Make It Beautiful book + giveaway


Have you ever watched Monica Pedersen on HGTV? Well let me tell you, she is exactly the person you see: down to earth, sweet, hilarious and full of ideas!

I recently sat down with her (on the phone) for an hour to discuss her new entertaining book, Make It Beautiful, and I was impressed by her lovely personality. She shared how her mom was her inspiration. Something I can completely relate to. And how she started her career as a model. Okay, something I can’t relate to. {wink} Do you remember the commercial with Bob Villa? That was when her hit show Design to Sell was born and as they say, it’s all history from there!  

Monica has a passion for design and although she loves designing a room, she also loves designing a party table! And for inspiration, she starts by roaming the isles of her favorite fabric stores. Something I can admit is almost always top on my “to do” list when we’re looking at creating a new collection. 

Her new book, Make It Beautiful, is full of real parties, practical advice and fun ideas for the average entertainer on any budget. And as we chatted, Monica shared a few behind-the-scenes moments. Remember, these are all REAL parties.

One moment, funny now but not when it was happening to her, is from the beautiful outdoor graduation party shared in the book. The weather was iffy all the way up to the party and like any good planner Monica had weighed her options, kept the Weather Channel close to her all day and measured an indoor room in case everything had to be pulled quickly. Well the rain came before the event, but the day was clear at the time of the event so the party styling went on outside as planned. Monica really wanted to hang these beautiful chandeliers from the branches above the table. Since the tables were already in place (one long seating arrangement) she had to stand on the table to hang them. Unfortunatley because of the rain the day and night before the ground was wet and the table started to sink! {plates crashing, utensils clinking, glassware rolling off the table} The situation was handled and the guests non the wiser, but Monica laughs that it was a lesson learned!

Monica brings all of her charm to this book and her good friend and photographer Peter Rosenbaum captures full views and tiniest details. All in all, a lovely and very entertaining read!

Now down to the goodies! I’m giving away a signed copy of Monica’s Make It Beautiful book to one lucky reader!

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this page telling me you’d like to get creative styling your next party with Monica Pedersen’s new book, Make It Beautiful. Yep, it’s that easy!

Deadline: August 14, 2012 at 11:59pm Eastern Time

Extra Entries (leave a comment for EACH extra entry please!):

Or, why take your chances! You can buy Monica’s Make It Beautiful in hard copy right now on Amazon. Also available for your Kindle! And on Barnes and Noble.

And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate! Oh, and throughout today, I’m also giving away Courtney Dial Whitmore’s new book, Candy Making For Kids. Hop over and enter!

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Candy Making For Kids book + giveaway


I’m a southern girl {humming Sweet Home Alabama} and so when I met Courtney of Pizzazzerie online I liked her just because… {grin}, but then I met her in person at several blogger events (Martha Stewarts Dreamer Into Doers and BlissDom) and then I knew she would be one of those truly sweet blogging buddies. You know, the ones you call when you really need advice and your husband or non-blogging bestie just can’t understand or help. Yep, Courtney is one of those gals.

And I couldn’t be more proud of her! She’s a creative soul and has just published her second book, Candy Making For Kids! And it’s hitting Amazon and Barnes & Noble at the perfect time to help us all gear up for the holidays!

I know that I can’t wait to get in the kitchen with my boys. Most of you know that my youngest has severe food allergies and buying snacks for him can be almost impossible. Making candy sounds like tons more fun. I love to get messy in the kitchen with them anyway and he of course can’t wait to get started! There are several straight out of the book he can try, like:

  • Valentine’s Conversation Hearts,
  • Easter Baskets,
  • Gummies,
  • Lollipops, and
  • Candy Necklaces

And so many more with a slight modification! He and I both are super excited!

Now down to the goodies! I’m giving away a signed copy of Courtney’s Candy Making For Kids plus a child size whisk and rolling pin to one lucky reader!

How to Enter: Leave a comment on this page telling me you’d like to get creative in the kitchen with your kiddos. Yep, it’s that easy!

Deadline: August 8, 2012 at 11:59pm Eastern Time

Extra Entries (leave a comment for EACH extra entry please!):

UPDATE! Our winner has been chosen via Random.Org and the winner is #33, Amy McCoy! Congrats Amy! I hope you enjoy Courtney’s new book and the other goodies!

And if you’re like me and you want a copy right now, hop over to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and get a copy! And the fabulous thing is, you can have that one signed too! Courtney has darling red + white polka dot book plate labels that she will be mailing out to those who request them so you can stick the signed greeting inside your book.

Here’s how you get your book plate! Just e-mail Courtney at courtney@pizzazzerie.com with the subject line BOOK SIGNATURE and show proof of purchase (e.g., screen shot of online order, picture of receipt, etc) along with the address to send the book plate and who to make the greeting out to. 

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 (a box in the right-side navigation bar), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe

Author: Courtney Dial Whitmore; Photography credit: Zac Williams

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