thursday night FAC

It’s almost Friday, so make this week’s FAC on Thursday. Come on, you deserve it. Today, our ingredient from the garden is fresh strawberries, so it seems fitting that you celebrate your Thursday FAC with a Strawberry Margarita. I planted strawberries years ago, and they come back every year bigger and better. I don’t do a darn thing, and they keep growing. As long as I pick them before the rabbits and birds get them, life has been sweet with strawberries this summer.

The BEST….seriously, the BEST…margarita is a strawberry light from The Rio in downtown Denver {or Fort Collins, or Steamboat}. I can’t drink any other margs – they just don’t even come close. However, I think I’ve created one that does…I savored every last drop. Hope you do too.

Strawberry Margarita
recipe adapted from friend, Reid Griebling
yields 4 glasses

Ingredients
6 counts {yes, count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…sorry I didn’t measure and followed bartender orders} white 100% Agave Tequila
1-2 tsp Agave Nectar
1.5 count Cointreau {or Triple Sec}
20 fresh strawberries
3 limes + 1 lime for garnish
2 cups of ice

How To
Add strawberries, agave nectar, Tequila, Cointreau, fresh squeezed lime juice and ice in a blender.
Adjust to taste.
Cheers!

{images via Tutto Bella}

roller coaster of love

We’re about 2 months late posting this, but better late than never right? We made a special set of coasters for my mom and grandma this year for Mother’s Day, and today we are sharing our DIY with you. Custom tiles make for a lovely Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthday, or anniversary gift. And, if you have a loved one that loves photos like our mom does, he/she will really appreciate this gift.

I had extra paper and medium {{I ordered bulk transfer kits a year ago for another project} from Tilano, a photo transfer kit/products, that transfers photos from special paper to tile, and I bought 9 marble coasters from Home Depot for $4 – that was all I needed for this special gift.

I followed Tilano directions {for more thorough instructions, read them here}, and have outlined my steps below…

How To Make Custom Photo Coasters
Find images you want to use, and mirror the images. I used Picnik, an amazing photo editing tool, conveniently {and free} on Google+ to mirror the images.
Make sure each image is 4×4 {or the size of your tile} – I had Jenna at Fleur de Lis edit each image to a 4×4 size, and next to each other {so I didn’t waste paper} onto a PDF}
Make a laser copy of my images onto the shiny side of the Tilano Imaging Paper™ with a laser printer.
Do not cut each image yet…that will come after you apply a thin coat of medium.
Shake the Tilano Medium™ before use. Lightly brush a thin layer of medium onto the laser copy of your image. Use quick, even brush strokes and don’t apply medium to any part of the image more than once because it will smear. It is easy for the ink to smear.

Apply a thin coat of the medium onto the entire surface and edges of the tile too, and let each dry for 45 minutes.
Once it’s dry, cut the image.
Using the foam brush, apply 1 tablespoon of the Medium to the entire surface of the tile.

Immediately apply your image face down and use a spreader to flatten the image so there are no air bubbles. The easiest way to do this is to push firmly from the center of the images outwards. Wipe the spreader clean each time so no Medium gets on the back of the paper.

Place the coaster on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for 15 minutes at 170 degrees, then let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Rinse the foam brush so all the Medium is removed.
Fill a cup with water, and apply water to the back of the paper with the foam brush until it becomes totally transparent {about 30 seconds}. If there is an area or spot that did not become transparent, add more water and rub until it becomes transparent.

Use your fingers to peel the paper off starting where the paper has lifted on a corner.


Let the coaster dry for 30 minutes.
Once dry, use sand paper to sand the edges of the photo to create a ‘vintage look.’
{left is not filed with sand paper below, but the right is…hopefully you can see the difference}

Dip the brush in the medium and apply a thick coat to the entire surface and edges of the tile using even strokes. Let the coaster dry for 45 minutes, then apply another coat. 3 coats will provide the greatest durability {I think I just did 2}.
Stack coasters, tie with twine and add to a tray with coffee or a cocktail and snacks, and bring to your loved one. Every time they drink, they can smiles and cheers to the beautiful faces on their custom coaster set.

For any questions or more info about the Tilano kits specifically, go to www.tilano.net for FAQs and downloadable templates.

{images via Tutto Bella}

10 ways to host a fabulous backyard par-tay

It’s summertime, and there’s nothing like hosting a lovely party outside. I know the summer in the mountains only lasts 3 months, so I better get my party on. Here’s 10 ways to help you host the perfect summer night out…in your backyard!

1. CREATE A BAR
Most people cannot build a permanent outside bar, and when you live somewhere like we do, where its cold all winter and winter lasts forever, it doesn’t make sense to have an outdoor bar. The good news is bars can come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be versatile. From a trendy bar cart on wheels, to a small tray like this beautiful rustic one from Pottery Barn, a DIY cooler or even a bucket – as long as there is liquor, and all the accessories – IT WORKS! This kitchen cart from Ikea could be a rocking bar cart. And, this is an affordable option from CB2 and I just LOVE this one from Pottery Barn. If you just want to add a shelf to your wall you can flip down when there is a party, then flip back up when it’s over, this one is perfect inspiration.

2. STOCK THE BAR
Now, you must stock the bar. Make sure you have an ice bucket and tongs, a cocktail shaker, bottle opener and limes. Essentials are vodka, rum, tequila and gin. Don’t forget the mixers, seltzer’s and juices. Try mixing a signature cocktail for the evening, and place it in a cute container so it can be self-serve. You should 6 or 8 of each of the following: short glasses, tall glasses and stemware. I love melamine for the summer. Mix and match glasses if you need to – makes for an eclectic look, which I love. I’m obsessed with these glasses from Sur La Table.

3. CREATE A LIVING ROOM OUTSIDE
A comfortable environment will make people feel at-home. You should provide comfortable seating for friends. That can be folding chairs stored in your garage, wicker furniture or a comfy love seat. Pillows add a pop of color and personality, and also add that extra level of comfort. Like a living room, only outside. I love the collection of outdoor pillows at Pier1.

4. LIGHT THE NIGHT SKY
Create an ambiance with lighting. You can create an intimate setting, a colorful setting or a soft glow. You can opt for candles like this. Or, for more of a rustic look, we love these. For an industrial look, we love these caged lights from Target.

5. SET THE MOOD
Create a playlist for the evening. Oldies. Pop Hits. Soft rock. Country. Have a little something for everyone.

6. ENTERTAINMENT
Play traditional games like Bocce or Horseshoe, or bring another fun game into the mix.

7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BLOOMS OR GARDEN HERBS
For a nice touch, decorate with flowers from garden beds or herbs in pots. Depending on the flowers you choose, it can create a sweet aroma, and it makes for a pretty setting. It doesn’t have to be large bouquets – even single bloom flowers and bud vases would do the job.

8. SERVE YUMMY APPS
With these family favorites, your guests will be ‘wowed.’ The Avocado and Corn dish will be devoured.  

9. FIRE UP THE GRILL
Slice meat and veggies and make a variety of kabobs pre-party, or get everyone involved and they can make their own kabob with an array of chicken, steak and veggie options. This recipe from Two Peas and their Pod looks delish.

10. SATISFY THOSE SWEET TEETH
Serve a yummy dessert, like this Fruit Pizza. Check out the recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

{images via A Curated Lifestyle, Style Me Pretty, One Kings Lane, Style at Home, Sunset, The Pioneer Woman}

15 tips for a egg-tacular easter

Here’s some tips and ideas to make your Easter celebration memorable, beautiful and fun.

1. How Does She has some great non-candy Easter egg fillers the kids are sure to love, without missing the candy too much.

2. Kick up your hard-boiled egg up a cute notch with these adorable chick eggs on HGTV.

3. Give the most adorable favors we’ve ever seen with these ‘grown up’ easter baskets featured at Elizabeth Anne Designs.

4. At the end of the Easter egg hunt, have an egg popsicle treat ready for the kids to devour after all their hard hunting. Full tutorial found at Kailo Chic.

5. These would make adorable and healthy place cards for the kids, or a cute snack to bring to the kid’s school this week. Pottery Barn Kids has a full recipe and tutorial here.

6. Wants and Wishes created a fresh carrot centerpiece, and we couldn’t think of a better holiday for this look 

7. Don’t forget to decorate the outside of your house when your PEEPS arrive for the Easter celebration. Fill an up cycled window box with your favorite flowers. For a tutorial on how to create a beautiful window box, visit Hostess with the Mostess here.

8. Go one step further with your outdoor decor with a GORGEOUS wreath like this made at Laughing with Angels.

9. Find spring floral and brightly colored fabric and cut into triangles to make a spring bunting banner to add inside the house, or outside in the yard.

10. Everyone is talking about the color mint for this spring. So light, airy and refreshing. Add Essie’s Mint Candy Apple {available at Nordstrom} to the tips of your fingers for this Sunday’s celebration. If you really want to be trendy, make it a diagonal stripe with the other half of your nail being a nude color.

11. Make a refreshing spring cocktail your guests will love like this Ginger Goddess, made with SKYY Infusions Ginger Vodka, Kiwi Juice, Pear and Champagne

12. Set your table pretty in pink with a large vase of pink tulips in the center on top of a white table linen and crisp white, modern plates.

13. Think outside the egg when decorating this year’s batch and create Subway Art eggs like Lil Luna did. So creative! Full tutorial here.

14. Add a vintage touch to your table setting – we love all things vintage, so whether is an old birdcage, burlap bags, old wood boxes, antique vases, etc. –  make it happen. Our Vintage Home set a beautiful, simple table with a vintage vibe. Burlap bags found here.

15. I’m a DIY addict, so at least one thing on Sunday has to be DIY. I made Easter eggs with flower petals – and it was SO easy and I think they turned out pretty cute.

You Need:
Hydrangea {or flower with many petals}
Styrofoam easter egg {I found some at Hobby Lobby}
Push pins with a color ball at the end {in my case, I like yellow}

How To:
Pull petals off the flower and the hard small piece of plastic binding it together
Grab a pin, find a spot on the egg and push the pin in.
Continue until the egg is fully covered.


{images via HGTV, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Kailo Chic, Pottery Barn Kids, Wants and WishesBar None DrinksEpicurious, NordstromHostess with the Mostess, Laughing with Angels, spring banner: One Wed, Lil Luna, Our Vintage Home, Tutto Bella}

GIVEAWAY: vino2go

We are obsessed with our latest favorite thing…a to-go wine cup, otherwise known as Vino2Go. For all you wine drinkers, this is a fabulous must-have vino accessory. What a genius invention. It makes such a wonderful, and affordable gift and hostess gift. The one for you, one for me rule totally applies here. The more vino-drinking friends sipping together, the better.

Kimi, one of our BFFs and Fleur de Lis’ best Minnesota customer, took her Vino2Go from Fleur de Lis with her on a St. Thomas vacay …she made us jealous sipping her vino in a Vino2Go cup during a romantic beach walk with her man, Tim.

Vino2Go is flying off the shelves at Fleur de Lis {call 303.996.6885 or email paperie@fleurdelisdtc.com to reserve yours today and we’ll ship to you}, because new shipments just arrived. Pink, Orange, Red, Green, Blue, Black, White – we’ve got the color spectrum covered.

Jenna from Fleur de Lis, is giving away a Vino2Go to one lucky customer. Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter link below by Friday, March 29. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out all the other unique gifts we love sold at Fleur de Lis online store here.

{images via Tutto Bella and Kimi}