Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween Eve

Halloween is my favorite holiday, by far. I think it stems back to when my dad and I use to actually map out (before Google Maps days) our trick-or-treating route, by hand. It also might be that I love anything scary. Oh, and I love pumpkins, apple cider, fall get the idea.

One of my favorite things to do is carve pumpkins. I did this technique a few years back in Seattle, and decided to do it again. It is very easy, and has a fun effect. Here is how I did it. More pictures to come when they are all lite up in their glory tomorrow night!

1. I used a small pumpkin, but any size will do. I always wash with warm water to make sure all the dirt is off, and it is at its 'peak' orange color!

2. Once the top is cut and you scoop out the seeds, all you need is a melon ball scoop as seen in the picture below. On the side of the pumpkin, just do a lite scoop out of the side. Try not to poke all the way through the pumpkin (if you do a little, it is OK)

3. Continue to do scoops all over the pumpkin. I did them randomly, but you could do lines of scoops, or even a scooped out face pattern.

4. When you put your candle in, you can see how it just gives off a nice glow. (Forgive the amateur photo, still working on it)

4A. And as you all know, you can always use the seeds for a tasty treat later. I the seeds on a greased cookie, added a spray or two of butter, sprinkled salt, sprinkled cinnamon and sprinkled some sugar. Put in the oven at 300 degrees for 45 minutes or so, and enjoy (my husband will)!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Favors: Not just for kids anymore!

I wanted to share some really fun, cute favor ideas (not just for weddings, either). I have many to share, so here is a good taste of some of my favorites. Some I can take partial credit for, others are totally the brainchild of some of my very talented friends. I personally think favors and details are such a nice addition, and way to show your guest that you added a touch of personality to your event.

1. KOOZIES! How fun are these? My very good friend Anna Dixon (side note: she has this amazing shop Spaces) did an awesome job with these favors. She offered bottles of micro-brew beers, and good ole' Bud Lights at her fun backyard wedding. Not only are they a favor, but very useful at the wedding to keep your beverage chilled (duh). Another note: It was also really fun to look up the hill and see a bunch of people, 20's- 60's carrying a bright yellow koozie!

2. Starfish hangers! For my 10 year high school reunion, a few friends and I decided to make little starfish hangers with tags. Since our hometown is on the ocean- we thought it was very apropos to have a coastal themed event (we went with a full on lobster bake!) The favors are very easy to make- here is how we did it:

  • We strung mini-tags similar to these on thin navy ribbon (Brooke, with the best handwriting wrote out 'KHS Reunion- 2008' with a navy marker)
  • Then using a hot glue gun, loop the ribbon and use a dab of glue on the back of the starfish, hold ends in the center of glue dab
  • Hold for 10 seconds, and let dry for about a half an hour
We used them in the center of each table with a few votive candles, and made sure every one grabbed one on their way out as a fun little keep sake.

3. Pumpkin Candles: I love a deal, so when I saw packages of 9 small pumpkin candles at Rite-Aid on sale for $2.99 a box, I snagged up 4 boxes (not knowing exactly what I would do with them at the time). I decided to use them for favors for my mom's surprise 60th birthday party my sister, Katie and I threw. Here is the breakdown:

I had small clear treat bags and a little leftover moss (yes, real moss that I love using for all kind of projects) and of course, an abundant amount of ribbon.

So, easily, just put in a pinch of moss and push to the corner of the treat bag, add candle, and tie ribbon (I used brown and left-over twine) at the top. I happen to have an old box from my Papa's garage, so I filled the bottom with crumpled up newspaper to give the effect of a lot of treats, but really there were about 30! Easy and affordable, right!

4. Martini Bachelorette Favors: I helped throw my good friend Anna (see above Koozie post) a bachelorette party last summer. We decided to have a glamor, cocktail theme (who doesn't love an excuse to wear that little black dress). Naturally, I jumped at making favors- and here is what I came up with:

  • Martini glasses from the Dollar Store (OK, I know, I love shopping local, and supporting local businesses, but sometimes I do go to the DS because I mean really, who can afford $10 martini glasses)
  • Fill with fake pearls and fake diamond rings from iParty
  • I also had little buttons made with an image of a fancy high heel shoe that said "Anna's Bachelorette" very subtle way to celebrate, without all wearing big sashes!!
  • I filled left over clear treat bags from previous project (see above!) with two Hershey Kisses (great bling color!)
  • Top off the glass with pink shredded paper like this
Whaaaa- laaaa! Amazing, fun, useful (fun pics with everyone in their pearls and diamonds) favors for a fun girls night out.

5. Wine-O: If you know me, you know I love me a glass of wine! My awesome friends threw me a bridal shower, and naturally, the favor was a bottle of wine :) How Sarah! My talented friend Emily designed and printed these labels (which also matched the beautiful invitations) and adhered to bottles of pinot grigio- my favorite. They did a great job matching the center pieces with the back yard garden themed shower. I love the little apothecary glass bottles of cut flowers from the garden! Thank you girls.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maine Wedding Gift Idea

Matt and I were invited to a nautical themed wedding in Ohio this past June. Because Matt knew the bride's love of lobsters and I just happen to be from the Lobster capitol of the world, I knew I had to come up with something really good.

One of my favorite gifts to give are LL Bean totes. They are classic Maine, very well made and come in a range of colors. I knew I wanted to do a red monogrammed tote with the couples new initials, and had so much fun filling it with different accoutrements from Maine. We also included a gift certificate for fresh Maine lobsters to be flown overnight whenever they wanted to indulge.

Here is a breakdown of the bag:

  • Classic red tote with insignia style monogram
  • Gift certificate for 4 fresh lobsters from Port Lobster
  • Lobster claw wine stopper and pot holder from KBC Coffee & Dry Goods
  • Lobster bibs and lobster crackers
  • Maine salt water taffy
  • Maine Ingredients Cookbook (from Junior League of Portland, Maine which I am a member)
  • Lobster stationary
  • Few local post cards from around Kennebunkport
  • Bottle of San Pellegrino in nautical tote (since we cannot send wine via mail)
To wrap gift, I used a lot of red tissue paper and red, white and blue madras ribbon. I also added two fun sailors bracelets (see image below) which I always use to wear for weeks on end when I was a kid. We packaged tightly in box, and sent it off to the newlyweds.

Our 'DIHYW' Wedding

I thought I would begin with a story from a few months back. On July 1, 2011, Matt and I got married at Government Wharf in Kennebunkport in front of a special bench dedicated to my papa, Booth Chick. He was a great shipbuilder, seaman, loyal friend and a great influence on me growing up.

If you wonder why I am calling this post 'DIHYW'- it is for 'do it how you want'. I am on the err, older end of my friends getting married, so needless to say I have been to several weddings- and in over six! (always a bridsemaid, never the bride was joked more than once at the dinner table). After attending some of the most beautiful weddings that could grace the glossies of Modern Bride, it was hard for me wrap my head around how I would want my perfect day. A lot of choices is not always a good thing. I wanted a carnival, authentic, coastal, Maine, medium sized yet intimate, preppy, monogrammed, simple, fun, kitschy yet classic, pink, green, navy, teal, coral, yellow with a touch of lavender wedding...WHAT!@#$%^

The choices were endless- and the list of 'to do's' were scary! I was overwhelmed, and just coming off of the high of being the maid of honor in my sisters wedding to boot. So Matt and I took a hard look at what we wanted,
really. The one thing I knew I was sure of was after 10 months of planning, the price tag, whether we could afford it or not, seemed to be waaaay too much for one day. The one thing Matt knew was that he did not want a big spectacle, and hates having the attention on him. So after some big conversations- we decided to do what was right for us! So here is the breakdown:

  • Bridal Dress- Lilly Pulitzer $400
  • Tie and Pants- Brooks Brothers $175
  • Miles leash and collar- Lilly Pulitzer $35 (found awesome ebay merchant to hand make with matching fabric)
  • Officiant/Location/Decorations $300
  • Flowers- Blooms Flower Shoppe (designed by wonderful Michelle Rose of Minka)
  • Amazing Dinner/Drinks at Colony Hotel $1200
  • Photographer- David Wright- under $1300
  • Cake- Let Them Eat Cake - $300
  • Rings- for both traditional bands (side note: I got a gorgeous diamond band as a special gift the day of our wedding from Matt that he picket out in Portsmouth, NH- LOVE)
  • Hair (for everyone!)- Nancy George in Kennebunk
  • Make-up- Christian Dior (trick: I went to the counter at Macy's at CD and got a 1/2 hour tutorial on how to do my own make up. I ended up spending about $300 on all of the make-up, but am still using it to this day)
  • Invitations/Announcements- Village Paperie/ William Arthur- $400
  • Wedding Party Gifts- $350
So all in all, Matt and I got the intimate (immediate family attended), fun (great friends met us for a (few) after dinner drinks, authentic and affordable wedding of our dreams (all said and done it was under $5,000)

~ I ordered these monogrammed place cards and favor boxes
My Own Labels and they came out great!

~Matt and I after we say our 'I Do's'

~ Little Miles wearing his matching Lilly collar and leash

~ The bench dedicated to my papa

~Amazing cake by Let Them Eat Cake in Kennebunk

~Walking into the Colony Hotel to see our family

~ Great ending to a great day

First Post!

I am excited to be writing my first post of a blog I have been thinking about for a long time. Long story short, I love doing projects, crafts, coming up with new ideas, or sharing ones I have found. I am recently married to my love, Matt, and we live together on the coast of Maine with our adored schnauzer Miles.

So, here it goes...I will be posting mostly my yard sale finds, updated rooms as we continually working on in our 1890 New Englander style home, and of course party and gift ideas (which is my all time favorite).

I look forward to this ever so needed outlet of creative space for me. I have so many ideas, cute things to share, find and explore.