Hello, October 2014 | a free desktop calendar download

Celebrate October with this free desktop and phone wallpaper!

Today, we’re happy to share the second installment of our Desktop Beautification Project.

October means fall is officially here, and it also brings a staff favorite holiday: Halloween! I hope this desktop and phone wallpaper help to get you in the fall and Halloween spirit. But if you’re not quite ready for Halloween season, you can still download our fall flowers phone wallpaper here.

Enjoy!

Celebrate October with this free desktop and phone wallpaper!

October 2014 Calendar

2560 x 1440 // 1680 x 1050 // 1440 x 900 // 1280 x 800 // phone

For help on how to install, click here.

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Color Mixer: a warm fall color palette

As I was looking for inspiration for a few different fall crafts I’m working on, it seemed like I was only finding photos of leaves that were vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow. Don’t get me wrong—I love soaking in the bright colors of the leaves as they change, but I knew I’d be using textile materials, and I wanted a fall color palette that felt warm and cozy.

So, when I came across this colorful photo of yarn in muted colors, I knew it was just the kind of inspiration I needed. I thought I’d share it here, too, in case anyone else is looking for some warm fall inspiration!

A fall color palette for autumn inspiration! #color #inspiration #fall

Photo courtesy of Naturally Dyeing

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Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at all our color palettes, or browse our other posts for more on all things fall.

Friday Finds | Fall Activities

The weather has been cooling off around here, and I’m loving the chance to snuggle up with a cozy blanket in the evenings. I’ve always loved fall because it means pumpkin pies, apple picking, caramel apples, and the trees changing into the most spectacular colors!

If you’re looking for crafts or fall activities to keep you busy as the seasons change, check out these fun projects.

If you're looking for some inspiring fall activities, check out these fun projects! #fall #fun #activities #projects #DIY #crafts     If you're looking for some inspiring fall activities, check out these fun projects! #fall #fun #activities #projects #DIY #crafts

If you're looking for some inspiring fall activities, check out these fun projects! #fall #fun #activities #projects #DIY #crafts     If you're looking for some inspiring fall activities, check out these fun projects! #fall #fun #activities #projects #DIY #crafts

If you're looking for some inspiring fall activities, check out these fun projects! #fall #fun #activities #projects #DIY #crafts     If you're looking for some inspiring fall activities, check out these fun projects! #fall #fun #activities #projects #DIY #crafts

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Color Mixer | a cozy autumn color palette

My very favorite time of the year is the few weeks in mid-September that I affectionately call “almost autumn.” Here in Cleveland, the air has just a hint of crispness in it, making it the perfect weather for a sweatshirt, a light scarf and a warm cup of coffee.

Now, I know the way this time of the year makes me feel, but, as it turns out, it’s really difficult to put that feeling into imagery.

Luckily, after a lot of browsing (and, let’s be honest, a few cups of coffee), I came across a delicious recipe for Spiced Chai Tea over at A Beautiful Mess. This gorgeous photo pulled at my warm-beverage-loving heart strings, and I knew it had the perfect tones to inspire a cozy autumn color palette.

A warm & cozy fall color palette #fall #autumn #color

Photo courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Happy Almost Autumn!

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Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at all our color palettes, or browse our other posts for more on all things fall.

Friday Finds | Birthday Ideas

Growing up, my mom always made the biggest deal out of our birthdays. Every year, I knew that when I woke up in the morning and went downstairs, there would be an explosion of birthday decorations covering our house. It made me feel so incredibly special, and now that I’m a mom, I can’t help but want to do the same for my family.

My husband’s birthday is coming up next month, so I’m already on the hunt for creative birthday ideas to make the day extra special for him. I’ve had my eye on the balloon avalanche idea for a while, and I’m going to try to mix in one or two of the ideas below as well!

Fun & creative birthday ideas! #birthday #pancakes     Fun & creative birthday ideas! #birthday #giftideas

Fun & creative birthday ideas - love this money balloon! #birthday #giftideas     Fun & creative birthday ideas! #birthday #balloonideas

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Surprise! A 40th birthday full of pink and gold

Surprise! An unforgettable night filled with pink and gold. #birthday #40thbirthday #surpriseparty #party

Last week, our resident party planner, Elizabeth, shared her 5 must-have items for easy party planning. This week, she’s back to show us how she put those helpful tips to use for her sister’s surprise 40th birthday party!

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With my big sis turning 40 this year, I knew we just had to celebrate this milestone with an unforgettable celebration.

So I met with her hubs and best friend to begin scheming… I mean planning her surprise 40th birthday party.

Surprise! An unforgettable night filled with pink and gold. #birthday #40thbirthday #surpriseparty #party

As you can tell from the shocked look on her face, we GOT HER!

Once the initial shock of the surprise began to wear off, she was taken aback by how many little details were included in the celebration that were a direct reflection of her.

Surprise! An unforgettable night filled with pink and gold. #birthday #40thbirthday #surpriseparty #party

Read More »

5 must-haves for easy party planning

This week, we’re happy to welcome back Elizabeth, our resident party planner, who’s here to share her 5 must-have items for party planning.

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I host a lot of parties. Whether it’s a family member’s birthday party, a friend’s baby shower, or an end-of-the-summer happy hour, there always seems to be a reason to celebrate.

And recently, I realized that there are a few staple items that I’ve used at almost every party. I call them my “party planning must-haves.” They’re those items that I’ve invested in over the years, and that I repeatedly use to create quick and easy focal points that set the tone and style of a party. (And since I’m constantly reusing them, they’ve also saved me a bunch of money over time!)

Here are the top 5 items I recommend keeping on-hand to help with quick & easy party planning:

1. Place card holders

Wire place card holders are great staple items that you can use over & over again! #party #placecards

Photos courtesy of Tess Smith Photography

You know, the ones used to hold cute food and drink tags! I picked up twelve of these little guys on clearance, years ago, and have used them at just about every party I’ve hosted since.

Neutral-colored holders are best because they’ll match a variety of party themes. You can use them with colored paper, tags, ribbon, and anything else your creativity conjures up to add little bursts of color throughout your tablescape. They even make holders without a base, so you can stick them in pretty much anything that goes with your theme. Talk about a “neutral” set! ;)

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2. Glass drink dispensers

Glass drink dispensers are great staple items that you can use over & over again! #party #drinks

Not only can these add a huge splash of color, but serving beverages from a dispenser, instead of purchasing individual drinks, can also save you some money… which you can then spend on things like cute-colored straws, of course! When shopping for the perfect dispenser, I recommend finding one that has a pedestal, so cups can easily fit under the spout without having to use a stand.

Read More »

Hello, September 2014 | a free desktop calendar download

Celebrate September with this free desktop and phone wallpaper! #desktopwallpaper #desktopdownload #september #calendar #desktop

We love helping you creatively celebrate each season, so we’re kicking off our Desktop Beautification Project!

At the beginning of each month, starting today, we’ll share a new, free desktop wallpaper for you to download. We’ve got a calendar version for your desktop, and a non-calendar version for your phone.

This first one was created by Mike’s super-talented wife and artist, Melanie (who will be creating the next few months’ worth, too).

Enjoy!

Celebrate September with this free desktop and phone wallpaper! #desktopwallpaper #desktopdownload #september #calendar #desktop

September 2014 Calendar

2560 x 1440 // 1680 x 1050// 1440 x 900 // 1280 x 800 // phone

For help on how to install, click here.

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Share the love – how to turn your vacation pictures into a sendable keepsake

Earlier this summer, we took a trip to the Outer Banks for our first family vacation since before Carter was born—and, as anyone who has ever taken a 12-hour road trip with a 2-year-old knows, this is a serious feat of endurance for which they really should give out awards :)

In classic Jessica-style, the week included a lot of picture-taking… followed up by a lot of doing nada with my photos when we returned.

…until last week, when I came across an article that inspired me to do something with them! Jessica Shyba, who you may know from her adorable #theoandbeau pictures on Instagram, recently went on a babymoon with her husband, and she wrote about making a card using her vacation pictures.

Share the love - how to turn your vacation pictures into a sendable keepsake

Jessica and her husband used their card to say ‘miss you’ to their 3 kids who stayed home while they were away; but since our vacation was with our extended family, I wanted to use our card to look back on the trip and let them know we’re thinking of them.

I chose my favorite photo collage card, dropped in a bunch of snapshots from the trip, and wrote a little message:

Share the love - how to turn your vacation pictures into a sendable keepsake Read More »

5 customizable party craft ideas for kids, perfect for their next birthday!

When I was a kid, I liked playing games at birthday parties, but I always thought it was way more special when I got to make a craft that I could bring home with me. To help spread some of that birthday party magic, I’ve put together some of my favorite craft ideas for kids. They’re easy, kid-friendly, and only require a little help from adults—perfect for birthday parties, and kids of all ages!

On top of that, they can all be customized to your party’s theme—so, whether you’re diving under the sea with an underwater themed party, or soaring above the clouds with a super hero theme, you’re sure to find something that works!

1. Tote Bag Crafts

First up on my list (and my absolute favorite)—tote bags that kids can decorate and continue to use even after they’re home!

Kids can add anything from hand prints to drawings of their favorite things, and if they’re old enough to use them, you could even put out stencils that match your theme. (This DIY is specific to Mother’s Day, but you could customize it to any party.) Read More »