happy spring tags are my fave

March 17, 2014

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Thursday marks the first day of spring, hooray! Even if the weather doesn’t automatically change, just the fact that it’s no longer technically winter changes my disposition. I’ve literally had to give myself some pep talks lately to get through this crummy season. So to celebrate, this week will be dedicated to springy projects.

printable spring tags

First up, these happy tags are ready for you to print and attach to a bouquet, sweet treat, bike handle, small child, you name it. Let everybody know you’re in love with spring and not afraid to show it.

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happy spring tag download

design: Kirsten Bingham

meet make do is my fave

March 14, 2014

I’m just going to put it out there that in this post I’m going to gush. I’m going to gush about lovely hosts. I’m going to gush about Palm Springs. I’m going to gush about roomies. I’m going to gush about Bing. I’m going to gush about meeting, making, and doing.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a couple weeks ago that the usual scenery of my home and Beck was replaced by sunny Palm Springs. I was lucky enough to be invited to a small diy blogger retreat, Meet Make Do, which was hosted by three of my faves – Kelly of Studio DIY, Brittni of Paper & Stitch, and Chelsea of Lovely Indeed and sponsored by Bing. If you’re wondering how in the world I got an invitation, I have no explanation. The entire weekend I was thinking, “I must have done at least one thing right to be here.”

Let me start with the gushing I promised.

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Gush #1: The Accommodations
The mid-century dream house we vacated greeted us with yellow doors, a giant swan, heart totes filled with the goods, and a cheese and jam spread worthy of a magazine spread. Heck yes.

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Gush #2: The Meet
Hands down, my favorite part of the event was chatting and laughing with each of the ladies. I’m an awkward hugger and the second I walked in the door I was embracing each one like it was my job. You would be too if this is who you were with:

me (naturally), Danni of Oh Hello Friend, Chelsea of Lovely Indeed, Brittni of Paper & Stitch, Kelly of Studio DIY, Ashley of Sugar and Cloth, Erin of House of Earnest, Jenn of Scout, Chelsey of The Paper Mama, Brittany of The House That Lars Built, Lexy of The Proper Pinwheel, Mary Costa (taking the photo)

I had met them all on previous occasions but the laid back setting of the event was conducive to long (late into the night) conversations and honest questioning and answers that we don’t normally get as stay-at-home bloggers who usually work solo. It was so refreshing and honestly made me cry of happiness. There were so many a-ha moments you would have thought I was on Oprah.

We also had quite a few laughs, like when I convinced Brittany to do this.

By the end of the 2 1/2 days, I was trying to convince them all it would be a great idea to start a commune together. Oh, how I love them all so.

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PicMonkey Collage
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Gush #3: The Making
The hosts made sure we were well stocked with supplies (even the stash was styled) so for one day we just spent time making together. I loved seeing everyone’s creative processes and seeing how we pooled our talents to pull off some amazing projects (another reason the commune would be so great).

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Gush #4: Bing
I’d never been to Palm Springs before the trip but knew (thanks Instagram) that it was the colorful place where bloggers go for all their dreams to come true. And that it was my friends, that it was. To plan my trip to the unknown (since I had an entire day to myself, wheee!), I used Bing Travel app. I honestly had never used Bing regularly but since they were sponsoring the event, I made an effort to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I especially loved that I could see when was the best time to buy my plane ticket, I was able to see panoramic views of where I was headed, and map all my destinations out. It made for a good day of exploring (and a delicious eggs benedict). And I’m a complete convert to their image search.

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Gush #5: The (Second) Accommodations
Due to a slight hiccup, we had to switch over to The Saguaro. It’s a rainbow-hued hotel, need I say more? Okay, I will say more. The hotel restaurant, El Jefe, served the best french toast I have ever eaten. I would make a special trip back to Palm Springs just to partake of the citrus-vanilla, deep fried goodness again.

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Gush #6: The Doing (And Lesson Learned)
As I mentioned, a lot of the time was spent dishing with the ladies. I came into things thinking I was going to learn some tricks from these admirable bloggers that would help me (selfish, I know). We did indeed share tips/stories/rates etc but when I was trying to decipher the secret formula to success it all came back to this simple phrase we’ve all heard before. Work hard and be nice. This was universal, all of these women work extremely hard (their content proves that) but they wouldn’t be where they are without being nice. One of my favorite conversations was about power-houses we admire who didn’t give up being nice to be on top. It seems too simple but no phrase could be more true. Ah, I’m turning all Oprah on you now.

I’m done with the gushing for now but if you ever want to ask me for more details in person, be prepared for waterworks because if there ever was a fave – Meet Make Do is it.

Photography: Mary Costa
no one belongs here blanket from Coveted Things, work hard print from Minted

PS You can win a bag of goods just like I posted! Enter on Paper & Stitch, Studio DIY, and/or Lovely Indeed

one cake, three ways is my fave

March 13, 2014

Contributor post by Lyndsay Sung of Coco Cake Landbuttercream-cake-3-ways.jpg

Jazzing up your cake doesn’t have to be a sweat inducing ordeal. Lazy cake decorating with visual impact can be as easy as 1-2-3! All you need to do is head to the grocery store for inspiration.

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Start with a bare naked, just frosted in vanilla buttercream cake. From scratch or from a mix, either way seems great to me as long as cake is involved!

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1. For a chocolate shards cake, use your favourite good quality chocolate bar. I used milk chocolate with sea salt. Chop the bar into rough triangular shards.

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Place the shards into the top of the buttercream like a chocolate glass city of the future or a sculptural chocolate field.

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2. Omg candy cake! Surprise a candy-loving or rainbow-loving pal with a cake dotted with colorful favourites such as swedish berries, candy shelled chocolate eggs in pastel colors, sparkly sour fruit gummies and malt balls. There would have been more malt balls on this cake if I had been able to stop myself from eating most of them.

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3. Want to go au naturel? Go fruity with fresh strawberries. Using a sharp paring knife, thinly slice strawberries into triangle shapes.

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Make a strawberry crown with a strawberry border! Lightly press the slices into the buttercream to adhere.

What other simple grocery store item ideas would you use to bring life to a simple cake? Do tell!

Happy cakeing!

Cake, photos and styling by Lyndsay Sung.

a simple brunch menu is my fave

March 12, 2014

You would think with how much I talk about food that I would enjoy coming up with party menus but it’s one of the hardest parts for me. The quantity, the ease of service and temperature factors throw me off. Luckily brunch master, Megan of Take a Megabite, was tweeting about her Valentine’s Day brunch menu right before the shower so I took a couple of her ideas and Kirsten helped with her butter loving baking.
baby shower brunch
baby shower brunch
baby shower brunch
baby shower menu
brunch
baby shower brunch
baby shower brunch
The Menu:
- overnight cinnamon french toast cupcakes (I used french bread)
- coffee cake mini muffins
- chicken & waffle bites (with Chick-fil-a nuggets)
- baked ham & cheese sliders
- mini quiches
- mixed fruit smoothies

We made the smoothies on the spot and served them in square glass bottles from Specialty Bottle for a special added detail.

I think this is the day my bump doubled in size since I could not stop eating (leftovers are a party host perk). This is definitely going to be a go-to menu for future parties.

photos: Jennifer Little

a girly baby shower is my fave

March 11, 2014

Baby showers are some of my favorite parties to host. There’s nothing quite as happy as celebrating a baby, is there? This one was for a sweet friend and her little girl on the way.
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
baby shower ideas
Instead of going over the top with a theme I decided to just stick with fresh florals and spring colors. For decorations I created the greenery garland (surprisingly easy) centered with the typography sign, had fresh florals throughout, and of course there was a ceiling of balloons. Guests filled out cards with their advice for the parents and wishes for the baby (and ate and socialized, of course).  And after a nice morning, they left with a chocolate bar (rewrapped for aesthetic purposes) and a tiny floral painting. Sweet and simple (kind of).

PS I’ll be sharing the menu tomorrow.

- tutorial for fresh garland
– painted canvases: Kelly Smith
– photos: Jennifer Little

fridays are my fave

March 7, 2014

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1. A cheery dish collection (and darn right fabulous space)
2. You can’t go wrong with marshmallow on marshmallow
3. Proof donkeys can be cute
4. Nailed it Oscar, nailed it
5. We found out it’s a girl! (name suggestions welcome)

Plus:
- 8 projects that will get you in the St Patty’s spirit
- Best of the week!

a wall of four leaf clovers is my fave

March 5, 2014

Today’s post is from my most Irish friend, Kelly of Cloudy Day Gray. It would be fun to surprise your family with a similar wall on St Patrick’s Day.

clover wallpaper

You should know by now that Melanie is a fan of wallpaper. So it makes sense that a little over four years ago, she sent me a picture of a European home decked out in clover wallpaper with the caption, “Kelly, you have to have this.” I quickly promised her I would, as soon as we bought our first home. But as life goes, we are still renting and my hope of an amazing clover-covered wall was still so far away.

That is until I got the Cricut Explore, which inspired me to create my own easy to remove wallpaper. Here is how you can make your own.

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Materials: Cricut Explore, re-positionable vinyl, painter’s tape.

Project: After uploading a clover design into the Cricut Design Space, I placed the vinyl onto the cutting mat, and pressed Go. I found the center of my wall, and marked it with tape, working from the center into each section using a smaller piece of painter’s tape as my guide.

Time: Cutting took a total of 30 minutes, which made 400 clovers from 15 feet of vinyl. Putting the clovers on the wall took three hours.

clover wallpaper

clover wallpaper

clover wallpaper

Make your house a home and surround yourself with things that make you smile. I am never taking this down. Well, not until we move anyway.

See more from Kelly on Cloudy Day Gray

the best curated gift bag is my fave

March 4, 2014

This last week I was lucky enough to be invited to a diy blogger retreat in Palm Springs, Meet Make Do. While I’ll share more details later, today I’d love to share the contents of the gift bags that were beautifully curated by Kelly, Chelsea, and Brittni. It’s like an epic in-a-box.
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They nailed it, right? Every item will be put to good use, no doubt.

sources: patterned napkins from Fat Eye Design, rose bath salts from Oh So Pretty, bamboo flatware from Mr. and Mrs. P, copper notebook and tape from Lovely Pigeon, mini wooden bowl from Wind and Willow Home, floral fabric from The Fabric Store, necklace from Seoul Little, coasters from World Reclaimed, coffee soap from Etta and Billie, porcelain bowl from Landis Carey, prints from Minted, wooden diamond ring from The Paper Mama, tote bag from Michelle Dwight Designs

weather party decorations and favors are my fave

February 28, 2014

kid's birthday party ideas

The celebration house had a great big, blank wall that made for the perfect party backdrop. For an impact, I created wire clouds and colorful paper raindrops to cover floor to ceiling. I was going to create the clouds from paper but then got the idea to use wire from this tutorial on Love From Ginger. I just purchased wide, black, floral wire from Michaels so all I had to do was shape, cut and twist for the final product.

kid's birthday party ideas
kid's birthday party ideas
kid's birthday party ideas

Since kids seem to be fond of stuffed toys, I had my friend Becky (sewer extroidanaire), make these stuffed cloud pillows for the party favors. Each girl affectionately named them something to the extent of Cloudy and toted them around with them for a majority of the party.

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And that is how you pull off a weather party.

photos: Nicole Coleman

a cotton candy cloud cake is my fave

February 27, 2014

kid's birthday cake
I have to give full credit to Kirsten for not only baking the cake but coming up with the perfect cake topper – cotton candy clouds. Not only were the personal cotton candy sticks a hit, the girls were delighted (okay, maybe a little scared) with the mini sparkler topper. Yet another thing I’ll be adding to the must have at every party list.
kid's birthday cake
kid's birthday cake
kid's birthday cake
photos: Nicole Coleman


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