In our previous editions of Wrap With Scraps, we have talked about how we reuse materials from past projects to enhance the look of wrapped gifts and homemade cards. The many scraps we have lying around come in handy especially when it comes to making cards and tags for birthdays. Our birthday is this week and in honor of this special occasion we will be sharing birthday related posts all week. So without further ado … here are some examples of how we have reused scraps to create birthday tags in the past without spending a cent on any new materials:

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When making these “fun” floral letters for our blog’s 2nd birthday party, we fell in love with all of the bright colors found in the silk flowers. Therefore they made for a really exciting addition to matching tags for our cousins’ first and second birthdays when paired with scraps from a vintage inspired Vanity Fair postcard.
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(Seen on Bags and Tags)
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You may remember that last year our holiday treat bags were finished off with these bright tags made from a mix of patterns. We always tend to make a few extra when creating a “look” in case something else comes up. We are glad however that we had this tag leftover after the holiday season, as it made for a beautiful 30th birthday tag instead. Adding gold numbers was the perfect finishing touch.
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Another vintage inspired postcard was used as the base for this beautiful tag (adding a personal touch to a beautifully wrapped bottle of champagne). When creating this tag we used scraps of lace and black rhinestones to add a bit of texture. A classy gift and tag are the perfect way to not show up empty handed when attending a party.
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Tami’s holiday wrapping this year consisted of Winter prints with coordinating paper and ribbon. She used extra navy blue paper to wrap this beautiful gift and scraps to complete her tag. Our signature detail … a simple gold initial finishes off the look.
Next time you find yourself attending a birthday party, don’t go running off to the craft store to replenish your supply. Remember these tips: Keep scraps handy (you never know when they will be useful), small details such as an initial or a silk flower goes a long way, and a handmade tag will always bring a smile to any birthday boy or girl’s face. With these tips in mind, your gifts are sure to be remembered for more than just what’s inside.
In addition to celebrating our birthday week, we would love to honor our beloved blog and the 300 posts that have brought us to this point! Thank you to all of our readers who keep us inspired to write and create! Here’s to 300 more from Side by Side Design!
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This time of year makes everyone, young and old, re-evaluate their lives, what’s working and what they want to change. It is definitely not a surprise when someone says that they are eating healthier and working out more frequently in the New Year. In fact, we share these resolutions with what seems to be the vast majority of people. 
To start the year off right this past weekend, we walked down to our local Farmer’s Market and carefully selected the right ingredients for an all organic meal. With our arms full and only having spent $15 for all our findings, we headed home to start cooking. We decided to make an entire meal consisting of vegetables …
… except for this delicious sheep’s milk cheese that we bought to top our dish.
At least once a week we make it a point to cook dinner together. This is a way for us to spend time with each other while creating new meals to keep us (and Lauren’s husband) happy. While we feel like it is easy to continue perfecting our favorite recipes (like this or this), we love to try new things. In fact, one of our favorite things to do is to come up with a meal on the fly based on ingredients we have lying around the refrigerator (or the local Farmer’s Market). For this particular meal, we decided to make spaghetti squash primavera using a recipe we found on Pinterest as the base and then making a few changes of our own. Follow these easy steps to make your own healthy meal for the New Year:  
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the inside with extra virgin olive oil, place face down on baking sheet, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes (will be soft enough to pierce through with a fork).
3. Scrape out “spaghetti” with a fork. If you have never cooked spaghetti squash before you will be surprised by how much it actually resembles (and tastes) like very delicate pasta.
4. You can choose to add a protein to this dish such as chicken or shrimp. We kept it vegetarian this time adding in additional vegetables for variety. In a large pot, we sauteed 2 cloves of garlic, chopped yellow onion, zucchini, and spinach in olive oil. Then we added the rest of the veggies: grape tomatoes sliced in half, sun-dried tomatoes, and the spaghetti squash.
5. Season with salt, pepper, and ground garlic or garlic salt to taste and heat on low.
6. Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese (or delicious shredded sheep’s milk cheese from your local farmer’s market) and enjoy!
We have already expressed our business resolutions on this blog in the past week, but wanted to share some of our personal goals as well. This is a great start to our New Year getting the chance to take a walk down to the Farmer’s Market (exercising more frequently), eating a very healthy meal, and cooking Side by Side. All things we plan to do a little more of in 2014. Wishing you the best with your own personal goals this year as well.
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Last week as we prepared to leave on vacation, we shared a look at our inspiration for a New Years spent in the snow. We had a great time with our friends in Mammoth. Now that we have returned, we are excited to share details from our actual trip and what inspired us along the way. We have also prepared a couple of tips for how to spend time with your family in this Winter-y vacation spot.

 
 
The first thing to consider is where to stay. When traveling with a group, it is always fun to stay together. Renting a cabin in the mountains is great as you have access to a kitchen, common space to hang out, and bedrooms at night (and nap times). This is especially helpful when travelling with little ones as you are bound to spend extra time indoors.
Don’t forget to share! Bringing snacks, board games, and movies to watch with the group ensures that everyone has a great time. Our personal favorite nighttime activity was playing Cards Against Humanity after the little ones went to bed.
 
Cooking meals in saves money and makes you feel at home (away from home). New Years Eve is a really busy time in Mammoth. In fact, you have to call way in advance for dinner reservations if you want to go out. We chose to make tacos instead and enjoy each other’s company in the comfort of our cabin.

Part of the whole travel experience is of course eating out. It is always fun to try new restaurants, and this trip was no exception.

Our favorite meal was at Campo where we enjoyed tomato mint bisque and an amazing beet salad. We also had fabulous meals at Jimmy’s Taverna, Gomez’s, Rafters, and Side Door Cafe.

We love that they have an outdoor sandbox at Gomez’s to keep the little ones busy while their parents eat their lunch. Madi had a great time playing in the sand!
 
Woolly’s Tube Park and Play Area was fun for the kids …
 
 
 
… and for us too! 
 
Of course most people go up to Mammoth to ski or snowboard (which the guys had so much fun doing). However, riding the gondola up and down made for a fun activity for the babies.
 
 
On New Years Eve, we took a walk down to the village to hear a band play and watch the firework show. It was a nice way to spend the evening. Tami and her friend Arin found a more casual place afterwards to have a glass of champagne and ring in the New Year while the others went back to put the kids to sleep and play more board games.
 
We all had a really nice time in Mammoth relaxing and playing in the snow (especially our little snow bunny). We hope to make this a family tradition, getting away for the New Year as it turns out these California natives actually like wearing ski pants and beanies after all. What’s more fun than getting all bundled up and sitting by a fire?
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Here are our calendar pages that we created last year for the month of January. This year, we will be focusing on Interior Design and Event Planning on and off our blog and this is the perfect way to show you the overall looks that are inspiring us this New Year. As our Craft Club calendar pages have officially come to an end, we will be reformatting these posts in the months to follow while staying true to their content.


Tami’s inspired: This is a month of celebration! Not only is it the New Year but it is also my (and Lauren’s) birthday on January 17th. We are planning a birthday party with friends with a little Moroccan twist. The bright pops of color in my calendar page are inspiring me to live it up, “pop some bubbly”, and get a new start. 

This birthday celebration has touches of Moroccan culture in honor of our party’s theme. Mint leaves, bright pops of pink and turquoise, and that Moroccan pouf and Dhurrie throw give a festive feel. Warm candle light is the finishing touch. As far as my plans for January are concerned, a warm bubble bath and some time spent relaxing in bed are a birthday treat in and of themselves. 
Lauren’s inspired: This just so happens to be my favorite calendar page as I love the black, white, and gold color scheme and the different textures involved. I also have a Moroccan pouf in my inspiration in honor of our birthday party theme along with some Winter-y candle holders and a fur throw to keep me warm in the snow. 
 
 
 
It is only fitting that I have used some of my coveted and most treasured Pinterest finds for my birthday month’s inspiration. This table setting, fit for an intimate birthday dinner, not only has my favorite florals but those gold accessories are to die for (I guess you know what to get me for my birthday this year!). In addition, I love the over-sized fringed streamers, the tufted sofa, the gold bathroom wall, and the bedroom shot speaks for itself (Umm … hello, gorgeous white peacock!)

 

Here at Side by Side Design, we look forward to an exciting month which includes long awaited photos of a few of our Interior Design projects, a trip to the snow, a chance to get ready for the Super Bowl, and a look at how we celebrate our birthday Side by Side. Don’t forget to check out our newly remodeled Get Inspired post on February 7th for all new looks and inspiration! 

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Just like the past two years, we have goals we are setting for our blog; things that are working so far, things that we would like to change, and new ideas to add. This is officially the first post of 2014, and we thought what better way to bring 2013 to a close than to re-cap a  full year’s worth of Interior Design and DIY projects, event planning, guest blogs, recipes, and our newest addition; our “Get Inspired” posts. We have set a goal for ourselves to post every Monday and Wednesday with additional Friday bonus posts twice a month and have fulfilled our goal so far. We have introduced our readers into our lives as well as our creative passions, and we have shown you our own personal styles through our “T Side / L Side” posts. The only thing we have not done, which we are so excited to share with you today, is to tell you a little bit about the business behind Side by Side Design. Here’s a reminder of the different types of posts that frequent our blog and our favorites of each type of post from this past year with insight as to how this all fits into our business model:
 
Interior Design – As Lauren has successfully dived into working for Side by Side Design full time, we are proud to announce that we have several Interior Design projects underway which we can’t wait to share with all of you. With the biggest transition in Lauren’s life this past year being becoming a mom, our favorite Interior Design post is where we showcased Ava’s nursery (as seen on our post: Nursery Design). This project was so personal and really portrays Ava’s dainty yet spunky personality. In the coming year, we look forward to completing and showcasing the projects we have begun while building upon our Interior Design business. 
 
Event Planning  Here at Side by Side Design we have two “sides” to our business, Interior Design and at home events. Our mission is to work with a family to design their home making it fit their lifestyle and personal taste. When assisting these clients with their at home event planning, we not only get to continue to work with them Side by Side but get to pull from the look of their home for inspiration. This year we worked on several projects including a gender reveal party, a first birthday, Lauren’s baby shower, a very chic engagement party, Ava’s baby naming, and our favorite project a Vintage Rustic Wedding. Although this was not an at home event, we enjoyed working with this amazing couple to bring their vision to life for their special day. We look forward to expanding in this area of our business this year and working collaboratively to create other special events. 
Holidays – At home events also includes decorating for the holidays. We had tons of fun this year with our second annual Halloween decor project (as seen on our post: Haunted Circus), and would love to delve into helping our clients with all of their holiday needs including; tablescape, festive food and treats, gift wrap, and decorations. 
DIY (Do It Yourself) Projects – Although we have lots of amazing vendors we work Side by Side with, we have been known to create many things ourselves. Everything from flower arrangements, to gift wrap, to handmade invitations have been showcased on our blog. We enjoy putting a personal touch on each project and love doing so through handmade details. Our favorite of the past year are these flower arrangements we made for a City Chic Engagement Party. We loved selecting the flowers from the LA Flower Mart with the Bride and creating the arrangements to fit the look of their event. This year, we plan to continue to create new and innovative things while keeping our client’s style in mind 
Craft Club – We love our monthly Craft Club meetings as it gives us a chance to work on projects for upcoming events or even create something for our own homes while hanging out with the girls and eating tasty snacks. Our favorite Craft Club project, however, was when we took time out of our busy schedules to make cards for the charity, Mikey’s Helping Place, which is near and dear to our hearts (as seen on our post Craft Club: 200 Cards for 200 Posts). It is so rewarding to craft for a cause and bring a smile to little faces. In addition to setting a goal for ourselves to finish creating the 200 cards this year, we want to reformat our Craft Club posts to help encourage our readers to use our ideas in starting their own Craft Clubs. 
Guest Bloggers – Through our Guest Blogger posts, vendors, friends, and other creative individuals are given the opportunity to showcase their work or projects on our blog. Huge thanks go out to Robyn, Warby Parker, Mikey’s Helping Place, Joanna from Arcadian Home Blog, our brother Noam, Rachel, Isabelle from Hydrotherm, Taryn, and Dov of Cliques Photo Booth for their amazing posts this year. The time and dedication they have put in is greatly appreciated. We loved them all, but were especially excited to share Taryn’s post, Guest Blogger: FACE YOU Beauty, as she is one of our most cherished event vendors and is super talented as well. Our goal this year is to post one Guest Blogger’s creative talents each month to provide variety on our blog and inspire our readers along the way. Let us know if you would like to be our next guest blogger. We would love to work with you Side by Side.
 
Pining For Pinterest – This is a personal favorite type of post as it allows us an opportunity to dream a little bit while still staying true to our business model. Four times a year, we come up with our own individual looks (like these ones seen on our post Pining For Pinterest: Spring 2013). Each look showcases an event that works with an interior space and coordinates with the trends of the season. This particular post was our favorite of its kind as it was built around our childhood colors, pink and purple. By creating these boards, we are hoping to inspire those of you who are hosting parties in your near future or those looking to do something new with their home. Don’t worry we are just a quick email away if you need our help. Email us at sidebyside.design@yahoo.com .
 
Get Inspired – We enjoyed working on the “Pining For Pinterest” posts so much that we decided to create a new type of post this past year. Our “Get Inspired” posts feature our monthly calendar pages we made in Craft Club along with two interior photos that follow the same look and two coordinating event photos. This gives us a chance to post what’s inspiring us each month and give a preview of what’s to come. A personal favorite is our July inspiration (seen on our post Get Inspired: July) as it shows two very different looks for one overall theme. As our Craft Club has yet to decide our January project, we are uncertain as to whether or not we will be making calendars again this year. Either way we will be continuing to post our inspiration the first Friday of each month in some format or another. Check back this Friday for all new January looks. 
  
Event and Interior Inspiration – Another new type of post this past year are our event and interior inspirations. This is where we create one full cohesive look from our imagination (and Pinterest of course!) to show how we would present a project to a client. We create inspiration boards like the one below (seen on our post Palm Springs Home Inspiration) that include all of the necessary images to portray our design inspiration for a finished project. We enjoyed working on this Palm Springs home inspiration as it gave us the chance to pull a look together that we wouldn’t normally do which was bright in color and bold in design. We want to continue to provide our readers with inspiration that is relevant to the season and gives ideas for each aspect of your event or interior. 
T Side / L Side – This is a favorite type of post as it gives our readers a chance to peek inside our personal homes and see our two different styles and the way we decorate for holidays. We enjoyed coming up with our looks for Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Chanukkah this past year and look forward to all new looks in 2014. Our gift wrap and decor (as seen on our post, T Side / L Side: Holiday Wrappingreflected the Autumn looks we came up with for Chanukkah’s early arrival. The use of burlap, Fall colors, craft paper, pine cones, and family photos made this post our favorite. 
 
Inspiration Through Travel  We always love an opportunity to put a personal spin on a post and let our readers into our lives. These “Inspiration Through Travel” posts do just that while giving tips of where to go, what to see, and what to do. This past year, Lauren’s family traveled to Hawaii (as seen on our previous post, Inspiration Through Travel: Oahu) and were given the opportunity for some much needed rest and relaxation. As it was Ava’s first plane ride and time spent out of state, it was truly a trip to remember. We would love to continue making this a tradition, returning from each trip and showcasing what inspired us along the way.
 
Bonus Posts – Once a month, we enjoy sharing recipes for creative dishes and treats, as we are always looking for new things to make and know that our readers are as well. This was especially evident when we posted this recipe (Healthy Pregnancy Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins). We were overwhelmed by the response it got on Pinterest thus making it our favorite bonus post of the year. We will continue to invite you into our kitchen once a month and encourage you to take these recipes home with you. 
 
 Side by Side Design’s New Year Resolutions are as follows:
  • Continue to grow the amount of readers who visit our blog every week inspiring them along the way.
  • Continue to take our reader’s feedback into account and tailor our posts accordingly.
  • Expand upon creating the Side by Side Design brand by launching our new website.
  • Expand upon the Interior Design and at home events business by building upon our relationships with existing clients and growing our clientele.
  • In addition, we plan to Create . Coordinate . Collaborate in order to provide you with a full year of exciting blog posts in 2014.  
Our reader’s feedback truly means so much to us and allows us to continue doing what we love to do. Please take a minute to let us know your thoughts. What kinds of resolutions do you have for us? What are your favorite types of posts? What would you like to see more of? What can we add to enhance your reading experience? Any constructive criticism is welcome as well. Your comments are greatly appreciated and will be taken very seriously. Happy New Year from Side by Side Design!
 
 
 
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