Posts filed under ‘Maids’

Playing Housewife Pt 3: Funny Face

After playing some bridal shower games it was time to get down to business and the part of the shower I was dreading the most.  This whole getting married business had helped me discover something about myself that I hadn’t learned in 32 years of life…

…I hate opening gifts in front of large groups.

Hate, hate, hate.  My whole life I only ever opened gifts with friends or a very small group of friends (5 people tops).  I was quite surprised at the discomfort I felt at my first two showers.  I think in the past I might have felt mild discomfort about having people focus attention on me while I opened a gift. Maybe. But usually it was done and over with in just a matter of minutes, everyone’s attention would move to someone/something else.  But bridal showers with Mr P’s large family- most of whom I didn’t know well- that was another matter.  I was the main attraction, everyone’s eye on me waiting for my reaction, this was something new and different.  I didn’t like it.  I loved the shower and love his family, but the people watching me open gifts – me no likey.

When Mr Pretzel asked me how I liked my showers, I told him I loved them but please don’t make me do the morning after gift opening with friends and family thing at the wedding.  He laughed at me and said OK.  My Seattle shower was much smaller but I still was nervous about the gifts.  I have to say it wasn’t too bad.  Once we got started I channeled any nervous energy I had into some of the most ridiculous facial expressions that I can produce.

You don’t believe me? I have proof.

Exhibits A & B

Exhibits C & D

Exhibits E & F

I am sure most of these faces came out of sheer excitement.  I get very expressive when I get excited so I was sure to make note NOT to make any too many of these faces on our wedding day.  My fingers are crossed that our photos aren’t too overrun with my “happy” faces.

Just a couple gifts in I found the perfect distraction.  My Aunt S’s gift was very special and garnished everyone’s attention.  So some background: I’m the oldest granddaughter so all my aunts got to “practice” on me before having their own kids.  My aunt S has a son, and I think I am the daughter she never had.  I lived with her and my uncle one summer and babysat my cousin.  That summer she took me shopping to buy my first bikini.  I was 14 at the time and it was a big deal for both of us.  She wanted to carry on tradition and buy me some lingerie (and ironically lingerie from my aunt didn’t skeeve me out the way lingerie from my mom did) and she wanted to stay with the 1950’s vintage housewife theme.  She picked out a flouncy little number that looked straight out of Grease and it was perfect.

I had just realized that it is missing a couple pieces, two pieces to be exact.  You see that under wire?  Well there is nothing attached to it- it’s a bra minus the fabric.  Nobody else saw the missing pieces until I put a hand through each hole to demonstrate… and we all fell apart giggling like school girls.

The matching panties have a little heart shaped window.  I love the look on Bridesmaid H’s face here as she tries to envision the whole thing.

I loved that my Aunt picked this out for me. I probably wouldn’t have picked it out myself, but I must admit after trying it on its my favorite lingerie now.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for 1950’s styled stuff.

All the giggling really helped me enjoy the gift opening more.  Note to self, smaller groups, and lots of giggles.

Are you self conscious about opening gifts in front of others?  What tactics can you suggest?

Want to catch up?

Pt 1: The Details

Pt 2: Game Time

August 10, 2010 at 11:15 pm Leave a comment

Playing Housewife Pt 2: Game Time

Bridesmaid H and Momma P made sure our bellies were full of brunch ‘n’ punch before they busted out the shower games.  I have to admit, my experience with shower games is pretty limited.  For some reason I am usually unable to attend the bridal shower and I just send a gift with my well wishes.  My Fort Wayne showers featured pen and paper games focused on getting to know me better… the first game Bridesmaid H introduced involved another kind of paper.


Toilet Paper!

Fun Pretzel Fact: after grad school I worked for a major US producer of toilet paper, or as they call it in the industry- “bath tissue”  I even worked at a TP manufacturing facility which is where I met Bridesmaid H – perhaps that is what inspired her to put this game on the agenda.

I wasn’t too sure how I felt about this game at first. I had heard about it and I had an overall negative impression of the game- something akin to torture. But Bridesmaid H had such enthusiasm I set my skepticism aside. She divided us into teams. Team P would decorate me (oh joy!) and Team S would decorate my friend S.

My fears about the game were assuaged. There was so much giggling and everyone got very serious about their designs.

Team P created a short (SHORT!) dress for me, complete with a bodice wrapped Thai style. W showed us how Thai wedding dresses have a sash.

S’s dress was very indie bride with a hippie headband, short train and bustle… OMG look at the bustle! S had fun, she’s just rockin’ her model fierce face here… I promise… really she did.

In the end, it was decided that my dress wouldn’t be church appropriate with its Las Vegas length hemline. Team S’s design took the prize.

I think Bridesmaid H got her inspiration from the toiletry aisle at the drug store.  The main ingredient in the next game? Two large bags of these:


H was really excited about this next game, declaring it the” BEST bridal shower game ever”!  Is there such a thing?  Yes, yes there is…  I agree with H now- best shower game ever!

Here is the premise.  You fill a bowl with cotton balls. Place it on a surface in front of the victim *errr I mean participant* with a second empty bowl next to it.  Blindfold the victim and let her feel where the bowls are placed.  Then hand her a kitchen spoon (the flatter the better).  The objective: using only the spoon transfer as many cotton balls from bowl A to bowl B.

Where is the sport you might ask… what isn’t apparent is that because the cotton balls are so light it is virtually impossible to feel when you have a cotton ball on your spoon. See the bottom photo below. I totally think that i have a cotton ball on my spoon but I don’t.

Since I was the first to go I went with the general scoop and transfer method… Which yielded a whooping 5 cotton balls in bowl B.  Pretzel FAIL!

As each guest took a turn the technique morphed a little as everyone learned from the people who went before. Momma Pretzel ended up with the most cotton balls on the floor- hands down!  These photos capture perfectly the fun that everyone had.

By the time W went she had come up with a game plan, shovel in the general direction of Bowl B.  It worked! Bowl B ended up on the floor but didn’t lose any cotton balls.

W for the WIN!   S and W each got aprons from Porches Place. S for being a good sport in the TP game and W for dominating the cotton ball game.

The two games were perfect. We had one game that everyone was familiar with and one that was completely new to everyone. It was a good  way to get everyone mingling together and a good transition to opening gifts.  Gifts? Did I say gifts?  How many faces can Pretzel make while opening gifts?  The answer coming up next.

Need to catch up?

August 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Playing Housewife Pt 1: The Details

Two weeks before our wedding Mr Pretzel and I did something we don’t normally do, we took a break from wedding planning. Mr Pretzel went to Vegas for his bachelor party and I had a girls weekend with a Bridal Shower.

My MOH lives in Denver and wasn’t able to make the trip to Seattle (understandably) so she delegated my Seattle shower to the very willing Bridesmaid H.  Momma Pretzel wasn’t going to let Bridesmaid H do all the work herself (H was planning a June Vegas wedding) so together H and Momma Pretzel threw me a glorious shower.

My amazing hostesses!
I may have *ahem* helped plan my own shower. *pretzel looks guilty*  Ok, I flat out set the theme for the thing if you couldn’t tell from the above photo. I gave my Mom and Bridesmaid H one phrase to work with: Vintage Housewife.  Working with that information the two of them started to scheme and plan.

In May, my family and friends received an invite for a vintage housewife themed bridal shower.
“What you might ask is a 1950’s themed bridal shower?

Well Miss Pretzel has a soft spot in her heart for 1950s housewives- yes you read that right, vintage housewives.  Since she’s about to become a wife we thought it fitting to throw a shower fit for a 1950’s domestic goddess.  It’s no secret that Mr Pretzel is the master baker in the house, but picture Miss P taking cupcakes out of the oven in a twirly skirt, high heels, apron, and don’t forget the pearls.  Bust out your favorite apron and heels, and be ready to sip on cocktails (non-alcoholic available) and feast on a yummy brunch while we shower Miss Pretzel with love and advice (baking advice much appreciated!).

If you need some more images to visualize vintage housewives check these out:”

Images sources from top left to bottom right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This shower very special to me for one reason,  it was with “my people”.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr Pretzel’s family and appreciate the two showers that they threw for me but it really doesn’t take the place of being showered by my friends and family.  Most of my family is far away (Maine, Michigan, and Colorado) and it felt really important to have a shower in Seattle, with my mom and my friends.

The shower was held at the house I shared with my Mom. It started at 10 AM and included a yummy brunch. I dusted off my engagement photo dress for the occasion and tried to help my Mom in the kitchen but was kicked out.

Momma P and I got matching Aprons from Porches Place for the occasion. H’s apron is also from Porches Place.

Bridesmaid H and Momma P went with a Tiffany blue and white theme.

What would a vintage housewife be without her wine glass?
These 1950s looking brides and grooms topped yummy cupcakes (frosted with a Pretzel family recipe).

Quintessential 1950’s party beverage? Punch!
Momma P was very proud of the heart shaped ice cubes (with fruit!)

yummm cheese!
Any excuse to wear these heels!
H and Momma P borrowed my mini’s for decoration.
The guest list was a mash-up of friends from different areas of Mr P and my life in Seattle.

R is married to a work friend of ours, H and I worked together at a former job. A and P are knitting friends.

C (who graciously took all the photos for my shower) is married to a work friend of mine (but doesn’t know R).

You might recognize W in the upper left as my glasses rockin’ bridol. CH and S are co-workers.

It was amazing how well everyone meshed together.
Next up, the dreaded bridal shower games. Stay tuned!

July 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

Just a Smidge of Color

I love when a plan comes together!  Ok, maybe it isn’t just a smidge of color- remember, we’re planning a brightly colored bash.   Previously I told you about:

Despite my ever changing mind and only being able to go shopping with one girl (the rest are all a plane ride away) the Pretzel Maids came through!  I got an e-mail today- every one of my girls has picked out her dress- even my Jr Bridesmaid.

Behold the Pretzel wedding party:

From left to right:

Jr Bridesmaid C: David’s Bridal JB2815 in Oasis
Bridesmaid/FSIL M: Dessy Bridesmaid 2721 in American Beauty
Matron of Honor/SIL Tig: David’s Bridal 81591  in Oasis
Bridesmaid R: Dessy 2058 in Clementine
Bridesmaid H: After Six 6537 in Apple Slice
Bridesmaid/FSIL S: Dessy Bridesmaid 2764 in Spa

I couldn’t have picked better dresses for each of them and their body types.  I also love that my niece’s dress matches her Mom’s- how cute is that?  Mr Pretzel is worried that the girls will look like they just showed up with something out of their closet- but I think the matching GM ties will be a dead giveaway- all this brightness was intentional.

Did you dare to dress your gals in wildly different colors?  Do you think it looks planned or a bit haphazard?  Share photos of your mismatched maids!

December 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Hand that Girl a Hankie

… perhaps a perfect little silk hankie that says “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

My maids are all over the country- Denver, Seattle, Indiana, Illinois… there aren’t 2 maids in the same city out of the five of them and only one I actually see day to day.  I wish I could have asked each of them in person, but I did the next best thing- sent them a personalized invitation to stand up with me at my wedding.

I love– been loving it for a lonnnng time. Call it inspiration central!

  • Need ideas for unique gift for Mr Pretzel? Done!
  • Need to find a handblown glass sink at a killer deal? Done!
  • Need hard to find crafting supplies like pearlized flower stamen? Done!
  • Need a tutorial for a particular craft? Done!

In my case it was “Need ideas for bridesmaids invitations?” Done!

Bridesmaid invites from ArtfulBeginnings on

Source ArtfulBeginnings

I search on “Bridesmaid Invitation”. POOF! There appeared the puuuuurfect gift for my girls.  ArtfulBeginnings posted a set of 4 custom  silk hankerchiefs for $27… what, what? $27  I quickly bookmarked this page. Once I had the BM line up settled I ordered 5 hankies in our wedding colors (the extra one cost like $6 and some change). Each girl got an invitation in the color she would be wearing in our wedding.

As a side note: I’m a Catholic grrrl- so it’s confession time- I ordered these bad boys before Mr Pretzel even proposed- I was that excited!  I was so convinced that he was going to propose on our New England trip (which he did) that I wanted to bring the invitations with us so I could pop them in the mail as soon as we were engaged.  Mr Pretzel put his foot down and said I could wait until we got home. Booo!

How perfect are these?   The hankies fold up into a little square and slide nicely into a card personalized with the recipient’s name.  My MOH’s hankie asks “Will you be my Matron of Honor?” and the other ones ask “Will you be my Bridesmaid?”  The envelope wraps are freebies from A Very Chocolate Wedding.  Love it!

All in a row....

All in a row....

Hs invite

Details on BM Hillbilly's invite

Envelope wraps!

Envelope wraps!

Sadly, the post office lost one of my invites.  I quickly e-mailed ArtfulBeginnings and purchased a replacement. While I was doing so I started to browse the other offerings in the shop. Check out these other cute wedding items:

Bridal Hankie for $19 ArtfulBeginnings

Source: ArtfulBeginnings: Bridal Hankie for $19

Fabric wedding invitations with rice paper RSVPs - wild flowers, set of 25 for $90

Source Artful Beginnings: Fabric wedding invitations with rice paper RSVPs - wild flowers, set of 25 for $90

Something blue ring pillow with your custom text $37

Source ArtfulBeginnings: Something blue ring pillow with your custom text $37

How did you ask your bridesmaids to be in your wedding?

All photos: Miss Pretzel unless otherwise noted.

October 5, 2009 at 5:24 pm 2 comments

Inspiration with Dessy

With such a bright color pallet, you might imagine finding bridesmaids dresses would be hard.  It was…strike that, it is (we aren’t 100% on the BM dresses yet).   If a dress maker had a pretty bright pink, they didn’t have an orange, or they had a green but not he right green. I knew exactly what I wanted and didn’t really find it until I stumbled on  I personally like the After Six and the Alfred Sung lines.

Two main things that I love about the site?  Hundreds of dress options in tons of colors, and dresses that have “accent” colors so you aren’t limited to one color.  Seriously- I spent hours this summer, taking screen shots of dresses I liked, editing out the background in Photoshop (not always easy!) and putting into PowerPoint so I could see all the dresses together and so I could share with Mr Pretzel.   Lots and lots of hours… the result looked something like this:

Early attempts at a powerpoint inspiration board for my maids

Early attempts at a powerpoint inspiration board for my maids

Not all that inspiring… Over time I got better at making inspiration boards and started using different web tool like to organize my photos and sources.  I started to leave the maids out of my inspiration boards because I couldn’t quite get the images edited properly to remove the background.  If only Dessy had launched the Inspiration Board part of their site then!  It seriously kicks butt!  Using dresses and a tie from the Dessy site and uploaded images of my own I was able to make this inspiration board in just a couple minutes.

Kodachrome Inspiration Board made at

Kodachrome Inspiration Board made at

The best part? As my maids tell me which dress they selected I can update my board to reflect the actual dresses they will be wearing.  *Sigh*  I heart Dessy 🙂

What handy tools have you found to organize your inspirations?  Have you revisited your inspiration board frequently?

October 5, 2009 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

Building the Party

How big can a wedding party be without being too big?  According to Mr Pretzel… three bridesmaids, three groomsmen.

“Three is ok, but four is too much?” I asked.

“Exactly” He replied.

Source: Courtship in America

Source: Courtship in America

Despite his minimalist thinking around attendants, we’ve finally settled on having 5 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen and 2 ushers.  Certainly not the three and three he was envisioning but definitely not the ridiculous size of this vintage photo.

When Mr Pretzel asked who I wanted to be in our wedding, I rattled off three girls without hesitation.  After thinking, I added his sister and later I realized I also really wanted his brother’s fiance in the wedding too.  There was no way we were going to get down to three.  Mr Pretzel decided to have 4 groomsmen and two close friends as ushers.  We’re really not so concerned about our wedding party matching.  But I think it’s totally funny that he essentially has 6 guys to my 5 girls. 🙂 So much for 3 being the perfect number.  Let me introduce you to my girls. In order of the length of time i have known them…

MOH Knit- My Sister-in-law- was awesome and had us rock some re-wearable BM dresses!

MOH Pretzel was awesome and had us rock some re-wearable BM dresses!

MOH Pretzel:  MOH Pretzel  is so many things to me, she is sister-in-law, big sister, friend, voice of reason, cohort in crime (putting curlers in my brothers hair while he slept!) and very importantly- she is the Mom of my awesome (and adorable) niece and nephew.  I met her Christmas of 1992 when she flew out to NH to spend some holiday time with my family. She also spent the summer of 1993 in NH and we became like sisters. She and my brother were married in 1995 and I was very honored to stand up at their wedding.  She DIYed a lot of touches for the wedding and that was a big inspiration to me to do the same.  MOH Pretzel, Big Brother Pretzel, Niece Pretzel, Nephew Pretzel all live a little south of Denver.

BM Ro had a fabulous destination wedding- without breaking the bank!

BM Ro had a fabulous destination wedding- without breaking the bank!

BM Ro:  I met Ro my first day on campus. We were in the same dorm.  We became fast friends and through ups and downs have remained so.  BM Ro is from Indianapolis and quickly opened her family to me. I became close with her parents, grandma, and sister.  Her family became my Indiana family.  We had lots of adventures- driving to NH for October break in my little Toyota, spring break in PHX/LA- running out of gas on the highway in CA, living together (not our best decision- but we survived!), lots of partying, crying on each others shoulders when we hit hard times in life.  I was so proud to stand up at her Wedding on the beach in Flordia.   I wish the miles weren’t so far.

H and I rock the rodeo!

Hillbilly and I rock the rodeo!

BM Hillbilly:  We and I met in 2005 when we both worked for the same company.  We did a few things together socially with other people from work but we really became close friends when Hillbilly decided to learn how to knit. I had also just learned to knit and we spent a lot of time together at the yarn store, or my house (which for a while was above the yarn store!)  Thankfully we both decided to leave unhappy work circumstances and our friendship has continued.  Who else would introduce me to country music- be my Rodeo buddy or conspire to knit underwear (we totally have to do it Hillbilly!)?  I am lucky to call BM Hillbilly my friend.  I have high hopes that if she elopes to Vegas I’ll get to be there in person- but I’ll settle for a photo of her with Elvis. 🙂


BM Thunderstruck and her DH... now expecting a baby in May!

BM (and FSIL) Thunderstruck: When Mr Pretzel invited me on his family vacation in August 2008 I freaked! I was so excited/nervous to meet his: Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, sister Thunderstruck, future (now) brother in law Thunderstruck, brother Ice Cream, Ice Cream’s then girlfriend now fiance Twist, Aunt, Uncle, and two young cousins. BM Thunderstruck and her then fiance,  picked us up at the airport- this made everything a little less stressful. We drove together from Chicago- through WI to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I got to know them on the drive and we really had a lot of fun.  Having that time to get to know them made meeting the rest of the family much easier!  Overall, the family vacation was awesome.  BM Thunderstruck played host to us at the Michigan/Purdue game and we had the best Halloween with them. Her wedding was also a lot of fun and I enjoyed helping BM Thunderstruck get some of her last minute details together (you know i love to DIY!).  We are very excited to welcome a Thunderstruck BABY to the family next May!

BM S and Mr Knit's Baby Brother in Seattle

BM Twist and Mr Pretzel's Baby Brother Ice Cream in Seattle

BM Twist (soon to be FSIL!): When Mr Pretzel and I arrived at the vacation house in Michigan I will never forget BM Twist  taking me aside and saying- “we’re in this together- I haven’t spent that much time with the  family either”  She instantly put me at ease.  She and I did lean on each other a little as we got to know each other better.  We shared the stories of our relationships with our  boys (which shared a lot of similarities- unbeknown to any of us!) and most of all- we had a blast.  Our visit back for BM Thunderstruck’s wedding gave us a chance to get closer as we stayed at their new home.  In August they spent a week with us in Seattle.  We have a lot of similar personality traits and we really seem to understand one another.    I am really happy to have my future sister-in-law in our wedding party.  BM Twist and Mr Pretzel’s baby brother Ice Cream are going to be married in May. Yay!

How many BM and GM are you having?  Are you worried about each side matching?

October 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm 1 comment

I am Mrs Pretzel

On Weddingbee