Friday, September 30, 2011

It's Almost Here...

Last year, I posted every day in November, and called it...

It was so much fun celebrating on a daily basis with you all in this little spot of the blogosphere. This year since, 31 Days is open to everyone, I figured I would join in on the fun!

I've been thinking about what my topic would be, and I'm so excited about it. One reason why I love my business is because every single event or wedding I design becomes a unique creation, different from any other. I mentioned on Monday how what I do is more like art to me than a job, and how it and gives me life. My hope is that as I post daily during the month of October, you will come away feeling more inspired than ever to create artful events in your own life.

I'm a little nervous, but I'm jumping in, and I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Linking up with In the Studio today!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Newsworthy Surprise

This past weekend I had so much fun being only one of three wedding planners that helped host Brides on Tour. I was in charge of a luxury bus full of about 30 people, and about half were brides to be. We had a great day full of being planning and dreaming, while being able to see some of the area's most desirable wedding venues and vendors.

One of my couples on the bus had a pretty great engagement story. Every couple's story is so unique to their personality, but this groom to be, really surprised his fiance with something newsworthy.

Sierra Moore is a producer at WFMY 2 and a few weeks ago, her boyfriend organized her staff team to put a surprise ending at the end of the day's show. Instead of ending in another local story...she was the story! Go see for yourself... it's really sweet.

Usually, you just get to hear the story, but this one we could actually see! I had a great time getting to know Chris and Sierra, and it is so obvious to see that they're completely in love. My job is so much fun...I get to be around cutie pies like them all the time!

Monday, September 26, 2011

First and Ten

I love the first few planning days I have with couples. I've always loved solving puzzles. And, though the last two sentences might seem completely unrelated, they actually have a lot to do with each other. When it comes to putting all the pieces together, it truly is like putting together an amazing puzzle that you work on for weeks and months, until you finally see the finished product.

So, this cute couple had their first planning day with the sweet mother of the bride, and myself. It was so great. Even though it seemed we chose the rainiest day of the year (thus the ponchos) we still had a fabulous day.

Our goal?
Select their reception venue
and choose a date.

Impossible task? Heck no!

There were several things that we were looking for in a reception venue. Namely size and location, and availability... but also how it felt. Similar to how you want to feel in your home, the venue must feel the way you want your wedding to feel, or it will be difficult to enjoy.

We definitely had to use our imagination to figure out what places would look like in the Spring, without a monsoon going on. When you're choosing locations for your wedding, you always have to try to see yourself there, on your wedding day. There's always a bit of imagination involved, because there is so much that goes into changing the space for the day of. However, I've found that if a bride and groom can't really picture themselves enjoying their time at their wedding (throwing the bouquet, dancing their first dance, being sent off, etc. etc.) they're usually not going to fall in love with it. You want to find a place where they can envision all of that going on, and love the place it in which it would happen.

We ended our planning day talking details at a great local coffee shop, sipping on deliciousness. The perfect ending to a fabulous day. I know I've talked about it before, but I love finding out who my couples are, and then being able to implement what they want into their wedding day. Every couple is so unique, and though it may seem all flowers and food to some, to me...

it's art...and it's life.

And, no way in the world I'm going to spill the beans about what they chose. Though, I will say, by the end of the day, we had a date and we had a place.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ooh, La, La...Chartreuse!

Thursday, I treated myself and went to my favorite shop in town. Even though I was only there for 20 minutes, I felt completely renewed and inspired when I left.

Chartreuse is a fabulous mix between a flea market,
an antique store and an art gallery.

They have amazing furniture finds that are 100% repurposed...
and the great part is that they're listed at consignment prices.

The other day my daughter asked me why I liked old things so much.
I laughed and thought about it for a minute.

Then, I said, "Because they tell a story."

I really like things that have been somewhere, and have a story to tell.
Or things that could have been thrown out, but have been given a new life.

If you were a piece of furniture, what would you be? Would you be rustic and restored, or would you be bright shiny and new? What's your story?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Many Books Were Harmed in the Making of This Party...

Yes, it's sad but true, we did tear out many pages of books in order to have splendid decor for Emily's Book Release Party at Nester's house. If it helps you forgive me, they were mostly trashy old romance novels that were in the trash pile of a used bookstore. So if you took a little book flourish, take caution when reading. You never know what might be on there! (yikes.)

It was great to do this event with Nester, because I knew that even if I showed up completely empty handed, it would have been one of the most gorgeous parties I'd ever seen. And it was. Her house was a vision, and she had worked hard to make it bookish beautiful. So all I did was add a few quick and easy (you know me!) book themed projects that were simply an embellishment on her already established decor.

book flourishes

Since I already had tons of pages lying around, I decided to start twisting them into little flowers to be able to use as page bouquets. Also, I knew they could double as a favor to give away to the sweet friends that came to celebrate. (see how i can't turn off the party planner?!)

materials: book pages, clothespins. the end.

1. Start in the middle of the page. Grab the middle of the page with two fingers and then gently twist and crinkle slightly until the page takes the shape of a flower.

2. Then, place another page in the center of the already shaped "flower" and do the same thing until it has a full and artsy flower look.

3. Once the page petals are shaped, still holding the center of the flower, clasp a clothespin as the center "stem" to hold the pages in place.

4. Set 3-5 in vases or jars anywhere to have beautiful bouquets of book flourishes.

book bunting

for this cute thing i have my intern to thank. i had asked her to make some garlands and buntings out of pages, and she did! they all turned out so great! for the above bunting, she simply cut the triangles out from the pages and hot glued them to the string. i loved it and it adorned the mantle perfectly! simple, but really added to the mantle decor.

she also hand cut beautiful little paper birds (you can see some on the gifts). she attached several to string with hot glue, and we had a bird garland dangling above where emily signed books. (no picture of it though!!) and then, finally we had yet another fun garland of sculpted page flowers hot glued to a string that we hung across the stairway to keep people from drifting upstairs. it's the little things in life, people...let me tell ya!

hanging book arrangement

materials: books, ribbon or fabric cut in long strips, hot glue.

1. remove outer cover of book.

2. open the book outwardly, as to fan the book all the way out.

3. hot glue a ribbon to the spine of the book, which has now become the very center point of the book, with the pages fully encircling it.

4. hot glue pages together to keep a full look.

5. test out how it will hang by holding up the ribbon from the center of the book.

6. find a location to dangle them from at varying heights. as soon as i came up with the idea, i knew exactly where i would put them in nester's house.

I think my favorite picture of the entire day was this shot I happened to catch of Em. That look of joy pretty much sums it up.

For tutorials on the rest of the bookish decor,
head over to Nester's place. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You Know it's Fall When...

There are some things that just let you know it's fall. You have an itching to make that yummy chili you haven't had for a while. Or you have a delicious pumpkin muffin or a pumpkin spice latte. Or maybe you hang up a fall wreath.

I made this fun burlap wreath on a whim last Fall, and I hung it up yesterday. It's such a simple way to feel like the Fall is really on it's way. Do you have any traditions that are a must as the Fall begins? Y'all know how I love traditions!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

the gifting

i talk a lot about gifts. but today, i saw gifting all over the place. in words, and in design. in books and in laughs. but mainly, simply in others around me. i saw beautiful women that were all so different, but all so wonderfully them, and it was such a gift.

i love that she gets giddy every time she signs another book.

i am blessed by her spirit of joy that is infectious to all she's with.

she is a quiet soul who is simply lovely to sit with.

and i laughed out loud several times with this cutie pie.

i squealed in joy when i met her in person.

i told her a story that we'll laugh about for years.

and she couldn't be more full of encouragement.

i've blogged for years now, but i've never been to any blog conferences, and it's shameful how often i actually go and read other people's blogs. but sometimes, i read their blogs. and when i do, i come away feeling so thankful for the time i spent reading.

nester's house was gorgeous, but that's no surprise. i had a few things here and there to add to the glory, which was fun. but more than anything, i was so thankful to be with these precious souls. these gifted women, who love others through a blog, and love them in real life. they love each in their own way...

...and it's truly beautiful.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ooh La La!

Spotted on 100 Layer Cake, an absurdly sweet wedding shoot, by Steven Michael Photography, that has our style all over it! These photographs of Roni & Alex's wedding are so adorable and do a great job showing all the homemade pieces and painstaking details that help create those intimate moments at an event like this.

Very familiar to us, handcrafted rosettes as corsages and boutonnieres paired with country florals and romantic lace!
The little details go such a long way!
What a great idea, to hang your family's wedding pictures or your own baby pictures on a tree at your outside wedding!
{The Happy Couple}
Congratulations, Roni & Alex!

Monday, September 12, 2011

And Now For...the Juggling Act!

Lately I've been feeling like my life is a bit of a juggling act. There are things to do and places to be...not to mention all the paperwork that is getting pushed aside. Working from home is not as easy as it sounds, and though I love it, it's definitely a challenge.

We had such a great weekend. My son had his first soccer game...and scored five goals, but who's counting?

My daughter had her first audition, and even though she's been excited for weeks, she became so nervous she could barely stay. She clung onto me until her number was called, but then, she pushed through the anxiety, and did it...and did a fabulous job.

We are so proud of both of them. They are becoming who they've been made to be, and we have a front row seat. What a gift indeed.

My words have felt few and far between, here on this little space of the web. I'd love to say that with the start of Fall, I'm turning over a new leaf, and will be blogging every day, but alas, I fear that would be a terrible fib.

I will say that I have been trying to be more mindful of celebrating life, and less worried by the daily stressors that are ever present. While my house is cluttered and crazy, my mind can stay fixed on things above. Though our schedules are full, my heart can be as well. And, even if my fridge is empty, I know not to see my life as such. For these are the days of gifts. The days of joy, and I dare not miss a single one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spa Party!

Not too long ago we planned a birthday party for a little girl who was turning 8. She gave us a list of things that she wanted to do; paint nails, make-up, hair, facials, and a fashion show! So, we combined all of those things into a very fun...

spa party!

{Foot Bath Massager}

We set up stations with a "spa stylist" at each station, doing the girls nails, makeup, hair, and facials. Upon arrival of each girl, they got to choose a headband to keep their hair back during their facials, and then went right to the foot bath massager, where they soaked their feet for a couple of minutes and tried a couple of hand scrubs and lotions.

{The Birthday Girl Getting a Facial}

After the foot soak the girls got facials and had their nails painted whatever color they chose.

{Hair and Makeup Stations}
Next, they got their hair and makeup done by one of our stylist
and got all dolled up for the fashion show!

{Accessories for the Fashion Show}

Each girl was introduced as she strutted down the "cat walk" and the other little girls called out compliments like "you're gorgeous" and "I love your hat!"

Dinner was after the Fashion Show. We had the birthday girl's favorite, pizza. One pepperoni, one cheese, with some fruit on the side and Parisian sparkling lemonade in fancy glasses! And of course, birthday cake for dessert!

The girls had such a great time and so did we. Be sure to try this girly party theme for your little girl's next birthday party!

Monday, September 5, 2011

In Which I Say Sweet Too Many Times...

Whenever I have weddings and events on the weekends, the other moments are that much more valuable to spend time with my sweet family. I did have a fabulous event this past weekend, but while I'm waiting for pictures of that, I'll give you a little glimpse into this past weekend with my sweetie pies.

Friday was the first soccer practice, and my son could hardly contain his excitement. He's the one in the middle...and that's my hubby coaching about a throw in.

My little girl and I had a date Saturday afternoon, and went to have tea together. We had a blast. We were fancy, but still had room to be silly...and we matched (her request), so that was fun.

And today we went and visited my grandparents. I love being with them. They're so sweet, and it's always so refreshing to just go sit and visit. We spent the day talking about years past when their kids were young, listening to my daughter sing her broadway tunes, or enjoying my son being so energetic he had to just run in place. I always love how things seem more still when I'm there. The things of this world kind of fade into the background, and what's important is simply being together. Ahhh. It's nice.

This weekend is always a bittersweet one. Labor day marks the weekend that I said goodbye to my sweet Mama. It always sneaks up on me, and then hits me when I realize all of a sudden that it's here. It's not overtaking or unbearable, just a longing to see her sweet face once again. Until then, I'll continue to enjoy my love for all things sweet, just as she taught me. Like tea time, and family times together, like cheering for her sweeties, like good dessert, and great food. Like celebrating with friends, and crying at a good movie. Like bluegrass and car trips, like being at the beach, and always seeing the sunlight behind the clouds. We will continue to be her sweetie pies, honey bears, her sugar bears, or whatever sweet item you'd like to be at the moment. If you knew her, I'm sure you were one of her sweeties, too. Thanks for teaching me to celebrate, sweet mama.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Yesterday, as I reacted too quickly out of frustration to my oldest, I felt it.

Pain, disappointment, shame.

She felt them all, too, and as I held her close, and her tears fell down, I secretly hated myself for being too quick to anger.

Why is it so easy to react out of my flesh, and yet, so difficult to let Christ live freely from me?

When will saying 'I'm sorry' just be another phrase that has somehow lost it's merit, and will just not be enough.

And there it was again. The lie that has been hounding me since day one. The lie that shouts in the dark, and whispers when I'm in crowds. The lie that tries to convince me all the time that I'm not good enough. And no matter how hard I try, I never will be. The same lie that motivated me to be...a good girl.

Today is the release date of Grace for the Good Girl, friends. I'm so thankful for truth. So thankful for grace.

As I held my little girl, I looked at her with teary eyes and said,

"You know, Mommy is still learning how to be a Mommy, just like you're learning how to be a daughter."

She looked at me in surprise and said, "Still?"

Yes, still baby. Always. I will always and forever be in need of His grace.

Emily will be signing books on September 15th at Barnes and Noble at Friendly Center in Greensboro, NC. Come out and join us!