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#IamBraveAndBeautiful Bloghop Special Event

September 29th, 2014

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!


Makeup Free Makeup Free

Hi Everyone, thanks so much for stopping by. My name is Daria and I am so honoured to be a part of this incredible event. When I saw the video that had been put together to celebrate real beauty I teared up, then I smiled knowing that each life this event touches will be changed in a profound way. There is so much pressure to portray the perfect image in our society that much of the beauty of our natural state can get lost in the chaos of expectation. I personally have felt the self inflicted pressure as I’ve packed my bags to attend a fancy blogging conference with all those cute “pulled together” bloggers with perfect Pinterest lives. The need to feel noticed, and valued in those circumstances. I recall rushing to make all of those last minute appointments for hair/nails packing the perfect outfit and those killer shoes that will showcase in one look what you are all about.

I’ve been guilty of negative thoughts about myself, I’ve beat myself up about my fluctuating weight, or any of the “flaws” that I see when I try to measure myself against the worlds expectation of beautiful. Isn’t it a gift to realize that though we want to present our best self to the world that it doesn’t have to be artificial? What if we can learn to value others around us and ourselves by what truly matters, the heart, and our actions? What if what makes me beautiful is actually my Womanhood, my Motherhood, my faith and my gifts and what I give to others?

“I don’t have to try so hard because…I am a daughter of God. I have talents and strength beyond what is seen. I can love myself and accept that I am made up of many things that together make me beautiful. We are each a patchwork of gifts and abilities that when combined create a beautiful picture of who we really are. I resolve to honor that gift in myself and to see this innate beauty in others too” XO- Daria

I’ve shared my Bare Faced photo and used #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instagram. YOU CAN TOO!! Join US.

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen Bee and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag BrassyApple</a> and <a href="http://instagram.com/peacefrom6pieces" target="_blank">Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Summer Lovin’ at Boutique Cafe

August 4th, 2013

Why Hello friends, I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve toddled off to. It’s summer and I’ve been spending my days with my cute little kids enjoying the sunshine. We’ve been surfing in Tofino, swimming in our pool, I even hosted a wedding for a couple I’d never met before at my house overlooking the ocean. It’s been busy and wonderful all rolled into one. The truth is, that I miss you all though.

I’ve been trying to make some new plans for Boutique Cafe. When I started this website years and years ago my life was infinitely different, and so was the boutique community. I’m transitioning in my personal life, and am looking to transition Boutique Cafe along with me. I warmly welcome your advice and suggestions in this, after all we’ve been through alot together you and I over the years.

While I’m figuring that out I want to invite you to follow along at my Instagram feed, it’s a fun place where I regularly share the likes and loves in my everyday life. Daria – Instagram

I look forward to making some BIG CHANGES here very soon, let’s continue to be friends!

Boosting Your Child's Communication Skills with Fiona Barry

June 19th, 2013

Top Tips for Boosting Your Child’s Communication Skills:

Bullets from Fiona Barry of www.talkingtipsforkids.com

I’m often asked for my ‘top tips’ for helping children’s speech and language skills. So here they are, my five Top Tips:

1. Tune In

You need to tune into your child’s level of communication, even from birth, so that you can act as a responsive conversation partner. Follow your child lead’s in play and conversations and you’ll get so much more from your interaction with them.

2. Speak Up

It’s time to add some language in. Talk about the here and now with young children, if you See It – Say It! Find as many times in the day when you can chat as possible. Talk about what you can see out of the car window, chat about the washing as you hang it up or comment on what your child’s doing as they play. Make time for talk.

3. Love Books, Love Learning

Nurture a love of reading in your child and you’ll set them up for being capable talkers, readers and writers as they grow up. To be able to read and write a child needs to be able to use and understand spoken language first. They also need to find reading and writing fun and exciting. You can make books the champion in the house instead of the TV or games console. Make book reading part of your family life.

4. Songs For Today, Words For Life

Singing songs and nursery rhymes with your child, even from before birth, provides them with a great springboard into some of the underlying skills needed for learning to talk, read and write. Songs provide the perfect structure for learning language because they’re predictable and repetitive. They help you to bond with your child and are excellent for soothing cross, upset or bored little ones. A song a day keeps the tears away.

5. Listening Comes First

Communication is not just about talking. For a conversation to flow we need to listen to what the other person is saying. Children need to develop good attention and listening skills not only to learn new words and sentences but also to become good at conversations. Children learn by example so when we listen to children they learn how to be good listeners themselves.

I have developed and presented a series of videos which share a range of ‘parent-child interaction strategies’ (ways of talking with your child) that speech and language therapists use. These are essential for all children, with or without difficulties.

The videos are packed full of useful tips to boost any child’s communication skills and are designed to be put into practice as part of families’ everyday routines at home. Download my or visit my website www.TalkingTipsForKids.com

Small changes in how you communicate can make big changes in how your child communicates!

Words are free – but they’re also priceless.

Fiona Barry

Here’s a FREE Sample Video from Talking Tips for Kids:

Thanks to Rachel Florio-Urso PR- Facebook and Twitter

Refashion Your Life with the Ta-Da List!

May 29th, 2013

Drop everything you’re doing, and rush on over to view the new Refashion Your Life video on Brassy Apple about the Ta-Da List!

I believe this can totally change our lives and our outlook. How awesome, I’m inspired and I want you to be too! Thanks Megan and Chalyce XOXO

Did you hear? Designing Minds Blog is Back (part Deux)

January 24th, 2013

I’m feeling nostalgic as I visit the Designing Minds blog today. It’s a reboot of the popular boutique blog from the ‘good ole custom boutique days’ – yes Designing Minds Blog is back under the new ownership of Heather (aka Goosie to those who know her).

With a much anticipated resurgence in the custom boutique and handmade community, design groups and designers are finally coming back to the community we all loved so much. You know, the one that brought us together as we not only shared our designs but our lives, the growth of our children, and the friendship and community that has been unmatched since.

The NEW Designing Minds is back and ready to share features on the hottest designers, tips and techniques for those just starting out, custom boutique sets, accessories, and items up for sale on various venues (Ebay, Etsy, Websites, Artfire, Facebook etc)!

Congratulations Goosie – we are thrilled for you and excited for the community! XO Daria

Happy New Year Everyone!

December 31st, 2012

It’s New Years Eve and I want to wish each of you the brightest and best 2013! Here’s an awesome little freebie printable or wallpaper background I found today from TidyMom.net. Isn’t it adorable?! It’s already gracing my computer screen and making me happy, I just had to share it with you so go snag it and we can all ring in the New Year with adorable wallpaper for our phones and computers.

If you are going out tonight, please be safe. A dear friend of mine got the call every parent dreads this week, that her son had been in a car accident and hit by a drunk driver. Thankfully this story has a happy ending, that everyone was alright. Please don’t drink and drive, not at all. And if you aren’t drinking tonight but your are out on the roads please be aware and cautious. Let’s start off the New Year safely.

Happy New Year my friends!

A National Blogging Day of Remembrance – Sandy hook Connecticut

December 17th, 2012

Dear Friends, I’m joining with many other bloggers today who are taking a “day of silence” in honor of the Families affected by the Connecticut Shooting. I am stepping away from Social Media today to spend time with my dear family. With love and prayers – Daria

Happy Thanksgiving From Boutique Cafe

November 22nd, 2012

Image courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com

Wishing each of you a healthy and happy Thanksgiving with those you love!

@BoutiqueCafe racing to 8,000 Twitter Followers

October 25th, 2012

Follow @BoutiqueCafe on Twitter I can’t believe my eyes! We need 39 more amazing Twitter followers to hit 8,000! Bust my buttons, that is soo exciting!

Please come follow @BoutiqueCafe, and share with your friends if you love #handmade #DIY #craft #sewing #giveaways and so much more! Thank you everyone for your help to reach this fun milestone. Daria

Do the Can Can! Great Tips for Canning Peaches with The Happy Homemaker

September 23rd, 2012

So, you want to learn how to Can do you? When people ask me how to do it my reply is usually something like “I dunno…...I just do”.

Growing up we had a fair sized garden and my mom did lots of canning. It was really more out of necessity than anything. We lived in a very small isolated community and in the winter we often couldn’t go to town for weeks at a time. We had a small community grocery store that had the basics, you know, bread, eggs and milk, but it was very expensive and didn’t have everything you needed.

My mom canned the basics….peaches, pears, cherries, salmon. Yes salmon, but don’t worry, today we will start with something far easier than Salmon.

I always suggest apples as a good place to start. They are abundant in the fall and very forgiving no matter what you do to them but since I am already up to my eyeballs in peaches, we will start there, and I’ll do this in laymans terms so feel free to follow along with a glass of wine.

What you NEED (there are lots of other things that are nice to have but you can start out with a very basic set up)......

~a large stock pot,
~canning jars (500ml/pint jars are great for beginners),
~fruit of choice (we are using peaches today),
~a pair of tongs
~a whole lot of ambition.

The very first thing you do is wash your jars and rings. I run mine through the sani cycle. Set the seals aside for now we will get to those shortly.

Now you want your peaches to be nice and ripe because you need to peel them. You can dip them in boiling water for ten seconds and then ice water to shock them and the skin should just slide off but I prefer to use peaches that are ripe enough that the skin just peels off without having to blanch them. Beware though, they are so yummy at this stage you may eat more than you can. So cut the peach around the pit the same way you do an avocado, then twist the halts and they should come apart, this is where you will be thankful that you got freestone peaches. The stone will come right away, then pick the stone out of the other half, it should pop right out. Then grab a piece of skin and just start to pull the skin off. If the peach is the perfect ripeness it should slide right off. You can leave them in halves for quarter them or slice them. Whatever you like then toss them in to the jars. Pack them pretty good, and get about 3/4” from the top.

Once your jars are all full you want to make a syrup to pack the jars with. I use a very light syrup. 1cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. Put sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. While waiting for the syrup to boil Put the seals in another pot of water and bring them to a boil. Once boiled, remove from heat and set aside. Pour the syrup in to the jars leaving about 1/2”-3/4” of headspace. Use a knife slid into the side of the jar to remove any air bubbles and top up with syrup of needed. Wipe jar rim, using tongs remove seal from hot water pan and put on the jar, screw ring on but only finger tight. What this means is just screw it on and give it one good crank. Don’t go overboard tightening it. This inhibits the ability for air to escape and a vacuum to be created.

Once you have all of your jars filled and lids on place in your large pot….ideally you will have an actual canning pot with a rack but no worries if you don’t. You can buy the racks separately to fit in your really big soup pot or I just cover the bottom with extra rings until a little rack is created. Place jars in the pot and fill with water until there is 1” of water above the jars and put the lid on (I had not yet put the lid on in the photo to the left). Turn stove on high (if you have a flat top range you need to do this on a camp stove outside or at a friends house. Flat top stoves don’t like canners) once the water comes to a boil you start your processing time. For pints you process for 30 minutes and for quarts 35 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn the heat off and remove the jars from the pot. Use tongs to do this and place the jars on a heavy towel to cool. You want to leave them alone until they are fully cooled, as they cool you will hear the lids snap, this means they have sealed. Once the jars are completely cool, check the seal by tapping on the lid. An unsealed lid makes a hollow sound and you can push it down in the center, a sealed lid is already sucked down on it’s own. Now you have canned peaches to enjoy over the winter. Peaches will remain shelf stable for at least a year. They are still good after that but a year is generally when the quality will begin to decline.

When you put up your jars remember to remove the rings and store them separately. This is important, if a seal breaks in storage and bacteria grows you want to know that when you take the jar down. If the rings are off, the seal will be broken when you take the jar down alerting you to the spoiled jar, if you leave the ring on the contents can ferment and bacteria can grow and the jar can reseal itself trapping the bacteria in and you would never know, and you put yourself at risk. Now this sounds scary, but in my entire life I’ve never had a jar unseal while in storage. I did have one jar of jam that looked iffy when I took it down but it was still sealed….I tossed it. Better safe than sorry.

So there you have it, happy canning!!
The Happy Homemaker

Don’t forget to join The HappyHomemaker Facebook Page here for even more tutorials and tips!

Peach Heaven at my house

September 19th, 2012

I just HAD to share what I’ve been up to. This is totally a new thing for me, I’ve never canned before (aside from a batch of strawberry jam a few years ago) but living here on the island I’m surrounded by the best fruit imaginable. I took a hint from my dear friend Maya and decided to start canning. Peaches are a family fave so I called up my talented Mom and asked her all about canning peaches, she shared her tips and hints with me and I jumped right in.

I thought canning these would be difficult, but it was actually quite easy and so much fun. Especially for Lola who tried to take a bite out of approx. 8 peaches while I was working on this yesterday. Stinker! Needless to say I was pretty proud of my accomplishment – 10 quart jars of peaches canned and ready to enjoy. The best part for me was knowing that I only had a short window of time yesterday, and I decided to fill it with producing something so worthwhile for my family. I love that feeling – imagine what I could do with a whole day!

Today I woke up and decided to try making Peach Honey, it’s AMAZING AMAZING! (want the recipe??)

Interested in learning how to can fruits and veggies? Let me know! I have a great source who is willing to share her techniques and canning expertise on Boutique Cafe for you soon. If you’re interested please comment.

Advertise on Boutique Cafe and Show off your shop!

September 8th, 2012

We love to showcase great online shops and blogs! Here’s how: Advertise with BC and showcase your products in our sidebar.

50% off this week for all of our Facebook group members – message me for details to: daria@boutiquecafe.com

I Can Do It…and so can you

September 3rd, 2012

I am so thankful for recent conversations with one of my sweet Sisters-in-Law that really got me to a new mindset. I think that for awhile now, I’ve had it in my head that if anyone else I know shared that they were accomplishing or doing (something I was interested in), – that it kind of became “their” thing and I would just back off thinking about it or trying it. It would deflate me. Stop me dead in my tracks.

I don’t know why I would limit myself like that? It’s silly to think that just because others are succeeding, trying and doing something, that we can’t have that experience of our own. I’m really grateful for this realization at this point in my life. Life is not a competition, it’s not meant to be a ride where the person who collects the most talents or party decor wins, no not at all. We can all have and experience so many things, regardless of who else may have tried first, or blogged, or sewed, or photographed it first. I hear so many of my friends having this exact same mindset that I was stuck in, it’s so easy to feel that way with blogs and Pinterest and social media sharing. They make great ideas and lofty goals seem almost commonplace. It’s easy to feel left out, left behind, not as good if we let ourselves. I admit I was guilty of this.

The great thing is that we are all unique, we each have gifts that when coupled with determination can create an entirely unique experience for us! What a blessing. I’m so grateful to feel this lesson in my heart now. I just wanted to share it with each of you, it’s something I try to remember each day as I admire the things others are sharing online, “I am awesome too” and I reach, and I try new things, and I can be brave. Each time I do my own experience is unique to me, so it doesn’t matter who does something first, who runs a marathon, decorates their living room, slipcovers their couch, homeschool’s their children, or shares it first. When I do it, it’s my own journey. How freeing that is to feel.

I can do it, I can dream and discover without feeling suffocated by fear. And so can you. I believe it and I wanted you to know it today. XO - Daria

Lauren Conrad is rockin’ YouTube with her Crafting Videos

August 17th, 2012

Fans of The Hills and Laguna Beach now get the pleasure of viewing the beautiful LC aka: Lauren Conrad in her new “Crafting Creations” YouTube Video series.

In a few of her new videos Lauren shares how to made a Bib Necklace, Revamped Clutch, Washer Bracelets, Headbands, Stencilled Accent Pillows and more!! I’m totally hooked!

It’s such a fun era to see some of our favorite TV stars getting out of the Crafting Closet and sharing their DIY side in more personal productions (e.g. Tori Spelling with her new Craft Wars show). Our Boutique Cafe readers have loved this genre for years, and are enjoying that celebrities are crafting it up right along with us!

It’s like a dream come true for those of us who love crafting, DIY and boutique design. Lauren we LOVE your new videos, keep sharing! – XO Daria

Lola Loves Servane Barrau Designs

May 31st, 2012

SP Lola-5 I’m so thrilled to share a few personal pictures of my “baby girl” Lola in the dress that Servane Barrau sent to her! The collection that this gorgeous dress comes from is actually named LOLA, so it fit perfectly. We just HAD to take her outside in the sunshine for a fun photoshoot with her Auntie Liz from Lizzy Anne Photography.

SP Lola-6

As you can probably tell my Lola is energetic and loves to do everything her 4 older brothers do, but she has a totally girly side too and is all about color, shoes and pretty dresses. She LOVED the Kokeshi Petti Dress, it’s vibrant and playful just like her!
SP Lola-8

Every piece Servane Barrau Designs creates is so beautifully crafted, the details are perfection. I love that her clothing fits so well into everyday living, for a child like mine who runs and climbs I want her to look precious but not be hovering over and trying to contain her curiosity so she doesn’t ruin her clothes. We literally stopped traffic when Lola went out in this dress (with her rubber boots, the current shoe of choice for Lola).

SP Lola-12

SP Lola-11

SP Lola-10

Thanks so much to sweet Servane, for this lovely gift for my Lolabug! We will treasure it! SP Lola-14

I encourage you all to check out Servane Barrau Designs for whimsical girls clothing, and don’t forget to join her Facebook page to get all the great information and sale information first.

Thanks to my talented Sister in Law Liz of Lizzy Anne Photography for these photos of my Lola. I love them, you are amazing!

Lizzy Anne Photography Is Coming To Victoria

May 7th, 2012

It’s a new era of time where instead of hoofing it over to a photographers studio, many sought after photographers are traveling to your town and coming directly to you! This is now the case with Lizzy Anne Photography, owned by Elizabeth Cranmer from Calgary.

Lizzy Anne Photography is set for May 23, 24, and 25th in Victoria BC – that’s right, she’s coming to the island!! Currently a few evening slots are available on those dates for family portraits, senior graduate pictures, or even portrait sessions. Have a baby you want photographed? Need business style photos? Just let her know and we can work out the details.

Liz has an incredible eye and is a true artist. You may find a plethora of work she has done on her blog here, as well as her portfolio available for viewing on her website.

To sign up for a photoshoot time, on location in Victoria area please visit this post on the Lizzy Anne blog and leave her a comment. If you have additional questions or requirements you can email to: Elizabeth@lizzyanne.com

Special Island Pricing:

Family sessions are $250 (disc can be purchased)
1-2 hour session on location.
Editing of images up to 75
Online Gallery to share with family and friends

Senior Graduate sessions are $250 including disc.
1-2 hour session on location
Editing of images up to 30
Online Gallery to share with friends and family
Disc/digital negative of images

Any other photoshoot themes can be arranged. Email for full details.

SNAP! The Conference VS. Cold Play VIP

April 22nd, 2012

Oh the dilemma! I have not had an easy week, my emotions ranging from anticipation to bummerville, knowing that I would be attending the Cold Play concert in Vancouver with my son and my husband but missing SNAP! The Conference. The Cold Play concert was a Christmas gift to our oldest son this year, and we splurged to get VIP passes with seats on the floor. My only hangup has been having to miss out on what sounds like the BEST conference of my lifetime…SNAP!

SNAP! The Conference was to target the best in modern handmade, contemporary craft, mind blowing events and DIY - right up my alley! The added bonus was that SNAP! was being held in Utah, a place that many of my nearest and dearest call home. @emihill and @brassyapple were both there, and tweeting all weekend, go read their tweets! I would have loved the opportunity to network with all of the attendees, and I hear everyone was dressed so uber-cute too!

In all seriousness, I feel so blessed that I was able to share the experience of Cold Play with the guys I love so much. Especially that my teenage son was so thrilled to be at a cool concert with his old parents. What a great kid! Being right next to the stage and having Chris Martin within a foot of me was pretty great too, he sang his heart out! It was undoubtedly the BEST concert I’ve ever attended. We danced, sang, screamed, laughed, and had confetti from the gigantic confetti canons all over us.

And so now as I read all the blog posts, tweets and Facebook updates about the SNAP! conference and all you talented gals were able to learn together, I will take comfort in my amazing evening with Cold Play. I vow to be at SNAP! next time!

My hats off to @Taunitweets, the founder of SNAP! The Conference. Well done Tauni, I’ve heard nothing short of RAVE reviews. You deserve Cold Play tickets my friend! :)
XOXO - Daria

Follow me on Twitter @boutiquecafe

SNAP! The Conference is This Weekend

April 18th, 2012

While many of you will be indulging in the the “fabulousness” (I know it’s not a word, but oh well) of SNAP! The Conference this weekend, I’ll be attending a Cold Play concert with my hubby and my oldest son. I’m so excited to see this concert after all it is Cold Play, but I’m also bummed that I’m missing out on seeing so many of my dear blog and boutique friends in Utah. I know it’s going to be a phenomenal event, and I will be thinking of all of you.

Happily, our Emily is attending and will be there at SNAP! – just watch for the gorgeous gal in the cutest shoes! This is her! Can’t wait to hear the scoop on SNAP!

XO - Daria

Fuel Spill and Jack Hammers

April 12th, 2012

Yes you read that correctly! For the past several weeks or so we’ve been dealing with a fuel spill that occurred at our home. We currently rent a home right on the ocean’s edge, it’s an older home with a furnace that runs on oil. Little did we know that while my in laws would be visiting our family, we would run out of heat! I called a company to come and refill our tank, but something incredibly horrible happened and the technician spilt fuel all over our front concrete patio. Not only that but the oil started to leak into the house in our laundry room. This all happened when we had Nathan’s parents, and several other extended family members visiting! Horrible.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling diesel fuel before, you know it’s crazy strong smelling and seeps into everything! We spent some time as a cramped family at a local hotel while air scrubbers worked 24/7 to make our home liveable again. We are back in our home but the long and tedious work of reclaiming the land is now being done. This means jackhammering out loads of concrete patio, digging out huge trenches in front of our home, and now “under pinning” the house to reinforce the digging that has to occur UNDER the house. Finally once all of that is done (and that is weeks away), they will tear out the concrete and lino floor in our laundry room and the wall that was soaked with diesel as it all poured in.

I have been working my way through our laundry that we unfortunate enough to be in that room when the fuel leak happened, it’s tough to get the smell of diesel out. I have felt SO sick from it, it’s been a nightmare. I’ve found the best solution for the odor problem is washing them with baking soda, Tide and a bit of Dawn dish detergent. This seems to be the best concoction thus far.

In any case, that is the lovely situation we find ourselves in. Yet I want to convey how lucky we feel that we are back in our home, and things will be taken care of. We feel blessed to live here on this beautiful island, and we have so many kind friends who have cared for us over the past weeks as we’ve dealt with this mess. Lucky to know we have so many to lean on!

So that’s the scoop from my end of things – just wanted to share with you! XO Daria

The Brassy Apple Make it Monday Link Up

March 19th, 2012

If you have a great tutorial of your own that you’d like to share, look no further than the on Brassy Apple! OODLES of great DIY and crafty tutorials, share and you just might win a prize too.

makes Mondays the BEST day of the week!

DIY Valentine Cards

January 4th, 2012

I’m sitting here today listening to Foster The People’s album Torches, it’s so amazing I love it!! Check it out if you haven’t yet.

Being the Mom of 5 children I have a goal this year to get ahead of the ball and plan better for my kids events. Project #1 is Valentine’s Day - Last year I was snapping these pictures before school on Valentine’s Day itself and rushing to get the cards printed and ready before the kids got home at lunch to take them back for their friends. I seriously had my glue gun plugged into my minivan and was hot glueing heart shaped lollipops onto their cards in the Costco parking lot! People were stopping and laughing, I was a sight to be sure! Thankfully I managed to finish the cards and they were a Huge Hit at their school. This year I want to plan ahead better so I can involve them in the card making for their friends, and I don’t look like a maniac with a glue gun in public again. :)

Last Year’s Valentine Cards – 2011
Snap your pics, edit in Photoshop and add some cute text, I had them printed at Costco on photo paper, then hot glued a heart shaped lollipop into their hand on the image. Supercute right?!

My Valentine plans this year are being greatly influenced by Pinterest. I have an awesome board with Valentine ideas ready to share. I think we’ll be doing the Moustache Cards this year with my boys. Let me know what you are doing and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for inspiration and fun all year long!

New Year!! Fun Photo Share

January 2nd, 2012

We’re having a blast tonight sharing some Past Quilt Market photos in our Boutique Cafe Facebook Group >>

Pop by and see who you can spot! What an incredible year it has been, we loved seeing you at various events and sharing the designers and products that inspire you, and make your life beautiful!

Looking forward to a bright and shinning 2012 with all of you.

Happy New Year!! The Last Minute New Years

December 31st, 2011

Happy New Year to each of you! It’s not too late! There are so many cute and wonderful ideas that can still be pulled together for a fun and enjoyable New Year’s Eve. Don’t feel like everything has to be bedazzled and glittered from the ceiling to the floors, a few simple touches will bring it all together and can be fun.

First of all I love to go to “The Source” AKA Pinterest for amazing ideas on New Year’s Eve parties and printoffs. Pinterest is a treasure trove and you’re sure to find the perfect little touch to add to your celebration whether a big party, or fun time at home with the family tonight. Here’s the link to my own New Year’s Board on Pinterest – have fun and please follow me, I’d love that and I love to follow you back!

Another great source for New Year’s ideas is our dear friend Megan over at Brassy Apple! All week she has been sharing awesome ideas for a festive New Year’s, and she knows her stuff. Memory packets, New Year’s Surprise Bags, shakers, time capsules and more! Go check it out – you’ll love Brassy Apple.

I LOVED this free printable from Simply Creative Insanity (don’t you love the chevron??!!) Print this cute saying off and throw it in a frame – you can use it anywhere in your home tonight for a little New Years fun.

Whatever your plans I hope you have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve. Take care and enjoy the relationships and make some memories. Be sure to snap those pictures tonight and preserve those moments in a creative way. Thank you for all of your ideas and involvement with Boutique Cafe in 2011! Happy New Year to all of you! – Daria

Merry Christmas From My Family to Yours

December 22nd, 2011

Dear Boutique Cafe Readers, thank you all for a wonderful fun-filled year! I hope you have enjoyed our Christmas Festival of Traditions & Tutorials – thank you to each of our special guests for making it happen! I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and Holidays filled with the love of family & friends. I know many of you are rushing around getting the last minute things done on your checklists, don’t forget to take a moment to soak in what really counts when you gather (and give yourselves a pat on the back!).

May you all feel the joy of the season, and your cups of couture will be overflowing with creativity in the New Year! From my family to yours I wish you the happiest holiday. XOXO - Daria

Day 9: An Anthro Inspired Festive Banner with Lizzy Anne

December 20th, 2011

Today we are featuring an amazing project from my talented sister-in-law Elizabeth. Liz has a wonderful blog, be sure to check it out Lizzy Anne here>>

“I try to be true to myself in any holiday decorating. Keeping my personality even in the face of Christmas glitter. I fell in love with a banner at Anthropologie. But did not fall in love with the price tag! Every year I feel like I have to decorate before I start on my other Christmas projects. So this year I did this one for myself before anything. A treat to me for all the hard work I’m about to embark on to pull off Christmas once again. It has been the perfect touch at our front entry and I love walking past it everyday! Merry Christmas to me! You can give yourself this gift too! Here is what you need.” – Liz

Supplies Needed:
-15 Sheets of Felt various colour ( you might want to buy a couple extra to allow for matching options)
-Cross stitch Thread ( I bought this huge pack at Walmart for $10 ‘craft thread’)
-Yarn 3 colors
-Printed Letters I used Arial in Bold and outline size 160
-Sewing machine
-Mat and Cutter
-Safety Pin
-Elastic band

Make your cuts. You should be able to get 2-3triangles out of each sheet with salvage
You will need 2 triangles per letter in the banner.

Save your salvages. If you only need 2 out of the color, stop cutting. The Salvage will be used for your letters and circle details.

Next print your letters, cut and trace them onto the felt salvages. Then cut out. Use any extra felt to cut out free hand circles of various sizes.

Line up 2 triangles of the same color. Sew ¼’ seam around all edges. Center and pin letter of contrasting color and sew as close to edge as you can.

Use your floss (craft thread) and needle to do a blanket stitch around the triangle. I doubled my thread for a thicker detail. Pick a thread of a contrasting color yet again for this look. Repeat on your circles as well. This part is what takes the most time, but the look is so worth it!!

For the braids use your colored yarn. I chose a variegated to save on money and still get a variety of color. Cut your full length of both Merry and Christmas and enough to hang, about 4.5 m. I used 2 length per section of the braid for a total of 6 strands. Tie ends in a knot and put a safety pin through the knot. Attach to carpet or somewhere you can anchor it.

Before braiding wrap up each section and put a rubber band around to make it easy to manage and easy to pull more length as you braid. Braid, braid, braid! Then repeat with second color way.


Now your ready to string your banner. Take your cream Yarn on a tapestry Needle and pull through the top portion of each triangle. This is also the time to randomly string your circles on between letters. To attach the braided portion you will need to cut small slits at the bottom portion of the triangles through only the back layer and feed through. If you use the safety pin at one end, it’s easier to pull through.

Once you have everything spaced how you like on the strands of yarn, pull your top and bottom strands together at the swag you are happy with. Do a simple slip knot to attach the strands, as well as create a loop to hang it from. You can either trim or let the ends dangle like I did. YOU DID IT It’s beautiful! Hang it and feel the Christmas spirit! Of course you could spell anything for any occasion in any color way and it’s sure to light up your day!

At the end of it you have this incredibly festive banner to love for years to come! Enjoy and Merry Christmas to you all!

Day 8: Gina Halladay Traditional Family “throw up” Dip

December 19th, 2011

Hi this is Gina from Quilter’s Buzz! This is a family favorite for many many years. What’s a party without some “throw up”? Not a good party, that’s for sure. (wink)

This simple and quick “chili con quese” dip is so easy to make, we let all the kids and grandkids help. Plus, it is a tasty treat for those in our family that are “gluten intollerant”. You can even make it a couple days before the party.

Why the name? Because it looks like “throw up” after you make it!

One recipe is great for 12-15 people. Easy to double the recipe for a bigger crowd.
We add an extra 4-5 more bacon strips to our dip, ‘cause we LOVE bacon. (My personal favorite meat!)

Gramma Halladay’s Throw Up Dip

1- can chili (without beans)
2- cans stewed tomatoes, drained
3-5 pieces of bacon
1 large onion-diced
1 lb processed cheese (Velveta)—cut into small chunks

Fry the bacon and crumble into small pieces. Add diced onions and cook until onions are soft and translucent.
Drain the stewed tomatoes and add to the bacon/onion mix. Stir and simmer for a few minutes. Add the chili and the cheese chunks. Cook over low heat until cheese melts.
(I transfer the dip to a crock pot and let it simmer until party time!)
Serve warm as a dip with tortilla chips.

Save the leftovers and reheat the next day—sometimes it even better!

Its the best “throw up” you have ever tasted!

Gina Halladay

Day 6: Chelsea Andersen’s Big Soft Ginger Cookies

December 17th, 2011

Big Soft Ginger Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

You can find more great recipes on my blog:


Under the Pink Fig Recipe Collection Tab on the right side bar.

Here is the link to the cookie recipe on my blog:


Day 5 – The ModKid Patty Young Ornament Tree!

December 16th, 2011

“Daria, Thanks so much for asking us to be a part of your special Christmas blog. We created a really awesome pink tree for our studio a couple of weeks ago and we have gotten so many questions as to how we made it that I thought this would be the perfect project to share. Since my assistant, Emalee, was the mastermind behind this fun and crafty project I will let her tell you—in her own words—how the tree came about. Enjoy the tutorial and several pictures I captured on assembly day. As you will see, we had lots of “helping hands” in the form of a group of local college students from the Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising.” :) Patty Young

Instructions by Emalee Grambo. Photography by Patty Young.

Our pink tree, while a fun experience, was definitely a group effort to put together. So find your friends and neighbors to help you put this beauty up.
For starters, you will need some sort of small round object for the tip top of your tree. Being a sewing studio, we had plenty of sewing embroidery hoops lying around and we chose one that was 4” in diameter. Anything similar to this will work great. Just be sure there is no chance whatever you choose can crack… the first item we used—a clear plastic plate—cracked when we tried to put the tree up. This tree ends up heavier than you think.

You will also need:
1 Hula Hoop (at least 3-feet wide)
Colored duct tape or spray paint to cover the Hula Hoop if you wish
Clear fishing line (a bit on the stronger side)
180 shatterproof ornaments in glittery pinks (or the color of your choice)
Clear tape and a hot glue gun to reinforce areas of your tree

We decided we wanted our tree to be about 10 feet tall with ornaments placed every 6.5”. So:

1. Mark your hula hoop and embroidery hoop with ten evenly spaced marks around the circumference.
2. Cut 10 strands of fishing line at 12 feet each.
3. Starting at one end, measure a foot and mark with a permanent marker. From this point measure every 6.5 inches and mark with a permanent marker. About a foot should remain at this other end as well. This will allow room to tie each strand to the top and bottom hoop. All 10 of your fishing line strands should be marked in this way.
4. Proceed to string your ornaments onto each strand and tie three knots at each mark you made. On 5 of the strands, leave the very last mark empty. On the other 5 strands, leave the second to last mark empty. These will be the “top” of the strands. This will keep the very top of the tree from getting too congested. If you have the space, spread each completed strand on your floor to keep it from tangling up with one another. (Trust me on this!)
5. Once you have all ten done, spread them out as best you can in a circle around the object you have for the tippy top of the tree.
6. Tie the top of each strand, alternating between strands with the last mark empty or the second to last mark empty, to each mark on your tippy top tree piece. From four evenly spaced marks on this tippy top piece string fishing line to create a loop to hang your tree.
7. Now this is where you will need all the helping hands you can find. Have each person grab two strands as you lift the center of your tree up. If you don’t recruit these lovely friends, you will be spending the majority of your afternoon untangling these ten strands and your pretty pink tree won’t be looking pretty anymore.
8. Once you have your tree hung, you can proceed to tie each end to your hula hoop where marked. We found it most helpful to place the hula hoop onto a flat surface at the level where we wanted our tree to fall and then tie each end to the hoop.

Day 4: Glamorous Stocking Tutorial with The Domestic Diva!

December 15th, 2011

Lisa’s Christmas Confessions:

Christmas Confession #1: I’ve never let my kids decorate MY tree. They can put their handmade ornaments on their smaller trees in their room. I know, I’m a bad mother.

Christmas Confession #2: Even though your Santa may wear a RED suit, mine doesn’t. I loathe RED. There is not a speck of RED (or Christmas Green) in my house during the holidays or any other time. My Santas have Gold, Cream, White, Silver, and Aqua robes…LOL!

Christmas Confession #3: I like getting Christmas cards with pictures of your adorable kids. Except the ones that include those annual summaries of their overachievements.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas! Lisa – The Domestic Diva’s Disasters Blog

Lisa’s Glamorous Lined Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Materials Needed:

  • 1/2 yard outer fabric
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric
  • 1 yard fusible interfacing
  • Sewing Thread

Print out a template or trace an existing Christmas Stocking.

Stocking Templates:

Tipnut’s Stocking Template

Martha Stewart Hankerchief Stocking Template

Martha Stewart Quilt Stocking Template

Martha Stewart Remnant Stocking Template

About.com Stocking Template

Woman’s Day Stocking Template

Fuse interfacing to the back of both your outer fabric and your lining fabric..

Layer both outer fabric and lining fabric right sides together. Trace template and cut out layers.

Sew one top of outer fabric to one top of lining fabric. Repeat with second outer fabric and lining fabric.

With right sides together, place outer fabric/lining piece on top of other outer fabric/lining piece. Sew together …

leaving a 3 inch opening on the lining (for turning).

Clip your curves.

Turn right side out and press.

Stitch Lining Opening closed.

Stuff lining inside outer fabric. Fold over lining to outside to create a self-cuff.

Make Cuff

Measure the circumference of the top of the stocking (mine is 16 inches) and add 1 inch to that measurement. Now take that measurement (for me it’s 17 inches) to cut the width of the cuff fabric with a height of 7 inches. My cuff fabric is 17 inches by 7 inches. You following this?

Fuse interfacing to the back of your cuff fabric.

Fold in half width-wise, right sides together.

Now fold height wise.

Stitch through all four layers of raw unfolded side. Turn right side out. You now have a cuff with the a raw bottom edge

Line up raw edge of cuff with finished edge of stocking. Stitch or serge.

To make a loop to hang your stocking, cut and interface a 2” x 10” piece of fabric.

Fold fabric in half lengthwise and stitch to conceal raw edges.

Fold finished loop in half right sides together. Stitch or serge together bottom edge.

Attach loop to inside cuff seam. Stitch.

Fold cuff to outside of stocking, add a fancy crystal brooch, and hang your stocking!

Day 3: Monogrammed Cranberry Ornament from Young Crafty Wife

December 13th, 2011

Martha, is a gorgeous Young Crafty Wife with a fun blog always brimming with great DIY ideas. She also has an Etsy shop that houses some of her fabulous creations. I’m very privileged enough to call her family, when I married Nathan I got Martha in the deal! She’s a darling cousin and I adore her creativity! Thanks so much Martha for your Ornament tutorial – XO Daria

Monogrammed Cranberry Ornament

You will need: – Some “Cranberries” I used little red foam vase fillers – Glue Gun – A Letter – Burlap – Wire

1. Glue the Cranberries around the boarder of you letter.
2. Continue to fill in the rest of the letter.

3. Make your burlap bow – above is how I made mine

4. Glue your bow right on top!

5. Take your wire making a little hook and glue it to the back as close to the centre as possible

6. Hang it on your tree!

I didn’t have a Christmas tree so I display it on – so my lovely barren tree outside our apartment will have to do! Merry Christmas!

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