Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

Pretty Palettes for Winter Parties

orange winter bridal shower

Even though the holidays are wrapping up and the new year is right around the corner, winter has actually only just begun! (on December 21st to be exact!)

I was browsing the Flickr gallery from last year’s holiday entertaining contest recently and wanted to share a couple {very pretty} parties & mood board entries that are great inspiration for winter-based bridal showers, baby shower, and other grown-up celebrations.

This first idea comes from photographer Tammy Mitchell and stars a vibrant orange hue – which probably isn’t the FIRST shade to come to mind for winter parties… but it looks fabulous when paired with festive accents of silver & white! This would also be a great look for New Year’s Eve – especially if you already have silver ball ornaments, candlestick holders, and other silver & white decor on hand from Christmas!

orange winter bridal shower

This next palette is a more traditional winter combo of Silver & Soft Blues – but it’s brought to life in SUCH a pretty, chic way in this inspiration board by Brenda of Brenda’s Wedding Blog. (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Judy Reyes’s Berry Sweet Baby Shower Gift Bag

judy reyes baby shower gift bag giveaway

Winner Update 1/4/10: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered!  And the lucky, {randomly selected} winner is… Commenter # 451 – Carli, who said, “I love the reuseable snack packs! I hate throwing away all those plastic baggies.” Congrats, Carli!

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The complete photo album from Judy Reyes’s Berry Sweet Baby Shower is now up on the HWTM Facebook Page! (The DIY Lollipop Display tutorial from this party’s candy buffet is also available here.)

Added bonus: We’ve partnered with Pregnancy Magazine, Hot Moms Club, and Jewels and Pinstripes to give away one of the amazing gift bags created especially for Judy’s Baby Shower!  Check out all this fun stuff for new moms & moms-to-be… (more…)

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Peppermint Ice Cream Cake {SO GOOD!}

candy cane ice cream cake

Buttery chocolate cookie crust + gooey hot fudge + wonderfully refreshing peppermint ice cream + creamy whipped topping = HEAVEN! Honestly, this chocolate-meets-peppermint dessert is so good you won’t know what hit you!

Added bonus: it’s easy too, and the steps are pretty quick… but it does require quite few hours of freezer time between the steps, so it’s best made the day before your party (or you can be an early riser and start it super-early the day-of). Either way… the end result is worth the wait!

candy cane ice cream cake

Read on for the full recipe & step-by-step tutorial… (more…)

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Candy Cane Mint Milanos

holiday mint milano cookies

In continuing with our peppermint theme today, here’s a super cute – and FAST – little holiday treat that you can whip up in no time. And not to worry –  they’re also super YUMMY! (Yes, we definitely taste-tested these little guys!)

You’ll Need:
Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano Cookies
Red Candy Melts (available at Michaels)
Round Peppermint Candies (or candy canes), crushed

holiday mint milano cookies

1. Melt the Candy Melts in a microwave according to package directions. (Takes about 1-3 mins, depending on quantity). (more…)

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15 Fabulous Peppermint Desserts

peppermint candy cane dessert recipes

Perk up your holiday dessert table with a candy cane-inspired treat! Need some recipe ideas? Here are 15 fabulously stunning peppermint dessert recipes from ’round the web…

1. Cocoa Tassles with Peppermint Frosting; 2. Swirls-of-Peppermint Cheesecake Bars; 3. Star Mint Meringues; 4. Candy Cane Thumbprints – {all via BHG.com}.

peppermint candy cane dessert recipes

5. Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars {via Food Network}; 6. Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies {via Recipe Girl… Do these look AMAZING or what?!} (more…)

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Pretty NYE Themes from Social Couture

New Year's Eve party ideas

I’m loving this gorgeous New Year’s Eve Party theme from SocialCouture.com! The Silver, Black & Berry palette is stunning – especially with the fun zebra-print and disco ball accents!

New Year's Eve party ideas

Pictured above: Plum Rhinestone Napkin Rings ($20/set of 4), Black Acrylic Candelabra ($60), Red & Pink Feather Candle Rings ($10 each), and Silver Mirror Disco Balls ($5.50 – $6). (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Pinwheels & Pom Poms

Pinwheels and Pom Poms party theme

I’m totally swooning over this new Real Party! It’s a super-stylish, intimate baby shower brunch featuring adorable pinwheels, festive tissue poms, fabulous paper patterns, and a fresh & colorful palette of yellows, greens, browns and blues.

The 3-dimensional invitations are also ridiculously amazing! And added bonus for us – you can find the entire DIY Tutorial for the pretty pinwheels featured in the invites right here on Style Me Pretty!

Pinwheels and Pom Poms party theme

Pinwheels and Pom Poms party theme

Read on for TONS of gorgeous pics and all the party details, as told by hostesses Kari Herer, Christina Wnek, and Pam Albert(more…)

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Simple Chic Holiday Decorating Ideas

Christmas dinner decorating ideas

When it comes to decor, simple doesn’t have to mean boring! Case in point – here are 2 super easy, yet affective holiday decorating ideas. (You can also switch up the colors & accents to make these work for any type of occasion!)

Idea #1 – Ribbon Chair Accents
You’ll need extra-wide ribbon for this look… preferably in satin, which still lays nicely when tied and gives a pretty sheen. Add a fun “centerpiece” to the ribbon – such as the pinecones, pine needles, and jingle bell pictured here – or you favorite ornaments.

Mix it up: For New Year’s Eve dinners, use silver or gold ribbon with blow horns & disco ball ornaments!  (more…)

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Holiday Drink of the Week: GLOGG

Glogg Recipe

I’m so excited to share this fun guest post with you from {the very entertaining & witty!} Dana of The Broke-Ass Bride. If you’re on the lookout for a festive & affordable way to celebrate with friends on chilly winter days, this one’s for you!

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Broke-Ass Hostess: Holiday Swill that Won’t Bust the Till
by Dana LaRue

“We’re knee deep into Holiday Season now, and no doubt you’re quite the busy bunny, socializing and shopping your holiday heart out.  But even if your wallet is wasted, you can still throw a festive fete with a signature drink that packs a wild punch and a cozy delicious twist… without pouring your dollars down the drain.

Meet my favorite DIY adult winter beverage – GLOGG! My hubby and I discovered it a few years ago, and fell in love! It’s warm, full-bodied and complex, perfect for a cold winters’ night, and its become a tradition that our friends look forward to every year.

Glogg Recipe

A mulled wine from the Nordic country, it’s super easy to whip up a large batch for your party (or to bottle and give as gifts), and it makes a memorable impression with wow factor!  Best of all, you can use affordable ingredients, keeping the bar stocked and flowing without breaking the bank or a sweat! (more…)

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Easy Chocolate Kiss Truffles {Video}

easy chocolate truffle recipe

There was a great holiday segment on the TODAY Show this morning featuring a fantastic, EASY chocolate truffle recipe by Sandra Lee that I couldn’t resist sharing… and as soon as I finish posting this I’m seriously out the door to buy some chocolate kisses so I can make these up for a party tonight!

easy chocolate truffle recipe

This is a no-bake recipe, but you do need some time to chill the chocolate mixture. The main ingredients are Hershey Kisses and Caramel Hershey Kisses, plus half & half and chopped nuts. (Fun fact: According to SL, Hershey Kisses are the #1 most sold candy during the holiday season.)

You can view the entire video online here, and I’ve also broken down the steps along with screen shots below for quick reference. (The 2 holiday cocktails featured in the segment are pictured below as well.) (more…)

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Simply Stated: Gracious Holiday Hostess

holiday hostess tips

In today’s guest post over at Real Simple, check out some thoughts on being a gracious holiday hostess… and feel free to add some ideas of your own!

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REAL PARTY: Ornament-Inspired Holiday

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

Today’s inspiring – and timely! – Real Party feature comes from the ultra-creative Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home. As always, Chris does a fabulous job with this party and shows how inexpensive elements like ribbon, gift wrap, and glass ball ornaments really can go a long way in creating a wonderfully festive atmosphere!

When it comes to stretching the budget for parties, presentation is also key, as well as maximizing the elements you already own – such as versatile white serving dishes, glass vases, home accessories, and decor from parties past – as demonstrated here.

budget-friendly Christmas party ideas

Read on for all the creative & inspiring details, as told by Chris… (more…)

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Inspirational Trends: Runway to Big Day

wedding runway trends

Couldn’t resist sharing a few inspiring images from this cool “Runway to Big Day” gallery on InStyleWeddings.com…the shimmery metallics, glitzy rhinestones, bold stripes are fabulous looks for everything from glamorous weddings to New Year’s Eve parties!

wedding runway trends

The top image actually features some easy-to-recreate (& budget friendly) DIY ideas – just cut a small gold paper flower to layer over a larger silver paper flower, then top with an extra-large craft gem. All 3 materials area available at most craft stores, and you can also find similar specialty trims & ribbons to those pictured above at fabric, bead or craft stores.  (I actually have some inexpensive silver & gold flatware from Target that’s very similar to the flatware pictured above too!) (more…)

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Silver & Lilac Wonderland Party Theme

silver winter wonderland party theme

Brand new party theme to share with you today! This is a winter wonderland-inspired theme with a twist… pretty purple & lilac accents compliment the traditional silver and white hues to create a “Silver & Lilac Wonderland“.

In addition to Holiday and New Year’s Eve parties, I love the idea of utilizing this look for a winter bridal shower or engagement party

silver winter wonderland party theme

silver winter wonderland party theme

This new theme features a festive dessert buffet that also takes center stage as eye-catching party decor, as well as 2 different tablescape designs. (more…)

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Oh-So-Lovely Holiday Cookie Recipes

best Christmas cookie recipes

Need some inspiration for your Christmas dessert table or an upcoming holiday cookie exchange? Check out this mouth-watering Showstopping Christmas Cookie Recipes gallery from BHG, which includes 21 creative ideas for treating sugar-loving friends & family!

Pictured above: I’m loving the idea of a Red, White, & Pink dessert buffet for Christmas this year that includes pretty treats like these: Mini Raspberry & White Chocolate Whoopie Pies (YUM!), White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread, Cherry Pistachio Creams, and Cherry Walnut Balls.

best Christmas cookie recipes

Bring on the chocolate! Treat your favorite choco-holics to rich, creamy treats like Chocolate Blooms and Triple Decker Decadence cookies.

(more…)

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Modern White Party Inspiration Board

White Party White Wedding Ideas

I coordinated a “Delano Hotel-Inspired” White Holiday Party this past Friday night and can’t wait to share pics soon! Above is a peek at the inspiration board {click here view it larger}. This was a holiday party at a Manhattan Beach residence, and we ended up going a little more modern minimalist with the florals than above, so the end result was a little different (and much easier to recreate!), but still had very much the same vibe.

The main decor elements were contemporary “lamps” used as cocktail table centerpieces (and created from super tall pillar holders & lamp shades from IKEA, “pull cords” made from beaded crystal strands, and battery operated LED lights), giant monstera leaves & other tropical greenery, white orchids, white lacquer pillar holders from Z Gallerie, white coral & sand, silver disco ball ornaments (for a festive party feel) and TONS of white candles & twinkle lights. (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Busy Bee Lifestyle

Busy Bee Lifestyle Giveaway

Winner Update – 12/18: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the lucky random winner is: Dawn, who said, “I alternate between Halloween and Christmas for my holiday blow-outs, and last weekend was my 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party. It’s a great way for a break in holiday madness to get the gals together for an evening of fun and mocking.” Congrats, Dawn!

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{Original Post…}

We have another great Surprise Giveaway for you today! This one should really appeal to stationery-lovers and features a “Stylish Lifestyle & Organization Set” full of great goodies like a personalized stamp + coordinating trendy note cards, and various types of designer organizers. (With the new year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to think about getting organized!) (more…)

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Kate’s Crazy Cool Christmas Project

Kate Mcrae - Crazy Cool Christmas Toy Drive

Kate McRae is an adorable 5-year old girl, fighting a brain tumor. I think I was in tears within the first few sentences while reading about her story… and chances are good that you will be too.

Amidst the sadness, though, there’s also a great deal of inspiration to be found in Kate’s journey – especially in the determination and generosity of her entire family. After realizing first-hand what Christmas will be like this year for many children in the oncology department at the pediatric hospital where Kate is being treated, The McRae family has put together an effort to collect TOYS for these kids.

Kate Mcrae - Crazy Cool Christmas Toy Drive

The toy drive effort has been dubbed, “Kate’s Crazy Cool Christmas” and we can help too! Here’s how: (more…)

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Festive Holiday Drink Garnishes {Red}

red holiday drink ideas and garnishesOn today’s HWTM post over at Real Simple, check out a few super simple – yet stylish – ideas for garnishing holiday drinks with a pop of festive RED!

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Holiday Entertaining Tips from Marley

holiday entertaing tips

These holiday entertaining tips arrived in my inbox this morning, courtesy of party planning guru Marley Majcher… such great info so I wanted to pass them along! Here goes:

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9 Great Christmas Entertaining Ideas While Staying on a Budget
by Marley Majcher – (a.k.a. The Party Goddess)

1.  Think like a Beatle.
Or at least his wife. Currently Yoko Ono has a “Wish Tree” project installed in cities around the world because when she was a child in Japan she used to write wishes for the coming year and leave them in the temple. Why not create your own wish tree? Cut out squares of paper and pre-string them. Invite guests to write their wishes for the new year on a card and place them on your tree (or in a vase). Then, when the holidays are over, save the cards and put them in a scrap book to whip out the following winter.  (more…)

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REAL PARTIES: Cookie Monster Birthday

Cookie Monster party ideas

Me want cookies! And you will too after checking out this adorable Cookie Monster-themed Real Party that Stephanie Stach created for her son Alex’s 3rd birthday.

From adorable cups, party hats, and cupcakes inspired by our favorite sugar-loving monster to cookie-jar favors and giant cookies on sticks, this party is loaded with tons of sweet & super creative details!

Cookie Monster party ideas

Read on for all the details, as told by Stephanie… (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Shades of Light

shades of light giveaway

Winner Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to all of you that entered! And the VERY LUCKY (randomly selected) winner of the $500 Shopping Spree is… Commenter # 667 – Shirley Hodge, who said “I think the cream antique mirror would look great above the antique long table that was my grandmothers and now sits in the entry hall. Perfect match.” Congrats, Shirley!!

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We have such a fabulous new Surprise Giveaway for you today with a truly AMAZING prize… I’m already envious of the reader that snags this one!

Shades of Light is a gorgeous home accessories store that specializes in stylish & unique lighting and accent decor, and they’re offering up a VERY generous $500 Shopping Spree to a lucky HWTM reader this month!

There are so many great styles to choose from at Shades of Light – from cool Table Lamps, Chandeliers, and Hanging Pendants to Mirrors, Furniture, Ceiling Fans, and LOTS more. It was honestly difficult to narrow down which products to show in this post!

shades of light giveawayPictured above and below are some personal favorites… (Santa, are you reading this?). Find details for how to enter the sweepstakes below! (more…)

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DIY: Candy Buffet Lollipop Displays

candy buffet lollipop displays

I had a lot of fun with the lollipop displays for last month’s Berry Sweet Baby Shower and wanted to share the DIY info with you because this concept translates so well to ANY color palette or occasion – they’d even work well for holiday parties! Added bonus: the lollipops double as take-home party favors.

Pictured above is the “YUM Lollipop Display” and below is “Sweet Baby Girl Trio“. DIY details for both displays are below, along with downloadable versions of the tags. Enjoy!

candy buffet lollipop displays

(more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Invitation Consultants Holiday Stationery

invitation consultants holiday card giveaway

‘Tis the season for giving… so I hope you’re ready for another great Surprise Giveaway this week (and more coming soon)!

In the spirit of the holidays, Invitation Consultants – a fantastic online shop with a HUGE catalog of invites and stationery – is offering up a very generous $200 Shopping Spree towards holiday correspondence (cards, party invitations, mailing labels, gift tags, etc) to a lucky HWTM reader!

Already have your holiday invites ordered this year? You can still enter and gift this prize to a friend or family member that’s not quite as on the ball as you!

Added bonus: Invitation Consultants is also offering $10 off any holiday purchase to EVERYONE with the coupon code: HWTM. (Code is good through December 18th)

invitation consultants holiday card giveaway

Pictured above and below are some personal favorites from the Holiday Section, including the adorable, (eco-friendly) “You’re On My Radar” bulldog design and this gorgeous foil-stamped “Golden Wishes” design: (more…)

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DIY Party Photo Booth {Expert Tips}

party and wedding photo booth tips

If you’ve ever been to a wedding or event with a photo booth, you probably already know how much fun these can be!

Something about being in “party mode” seems to translate to guests loving to jump in front of the camera – especially with a friend or 3… and these photos always make for SUCH great memories afterwards!

The concept isn’t just for large-scale events either;  photo booths are a fantastic idea for home-hosted celebrations too – for everything from holiday soirées to birthday parties and even baby/bridal showers, and we’ve got some tips from a true expert to help walk you through it!

party and wedding photo booth tips

 

Jillian Bisinger {pictured above with her husband Tony} is a Wedding, Event and Family Photographer whose whimsical take on the photo booth is popping up at events all over LA – it’s something she likes to call the “Zany Photo Booth”.

Today, Jill gives us 4 easy steps to creating a successful photo booth at home… (more…)

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SURPRISE GIVEAWAY: Sweet Papery

personalized stamps and labelsWinner Update – 12/9: This giveaway is now closed. Such a wonderful response – thanks so much to everyone that participated!!  And the lucky random winner is… commenter #243Jennifer, who said, “I really like the Maldonado traditional stamp, the kitchen utensils, and the Allyson!  But honestly, they are all great!“. Congrats, Jennifer!

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I love this new Surprise Giveaway because it features a prize that’s super cute AND practical at the same time! The giveaway comes from Sweet Papery – a wonderful online shop that specializes in personalized rubber stamps and labels. Sweet Papery has both Traditional and Self-Inking styles available and designs ranging from address and personal to wedding and holiday

This week at HWTM, Sweet Papery is offering up a $100 Shopping Spree to a lucky reader! With most stamp designs falling in the $20 – $35 range, $100 should give you enough fun money to splurge on yourself AND someone else, which is especially timely with the holiday season here!

personalized stamps and labels

Pictured above and below are some personal favorites from the extensive catalog of available designs. (Details for how to enter the giveaway are below.) (more…)

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Real Weddings: Mountaintop Whimsy

pink and green Tahoe wedding

We have a gorgeous new Real Weddings feature for you today!

This Whimsical Wedding for Kali and Tommy, photographed by Jillian Bisinger and coordinated by Paige Galla, set stage atop the breathtaking mountains of Lake Tahoe, California. Shades of vibrant green and punchy pink juxtaposed the galvanized steel and natural twig accents to set the tone for a fresh, playful celebration under the Big White Tent.

pink and green Tahoe wedding

pink and green Tahoe wedding

Read on for tons of great pics and all the details, as told by Paige

“Kali and Tommy’s wedding was a destination celebration in Truckee, California– a special location for the bride and groom, who have snuck away from the busy Bay Area for weekend retreats since their days in college. (more…)

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A Very Pretty Craft-Store Christmas

crafty Christmas decoration ideas

I’m in love with the crafty-meets-contemporary style of these “Craft-Store Holiday Decorating” ideas from Real Simple!

Pictured above: clever ideas like wrapping blank art canvases with ribbon for mantle decor, using sheets of red felt as place mats and wooden beads & yarn for a table runner, and creating a pretty candle arrangement or modern Menorah from unfinished candlesticks.

And that cool, wooden floating chandelier? It’s made from wooden quilting hoops, which really do resemble the look of a holiday ball ornament when criss-crossed together!

A few more favorites: (more…)

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Holiday Gift Set with Chambord & HWTM

çhambord holiday gift set

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Can you believe that Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner already?!

Along the lines of holiday, I have some fun news to share about a project I worked on earlier this year with Chambord that just recently hit the shelves… this year’s Chambord Holiday Gift Set: “Have a Ball This Holiday Season“.

The gift set comes with a 375ml bottle of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur, 2 pretty flute glasses, and a holiday tips booklet filled with Peacock-themed decorating ideas from me and yummy recipes from Chambord like the “Pomegranate Sparkle” and “French Polynesian“.

I chose a “Festive Peacock Feather” theme for the booklet because it’s such a pretty color palette that works well for all sorts of holiday parties – from Christmas and New Year’s to neutral celebrations. Here’s a peek at the featured centerpiece:

çhambord holiday gift set

More pics of the booklet and the gift box – which has a wonderfully contemporary package design – are below. (Those are my real friends with me at the table too, which made the photo shoot so much more fun!) (more…)

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DIY Decor: “Give Thanks” Centerpiece

Thanksgiving table centerpiece idea

Looking for a last-minute centerpiece idea for Thanksgiving? Here’s a project that can easily be tailored to your own color palette and the decorative materials available to you. The most important element of this concept is the “give thanks” message, so head to the scrapbook aisle of your favorite craft store to find chipboard letters similar to the ones pictured here!

(DIY details are below.) (more…)

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