Taking some shortcuts…

February 17, 2009

As you can probably tell by my lack of DIY posts, I’m starting to feel a little lax in my planning lately. I remember last March, starting my binder with all of these great DIY ideas. I was looking forward to my plethora of craft projects, strategically spread out throughout the upcoming 14 months of planning.

Well, I’ve kind of turned to my procrastinating side, and now to my second guessing side. Do I really need these pretty embossed envelopes, only for guests to rip them open? Do I really need to offer to make more invitations for the rehearsal dinner? Hmm…well, my cutting corners side emerged thanks to Gartner Studios.

I originally was going to buy these clear favor boxes with personalized labels and homemade favors inside. That morphed into, well, how many people will look at my homemade treats and truly appreciate them? I remember attending a wedding last year, noticing all the neglected favors. I appreciated how cute they were, and yep, I took 3 home! However, there were a whole bunch leftover as we left. I felt bad for the bride and groom. I know they spent a good bit of time making them perfect for their big day.

So, here emerges my second guessing side. Our favors have morphed into these favor boxes with Mr. BF and I’s favorite candies in the boxes. (My apologies for the blurry picture. This is what Gartner Studios has on their website!!)

Image source

The labels will say something cheesy and cute….I can’t help it!! “Enjoy a few of our favorite things.” A sort of play off of The Sound of Music’s song. These are a really cute substitution, in my opinion, and shouldn’t take so long to make!

I wanted to offer to help FMIL Ballet Flat with rehearsal dinner invites, but, well, I’m busy with our invites and other projects right now. I just wanted to make things simpler here. As Mr. BF and I were perusing Target for our weekly clearance shopping date, I noticed these teal and brown Letter Impress invitations for $35/box of 50. We suggested these to FMIL, and we offered to pick them up for her to look at. Wouldn’t you believe the VERY next day, they were on CLEARANCE for half off!! SCORE! (Once again, apologies for the blurry picture.)

Image source

Have you noticed yourself feeling the crunch and taking some shortcuts in your wedding planning?

Some (favor) food for thought…

October 10, 2008

I absolutely love the idea of little favors for guests. Some people opt not to do them, but I see this as a fun opportunity to bring some kitchen love in. Everyone loves food, right? So, it was an obvious decision to do an edible favor. However, we are still undecided on what exactly we are doing for favors. I do have some fun ideas, but I’m afraid there may not be enough time in my day. šŸ˜¦

Idea #1 (at least for kids): (Kind of) home-made lollipops

These are SUPER simple to make. I make these for kids whenever I volunteer in classrooms, and are always a hit! I found these on This Mama Cooks! blog.

Here are the directions for these fun lollipops!

* 8 ReynoldsĀ® FunShapesā„¢ Stars or Hearts Baking Cups (I’ve found these at Dollar Tree with 24 to a pack in both shapes)
* 8 (6-inch) Lollipop sticks (found at any craft store near cake decorating or candy making)
* 40 Jolly Ranchers

Preheat oven to 300Ā°F. Place Reynolds FunShapes Stars and/or Hearts Baking Cups on a cookie sheet with sides.

Make a hole in one side of each of the baking cups near the bottom of the cups with a toothpick. Insert the lollipop sticks from the inside of the cup through the hole made with the toothpick and push it to the outside leaving at least 1 inch inside the cup.

Arrange 5 candies in each baking cup, placing one candy over the lollipop stick. (It does not need to lay flat, it will melt around the stick.)

Bake 5 to 6 minutes (it took my oven 9 minutes but watch them carefully) or until candy is melted. Carefully remove baking cups from cookie sheet onto a tray to cool; immediately twirl stick to completely coat with candy. Prop sticks with handle of a wooden spoon if necessary to keep the sticks straight in baking cup while lollipop cools.

Remove lollipops from baking cups by tearing foil and peeling away from lollipops.

I think this would be great for kids (especially with heart shapes, who could resist right?). You can make these ahead too, because they don’t go bad quickly.

Idea #2: Home-made Truffles

I made Oreo Truffles when asking my friends and sisters to be my bridesmaids. I also make them as gifts around the holidays, and these are a hit too! These have an easy recipe, but a little tedious and time consuming to form into truffles. However, buying a truffle mold makes it a LOT easier in this instance, rather than forming into balls and dipping.

The truffles read B My (squiggle pattern on third truffle) B M ? Cheesy, I know…but I couldn’t resist, really!

Here are the directions for these (found in Beantown Baker’s food blog):

* 1 bag Oreos (crushed either by food processor or in a Ziploc with a rolling pin)
* 14 oz. condensed milk
* Chocolate candy melts or almond bark

Mix the oreos and condensed milk together, and roll into small ballsā€¦I used a half teaspoon measurement as guidance for thisā€¦then freeze the oreo balls (used wax paper b/t layers of balls to prevent sticking).

Melt the chocolate in a glass or plastic bowl according to the packages instructions. Make sure the bowl has NO WATER in it because that will mess up the chocolate’s texture, making it very difficult to work with.Ā  Then, dip in melted white chocolate or dark chocolate (to make the chocolate more shiny, I sprayed a tiny bit of veggie oil in the bowl with the chocolate).

I used a mold for this for pretty purposesā€¦so for a mold, you ā€œpaintā€ the shell of the mold with chocolate first, freeze for like a minute or so, then take out the mold, put the ball in the mold, then pour in chocolate to fill the rest of the truffle mold and allow to set in the freezer for another 2 minutes, and then they pop out!

If you want to dip instead, just dip the balls in chocolate with a toothpick and allow them to cool on parchment (with the toothpick taken out).

For writing, I used a plastic cake decorator bag and microwaved the chocolate in the bag at 30 sec intervals, squeezing the chocolate around the bag after every interval, on the defrost setting until smooth and melted. Then snip a small corner off and write. Be careful thoughā€¦the bag can be hot!

Idea #3: Cupcake Pops

While I haven’t made these myself (yet), they have become quite known to the food bloggers out there, and I think I’m going to attempt these for the holidays. I just love this idea, made famous by Bakerella.

Image source

Aren’t they just ADORABLE?

Here are the instructions for these beauties. Linky.

Are any of you brides thinking about giving some kitchen love to your wedding favors?

Kid’s Favor Idea!

April 22, 2008

This is a great and cheap idea for those who have favors, but aren’t quite kid friendly. While my planned favors so far are kid friendly but can be messy for little kids, I feel that kids would like this idea even more.

I recently found this idea on the internet. It’s using Reynolds Fun Shapes tins to make large lollipops in shapes of hearts or stars. This product came out a few years back, and are really difficult to find in stores. However, I found a bunch at my local Dollar Tree (24 to a pack for $1), and bought two boxes of hearts and two boxes of stars. I plan on using the heart shapes for the favors, and writing somethingĀ  cute on them in coloredĀ vanilla chocolate that you can get at Michael’s on sale usually for $1.69/pack.Ā (P.S. The stars are great, because I volunteer with kids and these are rewards or little gifts I like to give them for being a “Star”..yes it’s cheesy but works wonders.)

I have the directions on how to do them hereĀ in my food blog. I was thinking of using blue and green Jolly Ranchers to try to stay true to the colors (teal and brown) in our wedding. I figured a mix of blue and green makes teal hehe, and what kid wouldn’t love an apple/blue raspberry sucker?

Here is one with all 5 Jolly Rancher flavors…you will slap yo momma at how EASY these things are to make!