Apr 30, 2009

a little inspiration {tiffany}

Thank you My Personal Artist

I know this color has been done, but as you can see I still love it. Tiffany blue is very calming and definately adds a classy, modern feel. Accent with contrasting colors like red, orange, lavender and green florals and let you fun side shine.

Apr 29, 2009

Etsy Favorites {jp style}

I think it's time to give a little attention to our mothers. What do we get for mom? Go to Etsy, it's a wonderful place to shop, I really can't say enough great things. I am so impressed with all of the talented artists in this world doing what they love. I have found some of the most unique and just adorable gift ideas. What mom wouldn't love this necklace from jp style. Some of the "mom" necklaces I've seen {and actually own} now seem kinda of corny. This one is very stylish and current. I want one {hint...hint}. Talented and experienced jewelry designer Jenny Present, formed jp style out of her passion for jewelry and her love of the arts. She focuses on the smallest of details, combining delicate chains with unique charms, pendants, semi-precious stones and pearls. To view Jenny's full line of great jewelry visit her Etsy store: jp style Proud Mama necklace by jp style Check back tomorrow for more great mom day ideas.

Apr 27, 2009

DIY favors {coasters}

This is such a cute idea...I think I might just have to make these for myself. I love that there are so many ways to customize. Check out Style Me Pretty for more info and pics of these DIY favors.

Apr 24, 2009

purple, violet and silver {a little inspiration}

Happy Friday...

I guess I do LOVE! purple.

Creative Custom Cardboxes {vendor sweet talk}

Give, give, give...how about stylish receiving. Collect and protect your gifts in style, Marni Gold the creative mind behind Creative Custom Cardboxes, will design and handcraft a unique custom card box to match you event's them and decor. Visit Creative Custom Cardboxes for more information. Thank you Marni for inspiring us.

Apr 23, 2009

Olio Designs {etsy favorite}

Lollipop Favors

I just think these are the cutest little things. I am planning my daughters 13th B-day party next month and I think these would add a really fun touch. The owner of Olio Designs resides in Maine, she is a stay at home mom with two boys ages 5 & 7 {how does she find the time?}. Visit here Etsy Store -- Olio Designs to view her entire line of handmade cards, invitations, favors and paper goods. Thanks Olio Designs for inspiring us.

Apr 22, 2009

Paloma's Nest {etsy favorite}

Ok, I am a little obsessed with this one. Once in a while you run across something that is truly original that deserves some extra attention. Paloma's Nest is the creative work of Caroline Colom Vasquez, an artist and designer living in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas. Paloma's Nest is dedicated to creating modern heirlooms -- pieces for the home and for the heart. Recycled, up-cycled, and biodegradable products are prominent throughout the line as well as in the extraordinary gift packaging in which pieces arrive. The studio is powered 100% by renewable wind energy, minimizing the footprint left behind by the production of these beautiful pieces. I love this printed ribbon for favors...I will definately use.
This is the cutest ring bearer idea I have seen. They do custom printing too.
The entire Paloma’s Nest line, as well as additional product information, can be viewed and purchased at http://www.palomasnest.etsy.com/. Caroline can be contacted directly by email. Thank you Palomas Nest for inspiring us all.

Apr 21, 2009

{a little inspiration} green and brown

I love this combo for spring and summer. The simple brown bags could be filled with anything from a cookies to nuts...love the simple monogrammed seal, which you can find at my wedding labels {link to the right}. The glass hurricanes would make such a cute candy buffet filled with chocolates and natural looking candies in shades of white, cream and green. We are planning my sisters baby shower next month and I am going to have to e-mail this to mom right now. She is having a boy and we are using natural tones with brown and blue. Too cute, I think I will put cute labels on the bags, but not seal them shut and use them for the candy buffet. Love it!

Cupcake Mix Favors

Ok, this is my day job...Cupcake Mix Favors. This is one of the latest favors I've done and I love this color combo. Our cupcake mixes are made with the finest ingredients availble, including Nielsen-Massey pure Madagascar bourbon vanilla. Choose from vanilla cupcake mix, chocolate cupcake mix, red velvet cupcake mix or champagne cupcake mix. You can personalize your favors with our wide selection of custom labels. They are perfect for bridal shower favors, baby shower favors, wedding favors, bat mitzvah favors, party favors, even birth announcements. We also offer our custom label baking mix gifts. They are available in eleven different flavors, including all the cupcake mixes, plus, sugar cookie mix, perfect cookie mix, fruit cobbler mix, scone mix, fudge brownie mix, cinnamon streusel cake mix and traditional pound cake mix. Great gift ideas for the holidays or as hostess gifts any time of year. All of my blog followers receive $20 off a custom order by using coupon code OC10OFFER at checkout. For more information, visit our website ate http://www.gourmetgiftco.com/.

Apr 20, 2009

DIY favors {candy boxes}

These favors are so cute for a beach theme wedding, shower or party. If the cookies are scaring you away, don't be afraid. I will give you all the info you need. You can always e-mail me with questions. Ready: What you need:
  • boxes {3 1/4 X 3 1/4 X 1 1/8} http://www.papermart.com/
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • bulk salt water taffy {we bought ours at Henry's, but any salt water taffy will do}
  • starfish cookie cutter {we used regular star cookie cutter and tweaked it. size - about 2"}
  • sugar cookies {recipe attached}
  • rolling pin
  • marshmallow fondant {easy to make recipe attached}
  • royal icing {recipe attached}
  • small round decorating tip and bag {available at Michael's}
  • mini cupcake liners {available at Michael's}
  • bag of raffia or other natural looking material {non toxic}
  • ribbon {available at Michael's}

First prepare cookies and marshmallow fondant as described below. They really aren't too difficult. As soon as you have finished baking your cookies and making your marshmallow fondant {recipes are below} you are ready to move on to step 1.

  1. On a board sprinkled with cornstarch roll out fondant to about 1/8 inch thick, turning and coating with fondant to avoid sticking. It works best to roll out a small amount at a time to avoid the fondant getting to stiff. Before cutting slide the rolled out fondant around on the board to make sure it is not sticking, cut the starfish with the same cutter you used for the cookies. Cut a few at a time, with your finger or small {clean} paint brush, brush a small amount of water on cookie and immediately place the fondant stafish over cookie and lightly smooth into place. Repeat for all cookies.
  2. Prepare frosting according to recipe. Place a small round tip into decorating bag and fill about half way with frosting. Cover the remaining frosting with a damp towel to avoid drying out. If you are not familiar with using a decorating bag practing making dots a few times on another surface before you begin decorating your cookies. Dot starfish with frosting. Let set for several hours to make sure fondant and frosting are set.
  3. To make the sugar sand, combine half sugar and half brown sugar to make enough sugar sand to cover the bottom of your box bottoms. Arrange the mini cupcake liners in one corner of box bottom and flatten slightly. Top with a small amount of raffia for a natural look. Place cookie over raffia and place the taffy around cookie to fill box. Place lid on box and tie with ribbon. Add a custom hang tag if desired. Impress your guests when you tell them you made them yourself. Please email me with any questions.

Cookie Recipe:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Slowly add flour and mix well. Chill dough for 3 to 4 hours. Before rolling out, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out on lightly floured surface and cut with cookie cutter. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until barely colored. Decorate as desired.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe:

  • 16 oz bag of white mini marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening

In microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and water. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave and stir, return to microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Repeat until mixture is melted and smooth. It usually takes about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 of powdered sugar to marshmallow and mix. Pour remaining powdered sugar onto board and pour marshmallow mixture over powdered sugar. Coat your hands in crisco shortening {I mean seriously}. Knead powdered sugar into marshmallow as you would bread dough until it is smooth and elastic. The mixture will be very sticky at first and if you have small children at home they will want to help. To store fondant, place in ziploc bag and squeeze out all the air and refridgerate. You can make fondant up to two weeks in advance.

Royal Icing Recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder {Wilton makes a great one available at Michael's}
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 6-8 tablespoons water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks {about 8-10 minutes on medium speed}. I would start with 6 tablespoons of water and add more if too stiff for piping, keeping in mind you have to push it through that tiny hole. You may want to add a little frosting to the bag and experiment with consistency before filling the entire bag. You want the frosting to be soft enough to pipe easily, but it must hold its shape.

Apr 17, 2009

a little inspiration {hello spring}

Thank you jbhood.

Spring is such a cheerful time. I can almost hear the birds chirping. Actually I can hear birds chirping, but the dogs barking kind of ruin it.

DIY Favors - cookies, Yum!

Cookies are a personal favorite of mine. Something as simple as a cookie tied with a ribbon is a really cute favor. Cookies are a nice touch especially when they are personal. Use a family recipe or the bride and grooms favorite. Attach the recipe for an extra special touch.

DIY favors - paper cups for cookies

This unique idea is from Erika. She made 50 of these cute origami paper cups to hold cookies for her brothers wedding. A little time consuming yes, but invite a few of the girls over and it could be a lot of fun. There are so many cute papers available with the great scrap booking craze, the possibilities are endless. I would recommend wrapping your cookies in cellophane bags or using a good waxed tissue to avoid oil marks. You can print the origami pattern by clicking here.

DIY favors - favor boxes

These are a really cute idea. You can print out the box template by visiting MJ Trimming, but you can really use any boxes, I really like the casual tie and the button. Great for baby showers.

Apr 16, 2009

a little inspiration {black & white, cream & ecru}

Thank you finestationery.

I love this color combo!

DIY favors - caramel filled boxes

Ok, these are simple but I love these boxes. They are from http://www.bagsandbowsonline.com/, they refer to them as purse style gift card holders, but they make great favor boxes. They are available in several colors and they even come with the ribbon. I filled them with yummy handmade caramels from http://www.avenuesweets.com/, I did attached a great caramel recipe if you want to try your hand at making your own. Tags are from My Wedding Labels {link to the right}. Caramel Recipe:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 {14 oz} can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease an 8 X 8 inch square pan.
In a heavy 4 quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat; add brown sugar, corn syrup and milk. Stirring constantly, heat to 242 to 248 degrees F, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a firm but pliable ball. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour into prepared pan.
When caramel has cooled and set, cut into 1 inch squares. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Individually wrap caramels in wax paper.

Apr 14, 2009

DIY favors - s'mores kits

Yes, I am a bit of a foodie and most of my ideas revolve around it. I love this idea for anything beach, and camping of course, but I rarely get invited to those camping themed weddings. You will need:
  • graham cracker squares - 2 for each favor {homemade - see recipe to follow, or from a specialty store, something other than the usual grocery store variety}
  • marshmallows - {see recipe to follow, or if you don't want to make them yourself find good ones, try your local bakery or specialty food store - Whole Foods, Henry's you get the idea}
  • Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Squares - or other chocolate of your choice. I prefer the individually wrapped bags of Ghiradelli chocolates at Target.
  • gusseted cellophane bags - I use 3 1/2 X 2 1/4 X 7 3/4" any approximate size will do. You can buy at any local craft store.
  • ribbon - you can buy at any local craft store or order custom printed ribbon from one of our favorites Print My Ribbon {see link to the right}
  • custom hang tags - from My Wedding Labels {see link to the right}
Assembly is pretty straight forward. Layer graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate, graham cracker. Slip into cellophane bag, fold over excess bag and tie with ribbon and add hang tag. Your guests can eat them as they are, or if they make it home, remove top graham and chocolate and put under broiler for a few seconds until golden brown, replace chocolate and top graham smash and enjoy. Simple and very cute {don't forget delicious}.
Graham Cracker Recipe:
  • 4 cups graham flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup hot water, approximately
  • white flour for rolling out
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. cut butter into flour till course. Add sugar, soda, cream of tartar, egg and enough hot water to make dough that can be rolled like pastry. Roll 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick on a board sprinkled with white flour. Cut into 3 inch squares and place on ungreased baking sheet. Prick several times with fork. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on rack. Brush tops with butter.
Marshmallow Recipe:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teasponn vanilla extract
Dust a 9 X 9 inch square pan generously with confectioners' sugar.
In small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together white sugar, corn syrup and 3/4 cup water. Heat to 250 to 265 degrees F, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a rigid ball.
While syrup is heating, place remaining water in a metal bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Place bowl over simmering water until gelatin has dissolved completely. Keep in a warm place until syrup has come to temperature. Remove syrup from heat and whisk gelatin mixture into hot syrup. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Continue to beat, pouring syrup mixture into egg whites in a thin stream, until the egg whites are very stiff. Stir in vanilla. Spread evenly in prepared pan and let rest 8 hours or overnight before cutting into 3 inch squares.

Apr 13, 2009

DIY favors - gourmet caramel corn

Who doesn't love caramel corn? This is my grandma's caramel corn recipe that I haved loved since I was a kid. This is just one clever way to package this gourmet treat.
You will need:

Order your custom labels at least two weeks in advance. Make or buy caramel corn {see recipe to follow}. Set up your boxes and place large muffin cup in the bottom. Fill with caramel corn, close up boxes and wrap with ribbon {beginning and ending on bottom of box}. Affix custom label to front of box.

Caramel Corn Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups unpopped pop corn
  • 2 cubes butter
  • 1 pound brown sugar {2 1/4 cups}
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Pop 1 1/2 cups popping corn and pour into large mixing bowl. In medium sauce pan bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt to boil and boil to 260 degrees {hard ball stage}, remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp baking soda. Pour over popped pop corn and mix well. Spoon into shallow baking pans and bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour. Will fill approximately 12-15 boxes.