Friday, May 29, 2015

Get your pool bag ready for summer!

Get your pool bag ready for summer!

This hot weather sort of crept up faster then I expected. I'm still waiting for another snow storm or something crazy but I'm sure that's not going to happen (except in Maine) I just think I have PTSD from this winter. We've been swimming a couple times and I was reminded that I need to get my bags in order. A couple of years ago I created a system for myself that has worked well. Are you always forgetting something like sunscreen or a swim diaper and you get to the pool realizing that your toddler is already in the baby pool and you just pray their diaper won't swell big enough that everyone else will notice. Or if you don't have kids do you forget the book or magazine you wanted to read and then you're bored because all you have to do is sit there and relax? (I miss those days) 

My mission this weekend is to get our bags set up for the summer and I'm going to share with you some of my tricks that I found that work for us and make our life somewhat organized. 

I have multiple bags so I can afford to dedicate one to the pool, beach and gym. 

After I have each bag designated I think about what I need for each of them. I used to keep bathing suits in the kids rooms and then I realized it's easier to wash them and place one for each of  them in the bag so if they put them on beforehand or at the pool I just grab from the bag. I also put the wet towels in the wash immediately and as soon as their dry fold them and place them back into our pool or beach bags. I have a hook in our mudroom for each bag. That way if Dad or someone else is taking the kids to the pool they can just grab the bag and go. 

Pool bag: 
The pool we go to has a towel service which is honestly life changing. But until that pool opens were toting our own towels to other pools. 
-tote bag (when we're not carrying towels) and it's 50% off this month
-Small cosmetic  Bag filled with sunscreen, spf chapstick care, bandaids, hair ties, bug spray
-ziploc bags or one of these cute wet bags for wet bathing suits Navy Rugby Stripe Wet/Dry Bag | Pottery Barn Kids
-pool toys, goggles ® Kids
-bathing suits 
-mini water bottles and small snacks (because no one eats the $50 worth of food bought at the snack stand but they're ravenous when they get in the car)
-change of clothes

Beach bag:
We go to a drive on beach which is also life changing. The thought of lugging everything to the beach just makes me tired thinking of it. So I usually have my car prepped all summer. 
-beach bag (this can be made larger so it holds A LOT) durable and has a great outside pocket for keys
-Small cosmetic  Bag filled with sunscreen, spf chapstick care, bandaids, hair ties, bug spray (perfect size and it's organic)
-ziploc bags or one of these cute wet bags for wet bathing suits Navy Rugby Stripe Wet/Dry Bag | Pottery Barn Kids
-our portable travel shower 
-beach blanket towel
-change of clothes
-sweatshirts because it gets cool at night
-wet hair brush

Gym bag: 
When you only have 3 hours all day to yourself I try to maximize my time so if I'm going to the gym I shower there before pick up so I keep a gym bag packed at all times. Because if you have to pack your gym bag to shower the chances of you working out go down significantly. 
-tote bag (spend $50 get $25 dot dollars)
-Bag with travel size bath items 
-hair brush
-change of clothes

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wedding Paper Divas Giveaway

I have a special Giveaway from my friends at Wedding Paper Divas

Their products were used in my wedding planning features and I can't say enough good things about them. They have everything from wedding invitations to favor tags to gifts. What I love is their matching sets and beautiful designs. There are so many to choose from its hard just picking one. So I'm sharing a couple of my favorite's and all that they have to offer. 

And one lucky winner will get a personalized notepad and return address labels

Giveaway rules and entry at the bottom of the post 

Good Luck! Winner will be announced next week! 

 DIY with WPD label, how cute are these little bags and it's something for your guest to take home

One of the inspiration photos used for my SIL's #bridalshower 

Coordinating black and white to match the theme

How cute is this for your bridesmaids? Show your bridesmaids some love with one of these boxes

Cute invitations for the day after brunch and napkins to match! 

If you don't have an embosser I highly recommend one. I think it gives your stationary a polished look that can be used over and over again. These would make great gifts for hostesses, brides & house warming gifts. 

I don't attend many bridal showers anymore since most of my friends are married but I may or may not go fully stocked once seeing these game cards. I get a little competitive at bridal shower games. 

How gorgeous is this band wrapped around this invite? It just ties (literally) it all together perfectly. 

Wedding Paper Divas has everything you would need for your event. Wedding stationary has come a long way and I love the info cards for guests now with the wedding day timeline.  

I love pretty little wrapped packages. You could do favors finished off with one of WPD's custom labels or seal your wedding invitation so it arrives in your guests mailbox like a little package. 

I love round labels! These are so cute and come in different color options that I had to order some for myself. 

These were the Bachelorette invites we used for my SIL's bachelorette party (which you can see here) and we got matching stickers and card inserts with weekend itinerary as well. 

This is a cute save the date. I remember making my own Save the Date magnets before all this cool stuff came out. Gosh I feel old. If only WPD existed I would have saved myself 127 hours by buying their magnets. 

I love the personal touch of coasters at a wedding. I still use the ones I have from my cousins wedding. Although I'm not dancing right now so I don't think anyone will take my drink. 

I have always loved personalized stationary. Unfortunately snail mail has diminished but I still like sending it. I must get it from my grandmother who still sends everyone she knows a birthday card. I can't even remember my own birthday let alone an entire family. 

This notepad is great when planning your wedding. Or just planning your life. I love checklists! Like A LOT!!

Right now Wedding Paper Divas is offering 30% OFF! Enter code BESTSALE30 
#weddingpaperdivas #weddingplanning

Enter the Giveaway here: 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Beautiful Wedding

A wedding planning series wouldn't be complete without the actual wedding pictures. 

Like I said before I was so honored to be a part of helping out with the wedding planning for this wedding. The wedding started off with many different ideas after finally landing on a classic and sophisticated look of black, cream and plum with touches of gold. 

It was absolutely beautiful and the wedding designer blew everyone away. From the church flowers to the details at the wedding reception it was truly a stunning wedding.

The bride wore a gorgeous gown that looked like it was made for her. Adorned with the perfect accessories and the most amazing veil! 

The amazing photographer Jon Athans captured some of these gorgeous photos. The not so good ones are the ones I tried to capture on my phone. 


Adorable shirt the matron of honor gifted to the bride for her special day

Prepping at The Bell Tower Salon

Pre-wedding gifts for the bride from her mother

Gorgeous bouquets made up by Wishes Entertaining and Event Design 

Bridal accessories from Stella & Dot 

The Gorgeous Bride

The bridal party in Donna Morgan bridesmaid dresses from Bella Bridesmaids 

One of my favorite pictures. How cute is the Bride and her best friend the Matron of Honor who was expecting twin girls. 


The adorable flower girls (my nieces) 

Jon Athans Photography captured the most beautiful photos. If you're in the Reading/Philadelphia area I highly recommend him. 

The wedding party

Some of my other favorites from the day

Mr & Mrs

First Dance

Serious talks before the ceremony

Cousins, they thought they had to hold hands (so cute)

and they lived Happily Ever After! 

Wedding Photography: Jon Athans Photography
Event Planner: Dave at Wishes Entertaining and Event Planning
Reception location: Berkshire Country Club

Thursday, May 21, 2015

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette parties have seriously turned it up like 10 notches. We're talking weekend long Vegas trips to jetting off to Napa Valley! Whatever happened to the super stretch limo that came and picked everyone up, drove a bunch of giddy girls to a club in the city and then drove our drunk asses home as we hung out the sunroof screaming without a care in the world? I have to kind of admit the weekend getaway was kind of nice (now that I have kids and bachelorette parties don't happen every weekend). 

When planning a bachelorette party I suggest getting input from the bride. Some brides don't want a lavish Vegas trip. Does she want to go clubbing or just chill at a spa for a quiet weekend? 

Consider where the bride and bridesmaids live and come up with options that may be easier for everyone to drive to or grab a cheap flight. 

Look for deals on sites like Gilt, groupon etc. you can sometimes find great hotels offering big discounts. Make sure that everyone is ok with spending money to travel. 

Once your date, destination and budget is chosen then the fun planning begins. 

If you're going the club edition make sure you have everything set up ahead of time. Get your group on the guest list or reserve tables at the venue you're going to. It's doesn't hurt to mention you're part of a bachelorette party because you may get a couple extras thrown your way. Heading to the spa? Make sure that everyone's appointments are made ahead of time. Check to see if they include beverages, if not ask if you can bring your own to toast the bride to be.  Planning an itinerary ahead of time and having reservations made makes it more relaxing for everyone. 

After all of your plans are made its time to embarrass the Bride to be. Whether you're hosting a lingerie party, hiring a "man in uniform" or off to Magic Mikes it's all in good fun! Even if your bridesmaids do make you wear purple glitter penises on your head. 

Then there are decorations too. One of my favorite parts. Choose a theme or decide to wear coordinating outfits. Start with the invitations and make sure to include all the details for those not part of the planning. 

Below I'm sharing a Cheers Bitches themed bachelorette weekend in the city with dinner and dancing and a drag show (highly recommend) which made my cheeks hurt for days from laughing. Such a blast! I included our itinerary for the weekend at the bottom of the post. If you happen to be doing a Boston bachelorette party I included all of the locations as well. 

We went with a "Cheers Bitches" theme for our bachelorette bash
Personalized stickers for goodie bags from Wedding Paper Divas 

Accomodations at the Loews Hotel Boston. Amazing staff! Gingerale and advil was delivered at check in. A+++

The Bachelorette Crew head out for a night of fun in Boston

Lingerie Cookies for the Lingerie Party from etsy. These were packaged so nicely and were yummy too! I had some extras and my 5 year old wanted to eat one. I seriously wish I had a picture. 

We decorated the hotel and included the Bride's favorite candy (sour watermelons anyone....yum!) 
We had personalized games to play also from Wedding Paper Divas

Blow Outs at the Dry Bar in Boston 

We couldn't not hit up Georgetown Cupcake for an afternoon sweet treat 

This was my first Drag Show and I've never laughed so hard in my life. 

Dancing, mingling, people watching at The Liberty Hotel (a must if you're traveling to Boston)


After party shenaningans. Seriously how cute is the bride after a night out of celebrating? 

and what Bachelorette party wouldn't be complete without a Hangover Kit
-nail file

Our Itinerary:

Location: Boston, Ma

-Girls arrived, checked into our super chic hotel that was so accomodating. Thank you Loews Boston! 
-Fun games before prepping to go out
-take an uber 1 block because you forget that the restaurant is right behind the hotel even though half of us live in Boston (PS if you have uber where you are traveling I highly recommend-download the app and you get a free ride!)
-dinner at a fun restaurant
-lingerie party at the hotel 

-have an amazing brunch and hopefully you're not too hungover from the night before that food repulses you
-shopping, girls time, blow outs and champagne 
-sweet green for lunch because you have to eat healthy before indulging in some cupcakes
-primp and prep for our dinner 
-get all our sequins on for a fun night out


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