Posts Tagged ‘ideas’

Penelope’s Simple Birthday


Penelope turned four yesterday. The girl is growing like a weed and it makes me feel SO OLD!!

I had elaborate plans for a sweet library party for Penelope, but that did NOT happen. I swear I might have mono or something, because it’s like pulling teeth trying to get out of bed before 10am (and no I’m not prego). I’m going to blame it on my stationary lifestyle for now.

I think I will still do a big friend party for her, but sometime in May or June. It’s not like Penelope really cares when the birthday party is, right? Have any of you done something like that before?

I still wanted to make a big to do for her birthday, so we had a special dinner with presents and cake. The easiest and most delicious cake that I could think of to make was Texas Sheet Cake. It’s my late grandmother’s recipe. It’s divine.

Do you ever find that your most creative ideas come out of your laziness? I really didn’t want to make a buttercream frosting for a sweet message on the cake, so I made the message out of mini marshmallows. I thought it turned out rather cute. I could see this being even more clever on an all-white cake.

It’s not like Penelope really cares about this type stuff at four years old, but that’s just fine.

It’s still so surreal that she’s four. She’s a rad kid. I can’t believe that she’s ours. I love you, sweet Penelope!

In the Home: Protecting the Table


My head is still spinning from Alt Summit this last weekend, so I’ll probably put something up tomorrow sharing all of the awesome people I met & the cool things I learned while there. In the mean time, I had a fantastic idea that I wanted to share with you:

We just bit the bullet recently & bought a grown-up table! It’s our 7th (and hopefully final) table in the last 5 1/2 years. Now that we have a nice table made out of beautiful solid wood, we need to take care of it. This means no naked glasses on the wood! I was grocery shopping the other day & thought I’d see if I could find some cooler place mats than we have currently & had a brilliant brain wave. I also had to pick up some envelopes in the office supply section & came across bulletin board tiles. They were about the right size, a fantastic color/texture & a lot cheaper than the placemats I had been eyeing earlier. BOOM. there you go. We have cork boards for place mats.

I think this idea connected partially because we had placemats growing up that had cork on the bottom, to keep from scratching the table top. I loved those placemats! They had pretty illustrations of the English countryside. I wonder if my parents still have them.

So, do you use placemats for mealtime? What are your favorite ones? Link to resources in the comments below!

Penelope’s Would-be Birthday Invitation


Pingg and the telephone were a great back-up plan for Penelope’s invitations, but I just still was a little sad that I didn’t have the time to make her a more personalized invitation. But if I had time, here’s what it would’ve looked like. . .

Penelope's free fill-in-the-blank Invitation

These invitations were inspired by the square petal envelopes at Paper Source (I’m in love, seriously–Paper Source is my favorite). Well, I didn’t have a chance to use these invitations, but if you have something coming up, Penelope’s fill-in-the-blank invitation is available for download, right here!! For free*.

click to download the invitation

Click to download the note version

download the envelope

*Design and design elements are Free for personal use ONLY.

Thanks to How About Orange for linking to this post! If you’re new to IS•LY, welcome, welcome! Feel free to look around and as always, comments are encouraged!

Chris’s Do-it-Yourself Grandparents


Penelope and I met Tom & Peggy for the first time and it had been a few years since Chris had seen them, so it was a much needed reunion.


Chris has told me how handy his grandpa is, but I seriously had no idea how handy until Tom showed me around their [beautiful] home and pointed out everything he had made. I snapped a few photos of the Dobrusky originals. Thought you might enjoy.


Peggy showed me photos of how Tom constructed the bridge. It looked like a ton of work and absolutely beautiful.

Copper lamp and remote control holder

Chris and I knew that Tom had turned the wood of all of their lamps (from wood found in their backyard), but I was taken aback when I found out all the lampshades were made by him, too. Not one lamp was exactly the same. I was also impressed by the ingenuity of their remote control holder. I really could take some cues from Gramps’s creativity. Oh, and he made the side table too. And 4 other similar tables that were in the house.

Handmade table and chairs

Oh, and he made this table. AND chairs. I thought they were purchased. NO, no, they’re Dobrusky originals and very comfortable.

Stained Glass China Hutch

Tom really likes stained glass and I like it too, especially in this china hutch made by, yes, Tom Dobrusky. It’s just incredible to see all of the things Tom and Peggy do, all of the work they put into their home. There’s never a dull moment.

I can’t tell you how inspiring this home was! Nearly everything was hand made, even the bikes in the barn were made from scratch and I believe the golf clubs were, too! It was the motivation I need to get going on some home projects I have brewing in this brain of mine, now all I need is a home or apartment.

I had a lot of fun getting to know Chris’s grandparents, we better not wait too long for the next visit.

Fickle Face Mask Tutorial & Guest Post

0 Comment


When my husband Chris asked me on our first date, he decided that we would do dinner and plaster face masks. Chris is unique. Making face masks is the antithesis of dinner and a movie, a super-memorable first date, and terribly difficult to do with eggs. . .

Click here to view the full post at Black Eiffel.

Download the Fickle Face Masks tutorial here.
mobile site