How To Throw A Successful Wreath Making Party


After our wreath making party last year, I decided to make it a Holiday tradition, so we were at it again this last weekend. 12 people came to the party. Friends brought food and drinks. I provided the greenery and materials for the wreaths. We drank, ate, and crafted for 5 hours. All in all, a wonderful day!

wreath-making-party-5wreath-making-party-3wreath-making-party5If you are reading this post because you are planning to throw a wreath making party, let me assure you, it is easy and FUN – No fear. Your friends will love it and you will be the super hostess hero.

What you will need for a party for 12 people:


Basic greenery

  • 2  big bundles or pine – I bought noble pine.
  • 1 big bundle of cedar
  • 1 big bundle of eucalyptus


  • 2 bunches of holly
  • 25 pine cones (not everybody will use them)
  • 2 bunches of eucalyptus flowers pods
  • 2 bunches of seeded eucalyptus

wreath-making-party-8 Hollywreath-making-party-9wreath-making-party6wreath-making-party-11

Basically, everybody had the option to use white, red, and/or brown accents, aside from the main greenery. You will need a person that knows how to do wreaths so she/he can teach the rest. In this case, I taught the workshop. I am a wreath expert by now!

For instructions to do wreaths, go here and here.
wreath-making-party-15 wreath-making-party-16 Last year, we used grapevine wreaths (18 and 24 inches). Grapevine wreaths are beautiful by themselves, so they are good if you are planning to partially cover it. If the idea is to cover the whole wreath with greenery, grapevine wreaths are NOT the way to go, because they are more expensive and you need more greenery to cover them (they are thick), that is why I decided to go with simple wire wreaths for this year’s party and the final results were better across the board.wreath-making-party-17 wreath-making-party-18 wreath-making-party-19 wreath-making-party-7wreath-making-party-20 wreath-making-party-21Here are the results. They all look pretty good, don’t you think?wreath-making-party-29 wreath-making-party-30 wreath-making-party1wreath-making-party-31 wreath-making-party-32 wreath-making-party-33 wreath-making-party-40wreath-making-party-34 wreath-making-party-35wreath-making-party-39wreath-making-party-25wreath-making-party2I didn’t have time to do a wreath until later because I was teaching the workshop, so I posed with the golden ring wreath I created the day before. BTW, tutorial for gold ring wreaths coming up on Monday!
wreath-making-party-38I love this group of friends.

Most of them sent me photos of their wreaths hanging from their front doors or mantels – that made me happy.

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to come back this Friday for the Winter Eclectic home tour where me and other bloggers show you how we decorated our homes for the Holidays. wreath-party-pin-copy

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17 Easy (And Cheap) Ideas For Your Thanksgiving Table Setting

If you are hosting, it is not too late to get ideas for your Thanksgiving table decoration. Having a nice setting is a lot easier (and cheaper) than you think. I found 17 creative ideas that you can incorporate on your table to take it to the next Thanksgiving level. Friends will be impressed.

(If you want, you can take a look at the Thanksgiving table setting inspiration I created a couple of weeks ago here.)

Let’s take a look at these ideas:

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-tablescapes-13 Tending The Table

Idea #1 – Create a menu – A menu is a nice touch that costs almost no $. It just takes time to create and print it. Your guests will be impress.

Idea #2 – Use red wild natural berries to decorate –  Red berries can be found easily by walking around your neighborhood. I know in Los Angeles is possible. If you don’t live in LA, I am sure some other berry variation will do. Placing a branch on each plate gives this table a beautiful touch.

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-tablescapes-12 Minted

Idea #3 – Choose a color palette – To make sure your table looks good, decide on a color palette and stick to it. The table above went for neutral colors. You can’t go wrong with that, can you?

Idea #4 – Create name cards. There are so many different types of name cards, not only paper, as you can see on the table above. Dare to be creative!

15-thanksgiving-tablescapes6 Little Glass Jar

Idea #5 – Use big pumpkins as a centerpiece – This will simplify your table and make a nice impression fast. The clue here is to use pumpkins that have a special shape or color, although regular Halloween pumpkins could do too, don’t you think?

15-thanksgiving-tablescapesThe Uncommon Common Law

Idea #6 – Simplify the centerpiece – This table setting from The Uncommon Common Law proves without a doubt that less can be more. The kind of greenery seen above is easy to find around your neighborhood. Add some candles, a couple of small pumpkins, and you are golden.

15-thanksgiving-table-decor-9Delineate Your Dwelling

Idea #7 – Use pastels- Again, the greenery of the table above is so easy to replicate, just good old eucalyptus, but what makes this table setting special is the addition of pastel candle holders  and some flowers to go with them. Simple and beautiful.

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-table-setting-13 Lemon Thistle

Idea #8 – Use butcher paper instead of table cloth – This idea from Lemon Thistle is one of my favorites. Butcher paper is C-H-E-A-P! Drawing a table setting on it is creative and gives the table a minimalist and elegant flare.

thanksgiving-tablescapes-4 Illistyle

Idea #9 – Use succulents to decorate – I live in LA so succulents are part of my everyday life. Using them as table decoration is a result of natural foraging. When you can find beautiful cacti everywhere you go, you use them, don’t you think?

thanksgiving-tablescapes-3 The Gathered Home

Idea #10 – Mix patterns – Sometimes being bold is the best way to go. This fearless setting from The Gathered Home is not afraid of mixing colors, textures, and vintage pieces. The result is original and a style that Brynne (blogger) calls “Granny Chic.” That tablecloth is original and cute.

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-tablescapes-10 The Jungalow

Idea #11 – Use fruits as decoration – The table setting above doesn’t only use fruit, but cuts fruits in half to add color and texture. The first time I saw this centerpiece I was so impressed at how such a little detail made such a big difference.

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-tablesapces-8 Happy Grey Lucky

Idea #12 – Add flowers – Simple flower arrangements through out the table help make your table setting more friendly and beautiful. I am a big fan of flowers so I will find any reason to have them in my life! Thanksgiving is just one of them.

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-tablescape-3 Persia Lou

Idea #13 – Add candles – No Thanksgiving table is complete without candles. On the table above, Persia Lou used different colors of candles that match the rest of the décor.  I like it.

15-thanksgiving-tablescapes5PMQ For two

Idea #14 – Mix and match plates with designs – Another way of bringing life to your table setting is to use plates with an original design. The setting above from PMQ for two does a great job at mix and matching dishwater. In the table inspiration I created here, I mismatched vintage plates and it worked nicely.

15-thanksgiving-tablescapes-11Casa De Perrin

Idea #15 – Paint small pumpkins and use as decorations – This is another of my favorite centerpieces. Painting or spraying pumpkins is easy, just make sure the colors look good together!

jestcafe-com-15-thanksgiving-tablescape-1Domicile 37

Idea #16 – Crate your own charger plate – Jess from Domicile 37 used wrapping paper and Modge Podge to create these floral  charger plates. They add an interesting touch of color to this mostly monochromatic table. Click on link below the photo to see the tutorial.


Cassie Bustamante

Idea #17 – Use vintage pieces – I love this idea! Gather vintage objects from around your home and place them on the table. This is a trick I use often myself, as you can see here. It saves a lot of money and creates a sophisticated atmosphere without a lot of effort. The bottles in the photo above are elegant and different. Add some branches and voila!

OK, there you go. Now you have NO excuse to have a lame table for Thanksgiving. A lot of the bloggers I mentioned above are bloggers that I follow myself, so I like their work a lot. Take a good look at their pages, they will impress you!

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thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Table Setting Inspiration


We host Thanksgiving every year and we love doing it.

Before kids, we used to host 20-30 people in our home. It was a big party for all of our single and “orphans” friends in LA, meaning our friends who had no family to spend Thanksgiving with. We cooked, drank, and ate all day. It was fun, so much fun.

Now that we are real life adults (see my passport), things have changed. Thanksgiving has become a lot more professional. Stakes are high. Food is gourmet. Decoration is important.

In recent years, we have been roasting a pig in the backyard and smoking the turkey (have you tried smoked turkey? It is the BEST way of cooking a turkey – Seriously). Everybody brings something really good to eat. We are talking about our version of epicurean food: crafted drinks, fancy appetizers, tasty side dishes, and wonderful desserts.

As always, I am in charge of decorating the table. I take my job VERY seriously. With months of anticipation I come up with ideas that I try out before the big day. I posted about our last year’s table decoration here.

For this Thanksgiving, I want to have an eclectic mix of vintage dishes. I like the mismatched look of dinnerware, so I have been going to the thrift store often to search for possibilities. To nail a good mismatched setting, you need to choose a “theme” for your plates. You can’t just buy random dishware and expect it to look good. I decided to go with off-white, pastels, and gold plates. Once you choose your “theme,” it is easier to focus and find the right pieces, but it takes time and a lot of trips to the thrift store.

This last weekend, I did a run through of our table decoration to look at colors and decide on the final setting. Here are some photos if you wish to see.

I went for a vintage and golden look. My main goal was not to spend too much money buying table decorations (aside from the plates which you can buy for cheap at the thrift store). I used décor from around the house and bought a couple of flowers at the farmers market. Here is the result:

table-setting-27table decorationthanksgiving tableThese are teddy bear sunflowers. So cute!table decorationtable decoration thanksgiving table thanksgiving tableUsing eucalyptus is an easy way of decorating and bringing neutral colors to the table.thanksgiving tablethanksgiving tablethanksgiving tablethanksgiving tablethanksgiving tablethanksgiving tabletable decoration

I have been collecting serving plates for a while, so it is easy for me to find cute pieces for the table. The same goes for flower vases. I am vase hoarder.

thanksgiving tablethanksgiving table thanksgiving tablethanksgiving tabletable-setting-26thanksgiving tablethanksgiving tablethanksgiving table

OK, so that is the general idea. What do you think?

Also, a post about a vintage inspired brunch, and what we did for Thanksgiving last year. Thanks for stopping by!

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Balloon Birthday DIY

balloon diy

For his 3rd birthday, Max wanted his birthday to be about two things: 1) Blaze and the Monster Machines (yes, he is into monsters and machines (so very unpredictable for a two year old)), and, 2) balloons.

I took care of Blaze by placing Max’s Blaze toys on top of the cake. I must say it looked really cute, not sure I have a photo though. Regarding the balloons, I decided to make a number three with balloons to use as a backdrop for photos.

The idea came to mind after seeing the beautiful balloon arches from the house that Lars built. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Well, I set out to make a number three with balloons. It was 6 feet tall. I used yellow and red balloons because they are the colors of Blaze (remember the monster machines?). I wanted to use a glue gun, not tape, because tape wouldn’t be sturdy enough to stand the breeze outside. Using a glue gun is easy and the result was well built. The issue is that you don’t want to put glue on your wall, so I used Plywood (the 4’x 8’ sheathing plywood from Home Depot is only $14.75) and painted it white – I had extra paint from decorating my kids’ room.

I was so dubious about using a glue gun. I thought the balloons would pop with the heat, but the low temperature setting is perfect and they didn’t!

Here are the instructions in case you care to do the same decoration (he higher numbers of time and cost are for the optional materials and step).

Difficulty (1-5): 3 Time: 2 – 4 hours Cost: $20 – $40


  • 120 Balloons. 12” and 5“
  • Glue Gun with a low temperature option
  • Pencil


  • Sheathing Plywood 4ft x 8ft
  • Flat White paint
  • Roller
  • Electrical balloon pump – True, this is optional, but oh man is worth it. Believe me.



(Optional) If you want to use glue on the plywood, paint white the sheathing plywood with a roller. Takes 2 minutes. Let it dry.

balloon-number-diy balloon-number-diy-2


Draw your number on the plywood. Draw it close to the ground if you want to use it as backdrop. Look for ideas on the Internet if you want to get inspiration for number shapes.



Start gluing the balloons. You will need different balloon sizes. You can also make smaller balloons with the big ones by blowing less air, but they won’t have a round shape, which is not a big deal, really.

You can start gluing the bigger balloons and then fill out the spaces in between with smaller ones. Don’t be afraid of gluing balloons on top of others. They won’t burst.

balloon-number-diy-10 balloon-number-diy-14Here is the final result:balloon-number-diy-16 balloon-number-diy-19balloon-number-diy-18 balloon-number-diy-17balloon-number-diy-20

Hope you like it! I know the kids did!

And I hope you had a great Halloween!

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A Naked Cake And A Baby shower threw a baby shower for my friend Maureen on Sunday. It was an intimate affair. Only 6 women from different ages and backgrounds talking for 4 hours non-stop. It was beautiful and reinvigorating to talk with smart ladies while eating good food  surrounded by flowers.

We baked a naked cake for the event, and by we, I mean my friend Janna. I was there to witness and take photos of the process and was surprised at how easy it was to make. Here are some photos of how she did it:

We had so much work to do that we took the easy route and bought cake mix. Janna divided two boxes in 4 different layers that were baked separately. The frosting was home made though. She used this recipe. need to cut the top of the layers after baking them so they are flat and easier to stack on top of each other. Add frosting and keep on adding layers. We added fruit to the cake for flavor and freshness. last layer of the cake needs to be upside down so the top of your cake is brown and with no imperfections. Fill up the gaps with more frosting, decorate the top, and you are done! I used dahlias for decoration. So easy and beautiful. I went to the flower market in DTLA to get materials for the flower arrangements. I love the flower market so much. My favorite place in DTLA, for sure. Here are some photos of the arrangements I made. I didn’t take many photos of the buffet table and the event. I didn’t allow enough time for a proper photo shoot before the baby shower started and I wanted to enjoy the company instead of taking pictures, but here you can find some of the ones I was able to take. watermelon, tomato, mozzarella, and sage salad was so good. I have tomatoes growing in my backyard and they made this salad very delicious. used succulents as the table centerpiece. Bought small bowls, filled them with succulents and voila, all done.

Hope you like the photos.

Also, a post about a flower workshop, a vintage inspired brunch, and a wreath making party.

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