Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tips for Your Wedding Registry

Since we are entering the wedding season, I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned about registering. 

Note: this is where the Groom-to-Be gets to have a little fun because it introduces the store scanner!

Here are my tips:
  1. Limit the number of seasonal items you choose as they can sell out and be hard to track down.
  2. Don’t be afraid to pick bigger ticket items as some guests like to go in on gifts together.  
  3. Look into what the stores offer for wedding registries. We loved using Crate & Barrel because of The Wedding Parties Events that they host. We went in early on a Sunday morning before the store opened. They provided breakfast, sales people stationed in specific areas to answer questions, and we even received a gift bag at the end of the event!  Click here to find an event. We also used Bed Bath & Beyond and took advantage of their Completion Program. Our local store fed us snacks and handed out door prizes.The sales people were extremely helpful tracking down the rest of the items on our registry. Everything purchased that night received their special completion discount. Click here to RSVP for local events.

 It was so much fun! Take the time to see how retailers can assist you. It all helps when you are busy planning a wedding! 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Shadowboxer Baby

DIY Shadow Box Delight & Dwell

This is probably one of my most prized possessions. In November 2012 (two days before my birthday) we lost my buddy to lymphoma. He was the sweetest dog and he loved me unconditionally for all of his 11 years on this earth.

Anyone who owns and loves a special dog can understand the pain of this loss. Thank God our vet was amazing through this time. They also offered a special service where they make a clay paw print keepsake for the owners. It is a cherished memento, but it took a year and a half for me to be able to look at it without crying!

I knew I eventually wanted it to be part of our gallery wall. I found a 6"x 6" shadow box at Michael's (here) that was perfect for it, but I didn't like the black velvet backing. 

I decided to cover it with quilting fabric I found at JoAnn's (similar here, here and here).

I cut the fabric to the size of the shadow box backing, leaving excess fabric to hot glue to the back:

The next step was important because we needed an adhesive that was strong enough to hold the clay. I was not going risk damaging the paw print since it is irreplaceable. 

My husband had a tube of Construction Adhesive that would prevent it from ever moving again.  Once used it is permanent! We used PL 375 Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive (here) on the back of the clay paw print and glued it to the fabric/shadow box backing.

We let it dry overnight before framing and hanging it on the wall.  Here is the end result:

Paw Print Shadow Box Delight & Dwell
I absolutely love it and I am so grateful to our vet for Chim-Po's paw print.  It's such a special way to memorialize our four-legged member of the family! Now I smile every time I see it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Before & After: DIY Ombre Frame

DIY Ombre Frame Delight & Dwell

So I'm in the middle of constructing a gallery wall for our living room and, as always, it's important for there to be a few personal touches. I've found the best way to do this is to make some old frames new again.

This past weekend I somehow convinced my husband to take me to a garage sale at one of our local high schools. There were some interesting items for sale including a price tag that gave us a giggle:

The garage sale was almost a bust until I found a box of frames under a table for half off! I found a nice one, but knew I wanted to change the cream color.  

I decided to do a hand painted ombre effect using my Martha Stewart Crafts paints.

I painted the top half of the frame with a small brush using Martha Stewart Crafts paint in Sterling (Metallic) to give it a little luster.

I decided I wanted the bottom half to be a minty green so I mixed a small amount of Beach Glass (High Gloss) with Wedding Cake (Satin).

I let the layers dry completely and then painted another layer of the Sterling color, dragging the color over part of the minty green color.  The end result looks like this:

I think it looks pretty on the wall. Total cost: $1.50

I can't wait to show you the gallery wall once it's all pulled together!

Ombre Frame Delight & Dwell

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Favorite Party Activities

Every good party deserves a great activity.  My group of friends likes to play Minute to Win It, Cards Against Humanity, Heads Up and so on and so on.  Recently we've stumbled upon a couple of activities that we really enjoyed, so I wanted to share.

Favorite Things Exchange

If you’ve ever wanted a glimpse into Oprah's life, you need to host a Favorite Things Exchange. Guests are asked to pick their favorite product (makeup, hair, lotion, snack, etc) and purchase 5 of that item.

For example: I have a favorite nail polish brand and color so I would purchase 5 of that nail polish. 

Place your guests' names into a bag/hat 5 times (see a pattern yet?). Each guest takes a turn to present their  product to the group. They will explain what the product does and why it's their favorite. Then they draw five names from the bag and those ladies win the product! 

It’s a blast and everyone leaves with an amazing goody bag by the end of the exchange! I now love the Shea Cashmere hand cream from Bath & Body Works thanks to this game (and my friend, Beth).

We first discovered this game on Alan and Steph:

Alan and Steph

Historical Posts and Tweets

If the Guest of Honor is a lover of social media, a fun game to play is Historical Posts and Tweets. Each party guest scours the GOH’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for the most random or funny post.  The guests then give their favorite post to the party host.  The posts are read at the party for explanation by the GOH. Example:

The funny thing about this tweet is that Geoff had originally planned on proposing that night.  Then we got the bird and it all went down hill fast!

What are your favorite party activities?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

“Girls Day In” Birthday Party

With yet another threat of snow upon us in Michigan, I decided to write about a fun, relaxing party that we threw indoors.

A close friend and I have November birthdays and therefore usually do some sort of shared party or get together.  This year was a pretty hectic year for both of our schedules and so we decided we just wanted a day to spend with our girlfriends where we could talk, laugh and relax together.

We came up with the idea of throwing a “Cozy November Girls Day In Party.”  Comfy clothes and slippers were required - our take on a grown-up slumber party.

The color theme was warm and sparkly – lots of gold and bronze.  We took at trip to the local dollar store to create the party favor bags as well as most of the decorations. 

The activities included a nail painting and hair styling station,

a crafting station where everyone could decorate a mug,

a Favorite Things game (to be discussed in the next post), 

aaaand adding to the slumber party nostalgia, we watched a couple of our favorite old movies:  Now & Then (who knew everyone had a thing for Devon Sawa?) and The Cutting Edge (Toe Pick).

The food was the highlight of the party (the food and Devon Sawa).  We munched on all things chocolate and sweet of course:  chocolate fondue, hot cider, a hot cocoa bar and a popcorn bar.  At the end of the day we had a champagne toast in lieu of a cake.  

It was so delicious that I’m attaching the recipe Links below:

Birthday Girl Kate had a great idea to take a group photo at the party.  She provided frame matting and metallic Sharpies for the ladies to use to leave us a birthday message.

We had so much fun catching up with each other.  The party was clearly a success as we all ordered a pizza many hours later!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Before & After: End Table Makeover

I found my end table in my neighbor’s garage sale for $5.00!  It wasn’t really our style and it was pretty beat up, but I couldn’t pass up the deal.  

After priming the table, I wanted to paint it a deep teal color:  Lagoon (520D-6) by Behr.  I chose a satin finish for a muted look.  I didn’t think a glossy finish would match the current style of our living room.  I also wanted the color to match my plans for the hardware…

I had fallen in love with rope handles from Anthropologie, but did not feel like paying $12.00 a piece for them.  

Instead I created my own using Manila Rope that my husband had on hand, my glue gun and some inexpensive hardware from The Home Depot.  My total hardware cost: less than $5.00!

To begin, hold the hardware in one hand and glue a strip of the rope.  Start to wrap the rope around the end of the handle. 

Continue this pattern until you reach the other end of the handle.  

Cut the rope and glue down any excess to the handle.  Voila – you have made a rope handle!

The table makeover was like a good date night: fun and cheap and I’m pretty happy with the outcome!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A BBQ Bridal Shower

When we started to plan our wedding, we decided that all aspects of the wedding needed to be fun.  My mom was throwing my family shower and so my Maid and Matron of Honor were in charge of the friend shower. 

I wanted a shower that could also be a party, so we decided on a BBQ Bridal Shower.  My FMOH (to be explained later) Kate suggested her house as the location allowing us to utilize the backyard for the guys. 

Kate found the perfect invitation on Etsy:

We had her bonfire pit, lawn games, and beer coolers ready for the evening.  Unfortunately, we live in Michigan which means it was a beautiful day up until the moment people started to arrive!  We all ended up huddled in the living room as the rain poured for the rest of the night!  Luckily the ladies had planned a fun game and put so much effort into the details that we all had a good time. 

The DIY décor was perfect for a summer evening: starry lights in mason jars, red checkered table cloths and bright colors, candle lanterns, mason jars with personalized stickers and straws – the ladies even made a delicious, signature drink for us!

The food was a combination of our favorites: grilled sliders (including turkey sliders!), cornbread, baked beans, heart-shaped watermelon slices, veggies and dip cups, mini donuts, and a full bar!

The game: Bride or Groom?  My other FMOH, Carrie read a list of answers of our favorite things such as movies, colors, past experiences, etc.  The guests had to guess if the answer belonged to the bride or groom by holding up a set of lips or a stache.  The winners received an iTunes gift card.

Everything was wonderful and it made me think of the advice I would give to those of you planning your wedding showers.   
  1. If you plan on having any portion of the shower outside, have a Plan B.  Looking back, we probably could have set up an area for the guys in the garage or another room.  This would have given us more space and separate girl-time/guy-time. 
  2. If more than one person is hosting your shower, I would suggest picking people with a history of working well together. J My FMOH’s are best buds so this wasn’t an issue, but I found that there are plenty of people who want to be involved in the big day.  This is a wonderful, but limiting the responsibilities to just one or two people keeps things simple = less stress on the bride!
  3. Personalize your shower.  Make it unique to you.  We wanted something we could enjoy together.  Something we would want to do with our friends on a weekend in the summer.  A BBQ and bonfire are two of our favorite things about summer.  Something I’m really missing in the midst of this Polar Vortex!
  4. Give input when asked, but otherwise sit back and enjoy!  There are so many boxes to check off as the bride and groom so be thankful for the few things that you don’t have to coordinate! Relax and be thankful for the help of others during this time.  It truly is a blessing!

blogger template by lovebird