Thursday, March 29, 2012

{ and the winner is ... }

Pin ItAlison, please email me at so that I can get your goodies mailed to you.  

A HUGE thank you to everyone who entered and made the world a whole lot brighter with all your sunshine! I was completely overwhelmed reading all of your wonderful good deeds.  Each and every one of you has inspired me! ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

{ i spy a diy - the bountiful bows cardi }

It's been a return to cooler temps around here, and that's just the motivation I needed to get going on this DIY.  I've long been smitten with this little bow-filled cardigan from Anthro's 2008 catalog.  It's called the Teddy Darling cardi.

Looks pretty easy to replicate, doncha think?   It absolutely was.  I finished it in four easy steps, and it only took an hour and a half total.

Step 1: Grab a plain cardi and then gather some ribbons.  I went searching for some special ones, and found these.  I love that they're printed  with definitions like 'vintage' and 'unique'.  I also used this one that has ruler markings on it. I used some black and white polka dot ones, and a few other cream ones too.

Step 2: Make a BUNCH of bows.  Again, an episode of Downton Abbey is helpful for something mindless like this.

Step 3: Position your bows in an arrangement that you like.  I decided to follow the line of the v-neckline rather than going more random like the original.  Once you have them in place, secure them with glue.  This No-Sew glue is my sewing secret weapon.  I LOVE it.  Why?  Because it keeps me from having to pin things.  I HATE pinning things.  I'd rather rip out a seam than pin.  This glue forms a temporary bond and then washes out.  It's awesome.

Step 4: Tack down each bow well with needle and thread.  Done!

I'm really excited about how it turned out.

I even like it better than the original. I just love when that happens ;)

Pin ItRemember that you have until midnight tonight to enter the sunshine giveaway. 

        Come back tomorrow to see who won!

Monday, March 26, 2012

{ hydrangea morning }

Nothing like sitting down to breakfast with this view to brighten up a Monday morning.

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               I hope your week is off to a beautiful start too!  

   Don't forget to enter the sunshine giveaway!
            I am so unbelievably inspired by all the goodness in the comments so far.  You guys ROCK.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

{ spread some sunshine - a giveaway! }

I am so excited about today!  If you've been reading this little blog of mine for awhile, you know that way back in November I gave myself a little kick in the pants.  I felt that I wasn't doing enough for others.  I needed a reminder that I should be doing a better job of intentionally showing kindness, even if just through simple acts. In other words, I was striving to make my own random acts of kindness, LESS random.  This idea that I needed to find more ways to "spread some sunshine", as I like to call it, has been pretty life-changing.  It's made me focus less on myself, and more on others, and I'm happier because of it.  It's become a daily habit for me to open my eyes and look for opportunities to put a smile on someone else's face.  And, best of all, that attitude has rubbed off on my children.  One day, Jack, who just turned four, asked me, "How can we make someone smile today, mommy?" Talk about making a mama proud!  That was the day we handed out balloons to the kiddos in the waiting area of our pediatrician's office. It was a short and simple detour during our day, and we made lots of people smile, including the office staff. See? Easy!

 To celebrate Spring, and good deeds, and SUNSHINE,  I really wanted to give away some goodies in the hopes that you'll also be inspired to spread some sunshine of your own.

Here's what I'm giving away:

Pin ItCUTENESS, right?!!  It all started with this pin, I came across. Through that pin, I discovered the adorable, Whitney, who blogs over at Elm Street Life.  She makes and sells the most darling, handmade bags ever in her etsy shop, Brighter Day.  I'm thrilled to have her little shop button here on P&P now.  Please do make sure to check out all the great goodies she has in her shop. Whitney is an absolute sweetheart, with a heart of gold, and she's definitely spread some sunshine of her own by donating this bag for the sunshine giveaway.  Thanks, Whitney!
Oh, and I'll also be tucking a $25 Target gift card inside of this sweet, yellow clutch before I pop it into the mail to the winner.  So, how do you enter?  It's easy!  No Tweeting, Facebook-announcing, standing on your head, or hopping on one foot while chewing gum will be necessary for this blog giveaway!  Nice for a change, yes?  All you need to do is leave a comment here telling me about how you helped spread some sunshine.  THAT'S IT!  I'm not even requiring you to follow this little blog of mine (but I'd be tickled pink if you did!)   Nope, the whole idea here is to make the world a little brighter and a little happier, one small ray of sunshine at a time.  So get to it!  Get your children involved!  Have fun!  You can leave up to three comments with three different good deeds.  Need some ideas?  There are lots here and here.  The giveaway will close on Wednesday, 3/28/2012 at midnight, and the winner will be announced here on Thursday, 3/29/2012. (winner chosen via

Good luck and happy sunshine spreading to YOU! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

{ jack's kung fu panda 4th birthday party }

This kiddo has been obsessed with Kung Fu Panda since the first movie was released. Po, the well-meaning but awkward hero, is his "absolute favorite guy in the world!" So, of course, I was not too surprised when he asked for a Kung Fu Panda birthday party this year.  As one wise friend said to me, "the characters were coming at some point, right?"  ;)

I had intentions to keep this party pretty low-key.  We invited just family, and I decided to forgo sending paper invitations.  I emailed this invite instead.

This party was definitely a "use what you have" shindig.  I had this black and white polka dot tablecloth, and I loved that it was a bit of a graphic nod to Po's coloration. Then I grabbed an orange basket from Grant's room, red buckets from Jack's room, and some yellow trays from the Target dollar bin, and this table was well on its way.

I forgot how fun and easy it is to make paper chains.  Jack even helped make one.  I was able to crank out the other eleven during one episode of Downton Abbey!

I had this red frame too.  I just raided my trimmings drawer, and stapled lots of them into the frame.  Then I backed the frame with burlap. Added a homemade banner, some free printable masks and DONE!

Another grocery store cake - this one was improved with dotty ribbon.  Jack plays with his Kung Fu Panda toys from McDonald's all the time.  So it made sense to invite them to the party too. ;)

My favorite project of any party - the birthday boy hat!

On to the goodies. How great are these kickin' Po the Panda cut-out cookies?  These beauties are courtesy of etsy baker and artist, The Sweet Shop Cookie Company.

My husband, who is a fantastic baker, stayed up late making these cuppycakes the night before. Holy moly, they were yummy! We added fortune cookies and some cupcake picks too.

Rice Krispie Treat sushi!

More colorful sweet treats.

SKADOOSH  juice!

Dragon warriors need fruits and veggies too!

Chinese food is a pretty obvious choice here, so I served eggrolls and potstickers for something savory to snack on.

Favors were those yummy cut out cookies plus stickers packaged up in kraft paper take-out boxes and stripey baker's twine. 

It was a fun day celebrating, and Kung Fu Jack was beyond thrilled to have "the best party of my dreams!"  The birthday boy and lil bro were both pretty darn HI-YAed! out by party's end.  

Happy Birthday, Jack!  We love you!

Pin It                                    Party Sources:
Cookies - The Sweet Shop Cookie Company
Stripey straws - HeyYoYo
 KFP Balloons - Ebay 
Dotty Balloons - Hobby Lobby
Kraft take-out boxes -  Michael's
Black/White Baker's Twine - Leigh's Paper Creations
Chinese character fabric for backdrop - Hobby Lobby
Printable masks - Available for download on HP's website (I made the monkey one myself)
Printables, invites and styling - Polkadots and Puppies (that's lil ol' me)
Photography - Kimberly Wagner Photography 

Friday, March 16, 2012

{ friday finds }

You know how sometimes you just get on a shopping roll and score lots of goodies at great deals?!
 That's been my week, and I'm kinda overly excited about it.

I've been pining over this cool, vintage vibe Anthro top for MONTHS now.  Grrr, it just wouldn't budge from its $58 price tag.  I waited and waited.  And then, of course, just to torment me further, the lovely Quinn wore it on Glee.  Well it was finally marked down on Tuesday. And now it's mine.
 Oh, good things DO come to those who wait. ;)

Oh, and I gave in to the colored denim trend.  Have you?  I couldn't see spending a ton on such jeans since they'll probably be quite the short-lived trend.   I happened upon these at Target on Sunday. You know, sometimes it pays to be quite short.  These are from the girls' section.

I bought two pairs because they were CHEAP...

 I finally found Anthro's Back Porch Blouse for a reasonable price on ebay.
It's lovely, no?

Pin It               Hope you find some great deals this w/e.

h  a  p  p  y     w  e  e  k  e  n  d  !

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{ wednesday wrap session }

It is so gorgeous in our neck of the woods right now!  It's impossible not to be overjoyed with life when it's so perfect outside, right?  I'm taking a cue from the weather and channeling Spring in my gift wrap this week.
This pretty package is for one of Jack's sweet little friends.  

I got a bunch of pretty little things from the dollar bins at Joann and Michael's last week.
That scrapbook paper is my fave.  I'd love to wallpaper my closet in this!

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Hope the weather where you are is giving you a bit of Spring in your step too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

{ there's just something about suitcases }

I am SUCH a sucker for suitcases.
 I especially love these little cardboard suitcases.  
They have about a million adorable uses.


They make fantastic containers for themed gifts. 
This is pretty darn cute for the baker in your life.


And they're a great way to organize craft supplies.


They are lots of clever ways to incorporate these into birthday parties.


Of course, they look pretty sweet just stacked onto a bookshelf. 
Jack loves his green ones. They house the never ending supply of Legos.

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Do you have some of these darling suitcases?  How do you use them?