Monday, March 26, 2012

Today has been a wonderful day. I finished a few products, it started to snow, and I am finalizing plans for when my parents in law come into town to visit us this weekend. Oh yeah, did I mention its general conference weekend? Its a very special weekend for those that are Latter Day Saints. We come together as a family and listen to the Profit of God speak. With so many of us around the world in different situations, we can go to the conference center in Salt Lake City, Utah and be in the same room with the prophet, we can tune in via the website, watch it on television, or listen on the radio. Its a spiritual experience not to be missed! I am just thrilled for this weekend! And it couldn't have come at a better time, the week after is finals for me and Im going to need all the help I can get. 
I know I have promised a tutorial on the ottoman my husband have been making, and that is on its way, we've just hit a few unexpected it will be a bit longer. Until then though, I have have a surprise!

I made a wreath for our front door recently and its something inspired by the queen of decor and crafts herself, Martha Stewart. 

Materials needed:
Yarn (your choice of color)
Silk flowers ( I got mine at the dollar store, and I bet no one could tell)
Floral tape
Hot glue gun
Foam wreath

Step 1: Take foam wreath, and wrap with yarn.

Step 2: Once finished wrapping, tie a little knot and cut off excess yarn.

Step 3: My flowers came in a bundle, I cut them so they would be individual, 
then I arranged them how I liked and secured them with the tape.

Step 4: I arranged them on the wreath and tacked a few places with hot glue.

Step 5: I added my ribbon and hung it up. 

I hope you have as much fun as I did in making your own wreath. 
XOXO, Ashley

Monday, March 19, 2012

Today is a beautiful white winter day out here in Idaho, but luckily this last Saturday, it was sunny and beautiful. I hosted a baby shower in honor of Natalie and her soon to be born baby boy Finn.  In the party planing process I had a few steps I had to take that I recommend anyone throwing a party should follow.

1) Find a theme, mine was Nautical
2) Decide on a budget, this will go unnamed because it was a gift from me and my loving husband to our friend.
3) Decide how many people you want to invite, or find out who the person of honor would like to invite. You'll want a list of names and as much contact info you can get.
4) Make a schedule and stick to it, but don't let people know your working off a schedule. It will help fill in any dull moments and keep the party or event going.

I searched party boards online, other blogs, as well as pinterest to get my ideas, as well as Martha.
My no fail rule with any party is to plan on 1/2 of the people you formally invite to actually show up, so the smaller the list of invites, the less the people to show up.
I also happen to know if you plan a party around any major meal time, your going to want the bigger part of your budget to be spent on food.
As well you can never have to much ice!

Here are some snapshots of the shower I planed:

I decided to make this celebration a brunch. 
Four our menu we had:
stacks of mini pancakes,
fruit and yogurt parfaits, 
cheese cake bites,
white and what bagels with plain and strawberry cream cheeses, 
lemon cake with a lemon curd filling, 
water and a raspberry juice drink.

Oh yeah I almost forgot, One of the biggest hits of the event was bacon on a stick!
This is Natalie, the guest of honor.

For a lager party or if you busy because of other life events, then use help from the grocery store when planing and executing your meal. 
The mini pancakes were frozen and I just added them on the oven where the bacon was cooking for the last minute or so. 
The yogurt parfaits are something you can buy, but I did just get a natural plain yogurt, chopped up fresh strawberries and threw some honey on top, but I did do this the night before the event, so I had less to do the morning of. 
The cheese cake bites I also bought frozen and just defrosted them in the fridge.
I also purchased the bagels and the cream cheeses. 
For the cake I used a box cake with a lemon flavor, But I make sure to add a fresh squeeze of lemon to the batter before baking. When it was in the oven I used a box lemon curd and cooked that on my stove  as per the pie filling directions. (It makes it so the layers of cake don't slip and slide around) I let both the curd and the cakes rest and cool and then assembled them all together layering a pan of cake, the curd and then more cake. After it was completely cooled, I dusted it with powdered sugar. 

Bacon on a stick:
Put bacon weaving it from one side to another on skewer. Place on cookie sheet, preferably with a cooling rack on it into preheated 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

For the games I went a little non traditional for at least one of them...
We played bingo, 
a guessing game, how many pins are in the jar?, 
as well as a bottle chug. 
The bottle chug isn't for any pregnant women, but it can be fun for the rest of the party. 
I got some bottles from the dollar store, washed them out and then filled them with clear soda. 
I challenged each person in the room just to try it, but did let them know who ever finished their bottle first wins a prize. 

This was a hit with the husbands that came to the event as well as some of the women. 

I used my apartments club house, didn't have to pay a thing because I didn't reserve it and I knew the mornings most people don't go to the club house and the decorations themselves would kind of deter people from coming in, but that did mean i took my chances on someone else reserving in or coming in to the party area. 
I didn't spend to much money in this area, I made an origami boat and added some details for the cake toper with supplies around the house, a skewer, paper and string. I got plain napkins and had stamps that said "baby" and "she`s expecting", so I just stamped either one on the center of the napkin. 
I got the flowers from the dollar store as well as the ribbon that was around the vase. 
Now some of you may have noticed that I had added another detail, an anchor pin on the ribbon, that was a purchase at an antique store back in California 4 plus years ago...sorry. 
One extra step that I too was to take scrapbook paper and wrap it around water bottles, this can add a very personal touch and help keep the theme of the party going. 
I had used a card board box and covered it in fabric loosely so it could match the decor, but also add height to whatever I was going to display on it. 
and of course I made my own pom poms and tied they onto the existing light fixture.  
**Note, be careful when you do this so the poms or the string you use to hold them in place do NOT touch the light bulb, the socket or anywhere else it can catch on fire. 

Over all I think it was a great event! I hope you were inspired for your own event!


For information on how to make Martha's pom poms visit her site here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Its Monday and all I can think about is SATURDAY!!!!!! It normally wouldn't be this bad but Ill be hosting a baby shower this Saturday morning and I cant wait any longer. Last Thursday I called mommy to be and lost track of the date and started talking as if the shower was going to be that Saturday, she had to set me strait. I felt bad but im sure she know its just because I want it all to be perfect! Its been a great Monday, no reason I should be so sad its not Saturday, but I am and I cant help it at this point. I have had the best time planning this party and I got a lot of help in getting custom invites from my friend Lauren, from The Perfect Hostess. Look out for party tips and ideas for a boys baby shower this weekend

XOXO, Ashley

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am surrounded by projects galore! I am doing some heavy duty spring cleaning, working of a few school projects (almost done with the semester and feeling the crunch), as well as two major projects in the home. 
One- Im throwing a baby shower! This will be my first and I am so excited. It is for one of my closest  friends, Natalie, who has two beautiful daughters, and a little man on the way. This little man that is going to be joining the family will have a lot to live up to compared to his sisters, but will be welcomed with a lot of love. I just got the scoop on his name! I have been sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know since I first found out she was prego. I have know for a little while what it was going to be but in todays world you can have 10 different ways to spell the same name. When I get permission to announce it to the world, I will fill you in. 
I have enlisted the help of party planer expert Lauren. She custom designed the invite based off of what I told her I needed/ wanted which is AMAZING! Pictures and a success story to come. 
Two- My husband and I are in need of seating. We go married packed up a U-haul, drove out into a small town to finish school and had with a lot of luck inherited a love seat from dad. Anytime we had anyone over we sat on the floors most of the time, then we inherited some stunning chairs to go in the dinning room, and played musical chairs with them when we had guests, but then I saw it......
(Unfortunately I dont know who to give photo credit to)

My husband and I have been working on out own version. Photos and a tutorial to follow.