Special Assembly: Halloween made easy with a DIY costume

imageHalloween is right around the corner and I really hate dressing up. I always try to figure out a clever costume that is mostly made up of my own clothes. This year, we have a Halloween dress up day and dance on Friday the 24th and then I have a couple of parties Halloween weekend. I saw an idea on Pinterest and ran with it! I decided to be a bank robber since I had almost all the components in my closet. I started with a black and white striped long sleeved t-shirt that I bought over Columbus weekend at Banana Republic. Everything was 40% off, so this leather trimmed top was only $25. I’m going to wear it with black leggings, a plain black beanie, and black gloves. I needed to buy two things to complete the costume. The black mask that I found at Party City for $3.99 was perfect. The next item was a little more challenging. I needed a money bag. I found a plain canvas bag at Walmart for .99 cents and then bought black puffy paint, also .99 cents. I sketched a large dollar sign on the tote and the painted it with the puffy paint. Done!

Homework: What are you going to be for Halloween?


Dress Code: On Wednesday’s we wear pearls, pearls, and more pearls!

imageLast week our school photographer was on campus for three days taking school pictures. My goal was to take a picture each day and then pick the best one. Sadly, I missed my window of opportunity each day. Today, was the make up picture day, so I needed a fabulous outfit that would look great for my one take. I decided to go for a classic look with an LBD and pearls. I wore my black shirt-sleeved shift dress from Anthropology and then piled on the pearls. My long C. Wonder pearl necklace is extremely versatile. Today, I’m wearing it as a triple stand with another pearl necklace with a bow detail from Ann Taylor Loft. I added some stretchy pearl bracelets from Forever 21 my vintage Chanel button ring, and my C. Wonder pearl stud earrings.

Homework: What would you wear on picture day?

Dress Code: Sunday = fun day!

imageI had such a fun weekend! I headed down to San Diego for a birthday celebration on Saturday night. Of course, that led to brunch on Sunday morning to debrief the soirée. The party was in Hillcrest, so we walked a few blocks to a cute little restaurant for breakfast. I packed my white Gap boyfriend jeans and a black j’adore graphic t-shirt from Old Navy for Sunday. I wore them with a Coach leopard hat, a pink Kate Spade bracelet, and my black Tory Burch sandals. I always pack a hat when I travel, just in case of a bad hair day. Let’s just say, I’m glad that I had it! The outfit worked well for brunch and outlet shopping on the way home. Details on my shopping purchases will be shared this week!

Homework: What is your favorite brunch outfit?

Dress Code: Birthday party fun!

imageLast night I celebrated a dear friends birthday down in San Diego. The invitation for the party stated the dress code was “dive bar casual.” I knew I would start with my Joe’s boyfriend jeans, as they are perfect dive bar attire. I then added a black, gold-studded Michael Kors t-shirt and my hot pink Kendra Scott tassel necklace. Next, I piled on the Kate Spade bracelets and put on my leopard and lace Tory Burch pumps. I was ready to go! It was a fun outfit and a great party to celebrate my friend Duane’s birthday!

Homework: What would you wear to a “dive bar casual” party?

Dress Code: On Wednesday’s we dress like leprechauns!

imageI don’t think it is a secret that pink is my signature color! However, Kelly green is a close second to my beloved pink. If I can’t or don’t purchase an item in pink, I will buy it in green. Today, I decided to go all green, all over. I wore the pants I bought the day before St. Patrick’s Day with a muscle tank top, both in Kelly green from Gap. I bought these pieces separately, but they were meant to be worn together. I needed to break up all the green with an accent color, so I layered on a lightweight ivory cardigan from J. Crew. It has a cute blue seahorse detail and it was only $12 at the J. Crew outlet. I added my mixed metal statement necklace from Banana Republic and my nude Tory Burch bow flats. I scored the Tory’s at the Desert Hills outlet for $145. They go with everything, and you know I love a good bow detail. I love finding things in my closet, that must be worn together!

Home Economics: DIY art work

imageRecently, I was shopping in a Kate Spade store and I was inspired by the photo gallery that was decorating the main wall of the store.  I needed a gift for my friend Stephanie’s birthday, and I knew she would enjoy a mini photo gallery, a la Kate Spade style. I needed to work on a budget, so I turned to my Pinterest boards for inspiration. I have a board called Words to Live By and after viewing all my choices, I saved several of my favorite images to my camera roll. I sent these images to a photoshop to be developed in different sizes, so I could pick the ones I liked and have more options for framing. I had so many good choices, that I ended up bringing the entire collection of images to Stephanie’s birthday party and let her pick her four favorites. I then went to Michael’s and selected some fun frames, these ones were $21 each, but on a “buy one, get one free” sale. I debated about the photo mats, and settled on black, to make the images pop. They were quick and easy to put together and I think they turned out great. I’m pretty proud of this project. I ended up spending about $55 on the project. You could cut down the cost by buying plain frames and painting them yourself, or cutting your own photo mats. Or you could also search thrift stores or garage sales and recycle the frames you find. I didn’t have time for that, this time. I am going to make a similar set for myself soon!
This is the gallery wall that was my inspiration.

Homework: Which one of your favorite quotes would you want to frame?

Special Assembly: Nance Bear’s Birthday or a party without a favor is just a meeting!

imageMy mom is one and a million and I wanted her to have a special birthday! She has had a rough time over the past year and a half. My dad has been ill and my mom has taken over as his caretaker. She doesn’t like a lot of attention, and gifts don’t really matter to her. Her love language is gifts of time and service. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said she wanted a lint roller! I knew I could do better than a lint roller, so I planned a few fun things to celebrate her birthday weekend. Since my mom’s actual birthday was on Saturday, we started by going to church as a family. Our Lady of Fatima is a beautiful church and it means a lot to my parents when we attend the Saturday evening mass together. After mass, we took my dad home and got him set up on his feeding machine, and then we went out to dinner at Nick’s in downtown San Clemente. We had a great dinner and enjoyed our time together. When we got home, my mom, dad, and I played on our IPads and watched tv together.

To church and dinner, I wore my favorite Gap white boyfriend jeans, a denim shirt, also from Gap, with an orange sweater from Banana Republic.  I added my Franco Sarto leopard ballet flats and my usual bling to top off the outfit.

Part two of the birthday celebration was a birthday luncheon with our favorite friends. We are lucky to have a wonderful circle of friends who have been supportive throughout the past year and a half. In our family, we feel that a party without a party favor is just a meeting. I wanted extra special party favors for this lunch. I needed a theme! My mom loves teddy bears and taking baths, so I combined the two. I went to Lush at Fashion Island and found adorable carrot shaped bubble bars. I also added a small lint roller to the bag, because everyone needs one in their car or suitcase. I am a tiny bit famous for making cute themed cupcakes, so I searched Pinterest and found teddy bear in a bubble bath cupcakes that I modified. I made red velvet cupcakes and topped them with cream cheese frosting. I then piled on mini marshmallows and floated some teddy graham cookies in the bubbles. I have discovered when you make super cute cupcakes, no one wants to eat them on the spot, they want to take them home and show them off. So now I package my cupcakes to go using plastic cups and plastic bags. Sometimes I make mini cupcakes to eat at the party, but I didn’t have time to that for this party. imageThe cupcakes turned out so cute!

I put the party favor bags together by adding the Lush carrot, the lint roller, a cute package of Kleenex with mom sayings (like, “Moms are like dads, only smarter!”), and the cupcake. I added a monogrammed tag to each bag and I was done. I found the rhinestone initial stickers at Michael’s and used scrapbook paper to make the tags. The cupcake ribbon was purchased at Shinodah and was the perfect touch to finish off the gift bags. Since the bags were personalized, they served as place cards as well. image We had a lovely lunch and my mom thoroughly enjoyed herself! Mission accomplished! imageI wore my white Gap boyfriend jeans to the lunch (again!) with a C. Wonder t-shirt and my gold Tory Burch ballet flats. I always giggle when I wear C. Wonder and Tory Burch together. I refuse to choose sides in the Burch divorce situation.

Homework: What is the best party favor you have received?

Dress Code: Sunday Brunch with stripes, leopard and a fedora


I love Sunday brunch! Every couple of months I meet up with my friends, Crisitn and Abby, at 3thirty3 in Newport Beach for their made to order breakfast burritos and a gab fest. If you’ve never been, you need to try it! The Bloody Mary bar is also pretty amazing.

Sunday brunch is pretty casual so I started with my new stand-bys, my white boyfriend jeans from the Gap. I’ve been wearing them every weekend, every chance I get! I added a black and white striped shirt from Forever 21, and my leopard Franco Sarto ballet flats. Of course, I piled on the bracelets and added cute earrings. It was a beautiful day and I knew I was going to drive down PCH with the top down on my car, so I added my favorite straw fedora that I bought for $10 at a street fair in Huntington Beach, and I was ready to go!


Homework: What is your go-to brunch outfit?

Home Economics: How to be a Hostess with the Mostess!

imageToday I’m hosting a birthday lunch for my mom, so I thought I would share…

Heidi’s Top 10 Tips to be the Hostess with the Mostess

1. Consider Your Audience
• Drinkers/non-drinkers? Sitters/standers? Special diets?
• Location?

2. Develop a Concept
• Sip and See
• Lunch/Brunch/Dinner
• Sips and Dips
• Movie or Game Night
• Grande Finale (dessert party) or Ice Cream Social
• Charity Event
• Shower
• Celebration (b-day, promotion, going away)
• Pot luck

3. Pick a Theme
• Carry it throughout party – invitation, menu, place cards, décor, food, party favor
*see my friend Cheryl Steffan at Details Design Studio for all your design needs, of course!
• Color, Item, Food/Candy/Fruit/Vegetable, Flower, Idea

4. Limit Food and Drink Choices: Keep it Simple
• Theme: Italian, Mexican, Trader Joe’s, Wine Tasting
• Beverages:
o Water, ice tea/lemonade, coffee, beer, wine and 1 or 2 signature drinks (a specialty martini is always fun!)
• Food:
o Brunch menu: quiche, fruit salad, Cinnabuns
o Lunch menu: fancy salad (chicken on the side), fancy chips, pickles or a boxed lunch
o Dinner: salad, pasta, and bread or chili, cornbread, salad or grilled cheese bar with tomato soup
o Desserts: ice cream w/ fresh fruit, Root beer floats, or Cute cupcakes
o Appetizers: Trader Joe’s Honey wheat pretzels and any dip
3-somes: TJ’s Pecan Pralines, TJ’s Chocolate Pretzel Slims, and Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds or Color-coordinated M&M’s, mixed nuts, pretzels

5. Prep, prep, prep
• Rent what you don’t own
• You don’t have to make everything… reheating or re-plating counts as “making” it!
• Have as many things as possible delivered – ice, heavy items, drinks
• Get ready at least an hour before the party and put your shoes by the front door….when the first guest arrives, slip your shoes on and you are set!

6. Hire help if you can
• You should be able to enjoy your party
• a teenager is perfect to help replenish, take the trash out, and load the dishwasher or assign friends specific jobs
• If you have more than 25 people, hire a bartender
• Hire a cleaning service for the day after your party

7. Encourage Interaction
• Food/gift exchange
• Name tags
• Credit card roulette
• Trivia game
• Assign jobs
• Pictures/videos for a guest of honor – Polaroid pictures or a video confessional room

8. Pay attention to the DETAILS
• Have a guest book by your front door so guests can sign in
• Use unconventional containers: buckets, baskets, jars, pails, pots
• Centerpieces
• Table décor – linens, serving ware, menus/place cards
• Music – load up your Ipod with a fun playlist or select a Pandora playlist
• Candles – more is better
• Garnishes
• To-go containers for guest to take home left-overs

9. Send guests off with a party favor
• Treats – chocolate dipped pretzels
• Ornaments
• Hang over kit – a small can of Coke with a 2-pack of Advil
• Bloody Mary Kit – Bev-Mo mini of vodka, small can of V-8, and mini Tobasco
• CD – a soundtrack of the night or year
• Donuts for the next morning with a small can of champagne
• Picture frame

10. Pay it forward!
• RSVP in a timely manner
• Bring a hostess gift
• Be a good guest
• Send you a thank you note

Dress Code: Casual Friday!

imageLinen pajama pants… Yes, please! It’s finally Friday, and I am ready for the weekend. It’s another testing day and I have to supervise the talent show tonight. It ‘s basically a 14 hour day. I planned a very comfortable and casual outfit, that would also be professional since I will be representing our administration team tonight at the show. I found these brown linen drawstring pants in the back of my closet and I knew they would be the perfect base for my outfit. I paired the pants with a brown and teal sleeveless patterned top with an attached tie and a neutral cardigan. My gold Tory Burch flats, a bunch of fun bracelets and my Louis Vuitton bag completed the look. I don’t usually wear a brown palette, so it was nice to change it up today. I used to work a side-job as an event planner for my friend’s company and I would put my earnings toward things I wouldn’t usually buy myself. My Louis Vuitton bag was a result of working two proms and a grad night. I’m glad I splurged on it!

I am loving my new Kate Spade “mom said so,” bracelet. It says, “do your homework, sit up straight, play outside, say please and thank you.” So cute!

Pants and top: Banana Republic; cardigan: The Gap; shoes: Tory Burch; bracelets: Forever 21, Charming Charlie, Kate Spade, Nordstrom; handbag: Louis Vuitton

Homework: What is your favorite casual Friday look?