Mel’s Birthday Dinner

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Our dear friend, Melissa, turned 24 last week. She’s always so busy planning for other’s birthdays that we wanted to do something special and thoughtful for her. Since Mel knew we were planning a small get together, she insisted we keep it casual and simple so we tried our best.  Mel loves potatoes and everything that is made of them so what better way to celebrate her than throwing her a potato party! Inviting 20 of her closest friends for her birthday dinner this past Sunday, each person was charged with making a potato dish to share. Most of our decorations were things we already owned, were easily handmade, or easily attained.

Janice made  a large card out of poster board for everyone to sign and also served as another sign. We rearranged some furniture in their house and created an open space for everyone to be able to hand out in. The banner Janice bought is also a chalkboard banner so it can be reused over and over again. We stopped by QFC and picked up some flowers because who doesn’t love flowers? And we borrowed the Mr. Potato Heads from a family with young children for our potato themed meal!

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All the food that was brought was absolutely delicious and I was quite impressed with potato dishes people came up with. The classics, of course, were there such as mashed potatoes, french fries, and potato salad. But there were also dishes like Shepherd’s Pie, Tater teens (super yummy btw), and a potato bake. What is a “tater teen” you might ask? Well,  it’s like an adolescent version of a tater tot and quite possibly even more delicious! And while the food theme was potatoes, we still needed some protein and greens so there was also some mouthwatering smoked pulled pork + coleslaw, a strawberry/mango/mandarin spinach/spring mix salad, as well as a pesto pasta salad (one of my favorite dishes of the evening). Janice and I used these chalkboard coasters she bought from Target as food signs, aren’t they adorable?  We didn’t think they were very practical as coasters since they felt like cardboard and would probably fall apart if they got wet but they worked perfectly for food labels.

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One of my favorite food presentations was the curly fries buckets. Janice has these cute metal pails, again from Target’s dollar section, which are really versatile in what they can be used for. As you can see in the earlier photo with the card and a banner, a pail was used to hold the pens needed to sign the card.  I ate at a restaurant last week where they used a fancy metal cylindrical container to hold their fries which inspired me to do the same with these curly fries! Lining the pails with parchment paper, we loaded them up with curly fries. This is a super easy way and cost effective way to present your food so next time you’re scrambling to find plates or bowls, think of any other container you can use as well! Just line it with some parchment paper and ta-da!DSCF0592

See some more close ups of the food below:

 

Janice did most of the work on the cake and even though she kept calling it a disaster, we all thought it turned out lovely especially since she hasn’t made a cake in years and feels out of practice. The cake itself is a simple vanilla cake with a chocolate pudding + krackle chocolate filling iced with simple buttercream. It was pretty warm on Sunday so we kept running into challenges of the buttercream melting or being too runny but I think the cake turned out pretty nicely!

DSC_0377wI’d say the party was success and was a low-key as we could have made it. Everyone was comfortable and relaxed, especially Melissa. We spent the rest of the evening after dinner playing group games and just enjoying spending time with each other. I realized we forgot to get a group picture with everyone but here’s one of just the girls!

DSCF0630eAnd last but definitely not least, some OOTD for you all! It seemed like the theme for the party was also maxi dresses! Mel and Jess actually unintentionally matched perfectly in their black maxis and salmon-colored cardigans. Mel’s dress from Nordstrom and Jess’ from Loft.  Janice wore a pretty printed maxi which I really wish I had gotten a good photo of  and I wore a blue and white knit striped maxi from Gap. Maxi dresses are something I could wear forever, they’re just so comfy and versatile. I didn’t have a chance to take a lot of photos but here are just two:

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(Thanks Sean for many of the photos in this post!)

 

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Mother’s Day Herb Planters

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Some of you may have seen this photo from my post late last night on Instagram. My friend and I decided it’d be fun to do something useful and nice for our moms as a practical Mother’s Day gift. We came across the idea of making some herb planters and absolutely loved the idea. This project is relatively simple, especially if you have any experience with plants. I’m awful with gardening and anything that has to do with plants but I was able to make these. It’s simple enough for anyone!

My mom has a green thumb and already grows a lot of her own herbs so it was pretty difficult for me to find some herbs she wasn’t already growing. Gloria and I bought some herbs from our local Home Depot which had a plethora of herbs available. I settled on two arugula plants and a pot of chard. Gloria bought rosemary, basil, and a pot of cilantro for her mom. They turned out pretty great and they’re great gifts for moms who love to cook with herbs or just for anyone! I’m tempted to make some for my own apartment.

Materials for a set of 3 planters:


3 Empty cans (we used 20 oz canned pineapples but you may want to use a 29 oz can for larger plants)
pea gravel
3 herbs of your choice
a roll of Burlap
ribbon
extra soil
tacky glue
scissors
3 clothespins
ink pen

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Step 1.
If your cans aren’t empty yet, empty them. Remove the labels, wash the cans, and dry them.

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Step 2
Put a layer of pea gravel at the bottom the cans, just enough to cover the bottom

Step 3
Put enough soil in the can to cover the gravel completely.

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Step 4
Place one of your herbs into the can. Don’t be afraid to pull a bit at the roots to loosen them and loosen the dirt. These herbs are much more resilient than you would think or look.  Once the herb is potted, fill up the rest of the can if needed with more soil. Then clean off the outside of the can before you start the next step.

Step 5
Cut enough burlap to wrap around the can, be sure it doesn’t overlap too much. Mark four dots evenly spaced out along the short edge of the burlap and match it up to the other end to draw four more dots in the same corresponding spots. Cut small slits in the burlap where the dots are marked.

Step 6
Use the tacky glue to glue the burlap to the can but do not glue down the short ends. You’ll want these ends to be loose enough so you can string the ribbon through in the next step.

Step 7
Thread the ribbon through starting from the bottom or top, then tie a bow with the ends.

Step 8 
Write the name of the herb on the clothespin and clip it to the edge of the planter.


Now you have a cute little herb planter! Repeat these steps to make as many as you want!
You can also modify this project to your liking by tying the ribbon all the way around the can, rather than threading it through the ends of the burlap or even using patterned wall paper instead of burlap.

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On the windowsill!

 

Try it out yourself and let me know how it goes!

 

 

Teacher Appreciation Jar

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Today was National Teacher Appreciation day and I’ve been volunteering at an Elementary School in the Seattle Public School District this quarter so I wanted to make a little something to show my appreciation to the wonderful teachers I get to work with every week. This DIY was pretty last minute because I had a really busy weekend and didn’t have much time to compile materials. But this jar of goodies is perfect for any teacher and can be customized very easily. I chose to fill my jar with goodies like highlighters, pens, chocolate, and starbursts but it can easily be adjusted to a color theme or personalized to the specific recipient.

Materials:
Mason Jar (with or without handle)
Highlighters
Pens
Chocolate
Starbursts
Ribbon (you can just used one color or multiple, I chose to use three different strands)
Appreciation template
Hole puncher or Needle (I didn’t have a hole puncher available but I had a needle)
String

Steps:

1. I had found teacher appreciation tags templates from Pinterest  but I wasn’t able to edit it to colors I liked. So I took the inspiration from there and created my own template while modifying it a little bit for my taste. Feel free to use the template here (Teacher Appreciation Template)! If you can print the template out on cardstock, that’d be best but I didn’t have any available to me so I just printed the tags out on regular printer paper and mounted them onto colored cardstock.

2.  Stuff jar with the goodies you’ve chosen. I put the chocolate in first, then the pens, and the filled the rest of the jar with starbursts.

3. Punch a hole at the top of both tags or poke a hole with a needle. Thread the string through the holes with the small tag on top of the larger one and set them aside.

4. Cut the ribbon and tie a pretty bow around the mouth of the jar.

5. Take the tags that you’ve strung string through and tie the tags to the ribbon around the mouth of the jar.  Snip off the extra string and Ta-da! You’re done!

These jars are such easy gift to make and personalize!

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Happy National Teacher Appreciation Day!

Easy Birthday Bunting

I love all sorts of bunting and I think it completes the look of any wall for any purpose, whether as home decor or party decor. Now you can find bunting at any party store or on etsy, you can even customize the bunting you want but it’s so much for fun to do it yourself! And it turns out to be a lot more cost effective. If you do arts & crafts often like me, then you probably won’t have to buy a single thing since you probably already have the materials somewhere around. I made one for my roommates birthday party and wanted to share with y’all so you can make your own next time!

{Birthday bunting}
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{Materials}
Scissors
Scrapbook paper (varies depending on how many letters and different colors you want)
Glue
White printer paper (again, you can use a different color or texture of paper, this is just what i had lying around)
String (I used twine)
Mini Clothespins
Scrap paper for template

{Steps}

Step 1. Decide on the shape of bunting flags you’d like to use and Draw a template for the bunting flags. I drew mine on a scrap piece of paper but you might choose to do this on card stock so it’ll be easier to trace and you can keep it to reuse.  I chose to draw mine so I could customize the size and shape but there are a plethora of templates online if you’d rather use them. Cut out the template.

step 2. Flip your scrapbook paper over so the patterned or textured side is facing down. Trace the template you just created and cut the scrapbook paper. You’ve made your first flag! Repeat this for as any flags as you’d like.

Step 3. This step can prove to be a little trickier. I free handily cut all my letters out mostly out of laziness and not wanting to draw letters first. If you feel comfortable enough, feel free to do so! If cutting letters free-hand isn’t quite your thing, no worries! You can either draw out the letters first and cut them out or you could even make the letters on the computer in a Word file, print them out on your preferred paper, then cut them out.

Step 4. Glue the letters on the flags you created in step 2 in the order you desire, be sure the edges and corners of each letter are gently pressed down so they don’t curl.

Step 5. This is where you get to assemble all the pieces! I chose to use clothesline to hang the flags on string because it’s easier for me to store and reuse. You could also glue the flags around the string but you just need to make sure to leave some extra room at the top when you create your template flag.

And here’s the final project in place!

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Happy Birthday Bunting with embellished glitter circles