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Archive for April, 2009

apr29When I’ve caught up on all my blog reading and don’t have a specific project to work on, sometimes I am unsure what to else to do on the internet. What do I do? I go to the Martha Stewart’s website. I find they have a quiz section. I thought the “What Kind of Hostess Are You?” sounded decent enough. First of all, men can be hosts too! This quiz is pretty simple and the options were quite clear on the Host(ess) persona types. But what can you expect? Without further ado: here I am!

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What did you get? Anyone an over the top Martha-bot? May I come to your house and discuss some ideas over some tea and crumpets?

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apr29This week’s theme is all about lace. There are many different types of lace and each one creates a unique look and feel. Whether draped in the luxurious lace from head to toe, or through intricate detail and overlays, lace creates anything from sophisticated sheaths to structured mermaids. For a bride who wants to meld conservative with modern, lace may be the answer. If you weren’t a lace person before, consider these lovely options and you may have second thoughts.

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1) Sleek and Minimalist: The satin halter a-line skirt is uncomplicated and simple. Yet, the lightly beaded lace bodice adds a punch to the overall look. (Mikaella;>$1,500)

2) Pretty Little Package: Intricate hand-cut lace covers the entire a-line gown. The soft satin ribbon ties this dress ever so sweetly. (Bellissima Bridal)

3) Dream Angels: This angelic head-to-toe lace is ethereal and elegant. The re-embroidered lace overlay softly floats on the silk and wisps down the trumpet silhouette. (Monique Lhullier; $3000+)

4) Beach Bound: Panache and ease are the defining duet of destination wedding dresses. This is no exception. The thin spaghetti straps and velveteen ribbon add a bit of flair to this cotton leaver lace gown. The unstructured skirt is perfect for carrying on the plane. Just don’t forget the sunscreen. (Wtoo; >$1000)

5) Modern Sophisticate: Delicate flower appliqués adorn this silk modern lace gown. The décolletage is detailed is a way that makes it both subtle and sexy. (Angel Sanchez; $unknown)

6) Haute Hourglass: The gorgeous cutwork lace is contoured to fit the curves of the body in the most feminine way. The traditional and formal semi-cathedral train contrasts flawlessly with the lacy modern silhouette. (Emerald Bridal; >$1,500)

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apr27Once upon a time, when I was planning my own wedding, I stumbled upon Nettleton Hollow’s website. Back then, I had huge, grandiose centerpiece ideas twirling around my head. Recently, I re-discovered their website when I was perusing my old bookmarks. Remembering that Nettleton Hollow provides high quality dried flowers, branches and other botanical materials, I instantly re-fell in love. Using their supplies, you can create a unique look specific for each season. It doesn’t matter when you have your wedding or party, you can incorporate the season into the décor. If you are stuck on ideas centered on a season, here are a few DIY examples from Nettleton’s blog. It will not matter when you decide to have it, it will rock the Kasbah. Follow the links for more detailed directions.

seasonal centerpieces

1) Seasons in the Sun: Drippy hanging Amaranthus paired with natural Manzanita branches create a fresh take on the branch idea. A dab of glue and a few orchids will add a splash of color to this grand centerpiece.

2) Winter Wonderland: Hanging votives from branches just oozes with romance. When the lights are low, the candle light will dance around the room. Mitsumata Branches and Protea Repens are used in this refined and minimalist centerpiece.

3) When I Fall in Love: For a simple but high impact fall themed centerpiece, use two or three different types of dried grasses and grains. The dried grasses can represent a fruitful harvest and the wheat symbolizes prosperity and bounty. Tie a thick silky ribbon to finish this bountiful bundle.

4) Spring has Sprung: Using Sandblasted Manzanita Branches without sticking it into a base creates a height-challenged, but high impact centerpiece. For this no-hassle table decoration, orchids were loosely sprinkled around the branches on the day of the event. This is an excellent idea if you want to avoid blocking your guests’ views.

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apr26In the crafting world, I love all things paper. It is my preferred “medium”. I used to be a big scrapbooker (insert: nerd alert) in college. Then work and post-bachelor classes took over my life. Now that things are somewhat settled and no BIG moments are happening (i.e. getting married, buying a home, getting a dog etc), I am able to kick about in the world of paper. Kevin, my husband, thought the Cricut would be a nice birthday present for me (note: my birthday is in September). Eeekkk!! He pretty much rocks my world. Of course, I already had the list of projects I wanted to do. In 1 minute, I had 20 two inch ‘m’s beautifully cut. Why do I freak out? Because in the past, I spent hours upon hours cutting individual circles and letters. My hands would cramp up, but the end result always made me pleased. So the pain was worth it. But now, it reduces my work load and I am able to become more productive (and complain less about my hands, thus making my husband happier). Maybe the Cricut was more for him than me? Naw.

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The Cricut machine magically moves across the paper in a dancing like manner, almost hypnotic. I feed the machine more paper just so I can watch it cut. Maybe I should call in sick? Just kidding. I need to work, so I can buy more cartridges.

 

Please ignore my moments of insanity, I confuse insanity with bliss.

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apr23When I was living and studying in Mexico, I remember being a bit disappointed that celebrations were not being had on cinco de Mayo. I quickly got over it. I mean, what was I going to do? Eat another taco and drink another tequila infused drink? I already did that. Back in the states I like to reminisce about all the fun Mexican parties I’ve attended and bring some of that flavor back. (enjoy!)

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1) I Need-a ‘Rita: Jamaica (pronounced, “ha-mike-ah) margaritas have a deep red color. The drink is made from dried hibiscus flowers and makes the ‘rita is beyond delicious. You can find dried jamaica online or in your local Mexican store.

2) Break a Leg: If you don’t to reenact your 7th grade birthday party, when you got whacked in the head, a piñata can just be used as a decoration. You can find them at some chain grocery stores (ie. Albertsons, WinCo etc –strange isn’t it?), local Mexican store (seeing a pattern?) or online.

3) High Flyin’: These festive and colorful flags are a great way to incorporate some of color into the celebration. Hang them outside so it will catch a breeze.

4) Main Squeeze: If you are making homemade margaritas or aqua fresca, a lemon/lime this is a must-have. Make sure to catch the loose seeds!

5) Holy Guacamole: Tomatoes stuffed with guacamole is an easy way to incorporate guacamole into a party without having the mess. Make a lot, these little bites will disappear fast.

6) Hot Pockets: Much better than hot pockets, these homemade stuffed puffs are savory and are easy to handle when having a conversation. I am not a fan of banana in my empanadas, so you can substitute the banana for the potato and no one is the wiser. Also, I made 9 per sheet, rather than 6. Just roll the dough out another 2 inches and cut into 9 squares.

7) One Tequila, Two Tequila: At each place setting, a mini tequila bottle can play two roles: a party favor and place setting. A small piece of cardstock and ribbon tied around the neck of the bottle will help avoid any confusion for your guests and provide a bit of liquid courage.

8) Tisket A Tasket: Make sure to have several of these eco-friendly bowls filled with of chips. The saltiness of the chips will go nicely with the sweetness of the margarita.

9) Shake Your Money Maker: Shaking maracas are fun. Place them around your party location to add a bit of noise to the celebration.

10) Pan Dulce: Traditional sweet breads (pan dulce) and donuts that are found on every corner in a pueblito. A display of pan dulce will also provide another focal centerpiece and entice the pickiest of taste buds. You can buy pan dulce at most Mexican specialty shops.

11) Muy Salsa: These bright little bowls will help keep your salsas physically separated, but together in theme. Plus, for 4 dollars, who can beat that?

12). In the limelight: What kind of fiesta doesn’t have limes? Pile them in a clear glass bowl for a simple, cheap and easy centerpiece. Just be sure to have a few sliced and ready for your guests who prefer limes with their corona.

13) On the rocks: You can find these in your local grocer, in the Mexican food aisle or you can order them from Amazon. A delicious ice cold Jarrito or Mexican soda will quench any thirst. Make sure it is made with sugar cane for that real authentic taste.

14) Boat of Bevies: In case your party moves to a different location, pack your drinks in this beverage bin. If you don’t move locations, at least your beverages will look good while chilling.

Don’t forget to have music!

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apr22

One-shoulder dresses are hot off the runway. In almost every 2010 collection, an asymmetrical silhouette is featured. A bride who chooses to wear a single-strap dress is a confident woman that has nothing to hide, especially her toned arms. While the bare shoulder gives you the excitement of a strapless, the single strap construction gives the ability to dance around without having insecurities of showing off the ta-tas. How perfect is that?

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1) Bed of roses: Delightfully sweet rosettes line the hem, chapel train and the strap. The natural waist has minimal ruched detailing to accentuate the smallest part of the body. (Reverie by Melissa Sweet)

2) Streamline Sensation: Swarovski crystals detail the top of the strap and create a detailed belt on the natural waist bodice. The back of this silk jersey dress features some ruching and a chapel train. (Kenneth Pool)

3) Forward to the Future: Made of 100% Silk Mikado the dress has a natural high and low glow that adds a subtle interest to this crisp and a well-structured mermaid silhouette. Chain link detail around the waist adds a unique feature on this futurist frock. (Adele Wechsler)

4) Feminine Flutter: Handmade floral details and a side sweep really gives an airy feel to this a-line dress. The light single-strap dress with cascading ruffles makes this a romantic option for an outdoor wedding. (Rhyme Couture)

5) Tiers to You: The ruched bodice and ruched drop waist makes one have a perfect hourglass figure. The taffeta tiers layers add drama to this one-shoulder gown. (Amsale)

6) Straight and Narrow: The trumpet silhouette is a very fitting silhouette and contours the body and flares out at the knees. Embroidered flowers sit on the neckline and an organza ribbon strap flutters down the shoulder. (Angel Sanchez)

7) All Greek to Me: The weight and weave of Italian Duchesse silk creates a straight sophisticated silhouette. This Grecian inspired gown has a chapel train that gracefully lingers behind. (Modern Trousseau)

8) Burst Your Bubble: Silk flowers with crystal detailing trails down the single strap, while the silk taffeta skirt billows out to a bubble hem. The chapel train adds more drama to this attention grabbing gown.(Jim Hjelm)

What do you think? For me, I would keep grabbing my bare shoulder to see if my strap fell down, but the dress are lovely sight to see.

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apr20Oh, Baby! Natalie and Jon are expecting their first baby! First of all, congratulations to the expecting parents! Second, let’s get down to business! For this party, a theme deviating from the typical baby shower is needed. None of this toilet paper to belly ratio nonsense, including the taboo word games and other cliché games are definitely not allowed. Natalie is a style conscious woman that enjoys a good party. Her shower should be nothing less. This baby gone wild shower will focus on the details, tiny bites, mocktinis and creating a chance to catch up with her closest girlfriends without having to censor certain words like “baby”.

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1) Invite Only: The style of the invite creates the first impression for any event. An invitation with pockets will contain party details and directions. In addition, it will help guests on theme of the party and the level of formality. Use zebra print scrapbook paper or wrapping paper (cut to fit the pocket) to provide a nice background for the invite.

2) Fabric of our lives: Zebra print fabric from our local fabric store can create a runner for your tables. If you do not want to sew the hems, just folding over the edges and using an iron can create a nice crease. Layer several layers of fabric can create a more dramatic pop of color than just one runner. Do what is best for the budget

3) Paint by Letter: The craft store will have large wooden letters, paint and coordinating ribbon to do this project. If the name of the baby is not known, use the last name. Once the baby’s name is known, paint the first name to give as a home welcoming gift. Or if you are strapped for time and prefer to just order your customized set. Here is a store offers customized names. Check around etsy.com and ebay for similar options.

4)Hug a Bunch: A gift box tied with colorful pink and green ribbon is pretty enough. However, when it it is filled with hugs, it is a sweet thank you for your guests. Too bad you can’t package real hugs, I guess chocolate is somewhat of a good substitute.

5) Bright Idea: Using the paper lanterns can really bring the theme together. Check out your local World Market and Luna Bazaar for the zebra, pink and green paper lanterns. Hang them around the area with pink and green ribbon or tring them across the room with white string lights.

6) Pop your Top: Izze Natural fruit drinks is a great way to have the bubbly without the alcohol. Create a bar with various fresh puree, club soda and Izze.

7) Dye Hard: It was hard to find hot pink/magenta/fushia/raspberry colored fabric napkins that did not break the bank. A easy and cheap way to remedy the situation is to use Rit Dye. Fabulous Fuschia 12 is only $2.35 a box and will create the color I need. If you are looking for other colors besides the standard 26, there is a list of color equations for creating “that” color. The dye will transform plain white cotton napkins into my perfect palette. Be sure to follow the instructions!

8) Flower of Youth: How lovely are you!? Using your local flower farm is more affordable than ordering fresh flowers or buying them at the store. Luckily, the shower is during dahlia season and Swan Island Dahlias is a close and ridiculously affordable place. You can choose your choice of colors and/or specific flower. This is the “Cha Cha Cha” that blooms to 4-6 inches across and boldly displays bright magenta pinks.

9) Pretty, Pretty Cupcake: You can find anything on the internet. I didn’t even know that zebra cupcake papers even existed. Lo and behold, I found them. Thanks to Bake it Pretty, I will now have black and white zebra papers and pink and white for all my cupcake needs.

10) Monogram Me: If the baby’s name is known, you can use the first letter of the baby’s name throughout the party. The monogram tags can be used to top the cupcakes, the party favors, around the vases of the flowers. Anything you want! Be creative

You don’t have to stick with zebra print, use any animal you want. Bear in mind that certain animal prints are more common, thus easier to find. For example, World Market has leopard and cheetah print lanterns, but they do not have snake skin patterns. What do you think? Do you have any “wild” ideas?

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