Grassy party backdrops…

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A design trend I’ve noticed this year is greenery as a backdrop for photobooths or dessert tables. I love this classy elegant look to an outdoor summer wedding or party…

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Having a lit marquee sign or uplights will be perfect for an evening affair…

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This is one of my all time favorite reception lounge designs. I really like the mirrored pedastals and tables with the different mirrors. This is a great way to reflect light in a space while the sparkles of the lighting and candles bounce around…

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What a cool July 4th backdrop….

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{Images via colin cowie, kristi murphy, hostess blog, CFD NY, karas party ideas, style me pretty, Wildflower Linens, & Katie Vowels for Annie McElwain}


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Weekend Summer Recap No.2

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I wasn’t able to post yesterday because I had a very eventful day and night. It all started with me taking my god-daughter and teenaged cousin to Milwaukee’s botanical gardens, the lake (Lake Michigan) & the riverwalk downtown to eat at Rock Botttom…

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Here are some pics of the Riverwalk. I wish our river was more like Chicago’s and green. Hate this murky brown color..

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While dining out on the patio, we watched the boats go by. It was hot outside…

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There are some sculptures along the riverwalk too….

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Later that night I had drinks with a friend at the The Iron Horse Hotel. I have to blog about this place’s interior and patio soon.

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Since it was nice out, we even hit up another spot for rooftop drinks at Cafe Benelux. People rave about their brunches so that’s definitely on my to do list…

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The domes are 3 egg shaped buildings filled with flowers…

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This was my favorite picture…

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Continue reading

Warren Barnett Local Home Furnishing Store…

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There is a showroom furniture store here in a Milwaukee suburb that I have to get to. Warren Barnett offers accessories, home furnishings and even interior designers to help you with selections. I always forget about them until I pass them up on the road. Here are some of what they have to offer..

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What is your favorite local home store?


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My summer bucket list…

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It’s summer and in order to live it up I created a bucket list. Not one solely of options I want but things I really think I can actually commit to doing. I would love to do something really fun each day but that may be a bit unrealistic. However here are my summer fun day lists that I want to accomplish. In no particular order.

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-take the girls (niece/cousins) swimming at my condo’s community pool and have cute colorful floaties.

-chill at Bradford beach here in Milwaukee and order from beach bar

-get ice cream from Bradford beach

-walk several oak leaf trails

-go hiking once

-skydive

-go to Racine’s beachfront

-make pizzas from scratch with girls

-make rootbeer floats and burgers for dinner and play cards or board games…

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-fly somewhere (usually I have trips booked by now)

-have a few lobster rolls from various restaurants

-get all of the small DIY projects I already have written down completed before the summer is out

-sooth my feet by getting a reflexology massage and professional pedicure at the same time

-power walk the entire lake drive early one morning (double wammy if I see the sunrise while walking the entire lake drive)

-take Mariah (god-daughter/cousin) to see a couple kids movies

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-I can check this off but I want to see another sunset like this one I captured from the day before…

-I wrote down all of the parks that are having free outdoor movie nights so I can take my niece/little cousins and plan to do that at least 3 times this summer.

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 -make homemade popsicles

-dine al fresco at least once every other week. That may not always work but even if it’s just an ice cream/burger joint, I want to really enjoy some meals outdoors…

-wine and paint (done this last year…so fun)

I know I will continue to add to this but these are some. What are some of yours?

{Images via Two loves studio, funboy, Reiss, Noupe, treasures and travels blog}


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Summer Weekend No.1

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I hate when wordpress messes up and deletes my post when I’m uploading. That’s basically what happened. Anyway the summer is flying by and it just got started so I want to ensure I commit to a summer bucket list and enjoy the days. I’m not retyping everything from the original post but this weekend was a ball of fun and I plan to recap wknds or weeks until the end of summer.
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Friday I went to the Lakefront festival of art with my cousin and had fun wine & vodka tasting.
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Sunday I went with my brother, niece, sister-in-law & mom to Greek Fest. Milwaukee had great weather this weekend and the lake was poppin Sunday evening because it was in the 80s and sunny. Just swarms of people and barely any available parking spots.
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Talked my sister into getting on this with me lol…
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I also am near the end of the house project design I’ve worked on since January. Here are also some snippets of the spongebob/ nautical themed room I’m doing.
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Hope your weekend was a good one.


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Fun Friday: root beer float party

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I love root beer floats and like the idea of having a station at a wedding or summer party. Frankly, it doesn’t have to be a party. They can simply just use a few festive items and make the afternoon chillin at home that much better. For a camping woodsy party, use vintage items like old soda posters, labels and mason jars with tree stumps…

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Serving them in champange glasses on a tray is a really elegant spin for a reception…

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I personally really love the soda shop retro diner ideas. I created a few collages on ways you could decorate for it…

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For a diner feel,  use pink or red with black and white. Make sure to buy a checkerboard tablecloth and if funds allow, scour craigslist for old bar stools and tables. Also go thrift shopping for old records to use as backdrops. Use cupcake stands to neatly store all of the jars or toppings.

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For a pretty pastel spread, use wooden decorative spoons, colorful bowls and straws and vintage china plates and bowls for toppings. Add polka dot napkins or a lace tablecloth for a shabby chic look…

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For a wedding, have a ruffled tablecloth or use a burlap runner. Use glass dessert bowls and keep it simple with stainless steel spoons and straws. I really like the chalkboard labels for mason jars for this setting. Vintage marquee signs and lights or framed soda ice cream posters or string lights would finish it off. You may want to incorporate other chocolate desserts to this table like smores, brownies or warmed cookies so if people dislike root beer, they can always add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to form their own dessert. Or have sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whip cream and cherries for those that want to jazz up their beverage or make a sundae. Anytime people can serve themselves, it allows for mingling and a form of entertainment without doing much. Now….I’m hungry. 😩😋🍧.

{Images via ur Labor of Love by Heidi Canary Grey Photography Elisa B Photography Janae Hardy Amber French Photography Simply by Tamara NicoleI heart nap time, somewhere splendid, style me pretty, wedding chicks, the sweetest occassion, celebrations at home, love paper paint, love and lavender, rustic wedding chic}


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Hotel Indulgences: My review of the vibrant The Saguaro resort in Scottsdale Arizona…

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Beware of sensory overload with these colorful images of The Saguaro-Scottsdale. This above is my own picture. I lost a lot of photos when my Galaxy S4 wouldn’t turn back on so I had to resort to instagram screenshots and pics I emailed myself along with others found online.

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Yeah I know I am a whole 10 months late with this but with the constant rain and flip flopping 80-one-day-55-the-next tempertures, I have done little else than dream of going right back there…somewhere hot consistantly. This isn’t a sponsored post, I just really loved my two night three day stay there last August.

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Designed by Stamberg Aferiat Architecture, the Saguaro Scottsdale is a very vibrant, colorful fun stay in Arizona. It was a standout search for me as everything else is the color of sand and neutral. That’s because there are building codes prohiting the exteriors to be anything other than that. The colors are based on Arizona’s wildflowers.  It’s located in oldtown Scottsdale which is simple walks and short golf cart rides to restaurants, bars, and shopping. The golf cart rides are free, you just tip the drivers and that was a ball of fun. One recommendation is have them take you to the nearby CVS so you can stock up on snacks and waters for your room as there are no……..I repeat………NO soda machines or vending machines which I find incredibly odd. For the resort fee, the least they can do is offer you one complimentary bottled water per day per guest.

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The hotel used to be a motel so you walk outside to get to your rooms which can be noisy depending on where you face (pools vs cityview). We opted for a city view which pretty much was just the hotel’s check in area and landscaping. The balconies aren’t really big at all, just standing room but still nice to get fresh air. It would be nice if they had small stools that are bar height to sit on while out there. However people on ground level with pool views had little patios to lounge out on.

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The hotel looks exactly like the pictures which is all I really cared about. The beds were super comfy and the Kuerig coffee makers were a nice touch each morning. The landscaping and colors just really perked up my mood. One minor goofy thing was the bathroom sliding door. The idea is cool but it really didn’t leave you feeling private. It wasn’t as if there was a gap or anything just a little odd for a bathroom setting. I roomed with my friend so it was fine.
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Although we didn’t dine out at the hotel’s restaurant, we did partake in cocktails poolside at the main pool which was super chill.  We lounged at the pool before our spa appointments (which were affordable for an hour service and had complimentary drink vouchers to be used at the pool)! We soaked up enough sun to have 2 rounds of cocktails and burning skin. I guess the crowd didn’t come until after our spa appointments because afterward the pool was packed and the music was more lively than when we were there.

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I just loved the southwestern landscaping. The furthest west I’ve been was Vegas but I don’t remember much except the strip, the ride on top of the Stratosphere and seeing West Side mountains for the first time.  So this was a way for me to soak up all of the landscaping the desert has to offer.

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I just couldn’t stop staring at the unique formations of cacti…

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The pool was such a calming place on Monday. I guess everyone had left the resort on Sunday…

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Although we didn’t use them, I liked how the resort offers free use of the bikes.

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The pool bar had water misters that cooled you off and some shade for sun relief…

Continue reading

Secret Garden themed parties…

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Enchanted forests and secret garden themes are wonderful to celebrate nuptials or babies. You can have dinner parties or early brunches in this theme as long as you decorate with some key elements. The super large mirrors is very dramatic for a cocktail hour or reception.

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Ever since I seen rapper Ludacris’ wife’s baby shower set in a secret garden theme, I’ve been wanting to blog about it. They had lit birdcages adorned with flowers, donuts hung from ribbon and a lot of the guest, like singers Monica & Letoya Luckett, wore floral dresses. How beautiful.

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Creating intimate elaborate tables for the wedding party or bride and groom while having simpler centerpieces on the remaining tables can save money…

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Key elements: string leafy garland. Get them bulk or buy from places like Michael’s and use 40% off coupons. If it’s for a kid’s party, use Dollar Tree garland and save coins for other things.

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Use string lights and electric candles to create ambience…

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String together flowers or floral garland for drama. You might want to only do this behind a gift or cake table as this can get quite costly…

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Use mason jars and mismatched china as well as rustic decor like burlap, branches, bark pieces, faux tree stumps, rope and wicker…

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You have to incorporate moss somewhere and covering giant letters or making a grassy centerpiece is a start…

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Adorn a cupcake stand or cake table with flower heads. Just grab a bouquet from the grocery store to jazz up the presentation…

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Lanterns, wood crates, old dressers and empty frames are other decorating options. You want to have a “just thrown together” look without being too matchy. It should feel relaxed but polished. Remember the more you layer the better so play with height and make sure different foods are at different levels. You want to build your food table upward…

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{Images via Moxie Sox Photography Amanda O’Shannessy Creative Lynette Boyle Photography Amy Burke Designs Page Bertelsen Photographyceremony blog, 100 layer cake, celebrations at home, southern weddings, oui oui}


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Tuesday’s Tips: mosquito repelling plants and flowers

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Nothing like June: the start of summer, the longer days, the warmer nights, the outdoor eats, carnivals and festivals, etc. However with everything sometimes you have some give and other times you have some takes and one thing I can’t stand are mosquitos. They die in your cocktails when you leave them uncovered. They cause you to itch and scratch and just plain obnoxious. So here are some plants that repels mosquitos.

 
Marigolds are said to have a repulsive smelling aroma that bugs dislike. 

Lavender is not only a beautiful soothing plant with a calming scent for humans, but it’s a natural mosquito repellent. you can also pull some and place in your bedroom to help relax your body when it’s time for bed.

Geranium’s have a pretty cascading look  that repels mosquitos because of the strong fragrance.

 
Citronella grass is not only low maintenance but lemon scented ones are best for keeping mosquitoes at bay.

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Basil not only satisfies chefs but lemon basil and cinnamon basil deters insects like flies and mosquitos.

 
Garlic not only tastes good but it works for repelling.

Peppermint can double as cocktail garnishes and relief for itching if you do get bit by one (by simply rubbing the leaves on the bite). It’s a taste and smell most bugs dislike.

Rosemary is another great herb I love to cook with especially in green beans and pork chops. It attracts butterflies  and naturally repels mosquitos, cabbage moths and other bugs. They can be pruned and make for great landscaping additions as it looks like a shrub.

They also even say catnip helps and works way better than any spray you can get. Unless you have a fence, I wouldn’t advise. I don’t have a fence around my condo and I swear the neighborhood cats see my cat looking out of the patio doors and windows and they keep coming on my property hiding in my bushes as if I will let my cat out to play. Never fails, every friggin evening these cats come up, even when I’m on the porch. They will simply walk in the street and go up my neighbors driveway until I go inside. So the last thing I’m trying to do is have a buncha cracked out cats on my lawn 😂.

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Overall mint and lemon smelling flowers are the common denominator in most. Instead of spending money on spray that may not work, try a natural route that can not only be a great addition for your food prep, but ones that are also beautiful on the eyes. Happy gardening!
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And happy eating and drinking!

{Images via kitchen concoctions, confectionalism, topiaries, good housekeeping, & she wears many hats,}

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