Another “Berry” Cute Basket

As I said in my last post, I ADORE putting together baskets for family, friends and clients.

I usually find one great piece to design a basket around.  For this basket, I loved that the basket (found at Shinoda’s) came with garden tools (you can’t see them because they are strapped to the back of the basket by the white and green elastic band).  I then found the adorable strawberry plate.

Ah~ A Garden Themed basket!

I love to relax after working in the garden.  Nothing like sitting on the patio admiring the work we have done with a nice cool beverage and yummy snacks! Wouldn’t it be great to have this basket to celebrate the first day working in your yard after a long winter?

This basket would make for a great “Welcome to the Neighborhood” gift for new neighbors, a housewarming gift or for a birthday.

~Bon Appetite’~

This basket cost $45.00 to put together. Most of the items came from HomeGoods and Cost Plus World Market.

The basket included: one plate, two polka-dotted glasses, two gourmet sodas, Brie cheese, two kinds of crackers, strawberry candies, glass tea light holder, picture frame, basket with garden tools.

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Milk & Cookies All Wrapped Up~

One of my favorite things to do is to create fabulous gift baskets.  I have created so many different kinds over the years using all sorts of items and themes.  I love the creative process of choosing a theme, shopping for the items, finding the “perfect” container, arranging the items to fit nicely.

My friend Shannon thought with the Easter Bunny arriving soon, I should do a blog about baskets.

I don’t know why but I just adore wire baskets. I found this one at HomeGoods for $18.

{My basket items were all found at HomeGoods: white pitcher $12, four acrylic glasses $3 each, glass pedestal plate $12, small dessert plates $10, silver frame $6, five boxes of Girl Scout cookies $20, wire basket $18, six-pack of cotton napkins $10}

I filled the basket with the excelsior, put one box of GS cookies on the bottom for the pitcher to be raised up.

The pedestal is under the dessert plates. I used mail tape to tape the plates onto the pedestal and also to together to keep them from shifting.

The supplies to make a basket are quite inexpensive~excelsior, cellophane, ribbon and tape.

I created the “Milk & Cookies” sign using MS Word and then printed it onto photo paper.

The Back.

I created this basket for our PTO to donate for a Fundraiser Raffle for our Education Fund.

I usually make baskets in my kitchen or the playhouse, but it was such a beautiful day and Baby Girl and her fellow Brownies were selling Girl Scout cookies in front of our house, so Mr. Cabana’s tool bench worked out perfectly!

If you would like for me to be your “Easter Bunny” and create a basket for the “Big floppy eared guy” to leave, I would love to!  Just contact me!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Just a Little Tip~

Happy Monday!

We had some pretty serious rain this past Saturday (well, serious for So. California!).  I love when it rains here, everything gets all nice and clean.  Plus, my plants and grass get watered~ for FREE! I was volunteering at our local AYSO Soccer sign-ups during the rain burst. People were coming in pretty wet along with their paper work.  One poor parent came in with a completely drenched check.

I told him it was not a big deal because we could just pop it into the microwave to dry.

Are you giving me the same look 5 other people in the room gave me when I said that?  You would have thought I had 3 heads!

I discovered this little tip years ago.  Not really sure how and why.  Probably out of desperation because one of the kids “masterpieces” got soaked by a spilled drink. Baby Girl was not exactly known for her “even temperament” back in those days!  I needed to come up with a solution and STAT!

Put the soaking paper into the microwave and set the time for 30 seconds at a time until the paper is dry.

It took approx. 1:15 for this soaking sheet to be completely dry. The paper may curl up just a bit, especially at the corners.  If you (or the freaking-out upset child, REALLY needs it to be perfect, you can iron it very quickly).

I hope this helps you out.  I know that this trick has saved me several times from a very upset child!

{Speaking of upset, did you notice the little black dot in the upper right hand side of the microwave pictures? Buddy decided he was going to re-heat some leftovers.  With the foil on it.  Of course it created an arch, hence, the lovely permanent mark on my otherwise pristine microwave.  Lets just say he had a lesson as to what happens when you put any type of metal in the microwave.}

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Using What You Have~

Have you ever found yourself in this position when planning a brunch, luncheon or dinner party?  You have your guest list organized, menu planned, beverages and bar laid out, dessert has been made (ordered? Hey, I don’t EVER judge!), you are (finally) using your wedding china for the first time in ages, Grandma’s silver is polished and shiny.

Ok, now what to do?  Centerpieces for the table!

I used to always stress about what to do for a centerpiece.  I just never seemed to have the “right” supplies to make an amazing piece.  And usually, my budget was blown on the food and drinks.  I remember several years ago I was having a small dinner for my Mom’s birthday and I had no ideas and no money for a centerpiece.  So I wandered around my house, )ok we all know that only took about 10 steps!) to see what I could use.

My hallway heading to the bedrooms is filled with family pictures and that gave me an idea.  I had several pictures of my Mom as a little girl, so I took them off of the wall and them on the table using mini easels I have.  Voila!  A unique, FREE centerpiece that was also a conversation starter.  But the best part for me?  It celebrated my Mom!

(Sorry no picture from that birthday dinner party!)

My great, great-grandmother (on the left) and her sister.

My great-aunt and uncle collecting eggs and my great-aunt all “dolled” up to hit the town.

Picture of my great-grandmother having a tea party with my grandma Evelyn and my great-aunt.

The centerpiece pictured above was created using supplies I had around the house.  Do you recognize the silk flowers?  These were used on the gazebos for the wedding I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.  This is one reason why I love to use artificial flowers.  You have a one time expense and then never again!

For me, creating a unique and beautiful arrangement is all about layering elements and textures with different heights.

One of the tea cups was my great grandmothers, the other a gift from a friend,  the boa was Baby Girl’s, the easels were $3 each years ago at Michael’s (I sprayed them black), the “silver” bowl (not silver!) $3.95, vintage and antique pictures from my family~free.

The next time you are entertaining don’t stress about spending a lot of money (or time) on a centerpiece.  Look around your house and use what you have!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Store Bought to Custom~

Hi Friends and Family,

So sorry for not having posted for a while.  Life just got REALLY crazy for me and I needed to shift my attention else where for a short bit.  Ah, the life of a busy mom and volunteer!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I met with a new client yesterday to discuss window treatments for her new (and BEAUTIFUL!) home.  She already purchased fabulous drapery panels from JCPenny (Boy!~ Has their selection changed and IMPROVED!).  She has different ceiling heights in the two rooms we will be working on, so she needs to re-order another size to give us more length to work with. Of course none of the pre-made panels are just right in length for what we need.

Have you ever had this issue with “off the shelf” window treatments not being exactly the length you want and/or need?  I seem to run across this issue quite frequently with my clients.

But I have a great solution to create a custom look WITH “off the shelf” window treatments.  The drapery panel in the below (sorry for the crummy picture!) was for a client’s family room.  I was working with a tight budget for her kitchen and family room window treatments and decor. We were able to save money by purchasing a shorter pre-made panel to leave us money to order custom fabric.

 The top two-thirds of the panel is a silk dupioni panel in champagne from Pottery Barn.  To make it more custom, I had a custom fabric band added to the bottom third of the panel.  The entire cost for the drapery panel including labor, was less than $350 for the whole slider.

To tie in the kitchen window treatment, I had a valance made using the custom fabric from the slider panel.

We ordered approx. 6 yards of the custom fabric (approx. $28 per yard) to complete two window treatments.

Another way to create a  more custom window treatment using “off the shelf” panels is to sew (or fabric glue) ribbon or trim to the top, bottom or side of the panels.  Bullion fringe, like the one on the panels in the picture below can be purchased at locations such as Jo-Ann‘s Fabric, online or anywhere you can order custom fabric.

Source: eclecticrevisited.com via Trisha on Pinterest

Source: bhg.com via Tawni on Pinterest

 Adding ribbon to the top of a panel instead of rings to a store-bought panel will also make it more custom and the possibilities are endless.  You could change the ribbon seasonally for a whole new look with minimal effort and expense.

                                                                                                                                       Source: decorpad.com via Leslee on Pinterest

So get creative and customize your “off the shelf” window treatments.  Send me pictures of what you have done and I will post (with your permission) at in another blog entry.

Want that custom look but not sure how to do it?  Contact me and I can help you with ideas!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady


Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy

SWEET~ It is Monday!

Last week I met with Krista, owner of “Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy“. How ADORABLE is that cotton cart?!?!?!?

I have always loved cotton candy, not only because it is “sweet”, but because it is so darn pretty!  But Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy is not just your “run of the mill” fair fare, nope!  Their cotton candy comes in different flavors and colors.  I got to try the green apple and raspberry.  O.M.G.!  It was light, airy and delicious.

Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy can customize the sticks to coordinate for your party or event.  And you just know I LOVED that!

How about instead of sticks, cone cups with Bling!

You can also have Dolly’s pre-package the cotton candy flavor of your choice into tubs with a custom logo (orders over 50) for your next party or event.  I am ordering pre-packaged Green Apple 8 oz. tubs (tubs are 8 oz.,  16 oz., or 32 oz.) with our school logo to give away at our school tour next week.  It is the perfect color for our school~GREEN!  Dolly’s will also be at our school Carnival Friday, June 1st.

  If you have Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy cart at your next event, she can even rim your martini (margarita…) glasses with cotton candy! How SWEET is that? I can not wait to have a “Girl’s Night” with Martini’s!

Krista and her “Cotton Candy” Crew.  Impress your guests and have

Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy at your next event!

~Have a SWEET Monday!~

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

PS.  I need to ask if BUTTERSCOTCH cotton candy is available!!!!

“I DO” Weddings

Last March, I had the honor of decorating for a dear friend’s wedding at “Old Ranch Country Club” in Seal Beach, CA.

The ceremony was outside underneath this beautiful gazebo.  It is not too difficult to make something that looks this beautiful into something FABULOUS!

Inside the reception.  I also created the rose topiary trees for the center pieces.  Simple, yet elegant! The gazebo’s flowers were removed and set up at the Bride and Groom’s Sweetheart table. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of the table (I am going to have to track some down!).

Do you want in on a little secret?  Shhhhh, lean in really close so no one else will hear.  Ok, close enough…

The flowers are not real!  

The bride was very conscious of her budget and we wanted a “big budget” look but without spending “big money”.  Now, I know some people may turn their noses up the at the revelation that I used silk.  (You shouldn’t!!!) Honestly, no one could tell at the wedding.  Could you tell from the pictures?  And let’s be honest, after a wedding all you have left are the pictures!  I had guests ask me how I was able to assemble everything and have it stay so fresh!

Let me tell you the pros of using silk flowers~

  1. The flowers are always in perfect bloom
  2. The flowers can be assembled in advance (WAY in advance!)
  3. No worries about people with allergies (like my bride!)
  4. If the wedding and/or reception is outside, no worries with delicate blooms not withstanding the elements
  5. A LOT less expensive
  6. And my favorite?  You are able to re-use the blooms over and over and over…(We actually used the topiaries at the Bridal shower.  No one knew they were the same flowers once they were set up at the reception.)

I know you have heard me say that the fantastic weddings and parties that I drool over on Pinterest ALWAYS make me ask, “What in the world was their budget?!?!”  So are you wondering how much was spent on this wedding’s flowers?  Well, I will not divulge the exact amount (most brides want you to think they had an unlimited budget!), however, I can tell you we purchased the flowers for less than $400!!!

It was such a special day for me to be a part of.  Nothing makes me happier than being able to create a beautiful day for a Bride and Groom! And as guests, Mr. Cabana and I had a great time with dear family friends and family celebrating a long-awaited event!!!

Happy 1st Anniversary Erin and Jeff!!!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

********I would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment and let me know ~ Real vs. Artificial?********

Pretty Sweet Party

Happy Monday!

Wow, we are having another glorious winter day here in Southern California.  Temps in the mid 70’s today. Ahhh, I am starting to feel Spring just around the corner!

I thought I would share a bit of Baby Girl’s 9th Birthday party.  If you have learned anything about me, it is that I LOVE to throw a party.  But also that i do not believe you need to spend hundreds (thousands!) of dollars to have a great looking party.  Trust me, when it comes to kids, do you really think they care that you paid $5 per cupcake or $100 for the cake?  If you have an unlimited budget, awesome!  Call me and I will plan an EXTRAVAGANZA for you!

But for the rest of us, it is about using what you already have, borrowing what you don’t and purchasing inexpensive items that can be “dressed up” to look more fabulous.

One of Baby Girl’s birthday gifts pulled double duty~ A large canvas (gift) on a vintage easel (gift) with a sign welcoming the party guests. I always have a sign, picture, wreath… at the door signal that we are having a party. I like making guests to feel welcome from the moment they come through our front gate.

Nothing makes a party like personalizing the decorations.  Bunting and banners are always a popular and inexpensive go-to party decoration.

Until I have the budget to purchase a Cricut (a machine that cuts shapes, letters…), I think hand-painting the bunting works just as well.  And who doesn’t love to paint? I added sparkly buttons to dress it up. The banner cost around $5 to make.

And you thought a feather boa was just for dress up! Well, here is another use for a boa~ Dress up your chandelier.

Behind the curtains panels is my bedroom window.  I found these panels at Ikea in a 2 pack for $19.  The frame came from Ikea as well.  A family friend has a banner shop and he did the vinyl for me.

Each party guest had a bucket with their name for water, napkin and utensils.  I found them at Ikea for $1 each.  Baby Girl LOVES straws and don’t they look adorable in the mason jars?  Yes, you have seen me use them before (Valentine Cupcake and Hot Chocolate party).  It is an easy go to for any party!

When planning a party, I always come up with a color scheme and use those colors over and over; from the invitation (I need to make another one from this party because they were SO DARN cute! But of course we gave them out and forgot to keep one! Ugh!), to bunting, plates, napkins and candy.  I bought the taffy, watermelon balls and white malt balls in bulk (approx. $20), the labels on the jars were made from leftover paper from the invitations.

I found this idea on Pinterest and just knew the girls would go crazy for it!  And they did.  And so did the teenage boys!  I think Buddy and his friends had as much as the girls leaving the treats and hiding.  I have to admit, playing ding-dong ditch and hanging around to watch the door open was very funny!

The party revelers~They had to have their picture taken at my friend’s house that was our first Ding Dong victim!  I think a new tradition was born that night!

Having a party soon?  Contact me and I can help with styling your event!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and at Baby Girl’s school they always celebrate by having parents come and read with their children on the grass. Today was such a beautiful day to read outside with a gentle breeze blowing.

In honor of one of my favorite author’s, I thought I would post a couple of pictures from Pinterest.

{Enjoy and have a slice of cake or 2!  It is up to YOU!}

Until Next Time,

Butterscotch Lady

                                                                                           Source: google.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

                                                                               Source:  piccsy.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

                                                                      Source: sidebysideblog.blogspot.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

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