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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just a Lil' Ol' Announcement That's Kind-of a Big Deal


Have I thanked you all lately for reading this blog?  Because if I haven't, I want to say again--thank you!  

Because, due to your coming back on a regular basis to see what in the world this girl is up to now, I get to keep doing this.  And sometimes I even get the attention of a publication and they decide to feature something I've done.

This time it's the February/March issue of Cottages and Bungalows.  






Apparently, they liked my guest room makeover enough to share it.  And I have to say, it's really exciting for me.  There's just something "EEEK!" about seeing your name in print, like some important person.  (Let's just keep it on the down-low that I'm winging it over here, okay please?  Thanks!)  




So, if you happen to be in the dentist office or in the magazine aisle and you see this issue, check me out on pages 72 and 73.  And then tell whoever's beside you, "Hey, I know this girl.  She's a friend of mine."  

Because we totally are.  Thanks, again, friends!






 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine Kitchen Décor {2013}


So, if I'd like to pretend my Valentine cafe shelves from this year were out of a scene from Downton Abbey, I'll have to be honest with myself and say the kitchen décor turned out more like a kissing booth at the county fair.  Don't ask me how these things happen.  I'm inspired by all kinds of crazy.  And I like to keep my family guessing.  The good news is, they like it that way.




I hope you are taking the time to add a little love to your décor for your family at Valentine's Day.  Don't forget, it doesn't take a lot of talent or moolah to make it special for them.  

And I know I keep saying this, but this is another one of my easiest chalkboards ever... You really should try this!


And even if chalkboard typography doesn't float your boat like it does mine lately, a sweet simple message speaks volumes.

And a few candies and cookies put out for display is just plain fun as well.





I made the fan flare garland and big picks with the same method I used here.


 And most of the other items are just things I pulled together from around the house.


I hope this inspires you do to spread a little love around your home for your family this Valentine's season!  Remember:  it's the little things!



Sharing this with a few of these parties!





Thursday, January 24, 2013

Downton Abbey Inspired Valentine Vignette {and More Free Printables!}


For my cafe shelves this Valentine's Day, I was going for classic romance.  Sparkling crystal, gilded accents, and a just a hint of English aristocracy.  And when it was all done, I realized what I had wanted was Downton Abbey.  

Tea and cookies, anyone?
























And I realize this might be very American of me, but I also have some free Valentine printables  for you, if you are so inclined.  

Download the small ones here.



And download the large heart here.



Use these to make little buntings...


Or for adding a sweet message to your Valentine treats...





Lady Violet is my favorite.  Who's yours?

Linking with a few of these fine sites.


 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grant's Super 16 Superhero Birthday Party {With Free Printables!}


It's kind of a big deal, turning 16.  So, I knew we needed to throw a big party.  And since Grant has always been a little crazy about superheroes, I knew what I had to do.  I know many of you have little boys {or big boys} who also dream of saving the world while wearing a mask and cape, so I'm sharing our day with you...

One of the great things about a classic superhero party theme is that you can start with some basic primary colors and shapes just run with them.  




City skylines and black and white polka dots are great foundational elements for a superhero feel, so that was the look for the party table.  A couple of blue plastic table cloths with a makeshift table runner made from wrapping paper worked perfectly as a cheap and easy table cover.



And a few boxes covered in black tissue paper and yellow card stock made a great city skyline to hold the cupcakes.





We had a super-simple menu of hot dogs and chips, and a little 'Pop' 'Bam' 'Boom' added some wow factor to the condiments.









Once again, my cafe shelves came in very handy for theme decorating.  I made another of my easiest chalkboards ever in my old red frame.  




And the same red lantern I used on the Christmas shelves fit in just right here as well.  


I made Grant's name on a skyline from black paper with painted-on windows which held the glittered paper letters clipped on with clothes pins.  {Get this glittered paper from Hobby Lobby for only $1 on sale weeks!}



Here's the rear view...




The party favors for each guest were superhero cookies cut from Williams-Sonoma Marvel Comics cookie cutters. (UPDATE:  Williams-Sonoma is no longer selling these, but for those of you who have asked, I did find them for you here with free shipping!)







 We also had a city skyline photo backdrop made from black foam board with painted windows.  Here's a great option for a city backdrop if you'd rather just buy one!




When guests arrived, they chose a mask of their favorite superhero.  Purchase the download for the masks here.




My husband made us some laminated speech bubbles so we could all use a dry erase marker to write our own messages.  This dry-erase contact paper applied to cardboard would work great as well!




We had a lot of fun with that!






It turned out to be a super night for Grant and all his friends.  And, obviously, it was pretty fun for me, too.




If you're planning a superhero party anytime soon, feel free to download my printables. 

Click here to download the cupcake circles. (Use a 2-inch punch to get a perfect cut.)




And click here to find the Pop Bam Pow in various sizes along with other great stuff.