Thankful for local shops we love

Happy Thanksgiving! We’re spending it together (of course) with our family and plan to eat all the things. We love watching the NYC parade in the morning and playing games after dinner. When we started to brainstorm ideas for this post we got really excited about the idea of being thankful for local businesses. We have been mentally collecting a bunch of local shops we love and really want to tell you about (especially for DIY projects) and with a growing emphasis on supporting small local businesses during the holidays, it seemed the like the perfect fit. This is a bit different from the typical gift guides you’ll see as we put our own twist on it - trying to strike a balance of offering content whether you’re in wedding (or maybe wedding shower) planning mode or not.

Ok, we can’t wait any longer! Here are local shops we love, want to support and hope you’ll take the time to visit. We can also virtually guarantee this won’t cost you more than shopping at a big retailer online (unless you decide you want all the things in the store, like we do), which is why we are loyal customers.

Baker’s paradise

Home Cake Decorating Supply Co.

This place has such a fun story, it’s an ‘About Us’ section worth clicking on. There aren’t many places like this left, but if you have a baking project in mind this is the type of shop you visit first. Always helpful, tons of ideas - so much fun stuff to dig through and then come up with a project! The prices are also great and the friendly service is even better. We will definitely be back here soon for all our holiday baking projects.

Your DIY dream store

Seattle ReCreative

Not only does this definitely fulfill our promise of saving you money, you’ll wonder why this hasn’t always existed: it’s the Value Village/Goodwill (mini-shout out because we love them too) of craft supplies. Seriously. There is such an amazing selection of all the craft things you could ever want at great prices and you’re saving things from the landfill - as Michael Scott would say, that’s a win-win-win. They also have tons of ways to get involved, learn or hang out with fellow crafters.

Get yourself party ready

Labels Consignment Clothing

This consignment shop has been around since we were little, but now it’s in a bigger, brighter location and we can’t help stopping in every time we walk by. A mix of trendy and classic styles with great prices, we have found some of our favorite pieces here. We particularly love the great selection of dresses, so consider stopping in to look before getting ready for your next party.

When you realize you need to pick up a hostess gift

Chocolati

Fair warning: the hot chocolate here is going to blow your mind, but we decided to add it to the list because it’s also the perfect local spot to grab a small gift. Of course this city is full of great chocolate shops, but we have to rep our home-neighborhood of Greenwood! Plus again, a gift for your friend, a hot chocolate stop for you.

Add a little *sparkle*

Rhinestone Rosie

This place is full of vintage jewelry, a truly unique shop where you can buy beautiful pieces and the only place that will work on vintage costume jewelry. (note from Amanda: I brought a family heirloom here to have a bracelet made a little smaller - she did an amazing job and turned the extra pieces into matching earrings!) It’s a great place to find that unique piece for a special occasion, wedding or costume.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to your holiday season, let us know about any local businesses you love!

The best wedding planning advice I ever got

I got married 9 (gasp) years ago and the one piece of advice I won't forget and have passed on when asked is: choose 3 words you want to describe your wedding. This advice is so simple and magical and practical all at the same time. At first it seems a little hokey, but the more Ben (then fiance, now husband) and I talked about it the more helpful it was. We were so overwhelmed with all the decisions we had to make and I was pulled in so many directions I didn't know how to choose anything.

Then we picked 3 words.

It brought things into focus - what was important to us? What feeling did we want our guests to have when they experienced this day with us? Suddenly we knew which flowers made sense and what location would fit us best. It works no matter the level of DIY projects you have, how big or how small the wedding will be, how much or little money you spend. Those 3 words can be a place you can come back to over and over to give you clarity and direction. They also serve as a great way to constantly be reminded why you're planning this celebration to begin with.

  • Amanda

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PS I also was told to try sitting backwards on the toilet when the time came (I had a 5 foot train)... and that was pretty amazingly helpful. Didn't need to experience going to the bathroom with my 5 closest friends watching! (I: And as close as we are as sisters, and as her MOH, I appreciated skipping that particular bonding experience too.) So if we haven't proven it already, we are here for you.

#hashtags

Pound sign, number, hash, octothorpe... the little # symbol has had quite an interesting life, which you can hear more about on an episode of 99% Invisible we first heard a few years ago (for those of us info nerds). These days it is mostly known as the hashtag (although technically # is a hash and using it to 'tag' a word is then a hashtag #themoreyouknow) and is a permanent fixture of social media, continuously evolving new ways to make itself useful.

Enter: the wedding hashtag. We're not sure if any of you remember the days when disposable cameras were a staple of centerpieces, but that's how people used to capture all those candid moments and invite their guests to be in on creating memories. Boy have things changed a lot since then #octothorpe.

A wedding hashtag isn't only #adorable it also helps you collect all those pictures people take and post on social media. Your photographer will be getting most of the key shots, but you never know what special moment friends will capture - either of themselves having fun or of you! (A here: one of my absolute favorite pictures from my own wedding was one a friend took during the father-daughter dance from further away, they were nice enough to email it to us later #oldschool) So how do you pick one? Well we've rounded up some resources to help get you started.

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#couplename

Use a combiner to mash your names together and become the next Bennifer, Kimye or Speidi.

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#punny

Who doesn't love a good pun? If this idea is calling your name, hash it out and pick one as a symbol of your love.

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#lastnamelove

You can also keep it simple by using your first and/or last name with a simple rhyme or your wedding date. As a bonus this site will help check whether anyone else is already using your idea.

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#insidejoke

Feel free to do something totally different and use a favorite movie quote, nickname or silly phrase that means something to you.

Disclaimer: some couples prefer to have a note asking people to not take photos during the ceremony, for example, or at least a reminder to silence digital devices. The ceremony in particular is full of many romantic, beautiful and often quiet moments where a cell phone might feel intrusive or disruptive. Phones have managed to work their way into every aspect of our lives #truth so if you would rather keep social media out of it, we think that's cool too.

Disclaimer #2 (ooh, now spotting the # references is like finding Waldo): we just had to share this from the hash/pound/number Wikipedia page "Not to be confused with the Chinese character , the sharp sign (), the viewdata square (), the numero sign (), the equal and parallel to symbol () or the game Tic-tac-toe's grid."

Happy hashtagging!

Our Perfect Picks: Amanda's favorite things

I wouldn't say I'm picky, I just know what I like. I spent a few weeks in graduate school taste-testing yogurts (unrelated to my degree, just to clarify) to decide on the best one to pack in my lunches... maybe a bit extreme, but if Oprah can have favorite things, why can't I?

I think we established our love of cake.

Many of these are registry-worthy items if you're building one, but they also make good housewarming gifts, upgrading what you have or a birthday-present-to-me (just sayin'). And some are just a "trust me and buy this thing." For the most part I would consider these 'underrated items' so you won't see my beloved KitchenAid mixer on this list, although I love her very much. Oh and I think we established our love of cake.

- I'll start with the most urgent, time-sensitive one: SweeTango apples. If you see these, buy some and also grab a bag for me. Not always easy to find (and are seasonal, only available in the Fall - go now!), but so amazing. I first had one a few years ago and it’s pretty much ruined all other apples for me. Yes, I do follow/stalk them on social media.

- Making a wedding registry is overwhelming and suddenly you are registering for $200/5-piece set everyday flatware that will possibly get lost or destroyed in a garbage disposal #truestory. At $34.99 for a 60-piece set (plus you can buy a bunch of individual pieces, like the small spoons that keep disappearing...) this silverware is all kinds of perfect. It has a nice weight, simple style and somehow the perfectly sized big and little spoons (a registry argument averted for us). They have quite a nice variety of styles, all at great prices.

- I've been known to include this unregistered-for ice cream scoop in wedding presents… hey, if you register for anything that looks like it could hold ice cream, then you need this.

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- If you know us, you know how much we love tea and I am really happy with this water kettle, which has been used heavily for a few years now (note: I have a slightly older model). It’s cordless, glass and the shape is just adorable.

- And speaking of tea… this tea box is so pretty in my little beverage station.

- It's not sexy, but food storage containers are a necessity and I recently fell in love with these. I can't take credit for the discovery as my favorite testing kitchen did the hard work here, but after you watch this video you'll see why. I love all the interchangeable compartments, how well they seal and how easy they are to open/close. I've also been trying to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics and these make that so much easier.

- A cute cheese board and knife set (or pretty much anything else on this website). Cheese is already great, it doesn't need help impressing people, but it deserves to be treated like the party royalty we all know it is.

And really, pandas. Pandas are definitely my favorite thing.

Color inspiration No.2

Welcome to another edition of our color inspiration series! This post is for those of you who are loving Color, with a capitol "C", as much as we are right now. Year-round we're feeling inspired by Color Me Courtney, Studio DIY, Oh Joy! (A: you know I went directly to buy that suitcase) and Sugar & Cloth. The fact that rich and vibrant Colors are no longer restricted to spring and summer feels like the biggest "wait, why weren't we doing this before?" moment ever.

To be clear, we are aspiring color-ists who only hope to be as cool as those ladies. So even if you're just warming up to the idea or feeling intimidated by having an all-out curated rainbow theme party, we have some options for you. Color palettes are often restricted to just a handful of colors, which is what we're showing here, but if you want all the color, go for it!

Orange is such a fun color that doesn't get enough play, so we decided to highlight it here. Each image has been sourced from inspiring Instagram feeds you'll want to follow (click the photos to see the original post).

Bold look - maybe not the whole rainbow, but we're getting pretty close.

Fresh new take - here we chose two of these bold colors in various hues to make a statement that feels a little more approachable.

Classic interpretation - here's an option for if you love all the colors, but want something a little more toned down.

If you haven't tried out Coolors yet, this post reminded us about one of it's awesome functions: upload or link any image and it will help you find the hex color codes! (I: I absolutely love this function! It doesn’t just help you identify one color, it helps develop a whole palette based on an image that resonates with you.) So if any of these images inspired you, it's easy enough to get a color palette for your own project planning.

Bonus: if you're going to be in NYC, check out the newest Color Factory installation - please bring it to Seattle!