Saturday, May 31, 2008

Perfect Day

2 years ago tomorrow my husband and I tied the knot in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. It truly was a perfect day. I also LOVED planning it. I think throwing parties is in my blood. I also loved planning all the little details to make our day unique to us. I am sure my husband never even noticed....but, hey, I knew! These pictures are all compliments of my photographer, Chris Humphrey.

The day started with a pool party for the girls.
Before the ceremony I surprised my husband with a cake with a picture of our dog, Pudge. The cake had a ring around Pudge's neck because that is how Tommy proposed.


I made the boys cute little bout's to go with the ocean theme that I brought with me to the wedding. I used magnetic backing so that we didn't have to pin them to the suits.

I made all of the flower bouquets myself. I had owned my own fresh floral design business, so I absolutely loved this part! Below is a picture of my dad that I had on my bouquet, my mom's and sister's. It was my way of having my dad be a part of my special day.

The ceremony was was on the deck and overlooked the ocean.

Here are a few other details from the day:

We had Krispy Kremes at the end of the night. The boxes all said "sweet dreams, from the newlyweds."

We threw lavendar!
I loved the tables. I got the runners for an amazing deal -- $2 with the monogram! Yay me!
We had a lottery ticket with Lucky in Love stickers on each place setting. They were a huge hit.
Our little Eat, Drink and Be Married Napkins.


Ahhh, a perfect day! I wish I could do it again!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Easy Cards

For Christmas this past year my sister and I got my mom a computer card program from Hallmark. It was kind of an impulse buy at Sam's but my mom absolutely LOVES it! This is a great program for someone who wants to make and print personalized cards but not necessarily design them. Also, my mom (bless her) is not a computer expert and has found this program to be super user friendly and fun to use. Just today I received a card in the mail from her that she designed with a picture of my husband and I on our November cruise. Sorry, no pictures, but this is a great buy for those of you who buy many cards during the course of the year! It may just pay for itself.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pups

Those who know me know how much I love my two furry children, Carter & Pudge. They are just little family members and bring my husband and I so much joy! (Even though my little one ran away from my in-law's last week and was sprayed be a skunk and still has a slight skunky fragrance!)



I have a big place in my heart for animals. So, when I came across an etsy site that supports not only artists but donates a portion of their proceeds to pet related causes I had to pass it on!
Here are some of my favorite items:

This is root beer flavored lip gloss. Um, delish!!

I love this adorable doggie bed. It coordinates with my room....hmm.....

I am also in love with sock animals. This one is too cute!

I love shopping for a great cause!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tea Party

I have been lucky enough to meet a good friend of mine through my husband. She is absolutely gorgeous and has amazing taste! I swear we are long lost sisters, because we will strangely see each other and have bought the exact same thing! We have honestly bought the same jeans, shoes, bedding and several accessories for our home unbeknownst to the other.

Everytime I go to her house there is always something new and fun that she has done to make her home even more fabulous than it already is. I will have to post some of her wedding pictures someday. It was gorgeous! Anyway, she recently had a "tea party" for her occupational therapy school graduation and she did an absolutely beautiful job. She hosted the party at her home and just used decor she already had and I helped her shop for fresh flowers from Sam's but she is so talented and did all of the arranging herself.

Her table setup was stunning, but definitely doable by anyone!


She had a party favor for everyone who attended. The bags are from Martha Stewart that are sold at Michael's and then she filled them with tea bags, sugars, and other tea brewing items.

She also used the flowers that are arranged in iced tea glasses throughout her living room to brighten up her space and set the feeling for the day!

I love you Iris! You are fabulous!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Um, Yum

While we were in Baltimore, my sister-in-law took me to the most adorable cupcake shop. In marketing there are "4 P's" (product, price, place, promotion) and they definitely hit the mark on them all, specifically the product.
I absolutely love packaging and the presentation of items. The store was absolutely gorgeous in that everything was very clean but left me wanting more! Here are some pictures from the inside the store from their website:



Also from their site are some adorable details that any of us could use when planning a party:







Sometimes the most simple things are the most beautiful!


Even the little boxes that the cupcakes were placed in were beautiful. And, the cupcakes were absolutely delicious!





When starting your own business or planning a party or event, come up with clever and beautiful ways to show off your stuff!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Garden Flowers


We just got back from Balitmore on Tuesday from visiting the new nephew (isn’t he cute??) and while we were there I asked my sister-in-law if I could pick some of the flowers and foliage in her back patio area to make her some arrangements for her house. So, I should have taken some pictures of the patio. It is really cute with brick pavers and a lot of character, but they don’t have a ton of space (enough for a table, chairs and a grill) since they live in the city. So, their small garden is definitely doable for anyone, even someone with very little space.

Kristen let me raid her house for all of her vases and I went to town! The first vase I used was a square vase that I think she took home from my wedding and I filled it with hosta leaves for a base…I probably used 6 leaves. Then I took the roses and just scattered them in between hosta leaves and filled in with more hosta leaves. All for free and in less than five minutes!


Next, I took a fern they had growing in a container and just cut some leaves off of it placed it in the vase ala Pottery Barn. They had what looked like lirope/monkey grass in a pot, so I just cut it and knotted it around the vase and took some more and knotted it around the knot. I think it turned out simple and airy.


In their herb garden they had some green onions that had flowered. I again just cut the green onions put them in a bud vase and knotted some more lirope around the vase.


I made this arrangement the same as I did the other rose arrangement above. I just used rosemary from their herb garden in exchange for hosta leaves. Using the herbs gives arrangements a fresh smell and they are especially great in the kitchen and on dining tables!


The last arrangement was very, very simple. It is just three fern leaves in a small vase. But, just having green around the house (I put this in the bathroom) makes the house feel springy and clean. There is nothing like seeing a flower (or green) in the morning to brighten your day!


If you don’t have a green thumb, just go to the local grocery store and pick up some small flower bunches, take them apart and play with the containers you have at home. It really will brighten your day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Party Time

As promised, here are some pictures from the graduation party my sister threw her husband! I helped her with all of the flowers and I think everything turned out super cute!

Here is the cake Allison ordered Kyle (his brother Michael also graduated from college on the same day…so it was a dual purpose cake)!

These flowers are all from my mom’s backyard. My mother-in-law has an orange tree, so we just borrowed some oranges from her. We had the raffia from a gift bag and the vase was my mom’s. With just a little creativity we did this whole arrangement for $0!

We had a two tiered tray that I received as a wedding gift to put desserts on. I just put some irises on the tray and it just added a little more visual interest to the food. These are the little details that take a party to the next level.

More details…the party was a fiesta theme and this is where we were going to put the tortillas. I used more garden irises, a chili pepper from the event and hosta leave from outside. Once again, all FREE!

We did buy a couple of bunches of Gerber Daisies at Sam’s. I placed a gerber and hosta in all of the platters for some visual impact.

Our main expenditure was this centerpiece. My mom got this container (if that is what you would call this) at Southern Living at Home a couple of years ago. We use it at all of our parties because it gives the table height and is super cute and easy to decorate. For the whole centerpiece I think we spent $12. So, truly a bargain! Inside the base are key limes (from the grocery store), oranges (from my mother-in-law), and chili peppers (also from the grocery store). The little vases are part of the arrangment and I used the gerbers from Sam’s and the irises and hostas from my mom’s backyard.

All of these details were super simple and required very little time or money. Try a couple of ideas at your next party! I will post some more pictures of backyard arrangements this week!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Coming Soon...

So, I have been out of town and a little MIA but I have so many cute things to post!!! I finally visited my nephew in Baltimore and I have some super sweet pictures of him. I also have some fun pictures of flower arrangments you can create with vases around the house and foliage and flowers from your garden. Lastly, I went to the most adorable cake shop in Baltimore and got some fabulously cute cupcakes!! YUM! Don't worry, I took tons of pics. So, hopefully I will have some fun updates by Wednesday night!

Yay!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Paper Products

So I said I would include some pictures of the party that my sister was throwing on Saturday night...but, she left for a trip to Hawaii and took the camera. So, I decided to post some pictures of the invitations I did for the party and the announcement I made for my nephew, Max! (I get to meet him this week and spend close to two whole weeks with him!)

I digress. My sister's husband has been in optometry school for the past four years. So, there was definitely a reason to party. We decided to design the party invitation as an eye chart (so clever!) Here is a copy of what I designed for the event:
This is the insert that we included with directions. Is this not adorable? I made it to look like a prescription pad and used a handwriting font.



The party was a blast! Allison had a Mexican theme and I had so much fun doing all of the flowers. We included some really great details to make the table top look fantastic. I promise I will post the pics when she gets back.

So, onto another design I have done recently. This is a picture of my nephew, Max. He is so cute! My cousin, Karen Fish, was nice enough to photoshop this picture to make it look more clear. So, a special thank you to her. I will post some more pictures soon of some things I am working on! I am doing more with Habitat, working on some logos and keeping very busy!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Perfect Plating

Sadly, I do not do enough cooking on my own. I absolutely LOVE to eat out. One of my favorite things about dining out is presentation. I have been known to embarrass the company I am with and take a snapshot of the food if it is done beautifully enough. It is like edible art. I can even specifically remember my first experience with beautiful food. I was 19 years old and in Newport Beach , CA for a sorority convention. It was our last night at the event and we were each served cheesecake. It lay on a berry and chocolate sauce that was artfully arranged. But, the centerpiece of the cheesecake was a white chocolate star about the size of the palm of my hand with the sorority crest “painted” on the star in colorful detail. I had never seen something so beautiful or artistic on a plate before. Unfortunately, this is also the time before digital cameras so I have nothing to show of this but the memory.

Since then, I have had many other beautiful plates served to me (mainly deserts). I think cruise lines know how to plating beautifully. Here are some pictures of some of the beautiful deserts served on the Caribbean Princess.

This cake was served to my husband and I on our 1 year anniversary. The cake was a thick flourless gateau with a dark chocolate ribbon edging that had the Princess logo etched onto it with edible gold paint. The flower was also made of sugar. Gorgeous!

This was an appetizer on the ship with mango and kiwi. I just think the plating and the colors are pretty.

This desert I just loved. I thought it was clever that they made it look like a ship’s anchor.

Tiramisu

Tomorrow I will post some fun pictures from the party my sister is throwing for her husband's optometry school graduation!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bouquet Twists

Today my sister-in-law sent me a link to the Daily Candy’s DC Blog. They had the most adorable "Flour Arrangement.” I absolutely fell in love!



These are cupcakes!!!




First, I have got to make this for a shower. Second, I am about to die. I need a cupcake NOW!! These were made by Couture Cupcakes in DC. Also featured were “ice cream” cupcakes. Are these not adorable for a kid’s birthday party?

I imagine you just bake cupcakes and then just put them in the cone with the wrapper removed and ice away! YUM!!!





Another fun bouquet idea that is not only beautiful but healthy too are Edible Arrangements. These are all fruit filled arrangements that would be absolutely gorgeous at a wedding or shower.













Okay, let’s be honest, this chocolate one is more my speed:












I just absolutely love the idea of taking something traditional, like a flower arrangement and making it into something unique and fun by using different foods.

Being in the floral industry I have ideas about how all of these could easily be made using simple floral tricks, so if you ever want to know, comment below and I will send you my own version of the instructions : )!

Tomorrow, I will highlight the beauty of “plating.” Can you tell I love to eat???
 
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