Marilyn’s Book themed 60th birthday party

At the very last minute, while driving down to San Diego for my mom’s 60th birthday party, I decided we needed a photographer. And even though I’m originally from San Diego, no one came to mind! So I put a hit out on Instagram, and Jill, just an IG friend, immediately recommended her cousin. Like within minutes. I checked out her stuff, and had Heather (my usual photographer) approve, and hoped for the best. AND MAN, DID I HIT THE JACKPOT!

Emily Riley of Taplin Photo made all of my dreams come true. Jill (her cousin) described her as “bubbly and blonde, and kind of like you!” Haha! But it is a real talent as a photographer to be able to capture people, table designs, details AND to be a complete joy while doing it. Just to be clear, we paid Emily! Ha, this was not for trade. I’m just seriously so happy with the pictures I could burst.

So we’ll start off today with the party details from the book themed 60th birthday party I threw for my mama! I hope to share the actual party pictures next week!

book themed 60th birthday party
honeycomb garland

Are you pumped yet? Well wait for it…cause here’s the doozy:

book themed 60th birthday party

ARE WE SERIOUS?! I contacted Hey, There Cupcake! (the maker of this INSANE cake!) on the recommendation of my friend and wedding planner Heather Balliet. Stevi, the owner, designed this after I loosely told her the theme of the party. She really hit the nail on the head.

ALL of it is edible, and she put the titles of Marilyn’s favorite books on the cake! Including the book my mom authored, “Back to the Best Books.

book themed 60th birthday party

For the flowers Stevi printed pages from “Pride and Prejudice” another one of my mom’s favorites, onto rice paper. The cake was as yummy as it was beautiful.

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book themed 60th birthday party

book themed 60th birthday party

book themed 60th birthday party

I used these little book page vases at all of the tables paired with carnations, I’ll share a tutorial for those next week. But here are the little centerpieces I did for the tables.

book themed 60th birthday party
book themed 60th birthday party

I used my little vases made from water bottles, books from my mom’s library, wood slices from my parent’s yard, and also some paper mache books I found at Michael’s and painted. Paired with the carnations, these were very inexpensive centerpieces.

My brother actually got this next shot. But it shows my beautiful mom in all of her birthday glory!


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Cookies for my Podiatrist

foot sugar cookies

I’ve been knee-deep in family fun time the past two weeks! I JUST got back from San Diego where I got to see my new nephew and throw a fun party for my mom’s 60th birthday!

But sometime between the two family vacays with two tiny children who require two tons of crap…I made some cookies for a podiatrist.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I had to get my toenail removed. Ewwww. But why did I make the podiatrist cookies? That’s a really good question. I’m not like a super nice person or anything like that. I don’t make cookies for all my doctors visits! But this doctor cut me a really big break in a very bad toenail situation, and for some reason I could not get the thought out of my head that I should make him some sugar cookies.

But I felt really odd and stupid making him sugar cookies. Was he totally going to think I was hitting on him with my sweet treats? Ha.

But then I remembered this thing this guy I dated once said, he told me, “I’ve decided that when I get the idea to do something nice for someone, I’m just going to do it and not feel stupid or self-conscious about it.”

And I loved that SO MUCH. Because so many times we think of doing something thoughtful, but don’t because we worry about how the other person might interpret it. But at the end of the day, cookies are cookies! And have you ever been mad at someone for making you cookies? So I figured, let the podiatrist think I’m insane, he did me a solid, and I had the feeling I should thank him, and baking creepy cookies is how I thank people who really deserve thanking.

So, how did the doctor like them? I HAVE NO IDEA. I was too embarrassed to deliver them and made Eric do it.


Baby steps.

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I plan on doing a full blown Sugar Cookie post soon with all the of questions I get asked about baking sugar cookies and royal icing! Hold on to your toenails, it’s gonna be good. But until then you can check out my “Bake It” section for the other cookies I’ve made!

Lots of love and creepy cookies,


**UPDATE** Haha they called and said they loved them and quote “appreciated having patients like me.” Gold STARS!!!

How to make vases from plastic water bottles

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This month’s box of craft supplies from Martha Stewart (for my 12 months of Martha challenge) could not have come at a better time!

This past weekend I helped my dad plan (meaning I planned he payed!) a fabulous book-themed 60th birthday party for my beautiful mama. So leading up to the party I, of course, got a wee bit crafty. This month’s box of supplies included Martha’s new decoupage line, and it truly is fantastic. I used the multi-surface durable gloss decoupage as well as some of MS acrylic paint, to create these little bud vases.

My mom is an avid reader and published author, so I used some sacrificial pages to carry the theme onto the vases.

vases from water bottles

To make the vases I used People Water bottles. They have a gorgeous shape and donate water to people who need it when you buy their water. So, bonus!

I prepped the bottles by drinking the water, GULP, peeling off the sticker, and using a kitchen knife to cut off the top. You could use scissors too. I didn’t stress out about getting it PERFECTLY even, just do your best.

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To paint the bottles I mixed one part acrylic paint with 3 parts multi-surface durable gloss decoupage. I painted two coats, and let the coats dry each time. But if you wanted the finish more opaque you could paint more coats.

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I LOVE that carnations (the flowers shown here) are back in style, they are so Gatsby and glam. When I took a floral design class in college our professor said they were cheap and tacky, and out-of-fashion. However, I started kind of loving them a while back and then I saw them in an issue of Martha Stewart Living and knew that was basically like their invitaion to the cool kid’s lunch table. Carnations are VERY inexpensive and durable. I bought these suckers at Cost-co.

To arrange them I used “wet floral foam” or oasis foam. You can buy a block of it for $4. You soak the foam overnight, or for a while, then you slice it up with a knife so it fits in the vase. This makes it super easy to arrange the flowers.

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And there you have it! I decoupaged book pages and then used washi-tape for some more pizazz. But you could decoupage tissue paper, old photos, glitter, oh man, the sky is the limit! You could also paint table numbers on there for a wedding or something.

This is an insanely inexpensive table center piece that doesn’t look cheap. Or at least I don’t think it does. Ha!


Happy crafting!


Hip Kid’s Rooms I wish I lived In

all sources found here

What is it with kids these days? They are soooo hip. Hahaha I sound like such an old lady. We all know what it REALLY is, is that all those hip people are growing up and having babies and then making really hip things for their kids. And I love all of them!

On my Babble blog this week I rounded up 10 Hip Kid’s Rooms I Wish I Lived In!

And I really wish I had a better word for the word “hip” because apparently I’m overusing it! Case in point:

15 Shops and Sites with Hip Clothing for Baby Boys

Hip Handmade Baby Blankets

10 Hip Ways to Style Overalls

and of course…the book I wrote…

A Hip Handmade Holiday

Apparently I’m so hip it hurts?

Or is it like one of those things if you call yourself “hip” it automatically means you are not.

Either way, it seems to be the best word for the job. But I’m open to suggestions.

Have a “stylish and somewhat trendy without trying too hard” weekend.


Family Fun in Park City

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When it’s time to party I will always party hard.

Right now I’m boogying with my family in San Diego. But last weekend we partied hard with Eric’s family in Park City on a mini vacay. It has been a little, well, hectic, packing up the kids for back to back family fun. But sometimes you just gotta miss a few naps, scream a few swearwords, and spend some quality time as a family. Dammit.

I kid.

But seriously. We had fun! I thought I’d share some of our late Utah summer magic with you that we experienced in Park City, so you can be good and jealous. Because it is BEAUTIFUL up there.

There was just a hint of fall in the air and it made me so giddy. Giddy enough for faux fur.


Ginger LOVED riding on the Alpine Slide and the Alpine Coaster. That little devil is fearless and too much fun.


Really though. What are we gonna do with this kid?

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Rad was there too! I swear. That angel just slept happily in his car seat and cooed on demand. I love him so much it’s sick.

I hope you’re having a great week!


Keep it crafty, Keep it sassy.