mother’s day: diy breakfast in bed tray

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My poor mother. She has received a boat-load of Mother’s Day gifts that were handcrafted with love and personality: hand-cut heart-shaped cards, finger-painted murals, and discombobulated pottery to say the least. And hey – I grew up to earn a fine art degree so I had some skill as a child, right?

Let’s face it, when it comes to DIY, we can’t all be Martha Stewart. But that doesn’t give us the right to give up! Ladies and gents, you have a week to get your act together and serve your mum breakfast in bed in style. Introducing, the do-it-yourself serving tray: durable wood, clean-safe stained glass, and stylish copper handles. Trust me – you can do this!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 14 x 14 inch cut smooth wood  (this is your base)
  • 12 x 12 inch stained glass (find tons of pre-cut color/pattern choices at Hobby Lobby)
  • 1/4-inch copper pipe, 2 pieces at 12-inches long
  • 1/4-inch copper elbows, 4 total
  • permanent adhesive glue
  • paint and primer
  • power drill and 1/4-inch paddle bit

BLANC_DIYSupplies

Step No. 1: Prep your base

Start by sanding your wood base, if needed. Apply a primer, then the paint color of your choice. I chose to paint my base an off-white to allow the copper and marble green to really pop.

Step No. 2: Adhere the glass

Using a strong adhesive glue, coat the back of your stained glass. Place in the center of the painted wood base. Let dry.

Step No. 3: Attaching your handles

Start by applying permanent glue onto each end of your copper pipe and then attach the copper elbow. Do this for both sides of your pipe and let dry. This will be your handle. Position the handle on your tray and measure the length from each elbow’s center point. Mark the center points on the tray with a pencil.

Next, use your power drill and 1/4-inch paddle bit to drill partially into the wooden base (roughly 1/8-inch). You may want to seek assistance with for part if you have never used a power drill.

Finally, fill your newly created intention with permanent adhesive. Insert the handle elbows into the intentions so they fit snug. Let dry.

Step No. 4: Mimosa’s and Mom

Surprise your favorite lady with fresh blooms from the garden and a bubbly mimosa to start her day. Happy Mother’s Day!


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Don’t forget to share your creations online! Tag @blancblog and hashtag #boldwithblanc

xoxo

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wedding etiquette

Blanc_Emily Post

It’s finally happened. You are old enough to have close friends that are getting married. When did we become so grown up?! 

In your 20’s, you are new to the wedding world. Most brides, grooms, or wedding attendees seek wedding advice, tips, and formalities from their elders: whom to invite, what to say, what to wear, what to give… the list of questions is, in all honesty, endless! If you are a bride or groom that is working with a wedding planner, this inquisitive list can be checked off quite easily. For guests, or those without a planner, we have a woman named Emily Post.

Emily Post was an American author, renowned for her books on proper etiquette. Though the guru of civility has past, she is still the go-to for brides, grooms, and wedding planners across the country. Her manners and spirit are still alive with the help of the authors in her family.

Though she is known for her traditional thinking, Ms. Post has certainly evolved over the years. Her most recent book includes modern day circumstances such as same sex marriage, budgeting for the bridal party, and today’s music selections. Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th Edition, is said to be the end-all, be-all to proper wedding and event formalities.

So don’t worry friends – Ms. Post has you covered. Here are your top questions, answered. Thank you Post family!

As a member of the bridal party:

What are the expectations of being a bridesmaid?
Generally, bridesmaids should purchase their own wedding-day attire (dress/shoes/jewelry, as directed by the bride). Bridesmaids should also give a wedding gift, though many couples consider the attendants’ participation as their gift.
Are the bridesmaids/maid of honor expected to host a shower?
The answer is no. Contrary to popular belief, bridesmaids are not required to host a shower and the bride should not insist that they do. If the bridesmaids would like to plan a shower, it is pertinent that they are all in agreement. The maid of honor or a single bridesmaid should never organize a party an expect others to help pay for it.
More common hosts for showers are close friends of the couple or the couple’s parents. If there are multiple showers thrown, the host should be considerate when inviting guests and should not invite guests to more than one shower (exceptions might be close family members).
Can more than the bridal party be invited to showers/bachelorette?
Of course. There are few rules when it comes to a tasteful bachelorette party. Invited guests usually include the bridal party, close friends or relatives, and possibly the mothers of the bride and groom.
Who pays for the bachelorette party?
Guests should pay their own way, as well has help cover the cost of the bride. Just be sure that it’s clear before the celebration begins. No gifts should be expected but if gifts are given, they are usually inexpensive or humorous.

As a guest:

If you cannot attend a shower, are you obligated to send a gift?
No, though sometimes close friends or relatives do.
How much should you spend on a shower gift?
Shower gifts should be less expensive than the wedding gift and are usually centered around a theme.
How much should you spend on a wedding gift?
There are many theories on how to calculate the perfectly budgeted wedding gift. Emily tells us that the gift should be based on the giver’s affection for and relationship to the couple and their families and on their personal budget.
I’m inviting to the wedding but can’t come. Do I have to give a gift?
Yes, it is proper to mail one to the couple.
I am invited to the reception only. Do I have to give a gift?
Whether it is the same day or a belated reception, you are not required to give a gift, though you may do so if you wish.
I received an “and guest.” How do I handle the gift giving?
The person invited should is responsible for purchasing the gift.
 Blanc_Emily Post

What questions do you have for the Post family? Comment below and I will do my best to answer! Looking for the entire guide to wedding etiquette? Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette, 6th Edition is available on Amazon. You can find daily tips at http://www.emilypost.com.

Happy wedding season! 

 

drink up, buttercup

Blanc Valentines Day

We’re a week of away from the most loving day of the year. The boys will buzz to the flower shop and swoon their lady with scented beauties, a candle-lit dinner, or a heart full of chocolates. The girls will have an extra excuse to wear their favorite shade of pink and brag about how precious their bae is.

If you’re in a relationship, there is a bit of an expectation for the 14th. If you’re not in a relationship, there is a different kind of expectation… most involving a girls night-in, drooling over Ryan Gosling, Harry Styles, and Liam Helmsworth (Me me! Yummmm), all while popping bottle after bottle of $10 pink-label champagne. Am I right?

Well cheer up buttercup, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be such a drag. There is plenty of love to go around (#talkprettytome), and if you’re lucky, that love is coated in a festive cocktail and scalloped Valentine decor (from Michael’s craft store at 40% off – a steal!).

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Here you go, girls. My favorite Valentine’s Day (or any day, really) cocktails for date night or a girls night-in. Choose your fancy. Make a large pitcher for multiple guests, or mix one on your own!

Stupid CupidStupid Cupid

  • 2 oz. citrus-flavored vodka
  • .5 oz. gin
  • 1 splash simple syrup*
  • 1 splash fresh lemon juice

 

 

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Ganish with cherry. Serve in a martini glass (or a rocks glass if you don’t have a martini glass on hand).

*Simple Syrup Recipe: mix 1 part water and 1 part sugar (i.e. 1 cup of both) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Your mixture will be grainy at first, then cloudy. Your simple syrup is ready when the concoction is completely clear.


 Hot Pants Blanc Vday Cheers

  • For Glass: Lime wedge and course salt (or sugar!)
  • 1.5 oz. tequila
  • .5 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • .5 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 2 tsp. simple syrup

 

Rim old-fashioned glass with lime and salt. Fill with ice. Shake remaining ingredients with ice. Strain into glass. 


Champagne Flamingo Champagne Flamingo

  • .75 oz. vodka
  • .75 oz. Campari
  • 5 oz. chilled Champagne
  • Garnish with an orange twist

 

 

Shake vodka and Campari with ice. Strain into chilled champagne flute and top with Champagne. Add orange twist. 


Recipes are from my favorite bartending book, Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, the 75th Anniversary Edition. Find it at Barnes and Noble for just $15. It has every cocktail recipe you need to know, along with side notes with substitutions and preparation advice.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Cheers loves! 

 

 

 

blanc’s guide to floral arrangements

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Girl Problem #12892582: We all want flowers, damn it.

Well, if you could look up a yearbook picture of me in middle school, the quote underneath my photo may have been something along the lines of  “b-ball > flowers”. In fact, I spent half of my childhood playing hot wheels with my little brother in the back room of my mom’s flower shop – which has always been something I majorly regret. Why didn’t I pick up a stem and start crafting? As boyish as I was at age 10, I was artistic enough to dabble, wasn’t I?

Today, I find myself in quite the opposite predicament. I have become a flower-loving female for Pete’s sake! And I don’t waste any time nagging* my boyfriend for them when my BFF Instagrams her “just because”/”he’s the best” valencia filter, flower shot. It’s all in fun… he knows I’m kidding…….. right?

*Sidenote: He does get me flowers (amongst many gifts). I’m just greedy and think it’s fun to get on his nerves. Evil? Maybe. 😉

With the holiday of chocolates – I mean love – coming up, I thought to myself: what could be more useful than a cheat sheet to creating the perfect floral arrangement? Why this thought popped into my head, I’m not really sure considering I have honestly never made a floral arrangement in my life. But then I’m reminded, floral arrangements are an art form, and art all follows the same rules. So, my Sunday afternoon consisted of a $15 trip to Trader Joe’s, a handful of flowers, and some crafting.

Flower Arrangement Anatomy

FlowerAnatomyBlancGathering Tips:

  • Choose flowers with various sizes: large, medium-large & medium-small, and small
  • Look for textures (I added a succulent I had in my kitchen)
  • Pick from your yard (I have a great magnolia tree next to my entryway. The greenery is from that!)

My Flower Choices (from left to right): hydrangeas, astartea (also called wax flower), and gerber daisies.

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Arranging Tips:

  • Create a focal point and build around that (highlight it with greenery or small budded flowers)
  • Overlap the lip of your vase (this adds dimension). This is called “breaking the edge.”
  • Vary sizes, colors, and textures throughout your piece
  • Think balance (not symmetry): in size, colors, and height

Blanc Floral TutorialMy motto: just go for it. There is no wrong way and the more you practice, the better you will get. Gift your creations to a teacher, a boss, or a loved one this Valentine’s Day. Share your arrangements on social media with the hashtag #boldwithblanc.

Have questions? Comment below.