05.30.2012

When we set out to write the menu for Rebecca’s Hen’s Night, we decided to serve tea sandwiches to go with the English party theme. Small bites are always a good way to go for girl’s nights and showers, and we figured they would be perfect for this daytime event. Whether classic flavors or new favorites, it’s fun to sample a variety of options. We are not quite ready to unveil the full Hen’s Night post, but here are some small bites that will make your mouth water:

A spin on a brunch favorite: toasted multigrain baguette, cream cheese, smoked salmon, and chives.

Caprese, a classic that everyone loves: toasted french baguette, tomato, basil, and mozzarella with a hint of olive oil.

A nice mix of sweet and savory: sourdough bread, sliced strawberries, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar completes the selection of tea sandwiches.

Top: apricot jam, brie, and arugula

Bottom: butter, avocado, and smoked gouda cheese

We love to make dinner out of party leftovers. While grocery shopping for this event, we went a little overboard and ended up with tons of extra food. This definitely wasn’t a hardship. With all of the cheeses and fun green veggies we bought, we had lots of variety to choose from for making a special dinner. Even when you are home alone, it is so much fun to experiment with flavors and create your own small bites. Who knows they may be so good that you will want to share them at your next party.

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05.28.2012

Today marks a very special day. Our 100th blog post. Here are 100 photos from our 100 posts featuring DIY projects, recipes and treats, interior design, event planning, a variety of guest bloggers, and some other fun inspiration along the way. Thank you to our readers for keeping us excited to post every week and inspiring us to continue to come up with new ideas. We would love to hear from you, what is your favorite post so far?

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During our recent trip to Chicago (seen on: Inspiration Through Travel: Bachelorette Party in Chicago), our friends introduced us to this adorable shop. Galleria in Andersonville is a multi-leveled space for artists and craftsmen to display and sell their work.

Tami has been searching for just the right pieces of art to fill the walls in her Gothic Shabby Chic Apartment. She has always longed to have a chandelier of her own, and when she came across these beautiful photographs of vintage chandeliers she knew she had to have them.

She selected these two black and white photographs for their beautiful design and architecture set in Barcelona and France, and as she was paying for her purchase the saleswoman let her know that Rebecca Plotnick Photography just got picked up by Papyrus. We will be keeping an eye out for more work from this talented artist.

As the walls in Tami’s apartment have been pretty bare, she couldn’t wait to get these photographs hung up. She immediately went to Aaron Brothers and selected these simple black frames and white matting that complimented the black and white of the photos without taking away from their beauty.

As Lauren’s college professor so eloquently said, “No project is ever truly complete.” There is still work to be done in Tami’s gothic shabby chic apartment. However, the new addition of her beloved chandeliers adds something new to her space and will serve as a reminder of her first time in Chicago.

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This past weekend we celebrated our sister, Rebecca’s upcoming wedding with an international tradition. Here in America we call this event a Bachelorette Party. However, as Rebecca and her fiancee’s relationship began in England and he is originally from Scotland, we found it more fitting to throw her a European inspired “Hen’s Night”.
Every good party begins way before the food is prepared and the guests arrive. The invitations set the tone for the party, bringing excitement to guests upon opening their mailboxes. For Rebecca’s Hen’s Night, we hoped to set the tone with a vibrant floral print and a fun play on the word “hen”. Here is a look at the process to creating these Hen’s Night invitations:

The first step is to select your materials. We bought this bright floral contact paper at Joann Fabrics, which proved to be helpful in making invitations as the back is already sticky (no adhesive necessary). In addition to the large floral print, we selected: Tiffany blue envelopes, white cardstock, translucent vellum, Martha Stuart’s crystal course glitter and glittering glue (found at Michael’s), this adorable hen stamp and distress ink pad, and raffia to “tie” it all together.

We used the contact paper we bought as a background for the invitations. The large roll of contact paper lent itself well to making invitations in bulk and even gave us leftovers to use in the party decor. Each invitation is unique because of the large repeat in the pattern.

Next, we double hole punched the top of each invitation and tied them with raffia. The vellum makes it so you can still see the beautiful pattern underneath.

To complete the main invitation, we incorporated poetry, humor, and even some English terms to tell guests the information needed for the party which truly made them personal. They read:

“Far far away in England is where we begin our tale
of a vertically challenged lass and a man who loves his ale.
We speak of course about Rebecca, the soon to be Bride
Our sister and friend whose personality she could never hide.”

 

 
Every Bride needs something to fill her suitcase for her honeymoon. We decided to include an additional card inside each envelope asking guests to bring a gift for the Bride as well as pictures of themselves with Rebecca for a scrapbooking project we would be making during the Hen’s Night. Each card was complete with a hen stamp, a small bit of raffia, and another witty poem which read:

“Something frilly, something sweet,
Something to knock him off his feet.
Feel free to bring lingerie
For when they go on holiday.
And a few pictures would be dandy
For a scrapbook our Bride can keep handy.
But shhh … don’t let Rebecca know.
We wouldn’t want to spoil the show.”

 (Of course, we did not include this particular card in the Bride’s invitation.)

 

We finished off the entire look with these Tiffany blue envelopes complete with glittered hen stamps on the front. (We are sure the post office really appreciated this as well!) Each envelope was hand addressed in a fun ALL CAPS font and certain words were written in bold to create an interesting look.
These invitations truly set the tone for Rebecca’s Hen’s Night decor and all events of the day. We can’t wait to share the rest of the details from the party with you … coming soon.
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In our previous post, Master Bedroom Inspiration, we showcased inspiration photos for Lauren and Scott’s home remodel. In the last couple of weeks, construction has begun and they have been extremely busy selecting paint colors, tile, fabric, and plumbing fixtures. Lauren has been pulling ideas from her original inspiration all throughout the process and will continue to do so. Here is a look into how she envisions her master and guest bathrooms to look: 
Master Bathroom  
Simple modern sink cabinet in a gray wood finish with a white stone countertop
Simple and sleek glass shower enclosure with a tiled seat in the shower 
A gray textured tile wall would create interest.
 
A white pocket door will lead you from the master bedroom into the bathroom  
Gray linen tile would look gorgeous on the floor
Our dad has been hard at work pulling samples to complete Lauren’s vision. Here are the ones she intends to use so far: grayish – brown wood veneer, white ceramic tile, white stone countertop material, gray linen ceramic tile, and modern brushed nickel drawer hardware.

Big thanks to Joel, Lauren’s father-in-law for spending a Saturday afternoon at his shop, BJ Discount (where they sell all sorts of plumbing and electrical fixtures / equipment) with us. Here are some of the fixtures Lauren and Scott chose for their master bathroom: a clean lined porcelain sink, a brushed nickel single handle faucet, and a modern towel bar, towel ring, and toilet paper holder.

Guest Bathroom 
 
 This is the style for the cabinet and countertop / backsplash in the guest bathroom. They are even toying with the idea of adding shelving as seen in this picture on the side of the bathtub. 
They like the look of these drawer and door fronts for the sink cabinets
A white tiled wall to surround the shower and tub enclosure is finished off nicely with custom glass doors
Lauren would like to keep the finishes in this room light and clean. The addition of this linen floor tile would add texture to the room.
 
They selected this modern, white rectangular bathtub from BJ Discount
Our dad who is a carpenter by trade, decided to take on this project himself. He’s done everything from building the cabinetry, to hiring all trades, as well as working with Lauren to select all of the materials. It has been fun seeing him every day, but Lauren and Scott are anxious to see the finished product and of course share it with all of you. Keep reading! Our “Under Construction” post is coming soon…
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