Category Archives: Open House

Lets Flamingle

In honor of my birthday week I though I’d share my 35th birthday party inspiration; a Tropical Flamingo party.

I have been obsessed with flamingos for almost a decade, it all started on a shooting party in an Arizona dessert. My stepmom Sheri had packed up a box of potential targets including a glorious pink lawn flamingo.  But as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to save it.  I smuggled him out of harms way and stashed “Felipe” in my suitcase.  Felipe the flamingo become my beloved mascot, I even named my apartment “the Flamingo.”
In 2008, Felipe was kidnapped and held for ransom. I unfortunately never saw him again.  But his memory lives on in my heart.

Here is what you need to throw a fabulous tropical Flamingo party.


Start with a whole flock of flamingos.  But not just any flamingos, go with the original Don Featherstone flamingos, they have the best details.

I finally decided to try my hand at a balloon arch after drooling over several amazing arches on The House That Lars Built.  You can check out the one pictured above on Wedding Chick or there is a great tutorial on A Beautiful Mess.


balloon arch

I am in love with this tropical flower backdrop on Blitsy.  Perfect for a D.I.Y photo booth.
Top the decor off with a pineapple flower centerpiece.



I have loved Shirley Temples since I was a little girl but since this is my 35th birthday, not my 5th, I decided to “adult” it up for my party by serving a Dirty Shirley.  Here is a great recipe from The Solstice Table. 

For an appetizer try this tropical bruschetta.
For the main course I will be serving Kahlua pork, coconut rice, and Hawaiian mac salad.
For Dessert try coconut cream pie shooters or a gorgeous coconut cake like this one.


Check out these adorable invitations from Carlson and Co on Etsy.

Happy Flamingling!


Obsessed with Drip Drizzle Cakes

Some call it a drip cake, others a drizzle cake, I like to call it a “drip drizzle cake, I must be conjuring up my inner Snoop Dog. Whatever its name, I am completely obsessed. Im loving all the crazy toppings;  donuts, Japanese pocky, bon bons, macaroons, flowers, lollipops, fruit, marshmallow, meringue, cookies, truffles, candy, or mini bottles of Jack, the possibilities are endless.

1.  Mudgeemade
2.  Sugar by J Cakes
3.  Fork to Belly
4.  Sugaretal
5.  LifeofPieAmsterdam
6.  Cakes by Cliff
7.  Dessert Stomach
8.  Lapechefraiche
I’m definitely going to have a drip drizzle cake for my upcoming 35th birthday.  Now how to pick a design?!  I hope I didn’t make you too hungry with this post.


Big Game Little Work


I am the queen of over doing it and the master of the small details but sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to make football shaped cookies and cold cuts in the shape of a football stadium.

The good news is that most people wont mind, especially if you feed them well.
My favorite go to appetizers are: Hummus Flatbread Shooters and Veggie Ranch Shooters.


Hummus Flatbread Shooters

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 oz Shot glasses  ( you can pick them up on Amazon here or your local party supply store.)
  • Your favorite hummus recipe (I used this one from Smitten Kitchen, or you could buy some from the store)
  • Flatbread
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Paprika


Prepare Hummus ahead of time and store in a Ziplock bag.  Right before your party cut the corner off the hummus bag and pipe hummus into shot glass about half full, drizzle each cup with a small amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with a dash of paprika.   Place flat bread on parchment lined baking sheet, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and place in an oven set to broil until slightly toasted.  Cut into strips about 3 inches long, I like to use a pizza cutter for this, add to the shot glass.


Veggie Ranch Shooters

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 oz Shot glasses  ( you can pick them up on Amazon here or your local party supply store.)
  • Your favorite Ranch Dressing/Dip ( I used this one from Pioneer Women or you could use a Hidden Valley Packet and follow the instructions)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Tooth picks


Prepare your Ranch dressing ahead of time.  Cut your celery, cucumbers, and carrots approximately 3 inches long and slender so that they will fit in the shot glass.  I like to do this ahead of time as well. Right before your party, pour or spoon Ranch into each shot glass, add cut veggies, snap pea, and then place two cherry tomatoes on a took-pick and add it to the shot glass.

Throw some beer in an ice filled sink DSC_0319lowres

or some wine in a bucketDSC_0415lowres

Pick up some delicious cookies, I got these at the Popshop DSC_0419lowres

Pick up a fabulous meat and cheese tray, some olives, and crusty bread from your favorite deli, i got these at Tony Caputos 


There you have it, Big Game, little work!!




A Housewarming to Remember

A few of my favorite things from our Housewarming party this spring.

1. Our guest sign in coloring page from World of Moose


2.  This Simple Fruit Pizza Bar for Dessert


3.  My D.I.Y.  “Instagram” wall collage


Coming soon: D.I.Y.  Instagram wall collage

4.  This Acrylic Ice Bucket


5.  The Menu: mini Frog-Eyed Salad, hummus, and Veggie shooters, crusty french bread from Stone Ground,  a meat and cheese tray from Tony Caputos that was TO-DIE-FOR, oh and that gourmet plum jam. I’m suddenly really hungry.



What to Expect from Living Darling

I love to cook, bake, plan parties, decorate, and craft. I love being a mom. I want to improve my health in lasting, lifelong ways…Travel the world and create treasured memories with the ones I love.  I want to treasure the little moments.

So here is what you can expect from Living Darling:


Delicious recipes, my ideas on health and fitness, craft projects, decorating ideas, a million posts about my obsession with oatmeal and breakfast salads, parenting tips, party planning, my Husband Juices’ list of Honey-do’s, and pretty much anything that tickles my fancy.

All of these things are in pursuit of a darling life.

I hope you enjoy the journey with me.