Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Brides Magazine 75th Anniversary Issue... Do You Have It???

Maybe I am a little late, but has anyone picked up the latest copy of BRIDES??? I not the one to buy magazines, I normally flip through them while waiting in line at Wal-mart, but this one really caught my eye. (Maybe because of the size) LOL! I will be flipping through this over the next few days and will post my review once I am done!! If it is good, I will keep it for myself when my friend is done with her wedding.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

50 Things That Make Me Happy

Before I reveal 30 things that I want to do before I am 30 (coming 1/1/09), I will give you a list of 50 things that make me happy...

1. My personal relationship with God.
2. Life (I have too much to do in the earth).
3. Helping others to make their dreams come true.... just helping others period!
4. Knowing that I have a destiny and that I am going to fulfill it.
5. My prince charming... He knows who he is!
6. My family... All of them... even Junebug... LOL!
7. All of my god daughters!
8. Achieving goals(both large and small).
9. True beauty... (nature, people, paintings, buildings... all things beautiful).
10. Being Creative!
11. Music... all my favorite music.
12. Organization... everything has a place!
13. A to-do list (that has everything completed).
14. A pamper me day (everyone need one of those).
15. New lounge clothes ( I love being cute and comfie).
16. Mac Make-up (enough said).
17. Catching up with old family and friends.
18. Knowing that I made someone smile.
19. Good food (and Strawberry Sundaes on Sunday).
20. Taking the scenic route.
21. Driving with no destination... adventure!
22. Doing something that has never been done!
23. No stress, worries, or drama...
24. The smell of spring...
25. True and lasting friendships...
26. Finding good sales ( like 95% off the already marked down prices).
27. Scrapbooking and shopping scrapbook goodies.
28. Dreaming and watching them come true (only the good ones).
29. Praise dancing.
30. Surin of Thailand (my favorite restaurant of all time).
31. My cello.
32. All aspects of pageantry.
33. Surfing the web.
34. My life coaches.
35. Writing poems and short stories.
36. Reading books.
37. Beautifully wrapped presents.
38. Money (especially unexpected income).
39. Being self sufficient.
40. A healthy mind, body, soul and spirit.
41. A day alone.
42. Hot bubble bath with candles, music and a cold glass of a fresca and juice.
43. Being rewarded and/or appreciated.
44. Using all my gifts and talents to some degree.
45. Planning events.
46. Feeling that I have accomplished something major at the end of each day.
47. Being debt free.
48. Being in a positive environment/ good atmosphere.
49. Loving others...
50. The promise that God has given me for my life will come true.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Spirit of Christmas--- A Christmas Wrap Up

As I stare at the lights dancing on my Christmas tree I find myself recalling the memories of how I spent Christmas in the past. I can't quite put my finger on it, but Christmas just isn't or it doesn't seem to be what it used to be... I would have to admit that my currentt economic situation probably has a little to do with why I feel the way that I feel, but I really believe that it goes a little deeper than I realize.

Yeah, I got the things that I wanted... the new 12x12 Cricut (for all you scrappers) and a new digi camera (still trying to figure out how to use it), but even when I opened those gifts... as badly as I wanted them and as much as I appreciated them, they did not even compare to what I missed the most... the "Spirit of Christmas."

I remember when I was a little girl, I knew that Christmas was near because I could just feel it in the air. Now that I am a little older and much more mature, I realize that it did not just get there... someone had to put it there. Whether it was the little children preparing for the Christmas play at church, or the kids in community caroling for the elders, or the neighbors bringing each other there speciality dish or the man who stood on the corner in the streets of downtown Greenville wishing everyone a Merry Christmas... No matter how big or small... everyone played a stellar role in releasing the spirit of Christmas in the atmosphere.

I miss it... I miss listening to Christmas music and decorating the Christmas tree while humming the words to my favorite Christmas tune... I miss it... I miss sitting back and admiring the beauty of the tree once it had been completed... I miss it... I miss going back to my old neighborhood and sitting and talking to my elders about our favorites memories that we'd shared... I miss it... I miss being in the kitchen with my mom and cutting celery for the dressing.... I miss it... I miss my Aunt Betty getting in her car and driving from house to house doing a "taste test" each of her sisters dressing before dinner.... I miss it... I miss wrapping gifts all night because my mother waited until the last minute....... I miss it... I miss it all... I miss the warmth... I miss the love... I miss the joy... I miss the Spirit of Christmas...

As I sit here staring at the "must-haves" for this year's Christmas list that I selfishly composed... all that I can think is that I missed it... I missed the opportunity to release the "Spirit of Christmas" that resides on the inside of me all year long...

Forgive me... Forgive me.... I will never allow any situation or circumstance to rob me of the joy that lies within and sharing it with others.

May your life be filled with prosperity, peace, love, hope, and joy! I love you with the love of God....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas with M'Shonta...

It's Christmas Eve and this is how I decorate for the holidays... I don't have much space, so all of my Christmas decor is confined to one room. {I really appreciate that when it is time to put it all away}. LOL!

This year my color theme was pink, green and gold!

Let's start with the tree shall we???

Another view....

It's all about the "Presentation"... I highly recommend this book by Carolyn Roehm. I {heart} beautifully wrapped gifts. I was a little lazy this year... I found gift bags after Christmas last year at Hobby Lobby for less than a dime, so I used those this year. I did wrap a few gifts for the "really special people" in my life... I don't think that I will be using so many gift bags under my tree again next year... it just doesn't do it for me!

How about a fun one???

And now for my pink and green garland... I placed it along my sofa table since I don't have stairs in my place.

How about an up close shot?

The pink and green centerpiece that sits on my coffee table...

Finally, here is how I display the warm greetings that I get in the mail...

Don't you just love the holidays!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's My Birthday...or it was... December 22nd!

Monday was my birthday and I am so happy to be {let's say} 25 again!!! A year or so ago Adrienne, whose blog I have been reading faithfully for the past 2 1/2 years, did a post about 30 things that she wanted to do before she turned 30. You can find her blog at www.adrienneslittleworld.typepad.com. {{{Warning: It can be addictive! She such a creative and talented young lady}}}.

Since I have ummm about 5 more years to work on that one, I think that I will do one as well.... Are you ready??? Well, you will have to wait... I lost my list!!! Until then I will leave you with these photos from a luncheon that I had with some friends at Surin of Thailand in Mountain Brook. It was so good to catch up with these ladies!!! Oh, how I miss those college years!

The Three Diva's.....

And the Birthday Girl!

I welcome 2009 and all the wonderful things that await me... especially my destiny!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Best Wedding Seating Arrangments

If you are like me, you know that there is a certain need for seating arrangements, but you just don't know where to begin or even if this is a challenge that you want to take on. Many people are familiar with the seating arrangements for the actual wedding ceremony, so for this entry we will focus on the seating arrangements for the reception only. If you are interested in seating for the actual wedding ceremony please visit www.doityourself.com/stry/wedding-seating-arrangement.

Below you will find an exert from the article written by Amy Hicks.

"While the bride’s table and the parents’ table will have place cards, they are optional for the other guests. For a seated dinner, you may choose to create seating arrangements for your guests. This is best done by giving each table a number or a name, and letting each guest know ahead of time which table they will be sitting at. If you choose to have place cards for your guests, they should be handwritten and match your wedding invitations. The best way to organize your guests’ seating is to:

* Put couples beside each other
* Put children under 7 with their parents
* Create a children’s table for those between 7 and 14 years of age
* Seat guests with disabilities near bathrooms, beverage stations, etc.
* Arrange guests by common interests (like seating coworkers together)

You should always be sensitive to your guests’ likes and dislikes. Don’t put divorced couples at the same table, nor should you seat same-sex couples with people likely to insult them. Traditionally, your closest relatives and friends should be seated close to the bride’s table, but you may choose to seat your guests however you like. For buffet dinners, you may have a seating arrangement, but it is usually best to allow guests to choose their own seats.

Traditional seating arrangements are designed to honor your close family and friends and make sure that they have the best view of your ceremony. Also, seating arrangements allow your other guests to identify your family members. Your overall goal in seating your guests during the reception is to make them as comfortable as possible, so that they will have a good time. Since you know your friends and family best, it is up to you to decide whether or not to have a seating arrangement outside of the parent’s and bride’s tables."

After reading this article, I think that I will suggest that we pass on creating escort cards, table numbers and place/seating cards although she will be having a seated dinner. That is, unless she wants to champion this aspect of the reception.

What do you think??? I know that it adds an element of sophistication and personalization {is that a word?}, but is it worth the headache?

You Can't See the Forest for those Beautiful Wedding Trees...

I really love the idea of the crystal wedding trees. I think that are very versatile and yet they exude beauty and class {if they are done correctly}. Due to my background in the pageant area, I have always had a passion for anything with bling {when it is tastefully done, that is}. Let's take a look at this beauties shall we?

I really like this one, but it needs a little more bling...Just a little... LOL!

I like the bling on this one, but the color... not so much!

If the prices for the trees get too costly, I thought about alternating them with something like this minus the fake floral arrangements....

And if all else fails we will keep with the Italian theme and adorned the tables with Eiffel tower vases and beautiful floral arrangements like the one seen here... We may even add in a few strings of bling for the heck of it!!!! Lovely!

What do you think??? Does anyone know where I can get some quality bling for less cha'ching???

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Make it Personal...

Weddings are very personal occassions and every bride wants to add that special touch... Let's look at some options to make it a little more personal...

Cake Toppers (these can be found on www.topperswithglitz.com)

What about aisle runners??

and other wedding accents and essentials....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Save the Date Invitations

Save the date cards have become so popular over the past few years. I have always been the type to want to know the proper way that things should be done. After a little research I found the following viewpoint on aisledash.com.

----------------------------Save the Date by Meg Massie------------------------------

Save the date (STD) cards are an optional way to notify your guests of your wedding date before sending out invitations. You are not required to send them out and if you do, you are not required to send them to everyone on your guest list. You can save money by sending them only to out of town guests and people who will have to make arrangements well in advance, with more time than the invitation allows.

If you send them and to whom is up to you, but there is one very important rule of etiquette that you must not break. I'm really not even sure why this is a question at all, but here it is: Do not send a save-the-date card to someone unless you are definitely inviting them to the wedding! You are telling them to set aside this date, so if you end up not inviting them, you see how this would be a huge slap in the face. Those who get save-the-dates expect invitations as well, and rightfully so. As far as save-the-dates are concerned, this is the only steadfast rule of etiquette. Those who break it will be immediately labeled with bride- and groomzilla branding irons.

Thanks Meg! I like the idea of sending out STD invites to the individuals out of town, so with that being said let's take at look at some fabuluos save the date hopefuls...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Say "Yes" to this Dress

My friend has this beautiful brand new gown in her closet that she did not use {tags are still tact}. It is a size 6 from David's Bridal.... She is willing to part with it and all accessories for a very...very......very...very reasonable price....... Please email me at mshontasmith@hotmail.com for questions or comments...


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You are Invited...

There are so many options out there for wedding invitations. My friend really doesn't have any specifications other than she wants them to be clean, classy and simple. I have been shopping around a little and here's what I found:
I love the way that this one folds....

I love anything that you can truly do yourself!

A little Tiffany blue....

A little economical....

And a little flair....

Any suggestions???? Come on...you're invited!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Always a Bridesmaid....I have finally been promoted!

I have always been somewhat interested in event planning. This year has really given me several opportunities to dabble it in a bit.... Okay, I have done a few baby and bridal showers... But that count doesn't it???

Well...... I have some veeery exciting news!!! My best friend got engaged on Thanksgiving weekend (more on that later) and she can care less about the details of planning the wedding.. So,,,,,, she has left that task up to her mother and I and I could not be happier!!!!

So let's start from the beginning shall we? The colors are tiffany blue, silver and white. Here is a little inspiration:

A little more:

And a little more:

Also, as I surfed the web I came across this blog: http://www.jessicaralph.blogspot.com/. I think that this is a must read for all brides to be... I love how she pays attention to every-little-detail.... that creates a purr-fect day!

Okay, on to more planning!!! Don't you love it when you get a promotion!!!