Back to School Stationery

by Christina on August 19, 2011

Next week kicks off the flood of kids heading back to school. It can be a fun, scary and exciting time for children and teens as they delve into new experiences. And whether your kid is going to school for the first time or leaving for college, what better way to engage them into socializing than with stationery. In age that is ridden with e-mails, I happen love the sentiment of a handwritten thank you note. I know I’m not alone. All the time, I hear about how a person’s day is brightened by a note or a card from a loved one.

Here are some of my personal favorite picks for thank you notes. Perfect for kids and teens alike, these thank you notes are a great way to kick off the school year in style.

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Whitney English Sport Stripe Red Note Card

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Whitney English Rainbow Circle Note Card

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Whitney English Flame Stitch Note Card

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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Gold Rush

by Christina on August 18, 2011

Did you know that this week in 1896, gold was first discovered in the Yukon? On August 16th, 1896 - a fisherman by the name of George Carmack, spotted gold nuggets in a creek bed. His discovery lead to the well-known Gold Rush that spiked the following July. And thus began the lust for all things gold. Whether it’s makeup, accessories or even in paper - we love the color gold. Even though gold is a well known commodity these days, it doesn’t mean you can’t have your very own “gold rush”. Check out our golden picks.

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Necklace: H&M; Earrings: Alexis Bittar; Invitation: Enchanted by Jasmine & Woo; Eyeshadow: MAC

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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Dinosaur Birthday Party

by Christina on August 12, 2011

dino

INVITATIONS
Get your party off to a roaring start with this Meri Meri Party Dinosaur Invitation. We love the bright colors and the festive party hat which sticks out from the flat card. A super cute party invitation to start your celebration off in style.

DECORATIONS
Go green! Let the green and red color palette of the invitation provide the inspiration for your decor. Add colored napkins, plates and balloons to liven up the space. Plastic dinosaurs are really easy to find online and at toy stores. For a cute table accent, try buying one for each guest and putting at their place setting. Be sure to check the packaging to make sure the toy doesn’t have any small pieces that could be hazardous to younger children.

CAKE
I love this Wilton Dinosaur Cake Pan. Relatively inexpensive and provides an easy to use mold that can make the most adorable dinosaur birthday cake. Just bake and decorate with bright colored frosting and your child’s party guests will roar with excitement.

FOOD
Try sticking to the prehistoric theme with finger foods children can eat without utensils. Not only is efficient for entertaining a crowd but it’s fun. After all, what dinosaurs actually ate with a fork and knife? None ;) For a specific recipe, I love these Baked Chicken Nuggets.

ENTERTAINMENT
Check out your local natural history museum for great exhibits on dinosaurs. Be sure to look online or call ahead to see what films and exhibitions are being put on in your area. According to the Travel Channel - America’s Best Dinosaur Exhibits, the Wyoming Dinosaur center ranks number one with over 12,000 square feet of exhibit space and 20 full-size dinosaur skeletons. The article also gives kudos to the American Museum of Natural History (New York), the Field Museum of National History (Chicago) and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (DC). If none of those cities are close to you, there are still some amazing exhibits at many natural history museums throughout the country. If carting kiddos to a museum doesn’t sound like a party, there are some great dino themed movies that are sure to entertain a crowd. Check out Jurassic Park for older kids and The Land Before Time for little ones.

Did you know that on this day in 1990, fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson discovered the largest ever T-Rex skeleton, a 65 million year old specimen named Sue? Three years later, Chicago’s Field Museum paid $8.63 million dollars for Sue’s skeleton which is now on display in their halls.

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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A Beauty-Full Bash

by natalie2 on June 29, 2011

As some of you might know, I recently quit my job working at Sephora because my husband and I are moving to St. Louis in a few weeks! I worked there for one year and while I’m SO excited about moving on to something new, I must admit I do miss the unlimited access to mascara, lipgloss, and perfume! And of course the employee discount….let’s just not get into that.

Anyways, I realize that my addiction to make-up (and pretty much all things beauty related) might be a little more severe than most women out there. However, what woman doesn’t love getting all glammed up? And based on the number of beauty magazines that fly off the shelves every month, we are surely all at least slightly obsessed with finding the greatest products, the newest products and the holy grail products that will make us look our absolute best.

I’m sure all you women out there have your favorite “go-to” products that you’re fairly certain you literally could not live without (I know I do)! Which means that you all probably have mothers, best friends, sisters, and daughters who have their best kept secret products as well. Well ladies, let’s SHARE THE LOVE! Host a make up party or beauty party where every woman brings their top 5, or top 10, favorite beauty products to gush about. I guarantee you will learn A LOT!

Serve cupcakes on pink plates. Serve champagne. Girl it up as much as possible! And use these super-cute make up invitations from Inviting Company. I love them.

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Now, assuming I won’t be invited to any of your parties (unfortunately), I am going to go ahead and give you my current, most loved, most needed, top 10 favorite make up products. In no particular order!

$42, Sephora.com

$42, Sephora.com

*Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation

The very best foundation I have ever used! A full coverage foundation best for normal/combination or dry skin. An absolute staple for me!

$24, Sephora.com

$24, Sephora.com

*Illamasqua Blush in Lover

The most beautiful blush I have ever used. The formula is very, very pigmented and powdery, so use with a light hand! The color Lover is a perfect light peach tint to my super-fair skin.

$26, Sephora.com

$26, Sephora.com

*Benefit Erase Paste

I do not leave this house without this on. Period. If I wear nothing else on my face, I always have this on! A perfect, creamy, peach-toned concealer to hide my hideous under eye circles.

dazzleglass

$18.50, maccosmetics.com

*MAC Dazzleglass

My favorite lipgloss! One of the most pigmented lipglosses I have ever used, with an easy-to-use brush applicator. Not sticky at all! Comes in a wide variety of colors, but one of my favorites is Bare Necessity.

$14.50, maccosmetics.com

$14.50, maccosmetics.com

*MAC Eyeshadow

The best eyeshadows ever. Hands down. My all-time favorite is this shade called Woodwinked.

$28, Sephora.com

$28, Sephora.com

*Hourglass Film Noir Mascara

The only mascara I have ever used that truly is thickening, lengthening, separating, and defining all in ONE! Does not clump or smudge. My favorite!

$46, Sephora.com

$46, Sephora.com

* Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Fresh Powder

Definitely a splurge, but worth it! I love this setting powder for it’s incredible staying power and silky finish. Never looks cakey, and lasts a long time! Apply with a powder puff for best results.

$6.99, Ulta.com

$6.99, Ulta.com

*L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour in British Red

The perfect orange-toned red lipstick for my fair skin. Love it!

$18, Sephora.com

$18, Sephora.com

*Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil

My favorite pencil eyeliners! They come in such a variety of colors, they glide on so easily, and they don’t budge. A staple.

nars

$55, Sephora.com

*Nars Trio: Highlighter in Albatross, Blush in Orgasm and Brozer in Laguna

My three must-have Nars products in a limited-edition compact! A truly genius idea from the folks at Nars. Get it while you can…you won’t be sorry!

And that’s all folks! What are YOUR must-have beauty products?

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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Stars & Stripes

by natalie2 on June 15, 2011

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Today, June 14th, is National Flag Day! On this day in 1777, Congress formally adopted the famous Stars and Stripes design as the National Flag of the United States. Although we see images of our beautiful flag nearly every day, there are few days of the year that it appears to be present as much as the Fourth of July…one of my very favorite holidays! This important, yet super fun holiday is less than 3 weeks away…it’s time to start planning what YOU and your family will be doing this July 4th! For those of you hosting your own party, we have some festive tips for you today to get you started with your planning. And stayed tuned…there will be more to come!

Of course, to start things off, I am giving you a few of my favorite patriotic/summer invitations to set the tone of the day. First, I love this classic Stars & Stripes invitation from Jasmine & Woo. Simple yet completely appropriate for any Fourth of July party!

stars-invite

I also love this red, white and blue swirl invitation from San Lori. Still equally appropriate without going the “stars & stripes” route!

rwb-invite Now for those of you who are having a barbeque, either on the actually Fourth of July or otherwise, you are sure to love these two invitations. The first is an adorable grill invitation from Meri Meri, and the second is a festive BBQ invitation from San Lori.

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grill2-invite

You can’t have a legit Fourth of July party without some fabulous red, white and blue décor! For this I am going to the Queen of Craft, Ms. Martha Stewart. Check out over 35 immensely creative ideas for everything Fourth of July related from table settings, crafty projects and food displays! Here are a few of my favorites.

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And what is probably the number 1, most important aspect of July 4th? I know you all know the answer….FIREWORKS of course! You can always do your own in your backyard, but I find a much safer and less stressful route is go to one of the many public displays around the country. Use this national database of firework displays if you’re not sure where to go!

fireworks

Coming up in the next couple weeks…my top 10 recipes for your Fouth of July party! Don’t miss em!

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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BALLIN’!

by natalie2 on June 10, 2011

game

It’s that time of year! The NBA Finals are coming to a finish. This Sunday marks game six of this year’s Championship. If everything goes according to MY plan, the Dallas Mavericks will claim victory over the Miami Heat and will win their first ever NBA Championship title. I must say…it will be about time! They do deserve it, in my opinion. However, if the Heat manages to win on Sunday, they will go head-to-head in Game 7 on Tuesday, June 14th, which will then determine the winner. I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of watching basketball on TV. My heart definitely belongs to football in that category. BUT, I must say there are few things more exciting than watching a live game. Living in Oklahoma City, I had the privilege this year to attend a couple Thunder games while they were still in the running, and man, what excitement! Those who regularly attend basketball games know what I’m talkin’ bout! I did feel a LITTLE like a traitor though, as I am and always will be Texas girl, and my heart belongs to the Mavericks! So whether you are rooting for the red or the blue, this weekend’s game is sure to be a tense one! Why not gather your friends, family, and neighbors and host a friendly get-together to watch these two great teams battle it out!

I love this adorable sports invitation from San Lori…perfect for this event!

sports-invite

And you can’t have a sports party without some great food! Here are three of my favorite crowd-pleasing appetizers that will be sure to please on game day.

Photo courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker

Photo courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker

This cheddar ale spread from Brown Eyed Baker is absolutely delcious! You got beer. You got cream cheese. You got cheddar cheese and mustard. Seriously, how could it not be?

Photo courtesy of Our Best Bites

Photo courtesy of Our Best Bites

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pastry Pockets from Our Best Bites are unbeatable. A creamy chicken and smoky bacon mixture wrapped in flaky pastry crust…drool.

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Finally, Creamed Mushrooms on Chive Butter Toast from the amazing Smitten Kitchen is slightly more sophisticated, but equally delicious!

AND, how appropriate are these?!

mav-cookiesheat-cookies

Mavericks and Heat decorated sugar cookies from Mrs. Fields. Now if you’re super creative/talented/into baking, you could probably make these yourself, or something very similar. But why do that when these are so dang CUTE? I just love them.

Alright, two days and counting! Go MAVS!

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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Popsicle Paradise

by natalie2 on June 1, 2011

You may remember this post from a while back where we featured the Zoku Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma. I received this kitschy kitchen tool from my mother-in-law at my bridal shower last year and have been waiting for the weather to warm up to use it. I’ve tried it out multiple times and must say that I absolutely love it! Now that summer is fast approaching, I thought I would share with you today some of my favorite ice pop recipes for kids and adults alike. You definitely don’t need the Zoku maker to whip up these amazingly cool treats, but it does make the process extra easy and fun. So, without further ado, here are some delicious popsicle recipes for you to try at home, because baby, it’s HOT outside! Or will be soon at least.

Kid-friendly summer treats

I love these kid-friendly recipes that I’ve found throughout the blogosphere. Clockwise, from the top left: Kiwi Orange Creamsicles from Desserts for Breakfast, Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pudding Pops from Endless Simmer, Blueberry and Pomegranate Popsicles from Mango & Tomato, and Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles from Bakers Royale.

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And for the 21-and-up crowd who might desire a little more ‘pop’ in their pops, here are some adult versions of the classic kid’s treat. Clockwise, from top left: Mojito Popsicles from Blue Jean Gourmet, Margarita Ice Pops from Epicurious, Cosmo Popsicles from Bunny’s Warm Oven, and Corona Beer Popsicles from Bakers Royale.

These frozen treats can be served up easily at any of your upcoming graduation/birthday/pool parties this summer. For kids’ parties, let each kid whip up their own pops upon arrival for a fun activity, then stick them in the freezer for a few hours while they tire out in the pool. Then send them home with their homemade pop! For daytime grown-up parties, or for the adult chaperones, I love the idea of setting up an “ice bar” with a variety of boozy popsicles in lieu of drinks.

I’m featuring again this adorable popsicle invitation from Picture Perfect because it’s so darn cute. It would work perfectly for your upcoming summer parties.

popsicle-invite1

Or, I love this cute bikini invitation from San Lori for the teen/adult crowd.

bikini-invite

Alright folks…let’s slip on our suits, fire up the grill, and get ready for serious summer fun….it’s just around the corner!

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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Always a Bridesmaid

by natalie2 on May 13, 2011

Calling all brides! And maids of honor! And bridesmaids! Today marks the release of the new comedy, Bridesmaids. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this movie, starring Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, looks absolutely hilarious. Newly engaged Lillian appoints her lovelorn and broke best friend Annie as her maid of honor. Though her own life is some sort of a train wreck, Annie puts on a happy face while leading the other bridesmaids through all of the bizarre hoopla that entails being a member of the bridal party. Considering Kristen Wiig not only starred in but also co-wrote this film, I’m expecting this to be a full-blown laugh-fest.

bridesmaids-movie-poster

As a recent bride, I remember trying to think of ideas for my own bachelorette party and other pre-weddings shindigs. I wish this movie had been released back in November! So, maids of honor…what a great way to kick off the bachelorette party festivities! Start with dinner, then the late showing of Bridesmaids, then a night full of bar hopping and tipsy line-quoting to round out the evening. Perfect! I’ve picked out my favorite bachelorette party invitation by Hicks to go along with the event.

bachelorette2

Now, brides…if you still have a few months before the bachelorette party, why not round up your bridesmaids for a casual brunch followed by an afternoon at the movies to say “thank you” for all their hard work. Sounds good to me. Here is the perfect invitation choice by Inviting Company for a fun day out with your girls.

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And, anytime you’re with your best girl friends, pre or post-event cocktails are always appropriate. So for good measure, here is a delightful pink concoction courtesy of The Tattler. It’s called the Pinky Rose, but I’m renaming it….THE BRIDESMAID! Bottoms Up.

2 parts Pinky Vodka

¼ part Sweet & Sour

¼ part Triple Sec

½ part White Cranberry Juice

1 splash of lime juice

*Shake over ice and serve in a chilled martini glass.

pinkdrink

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Debbie

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All Aboard!

by natalie2 on May 12, 2011

This week marks the 142nd anniversary of the completion of one of the greatest feats in American history. After nearly 7 years of construction, the final spike of the United States Transcontinental Railroad was driven into the ground on May 10, 1869.

Building of the Transcontinental Railroad

The blood, sweat, and tears of over 20,000 workers, most of whom were Irish American and Civil War veterans, went into building nearly 2,000 miles of track connecting the West to the East. Central Pacific and Union Pacific combined efforts in building the track, which began in Council Bluffs, Iowa and ended in Sacramento, California. Truly a momentous accomplishment in our history, hundreds of miles of the original railroad through the Sierra Nevada Mountains are still in use today.

In honor of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, we’re giving you some fun ideas for hosting your very own, modern-day kid’s train party! To set the tone, we love this popular train invitation from San Lori, featuring an attachable train cutout with red ribbon and colorful stripes.

train-invite

Using creative train lingo to provide your party details also adds a special touch! Here’s an idea:

All Aboard! We’re celebrating Henry’s 5th Birthday!

Chug on over for plenty of games, food and fun!

Please arrive at Johnson Station at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11th.

Track #: 446 Willow Way

Don’t miss the train!

RSVP to Station Master Linda 555-555-5555

Many traditional party games such as Musical Chairs, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and Simon Says can be adapted to a train theme. Make your own train poster using cardboard and cut out little red train cabooses. Each kid closes their eyes and takes turns pinning the caboose on the train! You can also make train cars out of cardboard boxes and play a friendly game of Musical Train Cars. Finally, have an adult act as “Conductor” for a fun game of Conductor Says.

thomas

A fun touch would be to give each kid a red bandana and conductor hat when they arrive. Also, prizes and favors may include Thomas the Train books, train whistles, train shaped sugar cookies, or train coloring books. The possibilities are endless! Choo-choo!

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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As we dive into May, we know what’s on the hearts and minds of many of our clients… graduation. Eight years ago, I crossed the stage for my own high school graduation. It seems like just yesterday and I even remember every detail of the Hollywood-themed graduation party my parents threw in my honor. It was the perfect send off before heading to film school the following fall. Whether you’re planning a graduation party or announcing your commencement to friends and family, be sure to check some of our favorite graduation announcements and party invitations.

gradinvitedocmilo
We can’t get enough of Doc Milo’s latest collection and one our staff favorites happens to be this Graduation Girl Cap and Gown Invitation. The bright pink background and festive illustration make this card a huge-hit for senior girls and we think it’s the perfect choice for either a high school or college graduation. Although this invitation features a brunette graduation girl, we also have a similar invitation featuring a blonde.

Jasmine and Woo Photo Graduation Announcement Green
One of our best selling graduation announcements is this Photo Green Graduation Announcement by Jasmine and Woo. We love the sleek, modern design which is perfect for showcasing a stunning senior picture. Perfect for guys and girls, this announcement is also available in purple and yellow.

Inviting Company Graduation Invitation
If you’re looking for a festive graduation party invitation that works for both guys and girls, we love this Graduation People Party Invitation by Inviting Company. It’s a colorful yet sophisticated graduation invitation that is perfect for celebrating your commencement.

To the Class of 2011, we wish you the very best as you delve into an exciting new chapter in your lives. Be sure to check out other selections from our graduation page where we have a wide variety of graduation invitations and announcements, perfect for every sense of style!

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Socially Yours,
Debbie

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