Thursday, July 31, 2014

Casual Backyard Party

I had mentioned in a previous post, that the impetus for my redecorating my back patio was an upcoming backyard party.  My dear sweet husband has a tendency to sign me up for things, and I have a tendency to just say "Ok".  Maybe underneath it all I secretly know that having a deadline makes me get things done.  I had been thinking about redecorating my back patio area for a while, but nothing holds my feet to the fire quite like the looming presence of a house full of guests.

This party was hosted by us and another couple as a fundraiser for a friend of ours who is running as the local mayoral candidate in our hometown. We decided we wanted to keep it casual, and keep it out in the back patio area.  In retrospect, perhaps doing that during the last weekend in the month of June in Florida was not the best choice.   Yes, it was hot.  Not just a little hot, more like, melt your make-up off in minutes, hot.  But, we pressed on, and the party was a success.

 Here is how we set up the back patio for the party.  We were anticipating up to 50 people, so we decided to go with cocktail height tables to keep everyone mingling.  By the way, this is one of the only times my pool is ever without the 4 foot child fence around the perimeter.  It is so strange for me to see it this way!  Anyhow, we strung globe lights from the second floor balcony to different points in the yard to provide some ambiance and light once the evening hours came.

You may recognize these centerpieces from a previous post.  The little chalkboard signs are from Jo-Ann Fabrics and the little filled votive candles were found at Michaels.  We layered a square of burlap fabric (super cheap!) on top of the white tablecloths to add a little more interest and more of a casual feel.

We kept the drink area separate from the food buffet area.  You can see the drink table in the background of the photo below.  This really helps keep things moving around the room (or patio).

 The buffet area.  We had used a rental service for the table linens, so I had not even thought about needing to iron them.  Lesson learned.  Next time I will be sure to pull out the steamer.

 For a fun dessert, we created a s'mores tray.  I was so excited about this idea.  Unfortunately, the temperature outside meant that not too many people were ready to sit by the fire to roast marshmallows that evening, but the chocolate squares were eaten for sure!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Black and White Dress

I have always been a huge fan of black and white.  When I was about 9 years old, my mother let me choose my new bedding set for the first time ever.  I picked a black and white graphic print comforter set.  It was really not the best choice to pair with my antique stained wood dresser and white wrought iron bed.  But I didn't care.  Black and white was a favorite then, and still is now.

So, as I was perusing through the new items on Express's website and I happened upon this dress, it became an instant favorite.  Here is how I would love to pull it together for a night out. 

Black and White Dress  //  Sandals  //  Black Stone Ring  //  Gold tone cuff bracelet  //  Black Stud Earrings  //  Black Leather Bag

Today I am linking up with Shanna of Because Shanna Said So, check it out below,

Monday, July 28, 2014

Over The Weekend - Greenville, SC

We spent the weekend in Greenville, SC for a family birthday celebration.  We find ourselves in Greenville fairly frequently (a few times a year) and it is one of my favorite small cities to visit.  If you have never been there, there is a surprising amount of things to do, especially for families, and the downtown is simply lovely.  

Downtown Greenville has undeniable charm.  The streets are tree-lined, and a variety of delicious restaurants and local shops are at every step of the sidewalk.  This photo really doesn't do it justice, it is so pretty, but I was just snapping a photo with my phone as we were walking to dinner. 

I was out enjoying the fact that the weather was at least 15 degrees lower than I had been experiencing at home in FL, and I happened upon this house.  I instantly decided it is my absolute favorite in town.  I just love the color combination; greige body color, black shutters, off white trim and a fantastic pale blue door.  So pretty!  The door just makes the whole house.

Just stopping to appreciate this huge and beautiful flower on my run.  Maybe I was just looking for an excuse to stop running for a minute.  This Florida girl is not used to running on hills! Yeesh - it felt like I ran twice as far.

For me, a trip to Greenville always requires a few needed stops.  My favorite local clothing boutique.

A visit to the Children's Museum of the Upstate is a must for the kids.  They love it!

I found these fun jewel stud earrings at one of my other absolute must stops, Handpicked.  This little jewelry store never disappoints. 

And last, but not least, a little dose of love for my paper fixation.  These are from the adorable Swoozies.  I am amazed that the four walls can contain all the cuteness in this store.

We had a great time visiting family, playing, exploring, and of course, a little shopping!  Hope your weekend was great.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Great Gift Ideas - For A Crafty Friend

I have a friend who is creative beyond words.  I am always amazed at her ability to make everyday items original and lovely.  So for her birthday I wanted to give her a gift that expressed my appreciation for her creative nature.  I headed on over to Jo-Ann Fabrics and filled my cart with some finds that I thought she could make the most of.  

The cutest little chalkboard pennant banner, and chalkboard style tags...

Some really great buttons, and metal cover buttons...

 I just loved this package of colorful baker's twine...

This set of three graduated size craft paper boxes play double duty - they make a great presentation for all the little craft store finds, and they can also be used again by her.

All stacked together and tied with a burlap ribbon and a gift tag.  Using wired ribbon in situations such as this makes a much prettier bow that is so much easier to work with than regular ribbon.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Patio Reveal - Part 2

In yesterday's post, I shared the first half of the photos of our recently completed patio re-design.  Here are the photos of the rest of the patio.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Patio Redo Reveal - Part 1

A while back in this post, I had talked about my plans to redecorate my back patio.  It has been a long process, but it is finally ready done.  This little project involved tons of pillows to sew.  Yeesh!  I am ready to take a break from sewing for a while, that is for sure.  We had a party planned, which was enough to pressure me into finally getting everything done.

We are enjoying the refreshed patio now.  The blue has really brought some life back into the space.  We shall see how long it stays clean looking.  With all the oak trees in our backyard, it is going to be a challenge to keep the fabric clean, but I recently discovered Thompson's fabric seal spray.  I used it to add some extra protection to the pillows before I put them out, so I am hopeful I will get a longer life from these pillows than I did from the last set.

Anyhow, here is the re-done patio.

Check back tomorrow for the rest of the photos!

Today I am linking up with Shanna of Because Shanna Said So.  She is wearing the most fantastic tassel necklace today.  Check it out through the link below:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Target Paper Goods

I am a consummate list maker.  I have lists for everything.  The next grocery store visit, the next warehouse club visit, what I need to do today, what I need to do next week, things to pack for an upcoming trip, and so get the idea.  I do admit that, yes, I will put things on a list that I am in the process of doing, simply for the joy of crossing them off said list.  Neurotic?  Perhaps.  But, it certainly makes me feel accomplished.

This love of lists pairs quite well with my love of paper goods.  I have mentioned in previous posts that I adore stationery.  That pretty much transcends to all types of paper.  So, you can imagine how jazzed I was when I was doing my usual stroll through Target and I happened upon these lovelies in the dollar section!  This was just yesterday, but I am sure they won't last long!

3 pack of file folders /  Gift tags in craft paper and chalkboard paper / Bordered sticky note pads  /  Metallic Gold Striped Notepad / Set of 8 "Hello" Notecards

3 Pack of File Folders / Aqua "Notes" Notebook / Polka Dot "To Do" List / Dot and Floral Spiral Notepad / Bordered Sticky Notes /

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back To Reality

Hello!  I hope everyone had a good week last week.  The "Mr." and I had a great five days in Costa Rica, and I am working on adjusting back to reality.   Costa Rica was a dream.  It is beautiful, wild, and natural.  Everyone we encountered was friendly and kind.  Warm smiles abound in this magnificent country.  The wildlife was amazing, and the scenery was beyond compare.  If you have never been, I recommend it highly.

The flowers were amazing, and so were the views.

Costa Rica is very protective of their natural resources and environment.  Everywhere we went, recycling was prevalent, particularly in the use of recycled soda bottles.  I just found this glass club soda bottle particularly charming, and decided I needed a photo of it.

Butterflies were everywhere.

And so were these guys...(yes, he really is as big as he seems).

The "Mr." and I at dinner one night.

Here I am right at the beginning of our zip line canopy tour.  Don't be jealous of my stylish helmet.  It is sure to be "the" accessory to have this Fall.

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