Mermaid Bridal Shower

“When you smile, it’s pure perfection. It shines through everything you do.” – Ariel

Last weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to host a bridal shower for one of my closest friends, Ali. We have been friends ever since we were very young, fighting over Polly Pockets, spending hours learning about our makeup, and helping each other through college. She was one of my bridesmaids and we got to enjoy one of my favorite activities during my big day: Ali doing my hair. Now I am lucky enough to be her maid-of-honor and she is getting married next month! (Our anniversaries are just 5 days apart!)

Ali has a big love for all things mermaid, glitter, and sunshine. Of course, we HAD to throw a Mermaid themed bridal shower. This is going to be a LONG post today, as I will provide ideas for decorations, games, food, etc. Lots of pictures and lots of links!

INVITATIONS

invite

I got the idea for Ali’s invitations on Etsy. My budget was limited and I am pretty crafty, so I figured I would just make them myself. It cost me about $20 (including supplies, envelopes, and shipping costs). Not bad at all and they were received very well. I combined some different ideas together, but here are the two I really liked:

DECORATIONS

Obviously, lots of purples, aquas, gold, and GLITTER. We used a lot of antique bottles, sparkly gold wine bottles, jewelry, paper good, nets, and more.

decor

  • Net photo wall: We surprised Ali with a bunch of her engagement pictures up on the wall and throughout the home in frames. It was quote adorable.
  • Hanging decor: I bought the cute aqua poms on Amazon and purchased the Chinese lanterns from Michael’s (always used 40% off coupons). I also made the paper garlands after being inspired by a design on Etsy and hoping to save some cash. The original design on Etsy was by LucyBirdy
  • Table decor: I used a shiny, sheer table cloth on the counter with layers underneath to give height to the center. We used a basic table cloth covered by a fish net on the table. We scattered sea shells, homemade confetti (used scraps from paper garland), the bottles previously mentions, and jewelry. I borrowed my sister’s Harry Potter chest and draped pearls and beads out of the opening.

ACTIVITIES:

We had a variety of games/activities: some just for Ali, some active games, some scattered around the house.

n a Activities

  • D ate Jar: We did a traditional date idea jar, except we had the guests put their ideas on sand dollars or sea shells. Ali picked her favorite idea (coin flip date) and they won a set of Gourmet Sea Salts 
  • Message in a Bottle: This activity gave everyone the opportunity to wish Ali and her fiance, James, some luck and give advice. These were written in private, for Ali and James to read together after the party.
  • Ice Breaker – Share a Memory:  Everyone wrote down one of their favorite memories with the bride-to-be and she had to guess who wrote each one. Then, we all selected our favorite memory and that person won a Little Mermaid Cup.
  • Bride Quiz: Everyone had to check their knowledge with this fun quiz about Ali. The quiz had questions related to her favorites, her fiance, and her life. The winner won a mermaid painting from my company, Inspired by Sisters 
  • The Newlywed Game: This was my favorite! The bride flew in from out of town and one of her bridesmaids could not make the trip. I asked her bridesmaid and James to film a series of question and answers. Ali would have to guess Jame’s answer before we played each clip. It was really fun for those who do not know James to experience his personality on film and she loved having the other bridesmaid included. Plus, their answers were hilarious!

FOOD & DRINKS

This is why you attend a bridal shower, right? For the free food 🙂

Food

  • Coffee Bar: Hot and iced coffee with plenty of flavor varieties, creams, etc. The iced coffee was a hit!
  • Sea Water: This was super simple, a combination of lemon-lime soda, orange juice, and blue food coloring. I served this in a punch bowl that looked more like a fish bowl.
  • Shrimp & cocktail sauce: self explanatory…
  • Seaweed Dip: Spinach artichoke dip with toasted baguette slices
  • Veggies and hummus: Cucumber slices (sea cucumbers), carrots (Sebastian crab legs), and bell pepper slices (octopus legs). I served three different flavors of hummus.
  • Green Chile “Sushi”: The bride is a New Mexico girl, so green chile is a must! And these were probably the biggest hit at the party. Here’s the super simple recipe!
  • Crab sandwiches: I filled mini crescents with an imitation crab recipe by Olive the Ingredients. The recipe was for pinwheels, but I just stuffed it into the crescents instead
  • Balsamic Watermelon Salad: This was my fave! Recipe is from Layers of Happiness
  • “Clam” Spritz Cookies: I stacked two on top of each other with frosting and a candy pearl
  • Mermaid inspired sugar cookies: These took FOREVER, but they were adorable and worth it

cookies

Last but not least… FAVORS

I had a fun idea for a “build your own favor” bag. So, that’s what I did! I had a cute frame with instructions for each guest to pick a bag, a bath salt flavor (made by Inspired by Sisters), a mini bottle of gourmet salt, and a bag of those adorable cookies to take home.

favors

FINAL THOUGHTS

I wouldn’t change a thing! I loved every little detail. Perhaps, next time, I will do more prep work weeks prior, rather than not sleeping the entire week before. And I should give myself time to get ready between set up and go time… But I loved it, and more importantly, Ali loved it!

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Feel free to ask any questions about the details, recipes, etc. in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

Much love,  Taryn    xoxo11825764_10152879548851511_6242717453525241595_n

PS: I didn’t do anything big and crazy for the Bachelorette Party and actually just used Splashthat.com to create a website to act as my liaison for details, invites, etc. Check out our bachelorette party website. I totally recommend doing a site for your next event.

Reconnecting with Family

There is an interconnectedness among members that bonds the family, much like mountain climbers who rope themselves together when climbing a mountain, so that if someone should slip or need support, he’s held up by the others until he regains his footing. – Phil McGraw

A couple of weekends ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle and Oregon to visit family and explore new places. It was such a blessing to be connected with family again. I don’t know about you, but I have a very special connection with my parents and siblings. It feels like a part of me is missing ever since they moved away and the pain of missing them is nearly a constant. However, getting to spend a few days with them has filled me back up again and I feel like I get to carry their spirit with me wherever I go.

We spent a casual day in Seattle and Puyallup. We had a large family dinner with my nana, aunts, cousins, second cousins, etc. and spent the evening playing cards. There is something deliciously nostalgic about playing card games or dominos. It is a reminder of the childhood summers spent in my grandparents’ living room in Texas, laughing hysterically as my feisty nana (who is now 94-years-old) would curse us for laying down canasta or me getting into trouble to talking too much instead of playing the game. Puzzles, pecans, and miniature figurines have this affect on me also. I always relish any moment to reconnect with that part of my past.

Oh! Did I mention we went to a Harry Potter party?
Oh! Did I mention we went to a Harry Potter party?

Saturday, we drove down to Oregon to visit my mother, step dad, and youngest siblings. My step dad has done an incredible job remodeling their gorgeous home in an adorable small town an hour outside of Portland. Brea, 6, and Andrea, 4, were quite eager to show their older siblings all about their new life including a large garden in the backyard, daddy’s work shop, and mama’s art room. The kids were sure excited we were there but honestly, my favorite part of the trip was the glow on my mom’s face. Talk about gorgeous (and happy)!

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The thing I loved most about Oregon was the wonderful outdoors. We spent time walking along the trails to Silver Falls, at awe with nature. I’m so thrilled that my siblings are growing up with an appreciation for the outdoors, nature, and gardening. It takes very special parents to take the time to teach their children about how to plant a seed or how to fish when it is much easier to just sit them in front of a TV or X-box. Plus, how can you not want to be outside when it looks like this?!

falls

The trip was everything I could have hoped for. I got to enjoy tickle fights on the trampoline, late night drinks on the porch with my mom and the big kids, and satisfied a hunger for the wild (only temporarily, of course). There was great food, incredible wine/beer, and some of the greatest people on the planet to share it with. The best part of my entire trip was seeing how happy everyone seems to be in their new homes. My sister, Cheyanne, and her boy friend are settling in incredibly well in Seattle (oh wait… I mean FIANCE! See photos below) and my mother is glowing with so much pride and joy. I wonder if perhaps I have ever seen her that happy before.

See? Look how gorgeous she is! She glows!
See? Look how gorgeous she is! She glows!

It is always hard for me to say goodbye, but I am incredibly grateful that I got to witness and experience their happiness. It makes the distance between us just a little easier to manage. I love them all like crazy.

Thanks for reading, Taryn xoxo

OH WAIT!!! I AM SUPER HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE I WILL SOON HAVE A NEW BROTHER IN THE FAMILY! MY SISTER IS ENGAGED! I AM SO HAPPY FOR THEM!

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(Sorry for the caps, I’m excited. Also, Josh has practically been my brother for years anyways)