Kitchen Adventure: Circus Animal Cookie Milkshake

I don’t know about you, but Circus Animal Cookies have always made me smile. I mean, look at them, they’re so cute! I saw an ADORABLE birthday party a while back that was themed after them! Ever since then I have been obsessed. I thought it would be fun to take these treats to the next level, and with that, I give to you….a Circus Animal Cookie Milkshake!

You will need:

  • 4-6 scoops of vanilla ice cream (this will depend on how thick you want it to be. The more ice cream you add the thicker the milkshake!)
  • At least 1 Cup of Circus Animal Cookies (feel free to add more for a more intense flavor!)
  • 1 Cup of Milk

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Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a blender. I like to put the ice cream in first!

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Step 2: Blend until smooth. You will notice tiny flecks of hot pink throughout, which I love!

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Step 3: Put in a fun glass, like this gold rimmed one. Add whipped cream a paper straw and top with more cookies!

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Step 4: Enjoy!

 

Wedding Chicks Blog Feature

I’m so excited to share that a styled shoot I did flowers for is featured on the Wedding Chicks blog today! Click here to see the full feature and all of the gorgeous photos by the talented Ally Burnette! This was a collaboration with the lovely ladies of Event Science, Paper Plum, & Make & Do! With amazing tabletop decor and furnishings from Borrowed Blu, La Pinata Party Rentals, and the ultra cool backdrop of Groom Studio in downtown LA!

View More: http://allyburnette.pass.us/modernbohorehearsaldinner

View More: http://allyburnette.pass.us/modernbohorehearsaldinner

View More: http://allyburnette.pass.us/modernbohorehearsaldinner

View More: http://allyburnette.pass.us/modernbohorehearsaldinner

Halo Top Ice Cream Haul

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It’s probably so weird to do a “haul” on a food item, but I recently discovered this healthy ice cream called Halo Top through a random ad on my Facebook! (it must know of my addiction!) So, like any good ice cream lover would, I decided to go on a quest to try all of the flavors! Sadly, I am missing two (Strawberry & Chocolate Mocha Chip) that I couldn’t find even after going to several stores near me.

Right off the bat, I love their branding and packaging. It’s modern with retro elements which is always a favorite of mine! Also, you can’t beat a gold lid, can you!? Now, for the real reason I was originally drawn to this – it’s low in calories and sugar, but high in protein! An entire pint of one of these is 240-280 calories! That is insane! That means, if I want to sit there and eat an entire pint while watching Game of Thrones – “Battle of the Bastards” again, I can! Craziness.

I must say that for healthy ice cream, these are actually pretty good! Especially compared to some of their competitors (I’m looking at you, Arctic Zero!) I, of course, have my favorites so let’s take a closer look at each flavor now!

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Mint chip is definitely at the top of my list! It tastes pretty darn close to the real thing! Don’t be fooled by it’s adorable mint colored carton, this ice cream is actually cream colored with teeny-tiny pieces of chocolate. Super yummy on it’s own but would be great with some crushed Thin Mints! (Just a few….)

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Birthday Cake is my husband’s favorite! I do agree that it is one of the best. It tastes a lot like Funfetti or cake batter ice cream if you’ve ever had that from Cold Stone. I love the little sprinkles that are mixed in!

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You can’t go wrong with Chocolate! I love putting some Oreo Thins with this (yes, we brought them back into the house after a short hiatus!) It’s also really good by itself!

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This flavor isn’t the most intense, I mean, it’s Vanilla, so that’s to be expected. This is a good one to have on hand if you feel like making yourself a diet root beer float or if you want to make an actual sundae with hot fudge. It definitely needs a little help on the flavor game, but it’s not a lost cause.

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I must admit that this is the flavor that I’m most disappointed about. You can barely taste the lemon, which is sad, especially for summer! It’s so faint that this actually ends up tasting kind of weird. I wouldn’t buy this flavor again.

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Overall, I definitely enjoyed these and would buy some of them again! Halo Top isn’t sold everywhere yet, so be sure to check here before heading to your local store! I’m still going to be on the lookout for the two missing flavors – I have high hopes for the Strawberry one!

xo, Nicole

Liz + Jon’s Wedding Blooms – 5.29.16

Last month, I had the privilege of doing flowers for a beautiful couple’s wedding! I thought it would be fun to share some of the blooms from the day! Their wedding colors were cobalt blue, blush, and peach and the theme was Japanese/vintage travel. These gorgeous photos were taken by the extremely talented Billye Donya!

Elizabeth is a peony lover (who wouldn’t be!?) so I did a mix of blush and white peonies with peach garden roses (my personal favorite!) for a luxurious, romantic look. I added some blush astilbe to add texture, but keep the softness of the bouquet.

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We decided to do a floral comb rather than a crown for this gorgeous May wedding. I used spray roses, ranunculus, and astilbe for the pretty bride. I also made each bridesmaid a smaller comb with ranunculus!
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For the tables, we did taller centerpieces packed with peach and blush blooms – dahlias, peonies, roses, ranunculus, and queen anne’s lace. Each table also had the most amazing blue glass with various blooms.

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The bride and her bridesmaids in their amazing blue dresses!

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Such an adorable little flower girl wearing her flower crown of peach spray roses.

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I am so grateful to have been a part of this special day! Thank you Liz + Jon!

xo, Nicole

Kitchen Adventure: Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake

It’s strawberry season! And that means it’s time for an American classic, strawberry shortcake! Of course I love traditional strawberry shortcake – sponge cake, strawberries, and whipped cream. But, I thought it would be fun to try a slight twist on it. Instead of sponge cake I used Twinkies (yes, they still exist!) and also created my own little strawberry cream sauce of sorts to add a little extra something to it.

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Here’s what you need!

For the Strawberry Cream Sauce

  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Cool whip
  • Strawberries (at least 4-6 but you can add as many as you want!)
  • Food Chopper (for blending ingredients)

For the Shortcake

  • Twinkies (depending on how big or small you want to make this. I used two to make a decent sized one!)
  • Strawberries
  • Cool Whip

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Step 1: Combine all ingredients for the strawberry cream sauce in food chopper – Cool Whip, milk, vanilla extract, and strawberries. Blend until smooth. The consistency should be somewhere between watery and thick. Set this aside for now. PS: If you want to make this extra sweet, try adding a little bit of powdered sugar!

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Step 2: Cut Twinkies width wise so you have what looks like a Twinkie sushi roll! Layer these on the bottom of your bowl.

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Step 3: Drizzle strawberry cream sauce over Twinkie base. Then it’s time to add your strawberry layer.

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Step 4: Add desired amount of Cool Whip over your strawberries. I personally like A LOT, but feel free to do as much or as little as you want.

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And that’s it! SO easy and so yummy. Enjoy this fun season as the weather starts to heat up for summer!

xo, Nicole

 

Bloom Society Launch

Beginning Friday, May 13th I will start a “residency” at this amazing boutique called Serafina in San Marino! They carry so many gorgeous pieces and amazing gifts, I want to buy everything in the store, for real, check them out!

This partnership is called Bloom Society. Bloom Society is a weekly bouquet pick up at the “pick-up hub” at Serafina. I will arrange hand-picked blooms once a week that you can purchase ahead of time and pick up at Serafina on Fridays from 11:30am – 5:30pm.

Serafina is located at: 2670 Mission St, San Marino, CA 91108

You can become a member here or find out more info here!

I am thrilled about this fun opportunity and can’t wait to share pretty blooms with Bloom Society members.

xo, Nicole

 

Tobi Style Haul

I always love discovering new clothing sites with affordable, trendy clothes so when I discovered Tobi I was thrilled! They have so many unique pieces – I love all of their edgy tops and dresses. Here are some things I recently ordered that I’m loving! The best news is that all new customers get 50% off their first order! As if you needed another reason to check them out…

I absolutely adore this leopard midi skirt and can’t wait to wear it all summer long! It will be so cute with my favorite pair of black Birkenstocks. This burgundy cropped sweater is to die for – perfect for 90’s vibes or a chic street wear look. It’s also so comfortable and easy to wear!

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I paired the same leopard skirt with this ribbed crop top! It’s going to look great with my leather pleated midi skirt and a jean jacket. Can you tell I have a thing for midi skirts? This top is so versatile – a modern classic with a little edge.

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More from Tobi here: Dresses I Midi Dresses I Rompers I Crop Tops I Skirts I Cocktail Dresses

I currently have this maxi dress and this jacket in my cart on Tobi’s site…guilty! #nevertoomanyclothes

PS: Special thanks to my handsome husband for being my photographer this weekend!

xo, Nicole

The Cream Event 2016

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending The Cream Event at Cooper Design Space in downtown LA! It was so incredibly fun to see the beautiful work of so many talented vendors! I tried yummy food from Urban Palate, Colette’s, Jeni’s Ice Cream, CoolHaus, Beverly’s Bakery, and more! Way too much goodness in one evening. My personal favorites were the micro fried chicken sandwiches from Urban Palate and ice cream cookie sandwich from CoolHaus! I wasn’t able to bring my fancy camera, so a few snaps from my iPhone will have to do!

To kick things off, I have to share these cookies by Beverly’s Bakery! They were darling! All of the heart eye emojis.

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This dreamy set-up by The Idea Emporium with amazing floral work by Best Day Ever Floral Design was to die for! I loved the minty Marie Antoinette vibe they had going on! Look at the laser cut details on that table! Stunning!

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While I thought all of the floral work throughout the event was stunning, my favorite had to be the work by Catalina Neal in conjunction with The Shift Creative!  So many gorgeous blooms and the color palette was on point. I loved the choices she made and how she blended softer flowers with berries as well as other looser elements.

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Cream Event - The Shift Creative

Foxglove Los Angeles killed it with their grey/green and silver display! Loved her use of silver as a metallic alternative to the ever popular gold and copper. This was a fresh one!

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Hidden Garden Flowers paired up with Casa De Perrin and So Happi Together for this super luxurious set-up! I love all of the pinks and metallics they used! And these place settings are magic!

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Such a fun night with my sweet, talented friends. Check them out at event-science.com and hire them for your next event! I feel so inspired after last weekend! Can’t wait to see what next year holds.

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Until next time, friends!

xo, Nicole

 

My Favorite Things: Trader Joe’s

I know, I know, the title of this post seems like a no-brainer. Who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s? Over the last few weeks, my husband and I have really been trying to eat healthier. I had to get rid of every treat in our house! Yes, even the beloved Oreo Thins. (Those things are AMAZING if you’ve never tried them) It can be difficult to find healthy snacks or replacements for higher calorie staples like rice or pasta. I thought it might be fun to share my go-to items of the moment, the ones I just can’t live without.

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Roasted Coconut Chips                                                                                                                                I am ADDICTED to these. I just discovered them and have been eating them literally every day. If you are a coconut fan, you will love these too! They have the most perfect crunch and are sweet without going overboard. I love eating them by themselves or adding them to my yogurt and granola in the morning…YUM! I highly recommend giving these a shot. (160 Calories for half a bag!)

TJ - Riced Cauliflower

Riced Cauliflower                                                                                                                                          While it is super easy to make your own cauliflower rice at home with a food processor, I love how this eliminates the mess. I like sautéing this with some garlic salt and using it as a base for taco bowls (ground turkey, black beans, and corn) or PF Chang’s inspired turkey bowls. Totally worth having a bag (or two) on hand as a quick and incredibly healthy replacement for rice.

TJ - Spicy Black Bean Dip

Spicy Black Bean Dip                                                                                                                                    This stuff is amazing and so versatile! It goes amazingly well with an egg white omelet, pretzel sticks, or even vegetables. Be warned, once you start you can’t stop. The good news is that two tablespoons of this stuff is only 30 calories — that’s crazy!

TJ - Chicken SausageChicken Sausage                                                                                                                                            These come in a number of flavors including: Sweet Italian Style, Spicy Jalapeño, Sweet Apple, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Sweet Basil Pesto. I love chopping this up, grilling some onions, and pairing it with cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash. Super yummy and a great alternative to traditional proteins like steak, chicken, or fish.

TJ - Fruit WrapOrganic Fruit Wrap                                                                                                                                    If you want a sweet treat without the calories, these are awesome. They are 100% fruit, vegan, and gluten-free (if you’re into that sorta thing) My one suggestion for eating this is to peel back the wrap and eat rather than touching it with your fingers. These are super sticky, but oh-so-yummy!

TJ - Gone BananasGone Bananas                                                                                                                                                Frozen chocolate covered bananas are the most amazing ice cream replacement! If you love getting these at Disneyland like I do, then these are a dream! They are bite sized pieces, so less mess, but don’t let their size fool you! These babies taste just like their bigger brother – the full banana. (That sounded odd, but you know what I mean!)

If you haven’t tried some of these, DO IT! I don’t think you’ll regret it. Can’t wait to see what other discoveries I make at Trader Joe’s on our journey to healthier eating. Until next time, friends!

xo, Nicole

DESIGNLOVEFEST Target Haul

Ya’ll…if you haven’t seen the designlovefest for Cheeky line at Target, you are in for a treat! I have long been a fan of Bri Emery of designlovefest, her taste and style are the perfect blend of modern and whimsical elements. I was thrilled when I find out that she, like other awesome blogger/companies I enjoy (Sugar Paper & Oh Joy!) was doing a collaboration with the best store ever TARGET. I had to stock up and may or may not have enough paper plates to last me for the next six months…guilty!

Let’s start with my favorite piece of this collection – the amazing travel coffee cup set! Look at that color blocked/dotted cup people! The “Yay!” sleeve takes this one to the next level and I love the combination of black & white with mint and light pink. It’s just too cute for words. It’s almost too cute to use, almost….

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There is an awesome selection of plates in this line as well. I bought four different patterns to mix and match! This first photo is to show the difference in sizes. The black confetti dots and dark pink larger dots are the same size (10″) and the light pink larger dots and mint mixed pattern are the same size (9″), too! If you want to host a pizza party, but you’d rather not use boring, old paper plates, you need these! If you want to smile every time you don’t have to wash dishes after dinner, you need these! If you love all things modern, whimsical, and amazing, you need these! (Okay, okay, I’ll stop…but really!)

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While I would have loved to have purchased every single piece in this collection, I had to limit myself. I mean, how many paper plates does a household of two actually need? Check these out in the paper/napkin section of Target next time you’re there and grab them while you can! Everything in this collection is reasonably priced at $3.99 – what a steal! Especially for those coffee cups…I’m just obsessed!

Until next time, friends!

xo, Nicole

DIY Flower Crown

If you are heading to Coachella or just want a fun spring/summer accessory that you can make for yourself watch this video! There are different ways to make flower crowns, but this is a sturdy way to ensure your flowers won’t be falling off when you’re getting your dance on. Hope you enjoy and can’t wait to see what you come up with! A huge thank you to the awesome ladies of Michelle Phan’s ICON Network for allowing me to be a part of this fun project!

Posted in DIY

DIY Bohemian Glam Inspired Easter Eggs

This fun little project is inspired by my new found obsession for Moroccan wedding blankets thanks to the fabulous JL Designs! They are absolutely gorgeous, full of texture, and have an amazing bohemian glam look that I love. If you’ve never seen one check them out here and here. While I do like traditional Easter eggs with their cute pastel colors, I adore that these have a more sophisticated look. I used plastic dyeable eggs for these so that I can store them and use them for next year!

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Here’s what you need!

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  • Plastic Dyeable Easter Eggs (These are a brand called “Celebrate It” from Hobby Lobby. Note that these are a matte texture and not the plastic eggs that you put candy in.)
  • Textured Fabric Trimmings in Cream and Metallic Gold (I chose mostly tassel like creams and sparkly golds. You can can also do silver or copper if you’d rather!)
  • Hot Glue Gun (+ Glue Sticks)
  • Scissors

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Lay out your materials to plan out the pattern. Make sure to cut the trims so that they will fit around the different parts of the egg.

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I placed some kraft paper on my table to protect it from the hot glue. I also kept a paper plate nearby to set the glue gun on in between layers. Feel free to start wherever you would like to on the egg. Leave a little room at the top and bottom if you plan to cover the entire egg. I found that it is easier to fill in those spaces at the end. Once you get your first trim on, you will see how quickly it goes and how easy it is to follow the line of the piece before. (see below) Be careful not to touch the hot glue with your fingers when pressing the trims down. The amazing thing about this glue is how quickly it dries, so luckily it’s not hot for too long, but when it’s hot, it’s scorching!

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If you want to cover the entire egg, you will eventually have to repeat the layers depending on how many different trims you started with. Feel free to switch up the pattern, that is the beauty of Moroccan wedding blankets, they are unique!

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To finish off the egg on the top and bottom I recommend wrapping your trim in a spiral motion to cover the area.Easter7-2

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And there you have it folks, a Moroccan wedding blanket Easter egg! Who knew!?

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It’s fun to do a variation of completely covered and partially covered eggs. You can see what I chose to do below. The most important rule to crafting these is that there are no rules!

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Floral Fun: Spring “Watering Can” Arrangement

With Easter quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to put together a spring-inspired arrangement using a watering can as a vase. This would be super cute for an Easter table or for Spring in general. Here’s what you need and how to put together your very own!

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I wanted to make sure this arrangement had a mixture of fun textures, so I tried to choose blooms of varying shapes and sizes.

You Will Need:

  • pink heather
  • kale
  • lavender poms
  • pink tulips
  • boxwood greenery

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You Will Need:

  • Watering Can
  • Floral Shears (Mine are a brand called Ohana, the absolute best!)
  • Clear Floral Tape
  • Scissors (gold handle optional :))

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STEP 1: Fill the watering can with water, be careful not to fill it too high. Cut the clear floral tape into strips (it’s best to do this as you go in my opinion, rather than cutting them all ahead of time) and place from one side of the watering can to the other, leaving space in between each piece (these should all be going in the same direction). Once you have finished, you will repeat this process going the opposite direction to create a grid across the opening of the watering can. This will help hold your stems in place while you are designing.

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STEP 2: Begin placing your blooms and greenery between the tape. I started with kale, then began adding other flowers as I went. You can see step by step what I did below. Apologies for the photos where it may be hard to tell what was added! Hopefully this will be fairly easy to follow.

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Here I turned the vase the opposite direction so that you could see the other side of the watering can while I was placing the blooms.

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Greenery like the boxwood I added below gives the arrangement a more garden like feel!

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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifting Guide

Here are a few last minute gift ideas for your Valentine! Most of these items are available via Amazon Prime if you would like to order online to be shipped to you before this weekend, or you can find them in a local store. I’ve included links to each one to make it easier to find them 🙂

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1. Herschel Supply Duffel Bag – I actually got this bag for my husband for Christmas and he loves it! It is the perfect size for a quick getaway or even a week-long trip to somewhere warm where you don’t need to pack larger clothes like coats or sweaters. I highly recommend this!

2. Izola Flask – This was also a Christmas gift that I got for the man in my life! It fits amazingly into inner suit pockets, ideal for the Mad Man in your life…Don Draper anyone?

3. Rag & Bone Card Case – The color of this card case is amazing. I love that it is unique and ultra masculine! This is great for a simplistic guy that doesn’t want to carry around a bulky full-sized wallet.

4. Ray Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses – These glasses….I love them! I think they are the perfect blend of vintage meets ultra cool.

5. Worn & Wound Watch Strap – If you have a watch enthusiast in your life, he will LOVE Worn & Wound straps. They are such high quality products and really transform any timepiece. My husband adores these! (Hint: If you don’t know very much about watches, make sure to note the size of your partner’s watch before purchasing. There is a big difference between 18mm and 20mm, etc.)

6. Leatherman Multi-Tool – Men like to feel prepared for anything, so why not get yours a multi-tool to keep in their pocket or in their car?

7. Art of Shaving Set – This luxurious shaving set will make your guy feel like he has his own personal barber on call. There are three variations for this set. (The one here is the unscented version!)

8. Fitbit – Fitbits are a great way to help facilitate a healthier lifestyle. It’s also a fun way to get you and your partner involved in healthier habits together. Why not have a Fitbit competition for two where the one with the most steps each week wins a prize, gets to choose date night, etc.

My Favorite Things: The Lettermate

I have always been fascinated by calligraphy and the art of hand-lettering! If you like to pretend you can hand-letter like I do, or even if you actually have a talent for it, you NEED a Lettermate! This little tool saved my life this year while I was addressing Christmas cards. Last year, I sat there with a ruler and had to draw each line, spacing them as I went, needless to say, it took FOREVER! When I found the Lettermate through Pinterest it was like a little beacon of light and I just had to have one. Here are a few pictures from their site that show you some of the fun things you can use it for!

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This perfectly spaced stencil is ideal for creating sharp looking hand-lettering! If you don’t want to write while holding the stencil down, you can lightly trace the lines of the stencil and then erase them when you are done.

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This is one of my favorite looks you can achieve with the Lettermate. I love a cursive last name with a super cute simplistic font. I also adore placing the zip code on it’s own line centered underneath everything else, seriously…I do it every single time. #sorrynotsorry

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Little embellishments add that extra something special that lets your recipients know that you took the time to hand address their envelope. One of my current favorite things to do is a simple arrow beneath the zip code!

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I also love adding words like “Deliver To:” or “For the One and Only:” I feel like a cute little phrase makes that piece of mail all the more fancy and who doesn’t want to be fancy?

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You can see videos of the Lettermate in action here! This tool is honestly such a great investment and I cannot recommend it enough! Hopefully, one day I will be even half as good as the lovely hands that created the examples I shared above! But, until then, I will keep trying out new ways to make my mail look extra special using this awesome little helper!

(I was certainly not asked by Lettermate to share about them, nor am I affiliated with them. I just really believe in their product! NOW GO BUY ONE!) 🙂

 

Kitchen Adventure: Sea Salt Caramel + Pecan Crumble Bars

With Christmas this week (WHAT!?) I wanted to share a simple, yet yummy dessert that you can bring with you to your family dinners or get togethers. This is a recipe that came straight from Pillsbury.

Here is what you need!

  • 8×8 inch pan (mine is Pyrex)
  • Non-Stick Spray (not pictured here)
  • 1 roll of refrigerated Pillsbury sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour (It’s a good idea to separate these right off the bat as they will be used at different times)
  • 1/2 cup caramel
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Gold dot napkin, spatula, pine cones, and glitter antlers (optional) 🙂

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2: Coat pan with non-stick spray. I prefer to use the butter flavored kind!

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Step 2: In a bowl, break up the cookie dough and add 1/4 cup flour. Mix with a spoon, spatula, or your hands until well incorporated.

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Step 3: Take 3/4 of the dough and press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside the remaining dough for later. Bake for 16 – 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Keep in mind, you are going to put the pan back in the oven later to complete the dessert so be careful not to overcook in this step.

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Step 4: While the bottom layer is baking, pour the caramel and 2 tablespoons of flour into a bowl. Mix until well combined. The color will change to a milky caramel.

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PecanSeaSaltCrumbleBars (7 of 16)

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Steps 5 & 6: Once your bottom layer is done baking, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. You are then going to pour the caramel mixture evenly over the base. Once you have it spread out well, take 1/2 of the pecans and the 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and sprinkle over the caramel.

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Step 7: In another bowl, mix the remaining cookie dough with the remaining pecans until well combined. I think it is easiest to do this step with your hands. (freshly washed of course!)

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PecanSeaSaltCrumbleBars (10 of 16)

Step 8: Crumble pecan/cookie dough mixture over the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. I like to bake things for less time and add more time if necessary. I am very careful not to over-bake things, because who wants a crunchy dessert that is supposed to be soft and gooey?

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Step 9: Allow pan to cool for at least an hour before cutting or indulge immediately with some vanilla ice cream!

Step 10: Enjoy!

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2015 Holiday Gifting Guide

With Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to share some items that would make perfect gifts for friends/family or even for yourself. (We all have a wish list, right?) It can be tricky to buy gifts as we get older because most people are able to buy themselves the things they want, unlike when we were kids with no money and a list that was a mile long. These gifts range from $16.50 to $100, so there is definitely something for everyone in your #squad — besties, work friends, or sisters. Happy shopping!

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1. Sunglasses 2. Statement Necklace 3. Becca – Champagne Pop 4. Voluspa Candle 5. Glitter Makeup Bag 6. S’Well Bottle 7. Ombre Scarf 8. MAC Soar Lipliner 9. Confetti Wallet

Sugar Paper Los Angeles for Target – Christmas Haul

If you have never heard of Sugar Paper, you are missing out! They have the cutest, modern paper goods! They have been teaming up with Target to create affordable, chic planners and calendars for the last few years. This holiday season, they also came out with a whole collection of Christmas items! I was SO thrilled to see this at my local Target and decided that I must Sugar Paper theme my gifts for this year! They have some other color options available, but I decided to go with a Red, Mint, Gold, Black, and White scheme. I am a sucker for anything gold foiled and these products do not disappoint in that department. Here are the fun things I bought!

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The awesome thing about these three adorable bags is that while they are great for the holiday season, you can also use them year round for birthday gifts, baby showers, etc. I love the modern look of them — totally beats Santa Claus printed paper in my book! (Sorry, Santa!)

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I love the simplicity of this pretty white and gold bag. The material it is made out of feels very high quality, and at only $3.00 per bag, you really can’t beat that!

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So many fun prints available in this wrapping paper collection! Like the three small bags I shared above, the gold stripe and mint & gold dot papers can be used any time of the year! I love the sweet little mittens on the white paper. They are minimal, but make a statement, and I have never seen anything quite like them. I also loved the pop of red this cute “Merry Christmas” paper tied into the look. I like that it added that tasteful, yet classic Christmas feel.

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These gold trimmed white boxes are so cute, I might just keep them for myself to put keepsakes in. They are sturdy and easily stackable, perfect to just tie a pretty bow onto and call it a day.

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So long to losing labels year after year and having to buy new ones every Christmas. I love that this is a label dispenser in the style of a tape dispenser. The labels stay neatly inside until you are ready to use them so they are always protected. This is another great product in this line because it is not holiday specific!

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I will have to get a pretty gold pen to write in my best wannabe-calligrapher’s handwriting on these little tags! These will be great for presents with bows or ribbon! I also had to get these adorable gift toppers that look like tiny ornaments. I will probably use these for a holiday girls’ night idea that I am stirring up!

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Overall, I am super impressed with everything this collection has to offer! I hope they decide to do this year after year. If you love luxe paper goods, but don’t want to break the bank wrapping presents this year…run, don’t walk to your nearest Target now! Or you can see what they still have available online here.

xo                                                                                                                                                                         Nicole

My Favorite Things: Ankle Boots

I have been LOVING wearing ankle boots this fall! They are so comfortable and really help bring an outfit to the next level. I personally do not wear high heels on a regular basis, so if the heel of this style of boot scares you, don’t let it! Here are some cute, affordable (and I do mean affordable!) options that I found and wanted to share!

AztecBootI love the Aztec print of this boot! This type of pattern is very “in” right now and these go really well with a cute denim dress and a sun hat…flea market trip anyone? And you won’t believe the price of these!

LuLusBlueThese navy boots have a fringe accent that I just adore! I love these moody rock n’ roll booties and think they would be perfect to wear to a concert. I will definitely be ordering these for myself soon!

BlackCowboyThese cowboy boots are a fun alternative to the traditional mid-calf boot. Although I do think these are great for fall, they would also be perfect for summer BBQs or music festivals. Fun tip: Target also offers these in other colors!

JCPenneyRedThe color of these boots…I can’t even handle it! This color is called “Bordeaux” and I love it! I honestly don’t know if I could pick a more perfect Fall shoe color. These might be a bit trickier to wear, but I think the perfect outfit for these would be a black sundress, (yes, you can wear a sundress in California at this time of year) with a denim jacket over it. If you’re really feeling festive you could even add a cute floppy style hat like this one!

BrownForever21The rich brown of these boots makes me want to throw on a flannel shirt and run through some fall leaves while holding a pumpkin. If only we had actual fall leaves and cold weather in California…sigh. But seriously, I love the warm, cozy feeling I get just from looking at these!

BrownFringeBootI actually own these boots and I am obsessed with them! They go so well with dresses! If you couldn’t tell, I’m really into fringe right now, so the bohemian feel of these is right up my alley. Again, you can’t beat the price on these either!

BlackHMChic. Cool. Fierce. I love these! The sharp details paired with a smooth finish make for an ultra sophisticated, yet edgy boot that would work amazingly well for a night on the town! These would be stunning with an all black outfit.

Kitchen Adventure: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

Over the long weekend I decided I wanted to try a new dessert recipe. I found this yummy treat on Pinterest (of course!) and decided to try it out. Overall, it is a pretty easy recipe that I enjoyed making. One thing that I would have liked to have had to make this process easier is a hand mixer. I adore my KitchenAid stand mixer, but because you have to blend two different substances separately it would have been much easier to have an additional hand mixer to speed up the process, rather than having to wash my stand mixer bowl in between steps. These will last for a few days in your refrigerator, if you can help not eating them all before then. I hope you enjoy this sweet as much as I did!

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Floral Fun: My First Wedding Flowers

I’m so excited to share a few shots of the flowers I did for a lovely bride’s big day in August. It was my first time doing floral work for someone professionally, so I am extremely excited to share this with you!

Rosie’s wedding colors were the perfect summer palette: Peach, Coral, and Yellow. It was so much fun to play with these hues and find combinations of flowers that I felt worked really well for the feel she wanted on the biggest day of her life.

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For the bride’s bouquet I used: Peach David Austin Garden Roses, Peach Roses, Coral Roses, Butter Yellow Roses, Yellow Ranunculus, White Lisianthus, and White Tulips with pretty pastel toned Dusty Miller for the greenery. I loved her bouquet and the light-hearted joy that it exuded.

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For the bridesmaids bouquets, I decided to use: Butter Yellow Roses, Coral Roses, Peach Roses, Tuberose, Stock, White Lisianthus, Dusty Miller, and Seeded Eucalyptus. The bouquets looked really pretty against the yellow, coral, and peach colored bridesmaid dresses that each girl wore!

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For the groom’s boutineer, I decided to use: a Yellow Ranunculus, a leaf of Dusty Miller, and Seeded Eucalyptus. I didn’t want the boutineer to come off as too girly, so I decided to keep it very green with a pop of yellow (the bride’s favorite color). I finished this off with some floral wire instead of ribbon for a more masculine look as well.

I am so grateful that Rosie allowed me to do her flowers! It was such a great first experience and I look forward to hopefully doing more floral work for weddings/events in the future.

Weekend Project: Hairpin Leg Coffee Table

Recently, my awesome brother-in-law and sister-in-law helped us put together the DREAMIEST gold hairpin leg coffee table! I had to share a few shots of it in it’s new home. 🙂  We made it in one day and I am so incredibly happy with how it turned out! These are the instructions that we used. I am truly so grateful for all Chris and Laura did to help make this possible. Thank you both so so much! PS: Shoutout to my sparkly gold antlers, I don’t think I’ll ever get over you 😉

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Current Beauty Must-Haves

I have been watching a lot of beauty bloggers on YouTube lately which has re-ignited my love for make-up products! I want to share a few of my current must-haves.

BeautyBlenderThe Original BeautyBlender: I have always been wary of spending money on the official beautyblender, buying a few knock-offs here and there instead. But, let me tell you, I am so glad I finally decided to try out the real deal! It is amazing! There is something about the texture of this sponge that sets it apart from other blenders. It helps you get that flawless look quickly and evenly. Being a “use my finger to blend” girl in the past, this product has made me never want to go back. This blender won’t leave unwanted hairs in your foundation like most makeup brushes and it doesn’t soak up your foundation like a regular sponge. In my opinion, this product is worth the hype!

MACM.A.C Pro Longwear Concealer: Tons of beauty YouTubers talk about this product on a consistent basis, so I decided to try it out for myself. I love the creamy formula and high pigmented coverage this concealer provides! It goes on smooth and blends really well into my skin. One trick that I am loving with this product is getting a shade that is similar to your skin tone and then getting another that is a little lighter and mixing them. This really helps brighten up the under eye area!

TarteTarte Amazonian Clay Foundation: I really like this full coverage foundation! It has a smooth texture and blends really well with my beautyblender. It is not a runny foundation, which I personally like because I feel like it stays in place throughout the day. I also love the packaging of this product! It is not a glass bottle like so many other foundations so if (okay, WHEN) I drop it I don’t have to worry about it breaking and sending my foundation all over the room. I am now on my second tube of this stuff and I’m loving it!

GrowLusciousRevlon Grow Luscious Mascara: This stuff, I love this stuff. I have been using this mascara for quite a while now and whenever I try something new I always come back to it. I love its’ larger, fluffier brush applicator that allows me to sweep my lashes to the sky and leaves them looking full and voluminous. (I am personally not a fan of tiny silicone brushes, I feel like they clump my lashes together instead of separating them) Another awesome plus of this mascara is the growth formula within it that you apply to your lashes with each use. Each time you use this you are strengthening your lashes. This is an amazing drug store product that can definitely go head to head with a high end mascara in my opinion.

If you’ve never watched beauty bloggers, you should! It’s awesome to hear their opinions on products, especially if you are considering something new and aren’t sure if it’s worth the money. A few of my current faves to watch are: KathleenLights, JaclynHill, and KandeeJohnson.

Kitchen Adventure: Mini Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

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I found this great recipe through Pinterest that I decided to try out on my own. I altered the recipe slightly, but the original can be found here: http://www.sweetlittlebluebird.com/2012/11/snickerdoodle-donut-muffins.html These were a big hit with everyone who tried them and really easy to make! They are perfect for a brunch or breakfast, especially when you’ll want a spread of various treats but don’t want everything to be full-sized. These minis are ideal! This recipe will make about two dozen mini donut muffins, so be sure to adjust it for your own needs. Also, please note that there are two separate ingredient lists, the first is for the actual muffins themselves and the second little list is for the yummy cinnamon sugar coating that you will dip them in once they are done baking. Enjoy 🙂

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Floral Fun: Peachy Coral Dreams

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First of all, it is PEONY season, people! 🙂 Just a tip for any of my fellow peony lovers…check to see if your local Trader Joe’s has these beauties in stock and buy them while you can! They have the best pricing that I have seen thus far – $6.99 for five stems. The flower market typically sells this flower (yes, even when they are actually in season, which is May) for $16-$20 per five stems. This means you could get ten peonies at Trader Joe’s for less than you would pay for one bunch at the flower mart! That is insanity.

This weekend I wanted to play with a peachy/coral look based off of the coral peonies I picked up this week. So, I headed to the flower market on the Saturday before Mother’s Day (eek!) to pick out some blooms to go with my coral treasures. I do not recommend going to the flower mart on this day because everything is more expensive than usual and it is overly crowded. I still had a great time picking out my flowers for these arrangements, but I will never take my leisurely, not crowded strolls around the flower mart for granted again.

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For this centerpiece I used a combination of white hydrangea, peach spray roses, peach hypericum berries, and leather leaf greenery.

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This arrangement is a mixture of coral peonies, white hydrangea, peach hypercium berries, and leather leaf greenery.

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Of course, I had to add in one of my favorite decor items to these photos, my sparkly antlers!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Let’s all be sure to appreciate the women who gave and continue to give us everything! xo

 

DIY Watermelon Garland

Over the weekend, I saw the cutest watermelon banner kit at Paper Source, so I decided to make one for myself. This is what the original garland looks like.

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This little project is so simple and can totally be done while you’re sitting at home watching TV 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need: Circular objects to trace (as you can see, mine are random things I found in the house), twine, green, cream/white, and red/pink colored paper, glue stick/adhesive, sharpie, pen or pencil to trace, and scissors.

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Step 1: Trace your first circle. I started with the largest circle which will be the the outer layer of the watermelon. Trace as many circles as you’d like, keeping in mind the length that you want your garland to be in the end.IMG_1807

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Step 2: Now you are ready to cut out your circles!IMG_1819

Steps 3-6: Continue this process for the other two circle sizes! Keep in mind that the the cream paper should be used with the medium sized circle and the red paper should be used with the smallest circle. 🙂IMG_1829

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Step 7: Draw black polka dots on your red circles. These are the watermelon seeds! (If you prefer, this part can be done after you have traced and before you cut out the shapes.)IMG_1848

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Step 8: Glue your circles together. Green will be on the bottom, followed by cream/white, and finally the red/pink circle! You should now have a cute little circular watermelon.IMG_1862

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Step 9: Fold your completed circles in half and glue them together over the twine. This will create a darling watermelon half that is visible from either side of the garland when it is hung. IMG_1870

Step 10: Enjoy! This garland is so fun for summer BBQs and parties. I’m thinking of using this same process to make a lemon banner next!IMG_1899

 

My Favorite Things: Statement Necklaces

Statement necklaces are certainly not a new invention, but lately I have been extra obsessed with them. I love the look they add to an outfit. They can be bold, feminine, and edgy all at the same time. I put together a few reasonably priced pieces to share. Of course there are tons of these necklaces out there, but sometimes finding an affordable one can be tough. Enjoy!

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1. Pave Collar 2. Druzy 3. Gold Rhinestone 4. Turquoise 5. Multicolor 6. Chain 7. Red & Blue 8. Mint

Kitchen Adventure: Cadbury Mini Egg Milkshake

MilkshakeI don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with Cadbury Mini Eggs. Seriously, if I have one, I will eat the entire bag. I thought it would be fun to try my own version of this yummy treat that I have seen on Pinterest. My recipe will make two shakes that are on the thicker side. If you want a thinner shake, make sure to use less ice cream, and vice versa if you want one that’s a little thicker. See below for what you need and what you do. It’s SO easy. Like REALLY easy. Enjoy this fun Easter treat as you prepare for your celebrations this Sunday.

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Floral Fun: Letter S

When I found out my niece, Scarlett, was having an “Alice in Wonderland” themed party I thought it would be fun to create a special floral letter “S” to be used at her party this past weekend.

For the flowers I used a mixture of: hydrangea, spray roses, standard roses, and ranunculus. The hydrangea are awesome for this style because one bunch can be cut into smaller pieces that you can use throughout the shape. They also cover a fair amount of space and add another texture to the arrangement. I also highly recommend having spray roses on hand because they were perfect for filling in little gaps where other flowers would have been too large. I did not expect to depend on them as much as I did, so definitely take that into consideration when choosing your flowers!

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Overall, I was pleased with how this project turned out and can’t wait to play with this style of arrangement in the future with different shapes/letters.

DIY “Luck You” Banner

I have always found it so hard to find decor that isn’t tacky or over the top for St. Patrick’s Day. I love my decor simplistic with a little sparkle and that can be a tough combo to come by. Today, I want to share a little something I made for my home this holiday. It’s easy to make and I love the end result!

“LUCKY YOU” BANNER DIY

LuckyYou (1 of 1)Here’s what you’ll need to make this craft: cardstock, 1/8 inch hole punch (like the one you can get here), banner template (I bought the cardboard one seen above from Hobby Lobby, but you can also print one at home), MAMBI Letter Stickers (you can buy them through Amazon here, but you can also find these at Hobby Lobby as well), scissors, and twine. Also, not pictured, but probably good to have on hand would be a pen or pencil.

Step 1: Trace and cut your flag shape out of the card stock.LuckyYou2 (1 of 1)

Step 2: Once you have cut out enough flags for how many letters you will need, place the template on top of one of the flags, lining up all edges. You will then take your hole punch and punch right where the holes are on the template.LuckyYou3 (1 of 1)

Step 3: Your flags should look something like the photo below. Continue until all of your flags have holes.LuckyYou4 (1 of 1)

Step 4: It’s now time to add your letter stickers to each flag. Do your best to center each letter on your flags. I use the peak between the two bottom points at the bottom as my guide.LuckyYou5 (1 of 1)

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Step 5: It’s now time to string your twine through your flags.LuckyYou7 (1 of 1)

Step 6: Your banner should start to look like this, continue on until all of the letters are on the same piece of twine. Don’t worry too much about spacing them out until you are ready to cut the twine.LuckyYou8 (1 of 1)

Step 7: Before you are ready to cut your twine, space out your letters, making sure to have enough string on either side of your words to actually hang your banner.LuckyYou9 (1 of 1)

Step 8: Hang your banner in your home! Remember, you can always shift your letters to make sure your words are centered once your twine is secure. LuckyYou10 (1 of 1)

I hope this was helpful in giving you ideas for your own banner. You could use different types of paper to make one for other holidays/events as well! You could even use paper with a pattern like stripes or polka dots to make this a little more fun looking!

Enjoy 🙂

 

“Game of Thrones” Inspired St. Patrick’s Day Table

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Happy Marcht! It’s hard to believe we are already in March, wasn’t it just Christmas? My new table has a subtle St. Patrick’s Day vibe with a Game of Thrones inspired aesthetic. I hope you enjoy this table as much as I enjoyed putting it together 🙂Table2 (1 of 1)

I chose a more natural look for my flowers, utilizing ranunculus, lisianthus, and various greenery. I wanted the arrangement to seem like I could have just picked some flowers off of a hillside nearby. I also chose a fur table runner for this spread to help incorporate the wild feel that is “Game of Thrones”.

Table3 (1 of 1)I thought it would be fun to paint some horseshoes gold for a “lucky charm” element. I like the subtlety and glam that these bring to each setting.

Table5 (1 of 1)I found these awesome green depression glass goblets through both eBay and Etsy. I love the color of them and think they add a nice vintage green touch to the table.

Table9 (1 of 1)I was able to snag these vintage brass candlesticks from eBay as well, and I am so glad I did! I absolutely love them and think they are stunning with the rest of the decor on this table. I will definitely be using these again in the future.

Table11 (1 of 1)Overall, I’m really happy with how my vision came to life for this table. I love transforming where we eat daily in our little apartment into something more elegant.

Table10 (1 of 1)And sometimes when you have leftovers from putting together your arrangement, you end up with these little cuties in your kitchen. 🙂

 

DIY 2-in-1 “Galentine’s Day” Crafts

Today I’m going to share a quick 2-in-1 “Galentine’s Day” craft that is perfect for a last minute soiree with your best girls this weekend. The great thing about these two is how easy they are and how affordable they are to make!

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Below you will see all that you will need to create these two fun crafts! The paper mache hearts on the left are actually ONE box that I found at Hobby Lobby! They come in a variety of sizes, I chose one with a width of about 6 inches. I love that you get two things from one item! Hello, resourcefulness!

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PART ONE: PAPER MACHE CONVERSATION HEART

Materials: top of paper mache heart box, upper case white letter stickers, paint brush/sponge, acrylic paint (any color of your choice)

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Paint the top of the heart box with the acrylic paint (no need to paint the back side since it will probably not be seen by anyone, but you totally can if you’d like!) I painted a few coats since the paper mache is very absorbent.

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Once the paint has dried (it cannot be wet at all for this next part!) Figure out what cute conversation heart phrase you’d like to use. I chose “Be Mine” for this one!

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If you’d like, you can use a ruler to make sure your letters are centered. Then all you have to do is peel and stick! So easy! Put it on a bookshelf, use it as decor for your table, hang them from the ceiling, whatever your “heart” desires! (No pun intended :))

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 PART TWO: PINATA STYLE HEART

Materials: bottom of paper mache heart box, tissue paper, scissors, and clear glue

BeginCut a strip of tissue paper fold it in half and cut small slits along the bottom of it, creating a fringe effect (I folded mine in half so that my color would appear darker because the tissue paper is so thin)

CutPlace a line of clear glue at the bottom of the heart. You want to start at the bottom and work your way up.

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Place your first piece of tissue paper on to the glue, don’t worry if it’s not perfectly straight! Prepare your next strip of tissue paper (I chose to do different colors) and repeat the same glue process as before, placing the clear glue just above where the first tissue paper ends. (You want the fringe to overlap in order to create the “pinata” look)

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Follow the same process with your next strip of tissue paper, and so on and so forth.

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When you get to the top, your heart might look something like this 🙂 But if you are more precise with your measuring it may look a little more put together. Get ready to trim the excess paper so that you can get back to the heart shape that lies beneath all of these layers! I also added some non fringed paper to the sides of the heart to give it a more finished look.

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When you are done “grooming” it, your heart will look like this! It’s not perfect, but I actually love the charm of it.

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Here’s how I used these two little crafts to add a little cuteness to our mostly masculine apartment decor.

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My Favorite Things: Cake Stands

Okay, okay, I know the title of this post seems a little redundant, I mean, who doesn’t love cake stands? I, for one, adore them and have quite a few in my arsenal (and I’m sure I’ll keep adding more) for any sweet treat that needs displaying. I think cake stands are one of the quintessential host/hostess staples that everyone needs. One of the best places to find affordable cake stands is actually Home Goods! They have several to choose from and they typically don’t cost over $20. Because Home Goods doesn’t have a website where you can see their merchandise, I’m going to go ahead and share some of my favorite internet finds!

PurpleGlassCakeStand

I love how ornate this stand is! It has that vintage, depression glass feel without the antique price tag. I also love not having to worry about breaking a family heirloom (I mean, it happens!) You can purchase this beauty here.

PBCakeStandThis pretty turquoise stand is from one of my favorite places, Pottery Barn! It has a classic design with a touch of that rustic/homegrown feel that Pottery Barn is known for! Check it out in this color and many others here!

LeCreusetCakeStand

I love this, I love this, I love this! The height is an awesome alternative as most bases are roughly around 6 inches tall. This stand is just what you need for a dessert table with varying heights to add dimension. They have other color options as well which you can take a look at here!

MosserCakeStand

This is one of my favorite designs! I have this stand in both Jadeite (pictured above) and a pretty pastel pink. These can be a little pricey, but the quality is incomparable. They are a gorgeous colored milk glass made by Mosser Glass Company. Check them out here at my go-to party supply site, Shop Sweet Lulu!

PinkGlassCakeStand

If you have never checked out BHLDN, you are missing out! They are purveyors of lovely bridal and party products! This adorable pink glass stand is perfect for a tea party. There are two sizes featured here.

MetalCakeStand

I have a galvanized cake stand exactly like this from Crate & Barrel, but unfortunately they have stopped selling it. At any rate, I was able to find a lovely substitute on Overstock.com! This is great if you like an industrial feel (and it’s one that the men in your life won’t think is too girly!). I use mine year-round, but especially during the fall! You can get your very own here.

WoodenCakeStand

Who say’s cake stands are just for dessert? I think this pretty wooden stand would be ideal for cheese or bread (or both). It’s nice to have a versatile piece like this one in your corner. You can purchase it here.

MacysStandDetails, details, details! This stand looks like it was picked up from a tiny shop in Italy or France, but it’s actually from Macy’s! This would pair quite nicely with wooden or galvanized details because of it’s rustic design elements. Get one for yourself here.

Valentine’s Day Table Inspiration

I wanted to share a gold and pink inspired Valentine’s day spread I put together in our apartment! If you want to host a little something special for you and your girls this holiday, check out some of these simple but festive ideas.

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Valentines (5 of 9)I put together this flower arrangement with gorgeous garden roses and dusty miller that I found at the downtown Los Angeles flower market. If you have never been, I highly recommend it! Warning: you may become addicted to going there like I am. Be sure to check out the hours of operation here before heading down there! I purchased this gold and white sequin chevon runner from a seller on Etsy, I love how glam it is. My husband bought the gold glitter utensils for me for Christmas. I’m not sure of the brand, but I have seen similar ones at Home Goods, so keep your eyes out for them 🙂

Valentines (8 of 9)I found these fun brass deer from an eBay seller. You can also find them at various flea markets and through some Etsy shops!

Valentines (6 of 9)I love adding a little sparkle (of course!) and a striped straw to any drink…instantly darling! You can find out how I made this sequin drink stirrer here.

Valentines (4 of 9)

Valentines (1 of 9)

Valentines (2 of 9)I love having these cute mini cupcake stands at each place setting because I feel like they make even the most simple thing just a little more special. The cupid’s arrow topper in the picture above is part of an adorable set from Williams-Sonoma.


I thought it would be nice to do a Valentine’s Day themed table that wasn’t over saturated with hearts (although I love them) or totally on the nose. I think the simplicity of this set-up upholds the integrity of this fun holiday while holding it’s own as a great girls’ night centerpiece.