20 March 2014

Around the House Bridal Shower

Back in August, my sister Katie got married! I was honored to throw her a bridal shower a couple days before the wedding. I was supposed to arrive in Salt Lake at 1pm the day of the shower but our "direct" flight had to stop in St. Louis to make sure that the cargo door was secure. As we landed I was a little worried I'd be late for the shower but mostly worried that all my hard work would fly out the cargo door midair! But luckily everything was fine, we arrived at around 3pm and I was able to make it to the shower in plenty of time to set up. 

My mom was awesome and reserved us The Velvet Room at Thanksgiving Point. It was really nice and worked out perfectly. They prepared the refreshments and set them out on a beautiful buffet for us. My mom, mother-in-law, and Katie helped me set everything up that I had prepared. Thank you to my sweet cousin, the beautiful Aubrey Nilsson, for taking pictures for me! 

I made the table runners out of some grey chevron fabric I found at Hobby Lobby. They were quick to whip up and I really liked them. The centerpieces were provided by Thanksgiving Point. I purchased the white doublesided picture frames for .99 each from IKEA and filled them with free printables that talked about home that I found on Pinterest. I then printed off little house templates on white cardstock and cut out the windows with a razor blade. This took quite a while but once the little battery operated tea lights were inside I really liked the effect.

For the gift table I bought a wall hanging at Hobby Lobby that said "Bless This Home". It was my gift to Katie as well as a little sign to indicate where to put gifts. Perfect!

The entry table was set up with ink pads and a page that said "Home Sweet Home" Zach and Katie 8.30.2013. I found the "Up House" image online and drew in some straight black lines then the guests stamped their fingers to create a balloon look. Then they wrote their names in their fingerprints. I loved how it turned out. A little keepsake for Katie's new home. 

Here's the final framed result-

Also on the entry table was an intro activity for people to start working on as they arrived. I had asked Katie and Zach a bunch of questions about themselves and I went through all their answers to find the best responses. I put their quotes on a "He Said, She said" half page I designed. For example, "I am afraid of heights." or "When I was 16 my favorite TV show was Smallville." Then the attendees had to decide if Zach said it or Katie said it. They circled the mustache or the lips. 

 Each guest also received a popsicle stick with a mustache and lips. These took a long time to cut out. I did not enjoy this part! Now of course I see that you can find precut mustaches in stores since mustaches are so trendy right now. That would have been nice!

When it came time to play the game, I would read the statement aloud, the guests would hold up their mustaches or lips to indicate which one they guessed and then Katie would tell the correct answer. It was fun and cute. Here's the beautiful bride with her lips.

We also did a door prize that didn't get pictured, but what I did was a game called Who Has the Groom as you see on this site. I cut out generic tuxedo bodies and taped on various celebrity heads. One lucky person had Zach's head on theirs. I taped them in envelopes underneath their chairs. At one point I told them to reach under their chairs and find their "dates" for the evening. Some of the ladies were very pleased with their dates! :) The person who had the real groom got a prize. 

Anyways, it was fun and we had a nice turnout. Katie got a lot of great gifts to stock up her new home! On the invitations (I got them on etsy here), I wrote down which room of the house their gifts were supposed to be for, so she got a good variety of dishes for her kitchen, placemats for the dining room, and of course a little lingerie for the bedroom. 

Here are some photos of everyone enjoying themselves at the shower. 

 And as a little take home gift, I don't have a final picture but I got these little treat bags and stuffed some of them with Zach's favorite candy (Mike & Ike's) and one of Katie's favorite candies (Peanut Butter M&Ms). I thought the little "Thank you for making Katie's Home SWEET" tags were a nice touch.

For all the printables I found and even more ideas, check out my Around the House Shower Pinterest board. 

16 February 2014

The Best and Worst of Thanksgiving 2013

Best Parts of Thanksgiving 2013-

1. Lindsey and her boyfriend (now fiancee) Collin coming to visit from DC! The girls loved Collin and were all over sitting on his lap and jumping on him. Poor guy!

2. Decorations - I loved my Thanksgiving mantle! I got that chalkboard print done as an Engineering Print at Staples for like $3. I got the frame at Good Will, took the nasty floral picture out, and painted it white. Then we wrote what we were thankful for on those leaves and made it into a nice garland.

3. Thanksgiving Dinner food - Yum! We helped the kids make these cute Oreo Turkeys (from ourbestbites.com) and spent the day cooking yummy food!

It was only my second time cooking a turkey but I brined it and it turned out great. I did end up overcooking it a bit though so next time I will do better!

The Candied Coconut Sweet Potatoes and the stuffing were the favorites. Yum! We stuffed ourselves and had to take naps all afternoon. For dessert I made a pumpkin cheesecake and a traditional lattice top apple pie. Mmm....

4. Catching Fire- Lindsey and I went to see this. It was SO GOOD! I was mesmerized the whole time!

Worst Parts of Thanksgiving 2013-

1. The night after Thanksgiving Collin woke up sick. The poor guy threw up all that yummy food. He was really sick with a fever all day the next two days so we didn't do much. Lindsey and I did go see Catching Fire just to do something the next day but we really didn't get to go do all the Nashville things we wanted to.

2. Saturday Lindsey and Merrick got sick too! Collin was on the mend but poor Lindsey and Merrick weren't well for the rest of the time they were here. We felt so bad sending those two sickies back home on an 11 hour drive to DC feeling so crummy. I didn't even make any food after Thanksgiving because no one had the stomach for it. Lucky for me there were plenty of leftovers to enjoy. Sickness can really kill a vacation, can't it?!

Overall we were so glad to meet Collin and we are excited for their wedding next month! Hopefully we'll all be feeling healthy and happy then! :) 

Merrick's 31st

Merrick turned 31 in November. We threw him a little pirate themed party! He requested a carrot cake and the cream cheese frosting I use has coconut and nuts in it so that makes it hard to decorate in pirate fashion. So we improvised and I think it turned out great!

I also spent a few weeks working on a present for him - my very first quilt! For some reason Merrick has a problem with ripping his work shirts in the elbow of all places! So I had a large stash of ripped shirts I've been holding onto and decided to cut them all up into small squares, add a little grey chevron fabric to give it some pizzazz and attach it to a grey flannel back by tying. It turned out great and he loves it!

 Here's a shot of the whole thing-

I had a fun time making it and it definitely reminded me of my Grandma Haws because she has made so many tie quilts like this before.

Merrick had a nice birthday. We went to Phat Bites for lunch and enjoyed some delicious hummus there and I can't remember what we did for dinner that night but the carrot cake was definitely enjoyed!

My Sweet Grandmother

In November by Grandmother passed away very unexpectedly. She was totally fine one week- planning her big Thanksgiving family dinner- and then a week later she passed away. It was very hard on our family. We all expected her to not only outlive her husband but to live until she was 95 years old! But we know that she is busy on the other side taking care of others in the same way she took care of all of us. Here is her obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/deseretnews/obituary.aspx?n=joann-kay-haws&pid=167974770

I was able to fly out to attend the funeral services with all of my siblings and both of my parents. It was nice to be there with our large family (she had 8 children and 31 grandchildren, and now 25 great grandchildren and counting).

We miss you so much, Grandma! But it is so comforting to know that we will be together again someday.

Going Buggy!

I meant to publish this a while ago...

Avery had her 2nd Grade music program last October. It.was.amazing. Her music teacher is awesome and has everything perfectly choreographed and rehearsed! All the kids had a short speaking part and no one messed up. The theme was "Going Buggy" and so each song was about bugs since that is what they are studying this year. The kids all had costumes so they looked like bees, spiders, ladybugs, caterpillars, butterflies, etc. Avery was a dancing katydid. She looked great. 

Here she is with her class. 

And here is the stage with all the second graders. Pretty cool, right?