How To Make DIY Paper Straw Flags

How to make DIY paper straw flags

Ever rushing to set the table before guests arrive? Yeah, me either. (wink) When it comes to setting the table with creative place markers that only take minutes to make I totally have you covered. I’m always looking for unique ways to welcome guests with a little personalization. I also have a thing for initials.

I’ve partnered with my friends at HP to share how to make DIY paper straw flags using the HP Instant Ink program. This crafty project is ridiculously easy so it’s a must try that will quickly become a go-to for all your place setting needs. Grab the simple crafty details below!

how to make DIY drink flag straws

how to make DIY drink straw flags by Melissa Creates

When I’m rushing to put a last minute table setting together, add extra touches to a styled display or making a custom gift for a friend the last thing I want to deal with is running out of ink. Isn’t running out of ink mid project the worse?! HP now offers an HP instant ink program so that you #NeverRunOut and printing will cost less. Ink is delivered directly to your door for a low monthly fee. My printer notifying HP of when I am low on ink and it showing up on my doorstep before I run out? Yes please!

instant ink by HP

To create these simple place setting drink straws you’ll need to carve just a few minutes of time prior to guests arrival. This is the perfect way to add a little last minute table setting pizzaz. Required items:

Glue stick
Fancy paper straws
HP printer
Downloaded font of your choice

Using the downloaded font of your choice create a document with the initials of each party guest. Be sure to justify to the right. Print using the HP Envy Series printer and change the print settings to cardstock (one of my favorite things about this printer is that option). Cut the drink flags in long strips, apply glue to the back and adhere to a fancy paper straw. Trim length if desired. Set the table and enjoy entertaining your guests!

how to make DIY drink straw flags

how to make DIY drink straw flags by Melissa Creates

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The Power of Snail Mail and Gift Wrapped Packages

This post is brought to you by Hallmark. This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser, all opinions are mine alone. #SendSmiles

the power of snail mail

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We’re still away spending a little extra time with family and friends which was long overdue. When we have long weekends it makes it that much harder to get back to reality, but family hang time is always priority.

Speaking of family and friends, today I’m chatting about the power of sending snail mail and gift wrapped packages to your favorites. Sending and receiving snail mail is the best isn’t it? Grab my go-to snail mail essentials below!

the power of snail mail and gift wrapped packages

gift wrapped packages

I heart gift wrapping, I heart it like something fierce. I’m a firm believer that all gifts should be presented well. Wrapping paper is something I have a TON of in my home office and there’s not an occasion I don’t have covered thanks to Hallmark. Shipping gifts to your faves doesn’t have to be standard and cookie cutter. Wrap those gifts with fun wrapping paper, embellish with ribbon and THEN place inside one of those standard/cookie cutter shipping boxes. This girly wrapping paper is gorgeous and there isn’t a little boy on the planet that wouldn’t light up when they see an Avenger wrapped gift.

Do it. Making wrapping paper a shipping essential, friends.

gift wrapped package

Hallmark cards at Walmart



If you’re like me you stock up on cards because it truly makes life easier to have a gracious supply on hand. Walmart is the only location with a selection of Hallmark cards starting at 49 cents. Awesome, right? Next time you make your standard store visit be sure to pick up a handful of these cards to have for upcoming Birthday’s and special occasions. One can never have enough celebratory cards!  the power of snail mail and gift wrapped packages

Taking a few minutes out of my day to send a card to a friend feels good. Coffee in hand and a fancy pen– heaven! I always send out Birthday cards, but I also take the time to send thank you cards and cards letting my online friends know they are killing it. The power of hand written cards will never cease. Good coffee, a stock of Hallmark cards starting at 49 cents and fancy wrapping paper are my go-to snail mail essentials.

Are you also a huge snail mail fan? Of course you are, wink.

the power of snail mail and gift wrapped packages

Thank you for supporting brands and companies that make this blog possible. xo

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

This post is brought to you by M&M’s®. This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser, all opinions are mine alone. #ShareFunshine
How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

Happy Friday, friends! We have a very busy weekend planned in south Florida, one of our busiest yet with baby. Before I sign off to pack our bags let’s chat about hosting a stylishly outdoor party for the ladies.

Cheerful summer displays are my jam, especially those with a slightly vintage hue. The colors featured on this display are so very Melissa Creates, wink. Not sure what to do with your favorite ladies this summer? Host an outdoor summer sweets party of course! Grab all the sweet details including a mason jar cupcake with M&M’s® icing recipe and a fancy DIY checker board game.

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

Let’s chat party decor.

Create place markers by using favor bags. You’ll have a cute place setting display PLUS favor bags for guests to add M&M’s® to and take home.

Separate one large flower arrangement into multiple arrangements. Instead of buying multiple bouquets trim the flowers yourself and add to multiple vases; be sure to add flower food.

Paper plates are cool. Many of us only use china when it comes to entertaining guests, but during the summer months and when entertaining outdoors go for the cutesy paper plates, fun paper cups, paper napkins and bold plastic cutlery. Coordinate patterns and colors and you’re good to go!

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

Let’s chat party games.

Creating a DIY board game has been on my “I want to make one of those” lists for awhile now. I strayed from the traditional checkerboard game color and style to create something unique. Using hearts or stars on your board game is a fun alternative too! Board games and snacking go hand in hand and the XXL M&M’s® bags have you covered for all your summer game playing. Ready to create your own stylish checkerboard game?

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

Wood board (an 8×8 square is ideal, but rectangle was my choice for decorative reasons)
Paint & thin paint brush
Painters tape
Ruler and Pencil
Hearts, stars or circles as game pieces
Decorative stencil (optional)

    • Measure out the checkerboard to create the appropriate amount of game spaces. There are 64 standard squares on a checkerboard per square measuring at 2×2, but this can be proportionally adjusted. If using a rectangle shaped board be sure to measure the actual game playing space into a perfect square, this will leave open spaces on the sides for decorative stencils as pictured.
    • Using a pencil and ruler begin marking squares in the outlined game playing space.
    • Cover every other row with painters tape vertically and horizontally. Paint only the exposed squares. Allow a minimum of 10 minutes for drying time. Remove the painters tape slowly. Allow an additional 10 minutes of set time before taping again. Using painters tape again, cover the the other set of vertical and horizontal rows and paint the exposed squares. Allow suggested drying time and remove painters tape. *Before painting and taping keep in mind that every other square per row is painted and that in each row the painted squares are opposite from the previous row.
    • Using painters tape mark off the edges of the playing square and paint with an alternative color to outline your board. Allow suggested drying time, remove painters tape and allow suggested set time.
    • Optional- use a decorative stencil on the edges of a rectangle wood board.
    • Paint only one side of the game pieces (stars or shapes of choice). Allow 10-20 minutes drying time.
    • Play your fancy DIY checkerboard game and have fun!

DIY checker board

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

Let’s chat party sweets!

Summer sweet treats are the best. We’re big cupcake fans and adding a little extra touch to a basic icing can make a world of a difference! Aside from mason jar cupcakes (recipe below) have party guests enjoy a fruity sip such as berry juice, a salty treat to offer the perfect sweet treat balance and plenty of varieties of M&M’s®.

cupcake recipe by melissa creates

vanilla cake mix
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of oil
1/2 cup of water
1 container of icing
2 cups of chopped M&M’s® Original

Preheat oven to 325
Grease square baking pan
Beat eggs
Add oil, water and cake mix
Bake for 25 minutes
Allow cake to cool and set aside
Chop 2 cups of M&M’s® Original using a knife
Combine icing and 2 cups of chopped M&M’s®
Using the top of a mason jar slowly cut into the cooled square cake
Slowly push the cake down into the mason jar
Fill the remaining space in the mason jar with the chopped M&M’s® icing
Serve and enjoy!

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board Game

Sams club M&M's®


While having a variety of M&M’s® for your upcoming summer sweets party is a must, it’s also a good idea to make sure to have some extra on hand for all your other summer entertaining needs and outings! I have M&M’s® on hand daily thanks to the XXL bags at Sam’s Club. Be sure to pick up one or all of the options- M&M’s® Crispy, M&M’s® Original and M&M’s® Peanut. How will you be using the XXL bags this summer?

How To Plan An Outdoor Summer Sweets Party and DIY Board GameThank you for supporting brands and companies that make this blog possible. xo

Simple Southern Tea with Fruit

This post is in partnership with Socialstars sponsored by Sweet’N Low® to share my favorite summer sip perfect for July 4th celebrating! #DontHesitaste

simple southern tea with fruit

It’s hump day! Things have been busy busy over here, but I’ve managed to carve out some time to share one of my favorite daily sips.

Growing up in the south, yes we consider Florida the south, I’ve had my fair share of tea. Simple southern tea is a staple in our house and served with dinner nightly. I’m shocked when our northern state friends share that they don’t sip cold tea regularly or don’t make a pitcher of tea multiple times a week like we do. For my friends who don’t make traditional tea, I’ve partnered with Sweet’N Low® zero calorie sweetener to share my go-to tea recipe with a touch of summer ideal for 4th of July entertaining.

simple southern tea with fruit

simple southern tea with fruit

Simple Southern Tea with Fruit

Using a small pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drop in 2 family size tea bags. Allow tea to steep for 5-10 minutes. Pour tea into a 1 gallon pitcher adding additional cold water to fill the pitcher. Per glass add a lemon slice, 3-5 fresh blueberries, 2 packets of Sweet’N Low® and serve on ice.

Enjoy my go-to summer sip this 4th of July, friends!

southern sweet tea by Melissa Creates

Want to make your summer even sweeter?  Come hangout with Sweet’N Low® on their summer sampling tour to try some Sweet’N Low® sweetened iced tea, play fun games and snap hilarious pictures of all the fun.  Be sure to mention Melissa Creates at the event for a special gift.  See where you can meet up with Sweet’N Low® this summer at:

Thank you for supporting brands/companies that make this blog possible.

5 Inspiring Pineapple Parties

5 inspiring pineapple parties

Pineapple Birthday Party

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day. We hung around the house and had a chill Sunday, just as the husband wanted. I did snap a few photos of the husband in his Father’s Day shirt which you can see over on Instagram. Coolest shirt ever.

Now let’s chat about the oh so awesome pineapple trend!

Pineapple parties are all the rage and I’m totally on board. I’ve used a pineapple or two in a display before but have yet to make a bold summer pineapple party spread… don’t you fret because I’ll have one in the works soon.

Here’s 5 inspiring pineapple parties that are sure to get your pumped to host a tropical summer soiree! Psst, the outdoor ladies game party by Pizzazzerie is my fave.

5 inspiring pineapple parties

Pineapple Patch

5 inspiring pineapple parties

Palm Fronds + Pineapple Party

5 inspiring pineapple parties

Tropical Pineapple Party

5 inspiring pineapple parties

Outdoor Pineapple Party Display


New Mom ‘Me Time’ Lakeside

This post is brought to you by Nestle®. This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser, all opinions are mine alone. #ArtisanFlavors
new mom me time lakeside

Hey there, Thursday the day before everyone’s favorite day.

Are ready for Father’s Day this weekend? We started celebrating last week with some Star Wars & cake fun and early this week I shared the 4 ways we will be kicking off our first Father’s Day. To say we’re excited for this extra special holiday is an understatement. This upcoming weekend is all about the guys (as it should be) but, today I’m chatting about carving out some much required new mom me time.

Get my go-to location, chill playlist and sweet must have treat details below. There’s a giveaway happening too!

new mom me time lakeside

As a new mom I struggle to find some me time. Obviously you don’t have to be a mom to a 4 month old to struggle fitting in me time, but recently it’s been harder than ever for me to take some time for myself. My husband and mom remind me weekly to take a little time for myself and I’ve been taking them up on the request.

My go-to me time location is a local park that sits lakeside; it calms me within minutes. Living in Florida one might assume I’m a beach goer, but local lakes are my preference. I take some time to chill while kids play in the nearby park, joggers do their thing and families walk the dog. It’s a friendly environment which is comforting yet I can easily tune everything and soak up the beautiful view. Kinda amazing how you can tune so much out when you’re in an ideal location, right?

me time music playlist

I have an old sole and to be honest I like that about myself. Music is one of my favorite things and I am a big supporter of indie music, but nothing can compare to the classics. My go-to me time playlist includes Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and Louis Armstrong. I heart everything about that era. Turn on the classics and you can instantly see my body relax. I’ll Be Seeing You is one of my favorite classic tracks, I highly recommend giving it a listen and if you’re a fan of The Notebook you’ll recognize it right away.

treat yourself ice cream lake side

I’m all about the perfect sweet treat! Relaxing lakeside calls for a little indulgence and the Haagen-Dazs Artisan Collection offers just that. Nothing beats a decadent treat during your me time moment. Treat myself to ice cream with a cute plastic spoon? Done!

new mom me time by Melissa Creates

Raise your hand if you collect super cute tote bags! This tote is one of my favorites because it’s so very me. Before heading to the lake I put a few of my favorites in this tote so everything is easily accessible… and because totes can be stylish. wink.

A friend recently gifted me this book and it’s hilarious! I enjoyed reading the first two chapters of new mom humor during my me time and can’t wait to dive back in.

Before I chat a little more about the perfect me time treat be sure to enter the contest below!

Häagen Dazs #ArtisanFlavors Contest

ice cream isle


Yay for discovering the perfect sweet treat! The must try Nestle® Haagen-Dazs Artisan Collection is available at your local Walmart, be sure to swing by the freezer section at your next store visit. I chose the Tres Leches Brigadeiro Ice Cream which is a twist on a Brazilian tradition created by Paula Barbosa and the Spiced Pecan Turtle Ice Cream created by Christopher Elbow where he took his passion for chocolate to the next level. These are the absolute perfect me time treats.

So now that you’ve seen how I have a little new mom me time I’d love to hear how you ‘break away’ for some me time. Are you a fan of being beach or lake side? Leave a comment and share your me time favorites with me!


treat yourself to ice cream

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