January 24, 2010

Q & A. Rehearsal Dinner Speeches

Q: Who is supposed to give toasts at the rehearsal dinner? And what about the reception?

A: It really is who ever the bride and groom wants to give a toast, but the best rule of thumb is that the first toast is always given by the person who is hosting the event.

Rehearsal Dinner: The Groom's father, who is usually the host, stands up first. Then the best man and the maid of honor. Sometimes, each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen are asked to say something that night as well, or they present together. This is where opening the floor up to everyone can get out of hand, so make sure to communicate that to everyone.

Reception: The Bride's father, who is usually the host, gives the first toast. After that, it depends on if the MOH and BM want to give a toast. In my opinion (although it's up to the B&G) you keep these short and sweet with the fewer people the better, because guests want to get back to the reception.

Talk to each member of the wedding party first and give them the guidelines of who will be speaking. It's best to communicate that so you don't have what is thought of as an open floor for people to go on and on with speeches.

January 21, 2010

Wine Bottle Candle.

Thought this was pretty cool, plus we love wine. It's a wick, like what you would use in your grandmother's old oil lamps, except for wine bottles. I just scraped off the label of a clear wine bottle, poured in the oil fluid and dropped in the wick. It should soak for around 30 minutes before lighting and it works best if the oil is more than 3/4 of the way full.

January 19, 2010

Home Improvement Tips - Painting Around Your Toilet.

Painting is no fun. But the result of it is! We painted a lot of things recently in our totally white house. Actually, there was no "we" in that. It was just me. Sorry hunny.

So, I got every room done except for the toilet room. It's tiny. And Skittle yellow. I'm 6 feet tall, but had some problems getting a ladder in there to cut in around the ceiling. Enter 6'6" tall husband. He was able to get in there with just a step stool.

Now, being an extremely messy painter, I decided to give our little bathroom some defenses.

So, I wanted to pass along this little tip: plastic wrap and painters tape. There was no way a drop of paint was going to get on that toilet. Plus, you don't even need to be careful painting behind the tank. Happy painting.

January 16, 2010

Upholstered Headboards.

Want to get a custom, upholstered headboard for around $50? It is so easy. Head out to your favorite hardware store and fabric store. A few hours later, you'll have a great (inexpensive) looking place to rest your head.

First, you have some decisions to make. Do you want your headboard to be one big piece or look like it is tufted? Fabric or leather? Solid, stripes or pattern?

Basically, you will build a frame using boards and cover that with thin plywood to give it some sturdiness and a place for your fabric to lay. I went with 2 pieces, so I could get it all in my car.

The tricky part was determining the length of the pieces I needed to cut at the hardware store. You can have them cut the pieces for you at their saw. I suggest you take a pen or pencil with you to mark the length as they are being cut. I knew that I wanted to use 1"x 3" boards. Drawing it out helps get the right measurements. Also, since I used 1" thick boards, I needed to make sure that I used nails short enough to not go through the other side. That is pretty important, since your head is so close to this thing.

My total length was 76" wide. Divided by 2 is 38" wide for my two frames. It's a lot easier to illustrate the measurements, so a diagram is here:
Your hardware store list:
  • 1" x 3" boards cut to size (33" and 32" lengths)
  • 1/8" MDF or plywood cut to size (33" x 38")
  • 1/2" - 3/4" long Galvanized Grip-Rite Fas'ners (in layman's terms - u-shaped nails or staples)
  • Staple Gun
  • Staples for you gun - 3/4" - 1" long
  • 1/2" flat topped nails to attach your plywood to the frame
  • Hammer
Assembly is pretty straight forward. Layout your pieces on a sturdy surface and use the u-shaped nails to attach your pieces together making the frame. Then lay the plywood on top of your frame and attach using nails.

Next comes the padding and fabric part. I used 1" think foam and faux leather to cover this one, finding that foam is a little more dense than batting. It just feels softer. The leather was about $5 a yard, and you can find it next to the red and white checked picnic table fabric. Fabric comes in 36", 45" and 60" widths, so just make sure you choose a fabric that is wide enough for your project. Same for the foam. My local store didn't carry foam wide enough, so I actually needed to buy 4 pieces. You can't tell once the fabric is on that there is a seam.

Since the piece I am covering here is 38" wide, I need to allow enough fabric and foam to go around the 1" board and around to the back. I am allowing 4" on all sides to make sure I have enough to hold on to and staple into the frame. I ended up needing 2.5 yards, but decided to get 2.75 to be on the safe side. Go ahead and have your fabric store cut these pieces in half, so it is more manageable at home.

Your Fabric Store List:
  • 2.75 yards of fabric (check the width! I needed a 45" wide fabric)
  • 2.75 yards 1" thick foam padding (again check the width!)
Steps for fastening the foam and fabric:
  • Layout your fabric flat the floor.
  • Lay the the foam on top of that.
  • Center the previously assembled frame on top of that with the plywood side facing down.
  • Start at the center of one side, pull both the foam and the fabric taught, and put in a staple, so that you have 4 staples in the center of each side.
  • Then work from that center staple out to the corners, stopping on each side about 3" from the corner.
  • Once you have all the sides stapled, (and believe me you will be happy to be close to finished, because your hand will be on fire if you are using a manually powered staple gun), start folding in the corners like you are wrapping a present. It helps to trim some excess fabric, if needed, to make the fold less bulky. See close up image above.
Your finished product will look something like this.

Now you are ready to hang it on the wall. Using anchors and some pretty sturdy screws, we placed 4 screws evenly along the wall so that the frame would just hang on the screws. Make sure you leave at least 1" of your screw out of the wall, so the frame fits snugly and won't fall on your head around midnight.

Finished Product:

So, there you have it. A few thoughts:
  • Measure, measure, measure. It's really important.
  • Using stripes or a pattern needs additional attention to detail and concentration. You must be very careful when pulling your fabric taught, or you will end up with a crooked pattern. You also should take into consideration the repeat of the pattern - will you have enough fabric to line up the pattern?
  • You can get pretty crafty if you have a man with a miter saw and knowledge of mitering. Think hexagon.
  • Thinking about borrowing or renting a powered staple gun. Your hands will be pretty sore!

January 15, 2010

Personalized Luggage Tags.

I received these personalized luggage tags for Christmas and LOVE them. You can too at Personalization Mall. And, if you enter coupon code VIP125 at checkout, you get 20% off your order. Sale ends Sunday, January 17th, 2010.

Glitter Paint!

I found this amazing Extreme Glitter paint at JoAnn's. I can't wait to try it out on my next initial wreath for Valentine's Day.

January 5, 2010

January 1, 2010

Undo Your Christmas Table Setting.

What I loved about my all silver centerpiece was that it can go from Christmas to a winter theme with just a few changes. Here is the table before:

And After...

To make the change, I removed the silver trees and the Christmas plates and added black napkins with new silver beaded napkin rings. This will will take us all the way through spring.