Tuesday Trend - Chalkboard Printables

How hot are chalkboard printables? They are everywhere and it is one trend train I can get on board with.  Here are a few of my favorites...and they are all free to download!

Mother's Day With Layla Grayce + 15-20% Discounts

Mother's Day is creeping up fast isn't it? April just flew by and now it's time to honor the special mothers in your life.  My sponsor Layla Grayce never fails in unique gorgeousness, especially for Mother's Day. Their  Mother's Day blog post is full of beautiful gift ideas, although I'm a little partial to the Antique Rose Blue tea pot.  But that could be since I'm hosting my very own Mother's Day Tea Party for my birthday since it falls on the Saturday before.  But more on that later.  

If you would like to send your mom any of the gifts from their blog post, they are offering 15% discount off with code 4URMOM valid through this Wednesday, May 1.

And if you need even more inspiration, they have a whole section called Last Minute Gifts For Mom that are 20% off through Thursday, May 2 with code WELOVEMOM and here are  some of my favorites.  Some of the LMGFM even have free shipping! 

Fiesta Friday - 1 Cake, 3 Ways To Decorate

1 cake 3 ways

Today's Fiesta Friday is 3 ways to make a plain cake fabulous! I have to admit, I have some serious piping skills that comes from years of making cupcakes. Alas, I cannot bake or layer a tiered cake.  So I'm always looking for ways to make a storebought cake look like I made it myself.  And yes, it can be done.  

Tuesday Tip - Starting Your Own Creative Small Business With Andie Powers

You know I'm all about girl power and starting your own business (have you check out my It Started With An Idea series?) so I'm thrilled to combine both in today's Tuesday Tip!

Remember a few weeks ago I shared my meetup with the ladies of Assemble?  Andie Powers, one half of this dynamic duo, is a small business and brand consultant at her own spot, Andie Powers. There, she offers business start-up and existing brand consultations and services for unique small businesses of all kinds, and is especially experienced in creative fields such as craft, design and art. She can help you come up with a creative plan of action for your business from the very beginning, or propose changes that may benefit your exposure and growth.

Fiesta Friday - Fiesta! Fiesta! 2013

Cinco De Mayo Better Homes Gardens magazine

Cinco De Mayo is in two weeks! There are so many fabulous ways to celebrate, so I'm posting this early enough for you to get the drop on your fiesta planning!

In fact, my May Better Homes & Gardens magazine that arrived today inspired this post. They are sharing a fuss-free fiesta plan with paper lantern and washi tape decor.  You'll have to get your hands on the magazine for all the details, it's not online yet.

We Go Wednesday - FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale

FlorAbundance Puget Sound plant sale

Today's W.O.W. isn't a wrap up, but a heads up.  If you live in the Puget Sound area and have a serious green thumb, or if you are like me and wish you did, FlorAbundance is coming, Saturday and Sunday April 26 and 27.  Check out my Today's Mama post for full details about this free event that is our region’s largest and best plant sale.

I'll be attending the Pre-Sale & Party event on the Friday, which means I'll be a tweeting and Instagraming (or is it Instagramming, like swimming or no extra m like foaming? ) fool so if you are going, let me know! I would love to meet you. So you should probably follow me on Twitter or Instagram...hint, hint.

Tuesday Tip - Pintersting Invites

If you've been following me for awhile...or even a little bit, you know I love a clever invite.  I have an entire Pinterest board, Get The Party Started (said the way Pink sings it), devoted to them.

I can't stress enough, invites set the tone. No judgement here, everyone does what they need to do based on their time and budget.  There is nothing wrong with buying a pack of character invites...cough.  And yes, online invites are the way of the future.  I love sites like Paperless Post and I use them a lot, especially for high count guest lists and Save The Dates.  Except with weddings invites. You have to send a real one. And Facebook should never be used in any form, shape or fashion.  You laugh.  I've received a Facebook wedding invite.  I cannot reveal anymore details to embarrass folk.  But I did. Really.

But if you have a little time, and need some therapeutic crafting, then today's tip is just for you to help inspire a little cleverness for your next event.  I'm sharing a few of my fave invite pins...some are custom orders, some are free downloads.  But it's not about how much money you spend. It's really about the special touches that I can say with 99% confidence, your invitees will love and can't help but say yes.

makeup invite

This makeup invite from Mouse House is perfect for girls of every age.  From the mirror to paint chip  samples it's an easy one to replicate.

Celebrate Green With Earth Day

Earth Day is next Monday the 22 and communities everywhere will be taking action to protect the planet we call home. Every day should be Earth Day and taking steps to do a little reducing, reusing and recycling should be part of all our lives.

Earth Day shaving cream craft

That's not to say that we still can't party and celebrate responsibly. Check out my Today's Mama post on lots of great ways to craft and party green. If you live in the Puget Sound area, I shared a few local happenings as well.

Drink Of The Week- Kumquat Lemongrass Rum Punch

Kumquat Lemongrass Rum Punch Kitchen Confidante My Way Home

How gorgeous is this rum punch from Kitchen Confidante via My Way Home to celebrate the return of the sun and flowers and brightness of spring. I love the pop of color from the kumquats. Head on over for the full recipe.

Real Party/Fiesta Friday - Bug Out Party

Bug Out Party bug theme table

Yesterday,  I shared my bug party inspiration board and today's Fiesta Friday is a Bug Out Party! With spring in full swing, I was inspired to put together a fun party table to celebrate it's return. Boys seem to love bugs so this would be perfect for your budding entomologist.

I found the fun black ribbon that trims the baskets and buckets at Michael's awhile ago and it was the perfect starting point for a celebration and inspiring the color scheme. Don't you love it when the simplest things do so much? I also found napkins with pinwheels which is the starting point for another shoot...but that is for another day.

Bug Party Inspiration Board

This week I put together a fun bug party perfect for springtime birthdays and honestly, anytime of the year!  Stay tuned for the grand reveal in tomorrow's Fiesta Friday.

Of course, I found a few very bugged out ideas to share....including a sneak peek at my cupcakes using the fabulous bug template in Hello, Cupcake!

bug party inspiration board

Spring Spa Week 2013 Is Coming!

Ack! How did this creep up already, even worse because I'm part of the Spa Week Hot Mom Squad?  That's ok...what better way to relieve your tax stress (or spend a little of that return money) than with a fabulous $50 spa treatment?

The biannual celebration that is Spa Week starts Monday, April 15 through April 21 when you can enjoy luxurious, full-service spa and wellness treatments at hundreds of top spas across North America. From massages, mani/pedis and eyelash extensions to laser hair removal, vein-zapping treatments, and more, now you can afford some of these pricey treatments for $50. Yes, $50.

No, don't feel guilty about a little 'me' time! Just visit Spa Week and enter your city in the green search box at the top of the page and check the "$50 Treatments" box to find out what spas in your area are playing along.

We Do Wednesday - Trophy Cupcakes

My next installment of my It Started With An Idea series for Today's Mama is up, and it's a sweet one.  Trophy Cupcakes is my cupcake mecca and I'm excited to share my interview with the owner, Jennifer Shea. Here she is with the boys at Seattle's first Cupcake Camp, that was a crazy day.

Tuesday Trend - Donuts

Or is it doughnuts? Who knows...but it's one of my favorite foods and I love to see the creative ways they are displayed. The boy wants a donut cake for his birthday and I'm more than happy to oblige.  I love this donut birthday cake from Best Friends For Frosting...just add a few flags and candles and it's a partay!

How sweet is this Daisies & Donuts party from Lil Luna, perfect for springtime entertaining.

A very pretty setup from Martha Stewart...I think it makes a perfect brunch setting.

This donut party from Icing Designs is what got me all hopped up on the round treats kick.

We loved the If You Give A...series and if the favors are this adorable, then you know the full party from  Erin Volante Florals  based on If You Give A Dog A Donut has to be. 

Perhaps you prefer your donuts as cookies...check out the tutorial from Bake At 350, complete with free printables.

Need more donut love? Check out my Donuts For Dad post.

Martha Celebrations For JCPenney

That Martha...when she does something it is gold.  Except when she's embroiled in a lawsuit with Macy's over the right to create and sell her exclusive Martha Home with JCPenney (JCP if you're nasty...).  If all goes well, other categories will include Martha Lighting, Martha Pantry, Martha Decor and Martha Window, and my personal favorite, Martha Celebrations.

The line features everything you need to party pretty from tissue poms and runners, to coordinating paper plates, napkins, wrapping paper, to invitations and stationery, gift bags.  I take a tiny breath and squeal at the over 500 items that will be available.

From anniversaries and graduation to baby showers and Mother's Day, of course she has you covered. Let's take a look at some of the pretty, shall we?

Martha Celebrations for JCPenny aqua table

Drink Of The Week - Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

spicy grapefruit margarita The Life Styled

Three words...Spicy...Grapefruit...Margarita. Check out the recipe on The Life Styled.

Fiesta Friday - Macaron Party Inspiration

Gourmet French Macaron Mindy Cone Creative Juice

I love macarons...the fact that I will never in this lifetime, be able to make them makes them even more appealing.  But my party pal Mindy of Creative Juice has a book coming out this fall called Gourmet French Macarons that promises to have lots of clever creations and maybe I will actually be able to make them.

I can talk about macarons all day so instead I'll just share some of my favorite inspired finds...

Macaron party inspiration

Set the scene with Oh Happy Day's DIY confetti tablecloth and I love Love Taza's tissue ball cluster decor!

I just ordered this Cake & Macarons notecard set from river & bridge; I can't wait for it to arrive.

Macaron Limoge trinket boxes make lovely party favors for a wedding, shower or a pretty stocking stuffer.

Pretty macaron napkins from Paper Source.

Mounted on an artist's palette, they make a pretty centerpiece from Stephmodo.

Tuesday Tip - Elements Of Design In Party Decor - Unity

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 balanceemphasismovementrepetitionproportion, rhythm, variety and today is the finale with unity.

Unity is the feeling of harmony between all parts...a cohesion between all the elements.   Basically, you are using the other principles of design together and just about every party set up is unified...either through color, shape, pattern, theme (like dragons or a tea party), scale...well you get my point.

elements of design unity Land Of Nod

I absolutely love Land Of Nod's various round elements like paper fans and various felt balls may be different sizes but they all tie together into a cohesive unit by their colors and proportion.
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