Friday, April 19, 2019

Happy Hour Time

Well…well…fancy meeting you here Friday, it is so nice to see you again! Where have you been all week! Is it just me or is any one else slightly in shock that it is not only Eater weekend, but almost the end of April!? Here’s to a long weekend of coloring Easter eggs, eating chocolate bunnies, and spending time with friends and family. Cheers!

“A ship is always safe a shore, but that is not what it’s built for”
~Albert Einstein

Drink Special! 
Schnorkel
2 ounces rum
½ounce pernod
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Ice cubes
Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass

Around Town!
Nashville, TN: Germantown Art Crawl at Taylor Arts Collective, Friday, May 19 – Saturday, May 20
Seaside, FL: Easter Egg-Stravaganza at The Amphitheater, Sunday, April 21, 11:00
Birmingham, AL: Easter Eggstravaganza at Birmingham Zoo, Saturday, April 20, 10:00am
New Orleans, LA: Mardi Gras Walking Tour at Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, Saturday, April 20, 1:00pm
Louisville, KY: Best Buddies Kentucky Friendship Walk at Big Four Lawn, Saturday, April 20, 9:00am

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Guest Post :: 5 Ways To Find Time For Family Creativity

It seems that more than ever people have become busier and busier with each new obligation, and across the age range, making time for family and friends, or just for one’s self has become a bit of a challenge, especially for families that have younger children. Today Peter Minkoff has written a fabulous guest to help young families spend more time together. 
Spending time with your kids comes with many layers. This means that one of the most important aspects of one’s childhood revolves around the fun and creative moments they had with the whole family. It’s understandable that parents these days can hardly find the time to take a breather, but it’s also essential to utilize every single opportunity for family creativity. Not only will this secure some of the most unforgettable memories for every single member of your family, but it will also mean the world for young developing children.

1. Even 15 minutes can be enough

People tend to overestimate the time they would have to put into the creative instances when together with younger children. However, that’s mostly untrue. Kids often really need 15-30 minutes to complete creative projects, and, more often than not, they just want your moral support. Of course, you should be there for them in case they actually need help with something. But, if your schedule is so packed every day of the week, remember that it will be perfectly beneficial and acceptable to just set aside 15-20 minutes or half an hour to provide your kids with the creative supplies and encouragement to make the most out of this. 

2. Preparation is the key to successful family creativity

If your children are old enough to help you prepare for the creative time ahead, the whole preparation process can become a fun and special moment for you all. But, if your kids are still too young to help out, it’s still important to set out everything beforehand. This will help you organize the creative activities a lot better. After all, all you have to do then is get the kids around the setup and start enjoying yourselves. For parents who are really busy with everyday life and responsibilities, not having to worry about wasting time choosing the activities with cranky and bored children is truly priceless. 

3. Organize gadget-free days

This may sound like a mission impossible at first, but as long as you present this as a fun time for the whole family, children will soon start exploring the possibilities outside the digital forms of fun. Just remember to keep them really hyped – for instance, you can present these gadget-free days as competitions or moments when magic can happen in the world and kids have to find it through play. Anything is allowed as long as creativity is concerned – completely free of any smart device. After all, at a young age, no gadget can beat the child’s mind and it’s important you let your kids discover that gift. 
4. Education through fun and games
In case you believe that your children deserve more constructive time for developing creative thinking and learning about the world than what you can give them at home, don’t hesitate to utilize the convenience of the kids’ learning centers. One can find an educational play group in Hong Kongas well as every other part of the world, so keep this tip in mind! These effective playgroups are part of the learning institutions that want to encourage children’s curiosity for the world through fun and games and the company of their peers. That way, children get to learn, play, develop creativity and socialize! 

5. It’s not all about the projects

Keep in mind that it’s not absolutely necessary for you to organize a creative family project for your kids to get the benefit of creative thinking and playing. Anything can boost their creative little minds as long as you have fun with it. For instance, you may even encourage their creative thinking as you all commit to a certain home chore by starting a “think of a story” game. You can start with one sentence and then let the kids add more sentences, and so on, in order to create a story, while you may be dusting or washing the dishes at the same time! There are plenty of options in this case, and you as a parent need to be creative too in order to help your children get their creative juices flowing. 
There is no right way to do the creative family time so don’t stress over it. A lot of parents tend to worry about pointless things like “the right way to teach the kids something” but there simply is no right way! There’s only the way that suits your kids the most. The same goes for creative time and your children’s favorite activities. Pay attention to what they like and enjoy the most and then utilize that to draw their full creative potential out.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Guest Post :: 5 Table Wedding Decoration Ideas For Your Wedding Reception

What’s a Wedding Without a Reception? 
Tying the knot is a special occasion that certainly calls for a feast with close family and friends. It only makes sense to plan this event with great attention to detail. 
One of the ways you can enhance a wedding reception is to create memorable table decorations and centerpieces. Check out some of the ideas and photos below for the inspiration you need for your big day’s after-ceremony gathering.
Golden Stars
Make your wedding reception shine with a celestial-themed table decoration. 
Set your gold and luminescent starry décor against simple white linen overlays, along with an alabaster lucca table runner to achieve a bright and light look. 
You can sprinkle the table with gold leaf dust, or place star-shaped candle holders as part of your centerpiece for a lustrous look. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, use black candles to add a hint of nighttime. 
For your floral arrangement, go for white ranunculus or hybrid tea roses – perfect with their light yellowish petals – and set them on gold vases. 
If you want a shabby chic approach, copper tins are an affordable alternative to traditional vases. Use plain white dinnerware rimmed either with gold and silver for effortless elegance. When it comes to the glasses and plates, a little shimmer will go a long way.
Rustic Charm
Nothing speaks cozy better than a charmingly rustic wedding reception. 
Bring the country indoors by setting rawhide linen or overlay on your wedding table. The distressed leather will add richness, warmth, and flair to the atmosphere. A runner in a pale shade of blue - evoking cool patches of the cool, autumn sky - against a cream banquet table will also work great with the rustic theme. 
Instead of using placemats, set plain white china on wooden charges instead. These rustic pieces complement a seasonal fare or a course of antipasti served on wooden boards. Loose flower arrangements – dusky roses, splashes of lilac, or protea flowers hand-tied with wicker string – will surely enliven any reception table. 
Want something even more charming? Place flowers in water cans for a homespun feel.
Poignant Pastel
Simple weddings don’t have to be dull. Having pastel colors as a theme for a wedding reception is a great canvass to play with décor. 
Add monogram details on invitations, seating signs, and giveaways. For the centerpieces, ditch the vase and go for transparent apothecary jars for larger floral arrangements, and bottles for longer stemmed flowers. These glass items are easy to find and come in a range of shapes and sizes. Plus, they’ll look great under any lighting. 
Since pastel is easy on the eyes, it can be paired with a broad spectrum of fabric colors: think greyed blue tones for your napkins, or a bright purple for your table runners or accent pieces. It’s a perfect way to blend feminine mystique with suave masculinity.
Be Bold
White is the usual go-to theme when it comes to weddings, but you can be a little more daring at the reception by opting for bold prints in your table decoration. 
Bright colors and vibrant patterns can make for an eye-catching gathering with your guests, and the best place to start is with your fabrics. 
Having a summer wedding? Oversized floral linens in shades of purple and pink will call to mind flowering, tropical gardens. 
Make the setup even more interesting by scatterings flowers on the table for your centerpiece. Place exotic single blooms of orchids, protea, or passion flower to create an Instagram-worthy mood. 
For some added drama to your décor, balance the flowers with mini bouquets. These gorgeous tropical plants will add texture and edginess to your already buzzworthy wedding reception.
Maximizing Minimalism
Wedding receptions are often extravagant affairs with lavish decorations. But even a minimalist approach can deliver maximum impact if your decorations are done right. 
BBJ Linen’s article about minimalist wedding ideas gives us some insight into how to create a minimalist wedding reception. 
Minimalism is all about purpose and clarity, and what better way to express this philosophy in your décor than by playing with shapes. Go for geometric dinnerware in unexpected colors like black, taupe, chrome or grey, and pair them with simple, white linen to accent the lines and points. 
Opt for textured table runners to add a tactile dimension to the décor. Small, angular metal candle holders lend an industrial feel to the furnishings, especially when set against a wooden table. 
Going for warm minimalism? Opt for benches instead of individual chairs. Looking to go futuristic? Turn your eyes to sculptural pieces for sleek, contemporary seating. Go for sparse floral arrangements like sprigs of greenery for a truly restrained aesthetic, or succulents in glass terrariums to instantly elevate your tablescape. This way, you’ll certainly be doing more with less. 
 Article written by: Megan Wenzl

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Easter Dresses

Is it just me or do you all feel like we were just getting ready for Christmas? I am loving the fact that spring is in the air; after January I am always so ready for the days to get a bit longer and for flowers to start bloom. 
I am kind of a dress addict and am always looking for an excuse to purchase a new one, and what better excuse is there than Easter!? Below are a few of my recent favorites I have come across. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

7 Spring Cleaning Hacks

It’s that time of the year again - Spring has come and it’s bringing cleaning supplies with it. Deep spring clean up is good for not only promoting a well-organized home but can also bring that feeling of a fresh start. After all, Spring is the time of rebirth and renewal. 

The beauty of the outdoors at this time make people mimic that prettiness, and above all, a clean space can only make people feel better. But if you get a feeling of dread just at the mere thought of all this work use this list to find out how to successfully clean your home in no time.

Clean room by room

The sad truth is that there is no short-cut to this ‘problem’. The best thing you can do is to organize yourself and be absolutely prepared. So for starters, you have to admit there is nothing more lovely than a clean window with a beautiful view. And when you go in or out of your home you always have to pass through your front door. Winter can be rough so it is recommended that you should first repair windows and doorsif needed. When all the repairs are done start the cleaning!

If you can, you should always clean your windows in the shade because direct sunlight can cause smudges and we don’t want that happening after our hard’s work. The best product you can use is a microfiber cloth and a glass cleaner. If you are up for it you can even make one yourself! As for the doors in your home, you can mask small scratches with walnuts! Just rub them over the scratch and you should be good. 

When you are done with these essential parts, you can call up your partner or gather around your family and discuss your plan of action. The best thing you can do is to make a room checklist and go step by step. Maybe you can even split up and that way you can cover most of your home at once. As it was mentioned before there are no short-cuts and by using a room checklist you will be absolutely sure you didn’t miss a spot. So open your windows, let the sunshine in, put on your favorite music and get to work!

Kitchen

Your windows and doors are repaired and cleaned, you have your room checklist in your hand and you just decided it’s best if you start off with the kitchen. The cleanliness of your kitchen appliances is of the most importance. After all, you prepare your food there and later eat that same food. The good part about spring cleaning is that it’s done yearly and although some of your appliances need regular tending, others can pass yearly.  Your microwave, oven, and refrigerator are of one of those things you should clean regularly. But in the big springtime cleaning, you should even clean the parts you usually neglect or miss. Like those burned spots in the back of the oven, or ketchup stains inside of the refrigerator. We all do that it’s not a crime but there is a time when you just have to put an end to it. Kitchen cabinets are a yearly thing. You should declutter, dust everything off, clean it with a microfiber cloth, put everything back and wait for the next springtime cleaning. 

Bathroom

Bathrooms are the place of cleanliness and serenity. They are a place of ‘me’ time, where you freshen up and that is the place you start your day, isn’t it? Starting your morning in a clean environment can only make your day better. Mirrors, toilet and the sink should have a regular tendance. There are some things people just avoid cleaning like the shower curtain. It just kind of stands there so it’s no wonder you forget.

You should also take care of your makeup and makeup brushes. Look for the expiration date and if it’s overdue get rid of it immediately. As for your makeup brushes if they are not tented to they can become a pretty nice place for bacteria. And you don’t want that. You should also take care of your shower drain and make sure it’s unclogged and fresh.

Living Room

Isn't it nice and easy going through this room checklist? The living room is probably the place you spend most of your time in. It is a room where your friends and family gather to have fun. There are a few things you should pay attention to when doing the annual springtime cleaning. Vacuuming behind and under your furniture should be the first thing on your list. Second, there is nothing sweeter than the scent of freshly washed curtains. You should rehang them as soon as the machine is over to avoid wrinkles. Third, you should dust off your bookshelves. You probably dust just the part with no books, but you should take them off dust below them and put them back on the shelf. And the fourth you should clean your ceiling for a complete living room cleaning session. 

Bedroom

Bedroom, bed the favorite place of many people. And coming home from work, or just going to sleep in sweet-smelling bed sheets and fresh bedding is a wonderful feeling. You should toss your bedding in the washing machine only a couple of times a year. And with the Sun shining your bedding should be dry in no time (presuming you don’t have a drying machine). 

Don’t forget about cleaning your mattress! The best way to do it is by pressing firmly with your vacuum's upholstery. When you’re done with that rinse with a damp cloth and blot dry. Afterward, steam from a garment steamer or iron that will kill dust mites, and vacuum at the end. And don’t forget to declutter your closet. There are probably tons of clothes you haven’t worn for ages. The best way to get rid of those extra clothes is by donating them. You are doing a double favor, to yourself and to the people in need.   

Keep This a Habit 

This much cleaning can be overwhelming for anyone, even the experts. But if you start small, and you do it regularly springtime cleaning won’t be a big deal anymore. It will just be another regular day with your regular to-do list. Besides, you are not alone, your partner or your family will help you for sure, and building this kind of habit in a household can be of the utmost importance. You won’t have to nag at your partner or your kids, because this will just be a normal part of your day to day life. And this springtime cleaning day can actually jump-start your new habit! Yes, cleaning can really be a pain in the neck, especially when there are so many better things to do! But keeping a clean home won’t feel like a chore anymore. It will just become a part of your daily routine and you won’t even bother to be thinking about it anymore.