Friday, January 29, 2010

Valentine's Day Ideas

I'm about thinking Valentine's Day already.  Most specifically, dinner.  If given the opportunity to host a small dinner party, here are some of the things I would include:

These votives can be used everywhere from the foyer, to the buffet table to the dinner table.  If you really want to carry your theme throughout the house, put a few in the powder room as well.

Welcome your guests to a wonderful night filled with laughter, great conversation and delicious food with this beautiful-looking and great-tasting cocktail.

Why settle for plain table cards? Use this favor box for both seating arrangements and sending your guests home with something sweet.

Break up the redness of Valentine's Day with a beauiful pewter or platinum colored silver tablecloth.

Using unusual vessels to serve different courses of a meal keeps it interesting.  Here, the Crab Salad is served in dessert bowl.

Who can resist Surf & Turf?

What a better way to end a meal that with fresh strawberries dipped in a decadent chocolate?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Craft Cubby

Here's an ingenious way to use an unfinished armoire.  Whether your craft of choice is scrapbooking, sewing, knitting/crocheting, jewelry making, etc, this is great way to store your passion and keep everything in one place.  Slide-out tray, adjustable shelves and drawers can be used as storage, while magazines and other reference materials can be stored in stand-up organizers or stacked on top of the armoire.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Events I've Done - "Showtime at the Apollo"

In addition to creating jewelry, I've created party favors for most of the parties that I've hosted in addition to some that I've coordinated.  For as long as I've been creating favors and keepsakes, I've never had a "process" or a "method" in creating them.  Sometimes the inspiration comes from the color theme or the type of the event. 

One of my favorite events was a 60th Birthday and Retirement Celebration I designed, coordinated and managed in New York.  The theme was "Showtime at the Apollo" and the colors were ivory, gold and black.  The inspiration came from the birthhay girl spending much of her teenage years at the Apollo watching the great performers of the 60's like The Supremes, James Brown, The Temptations and the Gladys Knight and Pips.  What better way to celebrate her love of music than to recreate the atomsphere of the legendary Apollo? 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pretty Party Stuff - Blumebox

I remember the first time I came across the Blumebox website.  I was completely intrigued on the sheer ingenuity and “greenness” of the product. It ships flat, pops open and is capable of holding water or floral foam enabling you to create an endless array of absolutely beautiful floral arrangements or centerpieces for any type of event and it’s reusable! I love it. I know I'm rambling, but can you tell I'm excited about this product???

• Each 4: cube DIY flower vase measures 4.25x4.25x4 inches, with a a 4.25x4.25 inch opening.
• Each 6" DIY flower vase measures 5x5x6 inches, with a 2.75x2.75 inch opening.
• Each 8" DIY Flower vase measures 5x5x8 inches, with a 3x3 inch opening.
• Each vase is supplied complete with its own polybag liner.
• The polyethylene bag is fully recyclable.
• Vases have a 100% water based color coating. Colors will not bleed or stain.
• Vases are packaged flat to reduce storage space and pop open in just seconds.
• Vases can be reused up to 10 times.
• Vases are made from a minimum 80% Post Consumer waste material and are 100% recyclable.
• Each blumebox is individually packaged complete with simple assembly instructions.

Here are some Ideas In Blume from their website

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm in love with my "personal trainer"

For Christmas I bought my husband a Wii and it has turned out to be the best present ever...for me.  I've been working out with the Wii since New Year's Eve and I've only missed 2 days.  Wii Sports came with the the console (love, love, love the tennis, boxing and bowling) and I purchased the EA SPORTS Active Personal Trainer.  For someone who hasn't been in a gym in over a year and hasn't exercised in 5 months, Active Personal Trainer is the best thing I ever bought.  Within in 20 minutes, the personal trainer takes me through 15 exercises working both my lower and upper boday.  By the end of the workout, I'm sweating profusely and out of breath and I LOVE IT!!!!  I've been telling everyone I know about it, EA SPORTS and Wii should be paying me for advertising :-)  Check out the review from EA SPORTS below.

Review from EA SPORTS website:
Revolutionize your workout regimen with EA SPORTS™ Active, the ultimate interactive fitness program that’s designed for you. Get fit with a holistic approach to fitness that combines nutrition and lifestyle factors, with a variety of activities, all from the convenience of your living room. From customized routines that target upper body, lower body, and cardio to a guided 30-day challenge that tests muscle endurance, coordination and agility, stay in shape with fitness made fun and easy.

Active Fitness Made Fun & Easy - 20 minute circuits feature a variety of familiar activities that target upper body, lower body as well as cardio. Start off with a light jog, followed by bicep curls and get your heart beating with some cardio boxing.

Benefit of a Virtual Personal Trainer - Your trainer will be the focal point of the experience guiding you towards your own version of personal achievement. Feedback will be given throughout your workout, keeping you on track to reach your fitness goals.

The 30 Day Challenge - Take the 30 Day Challenge and experience tailor made 20 minute workouts to your level of fitness. Circuits will change as you progress each day, and EA SPORTS™ Active will track calories, intensity and progress throughout your journey.

New Way to Play - Slip the Nunchuk into the specially designed leg strap and hold the Wii Remote in your hand to track your movements from both your upper and lower body. A resistance band is also included to increase the intensity of exercises such as bicep curls and shoulder presses.

Workout Your Way - Circuits can be customized to your interest and fitness level. Choose your duration, intensity level & set your own goals for calories burned and workout score.

Workout with a Friend - Burn calories with a friend as you both workout through routines together in a co-operative mode.

Track Your Progress - Expand your Fitness IQ and keep track of your workouts inside and outside of EA SPORTS™ Active with the in-game Journal.

Wii Balance Board Compatibility - Get more out of your EA SPORTS™ Active workout using a Wii Balance Board with added functionality for many exercises.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A space just for me

When we purchased our home almost 8 years ago, my husband laid claim to the basement as his domain. I was fine with it because it gave me free reign over the rest of the house.  Fast forward to 4 years ago when our first daughter arrived and when everything changed.  The extra bedroom became my mom and dad's official bedroom because they make it a point to visit at least once a month to visit their two grandbabies.  The basement is a hodge podge of my husband's "manly" stuff and my girls girlee toys.  It seems that everyone has a place just for them, except me.  Imagine my surprise, happiness and glee when I found this picture on the Better Homes and Garden website under Storage and Homekeeping. 

I found storage boxes at Container Store priced between $8.99 and $16.99 that would match the decor in addition to not offending my husband with to much "girliness":

I checked out ClosetMaid products online at Lowes and figured that the shelves and brackets would cost approximately $70.  Then I started searching for a sturdy work surface and found this desk at IKEA:
And in order to hide my space and still be stylish, I found curtain panels also from IKEA with suspension curtain rod to create a divider from the common area of the basement.

I'm not sure how long it will take to get my space but I've already printed the picture out for hubby so that he can start taking measurements.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


There are four us (five if you include the dog) that live in a three-level townhouse and I'm constantly wishing/begging/praying for more space.  Short of throwing everything out, what is a woman to do?  There things you have must keep, things you want to keep and things that you need every once and a while.  Better Homes and Gardens website have fantastic ideas on storage around the house. 

Glass Organizers
Decorative glass containers are ideal holdalls for small items in the bathroom, office, or kitchen. They're the perfect size to store small scoops, tea bags, and muffin cups.

Shoe Box Storage

Find fabrics quickly and effortlessly by storing them in plastic shoe box storage containers. They're the perfect size to easily organize quilters' fat quarters fabrics and other sewing supplies.

Shower Caddy Gift-Wrap Organization

Wall-mount a shower caddy for the perfect gift-wrapping center. Store cards and stationery on the shelves. Attach ribbon to a mesh container and hang it from one of the hooks to store pens and pencils. Rest wrapping paper on the bottom shelf and hang scissors from a hook.

Portable Storage

Stash a journal, reading glasses, and CDs in a shower caddy to create portable storage space. Tote your calming essentials anywhere in the house.

Underbed Storage
Give old dresser drawers a new spin with paint, hardware, and corner casters. These easy-roll bins fit below a bed; store sweaters, blankets, or toys; and thwart kids' haphazard kick-it-under-the-dust-ruffle cleaning routines.

Pocket Change

Favorite books, stuffed animals, or blankies should be kept readily available for those scary, stormy nights. A do-it-yourself pocket tucked under the mattress can be made using numerous materials. Or stash these items in hanging organizers for accessories or shoes.


Open Cubbies

Open cubbies both store and organize your laundry room necessities and let you find what you need at a glance. A unit with variable-size openings like this one may need to be custom-built, but storage cubbies with uniform openings are readily available online.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Absolutely Cute Wedding Favors

I don't have a wedding to plan right but I came across these adorable wedding favors and I just have to share them.  Even though they are wedding favors, they can be used for any type of party or celebration.

The Flour Pot bakery whip up these cookies, frost them in the color of your choice, and individually wrap them in cellophane bags tied with raffia. Add a message for $1.25 apiece.

To buy: $5.50 each, minimum order of 12 cookies,

After your guests indulge in gourmet Hampton Popcorn, they can reuse the tins. For each quart of corn, you can select one of four flavors, such as Caramel Corn and White Cheddar Cheese. Ten additional imaginative flavors―like White Truffle Parmesan and Chocolate Caramel Crunch―are offered for $1 to $2.50 extra.

To buy: $45 for six 1-quart tins,

These confections from One Girl Cookies are stacked sugar cookies sandwiched with lemon cream. You can tailor the icing, rosettes, and ribbon to your wedding colors.

To buy: $11 each, minimum order of 25 favors, allow at least six weeks for ordering,

Prediction: Your guests will get a kick out of cookies that you can personalize with your own message like “thanks for sharing our lucky day.” Select the color of the chocolate dipping and the decoration―a heart or sprinkles in a variety of colors.

To buy: $2 each plus $40 typesetting charge for each printed fortune, minimum order of 36 cookies,