colorful fruit paper cuts are my fave (giveaway!)

May 13, 2014

astro brights paper

It’s painful for me to tell you that it snowed in Denver yesterday. Although I may have wanted to resort to violence (punching a hole into the wall) I decided to instead pull out my Astrobrights paper stash and colorize instad. With Beck by my side, I created these fruit paper cuts while he practiced what I will call color theory (getting marker all over everything).

This project requires no fine art skills (believe me, I have none), only a few supplies you probably already have on hand, and is kid friendly if they know how to use a pair of scissors. Simply freehand cut the fruit and geometric shapes and use a glue stick to put it all together.

astro brights paper
astro brights paper
astro brights paper

You could create a whole slew of fruits (pineapples are all the rage right now).

astro brights paper
paper fruit cutouts

Ready to bust out your own colorful project? I’m giving away a customized package of Astrobrights paper (proof that it’s amazing) and a $50 gift card to Office Depot to help you colorize this spring. All you need to do is comment on this post telling me what projects you have in mind. This giveaway is open for 48 hours. Winner will be randomly selected then contacted by me via email. Good luck!

astro brights paper

Astrobrights is a yamf sponsor but I would like their paper even if they weren’t. See more colorful projects on Facebook and Tumblr.

yangyang pan is my fave

May 9, 2014

Yangyang Pan

Yangyang Pan

Yangyang Pan

Yet again, Yangyang is topping my list of faves with her vibrant abstract paintings. These pieces are from her exhibit, Down the Rabbit Hole, which opens today at Madelyn Jordan Fine Art. I can see the texture through the screen, I can’t imagine how much more beautiful they would be in person. New Yorkers, flock (then buy me a little something for my birthday).

Learn more about the exhibit here.
See more from Yangyang in her Etsy shop.

Have a lively weekend (and don’t forget to call mom)!

a cake and ice cream party is my fave

May 8, 2014

easy birthday party ideas

Cake and ice cream is pretty much the ultimate party theme. It works for kids, adults, birthdays, anniversaries, Arbor Day. Here are a few ideas for a sweet fete, starting with this i scream invitation from Tiny Prints.

easy birthday party ideas
easy birthday party ideas
easy birthday party ideas

For the toppers that broadcast the flavor of the cake as well, I printed block letters (festivo font) on patterned paper and cut them out. Then I attached to gold wire with hot glue. It would be even easier to use letter stickers or chipboard.

easy birthday party ideas
cake and ice cream party
cake and ice cream party

Scoop the ice cream ahead of time and freeze on a cookie sheet – the scoops stay frozen longer (perfect for serving) and it saves you from sticky forearms at the party.

easy birthday party ideas

Bonus, the layered streamers can double as a photo booth backdrop. I shared the how-to right here on the Tiny Prints blog.

easy birthday party ideas

And now, I believe, it’s time for a slice and a scoop.

Tiny Prints is a yamf sponsor but I would like their products even if they weren’t. See more party invitations right here.

the secret to the best happiness bars are my fave

May 6, 2014

nanaimo bars recipe

I posted a photo of this goodness on Instagram yesterday and was surprised by the number of people who expressed they had never heard of happiness bars (also known as nanaimo bars). Okay, so it was only about five people, but in my mind that is too many. So the recipe must be shared.

These layered treats are a go-to favorite that never disappoint. And while I’ve been making them for years, my sister recently shared a secret that makes them taste even better. Simply 1 1/2 the recipe but don’t adjust the pan size (this is a good plan for rice krispie treats too). Since I’m never using the original measurements again, I’ve already adjusted the ingredients in the recipe below. Time for some happiness in bar cookie form.

nanaimo bars recipe

Happiness Bars

- 3/4 c butter
- 6 Tbsp cocoa
- 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3/4 c nuts (optional – I always leave these out)
- 1 1/2 c coconut
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 c graham cracker crumbs (18 whole)

Melt butter and cocoa then stir in remaining ingredients. Press in 9×13 pan and chill until set.

- 3/4 c butter
- 4 1/2 Tbsp milk
- 3 tsp vanilla dry instant pudding
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 c powdered sugar

Melt butter and milk together over stovetop. Add pudding mix and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread on the crust and chill until set.

Melt 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips then drizzle and spread on top. Chill and store in freezer, bring to room temperature to serve.

nanaimo bars recipe
nanaimo bars recipe

Remember, there’s no excuse for bad dessert.

a new mom in a box is my fave

May 5, 2014

gift ideas for new moms

What would new moms appreciate?
- a headband to cover up the hair loss
- a pretty robe to make her feel like she got dressed
- snacks and more snacks
- a card letting her know why she’s awesome
- a water bottle that is more attractive than the hospital cup
- a journal to catalog the delirious joy
- cash for a Netflix subscription

Bonus ideas!
- a cute nightlight for the late feedings
- ear plugs for when the husband takes over
- a favorite book or magazine for when instagram gets old

gift ideas for new moms

fridays are my fave

May 2, 2014


1. I’d like some personalized painted pennants for my team (Beck and baby)
2. A simple way to make white balloons fancier
3. This Paris flat is all so lovely (I’m especially fond of the gold rolling ladder)
4. I sure hope the half moon pattern doesn’t become the next chevron because I love it so
5. A breakfast birthday cake

printable mother’s day cards are my fave

April 30, 2014

Let’s make a pact to be on top of Mother’s Day this year, mmmkay? Or force our husbands/dads/children to make the pact.

free mother's day card
free mother's day card

Here’s how I’m helping, I’m offering an even easier version of the photo booth strip Mother’s Day card I made last year. Top a box of good quality chocolates with it and you’ll have a happy madre.

Get the download (designed by Kirsten Bingham) right here on Julep.

PS That strip is the result of Beck’s first solo try at the photo booth. He wasn’t a fan of the flash. Ha!

the color condition is my fave

April 29, 2014

Tuesday’s happy inducing find: hued streamers created by the two ladies behind The Color Condition.

the color condition
the color condition
the color condition the color condition
the color condition

The streams are made from a mixture of table cloths, shower curtains, and painters drop cloths. Pretty amazing, right? I’d love to see an installation in person and dance through them as if I were Maria on top of the mountain in Sound of Music.

See more on The Color Condition and Patina.

a happy two-year-old is my fave

April 24, 2014

kid birthday party ideas

If you learn one lesson from Leslie Knope, let it be this: you coordinate birthday celebrations to fit the honoree. While Beck would have probably been amused by an elaborate party, he was just as happy with a bunch of balloons and eating cake with his best buddy. Also known as, I took the easy way out.

Last year we adopted Meta’s family tradition of the birthday table. When Beck arose in the morning he was greeted with a balloon wall (which he ran to right away and pulled off every balloon he could reach) and his presents and cake. The smile didn’t leave his face for the rest of the day which was spent doing a few of his favorite activities.

birthday party decorations
birthday party ideas
toddler birthday party ideas

Later on we had a couple friends over for dinner and cake (I made this recipe for the first time and it was a winner) and Beck was beaming as he was sung to. He even knew to blow out the candles and cheered for himself plenty. Simple celebrations for the win.

birthday party decorations

Beck is my sunny boy. I’m so blessed to be his mom.

boden is my fave (sale + giveaway!)

April 22, 2014

boden kids

boden kids

boden kids

Whenever Ryan picks up the mail and a Boden catalog is in it, he comes through the door waving it saying, “It’s your favorite!” I really do love thumbing through each page and dog earring my wish list. I was surprised when my sister was here a couple weeks ago and commented she had never heard of the store. Have you? It’s UK based but became available in the states a little while ago. They have the best dress selection (several with sleeves – I appreciate upper arm coverage, okay?) and great quality basics. And I’m floored with the adorable items they have for little ones. I’ve never been disappointed by an order.

If you’re a fan (old or new), good news! All this week they’re having a great sale of 25% off daily favorites. And especially for my readers, they’re offering free shipping and free returns with the keycode X6K7.

Bonus! One lucky reader will receive a $50 gift card. Simply visit Boden and comment on this post with an item that is on your wish list. This giveaway is only open for 48 hours. Winner must have a US mailing address, will be randomly selected and contacted by me via email. Good luck!

Follow Boden: instagram, twitter, facebook

Items pictured here (for baby girl of course): retro print pinnie, 5 pack onesies,
pretty printed tea dress, pointelle cardigan

A Darling Site