Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If You Give Melissa A Minute

(with apologies to Laura Numeroff)

If you give Melissa a minute,

She'll want to go outside.

When she's outside, she'll probably see something she likes.

She'll think it's beautiful,

So she'll start to look for more.

When she finds more,

She'll want an even bigger piece of it.

Then, she'll want to bring it inside to decorate with it.

When she brings it inside,

She'll try to find a place to put it.

She'll see her mantle,

And she'll remember how she's been wanting to re-design it anyway.

When she takes everything off her mantle,

She'll remember some old windows she has.

So she'll bring them out, and dust them off.

While she's cleaning them,

She'll remember that she's wanted to hang more of the kids artwork.

So she'll go and find the artwork.

And hang them in the windows.

She'll decide that she really wants the artwork in her breakfast nook.

When she goes into the breakfast nook,

She'll see the tobacco basket she's been wanting to place.

So she'll go get the tobacco basket from the nook.

She'll use it to cover the fireplace.

Then, she'll remember about the mantle.

She'll go get another window.

And when she's cleaned it off,

She'll set it on the mantle.

But, she'll want some flowers to go beside it.

She'll have to go outside to get the flowers.

And when she's outside, she'll remember the bark that she found.

She'll want to put it up on the mantle.

And chances are,

When she puts the branch on the mantle,

She'll want another piece of bark to go with it.

Linking up with Imperfect Prose and Simple Pleasures.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Gimme A Break...

This past week, the kids and I headed down to the beach for our Spring Break. It was so nice to be away for a few days, without the stress of the busy world caving in on us. Where we stay down there, there is no wi-fi, so basically, we're back in the dark ages... which was truly wonderful.

Many times, taking a trip with just one parent and the kids, does not in any way feel like a vacation. We had a few friends join us, but you know what I being the only one in charge of your kids. No hubby or grandma to help...usually doesn't sound all that relaxing. However, this week was different.

As I walked with my two kids down to the beach, I realized that for the first time, there was no complaining about having to carry things. No whining about how long it was taking to get there. They just carried their things and walked beside me. It seemed different, but I wasn't about to complain.

Then, we got down to the beach, and again, I was astounded. We plopped our beach blanket down, set up camp (which my daughter helped me do without prompting!) and then, they were off. They played for probably an hour, without even taking thought of me. They jumped waves, and laughed together, ran around, and drew in the sand. I sat, reading for what felt like an eternity...uninterrupted. It was glorious! Usually this would have lasted 10 minutes...not an hour!

As we walked back up to the condo, I marveled at this change taking place. I've always heard how it gets easier. How they start to do things more on their own, and stop whining as much. But this may have been the first time that I really saw it taking place.

We had so much fun with our friends. My two were the oldest of the group, so they had fun "helping" with the others. Here's a picture of storytime, led by my little teacher in the making.

Cuties in Orange
This always warms your heart...yikes!

We ended the week with a visit from the tooth fairy.

It wasn't her first tooth to lose,
but it is the first time she's been a snaggletooth.
Man, it really does happens fast!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ooh, La, La!

This past weekend, a friend of mine was given quite a gift. She was blessed by her hubby on their date night, in an extraordinary way. Not with flowers, or maybe a box of chocolate. No, he planned a surprise house concert with her favorite band, and about 40 of her closest friends. It wasn't her birthday. Or anniversary...just because he loves her and thinks she's awesome. And she is.

As I sat in this living room filled with artistic wonder, (wide eyed at this adorable little couple who I can't believe hasn't been scooped up and famous in such a way that I'd never be able to be sitting 6 feet away from them) I thought about love. Love that would give people the motivation to sing songs as sweet, but profound as they do. Love that searches out people and finds them with an everlasting love. Love that makes people do crazy things like care for the poor and the needy. Love that gives up all it has, to give you all He has. To make you His everything. This love that's for me. That's for you.

If you haven't heard of Jenny and Tyler, you're missing out...just like I was before last weekend! I bought their cd before they even finished the concert. Go listen to their music for free on their website, or better yet...give yourself an Easter gift, and go get it off iTunes! You'll be so glad you did.

Happy Easter, my friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Little Bit Spoiled

This past weekend, I got to be on the receiving end of a very fun (and delicious!) brunch. The chairs of Restoration Runway wanted to have a time to pamper all of the committee chairs and thank us for all our hard work. Let me tell you...they surely did! We were promptly all requesting recipes, and I wouldn't dare keep them to myself!

These little muffins were so scrumptious!

Lemon Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp lemon extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1) Whisk the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest, together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients, including the lemon juice.
2) Pour the wet ingredients over the dry. Gently but quickly stir everything together. Don't worry if you have a few lumps-they're better than an overmixed batter.
3) Spoon batter into muffin tin. Bake 18-20 minutes (time varies depending on size of muffin tin; if smaller, cooking time is less) at 350 or until muffins are golden. Cool 5 minutes before unmolding.

It's no wonder the other muffins are delic...they're a Pioneer Woman recipe! Can't go wrong!

The other favorite thing we had (besides the mound of whipped cream that is on my plate) was a tasty bread pudding! Apparently, it's not just for dessert!

Check out how sundried tomatoes and fresh mozzarella make this bread pudding into your next favorite brunch menu item!

Recipe: Savory bread pudding with dried tomatoes and mozzarella

  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus butter for the pan
  • 1 cup chopped dried tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 thick slices day-old good quality white or semolina bread, crusts removed if very thick
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup pitted and chopped black olives
  • Boiling water as needed

Heat the oven to 350° F. Warm the milk, butter, dried tomatoes, and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat just until the butter melts. Meanwhile, butter a 1 1/2-quart or 8-inch square baking dish (glass is nice) and cut or tear the bread into bite-sized pieces — not too small.

Put the bread in the baking dish and pour the warm milk over it. Let it sit for a few minutes, occasionally submerging any pieces of bread that rise to the top. Beat the eggs briefly and stir them into the bread mixture along with the cheese, basil, and olives. Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and pour boiling water into the pan to within about an inch of the top of the dish.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean or nearly so; the center should be just a little wobbly. Run under the broiler for about 30 seconds if you like to brown the top a bit. Serve hot or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Cover with foil and reheat in a 325° F oven for about 15 minutes; remove the foil and heat for another 5 minutes or so for a crisper crust.

Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended Serving Size 6 to 8 servings

This was definitely a simple pleasure of mine this week!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Orleans Wedding!

When I tell you that I don't take pictures at events, I really mean it. I'm awful as awful can be about remembering my camera, or actually taking it out and grabbing shots. So, even for my dear sister's wedding down in New Orleans, I didn't take (hate me) ONE single picture!!! Thus, the reason you have seen none up to this point. But, no worries, we had the amazingly talented Nicole Nichols, who absolutely had hers.

When I stumbled across Nicole's work, I knew that she was what we were looking for in a photographer for Chris and Carrie. So you can imagine how happy I was when she was available for their wedding. She did a fantastic job of capturing the evening, and posted a really fun preview over at her blog! I'm so excited to show you what fun we had at this dreamy destination wedding.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ooh, La, La!

Well, it was never my intent to take this week off from blogging. Part of the problem is that my camera has lost it's battery, and I have no earthly idea where it is. It was with us in New Orleans, but not in DC, and now, I have nothing to show from either! Such is life. However, I do have these lovelies to "ooh and ahh" over from a shower not too long ago.

This was actually my sweet sister's bridal shower. I know you're waiting to see pics from her wedding, but you'll have to wait a few more days. This will be a good sneak peek of what's to come!

Because she got married down in New Orleans, I wanted to bring in a bit of the French Quarter to those who might not make it all the way down to Louisiana for the wedding.

We had all of my sister's favorite finger foods,
including smoked salmon crudites and delicious chicken salad.

Maxie B's made us a caramel cake to die for...
embellished to the nines with little fleur de lis.

It was my big sister's only shower,
so we loved being able to pamper her with lots of goodies.

My sweet grandmother was (as always) the life of the party,
and we were so happy to have her there.
Linking up with In the Studio!

Picture credits to my sweet friend, Kelly with Sara Davis Photography. Thank you!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ooh, la la!

One of my favorite wedding trends right now is colored wedding shoes.

I . love. them!

Look how fun these are!!!

If you were going to pick a color, what would you pick? Pick a color, any color! Better yet, what color do you think I would pick? hmmm...

photo credits:;;

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dashing for a Diamond!

We had so much fun at Greensboro's first ever Diamond Dash! We greeted the eager participants with a fun way to get them pumped up about running around town looking for clues for the $15,000 diamond ring...with a sugar high! I've been wanting to design a candy bar recently, so this was the perfect time.

There were some engaged couples and some married couples. Family teams, and friend teams. It was really sweet to see who was paired up together, to try to win the diamond ring. The dashers ran all over, visiting different vendors, learning about our city, and answering challenge questions or activities in order to gather clue words. They would then text the correct answers into the number they had been given to play the game. Each correct answer gave them points, and at the end of the game, whoever had the most points, won.

Take a look to see how it ended! Here's a great video of the Diamond Dash, brewed up just right from our friends over at Media Brewer films...see if you can spot me. (Here's a hint...I'm wearing my red pea coat because it was freezing!!)

Finks Diamond Dash 2011 from MediaBrewer on Vimeo.

So, even though you only caught a glimpse of me working my candy bar, I still wanted to link up with In the Studio this week. I guess it's not technically my "studio", but close enough, right?! This spring has been filled to the brim with all sorts of fun events. Can't wait to show you more next week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Simply Celebrating

Is it just me, or do you love this. I tweeted about it immediately. Twice. Because the first time I messed it up and didn't give her the link right. But, just saying...Love her!

I'm so thankful for bloggers like her who share their thoughts and creations. Because there's no way that I could do all of this, but how fun that we can benefit from what she is celebrating. Maybe I'll get to a day or two, maybe I won't, but either way, I love that there is such a community of bloggers who share life together. That we are helping each other celebrate life. And somewhere in the midst of all the events and weddings going on, I can take a minute and go outside, and enjoy this creation that we are stuck right smack dab in the middle of. That I can take a second, and go look for Tree Swallow with my little ones. It encourages my heart to celebrate...not just my hands.

There are so many of you out there who share their thoughts, ideas, and fun ways to do this thing called life, and I am so grateful for these gifts. These are truly simple pleasures.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Brides on Tour

Events by Design is participating in Brides on Tour this Sunday! If you (or someone you know) are planning your wedding this is absolutely where to start!

Brides on Tour is a great way to find the best wedding professionals in the area, but with a fun, personable approach. Instead of being overwhelmed by a huge room of hundreds of vendors, enjoy being taken on a tour by local wedding planners, and shown in a relaxed setting how fun planning your wedding can be!

Around 200 brides will board luxury coaches and go tour a few of Greensboro's wedding hotspots. You will get to meet wonderful vendors, see all different floral displays, taste food from local gourmet caterers, see venues set up in wedding decor, try tons of delicious cakes, and win great door prizes to get you ready for your big day! This is the perfect (and inexpensive!) way to begin planning your special day.

But don't just take my word for it... go listen to the brides who went on the first Brides on Tour. Media Brewer films did a fantastic video of the girls who went in the Fall, and it's a great way to see a snapshot of what the day is all about.

It's not too late...get your tickets here, today! You can even request to be with Events by Design if you'd like. You know we'll treat you right, and even have a few surprises for you! Can't wait to celebrate with you!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ooh, la la!

One fun way to make your wedding or event more personable is to make Do It Yourself favors. It's also a great way to save a few dollars in your budget. There are so many fun DIY favors out there, but these are a few that would be cute this wedding season.

So fun for weddings, showers...

or even for Easter!!