Monday, July 11

STYLING | Lemonade and Lollipop Stand Party Idea

It's mid July friends, which means those of us in Florida have been enduring the sweltering heat.
With record high temperatures, I figured there's no better time than right now to share this adorable Lemonade and Lollipop stand I created in collaboration with Hershey's.

We all immediately think of chocolate when we think of Hershey's, right?  But did you know Hershey's is also the maker of Jolly Ranchers® (not to mention about 35 other candies which include mints and gum). That's right. I personally didn't realize that myself and when I discovered these Jolly Rancher® Lollipops, well I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them!!

My idea behind creating the Lemonade and Lollipop stand was to inspire it's use for a variety of celebrations.  The obvious party idea would be to create this for a Lemonade and Lollipop themed birthday party OR set this up in your neighborhood for your young entrepreneur as a new and improved spin on the classic lemonade stand - like Ella did with her friend.

But what's even better is that this stand would be perfect for any Summertime celebration...pool party, baby shower, family reunion, and how about a back-to-school neighborhood party? 

You could even spike the lemonade and invite your girlfriends over for an afternoon of poolside fun. 

All you really need is some lemonade, Jolly Rancher® lollipops, napkins and some cups and you've got yourself a lemonade and lollipop stand.

However, in order to make things super cute there were a few special little details I incorporated to make the stand extra adorable for guests and to really showcase the Pink Lemonade flavored Jolly Rancher® Lollipops:  a two-tier lollipop cakelollipop topped cupcakes,  crushed lollipop rimmed lemonade glasses, and lollipop stir sticks.

Do you love the Chalkboard Lemonade + Lollipops Sign? FREE DOWNLOAD HERE!
(dimensions are 21.5" x 9.5")

Of course the tiny bows used on the Jolly Rancher® lollipops were a cute way to finish off the cupcakes and tie in the color scheme of the lemonade and lollipop stand.

Tip: I  found it easier to tie the ribbons separately and then hot glue them onto the lollipop sticks.

This was a really "sweet" and fun concept to put together and is such a timeless theme.

If you are considering it for your next celebration, stay tuned for the DIY for the Jolly Rancher® Pink Lemonade Lollipop Cake as well as the how-to on the sugar- rimmed glasses.


Sending you all a cyber "clink" as I pretend to sip a glass of ice cold lemonade with you! Cheers!


This is the first Summer ever where I am completely without kids for a small period of time.
Ella is in Illinois with her dad for the next 5 days as they visit her grandparents.
Ema is leaving for Tennessee today with a friend and will be gone for 10 days.
Clara is 20 years old and has her own life and schedule.
So's just Hamilton and I at home together.
Kind of weird to have such an empty house.
But kind of nice to have some absolute quite time to myself.
Things might get a little crazy on Snap Chat with all of this free-time! *wink*
Not that things aren't already crazy at times over there.
Curious about the "crazy" side of me and my silly sense of humor?
Find me at: pnpflowers
#nojudgezone *wink*


Wednesday, July 6

MAKE iT | BLT Salad Recipe :: Southern Living

(the only photo I took of the salad was this one I posted on Snap Chat - follow me at: pnpflowers)

The 4th of July may be behind us but if you are looking for a great new salad to bring to your next potluck, Summer BBQ or workplace just might want to try this one!!

This BLT Salad is something I fixed for my family on 4th of July as part of our family reunion this year. And the platter was empty. *wink*

Besides, you really can't go wrong with homemade croutons, bacon, tomatoes and lettuce topped with a creamy buttermilk/parmesan dressing.

Looking for something paleo-friendly, dairy-free and gluten-free?
I created a Whole30-friendly version for myself as well.
Instructions are shown beneath the original recipe below. *wink*

So let's get right to the recipe(s), shall we?

(From Southern Living Magazine - June 2016 - pg. 151)

Serves 6 - I doubled the recipe for our family reunion

2 1/2 cups cubed white bread
3 TBSP butter, melted
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP. minced shallot
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup buttermilk - I used 1/2 cup milk plus 1 TBSP. white vinegar mixed together
3/4 mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. sugar
12 oz. romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. assorted fresh tomatoes, sliced - I used small vine ripe tomatoes
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
Flat-leaf parsley and torn basil leaves to garnish - I totally skipped this!

1. Preheat oven to 375º

2. Prepare Croutons: Toss together bread, melted butter, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Tip: I baked mine until I felt they were nice and crispy - I think I ended up doubling the bake time.
Also, I baked mine the night before and then put them in a Ziploc® bag overnight. The next morning they felt a little soft so I put them back in the oven at 400º for about 5 minutes to crisp them up again. Then I decided to leave the Ziploc® bag unzipped to keep them from softening again.

3. Prepare Dressing: Combine shallot and vinegar in a medium mixing bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in buttermilk and next 5 ingredients.

4. Make Salad: Arrange romaine lettuce hearts onto a serving platter. Top with sliced tomatoes and chopped bacon, and drizzle with 3 TBSP of dressing. Add croutons, parsley and basil. Serve immediately with remaining dressing on the side.

••••••••••••••• WHOLE30 - FRIENDLY VERSION BELOW ••••••••••••••• 

(Adapted from Southern Living Magazine - June 2016 - pg. 151)

1 TBSP. minced shallot
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup buttermilk - I used 1/2 cup unsweetened whole30-approved coconut milk plus 1 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
1 cup mayonnaise - I made THIS mayo
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. apple juice
12 oz. romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. assorted fresh tomatoes, sliced - I used small vine ripe tomatoes
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped - whole30-approved brands
Flat-leaf parsley and torn basil leaves to garnish - I totally skipped this!

1. Prepare Dressing: Combine shallot and vinegar in a medium mixing bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in buttermilk and next 5 ingredients.

2. Make Salad: Arrange romaine lettuce hearts onto a serving platter. Top with sliced tomatoes and chopped bacon, and drizzle with 3 TBSP of dressing. Add parsley and basil. Serve immediately with remaining dressing on the side.


I always love finding new recipes to try for large gatherings and I was really happy with the way this salad turned out. As was everyone else.

I hope you'll try it my friends!!


I was up until midnight on the 3rd, making this salad and two different desserts.
But it was all worth it.
I hope you all had a fantastic 4th of July weekend!!
I spent mine celebrating with my entire family at our Family Reunion at the Encore Club at Reunion Resort, here in Orlando. It was so awesome to see everyone and soak in the sun for a few days together. I'll be posting a few pics soon!


Monday, June 27

FREE | Let Me Look Upward :: 8x10 Art Print

To me, nothing says Summer more than sleeping in, slowing down and sitting on a blanket beneath a canopy of old oak trees.

Just as the quote says, I actually have been "looking up into the branches of the towering oak trees" and being a bit more reflective as of late. Most of the time it's when I walk our dog in the morning when the world is just stretching its arms out and opening its eyes.

Needless to say, when I came across this quote the other day, it seemed so perfect for where I'm at right now in life.

I'm not in a rush. (as often)
I say no to things. (much more often than I used to)
I don't feel so guilty about saying no. (most of the time)
I take more time to look into my kids' eyes when they are sharing something with me, or I with them.
I do more listening. (when I'm not talking) *wink*
And mostly...I've cut many of the ropes of self-expectations that have bound me tightly for most of my life.

It feels oh so good and it's pretty amazing the difference these changes have made.

I love the line in the quote that says "send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values."
I've always said I want to "live a life that has an organic authenticity with an heirloom quality to it."
When I find myself getting lost...or feeling distant from the values that live deep in my heart, it seems the majestic oak trees always have a way of calling me back to the place I am meant to be.

So yes, I immediately felt a connection with this quote from an unknown author as soon as I read it. I loved it enough to take time to create a simple art print using it.

If you share my love for oak trees too or just love the message in this art print I designed, grab the FREE 8x10 DOWNLOAD HERE!

I hope you all have been having a wonderful Summer!
And most importantly...I hope you've been finding ways to slow down.


I've been spending A LOT of time on Snapchat over the last couple of months, sharing my sense of humor. I have to say I'm so glad a friend of mine twisted my arm on several occasions begging me to get on there because I just LOVE it. I rarely get to share that side of me here on the blog...or with people in general...and it's just been a fun, laid-back way to tap into my silly side. If you are on there too, you can find me by searching: pnpflowers

I'll be posting more about WHY I love Snapchat along with a couple of videos I've posted on there too...just to give you a glimpse into what you are missing out on. *eye rolling with a wink*

P.S.  Super excited about our Family Reunion coming up this weekend!
My family tries to have them every 18 months and I've been missing them.


Tuesday, June 14

STYLING | Kisses + Confetti Baby Gender Reveal Party :: Hershey's

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I've been working behind the scenes on some exciting projects for a fabulous company...Hershey's!!  This brand has been a long-time favorite of I'm sure it has been for most of you as well!!

I'm not sure what your Hershey's favorites are but my love of peanut butter and chocolate developed early on as a kid thanks to my first two-pack of original Reese's cups. They are still a favorite of mine to this day. 

I've since developed an addiction for those delicious Hershey's Nuggets - specifically the toffee and almond combination. Oh my YUM!! I use them as part of my entertaining or celebrations whenever I can. Remember the custom watercolor wrapped nuggets I created for Clara's graduation party a couple of years ago?

With all of that said, you might say when Hershey's approached me about coming up with a few creative party ideas to help promote their newly released line of color foiled chocolates, I was ecstatic. I was obviously excited about working with one of my favorite candy companies, but even more excited about all of the color foil options now available to make party planning and dessert table styling even more fun!!

Today, I'm  happy to be sharing the first of three party ideas...

Kisses and Confetti Baby Gender Reveal

Baby Gender Reveal Parties have become really popular over the last few years with more and more expectant parents choosing to find out the sex of their baby in front of an intimate gathering of friends and family. (or expectant parents that already know the sex of the baby who then choose to turn the big announcement into an interactive, suspense-filled celebration for close family members and friends, again, using a creative reveal).

The "Kisses and Confetti" theme I chose for this gender reveal made the desserts, styling and reveal ideas extra fun since I was able to integrate Hershey's Chocolate Kisses and confetti thoughout all of the party details.

I decided on a Pink + Mint Green color scheme versus the traditional pink and blue, and incorporated some touches of gold.

I whipped up a simple invitation to highlight the confetti and balloon reveal idea of the party. (I'll talk more about the balloon in a bit).

I chose to do a simple dessert table/voting station combination.  The extent of the desserts were chocolate kisses, of course, as well as yellow cake cupcakes with a classic buttercream frosting. I topped the cupcakes with pink and green sprinkles and finished them off with a single wrapped Hershey's kiss, in pink or light green foil. I think they're adorable and tie beautifully into the theme!

For the dessert table, I filled the front drawers of a dresser with pink, gold and green foiled Hershey's kisses!

I created a centerpiece on the table using a beautiful cake plate and some KISSES + CONFETTI POPPERS!

These actually have three potential purposes.
1. A darling centerpiece on the shown.
2. Favors for guests to take home.
3. A fun interactive "reveal" - guests pop them open simultaneously to reveal candy and confetti that corresponds to the sex of the baby.

See the full DIY Kisses + Confetti Poppers to see how easy they are to put together!!

As part of the simple dessert table, I included a "voting station" for each guest to cast his/her vote as to what they believe the sex of the baby to be. (just pick a mint green or pink hershey kiss and drop it into the corresponding glass carafe at the back edge of the table).   I created a quick DIY label holder using an individual Hershey's kiss. I just attached my label to a wooden skewer using a glue dot and stuck it right into the chocolate kiss. It worked beautifully and it's really cute...and simple.

I decided it would be fun to fill a giant black balloon with confetti and kisses to be used as part of the party decor, but also, to pop in front of guests to reveal the sex of the baby.

See the DIY for the Kisses + Confetti Balloon right here and to see a video of the balloon popping!

Such a cute idea, right? I just love it!!  I especially love that this theme can be used for a variety of celebrations - not just a baby gender reveal. Think bridal showers, Sweet Sixteen, graduations, birthday parties, baby showers and more.

Grab these FREE Kisses and Confetti Tags + Labels to use at YOUR "Kisses + Confetti" themed baby gender reveal!!

All of the cute party decor you see in this post came from Paper Crush!

My friend, Holly, owner of Paper Crush, has an online party store and just recently opened a brick + mortar as well! I'm so excited for her and hope you'll show her some love and support by using her pretty party products for your next celebration!

FREE Kisses + Confetti Tags + Labels - Pen + Paper Flowers
Kisses + Confetti Invitation - Pen + Paper Flowers
Blush Pink Paper Fans - Paper Crush
Gold Paper Fans - Paper Crush
Mint Paper Fans - Paper Crush
36" Black Balloon - Paper Crush mine was empty and I filled it with confetti + kisses *wink*
Balloon Tissue Tassels - Coral, Mint, Ivory + Gold - Paper Crush
Rectangle Confetti - Blush, Mint + Ivory- Paper Crush
Large Ivory Ruffle Cake Stand - Paper Crush - couldn't find the direct link to this one
2 Small Ivory Ruffle Cupcake Stands - Paper Crush
Light Green Foil Hershey's  Kisses - Hershey's
Pink Foil Hershey's Kisses - Hershey's
Gold Foiled Hershey's Kisses - Hershey's
Cupcakes - Cupcake Delights
Plastic Push Pops with Lids - Hobby Lobby
Gold Polka Dot Tissue Paper - Hobby Lobby - couldn't find it online to provide you with a link. *boo*


I wasn't kidding when I said the original Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were what kicked off my addiction for peanut butter and chocolate. You would've never known that in 9th grade, at 14 years old and barely 97lbs, my daily school lunches consisted of a pack of Reese's Cups, a bag of Cheetos and a carton of chocolate milk. *blushing*


DIY | Kisses + Confetti filled Giant Balloon

Filling a 36" balloon with confetti and chocolate Hershey kisses might seem intimidating at first, but the process is actually super simple.

It's also the perfect element of surprise for any celebration...perhaps a NEW PARTY TREND to replace the classic piñata? I like to call this a balloon piñata!

However, this giant balloon filled with confetti and kisses is especially appropriate for baby gender reveals, like this "Kisses + Confetti" themed baby gender reveal I styled for Hershey's. 

Simply fill it with coordinating colored confetti and the new color foiled Hershey's kisses and pop it at your party in front of guests to reveal the sex of the expectant baby.

Materials Needed:
1 - 36" black balloon (black because it helps hide the contents inside)
Confetti - approximately 1 or 2 cups (or more - depending on how much of a mess you want to clean up) *wink*
Hershey's Kisses - I used about 25 Hershey kisses but could've used even more without compromising the weight of the balloon.
Funnel - to easily add the confetti to the balloon
Tissue Tassels - OPTIONAL - to tie onto the string of the balloon.

1. Fill the balloon with confetti using the funnel.
2. Add the Hershey's Kisses one-by-one. The opening in the balloon is plenty big enough for the kisses to drop right in.
3. Take the balloon to your local party store to have it filled with helium. (I actually went to the floral department of my local grocery store and they did it for me).
4. Add your tissue tassels once you arrive home.

1. You will need at least two large balloon weights to keep the balloon from floating away.
2. Be sure the vehicle you are driving is large enough to transport the balloon once it has been filled with helium.

When it comes time to pop it open in front of your guests, hold it up high, away from your face, (and away from the crowd), and use a sharp object to poke it. I gave my daughter a sharp wooden skewer but a pin or needle would work too.

Want to see what it looks like when it pops?
See the COLOR VERSION of the balloon popping.

So cool.
And so fun!!

I hope you love it and will try it for your next celebration.


I wasn't sure what to expect when we popped it, as far as how loud the pop would be and whether or not the hershey kisses would fly out in all directions. But as you can see from the video, the kisses simply fell to the ground while the confetti floated through the air. It was perfect and the noise wasn't  nearly as loud as I'd expected.

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