Pretty & Professional

Hopkins Center for the Arts I was on my high school’s mock trial team (as if being in art school wasn’t nerdy enough), and I wasn’t very good at it. In fact, the only positive thing to come out of that extracurricular was the realization that nothing can elicit the feeling of power and professionalism like a polished outfit finished off with a blazer. But sadly, I’m not a fan of wearing suits. They’re not very comfortable and they’re pretty boring! So I’ve developed techniques to put together outfits that are professional yet still have both personality and comfort. If you work in a creative industry or an office with a business casual dress code, it’s absolutely okay to play with the balance of personal and professional style. My favorite techniques for putting together a comfortable, pretty and office-approved outfit are pictured here: low-heeled boots, a skirt with fun flair, a blazer in a stretch fabric, and eye-catching jewelry.

Hopkins Center for Arts Feminine details like gold jewelry and a layered lace pencil skirt balance out the semi-tailored jacket. This is my current favorite marriage of office-appropriate tailoring and artsy, feminine touches. You can forget the matchy-matchy suit sets as long as common colors and harmonious patterns/textures bind the pieces of your outfit together.

Necklace: Modcloth; Blazer: Carlson (bought at Nordstrom Rack); Skirt: Modcloth; Boots: Franco Sarto

Location: Hopkins Center for the Arts

Quirky Homemade Postcards

PostcardI made this as a housewarming note for a friend of mine who lives in another city. I took a large format postcard that was actually an advertisement for a catering company, pasted it on cardstock, trimmed the cardstock to match the size of the postcard, and then covered the address with a blank label. I printed my own caption, then cut and individually pasted the words. On the back (which was solid cardstock), I had plenty of room to write a long message. My friend loved it (duh), even though she didn’t get it for a few weeks because she didn’t know where the mail slot was in her new building.

To make your own postcard, you will need the obvious tools such as scissors, glue and card stock. The hardest thing to find is source material–I was lucky to find such a cute and quirky advertisement. If nothing suitable arrives in your mailbox, you can always print something that you find yourself online. As for the caption, try to channel the ever-witty Anne Taintor, who popularized this retro, self-mocking style of humor with her popular line of gift items. Put aside your inner perfectionist–this is essentially a collage project, so layered paper and uneven edges are part of the charm! Before I mailed my homemade postcard I covered it with a laminating sheet to protect all the layers. One last word of caution–make sure to use enough postage and make sure your creation abides by USPS’s postcard guidelines. Make something cute? Share your creation on The Pink Paperdoll’s Facebook page.

An Enchanted Grand Opening

Last weekend marked a milestone for a great company I’ve had the pleasure of working with, Tiny Diva Princess Party. Tiny Divas has been bringing royalty to life since 2008. Now, the princesses have a new event space to call home in Eagan, MN. To celebrate the grand opening of the Events! location, they hosted an enchanted party of fairytale proportions.

Tiny Diva Grand OpeningSome of the royalty in attendance, captured in the photo booth provided by Travis Johansen.

The party included chocolate tiara(!) demonstrations by chocolatier Kevin Lindee–he’s the one who did these fabulous, much-beloved truffles. But by far, his most adored creation of the day was a chocolate rose, fit for a princess.

chocolate princess roseThe Grand Opening weekend delighted princes and princesses of all ages, but especially the under 10 crowd. Little princesses got one-on-one time and autographs from their favorite royalty and partook in giveaways, treats and shopping. The Eagan party location will be available for booking parties and events through Tiny Diva Princess Party.

Princesses

 

Calendar Quest: 2014 Edition

calendarWe were a good part of the way through January when I realized I didn’t have a calendar to my name for 2014. As someone who relishes planning maybe a little too much, this was quite disturbing. Despite relying heavily on Outlook at work and my smart phone for up-to-the-minute reminders and the answer to “what day is it, anyway?” I still need that grid of printed paper to scribble appointments, deadlines and birthdays on with a favorite pen.

So thus I set out to find the perfect planner and calendar for the new year. I settled on a 5″ x 8″ Blue Sky brand agenda because it was lightweight, wire bound, small enough to slip into a purse and had both monthly and weekly calendar views. For a wall calendar, I found an illustrated Barbie calendar at Paper Source that, despite not being much of a Barbie girl, I couldn’t say no to. The illustrations are just so pretty.

plannerIn my quest for the necessary planning devices, I stumbled across a genius idea from Midwest design blogger Jensie. Crafters rejoice: it involves washi tape. For multi-day engagements, use the tape of your choice to mark across calendar grids. For the ultra-organized, you can even color code by using different tapes. You could do this just as well with a highlighter, but what’s the fun/craftiness in that?  At least this way you have an excuse to go out and buy some new rolls of the adorable, multipurpose tape that’s sweeping the craft world right now. An added bonus I found is that if an appointment changes, you can carefully peel up the washi tape and reapply it to the new date. This technique is a fun and easy way to take the monotony out of scheduling. Even dull events appear like something to look forward to when they’re dressed up like this. If you have a suggestion for how to organize your calendars, I’d love to hear about it!

7 Event Design Trends for 2014

The Event GalleryLast month I attended The Event Gallery’s 2014 trend event, a showcase from local wedding and event vendors at The Event Gallery’s uptown Minneapolis space.

Here are seven standout trends to consider for event planning in the upcoming year.

Farm to Table

farm to tableFarmer’s markets, eating local and organic everything are all so big right now, it’s no surprise that incorporating farm-inspired, nature-sourced elements into event décor is a popular wedding trend for 2014. This can include using re-purposed, found and salvaged objects, such as the pallets that form the backdrop for this scene. Farm to Table is a perfect theme for sustainability-minded couples. With vegetables and fruits taking center stage in lieu of a traditional floral centerpiece, the decorations look good enough to eat. Stylist: Girl Friday & The Vintage Type Floral: European Floral Rentals: The Vintage Type Stationary: A Milestone Paper Co.

Sequin Sweetheart

pink sequin tableIndulge in all the sequins, glitter, gold and pink your heart desires. Sequin tablecloths, glitter details, chandelier-inspired centerpieces, satin napkins and pink roses make a luxurious and glam statement. The little details of the glitter-dipped miniature champagne bottles and gold silverware are the perfect finishing touches to bring the look together. Whether you want this whole look or just a touch a touch of sparkle for your event, there is a lot to be inspired by in this set up by Linen Effects.

Donut Bar

Donut BarFollowing on the heels of the popular cupcake trend, donuts are rising to the top. There’s something charmingly retro about the deep-fried pastries and this display really showcases that charm. This vintage-glam donut and dessert bar features non-traditional flavors that will surprise and delight guests. Like cupcakes, the donut bar gives a selection of sweets choices to attendees. To round out the variety, meringues or macaroons make a lovely addition too. Rentals: The Vintage Type Donuts: Glam Doll Donuts

How Do You Know…? Pins

who do you know pinsThis is such a brilliant idea, I don’t know why I’ve never seen this done at a wedding before. A display of pins lets guest select and wear the one that best describes how they know the happy couple. It’s a genius way to help attendees break the ice and get to know one another, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing it used more and more often in wedding seasons to come. Stationary: By Stelie Designs

Laser Cut Stationary

stationaryCustom invitations get a new edge with laser cut designs. The detail and level of customization you can get with a laser cut process is unbelievable.  Design by A Milestone Paper Co.

Realistically Detailed Cakes

tree cake See the oak leaves and tree bark? That’s all marzipan, baby. This style of frosted masterpiece, well, takes the cake. Created by The Cake Divaz.

Yarn Bomb

Yarn Bomb CenterpieceYarn takes center stage as a backdrop, decoration and centerpiece in this textural, fiber arts inspired display by Girl Friday. Knitting skills not required! Stylist: Girl Friday Tablecloth, Plates, Glasswear: Mani Mela Floral: European Floral Stationary: Stelie Designs

So there you have some amazing trend inspiration to kick off your event planning for 2014. Which event trends have you seen lately and loved?

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