Author:
• Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

I’d like to start this post with an apology. Life has been busy the last few months. Not just busy, but downright ridiculous and the blog has suffered from a lack of attention. My New Years’ resolution to slow down and savor each moment is not going so well. So let’s pause, take it for what it is and move on to something worth your precious time. Like a fun little birthday bash I threw (with a lot of help from my mother-in-law) for my four year old son.

One of Brody’s favorite movies is Finding Nemo and one of his favorite songs is Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin…so it was only fitting to make the theme of his party connect without going the obvious Disney route which I try to avoid at all costs. I started by creating a Pinterest board which has drastically improved my party planning skills. I was able to pull almost all aspects of the event together in one convenient spot. With the help of the greatest M-I-L on earth, I think we gave Brody an experience he’ll remember.

 

The Cover of the Invitation

the cover of the invitation

The inside of the invitation

the inside of the invitation

 

The invite set the tone for the whole party. Although it was loosely inspired by Finding Nemo and although my son is four, I wanted it to be a little more sophisticated. Call me crazy. I know. I am. I designed them and printed them out on my printer, 2-up. I didn’t need many, so cutting and scoring went pretty quickly.

 

Brody blowing out his candle

Brody blowing out his candle

A closeup of the fish cookie that adorned the cake

a closeup of one of the fish cookies that adorned the cake

The table decorated with driftwood, shells and paper seahorses

the table decorated with driftwood, shells and paper seahorses

Sea embellishments made from fondant

sea flora made from fondant

 

For this particular event, almost everything was made by us — The decorations, food, drinks and desserts. Most satisfying (other than the look on Brody’s face) was the vanilla cake with buttercream frosting decorated with cookies and sea flora made from fondant. See the inspiration for the cake here. The fondant came in pink and yellow but we dyed the frosting for the cookies and the cake.

 

cookies

octopi, seahorses, angelfish, starfish, sharks, whales, and lobsters

Organizing the cookies / Sharks / Frosting / Purple Octopi

organizing the cookies / blue sharks / frosting a seahorse / purple octopi

 

I found a yummy recipe for punch and although it wasn’t the color I really wanted, I was happy with the “sea foam” on the top. I saw quite a few blue options but they didn’t sound very appetizing. I printed out some clip art of fish, crabs and jellyfish (the same I used on the invitation) and attached them to the straws.

 

The punch and cookies made for a colorful display

the punch and cookies made for a colorful display

Sea creatures decorate the straws

sea creatures decorate the straws

A pretty pink punch with a perfect "sea foam" topping

a pretty pink punch with a perfect “sea foam” topping

 

We didn’t go absolutely nuts on the decorations, although I did make a Happy Birthday Banner, a paper dot and tissue paper tassel garland and a really fun octopus that we hung from the ceiling. I found tutorials on the crepe paper tassels here and simply punched out 1″ circles with a hole puncher and taped them back to back to striped baker’s twine.

 

The Octopus

the octopus

Garland, Happy Birthday Banner and Octopus in the background

paper dot and tassel garland, happy birthday banner and octopus in the background

 

And finally, the menu. Since it was a really small family party, I kept it pretty simple.

-  Fish Tacos with Guacamole, Cilantro-Lime Slaw and Pineapple Salsa

-  Fruit Salad

-  Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream

-  Swedish Fish, Parmesan Goldfish and Sea Creature Cookies

-  Pretty Pink Punch

Have you hosted a party lately? Made an interesting cake? Found a fun way to decorate for an event? Design a pretty invitation? I’d love to hear about it!

Author:
• Monday, February 24th, 2014

With all the snow that has fallen in the Northeast, we’ve had our fair share of cabin fever. Thankfully, we’ve had a front row seat to New York Fashion Week – in front of our computers anyway. Here are a few of our runway favorites from Fall 2014:

Fall 2014 Looks We Love

 

Looking ahead, stunning prints and romantic silhouettes are in the air. When it comes to the shoes — cobalt is the color; knee high boots and T-straps are the trend.

Harpers Bizarre reports that the hottest trends are:
· Color: Baby blue and fuchsia
· Look: The oversized cardigan and menswear
· Comfort: Shearling, shearling and more shearling
· Style: A western hat

Author:
• Friday, January 24th, 2014

I have always been one of those girls-on-the-go. Now I am a mom-on-the-go with a 4 1/2 month old little boy! I feel so lucky to have this little man with me all day and I have really tried to keep up with my daily routines like showering and changing out of my pajamas!

 

New Mom-on-the-Go



 

My beauty routine is simple: lipstick and mascara. Adapting my personal style has been fun yet a tad challenging. I want to put on something that I love yet it must be comfortable…and easily laundered. I need to be able to sit on the floor to play with the baby and run errands and still look put together without a change of clothes in between. Unless I have to…

Author:
• Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
On cold, snowy days we love soup. Butternut squash, lentil, mushroom, black bean, you name it. One of our favorite household recipes and one that’s in heavy rotation during the winter is Chicken Escarole Soup. It is easy and delicious.

 

Chicken Escarole Soup
Chicken Escarole Soup

 

 
Ingredients
4 cups Chicken Broth 
1/2 cup chopped carrots 
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 packs of beef bouillon
2 packs of chicken bouillon
salt to taste 
pepper to taste 
1/3 cup olive oil
1 lb chicken 
1 teaspoon red pepper (optional if you like it spicy)
1/2 cup lentils (dry) 
3 cups of escarole 
 
Directions 
Boil chicken. Shred it. Add the chicken broth into a large pot. Add all other ingredients except the escarole. Allow all ingredients to simmer for 15 minutes. Add escarole and simmer for at least 45 minutes.
 
Enjoy! 
 
Author:
• Thursday, January 02nd, 2014

We hope that 2013 was all you hoped for and that 2014 will be more than you can imagine. We also want to thank you for reading and taking time from your busy schedule to stop by to see us. May the new year bring peace, love and happiness!

 

DLP 2014

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Author:
• Monday, December 23rd, 2013
I’m normally overcome with emotion this time of year, but it seems to be a little exaggerated at the moment. Looking back at 2013, I have so many wonderful memories. The Brinton Wedding:  Working with a childhood friend to help his beautiful family with their wedding attire was such an honor. The Walz Wedding:  Having the pleasure to work with my dear friend Brianna to create a special accessory for her big day. Her vision and style really shined through.

 

The bride wears a custom Dessa Lea Snake Charmer cuff bracelet

The bride wears a custom Dessa Lea Snake Charmer cuff bracelet

 

Here’s wishing the Brinton and Walz families a very Merry First Christmas as Mr. & Mrs.!
 
This is a year of firsts for my family as well. We welcomed the birth of our son, Massimo, in September. Becoming a mother has been the most amazing, rewarding gift. I treasure each and every day and savor every moment more than I ever have. As we celebrate our first holiday season, here are a few of my favorite things:

 

Massimo's first Christmas ornaments

Massimo’s first Christmas ornaments

One more stocking graces our mantel

One more stocking graces our mantel

 

Have a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year!
Author:
• Friday, December 20th, 2013

There are a tremendous number of talented people out there sharing their designs for free! Since I’m in wrapping mode, I thought I’d pull a few of my favorites together and share with you. Just download, print, trim and adorn. Happy Holidays!

 

The_Gift_Tag

 

1. PEACE LOVE AND COLOUR BLOCK Gift Tags from eat drink chic.

2.  DANGLY Gift Tags from Lemon Squeezy.

3. WOODLAND Tags from Studio Morran.

4. CHALKBOARD CHRISTMAS Tags from Lia Griffith.

5. TYPOGRAPHIC Gift Tags from eat drink chic.

6. And don’t miss the ones we designed here, herehere, here and here.

 

A huge thank you to all the artists who provide these great designs!

Author:
• Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Whenever I’m in need of inspiration or just a mad dose of the holiday spirit, I check in at two of my favorite shops: Valley Forge Flowers and Terrain at Styer’s. They have a lot in common — both are shops, garden centers and little cafes — and both incorporate the simplest, sweetest things nature has to offer to create beautiful environments. Love, love, love.

Holiday happiness at Terrain at Styer's

Holiday happiness at Terrain at Styer’s

A simple mantle with a lot of character

A simple mantle with a lot of character

 

This wasn't a fireplace - but made to look like one using birch logs and evergreens.

This wasn’t a fireplace – but made to look like one using birch logs and evergreens.

Love this tree decorated with balls of yarn and felt ornaments

Love this tree decorated with balls of yarn and felt ornaments – Valley Forge Flowers

A romantic tree with dried flowers and red ribbon

A romantic tree with dried flowers and red ribbon at Valley Forge Flowers

 

 

 

Author:
• Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

In my opinion, the key to a successful stocking is chocolate…as well as some basic staples that seem a little less so when they’re made with organic ingredients or packaged well. Some of my favorite items can be found at Whole Foods and in the time it takes you to circle the store, you can put together a pretty decent care package for someone you love.

 

Dessa Lea Stocking Stuffers

 

1. White Sage + Wild Mint Tea  $12.99

2. Kiss My Face Sunscreen  $16.99

3. Burt’s Bees Natural Bar Soap  $3.99

4. Radius Mint Vegan Dental Floss  $3.99

5. Theo Organic + Fair Trade Peppermint Stick  $4.00

6. Lake Champlain Sea Salt Caramels  $13.49

7. Chocolate Santa  $1.79

Author:
• Friday, December 13th, 2013

Here are a few more gift ideas for the perfect party host.

 

EtsyHostess_PartII

 

1. Fiona Apron from Anthropologie: $34 - Ultra feminine  with enough shine and glam for the whole party.

2. Slide Boxes from Laura Zindel: $39 -  A beautiful unique hiding spot.

3. Lovely Thoughts Note Cards from LoveFeast: $39 – Note cards, place settings. Made with handmade paper

4. MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check Canisters: $70 – $78 each – A traditional piece to add to any home.