Aug 20, 2014

Protecting the Planet, One Scoop At a Time

Today, I packed up the kids to take them on an expedition of sorts.  We left the suburbs and headed downtown to Atlanta Botanical Gardens to catch the #icecreamexpedition truck during its latest stop in the ATL. We received the tip this morning from Mamalicious Maria who keeps locals in the know on upcoming family outings and freebies.  

The Ice Cream Expedition is the brainchild of 3 recent graduates from Denver, Colorado who decided to take a 8,000 mile trip across the country to film a documentary and talk about environmental conservation.  Their journey kicked off on July 17th in San Diego and they will continue until reaching their final destination, New York City.

This 3 man team thought if you show up with an ice cream truck offering free ice cream, folks might just listen to what you have to say.  They are inspiring the next generation of explorers whether exploring in their backyards or at a local park. Children are natural explorers.  An explorer in a way is responsible for preserving what he discovered.

The young conservationists are literally trying to save the planet one scoop at a time serving up scoops of Magnolia's all natural ice cream made with real fruit purees.  Avocado ice cream, anyone? Explorers can try some unique flavors: mango, guava, purple yam coconut swirl and avocado. The two I tried, mango and guava, were so refreshing and creamy goodness. Can you see the chucks of mango?

 At each stop they encourage explorers to take a pledge of action to respect and protect our planet.

My kiddos also received their very own copy of National Geographic Kids Magazine.  Check out National Geographic Kids for sneak peaks on what's inside upcoming issues.

The Ice Cream Expedition received the National Geographic Young Explorer Grant and is cosponsored by Magnolia Ice Cream and Kickstarter. Next stop..Nashville TN on August 25th.  Then they travel along the east coast with final stop in New York City in September.  To read more about their expedition and travels, find them on facebook and at

Aug 16, 2014

Hundred Foot Journey Movie Review and The Perfect Omelette Recipe

 I recently attended a movie premiere for the heartwarming and delicious movie, A Hundred Foot Journey on behalf of Karen with In The Kitchen With KP.  Head on over to check out the review. While you are there take a look at the recipe round ups for family friendly recipes. You will want to stay awhile since she really is a lot of fun...

The movie opened on August 8th.

Try this omelette recipe.  I encourage you to go see the movie and be inspired by the significance of preparing and enjoying the perfect omelette.

Aug 15, 2014

Diva Pink & Gold 40th Birthday Party

Every so often for an event planner and designer there are events that truly express your personal style and vision.  For me, this 40th birthday celebration that was held at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort represents one of those moments.

The setting for this event was breathtakingly beautiful with a grand entrance and a view of the vineyards as guests entered the 3,500 acre property.  The hotel is a beautiful french country structure that sits amongst beautiful and lush trees while the winery which houses the 2 restaurants and wine tasting room sits behind a striking water fountain decorated with a colorful bed of flowers.  This would be a lovely location for a wedding or other special events. Chateau Elan has everything needed to enjoy southern hospitality at it best with great food, wine, luxurious and spacious accommodations, and a spa which specializes in treatments for both men and women.

Capturing the diva celebration of the evening was the talented, Sonya Yim of Sonya Yim Photography. Thank you for making my design sparkle and shine.  Sonya specializes in wedding photography and has the ability to truly tell a story and create beautiful memories.

Vendor Credits:
Party Styling and Dessert Table: A Sweet Touch by Rachelle Grace
Photography: Sonya Yim Photography
Venue: Chateau Elan Winery & Resort
Cake Pops/Rose Pops: Little Bites by Lynn

Aug 13, 2014

Birthday Party with Elf On the Shelf A Birthday Tradition

Oh my, why had I not heard that the Elf can now visit for birthday's too?  I just found out and was so excited to be invited to a birthday party to meet the author of Elf on the Shelf and learn more.

Our family started the Elf on the Shelf A Christmas Tradition two years ago and let me tell you I look forward to it every year as much as my little ones.  It is another opportunity for me to be creative as our Elf is often found doing fun things such as cooking, spilling toothpaste while brushing his teeth, creating a mess for them to clean up, eating their snacks, etc.  Last year, I painted a partial wall with chalkboard paint and the kids found it the next morning and their Elf was holding the paint brush. The kids are excited to wake up to see what their Elf was up to the night before and I get a kick out seeing their faces. If we travel during the holidays, so does our Elf.

In case you have not introduced your little ones to the elf yet, reading the book to them is a great way to set the stage for his first appearance. Don't feel obligated or overwhelmed to come up with ideas for your elf.  There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest and even calendars with ideas that already exist. You can choose to use these ideas or just move the Elf around the house and challenge the little ones to find him. It is about creating a family tradition. Make it special in a way that works for your family.

The story of the Elf also answers that big question about how does Santa really know who is naughty or nice.  I admit that I also like using it to provide a gentle reminder to my kiddos to behave.

I recently attended an event cosponsored by The Niche Parent Network at A Piece of Cake to learn more about the Elf on the Shelf A Birthday Tradition.  The celebration included cupcakes, birthday hats, balloons, delicious bites, and gifts.  Just the way a party should be....

I enjoyed meeting Chanda Bell who coauthored the book with her mother Carol Aebersold. Chanda shared her personal story of what the elf meant in her family growing up with her mom and now in her home with her children.  They were inspired to share this tradition with others and self published the book in 2005 with no prior experience on how to do so.  Initial sales and marketing of the book were made through grass root efforts of traveling to trade shows and festivals around the country.  It worked and now the books are sold worldwide and is now a part of millions of families Christmas Tradition.

Just as a teacher would, Chanda read us the beloved story of how the elf can be invited to your next birthday celebration. The story shares how your very own elf can also visit you on your birthday and what you must do to make it happen. Santa and his elves enjoy celebrating special days all year not just during Christmas.

Now...let me tell you all about the Elf on the Shelf A Birthday Tradition and how it works.

Wouldn't it be great to have yet another way to make your kiddos birthday special?  Well, Santa and your Elf love special celebrations and traditions. So, with an official invite, your elf will be able to attend and celebrate with the honoree but for only 24 hours.  To help your little one take center stage, his focus is to choose and decorate the birthday boy or girl's chair for their big day. When the little one arrives, the chair will be decorated just for them maybe with bows and ribbons, balloons or a special toy.  They will also find their beloved elf waiting for them dressed in his cupcake suit when they arrive.

To make it easier for you and to have everything you need to make this happen at your little ones next birthday, this is what comes in each kit sold separately. The Elf on the shelf box included the book and birthday suite; however the set does not include the elf as some of us already have our beloved elf. The birthday chair decoration kit is made from quality fabrics and bright colors to be enjoyed and used for years to come. The birthday countdown game is a fun way to count down to the big day. It is reusable and comes with two games: one to countdown to the big day and another to play during the celebration.

  • Elf on the Shelf A Birthday Tradition Box Set: Children's Book + Festive Cupcake Suit + Hat (Elf sold separately)

  • Birthday Chair Decoration Kit with Birthday Hat: Chair cover with pocket + felt numbers + alphabet sticker sheets + rainbow color garland + note card + child birthday hat + instruction sheet.

  • Birthday Countdown & Game: Two sided with one side as a countdown and pin the candle onto the cupcake game on the other side.

Of course, I am all about details and decorating for parties. These kits are adorable.  You can feel good about not only supporting another mother's vision with each purchase, but also know that $1 from every purchase is given to Charity Water. The founders of Elf on the Shelf continue to share and demonstrate the spirit of giving.

Visit for more birthday ideas and to register for a special message from Santa Claus.

I look forward to sharing yet another Elf on the Shelf tradition with my family. Our next birthday is coming this fall. I know my daughter will be so excited and feel truly special to receive a personal visit from her elf.