24 Oct 2010

I'm back from Aruba and brrrr it's cold!

Just a quick post to explain my recent absence - I've been in amazing Aruba!  Just got back this morning and feeling the jet lag but I've really been missing blogging, online shoppping and all the jazz.  I can't believe how cold it is now I'm back, Winter's arrived and it feels like Christmas is nearly here and I'm all under-prepared. 

My Mum's stocked me up on all the little Christmas shopping mags like the Boots one, so I can start getting into the swing of things and making Christmas lists (for me and for what to buy everyone). 

I need to get myself some nice new winter clothes, so I can look forward to a nice haul.  I particularly want to get some flatish knee-high boots and a coat. 

Now I'm back off to try and catch up on three week's worth of X Factor before I hear or read any spoilers!

I'll share some photos of Aruba once I unpack my camera, but for now here's one I found online. It was paradise :)

2 Oct 2010

Bridal shower how to part 4: food, drink and decorations

This is the last in my "how to throw a bridal shower" series of posts - I'll be moving on the hen do shortly!  Just as a reminder, I've not done this because I think I'm any sort of expert, but because I really couldn't find much inspiration online to help me, so I'm hoping this will help someone else.

Venue

I chose to have the bridal shower in my garden.  It was in August, so this seemed like a good idea.  I knew around 30 people were coming, so the garden seemed like a good place.  I randomly have two sets of garden furniture at the moment, so I had two tables and lots of chairs, plus a set of chairs from my old garden furniture and then I borrowed some extras from family. 

I kept checking the weather forecast and it seemed like it was going to rain, so I bottled it and bought a gazebo!  It was an extra expense that I really didn't want, but I knew there was a good chance of rain and the bridal shower would have been absolutely ruined.  I bought a large gazebo on eBay for about £65 and actually, it looked really good once it was up, it defined the space. 


Decorations

I bought some foil / helium balloons and a helium cannister.  The balloons came from eBay and the helium from an online party shop - there are loads of them so look for the best deal at the time - mine was about £30 and could inflate up to around 50 balloons I think.  We tied the balloons to the poles of the gazebo.

I covered the tables in pink table cloths that I got from a pound shop type shop and then added little decorative sprinkles that I got from Sainsburys.  I bought disposable plates and cups plus some pretty napkins and more fancy cups.

One of my favourite things I did was making banners, I made four different ones.  I asked the Bride's Dad for some baby photos and took the others from facebook.  I made the banners on photoshop and got them printed at Snappy Snaps.  This was much much cheaper than buying them from any of the online places that make the banners for you, so I thoroughly recommend some DIY for this.



Food and drink

I made food that could be eaten standing up and mostly without a knife or fork.  This included sausage rolls, slices of pizza, crisps, biscuits, cupcakes, sweets and marshmallows, cheesy breadsticks and dips, quiche etc.  I also made a large pasta salad, potato salad and greek salad.

I'm particularly pleased with how my cakes and bicuits turned out - everyone thought I bought the cupcakes =)



I got lots of large jugs from the sale in Sainsburys so that I could make cocktails.  My homemade sex on the beach was very popular and had to be refilled lots.  It's simply Archers, Vodka, Orange juice and Cranberry juice - no particular mesaurements, just chuck it all in until it tastes nice.  I also had a go at making strawberry margharitas and mohitos.  We also had some fizz which included bottles of champagne and flavoured bucks fizz.  If you've never tried the bucks fizz from M&S you need to, it's lovely.  You get the standard orange bucks fizz, but they also do a peach bellini flavour, kir royale (blackcurrent) and mohito.  I think there's a couple of others too, definately a pink one but I can't remember what it was.  They're £4 each but are usually on offer.

Other stuff

I invoted people by email and through facebook and asked them all to bring a gift for the bride and £5 towards to cost of everything.  On the day I put out a little box I had made for people to put their money in and I think most people did.  I put some little favours next to the money box which were personalised love hearts, so cute!


My gift for the bride - it was a bride-to-be tiara, sash and wand set, a pink t-shirt with "Mrs Philly B to be" on it and a new husband voodoo doll!


It was exhausting but fun - so glad I did it!