Seashell Candle Tutorial

Well, prep for Mercedes & TJ's engagement party is underway over here, because the party is in...less than 3 weeks!! We can't wait to throw a little 55+ guest list party with our lovely family and friends to celebrate two completely in freakin love and rad people.

More details about the party to come, but we've decided on a beachy, California, boho theme, with lots of greens and flowers. Because when you can't go to the beach, you can always bring a little bit of the beach to you. So we made some sea shell candles to give away as bomboniere (favours) for our guests. Because who doesn't love candles, and also, they make a cute little display when all together. We think they would be great as a table runner too! The best part, they are super easy and cheap to make!


Sea Shells - we've been collecting them from the beach,  Michaels, Wal Mart & the dollar store
tea lights
tin baking tray
hot glue gun and glue sticks

 Remove tea light liners. Gently take out the wick.
 Place all the tea light wax into the tin baking tray.
 Place on stove over very low heat, I used the simmer setting.
 While the wax is melting, make a base for the shells. We did this because we wanted to make sure that the candles are sturdy and will not tip over. I'm using a silicon glue gun mat I got at Dollarama, but any silicon mat will work. Put a large, round blob of glue and quickly place the shell on top. Wait for it to cool completely before removing from mat.
 Hot glue in the wick, or use some melted wax. 
 Very carefully pour the hot wax into the candles and voila!

We can't wait to share more engagement party tutorials and ideas!!

xox Nat


I'm getting married!

Let's start from the beginning. My first memory of TJ is when he hosted a stand up comedy and live music fundraiser for a play that I sang, and did attempted comedy for the first time at. He introduced me on stage as Melanie. My name is Mercedes. After my set I sat down in the crowd beside my dad. TJ then came out as a character he plays called The Barracuda. He wore a lime green tracksuit that smelled like a thrift shop, filthy white socks, and had his hair slicked back dippity do style. He chewed gum loudly and told rude jokes in a ridiculous accent. I turned to my dad and said "that's the guy I'm going to marry."

Fast forward 6 years.

We've traveled, bought a condo, sold a condo, bought a house, loved each other unconditionally, and made a ton of art together; but I honestly didn't think we would get married. TJ is not traditional. I'm 75% traditional Italian nonna, 25% cool as a damn cucumber and 100% sure I want to be with TJ for as long as our forever permits. A wedding would be fun, but if he didn't want that would be okay too.

We recently went to his cousins fantastic country wedding in northern Alberta and then road tripped with TJ's family through the Rockies to Langley, BC where they live. It was so stunning and beautiful it felt like we were living in a painting for 4 days. One stop on August 8th was a little lookout point. The wood barrier between us and the mountains was carved with tons of "Jared + Janet = love" and "Ashley loves Josh 2013." I was reading all of the names of these people who loved each other and wondered where they were and if any of them got engaged there. Then it happened. the love of my life asked me to be his wife. I cried and cried and eventually looked at my ring and cried some more.  Then I said "are you kidding?" "Um, seriously?" 4-6 times and finally managed to articulate a solid YES. This shot was taken by TJ's dad right after he asked. It pretty much sums it all up. We carved our names among the others who loved each other in that spot and kept traveling to the next hot springs.
And so, there you have it.
We haven't made a Facebook announcement or told anyone who isn't close to us. I didn't want an engagement party or shower because it seems excessive, but after much argument/conversation with my mom she's won and we are going all out (or is it all in?). Good news is Nat and I are going to get the chance to blog about all of the details that go into the celebrations be create. People don't believe that we do what we do on the tiny budgets and short deadlines we have. We rarely include other vendors, which makes what we do a serious time commitment and often an accumulation of sleepless nights. So we are going to be candid with you in sharing the nitty gritty of our world of endless crafting, brainstorming, screw ups, and creation.

For now, here are some pictures I took on my iPhone and edited with A Color Story. I don't have my DSLR with me so I had to make do, but I'm kind of digging them! I was hesitant to post ring pictures at the risk of seeming materialistic, but frankly I never thought I would have a ring like this. As I said, TJ is not traditional. We've talked about getting tattoos and looked $50 thrift shop rings that I told him if he ever proposed would be perfect. So this sapphire with diamonds he had made for me is the most unexpected part of the proposal. Plus it's pink and that's just soooooo TPP ;).
We are going to use the hashtag #mercedesgettingmarried for all of the decoration and DIY related posts on social media, because I want you to have easy access to following along in the wonderful little journey of everything pretty and romantic.
These waffles are my mother in laws Norgwegian recipe, which I am going to share with you all soon because they're so delish. She made them to see if I like them because I asked what kind of Norwegian sweets and food we can incorporate into the wedding. She did however see these pictures and say "Why is there candy on them? That's gross and would ruin the waffles. My mother would not approve." She's right. Candy on waffles is pretty disgusting. They're supposed to be eaten with brown sugar and butter or fresh strawberry jam.
Sometimes here at The Party Parade something ridiculous needs to happen for cute picture sake.
Here we are loving the s*@# out of each other at the wedding 2 days before the proposal. 
Damn he's cute.

Love (& marriage ;)),

Christina's 30th Styled Shoot

Christina is hands down one of our favorite clients. This is her second styled shoot with us, and she's all about them build-a-cakes. She asked Nat and I to create a fun concept for her 30th birthday photos. With help from the boys we made this free standing 6' wall styled with a balloon arch inspired by The House That Lars Buit (they featured us it in a post!). Christina loves black, white and gold, but we didn't want the images to look too NYE-ie, so we added splashes of color.

I found the bar cart at a flea market for $10 an gave it to Nat a few years ago for her kitchen. We had this vision of it over flowing with balloons and flowers and I'm pretty excited about the final product.

The cakes were an added touch because we know how much Christina loves a pretty cake.
Nat's mad photography skills make everything look so good. This shoot makes me want to throw a party. Imagine this as a photobooth? or outdoor sweet table backdrop? Oh hells yes!

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