Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years Inspiration + Free Downloads

It's almost 2013, and it's high time I posted something. 2012 has had its ups and downs for me personally, and I can't remember a time when I've looked forward to a fresh start as much as I am looking forward to 2013. I even sent out New Years cards this year instead of Christmas cards! But enough waxing poetic, and on to the pretty New Years inspiration :) These lovelies make me wish I was having a New Years party, but alas I will be busy working on finishing a school project and thinking positive thoughts about the coming year. Happy new years to all my readers xo Annie

Free invitation, label, resolution card and message flag downloads via Phillis Hoffman Celebrate

 Petit fours with edible gold sugar and adorable free message flag downloads via Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate

Champagne and rock candy - I picked up some rock candy swizzle sticks at Trader Joe's for $2.69 to try this trick out on NYE! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thank You Note Etiquette from Wedding Paper Divas

As I've discussed on Twitter before, thank you cards are a sticking point with me. As anyone who has attended a wedding, given a gift, and then received no thank you card in the mail can tell you, thank you cards are important. They let the giver know that you received the gift and you appreciate it. A personal, handwritten note goes a long way in our digital age, and some people will remember a well-written thank you note forever (I still get comments from some people four years later!). They'll also always remember not getting a thank you note, or getting a very delayed (six months, a year later) thank you note. So write them early, write them often, and have fun with it. Here's some tips on thank you notes from the invitation and stationery experts at Wedding Paper Divas

Response time:
The number one question is “When should they be sent?” Brides and grooms should wait no more than 6-8 weeks after the ceremony to send their wedding thank you cards, but of course the sooner the better! As some planners and I discussed on Twitter recently, the 6 months to a year "rule" that gets bandied about is just plain wrong. 6-8 weeks is the new three months. :)
If you receive gifts before the wedding, send the thank you cards out as soon as you get receive the gift. Order a different set of pre-wedding thank you notes if you plan on sending out a thank yous with pictures from your wedding later on. If you have over 100 guests attending your wedding you can imagine how much time this will take so get ahead! It also helps to make a goal and send out so many thank you cards a day.
Another tip for speeding this process up is to order your thank you cards when you order your wedding invitationsThey don’t need to match, but if you purchase them with your wedding suite it will present a more cohesive look and you won’t need to go back later to order them.

The contents:
Sometimes this can be a daunting task for couples but make sure to greet the guest, express your gratitude, be specific about the gift, and thank them for attending (or for thinking of you if they couldn’t make it).
It is also nice to make specific examples of their gift and tell them how you use it. For example, “I love making my coffee every morning in the machine you got us!”
Make sure you spell their names correctly and are including the right gift for the right person.
For monetary gifts, it is not necessary to mention the specific amount but simply say “thank you for your generosity.”
Make sure to also send thank you gifts to people who attended but did not bring a gift and also always remember to send thank you cards to your vendors for helping with your beautiful event.

Addressing and Sending:
For families, address the envelope to Mr. And Mrs. If you are close with them, you can use their first names inside the card or if you are not that close use the same salutation inside. 
Make sure to hand stamp every note as prepaid postage techniques are too impersonal.
Once you follow these basic etiquette tips sending out thank you cards should be a breeze.

Make sure to browse the amazing selection of thank you cards from Wedding Paper Divas!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Inspiration Board: Pastel Punch

If you know me or even just read my blog, its not hard to tell I love pastels. I love them even more when they are "punched up" and bright, and paired with other punchy and pale pastel colors. This board seems like the perfect mix of soft and bright, perfect for summertime. Some of the things I love include the bright flowers, the pastel bunting as a soft backdrop, the pops of blue on the chairs and platter, the bride's bright shoes and groom's complementing striped socks, and I love love love the DIY play tipi for your younger guests, which you can hang on to for your own backyard retreat. The peach cake is pastel perfection and a sweet ending to a cheery event.
Sources: Bride's bouquet via Ruffled, Lemonade bar from Martha Stewart Weddings, Shoe picture by Green Apple Photography via Marry You Me, Blue chairs and table via Style Me Pretty, Cake from My Sweet and Saucy Shop, DIY tipi from Sunset, pastel bunting via Style Me Pretty, Yellow striped bridesmaid and bouquet via EAD, salt and herb favors on blue plate via Martha Stewart Weddings, flowers in blue mason jar from Heather Bullard.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Trend Spotting: Wedding Popsicles

Popsicles have gone gourmet as of late and are popping up everywhere, even at weddings! If you are having a wedding (or shower, bbq, dinner party, etc) during the warmer months, why not give your guests a sweet cold treat that you can DIY or buy for cheap? Use fresh fruits, champagne, even make them match your colors. I'm loving this idea - so refreshing!

 Photos by Images by Lori via Green Wedding Shoes, popsicles by Fat Face 

Watermelon mojito popsicles via Sugar and Charm

Orange bananna smoothie pops via Country Living

Passed popsicles! Photo by Cappy Hotchkiss via Snippet & Ink

So fun! Would you consider having a fun treat like popsicles at your wedding?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stella & Dot Trunk Show

Last night I co-hosted a Stella & Dot jewelry trunk show party with my friend at her lovely home, and I had to share some pics! I did all the flower arrangements, spray painted the dollar store vases and mirror frame for the buffet menu, and we punched circles of plain and glitter cardstock to scatter on the buffet. For the invitation, I used a free downloadable chevron stripe invitation from the Wedding Chicks. I'm hosting an online trunk show for those of you that couldn't make it to my party but who might want to stock up on some super cute (and reasonably priced) costume jewelry for summer!

Aqua and white dot napkins from Target, dollar store mirror painted gold and turned into a menu with a white paint pen. 

Our invitations. We used the free download chevron stripe invitation from the Wedding Chicks.

A rainbow of ranunculus and green snowballs in a dollar store vase that I spray painted gold.

White hydrangea and Bells of Ireland in a WalMart vase sprayed silver. I just love those confetti dots! 

The eats including amazing peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes from The Sassy Cupcake

The Stella & Dot trunk show set up with ruffled runner and gerbera daisies in a vase sprayed silver.

 A mirrored side table with white hydrangeas with blue and turquoise water beads. 

 Hop on over to my online Stella & Dot trunk show and have a look at the fabulous jewelry!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspiration Board: Lemony Aqua

I've long adored this cheery color combination of lemon yellow and a cool aqua. The yellow is warm and sunshiny, while the aqua is cool and crisp. When put together they just pop, don't you agree? A perfect palette for a late spring or summer wedding. Buying bags of lemons to use as place cards and in centerpieces is an easy and inexpensive way to add color, and ribbons and paper poms hung as a backdrop for a dessert table or photobooth is a fun DIY project. And that cake! Keeping the outside a creamy white makes the striped yellow and blue cake layers inside a sweet surprise for your guests.

Credits: Clockwise from top left - Bouquet via Martha Stewart Weddings, lemon placecard photo by Hugh Forte via Amorology, inivatations by Jeff Canham via Martha Stewart Weddings, groom holding lemons photo by Jill Thomas Photography via Amorlogy, cake by Hello Naomi via Amy Atlas Blog, bridesmaid photo from Martha Stewart Weddings, lemons and ranunculus and ribbon and pom photos by Nicole Hill Gerulat.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Inspiration Board: Spring Fern

Being from the Northwest, the fern holds a special place in my heart. When I saw the 'Leaf Specimen' wedding invitation by fellow Oregonian and invitation designer Krista Messer for Minted, I knew I loved it and that I simply had to put together an inspiration board around it. I love the watercolor airiness of the invitation, and the color palette jumped out at me - a range of greens, ambers and peach with a touch of a café au lait brown. The colors are so spring and fresh, and ferns make a lovely appearance not just the invitations but on tabletops, placesetttings, and the hand painted cookie favors, as well as subtly in the bouquet and on the cake. Touches of peach, amber, and café au lait on the tabletop runner, the bride's sash, on the cake, in the bouquet, and in the flower arrangements in amber glass bottles touches of color without going overboard, and keep the thread of a natural feeling running throughout the event. 

Credits: Clockwise from top left - Leaf Specimen Wedding Invitation by Krista Messer for Minted, fern + bottle centerpieces via Ruffled, cake by Hey There, Cupcake! via Wedding Chicks, bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings, bride and groom photo by Sergio Mottola on Green Wedding Shoes, amber glass bottles + flowers by Meg Perotti on Once Wed, hand painted fern cookies by Queen of Tarts Cakes on Etsy, fern place setting on Country Living

Monday, February 27, 2012

What I've Been Up To...

Sorry for the sparse postings over the past year (eeek!), I'm in my last year of school for my degree in journalism, and I also do event planning and design, so things (like my blog) unfortunately fall through the cracks. But I wanted to share something that I've been working on for school that is tied to my professional life. I had to put together a four page magazine spread, my first ever, and I got to use pictures from a wedding that I did this past summer! I'm pretty pleased with the final result, and I thought I'd use this as a teaser while I put together a proper post on their wedding.

Pictures by Brandon Witzel, Bride's bouquet by Geranium Lake Flowers, layout by Me 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine From Me to You

A Valentine from me to all of my sweet readers! XO, Annie

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Shoesday

This felt appropriate for a pre-Valentine's Shoesday because I love this picture! That pug in a red bow tie is priceless, and her shoes and dress are vintage gorgeousness. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Sweet Proposal Idea

Could this proposal be any sweeter? Ceramic perfumed macarons that you can keep and remember your proposal by forever. Perfect for the girl who loves her keepsakes + her macarons!
Macarons by Hideminy on Etsy

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DIY Valentine's Truffles

A sweet Valentine's idea - stay in and make some decadent DIY truffles with your mate. So romantic (and decadent!) This is also be a fun party idea: have a mini 'make your own truffle' buffet. Serve with brandy, rum, red wine or whisky for the gentlemen. 

photo by David Lofus via Jamie Oliver

Amazing DIY Chocolate Truffles from Jamie Oliver
makes about 50 teaspoon-sized truffles

• 1 1/4 cups double cream
• a knob of unsalted butter
• finely grated zest from 1 clementine
• 10 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
• a pinch sea salt
• a splash of brandy
• a handful of mixed nuts (Brazil nuts, toasted almonds and hazelnuts)
• 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder, to serve
• 1 pack biscotti, to serve
• 1 bottle of Vin Santo, to serve

Put the cream in a pan over a medium heat and let it heat up. You don’t want it boiling, just hot. As soon as tiny bubbles start to appear, add the knob of butter and the clementine zest. Once the butter has melted, pour this hot mixture over the chocolate pieces, whisking as you go, so the chocolate melts nice and slowly. If the mixture splits slightly, don’t worry, you can bring it right by adding a splash of boiling water.

Add a pinch of salt to the mixture; the smallest pinch of salt actually makes chocolate taste even chocolatier! Stir in a splash of brandy.
Once completely melted and smooth, pour your melted chocolate mixture into a nice little serving dish or bowl. Pop this in the fridge for about 2 hours to set. You can always do this a few days before you need it if you want. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to make your truffles, pull the bowl out of the fridge and let the chocolate warm up to room temperature.

Put your mixed nuts into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to bash them up quite finely. Get some little saucers or bowls and put the nuts in one and your cocoa powder in the other. Put a teacup filled with boiled water on the tray and pop a few teaspoons in there for scooping the chocolate. Get everyone around the table to spoon their own truffles out of the serving dish and roll them in cocoa powder, crushed nuts or anything else you fancy. Or, you can let them smear their truffles over a biscotti like some posh Nutella! Serve with a few glasses of your chilled Vin Santo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Inspiration Board: White Love

While browsing through the new Spring arrivals at BHLDN, one of my favorite eye candy haunts, I came across some lovely decor and shoe gems that inspired me to put together a new board (I know, I know finally!!) Hope you like it! 

Winter weddings are highly underrated in my opinion. They're cheaper to have, monochromatic color scheme look incredible, and nothing is more romantic than cuddling near a fire to keep warm on your honeymoon. The palette is ivory with just a dash of a blush-y peach, gold and slate which give the wedding a warm yet wintery feel perfect for a pre-Valentine's wedding. Can we talk about how gorgeous the tulle shoes and the lace chuppah canopy are? And that cake! It is a total showstopper and looks even sweeter when served on ivory and gold pierced heart plates. The combined effect is so romantic!

Credits: Clockwise from top left - Auroral Vapor Shoes from BHLDN, vintage love stamps photo via, Heavenly Haven Canopy from BHLDN, Pierced Heart Truffle Plates from BHLDN, cake by The Cakestress
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