Tea for Two… or FIVE: Tea Party Inspiration and Ideas

Tea for Two… or FIVE!!

Today was my photo-shoot with MTran Photography [a brilliant woman who takes even more brilliant photographs!!] and my 4 flatmates from England!!!  We created a vintage whimsical tea party at Mt. Woodson Castle and the photos will be out as soon as I get them!! I can’t wait to showcase them.  In the meantime however, check out our inspiration.  We took bits and pieces of sets that we admired and, in my opinion created the best of them all :]


Et c’est fin!!

What Every Well-Thought-Of Lady Should Keep in Her Purse AT ALL TIMES!!

What Every Well Thought of Lady Should Keep in Her Purse At All Times

Ohhh purses are so pretty!!! Clutches, handbags, over the shoulders, Mary Poppins bags, ect…  So many styles, sizes, colours, and functions!!  But as gorgeous as they can be [accessory-wise] they end up looking like black holes on the inside!!

A bottomless pit that either has a bunch of crap inside of it… OR it has all the things you COULD need- but there is SO much in there that you can’t find one single thing…

So whether you carry a nice large purse or a smaller clutch- make sure these 10 items can be found in your bag!!!

1.) MINTS– Minty fresh breath is not just important for date nights or interviews… You never know who you are going to run into at the grocery store, or how close you’ll get to someone when going over project plans at work…  Always be prepared with a stash of gum or mints to avoid coffee breath or any other sort of breath that isn’t… well, minty-fresh!!

[click HERE for Skip to my Lou’s recipe for Cream Cheese mints- sounds yummy and interesting!!]

[click HERE for a recipe by Kitchen Trial & Error on creamy mints]

2.)  COMPACT MIRROR–  Nothing is worse than being told you have something in your teeth and NOT having a mirror on hand so you can see where it is & GET IT OUT!!  Or try putting lipgloss on with no mirror in front of you– a bit tricky and even the pros can screw it up!!  Always keep a mirror…. To spare your pride.

[click HERE for an adorable compact from an Etsy store]

[click HERE for an adorable compact from an Etsy store]

3.) LIPGLOSS/ LIPSTICK/ LIP BALM–  Keeping your lips plum, soft, moisturized, and coloured is a top priority for many women.  If you wear lipstick- it is so important to keep your lips smooth so that the lipstick doesn’t clump up on your lip.  And having an array or colours and types of glosses and sticks is always a plus!!

[MAC glosses & sticks are always a staple in my purse!!]

[to make your own lip balm flavors click HERE for the tutorial]

4.)  HAIR PINS/ HAIR GRIPS/ BOBBY PINS–  Hair is always so unpredictable- as is the weather… I never take my hair-pin-box out of my purse because I always am in need of bobby pins!!  This would definitely make my TOP 5 list… 

[it’s always a bonus to get hair grips that MATCH your hair colour- these are BLONDE for my hair colour]

[in my hair-pin box I have regular hair grips as well as fancy ones for fun occasions- it’s always nice to have options]

5.)  PENS OR WRITING UTENSILS–  Regular pens as well as a few coloured pens or highlighters/Sharpies always seem to be used in my everyday life…  It’s ridiculous to be stranded without anything to write with… so just don’t let it happen to you!!

[click HERE for cute flower pens from an Etsy shop]

6.)  CHARGERS–  Whatever devices you keep in your purse- make sure to always have a charger on hand as well- whether an ipod or phone, it never feels good to be on your last bars of life when you know you have hours more of work to be doing.  It’s horrible when you are waiting for something, you’re listening to your iPod, it’s about to die, and you know once it does… you’re screwed!! You’re left with another 45 minutes of pure silence due to your lack of a charger!!

[click HERE for a tutorial on how to MAKE this holder]

[click HERE for the tutorial on how to make the iPod holder]

7.) FEMMININE PRODUCTS– Never ever want to be caught off guard without one of these on hand when you really need them…  The times that I have, oh yeah, I had to create a make-shift pad with toilet paper that I just wrapped around my underwear….  Maybe a T.M.I. but lets just say- hopefully that’ll stick with you and you’ll ALWAYS remember to have these on hand.  You will end up being your own hero- or if not you, then a hero to your fellow sister in need…

8.)  MEDICINE–  Go through your medicine cabinet and pull out samples of the basics!!  I have a mini flower shaped purse that I always keep in my bag which is for emergencies; it has 4-5 samples of Advil, Sudafed, Head-On, Excedrin, and Tums.  This way, when you are stuck in class or work and you can’t leave, but you feel like crap… just grab your medicine bag from your purse and you’re all set!!

[click HERE to check out A Bowl Full of Lemons blog that’ll show you a great way to organize your medicine cabinet!!]

9.)  EMERGENCY CASH–  Look, women need to make sure that they are always covered, safety-wise!!  You never want to be stranded with your cards MAXED OUT or no card at all, and in need in gas stuck out in the desert on your way to an all girls weekend.  Hey, it could happen to me- it could happen to you!!

10.)  EMERGENCY SNACK–  I’m one to have my blood sugar drop and everyone runs for cover… I’m not so pleasant to be around when I am hungry and food is no where in sight.  Having a small ziplock bag of almonds in your purse makes it so that you are not only being fed even when you can’t find food elsewhere- but you’re also being healthy!!  A win, win!!

Et c’est fin!!

Easy & Quick Prep Cinnamon Ornaments to Make Your Home This Christmas 2011 Smell DIVINE!! Great for Families!!

Christmas Crafts That Bring the SMELL of Christmas:

STEP 1:  Turn oven on to 200 F and mix in a bowl:

  • 1 cup ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons glue [IF needed… if your mixture isn’t hard enough]

It SHOULD look like my dough [pictured above]

STEP 2:  Take your dough out and roll it over with a rolling pin

STEP 3: Then proceed to cookie-cutter pieces out OR if your are on the thriftier side as I am– then cutting them out free hand is always an option, and in my opinion it gives them more character.

STEP 4: After you’ve cut them out and laid them on your parchment paper [on your cookie sheet] then use a straw to get a hole in them- this is SUPER important because after they are dry it will be IMPOSSIBLE…

STEP 5: Lay all of your pieces out [with holes poked through them] and put them in the oven for 2.5 hours.

Once they are out they hold EXTREMELY well and can be used for future Christmas’ as well!!

STEP 6:  Put a string or ribbon through the hole/holes and voila, c’est fin!!

I love this because when I walk into my home now it smells deliciously of pine [tree], peppermint [candy-cane advent calendar], and NOW cinnamon :] all WONDERFUL holiday scents!!

The Christmas 2011 DIY Advent Calendar [FREE Printables] & MY Christmas Miracle!!

Tis the Season :]

This year is Andrew and I’s first year of being married and as I’ve said many times before- funds are low!! It’s rare to see a newly wed couple who has all the income they need streaming in, and we of course are no exception.  SO, we had talked about it and and agreed that we weren’t going to be able to spend extra money on a Christmas tree and Holiday cards…

I knew it HAD to be done this way, but I am a decorator!! I’m imaginative!! I need outlets, and the holidays are perfect for just that!! So I Photoshopped us a holiday card and being eco friendly, just posted it on facebook & here.  One down.  Then I was at Trader Joe’s a week ago and saw these mini little Rosemary bushes that had been cut into Christmas tree shapes!! I picked up one of those for $6!! The house still didn’t seem very Christmasy… So I decided to make Cinnamon ornaments [TUTORIAL FOR THESE WILL BE OUT SOON!!] for our little Rosemary trees, and the house now smells AMAZINGLY like Christmas!! I then also thought that we could use an Advent Calendar, and so I DIYed that as well [TUTORIAL FOR THIS WILL BE OUT SOON!!].

Our little flat was coing along nicely when… my Dad decided that he and my mom were going to buy us a Christmas Tree!!!  He took me to Home-Depot and I picked out a 3 foot tree that is PERFECT for our little flat!!  ANNND I had completely forgot that Andrew’s family last year pulled out all of their Christmas decor that they weren’t using anymore [about a million homes worth] and all the kids got to riffle through it for whatever they wanted!!  We went to their parents home to pick up whatever we had previously picked out- and we have 5 boxes worth!!

Thank the Lord we have family who have made this holiday come to our home!!

Us in Morocco

Us after Andrew’s grandpa passed away & we were

recreating a picture of his grandparents in front of their car.

Our wedding day

Andrew in Europe for the first time- and in London no less!

Our first New Years Eve together and he had to work.

So when he came over around 11:30 I had decorated my room with

bunches of x-mas lights all around my room & I covered

a cherry-ball with them to be the NYC Ball :]

Our tree colour theme this year is comprised of golds, cremes, whites, and cranberry reds.

We’re so thankful for our Christmasy home!!

The DIY Cheap & Easy Advent Calendar

Apparently my husband had never heard of Advent calendars….  And so when he came home and I showed him- he had not a clue why I had strung up candy canes…

So for all of you unfamiliar with this Christmas tradition:

Advent Calendar:  a large card with a brightly coloured sometimes tinselled design on it that contains small numbered doors for children to open on each of the days of Advent, revealing pictures beneath them

And usually in the US we have chocolates behind the doors…  but and Advent Calendar is just a fun wat to count down the days of Christmas!!  So I decided a cheap way to do it, that is way more festive and decorative than a large card :]


This is so easy- you really don’t need a step by step picture… So:

-Buy a box of candycanes

-have a piece of ribbon on hand, or I had 2 pieces of twine and 1 piece of bakers string [black and white] which I braided

-nail the ribbon or twine to the wall [not too tight because you want to create a dip]

-print out the mini cards on each candy cane [PRINTABLE & PRINTABLE]

-write out the remaining number of days till christmas [one day per card]

-hot glue the card to a candy cane & then hang the candy canes on the ribbon or braided twine!

-and print out the “ADVENT CALENDAR SIGN” [PRINTABLE] and print the sign below as well.

-Hot glue or double stick tape those signs to the wall & c’est fin!! Very easy, festive, and cost effective!!

Christmas 2011 DIY Project: The Candy Cane Christmas Wreath

Christmas 2011 DIY Projects:

Candy Cane Christmas Wreath

Christmas Crafts:  Christmas wreaths are so festive!! Nothing says the HOLIDAY SEASON like Christmas wreaths!!  Well, Christmas trees potentially do… But this post is not about Christmas trees…  So CHRISTMAS WREATHS, hazah!!

I actually found this DIY wreath on another blog [Whipperberry] and I thought it was cute, clever, and cheap [p.s. apparently I’m all about alliteration today… and I’ve done it again…].  ANYHOW, when I went to JoAnn’s Fabric Store I found that getting the materials the blog suggested was really rather pricey…  My husband and I are newly weds, and we can’t even afford a Christmas tree this year, let alone $40-$60 on a Christmas wreath that I was going to make myself…  So I have restructured it so that the materials are cheaper!!

The Perfect Christmas Gift of 2011

The best gift are the ones that people put time and effort into- so this holiday season: reduce, reuse, and recycle by putting time and effort into MAKING your Christmas gifts in 2011!!  Start off with this Candy Cane Christmas Wreath:

DIY Christmas Decor

STEP 1:  Cut your muslin into 4″ widths and as long of pieces as you can :]  Then take your floral foam and start to wrap your muslin around the foam.  Keep taking pieces until the foam is fully wrapped!

STEP 2:  Take your white and red felt and cut both into 4″ x 4″ squares.  Make as many as you can- you definitely dont want to be stingy with your squares!!  Trust me- you want more fluff rather than a wilted looking wreath…

STEP 3:  Take a square and fold it in half- pretty easy, right?!

STEP 4:  Then take that half folded square, and fold it again so it is quartered.

STEP 5:  Use a floral pin and push it through the corner of the square.  Then place it on the outside of the foam.  You’re going to to make a line from the the outter point of the foam to the center.  One line of red, and then two line of white- that way the white is thicker :] thus creating a candy cane looking wreath!!  The perfect Christmas decor for 2011 and many many years to come!!

STEP 6:  Take whatever ribbon you prefer and tie a knot in the center.  Then pin the ends on either side of the foam :]


Joyeux Noël