Category Archives: Life

Attend \\ Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

March 26, 2014

Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

Two weekends ago, I was able to attend a sneak peek of a new calligraphy workshop series by my friend, Rebecca Caridad of Manzanita. That girl knows all about pretty. Everything she does is magic. I mean it. (Remember when she HAND-PAINTED the watercolor invite for my baby shower?!?)  I’ve been a fan of her calligraphy for some time now and was overly excited when she invited me to her first-ever Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop. I was really excited. Like, over-the-top.

Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

She hosted us in her cute home up in Boulder, Colorado. It was small and intimate and every detail was just too much. We all know I love brown kraft paper. And then those chairs… my heart. Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop This workshop was the perfect intro to calligraphy. I’ve been faking it for a while by purchasing a little starter kit from Hobby Lobby and pretending I know what I’m doing, when in reality I haven’t the slightest clue.

NEWS FLASH: You gotta have quality goods if you’re gonna have quality penmanship.

Rebecca made sure we all had quality tools. We’re talkin’ good nibs, good paper, good ink, and good beverages to keep us calm when our nibs ran out of ink mid-stroke.

Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

We started out by getting a feel for the pens by just drawing lines and strokes however we saw fit. Then we moved on to the minors by tracing the alphabet and seeing the best ways to draw letters. Couldn’t break my concentration. Must. Trace. Alphabet. Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

Rebecca watched over our shoulders and encouraged us as we wrote. I occasionally popped over her shoulder to watch her do her thang. I’m a visual learner and she made sure to demonstrate!
Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

The class is just over two hours long and was such a great starter! A workshop like this is perfect for someone wanting to dip their toes into calligraphy. I felt like I knew a little more about what I was doing and am totally ready for the big leagues – writing sentences! umph! Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

You could say we were all happy with ourselves at the end. Rebecca is building up her schedule for workshops around the country so follow her on Instagram (@rebeccacaridad) to see if she’s comin’ to your town. And if she is, jump on that.

photography: all photos by Manzanita

Travel \\ The 411 On Meet Make Do with BING

March 25, 2014

MMD_3732 I love Denver. I do. But I’m seriously considering relocating to the Palm Springs desert after attending Meet Make Do with BING. It’s just one of those places where you can’t help but smile after stepping off the plane. The airport is outdoors and it’s all just so magical. I need to stop dreaming about it before the Denver snow kills me.

I’ve already said how fortunate I felt to get to attend such a glorious getaway put on by my gals Brittni, Chelsea, & Kelly, and the fine folks at BING. This was a much needed vacation for me. I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a baby-cave (a glorious one that I am so happy to live in!) for months and just needed to get out and recharge my creative juices. You know what I’m sayin’?

The whole point of this retreat was to pool the talents of a few creative women and just see where it takes us. We spent a few days in the beautiful bubble that is Palm Springs and just relaxed and created. The best part? The creating was just for us. No deadlines. Just fun. Pure bliss.


Let’s first talk about the house we stayed at the first night I arrived. Oh gee wiz. This was right out of a dream, I tell you. Gorgeous ranch-style home with bright walls and yellow front doors. Open kitchen with sky lights. Crazy awesome pool. Life-size chess board in the backyard. Palm trees everywhere. And, of course, the 7′ beach ball and the ginormous swan, Odette. What’s that? You say you want to customize your own 7′ beach ball? Head on over to Studio DIY for the how-to!


This amazing prop shelf was every blogger’s dream. Fabrics. Balloons. Tapes. Paint. Tissue paper. Honeycombs. Giftwrap. Twine. They may as well have pinned dollar bills to the wall. I was so in love with everything and it was all at my fingertips to be created into whatever I wanted. Check out one of the projects I worked on while there – A Life-size putting green!


I mean. Honestly. MMD_3839 MMD_4321

The backyard was so colorful and fun. Instant inspiration occurred every time I walked out the backdoor.  MMD_4367 MMD_4408


Still salivating over the egg-free batter and cookie dough provided by Edoughble. They ship all over the place so you better be ordering. Where was this stuff when I was prego?! Why didn’t you guys tell me about it?!?!


While we were there, we got the chance to play around with the BING surface tablets! I’m not fancy. I never get to play with stuff like this. I can’t tell you how handy it was to be able to search for anything and everything under the sun. I wasn’t exactly sure how croquet balls looked when searching for inspiration for my putting green project so this was super helpful! My fave feature is the PIN from search feature.

PIN IT You can pin images right from the search so you have the source right at your fingertips! Saves lots of time. And brain cells. I wanted to do some exploring so I made sure to find cute places to visit including this lemonade stand at the Parker Hotel! My, oh my. MMD_5816

As with all blogger parties, retreats, and conferences, the gifts are always dreamy and just way too pretty to actually unwrap. My fave stylist, Jenn, whipped up this little shot so you could see some of the gorgeous goods provided by the sponsors (all sponsors & vendors listed at the bottom of this post!). I had no idea that foil tape existed. I thought it was like a unicorn. You know, a magical myth. I was wrong. It’s real. And now I’m in trouble.  MMD_6231

I arrived on the second day because I was having a tough time figuring out how to leave Vita-girl for four whole days. (Shameless plug: I had to keep rearranging travel dates to get Vita-roo to my mom and back, so we used the BING Travel app relentlessly.) I couldn’t make it the whole trip, so I was only in Palm Springs for a quick 48. And on the second night, we had a festive little dinner with MINTED at the Ace Hotel. A DIY Taco Bar? hell yes. The table was laid out so perfectly and, unfortunately, I didn’t get any good shots until it was too late and the sun had gone down. But you can see all the lovely details over on Brittni’s blog! And don’t we all just love that Minted print?

That second night, we hit a little snag with our sweet little house and ended up moving to the Saguaro Hotel. I did NOT complain. Say it with me. Saguaro. Colorful and fun doesn’t even beGIN to describe this place. Hot pink pool towels. Can’t say enough.  MMD_6351 MMD_6411c

This was a quick getaway. It was. I was exhausted by the time I returned home, but it was soooooo worth it. Each lady brought something different to the table, and it was so great to see how everyone worked and handled the life of a full-time blogger. Hint: It’s not all confetti and cakes and other pretty things. It gets super stressful and it was so nice to hear that these gals have felt everything I have.

One of the best parts of intimate gatherings like this one, is the late-night chat and coke sessions. (Diet Coke, peeps. Get your mind out of the gutter! wink wink)  I’m convinced we all need to live in a big ol’ house together where we just eat meet and make all the live-long day. I love each one of these women. In a platonic, non-stalker way?

The biggest virtual hug to all of our sponsors & vendors:

photography: all photos by Mary Costa Photography

Celebrate Spring \\ A Colorful Giveaway

March 20, 2014

Spring Fling Giveaway

Today’s the first day of Spring and I hope it’s sunshiny where you are. Here in Denver, the sun seems to come and go. It’s here today and I’m so glad because I’ve teamed up with several awesomesauce bloggers and shops, and we’ve got a fun springy linkup & giveaway going on in these parts.  It’s good. Really, really good.

Spring Fling Giveaway

One winner gets all of the above. I’m a little jealous. You should know that if it was possible to rig this, I would so that I could win. Everyone appreciates honesty, right? Let’s lay out all the goodness on the table, shall we?

1. Tory Birch Wallet in Cantaloupe from Nordstrom (+$195)

2. A $50 voucher to Jane… you get to pick what you take home!

3. Leanne Barlow Take A Bow skirt in Mint ($130)

4. Spring Issue of Emma Magazine ($23.80)

5. 4 flavors of delish dried fruit from Simple and Crisp ($20+)

6. 14k solid gold butterfly charm with diamond & 18″ fine gold chain from Helen Ficalora ($330)

To be the champion, just enter with the rafflecopter below! There are TONS of ways to enter and my fingers are crossed for ya. I’ll be living vicariously through the winner. Giveaway ends this Sunday (March 23rd) night! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

spring fling giveaway

PS – Over the weekend, I was able to attend a sneak-peek of Rebecca Caridad’s (the lady behind Manzanita!) new calligraphy workshops! Guys. I’m horrible at it, but I’m feeling super inspired and will practice until my fingers bleed. And then some. So get ready for lots of test-runs and pictures of me shoving the callig in your face. I’ve been staying up late and waking up early to get my calligraphy on. I thought that the first day of Spring called for a little calligraphy and some happy billy balls! I’ll be sharing all about Rebecca’s class and what I’m working on next week, so stay tuned~!

Pop over and visit the other fine folks who are linking up and hosting this here giveaway, why dontchya?

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Fresh \\ Found

March 14, 2014

floral 1

Hola, my friendlies. So happy it’s the weekend. Because we just moved, I’m looking for any time I can get to unpack. Our house! It’s in shambles! But at least I’ve got one space to call my own. And that can hold me down for now.

We recently got some very good news and will be going out to dinner tonight to celebrate! McDonalds, here I come!!! Actually, we’re going some place nicer (as if there is one!) and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been living like a cave woman for the last few months, and it will be so nice to party like a rock star.

The weekends are for making things and here are a few projects you should mos def make/eat/wear etc.

A paper flower rainbow wreath will brighten your life.

Kissable printables with wax lips!

I got to see these floral gift toppers in action. Totes adorbs. (who hates that wordage? i kind of do.)

I’m dying to build a pegboard like this in my office!

Plants. In a cart. I love this.

This geometric photo wall is perfectly perfect perfect.

A no-sew origami tote. I’m there.

hashtag: happy weekend. hashtag: excited to party. hashtag: see ya later.

photography: The Proper Pinwheel

The House: A Peek At My Work Space

March 12, 2014

kleenex style | sponsored by kleenex

One thing that has changed since becoming a mother is that there isn’t really time or space for my stuff. It’s disappeared. Both the time and the space. The stuff? It’s still there. Packed away in boxes and bins and closets and drawers. Most of the time, I don’t mind. I’m happy to be buried in baby clothes and baby toys. But it can make it a little hard to feel creative when colors, images, and materials that inspire me are hidden from view. 

We recently moved (long story that I’ll share with you another day), and I have sworn to make a small corner of the new place “my corner”. Between naps and playtime, I’ve been slowly unpacking a few of my belongings and creating a space that I can work and feel creative. Believe it or not, I haven’t used an actual desk in years. My projects are created in the kitchen, on the floor, covering the dining table, or hanging out on the couch next to the window with the best light. I’m not the funnest crafty blogger to live with…

You should know that I’m kind of a packaging snob. I don’t care what’s in it, but if it’s wrapped up pretty, I’ll take it. I like things colorful. And I like them simple. And if it ain’t beautiful, it’s hidden from view. If you were to look at my work space as a whole, you would notice that the scissors, glue guns, measuring tapes, and other tools aren’t in sight. All the glittery, papery, magical goodness is out on display because that’s the stuff I want to look at day-in and day-out.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m a sucker for pretty tapes, pencils, straws, and other pretty things. If I get a business card that I love, I hold onto it and try to incorporate it into my work decor if I can. Confession: I have saved every biz card I’ve ever received from any conference or event I’ve been to since I started blogging. And I decorate with many of the ones I’ve received from Alt Summit.

kleenex style | sponsored by kleenex

Over the years, I have collected yarns, twine, garlands, and prints, and I’ll be throwing them up in this space just as soon as I can unpack them. For now, I’ve pulled out a few of the necessities that were already on-hand including some cork boards for my walls, some decorative white yarn from The Container Store, a pretty happy typographic garland, a box of Kleenex tissues (for every crafty spill you can think of. I’m looking at you, mod podge.), my Sugar Paper LA calendar, and a few other little odds and ends.

I really only get to hang out at my desk late at night when Vita-roo is sleeping snug and I can focus on my work. I’ll spend an hour or two here and I don’t even mind because it’s now a happy place that suits my needs. I’m happy to say that I’m pleased with everything that is sitting on top of my desk at the moment. I wouldn’t hide a thing. (Except maybe the several empty cans of Diet Coke. I have to hide the evidence from the Husb.)

I have to give props to Kleenex for upping their game lately. I’ll admit that I used to be the person who hid the an ug box of tissues behind shelves or frames. I use them A LOT because we get the sniffles quite frequently here in Denver. Where we have blizzards in May. Not joking. It was 65 degrees two days ago, and then yesterday we were freezing and blizzarding. Love this place. I will tell you that we have a box of Kleenex tissues in every room in the house. And they’re all stylish boxes that are in plain view. Each suits the decor for the space that it’s in, and it’s a relief to me to have it all work together. Reminder: I’m vain when it comes to packaging. The Kleenex brand has been around for 90 years, and to celebrate, they’ve rolled out their Kleenex style finder where you can take the style quiz to help find your style and a box to fit your tastes perfectly. Be sure to visit because there’s a pretty box for the little judger in everyone.

PS – did you know that artists have decorated with Kleenex tissues before? And in the last 90 years, that art has been featured in the MoMa? Twice? I once decorated with loofahs. Not as legit.

My desk may seem clean and organized right now, but give it time and it will look like a craft-nado hit. For now, I’m going to enjoy the colorful simplicity. Do you have a desk? How do you find time to work?!?! Do you have any necessities that HAVE to be next to where you work? Do tell! Please convince me that it’s normal to work on the floor in front of the TV at 1am.

*Thank you to Kleenex for sponsoring this post and for creating lovely designs for the vain woman that I am. 

Meet Make Do: A Mini Recap

March 11, 2014

Meet Make Do with BING

Over the next little while, I’ll be telling you guys all about the party we had down in Palm Springs at MEET MAKE DO. (Heretofore lovingly referred to as MMD.)  I’ll be telling you guys every little detail including what I made, what I did, and what I ate (that’s a given). It was such a magical time and I’m so happy I was able to make it out and party with some fantastic ladies. I may have been star-struck when I arrived. I really shouldn’t be allowed out in public. Meet Make Do with BING

This was my first trip to Palm Springs, and although we were bombarded with rain on one of the days, I was NOT disappointed. I felt like I had flown right into that colorful neighborhood that is shown in the movie “Edward Scissorhands”. You know which one I’m referring to. And if you don’t, you’re lying.  Meet Make Do with BING

The bloggers were given free reign on the supply shelf. Everything I wanted. Right there. Balloons. Fabric. Paint. WASHI TAPE. Tissue paper. We were just ecstatic. Some folks got to making right away. I may have gabbed more than I actually created. And for that, I must apologize to the women there.
Meet Make Do with BING

This whole shebang was made possible by BING. I’ll be sharing more about their new rewards program (it’s baller) so keep your eyes peeled for that one! Meet Make Do with BING

Because what is life without a ginormous swan? I named her Odette. Meet Make Do with BING

And then there was the sugar. Lots of it. We’re talkin’ egg-free batter. Where the jeff was that stuff when I was pregnant?!?!?! Come on!!! Meet Make Do with BING

Flower Muse supplied us with hundreds of beautiful stems. It was the dreamiest of afternoons. I couldn’t have loved those petals more if I tried.  Meet Make Do with BING Meet Make Do with BING Meet Make Do with BING

We hit a snag one of the nights and had to move to the Saguaro Hotel. Poor us, right? Just look at the color! The pool had hot pink pool towels for the guests. Just top notch. Meet Make Do with BING

I was so thrilled to be invited to such a getaway with such baller people. I feel like I just returned from camp and am homesick for these gals. The conversations were wonderful. That’s what I love so much about events like this. Staying up until 3am chatting about work and life and everything in between.

Huge huge HUGE thank you to all ma’ ladies Melanie (You Are My Fave), Danni (Oh, Hello Friend), Chelsea (The Paper Mama), Ash (Sugar + Cloth), Erin (House of Earnest), Jenn (Scout), Brittany (The House That Lars Built), and behind-the-camera-queen Mary (Mary Costa Photography), our hosts, (Brittni, Chelsea, and Kelly!) and to BING and all the amazing sponsors who made it possible for us to live a dream for a few days! 

Can’t wait to share all the lovely nitty gritty with you guys!

photography: all photos by Mary Costa Photography

The Blog Hiatus Has Been Lifted

March 6, 2014

Meet Make Bing by The Proper Pinwheel

Guys. First of all, let me apologize for the ridiculous surprise blog hiatus! What the what?!?! We’ve been slammed with lots of changes in these last few weeks and I’m playing catch up. We moved. Sick baby. Lots of crazy awesome new partnerships and opportunities. And ya know what? I just needed a minute to catch my breath. And I’m so sorry it was quite here because of that!

However! I’m back now. And I think I may have discovered the happy medium. We’ll see… I just returned from Palm Springs for Meet Make Do with BING hosted by my favorite ladies, Brittni, Chelsea, and Kelly! It was a crafters high, I tell you. Lots of supplies. Lots of food (and Diet Cokes for me!), and lots of amazing conversation. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. For now, just take a gander at the photo above and imagine diving headfirst into that blue blue water!

Slap me. Forgive me. Hug me.


photo by The Proper Pinwheel

Fresh \\ Found

February 14, 2014


Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! Can you believe it’s here? February is practically over! It may as well be Summer… But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Last night, while Logan was asleep, I snuck into the bathroom and blew up a whole slew of V-day balloons and filled the tub with them! He appreciated it! He didn’t LOVE it, but he appreciated it. :)

Do y’all have some fantastic plans planned for this weekend? We are going to lay low. You know, because we have a baby and we are all boring now. However, we liked laying low PRE-VITA, so I don’t know what our excuse was then! We’ve got a little brunch date planned for tomorrow morning. And then lots of packing because, guess what, we are moving! The owners of our townhome have decided to sell our place and we don’t love it enough to buy it! I will be super sad to part with Vita’s nursery though. I spent most of my pregnancy working on that room! Tears. Tears are flowing…

Before I head off to go style a product shoot for some children’s clothing (follow along on Insta from some sneak peeks!), I’ll leave you with a few links to some amazing gold leaf projects for your weekend wonderment!

XOxOxOXO. I hope you get lucky this weekend.

Give an old chair a makeover!

These gold and wood bowls are perfect to store jewelry!

An easy deer sculpture with gilded antlers? Ok!

Make your own art for your place.

Custom gold-tipped shoes, my friends!

Gilded silverware. I’m on board.

Ceramic dishes with a gold touch.

Gold-leaf your desk!

**Happy Weekend**

photography: The Proper Pinwheel on Instagram via VSCO 

Style || Valentine XO Manicure

February 12, 2014

Valentine XO Manicure | The Proper Pinwheel

So here’s the thing. I’m not stylish. And I don’t really have the time to head out and get regular manicures.  (I don’t have the time to have regular showers, but I’m not telling you that…) In my world, having painted nails is such a luxury. I’ve only ever had two manicures in my life! IN MY LIFE!!!

One of my resolutions for the new year was to take a few moments every now and again and do something for myself. What did I decide to do? I decided to paint my nails to honor the upcoming holiday of love. And I wanted to share this little valentine XO manicure with you. Valentine XO Manicure | The Proper Pinwheel

I’ll be straight and tell you that this was so ridiculously easy. Even the pictures of my right hand don’t look half bad! You can give your nails some love, too!

You’ll need:

  • hot pink nail polish
  • white acrylic paint
  • super thin paint brush or toothpick

Paint nails with two layers of pink and allow to dry. Dip the paintbrush or toothpick into the white acrylic paint and draw out some little x’s and o’s on each nail! You can make them big or tiny. You can draw a little heart. You can draw whatever your heart desires, my friends.

Valentine XO Manicure | The Proper Pinwheel

Valentine XO Manicure | The Proper Pinwheel

I loved waking up to this little pop of color this morning. I’m super easy to please. I mean, I eat at McDonald’s every year on my birthday so OF COURSE I’m easy to please! ;)

If you end up painting your nails like this for V-day, then please share on Instagram (@properpinwheel) and tag me! I’d love to see!

Click here to see more Valentine-y DIY projects!

Fresh \\ Found

February 7, 2014

tinge floral | photo by Ciara Richardson

Heya, valentines! I’m so glad you’re alive. And I’m so glad it’s Friday. And I’m so glad that this weekend involves doughnuts. Homemade. Store-bought. Whatever we want. It’s happening. I don’t want to brag, but it’s my birthday on Sunday and I’m celebrating with a slew of fried and baked dough. So maybe watch out on Instagram because I will most likely be gramming those carbs like there’s no tomorrow.

The flowers above were designed by my new crush, Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral. She designed all the flower arrangements from the Cricut event I attended a few weeks ago. I have been stalking her ever since. Check out her Instagram to really have your mind blown. She’ll be running a pop up shop in Salt Lake City and she’s sharing all the details on her blog. If you’re in Utah, run RUN and click click click to get to her site. And now you can have all the pretty flowers. Photo taken by the lovely Ciara Richardson. Those ladies are just a dream team.

With V-day around the corner, you should be spending all your free time working on gifts and treats and paper goods for your loved ones! So here are a few projects to help you get inspired!

Print these and you’ll be loved forever.

Everyone needs to know how to fold a paper box!

Donut valentines. You know I love these.

These treat bags stole my heart with the mylar addition!

Here’s what you do with those heart sunglasses.

A jeweled heart sweatshirt for the win!

Hang this cardboard heart garland today!

These mini vase magnets are perfect for your valentines.

Anything with rock candy is going to change lives.

An oversized paper heart chain is amazing.

**happy eating/crafting/reading/sleeping/weekend**

photography: Ciara Richardson for Tinge Floral