Category Archives: Holidays

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!



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.


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!







Bunnies Abound!

20160326_140400I Normally  I would not do another blog post on a subject that has already been covered, but I just have to share this. I have a friend and client who had a HUGE table to set for Easter brunch. This table is 12 feet by 12 feet. It. Is. Huge. She always does an incredible job ordering flowers for her home, but this table is so large, it needed something more. I mentioned my idea from last week’s post about the ceramic bunnies – essentially tying the floral arrangements and the bunnies together for a forest effect. She liked the idea, so we went to work!

Well. I must say this table was a masterpiece! She ordered her 3 floral arrangements from Flowerman in Pasadena. The main floral arrangement was a basket with a bunny in the center. It was adorable. It was beautiful. It was the focal point and inspiration for the entire table. The other 2 arrangements, were lovely, as well, but we added some little egg “picks” and inserted them into the arrangements to add some Easter fun!20160326_140237

I wanted to continue the woodland theme created with this bunny basket. In order to do that she ordered 2 bunches of greenery so that it could be placed around the table in free handed form. We used leather leaf fern. The stems on the fern were long, so we cut them down and placed them on the table – making sure that no stems were visible. We added various sized paper mache eggs nestled  around the table top, and finished with the bunnies. I cannot stress enough that the greenery really completed this table. It filled in the spaces that needed “just a little something extra”. It is an inexpensive idea that really added the polish for this idea……Add the jelly beans and malted milk eggs strewn around ….a delish delight to behold!

The four families that gathered to celebrate this Easter meal had a lovely table to view  while they talked and ate among the forest creatures!

I am positive that the hostess received many a compliment on the table she created for her guests to enjoy on this marvelous and joyous day!

Easy Easter Tablescape

I set my table for Easter a little early this year because I wanted to share it with you!

Bunnies and chicks abound with this year’s table design, and it was so simple to do. Always a plus!

I have a collection of ceramic bunnies, eggs and chicks, so this year I decided that instead of putting them in various spots around the house, I gathered them up to place them on the table top. I was careful to space them randomly… you would find critters in a field playing.

IMG_2034I chose to weave a garland of greenery around the bunnies, but you could also use the Easter grass that you find at the store, as well. If your table is not complete without flowers, by all means add the flowers! It’s all up to you!

After I was happy with my placement, I scattered jelly beans and chocolate eggs all around my bunnies and chicks….Yum, jelly beans and chocolate. I do adore dessert first!

I also made my Easter cards from stuff I collected from the Dollar Store (I told you that I liked that place, right?) A little card stock, scrap ribbon, a glue gun, a stamp and ink…..and… cute cards! All made with scraps of what I had on hand. The animals were little felt premade forms purchased last year from – yep, you guessed it – the Dollar Store. I just knew I would use those little guys one day!IMG_1328

The inside was just another piece of scrap paper that I stamped with an Easter stamp and ink. Easy, inexpensive….and adorable!

Just Ducky!

IMG_1351I hope you all have a wonderful, safe and Happy Easter!

Enjoy your day!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is coming! It is my favorite day of the year. It is an opportunity for me to tell the important people in my life how much they are loved. A card, a telephone call (yes, a call, not a text), a simple little gift of appreciation to the people on my “I love you” list.

This year I’m going give goodies to the wonderful firefighters at the fire station that I live near. I have a basket that I painted red. I lined the basket with red gingham fabric and filled the basket with store bought muffins, “Red Hots” candy, red and white M & M candies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies and biscotti. It’s a happy basket meant to thank some great people for risking their lives to help so many people! I hope they will enjoy all the goodies!IMG_1864

 I’m wrapping up some yummy carbonated flavored water in bandanas for my Pilates clients. . Adorable and useful!….When the water is gone, they will have a bandana to use for something else! 20150213_083016

I may spoil the surprise, but my gal pals will be getting darling heart pins. IMG_1281

I purchased ½ yard of black velvet fabric. I sewed a little pillow and pinned the heart to the pillow (the ½ yard of fabric will make 8 pillows). Then I wrapped it all up in cellophane, added a bow, and ta-dah! A. Great. Gift. These could also be party favors for a Valentine party!

These are just a few simple ideas to make your Valentines Day a very happy day!

And of course….Wear red!