May 31, 2011

Holiday Weekend

What a wonderful LONG weekend to kick off summer!  We have been on the go for so many weeks now that Dear Hubs and I were so looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home.  From celebrating bestie P's son C's 5th grade graduation on Friday to fun filled days at the pool, we spent many hours outside with friends and family soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the company!  We took a break from the sun long enough to finish up a few odds and ends prepping for Baby B's arrival and also enjoyed hitting the movies for one last popcorn filled fest before baby arrives!

The diva dogs were in full on patriotic gear this weekend, thanks to a trip to the groomers on Friday!  These two actually posed without much intervention and I thought this pic was just presh!

May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
-- President John F. Kennedy

The words "thank you" don't do justice to the sacrifice made by the soldiers and families of our proud patriots in uniform.  May we never forget those that have fallen who left us too soon.

LT Tyler Hall Brown; 1978- 2004
US Army Airborne Ranger
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Aaron M. Kenefick; 1979-2009
Operation Enduring Freedom

May 26, 2011

Creative Crumbs

As part of an absolutely adorable gift basket from sweet friends N and J; N wrestled up some of the cutest designer cookies you can find!  N's sister is none other than Gina of Creative Crumbs by Gina and was recruited to make some adorable baby cookies for Baby B.  Gina was charged to make her so sweet baby onesie cookies in blue with a too cute little frog on each.  As I swooned over how perfectly crafted each cookie was, N pointed out that I must actually eat them because they taste as good as they look! 

Now, I just can't bear the thought of eating all these precious cookies because they are so darn cute I have to save these for at least a short while.  But, I will confess that I did crack open one little package so that Dear Hubs and I could taste these little perfections andN was indeed right!  The cookies are fantastic!  I know we have all had those cookies that look beautiful, but taste like a brick with mortar for frosting that was made sometime before we were born, well this is just not the case with Gina's treats!  The icing is as tasty as it is perfectly smoothly placed on the cookie and the cookie was firm with a fresh lemon zest taste and not even a hint of dryness!     

Next time you are in need of a perfect favor, sweet treat, hostess gift or any other excuse to buy designer cookies; check out Gina's handy work; you will not be dissappointed!  She has all sorts of options to choose from and will even design custom cookies for you! 

May 25, 2011

Family Affair

I can't believe I'm just now posting this, it is weeks overdue!  But you see, both times I've prepped this posting and just before I publish, something funny has happened in the blogosphere and the interwebs appear to lose the post!  So, here's to lucky #3 and my fingers are crossed for a successful posting this time around!

Back a few weeks ago, Dear Hubs and I boarded our Delta flight headed for Philly to spend a wonderful weekend with his parents and extended family.  We spent a stormy and cool Saturday with my dear MIL and FIL just catching up and running around town.  But, as luck was on our side, the skies cleared and we had an absolutely gorgeous spring day to enjoy on Sunday! 

To top off the Sunday weather, MIL and FIL were thoughtful enough to plan a little get together with our family and friends to celebrate the upcoming arrival of Baby B.  It was such a nice treat to see all of these wonderful people we love on our quick trip!  I know dear MIL worked tirelessly to get invitations to all the right people and organize the details of the day.  The get together was held at the Joseph Ambler Inn, an old country inn and B&B.  The inn was also the site of Dear Hub's brother's rehearsal dinner a few years back and didn't dissappoint for this event either!  The 52 room B&B is complete with the charm and historic feel of early Americana.

The afternoon was spent enjoying passed appetizers and drinks with good cheer!  Cousins, aunts, uncles and good friends all joined MIL and FIL in celebrating with us!  We had a lovely afternoon and were showered with generous gifts from these wonderful folks.  What a treat this was indeed!

FIL, MIL and Dear Hubs

Catching up with Friends

Brother C, Sister in Law R, FIL, MIL, me and Dear Hubs

Celebrating with Family

All of the Cousins

The party details were the perfect touch to top off the event!
Cheese Display and Apps

Blue iris bouquet perfect for the event

The bar :)

Gorgeous flowers fill the space
Sweet book for guest signatures

The fab jogger from MIL and FIL!

Much love and thanks to our family and friends for celebrating with us!  And especially MIL and FIL for their thoughtful planning of the event!  XOXO!

May 24, 2011

Bacon and Eggs

One of the joyous perks of pregnancy is waking up at random hours of the early morning for no reason in particular.  I especially love when my internal alarm clock goes off shortly after 6am on the weekend and I spend time trying to convince myself to go back to bed! 

I'm learning not to fight it and to just get up and be productive, and one such little early morning productivity treat was my quest to make big breakfast for me and Dear Hubs to enjoy.  Now that my fabulous new screened in porch project is complete, I look for any reason to go sit and linger before the heat of the day sets in.  Breakfast seemed like the perfect excuse.  So, out came the omlette pan and blender and I learned just how quick I can make bacon, omlettes and a delish fruit smoothie!  As I've proclaimed before, I think brunch (and breakfast) may be my fave meal of the day; and the beauty of celebrating these early morning moments with a lovely meal is that they really are simple and still as impressive as evening celebrations!

So, here's to my first big breakfast on the new porch!   

A so simple smoothie recipe you must try for the summer .... just blend and enjoy!

So Simple Berry Blast Smoothie - blend and enjoy!
1 small bag frozen berries
1 individual serving container of Greek yogurt
2 packets of Splenda
1 tblsp honey

May 23, 2011

Cultered and Refinement ...

On Friday evening, Dear Hubs and I braved Atlanta rush hour traffic and left our little suburban bubble  heading southbound into the city.  We met bestie M and her hubs J for dinner and had every intention of adding a little culture to our weekend by attending a show at the Mason Murer Art Gallery.  In the car as we strategized which way would be fastest to get into the middle of Buckhead, Dear Hubs inquired "so tell me why we are doing this again?"  The "this" he was speaking of was attending a gallery exhibition.  You see, Dear Hubs is a wonderful man and is pretty easy going ... but when it comes to things of the decorating, art, culture or refined stylings; I typically let him off the hook and find gal pals to attend.  My response to his question was that he was going to enjoy the show and it would be a good time, plus he had J there to endure and suffer with him.

During dinner, Dear Hubs confessed to M and J that he still didn't know why he got roped into "this".  M laughed and went on to say that she and J had a similar dialog in the car.  Dinner at the Georgia Grille was delish and after a tasty marg or two, Dear Hubs was willing to give the art show a whirl.  As luck would have it, M and J had to scoot out early due to a sick babe; but somehow I successfully conned Dear Hubs into taking a stroll through the gallery.

To my surprise, the gallery is lovely and exhibits the works of some well known and lesser known artists.  With about 20 artists' works to choose from, we enjoyed viewing them all and pointing out the ones we really found interesting and loved (as well as the ones we thought we could do ourselves!).  My fave, was the works by Sidney Guberman.  Sidney's work has graces designer homes and magazines around Atlanta for some time now, and he also happens to be a friend and neighbor of my design buddy T.  The collection on display was bright, vibrant colors of mixed media on canvas.  I just love his works!

Sheridan by Sidney Guberman - 2007

Culebra X by Sidney Guberman - 2008

Boulder by Sidney Guberman - 2007

St. Vrain by Sidney Guberman - 2009
So ... after surviving the exhibition (crowds and all), I'd tell ya'll all to give culture and refinement a whirl on your next date night, it's not so bad!

~charmed b

May 20, 2011

Simple Silhouttes Part Deux

A few crafts back, I tried my hand at creating a simple framed silhoutte.  It turned out absolutely fab and I just love it! 

I've decided to pull back out my exacto knife to try my hand at his and hers silhouttes in the classic black on white version for my master bath.  In the master, Dear Hubs and I have separate vanities (for our sanity) and this was just the low cost art I needed for two short choppy walls next to them.

Following the steps I explained on the previous post, I copied our pics and readied them for the framing.  This time, I used classic black card stock for the silhoutte on ivory background.  I bought a low cost oval mat and inserted this in frames I already had to create this cute little masterpiece.

A small porthole mirron and the silhoutte nicely fill out the wall



May 19, 2011

Signs of Summer

While the cool May weather may have us confused that it's still early spring, there are indeed a few distinct signs that those hot southern summers are just around the corner!  One of my favorite things is a big hydrangea bush in full bloom, bursting with bright pink, purple or blue blooms. 

In my first house, I gave my best domesticated college try to gardening by planting a hydrangea on the side of my house.  To my good fortune, it actually was very successful (shocking) and I went on to root cuttings from that bush several times to fill the entire gardening bed with bright blue blossoms.  When we moved, I was so sad to leave my hydrangea behind.  As a sweet housewarming gift in my new residence, bestie M gave me a small hydrangea bush and I was able to start all over.  After a few short years of rooting and pruning, that little bush has grown into a massive (and I mean massive) display of the south's finest hydrangea.

While pictures of the shrub itself is out of the question thanks to the garage sale looking mess of furniture, hammocks and planting pots currently decorating my backyard while the porch is completed; I was however able transport a few of the cuttings inside so that they may be enjoyed.

Rooting a hydrangea is so simple.  If you have one, you can easily expand the display next summer with this simple technique. If you don't have a plant, borrow a cutting from a friend ... you will be glad you did!

To take a cutting for rooting:
1. Using scissors or pruning sheers, cut a 6-8" stem of new growth (this year's growth)
2.  Remove lower leaves.
3.  Place in water and be sure any leaf nodules (where the leaves attach to stem) are under water.
4.  Change water weekly.  Roots should appear in a few weeks. 
5.  Plant in a planter and water frequently.  Transplant to the ground in fall.

Another option that has given me successful results as well is to use a growth hormone powder.  Follow instructions 1 and 2 above.  Then, dip the end of the cutting (where you cut with the scissors and where you removed leaves ) in the hormone powder as directed on the cannister.  You can then place directly in the soil at this point.  Rooting hormone is easily found at garden supply stores.

Then ... sit back and enjoy the signs of summer!

~charmed b

May 18, 2011

Preppy Paper

I love stationary and cute little personalized affairs.
I love love polka dots.
I love love love monogrammed goodies.

And I am ever so excited to have found a local gal who seems to be heaven sent.  Preppy Paper Girl, from Vinings, GA is my latest etsy love.  I'm an etsy addict, that's been true since bestie M introed me to this wonderful portal of vintage and handmade goods.  She just could not believe I wasn't an etsy-aholic and has since created a monster!

I came across PPG and commissioned her to create some adorable goodies for the hostesses of the couples shower.  She did such a great job and the trays turned out perfectly!  I've since passed her etsy shop along and she has done adorable notepads for my dear friend T.

The adorable trays for hostess gifts

Precious personalized notepads

Check her out, ya'll!

~charmed b

May 17, 2011

Celebrating Baby

I am convinced that it is life events like this, the blessing of a new baby, that really make you stand back and reflect on the people around you and the life that you lead.  I am truly in awe of the wonderful friends and family that have surrounded us in the last few months with love and celebration as we anxiously await the arrival of Baby B.  This weekend we celebrated with fab friends at a couples baby shower.

The gray sky cleared as Saturday went on and it was cool and sunny when party time rolled around.  We all gathered at bestie P's house, where dear besties P, K, D and A had slaved to put together a baby bash for about 50 people.  No small undertaking for sure, but everything was just perfect.  Zsa Zsa proclaimed that "it just couldn't have been any nicer" and I'd have to agree! 

We dined on BBQ from Dillards and a truck load of apps and southern sides from the kitchens of the lovely hostesses.  After eating our weight in divine cuisine, the girls giggled as the men were forced to play shower games (that they actually enjoyed), opened gifts and enjoyed a wonderful time with friends.  Dessert was adorable cupcakes, that matched the invitation of course.  Everything was just charmed!

A few pics of the decor and festivities.  The hostesses thought I'd lost my mind when they saw me snapping away pics of cupcakes, boiled peanuts and baked beans! 

View from the deck

Too cute (and tasty) cupcakes

Mint candy pacifiers

M&M favors

Too many delish things to munch on, pics of dinner ....

Dear hostesses stop for a pic with me

Dear Hubs and soon to be proud dad (note the beer :)!)

Boiled peanuts for apps - A's secret recipe :)

"Homan" made (D's last name)

The guys and the games (I will post game details later this week)....

On Your Marks ...

Get Set ....

Go ...

Yes ... those are what you think they look like!

A pin the tail on the donkey of sorts

More snaps of the lovelies that made this evening a smashing success...

Happy Happy!


Pic with Zsa Zsa and Pops

Sweet La La

We couldn't have asked for anything sweeter, prettier, more fun and an overall WONDERFUL time!  Thanks for making this so special with us!

~ charmed b