Monday, August 30, 2010

How to Save Money on Bridal Shower Invites

1) Don't send any. While not our favorite solution, don't send traditional bridal shower invites out. Instead try making phone calls or sending e-mails. It gets the job done for free.

2) Use our printables. Scan our selection of free printable bridal shower invites and use those. There still is a cost-you do have to print them out. The other downside-you don't have creative control or sometimes a way to personalize them.

3) Get a professional to make the invite. Many graphic designers will send you a personalized custom design that you can then take to a print shop and have printed. (Tip-try the ones on Etsy like Etsy seller kottageon5th.)  The cost advantages can be nice-you get a custom invite for your friend's soirĂ©e that can often be printed for 10 cents a copy.

4) Zazzle-we're biased. We love Zazzle-it's a great publishing platform that allows you to make invites pretty much anyway you want to. Add poems and wording, upload photos, change fonts and colors, you've got plenty of options. You can also search the thousands of pre-made customizable designs they have-try searching for African-American bride or spa-themed shower to give you an idea of the many options. And the price can't be beat.  25 invites will set you back around $44.

Friday, August 13, 2010

FREE Bachelorette Party Invites: Glam Girls Night Out

Betsy White has a great downloadable DIY bachelorette party invitation-a stylish Glam Girls Night Out template available in four colors.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Popsicles with a twist-Alcohol, Tea, & Chili!?

From "Ice Pops" by Shelly Kaldunski
Orange-blackberry sangria ice pops.

Recently we wrote about booze-infused cupcakes for an alternative to traditional cupcakes for a wedding shower-well now you can have your booze and lick it too! (Okay, some have alcohol but some don't.) Apparently adult popsicles are becoming a new trend. While most of us think of popsicles we think of our childhood days with a cherry pop in the hot summer day while drinking juice outside in the backyard but today's popsicles can come in a wide variety of flavors like Coconut Curry Banana Pops With Salted Macadamia Nut with unusual ingredients like corn, chocolate, ancho chili, cinnamon, or chai tea.  Very different from the ones we find in the supermarket.

How refreshing would these be on a hot summer day-we're talking the perfect dessert for a bridal shower in Atlanta or Houston. Not to mention that with the wide variety of recipes, it's easy to find one (or three) that complement the other food you'll be serving. For example, Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles would be nice for a coffee & tea tasting or brunch.  For more recipes, go here or check out the book Pops: Icy Treats for Everyone.

Recipe:  Orange-Blackberry Sangria Ice Pops

Makes 12 to 14 servings

2 oranges
750-ml bottle light, dry,
   fruity red wine such as
   Rioja or Beaujolais
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
1 small tart green apple
   such as Granny Smith,
   peeled, cored, and cut
   into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup blackberries
Pinch of salt
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove 5 wide strips of zest from 1 orange. Juice the fruit and strain into a measuring cup. You should have 1/3 cup. Cut the top and bottom from the other orange. Set the orange upright and, following the contour of the fruit, cut off the peel, pith and membrane. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes between the sections. Let the sections fall into the bowl along with any juice. Cut the sections into 1/2-inch pieces. Strain the juice into the measuring cup or reserve for another use.
2. Pour the wine into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Add sugar, orange juice, orange zest, orange pieces, apple pieces, blackberries, and salt. Pour in 6 tablespoons water. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. If using conventional ice pop molds, divide the mixture evenly among the molds, ensuring that each has about the same amount of fruit. Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. If using sticks, insert them in the molds when the pops are partially frozen, after about 1 hour, then freeze until firm, at least 3 more hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions to fill the molds and freeze the pops.

- From Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski
Per serving (based on 14): 82 calories, trace protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams sugar, trace fat, no cholesterol, 17 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebrity Bachelorette Party: Khloe Kardashian's Santa Monica Bash

How do the Kardashians party before one of them gets married? By heading to the Santa Monica Viceroy Hotel! The night started with ten of them having cocktails in two adjoining upstairs suites in the hotel before having dinner at an outdoor candlelit patio. The girls even gave bride-to-be Khloe a  champagne toast as a cale was brought out to celebrate her nuptials.  

At this point, filming for the reality show stopped and the real party began! The group headed upstairs to their suites again and the private party went on till 2am, with the girls drinking into the wee hours. The girls opened X-rated party gifts from Agent Provocateur, where Kim and Kourtney had been spotted shopping earlier in the day. At one point Khloe received another cake.  Supposedly this cake was a little cake in Lakers colors with a large appendage rising out of the middle of it and the words, “The Taste Of Things To Come”! 

Recreate her bachelorette party:
  • Stay at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. Some of the amenities at this swanky hotel include: in-room beauty bars featuring full-sized spa products; two outdoor plunge pools; and in-room and poolside spa and beauty services by GreenBliss EcoSpa, Santa Monica’s original mobile eco-luxury spa service. Rooms here range from $295 to $600 depending on the day. Look for the special offers to save money.
  • Pick up a naughty cake from a local exotic cake bakery like Exotic Cakes. We loved how Khloe's friends customized it for something near and dear to the bride-the Lakers!  Not in your budget-make your own using naughty cake pans from
(Info from Radar Online)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FREE Printable Bridal Shower Invitations

We found more FREE printable Bridal Shower Invites for you.  You can download the pdf file of the one above and another similar one at Free Printable Greeting Cards. The pdf file is free, but you can purchase a premium version that allows you to edit it for $4.  For more FREE printables look here.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sangria Cupcakes? Lemon Drop Cupcakes?

Okay, the cupcake trend might be slowing down a little but we are still always looking for variations on our favorite dessert.  Try this one-alcohol infused cupcakes. Cosmo has a few booze-infused recipes for cupcakes. With recipes like Lemon Drop Cupcakes (limoncello), Sangria Cupcakes, Malibu Madness Cupcakes (rum), Cosmo Cupcakes (triple sec), or Cupcakes for your guy (whiskey) they're sure to be a hit at a bridal shower or bachelorette party. These recipes would especially complement stock the bar showers or alcohol tastings.

(Photo copyrighted-Garrison Photo)

Want even more alcoholy cupcakes or pastries? Try the book The Boozy Baker which has the above recipes plus tons of more including Southern Comfort Red Velvet Cake, Jagermeister and Honey Bundt Cake, Champagne Layer Cake, Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Orange Liqueur Cream, Schnappy Butterscotch Pudding with Pretzel Brittle, and tons more!