sneak peek at BELIEVE

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Those who were around last year might recall the BELIEVE cupcake picks and wrappers that we gave away in December. Well this new collection is an extension of that design and I couldn’t be more proud of how beautiful it turned out. I received such sweet notes from so many of you last year, because of course BELIEVE doesn’t just have to refer to believing in Santa. It can be more profound. Believing in yourself, believing in His grace.

With the season of giving upon us, I urge all of us to reach out and do something kind, no matter how small, for those around us. A can of food, an outgrown coat, monetary donations if you have it. No matter the gift, give with your heart and BELIEVE!

Much more to come on this collection shortly!

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three days only!

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Mod Candy Cane is in the shoppe and the printable collection is 40% the original price for three days only (ends Wednesday at midnight)! Plus, these fabulous cookies are also on sale for the next few days! Place your order now and they’ll arrive at your door one to two business days before your event. You can have them personalized with Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah (we could remove the red stripe background) or something else of your choosing, including your guest’s names!

As a reminder, Sweet Tooth Cottage cookies are baked (without preservatives) just prior to shipping, wrapped individually and heat sealed in 4″ cellos, perfect for our cello toppers.

Make your plans now, and don’t forget about those winter birthdays and baby showers!

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real parties: kid’s fall table

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Lindsey of Bella Grace hosted this adorable “Kid’s Only” fall table inspired by my Harvest collection! I love the little wheelbarrow favors filled with treats. And I’m definitely going to have to try those Candy Corn cupcakes in mason jars. Make sure you hop over to Lindsey’s blog for all the details, including a list of resources, and don’t forget that the Harvest printables collection is half off right now! You can get the entire printable collection for just $13!

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introducing mod candy cane

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The Mod Candy Cane collection is the first of two Christmas/Winter collections that you’ll be able to find in The Celebration Shoppe this season. This collection offers a whimsy, yet sophisticated, take on the candy cane. I’m still very much in love with the luxury of the red and Tiffany blue palette. Isn’t it lovely!

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Once the invitations are mailed (already in the shoppe waiting to be customized), start planning a fabulous “Sweet Spot” on your table for all the fabulous goodies you’re going to share. 

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Like Peppermint Bark,

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Peppermint Sandwich Cookies (super easy DIY way to pull these off: buy tea cookies from the bakery, fill them with vanilla icing and roll the edges in crushed peppermint or sprinkles… YUM!),

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 Soft Peppermint,

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Peppermint sprinkled cupcakes (picks come with Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a full sheet of snowflakes; shown with foam adhesive square for 3-D effect), and

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fabulous snowflake and Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday (your choice) butter cookies from our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage and available with this collection!

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 Here’s a closer look at the lovely and melt in your mouth cutout snowflake and whimsy frame, which you can personalize if you like (see below).

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And don’t forget that your guests might want to “Warm up” with a little hot chocolate or maybe even a toddy! You can be preppared with soft peppermint sticks for stirring and peppermint schnapps for extra warmth. {wink}

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And a personalized cookie as a placecard or with your guest’s mug could be an adorable touch, don’t you think!

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If you’re guest’s prefer the sparkle over the warmth, then label their stems to help them keep track with our beverage markers, and

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make sure you have plenty of bottled water on hand too. (These are beautiful as vase and votive wrappers too!)

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And you can’t let your guest’s go home empty handed, so make sure you pack up some goodies in these adorable take-out boxes (available at Dollar Tree) with our favor tags and red grosgrain ribbon, or

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send them home with prepackaged goodies in our cello toppers that say “Have a sweet day!” (Our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage ships our cookies in heat sealed cello bags–for freshness as they have no preservatives–that are the perfect fit for our cello topper printables. All you’ll need to do is print and attach. And remember, shipping is included in our Sweet Tooth Cottage pricing as they ship directly from the bakery and separate from the rest of your order. E-mail us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com with any quesitons.)

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Here’s a look at how beautiful your table can be with a little DIY inginuity. Our “Sweet Spot” sign is attached to a small white dowel wrapped in red ribbon for that candy cane effect. Much less sticky than the real thing. And our cake plate centerpiece is made of large plastic snowflake ornaments stacked on top of one another and balanced on a square white cake plate that was flipped on its end. In the top shot you see that we used the bottom tier for our cookie rounds (printed sugar paper with the same designs as our cupcake rounds). I also used those same large snowflake ornaments under and on several of the other plates on the table to break up the solid white tablecloth and hung them from the ceiling on clear fishing line to give the table height.

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Last in the line-up, but the first thing to greet your guests is our “Welcome” sign. It’s 8×10 and can either be trimmed out as we have done (hung with a beverage wrapper) or matted in a white frame. Or even hung over a beautiful white wreath on the front door.

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This collection will be in the shoppe on Monday, November 15 (new dates!) and then the printable collection will be 40% off through Wednesday, November 17! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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new collection tomorrow!

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We wrapped up the photo shoot for our new Mod Candy Cane collection over the weekend and I was really hoping to be able to share the entire collection with you this morning, but alas photo editing work can’t be rushed. So I’m hoping this will be enough to tempt you to return tomorrow for a look at the entire collection and some creative DIY ideas on how to style your own “sweet spot” dessert table that won’t break your holiday budget! Oh, and did I mention the printable collection will be 40% off through Saturday! {wink}

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Okay, one more image… I just couldn’t resist! Happy Monday everyone!

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a sweet partnership

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It is such an exciting week around here. First being honored by the Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers editors and now announcing that The Celebration Shoppe will be partnering with a fabulous cookie company, Sweet Tooth Cottage, to expand my custom invitations and creative party decor collections to include exclusive custom cookies.

If imagination had a flavor it would be the delicious buttery taste of Sweet Tooth Cottage’s whimsically hand-frosted butter cookies. They are always prepared fresh, artfully decorated, beautifully boxed and prepared with only the highest quality and freshest possible ingredients, without preservatives.

We’ll offer cutout cookies and printed sugar paper cookie rounds for each of my current 56 collections, as well as all of my new collections.

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Right now you can purchase cookies from our On the Farm (chickens, pigs, cows, sheep and barns), Science (bubbling beakers and periodic symbols) and Harvest (scarecrows and pumpkins; 10% off through last day, Nov. 16, for Thanksgiving orders) collections. With Princess (sparkling crowns and castles) and our new Mod Candy Cane (glistening snowflakes and Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays) coming next week. If you have an upcoming event and the collection you’ve chosen is not yet on this list, contact us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we’ll do our best to help.

In addition to the details you’ll find under each product listing in the shoppe, we’ve tried to anticipate and answer your questions below and on our About Us page.

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Custom cutout and printed sugar paper cookies – Each box contains 14 cookies, approximately 1.75 ounces and a minimum of 3″x3″ each (sizes vary based on design). All cookies are individually packaged and heat sealed in 4″ wide cellos, perfect size for The Celebration Shoppe cello topper printables, to ensure freshness. Cookies can be refrigerated or frozen to extend freshness.

Cookie ingredients:Confectioners Sugar, Butter, Flour, Sugar, Egg, Cream, Baking Powder, Extracts (including almond), Salt and Water. Colored icings may contain one or more of the following U.S. Certified Colors (Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 6, Blue 1, & Blue 2) or (Titanium Dioxide), Modified Corn Starch, Vegetable Gum, Citric Acid, and less than 1/10 of 1% Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (as Preservatives).

Edible Sugar Paper Print Ingredients: Water, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Cellulose, Sorbitol, Glycerine, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Arbic Gum, Polysorbate 80, Vanilla, Titanium Dioxide and Citric Acid. May include the following U.S. Certified Colors (Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1, E102, E110, E122, E129, E133).

Edible printed sugar paper prints – Prints are 2.13″ circles, 12 per page, 2 pages per package, 24 circles total, already pre-cut for easy application. Prints are packaged in FDA approved resealable bags and should be kept in the sealed air-tight plastic bag that they arrive in until use and should be stored at room temperature. Cookies or cupcakes can be frosted using any white icing, homemade or commercial. Caution! A very wet whipped-cream icing can cause colors to fade if stored in the refrigerator. Carefully remove edible image prints from the backing paper and apply to cookies or cupcakes before icing dries. After edible prints have been applied to cookies or cupcakes you may embellish as desired (e.g., edges) using colored or white icings, sprinkles, etc.

Edible Printed Sugar Paper Print Ingredients: Water, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup Solids, Cellulose, Sorbitol, Glycerine, Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Arbic Gum, Polysorbate 80, Vanilla, Titanium Dioxide and Citric Acid. May include the following U.S. Certified Colors (Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1, E102, E110, E122, E129, E133).

Food allergies- so excited that our edible sugar paper prints can be the perfect solution for my customers with most food allergies. Bake your own cookies and top them with our printed sugar paper rounds, already pre-cut for easy application!

Personalization – Personalization is available on one cutout cookies style per collection. See individual product listings for details and include your personalization, up to 10 characters for most cookies, in the “special instructions” at checkout.

Shipping – Our cookie price includes shipping since your cookies will be shipped directly from Sweet Tooth Cottage to ensure freshness. For instance, if you only purchase cookies you will not be charged additional shipping at checkout. The price is all inclusive when shipped UPS ground within the Continental U.S. (NOTE: As our cookies are baked upon order without preservatives, please allow up to three business days for baking, icing and packaging. We’ve provided a UPS zone map on our shipping page so you determine your cookie order’s time in transit from Ohio. When calculating, locate your state to determine number of days in transit and then add three business days for baking. Please e-mail us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com if you need to upgrade to a faster shipping method.)

Packaging

Cookies- All cookies are individually wrapped and heat sealed in 4″ cello bags (to minimize breakage and to ensure freshness), placed on cardboard dividers and secured to the board with an adhesive dot. These are butter cookies, softer and less dense than sugar cookies, please be careful when unpackaging them.

Outer box - The outer box will carry both the Sweet Tooth Cottage name and The Celebration Shoppe name to avoid confusion for our customers.

Questions – If you have any additional questions please contact us via e-mail at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com and we’ll be happy to help.

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Join us early next week for all the details from our new Mod Candy Cane plus some super easy DIY tips on how to sparkle up your holiday table. Happy Friday everyone!

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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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natural Thanksgiving placecard

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Since I live in Ohio I get to truly experience all four seasons and admittedly I love them all (okay… winter could be a touch shorter). While summer offers mild temperatures and beautiful play days, fall offers an abundance of natural and colorful elements that are perfect for entertaining.

This first idea from Better Homes and Gardens has been on my “must do” board since early August. I love using the left over gourds and small pumpkins after Halloween for indoor decor so when I saw this elegant stencil idea I fell in love. Plus, it gives the pumpkin yet another use and doesn’t require cutting or cooking! 

I found these felted acorn placecards at Southern Living Magazine.com. Not only are they adorable, but the felted acorns are from Fairyfolk  and can be purchased directly from their Etsy shop. (Photo: Jennifer Davick)

And since pears are all the rage this season it goes without saying that I had to share this simple, yet lovely, idea from Country Living.

Last, but never least, is an idea from Martha Stewart that takes me back to my childhood. My grandparents had a sweet-gum tree in their yard in Alabama and in the fall you couldn’t cross the yard without these little spurs being underfoot. That said, they were great for throwing at my big brother while he was chasing me!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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visiting Disney for Halloween

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At the beginning of October my hubby and I took my boys to Disney for a long weekend and we attended the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We had the best time from the nighttime parade to the fireworks to the constant trick-or-treating around the park! And not only was the party itself lots of fun, but it wasn’t overcrowded. My two favorite times of year to go are early March, before all the schools let out for spring break (I know… I won’t be able to do that much longer since my oldest in now in Kindergarten) and fall (again, difficult with school age children, but worth all the homework you’ll have to make up!).

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The night of the party the boys were dressed up as swat team officers, but when we ran across the face painting Alex really wanted to be a pirate, and

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Cole really wanted to be a puppy… aka Goofy.

And not only did we go to the Halloween party we visited all the parks. I have over 500 images and I swear I could sell some to Disney for advertising they were so cute {proud mama}. I even turned around backwards (cart in front of the boys) on a few mini roller-coasters and took pictures of them screaming. The pics were great, but I was nauseous for 30 minutes afterwards! 

But instead of sharing those with you, I’d rather tell you what a fabulous company Disney is from the perspective of a family struck with food allergies. I’ve been on my soap box about this lately (with my allergy free Halloween treats and sorry, I can’t eat cow milk posts) and while I’m on the topic I want to share with any families who are waiting or debating about going to Disney because of the allergy (and I’ve talked to many moms and dads who are), go! I’ve taken Cole now twice and both times I’ve been overjoyed. Soy milk and fresh fruit choices are on every menu, a chef comes out at all the restaurants and a manager comes out at the “fast food” locations to discuss options with you and to prepare something special that doesn’t come in contact with other ingredients. And it doesn’t stop there, at the Magic Kingdom (and likely the others) there is a restaurant, the name is alluding me at the moment, that offers vegan (great for egg and dairy allergies) choices including treats! They even sell Divvies, a fabulous little company created by a mom, who like me, wanted her son to be able to enjoy the same foods that other kids do. Long story short, Disney is fabulous at Halloween and takes special care of food allergy families!

Happy Halloween everyone!

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“sorry, I can’t eat cow milk”

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I took lots of pictures of my boys last night (our neighborhood trick-or-treat), but this picture of my sweet little four year old boy trying to read the label on a candy package made my heart hurt this morning when I was looking through them. You see, he has severe milk allergies, not lactose intolerance, but immediate sickness, burning tongue and hives, severe allergy.

So at each house last night he would go to the door with huge smiles and say “trick-or-treat!” He would then peer into their candy bucket and either say “sorry, I can’t eat cow milk” and walk away, or he would squeal with joy and jump around because they had things like Twizzlers or Gummy Worms. Although he went through the entire night in good spirits and never once got sulky (my little trooper), it tore my heart out and I wanted to hug him each time he walked away empty handed.

The reason I’m telling you this is because I know there are many of you out there with little ones who suffer from food allergies, whether it be milk, egg, nut, or all three (see allergy free Halloween treat ideas). And since this time of year can be hard with holiday school parties and family gatherings I want to offer up some recipes and ideas so that our little ones can join in the fun too. And I promise, I’ll share things that are yummy for everyone so that by including the family member or child with food allergies, you’re not sacrificing taste.

And if you have a recipe (on a blog or not) or know of a resource that is allergy friendly, please share it with me here, by e-mailing us at customercare@celebrationshoppe.com (“Food Allergy” in the title) or on facebook. {And Maura at 36×37, I’m coming for that fabulous allergy free chocolate chip cookie recipe of yours!}

Happy Friday everyone!

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