Browsing Category


DIY, Kids


DIY Halloween Costume: Peppa Pig and George Pig / Dinosaur

When I began creating the kids’ Halloween costumes this year, I had no intention of sharing the DIY on the blog (hence the lack of in-progress images). But they turned out better than I imagined so I thought I’d share.

Let me preface this by saying I do not sew. A button or two, sure. But a dinosaur costume? Yea, right. When I did Isla’s sushi costume a couple of years ago I was too nervous to even sew a pillow, so I used stitch witchery to make a no-sew piece of salmon. If you can’t sew either, welcome. If you can, you probably don’t need to read this DIY.

The Peppa and George costume was inspired by Theo, who adores the show. He also regularly chases us around while shouting, “Dinosaur, RAWR!” If you’ve seen the show, you get the connection. But I didn’t want to just throw on a blue onesie with pink arms and legs and call it a day. So Theo is George from the episode where he dresses as a dinosaur for Halloween. If only I can get Theo to wear the George mask. Complicated, I know, but Theo is in love with his new dino suit so mom for the win.

George Pig / Dinosaur

What You’ll Need:

George Pig mask
green hoodie + 2 pairs matching pants
green felt (approx. 6 sheets) for spikes
thread to match the hoodie/pants
thread to match the felt
polyfill stuffing


Dino Hoodie:

  • To make the felt spikes, cut out a bunch of diamonds in two or three sizes. Mine measured 5″, 6″ and 8″ (tip-to-tip). Lay your hoodie flat, find the center and draw a line or “spine” with chalk as a guide. Then pin your diamonds sideways to the spine. (refer to pictures below).
  • Sew the center of the diamond to the hoodie, which will give you two triangles on either side of the stitch. Fold the triangles together, insert a little polyfill, pin the edges together to hold it in place and sew along the edges to close the spike. (If you can’t sew, like me, it’s okay because no one will see your messy stitches, especially if your thread matches the felt perfectly. Also, tiny stitches help conceal the sloppiness.)
  • Repeat this step for all of the triangles, using the smaller triangles as you travel up the hood. (I first used 4″ spikes everywhere but it looked more like a mohawk than a dino so I swapped the hood spikes for smaller ones.)

Dino Tail:

  • Cut one of the pant legs off your extra pair of pants. (I know this is painful, but just do it). Cut the foot opening on an angle so it’s a bit more narrow/pointed. I used chalk to draw a line as a guide.
  • Turn your leg inside out and sew the foot opening and the open side (where the crotch was) closed. Leave the other end (what was the waist) open.
  • Turn your leg right-side out and stuff it with polyfill.
  • Repeat the steps from the spike instructions above to complete your spikes. I sewed mine right along the seam of the pants to keep them straight. If you don’t have a seem, find the center and draw a line with chalk, then pin your diamonds to the chalk line.
  • Again, make the spikes smaller toward the tip of the tail.
  • You can either pin your tail to the hoodie or add an elastic waistband, which is what I did. First, cut your elastic to the appropriate length to snuggly fit your little one’s waist, then sew the two ends to the inside of your hole/opening. You’ll have to play around a bit with this to make it lay on the waist and not twist around as your child moves. I sewed both ends right next to each other at the top. Then sew your opening shut. Mine is not very pretty looking, but it gets the job done and you can’t see it under the hoodie anyway. If you want a more professional-looking tutorial, try this one.

Dinosaur Costume DIYDinosaur Costume DIYPeppa Pig Costume

Peppa Pig

There are obviously no instructions for this one, but here’s what I bought for the outfit:

Peppa Pig mask
pink pants and shirt
red dress
“golden” rain boots
DIY pig tail (I used this tutorial)
Peppa’s teddy (it came with this tea set we have)

Baby, DIY

halloween costume DIY: baby sushi

DIY Baby Sushi Halloween CostumeDIY Baby Sushi Halloween CostumeDIY Baby Sushi Halloween CostumeYou know how much I love sushi! I am not exactly crafty and I’ve never used a sewing machine before but I was determined to dress Isla as a piece of salmon sashimi (our favorite) for her first Halloween. I considered dressing her in some fluffy animal costume but I really wanted to make her very first costume by hand, even if it’s not the fanciest thing in the world. My mom, the creator of the best Halloween costumes on the planet, gave me some ideas for how to make the salmon pillow and it was so easy I wanted to share it with you. So here goes … Oh but first, please forgive the pictures. I did this at 10 p.m. after Isla was sound asleep so the light was pretty crappy.Baby sushi halloween costume how-to supplies

SUPPLIES – I was able to buy everything I needed at Joann Fabric and A.C. Moore (except the shower poof, which is from Target)

1. filling for the pillow
2. 1/2 yard orange and white chevron fabric for the salmon pillow (I bought a whole yard because it was less than $5 but I used less than a quarter of it)
4. 1/4 yard of black, shiny, stretchy fabric for the seaweed (you could also use a scarf or other long, narrow, black fabric)
5. 1 piece pink felt
6. 1 green shower poof
7. stitch witchery
8. white elastic for headband
9. fabric glue

How to make a baby sushi halloween costume

How-to: Salmon Pillow

step 1: cut fish fabric into a rectangle and remember that you’re going to fold it over to make the pillow so make it twice the size (lengthwise) that you want your pillow and leave an inch to spare on each side (for ex. if you want an 8″ x 5″ pillow, cut your rectangle to 17″ x 6″)
step 2: place two pieces of stitch witchery along the edges of two of the three openings and fold the fabric over so it’s inside-out
step 3: place a damp cloth over the edges and iron on “wool” for about 10 seconds on each side (until the fabric seals together) — be sure to leave one side of the pillow open
step 4: let the fabric cool for a few minutes until you’re sure the stitch witchery will hold, then turn your fabric right side-out and stuff with as much filling as you need
step 5: fold the edges of the open side in toward each other and place a piece of stitch witchery between them, then repeat the ironing process
Voila! Salmon sashimi!

I don’t have pictures the making of the seaweed because all you need to do is cut a long piece of your black material, then tie the pillow on the baby and cut the excess.

Now for the headband …

how to make headband for baby sushi halloween costume

How-to: Ginger/Wasabi Headband

step 1: cut elastic to desired length (I cut about 16″ but Isla has a tiny head!) and use fabric glue to close the circle
step 2: cut 1 or 2 long strips off the felt and cut a piece off of the poof
step 3: arrange the strips of felt so they loop around and look like a pile of ginger, then sew onto the headband; repeat this process for the shower poof (not pictured)

And there you have it!

DIY Baby Sushi Halloween CostumeHAPPY HALLOWEEN!


diy diary

I realize I’m 30, not 13 and that this blog could be considered a modern-day diary, or journal, if you will. But I wanted something old school for our honeymoon. I decided to keep a journal during our travels as a more personal way to remember and cherish our trip. There’s something so much sweeter about a handwritten note than a typed one, don’t you think? I searched high and low for the perfect book — something light, small, simple, pretty and with lined paper, because I have terribly crooked handwriting. When I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, I snagged a natural-looking book with a magnetic closure (to protect the pages while in my carryall) and decided to cover it with pretty paper.

a close-up of the gorgeous paper i bought from Paper Source. and here and here are the tutorials i used.

supplies: journal, scissors, paper glue, pretty paper

there’s a lot of folding involved. the key is to pull the paper as tight as possible without ripping it.

tip: i used a little too much glue on the cover and now it’s kind of discolored and lumpy. it’s not too noticeable, but avoid glue clumps.

and there you go. it’s the perfect size for travel and now it’s pretty, too.

Baby, DIY

a classy carnival baby shower

Up, up, and away, baby boy is on his way! In honor of my soon-to-be-mommy friend Sarah, a group of us got together to throw her a “classy carnival”-themed baby shower. It all began with an adorable invitation I found on Etsy (here), and from there the ideas started flowing. From chevron goodie bags and hot air balloon centerpieces, to flags and a candy bar, we loved putting together every last detail. My friend Meg and I were in charge of favors and since Sarah (you know her as my matron of honor) is obsessed with sugar, we went straight for her sweet tooth.

curious about how these little guys stood up so straight? be sure to read below for a complete “sweet love” candy bar how-to.

swedish fish in a fish bowl + tropical skittles + hershey kisses + fruity taffy

one of the girls designed these adorable wine glass tags

we knew we wanted some sort of sign for the table, but the burlap “sweet love” banners are a pretty common thing at weddings these days and we wanted something unique. we made this sign ourselves out of wood blocks and letters.

these mismatched flags hung on both walls and above the candy buffet (i take no credit for this DIY adorableness!). we fell in love with the quaint italian restaurant that hosted the shower. the brick walls added such a cool element to our theme.

i bought these chevron straws and matching chevron goodie bags in a variety of colors from a shop i found on Etsy. the hot air balloon centerpieces were a DIY project, too, though again, i take no credit!

we wanted to display the shower invitation for sarah to see, but the odd shape made framing it nearly impossible. meg and i picked up three of these oversized wooden clothespins and painted them pink and blue. we thought this was a creative way to display the invite on the candy bar without straying from the look and feel. it was a huge hit. the two remaining pink pins bundled together the chevron goodie bags (shown below) on both sides of the table.

up, up, and away! the bakery designed the chocolate and peanut butter cake to match our invitation to a tee!

candy bar how-to

wood glue; acrylic paint; paint brush; 4×4 wooden blocks; wooden letters that spell “love” and “sweet” (the sweet letters should be thick enough to stand on their own while love should be very thin); a thin styrofoam sheet cut into rectangles and covered in saran wrap; wooden clothespins; jars in various sizes and shapes; lots of candy!

sign instructions:
step 1: paint the blocks, letters and clothes pins with a few coats of the acrylic paint (tip: take apart the clothespins before painting)
step 2: glue the l-o-v-e on the blocks with a bit of wood glue
step 3: stand the s-w-e-e-t letters on top of the blocks (no need to glue)

candy bar instructions:
step 1: collect jars in all shapes and sizes and pick up a few square or rectangular white appetizer plates
step 2: collect the candy! twizzlers and swedish fish are sarah’s favorites so those were a must, but we bought these, these, these and these to enhance the theme. we also bought hershey kisses, peanut butter M&Ms, york peppermint minis, fruit taffy, three large swirly pops and wilton pastel pearls.
step 3: for the lollipops, cut a thin piece of styrofoam to fit your appetizer plate and cover it with saran wrap (so the candy remains edible). place the sheet on the plate and begin poking holes with your lollipops so they stand upright. cover the entire dish and styrofoam with the pastel pearls to hide the styrofoam.

Easy as pie, sweet as candy!


DIY, We Do!

personal touches

the girls’ bouquets: pink, peach and creamy white roses

We wanted to put as many personal touches into our wedding as possible as a way of letting our guests know that their presence meant so much to us. Once we got started, the ideas kept flowing. From d.i.y. hand-stamped muslin rescue bags at hotel check-in (here) and chalkboard table numbers, to delicious, homemade takeaway table assignments and a wine box card holder, we put a lot of time, love and thought into all the little details.

“grab a treat and ‘fig’-ure out your seat,”
read the message on an 8×10 d.i.y chalkboard frame on the reception welcome table. last summer, chris and i spent many sleepless nights turning our fig tree into nearly 150 cans of fig preserves to be used as our table assignments. then i bribed the girls with cocktails and snacks in exchange for help wrapping and tying every single jar.

i collected cake stands from everyone i know for our cupcake bar. i found mis-matched mercury glass votive holders for all the tables. and a d.i.y chalkboard frame told our guests the delicious cupcake flavors: red velvet + cream cheese, yellow + butter cream and chocolate + cream cheese (with light pink, peach and white icing).

i scoured every home goods store for mis-matched metal vintage frames for our table numbers, guest book sign and fig table sign, while Chris perfected the art of chalkboard spray painting. he even wrote all the pretty table numbers with a white paint pen. we sat at table number “Mr. and Mrs.,” with the best man, matrons of honor and their spouses.

the room at the Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, N.J.

i don’t know much about flowers, so i really relied on our florist for help. Tina, owner of Sparrow’s Nest Flower Shop in Neptune City, N.J., opened about eight yeas ago, when she provided flowers for my aunt and uncle’s wedding. instantly, we loved her. i told her my dress was simple and romantic, and my colors were pink, peach and charcoal. from there, she made the magic.

two vases in two sizes on each table with pink roses, peach gerber daisies and white hydrangeas.

the guest book was made by our photographers, Blue Koi Sudios, and featured our beautiful engagement photos, taken last fall in NYC’s meatpacking district (blog post here). the chalkboard frame was made by my crafty husband and my girlfriend, Korin, put my handwriting to shame.

this was my husband’s pet project. thanks to our local liquor store for the old wine crate, chris made a box for cards from our guests. our brother-in-law, Andrey, used his super fancy manly tools to create the slot. the wooden letters were sprayed with the chalkboard paint and glued on.

this pretty tassel garland added a bit of sparkle to the cupcake table.

{flowers: Tina at Sparrow’s Nest Flower Shop, Neptune City, N.J. // cupcakes: Piece O’ Cake, Shrewsbury, N.J. // tassel garland: TheFlairExchange, Etsy // mercury glass votive holders: Pottery Barn // reception venue: Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, N.J. // photography + guestbook: John and Sue Fan, of Blue Koi Studios}

Next up: Our incredible DJ, guest serenades and an all-night dance party!