photo a day on Instagram

So are you on Instagram yet? Are you participating in a photo a day hashtag? Well I’ve been watching others for a few months and have decided to give it a whirl. It’s going to be fun!

I’ve chosen to go with Fat Mum Slim this month. This list is the challenges for each day. Simply take a picture with this in mind, share it on Instagram (which allows you to also share quickly on Twitter, Facebook and other apps) and use the #photoadayJune hashtag so others can find you. And if you’re not sure what to take a picture of, Fat Mum Slim gives a few points of inspiration in her June post.

If you’re not on Instagram, go to your app store (now also available for android users!) and get it. You’ll love it!

You can find me at @thecelebrationshoppe on Instagram. If you follow me, comment on a post and say hi!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy Monday!

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love you to the moon cake

Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. I know! 16 years! Eeeekkk! Let’s just pretend I got married at age 10 so I can be 26… {smirk}

So for the occasion, and in the spirit of all my super easy DIY cakes lately (nautical baby shower cake, robot birthday cake, Easter bunny cake, patriotic red, white and blue cake), I made a “love you to the moon” cake. I meant for there to be a moon… but I ran out of time. You moms know the drill! {grin}

So here’s what you’ll need:

  • Flat iced two layer cake (preferably from your favorite bakery so you don’t have to bake)
  • Pink heart marshmallows
  • Needle
  • Cross-stitch thread
  • Pink sixlets (to hide your cake edges); I picked mine up at Party City

Just thread your needle, lightly dampen the sting, and thread the marshmallows. Be gentle or they’ll break/split. Once threaded, just place small dots of icing on the cake sides, make sure your marshmallow string is evenly spaced apart, and attach. It’s that easy!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy Friday and Hoppy Easter!

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Country Living Mag 2011 Fair

Country Living magazine hosts a fair in Columbus Ohio and Atlanta Georgia each fall. The theme of the fair is to come and experience “country living” with hundreds of booths showcasing talented artisans, antiquers and fantastic fall flavors. 

Well those of you that know me, know that I’m a southern girl (born in Alabama, college in Texas and Mississippi and then off to Tennessee before finally landing in Ohio) so country life is in my blood. Last year I was on my way to Disney World for their Not So Scary Halloween Party (it was fabulous by the way; I wish we were going again this year!) and didn’t get to attend. Well I wasn’t going to miss the Fair again this year!

And guess what! I had the opportunity to meet the editor, Sarah Gray Miller (that’s her on the right). She was lovely and down to earth, just how you would expect a good ole Mississippi girl to be. And I have to tell you, she was wearing these fabulous worn cowgirl boots and shared that she picked them up on eBay for $10. {I need a size 8.5 if anyone wants to get me a Christmas gift!}

So as you can imagine, I flitted around taking pictures of almost everything in my path. My creative brain was in overdrive with inspiration.

These are just a few of the things I thought were too lovely not to photograph. My absolute favorite are the angel wings made from an old picket fence. How clever and creative!

There was also tons of seasonal inspiration at every turn. How fun are those plush pumpkins?!

And the signage was just too fun not to share. I expected the sidewalk signage, but the outhouse was just funny and then my son really wanted to take the motorcycle signage home. “Mom, it’s just too cool!”

And I can’t leave without sharing a few fun pics of my boys enjoying the day. They love to “go” and that includes exploring with their mom. These are some of the fun times I captured. The “Great Pumpkin Patch” in the center of town, my youngest with this month’s Country Living magazine cover image in the background (love those pumpkin ideas!), my boys jumping off of the hay in front of the test kitchen… I’m sure we they weren’t supposed to be doing that… and my oldest with a swan neck gourd. Okay, I made that name up… but that’s what it looks like to me. {wink}

Although this year’s event in Columbus is over, there is another one in Atlanta next month if you’re nearby. And if you’re thinking about it, take a video tour of the Columbus Fair with Sarah to see what the 2011 Country Living Fair is all about. And if you get to go, I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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robot party… still processing

As you know, I hosted my son’s Robot birthday party this weekend. Well, let me tell you that it didn’t go quite as I had planned. I can laugh about it now, but in the moment… WOW. I had it all together. It was colorful. It was fun. I had activities. We had the backyard decorated and the new tree house ready. I was excited. My sons were excited. Then the storm hit. Yep. A big one with thunder and lightening and LOTS of wind. Oh yeah.

There is much to tell and many pics to show (thank goodness I captured some before the monsoon), but for now I’m still processing…

However, I will tell you that the kids had an absolute blast. The volume level in my house could attest to that fact. I even had one mom, an animated friend of mine, tell me her son claimed it was the best birthday party ever. It just reaffirms that even when things don’t go as planned, if the little people have fun and your child comes away smiling, then the party was a success.

Much more about the things that didn’t turn out right and about all the things that did. For now, Happy Wednesday!

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first day of school jitters

So you guys know that I’ve been having a bit of anxiety about the first day of school. He hasn’t. I have.

Well this morning I packed him up and took him to first grade. I felt like I was giving away my first born. Doesn’t he look so grown up?! I’m so very proud of him. He handled it very well and gave me a simple wave when all the parents were leaving. And now I’m anxiously waiting to hear the “details” when I pick him up this afternoon. This day is sooooo long!

I just pray it all went well and he loved it. And thank goodness preschool doesn’t start back for another two weeks. I don’t think I could do this twice in one day.

Oh, and I was right to obsess over the lunch box. It was ALL about the lunch box this morning. At least with the boys it was. That was the first thing they all shared with each other! And by the way, we went with the Pottery Barn Kids gray dinosaur camoflage lunch box with the hot/cold thermos… which will likely always carry some type of fruit, like melon or apples. He won’t eat them unless they’re cold. {smirk}

I hope all of you are having a fabulous back to school season and don’t forget to download your lunch box notes if you’ve not already!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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take a hike

I have a million things to do, but it’s a lovely day and I’m taking the afternoon with my boys. This was us on a hike yesterday afternoon in a beautiful forest near our home. We had so much fun, I want a repeat. And with the end of summer creeping up on us, I’m just not willing to wait. 

I hope you all have a beautiful and blessed weekend. See you back here Monday with a ton of new ideas and the biggest FREEBIE I’ve ever given away!

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off to a shoot this morning

Good morning everyone! The team is off to a beautiful farm this morning to shoot two new fall collections. And although I can’t share the details just yet, I thought I would leave you with a shot of my youngest son’s recent pirate birthday.

He loves Disney’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates and insisted that his photo prop say “Yo Ho, Let’s Go!” (Sorry moms. This one won’t be in the shoppe with the other photo props since this phrase is TM by Disney. But there will be several other fun ones!) And I thought it very appropriate for us this morning as we pack up the studio and head out.

Much more to come on his pirate party, the recent Splash Bash & Deep Blue Sea shoot I shared a peek of yesterday and everything we’re doing today.

Happy Tuesday!

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a peek into BlissDom 2011

I shared in early January that I had two big trips scheduled for the month. The first was the Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doers event in New York, and the second was the BlissDom 2011 blogger’s conference in Nashville.

I have to pause and share this picture of Laurie of Tip Junkie, Courtney of Pizzazzerie, me, Chris of Celebrations At Home and Amy of Living Locurto and co-founder of I Heart Faces all standing with a sign for the new CMT show Working Class (we got to meet the star and view the premier). And behind the camera was the super talented Angie of The Arthur Clan and the other co-founder of I Heart Faces.  I “heart” all of these women!

I really wanted to go to BlissDom in 2010 and it just didn’t work out so when the 2011 registration opened up in the fall I booked early. There was no way I was missing it again. And now that I’m back home I couldn’t be more thrilled with my experience. I met fabulous women in person that I’ve been talking to online for years, I made new friends and I was completely energized by extraordinary speakers including

the keynote speaker and author of The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown, who talked about the power of vulnerability. This is a snapshot of a slide (in a very dark room mind you) from her presentation. I love this because it is simple reminder to all of us who put ourselves out there for the world to read and see everyday. Some will love what you do and others will not. Don’t fret or be boastful, simply do your best and be proud of it.   

And then there was the closing note speaker, Scott Stratton of UnMarketing. Okay, so this wasn’t his presentation. It’s another fabulous image taken by Angie of The Arthur Clan at one of the evening events, but this gives you some insight into his personality. I would sum him up as a real. smart. crazy. fun. guy… that you should listen to if you want to be successful in social media. You can find him on his blog at UnMarketing, on twitter at @unmarketing and his book is none other than UNMarketing (which by the way, per Scott, is not about marketing for the U.N.). {smirk}

I also loved that they offered tiered breakout sessions based on what you were looking to learn. Since I’ve been around for a while I went to all the professional sessions, but they offered just as many for begginning bloggers. There truly was something for everyone!

And these are some shots from my little point and shoot (except for the last image) of just a few of the wonderfully talented bloggers I got to spend time with on the second evening. I wish I had more pictures, but to be honest I was so absorbed in the moment I forgot my camera most of the time. In the top image, from left to right, Courtney of Pizzazzerie, Chris of Celebrations At Home, me, Angie of The Arthur Clan and I Heart Faces and Amy of Living Locurto and I Heart Faces. Second image is the lovely Laurie of Tip Junkie and me. Third image is me, Bridget of Bake at 350 and Cheryl of Tidy Mom. And the bottom image is of  Chris of Celebrations At Home, me, Matt Kearney and Michelle Branch (our entertainment for the evening), Courtney of Pizzazzerie and Laurie of Tip Junkie.

And I can’t end this post without also mentioning the BlissDom sponsors. Alli and Barbara, the BlissDom masterminds, outdid themselves by rounding up some fabulous companies including Intel, Hallmark, Blue Bunny, Clorox, GE, Yoplait, ConAgra, Kellogg’s, Lifetime Moms and so many more. One of which has given me a little something something to giveaway. Make sure you stop in tomorrow for your chance to win! If you’re a party girl it’s right up your alley!

As always, I hope you’re inspired. AND I sincerely hope that if you’re a blogger I’ll see you next year at BlissDom. Trust me. You won’t regret it. But if you simply can’t wait that long, Alli and Barbara are offering audios, videos, transcripts and slides from all the events. Just visit BlissDom At Home to learn more!

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half birthday cupcakes

I mentioned a few days ago that my little guy, who is a June birthday, would be celebrating his “half” birthday at preschool this week since all the winter birthday kiddos get to bring in snacks and celebrate during the school year. I think it’s really a nice gesture on his teacher’s part (thanks Mrs. England!). So although I found some wonderful allergy-free ideas (my little guy has a severe dairy allergy), I decided to go with what I knew his friends would like… cupcakes.

But then I was at a loss. I kept asking what “theme” he might want on his cupcakes and he just wasn’t excited about anything (something we’ll have to work hard on by his next birthday since I’m not sure what will beat his dino-roar party in the eyes of this dinosaur loving boy!). So at the end of the day I got silly. {wink}

He and all his little buddies got a cupcake and a half, or better a cupcake and a mini cupcake. His cupcake had the number four in his favorite color, blue (ooohhhh, these cupcake wrappers would go great with our deep blue sea collection too), on the large cupcake and his small cupcake was the half symbol (it still makes me smile!). And all his little friends got two cupcakes too. I’m sure the moms were loving me that afternoon!

The dots and the numbers were just fondant and I promise if you can use a cookie cutter you can make these yourself. You can find white fondant in the baking section of your craft store and I recommend gel food coloring if you want to tint it (it stains your hands so use a resealable plastic bag over your hands to massage in the food coloring). Just tint, roll it out like cookie dough, cut out your shapes and ta-da you have adorable cupcakes! By the way, for dairy free cupcakes, I used Classic Yellow Duncan Hines cake mix (with apple sauce in place of oil… just my preference) and Pillsbury’s chocolate and dark chocolate icing (that’s right, no dairy!).

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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kid craft: hot plate artwork

I just want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and share with you my first gift of the holiday season {proud mom moment}. My kindergartner surprised me on Tuesday with a hand-painted tile. He explained it to be a hot plate, but I’ll never put anything hot near it (and my hubby better not either!). It’s just too lovely. Plus, the back has an outline of his little hand and his signature!

He explained to me the process and the tools you’ll need:

  • smooth white glossy tile from the home improvement store
  • Sharpie markers
  • spray sealent (Update per his teacher: Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating)
  • marbles for the feet
  • wood glue (Update per his teacher: she attached the marbles with regular wood glue)

How tos as explained by my six-year-old. {wink}

  1. Draw your favorite picture with Sharpies {I of course am in love with his snowman and snowflakes}
  2. Spray the picture (with sealant) and let it dry
  3. Attach marbles for the feet
  4. Write your name on the back (and outline their little hand so you can always remember how small they are)

And now you have a precious keepsake! I have to write his teacher a sweet note because this is one of those things I’ll have in my “happy box” and proudly diplay every year for the rest of my life, much to his chagrin in his teen years I’m sure. {giggle}

Merry Christmas to you and yours! Talk with you all next week and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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