Author Archives: mrsalexpaul

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.

L,

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.

jars

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.

WRONG.

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!

L,
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 engaged..it 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!)

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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!


L,
Mrs. Alex Paul