#FamilyFunFellowshipDay – Family Reunion 2014 – Planning Stages

Hello all!!

It’s that time of year again!

Seven years ago I hosted our first ever Family Fun Fellowship Day in Shively Park (Louisville, KY). All sides of a very large family came together for the first time and for some were able to catch up with folks they hadn’t seen in many years. I thank God for that vision and being able to see it come to pass when it did. 2013’s FFFD was a major success, despite some issues with the shelter and we saw well over 50 family members in attendance. Well, it’s not the summer time yet, but FFFD 2014 is right around the corner and the most crucial part of this whole vision is the planning.

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I will do my best to cover my process of planning my annual family reunion with you all. Hopefully this will inspire you to do the same or similar ways to incorporate bringing your family together for some fun & fellowship.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…

First Step(s):

  1. DATES:
  • I’ve selected several dates, keeping in mind that summer months = HEAT and trying to adjust accordingly. It’s also a good idea to have a few dates in mind as you are searching for venues, this will give you some flexibility with their scheduling as well.
  • 3 Options:
    • Saturday, May 24th
    • Saturday, August 23rd
    • Saturday, September 6th

     

2. VENUE:

  • Research is key! What kind of atmosphere do you want to have for your family reunion? Last year we were on the river (with an occasional breeze), there was plenty of parking, clean (I use that term lightly, it is a public bathroom) restrooms, playground(s) and a SPLASH PARK. This was a big hit with all ages so I am looking to have something similar this year, including reserving the shelter(s).
    • My research for park venues looks a little like this:
      • Central Park – 1340 S 4th Street, 40208
        • Arbor, Pergola, Picnic tables, Playground, Restrooms, Sprayground, Tennis, Volleyball
        • Cherokee Park – 745 Cochran Hill Road, 40206
          • Ballfield, Basketball, Biking, Dog Run, Fishing Lake, Hiking, Horseshoe, Shelters, Picnic tables, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Spray pool, Tennis, Walking Path
    • Based on amenities I’d like to have, I have a list of 10 venues. Next steps will include driving by any parks I am not familiar with to do a visual and then checking with Metro Parks in regards to scheduling, deposits, etc.

     

3. COLOR SCHEME/THEME:

  • Colors/Theme dictate my entire brainstorming process. Before I can begin putting out any type of correspondence, I need to select a color scheme/theme for this year. I have already purchased some things for this upcoming year so I believe I’ll be going with those colors – teal/aqua, yellow, white. We shall see how that translates into the logo and more. For me, this is where I start before thinking about inviting or telling people about the upcoming event – it IS important.
    • Proposed Color Scheme: Aqua/Teal, Yellow, White

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2013’s Logo

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…

This is what I have so far…

What do you think? How do you go about planning your family functions?

Introducing Myself: My Journey with Weight Loss

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Hello all…

I know this is my blog and the internet… and we share a little or a lot depending on who we are, but allow me a moment, if you’d like to read a bit, to introduce myself and this #WeightLoss journey.

Starting Weight: 376 (and that’s when I actually started stepping on the scale because I HAD to) It took A LOT for me to even want to share that # with anyone other than my doctor and the poor scale I stand on. That is not only a crazy high number that is what I’ve allowed myself to become. So, please, do with the knowledge what you will, but be mindful that I was not going to share that portion of #MyJourney.

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I started my weight loss journey over the summer (2013) but really decided to give it my all and started setting goals at the end of September. In the month of October I challenged myself,  to walk a minimum of 1mi every day, no excuses. I also decided that I want to lose 100 pounds in 1 year. Fast forward to today, I have lost a total of 33lbs, around 5″ off of my waist and what I was doing for my entire workout (1mi) is barely a warm-up for me now. I continued with walking and eventually jogging and due to the cold months I *finally* joined a gym in December. I am slowly, but surely, adjusting my life, my view on food(s), preparation, getting out of ‘good/bad’ mentality and trying to learn and grow throughout this entire process. It was not, is not and will not be easy, but this is a MANDATORY lifestyle change for me.

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I am 26 years old, I work full time (recovering workaholic), volunteer, try to be active in mentoring with my youth, co-facilitate a girl’s group at a local high school and have my own event coordination business that I finally launched in 2013. I’m a full time Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Mentor, Friend and I recently started foster parenting classes. I proudly wear any title and any given moment and have a lot of love to give, but I really never took time to focus on myself and love ME just as much as I love others. I believe that is was brought me to 376+.

I have struggled with weight my ENTIRE life. In the past I’ve lost 20lbs here or there but gained 40 back. I’ve seen dieticians, nutritionists, started the process for bariatric surgery more than once. I’ve yo-yo dieted, “cleansed”, Zumba’d, and just about any other ‘fad’ you can think of. Contrary to popular misconception – weight isn’t simply calories in/calories out. To over simplify and disregard ones feelings when it comes to weight is not only ignorant, it is down-right insensitive. I keep this in mind when I talk to myself and to others that have similar struggles.

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I decided to share my weight loss journey publicly primarily to hold myself accountable. I decided if others are inspired by what I’ve done, that would be a result of my primary goal: accountability. I have since launched a YouTube channel where I Vlog (video-log) about my journey, my life and more. (( YouTube: SmplyAnita619: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcgTfjmkf2KoFDecfTuGJlQ  )) The amount of love, encouragement and support I’ve received is simply overwhelming. There have been negative people, whether they have came out and said, “you will fail” or thought it, they are there. Some are very close to me, some don’t know my last name. This is okay because this journey is not for them, it is for ME. So, think what you will, say what you may, but know that although it DOES hurt and sometimes discourage, it will not defeat me.

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Some of my goals for this year include:

*100lbs lost by 10.31.14

Including:

<<>> *Out of 300s by my Birthday – Reward: my annual birthday bash – That is 44lbs by June

<<>> *1st 5k – I’m looking at the Color Run in June & Breast Cancer in October.

<<>> *Hosting one of many FREE community workout sessions

*Stay Connected – I’d love to stay connected to those I love and care about me MORE in this coming year.

*Continuing this path of rediscovering ME 🙂

What about you?? What’s your story??

Thank you for reading ❤

Decorating My Place for the Holidays – 2013

Goodbye Turkeys, Hello Snowmen

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I hosted Thanksgiving at my place this year and even though I didn’t do much by way of decorations for turkey day, I couldn’t wait to break out the Christmas boxes. Usually I decorate my office and home, but this year I focused my attention (and time) at home and allowed a simple door-countdown suffice at work.

Join me as I give you a tour…This can also be found in video format on my vlog on YouTube Channel: SmplyAnita619. I’ll post the link as well…

Vlog #4: Decorating My Place for the Holidays – SmplyAnita619  << http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArhnAxr7gkg >>

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It’s certainly a process…and the key, for me, to successful holiday decorating is making sure I take it down and store it away in a nice, neat, organized fashion…That way I’m not looking in 20 boxes for the 1 snowman I couldn’t find to finish a display. 🙂 Who am I kidding, it’s not about the snowman anyway… It’s ALL about the tree!

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1497713_10151832951296483_911560847_nI just love breaking out the Village every year. It reminds me of one of my favorite Aunts growing up. She had a gorgeous display all over her living and dining room every year from Thanksgiving to the new year. She gave me my first “house” and it’s been growing ever since.

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I bought 3 angels a few years ago, with the hopes to find a total of 5. I held onto them for the entire season and couldn’t find anymore. I wanted to give one to each of my sisters as a gift. I ended up gifting 2 of them to my sisters and kept one for myself. This is the first year she’s made it into my holiday decor…what do you think?

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Well, I guess that about sums it up for me…Here are a few more of the finished product. What are your favorite parts about decorating for the holidays?

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From me & mine, I want to wish you and yours a very, Merry Christmas!

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Where have you been? – Updating my Blog, What’s New & More

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Hellllllo folks!

Long time no read, right?! Ahhh, it’s Monday, December 2nd, 2013 and Thanksgiving has passed us by already! We’re 22 days from Christmas and 29 days from 2014! Wow, where did 2013 go?!

What have I been up to?! – GEESH – What HAVEN’T I been up to?! Work, weight loss, more work, event planning and more. I’ve also officially started vlogging on YouTube. It is something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time, but never got around to it… Then Black Friday deals and a new camera later, I don’t have any excuses…So, it’s official! You can catch me on YouTube at SmplyAnita619… I’ll post links later…

I hosted Thanksgiving at my place this year…that was a lot of work, a lot of fun and definitely worth it! Thankfully I did a lot of prep and wasn’t rushed or stressed…we all know how the holidays can bring out the best AND worst in folks.

My niece’s 18th birthday is quickly approaching… I literally remember when she was born, when she was stepping on the step team in elementary school and her 8th grade promotion ceremony. And here it is, she’s about to be 18, working full time, school full time and about to graduate and go to college. I can and do tear up just thinking about it at times. Whew…Now to plan a gathering :).

That’s about it, I do believe… Another thing in the works is I’m planning to transition companies soon. I’ve been testing, touring, interviewing, etc. and awaiting further instructions… Prayers going up for that, please!

If you’d like to check me out on YouTube, feel free. Please like, comment, subscribe and let me know you came by! I really appreciate all of the love & support so far.

My Channel: (( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcgTfjmkf2KoFDecfTuGJlQ ))

My First Video – Intro 2 My Channel: (( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dUEhBoxbho ))

Vlog #1 : FancySchmancy – (( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yME4ifr4m9I ))

Vlog #2 : Weight Loss, My Story, Goals, December Challenge – (( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpHzA-RFWrk ))

Blessings & love,

Anita

Fall Harvest Festival-2013

ImageAhhh, Fall is quickly approaching and I can’t wait for everything that comes along with it…

 

Every year in lieu of Halloween my church hosts an alternative, much like the rest of the churches in America. What sets us apart in years past and to come, I believe, is the organization and planning that goes into the entire event beforehand. While I’ve helped in years passed, this year my dear friend requested my assistance with the entire event planning process and we have been brainstorming ever since.

 

Much like any other Fall Harvest themed event we’ll have your food, games and activities, but we’re doing something new this year and incorporating a Chili Cook-Off. We’re also bringing in some carnival themed games like balloon pop and ring toss in the mix. Prayers are going up for warm/nice weather as most of this is planned to take place outside, block party style to invite the surrounding community.

 

More to come on this event in the works, for now here are some flyers I’ve created! 🙂

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#FamilyFunFellowshipDay – Family Reunion 2013 SUCCESS!

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A fabulous turnout for a great day of family, fun and fellowship…

Picture it – three sides to a large family. Some of which haven’t seen each other in over 20 years… And they all come together at the notion of celebrating the good times… In 2007 that’s exactly what happened. What began as a humble vision of bringing a large family together turned into something I never expected in 2007. Fast forward 6 years and I hosted another #FamilyFunFelloshipDay that was sure to exceed that.

Of course I posted my progress leading up to the event via social media (Instagram, FB, Twitter) and that generated a lot of excitement for the day itself. Planning, communicating with people I don’t usually get to talk to and lots of preparation work was all worth it… We had a monumental turn out of 51 people and I am looking forward to planning next year… From save the dates to invites, finding out postal addresses and menu planning to games, activities and figuring out how to get everyone involved, I loved every part of the process.

What are some of your favorite memories of your family reunions? What are some of the yearly traditions you still honor to this day? What about the food, what’s your favorite staple at the family reunion – Aunt Connie’s potato salad or Uncle Jimmy’s ribs? Talk to me blog world 🙂

 

 

#MasqueradeWineAndDine – Party Time!

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 –

Today’s the day!!! The party finally arrived…

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The morning started off rather calm…I went to breakfast with a dear friend and relaxed for the afternoon. My friends were to arrive starting around 2 and begin the lovely process of making this event a success. We had to grab balloons, pick up a cake, decorate the venue and come back to my place to get ready ourselves. Piece of cake, right?! 🙂

Balloons…Surprisingly I was in and out. Thanks to Party City for being so helpful on a Saturday afternoon (one of their busiest days)….

The cake!! Heitzman did a great job with my inspiration that I gave them…I told her, “can you take this & this and mix it together?” This was the inspiration photo I gave her… (the top row, last 2 were my favorites for a sheet cake blend)

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The Cake!!

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Funny enough, and while I’d like to say I planned it – it was pure coincidence…The scroll work that I loved so much in the inspiration photos was very similar to my black and white print I picked for the themed decor…Haha, imagine that!

Now, off to the venue to set up…Let’s hope that the party that was booked in the room before me was done already. We arrive to Logan’s Roadhouse and I had the lovely task of carrying the cake in…while others offered, I did not want something to happen and me want to chop them in their throat (enter laugh, but I am somewhat serious), rather I carried it myself. To my surprise, the room was clear and ready for me. It turns out the party that booked the room ended up being smaller than they anticipated and it paid off arriving earlier than expected…Now, to get to work!

I had worked on the tablescapes in advance, hoping to make things go smoothly. This is where I MUST thank my diligent friends who have worked so hard to make this year (and years past) a success. Ashley, Brittney and Lindsey kicked it into overdrive and asked for direction and we got to work…I’ll show some pics here 🙂

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Now, remember…all of these masks were made by hand. My sign at each place setting reads (see Mask Making Party – https://smplyanitascorner.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/masqueradewineanddine-masquerade-mask-making-party/ ) :

Dear Guest –

Thank you for attending my birthday celebration. In honor of the theme Masquerade Wine & Dine, please take this Mask as a gift from me to you for being here today.

Blessings & Love,

Anita L. Herron

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The CAKE table! 🙂 

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Now that the decor is complete (again, big thanks to my wonderful support team). It’s time to get ME ready! One of my best friends, who happens to be a talented, fabulous makeup artist was already at my place getting ready herself and it was time to head there as well.

I’m all gussied up and ready to go…but first, a few pics… The party was set to start at 7p, but of course the birthday girl is allowed to be fashionably late… Thankfully, I don’t live too far from the restaurant though, LOL.

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Remember the dress that said yes to me?! 🙂 Here it is! …

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Some of the photos my friends took before I arrived…My beautiful niece modeling her mask…

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My niece and her boyfriend, enjoying the theme, lol. 

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My wonderful friend Keesha & her other half Pierre – they even went out and bought masks for the occasion 🙂  3f

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This woman became one of my right-hand women planning this event…I couldn’t have done it without her. She got ready and arrived before I did to make sure everything went smoothly before I arrived. Thank YOU Ashley!

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Another dear friend was able to make it to the party and she snapped some photos… She owns and operates a WONDERFUL photography business – Black Butterfly Imagery. I’ll list some of her awesome photos here…

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This sign was posted at my cake table…I wanted something to remember this day, and I thought, the banner! What better way to remember something than a giant birthday card… It reads:

Thank you for joining me to celebrate my birthday!

Please take a moment to sign the banner to help me remember the occasion!

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One of my favorite photos to sum up the night…and all of the planning. Unfortunately I didn’t get everyone, as some people had to leave before the end of the event….All the same, I had a WONDERFUL birthday. Thanks to everyone who came out, who helped me prepare and execute such a lovely event…

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#FamilyFunFellowshipDay – Family Reunion 2013

#FamilyFunFellowshipDay - Family Reunion 2013

Working on the banner for our 2nd ever Family Fun Fellowship Day —- a twist on the regular Family Reunion.

This started as a vision to bring all sides of a very large, very distant family together over 6 years ago…I hosted the first ever in 2007 and now six years later here we are…It’s next Saturday (08/10) and I plan on keeping you guys filled in as it goes along…

#MasqueradeWineAndDine – Masquerade Mask Making Party

ImageInspiration – Masks from New Orleans, LA brought in by my co-worker…

It was time to make some masks! 🙂 I decided early on that I would make the mask templates and decorate them by hand. I checked into one of my favorite craft stores and even with my handy dandy coupons I’d pay over a dollar per blank mask – not cool, especially for me, a lovely lady on a budget. Not to mention I had to make far too many masks, including ones for party favors and centerpieces.

I hit the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby…

ImageThankfully I also had a lot of crafty items in my stash, and I pulled those out as well…

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I decided to do a trial run based off of a youtube video I had found…. (( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qEt3DhILTA )) In the video it suggests that you use a piece of paper (I used a piece of white construction paper) to trace your mask, then transfer that on a thicker piece of paper/cardboard, I literally used a cut up cereal box I believe. Once I got the shape I wanted, I trimmed the mask and painted it black…

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Using aluminum foil to catch my glitter I just used glue and glitter and created this effect…

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I realized very quickly that this mask was probably not large enough and that I didn’t like the thought of transferring the paper onto the cardboard by glue (you could start to see bubbling taking place) and decided that I’d just opt to create the templates from cardboard and paint/decorate as needed…

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I didn’t know you could get cats at Walmart, lol…just joking, here’ Sassy exploring the bag…

I believe in multi-tasking so I decided to create templates while doing other things and to get myself ready for the Mask Making Party…

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Now, to have willing workers, I mean, friends…How to get them here and productive?? Why, cook for them of course….

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My “famous” Cajun Chicken Pasta…

ImageFresh Italian Garlic Cheese Bread — no frozen stuff over here 🙂

Now, to set up for the party…

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I printed these as “inspiration”…

At this point, I’d really like to give a shout out to my friend Lindsey, sister Anna, niece Stevana and new ‘niece’ June…They really showed up and helped out tremendously that night. They kept saying, “I’m not creative” or “I don’t know what I’m doing” but before you knew it we were pumping out masks left and right and they just kept getting better! 🙂 It was a lot of fun…I didn’t realize how much it would take to make so many masks, so naturally we were only able to get a portion of the masks done that night…

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This was the first attempt at making MY mask—the birthday girl had to be special and I had to have options. At this point though, I was just ready for my bed and not the mask… I ended up working on them with another friend (thanks again Stephanie!) that following night… We were able to get a few more completed including my mask(S) 😀

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My 3 options…

Thankfully I started this process a week before the party. It allowed me plenty of time to finish up my centerpiece masks as well as the party favor ones. My next post I’ll take you to my actual birthday and the day’s events and then to the venue and show you how we set up for the Masquerade Wine & Dine 🙂

Thanks for reading…any questions, feel free to comment.

Anita

#My1stCruise – Review: A work in progress

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When I first started this blog I initially wanted something other than the review that I’d write for cruise critic just for me to share…. I have since finished (using that term lightly) my review on CC and have been pulling it over from one site to this one… This does take a bit of time as I have to reformat and size pictures etc. however it is a work in progress.

Sooooo….. If you’d like to check out my review of the Carnival Destiny out of Miami Florida visiting Nassau, Bahamas, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas and Grand Turk, slide on over to that tab where I’m working on it daily… 🙂

If not, you can view the entire review in it’s “finished” state here:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1811812