A Backyard Picnic Party

A couple months ago, my good friend Meredith asked if I'd be up for helping plan her birthday party again this year, since we had such a good time planning her party last year! So of course I said yes. Meredith was hoping for a backyard picnic party and I was so excited to get planning.

It would appear our landlord was equally excited for this party because a few weeks before, he put up that lovely fence and repainted the back of the garage to match. I am so excited to have a backyard with a bit of privacy and it looks amazing! Points for a great landlord. 

I also have to mention that orange striped blanket. My mum picked it up for me as an Easter gift because she knew we were having this picnic party. And it just happened to be the exact colors we had chosen for the party. So thanks, Lydiebell!

I love how it came together. Meredith's mum, Edie, came into town for the weekend and she is absolutely wonderful. She and Meredith came to the house the afternoon of the party and worked alongside Adrian and myself as we got everything ready for the party. I love when I get to spend time with Edie. She is such a joy and so talented. She has a great eye for design and helped us make a bunch of gametime decisions.

In the second photo below, I printed out some glassine bags and filled each with a napkin, straw and utensils. I decided the bags in Photoshop and printed them at home on my printer. For further instructions on how to print your own, check out this post on DIY printed bags.

Meredith wanted to show a movie during the party so she thought to include a popcorn bar for movie-snacking! Such a great idea, right? We had planned to use our projector once the sun set, but we forgot about the motion-sensor lights that can't be turned off. Yelling "nobody move for the next two hours!" didn't work out so we ended up bringing out the TV at the last minute. As much as I think I have every detail covered, something always comes up and I learn to just roll with it. We made it work in the end and everyone enjoyed it so let's chalk that up as a win, no?

Lastly, we got the idea from Pinterest to offer pre-mixed drinks in jars. I love this idea and plan to do this all throughout the summer. Generally, Adrian ends up playing bartender at parties and while he enjoys mixing drinks, it's nice to not have duties during a party. With drinks set out in jars, anyone can grab one when they'd like and Adrian gets to just sit back and enjoy the company. Win-win. 

All-in-all, I loved this party. It was such a relaxing night of hanging out with friends and enjoying the beginnings of summer in the city. I loved seeing the picnic blankets fill up with friends, laughing and celebrating Meredith's birthday. Best moment? When the sun started to set and the strings of lights set that quintessential backyard summertime mood. 

This backyard picnic party just might have to become an annual event.

The 2014 Free Printable Bachelorette Bracket

I love a good reality TV show as much as the next girl. It's a kind escape from a stressful workday. But mostly, I love watching reality TV shows with friends. It's the commentary and the yelling at the TV and the live-tweeting and the getting together just because. I will take any excuse to spend time with friends during the week. 

And because I also happen to enjoy competitions that involve little-to-no skill, I've created a free printable Bachelorette Bracket! My friends and I are pretty excited to get together this Monday for the start of this ridiculous show and I thought what better way to watch than by making it a competition. And since our male friends also enjoy competition, there's a slight chance we might even get them to come out and watch.

Rules: So the way it works is for each round you get a certain number of points for your correct picks. In the first round, you get one point. In the second round, you get two points. In the third round, three points and continuing until the last round where you get ten points for having correctly chosen who Andi gives her final rose to. The winner of the bracket is the person with the highest number of points.

Since picking the first round during the first few minutes of the show may be too difficult, I will re-post this bracket for download with the top 19 already filled in. That way, you'll have a few days to fill in the rest of your bracket before next week's show. In that case, you'd start with each correct pick in round two receiving two points and continue on from there.

So grab some friends, some drinks and a bracket and start making your picks! You can find bios of the 25 contestants here.

Don't forget to check back here in the next couple days for the revised bracket with the top 19 filled in. 

Download your free printable Bachelorette Bracket here!

Update: The printable Bachelorette Bracket has been updated to include Andi's top 19! You can download the updated bracket here!

The month of Adrian.

Adrian's birthday was a few days ago. I love when his birthday rolls around because it gives me an excuse to call everyone up and say, "Hey, let's celebrate Adrian!" because I don't think he is celebrated nearly enough.

Adrian has a heart of gold. He is certainly the kindest, most considerate person I know. And quietly kind. He never seeks anything in return and there never seems to be that inner battle of "I don't want to do this, but I should." If that thought occurs, he doesn't show it in his actions. He is the first to stand and offer his seat. When we have guests, which is often, he scans the room and anticipates needs. I have learned so much about hospitality from watching him.

A few nights ago, I told him that lately he's been stealing my blankets at night. I told him mostly joking with no real hope of change because who can change their half-asleep behaviors, right? Adrian can. The next night, at one point, I woke up to find his arm reaching across me to make sure that I still had enough blanket on the other side of me. Honestly, this guy half-asleep is more considerate than me fully-awake. 

In just a couple of months we will be celebrating four years of marriage, which I can't believe. It's been four years of waking up next to him, eating quiet dinners with him, adventuring with him and laughing with him. 

I know most everyone says this, but I'm fairly certain I am getting the better end of this deal.

So if you see him around, celebrate him, won't you? Tell him how much you appreciate his cooking and his bartending skills. Or ask him about the things he likes to talk about and watch him come to life as he tells you about Mexican politics and soccer and American rock from the 70s and 80s. Then give him a big hug. Because he's adorable. 

(I should note: This post was not approved by Adrian. I'm throwing caution to the wind and I'm 100% sure I'll soon receive a text that this post is super embarrassing. But it's the month of Adrian so it's happening anyways! Also, feel free to use the comments section as your space to share what you'd like to celebrate most about him!)
Blogging tips