Saturday, January 24, 2015

Red Velvet Soda Recipe (and a chat about Target wedding registries) #TargetWedding #Sponsored

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Last night, Pete and I went out to dinner at Bonefish Grill. We got to eat, phone and distraction free. Of course, it wasn't work free. He talked about his job and I mentioned a post that I was doing for Target Weddings.

The idea of the post (as it has been in the past) is to create a wedding registry that reflects the couple -- but also one that can be used. I mean, adding China to your registry is great (we did it) but the times you're going to be using that China is slim (ours has been in uncracked boxes for a year).

What we do use daily is the glasses that we put on our registry, so if you're planning on registering at Target, be sure to add  Threshold Drinkware. 

A set like the one above is a really good way to go. The Threshold Sherbrook Tumbler Set includes twelve glasses in two different sizes. Different sizes are good for different drinks. I mean, you're not going to make an 18 ounce Old Fashioned (unless you had a terrible day at work and you're sharing with someone). But the tall glass, they can be used to make Red Velvet Soda.

Yes, Red Velvet Soda. Pete actually came up with the concept yesterday when we were at dinner. We spent the time between our appetizer and dinner coming up with a recipe for it. And today, we made it. It was shockingly delicious.

Red Velvet Soda

What You'll Need:
*All of these items can be purchased at Target, which means you can add them all to your registry.

What You'll Do:

Make soda in the Soda Stream. Add about 3/4 of the lemon-lime syrup that you would usually add.

Add about three drops of vanilla extract. (It will start to bubble)

Add one (and only one) drop of red food coloring.

Add a large pinch of cocoa powder. (It'll really be active now)

Gently stir.

Now, I'm going to really give you a big warning here: Stir gently. By now, your Red Velvet Soda concoction is really starting to bubble. And a stir makes this drink think it's a volcano. It will bubble over and explode, just like shaken soda. So definitely be super calm with it.

I made this by the glass, but you could make a whole pitcher of it ... that is, if you have a pitcher.

If you don't, you can always add one onto your registry. We didn't add one because we already had three and didn't need to add one more to the mix. But if you need one, Target has a wide array of them to choose from.

What's actually cool about Target is it pretty much has everything.

Like a KitchenAid mixer, Calphalon cookware sets, SONOS speakers, Nikon cameras, and this Hamilton Beach Double Breakfast Sandwich Maker.

I actually only heard about these last week and I have no idea how my life has existed without it. We make breakfast sandwiches at home often, but this actually makes sandwiches for you. Plus, after you get married, there are two of you to start to cook for. So a double breakfast sandwich maker is definitely what you need.

You'll only need one vacuum, though. At least, that's what I think. And since they are quite expensive, don't expect more than one to fly off your registry.

Even if you don't think anyone will buy you a $400 vacuum, it's worth it to add it to your registry. See, the week of your wedding, Target will send you a 15% completion coupon. That way, you can save 15% off anything that wasn't purchased. That's an easy way to save a chunk of change off high ticket items, like a Dyson vacuum.

What I would add, personally, is this Threshold table lamp. It looks very similar to a lamp that was in a hotel scene from House of Cards that I fell in love with. In the middle of the episode, I had to stop and tell Pete that I absolutely wanted that lamp. And then I wondered if I could find something similar on Pinterest to help me make one. If you are registering, you can just add this lamp. You don't have to worry about DIY'ing one. Just scan it.

If you are planning on creating a Target Wedding Registry, be sure to add items that are useful but also include ones that are fun too. You want to choose stuff that reflects your personality but is also stuff that you will use. And these Red Velvet Soda ingredients are something you'll use (if you ask me, at least).

BRIDAL BABBLE: Do you think you would try to make this Red Velvet Soda?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Simple Snow-Covered Tree Winter Wedding Favor

Oriental Trading provided the items for this post. All thoughts and opinions belong to A Bride On A Budget.

Sometimes, DIY turns into DI Why did I even start this? And other times, DIY is just some super simple project that requires minor assembly on your part.

This Simple Snow-Covered Tree Winter Wedding Favor post definitely falls into the second category. They're considered DIY because you are assembling them but, honestly, all you're doing is assembling. They're super eye-catching for a winter wedding and require minimal effort. And really, when you're planning a wedding, you sometimes just need things to be easy. And these are easy. 

Simple Snow-Covered Tree Winter Wedding Favor

What You'll Do:

Open the favor box and squeeze the sides.

The bottom will actually fold itself. I told you this was easy.

Fill with Hershey Kisses. I was able to fit ten really comfortably (it didn't look empty, but it wasn't overfilled either). Personally, I think the Mint Truffle Kisses are the best for this. First, they're mint so they give that winter feeling when you eat them. Plus, their wrappers have snowflakes on them. That's absolutely matches your winter wedding theme.

Close the box.

Display them.

That's it.

The boxes are $3.18 for a dozen from Oriental Trading. The Mint Truffle Kisses are $3.18 for 63. Two bags of Kisses makes a dozen favors (if you stick with my method of ten in each, and then enjoy a couple while you're making these). That makes them just under $.80 each. I say favors shouldn't be more than $2 or $3, but under $1 is amazing. Plus, these are delicious pieces of chocolate you're giving as favors. Everyone will enjoy that.

Right now, the Kisses and favor boxes are on sale at Oriental Trading. I wouldn't encourage you to buy the chocolate now unless your winter wedding is this season, but I would definitely buy the favor boxes. If you buy them now, you'll definitely have them for your wedding (because who knows if they'll be back next season) and you'll be able to save on them. And you know I love savings.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What else would you fill these with?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Five Social Media Rules For Your Wedding

When I got my first (and actually, only so far) smart phone, it was when I decided I was going to blog full time. Since my entire livelihood would now be reliant on the Internet, I needed to have it in my pocket at all times.

I was late to the smart phone party. Really late. The latest phone at that time was the iPhone 4S, so its grandpa, the iPhone, was already five years old. Three years later I still have the 4S, filled with photos and apps. Like most everyone else, I don't go anywhere without my phone -- not even weddings.

And that's changed weddings. We've had to worry about things like unplugged weddings, which was something brides didn't have to worry about. Yes, a guest would bring a camera and take a few photos, but when your camera lives in your pocket and social media is a mere app away, it's so much more tempting to take a photo and immediately text it or Instagram it. And then your guests are spending time looking down, watching your wedding through a screen instead of their own eyes.

But there's a way to do social media right at your wedding.

Five Social Media Rules For Your Wedding

social media wedding rules

1. No posting photos of the bride or groom before the wedding.
This is a rule that you assume is a given, but it's safer to spell it out than assume. Your bridesmaids and parents will have phones in arms reach when everyone is getting ready for the big day. They'll be snapping selfies, photos of you, and photos with you. And that's fine. They are going to want to preserve these memories just as much as you do. But just make sure they don't immediately preserve them and post anything to social media before you walk down the aisle. And, to take it even further, make sure they don't text any photos out (at least of you) before the wedding either. The bride's reveal is huge and such a beautiful moment. You don't want one tag on Facebook to ruin that.

social media wedding rules

2. If you're really worried, change your privacy settings on Facebook.
I don't post on my personal Facebook page all that very often. I post on A Bride On A Budget's Facebook page several times a week. The last time I posted on my personal page was August 30 because I was doing some five days of grateful challenge. That was day four. I never made it to day five. But the last time a friend posted on my timeline was this morning. So even though you might not really be into Facebook, your friends might be. Be sure to change your privacy settings so you have to approve any tagged photos before they appear on your page. That way, you can make sure nothing unflattering shows up while you're on your honeymoon.

social media wedding rules

3. Create a wedding hashtag ... and let people know about it.
So many people mock hashtags, including Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, but hashtags can actually be really effective. I use the #BridalBabble hashtag on Twitter every week to host our wedding chat, but you can use them for a wedding too. Create a hashtag that is unique to you (and be sure to check social media for that hashtag first because, believe it or not, you might not be the first couple trying to use #MrAndMrsSmith). Be sure to post on social media that you are, indeed, using a hashtag. But also, make business cards to share at the welcome table and/or each individual table with the hashtag so your guests know what it is. If no one know, no one can use it.

wedding instagram

Small aside: I actually designed the cards above on PicMonkey and had them printed at CatPrint. What I really like about CatPrint -- and why it's so wedding friendly -- is there are no order minimums. Want ten Instagram wedding hashtag cards because you'll have ten tables? Sure. They can do that. Need five personalized cards to ask your girls to be your bridesmaids? Done. Need 100 save the date postcards? They can do that too. What I like most about them, though, is how incredible customer service is. When I was designing my cards, I had a few issues: First it was with orientation (but that was more of me not understanding the design process rather than an actual issue), second it was bleeding (or something like that). When you're planning a wedding, you know any minor crisis turns into something insurmountable. CatPrint's customer service did a lot of hand holding for me. I ended up sending them a desperation email that was something along the lines of, "I'm sorry. I don't understand. Can you just fix it for me?" And they did. Done. They even offered to send a free hard copy proof -- something they offer every customer. It adds a few days onto your production time, but you are able to receive one copy of your item in hand before an entire order is created. You can check spacing and coloring (and you know just how important color matching is). You can receive a free online proof, but that isn't ideal for colors. For review, I received these Instagram cards plus a full order of business cards (which I posted a photo of on Instagram). I love them. They're thinner than business cards, which gave them such a smooth feel in my hands. They just felt elegant, and that's the exact feeling you want for a wedding.

4. Wait a few days to change your status on Facebook.
I know, your friends want you to immediately change your status from "engaged" to "married" but really, this isn't something you need to change on the alter. After the "I Do's," you'll be taking wedding photos then going to your reception (and cleaning up), then passing out. If you remember this post, you'll remember that you don't even have the time or energy to be romantic on your wedding night. So the last thing you should be concerned with is a Facebook status.

social media wedding rules

5. Text your family who couldn't make it before posting on social media.
There is a good change that the next day, your phone will be flooded with photos from your friends and guests. They'll have shots of your cake, of you walking down the aisle, of your first dance. And they will send them all to you, way ahead of your photographer's professional shots. Take one of those photos and text it to the important family members who weren't able to travel for the wedding with a short, "Wish you were here yesterday!" message. Then, and only then, should you post anything on social media. You don't want your relatives to see your wedding day because they happened to sign into Facebook at the same time someone was posting something on your wall. Just as you wouldn't post on Facebook that you were engaged before calling your friends and family, don't post any photos before everyone has seen it from you first.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What other social media rules for your wedding do you have?

CatPrint provided A Bride On A Budget the Instagram cards and business cards mentioned above. All thoughts and opinions belong to ABOAB. Check out Cat Print on social media: Twitter | Facebook
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