Every 100 Followers Giveaway: Martha Stewart Home Office With Avery Giveaway

Woo-hoo! It's time for another Every 100 Followers Giveaway! Every time we reach another 100 GFC followers we partay! I'm at 716 (otherwise I would be doing giveaways everyday), but of course I have thousands (eek!) throughout Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, email and even on Pinterest.  This giveaway is open to ALL of you who follow me, a big thank you for following my crazy.

Have you heard? Martha Stewart Home Office has teamed with Avery for an exclusive line at Staples.  I couldn't wait to see what she had in store, and she has serious organizational tools from binders, journals and notebooks, to labels and tags. She even has office chairs, desks and cabinets. What I love is that the labels are all computer-friendly so you can download the template and run them through

I scooped up a few fun things that are perfect for cute packaging, and a few extra for one lucky winner! Sorry for the blurry photos, they are so tiny on the Staple site, but here is what you'll get...and no not the packaging like the boxes, just the labels :).


1 - 36 pack of Flourish 1-5/8" x 1-3/4" brown kraft labels
1 - 12 pack of 2-1/2" x 3-3/4" classic chalkboard labels
1 - 12 pack of 2-1/2" x 3-3/4" classic brown kraft labels
48 1- 3/32" x 1-3/4" paper tags; 1 24-pack in blue, gray, and green and 1-24 pack in gray, yellow, and white with coordinating baker's twine.
1 - 6 pack of 1-7/8" x 6-1/4" classic ElastiNote® tags in red

A total value of $25, it can be yours...all you have to be is one of my followers; Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed, or an email subscriber. That's it! Enter below on Rafflecopter, and remember you MUST be a follower, otherwise, it defeats the purpose of this giveaway and your entries will be voided.

Paper Source

I'm so excited to welcome Paper Source on my crazy sponsor train. I've only been shopping there for years! I think I may have mentioned them once, or twice. In fact, I was just rambling about their Valentine straws and just pinned their too-cute shamrock badge

I've the pleasure of living near two of them here in the Seattle area. In fact, the Bellevue one is across from Crate & Barrel, and next door to The Container Store, or as I like to call it, The Trifecta Of Evil.  Of course, the other store is down from Impress Stamps and Trophy Cupcakes, so it too is The Trifecta Of Evil.

But I digress...if you don't live near one yourself, don't worry, you can order online. Why? Because they have the most gorgeous paper in every hue you can imagine with matching envelopes, stamps, stationery, specialty papers, fabulous gift wrap, and more.

Spa party runner? Paper Source gift wrap.

Starbursts? Paper Source paper.

Do I have a lot of their stamps? Yes,  I do. Do I wander around the shop in a haze of creativity? Yes, I do.

Another place to get lost in, their blog.  It's chock-a-block full of REAL ideas, the ones the gals at the stores make and can talk to you about, not a team of perfectionists...ahem...

So if you are needing to do a little shopping, I've got a nice little button right there in the left column.

Fiesta Friday - Octopus Party Ideas + Read Across America/The Lorax Fiestas

It's Octopus Week at the Seattle Aquarium so I thought, what would be more fitting than to share a few themed party ideas over on Today's Mama - Seattle Mamas, like these super cute cupcakes from FamilyFun.

Speaking of family fun, next Friday is March 2 and Read Across America, a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually  in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. Thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.

Check out the Seussville site for Read Across America activities happening all week long. And this year is extra special with the same day release of  The Lorax Movie so of course I had to share some fun parties and crafts from around the web.

The Lorax party table
A bright tabletop from Eyes Of cute are her Truffula Trees?

The Lorax party blog roll
Check out the Lorax Toolkit with lots of Lorax fun to check out like their blogroll, a fun blog hop with great posts by big names like Little Birdie Secrets and Today's Creative Blog.

The Lorax party table 2
Amandalynn Jones' fun party has my go-to party treats, dipped marshmallows!

The Lorax hand puppet craft
Make a truffula tree frame, Bar-ba-loot snacks and this adorable Lorax hand puppet with Make And Takes over at Babble.

The Lorax cake pops
The party wouldn't be complete without Bakerella's Lorax pops?

And just because everyone loves to win stuff, check out Mama Mary of San Diegos Mamas movie review and giveaway for a $50 Fandago card and movie merchandise.

Need more inspiration? Check out last year's Seuss-inspired post...

St. Patrick's Day Candy Tubes With Wrigley

Wrigley St. Patrick's Day candy tubes
Looking for a fun favor idea for St. Patrick's Day that's somewhere over the rainbow? I thought, for once, I'll get my ideas out early so people would have time to actually do them. My box of Wrigley candy has been inspiring me with serious candy crafting.

Wrigley St. Patrick's Day candy tubes 2
Get your hands on these plastic tubes from Shop Sweet Lulu, toss in a few mini marshmallows,  then fill them up with rainbow-hued candy, of course.  I used original Skittles®, but they don't have blue (why???) so you'll need to get them out of the Skittles Blenders® pack.

I couldn't have asked for a better Lucky download from Eighteen25, it worked perfectly! I're welcome!

Missed my other candy adventures? Check out marshmallow robots, candy cake decorating, candy jewelry and wooden gingerbread houses.

Disclaimer: I received free product courtesy of Wrigley, no compensation was given, real or implied. This review is my own personal opinion.


Home Stories A2Z

Tuesday Tip - My Memories Digital Scrapbooking Review + Giveaway

Back when my boys were little, scrapbooking was taking over the world.  A dear friend was a Stampin' Up! consultant so of course I attended her demos, was in her Stampers 10 Club and hosted parties.  My mission, to create scrapbooks for the entire family...a military one for dad, a First Year and birthday book for each boy, a family book, and a  Disneyland Vacation book.  Of course, I would also squeeze in a School Days book for each boy, starting from preschool.

If you are keeping count, that's 9.  I've finished one, my 10 year old's...birth though age 4. The rest are sadly half-finished with a layer of dust on them.  The Disneyland trip was in 2006...

To say that I'll probably never catch up is an understatement.  But now with the rise of digital scrapbooking, I feel I have hope.  I was contacted by Liz a few weeks ago with the opportunity to test drive My Memories Suite. It will help you create beautiful pages from scratch or build an entire album using one of the many professionally-designed scrapbook templates provided within the scrapbook software.  A large collection of papers and embellishments are also included and available at your fingertips to help you make each page uniquely your own.

My Memories Suite giveaway

My Memories Suite giveaway 2
OK, so what do I mean?  Well, I'll show you...this is one of their templates that I opened up and dragged photos of the pink safari baby shower into.  Yup, that's it! I removed the existing text boxes and added those white brads. You can download lots of other types of embellishments, I was limited since I only have the basic software.

Here's another one...another basic template that I tweaked...I changed the background color and added another photo.  You can remove elements (like the colored boxes) to add more photos.  This is also one page of a 8 page album, and each page has a different layout so you can move elements around and change things up and still have a uniform feel to the album.
I know, the possibilities are can make it an interactive memory experience for anyone who sees it. There are simple one-click options to enhance your scrapbooks, with music, narration, and video. Go beyond pictures by showing off video of the birthday party, or record a narration to capture the memories that pictures alone cannot. You can even make it iPod ready or turn it into a DVD.

If you are old-school and like to touch paper,  you can still have it professionally printed as an album or a calendar. I've only scratched the surface...check out their gallery full of reader submissions.

Use my code STMMMS31319 for $10 off the My Memories Suite digital scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the store, a $20 savings! See the pretty button in my left column? It's always there in case you forget...

But wait, not only did Liz offer me my own download but graciously offered to share with one of my readers! Today's giveaway is a
My Memories Suite 
software download 
(a $40 value) 

Enter below on Rafflecopter and don't forget to read the fine print!

Elements Of Design In Party Decor - Repetition

My elements of design in party decor post generated lots of buzz; I also received several emails for more in-depth ideas about why these ideas 'work'. By no means am I an expert with years of design under my belt.  But as you work on more events, you start getting 'the eye'...something doesn't look right, something's missing...and you'll keep playing around until you get what feels right to you.

Thus, I'm inspired to do a mini series using all eight principals of design (check out the post to see what I'm talking about); so far we've got balance, emphasis, movement, and today is repetition.

I don't need to explain what repetition is...but if I need to, it's the repeating of elements. Easy enough, right? Wrong! We aren't just talking having 6 of the same vessels...that can get kind of boring, well not always, but we'll get to that later.  We are talking...well, let me show you...

elements of design repetition macaron party

Macarons are the star in this dessert table from The Caketress...but don't overwhelm it.

Fiesta Friday - Robot Valentine Party Inspiration

Since we don't have school today for the President's Day holiday, I decided it would be a perfect day for a glorified playdate for Valentine's Day.  If you remember, I was inspired by Nick Jack Will's robot valentine bags which I promptly ordered.  Here are a few ideas I'll be incorporating....

My marshmallow and box robots; robot Rice Krispy Treats from The Celebration Shoppe;  gears I made from Styrofoam; candy rimmed bottles from Sweet Sensations; Michael's Robot Finds; robot centerpieces from Sweet Craft Cakes; robot parts from Spaceships And Laserbeams.

Valentine's Day Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day! What better time than to share all of the valentines I've been working on!  A few weeks ago, I was on a rubber stamp roll! I found in Michael's dollar stamp bin several fun stamps that I knew would make great valentines.

Seattle Valentine's Day card
For the Valentine Card Swap I participated in, I sent out these fun Valentines using a stamp from Impress Rubber Stamps (oh how I heart going there), and my cloud punch.  I couldn't resist, after all, everyone thinks it rains all the time! Those are real candy heart sprinkles.

u rock valentine

For my local swap partners and our school specialists, I made up these rock candy valentines using a U Rock stamp from Michael's with a candy sprinkle accent. They are easy to make; I used pretzel rod bags, and I stamped and cut kraft cardstock to fit.

rock candy valentine

I love 30 Handmade Day's Cute As A Button printable so I used it again this year...this time I made heart button clips for the girls in the little one's class...I simply hot glued felt over hair clips and found the perfect bag of buttons from Jo-Ann's.
cute as a button valentine clip

And for the boys, we used dandee's Love Bug valentine download, complete with glow-in-the-dark bugs.

light bulb valentines

For our wonderful teachers...when I saw the stamp at Michael's, it hit me like lightning...I absolutely love these light bulb containers from Hobby Lobby.  These would also be perfect for Teacher Appreciation Week too.
light bulb valentine

For our amazing office ladies....of course I already had the jewel and key molds and once again, when I saw the stamps at Michael's, I knew what had to be done.  I made candy jewels,  filled small acrylic boxes and finished with baker's twine.  The same went for the key valentines.

Whew! I'm glad I'm done with all of I can focus on our Robot Valentine party.

Tuesday Tip (On A Monday) - Win A Trip To NYC With Top Dentists

How would you like the chance to win a trip for you and a friend to New York City, $1,000 spending money, and a teeth-whitening session and a professional photo shoot? Who wouldn't!

Check out the Who Makes You Smile contest from Top Dentists. It offers the chance to show off pictures with your adorable kids and the chance to get away from them for a beauty pick-me-up.

The contest goes from now until February 24th. In addition to the big NYC grand prize, there are daily prizes and chances to win teeth whitenings in selected local areas! Visit their site for full details.

Drink Of The Week - Soda/Beer Case Wrap

Are you going to a BYOB event? Will your sweetie appreciate a 6 pack more than a handmade card? Here's a fun way from Better Homes & Garden to make even cheap beer classy with a few simple touches.  Simply adhere a piece of  scrapbook paper around the cardboard case.  Fold another piece of cardstock to cover the handle and cut out the opening. Embellish the package to your liking and you're set!

Box Robots

box candy robot
I've been on a robot roll...first I made them from marshmallows and now, thanks to a local craft store demo, I'm making them from boxes and Valentine M&Ms.  I know, they are clever indeed!

box candy robot 2
His head is made from a truffle box and his body is a 2" box. The bag measures at 1" X 8" so it's smaller than a pretzel rod bag.  His eyes are just a dotted ribbon, I believe it's 3/8".  I don't think I'll have the kids make them, it was a little tricky getting the candy into the bags, so they'll be for decoration.

But if you are so daring to have them go for it, have fun! Swap out the colors...I'm going to make a few more in different colors for the party. Stay tuned! 

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Movie Review

Last weekend, the menfolk and I had the privilege of attending an advance screening of Warner Brothers' Journey 2: The Mysterious Island which opens today.  Starring Dwayne 'The Rock' (squeal!) Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, and Vanessa Hudgens, it's the sequel to Journey To The Center Of The Earth and like it's predecessor, refers to a Jules Vernes novel.  A trip to Atlantis was hinted at it's end of Center, and this is where Journey 2 picks up.

Hutcherson returns as Sean, but this time around, it's his new stepfather Hank (Johnson),  who is along for the ride. When Sean receives a cryptic message from who he believes is his missing grandfather, Alexander Anderson (Michael Caine), he's off to discover The Mysterious Island.  Vernians (a small group who believe the works of Jules Verne to be true) believe it exists, but no one has ever found, or returned to tell about it. Along the way, they entangle tour guides Gabato (Luis Guzmán) and his daughter Kailani (Hudgens) who of course, Sean falls for hard, in their adventure.

This movie is in 3D and the effects are so much fun, and don't feel forced. No secret here, they do make it to the island and it's a feast for the eyes. Everything big is small and vice versa.  An elephant is the size of a small dog and you can ride on the back of insects.

Even my husband liked it, and he's not a fan of family fact, I thought he fell asleep at one point, but no, he was totally engrossed in the movie. Gabato is delightfully silly (he has a tendency to get scared at just about everything), and gets into situations that his level-headed daughter needs to bail him out of.  Michael Caine plays grizzly grandfather well, and his constant teasing of Hank (because he's so big and buff and muscley) is priceless.

I'm sure everyone has seen the preview of Sean bouncing the fruit off of Hank's pecs. That's just a snippet; that entire scene is worth the 3D price, ladies. Gentlemen, it will have you running to the gym in the morning. The end of the movie hints at a another journey, so I hope Journey 2 does well, it's a great family film and we give it 2 thumbs up!

Disclaimer: We attended this screening through Allied Integrated Marketing and no compensation was provided. The information provided here is my own personal opinion.

Fiesta Friday (On A Thursday) - Oscar Fiestas II

The 87th Academy Awards is February 27; if you are hosting an Oscar viewing party let's get your creative juices flowing. You could go with with a standard palette of star decor and red, black and white or let the movies themselves be your guide.  The latter is a little more of a challenge but if you're up for it, the subtlety has a huge impact. I'll show you both ways, feel free to mix and match to your heart's content.

Invite your guests to become part of the decor and dress up! Be inspired with 50's housewife chic for The Help, The Roaring 20's attire for The Artist or baseball uniforms for Moneyball. 

Oscar Party decor

You could go with a with hanging stars and a star floor garland like this from Martha Stewart Weddings.  Add gold balloons like these from Martie Knows Parties and the scene is set.

Oscar Party decor Best Picture

Or take a cue from the Best Picture nominees and pull elements from each or all.  For example, using French-inspired decor for Hugo and Midnight In Paris (Just Call Me Martha's Paris In Winter Party has lots of great elements) or repeat a key motif for Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close (like Pen 'N Paperflowers' vintage dessert table). Perhaps a 1920's Hollywood Dinner Party for The Artist inspired by feathers and lots of glitter like this table from Social Couture?

Oscar Party ballot

You have to an Oscar ballot table like this one from BBB. Score on clipboards from a dollar store and download ballots from the official Academy Awards site.

Oscar Party food ideas

For munchies, break out the cookie cutter for champagne cork shaped cookies from Fancy Flours and serve up these popcorn balls and skewers from All You.

If you are going for a more formal meal, I always look forward to Epicurious' annual tradition of creating menus inspired by each of the Best Picture nominees.  Southern dishes topped off with chocolate pie for The Help? Check. Hot dogs and caramel popcorn for Moneyball? Got it.

Twig & Thistle Oscar party
Twig & Thistle has updated her Oscar downloads so you know I had to add it in. It's super chic in black and I love it! From invites and paper statuettes to popcorn boxes and ballots, I'm almost tempted to throw a party!

Oscar Party 
Barbie doll statuette

Check out last year's post Fiesta Friday - Oscar Fiestas for more ideas...

Valentine's Day Activities/ Williams-Sonoma Cooking Together

Valentine's Day Activities in Seattle
If you are in the Seattle area and looking for things to do this Valentine's Day weekend, check out my Today's Mama post on cool things going on for everyone from the kids to just the grownups...from creepy crawlies and special treats at the zoo to a Red Light District tour.
Williams Sonoma Cooking Together chicken potpie
And while you are over there, if you've got kids who love to help you in the kitchen like I do, check out my review of Williams-Sonoma Cooking Together on Today's Mama.  My little one made a chicken pot pie!

Marshmallow Robots

We are having a Robot Valentine's Day party next week! I was inspired by these favor bags from NickWillJack, and have been collecting fun items for décor and treats.  One of the activities the kids are going to work on are making marshmallow robots...

marshmallow robots

I had lots of fun making these so I know the kids will. You can use so many different types of edibles, you are pretty much limited to whatever you can get your hands on. With a base of mini, regular and jumbo marshmallows and pretzel sticks, the sky's the limit!  If you want this to be completely edible, use white frosting for the glue like I did.

Elements Of Design In Party Decor - Movement

My elements of design in party decor post generated lots of buzz; I also received several emails for more in-depth ideas about why these ideas 'work'. By no means am I an expert with years of design under my belt.  But as you work on more events, you start getting 'the eye'...something doesn't look right, something's missing...and you'll keep playing around until you get what feels right to you.

Thus, I'm inspired to do a mini series using all eight principals of design (check out the post to see what I'm talking about); so far we've got balance, emphasis, and today is movement.

No, we aren't talking about physical movement of your party table (although if you can wing that, please invite me, because that would be awesome!), but the natural way your eye is pulled to move along certain elements.  Every time a banner is hung, either across a table or hung above, there is the literal line of the banner to follow.

elements of design movement paper chains

The paper chains in this darling table from The Caketress tell you in no uncertain terms, check out this pinwheel.  This is the easiest way to show movement, but there are a few more subtle ways to demonstrate it.

Fiesta Friday - Leap Frog!

It's a Leap Year, holy smokes, I didn't even realize it! I came across a party blog's comment on her son's first birthday falling on Leap Year and celebrating with a froggie theme, and I thought, what a great idea, a Leap Frog party!

Leap Year Leap Frog party invite
Get the party started right with this fun invite from Paper Culture.

Leap Year Leap Frog party decor
Make lily pads from green paper and make a trail of them from the driveway to the front door.  Hang up lots of green paper lanterns, tissue poms, poufs, fans and garlands. Cluster them together like this table from Martha Stewart Weddings for maximum impact.

Use these green suitcases from Shop Sweet Lulu to stack food items on. You can order Bird's Party printables for banners, cupcake liners and more! Cover the party table with these lotus flower lily pads from Paper Source.

Leap Year Leap Frog party food
Oh, so many fun foods you can have...serve frothy frog pond scum drinks by mixing lime green sherbet with lemon lime soda and top with a gummy frog in a clear tumbler. Of course you'll need to add green paper straws from Shop Sweet Lulu.

If you need some fruit, to balance out, you can't be this Kermit's Green Apples With Peanut Butter Dip. I searched desperately for the frog bread recipe found on Edible Crafts, but it's been taken down...but isn't it bananas?

Top off with sweets like these fun lilypad brownies from Modern Hostess or this cute cupcake from Disney  If this is a 1st Birthday, use this candle from HotRef on your smash cake.

Send them home with froggie pops from Favor Affair or clear containers or bags full of Gummi frogs from Candy Warehouse.

Brittany of GreyGrey Designs and I must share a party brain because she posted this styled shoot for Baby Styles the same day this post went live, so of course I had to add it in!
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