September 12, 2014

Bridal Shower in Oregon!

Last weekend I was back in Oregon for one of my best friend's bridal shower and bachelorette party. It was great to be home for a long weekend to visit my parents and celebrate Ashley. I have had a lot of time of my hands since finishing AmeriCorps in July for all my projects and DIYs. Did I set a lot of projects out for myself? Probably, but I had a lot of fun with all of them! For this post I am pretty much going to just post pictures and some short descriptions. If anyone is interested in detailed tutorials I can always write one :)

These were some of my inspiration pictures from Pinterest
4. Born & Bread 5. Unknown (let me know if you know the source!)

This was my version of the entrance sign. Originally I was going to make it a sandwich board and have a thank you message on the other side, but I ran out of time. Oh well...I think it still turned out pretty well! 

You can't totally tell from here, but the big letters on the table are covered in glitter. The fabric banner is made of lace, tulle, burlap and two different gold ribbons. The paper banner that says dessert is made of different coordinating scrapbook papers. I cut the letters out of white card stock and glued them onto the scrapbook paper.

I made a set of bridal themed sugar cookies to eat during the shower. I made a bunch of wedding dresses for favors, but I didn't get a picture of the cookies at the shower :(

Some of the cookies hadn't completely dried by the time I packed them for my flight to Oregon and got a little smashed during the trip. I ended up doing a bit of the details in Oregon which worked out pretty well.  

Two of the games we played were blind cheese and wine tasting games. The guests had the opportunity to taste five different cheeses and five different wines and the people with the most correct guesses won.

I made little signs with types of cheeses, varietals of wine and regions of wine to assist guests with their guesses.

Below are the scorecards I designed. They were front and back so each person just needed one card.

You can kind of see the "D" wine cork in the background that I made to go along with the wine game. All of the personalized and gold decor was my shower gift to Ashley. I intentionally incorporated gold into the shower since I knew it was one of her wedding colors :)

I was personally really happy with how the paper banners turned out. Also if you happen to have a silhouette machine they would be super easy to make since you wouldn't have to cut the letters by hand.

Gifts! Also my mom picked up all of the flowers from the Salem farmer's market and they were already arranged. Score!

The date banner is just burlap rectangles that I painted her wedding date on. The doily banner is just paper doilies folded in half and glued together. Both easy peasy!

Ashley and me! We have been friends since 3rd grade and I can't imagine life with out her! Love you Ash!!

I'm so glad my mom and I got a picture together since it seems like we often don't at events like this.

It was so great to see old friends and catch up on life. Ashley's sister-in-law Melissa made some wonderful food that was devoured. 

Guests were a little hesitant with the wine and cheese games at first, but I think everyone had fun in the end.

Opening presents is always a fun part of any shower!

Nathan's (the groom) aunts were able to come to the shower as well. It was fun getting to hear about Nathan from all of them.

As I said before, I forgot to get a picture of the wedding dress cookie favors and the champagne bottle guest book :( However, I did remember to take a picture of the cookies at my parents house before they were all packaged and displayed.

Later that night the bridesmaids that were in town went out to dinner and up to Portland for the Bachelorette Party!

Overall it was a great weekend at home that was filled with friends and family. I took a red eye flight back Sunday and Monday finished up some new hire requirements for my new JOB! I start Monday September 15th as a Teacher Assistant with Head Start here in Nashville. I am really excited to start working again...although you may not have know I wasn't working. I am sure I will have more to write about the new job in the coming weeks!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the shower and maybe got some inspiration for an event or party you have coming up. As I said before, if you would like more details or a tutorial on one of the DIYs just let me know :)

May 22, 2014

First Attempt At Decorated Sugar Cookies

A few years ago I stumbled upon some bloggers* that made the most amazing decorated sugar cookies. At the time I was still in college and even though I read their tutorials I couldn't help but think that making these types of cookies was out of my league. Additionally, I recently started following the Doughmestic Housewife on Instagram and her work is amazing and inspiring. Seeing her cookies pop up on my Instagram feed made me reconsider attempting to decorate cookies with royal icing. So I started reading the cookie blogs* again and doing my research. 

I had thought about making onesie sugar cookies for the baby shower that I helped throw last month, but ran out of time to make them. So I decided to make some for Isley when she was born and since she was born at the beginning of May it was convenient to make Mother's Day cookies at the same time.

This was the set I made for Mother's Day. I sent one set to my Mom as well as Gavin's Mom.

I forgot to get a good picture of the set I made for Isley before taking it over to Joel and Darcy's house, but you get the gist from this picture.

One of my favorite cookies was the chevron heart. I pretty much followed Sugarbelle's tutorial. The one thing I did differently was instead of transferring the chevron pattern to a transparency I just cut a whole section/line of the chevron pattern out. That way I didn't have to eyeball how far apart to put the lines. That way I could just line the bottom of the paper up with a line I had already drawn to keep my spacing between the lines consistent. I didn't take a picture, but hopefully the description was clear enough. I also put a little "y" so I could remember what color to put in each section.

Then I outlined the cookie and chevron lines and then filled the yellow sections. The icing I used was around 15-12 second icing.

Once the yellow icing had dried for a while I went back and filled in the remaining sections with grey icing of the same consistency.

It is ok if the icing doesn't get into all the corners because you can use a toothpick to push the icing into the gaps.

This is a better picture of some of the cookies for Isley that I took in daylight. Ideally I would have taken the time to add some leaves to the roses, but I was short on time. Also on the larger heart the rose totally is covering up a place where I got impatient and tested the icing to see if it was dry. Guess what: it wasn't. That is ok though :) Decorations like roses and ruffles are good for hiding mistakes ;)

One detail that I really liked on the Mother's Day cookies was the gold piping on the Mom cookie. It is pretty much impossible to make gold icing so you have to go back and paint on the gold to dried icing. I used yellow icing as the base for the gold, but you could also use white or brown. You can use luster dust with a little bit of alcohol or use color sprays. I personally went with the color spray option. You can just spray a little bit of the color spray onto wax paper this liquid is similar to what the luster dust and alcohol would be. Then you can use the gold liquid to paint anywhere you want your cookies to be gold.

I love the look of the gold and am excited to use it on future cookies! Below are some up close pictures of the Mother's Day set of cookies I made.

The hand cut letters were really pretty, but had a tendency to break. The C cookie I made for my Mom broke right as I was starting to decorate it and the L cookie for Gavin's Mom broke as I was packaging it. However, Isley's I cookie made it safe and sound and in one piece. I still think I would do hand cut letters again, but only if I didn't need to ship them. 

This was my first attempt at brush embroidery and it turned out ok, but I think I need some practice. 

Overall I was really happy with my first attempt at royal icing decorated sugar cookies! I can't wait to have another go soon!

 *If you are just starting out on the adventure of cookie decorating or at all curious I would recommend checking out Bake at 350SweetopiaKaren's Cookie Blog and my favorite Sweet Sugar Belle. They all have really good tutorials and recipes for sugar cookie decorating. 

May 12, 2014

Baby Shower

About a month ago Kelsey and I threw one of our dear friends Darcy a baby shower. She is having a girl (who is actually here now!) and we are so excited for her. So when we were thinking about a theme for this precious little girl, we thought of that classic saying, "Sugar and spice and everything nice, thats what little girls are made of". So we ran with it, but kept the color scheme pastel yet not overly pink.

We decided to use some cute onesies and clothes to decorate along with tissue paper poms, flowers and tassels. All of them were pretty simple to make. 

We decided to hang some pom poms above the comfiest chair for the Mom-to-Be to sit in while opening gifts.

The first game of the afternoon was the classic "Don't Say Baby" game.

We also used poms, paper lanterns and crepe paper to decorate the food table. We didn't have a table cloth, but had some tulle that we ended up not using so we used that to cover the table.

A few highlights food wise were the chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped dates and the compound butters. I know that I have posted about the dates before. I promise a recipe is coming soon and is supper simple. The compound butters are also really easy. I made strawberry, smoked paprika and roasted garlic and basil compound butters. You could really add almost any flavor that you like to high quality butter.

I made some funfetti cake pops and drizzled them in pink candy melts. Also I made a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling. I attempted a cream cheese swiss meringue buttercream. I used a ruffle technique to decorate the cake. However, the cream cheese SMB didn't quite turn out and wasn't as stiff as I would have liked. Live and learn and try again! 

We repurposed a fabric bunting that I had made for Valentine's Day to decorate the table for gifts. We also used a cute outfit to decorate. Those do double duty as decorations and as a gift to Momma! 

This is Kelsey who is a sweet dear friend and I was so happy to be able to host a shower for Darcy together! 

The most involved game we played was called tinkle in the pot. A lot of the women were hesitant at first, but ended up having fun and laughing throughout the game. 

How to play: Split the group into two or three teams. For each team have a balloon, ping pong ball and bowl or mason jar. The game will be a relay and the goal is to drop the ping pong ball in the bowl or mason jar. Have players put the balloon under their shirt or hold it up to their belly. Place the ping pong ball between their knees. They must wobble from the starting line down to the bowl and then drop the ping pong ball in the bowl. We ended up letting people go back after 5 attempts. First team to have everyone drop the ball in the bowl wins!

The prizes for the tinkle game were painted candles. These were a budget friendly and easy DIY.

Darcy was such a cute pregnant lady!

We gave people seeds for herbs and peppers for favors so they could add some "spice" to their lives. Yes. So puny, but I love it.

So glad we were able to throw a shower for Darcy!

Isley Katherine was born a week and a half ago and she is such a precious little girl! I am so looking forward to watching Isley Kate grow up!

Thanks for reading and I hope it might have been able to give you some inspiration :)