polka dots and rainbows: a table design to celebrate summer

July 11, 2014 - Leave a Response

hello friends!

the sun is out, the beach is calling, the grill is hot and a familiar aroma of coppertone fills the air — it is officially summer!

perhaps it’s due to the colorful array of pool noodles lining the shelves nowadays, but i can’t help but equate these sunnier times with rainbow hues.  and if you’ve read any of my earlier posts, you know that polka dots accompany everything.  everything.

so when it came time to celebrate a whole year of my littlest one bringing all her joy to our family, i knew just how to adorn our table.  take a looksy below for inspiration on creating your own happy space, whether it be for a birthday, backyard bbq or just a cheerful change in decor!

rainbow kids birthday party table setting polka dots


what i used (i tried to put as many links as i could find online below — fyi: there are many spritz items only found in-store).  a big thanks to my mom for the close-up shots!
spritz “happy birthday” felt banner and polka dot tablecloth from target
– my own glassware (trifle bowl, cake plate, pitcher — all very gracious wedding gifts from crate & barrel)
– my own thin glass vase (saved from a “congrats” bouquet when this little one arrived)
– my own yellow tulip cup and saucer (from anthropologie many moons ago)
candle napkins from the warm hearth in julian, ca
– colored, handled mason jars and striped straws from michaels
– red faux-croc frame from tj maxx
lime green plates and yellow plasticware from target
red polka dot melamine plate and spritz gumballs from target
giant rainbow swirl lollipops from the candy depot in hillcrest
yellow gerber daisies from wholesale flowers in linda vista
glitter adhesive letters from oriental trading
– large white frame from michaels
– totally forged “somewhere over the rainbow” print from a pinterest image (word can work miracles, sometimes!)
– rainbow sock monkey (from the old navy cash wrap area about a year ago)

rainbow kids birthday party happy birthday banner spritz target

rainbow kids birthday party tablescape red photo frame mason jars striped straws

rainbow kids birthday party tablescape lollipops

rainbow kids birthday party triful bowl with yellow daisies and green colored water celebrate glitter adhesive letters

rainbow kids birthday party somewhere over the rainbow printable sock monkey


and because everyday for me, is a new photobooth opportunity — i put a spritz polka dot tablecloth to work on our wall, and added some paper lanterns for interest.

confession: i loved it a whole lot.  it might still be up…

rainbow kids party birthday photo booth backdrop polka dot

door darling: the cutest custom wreath you’ll ever make — for less than $25!

June 2, 2014 - One Response

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

hello friends!

i hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend!

as evidenced by my recent posts and instagrams, i have become a little crazy about seasonal DIYing.  so when the weather took a turn for the warmer (and i realized my door had been “naked” since Christmas!) — i knew the time had come for a playful, “summer’s almost here” dose of door darling.

my mom was in town — which always helps send my creative tendencies into full swing — and we headed to every crafter’s promised land, the glorious treasure trove that is michaels.  i had in my mind a very simple and affordable concept, punched up with some whimsy, and i’m so happy with the piece that resulted!  it’s a super fun way to fling my baylor green and gold, and for less than $25!

what you’ll need:

summer wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

– scotch tape
a floral wreath form (i chose the 14″ green version)
your choice of wired grosgrain ribbon (you’ll need two rolls to cover a 14″ form)
note: i serendipitously stumbled upon my polka dot find, so i encourage you to take the time to roam the ribbon aisle and see what strikes your fancy!
– three (or more, up to you) felt flower clips
these little babies were peeking out of a bin at the end of the silk greenery aisle, and i have a feeling they’re going to end up on my clothes, scarves, office meeting agendas, etc.  they’re so fabulous!

step 1:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

open the first roll of ribbon and attach a piece of scotch tape to the end.  press it firmly to the inside of the wreath form (anywhere on the form is ok).  if you’d like it to be a bit more secure, feel free to add more tape or use a straight pin.

step 2:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

after making the initial attachment, start to wrap the ribbon around the wreath form, covering the tape if you’d like.  i left about a 1/2″ or so between borders, but you are welcome to make them closer or further (note: if you make them closer, you’ll probably need another roll of ribbon).

step 3:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

continue wrapping the ribbon all the way around the form. sometimes it helps to take the actual roll and do a few “pre-loops” that you can tighten as you go.  when you get to the end of the first roll, simply tape the end down and repeat steps 1-3 with second roll.

step 4:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

admire your fully wrapped wreath form!  go you!

step 5:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor


summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

take your first felt flower clip.  press it to open clamps and slide the bottom clamp under one of the ribbon borders, depending on where you’d like flowers to be placed.  tweak placement and angle to your liking.

repeat with other clips.  i chose three, but it’s up to you!

step 6:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

pat yourself on the (creative) back for designing a totally awesome, totally “you” custom wreath!

step 7:

summer door wreath diy michaels green and gold baylor

proudly hang your new creation on the front door — or wherever you’d like it to show it off!

pastel perfection: a spring table style diy

April 25, 2014 - Leave a Response

hello friends!

who’s excited that spring is upon us?!  as evidenced by the hillside wildflower shows, rosebunch upon rosebunch in beautiful bloom, and the cutest of baby animals making their début at the san diego zoo and safari park — the season of dainty delightfulness is in full swing.

so it’s no surprise i couldn’t wait to dress our kitchen table accordingly.  and thanks to amazing-yet-affordable finds discovered at my local target, michael’s and 99 cents only stores — as well as san diego’s incredible wholesale flowers near usd — this little creative adventure turned out so fun.  bring on the daily tea parties!

here we go!


what you’ll need:
– burlap runner (or full tablecloth, if you prefer), wholesale flowers
– laser-cut felt ribbon, michael’s
– assorted glassware (narrow vase, cake stand, trifle bowl and ), my own
– white everyday plate and silver charger, 99 cents only
– vintage-print  and flower melamine plates, 99 cents only and tuesday morning (thanks, mom!)
– tea cup and saucer, gifted by a sweet friend
– ceramic bird salt shakers, 99 cents only, and woodern bird accent, charlotte’s of salado
– silk hydrangea bunches, wholesale flowers
– pearlized gumballs, target


step 1: lay the burlap runner across the middle of the table (hint: it helps to take an iron — with dishtowels on top of and under the burlap — to smooth out any packaging wrinkles.)  set the larger vintage-print melamine plate on top of the everyday plate and charger, then top with the narrow vase.  next to this setup, place the trifle bowl atop the cake stand, with a smaller glass container inside it.


step 2: place the silk hydrangeas in the narrow vase, then fill around them with pearlized gumballs.


step 3: arrange tea cup and flower melamine plates around cake stand.


step 4: place one of the other vintage-print plates on the cake stand, and arrange bird accents around it.


step 5: add flowers to inner container and finish with color-coordinated ribbon on the outside.


a quick shot of the final arrangement (almost complete!).


step 6: add two strips of laser-cut felt ribbon, splitting the middle of the burlap runner.


step 7: set table with desired placesettings…and enjoy!  i’d love to see your own take on seasonal centerpieces!

savvy shamrocks: dressing your dining table for saint patty’s

March 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

hello friends…and happy saint patrick’s day!

i love today. it’s a holiday the whole world celebrates, that’s just plain fun and makes people happy. it helps that my mom got really into it growing up — making sure we always had at least something green on for school — and also that i married into irishness. a lot of irishness.

so, it only makes sense that — given my newfound obsession with my local 99-cent-only store — that i’d need to create a table centerpiece.  cyrillynn from any 2nd now, a fellow san diego style blogger, recently encouraged me to post a diy on another little something i’d put together (which i still need to do) — but i’m taking her advice now and sharing how to fancy up your own table with some glittery green and gold.

still working on that guinness beef stew? no worries — with just a bit of glassware, inexpensive seasonal decor and fresh flowers, you can whip this up in a mere 15 minutes!


what you’ll need:
– a trifle bowl
– a smaller container to fit inside trifle bowl (i used the dip compartment from a chips-and-dip set)
– a modern vase
– a cake stand
– white everyday plate*
– gold decorative charger*
– bunch of carnations
– bunch of baby’s breath
– decorative glitter picks (i love these shamrock and hat ones!)*
– green or white glitter garlands*
– glitter adhesive letters
– other ireland-inspired tchotchkes

* found while gleefully losing myself in the aisles at 99-cent-only


step 1: arrange the main structure / glassware arrangement.  place the everyday plate on the gold charger, then the modern vase on top of the plate.  set the trifle bowl atop the cake plate.


step 2: strip leaves from carnation stems and arrange bunch in line in modern vase.


step 3: bunch baby’s breath into smaller container, that can fit inside trifle bowl while still leaving a perimeter for garland.  place garland around this smaller container and flush with its top, so baby’s breath sticks out just slightly above garland.


step 4: create desired saying with glitter letters, and arrange/drape glitter garland around both pieces.


step 5: add decorative glitter picks to one or both flower bunches.  sprinkle glitter on plate and top of cake plate, if desired.  arrange other tchotchkes.


step 6: *pat* yourself on the back, you crafty leprechaun!  and enjoy that stew!

weekend in snaps: pretty plants, punches of color and precious little people

March 3, 2014 - Leave a Response

a little glimpse into my life, by way of snaps from the last couple of weekends.  enjoy!

beautiful yellow daffodil close-up picture

gorgeous daffodils.

beautiful white blooms on tree branches close-up picture

a tree in beautiful bloom.

yellow francesca's coat and i heart shimmer blue necklace

my oh-so-pensive look.  coat from francesca’s, cobalt blue necklace from shimmer.

san diego zoo flamingoes

i love that you call this a “flamboyance of flamingoes.”  a sun-filled trip to the san diego zoo.


sweet little hands.


big brown eyes.

late afternoon illuminating leaves photo

late-afternoon light.

target plaid shirt old navy quilted vest

weekend casual.  plaid shirt and skinnies from target, quilted vest from old navy.

love is (still) in the air: a belated valentine’s day look

February 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

hello friends,

i hope you all enjoyed a wonderful valentine’s day, whether that meant dinner with your special someone, a night in with the gal pals, or some solo-and-happy retail therapy!

having spent friday in the most casual of gear with my littlest in tow, i deemed yesterday my makeup opportunity for this year’s “day of love” outfit.

what resulted from (what i humbly consider) a delightful pairing of leopard, blush and red.  wishing you a fabulous week!


valentine's day look ootd leopard cardigan blush top red pants and heels

blush hair bow alice ivory valentine's day style

blush hair bow: alice + ivory (shop the mini version here)
red statement necklace: francesca’s (shop similar styles here and here)
leopard cardigan and blush ruffled top: h&m
skinny red pants: old navy (shop the direct link here)
red heels: linea paolo, nordstrom rack
gold watch: target (shop the direct link here)
gold link bracelet: victoria’s secret
gold studs: c. wonder (shop the direct link here)
eye and lip color: flower beauty, walmart (visit my tutorial here)
sunnies: foster grant, 99 cents only (yes — you read that right!)

get flirty for spring: a flower beauty makeup tutorial

February 15, 2014 - 2 Responses

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

i should start this post with a simple confession: i love drew barrymore.

it started with a child’s admiration for “the girl from et,” eventually grew to my collecting the greatest rom-coms of the 90s and 2000s — all starring her — and has now evolved into a total crush on the super-fun friend, stylish mom and creative entrepreneur we all would kill to be. i feel like my generation grew up with drew, and she’s just about the cutest gal around.

so, when i heard she launched a line of beauty that was beyond pretty — and affordable, to boot! — i was immediately sold. i rushed myself into walmart for a glorious (and kid-free) afternoon of browsing the shelves with her collection.

it.is.fabulous. i’ve been wanting to post a tutorial for some time now, because it’s really that good. and the best part is that the line is totally accessible. priced just right for all women to glamour-up with the highest quality of product.

so without further ado, it is my pleasure to bring you a quick tutorial on creating the perfect sweet and flirty face for spring. with purple hues all the rage this year (given pantone’s selection of radiant orchid as the 2014 “color of the year”), its foundation is a gorgeous shimmery lavender eye color.

what you’ll need:
flower beauty “win some / rouge some” creme blush in “pure petunia”
flower beauty “color play” creme eyeshadow in “lilac you a lot”
flower beauty “easy on the eyes” long-wear eyeliner in “aubergine”
flower beauty “kiss high-shine lip color” in “morning glory”
flower beauty “kiss stick velvet lip color” in “get to the poinsettia”

(note: the nail color seen in photos is also flower beauty — give the “nail’d it” lacquer in “i lavendare you” a try today!  i have received tuh-uns of compliments so far.)

and let’s get started!

step 1: start with a clean canvas.

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

step 2: apply flower beauty “win some / rouge some” creme blush in “pure petunia.”  the pigment is rich, so a little goes a long way.  start at the apples of your cheek and apply with fingers in an outward-and-upward sweeping motion, making sure to blend well.

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

step 3: apply flower beauty “color play” creme eyeshadow in “lilac you a lot” to lids, sweeping again in an outward-and-upward motion up through crease.  the shadow is on the sheerer side, so feel free to load up if you’re going for an extra-colorful emphasis on the eyes.

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

step 4: starting just beyond the outer corner of the lid, pull it taut and gently wipe flower beauty “easy on the eyes” long-wear eyeliner in aubergine, across to create an even line.  i am so, so impressed with this liner.  like, the smoothest.

stop just before you reach the inner corner.  finish with two coats of black or colored mascara, and a shimmery white in inner corners and just below lower lashes.

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

step 5: apply flower beauty “kiss high-shine lip color” in “morning glory” for a neutral finish.

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

craving more pop?  add a layer of flower beauty “kiss stick velvet lip color” in “get to the poinsettia” (which, by the way, is a really great red on its own).  they blend so beautifully — i love the resulting, customized shade!

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

flower beauty by drew barrymore makeup tutorial

major disclaimer, folks — remember this is a makeup-only tutorial…not hair!!  for the *truly* full face, you’ll have to await my next post!

hope you enjoyed, and check out the flower line today!


event recap: bellus academy presents come2gether

February 14, 2014 - Leave a Response

moniker warehouse east village san diego snowflake baking
moniker warehouse, in san diego’s east village

stylist bellus academy presents come2gether
stylists in action

“a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.”

this is how our friends at merriam-webster define passion.  seems a little *boh-ring* to me, don’t you think?  i prefer this definition a bit further down:

intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.”

there we go.  i’d say that more accurately sums up how we feel about those things in life that jump us out of bed in the morning.  those things that keep us up the night before, dreaming about how we can forever keep doing what had us creating, buzzing, and feeling electrified that day.

bellus academy presents come2gether
chatting scissors

so are you passionate — like, truly passionate — about what you do?  does your career excite you?  enable you to impact how others see and feel about themselves on a daily basis?

chances are, you’re sadly shaking your head and sighing “i wish!”
well, enter my saturday night.  i had the great privilege of being invited as a san diego style blogger to attend come2gether, a stylist showcase presented by bellus academy to benefit beauty changes lives.
san diego style bloggers terrell mitchell bellus project runway photo winner

san diego style bloggers with terrell mitchell, bellus outreach coordinator (who just won the project runway photo contest — congrats!)

from left to right: me, cyrillynn from any2ndnow, terrell, ashley from array of style, heidi from a fashion statement

talk about a wow factor.  it’s safe to say that the energy present in the moniker warehouse in san diego’s east village, you would not find amongst very many other groups of gathered professionals.  you could feel it, and — as someone looking in on the beauty industry — i have to confess i was pretty jealous.

bellus academy presents come2gether
a captive audience

these artists were so excited to see creation in-the-making and beyond supportive of their own (the cheering abounded).  one thing i kept hearing was “the business we’ve chosen is a powerful one.”  and when you stop to think about it — how true is this?  when you can transform someone’s appearance, aren’t you also transforming their confidence and, in turn, outlook on the world?  beauty is powerful, and it can change lives.

nina kovner bellus academy presents come2together
nina kovner bellus academy presents come2gether
nina kovner, event emcee

nina kovner was the evening’s emcee, and she opened the event with this same message (“i felt it the minute i walked into beauty school”).  she also shared how connective social media is for the beauty space, with searching fingers flying at the mention of every new instagram handle (modernmike13, houseofpop).

lynelle lynch bellus president
lynelle lynch, bellus academy president
lynelle lynch, president of bellus academy, then greeted the audience of stylists and other industryfolk with an introduction to beauty changes lives (bcl), a charitable organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of beauty professionals.
the showcase then opened, and the crowd came alive.  how fun was this??  to say i was inspired would be a gross understatement — i’m now ready for quite the makeover.
diego raviglione bellus presents come2gether
diego raviglione, bellus artistic director, at work

bellus academy presents come2together
capturing a look

bellus academy presents come2gether
color-spraying.  i want some!

bellus academy presents come2gether
thank you, bellus, for the invite.  you may just see my application one day…when are those bcl scholarship dates?

turn up the volume: a february “feel good” playlist

February 1, 2014 - Leave a Response

happy february, everyone!  every year i cannot wait to enter the month of saint valentine — so excited it’s here!

in honor of the most romantic month of the year, i popped together a little lineup of songs that make me really happy (because, after all, doesn’t romance make us all happy?).  it also helps that a recent new car purchase has introduced me to the world of sirius (i know, i know — the last person on earth), and more specifically — to the world of “alt nation” on channel 36.  it is a treasure trove of fantastic up-and-comers (and don’t we all enjoy being first to know?).

here goes…

this one is so, so perfect for starting a new day.  inspirational with a great beat.  (note: i had the official video originally linked — then realized it was, ironically, a bit too dark to keep with the theme!)

pure pop indulgence.  and you can’t beat the swoon-worthy accent (even if the video is a wee scandalous).

don’t you feel cooler already?  and more upbeat?

more pop indulgence.  i can’t help myself (or stop from smiling!)

go on.  strut it — even if you’re driving.  it still counts.

so sweet.  he wrote it about his wife.

and to round out our list, an oldie-but-goodie.  one of my all-times.

what’s on your own “let’s get happy” playlist?  i’d love to hear!

stylish savings: a trip to the bellus academy salon

January 6, 2014 - One Response

bellus academy salon poway, ca
bellus academy salon, poway, ca

i love “firsts” — so what better way to start the new year, than with what-turned-out-to-be a great one!

having already been familiar with bellus academy through a couple of friends who are proud alumni, as well as connections via the san diego style bloggers network and fashion week san diego — i’d thought many a time before about checking out the poway campus’ salon.  and in the interest of being a better “do-er” this year (and needing to pinch my pennies a bit more), i gave them a ring friday morning on the way to work.

i received a call back from the delightful carissa, and — given the terrible non-planner i am — i was so pleasantly surprised when she said they could take me in that day at 5:30p.

bridget warmly greeted me at the reception desk, and walked me back to her station. after an initial chat about what i was looking for (a slight trim to get my strands healthy and shaped, while keeping as much length as possible), she brought her instructor matt over to advise on overall direction.

getting started (the awkward selfie is totally my doing!)

i really enjoyed talking with her during my visit, about her time in the program so far, her background and family…especially since i just can feel the cosmetology student waiting to jump out of my corporate marketing body!  (side note: she even checked to make sure the water temperature was comfortable — no one does that anymore!  i thought it was really sweet.)

i was extremely impressed with how kind the instructors were to all the students on the floor, and equally with the sense of camaraderie i got from the class of students. contrary to some salons, there was no pretentiousness — just a lively group of people perfecting their skills. and with the very clear guidance matt offered bridget, i felt like i was receiving quite the quality education, too!  i should also credit his fellow instructor, who assisted with my sideswept bangs (wish i had asked for his name!).

i’m so happy i “took the plunge” and went for it!  i think it’s safe to say my hair is happy as well.  i also love that i can help someone further their career *and* practice some newfound fiscal responsibility at the same time!

scary pre-salon hair
scary, jungle-mane hair!  run for your lives!
note: it’s basically been in a ponytail for six months.  
(did i mention i had baby #2 in june?)

pretty, soft, post-salon hair
pretty, soft hair à la bridget.  so. much. better.

(in case you’re wondering, a cut is $12 — pick that jaw up — and first-timers receive half-off their initial service.  what?!? — oh yes, ’tis true.  you are able to tip your stylist in cash, or with a bellus gift card they can use for their own services, product, etc.)

thank you, bridget and matt!  look forward to seeing you again soon!

bellus academy salon poway, ca reception desk
with bridget after my visit (in old navy sweater).  is she not the cutest??
fyi: her smock is tone-on-tone leopard print…with ruffles.  major envy.

ready to schedule your own service?  browse the menu, and click here to book.

interested in my recap of bellus artists at work during 2012 fashion week san diego’s “the art of beauty” event?  to read about san diego style bloggers network founders rachel and paulina’s manicure night at bellus’ national city salon, click here.

the ‘do a few days later.  half-up, half-down weekend casual.