Archive for the ‘Special Events’ Category

My girlfriend and I co-hosted a surprise birthday party for our husbands last weekend.  (They are friends from college and celebrated milestone birthdays within a week of each other.)  So much fun!!!  But, the planning started months in advance.

As we discussed the theme and decor for the party, we decided to use chalkboards on all of the food and drink tables.

It was too expensive to buy vintage chalkboards, so I decided to make them.  It turned out to be a fairly easy project.

After reading many blogs and talking to several people that make & sell vintage chalkboards, here are my “comprehensive” directions for DIY Chalkboards


  • Empty picture frames
  • MDF (1/4 inch) – available at hardware stores
  • Chalkboard Paint – also available at hardware stores
  • Primer (recommended;  I used gray spray primer)
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Glazing Push Points
  • Chalk & Soft Rags


  1. Select the frames you wish to use.  I picked up four frames at our monthly flea market for a total of $12.   Most of us can probably re-purpose old picture frames we have around the house.
  2. Have the MDF cut to fit the size of your frames.  (Measure carefully!  You want to make sure your boards will fit snugly in the frames.  If your frames still have the glass or cardboard back, these make great patterns.)  Most hardware stores will custom cut for free.  I even went back to Home Depot twice to have the large boards cut into smaller pieces. 
  3. It’s best to prime the MDF.  I used a gray primer spray paint, since I was using black chalkboard paint.  Once the primer is dry, lightly sand the MDF with very fine grit sandpaper.  Use a soft cloth to wipe away all dust.
  4. Paint the primed MDF with chalkboard paint.  I used a disposable sponge roller and painted three coats.  (I wrapped the sponge roller and paint tray in Saran Wrap and placed them in the refrigerator between coats.  This way I only needed 1 roller and didn’t need to clean out my paint tray.)
  5. When the boards are completely dry, you need to “season” them, so you can wipe off the chalk writing and reuse your chalkboards.  Season the boards by using the side of your chalk and rubbing chalk all over the entire surface of your chalkboard.  Wipe off all chalk dust with a soft cloth.
  6. Paint, distress, wax or glaze your frames, depending on the desired look you want to achieve.  (I sprayed my frames white, using white spray paint that I had on hand.)  Be sure to paint in a well ventilated area if you are using spray paint.
  7. To secure the chalkboard MDF into the picture frames, you can use Push Points to secure the board to wood frames using a large screw driver or metal putty knife.

I ended up with four large framed chalkboards and several other non-framed boards (including a very large board that we used at the party to display messages from guests that couldn’t be with us for the party and a long skinny board with a “thank you” message).

I spent $41 on the entire project … I couldn’t have purchased one framed chalkboard for that price!


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With our crazy, busy lives these days, it’s nice to see a boxed, hand-wrapped gift.  I know I’m one to grab the cute gift bags and tissue as we’re out the door off to a birthday party.  But, I do appreciate a paper-wrapped gift tied with ribbon.

This weekend, we’ll be celebrating my step daughter’s 13th birthday.  I went with a pink, teal and black theme … gotta love that zebra wrap!!!  Natalie and I have used it on many presents with bright colored ribbon.

I love the narrow wired, sparkly ribbon in teal and pink.  I’ve used it on many packages and handmade cards (Michael’s).  And I love the teal & white cheetah wrap (HomeGoods).

Craft supplies can come in handy when wrapping presents.  We often make handmade gift tags using paper punches.

We never run out of ribbon at our house!  🙂

Happy wrapping!

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Over the weekend, Jeff and I attended the wedding of a good girlfriend.  It was the perfect day for a beautiful, outdoor wedding at an estate tucked in the foothills.

The wedding color was citron — and the tables were simple and elegant with beautiful yellow flowers, lemons and limes.

The flowers were breathtaking.  All of the arrangements were atop glass vases filled with cut lemons and limes in water.

The bridal couple had their own intimate table set for two.

On the backs of their chairs, hung adorable bouquets labeled “Mr.” and “Mrs.”.  Such a nice touch!

The cake was beautiful (and delicious)!

It was such a fun and lovely wedding … Congratulation you two!

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This is a deviation from my usual posts.

My husband and I attended his company holiday party over the weekend.  It was an 80s theme party – with everyone dressed in costume and GREAT 80s dancing music.  It was held in the penthouse of a building in downtown LA — very urban, loft-like — with great views of downtown.

Besides having the BEST music to dance to, there were some really great ideas to use for other parties.

  • Mac -n- Cheese Bar.  They had regular mac -n- cheese and a gorgonzola version.  There were all kinds of toppings:  chicken, sausage, sauteed mushrooms, green onions, chopped tomatoes and salsa – just to name a few.  Who doesn’t like mac -n- cheese?
  • Shotglasses of Dippin’ Dots.   There was a dessert bar, but they also tray passed shotglasses of Dippin’ Dots.  Dippin’ Dots are tiny beads of ice cream.  (Our kids love them!)  This was a really fun way to serve ice cream at a party — very easy to eat and unique.
  • Old 80s movies. There were several large screen tvs playing old movies.  Think Farris Bueller’s Day Off, Purple Rain, Sixteen Candles.  This would be so easy to do for decade-themed parties at home.

While I stressed a bit about finding time to pull together costumes during the Christmas season — it was fun to dress up.   None of Jeff’s co-workers recognized him in costume (the rocker above).  The hair and glasses were a great cover.  But I think the t-shirt made the costume.   It was a great find ($7) at Marshal’s — after I struck out at our local mall.

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Don’t we all love going to weddings?

Jeff and I attended the most beautiful black tie wedding over Memorial Weekend.  It was the daughter of dear family friends.  I’ve known the bride and her sister since they were toddlers.  My family has spent many fun times, holidays and special celebrations with them over the years.   The bride and her sister were flower girls in my wedding twenty some years ago.

What made the wedding extra special was that my father and niece were both in the wedding.  My dad was the pastor (long story … he got an online certificate) and my niece Olivia, was a flower girl.

The bride was stunning in an ivory satin gown.  Her colors were navy blue, gold and champagne.  The flowers were pale pink peonies with ivory and champagne roses and white and pale green hydrangeas …. absolutely beautiful!

The reception was held in a white draped tent.  Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling.  It was sophisticated and elegant.

The tables were covered with gold sheer toppers.  At each place setting was a personalized menu beautifully wrapped in an ivory napkin and tied with a gold ribbon.

The table centerpieces alternated between statuesque cascading flowers and multiple short crystal vases with flowers.  Gold rimmed votives covered all of the tables along with tiny gold vases holding individual flowers.  (Great ideas and inspiration for formal table scapes!).

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