Monthly Archives: August 2012

Saturday Morning Market

Need a simple activity that helps you slow down while promoting small, local businesses? Try checking out a local Farmers’ Market. The one in Greenville, SC, is right on Main Street between Washington Street and Court Street on Saturday mornings from 8AM till NOON.

It has everything from coffee and classic Southern breakfast items to fresh breads and pastas,  handmade candles to local photography and art, all-natural meats, seafood, and tons of local, fresh produce. It’s a chance to meet new people, be active, and get some fresh air. Plus it’s a great little community and culture that everyone should experience on a regular basis!

Another Baby Shower: It’s A Girl!

Recently, a small group of friends gathered together to celebrate the upcoming birth of a precious baby girl. It seems like most of the baby showers I’ve been to or coordinated recently have been for boys, so this was a fun change of theme (and color scheme). We went with pink, green, and yellow. I loved hanging streamers and I was able to use some extra flowers from the wedding I did the weekend before to help decorate the house.

Guest of Honor Jan in the back, accompanied by the co-hosts Annie and Shana.

It was a co-hosted party that was held at my house. We made our classic mashed potato bar (mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and all the fixin’s served in martini glasses, just because it looks cool), and Bryan cooked up some chicken tenders to slice for some added protein for the ladies. (He then quickly vacated the house so as not to be overrun by females. Bless his heart.) Annie brought a veggie tray and pretzel salad, and Shana handled dessert–cupcakes and raspberry almond brownies. Everything was so good!

Mashed Potato Bar (cheese, olives, onions, bacon, and sour cream for the regular mashed potatoes; butter for both; and brown sugar and crushed pecans for the mashed sweet potatoes) and Grilled Chicken Slices

Veggie Tray and Pretzel Salad (sweet and salty combo with pineapple)

Dessert is served!

Don’t worry, the coffee was decaf.

We started with prayer and food, followed by plenty of conversation and gifts. Jan already has an adorable little boy, so she has the basics, and requested mostly girl clothes and diapers for this shower.

Big brother wants to know what his little sister is getting!

Andrea brought her son, who was a huge help in keeping Jan’s little boy entertained while the ladies caught up.

We concluded the evening with everyone creating a custom headband for baby girl! The first couple of minutes several of the guests weren’t sure where to start, but after seeing a couple tips and tricks, they all jumped right in and came up with some pretty unique fashion pieces for this little lady to crawl in style.

Craft time! I bought 10 sheets of felt, 2 rolls of stretch elastic headband ribbon, and 3 pre-made baby headbands in thinner elastic ribbon, plus some buttons and hair clips to hold flowers and other items onto the headbands for mix-and-match style. Not shown: scissors, hot glue gun, needles and thread.

Even Jennaca got her craft on! You go, girl!

The finished products! Jan was so excited!

The idea for the headbands came from MondoMom.com.

Event Planning: An Historic Wedding and Outdoor Reception

Below are pictures from the latest wedding that I did flowers for and coordinated the reception. This one was so much fun to put together. You’ll see why soon. The wedding was at White Oak Baptist Church in Greenville, SC, followed by a beautiful reception on the green at the Woodburn Historic House in Pendleton.

Here Comes the Bride! Maria and her proud papa! (picture courtesy of David Golla on Facebook)

Church decorations – arrangements along the choir loft railing

More decor – willow and twisted branches were grown by the groom’s grandmother and added special meaning to the day’s arrangements

I now pronounce you husband and wife!

I always ask if there’s anything sentimental, just between the bride and groom, that they would like added to their flowers for the day. I was given love letters between Jon and Abigail Adams and an excerpt of Jane Eyre. So, I ironed words from the letters and classic novel onto the ribbon for the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere. The bout also had a paper leaf with burned edges with the words, “My dearest friend…” (their term of endearment for one another). They loved it!

The bride had white hydrangeas and white roses in her bouquet, while the bridesmaids had clustered, green hydrangeas bouquets.

Getting pelted with birdseed, coming out of the church (picture courtesy of Maria Golla via Facebook – original source unknown)

The Happy Couple at the Woodburn Historic House, Pendleton, SC (picture courtesy of Pete Hansen via Facebook)

The venue from another angle. Tent shown was filled with round tables for guests to eat at and relax.

Advice Cards Table

Centerpieces were an eclectic gathering of antiques, books, and flowers, along with the branches from the groom’s grandmother’s garden.

I loved this antique silver basket.

I found an antique looking bike at a local consignment shop that fit perfectly.

Miniature cordial glasses from a local antique shop added a delicate touch.

The tossing bouquet was a miniature of the bride’s, and the groom tossed a handkerchief instead of a garter – the original (and much classier) tradition.

A special note from the bride and groom was tied to the tossing bouquet and handkerchief.

The first dance (during which the groom surprised his bride by telling her their honeymoon would be in Paris!). Note the silk peony pinned in her hair (that was fun to make as well). (Picture courtesy of Debbie McNeely via Facebook)

Cake by Barb Illsley. Cupcakes by Nora Loach Collogan.

More of the venue: a little barn behind the house

More of the venue: an adorable herb garden, next to the barn and other buildings.

Closeup of the Bridal Bouquet

Parents of the Bride: corsage and boutonniere

Grandparents: rose and hydrangea corsage, hypericum berry boutonniere

The Bridal Party on the Balcony (picture courtesy of Lauren Hansen via Facebook)

Simplifying the Laundry Closet

Our “Laundry Room” is more of a hallway closet than it is a room, but it does have some nice storage space. Life has a habit of getting busier and busier (thus “Project Simplify” for the month of August). One thing that happens with a busy schedule is a directly correlating increase in clutter…and laundry.

This past weekend was the first real weekend I’ve had off in about 6 weeks (more like a year and a half for my husband). So, we did some little organization things that we’ve been meaning to do for some time. The first thing I tackled was the laundry closet. It’s where we keep many of our frequently used tools and less frequently used kitchen items (like the large crockpots, coffee urns for parties, etc.), and laundry supplies, of course.

I couldn’t bring myself to take a BEFORE picture, but here’s the AFTER:

Pegboards are a wonderful thing. And I started using my old compost bin for lint trash.

Shelves for Laundry and Party Supplies. Green bag for giveaway items. Note: a towel rack hung above the drier works perfectly for a drying rack (thank you to the previous homeowners for installing that). 

I still want to add an extra shelf above the back of the washer and dryer, so things can’t fall back there. And that will give more space for work shoes, laundry detergent supplies, etc. It just looks so much nicer now!

This Week’s Basket and Meal Plan

I found out last night that this will be our last basket indefinitely from Milk and Honey Organics, making this the last meal plan associated with their baskets. The owners have had another opportunity arise for their family, and we wish them the best, though we will definitely miss the colorful baskets, and partnering with them on their blog. I may still write a meal plan going forward, but it will likely be on a different night and using either farmers’ market or other produce items that fit within our budget. That being said, here’s this week’s meal basket:

This Week’s Basket Included Walla Walla Jumbo Onions, Rainbow Chard, Butter (Boston) Lettuce, Red Potatoes, Black Plums, Seedless Flame Grapes, Keitt Mangos, Bio-way Farm’s Cantaloupe, Parisi Farms’ Eggplant (mixed), Bio-way Farm’s Okra, Bio-way Farm’s Tomatoes, and Parisi Farms’ Jalapeño Peppers.
Meal Plan for Two (via Pepperplate.com):
 
Note: All recipes in the above meal plan can be found on the M&H Blog’s Recipes Archive page.

Colorful Summer Basket and Meal Plan for This Week

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics Includes Bananas, Local Red Beets, Collards, Romaine Lettuce, Crimini Mushrooms, Jumbo Yellow Onions, Bartlett Pears, Flavor Gem Pluots, Parisi Farms’ Roma Tomatoes, Parisi Farms’ White Creamer Potatoes, Parisi Farms’ Bell Peppers, and Parisi Farms’ Pickling Cucumbers.

This Week’s Meal Plan:

This Week’s Recipes are found on the Archives page. And here are a couple new ideas:

  • Virgin Mimosa
  • Cheesy Grits with Sautéed Shrimp and Mushrooms: Prepare grits according to package, but substitute half of water for cream or whole milk. During last 1-2 minutes, add shredded cheddar cheese and melt into grits. Sautee shrimp and mushrooms with 2 cloves minced garlic in butter till shrimp is fully cooked and mushrooms are translucent. Gently fold into grits or serve over the top.
  • Cucumbers in Vinegar
  • Polish Pickles
  • Fast Favorite Garlic Dill Pickles

Burlap, Buttons, and Teddy Bears: A Baby Shower

Our friends Daryl and Adrianne just had their first child, Nicholas, a beautiful baby boy! About a month ago, I had the opportunity to host a baby shower for her (with the help of her sister in law Heather and her mom). The only tough part was that they didn’t find out the baby’s gender until delivery, so we picked a neutral theme and went with it! Burlap, Buttons, and Teddy Bears! It turned out fabulous! Here’s a glimpse:

I found little bumble bee balloons at Publix and Heather (along with “Daddy Daryl”) created the sign to point the way to the shower (since it was a little ways off the main road). The bees just happened to become a secondary theme, as Daryl is a hobbyist beekeeper.

Balloon for the front door

Sneak peek of the nursery – we held the shower at Adrianne’s house so she wouldn’t have to transport the gifts. Heather went over the day before and cleaned it from top to bottom as part of her hostess gift! What a blessing to this tired mommy!

For this particular event, we made all the food, decorated, and hosted the event. It was so much fun!

I had a friend at work Carissa make the cupcakes – chocolate with Nilla wafers and Whoppers for this one. (This saved me tons of time!)

Lemon with Teddy Grahams and Sugared Lemon Wedge candies for these!

Extra candies around the centerpieces of Bears and Buttons on Burlap

Rainbow Fruit Skewers by Heather

Veggie Tray with Homemade Hummus by Adrianne’s Mom

PB&J “Onesie” sandwiches and Cucumber and Cream Cheese “Teddy Bear” Tea Sandwiches that I made

Decorations for the Gift Table

We set up the gift table in the living room and three ironing stations in the back empty portion of the main living space.

And a craft: I bought onesies and tees along with iron-on books for each of the ladies to create a custom outfit for the baby!

We set up three iron stations in an open room and put all the supplies on the center table (once again decorated with teddy bears and burlap).

Can you tell this sweet lady is a music teacher?

Katie and her elephants – as it happened, one year prior to this weekend, Adrianne was at Katie’s first baby shower!

This was the one I ironed on and colored in!

by Jean – in keeping with the Bear and Honey theme

Mommy-to-be Adrianne chatting with a former coworker and friend

Gift opening time

This was so much fun. Adrianne told me Heather and I are some of the few people she knows that sees something on Pinterest and actually does it (e.g., DIY onesies, rainbow fruit skewers, cupcakes concepts, and sandwich cutouts). And I’m hosting another baby shower next week! Yay!

Celebrating “National Simplify Your Life Week” All Month Long!

August 1st through August 7th is “National Simplify Your Life Week!” And with as busy as our lives have been, I’ve decided to celebrate this concept during the entire month of August. My goal is to get back to the essentials and simplify things – this will likely include posts on meditating, learning to be still, organizing various rooms of the house, and more. So stay tuned!

For this first celebration post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite organization pictures that I’ve found on Pinterest. I don’t know about you, but I love having a place for everything and everything in its place!

I love window seats! Several ideas turn bookshelves on their sides and add cushions to the tops. I’d recommend checking out end of summer clearance sales for outdoor furniture cushions. You can always recover with different fabric if you don’t like the clearance options.

I love the idea of turning a bench into a filing cabinet – thought I wouldn’t file confidential documents here unless it’s able to lock. And I love the push pin board. I think I’d use the top box to organize jewelry, personally.

Step 1 for me is to reorganize my linen closet to look more like this. I need it to hold linens for both queen and king size beds, towels, plunger and cleaning supplies, and little extras for guests like mini shampoos, lotions, extra toothbrushes,  etc.

What’s your first step to Simplify Your Life this week?