Be Bold With White

For anyone who knows me, I am all about color! The bolder and brighter, the better. In fact, it’s not shocking to see me adorned in neon workout gear or a bold nail polish color on my toes, and I might have slept in a room growing up that was painted “Taxi Cab Yellow.”

But over the years, I have slowly embraced a more neutral side and become totally OK with the color white, and I strongly encourage you to utilize white or another neutral when planning an event. I know all my designer friends out there are cheering right now because they’re all huge fans of “white space.”

Take this for example. Never in a million years did I ever think I would own white dishware. You want to know a secret? I now have not one but two cabinets FULL of white dishes. When Ryan and I started registering I put up a huge fight to not have white dishes, but in the end we compromised on a textured white pattern that was designed by the one and only Kate Spade. See? I still won there. The best part? She has all sorts of different accent plate designs that can be mixed and matched within the white dishes.

And when it comes to throwing a dinner party or putting appetizers on display at a get together, I am so glad I have all those white dishes. They are the foundation to the tablescape that allows other dishes to pop or guests to really appreciate the colors of food that are situated on their plate.

 

Photo by Scott Patrick Myers Photography

For a wedding, a classic ivory base palette can really allow for greenery to pop or touches of gold to couple with it to create a clean and glamorous design. I even surprised myself with choosing to use all white flowers at my own wedding with only greenery to accent the soft palette. I did, however, incorporate a fun, bold stripe that acted as my accent “color,” even though it was black and white.

Photo by D-Squared Designs

Now for those of you who are the complete opposite and own a wardrobe full of black and white clothing, you might want to embrace color a bit more. Maybe try a fun tassel earring in a bold color coupled with your LBD to make a statement at your next party. Or, make a bright bouquet of tulips the centerpiece at your next dinner party among the other neutrals on the table. And keep in mind, prints can be a neutral! Yes, my girl Stacy London confirms that. Think about it: leopard print is full of browns and blacks…yes, neutral colors.

Photo compliments of Redbook Magazine. 

So I am challenging you now! If you have incorporated the entire color of the rainbow into your home decor, try embracing the neutral side of things. And if color completely scares you, take a few baby steps by adding in one pop of it at a time.

Wedding Registry Items: Party Style

I’ve recently had friends ask me items they should include on their wedding registries. And yes, I have some very practical answers: a good-quality knife set, a spare set of sheets, mailing labels, etc. But I also have some fun and oh-so-necessary ideas for entertaining. Plus, gifts are that much better when they aren’t something you would necessarily purchase yourself.

1. Mud Pie’s Salsa Spoon Set

spoons
Because yes, tacos are always a good idea. My aunt got me and my sister a set of these adorable Mud Pie serving spoons. We love to get Mexican together when I am back in town visiting, so it was a fun and personal touch to have these for my own kitchen. Mud Pie has some adorable gifts, and you can find their seasonal products locally at Southern Rose.

2.  Personalized Barware


Well, I should warn you (in case you haven’t realized yet), I am a huge monogram girl, so when Ryan’s cousin had barware personalized for us, I was instantly in love. I unwrapped the gift to find a set of stemless wine glasses and a set of rocks glasses. It was a super sweet gift and perfect for us since I am a champagne girl and Ryan is a whiskey guy. But after we opened the boxes, we realized Jen had gone the extra mile and personalized them with an “R” etched on each of the wine glasses and an “R” and “Ruprecht” on each of the rocks glasses. So stinkin’ sweet! And they have by far been one of our most-used gifts (not sure what that says about us….)

3. Folding Chairs & Table

chairs
I know, I know. I sound like your mom. But really, especially if you’re in an apartment or a small starter home, it’s nice to have the option of additional seating. Folding chairs might not be the cutest things, but they are completely practical and super important for hosting a house full of guests. Plus, you never know when an additional table will come in handy (garage sales, crafts, gift wrapping, etc.)

4. Kate Spade Food For Thought Placemats

placemat
Very few of these designs go with my normal day-to-day kitchen decor, but I love having these animated placemats to pull out for special occasions. The “Eat Cake For Breakfast” mats are perfect for a brunch or friend’s birthday, and I somehow manage to keep the “Be Merry Be Bright” placemats out around the holidays, even though glitter and Ryan don’t get along very well. I tend to have the most luck finding Kate Spade houseware items at Dillard’s here in Columbia.

5. Liar’s Dice

dice
The possibilities are endless for registries! Think outside the box, especially if you already live with your future hubby. Games are a great addition and offer an affordable gift option as well. One game that our family has become particularly fond of is Liar’s Dice. It’s similar to the card game BS. It’s the perfect ice breaker for a party, and it gets even more fun when drinking and higher-stakes betting is involved!
Side note: Amazon offers wedding registries, which allows you to broaden your items a little bit more than sticking to department stores. 

6. A Drink Tub

tub
If you and your guests are outside enjoying the patio, it’s great to have a way to serve and chill your beverages without having to run inside to the fridge constantly. There’s tons of freestanding, table top and various metal drink caddies and tubs. I registered for a beautiful hammered metal tub like this one from Pottery Barn. True story: I had to leave the majority of my shower gifts from my Wisconsin shower at home with my mom until she drove down to visit me, but I was so excited about the drink caddy that i actually put it in my suitcase and packed my clothes inside and around it just so I could get it home to use it. Ultimate packing challenge accepted!

Royal Flush

My sisters definitely aced my bridal shower. And I don’t just mean a cute, memorable afternoon that was enjoyed with close friends and family. I mean a royal flush of spades….Kate Spade that is.

hostsTogether with my aunts and Mom, they perfectly crafted a bridal shower that matched all my wishes and pins on Pinterest. They chose a spot in Wauwatosa that I would have never chosen for a bridal shower, but everything worked so perfectly. The shower took place at a cozy wine bar called The Ruby Tap, and the space and staff were wonderful. From the décor to the games to the guests, everything was exactly how I imagined it. Check out some of the details below:

quotesDécor:
Just as Kate Spade is inspired by clean lines and neutrals with a pop of something fun, so was the decorations for the day. Tables were adorned with black linens and long black and white striped runners that spanned the tables. Everywhere you turned, there were quotes on decorative cardstock quoting Kate Spade herself, Coco Chancel and various other girly and funny quotes.

But I would have to say my favorite part about the décor was the adorable dessert bar they created. I always encourage people to double food and decorations because it’s so easy to create a statement with a beautiful, yet edible, spread. And this one they nailed. They turned a high-stop bar table into the dessert buffet by adorning it with a white and gold polka-dot linen. In front, they draped a fringed banner (found here at Target), added a few quotes and let the real statement pieces shine: the cake pops (but we’ll get tot those later).

dessert bar

kissesGames:
I know not everyone enjoys playing bridal shower games because let’s be real, they can be a bit cheesy. But if you happen to know me personally, you know I am a fan of a little cheese. My cousin Mandy had planned out the “He said, she said game” by emailing Ryan and I questions prior to the bridal shower. She made adorable lips and mustache props. Since Ryan and I live so far away, it was a nice way for some of my family and friends to get to know him who have not had ample time to be able to spend with him.

They also played the “Guess How Many Kisses” game, and I have to admit my favorite guess was from my cousin’s adorable daughter, Brynley (she also happens to be one of our flower girls). Her guess was “fifty ninty-nine.” If only I could rock that cuteness onw.

flower girls

And finally, we wrapped up the games with a little prize for the person who drove the longest. My bridesmaid and friend since fifth grade wasn’t able to make it in town from Minneapolis, but her mom made the two and a half hour trek from her house to be there with me. It was not only touching, but the small gesture allowed her to know how much I appreciated her being there.

Food & Beverage:
Ahh, the best part of almost every party: the fare. The shower began at 11:00 in the morning, so it was only customary to serve mimosas. Since the venue is a wine bar at night, they had a complete spread of individually sized champagne bottles, so guests could make their choices based on preference of sweet or brut and which brand they wanted to drink. In addition to that, wine and espresso was offered, along with lemonades for the kiddos and soon-to-be mommy, all complete with black and white and gold and white striped paper straws. I’m tell you, they thought of everything.

As guests were arriving, we munched on cheese boards (it is Wisconsin after all…) and truffle flavored popcorn. And after games, the guests and I enjoyed a light lunch of chicken salad croissant sandwiches and a delicious chopped salad.

cake popsBut as I mentioned before, my absolute favorite thing about the shower was the “Kate Pops,” which were crated by my sister’s co-worker, Jen. I mean, can a a cake pop get any cuter? They were decorated with blacks, golds, pinks and whites, stripes, sprinkles and edible bows. They varied between white cake, chocolate cake and my favorite, red velvet. And I definitely learned not to eat a cake pop covered in black icing prior to gift opening and pictures….whoops!

Not only was the theme absolutely perfect, but being able to spend so much time with friends and family that live far away made my heart full. For someone who is usually behind the scenes on all of this, it was refreshing to be the guest of honor for a change. And to top it off, I can now make my own cake pops using my very own gold Kitchen Aid mixer (thanks, Mom, Alyssa and Katie)!