Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring "Fall In Love With your Home" Workshop

So many ideas for Spring decorating and entertaining and it can be done on a budget! So many ideas and pictures to share that it may take a few days to share them all...

Ideas for Confirmation parties, Mother's Day...

Simple Spring florals...

And thanks to Rachel for all the incredible ideas for creating Spring Floral arrangements... loved ALL the tips!

Oh, and the Cinco de Mayo theme ideas... Can hardly wait until our next gathering girls! It was a BLAST!

Welcome - Ya'll Come On In

We all want our homes to say, "welcome come on in and stay a while", but how do we get that message across? SIMPLE... is your front door colorful and bright? Is there a place for people to sit and linger a while?
No need to have a wreath for every season - ugh... who wants to store all those wreaths?! A simple container can be a wonderful value! Cut fresh branches and flowers from your yard or invest in nice seasonal florals (at Hobby Lobby for 40% off using weekly coupons)! Mix it up and use both...
Add candlelight for ambiance for evening entertaining...

Just makes folks want to come on in and visit!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family + Memories = HOME

Spring is when I miss the South the most! I LOVE Chicago, but the winters are long, windy, and often downright cold!! I long for dogwoods, azaleas, as my Granny calls them, "buttercups", or daffodils. But boy do I treasure Spring Break every year, as it means "going home" to visit my roots at our farm in Tennessee. For five generations this farm has been the very essence of what family means to us... being close to God, nature, and creating memories! This is where I discovered the meaning of HOME! It was nothing fancy, just place that made my heart warm and where I felt safe and happy! I laugh as I recall memories of the rooster chasing my sister and pecking her or the time our horse, Dolly, stepped into swarm of bees and went crazy bucking and Bridget screaming (almost in delight)! Oh, and my precious great-granddaddy who taught me a passion for sweet potatoes. I'll never forget and a dear grandmother whose heart is bigger than any other I've ever known! HOME!! It's where memories are created and treasured... Today we have to embrace our havens and enjoy the happiness and comfort "home" brings to us.

Check Out My Kids in Rachel Ray

Several months ago a dear friend emailed me and said she sent my name into the "Everyday with Rachel Ray" mag for Family Matters, a feature dedicated to families cooking together. Next thing I know, we are cooking Asian Sloppy Joes, takings pic (oh my kids LOVED that), and being selected for the May issue.

We had a GREAT time... Check out my son's veggie smiley face featured on ... of course, my Italian Stitch platter! We LOVED the Swiss Chard addition to a family fav! Hope ya'll enjoy....

Three Elements of Decorating and Entertaining

3 Basic Elements to Setting a Beautiful Table: COLOR, TEXTURE, and HEIGHT
Appeal to all the senses – smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing
COLLECT: ANYTHING around your house that reflects your theme (something might seem crazy at first - remember, this is going to be amazing & inexpensive!) Make this fun by sending your kids on a scavenger hunt! Pick pinecones or cut branches from your trees. Use things you already have! Go through the pantry… seeds, beans, coffee beans, pasta, fruits, veggies all add texture! Make your invites, napkin rings, centerpieces with scraps of ribbon, fabric, felt. Make it personal… family pictures, old books, collectibles, antique boxes, anything sentimental helps “tell a story” and makes guests feel special.

#1 Rule: Prepare as much in advance and keep it simple! Entertaining on a budget is easy… it takes some planning and creativity, but make it fun! Involve your kids (creates memories), make things, use things in unusual ways! See ideas below under “collect”. Have some “basic” pieces that you can “change up… see ideas below…
THEME: Choose a theme and use it for your invitations, tabletop, buffet, and even a small gift for your guests
Casual Holiday: rustic and natural, Fancy Holiday or Occasion: decadent, shiny silver, appealing colors.
Contemporary: clear containers, clean lines, simple.

Click here to see ideas