April Loves

black and white pennant banner from @Target  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comApril is a busy month for birthdays in my family.  I try to make my party decor but sometimes you just have to outsource.  I flipped out over this black and white pennant banner at Target.  I mean, it sort of the coolest ever.  I will be reusing this one for sure!

I tried out the zebra cake mix from Duff Goldman.  It was super cool.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comFor one of the birthdays I decided to try my hand at one of those zebra cake mixes by Duff.  I totally pulled a Sharon (this is a thing, my mom even says it to me) and didn’t read the recipe ahead of time.  Come to find out that you basically make two separate cake batters and then layer them.  Luckily it didn’t add in that much more time or energy.  And it came out really fun!

The best tag in a kid's sweatshirt award goes to @prefresh  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m in love with the tag inside my son’s Prefresh sweatshirt.  You can’t get a true sense of the color from this photo but it is a great neon orange.  My son swears the symbol means “I love you.”  Even though I’ve shown him the correct way to say I love you he doesn’t believe me.  He goes to a church based preschool so I told him to ask his teacher.  I’m sure she’ll be pleased to discuss the devil horns…

These barstools from Ikea have changed my life.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThese cheapo Ikea chairs are not great to look at but they have totally changed our lives.  For a year we have lived in this house and not utilized this half of our kitchen.  But they have opened up a whole new world.  I can now have people in here when I’m cooking.  The kids eat breakfast in here most days.  And this is now my favorite work spot in the house.  The kitchen is our brightest room and I love being in this bright and airy space.  I can’t believe I didn’t have chairs here sooner.  At some point we will upgrade but for now these are absolutely perfect.

Haim at the Fox Theater Pomona  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt has been a while since I have gotten to see live music and last week I got to see one of my favorite bands, Haim perform.  You guys!  There album is awesome but they effing ROCKED live.  I mean, totally shredded on the guitars, pounded the shit out of those drums and put on a great show although I felt it was over way too soon.  When they were younger (they are all sisters) they were part of a family band and they totally brought out their parents to play with them onstage.  So cool.  It seems like not a lot of people know about them which I think is crazy.  Target is actually using one of their songs in their commercials at the moment.  So if you don’t know them, go check them out.  They have this really 80′s feel and it just makes you feel good.  My husband and I left and decided we are going to start a band because it just looked like they were having so much fun out there.  Neither of us play instruments but I just know we can work that out.  Now go watch the video for “If I could change your mind” it is so good.  But they do not dance like this in their live show…promise.

 

Drink Rose on a Patio Playlist

Drink rose on a patio this spring.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThere is nothing better than sitting on a patio on a nice day drinking rose.  No wait.  There is nothing better than sitting on a patio on a nice day drinking rose and listening to some awesome music.  Here is a playlist that I think suits rose drinking just fine.  So gather your friends, gather some wine and pull out your speakers.  And email me an invite.

Birthday T-Shirt Tradition

Every year I buy the boys a higher end t-shirt to wear to their party.  This year was @prefresh.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhile I love the super cool, well designed t-shirts that you can find online I can’t usually justify the $30-$40 price tag.  So what I started doing was adding that cost in to their birthday present budget.  Shhhhh, don’t tell them that.  I am sure they don’t really care about a special t-shirt and would much rather have a toy.  But it has become a fun tradition and I love when they wear their shirts through out the rest of the year.  It reminds me of their birthday and how much they are growing up.  My oldest is super particular about what he wears so I can no longer choose for him.  This year I gave him a few options and this is the one he chose.  Prefresh makes very cool stuff and I’m super glad it is part of his wardrobe.  A note on sizing:  buy the next size up.  This is a size 10 and he usually wears a size 7/8.

Every year I buy my son's a cool t-shirt for their birthday.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comFor my youngest, we went with this one from Tiny Whales (although it looks like it might be sold out). I mean, how can you not have this shirt!  I usually try to save them for them to wear to their party if they are having one.  This year, my oldest didn’t want to wait so I let him wear it to school a few days early.  It is a really great way to get some cool shirts in to their rotation without breaking the bank.  Do you have any special birthday traditions?

 

Branding and Social Media : Be True to Yourself

Beastie Boys quote found in the studio of Design Love Fest.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThere is one big struggle that I have recognized over my blogging career.  Being true to myself.  You can get so caught up in the business side of things that you forget to let your personal style come through.  Or you are afraid that the readers that you have built up so far won’t like the real you.  So I found it SO fitting, when I first walked in to the shared space of Design Love Fest‘s studio in Los Angeles last weekend, and saw this quote on the wall.  Boom.  Right there in my face.  “Be true to yourself and you will never fall,” Beastie Boys.  I was there for Bri’s Social Media Class but I instantly knew it was going to be about more than that for me.  This is the first time I have seen Bri in person and she was charming and delightful.  She’s super funny and made learning about something as dry as social media enjoyable.  I can totally see why she has found big success with her other classes and workshops.  But Bri is the epitome of being true to who you are at all times, across all platforms.  And it is she who has really lead me down this path of self discovery.  Remember this post here where Bri came to me in a dream?  It’s like, how many times must she tell me to be myself?  I’m finding that is truly the way to discover what your brand is.  And branding and social media go hand in hand.

The @designlovefest studio is bright and gorgeous.  Duh.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis class came at a great time for me.  Last month I pretty much dropped most social media in favor of spending more time on my content.  And also because it can feel like a full-time job to make sure you are posting to every platform and see no real benefit.  Bri showed how often and where she posts to social media and it is totally manageable.  I don’t think I have to choose one or the other.  And while there was a lot of basic info, which was great since there was a wide variety of creative types in all stages of social media in the class, I also gained some new knowledge as well.  I also loved that even though the focus was on social media, it was also a lot about personal branding.  The crossover was very welcome and I came away with a new clarity.  I have a to-do list that I made for myself of things I want to clean up or edit.  I have an achievable social media plan, that demonstrates my brand.  And I have a renewed desire to put my whole self in to everything I do.

Donut Snob donuts and polka dots from the @designlovefest Social Media class.  \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI feel like my content in the last few weeks is getting closer to my style.  My numbers have dropped a little.  It can’t be all about the numbers and I won’t let it become about the numbers again.  The day before this class I had met with a gal who is going to be helping me with a new logo and look.  I’m excited for what is ahead.  And I look forward to taking more classes from Bri.  She’s legit.  My branding and social media feels more real to me right now than ever before.

Seriously, if she rolls out a new series of Social Media classes you NEED to take it.  OH HEY, SHE DID!   This is not sponsored in any way.  Although she did share these radtastic Donut Snob donuts with us.  These are my opinions and just so you know, I can’t be bought with donuts.

 

 

 

Birthday Gift Ideas

Someone buy these things for me okay? \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy birthday is this weekend!!  Yeah!!  I have no real plans at this point aside from a date night with my hubby.  This year doesn’t feel like it requires a crazy big celebration.  It does however, require a pedicure.  Here are some birthday gift ideas you all can buy for me.

Birthday Gift Ideas

A clutch that screams my name  .  a new sunbrella to keep me shady   .  cool shoes for my feet  .  this super fun picnic  basket/box  .  it’s time to start working on my summer wardrobe and this dress should be part of that  .  and this dress – I wear the heck out my other Novella Royale pieces and I love this print  .  and this fantastic gold tray wants to be in my house.

(You may notice that the link for the shoes is different from the shoe shown.  My husband explained that they change out their selection frequently.  And I’m too lazy to redo my collage.  And in fact I like the shoes in the link even better.)

See last year’s birthday post here.  It’s insightful.  I promise.