DIY | Dessert Table Treat Box

Earlier this week, I featured pictures from my baby shower which you may have seen these adorable treat boxes my sister made for the dessert table.  Apparently, these are a bit more challenging than one would anticipate so here is a brief tutorial on how she made them. Note: white boxes were purchased from Michaels.


A Sweet Baby Shower

With only a few more days to go until our little one arrives, I thought it was time to share pictures from my baby shower which was held a few weeks ago. I was honored with the pure joy of family and friends gathered to celebrate our little baby on the way. I am seriously the luckiest girl and have such great family and friends who traveled from Northern California just to attend and my sister who flew from Florida so that she wouldn’t miss the day – seriously blessed! All of the decorations in the world can’t compared to the love that filled the room as the shower wouldn’t be the same without these people there.

The invitations were one of the my favorite elements of the shower. I wanted them to be simple and classy with just a touch of baby. Because we are not finding out the gender of the baby, this made it difficult to incorporate gender neutral colors. While we could have gone with something more neutral such as green or yellow, I ultimately love pink and wanted to incorporate that color into the shower, so we settled on baby blue and blush pink.

As I mentioned before, my family is a 7 hour drive away but they were still just as invovled as if they lived right around the corner.  We made the invitations ourselves, while my Mom printed the envelopes and glued the envelope liners.  I love the classic look of envelope seals and thought this would be the perfect touch of baby. At our wedding 3 years ago, we created a candy buffet which I loved so much, so I wanted to create a station where guests could pick dessert items as they wished. For the baby blocks, my Mom and I found unpainted wooden ABC blocks at Hobby Lobby. I had Ryan scrape off one of the “C”‘s and glued a “Y” on instead. We used white hyngragea’s in decorated glass vases.

The wonderful ladies at Sweet & Saucy made the adorable carrot cake which I loved so much I didn’t want to cut into it.

Above the gift table, I displayed my weekly pictures which I have been taking since week 8. Because my family does not live close by and cannot see the baby’s progress I began taking these so they could see the growth throughout my pregnancy. I decided it might be a fun way for guests to also track the progress.

As I mentioned before, I love decorating with pink, so my Mom had to continuously remind me to use blue as well. She found these plates at Kirkland and because she is the best mom ever, she picked up 25 plates for us to use. I made salted carmel macrons for each guest to enjoy and placed them in the mini dessert cups.   

I am not a huge fan of traditional baby shower games, but the celebrity game never gets old. I took 15 celebrity baby bumps and using Photoshop put my head over their face. Guests had to guess who the celebrity bump was!

I loved the idea of a onesie decorating station which I had seen on many other blogs, but when it came down to it my Mom had a good point which was, “Shan, you are going to have so many cute baby clothes, I can’t really see you putting your kid in one of these homemade onesies.” Which, well, is true. She brainstormed different ideas and came up with a onesie cookie decorating station. “Perfect”, I said!

I made a double batch of sugar cookies using this recipe (which made about 40 onesie cookies total) the weekend before and froze them. I was nervous that they weren’t going to be fresh, as I had never froze the cookies before, but thankfully, I couldn’t even tell a difference and they tasted as if they were just baked. I made 6 different colors of royal icing which was more than enough and filled them in 12oz bottles.

Each guest decorated a sugar cookie which was placed on the voting paper for everyone to cast their vote for the favorite cookie.

My sister ended up with the winning cookie!!!!!!! Seriously, some of the cookies turned out awesome. Once the cookies were dried, we packaged them up for each guest to take home. 

I was so blessed to have so much love at the baby shower and to have so many family and friends in the same room all together to celebrate our little one with us.  So many people came together to help pull off such an amazing event. It seriously could not have been done without the help of everyone involved.


DIY | Ruffley Table Runner

I find table runners the perfect way to dress up any table. I like them better than a tablecloth because they accent the beautiful furniture rather than totally covering it up. I made these table runners for the dessert buffet {pictured above} and again, sorry I do not have step-by-step pictures. I think it is a curse and if I plan to document a project step-by-step my project does not turn out to be something I want to feature because either {1} it didn’t taste good or {2} it was ugly. While there aren’t good step-by-step instructions hopefully this will inspire some ideas on how you can create your own runner. {Side note: adding ruffles or additional accent fabric  is a great way to make it longer just in case you made it a little bit to short}SUPPLIES:
– Fabric for Runner {16″ x 60ish”}
Iron-on Hem Tape
– Scissors
– 28″ of Trim
– Chiffon for Ruffles
– Needle & Thread
– Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue
– Tape Measure

– Cut table runner fabric to desired length, I did mine at 16″ wide x 57″ to allow 1/2 – 3/4″ fold over on the hem {this was placed onto a short console table which was only 45″ long and I wanted the runner to end up at 14″ x 55″}
– Follow instructions on the Iron-on hem box and hem all four sides of the fabric
– Cut chiffon 2 – 3x times wider than runner {mine was 30″ x 6″}
– Loosely sew thread through top of chiffon; gather chiffon to create ruffles
– Hot glue or sew chiffon ruffle to table runner {i hot glued because I am lazy and didn’t plan on keeping this thing after the party}
– Cut trim and glue to top of runner
– Place on table and admire!


DIY | Mixer Labels

My favorite projects are those that are inexpensive AND look good. It’s even better if you can use stuff you already own because then it makes it almost free! Any do-it-yourself project must meet these requirements because no matter how cheap something is, if it doesn’t look good I don’t care how inexpensive it was to make! Similarly, if something is going to cost me a fortune to make, why would I DIY when I can probably find for cheaper and with less work?

These mixers were used at the Love Story bridal shower posted several weeks ago and I have to say they were 100% free. I created these labels myself using Photoshop and had my Mom print onto sticker paper which she had on hand. {Disclosure: I am no graphic artist and do not pretend to be – I just learn enough to be able to create unique touches to everyday parties. So the circle may not be perfectly round and areas maybe pixelly, but hopefully your guests will be sipping on the yummy champagne and not be paying much attention to these tiny flaws that most people won’t notice unless you are picky like me}.

Feel free to download.

Note: Do not print directly from the Google Documents Viewer. Please download and open from Adobe PDF (they should be in color once downloaded and opened this way).

Once downloaded, print onto sticker or label paper, cut out, and stick onto empty wine bottles. Fill with appropriate juice and drink away!



So after we assembled our frame wall, I decided we had enough pictures up in the house and needed to switch out these two pictures for something else, not to mention one frame did not have any glass anymore because it shattered somehow at the wedding. I thought I might do the sketches mentioned here, but I needed several supplies such as fabric, iron-on transfer, etc. In the meantime, before I had a chance to purchase those items, I came up with the idea of using the sand dollars Ryan finds and brings home for me while at the beach surfing or on a run.

I removed the glass from the frame and used burlap that I had left over after making the table runner used at this photoshoot. I cut the burlap slightly larger than the back cardboard of the frame and hot glued it in place. You can see the burlap frayed a bit, but this will be the back anyways so know one will see this. I then took a huge amount of hot glue and applied it to the back of the sand dollar and stuck it straight onto the burlap.

I repeated this again on frame no. 2 and waw-la! The whole project took me about 20 minutes start to finish!

I love this project because you can take any fabric you have laying around, preferably one with a bit of texture, and glue any items onto it for instant “art”. While they are no Picasso’s, they certainly help fill an empty wall!


Lots O’ Pictures + Lots O’ Frames

Another frame wall — seems like everyone has one in their house these days right?! Well, what are your options when you have a huge wall to cover, do not appreciate (nor can afford) a piece of overpriced canvas brushed with paint fine artwork, and you already have a stack of frames sitting in a corner waiting for a home?  A frame wall of course!

Ryan bought most of the black frames with white mats during his bachelor days (good tastes right?). Then along came our wedding which required me to buy several more frames for our guest book table which I used display our parents/grandparents wedding photographs. After the wedding, we merged more than just our bank accounts and these frames were part of that merger.

So now we had to decide, do we go with 100% matted frames or mix the matted and not matted together??? This question was debated over a span of several months. After months of moving the pile of frames from corner to corner, I decided to put some order to the pile!

During my process, I arrange the frames in various orders, each time snapping a picture with my iPhone as to not lose that layout once I started “shifting things around”.  I knew I had two options: 1)  Create equal spacing between the frames and have an uneven border (such as this) or 2) Use the frames to create a solid rectangle and space the frames as best as I could within that rectangle (such as this – although they achieved equal spacing and a perfect rectangle). Did I lose you? Needless to say, I chose option #2. So working within my rectangular constraints, I came up with this arrangement and snapped a picture on my iPhone.

Next step was to space the frames on the wall whereby I used the “newspaper templates” approached I discovered while cruising around John & Sherry’s blog, Young House Love. Check out the link for directions because I did not photograph this step (but I did manage to save Will & Kate’s royal wedding photos from the LA Times from being used as frame templates…whew!)

Finally, newspaper was on the walls, the frames were still on the ground and my husband was ready to hang without any of my girlie micromanager input.

You can see in the iPhone picture that two of the longer frames (one horizontal, one vertical) were actually matted for three 4×6 prints. I wanted something bigger in those frames, so I had custom mats made at Aaron Brothers to accommodate a more “panoramic” print.

Finally, here is the finished wall with the two panoramic’s, 6″x16″, in place. We hope to change out the photographs throughout the year, as we already have two pictures we are dying to get rid of (don’t worry, they are both of us!) We love you all to much to bail any of you from the wall! Mom – I am still waiting for you to make your debut!


Decor | Designer Sketch Style

Recently a project around the house has been to finally decorate the walls and put a few things up! I think most people my age would probably think “art” as their go to wall decor; but I have to say, I have never been an “art” lover. I still remember a date Ryan took me on to the Getty and I am pretty sure that date is ingrained in my mind because of how utterly boooooored I was!  After all, this is coming from someone who thinks Real Housewives (and Gossip Girl)  is the greatest show ever created and considers UsMagazine her favorite book! 

Anyways, since we already have tons of black and white photo frames I plan to use those but the thought of 30 photographs throughout our small apartment kind of makes me gag. After all, I do not want a shrine to my husband and me.  So, it got me thinking…..what else could I use to fill the frames with that doesn’t cost a lot of money?

How about sketches from my favorite designers?! Not sure if these will be make the cut or not, but it sure has me thinking!

the new pad.

The last two months have been spent celebrating summer and….moving into our new place. So I will just cut to it and show some pictures:

Before Pics


Because this is still an apartment (i.e. temporary living), we did not want to paint or even spend too much money, so we tried to incorporate as many of our old things as possible.   On the mantle is a vintage 1940 Vogue magazine cover. A few years ago I bought a bunch of old Vogue covers and had them custom framed at Michael’s, so far we have only found a place for one of the four! I picked up some pink stock at Whole Foods and put it in a Waterford vase (gifted to us by the Brandon’s). Most of the accessories laying around are from Home Goods.

We already had this chair from Colors Furniture in El Segundo and I made a pillow out of fabric purchased at Joann’s (40% coupon used of course). The black velvet curtains were purchased from  Here are the other 2 pillows I made with fabric purchased from Joann’s.

At last we have a real, six person dining table! We found this beauty on Craigslist, along with the chairs! The candle sticks are from Crate & Barrel.

Here is a detail shot of the back of the chairs – I love!

We still need a few more seating options in the living room and possibly a coffee table so that I can put this book on it, along with this drink, and these flowers. For now, this is what we call home!

decorating and fashion are two of a kind.

Decorating a house always reminds me of putting together an outfit – you start with a main piece (jeans, skirt, dress, or shirt) that you really want to wear, you add complementary items and finish it off with a few accessories that pull the whole look together. That is it in simple terms. However, the big difference in decorating a house is that home decor is much more permanent. Its like having to wear the same outfit all year-long and you only get to change out a few accessories. So the outfit chosen better be one of your favorites.

So, this leads me to my decorating roadblock. Right now, I am having trouble identifying additional items to complement our main pieces (a cream-colored couch and dark wood media stand) — mostly because these cost the most and can totally ruin the whole look of the room. Thankfully just like in fashion a few great accessories can disguise a terrible choice of pant or skirt.

Since, I have a few main pieces to work from (couch and media stand), I am going to start working on accessorizing those and the last few big-ticket items will have to wait just a bit longer until we find just the right ones at the right price. So, all of this leads me to a little mantel inspiration.

While none of these are exactly something that I want to have in our home, they provide me beautiful inspiration as I proceed through the accessorizing stage.

wishful thinking.

New apartment, new decor! With the recent move fresh on my mind, I can’t help but to think about all the possible decor options.  Because it’s only an apartment (i.e. not permanent), we don’t want to break the bank trying to decorate it.  So, we will be trying to use stuff we already have and mix in a few new pieces and accessories. I want to keep the colors black and white with splashes of possibly red.

Here is my current wish list of items:

I have many more things on the wish list, but these 6 made the top cut – a few others I would loooove to add are a black baroque floor mirror, a mirrored serving tray, an accent chair, and a chandelier.

1. Bukhara Pillow – Black & White 24″ from Z Gallerie ($69.95)

2. Patrick Demarchelier Hardcover Book from Amazon ($62)

3. Oversized Tufted Ottoman from Wisteria ($549) – this might be too “natural” to work, I am still looking for cream option

4. Hollwoood Pillow from Z Gallerie ($49.95)

5. Velvet Drape from Potterybarn ($109 each)

6. Lanvin Book from  Amazon ($53)