GIVEAWAY! $50 Hallmark spree

 

While at BlissDom this year (read my recap) I met some fabulous brands, one of which is letting me give a little something, something away! My new friends at Hallmark are offering one lucky reader a $50 giftcard that can be used for these fabulous personalized party plates and/or personalized greeting cards at Hallmark.com!

Have you seen the personalized plates? I hadn’t until I walked into BlissDom and saw Allie and Barbara’s faces on plates we were using for one of the snack sessions. FUN! And I love that not only can you add a photo, but you can add text, or just text (note the comedy in the black and white sample above. I can only wish I were still 29…).

The black and white would be perfect with my divine, bubbly or blossoms collections! And I just LOVE the floating dots in the next row. Those would be fun with my deep blue sea collection and the chocolate cake plates below that are perfect with a number of my pink girly girl birthday collections. I could go on and on!

They also have a number of themed plate designs for birthdays, baby showers, teen parties and more!

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TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

  1. Visit Hallmark.com and let us know what fabulous design you will order if you win! Leave a comment below to enter!
  2. To earn a second entry, like The Celebration Shoppe on Facebook! Be sure to come back here and leave a comment so we know you’ve joined us (and we have your e-mail)! 
  3. To earn a third entry, tweet the following, I entered to win $50 from @hallmarkpr on @celebshoppe http://tinyurl.com/4zkuk9v  

Deadline to Enter is Friday, February 25. Winner will be announced and e-mailed the giftcard code on Monday, February 28.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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a peek into BlissDom 2011

I shared in early January that I had two big trips scheduled for the month. The first was the Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doers event in New York, and the second was the BlissDom 2011 blogger’s conference in Nashville.

I have to pause and share this picture of Laurie of Tip Junkie, Courtney of Pizzazzerie, me, Chris of Celebrations At Home and Amy of Living Locurto and co-founder of I Heart Faces all standing with a sign for the new CMT show Working Class (we got to meet the star and view the premier). And behind the camera was the super talented Angie of The Arthur Clan and the other co-founder of I Heart Faces.  I “heart” all of these women!

I really wanted to go to BlissDom in 2010 and it just didn’t work out so when the 2011 registration opened up in the fall I booked early. There was no way I was missing it again. And now that I’m back home I couldn’t be more thrilled with my experience. I met fabulous women in person that I’ve been talking to online for years, I made new friends and I was completely energized by extraordinary speakers including

the keynote speaker and author of The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, who talked about the power of vulnerability. This is a snapshot of a slide (in a very dark room mind you) from her presentation. I love this because it is simple reminder to all of us who put ourselves out there for the world to read and see everyday. Some will love what you do and others will not. Don’t fret or be boastful, simply do your best and be proud of it.   

And then there was the closing note speaker, Scott Stratton of UnMarketing. Okay, so this wasn’t his presentation. It’s another fabulous image taken by Angie of The Arthur Clan at one of the evening events, but this gives you some insight into his personality. I would sum him up as a real. smart. crazy. fun. guy… that you should listen to if you want to be successful in social media. You can find him on his blog at UnMarketing, on twitter at @unmarketing and his book is none other than UNMarketing (which by the way, per Scott, is not about marketing for the U.N.). {smirk}

I also loved that they offered tiered breakout sessions based on what you were looking to learn. Since I’ve been around for a while I went to all the professional sessions, but they offered just as many for begginning bloggers. There truly was something for everyone!

And these are some shots from my little point and shoot (except for the last image) of just a few of the wonderfully talented bloggers I got to spend time with on the second evening. I wish I had more pictures, but to be honest I was so absorbed in the moment I forgot my camera most of the time. In the top image, from left to right, Courtney of Pizzazzerie, Chris of Celebrations At Home, me, Angie of The Arthur Clan and I Heart Faces and Amy of Living Locurto and I Heart Faces. Second image is the lovely Laurie of Tip Junkie and me. Third image is me, Bridget of Bake at 350 and Cheryl of Tidy Mom. And the bottom image is of  Chris of Celebrations At Home, me, Matt Kearney and Michelle Branch (our entertainment for the evening), Courtney of Pizzazzerie and Laurie of Tip Junkie.

And I can’t end this post without also mentioning the BlissDom sponsors. Alli and Barbara, the BlissDom masterminds, outdid themselves by rounding up some fabulous companies including Intel, Hallmark, Blue Bunny, Clorox, GE, Yoplait, ConAgra, Kellogg’s, Lifetime Moms and so many more. One of which has given me a little something something to giveaway. Make sure you stop in tomorrow for your chance to win! If you’re a party girl it’s right up your alley!

As always, I hope you’re inspired. AND I sincerely hope that if you’re a blogger I’ll see you next year at BlissDom. Trust me. You won’t regret it. But if you simply can’t wait that long, Alli and Barbara are offering audios, videos, transcripts and slides from all the events. Just visit BlissDom At Home to learn more!

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mini space shuttle cakes

I love getting in the kitchen, grabbing everything from the pantry and just creating. I know what you’re thinking… and yes, it is a huge mess when I’m done. But sometimes I come up with fun things like these mini space shuttle cakes for my new Space birthday party collection!

Here’s what you’ll need for each shuttle cake:

  • 1 Hostess cake (select the ones with the flattest tops from the box)
  • 1 Little Debbie cake (you may have to trim the end with a straight edge knife so it stands flat)
  • 1 mini Reese’s Cup
  • 1 Hershey’s Kiss
  • 1 Keebler Grasshopper cookie
  • 2 orange Spree candies
  • 2 tablespoons of icing tinted orange

Assembly is super simple:

  1. Unwrap all of the ingredients
  2. Score a grasshopper cookie (as shown in the image above) for the shuttle’s tail fins using a straight edge knife (don’t use serrated; it will make the cookie splinter)
  3. Tint the icing orange using gel food coloring (liquid will make your icing runny) and melt it in the microwave for 8 seconds
  4. Using the Hostess cake as a base, put a small amount of icing in the center and top it with the Little Debbie cake. Do the same to apply the Reece’s Cup making sure that you don’t use too much or it will leak out the sides
  5. Using the remaining icing, cover the Hershey’s Kiss and the cookie pieces. Allow them to set for at least five minutes
  6. Finally, add the Kiss, tail fins and windows (Spree candies) with another small dot of icing each and serve 

As always, I hope you’re inspired and stay tuned for more from our new Space birthday collection!

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corn flake meteorite candies

As I posted on Tuesday, we’ve been busy styling a new Space birthday party collection this week. And when we style new collections we like to share fun treat ideas, crafts and more to go along with them. For the new Space collection we made these meteorites, or corn flake balls. They are actually a long-time family favorite… okay, my mom is addicted to them, brings them to every family function and refuses to seek treatment, but what can I do because I love them too?!

The best part is, they’re super easy to make, only require a few ingredients and take no time at all. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Karo syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • wax paper

Easy steps:

  1. Mix sugar and Karo in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly
  2. When thoroughly combined, bring to a boil for one minute
  3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla and peanut butter until well blended
  4. Stir in corn flakes
  5. Allow to cool briefly and roll into balls on wax paper (TIP: Dampen hands with cold water so the hot mixture doesn’t stick to your skin… Ouch!)

Check back next week for more ideas and a look at the entire collection. As always, I hope you’re inspired! And stop over at Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com for more of my Kellogg’s treat ideas.

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new space birthday collection!

I’m super excited about our newest birthday party collection. As anyone who visits even occasionally can tell you, I have a budding scientist on my hands (his science birthday party and the collection) and his latest love of the sciences has everything to do with space. I’m not sure if this will be the theme he settles on for his seventh birthday party in the fall, but he’s loving it for now!

The custom invitation and thank you notes are already in the shoppe and we’re styling the printables and table decor now with some fun treat and craft ideas. The printables will include our normal beverage wrappers to dessert tags and we’ve thrown in a few new ones like astronaut patches and gable box favor labels.

Visit us here, on facebook and on twitter over the next several days for updates on the photo shoot, crafts and yummy treat ideas. And as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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heart Valentine card crafts

We LOVE hearts for Valentines, but why not get a little creative with the kids this year?! We used the simple heart shape to make this adorable butterfly. And yes, those are candies for the segmented body. {NOTE: Many red cherry chews were consumed during the crafting of this card.}

 

But I think my favorite is this heart balloon card. It’s so super simple. We just cut three pieces of cross-stitch thread, tied them at the base, cut out three hearts and glued it all into place. Done!

And don’t forget that we’re also giving away dinosaur and owl cello toppers because we “heart” all of our fabulous customers and friends!

Happy weekend everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Dreamers Into Doers event ’11

I posted last Monday that I was off to meet Martha Stewart for the second annual Dreamers Into Doers event in New York City. I admittedly expected it to be exciting, entertaining, and to get the opportunity to peek in her prop rooms (not that I did that…), but what I didn’t fully expect was how much I would enjoy spending time with so many talented and mentally beautiful women entrepreneurs. They were beautiful on the outside too, as you can see from these pictures, but I was so inspired to find that they were equally lovely on the inside. I’m excited to say that I made many, many new friends.  

These pics in this top collage were all taken at the Meet & Greet on the first night. In the top picture, left to right starting in back: Andrea & Toni of  The TomKat Studio, Lindi of Love The Day, me, Jill of Modern Cupcake, Kim of  The TomKat Studio, Nancy of A to Zebra Celebrations. Front row: Courtney of Pizzazzerie, Caryl of ROAR Events, Kelly of The Party Dress, Rebecca of Fresh Chick Design Studio and Andrea of Dolce Drive.

The next picture is me and the very sweet (she’s a southern girl like me!) Courtney of Pizzazzerie. On the left top is Caryl of ROAR events and the spunky (and hilarious even if she doesn’t think so) Rebecca of Fresh Chick Design. On the bottom is me again (sorry… there are a bunch of me) with Nancy of A to Zebra Celebrations.

Day 1 of the Martha Stewart Dreamers into Doers agenda was packed with MSLO editors speaking on a number of inspiring topics. I wish I had pics of the speakers, but as you can tell from the varying quality of the images they’re not all from the same camera. My new girlfriends shared with me because I didn’t haul my SLR all the way to NY like I should have! Anyway, I digress…

Top image is from the entry to the the MSLO headquarters. Second row, left: Me, the lovely Caitlin Losey (community experience editor for Dreamers into Doers) and Rebecca. Second row, right: No need to tell you that is THE Martha. She was talking to us about philanthropy. Third row, left: me… again… Kelly and Rebecca. Fourth row, left: Jennifer of Passion for Parties and Nikki of Nikki in Stitches (both absolutely darling ladies!) Fourth row, right: me with the sweet Danielle of A Few Of My Favorite Things.

We ate at a fabulous little pizza joint on Tuesday night called Ovest (a Martha Stewart recommendation via Caitlin). I wish I had a pic of that, but I think we must have been too involved in the yummy pizza to take many. 

Oh and day two… well I think the pics tell it all! We attended a live taping of the Martha Stewart Show and were seated in the front row. It was absolutely fabulous and the episode was perfect. There were crafts, flowers and cooking all wrapped up in what they called the ReMARTHAble episode. I think we all fit the bill pretty well. {wink} After the show during lunch I had the opportunity to meet the editorial director of holiday and crafts, Hannah Milman. Honestly, it was a highlight for me. She was not only generous with her time, she was very humble and just a joy to speak with.

Top row, left: The sign outside the studio. Top row, right: Courtney, Nancy and me. Second row: Courtney, me, Rebecca and Caryl standing in front of one of the many Martha images in the studio waiting room. Third row: Me asking Martha a question after the show was over! (I asked about how to care for my grandmother’s quilts. She recently passed and I want to make sure and take care of the treasures she left me.) Fourth row, left: Nancy and I seated in the front row. Fourth, right: We were seated right next to the lovely Kelly of The Party Dress and Vana of Le Papier Studio. Fifth row: A shot of the beautiful flowers discussed during the show. Sixth row, left: The darling Anders & Ruff duo and me. Sixth row, right: The very talented and breath of fresh air Stacy of Scrumptious Swirls and the sweetie Andria again.

There were so many other talented ladies present and I so wish I had pictures of all of them to share with you. AND there were so many talented friends that didn’t make it to New York. I won’t name names because I inevitably would leave someone out and then I would feel terrible so I’ll just say “Thank you so much to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia for being so very generous!”

I’m now at BlissDom, a fabulous blogging conference in Nashville. I’ll share this event with you next week. Happy Thursday everyone!

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DIY spring art project

It was negative one here this Saturday when I woke up… needless to say I’m done with winter and so very ready to move on to spring. So I thought I would share with you a little spring 3-D art project I whipped up for my office bookcase using a new craft tool I picked up about three weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what I was going to use the Martha Stewart fringe scissors for at the time, but I’ve since come up with many uses over the past several weeks. Some you’ll see in an upcoming collection! 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 white frames (8×10 and 5×7)
  • real tree limbs/branches
  • Martha Stewart fringe scissors
  • Martha Stewart Dalia and Dogwood 3-D stickers
  • Coordinating scrapbook paper
  • Coordinating tissue paper (grass, bird wings and mini leaves)
  • Hot glue

You’ll see from the pictorial of each frame how they came together, but here’s a quick step-by-step:

8×10 frame

  1. Insert scrapbook paper into frame, leaving glass off
  2. Hot glue a limb or two into place
  3. Trim out a simple shape bird, fringing the back tail feathers
  4. Cut out four raindrop shapes for the wings, stack and then fringe to form feathers
  5. Attach the bird to the limb with hot glue
  6. Decorate with Dogwood stickers adding tiny tissue paper leaves to some

5×7 frame

  1. Fringe six rectangles (length of frame) of green tissue paper for grass. Tip: Tape the tissue paper to the back of the scrapbook paper and fold over. Fringe the front only
  2. Insert scrapbook paper and grass into the frame, without the glass
  3. With a dot of hot glue insert small limbs under the grass
  4. Top with Dalia sticker flowers

Wallah! Simple and just the touch my office needed to get me in the mood for spring! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Valentine gift for you!

Again this year we’re giving away Valentine cello toppers! Owls for the girls and dinosaurs for the boys! And if you like these designs we have full party collections of both in the shoppe: owl couple and dinosaur.

My boys enjoy gathering up little treats for their friends and packaging them for the big Valentine Day party at school. This year we chose to go the route of more toys and less sweets. I LOVE these mini flutes, slinkies, bubbles and dinosaurs, all from Target. The modern colors make me smile and the boys have already started to dip into the bags for themselves. I’ve been able to protect most of them… but it might get dicey if we don’t fill and seal our cellos soon!

DOWNLOAD NOW!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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what’s in the box?!

I just got back home from a three-day trip to New York City for a fabulous Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers conference. I’m still reeling from all the super talented women I had the great fortune to meet and spend time with. I’ll share much more in a few days, but for now I want to tell you about the surprise I received when I got home. I’m used to boxes, lots of boxes, passing through my office but most are not that interesting. Inventory, a new vendor catalog, you know the drill. But this time it was something just for me from the fabulous sponsors of next week’s Blissdom conference in Nashville.

I was like a kid opening a candy bar… or maybe like my normal self opening a candy bar… anyway there were several wonderful surprises inside from vendors like Con Agra, Intel, Freschetta and Hallmark. The recipe binder from Con Agra has such yummy looking recipes, the pizza cutter, which I’ll likely use tonight for family movie night, from Freschetta was fun, but my absolute favorite item in that box was the Recordable Storybook from Hallmark. Coming off of a trip where I missed my boys terribly (one of the main reasons I left corporate life) this was the perfect gift to hedge my anxiety about leaving them again next week. My boys were so ecstatic about the book too. They love books in general, but when they found out that I could still read them a story each night before they went to bed (2-3 a night is a tradition around here) they were beyond thrilled. I loved watching their little faces light up. Thank you Hallmark for the All The Ways I Love You book by Theresa Trinder! It is truly perfect for all of us moms. By the way, whoever on your marketing team thought this up needs a raise! Absolutely perfect!

And for those of you that don’t know about Blissdom, a fabulous blogger conference, it might be too late for you to plan to attend this year, but there is always next year!

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