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A Garden Gathering

If you’re lucky enough to live in a spot where outdoor gatherings are a year long option, ummm A) the jealousy is real and B) still jealous. For this baby shower, the Denver Botanic Gardens set the scene for a floral infused garden party with a decidedly european feel crafted by A Vintage Affair + Bare Root Flora. A day perfect for a mama-to-be who also happens to be a crazy talented wedding photographer. See every last detail captured by Sarah Box in the VAULT.

Mama-to-be Laura Murray is a talented wedding photographer who loves travel, art, and beautiful details. It was such a pleasure for us to plan a lovely gathering for a dear friend who makes all of our lives (and businesses) richer for knowing her. And to get to share it with so many of our industry friends was the icing on the cake.

Our inspiration for the party came from the mama herself and from the natural beauty and European sophistication of the Woodland Mosaic greenhouse, which is a hidden gem at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

As we thought of pretty details we knew Laura would love, we hit on the idea of using one of her own travel photos for the back of the invitation. We used a watercolor app to give her beautiful garden gate photo the soft look we wanted for the invite and calligrapher Meagan Tidwell designed and lettered text.

We know Laura adores gorgeous flowers so we went for a lush, beautiful coffee table piece that featured lots of textural blooms and foliages to echo the natural beauty of the gardens. Sweet posies on gorgeous La Tavola linens were the perfect finishing touch. The wooden bistro chairs and dried lavender favors completed the garden look.

Simple, colorful and delicious food from one of Laura’s favorite restaurants made for a beautiful display, as did the pretty desserts in miniature, thoughtfully provided by Laura’s mom and sister. Each delicious dish was labeled with sweet, hand-painted signage by Lana’s Shop.

We wanted to keep things simple so we decided to skip the games and present opening in favor of conversation and wandering the gardens, but we couldn’t resist doing an interactive guest book. Guests gave advice or congratulations on vintage postcards from places that Laura has traveled. The postcards will be randomly mailed to the parents during baby’s first year.

It was a perfect afternoon in a sundrenched little paradise in celebration of a glowing mama to be!

Photography: Sarah Box Photography | Event Planning: A Vintage Affair Events & Rentals | Floral Design: Bare Root Flora | Invitations: Meagan Tidwell | Signage: Lana’s Shop

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Spiced Pear Toddy Recipe

This time of year, there is nothing I love more than cozying up by a fire with a drink that will warm me from the toes up. So when I laid eyes on this Spiced Pear Toddy in this gorgeous inspiration shoot from Krista A. Jones  and Kruse & Vieira Events, I knew we had to share. It’s sure to spice up any winter soiree you have on your agenda, even if that soiree is a date with you and your DVR.

Spiced Pear Toddy
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 1Ingredients
  • 2 oz Fresh Pear Cider
  • 1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Maple Syrup
  1. Fill glass with rum
  2. Top with fresh pear cider
  3. Add a splash of lemon juice
  4. Finish with a drizzle of maple syrup


Photography: Krista A. Jones | Florals: Petal & Print | Wedding Dress: Garnish Boutique | Makeup: Kelly Unthank | Calligraphy: Poppy & Scooter | Champagne: One Hope | Conference Center & Hotel: Aspen Wye River Conference Center | Favors & Welcome Bags: Marigold & Grey | Linens: La Tavola | Planning & Design: Kruse & Vieira Events | Rentals: Something Vintage

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
An Urban Factory turned Loft Tour

This urban factory turned apartment photographed by Renee Hollingshead is the epitome of “good bones” with windows that my entire house could probably fit through. Natural light is a hot commodity people and this gorgeous loft is rolling in it. It’s the home of Christina Boschetti of Widell Designs who has a penchant for stripes (see her son’s nursery!) and fun pops of whimsy. Find more in the VAULT.

My apartment was put together from all sorts of things in my travels, including my wedding which I designed myself. I went from living in a super modern Phillip Starck building in New York to a rustic chic 2 story apartment in Philly.

 Being a cook, I was hesitant to move in to this type of space whereas the kitchen was not at all a chef oriented. Before the move-in date, I spent 6 days painting the “90’s style” oak cabinets to a tudor color. I added animal hooks to use for the knobs for a twisted pop. I updated most of the appliances and added a couch for more of an intimate setting.

 People have a tendency to congregate towards the kitchen so I added as much seating as possible in the small space. The ceilings are high so i painted the walls up to 75% the height to make the space look even bigger.

The first gift I bought my husband was a collection of PLAYBOYS consisting of the entire year he was born which I got off EBAY! My living space reflects on my husband and my personalities; fun, energetic, and unexpected! My favorite color is grey and I love stripes as they are classic and never will go out of style.

Photographer: Renee Hollingshead Of Renee Hollingshead Photography | Animal Head Handles : Rocket St. George | B's: Flea Market | Black + White Artwork: Homegoods | Black + White Throw: Homegoods | Bookshelf : Cb2 | Bottle Opener: Paul Smith | Clear Chairs: Craigslist | Clear Side Table: Craigslist | Concrete Coffee Table: Cb2 | Green Throw: Homegoods | Home : Christina Bochetti | Interior Designer : Christina Boschetti Of Widell Designs | Lamps: Cb2 | Mirror: Custom | Pig: The Door Store | Pillows: Ikea | Rams Head On Coffee Table: Homegoods | Restroom Sign: Home Depot | Salt Shakers : Jonathan Adler | Silver Drum Side Table: Overstock | Sofa : Ikea | Street Signs: Custom | White High Heel: Gilt Groupe | White Tree: Etsy

Behind the Blog: Hello Natural

Stephanie from Hello Natural is the kind of person I feel like I would click with immediately. Completely real and down to earth, her interview is like a lovely breath of fresh air. A believer in the power of pink, a good bath, and the power of delegating, there is a lot I feel like I could learn from this lovely lady (starting with how to menu plan each week – why is that so hard?!).

SMP: Some words you live by?

Quit thinking about it and just do it! I have a tendency to overthink and over plan, and I have to remind myself to get out of my head and get on with it. Because if you wait for everything to be perfect nothing will ever get done.

SMP: Any guilty pleasures?

In a lot of ways, blogging has been my guilty pleasure. I always say ‘oh, it’s for the blog!’ to justify doing or trying things that I feel a little guilty about – that was especially true when I started out and was a stay-at-home mom. Right now, buying kombucha – when I know I should learn how to make it myself – is another guilty pleasure. And I totally just binge-watched the show Awkward.

SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?

I was in brand marketing before I stopped working after my second child was born. I thought when I went back to work I would go into consumer research because I loved that aspect of marketing – figuring out what people liked and why. Instead I started the blog when he turned 1!

Now I’m trying to figure out the next evolution of the blog and what other fun things we can do. My dream job right now would be creating my own skincare line because I’m fascinated with natural ingredients and being able to make your own products.

SMP: What is your favorite item in your home?

Hmm, that’s tough. I really, really like having space for my own office (along with cabinets to hide all my DIY supplies) but I also love my bathtub. One of my goals this year is to spend more time there.

SMP: What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?

Focus. My phone now stays in my purse because the kids love to grab it to play games, which drives me crazy. And if they aren’t allowed the tech distraction then neither am I. And not being able to check email or social media is actually a relief. I can focus on them instead of constantly trying to do two things at once.

SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?

That sometimes you just aren’t going to be good at something, no matter how much you want to be. I knew I wanted good photos on my blog, but I just didn’t know how to do it. I took classes and read books, but it just never clicked. When I accepted that I wasn’t good at it and found someone who could help me it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s hard to not be good at something but sometimes it’s just not going to happen – and no one is awarding medals for struggling. Find people who have skills that you don’t.

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?

Pink. It’s funny, my daughter’s room is the typical 8-year-old Pepto-Bismol explosion with pink walls, pink canopy, pink everything. I laughed at her obsession with pink, until I realized that I’m really drawn to splashes on hot pink when I decorate.

SMP: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?

Plants! I think everyone needs a plethora of houseplants. Not only are they amazing air detoxifiers but having something alive and green makes a house welcoming and cozy.

SMP: What’s a typical work day for you like?

I’m embarrassed to admit that the first thing I do when I get up is check email and the blog. A terrible habit, right?! After the school bus picks up my daughter I take my 2 sons to Montessori and then go for a morning walk/jog. That does wonders for my energy level and productivity for the rest the day. When I get home I work on making and testing a DIY project or writing a post. Every couple of weeks my photographer comes over to shoot the projects, and those days are both fun and exhausting. I try to have at least one day of the week to shop for supplies and get out of the house so I don’t go stir crazy. Then I put the computer away and get the kiddos at 2:45 – it feels like I never have enough time to get everything done! I used to work more on the computer at night but now I’m just too pooped.


Blogger: Hello Natural

DIY Halloween Costume: Baby Deer

Do we have any late to the Halloween costume gamers? I certainly am falling firmly in that crowd. Two toddlers in Boston are very much without a halloween costume as of yet. So baby deer, we’re looking at you. Half-bought, half-DIY; it’s perfect for the uber busy or the DIY challenged or for anyone that likes a cute woodland creature. And really, who doesn’t like deer? Click here for more costume ideas.



Baby snowsuit
Black facepaint crayon
1 9×12 sheet of brown felt
2 9×12 sheets of tan felt
Faux fur fabric
Pliers with wire cutters
Safety pins
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Antler template
Ear template


step-1 Print out the antler and ear templates and cut out each piece.

step-1 Trace 2 copies of each antler on the tan felt. Trace 2 outer ears on the brown felt, 2 ears on the tan felt, and 2 inner ears on the faux fur. Cut out each shape.

step-2 Hot glue the faux fur inner ears on the tan ears. Hot glue the tan ears onto the brown outer ears on two sides, leaving the bottom edge open. Slip the ears over the existing ears on the snowsuit and safety pin in place.

step-3 Cut (2) 5 ½” long pieces of wire. Bend them slightly to match the shape of the center stem of the antler. Place a wire between the two felt layers of each antler. Hot glue the two layers of the antler together. If you want to get extra fancy, you can sew the antler layers together like I did- but I’ll be honest, it took me a million years, so it miiiight not have been worth it.

step-4 Center the antlers between the ears on the outside of the hood. Reach your fingers inside the hood and pinch one antler between your fingers. Put a safety pin through the hood and antler sandwich. Repeat for the other antler.

step-4 Cut a large 10” long oval from the faux fur. Put baby in the suit, zip up, and quickly safety pin the oval onto the tummy of the suit. I just did small pins in four spots around the oval. Pull up the hood, quickly scribble on a black nose with the facepaint crayon, and you’ve got yourself a baby deer!


For more Halloween Costume ideas…

The Cutest Donut Ever | The Lion, The Ringmaster and the Circus Wagon | A Stormy Raincloud

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: Jess Blazejewski For SMP Living

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