Planning the Perfect Bachlorette Party

toastAs any of you married women know all too well, planning a wedding is time-consuming and inevitably stressful. My engagement was significantly shorter than most at six months and as I wasn’t actually back in the country until just three months before the wedding, my to-do list was immense. Finishing my dissertation and waitressing on the side didn’t help. In the end, though, everything came together and the things that didn’t hardly mattered as I walked down the aisle towards B looking handsome and nervous in his black suit.

My older sister is in this same situation now with less than three months remaining until her big day and she’s definitely feeling the stress. So I really want to make her bachlorette party as relaxing and memorable as can be. She planned such a fun and lighthearted party for me, which alleviated so much stress, and I really want to do the same for her. So, after thinking back to my bachlorette and other parties I’ve been to, I’m keeping these tips in mind:

#1: Keep it personal. Maria, my older sister, planned several personal touches that made my bachlorette special. Specifically, making me carry a Prince Harry cut-out everywhere. And I mean everywhere! She also did a brilliant job thinking of things that I would appreciate–like having dinner at my favorite lakeside restaurant, popping open my favorite bottle of Rose and creating adorably thoughtful gift bags for my friends.

harry#2: Get out of town. B went with his buddies to Chicago, but you don’t need to go that far to leave your worries at home. My girls and I went to my future in-law’s lake cabin and had a blast. There was no hotel bill the next day and we didn’t have to worry about being too loud. I plan to do something similar for my sister.

#3: Plan silly activities. A bachlorette simply isn’t a bachelorette without silly games and girls-only activities. I like to keep things classy and a few ideas I plan to use at Maria’s party include: having each guest bring a bottle of wine for a wine tasting, playing “Name the Celebrity Spouse,” creating a fun photo booth area, and (just maybe) dancing on the bar top.

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#4: Have a back-up. As the host, it’s my job to come prepared. That means having a good arsenal of snacks, treats and other goodies to keep guests having a good time. I won’t disclose what time we or didn’t go to bed at my bachelorette, but! in case your guests or the bride is just too tired to stay out, make sure you have a good chick flick to fall back on.

Okay ladies, what am I missing? What do you think makes a great bachelorette party?

First photo courtesy of Her Campus

 

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Will You Be My Valentine?

Even in my single girl days, I always had a soft spot for Valentine’s Day. Growing up, my Mom always seemed to surprise my siblings and me with little gifts, and in my teenage years, my girlfriends and I would assemble to bash the world of men  over chocolate and more chocolate. These days, I’m the luckiest girl in the world to call B my Valentine, but sending my love to my friends, little sisters and nieces and nephews is equally as sweet.

If you’re in the mood to send out some love this February, here are a few of my favorite Valentine cards:

#1. Rifle Paper Co: their cards are always endearing without becoming cheesy.
vday#2: Zazzle has an excellent selection of vintage cards. How cute is this one?!vday1vday1peas#3. The Card Store has a number of fun ideas to personalize your cards. Perfect for those of us DIY adverse.vday

#4: Or keep things even simpler and send out a Valentine eCard? This one made me giggle. If you, unlike me, are a modern day Martha Stewart, these homemade cards are also pretty adorable.

Stay tuned for Valentine gift ideas! X

12 Days of Christmas Gifts. #5

There was a time when personalising Christmas presents required an afternoon of ink, stamps, and copious amount of glitter.  For 2013 however, the one-time gentile practice of having bespoke and engraved items of clothing, jewellery and utensils has trickled down to even the most modest of budgets.  The token of a personalised gift makes even the most boring of presents (initialed socks anyone?) seem that little bit more thought-through and special.

Personalised Travel Journal, by SUKIE £14.95

Personalised Travel Journal, by SUKIE
£14.95

Taking their inspiration from travelling, nature, old printing processes, paper, vintage books and ephemera, Sukie aim to to create simple stationery with unique concepts.  With a variety of fun, quirky or simple and chic styles these gifts are an inexpensive way of linking a gift with someone’s passions.

Engraved Bottles, from £20. www.sayitonabottle.co.uk

Engraved Bottles, from £20. Say it on a Bottle

These made to order bottles are perfect for parents and friends, pick their favourite beverage and then when the bottles are drunk they make perfect ornaments or candle sticks.

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Personalised Books for Children £12.95 www.itsyourstory.co.uk

For active readers, or those little people who need a bit more encouragement to get the pages turning, there is no better present that a personalised book.  Itsyourstory.co.uk has a multitude of titles for all ages and interests.  Simply enter the child’s name into the selection boxes and the writers will tailor the story to the individual.

Silver Cup Ring, Achkiy £40

Silver heart bracelet with grey leather cord, Achiky,  £25.00

Silver heart bracelet with grey leather cord, Achkiy,£25.00

Since 1995, Achkiy has been working to bring light and hope to some of Peru’s most impoverished communities. From the rubbish tips in the north of Lima to the shanty towns in the south, Achkiy has been training resourceful women to make high quality jewellery for a non-poverty wage.  Achkiy offers a take on beautiful jewellery that is fair-trade and thought provoking, whilst breaking away from the traditional mass-produced lines.   If you know someone with a taste for clean, simple, fine jewellery then this the gift for them.  You can design what you like and have it made and engravings are available, for a little extra.

Weekend Bag, Bill Amberg, £610

Weekend Bag, Bill Amberg, £610

Men are notoriously difficult to buy for, espeically if they A. Seem to have everything and B. Are so easily pleased that they want for nothing more exciting than some fresh pairs of Calvins under the tree.  If you he’s a frequent traveller, or hasn’t a new wallet since his teens, Bill Amberg’s latest collection is modern take on traditional men’s accessories.  With dusky leather colours and sleek designs the bags, wallets, totes and satchels are a prefect special gift, and can be initialed and names with bespoke designs..  They’re not cheap, but if you want a present with punch, these are the things he will treasure forever.

Likes Poster, Rosie Robins, £38

Likes Poster, Rosie Robins, £38

It seems that these days ‘art’ that you hang on your wall is no longer just pictures and photographs, to really personalise your home, you want to notes, quotes and funny quips about the household.  Rosy Robins makes these posters in whatever colours you fancy and in any style.  At under £40 they’re an amazing way to show your friends how much you love them and how well you know them.

Klevercase covers for Kindle, iPad, Kobo and Nexus, from £25

Arty types who can’t put down their tablets will be delighted with Klevercase‘s quaint covers.  You can write message on the back and middle pages or design a cover for your recipients favourite novel.

Personalised cheeseboard and knife set, Sleepyhead, £44.95

Perfect for new home owners or regular dinner party throwers, this gorgeous Sleepyhead board and knife set, available from the incredible gift guide site notonthehighstreet.com,  is a lovely way to give someone a gift they’ll love forever.  You can have not only words, but designs and pictures carved into the boards too.

Bring the Outdoors In

Now that the golden leaves have fallen and the trees stand bony and bare, I’ve found myself missing the green life of summer (and winter hasn’t even started!). While I, unfortunately, won’t be moving to California anytime soon, I will be bringing the green in.

Ikea has a fantastic selection of reasonably priced plants and cute pots and terrariums have been popping up everywhere from West Elm to Etsy. It’s also surprisingly easy to make your own terrarium.

Our living room and (tiny) kitchen has the most light in our apartment, so I might need to do a little rearranging to ensure these plants have the oxygen and light they need to stay alive (I may have a black thumb!). These photos have served as inspiration for me and I hope they may inspire you to bring fresh life into your space!

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Images courtesy of Design Sponge, Ambling Emily Tumblr, DesignMom Style Motivation, Vi.sualize, Warby Parker Classic Trip

 

 

DIY Holiday Decor

Last night I attended my first ever Anthropologie class, a holiday display workshop, and walked away with new respect for Anthro’s ever-beautiful window and store displays. Basically, if something in the shop looks handmade, it likely is!

We learned how to make four holiday ornaments and garland last night and it was really fun to see how basic items can be turned into decorations. We made a garland of bottle caps, learned how to make a Morovian star (this was tricky!) and used one of my favorite mediums—book pages—to make pretty little ‘globes.’

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The finished projects

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I’m really not a crafty person, but I love making handmade gifts and home accents when I can. What are you favorite DIY ideas for the holidays? Let us know!