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I attempted to spray-paint and gold-leaf my eggs this year, but with my son’s help–and–even though we had quite an entertaining afternoon–they didn’t quite turn out.  

So, here’s a re-post from last year for a little inspiration for egg decorating ideas, incorporating glitter, buttons, stickers, feathers, washi tape, embossing powders, and stamps.  

Oh, the possibilities!

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Dominican Daze

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This was my view for the last 5 days while I dozed watching Judah make sandcastles in the shade and waiting for my bones to thaw from what has been no less than 6 months of winter!  I would have had a fabulous time anywhere that climbed over 70 degrees, but the palm-thatched umbrellas, crystal blue (warm) ocean water, and silky golden sand made for a spectacular mini-trip. Here are some of the highlights from our short Domican Daze–our first tripto the gorgeous Domican Republic.

1.  Forced Downsizing.  

The airline lost our bags as soon as we arrived in Punta Cana, but I could hardly be upset standing in the tiny open-structure airport under one single, huge palm-thatched roof with the cool warm breezes welcoming us to the Carribean.  The planes land in Punta Cana, line up, and the passengers exit straight onto the tarmac before passing through the two room, open airport en route to their Bali beds.

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We didn’t know when our bags would arrive, so we each bought 1 swimsuit and 1 outfit at the gift shop (I got a cover-up that doubled in the evening as a dress), 1 sunscreen bottle, 1 toothbrush and 1 small toothpaste, and a travel-size face wash for me.  My husband and Judah each got these little speedos (how cute are they); and luckily I had all of our hats and sunglasses in my bag.  Our luggage didn’t come until the evening of the 2nd night (we held out on getting extra diapers as long as we could–until the afternoon of the 2nd day–after my husband had to hand-wash my son’s speedos following a certain incident–if you catch my drift.  Judah’s in the middle of potty-training, and it sort of worked sans diaper on the beach–until it didn’t.)

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Surprisingly, I loved the weightlessness of not having all of our “stuff”, wearing absolutely no make-up each day (which is why there are no pictures of me in this post), or even using the extra mind space thinking about what to wear.  Both of us felt ridiculous when we did get our luggage and realized the superfluousness of all the extras we brought–did I really need a different work-out outfit each day when I have never, EVER, worked out on vacation?

It was refreshingly liberating–with the one exception of what I really do need every day–my La Mer moisturizer–and maybe my Aveda deep conditioner!

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2. Family of 3.

It’s been so entertaining and fun to have a 2 1/2 year old who now understands conversations, makes jokes, and has his own ideas and agendas.  Not to mention super adorable.  Judah played for hours in the sand covering my shoes, making sand castles, and loved feeding the pink flamingos after breakfast.  We met a lovely couple on the trip who had a 5 year old daughter named Maya–the two of them played together everyday, helped each other through phobias, and had a mini-date complete with Ipad watching before and during dinner, dancing, and holding hands.

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dr123. There Are A Dozen Ways to Slice a Coconut.

….And apparently a machete is one of them.  This fellow showed up one morning on our patio, as I opened the curtains first thing in the morning, he was standing there holding a bag of cocunts in one hand and a machete in the other.  Before I could wonder why this fellow was facing me first thing in the morning with a machete, he started carving up one of his coconuts and then handed it to us to drink.  I took these photos on the last day when we started expecting him to come by and Judah would run up to him to get the first sip of the water. They cut down the coconuts every morning to put them fresh into the pina coladas! Yum!

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Especially on the east coast, DR is such a short trip and worth its value for a few days to decompress, slow down, and inhale the peaceful scenery (while smoking a cigar).  We stayed at Paradisius Punta Cana–which is known to be kid-friendly and comprises a huge compound that you commute across via bikes or little trolley cars (another fun aspect for the kiddos).

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Wishing you a blissful week!

xx

6 Lovely Things This Week

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Maryland Bloggers’ Group

This week, I hosted the first get-together of 2014 for a blogger group run by Fadra of All Things Fadra consisting of many of my favorite Maryland and Frederick food, lifestyle, and video writers/bloggers.  For me, there’s nothing better than a room full of people who are doing things and doing things they LOVE to do.  Unlike so many networking events and gatherings where I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for something to say and pained by repeating the same conversation over and over, these ladies are definitely doing something they love.  Everybody had something inspired and unique to contribute; everybody was dreaming, scheming, and excited to be there.  It was a Sunday afternoon well-spent with lots of tasty treats and dishes (everyone brought a dish that reflected their blog).

Arm Knitting at the Muse (below)

I spent Wednesday night at my first class through the Muse at the coziest artist’s studio in downtown Frederick.  Arm-knitting seemed simple enough, but apparently I was talking a little too much and my infinity scarf didn’t come out as planned—but, I’m repurposing it as a muff and couldn’t be happier.  (On another note, I just recently learned what a muff is.)  (As a side note to my note, upon writing this post and linking up the definition, I just recently learned what the secondary and slightly more vulgar defintion of a muff is.)  The Muse’s blog is here.  Photo courtesy of Anne Weil of Flax and Twine (who is also a Martha Stewart blogger and has a book coming out on arm knitting!  Tutorials can be found on her blog.)

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 DIY Chandelier Birdcage 

We hung this birdcage in the family room and originally intended it to house a vibrant green fern.  After adopting a few plants (each of whom lost the will to live after placement in the birdcage), I changed course/jumped ship and inserted a small metal chandelier instead.  I clipped one of my favorite feathered faux birds on the outside of the cage and have been loving the soft crystalled glow of our new creation ever since.

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Thai Cooking Class

This was my second class at the Kitchen Studio—I adore the people in these classes that I meet each time and the teachers, who are always so knowledgable and entertaining.  Okay.  But there are a LOT of ingredients in Thai food and–our favorite Thai restaurant is only 1 block away—not sure how often I’ll be whipping up a Thai dish, but it was loads of fun.  Photo courtesy of MotherThyme.

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Daily Baths with Eucalyptus, Quiet Time, and Lots of Sleep/Hot Tea

This picture says it all.

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A Free Lunch (or Dinner)

For sure, one of the highlights of blogging is free stuff and the company Relished out of Chicago contacted me this week about trying their delivery meal service featuring delicious gourmet meals using fresh ingredients.  Sometimes the offers are less enticing –for example, the company Balls of Steel contacted me a few weeks ago for a sponsorship. I initially thought the email was a joke and was trying to figure out which of my friends would have sent me this prank.  But no, the product is real and, even though it wasn’t an exact fit for the blog, I was flattered.  However, free lunches (and dinners) are right up my alley and the perfect resolution to our weekly household debate as to whether to eat out (me) or stay in (my husband).  Photo courtesy of Relished.

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Wishing you a gorgeous weekend!

 

xx

Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower in Pink and Gold

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“The Eye Has to Travel”

-Diana Vreeland

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I’ve referenced the hot air balloon baby shower I’ve been planning for my darling friend Angela so many times now, all that’s left is to show you the pictures.  If viewing photos of cupcakes from 5 different angles doesn’t excite you, go here.

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The mama-to-be chose pink and gold for her shower–I came up with hot air balloons as a whimsical, colorful, DIY-able theme.  Enter, hot air balloon baby shower in pink and gold.

Because I was offering all sweets, I thought the addition of milk as a beverage choice would be a cute idea.  I cut out little clouds to match the hot air balloon theme, hole-punched each one, and adorned the straws with my airy additions.

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The 3 hot air balloon centerpieces I created by turning paper lanterns upside down and hot gluing ribbons onto the sides and skewers onto the bottom so that they would stand up in my flower baskets.

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I used various pink, gold, and white ribbons as an element for the shower, tying them onto the balloons, the banners, the curly willow, the milk glasses, around the frame, the mini mason jars holding pencils, and strewn along the table.

For all my events, I am very, very particular about the look (even more than the taste) of the food on the table, so for cakepops I exclusively use Alexandria Cake Pop Company.  They are the best in the Washington, DC area–the cakepops here are part of their wedding line.

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Just a few flower arrangements…

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Thinking pink at the drink station (I swear these tablecloths were ironed before the shower).

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I bought these darling little pink onesies for the baby and wanted to display them on vintage clothpins that I received as a gift–they ended up looking the best ascending  the staircase, entwined with crate paper and (of course) ribbon.

babyshowerRobin, a friend of Angela’s, made these darling hot air balloon cookies for guest gifts.  The cake and cupcakes were from Angel Cakes in Frederick, MD.

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I wanted a way to thoughtfully document everyone who attended the shower for the upcoming arrival of my friend’s baby girl.  I set-up a sort of activity table where guests could sit, chat, and cut-out, decorate, and write a wish on their own pink paper hot air balloon.  I strung all the wishes together and gave them to Angela at the end of the shower.

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One last photo of the cake/cupcakes!balloonbabyshower9

Just kidding, one more!!

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Me and the mama-to-be.

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Can’t wait to meet you Baby V.!

xx

 

 

 

9 Lovely Things About This Week

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1- Putting the final touches on the hot air balloon baby shower I’m planning for this Saturday,

2-Starting the online class Life Scripted with Kal Barteski through Studio Calico.  I made this little sign for the baby shower on Saturday,
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3-Leaving work early to get a delicious sushi-making lesson from my darling friend Mari and her sweet 2-year-old daughter Lisa (post pending),

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4-Finding this app (Waterlogue) that turns photos into watercolors,

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5-Buying the 4 Hour Work Week on audio and print (what took me so long?!) and fantasizing about tasks for my future Virtual Assistant,

6-Decorating my craft room for Valentine’s Day (with more practice for the Life Scripted class),
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7-Finishing and sending off my homemade Valentine’s,

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8-Deciding it’s time to invest in an address stamp after hand cramp from penning homemade Valentine’s  (I found this darling one on Etsy),

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9-Attending the Fire and Ice street event in Downtown Frederick (Judah was old enough to play the bean bag game this year, pictured on the left).

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Wishing you a sweet weekend!

xx

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