Thursday, October 6, 2016

Halloween Decorating- A picnic with my BOO



It's a crisp, Autumn day here in Pennsylvania. The leaves are just starting to change, the local orchards are full of apples ready to be picked, nearby farms have their corn mazes open, and pumpkins as far as the eyes can see, and Halloween is just around the corner...
We love Halloween in my family, my younger daughter, Kati actually has a Halloween birthday! 
We're not so much into the gory stuff, so these skeletons are about as scary as we like to get. 


When I saw these "adorable" skeletons from Oriental Trading, I decided to set up a skeleton picnic, including bat cookies and eyeball punch. (Of course on Halloween the cookies will be wrapped for our favorite little neighborhood ghouls, and the punch will be for the grown ups only!)  ;)



Awwww... 'Til death do us part xo


I used a bat cookie cutter from local cookie cutter company R&M Intl. to make these easy sugar cookies. (Their cookie cutters are the best!)


I picked up the pitcher and floating eyeballs from our local dollar store. The punch is glowing thanks to the glow in the dark necklaces from Oriental Trading. I have also seen people use Super B Complex to make their punch glow, but haven't tried that one out yet.

The skeletons, BOO balloons, black gauze, glow in the dark necklaces, and burlap bunting can be found here:

I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.

Happy Fall xo













Saturday, July 2, 2016

Luau Party- Oriental Trading Style


  I can hardly believe it's been 5 years since my adorable God-daughter, Reagan turned one! I helped her mom and dad throw a fun luau party back then, and I'm starting to get the luau itch again...





A luau is a classic summer party theme, and really easy to throw together, even last minute... However it can be a little time consuming picking out what you really need and trying to stay in- budget. Well, I'm a serious bargain shopper, but I don't skimp when it comes to pulling together a party theme...So I've done the work and picked out some awesome supplies for your next party that no luau should be without. And good news, it's all under $50 with FREE shipping on orders of $49 and up!!
Let me know how you think I've done...









And they even have this... ;)




The Oriental Trading Blog is sharing  some extras (FREE printables and a pineapple drink recipe) by Jessica Wicox that will make your party look like you blew your budget, check them out here:



PINEAPPLE THANK YOU TAGS-
http://m.orientaltrading.com/pdf/pineapple-thank-you-tags-yellow-printable.pdf

PINEAPPLE "BAR" BANNER-

GOLDEN PINEAPPLE DRINK RECIPE-


Find more luau items and ideas here-




I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.
xo


Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Shark Week!

As much as I love watching these beautiful creatures on tv...

This version is much cuter, and they don't bite back! ;)

To make this cookie:

I rolled a thin strip of white fondant onto some grey fondant, then cut out the shape with my cookie cutter (from R&M International). I brushed a thin amount of corn syrup onto the cookie, then positioned the fondant, and pressed gently (so it's secure)...so easy & will make a great snack for your Shark Week viewing party.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Philly Home Show (Cookie Workshop)


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of teaching a Make & Take Workshop at the Philly Home Show.  My class was on Saturday, the day before Valentine's Day, so we decorated cookies for our Valentines <3

That's me!!
This is actually the very first photo I'm posting since I came down with Bells Palsy (8 months ago)!! I'm not quite totally healed yet, but who cares, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take at least one gratuitous photo in front of the Home Show sign. 
(I was working really hard to get my smile right for this!)  ;))

Sure the class was supposed to be maxed at 15 people, but I planned ahead (knowing how much we all love cookies) and we squeezed in a few extra people.

We made flower bouquets and cookie chalkboards (my fave!)
These small flower punches from Wilton were the perfect size for making the flower bouquets. Just press them into fondant, then attach them to the cookie-easy peasy...We had people of all ages making the prettiest cookies, with no previous training and less than an hour to learn!! 

After the cookies were decorated nice and pretty, we packaged them in clear boxes, tied with red twine, ready to give as gifts...


And speaking of gifts... R&M International (my favorite cookie cutter company) gave each guest a set of cookie cutters, so they can create these beauties again at home!!  Thanks, R&M!!

Thank you, Denise from The Painted Home, for the invite to teach this workshop. Also thanks to my bestest friend, Linda Griffin for taking theses awesome photos. And to my awesome assistants, Kati and Julia. xo

What a fun day with a great group of people!! 






I received items from Wilton, and R&M International.  The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.




Saturday, December 5, 2015

DIY Christmas Gifts

With Christmas only a few weeks away, you might be wondering how you can thank the many special people in your life without blowing your budget...  Personally, I love baking for my daughters' teachers and coaches. I mean, who doesn't like Christmas cookies?  So, I came up with this unique way to present my cookies. If you wanted, you could add a gift card to a favorite coffee shop or book store...

I found most of my supplies for this project at orientaltrading.com

These cute, wooden trays can be left plain or painted any way you'd like. I'm a lover of everything chalkboard, so the choice was easy for me. 
First I spray painted my trays gold, and once that dried, I painted them with 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

While the paint was drying, I started my baking. I've made cookies similar to these in the past using a gingerbread boy cutter turned upside down. That works fine, but I spotted this letter A cutter and knew it would be even better. I hand cut the antlers out of rolled fondant, but you can get creative if you're short on time...food writers would work great if you wanted to draw on some antlers, broken pretzels would work, licorice strings...you get the idea! 

So here's the cuties all wrapped up and ready to be gifted. As far as DIY gifts go, this one is both easy and reasonable. You can even customize it by writing the teacher's name on it. 

Have fun baking and crafting, and Merry Christmas!!!❤️

*The trays, chalkboard paint, mason jars, red chocolate candies, red striped straws, gift bags, twine, and candy jar (that I turned into a snow globe of sorts) can all be found at Oriental Trading.


I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.
xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Table– DIY Napkin Rings


I had the opportunity to help make napkin rings for a local charity banquet this past weekend, and it got me thinking...these would be adorable on a Thanksgiving table!  Well, lucky for me, my sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I figured I'd put together a simple tutorial just in case anybody else wants to make them.

You'll need:
•Thick ribbon, this one is hemp from Hobby Lobby.
•Scissors 
•Hot glue gun and glue sticks

(I had to make almost 300 napkin rings so you'll probably get away with a couple of yards)... 

My daughter and I cut the ribbon into 5-ish inch strips.
Add a few lines of hot glue.

Loop it around and hold tightly together for a few seconds.

That's it!! They're so quick and easy, and will add a stylish flair to your table.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! xo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Holiday Cookies~


I've recently started working with a local cookie cutter company, R & M International Corp.
They supply me with the cutters, and I get down to business. In this case it's prepping for Christmas and the fun holiday season...


{Okay, these are from my own cookie cutter collection, but I thought they turned out so cute, I had to add them.}


My cookies even appear on the box of their new cookie press! If you've never used a cookie press before, I'd highly recommend it. This one was so simple, no rolling or cutters involved. When you're baking for large crowds, and don't have a lot of time, this thing will be your best friend. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Ball- 12th Birthday Party




My daughter, Kati was born on October 31st, and loves a good Halloween themed party. This year she turned twelve, and wanted to do something somewhat different with the theme; glam it up a little.  We decided on having a Birthday Ball with rustic Fall elements, while keeping in mind the classic elegance of a royal ball. We decided on a neutral palette: peach, white, light cranberry, with some silver and gold accents thrown in.


Knowing how important the invitations are for giving guests the first glimpse of the party theme, I went right to Love Greyson Events. https://m.facebook.com/pages/Love-Greyson-Events/159595124051005
Valerie brought my vision to life with beautiful water colored, floral invitations. 


I carried the water color element into the sweet table backdrop, which was a light washed floral painting with the words, “This Ball Doesn’t End at 12”. The beautiful script letters were made by Sweetly Chic Events. http://sweetlychicevents.com/


Everyone’s favorite element of the party was the sweet table. My husband, Matt made caramel apples which were a huge hit! I added beautiful, edible leaves by Sugar Robot 
https://www.etsy.com/shop/SugarRobot
which made them even more irresistible. Our talented friend, Trudy made flawless meringue mushrooms that tasted as good as they looked. I made chocolate cake balls shaped like little, white ,Cinderella pumpkins, and sat them in a bed of ground graham crackers. These were so easy to make, and were served in tiny, plastic martini glasses which was so fun for the girls.







The birthday girl invited everyone to dress up for this party. She greeted her guests wearing a beautiful silver tutu adorned with rhinestones, hand made by my favorite tutu designers at Atutudes.


The tablescape was set with fine china, ornate silver candleabras, holding glass pumpkins, and an autumn table runner comprised of Styrofoam leaves, pumpkins, and gourds. I sprayed this with a gold glitter spray paint. it didn’t change the colors, but added a hint of shine which I loved! I placed a cute, collapsible paper pumpkin place card on each place setting, It looked adorable, but they did need to be taped down because of the wind gusts we were experiencing during set up. Except for the wind, we had a beautiful day; the sun was glistening through the pine trees, and made for some beautiful photos.

The party was set up at a quaint, local farm. The rustic, stone farmhouse, and surrounding acres of woods lent itself perfectly as the backdrop. I thought it would be fun to add some natural elements to the d├ęcor, so I used gold spray paint to give pinecones a more glam look, bought some moss covered mushrooms from the craft store, and used pretty, fabric fall leaves ordered from Oriental Trading. http://m.orientaltrading.com/
I scattered them around the grounds, and display tables; it added a nice contrast from the fine china and elegant, peach sequined table linens by Candy Crush Shop. 
This tablecloth was so ridiculously beautiful in person...



As the guests arrived they made floral crowns with supplies I bought at the craft store, and the dollar store. I’m all about saving money, but the crowns turned out so nice that they didn't show it at all. The girls wore them throughout the party, so I knew that was a craft win! 






   (I had to snap a photo of this cutie with my iPhone).

 I also set up a table of edible jewels: gumball necklaces, candy bracelets and ring pops which the girls took home as favors. Thanks for stopping by! xo


All photos by Expressions by Nicole Marie

I received items from Oriental Trading.
 This review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.


✨Kati's Fall Birthday Ball was featured in one of my favorite magazines, Bird's Party!!! You can view the ezine by following this link:

While you're there, keep an eye out for my Monster High Cupcake toppers...


Photo credit: Sara G. Photography