Down The Rabbit Hole

Hello!  I’m back to share with more Wonderland fun, food, and goodies from my daughter’s Mad Hatter Tea Party.  Did you see the post last week featuring the outdoor party decor?

Today let’s talk about the table scape.  The design goal?  Emulate that crazy table setting you see in Alice In Wonderland. And that requires A LOT of stuff.  I started with an embroidered white table cloth that was my grandmothers and used a smaller pink satin quilted blanket on top of that. Yes, you read that right, I said blanket. Who says you can’t use blankets on a table? If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t have known! Down the center of the table is a green moss table runner from the floral department of Michaels.

I added a couple of bright colored flower arrangements in oversized mason jars and tied with a heart themed ribbon.  Inside the mason jar (to hide the flower stems) is green Easter grass from Pier 1 Imports It looks like real grass!

S02A1919

And then came the plethora of tea pots, tea cups, saucers and plates.  How do you get all this stuff without breaking the bank?  Garage sales, antique shops and second hand stores are great places to start.  There’s also no shame in borrowing from friends and family.  That’s how I came up with a variety of teapots.  The cute white bunny votive candleholders, flower napkin rings and cloth napkins were all great finds at Pier 1 Imports. The chargers are from Michael’s and came in pink, turquoise, white lace and platinum. I bought them all! The variety of shapes and sizes were perfect for stacking on top of each other. I added the saucers and teacups and the table was really starting to come together.

IMG_5931 2

Michael’s had these great glass vials, that I filled with Mike n Ikes and “Eat Me” tags.  As part of the table decor and parting gifts, I made framed place cards for all the guests.  The girls really loved that part.  They felt special having their own special place to sit and pretty frame to take home.
S02A1927

On the light fixture above the table I hung a variety of pink tissue pom-poms, glittered heart ornaments and a playing card garland that I had made with ribbon and a deck of cards.

S02A1892

Ok, so now for the food. Lunch was provided, which included turkey sandwiches, butterfly and heart shaped watermelon pieces (psst…use cookie cutters!), heart shaped strawberries and grape caterpillars.  Thank you Pinterest for that fabulous idea!  See the grape caterpillars here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/124060164711248365/  I forgot to get a photo of mine before they were all gobbled up.  They were very popular.  When I made mine, I used small candy eyes which can be found in the cake decorating aisle and stuck them on the grape with white frosting.

S02A1918

Then there was the rice crispie treat playing card soldiers, Cheshire cats tails compliments of  @treatsbytaryn, Alice Wonderland theme cookies from @thetalentedcookieco and colorful sour candy kabobs form @sweetsindeed.  They were all so beautiful and tasted really yummy!

IMG_5926

I made red velvet cupcakes, topped with cream cheese frosting and giant felt roses displayed around a mason jar of heart ornaments and an amazing top hat from Mini Top Hat Boutique.

S02A1941

I had a blast planning and decorating for this party.  We truly fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland that day, ate yummy treats, had some great laughs, and fun times celebrating with my daughter.  Wonderful memories were made that day, and that makes it all worth it.

 

Apryl

@adh_j

 

 

Advertisements

Fig Bruschetta 

When I used to think of August only hot, sticky days with a longing for a Pumpkin Spice Latte would come to mind. Until I discovered a love of fresh figs. My co-worker had a fig tree and would bring them in for me at work. The first time she brought them I had no idea what to do with them. She suggested I make a version of this delicious bruschetta. I fell in love after that. It is sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy all at the same time. Truly just one of the most decadent but simple appetizers you can make.

Sadly, her tree did not make it through a harsh winter a few years ago and now every August I am left searching for decently priced figs.  Luckily, I have been able to find good deals at our farmer’s markets and Trader Joe’s. I am also patiently awaiting for my own little fig tree to grow from a cutting that same co-worker was able to grow from her old tree. (I work with some of the best people!)

If you have never had a fig before, give this bruschetta a try and see what you think!

  • 1 French baguette
  • One container of either blue, goat or feta cheese
  • Fresh figs
  • Honey
  • Coarse sea salt

Set oven to 350 degrees and slice baguette on a bias. Cover with cheese of your choice (my favorite is blue). Remove stems and halve your figs, slice them so they will fan out. Place bread in oven for about 5 minutes, just long enough for cheese to begin to melt.


Remove bread from the oven and switch oven to high broiler. Place one half of a fig on each slice of bread. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sea salt. Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes, keeping your eye on them to prevent burning. Remove and try not to eat an entire baguette of bread. 

 

I hope you enjoy this delicious treat! What is your favorite way to eat figs??

-Holly (@hollyamethyst)

Training Inspired Mentoring Evolved

TIME…from one momma to another!

Yes, you can say I have an entrepreneurial spirit. My mind is constantly spinning with ideas. So when Miranda @mirrrandaseius approached me about starting a social media marketing company together you can bet I jumped on it like a hot potato! I had been brainstorming on how to start up a company very similar to what she was pitching to me so I figured why not partner up with her and see what our two minds can come up with. And here I am. Blogging about my new business venture!

We officially launched yesterday, August 18, 2015. Miranda had organized the famous Share the Success Workshops for six months prior to making this into a flourishing business. I mentored many shops during this time; I enjoyed this very much! It was always a joke between the two of us if I didn’t hear from her regarding the workshop for the week, I was being “fired” for doing such a horrible job. I better be on my toes now, because Miranda has every right to fire me now that she is my true boss ! We have hosted 10 workshops, mentored just at about 100 shops, worked with 3 mentors (other shop owners such as @birdsandbunny, @littlemisfits.ca @littlearrowco and of course,my self @paperplanelaneboutique) and have more mentors being added to the list            ( @modernburlap @noxxaz @riverbabethreads ) as we move along. We are working with others to add to the team as well!

On Monday, we hard launched two programs:

the famous Share the Success Workshops where we set up a session between a mentor and a momma (or a poppa) to discuss a defined topic such as how to gain followers, authentic followers, networking, how to be a brand rep, how to decide on brand reps, and starting up a shop or any other online business venture! We plan on adding many more workshops to the monthly calendar: bookkeeping, customer service, photography w/ @mattjlandry , collaborating and many many more! As we see fit, we will be changing up the workshops offered to reach as many mommas as possible!

the second program we hard launched was our Big Brother Big Sister program. This is a program designed for a more one on one feel. Miranda, myself and the shop determine what is wanting to be accomplished and we pair them up with a mentor who then works with them on a close basis. This program is designed to be tailored to the indiviiduals needs.

We soft launched our Social Media Account Management program on Monday as well. This program is designed to help those shops (large or small) who just do not have the time to manage all their social media accounts. Between Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, it can be a extremely time consuming. But if you want to create a huge social media presence you need to be active on as many platforms as possible. Especially with the rule of posting 3-4 times on average daily.  We plan to help manage these accounts with the help of social media marketing interns as we add them to our team!

It is our goal to share all of the knowledge shop owners, big and small alike       ( networking with other shops in these workshops has proven to be extremely beneficial.. an added bonus!!!), have to offer. We all were once in your shoes, from thinking about starting up a shop, to just starting up the shop, to needing to expand your wings. There’s nothing more rewarding then helping those who seek help. We want to train, inspire, mentor and evolve with you to help your business flourish in this ever-changing market.

We have many more programs we will be offering so be on the look out for what’s to come! So when you see these graphics around IG and Facebook make sure to take a look at what we have going on!

IMG_2692

Until then, much success,

Brandi

P.S. Sign up for our monthly newsletters by sending us an email at timemediamarketing@gmail.com letting us know you want to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with success stories, updates and new programs rolling out, top trending hashtags, feedback from our services, both good and bad (take it easy on us now), and we’ll also be randomly doing shop shares… and whatever else we feel YOU need to know!

IMG_2378

IG FAV @tylerhuan

Well, it’s time for another IG FAV. This time we bring to you one of my top picks of ALL TIMES… Mr. Tyler all the way from Malaysia! Here’s what his momma, Haze, has to say about this little fashion star and while we’re at it, we’ll share a few of our fav photos of him with you….

My name is Haze and I am Tyler mama , we are from sunny island Penang Malaysia . Tyler is 21 months old turn 2 in few months time , can’t believe my baby soon to be TWO, how time fly without I am realize it . I am a stay at home mom , basically I am work for my little boss Tyler , 24 hour , 7 day per weeks. I am fully enjoys every single moment with him. Tyler is a happy , cheerful and active baby , he on the move most of the time , he love outdoor activities. Tyler help mama feed and walk the dogs daily . Tyler love his furry friend , he play with them most of the time . 

image1 (1) image1 image2 (1) image2 (2) image3

IG Fav @acolorfulreality

Another IG Fav.. Lux… here’s what her momma has to say about her:
This is Lux- She turned two this past June and is proud of it. Her biggest news right now is that she is going to be a big sister, any day now! Two spunky little kiddos running around is a dream come true for us! We’re excited to see if her baby is a brother or sister. Lux loves to play outside and pick out leaves, rocks, and sticks that she can add to her never ending collection. She really appreciates the little things in life and relishes in the colors and smells that she sees outside. She is an avid jumper and gets great height on a trampoline and off it. She loves playing pretend, especially with her baby dolls and stuffed animals. They come alive and do everything with her when we’re home! She’s super artsy-something momma can’t relate to, but enjoys watching her creativity grow as she is coloring, drawing, forming play doh figures, and painting. Her favorite place to go is the waterpark or any outdoor park that she’s with her daddy…they’re the best of friends and she can’t get enough of his teasing or chasing. Lux has been working with shops as a brand rep since she was 10 months old. Her trademark piggies and urban trend has given us the privilege to work with over 60 shops and kids boutiques.  Lux is an animal lover…she especially has a thing for kittens, puppies, horses, and sea creatures. Feel free to follow us over at @acolorfulreality and follow our journey of Lux and her little brother or sister as we explore life as a family of four!

And for a few images of the diva:

IMG_1134 IMG_2213 IMG_8653

IMG_3855 IMG_4172 IMG_5394

Part Two Bento Lunches: Supplies

So you read my last post about WHY we should pack lunches and you’re considering starting to make bento lunches. Now it is time to figure out what supplies or #momtoys work best. First and foremost, I feel the need to say that this post is not sponsored. I am a brand representative for FunBites but other than that I have purchased (or been gifted!) all of the tools and supplies that I recommend. 🙂

Boxes:

Yumbox: This is my go to for efficient packing that still looks good. Yumboxes are leakproof, portion controlled boxes created for kids. You can put applesauce in a container and not worry about your crackers getting soggy!! GENIUS! It also keeps apples, bananas and avocados from browning. For real. It really works. Promise. I literally cannot say one bad thing about my Yumbox. It was the first bento supply I purchased for Grace and I still use it a few times a week and it remains in great shape. They have released a new style (the Panino) that has room for a full sandwich or small salad that is a little better portioned for adults. I am able to pack a Yumbox in no time. 

 Easy Lunchboxes: I also use my Easy Lunchboxes all the time. These are priced so well and the size is bigger. I use Easy Lunchboxes for my own lunch about 3 days out of the week. The containers are not leakproof so you don’t want to pack wet items like yogurt or applesauce in there unless you KNOW it is not going to get turned upside down. Grace is still young enough that I carry her lunch bag to the kitchen in her day care and it goes directly in the fridge so I am able to worry about that a little less. I like Easy Lunchboxes because they are a little bigger and when I want to do more food art type sandwiches or lunch themes I have a little room. 

 Other popular bento boxes are Bentgo Fresh and Planetboxes. I have heard great things about both and see them in use A LOT but have never used them myself.

Cutters:

Cute Z Cute Animal Cutters: These are probably my most used set of sandwich cutters. It is a kit that comes with a frog, panda, pig and cat. You can make an adorable sandwich in no time. I do use low calorie bread and have found that it does not always come out as neatly as I would like.

FunBites: As a brand rep, I do receive their cutters. However, I can honestly say, I love this thing. It is super cute to make a quick sandwich and is very versatile in what you can create with the shapes. Currently, they have a heart shaped, squares and triangles option. It is pretty sturdy and dishwasher safe, too. 

 Wilton’s Cookie Cutters: If you are looking to get a great variety for holidays and all seasons on the cheap, I would recommend the 101 cookie cutter set from Wilton. This is going to give you numbers, letters, shapes and tons of seasonal options. You get what you pay for with this set. They are not very thick or sturdy but will be fine to use on bread or thinly sliced cheese.

Biscuit Cutters: I also have a set of 5 round biscuit cutters that I use to make a lot of my sandwiches and then add my own details. These are very versatile as we use them pretty regularly for cooking.

Fondant Cutters/Vegetable cutters: For all the details or small pieces that you see in my lunches I will use fondant or vegetable cutters. I am on the lookout every holiday for sets at places like Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. My favorite to use was my ABC set that I sadly lost some time ago and can’t find ANYWHERE in my kitchen. (Don’t ask me about bento organization, I clearly have none 😦 )

Miscellaneous:

Silicone molds: Silicone molds are fun to add details to lunches. Be on the lookout for the different shaped silicone ice cube trays or candy molds. These are also found in the holiday sections of stores and with cake and candy decorations. I like to put canned pumpkin in my pumpkin molds, freeze it and pop one out to add to yogurt or oatmeal in the fall.

Silicone cups: A must if you are going to pack a bento that would have both warm and cold foods. If I am packing Grace a Yumbox and pack her leftover chicken and also grapes I will put the chicken in a silicone cupcake mold in the compartment of the box so her daycare can just pop the silicone cup in the microwave. These also come in tons of different colors and shapes to add a pop of color or add on to your theme.

Food Picks: I do not personally use food picks yet. This is ONLY because 1. I don’t think they will come back home from day care and 2. I don’t want Grace to poke her playmate with a food pick at the lunch table or worry one of her friends will take them and poke HER (or themselves, or their eye..) with one 🙂 I am planning on getting some for home though because food picks are hands down the quickest way to make a boring lunch cute. Packing some slices of turkey? Just roll it up and put it on a cute panda bear food pick and it INSTANTLY looks more fun with almost no effort. You can also start saving all of those cupcake ring toppers that you get on birthday cupcakes. You could have a Jake and the Neverland Pirate lunch in no time if you went to a party with this as the theme!

Tweezers! Sounds crazy, right? But so helpful for detail work. 

Sprinkles! Because they are awesome.. And pretty. 

  
I would recommend going to Amazon or All Things for Sale (a bento and baking supply company) to check out tons of adorable and dangerously affordable fondant/veggie cutters, molds and food picks.

Come back soon for my next post in this series that will give you some great ideas for what to pack in those boxes now that you have them. Also,come find me on Instagram @hollyamethyst to see all of my lunch creations (and my adorable daughter 😉 )

Do you have any bento or lunch supplies that you can’t live without???

Taking Flight…

Hi there guys…this is Stacy, from Paper Plane Lane, and I am going to tell you a little story!  My husband and I have a deep and ever growing love for anything creative.  For me, that included, design and fashion (although you wouldn’t know it by seeing the way I dress…hahaha!).  My children, however, are ALWAYS on FLEEK!  I have been trying, by the hardest, to incorporate the coolest of slang into my daily jargon!

Anyway…because of this ever growing love for design and fashion, my dream is to design kids clothing.  I have always wanted to have a boutique filled with the latest kids fashion trends that are not produced in mass by department stores!  Sure you can go to Gap, Old Navy, Crew Cuts, and Target to find some cute looks.  However, it is shopping and purchasing various pieces from several different stores that create a outfit that is “on fleek”.

When I was pregnant with my second child, Breaker Miles (check out his fabulous style here – IG @mattjlandry), many of our friends and acquaintances kept telling us “you dress your little girl so CUTE, but you will have a hard time finding cute clothes for little dudes.”  I was always shocked when people would tell me this…I had been waiting for a little dapper dude for so long.  I just knew that he was gonna be the BEST Dressed!!! This is when I became obsessed with finding the latest handmade, cute kids fashion from some RAD Instagram Shops.  I began to discuss my desire for this dream to become a reality with my cousin, Brandi.  We had talked about creating a collective online children’s fashion boutique, focus on dapper dudes, but never really went forward with it.  One day after Brandi, got off of her 8-5pm corporate accounting job, she came to our house and she went on and on about how she didn’t enjoy punching a clock anymore and wanted more freedom.  This is when…my dream started to be come a reality.

Ok, so…let’s talk about how we came up with the name Paper Plane Lane.  My husband, Matt, had been obsessed with paper planes for quite some time! He was determined to have them as part of the theme for Breaker’s Nursery…and as you can see from the images of Breaker’s Nursery below………paper planes were a huge part of our inspiration.  The creation of his room is one the fondest memories I have with my husband and our besties (Heather and Heathe of @banannieabands).  Breaker’s Nursery was featured in On to Baby…Children’s Online Blog. Come fly through Breaker’s Nursery:

Room2

Room3 Room1 Room Room4 Room5 Room6 Room7 Room11 Room10 Room9 Room8

Once we decided that this online children’s fashion boutique was going to happen…we started to contemplate what the name should be.  My husband, Matt, all the while knew he wanted paper planes to be part of the theme.  One day while we were sitting on the couch looking at Pinterest, he kept showing me logos created with planes.  We saw some amazing designs and thats when we knew that paper planes would definitely be a part of this new journey.  We were so EXCITED….and yes this is corny…we live on Chicago LANE.  I shouted, “Paper Plane Lane” out loud cause we live on Chicago Lane…an the name was BORN!

You’re JUST PLANE AWESOME!!!

Stacy Landry