Merry Brides

LIVE WITH PASSION!

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Vintage Dictionary Art

 image                                                         Red Kiss Pop Art

Something I’ve been seeing quite a bit of lately is what I like to call vintage dictionary art.  People are taking vintage pages from dictionaries, and printing an image on the vintage paper.  I’ve even gone as far as buying some art pages off Etsy myself.

I think dictionary art would make great wedding or bridesmaid gifts as it’s fun and very affordable. Here are some of my favorite pieces from Whisker Prints……

image                                           Love You To the Moon Dictionary Art

image                                        Incredible Life Inspirational Quote

image                                            Love Quote Peas And Carrots

image                                               Romance Comedy Pop Art

image                                     Fell In Love With You Dictionary Art

Filed under vintage art dictionary art bridesmaid gifts wedding gifts home decor vintage art decor

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How To Decorate With Throw Pillows

image                                                   Paris Pillow Set

Throw pillows can bring together a room’s color palette and design scheme, providing balance, elegance and visual interest to your home decor. Pillows can soften the look of a heavy leather sofa or add a punch of color to a wingback chair. Changing throw pillows is also an inexpensive and simple way to change the design scheme of a room. Either purchase new accent pillows or cover existing ones with new slipcovers, and then throw them anywhere, from your sofa to your bedroom chaise lounge.

Decorating With Throw Pillows:

Arrangement.

For eclectic or modern decor, group accent pillows in sets of odd numbers: use three, five or seven pillows in a room. Using asymmetrical groups is a common interior design rule for nontraditional decor; the room will feel more visually balanced. Vary the pillows’ size and pattern. If you want a more traditional, symmetrical look, use even numbers.

image                                    Madame/Monsieur Pillow Set

Size and shape

Vary the shapes and sizes of throw pillows. Standard pillows measure 18 inches by 18 inches. Add a contrasting shape or size into a pillow grouping for additional interest. Large pillows can make a statement in a room; choose one or two with fringe, tassels and trim for additional character. For example, place an oblong pillow in the center of a couch or a round pillow on a side chair.

Fabric

Vary your throw pillows’ textures and textiles for a rich yet subtle mix. Use fabrics from plush velvets to smooth silks. Mix and match pillows: pair stripes and plaids together or combine solid and floral designs.

image                                      Red Lipstick Kiss Pillow Set

Color

Choose pillow colors by looking at fabric, artwork and other accents in the room. Decide on a common accent color and match the color to a paint swatch. Use the swatch to compare different pillows when browsing online. Pillows do not need to be an exact match. Some slight variation adds natural contrast and interest to the room. Add the accent color in a few other areas, including accessories, lampshades and other items of home decor.

image                              Give A Girl The Right Shoes Pillow Set

Storage

Put a decorative basket or storage bin in the room for holding accent pillows when they’re not being used. For example, set a wicker basket behind the couch to toss pillows in while entertaining in the living room. Or hide pillows when they’re not needed by keeping them in a plastic bin placed underneath the bed. The storage area keeps pillows fresh and clean.

** A very Special Thank You to the Bella Bella Shoppe for allowing us to use their fun pillow photos.

You can see more of the Bella Bella Collection here.



Filed under home decor throw pillows pillows decor home accents gift ideas etsy

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Chocolate Cupcakes With Creamy Nutella Frosting

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INGREDIENTS:

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (64g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (167g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

CREAMY NUTELLA FROSTING

  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup (222g) Nutella
  • 3-4 Tablespoons (45-60ml) heavy cream*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt to taste
  • decorative candies (optional)

Directions:

Make the cupcakes: 

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line 14 muffin cups with liners.

Over high heat, bowl the water in a small saucepan. Pour the unsweetened cocoa powder into a medium sized bowl and mix with boiling water until smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature by placing in the refrigerator as you prepare the other ingredients.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric hand or stand mixer, cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat only until *just* combined. In a steady stream, add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 16-19 minutes, keeping an eye on them to avoid even the slightest burning (which will lend dry cupcakes). My cupcakes took 17 minutes and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before frosting.

Make the frosting: 

Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. You want a very creamy base before adding anything else.

Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the Nutella and continue to beat on medium speed. Add 3 Tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract.

If the frosting is too thick, add more heavy cream (1 Tablespoon measurements at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (1/4 cup measurements at a time). Taste the frosting and add salt to cut the sweetness. I added about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to mine.

Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting and decorate with candies as desired. Cupcakes taste best the day of or 1 day after they are made. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

*Replacing the heavy cream in the frosting with milk or half-and-half will result in a less creamy consistency.

Recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com

Filed under recipe nutella chocolate cupcakes nutella frosting frosting chocolate cupcakes chocolate recipe nutella recipe

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A Beacon of Light

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Today I am excited to tell you about a new computer lamp I just purchased on Amazon. I think this lamp would be a fun gift for anyone in your bridal party. It is perfect for everyone from students to late night computer geeks.  image

I will be honest I originally purchased this lamp for my niece Jada to study at night but I fell in love with it and decided to keep it myself. Now I have to order Jada a new lamp.

The natural light of this lamp is what I love the most about it. I had other computer lamps, but somehow they were always hurting my eyes and it was hard to read with them. The quality of light this lamp offers is tremendous. You can read at night for many hours and you won’t feel any kind of eye discomfort. 

I also like the minimalist design of the light as it makes it portable and very easy to use.  A light tap activates the light. You can set the brightness to four different levels for your comfort. It even has a 60 minute timer so if you leave the room or fall asleep the light goes off automatically to save energy.

Don’t let the small size of this lamp fool it as it packs a powerful punch.and offers 360 degrees of flexibility in any direction to illuminate any area.

This lamp would be a perfect gift for yourself or the hard to buy person in your bridal party who seems to have everything. 

You can purchase this lamp on Amazon. I know some of you may be weary of buying online, but Amazon is a reputable store and my experience with them was great. My lamp arrived quickly in a cardboard box encased in Styrofoam. The lamp parts were embedded in the protective layer and were easy to access. I couldn’t be happier with my online purchase! 

Filed under computer accessories lights lamps bridal party gifts gift ideas computer lamp gifts

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Backyard Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

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 can be as memorable as the wedding, as it is a time to gather attentively with those people you are closest to. With the whirlwind of a wedding, you may feel as though you didn’t get to see much of those special people. Here are some simple ways to pay attention to the details of your rehearsal dinner.

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The Surface:

The wedding tables are going to be all decked out in linens, centerpieces, and place settings, so don’t get too carried away with this table. Choose a simple canvas for your table setting, such as a wooden picnic table. Simple is better and, this way, your space won’t feel overwhelming.

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The Colors:

Choosing a neutral palate means you get to have more fun playing with color! Chose to decorate with pops of summer colors—duck’s egg blue, coral, toasty orange, and pinks! 

To pull it all together, you can paint mismatched chairs in your wedding colors, which will give an eclectic, yet cohesive feel.

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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! You can stack place settings to save space.

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The Centerpiece:

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.

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                                     Etched Leaf Mood Votive Holders

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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Just because the dinner may be in a backyard does not mean it has to be informal.

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

image                                              Antiqued Gold Bowls.

Ice Cream is always a favorite at a summer party. Serve simple desserts - cookies, brownies, and cupcakes on fun trays, such as this RelativityTray from Home Concepts.

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Drink Stations

Getting creative with drink displays is a fun way to add some backyard feel to a party. Large galvanized tubs are always a good option and can be easily refilled and by adding some ice you so know your drinks will stay cool.

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Thinking outside the box and getting creative with your displays is a good way to put your own “stamp” on the event like choosing a canoe, hallowed out tree stump or 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 bon fire or with a Table Top Fireplace, such as this one from Home Concepts.image

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                                                   Dobbly Weave Throw Blanket

Store the blankets in a large basket and place a piece of wood on top and voila, you have storage and an extra table for your guests to use.

          image                                                           Large Metal Basket

Coffee Bar

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After your guests eat you can serve coffee and dessert.

Coffee bars are 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 teabags 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 Concepts - where modern home decor comes to life!



Filed under Rehearsal dinner summer entertaining backyard rehearsal dinner backyard party summer party Home Concepts

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DIY Glitter Vases / Jars

Glitter glass jars are perfect for parties, weddings or just to add a touch of sparkle to your dining room table. 

These would also look adorable holding makeup brushes on a vanity or keeping pens and pencils neat and tidy on your desk. Glitter! Seriously, who doesn’t just love glitter?

Supplies -

  • Glass containers (preferably with smooth, straight sides)
  • Glitter (I used Martha Stewart Crafts glitter in Wintermint and Bronze from Michaels)
  • Foam brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Mod Podge

Apply a thin and even coat of Mod Podge to the interior walls of the vase. Next up, dump in a generous amount of glitter and roll the vase in your hands, tap the sides to get the glitter to evenly coat the Mod Podge.

Then just let the vase dry. It takes a few hours, depending on how thick you apply the Mod Podge. Any excess glitter can just be scooped up and put back in the original container for reuse. If you miss any spots on the vase, simply apply a second coat using the same technique using a thin layer of Mod Podge, then applying glitter and swirling to coat.

SECOND TECHNIQUE - GLITTER DIP LOOK

The second version, is a glitter-dipped look. First up, mark off your jar with a piece of painter’s tape. How much of the surface you want to be covered in glitter will determine where to put the tape. I went about 2/3 of the way up. Then cover the area below the tape with Mod Podge using a foam brush.

Next up, coat the outside of the vase with glitter. You’ll get a big mess with this one so make sure you have kraft paper or something similar covering your workspace. Then simply fold the paper up like a funnel and sift the excess glitter back into the jar when you’re done. Once the glitter/glue combination is dry, apply an additional thin coat of Mod Podge on the outside of the glass (or spray with a spray sealant being sure to protect the area not coated with glitter from getting sprayed) to lock the glitter in place!

 

** Special Thank You to The Sweetest Occasion for this fun tutorial

Filed under glitter DIY Glass DIY decorating glitter jars

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If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

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DIY: Paper Bows ~ Free Printable

Spring is a perfect time to add a pretty little bow on your packages and party decor.

DOWNLOADS

 For this template there are four sizes from the large bow that to a tiny version. These are outline templates that you can print onto your pretty paper, or print in card stock and use to outline onto you paper.

For those of you who have a cutting machine there is also a  SVG file to make these bows.

Once you have your bows cut and ready to assemble, you can use the tutorial in this post.



** A very special Thank You to Lia Griffith for this fun download.

Filed under Gift wrapping Paper printable download bow packaging Paper Crafts DIY Bows Gift bow freebies gift wrap printable paper bows

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RED VELVET WHOOPIE PIES WITH CREAM CHEESE FILLING

Yield: About 2 dozen assembled whoopie pies

 Prep time: 20 minutes   Cook time: 40 to 50 minutes total

 

INGREDIENTS:

For the whoopies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk

For the cream cheese filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS:

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. In a bowl, beat together the butter, shortening and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the red food coloring and beat until just blended.

4. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and remaining ½ cup buttermilk and beat until completely combined.

5. Using a spoon (or a medium cookie scoop, which is what I used), drop a tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

6. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the filling...

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high; beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes.

7. To assemble:

Spread the filling onto the flat side of one cake using a knife of spoon. Alternatively, you can use a pastry bag with a round tip (I likea #12 Wilton tip) to pipe the filling onto the cake. Top it with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.

Storing: Assembled whoopie pies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you need to stack layers, place a piece of wax paper between layers.

(Source: zazzle.com)

Filed under recipe baking desserts red velvet whoopie pies

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DIY: Wedding Postage Stamps - Printable

I love these vintage-style postage stamps designed by Cathe Holden of Justsomethingimade.com.

Use them  to decorate favors, invitation inset envelopes, to seal invitations, embellish thank you cards, etc.

 Five great colors to choose from.

DOWNLOADS

Labels are free to download and are in printable PDF templates.

To print I like  WL-975 small labels or you can print on Full Sheet Labels and cut the labels out.

DOWNLOAD  BLACK

DOWNLOAD TURQUOISE

DOWNLOAD GREEN

DOWNLOAD BROWN

DOWNLOAD RED

(Source: zazzle.com)

Filed under labels DIY download vintage stamps envelopesels printable weddling labels wedding stamps

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Illustrated Invites By Katy Halford

image                                             Illustrated Wedding Portrait

I love discovering new (to me!) talented artists and I’m in love with the work of Katy Halford. She is a freelance illustrator based in Leicestershire, England. Her designs are personally tailored to tell your unique story, whether it be for full wedding stationery, a pretty card or a custom portrait to give as a wedding gift. Aren’t her illustrations just darling!?

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image                    Personalized Illustrated Rustic Wedding Invitation

image                      Illustrated Floral Woodland Wedding Invitation

image                        Hand Illustrated Mid Summer Garden Invitation

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You can see more of Katy Halford’s work and designs on her website and Etsy store. Katy loves to do commission work and can help you design your dream wedding stationery - Invitations, Save the Dates, table plans, beautiful illustrations, prints, and handmade gifts.

Filed under invitation wedding invitation illustrated invitation hand drawn illustration illustration art

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DIY BELLY BANDS ~ FREE PRINTABLE

Belly bands are one super handy, and cost effective element to add to your wedding invitations. They come in all shapes and sizes and have lots of different uses. One of the most obvious is to keep a wedding invitation, consisting of loose papers, neatly together. To use a belly band is more cost effective than binding them together. These little paper bands could also replace an envelope should you decide to deliver some invitation by hand. They are also great  way for an extra message or a pretty design element, to get your guests excited even before opening the invitation

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For today’s printable we have a few different belly bands in happy, summery colors. These will look playfully chic paired with a monochrome invitation, printed in black on white or brown craft paper. Alternatively keep it all color by using a matching color scheme. These should work around most invitation sizes, as the belly bands quite long.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Your wedding invitation
  • The printed out belly band
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissor

STEPS:

Cut out the belly band.

Apply a piece of double sided tape to the one end of the belly band.

Wrap the belly band around your invite and fasten with the double sided tape. Trim the paper band if it is too long, to make it look nice and neat.

BAND DOWNLOADS:

NOTE: Please be patient as there is slight hesitation before opening.

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                                       We’re Getting Married 

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                                              Lavender Band

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                                                Airplane Band

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                                             You’re Invited Band

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                                           Couple Head Profiles

      image                                                              Special Delivery

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                                              Heart And Wreath

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                                                 Save The Date 



** A special thank you to The Pretty Blog for the Belly Band Downloads.

Filed under Paper crafts free printable belly bands wedding printable DIY paper download