Merry Brides

LIVE WITH PASSION!

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DIY: ACRYLIC MENUS - SIMPLE & REUSABLE!

If you’re looking for instant hostess with the mostest status, these super simple, super adorable (reusable) DIY menus  are fair game. They add a little something something to a simple dinner party, elevating it to the utmost degree with little to no effort at all!

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MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1:   You can either use the sheets to make full size menus (8×10”), or you can cut them down to a smaller size like we did (5×7”). To cut them down, just measure the size and mark on the acrylic with the paint marker. Then score the sheet along those lines with the glass cutter. After several passes, you should be able to snap the sheet to make a clean cut. Remove any markings with glass cleaner.

Step 2:   Spray paint one side of the acrylic sheet with two light coats of spray paint. Let dry completely, about 1 hour.

Step 3:   On the clear unpainted side, handwrite your menu for the evening in paint marker. If you’d like to do a fancy script, you can print out your menu in a font of your choice, place the printout behind the menu, and trace the script in marker. *This would be easier with a lighter spray paint color or a more hazy coat of paint. Hold the menu & printout up to the window to get maximum backlighting while tracing.

Step 4:   Worried about messing up? Don’t be! Glass cleaner & paper towel let you quickly start over, and for small mistakes, a Qtip and glass cleaner have you covered. When the dinner’s over, wipe off the menu with glass cleaner and set aside to reuse at your next dinner party!

*** Thank You to Jacquelyn Clark from Style Me Pretty Living for sharing this great tutorial with us. 

 entertaining menus paint recycle acrylic

Filed under DIY entertaining paint menu menus recycle acrylic party

9 notes

Backyard Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

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With all of the attention on the actual wedding day, side events like the Rehearsal Dinner can often fall by the wayside. However, a rehearsal dinner spent with loved ones can be as memorable as the wedding, 

Here are some simple ideas for your rehearsal dinner.

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The Table:

Rehearsal dinners are supposed to be relaxing and fun, so don’t get too carried away with the table. Choose a simple canvas for your table setting, such as a wooden picnic table. The simpler the better so your space won’t feel overwhelming.

The Colors:

Choosing a neutral palette means you get to have more fun playing with color! I like to decorate with pops of summer colors— yellows, coral, toasty orange, and pinks! 

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Spacing:

Don’t overload your table! Personally I like to use a table runner, instead of using a tablecloth, which can oftentimes take away from a simple, rustic look. I love exposed wood! 

The Centerpiece:

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You can’t go wrong with flowers—they’re a fresh way to boast the season and add some color. I like  to cluster up-cycled jars, and fill them with flowers.

Lighting

To create a cozy ambiance for an evening party string tiny lights in trees and bushes. Use plenty of votive candles.

image                                               Aloha Bay Mango Candles

Menu

Keeping the menu simple, yummy and easy enough to eat while mingling is the key to good backyard style food. BBQ foods are always a good menu idea, but if they are not your style, then don’t be afraid to think more traditional about your food choices. Comfort foods such as Macaroni and Cheese are always popular choices.

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To add interest to your food displays serve food in unique dishes and bowls.

                     image                                                                  Antiqued Chaffing Dish

Ice Cream is always a favorite at a summer party. Serve simple desserts - cookies, brownies, and cupcakes on fun trays

Drink Stations

Getting creative with drink displays is a fun way to add some backyard feel to a party. Large galvanized tubs filled with ice is always a good option.   image                                         Antique Embossed Party Tub

Thinking outside the box and getting creative with your displays is a good way to put your own “stamp” on the event. You could use a canoe, or an old wheelbarrow.

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Relaxation / Hang Out Area

To encourage your guests to stay and mingle after their done eating set up cozy seating areas. 

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For evening parties create a cozy atmosphere with a fire pit, such as this one from Home N Hearts.

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Summer evenings can sometimes be chilly so you could provide a few throw blankets to warm your guests. Comfortable guests are more likely to stay longer.

image                                         Microplush Throw Blankets

Coffee Bar

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Coffee bars are a great way to help your guests relax after a large meal and to sober up any guests who may have been drinking. You could also offer hot water and tea bags for the non-coffee drinkers.

Most of all, just remember to relax and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be a casual evening with your family and best friends before the wedding. These are the most important people in your life, so there is no need to stress yourself out trying to be perfect. Go with the flow and have fun!


** For more information on any of the products featured in this blog please visit Home N Hearts.

Filed under rehearsal dinner outdoors entertaining party backyard summer

16 notes

DIY WOOD BURNING PARTY SIGNS

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Supplies -
wood burning kit
wooden planks
charcoal pencil
white paper
printer
(I got all of my supplies at Michaels. You can order wood burning kits online, any of them will work fine.)

Directions -

Step 1: On a computer, type out or design whatever you want your wooden sign to say. Choose a fabulous font that fits the style of your event. If you like the one I used in this DIY project, you can download it here! It will fit a small wooden plank perfectly.

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Step 2: In order for the size of the letters or font to fit on the wooden plank, you may need to print a few copies, adjusting the size until it fits perfectly on the wood piece.

Step 3: Once you have the correct size, turn the paper over and with a charcoal pencil trace the back of your design. Make sure to trace hard enough so the charcoal will transfer onto the wooden plank.

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Step 4: When all of the letters are traced, place the paper on the wooden plank with the charcoal side facing down. Press firmly on the letters to make sure they transfer nicely to the wood. Remove the paper when you’re finished.

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Step 5: There should be a nice outline of your letters for you to trace. With the wood burning tool (which can get extremely hot, so be careful) start to trace and fill in the letters. Once you complete one letter move on to the next. You will get the hang of it after the first letter. Have fun!

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Filed under DIY Signs wood crafts wood burning wood reception ideas

12 notes

Fall Wedding Flowers

Rich reds, deep oranges and buttery yellows define rich fall bridal flowers. Capture the warmth and beauty of the season with these fabulous fall hues. 

Fall bridal bouquets and centerpieces are often adorned with autumnal foliage and decorations such as branches, oak leaves, acorns and crab apples. It is often the colors, as much as the actual flowers that are important. Rich reds, fiery oranges and beautiful yellows mixed with brown, gold, green, amber and russet colors. 

September, October and November brides may celebrate the natural landscape of the season by holding the wedding ceremony under an oak tree, use crisp fallen leaves to line the aisle. Or, how about holding the wedding around 6:00pm with a gorgeous orange autumn sunset as the backdrop? Many wineries, barns and antique inns represent the perfect setting for a fall wedding. A popular trend is to hold a rustic wedding outdoors - the guests sit on hay bales and the bride’s carriage is a horse drawn hay-wagon. Follow it with a reception in a beautiful barn. 

In autumn, some interesting fruits become available that can be used in wedding arrangements. Crab apples last from now through to the winter and can look very attractive. Fall boutonnieres can incorporate oak leaves and acorns. Also decorate with dried greenery, heirloom pumpkin, figs and ornamental cabbage

List of Fall Wedding Flowers in Season

Asiatic Lily, Asters, Calla Lilies, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Gerbera daisies, Gladioli, Marigolds, Roses, Sunflowers, Zinnias.

Filler stems round out a bouquet and come in a variety of exciting colors. Stems that are available year-round include:

Filed under Fall Autumn flowers wedding flowers fall flowers

6 notes

DIY: Chocolate Darling Dynamite

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Isn’t this an adorable idea?

What you will need…

  • 3 packs of Rolos
  • 1 sheet of red construction paper
  • 2 black pipe cleaners
  • scotch tape

Instructions

Trim the construction paper into three pieces and wrap each piece around a pack of Rolos and secure with tape. Hold onto the excess construction paper for now.

Wrap the pieces of construction paper around each pack of Rolos and secure with a bit of tape.

Gather the three packs of wrapped Rolos into a bunch and secure with a pipe cleaner.

Using the excess construction paper from Step #1, make a tag with the message “Darling, you’re dynamite!” (Other message suggestions: “You’re a blast!” or “You’re the bomb!”) String the tag onto the pipe cleaner.

Lastly, the second pipe cleaner in the middle of the three packs of Rolos, trimming off the end so that your “fuse” is an inch or two long.

(Source: laurenconrad.com)

Filed under DIY Party Favors Love chocolate paper

12 notes

Brownie Crackles

What could be better than a brownie or a cookie? A brownie crackle cookie of course! These cookies combine the fudgey chocolate flavor of a brownie in cookie form topped with powdered sugar.

Definitely a recipe to keep in mind for your party favors or gifts as they package nicely.

Ingredients

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix (13-in. x 9-inch pan size)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix, flour, egg, water and oil until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Place confectioners’ sugar in a shallow dish. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; roll to coat. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4-1/2 dozen.



** Original Recipe: Taste of Home

Filed under chocolate recipe brownies cookies desserts cookie recipe chocolate recipe chocolate desserts

9 notes

Beauty Trend: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar — particularly the raw, organic, unfiltered kind — is one of those undiscovered natural remedies. Some people call it magical, and say that regularly incorporating a small amount of the vinegar into your diet can result in copious health and beauty benefits. Some also use it topically on their skin to reap its benefits.

As apple cider vinegar is a natural substance, many feel better about ingesting it than manufactured chemicals, but of course, it must be done in moderation. While ACV has great benefits, it is an acid — all vinegars are. Consume no more than a few teaspoons per day, and never drink it without diluting it with water or juice.

Here are some of the beauty benefits we’ve found:

  • Clear skin problems and stop acne. The acidity in the vinegar will dry out the blemish allowing new, healthy skin to take its place.
  • Regulate the pH of your face: mix 1 part ACV with 2 parts water and use as a toner using a cotton ball and lightly blotting around t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).
  • Soothe a sunburn: add 1 cup ACV to your bath, and soak for 10 minutes
  • Give your hair body and shine: after you shampoo, apply 1/2 tablespoon ACV mixed with 1 cup of water, then rinse.
  • Encourage hair growth: ACV will stimulate hair follicles, and can also treat dandruff and an itchy scalp.
  • Give yourself an at-home pedicure by soaking your feet in equal parts warm water and ACV. Its anti-fungal properties will keep your feet healthy, soft, and clean.
  • Help with varicose veins because of its high levels of vitamins, which will work to deter and reduce the veins.
  • Target age spots: mix 1 tablespoon orange juice with 2 tablespoons ACV to fade age spots


In addition, ACV has many health benefits since it’s high in potassium and malic acid. It can also:

  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Stop heartburn
  • Promote proper digestion
  • Control weight by breaking down fats so that your body can use them, rather than store them
  • Regulates blood sugar (key for those with Diabetes), as it will lower glucose levels in your blood
  • Fights sinus infections and sore throats by breaking down mucous

Most strive for these benefits by consuming a little bit of Apple Cider Vinegar each day. Many create drinks with it — it is not advised to drink it alone — again, we suggest combining the vinegar with water or juice. We’ve also heard of a sweetened version: with about a cup and a half of water, 2 tablespoons ACV, a splash of apple juice and honey to taste. Others use it in homemade salad dressings.

Apple cider vinegar has a potent odor, but if you can find a way to eat or drink it that you like, you’ll likely see some of the benefits we’ve described above. If you have one of the more severe ailments it is said to help (such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol) we’d recommend speaking with your doctor before partaking.

Filed under beauty apple cider vinegar skin hair natural remedies organic

6 notes

Great Balls Of Ice

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Yesterday I was visiting my sister and she served drinks with large round ice cubes filled with berries which were so cute. So being the domesticated diva I am I peeked into her freezer and found her ice cubes were in these little round balls.  Yep you guessed it, I went home last night and ordered ice cube ball molds on Amazon

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FANCY ICE CUBES

I know you’re probably thinking how silly I sound for being excited about ice cube molds, but you can kick up the your ice cubes a notch and make a nice presentation to your guests….

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  • Add food coloring after an hour of freezing to create colorful swirls
  • Put a piece of lime, lemon, or orange into the mold before you add the water. This is not only great for presentation, it infuses the ice ball with the fruit and will slowly release the flavor into your cocktail.
  • Stick some mint or other herbs into the water before you freeze it. Bartenders do this to heighten the senses while the cocktail is being consumed.

It is very easy to fill an ice cube mold.

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CRACKED ICE CUBES

Here are some tips to prevent your ice cubes from cracking….

  • Put the mold in a hand towel, Ziplock bag, Tupperware container, or even a pot to slow down freezing process. 
  • Don’t run the mold or ice under water. The silicone material will allow easy removal of the ice.
  • Gently place the ice ball into the drink instead of pouring the beverage over the ice.    

Ball Ice Cube Molds are available on Amazon.

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Filed under entertaining party Summer party ideas ice cube mold

15 notes

Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Filling

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* Makes approximately 2 dozen muffins

Cupcakes:

2 1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp gel food color, approx. (Wilton Red)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white distilled vinegar

Filling:

10 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice

Frosting:

12 oz cream cheese
12 oz butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cup confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients for the cupcakes: flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar until smooth.

3. Slowly add in the dry mix and blend for a minute or two until fully incorporated.

4. Fill cupcake pan with liners about 2/3 full. Bake on 350 for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Remove from pans and let fully cool.

5. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare your filling and frosting. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon just until well blended. Spoon filling into a pastry bag with no tip, just a coupler or a large round tip and set in refrigerator.

6. Now for the frosting, start by beating the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.

7. Fill another pastry bag with the frosting using any tip you desire to decorate your cupcakes; I used a Wilton star tip. Store in refrigerator until ready. Both the frosting and the filling can be made in advance to save time, just twist the tops of your pastry bags so they are closed.

8. Once the cupcakes are cooled, it’s time to make a hole for the filling. Using a small paring knife, cut a cone shaped piece of cake from the top center of the cupcake. Be sure to cut only partially into the cupcake and not all the way down to the bottom. Discard the cones or eat them while you decorate.

9. Using your pastry bag with filling, begin to squeeze filling into each cupcake’s cavity just until it reaches the top.

10. Take your other pastry bag full of frosting and begin to ice the cupcakes by making concentric circles starting on the outer edge and working your way inward and up. These cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator until it’s time for your event. Hope you enjoy your cupcakes!

HINT: For evenly baked cupcakes use a Silicone Muffin Pan. Your cupcakes will pop right out of the pan and cleanup will be easy. 

Silicone Muffin Pans available on Amazon.


** Original Recipe Source: An Apple A Day

Filed under recipe red velvet cupcakes cream cheese desserts

51 notes

DIY Rose Garland

Guest Blog: Maggie Lord

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I love this charming garden rose garland. It is perfect for any wedding decor. Use it as a ceremony backdrop, a window frame garland, a photo booth backdrop, or a sweets table accessory….the list is endless.

What You’ll Need :  

  • Floral Wire
  • Green Branches
  • Garden Roses
  • Spray Roses
  • Sea Lavender
  • Clippers
  • Rose Stems

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Your first step is to lay out your branches into the shape that you will want your garland.  You may want to measure first and then tape out the shape on the ground or table where you are working so that you have something to follow.  We followed the seams in the concrete to get a good right angle to follow.

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Once you have your layout, take sturdy floral wire and attach the branches where they cross over.  You can leave some extra wire loose to use later.

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Next, you will want to trim the stems off of the garden roses and attach pre-soaked rose stems to the blossoms.

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Using the wire from the rose stem, secure the garden rose blossoms to the branch as tightly as you can without damaging the blossom.

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It is best to attach to the branches further back so that the rose feels nestled into the garland.

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Space out the blossoms so that they form a loose cluster that feels organic.

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Next, using extra loose wires or fresh wires, add the spray roses in and around the garden roses to create dense clusters.

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You can also add the spray roses out along the branches to give the garland some color.

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Use the spray roses to fill in any large gaps you see.

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Next take sprigs of sea lavender and wrap the stems with thin floral wire

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Using the loos wire at one end twist the lavender into the empty gaps in the garland to create a full effect.

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Add lavender along the garland as you see fit.  You may want to hang it at this point so that you can get a feel for how it looks up on a wall.

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Go in and add any extra filler at this point until it looks balanced.

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You may want to extend some of the filler down the branches away from the center.

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Also take a look at the garland from the side to see if there are any gaps that need filling.

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Et voila ! You are finished!   This looks amazing hung outside as a window dressing ….

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… or inside as a free form wall decoration!

**** A special thank you to Maggie Lord and Rustic Wedding Chic for sharing this charming tutorial. 

** Photo and Tutorial credits: Rustic Wedding Chic

Filed under rose roses flower flowers rose garland decor DIY garland wedding decor