Flower Child | Getting Crafty with Flowers

I have always had a fascination with flowers. I spent hours as a child picking flowers, drying flowers, making potpourri, etc… My father also grew roses so he could cut them for me and my mother. He also gives us flowers for special occasions. As an adult, I have started to grow my own flowers so I can make my own vases and dried flowers. My children also love everything flowers – living or created on paper. I love sharing this with my children! Here are some great crafts to help you and your children get into the love of flowers as well.

Making Flowers – Flower making is a common activity for children – but several of these activities put a new spin on things. One of the reasons why I love flower activities is because they make great gifts! Why not make gift giving fun, beautiful, and educational?

This craft is great because it doesn’t matter the age and can be completed numerous times with minimal effort:

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Here is a great easy way to make flowers with stamps:

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I love this craft because it would make a fantastic gift as well:

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Here is another creative way to make flowers:

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Here is another great way to make flowers with stamps:

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I love this stamping activity using actual flowers:

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This is my favorite stamping activity because it is easy and beautiful:

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I love these flower windows!

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Education and Flowers – One of the best things about flowers is that they make a great educational tool. There are so many things to discuss including the parts of a flower, how it grows, and regrowth. Here are some fantastic activities that will show your kids the glory of a flower’s growth.

I love how this activity shows the parts of a flower and uses vegetables for demonstration:

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Here is a great activity that can be done over and over while discussing parts of the flower:

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This is a great way to educate children on types of flowers:

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This is a great experiment, especially when discussing pollution:

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This is a great counting activity that involves the creation of flowers as well:

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Sensory Flowers – Flowers also make a fantastic sensory activity!! Whether they are with fake or real flowers they are a great way to add another level of play with children. I am sure both you and your children will enjoy these super fun activities.                                                                        

This is a great sensory activity with items that don’t cost a lot and can be found around the house:

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This is another great sensory activity that also creates flowers as well:

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This is a super fun sensory bottle using flowers:

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This is a great hands-on activity also showing the parts of a flower:

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Also if you’re interested in adding another level to your flower crafts you could always read one of these great children’s books about flowers:

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Looking for some of these crafts I had tried with my own children and others that I wanted to create with my children was so fun and really made me appreciate all those flower crafts I did growing up. So if you use these crafts because its springtime or as a gift – especially with Mother’s Day coming up – they are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. I hope you enjoy some of these projects and please feel free to send us pictures of the results – we would love the see the finished product!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

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Creating Your Secret Garden | Part 2: Frost Doesn’t Have to Be a Foe

One of the toughest decisions to make when creating your garden is when to plant your crops. Choosing which plants to plant can be a daunting task – I always struggle with this. Whether it’s because I want to plant too much, worried about space, or timing of plants. The next several posts will be about when to plant, what plant for each season, and some helpful hints for success as well. Of course, planting is subjective due to weather, environment, and time of year – but I hope this article, and future ones, will give you some helpful hints and help guide your planting experience. This article will specifically be focused on the early spring and frost resistant crops. Frost can be a major danger to a lot of plants. Not only can it cause damage to foliage, but it can also kill some of your plants altogether.  It is important to make sure you plant frost resistant or cold hardy plants during these early days to ensure success in your garden.

Flowers – Bulbs and Annuals

Bulbs are essentially the resting stage of a plant. When the bulb reaches the right temperature, saturation and nutrition, then it grows into a wonderful plant. There are several cold hardy flowers that grow from bulbs including daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises and crocuses. These bulbs are typically planted in the fall and bloom in late winter early spring. Here you will find some more information on great bulbs for your garden.

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Annuals are plants that need to be replanted every year. These are plants you can typically buy in seed form or once they have sprouted and had their first blooms. Some of these cold hardy annuals include pansies/violas, calendulas, snapdragons, sweet peas and poppies. Personally, in South Carolina, I have not had a whole lot of success with poppies (even though they show magnificently at Brookgreen Gardens), but I have had a lot of success with pansies in the past that last through the fall! Here you will find a great list of cool-hardy annuals with some information on best time for germination as well.

Make it Green – Shrubs and More

Shrubs are great for a variety of reasons. They can add privacy, color, and shape to any garden. There are many different types of shrubs including ones that are evergreen, flower, and produce fruit. Some of the ones that we grow that are frost resistant are hollies, azaleas, and boxwoods. Each have their own purpose on our property. Yes, flowers can be fragile and difficult to grow while shrubs tend to be overall more hardy. Don’t be afraid to use shrubs in a variety of colors, flowers, and fruit bearing to add color to your garden during these cooler months. Here is a link to some of the cool hardy shrubs that can bring some color to your garden.

Trees

Trees may not be something you think of as having trouble with frost. As far as the cold, killing a tree in its older years of life is not likely. There are several trees that bloom and leaf during the cooler months or even year-round that can help bring color to your garden. Evergreens are easy because they are cool hardy and stay green year-round. One of my favorites is the magnolia. Not only is it an evergreen, but I love the large blooms of early summer! Some other early leafing or blooming trees are dogwoods, cherry trees, and crabapples. Here is a link so some of the other early flowering spring trees.

Crops – Can you really grow some cold hardy crops?

Yes! There are definitely plants that are resistant to cold temperatures and even frost. Cold temperatures can not only kill plants, but can also burn the foliage of some crops as well. Some of the crops that we have done well with during the spring months are sugar snaps, cabbage, spinach, and even strawberries. Listed below are some links with more helpful information on cold hardy crops and how to insure success with insight on some planting techniques.

collards-hardy

Covering Plants for Late Frost

If you do plant your crops too early or there is a very late frost, it doesn’t mean you have signed their death wish already. There are definitely things you can do to help protect your crops from frost and help ensure a successful future.  Whether it be bringing container plants indoors for a night’s stay inside, saturating the soil thoroughly to help maintain the warmth, or covering your beds with a bedsheet overnight to insulate them, there are methods by which you can potentially evade the worst.

So in short, you don’t have to leave your garden barren during these cooler months. Not only are there cold hardy plants that flower but cold hardy crops that do just fine in these cooler temperatures. There are steps you can take to not only protect your plants – but in general plants are resistant and resilient. They will probably come back as long as the frost and cold doesn’t last for long periods of time. Remember you won’t know how successful you will be until you try! So get out there and get started!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Feed Me Seeds| Recipes and Benefits of Eating Seeds

Seeds are incredibly healthy and recently their discussion has become the  forefront on many nutritional discussions. While consuming seeds isn’t new, the change in direction of diets – i.e. high fiber, low carb, gluten free, plant based, high protein, etc. – has caused them to become a new focus for many people. Seeds not only carry many vitamins and minerals but also contain fiber and protein as well. Listed below are some health benefits of eating seeds and some recipes to give you some ideas on how to enjoy these seeds in your daily life.

Chia: Chia seeds seem to be a recent diet fad that everyone seems to be enjoying. These seeds are high in protein, fiber, iron, and Omega-3s, and calcium. Some claim that it helps promote weight loss because the fiber causes the stomach to feel full – however the results of medical studies do vary on this concept. However, the medical world seems to agree that Chia seeds are healthy and a good alternative to unhealthy grains and improve your overall nutrition. Here are some great recipes for you to implement Chia seeds into your life.

Who says eating healthy doesn’t include desserts?

Blueberry Chia Seed Cashew Cake Recipe. A beautiful and delicious treat for any occasion.

I love this healthy jam!

Easy Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a healthy granola bar for a quick on the go snack!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Granola Bars - No baking and just a handful of simple ingredients needed!

Here is a great way to make your pancakes more nutritious:

Blueberry Chia Seed Pancakes | A simple pancake recipe filled with chia seeds for added fiber!

I love overnight oats – so easy, delicious, and nutritious!

Make ahead, ready when you are. Overnight Turmeric Chia Oats | Plant Based, Dairy Free, GF Breakfast Recipe, #ad

Here is a great list of awesome pudding recipes:

This delicious chia pudding recipe will make you seriously rethink reaching for that pint of ice cream #healthy #chiaseed #recipes http://greatist.com/eat/chia-seed-pudding-recipes:

Flax: This seed is also not “new” but has actually been around for thousands of years. This seed is high in Omega-3s, Lignans, and fiber. This little seed is also high in other vitamins and minerals. It has cited for  helping cardiovascular health, diabetes, and cancer. King Charlemagne even decreed that his people must consume the seed because he believed in their health benefits. I often used flax seed to give an extra crunch in my breading for fried foods. Here are some other great recipes for you to add to your list.

A great cracker to go with any cheese:

flax seed crackers recipe angle

Here is a great smoothie to add to your list

Tropical Pineapple Smoothie With Flax Seeds

Here is a great granola bar alternative:

No-Bake Peanut Buttery Flax Bars

Here is a great gluten-free waffle recipe!

Finally! A Low Carb Gluten Free Flax Seed Waffles recipe! These turned out moist with crispy edges and remind me of whole grain waffles but without the carbs and gluten! Delicious with butter and/or syrup (sugar free if needed)! | www.OurLittleEverything.com

Here is a great gluten-free low carb bread substitute:

Low carb flax bread

Hemp: Even though this seed comes from a plant that carries a controversial reputation for its recreational use, it will not carry any hallucinogenic effect. In fact this seed is high in protein, potassium, and fatty acids in addition to other vitamins and minerals. It is even often used as a vegan protein powder. I oftentimes eat hemp seeds in smoothies and cooked with my quinoa.

Do you like Nutella? You will love this seedy substitute.

Here is a great way to update your hummus:

Hemp Seed Hummus - diettaste.com

Here is a great cookie with some healthy notes as well:

Get these healthy no-bake cookies in your belly immediately. Made with hemp seeds, oatmeal, cacao powder, and more delicious and nutritious goodness. Hemp Seed Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie Recipe

I love this recipe!!

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders -- this easy and delicious recipe is packed with protein and is also naturally #glutenfree! | gimmesomeoven.com #gf #recipe

Paleo low carb bread sticks?? YES PLEASE!

Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks with Garlic Butter & Hemp Seeds (Paleo, Gluten-free) - These crispy, low carb cauliflower breadsticks are low carb and paleo. Garlic butter and hemp seeds provide plenty of flavor. Gluten-free, healthy & easy!

Here is another great overnight oatmeal recipe:

This healthy Chocolate Hemp Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie tastes just like melted chocolate ice cream and packs an impressive 15 g of plant-based protein while meeting the minimum RDA for omega-3s! | runningwithspoons.com #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Another quick and healthy breakfast recipe:

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Vegan Parm yummy!

Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds. It’s the perfect cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more.

A healthy ranch dressing… oh yes!

Love Ranch Dressing, but you've got food allergies? This Homemade Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe is not only dairy free, but it's also egg free and nut free too. Great as a dip, dressing, or spread for sandwiches and wraps. #paleo #vegan #dairyfree

Here is a guilt-free dessert option:

Poppy: I love these seeds and have been eating them since I was a child. These seeds are more common and less of a new fad but are no less important that the ones previously listed. These seeds are high in amino acids, manganese, and calcium. Although poppy seeds have nutritional value they can also be unhealthy in large doses – so please enjoy them in moderation. Here are some great recipes to meet your poppy seed needs!

Lemon and poppy seed is one of my Mom’s favorite breakfast foods… I can only imagine how much she would love these!

lwmon poppy seed pancakes

Here is a great dressing recipe:

Turmeric Orange Poppy Seed Dressing is tangy, slightly sweet and crunchy. You will feel an explosion of flavors in your mouth when you taste it. Perfect for fall salads! Plus, you can use the leftovers for smoothies.

Purim is such a fun Jewish holiday – why not enjoy it with this traditional Jewish dessert:

This Purim, make these no-fail hamantaschen cookies. Fill with nutella, poppy seed filling or your favorite jam!:

These sandwiches are great and perfect party food!

Make these quick and easy ham and Swiss sliders pop by adding some poppy seeds on top!:

This looks fantastic!

Finding Feasts - Polish Poppy Seed Cake_Makowiec

Pumpkin: I love pumpkin seeds and really enjoyed roasting them as a child. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, iron, and protein. Pumpkin seeds are great for so many things including its great source of magnesium, but it also helps with bone health, diabetes,  heart, liver, insomnia, and pregnancy as well. Here are some great ways to include this super seed into your diet.

Roasting the perfect pumpkin seeds:

After you've carved your jack-o-lantern for Halloween, it's time to roast perfect pumpkin seeds! Here's how you can make this salty and crunchy snack, that's healthy too!

This bark is so tasty:

Cranberry pumpkin seed dark chocolate bark tastes just like fall and is super simple to whip up with only 4 ingredients! (gluten free, grain free, paleo, and vegan)

Dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan pesto!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Who doesn’t love a crunchy tasty snack? Check this one out!

A simple recipe for Coconut Pumpkin Seed Snacks infused with lime and honey. Easy, delicious! Vegan and gluten free! | www.feastingathome.com

Here is another great paleo/vegan snack:

Apricot Cashew and Pumpkin Seed Bliss Balls by Nourish Everyday | Tasty, chewy and nutritious bliss balls made with natural dried apricots, cashews and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar!

Sacha Inchi: This is a seed you may not have heard of before but it is extremely healthy. It is also commonly known as the Inca nut and comes from Peru. These taste similar to pumpkin seeds and can add a great crunch to any recipe. These seeds are high in fiber and protein as well. It has also been known to help the brain, bones, and protect against cancer. Why not give this great seed a try?

Here is a great healthy cake:

Here is a great alternative to chocolate peanut butter cookies:

Chocolate Chunk "Peanut Butter" Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Legume Free)

This is a great tofu recipe:

Here is a great soup for you to try:

vegan acorn squash bisque with sacha inchi seeds

Here is a great vegan brownie recipe:

Vegan Maple Caramel Crunch Brownies and Imlak’esh Organics Sacha Inchi Giveaway

Sesame: These seeds also aren’t new and most people have probably consumed them or seen them at some point. They are extremely high in many minerals, vitamins, and Omega 6 fatty acids as well. In fact they are often referred to as the “Queen of Seeds”.  These seeds have been known to help with cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, diabetes, and several other health issues. Here are just of a few of the great recipes that I found on this seed.

I love this sweet treat!

Pasteli {Greek Sesame, Nuts & Honey Bars}

Here is another great snack:

Here is a great Carolina staple and dessert:

Benne Wafers

I love Tahini and here is a great recipe to make your own:

Homemade Tahini - this homemade tahini is only 2 ingredients and only takes about 8 minutes to make and its perfect for use in any recipes, especially homemade hummus!

This is one of my husband’s favorites:

This is a great flatbread recipe:

With a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor.:

This is a great chutney and/or side dish:

Nuvvula Pachadi Recipe (Sesame Seeds Chutney)

Sunflower: I not only love the flower but also love the seeds! In fact I eat them often on a road trip to occupy the time. The seeds are high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and copper. The seeds have been known to help cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health, prevent cancer, thyroid function, and diabetes. Here are some fantastic ways to implement sunflowers into your diet.

This is a fantastic peanut butter substitute recipe:

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter | DoYouEvenPaleo.net

Here is another great pesto recipe:

Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas

This is a great dip to go with so many different dishes:

Vegan Cilantro Lemon Sunflower Seed Dip | ElephantasticVegan.com

Here is another great brittle:

This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The result is a delicious, toasted, nutty brittle. A great Fall party or shower favor, school or office treat. From The Yummy Life.

This is a great way to spruce up your oatmeal recipe:

Sunflower Seed Cookies by @Jill | Dulce Dough:

Not only is this delicious but it has a fantastic name!

Sunbutter

Cheese alternative say what??!

Sunflower Cheddar

Multi-Seed Recipes: There is no reason to solely eat one of those seeds alone. In fact, like with most things, you are best eating these seeds in conjunction with other healthy items. So why not eat these seeds together? Here are some great ways to include multiple seeds into your diet.

Here is a great gluten free and vegan bread substitute:

Pumpernickle Nut and Seed Bread 3

Here is a great gluten free seedy cracker substitute:

Zucchini Crackers

I love bread and this one looks like pure magic!

Sourdough Pain de Campagne with Toasted Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Flax Seeds

Love this crisp bread:

Scandinavian crispbreads made with minimal flour, some salt, oil, water and sesame, flax, poppy and sunflower seeds (and a few aromatic ones too) are a crunchy, delicate platform for butter, cheese, pickled herring and anything at all savoury. They are superb crunchy accompaniment to soup, too. Versions of knækbrød are eaten all over Denmark, Sweden and Norway and considered essential foods. High in protein, healthy fats and fiber, these are a near-perfect snack.

Seeds are essential to our whole ecosystem. They are the beginning of life and improve our own lives as well. Implementing vitamins and minerals into your diet naturally is the best way for your body to digest these items as well. I wasn’t really into these “nuts and berries” types of diets – but implementing some seeds into basic foods is easy and has improved my diet as well. So go ahead buy that big bag of seeds at the store and give these recipes a try. I am sure your taste buds will thank you!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Hosting a Garden Party and Plant Exchange

As evidence by my other posts I have a serious passion for plants and gardening. I have heard of people going to and hosting plants and/or seed exchanges and I always wanted to be a part of one! It seemed like such a great way to add variety to the garden while also making it a social event. This year I finally got the courage to host one. I wanted it to be fun, elegant, and successful. Luckily here in Florida people are as into gardening as I am – so it wasn’t too difficult to find people who were interested in attending. Then the real panning commenced… I took to Pinterest, talked to others who had been to a plant exchange, and got to work. I was pleasantly surprised at how successful it was and I hope to improve upon my endeavors in the future.

Invitation – I personally really like old school invitations to parties. I find that it is more personal and really sets the tone for any event. Luckily I have the most talented sister-in-law, Lauren James,  to help me with any graphic/invitation needs. I mentioned to her that I was hosting this party and asked her if she had something that would fit or if we should just create a new invitation. Luckily she had something that was really perfect already!! We changed up the wording to meet my needs and viola we had the perfect invitation. (Side note – feel free to contact Lauren with any of your invitation/stationary needs!)

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Décor – I love party decorations! It is a kind of way to transport your guests to a fun new location. For the garden party I am lucky enough to live in a home with fantastic landscapes and greenery. Therefore actual décor was luckily minimal and many of them I was able to gather from my own garden. I knew I wanted a wide variety of flowers to be placed on tables and create a centerpiece as well. Overall I think the effect was perfect for the event.

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{Pictures taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Food – As far as the food is concerned I wanted light refreshments that echoed the theme of the party – gardening and elegance. The menu was charcuterie, crudité, smörgåstårta (Swedish tea cake), Pistachio Bundt cake, and lemon lavender cookies. I was pleasantly surprised with how well all of the food came out remarkably well and really fit the theme I think. Listed below are the pictures of the food I created and the links I used for inspiration. I have also included any of the improvements that I made as well.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Charcuterie – I read several articles about how the create the best spread. I also love to eat this kind of food on a regular basis – which makes it very easy for me to create different tastes with the food provided. I will also say that I loved near a Trader Joe’s which also makes it easy to pick out good cheeses for a reasonable price.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Crudité – This is also another food that I eat constantly. This also screams garden to me – for there is nothing better than eating produce straight from the garden. I found an example of this kind on pinterest and it just looked so lovely that I decided to create one as well. It was surprisingly easy to make the cabbage into a bowl which was nice.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Smörgåstårta (Swedish Tea Cake) – Tea sandwiches are such a classic taste and so easy to make. However I wanted to put a little twist on mine and found the idea to make the tea sandwich into a cake! It was surprisingly easy and tasted delicious! However I will mention my faux pas – I did not cut off the bottom crust which made the cake difficult to cut thru – but outside of that the flavor and look was fantastic!

Pistachio Bundt Cake– One of my favorite flavors is Pistachio – especially in desserts. My garden party was also near St. Patrick’s day so I thought it would be best to create something green as well. This recipe was really easy! Instead of using white icing like the recipe calls for – I made a lemon icing instead from the recipe below.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Lemon Lavender Cookies – This recipe was also incredibly easy and so delicious. I really wanted to do something with lavender because I think it add such a fun element to anything with lemon. Instead of cooking the lavender in the cookies I decided to just add some to the icing of some of the cookies (in case some people didn’t want the lavender).

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Plant Exchange – So even though I read a bunch of articles and talked to several people about the exchange part I really didn’t know how this was going to all work out. Luckily the ladies there brought a wide variety of plants and were so cordial in the exchange – that it really made my job easy. If I am truthful I probably wasn’t the best host during this part since I didn’t really have a game plan with the exchange and kind of just let the others take over. Next year I think I will have some kind of orderliness to the exchange so that way everyone isn’t standing around and staring. So to be continued because I would love to do this again in the future with even more success!

Pins of Inspiration – Here is a list of some other examples that I found so inspiring and I hope to use possibly in future event or garden parties! I hope that you too can find some fun inspiration in these pins.

Plant Exchange Explanation

I found this article extremely helpful and plan on implanting more of these ideas on my next go round

How to Throw a Garden and Seed Exchange Party - girl. Inspired.:

I really wanted to do this but ran out of time – but it did inspire some of my decorative pieces

This article inspired me for a lot of the food I did

WEEKEND AT HOME / 27 | D E S I G N L O V E F E S T | Bloglovin’:

This article really inspired me for centerpieces for the party as well

Outdoor floating candles and flowers:

Despite some hick ups the party was an enormous success and I think everyone was able to leave with a plant that they will come to enjoy. I hope that I will be able to make this an annual event so that everyone can enjoy some new plants and some great fellowship. Honestly the day was perfect and I don’t think I could have asked for better weather or company. I am so thankful for these new friendships and the fellowship that we share. I hope that this post will inspire others to also get involved in gardening.

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Rejoice! Easter Has Arrived |Spring Has Sprung

YES!!! FINALLY!!! It’s time to put up the movies, indoor activities, and winter clothing. Ok, maybe not quite yet – but it is almost time! I LOVE warm days and the promise of Easter. Easter itself holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Growing up in Pennsylvania, you never knew what the weather would hold – but I do remember most Easters being sunny and sometimes warm. We would all get fancy new clothes, dress whites, and begin planning for our spring and summer activities. As I have gotten older and moved away from the church (a long tumultuous story that I may share on another date), Easter has not lost its luster. It is a wonderful celebration of life, forgiveness, and rejuvenation. I hope that I will be able to continue to instill the importance of Easter upon our children as they grow older. Here are some great ways to keep some fun in your Easter celebrations this season.

Decorations – These objects really set the mood and can bring all of the whimsical elements to celebrating Easter. Here were some of my favorites – many of which remind me of some of my family’s favorite Easter decorations. I hope they inspire you to have some fun elements this holiday.

Here is a fantastic list of DIY decorations:


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Easter DIY Spring Home Decor – The 36th AVENUE

Easter DIY Spring Home Decor

 

I am in LOVE with this Easter mantle:

This is another great table set up that is much more simple and just as stunning:

 

This is another great table set up that is much more simple and just as stunning:

Here is a super sweet decoration that is easy to create:

 

I love this take on a terrarium for Easter:

Clothing – Easter attire bring me great joy. It’s always so bright and cheery – a seriously fantastic welcome back from the dredges of winter. Although I do not necessarily love outfits to match too much, I do really enjoy when outfits coordinate colors! Easter is also a great time to take some family pictures. Here are some of my favorite springtime outfits for Easter and pictures.

This option is classic and perfect for an active family:

Bright colors are always a fun choice for spring:

These outfit are so fun and whimsical – they capture the essence of the season:

You can never go wrong with a classic Americana look either!

I also love this more classic Easter look as well:

Food – Ah yes the food! Everyone has their traditional dishes for the holidays. My family always had ham, sweet potatoes, ambrosia, and deviled eggs. Some friends of mine always have BBQ while others fry a turkey! Whatever you do decide – make sure it tastes good! Here are some fun treats to add to your tradition that add a decorative punch!

I love how beautiful this food looks:

This is adorably perfect party food:

These chicks are the perfect app for adults and children alike:

Unfortunately Easter isn’t warm for everyone – this is the perfect solution for a chilly Easter:

Here is a gorgeous take on a classic:

Here is the mother-load of suggestions for desserts if you need more inspiration:

Drinks – It’s not a real party without some fun drinks for everyone to partake.  Here are some fantastic options for both adults and children alike. I love how these drinks are so festive!

These drinks are so adorable!

Who doesn’t love a good milkshake!

How about an adult Cadbury Crème cocktail?

For those with a sweet tooth!

Here is a nicely comprised list of some more fun cocktails for your Easter celebration:

Activities – Easter activities often include Easter egg dying (ADD LINK) and an Easter egg hunt. Here are some other fun ideas you could add to your Easter traditions while also keeping the children entertained!

Here is a great list of Easter games!

Here are some awesome science projects to complete:

Here is a great STEM project that even adults will love!

Here some great crafts that even allow the toddlers to get involved:

Baskets – Easter baskets were always the best! The Easter bunny always hid our baskets and filled the plastic eggs – which my parents would then hide after Church. I always thought it was such a fun tradition. Here are some great Easter basket ideas that could even double as party favors!

These are too cute for Easter:

Perfect for the “nerds” in your home:

These are beautiful and great for years to come:

Perfect for those getting ready for hot weather or a vacation:

Who doesn’t need another mason jar?

Life, forgiveness, and rejuvenation – what a great time of year!! Easter is such a wonderful time not only for religious reasons, but also because of longer sunnier days, bright colors, and promise of life. For me, it’s a time to enjoy new fashion, get crafty, and down-right dirty in the garden (stay tuned for more on this topic later!)  In fact, I am currently writing this outside in the attempts to enjoy this warm weather before ‘Ole Man Winter’ decides he isn’t finished with us just yet! So what will you do this Easter… crafts, egg dying, garden walks? Whatever you choose, make sure it brings you joy and reinvigorates a sense of new life within you – after all, that is what the spring and Easter are all about!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

 

An Eggcellent Egg Decorating Eggstravaganza

Eggs represent so many magnificent things, particularly the promise of new life. Spring is such a fantastic season of regrowth and rejuvenation. Egg dying is always my favorite Easter and springtime tradition. Growing up in Pennsylvania, we often spent the Easter holiday in South Carolina or Florida visiting family. I loved all the fun fancy dresses, ornate flowers, trumpets in church, and finally some warm weather. One of my favorite family traditions was decorating eggs. Both sides of my family were pretty into egg dying. My one Grandmother still has Easter eggs that her children made.  It is a fairly easy and cheap activity to do as a family. Plus, it helps spark my creative juices so that I can begin a new season of imagination and creation. There are so many new and interesting egg dying techniques out there that I hope this list will inspire you to try something new this season.

Color Palate – This was always the argument between my family and I… who got to start with which color. Those egg dye tablets didn’t always come with enough. Here are some ways to make your own egg dye.

Can’t go wrong with some good old food dye!

Natural food dye eggs options:

Here is a great twist on some egg dye:

This dye is sure to be a winner and dazzle all who see it:

M is for Mood Easter Eggs | eager Ed


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easter eggs coloring

 

Create these awesome metallic eggs using paints and alcohol:

More Traditional Techniques – There is something to be said for the old traditional techniques. They are time and time again reliable and almost guaranteed to give you the perfect egg every time! Listed below are some of my favorite traditional egg dying techniques.

This was one of my favorite ways to dye eggs as a kid, and one of my children’s favorites as well:

This is another fun way I decorated eggs growing up as well! It’s a great way to create fun patterns:

I loved making hombre eggs as a kid – but this technique is way easier than the one I used:

This is a super traditional and intricate guide to decorating your eggs:

This is a technique that was one of my father’s favorites!

Kid Friendly Techniques – To me there is nothing more fun than watching young minds create! Here are some awesome options for your children to create Easter eggs for all ages. They may even bring out the inner child in you! If nothing else, they are sure to create great memories for you and your family.

These adorable eggs are sure to allow the fun to keep on rolling long after Easter:

These eggs are super fun for any springtime party involving kids:

Here is a great way to allow kids to decorate eggs without all the mess:

Who doesn’t want to create dinosaur eggs?

These are super fun and easy for any kid to enjoy making:

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Kids love bubble wrap, why not use them to help paint some eggs?

I love this tie-dying technique… easy fun and each one is surely to be unique

This is another great kid dying technique

More Intricate Techniques – For those who want to be more creative or feel their creative talent maybe wasted on more traditional techniques, here is a great list for you! Who says you need to use dye or other traditional techniques? Mix it up and create something even more intricate and creative!

This water color technique is super fun for those who want more details in their egg dying techniques:

Here is an adorable way to make your eggs look more detailed using a simple technique:

https://sb.monetate.net/static/mg/v3.html#http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bhg.com|2.2134125117.1489424743051|2048117314|505b2df6 Creative Ways to Dye Easter Eggs from Better Homes and Gardens http://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=37576

 

This is a great way to create a gorgeous egg:

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Here is a great technique using non-traditional material:

Here is a neat way to do some monogrammed eggs this year:

I LOVE these black and white eggs! Perfect for a modernist!

These are gorgeous and sure to last for the future:

These eggs are super fun! I love the look of marbleized eggs!

Adorable wax painted eggs:

 

These eggs are fabulous for those who have artistic abilities:

These eggs are so whimsical and beautiful – sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

These eggs are stunning and great for all of spring not just Easter!

Non-Traditional Techniques – These eggs are extra special and totally stunning. They could be used in multiple places – and many even throughout the year! These will surely get your creative juices flowing and will definitely be the talk of any social event.

This is a great way to not only decorate your egg, but also made it 3-D and beautiful:

 

These textured eggs are a super fun decoration that could be used in multiple seasons:

These non-traditional eggs are fantastic to display all year:

Who says you need to use dye? Why not use something that many women have lying around the house?

Who says you have to use real eggs? Here is a great way to decorate some plastic eggs.

This technique is not only beautiful but also great to use in years to come

I LOVE these galaxy eggs! Perfect for the nerd in you!

Seriously in love with this technique! A great way to create a fun and trendy egg!

I love these eggs – they remind me of something from Willy Wonka:

For the Naturalist – I totally understand not wanted to use chemicals to dye eggs. There are plenty of natural eggs dying techniques – but honestly these two were my absolute favorites! They also would be another inspiration for other natural dying techniques. If you do come up with something new, please feel free to share them with us.

I love this natural dying technique. Plus it opens you up for so many lessons for your children as well:

This is simply stunning and so elegant:

When I started this blog I wasn’t really sure what I was going to write. I knew I wanted some egg dying techniques – but was honestly shocked at how many different types there were… it caused me to WANT to write about all of these techniques. I can’t wait to start dying eggs with my children in the next few weeks! I hope they inspire you as much as they did me! Please send us your pictures of completed eggs – and have a very happy Easter and spring season!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Keen on Green | Eating for the Season

Hello March! Spring is finally on the horizon after months of cold weather and snow. There is a promise of new life with a bright green hue. The color green has always been one of my favorites; it was even one of my wedding colors and the color of the master bedroom in our first home. Also, as someone who loves to garden (include link) – green is the sign of my favorite time of year. Speaking of gardening, the first crops are some of my favorites to eat! There are some other wonderful green foods to eat as well. Here is a fun list of green foods to help enjoy Spring or to celebrate St. Patty’s Day as well.

Drinks – Green drinks can often be sugary, full of green die, or full a spinach like a smoothie. But green drinks don’t have to be limited to these. They can be fun, light and refreshing. Here is a fantastic list of some fun drinks for you to share with some fellow green lovers.

This is a great cucumber cocktail which is so incredibly fun!

This is a fantastic twist on an Apple Martini:

Here is a super fun sangria that is light and refreshing:

This cocktail contains one of my all-time favorite liqueurs – St. Germain:

This is a fantastic take on the traditional Bloody Mary:

Additionally, here are some non-alcoholic drinks for kiddos or adults alike.

This is a great option because it will taste great as a cocktail or not:

This limeade is total amazing and will be fun for folks of any age to enjoy:

Another great punch for adults and children to enjoy:

Blue raspberry lemonade is so fun and refreshing:

Here is a fun new spin on an Arnold Palmer:

Appetizers – Here are some great appetizers that aren’t made with green die or full of spinach. They are sure to bring a refreshing taste and remind you of spring. They would be perfect for St. Patty’s, Easter, or another springtime festivity.

Fun green deviled eggs without dye:

Yummy green spicy hummus:

I love antipasti! It brings back so many memories of family events growing up. This is a great way to get those flavors in a small bite.

There is so much yum in this recipe I can’t wait to eat them all summer with the veggies from my garden:

These pesto goat cheese bites are so delicious and easy to make:

Entrees – Here is a great list of entrees. There is variety, great flavor, and freshness with each one of these. They are great for family dinner or to share with friends.

I love Thai curry and this recipe is the real deal:

Good dolmades are hard to come by in some parts of the country…this way you don’t have to wait anymore!

Herbs-de-Provence bring so many memories for me. My husband and I spent some time in Aix-en-Provence on our honeymoon and it was amazing. The herbs encompass many of the smells and tastes of this region – bringing back some of the most wonderful memories!! I hope this recipe can transport you to another location as well.

I am very hypercritical about pasta recipes. However this one is really fresh and what is great is the zucchini noodles cut the carbs in half:

Good Gumbo can be hard to come by outside of the Bayou. Why not create your own?

Desserts – When I was researching desserts I was seriously drooling over these recipes. They are so fresh and delicious. I can’t wait to make these a regular rotation in my home.

Make your own mocha with this recipe. Great frozen dessert with minimal mess:

This is a stunning fruit tart which is perfect for Spring:

No-bake cheesecake… yes please!

These ice cream sandwiches look incredible and are easy to make as well:

This dessert is simply stunning and with the flavor to boot:

Honestly when I started writing this article I didn’t expect to find so many fun and delicious recipes… but I was pleasantly surprised. There was tons of variety and flavors to choose from which could make anyone’s taste buds happy and green with envy at your fantastic cooking. What I especially love is many of these ingredients can be simply grown in your garden! So celebrate the rebirth of life and fresh new colors with these fun green recipes!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Preventing Boredum with Winter Themed Crafts

Winter is a magical time when the land becomes barren, sometimes snow covered and cold. It is also a time when the children are often indoors and it can be difficult to keep them entertained. I mean there is only so many pages to color, so many play dough snakes you can make, and movies to watch. I believe it is important to find joy in even the most mundane days – which for me often occur during the winter months. I feel like I run thru ideas like I run thru diapers and I am always almost out! So this quick list of winter crafts should help both you and your children keep away those winter blues.

Snow Crafts – Here are some great snow crafts. There are some sensory ones, some for decoration, and others that are fantastic keep sakes. This is especially great for those who don’t have snow during this time of year.

Make some snow! Not only is this a sensory activity but it is also great for those kids in the South who never experience snow and the kids in the North who always want to bring their snowy creations inside.

These adorable snow globes are great decorations and work on some fine motor skills as well.

I love making slime with the kids. It is so easy and fun!

These icicles are great decorations for the winter season!

This activity is the perfect keep sake for this time of year!!

Winter Animals – Winter animals are so fun to learn about because of their unique lifestyles. They have great ways to stay warm and fed even in the coldest of days. Here are some great crafts for all the kids to share with this time of year.

Here is an adorable walrus that could also easily be made into a mask for extra hours of fun!

This is a great activity for kids to practice a variety of skills in the creation of this polar bear.

This is a fantastic activity because not only does it show how some animals deal with winter but there are some fantastic books that can be read with this craft as well.

Here is an adorable penguin art project that even young kids could complete with a little guidance.

Here is a great project for some of the older kids. This project is a fantastic one to encourage engineering and critical thinking skills.

Winter Clothes – Winter clothes crafts are important for kids to help understand what clothes are appropriate to wear in each season – especially for those who live in warmer weather and may travel to colder regions someday.

Adorable idea of making ice skates – which could also be turned into a great lesson on the sport.

This is a great activity that actively shows children how to dress for winter using paper dolls

Another fun activity where you get to use those white crayons… finally!

Here is great mitten activity that is also great for decoration!

This is a super adorable activity that could keep the kids busy for hours once they have completed the craft!

Branches – Since the branches are bare during these months its important to discuss with the children that the plants are dead but are also hibernating like so many animals during this time of year. Here are some great crafts that include decorating with branches but also showing how they won’t stay bare forever.

Here is an adorable Valentine tree that is easy to create and very adaptable to any time of year.

This is an adorable craft that shows how the trees won’t stay dormant all year – plus it’s a fantastic decoration to keep in the home.

Here is another adorable craft the can even help you make a sensory book!

Here is a great painting and sensory activity for the kids

This is a great cause and effect winter craft for the kids.

These winter crafts are a great quick reference to a lot of fun things you can do with your children. Some are inherently educational and other can become education. What I like most is they mostly require items that are already located in the home. I hope these ideas help you to entertain those kiddos during these mundane months of the year. Plus there is nothing better than seeing those little minds at work creating their masterpieces and creating a lifetime of memories.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Snowbration

Snow is such an impressive phenomenon. It’s cold, solid, beautiful, heavy and sometime debilitating. I was lucky enough to grow up in an area that had enough snow to enjoy on a pretty regular basis. I remember long days of sledding, snowmen, snow angels, and igloos. Not to mention shoveling, freezing, accidents, and a host of other issues that can arise from snow. If you live in snow or in a place that would never have snow, I think it’s safe to say that it is a beautiful event that can bring so much joy. So in the spirit of our final month of official winter, I thought it fitting that we have a snowbration! Let’s celebrate this magnificent wonder with a party because who doesn’t love a party!!

Decorations – Of course we have to establish the setting. For some locations this may be easier said than done. Living in the south over the last 12 years has showed me how sometimes winter related things can really look out of place. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a little bit of fun with some snowflakes, snowmen, and snowballs! Here are some great examples of decoration you could you for your snowbration.

So cute and cheap: snowball garland!

Cute centerpieces that would be so easy to create with minimal effort.

Spruce up your snowflake-making skills with this new pattern.

DIY Snow Globes! How fun! I need to remember to do this with my children next year!

There can’t be a party without some “shine shine” (as my daughter calls it). These are just too fun to pass up – although this does look time consuming to make.

Foods – There of course must be food at the snowbration.  Now I know that lots of people pass on desserts, but I seriously LOVE desserts. Plus, the winter time is the perfect time to bulk up a little bit to prepare for those colder months. So why not throw a snowy themed dessert and cocktail party. Listed below are some favorites of mine.

Snowcream! One of my husband’s favorites!

These adorable lemon drops are sure to be the rage of the party!

These mooncakes are just stunning and so festive.

These marshmallows would be so fun to create really anytime of the year!

These cupcakes are almost too fun to eat… almost!

Drinks – Second only to food in my opinion are drinks. There are so many fun drinks out there that are both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There are great flavors and looks to choose from when bringing drinks to the party. Also I know many people want to drink only water now a days, however I think everyone likes a fun drink once in a while so why not have a fun wintery drink!

Mmmm Chocolate!! Snow white-chocolate martini anyone?

Sex On a Snowbank is not for the faint of heart!

Moscato Slush for your sweet tooth friends:

Adult snow cones will bring out the inner child for all to enjoy!

Snow covered white Russian… almost sounds like the punch line to a joke! But oh so delicious!

Blizzard coco will warm up any frozen heart that shows at the party:

Non- Alcoholic versions of some great snowy cocktails…

Snowball punch – both yummy and a great decorative piece:

Adorable snow topped drinks:

Peppermint white hot chocolate – perfect flavor pairing for the season:

Snow Games – I find the best parties have some kind of activity or game for people to stay entertained. This could be kid based or not kid based games but often it can lead to lots of fun interaction among new friends, and a great talking point for the rest of the family. Plus, with so many days spent indoors, it is important to get out and get active. Here are some great games for your snowbration that even adults could participate in.

If you’re lucky enough to have snow, there are tons of great activities for you!

If you don’t have snow, then create your own! I have also seen snow made with shaving cream instead of conditioner as well:

Here are some great snowball games that are completed in a minute-to-win-it kind of style:

This cross country skiing game is sure to bring out some giggles:

Snow really is the best and brings out the inner child in the grumpiest of adults – which means it should be celebrated. Share in food, fun, and fellowship during this season. Before you know it, we will be experiencing the rainy days of spring wishing for something different – even if that sometimes means heaps and mounds of snow! This doesn’t mean you need to create a big ol’ party – but grab your neighbor, co-worker, or family member and celebrate this wonderful precipitous event.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

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Celebrating the Color Red with FOOD

As I realize Valentine’s Day isn’t for everyone, therefore I decided to write on a color instead. From November thru February I feel like red is such an important color. There is red in nature, holidays, AIDS Awareness, the Election, and so on. Red has so many interesting meanings and brings different feelings to light when observing the color. So in the celebration of the color of red, I thought it would be fun to discuss some of my favorite “red” foods. Food is something that is so incredibly important to me as discussed in other posts like What’s In A Kitchen? and Creating Your Secret Garden Part 4: Keeping Your Harvest. Red food stuffs are some of my favorites: tomatoes, peppers, beets, strawberries, wine, and meat – the list is endless! So in the spirit of the month of love, I wanted to pay tribute to my red food loves.

Drinks – Let’s start with my favorite drink… wine! Wine brings lots of familial memories for me. Growing up with family who is Italian, wine is always not only an essential spirit, but also a pivotal ingredient at family celebrations. I love how this beverage has such a history and nuance of being produced (at least the good ones do) and can literally be paired with anything. My favorite red grape is Tempranillo. This grape typically is grown in Spain but is also produced in Portugal, USA, and Australia. I love this wine because it is a medium to full body red that pairs with many foods. If you have never had it before, it is very similar to a Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you need more information check out this great article by Wine Folly on Tempranillo. Honestly though, any red wine is going to probably be high on the list for me.

 

If wine isn’t your thing here are some other great red drinks to add to your beverage list…

Non-Alcoholic Red Drinks are also great for those who want to skip the booze.

Apps – I LOVE appetizers. I think I could seriously live on small plated food. That being said my favorite red appetizer is sausage stuffed peppadews. What I love about this appetizer is that it is so easy to make and can totally be adapted as well. Basically you take your favorite spicy sausage and stuff them into prepared peppadews (usually found in the olive bar at a grocery store). Then you place them in the oven at 350° for about 30 minutes (or until the tops are crispy) and then enjoy. You can also mix the sausage with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese to give them a more robust flavor. But the classic sausage is just as good. It has become a staple at our gatherings and will definitely be a crowd pleaser for you as well.

Here are some other great red appetizers to try out as well…

Entrée – When I think of a red entrée I automatically think of a red meat with a traditional red-wine demi-glace. I love to make this for my family. Its relatively quick and takes less talent than you would think to make it. Also, since it is a more old-world traditional dish it has lots of rich complex flavors. I tend to pair this dish with some sautéed mushrooms, onions, and asparagus. If I do choose to add a grain it is usually with couscous only because I despise making mashed potatoes. But honestly the dish goes best with mashed potatoes so you can enjoy all that fantastic red wine demi!

Here are some other great red entrees for you to enjoy!

Dessert – I don’t typically make dessert… but when I do make dessert it is usually chocolate of some kind or mini pies. I love to make mini pies because they are great for sharing, cook in a fraction of the time, and are great to freeze. My favorite is the mixed berry pie. I use strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Then I mix in some sugar, orange juice, and lemon zest. It is so incredibly delicious and fresh tasting. I prefer to enjoy my pies with Cool Whip but I know my husband and many others enjoy these pies with vanilla ice cream. This type of pie is not only great for the red months, but would also be great for the 4th of July.

16177583_10103115865267948_2438079957892890736_o{Picture of strawberry pies taken by Lauren C. Carlisle}

Here are some other great red desserts for you to check out.

Red is such a vibrant and rich color in food that you can find it in every cuisine. It can be savory, spicy, or even sweet, lending itself to please even the pickiest of eaters. I hope showing you the variety of red foods will help you not only celebrate with the color red, but also open up some new and exciting tastes for you and your family. So if you are celebrating Valentine’s Day or just need a pick me up of color in the kitchen, I think these great recipes will go a long way to creating happy taste buds and guests at your table. Bon appetit!

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop: