Beth's "Belles" and Whistles

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's the little things!

Good afternoon friends,

It's been an interesting day at the Durham home!  My two-year-old broke MY potty (the one just off our  master bedroom) by flushing a pencil down it yesterday!  It cannot be fixed; thus, my husband is installing a new one as I type! I never realized just how thankful I could be for a potty until mine was taken away! 

Thankfully, my terrifically terrible two-year old, my adorable potty-breaking monster named Meagan is napping, and I can escape from the reality of  all things POTTY and think about something a bit more pleasant like my "belles and whistles" blog!  Isn't it amazing how the little things in life can bring us such a thrill?

Speaking of little things, I want to share with you a great little way to add some "belles and whistles" to your blah plastic tableware and paper napkins: Dress them up with a bow or a trinket!  As many of you know, I'm knee-deep in prep work for a wedding shower that I'm co-hosting in April for my nephew and niece-to-be!  We are expecting around 50+ guests to attend the shower and I'm in charge of tableware!  The theme for the shower is the same as the wedding - black,white, and red.

Of course, being the budget queen that I am, I always start my quest at The Dollar Tree.  While perusing the aisles there, I found my clear plastic tableware, red round dessert plates, red luncheon napkins, red heart doilies, and some great red sheer ribbon!  I purchased my decorative black and white scrolled square luncheon plates and matching beverage napkins from my trusty friends at the Oriental Trading Company!

However, instead of just placing the tableware in serve-yourself piles, I decided to add some "belles and whistles" by embellishing the plastic tableware and napkins with a sheer bow!  I took the red luncheon napkin and placed the small black and white beverage napkin on the outside.  I placed one set of plastic tableware inside and rolled them up.  Finally, I secured the roll with a simple sheer red bow made from the ribbon that I purchased at the Dollar Tree!

For just a few cents more, I now have these elegant little tableware sets pictured above.  This is just a simple LITTLE idea used to embellish life with the "belles and whistles" that bring me such thrills!  You can use this idea for your next event too!  Maybe you want to add a trinket wrapped around your plastic tableware and napkins!  Just think outside of the box and take a look around the Dollar Tree for some inexpensive inspiration!

Have fun and just remember that it's the little things in life that bring the greatest pleasure - even if it's as simple as a working toilet!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shower Recipe for Chocoholics!

Let's get right to the point:  I LOVE CHOCOLATE!  If I am involved as a host for any event, you can count on me to bring something chocolate!  In fact, one of my favorite "belles and whistles" to make for bridal and baby showers is chocolate covered strawberries! Anytime that you can mix chocolate and fruit, I'm ALL for it!!!!

Anyway, since I have been otherwise occupied (as my son is finally on his first 24 hours fever-free after the flu) and have not been crafty at all today, I thought I would share my "EASY" recipe for the tastiest Chocolate Covered Strawberries!  I was commissioned to make these on Valentine's Day for a friend to give as gifts.  I decided to take pictures, and as you will see, I got a bit carried away and made some other tasty chocolate treats too!  Here's another pic-tutorial on "how to" make your own yummy Chocolate Covered Strawberries:

  • Purchase your ingredients:  *Strawberries (I find the largest ones at Walmart), *Baker's Microwavable Dipping Chocolate Bowls (It comes in 3 flavors - Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate.  It is my secret ingredient to fool-proof strawberries. 1 bowl covers approximately 1 package of strawberries),  and *Cupcake Liners (I like the decorative seasonal ones from the Dollar Tree.)

  • Prep your ingredients:  Wash your strawberries and place them on a paper towel to dry.  While drying, place all of your cupcake liners on a tray.  Next, pat the excess water from your strawberries lightly with a paper towel, and melt your chocolate according to the directions on the package.

  • Finally, start dipping your strawberries: Start with the largest strawberries and work down to the smallest.  This way, you will have enough chocolate to actually cover the strawberries.  Here's a tip - work quickly because the chocolate in the microwavable container "sets" fast and re-heating makes it lumpy!  Place one covered strawberry in one cupcake liner and let the chocolate dry.  For that final finished look, take a butter knife and run it through some of the leftover chocolate of another color and drizzle over the covered strawberries!
See,  it is a very "EASY" recipe that will make you the hit of the shower because most women are chocoholics of one level or another!  In fact, if you have any chocolate leftover, you can be crafty like me and use it for dipping other yummies like strawberry flavored marshmallows:

Hope you enjoy and happy dipping!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Crafty Afternoon

Hello all,

I hope everyone is having a wonderful afternoon -mine has been rather crafty!  While Meagan was taking her afternoon nap, I was able to assemble some cute little diaper cakes for a shower that my first blog follower is hosting for her niece in May!  Side note to Moms of toddlers:  Don't you just LOVE your child's NAP TIME?

Anyway, here is a pic-tutorial of "how to" make your own diaper cakes using the ones I made today:

First, roll all of your diapers, decorative facing inside, securing each one with a clear plastic rubber band!

Turn on your glue gun and let it heat while rolling the diapers!  You can't be crafty without owning a glue gun!

Hot glue your paper towel roll to the center of your cardboard cake base.  Remember, I crafted my base from a foam board purchased at the Dollar Tree!

Start placing your diaper rolls on the base around the paper towel roll, facing the "fluffy side" of the diaper roll inside!

Use some curling ribbon to hold and secure your first layer of diapers to the base. 

Wash, rinse, and repeat - well, just repeat until you have a three-tier diaper cake!

Add decorative ribbon, securing with hot glue gun! 

Only glue ribbon to ribbon, do not damage any of the diapers while decorating the cake!

Once you finished decorating with ribbon, add some shredded topping to the cake!

Finish your cake by adding the final touches!  Today, I finalized my cake with pieces from a $4.99 John Deere tractor play set!

I felt quite crafty on this Tuesday afternoon and completed two side cakes to accompany my John Deere three-tier cake!  I loved the adorable baby "Working Boots" that topped my side cakes, don't you?

I hope I've inspired you to have a crafty afternoon of your own! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sweet February Steals!

Happy President's Day to all,

I love February for one major reason: SHOPPING DEALS!  Between the holiday sales for Valentine's Day and President's Day, and the End of Season Clearance Sales all in the short month of February, a bargain-queen, like me, can certainly score some major belles and whistles at a steal!!  That is exactly what I've been doing over the past couple of days, just in case you've missed me! 

I've mostly been focusing my shopping energies toward deals for the wedding shower that I will be co-hosting for my nephew and niece-to-be! Remember that one of my greatest tips for obtaining all the belles and whistles that decorate life at a bargain is to purchase them off-season!  Thankfully, the scheme for the wedding and shower is black, white, and red!  The color red certainly lends itself to off-season shopping in this week after Valentine's Day!  Yes, of course, I feel most compelled to share my steals:

These pictures show items that I purchased half-price off-season!  I'm planning on using the candy hearts wrapped in red foil to fill the favor bags for the shower.  I purchased the bags of candy today at The Dollar Tree for .50 cent per bag.  I believe that I will be able to fill 3 favor bags from one bag of candy!  How sweet!  I purchased enough red wrapped candy to fill 75-80 favor bags for $20 plus tax!  What a steal!!

I found another steal at Walmart the day after Valentine's Day!  The red pens pictured above have cute little feather and heart decorations at the end- perfect for the love birds!  They will be great to use with the shower games and then the guests can take them home as another party favor!  Again - "two birds with one stone" at the cost of only .50 cent each!

This picture shows the black scrolled clear favor bags that I purchased online from the Oriental Trading Company for around $2 per 12 pack. I can't wait to fill them with all of my red hot steals!  I promise to post some pictures of the final result when I get them all assembled!  Until then, have a sweet President's Day and go score some of your own February steals!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Fairytale Wedding Recipe

Greetings Friends,

Another day is beginning at the Durham home as I'm finishing breakfast while Meagan watches which ever Disney Princess movie is her favorite of the day!  This entire week her favorite has been The Little Mermaid.  I think by now both she and I could quote the movie verbatim!  However, I must confess, I love all the Disney Princess movies as much as she does!  I think deep down "little girls" of all ages dream of  falling in love and marrying "Prince Charming" in a fairytale wedding!

It seems "Fairytale Weddings" have become the theme of the week at my house!  You see, my nephew is getting married to his "Princess Bride" in May!  Yesterday, I spent most of the day with my beautiful niece-to-be dreaming of possibilities for a reception with all the "belles and whistles" for her Black, White, and Red Wedding theme!  Both sides of the family are teaming together to help make this a "Fairytale" come true!  I just hope everything comes together like a dream!  No two people could be more deserving for both my nephew and niece-to-be are the sweetest!

Of course, it was only a few minutes into our planning session yesterday before I started to walk down memory lane and recall all of the little details that made my wedding so special.  I realized that I love all the "belles and whistles" of weddings just as much as I love them for baby showers!  In fact, helping Hannah with her plans for the wedding made me recall a special friend who began helping me with my wedding and always helped me whenever there was a special event to plan.  Her name is Alma Moran!

Alma Moran was one of the BEST chefs in our church back in Danville, VA!  I can think about Alma's fried chicken, or her veg-all casserole, or her homemade chicken salad and my mouth starts to water even today!  Alma had many wonderful recipes and talents; however, one of my all time favorites, is her recipe for Strawberry Punch!  I cannot recall one bridal shower, wedding, baby shower, Christmas party, or birthday party without Alma's Punch since the day that I first discovered it!  In fact, Alma made her Strawberry Punch for me so often, that I finally just asked her for the recipe and learned to make it myself! I will be making this punch for Brandon and Hannah's  Bridal Shower and wedding:

I have had several requests from friends and family to share this recipe.  Although, I normally prefer to write about decorating, this recipe is so simple and sooooo good that I would be doing Alma a disservice NOT to share:

  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 2 small packs of strawberry Jello
  • 1 large can of pineapple juice (approximately 64 oz)
  • 1 large can of orange juice (approximately 64 oz)
  • 3 gallon-sized ziplock bags
  • 2-3 ginerales in 2-liter size
  • Mix water, sugar, and both Jello packs into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • While stirring, allow the mixture to boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool.
  • Add pineapple and orange juice to mixture and stir.
  • Pour mixture evenly into 3 gallon-sized ziplock bags.
  • Place in freezer.
  • 1 hour before your event, place 1-2 bags of mixture into punch bowl and add ginerale as needed.  You may need to take a large knife and continue to crush mixture.  It taste so much better if served almost slushy!
This recipe is one of my favorite "belles and whistles" of celebrating!  It is almost fool proof and that is important for me when I am the chef in the kitchen.  Another great tip concerning this recipe:  If you need your punch to be another color, just switch the packs of Jello out from strawberry to another flavor!  I substituted Lime flavored packs for the "Two Peas in a Pod" shower and discovered that the taste and consistency was still fantastic!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have!  Thanks again Alma!!!  You are the best!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunshine, Smiles, and Surprises

Hello Friends,

The sun is finally shining brightly again here today in the beautiful Smoky Mountains!  I love sunshine - it warms my heart just like a smile!  I think when the sun is shining, God must be smiling at us from heaven!!!  There are few things on earth that make me feel as good as sunshine and smiles!  How about you?

Well, I CAN think of one other little "belle and whistle" that warms my heart like sunshine and smiles:  I know you've totally guessed what it is by now!  I listed it in the title - SURPRISES!  "Surprises" is just my  trick word of alliteration for saying "gifts!"  I love gifts!  I especially love giving gifts!  Nothing puts a smile on my face faster than when I find the perfect gift to give to someone that I love!  In fact, I think it is hard to be a Christian and NOT love GIVING!!! 

As some one who loves giving little surprises, I have discovered some inexpensive ways to be able to give gifts  without bursting my budget.  One of my favorite budget-saving tips for giving "boutique-like" gifts is to have your items personalized!  Let me show you 3 examples of fabulously personalized gifts from my "belles ands whistles" repertoire:

    Get It Monogrammed!
  • A simple way to create a "boutique-y" gift without breaking the bank is to buy something inexpensive and get it monogrammed!  In the picture above, I purchased 2 onesies, 2 pairs of bear booties, and 2 matching bear blankets at The Dollar Tree - that's right, The Dollar Tree, for a total of $6 + tax.  I took the items down to my local monogramming store, You Name It, in Sevierville, TN and had the twin boys' names monogrammed to the blankets and "Two Peas in a Pod" with a cute pic monogrammed to the onesies for a grand total of just under $20!  I had some matching green ribbon at home, so I tied a stylish bow around the blankets and removed The Dollar Tree tags.  For roughly $26, I was able to give each twin a personalized boutique gift for at least half the price of something similar online!  That averages out to $13 per gift! The even better deal was that since I was hosting the twins' baby shower at my home, I was also able to use the gift as a decorative focal point!  By letting the gift also serve as a decoration, I saved even more money by "killing two birds with one stone."

Meagan wearing her Personalized Valentine's Shirt from Elise Claire Designs!
Add a Personalized Custom Boutique Piece!
  • Another way to add "belles and whistles" to a gift package, is to add one personalized Custom Boutique Piece to the ensemble!  In the pictures above, I purchased some ready-to-wear tutus and wings for a ridiculously low price at!  If any of you have little girls at home, you understand me when I say, "Tutus and Wings are HOT right now!"  I have priced tutus, pettiskirts, and wings for a whole lot more than the range of $1.50 - $9.00!  If you are a parent to a little girl, please check this website out!  I scored the entire tutu/wing/accessory set shown above for just around $10.00!  Then, I went a step further; I added one personalized Custom Boutique Piece to each ensemble!  I called upon my trusty friend, Julia, owner of Elise Claire Designs, found at and hired her to create personalized shirts and bows for each ensemble!  If you do not know anyone who can do this for you locally, I highly recommend her!  Her work is BOUTIQUE quality and it is impeccable!  For another $24.00 for the shirt and bow set, I was able to give a very expensive looking SET with all the "belles and whistles" for under $40 with shipping included!  As you can see from the pictures, one gift was for my daughter for Valentine's Day!  She loved it!!! In fact, after naptime, we changed her out the tutu/wing set into a simple and inexpensive pair of leggings (purchased for around $2.99 off-season at The Children's Place) and she had a whole seperate outfit! The other ensemble was used as both a gift and a decoration at another baby shower!  The Mother-to-Be flipped for the gift! I still have a smile on my face for pulling off that surprise!
  • And last, but not least,  check out this super cute and inexpensive monogram application for your Facebook profile from http://www.polkadotmarket/ :

 I have not given this as a gift yet; however, for only $2, I'm thinking of adding one to my profile just for fun!  Maybe you could purchase one for a dear friend who loves using Facebook!  What a thoughtful and inexpensive little surprise!

I hope you've enjoyed my thoughts on sunshine, smiles, and surprises today!  If you have any tips that would like to share about boutique gifting on a budget, please don't hestitate to make a comment and share!  Finding out about other great ways to add all the "belles and whistles" to gifts would only brighten my already sunshiny day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Count the Cost

 Good afternoon all,

I must confess: My energizer bunny battery is running on slow speed today; however, it IS working because I am "Still Going!"  I think my slow speed might just have something to do with a cute little 2 year-old, who IS the energizer bunny, running around my house! Meagan NEVER stops running and prancing like a beautiful Tennessee Walker - UNLESS - she's asleep!  Thank the Lord, she happens to be napping just now, so I have a few moments of quiet and calm to focus on my blog!

Today, I want to share with you some secrets of how I "boutique on a budget!"  As I've mentioned before, I love all of life's little "Belles and Whistles!" I have been told by my husband on frequent occasions that I have expensive taste!  I cannot lie, I DO love expensive, boutique things - especially when they are for my children!  However, I DO NOT love an expensive Boutique Bottom Line!

Through a little research, and with a dash of  Pippi Longstocking's "I can do" attitude, I have learned a few tricks of the trade.  The first, and most important trick, is simple:  Count the Cost!  The Bible even talks about the importance of "Counting the Cost" in Luke 14:28:  "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?"  Now, I realize that embellishing life with cute little boutique "belles and whistles" is not the same thing as building a tower; however, the principle of this scripture still holds true!

(Now, hold on to your hats, because I'm finally going talk about it!)  Take for example, my Baby Shower Diaper Cakes:  I really wanted to give my friends cute, boutique diaper cakes for their showers.  When I took the time to compare prices online for "Diaper Cakes" matching the descriptions of their shower themes, I knew that those price tags didn't fit into my budget.  After Counting the Cost, I realized that I could make something just as cute for a lot cheaper.

So, as promised, here's was my exact Counting the Cost process for a Three Tier Stacked Boutique Diaper Cake on a Budget:
  • Decide on a budget.  Ask yourself, "What can I really afford to spend?" Stick with that amount!
  • Compare prices online.  I like to shop on etsy and ebay for handmade crafty items like Diaper Shower Cakes!  Sometimes, you can find what you want at a really great deal.  If you do, go ahead and purchase it ready-made!  This saves on time, effort, and energy - All must-haves for busy Moms!  However, if you can't find what you want within your price point, move on!
  • Estimate how much it would cost for the materials alone to make it yourself.  Here is the list of ingredients for my Budget Diaper Cakes: 
  • 1 box of diapers @ +/- $18 (I used Luvs #3's from Walmart because I like Luv's, they hold better and they're cheaper.  I bought the box versus the bag because they hold more diapers and I had leftovers for "Cakes on the Side!" I chose #3's because babies stay in that size longer.  However, #1's and 2's have more diapers/box, and I suggest that you should choose the favorite brand of the Mother-to-Be.)
  • 1 pack of clear plastic rubber bands @ $1.00 (Mine came in a pack of 500 from the Dollar Tree.)
  • 1 cake base @ $1.00 (I made my base from a foam board from the Dollar Tree using a round cake pan as the model.  If you buy one ready-made, the cost is significantly higher.)
  • At least 2+ rolls of decorative ribbon @ $1.00 - $3.00 /spool (I purchased my ribbon at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby.  If you have a little girl in your house, you may already have unused ribbon stored in your closet. If so, use what you have!)
  • 1 clear plastic basket cover @ $1.00/2 pack (Mine came from the Dollar Tree.)
  • 1 free Paper Towel Roll Tube (I used the core when I changed out the Paper Towels.)
  • Topping Decor @ ? $ (This is where you can blow a budget if you are not careful.  I suggest looking around at the Dollar Tree for decorations.  That is where I purchased mine for a couple of bucks.  You could also look around the house for unused craft items or buy items off-season or on sale.)

  • Total the costs of the materials and decide if you want to DIY!  The final cost for materials alone for my diaper cakes totals to approximately $25.00!  In comparison to what I found ready-to-purchase online, my savings totaled anywhere from $10.00 -$75.00 depending on taste, topping decor, and style.  This does not including the amount saved on shipping!   Be sure to factor in the importance of the time and energy that you will invest in the project!  Obviously, for me, these savings were significant enough to attempt a DIY! (More particulars on the "How To" actually DIY to come!)
This is just one example of the importance of Counting the Costs for this Boutique-Loving, Budget-Conscious Mother.  I have many others that I believe are "Share Worthy," but dinner, my family, and in particular, my Energizer Bunny Meagan, are all calling my name!  So for now, I will sign off suggesting that you take a look at the links I've added to the blog!  These are some of my favorite places to shop for all the "belles and whistles" of  "Boutique on a Budget!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Start with a Theme!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good morning all!  It is one of my favorite holidays today, Valentine's Day!  I love celebrating "LOVE" - pretty cards, yummy chocolate treats, dates with my hubby . . . all the "belles" and whistles!  Yet as I'm finishing my bowl of cereal and watching cartoons with Meagan, I realize that there are some other great reasons to celebrate this February 14, 2011: First of all, the government is going to start processing taxes today - Can you say "REFUND" on the way? Thank the Lord!! Second, today is the launch of Disney's new channel for toddlers, Disney JUNIOR! I can already tell this is going to be a BIG deal at my house!  Next, today marks the second day in a row that Meagan has made it to the potty without accidents in her training panties!  Whoo, hoo!!!  And last but not least, I finally started this blog!!!

As promised, today I want to tackle the subject of HOW TO'S; but, before we get down to the nitty gritty of detailed instructions, I think we should follow the advice of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.  When you read, you begin with A-B-C, when you sing, you begin with Doe-Ray-Me," and when you plan, you begin with Sim-ple-Themes! For those of you who know me personally, you realize that I'm totally singing as I type this, right?

Anyway, "to start at the very beginning," you need to decide on a simple theme.  I love themes, I even created a theme for this blog - "Belles and Whistles!"  However, not everyone shares my love of coming up with themes.  In fact, most people tell me that they hate planning events because they cannot visualize the end result!  You want to know a secret?  Shhh, sometimes I can't come up with the big picture either!  Don't tell!

However, one of my favorite professors from the Department of Education at Lee University, the late and GREAT, Dr. Cliff Schimmels, always told his students, "The BEST teachers do not create their own great lesson plans, the BEST teachers borrow them!"  I've decided that this bit of advice applies to most parts of my life: teaching, parenting, writing, and even, planning!   If you're going to start at the beginning by deciding on a theme, and you cannot visualize or create one yourself, BORROW, BORROW, BORROW!

The Internet is a great resource for ideas!  For example, when I said that I would host my friend Amanda's baby shower for her twin boys, I had no idea what my "Sim-ple Theme" would be!  However, I did know that she was having twin boys and that she needed diapers . . . so using that knowledge, I did a google search on "Baby Showers for Twins" and that search led me to "Two Peas in a Pod" and a google search on "Two Peas in a Pod" plus "diapers" led me to pics of some super cute, albeit expensive, "Two Peas in a Pod" Diaper Cakes, and the rest is history!

Please don't mistake my advice, I'm not suggesting that you completely steal someone else's ideas!  Rather, I'm just saying to browse their ideas for inspiration!  Once you find your inspiration, you can fill in the details with your original thoughts! 

Now, since it is Valentine's Day, I want to leave you with some pics of my "Sim-ple Theme" Valentine's Baby Shower for Mrs. Jessica's Sweet Heart Sara Grace!  I was just an ASSISTANT hostess at this shower last weekend. I cannot take credit for all of the "belles and whistles" pictured here; however, I can say that the end result started with my BORROWED "Sim-ple-Theme!"  I hope you enjoy them, and Happy Valentine's Day!  Remember, "These three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Diaper Cake by Beth Durham

Top and Bow by Elise Claire Designs
Tutu and Wings by

Diaper Cake by Beth Durham

Cake Decoration by Jennifer Barnes

Chocolate Covered Strawberries by Beth Durham

Party Favors by April Gillispie

 P.S. - I will eventually get to the "nuts and bolts" and "how to's" for my diaper cakes . . . but as for when, you'll just have to keep checking my blog site for updates!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My First Attempt

Greetings Friends,

This is my first attempt at blogging . . . I'm very excited about the prospects of having my own blog after rewatching "Julie and Julia" again yesterday afternoon!  I was totally inspired and now I'm daydreaming about the possibilities of inspiring others and being discovered and getting my own book deal - I digress . . . Get back to reality Beth! 

However, in the midst of all my excitement and daydreams, I must confess that I've discovered that I'm definitely clueless about starting a blog! There were so many choices to make this afternoon before I could even think about writing my first post!  Yet, to quote from a friend's facebook update quoting Pippi Longstocking, "I've never tried it before, so I'm sure I can do it!"

It is the exact attitude of these words which brings me to the subject matter of my first blog: My First Attempt at . . . making Diaper Cakes!  I know you were expecting something a little more serious, and possibly life-altering, but for me, I find joy in all the little "belles" and whistles that decorate life!  I'm a budget-conscious Mom who loves all things boutique, but cannot always afford the price tag accompanying such items.  I had never attempted to make a Diaper Cake before, but after checking out the prices for "Boutique Custom Diaper Cakes" online, I agreed with Pippi Longstocking, "I'm sure I can make one myself  - MUCH CHEAPER!"  And I did exactly that  . . . and here's the picture to prove it:

I got so carried away that I not only made one Diaper Cake in the traditional Three Tier Stacked Style, but I also made one in the shape of "Two Peas in a Pod" - the theme of the baby shower that I was hosting for a friend expecting twins!

When I finished making those Diaper Cakes, with new-found confidence, I decided to try my hand at a "Two Peas in the Pod" Baby Bath and Washcloth Cake:

After conquering that craft, I thought to myself, "Wow, Boutique party favors would be great, but they are expensive too!  I've never tried it before, but I'm sure I can do a little something!"  Here are my "Two Peas in a Pod" Bath Salt Party Favors:

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really enjoyed trying to do something that I've never tried before!! I felt really Martha Stewart-ish while hosting this Baby Shower at my home!  More importantly, I knew that I had pulled out all the "belles (beauties) and whistles" for my dear friend without breaking the bank! 

I feel the same way as I begin with my "First Attempt" at writing this blog.  Maybe you share my boutique tastes and have "Caviar Dreams on a Peanut Butter Budget!"  If you do, my advice is DYI - Do It Yourself! In fact, if you decide to check back with me again, I'll even share my tips with you on how to make Diaper Cakes like these on a budget!! 

But for now, I'll sign off tonight leaving you with some great advice from my wonderful Dad, "Try it and you'll like it!