Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 Things to Steal from the Boho Wedding

If you're a fan of free-spirited, casual events with colorful touches, you probably love Bohemian weddings. And really, what's not to love? With jewel-toned palettes, flowing fabrics, and Moroccan inspiration, the Boho wedding has become a popular theme for weddings and showers.

We love the Boho look so much we think every event needs to share a little, so here are 5 things to borrow steal from the Boho Wedding.

The Crowns
If every girl is supposed to feel like a princess on her wedding day, why not dress the part? With or without a veil, a crown is a simple way to say, "Yes, I am fabulous!" Choose simple or ornate, in cool metallics or gorgeous blooms. We love the look of this delicate leaf design by gardensofwhimsy. And what about floral crowns like this Charlotte Floral Crown design by LoveSparklePretty? Here's a look at our favorites.

LoveSparklePretty Charlotte Floral Crown | gardensofwhimsy Leaf Crown 

Bridal hair crown by whichgoose

The Flowers
Speaking of flowers, let's just steal all the Boho florals. Because let's face it, these weddings know how to bring the blooms. Floral patterned fabrics, arrangements, bouquets, swags, garlands, boutonnieres...we love it all. Here are some of our favorite ways to share blossoms on your big day (and you can find tons more on Pinterest).

photo by Paula O'Hara | photo by Nicole Marie Photography

The Lace
Wedding gowns with delicate, feminine lace are classic, elegant, and sexy. But you don't need to wear lace in order to share the elegance: add lacy table covers, runners, and accents on florals for a touch of finery at any event.

Abba Gown by CoconBridal | Lace and Chiffon Dress by paulastudio
Burlap and Lace Table Runner from SilverStarfishDesign

The Braids
When you think of the Bohemian bride, you probably picture her with long, flowing hair, but just as often you'll see her with braids. From fishtail braids to long, loose plaits, we love Boho hairstyles. And remember the crowns we were just talking about? Why not braid one for this gorgeous look?

Bohemian Side Braid tutorial

The Naked Cakes
The what cakes now? You heard me right! Cakes that are "naked" are missing that outer layer of buttercream or fondant, so you can see the flavor of the cake layers inside as well as the cake's fillings. The rustic appearance makes them perfect for Bohemian weddings, or any event where you want to share a more casual, natural look. (We love naked cakes with fruit and flowers, too.)

Red Velvet cake created by Ideas in Icing, photographed by Jennifer Oliphant Photographer

While these are our absolute favorite things about Boho weddings, there are just too many other fantastic details to share them all here. We'd love it if you'd check out more of our Bohemian wedding inspiration on Pinterest!

What are your favorite Boho wedding details? Do you like the embroidery and macrame? Or the candles and garlands? Let us know what you think!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We Say Goodbye to a Friend

With great sadness we share the loss of our friend and former office manager, Leonardo. He was 19.

“Mr. Nardo” was an important part of our business until his retirement several years ago. He instituted our long-running office recreation program, which included games of fetch and red light-green light.

Nardo could type 45 gobbledygook words per minute, and had real enthusiasm for filing and printer maintenance. He was an excellent chair-warmer and pencil-pusher. He took his unofficial role as office counselor very seriously; many a tense moment was calmed by his soothing presence. In 13 years of service, he required only occasional reprimands for inappropriate grooming.

While we appreciated his business strengths, Nardo was a family man at heart. The party boy ways of his youth were replaced quite gracefully by a love for his kids. He tirelessly patrolled the closets and under bed spaces for monsters. Whenever anyone was up late—finishing a project, feeling sick or sad—he was always there for a snuggle or a head bump. No one was allowed to feel lonely in his house.

More recently he even assisted with homework assignments; his skill on laptops was unmatched.

Nardo loved dogs and donuts, baths and biscuits. He had a notable sense of style and a flair for the dramatic: he wore his trademark tuxedo right into retirement.

It’s rare to find a friend and coworker as gifted as Mr. Nardo. Driven by a natural curiosity, he lived with real enthusiasm. He seemed to forget any harsh words, forgave any slights, and he ended every day with a song.

Our days will be quieter and emptier without him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Flavor of the Month January 2015

Back in October I sampled chocolate croissants from every patisserie in Quebec City. 

OK, this might be an exaggeration. What I do remember quite vividly was that next to and around the chocolate croissants in the patisseries were these very delicate, colorful confections. January's Flavor of the Month is a nod to this lovely cookie, the macaron.

Just like the cupcake before it, the macaron has become wildly popular. With their characteristic crispy exteriors, melt-in-your-mouth centers, and butter-creamy filling, these meringue-based cookies have been popping up everywhere. They're featured on wedding dessert tables, as tiny treats at bridal teas, and baby shower goodies.

Our own macaron has a subtle vanilla-almond flavor with a hint of sweet buttercream. Available at 15% off through the end of the month, Macaron Lip Balm will also be included in orders placed by our favorite customers, so make sure to select the check box during checkout!

Do you love macarons? What are your favorite flavor combinations?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How To Send the Best Cookie Gifts Ever

I don't know about you, but I love baking and I enjoy adding cookies to my holiday gifts. Sometimes I find it challenging to make sure my cookie gifts are not only yummy, but also arrive intact and on time! Address these three challenges and you're sure to send the best cookie gifts ever. Here's how:

1. Choose the Best Recipes

Everyone has their family favorites (mine are Swiss Biberlis and ginger snaps), but in general the best cookies for shipping are firm or chewy cookies. You want a cookie that isn't as likely to break or crumble, and one that will stay fresh longer. Snickerdoodles, biscotti, brownies and bar cookies also ship really well.

I used to send decorated sugar cookies, but they are more fragile and trickier to ship. And cookies and treats that require refrigeration can spoil during shipping, so I always save these to share in person.

Another thing to consider is whether your recipient has any dietary restrictions. There are lots of good gluten free and paleo recipes and your gift will be that much more meaningful when it's something that fits with their lifestyle!

2. Carefully Wrap and Package

Once you have your scrumptious treats, you want to wrap them so they're pretty (and so they stay fresh), then package them for shipping so they arrive without breaking. There are so many ways to wrap cookies: individually in parchment embellished with washi tape, slipped into cello or glassine bags, layered in boxes or tins. Sugarbelle's blog provides some gorgeous inspiration for cookie packaging.

When shipping a variety of cookies, remember to separate the crunchy from the chewy, the spicy from the fruity, so they will arrive with the intended flavors and textures! Cello bags with tags and colorful ribbon are a simple way to package sturdy cookies for shipping while keeping flavors separate.

Once your cookies are wrapped, use bubble wrap or tissue paper to cushion them in your shipping box. Add enough packing material so the cookies don't slide around in the box at all. Martha Stewart offers more packaging examples and tips for shipping. Sugarbelle's also has a post about shipping cookies (and you'll definitely want to read this one if you're shipping decorated or fragile cookies).

3. Ship Early

I'm still working on holiday packages to ship to friends and family (hey, don't judge!). Time gets away from me this time of year (you too?), so to me this is the MOST challenging of the Best Cookie Gifts challenges.

The USPS website is your friend when planning cookie gift shipments. Their Holiday Planner says we have until December 20 to ship by First-Class or Priority mail and still have delivery in the U.S. by December 24, so I'm not technically behind in my shipments. However, if I wanted to ship to my in-laws in Switzerland, I should ship by tomorrow with Priority Mail. International and military shipping times vary based on destination, so refer to the site for up-to-date information.

Make sure to check the USPS website whenever you're scheduling your cookie shipments to know not only when to ship but how long the cookies will take to arrive. This will help you choose the type of cookie for your gift so it can be the very best ever!

Do you mail cookies for your holiday gifts? What tips and tricks do you use to make sure they arrive as yummy and pretty as you made them? Anything I've missed? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

5 Stocking Stuffers Under $15

Yankee Swap, Secret Santa, stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, teacher appreciation—so many times we need a little gift to say a big thank you. Need some ideas? Here are 5 Stocking Stuffers (etc.) under $15.

1. Holiday Lip Balm Set - $13.50
It looks like a candy box. (It IS a candy box.) But the sweetness inside is better than candy. (OK, we might be a little biased.)

Our Holiday Lip Balm Set (see below) contains an assortment of 5 holiday lip balms nestled into red paper crinkles and tied up with a red polka dot bow with holiday label. The assortment may vary, but can include Sugar Cookie, Ginger Pear, Cranberry, Gingerbread, Candy Cane, Sugar Plum, Pumpkin Latte...mmmm...

Great gifts for: teachers, or stocking stuffers for tweens (and teens). 

Most people love a nice bottle of bubbly, especially one they can enjoy in the shower. They also love having winter skin that doesn't feel too tight or dry.

Shower Smoothers Gift Sets pair our "bubbly" bath gel with soothing, smoothing body lotion in the most popular scents of the season to leave skin soft and moisturized.

Great gifts for: best friends, moms, Yankee swaps
3. Lip balm - $2.95 

Question: what one item do you have in every pocket, purse, bedside stand, and cosmetic bag?
Answer (probably): lip balm

Especially this time of year, when we're expected to meet and greet family from far and near—at the same time smiling in that dry, cold outdoor air—we need to have those smoochers in top form.

Look here for our most popular Lip Balm flavors for the holiday or any day, with colorful labels and caps. Order 4 and you're still under $12 (and we'll even wrap them up for you with a holiday bow). 

Great gifts for: absolutely everyone

4. Sugar Scrubs - $11.50

Remember how I was talking earlier about dry skin, and how nice it is to smooth away that too-tight, dry-skin feeling? Sugar Scrubs take that whole skin-soothing experience to 11.

With natural exfoliants, lightly moisturizing oils, and fabulous fragrances, our Sugar Scrubs are a spa trip in a jar. Which is especially welcomed this time of year, when there might not be time (yet) to slow down for a massage or pedicure.

Great gifts for: overworked women everywhere

Our most popular gifts for coworkers, these little Travel Packs are just the right size to keep in your desk or purse.

Lip balm and 1 ounce lotion bottle are tucked into a colorful organza bag, topped off with a gift card just waiting for your holiday message. Something thoughtful like, "I'm so glad we're friends!" or "Stop burning popcorn in the office microwave!"

Great gifts for: Secret Santa, coworkers, stocking stuffers

Make sure to order by December 16 for holiday shipping! 

Our gifts are especially nice ways to remind people to pamper themselves—and who couldn't use a little pampering during the holidays?

Monday, December 08, 2014

Flavor of the Month December 2014

Are you a fan of The Night Before Christmas or The Nutcracker Suite? This month's flavor is inspired by both. Sugar Plum is a sweet, fruity balm that will remind you of wintry dreams and fairy ballerinas. 

Sugar Plum is available at 15% off through the end of the month.

We'll also be including a Sugar Plum lip balm in orders placed by our favorite customers, so make sure to select one at checkout!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disgustingly Delicious Monster Party Treats

"Trick or treat?"
"Trick. If you can say 'ogre boogers' five times, I'll give you some."

Okay, they might actually be pear-flavored jelly beans, but isn't it more fun to think of them as boogers? And really, ogre boogers make a much better monster theme party treat

What if you don't have green jelly beans? We have tags for candy corn (which are clearly Jack-o-lantern teeth) and mini marshmallows (aka ghost poop). Yes, I know that's disgusting. And kids will love it. 

Monster Candy Tags
Click here to download a PDF that includes all three tag designs. The PDF includes three pages, each with three fold-over tags of the same design (for personal use only, please). Print the design of your choice onto card stock and then use the dotted line guides on the sides to create the creases for folding. Cut along the guide lines above and below, then trim the sides of each tag to fit your bags.

Fill a ziploc bag with treats (we used the snack size bags) and seal, then fold a tag over the top and staple to cover the zip.

Which do you like better: ogre boogers, ghost poop, or jack-o-lantern teeth?


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