A Celebration to Remember

Today I wanted to share one of my favorite details when creating a Celebration to remember.

 Whether you’re celebrating a milestone birthday, a retirement, or a life lived, creating a display of memorabilia from the person of honor is a loving tribute.  It creates a sense of who they are and all the things that brought them joy throughout their life.


Photos and articles about accomplishments copied and framed gives your guests some insight into highlights and special events.  Adding in a little about their favorite hobbies shows a side of someone’s passions.


By creating this either in a tablescape or doing smaller displays as centerpieces is a really fun way for everyone to connect and share fun stories and memories they may have, or get a glimpse into a side of the person they didn’t know.


You can see another celebration I styled here for a Retirement/70th Birthday party where I created centerpieces from mementos from the gentleman’s travels and life as a college professor.


I love creating events that are personal and meaningful.  I hope you’ll find something here to inspire your next Celebration.

“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory”


Knockoff Starbucks #medicineballtea


Hi Friends!!

It seems like lately so many people I know are battling cough/colds and the flu.  YUCK!!  I had a cold the past week, and thought it went away, and now a scratchy throat and cough are back, fun!!

I have seen so many people lately on social media share about the Starbucks tea.  Some call it “medicine ball” or “cold buster”, but all were screaming its praises on sore throat relief and soothing their coughs.  So, last week I headed into Starbucks to order one for myself.  At the first location, the Barista knew what I was talking about but said they didn’t call it anything specific.  The next location I ordered, the Barista had never heard of it, but said just tell her what was in it and she would make it..she did, and it was perfect!

So….what’s in it you ask??  Well, at Starbucks it’s as follows:

1 tea bag Peach Citrus Jade

1 tea bag Mint Majesty

1/2 steamed lemonade

2 packets honey

So…here’s how I knocked if off at home!

1 tea bag Tazo Zen (my fave green tea)

1 tea bag Country Peach Passion

Fill you your cup with half lemonade and heat in the microwave.

Fill the rest with boiling water

Add your tea bags

Add 1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste! Manuka honey would really bump up the healing properties too!!)

I am crazy for this tea…either my version or Starbucks!  It is so soothing and really tastes delicious…give it a try!


Splurge vs Steal

I always love to share when I find a great deal.  I especially LOVE finding the “look for less” when it comes to trendy items…things I know that I will probably only wear one season/year.  I do believe, on classic pieces it is best to spend your max to have comfort and quality pieces that will last you for years.
I thought it would be fun, to take 4 shoe styles that I am loving right now, and give you a Splurge vs Steal option.  I really cannot believe how similar each of these are!
Pom Pom Booties  (Splurge / Steal) – I am DYING to get my hands on this Steal pair of sneaks!  I am a self-proclaimed sneaker addict, and I think the pom pom’s are adorbs!
Block Heel Sandals ( Splurge / Steal ) – I love the heel height and color of these sandals.  These might be a case where the Splurge price is great already and these could be a classic in your wardrobe.  Maybe if your stepping out of your comfort zone in color, the Steal would be the way to go!
Perforated Bootie ( Splurge / Steal ) – Super cute and chic!  I personally love the cut of the Steal better than the Splurge!
Espadrille Sandals (Splurge / Steal ) – Now these….so popular last year, and are def on the A-list again!  I love them, but am scared I would feel 10 ft tall…however $60 Steal might make me suffer for fashion!  I have read over and over again, that the Splurge version is SO comfortable.
So, what about you??  Are you a Splurge or Steal gal, or does it just depend on the goods??
Hope you have a great day!
*This post contains affiliate links
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Pink & Gold Valentine Party {Styled Shoot}

Pink and gold, gold and pink, in my opinion there is nothing prettier than this combination. This soft, super romantic party setup is simple but stunning. This could be a fun dessert bar idea for the upcoming “day of love” after maybe a romantic dinner out. Sometimes just limiting everything to one table makes for a beautiful display, not to mention an easy set up!

I created this party along with Oriental Trading.  You can see all the details here on their blog and links to all the products.


Remember, not everything always has to be homemade. I went to my local grocery store and asked for plain vanilla cupcakes with white frosting. I used these gorgeous marble and edible gold leaf fondant toppers from Milk and Honey Cakery to dress them up. Taking the papers off the cupcakes also is a simple touch that gives your cake plate a clean look.



What’s a party with out a yummy cocktail?  I created this easy and SWEET cocktail and mocktail recipe.  You can get the recipe here!


Valentine’s Day is about sharing the love with those you care about most. I wanted to come up with a sweet Valentine gift for my girlfriends and their families, and what better way to show someone love than with home baked goodies? These Valentine Cookies in a Jar are the perfect idea. You supply the dry ingredients stored in a jar all tied up with a darling recipe tag and the only thing your recipient has to do is add the liquid ingredients and a little extra love!


I hope you feel inspired to create a special day for your loved ones.

This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provided these samples free of charge by Oriental Trading to provide my honest review. I was also compensated to blog on the Oriental Trading Blog.  All ideas and opinion are my own.

xoxo ~ Dawn

Instagram Outfit Round-up

I thought I would do an Instagram Outfit round-up here on the blog and share a few of my fave looks from the past few weeks and why I love them!  To shop each of these looks…click on the “Shop Sale” box right under my “Hello” photo and it will take you to all the links!  Easy Peasy!

So, first off, athleisure…yes, I hated that term when it first came out, but let’s be honest, I am all about this look!  Its comfy, perfect for hanging at home or running errands and looking like you put a little effort into your leggings and sneaks!  And, really…how cute are these bright babies??


I am a huge Anglophile, so when I saw this tee I knew I had to have it!  It is super soft and a great fit!  You can find it at Shop Everyly Co .


This outfit is a mix of my two most beloved patterns…plaid and leo!  You can never go wrong adding leopard to any outfit…consider it a neutral!  This coat is the BEST hand-me-down I have ever received, it has easily become my winter staple!


Told you, winter staple that coat!  My beloved booties recently got a hole in them, so I need to replace these stat as I wear them at least 3x a week they are that versatile!  This cute sweater was a Jcrew find and I love the purple/navy combo!


This here is really just a mix of all things I love…a cute sweater, a plaid scarf and my fave leopard sneaks that are years old from Target.  I have linked some similar pairs for ya though!  This bag, found it at Target and loved the shape…it has a very Kate Spadesque feel don’t ya think?


My beloved moto jacket.  I bought this baby a couple of years ago for under 40 bucks, and have never looked back!  I probable wear this a couple of times a week as well!  I am a huge sneaker fan and these nikes cover all the bases…spots, neutral and comfort.


Alright friends…think I better make this fam of mine some dinner!  Thanks fo sticking through this post! Mwwwaahhh!!


This post contains affiliate links.  I  will receive compensation for your clicks.  However, all opinions are my own.

How to make Quinoa Salad Jars

With the New Year, fresh starts, words and resolutions, and plans to eat better and exercise more…I thought I would re-post my Quinoa Salad Jars that I shared a few years ago on my old blog.  I love these and writing this post reminded me to get some of these in my fridge stat!  I have linked recipes from Pinterest, however, these really can be made anyway you like.  I really love putting spinach on the very top so it feels more like a salad.  The dressing is on the bottom so nothing gets wilty…which I do not like!!  
So, here you go…hope you enjoy!
I am always searching for new ways to prepare quinoa
I also needed to prep some lunches for myself for the week and knew these were the perfect idea
The first is the Fiesta Quinoa Salad (recipe HERE)
Each of these start with a dressing for the bottom layer, add your quinoa, stir and then add all the other ingredients in layers…super simple!
A little secret about me is that when I make up my mind to make something, I will make it whether I have the specific listed ingredients or not, I will substitute what I have!
So, for this one I was out of tomatoes..so for color I added carrots and edamame 🙂
This is the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad (recipe HERE)
In this one my substituted ingredients were edamame, artichokes, feta cheese and dried cranberries!
The larger jar versions of these also included spinach, arugula or lettuce, plus there was an asian salad that sounded really good too!
These are really easy, keep well in the fridge and are so easy to grab and go!

Gung Hay Fat Choy!{How to throw a Chinese New Year Dinner}

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese Lunar New Year!  This year we celebrate the Year of the Rooster.  The Rooster is the tenth in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac sign.  The years of the Rooster includes 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981. 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029.  We have one Rooster in our house, and our daughter is Chinese, so celebrating her heritage everyday, but especially on the New Year is very special to us.

I have partnered once again with Oriental Trading to bring you a Chinese New Year Dinner for family and friends.  We have celebrated in restaurants, thrown a large party with other families, but this year we are opting for “take-out” and a quiet New Year at home.


My invitations always set the tone for my parties.  These easy DIY Felt Fortune Cookie invites delivered to your guests in take out boxes do the trick!


I chose to go with the traditional color palette of red, black and gold.  I loved finding all the coordinating Rooster paper goods on Oriental Trading’s website.


Since I basically cheated on my menu (shhh…) and ordered take-out, I made a quick and delicious appetizer to tide everyone over until the food arrived.  These Won Ton Chicken Taco appetizers were a huge hit!


We have had party crackers at our holiday dinners for years, a tradition my mother-in-law years ago.  I have a quick DIY Party Cracker Favor for you that will be so fun at your table.


Lai See or “good luck” red envelopes are traditionally given to younger generations from the older.  They are generally filled with a small monetary gift.


I’m such a fan of paper lanterns, so I thought it would be fun to add some interest above the table and hung some along with a red paper umbrella.



How gorgeous are these cookies?  Megan from Milk and Honey Cakery collaborated with me, and sent these beautiful and delicious lantern cookies.  They are like works of art!  Thank you so much Megan!



If you have never celebrated Chinese New Year, I hope you feel inspired by this simple dinner party.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  May this coming year be prosperous and lucky!


This review is based strictly on my opinion. I was provided these samples free of charge by Oriental Trading to provide my honest review. I was also compensated to blog on the Oriental Trading Blog.  All ideas and opinion are my own