Five Lovely Things

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? I’m not! But, if I were, I’d be looking to some of these amazing images for inspiration…

FiveLovelyThanksgivingClockwise from top left: Gilded Harvest Place Cards from Cupcakes & Cashmere // Harvest Tablescape from Ruffled // Printable Thanksgiving Bread Wraps from Whipperberry // Golden Harvest Candles from Anthropologie // Pumpkin Welcome Display from Budget Decorator

I hope you have a great weekend!



Off to Peru!

Today I leave for Lima, Peru – to spend a long weekend in celebration of my brother and our favorite Peruvian gal, Priscila, for their big wedding!

MikePriscilaPeruYou can read a bit about Michael & Priscila’s love story here, and you can see the fun travel-themed bridal shower my mother and I threw for Priscila here, here and here!

I’ll be back next week – hopefully with some great pictures and some brushed up Español!


Travel Themed Bridal Shower Favors


To make the favors for our “Baggage Claim” at the travel-themed shower, I used small gift boxes, a “postage meter” rubber stamp set from Michael’s, and my “airmail” baker’s twine.


Since Mike & Priscila met in Sweden, we filled the boxes with Swedish fish!


We displayed them inside an old suitcase – really driving home that ‘travel’ theme with our “Baggage Claim” display!


Sweet & simple!

DIY Shower Decor – Hanging Globes, Lanterns & Tissue Paper Flowers

Possibly my favorite part of the decor for Priscila’s travel themed bridal shower was the lovely hanging display of globes and paper lanterns in my parents’ oak tree.


My father and my uncle Gary teamed up to hang the collection of globes and lanterns from the tree branches – with my father bravely hopping up on a ladder to string them up!


The inflatable globes are from Oriental Trading Company,  as are the white paper lanterns.


To make the tissue paper flowers (tutorial adapted from Studio DIY):

1. Cut four sheets of tissue into 6×6 inch squares, and fold the square twice over.

2. Cut a petal shape through the folded sheets, and then open the layers and lay them on top of each other in alternating directions.

3. Fold the sheets in half, and cut a small slit through the center, than slip some floral stamens or – in my case – q-tips (nothing like working with what you have, right?), and fold the sheets up to form a flower.

4. Simply wrap some clear tape around the base of the tissue & stems to secure the flower. Give ’em a fluff and you’re set!


I hot glued the flowers to the sides of the paper lanterns, and glued ribbons to the bottom.


I loved the way the ribbons blew in the breeze all afternoon. It was like a little magical fairyland out in our backyard!


DIY Decoupaged Cake Stands

You’ve seen the tutorials, so this project is not likely to blow your mind. Pretty plates + pretty candlesticks = pretty DIY cake stands.

To pump up the unique-ness, however, I decided to decoupage my plates – covering them in pieces of a vintage style world map – to help them fit into our travel theme for our globally-inspired bridal shower.


I used some plastic plates from IKEA and a world map purchased from Staples. One map was enough to fully cover two large & one small plate. I cut out the three continents that are most significant to the bride & groom – North America (my brother being from Pennsylvania), South America (Priscila is from Peru), and Europe (the couple met in Sweden & vacationed in Paris).


I saved the cut-out-continents for last, and set to work covering the plates with pieces & strips of the map, cut into various sizes and lengths. I adhered all the pieces using Mod Podge. I was peeling the stuff off my fingers for days to come!


Once I’d covered the edges & majority of the surface of each plate, I placed the cut out continent pieces into the center and secured them down.


After failing at wrapping & glue-ing around the edges of the plates (covering round & bendy surfaces is hard!) I decided to save myself some trouble, and use a roll of Washi tape I already had on hand – patterned with suitcases, so it totally fit the theme – to securely cover the edges of each plate. I gave everything another coat of Mod Podge & sprayed the plates with a sealant when I finished.


Two of the plates were attached to a pair of white Ikea candlesticks to form raised cake stands.


They helped to add some height to our dessert table display!


By the way, I made sure that all of the food displayed on these decoupaged plates were in individual wrappers – as the mod podged surface is not really meant for food!


Enjoy your day!

Travel Themed Bridal Shower – International Food

My mother and I teamed up to create the lunch menu for Priscila’s travel themed bridal shower. Our goal was to feature foods from the four main countries that are important to Priscila and Mike – the U.S., Sweden (where they met), Peru (where Priscila is from) and France (where they took a special trip to Paris together).


We hosted just over twenty people, and had more than enough food to go around (that’s a sign of a great party, right?!) Our appetizer spread included a big platter from Philly Soft Pretzel Factory, for what could be more representative of Philadelphia than soft pretzels?


We had cheese and crackers (plateau de fromage) to represent France, and a tray of thin rye crisp bread, cheese, and sweet & yummy lingonberry jam – a common preserve eaten in Sweden.


I ordered some of our international fare from World Market, including the crisp bread, jam, and two jars of bruschetta made in Peru – an artichoke spread and an artichoke & piquillo peppers – all of which were delicious!


The star of the appetizer table was definitely the bolitas de causa served with huancaina sauce, a Peruvian dish made all the more authentic because it was prepared by Mili, Priscila’s mother! Mili knew these were a favorite of Priscila’s, and we all learned why very quickly – they are absolutely delicious (made with potatoes and other magical ingredients), and the sauce (a spicy cheese sauce) was killer. I will be getting the recipe from Mili for sure!


Lunch was primarily ‘American’ – deli mean sandwiches and a salad. We also served Swedish Meatballs (bought a package of frozen ones from IKEA), and Deviled Eggs (made by my wonderful Aunt Susan!).

Dessert, my friends, was clearly the highlight of this whole event.


We had Red Velvet Cupcakes (Priscila’s favorite, homemade by my mother), Chocolate Chip Cookies (homemade by my grandma), Coconut “Cocadas” or Macaroons – made by me using this Peruvian recipe, and a suitcase full of Peruvian chocolates & candies brought by Mili.


We also had a lovely tower of French Macaróns (naturally!)


These delectable & fluffy macaróns came from a great little french bakery in Quakertown, PA (my hometown) called Moussey Moose. We had chocolate, raspberry, and lemon poppy flavored – and they were quite possibly the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.


I labeled our multi-cultural foods with markers printed on cardstock & cut in the shape of airplanes, listing the food & the country of origin. (just taped to toothpicks and stuck into the food platters!)

And we can’t forget the drinks: unsweetened iced tea and Pisco Sour Sangria – a delicious version of sangria that uses Pisco, a popular Peruvian brandy. I followed this recipe and will definitely be making this again!


My mouth is watering just thinking about all of the delicious food we served! It was like a trip round the world on a plate!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Travel Themed Bridal Shower – Invitations

I had so much fun designing the invitations and all additional paper goods for my wedding last year that I knew I wanted to try my hand at designing the invites for our travel themed shower for Priscila.

Invite1The invitation features the recognizable ‘airmail’ colors border and some carefully selected images – like a Peruvian stamp, the Spanish mark for air mail, and a postal mark containing the shower date!


The fonts are Mardian for her name (the complete name looks so lovely in this font, but I blurred it out for privacy purposes!), Rubber Stamp for the main text, and Vintage One as an accent font.


Tied to the main invitation is a card cut to mimic a luggage tag, featuring the couple’s registries.


I had the invitation pieces printed at Staples, but provided my own paper which I ordered from my favorite paper supplier, Paper and More. I ordered all of my wedding paper from Paper and More, and absolutely could not be more impressed with their selection, service, and quick shipping speeds!


I cut the pieces to size using my Martha Stewart paper cutter. Then, I punched the tops of the luggage tags & placed little white paper reinforcements to achieve the ‘luggage tag’ look! Everything is tied together with my favorite craft supply – baker’s twine! I love this “Airmail” twine, from Whisker Graphics via Amazon.


There you have it – a super personalized invitation for our surprise, travel themed bridal shower!