For my Craft On video series, I’ve made a couple fun DIY videos to get kids – and their parents – excited about going back to school. This first tutorial turns last year’s DIY for THESE Mini Pencil Cookies into video form. You can watch the Craft On: Mini Pencil Cookies video HERE.

And the second video is for a mini pencil made from a paper towel roll, and when broken open hosts a surprise of  school supplies and candy (hence the “pencil popper” name).  If I were a kid, I’d sure be excited to find one of these in my lunchbox!  Click play to check out the video and continue along for the full directions.

Craft On_Pencil Popper Play

Materials Needed:

  • Paper Towel Roll
  • Tissue Paper: Yellow, Tan, Pink, Black
  • Construction Paper
  • Piece of Tinfoil
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Filler: Candy, School Supplies, etc.

Materials Pencil PopperClick through for instructions…


I was reminded during a visit to Target yesterday that it’s time for the kids to head back to school.  With that reminder, I have a few school-related DIYs to share with you over the next few days, but first I wanted to share an updated version of one of my favorite DIY tutorials from last summer – this awesome pencil piñata. Stuffed with candy, erasers, mini notebooks, and other surprises, this pencil piñata has back-to-school party written all over it!  Continue on below for the full directions.



Speaking of seashells, here’s a new episode for my  Craft On series for a super beachy seashell light strand.  Click on the play button below to watch the how-to!

Craft On Seashell Light Strand Video

First off, how is summer coming to an end?! Never have I ever had a summer go by so quickly!  Surely there are more beach days left, however, the temperature is already beginning to drop in New York and I’ve found myself sitting around in awe wondering where the perfect beach days went.  Oh how I long for a full beautiful California summer…but that’s a story for another day!  Anywho, since it is still technically summer and I’m refusing to start blogging about anything related to that season that starts with the letter ‘F’,  I wanted to share some amazing  seashells I saw online this week.  Take a look at these beauties below!!  Look closely….notice anything?  Bet you can’t tell those aren’t actual seashells.  Yup, you heard me – not real.  These super realistic shells are actually edible candy and chocolate seashells made by Jason and Andie of Andie’s Specialty Sweets in Dallas, Texas.  Absolutely amazing, right? And how about the sea glass…total perfection!  If there’s a fan club for these two Texans and their beautiful candies, sign me up!  Head on over to their Etsy shop HERE to check out the incredible edible works of art.

edible chocolateschocolate filled clam shells sand dollars sea glass

As I mentioned last week, I organized a mock wedding shoot upstate this past Thursday.  It was a lot of work organizing, styling, and designing a wedding 2.5 hours out of New York, but I am so very happy with the way it turned out.  I honestly couldn’t be happier with the shoot – the day-long “wedding” went by without a hitch, it was absolutely perfect.  I recruited some of my favorite vendors and was even able to convince two of my dear friends (and real-life married couple) Ashley & Dan to get married again for the shoot. The incredibly talented Jacob Murphy of JBM Weddings photographed it all and my favorite videographer Courtney Arcese of Love+Brain Films (the one who made my Party Cake video) captured the day on video.  I cannot wait to see (and get to share!) the images and video.  It’ll be a few weeks, so in the meantime you can check out the last shoot we worked on HERE.

The owner of the beautiful property we shot at offered me the home for the weekend as a thank you (so awesome).  It was the perfect way to detox after a few weeks of non-stop work – and it was a wonderful way to spend a birthday!  I turned 29 on Saturday and kept it very low key with a day that included some wildflower picking, exploring of a nearby town, and a little fishing.  Once we were back to the house I put up a few balloons, while Chad made a ridiculously delicious dinner (both of which are pictured below).  We finished off the night with some tasty local pie and a NOVA documentary and I was out before 10:30 pm (29 going on 50!).  It sure was quiet, but just what I needed.

Balloon WallBirthday Dinner1 Birthday Dinner2 BirthdayDinner3

Headed back to this beautiful property today for work, and then a little play.  I’ve coordinated and designed a styled shoot on the property / venue with some wedding friends, which I’m really looking forward to. I’ll hold off on sharing any other details for now, but you can expect many more images to come.

And lucky for me, after the shoot I’ll be staying put and relaxing all weekend long.  Plus, I’ll be doing a little celebrating as I will turn one year older on Saturday.  When it comes to birthdays, I LOVE celebrating…as long as it is someone else’s birthday.  I like mine low-key and prefer to not have the spotlight turned on me around that time of year.  But a weekend in the woods with my man and a pug or two – that sounds absolutely amazing to me!  Older me will be back and at it on Monday. Enjoy the weekend!


With yesterday’s DIY video for my painted glass vases, I wanted to post a better look at the glass in action from a wedding I worked on recently.  But first, you may remember me posting photos from the dinner I styled at alt summit earlier this year (see that post HERE).  I just discovered a video that was made by the ulive team that features my design for that dinner (includes some shots of the hand-painted vases), as well as a look the booth concept I designed for ulive at alt Summit 2014. If that strikes your interest, check it out HERE.

But, back to the wedding! Earlier this summer I was asked to design a dinner tablescape that included my hand-painted vases and a bright ombré floral gradient.  This dinner was a similar colorscape to the alt dinner, with the addition of white and some brighter tones to compliment the beautiful rustic barn hues.  I may be biased, but I think hand-painted vases look so gorgeous subtly mixed alongside coordinating colored florals – whether it’s just one color, an ombré colorscape, or a mix of colors.  It’s such a beautiful way to fill space on those wide wedding tables!

Painted Vases 1 Painted Vases 2Vases and Flowers

While I typically don’t do florals – the flowers were going to be placed in individual stem vases for this dinner, so I bravely took on the task. I loved the process – especially the prep part, as it allowed me to have a kitchen packed (literally, PACKED) with flowers for a day as I arranged and prepped everything for the delivery.  I forgot to mention there were 12 (12!) long barn tables for the dinner…so there were hundreds of vases that needed to be filled and a lot of hurricane glass that needed to be painted. Snapped a couple photos of the flowers before they headed out of my apartment – just look at the ranunculus (insert heart eyes emoji)! Individual flowers are fun and all, but when it comes to larger-scale floral arranging, I will always choose to leave that to the pros!

Orange FlowersYellow Ranunculus

You know those pricey decorative sea glass votives and vases you’ve been seeing at stores this summer?!  Well, as part of my Craft On series I thought I’d show you how to duplicate this effect on glass of your own on the cheap.  I’ll post a better look at this finished glass in action tomorrow.  But for now, check out the video tutorial (by clicking play), and continue on below for the list of materials and full directions.

Craft On Painted Vases DIY Painted VasesPainted Vases


BW Paper Backdrop

For a wedding earlier this summer, I was asked by a dear friend to add some paper decor to her younger brother’s wedding in Connecticut.  The bride had loved my mixed paper backdrop and wanted something similar.  Ask and you shall receive!  I added the above paper pinwheels and pennants to a wall inside the venue that was used for the photo booth backdrop.  I also made some paper flowers and added those to the iron arbor which they were married under.  While I freestyled some of these flowers, I also included enlarged versions of my paper roses and used TheHouseThatLarsBuilt tutorial for the poppy-esque flowers (those with the fanned petals).

Paper Flower ArchPaper FlowersFlower ArchOh, the benefits of being tall – I could adjust most of the flowers and then had my even taller boyfriend assistant on hand to adjust the flowers at the top.  Lucky me!  The sight of a handsome man adjusting paper flowers was pretty freaking cute, but I’ll hold off on sharing those photos, as he would probably not think it was very cute that they were on the internet.

Surprise! One more Craft On episode for you this week! In this episode, I show you how to DIY a bold geometric picnic blanket – perfect for those summertime park visits! Click on the play button below to watch the episode, which also includes cameos from 2 adorable pugs!

Summer Picnic Blanket DIY Video

Picnic Blanket Materials

Picnic Blanket DIYPicnic Blanket DIY

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas drop cloth (preferably plastic-lined)
  • Painters Tape
  • Paint (3 or more colors)
  • Paint Brush + Roller Brush

Directions: Lay out your canvas drop cloth onto a flat surface. If your canvas is lined on the bottom with plastic, you’re ready to go. If not, you’re going to want to double up the canvas to make sure no paint seeps through to your work surface. Next add painter’s tape in diagonal patterns, creating various sized triangles. Use the roller brush (and 1 of your paint colors) to fill in the larger shapes.  For the smaller shapes, use a paint brush and your other paint colors. Let dry, remove tape, and PICNIC!

Picnic Blanket

And if it’s not looking like picnic weather outside, pin the canvas to the wall for an awesome photo booth backdrop! By following the same process you can paint on practically any surface to have a fun geometric pattern wherever you please!