Friday, April 25, 2014

Black & White Easter

I was so excited to have a Cricut Blogger Workshop at my home. Cricut actually flew in a representative (Nathan) and he brought 3 additional Cricut machines for my friends to try out the new Cricut Explore. (I have a Cricut Explore as well.....yay me!)  Have you all heard the huge buzz about these machines?? Seriously, THE BEST cutting machines EVAH!!!

 I had quite a busy week being in Los Angeles helping with Operation Shower's largest shower hosted by Heidi Klum and getting home mid-week. However, I wanted to do a few projects to show my friends how they can use their Cricut to make decor for an Easter tablescape. I'm NOT a fan of pastels....sorry....I know Easter is so "pastely" .... I like to make up words. I decided to do a more elegant, modern twist with a black and white Easter. 

I set up a little mock Easter tablescape in my kitchen since I was using my dining room table for crafting. I had 26 girls over for the Cricut Blogger workshop which I simply called Girls Craft night in! My new Cricut Explore is amazing! It is so easy to use and what I love most!! No more cartridges! There is a port on the Explore that you put your cartridges into and you can upload them into your Design Space account and they will be saved on there forever!  So no need to keep pulling out your cartridges. I digress...... I made this centerpiece using eggs....not real eggs but I found plastic eggs that look totally real in Walmart! LOVE! I added a bunny from my Cricut design space. I am in love with it. 


I know straw flags are all the rage but do you like this butterfly that I found in Cricut design space? It even had 3 holes which made it super duper easy for me to slip my bendable straw through. I have a roll of chalkboard paper so I added the bunny. I love putting names on glasses so that people not only know where they are sitting but after dinner can keep drinking and know which glass is theirs. 




I have seen so many bird's nests made with milk chocolate but I wanted white chocolate. This nest is 4 inches and filled with malt chocolate eggs.

 Another thing I made with my Cricut was the butterfly napkin ring. It was so super easy to whip these out. It would have taken me a week to do it by hand....ok maybe that's a little exaggeration. However, it only took minutes with my Cricut. Another cool thing about this cuts so many various materials to include felt, fabric, leather, metal and even thin wood!! Can you believe that?? Plus since there is a dial to put on what type of material you are need to try to figure it all out!! Even my most non-crafty friends had no problems cutting out their projects during craft night!


Of course I had some food.....sweets that is!! To match my black and white Easter tablescape I create a matching sweets table. 

As you know rarely do I have a party without something from my cake diva Lizzy's Sweet n'Treats. This time she made me mini cupcakes (vanilla, chocolate and cookies and cream) and black and white egg-shaped sugar cookies. I have a chalkboard banner hanging over my fireplace with these exact designs on them. Didn't get a photo of the chalkboard banner....bad blogger!

Sorry for the dark photos but the craft night started at 7 pm and this was a "real" event not a photo shoot. I was enjoying my girls and crafting so just took super quick pictures to share.

 Here is a picture of 3 of the 4 Cricut machine set ups. The other one was in my craft room which is directly across from my dining room where these were set up. I had 2 crafts to choose from and the girls had total access to all my paper and paints to really make their craft their own. I didn't take any pictures of final products but luckily everyone has cell phones with cameras. To see the party and finished projects check out Instagram under #explorecricut and #exploreworkshop. While there you can check out other amazing gals and their creations/workshops!




4th of July Beach Picnic



Madison LOVES picnics...she could have one everyday! I brought a few red, white and blue items with me to our condo in Mexico so we could have a little 4th of July beach picnic. The beaches maybe too crowded on the 4th so we had the picnic early. I used the FREE Printables from Bird's Party! I love her and I LOVE FREE! This took my little picnic and made it all fancy schmancy! Here are a couple of pics but to see the 4th of July beach picnic please head over ....CLICK HERE!!

and while you are there download the FREE still have time to do something a little extra for your celebrations!!




Mustache You To Be Mine Valentine's Breakfast

I really don't know how my blog contributor Melissa (from Buckets of Grace) does it all! She works full time as a lawyer and still has these amazing parties and traditions with her family. Her Valentine's Day family breakfast is another example of such great DIY amazingness. Being right in the middle of moving I'm not sure what I'm doing special with Madison yet for Valentine's Day. UGH! I'll figure something out! You are going to LOVE this Valentine's Day family breakfast....get your coffee, hot chocolate or in my case a Coke and enjoy! 


This past weekend we had our 3rd annual Valentine's Day family breakfast. Since starting this three years ago, the kids look forward to this as soon as the calendar flips to February.

Last year I thought I was so clever when I came up with the theme "I mustache you to be mine" for our Valentine's Day breakfast for the following year. (See my Pinterest Boardhere.) Little did I know that it would be THE theme for this year! Oh well, I guess creativity loves company :)

 This post is a picture overload. Vendor information is at the end of the post.


























"I mustache you to be mine" sign - BritneyLeighs on Etsy

"I mustache you to be mine" printables - Lil' Luna

Grace and Ethan's shirts - Junie Grace on Etsy

Fondant cupcake toppers - Fondant Fantasy on Etsy

Heart and Mustache Garland - Oriental Trading

Mustache pics - Oriental Trading

Fuzzy Mustache stickers - Target

Mustache washi tape - Raquelbcn on Etsy


Thanks for looking! Happy Valentine's Day :)

Valentine Play-Doh with FREE Printable

Looking for a cute and inexpensive treat to give to your kids classmates for Valentine's??? It's a bonus that it isn't candy and something that the kiddos will actually play with! Make your own Play-doh! I promise it's super duper easy and costs a fraction of what you pay in the store plus it doesn't smell funny! I make this all the time with Madison because she loves to play with it. I get out the cookie cutters and let her have at it. So that is how this "muse" came about for the Valentine Play-Doh. 

It's made with ingredients you probably already have at home right now. 


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • food coloring


Mix all but food coloring in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over a very low heat until it turns into a dough (it’ll take just a few minutes). Knead the dough on a floured surface until cool enough for kids to touch. Separate the dough into as many colors as you want to make. Put just a few drops of coloring in each ball and knead until evenly mixed.


Once colored to your desired or red for hearts....then roll out and use heart cookie cutter.


I always have tons of ideas in my head however one thing I can't do is graphic design. That's where my talented printable friends come in. This Valentine printable was designed by Tonya from Soiree Event Design.  One has the full red background for ease of cutting with a paper punch.  The other shows the exact circle outline in case you have to hand cut these out.  See the bottom of post for your free downloadable copy of this printable. 

I get these clear containers in bulk from Smart and Final but I'm sure you can find them elsewhere. You could use any plastic container that can fit your play-doh heart (to keep it from drying out) or a zip lock bag. For a ziploc bag ~ cut and fold a put a piece of scrapbook paper along the top of ziploc bag then place printable in the middle of scrapbook paper topper. 


 To access the FREE VALENTINE PRINTABLE CLICK Maddycakes Muse Facebook page HERE.

 To see more of Soiree Event Design's printables and custom work click HERE.

Custom Birthday Crowns

My wonderful friend and blog contributor Shawna of Shawna Brockmeier Styled Events has done it again with a fabulous New Year's Eve party that she had for her daughter and her friends. I will share the party with you this week but I must first show you her amazing party crowns that she creates! I LOVE these pink and gold crowns that she created for her New Year's Eve party! Such amazing detail in each crown!

Do you remember the crowns she made for my Madison's Princess and the Pea Easter party??

Shawna made custom crowns for each girl. The crowns are so unique and made so beautifully! Awesome gift for each girl! They are each handmade so you won't find it anywhere else and made with such care and quality. Madison still has her crown and it is so durable! She plays dress up with it all the time. Many of the store bought ones break after one use! 

Here is another example of Shawna's amazing work! This beautiful black, turquoise and white crown was for her daughter's Beach Glam birthday party. 

So if you are looking for something unique and one of a kind .... look no further for your next little girl's party. Can fit any theme because they are custom made. You can even send Shawna your fabric to match perfectly or your color scheme and she will pick fabrics to match! Even if you don't get one for each girl .... the birthday girl can have this special jewel!! For more information contact Shawna via Facebook HERE!! Happy New Year my friends! 

Thanksgiving Tablescapes Muses

I am getting ready to pull out my Thanksgiving dishes and start figuring out what I will do for my Thanksgiving tablescape this year. I love setting the table for Thanksgiving. It reminds me of growing up~ my mother would pull out the china and set the most gorgeous Thanksgiving table.  I don't know about you but that was the only time I got to eat on "the china"! The rest of the year it was behind glass in the china cabinet. 

One of my all time favorite "muses" and DIY guru is Eddie Ross! I just love his style and creativity! He finds the most amazing things at flea markets and thrift stores. MY HERO!!! In this tablescape I love how he mixes vintage and modern. I love the mix and match tableware. I've never believed that everything on your table has to be so matchy matchy! For this tablescape, Eddie mix-matched the silverware. Just like jewelry styles, you can mix platinum, silver and gold together and it will still look fabulous!

I love the place cards! This would be simple to recreate by painting mini pumpkins gold and adding craft paper leaf with guests names on it! You will see this on my table this year! 

I just love this brown and cream Thanksgiving tablescape. My two favorite muses on this table are the centerpiece and how Eddie Ross used the table runners! For the centerpiece he used a birch log and drilled holes and inserted taper candles~LOVE! I think I would love to do this for a Christmas tablescape!

I love the warm brown tones mixed with copper and the use of chocolate velvet for the tablecloth! I think placing the runners between the settings is unexpected! I will be using this muse as well this year as well!

What I love the most on this table designed by Eddie Ross is the monochromatic palette and his mixing of tones and textures. I think it is very modern but at the same time very classic. I loved how he layered textures of the tablecloth and the runner. I just love getting out all my "stuff" and playing with it until I find a tablescape that I love! 

Thanksgiving can be stressful so here are a couple of tips that may help~

  • Set up your table 3 to 4 days in advance thus giving yourself ample time to get settings the way you want them. Also time to press out your linens and napkins.
  • Never try new recipes for the first time on Thanksgiving! If you want to try a new recipe this year, test it out ahead of time to make sure it looks and tastes good!

Of course, I will be sharing with you my Thanksgiving tablescape and how I took Eddie Ross's "muses" to complete my look!

Floating Pumpkins

I love using Funkin artificial carvable pumpkins! They don't rot and you can use them year after year! Plus most of them are already 40% off at all the crafts stores because they are moving forward to Christmas already! I absolutely ADORE how my blog contributor Susan turned them into floating Jack-o'Lanterns for a party she styled! She placed battery operated lights in them and put them in the pool! I am so going to steal use this idea this year! 




These floating pumpkins would be a hit and the talk of any party! So you don't live in AZ or another warm state and/or don't have a pool? Well, still carve out a bunch of these and put them all around! Instant awesomeness!!

Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage

It's so easy to create a Cinderella pumpkin carriage for your special princess this Halloween using craft supplies you probably have in your craft stash and things around the house! Blog contributor Shawna shares her Cinderella Pumpkin Carriage.Last year we made a Cinderella's carriage out of a 'Fairy Tale' pumpkin! We collected trinkets from all over the house and used a glue gun to attach them--the scary thing is---I did not have to buy a single item for this project.........the craft supplies are endless in this house!
My daughter and I worked on this carriage using craft and recycled items we found around the house! We used little tin canisters for the wheels and fall colored stickers and glitter to embellish the carriage. I found a mini silver platter that we used as the door and borrowed crystals form the chandelier in my daughters room to add some sparkle to the carriage. We hot glued all of the items to a 'fairy tale' pumpkin that we purchased at the grocery store. We had so much fun creating this carriage that we may do it again this year! We used the Topsy Turvy Cinderella doll to accompany our fancy fairy tale pumpkin........Happy pumpkin decorating everyone!!

Pumpkin Keg


I used to be a contributor writer for but then my life got to hectic and I had to let some things go. I was very thankful for the opportunity to write for such a great site! The editor Melissa really has outdone herself with this pumpkin keg! I am in LOVE with it! I must do this for my Halloween party! However, I won't fill it with beer but with an Autumn non-alcoholic concoction. 

This week is pumpkin week on the blog so check back daily for more pumpkin goodness for your Fall/Halloween decorating & parties!

For the 411 on how to pumpkin keg video, click on HERE

Pottery Barn inspired Paper Mache Pumpkins

This happens to me all the time~ I'm in a store....I see something fabulous and I want it! I look at the price tag and I say to myself.....I could make that for a lot less! I now have a HUGE list of things that "I can make myself" projects! However, my blog contributor Melissa is scratching of one of her projects to do list with this fab Pottery Barn inspired Paper Mache Pumpkins! 

It's Melissa from Buckets of Grace again! I'm back with my Pottery Barn knock-off Newsprint Paper Mache Pumpkins. Here was my inspiration:




Beautiful, aren't they? But the price tag - not so much. So, I decided to attempt to make my own. Mine are not newsprint and they are not paper mache, but I do have to say, I love how they turned out!



Sorry for the not so great picture - pretend you are seeing script paper on pumpkins :) Here is what you'll need:

  • Plastic pumpkins (I found mine at Target - of course!)
  • Script print scrapbook paper (I found mine at Joann)
  • Modge Podge
  • Sponge paint brush


I attempted to enlist the kids in this Friday-night Fun craft project, but that only lasted so long. My Ethan is ALL BOY, but when it comes to getting his hands dirty or much less anything else, he wants nothing to do with it! And for my Grace, Disney happened to be running their "Monstober" special so she ditched me when her shows came on. So much for family time!


Here was the first 15 minutes of fun for them.



Step1 - Cut about 10 pieces of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper into 2 inch strips. Make sure you cut enough paper because in the next few steps, your hands will quickly become layered in Modge Podge!



Step 2 - Paint a generous strip of Modge Podge onto the pumpkin. (Ethan really didn't get the concept of "strips." He was more liberal with his applications!)



Step 3 - (This is when your hands start to get dirty and my kids bailed on me!) Place the 2 inch strip of paper on theModge Podge strip. Cover the strip of paper in a layer of Modge Podge making sure to soak the strip of paper. After you've soaked the strip of paper in Modge Podge, use your hands and press the paper onto the pumpkin, working it into the crevices of the pumpkin.



Step 4 - Keep working your way around the pumpkin, overlapping the strips of paper on one another, repeating steps 1 to 3 above.




I attempted to tuck the paper under the stem of the pumpkin so it looked covered and "more natural."



Step 5 - Once you have covered your pumpkins completely in paper, put it on a drying rack. Make sure you try to smooth out the paper as best you can. As you can see from mine, you won't be able to smooth out the paper all the way. That's okay - it adds the "paper mache" look of the PB pumpkins :)



Here are my finished products:





I placed my pumpkins among my silver painted pumpkins that I added chevron ribbon to on my dining room table. The silver pumpkins were almost 10 years old that I had used in my outdoor window baskets. They were so faded and gross that I couldn't use them any more. So, I decided to spray them with silver paint and minus some bumps and bruises on them, they turned out pretty good! I think the arrangement needs a little height. Maybe I'll get to that this Friday night!



Thanks to Michelle for letting me share our family craft! For more Fall and Halloween crafts, check out my blog at Buckets of Grace.