Galentine’s Brunch Turned Planting Party and Valentine’s Day Printables

Galentine's Day Party with FREE Valentine's Day Printables

So I’m now following up from Part I of my Galentine’s Brunch (see post here) to share with you the idea of turning your brunch into a “Planting Party.” My friends are always asking me to host a craft or DIY party, but I’m always hesitant as 1) crafts can cost a lot and 2) they can take a lot of prep work. So as a compromise, I thought guests could make a pretty succulent arrangement. Everyone loves them and it’s something we don’t always take the time to make for ourselves. Plus, this would make for a cute Valentine’s Day gift. I mean, even guys like plants, right? Well, at least they should, and the FREE printable I created should make anyone smile.

I don’t really take anything too seriously in life, especially parties, so I always like to have some elements that make my guests smile—and maybe even laugh. So that was my goal with the “Plant One On Me” lip tags. Who doesn’t like a clever double entendre? Golly, it just makes me smile it’s so dang cute, if I do say so myself. (If one can’t enjoy their own creations then that’s just sad.)

So, that said, here are the details for turning your brunch into a planting party. I had Valentine’s Day in mind, but this would be great activity for a bridal shower as well.

Planting Party Made Simple

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

What You’ll Need

  1. A pot for each guest. I picked these cute galvanized buckets from Oriental Trading. I love them because they are totally on trend right now, they go with any decor and they are super affordable. These pots are sold in a set of 6 for $17.99 – so that’s only $3 a pot. Terra cotta pots would also be a very affordable and cute option.
  2. A variety of succulents or other plants. I live in Southern California so the local nurseries and Home Depot have succulents year round. If you live somewhere where succulents aren’t available, do any mixture of flowers that you like. Guests will have fun with whatever you pick. Buy enough plants so that each guest will be able to fill the pot size you picked.
  3. Soil. Depending on your pot size, you will need extra soil for your guests to fill the pots. Note: they have specific soil if doing succulents.
  4. A couple shovels. Guests can share these and really a lot of the work is done by hand anyways.
  5. The FREE “Plant One On Me” Printable! Of course this is optional, but I think it is what makes this project so perfect for Valentine’s Day.
  6. Clothespins. This is only if you’re doing the Plant One On Me printables so you can attach the tag to each pot.
  7. Valentine’s Day Planting Party Signs – if doing the party, this free printable is also ideal.
How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

Part I, the brunch portion of my party, used a flower centerpiece and I had the succulents waiting in the wings. (See them in the background?) However, you’ll see you don’t need the flowers—I just really wanted them!

Do the Planting After Guests Eat

I decided that instead of setting up two tables (one to eat and another to plant) I would just use the same table. I happened to have a flower centerpiece for my brunch, so I removed that and then put out the succulents; however, if you don’t have flowers just set your brunch table with the succulents/plants to start. They are so pretty just as is. However, regardless on if you use the succulents at the beginning of your party or later, if serving food do it first. Once you are done eating, you can clear your table and put out what you need for the planting. This gets messy, so you wouldn’t want to eat on your table afterwards. I had the succulents just waiting on the buffet table and then put everything out as “part II” of the party.

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

Setting Up the Table

This set up took me no time at all. I promise. It’s so very doable.

Use your plants as a “runner” down the table. I put three galvanized trays down the center of the table and then put the succulent pots out at random. I used the containers the pots originally came in even though they were black (because remember, I wanted this to be very little prep) and honestly, they looked super cute. And if you don’t have the trays, place a pretty runner down the center of your table, even craft paper would be really cute. The runner just helps anchor the plants and gives it a polished look. (Also note, I used plastic tablecloths because the table gets messy.)

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

Add heart balloons. To add to the Valentine’s Day feel, I added 4 mini heart balloons to the succulents at random. The balloons come with white sticks, but I dressed them up by just putting a paper straw over each white stick. I just love little details like that.

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

Add planting party signs. I designed two party signs (Love Grows Here and I Dig You) that you can download to print at home or at a printer like FedEx Office or Staples. Each sign is 4″ x 6″ and I put them in white frames I got at Ikea (for only $1 each). The frames are double-sided so perfect to use on a table where guests will be seated on both sides. And since they are a neutral white, I keep them on hand to use at any party. I created the signs in both red and pink, so the PDF is 2 pages. Just download the printable here and then print on 8.5 x 11″ paper and trim to size to put in frames.

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

Put a pot at each seat. I used a round woven placemat at each seat and then put the galvanized pot with a “Plant One On Me” Lip Tag clipped on with a clothespin. You can download the FREE printable here. Just print on 8.5 x 11″ card stock and then cut out each lip. I don’t have a fancy cutter so I leave about an 1/8″ white border around the lip as I cut. I’ve found this technique hides the flaws and makes it look better than trying to cut out exactly on the line. And I kind of like the white border, but of course do what makes you happy!

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

Then have your guests plant. Have the extra soil & shovels either off to the side (like on what you used for the buffet table) or on the main table; whatever you find works best. You really only need it at the beginning of planting and sometimes it’s good to move around.

Galentine's Brunch turned Planting Party for Valentines Day with FREE Party Printables

I truly hope you’ve enjoyed my Galentine’s Day Brunch and Planting Party ideas as I sure had a fun time dreaming them up! I wish you all the happiest of Valentine’s Days and hope you feel loved this season no matter your relationship status. I personally know how hard it is to be single or in a struggling relationship, so if that is you right now, I strongly encourage you not to hide from Valentine’s Day and instead kick Valentine’s butt by hosting a Galentine’s Day Party. Although it takes courage, there is nothing more healing than surrounding yourself with friends and family that will love on you no matter what!

A strong thank you to Oriental Trading who provided items for me to use for my Galentine’s Brunch. If you missed Part I you can see it here. All the opinions I stated are my own and I get NO profit if you purchase any items through links on my site.

How to Throw a Galentine’s Brunch for Valentine’s Day

Galentine's Day Party Ideas for Valentine's Day via Tonality Designs

I’m not always into trends, but the ever popular Galentine’s Day is one trend I’m happy to get on board and celebrate. As the name would suggest, Galentine’s Day is a chance to celebrate all the gals in your life—all your friendships! It’s almost like a bridal shower but there is no bride and everyone is the guest of honor. It actually originated with Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation (boy do I miss that show). Leslie said, “What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!” To learn more about why this made-up holiday is so awesome, check out this Buzz Feed article (you’ll get a good laugh).

I love this alternative way to celebrate Valentine’s Day for a few reasons:

  1. Single gals tend to dread Valentine’s Day and in response have done “anti-Valentine’s” day parties, yet that approach is a bit negative for me. Even though single, I’m not anti love. This is a way to lift up everyone.
  2. You can include all your friends, not just the single gals.
  3. It’s the perfect excuse to have a get together. Who doesn’t like girl time?

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

Okay, now onto the party details

Inspired by Leslie Knope’s original idea, I planned a brunch and I wanted it to be as girly as possible so the colors are pink, on pink, on pink, on red! I also wanted there to be an activity because my friends are always asking me to throw a craft/DIY party. I figured once done eating, why not turn the main table into a planting station so each girl could take home a lovely potted plant of their creation. Here are the details for the brunch and I’ll follow up this post with all the details about the planting activity.

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

It’s all centered around the flowers

It started with the flower box. Oriental Trading actually contacted me to do a Valentine’s post and so I got to hand pick some of their items to use for this party! I will give you a full overview of the products I used at the end of the article, but while first searching their website I fell in love with the DIY Flower Box Centerpiece as well as some galvanized pots so I knew my design choices would be centered around using them.


The box was cute as is, but even the product name says “DIY” so I knew I needed to embellish it some how and I’m so glad I did. My friend Whit of Just the Frosting creates custom vinyl decals and while I was looking through her products on Etsy I discovered this love arrow and the rest was history. It’s honestly my favorite detail and I have the complete DIY tutorial here. You’ll be shocked at how easy this is!

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

And now let’s talk flowers! I get a high when my vision comes together, and these flowers have me feeling all kinds of wonderful. They became a reality thanks to my friend Monica of Twig and Vine Florals. I usually do all my own flowers, but this box is massive and I wasn’t sure I would be able to accomplish my vision on my own. So I contacted Monica and sent her some inspirational photos. She was then gracious enough to have me over to not only put the arrangement together, but to give me a tutorial on how to build a large arrangement using oasis floral foam. The tutorial quickly turned into fun girl time and I forgot to take pictures of all the steps, but I’m excited to now attempt some harder arrangements. Plus I can say I did “help” with this beauty. Haha, it’s all thanks to Monica’s talents. If you live in Whittier, CA or surrounding LA and OC areas, I highly recommend her for your next event!

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

I keep it real and use paper goods

Sorry if you are a firm believer in using all “real” plates, napkins, etc., but paper goods just make everything cheaper and easier—especially clean up! The problem is that a lot of time paper goods can look really cheesy, but here are a couple tips to keep it classy:

  1. Pick solid colors or simple patterns in one or two colors. And more often than not, white is always a good choice. Here I really wanted my flowers to stand out, so if I had used pink and red table clothes, plates and silverware, it would have taken away from their beauty. So instead I picked all white, using white plastic tablecloths, white plastic dinner plates with a pretty ribbed detail (they look real) and clear plastic silverware. I then did use pink cloth napkins, but they too pop with all the white.
  2. Don’t use all paper goods. I like to mix in some “real” non-throwaway items with my paper goods. So for example, here I used real napkins and quilted mason jars for glasses.
  3. When using plastic tablecloths, double up! Seeing the legs of folding tables can be so well…ugh! So to fix this eye sore, I simply use two plastic tablecloths so that I can have each one drape to the floor. And in addition, I’ve discovered that this helps prevent the wind blowing your tablecloth off. They still blow but they don’t blow all the way to the top of the table.

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

Folded Heart Napkins Have My Heart

Okay, I’ve tried different fancy folded napkins before and frankly have had a lot of failures, this is not the case with these hearts. As long as you have a square cloth napkin, you too can do this. And I didn’t have napkins so I simply went to Joann’s and bought a light pink cotton that I cut into squares—easy peasy. As for how to fold them, there are tons of tutorials if you search “heart napkins” on Pinterest, here’s the link.

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

Brunch Proves Simple

I did not want to cook so I went to a local bakery and purchased a quiche and baked goods.  I then used store bought cookies for extra sweets, sorry not sorry!

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

The only prep I actually did myself was cutting the fruit and putting on the whipped cream. I then plated everything using my collection of rustic serving platters from Home Goods plus the super cute heart snack cups from Oriental Trading (complete with the arrow picks – sometimes you need a little cheesy!).

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

As for drinks, keep that simple too. Champagne, coffee, tea and water are good picks for a brunch. Or have a signature cocktail as well, perhaps Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas or Bellinis (like I did). Use paper straws for added cute factor. Here I turned my straws into what I call Sugar Straws, see my tutorial here.

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

I have all the details for the planting activity in a separate post here.

And then we made it a “Planting Party”

Last, but not least, I love a good activity. Plus, I also love succulents. I mean, who doesn’t? So once done eating, I figured it would be easy to change the table into a planting station and allow everyone to make their own arrangement (so this acted as an activity and favor all in one). And it was super easy to change the table over. I just cleared the table and put the original centerpiece on the buffet table. I then brought out the succulents and pots that I had waiting on the buffet table as decor.

This part of the planning was really fun because I designed printable tags for the pots as well as two signs to display on the table. You can get all the details on how to turn your Galentine’s Brunch into a “Planting Party” (as well as download the FREE printables) on my follow up post here.

How to Throw a Galentine's Brunch for Valentine's Day

A special thanks to Oriental Trading for sending me items to use for this post. I was pleasantly surprised, and even overwhelmed, by the large variety of affordable and cute party and craft supplies available on their website. And a lot of the items I picked will be used (and enjoyed) for years to come (the flower box, pink and red glass votives, galvanized buckets). Although I received free products, all opinions are my own and I receive no compensation for any products purchased through the links on this post.

DIY Flower Box Centerpiece for Valentine’s Day

DIY Flower Box Centerpiece for Valentine's Day, Bridal Showers, Weddings...

I received this flower box from Oriental Trading with the promise on my end that I would do a Valentine’s Day post. Well the one post has inspired three new posts all of which  I plan to share today. The first is this DIY Flower Box Centerpiece perfect for Valentine’s Day or even a bridal shower, wedding or everyday home decor.

And the how-to could not be easier thanks to vinyl decals from my friend Whitney, Just the Frosting.


  • DIY Flower Box Centerpiece (here I used the 24″ one from Oriental Trading, but they have a 12″ box or you could use any wooden box)
  • Two Love Arrow Decals (white) from Just the Frosting (tell her Amy of Tonality Designs sent you and she’ll know the size you’ll need)
  • Two Heart Decals (white) from Just the Frosting
  • Painters Tape
  • Popsicle stick (provided by Just the Frosting)


I had never done vinyl before but it is super easy. The Just the Frosting Decals even came with instructions so I would just follow them, but here’s the basic steps.

DIY Flower Box Centerpiece for Valentines Day, Bridal Shower, Wedding, etc.

Tape decals: Center your decals on each side of your box. It’s probably obvious, but the love arrows go on the longer sides while the hearts on the shorter ends. Tape in place with your painters tape.

DIY Flower Box Centerpiece for Valentine's Day, Bridal Showers, Weddings, etc.

DIY Flower Box Centerpiece with Vinyl Decals for Valentine's Day, Bridal Showers, Weddings, etc.

Remove backing card: For the heart, it’s small enough that you can just remove the backing sheet all at once and smooth down with your popsicle stick.

For the love arrow, I decided that it may be too long to do all at once, so I taped a line down the center of the decal and then cut the backing card from only one side of the line. I then smoothed down starting in the center and moving out to the edge. Once that side was smoothed down with the popsicle stick, I did the other side, again moving from the center out to smooth it down.


Burnish & remove front paper: Once you have everything smoothed down and burnished, the fun happens in removing the front paper and revealing your decal. If the decal peals up with your front paper, just put it back down and burnish with your popsicle stick again. You have to press pretty hard to make sure it will stick.


Then repeat for all sides.

DIY Flower Box Centerpiece for Valentine's Day, Bridal Showers, Weddings, etc.

And that’s it! Now it’s ready for flowers!

Holly Jolly Kids Table with DIY Holly Balloon Table Runner & Marshmallow Snowflakes

DIY Holly Balloon Table Runner

I love creating with kids in mind. They aren’t looking for perfection, just fun! And sometimes the cutest creations happen with the humblest of materials. Here I used green construction paper and red balloons to create a DIY Holly Balloon Table Runner that is perfectly imperfect—and kid approved! Plus, my niece and nephew were begging for some hot chocolate, so as an activity we made DIY Marshmallow Snowflakes that I saw on Real Simple. We then used them as a garnish once our hot chocolate was ready. Details on both projects are below.

DIY Holly Balloon Table Runner

DIY Holly Balloon Table Runner



  1. Fold cardstock paper in half. Draw holly shape and cut out your holly. Repeat until you have enough leaves for the length of your runner. I used different shades of green to create interest. Michaels actually has a variety pack (Only $2) perfect for this project (and is what I used).
  2. Blow up red balloons. Keep them small and tape on in clusters of three. I did two clusters of three balloons but you can add more depending on the length of your table.
  3. Once you have everything ready, tape your holly leaves together to form your table runner. Tape on the balloons in clusters of three as well. This is all up to your imagination, have fun with it. And get your kids involved. My niece helped with every step of this runner.

DIY Holly Balloon Table Runner

DIY Holly Balloon Kids Table

I love paper goods, especially when they have such cute designs that I can mix and match.


DIY Marshmallow Snowflakes

We needed something to do while we waited for our hot chocolate to be ready, so we made DIY Marshmallow Snowflakes that I saw on Real Simple here. All you need are large and small marshmallows and toothpicks. Stick toothpicks into the larger marshmallow and then slide on two smaller marshmallows onto each toothpick. This kept the kids entertained for awhile and they were very proud of their creations.

DIY Snowflake Marshmallows

DIY Marshmallow Snowflakes

To add onto cup, just cut a slit on bottom of the large center marshmallow.

DIY Marshmallow Snowflakes

My nephew wanted to use his new lego mug, isn’t it cool?

I hope you are having fun with your own family and friends! I love that with a little imagination and lots of laughter, lovely memories can be made around a table. Merry Christmas sweet friends!

DIY Christmas Gifts in a Jar with Free Matching Gift Tag Printables



Tis the season for giving and there’s simply something so cute about things that come packaged in a jar. Do you remember the “Cookie Mix in a Mason Jar” craze? It was way before Pinterest, or even blogs for that matter, and my mom was totally into it. Growing up, I remember we would make those for friends and family for all kinds of occasions. And perhaps that’s why I just love anything in a jar.

Here I decided to round up my four Christmas Gifts in a Jar ideas into one post for ease of searching. Each idea comes with its own free gift tag download (and one is generic, so could be used with any gift idea). These ideas are perfect for your neighbors, teachers, hostess gifts, group gifts (like everyone in your book club or wine club!) or even a “just because” gift. I’ve given them to both family and friends and they’ve all been big hits. And Pinterest is full of even more inspiration, just search “gifts in a jar” and tons of creative ideas pop up.

Christmas Baking

FREE Christmas Baking Gift Tag Printable via Tonality Designs

What’s Christmas without Christmas cookies? Cookies and other baked goods lend themselves so easily to stacking in a wide-mouth mason jar. And when giving as a gift, you can tie on my Free Christmas Baking Gift Tag printable with a little baking twine. See the original post here for more inspiration as well as the recipe for my favorite Christmas cookie, a recipe that spans three generations! It wouldn’t be Christmas in my home without Grandma Detrick’s Caramel Glaze Christmas Cookie.

Stovetop Potpourri

DIY Christmas Stovetop Potpourri with FREE Gift Tag download

One of my most popular ideas on my blog, this Stovetop Potpourri has served me well over the last two years. I even just gave a jar to my cousin and when I told her the jar sitting on the table was for her she said, “I was hoping that was for me. I loved it last year!” Haha, but proof you can even repeat this one and your friends and family will love it both times. See my original post here for the how-to instructions as well as the matching FREE printable download. The tag not only has a cute Christmas message, but also provides the instructions for how to use the potpourri.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix and FREE Gift Tag Printable

This hot chocolate recipe is not only delicious, but so easy to create as you only need 3 ingredients. And with hot cocoa bars being all the rage, this gift is sure to please. See my original post here for the recipe as well as the FREE printable gift tag. The tag gives a sweet message as well as instructions for how to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate.

Merry & Bright Gift Tag for Any Christmas Gift

FREE Christmas Gift Tag Printable

Well, this FREE Merry and Bright Gift Tag can actually be used for any gift you give this holiday season. Here I used it on a jar full of my DIY Chocolate-Peppermint Marshmallows. A perfect accompaniment to the Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix I listed above.

The Ideas are Endless

DIY Metallic Mason Jar Lids via Tonality Designs

I would be remiss on doing a roundup of my mason jar gift ideas if I didn’t mention how easy it is to even spray paint your jar lids to be other colors. Above I show how I spray painted my lids different shades of metallic, but you could do Christmas colors. I just happen to use mine for kitchen staples so kept them neutral to match my kitchen. You can see more pictures and the easy how-to instructions on my original post here.

And that’s a wrap—no pun intended! I hope one of these ideas sparks your creativity. Merry Christmas and happy gift giving!

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

No matter what the season, it’s no secret I love flowers. My Instagram account is full of flower arrangement ideas, but it’s also fun to followup here with the simple how-to instructions. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this idea to use cranberries in your vase before (in fact, I even shared this same idea on Instagram last year); however, whenever I share this idea I get tons of oohs and aahs as well as the question: How did you do that?  So with that said, below are the super simple steps to create your own cranberry vase.

I especially love this idea because you can use any clear glass vessel you have and it will instantly be given a Christmas facelift. I don’t have a lot of holiday-specific decor because of storage reasons, plus I like to invest my limited budget on year-round items. So if you don’t have a clear vase you can use, go buy something you love that you can use all year long.


  • Glass vessel (vase, hurricane, jar, etc.)
  • Smaller vessel (Must fit inside the larger glass vessel you picked and have enough room around the sides to fit the cranberries. I usually have a variety of mason jar sizes on hand so I use those, but anything that holds water will work.)
  • Cranberries
  • Flowers (Fresh or faux, I picked fresh hydrangeas)



Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

Start by picking your main glass vessel. In this post, I show you two different options: a plain clear vase and above a decorative glass hurricane I found this year at Target. I fell in love with the gold branches on the hurricane and immediately knew I wanted to get it because it’s not only perfect for Christmas, but I know I’ll use it all year.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

Next, pick a smaller vessel that fits inside your main vessel and leaves room for the cranberries. Then put water in the smaller vessel and place inside your main glass vessel.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

Make sure to cover the top of the smaller vessel and then pour in your cranberries.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

Now you’re ready for the flowers. Remove the cover over the top of the smaller vessel and arrange your flowers.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

I think hydrangeas work well for this because the large blooms rest nicely on the lip of your vase and you only need a few stems. (The number of stems you’ll need depend on the size of your main vessel, but above I used 3 stems of white hydrangea and 5 stems of mini green hydrangea.) Just be sure to remove all the leaves and then cut stems to the height of your vase. I used fresh flowers, but faux flowers would work for this because you don’t see the stems. Often what gives away faux flowers are the cheap looking stems.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

It makes a lovely addition to any table. Instant Christmas. 

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

And remember, your vase doesn’t have to be fancy. Here you see how I used a plain glass vase and the result is just as lovely.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

For this look I only used white hydrangea (3 stems was all it took!).

Easy Christmas Centerpiece: DIY Cranberry Vase

Candy canes are my other instant Christmas idea. Seriously, there is nothing cheaper and screams Christmas better. Just place them in any little vase or glass you own and—boom—Merry Christmas! The mercury glass also helps. Mercury glass votives are another staple item I invest in and use year round. They are often available in home decor stores this time of year.

Easy Christmas Decor Ideas

And one last tip: ornaments piled on a tray or in a basket also add instant holiday cheer to any space. Decorating doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful.

I hope this was helpful. Oh what fun it is to decorate!

Grandma Detrick’s Caramel Glazed Christmas Cookies

Caramel Glazed Christmas Cookie part of a Christmas Dessert Blog Hop

Christmas and baking seem to go hand in hand so today I’m sharing a favorite family cookie recipe as part of a Christmas Dessert Blog Hop. A special welcome to my followers as well as anyone here because of Beth’s blog Home Stories A to Z. I’m so happy you’re here and following our blog hop.

I’m actually sharing my great grandma’s recipe, but this recipe was passed down to me from my dad so we’ve always just referred to them as Grandma Detrick’s Cookies. For the purpose of sharing, I added the Caramel Glazed description in order to give you a hint of why they taste so good.

FREE Christmas Baking Gift Tag Printable via Tonality Designs

And since giving is one of the joys of Christmas, I’m also sharing a FREE download for a Christmas Baking Gift Tag, so this post is just full of baking goodness.

When Summer of She Leaves a Little Sparkle asked me to be apart of this blog hop, I immediately thought of these cookies, but then thought, “Well, they aren’t that pretty so maybe I should think of something else.” But how sad is that? Something shouldn’t just be photo worthy in order to share. So I brushed that thought aside and committed to making what truly is my favorite Christmas cookie. And I’m so glad I did. Because to be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever made them by myself. Usually my mom makes them. I did help as a child, but I haven’t done that in years.

When I asked my mom for the recipe, she sent it via a text and I gasped at the ingredient list. Let’s just say, sometimes it better not to know what goes into making your favorite recipe. I realized there would probably be a lot of sugar and butter, but instead of butter it was Crisco. Yet, I’d never bought Crisco before. I texted my mom that very thought, “I’ve never bought Crisco.” She replied, “It comes in cubes like butter.” I then said, “Okay. No wonder they are so good—just pure fat!” And then her final text to me was “Your dad said, ‘You’re damn straight.’ lol.” 

We later discussed “Why Crisco?” And my mom thinks a lot recipes from that time period tended to use Crisco instead of butter. And we think we could actually substitute Coconut Oil (and not kidding, Crisco even makes one) and get the same results. I didn’t yesterday because I just wanted to make sure they turned out, but I think I’m going to try that today and let you guys know how it works. Perhaps a little healthier alternative. But hey, they are cookies so what did I expect? Plus, my great grandma lived to be 101 so perhaps they aren’t that bad for you.


As for the cookie, I wasn’t sure how to describe it. It’s kind of a rustic sugar cookie, but it’s not that sugary. So it’s probably better to describe it as a cake cookie that has just a hint of sweetness. That’s probably why I like it so much as I’m not really into super sweet treats. Plus the cookie is topped with a brown sugar caramel glaze that adds the perfect amount of sweetness. I hope that description helps to sell it as it really is a family favorite.


Yields about 4 dozen cookies.

For Cookie:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup crisco (Or substitute coconut oil)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For Caramel Glaze Icing:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup crisco (Or substitute coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup milk


Caramel Glazed Christmas Cookie part of a Christmas Dessert Blog Hop

For Cookie:

Preheat oven to 350°.

In large mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar and Crisco (or coconut oil) then add eggs and buttermilk.

In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar then mix it into the wet mixture. Keep mixing until batter is smooth.

Scoop tablespoon size balls (or heaping teaspoons) onto a cookie sheet and bake in 350° oven for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should be golden brown on the bottom and light brown on top. (Note, you can chill batter for more consistent scooping, but it’s not required.)

Caramel Glazed Christmas Cookie part of a Christmas Dessert Blog Hop

Let cookies cool on a baking rack or, if you’re like me, use a brown paper bag that you’ve cut open.

Caramel Glaze Christmas Cookies part of a Christmas Dessert Blog Hop

For Caramel Glaze Icing:

In small sauce pan, heat brown sugar, Crisco (or coconut oil) and milk. Bring to a boil. Let boil for one minute and then remove from heat. Let cool. Once cool, spread on cookies. (Note, I tried dipping some of my cookies in the brown sugar mixture while it was still slightly warm, and although this was super easy, the glaze ends up seeping into the cookie and not forming on the top. I didn’t like this result as much so next time I’m going to be patient and wait for the mixture to cool.)

FREE Christmas Baking Gift Tag Printable via Tonality Designs

And since Christmas cookies are meant to be shared, I created a FREE Christmas Baking Gift Tag printable that you can use for any holiday treats you’re giving away this year. You can download it here and make someone smile because, “It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas.” 

FREE Christmas Baking Gift Tag Printable via Tonality Designs

Just download the printable and print on white card stock. Cut out each tag and punch a hole at the top.

FREE Christmas Baking Gift Tag Printable via Tonality Designs

I then filled a wide-mouth mason jar with my cookies and tied on the tag using red and white baking twine. For an added touch, I spray painted the mason jar lids white. (You can see my tutorial for DIY Metallic Mason Jar Lids for more inspiration on spraying jar lids.) Plus be sure to see my other FREE Christmas Gift Tag Printables (May Your Days Be Merry and BrightStovetop Potpourri and Homemade Hot Chocolate).

Christmas Dessert Blog Hop

As I stated earlier, this is all part of a Christmas Dessert Blog Hop.

I invite you to visit Kara’s Party Ideas next for her Crock Pot Fudge Recipe and then move on to all the other wonderful bloggers below. These girls have me wanting to press pause on my daily schedule and just bake all day.

She Leaves a Little Sparkle

Boxwood Avenue

Meaningful Spaces

Lillian Hope Designs

Our Vintage Nest

Home Stories A to Z

So what’s your favorite Christmas dessert? I would love to hear about your family favorites and if available please include links to your favorite recipes within your comments. I love being inspired to try something new.

My Grateful Table Blog Hop

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

November is here and it’s my favorite season as it calls us to reflect on all that we are grateful for. I’m taking this time to share my Thanksgiving table from last year. I shared pictures on Instagram, but never did a blog post so when I was asked to join in on the My Grateful Table Blog Hop, I thought this was a perfect chance to not only share my pictures, but also provide the FREE download for the Thankful Banner printable. So win, win!

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

I created this table both at my house and then at my cousin’s (pictured above) for her Friendsgiving, so you’ll see pictures of both. It turned out, the theme worked perfectly with her yellow and white plates.

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

I used a lot of past DIY projects, like the DIY Metallic Mason Jar Wraps. The vase is actually a mason jar that I created a cover for with metallic fabric. You can get the full instructions here. The flowers are cabbage (yes, cabbage), a red fuzzy flower I don’t know the name of (yes I should try googling it, but I’m lazy today) and greenery from my yard. I then created the Thankful banner that actually coordinated with the graphics I did for the kids table. You can download the FREE Thankful Banner Printable here. I love adding printables to my centerpieces, it’s kind of my signature look. I just think it adds an extra, personalized touch and really helps create the theme of your table.

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

I used a patterned Kraft paper runner and then kept to using a variety of metallic candles, including a lot of mercury glass. The polka-dot candles were another past DIY project: DIY Tissue Paper Candles. I also used a lot of white, like the white pumpkins and white cabbage. The only pops of color come with the yellow plates, the red flowers and the teal thankful banner.

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

Some of the flower arrangements were embellished with paper drinking straws that I added gold flags to using gold washi tape. Super simple, but adds a little flair.

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

When setting a table, don’t be afraid to also add your own personal touches. For example, I love the framed bible verse I added because even though it didn’t go perfectly with our color scheme, it went perfectly with the day.

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable

Thanksgiving Tablescape with FREE Thankful Printable


And let’s not forget about the kid table. Although the table was very different (a lot more fun), everything coordinated perfectly with the adult table. I used the same paper runner on both tables. Also, the Thankful Banner on the adult table used the same teal pattern as the ship and turkey feathers. I also used a lot of white on the kid table like the white pumpkins and feathers.

FREE Thankful Turkey Printable - Thanksgiving Kids Craft

The kids table was made complete with this Thankful Turkey craft. Get the free download and see more pictures and tips on the original post here.

Join Our Blog Hop

And as stated earlier, this post is part of a blog hop. Be sure to check out all the wonderful blogs below for even more Thankgiving inspiration. And follow us on Instagram with the hashtag #mygratefultable.

My Grateful Table Blog Hop

Rachel Elizabeth Creates | Interiors Swag | The Tattered Pew | Fix It Chick | Be Still Blogs | The Home Making Momma | A Blue Nest | The Grimes Life

FREE Halloween Photo Backdrop Download


Eek, I’m so excited about this free download! Plus, these three munchkins make sharing my latest creation even more fun! Frankly, they steal the show, but that was pretty much the point. I wanted a way to capture really fun pictures come Halloween night. I figured if celebrities qualify for step-and-repeat photo ops, shouldn’t kids in costumes get the same royal treatment? And so, I created a Halloween pattern for just that. It’s of course a great addition to your decor if you’re hosting a costume party, but I think it could be really fun for trick-or-treat night. I picture this hanging on a garage door or fence in the front yard so that random trick-or-treaters can have their “celebrity” photo op moment as they come to knock on your door for candy. Wouldn’t that be so fun?


Meet Hulk Smash! It was really hard to hold in my laughter when this little guy stepped in front of the backdrop and started performing for the camera. And I must admit I was a little shocked because he usually doesn’t want to have his picture taken. However, as Hulk Smash he clearly gets into character. And yes, it’s Hulk Smash and not just Hulk. He was very adamant about his full name.


He was so happy to show off his costume and I loved that instead of having random distractions in the background (toys, furniture, other people) we had a professional looking backdrop. And the backdrop is just bond paper that I had printed at FedEx Office on their oversized printer that’s usually intended for large blueprints. It could not be easier.


Our little Hulk Smash wasn’t quite as happy when his brothers joined in on the fun, but I wanted the backdrop to work for groups.


The older kids got into their poses too! And they really liked the idea of using the backdrop for Halloween night so that they could get pictures with all their friends. I loved that they got the purpose of why I created the backdrop without me even telling them.


Here’s the full view. I could have gotten more elaborate and added balloons, streamers, garland, etc.; however, I really wanted this to be doable for people. Let’s just be honest, not everyone has the time or skills to make things so “Pinterest perfect.” For this, you just need the time to download the file and print it at a printer like FedEx Office or Staples. Then come Halloween night, tape it up. Even if you’ve never gone to print something at FedEx or Staples, I promise this is extremely easy and affordable too. You can do this for under $20.


We are currently in the process of making Drew’s costume, but he still was game to take pictures. Okay, maybe I had to bribe him with Yogurtland, but I say that’s still a win.



  1. Download the FREE Halloween Backdrop PDF here. The file is a two-page, 8″ x 11″ PDF file. You can either print just one page or both. It’s up to you on how big you want your backdrop. I printed both pages and then pieced them together when I hung them up. Making my backdrop 72″ x 48″.
  2. Take your file to a printer like FedEx Office or  Staples and tell them that you want to print the file at 36″ x 48″ in black and white. Black and white is a lot cheaper than color. One 36″ x 48″ black-and-white print costs $9 at FedEx Office (where I happened to go to print this). I got extremely lucky as they accidentally printed mine in full color so the quality is extra great (a deep black with no printer lines), but some printer lines can happen when doing a true black-and-white print. However, color at this same size is about 10 times the cost—they told me around $90. Not worth it to me.
  3. If printing both pages, be sure to use the slide cutter at FedEx Office to trim the excess white on the right-hand margin of page 1 of the PDF. This will allow you to tape your pieces flush in the middle.
  4. Hang your backdrop with tape. If hanging both pieces, be sure to match the center seem like you would a wallpaper pattern.
  5. Enjoy taking some really fun and festive pictures!

Please note: I’m sharing this file in good faith that you won’t steal my original artwork and pose as if it’s your own. This is for personal use only and should not be shared on any other platforms or sold. If sharing pictures where you used this download, all credit should be given to Tonality Designs and lead back to my blog. All downloads for the artwork should only happen on my blog. The artwork should also stay in tact and no parts should be extracted for other uses. Please contact me if you have any questions. I’m happy to collaborate and create custom artwork for people.


I just have to share a few more of Hulk Smash. He’s just too cute. And I think they show you how much fun you can have with this backdrop. I can only imagine what a princess would do when given center stage.



Yep, even with his tongue out he steals my heart!


That face!


Oh, where did you come from Luke? Ha, ha. He really did have fun!

I really look forward to taking lots of pictures come Halloween night! I’m sure I’ll have to update this post with all the fun we capture. And I hope you have fun with this too! As always, I would love to see what you create with this. Please share on Instagram and tag me (@tonalitydesigns). I love to share pictures of what my followers are creating.

Halloween Bagel Creatures

Halloween Bagel Creatures - Cream Cheese Mummies and Nutella Spiders

Breakfast is served! I don’t know why, but there is something so magical about surprising kids with a fun holiday breakfast. And these Halloween Bagel Creatures make the task super easy! I thought about doing it on cinnamon rolls, but then thought perhaps bagels would be a little less of a sugar rush for this candy-filled holiday. But I think doing cinnamon rolls might still need to happen! Literally this concept could be used for decorating cookies, cupcakes, brownies, etc. Just pick whatever frosting works for what you are serving and decorate away.

Cream Cheese Mummy Bagel

Halloween Bagel Creatures - Cream Cheese Mummies and Nutella Spiders


  • Bagels (your favorite flavor)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (use a lot less if you are only making one, this will probably yield a few bagel halves)
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk or almond milk (I only had almond milk and you couldn’t tell)
  • Candy eyes
  • Wilton decorating tip #150 (long thin and flat shape) and decorating couplers (used for frosting and available at Michaels and other craft stores)
  • Ziplock bag
  • Mixer


  1. Using your mixer, blend your cream cheese and milk. Add the milk a little at a time until your cream cheese is smooth enough to run through your decorating tip.
  2. Cut a small hole at the corner of your ziplock bag. Add your decorating coupler and tip per instructions on the coupler package.
  3. Add your cream cheese mixture to your ziplock bag.
  4. On a bagel half, pipe on cream cheese in criss-crossing lines. Just lightly squeeze it out, I had no prior frosting experience and this was so easy. Go as light or heavy as you want. (And of course you could toast your bagel before decorating,  I just didn’t because I know kids get crazy about anything being too brown – what’s up with that? Plus, un-toasted meant I was less tempted to eat my creations.)
    Halloween Bagel Creatures - Cream Cheese Mummies
  5. Add your candy eyes. I also piped a line of cream cheese slightly over the eyes so they looked like they were peaking out.
  6. Repeat for as many bagel halves as you need.

Nutella Spider Bagel



Halloween Bagel Creatures - Nutella Spiders

  • Bagels (any flavor)
  • Nutella
  • Pretzel rods (8 per bagel half)
  • Candy eyes



  1. Spread Nutella over bagel half. NOTE: the middle ended up caving in, but I kind of liked that it looked like a mouth. However, if that bugs you, just rip a small piece of another bagel and plug the hole before you frost. 
  2. Dip the end of each pretzel rod in Nutella and add to your bagel – four on each side for your legs.
  3. Add eyes. Easy peasy!

Halloween Pattern via Tonality Designs

As for the “tablecloth” – it’s a halloween pattern I designed and then had blown up to 36 x 48 at FedEx Office on their black and white plotter (for only $9). And I’m offering it as a free PDF for you guys tomorrow, so be sure to check back in. I’m using it for something super cute and can’t wait for you guys to see!


More of a donut person? Check out our fangtastic donuts we made last year!