Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do you know what your Christmas decorations mean?

I get super excited each time the holiday season comes around to put up our decorations- pick our tree, add lights , candy canes and a star on top. Put up our wreath, add a bell to our door. The works! But do you ever wonder where these traditions come from? Or what their meaning is? Here is some background on a few of the main Christmas decorations and traditions:

The Star: A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long, long ago- The shining hope of mankind.

The Color Red: The first color of Christmas, symbolizing that Savior's sacrifice for all.

The Fir Tree: Evergreen- the second color of Christmas shows everlasting light and life. The needles point up to heaven.

The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.

The Candle: A mirror of starlight, reflecting our thanks for the star of Bethlehem.

The Gift Bow: Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.

The Candy Cane: Represents the shape of the shepherd's crook, used to bring lost lambs back to the fold.

The Wreath: A symbol of the neverending eternal value of love… having no end.

Merry Christmas!


Whimsique Invitations


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are You Ready for Black Friday?

If you are like me, until today, you haven't had time to even think about Thanksgiving, let alone Black Friday. Here are some of the biggest Black Friday deals (click links below).

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 5am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 4am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 3am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 12am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 4am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 5am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here
opens at 4am

if you don't want to flip through ads and just want a list click here

*Some of them start online on Thanksgiving! Including target at 2am and Wal-mart at 3am- for all the details click here

**Whimsique will also be giving 15% savings on Black Friday for any orders placed that day. Email us with coupon code THANKSGIVING10 or type it in when you order on etsy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

I recently read some great tips on proper Wedding Invitation Etiquette from Author Peggy Post and thought I would pass them along:

As the great-grandaughter-in-law of Emily Post, Peggy Post helps carry on her family’s great tradition of teaching etiquette rules for all occasions. Peggy is a director of The Emily Post Institute and the author of more than twelve books.

The world may be getting more casual, but etiquette, especially for weddings, is always relevant. Here at The Emily Post Institute, we are constantly asked about wedding invitations and related stationery: "What is the proper invitation wording? What are the correct ways to address the envelopes and package the enclosures, and when should invitations be mailed? How to word save-the-date notices and response cards?" Because happy couples and their families rely on you, the retailer, to be their knowledgeable resource, here are some of the Institute's suggestions for helping your clients with wedding invitation etiquette. Let’s start with the wedding invitation envelope...

One Envelope or Two? Traditionally, a wedding invitation is sent in two envelopes, an outer envelope which is addressed and stamped, and an inner envelope—containing the invitation, reception card, reply card and other material such as directions—which bears the names of the people invited. Although it may seem complicated or overly formal, a second envelope is actually very practical because it clarifies exactly who’s invited: other family members, children, and whether or not an invited guest may bring a guest. It’s perfectly acceptable, however, for a couple to omit inner envelopes.

What’s Written on the Envelopes? The outer envelope is addressed with the names and address of the person(s) invited: Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. The inner envelope repeats the guests’ last names: Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It’s also fine to informally write the names of close relatives and friends: Grandmother, Aunt Sue, or Jessica and Henry on the inner envelope.

Addressing Envelopes 101:
• Addressing a married couple: Wedding invitations are always addressed to both members of a married couple, even though the bride and groom may know only one or think that only one will attend.
• Addressing an unmarried couple living together: Invitations to an unmarried couple residing at the same place are addressed to Ms. Nancy Fellows and Mr. Scott Dunn.
Addressing a married woman doctor or two married doctors: If the woman uses her husband's name, the address is: Dr. Barbara and Mr. James Werner. If she uses her maiden name: Dr. Barbara Hanson and Mr. James Werner. If her husband is also a doctor and they use his last name, the address is either:The Doctors (or Drs.) Werner, or Drs. Barbara and Robert Werner.
• Handwrite envelopes: Wedding invitations are special. Address them in handwriting—the bride’s, groom’s, friend’s, host’s, or a calligrapher’s. No computer-printed labels!
• Avoid abbreviations: Street and Avenue are written out, although two-letter state abbreviations are okay (due to US Postal Service preference). A person’s middle name may or may not be used. If it is, write it in full instead of abbreviating; omit it if the name won’t fit on one line. It’s okay to abbreviate Mr., Mrs.,Ms., and Dr. when addressing envelopes.
• Inviting guests for guests: Write "and Guest" on the inner envelope right after the invited guest’s name. If no inner envelope is used, the "and Guest" phase is not written on the outer one; instead a note is included in the invitation or a verbal invitation is extended by the couple: "Please bring someone with you."
• Inviting children: If children are invited, their names are written on a line below their parents’ names on the inner envelope. If no inner envelope is used, children’s names are written on the outer envelope. Children aged thirteen and over usually receive their own invitations.
• Using a return address: A return address is necessary for the US Postal Service. The USPS preferred place is the upper left-hand corner of the envelope, but the back flap is okay, too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Christmas Card Promo! Check it out.

Are you tired of sending out a christmas card and then seeing the same one for 10 of your friends? Try of of our unique or custom designs! email me: Melissa@whimsique.com - designs will be on our website in the next couple weeks.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wish Trees

Need to innovative ideas for your wedding? Instead of a guestbook try a Wish Tree. People sign their names and wishes on beautiful cards and hang them from a small decorative tree that can be a beautiful momento years after!
For more creative event ideas check our blog often or subsrcibe. For any invitation needs visit our website www.whimsique.com

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn Recipes to Get You in the Season

After a few requests, I thought I would share a new favorite fall recipe or 2. Great for dinner parties! If you try either, let me know what you think! The first requires some elbow grease but is worth it! Post on my facebook page or leave a comments here! Even better, share you own fall favorites:)

Butternut Squash Lasagna
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1( 1.5-2lb) butternut squash-peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
-salt and fresh ground pepper
-1/2 cup water
-6 biscotti cookies, crumbled
-1/4 cup unsalted butter
-1/4 cup flour
-3.5 cups milk ( if you want it super creamy use whole milk)
-pinch of nutmeg
-3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
-12 no- boil lasagna noodles ( Trader Joes carries these)
-2.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (costco carries this)

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet, then cover and simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occassionally, until squash is tender ( about 20 minutes) Cool slightly then transfer to a food processor (blenders work too). Add half the biscotti cookies. Season the puree to taste with salt and pepper.
NOTE : if this first part seems overwhelming to you, you can skip these steps and just buy the seasonal butternut squash sauce for $12 at williams & sonoma)

2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a medium, heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for a minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking often until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 min. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half the sauce to a blender ( or food processor) add basil and blend until smooth, Return basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a 13x9 inch baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup sauce over the dish, arrange 3 of the lasagna noodles ( they will expand as they bake) pour 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles, sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella. Drizzle 1/2 cup sauce over mozzarella. Repeat layering noodles, squash puree and cheese 2 more times. Top with remaining crumbled biscotti.

4. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 min. Uncover the lasagna after this time and sprinke with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Continue baking uncovered for about 15 minutes longer.

Serve with Garlic Bread!

Home Made Apple Cider
-6 cups apple cider
-1/4 cup real maple syrup
-2 cinnamon sticks
-6 whole cloves
-6 whole allspice berries
-1 orange peel, cut into strips
-1 lemon peel, cut into strips

1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.

Monday, September 13, 2010

2010/2011 Wedding Trends

If you are planning a wedding or will be in the near future then this post is for you.
Here are the upcoming trends for everything wedding for fall/winter 2010 and the 2011 year.

Trending colors:
  1. Jewel shades
  2. Turquoise
  3. Coral
  4. Pale yellow with platinum or black
  5. Fuschia
  6. Deep red and teal
  7. Violet
  8. Mocha
  9. Bright yellow and peach
  10. Metallics
  11. Pink, Bright orange and Turquoise
  12. White on White
  13. Always classic-black

  • Bohemian/Gypsy style
  • Campy 1950's retro
  • Latin/African Design with bold prints and color
  • Garden
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Vintage Glamour
  • Woodland/Rustic
  • Tiffany Blue
  • Sparkling Diamonds
  • Retro Style 50-70's
  • EcoFriendly
  • Vineyard- long wooden tables, lots of wines. Cheese and fruit platter appetizers and a more intimate feel
  • Give a livingroom vibe
  • Art Deco( flat geometric patterns, classic architecture and peacock themes)
  • Romance! It is always popular:roses, white on white, pearls and lace
  • embellish embellish embellish! On your invites, centerpieces, bouquets and more! This is super trendy and communicates luxury without having to spend a ton!

  • Mirrors
  • Peacock feathers
  • Embelishments! Rhinestones, Lace, Pearls
  • Have a wishing tree in place of a guest book

Invitations ( Our Specialty)- Invitations should set the tone for your wedding, elicit a response and also be a keepsake. Here are some fresh ideas to
  • Stationery with embelishments ( rhinestone buckles, pearls, floral accents, feathers or ribbon)
  • Combine retro and modern- vertical layouts are growing.
  • Bohemian mixed withnon-dimensional floral patterns
  • folksy/culture look: use decorative diecuts or embelishments that are unique to your ethic background or heritage ( bold colors of latin culture or soft hues of the midwest, vivid graphics with african influence, etc). Use calligraphy or floursih fonts that are highly decorative. Use large bold fonts.
  • Go Eco! Use recycled papers, soy based inks
  • Make it look futuristic- add touches of florescents or metallics. Include diecuts and transparent papers. Mix your mediums.
  • Include bright colors

The Dress
  • Subtle ruffles and frills
  • Tea length wedding dresses are coming back in style
  • If you can't do the untraditional style of a shorter dress that choose one with touile!

The Ceremony
  • Instead of releasing doves- release butterflys. This popular trend continues to grow

The Reception
  • Dinner focused receptions- treat it like a big dinner party- more comfortable, less formal
  • Lose the formality- break it up! Change the seating, the order and the layout. People like a surprise!
  • Don't do assigned seating
  • Make your centerpieces in the same color tones but different sizes
  • Have different shaped and sized tables- mix squares with circles and rectangles. This adds alot of variation that pleases the eye and mixes it up!
  • Keep your reception more intimate, space closer together have vibrant colors and pick a more comfortable theme.
  • After parties are growing in trend. Have a space with a coffee bar, cappuchinos or even a cigar lounge.
  • DJ's instead of a band
  • souped up photobooths
  • Confection bar
  • Rock candy cocktails in your wedding colors
  • grand exits

The Cake
  • Gourmet cupcakes are huge! And a little different from your everyday wedding cake.
  • Classic White Cakes-Make them ALL white

Popular Money Savers
Instead of dinner, having a wedding brunch. Food isn't as expensive and you can be super cretaive with what you serve. Also the cost of vendors at this time of day is much less expensive and easier to book on a short times notice.

If you need any help with your wedding needs- contact us! We are happy to help.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Party for 50 + guests? No problem!

A friend asked me last night " What do I serve at my house warming party for 50+ guests? I want to make a a great impression, but don't want to break the bank"... My wheels started turning as I thought of ways to keep the cost low... The best option I told her, is food stations. Sounds intimidating but prep can be done days in advance for the majority of it and people love to customize what they eat. You keep your cost low, guests happy and make an impression. Here are some menu ideas:

Baked Potato Bar
pre-bake all the potatoes in foil and keep them warm in the oven until time to serve and then serve with an array of options:
  • cheese
  • chives
  • sour cream
  • alfredo sauce
  • brocolli
  • hollandaise
  • chicken
  • bacon bits
  • butter
  • tomatoes
  • ham pieces

Or Hamburger stations-
Include a few types of burgers like:
1) burgers with blue cheese mixed in the patties,
2) a tex mex style mixed with green chilles, cumin, onions, garlic powder
3) a turkey burger or veggie burger option

Then you spread out the toppings:
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • pickles
  • tomatoes
  • relish
  • different cheeses
  • lettuce
  • bbq sauce
  • pineapple
  • teriyaki sauce
and anything else you can think of.

Side Dishes like any of the following:
  • a big salad with a few dressing options
  • a big fruit salad (or my favorite is to make the fruit into fruit skewers and then serve sticking out of the shell of the watermelon. )
  • corn on the cob (if in season). Cut them in half and serve with honeybutter ( melt honey and butter in a dish and spread onto the corn once cooked. sprinkle with parmesan and pepper if desired)
  • garlic parmesan fries and/or sweet potato fries
Then for Dessert, keep it simple with an
Ice cream station:

Include a few types of popular ice cream flavors:
  • vanilla
  • chocolate
  • strawberry
  • cookies and cream
And then spread out toppings:
  • crumbled brownie
  • carmel
  • whipped cream
  • cherries
  • nuts
  • fudge
  • sprinkles
  • cookie dough
  • waffle cone pieces
  • candy bar ( like reeses)
  • chocolate chips
  • granola
  • fruit
  • rootbeer
  • coke
Bottled beverage and alcohol adds up quick. If you are trying to keep the cost down, make a big batch of lemonade but make it special by adding raspberry or strawberry juice to it. Then, add cut up berries to flat inside or freeze them in a bundt tray with water to make an ice cube ring and garnish with mint-yum!.

The biggest impression will be how the food looks when it is displayed on the counter or table(s). Cute labels should be set out for all the toppings and when you display it,stagger things at different heights. Using cake holders, or trays you have etc. maybe add a sunflower here or there to make it cute. And viola! Let the party begin!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Drink Recipes

Every Summer and every summer party should include fresh fruity drinks and delicious cocktails! Check out the recipes to some of my favorites below:

Italian Margarita
  • 1 oz amaretto liqueur
  • 2 oz sweet and sour
  • 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and strain in a chilled margarita or martini glass and garnish with a lime.

Playful Pina (non-alcoholic)
from backyard bartender
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz cream of coconut
  • 1/3 cup fresh berries
  • 1 cup crushed ice
Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth and serve into a margarita or wine glass. Add a mango or pineapple slice for garnish.

from backyard bartender
  • 1 oz orange flavored vodka
  • 1 oz peach or apricot nectar
  • 3 oz dry champagne or sparkling wine
Mix vodka and nectar in a cocktail shaker with lots of ice. Strain into a chilled flute glass and top with cold champagne. Stir once and add a fresh raspberry or peach slice for garnish.

The Lawn Mower
  • 1 cup ripe honeydew melon, diced
  • 1 oz vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 oz cointreau
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold dry champagne or sparkling wine
Puree melon in a blender adding 1-2 tbsp water if necessary. Press melon mixture through a strainer into cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, cointreau, lime juice and mint. Shake. Strain mixture into chilled martini glass or flute and top with champagne. Stir once and garnish with a skewer of melon and mint leaves.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Party Theme Ideas for Every Age

Whether you are trying to think of ideas for your little one's birthday, your middle-schooler , high-schooler, or yourself, it is always hard to think of themes that haven't been over done or that are fun and creative. For the next few posts I am going to focus on different themes for all ages and some decor ideas for each party theme.

One of the more creative ideas from this year was a party thrown by former Bachelorette Trista and husband Ryan for their one year old Max. A Candyland theme birthday:) the great thing about this is there are so many ways to pull off this theme. Use pieces from the board game to create decor. use candy for center pieces and take away treats. use lots of colorful plates, napkins and even little furniture ( IKEA is a great place for this stuff). Big lollipops with candyland labels are fun favors , top the cake with different candy treats ( lollipops especially).... Just be ready for the kids to be quite a sugar high:)

Another idea for someone a little older, maybe 5th grade and up is a super mario brothers theme. Make your decor look like scenes from the video games, create cuts outs , incredible cake ideas, mushroom candy tins are fun take home gifts and party games like a yoki egg hunt:)

A great idea for an adult theme party is lady gaga-with her outrageous outfits and popular music this party calls for a costume contest. I have only posted a small fraction of her outrageous outfits and the great thing with this one is she keeps coming out with new looks so the possibilities are almost endless!

More party theme ideas to come!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Unique Favor Ideas

There are so many options for wedding favors these days-but how many really make sense? Will you use the one glass coaster that was set on your plate? Or the tiny little eiffel tower that's only purpose it is to hold your name tag or the tiny heart shaped hand soap? Finding a favor people will actually use and that is unique and creative is hard to do. One thing I have found is you never can go wrong with any type of favor that is associated with food. Chocolate and candy is always a winner and your packaging is what can be creative. One of my favorites is actually cost efficient and creative-a paper cake. There are also cute floral boxes.
Cookie cutters are common but people will love and use them, or measuring spoons or even personalized hot chocolate-yum!
A really neat artsy item is button mirrors will add a pop of color and style to the tables.And nothing says vegas like personalized match boxes, or for nostalgic value try a cootie catcher.
During the holidays it is a great idea to use ornaments as your favor. Also personalized albums that second as placecards is a great idea.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baby Shower Decor and Inspiration

I am in the middle of trying to plan my sister in laws baby "sprinkle". I aspire to create beautiful settings that are unique and inspiring, but I will be the first to admit that this is a work in progress. In my attempt to create a beautiful setting for this baby "sprinkle" I scoured the internet looking for ideas and inspiration. To save you time and energy I am posting some of the inspiration I found along the way. One thing I noticed was that I was drawn to the beautiful decor that was shown when a long table was created with the theme sprinkled throughout the center. It helped to create a theme, add color and texture and allow for uniqueness, like this beach theme. There are also more simple and elegant styles that I loved like this green one. Beautiful showers don't mean expensive showers. Creating chinese laterns or paper flowers are a great way to fill space and make a beautiful atmosphere whether you are having your event inside, or outside during the day or evening. For instructions on how to make them check out marthastewart.com

Here are some additional place tags, diaper cakes and table decor that might get your creative juices flowing: