Friday, July 25, 2014

Ashton's Bachelorette Bash Part II: The Games!

One of my absolute favorite parts about planning a bachelorette party is coming up with the games!
Some bachelorette parties have a totally wild vibe- which I love, but this bachelorette party definitely felt more subdued.  I wanted to create and find games that were classy, yet sassy.

Our first game of the night happened as soon as the ladies walked back in from our outdoors photoshoot.  Each girl was handed an envelope and told not to open it and to enjoy the food.
When everyone was content and had a glass of sangria (or two) in her system, 
we started the first two games.

The first was a sassy word game where each of the ladies was given a bedazzled clothespin (got them from Michael's- 5 pack for $1).  I asked Ashton to pick two words that were "forbidden" to be said.  She wisely chose missiles to avoid shop talk at the party and she also chose wedding (which would later get me).  If you said one of the forbidden words and someone caught you, she could "steal" your pin.  The lady with the most pins at the end of the night won a prize.


The next game, Find the Groom, is a really simple and easy way to kick off a bachelorette or bridal shower.  Ashton and I (without her knowing about the game) picked 9 gorgeous celebrities and of course you can't have a bachelorette without including the groom.  I photoshopped their faces onto a suit and had them printed out.  Once printed and cut, each "groom" was put into an unmarked envelope.
Each of the ladies got to open her envelope to reveal their groom.  The lady who had Matt won the first prize of the night.  These little dudes easily became a hit and the clothespins for the word game were also used to pin husbands onto blouses.  I mean, who wouldn't want James Marsden on their sweater?


Between each of the games, we took short breaks to chat, drink more sangria, take jello shots, or just eat.  It was a lot of fun!
 The next game, The Perfect Partner, is probably my most favorite bachelorette game ever and it was the first time I played.  I highly recommend it because it is a creative outlet and a nice way to transition into the more competitive games.

This was also the game where I lost my pin (boooo Andrea boooo).

 With The Perfect Partner, each of the ladies were given a drawing challenge to create their perfect partner.  They were told to not forget about personality, career, clothes, etc. while creating their perfect man.  I also emphasized that if they already had a significant other, it definitely did not have to be that person.  It's just a fun, silly event.


Once all of the ladies were done, we shared each of our perfect men.  There was a lot of facial hair and nice butts.  Surprisingly as important as monogamy is, it was not the first thing that came to mind for a lot of us.  There's a senior thesis in that somewhere.

 Hannah, being brilliant as always, utilized the entire page to explain Steve...named after Captain America.  She even flipped the page over to emphasize his nice derriere. She won, hands down.

You can see Hannah with Channing Tatum and her No Preggo the Eggo Baby
Another game that was going on during the length of the party was my notorious No Preggo the Eggo Cake.  Normally, I use cupcakes for this but I had the help of my friend Emily, who made a S'mores Cake.  It was delicious and fit so well with theme.  No Preggo the Eggo Cake is just like King Cake.  Several little plastic babies are hidden in the cake and the first person to find it wins the first prize of the night.  We had two ladies find babies at the exact same time, so two prizes were granted.

 We moved onto the more direct games and this actually takes a bit of time in preparation.  If you're keeping a running tally this is game number five (Word Game, Find the Groom, Perfect Partner, No Preggo the Eggo).  This was the Romantic Movie Quotes Game, and one that is a crowd pleaser for sure.  

 I utilized iMovie and sound bites from popular romantic movies.  I set it up so that the ladies would have to guess 10 romantic movie titles based off of famous quotes from said movies.  In iMovie, I would separate each sound bite with a slide saying "first movie" or "fifth movie" to give the ladies time to write stuff down and remember, you can't show the actual clip because that's too easy!

I highly recommend making a DVD of this so that it can play on a TV.  I had a snafu and the DVD could only play on a computer so the sound was a little limiting but still a lot of fun.


The second to last game, also utilized iMovie to make.  He Said, She Said takes a bit of planning and preparation.  I interviewed Ashton and Matt before the party on 10 unique things about themselves.  I also created a little sheet for ladies to circle a set of lips for Ashton, a mustache for Matt, or to mix things up, there was also the option of circling both.  We also had a tie breaker question as well.

The last game of the night is a Bridal Shower favorite- toilet paper dress designer!

I had Ashton split the ladies up into three teams with the goal of making a toilet paper wedding dress.

 As you can see, the celebrity grooms made it throughout the entire night.


This was the dress I designed with Brittany! :)


Kaila won with the addition of that amazing TP garter!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ashton's Bachelorette Bash Part II: The Food!


No, that is not a's a missile.
Moving on...

Ashton's bachelorette party was themed: Girl Scouts Chic.  The goal was to have a very vintage and retro vib with all things Girl Scouts related.  The guests dressed in neutral colors or vintage wear that was inspired by retro Girl Scout attire.  Girl Scout handbooks were displayed everywhere and the ceiling was covered in banners of pink and tan cloth with ribbon and poms in GS colors.

A really cute and affordable way to distinguish wine glasses is to find a free ring printable online.  Conveniently as I was perusing the blogosphere, I found a free printable and cut them out for the ladies to use as wine glass markers.  These were originally gift tags, but I added an additional cut to make a really easy name tag.


We had so much sangria, desserts, and appetizers!  To counter some of the costs, I had each of the ladies bring an appetizer, dessert, or drink.  We had two big dispensers of sangria, this amazing fully loaded queso dip, bruschetta, fondue with dipping foods (provided by Ashton's husband, Matt), cookies, and so much more!

Each of the ladies were given an envelope which was part of the first game of the night.  Before we played the game, we noshed on the delicious appetizers and drank plenty of sangria.


I also set up a little station of prizes for the party.  I took advantage of the Bath and Body Works' semi annual sale to stock up on their amazing lotions.  I put sparkly ribbon around the neck of the bottles and voila- easy prizes that everyone loves.  I don't know about you, but the older I get, the more I appreciate free Bath and Body Works ;)


Of course, it wouldn't be a bachelorette without a stripper.



Meet Raul, our male entertainment for the evening.  We unfortunately did not have tiny dollar bills and he now resides in my craft room.  I'm sure a DIY tutorial will be up shortly ;)

I also made bra and panty cookies and they were so easy to make!  All you need is a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I also took advantage of the ready-to-frost pouches that are sold in the cake-decorating aisles.  The cookies were yummy, easy to decorate, and fit perfectly with the party.

I want to thank all of the ladies for contributing such delicious foods, desserts, and beverages!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ashton's Bachelorette Bash Part II: The Guests!

I am so excited to share the pictures from one of my best-friend's bachelorette parties! Ashton and Matt got married while we were at Tech School at Vandenberg AFB.  She flew to Chicago during our winter exodus and they got married.  Now they're having their big, Catholic wedding and I couldn't let Ashton have her big day without a fun, hybrid bachelorette/bridal shower soiree.

The bridal soiree was thus born!  Ashton loves the great outdoors, so I split up her bachelorette party into two parts.  Read more about Part I- a day spent out at First Peoples Buffalo Jump.

 Part II was all about the traditional bachelorette party...except we live in a really small town.  It's not really set up for bar crawling, so I decided to throw a fun, casual event at her house.  Going off of her personality, the theme of Girl Scouts Chic.  Think retro and vintage Girl Scouts.

With that theme in mind, I started collecting vintage items off of eBay.  I bought handbooks from the 1940s as well as gorgeous vintage pins.  I made "Girl Scout Handbook" invitations that were filled with original artwork from the handbooks that I had scanned.  

I told the girls to use neutral colors or vintage/retro Girl Scouts to inspire their outfits.  I absolutely loved Hannah's outfit and Sara's was pretty spot on as well- check out that darling neckerchief!

Our Young Life main leader, Katie, made Ashton this adorable bridal sash.

Those three pins are some of the vintage pins I collected over the past several months.  I thought they completed her look perfectly!

As I was busy behind-the-scenes, I put another one of my best-friends in charge- Brittany.  She is an amazing artist and photography major so she was perfect for getting the party started.


A station was set up in the garage with a big chalkboard sign that said, "Kisses for Ashton! Leave a kiss and your name." I put out two bowls, one with Q-tips and the other with various lipsticks.  As the ladies came in, they had the opportunity to leave a kiss for Ashton to remember her bachelorette party by. You'll get to see the finished product later!


I also asked each of the ladies to bring two things with them to the party, in lieu of traditional bachelorette gifts.  The first was to create a 12x12 scrapbook page with a letter to Ashton.  The results turned out so cute! Next to the lipsticks was the scrapbook and each lady had the opportunity to place their page into the scrapbook.


 The second thing I asked the ladies to bring, as the primary "gift," was their favorite love story.  The whole theme of the bachelorette party, apart from Girl Scouts Chic, was that this is a journey and a unique love story.  Here are two wonderful people who are already married, who now want to celebrate that with everyone by essentially renewing their vows.

So each young lady brought their favorite love story, wrapped up in Barnes and Noble bags or cute, squadron-themed colors.  They dropped them off next to the lipstick station and you'll get to see their choices in a future post!


After lipstick prints, scrapbooks, and the dropping off of books, it was time for the first main event that involved Ashton!  At first, I was worried that it was going to be a lot of activity to get the party started but it actually turned out great.  As ladies started arriving, they could drop off their items and leave a lipstick print.  Brittany then took charge of our "how did you meet Ashton" photo session.


I made another chalkboard earlier in the week that was perfect for holding in this photo shoot.  Each of the ladies got to write or draw the first time they met Ashton.  The weather was gorgeous and it was a nice, casual way to ease into the bachelorette party.

As promised, here is the final result of the lipstick prints!  I think it turned out darling and it's a fun memento for Ashton to remember her special girls' day.

Check out the next series of blog posts to see more on the bachelorette party!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

So Long, Farewell: Saying Goodbye to Military Friends

I hate goodbyes and am very fond of the idea of rather saying "see you later." In the military, that's kind of true.  Eventually we'll end up at the same bases or in the same part of the United States or even deployed together.

While living here at Malmstrom we built a great friendship with our next door neighbors, Alex and Tabitha. It's crazy how the winters keep people apart here.  We hung out with them once before winter came and then didn't see them until spring.  When Alex and I were members of the CGOA board did we become really good friends. Tabitha and I are literally the same person and crazy as it is but we're from the same sorority.  Of course at this time we found out that in a few months they would be moving to Italy.  UGH

Tabitha and Alex are such a fun couple.  We had so many cookouts and game nights with them and it was a blast. They even got me to watch The Shining.

 Our lewd picture is actually a running joke where the guys kept trying to make the Theta kite and instead would make symbolic vaginas. Ignore their weirdness.

Our good friends are officially in Italy now. They have a wonderful blog and pictures of pizza dates and markets. I am officially jealous beyond all means. However, this does mean that Ryan and I get to work on passports and a trip to Italy (hopefully next year).

Although saying goodbye or see ya soon to friends is really difficult for me, meeting all of these wonderful people has been a blessing. Here's to a trip to Italy!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Novel Idea Book Club

One of my 101 in 1001 ideas was to start a book club...finally! I was really excited about this idea because it has been something on the brain and on my heart for what felt like f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

I started it a few months ago and opened it up to my friends, including female military members, spouses, and civilians in the local area. It's a great way to encourage yourself to read and hold yourself accountable to not just bypass the written word for magazines, online articles, and blog posts (not that they're bad).  

However, my book club didn't have a name. It just hung out as the "Ladies' Book Club." Kinda feels a little naked.  

I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across the Popular feed. Instagram tailors it to find posts that are similar to the Instagram accounts that you follow. I am so glad I checked it out because I became Instagram friends with Delicious Reads, a Utah-based book club that has AWESOME book club meetings.

Delicious Reads has really fun, themed book club meetings.  They host the meetings at their homes and the members contribute to a delicious, literary-themed dinner.  They do fun activities in relation to what they read.  Like when they read The Husband's Secret and their discussion questions were handed out in envelopes as "secret letters," just like the book.  I think one of my favorites was their Walt Disney biography meeting.

I solicited some advice from their president and she was awesome! I found out some great tips for the structure of their book club and it inspired me to do some big changes.  First off, a renaming and A Novel Idea was born.  We've been picking our books out monthly and it has honestly wasted so much time.  It has taken a week to get book nominations and another week to simply vote.  So in taking a chapter out of Delicious Reads' plans, we are using our next meeting to select books for September through December and then the November meeting will be used to pick books for 2015.  So much time saved! 

I also really LOVED the idea of having the book club meetings in our homes.  That was our overall goal and since we were just starting, we limited them to coffee shops but now that we're a few months in, I think we're ready.  I think literary-themed dinners and decor is so much fun and I want to bring that to my club as well.  Delicious Reads has been going strong since 2011, so it's nice to be able to utilize some of their tips to help improve ours.

I am so excited to see where our club goes and to invite other members in the future.  If you're in the Great Falls, Montana area and are interested in being a part of our ladies book club, shoot me an e-mail :)

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