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Chocolate Chip Cookie and Buttercream Push Pops

1 Apr

Chocolate Chip Cookie Push Pops

I saw a few push pop cake pops pop up on party blogs last year and was certain they’d be the next cupcake. Boy, was I wrong. Regardless, I’ve been wanting to make a creative batch of the nostalgic treat since I saw them. With my cookie-loving husband in mind, I opted to bake mini chocolate chip cookies, sandwich them with buttercream, and top them with sprinkles. Chocolate Chip Cookie Push Pops

I found my push-pop containers on clearance at Target, but I have also seen them at Michaels, and on Amazon and Etsy.

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Good Day Austin | DIY Wedding Invitations

25 Feb



I had a great time with Good Day Austin’s Anchor, Lauren Petrowski, talking about DIYing wedding invitations for their Make It Monday segment. I was thrilled to have the opportunity and am excited about the possibility of being a guest on the morning show again within the next few months.
FOX 7 | Good Day Austin: Make it Monday | DIY Wedding Invitations


The image above may be deceiving, as you can’t actually press the play button. Unfortunately doesn’t support FOX 7 videos. You can watch the video by visiting Good Day Austin’s website here: DIY Invitations.

The three minute segment really flew by, so be sure to check out my  six tips for DIYing your wedding invitation suite.

Thanks for reading and, now, watching,

♥ Dominique

Raindrop and Umbrella Themed Baby Shower

28 Jan

January has been a month full of hosting out-of-town baby showers. First was the Big Top Baby Shower for one of my best friends. This past weekend I co-hosted a “sprinkle” in Houston for my sister-in-law, full of clouds, raindrops, and umbrellas. We used a color palette of blues, grey, silver and white.

Raindrop and Umbrella Baby Shower

I made clouds out of white tissue paper and raindrops from different blue and silver paper scraps.

Raindrop and Umbrella Baby Shower Light Blue Candy Bar

My co-host created a candy bar as favors for the guests.

Raindrop and Umbrella Baby Shower #candybar #babyblue #babyboy

I loved the bunting for the circus shower, so I used it as a template for a banner for this shower too, using paper that matched the raindrops.  Raindrop and Umbrella Baby Shower

I put together a tower of blue foods including marbled meringues, umbrella shaped spritz cookies, and cloudlike angel food cupcakes. The biggest hit of the shower may have been a caramel-toffee fruit dip made by my co-host.

Parmesan Custard in Egg Cups

Raindrop and Umbrella Baby Shower

For savory treats I made Parmesan custard in egg cups, babybel cheese umbrellas, and spinach artichoke phyllo cups (not pictured).

Raindrop and Umbrella Baby Shower Onesie Decorating Activity www.gustoandgraceblog.comRather than playing baby shower games  we supplied the guests with onesies, fabric markers, and iron-ons to decorate onesies for my new nephew. I wish I had taken pictures of some of the decorated onesies.

If you’re hosting a baby shower, consider theming it around the nursery decor so that party decorations can be sent home with the mom to use in the baby’s room.

Thanks for reading,


A Big Top Baby Shower

14 Jan

This past weekend I had the honor of throwing one of my best friends a baby shower. I opted to go for a circus theme.

For the circus invitations, I used printable ones from One Charming Party. I printed wishes for baby cards in yellow from Lauren Makes. Had I thought ahead a little more I would have purchased Dr. Suess’s If I Ran the Circus  and used it as a guestbook. I looked for one a couple of days before the shower at my local bookstore with no success.

Circus Baby Shower Buffet www.gustoandgraceblog.comThe big top above the buffet is actually made to go over a crib, so it doubled as a gift for mom and baby. 

Circus Party Food www.gustoandgraceblog.comSince I was hosting the shower away from home, I opted for an easy menu of mostly pre-made items and creatively renamed them to fit the theme. The menu included Nutter Butters, cotton candy, animal crackers, licorice, red gumballs, mini corn dogs on skewers, a popcorn bar, monkey bread, and cupcakes.

Circus Baby Shower Circus Party Popcorn Bar Circus Baby Shower

Disappointingly, I left my Ferris wheel cupcake holder in Austin. I made do with one my sister had left at my mom’s for my lingerie shower.
Circus Party Clown Nose Straws www.gustoandgraceblog.comI found these amazing clown nose straw toppers at Hobby Lobby.

Circus Baby Shower www.gustoandgraceblog.comI used chalkboard jars from Anthropologie for ketchup and mustard for the mini corn dogs. 

Popcorn Hydrangeas for Circus Baby Shower www.gustoandgraceblog.comPlaced in red and whited striped containers, Hydrangeas resemble popcorn.

Circus Baby Shower

I almost forgot to get a picture with my friend, so we snapped a quick one, squinting in the sun, right as she was about to leave. Doesn’t the mom-to-be look great? She’s seven months along with just a bitty bump. My outfit was my best attempt at circus attire. You can’t tell, but my necklace is elephants “holding hands, by holding tails.” My brother got it for me for Christmas and I love it.

I can hardly wait to meet baby Jonathan!

DIY Gilded Cotton Boll Boutonnieres

1 Oct

Before even thought about my bouquet, I knew what I wanted to do for boutonnieres for the wedding. Anthony and I met at the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park, Dallas so I thought natural cotton bolls would be a sweet nod to where we met (like our engagement photos).

Rather than paying $135 on boutonnieres (9 x $15 is what I was quoted), I DIYed my boutonnieres for $17.

I made the bows with metallic velvet ribbon and hot glue, then adhered them to the stems of the natural cotton. I was going to keep the stems natural, but last minute I decided to gild the stems with supplies I had leftover from making my wooden menus. I love how they turned out. I made silver boutonnieres for the dads, groomsmen, ushers, and officiant, but I painted Anthony’s gold.  I think these are perfect for fall wedding and could be painted any color. They can be made months in advance, and and add great texture to the grooms(men) attire.


Originally I planned on hot-gluing pins behind the ribbons to attach the boutonnieres to the guys’ lapels to make it easy for them, but in the middle of making them, I found out the head of the cotton were just to heavy to stay upright. Typical straight pin application worked just fine.

DIY Gilded Cotton Boll Boutonniere

All photos were taken by Jeremy & Krisitin photography. 


Our Wedding Video

3 Sep

The long-awaited wedding video has finally arrived! I have watched it multiple times already today. It’s such a feel-good short film.

The first 1:37 is our rehearsal dinner. If you’re wondering what everyone is watching at 0:50, see it here.

Watching the video gives me the urge to make s’mores and release balloons into the sky all over again. These memories are such priceless moments and I will always consider this video a true treasure.

Follow  Jordan Productions on Facebook to see more of his work. He is such a talented young creative with a great eye.


DIY Floral Shutter Backdrop

13 Aug

When thinking about my what I wanted my wedding centerpieces one of the first questions I asked myself was “What did my sister have for her centerpieces?” For the life of me, I couldn’t remember. I had to ask her.

Here’s what’s interesting: I spent hours hot-gluing rose metals to long sticks to make the unique and dramatic centerpieces my sister envisioned. Between that, and realizing centerpieces had nothing to do with the priorities Anthony and I set for the wedding, I opted to forgo the expensive floral centerpieces.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t want flowers at the wedding. I love flowers. If I were the type of person who could rationalize spending oodles on a wedding, I would have had flowers everywhere.

DIY Floral Shutters **

I found another way to incorporate them in the decor without spending a new piece of furniture, or an extra mortgage payment. I made flower covered gold shutters for a grand total of $60.

While I just used small shutters on a table, you could use large shutters (or even a shutter like room divider), for an altar backdrop. Or you could use them as an escort card display, sliding escort cards (folded like a place card), in the slats of the shutters. I think they would look great in a fun color with bright flowers, I chose gold and white to stay consistent with my metallic color scheme.

DIY Floral Shutters **

All images were taken by Jeremy & Kristin Photography.

What you need:

  • Shutters- I got mine from a used home supply store for $6 per shutter
  • Spray paint- I used 2-3 cans of Rustoleum for my 3 shutters
  • Flowers- I used about 200 button poms and carnations to keep it cost-effective
  • Water tubes- I ordered a pack of 100 from

The process is simple. Spray paint your shutters and let them dry completely (See my husband helping me on Instagram). The flowers can be added a day or two before your event. Add ice-cold water to all of your water tubes, filling them about two-thirds of the way. The cold water helps the flowers stay fresh and keeps them from opening too early. If you add the flowers the day of your event, room temperature water is fine.

Trim the stems of your flowers to  approximately 4-5 inches in length, varying them slightly. With the slats of your shutters facing upward (see photos), slip one or two flowers through a slat, putting a water tube on the back side. Repeat this process until your shutter is pretty well covered. Remember that most flowers will open up more after you purchase them, so leave a little room between flowers.

Do any of my wedding guests remember my centerpieces?

Parisian Bachelorette Party

6 Aug

In lieu of the “traditional” go-crazy-before-you-commit bachelorette party, my bridesmaids threw me a lingerie shower at my favorite Fort Worth bakery, Stir Crazy, after-hours. My creative sister made all of the French themed decor. I love these pinweels, made out of wrapping paper with Paris landmarks (like theEiffel tower and Arc de Triomphe) that spell out “Ooh La La.”

French Lingerie Shower **

The gorgeous flower arrangement came from my friend Caitlin‘s wedding. She got married six days before me. You can see her wedding on Green Wedding Shoes. It was so fun to be engaged at the same time as some good friends and do our wedding projects together.

French Lingerie Shower **

Robbie, the owner of Stir Crazy, made special mini tiramisu cupcakes just for my shower. So perfectly me.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

French Lingerie Shower Dessert Bar **

I guess my friends are making the Barbie Lingerie Designing Contest a bachelorette party tradition.

French Lingerie Shower **

Below is a shot of me and my bridesmaids at my shower, three days before the wedding.

Me and My Bridesmaids

All the wonderful showers that were thrown for Anthony and I, all the gifts that were showered on us- I hope I get the opportunities to pay those blessings forward.

All photos are courtesy of my sister’s camera, then edited in Photoshop.


Rehearsal Dinner Slideshow

30 Jul

Three months after the wedding, Anthony and I are still waiting on our wedding video. I hope that means it is going to be really good! We also had our videographer shoot some footage of our rehearsal dinner.  We wanted to be sure we had some professionally captured snapshots of the that night too.

I’ll share more about our rehearsal dinner once we get our short film, but I thought it might be fun to share the slideshow Anthony’s parents had made for us and the guests of our rehearsal dinner. Just imagine you’re sitting with a bunch of people you love, roasting tabletop s’mores, with the anticipation of being married in the morning as you watch this. You might begin to imagine how I felt that magical night.

Rehearsal Dinner from Dominique Paolini on Vimeo.

The slideshow was created by Turquoise Video Productions.

And Sixpence in Her Shoe

25 Jun

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” Most people, especially non-British brides, stop the rhyme there. Did you know it goes on to say, “and a sixpence in her shoe”?

According to The Knot, “Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity; and a sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity.”

While I think that blessed marriages come from a lot more than rhymes and customs, why would I leave off the last part?

I didn’t.

My “something old” was a pair of shoes I splurged on, just after paying off my student loans, when I walked into Neiman Marcus and saw the designer there signing them. Maybe they aren’t quite old (my something borrowed and my sixpence were much older), but they were the only part of my wedding attire that was not purchased specifically for that day.

Something Old

My something new was my dress (though my veil, garter, and the necklace Anthony bought me were all new too).

Something New

My something borrowed came from my sister/matron-of-honor. A day or two before the wedding she asked me if I had something borrowed. I didn’t. She also asked me if I had earrings. I didn’t. She came to my rescue with a pair of vintage earrings that matched my necklace perfectly.

Something Borrowed

I put much more thought into my something blue than my something borrowed. A few months before the wedding I ordered blue clothing labels that read, “April 27, 2013 Gannoe-Paolini Wedding.” The tags came in multiples, so Anthony got one for each piece of his suit and some family members have our wedding date sewn into the clothing they wore that day.

Something Blue

The sixpence, from 1929 was ordered from Etsy. After misplacing the one I ordered, I almost used one from the 1940s that had been my stepdad’s grandfather’s from his travels. The night before the wedding, I found the one I purchased, and opted to use it so I would not lose such an irreplaceable heirloom.

A Sixpence in Her Shoe

All images, with the exception of the sixpence, were taken by Jeremy and Kristin Photography.

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