My Casual (But Perfect) Wedding

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As I’ve mentioned a couple times here (feel free to eye roll or nudge anything with in reach with a ‘is she serious…a couple times?’), my husband and I are about to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I think this milestone feels so miraculous because it was so unlikely. Our pairing was unlikely, I mean. At least initially (boy am I botching this up, huh?). Once it happened, it immediately felt meant to be and all the pieces fell into place, however, not without complexities. I was a divorced mom of two little ones, aged five (almost six) and three, he was newly committed to continuing education, a full-time student and embarking upon a new career. Oh, right…and he had been a life-long bachelor. To many in the outside world, these lives and lifestyles seemed disparate and “not for long.” Then a month, three months, six months passed and Hubby Man, as I affectionately call him here and everywhere, were still together and committed–or we probably should have been.

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Unique Place Card Holders (as Favors)

Nothing gussies up a table like place cards and a holder can serve a couple functions. There’s the obvious, of course, but some holders can be favors transforming into paper weights or picture frames after your guests have gone home. I had gold cherubs at the dinner party following my wedding which today holds a small family photo on our coffee table. This last Christmas Eve I used little snowflakes on my table that held a mini Polaroid photo my kids snapped of each guest as they walked through the door paparazzi-style. Guests took their snowflake and photo home as a keepsake. But that was then… These are place card holders I’m looking at for future dinner parties (or fantasizing about). Psst… Look for any savings opportunity marked with an asterisk (* or **), details in the footer.

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6 Really Cool Stationery Sites

20120719-232119.jpgWhen I was a little girl, I was given a set of Crane’s stationery for my First Communion from someone I don’t now remember. Because of the simple and clean look of the stationery, that gift really came in handy at that time because I used them to send thank-you notes. However, stationery has come a long way, and the web has given shoppers and gift givers options like never before from variety to customization and crowd sourcing. Here are some options on my list to give AND get (remember, even if you get stationery, you’re going to be giving it to people over time).

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Baby Gifts for Office Mates

20120718-002947.jpg┬áThis last April I ran into a colleague I hadn’t seen in a very long time. When last we spoke, he had been trying (with his partner) to have a child and because physically together they are unable to conceive, “trying” is really not the fun “trying” that some of us get to do. When I saw him in April, he told me they were finally expecting and then through the modern miracle that is Facebook, this last week I saw a beautiful picture surface of him as a proud Daddy cradling a precious newborn baby. I was so overjoyed for him I started to tear-up, all I could comment was “So beautiful!” And now…what to give?
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A Birthday (Crab) Bash

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When I was a kid, my father began a very cool tradition for my birthday. I’m a July baby, which made me a Cancer–the sign associated with the crab–so every year we would go to a restaurant, called Sidewalkers, where they served a Maryland-style crab-bash. If you don’t know what a Maryland-style crab-bash is, you’re missing out. Basically you sit at a table covered with brown paper, then they dump a whole bunch of seasoned crabs in the center of a table (bibs are recommended). You are armed with a mallet, cracker and small fork and then you go at it.

The last time I celebrated my birthday in this way was 1997. It was the last time my Dad was alive for my birthday. I was 22. The morning after that celebration–about twelve hours later–he had a seizure caused by a brain tumor that he didn’t know he had and he passed away just eleven weeks later. It was the last celebration I had with him before everything changed and was the end of my birthday crab-bash tradition. That was fifteen years ago.

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Hostess Gift Ideas: Summer Getaways

Summers and getaways go hand and hand, don’t they? And what better way to enjoy summer weekends than with friends and family…even better, when it’s not at your house. When you’re lucky enough to get an invite for an overnight or a weekend (score!) it’s important to be gracious and show your host the same hospitality they have extended to you, especially when it includes your brood.

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Wedding Shower Ideas

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I must confess, most of my friends are past the wedding stage–although a handful are in the second marriage stage–but planning a wedding shower is one the most amazing things you can do for a friend and today there are so many more options for revelry than when I first got married. The list below includes some I have personally tried, but first a few questions to ask yourself:
– How adventurous is your friend?
– How many other showers will there be?
– What special interests or hobbies does the couple (or just your friend) partake in?
– Are you inviting family? How open-minded are they?
– Are you trying to make this a surprise?

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Housewarming Gifts: Movies, Monograms, Maids and More!

I hate moving. I did it a few years ago and it was stressful, chaotic and I hope I don’t have to do it again for a very long time. If you’ve ever moved you know it’s a big deal and one that is worthy of a party…and ahem, maybe even a few presents. If you’re looking to stand out among the bunches of flowers and houseplants, here are a few ideas for consideration that I’ve either given or am waiting for the right opportunity to give. Have other suggestions? Would love to hear about them in the comments.

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A Summertime Tea Party: Favor Ideas and More

I love having parties and gatherings celebrating special moments and it’s so fun when activities can be fun take-aways along with thematic party favors. Last summer I threw my mother a 65th birthday party. I wanted it to feel intimate and draw on themes that felt special to her so, of course, I looked to her likes and interests for inspiration. She loves tea, she’s an artist, a little quirky (in a good way) and her birthday usually falls right before Labor Day–the last official weekend of summer. I had the start of something good, I thought…now I just had to pull these pieces together and create a memorable event for my mom and our guests.

Hostess Gifts: Spring and Summer Parties

There are so many different kinds of occasions to bring hostess gifts. In keeping with the season, I thought it would be fun to get into the different summer-time fun ideas that I know I have (or would like to plan for) on my calendar these next few months.

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