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I love this song by Alicia Keys. It’s one of those amazing songs by a truly talented artist. And, if you’re in a place where maybe you’re having a hard time, especially financially, this song can help put things in perspective. Take the time to listen to it.


This
is Jenna’s kind of party…and if you’re a shoe lover, you would desire it too.

I’m so ready for spring and warm weather. This party is stunning and makes me want to celebrate spring…and make a tissue flower wall to brighten my home.

Lisa {With Style and Grace}, you always amaze me with your yummy recipes. This GF Cranberry Almond Granola is no exception. We’ve made it twice and it’s a family favorite. Yummy!! Even if you’re not GF, you will love this.

Oh fellow mother’s of young children everywhere – have you been listening to Frozen’s hit song Let It Go 500 times a day for a couple of months? I understand. Me too, with my 3.5 year old daughter. Well, a mom did spoof on the song, that had me laughing out loud. Here I stand saggy boobs and all – post three kids – I hear ya sister.

Have a great weekend!
xoxoxo

sweet peony

We’re obsessed with peonies, so when we saw these pretty images by Becky Young Photography from her sister’s bridal shower, and peonies were in the details, we were in love.

The soft colors, ribbon backdrop, sweet peony arrangements by the one and only Cori Cook and desserts made for one lovely bridal shower. And according to Cori, the bride, Jenny, is as sweet as pie. We want to meet her…and see her August wedding!


VENDOR LOVE
photography: Becky Young Photography
florist: Cori Cook 

{images via Becky Young Photography}

coffee for 2

I wanted to spruce up a wedding gift for an upcoming shower with a cute prop to go along with the gift. I bought the bride a complete set of “Coffee” Mugs from Crate and Barrel, but instead of just giving her a wrapped package, I made a DIY Chalkboard tray for the couple so they could have coffee for two together…hopefully forever! Here’s how you can do it too…for a gift, or for yourself!

First I made coffee filter flowers.

You’ll Need
30-35 coffee filters
A stapler
Scotch tape or painters tape

How To
Stack 5-6 coffee filters on top of one another.
Fold the coffee filters in quarters, and then open again {you will just have ‘seams’ from the fold}.
Use your fingers to pinch the bottom of all the coffee filters so you have four seams, and then staple it on the bottom.


Then pull each filter up one at a time, and bunch it together.


Continue to do that, until you have gathered each coffee filter around the center, and you have a flower. From the gathering process, you will have a ‘stem’ on the bottom, so wrap a piece of tape around the ‘stem.’

Then, I made the tray.

You’ll Need:
A cookie sheet
Chalkboard Paint
Rope
A Drill
Chalk

First I primed the cookie sheet with a Primer, spray painted it with Chalkboard paint, glued handles on the sides and Voila, right? Nope, not the case for me.  An hour and a half before the party, the gold handles fell off {and I used Gorilla Glue}, along with some paint. So, when I saw rope on the garage floor, I got to work on Plan B {my dad came through like a super hero…despite his dislike for DIY projects}, and then I had to re-paint it. Honestly, it’s cuter than Plan A – it just stressed me out more than I intended…and made me late for the shower.

How To
Use an electric drill to drill 2 holes on each side of the cookie sheet. Thanks Dad!
If you have pieces of metal sticking out or the edges are rough, use a sand block or a hammer to smooth it out.
Cut pieces of rope for the handles.
Prime the cookie sheet with paint primer.
Spray paint the cookie sheet 2 times {allowing appropriate time in between each layer for it to dry}.

Wrap a piece of duct tape around one end of the rope so you can easily fit it into a hole. On the other end, tie a knot.
Insert the rope, duct tape end, from the bottom-up of one hole, insert it down in the other hole, tie a knot, and then remove the duct tape and cut the leftover rope.


Write “Coffee for 2” on the cookie sheet, or even a game of tic tac toe.

Fill each mug with coffee filter flowers {I used Scotch tape to keep the flowers in place in the mugs}.

Add the mugs, a package of coffee, an ‘I love you more than coffee’ tag {from Fleur de Lis} and you have yourself an adorable prop for your gift.

{images via Tutto Bella}

spread the love…and the pesto

This summer, I’ve been obsessed with fresh basil. I’ve always loved it, especially fresh pesto. Basil has been one of my successful herbs in the garden this summer, so I’ve experimented with pesto recipes, and since this week is all about the garden, today I’m sharing a pesto recipe and how to make it a lovely hostess gift, or party favor. Because who wouldn’t love fresh pesto and an easy, already-prepared dinner for a gift?

{Sandy’s basil plant}

Basil, Spinach and Walnut Pesto
yields 1-2 cups
{I usually make Pesto with basil and pine nuts, but since I was out of pine nuts and I wanted to add Spinach for the kids, I modified it}

Ingredients
2 1/2 cup fresh Spinach
1 1/2 cup fresh Basil
1/3-1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup walnut
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

How To
Add basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a food processor, then add salt and pepper.
Puree until smooth.
Find a cute mason jar or small container for your homemade pesto, and if you want to dress it up a bit, add a bow and a label or Kraft paper like I did with ‘grazie’ stamped on it.

 

Other DIY Garden-Inspired Hostess Gifts
Give an upcycled mini herb garden.
This Lemonade Summer Cooler idea is absolutely adorable.
Personalized Coasters is a lovely gift and a fun DIY project for fresh drinks from the garden.
We love this hand-tied bouquet, wrapped in a nice tea towel.
Hot pads with fresh baked bread is yummy and useful.
DIY homemade Lavender Linen Spray sounds blissful…and necessary for my bedtime routine.

{images via Tutto Bella}

breakfast at tiffany bridal shower

Audrey Hepburn. Her famous quotes. Her style. Her beauty. Her grace. Her movies. When it comes to Audrey Hepburn, we love everything about her. Jenna has loved her forever, and my love affair is more recent. Seriously, we love her so much, I dressed my daughter like her for Halloween. She loved it, and still asks to wear her “Audrey Hepburn shoes and dress.”

So, when we saw pics of this shower, we were happy. Not only because it’s based on Audrey Hepburn and her fabulous Breakfast at Tiffany’s film and the precious teal-colored Tiffany box women swoon over, but because it had special touches throughout that made the day special for the lovely bride, Cori. And…I happen to know the pretty bride and her soon to be mother-in-law, and just love them!

Oh, and we also loved Cori’s dress, so if you want to know where to buy {like we did}, she found it at Urban Outfitters.

For all you future shower hostesses, take note of why this shower was so special, and how you can make your future shower unique. The party tip is in bold, and the details of this shower follows.
Create a party theme, and carry the theme throughout the shower: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Ask guests to participate in the theme of the shower: Guests wore their best little black dresses and pearls like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Guests also bought gifts related to the couple’s honeymoon, which were creatively placed in new Tumi luggage {a nice new gift from Cori’s mom and mother-in-law}.
Infuse touches of family mementoes throughout the shower and incorporate your mom, mother-in-law and other family members/traditions throughout the shower: A friend’s wedding gown was draped from the ceiling for decor and the delicious Quiche, fruit skewers and mandarin green salad was served on special china, crystal and silver serving pieces.
Incorporate the brides food preference/diet restrictions into the menu: Dessert was a gorgeous gluten-free dark chocolate cake filled with strawberries, covered with fondant in the shape of a Tiffany box. And, for those non-gluten-free gals, the hostesses served lemon-filled cupcakes with white icing and chocolate polka dots {provided by Shamane’s Bake Shoppe in Boulder.
Add a customized touch: Favors given to guests were cellophane bags filled with personalized M&Ms, Cori+Alex, R&R 08-24-13, and LOVE, in blue, white and silver. And, a photo of the bride and groom 7+ years ago when they first began dating was on display.
Don’t forget the small details: Breakfast at Tiffany was scrolling silently on the tv. And, a large canvas painted in Tiffany blue and tied with a white satin ribbon, with a tag saying, “Here comes the bride, darling” was displayed in the gathering room.
And for all you brides/mother of the bride/mother of the groom, remember to thank the hostess/hostesses: Andy, mother of the groom, gave the hostesses a small porcelain box from Tiffany for their rings.



There’s a really cute Breakfast at Tiffany invite at Fleur de Lis, a paperie on Etsy available now. Check it out here.

{images via Andy, mother of the groom}