Friday, August 31, 2012

DIY Photo Booth

My daughters wanted to have a photo booth at their 11th birthday party!  This fun trend is great for weddings, parties, and other special events.  You can rent photo booths and back drops and all kinds of fancy props, but hundreds of dollars for this was not in the party budget, so I decided to make my own photo booth!

Here's a quick recap of the photo booth experience I created.

First, you'll need some props.  I chose props with a nautical and swimming theme for their pool party.  A simple google search revealed oodles of templates and images.  Print the images you like on heavy card stock and carefully cut them.  The mustaches were tricky to cut because they were so detailed and small!  I used a hot glue gun to attach the paper props to long craft sticks.

A piece of styrofoam covered with tissue paper in a beach bucket held the props in place.

Although I brought a piece of rich blue colored fabric to use as a backdrop, it was tricky to hang against the cinder block walls of the party room.  Lilly Pulitzer lanterns hung at different levels and added a "scene" to the photo booth!  A Photo Booth sign invites people to join the fun!

Once the party guests finished swimming, they joined the fun in the party room!  Everyone loved the photo booth and wanted to pose for the camera.  My sweet friend and I couldn't resist having our picture taken!

I made photo strips for guests using my new favorite program,  You can add special effects to each picture and then create a collage of 2, 3, or 4 pictures.  Save the images individually and place the jpeg images of the photos side by side.  You can fit 3 photo strips like this one on an 8 x 10 picture.  Then it's easy to print at home or using a quick printing service.

Photo booths are a simple way to add a lot of fun to your next party!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Birthday Pool Party!

Summer went out with a splash at the girls' 11th birthday party this weekend!  They enjoyed the afternoon with their friends.  Of course, I use any excuse for a party to try my hand at some fun creations.  Since I had some Lilly Pulitzer lanterns in the Any Way You Slice It print, I decided to incorporate fruit and pool fun in the party details!

Here's the Lilly inspired cake!  I can't decorate a cake to save my life, so a pretty pennant made with my Cricut makes this cake pop!  Add some decorated cookies, and it's easy and pretty.

lilly pulitzer inspired cake banner

Nautical twine and Lifesavers candy wrap the silverware for the party.

lifesaver napkin ring

The tablescape for the children's pool party is simple and colorful, with a fruit cookie and a starfish lollipop.  All of the girls filled their green craft bags with sweet treats from the candy buffet set up on the main table.

lilly pulitzer pool party idea

I included some retro treats like candy buttons, one of my favorites!

candy buttons lilly pulitzer pool party

Whoopie pies are easy to prepare in the whoopie pie maker I mentioned to you in this post.  Even the adults liked these!

whoopie pies

Everyone thought that it was hilarious to drink the pool water punch!

pool water punch pool party

After swimming, the children loved finding their own name in the word search I made for them!

Another big hit at the party was the photo booth!  I'm going to do a separate post on the photo booth including some ideas for props and a tutorial for making your own photo strip pictures.

lilly pulitzer diy photo booth

Each party guest took a Lilly cup filled with treats at the end of the party.

lilly pulitzer party favor birthday party

Here are the birthday girls!  It was a fun time for everyone.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY Lilly Pulitzer Notebook & Sign

Are you or someone in your home getting ready for back to school?  As most of you know, I teach Spanish.  This week I've had a blast getting my classroom ready for students.  I'll post pictures next week, but I couldn't wait to share a wonderful DIY idea with you. 

Since I spend the majority of my day in the classroom, I love to add some touches of Lilly and color!  You can make signs, notebook covers, and more using Lilly Pulitzer print images and some quick editing. 

Students who are absent from class can pick up their assignments in these file folders that I made pretty with a Lilly print. 

My minnies start middle school on Monday!  Every year, I like to take their picture on the first day of school.  A sign helps me remember which year is which.  For this year's First Day of 6th Grade sign, I used the Maryland Lilly Pulitzer print.

Even the list to track tardies to class is prettier in a Lilly print.

You can easily create these signs!  First, you'll need to visit the Lilly Pulitzer blog for some images.  The screensavers work really well. 

Then head over to ipiccy to create your printable.  Here are the easy steps you should follow: 

1.  Click Upload Photo
2.  Once you've uploaded your photo, choose the Blender tab.  It's the 4th one over from the left and looks like layers stacked on top of each other. 

Now the fun begins! 

3.  Click the top tab that says Sticker.  I added a square sticker and resized it to make a rectangle.  Your sticker will appear in black.  Click the color button to change the color.  Make sure that Solid Color is selected. 

Now you're ready to add some text!

4.  On the same menu, click the Text button.  Play with the font, sizing, and color until you find something that you love!  This is for the minnies' folders. 

5.  When you're finished, click the button that says Done! in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 
6.  To save your image, click the Save tab that looks like a floppy disk towards the right hand of the screen. 

7.  Give your picture a title and click save.  You can now use this jpeg image in Microsoft Word or Publisher, re-sizing as needed to fit your notebook or folder. 
Have fun making your own back to school printables! 

Was this tutorial helpful?  Leave me a comment; I'd love to hear what you created. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Gem in Charm City

Recently, the minnies and I visited the Baltimore Museum of Art.  It's truly a hidden gem in Charm City.  Away from the traffic of the Inner Harbor area, the Baltimore Museum of Art has ample parking and offers easy access from many major highways.

The collection is extraordinary and you could easily spend days exploring all of the treasures.  Going to a museum is always an adventure for us.  We always have a goal of finding art from each continent, except Antarctica, obviously.  After we visit a museum, the minnies and I talk about our favorite part of the visit.  This was the first time that we all agreed on a favorite.

A Degas Ballerina.

Isn't she beautiful?

Do you spy the Monet painting of the Thames River in the background?  All of my favorites are here including Matisse, Monet, and Degas.  Alexia really loves work from Miro.

You're never to young to visit a museum.  My minnies have been visiting museums since they were born.  There's plenty to keep little ones busy at the BMA.  We listened to the Family Audio Tour with interesting interpretations of thirty different works of art.  The museum also offers Costume Kits!  Alexia decided to wear this costume of a Spanish Infanta.    She decided that between learning five languages and wearing a lace collar, being a Spanish princess was hard work.

The corridors and courtyards of the museum offer glimpses of beautiful architectural design.  I also loved the different period rooms.

The beautifully landscaped Sculpture Gardens add to the collection and offer a verdant refuge in the city.  Hibiscus flowers and lush greens line the shaded walkways of the gardens.  Several people noticed how the girls and I "matched."  The funny thing is, we didn't match.  At all.  Completely different prints.

Alexia is wearing a women's Avery skirt and Natalia is wearing a minnies' skirt and women's Vera shrug.  They're officially in the tween stage.

No trip is complete without a visit to the Museum Gift Shop.  Look at this fabulous recipe book from Laduree.  Wouldn't it make a lovely gift?

We took a break to enjoy lunch at Gertrude's Restaurant.  Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art is the restaurant of cookbook author and cooking show host, John Shields.  The menu offers Chesapeake cuisine, including Crab Imperial, Single-Fry Oysters, Rockfish, PanFried Chicken, Corn Fritters, Crab Soup, and of course, Maryland Crab Cakes.  Although I love my Maryland cuisine, the highlight of my meal was dessert.  I highly recommend the Neapolitan Ice Cream Macarons.  Delish.  

What do you like to do on a day at the museum?  


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Your Credit Card Will Be Smoking After Today's Sales

Hopefully you have a nice little shopping slush fund set aside for days just like today.  The amazing sales that are happening today are pretty incredible and I've got your complete shopping summary for the best deals today from Kate Spade, J. Crew, Lilly Pulitzer (and a list of my favorite Signature Stores participating), and Port Windsor.

Get the best scoop here and shop quickly!  These deals won't last long!  Your credit card will be smoking after these sales.

First on the shopping list is the Kate Spade Secret Sale.

Wellesley Rachelle Bag.  This is pretty much the most perfect bag!  And it's at a price that you're going to love.

Green Polka Dot Adira Top.  Kate Spade clothing is an excellent choice for the office.  Just because you wear a suit to the office, courtroom, or classroom doesn't mean that you have to be boring!  Add a pop of color at a great price with this adorable top.

J. Crew offers an additional 30% off final sale items with the code LOVEIT.  I've had a crush on the Pom Pom Shell all summer long, so it's time to take the plunge, especially at this great price.  This will be a great transition piece to wear under cardigans and blazers.

Another fabulous choice from J. Crew's final sale is the Tippi Cardigan in Leopard.  You'll reach for this during all four seasons and will look great!  At around only $35, this is a steal!

Lilly Pulitzer is having an Endless Summer Sale online starting at 8 a.m.  Shop early and often!  For the best results, buy each item individually when you see it.  Don't leave items in a shopping cart because they may disappear before you are able to check out.  Shipping is free at Lilly Pulitzer during this special 3 day event, so don't be afraid to have multiple transactions.

Be sure to check out the new Flash Sales on Facebook every afternoon at 3 p.m.  This is a new feature this year for the Endless Summer Sale.

It's hard to predict what items might be included in this sale, but there are always a few surprises.  I'm hoping to find a tablecloth or blanket that was not originally available in stores.  This picnic blanket would be a great find!

Many Lilly Pulitzer signature stores are also participating in this epic shopping event.  Here's a list of some of my favorite signature stores.  Check each store individually for availability of your wish list items.

- C. Orrico.
- The Pink Crab.  Free shipping over $100.  Kristen is lovely and will help you find the perfect Lilly.
The Pink Door Memphis.  Offers free shipping over $100.
- Village Palm.  Sarah is fabulous and offers great service.

Callahan Shorts for $13!  Ha!  I bet that caught your attention.  As if these sales weren't enough for you, Bloomingdales is having an amazing pre-sale opportunity right now.  These items will be available to take home or send to you, but you can do a pre-sale order at your favorite Bloomingdales now.  Items that are already reduced will be an extra 40% off and then an additional percent off of that.  Long story short, I picked up some Callahan shorts for just over $13 each!

Do you need some tunics to round out your summer wardrobe?  Pick up a tunic from Port Winsor during their end of the season sale.  Tunics are 40% off retail!  I love the Wellesley Tunic.

So tell me, where are you shopping today?  Please let me know what great items you find.  If you have another favorite store or sale, please leave a comment and add it to the list.  

Happy Shopping!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Minnie Monday: Accessories

This week, my "minnies" will celebrate their 11th birthday.  It seems like just yesterday that they were little tiny girls with little tiny voices and little tiny smocked dresses.  When you're a new parent and people tell you to treasure every moment, you nod your head and say that you will.  But no one tells parents how quickly time truly does pass.  So here it is from me.  Enjoy every moment while your children are little.  Each stage is such a brief photograph in time that it should be treasured and lived to the fullest!

Although Natalia and Alexia are now bordering on non-minnie territory, they'll always be my minnies in my mind.  In many ways, some of you have seen my girls grow up as this blog evolves.  Who knows, maybe you'll be reading about us setting up their preppy pink and green dorm room 7 years.  

When I asked the girls what they wanted to share for the second installment of Minnie Monday, they said that it should have been obvious to me.  Natalia said, "Mom, we talked about fashion last week, so this week we have to talk about accessories."

Mustaches are the latest in tween fashion.  No I'm not talking about early blooming young men.  Fake mustaches are everywhere.  Natalia and Alexia wear this fake mustache necklace from Forever 21 almost every day.  It always amuses them to pretend to have a mustache and use a silly voice.  It amuses me that my minnies still like to play and pretend!  The girls requested a photo booth at their upcoming birthday party this weekend, with lots of mustache props, of course!

Tweens love bracelets, too!  Borrowing a style strategy from some of the biggest fashionistas, my minnies love to stack their bracelets, the more the merrier.  Right now, some friendship bracelets and bands from Vineyard Vines and a walk for Cystic Fibrosis are on heavy rotation.  In a future installment, Alexia will show you how she made her preppy pink and green bracelet made using tabs from soda cans.  

The minnies' wrists are just too big for some of J. Crew's jewelry, but too small for some of my bangles that fall off their hands.  Luckily, many bracelets can be custom made to size, like the rope bracelets the girls are designing with my friends at Knot:ical.  

Although Natalia and Alexia choose preppy, classic, and conservative clothing, one area where they tend to get a little silly is with earrings!  The more sparkle and dangle, the better.  Alexia had an ingenious solution to her overflowing jewelry box; she used a scrap of fabric from her sewing supplies to make her own earring holder.  She simply backed a piece of scrap fabric, turned under the edges, and attached the earrings to the fabric.  

Ever since my minnies were babies, I've always taken great care with their hair.  The twincesses were practically born with a bow in their heads!  A few years ago at around age 8, the girls decided that didn't like to wear bows in their hair anymore.  It was a devastating blow to me.  I held on to their vast collection of bows, and I'm glad that I did.  Both girls now choose to wear the same bows they wore as little girls, albeit in different ways.  Instead of high pigtails with two bows, the girls may choose to pull back a little section of hair and attach a bow.  I attribute this trend to the cheerleader factor.  The girls are participating in Poms this year and see the high school girls with huge bows in their hair.  

Natalia and Alexia also love braids, especially French braids and fishtail braids.  Here's Natalia modeling her hair that is braided into the shape of a heart!  

Finally, the minnies love their shoes!  Sometimes they choose an entire outfit based on a pair of shoes.  That's not too far off base of some outfits that I choose.  (I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a pair of pink polka dot espadrilles in Lilly Pulitzer's Endless Summer Sale, but that's another story!)  Both girls are at a point where they can wear shoes in ladies and children's sizes.  

Alexia changed the laces of her Chuck Taylors with some cute houndstooth laces from Target.  It's a fun and easy way to change the look of a pair of shoes.  

Many of the trends the Minnies follow are their own interpretations of things that they have seen me do.  Others, like the mustache necklace, are silly fun for children.  I love their emerging style and am happy to see them growing into such lovely young ladies.  Pardon me if I'm a bit nostalgic this week, with their 11th birthday.  

What current trends do you think suit people of all ages?   


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lilly Pulitzer Giveaway from The Pink Silhouette!

The Pink Silhouette opened 6 years ago in Downtown Bel Air. It is owned and operated by a mother and daughter team Susan and Christina. The store is located in an adorable Cape Cod building that has a loft. The store really breathes the beach lifestyles with its architecture. Susan and Christina go to New York City on frequent buying trips to bring back merchandise that complements the Lilly Pulitzer clothing found in their delightful store.

Here’s an interesting story for you! It’s truly a small world of all things Lilly. When I was at the Pink Palace a few years ago, I remember seeing a mother-daughter team from Maryland who were previewing the next season’s collection. This week, Christina and I pieced together that we had “met” in the past during my visit to the Pink Palace while they were purchasing for their store. Isn’t that amazing?

At The Pink Silhouette, they love the look of Lilly and always keep in mind buying purses and jewelry that matches Lilly every season. This dynamic duo is known for their fun purses like the ones in these photographs that complement the Lilly clothing perfectly. Want to know the best part? Most of these purses are $60 and under.  I'm crushing on the bright navy purse on the table in the center.

The Pink Silhouette also has an extensive selection of fun, sassy jewelry that pairs well with Lilly with most pieces priced under $40.

Fall 2012 from Lilly Pulitzer is all about berry colors and cobalt blue. This Fall season is one of Lilly’s best. There are some great pieces that can be worn now and transition into Fall with sweaters, leggings, and boots. My friends at The Pink Silhouette report that customers are loving the Megyn Dress, Evie Dress, and Garnet Dress. These are all great pieces that can be worn now or worn later.  Everyone needs an Evie dress, right?

If you love great deals on your preppy purchases, be sure to sign up for The Pink Silhouette’s mailing list. You’ll be among the first to know about fun events, sales, and gift with purchases. Use this sign up link to be included in all the info for upcoming events.

To help celebrate the unofficial start of fall and Back to School, The Pink Silhouette is sponsoring a fantastic giveaway for Maryland Pink and Green fans!  One lucky winner will receive a Lilly Pulitzer Button Necklace and a Lilly Pulitzer Skinny Bangle Bracelet in True Navy.

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget.  By using the widget, people can enter to win this fantastic prize through this blog post, on Facebook, or by using your email address.  There are many ways to enter to win, so click through to the widget and share this exciting giveaway with a friend.   Please note that you must "like" Maryland Pink and Green and The Pink Silhouette on Facebook to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to The Pink Silhouette for this giveaway.


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