welcome bags for a destination wedding

I don’t know how I’ll do when it comes time to start planning my own wedding, but I have to say that I’m positively stellar at planning fake ones. 

I don’t know about you guys, but I find that it’s easier to tackle most things in bits and pieces, rather than as a whole, overwhelming event. 

Today, let’s focus on welcome bags. What do you think – are they a fun, thoughtful addition to welcome your wedding guests, or are they an unnecessary expense? 

Personally, I’ve always been pleased to receive a welcome back when checking into the hotel for a packed wedding weekend. It’s not that I expect something; I just like to see what the couple has put together to represent themselves, which got me thinking. What would I choose to represent Andrei and me? Because we both love to travel, I decided to dream up an imaginary globe-trotting theme.

The Practical

If you’re spending money on something, you should factor in practicality – at least a tiny bit, right? You want to give people something they’ll get some real use out of. My “practical” addition to our imaginary welcome bag is a map-print notebook, handmade by Jellybean Studio on Etsy. At $7.50 for a set of three ($2.50 apiece), they’re pretty affordable. 
The Useful

So let me start this one by acknowledging that you and I might have very different definitions of useful. I love a good glass of wine. Or a cheap glass of wine. Who can tell the difference, right? Give me a bottle of Two Buck Chuck any day. I’ll put a fancy cork in it, stick out my pinky as I sip, and savor the oaky bouquet. Right.  Seriously though, these map corks from Paper and Place would be treasured by your guests forever! I’ll admit that at $35 each, they might make better wedding party gifts than welcome favors, but hey – it’s my imaginary wedding, so I’m “buying” them, alright?!

The Whimsical

Let’s throw practicality entirely out the window now, shall we? You already know that I love to travel, but what I love especially is fancy, quirky, whimsical travel accessories. I’ve yet to get myself a darling passport cover or silly little luggage tag, but doesn’t a welcome bag seem like just the perfect opportunity to share the love with your nearest and dearest? These little airplane luggage tags strike me as perfect favors for a travel wedding, and if you’re having a small wedding, they’re really reasonable, too, at under $3 a pop.  

So let’s go back to my original question, shall we? How do you feel about welcome bags for a wedding?!

* Disclosure - This post was written on behalf of American Bridal. Though I was compensated for writing it, all opinions, content, and design are entirely my own.. See my disclosure statement for more information.


$200 amazon.com giftcard giveaway

So, it's Friday. It doesn't feel like it yet, but it is. My Friday is going to be a bit chaotic, but sometimes those are the best sorts of days, aren't they? 

Since the end of the week - and month (already?!) is always worth celebrating, a handful of other bloggers and I have gotten together to offer you guys a big, giant giveaway - $200 to spend on anything you want at Amazon.com. To enter, you just need to follow each of us on Facebook. There are bonus entries, too, if you want to up your odds a bit. 

Read on to enter the contest!


how to make an infinity scarf . sewing 101

Happy Thursday, wonderful readers! Today, Valerie is back with another Sewing 101 tutorial. Today, she's teaching us how to make this freakin' adorable infinity scarf. Be sure to read her blog to get to know her a little better, and if you love her style, but sewing just isn't your thing, pop over to her shop to pick up the pieces already made!

Fall has officially arrived!  As we enter into this season of cooler weather and shorter days, what better project than a new scarf to keep your neck cozy?  This infinity scarf is simple, fun, and (fair warning) addicting - you'll want one in every color!  These would also make a great gift - the holidays will be upon us before we know it.

Read on for the full tutorial, and don't miss the other posts in my Sewing 101 series: 


CLOSED $85 painting bliss mega giveaway

Have you been properly introduced to the very sweet, incredibly talented Ashlie of Painting Bliss yet? If not, here it is: she has some of the most wonderful, owl-tastic mixed media art on the internet. Plus, she can make just about anything. I sincerely feel that anybody who so successfully spreads herself over so many talents is a kindred spirit. Or at least a spirit I aspire to be kindred to...

Oh, and she has a lovely blog, too!

The Big Prize
Ashlie has put together an amazing giveaway for you guys, just in time for fall. One winner will receive all of the following, shipped to your door (an $85 value!):
  • Signed painting print
  • Crocheted cowl
  • Mixed media collage brooch
  • Vintage paper collage earrings
  • Hand-drawn to-go coffee mug. 
Read on for more Painting Bliss goodies and to enter to win the big prize package!


free custom facebook tabs . blog better

Do you remember my free seafoam watercolor social media icons that I gave away awhile back? If not, click to see the regular and mini. Since I haven't done a good freebie in awhile, I've decided to make you guys some custom Facebook tabs. You can use these with the matching social media icons to create a well-branded look for yourself and your blog - very professional!

Read on to download all the tabs shown above and to find out how to install them on your own Facebook page.


sponsor in october

Can you believe it's already about to be October?! September has been a huge month for me. I got engaged, took on planning for a big event at work, and have been busy busy with the blog. It's been wonderful! So, without further ado, it's time to start thinking of Octoberly things...

If you want to share your shop or blog with a wide audience of craft, photography, fashion, and style-savvy ladies (and a handful of guys!), this is your place. Shrimp Salad Circus has over 3,500 blog subscribers and over 6,000 combined social media fans and followers and is growing every day, so grab your spot on the sidebar in time for the holidays. 

My large ad spaces are already booked for October, and there's only one left for November, so if you want a large space in November or December, go ahead and book now! 

For more information, visit my advertising page, and you're always welcome to email me at shrimpsaladcircus [!at] gmail dot com. 


6 things linky party . join in

Do you remember the 'nice to meet you' linky party I played hostess for last month? Well, we're back with another installment today, and you get to share your wonderful, creative blogs again! 

The theme this month is 'Six Things I've Made,' and you get to share six of your favorite creations. I've shared six of mine here, though I'll admit that first one up there is pushing the rules just a little bit. But it's only been a few weeks, and I'm still on Cloud Nine, so you'll just have to bear with me! :D

Catch all my favorites, and add yourself to the linky party after the jump!


roandco cordials . well-branded

I'm absolutely one of those people who picks out wine by the label. Oh, the label's boring? I guess the wine must be, too... Because clearly I have discriminating taste. What can I say? I just really love good packaging design. 

So naturally, I love the branding RoAndCo Studio put together for this cordial. 

What do you think? Do you, like me, love the stark, minimalist look of this, or are you more a fan of color and flair?


fall, on mute . coveting no. 2

I know that fall is all about vibrant jewel tones and deep, rich neutrals, but I'm a taupe kick right now anyway. Let's chalk it up to this in-between seasons moment in which we find ourselves, shall we? 

1. Rosette Hair Pin or Brooch . Dee's by Design . $11.75   
2. Rainy Day Regal Scarf . ModCloth . $16.99
3. Agate Druzy Necklace . Mordakk Designs . $39   
4. Floppy Hat . San Diego Hat Company . $30
5. Sam Edelman Petty Boot . Urban Outfitters . $130   
6. "Opposites Attract" Dress . Vanda . $50

Also, let's discuss: What's "affordable" for shoes? Let's take those darling little boots, for example. They're $130, which is probably quite reasonable, but I still can't bring myself to make 'em mine. Am I just stuck in that grad student state of mind, or is it a little steep? Weigh in in the comments!  

* Disclosure - certain links within this post may result in a comission for Shrimp Salad Circus. See my disclosure statement for more information.


finding the best in cloudy days . inspiration roundup

Cloudy Baby Shower by Lisa Storms on Fiskars

I just looked at the weather report for next week, and I'll just say that Tuesday and I are not going to be friends. I need ridiculously bright, sunny, happy days, not clammy, cloudy ones. My is so very dependent upon the weather, and I am fueled by sunshine. 

To console myself, I've tried to round up some of the happiest, cutest things I can find featuring that make cloudy days look like bright, shiny ones. Enjoy this little roundup of everything from DIY to shopping!

And tell me, which sort of day is your favorite - sunny, cloudy, snowy, rainy?

Storm in a Teacup by John Lumbus on Laikingland


how to create $10,000

I'm a sucker for children. It's one of the things I miss most now that I have a job that will never again involve preschool, summer camp, or tiny, messy cuteness. I have found, however, that even as I'm off writing my days away at the job I love for many different reasons, the children are still out there being adorable full-time. 

I'm also a sucker for all things crafty and artsy. Which brings me to the point of this post. A very sweet, lovely friend of mine is the Development Director for The Living Arts & Science Center here in Lexington. They are in the running to win a minimum of $10,000 from Chase Community Giving

Just the very minimum - just $10,000 - would fund their free Discover Night program for an entire year. 

You could make that happen. You could make them at least $10,000 by clicking a button on Facebook. Click here to vote for The Living Arts & Science Center so that children here in Lexington have something wonderful to enrich their lives.  

As I'm writing this, they have 311 votes. After you vote, leave me a comment telling me how many votes they have to see the impact we've made. Let's see if we can't get them to 500. My readers are some of the best people on the whole internet (seriously!), and I know you'll help this wonderful nonprofit!


the biggest news of my life

Update: Here's our engagement story: Part 1

Guess what, you guys?! 

I'm gonna marry that hottie! My best friend. My passport-filling partner in crime. My fiancĂ©

This happened last weekend, and I'm terrible at keeping big, happy secrets, but I had all these other blog posts scheduled, so I managed to stay strong until the big reveal... Wanna see the ring?


custom frosted glass french press . how to-sday

I recently got to try out the Martha Stewart Glass Paint line from Plaid Crafts before it hit shelves, and I'm a little bit in love. If you've ever tried etching glass, it's kind of a stinky, faulty mess. This, on the other hand, makes the whole thing kind of foolproof. 

I wanted to refresh my boring, plain Ikea French press coffee pot to go with my cute new coffee tray, and this seemed like the perfect way to go about it. With spray-on frost and adhesive stencils, the process goes really smoothly, and if you wanted a bigger impact, you could absolutely use the opaque glass paint from the line, rather than the translucent frost that I used.

P.S. You can find the tutorial for the coffee tray and canister right here


CLOSED win a $70 jerseymaids gift certificate

We haven't had a giveaway around here in a while, so I'm back with a really, really good one for you guys to brighten your post-Labor Day Wednesday! (Which feels like Tuesday still, right?!) 

When Lauren of jerseymaids got in touch about doing a giveaway, I was pretty excited, because I've always loved her Owl of Air Polaroid. You can see it in the upper right of the image below. She has an incredible eye for photography, but she really stands out for her knack for turning that into timeless keepsakes. 

Lauren makes gorgeous pocket watches for the menfolk, clockets for the ladies, and all sorts of beautiful goodies for anyone at all. If you're getting married anytime soon, her whole shop is chock full of wonderful, sentimental gifts for your entire bridal parties - bridesmaids or groomsmen! 

The best part? You can use Lauren's beautiful artwork for your mementos, but you can also use your own custom photography!!!


september desktop calendar . freebies

I am so glad it is September! My favorite month has arrived! It is my favorite because the weather cools down, leggings come out and my birthday is here. If you are like Lindsay and enjoy the warm weather, you may not share my joy. But I am so glad it is cooling off. 

The dropping temps make me think of warm colors and cozy scents. I can't wait to purchase fall candles! What is your favorite part of this season?

Resource credit: Bebas NeueClementesellyourhate

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