Registries for Everyone!

websites, weddings

I recently saw this sweet post on Birchbox that discussed things every bride can think about to have a less traditional looking wedding. It got me thinking that I work with brides and grooms, moms and dads, every day who are beautifully less traditional in many ways, and have made some very fun choices in their registry lists. Here are my top picks for registering for a big life event!

etsy wedding registry

For the happy couple:

HoneyFund: I think in this modern day, where many couples are marrying later or living together first, it’s a reality that they don’t need or want as many physical gifts. Help the happy couple fund their trip of a lifetime and make amazing memories!

Heath Ceramics: Beautiful handmade ceramics ranging from vases and decorative items to functional tile and dinnerware.

JuliBox: If you know the happy couple is into craft cocktails, this is a fantastic gift that supplies unique monthly boxes of booze – enough for two people to have two different cocktails!

Register for Activities: Tickets to Jazz Fest, for example, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant, a wine tasting excursion or a baseball game. Create a custom registry of fun couples things to do in your first year of marriage!

Etsy: Has an easy-to-use wedding registry feature so you can make sure you’re getting the one-of-a-kind gifts you hope for!

 

For the new homeowner:

Wine Clubs: Are a great way to be party-ready (or just everyday-ready?!) at all times. If you aren’t sure about all the random wines you may get from wine clubs, you could always register for a membership at a specific vineyard.

Angie’s List: Ask for a membership to Angie’s List and you’ll be thrilled you did it later. I can tell you from experience, it’s hard to find good help around the home, especially if you are one of only a few homeowners in your immediate circle of friends!

Netflix: A gift subscription to Netflix is a great gift for people who will be home, decorating, painting and generally getting settled into a new space.

 

For the parents-to-be:

Stay local, y’all: You’re more likely to get personalized help and advice. You’ll be able to order exactly what you want, without worrying if it’s in stock or not. In New Orleans, ZukaBaby is a fantastic choice, complete with parenting and nutrition classes for the community.

Cloth diaper delivery service: Pick something local to you, but in New Orleans, family-run Better Bottoms is available.

College savings plans: Look into the 529 Savings & Prepaid plans, for example. Or start a high-interest savings account or purchase savings bonds. Or do a flash drive with Deposit A Gift.

 

On a side note…

If you are getting married sometime soon, then you might want to check out #BridalBabble and #WeddingWednesday hashtags on Twitter on Wednesdays at 4pm EDT. It’s a great collection of wedding industry professionals and brides and grooms who tweet-chat about pressing questions, concerns and tips for the big day!

Happy gift-getting!

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Designing for Babies!

design, invitations, printing

Wow! Sorry for the delay in posts! This month has been amazing and totally busy! I attended my first “tradeshow,” if it can even be called that. I exhibited at a fantastic mommy blogger event – a “new mom’s bootcamp” – here in New Orleans and met some fantastic people! I sold a few New Orleans ABCs posters:

Nola Abc Poster

And I met some truly wonderful mommies (and a few dads!)! What a great time, and thank you to New Orleans Moms Blog and Helper Events and affiliates for having me!

I just sent off a round of new custom baby shower invites too – to one of my favorite moms-to-be out in Colorado!

baby shower invitation

I think my favorite current trend is the lack of gender-specific colors and details. I’m seeing a lot of co-ed baby get-togethers – from showers to gender reveal parties to first birthdays, a lot more dads are involved and a lot of kid parties now include both the boys and the girls from school. This is a new and fun challenge in setting a mood with your stationery. With Alice and Dave’s baby shower example here, I picked out a few things that define the couple – they love nature, their state of Colorado, barbeques and lawn games. I wanted to give a vibe that spoke about both parents instead of just the mama and avoid scaring off their male friends. Co-ed showers can be an amazing time for expectant parents to bond with loved ones and other couples who have children, so I love that they are such a hot trend right now!

You know I love branding your big events and creating a sophisticated and fun feel for the day, but it can add up. There are a few easy ways to keep costs down and still cover all your design bases:

Only print the big stuff professionally. Invitations should be printed professionally, especially if there are large blocks of color. Same with signs or posters. You don’t want to send them out with odd stripes of lighter areas – even FedEx Office fancy printers behind the register wouldn’t be my first choice. Find a nice local printer. I’ve been very happy with LaFleur in Baton Rouge, Laredo in New Orleans and Wythken in Richmond, Virginia. It’s nice to use local printers – they work with you on paper styles and weights, making sure your stuff will fit in envelopes correctly, matching colors and answering the really dumb questions. A lot of local printers will work under tighter deadlines than online printers.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. As far as printing, that is! I think it’s great to print some stuff at home. You spent the money to buy that fancy printer, so you might as well use it! Print bag tags, tent cards, place cards and snack labels – all the smaller stuff. You can adjust your color settings in your computer if you feel like they aren’t quite matching the colors of your invitations.

Don’t get hung up on envelopes. They’re going to get thrown away! If your printer at home won’t feed envelopes, I would purchase plain white and stick with plain white address labels that you can print at home. This would be the least expensive option. If you used a designer to do your artwork for everything, you can ask them what font they used so you can match it. The next least expensive option is to have just the return address professionally printed on your envelopes. Printing in one color on one side is always your cheapest option. You would either hand write or adhere a label with the “to” address later.

Labels are your friend. Sticky labels from FedEx Office or Target that are supposed to be for shipping/addresses can be printed on at home and used as intended, as favor labels or for creating custom stickers. It’s fun to get kids to help with their own parties, so you could print a solid color (or ombre! or rainbow!) across a whole sheet of labels. Next, take a trip to your local craft or scrapbooking store and pick up some different shaped hole punches that fit your theme. These hole punches are pretty child-friendly and safe – the blades are usually encased in a plastic box that acts as a big button, but you should stick close and supervise. You’ve now made little stickers you can use to decorate for the party!

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Follow me on Pinterest and see the latest baby party trends! Party on, y’all!

Feeling the Art in New Orleans

design, exhibitions, fine arts, galleries, kids, painting

This past week has been a whirlwind of things going on! We just had French Quarter Fest in New Orleans, which I was excited to get to since I’ve never been before! A word to the wise: avoid Saturday (and probably Friday) and just hit Thursday and Sunday. The crowds were way less annoying and a more manageable size on Sunday and I was able to enjoy music instead of making a super slow trek from stage to stage. I was most excited that I got to hear the Dixie Cups live – Iko Iko is one of my favorite songs from childhood, long before I even knew New Orleans existed. Props to my parents for introducing me to unusual music as a youth in Northern Virginia!

I’ve been looking for opportunities to get involved in the community, and an opportunity has arisen that seems right up my alley. I had a chance to visit A Studio in the Woods yesterday and learn about the amazing programs they have on this beautiful piece of land out past my house. As a satellite program of Tulane University, they host resident artists during the year and have programs for youth that focus on art and environmental stewardship. Think about donating to this amazing program, or volunteering. They have their annual FORESTival event coming up next month, and I’m planning on volunteering. So, bonus: We’d get to hang out!

Here are just a couple of pictures I snapped at the studio. They are in renovation and clean-up mode, so I didn’t want to go too crazy. Next time…

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During French Quarter Fest, I took a little time to (finally) visit the Angela King Gallery to check out the Peter Max paintings. Totally worth a trip to the Quarter, y’all. The paintings are the most beautiful, vibrant colors – they almost move. There was a fountain in Central Park scene one I had my eye on…

Peter Max

Central Park painting by Peter Max, image from Angela King Gallery site.

One day when I make my millions…swoon. The gallery also had some beautiful large-scale paintings by Florida-native Richard Currier. Incredibly intense lighting in his work. Check him out.

I’m happy to say my New Orleans baby “congrats” cards are now for sale at ZukaBaby! Stop in and pick up a gift and a card for the pregnant/new mama in your life!

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