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February 2009
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April 2009

March 2009

Easter Table Inspiration

I love love this table setting!  The colors are bright instead of pastel.  Not to take anything away from the pastels but I love the brights.


It looks simple to duplicate also.  You could purchase a turquoise tablecloth and hot glue ribbons down the center.  Fill a basket with tulips or your favorite spring flower.  Coordinating plates and napkins and you're set.

Here is how to make the adorable glitter eggs in the baskets:


  • Large bowl
  • Sewing needle
  • 24 raw eggs (keep cartons to use later)
  • Rubber ear syringe (available at pharmacies) or egg-blowing tool
  • Fine craft glitter in assorted colors and spray paint in matching colors (available at craft stores, Martha has some very nice glitter at Wal-mart)
  • Small bowls
  • Thin wooden skewers
  • Face mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Spoons
  • Waxed paper

1. Working over a large bowl, use a sewing needle to carefully pierce both ends of an egg. Make hole at wider end of egg slightly bigger by chipping away at shell with needle. Puncture yolk with needle.

2. Gently insert a rubber ear syringe into smaller hole and blow contents of egg out through larger hole. Rinse egg shell with water. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with remaining eggs.

3. Allow eggs to dry completely. Pour glitter into separate bowls and set aside.

4. Slide an egg shell onto a wooden skewer and spray paint in a well-ventilated area while wearing a face mask and gloves. Hold spray can at least 6 inches away from egg to coat it evenly; rotate egg as you work.

5. Working quickly, place painted egg in a bowl containing glitter that is same color as paint. Gently roll egg in glitter before paint has dried completely. Use a spoon to sprinkle glitter over sparse spots.

6. Place eggs on waxed paper to dry (about 20 minutes). Store eggs in cartons until ready to use.

Wouldn't these be great as place card holders or favors for your Easter gathering?  You could buy letter stickers at your local craft store to use as initials on the eggs.  Or for favors you could place them in wrapped candy baskets instead of grass. These are also seen in the top picture in egg cups.  You could use them as little bud vases too.

(photos from

30th Birthday Celebration

Well the birthday party was a blast!  We celebrated three of my friends 30th birthdays at a cantina style restaurant.  My manzanita centerpieces were a big hit.  I would have done a couple of things different but I thought they turned out well for a first attempt.  I will definitely be using them again.  They are so versatile. 

Thank you to everyone for your interest and creative ideas for the centerpieces.  You all were a big help and I love hearing your ideas.  Hope you enjoy the pics. 

My First Manzanita Centerpieces

I had to work around orange tablecloths!  I thought they looked ok with the bright green moss. 


My sweet brother-in-laws cut the 30s out of metal and we spray painted them black.


I ordered the branches and containers from Blooms and Branches.  I ordered 24" natural and spray painted them white.  I was going to go with sandblasted but I read that the blasting causes a lot of the little branches to break off so it's better to order natural and paint them. The trick to spray painting them is primer!  I used one branch per pot.

I thought they were a good height.  The crystals were from Save on Crafts.


I bought the green moss at Pottery Barn.  I also scattered some "crystals" I purchased at Michael's through the moss.

This next photo is a little blurry but I love how the crystals are glowing.


Luckily the room was already fabulously decorated with natural branches with white twinkle lights and white lanterns hung sporadically.


Check out these little beauties my friend Nicole made. 


More on these later...

Big thank you to my husband for all of his help!  Mixing plaster=no fun.  Here is a tutorial on how to set your branches in a container.

If you'd like to see more pics please check out my Facebook page.  If you have any photos of manzanita centerpieces you've made I'd love to see them!  Just upload them to the album or shoot me an email.

I hope these give you some ideas for the next time you need a one of a kind centerpiece!  They were fun to make and you can really express yourself with them.  All in all they were not that expensive to make either. 

Sneaky Saturday

Here is a sneak peek at my 30th Birthday Manzanita Centerpieces.  I apologize for the picture, I need a darker background.  I'm hoping tonight at the party I can get really good shots with the candlelight and all.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.  I wish I had a few more strands of crystals but I ordered them and its too late to order more.  

Be sure to check back next week for more pics and details!

Hostessjo 020 

Hostessjo 019 

Happy Weekend!

Margarita Time

I just love my new items over at Hostess Jo!  The colors of these are so bright and cheerful.  Everything in this line is hand painted, raised ceramic.  They all look three dimensional.  I wish you could see them in person!  Oh yeah, you can if you order one ;)

Perfect for the pool or summer entertaining.

Chip and Dip


Party Bowls


And for the seafood lover:

This tureen would be perfect for your lobster or crab bisque, or your clam chowder.  The matching soup mugs would definitely impress your guests.

Lobster Tureen


Soup Mugs


EVERYTHING in the store is on SALE 15% OFF through March 31!  So hurry!

Sweets Overload

I've been posting about all things sweet for a few days now but there are just so many cute ideas for Spring out there!  I'm not even a big fan of sweets (or baking, but I love when other people do!) but you can really express your creative side with them.  Here is another one I am obsessed with for my Green Apple Themed Shower.  I'm hoping my friend Nicole is going to make them!


At first they intimidated me but then I read how Kara decorated them and I was surprised how easy they are.  She made her cupcakes then rolled them in green sprinkles, stuck in a pretzel with mint leaves for the stem and then took the "bite" out with a fork and added a few chocolate sprinkles.  Voila!

(photo from

Peep Show

Check out these adorable Peeps cupcakes from Fancy Flours!

Easter Peeps Cupcakes


You will need:
• Assorted Solid Colored Muffin Cups
• Assorted Colors of store bought peeps (at your local grocer)
• Cupcake recipe of your choice
• Icing or frosting recipe of your choice

• Make cupcake recipe. Bake and cool as directed in colored muffin cups. Frost as desired.
• Place all of the cupcake on a tray (or wherever they will be stored) Adhere a peep to the corresponding color of muffin cup by slightly sticking it into the frosting to hold it in place.
• Store in an airtight container. 

So Cute

Welcome Spring with the cake of your choice decorated with these pretty colorful flowers!  It's easy to do and your kids will have fun helping you make the flowers and leaves.

This would also be great for a wedding shower or baby shower.

Gumdrop Cake 


You'll need:

Shredded coconut

Green food coloring

Spice drops

Mini M&Ms

1.Place coconut in a ziplock bag; add a few drops of food coloring. Seal bag; mix until coconut is tinted. Pat coconut on sides of cake and sprinkle on top.

2.Make flowers: Dust a counter top with sugar (to prevent sticking), then use a small rolling pin to flatten spice drops one at a time. Use small cookie cutters to cut out flower shapes. Pipe a drop of frosting in the center of each flower and attach a mini M&M.

3. Make leaves: Cut rolled-out green spice drops into teardrop shapes, score veins down centers with a paring knife and pinch one end of each to create leaf shape.

4.For stems, tint frosting green, put into ziplock bag, snip off a corner and pipe lines

(photo from

It's Strawberry Season!

Here in the South strawberries are coming into season and there are so many delicious strawberry recipes out there!  Here is one I saw this morning on our local news.  It is gorgeous!

Strawberry Pie



  1. 1 recipe Old-Fashioned Pie Dough (or store bought)
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
  4. 1 cup boiling water
  5. 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 (3-ounce) package strawberry-flavored gelatin
  8. 2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Line bottom and sides of prepared pie shell with parchment paper. Place pie weights on parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper.
  4. Bake until golden, approximately 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before adding filling.
  5. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, whisking well. Add boiling water and extracts. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, whisking often. Remove from heat. Add gelatin, stirring until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  6. Arrange strawberries in baked pie shell. Pour cooled filling over strawberries, coating completely. Refrigerate until set, approximately 2 hours. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Here are some tips for buying and storing strawberries:

When buying strawberries:

Look for firm, plump, glossy berries that are free of mold.

Strawberries should be deep red in color with bright green leaves.

Check the bottom of the container for stains or moisture—these are signs of possible spoilage.

Strawberries won't ripen any further after they're picked, so avoid yellow or green berries.

When you get your purchase home:

Sort through the container and throw away any strawberries that are moldy or damaged so they won't have an opportunity to contaminate the others.

Store strawberries in the original container or place them in a plastic bag.

It's best to eat fresh strawberries the day you buy them, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

One important thing to remember: Strawberries are perishable, so don't wash them until you're ready to eat them. Gently wash whole berries under cold, running water and pat them dry. Then remove the leafy green top, known as the calyx, with a paring knife or a strawberry huller. For the best flavor, let the strawberries come to room temperature before you eat them.

To freeze strawberries:

Arrange whole berries in a single layer on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. (We recommend that you wait to wash and hull the strawberries until after they have thawed.) Once the berries have frozen, transfer them to a heavy freezer bag and return them to the freezer. They should keep for up to a year.

(photo and recipe from Taste of the South)

Unexpected Arrangements

For your Spring or Easter arrangements try using jelly bean centerpieces.  All you have to do is get two similarly shaped vases, one 3 inches narrower than the other.  Fill the space between with layered jelly beans.  These look great with tulips or daisies.  I've also seen this done with a row of bunny peeps and jelly beans. They just scream SPRING!

Tulips and Jelly Beans 


Modern Arrangement

Try grouping different sized cylinders filled with various colored jelly beans without the flowers:


The possibilities are endless and FUN!

(top photo from, bottom from