Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well, today I head down for the long awaited wedding in Louisiana. I'm excited for several see my big sis and sweet nephews, to enjoy the delicious food and city of New Orleans, but mainly to celebrate the marriage of these two cuties.

If you know this story, it makes this celebration much more beautiful. If you don't, the short version is that almost 5 years ago, to the day, my sister lost her husband at the early age of 33. She became a widow and single mother of 3 small boys at 32. Now, this sweet man, who has never been married before, is making my sister his bride, and becoming a second father to these three precious boys...who aren't so little anymore. I know I talked about God adding to the beauty of our lives here, but this kind of redemption, I just never grow tired of.

So, I'm leaving on a jet plane, and I'll be there in a matter of hours, to design and carry out my little part in this amazing story. We'll get our nails done, and we'll eat tons of fabulous food, we'll laugh a lot, and probably cry a little. But the joy overflowing will be why the tears come, and I can't wait to share all the juicy details. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 28, 2011

80s Done Right

A few weeks ago, I helped a friend out with her fabulous 40th birthday party.
We did an 80's theme, and it was "totally awesome"!

Everyone came decked out in their favorite 80's style

from head...

to toe!

Some 80s celebs made an appearance,
including L.L. Cool J. and Tina Turner...

Even Alf showed up for a bit!

We had a few games including 80s Movie Trivia and 80's TV Show Name that Tune. The winners got our fabulous 80's CDs or DVDs as their prizes.

Then, came the costume contest. It was a tough choice, but we had several categories including:

Best Couple (Prom King and Queen)

Biggest Hair

and many more!

For an adult birthday party, it was such a fun way to celebrate. Everyone had a blast, and really got into the theme. It was a great way to put the fun in turning 40!

And, who's the birthday girl? I'll never tell!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ooh, la la!

ooh, la la!

Look what cute celebrations I saw this week!

When you think of bridal showers, you probably think of girls in dresses, frilly presents, and yummy cake. While that might be your picture perfect shower, don't fret if it makes you want to run and hide. Just as every wedding is different, so is every bride. Find ways to shower your favorite bride that are perfect for her! Look how cute these showers are!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Flourishes Are Here!

i had so much fun making these flourishes this past week.

and i absolutely adore these new

le petite flourishes

for little ones

perfect for Spring!

custom orders available to match particular outfits,
or just colors you like!

fun for hair flare

or to embellish a shirt, purse, or wherever!

go visit my etsy store and let me know if i can make one for you!

linking up with in the studio!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Adding to the Beauty

Ten years ago, (really even five years ago!), if you had asked me what I'd be doing now, I would have told you that my husband and I would probably be on staff with some type of ministry, maybe overseas, or maybe here, but involved in missions someway, somewhere.

That being said, I've wondered at times, what in the world being a wedding planner and event designer have anything to do with ministry. From the outside, you might say, nothing. That it's all about materialism, worldliness, and focusing on the appearance of things. But that's before you see how involved God is in people's lives.

Take these two precious people.

Coming from hardships that I wouldn't wish on anyone, they both had a long road to each other. However, as they became friends, they realized that God wasn't finished writing their stories. And that somewhere, there was a new chapter to be written.

And that's when I got to step in. I got to love, serve, care for, and dream with a bride who thought she may never love again. I got to create, design, and plan details to articulate exactly who this couple is becoming. And, then, I got to walk with them as they move into a place of oneness. Knowing that the God of all comfort and wisdom is walking with us.

So, even though you might think it's just about flowers, linens, food, dresses, cake and music, it's about so much more than that. Those things are just the fluff. And, don't get me wrong...I love the fluff. It's just not what it's really all about. It's really about seeing a God who loves being involved add beauty to life.

As I gave her one last hug before she ran through bubbles, I almost lost it. I told her I loved her, and that I was so happy for her, and that we'd get coffee together soon. Even though I know our relationship will change from what it has been, it will never lose it's sacredness of what it was. You see, when you add beauty to someone's life, you can never take it back. The blessing has been given to both of you, and you are both enriched because of it.

This precious couple had such an amazing day to celebrate what God has done in their lives. And I am so honored that in a small way, I got to be right there, all the while, seeing the miracle unfold.

"I want to add to the beauty, to tell a better story.
I want to shine with the light, that's burning up inside."
~Sara Groves in "Add to the Beauty"

Many thanks to all the wonderful vendors we hired to make their day such a beautiful day: Starmount Country Club (venue), Lucy Clement (photographer), Wally West (music & dj), Bill Entwistle (videographer), Maxie B's (cake), and The Farmer's Wife (florist), Dan Grassi (guitarist), Andrea and Virginia Wimmer (violinists). You guys are the best!

Thanks Em, for sharing your candid shots from the wedding!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Risky Business

I think that I started being risky in my decor when I stopped doing things the "right way". I've always been a category kind a know, Chili in the winter, never in the summer. Quilts on beds, never on tables. And so on. Not so long ago, some of that started to change.

When I started finding things by the side of the road,
instead of tossing them, I put them in my kitchen.

And who says a vintage afghan can't go on a kitchen booth?
I surely like mine there! My great grandmother who made it
might not appreciate it there, but she would be glad it's out of the closet!

And, why couldn't old falling apart things
become a fun piece of art with a second life?

A while back I found this old retro high chair at a yard sale. It was love at first sight, but then, I started to feel like it just didn't really fit. Maybe it looked too junky, or maybe it wasn't right. Sadly, it was moved to the back deck, without much glory.

To celebrate today, and taking a risk, I brought it back into my kitchen. I set some fun old pewter dishes that have been hiding away in the closet without a purpose. Now I love it all over again! Before the tray was too bare, but I've decided that I can use the tray at different times to "serve" different items. Maybe cold drinks in the summer on the porch, or fun toys for the kids. But whatever, it's National Take a Risk in Your Home Day...according to Nester.

Head over to Nester's place to check out all other those risk takers!

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan With Love

I've hated how it feels like I can do nothing. How even my prayers feel like they will barely make a difference. My hearts weighs heavy and I pray out of desperation for mothers like me, sisters like mine, children like mine, friends and families who are in utter despair, and have nothing left. And, I fill my busy day wondering about emails, and schedules, and what we're having for dinner. It's just so hard to understand.

Yesterday, I found out about this project. It seemed like at least a little way that I could honor the people of Japan, even from my home way across the world.

We love you, and we're praying for you.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Spring Fling at Maxie B's

It's no secret that I love Maxie B's. It's where I take my brides for our initial appointment, and it's where I schedule many of my meetings...just to have a slice of their delicious cake! Robin (the owner) and I have a neat story of how we first met, involving the Nester and I...way back when! Ever since, I have loved making Maxie B's one of my favorite local spots.

A few weeks ago, Robin called and asked if I would design a little luncheon for her hard working staff. As you can imagine, this time of year is pretty crazy for them!

I decided to bring in some Spring flare through a mix of colored glass, vintage fabric, and classic white dishes. They posted about it, here, too. These girls are so sweet, and it was fun designing a luncheon to appreciate all they give!

Linking up to Tablescape Thursdays.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

An Unexpected Fairy Tale

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

Over the last couple weeks, I have seen a change in my daughter. I've always heard about this year...the seven year old stage...being a quite challenging one. Different than the drama from the younger years. In keeping with her usual pattern, things have been, well, let's just say...even more "dramatic".

This morning, similar to others recently, she told us, "she wasn't going to school". To which, I laugh, and say, "Oh, really? Get up, now." To which she pouts and stomps. To which, her father says, "Sweet girl, be careful with your attitude."

Then, when I went to pack her lunch, I saw that she had chosen to waste her lunch that we had packed for her yesterday, and instead chose to buy lunch, even though we've talked about that quite a few times before. The consequence? That she would owe us a few dollars from her money, to cover the lunch that she bought this week (yes it happened twice this week). If there's anything I hate, it's throwing perfectly good food away. So, she would have to pay us out of her money. Money that she had been saving for a Bitty Baby, and that she finally "just got" enough to buy. You can imagine how that conversation went.

More than anything else with her, I plead with the Lord to keep our relationship a sweet one. One without the heightened emotional fights, and the drama induced conversations constantly affecting our relationship. I realize, this is a lot to ask. I'm asking for the impossible. But, what I'm really asking, is not for her to quit being dramatic, I'm really asking for my heart to be the one changed. The challenge is more my challenge. To allow the Lord to keep me steady, calm, and unaffected by the tantrums, yelling, or bad attitudes. To remain loving, yet firm in my position. To love, without conditions for her to live up to. To not take things personally...this might be the hardest one. *sigh* It's quite a challenge already, and she hasn't even been seven 2 weeks.

This morning, after we got past the issues at hand, I sat down and read with her for a moment before she headed out the door. When we finished reading, she came over to me. And, after being emphatic on us "not touching her" because of how mad she was at us, before she ran out the door, she came over and gave me a big hug and kissed my cheek...twice.

The other morning, when she was late for school, and running out the door, she ran back in to give me this. Even though my first reaction was to say, "Honey, you don't have time to pick a flower!", hearing her say, "Here Mom, I picked this for you!" all I could do was hug her and say, "Thank you, sweet girl. I love you." Looking at it again this morning, it reminded me that maybe there is still hope. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get through it, and beat this ferocious dragon.

I think about how it will be, this year, and on down the road...into the years ahead, and I hope and pray that we will be able to say that our love is a happily ever after kind of love. It's asking for a fairy tale ending, to an impossible quest, and yet, I still ask for it to be so.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little Flower Inspiration

For all you spring and summer brides, I couldn't help but love this storyboard. I think it's so fresh and elegant, with just enough natural charm! I love how they mixed and matched the colors and flowers to present a clean and unified look, but still kept each look a little different. A good rule of thumb when thinking about flower centerpieces is, "If you can't see over them, you should be able to see through them."

I can't wait for all of the flowers to be in full bloom again. These winter months get a little long for bouquet lovers!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Some Say it's Silly, I Say it's Tradition

Last night, we went over to Curtis and Katie's house to watch the Carolina game. But as you may know, this wasn't just any Carolina game. It was a long awaited game, against our archrival, and it was hard to think about how it could have turned out.

I wanted to write something about how wonderful last night was, but my sweet friend Katie said is so perfectly, I couldn't help but share. It was a great night for a lot of us last night, and as silly as a love for basketball may seem to others, it's one of our cherished traditions around here. One that I will always love. If you're a Tarheel, than you know how true it is, and you'd appreciate Katie's post, as much as I did. So, go get teary-eyed with me, as I revel in the glory a little bit longer.

Friday, March 4, 2011

On Carolina Blue

One of the best parts of living in NC are the blue skies. Once we get into March, I have to bring in more blue to our house. Part of it I'm sure is that ACC time is in full swing, and I have to have a little more Carolina blue around me. But, another part is feeling like my house is beginning to celebrate my favorite season. I change my accent colors from reds and browns to blues and green, and even throw a bit of pink and yellow in sometimes. I started with refreshing my mantle.



The fun part of redesigning an area, is how intentional you can be with it. For instance, the platter that I have showcased is such a fresh look with the white basket weave china border, and the bouquet of flowers in Spring colors. But, more than anything, I love it because my Grandmother gave it to me, and her birthday is in the Spring, as is my Grandfather's. So, having it up there, allows me to remember them a little more. And, the turquoise chalice has to come out around Easter every year. I found that on a fun weekend trip with one of my best friends down in New Bern, NC. I gave it to Randy that year as an Easter gift, so that we could have a family communion goblet.

One of the things that compelled me to refresh my mantle was my jar of stars that I got as a birthday gift from my sweet friend. She'll tell you that her husband is better at giving gifts, but I tell you, she's pretty darn good at it. I couldn't wait to design the perfect place for my own jar of stars to live.

Oh, and speaking of Carolina blue, I never told you
what I gave my hubby for his birthday present...
You know what they say about God being a Tarheel...
why else would He have made the sky Carolina blue!