Monday, April 23, 2012

Establish a House {Silhouette - cutting without a the cutting mat}


If you'd like to learn all about cutting vinyl with the Silhouette without using your cutting mat so that you can cut vinyl of almost any length, come and check out my post over a Expressions Vinyl blog here!



I love how my board turned out!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Simply Link {Party}


Thanks so much for stopping by for my weekly Simply Link Party!

If you are new here, welcome!  I hope you enjoy linking up and visiting other's links as well.

And if you don't already follow me, I would love for you to do so.  See my sidebar for all the ways you can stay connected with me!

One 'small' piece of business before we get to linking...

I have an INCREDIBLE WILTON GIVEAWAY going on right now!  Please stop by and enter to win!


Thanks for stopping by to link up!  I can't wait to see what you've created this week!  


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wilton GIVEAWAY!!


I can not express how humbled I am to be able to host a GIVEAWAY for WILTON.  Yes.  Wilton.

In case you aren't very familiar with Wilton, they sell some of the best baking and decorating tools around.  Their product lines are comprehensive, their quality is high and their prices are quite reasonable.  I have had some of their products for 5+ years, have used it heavily and it is still in great condition.  

Wilton is my first choice for all of my treat decorating needs.  I really should figure out if I can buy their decorator bags, pop sticks and sprinkles in bulk :)

Now you have a chance to win an amazing prize pack from Wilton!  The prize pack will include:


(prize pack will be similar to this)


It's such an amazing prize pack!  Aren't you excited!?



Here's how to enter to win:  


Main Entry:

Head over to Wilton's website and look at the amazing items Wilton creates.  Then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling us which item(s) are your favorite or that you would like to have!

Additional Entries:
1. Head on over to Wilton's blog here.  Glance at a few of their latest articles and leave them a comment if you like.  Come back and leave a comment here letting us know that you visited Wilton's blog.
2. Follow Wilton on Twitter here.  Come back and leave a comment here letting us know.
3.  Blog, FB or Tweet about this giveaway.  Come back here and leave a comment letting us know you spread the word.

Wilton can also be found on Facebook and Pintrest which are some of my favorite ways to stay connected with Wilton.

You can enter a total of (4) times which means you will leave up to four comments on this blog post.  (Remember to leave separate comments for each entry method completed.)

The giveaway will end April 26, 2012 at midnight EST.  The winner will have three days after announcement to claim their prize.  Winner must be 18 years or older to win and a US Resident with a US mailing address.  

GOOD LUCK!


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Spring Cake Pops


I know I have recently told you how much I LOVE Wilton's Candy Melts (you can read all about it here), but I really do love working with them.  

So I took the opportunity to whip up a few cake pops, dip them in some delicious, spring colored candy melts and add a few sprinkles from the Flowerful Medley collection of Wilton sprinkles.  


I also found a ton of AMAZING cake pop ideas and decorating tips in their amazing "Pops! Sweet on a Stick" book!


Seriously...this book is awesome.  It takes you through all of the steps you need to create beautiful Pops on a Stick.  It includes ideas for cake pops, brownie pops and cookie pops.  Yum yum yum!

This book has recipes, tips, tricks, and a ton of beautiful decorating ideas!  I already have ideas for the next birthday party in our home.  


I am truly inspired and humbled by all the amazing pop ideas that Wilton has in their book.  I can't even begin to compare to the talented people who put this together!  

But I really do have a lot of fun trying and experimenting and coming up with yummy tasty treats for my friends and family.  And I have had so much fun getting to try out some of Wilton's amazing products!

Be sure to check back later tonight for an amazing GIVEAWAY!

You can purchase Wilton brand products at most craft stores as well as cake decorating supply stores.

I was not compensated for this post, however, Wilton did send me some of this product for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% completely mine.

You can find out more about Wilton here, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


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Fancy Cookie Pops


One of the really fun items that came in my gift package from Wilton are their super cute Pearlized Sprinkles.  They are fun, oh-so-girly and I knew that I needed to use them to decorate some fancy schmancy cookie pops!


How cute are these cookies!


Their Pearlized Sprinkles come in lots of amazing colors and I think they would be perfect for decorating any wedding treat!


I also used Wilton's Round Pops Cookie Pan and their lollipop sticks to create these cookies.


You can purchase Wilton brand products at most craft stores as well as cake decorating supply stores.

I was not compensated for this post, however, Wilton did send me some of this product for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% completely mine.

You can find out more about Wilton here, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


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Flower Pops


If you've followed my blog for almost any amount of time, you probably know that I love to make yummy treats!  I also love to make them look pretty (it's all about the presentation sometimes) but I also love things that taste good.



You might also know that I love Wilton products.  Several years ago I had the privilege of being able to fit a few cake decorating classes into my life and I learned so much and really grew to love the Wilton brand.  They always come out with great quality products, at good prices that are very user friendly.  And I choose to buy many of their products because of these reasons.

Wilton was so generous and sent me an amazing package a few weeks ago and I wanted to take today to show you a few of their great products!  I will have several posts up on my blog today.  And at the end of the day, I will be hosting a GIVEAWAY of the same package that I received!!

Here is what came in my amazing box:


Four bags of their amazing Candy Melts (you can see how much I love their candy melts here), their containers of the oh-so-cute Pearl Sprinkles, their Flowerful Medley Sprinkles, their Lollipop Sticks, their Pop Flower Pot Kit and their Pop! Sweets on a Stick book.

I was in heaven!

The first thing I want to show you is a very simple Flower Cookie Pop.  These are so easy to make, cute, and tasty!

Wilton does make a flower cookie pop mold, but I decided to use a quick little trick to make my flower pops.  They aren't as perfectly formed, but they are fun to make with the kids.

First you will mix up your sugar cookie mix (you can use a store bought mix, or make it from scratch.  Then roll your dough into balls and cover with the sprinkles of your choice.


Next, using your kitchen scissors, you will cut the ball in half, being careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom of the ball.  Then cut in half, and then in half again.  


You will then spread the "petals" out and flip your ball over so the sprinkle side is facing up.

I know it looks like a funny pointy star right now, but as it bakes the pointy petals will turn into soft flower shapes.

Carefully insert a pop stick into the dough flower and cook according to cookie directions.


And aren't they just so cute in the Pop Flower Pot Kit!?  

This pop stand can hold 5 pops and makes an amazing gift to give to friends or neighbors!  I think I see the possibility of a great teacher gift in this!

You can purchase Wilton brand products at most craft stores as well as cake decorating supply stores.

I was not compensated for this post, however, Wilton did send me some of this product for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% completely mine.

You can find out more about Wilton here, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

I found my idea for cutting the flower cookies here.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Three Winners!


I am sooooo excited to announce 3 Winners today from the Signs by Andrea giveaway!

The first Winner of the Personalized Monogram Sign is:


The two Winners of the Personalized Special Dates Downloads are:



and...




Congratulations Aubrey Laine, Dee's World and Karen!!  

You have 3 days to contact me at simplydesigning@gmail.com in order to claim your prize.

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Simply Link {Party}


Wow.  I am truly been a slacker this week as far as blogging goes.  It is not for lack of stuff to post, it is simply because it has been a really crazy week.

We had a family emergency this week that just threw me for a loop.  Thankfully, due to prayers and modern medicine, things are looking better.  But it was kinda scary there for a while.

And I can't believe I forgot to post the link party!  Wow!  So here it is, late,  but up and running!  I can't wait to see what you have created this week!



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Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning is like Nesting


I keep my house fairly clean and organized in my opinion.  So I was about ready to laugh at the whole "spring cleaning" thing this year and decide I didn't really need to do it because I do so much deep cleaning as I clean every week, I've never felt the need to tackle it all at once.  (Case in point, last week I cleaned the oven just for fun.)

But with the onslaught of spring-like weather and after reading this blog with all her fabulous cleaning tips, I decided there are always a few things I could improve on.

Now all of the sudden I want to spring clean like I want to nest when I am pregnant.  Crazy, I know.

And, I have decided to do it the long way this year :)

I actually plan to clean room by room this year.  I know it is not the most efficient way to do it.  However, I LOVE the feeling of completing a single room at a time!  It's like a check off my to-do list!  I get an instant rush of COA (crazy ocd adrenaline) from knowing that a particular space in my house is deep cleaned, de-cluttered, dust free and disinfected.  (I can hear angels singing I think)

I have broken my house down into 10 manageable areas:


·         Family Room
·         Kitchen and Dining Area
·         Front Foyer, Downstairs Hallway, Piano Room, Back Entrance
·         Downstairs Bathroom, Pantries and Closets
·         Play Room and Stairs
·         Child #1's Room
·         Child #2's Room
·         Kids Bathroom, Guest Room, Upstairs Hallway, Game/Linen Closet
·         Laundry Room, Master Closets, Master Den
·         Master Bedroom and Bathroom


Totally manageable.

And I even accomplished deep cleaning the Family Room today, complete with cleaned windows (inside and outside), window sils, that yucky area where dirt, dust and dead flies end up where the window sits in (what's that called??), blinds, ceiling fan, baseboards...this is probably the most boring list ever to read.  Sorry.

But I feel a sense of accomplishment!  Love that!

As you tackle your Deep / Spring Cleaning this year, here are a few areas to remember to clean in each room:


·         Dust, high to low, inside and out
·         Clean Furniture, Fixtures and Wall Hangings
·         Blinds
·         Windows, Window Sills
·         Window Treatments and anything fabrics that can be laundered
·         Light Switches
·         Walls
·         Doors, Door Frames, Door Knobs
·         Baseboards
·         Vacuum
·         Mop


Do you Spring Clean?  If so, how do you like to tackle it?

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Simply Link {Party}



Thanks for stopping by for my weekly link party!  I can't wait to see what you've created!
  • You can link up pretty much anything as long as you "created" it (Food, craft, home decor item, a beautiful garden, a photograph, etc.  I am really flexible!)  
  • Please keep it family friendly.  
  • Please no links to shops or giveaways.  
  • I reserve the right to delete any links that aren't appropriate. 
  • By linking up you are giving me permission to feature or show off your project (I will link back to you of course.)
Also, I would love it if you linked back to my site and mentioned on your blog, facebook or twitter about my link party!  Help me spread the word please!

And please visit 2-3 other links and leave them a nice, meaningful comment!  Thanks!




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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Signs By Andrea GIVEAWAY


I have recently had the privilege of meeting (online) an absolutely amazing person who has an incredibly creative and beautiful store: Signs by Andrea.

Andrea always wanted to be an artist when she grew up, and her dream became a reality when she gave a hand-created masterpiece as a wedding gift and the response was overwhelming.  Now her shop is full of amazingly beautiful pieces!

And Signs by Andrea is offering up an amazing giveaway today for my fabulous readers!  How much fun is that!?

One of the items I chose from Signs by Andrea is this beautiful Monogram Sign with Overlay.  This is the piece that started it all for Andrea and I can see why!


The monogram with overlay is made with a beautiful rustic piece of wood.  I love the character of the wood.  The painting and distressing is incredibly done and the finished product is gorgeous.  And I love the overall look of this, it is so pretty!

And who wouldn't love to receive the monogram with overlay as a wedding gift!?


The second item I received was a digital download for this Special Dates Artwork.  I will show you how I actually decided to print and display this soon, but what I love about this custom piece of art is that it is such a conversation starter!  Everyone who walks in my door wants to know what all the numbers are!  I love explaining that they are dates that are special to us as a family.  How neat is what!?

It is personal, unique and beautiful!

I love how unique and beautiful Andrea's signs are and I love that the quality and craftsmanship is amazing as well.

And I am so excited that Signs by Andrea has offered an amazing GIVEAWAY with 3 WINNERS plus a DISCOUNT CODE to all my readers!!  Hurray!

Use discount code SIMPLY10 for 10% off a wood sign order or SAVINGS42012 for 10% off your (de)Signs prints & posters order. (expires 4/19)

Signs by Andrea Prizes (total of 3 winners): 
(1) Winner: Personalized Monogram Sign - $20 value



1ft Monogram Initial Sign

(2) Winners: Special Dates Personalized Printable Download - $9 value each

Special Dates "Original" Printable - 5 Dates with Highlighted Anniversary


Here's how to enter to win:  

Main Entry:

Head over to Signs by Andrea and look at the amazing items in Andrea’s shop.  Then come back here and leave a comment on this post telling us which item(s) are your favorite(s)!

Additional Entries:
1. Head on over to Signs by Andrea's blog here.  Look around at some of her latest creations and leave her a comment.  Come back and leave a comment here letting us know that you visited her blog.
2. Follow Signs by Andrea on Twitter here.  Come back and leave a comment here letting us know.
3.  Blog, FB or Tweet about this giveaway.  Come back here and leave a comment letting us know you spread the word.

Signs by Andrea can also be found on Facebook which is one of my favorite ways to stay connected to Andrea, her blog and her shop.

You can enter a total of (4) times which means you will leave up to four comments on this blog post.  (Remember to leave separate comments for each entry method completed.)

The giveaway will end April 12, 2012 at midnight EST.  The winner will have three days after announcement to claim their prize.  Winner must be 18 years or older to win and a US Resident with a US mailing address.  

GOOD LUCK!


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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Carrots


Last year a creative friend of mine let her daughter hand out these super cute Easter Carrots with Goldfish.

And not only were they cute, but they are yummy, and a candy-free Easter treat idea!!


All you need to do is grab a pack of disposable icing bags, fill with goldfish (or other orange food) and tie with a few strands of green curling ribbon.

Wouldn't this make a cute treat for the Easter baskets this year?

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Easter Cone Basket


I love crafts I can do with my kids and this is a craft my 5 year old can do all by her self (with supervision of course!)

When kids can accomplish a task like this all by themselves, it definitely is a huge boost in their confidence so I love doing activities like this with my daughter!

Easter Cone Baskets (filled with Jelly Beans)



You Will Need:

  • Ice cream cake cones
  • Twizzlers
  • Jelly Beans or other item to fill cone with
  • Knife (I used a kid safe knife from Pampered Chef, so this made it safer for my 5 year old to do)
How To:
  1. Using a knife, carefully make holes in the sides of the ice cream cone.  Be careful not to get these too big.
  2. Carefully insert the Twizzlers into the holes.
  3. Fill with jelly beans or other candy 


This would make a cute place holder for the Easter dinner table or a cute gift for your child to hand out to his/her friends!

I found my original source for this idea here.

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Lollipop Bunnies


If you are looking for a cute kid treat for Easter, these are super fun and simple to make with just a few things:  Lollipop Bunnies!


Lollipop Bunnies

  • Dum Dum lollipops
  • large, medium and small white pom poms
  • small pink pom poms
  • squiggly eyes
  • ribbon
  • white pipe cleaner
  • hot glue



I was inspired by an idea found on Pintrest with no link back :(  If you know who originally made these email me and I'll give credit!


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Crystal Patterns - Just in time for Wedding Season!

Ding-Ding -- It's time to talk crystal!


Calling all soon-to-be-married brides! Wedding season is upon us, so it's time to begin making some fun, and sometimes exhausting, choices about those special items that you may only get the opportunity to receive once in your lifetime.

Today, we will be giving you some simple tips about selecting crystal stemware that I hope are as crystal clear as your potential selection!

To be considered "crystal", the piece must contain at least 24% lead. Why would anyone want to put lead in glass you ask? The addition of lead to glass makes for a cleaner cut. This is why you see crystal stemware with intricate designs and engravings but not so with glass.

When choosing a crystal stemware pattern, it is easy to become discouraged at the cost per stem. Don't fret! You're not alone if you think eighty dollars or more is expensive for an item that you probably won't use all that often. My point is that crystal is a little pricey in general. Some manufacturers are more expensive than others, so it's best to decide on a price-point that you are comfortable with and that your wedding guests and friends won't be offended by.

 For the budget conscious, Richmond by Reed & Barton retails for $27.50

Another aspect to consider when selecting crystal stemware is style. Take some time to figure out what you like. I know, I know, mother knows best. But let's face it: If you don't love your crystal pattern, you probably won't use it very often. If you plan on selecting formal dinnerware or fine china to entertain with, you could easily pair a beautiful place setting with something equally stunning. Sometimes, the more elaborate the crystal stemware pattern the better. However, in some cases, an intricately detailed goblet might make your table setting look off balance or overwhelm the overall look you are trying to achieve.

Today, many brides opt for non-traditional, "high casual" dinnerware, with clean and elegant lines that can easily be transformed from ho-hum to ooh-la-la by the accompaniment of a somewhat simpler crystal pattern.

Let's take a look at Claire by William Yeoward, for example:



This pattern is hand-engraved with small dots and can easily go from luncheons to a formal dinner. If you are having difficulty imagining the look you want, most stores are more than happy to let you and your fiancé play around with plates, stemware, and linens to stage a mock table setting.

The lesson for the day is to have fun! Pick out something that you truly think is beautiful and that reflects your entertaining style. Don't settle for what you should or shouldn't like. If you are having trouble envisioning your table setting several years from now it's okay -- choose a pattern that inspires you to entertain! A crystal pattern that is a reflection of you, and not necessarily the current trend, is an investment that doesn't have to break the bank and will give you, your spouse, and your guests years of enjoyment and entertaining memories.


About the Author
Julie Shuford is the Marketing Manager for Bering's Hardware in Houston, TX. Julie is a girl's girl who loves a good sale, a long run, and time with her husband and new baby boy. Bering's Hardware is a unique retail store that provides everything from hardware to fine china and housekeeping products to grilling products.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jelly Bean Topiary


Last Easter a good friend of mine made herself a set of Jelly Bean Topiaries.  At the time she was an avid blogger and the topiaries made it all across blogland.

This year, my friend helped me make my own Jelly Bean Topiaries just in time for Easter!


They are really simple to create and there is still time to make them before Easter arrives.

You will need:

  • styrofoam balls, (2) 3" and (1) 4" ball
  • pink paint and foam brush
  • wooden dowels x3
  • pails or containers x3
  • extra styrofoam
  • paper shreds
  • hot glue
  • jelly beans, 6 bags

First you will paint your styrofoam balls pink.  All this does it make it so that the bare spots are less noticeable. It's a nice extra touch in my opinion, so take the time to do it, but one coat is enough and it doesn't have to be perfect.

Next, using lots of hot glue, starting at the top, glue your jelly beans around the styrofoam balls, leaving a hole at the bottom for your wooden dowel to go.  (I used Brach's Jelly Beans from Walmart, they don't taste very good but they are pretty and cheap at $1 a bag.)


Use glue and insert the wooden downs into the styrofoam.

Put extra styrofoam into the containers and glue the dowels into the foam.  Cover the bottom with paper shreds.


Cute huh?  I love crafting with candy this time of year!  It is so much fun and so inexpensive!

And the best part is that I got to craft with one of my BFF's :)

My friend's blog who had this original idea can be found here.  Although, sadly she is no longer blogging :(

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Easter Egg Round-Up {video}


Another Fox video to share with you today!

This time, it is an Easter Egg Round-Up in video form.

Easter Eggs Simply Designing

Check out the video how-to on these unique Easter Egg Ideas Here.




To see the following blog tutorials, click on the following links:

Kool-Aid Dyed Eggs
Decorate Eggs with Stickers and Jewels
Glitter Eggs
Polka Dotted Eggs

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Kool Eggs


Still looking for a more traditional Easter Egg look without smelling your house up like vinegar and eggs?  (I'm just saying, it's not the most pleasant combination...)

Try dye your eggs using Kool-Aid!  Not only do they produce really bright colored eggs, but your house smells yummy!


Add 1 packet of Kool-Aid to 2/3 c water and let the hard  boiled egg sit in the mixture until the desired color is desired.


As a hint though, if you leave the eggs in too long, you will start to get a speckled look.  Let's just pretend this was on purpose. :)


How are you dying your Easter Eggs this year?

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Glitter Eggs


Glitter Eggs?  Yes please!

These are so simple.  And so beautiful!  I love just them!


First you will simply paint your egg with a thin coat of Mod Podge.


Then cover your egg completely in glitter and let dry.


So super cute!


How are you decorating your Easter Eggs this year?

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Decorating Eggs with Stickers and Jewels


This is a great way to let your kids be 100% in charge of decorating the eggs this year!

Let them break out the stickers and decorate your room temperature hard boiled eggs.


If your stickers are having a hard time sticking, your eggs might be a bit cold still.  It's no problem though, just whip out the hair dryer and give your stickers a few seconds under the blow dryer and they should stick well.


I had girly stickers because my oldest is a girl.  But I think car, truck and dinosaur stickers would look equally as cute!


You can also add a few jewels to your eggs too if you like them a bit more sparkly!


How are you decorating your eggs this year?

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Polka Dotted Easter Eggs


I've opted to leave behind the traditional store bought dye for this years Easter Eggs. And all throughout the next day or so, I am going to show you a few fun simple ways to decorate eggs that are a bit outside the box.

First up, Polka Dotted Easter Eggs.


All you need is your hard boiled eggs at room temperature, your craft paint and a sponge.


Cut your sponge to any shape you like.  Let your kids have fun and come up with crazy shapes!

I chose to go with simple round dots.


Dip the sponge in the paint and apply to the egg!


Let dry and return to refrigerator.


How do you plan to decorate your Easter Eggs this year?

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