Fabulous Fall Blogger Exchange Partners Announced

A special thanks to everyone who signed up to participate in the Fabulous Fall Blogger Exchange. I just sent emails to all the participants. To recap, here is the list:

Remember to ship packages consisting of four or more fabulous fall items by Monday, October 8 and be sure to come back on Thursday, October 18 to share the fabulous fall goodies you received as part of the exchange. 

Enjoy your shopping and swapping!


September Birchbox

My September Birchbox arrived a little over a week ago. Shortly after, I received a sweet and short video from the founders. This video was so clever that I had to share it with you. I also learned that this company developed out of a school project idea. I love to see fresh, young talent doing amazing things. Props to these girls!

Now onto the box...

This month's box included:

Do you get Birchbox? If so, what was interesting in your box this month?


A Picnic-Themed Baby Shower

This past Saturday, I threw a picnic-themed baby shower for my best friend, Julia. Here are the pictures from the party...


I had water, Coke and lemonade available for the guests. The sparking lemonade ended up being so good that we ran out of that drink in the first half hour.

I created lunches packaged in picnic baskets. This idea was inspire by the Jones Design Company. I ordered the baskets and packaging supplies from Garnish.

Each lunch included a sandwich (ham on white or turkey on wheat) with a pickle, grapes, chips and a cookie.

I ordered the cookies from Servatii's and was so thrilled with the way they turned out... That is until I slammed on my breaks in the car and they went from the back seat to the floor. Unfortunately, the "binkies" were a bit smashed by party time, so I thought I would share a "before" photo with you instead of the"after" shot.


Party guests were invited to leave messages for Baby Salzer. I thought this would be a nice keepsake to keep in his nautical-themed nursery.

I also made a quick and easy activity out of guessing how many Teddy Grams were in the mason jar. All the print materials were made using a free template from On To Baby.

Since Julia and Matt have yet to settle on a name, we also played a name game in which each guest had to share a name for each letter of the alphabet. Essentially,  you go around a circle and take turns saying a name (e.g. person #1 has letter A, person #2 has the letter B, etc.).

For prizes, I gave out candles from my aunt and cousin's company, Morgan Creek. I packaged these in takeout containers with kraft crinkle paper to keep them secure.


I whipped out my bar cart (a lovely Goodwill find) and used it to display presents and prizes. 

I set up three tables on my patio. I added washi tape to jars and then placed rocks in the bottom to give the hydrangeas a sturdy base. I place little frogs on the charger for an outdoor / "picnic-y" theme.

I scored this huge mum from Kroger for only $9.99. I was impressed with the way it flourished. 

Inside, I decorated the mantle with pictures of the mom and dad-to-be. (I'm disappointed these pictures didn't turn out too well.)


Lastly, everyone received a flower-shaped soap from Morgan Creek that said, "From Julia's Shower to Yours."

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon with friends!

Linking up to:


Looking forward to Cupcakes and Cashmere

Quick Business 
Just a reminder, signups for the Fabulous Fall Blogger Exchange are still open. You have until Wednesday to signup to swap four fabulous fall items with another fabulous blogger. This is a great opportunity to network with others in the blogsphere, while also celebrating the season. I invite you to join in the fun!

Now onto other business... I've been a longtime follower of the blog, Cupcakes and Cashmere. If you love fashion and cooking, I think you'll enjoy this lifestyle blog. The blogger behind this wonderful site, Emily Schuman, also authored a book. I know. So cool! From blogger to published writer - that's such an awesome achievement. I think all of my blogger friends out there would agree.

The best part... This book is only $12.36. You can find it on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites.

Isn't Emily adorable? I adore here style and her entertaining tips. I must put her book of my to-read list.

Has anyone read the book yet? I would love to hear your review.


Pinterest Roundup: Pumpkin Edition

To celebrate the first day of fall, I'm rounding up my favorite pumpkin designs from Pinterest. Enjoy!

by Curby
by Pink Seven Designs
via Apartment Therapy
by Circa Dee

I hope everyone enjoys this first fall day!

For the Love of Colored Doors

Since seeing this door on Midwestern Girl, I have had the yearning to paint the inside of my front door this color. My entry way and front hall is filled with neutral hues, so I'm thinking this would make a big impact and a lasting impression when guest leave our home. 

Each of these doors bring an unexpected pop of color to their respected rooms. I thinking I would love this concept in my own home.

via Apartment Therapy
via House of Smiths


I'm loving everyone of these. Who knows... I might just have a colored door by the time the weekend is over. See ya later, boring cream colored door...


Life is too short for ugly notebooks.

That's right!  That is the motto of the stylish May Books. I've always been a lover of pretty paper, so of course, this product has me swooning. How beautiful are these personalized notebooks? 

via the May Books Blog
via the May Books blog
via the May Books blog
The May Books site allows you to select your favorite pattern (note that every pattern is GORGEOUS), style of monogram and the layout for the inside pages (agenda, meal planner, wedding diary, baby diary, dot grid, graph paper, lined paper, etc.). While playing around with the site, I created this sample book design for myself.

I also love these baby diaries for my friends who are expecting...


The price point starts at $12, which I feel is reasonable for a personalized product. Have you ordered a May Books product before? Are you loving it?

A pretty notebook is definitely on my "to-buy" list.


Sign up for the Fabulous Fall Blogger Exchange

I am happy to announce that I will be hosting a Fabulous Fall Blogger Exchange. Signups begin today. 

I have participated in two blogger exchanges (The Pink Swap by Monograms and Manicures and the Valentine's Day Swap by O. is Me) in the past and truly enjoyed the experience. I loved meeting other bloggers while also having a reason to shop. Plus, fall is my favorite season, so why not celebrate.

Fabulous Fall Exchange Guidelines:
  • You must be a blogger from the United States. If you are a blogger outside the U.S. and want to participate, please let me know via email and I will try to match you with someone who is willing to ship abroad. 
  • Please purchase four or more fabulous fall items to swap with another blogger. Gift ideas: fall decorations, fall scented candles or soaps, bath and body products, nail polish, fall fashion accessories, etc.
  • The total spending limit is $25 (pre-postage).
  • Signups begin today and will go until Wednesday, September 26.
  • On September 29, I will match you with a partner and email you the blogger's email address so you can connect for swapping purposes.
  • Fabulous Fall Exchange packages must be sent by October 8.
  • Come back on October 18 to share all the fabulous fall items you received as part of the exchange.  

Please do not sign up if you are not 100% sure you can commit. I would hate for a blogger to be package-less. Also, feel free to share the Fabulous Fall Blogger Exchange information with others. The more, the merrier. Thank you!

To join, sign up below:

Tips for Planning A Spectacular Party

One week from today I will be hosting a baby shower for my dear best friend Julia. Julia is expecting a little boy in October, so I am hosting a picnic themed shower for her. As I prep for this event, I thought I would share my go-to elements for planning a memorable and special party.

A Personalized Invite 

I love picking out invitations. I think I just have a true obsession with pretty paper. I also prefer a personalized printed invitation over the ones you buy in a pack at the store and then fill in the blanks. Here is the invitation I created for Julia's shower using the free templates from On To Baby. This invite was very cute and free to design!

Delightful Drinks

I have two go-to approaches for drink options. Most often, I go with a simple approach and serve lemonade, tea and water. I make a huge batch of Crystal Light lemonade and put it in my large glass drink dispenser (a house warming gift from Julia from Bed, Bath & Beyond). I serve ice tea from a glass pitcher and also offer bottled water.

If I am serving bottled drinks or wine, I use my trusty drink tub. I picked my drink tub up several years ago and use it often. I even added a chalkboard label to it, so I can always change up labeling.

I'm also a big fan of striped straws. I love the extra flair they add. In the past, I have purchased these on Etsy, but have also picked them up at Kirklands and TJ Maxx. I love the way they styled drinks in the picture below from Style Me Pretty.

Crafty Menu

Pinterest is a huge help when it comes to selecting party foods and also styling party foods. I don't love to cook, but I love to style and create a beautiful tablescape. I always try to push the envelope and do something different. It takes the food from every day dinner to a special occasion. Here is a shot from a wine tasting wedding shower I hosted with friends last fall.

Dreamy Decor

Dreamy decor ideas can be very lavish, but can also be very affordable. Etsy is a good place to start if you're interested in purchasing decor for a certain theme. Many sellers offer party decor kits at an affordable price. Hostess with the Mostess is also another great source for party decor inspiration. I'm loving this setup featured on Hostess with the Mostess by Sunny by Design.

A Gorgeous Gift

I always adore a personalized gift. I usually never purchase off the registry. Instead, I enjoy going to my favorite boutique in town, MK's Totebags and Monogramming, and picking out a unique gift. Etsy is also a wonderful source for personalized gifts.

Fun Favors

To wrap up your party, throw in a great take-home favor for the guests. Sometimes, I think favors can be tacky and cheap, but there are so many clever ideas out there. For a past baby shower, I purchased coffee mugs from IKEA and then personalized them with vinyl using my Cricut. The mugs were stuffed with drink mixes (coffee and tea) and a biscotti stick. I topped them off with tag stating "A baby is brewing!"

That wraps up my list of factors I keep in mind when throwing a party. Did I miss anything? I would love to hear your go-to party planning secrets.

Happy Saturday!
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