DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cuties. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, which means the season of giving is just around the corner! I grew up in Florida, so I always associate the months of December through February with amazing in-season winter citrus. My favorite little citrus fruit, Cuties, is finally back in our local grocery store – yay! Even though the days are shorter and the nights are longer, Cuties is sending us a dose of love and sunshine straight from their California groves right when we need it most. I’m so excited to celebrate both the season of giving and the return of Cuties season with these gorgeous DIY watercolor and gold leaf gift tags!

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

Celebrate the Season of Giving with Cuties Mandarin Oranges

Now that I live in DC and spend most of my holidays with my husband’s family in upstate New York, I’ve learned to embrace the dark coziness of the winter months in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. We wrap ourselves in warm blankets, make tea and hot cocoa in the evening, light lots of candles with the seasonal scents of evergreen, vanilla, and citrus – and of course we snack on delicious, in-season winter citrus. My kids always reach straight for the bowl of Cuties on the kitchen counter: they’re sweet, seedless, easy for little hands to peel apart, and perfectly kid-sized. They’re also the perfect on-the-go snack, and we always bring a handful of Cuties when we’re out exploring on the weekends.

Celebrate the Season of Giving with Cuties Mandarin Oranges

One of the things I love most about being a mom of two little girls is seeing the way they offer love and affection so freely and easily. They’re full of hugs for all their little friends when I drop them off at school in the morning – and then again when I pick them up in the afternoon! Whenever her older sister is having a bad day or falls and scrapes a knee, my youngest daughter, Alice, will bring over her favorite toy or doll to make her older sister feel better. It’s the absolute sweetest thing to see.

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

I wrapped a bunch of Cuties in these watercolor and gold leaf gift tags for my daughters to give to their teachers and school friends as our family’s Cuties Correspondents. I’ve been talking with my girls a lot lately about the concepts of kindness and compassion as we head into the holiday season, and these little treats are the perfect way to bring a smile to their friends’ faces as we head off for the holiday weekend. Even as adults, I’m sure we could all use a surprise treat with a sweet message to brighten our day. Cuties are the perfect snack to share with friends and loved ones, from preschool friends to coworkers, and these sweet gift tags make them even more special. Let’s make some!

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

Supplies

Bag of Cuties!

Gift Tag Maker

Cotton Watercolor Paper

Watercolor Set or Watercolor Brushes

Size 6 Round Paint Brush

Gold Leaf Kit

Scissors

Ribbon

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

To make the DIY watercolor and gold leaf gift tags:

Step 1. Use a gift tag maker to punch gift tags out of 100% cotton watercolor paper and create a small eyelet hole for the ribbon. If you don’t have a gift tag maker, you can use scissors and a standard hole punch. 100% cotton watercolor paper will best absorb the watercolor pigment without warping, so try to avoid lower quality paper or card stock for this project.

Step 2. Use a Size 6 round paint brush to paint a thin line of orange watercolor on one edge of the gift tag. I used this 30-color watercolor set, but these watercolor brush pens would be fun, too!

Step 3. Add a thin strip of gold leaf above the orange watercolor, leaving enough room to write a name above the gold leaf. Each gold leaf kit is different, so follow the instructions on your package for best results. 

Step 4. Wrap a Cutie in your favorite ribbon (or place a few Cuties into a little bag!), then attach a gift tag and write the name of the recipient. Too cute!

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

I mixed things up with some gift tags that only have gold leaf, some that only have the dash of watercolor, and some that have both – so fun! For older kids, I love the idea of writing a sweet little note on the other side, but since my kids are still very young we kept our gift tags simple. Now that they’re just learning how to write their names and read, the kids in my daughters’ preschool and kindergarten classes just LOVE getting little gifts or notes with their names on them!

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

DIY Watercolor and Gold Leaf Gift Tags

These gift tags are such a fun and easy way to add a dose of color and sparkle to little gifts – and if you have older children, they can even join in on the painting and gilding process!

How will you be celebrating the return of Cuties season? Share your ideas for brightening someone’s day in the comments below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cuties. All content and opinions are my own. Brighten someone’s day and share the sweetness of the season by sharing Cuties with friends and loved ones during our #100DaysofSunshine!

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours researching Thanksgiving recipes (it’s my first time being in charge of the turkey!), planning your ingredient list, and even thinking about how to set your holiday table. But what about the cocktails?? If you’re still looking for ideas for delicious Thanksgiving cocktail recipes to enjoy while gathered with family, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few Thanksgiving cocktail ideas from our favorite seasonal cocktail recipes, including a cozy Scandinavian Glögg (basically a fortified mulled wine), some favorite fall smashes, and even a traditional hot rum punch!

Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas: Swedish Glögg Cocktail Recipe Thanksgiving Cocktail Idea: Orange Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash Cocktail Recipe

Traditional Swedish Glögg Cocktail Recipe // Orange-Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash Cocktail Recipe

 Thanksgiving Cocktail Idea: Mulled Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

Mulled Daiquiri Cocktail Recipe

Thanksgiving Cocktail Idea: Apple-Cinnamon Calvados Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Cocktail Idea: Traditional Hot Rum Punch

Apple Cinnamon Calvados Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe // Traditional Hot Rum Punch

Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipe: Rosemary Pear French 75 Thanksgiving Cocktail Idea: Bourbon Pear Vanilla Bean Smash Cocktail Recipe 

Rosemary Pear French 75 Cocktail Recipe // Bourbon Pear-Vanilla Bean Smash Cocktail Recipe

Okay, first of all – if you haven’t tried either of the smashes above – Orange-Vanilla Bean Scotch Smash or Bourbon Pear-Vanilla Bean Smash – you’ve GOT to try them this weekend. They’re easily two of my favorite cocktail recipes we’ve ever done and are just so delicious.

The Traditional Swedish Glögg and Hot Rum Punch can both be made in large batches, making them the perfect drink for large gatherings. They’re especially good if you’re celebrating the holiday in a colder climate! My in-laws are already reporting snow in Upstate New York, so we’re leaning towards warm cocktail recipes for our own holiday menu.

The Mulled DaiquiriApple Cinnamon Calvados Old Fashioned, and Rosemary Pear French 75 are all a bit more adventurous with some custom syrups, but well worth the effort! The Rosemary-Pear French 75 involves champagne or sparkling wine (always a crowd pleaser), while the mulled daiquiri is a fun seasonal spin on a classic tropical cocktail recipe.

So many great ideas! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Holiday Party Outfit Idea: Laser-Cut Midi Skirt and Jean Jacket

This post is sponsored by eBay.

I mostly live in jeans and a t-shirt – or jeans and a sweater when the weather turns cold. But with the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to add a couple of skirts and dresses to my wardrobe for holiday gatherings. A midi skirt is the perfect length for my petite (5’2″) frame, so I turned to eBay to find exactly what I was looking for!

The Perfect Jean Jacket for Fall from eBay!

Did you know that 80% of all merchandise sold on eBay is brand new? I found this gorgeous (and totally brand new!) laser-cut midi skirt by J.Crew in the prettiest shade of blush pink. The skirt is also available in white and navy blue, but I’m loving blush for the holidays – not to mention for wearing again in the spring and summer! Plus, this skirt has pockets. Who can resist a skirt with pockets??

The Perfect Jean Jacket for Fall from eBay!

I paired my blush pink midi skirt with my favorite jean jacket – another eBay score! I love the cropped fit of this J.Crew jean jacket, and it’s the perfect shade of lightly faded denim. A jean jacket is a wardrobe staple that everyone should have in their closet. And I’m pretty sure the best part is getting to decorate your jacket with your favorite pins and flair!

The Perfect Jean Jacket for Fall from eBay!

These days, 87% of items sold on eBay are Buy it Now – which means you can purchase your item instantly and totally hassle-free, with no bidding necessary and no more waiting days for an auction to end. It’s perfect when you know exactly what you want and need it fairly quickly! 

The Perfect Jean Jacket for Fall from eBay!

The Perfect Jean Jacket for Fall from eBay!

The skirt runs pretty true to size, but if you’re thinking about buying the jean jacket I’d recommend going up a size so you can layer it over light sweaters and long sleeve tops. With super fast free shipping, everything arrived at my door within three days. If you’re hunting for the perfect outfit for Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties, be sure to shop now!

Photos by Anna Meyer Photography

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

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Last weekend, I hosted Jenna of Mon Voir at Common Room Studio to celebrate her new book, Everyday Watercolor. We had 60 people at the studio over Saturday and Sunday, and it felt so great to finally share the space with people! If you’re in the DC area, we have two really exciting workshops coming up over the next few weeks: an ornament painting workshop with Talia of The White Hearth on Small Business Saturday, and a holiday table styling workshop with Wld Wst on December 16 that we’re calling Architecture of a Table. I’m so excited for both workshops – they’re going to be so fun! But in the meantime…

Black Lamb Studio / Plant Lady

Illustration by Black Lamb Studio via #dailydoseofpaper

…a few links for your weekend!

The world’s most perfect pink coat (and it’s only $160!)

Thinking about giving this DIY holiday greenery chandelier a try

Sign up for the Antiquaria holiday card exchange!

Gimme this rainbow stripe sequin skirt

Still trying to wrap my head around this proposed idea for countering global warming

I may have completely lost my mind, but I really want these glitter duck boots for winter

MAKE: Breakfast pot pies (yum!)

 

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Loving these quirky camp-theme wedding invitations

How to find the perfect vintage rug for your space

We rounded up some favorite Thanksgiving cards

Gorgeous calligraphy from Pink + Peach

Looking for some fall cocktail inspiration? Try the Jägerita!

 

That’s it for me this week! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday! xoxo

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Samsung. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Earlier this year I marked seven years of self employment and working from home. Seven years! I genuinely love working from home, even if it does come with a set of unique challenges. Today I’m excited to partner with our friends at Samsung to share some of my tips for working from home as a creative entrepreneur and help spread the word about their latest lifestyle innovation: Samsung Connect Home!

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

One of my biggest challenges working from home has been getting a reliable internet signal in my home office – which is on the second floor of our home and towards the back of the house, while our modem lives on the first floor in the living room at the front of the house. The Wi-Fi signal can’t make it through the plaster and brick in our walls and ceilings, so the signal is incredibly weak by the time it gets to my office on the opposite side of the house. A good Wi-Fi signal is kind of essential for anyone working from home, and I could barely even watch videos on Instagram stories – much less upload photos to a blog post!

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

Samsung Connect Home was the perfect solution for my weak Wi-Fi signal woes. Samsung Connect Home is a mesh Wi-Fi router that optimizes your signal, creating a powerful Wi-Fi signal throughout your home and eliminating Wi-Fi dead zones. Each router has a range of 1,500 square feet – which is actually larger than my entire house! – and you can wirelessly connect up to five Samsung Connect Home devices for mesh network coverage of 7,500 square feet. You can upload and download in an instant and stream your favorite tv shows, videos, and podcasts without interruption – which really helps maximize those working hours.

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

Samsung Connect Home is also the only whole-home Wi-Fi system that works as a SmartThings Hub to remotely control a variety of smart-home appliances and devices – like security systems, locks, Philips Hue lighting, Nest thermostats, and more! Just set the whole thing up on your phone using the Samsung Connect app (available on both Android and iOS devices) and you can control all your smart devices and appliances from your phone through just one app, instead of a bunch of different apps for each individual product or appliance. You can even use the apps to control appliances when you aren’t home. Handy, right? The app also tells you where to place each Samsung Connect Home device in your home for optimal performance. You can even use the app to manage connected devices, set parental controls, and allow guest access if you have friends or family visiting – or maybe even a friend co-working with you for the day. So easy!

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

I’m pretty particular about how things look in my home, and I’m totally one of those people that hid my old clunky antenna router behind some books in our living room. But the Samsung Connect Home is so pretty! The design is simple, sleek, and compact – is it weird to say that a router is pretty? I have mine on a book shelf in my office and I actually enjoy looking at it every day. It just goes to show you the power of well-designed home appliances and the value of making something both utilitarian and beautiful. Plus, Samsung Connect Home is protected by hardware-based security technologies with integrated network certification, so you can rest easy knowing your phone and devices are secure.

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

I love working from home, but it can definitely be a challenge to stay productive and focused. Here are my top 5 tips for working from home as a creative entrepreneur:

1. Create a Comfortable, Dedicated Work Space. I’ve worked from home since 2010, and during that time I’ve moved from a little desk nook in our living room to a dedicated home office – although I still end up writing blog posts and emails from my the couch in the evenings. Having a dedicated work space helps me get into a “work” mindset, and because I am very much affected by my visual surroundings I need that dedicated work space to be both comfortable and visually inspiring, with a comfortable place to sit, shelves full of my favorite props, and beautiful artwork on the walls.

2. Set a Consistent Work Schedule – Including a Quitting Time! Before I had children, I would pretty much work from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep. Forget about work/life balance! These days, I work until 3:30 p.m., which is when I go pick my kids up from school each day. I work for a couple more hours in the evening after they go to bed, but I rarely check email or social media during the hours that they’re home and awake. Having a consistent work schedule and regular quitting time has improved my productivity during the week, since I know I only have a finite amount of time to get things done during each work day!

My Tips for Working from Home + Samsung Connect Home

3. Batch Task Your Week. We’ve all heard of batch tasking, but I basically apply the concept to my entire week. On Sunday night, I write out my goals for the upcoming week and plan each day around all the specific objectives that I need to accomplish that week. Monday might be dedicated entirely to running errands: heading to my local craft store for DIY supplies, visiting the flower market to source florals for an upcoming photo shoot, and doing a couple personal errands like food shopping or dropping clothes at the dry cleaner. Tuesday might be dedicated entirely to responding to emails and bookkeeping. Anything that needs to be photographed that week gets batch scheduled on the same day, from DIY projects to photos for a cocktail recipe. I started doing this back when my kids were tiny babies and I was still trying to fit work in around nap schedules and playtime, but I still do it now that my kids are in school and my days are so much more productive than they used to be!

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

4. Don’t Let Personal Tasks Distract You. When you work from home, it can be really easy to blur the lines between personal tasks and work tasks, especially when all those dirty dishes and the piles of unfolded laundry are just sitting there staring at you. I might squeeze a couple of personal errands into my dedicated work errand days, but otherwise I treat my work days and work hours just as I would if I was working in an office. It’s so easy to get distracted by all the things that need to be done at home, like folding laundry and cleaning, but if I let myself get sidetracked by those tasks I’d never get any work done! I save most of my personal chores and errands for nights and weekends, just like I would if I worked outside the home.

5. Make Time for Connecting with your Local Community Outside of Your Home. Working from home is great, but it can also be really isolating – especially as a new mom. I’ve spent most of the last five years in my little working mom bubble at home and I haven’t been all that great about connecting with other creative entrepreneurs in the DC area. I really missed having people to bounce ideas off of and help spark creativity, so a few months ago I made a conscious effort to get out of my home office bubble. I made lunch dates with friends, started collaborating with new photographers, reached out to local creatives about doing workshops at Common Room Studio – and I’m hoping to hold open studio co-working sessions and organize creative meet ups at the studio in the new year!

Samsung Connect Home + My Tips for Working from Home

For anyone else working from home – whether you’re telecommuting or a creative entrepreneur – what are your tips for working from home? How do you stay productive and inspired? Share your experience in the comments below!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Samsung. All content and opinions are my own. Check out Samsung Connect Home and download the Samsung Connect app right here!

Photo Credits: Meghan Marie Photography and Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper