Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Welcome Bags!

Happy Wedding Wednesday loveys!  Today we're going to be talking about welcome bags.  While welcome bags are not necessarily a must, they are a really nice way to thank your guests that are traveling in from out of town for your wedding.  Plus, they are a fun project to work on and put together!  These are the steps to follow for an awesome welcome bag:

1.  Find a bag.  Tote bags are a great way to go because your guests will be able to use them over and over again.  Plus, they are just adorable!  These are some darling options from my Etsy store, The Bees Times Three

2.  Once you have your bag, time for the necessities to go in it!  First, printed materials.  Give your guests a map with the important locations like ceremony, reception, and any kind of welcome event.  You also want to put any favorite restaurants or activities in the area so your guests have some ideas of things to do when they aren't at wedding stuff.  These are some adorable maps (click pic for original source).

You also want to give your guests a schedule of the events for the trip, including all wedding times and locations.  This one is super cute:

3.  Once you have given your guests the pertinent wedding info they need, it is time for the fun stuff!  Start with food and drink.  Water is always a good idea, especially since most hotels don't provide water bottles for their guests.  You can put personalized water bottle labels like these on them for an added touch:

4.  Then give your guests something small to snack on.  A little salty and a little sweet is always a good combo.  You could do pretzels and cookies, crackers and chocolate, whatever you think would be a tasty snack.  These cookies are cute and personalized:

5.  Okay, so you've given your guests the important info for the wedding, cute water bottles, and tasty treats.  If you want, you can stop there.  Or you can add in some items that would be relevant to your wedding location.  For a beach wedding, sunscreen, sunglasses and flip flops.  For a New England wedding, a lobster bib.  For a winter wedding, earmuffs.  If you're music lovers, a mix CD with your favorite songs.  If you're having an open bar, a hangover kit.  Get creative and have some fun!  A few more images to inspire you:

Don't you feel welcomed now?  BTW, it was totally unintentional that the majority of the items I pictured in this post were food/alcohol related, but that's just how I roll!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Craft Inspiration

Hello lovelies!  I am slowly starting to recover from a very long week of partying!  Last week both Mr. B and I turned 30, and we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary.  Too say I'm wiped would be an understatement!  This week my goal is a major cleaning/re-organinzing of the house because, sadly, we go back to work in just two weeks (where did the summer go????)!  We're going to have a garage sale on Saturday which will hopefully help clear out some of the junk.  The goal for next week is to check off the major house projects that just won't get done during the school year: painting and yard work.  I'm looking forward to having a clean and tidy house before we go back to the real world!  In the meantime, I've been looking around for some crafts I will actually have the time and energy to work on once I am back to work.  These are some projects I hope to get to create soon!  (Click pic for original source, all pics via Pinterest.)

This is a pic of letter beads, but how cute would it be to spray paint alphabet magnets?  Super chic!

 Ombre glitter shoes?  Yes please!

Adorable ombre painted jars as vases...

Super cute and easy washi tape on jars...

Love this idea for the kitchen, spray painting utensils all one color...

Obviously I'm a sucker for anything Disney, so this decoupaged letter is awesome!

Which one is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments and if there's a clear majority, I will work on that one first!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Trend I Am Loving: Gold Accents

I have to say, I have always been one of those people who hates gold.  Gold jewelry, gold paint, gold hardware, you name it.  But lately, I have been giving gold a second chance.  It started with jewelry.  I have some really cute costumey pieces that are gold that I really love.  And I'm starting to embrace gold a little more in decorating.  I'm giving the living room a little bit of an overhaul, and I think I will be adding in some gold accents.  I also might incorporate some gold into our new combined office (when we actually have to combine).  Here are some pics I'm thinking of for my gold inspiration.  (Click pic for original source, all pics via Pinterest.)

How do you feel about gold in decor?  Is it something you are willing to try, or is it a little to bold?  Let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: It's My Anniversary!

So today is a very special day!  As of today, I have been married to my darling husband for two awesome years!  I am so lucky to be married to someone who is endlessly loving and supportive.  In the time we have been together, I have drifted through different career choices, planned a wedding before officially getting engaged, and obsessed about our different life stages (moving in, marriage, home buying, now babies) to no end.  Through it all he has been so incredibly patient, kind, and understanding.  I truly am so so blessed to have him in my life.  I could not ask for a husband better than mine!  To celebrate our anniversary, I'm going to share some of my favorite moments from our wedding.  I hope you enjoy!  (These pics are a mix of my pro shots by Courtney Tomey, and pics from my friends and family.)

Obviously pink was my signature wedding color so I had these shoes dyed bright pink.  The pearls I wore were the first Christmas gift Matt ever gave me.

All of our flowers were pink (done by my mom's bff, Jill Abejon, who is amazing!).  I wanted a bunch of different flowers, all in the same shade and bunched together in clusters.

I love these signs that we made with all the different reasons why we love each other.  We still have the signs today!

Our awesome bridal party in their rocking shades...

This is one of my fave pics of the two of us...

Music was a big part of our day.  One of the best parts of the whole wedding was the band put together by my hubs.  It was all friends and the music was amazing.  They have since played a couple of other weddings for some of our guests, they were that good!  (If you're in So Cal and in the market for a wedding band, just let me know!)

I am uber excited to get to open our year two anniversary bottle of wine tonight!  This was our guest book, and it has been so cool to have these bottles on display in our house.  It's a guest book we actually look at on a regular basis, and we get to enjoy my fave thing (wine) to boot!

Peonies are my favorite flower, and they are hard to find in July so I was so psyched that we were able to get just enough for my bouquet!

And this is probably my favorite picture from the wedding.  It was such an honest and un-posed moment of love, and I love how you can see our friends in the background.  Basically, it sums up what to me was a perfect night.

Alright, not going to lie, it was really fun going through our wedding pictures again!  I had the most amazing day of my life and I am so lucky to be married to such an amazing man.  Happy anniversary babe!

Monday, July 22, 2013

How to Paint Furniture Plus a Before and After!

Hey crazy kids and happy Monday!  I finally got off my lazy butt and conquered one of my major projects on my summer to do list: painting our dining room buffet.  I got this awesome piece from my mom when she down-sized (thanks Mom!) and though I loved the function and the extra storage, I did not love the color and the finish.  (When Mr. B brought it home he claimed to like it the way it was because it's "rustic" which I said, "Show me one other piece in this house that is rustic!")  So I decided it was time to paint some furniture!  I did a lot of research before I started this project because I didn't want to mess up this really nice piece of furniture.  The same two tips were repeated over and over: prep well and paint thin coats!  So I did!  Here are the steps and a the reveal of our new buffet!

First, the before shot:

The first prep step is sanding.  Since this piece was already light colored and didn't have a super shiny finish, I used fine sandpaper.  Once finished sanding, I gave the whole piece a good wipe down.  I just used a cloth rag and Windex.

Then I gave the whole piece a thin coat of primer.  I used a brush for this step in the process so I could get into the little nooks and crannies.  This is the piece after priming:

I let the primer dry overnight and started with the fun stuff, the painting, the next day.  For the paint, I used an interior latex paint and a small foam roller.  I had to go back with a small brush for some of the tight areas, but in general, the small roller was the perfect size.

Remembering the tips I read, I did multiple thin coats.  Really thin.  Here it is after one coat:

Super light, but it went on easy and smooth and nice and thin!  I let the paint dry for a couple of hours before I started on coat number two.  Surprisingly, I only needed two coats and the piece was done!  Here is our new buffet!

I'm so in love with the new color and I cannot wait to paint some more furniture!  In general, this was an easy piece to paint because I went with a darker color, and the texture lent itself to an easy sanding/priming prep.  Some of the other pieces I am planning on painting are going to be much harder, but at least now I have some practice and I know I can do it!  One last look at the before and after!

(P.S. It has been super overcast here in "sunny" LA the past couple of days, so I apologize for the shoddy natural light in these pics!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Sugar Cookie Bars

If that title doesn't make your mouth water, I don't know what will!  Today I have a super easy recipe for you that is majorly delicious.  I got the urge to bake after going for a pedicure the other day.  The nail salon had Martha Stewart baking tutorials on some kind of evil loop.  Luckily, there was a grocery store in the same shopping center, so I headed over and got inspired!  Only a couple of ingredients and very little actual prep time needed for this baby!  Here's a sneak peek at the finished product:

Enticed?  Ready to bake?  Here's what you need:  one roll of pre-made sugar cookie dough, one bag of peanut butter chips, one bag of chocolate chips, Crisco, and a 9x13 pan.

Here's the steps:

1.  Make sure you grease your pan.  Then press out the sugar cookie dough into the bottom of the pan, spreading evenly and covering all of the pan.

2.  Bake according to package directions, but note that it will most likely take longer to fully bake than the instructions indicate (mine took almost twice as long).  Make sure the edges of the pan have baked up to a golden brown.

3.  Put the whole pan in the fridge and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.  When cool, pour peanut butter chips into a microwave safe bowl with a small spoonful of Crisco.  Microwave for one minute, remove bowl and stir.  Keep microwaving at 30 second intervals until all of the chips have melted.

4.  Pour melted chips over the sugar cookie layer and use a spoon or spatula to spread evenly.  Note: you will not be able to full cover the sugar cookie layer if you sample handfuls of the chips before melting...

5.  Put the whole pan back in the fridge and allow to cool for another 30 minutes.  Then repeat the melting/pouring process with the chocolate chips.

6.  Put the whole pan back in the fridge once again and allow the whole thing to cool for another 30 minutes.  When everything has cooled, take out the pan and prepare for this awesome way to cut cookie bars (thanks Martha Stewart!).

7.  Run a knife along the edges of the pan, separating the bars from the pan.  Place a cookie sheet on top of the pan.

8.  Flip the whole thing upside down so the pan is now face down on the sheet.

9.  Remove the pan.

10.  Place a cutting board on top of the cookie bars.

11.  Flip the whole thing upside down and voila!  Your cookie bars are face up, on a cutting board, out of the pan and ready to be cut!

Once your cookie bars on are on the cutting board, they are super easy to cut into bite size bars.  Now they are ready to eat and enjoy!

Super easy and super yummy!  These bars are great for any party, plus you could try this process with tons of combinations.  I'm thinking of throwing in some caramel next time.  What would you like to use in the cookie bars?  Let me know!  Happy baking, and enjoy!