Bridal Tea Party recap

Since today is the bride’s birthday, it’s only fitting that I tell you all about how that Bridal Tea Party I told you all about a few weeks ago actually went!

On Valentine’s Day we had a T&C themed tea party for the bride-to-be. My sister and I had such a blast preparing for the tea party that I had to share pictures from the event!

My sister & I at the tea party (she arm knit her pink scarf especially for the Valentine's Day tea party - isn't it so neat?!)

My sister & I at the tea party (she arm knit her pink scarf especially for the Valentine’s Day tea party – isn’t it so pretty?!)

A few weeks ago, my sister and I had a scrumptious breakfast at Cafe Strudel (where we ironically ran into the bride- and groom-to-be) followed hours wandering the Old Mill Antique Mall in search of teacups {it was as fabulous as it sounds}.

Our mission was to get 10 teacups and saucers for the bridal tea party. They would serve a dual purpose: during the party, the teacups would be used for the tea or coffee and the saucer could serve as the plate to hold the tasty treats. After the party, each gal would get to take her teacup and saucer with her as a party souvenir. This also worked to our advantage for a quick and easy clean up. 😉

sister cups

Can you guess which teacup is mine and which is Katie’s?! I’ll give you a hint: they’re in the same position as we are above 😉

I had considered being super fancy and making calligraphy place cards for everyone, but I decided instead to use some simple pink handled paper bags I picked up on a recent Target trip for double duty (placeholder + something to carry their teacup home in). I drew each gal’s name in calligraphy on the front of the bag and positioned them in front of their teacups.

Remember the tea packets I told you about in the original tea party post? I stuck them inside the bags so each gal would have a bit of tea as an excuse to use her teacup later 😉

I don’t mean to drown this post in pictures of vintage teacups, but I can’t resist sharing them all with you!

teacup 1

teacup 8

teacup 7

teacup 6

teacup 4

teacup 3

teacup 2

The ladies of Blue Flour Bakery were ahhhhhh-mazing! They went above and beyond to accommodate our little party and made everything so special (and pretty darn delicious!). A few weeks prior to the party, we met and picked out the menu. My mouth literally watered for weeks thinking about our choices.

Sweet: We went with sugar cookies, lemon bars and their famous chocolate chip cookies (to.die.for).

cookie tier

I thought my heart might stop when Teri brought out the tier of our sweet treats. They tasted as amazing as they looked.

c cookies

The bridesmaids will be wearing coral at the wedding so Teri incorporated it as the cookie icing and added C’s for Caroline (the bride). Isn’t that so sweet?!

Savory: The brides loves pimento cheese so we went with the homemade pita chips and pimento cheese. It did not disappoint!

pimento cheese

Pimento cheese is hard to perfect and as a southerner, I can be quite a snob with my pimento-cheese-judgement, but these were AMAZING.

My sister is pretty good at styling a plate, am I right?!

My sister is pretty good at styling a plate, am I right?!

The bride loves shopping local just as much as I do and she did something super cool: she built a registry with a local potter (Kyle Smith Pottery). He made her everyday wear in a special blue and green tone. So obviously, Katie and I had to gift it 😉

pottery

Caroline & a bowl from her one-of-a-kind everyday wear handmade by Kyle Smith Pottery.

Did you know that you can create a wedding registry with Etsy?! It’s been an option for a while and had I had an actual wedding, I totally would’ve taken that route to support handmade shops in the process.

me & caro

The bride-to-be and her very short matron-of-honor 😉

food platter

My mouth is watering just thinking about how delicious all of the treats were!

It was absolutely amazing. Blue Flour never disappoints. I’m already digging around for excuses to host another tea party there!

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DIY Bridal Tea Party

I hinted to you in my #reslicedHappyMail post that I am planning my Bestie a Bridal Tea Party and today I want to tell you all about it the preparations I’ve made so far. I DIY’d a lot of stuff for it so far and I’m excited to share those with you.


blog pic
I’ve been best friends with the bride since middle school and when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I was over the moon! {Remember how cute the card was that she sent to me last August?!} In lieu of a traditional Bachelorette party, Caroline requested that we have a tea party with all her favorite gals. You see, the reason Caroline & I have stayed Bestie for so very long is because we’re both 85-years-old at heart. So the minute she released me from planning anything involving penis straws was just further confirmation that she’ll be the one in the rocker beside me on the front porch of our nursing home gossiping about all the old guys one day. We had originally planned to have the Bridal Tea at a tea room a few towns away, but that fell through. Caroline almost gave up on the tea party idea until I persuaded her to let me attempt to throw one myself. With help from another of Caroline’s wonderful Bridesmaids, we came up with an alternate plan that worked out perfect. There’s a lovely [locally-owned!] bakery in Irmo (our hometown) that offered to let us use their space in the afternoon to throw our own tea party. I could spend all day telling you how delicious the chocolate chip cookies are at Blue Flour Bakery, but you should probably just go buy some of your own {oh.my.word. – so good!} Ok, back to the DIY portion of this post… To start, I searched for a site where I could design and print my own invitations (I was short on time and was worried I wouldn’t get printed invitations as quick as I needed them). I stumbled upon Greetings Island (browse their Bridal Shower invitations here) and loved their templates and how easy it was to customize. Once you design your invitation, you have a few options for exporting. I chose to save mine to a PDF file with four on a page. I knew I wanted to mount mine on scrapbook paper so I opted to have them a little smaller than usual.

invitations

The final invitations

I actually had tea party themed scrapbook paper already that I use to mount my jewelry (makes for a great necklace or earring holder when gifting, displaying or shipping) so I didn’t have to buy any (yay!). To make the scrapbook paper “frames” around the invitations, I traced around my invitation and added an inch to each side. I didn’t love how the pointed corners looked so I grabbed the paper coffee cup I was drinking from and used the bottom to trace a rounded edge for the corners. From there, I traced the template on the back side of the scrapbook paper so the lines wouldn’t be visible on the front when cut. Then I glued the invitations to the middle of the scrapbook paper. And voila! Handmade [nearly free] invitations. With some inspiration from The Postman’s Knock, I knew I wanted to attempt making my own envelopes. What better way to practice than with 11 invitations?! This also allowed me flexibility in sizing of the invitations (since I’d be customizing the envelopes to fit). To make my template, I deconstructed the envelope that Caroline’s wedding invitation came in – like this:

envelope

To customize the envelope template to fit my invitations, I cut off the left and right triangle flaps and sliced a bit off each side of the main piece until it was sized to fit. I reattached the side flaps though they proved to not be as necessary (since I switched to a square template and just used the top and bottom points as reference. That might be a bit confusing so if you are interested in making your own, I highly recommend following The Postman’s Knock instructions. I used a copy of our local Skirt! magazine for the envelopes.

skirt mag

This is the November issue – isn’t the cover lovely?! I also used the December issue (not pictured).

The size of the magazine is perfect for envelope-making because it is longer than a traditional magazine and the cover illustration is always beautiful. In fact, I was able to use a good bit of the magazine because the content (even the advertisements) is so lovely – it’s a very well-designed magazine. For pages that were too thin to stand alone as an envelope, I just glued two together to double it and then cut my template. If you look close at the cover picture above, you can see my envelope template outlined in pencil.

kroush

This is the front of the skirt magazine transformed into an envelope.

kroush back

I always love the quotes on the front cover of skirt magazine. I had to cut and reattach it so that the recipient could read it (without turning it upside down), but I love how it fit perfectly on the back of the envelope.

sarah key

The girl is actually holding a stalk of celery in her mouth which worked perfect as a placeholder for the address 🙂

skey back

And since weddings are all about “cooking the perfect mix”, I thought this quote was a good one for the back of the envelope 🙂

szimbardi

rlewis

This was actually an advertisement for a local cosmetics shop. The address covers the shop name.

kdixon

jcrew

This might be one of my favorites – isn’t the girl so cute?!

I love how each one turned out differently. I had a blast deciding who would get each one and how I’d display the address within the design. I can’t wait to make more envelopes to use for #reslicedHappyMail – speaking of, have you nominated someone yet?! If not, read all about it here & follow the link to the form. In addition to the invitation and envelope DIY, I also found a lovely [free printable] tea package. I struggled with customizing these, but the team at Botanical Paperworks was amazing and responded quickly over email to help me out. Each package says “T&C – the perfect blend” and “thank you” on the flip side. They printed in 3 different colors – one of which was coral which is the color of our bridesmaids’ dresses! Perfect.

tea satchets

I absolutely love how these turned out! The perfect favor for a tea party.

I had originally planned to make my own tea bags by purchasing loose leaf tea in the bride’s favorite flavor (berry) and sewing them by hand – like these. However, I decided to save myself the extra effort so I could use that time and energy elsewhere 🙂 Instead I used Tazo Passion herbal tea which was perfect – berry flavored and it said “passion” on the paper label which seemed appropriate 😉 To fit the tea bags into the packets, just remove them from their original paper wrapping (or purchase tea bags that aren’t individually wrapped). Have you planned a Bridal shower before? I had a ton of fun planning this one and I’d love hear about your DIY shower experiences – share them in the comments below!

{UPDATE: Read all about how the party went and pictures from the event in this post.}

What I’m Lovin’ in August

We’re enjoying a super hot August here in the South so I’ve gladly been spending my weekends in the comfort of the air conditioning (and working on becoming a little more pasty).

But on the bright side (pun intended): I’m actually posting this What I’m Lovin’ blog during August! So cheers to being on time this month!

resliced by Jordan

 

So here we go friends! The short list of what I’m lovin’ this month:

1. April Rhodes‘ Arizona Fabric Collection

From the moment I saw the collection, I’ve been dreaming up what I wanted to make with it. I’ve tossed around every idea I could muster up and finally decided I love the collection SO much I’m willing to give quilt-making a try! Yep, you read that right: I’m working on my very first quilt! And don’t worry – I’ll definitely be posting about this! Be sure to follow me on Instagram – I’m going to start posting progress pictures soon! 🙂

[insert heart-eyed Emojis!]

[insert heart-eyed Emojis!]

2. My [first] rotary cutter

I have read over and over how great rotary cutters are, but being the cheapskate that I am I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on one…until I decided I wanted to make a quilt.

The Hubs subscribed for a free trial of Amazon Prime (what are you thoughts on this? Should we keep it?) so I used that to my advantage and ordered a rotary cutter + self-healing mat + quilting ruler kit (all for under $30!) with free shipping and it arrived in 2 days – Win!

rotary

This kit is the bomb!

Ripped it open Saturday morning and realized investing in a rotary cutter was totally worth it!

3. Racing season is upon us!

In February I conquered my very first half marathon and went on to finish a second one in March. Since then I’ve been trying to convince myself to do it again, but the summer humidity has put a damper on my training so I’ve been doing short intervals indoors (which is beyond boring…I’m the kind of runner who likes to sight see while running – I run slow enough that this is an option).

But – cool weather is just around the corner!

My original plan was to run the Governor’s Cup half marathon in November, but if this weather doesn’t cool down just a smidge, I might be doing the 8k instead. The Governor’s Cup 8k last year was my first long race (ever)! My running coach and friend, Randy, convinced me I could do it. The race showed me that I really like running (who knew?!) – and I didn’t hate training! Randy knew the bug was planted and graciously offered to train me for the half marathons. Haven’t I told you – human kindness is the best thing ever?!

race

Me & Randy at the Palmetto Half Marathon finish line in March

Now that you see the picture above, you see exactly how generous it was for Randy to offer to run with me! I’m short and slow…he is neither!

4. The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell by Loraine Despres

I’m still on my summer reading kick and I recently saw this book while plundering the shelves of my local library.

belle

I usually avoid books that involve historical references because there seems to be no way to do that without becoming incredibly boring (call me shallow), but this book sure proved me wrong!

While it’s chock full of historical references to the women’s movement, Loraine has a way of keeping the storyline light, romantic and suspenseful. The story completely engulfed me and I couldn’t put it down. My favorite part about the book were the one-liners that Belle (the main character) comes up with throughout the book as rules to live by – she calls her collection The Southern Girls’ Guide to Men and Other Perils of Modern Life.

ch16

Chapter 16 contained my favorite 🙂

I can’t recommend this book enough! I’m planning to read all of Loraine Despres’ collection now. Have you read any of those? What are your favorite summer reading books?

5. Watching the Hubs play lacrosse

It’s summer – which means one thing: the Hubs is looking for every men’s league lacrosse tournament within driving distance to play in. I can’t lie: I don’t make all of them (nor do I really try that hard…there are just so many!), but the annual Blue Ridge Classic held in Asheville is one I haven’t missed in years. I love Asheville – it’s a vegetarian’s food heaven so it’s worth the hours spent sweating on the sidelines for an evening of amazing food and chocolate in a thriving downtown with a serious appreciation of locally sourced food and handmade goods. I promise to blog soon about all my favorites!

This year, the Hubs played in 9 games with 2 different team that weekend. After all these years, I still don’t have a great understanding (ok…any understanding) of the game, but the most amazing thing happened – and I saw it!! The Hubs scored the game winning goal in overtime during the game he played with his old teammates from Presbyterian College (where he played for 2 years before we transferred to USC). It was amazing!!

lax

That’s the Hubs hidden behind #4, throwing a shot – not the game-winning-in-overtime-shot, but still a nice picture! [photo not taken by me btw]

I can’t lie, I love to shamelessly brag on the Hubs’ athletic ability mainly because I am so uncoordinated it’s a miracle I can run without injuring others (yes, others).

#ProudWifeMoment

6. My best friend is getting married! 

I’ve been friends with Caroline since what feels like the dawn of time. We’ve gone from awkward middle school girls who hung out at the school over summer break (true story…we volunteered. Total nerds) to college suite-mates and now adults with “real jobs.”

I remember when I met her fiance for the first time and I just knew. The way he looked at her and the way she talked about him, I just knew my bestie had met her soul mate. It was only a matter of time until I got that special call. Well – I got that call a few weeks ago!

Icing on the top of this whole scenario is that she adorably sent me my “invitation” to be her MOH in the cutest way. She knows my snail mail snobbery and the fact that any card not made my friend MaryAnn of MASW Designs just isn’t good enough.

So, she had MaryAnn custom make the invitations and promise not to post about it until I’d received mine. (Seriously, my friends are the cutest).

card1

Maybe I’m over-thinking it, but fingers crossed for coral dresses! {But seriously it doesn’t matter because Caroline has timeless style!}

How precious is the inside?!

How precious is the inside?!

Seriously I’m over the moon about being asked to be Caroline’s MOH. It’s such an honor and I’m SO excited for all that’s to come! I teared up thinking about my MOH speech while vacuuming the other day…I’m such a nerd!

I hope you enjoyed my list of what I’m lovin’ in August! What did you love (or are lovin’) about August?

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}