DIY bird house favor boxes

Leoni of Just Call Me Martha posted a sweet note on my facebook page a few weeks ago and with a blog name like that I of course had to take a look. This fabulous idea for a bird house favor box was one of the first things I came across and I was totally smitten. Using a template from Torie Jayne’s blog she created six little treat boxes for her niece Jasmine’s birdy birthday party.

Make sure you hop over to Just Call Me Martha for all the how to details and to see more of the beautiful bird inspired party Leoni hosted for her niece! {Thanks Leoni for letting me share!}

As always I hope you’re inspired!

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real parties: a sillybration

This beautiful birthday party was hosted by my friend, the talented Christi of P is for Party. I love how she broke the norm and held a “Sillybration” for her little boy Conrad’s second birthday. Christi shares “Our son Conrad is sweet and tender-hearted and often shy, but one thing he is often is silly. He’s always doing cute things to make our family laugh. So, when I was searching for the perfect theme for his second birthday, I knew I wanted to base the party around the word ‘silly’.”

 I love her favor station. The kids could dress up in feather boas and big glasses, and sing into toy microphones while listening to a local child’s band.  And as a parting gift, the kids took home silly string that was custom wrapped in a label that said, “I Got Silly at Conrad’s Party!”. Totally adorable!

Christi outlines a ton of fabulous vendors in the debut post over at the sweet Kate Landers Events blog, including her photographer Melanie Pereira, her stationary designer Hayley Hardcastle, Genevieve of Celebrate Today and Posh Party Pretties who custom made the party hats, The Sugar Diva where she found the orange polka dot and light orange striped straws, the talented Kelly Lyden of The Party Dress and WH Hostess who made her centerpiece sticks to match Haley’s invitations, and so many more! {Happy birthday Conrad and thanks again Christi for letting me share your sillybration!}

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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off to meet Martha Stewart

The day is finally here! Today I am traveling to the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia headquarters to attend a two-day Dreamers Into Doers event. I was honored as a Martha Stewart Doer back in November and have been eagerly awaiting this trip ever since.

Day one will be filled with meeting many of the Martha Stewart editors in various business related workshops and day two will be filled with attending a Martha Stewart Show taping and a few more business sessions. And on top of the fabulous agenda for the two-day event (thanks Caitlin!), I get to meet a number of smart and talented women business owners from around the country. I can’t express my excitement in words!

Stay tuned later this week for all the details of my trip here, on facebook and on twitter. Happy Monday everyone!

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half birthday cupcakes

I mentioned a few days ago that my little guy, who is a June birthday, would be celebrating his “half” birthday at preschool this week since all the winter birthday kiddos get to bring in snacks and celebrate during the school year. I think it’s really a nice gesture on his teacher’s part (thanks Mrs. England!). So although I found some wonderful allergy-free ideas (my little guy has a severe dairy allergy), I decided to go with what I knew his friends would like… cupcakes.

But then I was at a loss. I kept asking what “theme” he might want on his cupcakes and he just wasn’t excited about anything (something we’ll have to work hard on by his next birthday since I’m not sure what will beat his dino-roar party in the eyes of this dinosaur loving boy!). So at the end of the day I got silly. {wink}

He and all his little buddies got a cupcake and a half, or better a cupcake and a mini cupcake. His cupcake had the number four in his favorite color, blue (ooohhhh, these cupcake wrappers would go great with our deep blue sea collection too), on the large cupcake and his small cupcake was the half symbol (it still makes me smile!). And all his little friends got two cupcakes too. I’m sure the moms were loving me that afternoon!

The dots and the numbers were just fondant and I promise if you can use a cookie cutter you can make these yourself. You can find white fondant in the baking section of your craft store and I recommend gel food coloring if you want to tint it (it stains your hands so use a resealable plastic bag over your hands to massage in the food coloring). Just tint, roll it out like cookie dough, cut out your shapes and ta-da you have adorable cupcakes! By the way, for dairy free cupcakes, I used Classic Yellow Duncan Hines cake mix (with apple sauce in place of oil… just my preference) and Pillsbury’s chocolate and dark chocolate icing (that’s right, no dairy!).

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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allergy-free AND yummy

Do you remember the kids in school that were lucky enough to be born in the summer so they got to have pool parties and outdoor adventures? Well I wasn’t one of those kids. My birthday is in February and although I grew up in the South, it was still too cold for any extended amount of time outdoors. That said, my boys are those lucky kids! But being born in the summer does have its disadvantages. You miss out on the classroom party that all the winter kids get. I know… I would much rather have the pool party in the summer too!

To make a really long story short, my youngest is celebrating his “half birthday” in preschool this week. Yep, half birthday. Sooooo, I’m on the hunt for some yummy allergy free goodies (my son suffers from a severe dairy allergy, plus he can’t have nuts for now either) to make. I may go with the good ole cupcake, but we’ll see. In the meantime, these are a few of the fabulous things I found!

And although I might not make them for the big “half birthday,” these nut-free granola bars posted by Brooklyn Supper for Babble’s Family Kitchen will be a yummy snack for the everyday!

If you have little ones who suffer and have a wonderful recipe to share I’d love to hear about it. You can find me on facebook and twitter!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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introducing Tree House

We created and shot our new Tree House collection (a look at the storyboard) back in late October. With beautiful Ohio foliage as a backdrop and a crisp cool breeze, there was no need to ask the kids to play together. It just happened so naturally and the day turned into a real playdate. I think they barely noticed us.

They picked wild flowers, giggled into tin can phones, snacked on goodies and played hide-and-seek. They truly had a good time, which of course made our jobs so much easier.

This collection offers invitations, thank you cards, as well as all the coordinating printable party supplies for a fabulous birthday party, or even a playdate. Who says playdates can’t be dressed up a bit, especially when your little one’s birthday is in the winter and they never get outdoor parties?! I was born in February so I know what I’m talking about! {wink}

I think the thing I love best about this collection is our tag message, “Come out and play.” It cuts across genders and age ranges and offers a theme, but with endless possibilities. It’s so perfect for a backyard bash AND for jazzing up those boring blank rooms that the indoor playhouse companies give you to serve cake to your guests (which by the way was a friend’s original request that brought this collection into being). 

The gable box lunches help make the hostess’ life a bit easier too. Pack individual lunches (mini PB&J bagel sandwiches, apple slices, mini water bottle and maybe a cookie) for each guest and arrange them on a small table. Food is taken care of! If you have a large group in the outdoors consider telling everyone to bring a picnic blanket or set out a few of your own in a basket for guests to select from. (Note: The gable box wrappers are the only items in the collection that require 11×14 paper, but you could print just the center on 8.5×11 and apply only to the front of your gable box.)

To complement the lunch box we designed beverage wrappers (two designs, kite and tree house) that also doubled as our wrappers for the tin can crayon holder, but are also perfect as large flat napkin rings. Other printable items include dessert/food labels, favor tags (shown below), banner, as well as large die cuts of the kite, clouds and “kids only” sign. Plus, those mini-flags are actually our straw slips. They’re perfect for embellishing sandwiches and wrapping around straws to help little guests remember which cup is theirs.

I’m really proud of our cupcake wrappers and picks. I added a tail to my kite cupcakes using a bit of white floral wire (for stiffness) and tiny bow tie shapes cut from the straw slips. In addition to cupcakes we also made no-bake cookies, calling them “mud pies,” and Reese’s Cup s ‘mores. Oh my they were good!

 

And for favors, the collection offers tree house cello toppers and kite favor tags, plus fabulous cookies from our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage bakery. What better way to send your guests home than with a yummy, and beautiful, cookie to remember you by! The collection offers cutouts (tree houses, kites and “kids only” planks) and sugar paper rounds (tree house in green and kite in blue) baked and shipped directly from the bakery. And if your kiddos have food allergies or you just like to bake, you can buy the printed sugar paper sheets and make your own.  

You can find the entire Tree House collection, including the cookies, in our shoppe. And I just want to thank Amy Atlas Events for sharing the first images of this new collection in her post on Friday. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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