Splurge vs. Steal: Gold-Rimmed Dinnerware

At West Elm Orange County’s Grand Opening Party (details coming tomorrow), I spotted these elegant and timeless gold-rimmed dinnerware sets  (along with gold flatware – swoon!) but as is with most things, I can’t afford what I love. So, I decided to do a little searching and remembered that Mumbles and I bought cases of plates, bowls and mugs for our wedding from Dollar Tree (seriously!) — we bought it all in light turquoise and a robin’s egg blue color so our tablescapes would look a little more festive against white wedding tablecloths…I just loved them! And, we kept them to use for parties and other gatherings, including Dr. T’s Love Birds Bridal Shower. Each item at Dollar Tree is just $1, and they were able to ship the cases to our local store for us to pick up, which was really convenient. [If you’d like to see some photos of our wedding, you can check them out here on Grey Likes Weddings (still one of my favorite sites even though I’m no longer a bride).]

So, imagine my delight when I saw that Dollar Tree has an affordable collection of gold-rimmed dinnerware that you can purchase just in time for holiday parties and meals! Of course, these classify as the “steal” in the “splurge vs. steal” scenario so you’re not getting porcelain like the West Elm collection; these are ceramic. But still! This is the type of dinnerware you’re not likely to use but for a few months out of the year, anyway, so it makes sense to go for the savings rather than spending a fortune to have it sit tucked away in a cupboard all lonely and sad.  And, FYI — you can order online, but must do so by the case with most items, usually meaning you’ll need to buy in multiples of 12.  I really love this set, though I haven’t seen it in person so I can’t comment on the quality.  They’ve even got tumblers and wine glasses – ahh!  Too much good stuff, I tell ya!

Dollar Tree Gold-Rimmed Dinnerware Collection

10.5 in. plates | Mugs | Bowls | Wine Glasses |  Tumblers

P.S. If you’re trying not to be all matchy-matchy, here’s what I’d do: splurge a little bit on some of these super festive and fun Kamal Snow Dots Salad Plates, which are on sale now at http://www.westelm.com for $32 for a set of four. You can layer these salad plates on top of the dinner plates to break up the monotony of the place setting.

Good plan? Thought so.

P.P.S.  I also found these splurge glasses at Anthropologie.

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Vintage Circus Baby Shower

I am so excited to share this post with you. My fabulous friend Sarah and I threw a vintage circus themed baby shower for my beloved BFOTB (and henceforth I shall be known as BFOTBM: Best Friend of the Baby Mama – talk about a title promotion!). Sarah is probably the best co-hostess you could ever wish for because she is extremely thoughtful, resourceful and crafty (plus she comes with a handy carpenter husband too! be sure to check out her Pinterest page to see the impressive bean bag toss they made…themselves…from scratch. it was wonderful!) so this was a super fun celebration from brainstorming, buying, pinning, and setting up all the darling details. Here are some notes, sources, inspirations, and lessons learned.  As you can see, we had plenty of pinspiration on this one!

Invitations with a whimsical vintage font were ordered from Tiny Prints.  I should digress to say in a mortifyingly bonehead move, I forgot to include the time of the event on the invitation (gah!) but on a positive note, I’ve never received RSVP responses so quickly as guests needed to find out the time! Ha! Clever little trick, I’d say!  To add some layers of glam to the white invites, we ordered blush pink cardstock (on clearance!) from Paper Source and regal burgundy envelopes, each dusted with a gold stamp ink pad along the edges for some gilded charm.

BFOTB’s main request for the theme was centered around a pin she saw of cotton candy in martini glasses.  Sarah and I had a marvelous time perusing the aisles of local Goodwill stores where we found a three-tier cake stand for $9.95 (!) and I later scored a pristine set of 12 martini glasses for $10. (note: Sarah cleverly used this trick to get a dreamy pink seaglass look on the clear glass cake stands to fit with our theme). Here’s the kicker: cotton candy looks playful in martini glasses for all of 18 minutes on a hot day.  Minute 19 and they are a melted, small, sad looking glob of pink sugar.  Bust!  I’m not even including a photo because it just looks like a pink, sticky mess. So, take it from us, folks, leave the cotton candy indoors or, at the very least, get photos of it while it’s all cute and fluffy and fabulous before it melts the happy grin right of your aren’t-we-so-awesome-for-pulling-this-off-face.

In the battle of crepe paper v. ribbon, ribbon wins.  We had grand ambitions for a circus tent-like canopy of crepe paper, which would have been lovely indoors, however, the breeze (thankfully present on this hot day) was a little too swift for the crepe paper to sit still and look pretty. The ribbon, however, rose to the occasion, fluttering like a lovely dream above.

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Tickets are an easy, creative prop and would even make a great backdrop if you had a bunch of lines hanging down or draped haphazardly behind a dessert table (dang, wish I would have thought of that before!). I found large yellow and pink rolls at Smart & Final and Dollar Tree.

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I adored this impressive elephant Sarah bought at Toys R Us… it was on the pricey side, so we let him preside over the food. The gold bookends holding the nakins together were another fun find from Goodwill.

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Boxed white wine sangria from Target (it’s delish, promise) with frozen fruit slices to keep it cool, organic strawberry lemonade from Trader Joe’s, and the classy lady party staple: chillled water with fruit. The bottles of berry lemonade didn’t get opened but I thought they were cute enough to contribute to the decor.

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a parade of animal figurines from Party City freshly painted gold (spray paint would have been quicker but I had a great Martha Stewart gold paint left over from other projects). I also used a sponge brush to water down the gold paint and washed it over vintage looking old bottles to use as decor.

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The centerpiece consisted of a “Guess How Many?” game with tickets for guests to jot down their guesses, paper pinwheels and starbursts, terracotta pots Sarah brilliantly painted to look like a circus stage filled with peanuts and our animals on bamboo sticks, all on top of stripes of ribbon laid across the table.

The gold animal figurines were inspired by this pin.

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organic lollipops, saltwater taffy, circus cookies and animal crackers in matching round boxes were laid out for guests to snack and sample.

In our circle of friends, desserts sometimes constitute full meals so we didn’t skimp here. Our dessert spread included itty personal sized bundtinis in White Chocolate Raspberry, Red Velvet and Pecan Prailine from Nothing Bundt Cakes, homemade (by my Mama) cake balls, and Sarah used her Pinterest prowess to find this divine baked mini cannoli recipe (I’d recommend them to a friend).

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Sarah’s superhero husband made this amazing trellis for their wedding (I know, go ahead, take a moment to gush about that) and she created this super cute set up for an easy DIY photo booth, complete with props to make everyone smile!

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While it’s a darling way to present fruit, these sugar cones can’t fit much in the way of fruit.  But, that wasn’t a problem at our party, seeing as we had waaaayy too much food. (pinspiration found here)

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Another ingenius idea: individual veggie cups with dipping dressing at the bottom, made even more enticing by displaying them in a cupcake holder.  Too much goodness, I tell ya!

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The pennant flag banner was made from a stack of vintage pink scrapbooking paper, hot glued onto twine – quick and easy! – and even found a home in my work office for festive decor following the event.

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Check out the stunning view from Sarah’s in-law’s house (where she and her husband wed). It was such a fun and gorgeous setting for the shower!

Beautiful baby Harper Grace arrived a few days fashionably late (already fitting in with our crowd!) on August 26!  It was such a blessing to have a day to celebrate friendship and family, and shower our dear friend with love and joy before she arrived.