Planning for the Weekend

I love this quote because it reminds me to be prepared. I can’t go shopping without a list because otherwise I end up with a cart full of food and nothing that I really want. I’m working on getting better at planning my business and my life, making sure that my energy and effort is going towards things I really want to be doing. March has been a really fantastic month for me, and I’m so lucky to get to keep doing the things that I love. All of this is possible because I decided what I really wanted, and now I’m going for it.

There are so many wonderful people on the internet that inspire me to keep doing good things every day. Here are some of my favorite posts from the past week:

DIY Grocery Bag Easter Baskets from ellinée

Pretty Birthday Party from Somewhere Splendid

Cookie Dough Marshmallows from Love & Olive Oil (last time I tried to make marshmallows it was a sticky mess, but these ones look too delicious not to try)

Great, Affordable Furniture Picks from Restored Style (I have my eye on the gray Ikea buffet for our dining room)

Love this Outfit from Kendi Everyday

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Peeps Garland

I have been cleaning out my craft room and trying to get it organized, and I had a huge stockpile of colored paper. Since Easter is coming, I decided to make some pretty Peeps garland.

It was pretty easy to make, so I thought I would share the template and how-to, so you can make your own. You just need a few supplies: colored card stock, scissors, an exacto knife, a sharpie, and some 1/8″ ribbon.

Print out this template directly onto the paper.Cut out the individual bunnies.I used 4 different colors, but you could do any colors you like.Once you have a big pile of bunnies, draw on the eyes and nose with a sharpie. It’s fine to have a little bit of variation, real Peeps do too!Then make slits on each ear with your exacto knife.And string the ribbon through the slits, one after another until your garland is as long as you want it to be.

Enjoy your Peeps!

Healthy Snack Treat Boxes

I love making treat boxes for gifts. Usually I buy a bunch of different candy, bake some cookies, and dip some stuff in chocolate and call it a day. Last week I got a call from a client with a challenge – she needed 16 gift boxes full of healthy snacks to give as gifts to people who helped out with her wellness fair.

Luckily we were headed back to Connecticut this weekend for a quick family visit, so I was able to hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for the treats. I combined the good stuff with some of the packaging supplies I had in my stockpile, and ended up with some really great results.

I think that my favorite part was the granola and muesli – I used clear poly tubes that I originally bought for jellybeans, but they looked pretty good full of the cereals. The chocolate berry granola was especially delicious and it smelled amazing.

I was so excited to deliver these boxes yesterday afternoon and now I have added some new treats and healthy options to my regular assortment of snacks.

New Invitations in the Shop!

I have been working on several new invitation designs in the past few weeks for lots of different parties and weddings. One of my favorites is this pink champagne invite that I originally created for a wedding shower, and also used for a birthday party.

The invitations are now available in my etsy shop, in either shimmer or glossy paper.

Organizing for the Weekend

This weekend is one of the first in a while that we don’t have any travel plans. I’m looking forward to doing some cleaning, organizing and cooking. There are some awesome things that I found on the internet this week that are inspiring me.

– This bathroom from Manhattan Nest is inspiring me to finally paint our bathroom. (I bought dark blue paint in September and have been afraid to use it).
– A paint job makes a boring table amazing on Yellow Brick Home.
Camille Styles starts a series on improving your photo skills.
– A beautiful wall of votives from Teal & Lime.
– The most organized pantry ever from The Social Home.
– I’m totally making these Freezer Chicken Pot Pies from America’s Test Kitchen.

Chicago Style

In the short time we spent in Chicago, I noticed some trends in what the girls there were wearing. The style seems to be a little more conservative than New York, but I liked how the fashion seemed super-practical (rain gear), while still stylish. Here’s what I noticed:
1. Hunter Boots are HUGE there. Almost every single girl we passed was wearing them, especially on Monday morning commuting to work (while we were on the train to the airport). Mostly everyone was wearing traditional colors like black, gray or green.
2. Skinny jeans and pants were a necessity, mostly because of the boots.
3. Classic Trench Coats look good on everyone. I saw a big range of styles and sizes, and they always made the wearer look more serious and pulled-together.
4. Practical Totes that are not boring were really popular. The colors everywhere were pretty muted and neutral, but most of the totes I saw were colorful.
5. Beats Headphones were all over the place.

Chicago

Anthony and I visited his mother in Chicago this weekend and it was lots of fun. We were only in town for about 24 hours on Thursday into Friday, then again for about 12 hours on Sunday, but I think we covered a ton of ground and had a great time.

As soon as we landed, I had to get some business out of the way. We went to Al’s No. 1 Italian Beef for lunch, and it was really good. Then we made a stop at the original Paper Source, where I stocked up on colorful envelopes, pretty notebooks and some gifts for the kids.

Once that was done, we walked down Michigan Avenue and looked at the shops. All Saints had these awesome old sewing machines in the window, and all the fixtures inside of the store were made from vintage factory equipment.

My favorite part of the trip was the Art Institute of Chicago – I could have spent an entire week inside. My mother-in-law suggested that we go there to see the Thorne Miniature Rooms, since she knows I love dollhouses. They were AMAZING. My pictures are from my iPhone, and you can see my reflection in the glass.There are 68 rooms total, in a range of styles from the 13th century to 1930. All of the rooms are handmade at 1/12 scale and the work was absolutely unbelievable. Pictures of most of the rooms are online here, and they are much better than mine.

We had a little bit of time to look around upstairs, and I made Anthony pose for a Ferris Bueller picture, even though he has never seen the movie.

The next day we were off to Seattle to visit Anthony’s Grandmother, but our brief time in Chicago was tons of fun and I can’t wait to get back for a longer visit.