press: honored as Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer

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I’m beyond thrilled today to announce that I’ve been selected as a Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer. I have such an appreciation for the creative talents of the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia editors, crafters, stylists and producers, making this honor so very humbling. The beautiful and clever ideas that they publish almost daily are an inspiration to all who love to entertain, bake, cook, craft and simply keep a lovely home.

I’m so very flattered to be chosen by the editors! You can read all about how my company came to be, how I try to balance my company and my family, where I get my inspriration from, and more in my full interview with Caitlin Losey, the Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer editor.

I’ll also be attending a Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers event in mid-January where we’ll have the opportunity to discuss how to grow and nurture our businesses, meet editors, attend a Martha Stewart taping and even meet the lady herself! This opportunity has left me speechless. Thank you to all of you who have supported me, encouraged me and cheered me on. You mean more to me than you could know!

And for those of you not familiar with Dreamers Into Doers, it’s a community of more than 6,800 talented and creative women who are turning their dreams into careers. So if you’re dreaming, or already doing, there is a place for you in this community where we support and mentor each other. Please come join us!

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sneak peek: mod candy cane

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This is my favorite time of year, celebration after celebration! Now that Halloween is almost here it’s time to start pulling out the new Christmas collections! My modern twist on the candy cane has been on the inspiration board for months now and can be perfect for a cocktail party, a family open house, a whimsy kid cookie decorating party and even a winter birthday or baby shower (the cupcake picks come with a sheet of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and a sheet of solid snowflakes)!

I’m so excited to say that the invitation is already available in the shoppe as of this morning! And with the photo shoot for the entire collection including the printables scheduled for next Thursday, November 4, the rest won’t be far behind!

This storyboard only shows you snippets of what mod candy cane will offer: cupcake picks, cupcake wrappers, dessert table tags, whimsy dessert table beverage mat, cello toppers, favor tags, welcome door sign, beverage wrappers and so much more! I can’t wait to share it all with you! Join us on facebook and twitter for regular updates and a few sneak peeks of the photo shoot along the way!

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allergy free Halloween treats

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Each year we get together with all of our neighbors and I host our annual Halloween block party. The premise is that everyone brings their favorite Halloween or fall treat and we all reminisce about the summer and tell any plans for the upcoming winter (besides hibernation of course!).

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This year I used my Candy Corn collection and gave it a little lighter twist from how I styled it in August for the shoppe.

And since I couldn’t control the desserts, or their ingredients, I made mostly dairy and nut free goodies. As many of you know my youngest has severe food allergies and I can’t stand for him to feel left out! There is nothing worse than that little face looking at me with sad eyes and asking me “Mommy, is that my kind?” His “kind” meaning made with soy milk or vegan butter. Of course unless I made it myself the answer is typically “I’m so sorry baby…” And any mother with a child who suffers from food allergies can attest that it breaks your heart!

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All of my desserts that night were inspired by the yummy candy corn and the first on my list was a cupcake… imagine that! By the way, Brach’s candy corn has milk in it, but the Kroger brand is dairy free (has egg though)!

So using a Duncan Hines Butter cake mix and Smart Balance Light vegan butter (be careful that you get the light; the others have dairy in them) I whipped up these cupcakes. My only advice on the butter is to use a little less than the recipe calls for because it has a very buttery taste.

And if your little one also has an egg allergy, which my little guy did for the first three years of his life, try making your cupcakes out of a brownie mix instead. Just make according to the recipe and fill your cupcake liners higher than normal. I would also suggest that you either use the tin/silver liners or you use cupcake wrappers, like we create for our collections, to hide the wrapper as brownies have oil in them and will discolor your wrappers.

For the icing I simply used Pillsbury Cream Cheese icing and tinted it using gel food coloring (liquid food coloring  thins your icing). Using resealable bags with a slit corner (for easy cleanup) I just piped one layer at a time. It was as simple as that!

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Next I made rice krispie treats, a dessert every kid… and let’s face it, every adult loves! These were gone in a flash! I used the normal ingredients, but in the place of butter I used Smart Balance Light vegan butter again.

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  1. While the treats are still warm mold them into triangles and insert lollipop sticks. Do this before you ice them or your could crack your icing, plus you want to form the treat back around the stick so that there aren’t too many pockets of air. 
  2. Gently push down, don’t crush the cereal, on the top of your treats. You’ll want a flat surface, or as flat as you can get it, for icing.
  3. Using a #7 tip, a connector and a resealable bag, outline your treats with white icing, leaving no gaps or your icing will run.
  4. Melt a small bowl of white, yellow and orange icing (one at a time) in eight second intervals. Carefully spoon the icing into the sections and pull icing to the corners with a toothpick. You want your icing warm, but not too hot and soupy or it will remelt your marshmallows. 
  5. Allow treats to dry completely before inserting them into cello bags.

I also served dairy free licorice, candy corn inspired pretzels sticks (made with tinted “real” milk chocolate so I’ll share those in a separate post) and my little guy’s favorite, gummy worms. My oldest will eat anything sweet so I knew he was covered! {wink}

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As for decorations, instead of using my cupcake picks in the actual cupcakes, I hung them from tree branches to create a dramatic and tall centerpiece (you all know how much I love height on a table!).

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And filled the glass apothecary jar, turned vase, with what else… candy corn!  You’ll notice that candy corn was also the fillers for the rice krispie treat bowl and the pretzel jar. Inexpensive and bright, just my style!

I can’t let you go without pointing out the crepe trim on the cake plate (shown in the first and third images). I just made tiny folds back and forth to give it a ruffled look and then attached it to my square cake plate with just a drop of hot glue here and there. It looked lovely, only took minutes and came right off with a light tug.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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free Halloween printable!

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 I’m very excited to announce that I’m giving away a little Halloween fun today!

My sinister sister printables collection offers four face choices (smiling & snarling), two hat choices and two cupcake wrappers. I personally love these and hope you will too by allowing them to grace your dessert tables, school functions or just be part of some family fun!  (By the way, I attached the hats with a small foam adhesive square for a little 3-D effect!)

If you think these are fun I would love for you to leave me a comment, join me on facebook and/or twitter! I’ve got much more holiday inspiration planned and even a few freebies along the way and I don’t want you to miss out! Now, download your free printable and since nothing lasts forever, go tell everyone! These girls go back into the shoppe Monday, November 1, for next year! And if you get the chance to use them, please send me photos. I would love to see your creativity and may even feature a few here! 

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Plus, the entire Candy Corn Halloween printable collection is 50% off through Halloween! Happy Friday everyone!

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DIY fabric fall wreath

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It doesn’t get any easier than this: a DIY no-sew fabric wreath. All you need are two to three fabrics of your choice cut into 3″x3″ squares, a straw wreath (available at any craft store) and a screw driver.

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And if you want, a little quick embellishment!

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This is how you do it. Just place your fabric square, right side out, on the tip of a screwdriver (a flathead would be best so that it doesn’t puncture your material) and push it gently into your wreath. It’s that simple. And this idea isn’t just great for holidays, it could be perfect for birthday parties, baby showers, any occasion that brings guests to your front door.

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And maybe even punch up the entry way with a coordinating, but not matchy matchy throw pillow. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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new farmers market printables

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My “on the farm” birthday party collection continues to be one of my personal favorites (I know some of you likely think I say that about all of them, and to some degree you’d be right, but this one is really close to the top of the list!) so when we started talking about adding to some collections, I knew that I wanted to create the printables to style a farmers market dessert table.

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With our new collection you can set the stage for your little farmer with our farmers market mat. I framed it in a simple rustic wooden frame I found at Target for $2 and then hot glued a wide piece of yellow ribbon to the back to hang it from. It could easily hang on the fence or on the back of a fun red wagon. Next we strung our red and yellow gingham animal banner on twine from the home improvement store (a touch of hot glue and you’re done).

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Once you’ve selected all the goodies your little farmer and all his farm hands might love, gather up some rustic containers, like garden gathering baskets, galvanized containers and mason jars, from around the house and print your treats out on our dessert table tags. The printable comes with two sheets of pre filled candy names and one blank sheet. The first pre filled sheet includes: cow tails, kettle korn, milk duds,

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peanuts, and

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oink! moo! baa! for our new on the farm butter cookie collection that brings our paper designs to life in sugar. (Baked, hand iced and shipped via our fabulous partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage.)

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In addition to the yummy cutouts, we’re also going to offer cookie rounds topped with our fun animal characters printed onto edible sugar paper. Trust me, they are iced with buttercream and they are delish!

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 Okay I’m going to tell my age here, but when I was really young {wink} my grandmother’s pharmacy still had a malt shop counter in it. There was of course tons of candy and these little sugar sticks fit right in. So for this new collection we created a “olde fashion stick candy” mat (perfect fit for a 4×6 frame) and displayed it on a mini unfinished wood easel.

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The second prefilled dessert tag sheet that I mentioned above has common flavor names like blueberry, tuti-fruity, cotton candy, root beer,  raspberry, watermelon, licorice and lemonade (great names for putting the real thing on your dessert table too!).

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These little guys are part of the current collection, along with the custom print invitation, table decor, printable napkin rings and printable “thanks y’all” tags, but they were too cute not to share again.

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But these cello toppers are new and a perfect way to wrap up favors to go.

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And what is a farmers market without lemonade?!

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So we created a lemonade mat and

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straw slips in five designs.

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We also created “moo!” tags so you can promote healthy drinks like chocolate and strawberry milk {twitch of the mouth}.

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Actually, the sheet does include a generic “moo” milk that you could use for white milk and an orange juice tag too.  {We do try!}

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Or you could just serve up a little “well water.” Good farms must have a natural water source nearby!

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No natural spring on the property, no worries. We created two additional wrappers to go with the beverage printable set (all three for $3.50), a generic animal wrapper and a larger “moo milk” wrapper.

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And I couldn’t resist creating a photo mat for all you moms that might want to show off your little farmer on his or her big day. I have the perfect picture of my youngest: cowboy hat and a serious “I’m a big boy!” expression.

Shop all of these items, the invitation and thank you notes in the shoppe!

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

Join The Celebration Shoppe on facebook, sign-up for the daily ideas to come right to your inbox (never miss an idea, giveaway or free printable!), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe. And don’t forget to shop our birthday, baby shower and holiday party supplies!

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customer: princess Ava

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Little Ava turned four a few weeks ago and her mom, Suzy, made sure she was treated like a princess!

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Don’t you just love the DIY ribbon topiary? Suzy made two of them! And did you notice the “A” and the “4″ woven into each?

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The color palette didn’t stop at the dessert table. Suzy adorned her guest tables with pink and green polka dot table decor from my princess collection, edible centerpieces and tulle chair wraps. Just lovely!

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Here’s another look at this beautiful table showing off the fun crown favors.

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Thanks for allowing us to share your little one’s party Suzy! And thanks to Amy & Bri of Savvy Moms Guide, good friends of Suzy’s, for blogging about the big day and sending it our way!

If you’ve invited guests with our invitations or styled your party with table decor or printable items from The Celebration Shoppe, we would love to see! Send a link or pictures to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com. (By submitting information and/or images you are giving us the right to publish your events details with the appropriate credits.)

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sneak peek: farm sweets

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A few weeks ago I shared in a blog post (with a storyboard) that we are expanding my “on the farm” birthday party collection. I’m very excited to announce that we shot all of the new printables for a farmers market dessert table, as well as several other items yesterday including these fabulous melt in your mouth butter cookies from Sweet Tooth Cottage.

I’ve hinted before that all of my designs will be available in cookie form soon. That day is drawing closer and we have a big announcement planned, but until then if you have interest in the candy corn (blog post showing cookies), harvest (blog post showing cookies) or this new farm collection, e-mail us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we’ll share more details including pricing.

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And I had to throw this little guy into the sneak peek too. I’m a southern girl (originally from Alabama, but I’ve lived in Mississippi, Texas and Tennessee too; finally settling in Ohio), so I loved adding the “y’all” touch! {wink}

Happy Friday everyone and much more on this collection and others next week!

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customer: my little honey

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Before I share this lovely party, I wanted to say that I’m back from Disney (had a blast with the kids; I’ll be sharing more about our adventures shortly) and even though it was a quick trip, I’m refreshed. It’s such a creative place and it was so relaxing that I have a ton of ideas to get working on. Also, thank you to the wonderful ladies that blogged for me while I was away! If you missed them, check out their posts: pumpkin art, autumn pasta party and easy Halloween candy apples.

Back to the party! A few months ago we participated in a mom blogger project with Mom magazine. Jamie from Pure Joy was one of the mom bloggers that we met and I have to say, she’s got a ton of energy! She’s a photographer, blogger and of course a mommy. Oh, and did I mention that she’s VERY pregnant, like any day now pregnant. In the midst of all the million things she has going on, she still managed to pull together a beautiful party for her little honey’s fourth birthday using our Buzz collection printables… by the way, she made the birthday outfit too!

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Hop over to Jamie’s blog, Pure Joy, to see more pictures and read all the details! {Thanks so much for sharing Jamie!}

If you’ve invited guests with our invitations or styled your party with table decor or printable items from The Celebration Shoppe, we would love to see! Send a link or pictures to customercare@celebrationshoppe.com. (By submitting information and/or images you are giving us the right to publish your events details with the appropriate credits.)

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celebrating with Mickey

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What are you going to do when you get a fabulous feature in Columbus Parent Magazine? Go to Disney World! Okay, it just worked out that way, but I’m still excited! I’m packing the kids up and we’re headed down to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this weekend. I’m not sure who is happier, them or me! I’m a HUGE Disney fan and we’ve been several times, even before the kids were born, but never at Halloween! 

No worries though, I’ve arranged to have some wonderful bloggers keep you entertained in my absence! And although Bakerella isn’t here herself, these adorable Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse cake pops are. Hop over to her blog for all the details including pictorials!

Have a great weekend and I’ll chat with you next week!

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