Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Currently Obsessed With: Embroidery Hoops

I love seeing party elements that are trending in big ways. 
One of these is embroidery hoops! There seem to be endless ways to use these simple, inexpensive wooden hoops to dress up your event!
I am constantly amazed by people's creativity in using everyday objects and transforming them into big impact pieces!
Take a look at my collection of beautiful, inspiring ways to use embroidery hoops.







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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

25 Things You Didn't Know About Me.

Jillian at Catch My Party was kind enough to tag me in this post!

So, here are 25 things you don't know about me. 

1. I am from small town USA. Magnet Cove, Arkansas. Look it up. Yeah, there isn't even a stoplight. 
2. In high school, I was the feature baton twirler for my band. I think it is a dying art in many parts of the country and I wish that it wasn't. I am a band geek at heart. 
3. I wish I could have been a teenager in the 80s. I really feel like I missed out on having awesomely teased hair and going to Bon Jovi concerts. 
4. I LOVE reality TV. I mean, love it. If it's on Bravo, you can pretty much believe that I am watching it. My husband and I do NOT miss a housewives episode. 
5. I am pretty positive that I have had at least one past life in Italy.
6. My degree is in Art History. Which is probably on the list of the all-time least money-making degrees of all time, but I loved it. 
7. I have seen Leonardo DaVinci's The Last Supper in person. My husband is amazing and took me to Milan on our honeymoon. I had a visceral reaction to it. It is amazing. 
You can't tell from this picture, but this is me at the Santa Maria della Grazie church, which is where the Last Supper is located. 

8. I still have the same best friends that I had in high school. We are "as thick as thieves" as Caroline Manzo would say. They are my heart and soul. They know me inside and out. 
9. No one has ever thrown me a big birthday party. Not since I was a child. I am actually not into having a party for myself, now that I think about it. I am too much of a control freak. 
10. I curse A LOT and with a Southern accent. It is a terrible habit. It comes from too many years of waiting tables in college. 
11. I live on Dr. Pepper 10 and Milo's Sweet Tea (sugar free). And food, obviously, I love to eat. 
12. My favorite food is anything with goat cheese on it. 
13. My little sister is my very best friend in the entire world. We seriously channel each other sometimes. She is the blonde, blue-eyed version of me. 

14. I have always known I would have boys. I am so glad I had boys and not girls. While I am really girly myself, I have no interest in tea parties and princess dress up. 
15. I don't really like being outside and getting hot. It doesn't suit me. I get cranky. 
16. Since the baby I have been doing Barre workouts to lose the weight. It WORKS. The only time you will  see me running is if someone is chasing me. 
17. My favorite color is purple. Always has been, always will be. 
18. I really don't like wearing shorts. They are all up in your business all the time. I am much more of a dress girl. 
19. When we were little, my mom got us these awesome 80s "glamour shots." They don't look like child porn at ALL! 

20. The week of my wedding in 2005, I met Justin Timberlake. He is much taller than you think. I am 5'7" and I have heels on in this picture. He came to play golf at the country club in Memphis were I was the Catering Manager at the time. I met Brian Williams a few weeks later. He is much shorter than you think. 
                                                 

21. I love to cook. I cook meals 5-6 nights a week. I want to be "that mom" who is a great cook and my kids friends want to be over at my house to eat. My sister says that in case of natural disaster, she needs to be at my house, because we will have 6 different types of cheese and a pantry full of food. 
22. I am completely obsessed with Princess Grace (Grace Kelly). Yes, I was three years old when she died, but I adore her. She is the epitome of style and elegance. 
23. Once upon a time in college, I thought I wanted to be a model. Witness this God-Awful picture from a shoot where the makeup artist was tragic. This was the era of heroin-chic. Then the Ford scout told me I was too "hippy" as in too wide around the hips. I was a size 2. 

24. My music taste is wildly eclectic. A small sampling of my ipod: Loretta Lynn, Chicago, tons of 80s music, Tupac, Heart, John Mayer, James Morrison, Incubus.... Yeah, eclectic is the best word.  
25. I have the worst fingernails in the history of the world.  I never have them painted. Ever.  I am terrible about having manicures.  My last one was June 2011, the day my baby was born. I guess all that relaxing made him want to come early!

I am tagging:

Natalie: The Knock Knock Factory
Amanda: Amanda's Parties to Go
Gwynn: Gwynn Wasson Designs
Annika: Cakes Likes a Party
Claudia: Tini Posh


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I think this week is of the utmost importance. My grandmother was a teacher for over 30 years and when she passed away, we received so many touching messages from her former students. They told us stories about her, let us know how she influenced their lives, and most of all just reminded us how special she was to people. 

My Greyson attends a special needs Pre-K class and his teacher and her aides are amazing! They adore Greyson and we are so lucky to have them.  I would never want their jobs! Nine four year olds in a room all day makes me insane just thinking about it. 
So, for every holiday and for Teacher's Appreciation Day I always try to get them a little something to remind them that we appreciate their hard work and dedication to their jobs. 

Monday was "Bring your teacher a flower" day at Grey's school. I knew I didn't just want to go to the grocery store and get some cut flowers (you should have seen the wasteland that was the WalMart flower section on Sunday!), so I went to Lowe's and got these potted orchids. A large one for his teacher and two smaller ones for their aides. 

I wanted to make a cute saying to attach to them, and I was trying to rhyme "orchid" with "kid" so I called my sister in NYC. My brother in law is a brilliant writer. He is probably the most creative person I know. I told him my idea and they literally called me back within an hour with this adorable little poem for the tags:

While there arent thanks enough
For your patience and care
And theres no gift on Earth
That could ever compare

With the gift that you give us
Treating our kid like your kid
We still hope youll accept
Both our thanks and this orchid.


I put the poem on this little tag that I made in photoshop and printed them on photo paper. 

For the actual Teacher Appreciation Day on Thursday, I put together these picnic baskets for them. Inside are melamine plates and glasses from Target. Each teacher got a different pattern. You have probably seen these brightly colored plates and cups at Target. 






Each one is filled with 4 cups, 4 plates, and the teacher's bigger one has a pitcher to match. 
The tag says "Thanks for making this year a picnic!"


I made these tags in photoshop, but you could make any kind of cute tag and use any kind of plates and cups!
The possibilities are endless!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

{My Parties} Woodland Forest Baby Shower

I love taking a popular theme and putting my own spin on it!
This Woodland Forest baby shower came about because of the baby's name. I always ask my clients if the baby has a name yet, because I love working it into the decor and the theme. 
When my client, Deanna, mentioned that the baby's name was going to be "Silas," I immediately looked up the meaning of that name, since it is a unique. What I found was that the name Silas means "from the forest." And, a theme was born!
Deanna also told me that the mommy-to-be loves brown and blue. So, I took those two concepts and ran with them. 

I started out by getting by working with a new vendor, Jennafer at Oh Creative One! Jennafer emailed me a while back interested in a collaboration, and once I saw how cute her designs were, I jumped at the chance to work with her for this shower. She actually already had a version of this invitation in her shop and she was so awesome to customize it for me!
She also did some adorable party printables for me, which you will see later in the post!


I knew I wanted to incorporate the Faux Bois pattern in the backdrop, so I found this light colored faux bois  fabric on Etsy. I saw this look on a baby shower that Honeycomb Events did and I loved it!
The next piece that I knew I wanted to incorporate were God's Eyes. Did you ever make these as a kid? 
 I scoured my backyard for sticks and even recruited my husband to help with stick retrieval!
They are the world's easiest thing to make, and you can use any color to make them pop!
You can find a tutorial here

 I saw these cool moss trees on Save On Crafts, but I just knew that I could make them, so I did. 
A few pieces of foamcore, an Xacto knife, some hot glue, some dowels, and some moss later, I had made exact replicas!
(These would also be great for Christmas!)
The lovely Janet at Sweet Temptations did these amazing Faux Bois oreos for me. I was pretty much dying over them. They looked amazing with the backdrop!

Aren't they beautiful? And delicious, I might add!
Of course we had to incorporate Smores into the dessert display, so I found these Jumbo marshmallows at Target and the rest is super easy--just dip them in melting chocolate and then top them with graham cracker crumbs. 
I made those dessert stands using basswood plaques, which you can get at any craft store, and glued them to raw wooden candlesticks from Michael's. I also got those adorable wooden signs there too!

Deanna definitely wanted cake pops for the guests, so I knew just who to call--Mom's Killer Cakes!
She made the pops look EXACTLY like the adorable characters on the invitation. I mean, scroll back up and look at the invitation again! Amazing!


I also added a cute little resin squirrel from Hobby Lobby and a glittered toadstool to the table for extra fun. 
For the favors, Jennafer designed an adorable treat bag topper to coordinate with the invitations. 
Inside we did Smore kits!




I found this great bark basket at the antique mall near my house.

For the guest book and sign-in, Deanna wanted to do something special for baby Silas. So, picking up on a recent wedding trend of fingerprint guestbooks, I drew this tree onto a canvas and bought two different color green inks to have the guests sign Baby Silas' "Family Tree."


Jennafer also did some adorable banners for me, welcoming Baby Silas into the world. 

I printed an extra copy of the "baby" banner and glued them to dowels and used small wooden disks to hold them up on the savory buffet. 
I think I made 20 of the God's Eyes total, so I used the extras to hang from the chandelier. I always like to draw the eye up with hanging decor. 
In order to bring the theme into the savory food, I proposed doing menu items that were influenced by the forest. So, we started out with "Tortellini Twigs." These are a super easy item that any hostess could make. You simply buy refrigerated tortellinis (or ravioli) and cook them off. You serve them room temperature with a dipping sauce. You can even marinate them in dressing too!
To display them, I simply wrapped some styrofoam in some faux bois scrapbook paper. 
To dip, we used Pesto sauce, or "Moss Dip!"
Cheese balls are something that most guests love, so we used an old standby of the Pine Cone Cheese Ball. Didn't Deanna do a gorgeous job on these? 
And what is a woodland party without edible toadstools, right? 
Broccoli is an obvious choice when you are talking about trees, so we used them in the form of broccoli salad. 


I had my husband cut some large pieces off a cedar tree in our yard that coincidentally needed to be cut down. They added some interest to the savory buffet. 

And easy way to dress up a simple galvanized tub is by wrapping it in ribbon--in this case, burlap ribbon. 



Thanks to Andy and Deanna for trusting me to design this shower for their friends!
They were actually the honorees at my Diamonds and Damask engagement party a couple of years ago!

Vendors:

Cake Pops: Mom's Killer Cakes
Printables: Oh Creative One
Faux Bois Fabric: The Spin Cycle

Sharing on:
Bird's Party!