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A New Twist on Paint Night

I’m always looking for a good excuse for a girls night, and let me just tell you, if I saw this paint night hosted by the lovely Kari Rider, I would have my girls signed up in a hot second. But since Kari is just as sweet as they come, she’s giving us tips on how to recreate just such an evening in the comfort of your own home, cocktails included. Don’t you just love her?

Here at Kari Rider Events, we’re always on the hunt for an opportunity to gather the girls, and we found the perfect excuse jumping on the popular paint and wine night bandwagon. Naturally, we wanted to put our own twist on the night, so we ditched the bold colors and intense scenes of paint nights past, opting instead for a soft and cheery color scheme inspired by the night’s citrus painting. A few fun details—like gorgeous orange and blue blooms from Monterey Farms, jute welcome bags with hand-lettered place cards by Poppy and Scooter, and adorable DIY dip-dyed pillar candles—helped set the tone for a night of palette-sharpening fun (or at the very least palate-sharpening thanks to our signature sparkling citrus sangria!).

Here are five tips for recreating our paint and wine night at home

Choose a Simple Subject

You can find inspiration for your painting subject anywhere. Just remember, your guests are most likely all novice painters, so be careful to choose a subject that isn’t too involved. We chose this orange painting based on its simple design and manageable features.

Enlist a Professional

Even if your guests have some painting experience, it’s best to bring in an instructor to keep everyone on the same page and up to the same pace. Franchise paint night organizations aren’t your only option. For a truly unique experience, try contacting a local artist like we did.

Stick with a Theme

The theme for the evening will most likely stem from the painting subject you choose. Once we decided on the orange painting, we were able to weave that theme through the rest of the event’s details. We went with an orange and blue color scheme—which popped in the flower arrangements by Monteray Farms—served a sparkling citrus sangria as the signature drink, and DIYed Summer Citrus Potpourri Sachets for the welcome bags. To bring in a little more blue, we followed a simple, three-step dip-dyed candle tutorial from Martha Stewart.

Make it Personal

Personal touches go a long way in making guests feel extra special. The attendees of our paint night were greeted with hand-lettered place cards attached to small jute welcome bags and aprons adorned with the Kari Rider Events logo (both lettered by Poppy & Scooter). As an alternative, have a calligrapher letter each guest’s name on Joann Fabric’s twill aprons, or do it yourself if you have pretty handwriting.

Plan Appropriately

Be sure to arrange your table setup so that everyone can easily see the instructor—angling the chairs toward the front of the room is an easy trick. Also, keep in mind this can be a messy event, so dress your tables accordingly. We used drop cloths for our table coverings—an affordable alternative to standard linens and one that fits perfectly with the paint night vibe. Since your guests will be sitting down for long periods of time, your menu also needs to be carefully planned. Gourmet by the Bay chose cold finger foods that paired well with the signature drink and sauvignon blanc at our paint night.

Photography: CJK Visuals | Event Design: Kari Rider Events | Florist: Monteray Farms | Catering: Gourmet By The Bay | Calligraphy: Poppy And Scooter | Apron: JoAnn Fabric | Dip-dyed Candles: Martha Stewart | Event Studio: Kari Rider Events | Instructor: Sarah Hutchison Focht | Invitation Design: Cara Smith Designs | Rentals: Eastern Shore Tents And Events | Welcome Bags: Paper Mart | Wine And Signature Drink: Hair O' The Dog

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Styling Your Kitchen Sink with Seventh Generation

Much like a bookshelf or a coffee table, a kitchen sink can reflect your design savvy personality. From classic to bright, elegant to modern, we’re showing you three ways to style your sink and express your inner dish soap personality. And with Seventh Generation’s line of natural, eco-friendly products, styling your dishwashing station is insanely easy. We consider it the sudsy, hypoallergenic cherry on top. Have a look at three ways to make your Seventh Generation Dish Liquid shine.

Gussied Up Classic

For this classic sink moment, we paired simple striped dish towels and a pot of pretty hydrangeas with fancy pants marble accessories all in an elegant, black and white color palette. It plays ever so nicely with Seventh Generation’s Lavender, Floral and Mint Dish Soap.

Gussied Up Classic Kitchen Accessories:  Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid in Lavender Floral and Mint | Marble Vase: Crate and Barrel  | Dish Towels: West Elm | Spice Jar Candles: West Elm | Marble Cake Stand: Crate and Barrel | Canisters:West Elm | Natural Sponge: Home Depot | Sponge Dish: West Elm | Rug: West Elm

Pop of Bohemian

Taking a cue from Seventh Generations Lemongrass and Clementine Zest, we set out to infuse our sinkscape with citrusy, warm hues and modern metals. Copper and gold did the trick to add a splash of color along with graphic dish towels and the cutest patterned rug under foot.

Pop of Bohemian Kitchen Accessories: Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid in Lemongrass and Clementine Zest | Faceted Terrariums: West Elm | Dish Towels: Anthropologie | Napkins: Anthropologie | Copper Canisters: Vintage | Copper Basket: Anthropologie | Rug: Urban Outfitters

Fresh Coastal Kitchen

Nothing says fresh coastal kitchen quite like a bowl full of lemons or a pitcher of fresh squeezed lemonade. Add to that cobalt canisters and blue striped towels which just so happen to be the perfect accompaniment to a fresh squeezed sink look. Simply add in the Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid and you’re ready to rumble.

Fresh Coastal Kitchen Accessories: Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid in Lavender Floral and Mint | Sponge Holder: West Elm | Sponge: Crate and Barrel | Blue and White Plates: West Elm | Glass Pitcher: Target | Cutting Board: West Elm | Canisters: Anthropologie | Rug: Dash and Albert


With the help of a few key accessories and your favorite scented Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, it’s super easy to express your kitchen personality. See what other fun products Seventh Generation has up their cleaning sleeves and then get ready to make those sinkscapes sparkle.


Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design and Styling: SMP Living

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For membership information, click here
Champagne Pear Cocktail and Mini Naked Fig Cakes

I’m a big fan of a pretty cocktail. And when it’s paired with a pretty, bite-sized dessert? Well, that’s a home run to me. So this oh-so-lovely cocktail and cake combo from Rebecca With Urban Flip FlopsApril With Tea America and Maxeen Kim Photography is basically my idea of perfection, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m saving these recipes for my next little gathering.

From Rebecca With Urban Flip FlopsI teamed up with Maxeen Kim Photography and April With Tea America to create some small tea size bites and seasonal cocktails, Sips & Sweets! This cocktail is an easy fresh pear puree, champagne , thyme and gold leaf. So pretty, so easy and so delicious. This would be perfect for a Fall wedding! Paired with mini naked fig cakes, it is perfect for a bridal shower, brunch or wedding.

Pear Champagne Cocktail

Fresh Pear Juice
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Pear
Edible Gold Leaf
Add 2 Tablespoons of fresh pear juice to a champagne coupe. 
Slice pears into thin slivers for garnish
Top juice with champagne. 
Place 1 pear sliver and 1 twig off fresh thyme on glass
Sprinkle with Edible Gold

Two-Bite Buttermilk Naked Cakes with Pink Champagne &  Tonka Bean Buttercream Frosting

Makes roughly 30 two-layer, two-bite cakes using an 8-cavity Freshware silicone popover mold
Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly butter the mold cavities using a pastry brush.
2. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork or  hand mixer, blend the dry ingredients thoroughly. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Start mixing the batter on low speed and once the ingredients have incorporated, increase the speed and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition. There will be 9 cups of batter; transfer the batter to piping bags, scraping down the sides.
4. Fill each cavity 2/3 full, leaving enough room for the cake to rise.
5. Bake your two-bite cakes for 15 minutes and then increase the time in 3-minute increments, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Typically it will take 20-23 minutes.
6. Leave your cakes in the baking mold until they are cool enough to handle, and then turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.

Pink Champagne & Tonka Bean Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Food Network


4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons pink champagne (prosecco works just as well if need be)
1/2 a tonka bean, grated
Gel food coloring (if desired)

Photography: Maxeen Kim Photography | Styling: Rebecca With Urban Flip Flops | Cake: April With Tea America

Cape Cod Beach House Tour

If you’ve gotten your hands on the latest book from Young House Love then you may spot a few pretty pics from Abby’s beach house. We’re diving into the full tour of this magical spot; cute kids and fluffy dog included. It’s a casual, cozy home perfect for family entertaining and all done with an amazing view. But the best part? The beautiful mash-up of hand me downs and inexpensive finds from HomeGoods, flea markets and even a few found on the side of the road and given new life! See it all here!

From Abby… One of my Dad’s dreams has been to spend his Summers on the Cape. He grew up in New England with 7 brothers and sisters and collectively, they have spent hundreds of nights, cocktail in hand, watching their children catch fire flies and run until they literally collapse into bed. So when the opportunity came for us to all go in together on a house at the Cape, we dove in head first.

We bought the house as is, which included a great layout, brand new, gorgeous appliances and a very neutral palette. While there are a million things I want to do with the house – new fixtures, lighting, rugs, you know the obsessions I’m talking about – we aren’t doing anything just yet so that we can enjoy the home as much as humanly possible.


Sofa: Restoration Hardware | Chairs: Restoration Hardware | Rug: Restoration Hardware Outlet | Sofa Table: Home Goods | Tray, Bar Cart, Books, Vases & Decor: Flea Market Finds | Coral: Restoration Hardware Outlet | Mirror: Home Goods (painted white) | Flamingo Pillow: West Elm | Lamps: Restoration Hardware Outlet | Lucite Side Table: Craigslist | Kitchen Stools: Target

When we decorated, we made a conscious decision to save our pennies. Our furniture was all hand-me-downs from my own home or from our extended family. We peppered in with flea market finds, accessories from HomeGoods and other nearby shops + a hearty handful of super sale dishware and other necessities. The end result is comfy with well made, well lived furniture and details that embrace the easy nature of Cape Cod. We’ll update it all someday but for now, it’s just perfect.

My daughter, Audrey, will spend literally hours coloring. So now, she can just run up to her room and using a clothing pin, showcase all of her pretty artwork. I tend to edit as she goes but this little wall gives her so much pride and was such an inexpensive way to add a decor moment to the kid’s room.

We overfilled the house with beds. From the bunks in my kids’ room below with a pullout trundle to the crib room with an added bed for grownups, our hope was that each “family” within our family could have their own space and a comfy place to rest their head. All of the accessory style or accent furniture was scored at flea markets and has been painted, painted and repainted depending on the room that its in or the decor that it sits beside.


Bedding: IKEA | Yellow Throw Pillows: West Elm | Yellow Chair: West Elm | Woven Shark: Home Goods | Dresser: Flea Market | Rug: Land of Nod | Lamp: West Elm | Mirror:Home Goods, painted gold

My son, who rarely sleeps through the night in our own home (don’t ask, it’s a touchy subject), sleeps like a log here. Mainly because he is right next to his sister but also because he is obsessed with this bunk bed. So much so that he is willing to overlook the pink decor and namely girly style. For me, beach house = bunk beds.


Bunk Beds: Jordans | Flamingo Pillow: West Elm | Suede Pillows: IKEA | Rug: Land of Nod

The home has two masters. This one is upstairs near the kids room so Tait (my husband) and I staked our claim. My parents use another master suite that I keep threatening to turn into a Master + Game room because it’s so big. That said, I love this room. It’s light-filled, classic and captures a little bit more of “me” in the whole beach house vibe.


Bedding: IKEA | Side Table: Flea Market | Lamp: HomeGoods | Zebra Rug: ABC Home | Jute Rug: IKEA | Painting: DIY (by my 7 year old)

Photography: SMP Living

DIY Halloween Costume: Rain Cloud

No sew is my DIY love language. So is easy to put together and this Rain Cloud costume is all of that. Plus you can alter it for warmer or colder climates and there’s the whole “Holy cow that is the most adorable costume I’ve ever seen” factor. And bonus, if your kid has a major melt down it just adds to the stormy rain cloud ambiance as demonstrated by sweet little Thea. For even more costume ideas, click here.


Cotton batting
White sunhat
Blue leotard
80-100 yds of blue tulle (4-5 rolls of 6” wide tulle)
1 sheet silver sequin or glitter paper
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
3 yards of 0.75” wide elastic
Round bucket
Measuring tape or yardstick
Masking tape


step-1 Cut the elastic in half. Turn the bucket upside down and tie one piece around the bucket, towards the top.

step-1 Measure your kiddo from under their arms to their feet (for us it was about 18”). You’ll need to cut all the tulle rolls into pieces twice that length (36”). If you have a picture frame that is 18”, you can cut this super quickly using this method: tape one end of the tulle to one end of the frame, then flip the frame around and around (winding the tulle around it) until the whole roll is used. Cut through the tulle at one end of the frame, and voila! All the pieces are cut to roughly 36”.

step-2Fold a piece of tulle in half, then tie to the elastic using a girth hitch Repeat with remaining tulle pieces until all the tulle is on the elastic (or enough elastic is covered to go completely around your little one’s torso). This video gives a good visual of the method

step-3Place the second band of elastic over the top of the tulle dress, about 2-3” lower than the first piece of elastic. One by one, pull each piece of tulle through and knot around the elastic.

step-4 Cut small teardrop shaped pieces from the sequin paper to make the raindrops. I made some larger and some smaller, I didn’t worry about being too exact. You’ll want about 30 raindrops.

step-4 Hot glue the raindrops on the skirt and bodice of the dress.

step-4 Hot glue tufts of batting to the hat until both the underside and top side of the brim are covered.

8: Dress your child in the blue leotard. Remove the dress from the bucket and have your child put it on. Re-tie the elastic to fit your child snugly. Tie on the raincloud hat and send your little raincloud out to trick or treat!

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here