Saturday, December 28

On Wrapping Gifts

I started later than my usual schedule. I swear, this year has been so busy for me. I barely had time wrapping gifts for Christmas. But I did it. I finished two days before Christmas -- I know, I know. Cramming.

I'd like to share with you though some of the wrapped gifts I did. I used kraft paper, twine, stickers, rubber stamps and printed paper bows I got off the web.

How did you do yours?

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Monday, December 23

Everyday Hello Kitty

When I was a kid, I was super obsessed with Sanrio, especially Hello Kitty. You name it, I got it. I actually remember playing make believe Hello Kitty museum inside my bedroom. Haha. I even get my dad to buy me loads of Sanrio stuff from Japan whenever he went. Oh well, those were the days.

My fascination with Hello Kitty lessened now that I'm all grown up. I know, though, that one of these days, Allie would come to love "cat"or "Chichi" -- yes, that's what she calls Hello Kitty now. Her first Hello Kitty was this cute purse that she received as a gift and she fills it with snacks.

So when I got this news that SM Kids' Fashion has this Hello Kitty planner giveaway, I got so excited. The year is about to end, and it's so timely. I get to buy Allie some Hello Kitty apparel, and when I fill the stamp cards, I get the planner. Yes, it's going to be mine! (insert evil laugh here)

If you want your own too, read on how to get it. Hello Kitty lovers, unite!

SM Kids’ Fashion and Hello Kitty Welcome the New Year 
Retail megastore launches contest for 2014 limited edition toon-themed planners 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Imagine spending 365 days with the world’s favorite cat. Now, little girls can enjoy precious moments with Hello Kitty thanks to SM Kids’ Fashion. This 2014, young fans of the famous feline can grab an exclusive planner featuring three bold-colored covers, red, pink, and white, with a gold stamped Hello Kitty logo. 

By completing exclusive stamp cards available at all SM Kids’ Fashion outlets, kids can get their very own limited edition notebook organizer. A Php. 300 single-receipt purchase of regular-priced Hello Kitty apparel from the SM Kids’ Fashion department entitles bearers to a stamp card and free first stamp. BDO Sapphire and Diamond Rewards cardholders, as well as, SM Prestige members can get their stamp cards and first stamp with no need for a minimum purchase.

Young fashionistas can complete their cards by collecting stamps through Php 300 single-receipt purchases of regular-priced Hello Kitty and SM Kids’ Fashion apparel. A total of five Hello Kitty stamps and five SM Kids’ Fashion stamps is equivalent to one complete stamp card. Included apparel is available in the Children’s Wear, Girl’s Teens Wear, and Character Shop section of The SM Store.

Get the purr-fect item to plan your fantastic year with The Limited Edition Hello Kitty Planner Giveaway only with SM Kids’ Fashion. Promo runs from November 15, 2013 to January 15, 2014.

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Friday, December 20

Fashion Shopping for the Tot This Holiday Season

Having a baby girl is so much fun. Not only do I get to play pretend afternoon tea but I also get to shop adorable clothes for her! I love getting her cute outfits, and this Christmas is definitely no exception. Most of the time, I buy toddler clothes at the department store because everything is there na and as for the price, they're cheaper. It makes more sense to get clothes at the department store because after a few months, those clothes won't fit anymore.

Well, SM Kids' Fashion just launched their Holiday Collection, and it's something exciting. I will most probably go and get something for Allie this weekend because I really can't help it. They're so cute! See for yourself.

Black and White 

Perfect for any occasion, this mix of eye-catching prints emphasizes sophisticated black and white tones for young boys and girls. From houndstooth minis to tribal-print dresses and striped trousers and jackets, the set works well for morning play dates or a grown-up dinner with Mom and Dad.

Tromp ‘O Leil 

Everyone loves a good illusion and the boy’s are taking it home this year. Printed bowties, jackets, and checkered vests stand out against soft cotton tees, along with comfy raglans featuring fun athletic prints for afternoons of rough and tumble activity. 

Party Princess 

Whether its afternoon tea or a mini-disco party, there’s always something in the closet with this collection. Multi-colored lace dresses come with hints of tulle, huge polka dots, as well as built in belts and maxi lengths for the girl who loves dressing to impress. 

Baby’s Big Day

Tiny tots aren’t about to get left out of the high fashion loop. This season, it’s all about mini decorative get-ups ala Great Gatsby, roomy, sporty rompers, decked out pantaloons, and a generous helping of frilly tutus, for the most stylish babies out there.

The SM Kids’ Fashion Holiday Collection is currently available at all SM Stores, nationwide.
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Crafted: Stamp Carving 101 Workshop

It was a sunny Saturday, and I had a workshop on the basics of stamp carving in Quezon City. The participants got this cute kraft suitcase filled with tons of stamp making goodies and loads of freebies.

I showed them how to make their own stamps using their handwriting.

They used mine instead. Haha.

Some of them took it to the next level. Talk about master carvers!

Instagram @sasadomingo

Instagram @sofiabiancasia

Proud facilitator moment! You guys are awesome. :)

Follow crafted on facebook: /craftedforyou

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Monday, December 16

Awesome Ads Worth Sharing

I rarely share these kinds of things. But here are a few advertisements that caught my attention.

This first one is by Pantene Philippines. It focuses on the double standards that are present in society, most especially in the workplace. Although not all women face these kinds of labeling, I found it somehow true.

Video from Pantene Philippines, Labels Against Women.

This next one made me laugh so hard I almost cried. It's about parenthood and it really hit close to home -- the good news, the new messy normal, the sleepless nights, the "H" position -- well, I guess almost everything except the second baby. Haha. At least not yet. Oh, and to those who are avid Coke drinkers, yup, this Coke product is green! It is naturally sweetened with stevia -- go stevia! Please bring it to the Philippines.

Video from Coca-Cola Life Argentina, Ser Padres.

Finally, here's the bringer of Christmas cheer. Enjoy!

Video from West Jet, West Jet Christmas Miracle: Real-Time Giving.

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Wednesday, December 4

Event: Carnivale for the Foodie

The group of Mercato Centrale is at it again. They are bringing the night food market called "Carnivale" to McKinley Hill, and I am so excited about it because it is very near our house. I've been to Levante and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the heat then. I'm looking forward to this one because it's much cooler now. Okay, and they're giving away Mochiko ice cream balls to the early birds on December 12. Haha. So you'll probably see me there.

If you'd like to know more about Carnivale, read on.



Great foodie news to everyone who works and lives in Mckinely Hill, Taguig! The Venice Piazza Mall at McKinley Hill is home to CARNIVALE - the newest night food market by the Mercato Centrale group! CARNIVALE will be open every Thursday and Friday starting December 12(Thursday) 6pm to 3am starting December 12 (Thursday)!

The newest Mercato Centrale market will be celebrating its grand opening with live circus acts and acoustic bands. On top of that, CARNIVALE will be giving away 25 FREE Mochiko ice cream balls to first set of customers who come at 7pm and another set of 25 FREE Mochiko balls to those who come at 8pm.

“We look forward to sharing great food finds with the McKinley community!“ shared Anton Diaz, co-founder of Mercato Centrale and the blogger behind the popular food and travel blog www.OurAwesomePlanet.  “Aside from your enjoying the best-selling dishes of your favorite Mercato food vendors, we’ve also got some awesome new food vendors that you should definitely try out.”

Venice Piazza is located inside McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. McKinley Hill is bounded by C5 to the East, the American War Memorial to the North, Lawton Road to the West (which leads to the airport) and the Philippine Army Headquarters to the South. 

The Mercato Centrale group, which also runs the Levante food market in Eastwood, has been the birthplace of many fast-growing Manila-based food businesses like Manang’s Chicken, Mochiko, Merry Moo Premium Ice Cream, Spring by Ha-Yuan, Kristina’s Inutak, Chuck’s Grubberie Fish and Chips and many more.

For interested food vendors who want to join CARNIVALE, please contact (+63 917) 840-1152or (+632) 812-0102, email or visit

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Thursday, November 28

Holiday: Starting Christmas Early at TriNoma

The holiday season in the Philippines begins the moment people come back from their All Saints' Day vacation. You'll see Christmas trees go up in your friends' living rooms almost instantly. Houses become adorned with decorations. Blinking Christmas lights fill up city streets.

Last November 9, Allie and I (and Ate Jenny, our temp yaya for the day) went to TriNoma to witness the launch of their Merry Musical Lights show.  We got treated to yummy food hosted by Fish and Co. I was so relieved because we came directly from my paper flowers workshop (FUN by the way) and we were so hungry.

The people patiently waited for the show to start.

UP Concert Chorus opened the show with a lively and awesome performance filled with happy Christmas songs like Kumukutikutitap and Carol of the Bells.

Nikki Gil graced the stage after, and sang some Disney hits. Ate Jenny loved her. Honestly, I had to ask Ate Jenny who she was and was she famous because I'm clueless when it comes to Philippine showbiz. I wouldn't recognize most showbiz personalities if they were put in front of me, except probably those who are from my generation and older.

Then it was time for the lights show. A countdown was set, and there it was. Blinking lights, festive music, laser lights filled the garden atmosphere. The lights were synchronized with the music, so you can just imagine the magic. Allie was mesmerized. Heehee. Confetti popped at the end. Allie got some to take home with us. Ang kalat ng car. Haha!

TriNoma's Merry Musical Lights Show runs each night every 7pm, 8pm and 9pm until the 5th of January 2014. Come visit! Also try to eat al fresco at the garden restaurants during these times. I bet your dining experience will be wonderful.

TriNoma is located at EDSA corner North Avenue, Quezon City.
Contact information: 901-3000

Follow TriNoma at:
Facebook -
Twitter - @trinomatweets
Instagram - @ilovetrinoma

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Saturday, November 23

Gift Wrapping Ideas

I love wrapping gifts. So naturally, this holiday season really excites me. I have yet to finalize my theme for this year, but I have a pretty good idea on what it will be.

I attended a gift wrapping workshop hosted by the folks at Unilab, and it was such an inspiration. I was bummed that it was just a presentation. I wanted to get my hands durrrty! Hmmm maybe I ought to have a gift wrapping workshop down at CRAFTED, don't you think? Haha, I digress. Moving on...

A gift wrap enthusiast should always have a basketful of holiday odds and ends -- ornaments, leaves, ribbons, pips, etcetera. Inspiration can be anywhere from the pine cones you pick up in Baguio or your backyard to old ornaments you have no use for.

gift wrap idea no. 1 
kraft paper + artificial holly + twine

gift wrap idea no. 2
plain white paper + thick ribbon + old christmas tree decor + pine cone

gift wrap idea no. 3
cartolina + sheer ribbon + berries + leaves

gift wrap idea no. 4
kraft paper spray painted with copper + wide metallic ribbon

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Wednesday, November 13

Blogopolis 2013 and Yolanda (Haiyan)

Last weekend, the most horrible storm went through parts of the Philippines. Pictures of the devastation just breaks my heart. I don't know anyone personally who was greatly affected, but I know of people who has/had loved ones living in the hit areas, and some of them have lost loved ones and their possessions. It reminded me of hurricane Katrina.

My newsfeed has been filled with gut-wrenching stories about what happened. Other posts are on how you can go help and what's currently happening. Although many have already given and pledged support for the country, there is still a long way to go. The destruction Yolanda/Haiyan made took one mighty day. But rebuilding what it destroyed will take years.

This coming weekend (November 16), the blogging world here in the Philippines is going to have a blogging conference hosted by Nuffnang at Hotel Intercontinental. Ticket sales will be donated to the victims of the typhoon.

If you're interested, here is what it's all about:

Blogopolis 2013: #INTOTHEWILD (Weaving Information for Leaders of the Digital World) This year, we are taking you to the Information Jungle. With the surge of social media, and other online platforms, we want to help you make sense of the digital world. Key speakers will be discussing social media know-how and digital marketing and advertising trends. Blogopolis 2013 is a day-long event starting with plenary sessions in the afternoon, and a post-conference party at night where key influencers in the industry will be awarded. This event is open to everyone - bloggers, social media influencers, students, digital marketing officers, and advertisers, and anyone who is interested in the world of digital, particularly social media.

Last year,  I wasn't able to go because it was held on my MIL's birthday. We had a long yummy lunch at Makati Shang, and I saw folks walking around with their badges, and I was a bit jealous that they were attending. I promised myself I was going this year. But I already committed myself to an event on November 16 months before. Sigh. I hope next year, makasama na ako talaga.

If you want to join and get tickets, go here.

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Monday, November 11

Toddler: Playgrounds

I wish there were more playgrounds in Metro Manila.

This concrete jungle is in dire need of child-friendly playgrounds. Okay, I say child-friendly because I see playgrounds here that don't have rubber mats. They're on concrete. I even saw one at Global City that wasn't well-maintained. Tapos, there was a grown man in tsinelas hanging out on one of the slides! Ano ba yun? What the f***? 

It is during these times when I wish we were still living in our old neighborhood where there's a great and safe playground a few minutes away. 

The nice playgrounds are in exclusive country clubs. Those in public malls are so filled with kids every single time. It was serendipitous when I brought Allie with me to an event near our place, and we passed by an empty playground. It was still early so I decided to let her play for a good 30 minutes. Oh wow, if I could bring her there everyday, I will. The joy on her face was such a sight to see. 

Maybe it's a good idea to put a nice playground at the farm! Now if only I know where to source it.

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Saturday, October 26

Snippet: Two-Sentence (or less) Horror Stories

We were listening to the radio this evening, and they were talking about the best horror stories you can come up with in two sentences. I read about this a while back from Reddit, and dang, the stories were pretty eerie.

So in time for Halloween, I want to share with you my top choices uhmm, those that almost made me pee my pants.

As read on Reddit

Sorry fellow scaredycats (in advance).

[5] I just saw my reflection blink.

[4] The last thing I saw was my alarm clock flashing 12:07 before she pushed her long rotting nails through my chest, her other hand muffling my screams. I sat bolt upright, relieved it was only a dream, but as I saw my alarm clock read 12:06, I heard my closet door creak open.

[3] I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I thought it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again.

[2] Don't be scared of the monsters, just look for them. Look to your left, to your right, under your bed, behind your dresser, in your closet but never look up, she hates being seen.

[1] I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.”

Happy Halloween!
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Friday, October 25

Gifting: Rubber Stamps

Rubber stamps are so in right now, no? Here are a few of my favorites. All images from Project Happy.
If you're itching to get these cuties, Project Happy will be at Cuenca Community Center, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, MM tomorrow and Sunday. See you there!

Doily stamp (with ink pad) P100 ($2.50)

Graphic Alphabet Set P350 ($8.50)

Pattern Stamp Set P250 ($6.00)

Nature Stamp Set P250 ($6.00)

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Monday, October 21

Food: Borough at The Podium

I've been hearing good things about Borough, so when we had to pick up some croissant doughnuts down at the Podium one time, we just had to head on to Borough. Luckily, we arrived there a bit after 1pm, so the lunch crowd has already thinned out.

The place was very industrial looking. Think wood pallet walls, stainless steel tables and lots of concrete. They tried to offset it with vintage floral prints for the cushions, which is a bit outlandish for my taste. But hey, whatever rocks their boat.

Well, what did we order? I love Arnold Palmer, so I just had to have it. Arnold Palmer is basically half iced tea and half lemonade. It was okay... nothing special. The hubby got some NY Philly Cheesesteak and I grabbed a portion of Chicken and Waffles -- a bit of the Northeast and a bit of the South. Well, both were a bit disappointing -- maybe we had had such high expectations from Borough because people who had dined there told us their food was very good. Still, we've had better.

But... and it's a BIG but... I will definitely go back. Why, you ask? Well, Borough just have some A-MAH-ZING sandwich called "The Elvis". It is the star of our dining show. We ordered it without the bacon because we were thinking we wanted it for dessert. "The Elvis" is fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, with sides of coconut dulce de leche (glorified coco jam -- hehe) and sour cream. Homaygad, it is delicious. Simot to the last drop.

Well, Borough, you were saved. I shall be back and get "The Elvis". This time, with bacon. :)

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Wednesday, October 16

I'm Going to Bid at Unicef's Auction for Action

This was an event that I really wanted to go but missed going to because of a bug I had. I didn't want anyone getting it from me. Anyway, I loved last year's sneak peek and I am sure that this year, UNICEF has more beautiful things to auction off, and they will get to raise more money. The auction pieces are going to be on display at the Yuchengco Museum down in RCBC Plaza until October 26, or if you dread going through traffic in Makati, you can go visit to take a look at the curated items on your screens.

The auction starts on October 21, so if you have your eye on something you like, go on and open a free ebay account now if you don't have one yet.

Here are my favorites. (All images are from

If you want to know more, read on below.


UNICEF Auction for Action to fund Play-based Learning
In celebration of National Children’s Month, UNICEF Philippines’ Auction for Action 2013 brings together over 90 artists in art, design, furniture and jewelry to benefit a unique education program to provide children access to early learning: Supervised Neighborhood Play Program (SNP).
Curated and presented by UNICEF Special Advocate for Children Daphne Oseña Paez, the online auction is a product of UNICEF and Daphne’s collaboration to bring the world of art, furniture and design together with her advocacy on children.
This year’s auction has more artists and designers contributing for a specific program on education: Supervised Neighborhood Play. It is a simple, low-cost and easy to organize home-based early learning program where trained day care workers or parent volunteers gather young children in a house, a shaded play area or under a tree for two to three hours, every day for at least ten months to help children learn through organized play. UNICEF supports the SNP program in remote, conflict or disaster-affected communities and in informal settlements located in urban and rural areas.
Parents are generally unaware that various forms of play actually keep children healthy and sharpen a child’s skills in listening, self-expression, observation and other skills for beginning literacy. Playing, both structured and unstructured, lays the foundation for a child’s development of future learning and life skills.  It helps children develop their knowledge, experience, curiosity and confidence; develop language skills, thinking, planning, organizing and decision-making. Children learn language quickly and easily through hearing and singing songs, having stories told or read to them, repeating rhymes and playing games.
Studies in the Philippines show that only three out of ten children under six years of age have access to day care or any form of early learning. The situation is more challenging in remote and conflict–affected areas where access to early learning are much lower due to inadequate resources, difficult terrain and low awareness on the importance of early childhood education.
“I have personally seen how play makes learning more fun and engaging through my own children and the children I’ve met during my trips with UNICEF. Play makes children happy and children who feel secure and loved usually do better in school, are more self-confident, have good self-esteem and are able to cope more easily with life’s challenges,” said Daphne Oseña Paez.
"Children learn best through play so making learning fun encourages a child’s eagerness to learn. Children who have access to early learning are more prepared for regular school and are less likely to drop out,” said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Country Representative.
He adds “All our funds for children’s programs come from voluntary contributions and this auction provides a venue for people to acquire works from leading Filipino artists and designers and help disadvantaged children at the same time.”
Bid for one-of-a-kind pieces from notable Filipino artists and designers and help make a difference for children. The auction goes live on October 21-27, 2013 at
For a preview, visit or go to the Yuchengco Museum from October 3 to 26 at the RCBC Plaza, Makati City.
This year’s auction is made possible through the generous participation of the Philippine Star, Yuchengco Museum, Summit Media, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation, EBay Philippines, Citem and Manila Fame. 
Participating artists:
Nemo Aguila • Amina Aranáz
Arnold Austria & Sonny Sunga of Jagnus Design Studio
Philip Badon • Manuel Baldemor • Jovan Benito
Betis Crafts • Remy Boquiren • Elmer 'Emong' Borlongan
Jinggoy Buensuceso • Michael Cacnio • Ed Calma for Lor Calma & Partners
Juan Carlo Calma • Norberto 'Lito' Carating • Seb Chua
Kenneth Cobonpue • CSM Philippines • JP Cuison
Olivia D'Aboville • Olivia D'Aboville for HIVE • Antonio Daleon
Kristine Dee • Janina Dizon • Domicillo
Iñigo Elizalde for Catalina Embroideries • Dex 'Garapata Man' Fernandez
Sandra Fabie Gfeller • Gregory Raymond Halili • Mia Herbosa
Jeannie Javelosa • Jaypee Wrought Iron Manufacturing
Jewelmer Joaillerie • Pete Jimenez • Niccolo Jose • KawayanTech
Ito Kish • Kohler • Raymond Legaspi
Lightworks Resources, Inc. • Adler Llagas • Locsin International
Joyce Makitalo • Hamzah Marbella • Jun Martinez
National Bookstore • Milo Naval • Leeroy New
Ann Ong • Ramon Orlina • Daphne Oseña-Paez
Epjay Pacheco • Debbie Palao • Ann Pamintuan
Tess Pasola • Celso Pepito • Vernon 'Spoonman' Perez
Impy Pilapil • Danny Rayos del Sol • Luisa Robinson for Luisa Home
Ana Rocha • Vikki Rodriguez for Accessoria • Dominic Rubio
Stanley Ruiz • Wataru Sakuma for MASA Ecological Development Inc.
Popo San Pascual • Juvenal Sanso • SC Vizcarra, Inc.
Vito Selma/Stonesets Int’l • Mitch Shivers • Paul Syjuco
Christian Tamondong • Ricky Toledo & Chito Vijandre for FIRMA
Triboa Bay Living by Vivere Lifestyles Co., Inc. • Roceli Valencia
Nicole Whisenhunt • William Yu • Reg Yuson • Willibald Zeck
UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, abuse, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:
For more information, contact:
UNICEF hotline, 758-1000
Jingjing Romero, Stratos PR, Inc.,, Tel: 02-4332626, Mobile: 0917-853-2415
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Friday, October 11

Love: Drop Caps from Jessica Hische

I just died and went to heaven. These are drop cap designs by Jessica Hische commissioned by Penguin books. The series is called Penguin Drop Caps and each book features a drop cap letter corresponding to the classic literary author's last name. Like for example, 'A' is for the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and 'D' is for Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

It makes me want to collect them because they look so pretty together, just like the Penguin Classics hardbound that I am collecting.

If you love these drop caps, go on to Jessica Hische's Daily Drop Cap project here. You can use the drop caps for personal use on your blogs too, like the "I" in the beginning of this paragraph. Isn't it so pretty? Well, good news to all you graphic design lovers. Jessica Hische is doing an online course this coming November on Skillshare. Check it out. I'm going. Are you?

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Crafts/DIY: Rubber Stamp Carving 101

Stamp carving is <3
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Monday, October 7

Crafts/DIY: Chalkboard Party Decor

This is another party craft that you can do on your own. These awesome chalkboards were made by my sister for the birthday of her friend's son. Read on how she did it and be inspired with the photos.


My officemate was on a budget for her son's chef-themed first birthday party and she asked me to help her create centerpieces similar to those menu chalkboards we see in restaurants. Instead of writing the party menu, we leaned towards writing quotes. I looked up quotes on Pinterest about food, baking and cooking.

For the design, I restrained myself from my usual girly lettering. I had a hard time staying away from pinks and curls. I first tried it with ordinary chalk but it was a craft fail. The result was too dull.

Luckily,  I have crafty siblings and it just so happened that I came across these perfect chalk in pens. I used them for the chalkboards and the effect was solid and less messy. My favorite part was mixing the colors together while the ink was still wet to get a watercolor effect.


Our chalk ink pens were from Amazon, and these chalkboards were supplied by her officemate. But you can DIY your own by using some chalkboard spray paint from Rust-Oleum on cheap frames.


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