The Bachelorette

No, not that bachelorette.  I am not here to talk about Emily Maynard or anything else related to the television show, which in my opinion bores me to tears.  I am talking about a REAL bachelorette.  I have to say that bachelorette parties are super fun. I have only been to two, mine and one other persons, so I am no expert.  But so far, I have yet to meet a bachelorette party I didn’t like.

As a bridesmaid, one of my duties was to help plan and execute the bachelorette party for one of my dear friends who is getting married NEXT weekend (9 days!!!!!).  We did a painting party at Bottles and Bottega from 6-9 where we served wine and champagne as well as dinner from Maggianos.  We played games, we painted a male model, had a few laughs, and that was only the beginning.  Then we took a party bus all over the place and finally landed at the Baton Show Lounge for a drag show who’s highlights include the most amazing Beyonce impersonator and a Lady Gaga performance.  (Sadly, we were not allowed to take ANY pics inside but it was a sight to see, let me tell you.)  It was easily one of the most fun nights EVER.  I wanted to share with you guys though the super easy bachelorette party game we came up with.

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Many of you have heard of 20 questions, right?  Well we created a little printout and had each guest fill it out upon arrival.  They had to answer all twenty questions about the bride and groom. After everyone had finished we called the bride up to the front of the room and had her give her answers to each question.  There was a twist too; we had a stealth bridesmaid pre-record all of the groom’s answers to the questions before so we could play them as the bride answered them herself.  We needed to compare the answers right?!  If your answer matched the bride or the groom’s answer you get a point.  Because we punched holes in each sheet before guests started filling it out, we were able to (quickly) make a cute little book for the bride after we played to take home as a keepsake.  For the cover, I just used two pieces of cardstock cut to size and the left over scraps from punching all of those holes in the striped pages.  I tied it all together with ribbon and called it a day!

Click here to download the free word file for the 20 Questions template.

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When you are feeling on the rocks…

How about a New Friend? My friend gave me this cocktail book that I use ALL.THE.TIME. It is called Potation Handbook by Steve Carrow. It was printed locally by Rohner Letterpress and I was lucky enough to have a friend in the PR world who was able to score one of these SWEET limited edition books from one of the best bartenders in town. He is rumored to make the best Sazerac in Chicago, which is funny because there are not a ton of bartenders around these parts that have truly mastered the art. I would know, I LOVE a good Sazerac.

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Anyhoo, I had a particularly rough day yesterday and I thought, “I know I need a drink, but why not try a fancy drink from my trusty book?” Thus, I settled on a drink called “new friend” mainly because I had all of the ingredients already (there are 3) and it seemed to pack a punch; the name didn’t hurt either. It was actually much more pleasant than I anticipated. It was sweet with a kick, but not too sugary. Just what I needed, in fact.

Heres the recipe:

1 1/2 oz bourbon

3/4 oz Aperol

3/4 oz Lillet Blanc

You have to STIR it in a glass and then strain it into a coupe glass (as shown) or a martini glass. Dont shake it or it will get too watered down. The result is a perfect “new friend” you can hang out with at the end of a hard day.

Here are some photos of the sparks flying as we are getting to know each other:

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Oh happy day!

Coup glasses: Anthopologie, Coasters: One Kings Lane, Stirrers: Pottery Barn

It’s a ____ in a Box!

Forget the monthly wine club! As you may know, I have started to really love my Le Tote and eMeals subscriptions.  I was thinking, there must be more services like this where you just sign up and you get stuff in a box every month.  I wondered what else I could find, well ladies and gentlemen, here it is.  Turns out there is a subscription for everything, from razors for a good shave, to toys for your baby.   A list of companies that will send you fun little treats in a box every month.  Here are my faves in no particular order:

1. Brit Kits– $19.95 a month

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Brit.co is probably one of my favorite websites right now.  I mean, the girl is a genius.  The brit kit is a monthly box you get with instructions and materials to do her favorite DIY projects from the blog.  The projects can be anywhere from food to fashion to home decor and everything in between.  For $20 a month you are basically committing one spurt of creativity per month.  Who can argue with that?

2. For the Makers $29.95 a month with free shipping

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Here is a breakdown of the projects in the box above.  Anything involving sequins is obviously up my alley.

Receive all the materials to make FOUR fashion-forward DIY projects each month. Projects range from jewelry and wearable accessories to home and paper goods. Every project has easy step-by-step instructions but we encourage you to put your own spin on each one. You’ll find the runway trends behind the box as well as tips, tricks and techniques from expert designers.  They even have a partnership with Anthropologie and show you tutorials on how to make some of their accessories!

3. Umba Box – $25 a month, a little less if you commit to a whole year

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They scour the handmade community to find the freshest handmade goods from a wide variety of categories including home goods, women’s accessories, jewelry, stationery, and bath products. One month the Umba Box may include one large item and the next month it could be three smaller items. While the total value of the products fluctuates ever-so-slightly, they promise to deliver at least $25 in handmade goods each month.They are passionate about handmade products and the connections that can be forged between consumers and artists. They even include a story about the artist/artists in each Umba Box.

4. Fancy Box– $39 a month

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Curated by the Fancy community, the fancy box is a compilation of treats that are fancy’ed on the site. You customize your profile so that each box is catered to your interests and tastes.  The box can include anything from gadgets, to lipstick, to t-shirts and home decor. All boxes include up to $80 worth of stuff. Whatever strikes your fancy!

5. MustHave -$35 a month

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There is an example of everything in January’s box here.

You’ll get an exciting monthly box, full of fun, hand-selected items in beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food from the editors of POPSUGAR. Each box will include a variety of full-size products worth over $100

6. Dazzley Box – $24.99 a month with free shipping

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Dazzley box is a monthly subscription box for women that includes 5 or more surprise items. It includes beauty, food, or innovative products. Also, best of all, it always includes at least one piece of jewelry! Dazzley boxes are always valued at over $40.

7. Birchbox– $10 a month with free shipping

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Birchbox is the best way to discover new grooming, beauty and lifestyle products. Sample top products from high-end brands, get expert advice, buy new favorites and earn points with every purchase. (you can buy full sizes of stuff you like after you’ve tried it.  They also have an awesome box for men (v-day gift anyone?)

8. Glossybox– $21 a month with free shipping

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Each month you get 5 travel sized beauty products to try.  It can be anything from bath salts to bronzer in these boxes.  This could be awesome for the girl who travels alot. It is great to have nice products on hand that you can travel with.  The drugstore selection is not too great, trust me.

9. La Bella Box – $19 a month 

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They started this service to connect small business entrepreneurs with a larger audience. Simply put, La Bella Box is curated samples of boutique products from small business entrepreneurs all over the United States. The January box had Little Blooms Handmade | Elastic Knotted Hair TiesTruffle Truffle | Classic Milk S’moreCacao Sweets & Treats | Hot Fudge & Salted Caramel Topping Sauce Set, and Designed By You | Thank You Cards.  Not too shabby, especially since they were full sized products!

10. Turntable Kitchen–  $25 a month but sells out fast, you need to get on the mailing list

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Every month, you’ll receive a hand-assembled box of goodies to create a unique food and music pairing of your own. In each box you’ll find: A limited-edition, hand-numbered 7-inch vinyl single featuring a pair of tracks by one of TK’s favorite artists/bands. An exclusive, downloadable TK-curated digital mixtape packed with some of the most exciting up-and-coming new artists. Find the download code in your Tasting Notes. 1-2 Premium dried ingredients for you to make 2-4 servings of each dish or drink (depending on each month’s theme). Each month, they’ll feature a special spice, flour, grain, or bean you’ll need to pull together a fabulous meal for yourself and a few friends. A collection of three completely original, seasonal, themed recipes for you to try. You won’t be able to find them anywhere else. Suggested Pairings, Tasting Notes, and additional insights into the music and food that is in the box. And finally, Occasional treats like partner products, giveaways, contributed recipes, and bonus ingredients along the way!

11. Julibox – $36-$40 a month depending on how many months you commit to (thats $10 a drink!)

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Julibox is your passport to cocktail discovery.  Each month, you will discover two great cocktails, curated by world class mixologists and designed especially for easy home preparation. You’ll get enough ingredients to make two of each cocktail; four cocktails in sum.  And you get all of the spirits and mixers you’ll need to make ’em.

12. Dejamour– $34 a month

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Your Déjàmor package arrives each month with two experiences: one for “His Eyes Only” and another for “Her Eyes Only.” The fun begins as soon as you open the package and wonder what surprise your partner will plan for you, and vice versa.  Each box contains things like rose petals and bubble bath or chocolate and ideas for love notes.  This could be a really sweet valentines day gift to keep the romance alive all year long.  This is even a great idea for a Bachelorette party gift!

13. Decorator in a box $50 for a window treatment plan to up to $500 for a full room plan

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Click here to see what is included in each box

Decorator in a Box (or, MyDIAB) is an Online Custom Interior Decorator that offers a money-savvy way to work with your own interior decorator. MyDIAB is for the “do some of it for me” homeowner who wants the ideas and advice of a professional, but prefers to do most of the follow-through on their own. With the guidance of experienced interior decorator Annie Pauza, you’ll get a personalized design solution that speaks to specific style and space needs – without going over budget.  You submit measurements, and photos as well as a style questionnaire that Annie will use to help build your box for you.  Pretty sweet if you ask me!

14. Just the Right Book $90 for quarterly paper backs to $395 for monthly hardcovers

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It is guaranteed to be just right.  If you aren’t happy with it, you can send it back for a replacement.  They send books based on your tastes and interests so you will never have to wonder what to read next.

15. Whittlebee – $39.95 a month

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Great gift for a baby shower!  This service will send you a box of baby clothes in your child’s size (0-5).  There will be six items based on the style profile you pick.  Anyone who has been around babies knows that little kids grow out of and ruin clothes so fast.  This keeps new mamas from having to go to the store all the time for new clothes for their babes.

Instagram weekend…just add water!

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This weekend was just a whole lot of nothing. Really fun, great, nothing I should add but nonetheless, it was rather uneventful. It has been a really, REALLY long time since I haven’t had some kind of event going on, family in town, holidays, traveling, more family in town, or party to plan. So this weekend, I was busy doing nothing. I added a few touches to my apartment, went to Barney’s with my aunt for lunch, picked out a new hot pink lipstick, did some more shopping, moved a ton of furniture, tried a grapefruit, tried a beer called “Hite” at our neighbors house, played outside in 20 degree weather with a little marshmallow puppy named Jasper, helped a friend style an outdoor Valentine themed photo shoot, fell on my face in the snow and had a good laugh, and finally got absolutely no sleep.

I have a problem with sitting still, clearly. I need to really rethink my definition of “doing nothing” because until I started writing it all down, I really actually felt like I had a relaxing, uneventful weekend. Whoa. Just goes to show you that writing a blog will reveal things you never knew about yourself.

The Opal Winter Wedding

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After all of that talk of opal colors, texture, and sparkle from yesterday’s Fashion Week post, I thought I would give a little inspiration for all those brides out there. Who’s says you can’t add a little color to a winter wedding. I think this is a great start for a January bride who wants to stay relevant to the season but shake it up a little. Side note-I really want to figure out how to make those slate blue macaroons up there on the top. Whoever thought of edible glitter is a GENIUS. I bet if I did some digging I would find a recipe for it somewhere.

I digress, would you try opal for your winter wedding or is this color palette best kept for the springtime bride?