Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Great Grocery Store Challenge...

Last week, I was feeling pretty crummy. My annual respiratory virus had decided to come visit...and I was in no state to figure out simple things like meal planning and grocery shopping. As we were driving home that afternoon, I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner...their response? An excited...

"Mac and cheese!"

To which, I kindly replied, "We don't have the stuff guys. How about leftovers?" I used my most appealing voice...however, they were not impressed.

So, I thought...I have no motivation, and no meal plans for this about I let them do the meal planning this week?

They were ecstatic. I told them that each had $30 to be able to plan the weeks lunches and 4 dinners for our family.

It was so cute to see their faces processing, and reading specials.

They had a blast. I pulled out my iPhone calculator, and they figured it out. I'm not a homeschooler, by any means, but I did think how fun it was to be able to teach them first hand about budgeting and meal planning. I did require that they had some vegetables or fruit at each meal, but other than that, it simply had to be enough to feed our family.

It only took about an hour, and they were so proud to be able to take part.

Here were the meals they came up with (remember, their 5 and 8.)

Monday - Mac n Cheese and Hot Dogs, with apple sauce

Tuesday - Rotisserie Chicken, salad, and rolls

Wednesday - Veggie Tacos

Thursday - Turkey Sandwiches and cous cous, with fresh fruit

They were so proud to later tell my husband what they had accomplished. That our meal was all their idea!

* My tips if you try this: have a calculator on hand, get the coupons so they can understand how things go on special, make sure you have a good hour to shop, and keep them focused on the "meals" and not all the food to choose from - good advice for myself as well!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

relish + easter + free gifts = fun!

A few years ago, I had an Easter party for my kids and their friends. We go to so many celebrations surrounding Christmas, but Easter many times, gets swept away without much focus at all.

It made me sad to think that what my kids thought about Easter was chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts. Don't get me wrong, I love those, too. But, I wanted to celebrate the true meaning of Easter. The fact that our Lord was dead, and then rose from the grave to beat death once and for all, for all who believe? Now, that's something to celebrate.

In an attempt to throw my own little Easter party here, I thought it'd be tons of fun to showcase our own Easter celebrations by linking up in the comments next week. Ok, and here's the fun part...I can't throw a party without having favors. So, everyone who participates will receive a gift from me. And, the three lucky people that link up will have an extra special gift, along with the other freebie.

It's just a little way to say thanks for celebrating life with me. I'll announce the awesome give aways next week...but it'll be good. I promise.

Don't think it has to be major. Maybe, you have an Easter wreath on your door, or just a pretty plant that is adorning your table. You might be doing something cool with your kids that others of us would love.

Or maybe you want to go all out and set a table similar to these beauties by Emily at Jones Design Company! (a little inspiration to get you started!)

How fun are these...

vintage yellow with blue and white polkas

luscious green

cutie pie kids table

teal accents with classic white linens

Can you guess my favorite one?

She has a printable set right now that she's selling over at her'd be sure to look adorable on any table or gift!

Ok, so you have until Good's definitely a good day to celebrate.
I'll tell you what the prizes will be next week
So, plan on coming back next Friday to link up.
Then, I'll announce the three lucky winners Easter Monday!

Monday, March 26, 2012

surfaces of happiness

This weekend, i found myself finding happiness in the surfaces in our home.

not because of big, monumental events...

just by little glances of life happening right before my eyes.

...and maybe the chance to get a little extra sleep.

may the surfaces in your life bring you happiness
and blessing today and every one after.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Not Just for Funerals...

It's funny how times change. This past weekend, as my family gathered to celebrate the life of my Grandaddy, my little girl climbed upon my Grandmother's lap, and proceeded to ask,

"Grandmother, how did you and Grandaddy get engaged?"

As my sweet Grandmother retold the beloved story, I sat stunned at all that has changed in the way of weddings. They had been dating for a while, and Grandaddy was in the War. Against others suggestions to wait until after the war was over, they decided on Thursday evening while he was home to get married the next day! They each went home to their families to announce the news, and the following day, told everyone they saw in town to come up to the church that evening for the wedding. The church was just about packed that evening, and they were hitched.

Now days, the first thing my Grandmother will ask me, when inquiring about someone's plans for their big day is, "They're not gonna have black dresses are they? Black dresses are for funerals!" I smile, and reassure her they're not just for funerals anymore.

Many times, brides love the thought of allowing their girls dresses to continue to be functional after the wedding as well as during the grand celebration. So, they suggest for the bridesmaids to simply pick a black dress of their choosing. Or they might choose a bridesmaids dress that looks like a fun black cocktail dress that would be able to be worn time and time again. Either way, black is not just for funerals anymore!

I ran across this collage on Wedding Chicks and loved the varying bouquets with all of the uniform black lace dresses.

Or, you can have the opposite, where everyone's dresses are the same color, but different styles, and the bouquets are uniform. This below storyboard was from a wedding I did this past August. The girls were so cute in their short black dresses and cowboy boots.

I know my Grandmother will never be persuaded about black being a bridesmaids color, but I'll definitely always love the option.

How about you? What colors did you choose for your wedding?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Watched Out The Way

We weren't sure how much longer we would have my sweet Grandaddy when I wrote the below prose a couple years ago. We celebrated his 94th birthday with him this weekend, and we knew all too well it was coming. Thankfully, the Lord took him quietly and without suffering on Wednesday morning.

If I had to say one thing I'm grateful for from his presence in my life, it would be that he never lost his childlike faith and spirit, til his last day. His joy was ever present, even in the midst of barely being able to hold his head up to say hello. He was a such a blessing to know and love, and this weekend, I will be celebrating his brave return home to his Father. Watched out the way, Grandaddy. Watched out the way.

(I couldn't think of a better memory than this.)

"Goody, goody, goody" my aging grandfather said,

As he made his way to the candy corn.

His wife watched with a disapproving glare,

And yet, she secretly enjoyed his boy like passion.

He sped to the candy with ease,

And without walker, amazingly enough,

Entranced by this sweet temptation.

And as he grabbed a handful and

Stuffed them in his coat pocket,

All he could say was, "Goody, goody, goody..."

He shoved several in his mouth,

Before he even got back his seat.

She smilingly said, "Shame on you, Jack."

He simply looked over, mouth full of happiness

And barely able to utter the word, "What?"

I laughed as this old man

Had become young again, in heart and mind,

Only, not by choice.

His body showing proof,

That it won't be much longer

That I get to see him enjoy

The simplest of pleasures.

This weekend, I absolutely did.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Shopping...

Well, I think it's fair to say that I have some of the coolest friends in the world. Not only are they incredibly kind and compassionate, but several have hidden talent and creativity that seems to be bursting to life. Not to mention, they have great prices!

For your Saturday viewing pleasure, I thought I would show off a few of them to you. These beautiful women work from home, and do simple marketing with tools like Etsy and Facebook, and have each begun home businesses designing what they love to make.

saucy mama

First of all, my dear friend Stephanie, has beautiful jewelry. Her business is called Saucy Mama, and she designs awesome handcrafted earrings, necklaces, charms, and more! Right now, she even has a 25% off sale on these adorable birds nest pendants. I have one that I wear almost every day. She'll even customize the color or number of the eggs for you!

lucke penny

I have a fun new friend who just recently moved here from Texas. She is newly married and has begun the cutest Etsy shop called Lucke Penny. Adorable, right?

She has the cutest bow ties for only $10...perfect for Easter!

I already snatched up a couple, but no worries, she can make plenty more!

And, she makes awesome burpies and bibs...
(spoiler alert - you might see these again if you're pregnant and my friend.)

And, my favorite (of course) are the flag garlands. I'm such a sucker for something that helps you celebrate. Look how cute!?!

sweet beet designs

And, then, if you're really going for a make over in your home...check out Sweet Beet Designs. She finds old stuff and makes it hip and new and awesome. Check out this before and after.

I'm totally spoiled because all of these creative women live within minutes from me. However, even if you're not local, they can find a way to ship and get stuff straight to you.

Go have fun shopping!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Daniel & Lauren

A little over a month ago, I was blessed to be part of this beautiful wedding. Daniel and Lauren are a precious couple completely in love, and it was so fun to be able to work with them.

This wedding was kept simple intentionally. I remember Lauren's words to me in one of our first meetings. She said, "We really just want it to be about God, and what He has done in our lives."

They cared about things like fair trade sugar being used to make their cake, good music, and people being able to hear how much God loves them.

Jeff did a remarkable job capturing what their day was all about. Enjoy this highlight video straight from Jeff Brewer Films!

Lauren + Daniel Highlight from Jeff Brewer Films on Vimeo.

Monday, March 5, 2012


So...I have some exciting news....

This has been in the works for a while now, but I haven't formally announced it...until now.

When I started my event design & wedding planning business several years ago, I had to come up with a name quickly. I was being hired for service, and I needed a name. I knew that I wanted "design" to be a part of it, and I knew it would be about events. Thus, the name, Events by Design. It's been a great name, and I've loved being able to establish my business as such.

However, for the last year or so, I've been wanting to rebrand.

I wanted a creative name that would really showcase how my business is different. A name that would distinguish my business, but would still convey the feeling of complete celebration.

The biggest part of what I do is to allow people to enjoy their celebration. Whether it's a wedding, a party, or another event, by having my company handle the details, my clients are able to fully enjoy and celebrate.

Not stressed with the details of design. Not worried about the event going smoothly. Fully able to relish the event. Relish their wedding. Relish their time in the celebration.

It's still in process, but we're excited to announce the new name, and new site being in the works. For now, come "like" our new facebook page to celebrate our rebranding!

Linking up to Sneak Peek over at In the Studio! This has definitely been in my studio happenings for several months now! Thanks for the support, friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Good Things...

I haven't done a "good things" post for a while, but I really love this practice that Kari does, and I wanted to add mine in this month. I love the idea of celebrating something about each day... it causes you to think a little bit more and to be grateful for the small things we're given.

Feb. 1st - Announced something new and fun about my business at my networking group, and felt really good about it... (more coming soon on that).

Feb. 2nd - My neck had a pinched nerve all day...very painful...but we made it through. I love it when I'm forced to rest. (sense the sarcasm)

Feb. 3rd - Went to such a sweet rehearsal dinner for the couple who was getting married the next day. So amazing to see how God brings the perfect people together to make a beautiful couple.

Feb. 4th - Did a beautiful wedding of two dear, dear, people. It was simply stunning and was a blessing to be a part of it.

Feb. 5th - Always tired after a wedding weekend... but just enjoyed going to church and then being at home for the rest of the day.

Feb. 6th - I went grocery shopping and caught up on house stuff. Had the kids' favorite dinner of homemade mac and cheese, baked ham, and baked pineapple.

Feb. 7th - Had a quick cup of coffee with Emily and laughed a lot in a little bit of time. Made little Valentine's day treats with Asher and then made chocolate chip cookies! My favorite.

Feb. 8th - Kind of a hard day...but had some really good conversations with my family about all that was going on.

Feb. 9th - Had a blast at a red carpet event with my friend Blair.

Feb. 10th - Dates with the kiddos.

Feb. 11th - Went to donut world that morning with Asher. And rearranged River's room! Decluttered...moved furniture...cleaned...awesomeness!

Feb. 12th - Heard a great sermon on generosity, and then met up with my stepmom, and little brother and sister for lunch at one of our favorite Mexican spots. Loved our women's fellowship at church that sweet friend Shannon gave a great talk on spiritual warfare.

Feb. 13th - Had a really good conversation with River...our private "girl talk" time. Love how the Lord is using her in her friendships already.

Feb. 14th - Randy had yummy truffles and flowers waiting for me downstairs...and River had made homemade valentine's for everyone in our family. Had a last minute lunch date with Randy..and got caught up on Downton Abbey that night!

Feb. 15th - Really good meeting at my networking group...and learned a lot!

Feb. 16th - Had a great morning at my Bible study. Talked about when we first saw God's love for us, and heard amazing stories of how God faithfully pursued them in such different ways.

Feb. 17th - had a great meeting to chat about doing more event design with other planners in the area. i love collaborating instead of competing!

Feb. 18th - I planned a fun day to celebrate Randy's birthday - we ventured down to the best five star gas station you've ever been to...literally... and then went down to Chapel Hill to watch the Tarheel game at Four Corners. we had a blast. Of course, we couldn't leave Franklin Street without stopping by Sugarland to get a sweet treat! We ate a lot of good food...good food = good things.

Feb. 19th - My sweet hubby's birthday...and we got snow!! Best present ever...especially for him. Also, got to celebrate a dear friend at her baby the snow...did i mention it snowed?

Feb. 20th - Had a snow day!! so fun...first snow day all year.

Feb. 21st - worked on party decor and designing with Krista. And my Tuesday night shows.

Feb. 22nd - was extremely tired this day...but enjoyed talking with Randy about all of it.

Feb. 23rd - got to go have a quick lunch with my stepmom at U.S. yummy!

Feb. 24th - got to chat with my big sis for a bit...much needed.

Feb. 25th - beach spa party...quite fun! it was so fun to be able to celebrate River. Also, had fun going to the farmer's market this morning.

Feb. 26th - Enjoyed my Sunday coffee immensely...and the Academy Awards that evening.

Feb. 27th - Started a new creative and fun project with a fabulous wedding photographer, and also had pizza dinner over at my parents to celebrate River's birthday.

Feb. 28th - My little girl turned 8!! Crazy stuff. Had fun with her...we stayed up until her birth time (9:36), and then she shouted, "I'm 8!!!!" shhh...don't tell her i told you...remember, she's 8...she would be embarrassed if she knew you knew. :)

Feb. 29th - Had a great time catching up with a sweet friend and then got to spend the afternoon with my little sister. happy leap day!