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sweet treats | Live-Inspired Everyday - Compendium products

Tuesday, July 26

Good Tuesday morning everyone...
I'm spreading a little SUMMER LOVE today by sharing the latest Live-Inspired products I received from Compendium...

find the one who makes your heart smile 2093

two book love book 2092

I received "Two" and "With Love"...
two gorgeous books...
perfect for that wedding gift you may be shopping for...
or the anniversary gift you're stumped over.
You know by now Compendium is my all-time favorite company for inspirational gifts...
I'm always so excited to see what new things they have available.
Keep reading for a few peeks at what's on the inside of both of these books...
and don't miss out on the 20% discount they're generously offering Pen N' Paperflowers readers and fans....

life | it's all about family

Monday, July 25

This week I will be consumed with preparations for our upcoming Family Reunion this weekend.
I am SO very excited to spend time with people I adore, miss and love dearly!!

My life over the past two months has been filled with a lot of this:

Boxes and boxes of photos to sort through and a dining table FiLLED to the hilt with memories captured on film

I was volunteered to put together the slideshow for our family reunion this year...
It's been quite a daunting task - let me tell you.
It's been inspiring as well...
The memories and emotions conjured up as I've sifted through a 1000+  photos...
well it's been overwhelming...
and inspiring at the same time.

Photo Editing...
Putting things in chronological order...
Scanning...(thanks Mom)
and more of the same.

Of course while we are enjoying our Family Reunion "Night at the Movies" on Saturday...
I immediately I wanted to put something special together for everyone.

Thus...a peek at the makings of the Popcorn Bar I volunteered to do...


I will do my best to check in this week...
keeping you in the loop on the progress of things.
(but there are no guarantees).

I'm still busy with orders from the shoppe
as well as The Pastry Pedestal on top of all of this.
Wish me luck...*wink*

Here's to a wonderful week ahead everyone!
(and yes...I still have some parties waiting to be shared)...

If I wasn't such a perfectionist...
and a people pleaser...
my life would be much more simple.
But you know what...
that's who I am...*wink*
Somehow I'm going to learn to embrace the chaos this week...
I hope my own family will be as willing to embrace it! *double wink*

recipes | strawberry cake

Thursday, July 21

With no time to blog today...
I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email this afternooon...
requesting the strawberry recipe I used for these mini cakes I posted back in February.


I've been so busy the last couple of months...
baking has seemed like a luxury...
whereas it used to be something I could do on a weekly basis.
The recipe request actually let me breathe for a few minutes...
dream about baking for a little bit...
and then I whipped up this recipe to post here for all to see and have.

It's a simple recipe...
(not claiming it's healthy in any way - except for the strawberries)
but it's very delicious.

                                                                       downloadable version here  


Feeling the need for a blog "facelift"...
I'll add it to my to-do list! *wink*
And I'm really glad to be able to squeeze in a simple little post
in between the "marathon of parties" I've been posting.
Feels good.

Pssst....I'm on day 6 of my "promise ME" goal #7

real parties | Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Kristin Mika

Wednesday, July 20

Zoo Wee Mama!!!
What could be better, (especially during the hot summer)...
than hosting a birthday party centered completely around watching a fun movie together...



Party Host: Kristin Mika
Celebration Type: 8th Birthday Party
Party Theme: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Inspiration: Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series and movie
Color Palette: Bright orange, green, red and yellow
Party Style: Modern • Fun

Kristin Mika of Hampton Paper Designs created a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie night for her son's 8th birthday.
The fun vibrant color palette used throughout every little detail of this fabulous party caught the attention of party guests right away.
Met at the door with a "cheese touch" walkway, guests were led to the basement where the party fun began.
Read on for more fabulous details about this adorable party...

real parties | Summertime Birthday - Renee Zempel

Tuesday, July 19

Welcome back to another week-long series of "marathon of real parties"...
(and's Tuesday so we're getting a late start but the wait is SO worth it...)

This "Summertime Birthday" party is sure to delight your senses with all of the FUN colors, fabric bunting and
whimsical desserts showcased throughout...


Party Host: Renee Zempel of Sweet Art
Celebration Type: Combined Birthday Party
Party Theme: Summertime Birthday Party
Inspiration: Boo-Bah Blue fabric bunting
Color Palette: A gorgeous mix of bright and bold colors
Party Style: Modern • Whimsical

I'm seeing a lot of "Combined Birthday Parties" lately and this one put together by Renee Zempel of Sweet Art turned out absolutely adorable!  The vivid colors in this party SCREAM summer fun. Renee had the honor of styling a party for three family members whose birthdays fall close to each other.  It was important to keep the party not only gender-neutral but age appropriate for all three birthday honorees.  She pulled it off perfectly!! I adore all of the fabric bunting used throughout the party details and the dessert table was truly a whimsical work of art! Keep reading for all of the fantastic details. I'm certain you'll be absolutely inspired for your next event/celebration....

the Pastry Pedestal™ | TomKat Studio Giveaway

Friday, July 15

So excited to share with you The Pastry Pedestal™...
featured today by Kim from The TomKat Studio.
She used them as part of a photo shoot for launching her new Cotton Candy Collection to be featured on HGTV.

The entire shoot turned out adorable!!

The best part of the whole feature? (besides how adorable everything turned out...*wink*)...
You've got a chance to win the entire collection of party items/accessories used to put the shoot together!
This means items from 9 different vendors...
including your own Starter Kit for The Pastry Pedestal™!!

You've got until Thursday, July 21st to enter to win.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

The "marathon of real parties" will continue next week.
If you happened to miss any this week, here are the links:

Feeling really grateful for the positive feedback about The Pastry Pedestal™.
Did you know the Amy Atlas Pastry Pedestal ™ giveaway last week had over 600 comments?
SO completely excited to be spreading the word and getting these into so many different
people's hands.

Thank you for all of your support everyone.
Be watching for a CRAZY giveaway coming soon...

real parties | Construction Party - Amy Snyder

Thursday, July 14

We're gettin' down and dirty with this featured "real party" today submitted by Amy Snyder of Fun Baby Shower Ideas.
I can't think of a more fitting party theme for a little guy (or girl) who's obsessed with construction vehicles, loud noises and playing in the dirt.

I am LOVING the way she used The Pastry Pedestal™  to display birthday cupcakes in the back of this dumptruck.
You'll love the rest of the party details Amy put together for her son's birthday party!!
Think chocolate donut truck tires, construction hat decorating station, edible traffic cones, and more...

real parties | "Fun in the Sun" First Birthday - Stephanie Campagna

Tuesday, July 12

Continuing with the marathon of "real parties" this week...
check out this "Fun in the Sun" first birthday party...

The color palette and beautiful photos will have you melting as you look through all of the fun details...


Real Parties | It's Our Birthday - Renee Funk

Monday, July 11

It's Monday...
and as promised...
it's time to get the "marathon of real parties" going this week....

Let's get right to the very first feature...

What do you do when you have the unique experience of having two children
who share the same EXACT birth day...4 years apart from each other? 

sweet treats | Amy Atlas giveaway - The Pastry Pedestal™

Friday, July 8

Okay all you party people!!
If you have been eyeing The Pastry Pedestal™ but haven't made your purchase yet...
Here's an opportunity to WIN one.

Amy Atlas is featuring a giveaway for FIVE lucky people to win The Pastry Pedestal™ starter kit.
She'll be picking the winners on July 12th so hurry on over and enter to win your very own set.

Have you seen the latest creative styling options??

Look at what Chris with Celebrations at Home used them for! HOW adorable!!!

And Lydia from The Party Wagon got super creative using mini clay pots for displaying some fresh fruit!!
(So cute for a garden birthday party, bridal or baby shower)!!

The creative possibilites really are endless!
Good luck to everyone who decides to enter to win!!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!

Pssst....all of you "promise ME" peeps...
How are you coming along on reaching your goals?
I'm doing rather well on several of mine -
I'll be needing to kick things up a notch here soon!

Sending out a tremendous THANK YOU to all of you Aussie party girls!
Your orders for The Pastry Pedestal™ are keeping me super busy!
There are seriously talented event planners from Australia...
who are beyond creatively talented with their dessert tables!
Completely humbled to have an overwhelming amount of interest in my little ole invention!

coming up | real parties "marathon"

Thursday, July 7

I'm working hard on putting together a plethora of "Real Party" features that have been submitted to me.
You are going to LOVE them all.
I can't wait to share them with you.

Since there are so many, I've decided to do a "marathon of Real Parties" starting Monday of next week.

I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of just four of the completely different parties you can expect to be inspired by...

I hope you all are enjoying your summer.
It's been a real scorcher here in Florida.
I'm really trying to take advantage of the extra time with my girls.
Clara is gone this week at a church retreat just for teens...
Then both Clara and Ema will be gone all of next week for a church girls camp.
The time is flying by too quickly!
I'm trying to make every moment count - how about you?!

Not only is design work and The Pastry Pedestal™ keeping me busy...
I've got a family reunion coming up at the end of this month that I'm very excited about!
I've been put in charge of putting a family photo slideshow together...BIG undertaking with such a large family.
Photos dating back from the early 40's to present day. Yikes!!

holiday | Fourth of July 2011

Tuesday, July 5

Good Tuesday morning everyone!!
I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend...

I enjoyed celebrating with friends, family and neighbors...
I am so grateful for the beautiful country we live in...
and especially grateful for the men and women who sacrifice so much for our freedom.

Here are a few photos from the weekend:

little miss ella scarlet

A bouquet of festive Pastry Pedestals™ .
I drilled a hole in the bottom of plastic shot glasses, filled them with mini m&m candies,
placed a mini reese cup on top of the candies and covered them with a mini cupcake wrapper.
The paper lids were held in place by piercing a fabric tied toothpick
into the reese cup hidden beneath the wrapper.
(These were created for a BBQ we went to with friends on Saturday - thanks Cooley family - it was a blast)



Neighborhood 4th of July Breakfast
The morning of the 4th, Ella and I attended a neighborhood breakfast which included a "bike" parade
for anyone who wanted to participate. (I pulled Ella in her wagon).

There was also an activity for the kids that involved filling small baskets with birdseed and hanging them on a tree.

Another patriotic bouquet of  Pastry Pedestals™
I reused The Pastry Pedestals™ from Saturday's BBQ
and topped them off with mini blueberry muffins for the neighborhood breakfast.
(The acrylic rounds protect the decorative paper...making them reusable - LOVE that)!!!

4th of July Survival Kit

I'm looking forward to a great week ahead.
I've got some fantastic "real" parties to share with you - sent in by fans/readers.

Speaking of parties...
Did you see the brand-new social site launched by Hostess with Mostess?
It went live on Friday...
You MUST go check it out!
It's a labor of love Jenn and her husband have been working on for the past two years.
It's a party sharing/inspirational site built on a facebook-type platform!
Go join the community and receive weekly party mail!!

I never got to use my survival kit.
With Grandma Debbie and Grandpa Wayne visiting all week...
Design deadlines...
and life...
I never got to finish it 100%.
Which worked out to my benefit anyway since we ended up skipping the fireworks show on Monday.
Saturday's BBQ ended with a fantastic fireworks display anyway - and honestly...
I had to sit in the car with Ella and watch with the windows rolled up because she was SO frightened by the noise.
By the end of it all, Clara and I had her convinced the fireworks were magic sparkles in the sky.
There was even lots of laughter and smiling from Ella when it was all said and done.
(But we still could not roll down the windows during the show). *wink*
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