Category Archives: Decorate

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Party

My niece Mallory recently celebrated her second birthday and her party was too sweet not to share! What girl, big or little, can resist dress up and fancy things?  This theme works great for a little girl’s birthday or for a wedding shower or adult birthday. Nothing wrong with teaching them young how fabulous that little blue box can be, right?

Guests were invited by an imitation little blue box with the words Mallory & Co. written across the front. The back read “Breakfast at Mallory’s” across the back along with the invitation details. (These invites are available for sale as a personalized PDF file at my Etsy shop, Morning Star Designs).

The house was filled with lovely blue touches, from the homemade tissue poms to the placemats to the balloons.

Tiny guests were given their party favors upon entrance to the party. This party was just for mommies and girls (minus Lincoln) so necklaces, bracelets and sunglasses were passed along for some dress up.

A beautiful Tiffany-inspired cake adorned the table. A breakfast of blueberry french toast, tomato egg strata and donuts was served. Along with mimosas for the mommies and blue juice for the kids.

Little fancy touches of pearls and china were strewn throughout the house. Simple and elegant!

I had a little fun with Photoshop and put Mallory’s face on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie poster, and changed the words to Breakfast at Mallory’s. It was a huge hit!

The birthday girl was beaming as we all sang happy birthday and blew out the candle like an old pro. Mallory wore a shirt designed by Lois Jean Linens, complete with an embroidered pearl necklace and a little black ruffle at the bottom.

Mallory and Sir Lincoln had a blast partying together! Happy Birthday to my darling niece!



Filed under Birthday, Decorate, DIY, Entertain

{Free Download} Valentine’s Day Typography Sign

I’m never super motivated to dress my house up in Valentine’s Day decor. We don’t do much to celebrate the holiday, but a little love reminder in the house is never a bad thing! Throughout the year, I periodically change out a frame that I have leaning on my bookshelf. This year, I took a quote from one of my favorite classics, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

And now you can have it too! Just click here to download a free PDF file of the print. You can print it at home on your computer and place it in a frame you have in the house. Or think about spray painting an old frame a pretty pink or red color. Home decor doesn’t come much cheaper than that!

Wishing you love this Valentine’s Day!

1 Comment

Filed under Decorate, DIY, Holidays, Valentine's Day

{Before & After} An Affordable Kitchen Makeover

This post has been a long time coming. We moved into our house three and a half years ago with the intentions of doing a little bit of work in our kitchen. While dreams of tearing down walls and granite counter tops may be far off in the distance, my husband and I found some great affordable alternatives using a kitchen renovation cost estimator to turn a bland, dated kitchen into an updated, garden-inspired breath of fresh air. With most of the major portions being done over a year ago, nothing ever seems to be “done,” which is why it has taken me awhile to post this. But the last few finishing touches have turned a once uninspiring room to a place where I could stay and cook all day.

So here are some pictures of what our kitchen looked like prior to the changes:

How about that floor? Gross. My husband and I agreed. It had to go. But first, we decided to attack the walls and cabinets. And by “we,” I mean, I did some wall painting and my husband attacked all the rest. We followed the same steps that Anne and her family used for painting kitchen cabinets and it worked fabulously. It is a lot of taping and draping, but once the process gets going it is pretty smooth sailing.Though hanging cabinets back up is not fun, especially if they were not hung correctly from the beginning.

I had a vision of a bright garden kitchen. I decided to take a huge leap and paint the walls and backsplash a bright green. We used Behr Thyme Green paint. I was a bit nervous as we started slathering it on that I was transforming my kitchen into that of an over zealous Packers fan (being an avid Bears fan, this did not sit well). As you can see from the picture below, the green paint made the kitchen look very dated when next to the old wood work and dark blinds. We fixed that later by painting all of the trim and adding bright white blinds.

After painting the walls and cabinets, next came the floor. We have a bit of a strange set up with our kitchen/den like area. Before taking up part of the carpet from the den, we got used to the idea of eating in the “other” room. We moved the table over by the small bay window. In doing that, we had room to add a kitchen cart for storage and extra counter space (and maybe some day a whole wall of extra counter). Best decision we made! It makes the kitchen look ten times bigger and allows for much more space to move around while cooking.

My dutiful husband did lots of internet research and with no prior experience, tore up the old floor and installed new laminate wood flooring. We decided to go with a dark cherry laminate. It is easy to clean, saves money and is durable with the likes of a little Bam-Bam running around.

When the big stuff was complete, I moved onto the small touches. I switched out the old curtains for airy and flowery floor length ones. I received the adorable hanging fruit plates from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as a wedding thank you gift. Perfect little space saver for all of our fresh fruit and vegetables.

I ordered the rustic mason jar key holder from the Etsy store Old New Again. I contemplated recreating this, but loved their version so much I decided to make the purchase. I did, however, create my own chalkboard from an old window I found at a flea market, similar to Katie’s post awhile back.

My friend’s sent me the awesome donut print for my birthday, something I had “pinned” from an Etsy shop. I’m not shy about my love for donuts and this just shouts it from the rooftops, with a slight bit of subtlety. I also designed a few whimsy kitchen prints to hang on the walls. I found I liked everything better on the green when surrounded by white. Hence, the white frames and matting.

While our kitchen is likely to undergo at least some other minor changes here and there, I am pleased with my new kitchen. Look for a future post on how I am filling that blank wall by our kitchen table.

A thousand thanks to my hubby for making it happen! A happy kitchen makes a happy cook!


Filed under Decorate, DIY, Fab Finds

DIY Monogram Holiday Gift Tags

Keeping with the theme of personalized gift tags that Stef started, I dressed up my presents this year with monogrammed tags. If Stef’s tags were perfect for the wee illiterate, mine are just a tiny step forward – equally charming for eager toddlers as they are for adults. And the best part is that they’re super easy to put together!

What You’ll Need:
scissors & Exacto knife
decorative papers
kraft paper or cardstock
glue stick

1. Choose your favorite bold font and type the letters of your gift recipients into a Word document. I used Book Antiqua in size 150 pt.
2. Print off the pages of letters and cut them out.
3. Flip the letter over so that it appears backwards on the side of the paper that you don’t want to show. This will prevent smudgy pen or pencil marks on the “good” side when the letter is flipped over and oriented correctly. Cut out the letter using a scissors and an Exacto knife for inside spaces.

4. If you wish to have another color or pattern as an outline, repeat by tracing and cutting slightly larger than the edges of the actual letter.
5. Use a glue stick to affix onto cardstock or kraft paper tags.
6. Using a hole punch, punch a hole in the top of the tag and tie twine through.

HAP Holiday: Cookies, Wrappings and all the Trimmings!

Looking for more holiday ideas? Check out these ghosts of HAP Christmases past:
Orange, Cranberry & Chocolate Chip Cookies
Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Valencia Delights
Lemon Ginger Tea Snowballs
Gingerbread Crinkles
Almond M&M Cookies
Easy Christmas Snacks
Gilded Lavender Butter Cookies

Unique Gift Wrapping Ideas
Last Minute Gift Wrap Ideas
Photo Gift Tags

Christmas Typography Sign
Quilled Paper Ornaments
DIY Winter Wreath
Holiday Tablescape


Filed under Christmas, DIY, Holidays

{Holiday Gift Wrap} Photo Tags

It is hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner. Luckily, I’ve been ahead of the game this year (thank you Amazon) and my gifts are all purchased. This week I started to embark upon the task you love to hate and hate to love – wrapping. I toyed with the ideas of creating some of my own cute wrapping paper this year, but time got away from me. Instead, I am sticking to store-bought paper and some very personalized tags.

With little ones running around that don’t yet know how to read, I’ve created photo gift tags that they can identify themselves. It would also be fun to use old family Christmas photos or goofy pictures of your friends.

What you need:

Photos (or images printed on thick paper)
Colored Card Stock
Two-inch or larger square paper punch (or other shape)
Double sided tape, photo squares or a glue stick
Hole punch

Place your photo inside the paper punch. Line up to frame the face and cut.

Using the same paper punch, cut shapes out of colored card stock.

Using tape or a glue stick, attach the card stock to the back of the photo. If you prefer, write a small note on the card stock.

Using the hole punch, place a hole in the upper corner of the tag. Slide through ribbon and attach to package.

How are you wrapping up your Christmas gifts this year?


Filed under Christmas, DIY

{Obsessed with} Tartan Trimmed Wreaths

Each year for Christmas I tend to get hooked on some slight theme with my holiday decor and this year my obsession has been tartan trimmed wreaths. I’ve been in loving the classic Christmas vibe that a little tartan ribbon lends to the greenery. I went beyond just the front door, decking out several other rooms in wreaths as well to spread the festiveness and Christmas-y smells throughout the house.

The front door wreath, bought from our Boyscout neighbor, got the full treatment with a double tartan bow and lots of glittery mini ornaments.
Christmas wreath
On the side door and on the mirror in our master bedroom, I hung small candle rings with just a simple tartan ribbon.
wreath with tartan ribbon

For the built-in cabinets in my dining room I created mini wreaths by plucking branches from the backs of my candle rings (you don’t even notice they’re missing!) and arranging them in plain mini grapevine wreaths. Strung up by thinner tartan ribbons to match the smaller size, they tie in nicely with the nearby Christmas tree.

What’s your holiday decor style? Do you switch things up each year or stick with tradition?


Filed under Christmas, Decorate

Will’s Modern Woodland Nursery

A few months ago I shared my nursery inspiration board and now that Will has arrived it’s time to share the finished room! Since outdoor activities are a certain part of Will’s future, I stuck to my original plan of incorporating woodsy elements in a way that both my husband and I would love. Neutral base colors offset by lots of bright accents around the room helped achieve the calm yet whimsical feel we were going for.

I updated an old bookcase with white paint to hold Will’s toys and many children’s books. Additional toys are stashed in a brightly colored plastic container to prevent the pooch from chewing on them. A fluffy flokati rug softens up the heavy furniture and adds cushion to the hardwood floors for playing.
My favorite part about the room are the many accent pieces that were handmade by family, friends or myself, such as these deer blankets and pillows. Using silhouettes paired with glossy white pieces, like the antler mount or owl lamp, make the outdoorsy elements feel more modern than hunting lodge.

Birch Stencil: Cutting Edge Stencils
Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore in Bleeker Beige
Crib & Dresser: Munire
Bookcase: Vintage – I refinished it using this technique
Rocking Chair – Vintage
Flokati Rug:
Owl Lamp & Stump Side Table: West Elm
Deer Blanket: handmade by Flee Fly Flown
Crib Bedding: Pottery Barn Kids
Deer Pillow & Window Treatments: handmade by my mom
Bird Mobile: handmade, inspired by this Design*Sponge DIY
ABC Prints & Antler Mount: handmade by me


Filed under Decorate, Family

Fall Wreath Revamp

With fall just around the corner, I wanted to get in the spirit with a little fall decor. Last year I made a super easy faux berry door wreath that I loved. This year I wanted something new but with a newborn, I barely have time to shower much less spend time making a new wreath.

However, while cruising Jo Ann Fabrics for some baby-related items the other day I was conned into a wreath revamp by a sale on faux florals. I added some bright orange berries, wheat, burnt orange flowers and a few feathers to give last year’s wreath a little makeover in just a few minutes.

What do you think? Which version do you like?

Last Year’s Fall Wreath:
fall wreath berries

This Year’s Updated Wreath:


Filed under Decorate, DIY

DIY Necktie Onesie

Depending on when my baby boy arrives, he’ll have one, maybe two, weddings to attend this summer so of course he needs some stylish attire to wear. Since he’ll be tiny and it will be hot out for both events, I’ve been smitten by the little applique-style neck tie onesies that I’ve seen at stores and on Etsy (see below). However, since my mom is an adept sewer and I’m trying to improve my own skills, with her help I decided to make my own.

I won’t lie…as we started on the project, I was totally intimidated. But now having made a few with her help, I feel I could do it on my own. Since the pieces are so small, you could effectively use either a sewing machine or just hand-stitching to do this. I’ve included a download for our pattern in the supplies list to make it easy. Throw him in some baby trousers and my little guy will look quite dapper!
tie baby onesie pattern

What You’ll Need
plain onesie
1/4 yd patterned fabric
all purpose thread to match
tie pattern
lightweight iron-on interfacing
iron-on hem tape (or fusable webbing)*
an iron
sewing pins
sewing machine*

1. Apply light weight iron-on interfacing to back side of patterened fabric. Flip over (pattern side up) and iron for about 30 seconds until the interfacing adheres.
2. Pin tie pattern to patterned fabric. If using stripes, check the stripe angle for your preference as you pin.

DIY tie onesie
3. Cut out tie pieces at the solid line. This allows for a small seam allowance to the dotted sewing lines.
4. Pin the patterned sides of the tie knot to the tie body together at the dotted stitch line and sew knot to body using your sewing machine or a small, tight running stitch.
5. Flip right side up and use iron to press the seam flat. Press under the seam allowances using your iron. Review for shape and symmetry, repressing as needed.

6. Place tie on onesie and match up the neckline with the top of the tie. Cut off a small piece of iron-on hem tape and place under the top edge of the tie knot, tucking under to ensure no tape is sticking out. Once it’s in the position you desire, iron until secure. Repeat process with a large tape strip, placing it down the center of the back of the tie body and several smaller pieces along the tie bottom and edges as needed.
TIP: You can skip the iron-on hem tape and simply sew the tie onto the onesie but the hem tape secures the tie in place and makes it much easier and faster to sew on.
7. Use a sewing machine or a small, tight running stitch to stitch down the edges of the tie. Be sure that your seam allowance is also getting secured by your stitches and not poking out.

neck tie onesie

Not into DIY or worried about your sewing capabilities? Etsy carries oodles of similar onesies from shops like Remnant Designs, Sweetpeas & Bumblebees and We Choose Joy, just to name a few.


Filed under DIY

{Before & After} Guest Stand

When my grandma came across this old buffet stand that had been in her basement from the previous owners when she bought her house some 30 years ago, I jumped at the opportunity to take it home and give it some love. I struggled for some time with where to put it and how I wanted it to look, but I couldn’t be happier with the results. We got rid of some old college furniture that had been cluttering our guest room and added this piece as a “guest stand.” Filled with towels, toiletries and a few of my favorite reads for our out-of-town guests, it makes the perfect accent to the room.

Using similar techniques to Katie’s dresser refinishing, I sanded and primed to create the perfect canvas.

I used Martha Stewart Winters Day and Lagoon colored paint in an eggshell finish and replaced the rusted old knobs with some flowered glass knobs from Anthropologie.

I found this beautiful little vase in the clearance bin at Anthropologie when I was searching for the knobs and fell in love with it. Filled with whatever flowers I pick up at the grocery store or the farmer’s market, it brings a little life into the room. I covered an old bulletin board in some fabric and strung jute to make a picture line topped with old wooden clothespins so our guests (mostly grandparents) can marvel at our little man.

I wanted to line the shelves with some shelf paper and had a horrible time finding shelf paper that didn’t look like it belonged in a 1970’s kitchen cabinet. Enter Chic Shelf Paper. This website has loads of lovely designs and will even cut the pieces to the size you need.

So, voila!  A fun summer project that has brightened up our poor neglected guest room. My next plan is to paint the headboard in Lagoon. Stay tuned!


Filed under Decorate, DIY