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My Favorite Things Party!

I recently gathered some of my favorite women to share some of our favorite things. Enter “Favorite Things Party”!

The rules were simple. 10 (plus me) women brought 10 of the one thing they cannot live without (that costs between $1-10).

First things first: The Menu!

Chicken & Waffles with a Maple Drizzle, Sausage Balls with a Buffalo Dipping Sauce, Mini Wedge Salads with Avacado Goddess Dressing, Bacon and Blue Cheese, Flatbread with Pears and Gorgonzola with a Drizzle of Honey and Black Pepper, Crab Jalepeno & Corn Dip served with Toasted Baguettes, washed down with a Brandy Punch. For dessert we had Andes Mint Brownie Cupcakes and Chocolate Oat Bars.

Favorite Things Party- the Food

Favorite Things Party- The People

As you may recall from previous posts, I made the color blocked gift bags with fabulous tassels for my friends to take their goodies home in.  Cati is modeling one fabulously above. And now, the GOODIES!
Favorite Things Party- The Things

The Loot from My Favorite Things

I know you are dying to know what we can’t live without. Drumroll please… from top left:  The Wiz, homemade Limoncello, Butter nail polish, ELF shimmering facial whip (highlighter), Julep nail polish (on as I type), Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Butter, pretty notecards, ELF Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara, Savannah Bee Company Honey, H&M gold studs, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia, and Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm.

We had notebooks and pens in our bags so that we could take notes and jot down other “favorite things”. Some of these included Fit Flops,, Lush Body Bars, Konjac Facial Sponge, Best Pedicure Cream, Gentle Glide Oral B dental floss, Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine and, my favorite thing, dry shampoo.

My Favorite People

We had such a blast and are enjoying using our new favorite things! Thanks for coming and sharing, friends!

What would YOU say is your favorite thing?


Calling All Party Animals!

Last weekend, party animals came out of the woods for a roaring good time (grrr, couldn’t help myself). My four-year old loves animals and breakfast so we combined his favorite things for a super fun time!

My advice for menus is to keep it simple and easy to make and eat. Our menu was bacon on a stick, donut holes on a stick, fresh fruit cups and marinated sandwiches. We served orange juice, milk and coffee in awesome animal cups. I purchased the cake and decorated with animals and a tiny pendant garland. Delicious, fun and couldn’t be easier!

Decor was bright in color mixed with a natural feel in the newspaper, craft paper, twine, etc. My absolute favorite things were the tiny hats I made for his toy animals. Cutest! I painted a large canvas black and used chalk on it for the sign behind the elephant stilts tub. I tried my hand, for the first time, with face painting and had so much fun doing it. I discovered when you’re drawing on someone’s FACE, you best not mess up! My father-in-law even got in on the action (hysterical!). Happy Birthday, to my sweet, filthy animal!

Come inside ya filthy animals

Elephant Stilts Game

Elephant Stilts for Kids Game

Animals in hats party favors

Animals in hats party hats

Elephant in a hat

Donut holes on a stick

table scape bacon on a stick donut holes animal cake

Animal Birthday Cake

marinated sandwiches table scape

tablescape decor animal table

animals in party hats

Zebra Pick your Nose animal cups

face painting butterflies

kitty cat face painting

face paint comb over

Face Painting - my tiger

ROAR!! All day long. Not Quiet.

ROAR!! All day long. Not Quiet.

Happy Birthday, Tiger!


Set Your Holiday Table Apart (My Interview on Houzz!)

I am thrilled to be featured on one of my favorite sites, Houzz, today! If you are not familiar with Houzz, it’s is like Pinterest for home design (clouds open, angels descend…it’s awesome). I was interviewed by Houzz writer and photographer, Corynne Pless, regarding my tips for styling a fabulous holiday table.

Gina Sims, a photo stylist (among many other creative titles), offers the following advice for styling your holiday table: “First comes the theme, the vibe and the colors,” she says. “Then the items that will make the biggest impact.”

I chose a neutral palette to fit with a rustic theme and added a few splashes of bold colors through the plates and florals. Name tags add a personal touch. “I like to label everything,” Sims says. “It makes your table look thought-out and special.”

Check out my tips and view the full article HERE!!

fall dining story eclectic

fall dining story eclectic

fall dining story

Set a beautiful holiday table! Click here for the full article!

Thanks for the opportunity, Houzz!


Birds Nests and Magnetic Fields. DIY Time by Guest Blogger: Cati Teague Photography

I am thrilled to introduce our guest blogger today, the incredible Cati Teague of Cati Teague Photography. In addition to being a true creative soul and fun party guest (ask her to tell you the story about the time she super glued her eye shut), Cati is an amazing photographer. She has artfully captured some of my families most special moments and she recently has been inducted (or abducted) into craft night!

Check out her awesome blog (total eye candy) and without further adieu, here’s Cati!….

If I haven’t yet thanked my sister-in-law for introducing me to Gina Sims, please remind me to do so right away! This woman is a constant source of fantastic ideas, crazy cool designs, hilarious stories, and the most enthusiastic smiles you’ve ever seen. Plus, she is always willing and able to volunteer her lovely family to model for my photography needs. 

Gina Sims Designs
Recently, Gina invited me to join her and some friends for my very first Pinterest Night. Wine, crafting and donuts….what could be better than that! The rules of Pinterest Night state that if it is your turn to host, you get to pick the project and gather up the necessary supplies. Everyone else brings something to eat or drink. Wine, donuts and crafting….seriously, I ask you…what could be better? And thanks to the good fortune to have scheduled this party on National Donut Day, we were quite surrounded by Krispy Kremes. RheaAnn Koppelman co-hosted with Gina and her porch made for the perfect summer evening location.
The project for this night were photo magnets and bird nest pendants.  
RheaAnn demonstrated the bird nest pendants for us. And made it look so easy! Some of the ladies made pendants with a bead to represent each of their children. They were pretty darn cute and would make great, thoughtful gifts. I had grand plans to make mine with a large single bead. I found a large mustard color bead that I would would look great wrapped in silver wire. But, as it turns out, wire wrapping is NOT a skill that I naturally possess. My pendant looked a little bit wonky and, well, was better for a laugh than something I’d wear. But everyone else’s looked fantastic! 
I had much better luck with the photo magnets. I had printed out a few pages of my photos scaled down to 1 inch. Gina showed us how to use the glass beads as a template to cut the photos into tiny circles. Then glue the photos to the flat side of the bead and glue the magnet to the back of the photo and VOILA! Tiny photo magnets! These were so simple and quick to make, but you still end up with something that you would want to display and doesn’t scream “homemade craft project”. I want to make a million of these! «hint: you may a variation of these in my etsy store one day» 
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This night was just what I needed. Aside from the lovely creations I got to make, I had such a great time meeting this hilarious group of ladies. And learned that Gina used to be a miniature donkey wrangler! I swear, that girl is FULL of fun surprises. Making things with my own two hands and being around other creative people is something that I absolutely need to stay inspired. I can’t wait until the next Pinterest Party! 
Check out Gina Sims Designs to be inspired by the many, many talents of this multi-talented woman. In addition to bringing artists and friends together, Gina is also a decorator, photo stylist, party maker, fashion innovator and all around inspiring creative force.
Gina Designs and Pinterest group


2013-email sig


Slithery Slimy Reptile Party

My daughter is a girly girl. You may remember her princess party last year. That was her in her essence. So when she told me she had changed her mind and now, instead of a fairy birthday party, she wanted reptiles, I was taken aback but super excited for a break from pink frills. So here we go…Anna’s Slithery 6th Birthday! 

For the table scape, I found a large stick in the back yard and hung it from the ceiling. I added magnolia leaves and placed tiny lizards on them and wrapped snakes around the branches to add height and dimension. In person, they looked like they were creeping on to the table. The tablecloth is a sheet that looks like snake scales to me. The upside down bins I had on hand from other events.

Lizards snakes and sandwiches .... OH MY!

Lizards snakes and sandwiches …. OH MY!

The party was at noon so lunch was served. I bought 5 crusty italian loaves at our farmers market which equaled over 15 feet of sandwich! To ease my load, I made the sandwiches the day before. For the kids, I melted cheese on bread under the broiler and, once cooled, added black forrest ham. Very simple for our picky guests. For the adults or slightly more adventurous eaters I spread the loaves with mayo and pesto (equal parts) and melted 3 types of cheeses on top. Once cooled I added ham, turkey and salami, wrapped them all in foil and put them in the fridge. Just before the party, I cut and arranged them and added the red pepper tongues and olive eyes (with toothpicks). They were so good! (Actually we had a few feet left over so I’ve been adding arugula and tomatoes and they are still good today!)

Snake Sandwiches = Snakewichesss

Snake Sandwiches = Snakewichesss

We had gecko brain popcorn and cheese puff eggs at another party and the birthday girl was adamant that we have them at hers (first time I ever bought cheese puffs…and probably the last). The circle confetti was punched out of scrapbook paper. I stitched 2 long pieces of gauzy fabric together to make the table runner.

Gecko Brain popcorn and Snake Egg cheese puffs. She was insistent that these  be on the menu!

Gecko Brain popcorn and Snake Egg cheese puffs. She was insistent that these be on the menu!

I made a few terrariums to put around the house by putting soil, rocks, a few leaves and reptiles at the top. So cute and they almost looked real (and that’s as close as I’ll get to allowing them in my house)!

Reptile Terrariums

Reptile Terrariums

Vanilla cupcakes, chocolate malted milk icing, Oreo crumb “dirt” and gummy rattlesnakes! Mmmmm. I mean, Sssssss!

Vanilla Cupcakes, homemade chocolate malted milk icing, Oreo crumb "dirt" and gummy rattlesnakes! Mmmmm. I mean, Sssssss!

Vanilla cupcakes, chocolate malted milk icing, Oreo crumb “dirt” and gummy rattlesnakes! Mmmmm. I mean, Sssssss!

Then came the reptile show! We put up a canopy to shield our little people from the Georgia sun and spread out layers of colorful blankets to sit on. I bought a sheet from a thrift store and wrote “Happy Birthday Anna” and a snake making out the number “6” for a back drop.

Show compliments of My Reptile Guys Atlanta

Show compliments of My Reptile Guys Atlanta

Burmese Python!!

Burmese Python!!

The director of the show let all the kids take pictures with lizards on their heads and snakes around their necks. It was very cool and also, in the back of my head is this narration, with every picture taken, “Anna, remember your party when so-and-so was strangled by the boa constrictor?”  Cool…and terrifying. Fortunately no children were harmed in making of this birthday party.


When you have a boa constrictor around your neck and smile for a picture, you think to yourself, "Perhaps this was a horrible idea."

When you have a boa constrictor around your neck and your husband’s neck and smile for a picture, you think to yourself, “Perhaps this was a horrible idea.” Also, a snake moving around your neck is CREEPY.

This chick is nuts!

This chick is nuts!

Happy Birthday, you crazy and sssssssspectacular kid!


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