Tag Archives: party

Rehearsal Dinner Planning

18 Sep

About a week ago we hit the six month mark for the wedding. Six months! I can’t wait! Although six months usually means that the save the dates are being sent, we haven’t quite gotten there.

One of my close friends, Jessica, will be taking our engagement photos in early October, so we will work on those in the next month or so. Instead, we have been working on other details of the wedding and, particularly, the rehearsal dinner.

Well, let me rephrase that: Chip’s mom has been working on the rehearsal dinner. In fact, she wants it to be a complete surprise, so I’m pretty excited to see what she has been scheming up.

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I love to plan anything and everything. Therefore, it’s a little out of the ordinary for me to only know a couple things about the night, like:

1. It’s Spanish themed – since we met in Spain on our study abroad trip

2. It is at Chip’s house in Duluth

However, at home this weekend, Chip’s mom mentioned she has been having the hardest time finding an invite design for the dinner. Naturally, I stepped in. (Hey, it was my one chance to be involved!) She ultimately was thrilled because┬áthis is what we came up with:

A flamenco dancer and guitar player. Both were scanned from a ceramic tile that Chip and I picked out for his mom in Spain.

Then I did some serious surgery (aka cutting very carefully) to create our very own Spanish themed invite.

Blacked out area is where the address will be...

I was so proud of the fact that I made this in Powerpoint in about an hour. Yes, Powerpoint. Also, I felt super nostalgic when I realized that the “&” symbol on the invite reminds me of this:

This is Sevilla’s symbol to say that “Sevilla has not left me.” It’s definitely true, considering it subconsciously came back in our Spanish themed rehearsal dinner invite!

Now that I have had my fill of helping plan the night, I can’t wait to see what it all looks like in the end!

So, what have you seen done for a rehearsal dinner in the past?

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Mas mojitos, por favor

5 Jul

In true 4th of July fashion, we enjoyed a delicious barbeque complete with tons of appetizers, sides and desserts last night at the boyfriend’s parents’ house. However, with about 20 people coming over for dinner, we wanted to make sure there would be tasty beverages to go along. We made Mango-Peach Sangria, which is always a summer party favorite, but ventured into a recent discovery of ours: mojitos.

On our last night San Francisco, dining at Spinnaker, we had the most delicious Pomegranate Mojito ever. Immediately we decided that we would try our hand at making this refreshing, summery drink. We thought last night would be the perfect opportunity (except maybe that almost every grocery store was out of limes for the weekend…)

Mango Mojito

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)

  • 40 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 limes, cut into quarters
  • 3/4 cup Cruzan Mango Rum
  • 2 cups club soda
  • simple syrup (to taste)

1. Boil equal parts sugar and water to make a simple syrup. Stir until all sugar is melted. Let cool. Ta-da, you have simple syrup.

2. Cut 4 limes into quarters and place in a flat glass bowl with about 40 fresh mint leaves.

This obviously isn't 4 limes yet, but you get the idea.

3. Use a muddler (or in our case, a meat pounder) to crush the mint leaves and lime, which will release the oils and juice. At this time, feel free to add a pinch of sugar and taste the deliciousness.

Don't know what a muddler is? I didn't either... see below.

4. Pour the lime and mint mixture, mango rum and club soda in a pitcher and add ice.

5. Add the simple syrup to taste. Garnish with a lime wedge.

6. Enjoy with fireworks flashing overhead. Cheers, America.

Next time I think we will add a bit of mango juice to brighten up the mango flavor. Really, you could use any flavor rum with any flavor juice. Regardless, it’s delicious.

And as promised, here is what a muddler is, in case you’re a rookie like me and had no idea:

Moral of the story is: Happy birthday, America. We may have made Cuban drink, but Cuba’s got nothing on you.

Brave at Monell’s

3 Apr

This weekend I spent my time in Nashville celebrating one of my very best friend’s engagement to her new fiance! With a huge party planned for them and all of their friends, I knew it was sure to be an awesome weekend. I loved every minute of it and loved even more seeing how awesome they are together. To top it off, her family, the fiance’s family and I all went to a family style Southern buffet breakfast at this precious Victorian home converted into a restaurant, Monell’s.

To give you an idea, the rooms have huge tables that fit 12 people each, where the sweet servers bring you endless amounts of food, including cheese grits, cinnamon rolls, eggs and every other breakfast item you can imagine. I ate so much, I felt like my stomach was going to explode. We had 11 people total, so just about filled in every seat at the table. Typically multiple families sit together and enjoy the meal, sans cell phones (they specifically ask you to turn them off so you get to know the other people at the table).

We weren’t expecting anyone else at the table, until high school senior, Alex, showed up by himself at the restaurant. As the host introduced him to our shin-dig, we immediately were amazed by his bravery and boldness to jump into an engagement celebration. While I am by no means shy, I would definitely feel a little out-of-place in that situation. He handled it with ease.

As a student in a rough school in Nashville, Alex explained he had woken up Sunday morning with enough money in his wallet and plenty of room in his stomach to venture to Monell’s for breakfast. He devoured some food and laughed at the questions we would ask him. What I loved most was that despite his tough upbringing and a ton of odds he had faced, he still was determined and happy-go-lucky. He explained his love of art, as it took his mind off of all of the things around him. His goal is to go to school in Florida to pursue art so that he can truly live his passion.

As he prepared to leave the table, he sweetly congratulated the couple and went on his way, genuinely thanking us for letting him “barge in.” Although he wasn’t necessarily expected at the table, he certainly was a nice touch to remind us that even when life throws us a couple of curve balls, we can still harness our bravery and tackle what lies ahead. And if nothing else, you know you are always welcome at a family style table in Nashville for some awesome home cooking.