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A Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!

Posted on May 24, 2012 in Entertaining | Comments Off

We decided to have a ‘spring fling’ again this year and when looking at the calendar we realized the first Saturday of May fell on Cinco de Mayo….a great excuse to have a fiesta!  This inspired me to make some new decorations and perfect some much loved recipes from the past.  I set up a burrito bar with some amazing meats, made gallons of beergaritas, and displayed some festive themed treats (all recipes will be up soon, so check back).

I spray painted numerous wine and beer bottles with an array of colors for inexpensive table decor. I had recently taken a trip to Mexico, so I picked up a bunch small sombreros and 10 maracas to place around the party.  The Mexican flag was purchased online for less than $5 (with free shipping). The large drink dispenser is full of beergaritas and the beverage tub has an assortment of Jarritos soda.

The burrito bar was set up on a back kitchen counter.  I taped up some colorful fabric and decorated with Hispanic canned foods, flowers and maracas.

To save time I used a boxed sugar cookie mix, but added cinnamon to give more flavor.  A little white frosting, sprinkles, and gumdrops make these cute sombrero cookies.

I cheated on this dessert as well and used a box cake mix…it’s the decoration that matters when it comes to something like this.   I just used a little food coloring and black frosting gel to make the Mexican flag.

I like to cover the TV when having parties….why not make everything more festive?!?

We strung colorful banner across the kitchen and placed Mexican pots and statues above the cabinetry.

Nothing says ’fiesta’ like our dog, Greta (who is intently waiting for pepperoni in this shot…it’s the only way we can keep her still).

‘Texas Caviar’ is always a hit.  For the recipe Click Here

Why not decorate the back of your toilet?

Make colorful and cheap streamers by coloring doilies, cutting them in half, and taping them across with string.

I can’t help myself when it comes to theme parties….I’m a sucker for a few cheesy elements!

Maybe I went a little overboard on spray painting sticks, but I get obsessed sometimes and have to have every color of something.


Now that summer is here throw yourself a little fiesta!

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Wedding! Retro Bridal Makeup

Posted on May 22, 2012 in Lifestyle | Comments Off

I had the pleasure of attending a wedding this past weekend with a retro rock vibe.  I was also able to do the bride’s makeup!  I snapped this photo before her false lashes were added (so you can see more the look of the eyeliner).  Also, I applied a red lipstick on her for the reception, but we kept it more subtle for the ceremony with the soft peachy pink lips below.


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5 Ways to Make Caprese Salad

Posted on May 16, 2012 in Recipes | 1 comment

I love the simple flavors of a caprese salad….basil, fresh mozzarella, and tomato.  Purchasing fresh ingredients is the only way to go. If you have space to grow your own basil and tomato plant, even better.  Even if you don’t have a yard you can grow these in pots.

I also add a dash of kosher salt and drizzle balsamic glaze (I like the brand Blaze) to really give a punch of flavor.

1.  Caprese on a Stick:  Spear cherry tomatoes, fresh mini mozzareall balls, and basil leaves on toothpicks to serve as an easy appetizer

Serve in a martini glass for a little extra something

Same idea, but with balsamic glaze drizzled:

2.  A Bowl of Caprese: Chop up all the ingredients, mix together, and people can dish up the amount they want

3. Caprese Pastry Bites:  Cut pieces of puff pastry, fill with the chopped up caprese, wrap up and bake at 400 degree for 15-20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and puffy.

4. Traditional Caprese Salad: Layer your ingredients

5. Arugula Caprese Salad:  Use arugula, chop up tomato and mozzarella, and use the dressing recipe below (or just use oil and vinegar)

Dressing for arugula caprese salad (thanks to my friend, Christina, for making up this recipe)

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon

Blend together in a power mixer

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50 Shades of Grey Book Club Party Ideas

Posted on May 14, 2012 in Entertaining | 3 comments

A few years ago some friends and I started a book club….a dirty book club. We have read a handful of R-rated books, such as Some Girls, Sugar Babe, Candy Girl and more.  However, we also switch it up with ‘normal’ books…Shanghai Girls, The Shack, The Other Boleyn Girl,  etc.

We get together every couple months, a different person takes a turn hosting, and we all bring different bottles of wine to share. This month’s read was 50 Shades of Grey and I hosted. Below are some ideas for you to decorate with a gray theme (that don’t require a ton of budgeting) whether it’s for a similar book club or just because you like the color!

Of course, I had to glitter something for the night. Below are some wine glasses that I made to help identify our beverages.  Learn how to make these: Click Here

This cake was fun to make.  I used boxed cake mix (make sure you buy a white cake and use only egg whites, so the food coloring stays true…same goes for the frosting.  Get white cake and frosting, not vanilla – as it’s creamy in color).  I separated the cake mix in 4 equal parts and added varied amounts of black food dye.  I then separated the frosting in 3 equal parts, added varied amounts of color and then blended them together up the side and top of the cake.

These are medium sized doilies that I painted various shades of gray, cut in half, and taped to string.  I also made the gray tissue poms.  For directions on how to make them Click Here

I bought a 12 pack of glass votives at the craft store and decorated them with different materials.  Some are wrapped with different gray ribbons, lace, glitter, and scrapbook paper.

I love spray painting sticks.  It’s an inexpensive way to make a large centerpiece with a bold statement.  I painted a bunch glossy white and held them in place in the vase with gray toned rocks.

I made these bookmarks for the girls (but forgot to pass them out that night!).  I printed them on a silver linen paper, glued that to a cardstock weighted scrapbook paper, and finished them with a ribbon.

Look in the center…I even found gray M&Ms at the party supply store.

I used paint cans to vary the height the decor.

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Create and decorate a tiered centerpiece for your table

Posted on May 10, 2012 in Entertaining, Home | Comments Off

I love to create festive tables for entertaining.  A nice way to add interest is to raise the center of the table (or the back of a buffet) by using paint cans (or upside-down pots, soup cans, etc).  Place a tablecloth over the cans to hide them and you can spotlight a cake, floral arrangement, or any decor that adds to the event.

I spray painted wine bottles different colors to create an inexpensive and colorful table for a fiesta.

I had used 3 paint cans and a round tray to display a baby shower cake (that was in the shape of a stroller).

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Sweet-N-Tangy Salsa….aka Texas Caviar

Posted on May 7, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

This salsa is always a hit whenever I have parties.  It’s easy to make ahead of time (much easier now that I have the Vidalia Chopper) and is so colorful!

You’ll need:

  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can of blackeyed peas, drained
  • 1 can of shoepeg corn
  • 1 jalepeno
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil (original recipe is 1/2 cup, but I don’t think that much is necessary)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup sugar (I used baking Splenda to save on calories)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar

1. Chop up all the peppers, onion, and jalepeno (this is where having a chopper is nice, especially since I usually make triple batches for parties)

2. Put the oil, pepper, sugar, and vinegar in a saucepan.  Bring to boil to dissolve and then let cool.

3. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit in fridge overnight.

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Glitter glassware so it’s washable!

Posted on May 3, 2012 in DIY & Crafts | 8 comments

I’m a sucker for glitter.  It just makes everything so much prettier and glassware is no exception! The question is…how to wash glitter?  To see what I use for glittering Click Here .  For another project on glittering a phone case click here.

If you love the glittered goblets, but aren’t the crafty type that’s ok!  You can purchase a set from me.  If interested please Email me to figure out glitter colors, glass type, quantity, etc.

The only added step that you need to do to make stemware washable (hand wash only) is to spray 1 or 2 coats of clear sealant over the top of the glittered area (enter ‘how to glitter’ in the Search the Site section at the top of this website). I use a glossy top coat.  Tape plastic over the part of the glass that you don’t need to cover with a clear coat.

I’m taking these to an overnight Bachelorette party this summer.  The bride loves sparkles, so we are all going to wear glitz and sequins as a theme. I thought glittered wine glasses will be the perfect addition to the party. We’ll use them that night, be able to remember which glass is who’s, and the bride can take them home with her.

With summer approaching I need to have a set to help celebrate July 4th!  For more 4th of July ideas Click Here

Nothing says Christmas like glistening sparkly champagne glasses!

Make glasses to match your wedding colors, any holiday, or a whole set of just black or silver glitter for a posh look.

I made this set for my book club when I hosted and we read ’50 Shades of Grey’.  For more ideas on a gray themed party Click Here

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Engagement and 6 Month Photos

Posted on May 1, 2012 in Photography | Comments Off

Sunday was a cloudy day here in MN, but luckily warm enough to still take photos for and an adorable 6 month old and a beautiful couple planning a summer wedding.

Personally, I think it’s easier to take portraits when there is a bit of an overcast.  Bright sunny days lead to squinting and harsh shadows.  One way to increase the warmth of images when taken on gloomy days is to make sure your white balance is set to ‘cloudy’.  You can also warm up pictures by just barely increasing the yellow when editing them.

Writing the wedding date in the sand was a cute idea the bride had….my thought of putting feet in the water looks cute, but water in MN in April is still ice cold!

I like decreasing the exposure, saturation, and vibrancy of an image to give a bit of a romantic feel.

Some kids do not react well to a stranger making crazy sounds to get their attention and a camera shoved in their face for an hour, but she was so good.  Can you even stand how cute this owl hat is?  Her mom said she found it on Etsy…gotta love Etsy!

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