Thursday, December 16, 2010

Photo Booth Props-- Round 1

I really enjoyed making these props for our DIY photo booth. I'm working on making more, but this is what I've done so far.

They are very inexpensive to make-- all you need is some card stock, felt, dowel rods, scissors, and a glue gun!

If you would like any of the templates to make these feel free to contact me!

I printed the templates onto card stock, cut the shapes out, hot glued the shapes to felt, cut the shapes out of the felt, and glued the dowel rod onto the card stock. I hope that makes sense!

I recently went to Chicago to visit my amazing Maid of Honor and nanny-extraordinaire, Natalie. The beautiful girls that she nannies wanted to create their own props, so I brought my supplies and we crafted-it-up! :)

Tall Centerpiece Mock-Up

I made a mock up of my possible tall centerpiece.

Here's the details: manzanita branch with 4 miniature crepe paper rose pomanders (made with Christmas ornaments I wasn't using) and 4 crystal/pearl hangy things I made in a terra cotta pot (I would paint it brown though, so picture it brown) with moss.

It's 26-27 inches, but I think with some more finagling I can add a few more inches.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Please be honest! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Let's be honest here my floral budget isn't the $5,000+ that I would like it to be. My reception centerpiece idea is to have 2-3 different centerpieces on the approx. 15 tables.

Floral Centerpieces
I'd like to have our florist do some of the centerpieces-- low floral centerpieces. I like the colors and shape of this centerpiece.

Tall Centerpieces {DIY}
My florist said that tall centerpieces start out at $65 each. I had a hard time validating spending that much on a centerpiece. So I started looking for tall centerpiece inspiration to DIY.

Since our wedding and reception is being held in a 1940s barn I wanted to go with rustic kind of look. I have 6 manzanita branches that I can use to make these centerpieces.

Candle Centerpieces {DIY}
I have 24 cylinder vases and many floating candles. I'm still working on this idea. I did a mock-up, but now I don't know if I like it anymore.

If I had a $5,000+ floral budget, this would be the tall centerpiece.

A girl can dream, right? :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Recipe #2-- Cut-Out Cookies

Growing up, I always looked forward to baking and decorating cut-out cookies with my mom at Christmas time. There cookies are soft with slightly crispy edges. Yum! :)

Cookie Recipe


  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Sift 3 ¼ cups flour, baking powder, and salt together, set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients until fully absorbed. Cover dough, and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets (I use parchment paper). On a clean floured surface, roll out small portions of chilled dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use remaining ½ cup of flour to coat surface. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are barely brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Frosting Recipe


  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring


  1. In a large bowl, cream together the confectioners' sugar and butter until smooth. Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.

My Baking Arsenal

I don't bake without my Air Bake baking sheets and silicone baking mats.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Es.

Today would have been, my good friend and bridesmaid, Esther's 26th birthday. We met and became fast friends in preschool.
I miss her more than words can say.

Love you, Es!

{ Me; my friend, Abby; and Esther at my 5th birthday party }

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Recipe #1-- Chocolate Pretzel Rings

I've also heard of people calling them Santa Buttons. They are SUPER easy and fast to make, and not to mention delicious!

Any kind of Hershey Kiss, Reese's peanut butter cups, or Rolos
Pretzel rings

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Unwrap your candies and place them on a baking sheet (I put foil on top because it's easier to peel them off in the end). Put a pretzel ring on each candy (for peanut butter cups, the pb cup will have to go on top of the pretzel). It's ok if the pretzel isn't perfectly round.

Pop them in the oven for 3 minutes. Around the 1 minute mark I open the oven and shake the cookie sheet around a little bit to get the chocolate moving in the middle of the pretzel ring. When the time is up and you get them out of the oven, I move the tray back and forth again to move the chocolate around. Place an M&M on each, pressing down slightly.

Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Store at room temperature.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Decorations

Brad and I are ready to celebrate our 2nd Christmas in our home! (We bought our first home in June, 2009.) I started putting decorations up the week before Thanksgiving and finished this week. Brad helped me put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.

Our Christmas tree has been the same for the past 3 years. I like Christmas trees with a clear theme or style. Growing up, our Christmas tree always looked like a schizophrenic elf decorated it. The tree is still decorated in the same style to this day-- multicolor (blinking) lights, themed lights (bubble lights, poinsettia lights, santa lights, fire hydrant lights, etc.), garland, various ornaments. Your eyes just don't know where to focus.

Because I have to have my "styled" Christmas tree I put our sentimental/fun ornaments on our little Christmas tree in our entryway. I want to get an engagement ornament this year to put on the tree.

I did a blue and silver theme for our entryway table last year and this year. This year I added the white tree with blue lights that I've had since childhood. My late Aunt Pat made one for my brother and me when we were little and my mom used to put them in our bedrooms at Christmastime.

I was inspired by the branch centerpiece that Shelley, from the House of Smith, did this year as part of her Christmas decor so I decided to emulate it. :) She's so creative and inspiring! You have to check out her blog!

Small display on the random bookshelf in our living room.

Disclaimer: Please don't judge the standard tan paint. I know it's boring. :) I'm waiting until we get new living room furniture/after the wedding to paint the great room (light blue/gray).
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