn’t matter what we end up doing because we enjoy every minute we have with each other since he works a lot of weekends. We share a tradition to go on a yearly cabin trip. We bring food with us and grill for our meals. We hike around the nearby trails, and relax by the fireplace watching a movie and roasting marshmallows. I love how Stephen understands all my quirks and appreciates them. I love that he was raised with good morals, and I love his patience and compassion.

From the handsome Groom-to-be…I love that Lisa laughs at some of the strangest and littlest things, and I love that we have started to build an extensive list of inside jokes that no one else can understand. I love that she gives me a lot of support. She has made my life much more fulfilling and joyful.

Photography: Gracie Blue Photography | Resort: Barnsley Gardens Resort

Barnsley Gardens Wedding from Katelyn James Photography

This beauty of a wedding not only celebrates the marriage of two adorable lovebirds, but also the marriage of two fabulous styles – rustic and glamour. The result? Perfection. It’s a bit of sparkle and a bit of that laid back Georgia style, mixing and mingling beautifully before our very eyes at Barnsley GardensKatelyn James Photography captured every last gorgeous, rustic glam detail – so be sure set aside some time to soak it all in right here.

And before you head into the full gallery, spend a few minutes enjoying their beautiful and loving vows in this highlight film from Ryan Lindsay of Imagine Video Productions !

Amanda + Josh from Imagine Video Productions on Vimeo.

From Katelyn JamesJosh and Amanda have been waiting a long time for this day. Everything about their rustic/glam wedding was stunning. The weather, the venue, the atmosphere, it was all perfect. They were married at the Ruins at Barnsley Gardens Adairsville, Georgia. This unfinished plantation home was the perfect spot for their small, intimate wedding. Josh and Amanda were surrounded by 40 family and friends as they danced the night away. Enjoy this gorgeous spring wedding!


Wedding Photography: Katelyn James Photography | Wedding Venue: Barnsley Gardens Resort | Floral Design: David LaVoy | Cinematography: Ryan Lindsay of Imagine Video Productions | Invitations: Aliya Rinaldi Design | Linens: Nuage Designs | Wedding Dress: Bijou Bridal Collection | Hair + Makeup: Brushworx | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung via Weddington Way

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
North Georgia Farm Wedding from The Studio B Photography

Farm weddings?  I love them.  Especially when they happen to take place in the land of rustic elegance, Georgia.  That’s because you lovelies from The Peach State know a thing or two about throwing a gorgeous farm party and when it comes to country nuptials, these two sweeties mastered the pretty (and then some) with a fabulous Lily Pond Farm setting, beautiful details planned by An Elegant Occasion, a few furry friends and a whole lot of yummy.  (Here’s looking at you, mac ‘n’ cheese.)  See it all captured in amazing images by The Studio B Photography in the full gallery.


From The Studio B PhotographyThis sweet country wedding took place at the bride’s aunt’s farm and was filled to the brim with down home charm. Ashley and Chris were married the week before Halloween and chose to accent their decor with pumpkins and other delightful Fall details. Much more stylish than spooky, several of the pumpkins had been monogrammed with the couple’s initials. During the ceremony, after saying their vows, the pair took a rope and literally tied the knot to symbolize the beginning of their new life together. Guests were invited to explore the beautiful property and they were treated to beautiful horses grazing in the distance and cute sheep who made sure to greet everyone they saw!

The reception featured Southern comfort food like mac and cheese and fried chicken. The centerpieces featured collections of antique books along with flowers as a nod to the fact that Ashley is a teacher. Ashley and Chris exited the reception through a festive line of well wishers with sparklers.


Wedding Photography: The Studio B Photography | Wedding Venue: Lily Pond Farm in Adairsville, Georgia | Wedding Planning: An Elegant Occasion | Floral Design: Wed 101 | Catering: Big Girls Events & Catering | Cupcakes: The Village Cakery | DJ: Nice Guys DJ | Linens + Rentals: Unlimited Party and Event Rental | Wedding Dress: Casablanca

Barnsley Gardens Wedding by Elle Golden Photography

This gorgeous garden wedding by Elle Golden Photography could easily have taken place on the grounds of a French chateau.  The lush gardens and ivy-covered, historic ruins conjure up visions of a whimsical, European fairytale.  Of course, the insanely lovely Parisian-inspired details that this couple dreamt up only heighten the overwhelming feeling of romance and wonder.  See them all in the full gallery!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Leilani of Elle Golden PhotographyWelcome to Tim and Christina’s perfectly Parisian-inspired wedding. Working off a unique color palette of black, ivory, light gray, and peachy pinks, Christina brought the essence of France to the north Georgia foothills. It’s been a dream of hers for years to visit the city of romance, so it was obvious early on that she bring theme to their wedding. Christina’s love for details almost rivals her love for Tim. She spent months scouring thrift stores for many of the decor elements, such as the pretty book centerpieces, milk glass vases, and vintage champagne flutes. Personal touches were also scattered throughout the wedding venue — most notable were the tin vase engraved with Tim’s name and birthday from his newborn days and the DIY photo booth featuring the wedding photos from members of their families. Christina also spent hours handcrafting other eye candy, like the “B” initial of her new last name made from rolled pages torn from old books and the adorable “love and cheer” drink flags.

The romantic gardens of Barnsley Gardens provided the perfect backdrop for Tim and Christina’s first look. The moment was quiet and serene, and it’s obvious how much Tim adores his bride. For the ceremony, Ceremony Trends event designers and floral artists flawlessly executed an altar design inspired by a photograph Christina found online soon after she became engaged. Christina included her son and daughter in the wedding party, and they watched on with glee as their mother sealed her newfound happiness with a kiss.

For the reception, the staff at Barnsley Gardens transformed the historic ruins into a intimate sanctuary for the couple’s closest friends and family to celebrate. Because the ceremony began at noon, Christina and Tim opted for a brunch which included a touch of the South: cheesy grits and even an assortment of pies as guest favors. Their red velvet cake with whipped buttercream icing provided the perfect dessert on such a fair-weather day. After lots of dancing and photo booth fun, Tim took to the mic to grab everyone’s attention. He proceeded to surprise Christina by unveiling the honeymoon he’d been planning in secret since he popped the question. The only clue he’d give regarding the honeymoon was that they were staying at “Tim Hotel.” So when Christina opened a gift bag containing the book “Walt Disney World for Lovers,” she seemed a little confused yet content on visiting the happiest place on Earth with her new husband. But then he told her to open it. Inside the book was a flight itinerary to, you guessed it — Paris! As if that wasn’t enough, the whimsical afternoon ended with Tim revealing they were to leave the very next day (with nothing packed and a perfect excuse to shop in Paris!) and were staying at a place called TimHotel! Little did she know he was telling the truth the entire time! I would like to end by saying congratulations again to Tim and Christina. I absolutely adore these two and wish them nothing but happiness.

Wedding Photography: Elle Golden Photography / Wedding Venue: The Ruins at Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville, Georgia / Floral + Event Design: Ceremony Trends / Event Planning + Catering: Barnsley Gardens Resort / Wedding Cake: Honeymoon Bakery / Wedding Invitations: DIY by the Bride / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Shoes: Bandolino / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Piperlime + ModCloth / Hair: Melissa of Hair Clips (770-773-9205) / Album Slideshow: Elle Golden Photography via KISS Wedding Books

Barnsley Gardens Resort Wedding by Leslie Walker Photography

We’ve got a perfectly bright, perfectly happy wedding to wrap up the pretty-pretty week here at SMP Georgia. Captured gorgeously by Leslie Walker Photography, this garden fete is filled with some of the brightest and most beautiful blooms thanks to creative genius, Amy Osaba. With so many  handmade details, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have no doubt that you’ll be spending some serious quality time in the gallery.


Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the bride… The moment we walked the grounds at Barnsley Gardens we knew that this was the perfect place for us to be married. We loved the beautiful landscape, the charming cottages, the quaint Chapel, and the Ruins was the perfect backdrop for our reception. We decided on a Fall wedding since it’s my favorite time of year. Plus, we could decorate with tons of white cinderella pumpkins! My mom spent months searching flea markets and antiques stores for perfect vintage finds to decorate the Chapel and Ruins. The Chapel is a charming little building that just needed few personal touches. My mom has beautiful antique crucifix from a small church in France that we had to use… we just needed an altar. We found an antique iron sideboard at our favorite antique store that would be perfect for the alar. Our florist Amy Osaba (love, love, love her organic style) placed a natural, wispy flower arrangement in a rustic box on top of the altar.

My Dad had one request and that was to have a bagpiper playing sometime during the ceremony. So, my mom and I decided to have the bagpiper play while Dad and I arrived at the Chapel. Tissues please! Following the most beautiful ceremony a gal could ever ask for, we had the piper play while he escorted our guests through the gardens and up to the Ruins.

The Ruins is not only beautiful, it is rich in history, which made for great conversation during the cocktail hour. Our guest enjoyed appetizers and cocktails while wondering around the Ruins and staying cozy by the crackling fireplaces. We wanted the reception to reflect our personalities and to create a relaxed evening for our guests. We had photos of our engagement, white pumpkins scattered around and candles in every nook and cranny. We decided to use burlap overlays on all the tables to give them a rustic feel. Also, every table had a different flower arrangement. Some with blue mason jars, vintage vessels or rustic containers. We also used tons of lanterns and rusty iron candlesticks. I wanted the day to be special for my daughter as well, so we made sure we had goodie bags filled with things to keep her busy and for all our younger guests. It was definitely a kid-friendly reception! My husband loves his candy, so my mom created a vintage candy table with nostalgic candy for everyone to enjoy. She even stenciled “Love is Sweet” on 150 burlap candy bags! One of my favorite flea market finds was an old grocery store door that we used for the seat assignments. It was perfect to hang our custom vintage tags that we found on Etsy. Several of our signs, cake topper, cupcake stand and many of our other little touches were also found on Etsy. My mom and I had so much fun planning the wedding and working on the DIY projects. We were a good team!  Barnsley Gardens was the perfect place for our wedding weekend. Many of our guests hiked the beautiful walking trails, played golf, had spa treatments or went clay shooting.

Wedding Photography: Leslie Walker Photography / Wedding Venue + Catering: Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville, Georgia / Flowers: Amy Osaba / Wedding Cinematography: Creative Video Moments / Wedding Cake: Pretty Cakes By Meg (770-552-4231) / Dress: Bridals By Lori / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Makeup: Donna Beare / Hair: Rachelle Meadows (770-367-0554) / Band: A-town A-list / Wedding Dress: Amsale / Bridesmaids’ Dresses + Girl’s Dress: J.Crew (Color: Dark Pacific) / Cake Topper: Country Squirrels R Us / Vintage Place Tags: Sunshine and Ravioli / Cupcake Stand: Jesse Lee Design / Just Wed + Sparkler Send Off Signs: The Back Porch Shoppe / Eat, Drink and Be Married Sign: Craftmart Texas / Love is Patient + Love is Kind Signs: WAThomas123 / Love is Sweet Sign: Cottage Creek Arts / Reception + Ceremony Signs: Shandrus Creation / Mr. & Mrs. Sign, Here Comes the Bride Signs + Table Numbers: Funkifolkart / Time to Cut the Cake Sign: The Ritzy Rose / Vintage Bridal Dress Hanger: Vintage Lizy

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic Barnsley Gardens Wedding From Artstar by Laura Stone

Little Black Book photographer, Artstar by Laura Stone, has shared two terrific Georgia weddings and a super-sassy photoshoot with us. We previewed them yesterday {here} … playing with SMP’s new board builder. But now, it’s time to reveal the whole shebang! First up a wonderfully romantic wedding from last fall at the historic ruins of Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia …

Mark is a fireman and had to work on Christmas so we were celebrating on Christmas Eve. We were going to dinner, but he insisted that we exchange gifts first. Sitting in front of the Christmas tree, he handed me a box that looked like perfume (that what I’d said I wanted for Christmas). He said he’d “put a lot of thought into the gift.” I opened the box ~ a plain white cardboard box with two bars of Irish Spring soap. A total decoy! I was completely confused. He then got down on one knee, took a ring box out of his jacket and asked me if I would marry him! I was totally shocked. My parents were downstairs, knowing what was going on. They came up and we all celebrated!

We first met our photographer, Laura, at Barnsley Gardens for our engagement session. It gave us a chance to get to know her, and for Laura to see our personalities.  Laura Stone is an amazing photographer, she makes you feel so relaxed and I honestly didn’t even know she was there! The pictures she captured were so beautiful and natural and that’s what I wanted for my wedding pictures. I can’t stop looking at our photos!

Our wedding was on a beautiful fall day ~ surrounded by gardens at a peaceful, romantic site in Georgia. Our wedding colors reflected rich fall colors. I chose teal bridesmaids dresses and incorporated sage green, chocolate brown, and tangerine colors in the flowers and décor. I loved the idea of tea lights set up throughout the Ruins and loved that the lanterns made everything look so romantic!

After getting ready, when I first pulled up in the golf cart, I was in total shock over how beautiful and perfect everything looked! All of my nervousness completely went away and I was so excited to get the party started! The weather was also just perfect. Being surrounded by all of my family and friends that I love so much was so amazing. It was so surprising to see everyone who had traveled from all over the country to join us. Mark and I truly had the best time of our lives on our wedding day and we were only hoping everyone that attended did too!

Instead of a traditional wedding guestbook, we found a very unique painting of a tree on etsy. The canvas picture was set up in the front for when guests walked to the ceremony. Guests put their thumbprint on the branches of the tree and signed their name next to their “leaf”. The portrait is framed and now on our mantle above our fireplace. Another kind of unique touch was a life-size Moss Bulldog in the image of my 5 year old English Bulldog that I love dearly. Also, my mom’s very artistic friend, Louisa painted a picture of Mark and me in front of Barnsley Gardens. We used it as the front cover for the dinner menus.

We LOVED all of our vendors! They did a fabulous job of capturing our wedding exactly as I imagined ~ and MORE!  We would like to thank the staff at Barnsley Gardens for being so well organized and for making the day flow so flawlessly!

Photography: Artstar by Laura Stone / Floral Design: Maxine & Gabrielle Mecca Edge Design Group / Cake: Frosted Pumpkin / Reception Entertainment: The Atlanta Showstoppers / Guitarist:  Keith Gehle / Minister: Chaplain Jeremiah O’Keefe-West /Hair & Makeup- The Moore Agency / Wedding Gown Designer: Watters & Watters / Bridesmaids Dress Designer: Jim Hjelm / Invitation Designer: The Paper Affair / Favors: Kilwin’s homemade Caramel Candy Apples / Wedding Venue: Barnsley Gardens Resort

Artstar by Laura Stone: Georgia Wedding Previews

We’ve been lovin’ all your tweets about SMP’s new Inspiration Board Builder and from the sound of it, you guys are lovin’ IT!  Although we (the SMP editors) have been using the original version of the Inspiration Board Builder (f o r e v e r), this one is new to us too! So … I decided I needed to give it a whirl this weekend! See what all of the hullaballoo is all about.  I thought it would be cool to create some teaser IBB’s based on next Monday’s features from Artstar by Laura Stone.  So, here’s the first … a super-sassy styled photo-shoot entitled “{fall} in love”!

Piqued your curiosity? More tomorrow!  {our entire gallery is here}

Next one … Lauren & Mark’s Barnsley Garden Wedding

Remember, guys, you can click on ANY image in ANY of the image boards on SMP and it will take you straight to the whole gallery! Or ~ you can wait ’til we say “click here for the whole beautiful gallery”!

And if those two don’t get you, surely this one will. Blair & Matt’s Primrose Cottage Wedding

Tune in bright and early on Abby’s Little Black Book Blog for the full Real Wedding features from Artstar by Laura Stone.

You can see these and MANY more on Laura’s blog!

**I’ve gotta’ admit, SMP’s new board builder is pretty addicting!