DIY Details: Entertaining with Brown Paper

Brown paper, or the paper used to make brown paper bags, is so versatile. I love using it for wrapping gifts. It’s a durable, blank slate you can embellish on as much, or as little as you’d like. It gives your gift decor a natural, organic feel. I always have some on hand.

But wrapping gifts is just the beginning for this handy paper. Take a look at some of these ideas I found for entertaining in Bride’s Magazine, that you can make yourself.

Brown Paper Table Number

Frame your floral table arrangements with brown paper details!

Wrap flowers in brown paper, then place in a painted tin. Using a chalk pen, write your table number on to a luggage tag before edging in lace tape. Attach to your tin with twine.

Brown Paper Table Cloth

Snazz up your dessert table with a brown paper table cloth and a decorative chalk pen!

Spread a roll of brown paper across your table to use as a tablecloth. Place the desserts on top and write the names of each treat on the paper with a chalk pen.

Brown Paper Chairbacks

Cut two large rectangles to fit your chairs before adding a pointed edge. Use a chalk pen to write ‘Mr’ & ‘Mrs’ on each one. Glue the ribbons to the top two corners and tie to your chairs.

Lace Brown Paper Table Runner

Place a length of lace over brown paper and secure with masking tape. Spray paint over the top and leave to dry. Peel away the masking tape and lace to reveal the pattern.


Source: Bride’s Magazine

I love these ideas. They are simple and elegant, and easy to do. And, brown paper is readily found at your local craft shop.

Will you be trying any of these at your next big soirée? Leave a comment and let me know.


Hello January!


I welcome the new year with both confidence and curiosity — I can’t wait to see what surprises lie ahead. Instead of coming up with resolutions, I’m more focused on larger goals for how I live my life. I’m not interested in setting unrealistic objectives – actually the contrary – for me, it’s more about tapering expectations.

I want this year to be about being present and not bracing for what’s to come. I’m someone who craves control and when it’s not a viable option, I’ll often go into a crazy, anticipatory mindset hoping that it will somehow prepare me for what’s ahead. Not only is that a waste of time and energy, but more often than not, what I think is going to happen rarely pans out that way. So here’s to enjoying the process and not simply focusing on the end result.

I have a good feeling about 2015.


DIY Star


I consider myself a creative person, and I love getting crafty. Christmas is the perfect season to let all those creative juices flow. And I’ve certainly been doing that this Christmas.

This DIY project doesn’t get any simpler. You don’t have to be a DIY Star to get this one done.

All you need:
5 yardsticks – from The Home Depot ($.98 each)
10 tack nails
1 hammer


I painted my yard sticks first. I used an antique white paint.


Form the shape of a star with your yardsticks. Attach the points together using just one nail on each point. This allows the star to be flexible enough for you to adjust it to look just right. Once you have your desired look, hammer in another nail to each point of the star to secure it. I left the nails showing to give it a more rustic look.


Now wasn’t that quick and painless? You could string some light on it and hang it outside, or you could leave it as is and place it on your mantle, like I did.





Enjoy! Let me know how yours turned out!


DIY Tree


I love Christmas. As with a lot of you, it’s my favorite holiday. This will be the first Christmas my husband an I spend together as a married couple, so it makes this one extra special for me. I am very excited about the new traditions we will develop in our family.

One of the best things I love about Christmas is the decorating. I love decorating for the holidays. It brings me so much joy and excitement. This year I’ve been browsing on Pinterest for some holiday decoration ideas. I found an image of a simple wood tree and I fell in love with it. I thought, “hey, I can make that!”… And so, I did. I think it came out great! I absolutely love it. I decided to use it for displaying my holiday cards.

Here is how I made my tree. I used:
3 – 1″ x 3″ x 8″
16 – 1 1/2″ nails

I made each of my cuts for my tree 4″ longer than the previous one, so that I would have extra 2″ on either side of my “branches”, when I put my tree together. My shortest branch, which will be the top of my tree, is 8″ wide. My longest board, which will be at the base of my tree, is 36″ wide. I was able to get my 3 longest boards from my first 1×3, and all my other cuts from my second board.

Cut list:

I made these cuts from one 1×3:
1×3 @ 36″
1×3 @ 32″
1×3 @ 28″
These next cuts were made from my second 1×3:
1×3 @ 24″
1×3 @ 20″
1×3 @ 16″
1×3 @12″
1×3 @ 8″
I cut my last 1×3 in half for my tree trunk:
1×3 @ 48″

I nailed my tree branches to my trunk. I used an extra piece of 1×3 for spacing. Brutus was supervising.


I used Minwax in Classic Gray to stain my tree, giving it a vintage look.

I bought a wood star plaque from Joann Fabrics, painted it antique white, and strung some lights on my tree. I then just used scotch tape to place my cards.



Pretty simple, huh? I’m looking forward to using this tree for many seasons to come!

Let me know what you think!


The Resources You Need to Have the Wedding of Your Dreams


In This Booklet You Will Learn:

  • How to create an easy organizer and customize it for your wedding.
  • The custom Wedding Budget Calculator.
  • The Wedding Checklist Tool.
  • The essential Dream Wedding Websites.
  • How to set up your list of favorite resources.
  • How to find time in your busy schedule for wedding planning.

When you get engaged, nobody hands you the owner’s manual, “Everything You Need To Do, Say, Beg, Borrow and Steal To Plan Your Dream Wedding.” It would be awfully nice if they did.

Most brides are on their own, fumbling in the dark for the tools and resources they need to make it happen. Even with your married friends and family helping, it’s still a struggle.

I believe there are very few “essentials” necessary to plan a wedding. In my opinion, you can plan your wedding any way you please, whether that’s traditional or downright weird is up to you.

Just about all you need is a couple who wants to get hitched, a marriage license, and somebody to make it official.

That said, there are a few tools that make planning your Dream Wedding much, much easier. Having these resources and tools in your back pocket makes planning a cinch.

Get these essential tools by entering your email, in the side bar, under Get The Tools!


Flower Friday – Tulips

The Tulip:


Although it’s most often associated with the Netherlands, this flower is actually a native of Persia. Representing “consuming love” and “happy years,” the tulip can be a meaningful wedding choice. The flowers are grown in a wide range of colors, including white and cream; pastels like pink, yellow, and peach; and vibrant hues like magenta, red, and purple. Available during much of the year, the most common tulips are very affordable, though rare varieties can be expensive. The versatile tulip can enhance both elegant wedding settings and more casual venues, and work well in almost any permutation — from bouquets to boutonnieres to table arrangements. Three main varieties are commonly used: Dutch tulips (typically seen at neighborhood florist shops and in gardens), French tulips (expensive and elegant, with extra-long stems and large tapered blooms), and parrot tulips (noted for their ruffled, striped petals in intense colors).

–  The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers





Which is your favorite?


Flower Friday – Roses

The Rose: RoseBouquet Long considered a symbol of beauty and love, the rose figures into many myths and fairy tales. Romantic writers and poets have used the flower as a metaphor for emotion, beauty, passion, and true love throughout the ages. An all-star in the world of weddings, the rose is far from boring, particularly when it comes to color — the rose is available in solid colors and bicolor varieties, and there are striped roses and tipped roses as well. More than three thousand varieties of roses are grown commercially, many available year-round and that are surprisingly affordable. And though roses are associated with luxurious fragrance, not every rose is scented. Three main types are likely candidates for your wedding flowers: hybrid tea roses (the classic, uniformly-shaped commercial roses generally seen at your local florist), spray roses (a rose with five to 10 small heads on each stem and a “natural, garden-grown” look), and garden roses (expensive, old-fashioned varieties with bushy, open heads and delicious scents).

–  The Knot Book of Wedding Flowers




#FlowerFridayRoses1 Which is your favorite?



Pinterest Inspiration – Ring Bearers & Flower Girls

Look at these cuties!

Ring bearers and flower girls add the “awwwwww” factor to any wedding. They make you laugh and squeal  when they walk down the aisle. Admit it, you did!! Here are just a few inspirational pics I found on Pinterest.




What will the kids in your wedding party be wearing?


Vendor Questions – Cake

w-MabiJerryWedding_5977_CPennenga With so many bakeries out there, how do you choose the right one for you? When ordering your wedding cake, or any cake for that matter, some things you should consider are: the price, the workmanship, the quality (of both flavor and design) and the taste. You will also have to decide on other cake options such as: size, shape, color, decorations, cake flavor, cake filling and cake frostings. An experienced baker who specializes in wedding cakes will advise you how much cake you will need, what flavors are popular, and which frostings will hold up over the course of your reception. Frostings are very delicate – some do not perform well when exposed to air or heat for long periods of time (whipped cream is an example of this).

Here are some questions to ask your vendor to help make final decision a little easier. Download and print your copy of this CakeChecklist.



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