Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another Favorite Summertime Meal!

This is our fourth "Toast to Summer" post.
Come enjoy a delicious quick and easy recipe to take with you today!

There are certain things that just go with each season. When I think of summer, I think of lemonade and grilling out, and BBQ chicken, potato salad, picnics and tomato sandwiches (that's a Southern thing). Well, I can't very well stop my Toast to Summer series without leaving you my favorite quick and delicious BBQ Chicken recipe. My kids and I love this one, and, it only takes about 15 minutes to assemble. I usually pair this recipe with baked (or sweet) potatoes and salad.

barbecue apricot chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic (or 2 tsp. minced garlic)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup apricot jam or preserves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (kosher if available)
3/4 teaspoon pepper
4-6 favorite pieces of chicken

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over Medium High heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Stir in the tomatoes, jam, vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 tsp. of pepper. Simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the pieces in a baking dish and season with remaining salt and pepper. Pour the bbq sauce over the chicken. Roast, spooning the sauce over the chicken once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hr.

And in case you spill some, no worries...Doug has a great way to get BBQ stains out on his Tuesday's Tip from last week over at Tower Cleaning Services. Linking up this week to Tasty Tuesday's over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. There are tons of great recipes there!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Speaking of Fall...

The other day I was taking a walk, and I noticed my first glimpse of fall. It was exciting, but also surprising, that already we're starting into a new season. However, it made me realize something that I don't think I've shared with you yet.

A few weeks ago, there was a fun package that arrived on my doorstep, and I knew what was inside immediately. I had been waiting for them to come, and couldn't wait to rip open the box. Inside were several copies of the Fall/Winter season of Triad Weddings Magazine. You may remember when Events by Design was featured on Wedding Chicks back in the winter. Well, that same shower was chosen to be one of the featured articles in Triad Weddings this fall! It's really wild to read about yourself. I sat and read the article that they had interviewed me for, and it was extremely surreal to read my own quotes.

If you're local, pick up a copy at any wedding venue or bakery, and check out the article! It's so fun to see our little company featured on a three page color spread with lots of details and pictures. Thanks so much for all of your support and for helping to get us there!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grace for the Good Girl

This weekend Events by Design has the pleasure of working on a huge event for a dear friend! It's Emily Freeman's launch party for her new book, Grace for the Good Girl!

For the occasion, we've pulled together a storyboard with some great vintage book and bird cage details to create a whimsical and lighthearted scenery.

Can't wait to show you more of how it turned out!

All images were collected on Pinterest; sources:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

About A Boy

As he stepped into the 3 feet water, he had to stand on his tiptoes. He wanted so desperately to be tall enough to walk around in the "shallow end" of the pool with the others. Making the best of it, he swam as best as he could to keep up with everyone, working twice as hard to stay afloat. That night, he told me that he couldn't wait to go swimming again the next day. We talked about how he would get some good rest, and be ready for swimming the following day.

That next morning he slept a little later than normal, and as soon as he woke up, he said, "Mom, I slept in, and I can't wait to see how much I've grown! I bet I'll be able to reach in the pool now!" My heart sank a little as I knew later he would be disappointed, but also loved how expectant he was.

When he stepped into the water that day, his face fell as he realized that he wasn't any taller, and it was still just as much of a struggle to swim in the deeper water. He really believed that he might just be that much taller (it would have literally been growing about a foot overnight).

Even though he hasn't felt like he's grown overnight, it sure seems like it to all of us.

I know I told you about how she learned to ride her bike this summer, and how I couldn't say no to the light up shoes. But, what I didn't tell you is that her little brother, who is only 4, also learned how to ride his bike...with no training wheels. He can count to 100 (with a little help) and he runs faster than anyone in our family (except Daddy). I'm so sorry if it sounds like I'm bragging, but really he amazes me...all. the. time.

Tonight we went back to school shopping (with DiDi this time, thankfully!), and it came as no surprise when he headed straight for the light up shoes. He was so excited to be able to have shoe's like "Sissy", and I loved how eager he was to get them on his feet once home. However, after I came home from my meeting, I went upstairs to find this.

I just laughed. His enthusiasm to enjoy life is so contagious. He is such a gift. And, I can't believe how long his legs have gotten...I'm just glad he still sleeps with his stuffed animals!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomato Basil Tart...or Cheesy Yummy Heaven

This is our third "Toast to Summer" post.
Come enjoy a delicious quick and easy recipe to take with you today!

I'm the type of person that likes to get as much of something as I can. You know, I take the biggest piece if offered...especially if we're talking dessert. I get really excited about gifts. I love freebies, and I always say yes to offers. I like making the most out of things. You've probably noticed. So, while you might be already itching to take out your pumpkins and sweaters, I'm loving these last few weeks of summer. The last couple Tuesdays, I've loved sharing some of my favorite summertime recipes for our "Toast to Summer", and today's is probably my favorite summer recipe ever. Let me just say...

cheesy. yummy. heaven.

No, that's not it's name...but it could be. This is a Tomato Basil Tart, but don't let the name make you think it'll be all healthy and vegetable-y. (i'm really selling you on this one, aren't i?)

I haven't made this recipe enough this summer, and now that summer is almost gone, I'm having withdraw. The fresh basil and tomatoes can't be beat...especially with all the cheese! Anytime I've ever served this or taken it somewhere people always ask for the recipe, so you know that's a good sign.

tomato basil tart

1 deep dish pie crust

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil

4 cloves of garlic, chopped (or 2 tsp. of jarred chopped garlic)

1/2 cup mayo

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bake pie crust according to package directions. Remove from oven, sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cool.

While the pie crust is cooling, mix together mayo, parmesan, and mozzarella in a separate bowl.

Cut tomatoes into wedges and drain on paper towels. Arrange wedges atop melted cheese in the baked pie shell. Sprinkle garlic and basil over tomatoes. Spoon cheese mixture overtop, spreading evenly.

Bake at 375 for 35-40 min. or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with salad and bread!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Closer Than a Fortnight

The summer weeks continue to fly by, as I'm sure yours do as well. I was thinking about how everything seems to get smooched into less time. And as I was pondering all that this coming week will hold, I remembered the post (below) that I wrote two years ago. Now, my daughter is going into the second grade, and my son will be in PreK. This past week, my little sister headed off to college for her second year, and another dear friend that is like family, headed to his first year of college. I didn't mean to get all emotional when I was saying goodbye, it's just hard to believe at how fast life happens. All these days are literally gone with the wind, and it's a wonder we ever hold onto any of the moments.

Thankfully, we do, and I am so grateful.


When you only have 2 weeks until something, there begins to be a push. I start feeling like it's really getting close, and I know I still have a little time...but not much.

Yesterday marked the "only two weeks left" point until River heads off to school...not just preschool...or PreK....the real thing...Kindergarten. We've started our planning...what she's going to wear, and what she wants her hair to look like. But we haven't gone school supply shopping, yet. I was tempted today at Target to go down that aisle, but Daddy wants to come with us, so we're waiting. I steered her the other direction before she could see all the exciting pencils, notebooks, and folders. I did let her buy paper lunch bags. Even though she has a lunch bag that she'll be using. I tried to talk her out of it, but there was something about getting them that just seemed right.

I started getting nervous two weeks before my due date with my babies, even though they were both almost 2 weeks late. I started getting really excited two weeks before my wedding with all the last minute details that were happening. I start getting really itchy two weeks before I throw a party or have an event I'm coordinating. I ALWAYS get really excited two weeks before Christmas.

There's just something about 14 days that seems so close, but feels too far away to grab hold of, and makes you want to enjoy every single day to the fullest. That's what I'm trying to do at least. When the tears start to fall, I'll let you know.


Hoping your last few days before another year begin are sweet ones.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cajun Shrimp over Lemon Linguini!

This is our second "Toast to Summer" post.
Come enjoy a delicious quick and easy recipe to take with you today!

I have this cute little book called "The Summer Book". Whether or not I make anything from it the entire summer, I still have to get it out every summer, just because it makes me so happy. I love being able to flip through and see the cute quotes, recipes, and tips. But, this one, I thought was great!

The quote above it says,

"Here's one way to show your husband you love him - cook him up a plate of Cajun Shrimp!"

I thought it was fitting, especially since my husband doesn't eat meat. I've recently learned that he's a "Pescatarian", which is kind of a funny word.

Tonight to be funny, when I was making dinner, he said, "No meat, please." I laughed, and said something like, "Thanks for the heads up." He loves shrimp, though. So, I think I'll follow the instructions, and cook him up a plate of Cajun Shrimp!

Cajun Shrimp


1/2 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic, whole
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
16 extra large shrimp

Combine first 7 ingredients in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Shell and devein the shrimp, pat dry, and toss in marinade to coat. Refrigerate 1-12 hrs. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove garlic clove. Bake for 7-10 min, stirring occasionally. Be sure not to overcook. You can also grill them on skewers. Delicious served with Lemon Linguini...

Yes, I'll give you that one, too.

Lemon Linguini

1 lb. linguini
1/2 c. olive oil
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 2 lemons
1/2 c. chopped green onion
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
salt and ground pepper
lots of Parmesan cheese

Cook linguini in boiling salted water till done; drain well. Combine next 5 ingredients in a large serving bowl. Add pasta and toss well. Sprinkle over salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss in Parmesan to taste.

Check out last week's recipe...Easy Key Lime Pie...for a great dessert to add onto this meal!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Party at the Nest

I have a super fun event that I'm going to be helping with coming up soon. Most of you know my sweet friend, Emily from Chatting at the Sky. She has an amazing book coming out September 1, and I'm blessed to be able to design events for her. I'm sure you know her sister, the Nester, too. A few weeks ago, Nester asked if I would help her with this event for Emily.

It's going to be amazing, and we're so excited to celebrate with Emily. So save the date, and come hang out with us at Nester's house!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Sew Bunting

I have this wonderful gift this summer. I have an intern...and she's wonderful! I tell her to go work on a project, and she does. I ask her to create posts or emails, and she does. I wanted some sweet baby shower buntings, and so she did one. And then she posted a tutorial about it, so that you could see how to do it, too! See, how wonderful she is?

Do It Yourself

No Sew Bunting


Ribbon (cut to desired length)

Fabric (in different colors and patterns) cut into triangles

Hot Glue Gun



Step 1. Preparation- Cut triangles from fabric, cut ribbon, plug in your hot glue gun.

Steps 2-4. Glue triangles to the back of the ribbon face down, with some of the ribbon still visible above the triangle; repeat for each triangle. As you continue gluing the triangles to the ribbon keep them evenly spaced.

Steps 5-7. Once the ribbon is full or your triangles are all glued down it’s time to reinforce the triangles. Using your hot glue gun, fold the top half of the ribbon to cover the tops of the triangles; glue and hold; repeat.

Step 8. Trim the ends of the ribbon and use tacks to hang your bunting!

The end product should look like this!...

* If you're using your bunting against a surface, where the back won't be showing, then this will work for you; however, if you're planning on hanging your bunting in a doorway, where both sides can be seen, you may want to glue two triangles at a time, back to back.

I have several buntings now, and love using them for just about any occasion. They're fun and so festive...and thanks to Krista, now we have a tutorial on one! Enjoy!

Linking up with In the Studio.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Key Lime Pie

If you're like me, you don't have time to do the whole made from scratch thing very often. But, I crave it all the time! So, for the last few Tuesdays of summer, I thought I would do a

"Toast to Summer"

series and post some of my favorite "quick and easy" recipes. I'm always looking for recipes that are delicious, but simple. And, you know me...I'm gonna go with dessert first!

This one is a delicious take on the traditional southern dessert, Key Lime Pie. It's delicious...and no one will know that it only took you 10 minutes!


  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate (not thawed)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 6-ounce graham cracker piecrust
  • Zest of 1 lime


  • Place the condensed milk, limeade concentrate, and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

    Beat until fluffy and soft peaks form.

    Pour the filling into the piecrust and smooth the top.

    Refrigerate until chilled and loosely set, at least 4 hours (and up to overnight).

    Sprinkle the pie with the zest before serving.
  • (recipe from Real Simple reader, Dana Thorne, June 2008)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Seven Year Summer

"You're never too old to become younger."
~ Mae West

I've never said yes to the shoes before, but this time was different.

As we walked through the store hand in hand, I was reminded of how much I used to love back to school shopping. My mom would let me pick out clothes that I liked, and would be supportive of all the tacky trends that were the current rage.

So, as she stomped her feet and made the lights come alive on the Twinkle Toes, I couldn't help but smile.

Usually, I secretly roll my eyes and try to convince her of another pair. Or hope that they just happen to not have her size. But not this year.

As I looked at her growing feet and long legs, I thought about how fast she's getting older. How this has been the summer she's learned to ride her bike without training wheels, and grown at least 2 inches. It feels more like a foot. Next year, though, it might all be different. She might think the same shoes are silly and babyish. She might be embarrassed to hold my hand at all. Or be disgusted at the thought of me helping her try on things in the dressing room. But, this year, I've still got time.

And so home we came, to show off the sparkly treasures. It's just a little way to celebrate today, but something I hope to remember for a while.

What's your favorite back to school memory? Do you remember any tacky trends?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Keep Calm & Carry On...

Events by Design, for the most part, focuses on designing, planning, and implementing events; we love being able to take our client's dreams and turn them into reality without there being stress and worry throughout the process! On occasion, we'll work for clients who have those same desires, but aren't throwing a wedding, baby shower, or birthday party...

In this instance, we were asked by a friend to
style her booth at the 14th Annual Taste of Greensboro!

When Renita and I first talked, the look that she wanted was "airy and elegant". We created a tablescape to showcase her cake bites to perfection. By using silver, white, and glass for our trays, we added that "silver platter" look.

Renita, the owner of Libby's Perfect Portions, was able to "keep calm and carry on". She was able to only focus only on baking her specialty cake bites while we took over styling and prepping the booth for her!

The end result was wonderful...our client was stress free,
and able to enjoy all the hard work they didn't have to do!

Linking up with In the Studio this week.
Go get inspired by all those wonderful artists!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to School Sale and Giveaway!

I know people who get really excited about back to school shopping...so excited that they can't wait to get their new supplies even in the mid of summer. But then, I've got other friends who start breaking out in cold sweats just hearing the phrase "back to school". Well, either way, I've got something fun for you both.

We have a small retail line of gifts, bags, and jewelry that you can personalize. And right now, we have a great back to school sale going on. These bags are so great, and so durable. My kids have them, and we absolutely love them!

Now if you're the "freaked-out-even-by-thinking-the-phrase-back-to-school-person" this is good news for you. You can shop online, decide on a bag, luncbox, or what have you, and have it shipped right to your door, without any worries of going into a store that is overwhelming with options and prices and sizes. The stress is taken out of the equation, and all you have to do is unwrap your package and surprise your kid with fun a fun new school bag.

And if you're the "i-love-school-supplies-so much-i-get-the-can't-help-its-in-july" person I've got great news for you. Super fun choices, with cute monograms, different from all the ones at the same old stores where everyone else shops, and perfect for a back to school present for your favorite guys and gals. Not to mention, you luck out with getting your very own present of school supplies on your doorstep. So exciting!

Sale Prices:
Backpacks $14.95 (reg. $18.95)
Lunch Boxes $9.95 (reg. $12.95)
Carry All Totes $10.95 (reg. $14.95)
Tall Tote Bags $10.95 (reg. $14.95)
(monogramming not included in prices shown)

If you haven't ever shopped with us before, you can browse as a guest. When you want to start shopping, click here to open a no obligation account, enter ML5 under the "registration code" and you'll be on your way to getting lots of cute stuff!

Because we haven't done a give away in a long time, I thought it would be fun to celebrate our Back to School sale with a giveaway. To enter:

1. Check out the fun sale, and then leave a
comment saying what new back to school item you liked.
2. Get another entry if you follow this blog.
3. Get an additional entry if you facebook about the giveaway.
4. Get even ANOTHER entry if you tweet or post on your blog about it.

Now that all those chances are in for you, you should have a pretty good shot at winning! The prize, you're asking?

Multidot Carry All Case!

This is one of my favorite bags because, well...you can carry anything in it! It can be a supply case, or an art case, or a dance bag, or whatever you want it to be. It's the perfect size and not too clunky to take with you wherever. So, come on and join us!