Valentine's Day Goodies for Your Gal Pal

Valentine's Day isn't just for you and your lover. Show you gal pals how much you care too! Think how special your mom, grandma, best friend or coworker would feel with a little Valentine's Day surprise.

As a child, remember how excited you would get to purchase Valentine's cards and give them out to your classmates? Reinvent that same thrill as an adult.

I've done the hard work for you. I've searched the stores for thoughtful and festive gifts. Each item is under $30... and some are as cheap as $3. Take a look and get to shopping!

Which item do you plan to gift this Valentine's Day?

New Artwork at Home

I recently ordered some new Etsy prints for our home. I decided on two gold foil prints in simple white frames for this narrow space. I love how these clean and crisp pieces bring interest to this space, but also work as neutral-colored art.

I have found that Bed, Bath & Beyond offers the best bargain for purchasing white frames. You can pick up a set of four for $29.99. Plus, you can use a 20% off coupon, which puts each frame at a cheaper price point than what you would find at Target or Michael's.

Love it? Shop the prints here:


A Movie-Themed Awards Ceremony for a Professional Organization

This past fall, I was recruited by the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to lead the creative efforts for their annual awards ceremony.

In the past, this event was held at a hotel ballroom with no specific theme. This time around, the committee set out to elevate the look and feel of the awards ceremony by creating an experience that would wow attendees.

Cincinnati PRSA's annual awards program is called the "Blacksmiths." After brainstorming numerous themes and exploring venue options we selected a "Blockbuster Blacksmiths" theme and booked a historical theater, the 20th Century in Oakley. (By the way, if you're looking for a venue, the 20th Century team was fabulous!)

While my fellow committee members crafted movie-themed communications to create hype for the event, I was busy pulling together the decor elements. I had a conservative budget, but am so happy with how the event came together!

Our popcorn-style cupcakes from Cupcakes with a Fork where the hit of the night. Here's a closer picture I took of the cupcakes on my phone. This was before the salads, bread, etc. were added to the table. I think the confetti I picked up at Celebrate by Kate in Madeira really added a layer of fun to the tables. I even sprinkled this gold, white, silver and black confetti along the red carpet.

I utilized popcorn buckets topped off for snacking, vases in various heights filled with tickets, boxed movie theater-style candy and Hollywood-inspired sayings in Baroque frames. We also used the frames to reserve tables purchased by companies. I wish I had a picture of those too.

The theater created the perfect red carpet-style setting for celebrating Cincinnati's blockbuster public relations work! 

We also created a "selfie station" with hand-held signs and red carpet-style props. Speedpro Imaging even helped us create a step and repeat banner for a true Hollywood experience.

After the decor was finalized, I was able to sit back and catch up with friends. My agency even took home a collection of awards, so overall, it was one great night for Cincinnati's PR Super Stars!

Professional photos by Leigh Taylor

A Review of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella

Photo © Carol Rosegg
This week, I was invited to attend opening night of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, a Tony-Award winning musical, by the Broadway in Cincinnati team. It has been years since I've seen Disney's Cinderella, so I was looking forward to this production and I have to say the costuming, set design and humorous script did not disappoint.

Each set change was seamless. We went from into the woods, to the town, to Cinderella's home and to the castle without evening knowing it. The physical features of the set quickly changed all while your attention was set on the cast of characters. Each setting changed in a blink of an eye and truly followed suit of the perfect fairy tale fantasy.

Speaking of transitions, Cinderella's dress change for the prince's ball was marvelous. It literally happened before your eyes and left you wondering how something so magical could happen right there on stage.

The choreography was brilliant. Like I mentioned above, the choreography of the dress change, plus the dancing choreography, was so visual. Coming from a seasoned competitive cheerleading judge, I was quite pleased to see strong use of level change, foot work and dynamic formations in the group numbers.

I was surprised to discover the plot differed from the original Disney film. There were definitely a few twists that left the audience guessing. On top of the plot surprises, the script was quite humorous. It was interesting to see how modern day references were incorporated into the script. They even drive home an important lesson that remains valuable across all centuries, all fairy tales and all backgrounds - kindness.

Overall, this production was so well orchestrated. For a few hours, you are transported into an enchanted land full of romance.

Cinderella is playing at the Aronoff until Sunday, January 18. You can find a list of shows here.

A special thanks to Broadway in Cincinnati for inviting me to join them on opening night!

The Art Marketplace at Minted

I'm excited to partner with for this post. I've always loved browsing this site for unique artwork, photo gifts and stationery. You might remember their Kentucky photo piece I featured as part of the Gift Guide for the Kentuckian

What I find even more appealing about this site is that you can even pick your own frame. This is especially helpful when selecting artwork to match your current decor or when creating a coordinating gallery wall.



You can also select your preferred size. 

It seems that Minted's art marketplace is endless. This marketplace features pieces by independent artists all across the country. Between gold foil prints, limited edition art and photography, there are enough options to outfit every space in your home.

As we make plans to decorate our new home, I'm particularly drawn to the following vibrant pieces.

(This one is even by Cincinnati artist, Betty Hatchett.)

The half guest bath on our main floor is on the top of my "to-decorate" list. I want this space to have a wow factor that welcomes and intrigues guests. Since this bathroom will be one of the spaces almost everyone who visits our house sees, I want it to be outstanding. Here's how I'm planning to incorporate a few of my favorite Minted pieces into my bathroom design concept:

Have you checked out Which piece caught your eye?

A special thanks to Minted for sponsoring this post!  

A Simple Step to Clear Kitchen Clutter

Whew. The Christmas decorations are now put away and the house feels quiet and simple again. Taking away the holiday layers really opened my eyes to all the projects I want to complete.

An organizing project high on my to-do list: find a way to keep our kitchen island clear of clutter.

While browsing another blog, I noticed this gold Nate Berkus magazine rack. I instantly knew this bin could provide a visually appealing solution to our kitchen pileup (magazines, mail, bills, etc.).

I used my mini alphabet stamp kit from Michael's dollar section to label the bin - mostly as a visual reminder for my husband. I'm hoping this bin screams "put the mail here" instead of "throw the mail and miscellaneous paperwork wherever you want." Ha!

During my time off work over break, I've had an opportunity to sort through all our mail and paper pileup, so we're starting with an empty bin. Here's to simple solutions for helping us all stay a bit more organized and tidy this year!

Younique Moodstruck 3D Lashes Review & Giveaway

Heather, a Younique rep, recently reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the Moodstruck 3D Lashes set. I have less than luscious eyelashes, so I was excited to give it a try!

Using this kit was very easy. Just four simple steps:
  1. Apply a thin coat of your regular mascara.
  2. Apply a coat of the Younique gel.
  3. Apply the Younique fibers. (The "fibers" reminded me of extremely fine pieces of soft cotton or feathers.) 
  4. Seal with another coat of the Younique gel.

I was so impressed with how much the Younique product beefed up my lashes. The left shows my eyelashes with just my regular mascara and the right shows my lashes after using the kit.

Heather was sweet enough to share the Moodstruck 3D Kit with a Simply Sarah Style reader. You can enter below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A special thanks to Heather Beighle for sponsoring this post!
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