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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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#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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#MasqueradeWineAndDine – I Picked a Theme, Now What?

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Inspiration

So every year I like to plan a rather “large” birthday gathering to celebrate myself. I look at it like this: 364 days of the year is about everyone else, but for a few hours on the day I choose to celebrate, it’s about me :-). So, another year wiser and older means another celebration.

25 has been interesting, to say the very least. There has certainly been more good than bad, and for that I’m grateful. People have come and gone in my life, friendships strengthened, loved ones lost, but all the same I am STILL here. Each year brings new trials, triumphs and victories and as a reminder of what I’ve gone through, I CHOOSE to celebrate. So whether I consider these celebrations a reminder of all of that, as a ‘pat on the back’ for the thankless job I do daily, a time to prepare for what’s to come or simply a day to just relax and ENJOY those around me is as good enough reason as any to celebrate on such a large scale year after year.

Last year I decided to do my first “themed” celebration opting to go for a 50’s Pin-Up look. I went all out with the makeup, searching for a pencil skirt, the whole nine. To my surprise, most of my friends went along with the theme and definitely enjoyed searching for something to go along with the 50’s looks. From blue suede shoes and pin-curls to red lips and high heels, okay, maybe the high part was added.

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ImageIn years past I’ve done things as simple as a color scheme for decor based on my dress choice – my yearly installment of “say yes to the dress”, but with the 50’s Pin-Up from last year I couldn’t NOT do it big again this year.

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I’ve always wanted to do something with Mardi Gras, masks and the like and why not go with the theme for my party —- Masquerade Wine & Dine, that’s it! Now, to choose the usual suspects, my party helpers, a color scheme and to find a DRESS! That proved to be the harder part of the whole shindig, the dress. All the same, I had to get the date out there so I worked on a quick flyer, a “save the date” if you will…

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That set the tone for my upcoming soiree – or so I thought… More on that to come.

I started dress shopping with my sister from another mister rather early, early to mid May I’d say and while some dresses were amazing, they weren’t evoking what I thought I wanted. It wasn’t until I found this photo when googling images for a masquerade party… and I stumbled across this…

Masquerade-Party-DecorationsI wasn’t able to find the original link – but this was “googled”

Aha! That’s it! #MasqueradeWineAndDine was the theme, but black, white & hot pink could be the color scheme. My mind was running wild with the options and it was only a few days later that I went shopping for inspiration and decided ultimately on a black & white print, hot pink and accents of silver. This made it that much easier to give direction of my dress hunt – something dainty, feminine and a statement all its own.

I hit up every fluffy girl’s friend, Lane Bryant to try on dresses, and just felt underwhelmed. A few days later my sister from another mister, the same one who went dress shopping with me earlier that month was at a new LB and let me know she saw this dress I found online that I wanted to try on before ordering. Low and behold I go and try it on, and I almost cried. This was IT! But, not that price. I sadly put the dress away, telling myself I’d order it later on when it was more wallet-friendly, I was searching early on after all. And what do you know, the very next day I get in the car to go to dinner with my girlfriends and THIS was in the back seat…

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To be continued…

Gallery Wall

Let it be said – I am not a fan of a ton of personal photos all over the place. If you’re one of those Moms who has every picture since birth in frames all around your entire space and your child is 24…well, more power to you. I’d much rather showcase moments in time that are priceless. Irreplaceable memories if you will.

I do my best to update with more recent photos as time goes on. As I have moved from apartment to apartment, I’ve started a “gallery wall”. In my new place, I’ve grown more excited about how it’s evolved than in apartments past.

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This was a smaller gallery wall, same effect in my former apartment.

I moved into my new space May 2012 and it seems I’m always doing some type of tweaking each month to make it feel more like home. This is the first space that I’ve had on my own that I come home to and feel as if it’s really HOME. So, I’ve enjoyed switching this, or hanging that there, rearranging furniture, etc.

When I decided to dedicate this wall to showcasing memories I went all out. Often times, when decorating, you should keep art and items you hang at eye level, however with this space I went UP and OUT. I have about 8 foot ceilings so I was able to utilize that space well. When you’re standing in front of the wall, you certainly don’t have to strain your neck to look up or over for that matter and I feel it uses the space well to accomplish the “gallery” feel.

Allow me to share some photos before to now. In no ways is this look complete, but I’m happy with it for the time being…

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In the August 2012 photo you can see 2 frames that aren’t filled with photos. One was an adorable 3 picture collage frame that came from my supervisor for my birthday (Walmart) and the other a 15 picture collage frame that I purchased a few years ago. I kept going back and forth with using this frame: should the photos be black & white; should it be family only, etc. As I said earlier, I’m not a fan of a ton of pictures, but I felt that this frame (Walmart) could be a beautiful addition, if executed well.

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It wasn’t until I gathered printed photos, old and new of my sister, nieces and parents that I determined I’d fill this with our memories. So, before my cruise (November 26th, 2012) I decided to keep myself busy with projects to keep me from going completely cruise crazy. If you look closely at the November 2012 photo you can see the handle from my suitcase sticking up, lol.

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Overall, I’m happy with what I have so far. A lot of the photos in the individual frames came from past birthday celebrations (I tend to do a big bash every year) and I plan on updating some of them with 2012’s soon… Other than that, I enjoy showcasing those I love on one focal wall in my home – I call it my Gallery Wall.

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BONUS TIP:   Stick to the SAME color frame. All of your frames do not have to be purchased at the same time or even from the same place, but if you stick with the same color and or style (ex: black, wood) then it’ll help make the space feel more cohesive.