Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Candy Land Birthday Party + A Tints & Prints by Tierney Giveaway

I'm excited to share a colorful and clever Candy Land party with you! You might remember seeing my post on Candy Land party inspiration around this time last year. One of my best friends used this theme for her daughter's very first birthday party and it was a big hit with kids and adults alike. I mean who doesn't have a special place in their heart for Candy Land?


I was delighted when I stumbled upon this party example from stationery designer Tierney of Tints and Prints by Tierney. Tierney sells each all the print pieces you'll need to execute one awesome party on her website and in her Etsy shop. She'll print for you or you can choose to print at home. 

I absolutely fell in love with all the application examples she provided for this Candy Land theme.



Aren't the mini Candy Land boards in the goody bags absolutely adorable? I've never seen such a thing! 



My favorite detail from this party is the Fruit Loop necklace station. So easy to organize and display and I know the little ones will love it!





You can purchase entire printable sets from her website.


In addition to party supplies, Tierney also offers note cards, address labels, holiday cards and calendars. Here's the set of notecards she created for me:


Besides inspiration, Tierney is sharing a $40 gift certificate with one lucky Simply Sarah Style reader! You can put this toward your choice of shop products.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

A special thanks to Tints & Prints by Tierney for partnering with Simply Sarah Style this post! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

J. CREW Sale Alert + 5 Savvy Shopping Tips


So it happened. I went in for a return and walked out with a bag full of new goodies. I mean how can I resist a hot sale at J.CREW Factory? To my surprise, most of the store was 50% off today, which means that pretty lilac cardigan was just $12, the earrings were $11 and the necklace was $15. Dare I say I splurged and spent $32 on the navy skirt? 

My friends always ask how I get great deals when shopping, so I'm sharing my top tips with you:
  • Shop often. Most of the serious deals I find are ones I stumble upon while out and about. The goodies above are a great example of this. I had no intentions of spending money on this trip, but I discovered some great additions for my wardrobe at such a small cost.  
  • Always check the sale section first. Now is the time to pick up left over winter items for a fraction of the price. Half of the items left over from winter could be used to transition into spring. Think silk tops, cardigans and button-up shirts.
  • Check your phone for a digital coupon. I often receive coupons from J. CREW Factory via email, so I pull them up on my phone and the sale associate scans the barcode. It's so easy. You don't have to worry about printing hard copies or bringing the mailer that was delivered to your door. Each time I shop at Hobby Lobby, Michael's and Target, I check my phone for coupons. Usually I just do a quick Google search for a Hobby Lobby or Michael's coupon. To access Target discounts, I use the store's Cartwheel app.
  • Consider signing up for Ebates. If you shop online often, this is a service you can't pass up. You start by creating an account. Then you go to ebates.com before make an online purchase. When clicking-through to your desired online store using the Ebates site, you will get a kick-back credit for the purchase. For example, if you shop Neiman Marcus right now, you can earn 8% cash back. Every quarter, Ebates sends you a check or transfers money to your Paypal account. This is such an easy way to make money back when shopping online.
  • Shop Instagram for "InstaSales." Boutiques will occasionally post specials on Instagram. All you have to do is comment "sold" with your size and Paypal address on their photo. Then they'll email you an invoice. Such a stress-free way to shop! I recently purchased this sweater from Viva La Jewel's Instagram account and love it.
Do you have a savvy shopping tip I didn't mention? I would love to hear from you! Leave your thoughts below.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Custom Illustrations: The Perfect Gift

I take pride and delight in finding the perfect gift, and am happy to share that I found one unique concept that everyone will love!

I discovered an artist named Glessy on Fiverr who will create a custom caricature based on the photo you send her. I first collaborated with her when planning my husband's 30th birthday party. She took his headshot and made it into a caricature that looked just like him.
I passed the caricature file along to my stationery designer, Christina Reinersman, who incorporated it into a one-of-a-kind "BenFest" logo. I was so happy with how this invitation turned out! We even carried this caricature throughout every aspect of the party. I'm talking "Ben" heads on a stick as photo props, BenFest stickers, BenFest posters and "Did you know?" BenFest fact sheets. His head was literally everywhere. (You can see more BenFest photos here.)

Using this artist was the best decision I made when planning Ben's party. The illustration was truly memorable! I also must give props to Christina who turned Ben's head into an exceptional logo that inspired all the print materials.

Since BenFest, I have used this Fiverr artist for a couple other custom gifts. Here's one she did of my mom and me...
 And one she did of us with Ben's parents and siblings...


I had the last two illustrations printed on card stock at Staples and then framed them in white frames with white mats for a polished look.

Overall, I could not be more thrilled with Glessy's work. This girl has some serious talent! Wanting your own custom caricature? You can get more details on her work here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Q&A with Wendy from Dresser Up Vintage Boutique


I recently discovered a new gem on Monmouth Street in Newport, Kentucky. My mom said that she had stumbled upon this store and invited me to go one Saturday. First, let me start by saying how estactic I am that people are starting to invest in Monmouth Street again. I would love to see it filled with other boutiques and businesses like Dresser Up Vintage Boutique.

Dresser Up offers a variety of items from home accents to refinished furniture pieces to a full collection of the ever so popular chalk and milk paint. Wendy Critcher, the owner of Dresser Up, sat down to talk about her passion for DIY projects and what customers can expect from her Newport boutique. Here's what she had to say...

Tell us about the concept behind Dresser Up.

Wendy: The concept behind Dresser Up Vintage Boutique came from my desire to decorate my own living room in a repurposed and shabby chic design style. As I began collecting items to decorate my home, painting furniture and repurposing other "junk" for my space, the idea for Dresser Up began to form.  It took me over a year to voice my desire to start Dresser Up to my husband. I was so excited, but it was a big step for our family. 

I have been decorating, sewing and painting for over 20 years and I knew this was what I wanted to do. When I began to use Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Chalk Based Paint, I fell in love with the products and I decided this would be the foundation of my business. I wanted to interact with other people and I knew that teaching people how to use paint to repurpose their furniture and other home d├ęcor items would be a great way to have fun and meet great people. I was right.


What spurred your love for repurposing?

Wendy: I have always loved antiques. I used to go antiquing with my parents in high school.  I just hate to see the beautiful things of the past get tossed out in the garbage. The craftsmanship of even a simple door knob is interesting and can be used in repurposing. This helps keep our beautiful antiques from landing in the garbage dump.

What items are you currently collecting?

Wendy: I love primitives and am currently collecting primitive bowls and other smaller items. I just purchased two primitive rakes and a blanket chest.

What's one item you can't pass up?

Wendy: Anything with great vintage hardware.

Are there any vintage items that are hot and we should keep an eye out for when shopping?

Wendy: Anything with a French country style is still big, but I think people are looking for the pieces that speak to them personally.

What are your biggest selling items?

Wendy: My biggest seller is my repurposed tin roofing letters. Anyone can use them in their home as they are so versatile. However, on any given day, I don't know what will sell. Everyone who walks through my door has different taste and is looking for that item that will fit in their home.

You sell Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint as well as chalk paint. Can you tell us about the difference between the two?

Wendy: Both Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint and Maison Blanche Chalk Based Paint are both called "no prep" paints. This means you don’t have to strip or prime your furniture. You can paint wood, metal, laminate, glass and other surfaces and it will adhere to your project. There are a few differences between the two paints.


Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint is all natural, mineral-based and comes in powdered form. You just add water, mix really well and you get a great paint. You can give your piece that gorgeous aged look by making it appear chippy with little effort. Adding a bonding agent to the paint will give your piece a solid smooth painted surface.


Maison Blanche is our chalk-based paint and it will give your furniture that beautiful old world look. The chalk content is what makes it stick to the surface of your project. Maison Blanche comes in liquid form in a can and is ready to use. In the Maison Blanche line, we have products that will really make your piece pop, including a product called Organza Shimmer which will add a metallic look to your piece, seven different colors of wax, embossing creams, and laquers in both satin and matte finish.

You also offer classes at Dresser Up. What can people expect to learn?

Wendy: Yes, I offer classes about once a week. I currently teach both a milk paint class and a chalk-based paint class. I am getting ready to offer additional classes, such as "Bring Your Own Piece" and "Wine and Sign." I have lots of ideas for other classes. I will adding these soon!


In closing, I thought I would share my recent Dresser Up purchase. I picked up this vintage-looking chalkboard and flower magnet collection for my kitchen. Because of its interesting shape, it has become quite the conversation piece among guests.

A special thanks to Wendy for sharing more about Dresser Up Vintage Boutique! You can follow along on Facebook for updates on class offerings and DIY inspiration.