Friday, December 19, 2008

Flower girl dresses, Target Style

I'm not a big fan of dresses that cost over $150 for a bridesmaid much less one for a 5 year old that is more than likely going to get into something sticky 2 seconds after pictures are done and outgrow the thing a week after the wedding.

So for my wedding we went a bit more non traditional route and found the flower girls dress for a whole $15. Where, I hear you asking. Why at Target of course.

This is just a sampling of the dresses the have. If you're having a more wintry or darker hued wedding wouldn't one of these just look amazing and best of all every one of them is under $25.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The birthday cake

This weekend for me was spend creating the best birthday cake a 4 year old farm kid can possibly imagine. I have a few tricks up my sleeve after 1 year of doing some cake decorating (though I did very few cakes during that time). Most of all, don't be afraid to try something. Oh and watch Ace of Cakes on a regular basis. They are super creative.

Anyway on with the story. I baked the cake last weekend actually. I allowed it to cool and got rid of some areas where there was some excess cake, such as between the wheels (which were all but connected). I then did a skim layer of frosting (mostly so I wouldn't get crumbs in the rest of the icing when I did the actual decoration). After this I promptly stuck the cake in the freezer until Saturday morning when the mess began. Ok, I lied, the mess actually began on Friday when I made the icing and blended the coloring into the icing.

Coloring icing is a challenge, especially if you want vivid colors. I used gel icing colors, but it still took a LOT, especially the green and black. Hint: go easy on the yellow though, it does not take NEARLY as much.

I stirred for a while and then decided to create the engine compartment. This was a real challenge. Although most people wouldn't care, my husband is a Technician at John Deere and felt that I had to do everything to a tee. I failed, but I really liked the engine (recreated from a blurry picture found on google). I also realized from that picture that the cab corners should have been black, but I wasn't about to scape the frosting at that time.

Well, after about 2 hours of frosting and starring and starring some more, this is what I came up with:

The "dirt" around the tractor is a mixture of oreos and graham crackers that I smashed in my food processor. I got the idea from watching Ace of Cakes about 1 week before when they were creating a sandcastle cake and using graham cracker for sand.

Lesson for the day: "Try it, it may work!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Something Blue-Jewelry

If you're looking for a little color on your wedding day but still want to have a white dress why not try it in some jewelry. I'm going to create different boards for all the colors of jewelry options. First one is my favorite color, blue.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Eco-budget-friendly: Part 1 - In general

This is the first of a series about how you can plan an eco-friendly wedding that won't break the bank.

First, I must dispel the myth that eco-friendly X means tacking an additional cost to X: in fact, I'll argue that if you're paying more, you're not doing it right!

Simplicity is inherently eco-friendly. It usually takes a small army of bakers to make a cake, for instance. Factor in all the gas burned by each of their cars coming in to work that morning/afternoon to make your cake, the heat of the building in which the cake was made, etc and you start seeing some real eco-savings if you decide to make your own cake (or have it made by a friend/family member who will be coming to the wedding anyway).

Instead of going through one of those green wedding sites and ordering orga/loca/etc invitations, buy recycled paper, and have it printed with a refillable ink cartridge.

For favors and centerpieces, buy things that can be reused. Don't buy 100 tiny cardboard boxes, tie them in bits of ribbon, and fill them with individually wrapped candies - all things which create a lot of waste - instead give each of your guest a small packet of seed in a tiny pot, or even a magnet they can use for many years.

Try to reduce the waste of your wedding by doing small things. Order a keg or two of beer for your guests instead of having an open bar where they purchase individual bottles. If possible, use the hall's linens and cloth napkins, which they will clean and re-use. Rent tuxes instead of buying them. Buy a used wedding dress, take care of it, and then resell it on eBay or Craigslist.

Purchase in-season flowers from a greenhouse, where you can pick them up directly at the location. This way you don't need to have them shipped from far away, which will increase your carbon footprint. Even be bold and use living plants and not flowers - purchase small planters and use ivy, or tiny roseplants, and then give your plants away at the end to your guests. That reduces the waste of all those dead flowers.

I will have individual posts on the items mentioned above in the future - namely, how to make your cake in an affordable and timely fashion, making your own reusable favors and centerpieces for largely eco-friendly materials, and so forth. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bridesmaids gift

They were there for you for the highs and lows of wedding planning. So why not find them something cool?
This cute little bowl is $14 from Elms Studios Online

These delectable cupcakes are actually soap at $4 a piece.

This clutch is only $18 and would make a great makeup travel bag.

And my favorite advice for the reception in pendant form for $6.95

The wedding is over, now what?

Pictures of course. Once you get your pictures back, you're gonna want to display them. Today (while looking for frames for my office, which has been recently remodeled) I ran across a few really cute frames that are just a bit unique.

This one is from Walmart: I enjoy collage picture frames. They're a great way to show off major events in your life that require more than one picture to tell the story. Weddings are a great example of this, but so are children. With a collage picture frame you can add a picture a year and wind up with something fabulous for his or her high school graduation. This one is from Target:
I found the last couple on etsy. My son loves to go fishing at our cabin in Canada and these two remind me so much of him.

The little boy in the last picture is just too adorable to not post.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter Centerpieces

All of these centerpieces are from Better Homes and Gardens.

Saving money and stress: avoid the pre-wedding diet craze

The admonitions to slim backs, legs, arms, waists, and what-have-you saturate popular wedding sites, often in the form of Health/Fitness blogs, messageboards, and articles.

As Dr. House said on last week's episode, 'Not many women have the courage to admit that they'd rather be pretty than healthy' (I'm paraphrasing).

The truth is, most of these health/fitness sections have a lot less to do with actual health and actual fitness. They're more about feeding into the anxiety, paranoia, and obsession most brides in America have with weight loss before their wedding. If you don't believe me, check out some of the articles - they're mostly about "targeting" certain body parts for shrinkage, and "looking your best" in various kinds of dresses, and so forth. A quick perusal of the messageboards of these sites shows many disordered eating habits, crash diets, and expensive personal trainers being employed to whittle a body down to fit into too-small dress.

So save your money and save yourself stress:

  1. Don't buy into the obsession with losing X lbs before the big day. If you're concerned for your health in general, embark on a long-term regime, and don't beat yourself up if you don't lose a significant amount of weight. Health and weight are only tenuously correlated: and one often can become healthier through exercise and moderate nutritional modifications not lose a significant amount of weight.
  2. Don't buy into the idea that a thin bride is the only bride that can be pretty. Find the right kind of dress for your unique body type, find a dress that fits at your current weight, and rock it! There are many benefits to this approach: you'll save expensive alterations, the stress of dieting at the same time you're planning a wedding, and possible health issues during the wedding ceremony (many women crash their way into a too-small dress by fasting the day before and day of their wedding. This can lead to fainting spells, irritability, fogginess, etc).
  3. Don't be afraid of being yourself in your wedding photos. Do you really want to look back twenty years later at a person who only somewhat resembled your true body, and beat yourself up that you can't any longer fit into a wedding dress that you barely fit into the day of your wedding?
So save yourself stress and money: avoid the pre-wedding diet craze. Your body, and your wallet, will thank you for it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Playmobil wedding

Growing up I was never allowed to play with Legos (too many small pieces I guess) so instead we had to find some entertainment in Playmobil. While not as many free things one can build their people have a lot more detail and come with lots of weird random stuff.

After perusing eBay to see what wedding stuff they offered up I thought I should share. If you or your fiance were into playmobil when you were little these could make a really cute picture on some stationary object (STD's, Invitations, Reception card, Thank You note).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Geeky well wishers

If you've always wanted a different spin on those little scraps of paper people put out for their friends and family to write well wishes on and are also a huge computer geek why not try putting some of these on a few tables:Both are available here for $5.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Music Lover

These planters would make adorable centerpieces for any music lovers. And wouldn't be too hard to do yourself if you wanted to have the music to your first dance song. Just get the sheet music, adhesive spray it to the planter then cover in acrylic to give a nice sheen.

Not that these are too costly either at just $3.77 a piece. Add some flowers to the real planter and viola a gorgeous centerpiece that is also functional after the wedding.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Some STD Inspiration

Some of these pictures would just make the most adorable STD's:

Such a gorgeous woodcut, that would be adorably sweet

The link

I love the title of this one "Love Makes us Bloom"

The link

Such a cute start to a love story

El Linksky

Ready to start your home together?

More links

Perfect for any rabbit lovers out there

Last one

Just for the blogging bride and groom (maybe it'll even encourage some RSVPs on-line)

I really want a simple wedding, but....

My parents want to throw a huge party and invite all their friends and lots of extended family. This is the situation that I dealt with when planning my wedding. My parents had visions of inviting everyone and their dogs to the wedding. The problem is, my mom's side of the family is quite religious and is very set against drinking and such, so we had to figure out how to keep them happy too.

For those of you that are dealing with a similar dilemma, here's what I eventually settled on with my parents:

We had a small, family only wedding (except for those friends who were actually in the wedding and their significant others). Following the ceremony, those that attended the wedding were served food. Those that were not invited to the ceremony were invited to come at a later time, so it also cut costs by quite a bit by not serving as many people supper. Here's a pic of me and my best friend as she was helping me get ready.

Those who came later were welcome to eat the left-over food and have some cake (we did get plenty of cake, but that's a whole other rant). After the food, the reception was exactly what my parents really wanted. I know there's no way I talked to everyone. There was plenty of booze to go around. Everyone had a wonderful time. My bridesmaids didn't allow for too much leftovers as you can see by this picture. We propose this should become a picture that everyone has to take for their wedding because it's just too much fun to take.

As far as my mom's family, they're the type that won't stay out late, so by setting the time for the large reception a bit later, her family was gone by the time the booze came out (at least in large quantities).

So, for those of you dealing with this problem, either you want a small wedding or maybe the tables are turned and you want the big wedding and your parents don't: consider meeting in the middle. It saves tons of money and you've compromised enough to hopefully make everyone happy.

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