DC Punch Workshop!

DC area friends! Join us this Sunday for our first-ever cocktail workshop at Red Barn Mercantile in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia! This is something we’ve wanted to do for a super long time, and we’re so excited to talk about all things booze and holiday entertaining – and of course share some of the tips and tricks that we’ve collected over the years. Andrew, our resident cocktail guru, will be teaching everyone how to make two delicious punch recipes that are perfect for holiday entertaining: a traditional Colonial-era rum punch and a modern Tiki bowl. We love making punches for any large gathering, since you can make a huge batch ahead of time – so you know that your guests will be taken care of without having to spend all night at your bar cart.

Planter's Punch Tiki Bowl Rum Punch Recipe

Planter’s Punch

The workshop is this Sunday, December 4 from 6-8 p.m. Guests will taste both punch recipes, and everyone will go home with a bottle of Morris Kitchen Preserved Lemon Syrup and hand dip dyed recipe cards so you can make your own punch at home! We’ll also have a few of our gorgeous vintage punch bowl sets available for purchase to help dress up your holiday tables!

Space is limited to just 10 guests – so hurry over to the Red Barn Mercantile website to purchase your ticket right here! We hope to see some of you there on Sunday!

Traditional Hot Rum Punch / Photo Credit: Sweet Root Village for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Traditional Hot Rum Punch / Photo Credit: Sweet Root Village for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Traditional Hot Rum Punch / Photo Credit: Sweet Root Village for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Sweet Root Village from this post a couple of years ago when we made a big batch of punch for some friends!

Purchase your punch workshop tickets right here!

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

I love figuring out ways to make holiday gift giving more personalized and meaningful, especially for adult family members. My parents and in-laws are usually my biggest challenges: they already have plenty of things and accessories in their home, but they’re always on our case for more photos of my kids. Zazzle offers an incredible range of personalized and photo holiday gifts – including a really impressive collection of artisan gifts! – and I was thrilled when they invited me to share some of my favorite personalized holiday gifts with you! You can customize pretty much anything and the beautiful products come so quickly in the mail. I love being able to include some meaningful and personalized items in our holiday gift-giving list!

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

I had to start with these adorable custom tote bags that we made using some of my 4 year-old daughter’s artwork. I’ve been a big fan of Zazzle’s custom tote bags ever since we collaborated with them on the Paper Party tote bags a couple of years ago, and I wanted to try printing some of Sophie’s black and white illustrations on a tote! The whole process was super easy: I just took a photo of Sophie’s artwork with my phone, upped the contrast to full black and white, and then uploaded the image to Zazzle. I went with the versatile budget tote since I like the handle length, but there are also heavyweight versions for errands and grocery shopping, including custom BAGGU duck bags!

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

These photo mugs are the perfect way to share a favorite memory with far-away loved ones! And I love having another way to share more family photos beyond just framed prints, especially since so many of our favorite photos are just quick snaps on our phones. I made a few mugs using only Instagram photos, and I’ve pretty much decided to gift a new mug to the grandparents (aka my parents and in-laws) every year. We’re all big coffee and tea drinkers, and I love that they’ll start their mornings with my girls’ sweet faces!

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

These little photo Post-it® notes make the cutest stocking stuffers! And if you need to scribble out a quick shopping list or appointment reminder, why not do it while also looking at a favorite family photo? I made these with my parents and in-laws in mind, but I also love the idea of making a few of these for your spouse to take to the office.

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

These beautiful custom name bar necklaces are the perfect gift for any mamas in your life: wife, sister, mom, or even grandmother. The necklaces are available in silver, gold, and rose gold, and I love the clean, minimalist design. So simple and chic.

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

I always struggle with “traditional” gift ideas for the men in my family. Books and magazine subscriptions are usually a better fit for holiday gifting than anything involving golf (or sports in general), grilling, or power tools. These monogrammed pocket squares offer an extra dose of flair for my fashionable husband that wears a three-piece suit to the office, while the engraved Waterford ballpoint pens are the perfect choice for my music teacher brother-in-law. I also love these personalized leather journal covers for my historian father-in-law who is constantly taking notes for his World War I book series!

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

Personalized and Photo Holiday Gifts with Zazzle

Thanks again to our partners at Zazzle for letting us run wild with their many personalized and photo holiday gift offerings! Click here to explore their extensive collection of artisan gifts, here to create your own custom tote bags, and here to create your own custom photo mugs. You can also check out their collection of holiday photo cards here!

All photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is sponsored by ZazzleAll content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

DC Guide: Fall Foliage Destinations

This month I’m partnering with Capital One’s new Auto Navigator® site to share some of my favorite spots in the DC area. Earlier this month I shared three of my favorite independent boutiques, and today I’m excited to share three of my favorite destinations for gorgeous fall foliage! I tend to plan our family adventures based on the season, finding the best places to see cherry blossoms, peonies, and lilacs in the spring and going to a nearby farm to pick in-season fruits and berries in the summer. We’re currently experiencing peak fall foliage in DC, so it’s the perfect time to head outside and enjoy this beautiful season while it lasts!

DC Guide: Fall Foliage Destinations

There are so many wonderful attractions, historic sites, gardens, and museums in the DC area – and while we can get to most of the museums via public transportation, some of our favorite destinations are best reached by car. Our car is a pretty important part of our family weekend adventures! When my husband and I bought our first (used) car a few years ago, we had a 6 month-old baby and a brand new mortgage payment, and we were feeling really overwhelmed by life in general. We were also focusing more on our short-term financial situation and didn’t really think about the longer term added cost of maintaining an already 10-year old car used for both daily commuting and longer trips to visit family out of state. If I could go back and give my first-time car buying self a piece of advice, I’d tell myself to think more about our long term needs and the emotional security of having a reliable car that you can trust to carry your family wherever it needs to go. I know I feel so, so, so much better putting my money into a payment for a new car with a maintenance package and warranty than I ever felt fixing up our old car!

Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site is changing the auto financing experience to empower consumers and take the stress out of shopping for a car. You’ll find everything you need to find and finance your dream car, all on one website from the comfort of your own home or mobile device. You can find out in minutes if you pre-qualify for auto financing – with no risk to your credit score – then test drive financing options before heading to the dealership. You can even find the perfect car by searching the inventory of over 12,000 dealerships by make, model, and price. Click here for more information and to get started today.

We’ve been taking advantage of the mild Fall weather to get out and enjoy some of our favorite outdoor destinations. All three should be on your must-visit list!

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

The Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks

Situated on several acres at the highest point of DC’s Georgetown neighborhood, the Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks is probably my favorite outdoor destination in all of Washington, DC. Designed over the course of 30 years by landscape architects Mildred Bliss and Beatrix Farrand, the gardens feature multiple garden terraces with everything from roses and peonies to chrysanthemums and Japanese anemones, an indoor orangerie, beautifully landscaped flower beds, winding walkways along gently rolling hills, ponds and fountains, and so much more. My girls love exploring the meandering paths, while of course I love taking in all the gorgeous flowers and foliage. And since Dumbarton Oaks is located at one of the highest points in DC, there are also some pretty spectacular views of the foliage in neighboring Rock Creek Park.

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: Dumbarton Oaks Gardens

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

The National Arboretum

One of the things that I love most about living in DC is that so many of our public attractions offer free admission – including the National Arboretum! And it’s only 10 minutes from my house! With more than 15 garden collections and displays on 446 acres in Northeast DC, the National Arboretum is the perfect place to run around and explore any time of year. I love visiting the Asian Collection, Dogwood Collection, Conifer Collection, and Herb Garden in the fall, but you really can’t go wrong in any section of the park. You can also see the original columns from the U.S. Capitol Building, which were transferred to the Arboretum when the Capitol underwent an expansion in 1958.

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: The National Arboretum

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate

Whenever we feel the need to escape DC for an hour or two, we jump in the car and head to Mount Vernon. George Washington’s estate is located only 30 minutes outside of DC, but feels like an entirely different planet. You can tour the Mansion, stroll around the Estate gardens, walk down to the wharf on the edge of the Potomac River, visit the Pioneer Farm – or even visit the distillery and gristmill! We love to just sit on the lawn behind the mansion and gaze out at the Potomac River (OMG that VIEW), or visit some of the many farm animals on the grounds, including sheep, pigs, and oxen. It’s pretty much the perfect afternoon excursion.

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

DC Guide - Fall Foliage Destinations: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

All photos by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is sponsored by Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site – click here for more information and to get started today! All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

DC Guide: Where to Shop in Washington, DC!

Over the past few years, I’ve shared some of my favorite DC-area destinations, from where to eat and drink and eat again, to some of the DC area’s most beautiful gardens, attractions, and museums. Today I’m excited to partner with Capital One’s new Auto Navigator® site to share three of my favorite independent local boutiques in the DC area, from the vibrant 14th Street corridor in Northwest DC to Old Town Alexandria to my own neighborhood of Capitol Hill in Southeast DC!

DC Guide: Where to Shop / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

We’re a single car family, and I use our car every day for school and day care drop offs and pick ups, taking my husband to work, and a frenzy of errands during my kid-free hours. Not to mention fun family activities on the weekend and the long highway trips to visit family in Upstate New York and New Jersey. So we definitely need a car that is safe and reliable for our entire family. When our poor 13-year old car suddenly became totally unreliable this past summer, we took the opportunity to upgrade to a brand new car! Both my husband and I had ever only owned used cars before, so this was our first experience buying a brand new car!

Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site is a brand new way to navigate the auto financing experience. The car buying process can be so overwhelming and stressful, from trying to decide on a particular make and model to figuring out car financing. Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site is a one-stop-shop for everything you need to find and finance a car, all on one website from the comfort of your own home or mobile device. You can pre-qualify for auto financing and test drive financing options so you can head to the dealership with financing in-hand. You can even find the perfect car by searching the inventory of over 12,000 dealerships by make, model, and price. Click here for more information and to get started today.

I spent an afternoon in my new (and very reliable car) visiting some of my favorite independent boutiques in the DC area with my friend Rachel. If you’re planning to visit DC soon, you’ll definitely want to stop by each one of these shops:

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry

Image via Salt & Sundry

Salt & Sundry: I’m a big fan of and regular visitor at Salt & Sundry’s original Union Market location, but this was my first time visiting their gorgeous second location on 14th Street NW! Aaaannnnd…. I pretty much want to take one of everything home with me. Gorgeous ceramic dinnerware and mugs. Cocktail tools and ingredients. Rugs and textiles. Jewelry and accessories. I came home with a beautiful new mug for myself and a bottle of cardamom bitters for my husband, but I’m totally going back for one of the hanging planters below.

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Salt and Sundry / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Red Barn Mercantile

Image via Red Barn Mercantile

Red Barn Mercantile is my go-to resource for finding the perfect gift. Located just across the Potomac River on King Street in picturesque Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, Red Barn Mercantile has something for everyone, from furniture and pillows to soap and candles to cocktail mixers and cookbooks – and fantastic gifts for kids! They also have the best stationery selection in the entire DC area, including greeting cards, art prints, notebooks, notepads, and planners. If you’re looking for more extensive interior help, Red Barn Mercantile also works with local designers to offer interior design services!

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Red Barn Mercantile / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Red Barn Mercantile / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Red Barn Mercantile / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Red Barn Mercantile / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: Red Barn Mercantile / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

East City Book Shop is an independent book store in my own neighborhood of Capitol Hill – yay! They only opened their doors a few months ago, but they’ve quickly become one of my favorite go-to shops on the Hill. Not only do they have an amazing array of books, including a fantastic kids section that both of my girls adore, but they also have kid-friendly art supplies, a seating area for story time and events, and the best small but mighty greeting card collection in Capitol Hill. It was such a pleasant surprise to walk in for the very first time and see so many stationery favorites on those shelves!

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: East City Books / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: East City Book Shop

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: East City Books / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Where to Shop in Washington, DC: East City Books / Photo by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photos by Rachel Lyn Photography for Oh So Beautiful Paper, except where noted

This post is sponsored by Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site – click here for more information and to get started today! All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations

Baby showers are just the best. They’re both a chance for parents-to-be to celebrate with family and friends and stock up on a few new baby essentials (OMGbabiesneedsomuchstuff). And seriously, there really are so many things that new parents need – including moms and dads becoming parents through adoption. I’m beyond thrilled and honored that the talented Kristy Rice of Momental Designs is sharing her whimsical floral adoption baby shower invitations with us today! The invitations feature Kristy’s signature vibrant hand painted florals, rose gold foil printing, and fabric envelope liners, these festive baby shower invitations – perfect for celebrating Kristy’s newest addition!

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

From Kristy: These invitations were very special for me as I created them for my own baby shower for my recent adoption. The invitations are loosely based on the paintings of artist, Frida Khalo, and a blooming cactus watercolor painting that I did. They are very whimsical, featuring a variety of different fun elements to help the overall aesthetic come to life!

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

The highlights of the design for me were the rose gold foil printing, fabric elements, and the individually hand painted components of the invitations. All pieces are hand painted using various techniques like gold spatter, bold aqua watercolor washes, and fuchsia free hand outlines on the menus.

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

The envelopes were lined with fabric for an added touch! To complement everything inside the envelopes, we featured calligraphy envelope addressing with colorful artwork on front and oversized vintage stamp composition.

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

Each guest wore paper flower crown, even the babies! Made from handmade, painted papers and greens, each crown had its own personality. Each seating card featured a personal free hand watercolor sketch that I made for guests based on their favorite flowers, favorite pet, favorite collectibles, favorite food, or a nickname. Seating cards were hung on a dip dyed fabric backdrop featuring a calligraphy laser cut wood sign and greenery.

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

The menus were die cut on shimmering gold stock with a nearly-neon pink painted edge. The edge painting was done a bit differently than usual as it was painted on the face of the menu along with the edge. Each menu was unique depending on how much pressure was applied to the brush during painting.

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

The vibrant floral aesthetic continued throughout the party with floral watercolor pattern placemats featuring dahlias, mulberries, vines and ranunculus. I had a blast putting together all the elements for this special day and making my vision come to life.

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

Whimsical Floral Adoption Baby Shower Invitations by Momental Designs

Thanks Kristy!

Design: Momental Designs

Envelope Calligraphy: Designsgirl

Wooden Calligraphy Sign: Laura Hooper Calligraphy

Event Planning: Patchwork Planning

Momental Designs is a member of the Designer Rolodex – you can see more of their beautiful work right here or visit the real invi­ta­tions gallery for more wedding invitation ideas!

Photo Credits: Danielle Coons Photography