DIY Painted Cutting Boards

fruit face on neon cutting board  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comOh hey there.  I’m going to come right out and say that I don’t love things that aren’t entirely useful.  And this one is not 100 % useful in my opinion.  But like Kristen on RHONY, it sure is pretty (if you don’t get that reference, you don’t watch enough television).  So anywho, these are DIY painted cutting boards.  But the paint is not food safe.  So you would have to sort of hand wash this.  So I would really only serve things on it that aren’t super greasy etc.  So see, it’s kind of dumb.  But I just couldn’t take the plain wood.  Something had to be done.

Take plain cutting boards and make them cooler with a little paint. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI picked up a two pack of these cutting boards from HomeGoods and LOVED that they were two different sizes.  But they were so gosh darn plain.  It’s like the little black dress that needs some accessories.  As is, these serving platters would have bored my guests to death.  And I would feel really bad about that.  

Tape of geometric sections and paint to create a custom serving piece with a standard cutting board. //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo I taped off a bunch of random geometric patterns and painted a bunch of different colors.  I love color. 

DIY neon painted cutting boards for entertaining.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo much better, right?!  I’m thinking that I could use some sort of sealer over the painted area to make it more hand-wash friendly.  Not sure if Mod Podge or anyone else for that matter makes something that is food safe but as long as I aim to place food on the center section I am certain I will not poison any guests.  DISCLAIMER:  If you make this you assume all risk for your guests, family and anyone else you feed off this hand-painted board.  Poisoning people is not cool so use caution when painting anything that will be used in conjunction with food.  

Painted geometric cutting boards // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comDang, look how cool that fruit looks now that it is served on these hand painted cutting boards.  I mean, I totally want to hang out with that fruit don’t you?  Need to see how these fit in to an entertaining set up?  See them here.

 

Stay Wild Mini Party at Alt Summit

My team for our urban jungle themed mini party at #altsummitI was super lucky to get to decorate one of the mini parties at Alt Summit this year!  And I had a fabulous team of ladies to work with.  I always love to collaborate with Lauren but was super excited to get to create something fun with Jenny and Alexandra as well.  Aside from the fun (and immense stress) of planning the party, I am so grateful for the quality time that I got to spend with this rad group of ladies.  Jenny and I have been online pals for ever but getting to hang out with her (and room with her for the second year in a row) was so much fun.  And while I met Alexandra last year, I truly loved getting to know her better during party set up.

cool concrete centerpieces and custom calligraphy panels at our min party at #altsummitWe couldn’t have pulled off this party without the help of Holly of Paisley Petal Events.  She is a local SLC gal who I had met at a blogger event years ago.  She was more than willing to help us in any way we needed.  We shipped tons of stuff to her house including the neon sign (that got damaged in shipping and needed to be fixed – she handled all of that like a pro!).  She also made the concrete block table centerpieces for us.  There is no way we could have shipped those without it costing a million dollars.  She also came by to drop it all off to us at the hotel and then spent ALL day Friday with us setting up.  She even recruited Toni to help us out on Friday too.  I can’t thank her enough for her generosity.  She’s amazing!  See that rad lettered banner?  That is all Lauren’s handwriting.  My favorite printer, Direct Edge Media, printed a few of those out for us and they turned out SO amazing don’t you think?

diamond honeycomb with moss on chain link fence from stay wild mini party #altsummitGiven that our theme was urban jungle, we wanted to take it a little bit to the streets.  Make it a little gritty.  We HAD to have chain link fence.  And I blew my own mind when I added the moss to the honeycomb diamonds.  You may remember from my list of goals for the year that I mentioned that when I am around other creative ladies I sometimes get really self-conscious and implode.  I get paralyzed and can’t make decisions.  This totally happened here.  I was able to shake it off a little bit after the moss.  I loved how it looked and felt like it was a small victory for myself.

Stay Wild - custom suckers and prints for our party guestsWe were super lucky to have a few amazing vendors on our side who were beyond generous with their product and time.  See my full post on Lollipics here - but how freaking cool are those suckers?!  And the mini Stay Wild art prints feature more of Lauren’s handwriting and were very popular.  These were printed by Stationery HQ.  Email Chris Hernandez if you want to know more about having your own prints done! (chernandez@printhq.com).

Custom neon sign by Endevour Neon for our #AltSummit partyOh yeah.  And we had this custom neon sign made.  The coolest ever.  I’ve always loved neon signs and after seeing how easy it was to order something custom, I am certain I will have one in my house some day.  And when you check out all the other amazing work by Endeavour Neon you will want one too!  Their customer service was BEYOND!  We held a contest during our party and the very lucky Allison ended up with it.  I’d like her to know that if she needs me to take care of it while she’s whenever she vacations, I would be happy to.  And if you want to order one for yourself, just email Andrew at endeavourneonsigns@gmail.com.

Top your own cheesecake bar at our urban jungle mini party #altsummitI wish we could take credit for this fun cheesecake bar idea but it was decided on by the Alt team.  The mini cheesecakes were just several bites in size and there were a ton of toppings to choose from including a salted caramel sauce.  AMAZING!  I love interactive food displays and the fact that this was dessert related made it even better!  None of my photos really show the amazing hand made paper garland that Jenny made by hand.  There is a very small section attached to the cheesecake bar sign.  Isn’t it the coolest?!  I don’t know how she managed to get it all done.  It was magnificent.  It went across one whole wall in the room!

DIY animal keychains at our urban jungle mini party #altsummitWe also provided an easy craft for the party guests to do.  Since we were the “wild” room, we knew that mini animals were a must.  I didn’t end up with one of these keychains and I’m pretty bummed out about it.

Alexandra Hedin and me at our mini party #altsumitSo yesterday I mentioned a lot of other gals that I adored.  But today I need to pay a little attention to Alexandra.  She’s amazing.  Not only is she one of the most enjoyable people that I have ever met, she is smart and witty and ambitious.  She’s always put together but ain’t afraid to get down and dirty.  I love her sense of humor and am lucky to know her.  SO glad that we did this party together.

Lauren and I enjoy our wine, this party was no exception.If you look past our heads, you can see more of Lauren’s amazing calligraphy skills.  We had these prints printed by Direct Edge Media also and then just popped them in gold frames to hang at the party.  If you don’t follow Lauren you simply must.  She’s got the most amazing styling talent I have ever seen.  You know those people who’s instagrams you just don’t believe because they are too perfect?  She is not that person.  She has a natural talent for surrounding herself with beauty and finds it in the little things.  I am lucky to have found her online.  She has become a trusted friend and I wish her all the success she can dream of.  She’s going places you guys.

Alexandra Hedin and Jenny Batt at our mini party #altsummitWe did a lot of laughing before, during and after the party.  How darling is Jenny?! (on the right).  Jenny works harder than anyone I know.  She is ridiculously creative and business savvy at the same time.  I look to her for advice all the time and trust her immensely.  She creates content that makes the entire internet community gasp with awe.  She is the nicest person, funny and crazy supportive.  This is just a nutshell.  I could go on about Jenny for days.  In a nutshell she is “crazy awesome” (I’m pretty sure Jenny coined that phrase).

My urban jungle mini party decorating team at #altsummitThis party was an amazing opportunity to create a fun atmosphere for Alt goers.  It was a lot of work but a great exercise in collaboration from afar (2 of us in SoCal, 2 in Seattle and the party was in SLC).  I couldn’t have asked for a better team and hope we all get the chance to play together in the future.  I’m sure that I can get the band back together for the right price. ;)

Quick and Bright Home Decor DIY

diy-neon-pink-and-navy-blue-vaseI am desperate to get my home decorated.  Right now it is just the basic furniture.  But it needs color, personality and personal touches.  Oh.  And a light.  My living room really needs a light.  Reading my US Weekly by the glow of the TV is not the best way to read the news.  My husband and I are going to have to agree on a light so I keep putting that decision off.  I really want to stay married.  But I have started adding bits and bobs here and there to add color.  But I like to personalize things.  So I added hot pink to this traditional blue and white floral vase.  Not rocket science.  I certainly didn’t invent color dipping, but I do love the effect.

 

blue-and-white-traditional-floral-vaseI am a little bit obsessed with Hobby Lobby.  Partially because I don’t have one that close to me so every time I go I find something totally new to me.  And partially because they always are having ridiculous sales on a ton of different items.  On the last trip I saw this vase (on sale, what what!) and knew I had to have it.  And knew it needed to have pink.  And because I know my DIY skill level, if I screwed up the paint, I wouldn’t feel bad about tossing it.  Or breaking it and making it in to some sort of mosaic something or other.

tape-off-top-of-vase-for-paintingSo I taped off the bottom, covered the top and painted it.  I did two coats of a white primer to make sure the floral pattern wouldn’t show through.  Then hit it with my fave neon pink.  Of course I let each coat dry before I painted the next one.  Thank goodness it was a really warm day because I am very impatient and really wanted it to be done in one day.  Quick tip about the tape:  Use a credit card to smooth down the edge against the vase to ensure a crisp line.  I’ve always skipped this part in the past, you know, on account of my laziness but it really does make a difference!

neon-and-navy-diy-home-decor-vaseAnd I totally love how it came out.  I’m not sure where it will go just yet.  I am in need of a new side table, a new media console, a new buffet or styled bench seat and a decorated mantle…Or maybe it will go in my bedroom.  Or maybe I’ll make 15 more of them and they will be all over my house and it will look like a crazy person lives there.

easy-diy-home-decor-idea-bright-pinkDo you love the navy and neon as much as I do?!  Dang it, this little vase makes me so happy.  So do my neighbor’s bouganvilla.  You know you have the right neighbor when you go running to her house in your jammies and say quick I need flowers for this silly little vase I just made and need to take pictures of and she drops what she is doing to cut off all her flowers for you.  Thanks, Lori!

Let’s Celebrate! Birthday Dessert and Cocktail Ideas

All the MarthaCelebrations at JC Penney products featured in this post were provided by the Editors at Martha Stewart Living, a team that loves a good party and deeply admires the bloggers who throw them.

Adult Birthday Party using the new Martha Celebrations line #neon #silver #LetsCelebrate

HBD.  It is a much cooler way to say Happy Birthday, don’t you think?

With two little boys, I get to throw several fun kid parties a year.  But there is way less opportunity to throw a killer adult birthday.  I designed this fun dessert and cocktail party with several of my friend’s in mind.  But why would you need to throw a party, you ask?

martha celebrations avilable at jc penneyOne day an email arrived to my inbox and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  The editors of Martha Stewart Living had put together a fun opportunity and they wanted me to be a part of it.  Wait, what?!  Me! And it gets better!  Each blogger they chose would receive a box of some MarthaCelebrations goodies, you know, the new line of party products at JC Penney to design a party with.  This is totally right up my alley.  I said yes (duh) and then waited rather impatiently for the box to arrive to see what I would get to work with!  I was SUPER excited when my box showed up.  It was full of silver and white party supply items in a wood grain and star pattern.  There was a bit of sparkle, it was a bit cool and I knew I could put my spin on it.

gin and tonic bar for adult birthday partyI focused the party decor on the dessert table and cocktail “cart” area and cleared out the rest of my dining room to create an open dance floor area.

Happy Birthday Sign with plastic tablecloth ruffle garlandI have been wanting to do an HBD party for some time so this was the perfect opportunity.  In this age of hashtags and text language, it just seemed right.  Since I can’t quit neon, I knew that neon orange had to be a part of the design.  And an old tapestry (not quite vintage, thank you very much) from my high school days inspired the use of the batik fabric. (Using fabric can be tough but I found this great product at the craft store called Phoomph, that helps to keep it stiff and able to better hold shapes.)  I also knew that I wanted to use my plastic table-cloth ruffles (and some fringed ones too) to add texture to the walls.  I think they added a subtle, feminine touch.  I wanted the sweets to be spiced without being spicy so I kept a loose international influence throughout with hints of cardamom and nutmeg as well as citrus and nuts.

cardboard cupcake stand from Martha CelebrationsOne of my favorite products is this cardboard cupcake stand.  The tiers are actually reversible so you can choose which pattern you want showing!  What a cool idea.  I used a neon orange paint pen to edge the stand for a fun pop of color.  And as I was going through the box I was thrilled to see the pricing on each item.  The cupcake stand is only $12!  Totally affordable.  I wanted to keep the party focused on sweets (have you heard about my sweet tooth???) so I filled the stand with delicious vanilla cupcakes by Meringue Bake Shop and pistachio rose popcorn balls that I made, wrapped in the silver wood grain cupcake wrappers from part of a MarthaCelebrations kit.

custom invite from Carta SocietyTo get the party started right, I asked my friends at Carta Society to create a custom invitation for me using the printable invitation/menu card set.  I love how they were able to capture the fun yet classy feeling I was going for and incorporate the patterned fabric.

faux bois paper napkins by Martha CelebrationsThe prints that are available for all the paper products (not just the set I got) in the MarthaCelebrations line are the best I have ever seen.  I don’t know why it has taken so long to get good prints on disposable products but I am so happy it has finally happened.  I think they really elevate the look of a casual get together.  I added in some of my Philippe Starck designed plastic cutlery with my favorite disposable heart fork/knife/scoops.

silver paper chandelier detailMy dining room has very high ceilings and are not conducive to hanging chandeliersKristin suggested I hang it on the wall somehow which led me to what I think is very dream catcher-esque wall hanging.  I added a small macrame touch to the center, which like neon, I can’t stop.  I really like to knot things.  Is there a 12 step program for those things?  Can someone please stage a friendtervention?

silver favor boxes by martha celebrationsThese gray favor boxes were super easy to put together and the perfect thing for the spiced donut truffles Kristin, of Meringue Bake Shop, created.  I added a little bit of sparkle with this amazing silver ribbon.

silver wrapped chocolate hearts from Martha celebrationsSince Martha knows how OCD we party ladies can be about our matching colors, she even has color coordinated candies available to go along with her collections, like these silver wrapped chocolate hearts.  She thought of everything.  Duh.  She’s Martha.

succulent favors with faux bois wrapsI added a touch more silver to the wall decor with the silver metallic circle dot garland.  The hint of orange mixed in with the white tablecloth ruffles was flagging tape I found at Home Depot.  The flowers were a simple way to add more color to the table and I added a second “favor” item in the potted succulents.  I wrapped the pots in the wood grain cupcake sleeves.

spiced bundt cake for dessert and cocktail partyI fell in love with the sparkly, spiky, silver gift toppers and knew it was the perfect thing to add to my spiced bundt cake.

candied kumquat panna cotta by Meringue Bake shopI felt like we needed a custardy type item to round out all the baked goods so Kristin suggested a panna cotta.  I candied some kumquats to add to the top and they were the perfect addition to the table.  The vanilla bean panna cotta she created was velvety with a touch of sweetness and paired perfectly with the tart but sweet citrus.  AMAZING.  I wish you all could have tasted them!

silver neon orange and blue batik adult cocktail partyI really love how the table came together.  I love the color combo and felt like I was able to personalize the MarthaCelebrations items to fit my style.

bar for adult birthday partyFor the other focal point of the party, I created a Gin and Tonic bar and provided fresh fruit to muddle and custom syrups to try out.

macrame bar recipes and plastic tablecloth ruffles and fringeI tied in the decor to the main party table by once again using the plastic tablecloth ruffles and silver garland.  I used some leftover invitation/menu cards to print out the specialty gin and tonic recipes and used macrame knots to create a way to display them on the wall.

gin and tonic bar for cocktail partyI used the tags that came with the favor boxes to make labels for the bar syrups.  I love using fresh herbs and produce in a bar set up.  Not only does it bring the fresh flavor but is another way to add vibrant color.

grey and white star cocktail napkins from Martha CelebrationsThe star patterned cocktail napkins paired really well with the glass and silver elements on the bar table.

silver cocktail picks for gin and tonic barI used the silver picks from the cupcake kit for the cocktail garnish which I made using flavors from the specialty recipes I printed.

blackberry and meyer lemon gin and tonicThe gin and tonic recipes were: the perfect gin and tonic, sweet cherry lime gin and tonic, blackberry meyer lemon gin and tonic, strawberry basil gin and tonic and elderflower gin and tonic.  Delicious!!!!!

martha celebration gift bag and wrapping paperNot only does MarthaCelebrations do party decor but they also do gift bags and wrap.  It is hard to tell from this shot but the white paper is embossed and absolutely stunning!

I am beyond thrilled that the Martha Stewart Living editors asked me to be part of this fun project!

And you have a chance to win your very own MarthaCelebrations party-in-a-box!!  From now (June 7th) until June 14th, just head to the #LetsCelebrate Pin Party Board and repin your favorite party images.  Use the hashtag #LetsCelebrate on each pin to be entered to win.  The blogger with the most repins will win a feature on MarthaStewart.com!!! and win a JC Penney gift card.  So for the love of Pete, repin my party! :)  I’ll be your best friend.

Huge thank you to Dez and Tam for the GORGEOUS photos (and syrup label lettering).  Thank you times one million to Kristin of Meringue Bake Shop for providing beautiful and delicious treats.  And special thanks to Carta Society for working with me on the invitation.  I could not have done it with out you guys!

I can’t wait to check out all the other parties!

Easiest Gold Necklace Ever

Quickest DIY necklace everI figured out how to make the cheapest gold necklace ever.  Well, ok, it isn’t real gold but gold coated or something.  After my wardrobe consultation, I realized that a lot of the jewelry I own does not fit the look that I want to have.  So I have been slowly adding new pieces to my collection.  But I’m super cheap when it comes to accessories.  But I had this idea so I headed to the local craft store to see if it would work.

DIY gold knot necklace DIYI looked in the jewelry section for a gold chain that I like the look of.  I’m pretty sure that this one was $3.00.  And it might have even been cheaper because I think it was on sale.  Look for the longest chain that you can find.

DIY gold chain knot necklaceGrab the two ends and make a knot.  Boom.  Remember that you will have to fit it over your head so keep the knot close to the ends.  Or you can just undo the knot when you want to take it off.

simple gold necklace tutorial Super easy and pretty cute.  And since the chain won’t let the knot get too tight it kind of slips around so it looks a bit different each time you knot it.  And I didn’t have to buy any special jewelry making supplies.  And since my usual post partner in crime was out-of-town I had to take these photos of myself.  Super awkward but you get the point.