Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Rustic Autumn Centerpiece (Mmm coffee!)

It's officially September, I just enjoyed a Pumpkin Spice Latte this morning. That must mean Fall is here (or at least it's approaching quickly!) 

Of course there are so many parties and weddings in Fall, and I put together a rustic centerpiece to share with you!

Speaking of lattes...

I used mason jars and coffee beans to create a simple, yet elegant candle centerpiece.

All you need to make this centerpiece are mason jars, coffee beans, ribbon, and tea lights. 

The best part? As the candles burn the coffee beans will warm up and give off their aroma. You'll achieve that same feeling you get when you slip into a comfortable cafe. Who wouldn't want that at their event? Yumm!

They look just as beautiful indoors as they do outdoors! 

You could easily swap out the ribbon and mat that I chose for raffia and burlap to give it a more rustic look. 

You don't even need an event for this centerpiece, it would look fabulous in your home as part of your Fall decor.

I'm currently debating on whether I should place it on our dining room table for guest to see or hoard it in my office to enjoy for myself.

How do you enjoy Fall? 

Monday, July 22, 2013

DIY Candy Buffet

Candy Buffets (or Candy Bars, I avoid the term Candy Bar as everyone thinks I'm referring to chocolate bars) have become a very popular trend at weddings and parties. 

Personally, I love candy buffets. It's a really fun way to add decor to your space, give your guests a nice treat, and it gives off the feeling of nostalgia. At a candy buffet you're like a kid in a candy store, and everyone can appreciate that feeling.  

Candy buffets are not the easiest thing to pull together though, there's lots of planning that comes with a candy buffet. So I created a list of everything you need to consider when planning a candy buffet!

Here are the top 7 things you need to consider to pull off a candy buffet!

I'll be using my "One-derland" candy buffet as an example, as it was a small and simple candy buffet to pull off. You can make your own buffet as elaborate as you'd like, and I'll show you how in this little tutorial. 

Pick a theme

First, decide if you want your candy buffet to fit a theme. This could be as simple as a color scheme, or maybe you want it to go with your party theme. Your theme is the central concept for your entire candy buffet, spend some time envisioning how you want the final product to look and stick with it.

Here my theme was Alice in Wonderland, it was as simple as adding tags with "Eat Me." as you saw in the Alice in Wonderland movies and books. I also added touches that represented that we were at a tea party and a little cameo from The Queen of Hearts.

Candy Selection

Selecting candy can be the best part of planning a candy buffet, it's so fun to buy candy in bulk. If you can't find a store that sells the candy you would like to use, there are quite a few online candy retailers (some even offer fun vintage looking candy, my favorites!)

There are a few very important things to consider when buying candy. 

Expect to buy half a pound of candy per guest. It seems like a lot, but it's better to have leftovers than not enough for all the guests to have some. 
For example, you should purchase 50 pounds of candy for an event with 100 people. 

Keep in mind guest allergies. 
Unless you know all of your guests personally, it would be a good idea to avoid nuts.

If your event is outdoors, you'll want to consider the weather. 
Chocolate and some soft candies will melt in hot conditions. 

When choosing candy I like to pick a few brightly colored selections to make the buffet pop. 

Create Signs

Candy buffets may be a big trend on Pinterest, but if you're from an area where they aren't well known you'll need some signage explaining that the candy is a favor for guests. 

If you do choose candies with nuts, make sure there is very clear signage letting your guests know.

I urge everyone with a candy buffet to make a designated time for the candy buffet to be open (possibly after dinner, or as guests are leaving.) I've been to too many events where guests entering the party take handfuls of candy on their way to their seat, or guests linger at the candy buffet eating sweets, to the point where it was all gone before all the guests had even arrived (this is also a reason why you need to make sure you have enough candy for everyone!) 

If you create signs you can notify your guests that candy is off limits until a certain time, most of your guests will abide, and your candy buffet will be slightly less chaotic until the designated time. 

Be courteous with your signs though!

...or you know, have the Queen of Hearts threaten their life. 

I tried to rhyme, and failed. Please, don't judge me too harshly for not being a poet!

Candy Containers

Shopping for candy containers is my favorite part of candy buffets! 

Can I let you in on a secret? The best place to shop for candy jars are thrift stores.
A couple bucks will get you the cutest most unique candy jars you'll ever find. A good run through a dishwasher and they are as good as new. 

If your event is outside, you might want to keep in mind that your candy buffet containers should all have lids to keep pesky bugs away. 

This dainty little jar was just the cutest thrift find. I think it might just find it's way into my office decor.

table decor

Decorate your table! Add a pretty tablecloth, or some pretty accents. Candy buffets when pulled off correctly can be a gorgeous display. 

One of my favorites was an event that had vases with colored ornaments among the candy jars, it turned out beautifully. 

In this case, I added a lace tablecloth and a few teapots with some blossoms from our garden. 

favor bags

Favor bags are one of those things you just don't think about. You get all wrapped up in having enough candy and jars to display it in, and you forget about the little details!

In general, you should pick a small to medium sized bag or box. If you have a larger bag guests will be tempted to fill it, and that's a good way to run out of candy too quickly if the bags hold more than allotted. 

My favor bags were probably way too big, but it worked out since it was a pretty small gathering. 


Don't forget about the little accessories you'll need for guests to grab candy. You'll probably need tongs and scoops. I'm a big fan of grabbing these at the dollar store. 

For this, you want to figure one scoop or tong per candy jar. 
You can probably skip these for items that are individually wrapped though. 

Do you think you're ready to host a candy buffet? Are you a fan of candy buffets? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Playing Card Pennant Banner

Pennants make the cutest backdrops at parties, and they are so easy to customize! 

When planning our One-derland birthday party I knew we needed some detail with playing cards, so I threw together this playing card pennant banner! Made with up-cycled playing cards and paper bags! 

This banner would be fun to use for a casino night too! 

What you'll need to complete this project:
Paper grocery bags (I used 3 to make 2 long banners)

Deck of playing cards

mod podge
Hot Glue Gun (and glue)


1. Cut the sides of your paper bags off to form two panels. 

2. Fold panels in half and outline your triangles on the fold (I decided on my size and made a guide to trace out of cardstock.) Cut out triangles. 

3. Cut playing cards to form triangles. 

4. Use Mod Podge to adhere playing cards onto the triangles cut from the paper bag. 

5-6. Use hot glue to seal the cardboard triangles around string. 

It also goes really cute with the washi pennant banner favor bags I posted earlier in the week!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY Washi Pennant Favor Bags

When planning our One-derland party I knew we had to have a candy bar, but candy bars require favor bags and most favor bags are just cheesy. I didn't want plastic bags with a character or bright balloons printed on them, I needed something a whole lot cuter than that! 

This is a fairly simple project, it was very time consuming though! Here's what you'll need 

I'm sure you have most of these items at home, I did!

First things first, figure out the length you want your string to be, this is all based on how you want the pennants to lay, you could have more than 5 pennants per bag too, but I wasn't that ambitious!

Then you'll want to start laying and adhering the strips of washi tape to themselves across the string keeping in mind the distance you want between each pennant. You don't have to be perfect at lining them up, I definitely wasn't. 

Then you cut them into pennant shapes. You can do normal triangles like below or get a little more creative and cut them into a different design like I did with some of the bags. 

The last step is gluing the strings down the way you want, I used three dots of hot glue for each bag. I also played around with different ways of laying the banners. 

Are these not the cutest? They cost next to nothing to make and add a lot to the party decor. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One-derland First Birthday

When it came time to plan Aliceana's first birthday I took her name and made a cute play on words for the theme of the party.

Aliceana in One-derland. 

When creating One-derland I knew the first thing we needed to have was a long table with mismatched china. You can't have One-derland with out the Mad Hatter's tea party! 

Each place setting included a large plate, small plate, and tea cup. The tea cups had name tags tied to them with a bit of lace. 

My cup happened to have a mustache, pretty jealous, aren't you? 

A candy bar was in order, you can't have a kids party without a ton of sugar, right? 

We selected candy based on preferences of guests...and what would be prettiest to display.

The favor bags became quite the DIY project, but they're so darn cute!

I knew I wanted some kind of glassware for guest to drink out of with "drink me" labels, so mason jars won over glass bottles. 

Don't forget the colorful paper straws!

I made tasty mini pies, find the recipe here!

A playing card pennant adorned the shack that the food and candy bar were in front of. 

We all know how easy it is to get lost in One-derland, so a directional sign was in order!

My Aunt made a gorgeous sheet cake to go with the theme. 
It was as delicious as it looked, white cake with strawberry filling, yumm!

It was great to spend an afternoon in One-derland, now if only the birthday girl would be able to remember it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Your Wedding "Unplugged"

A photographer friend recently shared this article on Facebook, and I have to say I completely agree that in this day and age weddings could be a lot more enjoyable if they were unplugged. 

Unplugged in this sense doesn't mean no electricity, or a MTV acoustic special, it simply means "unplugged" in this sense that there would be no photography by guests (including family.) No cameras, camera phones, iPods, tablets, or any other photo capturing device. 

They're disruptive, and they screw up the photos that you're paying a professional photographer thousands of dollars to capture. 

Are the photos that your guests capture worthy of being put on a mantel? I bet you're going to get that pixelated camera photo printed on canvas, right? Uh, heck no! 

Sure Instagram and Facebook is oh so trendy right now, but are you really going to look back at that Instagram account 20 years from now with your kids to show them how great your special day was through trendy filters? Look back at your social media from 2 years ago and I bet you're embarrassed by half of the things you posted or "liked." So preserving your memories via a social media fad is probably not the way to do it. 

By booking a wedding photographer you've looked through their portfolio and fell in love with their work, you don't want your obtrusive 3rd cousin ruining your photos. 

Looking back in photos of my wedding, their are people with their digital cameras standing on the dance floor during significant dances. I don't have any good pictures of the garter toss because a guest was literally kneeling next to us (not to mention, this person is a relative of my husband's who never liked me, so I'm sure this photo was just deleted anyway.)

Out of the hundreds of pictures our guest shot and posted via social media through the wedding I only appreciate two of them. They were completely candid photos, one where I was being a diva about needing to change my shoes and the look on my Aunt and friend's face were priceless. The other was my Grandfather playing with my niece and cousin after the ceremony. You bet I love those photos, and yes they were captured by guests, but they were also taken at unobtrusive times.   

But the photo quality? So low that I can't even print them. 

Is it worth it to have a crowd of relatives line your aisle to snap some photos as you share your first kiss as husband and wife, getting on the dance floor when it should just be you and your new partner-in-crime, or ruin a perfectly good professional photo with the flash of a cell phone camera?

All it would take is a message from the officiant before the ceremony begins, or some cute signage expressing how you feel about guests photography to guests when they are welcomed into the ceremony and/or reception. Let your guests know that you want them all to enjoy themselves without the burden of hiding behind the camera. 

How do you feel about unplugged weddings?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rock N Roll Wedding

Did you catch all of my Rock N Roll themed wedding? If not here's a little photo summary of what you've missed!

(Psst...Click on the photos to direct you to the corresponding blog post for more details!)

...and I'll leave you with some fun photos! Photography by the talented Two Guys Photography!