Wednesday, June 30, 2010

celebrating wedding anniversaries

(This is the hotel in Ireland where I had my wedding reception 6 years ago!)

Next week I will be celebrating my sixth wedding anniversary. I thought I would share with you some ideas from past anniversaries. I like to use the traditional anniversary gift themes and make them my own. Also, since my husband and I both enjoying watching movies- I choose a movie to go with the theme too. For example:

Year 1 is paper. I bought my husband tickets to see Les Miserable on Broadway in NYC. I also bought the movie version so we could watch it over and over again and remember our fun date to the city.

Year 2 is cotton. I gave my husband a monogrammed cotton apron from Williams Sonoma and a gift certificate for a cooking class here. We ended up choosing a class that had a Provencal theme - which was perfect since we went to Provence for our honeymoon. My movie choice was "No Reservations."

Year 3 is leather. I bought my husband a leather bound copy of a Peter Mayle book. While we were on our honeymoon (in Provence and Paris) we read aloud the book "A Good Year" by Peter Mayle which is set in the French countryside. The movie version of a "A Good Year" with Russel Crowe came out around the same time and was a perfect accompaniment for this occasion.

Year 4 is fruit or flowers. Since we are usually on the Cape for our anniversary I decided we would have a picnic on the beach with fruit and flowers. We watched "A Room with A View" which has a great picnic scene in it.

Year 5 is wood. I found a wooden buoy from Pottery Barn with the number 5 on it and gave it to him while we were on the Cape. As a funny coincidence we ended up having dinner at a restaurant that had wooden menus! We watched a Woody Allen movie- but you could also watch anything with Elijah Wood or Woody Harrelson.

This year, for our sixth wedding anniversary, the theme (or traditional gift) is candy. As is tradition, we are leaving for the Cape today. Stay tuned for my gift idea and movie pick- I will post them when I get back next week. I think this year might be my favorite!!!
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a big fat Greek Bridal Shower

One of my friends sent me this photo yesterday. She used this idea from one of my Valentine's Day posts and turned it into a wedding shower gift for her friend. I love that she used blue and white for Greece and I also love that the theme for the shower was based on the honeymoon destination of the couple. Thanks for sharing this me Maureen. I am so glad you were able to interpret one of my ideas and make it your own!
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Monday, June 28, 2010


To continue the theme even further, I found a sweet gift from one of my favorite sources: Chasing Fireflies. It was a petite nest that came with a hat and onesie. I carefully took them out and had them monogrammed with a blue "J." I wrapped the whole thing in cellophane and finished it with a brown ribbon.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

a sweet "tweet" for you

The party favors for the bird themed shower were blue "J" shaped sugar cookies....A sweet take on a blue jay and the first initial from the baby boy. I used the same scrapbook paper and whole punch to embellish the cellophane bags. We put them under a white feather tree for guests to take home after the party.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

coconut cupcakes

For dessert I made these coconut cupcakes using Rachel Ray's "Quickie Coconut Cupcake" recipe. I only made half of the recipe for "icing for a crowd" and had plenty for 24 cupcakes. I then used toasted coconut for the nest and some blue jordan almonds for the eggs. I found the brown and white polka dot liners in Ireland- but, I am sure you can find something similar from Bake it Pretty. The best thing about these cupcakes.... they were easy to make and tasted delicious!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a little birdie told me....

I always love to have a place for guests to write messages, advice, thoughts and ideas for the mother to be. So using some more craft paper and a whole punch I embellished this album to coordinate with the rest of the details for the baby shower. We put a note inside it that read " a little birdie told me" and passed it around at the shower for everyone to sign. I got a few of these advice books when I got married and had my first baby and I still enjoy reading through them.
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

blue "j" bellini

I always like to serve a signature drink when I have a party. For this baby shower
we made blueberry Bellini's- that I re-named "Blue J Bellini's." The recipe can be found here. To make it even more fun I made some drink stirrers with bamboo skewers, craft paper and a whole punch.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

feathering a nest

Today I co-hosted a baby shower for my friend Nell. The theme was "feathering her nest" using birds, feathers, and a blue "J" (as in blue jay) since she will be naming the baby something starting with that letter. We used the colors orange, brown and blue. As you can see from the photo above we used onesies on a clothesline for decoration. At the end of the shower we gave them to the mother to be as an extra little gift. Stay tuned this week for lots of details from this fun day.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

thanks "berry" much

This year, for my daughters pre-school teachers, we contributed money towards a class gift. I still wanted to give them a little something just from us to thank them for all of their hard work this year. While we were in Ireland I picked up some jars of delicious (and beautifully packaged) strawberry jam from my favorite store, Avoca. I found the green bags and strawberry ribbon at Michael's Craft Store and personalized them with my signature stickers. I attached a card to each of them so that I could include a personal message of thanks to each of the teachers that worked with my daughter this year. I would love to hear what you gave/received as end of the year teacher gifts this year?

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Friday, June 11, 2010

every teddy bear who's been good, is sure of a treat today

For party favors we gave out petite picnic baskets and chocolate (bear shaped) lollipops. In the baskets were all sorts of tiny treasures including treat size bags of gummy bears, picnic themed stickers, miniature magnifying glasses to look for bugs and erasers shaped like ladybugs and watermelon.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

let them eat cake

So I have to admit that I am not very good at decorating cupcakes. They never seem to turn out how I imagine they will. So, I have learned instead to just find things to put on top to decorate them. For the teddy bear picnic I found red/white gingham cupcake liners from "Bake It Pretty" and then used some small chip wood baskets (to look like miniature picnic baskets) and filled them with some petite fruit shaped candy. I was going to put on some plastic ants that I had- but, since this was for 2 year olds I decided not to. I found the red cupcake stand at Target a while ago and love how the cupcakes looked when displayed on it.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

teddy bears picnic

My son turned two the day after we returned from our trip to Europe. So, I had to think of an easy and fun way to celebrate and one that I could pull off with very little prep work. Since he loves to go to the playground, I decided on a Teddy Bear Picnic theme and invited some of his friends from play group to a local park. I had these individual red/white gingham take out containers for each child. Inside was a gingham napkins, a lemonade juice box, a bag of teddy grahams and some fruit snacks shaped like bugs. On the gingham plates I put out a variety of sandwiches (cut into teddy bear shapes with a cookie cutter) and slices of cold watermelon. For the adults I made my summer salad (lettuce, turkey, blueberries, strawberries and asparagus) and served a loaf of fresh bread on the side. I have a tin picnic basket that I filled with ice and put bottles of water and lemon pellegrino sodas in for all of the adults. It was a fun afternoon for everyone and luckily the sun was shining. I'll share a few more details later this week.

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