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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you’ll BEE in love ~ Sweet Designs

I received an advanced copy of Amy Atlas’ new book Sweet Designs a week or so ago. I knew it was going to be wonderful as Amy is a true creative soul, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s full of lovely photography, crafting ideas, baking tips, styling inspiration and much more.

I’m honestly impressed with the organization and the amount of DIY detail. I’m a DIY girl. Don’t just show me a pretty picture. I want to know how to recreate it. And Amy does just that! Each chapter includes:

  • Bake It: Recipes for making cakes, cookies, pies, mousse, truffles, popsicles, ice cream bars, drinks, and more.
  • Craft It: Instructions and directions for templates to create her signature popcorn cups, candy bar wrappers, paper pinwheels and more.
  • Style It: Designer secrets for arranging sweets, choosing patterns, mixing textures and colors.
  • Shop It: Pick up sweets from the corner store to pair with home-baked desserts.
  • Display It: Serving vessels and display touches to create the whole dessert table or make a single treat stand out.
  • Switch It: Creative ways to swap the desserts, colors, or platters to better suit your needs.

I’m just in love with the honeycomb backdrop for her Honey, I Love You dessert table. It’s adorable and totally doable! You’ll be amazed how simple it is to make and she reveals all the DIY steps right in her “craft it” section.

Oh, and take these little bumble bee favor bags. Yet another, simple and creative idea that will have your guests buzzing!

You can find Amy’s book (352 pages with over 270 never before seen images) in stores tomorrow, April 24th, in the cookbook section and on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And you can read some of Amy’s two-year behind the scenes journey on her blog, Sweet Designs

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

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Copyright Sweet Designs: Bake It, Craft It, Style It, Hyperion Books 2012
Photography by Johnny Miller

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