All American Summer

This is a sponsored post for Mirassou Winery

There are so many opportunities and reasons to celebrate the military and the freedoms that we are able to enjoy are due entirely to their service and the sacrifices they make. With Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, and Patriot Day on the calendar, we celebrate and honor them throughout the summer. I recently teamed up with Mirassou Winery to throw a small gathering to welcome summer, to honor our military service members and to acknowledge that it’s a lot more than just a day off work. table16 For the decor of the table, I framed printables that I found at HMH Designs…they were kind enough to offer them for personal use here. table23

table20

table6 Being from the South, cookouts are a big part of our summers and Memphis is the BBQ capital of the world! For our Memorial Day party, we chose the theme “Welcome to an All-American Summer” to celebrate the day with our family and friends. When hosting a cookout, the meat is the star! Our table consisted of side dishes and desserts to go with the main items. On the table: hot dogs, cole slaw, pita chips and hummus, s’mores, pasta, fruit trifle, strawberry cupcakes, and cheesecake; there was chicken, steak, bratwurst, and corn off the grills. table22

table11

table2

table1

food1

food2

table4

poms1

table8

table7 In addition to the cookout, we hosted a small wine tasting featuring wines from Mirassou Winery. Everyone knows there’s nothing better than enjoying a glass of wine in the evening to end a blistering summer day! wine1 To do the tasting, we had a selection of four wines and tasting mats with pairing instructions, which make the whole process super easy! On the mats were food suggestions and taste profiles of each of the wines. Head over to their Facebook page to download your own wine tasting kit! wine7

wine9

wine28

taste2

wine30 To make the table runner, I printed out the flag with all of the states which I found at Southern Charm and the star I found by Pixabella. I simply printed out the quantity I needed and strung them together. In addition to the wine, we had bottle openers, wine glass charms, beads and the mats themselves as party favors for the guests. My favorite part of the package was the “Bright Tips for Home Entertaining” guide…I couldn’t wait to dive into the book! wine16 I love their recipe cards because Mirassou offers recipes that pair with their wines, as well as, recipes that use their wine as an ingredient…it’s a win-win! Find the recipes here. taste20

wine5 Whether you’re hosting a gathering for friends this summer or in honor of our national heroes, fire up the grill and grab some bottles of Mirassou and have the best summer yet!

 

awesome tag

Styling and Display: Creating Awesomenessity!

Wine and gifts: Mirassou Winery

All-American Summer banner and food signs: Painting Paris Pink

Patriotic fabric garland: Lillypaul Designs

Red, white, and blue cupcake poms: Fizzy Party

 

Advertisements

Strawberry Shortcake and Friends: Orange Blossom Birthday Party

I loved Strawberry Shortcake when I was growing up. I loved the way my little doll smelled and I even had a Strawberry Shortcake motorized bike when I was in the 5th grade. It went about 3 mph, but man I loved it! So to see the whole gang coming back for this generation, I’m so geeked!

I had the pleasure of throwing a 4th birthday party for a friend’s daughter who loves Strawberry Shortcake and her friends. But in wanting to do something a little different, we decided to put one of the friends in the spotlight and threw an Orange Blossom party!

If you’re not familiar with this character, this is Orange Blossom:

image from Cartoonito

image from Cartoonito

She is described as Strawberry Shortcake’s main friend. Cartoonito says that Orange Blossom always solves any problem with a smile and loves being helpful. She runs Berry Bitty City’s town market, Orange Mart, which has everything you could need!

So, to the party! Wanna see some pics? Yes? Yay!

sign

k

banner

gifts

For food, we had the simplest of menus: pizza, fresh fruit, an orange punch, and water. I felt a little guilty about the amount of sugar that was on the dessert table, so I tried to sneak someone with a smidge of sustenance in…

table1

fruit

flowers

water

straws

sunflower

I just love those sunflowers…they make me smile.

For all of the food labels, I edited a printables set from BellaGrey Designs, customizing it to the menu. I used the cupcake toppers to make the medallion on the straws by simply punching holes opposite to each other and sliding them onto the straws. For the water bottle labels, I used an image of Orange Blossom herself (not part of the printables set) and the same graphics for the cupcake toppers.

We even had an orange tree 🙂

tree

My husband was laughing as he helped me assemble them. I asked what was so funny, to which he replied, “these oranges look like pumpkins.” I looked at him with a straight face and said, “they are pumpkins…I’m just hoping the kids don’t notice…”

My improvisation can be found over at Oriental Trading…lol

After the kids ate, we went and played a few games. I found a list of Strawberry Shortcake themed games here. I improvised them a little to accomodate my age group and their energy levels. The kids were able to “pick” their oranges from the tree for one of those games.

game

I had the kids move their orange from the starting line to the finish. Without using their hands or feet. It was hilarious…scooting and laughing everywhere! Of course, the one boy at the party came from out of nowhere and beat everyone. He earned himself first dibs on the dessert table, after the birthday girl of course!

The dessert table had the kids wide-eyed with expectation. Moms were saying to let them have as much sugar as as they wanted. I’m not brave to take all of that energy home…

table5

…steamers are your friend…

table3

For the gift baskets, I used berry boxes that I found over at Think Garnish and embellished them with an orange bearing the child’s name and green ribbon. I filled them with an orange, a bag of candy, crayons, and notepads, bubbles, or silly string; for the seals on the candy bag, I printed the cupcake toppers onto sticker sheets.

 

table2

I worked with several party friends to put this all together…they shared their talents to make it such a beautiful success. I informed mom that her party was hosted by all parts of the country…thanks ladies ❤

necklace

k cookies

flower cookies

cupcake

pops

cake

oreos

The birthday girl was so excited!

girl

balloon

She was so happy that she sat with me during that entire church service the next day ❤ I’d say that shindig was 4 year old approved! Happy birthday darling Kelsey!

confetti

Styling, Photography, and Sugar Cookies by Creating Awesomenessity!

Printables and Banner by BellaGrey Designs

Candy/Baking Cups by The Pretty Party Shoppe

Bubble Gum Necklaces by Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sins

Marshmallow Pops by Sweet U Off Your Feet

Sparkle Sticks (with the Marshmallow Pops) by Painting Paris Pink

Chocolate Covered Oreos by 4 Kids Cakes

Rag Garland and Yellow Table Runner by Cupcake With Character

Paper Tassels and Sparkle Table Confetti by Tutus & Bowties Events

awesome tag

 

Purple on Purpose

What color are you wearing today???

I’m wearing purple. I usually am, if I’m honest about it… But today I’m wearing it for Purple Day, in recognition of Epilepsy Awareness.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition which causes seizures. That sounds bad enough in itself, but it can get much, much worse from there. Read more about this condition here.

My dear friend Susan is the founder of the Epilepsy Warrior Foundation. She is an incredible support system for people and their families living with, and fighting through, this condition. Even when she can’t be there physically holding hands, she rallies members of the community to make sure that people have their needs met, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

I truly admire her strength and tenacity.

I met Susan as part of a party planning group on Facebook. Random, I know! But I met her in that group because Susan is also a party planner. She owns Party With the Warriors, a little business she started out of her love for hosting parties. She’s not a “party girl” in the negative sense of the word, but all of the money that she makes from the parties goes to help fund the Foundation.

I told you she’s admirable!

But I’m not going to steal her thunder… Susan recently had a styled shoot done in preparation for Purple Day and I, along with many of my beautifully talented party friends, contributed to make the shoot awesome and ready for the world.

Creating Awesomenessity's contribution :)

Creating Awesomenessity’s contribution 🙂

Head on over and check out the Purple Day shoot and learn a little more about the Epilepsy Warriors Foundation.

No matter what you’re going through, fight on!

awesome tag

See Why I Love Memphis

Emerson said something ingenious, that “Every artist was once an amateur.”

Ya know, Ralphie, I think you may be onto something there. I started this business, seriously wondering if I would ever be able to make it work. The more I’ve done, the more I’ve flourished. And that’s not to brag, I’m just really surprised at what I’ve been hiding from myself for so long…

My dear friend is the owner of this company called QBHome Paint and Sip Studio and I’ve been working with her for almost a year now. I usually do the desserts for her paint sessions and always wanted to try my hand at doing one of the paintings, but I didn’t think I could do it. It’s not one of those paint-by-numbers sort of deals, and you actually have to put the pencil to the canvas before you can begin to paint.

I think this is where the “sip” comes in because it helps when your pencil, paintbrush, and inhibitions flow…away.

Quo is an art teacher by trade and an art teacher by talent. The hubby and I finally got to take a class from her, completing the “Memphis” themed painting that I’d been wanting to do for a year. I was nervous about how it would turn out, but one thing Quo emphasizes and reassures her clients about is that the painting is all their own.

I knew that it was a Memphis-themed painting, so I wanted to make it express what Memphis means to me. So I made the painting all “our” own…welcome to our city!

1. It’s our “Memphus”

1

The hubby and I are both transplants to the city. My family moved here in 1993 to help take care of my grandfather after grandma passed away. I never wanted to be here. I don’t like big cities. I don’t like lots of people. There is too much bad and not enough good here. He never wanted to be here either. He had a worse experience with the city than I did.

We both ended up on a social networking site, looking to meet new people because, if we had to be here, we might as well meet someone to make it fun. He liked my outfit. I liked his style. Suddenly Memphis wasn’t looking all that bad! We learned that no place is perfect and every place is what you make it. We made Memphis look good to each other and we were each others’ “home;” I have yet to find another city where I’d rather live and we certainly travel a lot. With everything that is this city, the good and the bad, it is the place that has made us who we are and is helping to mold us into the people we aspire to be. We put a lot of time, effort, and money into supporting this city and the economy…because the city is truly what we make it.

Meeting each other turned out to be a divine intercession. The colors of the arrow were the colors of our wedding. He picked them out.

2.”Who you be? SOUF G!”

2

A big part of our time and identity is who we are as Christians. We are members of the South Germantown Road Church of Christ. We are both youth counselors, he’s (we are) the Young Adult minister, as well as the Audio/Technical/Social Media guy, I’m a teacher of any given group of children/young ladies, and have somehow found my way into being co-leader of the Married Women’s Ministry, in addition to various other committees that pop up. The kids started calling the congregation “Souf G” when we traveled to various youth events and it’s stuck with the counselors.

Just writing all of that down, I’m not entirely sure why we haven’t turned a room into an apartment at the building. Souf G indeed…

3. You don’t want none.

3

One day I was driving past a taekwondo school and swerved into the parking lot. 15 min later, I was a student. That was almost 11 years ago. My mom followed me in a few months later. Then after we’d been dating a while, the Mr. decided it was be something cool to try. So now, we’re at this school…Midtown ATA. The instructors here are like my moms. I have a lot of them actually. Pretty much, if you feed me, I’ll never go away. Kinda like a stray cat. Anyway, my school is awesome and I’m there molding young minds and trying not to get my head handed to me by really flexible pre-teens with fast recovery times. It’s the best in the city, with instructors who care about each other and our students. Come by and see us sometime!

4. We’re so Hollywood.

4

We get fancy on date nights. We met online and our first date was my choice of restaurant, so of course I picked Olive Garden. Italian is my favorite food on the planet, with garlic bread being the top of the list. We got there and it was crowded so we strolled across the parking lot to McAlister’s Deli. We ordered our food and he went to pay. He’d left his wallet in the car. I offered to pay so that we wouldn’t have to wait and hold up the line. He later told me that he felt bad and thought he’d never see me again. I told him that he’d see me at least one more time because he owed me a meal. In our own ways, we still don’t let each other forget it 🙂 We actually went to a McAlister’s to do part of our engagement photo session with Crystal Chick Photography!

One of our favorite past times is watching movies. We have the Malco app on both of our phones, so at any given time, we can see what our viewing pleasure options are. I also have the IMDB app on my phone so that I can check out any trailer that is mentioned at any given moment. If it’s a real thing, I’m thinking we might actually be hardcore couch potatoes…

5. Grit and Grind

5

Our hometown team is the Memphis Grizzlies. I love them. They’re even better people off the court, giving back to the community in every way possible. It’s kind of gotten to the point that you expect great things from them and it’s not a surprise when they do something incredibly awesome and charitable. And that’s not a bad thing, because that is the character they possess. We still smile and our hearts get a little bigger, but now it’s like “eh, those men are so stellar, so I wouldn’t expect anything less…” in the amazing way they are.

I grew up loving the Chicago Bulls and the hubby did too, as that’s where he was raised. So once a year, we wear our Chicago Bulls gear and brave our way down to the FedEx Forum to cheer against the Grizzlies… *gasp* Our favorite (and funniest) game time memory was in January of 2012. We went down to support the Bulls, had floor seats, were all decked out in red and black; we’d even gone shopping for hats just for this game. So the game starts, the team gets 6 points out of the gate. I’m cheering and clapping and the hubby is quiet. I’m decked out in Bulls gear and cheering every time the Grizzlies make a point. We lost that game too (Bulls), but we won (Grizzlies)! The ticket sales people still remember me as the Bulls/Grizzlies girl. I was honestly just excited to be there…

But this is the part of my painting that I’m most proud of. I decided that I wanted to paint Grizz, mostly because I needed to fill in some space, so I went for it. To say that I was intimidated, doesn’t begin to describe. But my art teacher encouraged me. RWE basically said that you have to start somewhere. I figured if it didn’t turn out well, I just wouldn’t show anyone. I was so shocked at myself that I sat there for 10 minutes just looking at it, astonished that this actually flowed from me. Even I just kept saying “wow…that is so cool…”

And it wasn’t the sip, I was having water that night lol

6

I told the hubby I painted a sun just because he’s the sunshine in my life. He just rolled his eyes at me and laughed.

And I’m not bragging, just hoping sharing a bit of encouragement. There are typically many things that we want to do in life and they can sometimes be incredibly intimidating. Sometimes you will fail before you succeed, but you will never know until you try. You are filled with infinite potential and an innate gift to be able to make this world a better place. No matter where you are physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, your state of existence is what you make (of) it.

And if you’re interested in making some art, head over to QBHome’s Paint and Sip Studio. She’s opened a brand new location at 206 E GE Patterson and you can see the schedule and register for classes here. If you’re in or around Memphis, that’s downtown in the arts district and the zip code is 38103. I hope to see you there real soon!

awesome tag

Happy Wives Stand Up!

HWClub_BlogButnA_700x175

 

This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

 

So do you have more questions about the Happy Wives Club? Check out (and join us) here, but in a nutshell, it’s a club for happy wives…a movement all about being happy in your marriage; Fawn is on a mission to find 1 million of us all over the world.

And now there’s a book! Please give me about 1 minute and 20 sec of you time to check out this beautiful video about the Happy Wives Club book:

hwcvid

We’re also having a Twitter party TODAY at 12 pm CST (that’s 10 am PST and 1 pm EST) and during the party, you could win:

  • An autographed copy of the Happy Wives Club book, one of which will be given away every 10 minutes!
  • The grand prize, which is a $500 VISA gift card!
hwctwit

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @cawesomenessity

If you’re a blogger who may be so inclined, there is also a blog tour going on from January 5-11, 2014…please feel free to gush all over your spouse and share with the world that happy marriages do exist! Hubby bloggers are welcome to participate as well and all of the info to join the tour is here.

I hope to see you there!

HWClub_BlogButnB_700x175

 

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy HERE.

Wining Down 2013

It’s almost here…the end of 2013! The New Year is on the horizon and I’m looking forward to it! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ups of this year and have (hopefully) learned from the downs that it had to teach me.

We managed to get ourselves into hosting a no-themed NYE party, as my cousin is calling it, and are having a few close friends over to just celebrate, bond, and reflect over the past 12 months. We may do another wine tasting table and I just wanted to share some quick ideas with you, if you decide you’d like to add one to your party too!

Earlier in the month, I did a NYE themed shoot…well before the date so that it could be shared with others in time to actually prepare for the evening. If you missed the post, you may find the full party over at Whimsically Detailed or here.

LMM_6554

What I did was super easy and super affordable! We had wines from Mirassou Winery, the Sunset Red and Moscato, and I picked simple items with which to pair them. The wines average $10 per bottle and you can pick up as many or as few as you’d like. We had a small party, so 3 bottles of each wine were plenty for us, and in the dispensers, I had non-alcoholic punch and water for additional liquid refreshment options.

wine

To pair with and bring out the flavors of the wines, I chose pepperoni pizza and sliced chicken sliders. And cubed cheese. Nothing complicated or time consuming at all, this is so quick and easy! I bought a small pizza from the grocery store, baked it, cut it into sample sizes, and served. If you don’t feel like cooking, there is probably a pizza restaurant within 3 miles of you who would be happy to help you out! Want to make it fancy? Cut it into smaller pieces!

We also had sliced chicken sliders. Rolls from the grocery freezer, baked, filled with sliced chicken breasts, and topped with shredded cheese. It’s all fancy over here! Check out the earlier blog post for other ideas that were incorporated into our party which included the dessert station and popcorn bar.

food

If you want to go all out, Mirassou has all of the tools that you may use to make it happen! You can go to their Facebook page for ideas or go to their website for different wine-infused recipes to pair with the wine(s) of your choice! They even have this really cool tool that will walk you through the pairing, so if you’ve already set your menu, you can just pick the food and the seasoning you used and it will give you recommendations on which wine to use! Check it out here.

I hope that you have a wonderful New Year and that 2014 brings you joy and prosperity! Have a safe NYE and if you are drinking, crash at a friend’s place or use a designated driver…if you are the designated driver, grab a bottle of Mirassou wine to enjoy later 🙂

awesome tag

It’s A New Year…Time For A New Me!

The end is near!

2014 is just around the corner and I’m ready for all of the things that the next year has in store for us, personally and professionally. So many doors have opened and opportunities have presented themselves this year, I’m so incredibly optimistic for the next year…and the years beyond.

My friends and I have been through a lot this year…good and bad, full of lessons and adventures. So to celebrate the freshness of a new year, we had a New Year’s Eve party with the theme “New Year, New Me 2014” and it was one of the most jovial nights I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

I absolutely have to use the word “jovial” because we laughed, long and hard, for about 2 hours straight with all of the stories that we told each other. Maybe animated, facetious, or jocund? Yeah, I had to look those up…

Hosting an intimate NYE event is not really that hard. Especially for me…I’d much rather spend an evening with family and friends than be out partying it up in the streets.

A homebody event planner. Go figure.

The decor and colors of the shower were based on a set of party printables that I won in a giveaway from Cupcake With Character. I love bright colors and was excited about incorporating the color scheme. It wasn’t the usual print that is usually associated with a NYE party and I was totally OK with that. So I picked the traditional black and gold, for timeless elegance, and the not-so-traditional, hot pink and turquoise, for spunky fun!

My husband said it looked like two parties hanging out together.

For our party, we centered it around a wine tasting. We had a delicious stash from Mirassou Winery. The 2 wines we enjoyed were the Sunset Red and Moscato. To accompany the wines, we snacked on pepperoni pizza, Teriyaki chicken sliders, and Colby jack and cheddar cheese. For the one friend in attendance who didn’t actually drink, we had punch and water; the recipe was one that I’d previously used at a baby shower and was a big hit. We also had tulle poms/swizzle sticks provided by Fizzy Party and they are so much fun to have in your glass!

LMM_6554

wine

LMM_6569

food

The dining table set up was of hot pink and turquoise plates, with black napkins and champagne-colored bands. Each place setting consisted of a personalized goblet, filled with Rolos and almond Hershey’s kisses, as well as an inspirational keepsake. The table scape was a gold sequin runner that was centered in the table, and dressed up with recycled wine bottles spray painted gold and trimmed in turquoise glitter ribbon. The flowers were left over from another event and the gold sprays I found for $1 at Michaels.

LMM_6525

LMM_6535

plate2

fork

flower

cup

LMM_6519

The dessert table was (obviously) our (my) favorite party of the party. The printables got to strut their stuff on the dessert table. The banner was customized for our theme and hung with gold glitter ribbon against a black backdrop. The sweet stuff on the table was a simple menu of fresh strawberries with cream cheese dip, jumbo white chocolate  s’mores, wedding cake cupcakes, and a popcorn bar.

banner

LMM_6515

LMM_6511

LMM_6508

LMM_6502

The popcorn came from Sweet Noshings, which is a local candy store/popcorn corner/coffee bar.

LMM_6505

It is The. Best.

We got to nosh on Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Honey Butter, Cherry, and Spicy White Cheddar and Cheddar Cheese mix varieties of popcorn. The other element on the table was a gift box for all of the guests. The gift boxes contained a bunch of goodies from Mirassou and included a over a dozen different recipes (which can be made with the various Mirassou wines,) a wine charm, a stemless wine glass, and a brochure about the fabulous winery.

swag

The gift boxes were also personalized with each guests’ name. They were tied with white and gold twine, and held a countdown clock cookie, made by the awesome Jess Add Sprinkles, and a tag I created, which said “It’s time for a new you!” All of the ladies were impressed with her art…they didn’t know it was a cookie, and they loved it!

LMM_6504

box

We also had some fantabulous cookies that Kima’s Konfections sent to the party, but they didn’t get to be on the table because of the ice storm that we had. And by ice storm, I mean that we got 1/4″ of ice and the city shut down. Even though they didn’t make it to the shindig, I was still able to get them to the guests. I mean, how could this beauty not be shared with them?!?

cookie

We also had a photo booth set up and staged it with a huge 36″ balloon from Party On! Designs. Again, Icemageddon 2013 prevented us from getting helium, so hubby volunteered to blow it  up. I told him how big it should be and he did as I asked, which freaked me out. I have a phobia of popping balloons and the bigger it got, the more I tried to run away. But it looked incredible with the party and decor! I used gold spray paint and painted “2014” on it and a few of us took pictures with the “globe.”

LMM_6547

IMG_3996

balloon

All in all, we had a great time 🙂 The weather outside was frightful, but my friends were so delightful!

This party is perfect for throwing an intimate NYE gathering or just a girls night in. Very budget friendly, the wines run under $10 a bottle, and taste wonderful!

If you want to opt for something sans alcohol, think spa night, movie night, or even a game night! We brought in 2012 with a Wii party with our friends and it was a blast!

Celebrate life! Cheers to a New You and a Joyous and Prosperous New Year!

LMM_6570

Concept and Styling: Creating Awesomenessity!

Printable Collection: Cupcake With Character

Recipe Cards and Gifts: Mirassou Winery

Clock Cookies: Jess Add Sprinkles

2014 Cookies: Kima’s Konfections

Tulle Poms: Fizzy Party

36″ Balloon: Party On! Designs

Gourmet Popcorn: Sweet Noshings

Photography: Lyndsi Metz Photography

awesome tag

Logan, Be Curious!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a first birthday party for the most adorable little guy. His name is Logan and he didn’t have a good prognosis for the future when he got here, so it was truly a blessing to be able to celebrate this milestone 🙂

sign

Mom tried to warn me that everyone falls in love with him when they meet him…I was absolutely no exception! He had me from the first time he smiled at me…my husband will just have to share 🙂

logan

Mom wanted to have the party around the theme Curious George and it turned out quite nicely, if I do say so myself 🙂 He absolutely loves Curious George and we held an open air party at our local Overton Park, with the theme “Curious Logan/Be Curious!”

pic

balloon

When I spoke with mom, there were some elements that she wanted from some of the ideas I’d researched on Pinterest. She requested the “Man in the Yellow Hat” cup and plate settings that I’d found from another Curious George party. It fit perfectly with this (popular) theme and I was delighted when some of the kids arrived and recognized the place settings!

yellow

Since it was a kids’ party and we were in the park, I wanted to keep the elements as concise and organized as possible. The lunch containers doubled as functional decor…each one contained chips, Curious George fruit snacks, a themed sugar cookie, and a napkin; each container was tied with red and white twine which held eating utensils.

box2

cookies

For lunch, there was a simple menu which consisted of hot dogs and cole slaw + the items in the lunch boxes. The drink station had sodas, fruit juices, and water; the water bottles were personalized to match the party with labels which said “Logan is One!” and “Be Curious!” The adults ended up with the fruit juice because the kids came through and swiped the caffeinated beverages. I suppose they needed the energy for the playground?

food

drink1

I also made up a scavenger hunt based on a template that was shared from Tip Junkie. I customized it based on our park, but it turned out to be futile…the playground was apparently all the entertainment the kids needed and/or wanted…

scavenger

The dessert table had a cake and cupcakes…everything in different flavors so that there was a little bit for everyone to enjoy. The confetti cake was made to match his birthday sign and was a yellow cake; the cupcakes were chocolate and strawberry, both with cream cheese icing.

logan name

cake1

cupcake

I also made a confetti smash cake for Logan. After everyone sang Happy Birthday to him, it was his turn to dig in to the cake.

smash

song

This was as smashed as his cake got. Apparently, not all one-year-olds enjoy destroying their cakes. Go figure!

smash2

It was a hot Saturday, but we had lots of shade and lots of love to go around! Everyone had a great time and the kids played to their hearts’ content.

gma

bags

Event Styling, cake, cookies, favor bags: Creating Awesomenessity!

Photography: Isaac Singleton Photography

awesome tag

A Royal Welcome

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting a Pretty Little Princess themed baby shower for a little girl making her way into the world.

couple

For this event, I was fortunate enough to be able to work with Holli from HoneyBash Celebration Shop and to say she is a life saver is not enough. She is probably the most patient person ever…if I had to deal with me, I would have screamed! But she’s just awesome like that! I was asked to do the shower in the colors of pink and purple, with a touch of bling, so I was able to select one of the packages from her shop to use for the party. She definitely made me realize the value in using other people’s talents to bring an event together and I will definitely be partnering in the future 🙂

Most of the paper items in the party (banners, signs, food labels, and cupcake toppers) were designed by Holli and embellished a bit by yours truly; I constructed the fans and floral arrangements.

j

 

fans

Just a little crystal bling to make them fit for a princess!

 

flower

banner1

 

banner2

 

straw

 

drinks

For this baby shower, I did all of the desserts, set up the candy bar, and even got to use some of my culinary talents on the food table; I make a mean pasta salad.

food

 

table2

 

table

 

candy1

 

cupcakes1

 

cupcakes2

The guests were welcomed with an opportunity to write well wishes for the mom-to-be. The book had to be fitting for a little princess…

book

Before the shower started, we actually had a guest making balloon animals for the kids. Talk about a hit! She casually mentioned that she could make some to keep them entertained…I was trying to get one myself!!

balloons

 

After everyone was full and content, we started the games. There were the traditional games with a twist, and some unique ones. We played:

  • Don’t Say Baby: This game is usually played with clothespins or necklaces and the object of the game is to take them away from someone who says “baby” or crosses their legs during the shower; the person with the most at the end of the shower wins. For this shower, we played with a “twist.” Four guests were given crowns at the beginning of the shower, but everyone was playing. If the crown wearer said “baby” or “Jazlynn,” they had to forfeit their crown. The four people at the end of the shower who were still wearing crowns all got prizes.
  • Guess the celebrity baby: People have to guess which celebrity’s baby picture was in the collage. The most correct guesses wins.
  • Baby animals: The correct name for the baby version of the animal has to be identified. Guests have 60 sec to identify them and the most correct guesses wins.
  • Baby Picasso: The guests have to draw their best rendition of a little princess on a paper plate; the plate has to be on their head and they have 90 sec to draw.
  • Never Have I Ever: The guests have to confess what they’ve done in this PG-rated version of Truth or Dare. If they’ve done something, they have to put change into the baby bottle piggy bank and all of the money is used to start the baby’s first savings.

baby game

 

celebrity game2

 

animals game

 

plate game

 

bank game

All in all, it was a success! We laughed, played, had a great time, and I made some new friends! Wishing many congratulations to the parents-to-be!

guests

 

guest2

 

guest1

 

family

 

Thanks also, to my amazing photographer Isaac! He’s an all-around great guy and wonderful friend 🙂

 

awesome tag

 

 

 

Decor, Styling, Desserts: Creating Awesomenessity!

Printables: HoneyBash Events

Photography: Isaac Singleton Photography

The Green Dress

I was recently a guest blogger on Next Brides, an online resource to buy, rent, or sell your wedding gear. I wrote a super long post (oops!) but was still featured.

I think every girl dreams of buying the big, beautiful princess gown for her dream day. The reality is, that may not always be possible. The quickest place that people go over their budgets is when they buy the wedding day garb.

For me, I just didn’t want something cookie cutter and looking like everyone else’s wedding dress, so checking out a consignment shop was at least an option on my radar.

So as it turned out, by “green,” I meant recycled.

Check out my post in its entirety:

I Bought a (Not So New) Wedding Dress

In November 2011, my now husband missed his opportunity to run away and got stuck with me. I mean, I was lucky enough to marry my best friend in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by our family and friends.

He proposed marriage on June 29, 2011 and we decided to get married on November 19; that gave us just under 4 months from ring to altar.

Of all of the things that you have to worry about for your big day, the dress is a major part of that planning process. Unless you’re into a nudist colony sort of ceremony, I’m going to run out on a limb and say that you NEED something to wear on your wedding day.

In Memphis, we’d recently had a boutique open called The Barefoot Bride. It was started with the owner’s personal collection of almost 30 wedding gowns…she couldn’t decide upon one, and just kept shopping. My kinda gal…

I went by to check her store out (pre-engagement, but post-wedding discussion, and just to be prepared) and saw a beautiful gown in our wedding colors. It cost $150; it was a sign that it was THE dress. A few weeks later, I was actually engaged and RAN back to the store to get that dress!

I couldn’t get it over my thighs.

I looked around and found another dress in a different color…but it was even more stunning. This dress cost a bit more, but it was still available at almost 50% off the retail price. I thought it was a great deal, but my mom was a little skeptical because I was purchasing it from a bridal consignment shop.

My goal was to save as much money as possible…and to buy the second gown with which I’d fallen in love.

The things that you do and look for when buying a used gown are the same things that you should do and look for when buying a new gown:

  • Book an appointment to see the dresses. Your wedding day is very important. So is every other bride’s wedding day. Make sure that you schedule time to have all of the attention focused on you and what you need.
  • Make sure you shop in enough time to have the dress ready on your big day. Even though you’re buying a used gown, you still may need to have it altered in some form. Make sure that you purchase it early enough to have the proper alterations completed. I had to have mine let out; I’m a stress eater.
  • Decide on how much you can spend before you shop. Yes, consignment shops will usually have amazing deals on dresses, but if $600 is all you can afford for your dress, it’s the same amount of money whether you’re purchasing off-the-rack, consigned, or wholesale. Remember you taxes and alteration fees. Purchasing a gown right at your limit will put you over your budget quickly.
  • Decide on your style. Don’t settle on a look because it fits in your budget. Yes, you’re planning on wearing it for one day, but it’s your big day and you need to be happy. And be comfortable.
  • Shop for the body you have, not the one you want. Don’t order the dress too small, hoping that you’ll get into by the big day. I had enough room in mine, but still had to wear under armor to keep things in place. Because I did stress eat, I wasn’t entirely comfortable and didn’t like all of my photos on our wedding day. Shop bigger…it’s always better to have to take it in than to need it let out. There’s only so much extra material…
  • Bring your bridal accessories when selecting your dress (and when you’re getting fitted.) If you’re really in love with your accessories, and may have purchased the non-refundable items ahead of time, bring them when looking for your dress. If your veil makes the dress you want terrible or takes attention away from the dress, you’ll want to know that before it’s too late to make any changes. I bought a pair of shoes I HAD to have and they were horrendous with my dress! Side note: I got my choker from another consignment shop for $4 and hand made my veil and bracelet!
  • Check your dress. Look for any manufacturer’s defects or imperfections. If it’s a big deal (like uneven seams) and will drive you crazy, after you purchase the dress might be too late to do anything about it.
  • Check the agreement. Make sure you know the shop’s policy for what will happen if you find something wrong post-purchase.
  • Have fun! It’s about you and what makes you happy. Don’t buy what someone else thinks you should be wearing down the aisle.

dresscomp

What should you do when you buy your used gown?

  • Have it cleaned! You just purchased a dress which may have actually been worn by someone else. Even if they don’t have any cooties, you want to be sure that your dress is free from stains…the cameras will pick that up if the lighting is just right. The cleaner can also steam/straighten it for you at the same time.
  • Wear it fabulously! Enjoy your big day and be beautiful!

 

awesome tag