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No, this post is not about a super fab 80’s rock song by Toto. (Even though I  kind of wish it was.)

It’s about china! And tabletop decor! And tumblers!

Hooray!

But really cool china, and tabletop decor, and tumblers.

Generally, I’m a stick to the registry kind of gal. I mean, they go shoot at the shelves fora  reason ladies, it’s usually best to order up what they ask for. HOWEVER, sometimes I do like to stray, but only if the person I’m buying for is someone I love and know inside and out. My mother always says don’t buy art for people you don’t know. I think the same is true of china. I mean, odds are your best friend from high school that oyu haven’t talked to in ten years will probably be able to find a place for a bright yellow bowl, but don’t bet on it.

So if you DO happen to know the bride your buying for better than the average girl on the street and she likes things like Alice and Wonderland and bright colored, whimsical tabletop decor. Shop on… with Rosanna, featured on One Kings Lane today!

These are a few of my favorite things…

Let's Play House Gift Box $49

A child-like tea set perfect for grown-ups.

Artist Loft Two-Tiered Tray $19

Mmmm… cake.

Set of 4 "La Mer" Tumblers $49

Seaside tumbling…

Red Dot Tea Pot $19

Mad Hatteresque and happy about it…

Set of 4 Italiana Pasta bowls $22

That’s amore…

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I LOVE THIS! A friend of mine stumbled upon these amazing cookie-cutters from Williams-Sonoma, via the amazingly adorable Creature Comforts blog,  and passed them along to share.Also be sure and check-out the video on the WS website to get your very own tutorial. We love these, and at $19.95- it’s a totally affordable kitchen addition. A super sweet favor for guests at bridal showers, or engagement parties. Love.

What better way to celebrate an engagement than with cupcakes and champagne? Seriously. When our friend KO recently came in to work sporting a whole lot more sparkle on her left hand, we declared a cupcake celebration. So we decided on a little Sweet Revenge.

First… check out that sparkle…

KO's new Sparkle

Serious sparkle right?

Sweet Revenge is an adorable cupcake “bar” in NYC’s West Village.

Sweet Revenge NYC- Carmine St.

Not only do they have some of the most amazing cupcakes in town, they have a whole list of wine and beer pairings so you know exactly what drink goes best with the Malaysian Coconut or Crimson & Cream cupcake.

Let me say this. These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. Hands down.

I had the Fleur De Sel, which, is not listed on their online menu, because it’s just that amazing, and it’s special.  Imagine pure chocolate, and salted caramel heaven in your mouth. It’s like San Fran’s Bi-Rite Creamery’s famous salted caramel ice cream flavor on crack in petite cake form. Amazing.

So of course, almost all of us ordered that. KV ordered the Crimson and Cream, which is raspberry red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and surprise raspberries inside. She was gracious enough to share, and it was deliciously perfect with her raspberry bellini.

We HAD to have drinks with our cupcakes, after all it was a celebration!

Cheers to KO!

Cupcake and Bling...

Wine & Beer pairings at Sweet Revenge

Definitely worth checking out. Congratulations again KO!

First- a sincere apology for the slacking this week. Times they are a little crazy. I escaped the New York weather last weekend in favor of a short weekend trip with my bestie to Charleston, SC and nearby Kiawah Island. It’s my favorite place on the planet, and it was a much need and super fun trip. I was taking notes for friends who are heading down for a bachelorette weekend in April. The bride in question, is super laid back and far away from the scary pink feather boa place. (me too- truth be told) So she opted for a mini-vacay with her best girls down south.  Listen up ladies… here are our suggestions.

Drinks over Charleston…
Pavilion Rooftop Bar-Market Pavilion Hotel

Market Pavillion Bar

Market Pavilion Bar

So there’s nothing more wonderful than the brand new Market Pavilion Hotel in downtown Charleston. Complete with views of historic Charleston, a cascading pool, signature cocktails, eclectic cuisine offerings and the city’s most spectacular sunsets, you will not want to miss this hot spot to kick the night off right. It’s a little bit pricey, but totally worth it. Hold out on appetizers and just and just go and enjoy the amazing view and the drinks. You might even see some heat lightening in the distance like we were. I highly recommend the Pavilion Sweet Tea Martini. It’s AMAZING. They use the always delicious Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and layer it with freshly squeezed southern lemonade. Trust me. Another hot spot worth checking out, The Library at the Vendue Inn in historic Charleston.

Bring out your inner S.N.O.B at Dinner…
Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B)

S.N.O.B. Charleston, SC

S.N.O.B. Charleston, SC

One of Charleston’s most incredible dinner spots, Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B), one of the Maverick Southern Kitchens is the perfect place to continue the evening. Located in a 19th century brick warehouse just north of historic Broad Street, you’ll get a taste of some of the south’s best dishes.  Award-winning executive chef Frank Lee starts with the Carolina Lowcountry’s rich resources, then adds his own blend of flavors from Charleston’s multicultural heritage. I highly recommend the Pesto Gnocchi to start- sounds so simple, yet so incredibly different and delicious, and then move on to the Grilled Southern Medley complete with locally grown vegetables and don’t forget dessert. The Sour Cream Apple Pie, is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. Promise. and I really don’t like Apple Pie. It’s to die for.  The other great thing about S.N.O.B, is that they use locally grown food from nearby islands. They can accommodate groups of 12, but there is no private dining, just calm your inner snob and sit with the common folk. It won’t kill you. In fact I’m fairly certain you’ll thank me. If you’d rather test your senses elsewhere check out other Maverick kitchen restaurants, High Cotton and the Old Village Post House.

Day Trip
Kiawah Island, SC

Kiawah Island, SC

Kiawah Island, SC

I shoudn’t recommend this to you, and increase the already crowded beaches, BUT. Kiawah Island is the best place ever. Especially if you go in the off-season. It’s a mere 50 minutes from downtown Charleston, and the easiest of drives. It’s a quiet little island, with low wooden street signs, and not a commercial building in sight. If you go, rent bikes from the Kiawah Resort Bike Shop, lunch at the poolside grill at the brand new, and seriously regal Sanctuary Hotel and Resortenjoy a paddling tour of the island, or take a Sunset Cruise with a bottle of your favorite champagne.

Now. Don’t forget to get in some serious shopping on historic King Street, experience the open air market with loads of southern gifts and treats, and maybe even fit in a carriage ride. It’s a beautiful little city, and perfect for the laid back bride and her entourage to relax and enjoy a little bit of downtime before the big day.

Pottery Barn

So Pottery Barn has this super fun new online tool the “party planner,” that helps you plan “6 casual parties at home with style and ease”. Sweet. I’m a big fan of hosting at home parties and you can bend and shape these babies into engagement parties, bridal luncheons, showers and more.

There’s a Movie Night Party, Wine and Cheese Party, Dinner Party, Tequila party, Cocktail Party, Bridal Shower. Since we’re pretty bridal related here at Wedding Belles, I’ll showcase that one for you all. Check out the rest though. There are downloadable invitations, playlists from itunes and more!

Pottery Barn’s Party Planner shows you how to throw a Bridal Shower.

The Pottery Barn Bridal shower playlist includes:
You and Me (Lifehouse)
The Way I Am (Ingrid Michaelson)
If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys)
Better Together (Jack Johnson)
Lucky (Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat)
Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
Kiss a Girl (Keith Urban)
At Last (Beyonce)
Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)
The Way You Look Tonight (Michael Buble)

There’s also a Timeline, 8 favor ideas, games and themes. Check it out.

(Keep in mind it’s Pottery Barn, so it fares closer to the MS line of the world. Traditional, classic bridal shower ideas.)

It’s that time again… Salute your inner prepster. It’s summer. Why not? If you bestie frequently sports a string of pearls, a popped collar, madras flip flops and anything with a whale… this post is for you lady. Listen up.

A shower should be a reflection of all that the bride is, so if your bride-to-be is a seriously put together, pink and green model of preppy perfection make your life easy and follow suit for her bridal shower.

Here’s everything you need to know to plan a perfectly preppy bridal shower.

THE INVITATIONS
This is your first clue to guests that this shower is going to be pretty-in-prep. So shop around and set the tone here.

Preppy Stripe Invitation from MyGatsby.com

Preppy Stripe Invitation from MyGatsby.com

Andalucia Green Invitation by Bliss from Paper Buzz

Andalucia Green Invitation by Bliss from Paper Buzz

Preppy Gingham, Plaid and Polka Dot Invitation by Polka Dot Paper Shop

Preppy Gingham, Plaid and Polka Dot Invitation by Polka Dot Paper Shop

THE DRESSES
I’m a pretty firm believer that bridal shower attire should always still remain a little bit on the dressy side. Not over the top evening wear obviously, as they used to say, your Sunday best. But if you’re a pretty little preppy I shouldn’t have to tell you that. You wear your pearls to sleep don’t you? What?   I do.

These fun new “Summer in the Vineyard” dresses from Kiel James Patrick are PERFECT for a preppy shower, whether it’s the bride, her maids or her lovely ladies in waiting, these sweet summer frocks are perfect for a preppy shower.

Lindy Mayfair Dress from Kiel James Patrick $68

Lindy Mayfair Dress from Kiel James Patrick $68

Chartner Meadow Melon Dress from Kiel James Patrick $68

Chartner Meadow Melon Dress from Kiel James Patrick $68

April Darling Dress from Kiel James Patrick $68

April Darling Dress from Kiel James Patrick $68

OR

go traditionally preppy and sport something in Lilly, and J.Crew or Vineyard Vines with looks like these…

Bowen Dress Solid Lace by Lilly- $248

Bowen Dress Solid Lace by Lilly- $248

Embossed Green Lorelei Dress $118

Embossed Green Lorelei Dress $118

Vines Skylark Dress by Vineyard Vines $295

Vines Skylark Dress by Vineyard Vines $295

THE CENTERPIECES
If you were lucky enough to hit up the MacKenzie Childs Barn Sale last weekend (which was amazing) you can make use of the seriously discounted and seriously adorable planters they have to decorate tables. If not, you just have to dig a little deeper in your pocket. Plant adorably simple herbs like rosemary, basil, parsley and thyme and DIY your own adorable plant sticks with materials from your local craft store.

Courtly Check Planter $25 from MacKenzie- Childs

Courtly Check Planter $25 from MacKenzie- Childs

Pink & Yellow Stripe Planter $25 from MacKenzie-Childs

Pink & Yellow Stripe Planter $25 from MacKenzie-Childs

THE DECORATIONS
Keep it simple and in the same color scheme as your invites. Using varying shades of fewer colors is a good way to keep things interesting without going overboard. I love this faux rose kissing ball from Special Occasions Designs. Perfect for decorating outside the venue on iron stakes or on the doors.

Floral Kissing Balls  $20 from Special Occasions Designs (Etsy)

Floral Kissing Balls $20 from Special Occasions Designs (Etsy)

Hang personalized tags on chairs as place cards instead of using table cards.

Personalized Hang Tags- $5.95 for set of 12 from paper Eclectiques (Etsy)

Personalized Hang Tags- $5.95 for set of 12 from paper Eclectiques (Etsy)

Buy up sets of fun and flirty party poms to hang from the ceiling from Etsy seller Party Poms or DIY with this easy tutorial from Martha over on In The Details Blog!

Girl Fun set of 5 from Party Poms on Etsy $25

Girl Fun set of 5 from Party Poms on Etsy $25

Pom Pom Decor from Martha Stewart

Pom Pom Decor from Martha Stewart

THE FAVORS
Fill tiny monogrammed boxes with flower seeds for guest to take home and plant.  If you’re more of a traditionalist fill with small candies, nuts or dried fruits for guests to take on the way out, or place at each place setting.

Personalized Gift Boxes $2.50 each from Special Occasion Designs (Etsy)

Personalized Gift Boxes $2.50 each from Special Occasion Designs (Etsy)

Monogrammed Compact Mirror from The Preppy Polka Dot

Monogrammed Compact Mirror from The Preppy Polka Dot

GIFT GIVING
Distribute these adorably preppy recipe cards from Dabney Lee at Home with the invitations and have guests bring their favorite recipe for the bride to the shower.

Dabney Lee Recipe Box

Dabney Lee Recipe Box

Kate Spade Posy Vases are perfect to brighten up a room…

Kate Spade Posy vases $49 on Sale!

Kate Spade Posy vases $49 on Sale!

Monogrammed Candlepot from Pottery Barn

Monogrammed Candlepot from Pottery Barn

Don’t forget to say THANK YOU…
Mind your manners and get your thank you notes out pronto on some super preppy paper.

Preppy Polka Dot Thank You from Dainty Invites

Preppy Polka Dot Thank You from Dainty Invites

Kate Spade Thank You Notes $25

Kate Spade Thank You Notes $25

So this year seems to be the year of the shower… I know that normally that gets followed up with the wedding, but I have so many this year that I can’t attend because they all seem to fall on the same day! So my attention has turned to the showers. I received an invite in the mail yesterday for a Bridal Shower Tea down in Tennessee. No joke. Adorably rhymey right?

So I started thinking about the Bridal Shower Tea and what a cute idea it is. Well Martha thinks so too… I mean why wouldn’t she. It’s  not for everyone, but if your bride falls a little more conservative, loves her tradition and seriously enjoys her tea, this is a really lovely and unique shower option.  Here are some easy DIY ideas to spruce up your bridal shower tea!

CENTERPIECES/GIFTS

 

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Martha says…

In addition to bringing your gift for the lovely bride-to-be, Martha suggests asking each guest to bring an antique tea cup to the shower for the bride to eventually use in the many tea parties with eclectic non-matching tabletop parties she will throw once she’s hitched.

I say…

In theory- it’s a great idea if you have room for 50 or so antique tea cups. Otherwise, maybe the bridesmaids can go flea market/thrift store shopping and find some mismatched tea cups that can double as party centerpieces and keepsakes down the line. 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Martha says…

New or vintage, the containers are inexpensive and easy to find at specialty-food stores, tag sales, and online auctions. Test tins to make sure they’re watertight before filling with single-flower arrangements. If any do leak, use plastic bags as liners.

I say…

Great idea. Especially for casual backyard showers or summer time showers that allow for mismatched wild flower arrangements.

 

FAVORS

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart
Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Martha says…

Buy loose tea in bulk. Trim the tops of tea bags (available where loose tea is sold, this is by T-sac) with scalloping scissors, and fill with one teaspoon of tea. Tie with baker’s twine. Print a message onto card stock, and cut out. Punch a hole, thread onto twine, and knot.

I say…

Genius. I love it. You can buy loose tea just about anywhere and if you want to add a little extra personalization and you have access to an amazingly talented friend,  calligraphy  the tags instead of printing them.

 

SWEETS N’ TREATS

 

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Martha says…

Make some homemade cookies and place them in labeled jars. This way, your guests can choose their favorites. Set out glassine-lined bags and seals for packaging cookies to go.

I say…

Brilliant again. You can find cheap ribbon to decorate at raft store sales or fabric stores.

Hello lovelies! So, last weekend we packed up our bows and headed west across the great ( and seriously full of cows) state of Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh for an impromptu Bridal Shower for my friend E! It was a long trip, but we managed to make it pretty damn fun. It was a really wonderful bridal luncheon that was short but very sweet. I wanted to share a couple of really cute ideas from this shower with you all…

Bridal Shower Centerpieces

CENTERPIECES

Keeping things simple, the Bride-to-Be’s MOH used gerber daisies as centerpieces (which also doubled as prizes in the games) and surrounded each plant with adorable and USEFUL (keyword) favors. The bride, E is very into photos and so picture frames made sense and were made very personal with pink and yellow ribbons and a sweet little poem in multi- colored paper inside.

The poem below:
“(Bride’s Name) is becoming a bride & soon (Groom’s Name) will be by her side. Let’s shower her with love and cheers and wish her luck in the coming years!”

Centerpieces/Favors

GAMES

CENTERPIECE GIVEAWAY
The MOH put a little sticker on the underside of one frame on each table. The person who had that sticker won the centerpiece. Nice and Easy. One down.

CELEBRITY COUPLES
Everyone got one piece of paper with a list of famous people (Fred Flinstone, Lucille Ball, Zac Efron etc.)  and a blank next to each. We had roughly a minute to fill out the list with their respective significant other. This game is pretty simple and you’d be surprised how many names you can’t come up with on the spot. Keep the time down to limit prizes.

“I LOVE YOU” AROUND THE WORLD
Another piece of paper… easy enough no one has to get up… with a list of “I Love You” in lots of different languages. Guests have to write down next to each one what language they think it is. Countdown from the total for a winner. (Did anyone get all 20 right, 19, 18? etc.) to find winners. This is an especially good game to do if the couple has done lots of traveling or somehow can be tied back to the couple. ALWAYS try to do that. It just make it that much better.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BRIDE
You saw the other version of this game which I posted at my friend J’s Bridal Shower. But for this version, you list, on another piece of paper, questions about the bride (What’s her favorite season? How many schools has she attended? How did the couple meet?) and countdown again from the total to find winners. In theory the bride’s mother and family should have a little bit of an advantage here, but again… you’d be surprised.

 Congrats E! 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess Blog

Photo Courtesy of Hostess With The Mostess Blog

Just in time for Derby Day ladies… The Kentucky Derby is Saturday and if you haven’t already planned your Derby Day party, you best get a move on.  Break out those big hats, pinch your mint plants back and get ready for the most exciting 3 minutes in sports history… the Run for the Roses!  OK that was a little dramatic. But still… exciting!  I love horse racing… and big hats. I grew up going to the track in Saratoga in the summers with my family, so in some ways it’s in my blood I suppose.

If you can’t make it to the actual derby, here’s a wonderful recipe for Mint Julep Cupcakes from one of my favorite daily blogs Hostess with the Mostess!  The recipe is adapted from Cooking & Booking and was first discovered via YumSugar but we trust anything that comes from HWTM. LOVE IT! 

The full recipe from HWTM is below- but check out their blog for more derby day inspired ideas!

MINT JULEP CUPCAKES
{adapted from Cooking and Booking}

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup bourbon (or whiskey)
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe

Icing
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mint extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
milk

*****

Directions:

Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350º F, and grease or line 30 cupcake cups.

Combine salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the milk and liquors to the batter, then the rest of the flour (1 cup). Mix as little as possible, just until the batter comes together. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.

Icing
Combine the powdered sugar, salt, extracts and melted butter and beat until creamy. Gradually add milk until the texture is right for piping. When the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe or spread the icing on top. Garnish with cake sparkles or sprinkles, a straw (trimmed to size), and mint leaves.

 

CUSTOM FAVORS: Flour Seeds Gourmet Baking Mixes

CUSTOM FAVORS: Flour Seeds Gourmet Baking Mixes

 

 You all know how obsessed I am with cupcakes… well this is the perfect favor for your cupcake themed bridal shower, or wedding reception. I’m a big fan of giving away favors that people can actually enjoy instead of trinkety nonsense  they’re going to throw away. So what better favor than food. Seriously.

These adorably packaged favors from the  Gourmet Gift Co., are gourmet baking mixes in beautiful customized boxes for your guests to enjoy! The cupcake mixes come in four tasty flavors including vanilla, chocolate, champagne and red velvet. YUM! Each mix is made with Nielsen-Massey Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla and NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS OR PRESERVATIVES!  Wooo! Plus their amazing frosting recipes are available right on their website so your guests can replicate Flour Seeds incredible frosting right at home!

All you have to do is combine the ingredients from your own kitchen, bake and enjoy! Easy! You can personalize the label with a variety of colors to match your theme and add your own custom text. I so love this. Plus, the Gourmet Gift Co. is a Style Me Pretty Little Black Book member, so you know they’re good people. She doesn’t let just anyone in there you know.

Now here’s the best part… The Gourmet Gift Co. is giving away a $50 gift certificate toward a custom order.
This is the perfect addition to your champagne and cupcakes shower! 

All you have to do is tell us why you love cupcakes, and you can do it in THREE PLACES!
Comment here, send us a message on Twitter or post on our Facebook wall

We’ll pick a winner at random and announce a winner next Wednesday April 29th.

Be sure to check out The Gourmet Gift Co.’s founder, Tawnya Zebrowski’s blog Stylish Giving for more stylishly fun and easy DIY favor ideas!

HOORAY for Cupcakes and THANK YOU to The Gourmet Gift Co. for this incredible offer!

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