- Small (8” or 10”) piping bag fit with leaf tip (such as Wilton tip 68)
- Large (18” or larger) piping bag fit with small star tip (such as Wilton tip 1M)
- Ivory, light pink, dark pink and leaf green buttercream
- Large icing spatula
- Small icing spatula
It’s getting cold outside and these modern DIY hot cocoa tube favors are sure to warm up guests at your wedding! Make these cocoa wedding favors for guests to take home; at the reception, have a hot cocoa or coffee bar to warm ‘em up and keep them dancing!
Today we are sharing a free printable “just married” banner – perfect for adding a little whimsy to your wedding reception decor, wedding photos or send-off.
We love this banner because it is easy to make and is versatile! You can hang it on a dessert table or hold it in a wedding photo to include in your thank you cards. Also, when we were looking at this template we realized that the letters for “Mr” and “Mrs” are in the words “just married” so you can also use printable template for a Mr. and Mrs. banner as well! We included the ampersand pennant for you to use if you want to spell out “Mr. & Mrs”.
To make this banner you will need:
• ribbon or twine
• heavy card stock
• scissors or an Xacto knife
• hole punch
Simply download the banner template by clicking the link below, and print out on heavy card stock. Trim each pennant, punch holes at the top using the guides and string together using narrow ribbon or twine.
*** A special Thank You to Elli Blog for sharing this printable with us.
Did you know you’ve been peeling an orange wrong?
Check this out:
This technique works best with mandarin oranges, but just for good measure I tried it out on a Valencia orange as well. Simply lop off the ends, make a small incision in the side and carefully open to reveal easy-to-eat orange segments.
Have you ever noticed how everyone at a party seems to gravitate to the kitchen? In many homes, the kitchen is the focal point, the hub where everyone gathers to talk, to eat and to just hang out. So why not make it a room you love.
You should decorate your kitchen with the same enthusiasm as you do the living room and bedrooms. Customize it to your personal taste. It’s easy!
One of the easiest ways to make it your own is to add some art for kitchen areas. Now don’t let the word “art” intimidate you. Art doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Art prints and posters are surprisingly affordable. When framed, they make a beautiful addition to any room. Use them to complement your kitchen décor, while bringing color and excitement to what would otherwise be ho-hum functional space.
Follow These Steps to Choose Art for Kitchen Areas
Selecting art for kitchen spaces doesn’t require a degree in art history or interior design, but you do want to choose carefully, as you’re likely to keep your framed artwork for many years. Simplify the decision process by following these steps:
1) Identify and measure the space you want to fill. The dimensions will affect what prints will fit and also whether a horizontal or vertical image will work best. Be sure to note any space limitations. Are appliances or cupboards going to get in the way? Open cabinet doors and see how far they go. If they open so wide they almost hit the wall, you won’t want to place any kitchen art in their path.
2) Choose a color scheme.You can use colors that are already a part of your kitchen décor or introduce a new hue that will complement the existing palette. You don’t need to find an exact match. There’s plenty of room for color flexibility when it comes to decorating with art for kitchen spaces.
3) Consider the style of décor. Is your kitchen modern and chic? If so, then your art should be ultra-contemporary too. Perhaps something colorful and abstract will work.
Or does your kitchen have a rural feel? That country kitchen styling can be enhanced with art prints of subjects such as fruits and vegetables, bottles of wine or an artful arrangements of wild flowers or herbs.
Other popular kitchen art subjects are fruits and vegetables, bottles of wine and vineyards, a steaming cup of tea with a biscuit on the side, and artful arrangements of wild flowers or herbs. You can even choose to frame an inspirational quote.
Depending on how they’re depicted, you can make any of these art-for-kitchen themes work in either a country or contemporary styled decor. The look is up to you. So don’t hesitate to show some personality. Select prints and posters that reflect your individuality and unique taste.
Use a Mat and Frame to Create Finished Artwork
Choosing your kitchen art print or poster was fun, but wait, you’re still not done. You’ll want to select a mat and frame to better show off your new art and also to protect it from common kitchen hazards posed by water and food.
For mats, the most common choice is a neutral color like white or beige that will draw attention to the main image without distracting from it. Another option is to use two mats to create a look of depth. The narrow, inner mat, usually just a ½” wide, picks up a prominent color from the print itself, while the larger, outer mat is typically in the off-white, neutral range.
Make sure the mat and frame complement the style of the print. For example, if the picture is a rural scene, consider a frame of weathered wood. If your print depicts an image of Old World charm, go with an ornate gold frame. If your picture is ultra-mod, how about a sleek pewter or smooth black frame?
You can even match the frame to your décor. If your kitchen sports golden oak cabinets, then choose a golden oak frame. Got brass handles on your drawers? Then consider a brass frame.
The best way to decide is to hold different mats and frames against your print until you find an ensemble that looks just right. Similar to shopping for a special dress or suit, you’ll know it when you see it.
Take the time to bring together all the right elements - print, mat and frame - and the end result will enhance your home’s décor and bring you joy.
** Photo Credits: All art prints are available at Lotus Leaf Creations.
Look beyond your wedding plans…what do you see? Hopefully, a blissfully happy future with your best friend in the world, including plenty of love, romance, hot nights (or mornings) and sweet nothings. But a successful marriage doesn’t just happen—it takes commitment, communication, and staying true to all of those promises you made in your wedding vows.
To start your happily ever after, apply these golden rules and try to stick to them for as long as you both shall live.
BE FUN - KEEP A HAPPY ATTITUDE
The bright spot in your spouse’s day? Coming home to you after a hectic workday, of course! You both probably spend the majority of your time working, managing the household, or dealing with other mundane (but necessary) tasks, so it’s crucial to make each other laugh and enjoy life together. Be silly, crack inside jokes, plan adventurous dates, share each other’s sporting or pop culture interests and try new activities (even if you’re terrible at them).
Also—this is very important—be fun when you’re around his friends and family, too. A fun spouse lights up the room, reminding him how lucky he is to have you.
KEEP THE ROMANCE
Don’t lose that sexy factor after the wedding; if anything, it’s time to rev things up. Emerge from the bathroom in a corset, garter, thigh-highs, and stilettos when he least expects it, or cook breakfast in nothing but a t-shirt and racy panties. Surprising your husband with a visual treat adds spice to your marriage. (Grooms, this rule applies to you, too!).
Seduction isn’t just about the lingerie—words can be equally effective to set the mood. Tell your spouse you want him now, or, on the way home from a family party, ask if he’d like a happy ending to the night. Touch each other often…a hand on the small of the back, a finger tracing a jawline, a squeeze on the bottom (while telling them how incredibly hot they are). Passion’s the crux of every happy marriage, so this is one commandment you should abide by as often as possible.
Make it a habit to thank each other and express gratitude as often as possible. Show your appreciation for all of the amazing things they do, no matter how big (acknowledging how hard they work) or small (taking out the trash, picking up some milk from the store). Tell him how glad you are that he proposed to you and how lucky you feel to be his wife. We all toil through our to-do lists, and if we don’t hear some gratitude every once in a while, we may start to feel like we’re being taken for granted, which can lead to resentment and petty fights (“It’s always my job to empty the dishwasher!”). Prevent outbursts and sulky moods by making an effort to appreciate each other.
BE FINANCIALLY HONEST
Sure, this isn’t as much fun as buying new lingerie, but it’s still a big rule. Honesty is all about trust, so as partners in this life that you’re building, you must be 100% open about the financial decisions that you’re making, especially during this scary economic period we are living in. There’s no hiding purchases, stashing the bills, or dipping into the savings account, thinking he won’t notice, because when he realizes (which he will, eventually), it could create a bigger problem.
Money has tremendous power in your marriage and this is one of the top issues that lead to divorce. Create a budget together, split the bills, and skip the impulse buys if you don’t have your own play money in your pocket, because if trust is broken, it’s very hard to get it back.
Reality check: When you married him, you married his family, and he married yours as well. If you’re lucky to join a happy, well-adjusted family, this is an easy commandment to keep. On the other hand, if you’re sharing holidays with new relatives who are critical, judgmental, or unwelcoming of you, this is going to be a major challenge. Even if every fiber of your being wants to scream at them and never visit during Thanksgiving again—your groom minimizes how nasty his sisters act towards you or ignores that his mom calls you “Her” as if you’re not even in the room—you need to find a way to forgive, co-exist and work on building at least a cordial relationship with the more challenging members of his family.
Resist the temptation to tell him he’s on his own or complain for weeks about catty insults they made, because even if his mom is a colossal jerk, your husband is never going to choose sides (not fully). And you wouldn’t want to help her get rid of you by buying into the conflicts she tries to start. When you let them just float away, the in-laws become less of a factor in your marriage. Try to find common ground, compliment them when you can, and hopefully, your marriage will include happier times with the extended family, someday. Consider your baby steps towards that cordial relationship as a small price to pay to have a husband this wonderful.
No matter how tempting it is to confide in your mom or best friend every single time you have a marital problem, keep a lid on it, regardless of whether he actually said, “Don’t tell anyone about this.” Discretion is key when it comes to potentially embarrassing subjects—if your husband confides in you that he might lose his job, that’s not something you want to put out there. The same holds true when the two of you have a big fight, because when you get over it, your friends and family might not. Keep those smaller confidences and trust between the two of you only, except in the most heinous of circumstances, such as addiction or abuse, when speaking up is a matter of safety.
KEEP YOUR OWN LIVES
Many newlyweds are guilty of what I call “puppying,” that madly-in-love tendency that makes you want to spend every minute with your spouse, stay in and watch movies instead of going out with friends, literally following him around the house when he gets home from work. I puppied my husband when we were first married, and it took a few weeks to snap out of it—this happens to many of us. You don’t have to be joined at the hip, which is a sign of insecurity, not true love.
In order to have a fulfilling marriage, you and your spouse need to do things on your own: spend time with your own friends, enjoy your own hobbies and try new things on your own. When you keep your own life (and expand it), it makes you all the more interesting and multi-faceted, bringing a happier “you” into the partnership and giving both of you more to love about each other.
LEAVE THE PAST IN THE PAST
Every married couple argues (at least, the ones in healthy relationships do). If you never bicker, it just means someone is swallowing their feelings, which could come out later on…and it’s going to get ugly. When you do fight, never bring up an old topic you’ve already covered and cleared up. For example: “This is just like when you went out with the guys after work, without telling me!” If there’s some sliver of a similarity between that issue and this current one, why knock him over the head with it? That’s the definition of a dirty fight, which you just don’t do with someone you love and value. It can actually be quite abusive, since your spouse never knows when you’re going to hammer him with some old resentment you’ve been carrying around. If you use hurtful reminders as weapons, just to win, your marriage will begin to disintegrate.
BE FAITHFUL IN EVERY WAY
It goes without saying that infidelity isn’t part of a happy marriage. Emotional cheating can be just as dangerous, like flirting with a co-worker and not caring if your spouse spots it at the office party. If you become more and more tempted by that hot guy at the gym who boosts your ego by how he smiles at you, that can present a danger to your marriage. If you need your ego stroked, let your husband be the one to do it by spicing up your sex life, flirting more, or trying counseling if you feel your relationship slipping away from you. Work on the marriage, work on yourself, but don’t work on the cheap thrill of a flirtation outside your marriage—the cost is way too high.
SHARE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
If you and your husband spend your first newlywed months in a sedentary haze, watching reality shows and eating junk food constantly, you’re both going to hurt your health and self-esteem. Ten, fifteen, twenty extra pounds won’t feel good on you, and if you don’t feel attractive, the sparks can go out of your relationship. A healthy lifestyle gives you energy, boosts your spirits, and staves off depression, which can affect your sex life and make you crankier with one another. Work out on your own (and together), use those bridal shower kitchen appliances you received to make healthier meals, de-stress with yoga or massages and give each other the gift of a happier, healthier you. When you love yourself with great care, you can love each other more…and more often.
*** A very special Thank You to Vinyl 2 Envy for allowing us to use their Inspirational wall decal photos. Motivational vinyl wall decals are great for any home or office decor.
You can see their entire line of vinyl wall decals here.
SALTED CARAMEL GLAZE
Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly grease two doughnut pans with cooking spray. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can use a standard muffin pan, instead. Set aside.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice in a mixing bowl; whisk until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
In your mixer’s bowl beat together vegetable oil, eggs, sugar and pumpkin puree.
Add flour mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
Fill the cavities of the doughnut pans 3/4 full.
Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you are using a muffin pan, bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
In the meantime, prepare the Salted Caramel Glaze. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until completely combined and smooth.
Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze and serve.
Make sure the polaroid camera has plenty of film. Wedding guests can strike a pose then leave their photo on the guest book, together with their short message for the couple.
One side of the puzzle features a photo and the back side is empty for the wedding guest’s personal comments.
Arrange an old-fashioned typewriter together with long rolls of paper for guests to type their good wishes as the mood strikes.
Chalkboard Message in Photo booth
Cut-out bubble shapes and coat it with chalkboard paint. Place them by your photo booth and let your guests write a short message before having them pose in front of the camera.
Let your guests sign a bottle of wine with a glass marker. Then open the bottle on your first wedding anniversary.
A Wish Tree is a Dutch wedding tradition. The guests write their wishes to the bride and groom and then hang it on the tree. This creates a stunning focal point.
May you get inspired with these creative guest book alternatives. If you have any ideas that would make an awesome guest book, please share it with us.
Q. I am getting married in a few months and I can’t decide what type of flowers to use. I am an ultra girly girl and my fiance is a tough football beer drinking with the guys type. My fiancee wants to skip flowers and go with greenery and I want flowers. We are having a rustic wedding at my grandparents farm. Any suggestions?
A. Congratulations on your engagement. I would suggest you compromise and incorporate both greenery and flowers. A new wedding trend I noticed lately is Hops. Hops is the name of the flowers of the hop plant – best known as an ingredient in beer.
Photo Credit: Wisconsin Brewing Hops
Their vibrant green hue goes with just about any other color, which makes them a versatile choice!
Hops, with their verdant, fresh-from-the-field look, are a perfect option for green or rustic weddings.
The subtler, wild look of hops make them great flowers for the non-flower person. They can be incorporated into bouquets, centerpieces, corsages and/or wedding boutonnieres. Here are some ideas……
ARCHES / GARLAND
BE SURE TO ORDER FRESH HOPS
There are several locations in the US that sell Hops flowers but not all hop farms are equal - So ask questions! For top quality look for organically grown.
My favorite source for hops flowers is a company called Wisconsin Brewing Hops. They are a small environmentally concerned company and grow only organic, chemically free hops to small crafters and home beer brewers.
For more information, please visit Wisconsin Brewing Hops. They will be happy to help you with special requests.
Bouquet of orchids with Chantilly lace, feathers
Lace fan escort card by Ceci New York.
“French Lace” salad plate by Marchesa by Lenox.
Chantilly buttercream cake topped with sugar blooms and gold chocolate lace
I don’t know about you, but I’m forever looking for cute stationery! I love giving handmade cards with all my gifts. With a few printable templates you can create a whole year’s supply in one day.
Handmade stationery cards make charming gifts for bridal showers, housewarming gifts, or the holidays. Package your cards in special displays and viola…super cuteness! For example….
You could package your cards in this little wooden basket (from Hobby Lobby) with some pretty stripe fabric!
Or wrap your cards in a cute box
Here are a few charming hand-drawn printable greeting cards I found on an Etsy shop called Designed By Dani N which would be cute for a stationery gift set.
*** A very special Thank you to Designed By Dani N for allowing us to use their photos.
SPECIAL 20% DISCOUNT OFFER
You can see the entire Designed By Dani N line of printable cards and invitations here. To receive a 20% on orders of $6.50 or more please use the code MERRYBRIDES20 at checkout
Obviously it goes without saying (but I will anyways) that these would be perfect for any fall gathering or Halloween party. The flavor ends up a yummy orange cream concoction and you can even make these the night before your party, which is always a plus in my book.
Candy Corn Jello Shots, makes 20 shots
Pour 1 cup of water into a small saucepan and pour 2 packets of the unflavored gelatin into the water. Warm the water and gelatin over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the gelatin has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove pan from the heat and add 1/2 your can of condensed milk to the mixture. Stir until the ingredients combine. Add 2/3 cup vanilla vodka. Cover and set aside half of your milk mixture and evenly distribute the other half throughout your 20 shots (just don’t fill them more than 1/3 of the way full). Refrigerate your shots until firm (30-40 minutes).
When the first layer is firm, pour another 1 cup of water into your saucepan and add 1 packet of gelatin. Warm the water until the gelatin dissolves, remove from heat, and stir in the box of orange Jell-O until that dissolves as well. Add 1/3 cup vanilla vodka. Evenly distribute orange layer on top of white layer and refrigerate until chilled.
When your orange layer is solid, retrieve the second half of your milk mixture and add in a few drops of yellow food coloring. You can also only make half of the milk mixture and repeat the orange layer recipe with a yellow-colored Jell-O instead. You get more of a transparent color when you use Jell-O and a more opaque layer when you use the condensed milk, but either works!
Distribute your yellow layer on top of the orange and put it back into the fridge until set.
Whoa!! These guys are looking authentic! Once all your layers are set, you are ready to serve your candy corn creations.
During your bachelorette party, have each bridesmaid wear lipstick and kiss a large sheet of card stock. Have them sign their name underneath, and frame the print.