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An Anniversary to Remember

5 Feb

Celebrating 1st AnniversariesWhile all anniversaries are important, a first wedding anniversary is a milestone and a special occasion that should be celebrated. It’s important to mark this special time in a marriage to show your love and appreciation for your partner.

A gift can be a tangible symbol of that love and appreciation. The traditional gift for a first anniversary is the gift of paper. The first year is an exciting anniversary as it is the beginning of something new. Like a blank page, paper represents your blank slate and the chapters ahead are ready to unfold during your new life together.

Personalized StationeryPersonalized stationery with spouse’s wedding monogram printed on it would be a perfect present, as by the one-year mark. By then, often the original stationery used for wedding thank you notes can be ready to be replenished. Or, a set with the just bride’s name or the groom’s name is a present that will remind them that they are important and loved.

The style of stationery can represent the style of the spouse, either tailored and simple, or colorful and whimsical. There are many choices and if it’s personalized with their name it would take the gift to the next step to let them know you took the time to order something special just for them.

Just The Two of Them Notepad SetAnother great option would be a new set of personalized notepads that can be shared by the couple or can be just for her or just for him. Notepads are a perfect present as they are useful and stylish and a wonderful addition to a desk, kitchen or bedroom night stand for all the reminders, lists and notes. They can be a tangible symbol of love and your commitment to each other.

Other paper ideas are to order a personalized leather journal, printed paper drink coasters for a home bar or coffee table, a monogrammed sticky memo cube for your kitchen counter, a personalized leather bound book such as Joy of Cooking, A Rock ‘n Roll Album, World Whiskey or The barbecue Bible, or put together your own book such as a paper scrapbook of your first year together as a meaningful present.

Remember, especially for the first anniversary, to write a love note on a pretty card when you give this present to let them know how special they are. And maybe a love note can become a sweet custom between the couple on every anniversary! Wouldn’t it be a beautiful gift to future children to save all the love notes in an album and look back at them over time.

There are traditional gifts for each year that are fun to consider. According to Bride’s magazine, these conventions date back to medieval times and were chosen to be sure there was good fortune and prosperity in the marriage. But, these ideas became most popular during the Victorian era.
Some of the milestone gifts by year include:

  • 1st Anniversary: Paper
  • 5th Anniversary: Wood
  • 10th Anniversary: Aluminum
  • 15th Anniversary: Crystal
  • 20th Anniversary: China
  • 25th Anniversary: Silver
  • 50th Anniversary: Gold
  • 60th Anniversary: Diamond

Whether you make a special meal for each other at home, go out to your favorite restaurant, or take a trip together, celebrating a first wedding anniversary can reinforce the love between a couple and is. And a token of your devotion is something that can enhance the special date as well.

Enjoy the anniversary and make is a date to remember how important you are to each other each and every year.

Valentine’s Day Party Planning

13 Jan

source: shutterstock.com

Don’t have a hot date for Valentine’s Day this year? Throw a Valentine’s Day party for all your friends instead! Relationships are all about having fun and what’s more fun than a party?

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about the romantic relationships in your life, it’s about all the love in your life, and there is nothing quite like the love between friends. You can have a quiet romantic night with your partner any night, why not celebrate love in all forms on Valentine’s Day (friendships, romantic, etc.).

So, what are the steps to throwing a Valentine’s Day party?

Step 1: Guest List

Depending on the night that you are trying to have the party, the guest list could go many ways. You could decide to throw the ever-famous Galantine’s Day party and invite only your best girlfriends. Or you could decide to throw a couple’s party and only invite your friends who are in relationships. However, I would advise to throw a party that is for everyone: invite your close friends, your partner (if applicable), your friend’s partners, a few fewer close friends to set your single friends up with, and whomever else you might want there.

Step 2: Party Supplies

Valentine's Day Party Supplies from The Stationery Studio

Once your guest list is complete, you’ll need to gear up with some party supplies. I’d recommend getting supplies that are disposable and able to be thrown away – easy party clean-up. For any party that I’m hosting I believe that personalized plates, cups, napkins, etc. takes the event up a few notches. The Stationery Studio’s personalized paper plates, napkins, and shatterproof cups are perfect for just this. They also have Valentine’s Day specific designs perfect for your event. My personal favorite design they have is a little baby cupid that you can put on each of your items.

One of my favorite aspects of Valentine’s Day are the little gift bags that we used to make and receive in middle school. The perfect special touch to your party is bringing back those little gift bags for each of your guests. In addition to your other party supplies make sure to include mini twisted handled bags. Again, you can have these bags personalized to match the rest of your supplies to make your entire party cohesive. Then, each of your guests will feel appreciated whether they have a valentine or not. The next step to planning your party would be to fill each of these bags with little chocolates and other types of sweets for them to take home at the end of the night. Before your guests arrive, have all your bags lined up ready to be grabbed whenever!

Step 3: Food & Drink

source: shutterstock.com

Next and (some may say) most importantly, the final step to planning your party is creating your drink and food menu. The easiest and most entertaining way to serve food is of course a fondue station. If you happen to have a fondue pot, perfect! If not, you can just melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips with a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a saucepan and keep it on low throughout the night to keep the chocolate melted. To go with the fondue, you can put out some fresh cut strawberries, marshmallows, graham crackers, pretzel rods, and whatever else you think would taste great with chocolate! In addition to the fondue, you can serve already made chocolate covered strawberries. Also, a simple charcuterie board never hurts to have at a party. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could create a charcuterie board with heart shaped foods and only have foods with the colors of Valentine’s Day (red, pink, and white). Of course, the final food addition should be a heart shaped pizza (a crowd favorite)!

As far as drinks go you can be as adventurous as you’d like to be. If you’re not quite the bartender and want something easy, rosé is always a perfect option. It’s pink, alcoholic, and all together perfect. For your non-alcoholic option, pink lemonade with a splash of soda water is delicious. If you are feeling adventurous, below is one of my favorite Valentine’s themed alcoholic drinks.

Sweetheart Cocktail

This simple, sophisticated variation of a classic Cosmopolitan is sure to be a crowd pleaser. (source: https://www.diffordsguide.com/cocktails)

Ingredients:

  • 1 fl oz Vodka
  • 1 fl oz Rose Petal Liquer
  • 1 ¾ fl oz Cranberry Juice (sweetened)
  • ½ fl oz Lime Juice (freshly squeezed)

Directions:

Shake all the ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass. If available, garnish with edible flowers.

source: shutterstock

And now you have all the makings of a great party! When we were younger Valentine’s Day was such a memorable and fun day for everyone. Let’s bring the elementary school energy for Valentine’s Day into adulthood!

– Abby

My Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe

19 Dec

It’s that time of year for holiday baking!  Every year I am asked by friends and family to make my white chocolate cranberry cookies. I originally got this recipe from Kraft, but I modified it a bit.  I thought I would share my recipe if you’re looking for something new to try.  The nice thing about these cookies is that they freeze well, so you can always make a batch and freeze them until you are ready to gift them or serve them.  Enjoy!

Jennifer’s White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

    • Heat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour; mix well. Stir in chocolate and cranberries.
    • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • Drop rounded tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets; flatten slightly.
    • Bake 10 to 14 min. or until lightly browned. Cool 5 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

xo,

Jennifer

Photo credit:  Kraft.com