Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hello UPS!

You know I am obsessed with getting mail - getting packages is equally as exciting for me especially when the boxes contain something amazing for Hampton Paper. Its for a new product that you all have been requesting for quite some time so I am super anxious to reveal it. I actually have 5 new products to roll out. Maybe one a day next week? Doesn't that sound fun?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Baby Pillows - Now Available

After months of waiting, we finally have more baby pillows in stock. We sold so many over the holiday and then were back orderded from my supplier but they are now available again! If you are looking for the perfect baby gift - look no more! You can choose one of our images below and personalize this pillow the new babies name and birth date.
sail boat

green elephant

Hampton Paper Personalized Baby Pillows $60.00

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I {heart} Williams Sonoma

I love an "under planned" weekend. You know the kind where you feel lucky because you don't have much of anything planned and you can just relax. On those weekends, we (ok my husband Greg) pours over his recipe books, looking for great ideas from Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, Giada and our favorite The Barefoot Contessa for something amazing to make. Sometimes his inspiration comes from a trip to Williams Sonoma . Greg will come home with sauces, spices, cooking gadgets and tons of inspiration. Two weekends ago I found this recipe in the WS catalog and it just looked delicious. We gave it a try and I would recommend it. I like the idea of using the bread crumbs in to help the oil adhere to the pasta. I think you can use this basic recipe and create other variations. For my 2 cents worth, I would add some fresh diced tomatoes on top.
Have a great weekend!
Fresh Pasta with Prawns & Lemon Oil
Kosher salt, to taste

3/4 lb. fresh pasta dough, cut into tagliolini (see related recipe at left)
1 1/4 cups olive oil
2 lemons, 1 zested

3 cups coarse bread crumbs
2 lb. prawns, peeled and deveined
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. anchovy paste
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Rinse the pasta with cool water; set aside.

Pour 1 cup of the olive oil into a small saucepan. Using a knife, cut the peel off 1 lemon and add the peel to the pan. Set over medium heat and heat the oil until just warm. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain the lemon oil; set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup plain olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until browned and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Wipe out the sauté pan, set over medium-high heat and warm 1 Tbs. of the lemon oil. Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Add half of the prawns to the pan and cook until pink and opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes per side; stir in 1 tsp. of the garlic during the last 30 seconds of cooking. Transfer the prawns to a bowl. Wipe out the pan and repeat with 1 Tbs. of the lemon oil, the remaining prawns and 1 tsp. garlic. Toss the prawns with the lemon juice.

In the same pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the lemon oil. Add the anchovy paste and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, the pasta, capers and lemon zest and stir until heated through, adding more cooking water as needed. Transfer to a platter. Top with the prawns, bread crumbs and parsley. Drizzle with some of the lemon oil (reserve the remaining oil for another use). Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

All In Stitches

I am all in stitches today about my recent discovery on how to make fabric with the Hampton Paper images. I am thrilled to see this idea of mine come to life. I actually have a long list of new products I would like to offer and fabric has been on it for quite a I have that "dream come true" feeling today. YAY! I am so excited about this. Now comes the hard part, choosing which images for prototypes. There are so many I love. For me its like choosing a favorite child. There are just so many amazing images.....What would you choose?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning

So spring cleaning isnt an ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon but I must confess there is a great feeling that comes along with a little bit less cluttered house and closet. As an added bonus I can look forward to checks for the next three months from Chic Envy. Yep, taking a few items (ok it was a lot!) that are no longer my favorites and exchanging them for a few bucks is a great deal. As an added bonus, Chic Envy is now carrying kids clothes. That made my day. I am headed back with loads of Ralph Lauren. Someone with a son who wears 4T is going to hit payday!
If you have spring cleaning on your mind, take a few things to consign them. Its totally worth the effort!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Are You Ready For Summer?

Are you ready for summer? The days have been unusually warm for March in the DC area and we are getting ready. We ordered more pool furniture including lounge chairs, umbrellas and a table and four chairs and my favorite a tea cart. We took advantage of Winston's March 40% off sale available at HomeEscapes. See what we did last year here

This is where I will be spending my summer days- by the pool with a big stack of summer reads!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March Giveaway: Personalized Calling Cards

Surprisingly, personalized calling cards have many purposes in today's world that is filled with all things electronic! Here a few good ideas:
  • I use the ones with my kids names as gift enclosures and write a quick note on the back.
  • I framed a calling card for each of my boys and used it in a collage of other personalized items including their birth announcements in their nursery.
  • They are great as inserts for luggage tags.
  • Cards with your name and cell number are great as "mom cards" and can be used when you drop your kids off a a birthday party you can easily be contacted if needed.
  • Cards with your name and cell number are great to use at a department store or boutique, let's say Saks for example... you can leave it with the sales associate and ask them to call you when the "pre-order" YSL bag you wanted is already sold out and they are expecting a new shipment and you want to be contacted as soon as one arrives (this is just an example!)
  • Buddy Cards for kids so they can stay in touch with kids the meet at school, camp and after school activities
  • Maybe you and your friends use these in the most traditional form, leaving them at some one's house when you visit. (love this!)
Perhaps you have some great ideas too! Our March giveaway is 27 personalized calling cards. You select the image, font and text and we send it to you for free. See below on how to enter!

See more ideas in our binders at under product samples.

To enter, you must leave a comment on the blog or our Facebook page telling us which image you would choose and how you would use the calling cards between today, Monday, March 19, 2012 and Monday March 26, 2012. A winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday, March 30, 2012.

For additional Entries - Read on!
•Share a link of this post on your blog. Leave an additional comment on our blog or Facebook page letting us know that you have done so. (include the link)
•Share this link on Facebook for an additional entry. Leave an additional comment letting us know you have done so. (include the link)
•If you aren't already a fan on Facebook "like" our Hampton Paper Designs site. Leave an additional comment letting us know that you have done so.
•Tweet about this giveaway. Leave additional comment letting me know you have done so. (include the link)

27 personalized calling cards are a $28.00 value. Cards come with white envelopes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Image

We have been working on a number of christening invitations using our new images-- blue or pink cross. These invitations turned out amazing!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Make A Wish....

If your wish was to have a store at the National Harbor carry Hampton Paper Designs your wish came true! The Dandelion Patch is opening it's 5th store this week (March 16th) at the National Harbor. We are shipping our new personalized binders to them tomorrow. Yes, it includes our best selling kiss stickers and all our new images! the dandelion patch
The Dandelion Patch
142 Waterfront Street
National Harbor, Maryland 20745

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thomas' Room - Sneak Peak

Sometimes you have an image in your mind of how a project will turn out and you miss the mark, and sometimes you hit it perfectly and your vision becomes a reality. Luckily for me, the reality of Thomas room was exactly how I imagined it would be. Crisp, Classic and Timeless. We aren't done yet but I thought you might like a sneak peak at some of the work done this week. Let me just add a disclaimer that this is one of those times I wish I was a
better photographer because my photos just doesn't do it justice.

ralph lauren rowthorne crest admiral wall paper

This shower curtain will soon be replaced with the orange and white stripe. Yippee.

I love the way the patterned paper pops thru the open door to the bedroom.

Thomas closet. You can see a bit of the Ralph Lauren Colden Oxford wallpaper here. This photo is by the window you can really see the color much better. It's amazing in person. It's actually fabric so it has great depth, color and texture. It was a bit pricey but by adding the chair rail and crown molding, I was able to use less but still get the look! (I would def recommend a professional to hang this - it was a bit of a challenge even for someone who does this full time. We had a few very stressful moments in the beginning!) We were a double roll short on paper. The wallpaper hanger said 2 double rolls and then when he got here said, that's for a standard closet...this is like master bedroom size!! I can't wait to have it installed and see how the stripes complement the bedroom wallpaper! I did make one tiny mistake here (not a costly one though) I changed my mind last minute on the wallpaper and reordered a different stripe. (Ralph Lauren Coll'n Pritchett Stripe) If a mistake had to be made, this was an inexpensive one so I am grateful!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mudroom/Drop Zone "After"

Can you even believe the transformation of this piece and room? Let me tell you it took a professional 2 full days for the entire transformation - so net -net a ton of work but well worth it.
Benjamin Moore Barley Harvest paint 1070.

So crisp and clean... My handyman added crown molding to the top instead of the board that was there- makes it look much more custom.
I put my baskets back today - they look great. I want to add a cushion to the bench part of the built in.
Future home of our photo gallery wall.

Door to garage and pantry got a fresh coat of paint too!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pre Order... Sold Out?

If someone can please explain how something that is only in "pre-order" status can be sold out I would really appreciate it! I have been stalking this great YSL clutch since the fall. For some reason I am really into clutches - maybe its a graduation present to myself that I no longer need the "big" bag full of extra clothes, diapers, toys, snacks etc. This YSL one seems like the perfect one to go from day to night and I think its a timeless classic. I went to Saks and saw it online, put it in my cart - went to feed the kids - came back and not only was it no longer in my cart, it was no longer available!!! So, the Internet search began. Came up empty handed. Ordered the Carmel patent one from Saks instead. Then found this one on YSL site. Ordered it too. Now both are being shipped. What's a girl to do? (hopefully you think I should keep both too!)

Busy Week Calendar: The Winner is....

An the winner of a Hampton Paper busy week calendar is Heather! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who participated. Next month our giveaway will be gift enclosures!
busy week calendar for boys

Before Photos: Mudroom or Drop Zone?

Do you call it a Mudroom or a Drop Zone? Well, you know I am old school and didn't even know until today that the new terminology is "Drop Zone". In new construction, its an area replacing the traditional mudroom and defined as big as "10 feet by 10 feet, may include baskets for mail, places for backpacks and coats, storage for winter outerwear and maybe even lockers" according to MSN real estate. These are my "before" photos. I will post the after but you may not believe its the same piece and room as in this photo!

mud roomFrom a functionality perspective, this build it was amazing but I didn't like the dark stain. It didnt coordinate well with the style of the rest of the house and when you enter through the garage, this is the first room you see, so it needed a make over!
Two paint color options. We were a bit locked into a color based on the floor tiles. They have a peach undertone so we need to keep them in mind. Our two contenders. Fighting for the darker color Benjamin Moore Paint Barley Harvest 1070 and fighting for the lighter color on the right, Twilight Gold 1069.
This is the door that leads to the kitchen/den. We are thinking of doing a gallery of frames here with family photos.
Shot with door open. The door is new too - for some reason the previous home owners had taken it down. So happy to have it so now I can close this off when it reaches the "disaster area" point, usually around 5:00 pm.
Again, from a functionality perspective another great feature is the utility sink. Its great for wet bathing suits and if you are working outside or in the garage. We are thinking of putting up a screen to conceal it a bit.