Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kristen's Bridal Shower

Last Saturday I hosted a bridal shower for the first time! I'm the maid (matron?) of honor in my best friend Kristen's wedding in June, and I was so honored to be able to throw her a bridal shower (with the help of two of the other bridesmaids)! I had SUCH a blast planning the shower (and using all of my serving dishes!), and I was SO happy to be able to do it all for Kristen.

First up - the invitations! I downloaded these from Download and Print (a GREAT free invitation resource, by the way!), added in the text, and printed them on Paper Source cardstock (did I mention that we FINALLY got a Paper Source in Houston? Because we did, and it's wonderful!). I added little pink ribbon bows and mailed them in pink Paper Source envelopes.

This recipe card went into each invitation to ask the guests to contribute a recipe and photo to a cookbook for Kristen.

Next up, plates! I found these adorable pink and green plates at Tuesday Morning, and I snapped them up for the shower! I also bought the little pink ones for dessert.

I get really excited about little personal touches, so I created these little "we love you Kristen" tags, along with some matching ones in green that said "Kristen's getting married!" I attached them to the base of all of my champagne glasses with curling ribbon in green and pink.

We had the shower in the fancy party room at my apartment complex. It was a perfect size for what we needed, it has a pretty kitchen area, and it was SUPER convenient to not worry about cleaning my apartment after all the cooking and prep work. We decorated it with pink and green crepe paper streamers.

Some of the shower guests (Kristen's mom is in the middle!)

Next up... the food! We served the food buffet style:

We wrapped the green silverware in green napkins with pink curling ribbon. 

My favorite thing about the shower was this Mimosa Buffet! I set out champagne flutes, three kinds of juice, and champagne, and everyone mixed their own mimosas!

The sign on the wall says "Mimosa Buffet - choose your favorite juice and mix up a mimosa!" I just mixed one for each guest as they arrived and then told them to help themselves to refills, and it worked out great! Everyone was trying different juices and talking about which one was their favorite. Haha!

Orange Pineapple Banana, plain Orange Juice, and Strawberry Peach (the nearly-unanimous favorite!)

We also set out sweet tea and water with plastic cups and ice.

And now the food...

Turkey Pesto Sliders - I'll post the recipe for these soon... they were delicious!

Chicken Salad Croissants (a bridal shower staple!)

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Fruit Salad

We also had a little dish of cheese and crackers (you can see it in the first picture by the plates and silverware). The dessert table was in another area:

Funfetti cookies! These are one of Kristen's favorite foods, so of course we had to serve them at the shower!

We had a "Decorate Your Own Cupcake" station with un-iced cupcakes and plenty of decorating supplies. Each guest decorated a cupcake, and then Kristen picked her favorite (and the winner got a little Bath & Body Works prize!).

Strawberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

"Pick a cupcake and decorate it! Kristen will pick her favorite cupcake, and the winner gets a prize!"

I made little cupcake picks to match the champagne flute tags. They all said "Kristen's getting married!" or "We love you Kristen!"

Cupcake supplies!

Here are some of the creative cupakes!

Shower guests decorating cupcakes!

Kristen and Me (doesn't she looks so cute and bridal??)

After everyone had something to eat and decorated a cupcake, it was time for presents!

Super cute napkins!

"Dish-drying gloves!"

The last present we gave her was the recipe book that I made with all of the submitted recipes. I ordered it from Shutterfly (it's very similar to our engagement and honeymoon albums). She was pretty excited about it. :) 

I had each person send me a recipe and a photo (one of them with Kristen if possible), and then I made a page or two for each recipe. Some people told me a little bit about their recipes (such as "I make this every Christmas" or "Kristen enjoyed these cookies at my house on many Friday nights in high school"), so I included that information in little quotes. I titled each recipe with a name (like "Sara Johnson's Pasta Salad").

"Kristen's Recipes
with love from your family and friends"

Kristen had a hard time picking her favorite cupcake, but she did! We passed around cupcakes and cookies after that for everyone to eat while we played one last little game.

We had asked Dan (Kristen's fiance) to answer some questions before the shower (stuff like "How many pairs of shoes does Kristen have?" and "What's your shoe size?" and "Who kissed who first?"). We asked Kristen the same questions and gave her another little gift for each one when she matched Dan's answer. I wish I had photos of this, but we made a posterboard that said "DAN'S ANSWER:" and had all of his answers taped on top of each other (so we could pull each one off as she answered it). One of the other hostesses stood behind Kristen with the posterboard so all the guests could see Dan's answer, but Kristen couldn't (hilarious when Kristen was trying to decide if she had thirty or forty pairs of shoes, and Dan's answer was "8 million!").

The prize gifts were ten little things from Ikea... cooking utensils, candles, vases, etc. Each time Kristen missed one we just paired that gift with the next one, so she ended up getting them all. :) We ended with my favorite question, "What was it about Kristen that first caught your attention?" Kristen had no idea what Dan had answered, but there was a big "awww" when everyone found out that he said "her laugh!"

Kristen and her shower hostesses!

I had so much fun throwing your shower, Kristen! I can't wait for your wedding in just a couple more weeks!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Piano Room!

Since we're moving from a 1100 square-foot apartment to a 2600 square-foot house, the house has a lot of empty space. We're planning on filling it slowly (and a couple of the upstairs rooms will probably just stay empty for a while), but we want to get the rooms that are really visible from the front door decorated first.

Right when you enter the house, the "study" is on your left.

I didn't really want to make the room a study because a) we have plenty of rooms upstairs that could serve that purpose, and b) I don't want the first thing you see when you walk in to be a computer and lots of office supplies.

We quickly came up with the idea of putting our piano in there. It was originally because the piano is really heavy, and moving it any further than the first room when you walk in just sounded like too much work. But, the room has good acoustics because of the hardwood floors, and I'm excited about building a room around the piano! It's going to be a sort of sitting room or formal living room, like the sort that Jane Austen characters sit in after dinner while the young ladies show off their musical skills on the pianoforte. :o)

The first picture I saved for piano room inspiration was this:

I loved the classic, clean look, and the black and white would be perfect for the piano room! Our floors are already deep brown hardwoods, and the walls are already tan with white trim. It would've been so easy! However, when I showed it to Jeff, he was less than thrilled. He likes colorful rooms, and what looked "classic" to me just looked boring to him. Also, he apparently thinks animal prints are tacky and weird, so the zebra rug was out.

We bounced ideas back and forth for a while before we ended up with a general concept for the room that we both really like. Presenting... the piano room inspiration board!

Here's the breakdown:
1. We're going to paint the room a muted green, being careful to avoid guacamole-esque colors and lean more toward gray-ish green.
2. White curtains from Ikea! They're cheap, they're longer than average curtain panels (for high hanging!), and they come with super-simple iron-on hem tape. 
3. This 5x7 rug from Target
4. The Dolce Loveseat (also from Target). It's small but substantial, and I've been in love with it ever since I saw the chair version on Young House Love. We're going to add some green, black, and white pillows like these two from Etsy.
5. Our piano! It looks pretty similar to this one.
6. Our black Hemnes cabinet from Ikea. We already own this and use it to hold all of our sheet music.
7. A refinished vintage chair! This isn't actually the chair, but it's an inspiration picture for what I want to do to a chair that I recently purchased off of Craigslist for $20! A little black paint, a little bold fabric on the seat cushion, and we'll be good to go!
8. A second chair. I love this one from Overstock, but I might try to find a second Craigslist purchase instead. We'll see.
9. I'm dying to put a black gilded-looking mirror on the wall. This frame from Ikea is kind of perfect, but we'd have to get a mirror put in it. What I'd rather do is find a gold-gilded mirror at a thrift store or something and re-finish it in black.
10. Black chandelier. This one from Amazon is cute, but I still don't think I've found the perfect light fixture. We're working on it!
11. Coat and hat rack!! I actually saw some of these at Marshalls HomeGoods the other day for $40, and I might go back and get one. This one from Overstock is good too though! 
12. Pops of green with vases and such, like these from CSN stores.

Unfortunately, we just spent a lot of money on buying the house itself, so we don't have infinite funds available to furnish the rooms in the house (it's the most frustrating thing about buying a new home!). We'll probably start with the rug, chairs, and loveseat (along with the piano and cabinet, which we already have), and then wait a bit before we do anything else.

What do y'all think? Anyone have a suggestion for the perfect muted green paint color?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guestbook Quilt - It's done!!

My mother-in-law finished our guestbook quilt, and it is beautiful! I love it so much, and I'm just so thrilled with how it turned out. It amazes me that Jeff's mom can just create something like this out of a bunch of fabric and thread!!

Here it is:
So pretty! (click to enlarge)

She had the center fabric monogrammed with our names and wedding date!

Pretty swirl stitching in the center!

The back (with more signatures!)

Here's a close-up of the fabrics... the gold is a little less yellow in real life.

If you want some more info on the quilt, here's a post about the preparations, and here's a post that shows the display at the wedding.

Want to see some of my favorite squares? The ones from the kids were GREAT:

From Jeff's cousin Amelia: "Best wishes!! We love you! <3 Amelia Katie I LOVE your dress"

From my sister Karoline: "I love yall' Karoline"

From my cousin Scotty: "Congrats Katie and Jeff. I love you. Have a happy life. Scotty"

From my cousin Faith: "Bless Your heart! I <3 You! Faith"

Our parents all wrote sweet little squares:

"...and they lived happily ever after. Love, Mom"

I love the sweet things that so many people wrote, but the one that never fails to make me smile is this:

"Congratulations Katie and Jeff! Remember, I only attend 1 wedding per relative. Make note. Love, Aunt Cherie" (my great aunt - she's hilarious!)

We also have some with elaborate drawings and some with pretty writing, and they all look so cute together on the quilt! I couldn't be happier with the finished product, and I feel really lucky that Jeff's mom has such a talent to share with us! What a wonderful reminder of our wedding day!