Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bridal Shower DIY: Photo Banner

Since I’m still having withdrawal from my friend’s wedding last weekend, I’m going to keep the theme going with an adorable DIY project, courtesy of my sister.  As a bridesmaid for her friend, Dana, she crafted up a photo banner for the bridal shower.

Photo banner

She gathered some pictures, from childhood to her engagement, and placed them on decorative fabrics in girly and pink prints, punched with gold eyelets.  Then, strung them on gold rope in chronological order, leaving some room in between.

At the shower, a sign asked guests to write their well wishes and hang on the clothesline. This easy banner triples as a photo display, decoration, and a guest book.

Please leave your note of advice or well wishes for the new Mr. and Mrs.  Hang it on the clothesline when you are done.


Bridal shower photo banner

See more of this gorgeous shower and the amazing work of Jamie Lefkowitz Photography here.

Wedding Season Gifting

My best friend is married!  What a beautiful wedding in beautiful weather, all for a beautiful bride!

Nicole &  Mike's Wedding |

For me, it’s the end of wedding season.  But for many, I know there are plenty of fall weddings ahead.

Of course, in celebration of a friend or relative, you give a shower gift straight off the registry and a standard card with money covering the cost per head. But sometimes when you’re in the wedding – or related to the bride/groom – you want to give something a little more personal.  Here are some thought starters from the wedding’s I’ve attended this year!

Custom cutting boards from AHeirloom on Etsy

Custom cutting boards from AHeirloom on Etsy

Engagement Party | Custom cutting board

These are one of my favorite things to buy on Etsy.  Whether housewarming, engagement party, or an accompaniment to a larger gift, an engraved cutting board is a great personalized present.  You can engrave with the couple’s initials and wedding date, or keep it simple with a state cutting board including a heart over their hometown.

Bridal Shower | Wine Basket

While it’s always smart to purchase off of a gift registry, sometimes you want to add a little something extra.  I’ve posted before about being a fan of gift baskets.  The key is filling them with useful stuff!  Of course, wine is useful and a wine basket is a great way for the couple to stock up their collection. A great idea from Occasions Online is adding note tags with instructions on when to drink each bottle. Or try out some custom cards, with a short note from each bridesmaid.

Pre-Wedding Basket for the Bride |

Pre-Wedding Basket for the Bride

Pre-Wedding | Bride De-stress Kit

My crafty counterpart/creative best friend is a pro at being a bridesmaid.  She came up with the idea to put together a bag full of goodies to give to our friend Nicole the week before her wedding.  We included a bunch of little items to help her get ready for the wedding (or forget about the wedding) and to send her off on her honeymoon.

Some of the items we included were:

  • travel toiletries (deodorant, nail polish remover, eye makeup wipes, hair spray)
  • face mask
  • Shout stain wipes (or a Tide-to-go works, too)
  • unscented bug spray (for her outdoor wedding!)
  • initial mug with chamomile tea (Anthropologie)
  • lip balm with SPF (a favorite is Eos)
  • hair ties (also Anthropologie)
  • candy (for breaking the wedding diet)
  • mini champagne

Philly LOVE

Framed Wedding Song lyrics

The Wedding | Framed Wedding Lyrics

For Tom’s sister, I wanted to give something a little more sentimental than just a card.  Lucky for me, I have a designer in the family, so my sister helped me put together a custom picture with the lyrics to her wedding song.

Since her reception was in Philly, we added a skyline silhouette in back, as well as the Philadelphia “LOVE” logo. (I love double meanings.)  Just a little something extra for a personalized touch!  Of course, if you don’t have a designer in the family, you could always reach out to our design shop for some assistance.

What personalized gifts have you given to the bride-to-be?

Great Local Eats

It’s been forever. Between work, freelance work, getting ready for my best friend’s wedding this weekend, and preparing for Italy – it’s been crazy!  But, I can still sneak a few posts in before I jet set to the land of wine and pasta.

So in preparation for some good eatin’, I wanted to share some of my recent great eats in Hoboken and NYC, from breakfast to dinner!

Brunch at Mary O'Briens in Hoboken | J'ai La Vie

Brunch | Marty O’Brien’s

I found my new favorite brunch spot.  Granted, I find a new favorite all the time and it seems there are infinite possibilities for a Sunday breakfast in Hoboken, but this one is  a true winner! Marty O’Brien’s in Hoboken. Even in the rain, Tom and I sat outside and sipped our complimentary breakfast beverages.  That’s right, a free drink with your meal! You can’t beat it.  Although tempted by a classic omelette, I ordered the breakfast burrito and snuck a bite of Tom’s pancakes, which were so rich they tasted like a flattened muffin. I was thinking about this meal the rest of the day….

Fiore's Hoboken | J'ai La Vie

Lunch | Fiore’s

Hoboken has a few “famous” spots.  And if you think the line at Carlo’s Bakery is long, try waiting for a sandwich during lunch rush hour at Fiore’s.  And they don’t even have a TV show.  Famous for their roast beef and mozzarella, this place is a Hoboken word-of-mouth classic.

I’m not a big roast beef eater, but good mozzarella I can never resist. So I created my own Italian “classic” with turkey, fresh mozz, and roasted rep peppers, topped with balsamic.  Yum! I could eat this every day… except Sunday, because they are closed. Those Catholic Italians …

S'MAC Mac and Chese NYC | J'ai La Vie

Dinner | S’Mac

If you know me, you know my obsession with mac and cheese. And I’ve been dying to go to Sarita’s Macaroni and Cheese, better known as “S’MAC“. So when I saw a Groupon (2 macs and 2 beers for only $19!) I snatched it up!

We finally went, and it was as good as even better than I imagined.  I had the 4 Cheese (I like the classics) and Tom had Masala, mac with Indian spices.

I’m also behind on sharing my Hudson Restaurant Week meals! More to come on that!