Friday, April 29, 2011

Things That Make Us Smile: Balloon Flowers

A fun and colorful decoration, if we do say so ourselves!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All About the Packaging: May Baskets

Traditionally, May Day celebrates the end of winter. People used to leave May baskets filled with candy or flowers on each others doorstep. While they've fallen out of favor, why not bring back such a sweet tradition in your home?

1. Cut out a paper cone out of construction paper or card stock using this download.
2. Glue or tape ends together.
3. Punch two holes and attach a ribbon for a handle.
4. Decorate the basket with glitter, stickers, sketches, etc.
5. Fill with treats and leave for a loved one!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love Links: Angry Chicken

If you're looking for a site full of  great tutorials, delicious recipes and general crafting goodness, check out Angry ChickenAmy Carol's craft weblog. Definitely try her rhubarb hand pie recipe!

In addition to the blog, Amy is also the author of two fantastic sewing:  Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew and  Bend the Rules with Fabric: Fun Sewing Projects with Stencils, Stamps, Dye, Photo Transfers, Silk Screening, and More. We've read both books and they are full of easy projects to make for yourself or for a friend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What to Do: Spring Clean for a Good Cause

Spring is here and with it comes the urge to clean out your closets. As you go through your things to figure out what to part with, think for a moment about where to donate them. Thrift shops are always an option, but there are other places who could use your donations as well.

* Women's shelters and homeless shelters are always in need of clothes and toys for both children and adults.
* Animal shelters can use your old blankets, towels and animal toys.
* Dress for Success is a great place to take your unwanted business attire.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Five Faves: Bridal Party Gifts

Your bridal party is made up of the closest people in your life, so it only makes sense that you want to show your appreciation of their friendship by giving them each a gift of some kind. Here are five ideas that we think make perfect presents.

Pearls never go out of style and there is the added benefit of your friends being able to wear them to your wedding. Whether you go with freshwater or saltwater, you can find something to suit your budget.

A Digital Camera
A digital camera is a wonderful gift and there are as many price points as there are features to choose from. And if you charge them up beforehand, your friends will be able to capture candid shots before and after the wedding itself.

A lovely pair of earrings always come in handy. You can give each of your bridesmaids different but coordinating earrings that suit their respective styles. 

Who couldn't use a little more music in their lives? For a special touch, have each one engraved with your friends' initials. 

Beautiful and practical, a pashmina a perfect gift for each member of your bridal party. You can choose to match their dresses or go with favorite colors.

Hand Beaded Pashmina Scarf Shawl Wrap Throw - Deep Red

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Can I Have This?: Eggbot

How cool would your Easter eggs look if you had the Eggbot? It's too late for this year, but there's always next year. And it works on pumpkins, too.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Things That Make Us Smile: Frogs

Frog goody bags all ready to go for a garden party!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

All About the Packaging: Newspaper As Gift Wrap

April 22nd is Earth Day, a day to appreciate the environment. You can do your part by reusing, renewing and recycling. We love the idea of using something as simple as newspaper as gift wrap. It easy and eco-friendly. How About Orange takes it to the next level with a bow made from a magazine page. Click here to see her tutorial.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love Links: I Still Love You

For fun DIY projects and "Thrifty & Chic" ideas,  take a look at I Still Love You. We especially love the designs on her wonderful printables.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What to Do: Go Green

We hear it all the time almost to the point where we don't even notice it anymore. But now that it's almost Earth Day again, take a moment to incorporate some small changes that can help the environment.  You can make them easy enough to incorporate into your life so that it easily becomes second nature. Give these three tips a try to get started.

1. Stop paper statements. Most of us don't even know where our checkbooks are, so why keep the statements coming in the mail? Next time you log-in to pay a bill, check the box that will stop your paper statements.

2.  Unplug your chargers when not in use. They're still still using electricity even though nothing is charging.

3. Use cloth napkins.  Buy enough to last through a few meals before you have to do laundry. Not only will meals look a little fancier, but you'll be saving money and the environment, too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Five Faves: Host & Hostess Gifts

It's always nice to bring a little something to show your appreciation. Here are our five faves:

Mix up the dry ingredients of your favorite pancake recipe into a mason jar. Add a small bottle of pure maple syrup and you've made the morning after that much easier for your host. No Fear Entertaining has a great whole wheat pancake recipe.

Champagne is always a lovely gift. Pair it with a bottle of orange juice and your hostess can have mimosas with breakfast.

Flowering Tea
Flowering teas blossom into beautiful flowers as they steep.  Place a few into a glass tea pot and you have a wonderful gift.

You can either go with an assortment of designs or pick a favorite design of the hostess. Letterpress cards are especially lovely. These whale cards are from Sesame Letterpress.

Yes, it's an easy way out, but who doesn't love getting flowers?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Can I Have This?: The Stockholm Dollhouse

Now this is a dream house! Designed by Swedish interior architects Ann Morsing and Beban Nord of Box Design, the Stockholm is amazing even without all the gorgeous furniture. It's wired for lighting, there are plexiglass doors that slide down and the pool slides in for clean-up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Things That Make Us Smile

Getting ready the evening before a party.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

All About the Packaging: Paper Beads

Okay, so this isn't really packaging, but it's something put inside some packaging.  Here's a fun and pretty way to do it is to take your scrap paper and turn them into paper beads. All you need are scrap paper (leftover wrapping paper and magazines are good options), scissors, a ruler, toothpicks/skewers and glue. Check out An Altered Obsession for an easy-to-follow tutorial.

Photo: An Altered Obsession

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Love Links: Babyccino Kids

If you're looking for an international spin on kid-friendly things, Babyccino Kids is the site to check out. They have city guides, projects as well as product reviews and book lists. The best part is getting the P.O.V. from moms in London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What to Do: Have Hors d'oeuvres for Dinner

For some reason, we seem to think there are rules as to when we should eat certain foods. But really, what's wrong with pancakes for dinner? Or hors d'oeuvers for that matter?

Party foods are always fun, so why not have them more often. Throw some savory tartlets, mini empanadas and chicken satay in the oven, serve your favorite beverage in a champagne glass and enjoy the best part of a party--the food. Granted there's no one serving you, but then again, you won't be disappointed by an empty tray passing by.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Five Faves: Balance Bikes

Spring hasn't quite sprung, but it's getting there. What better way to enjoy it than a bike ride? Get your little one started with a balance bike. Here are our faves:

Start your tyke off on the balance bike and then when she's ready, pop on the pedals and she's good to go. A little on the heavy side, but incredibly sturdy. The Hobby-Bike is perfect if you're short on space or if you just don't want to spend the money on two bikes in quick succession.

Hobby-Bike Balance Bike BLUE

Skuut Balance Bike
Made from eco-friendly wood, the Skuut is a sturdy, beautifully made balance bike that will have your child off and riding in no time. And for the times he doesn't want to ride, the built-in handle comes in handy as does the fact that it's only about 10 pounds.

Skuut Balance Bike
Strider PREbike Balance Bike
Coming in at seven pounds and having a seat that is 11 inches off the ground (adjustable to 16 inches), the Strider is perfect for even the smallest biker. It also has integrated footrests so your little has a place for her feet as she glides along.

 Strider PREbike Balance Running Bike, Red
g-bike + by micro
The g-bike's  non-marking polyurethane wheels make it the perfect indoor/outdoor balance bike. This super light (5lbs) also comes with a hand brake, so your speed racer can stop like the big kids.

g-bike + by micro

Okay, so this isn't a balance bike, but you do need a helmet if you're going to ride. We love the thick terry padding inside and the great colors on the outside.
Triple 8 Brainsaver Rubber Kelly Helmet, Medium

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Can I Have This?: Naef Gloggomobil

We think the Naef Gloggomobil would be an amazing toy to have. This Swiss music toy lets you create songs by putting pegs into the drum and then turning the crank. Or you can just play it like a xylophone.

Of course, most of us probably won't be sitting around making melodies on this as the Gloggomobil is about $900. One can dream, right?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just In Case You Missed It

In case you're just popping in for the first time, we've had a pretty good first week. We had our first post in each of our regular topics. Have a fabulous weekend!

Five Faves: Educational Toys
What to Do: Celebrate the Small
Love Links: Not Martha
All About the Packaging: Pillow Box Hat
Things That Make Us Smile: Our Fairy Friend

P.S. Wait until you see tomorrow's newest topic!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Things That Make Us Smile

Our wonderful fairy friend, Emily, making balloon flower bracelets at a birthday party. What could be more fun?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

All About the Packaging: Pillow Gift Boxes

Even the littlest trinket can seem special when it's in a lovely box. Use our template to create your own pillow box to fill with sweets or treats for your loved one. Just go to the downloads page on our website at We've included both a patterned box and a plain one. Happy gifting!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love Links: Sites We Adore

While Megan's blog is called "Not Martha," she has plenty of Martha-worthy projects. There are tiny gingerbread houses and mini pinatas, as well as some fabulous recipes. The tutorials are easy to follow and she includes beautiful pictures as well. Definitely take a look at

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

All About the Packaging: Flower Gift Box Band

Catherine Hansen Peart over at Gingham Cherry has a beautiful way to dress up any gift. Her Flower Gift Box Band is just gorgeous.Click on over to her site to see the tutorial.

                                                                         Photo: Catherine Peart

What to Do: Celebrate the Small

The weather reacently warmed up in New York and we were able to take the kids to the playground for the first time in months. Nothing too special, right?

Well, we decided to make is special by bringing jump ropes, Skip Its, and chalk paint to surprise the kids. We also brought some fruit, cheese and crackers for a mini-picnic. The kids had a blast and all the parents had a wonderful time as well just being outside together again after such a long winter.

Sometimes we forget the little things in life because we're so busy dealing with the big things. So take a moment to celebrate the small.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Five Faves: Great Educational Gifts

Learning can be fun. It's even more fun when the kiddies don't realize they're doing it. Here are five toys that both kids and parents will love!

At first glance, this looks just like simple building blocks, but there's a lot more thinking involved as to where and how you place the blocks.

Kid O A to Z Magnatab Writing Toy
Here's an easy way to get your tot to on the road to good penmanship.

Tessell Rocking Horse Puzzle Playmat
Talk about multi-purpose. It's a puzzle, a playmat and a rocking horse!

A great puzzle your child can put together and take apart in different ways.

Fat Brain Toys Inchimals
These cute wooden blocks are a great way to introduce math concepts.