Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bittersweet Birthday Invites

How did that become this...
Thanks to the amazing Photography by Dayle!
It truly feels like just yesterday I was picking out O's going home outfit and today I mailed off the invites to her big First Birthday Party!  Never one to do things on a small scale (I mean look at the bow in that child's hair!), this party is sure to be no exception. 

The invitation is a vital part of any party.  It sets the tone and let's the guests have a peek at what they are in for!  Tiny Prints is a favorite website of ours for everything from birth announcements to invites, so they were a no brainer for this event.  We are going with a Sandcastle theme (We do live at the beach!) and when I saw these I knew we had a winner...
I decided to take it to the next level and make the plain white envelope as cute as the invite itself.  I ordered Ows her own PSA custom "Roman Deluxe" stamp and then a set of the "Anchors Aweigh" Peel & Stick stamps.  Add a cartridge of Royal Blue and Holiday Red ink, and we were ready to personalize!  I also went to the craft store and bought a red and royal blue pen to write the addresses (won't Mickey & Minnie be so excited they scored an invite?!?)  Lib has always been a big fan of completing the envelope with a coordinating stamp and, I will say, she is right!  When we took the invites to the Post Office to mail them, the good old Liberty Bell just didn't quite fit, so these sailboats just completed the theme!  Oh, and just to thrill the kiddos (and annoy the Mommies) I loaded the envelopes with confetti!  Just a sneak peek at the fun fiesta ahead!  More personal party planning pics to come soon, I promise it's gonna be good!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Into The Mystic...

What a fabulous weekend!  Any trip to Atlanta with the kiddos and Ricker is guaranteed to be fun, but add the Whitley's to the mix and it's over the top!  Our dear friends Craig and Lisa Whitley joined us at Mom & Dad's place in Downtown Atlanta to celebrate the wedding of Rush & Jessica Wall.  Ricker, Rush, Craig & Lisa all grew up in the same town and have known each other since middle school.  Well, maybe not so much Lisa (the guys have a few years on her, but I didn't say that...)  So we all got dressed up in our wedding finest (after some moaning from the boys about having to wear suits) and turned out quite dapper if I do say so myself.
We headed over to the gardens at the Frazier Center in the Highlands area and were stunned at the gorgeous setting!  There were a few tents set up with antique bronzed candelabras and bird cages and chandeliers and, well you get the picture.  Between the lush green gardens, the white tents and the decor, it really was breath taking.  We were treated to a true southern feast, too.  There was some mac n cheese that was TDF and the grit bar (yeah that's right, grit BAR) gave topping options such as collard greens, goat cheese and pancetta!  YUM!  There were also signature drinks for the sipping.  Highly impressive wedding, I must say.  Knowing how much they love food, I thought this would be an excellent gift for them to put to use in their kitchen
Something that they will hopefully use daily and remember those of us that were there to share their special day with them.  It was like a middle school, high school and college reunion all wrapped up in to one for all of us.  Rick has known most of the guys there for more than 20 years and since joining up with the gang in college, I have been blessed enough to know them all for more than a decade.  They are a wonderful group and though we don't get to see them often enough, getting together with all of them at weddings make it that much more special.  Rush & Jessica looked amazing and were just giddy to have everyone there.  My personal favorite moment of the night was when Jessica surprised Rush with a cover of an all time favorite song blended into their first dance.  I still have goose bumps as I think about watching them dance, Into The Mystic....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What a difference a year makes...

Yep, that was me one year ago! wonder I had a 9 pound baby girl-HA!  This pic was actually taken at the most amazing "Sprinkle" you could ever imagine.  First of all, let me explain the "sprinkle" thing.  This was baby #2 for us and another girl at that, so there really was no need to ask people to shower us with massive amounts of baby loot.  As much, we discovered the sprinkle.  It was smaller and much more, for lack of a better word, demure.  Sussie, Libby & my Mom put together a gorgeous afternoon tea at a lovely little bakery in Old Town.  We snacked on curry chicken salad finger sandwiches and then gorged on the dessert platters

The non-preggos (that would be everyone in attendance other than moi) sipped champagne and there were three different tea options passed around.  It truly was amazing!  The good part about the sprinkle was that the gifts we received were so personal and things that we really did need.  Sussie made this gorgeous diaper cake...named her "Elegant Baby Cake"

And Libby made the adorable white basket (decorated with a PSA Stamp none the less) and filled it with silly things that made me laugh!  Baby gifts are something that I really love more than most others.  They are things that will be cherished by the child and family for years to come.  Ella still sleeps with the blanket that my Grandmother knitted for her.  She gave it to me at our baby shower over four years ago and needless to say, I cried.  While knitting a blanket may be beyond some of us, adding a personal touch to a store bought blanket with either a name, monogram or date is so easy and can mean just as much.  I have been invited to a very posh baby shower celebrating our dear friend Erin and her soon to arrive little girl and have come up with the perfect gift
Our 2.5 quart Jack and Jill bucket filled with a sippy cup, baby blanket and set of orbit labels, all monogrammed...of course!!!  Personal and practical at the same time, and we all know how much I love that!  The bucket will be perfect for holding stuffed animals in her room, or in our case, filled up as a portable changing station to move around the house with us.  And I'm hoping that her baby girl will love to snuggle with her blanket as much as both of my girls do.
And Miss O is doing it as we speak!  (I just snuck upstairs and took this!)  This is the blanket my Grandmother made for her.  I can't believe how big she is or the fact that I ordered the invites for her 1st Birthday yesterday!  What a difference a year (or a simple monogram;))can make!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gifting Guru

As many of y'all know, one of the main reasons we started Little Miss Monogram was because we LOVE giving gifts!  Sure, it is fun to get them as well, but seeing the look on someone's face when they open that gift that you found for them is kind of the best gift of all!  I love love love when a friend comes and asks for advice on what they should get someone and when a groom comes with that question, I just melt.  Guys buying guys gifts is a liquor store's dream!  I could not tell you the last time one of Ricker's buddy's birthdays passed with out a trip to pick up a bottle of Crown Royal or Jager Meister.  So when it comes to grooms men gifts, I kinda like to help open up their minds a little wider.

When Rick and I got married 7 (yeah, 7!!!) years ago, all the girls got pretty pearl bracelets with a monogrammed silver disc (imagine that!) and the groomsmen received silver cuff links.  So classy and timeless but we were lucky.  We were able to give these gifts because we were the first to get married and all of the guys did not already have 7 or 8 pairs of monogrammed cuff links from the previous 7-8 weddings they had been in.  And due to the fact that Rick would loose his head if it wasn't attached, we don't mind the reuse of a silver money clip as a groomsmen gift as we go through those like tissues around here.  But how about a few new ideas:
I love this silver plated can cooler.  Yeah, I know it's a coozie, but it's too classy of a coozie not to be called a "can cooler."  This would help that Coors Light sitting on your coffee table much more attractive!  Or what about this:
A beautiful, 11 tool, rosewood pocket knife is the perfect gift for any man, let alone a groomsman!  Rick may actually need one of these.....Now the next request I received was for ideas for personalized party favors for kid's parties.  Anyone have any ideas?  I know what everyone will be receiving at Miss O's big first birthday and it is one of my personal obsessions!  Happy Monday...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off To The Market

So you've heard me gush about our awesome Farmer's Market every Thursday and today will be no exception!  It is a beautiful day here and you can almost feel fall creeping in on us!  (Which no doubt leads to football season, YES!)  Ella gets out of school at 3 and then we are off to the market!  Today we are on the search for more of the fresh peppers we bought last week and also headed right for the pasta guy.  He is amazing!  His fresh ravioli are delicious and he comes up with some of the most creative combinations.  What about shrimp and butter bean and shrimp or truffled lobster? Mmmmmm....But today we are going to get some of his fresh pasta, hoping that he has his basil angel hair to pair with the D'Anna's homemade meatballs!  (I snagged the recipe from them and cannot wait to try and master it!)  Fresh dinner from the farm tonight!  Oh and look how stylish we will be walking around the market with our monogrammed canvas tote

It is the perfect size to hold all of our goodies (and we will be saving the planet one plastic bag at a time!)  The pocket in front holds my cell phone and the straps are just long enough!  While Libby wants one for the beach, I think that mine may become my every day bag!  It also comes in Red, Black and Royal Blue.  Personalize in a different color thread for an added punch.  Well Miss Ows is just waking up from her nap so I'm off to load the car for the farmer's market and don't worry my bright pink umbrella is ready to go!  We may be the most posh, personalized people there! 

Personalizing The Porch

Is there anything more Southern than a front porch?  Our neighborhood is full of them, as well as most other neighborhoods here in the south.  Ours may be small, but you will still find me sitting out there watching the kids play and the neighbors ride or walk by.  Some of us girlies here in the neighborhood even have "Porch Dates."  Yeah, there is wine and a lot of chit chat included.  But seriously, could there be a better way to spend an evening with friends than catching up while rocking in a chair?

Our neighborhood is what's considered a TND (Traditional Neighborhood Design) where the lots are smaller, the homes a little closer together and with large open parks and squares throughout where everyone meets up and runs their pups.  The homes are also Charlestonian in design and tend to look a bit alike after a while.  In my everlasting crusade to leave my personalized mark on this world, I have found my latest obsession!

The Monogram House Flag!  How chic is that?!?  We also have funky, fun and colorful ones as well!  And why stop at that?  What about the stoop?

Oh, and don't worry, not all of them are so girly twirly, these are just my faves!  We have lots of other designs and color combinations that your husband won't roll his eyes at.  Wouldn't these be a great house warming gift or even a quick face lift for your own front porch?!?  A cute topic of conversation during one of our "Porch Dates"?  (Though there is very rarely a lack of conversation topics with our crowd)  Oh!  Also for the porch dates...

Our Acrylic Wine Cooler to hold our beverage of choice and to keep it nice and cool for the next glass.  I mean, if you're going to do it, you might as well go all the way, right?  You could even add our acrylic glassware and serving tray.  Then the guests will really be impressed!  Alright, going to chill tonight's bottle and get set for my dates to arrive...what shall we discuss tonight?  Hmmm....I'll keep that personal!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hugely Obsessed!!!!!

From the monent I saw these, I HAD to have them.  Seriously, where have these been all my motherhood life?!?! Orbit Labels are the coolest baby thing on the market!  I mean, how much money do we spend on these baby bottles and sippy cups only to tear off a piece of masking tape and slap it on them?  Oh and then the nightmare of the tapey goo that ends up all over the bottles when you forget to take the "name tape" (required by all Day Cares, Sunday Schools, Pre Schools, etc) off said bottle.  Gross!  Well, this changes the game.

Orbit labels were invented by a Mom who felt the same way and actually did something about it. They were designed to fit the traditional 4oz. baby bottle by Playtex and Gerber (*Dr. Brown's 8 oz) and can stretch to accommodate the needs of a child's changing drink container. These labels fit all sippy cups and a variety of sport bottles. They can be interchanged being that they are non-adhesive and reusable - what a great change from the traditional method of one-time use sticky labels! And the uses for them are never ending-how about the fact that they fit on a shampoo bottle?  I know, where is she going with this, but follow me...  For the kids in the dorm with the communal showers, use an Orbit Label to make sure that your forgotten shampoo will make it's way home to you! I mean it's never ending.  Look how it fits this water bottle
How great is that?  And that they come in a 4 pack on sale for $12.95???  Yeah, pretty cool.  Great colors, too!  This is truly the perfect baby gift, toddler birthday gift or even back to school gift for older kiddos!  All you have to do it pick your color and personalize it!  Going to stretch it around my wine glass and have it read "Back Off!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Time (And My Way!)

Yes!  Kids Back To School = Mommy Time!  Yeah, I know we are still keeping the house, running the errands, doing the laundry, cooking the meals, (the list goes on forever!) but there is still a little time in there for just us.  Me, I choose to spend mine on the tennis court.  If you have ever played with me, then you know this is a good choice as I can use ALL the practice I can get!  Oh and isn't it convenient that Libby's husband is a tennis pro-SCORE!

So this year I am hoping to be a little more fierce on and off the court.  Last season I was that girl on the team who wanted all of us in matching uniforms.  Sure, we may have come in last in our division, but the other teams at least thought we looked good!  So to take it to the next level look what I found...
 Aren't they awesome!!  Personally going with the Polka Dot Hippo, but the Snowy Midnight with blue trim is also amazing!  With three different styles of bags to choose from, there really is something for everyone.  Whether you like to carry the everything but the kitchen sink to your match (use the Venus Carry All) or are a minimalist (go for the Serena Tennis Racket Bag) it's all there!  Thinking somewhere in the middle for me, so that would be the Tara Tennis Backpack-so chic and sporty! And when I work up a sweat and need a sip of water on my change-over...
Still deciding on my name or my name team name, thoughts?  So excited to get out there and take some time for me, you know, help keep me sane?!?  How will you spend your free time now that the kids are at school?  Whatever you are doing, make sure you are doing it in style...and personalized!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Umbrella Obsession

Late summer evening showers are one of my all time favorite things in the world.  They pop up out of no where and can be fast and furious!  Usually, I like to be snuggled up on my sofa (with some awesome reality tv on!) or already cozy in bed but sometimes that just doesn't happen!  Lately it seems like I have been stranded out in the middle of the storm. 

Case in point, every Thursday evening all spring and summer our lovely little town of Bluffton, SC holds a local farmers market.  I will never be able to fully gush appropriately about how amazing this is!  There's live music, locally grown produce, homemade pastas and raviolis, freshly fried shrimp and oysters, and of course cold beer on tap.  All of our friends meet up there and the kids play on the playground while we catch up and buy our goodies for the week.  However, as the summer goes on and grows steamier, the thunderstorm probability has gone through the roof.  The girls and I have fallen victims to the storms one too many times (you should have seen the day I had to stop in the local clothing boutique to buy a dry outfit-yes it was that bad!) and now I have my solution! 

Yes, I know, it's an umbrella and that's a no brainer.  Here's the thing, it's a 60" umbrella that we can all huddle under and it doesn't have a golf or corporate logo on it!!!  Thank heavens!  It also has a girlie touch cause it's my favorite color (PINK!) though we have it in black, white, royal blue, red, yellow and even orange!  You can add your monogram in any of our fonts or do the last name of the fam.  How about showing some school spirit and using the team colors and initials?  Just a thought, probably need to do a UGA one for is right around the corner!  Wait until all of those obsessions arrive!  Until then, stay cool and dry.....and personalized!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Taking "Back To School" Personally

It's that time again and after my fifteenth Target run this week, I think I have their entire back to school collection memorized.  I am having nightmares of Ella coming home with other kid's items because everything looks just alike!!!  Not in this household!  We are taking things personally and going to stand out from the crowd (even more so than normal-HA!)  This week Little Miss Monogram is featuring all of the must have products to get us out of the Disney Princess Death Grip but also to help you be stylin' in the dorms!

This Ditsy Dots water bottle screams your child's name, while being uber practical.  I know we have three or four of the bottles floating around the house, but they don't have a name on them and I never take them to the park for fear that someone else will have the exact same one!

These lunch boxes are such a sight for sore eyes...and I literally mean sore eyes.  If I have to stare at one more Princess Aurora lunch bag, my eyes just might get torn out.  How about the old school metal lunch box made modern with a great splash of color on the top and then, of course, the monogram?  Miss Molly will be sporting one of these this year while Ella is toting the pink polka dot lunch sack with her name in lime green!  That should make lunch time a little more interesting.  And who says they have to be just for kids?  I am eyeing one myself.... Oh to be back in school!

After finding these items for the college kids, I was really wanting to go back (not that The University of Georgia didn't have me there for long enough in the first place, but that's a whole different story....) Remember living in the dorm?  Having to use the communal bathroom at the other end of the hall?  Toting all of your bath gear to and from each time? How about these solutions?
The terry cloth wrap is elastic under your arms to stay in place while you make the trip down the hall (and while you do your hair, make-up, you know what I'm saying...) We have in in pink and aqua!  Plus you can put your initial and name on it and go crazy with the thread colors.  Wait, there's no reason I can't have one of these, right?  Oh and the bucket, it's monogrammed and the perfect size to hold all of the bathroom necessities!
And remember lugging laundry home every few weeks?  Yes the dorm had facilities, but who wanted to sit around and wait for laundry to wash when Mom was just a car ride away?  These adorable monogrammed laundry bags are the perfect way to make the chore a little more fashionable.  I also keep one of these in my suitcase when we travel.  They are great for keeping all of the dirty clothes separate from the clean and for making my life a lot easier when we get home-no sorting!

Let's be serious, this time of year can be hectic! Between remembering who is doing carpool which day, when ballet is, when the dogs' have their check up, ummmm when is date night?  Yeah, it can get pretty muddled.  PSA is there with us and they have the cutest set of Peel n Stick stamps to help you get that calendar marked and your life in order!  (They also have a stamp for "From The Library of..., how cute for marking the kids' books for school?)
Off for my final Target run for paper and markers (you should see the way this kid goes through markers!) and the other goodies from the teacher's list.  Is it time for them to head back to school yet?  This Mommy needs a break!  Maybe shopping will bring me peace....hmmm what to personalize next?  Ideas?

Oh and by the way....the personalization of your products is on the house!  So no excuses-Personalize EVERYTHING!