Monday, April 30, 2012

Words to Live By

     One year ago today I married my best friend.  I am so blessed and thankful to have found my partner in life, and my person to share all the special moments of life with.  Today, JJ and I are celebrating our first Wedding Anniversary, and we could not be more thrilled!  Marriage is the coolest!  I get to live with and do life with my best friend, and we are a good team.  Happy Anniversary Husband!

     Whether it's your significant other, your parent, your sibling, or one of your friends, make an effort today to share the joys of life with those around you.  It is much more fulfilling to share joys with one or more people, then to share them alone.


Friday, April 27, 2012


      So, last week we posted Looking Cute Never Felt So Good, and asked all of you to let us know about awesome companies that are making a difference...Well, thanks to Kaitlyn we found fashionABLE, and boy are we glad we did.
     This company makes the cutest scarves that help employ and rehabilitate women in Africa who are facing desperate circumstances.
This is how it works...
      Each scarf line is named after one of their workers, and she signs each scarf after she makes it, and tells you what your purchase has made her ABLE to do.

      They even have a wedding line!!  You can choose a scarf/shall color that compliments your wedding, and give them as favors, or bridesmaid's gifts.  When you order 5 or more, you get a free one for about a gift that keeps on giving.  

     Thank you fashionABLE, for providing beautiful accessories that help women in need.

Jen and Jess

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bridal Shower Ideas: Part 2

     Well, this week the party moved to Thursday, but it's no less adorable.  Today is Part 2 of brainstorming Bridal showers.  There are so many creative ideas out there, and with that, pressure to make your shower just as special and heart felt.  
     Don't worry, we are here to break it down for you.  These are some really cute Bridal Shower ideas, and how to pull them off in a simple and creative way!

Spa Shower:

     This theme is one of our favorites! It works best with a smaller group, maybe some of your closest girlfriends.  Or instead of a bridesmaid luncheon, you could do a pamper your bridesmaids day.  My Aunt Gayle threw a Spa themed shower for me and had a "Spa on the Go" company come over to her house.  They provided bathrobes, 30 minute massages, and pedicures!  We had it the weekend before the wedding, and it was amazing!!!  

     You can buy a set of 10 of these adorable invitations designed by Brightside Prints for $16.90, here.

     Relax with your girlfriends, drink some tea and cucumber martini's, and enjoy time well spent with friends.

Photos via here

     For the soon to be married couple, give them a set of monogrammed bathrobes like these ones from Personalization Mall.  You can buy them here.
     Encourage your guests to stay hydrated and relaxed by sending them home with mini water bottles, homemade bath fizzies, and a salt scrub.  
     For the Salt Scrub recipe click here.  And for the Bath Fizzies recipe click here.


Tea Party Theme:
"Love is Brewing"

     Jen, and our fabulous friend, Leslie Spencer used this theme for a bridal shower they threw for one of their best friends, Karen.  The dress code was: Hats and Gloves optional!  
     photo via here
     We found this super cute idea for a tea party invitation on 100 Layer Cake.  It included invitations printed on handkerchiefs, a personalized tea cup, and a fill-in-the-blank note for guests to fill out and bring to the shower to read to the bride to be.  For the free download of the note, and to see the full post, click here.

     ...Or to save on postage, these invitations are from Etsybut when Jen and Leslie did it, they made them themselves...this only works when your co-host is Leslie Spencer, and a graphic designer, but they turned out amazing.

     For the decor, choose to decorate with flowers in tea cups, tea pots, and sugar bowls.  And make sure to add some handkerchiefs, vintage gloves, and pearls if you want a vintage feel.
Photos via here, here, here, here, and here

     For Karen's shower, Jen and Leslie used Karen's wedding colors, purple and moss, and a touch of New Orleans feel, which was also part of her theme, and ended up with...
Photos by Leslie Spencer

     For the favors they found nice soaps and candles and wrapped them in tea cups that they found at Marshalls.  The whole gift cost about 5-6 dollars, and look how they turned out...

     They also took the candy bar idea, and made a tea bar.  You can also do this with loose tea and scoops.  Then everyone gets their favorite tea as a parting gift.

Photos via here


Cooking or Around the Clock Theme:
"Taste the Love"

     Our "Auntie Mae" is an amazing cook, so when she threw a bridal shower for Jen, Jen asked if it could be cooking themed, and if we could do a little cooking class.  Auntie Mae always says her special ingredient is "love," so she made the cutest cook books for favors that where titled "Can You Taste the Love?" It was so much fun, and tasted fabulous!

     These "Around the Clock" invitations we found on Oh Happy Day, are perfect for a cooking themed shower!  Send your guests either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert invitations and ask them to bring a gift and recipe from the time of day on their invitation!  That way the bride-to-be receives a diverse set of gifts to stock her kitchen, and a recipe for every meal of the day!  
     Click here to see the tutorial and to download the invitations.

     Our Auntie Mae covered her kitchen counter tops in the cutest wrapping paper by Cake Vintage.  We will have to do a post soon about this fabulous company, they make great disposable table decor items, and lots more.  You can buy the "Table Wrap Cutlery" here.

     For one of your games or activities, either hire a chef, or if you have a fabulous cook in the family, invite them to do a cooking class for the bride and her guests!

     Another great game is "Guess the Kitchen Utensils!" Auntie Mae took a super cute apron and pinned a bunch of different cooking utensils, and kitchen supplies on it.  Then, she had me put it on and walk around the tables of guests for a few minutes.  Next, I had to go into the other room, and the guests had 5 minutes to write down as many items on the apron as they could remember.  Whoever remembered the most, won a prize!  And I (being the bride) got to keep the apron and all the goodies!  It's fun for everyone! 
Photos via Fayes Captured Moments

     For the gift, ask guests to fill out a recipe card with one of their favorite recipes, and bring it to the shower.  Collect them all, and put them in a cute recipe box for the bride to be.  The Wedding Chicks made the cutest free download and tutorial on how to make the recipe cards, and recipe card box pictured below.  To see the full post, and to get the free downloads, click here.

     For the favor, our Auntie Mae made a book of all the recipes that she taught in our cooking class, and some that she didn't have time to teach but loved.  You could also add a cute dip-dyed wooden spoon tied on top of the book.  You can find wooden spoons from Ikea for $0.49, here.  And a tutorial on dip-dyed wooden spoons, here.
Spoons photo via here

     We hope this will help you plan your next shower or party!  Keep in mind these themes can be used for any party, birthday, girls night, or a couples dinner party with a cooking class.  Think about what your guest of honor loves, and choose your theme from there!  

     Feel free to leave a comment with any questions, or if you need help with a theme for your next party!

Jen and Jess

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To: Loose Bun and Sock Bun

     Happy "How To's Day" everyone! At long last, here is the sock bun tutorial that everyone has been asking for.  I do mine a little differently than the ones that have been making their way around Pinterest, but it works for me.  I also threw in a loose bun tutorial for good measure.
     I apologize for the quality of the video, my computer and I were not getting along, and the computer won this round, but at least I got the post up.

Photo by Brooke Aliceon Photography

     I didn't do the upside down braid in the video tutorial because it is really hard to do a video tutorial upside down.  If you want to do the braid:
1) Flip your hair upside down and brush it towards the floor.
2) Start your french braid at the nape of your neck and braid in larger pieces as you work your way down.
3) When you get to the sides of your head, just above your ears, stop and put your hair in a tight pony tail.
*When I do the sock bun by itself I make my pony tail really tight, but when I do the braid with it, I poof the front of my hair up for volume because it's hard to get the braid to look really clean and tight, and because I like a little volume.

Here is the Bun video:

I hope those were helpful.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Words to Live By

     As women, and as human beings, this is something that we always need to be mindful of.  There is beauty in confidence, and there is beauty in kindness.  So much of what makes a person desirable is who they choose to present to the world.  Everyone looks more beautiful if they smile and believe in themselves.  Don't let the world rob you of who you are truly meant to be. 


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day with Built of Barnwood

     Happy Earth Day!  Do we have a treat for you?  Do you love rustic wood that is reclaimed to make beautiful shabby chic decor?  Do you love supporting a good cause that is using it's resources to help our environment, and protect animals?  Do you love Ian Somerhalder from Lost, and The Vampire Diaries?  Never thought that all these would come together at the same time?  Well miracles can happen!

Meet the Somerhalder Brothers, Bob and Ian...
...and Peyton, Bob's son

     These three crafty men started a home decor and furniture store in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, using all reclaimed, recycled, and re-purposed vintage wood and building materials.  Acording to their website Built Of Barnwood is about a passion for reusing things that are often forgotten, finding hidden beauty, and creating something from what we have.  They are speaking our language and we love it!  Plus look at how beautiful their work is...

      If you don't live in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, you can order pieces on their website, or on ebay.  But we haven't gotten to the best part...  
     They are running an Earth Day Special on these vintage green crosses.  They are trying to sell 1000 by midnight tonight!  A portion of the proceeds go to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, which "aims to empower, educate, and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures."  If you buy 5 crosses you will also get a personalized, autographed headshot from Ian Somerhalder.  Click here to support the cause and buy an Earth Day cross.

     If you want the personalized, autographed headshot of Ian, buy 5 crosses, by checking out 5 times, and then send an email to the contact on the website and let them know what name you would like Ian to sign it to...wink.  You can also send them a message through their Facebook page here.

Let the Upcycling continue! Happy Earth Day everyone!

Jen and Jess

You might also like:
DIY: Beer Bottle Candle stick
holders, and Pickle Jar votives
DYI: Basic Antiquing

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kony 2012: Cover the Night

     Speaking of great causes, if you haven't heard about Invisible Children and "Kony 2012," watch these videos: Kony 2012: Part 1, Kony 2012: Part 2 - Beyond Famous, and Cover the Night .  Tonight, people all over the world are serving their local communities and promoting justice for Joseph Kony.  
     Invisible Children uses "film, creativity, and social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony's rebel war and restore LRA-effected communities in east and central africa to peace and prosperity."  

Want to join the revolution?  Click here.

Jen & Jess

Looking Cute Never Felt So Good ...

     Continuing with our Earth Day theme this week, we have chosen some of our favorite trend setters, who have chosen to make this world a better place. 

     People Tree is a UK based company that strives to create a sustainable product by growing their own cotton, and doing all their own weaving and dyeing.

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     Sevenly supports a different charity every week.  You have seven days to buy their fabulous apparel line made just for that charity.

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     The FEED Project's mission statement is to "create good products that help feed the world."  They do this by building a set donation into the cost of each product.  For example, each Judith Leiber clutch seen above will provide 1,000 school meals for children through the UN World Food Programme's School Feeding Initiative.

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     Threads for Thought looks to "promote a sense of responsibility for those who share this world with us."  They use organic cotton, give back to charity, and promote a cleaner environment.

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     Who doesn't love Toms?  They are the most comfortable shoes ever, and check out their new ballet flats!  Toms does "one for one," meaning for every pair of shoes you buy, they will give one to a child in need.

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     Do you know of a trail blazing company that is making strides to change the world?  We'd love to hear about them.  From breathing new life into glass bottles and old coffee tables, to giving motivation to a broken spirit, we can all make this world a little better then we found it.

Jen and Jess

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIY: Basic Antiquing

     Reduce, reuse, upcycle, part 2!  In honor of Earth Day this Sunday, I thought I'd share a little project.  You know that saying "One mans trash is another mans treasure?"  Well I'm not one for dumpster diving, but when JJ and I were engaged, we were driving down the alley of my old apartment in Brentwood and stumbled upon this wooden coffee table next to a dumpster.  And here is a little glimpse of why JJ is my perfect match, there were no words, just one look at each other and he pulled over to check it out.  Now JJ was in need of a coffee table, and I was really into antiquing at the time (and still am).  We looked around, checked out the table, and loaded it into his car.  

     We sanded down all the rough spots and filled in the gaps with Wood Filler. Then we covered it with two coats of white paint and chose "Gravel" (from Restoration Hardware) to be our top coat. We also decided to paint the inside of the drawers and chose "Flint" (another R.H. color).

     After letting it dry, we sanded the top coat down until the white paint began to show through - hoping for that "antiqued" look. Then for the final touch we added some cute paper lining on the inside of the drawers. 

And here is how it turned out ....

      Now, I wouldn't recommend dumpster diving all over your area, but this is just a reminder to go to yard sales and flea markets with an open mind, you may find something that, with a new paint job and some love, could be a unique piece in your home.  
     For the drawer lining I found this cute paper at Papyrus (it's actually wrapping paper).  I traced the opening of the drawer, and then, using an x-acto knife I cut a little extra off each side of the paper.  Then I used spray adhesive to hold the paper down.  I'm not sure if this is the proper way to do things, but I just wanted to let you know what I did, and the drawers still look great. 

     Now the coffee table has new life, and we love it because it was a project we had fun doing together! 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bridal Shower Ideas: Part 1

     It's "Where's the Party Wednesday" and we are all about Bridal Showers.  There are so many different themes you could go with for a bridal shower, so we are splitting up our ideas into two weeks of Bridal Shower fun!  Here are a few themes that we are LLLoving!

Gelato Themed Bridal Shower:

     We saw this super cute idea on the Ruffled Blog, designed by Enjoy Events Co.  From the paint dipped spoons, to the ice cream cones in apothecary jars, the details are gorgeous!  See the full post, here!


Lingerie Shower:

     This is a really fun theme, especially with your closest girlfriends.  Both Jen and I had a lingerie brunch the last morning of our bachelorette weekends, and it was so much fun! But if  you're the type of bride that isn't into lingerie, we love the idea of having an old fashioned "Pajama Party" with your girlfriends!  We are talking sleeping bags, popcorn, chick flicks, the works! ;)

     For the decor we LLLove the idea of a french boudoir theme . . . 
photos via here

     Jen made me a "Future Mrs. Bailey" sash for my bachelorette, and I loved it, so I made her a "Future Mrs. Kahn" sash for her Lingerie shower (I made her something else for her Bachelorette ... you'll just have to wait and see).  Bra and underwear cookies are always a fun dessert.  You can even use a heart cookie cutter to make bra's and panties, see here.  I also made little pink crowns for the placecard holders, and cupcake toppers.

     There are a few fun lingerie games you could play.  One is "How Well Do You Know Your Lingerie Companies?"  In this game you have to match the name of the Lingerie company (ex: Victoria's Secret) with the picture of the lingerie.  Another game we like, especially for a sit down affair is "Who Has the Groom?"  For this game I googled a picture of a tuxedo and printed it out, then I flipped through magazines and cut out fun celebrity faces and glued them on the tuxedos.  For Jen's future hubby, Brandon, I cut out a little heart that said "I love Jen."  Then put all the "men" in envelopes and put them at each place setting.  Make sure to have a post-it note on the envelopes with the name of who's inside (especially for the groom).  Whichever guest gets the groom, wins a prize!
     For the favor you can always wrap up some lingerie cookies, or Jen did a lavender teddy sachet, which was really cute!  You can find the one pictured below, here.  We loved the idea of having a perfume mixing bar for your guests, and giving them little perfume bottles to take their signature sent home with them.
photo via here

     For the gift, make sure to inform guests of the bride-to-be's bra and panty sizes, and to bring a gift receipt (just incase gifts don't fit well).  

     The first fun idea for the gift my lovely friend Christiana did for me, and it was quiet entertaining!  She wrapped a large hat box with a smaller box on top and advised me to not open the top box, but pull it instead.  When I lifted the top box up, I saw that she had cut a hole in the hat box (hidden by the top box) and an almost endless string of panties came through!  It was so much fun! (TIP: When recreating this make sure to use one long ribbon to tie the panties to each other.  Tie the first two together by their sides, and then leave some length, and then tie the next two.  This way all the pretty new panties don't get stretched out when you pull on them.)

     For Jen's shower I wanted to do something a little different, I called her gift the "Panty Pinata!"  I found a little kids (the ones were you pull strings from the bottom and it breaks open) cupcake pinata online, and filled it with confetti and panties.  Then I wrote a note and glued it to the front that read: "Pull the strings and see what you'll find ... maybe something sexy for your little behind!"  I wrapped it and made a little "Do Not Disturb" sign to tie on top.

     I saw these Paper Towel Roll Crowns on Pinterest, and wanted to try it, so I made them for the place cards for Jen's Lingerie Shower.  They would also be great for a little girls Birthday party, or fairytale themed baby shower or kids party.  Also, I used a dry cleaning hanger to store the crowns (it worked great).


Garden Party: "Love in Bloom"

     This is a classic theme with a twist.  A lot of bridal showers, especially in sunny California, are in a relative and/or friends backyard.  What is more fitting than a theme of a "Garden Party." 

     And here is a little tip to help your guest of honor~ have some cute pre-stamped envelopes on a table when the guests enter as a sort of "guestbook," and advise all the guests to write their address on an envelope and put it in an apothecary jar or card box.  This way writing all those thank you notes will be a breeze for your bride to be, thanks to all those pre-addressed envelopes!  You can even make flower pens and put them in a little vase for the guests to use.  See our DIY flower pen post, here.

{The Stationary: Rifle Paper Co. Invitations and Place Cards}

     We LLLove the classic garden party foods of finger sandwiches, salad, and dessert.  But add these fun little touches including flower ice cubes (make sure to freeze boiling water so the ice cubes come out clear), flower toothpicks for fruit and other foods, flower garnishes in cocktails, flower cupcakes, and a pretty painted cake for a little extra something! 
photos via here, here, here, here, here, here

     As for the "game" we LLLove the idea of hiring a florist (or a very talented friend) to do a bouquet tutorial.  For the favor, everyone can keep their aprons and their flower arrangements in cute vases.
photos via here

     Below are some DIY decor ideas I found on super cute blogs!  Instead of a sash or a veil for the bride-to-be, make her a flower wreath!

     Here are a few more options for favors (other than the bouquet tutorial).  "Love in Bloom" matchbook seed packets (click here for the free download), potted plants from your centerpieces that can double as favors (click here for the free download), and/or chalk dipped spoons for guests to use in their gardens to mark plants or herbs.
photos via here, here, here, and here

     Hope this helped you plan your next shower for a loved one! Let us know if you have any questions, or want ideas for a specific theme! Stay tuned for my Bridal Shower ideas next week.

Jen & Jess