2017 Top 10 Casual Wedding Trends I’m Loving

2017 Top 10 Casual Wedding Trends

I recently designed a wedding invitation for one of my friends and it had me in a wedding planning state of mind. So of course I started pinning wedding ideas on Pinterest and what I noticed is that I really like the ideas for creating a casual wedding. A wedding that is still put together beautifully, but nothing fussy. I think this happened because most of the ideas seemed centered around the guests, making the day not just about the bride, but everyone else too. So it becomes a day that’s enjoyable and memorable for all who attend.

Needless to say, I noticed 10 trends that will help anyone set the tone for a fun, casual and inviting wedding. I grouped them into Decor, Attire and Food. And even if you aren’t planning a wedding, I think these are nice tips for planning any party. So come dream with me.

First, the Decor

1: Casual Dining with Long Tables

I love me a long, rustic table, so it’s nice to see they are becoming more and more a wedding norm. Right away, it sets the tone for a casual, yet elegant, event. And why long tables? The long tables make it easier to use inexpensive items—random bottles, greenery and candles—because they can cascade casually down the center of your table and still make a big impact. That feel is harder to create using round tables that need one main focal point.

2: Succulents, Succulents and More Succulents

I love that succulents are being incorporated into centerpieces, wedding bouquets, boutonnieres and place cards. They are instantly whimsical and are a great choice if you’re trying to DIY your wedding because they are affordable and can be purchased and put together weeks ahead of time.

3: Juliet Roses for the Splurge

Have you ever met a more romantic flower than the Juliet Rose? If you don’t know which one it is, it’s the peach, multi-petal rose in the pictures above. Now, these are not cheap. They’ll cost you about $10-15 a stem—yikes, I know—but they sure do bring the wow factor. If going casual with everything else, perhaps you can find it in your budget to splurge on a few of these amazing blooms.

Now, the Attire

4: Off-the-Shoulder Wedding Dresses

There’s something so charming about the look of the off-the-shoulder strap on these dresses. It just lends perfectly to all the other casual details.

5: Suits Instead of Tuxes

Let’s face it, if everything for your day is saying, “Let’s have fun,” do you really want the guys dressed in tuxes that they dread? I say, have them rent amazing suits that may still not be as comfortable as board shorts or jeans, but a stylish compromise. I’m really loving the tan and light gray suit choices. Check out The Black Tux for more ideas and suit rental options!

6: Accessories for Men

We tend to spend most of our time thinking about what the bride and bridesmaids are wearing, but there are so many stylish details now available for men. So have fun with it and think about including patterns for the tie, bow tie or even a pocket square. And these details will pay off because when you accessorize the men, it means they will still look dapper even when the coats come off. Insuring your pictures look nice all night long.

And the Last 4 are Centered Around Food

7: Pre-Wedding Refreshments

Let’s face it, weddings don’t always run on time. Or even if they do, dinner never seems to be served on time, leaving guests starving. And having hangry guests is no bueno. Therefore, I’m all about serving pre-wedding refreshments. Greeting guests with cocktails and snacks before the ceremony is sure to have them smiling and saying, “This is the best wedding, ever!” before you even say, “I do.”

8: Wedding Food Trucks

Living in Southern California, I’ve always said I would just hire a taco guy for my wedding and now that food trucks are all the rage, that’s not sounding so crazy any more. Whether it’s for your main course, your bar or your desserts, food trucks are a charming way to not just stay casual but be hip at the same time.

9: Say Goodbye to Fondant

From naked cakes to beautiful buttercream, say goodbye to fondant and hello to gorgeous cakes that will wow with their simplicity.

10: Late-Night Snacks

Okay, maybe I’m obsessed about food, but at the end of a wedding, and after all that dancing, you know you’re starving. That’s why the late-night snack trend is right up my alley. And I must admit, I like the salty treat ideas—like pretzels, popcorn, hamburgers and pizza—a little more than I do sweets like donuts. If you want sweets, get seconds on cake 😉

So those are my Top 10 Casual Wedding Trends for 2017. What about you? What trends are you loving? Do you like these casual trends or do you prefer a more formal event? Let me know in the comments.

Cocktail Recipe: Paloma

Cocktail Recipes: Paloma = Tequila and Grapefruit!

I’m always looking for a new cocktail to try and when I was on Pinterest on Cinco de Mayo, Paloma recipes kept popping up left and right so I thought I would give it a try. I ove Greyhounds which are vodka and grapefruit juice so I figured I had to like this which sounded similar but with tequila. There are a few other differences: Palomas call for a splash of lime, a little sugar and club soda. I don’t usually have club soda, but I always have sparkling water. So I used La Croix (Is this anyone else’s favorite sparkling water?) and let me tell you, this bad boy was delicious. It’s so light and refreshing, I know I will be enjoying these all summer.

I highly recommend that you use fresh squeezed juice. I know this adds a little extra time, but it reduces the amount of sugar and artificial flavors plus I think it’s why the drink seems so light. In addition, I highly recommend the salt rim. It really added to the taste of the drink.


Makes 1 serving

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup (You could also use a teaspoon of sugar or other sugar substitute)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) tequila
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) sparkling water or club soda (I used La Croix in Apricot and it was fab, next time hopefully I have their Grapefruit flavor on hand)
  • Margarita salt (optional rim, but highly recommended)
  • Grapefruit zest (optional rim)
  • Lime slices (optional garnish)
  • Ice


To rim glass, combine margarita salt with some grapefruit zest. Using a lowball glass, wipe a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and then dip your glass in the salt/zest mixture.

In your rimmed glass, combine grapefruit juice, lime juice and agave syrup. Once syrup is dissolved stir in tequila. Fill your glass with ice and then top with sparkling water/club soda. Add a lime slice for garnish and enjoy!

Last-Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

Do you let yourself have fun with your home decor for holidays like Cinco de Mayo? I didn’t have anything planned this year, but came across this classic Mexican Papel Picado banner I bought last year and thought, “I can do something with this!” And so I did.

I love the look of Mexican folk art made with Papel Picado and while this banner is a cheap rendition, I think it made for charming last-minute decorations for the day. And the banner only cost $3.99 from Party City. So for very little money and very little time, I created something that has very BIG visual impact. It sets the tone perfectly for enjoying margaritas, guacamole and perhaps a taco or two or three! Don’t you think?


These DIY Papel Picado Luminaries are so easy, they really don’t even need a write up because they are basically self explanatory. But I know it’s nice to have instructions so see below for the exact materials (including a link to the banner) and how-to.

DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decoarations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries


  • Papel Picado Pennant Banner (I used the Del Sol Flag Pennant Banner from Party City)
  • Glass Jars (use a variety of mason jars or recycled jars)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Tea lights or votive candles

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

Cut off an individual pennant from the banner.

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decoration: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

Wrap the pennant around a glass jar and tape in place using your double-sided tape.  This jar was slightly too wide, but it was okay as once you group your luminaries together, you won’t even notice it. I also kept the paper for this one taller than the jar, but for others I cut the paper to the height of the jar. (The material for these banners is like a plastic coated paper so easy to cut.)

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

For smaller jars, you’ll want to cut your paper to the height of your jar and then attach to your jar.

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries & Vases

Use as luminaries by adding a tea light. Or use as a vase and add fresh flowers. It’s up to you! They would look perfect if you made enough for going down the length of a dining table. I just may have to do just that 😉

Last Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

I then decided to hang up the remaining pennants for a festive display. And just like that,  I’m ready for Cinco de Mayo! Well I do need to go grocery shopping for the margaritas and tacos, but at least I’m now in a festive mood.

Last-Minute Cinco de Mayo Decorations: DIY Papel Picado Luminaries

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favor with FREE Printable

Yes, I jumped on the macaron bandwagon and I’m not sorry. They come in perfect Easter egg colors so it seamed like just the right time to jump on board. The results are pretty darn cute. I mean, how darling are these Easter bunny favors? They make me smile and thanks to Oriental Trading, they are super easy to create.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

In order to make these, you’ll have to order the Bunny Favor Container via Oriental Trading. They are super affordable (right now on sale for under $2.50 for 12) and they are the perfect size for a macaron. How lucky, right?! Then all I did was embellish them with my FREE Easter Flags Printable and flowers.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favor with FREE Easter Printable



DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favor with FREE Easter Printable

Attach Easter flag. First you’ll need to download and print my FREE Easter Flags Printable. The flags were created to add to straws so you’ll only want to use half of a flag per bunny. Be sure to cut in “half” close to where the writing stops on the other side so you have extra room for your flowers to overlap your flag. You’ll then use double-sided tape to attach your flag to your bunny. Make sure that you only tape to the round, front circle of your Bunny Container (and not to the ears) so that you can still open your container.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favor with FREE Easter Printable

Attach leaves. I used faux Lambs Ear for the leaves. Use two small leaves and one medium leaf. I was able to make 4 containers per lambs ear stem because most of the leaves are large. Attach using your hot glue gun. Again, remember to only glue to the front circle piece and not on the ears so that you can still open your container.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favor with FREE Printable

Attach flower. I then glued on one flower to each bunny.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

Remove “tail” from front and add to back. You’ll notice that the bunny container comes with a white ball attached to the front. These easily peel off and then I added them to the back using the hot glue gun.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

Fill with your favorite treat. I used macarons, but you could use any Easter treat. Macarons are readily available right now thanks to them being a trend to have at weddings so just google to find a bakery with them in your area.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

They fit perfectly in an Easter basket for presenting to guests.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

Or place one at each place setting. They look great with our DIY Easter Party Straws.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

Don’t have time for making the favors, just pile these delicious treats on your favorite serving dish and enjoy. They are like little Easter eggs in cookie form.

DIY Macaron Easter Bunny Favors with FREE Printable

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. I’ve been having so much fun creating this season. Be sure to see my Easter Table, DIY Easter Basket Animals and DIY Easter Party Straws.

A special thank you to Oriental Trading for sending me the Bunny Favor Containers, I could not be happier with how they turned out. 

FREE Easter Printable & DIY Party Straws

FREE Easter Flags Printable and DIY Party Straws via Tonality Designs

A party printable is an a fun, affordable, fast and even last-minute way to add a little character to any gathering. I created the FREE Easter Flags Printable as an easy way to embellish your party straws or use as toppers for your dessert. However you use them, the first step is downloading your FREE file! I hope you enjoy them.

FREE Easter Flags Printable and DIY Party Straws via Tonality Designs

Be sure to download your FREE PDF file. Then print your file on white cardstock and cut out each flag using a ruler and craft knife or scissors.

FREE Easter Flags Printable and DIY Party Straws via Tonality Designs

If using on party straws, I used silver paper party straws (find similar ones here) and then folded each flag and attached to a straw using double-sided tape (you can also use glue).

FREE Easter Flag Printable and DIY Party Straws via Tonality Designs

Before adding the flags, I also attached a faux flower and then covered the stem of each flower with the flag. Adds a little extra charm.

FREE Easter Flag Printable and DIY Party Straws via Tonality Designs

So how will you use your FREE Easter Flags? I’d love to see what you do so be sure to share your pictures on Instagram and tag me (@tonalitydesigns). I often share my favorite pictures on my account.

4 Tips for Setting Your Easter Table

Easter Tablescape with Blooming Easter Basket and DIY Easter Basket Animals

Easter is a family affair so when setting the table I like to think of things that will appeal to both kids and adults. So how do I do that?

Sometimes it works best to set a special kid table. The kid table usually exudes a little more “fun” and features a special activity to keep the kids occupied. If going this route, the key is to keep the color scheme the same for both tables so that they still go together. I invite you to see my kid table and adult table from last year for inspiration.

However, sometimes it’s nice to sit altogether. And guess what? Sometimes us adults need to let go of the fussy and have a little fun too! So that was my intent this year. The idea was to set a table where we could both eat and do a fun activity as a whole family. As for the activity, I decided to go with a classic Easter craft—dying Easter eggs of course. The look of the table stayed sophisticated for the adults yet had whimsical touches like the DIY Easter Basket Animals for the kids. All-in-all, I think it’s a table that’s sure to bring a smile to all who gather.

Here are 4 tips for creating a pretty table. 

1: Create a Neutral “Canvas”

Setting an Easter Table for Both Kids and Adults

If you’ve been following me for long, you know I like to set a table using white linens, even if I’m using plastic tablecloths and plates. It creates a neutral “canvas” for everything else to pop.

Easter Table Perfect for Both Kids and Adults

Here I used white plastic tablecloths because we would be dying Easter eggs. My trick when using plastic tablecloths—double up. Use two tablecloths so that the plastic drapes down longer on both sides of the table. This not only hides the legs better, but also prevents your tablecloth from flying up as much. Then at each place setting I used a neutral, woven placemat from Ikea and topped it with a white, ribbed-edge plate from Oriental Trading. I finished it with a quilted mason jar with a gold or silver party straw, Easter napkin, and clear plastic cutlery.

2: Set the Tone with Your Centerpiece

Easter Tablescape with Blooming Easter Basket

The centerpiece sets the tone for your table. Here I create DIY Blooming Easter Baskets. I took a classic Easter basket and filled it with colorful spring blooms. I kept the arrangement very simple and used white lilacs (that smell amazing) and a variety of ranunculus.

DIY Easter Baskets

I found the Easter baskets in Oriental Trading’s Easter Collection. They are the perfect size and shape, plus so affordable. You get 12 baskets for the price of what one basket usually costs. However, I wanted white baskets. Good thing, spray paint can fix anything.

DIY White Easter Baskets with Colorful Insides

I set up a “spray booth” by using the box the baskets came in.

DIY White Easter Baskets with Colorful Insides

I decided I wanted to create white baskets with colorful insides so I sprayed ONLY the outside of the baskets, keeping the handles and inside of the baskets the original color (although one I did spray the whole thing). Then once dry, I used white acrylic paint to paint the outside of each handle so that only the insides of the basket were the fun accent color.


I then filled one of my DIYed baskets with flowers. I used floral oasis for this arrangement. First, I lined the basket with a plastic bag and placed a Tupperware bowl inside. I then put a piece of soaked floral oasis in the Tupperware bowl. This made it easy to arrange the flowers. I first stuck in the white lilac as a base for the arrangement and once happy with that, I added the ranunculus. I love this combination because it looks so whimsical and just perfectly spring to me. And you still can catch a glimpse of the original yellow basket on the inside of the handle.

And if you don’t feel confident in your floral arranging skills—just take your basket to your local florist. Show them a picture of my basket and I’m sure your florist will create something even better!

3: Include Something Whimsical Like DIY Easter Basket Animals

Easter Tablescape with DIY Easter Basket Animals

I wanted everyone to be able to take home the eggs they decorated so I got chipwood baskets from Oriental Trading that I then embellished to be different Easter animals.

Easter Table with DIY Easter Basket Animals

I filled each basket with white paper grass and white hardboiled eggs ready to be dyed.

Easter Tablescape with DIY Easter Basket Animals

Be sure to check out the full tutorial for the DIY Easter Basket Animals (post here). I have instructions for creating an Easter bunny, chick and lamb.

After you’re done eating, you can then clear the plates and bring out the stuff for dying the Easter eggs. Of course you could make the activity only for the kids, but I think there is something magical when you get the adults involved too.

4: Remember, You Can Keep It Simple

Setting an Easter Table for Both Kids and Adults

I recommend only doing one or two DIY projects for your party so you don’t overwhelm yourself. I put all my focus on only two DIYs: the centerpiece and the DIY Easter Basket Animals. The rest was just stuff I had or got as-is at Oriental Trading or Target.

DIY Bloom Easter Basket

I hope this inspired you. In my next post I’ll provide some other simple Easter ideas, including a FREE printable and favor idea, so stay tuned!

A special thank you to Oriental Trading for sending me items used in this post. They have a great assortment of Easter goodies on their site and I highly recommend you take a peek.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Simple Chipwood Baskets from Oriental Trading get an Easter makeover! Get the tutorial via Tonality Designs.

Okay folks, this is the first of many Easter projects I have underway and I must say, I’m smitten! If you follow me on Instagram, I showed in my stories my process of making these. I also shared a “sneak peek” picture and the response has been overwhelming. They’ve already been featured by Oriental Trading and others, all before I have even shown them in use. And trust me, if you think they can’t get cuter—they can! Needless to say, I’m so excited to share the easy how-to with you now.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Simple Chipwood Baskets from Oriental Trading get an Easter makeover! Get the tutorial via Tonality Designs.

The inspiration for the project were Chipwood Baskets that I found on Oriental Trading. I loved their natural finish, size and simple-casual feel. They are also super affordable. You get 12 for $6.99. I immediately could picture them on my Easter table. I figured I’d use one at each place setting to hold Easter eggs. I thought they would even be cute as is, but then my imagination took over!

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!

I thought of the bunny first, but I’ve featured bunnies for Easter a lot in the past so I decided I needed to think of two more animals. Naturally, a chick and lamb came to mind and, frankly, I really liked the idea of using feathers! For the bunny and lamb, I wanted the ears to look like they were part of the basket so I used thin basswood (available at craft stores) and even though the wood doesn’t match perfectly, you can barely tell and I think this detail is what makes them look professional and a little less like a craft. Always my goal when doing these things.

So let’s just get to it.


  • Chipwood Baskets (Available at Oriental Trading)
  • Basswood 3/16″ x 4″ x 36″ – for the bunny and lamb (Available at craft stores like Jo-Ann Fabrics)
  • Faux Flowers (Flowers should have a 1″ or smaller diameter. Pick a variety of colors. I used yellow, white and shades of pink. For the leaves, you can use any faux leaves, I just used the green fringe leaves that were part of one of the flowers.)
  • Yellow Feathers – for the chick
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Acrylic Paint (black, pink, white and orange)
  • Fine and medium paint brushes
  • Craft knife


For Bunny

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

Cut Out Ears: Using a pencil, draw two bunny ears on your basswood (I will follow up with a template, so message me if you need it). Using your craft knife, cut out the two bunny ears.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

Paint Insides of Ears: Create the insides of the bunny ears using your medium paint brush and your pink and white paint. I like using both to create a little dimension. For a lighter, water color effect, just use more water.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

Glue Ears to Basket: Once your paint is dry (doesn’t take long), glue ears to the inside rim of your chipwood basket. After the ears are in place, glue on your flowers to the front rim. Note: it makes it easier if you first glue on your leaves and then layer on the flowers on top.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

Add Face: I suggest lightly drawing your face first with a pencil to get the correct placement. When you are ready to paint, make sure you don’t add too much water or your paint will bleed. Try practicing first on the basswood to get a feel for your brush and paint.

For my bunny faces, I painted two black oval eyes set wide apart. I then painted the pink nose. Using a little more water, I then added light pink cheeks. Once the paint was dry, I outlined the bottom of the nose with black and added the black mouth. The last step was adding two small white dots to the eyes and white lines for the whiskers.

For the Lamb

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

Similar to the bunny, you cut out two lamb ears from the Basswood and paint the pink insides. The ears then get glued to the front of the chipwood basket. Next, add the flowers and leaves. For the face, it was similar to the bunny, but I made the eyes closer together and didn’t do the cheeks or whiskers.

For the Chick

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

Are you ready for some feather fun! The yellow bag of feathers I got from Jo-Ann Fabric had many shades of yellow that really added extra dimension to the chicks.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

You’ll want to make sure that you add the feathers so that they curve backwards toward the rest of the basket and not out towards you. I slipped them into the corner slots and glued them to the inside of the basket. Please message me if you have any questions.

Once done with the wings, I added two small feathers to the top before adding the flowers. I then added the flowers similar to the bunny and lamb.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

And then you paint the face. I painted black oval eyes like the bunny and lamb. (Note how you can also add eyelashes! There really are no rules.)  I then mixed my orange with some of the pink paint to create a darker orange. I used this for the bottom/opening of the beak. Once that was dry, I added the top orange triangle. And don’t forget to add small white dots to the eyes.

DIY Easter Basket Animals: Easter Bunnies and Chicks and Lambs, Oh My!: How-to Tutorial via Tonality Designs

In my next post, I’ll show you how (and why) I created these cuties as well as this fun Blooming Easter Basket (basket from Oriental Trading, I just painted the outside white).

A special thank you to Oriental Trading for sending me products to use in this post. They are only some of the great finds they have in their Easter collection and I’ll be showing more of my finds from them in the next couple of posts leading up to Easter. 

St. Patrick’s Day “Lucky” Tags FREE Printable

FREE St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is Friday and one thing I love to do is design party printables for holidays and events. I personally love printables not only because I can customize the colors and sayings to be just what I want, but I also get to provide the files for others to use. And what’s really great about PDF printables: They are always quick, affordable and an easy last-minute decoration. Plus, often it’s the only decor touch you need for a day like St. Paddy’s Day.

So be sure to download the FREE St. Patrick’s Day “Lucky” Tags here. Below, I show two uses: 1) drinking glass tags and 2) dessert toppers. Enjoy!

FREE St Patrick's Day

First, you’ll need to download the FREE St. Patrick’s Day “Lucky” Tags here. The file is a 8.5 x 11 PDF that you can download and print as many copies at home or a place like Staples. All I ask is you don’t sell the goods you make, don’t distribute the file or use any of the artwork as your own. Please also give credit to Tonality Designs for any photos used online or in social media.

You can use the tags for a variety of uses, but below I give you two examples.

Drinking Glass Tags

FREE St Patrick's Day

For the drinking glasses, I printed the file on regular paper and then attached each tag to a quilted mason jar using double-sided tape.

FREE St. Patrick's Day Lucky Tags Printable and Green Beer

I decided to serve a St. Patrick’s day classic—Green Beer. All you need is green food coloring and your favorite beer. I added 1 drop of green food coloring to the glass and then poured the beer. Make sure you put the food coloring in first because it will naturally mix when you pour your beer into the glass.

FREE St. Patrick's Day Lucky Tags Printable and Green Beer

FREE St. Patrick's Day Lucky Tags Printable

Not into beer, you can pretty much add food coloring to any drink so serve milk, Sprite, water… Or I served wine too and kept it the natural golden color. Are there really any rules when you’re having fun?

Dessert Toppers

St Patrick's Day FREE Printable Tags

For dessert toppers I suggest printing the file on heavy white cardstock. I think the weight of the cardstock helps make sure your toppers are sturdy enough. Also, I often use two tags per topper so that the topper is double-sided; therefore, looks good from all sides.

St Patrick's Day FREE Printable Tags

I attached each tag to a party straw and on some added gold tissue paper tassels as well.

St Patrick's Day FREE Printable Tags

And then I wanted something really easy to serve, so although I don’t know how Irish mint chocolate chip ice cream is, but the color seemed perfect. I’m sure you could also add toppers to your corned beef and cabbage or Irish soda bread (wink)!

St Patrick's Day FREE Printable Tags

Matching Banner Also Available

St Patrick's Day

I also created a Lucky! Banner that is available as an instant download on my Etsy site.

St Patrick's Day Lucky Banner via Tonality Designs

I simply printed the 3-page PDF file on white cardstock and then strung together on white rope and also added tissue paper tassels.

St Patrick's Day Lucky Banner and FREE Lucky Tags

The banner made for a nice backdrop for the drink and dessert bar.


Be sure to download the FREE Lucky Tags and also check out Etsy for the Lucky! Banner.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up Cocktail Recipe

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

As signs of spring start to bring hope for warmer days, I know winter is still something a lot of you are dealing with. In the dead days of winter, I can say I’m happy I moved to California where anything below 50 is freezing. Yet, we have had many cool and rainy days this winter (we may even be out of the severe drought), so I can sympathize—a little. I also grew up in Ohio and every year spend a month during the winter there so I do know what snow days look like and can firmly say I am not a fan of seasons (insert winking emoji here).

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

But one really great thing about winter—citrus fruit! Tell me you don’t love when Cuties and Halos hit the grocery stores in droves. One thing I’ve always been confused about is the difference between mandarins, tangerines and clementines. So I googled it and it turns out that mandarin oranges are a type of fruit and tangerines and clementines are just two mandarin orange varieties. And when you buy Cuties or Halos, you are getting different types of mandarin oranges depending on what type is currently in season. Currently we are in the final days of the mandarin orange growing season and are most likely buying the Murcott variety. Did I loose any of you already? Probably, but the nerdy side of me found this kind of interesting. And hopefully I wasn’t alone in not knowing what is probably common knowledge for most.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

This juicer by Jareware is my favorite. It attaches to any wide-mouth mason jar and the built-in strainer catches all the pulp and seeds, letting only the juice into the jar. It’s super easy to use, clean and store. I found mine at World Market and for only $6 it’s a must have.

While grocery shopping recently, all the citrus fruit seemed to just jump into my cart. I had bags of mandarins, lemons, limes… But could you blame me? The vibrant yellows, oranges and greens just looked so happy and fresh. Yet, being that I live alone, I needed to come up with some ways to use it all before it went bad. And what better way to use up your fruit than in a tasty cocktail? So I went to Pinterest and looked up cocktail recipes and there were actually lots of Gin and Vodka recipes. They were mostly takes on a Gin Fizz or a Screwdriver, so I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong combining fresh squeezed mandarin juice with anything I had in my liquor cabinet. And my favorite recipe was one by Two Tarts so that’s what I aimed for creating (see original recipe here).

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

My only regret in making this cocktail: not thinking to do it at the beginning of mandarin orange season! Seriously, this is so good. A real pick-me-up for the winter blues too! I truly believe the fresh squeezed juice makes all the difference. And what’s really great about this recipe is you can make it for one drink or scale it and make a whole pitcher for a party.


For Drink

  • About 2-3 oz (1/3 Cup) fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice (about 3-4 mandarin oranges, any variety)
  • 1 oz (1/8 cup) fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice (about 1 small Meyer lemon)
  • 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
  • 2 ounces Vodka
  • Ice

For Sugar Rim & Garnish (Optional)

  • Sugar sprinkles
  • Lemon and mandarin orange zest
  • Candied 0range slices (Available at most grocery stores with dried fruit, I found mine at Trader Joes)
  • Fresh mint


Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

To rim glass (optional): Pour sugar sprinkles onto a small plate or shallow bowl. Zest both the Meyer lemon and mandarin orange into your sugar sprinkles until there is a nice mix of color within your sugar.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

Rim your glass with fruit juice by wiping a slice of the lemon or orange around the rim. Then dip your glass in the sprinkle mixture.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

For drink: Fill your glass with ice. Combine mandarin orange juice, lemon juice, triple sec and vodka. If making more than one drink, mix your ingredients in a shaker or pitcher and then pour into glasses.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

For garnish: Add candied orange and a piece of fresh mint or other green herb for added flair.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

I served my drink in a quilted mason jar, but it fits in a classic lowball glass.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

The mint wasn’t intended to change the taste of the drink, but it looks so pretty. And the smell does add to the experience.

Cocktails: Winter Citrus Pick-Me-Up

Cheers to seasonal fruit and the change of seasons as this sweet drink will surely welcome spring!

DIY Emotional Baggage Tote with DIY Valentine’s Day Notebooks Too

DIY Emotional Baggage Tote with FREE Heat Transfer PDF Download

We all got it so we might as well flaunt it! With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought this may just be a cute way to remind us to not take ourselves, or our baggage, too seriously. And don’t you just love a good tongue-in-cheek design? They always make me smile.

DIY Emotional Baggage Tote with FREE Heat Transfer Download

I thought this tote would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift or birthday present. And the gift ideas don’t stop with the tote. Why not fill your Emotional Baggage with your actual emotions and make some DIY Love Notebooks? So let’s get right to it and dive into the simple instructions.

DIY Emotional Baggage Tote


  • FREE Emotional Baggage Heat Transfer Printable – Download the 8.5 x 11″ PDF file here.
  • White Canvas Tote or Other Cotton Bag (The 13.5″ tote I used is available at Hobby Lobby & Michaels, they are sold in a set of 3 and I used a 40% off coupon so each bag was under $2 each)
  • Heat Transfer/Iron On Sheets (Again available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc.; and again, use a coupon so that you save)
  • Iron
  • Scissors


DIY Emotional Baggage Tote with FREE Heat Transfer PDF Download

  1. Download and print your FREE Emotional Baggage Heat Transfer Printable on your heat transfer/iron on paper. I created the printable so that the design was already “mirrored” so you don’t have to worry about doing that step when you print.
    DIY Emotional Baggage Tote
  2. Cut out heart and center on bag.
    DIY Emotional Baggage Tote with FREE Printable
  3. Iron onto bag according to instructions on the package. Once cool, remove backing paper and enjoy your customized tote!

Now Let’s Fill that Bag

DIY Emotional Baggage Tote with DIY Valentine's Day/Love Notebooks

I thought adding notebooks to the bag would make for a really cute gift.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards and Notebooks

I bought a couple Kraft paper notebooks from Target as well as a few floral designs. I then printed my Valentine’s Day Cards (available in my Etsy Shop) to attach to the notebooks. The cards are each 4″ x 6″ and print two per 8.5″ x 11″ page. You can download the file on Etsy for just $5 and print as many cards as you may need. File includes all four designs.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards and Notebooks

For the Kraft paper notebooks, I attached the cards permanently using double-sided tape.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards and Notebooks

For the floral notebooks, I attached the cards temporarily using cute stationary clips.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards and Notebooks

DIY Emotional Baggage Tote and DIY Valentine's Day Cards and Notebooks

You could also add your favorite book to your tote. If you haven’t read All the Light We Cannot See, I highly recommend it.

And that’s it. What will you fill your bag with? All I know is I plan to carry my Emotional Baggage with pride!