Category Archives: Party

How To Be A Good House Guest

Two weeks ago, my mother-in-law/BFF, Sheila, and I flew to Nashville, TN to attend my beautiful sister-in-law’s baby shower. After flying out of a blizzard and straight into a thunderstorm (a plane ride deemed “too bumpy” for us to be served our complimentary Chardonnay) a relaxing 38 hours in a new city was just what the doctor ordered. Since all the rooms at Laura’s house were filled with friends (and one perfect baby boy), Sheila and I had the pleasure of staying with Jeremy and Elsie Larson. I’ve been crushin’ on The Larson House via Instagram for a while now, so it was truly an honor to get the invite to actually sleep there. My main goal for the weekend (besides feeling Gummergal‘s baby bump as much as possible) was to be a good guest and not embarrass myself. I can’t speak for E or J, but I think I did a pretty GD good job… For the most part, anyway.

IMG_3171

IMG_3175

IMG_3176

IMG_3182

IMG_3181

IMG_3284

IMG_3281

Although we’ve been Internet Gal Pals for a while now, I couldn’t help but think it might be, idk, a little weird not only meeting Elsie in person, but staying in her house. Would it be like sleeping in a museum? Would I be allowed to touch stuff? Would her dogs like me? Would my habit of waking up early annoy the shit out of everyone like it usually does?  I soon realized that this would be my first time being a real guest (staying with family or long-time friends doesn’t really count) in someone else’s home and I’d have to be on my best behavior.

Full disclaimer, it wasn’t even a little bit weird and the Larson Dogs, Dolly and Suki, totally love me. Elsie Larson, YOU REALLY ARE THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS.

The weekend went by so quickly, but I made the most of my short time in Nashville. Most importantly, I now have some good tips on how to be a good house guest…

IMG_3283

IMG_3245
I mean, how freaking cute are these Palm Springs themed shower treats?!

IMG_3222

 

HOW TO BE A GOOD HOUSE GUEST:

  • Don’t quote obscure movies or TV shows, no matter how funny you think you’re being. Example: Elsie gave Sheila and I a tour of her home and when it was over, I turned to her and said “your house has a real ass on it” (a quote from an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia). I got a polite smile from Elsie and an elbow to the ribs from Sheila.
  • Watch where you’re stepping, you clumsy fool. I kept walking into all the cactus and getting poked.
  • Do take advantage of all the cool mirrors. If they didn’t want you to take mirror selfies, they probably wouldn’t have bought them.
  • Make your bed! I never, ever make my bed at home, but it seems like a polite thing that people do, so I did it.
  • Make yourself at home! I definitely did wake up early to sit in the living room, kick my feet up, and read my book like I do at my own house every morning.
  • Don’t just slink out into the night when you leave like some kind of cheap hooker, say goodbye to your hosts.
  • Resist the temptation and don’t snoop (even if going through medicine cabinets is one of your favorite things to do).
  • This should go without saying, but don’t steal anything… we know that pink ukulele is calling your name, but buy your own on Amazon. GET OUT OF HERE, YOU CAN’T EVEN PLAY THE UKULELE.

IMG_3282

IMG_3287

IMG_3289

IMG_3290

IMG_3288

A big thank you to Jeremy and Elsie for letting us stay with you and for not thinking it was weird that I took so many pictures inside your house…. Oh, you do think it was weird? We’ll work on it next time!

IMG_3291

¡Viva Fiesta!

Fiesta originated 125 years ago when citizens of San Antonio wanted to celebrate the heroes of the Alamo with what they named The Battle of Flowers. It became a tradition and is now ingrained in San Antonio’s culture. And get this, it is the only parade in the country to be planned and directed completely by women! GO GIRLS! When I was a kid, I was in synchronized swimming and our team, The Cygnets (baby swans), got to participate in the parade and had our own float. Being super clumsy, I was never allowed to go on the float so I had to walk. We were told to just throw candy at kids whenever we walked by them, which could be a little dangerous. When you think about it, the parade is a ton of giant piñatas spewing candy all over the place. No baseball bats or blindfolds involved so all the hard work is done.

source: walkerreport.blogspot.com
Photo: TOM REEL, Staff / San Antonio Express-Newsimg_1936

Being born and raised in San Antonio, I have a deep respect and appreciation for my city. When Fiesta comes around each year, I am again reminded of the history and culture of this beautiful city. N.I.O.S.A which stands for Night In Old San Antonio is where the party is at. Every year Sarah’s Dad, my uncle, volunteers and usually always asks for help. He works at the “Ranch Steak” tent. Ranch Steaks are a thin slice of chuck on a tortilla. Can’t get much simpler than that!

If a Ranch Steak doesn’t peak your interest, you could also try the infamous Chicken on a stick, or Steer on a stick, Elote (corn on the cob), or anything fried you can think of. Being a volunteer, you get all the sweet perks. Early entry, private bathrooms, air conditioned lobby, and free food. Whenever I had the chance to help out with my cousins, we would always be the ones taking tickets and banging the cow bell saying “RANCH STEAKS! GET YOUR RANCH STEAKS!” Then when 10pm came around (closing time) all the hungry drunks rush to your booth to get their greasy fill. Things can get a little crazy but overall, it’s a grand time.

source: Texas Public Radioimg_1889

The whole month of April has Fiesta-related events going on, but the main events are from April 20th – April 30th. If you plan on making a trip, I would suggest coming for N.I.O.S.A., you will experience everything “Fiesta” in a span of 4-5 hours from good food, drinks, music, and partying. If you plan on bringing kids, I would recommend the Fiesta Carnival or one of the many parades. All information about the events and details can be found here.
img_2222

img_2219

If you’re ever planning to visit San Antonio, come in mid-April and party like a local!

xoxo,
Christina

Your Chariot Awaits, Princess

Today my daughter turns 3 years old and we celebrated by taking a hill country drive to Floresville, TX on Sunday. The day couldn’t have been more perfect! Clear skies, 75-degree weather, and surprisingly, no traffic for the last day of Spring Break. This wasn’t just any normal drive, we were heading to a party fit for a princess.


My daughter was born 3 years ago and we made the awesome decision to name her Charlotte. We didn’t name her after anyone in particular, I’ve just always loved the name and thought it was beautiful. One year and about a month later, The Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was born. I always like to joke around and say that Kate and William called me up before she was born and asked us what would be a good name for their baby. Naturally, I suggested the best name out there, no big deal. But since then, I feel like we’ve had to up our game with party planning since most of Charlotte’s friends refer to her as “the princess”.



Charlotte asked for a unicorn themed party this year with ponies and carriage rides and that’s exactly what she got. My old neighbors live on a ranch with miniature ponies and horses so they offered to host the party, we were very blessed to have that opportunity. I whipped out my old cake skills and made a unicorn pull-apart cupcake cake. I was lazy and just bought a box of funfetti cake mix but I did follow the original icing recipe and it did not disappoint. I think I might do cupcake cakes from here on out. You can make pretty much any shape you want in hardly any time! It was super easy and no knives were needed. To wash it all down, we had some refreshingly sweet unicorn punch!





All the kids had a great time and stayed entertained with the pony rides and carriage rides. There was even a 2-hour old baby goat, no seriously, 2 hours old! (rejected by the mother) that was taken in from the owners and the kids fell in love. Overall, everyone had an amazing time and we’re all still talking about it. Perfectly fit for a princess.





 

 

Lazy Girl’s Guide To Party Decor

An alternate title to this post is: How To Decorate For A Party So Well That Nobody Notices When You Leave Said Party To Hide In Your Room To Read… Because The Decorations Look That Good.

With the exceptions of our annual 4th Of Juluau and Halloween parties, our hosted social functions mostly consist of spur of the moment shindigs involving a lot of running around and throwing stuff together at the last minute. Okay, wait, no… that’s how we throw all of our parties, even the ones we’ve been mentally planning for months. Maybe that’s how everyone throws a party? Procrastination is somewhat of an art in this house, and I’ve got my last minute party decoration set up down to a science. As you may or may not know, it’s pretty easy to break the bank when you’re setting up for a grand event, but I’ve come up with some surefire cheapskate ways to decorate that will save dough and wow your guests. Plus, they’re easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Exhibit A: the gender reveal party we threw for some of our best friends who are expecting their first baby. I was elated at the chance to get to put this soiree together because it combines so many things that I love: Babies! Booze! The colors blue and pink and yellow! Pregnant friends! Secrets! Guessing games! Secrets Revealed!

I set this all up in the span of 2 hours, then I had to stand back and applaud myself because everything looked so cute.

IMG_3107

IMG_3105

IMG_3109

IMG_3104

TIPS FOR GOOD/INEXPENSIVE PARTY DECOR:

    • get creative with balloons and streamers! cover a wall with streamers or balloons and you have a great photo back drop to impress all of your friends on Instagram.
    • two words: Candy Tray. two more words: Make One
    • THROW CONFETTI EVERYWHERE, WORRY ABOUT CLEAN UP AFTER.
    • spray paint is your best friend! (I spray painted our recycled Topo Chico bottles and some old vases different shades of blues and pinks and can always repaint them for future events)
    • use paint samples from the hardware store to make triangular, colorful garland.
    • make a signature drink with whatever is in your liquor cabinet.
    • match La Croix boxes and cheap candles to the color scheme.
    • don’t tell spray paint, but food coloring is also your best friend (dye the shit out of some ice cubes)
    • HAVE. A. CAKE. GUY. (my sister is a culinary genius and my go-to Cake Guy)
    • keep whatever decorations you can salvage because you can reuse more than you realize.

IMG_3106

IMG_3103

IMG_3102

IMG_3100

IMG_3099

IMG_3108

IMG_3110

Okay now that I’ve listed some of the ways I decorate for a party, I don’t sound like such a lazy gal after all. Effort or not, my favorite part of any party we throw is the part where I can sit back, drink a beer, and let everyone thank me for putting it together. YOU’RE SO WELCOME!

IMG_3101

Always A Bridesmaid…

…just once a bride.

2016 was the year of weddings for my husband and I. With a total of 9 weddings attended, only 2 we were not in the bridal party. I will admit, it was crazy at times but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

The first rule as a bridesmaid is to set your pride aside. Your best friend is getting married and there is a slim chance she will have the  opportunity to do it again so make sure she feels like a star. It’s not your day, it’s hers. Secondly, try your best to say “yes”. She needs you with her as much as possible and wants your approval and support, not to mention a killer looking squad. Lastly, SET YOUR PRIDE ASIDE. Yeah, I know I already said it but that’s how important it is. Trust me, in the long run, you’ll be glad you did. Knowing I was a hairdresser, all of my friends asked me to first, be a bridesmaid. Then I was asked if I could do the hair. So of course, I had to say yes.

The Guthries

To kick off the 2016 madness, we flew to a beautiful destination wedding for our friends Dave And Cyntia. We stayed at the Paradisus resort in Punta Cana and had an all-inclusive week of luxury. Most of our time was spent on the beach, but we did have an excursion where we were taken to a “floating island”. A man-made spot where we could get a massage, swim with sharks, kayak, or just soak up the sun.

Throughout the resort were signs featuring information about the Mangroves and how there was a tour you could take. My Husband was begging to take this tour from the moment he stepped on the resort so once Sarah and Joel arrived, we got to it. It wasn’t much of a “tour” since we didn’t have a tour guide so we just walked through a pathway of mangroves. And saw a family of turtles. Destination weddings are a wicked vacation because you’re surrounded by an awesome group of friends, amazing food and drinks, and located in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.

The Blumers

Fast forward 3 weeks and a road trip to Pittsburgh and we are celebrating Sarah and Joel Blumer. I came up a week before to spend some quality time with Sarah and help her with anything, from cleaning her house to doing her hair for her big day. I remember my first bridesmaid task: within a few minutes of arriving, Sarah asked me “Hey, can you take this blanket upstairs for me?” Of course I said yes, this was my first official job as MOH! Being assigned MOH, my main task was to have pink hair, so the first day I was there, we colored my hair pink to have it prepped for the wedding. I got to help make the DIY gem wall and assist with the “May the Fourteenth Be With You” marque sign, although it was all Joel really.

15000060_10207258976782991_5300863394597624566_o

The night before the wedding, Sarah and I stayed at Hotel Monaco in downtown Pittsburgh. All Sarah wanted to do was take a big bath and then go to sleep. Nothing too crazy happened except her other BFF Allie arrived at midnight, after Sarah passed out. Allie and I snuck out and walked to the nearest corner store for snacks and treated ourselves to the complimentary bottle of champagne the hotel provided.

My husband Brandon was also in the wedding and we got lucky enough to walk down the aisle together. The Blumer wedding wins for most creativeness, everything was thoroughly picked out by the bride and groom: completely unique, but perfectly Sarah and Joel. Hundreds of hours of DIY work and crafting went into it and it was worth it. I loved every single second spent at their wedding and I know for a fact they did too! I was honored to be Matron of Honor. The wedding was at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA.

The McIvers

Three weeks later, we are back to Texas and back to blonde to attend a classic, glamorous wedding between my baby brother, Andrew, and his gorgeous wife, Lauren. The bridal party spent a week in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl so we didn’t have to deal with any casualties the week of the wedding. I can’t say too much about that except “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

My parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at their home and did a super cute Italian theme and ended the night with fireworks. I saved about $40 by carefully removing the nails I wore to Sarah’s wedding and re-gluing them for Lauren’s wedding. Talk about a “McIver”. On the morning of the wedding, both the mother of the bride and I got to do all of the bridesmaids hair and each others.  The McIver wedding wins for most classic look. They were married at Boulder Springs in New Braunfels, TX.  The bridal party all matched in charcoal, chandeliers hanging throughout, drapery, and a full candlelit reception, it was breathtaking.

The Smiths

In October I had the honor of being a bridesmaid for my bestie Lauryn. The bridesmaids spent a few nights downtown San Antonio at the Menger Hotel, San Antonio’s most haunted hotel! Sadly there were no ghost encounters. We had a great party at a piano bar and then woke up the next morning to all have a relaxing spa treatment. The night before the wedding, we blew off some steam by going to Top Golf and hitting some balls for a few hours.

The day of the wedding, I got to do Lauryn’s hair as well as some of the other bridesmaids. Lauryn and Brad had a beautiful, rustic country wedding at Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne, TX. I put my dancing skills to the test with the Grand March. A good chunk of the wedding family was Czechoslovakian and it’s tradition to do the Grand March at your wedding. My husband and I made friends with the bartender, and every time we went for shots, which was about 8 times, she snuck one with us.

The Valencias

To seal 2016 was the woodland wedding at the La Escondida Celebration Center in Helotes, TX featuring the lovely Mikhala and Lorenzo Valencia. Talk about creative and unique. I loved being part of this wedding! We had a space themed bachelorette party and all the girls wore GLITTER ROOTS! We had an Alien named Billy who came with us and even managed to show up at the wedding.

I loved the color pallet they used; the bride is an artist if you can’t tell. She worked hard to make sure everything came out perfectly. The night before the wedding, she stayed up until 4AM working on personalized artwork to gift to the parents. The bridesmaids made our own floral arrangements, and again I got to do all of the hair. Love won between these two, and they conquered all obstacles to get there. Highlight of this wedding was the saxophone player playing Careless Whisper. Almost everyone was out on the dance floor shaking their booty!

And yes, I wore my unicorn mask to every single wedding. It was worth it.

How to create/wear GLITTER ROOTS!

Because Coachella is always just around the corner…

There’s a new trend where people put actual glitter in their hair, it’s like totally a thing! Whether you’re at home with your cat, going to the grocery store, or hanging out with friends, this is the perfect look to make you shine.  To help me model, I had the alien princess Mikhala help me with some interstellar looks!


Here is what you need:

1 mixing bowl

1 color application brush

1 TBS clear hair gel

1 TBS fine or coarse glitter of your color choice (I used silver)

1 TBS of star confetti

8-10 star stickers

if needed- bobby pins, rubber bands, and hair spray

Directions:

  1. Section out your hair. I did a zig-zag part with space buns but you can also do a half-up/half-down with cute buns.
  2. In Mixing bowl, combine hair gel and glitter.
  3. Apply glitter gel to roots or apply to about 1-2 inches of hair at the scalp down the part line.
  4. Sprinkle in star confetti.
  5. Place star stickers throughout part line.
  6. Go out and party!

 

Isn’t she the cutest? I just want to shrink her and carry her around in my pocket!

 

To remove:

  1. Jump in shower
  2. Shampoo at least 2-3 times, I did 3 times.
  3. Condition your hair and comb or brush out hair before you rinse.
  4. If there are still signs of glitter, DON’T REMOVE IT! All of your friends and coworkers will just think you’re a unicorn!


So what are you waiting for? Go out, glitter yourselves, and tag me when you do it! @xtinatheunicorn

Peace,

Christina

N^N (N=3)

If you did the math, you probably figured out that today is my 27th birthday (I stole the equation from Joel who used it for his 27th b-day who stole it from our friend, Ben, who used it for his 27th b-day too). Although I do love the fact that with every year of my life I continue to grow (mostly mentally and emotionally, but I also think I’m getting taller!), I’ll probably spend most of this year being extra careful about not breaking mirrors and not opening umbrellas indoors… you know, because of the whole “27 club” thing.

And now here are 27 things I’ve learned in my 27 years…..

  1. wearing Spanx is always a good idea
  2. it’s hard to pay attention when you’re trying to type a blog post and binge watch Community with your husband at the same time.
  3. I think I might have A.D.D….

IMG_3010