DIY Mother’s Day Gift: Past-Present-Future Story Book Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreThanAMom #CollectiveBias

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Mother’s Day has always been one of the most joyous holidays to celebrate in my family! My brothers and I are beyond lucky to have a Mother who has been unconditionally there for us through every stage of our lives, and every year we love having a day to make it all about her! At different stages in our story of life one or more of us hasn’t always been nearby to celebrate with her, but we always pause for a moment on that day to contact her so she knows we are thinking of her. As I’ve grown older I’ve enjoyed learning about the person she was before she became a Mother. Being a Mother to 4 children is only a small part of who she is as a person, and this Mother’s Day I wanted to create something that reflects the story of her life through my eyes in a memorable way!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

For this Mother’s Day DIY I will show you how I created a personalized Story Book showcasing the past, present and future relationship I have with my mother, and include some of the things I have always wanted to tell her💕  You could make your own Story Book for your Grandmother, Aunt, a best friend who is like a Sister, or even the woman you met last month, after moving to your new duty station, who has become like a second mother to your own children… Whoever your Mother figure is, it’s important to not only thank her for everything she’s been to you, but let her know she will always be important to you, and you can’t wait to continue in life together!

5 Generations of Mothers in My Family (i'm the baby!)

I remember shopping with my Mother for cards, tissue paper, gift wrap and gift bags as a child, and no matter the occasion, American Greetings always had the right thing to say, in the most beautiful way possible to fulfill the message we wanted to give to friends and family. My mother worked at AAFES years before she was married, so when I’m looking for a card, I know my Mother would tell me to shop there first! As an adult, although my address has changed many times as I’ve moved with my Husband in the Army, I know I can visit AAFES anywhere in the world and walk down the American Greetings aisle with the assurance that I’ll find what I need. Right now, AAFES Exchange stores are offering a Buy 3 Cards, Get $2 off promo through May 14th to help you get all the cards you need this Mother’s Day! Look for a sign in the card aisle, or an ad inside the in-store circular for details and a coupon! I’d also recommend going online and getting some inspiration for your Mother’s Day Story Book creation with American Greetings on their site at Expressions of Happiness!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

This trip down the American Greetings aisle I looked for cards with beautiful elements that I could deconstruct and use to create a story that reflected what my Mother has meant to me for the last 29 years. While shopping for materials to create this DIY Story Book it took only seconds to find the perfect cards because American Greetings always seems to read my mind, and had exactly what I was looking for! I chose 4 darling cards with unique 3D elements to tell the story of my relationship with my mother. I also picked up some white tissue paper, blue ribbon and a white tissue paper flower to wrap my finished Story Book in. I always think of the sweet, fresh scent of baby powder when I see white tissue paper because it reminds me of the fluffy white powder puff my mother used every night after giving us baths when we were little!

Find American Greetings in your local Military AAFES Exchange!

Read the instructions and watch the video tutorial below to learn how to make the Story Book!

You Will Need:

  • 3-4 cards
  • Tissue paper
  • Ribbon and/or bow(s)
  • Double side tape
  • Single hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • Photos (optional)

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Instructions:

  • Choose one card to act as “Cover” and “Back” of your book. We will be sandwiching all other pages inside this card.
  • If you choose a card with a 3D pop-out (like the pink rose one shown below) place that card in the center so it has the maximum amount of space to completely open up.
  • Deconstruct card envelopes to use as additional “pages” if desired.
  • Cut out and remove your favorite elements from the remaining cards.
  • Affix your photos and paper elements to as many pages as you want your book to have.
  • Line up left sides of all pages and punch two matching holes, at the top and bottom, of each page.
  • String ribbon through holes and tie securely to hold all pages together.
  • For each page that tells a part of your story write down your thoughts and memories as they pertain to your mother figure. Notes can be something you wished you could have told her when you were young (and just didn’t know how!), a funny story you want to share, a thank-you for everything she’s done, and of course everything you love about your relationship with her in your past, present and future!
  • Optional: Use an element from one of the cards to keep the book closed, or wrap ribbon around the book and tie with a bow that can be easily opened.
  • Wrap your Story Book in tissue paper and decorate with remaining ribbon for gifting.

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

My Mum told me this is one of her favorite photos of me!

My mother told me this is one of her favorite photos of me as a child, so I had to include a copy in our Story Book!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

The wonderful thing about shopping for the perfect card at AAFES is that American Greetings unites so many different people, for every joyous celebration, together in one spot! You never know who you’re going to see while you’re browsing the card and gift wrap aisle, but you know you’re all looking for the same thing – A way to communicate your emotions and feelings for someone you care about.

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Love this idea? Pin it and share the joy of celebrating all mothers, everywhere!

DIY Mother's Day Story Book Gift with American Greetings

Who will you gift your DIY Mother’s Day Story Book to? I’d love to hear the history behind how you plan on choosing your cards to make this Story Book!

Signature

Grown Up Easter Basket Inspiration

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

One of my favorite requests to receive from friends and family is my help finding a gift for someone special. Over the years I’ve been asked to put together Easter baskets and I thought I’d share some of my favorite things to include for a non-food/candy basket for grown up girls! These photos are of a ‘mock’ basket of ideas that include gifts I have personally received that would be perfect to give for Easter! (Of course, I’m keeping all of these items, but you get the idea!)

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

I love seasonally packaged makeup like this darling bunny shaped Lipsmacker! Bonus: It also smells and tastes amazing! The Anastasia Beverly Hills highlight palette is a new beauty release and very hot right now. All the cool girls are going to be trying to get their hands on this one for Spring! Bath bombs are another currently trending item. Try to find some in fresh Spring colors like these from Forever21, Urban Outfitters or Etsy.

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

This fun-sized-Instagram-worthy Instax camera is one of my favorite things I ever received in a brand PR package and it makes the perfect gift! You can pick one up from here or here. If you know her size consider some athletic gear like a Fitbit watch strap or a pair of trainers. I don’t know any girl who doesn’t love a fresh new pair of gym kicks! These pale pink ones by Nike are comfy and chic!

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

Mugs are one of the easiest gifts to find and give. There are always cute ones for ever season at places like Target and Michael’s. This pink and gold “I Get You” mug is from TJMaxx and was gifted to me on Valentine’s Day by a dear friend.

Grown Up #Girlboss Easter Basket Inspiration!

The basket and filling is the easiest part. Choose something a little ‘nicer’ than your typical dollar-bin straw version and opt for a metal style in silver or gold. This one was only $5 from HomeGoods and I picked up the squiggle shred from the greeting card section of the drugstore.

You can always tuck a few seasonally shaped chocolates somewhere in the basket, just to make it quintessentially Easter, but it’s not a requirement! I tried to make this whole process as simple as possible, so if you have a husband/boyfriend or someone who isn’t super creative with Seasonal gifting to worry about, send this link their way! Hopefully they’ll be pointed in the right direction and be inspired!

Signature

Cocoa Couture Easter Tablescape

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of entertaining a group of incredible women for a Progressive Brunch. A progressive meal or “Safari Supper” is made of successive courses prepared and eaten at the residence of different hostesses. This involves consumption of one course at each location. Each of us ladies prepared a part of traditional brunch and Ubered from each of our houses to the next, after each course, enjoying the company and styling of each person’s take on a brunch tablescape!

My house was the first stop and I hosted the Mimosa and fruit course! I wanted to share my tablescape with you because I have to show you how easy it is to design a party table without spending a ton of money on theme décor. Every element of the design are DIYs I’ve blogged about previously with a few drugstore Easter isle props thrown in!

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Disco balls are ornaments seen before here. TIP: If you have any pastel ornaments or at least a bunch of smaller Christmas ornaments all the same color you can group them together around a floral centerpiece in a tray, or pick up a bag of plastic eggs for a few dollars.

DIY Silver and black box centerpiece here. TIP: This is literally just an empty box to give height to the center of the table. You can use any cardboard box you already have and spray paint or decorate it (glue on jewels, flowers, glitter, etc.) to match your color theme and you’ll instantly have a customized centerpiece!

 Chanel bunny DIY seen before here. TIP: The centerpiece doesn’t have to be the most expensive part of the table, it just has to tie everything in.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

If you don’t have fabric napkins or a table cloth, consider borrowing some from a friend or family member. Fabric linens really elevate the whole look vs. using plastic or paper. If you’re considering purchasing a table cloth and napkins, opt for all-white or all-cream, since a neutral background color will work for almost any occasion. The ones I used were gifts from my Mum who passed them on to me when she realized she was no longer using them regularly and she knew I liked them.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

One of the easiest ways to create a cohesive layout is by grouping similar items together, such as candles, of the same color. I grabbed a few black and pink candles from around my house and placed them on the table to continue the black and pink theme.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but if you make your food / drink part of the theme, the necessary items on the table can instantly lend to the decor palette. For example, I made white chocolate fondue colored light pink with a few drops of red food coloring, blueberries and strawberries on skewers (for easy dipping!) and chose ginger ale, champagne and gin bottles with pink and black labels and packaging.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Lastly, I grabbed a few Easter Lindt chocolates that lend to the Easter aspect (mini carrots and bunnies are so cute, and can double as party favors!) as well as a bunch of pink roses and greenery, because nothing says, “Spring” like fresh flora!

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

The tiny ceramic bunnies I purchased several years ago while living in Germany at their version of the Dollar Store, but I’m sure they have similar ones in the States.

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

Cocoa Couture Easter Table Scape

What are your thoughts? Have you ever hosted or been to a themed progressive meal?

Signature

DIY Valentine’s Day Arrangements

Today’s video tutorial shows you how to create two Valentine themed arrangements! One with real roses and an edible version with chocolate rose buds. These “boxed” style rose arrangements are gaining huge popularity on Instagram and can run you anywhere from $50$1,500 or more! The little DIY below will cost you about $20!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Two DIY Valentine's Day Arrangements!

Above: me, modeling the roses arrangement seen in the video!

Supplies used are listed below:

Boxes, floral tape, floral foam, red cellophane bags, cake pop sticks, double side tape, metallic tape here and here, roses from Private Selection, download printable label HERE.

What do you think? Will you be DIY-ing your own boxed roses arrangement for someone special this Valentine’s Day?

XOXO

Signature

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

New Year’s Eve for us always ends up being really amazing or really awful! One year we were in Berlin and I seriously remember like 10 minutes of the entire night, while another time we accidentally fell asleep in our pajamas, in our apartment (even though all our friends were only 2 blocks away waiting on us to arrive at our favorite bar!) and missed everything. For this NYE I wanted something romantic and low key that would still feel like a celebration! The only thing that threatened to ruin my “trunk picnic” plan was the immanent rain! Thankfully there was only the lightest of misting here in Nashville on NYE and we were able to enjoy our champagne toast at midnight ❤️

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

I decorated the trunk of my Jeep Latitude with a faux fur rug, disco ball, tinsel strands, a vintage picnic basket, roses, poppers, strawberries, champagne and macarons! I had everything set up so that the tailgate could open and close with everything inside! Watch the video below to see! (There was a LOT of scotch tape involved!) 

While trying to find an alternate route to my office one day I discovered the perfect spot to watch fireworks over Nashville! We had a beautiful cityscape view on NYE, just long enough to catch the midnight barrage of fireworks before the fog set in.

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Shop the post below!

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Even though this was the simplest NYE date ever I think it’s by far my favorite! Back in 2010 we did NYE in Nashville on Broadway, and I have to say, I don’t plan on doing that again! I love the idea of dressing to the nines and sipping champagne in your own living room, or at a quiet spot overlooking the brightly lit city, with those few special people who make life worth living. NYE is a time for reflection, celebration and thankfulness. It doesn’t have to be spent in Times Square, or attending Gorgeous at the Ritz, to feel like it was a successful one!

What’s the best NYE you ever had and what made it special?

Signature