Indiana Jones {Cool Cake Ideas}

Anybody in the mood for an Indiana Jones themed party…a la Temple of Doom?

Chilled Monkey Brains "ahh, dessert!"

Chilled Monkey Brains “ahh, dessert!”

If you’ve never watched Temple of Doom, well, shame on you! Please cue your Netflix to remedy this situation.

Because of Indy, I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up…me and half of the American child population I’m sure. One of the most famous scenes in this particular movie is when Indy, Willie, and Short Round are having dinner in the palace. They serve all sorts of exotic foods, but the dessert…takes the cake…

Check out this chilled monkey brains cake tutorial I came across by Linda of Bubble and Sweet. Man, this woman has talent!

With the popularity of the Temple Run franchise, you never know when you’ll need a cake made to look like an evil monkey head!

Enjoy!

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Wedding Game Plan Changes

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Image from KeepCalm-o-Matic.co.uk

 

I didn’t post a Motivational Monday today…mostly because I can be a slacker sometimes…but I absolutely had to share this. A young woman in Georgia cancelled her wedding 40 days out and how her family responded is inspiring…

http://abcnews.go.com/US/georgia-family-donates-cancelled-weddings-reception-homeless/story?id=20344600

Aaaarrgghh Matey!

Today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Shiver me timbers and walk the plank!

That’s about all I got…

Wait…

Yo, ho, ho! A pirate’s life for me!

Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom…dear gracious, I love me some Pirates of the Caribbean 🙂

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What’s your pirate name? Mine is Scallywag Storm Chumbuckey.

Lame.

But what’s not lame? REAL PIRATES!

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A friend told me about this group called the Dive Pirates yesterday. They’re based out of Houston,TX and started back in 2003. Their current mission began in 2004 and involves taking military vets on diving trips. The kicker is this…the vets are disabled. Paraplegic, quadriplegic, amputees…they are all welcomed,respected, and loved.

Y’all know I love my service wo/men and I’ve been a certified open water diver since 1996…and I was introduced to a way to combine my love of being in the water with serving those who have served us?!? I’m all over it!

In the mission statement from the website, the Dive Pirates Foundation is a non-profit organization “Based on camaraderie, compassion, freedom to dive, and the Code of Conduct, Dive Pirates will support, train, equip, and provide dive travel to individuals with disabilities through Classified Scuba Diving.”

How amazing is that?!?

This organization works so hard to make sure that our vets who have been injured in service have an amazing support system that allows them to have a recreational outlet. And more than a recreational outlet, being underwater is one of the most serene and peaceful places to exist. After seeing the horrors of war, I can’t imagine a more perfect place to be.

We just so happen to have one local dive shop who has partnered with this wonderful group. If you’re in the Memphis area, head over to The Dive Shop to see how you can get involved. If you’re afraid of the water, feel free to donate to this amazing cause. If you’re not in the Memphis or Houston area, the Dive Pirates are everywhere! Find a chapter and see how you may help this awesome cause.

I’m already trying to get into the water and maybe make a difference in the process…

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Logan, Be Curious!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a first birthday party for the most adorable little guy. His name is Logan and he didn’t have a good prognosis for the future when he got here, so it was truly a blessing to be able to celebrate this milestone 🙂

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Mom tried to warn me that everyone falls in love with him when they meet him…I was absolutely no exception! He had me from the first time he smiled at me…my husband will just have to share 🙂

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Mom wanted to have the party around the theme Curious George and it turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself 🙂 He absolutely loves Curious George and we held an open air party at our local Overton Park, with the theme “Curious Logan/Be Curious!”

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When I spoke with mom, there were some elements that she wanted from some of the ideas I’d researched on Pinterest. She requested the “Man in the Yellow Hat” cup and plate settings that I’d found from another Curious George party. It fit perfectly with this (popular) theme and I was delighted when some of the kids arrived and recognized the place settings!

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Since it was a kids’ party and we were in the park, I wanted to keep the elements as concise and organized as possible. The lunch containers doubled as functional decor…each one contained chips, Curious George fruit snacks, a themed sugar cookie, and a napkin; each container was tied with red and white twine which held eating utensils.

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For lunch, there was a simple menu which consisted of hot dogs and cole slaw + the items in the lunch boxes. The drink station had sodas, fruit juices, and water; the water bottles were personalized to match the party with labels which said “Logan is One!” and “Be Curious!” The adults ended up with the fruit juice because the kids came through and swiped the caffeinated beverages. I suppose they needed the energy for the playground?

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I also made up a scavenger hunt based on a template that was shared from Tip Junkie. I customized it based on our park, but it turned out to be futile…the playground was apparently all the entertainment the kids needed and/or wanted…

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The dessert table had a cake and cupcakes…everything in different flavors so that there was a little bit for everyone to enjoy. The confetti cake was made to match his birthday sign and was a yellow cake; the cupcakes were chocolate and strawberry, both with cream cheese icing.

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I also made a confetti smash cake for Logan. After everyone sang Happy Birthday to him, it was his turn to dig in to the cake.

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This was as smashed as his cake got. Apparently, not all one-year-olds enjoy destroying their cakes. Go figure!

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It was a hot Saturday, but we had lots of shade and lots of love to go around! Everyone had a great time and the kids played to their hearts’ content.

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Event Styling, cake, cookies, favor bags: Creating Awesomenessity!

Photography: Isaac Singleton Photography

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A Royal Welcome

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting a Pretty Little Princess themed baby shower for a little girl making her way into the world.

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For this event, I was fortunate enough to be able to work with Holli from HoneyBash Celebration Shop and to say she is a life saver is not enough. She is probably the most patient person ever…if I had to deal with me, I would have screamed! But she’s just awesome like that! I was asked to do the shower in the colors of pink and purple, with a touch of bling, so I was able to select one of the packages from her shop to use for the party. She definitely made me realize the value in using other people’s talents to bring an event together and I will definitely be partnering in the future 🙂

Most of the paper items in the party (banners, signs, food labels, and cupcake toppers) were designed by Holli and embellished a bit by yours truly; I constructed the fans and floral arrangements.

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Just a little crystal bling to make them fit for a princess!

 

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For this baby shower, I did all of the desserts, set up the candy bar, and even got to use some of my culinary talents on the food table; I make a mean pasta salad.

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The guests were welcomed with an opportunity to write well wishes for the mom-to-be. The book had to be fitting for a little princess…

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Before the shower started, we actually had a guest making balloon animals for the kids. Talk about a hit! She casually mentioned that she could make some to keep them entertained…I was trying to get one myself!!

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After everyone was full and content, we started the games. There were the traditional games with a twist, and some unique ones. We played:

  • Don’t Say Baby: This game is usually played with clothespins or necklaces and the object of the game is to take them away from someone who says “baby” or crosses their legs during the shower; the person with the most at the end of the shower wins. For this shower, we played with a “twist.” Four guests were given crowns at the beginning of the shower, but everyone was playing. If the crown wearer said “baby” or “Jazlynn,” they had to forfeit their crown. The four people at the end of the shower who were still wearing crowns all got prizes.
  • Guess the celebrity baby: People have to guess which celebrity’s baby picture was in the collage. The most correct guesses wins.
  • Baby animals: The correct name for the baby version of the animal has to be identified. Guests have 60 sec to identify them and the most correct guesses wins.
  • Baby Picasso: The guests have to draw their best rendition of a little princess on a paper plate; the plate has to be on their head and they have 90 sec to draw.
  • Never Have I Ever: The guests have to confess what they’ve done in this PG-rated version of Truth or Dare. If they’ve done something, they have to put change into the baby bottle piggy bank and all of the money is used to start the baby’s first savings.

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All in all, it was a success! We laughed, played, had a great time, and I made some new friends! Wishing many congratulations to the parents-to-be!

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Thanks also, to my amazing photographer Isaac! He’s an all-around great guy and wonderful friend 🙂

 

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Decor, Styling, Desserts: Creating Awesomenessity!

Printables: HoneyBash Events

Photography: Isaac Singleton Photography

The Green Dress

I was recently a guest blogger on Next Brides, an online resource to buy, rent, or sell your wedding gear. I wrote a super long post (oops!) but was still featured.

I think every girl dreams of buying the big, beautiful princess gown for her dream day. The reality is, that may not always be possible. The quickest place that people go over their budgets is when they buy the wedding day garb.

For me, I just didn’t want something cookie cutter and looking like everyone else’s wedding dress, so checking out a consignment shop was at least an option on my radar.

So as it turned out, by “green,” I meant recycled.

Check out my post in its entirety:

I Bought a (Not So New) Wedding Dress

In November 2011, my now husband missed his opportunity to run away and got stuck with me. I mean, I was lucky enough to marry my best friend in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by our family and friends.

He proposed marriage on June 29, 2011 and we decided to get married on November 19; that gave us just under 4 months from ring to altar.

Of all of the things that you have to worry about for your big day, the dress is a major part of that planning process. Unless you’re into a nudist colony sort of ceremony, I’m going to run out on a limb and say that you NEED something to wear on your wedding day.

In Memphis, we’d recently had a boutique open called The Barefoot Bride. It was started with the owner’s personal collection of almost 30 wedding gowns…she couldn’t decide upon one, and just kept shopping. My kinda gal…

I went by to check her store out (pre-engagement, but post-wedding discussion, and just to be prepared) and saw a beautiful gown in our wedding colors. It cost $150; it was a sign that it was THE dress. A few weeks later, I was actually engaged and RAN back to the store to get that dress!

I couldn’t get it over my thighs.

I looked around and found another dress in a different color…but it was even more stunning. This dress cost a bit more, but it was still available at almost 50% off the retail price. I thought it was a great deal, but my mom was a little skeptical because I was purchasing it from a bridal consignment shop.

My goal was to save as much money as possible…and to buy the second gown with which I’d fallen in love.

The things that you do and look for when buying a used gown are the same things that you should do and look for when buying a new gown:

  • Book an appointment to see the dresses. Your wedding day is very important. So is every other bride’s wedding day. Make sure that you schedule time to have all of the attention focused on you and what you need.
  • Make sure you shop in enough time to have the dress ready on your big day. Even though you’re buying a used gown, you still may need to have it altered in some form. Make sure that you purchase it early enough to have the proper alterations completed. I had to have mine let out; I’m a stress eater.
  • Decide on how much you can spend before you shop. Yes, consignment shops will usually have amazing deals on dresses, but if $600 is all you can afford for your dress, it’s the same amount of money whether you’re purchasing off-the-rack, consigned, or wholesale. Remember you taxes and alteration fees. Purchasing a gown right at your limit will put you over your budget quickly.
  • Decide on your style. Don’t settle on a look because it fits in your budget. Yes, you’re planning on wearing it for one day, but it’s your big day and you need to be happy. And be comfortable.
  • Shop for the body you have, not the one you want. Don’t order the dress too small, hoping that you’ll get into by the big day. I had enough room in mine, but still had to wear under armor to keep things in place. Because I did stress eat, I wasn’t entirely comfortable and didn’t like all of my photos on our wedding day. Shop bigger…it’s always better to have to take it in than to need it let out. There’s only so much extra material…
  • Bring your bridal accessories when selecting your dress (and when you’re getting fitted.) If you’re really in love with your accessories, and may have purchased the non-refundable items ahead of time, bring them when looking for your dress. If your veil makes the dress you want terrible or takes attention away from the dress, you’ll want to know that before it’s too late to make any changes. I bought a pair of shoes I HAD to have and they were horrendous with my dress! Side note: I got my choker from another consignment shop for $4 and hand made my veil and bracelet!
  • Check your dress. Look for any manufacturer’s defects or imperfections. If it’s a big deal (like uneven seams) and will drive you crazy, after you purchase the dress might be too late to do anything about it.
  • Check the agreement. Make sure you know the shop’s policy for what will happen if you find something wrong post-purchase.
  • Have fun! It’s about you and what makes you happy. Don’t buy what someone else thinks you should be wearing down the aisle.

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What should you do when you buy your used gown?

  • Have it cleaned! You just purchased a dress which may have actually been worn by someone else. Even if they don’t have any cooties, you want to be sure that your dress is free from stains…the cameras will pick that up if the lighting is just right. The cleaner can also steam/straighten it for you at the same time.
  • Wear it fabulously! Enjoy your big day and be beautiful!

 

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