#MyBestFriendsWedding Chapter 7 Part 1 – Bachelorette, WCB Style!

Bridal Shower? Check! Bachelorette Party? CHECK! And I simply can’t believe it. I’m sitting here typing this up, freshly off the plane and starting a firm bronchitis treatment because of course I can’t plan a trip of this magnitude without some serious consequences, but I digress… It already happened. So let’s get to talking!

Since putting together the recap for our activities the way I want to is going to take a little more time, I wanted to start off by showing you all the crafts I made for the bachelorette, and then I’ll do a separate post with the trip deets.

Once we knew New Orleans was the destination, I perused Pinterest endlessly to find the perfect crafts/items to have for all the girls in attendance. Also, it was a huge priority for me to keep all items as cost effective as possible, so I scouted all sites and scheduled my shopping around Black Friday, which really paid off, especially for the black shirts which I managed to get at 50% off! So, without further ado, here’s the rundown of what, how much, why, and action shots galore!

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A panoramic shot of all the items spread across the floor pre-packing!

  • The Shirts: the shirts were the only item I planned on running by Michelle for approval, because I wanted her to be surprised with the rest of the bundle. Nola has a bunch of sayings and themes that are fun, but I absolutely fell in love with the “Til Death Do Us Part Is For Quitters” skull shirt concept I came across on Pinterest, and so did Michelle. A few weeks later, she found the “That’s What She Said/YASSSSS” concept and because by that point her obsession with rose gold had taken full effect, we had found our color scheme. The t-shirts were from Target and the tank tops I got from Shirtmax (Tip: they run HUGE, so size down!).
  • The Tumblers: Save A Cup has the best pricing for skinny tumblers. I added some more rose gold vinyl to Michelle’s to make it stand out.
  • The Mardi Masks: now this was a fun journey. Masks are not cheap and this was not the item to splurge on. I found an idea on Pinterest to make masks with puffy paint and tulle, and I tried it and even though they were ok, I knew they were going to break if worn. Fortunately, I found some on Ali Express for about $1 each (with S&H!) which was PERFECT. To the left you can see the puffy paint mask which was cute and all, but I just didn’t want to risk them breaking off. On the right are the lace ones from AE the day they arrived, and I loved the look when I tried it on! Michelle’s was white, of course 🙂
  • The Sleep Masks: in an ideal world I would be rich AF and be able to get the girls PJs as a gift, but since I’m not and this is real life, the next best thing were sleep masks. Ali Express came through for me here again, at just $0.40 per mask (also with S&H) which was INSANE! I wanted to add a cute saying and since we were all about the rose gold and frosé life, “Wake Me Up For Frosé” was a no-brainer.

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  • The Hair Ties: we’ve all seen the “to have and to hold… your hair back!” and “helping you tie the knot” cute hair tie packs, and at such an affordable price for the Fold Over Elastic (FOE), these were a go. The math is roughly about 10 inches per hair tie, so since we had 13 girls I ordered 5 feet of the ones we’d all have, 3 feet for the ones that were only for bridesmaids, and the smallest amount available for the ones for Michelle. Her pack said “here to help you tie the knot” while the ones for the rest of the girls said “to have and to hold your hair back.”
  • The Beads: I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to do New Orleans without beads, right? Anyway, because by this point the rose gold obsession was becoming an epidemic, can you take a wild guess about what I did?

Yes. I spray-painted beads. My spraying knew no bounds during the year and every time my mom saw me with a can in hand she’d run in the opposite direction “before I decided to paint her too” lol. Full disclosure here, the paint peeled off a bit when worn so I don’t recommend doing it, but for decoration it’s fine! (Also, yes I looked for rose gold beads EVERYWHERE, and it seems they don’t exist just yet).

  • The Décor: I wanted to keep things simple for the apartment because we wouldn’t be spending much time in there, so I focused on one big piece: “Bach Shit Crazy” balloons. I also spray painted a couple of trays, the wooden one I got at a thrift store for $0.95 cents, and the other one I got at the dollar store to hold the kit of medicines and common items for the girls to share if needed.

The last thing I planned as an activity that doubled as decor was a Panty Poem. It actually made a perfect dressing moment for the fireplace! And that’s what the spray-painted clothespins were for 😉 The pink quatrefoil-shaped cards are the tags with the verse of the poem corresponding to each pair of underwear. I’ll do a separate post where you can read the poem and see Michelle’s reactions.

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That’s it! I hope you guys liked the items and the rose gold overload, and as promised, below is a breakdown of the price per item per person, which I was closely monitoring so that I could stick to my goal: the entire bundle for each girl should be <$30!

#MissionAccomplished #LikeABoss

Split Per Person

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#MyBestFriendsWedding Chapter 5: The Bridal Shower

Ok guys, so by this point I’ve shown you the invitations and the place tiles, and I’m going to try to make this as short as possible so – welcome to my best friend’s Moroccan Bridal Shower!

AH! The first big event I’ve been preparing for for MONTHS as Maid of Honor finally came and went and I have to say, mishaps and all, it went so well and the most important part is that Michelle loved it and had an awesome time! Michelle’s mom and I planned it together and she was a crucial part in all of it turning out as nice and great as it did, so thank you Marta for all of your help and support with it! Some behind the scenes info:

  • Michelle had mentioned she wanted a Moroccan themed bridal shower before she was even engaged, so I knew that would be the theme, BUT it usually comes with an extremely colorful scheme. When I started my Pinterest board, I tried to focus on the ideas that had the most white, orange and pink to make it more bridal. And then, Michelle fell in love with rose gold, so that became the main accent color next to the white.
  • A few months into the planning, Michelle said to me: “you know I want people to actually come dressed in Moroccan attire, right?” and I was like no, I did not know that, but we can absolutely make it happen! And so we did, as almost everyone came donning their best kaftans and headpieces ❤

With this all said, let’s split the party in sections so that I don’t keep you reading for three hours:

  • Custom Glasses: when Marta and I were looking into tableware, I didn’t want to have plastic cups because they would cheapen the look, and then I remembered the acrylic stackables I used for my Friendsmas party a couple of years back. The problem was, people don’t usually keep track of their cups at parties, so I decided to use vinyl to put their names on it, solving the missing cup issue and also adding a favor they could take home! Win, win!
  • Décor: all I will say here is that I depleted Home Depot of their rose gold spray paint (but good thing rose gold/copper is in because I was definitely able to find TONS of things that were already rose gold, and in some cases, Moroccan too!)
  • Favors: I found these jumbo tea lights from IqraMehndiDesigns on Etsy. She was so great to work with and made the order to fit our color scheme beautifully. Did I mention she’s all the way in Bulgaria and thank God for planning with due time, because it takes two months between making and shipping these to arrive?!?! After the timely arrival, all we did was put them in boxes with filler, a ribbon and a tag 🙂
  • Food & Desserts: Marta took care of ordering the food from a Mediterranean restaurant and it was very yummy! I also asked the groom’s mom, Mayda, to make her infamous Greek salad which is always a hit at parties, and it absolutely was! For dessert, we ordered baklava, and also had some delicious “bundtinis” from Nothing Bundt Cakes, as well as some Ferrero Rocher chocolates, which you guessed it, we sprayed them rose gold too 🙂

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  • Games: I asked the rest of the bridesmaids to help me figure out games that were fun, and we came up with: wear the ring and don’t say bride/Michelle, how many kisses in the jar, Michelle trivia, and find the groom (a picture of Brian hidden somewhere in the party, which he hid himself and it was hilarious!) The prizes were baskets filled with a small bottle of Rosé, a picture frame, a notepad, and a pen – all rose gold of course.
  • Guestbook: since Michelle didn’t want to have a traditional guestbook at the wedding, I thought it would be cute to get her a photo book with pictures of her whole relationship with Brian, and ask guests to fill it with advice for her. She absolutely loved it and it wasn’t a big expense since Shutterfly constantly runs free album offers, so all I had to cover was shipping (plus a few extra bucks for a specific theme that had rose gold, of course).
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The digital proof of the guestbook cover ❤

  • Setup: from the moment I started thinking of the party, I knew that I wanted it to be in my backyard because I had a very specific vision of the table setting around the pool, with a tent for the weather + vibe. It all came together so nicely and Michelle kept telling me she thought the layout was genius, and she loved it all! With a little math figuring out table sizes and organization, it all worked out great!
  •  Snapchat Geo-filter: after Michelle’s engagement party, her sister Andrea was like “we forgot the filter!” and ever since then, I had a mental note to do it for the bridal shower. I worked with DesiPaperThings on Etsy to bring it to life, of course, in white and rose gold.
  • Welcome Sign: I had spray painted my silver easel to make it rose gold for Michelle’s wedding, so I figured we could use it for the shower as well. And because repurposing is queen, I recycled a canvas from a “Paint With a Twist” party that I didn’t like by using gesso to flatten the surface, and with the stencil I created for the failed backdrop I turned the whole thing into a welcome sign 🙂

Of course, I also made props, including a big frame. Marta brought over a portable speaker for the music (we used a Latin music Spotify playlist). We made frosé as the signature drink of the event, and everyone genuinely seemed to have a great time ❤

Because I really try not to make everything seem perfect as we tend to do in social media, here are some of the things that didn’t go as planned (but of course we didn’t let it tamper with the day):

  • Restaurant forgot falafels, which Michelle was looking forward to the most
  • The weather: the amount of wind we got that weekend, we’ve seen only for tropical storms. It was INSANE. The setup was a mission, the tent people got there late because they had to buy sandbags for everyone they set up that day, and it was madness. We also got some rain the morning of while we were setting up the linens, but thanks to the unruly wind and the sun that came out later, everything dried off in time for the guests’ arrival.
  • A table flipped: the wind was so crazy that one of the tables flipped AFTER we had set it up with plates/place tiles/cups (and we used bottles of water and the tiles as weights to prevent things from flying off, but this entire table fell into the pool). Michelle’s dad helped us fish everything out of the pool, but a couple of the place tiles remained under water until the next cleaning… Action shot of the fishing out!

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ALL IN ALL – amazing time, so happy with how it all turned out, and I know Michelle enjoyed it so: Mission – ACCOMPLISHED!

Check out this 1-minute video slideshow that showcases the whole event in just 60 seconds 🙂

Moroccan Bridal Shower Invites

Hello friends! Now that the year has begun and we got our goal-setting in order, let’s start strong by tackling two head on: make things I haven’t made and make more videos!

With my best friend’s wedding fast-approaching on March 24th, the first big event leading to it is her bridal shower, which I’m planning together with her mom, Marta, and hosting at my house. The first step to get the event going: Invitations.

I wanted something that went with the theme and that was truly personalized, and after my search, I found this invitation image on Pinterest, which was a total “YES YES YES this is it!” moment. I couldn’t find the original maker, but it seemed they were in the UK and so it wasn’t really plausible to get it from them. Hence, the decision to DIY. Now, how?

My friend Sandy mentioned that heat-reactive foil worked on ink that was laser-printed when ran through a laminator. Unfortunately (and I’m still not sure why) when I attempted it, it didn’t work 😦

Then my friend Dorcas recommended I try heat embossing (and Sandy had actually gifted me the embossing tool about a year before) so when that attempt worked out, I knew this was the way to go. I bought the card stock and printed the invitation, and now, onto the fun of embossing. Embossing is a technique where you use an adhesive fluid, heat-reactive powder, and a heating tool that melts the powder to create a metallic effect. I made a video of the process for you all to enjoy, so here it is:

Wasn’t that cool? I swear after 40+ invitations, I was still mesmerized by the effect every single time! The list of materials I used can be found at the end of the blog 🙂

Now, onto envelopes –

I follow a few calligraphers on Instagram, but I think one of the best ones is @calligkatrina, who works on all surfaces and has some stunning fonts as part of her portfolio. When I saw this envelope layout she did, I immediately knew that I was going to use that as inspiration. Because my calligraphy skills are limited, I created a template to keep my lines straight, and I’m actually extremely happy with how it all turned out!

Now off to the post office, lets get some ladies to join us for the bridal shower, shall we?

Have you tried heat embossing before? Here’s a list of the materials I used and where I got them:

1. Card stock (which I cut down from 7.5 x 5.5 to 7 x 5 because I didn’t realize they wouldn’t fit the envelopes otherwise: Hobby Lobby

2. Rose Gold Embossing Powder: Amazon

3. Versa Mark Ink Pad: Michael’s

4. Circle Pattern Stamp: Michael’s

5. Embossing Heat Tool: Michael’s

6. Inkadinkado Anti-Static Pouch: Amazon

7. Pink recycled envelopes: Amazon

8. Rose gold metallic Sharpie marker: Amazon (comes in an assorted 3-pack)

9. Celebration Boutonniere Forever Stamps: USPS

Quickie Crafts: Cake Toppers For Marcel’s Birthday

I can’t remember if I’ve gone into much detail about this, probably not, but I should come clean about something: I cannot for the life of me learn Photoshop. I don’t know what it is, I’m pretty good with software and tech in general, I’m eager to learn how to use such a powerful tool that could take my work to the next level and possibly make my life easier… yet for some reason, I simply stare at the layers, close the program and open PowerPoint.

That’s right. All of my digital work gets done exclusively on PowerPoint. Obviously, PPT is extremely limited in comparison to Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in what it can accomplish, but I’ve been riding the wave with it, making it work for my needs and milking every tool available until I get the result I’m looking for.

One of the things I’ve gotten good at with PowerPoint is photoshopping people’s heads onto random bodies or objects. I did it once at SAP for an office birthday, and my dear friend Renata asked me if I could do it for her husband Marcel’s birthday, which just so happens to be today! All she asked was to make them funny. I’m heading out there now to help Marcel + 3 other friends and their birthdays, and I’m bringing the cake toppers, courtesy of PowerPoint. Check them out!

Marcel Popeye

Marcel’s head on Popeye’s Body

Pask

Pask absolutely loves cats, so I turned her into one for the day

Joao

Renata’s nephew Joao was born today, so he will forever share a birthday with his uncle Marcel!

Guy

A new friend of the group gets to be Johnny Bravo today

 

And here’s the final look, on the cake! 

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Not bad for PowerPoint, right? I know, there’s the issue of pixelation and a lot of restrictions but instead of being frustrated, I’m finding ways to get it done. I will try to use Photoshop or Ai at some point, but today was not that day. Gotta go party!

Making It vs. Buying It… What Gives?

The “why buy it for $7 when you can make it for $92 worth of craft supplies?” meme runs my life. I have a very hard time just buying something when I KNOW I can totally make it myself and it will turn out almost identical to the original. The satisfaction of seeing something made by me next to something that is produced elsewhere is so tempting, that I find myself having a dilemma on a weekly (if not daily) basis. “But isn’t it more expensive when you have to buy all the supplies and you probably won’t use all of it?” you say?? Nonsense.

My most recent and blatant example of the ridiculous journey I was about to embark on to make something instead of buying it was for my best friend’s bachelorette that I’m planning. The destination for the bach is New Orleans. Woot! What’s synonymous with Nola? Masks. Should I buy them? Honestly, even if I found really cheap masks, like at Walmart, they’re still not cheap enough to include in the bundle of items I’m making for the girls, and it’s a hard expense to justify. While browsing Pinterest for inspiration, I came across a pin that listed very easy instructions on how to make a mask with just puffy paint and tulle! Ooooooooo! Jackpot! What could be easier than making a mask out of puffy paint? In this particular instance, the paint and tulle I’d need would actually probably come out cheaper than buying the masks anywhere, so that part of the plan was solid. What wasn’t so solid was the amount of time it would take me to make the masks, which I was ultimately ok with, but after making one and trying it on, I knew there was a fundamental problem with them: puffy paint stretches, but only so much… I knew the masks would last 2.5 seconds before one of the ends snapped, and I didn’t want to be all proud and mighty giving the girls things I’d made myself, only to have them fall apart on Bourbon five minutes into the night. This is what the project was looking like:

After 3 puffy paint masks, I decided to take a look at Ali Express, and hoped to find something extremely cheap that would surpass the flimsiness of the puffy paint mask structure. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to find really cute lace masks for really, really cheap. Like under $0.60 each cheap. I thought about it for all of 6 seconds when I immediately decided that in this case, buying was a no-brainer. My saving grace through this process was also that I began planning this practically before my friend even got engaged, so I’ve been doing things with plenty of time, and I didn’t have a problem placing an order for items that would take about a month to come in from abroad. With shipping, 13 masks came out to $11.04 dollars! Yes, all of them! TOTAL! I know.

Absolute steal, absolutely worth it, and unquestionably cheaper than buying all the materials you’d need to make the mask, which if you didn’t own, you’d need:

  • Big tube of Puffy Paint
  • Tulle
  • Parchment paper
  • Printout model of mask
  • Clips
  • Ribbon

As a crafter, I did of course have all those things in hand, so my expense to make the masks would’ve technically been zero, but realistically, that money had already been spent, and in this case, the outcome wouldn’t have been equal to or superior to the purchased product.

Today, buying wins!

Carlos’ 60th Birthday Cuban Musical Props

My best friend’s father-in-law to be just turned 60 years old this past weekend! What a milestone, and such a beautiful number. I am very fond of the 60th birthday because while doing some research when I was planning my mom’s 60th turn around the sun (shh, please don’t tell her I mentioned that number, anyone who puts her over 35 goes on a kill list! haha!) I found out that in Chinese culture, the 60th birthday is sort of a re-birth. 12 x 5 = 60, and that means that by the time you turn 60, you’ve done a full life cycle around all the signs (and sub-types) in the Chinese Zodiac, so it’s a new beginning. Anyway, I digress…

For Carlos, one of the things he has most fun doing is dancing, and since he’s Cuban, salsa is probably at the top of his favorite genres. His birthday was a perfect moment to go all out, celebrate his Cuban heritage and the music he enjoys so much. Check out the props & banner I was asked to make for the occasion!

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Some bongos, maracas and musical notes represented the hobby and genre he loves so much! The fedoras & cigar were a nod to his Cuban heritage and style!

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Rhymes and banners, nothing is… smarter? 😉

The birthday boy danced the night away and all the guests took turns posing with the props. Cheers to Carlos’ 60 Years!

Halloween 2017 DIY – Two On The Run Costumes & Winter Is Here!

You know I’m ALL about the DIY life for Halloween costumes. Do you remember this one? I’m still super proud of those two costumes, but this year was a whole new ball game, on a much tighter deadline.

My bff wanted to keep it simple but cute, so she decided she wanted to be a unicorn, but like the chillest unicorn ever. Horn from amazon, and a shirt by yours truly that said “I’m a unicorn, DUH” for anyone who dared ask. Done.

Her sister went shopping for one idea, and changed her mind during the shopping trip. She came to me with a yellow shirt and some felt and wanted me to turn her into a pineapple. Done.

Cut up the shirt. Drew the peaks. Made a crown out of felt, a headband and some poster board scraps.

I had been thinking about my costume for a while, but decided to pull the trigger the week of Halloween. My red hair was finally in its full glory, and my Game of Thrones fever was (is!) as strong as ever. I also just happened to have a burgundy statement necklace and a newfound love for makeup. Melisandre, you’re up. DONE!

Red hair? Owned. Necklace? Owned. Makeup? Owned. Robe? $12 on Amazon.

And that’s all folks! Another DIY Halloween in the books. Start preparing early for 2018, for the night is dark and full of terrors and you don’t want to show up in the same costume as everyone else…