Slowing Down and Summer Vibes (free download)

headerHey babes! As some of you may know, I closed The Bannerie for the summer. I had been going back and forth on this for months: should I close it all down? Should I just sell a few banners? Should I just sell the flamingos and tattoos? When should I close?

Closing the Bannerie, even for a short while, terrifies me. There’s the fact that I’m not selling anything so, you know, money. But also, I’m not selling anything. So what purpose am I serving to my customers this summer?

In this moment, I’m struggling with how much to share because I love being an open book but I don’t want all my business all over the internet, I mean I do want my BUSINESS all over the internet…. you get what I’m saying, right? The crux of it is that we’re moving this summer and I have a unique opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with the kids for a few weeks before they go to camp and while we move, so I’m taking it.

When the kids go back to camp, I’ll open The Bannerie to orders for the flamingo candles and tattoos (because they’re both so perfect for summer and easier to ship out than banners), but until then I’m slowing down, spending time with my family, and working on behind the scenes stuff for the future.

In the meantime, I’ll be keeping up with the blog, taking lots of trips with the kids and tracking my steps with my Jawbone UP MOVE (reaching my daily goal happens soooo much sooner when I’m running around with the kids all day! I’m going to have to up it!)

Here’s a new desktop wallpaper by Kailah Ogawa to help get in the summer mood. Kailah made it in two colors because summer is no time to skimp on color! And it looks gorgeous in both colors. And I begged her last minute to add it in pink and she’s amazing (check out her insta):


Summer Vibes Desktop Wallpaper (Aqua)

Summer Vibes iPad Wallpaper (Aqua)

Summer Vibes iPhone 5 Wallpaper (Aqua)

Summer Vibes iPhone 6 Wallpaper (Aqua)

Summer Vibes iPhone 6 plus Wallpaper (Aqua)


Summer Vibes Desktop Wallpaper (Pink)

Summer Vibes iPad Wallpaper (Pink)

Summer Vibes iPhone 5 Wallpaper (Pink)

Summer Vibes iPhone 6 Wallpaper (Pink)

Summer Vibes iPhone 6 plus Wallpaper (Pink)

Enjoy your summer! What are your plans? Any trips? Fab ideas for what to do with your five and two year old? I’m asking for a friend.

Gilit Cooper New Signature

5 Ways to Hack a Store Bought Cake

I’m no Martha so when I need a cake, I run to the nearest grocery store. It saves me the effort of making a cake myself and costs a heck of a lot less than a gourmet bakery cake, but store bought cakes look kind of …boring. Luckily, there are a bunch of easy ways you can upgrade a basic store bought cake. Here are five of our faves.

1. Wallpaper it: This is so genius and the outcome is so gorgeous, I’m having a hard time containing myself. You can buy a plain white frosted cake and do THIS tutorial via Alana Jones-Mann, a freaking cake genius.

Wallpaper Tropical Print Cake

2. A Cake Topper: Cake toppers are an easy way to really step up your cake game and you can buy it or DIY it. We love this cool looking cake topper from The Roc Shop. (Psst she just came out with the cutest new line full of tropical vibes!)


This is such a good example of how a DIY cake topper can bring your store bought cake to a whole other level. These Mini Mylar Letter Balloons from A Joyful Riot are hands down more effort than buying a topper, but SO very amazing.


3. Write your own message: Coco Cake Land shows you how to make simple writing look pretty, even if your handwriting sucks.


4. Flowers: Sometimes the simplest ideas are really the most genius, replace the frosting flowers with real ones. A Practical Wedding knows the deal.

APW store bought wedding cake hack

5. Cand-ify it: Use gumballs or lollipops to decorate your basic cake in cool patterns. Check out the how-to and other easy store bought cake upgrades on the Minted blog

store bought cake lollipop upgrade

Do you have ideas on how to decorate a plain sheet cake and make it look fabulous? We really like it when you share!


Psst. remember these alternative cake toppers?

How to Authentically Connect with Your Customers

Hey lovers! I’m over on Best Friends for Frosting with my thoughts on something that’s always been incredibly important to me even before I had a name for it: how to authentically connect with your customers.



Check it out here.

Any thoughts on connecting with your customers? Or as a customer how you feel about connecting to stores?


Gilit Cooper New Signature

Flamingo and Pineapple Sugar Cookies!

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

Alyson here, and I have to say I’m thrilled to be posting on Shoes Off Please! Gilit’s love for flamingos inspired these little cookies, and the pineapples seemed like the perfect pairing! I’ve been obsessing over sugar cookies these past few months, and it was a no brainer to get these cuties made! Those pink little creatures are just too perfect for this world, right?!

What you will need –

First up, you’ve got to get those sugar cookies made, so here is my absolute favorite recipe! Also, if your cookies are slightly spreading when you bake them, stick them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before popping them in the oven. It works every time!

If you’ve made royal icing before, awesome! If not here is a solid recipe. Now for the fun part!

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

First you will want to outline your cookies with the thicker royal icing and let dry for at least 15 minutes. Next, ice the flamingo’s legs and beak, and the pineapple’s top! The circle cookies will be your base, so those also need to be outlined and filled. Clearly they don’t have to be perfect, as you can see below. (They will be covered up by brown sugar.)

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

now when you flood the cookies, add a few drops of water or lemon juice to thin the frosting. You want to find the right consistency so that it spreads to the edges and ribbons back into itself in about 5 seconds. This is where the squeeze bottle comes in handy! Pour the icing in and start flooding the cookies.

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

To add the details, use your icing tip for those little pineapple dots and wing outline. For the wing, I lightened it a tad and made a tiny amount of flood icing to fill it in. A lot of times there is a sweet spot where you can use the same icing for the outline and flood, but it’s all a matter of testing it out.

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

Using the black food decorating pen, color in the tip of the beak and a little eye! You can also use a pink one to add some more dimension to the cookie, like outlining the wing to give it a feather-y look or outlining the entire flamingo. Carefully rub the line with your finger to blend it in.

For the water, I used that ICEE Squeeze Candy because it’s such a pretty color and makes the water a beautiful shiny blue. However, it’s actually kind of a gross candy, haha. If you don’t think anyone wants a sour blue raspberry gel on their cookie, I recommend just sticking to royal icing or even blue sprinkles!

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

Finally, carefully stick some toothpicks into those cookies and you’re done! The flamingos are very fragile, so I had to be extra slow and careful. I found that making the hole in the circle base first, then cutting the toothpick before inserting it into the flamingo works best. Add some brown sugar for sand and voila! You’ve got a cute little party centerpiece!

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

The cookies would be a great addition to any Summer party, and can neatly be displayed on a cake stand! And trust me, the more flamingos the better!

Make your own flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies this summer!

For more sweet creations, head on over to my blog and check out my instagram!


How to Keep Moving with the Jawbone UP MOVE

Fitting in exercise can be so hard. Even half an hour a day. Do you wake up early and do it then? I’m so tired in the morning and once I’m up, there’s so much work to do. What about at night? Bwahahaha by the time the kids are in bed, the last thing I want to do is exercise. Plus if I’m being honest, I do a lot of computer work at night.

Back to honesty, I used to wake up early and go for a run around my neighborhood and I hardcore miss it. It was hard to wake up early at first, but then I started to look forward to it and my whole day was better. I do amazing thinking while I run. I love how it feels to push my body like that. Unfortunately for the past few years (by which I mean almost a decade now), any sort of running and it’s a guaranteed migraine. So I’ve felt stuck.

How to keep moving while you work with the  Jawbone UP MOVE

The week after I published my post about the Jawbone UP MOVE I got quite a few texts and messages “Does it really work? Do you really like it? Is it worth it?” Here’s my answer: For me, it’s a resounding yes.

I haven’t figured out how to exercise without getting sick. With the UP MOVE I’m so easily motivated to walk thousands of steps a day, move more, drink more water etc. Small enough that I don’t get a migraine, big enough that I am feeling better.

How to keep moving while you work with the  Jawbone UP MOVE

It’s that it’s being counted. When I didn’t know how many steps I was taking, I felt like I wasn’t doing anything and when I did anything I would get sick so I just sort of gave up. But it COUNTS. That’s a big deal. Walking to the post office, doing some errands, and walking back home can be a thousand steps. My eventual goal is ten thousand steps a day. Right now I’m at 6,000 and I’m reaching it. That’s so satisfying and these little wins help me move toward larger wins, which is ultimately a healthier lifestyle.

How to keep moving while you work with the  Jawbone UP MOVE


All I have to do is wear the wristband (which obviously I chose in a bright yellow) and sync it to the app on my phone. I lost the UP MOVE last week before Alt Summit and I was devastated. Would I still move around? Would it count? So here’s the thing: I was still so much more aware of movement. And being aware of it made me want to do more, even a little, whenever I could. So that’s great but I was really missing the counting. I also really like that it counts my sleep and motivates me to go to bed earlier because I love winning (aka achieving goals) and I set my sleep goal for 8 hours a night.

How to keep moving while you work with the  Jawbone UP MOVE


So I ordered myself a new one. And I’m so happy I did. You can set up “teammates” on the app and choose what updates they see and you can cheer each other on and as a social person, someone who needs accountability, and someone who loves helping others, it’s really kind of perfect. I like my UP MOVE smiley faces when I achieve my goals :)

Would  that make a difference to you? Having all of your exercise counted somehow?


Gilit Cooper New Signature

* This post was sponsored by Jawbone. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. This is legit helping me move and changing my mindframe. I bought my own replacement Jawbone UP MOVE because I love it that much*

Bringing Color into the Office

I’ve mentioned working from home several times on the blog and that’s because it can feel so all-encompassing. Especially because my workspace is in our bedroom. There’s the delicate balance between my desire to make my office full of color and keep our bedroom calm. Pink Moroccan Ottoman for the office (Pop of Color with Wayfair)

This gorgeous soft papaya colored Moroccan Ottoman from Wayfair strikes that balance. It brings color in (and the most comfortable place to lean my feet while I work on the computer) but it plays well with our wood floor and jute rug. These textures play so well together, I can just stare at the combo.

Pink Moroccan Ottoman for the office (Pop of Color with Wayfair)

I love a piece that’s functional and pretty. And if it can also be pink, well then I’ve won.

Pink Moroccan Ottoman for the office (Pop of Color with Wayfair)How do you feel about color in your office? What about your bedroom? Are you more of a neutral bedroom kind of gal or do you love color?


Gilit Cooper New Signature

*This post was sponsored by Wayfair. I love my ottoman hardcore (aka all opinions expressed are entirely my own)*


DIY Flamingo Party Hats

Make your own flamingo party hats #flamingoparty #letsflamingle

I have always had a bit of a crush on flamingos or ‘mingos as I sometimes affectionately refer to them. This crush has seemed to festoon into a full-blown obsession as of late, it seems I cannot enter a store or scroll through Instagram without one of those pink, adorable beauties catching my eye. So when Gilit and I teamed up I knew that our combined loved of parties and shared affinity for flamingos would be bound to result in some ah-ma-zing flamingo party ideas! The first (of I am sure many) flamingo-inspired ideas is a cute and super simple Flamingo Party Hat.



Pink Polka Dot Party Hats
Pink Feathers
Pink, White and Black Card Stock
Flamingo Template (link at the bottom of post)
Double Sided Tape
Black Sharpie
Hot Glue Gun and Glue

1170X425 TO CREATE

  1. Print out the template provided and using scissors cut out the template shapes.
  2. Trace the template shapes onto the appropriate colored card stock — the flamingo head on pink cardstock twice, the face details on white cardstock and the beak on black cardstock — then cut out the shapes using scissors staying on the inside of the lines.
  3. Assemble the pieces of cardstock and adhere together using double sided tape.
  4. Using a black sharpie add an eye to the flamingo head.
  5. Make a bend (approximately 1/2″) at the bottom of the flamingo neck, insert the bent part of the cardstock into the slit on the side of the party hat to see where it looks best.
  6. Once you are satisfied with the placement, apply double sided tape to the folded part of the card stock and secure it to the inside of the hat.
  7. Using hot glue, attach a few feathers on the side of the hat to resemble wings.
  8. Place the party hat on top of your head and let’s flamingle!






Make your own flamingo party hats #flamingoparty #letsflamingleMake your own flamingo party hats #flamingoparty #letsflamingle

Make your own flamingo party hat #flamingopartyMake your own flamingo party hat #flamingoparty

Here is the Flamingo Party Hat Template! Have fun Flamingling!


*See more of Sarah’s glitter and talent on her blog Weekend Pursuits and Instagram @sadiutori

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