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{press} Adore Home Magazine & Sharnel Dollar Designs

Monday, January 31

A few weeks back, I was contacted by one of my very favorite party gals from "down under"...Sharnel Dollar Designs.
Just to give you a little background on Sharnel...

I believe I first "met" Sharnel after she left a comment on my blog.
I'd posted details of Ella's first birthday and sited Sharnel in the inspiration board I created for the party...
and that's how the "blogaffair" began...*wink*

Sharnel lives in Brisbane, Australia...
She started a cake/cupcake making business...The Cupcake Company
This evolved into an event planning/styling business through the gorgeous parties she's hosted for her two children...
and she now has on online store where you can purchase fabulous party decor.

She was the one who recently designed & styled the gorgeous surprise baby shower featured on
THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW!!! (see the video here)!

But before her ascent to fame...*wink*
Sharnel has been setting a standard for dessert tables and parties for some time now.

She's been featured on Amy Atlas Events, mentioned as one of "Australia's dessert table talents" on Amy Atlas Events, she even MET Amy Atlas. She's also been published in Peekaboo Magazine here, here &  here.

and her dessert table styling is simply gorgeous!!
Check out some other parties she's styled & hosted...
coastal chic dessert table
williams 4th birthday
camilla's birthday (chocolate & turquoise)
enchanted woodlands party

Gorgeous, right!?
As you might expect, I was thrilled when Sharnel contacted me looking for a silhouette of a queen to be used in conjunction with a photo shoot she was preparing for.

Clueless as to the details of the photo shoot or what Sharnel would be doing with the silhouette...
and who cares because it's SHARNEL...*wink*

this is what I came up with and sent over...

If you follow me on facebook, you may remember me posting this)





the silhouette I designed was used in the creation of edible cupcake toppers...





And here's an actual page (page 100) from the magazine with the photo of the cupcakes... 

I was so happy when Sharnel shared the photos with me!
Everything turned out absolutely beautiful!!

The gorgeous flower arrangements from Green and Bloom Weddings...
The scones, melting moments and macarons from Bubble & Sweet
and the lovely photography from Naomi V were elements that helped add those extra special touches
that helped bring Sharnel's vision to life.

I highly encourage you to take a peek at the article! (starts on page 96)
The delicious recipes are included for the gorgeous goodies featured in the styling. 
• orange poppy seed cake (mmmm...looks delish)
• passionfruit curd tartlets (adorable)
• raspberry melting moments (the name alone makes me weak in the knees)
• lemonade scones (very curious about these)
• pomegranate pimms (sounds delightful)
• french macarons (definitely trying these)!!!
and of course...the cupcakes!!
Those of you planning your tea parties should certainly bookmark this article!!

But definitely take some time to peruse the rest of the Adore Home magazine because it's filled with treasures.

Thank you so much to my sweet blogging/party friend Sharnel!!
I was honored to play a teeny-tiny part in the brilliant outcome of this "High Tea fit for a Queen"!!!

For those of you who are in love with Sharnel's talents...
here are some links to feed your addiction:

I was finishing this silhouette that same weekend...even with a 102° fever.
Sharnel was SO sweet to send me the pictures immediately following the magazine shoot to help brighten my spirits.
I was so happy to pull my head out of the covers and see how beautiful everything turned out! *wink*

Reminder....we're starting our "promise ME" journey tomorrow...
I. can't. wait!!!!
Got your list finished?


Friday, January 28

Do you ever just feel frozen?
An entire list of things to do...
clueless as to where to start?

Today's that day for me.
I seriously have TONS of things to do.
My mind is all over the place with so many creative projects, design work, ideas, tasks, to-do's, phone calls, emails, etc.
And just about everything on my list excites me - which makes it that much more difficult to focus.

So here I sit.
But it's really not acceptable to be "frozen" around here.
I've got much too much to do.

Remembering my 2011 mantra: "Make it HAPPEN"...

I decided I needed some "thawing out"...
Which led me to my "focus" word for 2011:


Aren't these colors absolutely reFRESHiNG!!!
Creating something as simple as this has made such a difference in my day.
I hope it puts a smile on your face and gets you geared up for some serious productivity today and throughout your weekend!

Remember to be working on/finishing up your "promise ME" list. (get your FREE download here)
We'll be kicking off our adventure together on Tuesday!!!

Other exciting news...
The winner of the Origami Delights giveaway has been been officially announced.
Go HERE to see if it was you!!!

Enjoy your weekend everyone...
and remember to keep it FRESH!!!

Yesterday I was a bit frozen too - with the amount of design work I'm working on. (15 different custom designs right now). WHAT!?
So I decided to "thaw out" yesterday by painting with Ella.
We spread an old sheet on the floor and started painting some of the things I'll be sharing with you next week.
You're going to LOVE this clever idea I have to jump start your Valentine's Day decor!
Super easy and will translate into a year-round home decor item too! SMART!!!

{real parties} ABC Baby Shower - Jamie McManus

Thursday, January 27

Party Girl: Jamie
Celebration Type: Baby Shower
Theme: ABC's
Inspiration: the baby's nursery bedding & theme
Color Palette: blue, red, green, orange, gray, brown

Jamie is the daughter of a WONDERFUL customer of mine named Gaye.
You may remember the giraffe themed baby shower Gaye hosted for Jamie herself a few months back? was Jamie's turn to host a baby shower for a friend of hers.
Using the color palette in the baby's nursery, an invite sample Jamie liked and this photo...

the ABC wall being created in the baby's nursery

We came up with this invitation:

I ADORE how it turned out.
And I LOVE how we incorporated EMERSON'S name (which I love that name btw), into the invitation to personalize it even more.
One of my favorite things to do when planning a baby shower is to pull inspiration from the baby's nursery.
Not only do you end up with party elements that can be used in the nursery following the shower...(SMART)
but you also create a customized baby shower the mother-to-be will undoubtedly love...
since it's ultimately a theme she's picked out herself. (even SMARTER). *wink*

At the request of Jamie, we created this...

A Keepsake Art Print used as part of the shower decor
& later incorporated into the nursery decor (SMART)

With all of the party elements designed...
my part was over.
The rest was up to Jamie and Gaye.
Take a peek at the photos they sent in...

A is for ADORABLE diaper cake created by Gaye & Jamie

D is for DARLING little homemade banner created with personalized onesies

C is for CUTE CUPCAKE toppers


T is for TABLE labels

F is for FANTASTIC food table

W is for WAY cute WATER bottle WRAPS

I is for INVITATION framed and used as part of the shower decor

K is for KEEPSAKE art print matted and framed - LOVE!!!

Can you say F for FABULOUS?
I think Jamie and Gaye did an outstanding job of pulling off this adorable ABC themed baby shower.

H is for HIGLIGHTS I love...
• personalized onesie banner
• personalized diaper cake
• the use of ABC blocks as shower decor
• the creative table labels (H is for HASHBROWN casserole, etc.)
• the adorable polka dot napkins on the food table
• the coordinating mini suitcases used in the shower decor

A very BIG thank you to Jamie & Gaye for calling on me to help bring their vision to life.
And for coming back to share photos of how everything turned out!

T is for THURSDAY...
which reminds me that today is the last day to enter the Origami Delights giveaway!!
Winner to be announced tomorrow!! Good luck everyone.

H is for you all

Things don't always go smoothly when designing a new collection.
When Jamie & Gaye started printing the invitations, we had to revise the colors to suite her printer.
And although I originally created an 8x10 keepsake art print...
it ended up needing to be resized at the last minute because it would've made the art print too big using a matte.
But at the end of the day...Jamie & Gaye were quite patient with me as we tweaked this collection and we were all very happy with the end results!!

{inspiration} sweetapolita

Tuesday, January 25

I absolutely adore the beautiful, sugary-sweet creations by Rosie from Sweetapolita.

Take for instance this gorgeous neopolitan cake she created...

I believe this matches perfectly with my
don't you agree??

I think it'd make for a FABULOUS Valentine's Day dessert!!!
In fact...eversince seeing this cake...
my mind has been spinning with some fabulous creative ideas!!
(She's even included the recipe and how-to if you're feeling inspired to attempt to recreate this).

But Rosie's creativity goes far beyond this neopolitan cake...
Check out her Flickr stream to see even more beautiful images...
Trust'll be completely inspired.

And for even more inspiration...

Hope this added some sunshine to your day.
I know I needed it this morning following the rain and storms lastnight here in Florida.

I REALLY want to make this cake.
But then do I REALLY need this sugary temptation sitting around the house begging for me to consume it?
(Because I will).
And I'll more than likely eat it all myself.
My family is so used to me saying, "You can't have any until after the photo shoot"...
And I can pretty much keep them at bay with that excuse until the entire cake has been consumed. *wink*

{promise ME} FREE printable checklist

Good Tuesday morning everyone...
Still working on my list...


And as's the FREE download I've been promising for those of you working hard on your own list for the year-long adventure we'll be embarking on starting next Tuesday.

I wanted you to have ample room to right down each goal.
So this list only contains 12 lines...
Feel free to print more than one page if your list contains more than 12 "promises".
And don't you LOVE the little circles I added to check the items off as we complete them!!

I'm so completely loving the cute "promise ME" logo I created for us!
I can see this on so many things...
• t-shirts
• buttons
• art prints
• note pads

What else do you envision this on?
Send me your ideas!!
There COULD be a prize to the most creative idea submitted.

My promise to try a Cannelle et Vanille recipe once a week has proved to be quite interesting.
Lastnight's dinner was unforgettable...
and not so much in a good way.
Details coming soon!

{promise ME} logo

Monday, January 24

I'm gearing up for a GREAT week ahead.
Feeling energized, motivated and ready to make things happen!!!

For those of you who are planning on joining me in the "promise ME" journey...(details here)
here's the logo I designed for us....


SO cute, isn't it!?
The colors included are all from Pantone's 2011 Spring Fashion color report.
I'll be creating pieces of art...
blog buttons/badges...
and some fun things along the way.

Look for the free downloadable blank "promise ME" list tomorrow.
In the meantime...finish up your "rough draft" list.
We've got the rest of the week to finish this up.
Come Tuesday...
February 1st...
our year-long adventure of enrichment begins!!!

Hugs to each of you - wishing you ALL a very productive week.

Don't forget to enter the Origami Delights giveaway...
you could score some SUPER CUTE Valentine's Day goodies
Contest ends Thursday!!

It's so much easier to be motivated when everyone in the house if feeling much better, isn't it? *wink*
I'm SO grateful we are all on our way back to being 100%.

{sweet treat} Origami Delights

Friday, January 21

UPDATED 1/28/2011 - Winner Announced!!
(winner picked using

#16 - Judith
(email me:

Congratulations on winning the Sweetberry Love collection
origami stars and fortune cookies from Origami Delights!!!
Thank you EVERYONE who entered!!!
LOVED the quotes sent in and your fabulous feedback!!!
And especially thank you to Nedra from Origami Delights for hosting this FAB giveaway!!!

I want to introduce you to a FUN little shoppe on Etsy called Origami Delights.

Remember the "Love you to the Moon" baby shower that ended up being featured on Amy Atlas Events?

We used ADORABLE custom printed origami stars from Origami Delights as part of the shower decor.
Printed with the baby's name, these made a SWEET personalized addition to the shower details.

The products in the Origami Delights shoppe are simple little additions to any celebration.
And with the ability to personalize them, the uses are seemingly endless.

with Valentine's Day fast approaching...
it was time for a collaboration between Origami Delights and Pen N' Paperflowers.
Using the "Sweetberry Love" Valentine's Day collection I released last week...
Here's what we came up with...


AND...these crazy adorable little lovelies....


You can do SO many things with these delightful little "love notes"...

• secretly leave some behind on the kitchen table when leaving from visiting family/friends
• leave one behind on your little one's pillow
• pack some up in your child's lunch box
• have your child leave one or two behind for his/her teacher
• sneak one onto the seat of your spouse's car before they leave for work
• hide one in the medicine cabinet
• use these as a substitute for valentine's day candy (your child's teacher will LOVE you). *wink*
• leave these behind on the desks of your co-workers
• put one in the mailbox for your mail carrier

Get creative and make a game of it.
And get your kids involved too.

Ridiculously cute, right?
Well how about a ridiculously fun giveaway too!!

and a set of 50 "Sweetberry Love" origami stars to ONE LUCKY winner!!!

Here's what you do to enter up to FOUR different times to win:
• "Like" Origami Delights on Facebook and tell Nedra I sent you (leave a comment here saying you did this)
• take a peek at the Origami Delights shoppe and tell me what your favorite item is AND what part of New York Nedra is from. (leave the comments here)
• Leave your favorite quote about LOVE or a Valentine message you'd like to see in a fortune cookie. (comment here)
• "Like" Pen N' Paperflowers on Facebook (leave a comment that you are a fan)

Contest starts today.
Contest ends Thursday, January 27th.
Winner will be selected using a random number generator & announced Friday, January 28th.

Thank you Origami Delights for the FABULOUS giveaway...
I have a sneaking suspicion your products will be popping up in various ways all over the dessert table & party world!!

I look forward to reading everyone's comments...
and I hope these darling little creations from Origami Delights has fueled your fire to create a super sweet Valentine's Day for those you love and care about!!

And don't forget...
Today is the last day to receive 50% off any of the THREE Valentine's Day Collections in my shoppe!
Just use this COUPON CODE at checkout: LOVE2011

Sweetberry Love, Razzberry Love and Skater Love collections

I'm so crazy-busy getting caught up on orders I can barely keep my mind straight.
And would you believe:
Clara developed another fever two days ago, along with a cough.
Ema has developed a very painful sore throat.
J came home yesterday with flu symptoms he'd been fighting.
Guess we're all taking turns...
Grateful I'm feeling well enough to tend to everyone else.
And I'll be even more grateful when this cycle of illness is over.


Thursday, January 20

Along with the "Promise ME" list I'm finishing up...
I've come up with a FOCUS WORD
as well as a MANTRA for 2011.

my 2011 focus word...

This word is SO perfect for the things I want to focus on in 2011.
Fresh ideas, fresh color palettes, fresh food, fresh outlook, fresh start...and so much more!!

my 2011 mantra

This is one of the many adages J is constantly spouting off around here.
He is relentless at times about spreading positive energy in our home...
and he does it through always having a positive attitude...
and through what I like to call his "signature phrases".
There's REAL power behind "silly" little slogans like this.
I get fired up when I say this to myself.
And it applies to ANYTHING...
• eating right
• getting a project done
• even just gearing up to make dinner at the end of the day

So how about you?
Have you got your own "Promise ME" list complete?
Not yet?
Get it sketched out...I have a fun printable list coming for you to transfer your ideas to.
How about selecting your own focus word and mantra for 2011 too...
Think about it.

Or better yet...
"Make it happen"!! *wink*

I've got 31 things on my list so far.
I think I was almost at 40 last year.
Thinking 40 items is plenty to keep me busy...*wink*

no itinerary needed...

Wednesday, January 19


I recently signed up to receive daily inspirational emails from "The Brave Girls Club".
It was something mentioned on Rhonna Farrer's site and I was intrigued.

I've been enjoying the daily thoughts and have actually been forwarding them to my two daughters, Clara and Ema.
(and I've been sending them to my mom as well).

Today's message about "enjoying the journey" couldn't have been more perfect for me to hear.
It's not something new.
In fact, it's something I really try to do in my life.
However, I always need reminding....
and I was certainly reminded today.
And I'm thankful.

Perhaps it's something some of you may need to hear as well...

Ironic it was entitled "traveling girl" and ended with "enjoy your flight"...
It's no secret I was certainly disappointed to have missed the opportunity to actually BE a traveling girl this week.
And I certainly didn't enjoy canceling my flight to NYC.
However...what seemed like a "useless detour"...
led me to the REdiscovery of how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many AMAZING people! (Family, friends, followers and fans).
The messages I've been receiving of people just reaching out...
wishing me well...
feeling my pain/heartache/disappointment...
It. has. been. completely inspiring.

THANK YOU...from the bottom of my heart.
And thank you "Brave Girls Club" for today's message.
I am trusting that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be...
doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing...
and that I'll be led to my next destination tomorrow! *wink*
And this applies to each of us!!!

Let's travel light everyone!!!

My hopes of a normal week?
I don't anticipate that any time soon.
I'm not even sure there IS such a thing.
and that's okay.

For me...aside from an ongoing nagging cough...
the "Flu Fog" has officially lifted.
Ella's runny nose and weepy eyes are almost completely gone.
Moving forward...

NYC...a dream

Monday, January 17


January 18th and 19th marks the 2011 Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers Event...
the event I've been dreaming of ever since I found out I would be one of the lucky ones to attend.

Highlights of the event include:
• My first trip to NYC ever.
• A Meet & Greet Monday night with all of the Dreamers
• Dinner at Pastis late Monday night with all of the "Party Girls"
• Mingling and meeting face-to-face with all of the super talented women I've become friends with through the blog world. (TomKat Studio, Pizzazzerie, Fresh Chick Designs, The Celebration Shoppe, and SO. MANY. MORE.)
• Two days of amazing workshops sponsored by MSLO.
• Fabulous guest speakers including THE Martha Stewart.
• Attending a live taping of the Martha Stewart Show.
• "Slumber party-style" late night chats with the party girls.
• cheesecake with Kim from the TomKat Studio.

You've no idea how much I want to be sending each of you a card like the one pictured above.
You've NO idea how much I want to be the hero today and tell you I beat the flu symptoms...
that I didn't have to cancel my flight out today...
and that I'll be in New York over the next 3 days attending this amazing event.

To my disbelief...
here I sit.
I should be fighting cold NYC temperatures...
Instead, I've been up against temperatures of 102°.
The Ugg boots I should be wearing have been replaced with warm fuzzy socks.
My neck and chest are wrapped in Unker's instead of winter scarves.
The winter coat I should've been wearing in NYC is instead made up of 4 layers of blankets.
The cute business cards I had planned on "handing" out have been substituted for "hand-santitizer" and my "hand" constantly reaching for the box of tissues.
And that cheesecake I should be eating with Kim?
Cans of chicken noodle soup have taken its place.

I've cried.
Many tears in fact.
And I know when my head is even more clear the reality of having missed out on this opportunity will surely sink in and bring with it even more tears.

as much as it was going to be a dream to be in NYC for such a FUN, exciting event & opportunity.
It will continue to be just a dream...
for now.

So today...
I'm crawling back into bed...
Pulling the covers back over my head...
Cursing the flu bug that ultimately sabotaged the event of the year I should've been at...

Please stay healthy everyone...

hardest post I've ever had to write yet.
I don't like to feel or admit defeat.

Good news?
Aside from the runny nose and weepy eyes, Ella seems to be feeling better.
Hoping J and Ema are able to escape being bitten by the flu bug.
Doctor said the cases have tripled around here in the last 2 weeks.

{collections} Valentine's Day 2011 and not what I expected...

Friday, January 14

Remember earlier this week when I made the comment that I was looking forward to my first "normal" week of 2011?
(The first week was spent caring for my daughter Clara who came down with the flu)?

let me just say things have not been what I expected.
Everything was going good on Monday.
And then things started to unravel.
Some news Tuesday morning left me wondering if my trip to New York for the Martha Stewart event would even happen.
It seemed the clouds were lifting a little throughout the day Wednesday...
And then...
although I've been doing everything in my power to keep the flu at bay from the rest of the family...
Taking extra vitamin C...
avoiding Clara as much as we could...*wink*
Lots of fluids...
Washing hands, etc.

Ella woke up yesterday not feeling 100%...
and after two episodes of projectile vomiting (sorry...keeping it real here)...
Most of the day was spent holding, loving and tending to my fever-laden two year old.

Today has been much of the same - without the vomiting...thank goodness.
And as much as I've been determined to stay away from the flu myself...
the pesky bug has been biting at my heels. grrrr!!!

Because I'm bound and determined to ignore the pesky flu-like symptoms that are buzzing around me...
(having full faith that Zicam repellent will squash the annoying pest)
I mustered up enough energy while Ella is napping...
to try to maintain some sense of "normal" around here.
My goal this week was to have my Valentine's Day Collection posted by Friday.
and it's Friday. (it may be 4:00 in the afternoon, but it's still technically Friday)...*wink*
flu-like symptoms or not...
and with all of the "normal" I can possibly scrounge up...

Sweetberry love, Razzberry love & Skater love

Each collection is made up of 3 files containing the Exchange Cards (shown above)
Coordinating peanut butter cup candy labels



as well as some treats tags to bundle up your coordinating candies...

I do hope you love them.
I did manage to get them posted in my shoppe too!
Collection has been posted here on the blog.
Collection has been placed into my shoppe.
Now all that's left to do is give you all
50% off the printables starting today until Friday, January 21st.
Use this COUPON CODE at check out: LOVE2011
(discount will automatically be applied at check out).

And tell your friends too!!
Be watching for a giveaway next week...
I can tell you the giveaway will include adorable items that not only coordinate PERFECTLY with my Valentine's Day collections, they will absolutely add a SWEET touch to your Valentine's day celebrations!!

Wishing you all a healthy weekend...

When J went to leave this morning, I'd crawled back into bed
and had my head under the covers sobbing like a baby.
He approached me and tried to lift the covers and asked, "Are you crying?"...
I immediately yelled out a defiant "NO!"...
I wasn't about to let the Flu Bug think he'd actually bitten me.
And I'm STILL going to continue to spray myself down with "Flu Bug Repellent..."

{in the studio} catch up...

Wednesday, January 12

While I'm finishing up the final touches on the Valentine's Day collection I'll be releasing...

coming soon....

I wanted to get you caught up on some customer-requested designs
that have been keeping me busy....

some BRAND NEW designs along with some RE-designs



There are two reasons I share my designs on my blog.
Obviously the first one is to self-promote/advertise the things in my shoppe.
But the second reason is to inspire you.
You might see a color scheme...
or a theme...
or even some wording on an invitation that happens to be just what you were needing.
You just never know.

I hope you all are doing well and keeping warm during this cold winter.
Enjoy your Wednesday...
I look forward to popping in again soon!

When I get a chance to breathe, I'll post these things in my shoppe.
In the meantime, if you are needing anything before then, just email me at:

Completely off topic...
I started a 3-day cleanse yesterday that I saw mentioned on the Today Show last Friday.
By lunch time I had eaten three mini cupcakes I was photographing.
I'm starting over today. *wink*
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