Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DIY: Bridal Shower

This past weekend was my younger sister's bridal shower, and as the Matron of Honor (why does it have to be Matron of Honor for married women? I hate the word Matron.) I planned the shower and one of the other bridesmaids hosted it at her house. This type of thing is right up my alley; I used to plan events at a previous job, so I get excited when I get to put those skills to use again.

Since the wedding is on New Year's Eve and the colors are black, silver/pewter and ivory, I wanted to play off that a bit. We decided to make the shower a cocktail hour theme and asked all of the guests to dress in cocktail attire. I thought it would be fun to give people an excuse to dress up and attend an evening shower.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found some appetizers that I thought would be more unique than the typical appetizers people find at parties. 

For the food, we had the following:
Caprese skewers
Italian skewers
Pear prosciutto crisps
Guacamole bruschetta
Pasta salad
Fruit kabobs
Artichoke dip
Veggie tray
Cheese tray
Lemon Raspberry Cake
Pumpkin Bars

We also made a signature drink, The Frenchy, and had white and red wine, Mimosas, Cranberry juice with champagne and sparkling water.

 These were so good! They were the hit of the party!

The cute silver trays are from Dollar Tree and the silver chargers are from Michael's and were also a dollar. 

I didn't have any hand in actually making the desserts, and I only tasted the lemon raspberry cake, but it was delicious! The one thing I did do for the  dessert table was make this adorable heart garland.

I got the idea from this post on Pinterest

The woman who made that one sewed hers, but I don't sew, so I just taped the string to the hearts. I bought black and silver glittery paper and some shimmery white and nearly black paper. I failed to figure out that as the hearts spun, the back of the paper would show and I had only used single-sided paper. Oh well. It was still cute!

Sorry for the bad lighting. 

The beautiful bride cutting her cake!

The rest of the decor was kept pretty simple. I got a few vases from Dollar Tree and covered them in black glitter and then got a cute 'D' vase from Michael's for about a dollar. I used red roses for contrast and simplicity. I also printed some engagement pictures and placed them around the room.

Everything turned out really well and my sister loved it, so that's all that matters! Next up, Bachelorette party!

Bride, sisters and mom.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meeting Young House Love

I was so excited to find out that John and Sherry from Young House Love would be stopping in the Twin Cities for their book tour. I read their blog religiously and really admire all they have accomplished, not only in what they've done to their homes, but in how they've become professional bloggers with a huge following all while staying down to Earth and humble.

The book signing was held at West Elm, a store I'd never even been to. I wanted to buy every thing in the store because it was all so adorable, but alas, my pockets aren't that deep. A friend, her baby and I got in line at about 4:30 and it really wasn't that long at that point. They hadn't let YHL fans into the store to line up since it was technically still open to the public, so we waited outside for about an hour and a half. I hadn't really thought that we'd be waiting outside, so I neglected to wear a jacket or bring a hat or mittens. Even though it was a nice day in MN (50 degrees in the middle of November is nice!), it was a chilly wait.

6:00 finally rolled around and we were let into the store. Then, magical fairies (aka servers) started handing out the most delicious cookies in the world (Gingerbread, Cranberry Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Sea Salt) and hot chocolate with marshmallows. I'd stand in line for 3 hours for those cookies again. Once we were in the store, it took us about an hour and a half to get to the front of the line to see John and $herdog. It really wasn't a bad wait since we wound through the whole store and got to view all of the merchandise (well played, West Elm) and I got to coo over my friend's adorable baby the whole time.

I must say, West Elm totally had their act together. It was organized and I didn't feel on guard about all of the people around me. Usually in a crowd that big, I get a little anxious, especially if people are breathing down my neck. But, I felt I had enough personal space around me the whole time. Everyone in line was patient and non-jerk like, which made it even better.

Finally, we got to the front of the line. I went up first, handed my camera to a West Elm employee who was taking pictures for everyone and awkwardly introduced myself to John and Sherry. I thought about what I would say the whole time I was in line and really didn't come up with anything good. Normally, when I'm nervous, I just start blabbing, and that's exactly what I did. Oh, but first, Sherry complimented me on my glasses. So sweet.

When I started talking, I think I mentioned that I was a loyal follower on Twitter (@malisaann) and Instagram (malieser) and that we'd tweeted each other a few times. John mentioned how he was really bad at Twitter, but was thankful for a system that helped him stay organized (Tweetdeck maybe?).

I quickly asked if I could get a photo and of course, they said yes. They must have taken 800 photos with fans last night.

 When my friend went up, they cooed over the baby and when they got a picture, the baby was fascinated with Sherry's ponytail. She wouldn't look at the camera, only Sherry's ponytail. It was amusing.

Even though it was a long wait for such a brief encounter, it was totally worth it. We left the store at about 8:00, which is when the event was supposed to end, but the line was still out the door of the store. My bet is that Sherry and John stayed until every fan had their book signed. They seem so genuinely thankful for their fans, which makes them even more lovable! I'm looking forward to digging into the book and finding some new projects for the house! 

Edited to add: John tweeted me after reading my post and clarified that they use Hootsuite to stay organized, not Tweetdeck!