It's always a nice surprise to come home to a package, but it's even better when it is an unexpected surprise. My thoughtful and talented friend, Rachele, made this adorable Easter sign. The little pink peep is the best part of the pink and green art.
Thanks, Rachele! You made me smile and brightened my day (and my home!) with your kindness.
Mammy: Oh, no, you ain't. If you don't care what folks says about this family, I does. And I done told you and told you, you can always tell a lady by the way she eats in front of people - like a bird. And I ain't aimin' to have you go over to Mista John Wilkes' house and eat like a field hand and gobble like a hog.
Scarlett: Fiddle dee-dee! Ashley Wilkes says he likes to see a girl with a healthy appetite.
- Unknown Author Gone With the Wind, 1939
Sometimes I go to a fundraiser with the intention of bidding on lovely trips, baskets, and gift certificates. I fully expected to do just this when I recently went to a charity auction. But the food stations at this event were too tempting to resist that I spent most of my time enjoying the yummy treats that I forgot to bid on some items that I loved.
So if I’m going to break the rules and not eat like a bird, then I’m going to do it with flair by starting with the cake pops. Almost the size of the palm of my hand, the red velvet and coconut cake pops were absolute heaven.
And then there were the cupcakes...
One cannot survive on desserts alone, so my friends and I decide to try something a little bit lighter after the sweets. This food display is stunning! I love everything about it, from the pops of green to the tower of mini carry out boxes. .
Each mini wonton salad contains a fortune. So creative, fun, and delicious.
Fish tacos stacked on limes with a dollop of guacamole are a unique twist on finger food.
If the first display was an exercise in all things miniature, then the paella is the other end of the scale. The huge pan of paella serves quite a large crowd and is as delicious as the real deal in Spain.
These little treats are mini chicken pot pies! Such an original idea. My friends and I went from station to station and tried everything. All of the serving sizes were perfect for tasting a little bit of everything and made it easy to sip and socialize while we ate.
Oh, here are the wonderful items for the silent auction. I almost forgot! The cake pop distracted me.
So perhaps I didn't eat like a bird at this charity event, but it was delicious. We were interviewed by the media, on camera no less, with cake pops in hand. Too funny.
What is the best food you have ever had at a charity event?
Recently Kate from Kate's Paperly page contacted me about featuring some of her delightful products with you. When I received the catalog, I spent almost an hour pouring over all of the pretty, preppy paper. Everything can be completely customized to suit any taste, style, or color. With a myriad of font choices and patterns, the possibilities seem endless.
When Kate told me that I could choose something from the catalog to preview, I was so excited. My first choice was a note cube. This chic houndstooth note cube is now sitting on my desk at work. The note cube is available in four patterns and can be customized with the font of your choice. Everyone compliments the note cube because it is so pretty and original.
Wine seems to be my go-to hostess gift, but it's often difficult to attach a tag. I have monogram gift stickers, but don't usually like to put a sticker on a bottle. I also have scalloped tags, but getting the tag to hang correctly on the bottle is sometimes a challenge. Paperly has the perfect solution: Wine tags! The tags hang perfectly over almost any size bottle and make a perfect presentation. As with all Paperly products, you customize your tag. I chose the quote, color, font, and even the pretty scalloping along the edge. The paper is substantial in weight and is very sturdy.
With graduations, wedding season, and Mother's Day just around the corner, be sure to check out all of the items that Paperly has to offer. Be sure to let Kate know that you saw her items on my page. I'm going to be hosting a Paperly party in the near future, so stay tuned for more details.
Everyone is a fan of flash sales, especially when the goodies are as good as the jewelry from Bellevue Collection. Tonight is the first fashion jewelry flash sale from this Newport, Rhode Island based company! Bellevue Collection will offer fixed price and limited quantities during their Facebook auctions. Join the fun on their Facebook page on Monday and Wednesday evenings, starting today at 8 PM.
Here's a little sampling of what you can find at tonight's sale.
Starfish bangle bracelet
Love links bracelet
I'm eager to see what other beautiful piece are included in tonight's auctions.
The Maryland State Daughters of the American Revolution recently held the annual State Conference in Hunt Valley, Maryland. This year was particularly special because the President General Merry Ann T. Wright was in attendance for the entire conference. I had the honor to meet the President General at the opening night awards banquet.
In typical Murphy's Law style, something funny happened just moments before this picture was taken. I was wearing my magnetic name badge and delegate ribbon on my dress and the photographer said that it should come off for the picture. So he pulls off the front of the tag, leaving the magnetic strip in the back. The magnet slowly fell down the front of my dress to the floor, leaving me to pick it up after posing for the picture!
The event was lovely and so meaningful. The people who were honored at the event for their service to their country or community are a model for us all. In particular, one award winner's words resonated with me. He had been a prisoner of war for over 2,000 days during Vietnam. Since the war, he has dedicated his life to his family, community, and career and has quite an impressive resume. When he accepted the award, he said that while he was honored and humbled to receive the recognition, that he wanted to recognize the true heroes; those men who are not alive to be in attendance. There was not a dry eye in the room.
On a lighter note, debutantes were presented and other entertainment provided enjoyment after a long day of work sessions and committee meetings. My chapter received several awards, too! The Fife and Drum Corps is always an enjoyable part of the conference.
On the final day of the State Conference, delegates voted for State Officers. The ballot box is very special and unique. It is a replica of Rose Hill Manor, home of Thomas Johnson, the first governor of Maryland. Rose Hill Manor is one of my favorite historic sites.
On a related note, just as I was leaving for the state conference, I received an invitation to serve as a page at the Constitutional Congress this summer! It's such a huge honor and I'm really looking foward to it. Now, I just need to put the finishing touches on my white wardrobe that I'll need to wear during the congress.
I really love being involved with DAR. Knowing my family history really gives me a sense of who I am and what my roots are. It makes me proud to help with community events and provide scholarships to children. I'm pretty much a history nerd and love to share my knowledge with others.
Here's a trick to make a simple and impressive cake for your next party. This weekend I made a Clemson themed Kit Kat cake for a special birthday. It was easy to make and disappeared very quickly.
Since I had so many plans this weekend, I decided to make a cake using a modified cake mix. The two layer 8 inch cake is the perfect size to serve 12-14 people. After the yellow cake was baked and iced, the minnies helped me with the decoration.
We used almost 3 King Size Kit Kat bars to surround the cake. The girls broke the candy bars into sections of two bars.
Then we surrounded the cake with a Kit Kat picket fence. The candy bars stick perfectly to the freshly iced cake.
For the M and M's, I chose purple and orange for a Clemson graduate. Originally, I thought about using one candy color to make a monogram with the M and M's, but it didn't work so well with the 8 inch round cake. Perhaps it would be a good idea with a larger cake, but there was not enough space to make each letter clearly with the candy.
Since the monogram idea didn't work out the way I had planned, I decided to scatter all of the M and M candy on top of the cake! For the first layer that is directly on the icing, I gently pressed the candy into the icing. All of the leftover candy was sprinkled on top of the cake!
I tied a pretty purple ribbon around the cake and it looked delicious.
I served slices of the cake that were the width of two Kit Kat bars. It was just the right size and was not overwhelmingly sweet. I loved the taste and texture that the candy added to the cake.
The possibilities with this cake are endless. By changing the color of the candy and ribbon, you can make a delicious dessert for Easter, Memorial Day, or a special birthday. The cake is so pretty that it would make a lovely centerpiece for a table, too!
Mother's Day and school graduations are just around the corner. Personalized gifts are always such a special keepsake. When I graduated from college, I received many lovely gifts, but the one that I still have and treasure is a personalized gift.
My friend Teresa recently introduced me to Rendi and I am in love with their products! Rendi is a wonderful resourse for designing your own personalized gifts and decor. The final product is professional and looks fantastic. The best part is that it is so easy to design your own products.
Perhaps you have a favorite quote or message that you would love to include. Simply add your quote to the design template on the Rendi website and customize your design. So many of the items are lovely to hang as decorations.
Your Rendi gift is perfectly wrapped and makes an excellent presentation! It's an easy gift to design and create, yet it looks like something that took a lot of time and work. Win-win situation.
Teresa has a great deal for Maryland Pink and Green readers! Enter to win a $25 gift certificate from Teresa's Rendi Website. It's easy to enter to win. Leave a separate comment for each entry. Enter to win from now until midnight on Saturday, March 31. A winner will be selected at random and announced on Sunday, April 1. (And that's no joke!)
1 Entry: Visit Teresa's Rendi site and choose your favorite item. Leave a comment below this post and mention your favorite Rendi item.
My hair just seemed to be getting lighter and lighter, so I decided to make a little change. When I first saw the color in the mirror, it was a huge change and I wasn't sure if I liked it. I'm still technically a blonde and this color is actually what my hair should look like, it's just a shock after having lighter hair for so long.
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of DC's beloved Cherry Blossoms Festival. In honor of the occasion, Gilt City is celebrating the donation of the cherry blossom trees from Japan with a Gilt City Guide to Cherry Blossoms. My friends at Gilt have curated a three-week guide mapping out the finest and favorite events and experiences, all themed around viewing and experiencing the Cherry Blossoms like a VIP.
Photo courtesy of Raquel Witkin
Gilt City has some incredible offers on the site today and throughout the week:
Today a deal from one of my favorite salons goes live. Shape up your spring ‘do at IPSA Salon. Let the experts at this chic salon give your mane a spring makeover. Members may purchase a professional blow dry session paired with full highlights ($125), single-process color ($70) or a cut ($50).
Or perhaps you would prefer to start your night at SEI with two cherry blossom cocktails and cherry blossom themed sushi rolls at this chic restaurant. ($35)
Recently, Gilt City DC Style Curator Marissa Schneider shared some of her top styling tips for spring with me. She knows what trends are going to be all over town and across the U.S. this spring and I love her ideas. Here's a bit of my interview with Marissa.
MPAG: What are the hottest new trends that you're seeing for Spring 2012?
Marissa: I am loving the return of neon - from Nanette Lepore's pleated skirts in highlighter yellow, to mass retailers like the GAP and Victoria's Secret doing tees and blazers in hot pink, we are seeing neon brights make a comeback just in time for summer.
Other Spring trends I'm trying are Color blocking (made easy with Rich and Skinny's colored denim and Z-Spoke bags on sale at Gilt right now; Florals, it's one big garden party with print dresses and separates; Pastels, mint green is everywhere and looks beautiful against most skin tones (and even better with a tan); and Tribal/ethnic/graphic prints, still seeing Ikat, futuristic patterns, and bohemian details like feather motifs in fabrics and accessories
MPAG: People love to make day trips to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC. Tell me what you would pull out of your closet for a day of sightseeing in the city.
Marissa: I would wear an easy comfortable tank style dress, grab a light weight long cardigan or scarf, a big pair of sunglasses- I have a favorite pair from Oliver Peoples (a celeb favorite also featured on Gilt right now), and of course, a comfortable pair of flat metallic sandals to walk around the tidal basin or the National mall.
MPAG: Pops of color are everywhere! What are your favorite bright, unexpected color combinations for spring?
Marissa: We love a "POC" at Gilt City! My favorite color combination is a bright coral or fuschia juxtaposed with turquoise. I have a bright coral silk top that I wear with a large turquoise bead necklace. On a smaller scale, try a turquoise ring and paint nails Essie's Lollipop or OPI's Cajun Shrimp. Here's a great coral floral option on Gilt:
My other fave combo is bright yellow juxtaposed with gray - always looks great in apparel as well as home decor - featured here in these bowls on Gilt home is chartreuse and pantone 411C grey.
MPAG: Comfort is key when you're walking around town in the spring. Please tell me that there are comfortable shoes that look great, too.
Marissa: I recommend metallic flats and sandals for longer treks, or a wedge for a more comfortable alternative to a stiletto. Try an Alexandre Birman in neutral python for something that goes with everything!
Many thanks to DC Style Curator Marissa Schneider for her tips for style for spring and Cherry Blossom festivities. I'm loving the spring trends, especially colored denim and mint green.
Happy Spring! I'm thrilled the spring is officially here, even though I've been enjoying lovely temperatures in the mid 70s for a few weeks. Blooms and blossoms are everywhere and the Cherry Blossoms are at their peak today!
If yesterday's post about chevron stripes didn't have enough inspiration for you, here's another treat that you're going to love. Are you looking for a fun and inexpensive pick me up for your spring wardrobe? This women's Ruffle Jersey Dress has a gorgeous blue chevron pattern. The stretch jersey is comfortable enough to wear all day and the empire waist is figure flattering.
The best part about this dress is the price! Only $25. Run to the nearest Old Navy to find this preppy gem.
Chevron stripes, also known as zig zag stripes, are one of my favorite patterns. Lately, I've become just a little bit obsessed with chevron. It's a modern and chic spin for inspiration for everything both big and small. Although chevron has been a decor trend for a few years, it's still wildly popular. I love it that chevron can take over a room or just add a small accent to a neutral palette.
When I discovered this table runner on Etsy from fellow Marylander Longrunners, I fell in love. This adorable table runner is ideal for an Easter Buffet, party, or any spring event. Wouldn't pink look amazing with the yellow contrast of the chevron pattern? Since Longrunners gets her fabric at Fabric.com, you can choose any fabric that you see, send her the link, and she'll custom make whatever you love the most. How wonderful is that!
The Chevron Rug from West Elm is an excellent way to make a bold statement in an entry or mud room. I love the idea of using a large chevron pattern on the floor.
A while ago, I picked up this Chevron Orange Tulip Wastebasket from Jayes Studio on One Kings Lane. Since then, I've added quite a few things to my chevron wish list.
Chevron stripes are adorable from everything from stationery to sofas! What are your favorite items in a chevron print?