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!

IMG_061922

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.

DIY: Bottlecap magnets

“Create what sets your heart on fire and it will illuminate the path ahead.” – Karma Voce

Hello beautiful people! It is good to be posting again! I had a crazy week getting ready for a craft booth Saturday. Of course, my sister and I stayed up ALL NIGHT Friday night, stressed about everything looking perfect…. And no one showed up to the sale we were in. Oh well! We are ready to go for next time and got a good laugh out of it. I am super grateful to have a sister who can laugh with me when we are running on nothing but coffee and positive attitudes!

10997490_10152542111786511_4665407827441455217_n

Today, I thought it would be fun to share a quick tutorial on some of the magnets we sold at our craft sale. We seem to go through a lot of bottle caps in my house (I don’t know how that happens…) and we thought it would be fun to make something craft with all these extra caps. Magnets sounded like a fun idea. Plus, they are SO EASY!

IMG_1879

Supplies:

  •  Bottle caps
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Magnets (I used ¾ “ceramic)
  • 1” circle punch
  • Craft adhesive (I used E-6000 and tacky glue)
  • Diamond glaze (I used glossy accents)

Steps:

Clean the bottle caps! You don’t want your magnets smelling like old beer. Not cute!

clean.jpg

Cut out your scrapbook pieces using the 1” circle punch. I chose scrapbook paper with small patterns, so I could see the complete patterns in my 1 inch circle.

paper.jpg

Use an adhesive to attach the scrapbook paper to the inside of the bottle cap.

glue.jpg

Allow the glue to dry prior to using the diamond glaze. The diamond glaze should be spread evenly on the top of the scrapbook paper, making sure to fill it in all the way to the edges. Allow this to dry COMPLETELY before taking the next step. I would allow a couple of hours. (You can use this time to fill up your wine glass!)

glaze2.jpg

Use a strong adhesive to attach the back of the bottle caps to your magnets. WARNING: Make sure to place your magnets a few inches apart from other. Otherwise, they will merge together and may ruin your glaze if it isn’t fully hardened yet.

E6000.jpg

Once they dry, they’re ready to use or to be packaged into super cute gift sets for your friends! This is a great idea for stocking stuffers, housewarming gifts, teacher gifts, etc. We packaged ours in matching sets of three in small treat bags.

magnets.jpg

Let me know how it goes if you try it out!

Yours truly, Taryn xoxo

Update on Growth: Backyard Love

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

In part of my goals to work on personal growth this year, I really wanted to take my word literally as well and plant new seeds. My sweet angel of a puppy has made a wreck of our backyard over the past year. Seriously, only the trees and the fake grass survived his destruction! I have been eager to replace the plants he had ruined, scatter some bright colored flowers, and get my garden beds ready for veggies this spring.

Of course, I was blessed with the help of family again. My hubby was up North hunting for the weekend, but I had the help of my father and my in-laws. Irrigation lines had been destroyed and I was not quite sure what I was doing, but I am grateful for the men in my life who act as patient teachers. I got married without any knowledge of maintaining the landscaping of our home and I am constantly learning new things.

Here are my before pictures. Everything is pretty barren and there are nice sized pot-holes all over the yard (thank you Wesley).

before.jpg

First step was a trip to the local Ace Hardware store. I was able to get a lot of help picking out low maintenance shrubs and flowers and they were having an awesome sale. I walked out of the store with nine shrubs and over two dozen flowers, only spending about $35! I was a very happy girl. Some of the things I purchased were: lantanas (both in lavender and red/gold), yellow oleanders, orange jubilee, blue morning glories, pansies, stock, carpet roses, etc. I had too much fun at Ace:

ace.jpg

Then, everyone showed up at my house and we got to work fixing irrigation, raking (and raking and raking), and chasing the dogs away from the mud. It was a lot of hard work, but I honestly enjoyed the process. The weather was beautiful (80 degrees already) and I was very proud of our work. Check out all my helpers:

help.jpg
I absolutely adore my father and father-in-law and am grateful they have become friends!

It is still winter, so it will take a while to really feel the effects of the new plants and see the new beauty in the yard. I am so anxious for March! Here is a little taste of the clean backyard (more to come in a month of so):

yard.jpg

In addition to getting some plants added to the backyard, I have been eager to get my garden beds back in action. It is still a little cold at night to start planting some of my favorite herbs outside, so my mother-in-law and I made some small planters for the little windows in home. The great thing about these windows is that they’re out of the way for the dogs to get into and they will get a lot of sun for at least half of the day. We planted: parsley, oregano, cilantro, chives, sage, spearmint, basil, and rosemary!

herbs.jpg

Again, expect more to come on the backyard transformation. I am hoping to find the time to construct a bench under our patio, plant some tasty vegetables, and possibly add to the plant life in the yard.

Bring on the springtime! Love y’all, Taryn xoxo

Getting my Business Organized

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful. Or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

Happy Thursday everyone! Sorry I’ve been on hiatus for a week. I have been incredibly busy this week with the Super Bowl (here in Phoenix, AH!) and getting things done for my businesses. I also was invited to a concert with my hubby on Monday night…. a “screamo” rock band concert…. and I survived! Actually, I had a lot of fun living on the edge of danger (er… mosh pit). I felt like a kid again! My husband was pretty amused with me.

Anyways, back to getting things done for my businesses… [DISCLOSURE: I promise to not turn this blog into an advertisement for our business; I’m simply eager to share the progress.] I currently have two different ventures going on apart from my full-time gig as an administrative assistant. I have previously shared information on the small business I started with my sister, Inspired by Sisters. We have been working furiously to get our business licensed and registered locally. We are officially on Etsy!!! We just started this week, so there is not much listed, but please check us out. I am, also, pleased to announce our work is currently being showcased in a local pop up gallery in Maricopa, AZ.

BeFunky_art.jpg

I am also enthusiastic to share the start of my yoga business. Taryn Raine Yoga is now on the web, both on Facebook and Weebly. Mind you, I just built these pages yesterday, but I am eager for feedback. Please check them out and let me know what you think.

Check out my website

Check out my Facebook page

Of course, all these business ventures need to be organized, right? I spent most of the weekend re-organizing my multi-purpose room (aka my  craft room/yoga studio/home office). The room I use was originally designed to be a bedroom, so I have a great closet in which I get to store my endless supply of craft items. From scrapbook paper, to gift wrap, fabric, paint supplies, and more, everything now has a place! I, also, sorted all my magazines to make it easier to find what I am looking for.

organize.jpg

In addition to everything having it’s own tub or drawer in the closet, everything is labeled! I adore labels because a busy gal like me does not have time to guess and dig through multiple boxes to find a simple glue stick. Labels are the BEST! I simply typed all of mine up on the computer and printed them onto Avery address labels. Added bonus, the address labels are easy to remove from the plastic bins/drawers in case I ever need to update the contents.

labels.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I tend to work a lot better when things are where they belong and my work space is free of clutter. I love bright colors too, because it puts me in a happier mood to get things done. Family art (including scribbles from my younger siblings) also help to create an inviting, fun space.

office.jpg

There you have it! You have had a peek into my favorite room in the entire house. What are your favorite ways to organize your work space? What do you need in your space to be fully inspired?

Lots of love, Taryn xoxo

My Little Word for 2015: GROWTH

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – Ronald Reagan

Ok y’all! I have a ton to get you caught up on but today is not that day… I am working diligently to turn in my yoga graduation packet this weekend and then I will fill you all in on the past month of my life! However, real quick I wanted to share my first entry for my “One Little Word” notebook for 2015. If you have never heard one One Little Word, I encourage you to check out Ali Edward’s website: aliedwards.com. More important, watch THIS VIDEO to get motivated to make your own word for 2015.

I created journals and inspirational collages for myself and each of my co-workers who wished to join me on this venture. I told them I would give them ideas (hopefully weekly) to journal about, reflect upon, etc. so they can really embody their chosen words this year and have a notebook that was uniquely theirs.

20150105_075413

For today’s entry, I emailed the group the following: “Take the time to write out your little word and reflect upon it. Why did you pick it? What draws you to this word? How do you hope this word changes your life this year or reflects throughout your daily life? Whatever inspired you, write it down. This will be a great page to reflect back on when you are not feeling connected with your word or have doubts. Have fun!”

20150105_075449

Here is my entry:

GROWTH

My biggest goal for 2015 is to grow into more of the person I want to be, which I know is already hidden within me. This year, I will embrace the mud, allowing my personality to blossom above the ground and blooming for everyone to see. I want to embrace this quote that inspired me to pick the word growth:

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud – the obstacles of life and its suffering… The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life… whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness, and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.” – Goldie Hawn

I have big dreams for my life and I must learn to accept that with big dreams come big changes. It takes wisdom, passion, faith, and support to step out of the comforts of the grounded earth in order to reach higher and higher – to fly. Growth is not a choice; it is inevitable. However, I get to choose my environment. I get to choose the soil and the amount of sun and the food. I get to choose how tall I grow, how far I expand, how radiantly I wish to shine.

          This is my goal for 2015.

Lotus-flower (1)

Thanks for reading! xoxo Taryn

Birthday Present: Bedroom Makeover

“Today is the oldest you’ve been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Feeling loved today with a life-size cake and new jewelry
Feeling loved today with a life-size cake and new jewelry

Whelp, today is my birthday! I have a feeling twenty three is gonna be a good year. I am so excited to share my birthday gift this year: a bedroom renovation. Over this past weekend, I have spent long hours with the help of family to finally turn my bedroom into a sanctuary for me and my husband. The gift of time is so precious and I am grateful for family members who dedicated the time this weekend to help me while hubby was out hunting.

Take a look at my bedroom before the makeover. I HATED the white walls and lack of décor. I feel like I have put off doing anything fun in my room because no one sees it. I am thankful I took the time the paint the furniture over a year ago, because that is the only color and décor existing in the room throughout these pictures.

old.jpg

Honestly, spending an entire weekend laboring over a renovation does not sound like a fun birthday present to some people, but I loved it! My younger sister practically spent the entire weekend with me and we had a blast staying up way too late and getting a serious arm work out painting. Best part: singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs the entire time. We may be adults now, but we can never act like grown ups when we are together.

paint.jpg
I used the color “Perfect Taupe” by Behr. Their paint and primer in one is a great time saver!

My in-laws came over on Sunday to help me with a big project: a pallet headboard. I came up with the idea after looking at this post on fiveoeight.com and my engineering father-in-law created his own version. I had these pallets left over from my wedding which my sister-in-law made for me and they’re really special, so I wanted to find a way to keep them in a useful way. The headboard idea was perfect! My dad also sacrificed his Sunday to help me (and I mean sacrifice, as I didn’t turn football on)! He showed me how to attached the headboard and get all of my decorations up on the wall.

help.jpg
I love my family! Seriously, the gift of time is greater than anything one could buy in the store! #blessed

It was a lot of hard work, but it totally paid off. Now I have a comfy room to relax in and enjoy a book on the new love seat. When hubby came home from hunting, he was really impressed with the room which made it all even better! All in all, I spent about $400.00 on the room upgrades ($100 on paint and supplies, $150 on new bedding, pillows, etc., $100 on a love seat, and $50 on all the extra construction items, frames and what not). I love to have a beautifully decorated home, but I also encourage functionality. The dog kennels are still in the room and will remain, but that’s life! It is impractical sometimes to look like a Home and Garden magazine 24/7 🙂

The frame above the headboard is from World Market and features our wedding vows. The navy pillows and bedding were purchased on Amazon and the middle pillow was bought at Walmart.
The frame above the headboard is from World Market and features our wedding vows. The navy pillows and bedding were purchased on Amazon and the middle pillow was bought at Walmart.
I was so excited to get a love seat for reading and a storage spot for my pillows (rather than the floor). The pillows and throw quilt are from World Market and we purchased the couch for $100 on craigslist. The wall is decorated with pieces from our wedding.
I was so excited to get a love seat for reading and a storage spot for my pillows (rather than the floor). The pillows and throw quilt are from World Market and we purchased the couch for $100 on craigslist. The wall is decorated with pieces from our wedding.

I think it’s important that we have places in the home that are just for us. The rest of the world may not enter our bedroom all the time to enjoy it, but that’s okay! The space is OURS and we get to enjoy the coziness all be ourselves. I think it is worth the time to make your own mini getaway within the home.

The day is young and I am off to enjoy more birthday fun. If you have questions about my bedroom renovation, please comment and I will be sure to respond!

xoxo Taryn

Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I finally get to write a good post because I am not having to hide all my secret projects from my sister-in-law!

The bridal shower finally came around and we had such a blast. Check out this great overview of the planning and details. Everyone was perfect and the bride-to-be was knocked off her feet!

Me and the lovely bride to be!
Me and the lovely bride to be!
Check out this girl!
Check out this girl!

FOOD AND DRINK

4.jpg

  • Mimosa bar – complete with different juices and fruits for the garnish. The guests were each given a hand-painted champagne glass as their favor
  • Tea bar – the bride to be loves tea! We offered a wide variety of hot and cold teas with beautiful china tea cups to sip on (the caffeine was a great contrast to the champagne)
  • Giant cheese and cracker board
  • Lunch: 3 different tea sandwiches, caprese, macaroni salad, ramon salad, and fruit
  • Desserts: beautiful chocolate truffles and creme brulee served in tea cups (both regular and chai tea flavors)

DECORATIONS

3.jpg

 

We really focused on incorporating a champagne theme with pink and gold decor, while also incorporating an antique tea party theme by using aged items and gorgeous antique tea cups. The entire house was filled with pictures of the beautiful bride-to-be and her studly fiance. At the front entrance, we used a paneled room divider to hang string of fake flowers, tiny jars full of fresh baby’s breath, and the couple’s engagement pictures.

1.jpg

 

We really loved the idea of incorporating fresh flowers all over the house, a bride favorite. The morning of the shower, one of the bridesmaids stopped by Trader Joe’s and grabbed banquets of wild flowers and baby’s breath. We used wine bottles, jars, and medicine bottles (some of which were spray painted gold or covered in sparkles) as the centerpieces on the table. Some tables had picture frames or tea cups or antique lanterns. And, of course, everything was filled with flowers.

GAMES

2.jpg

The maid of honor did a great job of coming up with some games. We had some simple games spread out through the house to entertain people while we waited on the guest of honor to arrive. There was a game to guess the number of corks in a jar and a “write a date night” jar, to which Spencer got to pick her favorite date. The best game of the day incorporated the groom! The maid of honor prerecorded a bunch of interview questions with the groom and Spencer had to guess his answers. The best part was the fact that the groom got to “say hi” to the room and give a super emotional message to Spencer in the end that had all the women in the room in tears.

GIFTS

5.jpg

 

Man did this bride get spoiled! It was so much fun to see the creativity from all the women in the room. Some of the best gifts included: a towel cake, homemade initials wall decor, custom frames, and a custom hanger for the bride’s dress. I was lucky enough to have kept the bouquet she had caught at my wedding, so I framed it for her along with a photo strip of her catching the flowers and a poem to her. The maid of honor did a fabulous job putting together a “365 days” photo project for the married couple to capture their first year of marriage on disposable cameras (therefore, no retakes available!). We also put together a combined gift from everyone who was invited to the shower: a Project Life book filled with pictures of the bride with her guests, recipe cards, and notes of advice from all those dearest to the bride.

It was such a special day and I am so glad I got to be a part of it. This weekend, we get to host the bachelorette party and I cannot wait to share the planning and pictures for that event!

XOXO Taryn

DIY: “Brunch & Bubbly” Bridal Shower invites

“There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”  — Martha Graham

 

Whew! I apologize for the major delay in making a new post. I am very human and have been quite overwhelmed recently! I haven’t posted for a few reasons: I have been very, very busy with teacher training, I have had extra things on my plate, and most importantly, I have been eager to post about the invitations we designed for my sister-in-laws bridal shower. I wanted to post the invitations and how they were made, but wanted to wait until I knew the majority of the people who may wander into my blog had already received their invitation and did not feel left out.

This has been my life
This has been my life

So, here it goes: my first super simple tutorial post on making these adorable “Brunch and Bubbly” invitations. I do get basic ideas from scrolling the internal (mostly, my Pinterest boards), so there may be aspects to the invitations that I took from things you have already seen before. The best part about getting creative is that it is not wrong to use other ideas if you can tweak them into something totally YOUnique!

I blurred out personal information for privacy

I blurred out personal information for privacy

First things first: I cut all my cardboard white paper into a 5×7 size (to fit into the envelope size I picked up). I decorated the borders of the white paper using gold paint and the top of a pencil eraser. I used two different shades of gold, but whatever you think is best!

paint

Next, I wrote “Brunch & Bubbly” on these awesome pre-cut paper pieces I got from the craft store. There are two reasons why I didn’t simply print this item: I wanted the gold to be metallic and I didn’t want to hand cut all the shapes. Up to you on whatever you’d like to do. I used paint pens, but Sharpies work great too and are available in metallics.

Other pieces included on the main invitation are the gold strip of paper and the invitation verbiage I printed onto the pink cardstock. The gold strips of paper are 2×5” and the pink piece is 4×6”. I designed the wording using publisher by making my own paper guide size and making sure to measure the space I needed to leave for the “Brunch and Bubbly” piece. I used glue sticks on some of my invitation and double-sided tape on others. Both worked equally well; however, I would suggest scrapbooking glue pens or scrapbooking sticky tabs if you have them.

20140909_231616

We also included some extras with the invitation, including a basic recipe card, an additional information card, and a tea pouch with the registry information on it. To make the tea pouch, I purchased mini brown paper sacks and taped on a piece of paper with the registry information (which I also painted with metallic watercolors to add sparkle). We placed a tea bag in each sack and hole-punched the sack to tie the invitation all together with simple pink ribbon. I think the extras should be unique to the bride, which is why I added the tea bags (because Spencer LOVES tea).

20140909_231339

Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below and I will be sure to respond to them. Thanks everyone,

Taryn xoxo

This is Wesley while I am working hard on homework...
This is Wesley while I am working hard on homework…