Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

It was such a lovely day in Pasadena, California that I decided to have a belated birthday luncheon for my friend, Colleen.

I got out my Black and White Oilcloth tablecloth (Paris lace pattern), went to the grocery store, set my table and ta-dah! A birthday party!

Okay, so I didn’t just whip up the gift in the hat box – I made it the day before…

Pretty though.

Enjoy the sun. I hear it’s supposed to rain on Sunday….






Black & White Birthday Party



Contrasting fabrics and china patterns adds a bit of pretty interest, I think!






Easy Bow Gift Wrap

I must admit that I have never been a huge fan of Halloween.

Then a few years ago I was given the 7 Harry Potter books on CD to play in my car while I drive. I drive a lot. It took me a year to listen to them all, but I must admit, I have become so enthralled by these books narrated by Jim Dale, that my entire perspective on Halloween has changed. It is a REALLY fun holiday!

So this muggle is writing a post about gift wrapping, that just happens to coincide with a Halloween. My sister has always adored Halloween – and I humor her. This year I actually am joining in the fun!

I am going to show you a very easy gift wrapping idea, that will translate to almost any gift. Cool, huh?

I purchased a cute black Halloween kitty cat kitchen towel and a pack of paper cocktail napkins. (I used to have a black cat named Crissy, so now I collect images of black kitty cats). Go Figure.halloween-1

I digress…..All you do is fold the towel lengthwise in 3rds and then wrap it around the package of cocktail napkins. My little black cat will be front and center.









Next take some ribbon and cut 2 pieces to fit around the folded/wrapped towel. Tie one piece of ribbon one way and then tie the other piece of ribbon the other way. Line up the knots on the top of the package. You should have  criss-crossed ribbon with 4 tails on top of the package. The final step is to cut one last piece of ribbon and tie it around the top knot to join all the ribbon together.


You now have a bow on top without having to make a bow. How cool is that!! This little idea will coincide perfectly with the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. Make a darling hostess gift using the same exact idea!

Add a tag and you are good to go!

Happy Haunting!



Strawberry Citrus Slush



September 22, 2016 will be the official date that Fall 2016 begins, but it is still hot in my neck of the woods – so I went went looking for something to wet my whistle. My desire for something refreshing and cold led me to one of my favorite recipe sites: The doTERRA Blog. I knew I wanted something simple that I could share with all of you, and the added benefit of cooking with Essential Oils was just another reason to go to the doTERRA blog.

I know how potent the doTERRA oils are, and I was in the mood for Lemon and Lime Essential Oils. Just a drop in 8 oz. of water can help cleanse your body in such a natural way. Best of all, it’s delishious! The oils are not juice. They are oils cold pressed from the rind of the fruit. Essentially you are adding the immune system of the plant itself. How cool is that!

As promised – This is what I found: An absolutely delicious recipe for a Strawberry Citrus Slush:


2 cups fresh lemonade
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 lemon, juiced (I omitted this step)
4 drops Lemon essential oil
4 drops Lime essential oil
3 cups ice
3 tablespoons white sugar or 1/2 teaspoon stevia (I used raw honey)

Note: For a less tart version, omit fresh lemon juice or add more sweetener.


Combine all ingredients in blender.
Blend until smooth or at desired consistency.
Pour into cups and enjoy.

Note: For a more “smoothie” like consistency, add 2 cups of strawberries and 2 cups of ice.

I have a Meyer Lemon Tree in my yard, so I make my own lemonade with coconut sugar (to taste), and the doTERRA Lemon Essential Oil. It is so much better than store bought lemonade – but if you don’t have a lemon tree, I like the Paul Newman brand of Lemonade. I think it is a better brand than the rest that is on the commercial market. Note: I left out the fresh lemon juice and used more strawberries.The extra lemon juice made it a bit tart for my taste. Also,  Instead of the white sugar noted in the recipe, I used raw honey.

I have to say that this was exactly what I was looking for in a refreshing drink for this afternoon! Add a stainless steel straw and you are good to go!

It. Was. Yummy! staryberry-citrus




Colorful & Charming Oilcloth

I adore Oilcloth! There. I said it.

I remember sitting in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen admiring the happy table that she set with this colorful, happy tablecloth. I had no idea what this material was, but it was easy to clean and seemed to last forever. Her kitchen was a sunny, perky room where I loved to watch her cook and work her magic preparing her wonderful food during our weekly Sunday family visits.

I never forgot that table and it was years later when I finally found out what it was. I was strolling the gift mart in Los Angeles when I caught a glimpse of that happy fabric in one of the showrooms. I can’t tell you how delighted I was to finally know what that stuff was!

Since that day, I use Oilcloth in my kitchen just like my grandmother did. It is a happy space where I spend a lot of time. I was lucky enough to inherit her original Fiestaware, so sometimes I imagine that she in in the kitchen with me, enjoying the fact that I am using her dinnerware recreating the happy kitchen that I remember from my childhood. Thanks, Nana!

Oilcloth products make great gifts, too. I like to use them for gift baskets.  I usually make the “basket” portion of my “gifts” an item that can be used again. My version of green giving. No one throws these baskets away. Ever. They are just too darn cute. The tote bags come in two sizes, so big gift or little gift – the Oilcloth totes are a perfect way to go! Best of all, when all the gift items that were originally part of the  gift basket are used up, these great totes can be used everyday!IMG_1327

There are cosmetic bags and ditty bags. They are adorable. They are the perfect vessel for a small gift or a gift card. As usual, I like to dress up gift cards and place them in something that can be used again. Fill the cosmetic bags with cookies, candy, gift cards, mani/pedi items, jewelry, office supplies and of course – the obvious….makeup! Add tissue paper to the bag to make it look full. Put a bow on it and the gift is wrapped! A very fun, cheerful gift!

Have I mentioned that Oilcloth can be purchased by the yard? Picnic anyone? This stuff is great for any party. Purchase the fabric by the yard. There is no need to hem anything (my favorite thing- as you already know). Just cut it and lay it down on the table. Wipe it clean. Done. Fab-u-lous! Chalkboard Oilcloth is the best! Make your own runners for buffets and children’s parties. How fun is that!Paige Birthday Cake

I like that there are so many patterns to choose from, but no matter which pattern I choose – I smile at the cheerfulness that they evoke. So, whether you need  yardage, ready made tablecloths, totes, gift bags or just something fun….. stayed tuned. I will be adding several Oilcloth items for sale very soon.









4th of July!

The 4th of July is coming up pretty darn quick, so all entertainers listen up!

Very easy and fun 4th of July centerpiece alert…..July 4 #8

Here is what you will need to make this centerpiece for your 4th of July celebration:

  • One brick of floral foam (the kind for wet flowers) – you can use a used one if you have it, because it will not get wet! I used only half of the floral foam brick, but you can use the whole brick if you want to make it larger.
  • Tissue paper to make tissue paper flowers. To make one flower I used 2 sheets of red, 2 sheets of white and 2 sheets of blue tissue paper. I cut the tissue paper in half because I did not want huge flowers. These flowers are super easy to make. Go to You Tube – there are several tutorials. Easy-Peasy!
  • Small table top American flags
  • Patriotic Horns or other patriotic stuff you may have
  • Ribbon
  • Centerpiece Insert that looks like fireworks….they are at party stores in every color (see picture)
  • Dried flowers (optional)  July 4 #2

Start with the floral foam and cut a round circle with a spoon.The foam cuts very easily so this is not hard. This is where you you place your fireworks centerpiece.July 4 #3 This the center of your centerpiece. You start layering in your  patriotic items, horns and flags anywhere you wish. Then add the tissue paper flowers. They should be big enough to cover the floral foam, so you will not need anything else to sit it on. It goes right on the table.

I also made a few coffee filter roses for interest, but you really don’t need them for this project.

The final step in this centerpiece was to insert some dried flowers and some ribbon. I made a bow, of course! There should not be any empty spots.

“D” for done! The best part is that this idea can be used for other occasions. Customize this for a baby shower in blue or pink, a birthday party in many colors or even a budget wedding.You can make these ahead of time and not stress about fresh flowers on a hot day.

This is Fast, Fun & best of all….. Simple, Stunning & Stylish!

Have a wonderful 4th of July in this wonderful country, the United States of America! Land of the Free because of the Brave.

Be safe.


New for You! Vital Essentials

Doterra buttonclick to shop and find out more!

I have recently discovered the glorious world of Essential Oils. I had no idea what I was missing until I received an air diffuser as a gift from a wonderful friend.

I have spent the better part of the last 5 years trying to lighten the toxic load of chemicals in my body – not an easy feat – since our entire world is laden with toxicity. The air we breathe, the chemicals that we use to clean our houses, the food we eat – it is a constant burden for our bodies to release the toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Well, Essential Oils can really help reduce this toxic load in a delightful and delicious way!

There are 3 ways to experience Essential Oils:

  1. Aromatically
  2. Internally
  3. Topically

Now, there are a lot of Essential Oil companies out there, but after extensive research, I have also found that not all Essential Oils are created alike. My Essential Oils of choice are the ones created by doTERRA. They are, by far, the most pure oils you can buy, and because of their purity, we can experience many of their oils internally. Lemon water. Yummy. I drink it all day. Finally a delicious way to get the 8 glasses of water my body needs every day. When I want a change in flavor, I can have Grapefruit, Orange, Lime….so many to choose from. No toxins, no added sugar – just the flavor of real citrus and the cleansing power that goes along with it. It is just great! I cook with them. They are delicious added to food. Cinnamon in my coffee? Yep. Peppermint in my coco? You bet. Pure flavor. Nothing fake. Love it.

If that doesn’t convince you to try Essential Oils how’s this: If you don’t already know this – fragrance – whether it comes from perfume or as an additive – is toxic. Perfumes and fragrances are hormone disrupters! Ugh. Who has time for that nonsense? I gave up perfume years ago. I also stopped burning scented candles. I now use an Essential Oil air diffuser, and an entire new world has opened up for me!

As I mentioned above, I received an air diffuser as a gift from a friend. I now have 3 at all times. I always have one at home diffusing, I take one with me when I travel and then I always have one on hand to give to someone, who has experienced the oils in my home or office. Once you experience the diffuser, you will be hooked. The air in your home is cleaner, you sleep better, your moods improve and I find that in my experience, my stress level has decreased. It has even calmed down my cats who were not getting along!…..The doTERRA diffusers are very simple to operate and automatically shut off. A definite plus.

There are so many ways to use Essential Oils in our lives. Stay tuned! We will learn together right here!

Doterra buttonclick to shop and find out more!

Pool Party Fun

I had the pleasure of working on a delightful party this past week. It was a birthday party for a wonderful young lady who was turning 12. She had a pool party with 9 of her BFF’s in attendance . They spent a great Saturday afternoon celebrating together laughing and enjoying a great day.

 When I was hired  for this event, I was told that the only thing that the birthday girl requested  was big “Happy Birthday” banner in the back yard. Her favorite colors are blue and green, so I went to work .

I purchased some blue, green, white and black card stock at a local craft store. I printed out individual letters on  the white card stock on my laser printer in a large font. I cut out each letter with an X-Acto knife. I used these letters as a template for each letter that I then cut out from blue card stock. It was time consuming, but rather easy to do.

Next, I cut out the triangle banner pennants out of the other card stock (12″ x 12″). This needed to be a rather large banner, so I used one sheet of card stock for each triangle that would each hold a letter. I cut the triangle out with the X-Acto knife, then layered the papers with hot glue to spell out “Happy Birthday Paige”. I punched holes in each corner of the pennant triangle stringing each one together with a ropelike straw to hang the completed banner.  Since I am height challenged, the hardest part was actually hanging the banner!

Paige Birthday Banner

The cake was fabulous. It was actually designed by the “girl of the day”, who clearly has a very creative spirit! I will say that it was the most delicious cake I have ever eaten – and that is saying something! It was made by Fantasy Frostings in South Pasadena. Delicious. It was such a fun cake, it needed to be displayed properly. I pulled out my Oilcloth fabric in the “Forever” pattern and it set the cake off perfectly. Best of all….easy clean up!

Paige Birthday Cake

This was a pool party, so the favors had to reflect our pool theme! Each girl received drawstring bag filled with an inflatable blue and green swimming tube and a pair of colorful flip flops! . If I have to say so myself, they were darling!

Paige Party favors 2

This party started out as a small party for 10 girls and turned out to be quite the event – complete with a celebrity chef on hand to cook a marvelous meal for everyone. This clearly was a happy and fun-filled birthday celebration for everyone involved. I am sure that this is a day that will be remembered for years to come!

Flower Pot with Dots

I am a collector of Milk Glass, specifically the Milk Glass that was manufactured by the Westmoreland Company in the 1950’s. The “Grapevine” motif  and the  “Hob Nail” patterns are my favorite. The Grapevine motif is just beautiful and the Hob Nail is cheerful. It looks like white polka dots on white glass. The best part, is that it goes with everything in my house.

So in the spirit of the Hob Nail pattern and all things polka dot, I experimented with a painting technique on a terracotta flower pot. I needed to create a gift for someone, and I wanted the flower pot to look fun & special.

Supplies for this project:hob nail pot 2resized

  • Terracotta flower pot
  • White puffy paint – from a craft store
  • Outdoor patio paint, white  – from a craft store
  • Sponge paint brush – from a craft store
  • Drop cloth or newspaper to protect surfaces
  • Plastic cup  for the patio paint
  • Clear gloss spray paint or sealer

First, soak the terracotta pot in water for about an hour and scrub any debris away. Let the pot dry completely.  When it is dry, place the pot on your newspaper. This part of the project you can do inside the house. It won’t stink up the place! Next, take the puffy paint and just start adding the dots to the pot. Practice a bit to get the size dots that you like uniform. Let the puffy paint dry completely. hob nail pot_resized

When the dots are dry, take the Outdoor Patio Paint and pour it into your plastic cup. Dip your sponge paint brush into the paint and apply it to the pot. I painted most of the inside of the pot, too. You will need two coats. When this is dry take your pot outside and spray it with the clear gloss paint or whatever sealer you purchased to seal the paint.hob nail pot 4_resized

This fast a very fast project. I did not have the time to plant my newly painted pot with flowers, so I went to the local nursery and purchased a beautiful plant to put inside, added a bow…..and there you go! One beautiful gift!

This would translate to a table centerpiece very easily, or a cluster of pots outside your front door in varying sizes. Lots of possibilities for this project.!

Try it one day for yourself!

hob nail pot 3_resized


Mother’s Day Table

Mother’s Day is Sunday! I am not a mother, but I have a spectacular mother who will be 91 this year. She is still as perky as ever, and has always been a great source of fun, beauty and laughter in the Vital household. She taught me about entertaining and making a house a home. She still has her golden touch – making the world a happier place. I guess that is why she and my dad have had such a happy life together. After 68 years they are still holding hands and going on dates. Forget about Ron and Nancy, my family has its own great love story!

In her honor, I hosted a table at a Mother’s Day luncheon at a local Catholic charity. A spring green garden themed table setting. This was a garden themed table that had a biblical bent. The biblical theme is optional, but for this table, it was an absolute must! It can be altered to suit your own garden theme.

I started out at the local home center and purchased 4 small ivy plants with long tails. I like ivy because it is a good filler of empty places on a table. I purchased asparagus fern. It is whispy and gorgeous as a filler. Best of all it  adds texture. For flowers, I picked up 2 miniature rose pots and 2  small pots of violets. Lastly, I picked up some moss. All the different greens added depth and drama. mothers day

I purchased a ready made spring green table cloth, and several yards (about 4) of green and white buffalo check cotton fabric for the napkins and table topper. I purchased it  at one of my favorite haunts downtown, LA Alex. A great place to get fabric and ready made table cloths (so many colors!), chair sashes, cloth napkins and fabric. The green and white fabric was $2.50 per yard. The  120 inch round table cloth was under $11! I don’t  think you can rent them that inexpensively! Really, if you entertain and don’t know about LA Alex – check them out. 418 E. 9th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 . 213-489-3010.

For the center of the table, I wrapped a few books for height in a green fabric and placed a potted plant on top. Once that was done I started placing my ferns and ivy twisting my tails of ivy around until the wrapped books were covered. In order to get the random placement of “blooming roses” I used water tubes for flowers. You can find these at any craft store and they are reusable. If you don’t want to use them, just place your small pots of roses and place them around the table, hiding the pots as best as you can with the ivy , fern or moss.

The settings on the table were pretty. I used gold chargers and cutlery. I think gold adds richness to the colors on a table….and it blends beautifully with green. I cut the green and white checked fabric into 14 inch squares for the napkins. I did not used napkin rings. I just tied them with a green stripe ribbon. Here’s a trick….I like my napkins to look “full”. For some reason, they never do. So before I gather up the napkins, I lay the square out and place a large unfolded paper napkin on top of the fabric napkin. then I gather both pieces together, with the paper napkin inside. If you used a napkin ring, the napkins would actually fill the napkin ring. The paper adds sturdiness and makes the napkin fuller.

mothers day 2

I cut 2 yards of the green and white check fabric for a table topper. It does not have to be square. Since I hem everything later…..I used pinking shears to have the decorative edge. I hem things later, because I never know if I will used the fabric the same way again. If I like the idea, then I hem it…..I figure, why waste time on something I may never use again?

For the favors, I purchased some packets of drawer sachets. You can find them anywhere – 3 to a pack. I chose Lily of the Valley. Tie them up in cellophane and a pretty ribbon. Very pretty. My mom adored the scent.

A lovely afternoon!

Happy Mother’s Day!