January 24, 2012

The Shipping Manager

Every now and again, I need a little help in the warehouse.  Typically, Baby B is happy to oblige!  Now that he's gotten so big, he's become an active participant in the shipping processes for Charmed Life Kids.  Yes, business is still going strong. 

This picture just makes me grin.  My little sweetness just makes me giggle.

Remember back last spring, I announced a little side adventure I was pursuing to design and manufacture a sweet line of children's apparel. Well, things have gone well and I've learned so much already. Sure, some nights I'm EXHAUSTED when I get home from the day job, make dinner, spend some fun quality time with Baby B and realize the only thing between me and my bed is prepping the day's shipments. But, in most cases; I get giddy about each and every order and love to prep each package in hopes that the new owner will love the items as much as I do!

Props to Dear Hubs who held things together on the homefront AND business front last week during my week long trip to Dallas last week.  He was such a good sport.  Each day I'd send him an email outlining his marching orders, and each night he diligently and delicately wrapping each sweet piece to make sure they shipped promptly.  Now ladies, that's a good man!  (And yes, it's possible that's where Baby B first learned how tasty the roll of tape can be!)

Curious what the top sellers are these days?  The cupcake bishop dress in pink gingham is still tops, but hot on it's heals is the adorable boy's whale jon jon.  Props to the boy mama's out there for dressing their little men so darn cute too!

If you need an outfit for your little darling, shoot us a note at charmedlifekids@gmail.com..  Happy to help outfit your little doll with something precious for spring!

xoxo ~charmed, b

January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year

I'm not exactly sure if it is Chinese tradition to start the New Year off with a resolution, but in any case ... I have one.  It's to make sure that my memory card is in my camera BEFORE I do an entire photo shoot of cuteness!  OMG.  I'm seriously close to tears here and hopeful that the only thing I'm missing is my two photo shoots from this weekend's festivities.  What a complete and total blonde move I just pulled here. 

Well, use your imagination will you, please? 

To celebrate Chinese New Year in style, we had a delish and super easy dinner with bestie K and her girls A and AB.  Since A and AB (and K for that matter) are super picky eaters, I opted for a nice and easy meal of Chicken Fried Rice and veggie egg rolls to celebrate the Chinese New Year in style.  For dessert, store bought fortune cookies (they come in packs of 12 in the ethnic foods section) were dipped in red chocolate bark for a sweet treat to end the meal. 

All had fun reading our fortunes aloud and getting a good chuckle at the things the cookies tell us are in store!

Good fortunes and super easy!

Easy Chicken Fried Rice (courtesy of Food.com)
serves 2 LARGE portions so I followed it loosely and did my own thing
  • 2 ounces cooked chicken
  • 8 ounces steamed rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green peas
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon oil (use for cooking veggies)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (or more to taste)
  • 6 pinches pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • Sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste
  1. Scramble eggs and chop after cooking.
  2. Saute chopped onion, green onion, seasoning and carrots in the oil until done and mix with chopped scrambled egg and chicken.
  3. Break off chunks of steamed rice and mix with vegetable, egg and chicken.
  4. Add sesame seed, minced garlic, ginger, salt and pepper, stirring well.
  5. Add butter and soy sauce into the mixture, stirring well until done.
Cook's Notes ~ I used sesame oil for a more authentic flavor.  Also, I pan sauted the chicken in the oil, then reused the same pan for each of the additional steps - less mess to clean at the end! 

Super easy, so please enjoy!

January 18, 2012

Cotton Candy Marti

For Lala's 30th bash, I was on a QUEST for cotton candy.  I dished about the party and what a blast it was here a few weeks back.  I had these elaborate ideas of these fluffy cotton candy cones on display (thanks to pinterest) that were so fabulous I knew I had to incorporate the sweet stuff into the party.  Well, sorry pinterest, the reality is that the sweet stuff melts in the southern humidity (even in December) and candy left out looks tacky before too long. 

Fear not, that didn't stop this diva!  After shopping vendors and locating the one in Chicago that sources cotton candy for the posh bars of LA, I opted for cotton candy martinis and favors for this event.

In case you have been under a rock, the new wild flavor vodkas and the crazy divas of Real Housewives of (insert city) have made the cotton candy martini quite a sensation.  These fab cocktails go for $25 in some places I've had the chance to visit.  So ... I knew these were the perfect touch for the festivity.

Here's the inside scoop so that cotton candy martinis can join you at your next bash!

A few tips and pointers:
1.  You need fresh cotton candy so it has any shot at lasting.
2.  For my event, we had some logistics challenges with glassware, so I opted for small tumblers instead of full martini glasses.
3.  If you have a large group, making these real time is difficult.  We chose to pre-make and have them in a pitcher and then let people shake them with ice before they pour over the candy.  That seemed to work well.
4.  We "staged" a series of glasses to start the party and then left a big bowl of extra candy out for people to make more.
5.  Always rim the glass.  It's cute! :)

The recipe - Cotton Candy Martini (fabulousness)
1.5 oz vodka
.5 oz XR Fusion Liqueur
1 oz cranberry juice
pink cotton candy

Simply mix the first three ingredients and pour over about a half ounce of cotton candy in a martini glass.  The cotton candy dissolves almost immediately.  Cheers!

This post is partying over at: Savvy Southern Style, DIY by Design and Craft to Make

January 17, 2012

Chalkboard Cheers!

Ok, ok ... I know you know ... I'm absolutely obsessed with all things chalkboard painted. 

I gave new life to old containers with the brush of some paint here....

Turned an empty picture frame into a cute designer knock off chalkboard for my kitchen desk here....

And took an old armoire to new levels with a touchup here ...

Now, my passions have collided and a rogue set of wine glasses have now been chalked, too!  It's just too easy not to do - you must try! And it's so cute, to boot.  My besties and I will no longer be keeping tabs on our wine glasses with charms (gasp), now each gal will have her very own name on the base to remember which one is hers.  This comes in handy when the fight over "who had the pink one" breaks out when we drank one glass too many and can't recall!

Here's how I did it:
What you need:

  • chalkboard paint
  • wine glasses
  • painter's tape
  • paint brush
  • paper plates or newspaper to cover work area
What you do:
1.  Start by taping off the base of the glass.  It is imperative that the tape be straight.  This is your only guide for painting.

2.  Paint 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint on the base, let it dry to touch between coats.

3.  Let the paint cure for approx. 1 day before use.

4.  VOILA!  I'm loving it!  One little note ... handwash these once painted.  No dish washer for these pretties.

Cheers.  xoxo ~ charmed b

This post is partying over at: Savvy Southern Style, DIY by Design and Craft to Make

January 16, 2012

Favorite Things

I think every gift and whimsy item received this Christmas season has ample reason to be named my very favorite; there wasn't a single gift among them that would be considered for the Goodwill or white elephant pile.  This little bracelet was a gift from Dear Hubs and was picked out by moi.  I'm just a sucker for the adorable and humorous stylings of designer Jessica Kagan Cushman and just think she's outright great.  I'm guessing the fine folks at Bergdorfs and Henri Bendel agree because they sport her line in their shops. 

Anywho, when I saw this bracelet I just knew it had to be mine.  What does every southern diva need besides a charm bracelet sporting Gone With the Wind great quote from Rhett himself "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." 

It's a total hoot and I just love it!  (I have the gold one and am sporting it every chance I get!)

January 10, 2012


Mid-December, during all the hustle and bustle that is the Christmas season, dear Lala celebrated her first anniversary of her 29th birthday.  And of course, we needed to celebrate with a fete suitable for the diva that is Lala.  Since her friends were coming from far and wide to celebrate with us, over 6 months ago I saved the date at the club atop Matthieson Place in Buckhead.  Lucky for me, my bestie S lives at this fab location and was able to secure the venue for the bash.  We racked our brains about a theme for the fun night and came up with the Laura 3.0 theme that was just like our birthday girl - cute, trendy and different. 

Our first priority was the invitation.  I designed a cute invite for the fete that followed our orange, pink and black / white theme.  To tie into the tech savy name for her party, I created a QR code and a facebook page for friends to follow along leading up to the event.  The back of the invite was a black and white candid shot of the party girl and was well received with tons of laughs.

Some of the highlights of the party were great food, fab drinks, cotton candy martinis, cotton candy favors, a sweets candy buffet and all sorts of fun!  Happy Birthday, dear darling Lala - we love you!

The birthday girl with a tower of cotton candy favors

The sweets from afar

Close up of the sweet bytes

Cotton Candy fabulousness ready for martinis!

Yummy savory food


Me and the Birthday Girl

Dear Ole' Dad, Lala, and ZsaZsa

Bubble gum and rock candy - fab!

January 06, 2012

Up Cycle Storage

It's an absolute certain fact that Baby B is growing like a weed.  While his dna doesn't toute anything tiny, it's clear he is filling every bit of the expectations for being hearty stock!  Luckily, sweet friend A turned me onto the Target (gasp ... generic) brand formula that has the exact, very same formula as the much pricier version we were using previously.  One day, inspiration hit... the collission of looking at my recycling bin to see a series of empty powder formula containers AND taking a sneak peak at my terribly disorganized hall linen closet caused me to strategize a low cost organization solution.  With less than $2 in cutie pie scrapbook paper, some double side tape and about 5 minutes of effort; I transformed these destined for the garbage containers into a great way to keep all those tiny odds and ends (cotton balls, shampoo samples, toothbrush extras, etc) clean and neat in their hallway home.

First, I started with the can, ok ... many cans!  Just a simple damp paper towel clean out was all that was required to ensure the inside was clean.

Then cut the craft paper to fit.  I was able to cut a strip for each can and have extra left over.  For this closet project, I selected a series of black and white polka dot papers.  They are just darling!

Presto, chango ... cute cannisters.

Each was filled with various necessity items.  In this one, I nipped the plastic lid with an "X" across the middle.  After filling the cannister with a ton of plastic shopping bags that are ever useful, I just simply replaced the lid and had a very easy and neat storage system!

Now onto the next closet!

This post is partying over at: Savvy Southern Style, DIY By Design and Craft to Make

Beer and BBQ

During the whirlwind of December, we celebrated the (cough cough) anniversary of Dear Hub's 30th birthday.  For an "adults only" fete, we packed up a few friends and headed down to the Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta for a fun beer tasting followed by bbq at possibly the best place around, the Swallow in the Hollow.  It's a known fact that beer and bbq just can't be beat and they are two of Dear Hub's fave things, to boot!   

It's safe to say all the party revelers enjoyed themselves and Dear Hubs did too!  Happy Birthday ... muhwah!

The birthday boy and his brew


The fellas and their beers

A toast to the ladies!

Getting ready for grub

Happy Birthday!

The random funniest guy there who tried 5 times to get our picture but couldn't