DEAR READERS AND NEW VISITORS....MY BLOG IS HAVING A FEW TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH OLDER POSTS,THE TRIANGLE WHERE A PHOTO SHOULD BE. I AM SLOWLY GOING BACK RELOADING THEM!

College Survival Gift Box

With graduation right around the corner, many a wheels are spinning about gift ideas! For this month's Whisker Graphics Design Team Project, I think I may have solved the problem, a College Survival Gift Box. Any future college student would appreciate boxes filled with toiletries, gift cards and money!


I filled Grid Bitty Bags with gift cards and money and added them to a 3" acrylic box...


...and filled a 4" acrylic box with travel-sized must-haves...


The possibilities on what can go into your boxes are endless!

Use a little bit of tape to adhere the small box to the top of the large box and finish off with a ribbon and tag.


I know...you're welcome!




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Easy Patriotic Ideas For Summer Entertaining

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. As always, all opinions are mine alone. #TRISCUITSummer #CollectiveBias 

Summer entertaining is my favorite time of the year; sitting on our porch with the sun setting over our greenbelt, drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a meal is heaven. With Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer, right around the corner, it's time to start hosing off the lawn furniture and getting ready with a few easy patriotic ideas!

Easy Patriotic Ideas For Summer Entertaining

Today I'm sharing great tips on how to create a casual summer appetizer buffet gathering; I'm all about keeping things super easy so I can enjoy my time right alongside guests. Slaving away in the kitchen while everyone is enjoying themselves is not how I like to spend my time.

Easy Patriotic Ideas For Summer Entertaining; a great and easy tablescape perfect all summer long

With a trip to my local Fred Meyer and a little help from TRISCUIT Crackers with toppings that are perfect for summer, we are going to make a tasty showpiece as a hearty appetizer.

A perfect heavy appetizer, Steak + Brie TRISCUIT Crackers

We are currently obsessed with TRISCUIT Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil crackers; I love that they can be topped with savory or sweet ingredients for perfect nibbling! My husband is always eating them with roast beef slices,  so I thought they would make a great appetizer topped with freshly grilled beef sirloin roast. Here's the oh-so-easy recipe for Steak + Brie TRISCUIT Crackers:

Dog Days Of Summer Drink Bottles

As a Whisker Graphics Design Team member, I get the opportunity to really flex my crafty muscles and participate in great projects. This week, you get the chance to be in on the fun! Whisker Graphics has teamed up with STAMPENDOUS for a STAMPENDOUS Blog Hop!

Dog Days Of Summer Party Fun

We were sent product from both to come up with fun projects.  I have two projects to share; with summer right around the corner and working on a fun doggy birthday party project, I was inspired to create a few fun party ideas to celebrate.

Dog Days Of Summer Party drink bottles

Yesterday I shared my Dog Days Of Summer Treat Bags and today it's my Drink Bottles!  These are the perfect double duty as place cards and beverages!

I trimmed to fit and stamped cardstock with the bone stamp from the Stampendous Cling Pop Up Puppies set for the drink bottles.  The Whisker Graphics small white tag is stamped with the paw stamp from the Stampendous Wild Sayings set and tied with Whisker Graphics Divine Twine Diva in wheat solid.

Of course, I couldn't resist a little doggy nod to the outdoors with a wood grain patterned straw attached with grass patterned washi tape.


Now, how to get in on the fun...Whisker Graphics and STAMPENDOUS are combining together for fabulous PRIZES! Head to STAMPENDOUS to check out the other projects in our Blog Hop and  all of the details to WIN these FAB prizes...


Three prize packages consisting of: 

- One spool each of Divine Twine Diva in Crushed Lavender Solid, Crushed Lavender Stripe, Dried Celadon Solid and Dried Celadon Stripe
- An assortment of Whisker Graphics bags in a variety of sizes and patterns
-  Winner's choice of a STAMPENDOUS Cling Rubber Stamp Set and Matching Dies

Note - Winners MUST have a US mailing address (or territories or military); STAMPENDOUS will give away one prize to an Australian winner courtesy of their distributor there – The Stencil Specialist – which will consist of distributor’s choice of one stamp, one stencil and a surprise goodie.

Oh, I love those twine colors...be sure to head over to enter and good luck!




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Dog Days Of Summer Treat Bags

As a Whisker Graphics Design Team member, I get the opportunity to really flex my crafty muscles and participate in great projects. This week, you get the chance to be in on the fun! Whisker Graphics has teamed up with STAMPENDOUS for a STAMPENDOUS Blog Hop!

Dog Days Of Summer Party Fun

We were sent product from both to come up with fun projects.  I have two projects to share today and tomorrow.  With summer right around the corner and working on a fun doggy birthday party project, I was inspired to create a few fun party ideas to celebrate.


First up, it's my  Dog Days Of Summer Treat Bags!  I am featuring Whisker Graphics' Middy Bitty Bags in plain brown and stamped with the dog head stamps from STAMPENDOUS' Cling Pop Up Puppies set on sticker paper as closures. I used colored pencils which are very subtle in the photos but are super cute in real life.

So easy and fun, they are a perfect send off filled with fun treats! Put food items like cookies in a clear cello bag first to avoid grease spots on your paper bags...Middy Bitty Bags are not grease-proof.


Now, how to get in on the fun...Whisker Graphics and STAMPENDOUS are combining together for fabulous PRIZES! Head to STAMPENDOUS to check out the other projects in our Blog Hop and  all of the details to WIN these FAB prizes...


Three prize packages consisting of: 

- One spool each of Divine Twine Diva in Crushed Lavender Solid, Crushed Lavender Stripe, Dried Celadon Solid and Dried Celadon Stripe
- An assortment of Whisker Graphics bags in a variety of sizes and patterns
-  Winner's choice of a STAMPENDOUS Cling Rubber Stamp Set and Matching Dies

Note - Winners MUST have a US mailing address (or territories or military); STAMPENDOUS will give away one prize to an Australian winner courtesy of their distributor there – The Stencil Specialist – which will consist of distributor’s choice of one stamp, one stencil and a surprise goodie.

Oh, I love those twine colors...be sure to head over to enter and good luck!

Come back tomorrow and find out how I made my Dog Days Of Summer Drink Bottles.




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9 Unconventional Flower Ideas For Mother’s Day

Mother's Day is Sunday and I'm over on Moms & Munchkins sharing 9 unconventional flower ideas, perfect if you are looking for ideas outside the flower bouquet.

9 unconventional flower ideas for Mother's Day




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Fiesta Friday - Disco Churro Bar

We've been having Cinco De Mayo party inspiration with a twist all week, from three boozy drink twists on classics to six party must-haves.   We are ending with this week's Fiesta Friday with my twist on a twist, a Disco Churro Bar. I know...churros!

Your Cinco De Mayo party needs a Disco Churro Bar!

I am going through a disco phase...I've decided that I need to create more reasons to bust out my many disco balls.  Especially since I now own these.  And disco ball plates. And lots of mirrored trays and platters. So when I think of disco balls, I think Cinco De Mayo.  Totally.

Disco Churro Bar for Cinco de Mayo

So, I decided the perfect way to finish your fiesta is with dessert, a churro bar.  Set up a fun area that allows guests to help themselves, right after the meal or at their leisure.

You can make churros yourself, there are oodles of recipes from baking and frying them to gluten free options and easy shortcuts.  I did the easiest of them all and picked mine up fresh from a local vendor.  Paired with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces, a few fiesta-inspired decorations, you've got yourself another mini party.

Disco Churro Bar; lots of churros...

Disco Churro Bar; cactus shooters

6 Must-Haves For Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is in one week and I'm thrilled to welcome Jennifer Skarakis, founder of Sendo Invitations, sharing six of her favorite must-haves for Cinco De Mayo.

Cinco De Mayo, Spanish for 'May 5th', is a Mexican-American celebration of the Mexican Army's victory over French forces in 1862. And it's one of my favorite holidays to celebrate! The actual celebration is on May 5th, but is often celebrated on a date near the 5th. It always includes delicious food, tequila drinks, music and dancing. Use these fun ideas to WOW your guests with a festive and unique Cinco De Mayo party this year!



Setting the Mood for Cinco De Mayo
Set the mood of the celebration by surprising your guests with an animated Cinco De Mayo Invitation from Sendomatic. You can even choose one with sound and festive music. Your invitation sets the stage for your party. It gets guests excited before the party even begins! Sending invitations online is a more eco-friendly option than printed invites. And Sendomatic makes it easy to organize your guest list, RSVP, reminders and more.



Decorate With Papel Picado
These inexpensive paper flags make a striking statement. Papel Picado is a Mexican folk art where layers of tissue are hand-chiseled to create up to forty banners at a time. They are a popular feature at many traditional Mexican celebrations, including Cinco de Mayo. In addition to adding this staple to your decor, you can set up a fun activity table for kids to create their own Papel Picado!

image courtesy of El Camion
Hire A Food Truck
Instead of catering your event, you can hire a Mexican food truck to come to the party location! Food trucks are an easy, fun and inexpensive way to feed your guests. You'll need a relatively flat place for the truck to park. Some trucks might need a power outlet. Make sure to have enough seating for your guests to enjoy their food. Don't forget to place a large trash and recycling can near the eating area.


You Must Have A Few Cinco De Mayo Party Cocktails
The customary drink of Cinco De Mayo is the margarita, of course! Dawn just shared a fun twist on the traditional margarita or opt for a non traditional and chic tequila spicy martini or cocktail! Having a unique margarita or signature drink will make your party special. Provide a sign listing the ingredients for your guests and always serve with a garnish. Fresh edible flowers are my favorite. I always have some pansies growing in my garden just for garnishing cocktails and salads.

Hire A Mariachi Band
If you really want to set an authentic tone for your Cinco De Mayo party, hire a Mariachi Band. In addition to keeping the energy flowing and guests entertained, the band can help move people from one area of the party to another when necessary.


The Piñata
These fiesta staples are fun for adults and kids alike. Fill your piñata (storebought or homemade like this cactus from Oh Happy Day) with candy, stickers, glow sticks. Get the adults excited by adding some scratch-off lottery tickets, gift cards and cash.

Place the adult items in discrete envelopes so that they don't grab the kids attention as much as the candy and other exciting items. In addition to your stuffed piñata, you'll need a bat, baggies for goody collection, a blindfold, rope or strong twine and something to hang it from.

 I hope these tips help to up your fiesta game this year; have a great party!


Jennifer Skarakis is on a mission to help take event planning to the next level of style and ease. She does this while raising three daughters, playing in a band and running a company. Check out more party planning tips  from Jennifer.





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3 Boozy Float Recipes Perfect For Summer

It has been unseasonably gorgeous and warm here in the Seattle area, which has me summer party planning! When Keurig reached out to see if I was interested in checking out the KEURIG® KOLD™, visions of creating boozy floats, adult twists on classic soda floats, started  dancing in my head.  The KEURIG® KOLD™ makes all your favorite cold drinks at home (perfectly carbonated without a CO2 canister) from craft sodas to iced teas and my favorite, drink mixers from margaritas to mojitos.

3 Boozy Floats Perfect For Summer Parties and Entertaining


So whether it is me time (yeah, I need a cocktail or two with middle and high school boys) or entertaining a crowd, having beverages on tap is always a plus. Even better, you don't need ice if you don’t want (or forget to get more) since the drink flows out ice cold!



So I put it to the test to whip up 3 boozy float recipes guaranteed to keep you cool this summer with the KEURIG® KOLD™ Rita’s & Tina’s Strawberry Margarita, Union Street Lounge Mojito and Union Street Lounge Moscow Mule.

3 Boozy Floats Perfect For Summer; Mango Strawberry Margarita Float

Mango Strawberry Margarita  Float (serves 1)
Rita’s & Tina’s Strawberry Margarita pod
mango sorbet (I used Talenti's Alphonso Mango sorbetto)
salt for rimming
fresh strawberries and mangoes for garnish
2 oz vodka

Rim your glass with salt, them make a strawberry margarita as directed with your KEURIG® KOLD™.  Add vodka and a large scoop of mango sorbet, then garnish with strawberry and mango slices.

3 Boozy Floats Perfect For Summer; Mango Strawberry Margarita Float

12 Ways To Say Thanks: Mother's Day Gift Guide

Can you believe Mother's Day is in less than 2 weeks? Even more so, my birthday will be shortly after, so we'll call this 'Shameless Promotion and Hints For My Husband' because I would love any of these 12 ways to say thanks to the special mother in your life.


one. full-body indulgence wrapped in recycled handmade paper from LUSH  | two. set of 12 bangles from Kendra Scott | three. votive glass candleholders from  glassybaby  | four. Sugarfina's Sweetest Mom Bento Box is two layers of sweet love in lucite boxes | five. grow your favorite veggies in Potting Shed Creations' Garden-In-A-Pail.  | six. Brew tea in style in  World Market's copper bodum infuser teapot with glass carafe. | seven. AERIN Beauty 'Lilac Path' Eau de Parfum Spray from Nordstrom | eight. Rifle Paper Co.'s Assorted Floral coasters | nine. serve her breakfast in bed on West Elm's mirror tray | ten. MAMA necklace from Brevity | eleven. Chorus Pom Pom scarf from Moorea Seal  | twelve. give her a compliment everyday with  Rosanna, Inc.




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Tuesday Tip - 5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CleanWithMrsMeyers #CollectiveBias 

The weather is warming up and soon, it will be time to get your home ready for spring entertaining, whether it’s an impromptu gathering or a full-fledged affair! Your house doesn’t have to look like a magazine spread to let your guests know they are welcome and feel at home, it is all in the little details.

5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining

Here are five of my favorite tips on prepping your home, which include my favorite Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® scent, Lemon Verbena, perfect for giving your home a spring fresh feel and smell. No one wants harsh, chemical products or smells interrupting quality family and friend time.

Did you know that all of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day® cleaners are made with natural essential oils, phosphate free and never tested on animals? I am always on the lookout for these types of products; with the little one’s skin allergies, we have been a household of natural/dye and fragrance free products for years.

Start With The Right Tools
Housecleaning has a bad reputation but like with any task, having the right tools makes the “chore” doable. Keep cleaning products, gloves, good brushes and sponges together in an organized cleaning caddy. Even better, make it easy on yourself and keep a small one under every sink.

5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining; use Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface cleaner

Get Your Surfaces Sparkling And Ready To Party
The Lemon Verbena Multi-­Surface Everyday Cleaner is the perfect, naturally fresh spray for cleaning non­porous surfaces such as tabletops, bathroom fixtures and countertops and more. My kitchen table works hard serving meals, as a homework station, crafting area and more. When it’s time for entertaining, a thorough cleaning is a must. A bowl of fresh lemons finishes the table, and of course, a great compliment to our lemony scented home.

5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining; use Mrs. Meyers scrub for stainless steel surfaces

Give Your Sink A Good Cleaning
The last thing I want guests to see is a dirty sink when they come into the kitchen. A clean sink and counter goes a long way, but my stainless sink shows spots and grime very quickly so tackling it is an everyday battle. The Surface Scrub is a non-scratching gentle and effective powder cleaner perfect for stainless steel. This powder cleaner isn’t like the others you’ve used…you know, the ones that feel all gritty and put your teeth on edge when you use them!

5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining; prep your powder room with Mrs. Meyers' hand soap

Prep Your Powder Room
It only takes a moment, but checking your guest bathroom before the doorbell rings goes a long way towards making everyone feel welcome. It is one of the last things I do, from emptying the trash to extra toilet paper. Go the extra step with a pretty tray of paper hand towels, Lemon Verbena Hand Soap and lotion for your counter; reusing cloth hand towels becomes very unsanitary!

5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining; make lemon bath salts

Gift Your Guests The Perfect Thank You 
I love to send guests home with a little special something; one of my favorites, homemade lemon bath salts in jars that guests will love to reuse when all finished. It will be a lovely and much appreciated thank you; the lemon oil relaxes and opens pores, the salt relax the muscles and the baking soda cleanses those open pores.

What You’ll Need: 

Epsom salt
baking soda
lemon essential oil
tight sealing jars


1. In a large bowl, mix one cup of Epsom salt and ½ cup of baking soda.
2. Add 20 drops of the lemon essential oil.
3. Mix well with a whisk.
4. Pour into your jars; the larger the jar, the more of the recipe you will use, so plan accordingly.
5. Add a ¼ cup to your bath and soak your cares away.

5 Tips To Prepping Your Home For Spring Entertaining With Mrs. Meyers

I hope you have been inspired to use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® products to get your home ready for spring entertaining. You will find these products in the home cleaning aisles or naturals section at your local Fred Meyer, Kroger and Kroger banner stores.


Be sure and visit Mrs. Meyer's on Pinterest for more fabulous ways to inspire your home making skills and celebrate beautiful things to make – from crafty DIYs to tasty meals. Need even more inspiration? Check out these ideas

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CleanWithMrsMeyers #CollectiveBias




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