Happy Valentine’s Day…

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{Photo by Natalie Franke via Style Me Pretty}

Better late than never :-). You can still create some of these ideas for anniversaries as well.

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Bow & arrow balloons {via}
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Love messages in a box {via. How fun to add trinkets and small randoms for nieces, nephews, kids, parents and friends. Hope your day was filled with some love from someone special.

iWant it all! Complete random wants from fashion to decor…

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A company reached out to me for a product review of my choice and I opted for a chocolate fountain. It took so much for me not to select the disco balls though. I just love them in decor…

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…iWant this range hood. The reason is self explanatory…

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I have some black velvet necklace stands from Michael’s but iWant more so I can place them in a modular shelving unit and display each bauble as bedroom bling…

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…iWant a few more statement necklaces to go on the stands from above….

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.. iWant whatever camera or Android app that takes great pictures at night. This one above is amazing. Last night I tried to capture the moon over Lake Michigan here in Milwaukee as it’s probably going to be my last time there until Spring. (I LOVE THE WATER!!) but my photo was a fail. Even on the night option it didn’t nearly look like real life.

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…iwant an ornate mirror….frame….and chalkboard. Even if I only use it for clients that hire me to style their events. Eventually I want to have core items on deck so when hired…I can tap into my personal stash of party goodies. This one could be used for so many things: a welcome sign…seating chart….menu board. It’s gorgeous…

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…iWant some cheetah print heels. Not pumps but a mary jane or strappy heel. I find this pattern so sexy, on trend & a fun neutral…

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…iWant….actually iNeed some black over the knee boots. Forget the fact that I am 5’3″. It’s all how you rock it to ensure you’re not swallowed whole. Some boots that stop right above my knee would be perfect. I have some but the rubber soles are worn down. I may get them repaired because they are perfect over jeans and leggings and great under a wider leg work slack to stay warm during the brutal Wisconsin winters…

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…iReeallyWant herringbone wooden floors. No other flooring does it for me like herringone…

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..iWant to master a black smokey eye. I nail brown smokeys but I’ve only nailed a black smokey once…and I had the nerve to not even go anywhere significant. Nothing worse than wasting good face…

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Lastly, iWant to dine somewhere high in the sky. Actually I want to just live in the sky…a high rise somewhere. That is the goal…that is the life!

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*sigh* back to reality.

{All images via my Pinterest}

Tuesday’s Tips: budget friendly bed & breakfast wedding ceremonies

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Face it. Weddings cost a ton but that is no reason to start your marriage off in debt if you don’t have the means to pay for an elaborate affair. Having a small scaled wedding but want the details to remain elegant? Consider an intimate wedding gathering by booking a bed and breakfast.

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Book all the rooms to the house (which b&bs typically are……big ‘ol mansions) and if it’s picturesque enough (most have nice pretty yards), have the ceremony there. Depending on how far in advance you book, try to book all the rooms in the B&B so that the entire wedding party can stay. Arrange it where everyone stays overnight so that the morning of the wedding you won’t have to worry about rushing to the location site. You also will save money by not having to rent party buses or limos for the wedding party since you all will already be there.

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If the party is small and there are more rooms, consider booking a room for the hair stylist and makeup artist too since they play important roles in the wedding party look. You may want to eliminate any chance of them running into traffic the day of your wedding.

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As a thank you, host a Thank You brunch the morning after for everyone if it’s a destination or road trip. Otherwise a brunch for the wedding party is a nice parting gesture.

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Most B&B’s tend to have a fancier backyard and landscaping. Look for one with fountains, a gazebo, manicured landscaping, pool, rose bushes and flower gardens. The more flowers and already decorated, the less money you will need for the florist. Also if there are benches along the property, you will less likely need to rent additional lounge seating for “cocktail hour” or informal times during the reception.

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You can also look for a B&B located on a wine vineyard, rolling hills, polo ground (horse back riding would be amazing for picture taking or possibly a horse drawn carriage), ranch, along a golf course or lake. The more beautiful the surroundings, the better. It will make the guests stay that much more enjoyable too. If the B&B is a short road trip away, and the whole guest list is staying in the same place, arriving the day before, you may wish to do something with them as a welcome. You could arrange for various activities to get the families to mingle like horse back riding, golfing, chartering a boat ride or fishing.

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Wedding brunch ideas…perfect for a Sunday morning ceremony

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Today I’m going to a morning wedding followed by a wedding brunch so figured I would show you pretty brunch ideas. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meals so this is right up my alley. This could also be used as a last departure get-to-gether for out of town guests when doing a destination wedding, bridal or baby shower, mother/father’s day, a sleepover or morning after bachelorette slumber party…

Beverage Stations

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Have a Mimosa and a Bloody Mary station as well as hot chocolate and coffee area (one serving hot and iced coffees)…

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Small bowls and utensils for garnishes and ingredients…

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Carefully label items on craft paper…

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Use chalkboard spraypaint to cover glass in frames to write menus and details…

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Place books and boxes under tablecloths to give a multi-layered look…

Food Stations

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French toast sticks in small glasses with syrup are pretty displays…

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Anything on a kabob looks fancy like this fruit and donut hole skewer…

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You can have fried chicken wings and waffles already made in warming containers with small bowls for syrup…

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Cupcake tiers will hold smaller items like mini muffins and pastries (store bought ones are fine, guests won’t know)…

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Yogurt, granola and omelette stations will encourage guests to mingle…

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Whether fresh, frozen or canned, fruit can easily be grabbed by the stem as guests arrive so they can have something to munch on until their table is called…

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Whether you do different flavored waffles or just different syrups, this is sure to be a hit…

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If you have a biscuit bar, have a variety of jams and jellys as well as butters and gravy. You may want to include sausage patties, eggs and cheese for those who want to make a biscuit sandwich..

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Cinnabons on skewers and pancake station are a must. As a favor think about homemade granola in mason jars. Oh and don’t forget the dispensers for cereal.
Did I miss anything? See if your find more inspiration here or from this vintage brunch

Now I’m hungry…

{All images via my party foodie board on Pinterest}

Impromptu party and not enough vases? Use drinking glasses…

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You can always run to the nearest grocery store for flowers but buying vases? Costly and expensive. So pull out those glasses and separate the flowers for a quick and easy centerpiece.

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{Via Nycia Emerson for Belle Maison, Style Me Pretty and Mochatini}

Freeze fruit in ice cube trays to jazz up drinks for Memorial Day

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This is a fun way to add color to water or punch bowls. Pour 3 parts diet lemon line soda to one part vodka with fresh mint leaves and you have a low cal refreshing adult beverage. For a graduation party, try to use fruit of the schools colors. This can work well for a beverage station at a shower or anything.

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Some ideas:  Blueberries and champagne or Cherries and vodka with red bull 

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Pastel floral tea party decor perfect for a shower, brunch or Easter…

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Being that Easter is in a few weeks, which seems odd for some reason, I decided to do a pastel tea party post since those are the same colors used to decorate for Easter time… Get more bang for your … Continue reading

Hosting tips (good for any shindig) + champagne stations …

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Hosting a party or get together can easily turn into a daunting task for those who never really do it. Questions about colors and themes, what to get and where to get them from easily make something that should be fun…into a stressful situation.Add on the task of keeping the atmosphere going and one can surely stress themselves out.
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With all the upcoming festivities, here are some tips on keeping that bar/beverage area on point. These will make your party tonight or in the upcoming future run smooth.

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Soaking a sugar cube in bitters in the glass, then top with bubbly. Or just add a splash of fruit-based liquor to your champagne for a DIY Royale.

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Setting up the bar you will need a bar knife for garnishes, tongs, bottle opener, strainers, shakers, bar towels, spoons (for cherries etc), ice bucket, ice, trays, napkins and coasters, bowls (garnishes) rugs (floor protection).

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DIY Garland inspiration…

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This layered garland look is so pretty. Garland is one of the best ways to decorate for any party. It sets the tone and sometimes gives directions (think if you’re having a champagne bar…a banner can tell guests exactly where it is so they don’t have to ask). They are pretty hovering over your head when streamed from wall to wall or as a backdrop to a food table display or photo booth.

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{Via Photographer: Ellie Grover as seen on 100 Layer Cake}

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Inexpensive decor & garland ideas using paper lunch bags!!!

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I’m saying though….who would think to use paper bags as decor. Evidently these creative people and I am biting the above idea for a work event. A lady in our dept is retiring so this will be fun and festive. I will add letters to the bags to say congrats etc. When you factor the cost of bags, using twine, fishing line, ribbon or strings & clothes pins…this is a very cost effective way to jazz up the backdrop of a food buffet table…

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Which do you like the most?

{VIA most lovely things, Photo by Emily Johnston Anderson for Rue mag, la petite cuisine, belle maison, a place for us}