Friday, June 25, 2010

Couples' shower | wrap-up...

Now you've seen almost everything from the couples' shower we threw Mr. W's brother...
But what I haven't told you yet, are all the things that made the shower perfect. And most of those things weren't things at all...
  • Drinking lots of wine with Mr. W, because we really needed more bottles to decorate with [or something like that]
  • My in-laws coming over early to help with all the last minute setup
  • The bride-to-be's face when she saw everything...she was so excited! That is my favorite part of any party - just making the guest(s) of honor feel special and loved. :)
  • Mr. W's cutie little brother asking me for more "special" cookies about every seven minutes [The "special" cookies were ones that got stuck together because I was impatient and stacked them before they had cooled. I told him he could have as many cookies as he wanted as long as he ate the "special" chunks of cookies that were too ugly to go on the table.]
  • The close friends and family that stuck around late for impromptu s'mores
  • Drinking the rest of the margarita punch with the bride-to-be because we certainly didn't want it to go to waste :)

Yep, it's the little things like those that really make a party perfect.

Couples' shower | the gifts...

These pictures of the couple opening their gifts are just too darn cute not to share. Watch as Mr. W's little brother moves into the picture...then closer...then even closer...and then gets really excited about the gifts. He's pretty much the cutest ever. :)

Couples' shower | yummy desserts...

On to my favorite part of any meal or party...the desserts! Yum!

The sign above the table said "just (about) married" [like the invitations]. The table had more chalkboard food labels and chalkboard painted wine bottles like the ones I showed you here. And another spray painted dollar store frame like the one I showed you here.

The dessert menu included...
  • Caramel brownie bites [my favorite treat!]
  • Mint brownie bites [my even more more favorite treat!]
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Lemon bars
  • Pretzel sticks dipped in white chocolate and milk chocolate with green sprinkles
  • Fruit kabobs [I love the way fruit kabobs look - they make me want to serve everything as a kabob! :)] 

The two white plate stands above started out like this...

I made the cake stands using dollar store plates and dollar store candlestick holders. I stuck them together with Gorilla Glue and gave my weights a workout holding them in place to set them. I figured my weights needed a little use sometime! :) After they were dry, I just gave them a few coats of spraypaint. [Don't worry, I didn't serve food directly on the cake stands. I covered them with scrapbooking paper and the brownie bites were in mini cupcake liners.]

I'm planning to check the dollar store for matching salad plates, so that I can make a coordinating multi-tiered version. I looooove cake stands.

Couples' shower | fun in the sun...

Along the fence in the backyard, we clipped up tons of random pictures of the couple. We strung Christmas lights between the pictures to light them up after the sun went down. We also had games set up throughout the yard...bocce ball, horseshoes and Texas toss 'em [or hillbilly golf or ladder ball or whatever you want to call it].

Rain was forecast for the day of the shower, but we lucked out and there was not a single sprinkle of rain the entire day. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple.

Couples' shower | bbq & drinks...

Mr. W manned the grill for the party, making hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. We also had Asian salad and a variety of chips. Everything was served on white platters and in big green bowls. There aren't any pictures because I was too busy eating and forgot. :)

Somehow I did manage to get some pictures of the drink table though. We had water, tea, soda and margarita punch [my favorite!]. The big green tub to the right was filled with Boulevard - a must have in KC and the groom's favorite.

The tables were covered with Kraft paper. And you'll notice two more chalkboard projects - wood circles labeling the food / beverages and chalk around the middle of wine bottles. I made the wine bottles the same way as the chalkboard signs - by painting them with mod podge first. I'm not really sure that step is necessary, but it worked well, so I stuck with it. :) I taped off the area I wanted to paint with painter's tape [and masking tape when I ran out of painter's tape].

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Couples' shower | more decor...

As guests came to the house, they were directed to this coffee table in the living room...
The close-ups...
The details...
  • The frames were both originally really ugly dollar store frames that I spray painted.
  • I made the big tree picture for the guests to add their fingerprints and sign their names. The tree looked great when it was finished. And the bride-to-be referred to it as "the coolest thing ever" the whole day. So, now I refer to her as "the sweetest girl ever." :)
  • The vases are the twine-covered ones I made here. The "greenery" in the vases are random pieces I cut off the bushes in front of our house.
  • The candle is actually leftover from our wedding. I just wrapped three pieces of ribbon around it and secured them with double-sided tape.
The random story...
The colors for the shower [green and brown] were inspired by the wedding colors. And they worked out very well for a backyard BBQ, because there is already lots of green and brown with the fence, trees and grass. So, when I was looking for pictures of the couple to frame, I wanted them to coordinate with the colors and theme. I thought I found really cool pictures, but Mr. W told me it looked like we thought they were "tree huggers." Haha, oh well, they matched and I liked it! :)

Couples' shower | chalkboard decor

Remember the couples' shower we threw forever ago? Well, it's finally time for a bunch of posts and pictures. :)

I bought dollar store picture frames, spray painted the frames and used chalkboard paint on the glass. The instructions clearly say not to use it on glass, but it totally worked. I painted a few coats of mod podge on the glass first to give it a little texture and then used the brown chalkboard paint.

The first chalkboard frame was hanging by the front door to greet the guests...

I wrote on it to match the invitations. Here's a closer look...

Another chalkboard frame was in the backyard on the food table...

Keep an eye out for more chalkboard decor in the next posts. :)

Random, but cute...

Have you seen this commercial for the Limited Edition Huggies Jeans Diapers?

Is he not just the cutest little guy ever? The commercial got me really, really excited that my nephew is due in less than a month! I can't wait!

And while I'm on a roll with the randomness tonight, I'm going to go ahead and point out the slogan for these diapers - "The coolest you'll look pooping your pants." Not so sure how I feel about that...

Oh, Dollar Tree...

This "oh" has two meanings today...

1) Oh, how I love Dollar Tree. And...
2) Oh my, Dollar Tree, what are you thinking!?

I made a stop by Dollar Tree to look for some vases for an upcoming project (more on that soon). I didn't find any vases that I liked, but I did find more of this wrapping paper that I loooooove. So, of course, I bought a roll. :)

[I now have four of the designs. I haven't seen the dots or paw prints yet, but I will keep looking. :) You really need some of this wrapping paper, it is great!]

Anyways, as I'm standing in line to check out, I'm just thinking about how excited I am about the wrapping paper...but then I notice the pregnancy tests on sale. Yes, pregnancy tests being sold for ONE DOLLAR. My thoughts immediately switch to "Who in the world buys a pregnancy test at Dollar Tree!?!".

But my thoughts were quickly interrupted by the man in front of me whispering to the cashier, "I'm gonna need one of those pregnancy tests." I was in complete shock by the situation. And then the cashier responds [loudly] with "Geesh, can't you learn to keep it in your pants!".

There are very few things that make me say this, but...OMG!!

[P.S. I'm very sorry if I offend anyone who has ever or might someday buy a pregnancy test at Dollar Tree. It was just a very awkward situation, so I had to share.]

Monday, June 21, 2010

Design Star play along | episode 2...

The world officially does not want me to watch Design Star this season. I missed the first episode because I was out of town, so I had to watch it on my ridiculously slow hotel Internet connection. And yesterday, I was planning to get home in time to watch the second episode and then go to bed. But no. Instead, the cable didn't work. Ugh. Good thing our Internet connection at home was much faster than the hotel's or I might have gone nuts.

Anyways, now that I've finished watching it, I'm ready for my second installment of pretending to be on Design Star. By the way, in no way do I think I have even a smidgen of the design talent the actual contestants have, I just think it's fun to play along. :)

Sticking with my plan of seeing if I could keep myself from being eliminated, this week I'll be pretending I had chosen the casual wear by Fubu (on right below)...

I really liked Tera and was sad to see her go; her room was actually my favorite the first week. But looking back on the show [and after reading all of the judges' comments], here are the changes I would make to the room...

1) I would include this Edison Chandelier [seen here].

2) I would paint the alcove area black and paint the rest of the room a lighter shade of gray. The black would tie into the black mural wall in the living area.

3) I would make a corrugated metal headboard for the bed similar to the one found hereHaha, because I totally know how to do this...not! But if I did, the metals would tie into the various metallics used in the living area. And both the headboard and light fixture would work well with both of the outfits in the room.

4) I would switch out the big blue curtains for white ones [in both rooms]. This doesn't really have much to do with the outfits...more that I just like light-colored curtains.

5) I would switch up the pillows on the bed to add a little color. I really like these pillows from Gracious Home.

Design Star play along...

Since I'm totally obsessed with Design Star, I decided it would be fun to play along. [In case you're wondering, it was really fun and you should play along too. :)] Anyways, the rules for the first challenge were:
  • Shop at Pearl River for one hour with a budget of $500
  • Decorate white room as inspired by one of the designers in the competition
On the real show, they didn't get to pick their partner, but hey, this is my blog and I do what I want, so I picked Tom. I thought it would be fun to see if I could come up with something that might not have been eliminated. 

Here's my plan...

And here are the details...

The bed area:
1) The back wall of the room would get a striped paint treatment in a gray-blue, deep navy and white - similar to all the fancy clothes Tom wears while he designs. The other walls would be the same gray-blue. I'm not really sure what the rules on the paint were, but I'm going to say I can have enough paint to also have a light brown paint for the floor.
2) The bedding was the tricky part, because the actual beddings sold at Pearl River (online at least) were all very silky. And I know from the judges' critiques that would not go over well for Tom. So, I picked this blue fabric and would make bedding out of it. Practical for the show's time constraints? Maybe not, but again, I make the rules in this version of the show. :) [4 yards = $38.00]
3) These coordinating fabrics would be used to make pillow shams and some other details...more to come on that soon. [2 yards total = $19.00]
4) One of these lanterns would hang on each side of the bed. [2 lanterns = $39.00]
5) I would put these beach mats together towards the end of the bed to serve as a rug. [4 mats = $22.00]
6) Alright, now is when you have to start getting creative to follow my thinking, because this is when my construction helper would come in very handy. Basically, I would deconstruct most of the furniture in the room to switch it up. One of these baskets would go on each side of the bed topped with a white square from the existing furniture to make bedside tables. [2 baskets = $39.20]
7) I'd add these decorative pillows to the bed. [2 pillows = $15.00]
8) One of the bedside tables would get this alarm clock. [$9.50]
9) I would get extra pillows for the bed. I also would make two square benches from the existing furniture and "upholster" them in the coordinating fabrics from above and use some extra pillows as the stuffing. The two benches would go at the foot of the bed. [4 pillows = $42.00]
10) I would paint the bed frame dark brown and replace the headboard with one made out of these brown bamboo placemats. [12 placemats = $27.00]

The desk area:
11) The last piece of furniture I would make would be a desk that would be three squares of the bookshelf on the legs of the original side table. A square basket would go in two of the squares of the desk and under both of the benches by the bed. [4 baskets = $62.40]
12) This stool would be used as the chair for the desk. I would also buy two of the smaller stools to use the wood to make frames.  The frames would go along with Tom's picture for a gallery wall on the opposite wall of the room. I would frame simple handmade paper. [3 stools = $59.50; Paper = $9.00]
13) The wooden abacus is a little random, but the room needed something interesting.  A group of three would be used as art above the desk. [$19.50 total]
14) This bamboo candle would accessorize the room. [2 candles = $13.00]
15) This wine bottle holder would be used as a magazine and newspaper rack. [$10.00]
16) I would get three of these bowls (two striped and one checker) to hold office supplies at the desk. [3 bowls = $17.85]
17) And finally, various journals would be on/in the desk. [4 journals = $56.00]

All total, my room would total $497.95. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Graduation party pics...

It's [finally] time for some pictures from Mr. W's surprise graduation party. :)

Okay, so this picture isn't technically from the party, but it is the reason for the party. This was right after he received his Masters in Public Administration degree from KU [obviously].

And this is when I made him put his hood on. Hehehe! I couldn't help it - you get "hooded" when you get your masters, so shouldn't you haven't to actually put it on at least once? It's a good thing he doesn't read my blog though, because I am fairly certain Mr. W would not approve of me posting this picture!  :)

Now to the actual party pictures...all two of them. Turns out I'm not so great at remembering to take pictures.

Mr. W's mom was my partner-in-crime in planning his surprise party and was even nice enough to let us have it at her house. And to order the desserts. And to take care of most of the other food. And to do a bunch of other stuff too.  She was a very good partner-in-crime. :) 

We decided not to do any decorations. We wanted to keep it very low key, since Mr. W had insisted that we not do anything to celebrate - we try to listen to him at least a little bit. :) It was a good thing we kept it low key though, considering he was wearing a dirty old t-shirt...

You can't see it in the picture, but his t-shirt literally had multiple, large, semi-gross spots on it. I kept trying to casually mention that maybe he should change clothes. And he just kept saying "we're only going to my mom's; she won't care." Oh well, his dirty shirt definitely made for a good story. And it was just close friends and family, so they really didn't care.

We all had a great time celebrating [despite the dirty shirt]. We laughed until we cried talking about getting approvals for craft club, hearing Mr. W's mafia man voice and just hanging out. :)

[P.S. The pictures for the couples' shower are coming soon too. I finally went through them all...get ready, I'm pretty sure it'll be about seven posts worth!] 

Design Star junkie...

I am a wee bit obsessed with Design Star...Unfortunately, I had to miss the premiere because I was out of town. I could have waited a few extra days and easily watched the episode I had DVRed when I got home, but I couldn't handle it. I was about to go crazy, so I had to watch online, which was so slow the 42 minute show took about 128 minutes to watch. Ugh.

But worth it.

If you're even half as obsessed as me, I'm sure you already know about the Design Star blog. But do you know about Fu For Thought? If not, drop what you are doing and go there right now! Her commentary is great/hilarious/spot-on and she has interviews with each contestant after they are eliminated. It is a must read.

[By the way, sorry for the somewhat boring photo, but I didn't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched yet by posting pictures of completed rooms.]

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fun facts...

Some fun facts about Houston, Texas...
  • Houston is the fourth largest city in America
  • "Houston" was the first word Astronaut Neil Armstrong spoke when he landed on the moon
  • Houston averages 99 days per year above 90 degrees
  • Reliant Stadium in Houston was the first retractable-roof stadium in the NFL
  • Houston has the third tallest skyline in North America and one of the top ten in the world
  • The Houston area will soon be home to me and Mr. W

That's right...Mr. W and I will soon be making the move south. New opportunities and new adventures are sure to come. This is certainly a new "page in our history!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baby shower games...

One of my sister's only requests for her baby shower was to not have any "embarrassing games." She wanted fun, quick games but none that were at all "embarrassing." I came up with two games for the shower to fit her requests...

The first was a celebrity baby name match-up...
[Click on the image to make it larger.]

Personally, I'd be hard-pressed to even tell you who some of the celebrities I included are, yet alone their baby's name. But not the shower guests. Two [yes, TWO] of the guests got every name correct and I only gave them two minutes to finish it. I was very impressed! In case you aren't as up-to-date on your celebrity babies, click here to download the answers.

The second game was baby shower bingo...
This game was lots of fun. And just because I'm a nice person, I made a non-personalized version that you can download with all 36 unique bingo cards. [The preview looks a little goofy, but it should look normal when it downloads.]

By the way, I didn't change any of the descriptions on the cards, so some cards still include "Longhorns item". If you're in Texas, you're in luck. If not, whoever gets those cards are out of luck. I thought about changing them, but I'm not quite that nice. Sorry. :)

The baby shower...

It's time for some pictures and details from my sister's baby shower. First, the adorable mommy-to-be...

Isn't she the cutest!? :)

Behind her, you can see part of the food table and banner. I made the letters on the banner using my Cricut. Love that thing! You can barely see them in the picture, but both ends of the banner had cute little jungle animals to go along with the giraffe invites. The animal pictures were cut out of wrapping paper I found at the dollar store.

Speaking of the invites, we displayed one in a frame near the food table...

Back to the important stuff...the food! Here's a closer few of part of the food table...

We purchased a lot of the food from a bakery, Costco, etc. But of course, I had to make my favorite brownie bites made with both caramel and mint filling. Yum! With the leftover white chocolate, we also made teeny tiny little chocolate-covered, sprinkled pretzels. The table also had flowers [obviously], cute little wooden jungle animals and little ribbons sayings "It's a boy!".

I forgot to take a picture...but we also had a mimosa bar at the shower. We had champagne, a few juices to choose from and raspberries, blueberries and strawberries to add. [We also had sparkling water and club soda as non-alcoholic options.]

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wrap labels for you...

Remember these wrap labels from my sister's baby shower that I showed you here?

Well, now you can make your very own! I'm not exactly the fanciest blogger in the world, but if you click here you should be able to download a PowerPoint template to make these wrap labels.  The template should look like a little something like this:

All you have to do is download the template, enters the addresses, print 'em out, cut on the little marks, fold them over an evelope, and then send the pretty envelopes to lucky recipients. :)

For my sister's shower, I printed them on green paper that matched the invitations. It was actually just a happy coincidence that I happened to have the exact same green paper at home as the cardstock I bought for the invites. [I'm pretty sure it was left over from my days in the sorority house...gotta love the craft closet!]

Anyways, the labels would be fun printed on any color of paper and you can switch up the outline and font color too. Totally customizable. :)