Friday, May 27, 2011

Spring trip...

I recently returned from Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  We've gone every spring for the last few years and I love it there. Seriously-- it is my goal to retire there.  Here is why:
Amazing beach.  Long, sandy, and you can ride your bike on it!

Beautiful homes.  
Very relaxing.  (The spa is great!)
Great views and wildlife.  That is an alligator.  They are everywhere there!

It is a long, long flight from California, but every year we decide it is totally worth the trip.  Highly recommended if you get the chance and need a relaxing vacation.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bachelorette cooking class invitations...

My friend Heather is getting married next month. We are not exactly the types for a bar-hopping-with-a-veil-on-the-head sort of bachelorette party, so I found something better-- a cooking class!  And then I found a set of three wooden cooking utensils at Ikea for 49 cents (not kidding-- Ikea is so great!), and came up with this cute retro-themed invitation:
I tied the three utensils together and tucked the invitation and an RSVP card in between.

It was so fun for people to receive this in the mail.  We came up with great menu and there are so many fun things to do with this theme.  Heather is going to love it!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fun medicine cabinet...

One of the other projects on my agenda lately has been remodeling our hall bathroom.  It is small-- only 5'x7', so the goal is to maximize space while making it feel as big as possible, so we are doing a large mirror on the wall above the sink and toilet.  I once saw a wall length mirror that had a mirrored medicine cabinet built in and thought that would be the perfect solution, but it turns out it is a lot more difficult (and expensive) to build than it looks.  So I decided to put a medicine cabinet on another wall. As I was searching I was worried it might be too much mirror between the cabinet and the wall, but then I found this-- it looks like a picture frame but it opens!
It is called the Concealed Cabinet from a company called Innovators. You can put whatever art you want in the frame.  I think it is going to be great!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wedding invitations...

My friend Heather is getting married in a little less than a month and she gave me special permission to post these wedding invitations, which we dreamed up back in February when I took a whirlwind weekend east coast wedding prep trip to see her. I had told her before she got engaged that I would do wedding calligraphy for her, and we not only did the envelopes but also managed to work it into a few other places.
Her colors are orange and navy, so all the ink was navy and we found the cute striped ribbon to wrap around the envelope.  I wrote the names on two inch stickers from paper source to hold the inner envelopes closed. I sent her scanned copies of their names in calligraphy, and a few other key words and she worked them into the invitation:

And finally, my favorite part-- she wanted to include her dog (for whom she happened to find an orange striped bow tie!) Check out these stamps!
I can't wait for this wedding!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bridal shower invitations...

I have been busy lately.  My best friend Heather is getting married in June and I have had a lot of projects lately. I made these invitations for a bridal shower my mom is having this month. We were going for something festive but not too girly, and I think these were perfect.

They had navy calligraphy ink and slid into the little pockets. We have been brainstorming polka-dot themed food and decorations for the last two weeks. It is going to be so cute!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding...

Loved it!  Chica is celebrating today too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pre-baby dinner party...

I think I mentioned that practically all of our friends are having babies this year. We have had dinner parties with one of the couples for as long as they have been together, so we decided to throw them a fancy pre-baby dinner party in honor of the tradition. They are having a girl, and I have some very pretty (but admittedly girly) china from my aunt that I have wanted to use for a baby shower for a long time. So, the theme was pink!

I wanted to do favors, so I took a trip to Babies-R-Us and found some mini-baby bottles that I filled with pistachios. The pacifiers happened to be hanging right next to the bottles, and it occurred to me that the ones with the loops would make really cute napkin rings. They did-- a cute and sort of subtle nod to the baby theme!

However, the pacifier napkin rings did put it over-the-top girly for Nick, but he said he would forgive me if I let him keep the TV on mute while we had hors d'oeuvres (NCAA playoffs!).  I normally have a no TV during parties rule, so we compromised :)  This was probably fair since I had also come up with a pink-themed menu:

  • Drinks:  Pink Lady (virgin, of course)
  • Dinner:  Pink Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin, grilled asparagus, herb and shallot twice-baked potatoes
  • Dessert:  Strawberry Cake (the original plan was mini strawberry baked alaska, then I found out meringue isn't good for pregnant ladies, so this cake was the back-up-- very pink and really good!) 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sweet peas...

Spring is on its way to California.  A few weeks ago, I planted seven packages of sweet peas in my garden.  They all sprouted this week, and I can't wait for this:

(Images The Bride's Cafe, Jodi Miller Photography)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Have you heard about Glassybaby?  My mom sent me one the other day (thanks mom!) that looks like this:
little bear
I thought they were kind of expensive ($40) for a votive holder, but it is so pretty with a candle burning in it-- warm and colorful.  I really love it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We got our dog Chica last year, two weekends before Valentines Day.  Because of the timing, I thought it would be cute to send valentines from the "3" of us. Our families all have dogs so Chica has some canine cousins.  I bought Papersource boxes, made valentines, and packaged them in the boxes with cutout pink  heart cookies for the humans and heart shaped bones for the dogs.

I used mini-marshmallows for padding, which the dogs also loved.  A fun debut for Chica!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Winter home improvement...

Around this time last year I started working on a big garage improvement project. The homes where we live are relatively small and extremely expensive, so really using the garage makes sense (it is California, so a lot of people don't park in their garages). Ours, however, was not very pleasant:

The idea was to keep it as a functioning garage so we could park in it when we want to, but to make it a nice workroom that didn't feel like such a dungeon the rest of the time.  We decided to paint it white, epoxy the floor, and install some storage cabinets.  It took 3 coats of primer and 2 coats of semigloss paint to get all that wood covered, but it made a huge difference:

Then we applied Rustoleum Epoxy to the floor. It was only $120 and was another huge improvement from the bare concrete. You have to prep the floor properly, but it is really pretty easy and you can finish it in a weekend.  This is the floor before and after:

The white cabinets are actually the most basic kitchen cabinets from Ikea.  They were about the same price as the garage cabinets you can get at Home Depot or Lowes but much better quality.   I got a big craft table there too.  We also hung some white pegboard for tools and outdoor equipment:

This is the total before and after.  We love it and use it all the time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby Bee gift...

All of our friends are starting to have babies, and it seems that most of them get so overwhelmed with hand-me-down baby clothes and stuff that they barely need anything by the time the shower rolls around. I read somewhere about blabla dolls and thought one would be a perfect present since that is not the type of thing one would usually receive as a hand-me-down. So I ordered mini Clochette the fairy.  She is so soft and squishy... it seems like the perfect first doll for a baby girl. You can also wash them, so it seemed great for a really little kid.

I also made a set of baby bee onsies with the bee logo to go with he.  I used fabric paint for the letters and the iron-on transfers left over from my Thanksgiving project for the bee logos. A set of 3 onsies was only $6 so this was a very affordable and super cute project. This is the front:

And this is the back:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First harvest...

Well, it is actually just one orange, so it is not exactly a harvest.  But it is the first orange I've ever grown so it's kind of exciting.  My sister gave us a blood orange tree for Christmas when we moved into our house two years ago.  Nice gift, then she said "it is supposed to bear fruit in 8 to 10 years."   Hmmm...we're patient, but that seemed like a long time.  However, two short years later, look what we have:
 It is tiny, but juicy and delicious!  Thanks Meg-- glad we didn't have to wait 8 years to tell you!

Monday, January 31, 2011

More Baby Bee details...

Baby Bee's mom assured me that she didn't think I went overboard with bees, but I was worried for a while.  Here are a few more Baby Bee shower details...

The Baby Bee sign.  I have always wanted to make one of these, and I loved the way this one turned out.  The bee wings are glittered.

Bee logo name tags. It took me a while to come up with an idea for cute name tags. I printed out the bee logo and wrote names in calligraphy, then tied a tiny bow with the ribbon and stuck them together with a glue dot.  They pinned on with a corsage pin.  I made corsages with pink spray roses for Mom and Grandma-to-be.

A sheet with the bee logo for recording gifts that I mounted on white cardboard...

Calligraphy signs for the Baby B wishes jar and the "guess how many bees" game...

And of course lots of flowers.  I used yellow roses, orange gerbera daisies, pink spray roses, orange and pink snapdragons and tulips, and some yellow filler that was perfect for the arrangements.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby Bee food...

As I mentioned, in spite of the dog's cookie rampage the Baby Bee shower turned out perfect.  Here are more details on what we served...

The table-- we served tea sandwiches, mini quiches, deviled eggs fruit skewers, scones, strawberries filled with cream cheese, bee cookies and mini beehive cupcakes.

The beehive cupcakes were a big hit. I just piped buttercream onto the top of them with a wide tip. Then I took yellow M&Ms and piped frosting stripes onto them, stuck them into the frosting and added a couple of almond slivers for wings.

We also had a mini candy bar with yellow, pink, and orange candy.  I made little calligraphy signs with the bee logo.

And finally, more bee cookies.