A Southern Wedding Reception {on the veranda and front lawn}

A few weeks ago, we were blessed to be able to host a wedding reception
for a young bride, Amber (whom we've known for 16 years), and her groom, Joshua.

They had a two o'clock wedding at Pretty Place--here--and a five o'clock reception.
This is when the dear couple first arrived at our home after the ceremony.

The couple, who lived in Tennessee (we are in South Carolina),
made a Pinterest page (God bless you, Pinterest!) so I could plan before the date.
They gave me five weeks' notice! Yikes!
What made it easier, was that this took place here at home,
and I didn't have to worry about transporting the decor someplace else.

One of the Pinterest pins that they saved was this one.

I tried to recreate it with 75 white pearl balloons (with two marbles each in them)
hung from our dogwood, oak, and magnolia trees.

One of the groomsmen surveying the dinner table.
He's probably hungry.

My husband, who performed the ceremony for the couple, stands center, in his cute bowtie, 
with the groomsmen, all waiting on the veranda for the newlyweds to arrive.
This was the only picture taken of the front of the house 
that will give you a reference for where the cake/food/dinner table are located. 
(I thought this picture was very interesting because of the rainbow-like sunspot caught by accident.)

To the right at the top of the stairs were the cakes.
Yes, cake(s)--six of them, all which I made.
I started baking two weeks before the wedding and froze the layers.
The icing was freshly made the night before the wedding,
and the cakes were frosted by a dear friend.

The cake buffet was a surprise by Amber for Joshua, since he is a cake aficionado.

The three-tiered cake (from the top down) is
red velvet with cream cheese filling,
devil's food with mocha filling,
and vanilla bean pound cake with raspberry filling.

The hydrangea design cake top left in the picture below 
is a three-layered lemon with blueberry compote and lemon curd fillings. 
The simply iced one is an oft-requested carrot cake 
with caramel filling and frosted with cream cheese.

The rosette cake below is strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream filling.
All the cakes are frosted with the same vanilla buttercream, except the carrot cake.
I wanted the cakes to have some unity by using the same icing on each.
They also have an old-fashioned look, 
which goes with the simple elegant style that the couple wanted.

 The picture is from their engagement, 
and the mat was signed by all the guests.
It's a sweet momento of their day!

My daughter, Sarah, and I also made the bouquets and boutonnieres.
This is the bride's cream and blush rose bouquet with tiny bottles of bubbles to the right of it.

 This sign was placed outside the sleeping porch where the food was.
A strand of tiny bells hangs over the top.

Southern BBQ was catered and served.

Sparkling white grape juice, tea, strawberry lemonade, and tangerine cucumber water below.

In the center below are the bride's parents.

This day was a warm 74 degrees.
Two days before, it was 30 degrees, and the day later, it rained all day.
Miraculous weather, I'd say!

I used all the dishes and silverware in our house, added some from our neighbor,
and, because they are all white or glass, they coordinated nicely.
There were thirty-two people seated at this table.
We ran the dishwasher five times when the party was over!

Thank goodness for our huge magnolia tree that gave us greenery for the table centerpiece!

 Oval wood pieces got painted black and written on in white for each guest's place setting.

Under the magnolia tree, a popular spot.

The plates waiting to serve cake.

Amber, you were the sweetest, most grateful, and most graceful bride ever.
I know you rejoice because you know the One who brought you and your groom together.

Bubbles to say goodbye.

May the Lord bless your new adventure together!

And now some words from me to you two:

  What God has joined must remain joined.  
Cherish your spouse.  
Do not deny one another. 
Hold fast to one another.  
Submit and love one another. 
Leave the parents out of your marriage.
Dwell with each other in understanding. 
Amber, relish his love.  
Josh, cherish her dearly.  
Do not take each other for granted.  
See each other as co-heirs with Christ by putting the other first.
Do these things and you will rejoice in each other just as you did today, 
in your youth and even into old age.

 This is my prayer for you.

Love, Momma #2

(Thank you to Sarah, my oldest daughter who took these pictures of this spectacular day!)

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Joining Alice at her 9th Sunday at Home Party --here--

Quick Spring Cleaning Tips from Me {Live and on TV}

While in college, I took journalism courses so I could be a journalist.
I dreamt of interviewing people and finding out all about 
who they are, what they did, and why they did it.

Well, right after college, I got married and had children and I started my real career
which is home making (along the way, I added interior design, home staging, and organizing),
 and I've had this career for almost 25 years.

And I think I never thought my dream of being on TV live and in front of people
(yes, I'm an extrovert) would come true. Until this week. When it did.

I got to talk about my love of homemaking and be on TV!

I was honored to share about some products I love that help me in our home,
got to meet some of the nicest TV personalities on the planet,
and talk about my favorite time of year and how springtime makes all things new!
(I know I say "um" a lot... I'll work on not doing that!)

Here's the segment:

And if for some reason, that link isn't working for you,

Here are the Quick Spring Cleaning Tips I shared:

  • Fresh Breezes: I use a fan to help dry the floors after I mop, it helps dry paint after I've painted (and disperses the fumes), and we use it at night for now, instead of running the A/C.
  • Fresh Flowers: Grab a big bouquet and separate them into smaller vases and put them anywhere but your dining room table-- your nightstand, the foyer table, beside the kitchen and bathroom sink.
  • Check expiration dates: Go through all your medicine, refrigerated and pantry food, and toss everything that is old.
  • Wrinkle-free fabrics: This is the time for the deeper cleaning that you normally don’t get to the rest of the year. It’s time to wash and iron and rehang the window treatments throughout your home that have caught the dust all the rest of the year.
    I also like to freshen up any winter runners or doilies, duvet covers, shower curtains, bedskirts, curtains, pillow shams by washing and ironing them and storing them away till I need them again in Fall.
  • Dust everything first: The dust will settle on the floor after you've brushed it off of surfaces. To make sure the pollen, dust, and fuzz gets taken out of your house via emptying the vacuum bag, vacuum after you've dusted.
  • Vacuum everything: above and below. Don't forget these areas: above the door frames, mattresses, under area rugs, lamp shades, under the beds, baskets (these catch lots of dust), blinds.
  • Consider slipcovers: If you'd like a fresh look in your seating areas, an inexpensive way to unify your pieces is to simply cover them with matching fabrics. It's easier than lugging furniture in and out of the house by selling and re-buying replacements, especially if what you already have is comfortable.
  • Pops of color: Pillows, flowers, throws, vases, rugs, candlesticks, lamp shades, even books bring in some new perspective and creativity.
  • Front and rear entryway: Change out the door mats or clean them thoroughly. This will eliminate half the dirt coming into your home.
  • Flip or rotate your mattresses. It gives them even wear. (I forgot to mention this in the taping.)

OH! The cool thing?
They asked me to come back next month and talk about home staging
and my book 31 Days to a Staged Home!
HERE it is on Amazon.

Happy Spring, y'all!!!


It's Here! It's Here! The 31 Days to a Staged Home eBook!!

This is just a quick post for all you who have been waiting so long for the release of 
my home staging book!!

Here it is!

Or click the book cover below:

I am excited that it's finally done!
I have a few giveaways (of the book, and other home staging items)
planned in the next day or two, so stay tuned...


Open Kitchen Cabinets :: Breakfast Nook and Coffee Station

One of the things we love about this old home is the cabinetry in the kitchen.
It is original and was designed and cut and installed by a carpenter, not pre-fabbed.

Consequently, the left side of the cabinets is narrower than the right side,
and none of the drawers have the same measurements.
And what could be an annoyance (especially when shopping for drawer organizers) 
we've simply termed "charm".

When we toured the home for the first time, this side of the kitchen looked like this.
The cabinets were cream-colored and the walls were pale mint.

I removed the doors, mainly because they were constantly in the way 
and also because I use every single one of these dishes (really!) and like easy access to them.
The cabinets got painted Alabaster and the walls are Sea Salt, both by Sherwin Williams.

Every morning, the Mr. pads out here in his pjs and slippers and makes coffee.
Every morning, we grab empty mugs and pour ourselves cups of ambition.
I have two favorite mugs, an "I love you, mom" one, and my newest one from my friend, Becky.
Can you spot it in the middle of the picture above and to the right in the picture below?

Here it is changing color/waking up.
And here's the link on Amazon so you can get one!

On the pressed glass cake plate next to the coffee maker, 
the agave, honey, sugar, and multi-vitamins are kept 
(I put the vitamins in a glass spice jar/dispenser-I'm OCD weird like that).

The monogrammed mugs come from Anthropologie HERE.

I make our own granola (recipe HERE) and we keep the coffee next to it.

We had dishes and more dishes. And then more dishes.
I edited and donated about half of them and kept these.

Everything (except the mugs I've mentioned) is either thrifted or from a garage sale.

In one afternoon, I found all these quilted jelly jar glasses at two different Goodwills.
They are heavy and vintage quality.

A few of my favorite other things are these side-of-the-cup cookie cutters
from World Market HERE (thanks, mom!). 

I am grateful for daily reminders of God's grace, aren't you?

Thank you for stopping by our kitchen!
Want some coffee?
(And a scone?)

What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. 
We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, 
not on account of the position and work, 
but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.
~ Martin Luther


Having fun at Debra's place: Common Ground (Be Inspired Linky Party)

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