40th Birthday Swag Bag Blog Hop

My sweet friend – and Brit lit author – Pauline, contacted me about joining a blog hop and, considering my love of putting things together, I had to say yes! The idea is that you’re gifting a few items to your best friend, sister, etc. and money is no object. That sounds right up my alley πŸ˜€

The categories are: book, beauty product, snack food, music album, and β€œmy choice.”

Book – It would have to be Outlander, the first in a brilliant series by author Diana Gabaldon. I gave away a copy a few months ago, and if you’ve been thinking of reading it or need something new to read, I urge you to give it a try, especially because Starz will be airing the miniseries starting on August 9! Here are the protagonists of the series, as portrayed by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

Beauty Product – I have been completely won over by Nail Butter, a nail and cuticle enhancer that has turned my nasty, dry, cracked cuticles into soft and smooth skin. Love this stuff, love the gardenia smell, and it’s all natural and cruelty-free, which is also a great thing. Here’s the gross before, and I apologize in advance:

And the lovely after:

Snack Food – Being the complete Hershey bar-loving peasant that I am, I cannot possibly suggest something like Pauline’s choice of Hotel Chocolat’s Chocolate Dipping Adventure, but I do have something from England – McVitie’s digestives.

Of course, being me, I prefer the ones with milk chocolate. They are wonderfully filling and during my first trip to England, often kept me fed and happy during long days of sightseeing.

Music Album – Hmmm. This one is kind of tough. I like all sorts of music, from Classical to Country, and what I listen to often depends on my mood. I absolutely love the voice of one Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, so I will suggest her smash album Pure Heroine.

My Choice – Hmmm, trip to Paris? That would always be my choice, but if I had to pick a thing instead of an experience, I would choose something beautiful and endlessly versatile:

The Sutton Necklace in green.

Styling the Sutton, part 2

Last time I showed you a few ways in which you can style Stella & Dot’s Sutton necklace. This time I will show you a few ways the removable green strand can complement a variety of outfits.

Sutton single strand

As you might guess, the whole Sutton necklace makes for a bigger impact than one single strand, but these sweet green stones pack plenty of punch on their own. Added to neutral pieces like grey and white dresses and tops, it adds a pop of color. Added to a piece in an analogous color (a color next to it in the color wheel), like the pale blue top, it makes for a cohesive look. The only color I would recommend you avoid is, you guessed it, green. If it matches exactly, it becomes a little twee; if it clashes, it can be jarring. And this green strand deserves to be showcased.

Now, to style the Sutton WITHOUT the green strand:

Styling the Sutton 3

I would use the multi-strand Sutton (without the green piece) for a bigger impact, wither with some stronger color pieces or with items, like the dress, that have a pattern that can stand up to it. The shirt at bottom left is not a dark color, but it is a saturated color, it can handle not only the multi-strands but the variations in color. Same with the dark blue pieces. Whereas I would pair the single green strand with more delicate colors, I would add the multi-strands to darker colors that will not be overwhelmed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these looks, I will be showcasing some other pieces from Stella & Dot in future posts. I am absolutely loving being a stylist and the vibrant, fun pieces in the current collection.

Nomad Flower collection at World Market

I was recently lucky enough to win a $50 card from World Market. I took a couple of days to browse before choosing what to buy, and in the end I was charmed by their new Nomad Flower collection.

Isn’t it lovely? I have wanted to purchase a cake stand for a while but I am glad I waited. The colors are beautiful, bold and vibrant, and the collection also includes mugs and bowls.


I also picked up two of the mugs, the ones with olive green and teal handles, and a set of oasis green buffet napkins. The green goes very well with the greens in the Nomad Flower collection, and I had wanted a set of olive green napkins for a while.

My boys love plain vanilla flavored cake. They don’t even need frosting πŸ˜€ I made some cake for them today and my oldest, who is not into home decorating at all, told me how pretty the pedestal was. I agree. It will come in handy all spring and summer, for Mother’s Day, even Christmas since it has reds and greens, Valentines Day, etc. I’m so glad I had the chance to get these pieces for my home.

Minecraft Party, part 1

Minecraft is everywhere. Just about every kid I know plays it, and just about every parent I know knows about it. It’s like Legos, but online, and each block has different properties. So of course, my oldest, a fervent fan of the game, decided he wanted a Minecraft party for his 8th birthday. Being the craft-crazy parents that we are, we happily obliged.


Can you tell I went overboard with the square/block theme?


I totally stole the popcorn baggy idea and creeper background idea from Puerta Bella. The popcorn baggies were a hit, every kid (and some adults) grabbed a baggy each and went on their merry way, eating popcorn. I loved that there were no hands grabbing popcorn from a big bowl, that each person could get their own popcorn. The Red Vines TNT idea was shamelessly stolen from Seaside Interiors, and I used some square candle holders I already had, the kids loved it!

I decided to make mini sandwiches, cut to look like blocks, of course. We had Chicken Pesto, made very easily by mixing cooked chicken and mixing it with some of the pesto I made last week; Peanut Butter and Jelly; and Tuna Salad.

My mother in law baked the yummy cakes and my husband decorated them. We had one creeper and two “dirt blocks”:



Aren’t those candles fun? My husband saw them at the store and grabbed them, I’d never seen them before. The sides of the dirt blocks are a mix of oreos and graham crackers. We also had block candies and starburst to complete the “block food” theme.

On Friday, I’ll tell you all about the awesome piΓ±ata my husband made!

Leprechaun Trap!

Ah, the much awaited leprechaun trap. Last year my son was in kindergarten and I saw all the first graders proudly parading their creations — and now it’s his turn!


With his dad’s help, they created a seemingly innocent structure in friendly hunter green. A helpful ladder led to the top . . .


And what is that I see? A rainbow? And Lucky Charms?
Come on, little leprechaun, it’s only a few steps to the bounty!!!
Just ignore those lines of moss, they’re not hiding anything like cuts on the floor . . .


My sweet boy displaying his leprechaun trap.

I think they’re going to catch one or two greedy leprechauns, don’t you think?

My glam office shelf

I was at Michaels the other day and saw a few ornaments I had to have, in my favorite colors of 2011 – turquoise and olive green. I added some items I had at home to complete the look.


From left to right: IKEA vase with Christmas greenery from Michaels clearance last year, Noel ornament and scroll ornament from current Michaels selection. I don’t remember where I got the snowman!!!
Target frame from 2009. Eiffel tower ornament from Pier One.
Cupcake pedestal, gift from my dear friend K, with garland we’ve had for years and glittery white candle. Little Christmas tree my husband put on my desk, it changes colors ;D Green lantern from IKEA.
Candlestick from Goodwill, spray-painted ORB with plan taper and the most fabulous peacock ornament, again, from Michaels. Their ornaments are 50% off so each of the three ornaments I got were $2.50 – $3.00 – score! LOVE print from Made by Girl.

So there you have my sparkly glam shelf – full of items that mean a lot to me (mini tree from my hubby, pic of my boys, gift from a dear friend) and items that make me smile, with the most beautiful sentiment of all, LOVE, as the background. Hope you enjoyed the peek into a corner of my world. Have a great weekend!

Featured at Beneath my Heart

Holy painted tables, Batman! The wonderful Traci from Beneath My Heart featured my little green table as one of the best DIY in July projects! Yayness!

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You really couldn’t find a sweeter lady than Traci out there in blogland, and she’s crazy talented, too, so I am very psyched to have been featured on her blog.

I got a new project my husband and I (and my oldest) worked on these past few days, so I’ll tell you all about it soon – have a great Tuesday!

New towels!

I know, I know, so very exciting. But you see, we haven’t bought new towels in about, oh, 6 years? My husband had his, I had mine, we didn’t register for them, and aside from some towels we have received as gifts, we’ve been using the same old, same old.

Then!

World Market had some on clearance – 50% off – that I thought would look smashing in my yellow bathroom, and I had one of their ‘$10 off/purchase of $30 or more’ coupons, i.e. 33% off. I lie. I had TWO of their coupons, one from a flyer I get in the mail, and one because I signed up for their Explorer program. Go sign up, it’s free.

Mine are the Jade Green Quito striped towels and I LOVE how they look with my warm yellow walls and our newly painted chocolate brown fixtures – my hubby did that for me and I love how it looks:
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I got to debut my new towels for a lovely family get together we had on Saturday. My beloved Auntie and Uncle from Peru are in town and I had the pleasure of having them over for the afternoon. We had tamales (sold by a sweet old man who comes by every two weeks), lasagna, and a sinful dessert concoction that was too rich for words.

Then the next day I had an allergy attack like I haven’t had in months. Boo. I sneezed all day long and felt like crap warmed over. Thank goodness it lasted its usual one day and on Sunday I was feeling much better.

Hope you had a great long weekend!

Beautiful nail

No, not that place where they make your finger go like dat! I mean the wonderful package of nail goodness I got in the mail from my college friend Carina and Overall Beauty.

The nail color I won is called Glampyre – I mean, how am I supposed to resist? I won it in Carina’s giveaway but really, it’s a gorgeous color and I would have so hunted it down otherwise, just look at it:
My nails are crap right now, so these are pics from Carina’s blog. And her manicures are so much better than mine!

I also received from Overall Beauty a pedicure set, a gorgeous mineral eye shadow, and some sweet nail art.

After all my work jazzing up my office area, I’m going to get some pampering done – have a great weekend!

On Friday, we harvested . . .

Did you know “grabbling” means digging around for baby potatoes? Yep, it’s not “grabbing”, but “grabbling. On Friday, we got our first new potato and 9 strawberries. I would post some pictures here, except we ate them before I could get the camera.

It was joyful, my oldest boy and I, giggling as we found more strawberries to eat, him with the bowl yelling at me to give them the berries, and me jumping from raised bed to raised bed, trying not to step on anything too scary.

Did you know there is such a thing as white broccoli? I didn’t. Good thing I googled it because I was about to go yell at the nursery people because I thought they’d sold me cauliflower instead of broccoli.

We have two bell peppers in our near future, tons of plums and pears growing on the trees, and hopefully some tomatoes down the road.

Hope your Monday is a fabulous one!