Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blogger Makeover Ambush!

Last year I nominated my friend for a day of pampering with the Ambush Pittsburgh team. I got to tag along on her day of fun. She was so surprised and looked completely amazing! Well, the favor was returned to me and little did I know the "thank you nominator breakfast" I was attending was actually my very own ambush!
Let's start with the before and after, shall we?

As moms, we never seem to take the time to rest, relax, and pamper ourselves unless someone forces us to do so.  The makeover came at the perfect time... I attempted some highlights in my hair and had not been back to the salon in 6 months (eek!). Needless to say the girls were very happy to hear that I was ready to change that hair color!

Brooke of Brooke Rockwell Hair Design blended the perfect redish/brown fall color for my hair. 

Julie of Pittsburgh Makeup worked her magic on me next. 

Time for a new outfit generously donate by my sweet friend Becky!
They even got me in skinny jeans

I cannot even bring to tell you how much better and younger I feel after those precious few hours of pampering. Julie and Brooke are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. They dreamed up the Ambush Pittsburgh concept and each month generously donate their time and talents to do something nice for others. There are not enough words and thank yous out there to express how grateful I am. 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU Julie, Brooke, and Becky for everything!

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and would like to nominate someone, visit the Ambush Pittsburgh website!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

One thing I have realized more and more with each birthday is to cherish these moments...  small, quiet reminders that life is good.

Mr. Bugger bakes me a special cake every year

The buggers greeted me in bed (very, very early) this morning, wrapped gifts in hand. 
My gifts, peg dolls of mommy. (Right- I am wearing a headband and my fish dress)

Seeing those proud, happy smiles this morning is the best birthday gift of all.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Halloween Milk Bottles, Full Tutorial From The Party Dress Magazine

I love this time of year when we start discussing Halloween costumes in our house and pull out all our Fall decorations. Here is a Halloween tutorial that I created for the Fall Issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  I used glass milk bottles, but you could easily use paper cups or even water bottles. 

Black and Orange Crepe Paper 
Sewing Machine

Step 1. Measure and cut a 36" piece from both the black and orange roll. 
Divide the black piece in half, cutting down the center. 

Step 2. Place the black crepe paper in the center of the orange. Pin down the middle to secure.

Step 3. Remove pins and bunch the crepe paper with your fingertips as you sew a straight stitch down the center of your crepe paper. 

Step 4. Cut the sewn crepe paper ruffles into (roughly 9") pieces that fit around the milk bottle. Tape one end of the ruffle directly to the milk bottle, then wrap the ruffle around the bottle and secure with more tape. 

A special thanks to my fabulous vendors:
Glass Milk Bottles: Sweet Lulu
Milk Glass Cake Plate: Mosser Glass
Fondant Oreos: Love & Sugar Kisses

Be sure to check out the latest edition of The Party Dress Magazine (available in online, the App Store, and in print) for lots of fabulous Fall entertaining inspiration from top bloggers, party stylists, and designers. 

30 Days Handmade

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Charlie Brown Inspired Birthday-In-A-Box

I shared this over on Piggy Bank Parties this week and thought I'd post the rest of the pictures here in case you missed it. My sister-in-law and her husband always sneak off to a secluded beach when their birthdays roll around in August. Each year I send them off with a birthday-in-a-box. It's a fun way to be part of their celebrations, even if we are hundreds of miles away. They are both huge fans of Charlie Brown, so I used the Piggy Bank Parties Charlie Brown inspired collection this year, though a birthday-in-a-box could be done in any theme!

Total spent on the birthday box $6!  Most items can be found at any store... candles, balloons, cupcake marshmallows, glow wands, and paper plates. I raided my craft supplies for the bitty bags, divine twine, and paper straws. 

I wanted to do something extra special this year, so I painted them Linus and Charlie Brown peg dolls and added my favorite quotes from each character. Happy Birthday Ann & Tim, wishing you a year full of happiness and health!

The entire Charlie Brown Inspired Party Collection is available over at the Piggy Bank Parties market!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Minnie Glam Peg Doll

Announcing new peg doll sizes! 

The new larger peg dolls are 4" tall,  perfect for toddler hands!

Have a glamorous weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Charlie Brown Birthday In A Box

Do you love Charlie Brown? I'm sharing a Charlie Brown inspired Birthday In A Box idea over on Piggy Bank Parties today. I put the whole box together for under $6!  Hope you'll head over and take a peek!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Miles' 1st Birthday Fishing Party

JoAnne from Oh Goodie Design contacted me about making handmade party decorations for a fishing theme 1st birthday celebration. JoAnne coordinated the party with her client long distance (through email correspondence) to help pull together this adorable party.  Here are some party pictures.  Looks like everyone had a great time!

still loving the miniature fishing pole and tackle box I found for the wreath!

Such a beautiful family!

So honored to be a small part of Miles' big day!

photography by Pam Lary Photography

Friday, September 7, 2012

TGIF Toffee Brownie Pops

I just finished making 
toffee brownie pops 
for a very special 
Golden Anniversary Party
this weekend. 
I stole a few crumbs, 
they are pretty yummy.
Happy Weekend Everyone!

Update: Since you've asked for the recipe, here it is. I just made it up as I went.

Bake brownie mix as stated on the box. Let cool. Crumble into large bowl.
Add chocolate frosting, mix with hands.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll into 1" balls.
Melt chocolate, dip paper straw end in chocolate and insert into brownie ball.

Stick in freeze for about 15 minutes, or until hard.
Dip brownie pops in melted chocolate, tap to remove excess chocolate.

Top with toffee bits while the chocolate is still wet.
Stick back in the fridge to harden and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Schultuete: A German Back To School Tradition

Yesterday, I shared a wonderful back to school tradition over on Bird's Party Blog. I didn't want you to miss it, so I am reposting it here. To celebrate the beginning of the school year, German parents fill Schultute (German for school cones or sugar cones) with little gifts, sweets, and school supplies. The size of the cones increased as the tradition grew in popularity, some reaching over 36" tall! I was lucky enough to connect with Vivian Lie, founder of KinderCone, who is continuing this wonderful tradition.  

KinderCone makes different versions of the cones ranging by interests, size, grade level, even pre-filled and unfilled cone options. I chose the KinderCone minis so I could share this tradition with my son's entire preschool class.  They are smaller than the regular KinderCones and oh so cute! 

I filled the KinderCones with pencils, a magnifying glass, glue sticks, scissors, and a kraft tube filled with colored pencils. 

"School Days" Banner by Stampin' Fanatic set the mood perfectly 

Special thanks to Stampin' Fanatic and KinderCone for making our back-to-school celebration extra special this year!

Cheers to a healthy, happy new school year! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DIY Halloween Milk Bottles Featured in The Party Dress Magazine

Be prepared to be blown away by the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine, out today! This issue is full of beautiful Fall foods and wines, party inspiration, and craft tutorials. You can view the magazine online, purchase a print copy, or new this Fall- you can download from the App Store!

I was honored to be included as a contributor for this issue. Check out my Halloween Milk Bottles tutorial featured on pages 54-55.

Huge SHOUT OUTS and THANK YOUS to the following party vendors:

Maria of Love & Sugar Kisses for creating the most unbelievable chocolate covered Oreos topped with Halloween inspired fondant ruffles and 3D fondant spooky spiders. Not only are they adorable, but they are delicious!

Sweet Lulu, for sending the milk glass bottles. So sweet and simple, a great way to dress up any table!

Mosser Glass for sending these GORGEOUS white milk glass cake plates. I have a serious party crush on these cake plates. Ultra classic and beautiful. They even come in multiple colors (ask Courtney of Pizzazzerie which color she just ordered, wink*).

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