Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooky Dinner with Spooky Decor

Last year we were invited to a darling "SPOOKY" dinner, a few days before Halloween. It was a SPOOKY dinner with all sorts of yummy food made to look grotesk, for Halloween!

I got so excited about this and was thinking of all the fun spooky dinner items I could make for our own spooky dinner!

It was a last minute idea, so I needed a quick, easy invitation, and some darling decor that wouldn't take too long!

I ordered the invitations from PEARTREEGREETINGS.COM on Monday (October 20) and they were on my doorstep on Thursday morning! THAT IS CRAZY FAST folks! PLUS, the designing literally took me 5 minutes! Being a Graphic Designer myself, I am pretty particular when it comes to design, type, and style. It was so hard to decide between all the darling designs!

Next was the decor, and again ...  PEARTREEGREETINGS.COM was my stop! I decided on my menu first, then created tags for all the food!

I needed quick easy party favors, and luckily I made my famous sugar cookies a few weeks ago, baked them and froze them. It literally took 15 minutes to bring them out of the freezer and frost them for my party guests. Being smart when planning a party is really important!

It was important to me to have food that was edible, and not too gross ... so my menu was normal, but with a few special touches it made the food seem pretty spooky! Here is the menu:

Mummy idea was found here
I didn't make the dip, but grabbed some spinach artichoke dip at Costco.
Pita chips are Townhouse Pita chips

A simple homemade salad, and Olive Garden dressing
Homemade croutons
Grapes in the background of vampire eyes

Spaghetti with homemade sauce and meat


Spinach Fettuccine with Alfredo sauce (sauce purchased from Costco)

Homemade rolls shaped like bones 
(You could used store bought dough. Cut into strips and tie a knot in each end)

Green Jello shots. Purchased the shots at Party Land in Utah.
(Found them online here)

I have to say that these were a HIT with the kids! Seriously their favorite part!!

The Decor was fun, but not complicated! The black cloth I got at Wal-Mart, the extra cards I had from PEARTREEGREETINGS.COM that I hung on the black cloth, and lastly a few spider rings.

For the table I did red square plates, then black plates. The napkin rings were those cheap vampire fangs around a red napkin. Then were the cute witch hat straws! I found the idea here. They did take some time to make, but I made these a few days before the party!

The whole night was a huge success!
My boys had such a great time! Be sure to look around to inspire your next party! TRUST me ... you will be glad you did!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Honor of Shark Week ... Summer Shark Party ... Pear Tree Greetings

It has taken me all summer to find the time to upload my pictures, and actually post about my cute Chad's 5th Birthday SHARK party! I figured no better time than now, since it is shark week of course!

I can't believe it was 5 year ago since my little Chad made his presence in the world. 
5 years goes faster than I ever imagined it would. 
I had a great friend tell me that she allows BIG birthday parties for important birthday milestones. So she does a birthday for the years they turn 5, 8, 12, 16, and 18. The other years are set aside for family and a few friends. SO I decided to try this ... and so far, it has been GREAT!

I saw a few years ago on a friends blog, her little boys "shark" party. With Chad's birthday being a summer birthday ... I knew that this was the party that I wanted to throw for Chad's 5th. 
We started off with the invitation search ... and luckily ... my favorite invitation and invitation, card, and stationary company PEAR TREE GREETINGS had just the right touches for our party!

The front acts as a shark mask, and the back as the invitation. 
(I can't tell you how many mom's told me that their child played with the mask for days)!
We ordered the invitations, and then saw that there was PARTY DECOR, and THANK YOU NOTES!! It was the perfect touch for the perfect 5 year old party!!

We started off the party, by giving each child a shark visor.

Then played fish, fish, shark (aka ... duck, duck, goose) 
while we waited for all the little sharks to show up. 

We invited 18 little ones to the party, and to our surprise ... we had 18 kids show up!! I luckily have the most darling babysitters that love kids, and they came to my rescue ... 
because, lets be honest, me and 18 kids would not be easily tempered! ha ha
Then we opened the garage, and played pin the fin on the shark, 
and hit a really great shark piñata, in the garage of course!
Next was the back yard for some cake and treats!
Again, I got to use all the darling decorations I got from PEAR TREE GREETINGS. I used some of the printed circles, and stuck them on kabob sticks for cake toppers!

Followed by some gift opening. 
***NOTE: when you get 18 gifts, I would suggest you do what I did. Let your child pick out a few of their favorites, and play with those first. Then when they aren't looking, put the others in a closet, and bring out one when they get board. It has been a summer of entertainment, and he has enjoyed playing with each gift, rather than them getting lost in the shuffle of everything!

Our next activity was a slip and slide and a sprinkler that my sister got Chad for his birthday. 
t shot up balls and the kids loved it.

As the kids were worn out, sugared out, and super tired ... we ended with a fishing station, 
(SADLY, I was so busy running the station, I didn't get one picture!)
They got their grab bags of treats (the candy from the piñata, and a bag of fish bate!)

It was certainly a fabulous party, for a fabulous 5 year old. It wouldn't have been as amazing without all the cute decor, stickers, invites, and everything from PEAR TREE GREETINGS. Be sure to grab your Shark decor for your kids party here!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Time out is ending!

Thanks for being understanding in my little time out period! So much is going on in my life that I needed to put my blog aside for a minute. I do have some great things in my belt that I am hoping to incorporate in my blog. I am hoping to share them with you this weekend!

In the meantime ... here is what is new with me :)

1. I decided to run the St. George Marathon and training is in full throttle! YIKES!!! It is kicking my HYNEE ... however I decided that I am not getting any younger, or any healthier, so now is the time to just do it. The marathon is October 4, so wish me luck!

2. Spending lots of CRAZY time and moments with my two boys. Summer is a busy one for sure! Between family vacations, girls weekends, camping, etc, etc ... I don't think I have spent a whole weekend at home doing nothing in a month!

3. I have been given some GREAT graphic design jobs in the past months that sure have been keeping me on my toes ... stay tuned and I can show you some fun things I have been designing! HINT: Has nothing to do with crafting, cooking, scrapbooking, etc ... something totally different!

4. We have been making some decisions when it comes to our family and adoption. For now we have decided to pull our profile and not actively seek an adoption opportunity. It has been a rough road for us, and we have felt like it is time to focus on the 2 great kids we have been given. OF COURSE if we were approached to adopt another baby, this would be something we would very much like to consider! ... more to come about adoption as well!

WHEW!! Just a few things keeping me away from my blog huh! Can't wait to share with you posts about our journey the last few months ... stay tuned in the coming weeks!

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I have put myself in time-out.

I have been working on some free-lance design work, and I got a new computer ... both of which are keeping me extra busy. Sorry for the lack of posting ... I will be back soon!

Happy Spring!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heart Shaped Red Velvet Cake-letts ... no shape pan needed!

A few weeks ago I posted this on my Instagram account ... and there response left me SPEECHLESS! 
I can't believe how many people have contacted me to get the recipe and how to, so they could do this for their Valentine. 

I apologize that it has taken me so long to get this up ... however sick kids have been my excuse :)
So drumroll please ..... 

First off for the recipe
It makes 12 heart cake-lett's
(you might want to double it ... see pan sizes below recipes in the TIPS section)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz red food coloring (1/2 bottle)
1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup prepared hot cocoa with water
(coffee can also be substituted)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine sugar and oil in large bowl.
3. Mix in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, & food coloring.
4. Stir in vineger, & hot cocoa.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, & cocoa. 
6. Add dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients, and mix just until combined.
7. Generously grease (Crisco) and flour (1) half-sized cookie sheet pans. (Clarification below) 
Line the bottom with parchment paper.
8. Pour batter into pan.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes on middle rack, until toothpick comes out clean. Don't overbake!
10. Let cool in pan on a cooling rack.
11. When completely cool, dump out onto a cutting board lined with plastic wrap. Peel off the parchment paper off the top.
12. Cover the cake with another piece of plastic wrap and place in freezer overnight.
(the rest of the instructions are below frosting recipe)

Usually, you wouldn't want to put your frosting in the fridge, but this frosting is the exception! 
It is a Whipped cream cheese frosting!

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whipping cream

1. Whip cream cheese until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl whip the whipping cream (whip it good)!
3. Add powdered sugar and vanilla to cream cheese and combine until smooth. Then add whipping cream last and whip just until combined. 
4. Put inside pastry bag (with a start tip) and place inside fridge overnight. (look for a great tip below)

Back to you with the instructions of how to make the hearts!

13. After the cake has been frozen, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and use a darling heart cookie cutter (yes, the same one you use for sugar cookies) and cut 12 hearts! Remove the negative space cake ... and look below in Tips with what to do with it. DON'T throw it away, you wasteful person ... lol!

They are now ready to frost!

I use a star tip, and start frosting on the upper left corner. Then zig-zag diagonally until you get to the bottom and make a little circle to cut off the frosting, like so:

Aren't they just DARLING!

I can promise, they aren't as hard as you might think they are ... and don't let the overnight scare you off. If you ask me, it makes it easier when getting ready to serve them, because you are already cleaned up and ready to go. Here are a few tips and pictures to help you understand the recipe:

Tip no. 1 | My favorite pan is a 13" x 9.5" x 1" pan. You can find them at Orson Gygi here
For 12 hearts, this is the pan you will need! 
For a FULL pan(18"x13"x1") or two smaller pans, you will need to DOUBLE this recipe!
**This recipe I used two smaller pans because it was easier to get them into my freezer and to dump them out onto my cutting board.

Tip no. 2 | Why does the recipe say Hot Cocoa and Coffee can be substituted?
Well on the original recipe it tells to use Coffee ... but because I am a Mormon, and because I don't think that Coffee is the best ingredient for me to use for my family ... I decided to try the Hot Cocoa. Surprising, out of the taste testers I chose, (Thanks Kindred family) it was 4 people to 1 in favor of the Hot cocoa! So, this is my new twist on the recipe, however both taste wonderful!

 Tip no. 3 | The frosting might appear to be a little more runny to the usual cream cheese frosting you're used to. That is why I highly recommend that you make it and put it in the refrigerator at the same time you put the cake in the freezer. Trust me! You'll be glad you did!

I learned a little trick years ago, that has saved me from trying to clean out those pastry bags! (It still gets a little frosting on the bottom, but not nearly as bad as putting the frosting directly in the bag. 
I prefer to use Press and Seal Plastic wrap. Put a long piece on the counter, Place the frosting on the plastic wrap. Then roll it up and "wring" both ends. Then place it in your pastry bag. 

 Tip no. 4 | What do you do with all the left over scraps! 
That cake is way too good to just throw away!

How about trying this?

or I saw this on Pinterest ... 
but haven't had a chance to try it!

 Feel free to email me with your questions ... and I hope your Valentine just LOVES these cake-letts!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentines for the Mr.

It is that time of year again, and as I have been racking my brain ... I went back to a segment I did last year for Studio 5, and now realize that I never posted the ideas on my blog. I thought I would refresh your memory!

If you're like me, you probably want to do something really special for your man for Valentines day, but lets be honest .... Valentines day is a girl holiday, right? So I find it hard to not get too "froofy" (if that is a word) when it comes to gifts for my man.
Well get excited women, because I have some great gift ideas for ya!

All Printables available in my store!

When it comes to men, we all know what they "want" for Valentines Day… however we thought we would keep these gifts a little more appropriate (lets be honest, it is a little hard to do this time of year). While surveying a few men I found out that while most men are alike and like something a little risky for Valentine's day, there is much more to these men than you think!
While reading the book 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I realized everyone feels loved in a different way. Get online to their website,, and have your man take a quick quiz to find out the way he likes to be loved!

These are the 5 love languages to choose from:

- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Here are a few creative ideas that will fall within these 5 categories, 
so you can give him the best gift to help him feel the most loved!

Wrapped in a darling take out box (purchased at hobby lobby) Give him a gift to tell him all the things you love about him. You can get these fortune cookies in two different ways!
I'm so fortunate to have you as my Valentine!
ORDER THEM! - They have amazing flavors, sizes, chocolate dipped, you NAME it! Great fast way to get the cookies shipped to your door. Be sure to order today to make sure you have them by Valentines day!!
- There are hundreds of tutorials online, but I found this one on Youtube that I thought was the best. Homemade fortune cookies will allow you to be a little more "personal" with your messages, but are a little time consuming and may take a little patience until you get the technique down!

Wrap each valentine separate and place them with the time labels for each individual gift.
(the :14 is for the 14th of February) 
 Inside each little gift put all the different things that you love about him attached to a little treat! Be sure to put a reminder alert on his phone every hour to open one!

I think about you every second … every hour … on Valentines Day!
(hour labels for gifts)
Here are a few gift ideas for each hour!
- small gift card for lunch, a book store, or a coffee shop,
- cd of songs that remind you of him or itunes card (pre-make a list of love songs for him to listen to on the way home on his smart phone without him knowing. Tell him to look for the play list on his phone, or even type up the playlist and place it in the bags!
- a picture of the two of you with a favorite memory
- his favorite candy
- slinky underwear (not to open at work of course!)
- model car for his desk
- small box of favorite cereal
- gas card (if he commutes)


If your husband is like mine, he leaves before I wake up. So making breakfast for him is left to the weekends. This idea is one you can do a day or two in advance and set out before you go to bed. Make Cinnamon rolls, but roll them up like a heart. Place in individual dishes (I like the heart paper ones that you can bake in. Found mine at Wal-Mart). Then freeze the rolls until you're ready for them. Let them un-thaw over night and leave instructions to warm before eating.

Orange you glad you have my heart!
Heart cinnamon rolls with orange juice and a handmade valentine. If you want to do more, surprise him when he gets home with all the shirts in his closet ironed! (or maybe just a coupon to iron them later!)

If you have a man that travels for work, then this gift is for you. Go and buy all the essentials he would need for his travel bag and attach messages to each individual item. Every time he needs to leave for his trip, he is already packed and ready to go!
You mean the world to me!
Here is some ideas for the labels:

Toothbrush - You make me smile
Toothpaste or Mouthwash- You and I were "mint" to be
Shaving Cream - Life is rough when you're not around
Shaver - You are cut above the rest!
Deodorant - I like the way you roll
Bandaids - I'm stuck on you
Sewing Kit - You're sew special to me!
Soap or Shampoo - I was soapin you would be my Valentine


Show him how much you love him by paying attention to what he loves.
Of all the fish in the sea, I'm so glad you swam to me!
Give him a:
Fishing License, gift card to a Sporting goods store, Tackle box filled with candy 
(This one I purchased at Target last year in the Valentines section, but could easily be re-created)

Give the man you love all the things that makes him feel like a man!
My Man Can
(gift in a paint can)
Can wrapped with Mustache Wrapping paper. Found at
- Dude you're welcome stationary kit - Stampin' Up!
- Socks
- Pocket knife / Leatherman
- Cologne
- In-N-Out giftcard
- After shave
- Cards - you're one of a kind
- Remote control anything!
- Apple anything (iPod, iPhone, etc)
- Headphones
- Sunglasses

Quality time is really important to me, and there are two different types of quality time that I enjoy … and hope he enjoys too!

This gift is wrapped inside a balloon! You heard right … Pioneer Party in Lehi, Utah does a great job! Inside the balloon includes the following:
Valentine, you make my heart BURST!
Popping in to show you "good" time tonight!
Menu to show what the night includes
Gift card to restaurant, Movie, Popcorn vouchers
Movie Mugs from the MegaPlex movie theaters.
Purchase for $13 for a single mug, or $26 for a package like shown on segment. Go to this website or your nearest MegaPlex location for more details!
Wrap up the gift in a sand bucket (found at Wal-Mart), raffia for grass skirt, Hawaiian items found at Party Land in Lehi. Make sure to include an airline ticket with day and time of planned date. Get peanuts and soft drinks for the ride to your destination.
The itinerary could include:
Hawaiian Pizza at Malawi's Pizza
Babysitter scheduled
All you need to pack is your swim trunks, & a towel!
Go surfing at Provo beach resort (Wave Simulator)
** Valentine special on February 14, 2 for 1 on all activities at Provo Beach Resort. Call 801-224-5001 for more details!
End with Hawaiian Lingerie included in bucket (coconuts!)

This one is an easy on for Valentines day. Try a romantic package that includes all of this!

- Couples massage Brick Canvas at Thanksgiving Point
Check out their special for February:

- Slinky (to be exchanged for another gift later!)
- KISS STIXX (Peach for him, Cream for her … when you kiss it is Peaches and Cream) Found at Husband & Wife in American Fork
- Could get more personal with fun intimate items!

All of these gifts are not complete without Valentine printables!
Be sure to visit my store for more details on how you can get your valentine printables!