Friday, December 31

{new years eve handmade bash}

happy new years eve!
after all the sneak peeks and teasing, sharon and i are super excited to finally share what we've been working on for the past few weeks. 
sharon approached me a few months ago with a project idea she came up with. she had read an interview where i expressed my love for making things out of nothing... like an entire party out of a magazine! she had an amazing vision, i had some crafty skills, it just seemed stupid not to be working together. the rest is history, and now we have an absolutely fabulous photo shoot to share with all of you!
real simple was the obvious choice for this project with their perfect paper quality and colorful content. we utilized 3 issues for this bash. november contributing it's pages for the loads of confetti, december for all of the decor, and finally january for a delicious recipe... we figured if we were going to produce this beautiful party for a photo shoot, why not invite some girlfriends over to enjoy it with dinner!
sharon and i both like to have inspiration for our shindigs rather than the typical "theme". and with the timing being perfect, we chose to go with a girls only new years eve event. of course that meant pink, gold for a little sparkle, and pounds of glitter, literally. we also knew there would not be a structured buffet or dessert bar at our party. it was new years eve after all (well, kind of...), which meant over flowing glasses of champagne, dessert pouring out of yummy vintage dishes covering the table and begging to be eaten before dinner because they looked so good, and of course jars filled with delicious candy next to the very necessary noise makers and party blowers.

big big thank you to up imagery for all of the amazing photos you see above!

and don't think that's it folks... next week sharon and i will be sharing much more. steps on how we created many pieces of decor and favors shown, recipes, and behind the scene looks into how we made all this happen. 

now hop on over to cupcakes and cutlery to see what she is sharing from the shoot.
have an amazing new years eve and be safe!
can't wait to share more next week... xo, l

Monday, December 27


i have a week off with a goal to get organized... finally... for real this time. so, i'll be popping into ikea today for some organizational goods. if only my trip to ikea could result in a bedroom redo as lovely as this. i wish!
gorgeous image from here, found here

Thursday, December 23

[ happy holidays and a freebie! ]

happy holidays!
and if you need a last minute label, download this file for the image above:)

{xo, l}

{last minute idea!}

look at this adorable, and useful, gift my friend lindsey gave me yesterday.
i'm in love... packaging is perfect and it's something ryan and i will actually use

chances are, you might just have a few of these things in your spice rack... so if you're looking for a last minute gift for friends, family, or just your neighbors, try it out!

now, lindsey is all about being healthy (she's the one who forces me out of bed 3 times a week at 5 am to work out), hence the "clean" cooking she likes to also make me try:) is one of your resolutions to eat better (um, isn't that everyone's come jan 1?) try this recipe. she also brought this over and i'm on day 2 of eating it for breakfast... it's delicious, and if i now lindsey, nutritious:)

my second new years resolution? to stop procrastinating... i put this one in place when i realized i had 2 more days to do christmas shopping. so i'm off to do just that... again. i just got so fed up yesterday with the crowds i couldn't continue any longer. thank goodness all of my mall shopping is done, THAT was the worst. i probably won't be back until after christmas, so i hope everyone has a great weekend!

ps- adorable scalloped medallion is from pugly pixel!

Wednesday, December 22

[rainy day dress up]

rainy day

maybe not the most practical outfit to wear in a storm, but a girl likes to pretend:)
for product info, click here
off to do my last bit of shopping!

{xo, l}

Tuesday, December 21

party on...

i'm dying of excitement are you? well.. this is all i got..

so if you weren't following the tweets this is your first actual peek of what sharon and i have been up to!
this photo shoot was just amazing. i'm a newbie, and i am down right addicted. if it's not a real party i'm planning, it'll be a faux one i'm preparing for a shoot:) and probably with sharon because she is one of the most creative people around.
we'll have images to share soon! we were just too darn excited not to share one (or two!) of our own.
2 more days of holiday shopping! are you prepared? so glad i have the next 2 days free for a full blown shopping extravaganza. my goal is to finish up tomorrow and be all wrapped up thursday!

Friday, December 17

- just a peek -

get excited...

sharon and i are putting something super special together this weekend for all of our lovely readers! like what you see? come back next week to see the real deal! i won't spill too much yet, but if you're having a bash and need some inspiration and ideas, i recommend coming back for more:)
happy friday everyone! enjoy your weekend!

too anxious to wait? follow me on twitter... i just might be giving little peeks throughout the day!

Tuesday, December 14

{finishing touches}

i know i always like to do something special with my gift tags for the holidays (this year? feathers and paper ornaments!)... so if you're still trying to figure out how to add a little something to your packages, try one of these easy, but unique ways to do just that!

{xo, l}

Sunday, December 12

- kind of obsessed with -


so good to be back! how did you all like diy week? i hope everyone is crafting their little hearts out from all the inspiration and projects my fantastic blog friends shared over here!
if you're wondering, i was actually only vacationing for the first week... then had to travel for work over in china... hence the delayed return! the china trip was a bit last notice, and by the time i was back, jet lag set in and orders/projects had backed up. i'm definitely still catching up, but am getting back into my routine! i'll share a few pictures later this week from both trips!

{xo, l}

Sunday, December 5

:: diy week with moi ::

still coming back for more?
well good, because i couldn't host a whole week of projects without contributing something!

[ mini gold pot candles ]

dilemma- you have 15 co-workers to buy for, and don't want to spend an entire paycheck doing it
solution- you know all of those old candles that you've burnt as long as those suckers will last? and they're sitting in your closet because they smell too good to throw away? grab those

you'll need::
an old candle | mini terra cotta pots | glue {super glue works well too} | wicks | metal wick tabs | paint

so i'm sure there's a much better way to do this, so i'm leaving it open to you... but you have to seal that hole on the bottom. what i did was took a small piece of electrical tape {because that's what was available in the garage}, put a little super glue around the edges and it seemed to work just fine!

paint your pots. i chose gold for the holidays...

thread your wick {cut taller than the height of the pot} through the metal wick tab and fold the bottom to one side to keep secure

glue wick tab to bottom of pot

put your old candle wax {remove any left over wick or stickers that might be on the bottom} in an old metal container {i used an old dog bowl! but there are fancy little pots you can melt wax in} and melt on LOW heat

fill your pot!

trim the wick once candle has cooled..
and pack!

kraft box | bakers twine | silver glittered leaves

add a match to the top of your box for a finishing touch

find other fun containers around the house like tea cups or old vases and finish off all of those old candles i know you have:)

happy holidays!

{xo, l}

Saturday, December 4

:: diy with the perfect pear ::

HI EVERYONE, for those of you who don't know me, my name is Lauren or The Perfect Pear. And I LOVE Christmas. I'm sure you do to, because really, who doesn't?! Here's a VERY cute DIY for the holiday season that is sure to warm your heart! :) Lets Begin

You'll Need: Jars (with no engraving, just clear), some cute Christmas Figures, GLITTER!, a hot glue gun and some water.

1: First thing to do is to add your glitter to the jar, I prefer white because its snowy! Go sparse on the glitter guys, you dont want a blizzard in your globe!

2: Next you want to glue your figures down, on your jar lid, make sure you can still put the lid back on, when gluing the people down!

3: Now add water to your jar and put your lid on!

4: Flip it over, give it a shake and Voila! there you go, how easy was that?! too easy.



p.s. thanks so much to the Lovely Lauren V., for allowing me to be a part of this! i cant even tell you how much fun I had making these! 
Take a look at my blog! Follow if you wish, it'd make my day! I'm doing a contest pretty soon, so you might want to stick around for that!

Friday, December 3

:: diy with cupcakes and cutlery ::

I'm beyond excited to be guest posting for Lauren today!  I've been reading A Fabulous Fete for a while now and I adore it.  I love her crafty tutorials, the amazing photographic images she finds around the web and the pictures of her cat (and I don't even like cats).  When she asked me to guest post and share a DIY with you.  I wasn't sure what to do!  Although I have amazingly crafty thoughts my hands never produce them at a level that I would be proud to share.  But then I thought "share what you love" and I instantly knew.  Caramel corn.  I have much more cooking confidence than crafting confidence (and excel even more at eating) so I asked Lauren if I could share a holiday family favorite with you instead.  It is also a good way to share with you a project that I am involved in.  Carrie from Sweet Spot Candy Bar and Melissa from Truly Chic Inspiration decided to put together a holiday cookbook, filled with bloggers favorite family holiday recipes to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Of course I didn't hesitate to submit my recipes and stories.  I think the cookbook would make a great gift and if you are interested, you can find more about it here.  This caramel corn recipe will be in there along with several others (all of which are super easy and extremely tasty - that's how I roll).  

I am totally a sweets person and have had my fair share of caramel corn over the years.  I do not hesitate to say that this is, by far, my all time favorite.  For years, my grandmother would make this for me Christmas.  Because it makes a fairly good size batch (although it will be gone quick!) she would save her huge plastic pretzel containers from Costco and fill it with the popcorn to bring me.  It was what I waited to see each year.  My grandma getting out of the car holding an enormous container of caramel corn.  I've asked for it for birthdays in lieu of a cake and I've started making it for the kids parties.  It is always well received (and by well received I mean you have to elbow your way through the crowd just to get to the bowl) and makes a great favor when packaged up cute.  So here it is.  I hope you love it and that it starts a holiday tradition for your family too.  Its really inexpensive to make, not too difficult and makes a large amount.  It is perfect for dividing up to pass out to work friends, neighbors, post man, teachers, etc.  

Caramel Corn

2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt (I've used all types of salt over the years but this time tried it with a coarse sea salt and it was fantastic!)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 quarts popped popcorn

Using an air popper or microwave corn popper pop popcorn in batches until you have approximately 6 quarts.  You don't want any oil or flavorings, just nice fresh popcorn.  I always go through and pick out any unpopped kernels because there is nothing worse then shoving handful after handful of yummy deliciousness in to your mouth only to chomp down on a hard kernel and potentially cracking a tooth.  Put all the popped corn in to a large roasting pan if you have one or use a disposable turkey sized pan found at your grocery store around the holidays.

In a 3 quart saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup.  Heat to melt all ingredients together making sure to stir well.  Heat to boiling and let boil for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  

Remove from heat and add baking soda.  Stir well.  The caramel will sort of fizz up and become really airy and an odd texture.  You want that, it may just freak you out a little when it happens.  

Mix well with the popcorn taking care to fold it in and not break the popcorn.

Bake at 250 degrees in the oven for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  This is crucial to making sure that all pieces get a nice coating and keeps it crunchy.  Stir the caramel corn while its cooling to prevent it from sticking in big clumps.  

You could hand a ziplock baggie of this caramel corn over to a friend and they would be extremely happy, especially once they taste it.  But why not take a few minutes and put together a cute little package.  

Wax paper sheets from Smart and Final

White cord from Home Depot but could also use baker's twine
Round tag was a free download via Creature Comforts that I modified

Melamine dish from Ikea (sold in 4 pack with other colors that would be a radical take on traditional holiday colors).
Cello bag from Michaels
I created the tag

Acrylic kids cup from Ikea (comes in a 4 pack)
Ribbon from Michaels
I created the tag

Old ball jar
Battery powered light set from Ikea's holiday section 

I wish all of you a very happy holiday season.  Don't forget to check out the cookbook here.  And let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it!  

A big thank you to Lauren for asking me to post for her.  I am currently working on a big project with her and I think you guys are really going to love it...Stay tuned!!