Mini Alcohol Bottle Christmas Tree

This year, my husband asked for my help for his work’s white elephant gift exchange.

“Every employee needs to bring a wrapped gift worth $25. I don’t know what to get. My coworkers just love booze.”


The perfect white elephant gift: Mini Alcohol Bottle Christmas Tree.

I went to Daiso (my new favorite store) and purchased a mini Christmas Tree for $4. It came with a base and was a perfect 2 feet tall.


  • 10-15 mini alcohol bottles (I used 11)
  • Twist-ties to attach the bottles to the tree (I got red twist-ties)
  • Tiny ornaments (I bought a 16 pack for $1.50)

It took about 10 minutes to attach all the bottles and ornaments. And voila! You have yourself an easy, go-to gift when you don’t know what else to get..or if you have boozehound coworkers like my husband does..

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

Mrs. Alex Paul

Rustic White & Green Baby Shower

This weekend, I was busy #celebratingbabymateo

Wood Slice Sign on Gate

My cousin and his wife are expecting their second child – a baby boy! And for us hispanics..babies are a BIG deal.

I hosted the baby shower at my aunt’s house – the mommy-to-be chose a rustic white & green baby shower theme.

We started out with rustic invitations from Shutterfly. I added a gold pocket on the back for the attire insert (guests were asked to wear white) and a diaper raffle card.

Invitation and Inserts

Wood Slice Sign for Baby Shower

Baby Shower Diaper and Gift Table

The entrance courtyard had a diaper raffle table (a MUST for any baby shower, imo) and a gift table with some activities.

Diaper Raffle Table

Baby Shower Gift Table

I had some activities for the guests to do right when they walked in.

When guests first arrived, they grabbed a clothespin for the Baby Shower Clothespin game. It’s a classic! I painted them white and added a baby rattle or baby bottle sticker to theme them a little more.

The next game we had for guests as they entered was the “Guess How Many” game.

I’ve seen this game done at a lot of baby showers – usually filled with candy. I wanted to update the game and fill the baby bottle with items that are actually useful to the mom! (Lord knows no one needs 400 blue MnMs hanging around.)

And let me tell you, shoving those baby socks in that bottle was no easy feat!

For the guest book, guests had to take a picture with the mommy-to-be, use washi tape to tape it to a page and write a heartfelt message. I made a blank photo book on Shutterfly and it worked perfectly!

Baby Shower Guestbook and Polaroid

Baby Shower Guestbook

Two of my favorite decorations were the alphabet blocks arranged in the baby’s name (painted in a forest green and stuck together using glue dots) and the green and tan diaper cake,

Baby Name in Letter Blocks

Rustic Diaper Cake

Baby Shower Diaper Table

Once guests were done with the activities in the courtyard, they headed to the backyard where the tables were set up.

Backyard Baby Shower

Backyard Baby Shower Setup

The centerpieces had greenery and a wooden easel with baby pictures of the mom, dad and big sister-to-be.

Rustic Baby Shower Centerpieces

Mother to be Sign on Chair Big Sister to be sign on chair

One of my favorite parts of the place settings were the printed placemats (bought here) with the clear plates and cutlery. It was almost as if the plates and utensils were invisible!

Baby Shower Placesetting

Okay. Let’s get to my favorite baby shower game. Ever. OF ALL TIME.

Play-Doh Babies.

For this game, each person gets a mini play-doh tub. They need to “make a baby” in 9 minutes…just like the mom-to-be makes a baby in 9 months!

This game is seriously hilarious. And realllllllly shows you which of your family has no creative ability whatsoever. (i’m talking to you grandma..)

I always do 3 prizes: Most Creative, Ugliest and Best Overall.

I’m case you’re curious…my grandma’s is the purple one on the bottom right. Nope, that’s not roadkill. That’s supposed to be a baby. Needless to say, she won the prize for ugliest baby.

The last game we did was a little tougher for guests – and a smidge tougher on your wallet (to be honest).

I bought 15 items from Target and guests had to guess how much each item cost. Not as easy as you’d think!

But, at the end of the game, the mommy-to-be has a lot of useful items to take home with her!

To keep with our #CelebratingBabyMateo tagline, I ordered these custom flags and straws from etsy. #obsessed

Gold Straws with Flags Gold Straw and Champagne Glass

Baby Boy Punch

handwritten menu for baby shower Baby Shower Menu

Rustic White and Green Baby Shower

As favors, every guest took home a mini succulent.

Succulent Baby Shower Favor

Guess How Many Game Guessing Card
The Price is Right Game Card

Now that the shower’s done…the countdown begins until Baby Mateo arrives!


Mrs. Alex Paul

Travel Memories

I love vacations.

A tropical beach + a piña colada in my hand = heaven.

But when the trip is over (and those post-vacation blues are setting in), my husband and I pull out our travel souvenir and ceremoniously add it to our magnet collection.

Monogram with Travel Magnets

I found this metal letter online at PBTeen. It’s made out of iron and I called the customer service line just to make sure it’s magnetic. They confirmed it for me, so I ordered P for Paul!

I’m obsessed with it. And it’s a little more fun than just displaying them on the fridge.

The other tradition we have is adding a photo to our travel gallery wall in our dining room.

Travel Gallery Wall

We have a picture from every trip we’ve taken: Vancouver, Bora Bora, New York City, Washington DC, Cabo San Lucas, and Nassau.. (and maybe too many photos of ourselves? #vain)

Sprinkled in with our travel photos, we have a few prints: a map where we put dots on all the spots we’ve been and a family print of Alex and I with our 2 bunnies done by InkLane Design on etsy.

Travel Gallery Wall Closeup

Now after reminiscing about these trips..let me just hop on over to expedia to book another one!


Mrs. Alex Paul


Parisian Bridal Shower

Let me tell you about one of the great loves of my life.

Bridal showers.

Bridal Shower Tent

I’m obsessed. Girly decor. Games. Dainty food. Present-opening. Sign me up for every bridal shower on earth.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to host my cousin’s Parisian Bridal Shower. #iwasinheaven

Parisian Bridal Shower Color Palette

Gold Eiffel Tower Future Mrs. Ross

With each invitation, we asked guests to bring a special recipe to the bridal shower. Such an awesome way to get old family recipes and start a collection of yummy newlywed meals.
(Printable at the end of post)

Parisian Bridal Shower Invite and Recipe Card

Recipe Card Insert Closeup

We had a birdcage for small envelopes and a recipe box on the gift table for guests to put their recipes in.

Bridal Shower Bird Cage

Recipe Box

Bridal Shower Gift Table

Recipe Cards Filled Out

When guests walked in, they put on a pearl necklace and couldn’t say the groom’s name for the rest of the event.

Pearl Game Frame 1

Pearl Game Frame and Floral Letter

More details on the floral letter R on my previous post, DIY Floral Letter Monogram.

For the first activity, guests wrote advice for the happy couple. The bride read each one out loud and gave a prize for the best advice card. (Printable at the end of post)

Advice for the Happy Couple


Our second game, my absolute FAVORITE game to plan for showers, was a Q and A game with the bride. We asked the groom 27 questions before the shower, covered up his answers and asked the bride those same questions. The guests then had to guess whether their answers matched or not.

He said She said start

He said She said cards
(Printable at the end of post)

He said She said with card

Here are the 27 questions I asked:

He Said She Said Bridal Shower Game Questions and Printables

He Said She Said Bridal Shower Game

Parisian Invitation: Blank Parisian Invitation
Recipe Card: Bon Appetit Recipe Card
Advice for the Happy Couple: Advice for the Happy Couple
He Said She Said Game Card: He Said She Said Game

4 Parisian Bridal Shower Printables


Mrs. Alex Paul


DIY Floral Letter Monogram

My last name used to start with an A. Oh how I miss that maiden name. Always at the front of the line. Always at the top of lists. Always #1.

Then I got married. And became Mrs. Paul.

That P is much further down the lists. #16 in fact. But despite dropping far down the alphabet – I’ve embraced it. #APforever

So when it came time to plan my cousin’s bridal shower, I knew I wanted to highlight the letter of her new last name – R. (She dropped down the alphabet from A’s a rough ride my friends.)

Since her shower was a girly and pink Parisian themed event, I knew a floral letter would be perfect. #futureMrsR

R and Eiffel Tower

I got all of my supplies at Joann’s Fabrics: cardboard letter R, fake flowers, pink paint, foam brush. Plugged in my glue gun and was ready to roll.

Floral R Before

Floral R Painted

Once it was all painted and dry, I started playing with flower placement.

Floral R First Try.JPG

At first, I thought I had finally nailed it. Then I realized I had used too many big flowers and lost the entire shape. It doesn’t even look like an R anymore!

R after

The mix of big and small flowers really works much better. So perfect for my cousin’s bridal shower as decor on a table, tray or even on the door!

Floral R Single

R on front door

DIY Floral Letter


Mrs. Alex Paul

A Kappa Kappa Gamma Bride

Kappa Kappa Gamma + weddings.

One of my favorite combinations.

Kappa Kappa Gamma Badge Detail

When I got married, I knew from the start that I wanted to incorporate some of my favorite Kappa traditions. What can I say, #blueandblueforever

Kappa Kappa Gamma group

1 Kappa Bride + 13 Kappa Guests = PERFECTION

One tradition that my Maid of Honor took charge of (a belated thanks to my girl Ali) was getting my Kappa bridesmaids’ key badges. They were pinned on the inside of my dress – as the saying goes, “Wear the Key under your dress and over your heart.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma badge

Another awesome idea is to pin the badges to the stems of your bouquet – love that!

The other tradition that I was looking forward to the most was singing “Oh Pat” surrounded by a circle of Kappas.

I know for every other wedding guest and family member, we looked like crazies out on the dance floor, but I loved every second!


Kappa Kappa Gamma Oh Pat

Just one of the best memories ever.

And the cherry on top? Having it featured on Kappa Kappa Gamma’s official instragram! #goals

Kappa Kappa Gamma Instagram


Mrs. Alex Paul

The Perfect Engagement Gift

There is nothing I love more than gift giving.

(I mean, other than carbs and real housewives marathons and my husband…but those are a given..)

But when it comes to finding the perfect gift, (and my husband will agree) I’m kind of a monster. It can take many hours, and many trips to the store, and many websites, and many return trips to the store to find what I’m looking for.

(sorry hubby)

Luckily, I’ve finally perfected my go-to engagement gift.

I give you, the 5 items you need for a perfect engagement gift:

5 items for the perfect engagement gift

  1. Mugs, about $8 each
  2. Tying the Knotie nail polish, about $8.50
  3. Couples Q&A Journal, ranges from $12-$16
  4. Ring dish, about $8
  5. Thank you notes, about $13.50

Being that I’m in my late 20s and I have a friend getting engaged like every day, this fool-proof template has been a life saver.

What I love about these items is that they can be customized for every bride – a glam, black & white theme or a feminine, floral theme. The mugs and ring dish can even be a DIY project if you’re brave enough!

And if you’re a little more budget conscious but still want a “WOW” gift, I highly recommend this customizable t-shirt. It’s under $20 dollars and is personalized with their future last name..I’ve ordered it for many friends and can definitely say I love the finished product every time.

So there you have it, my fool-proof engagement gift for the best friends in your life.


Mrs. Alex Paul

Trail Mix Bar

Many years ago, I was a fundraiser for a hospital in Orange County.

And believe it or not, our biggest and best group of donors were our employees. (That’s right, hundreds of employees gave out of their paycheck to support the mission of the hospital – pretty awesome.)

The part that wasn’t as awesome was deciding what activities to plan for our employee donors. Why? Everything had to be healthy. Our corporate office was VERY strict: No candy, no soda, no cookies, nothing delicious. JK.

The solution? A trail mix bar.

Trail Mix Bar

What I loved about planning a trail mix bar is that it took care of many dietary preferences: gluten-free, vegetarian, etc. We could even include those with nut-allergies (as long as we were careful not to contaminate the different jars/scoops.)

How’d we do it?

We started with paper bags from Uline. 500 of them. Then I had the brilliant idea to stamp them all with a bicycle stamp to make them look cute. No big deal, that’ll just take 200 hours of your time.

But they look cute right?! #worthit

Then we planned out the trail mix items we’d buy. We ended up with:

  • 40 pounds of raw almonds
  • 40 pounds of roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 20 pounds of chocolate chips
  • 15 pounds of sunflower seeds
  • 15 pounds of cranberries
  • 15 pounds of mini pretzels
  • 10 pounds of dried pineapple
  • 10 pounds of banana chips
  • 10 pounds of dried mango
  • 10 pounds of mini marshmallows

I know that sounds like a lot (and it is) but we needed to feed about 1000 people. That’s a lotta nuts. I highly recommend going to store where you can buy wholesale, like Sprouts.

Next up? Jars! I had these amazing jars from Crate and Barrel. #thankyouweddingregistry. Then we ordered a few apothecary jars just for height and visual interest.


The metal scoops I found at Fresh and Easy..which no longer exists. But you can find a variety of metal/plastic candy scoops online. And these double-sided frames from Ikea were perfect for our double-sided trail mix bar. (Thank you to my coworker for spray-painting them gold!)

The finishing touch was a burlap bunting to keep the rustic feel and make sure people knew it was a trail mix bar! Literally just burlap, string, hot glue and a sharpie. #onabudget

trail mix table

And voila! A trail mix bar that people loved. Not to toot my own horn..but toot toot.

Lessons learned after going through it? People don’t want that many almonds and peanuts. I mistakenly thought people will want a large base of nuts and a small sprinkle of the other toppings.


People wanted way more chocolate chips, dried pineapple, mini marshmallows and dried mango. Those went first – and they went fast. So definitely don’t make that mistake.

Hope this helps you plan an awesome trail mix bar for your events!

Mrs. Alex Paul

Las Vegas Bachelorette

I was lucky enough to have one roommate throughout all 4 years of college.

That’s 4 years of tiny living quarters, all-night talks, getting dressed up for sorority events (#kappalove), disneyland trips and making the best memories ever.

kim and i disneyland

So when this college roommate of mine got was a big deal. And helping out with her Las Vegas bachelorette weekend was the most fun.

My favorite part? CLEAR ENVELOPES.

kims bachelorette

I am obsessed with sending invitations in clear envelopes. And I think you can see why. The theme of an event smacks you right in the face when you open your mailbox. #justhowilikeit

I know clear envelopes can be intimidating..extra cost? how do you address it? The key is to have an insert where you address/stamp it as normal. When I mailed these babies, I triple checked with the post office that the stamp amount/format was correct – so I do recommend that!

Pink and Teal bachelorette

My next favorite part of her bachelorette? The SCAVENGER HUNT.

It was the perfect bonding moment for all the girls and really made the most of what Vegas has to offer. (Customizable printables below!)


Printable: Las Vegas Bachelorette Scavenger Hunt
Printable (to go with item #1): Las Vegas Bachelorette Sex Advice Card

Hope this helps you brainstorm as you plan a bachelorette weekend for the college bestie in your life!

Mrs. Alex Paul