04.10.2013
We all know the famous saying, “April showers, bring May flowers”, but for us it usually happens that as the weather starts to get warmer there seem to be many showers to attend. We guess “when it rains it pours”. In any case we always look for inspiration in each party that we attend and hope to share ideas with all of you planning on throwing a shower for a loved one or who are in need of ideas for what to bring as a guest. 
Decor
As a host, choose a color scheme that goes along with the Bride’s wedding decor. If she has not selected colors yet (or does not wish to share this element with her shower guests), her favorite color can be a safe choice. Coordinating flowers add a fresh element to any party. 
Food

Ladies like to keep it light at this type of event. You can never go wrong with a bagel and cream cheese spread with all the fixings or delicious salads on a warm Spring day. We love how this adorable yellow umbrella is set up to add a festive touch and a pop of color to the food display. 
Small details are always appreciated; such as wrapping plastic silverware with a satin bow or adding fresh fruit to pitchers of water or iced tea. 
Games / Activities

Bridal shower games … you either love them or absolutely can’t stand them (or if you are like us, you only like them if there is a prize worth fighting for)! We had fun playing this quiz game about the Bride and Groom with questions such as “Who is crabbiest in the morning?” and “Who is more likely to cry at the wedding?”, but this prize really took the cake! This Minimergency Kit by Pinch (which “contains anything a gal might need … in a pinch” such as clear nailpolish, hairspray, and even dental floss) really proves that “good things come in small packages”.

Keep upcoming events in mind when planning bridal shower activities. In this case, each guest (including the Bride) decorated their own pair of flip flops to wear at the wedding when their feet start to hurt. As the Bride and Groom would be honeymooning in Hawaii, this project also went well with the Hawaiian theme of this particular shower. 

Send your Bride off with some good marriage advice. Each guest wrote a note at this Bridal Shower which was then included in a scrapbook for them to access at any time throughout their marriage.

Gifts

Make a registry gift more personal by adding your own special touches. A bottle of champagne is a nice addition to a glass wine bucket or set of champagne glasses, and always remember that presentation is key. A little tissue paper, cellophane, and an over-sized bow can go a long way. 

Personalized take home gifts are a nice touch. We love how these candy jars were wrapped in the party’s signature colors and each sticker included the couple’s names and the date of their wedding. 

Dessert

Even this dessert bar matched the color scheme of its bridal shower decor. In our opinion, mini cupcakes and other treats are so much more fun than their larger sized versions.

A little love for the hosts …

You can’t throw a party without the party planners! Working in groups is always so much more fun, however it is easiest if each host takes on a different aspect of the party as there is always so much to prepare.

 

You may be tired at the end but it’s totally worth it! Just remember, we are always a quick email away should you need some help.

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04.05.2013

In keeping with our focus on Interior Design and Event Planning, we have once again selected photos that coordinate with our calendar pages for the month of April to show you the overall looks that are inspiring us this month.

Tami’s inspired: This month, I am particularly focused on my professional life as I will be traveling to Israel with my students for two full weeks. Going into this trip I hope to be organized yet ready for anything, and know that a lot of sunshine will do me good. I chose to keep my color scheme warm and inviting because I am hoping that these feelings will be waiting for me overseas. I am excited to watch my students experience Israel for the first time and visit with family whom I haven’t seen in a while.

 
 
   
              
Each photo I selected has a clean and crisp look, yet there’s a warmth about the rooms that makes them inviting. Many of the elements in these spaces add a bit of color and a whimsical touch such as the fun patterns, interesting color palettes, and fresh flowers. 


Lauren’s inspired: This month, I am truly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with my pregnancy. I focused my inspiration on the idea of “April showers” as these type of events are coming up for me. Besides, whose favorite part of the day isn’t a warm shower, especially when you are pregnant? I kept my look neutral and organic to show my mellow mood going into this month.

 
  
  
The stark white of my interior photos is balanced nicely by the charcoal gray and organic wood touches. This ties into my event photos through the use of plants and burlap. All of my inspiration photos encompass a serene feeling of leisurely going about your day. Don’t get me wrong … I do still have a lot to do to prepare for my little one.        
We are looking forward to an exciting month which will include a couple of April “showers”, registering to get ready for Lauren’s baby to be born, a special trip to Israel, and Interior Design posts with a retro twist. Don’t forget to check out our next Get Inspired post on May 3rd for all new looks!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Apparently April is grilled cheese month. Who knew? When we set out to write this post it just seemed like a good idea (not to mention Passover is officially over and we are dying for bread!!), but now it is even more relevant as we found out that April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day.

Last year, Tami attended a party like no other she had ever been to … a grilled cheese party to celebrate the end of Passover. Each guest brought ingredients to create their own versions of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches ranging from sweet, to saucy, to savory. As they took turns using the pans (that had been previously set up), they made their own concoctions, and cut their sandwiches into small slices to share with the other guests. It was truly the best way to break a week’s worth of no bread and a fun idea for a party in general. For the end of Passover next year, we are hoping to plan our own grilled cheese party and have already begun pulling inspiration for our own grilled cheese creations.

Sweet
 
Fontina and Blackberry Basil Grilled Cheese: You can really use any kinds of fruit and cheese to make this type of sweet grilled cheese, but something about combining blackberries, basil, and fontina  is both unexpected and delicious.
 
Brie Apple Grilled Cheese: Instead of butter or margarine brush each slice of white or sourdough bread with a little olive oil and then fill the inside with brie, spinach, and thinly sliced apples.
Saucy
Parmesan Crusted Pesto Grilled Cheese: This is a great source of comfort food. The outside of the sandwich has a salty parmesan cheese crust while the inside is filled with mozzarella and basil pesto making it so that there is cheese on both the inside and outside.
Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese: This combines the deliciousness of spinach artichoke dip with a classic grilled cheese sandwich. They went heavy on the spinach and added a magic ingredient … sour cream.
Savory
Beet, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese: Butter both sides of the bread, fill with savory beets, and add goat cheese to each layer. 
Sweet and Spicy Caramelized Onion BBQ Grilled Cheese: This photo is literally making our mouths water. It reminds us of our father’s favorite quote (which also happens to be from Carl’s Jr.), “If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face.”
… and of course tomato basil Soup is a must!
This is Nordstrom’s recipe! Grilled cheese and tomato soup is the epitome of comfort food. 
Why not plan your own party to celebrate grilled cheese month? If you need help we are just a quick email away and would love to work with you Side by Side to plan the menu and the look for this event. Contact us at sidebyside.design@yahoo.com.
 
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recycle
Recently, Scott’s cousin Courtney sent us an email and link to her own personal blog asking us to be a part of her “blog party”. This Summer she is going to be an assistant art teacher at a two week day camp that her children attend, and although she considers herself to be a creative person she was having a hard time coming up with ideas for some fun “green” projects to do with older kids using at least some recycled materials. So, she decided to ask her readers to help by participating in her “blog party”. To see more details and / or join in the fun, go to Courtney’s blog: Embracing the Insanity

In coming up with our own ideas for Courtney’s “blog party”, we kept her requirements in mind. Planning for art projects with younger kids is easy, but it can be equally rewarding to work with the older ones. Big kids (tweens and young teens) have to take ownership of their project. It needs to feel worthwhile and mature in order for them to buy into it. We also kept Courtney’s wishes to “keep it green” in mind.

For our submission to the “blog party” we want to propose that Courtney recreate famous paintings with her students using recycled materials. Here are some ideas we have found paired with the artist’s originals:

Pablo Picasso’s Self Portrait

Use recycled phone books and magazines, combined with oil pastels, to make a Picasso-inspired self portrait. 

“American Gothic” by Grant Wood

This example uses beans and sunflower seeds, but you can really use any type of materials to create this famous couple.
“Sunflowers” by Vincent Van Gogh

Plastic bottles make perfect flowers when cut up and painted. You can even use a side of a cereal box for your canvas …
… or recreate this painting using wood scraps wrapped in colorful newsprint. For an easier version just use the newsprint, magazine pages, or scraps of scrapbook paper rolled tight.
“Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh

Use torn up pieces of magazines to recreate this famous scene … 

… or you can create a 3D replica using cardboard or an opened up shoe box.
As always we are happy to “help a sister out”, and know that many of our readers are creative as well. For those of you that would like to take part in Courtney’s “blog party” follow these three easy steps: 
1. Write a new post (or use one of your old posts if you have one), about a recycled craft idea. 
2. Email the post’s permalink, and any additional information you want to share, to   doubledootydiapers@comcast.net. 
3. The deadline for submissions will be Friday, April 5th. 
Once she collects all of the ideas, she will do a final post on her blog www.embracingtheinsanity.wordpress.com with everyone’s ideas (and links to their pages), which will also serve as a list of possibilities for her to use this Summer. We cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with! 
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