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Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Busy B Boutique, Carnival Party, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, DD Lish, DecoArt, DIY, Economical Activities, Family, Featured, Friends, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Homemade, Memories, painting, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Party, Photography, Precious Peanut Shop, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Work From Home, Working Mom | 1 comment



Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Our daughter recently turned the big FIVE years old. Since we haven’t really given her a big party (most birthdays have been celebrated with family), we decided to throw her a big carnival bash to celebrate her wonderful self. A carnival seemed fun, easy, and affordable. In reality, it was! My husband & I made most of the games with what we had around the house as well as some inexpensive shenanigans I found at craft stores and local shops. DecoArt sponsored some of the artwork which I used to create one of the games as well as the face paint pens (um, hello?! These were right up my alley!). It helped to have a handy hubby who cut wood & nailed things together for me ;). More on this coming soon…

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In my quest to support handmade shops, I decided to incorporate different things into the party from both local and distant artisans. This is my new mission on this blog: To support handmade artisans.

Enter beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.

First, I found a phenomenal local photographer who was not only willing to come capture the party in all it’s glory, but she did so in such a swift and lovely fashion that we will likely have her photograph our family for years to come. Pamela Rayburn Photography is owned and operated by Pamela Rayburn herself. She is so kind and such fun to work with! But more on her later *hint, hint*. Just look at these gorgeous captures! (Locals, you should do yourselves a favor & look into booking her for your holiday photos!)

There were so many people involved in pulling this off properly (which happened just by the skin of our teeth!). My husband, as supportive as he is, allows me to get a little lot carried away. The kids were cooperative and had a ball dressing for the part on the day of the party and even lended a hand with decorations and games. My sister, Deidre of DD Lish yumminess, baked one heck of a cake that tasted even better than it looked, if that’s possible. My mom “voluntarily” was coaxed into cooking fresh, homemade tacos for everyone to enjoy (we did our best to serve healthy foods). My dad & best friend were roped into coloring in the signage I created that morning. My brother-in-law donated some grass seed bags from his company Crosman Seed Corp.

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Then there were the shop owners, artisans who donated their craft to put the icing on the cake!

Did you get a peek at the perfect dress & headband our little t was wearing? That was designed by me, and created in collaboration with Precious Peanut Shop. Julie was incredible to work with. But again, more on that later.

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In case you haven’t picked up on my *hints*, these beautiful shops and artisans will be featured throughout the next several months as part of our Fall Frenzy: Festive Fall Features. Stay tuned!

Then there’s the bowtie on our son & hairbow on our youngest daughter. Would you get a load of this?! Tiny Chaos made this set of bows to add to the festivities. She is amazing.

Bow by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bow by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We whipped up a photo booth with help from Busy B Boutique‘s Bethany Crocker and Nancy Topolski from Second Seed in Stitches. Bethany made some really fun photo props while Nancy crafted the “happy birthday” banner. Fantastic work-woman-ship from both ladies!! I can say it’s been so fun working with Bethany as we’re good friends as well as craft lovers. She even painted a few faces at the party. Talented Mama :)!

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

I think those that attended would all agree that C&C Bouncers stole the show with their hoppity-hooping bounce house! Shari & Ted, owners of C&C, are working on opening a great place for fun in the Finger Lakes area so locals, get ready!

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

It was just SO MUCH FUN and rose beyond expectations of our little ones. They had smiles all day long, as did their friends and family. It is always so wonderful and almost dream-like to have so many loved ones all in one place celebrating alongside us! I think we’re locked into throwing a party like this for each of our children’s fifth birthdays, and we’re totally fine with that. We’ll have to do a little more ourselves next time, but live and learn, right?!

I’m looking forward to showcasing these wonderful shops and artisans, as I’m sure you will, too. Just wait to see what’s in store for you!!

From deep inside our hearts, THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this awesome celebration. We all appreciate it so!!

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Homemade, painting, Party, peg dolls, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, sweet whimsy designs | 0 comments

What’s Going On: October 18, 2013

What’s Going On: October 18, 2013


hello & happy friday! so much going on in the world of sweet whimsy designs / The Whimsical Sweet, i thought i’d share. feature on psiadoreyou you runs through tomorrow. giveaway on ends 10/20 (which also happens to be my birthday!). craft fair at Ellwanger-Barry nursery school tomorrow 10/19 11am – 4pm (locals to Rochester NY, this should be a super fun-filled family event)! lots of holiday inventory prep & fulfilling orders left & right. upcoming giveaways from handmade shops & finally, hopefully, the blog on the big carnival bash featuring TONS of wonderful reviews and giveaways.

{i’m intentionally writing in lower case because sweet whimsy designs is for little ones. and because i’m nursing a baby and too tired to turn on auto-correct. 😉 }


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Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Christine & Co. Design, Christine & Co. Design, Creative, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Holiday Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Homemade, Jewelry, Motherhood, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Christine & Co. Design – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Christine & Co. Design – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Happy Autumnal Equinox to all our wonderful readers! With every change of season, it sure feels good to add a little something to your wardrobe. I may have just the thing for you. Christine & Co. Design creates beautiful pieces of affordable jewelry to compliment any wardrobe.


I met Christine Meyer, owner and sole artist of Christine & Co. Design, at my first Brainery Bazaar. I was drawn to her clean space set-up and super-cool ninja pendants. Once I chatted with her, I immediately felt comfortable with her gentle and joyous spirit and of course her creative mind. Oh, and I also was and still am head-over-heels for her eye-catching business cards (see photo above) which, she realizes, leaves a lasting impression with her clientele. Christine is a mom to three beautiful children, hence the name “Christine & Co.”. She says she joked about signing her name this way, toting her kids around when they were young, but in fact the joke was a reality as they were always together (a sure sign of a good mom). Christine can often be seen with her teenage daughter, who lends a hand at her shows, and there’s always laughter coming from their end (another sure sign of a SuperMom!). Somehow she manages to create fun, whimsical pieces of wearable art and clever home décor while caring for her family and home. A SuperMom indeed!

christine & co ninja

Christine & Co. Design’s glass pendants are created with “high quality acrylic paints, wonderful washi tapes, and vibrant alcohol inks”. I love an artist with an eclectic mix of media! Her glass necklace pendants are sealed with a two-part resin that is crystal clear which will allow your piece to shine & last a lifetime! Some of my favorites include the ninja pendants as well as any/all of her glass pendants like the Primary Colored Painted Glass Circle Pendant, the Color Mosaic Art on Glass Pendant, and the Yellow Moon and Stars Glass Pendant. The mother in me adores the Personalized Family Pendant! They are each unique – no two pieces are the same. That alone makes for a perfect gift for someone else but an even better gift for yourself! Christine has found a neat use for washi tape; I will admire her work for years to come if she keeps finding new ways to create. Christine & Co. definitely has something for everyone in her shop on etsy. She even makes personalized home décor gifts like subway art monograms and perpetual calendars. These make great gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people in our lives. And everything is so reasonably price, especially considering the time and work that goes into creating each piece. Isn’t everything in her shop just SO FUN?!

christine & co perpetual calendarchristine & co monogram subway art



Christine & Co. Design is providing one fortunate winner with a glass pendant necklace of their choice (up to a $30 value)! Choose from her shop – winner will be announced one week from today!

Enter to win HERE!!

What is your favorite piece by Christine and Co. Design?

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! Looking forward to hearing your favorites!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) glass pendant necklace of their choice from Christine & Co. Design (up to a $30 value). Contest begins September 23, 2013 at 12:00am and ends September 30, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, September 30, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Christine and Co. Design provided me with a glass pendant necklace in order to accurately and honestly write a review for this post. I was not compensated in any other way to feature this artist. All opinions are my own It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). I support local, handmade art and you should, too. 🙂

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Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Autumn, Cooking, Crafts, Family, Favorite Things, Food, Friends, Healthy Lifestyle, Life, Moderation, Photography, Redheads, Stay At Home Mom, Weather | 1 comment

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things:  Fall Edition

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things: Fall Edition

I love fall.  I don’t like what it signifies – death, change…those kinds of things – but I do love everything that comes with it!

Pumpkins Picking them, carving them, painting them, roasting their seeds, eating them in various ways (pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes with pecans).  Let’s face it, they’re cool!  This year each one of us chose a different colored pumpkin.  Kind of fun, no?!

Color-Changing Leaves It’s neat to drive by the same trees & see how they change each day.  What’s even more fun is when they drop from the trees in quantities enough to jump into!  The kids enjoyed raking them into huge piles with cousins this year.  Their faces were priceless as they dove in with glee!

Tavia - 2 years old

Apples Picking them, carving them (we made stamps), eating them, drinking their cider, baking with them (Apple Crisp is my fave, also applesauce to last the whole year through).  Who doesn’t enjoy a good apple?!!

Fall Crafts We have been artsing & crafting like nuts around these parts!  Cut-out masks, leaf rubbings, apple & leaf stamps, our very own “tree”, lots of printable activities via the internet, the list goes on & on.  We just can’t get enough.

Pecan Pie Incredibly indulgent & full of unhealthy ingredients…need I say more?!

Halloween 2010

Halloween From making costumes to trick-or-treating and all the dance parties in between, Halloween may very well be my favorite Hallmark Holiday.

Autumnal Light  Outdoor photography in the fall is usually some of the most beautiful, assuming you’ve captured it on a day full of sunshine.

Places To Go, People To See I’m pretty sure we’ve visited every farm, corn maze, pumpkin patch & apple grove this side of the Mississippi.  The fun never ends at these places, so look into it next year for your little ones if you haven’t already.  There are usually plenty of free activities & lots to do at little cost…bonus!

Decor  Halloween decorations are fun, but so are the colors of fall around the home.  I like to have certain seasonal decor like a rust-colored table runner, a scarecrow scattered here & there throughout the house or a few sparkly pumpkin placemats for the kids.  It changes things up a bit and makes life fun – always a priority in our lives.

Clothing  I am a redhead, fall looks good on me 🙂

Harvest Moon  Not many things in life are better than a full, round, low-lying, giant fall moon.  You know, the kind of moon that makes you glad your heart is beating.

Thanksgiving At My Parent's House, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner We are *thankful* to celebrate Thanksgiving three times each year.  Though it may be a time-crunching, hectic schedule to attend to, we get to indulge in three meals in return.  Not a bad deal!  The most scrumptious part about it?  Each of our families prepares Thanksgiving dinner in a different way, so we get a smorgasbord of tastings throughout the day.  Some of my personal favorites, besides the obvious turkey, gravy, stuffing & mashed potatoes:  mushroom caps in a wine-cream sauce, chestnut-stuffed artichokes, homemade cranberry jam, sweet yams (prepared in a way only my Grandmother can) and Yorkshire pudding (prepared in a way only my Grandmother-In-Law can!).  Can you say “YUMMMMM”?!  I never have room for dessert 🙂  Even luckier, only two dinners are served on the actual day of Thanksgiving, so the love is spread out (& our waistbands don’t expand too much on the day of)!  That is one day where my “all in moderation” philosophy is WAY out the window!

What are your favorite hints of autumn?  What do you look forward to most each year?  Do tell 🙂

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