Make Birthdays Exciting with this Surprise Inside Cake | Party with a Purpose

Growing up in my house, birthdays were a big deal. I remember waking up to bundles of balloons that had been hung on doorframes while I was sleeping and my mom makes a chocolate cake that is absolutely scrumptious! The surprise inside this cake is another wonderful tradition to add excitement to birthdays.

1) Cook cake #1 in a deep baking pan.

2) With the cookie cutter of your choice, make shapes of cake #1.

3) Line a loaf pan with the shapes.

4) Pour cake #2’s batter into the pan around the shapes.

5) Bake until done.

6) Frost, garnish, serve, and enjoy!

Ethical Living Tip: Make sure you know where your ingredients come from. Not just Walmart or Publix but make sure that the food you buy can be traced all the way back to the farms and the employees are treated with dignity and fairness. Look for fair trade on labels.

4 Tips for a Festive Fall Fireplace

Fall is finally here! Which means pumpkin spice lattes, plaid, and gatherings. Make your house guest ready one room at a time, beginning with the living room. Whether you have a functional fireplace or a focal wall, these tips can be applied in multiple guest spaces.

Tip 1: Support a local farm by buying pumpkins and in season fruit to line your mantel with. Get a variety of sizes and use perception to add interest.

Tip 2: Use what you have on hand, rather than buying pricey details. The “blanket” under the oranges in the bucket is actually a shirt that I thought fit the fall aesthetic.

Tip 3: Shop at thrift stores (especially those that foster a cause like the Habitat ReStore and Salvation Army Thrift Store). The candlesticks on the mantel were a Habitat ReStore find.

Tip 4: Use heirlooms and pieces with a story. The focal point mandolin was my husband’s great grandmother’s.

Components of a New England Garden Party (Gingham Napkins and all!)

Updated: Sep 15

As summer winds down and autumn begins to blow in, it is a wonderful time for an outdoor dinner party. Savor that time between muggy, sun-filled days and crisp golden ones with an al fresco gathering of friends and family. Let this adorable tablescape be your inspiration!

Ethical Event Tip: Fill vases, graduated in size, with clippings from your own lawn or garden and send it forward by giving seeds to your guests for them to plant at home. Source locally!

Scroll down to see our picks for getting this look at your own home!

G E T T H E L O O K

https://www.thelittlemarket.com/collections/ceramic-plates/products/acacia-wood-plate

Hand-carved from sustainably harvested acacia wood, empowering artisans in the Philippines.

https://www.thelittlemarket.com/collections/napkins/products/checker-black-white-napkin

This napkin is made by Kara Weaves which employs artisans in India.

https://www.thelittlemarket.com/collections/ceramic-plates/products/ceramic-dinner-plate-white

Moroccan artisan crafted plate.

VENDORS

BIG FAKE WEDDING | NEW ENGLAND

www.bigfakewedding.com

BALLROOM DANCING

Ballroom in Boston

ballroominboston.com

BAND

Hot Mess Boston

hotmessrocks.com

CAKE

Pure Glamour Cakes

instagram.com/pureglamourcakes

CEREMONY MUSICIANS

Hot Mess Boston

hankagency.com

DAY-OF COORDINATOR

Tasks@Bey Event Planning

tasksatbey.com

DESSERTS

Miam Miam Macaronerie

miammiammac.com

DOUGHNUTS

The Dapper Doughnut

thedapperdoughnut.com/natick-mall

EVENT RENTALS

XO The Girls

xothegirls.com

FLORAL + EVENT DESIGN: BOUQUETS+ BOUTONNIERES+ TABLES 1, 8

Floral Notes

floralnotesacton.com

FLORAL + EVENT DESIGN: CEREMONY BACKDROP + TABLES 2, 7

Orly Khon Floral

orlykhon.com

FLORAL+ EVENT DESIGN: HEAD TABLE + TABLES 4, 9

Jasper & Prudence Floral and Events

jasperandprudence.com

FLORAL+ EVENT DESIGN: REGISTRATION + TABLES 5, 10

Designs by Sheila

facebook.com/bloomingbike

FLORAL + EVENT DESIGN : TABLES 3, 6

Tasks@Bey Event Planning

tasksatbey.com

GUEST SHUTTLE SERVICE

Michael's Limosine

https://www.michaelslimousine.com

HAIR

Beauty By LM

beauty-by-lm.com

HOTEL

The Boxer Boston Hotel

theboxerboston.com

INVITATIONS

JKF Design Co.

jkfdesignco.com

JEWELRY

Delezhen

delezhen.com

MAKEUP

Makeup By Kira

makeupbykira.com

MARQUEE LETTER RENTALS

Your Love in Lights

yourloveinlights.com

MARSHMALLOW FAVORS

Malvi: Marshmallow Confections

malvimallow.com

MENSWEAR

Blank Label

blanklabel.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

Emily Teresa Photography

emilyteresaphotography.com

PHOTOGRAPHY

Hourglass Photography

hourglassphotography.io

PHOTOGRAPHY

Golden Aura Photography

goldenauraphotography.com

TABLE STATIONERY

The Chatty Press

chattypressdesign.com

TRANSPORTATION

Skedaddle

letskedaddle.com

TRAVEL AGENCY

Seabrook Travel Center

seabrooktravelcenter.com

VENUE

Willowdale Estate

willowdaleestate.com

VIDEOGRAPHY

Brian Nelson Films

briannelsonfilms.com

Wedding Vow Art

The Standard Canvas

thestandardcanvas.com/wedding-vow-art.html

How to Establish a Self (And Others) Care Routine

Autumn is a lovely season but it is also a busy time. With school gearing up and Thanksgiving around the corner, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves missing the turning of the leaves and ending the day running on fumes and coffee.

Take as little or as many steps of these self-care ideas to tailor a routine of your own for the occasional re-fuel. And incorporate some care for others into your self-care routine with the ideas in the right column.

Preemptive Love Soap – soap made by refugees with natural locally sourced ingredients.

DIY Pumpkin Facial

Eleventh Candle Co. – a candle made with purpose.

Thanksgiving Table Inspiration That Is Beautiful And Functional

Updated: Nov 1

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Whether you are planning a friendsgiving party, a family dinner, or a celebration for two, here are easy-as-pie ideas for making your table beautiful so that you can focus on the people and blessings you are thankful for.

Workers in the cut flowers industry are often among the most vulnerable in the world. Fruit and veggies make beautiful fillers in place of flowers. Here, we used oranges, apples, and tiny pumpkins. Pair them with in season greens from your own back yard and when your guests go home, they can take some along!

Add character to your table with thrifted finds. Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and the Salvation Army Thrift Store are two of my favorite places to shop – and they support a great cause!

Mix casual and classy when “accessorizing” your table. Get fancy with a candelabra, but stay comfortable with mason jar glasses and napkins. Click here to shop some of my fair trade favorites from The Little Market.

Use warm tones like gold and copper in favor of silver and chrome.

B u t m o s t o f a l l ,

Don’t stress over decor. Enjoy the time with family and friends, say thank You for the blessings in your life, and let this season put into perspective what are the big things and what are the small. Then treat them accordingly. Savor … and not just the pumpkin pie.

T H E G R A T E F U L N E S S C H A L L E N G E

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is taking turns saying something we’re thankful for. Consider implementing that into your family dinner this year and you can even start early with our Gratefulness Challenge!

Think of one thing you are thankful for each day in November and post it with the hashtag #morethankful.

My New Favorite Candle Company

*I am honored to be a partner of Eleventh Candle Co. so they sent me these delicious smelling candles. This post is a sponsored advertisement because of this but, business aside, these candles really are amazing in this candle connoisseur’s opinion!*

Not only do these candles smell absolutely scrumptious, they have an amazing purpose!

Eleventh Candle Company is a

social enterprise in Columbus, Ohio partnering with Legacy to redeem, restore, empower and equip those vulnerable to human trafficking, abuse, exploitation and addiction.

And, their new fall collection is delicious! Bringing festive notes of pumpkin, spices, and musk into the house, it pairs well with autumn decor and a new read.

Sunday Brunch is the winner around here, followed closely by Harvest. It smells like Thanksgiving dinner cooking or fresh cookies baking in the oven.

Shop Eleventh Candle Co. here: https://eleventhcandleco.com/

Read about what sparked this business with a mission here: https://eleventhcandleco.com/blogs/amber-runyon

Buy my personal favorite scent {so far} here: https://eleventhcandleco.com/collections/candles-melts/products/sunday-brunch

Photo: Eleventh Candle Company

#ad #sponsored

A Few Favorite Tools For Goal PlanningWith Grace

* This post contains affiliate links which means I can receive compensation from purchases made through these links. It’s a great way that Cultivate What Matters and I can support each other! *

Cultivate What Matters just launched their 2019 Powersheets Collection and we are here with top picks from this year’s crop of goal planners and products!

This amazing company was founded by sweet, southern plant lady, Lara Casey (also the founder of Southern Weddings) and they produce products to help women around the world plan goals with grace and cultivate what matters!

Scroll for a few favorites and click yours. But hurry, ladies, because these goodies are crowd favorites!

2019 One Year Powersheets Goal Planner

The classic best-selling goal planner is available in a variety of colors and contains a full year’s worth of pages.

It’s more than just a planner; there is prep work, goal setting pages, and tending sheets where you can write action steps. Surprisingly effective with more grace and less guilt. Try them out!

Write The Word Journals

A simple, meaningful tool to help write God’s word on your heart. Write out the selected key verses and then scribble your thoughts, prayers, and whatever He leads you to write. Simple, fuss free, digging in.

Goal Guides | Finance, Wellness, Couples, Parenting, Fruitful Friendships

These little power-packed goal guide booklets concentrate goal planning to specific areas of life like: finances, wellness, & relationships.

Joyful Greeting Cards Boxed Set

Because snail mail should make a come back and encouragement should be spread!

The Best Year Yet Bundle

Get a goal planner and many other accessories all at once!

The best part is, each CWM purchase helps plant a garden!

To shop the mentioned products and more, click

here!

here!

Pretty Up your Pies With This Easy Pie Crust Decor Tutorial

Pies are a classic staple on the Thanksgiving and Christmas table. Pumpkin, apple spice, or fresh-picked cherry. Whether you are using grandma’s trusty recipe, googled ingredients, or the instructions on the back of the can, you can make your take to gathering dessert look like a delicacy with these three simple tips.

1. Lattice

Latticework is a classic way to make a crust stand out. It can be as simple as criss cross dough or as elaborate as an intricate basketweave with filling peeking through. Simply cut the flattened pie crust into strips and imitate weaving (over, under pattern). Then, crimp the edges.

2. Ornamentation

Artfully squirted whipped cream, leaves and shapes atop the dough cut out with a cookie cutter, or a dusting of powdered sugar.

3. Imitation Lasercut

One trend in the wedding invitation world is lasercut paperie. You can imitate this with your pie crust by rolling out the dough, cutting out a pattern of shapes using cookie cutters, and laying the flattened dough over your pie with crimped edges.

Whether you’re a novice cook or a chef extraordinaire, this Liz Alig fair trade apron made from recycled button down shirts and sewn by a woman’s cooperative in Haiti can make you look the part.

Document your Story With Artifact Uprising

(Artifact Uprising graciously collaborated with me on this post and gifted me some of their lovely products – the customization process was simple and the designs are beautiful!)

Documenting your story is so important.

Collecting keepsakes of memories and assembling hodge podge storybooks of chapters of our lives is something I enjoy so much. In the past, I, admittedly, haven’t been very consistent about doing so. Enter, Artifact Uprising.

Their archival quality photo books and prints make keeping memories beautiful and breezy. With customization options like gold foil and even recycled paper, you can tailor your albums to better fit the story within their covers.

The timeless quality of their products is matched with modern ease through the app.

Establishing a system for organizing, editing, and keepsake making with photos can help keep the memories from piling up, undocumented. Here is one system that you are welcome to copy, paste, and tweak.

Documentation System:

1. Designate a special folder on your phone for keepsake photos – pictures to fill albums and hang on the walls.

2. Take a few minutes to sort mobile photos, weekly, and place the keepers in your special folder.

3. Edit the photos with your favorite app. Filmborn, with its film like presets, has become one of my most used apps. Fujifilm 400H is my favorite color preset and make sure to turn the Details all the way up.

4. When your special folder is filled with the amount of photos you want in your albums (50 is usually an adequate number), upload them to a new gallery on Artifact Uprising’s mobile app. Then choose your product, customize, and order!

5. Add to your bookshelf or coffee table and reminisce!

Start here: https://www.artifactuprising.com/photo-books