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

5.27.2015

Makers + Shakers: Meet Kristi Murphy


A couple of years ago, over on Seattle Mamas, I started a series interviewing local powerhouses who started with an idea and turned it into a crazy reality.

It was so popular, I thought to myself, 'hey self, you should do the same thing, except this time, you should stalk some more of  your favorite bloggers from all over'. So, I created the Makers + Shakers Series: 8 Creatives You Should Follow.

The series was so popular, I decided to continue it with 8 more creatives!


Today we are meeting Kristi Murphy, a lifestyle expert and the founder of KristiMurphy.com, an award-winning DIY blog where Kristi shares with her readers easy DIY ideas for a home, party, wardrobe, holiday, meal, or wedding!

Not only does she have the coolest and chicest ideas that are straight off of your favorite Pinterest feed, they are actually doable...no, really! Her goal is to achieve the fabulous looks she sees in magazines on a limited budget.  See why I stalk her? We have the same ideology, so read on and learn all about her....

Makers + Shakers: Meet Kristi Murphy; carrot lemonade

Please tell our readers a little bit about who Kristi is. 
Hmmmm … Kristi is a midwestern girl who has been crafting her whole life. My dad says he used to go to work, and I would be working on a project. And he would come home from work, and I would still be working on the project.

I guess I have the patience for DIYing, plus I LOVE it! One of my first DIYs was a tie I made my dad. I deconstructed one of his old ties to see how it was made, and I reverse engineered it. It’s kind of morbid and special all at the same time, but my dad saved the tie and says he wants to be buried in it :-).

Makers + Shakers: Meet Kristi Murphy; sparkling graduation party

5.22.2015

10 Ways To Eat S'mores Without A Campfire

10 Ways To Eat S'mores Without A Campfire

S'mores and Memorial Day go hand in hand. But sometimes, a campfire is just not an option...from apartment dwellers to kids with sharp sticks and flames. Here are 10 fabulous ways to eat s'mores without a campfire...and the best part, you can enjoy them all year round! Be warned...drooling ahead.

10 Ways To Eat S'mores Without A Campfire; marshmallow s'mores

Let's start with the easiest one...I dipped marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs.

10 Ways To Eat S'mores Without A Campfire; s'mores Rice Krispies Treats pinwheehls

Ok...combining s’mores and Rice Krispies Treats into pinwheels? Pure genius with Mom On Timeout.

10 Ways To Eat S'mores Without A Campfire; s'mores bark

Candy bark is one of my favorite non-intimidating, easily-adapted-to-any-situation treat and A Kitchen Addiction's Triple Chocolate S'mores Bark fits the bill fabulously.

5.20.2015

Makers + Shakers: Meet Sweets Indeed


A couple of years ago, over on Seattle Mamas, I started a series interviewing local powerhouses who started with an idea and turned it into a crazy reality.

It was so popular, I thought to myself, 'hey self, you should do the same thing, except this time, you should stalk some more of  your favorite bloggers from all over'. So, I created the Makers + Shakers Series: 8 Creatives You Should Follow.

The series was so popular, I decided to continue it with 8 more creatives!

This week we are meeting Marie Dannettelle of Sweets Indeed, creator of Sweet Skewers™, the original candy kabobs...many imitators, never duplicated. I fell in love with her when I came across her purple and lace gothic Halloween dessert spread  pictured below (which I'm sure many of you have come across on Pinterest back in the day and still a classic...) and been hooked on her fabulous dessert and candy spreads.  I've had the pleasure of enjoying her custom creations (hello, pineapple candy kabobs!) and I'm currently crushing on her latest sweet fix, Candyfetti™.

Let's learn more about what makes Marie tick...



Please tell our readers a little bit about who Marie is
Hi, I'm Marie, owner of Sweets Indeed. I am a bit of a goofball, am terrified of spiders, have a massive sweet tooth and am foodie at heart. I live in Southern California in the town I grew up in with my two, silly kids, two big puppies and a husband who deals with my creative ADD like a champ. He is mainly a graphic designer/photographer but I am lucky to have married a true “jack of all trades”. My family keeps me on my toes and reminds me that time is precious. I'm also a zombie fanatic and love all things Alice in Wonderland. Bring on the zombie apocalypse because I’m ready! 


I've been a huge fan of your dessert tables and Candy Kabobs...candy on a stick is always awesome! What inspired you get into the sweet treats business?
Thank you so much! From a very early age, you could find me rearranging furniture in my room, styling holiday vignettes around the house, helping my mom set up her classroom before school began and baking in the kitchen with my grandma.

In 2009, my desire to make life sweeter for others quickly grew into a full time business and proved to be the perfect way to merge my creative side with my sweet tooth. I've always felt that a personal touch and attention to detail is what truly makes moments special and in turn, creates long lasting memories.

I also knew that there was no way for me to master everything in the dessert world so I felt that finding the best of the best and bringing them in as Sweets Indeed's vendors would give my clients an impressive array of options for their special occasions. I didn't want them to be limited. If you want the best red velvet, I'll find it. If you want your grandma’s famous cookie recipe recreated for your wedding, we'll make it happen.

Our Candy Kabobs emerged when my daughter was little. She was sitting on the sidewalk at a parade, eating sticky candy off her fingers and a lightbulb turned on. I thought, “there has to be a better alternative to this gooey mess!” It’s been such a fun process and I never knew it would take off as much as it has. The past few years, anything on a stick has become more and more popular and with it, so have our Candy Kabobs!


With all of your fabulous dessert stations and creations for your small business, your work with charity organizations like Operation Shower, and oh yeah, being a mom, how do balance everything? Or do you?

5.19.2015

Tuesday Tutorial - Patriotic Treat Bags

DIY patriotic treat bags for Memorial Day or the 4th Of July

Yesterday, I shared places to head to for must-have patriotic party items and today I'm sharing some crafty fun to match.

DIY patriotic treat bags for Memorial Day or the 4th Of July

This month's Whisker Graphics Design Team project is so easy, those of you who say "I'm not crafty" will say "Oh man, even I can make those!" These patriotic treat bags are perfect for any snacks and treats you are serving at your BBQ.  Bigger Bitty Bags measure in at 6 ¼ "  x  9 ¼ " so they can hold a good portion of chips, popcorn, the works.


What you'll need:
diagonal striped Bigger Bitty Bags in red
Bigger glassine bags
blue craft paint
blue painter's tape
foam brush
Fiskars star lever punch (stars measure about 2")

  1. Gently fold your Bigger Bitty Bag in half across the short side and use the line as a guide to place your painter's tape.  Be gentle placing your tape or when you peel it off, you will tear your bag. 
  2.  Paint the top half of the bag with blue paint.
  3. While the paint is drying, punch out 5 stars from your sticker paper.  Stick them on when the paint is dry.
  4. Add your snacks to a glassine bag and insert into the treat bag.
  5. Done!

DIY patriotic treat bags for Memorial Day or the 4th Of July

DIY patriotic treat bags for Memorial Day or the 4th Of July

So easy, right?? Now go forth and celebrate in style!




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5.18.2015

Must-Haves For Your Patriotic Party

must-haves for your patriotic party

Where did May go?? We are already coming up on the unofficial start of summer this weekend, Memorial Day! You still have some time to head out (or order online) to some of my favorite spots and score on a few must haves for your patriotic party. If not, hang on to these ideas for 4th Of July...that will be here before you know it!      

What I love about many of these items, they can work hard all summer long for every special occasion or just-because moment that comes your way.  And you know, I wouldn't steer you wrong because I have almost everything here...

one.  World Market; burlap star bulb string lights, stamped wood cutlery, vintage popcorn machine
two.  Dollar Tree; patriotic paper lanterns and fans, foil balloons
three. Rosanna, Inc.; large state token (I just purchased this, love it so!)
four. Oriental Trading; mini beach balls, red, white & blue star molded cups (featured on my tablescape)
five. tablevogue;  picnic plaid table cover
six. Mosser glass cake stand in Bonnie Blue  (available at retailers like Sur La Table; I purchased mine on Amazon.)
seven. Crate & Barrel; star bowls, white wood flatware caddy

Be sure and stop by for tomorrow's Tuesday Tutorial...I'll have more patriotic fun to share.




Like what you just read? There's more where that came from...follow Not Just A Mommy on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Learn about upcoming events, giveaways and more with my weekly newsletter sign up by email.  You can also follow the blog with Feedly.

5.12.2015

Tuesday Tip - How To Survive Your First Blogging Conference

How To Survive Your First Blogging Conference

A few weekends ago, as a Collective Bias influencer,  I attended my first blogger conference, Social Fabric University - On The Road, or SoFabUOTR. Social Fabric offers online influencer education opportunities and after several years of hosting their annual conference at their headquarters in Arkansas,  Collective Bias decided to take it on the road, making it easier for influencers and other interested parties to attended.

Seattle was one of the 11 cities on the one-day conference loop and I was so excited that they did.  Not many major conferences come up our way.


As a newbie, I wanted to share a few tips on how to survive your first blogger conference. This was a smaller conference, nowhere near huge 600 - 1,000 attendees affairs, and was only one day long.  In fact, I preferred that for my first time out, it was a little intimidating as it was.  Which is even better, because I am going to a mega conference this year, Alt Summit's summer conference in June!

Hear that squealing sound??  That is me.

Anyway...back to the story.  Today I'm sharing what we did that day...and what I learned!

How To Survive Your First Blogging Conference; brand panel

Use And Follow The Event Hashtags Before And During The Event
This is an awesome way to find out who else is going, and perhaps meet some people you've been following online, like Parenting Geekly and United States Of Motherhood! Even at the event, while you are social sharing, you'll have people 'waving' across the room at you and come find you.

It is also a great tool to get your followers in on the fun...what is this #SoFabOTR?

Here is the brand panel, teaching us all about hear from brand reps on how bloggers and brands can and should work together.

How To Survive Your Blogging Conference; Johnny Rockets

Wear Comfortable Shoes
Our conference included heading down a few blocks to Johnny Rockets, the national lunch sponsor, for lunch and for a city-specific adventure...we walked from the hotel down to Pike Place Market, several hilly blocks away.  Even without a walking adventures,  you'll be on your feet for awhile.  I know, you are tempted to wear your super cute heels, but resist the urge. Unless you bring a pair of super cute flats to switch into.

How To Survive Your First Blogging Conference; Great Wheel


How To Survive Your First Blogging Conference; Gum Wall

What was our adventure? We were broken up into 3 groups and my group spent the afternoon with  Josh Hicks of The Drive Shop for a hands-on education on everything from producing films to video editing, being a spokes-model to showing off brand products, and how to use Vine.  Our trip through downtown Seattle was all about learning to capture our ideas on video. I'm not completly sold on the 'doing a video idea' but I got some great tips and pointers for when I do.

How To Survive Your First Blogging Conference; Johnny Rockets


5.08.2015

Fiesta Friday/Real Party - Mother's Day Brunch Tablescape

This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission on any purchase made from products purchased after clicking the links. As always, I don't link to anything I wouldn't personally recommend.


Mother's Day Brunch Tablescape

I love brunch and pair it with a special occasion like Mother’s Day and you have yourself a real party. The concept of this tablescape is a casual brunch that can be pulled together with a few items...it's all about mixing and matching your favorite pieces.  This is perfect for a last minute get-together.

I set the scene with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from our local farmers' market; with flowers present, you don't need any other decor.

Mother's Day Brunch Tablescape flowers

Mother's Day Brunch Tablescape placesetting

I finally have grown-up plates...I love how my Rosanna Dore dinner plates can be dressed up for any occasion. I layered them with my beloved Panamanian hand-stitched linen napkins I rediscovered on our vacation trip...my mother had the same ones over 20 years ago.  I was excited I could purchase my own set.

My favorite chargers added a layer of texture...don't be afraid to mix and match modern and eclectic, classic and rustic. If you have things that you love, by all means, use them!

Oversized bowls filled with fresh berries, pretty platters for baked goods and lovely flatware finish our scene.  Every hostess should have a nice set of tableware for easy entertaining; they set the scene with minimal fuss.

Mother's Day Brunch Tablescape food

5.07.2015

The UPS Store Celebrates National Small Business Week + A Giveaway

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*** 
Winner update 5/17/15: Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky winner (listed on the Rafflecopter widget) is Meagan K. 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmallBizSalute #CollectiveBias
The UPS Store Celebrates National Small Business Week
In honor of National Small Business Week, The UPS Store has launched a new campaign called Small Biz Salute that celebrates and honors small business owners nationwide. As an extension of their commitment to the small business community, the Small Biz Salute campaign is connecting entrepreneurs in my fair Seattle, Austin and Atlanta, with other entrepreneurs in their communities and gain valuable advice from small business experts.

The UPS Store Celebrates National Small Business Week Osteria La Spiga

I was thrilled to be on the guest list for the evening event at the fabulous Osteria La Spiga.  As a small business myself, I was excited to learn about all the ways The UPS Store can help expand my business, outside of shipping and retail needs.

The UPS Store Celebrates National Small Business Week 3D printing models
 
Did you know they have 3D printing services? They've have them in over 100 locations across the country! If you need prototypes, artistic renderings or promotional materials and can't purchase your own 3D printer, bring your file to in and they can take care of you! Oh, my party wheels are spinning...

The UPS Store has partnered with SCORE, “Mentors to America’s Small Business”.  Each year, SCORE provides free and confidential small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses.  I got the chance to talk with Hal Brookins of our Seattle chapter.

I also met Candace Klein of Dealstruck, another amazing business partner, who provide fast and affordable financing to profitable small and mid-sized businesses.


The UPS Store Celebrates National Small Business Week SocialBox photo booth

The UPS Store Celebrates National Small Business Week

5.06.2015

Makers + Shakers: Meet Hello, Cupcake! + Giveaway

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*** 
Winner update 5/13/15: Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky winner (listed on the Rafflecopter widget) is Amy.


A couple of years ago, over on Seattle Mamas, I started a series interviewing local powerhouses who started with an idea and turned it into a crazy reality.

It was so popular, I thought to myself, 'hey self, you should do the same thing, except this time, you should stalk some more of  your favorite bloggers from all over'. So, I created the Makers + Shakers Series: 8 Creatives You Should Follow.


The series was so popular, I decided to continue it with 8 more creatives!  We are kicking things off with the most sweets-creative folks ever, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, the dynamic duo of Hello, Cupcake!

As the authors of Hello, Cupcake!, What's New, Cupcake?, Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My!, and their newest tome, Cake My Day!, I have been a serious stalker from the beginning; I have all 4 books... I never tire of making their candy bugs for cupcake toppers.

Their appearances on The Martha Stewart Show, The Rachael Ray Show, to The TODAY Show have made them America’s cupcake celebrities. Let's find out what makes their creative minds tick!  Be sure and read all the way through, I've got a little giveaway at the end!


Please tell our readers a little bit about who Karen and Alan are. 
"We are a couple of wild and crazy guys!" Sorry we couldn't help the SNL reference. But honestly, we just have a silly sense of humor and love teaching fun and funny decorating for cupcakes and cakes. Karen attended the CIA and has worked for notable restaurants and also magazines. But her love for food styling and desserts led her to specialize in styling desserts for magazines and advertising.

Alan is an art school grad who became a food photographer and food writer. He co-authored two savory cookbooks, including The Breath of a Wok, before finding real happiness playing with candy and frosting! We have been working together for over 20 years. Cake My Day! is our fourth book together!


I've been a huge fan of your books and projects for years! The need for children to fight over a corner piece of cake is eliminated with cupcakes. What inspired you get into the adorable treat business?
Our work for magazines often involves family oriented fun designs. You know, the silly cakes and desserts on the covers, like a hamburger cake, a telephone or a tractor or a dinosaur egg, even a cake with a jello swimming pool on it. We love doing those and so we have embraced the silly and the whimsical. Fun has become an addiction for us.


You have been working together on so many amazing projects for two decades, what is the secret to ‘keeping the love alive’, so to speak?
You know we are married to our cakes but not to each other, right? We keep it real by always making sure we are having fun. Its a rare day that one of us doesn't stop to clap ourselves on the back and say "I'm a genius!"

5.05.2015

Tuesday Tutorial - Free Teacher Appreciation Tags

Free teacher appreciation tag download

I know, everyone is all caught up in the tipsiness that is Cinco De Mayo, but it's Teacher Appreciation Week and today is Teacher Appreciation Day! Head over to Moms & Munchkins and download my free teacher appreciation tags and make something special for your hard-working teachers.




Like what you just read? There's more where that came from...follow Not Just A Mommy on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Learn about upcoming events, giveaways and more with my weekly newsletter sign up by email.  You can also follow the blog with Feedly.
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