Those of you who know me know that I have a thing for art. If you really know me, you also know that I love, love, love sculptures. If I were disgustingly rich, I'd have two bonus rooms-a huge library/study with walls of book and old-world furnishings and a hall of sculptures just like the one at the Met in NYC or the Smithsonian in DC. On my last venture into the city, I strolled around the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, drooling over all the Rodin's (and a few others).
It's been a loooong-ass time since I threw a dinner party or had friends over. Army friends have moved away, and its been quite an adjustment going back to work full-time and keeping up with writing and additional freelance work. But I've adjusted none the less, and it was high time for entertaining.
My best friend from Oklahoma who has been my best friend since middle school somehow wound up in DC while I wound up not too far from her in Maryland, so luckily I still have her to hang with. She and my new friend Chelsea came over for a movie night. If you want to throw the perfect girls-night party, there are a few must-haves.
Reading material. VOGUE is my fashion bible, closely followed by W, ELLE and People Stylewatch. Doesn't Adele look boobilicious?
Flowers. What's more girly than flowers? It's a simple thing that makes a big impact.
Mood lighting. Every gal can apprectiate a flickering candle. It just makes you want to sit down and relax.
Mani-Pedi! Jess asked if it'd be okay to do our nails during the movie. Given that I can't do anything halfway, I arranged my nail polish and supplies on a silver tray.
Chick food. I served an easy antipasti to go with our personal pizzas.
For the pizzas we went with vegetarian toppings like olives, artichoke hearts and feta. We washed it all down with a huge bottle of wine.
For an easy low-calorie dessert, I made Kumquat Lemon Tartelettes using phyllo cups and low-fat lemon pudding. My face is somewhere underneath all that hair!
There was a very hyper and fashionable party crasher who kept wanting to pose while we were trying to cook.
Behold the most crucial part of a chick night...the chick flick! Bridesmaids is hands-down the funniest movie I've seen in a long time. Finally a comedy for girls who like innappropriate humour. And I'm still having dreams about that adorable Irish guy.
I knew my 4 yr. old daughter Kaitlin would want a pink-themed birthday party this year. I thought about doing a Pinkalicious Party or a Stawberry Shortcake Party, but when I took her shopping for decorations, it was clear she just want pink flowers and pink princess stuff everywhere. It was going to be a small family party as well, so we settled on an intimate Pink Tea Party.
I'll share decor and food photos along with recipes and tutorials on my food site, but here on my personal blog I wanted to share the pics of my sweet little princess. You'll notice there aren't any actual tea cups at this tea party. Kaitlin picked out her own pimp cup.
I recently saw this photo on someone else's profile on Facebook, and I couldn't help but laugh...and click "Like"...and share. I'm still trying ot figure out if she merely backed into the pole and didn't realize that her cheeks had enveloped it. Still, it really looks like she's clenching, doesn't it? I suppose it's one alternative way of holding on. Hey, I get it! I've been on the DC Metro and theNew York City Subway system. Those things jerk around and you have to hold onto anything you can with whatever you can.
In any case, it's funny! Right? The next morning I had a gazillion Likes and comments on it. While most people thought it was hilareous, two said something to the effect of "What is the point of posting this?". I replied, "Well..it's funny! Not to everyone I guess." To which an offended person replied "Sorry, I don't see how making fun of someone regardless of how foolish they appear is funny. Now if we teach our children to make fun of this person that is alright, correct? Or do we teach our children to not make fun of this personality. Not trying to be ornery, I simply don't get why making fun of someone like this is a mature thing to do." I simply replied that I was sorry it offended her.
When I posted it I wasn't really thinking that I was making fun of someone. My train of thought was simply "funny picture...must share". I am typically against making fun of anyone. Oops! Well, my aim here wasn't maturity. But it has me thinking, has Facebook turned me into a mean girl? I always strive to share only positive things on my blogs and status, but in trying to be funny, I ended up being negative I suppose.
I know, I know, I'm reading waaaaayyyyy too much into this. I'm a female, I have to analyze the crap out of it. But there is a lot too it. Online images are becomming very important as social networking is growing more each day. I represent The Blog Entourage and my brand as a writer after all. Part of me thinks it is no big deal and it was simply funny. However, if I want to present my brand as positive, I suppose I shouldn't post pics that make fun of people.
I do have a problem with people who are reputation police and think you should never post anything controversial if you want to be successful. That simply isn't true, because people like Chelsea Handler and Conan thrive off innappropriate humor.
I think the most important thing is determining what your brand is and taking into account if you are trying to get a job as, say...a teacher. You may be the most wholesome, kind person out there, but if you share one little nasty remark or picture, your online image can suffer.
On the other hand, a lot of these things are subjective. What is offensive to one person is simply silly to another. If you have a professional reputation to uphold, it's always better to be safe than sorry. But how about those People of Wal-Mart pics? Those are too fucking funny, huh? Dammit! I crossed the line again...
I love going to Longwood Gardens in PA. It is a ginormous (yes that's a word) estate with a conservatory, green houses, restaurant, walking trails, Italian fountain garden, topiary sculpture garden and gobs and gobs of other outdoor gardens.
They do different exhibits according to the season and holiday. During Christmas, naturally they have lights and trees everywhere. This year they focused on gingerbread and old-fashioned wreaths. It was a Dicken's Christmas complete with period-dressed carolers. I hope you enjoy the photos!
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and I wish you all a wonderful New Year!
I go a little nuts every holiday, especially for Halloween and Christmas. Here is a peak at my home during Christmastime this year. We aren't having any houseguests over the holiday weekend, so it's low-key this year. (Which means whenever I go all out, it is crazy!)
I skipped the outdoor lights and opted for simple garland and poinsettas.
My living areas are normally decorated in blue, so I tend to use silver with different shades of blue ornaments during Christmas. This garland and wreath are decorated with plain ornaments that I coated with glitter.
I made this mini ornament tree last year using a styrofoam cone, plastic ornaments, tinsel and hot glue.
When I decorate my trr, I like to use floral elements, ball ornaments in various sizes, shades and textures, and lots and lots of lights.
A really easy way to wrap a beautiful present is to start with a plain white box (no wrapping necessary), tie it with shiny ribbon and top it with an ornament or floral pick.
I dressed up these pre-existing pillar candles with glittered floral picks for a quick and easy festive touch.
I love making homemade treats to give as presents. You can find the recipe for this hot cocoa mixon my food blog.
I repurposed my toddler's old crib railing by using it to display Christmas cards.
I want to give a shout out to all of my blogging friends who have networked with me, supported me, and most importantly have made me laugh through this year. I love and appreciate you guys and hope you all have a very, very, very Merry Christmas!!! I wish you could all stop by so I could feed you with lots of yummy treats and make you watch a million Christmas movies and build a snow fort with me...even though most of you hate snow. ;)