June 2019 - Dimples and Tangles


We've been traveling for the past two weeks (I've been sharing a lot from our trip on Instagram, but I'll share a few posts here as well when we return) and I bought these shoes for the trip.  I knew we'd be doing a lot of walking and they have been really comfortable!  They're a nice alternative to wearing tennis shoes every day.  They're the perfect nude color to go with everything and the leather is super soft.  I've worn them each time without socks- they don't rub at all and fit like a glove!  If you're in between or on the smaller side of your size, I'd probably size down 1/2 a size.
(*This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure policy here.)

Cute woven leather style of the same shoe- 3 colors 33-60% off!

Along the same lines, I brought this long cardigan as a layer for cool days on the trip.  We're wearing group t-shirts and jeans during most of the days on our trip, but this soft, lightweight sweater has been perfect to add for cooler days and air conditioned rooms.  The weather has actually been much colder than we expected so I've worn it under my trench often too (like in the photo above).  It's a great one for mixing and matching!

While shopping a few weeks ago I stumbled on this oversized striped beach towel.  It's fantastic!  It's heavy weight, large and the reverse side is a different color combo.  It comes in 3 colors, I'm not sure which one is my favorite.  These would be great for the pool, lake, or beach!
Ballard Design is currently offering an amazing site-wide discount... 20% off everything and 30% off all outdoor!  A few of my picks from the sale-

I love this site for trendy accessories.  I've ordered multiple things and am always pleased with the quality for the price tag... all of these items are $2, $3, or $4!  Hello new Summer accessory stash!

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May was a month full of celebrations for us... it seemed as if we were hosting a different party or gathering every time we turned around!  Among them we had two big family milestones, and today I'm sharing some of the decorations around our house from my daughter's 16th Birthday and son's High School Graduation.  They aren't outrageous or over the top, just simple touches here and there to celebrate each occasion. 

I was pleasantly surprised when my girl requested a backyard party at home with her friends to celebrate her birthday.  Alright, I can do that!  I had grand plans worked up in my head of epic decorations in the trees and scattered around the patio and yard. And, of course, it poured buckets of rain the entire day of her party right up until the time that the party started.  I was thankful that it cleared off and the kids could be outside a bit during the actual party time but any grand plans for decorating outdoors were thwarted.

So, we used what we had to make the house festive.  I generally just focus on a few areas for parties... the mantel, tables, maybe the porch or entry and maybe a bit in the kitchen.  We didn't really have a theme for her party, just bright, cheery, and colorful.  I have a variety of balloons that we inflated and then grouped in clusters to hang at the ends of banners and garlands.  I made the tissue garland years ago and the "Let's Party" came from Five Below several months ago.  Dollar Tree carries 14" number and letter silver or gold mylar balloons now, so I got a few sets of those to use.

A while back she brought this giant styrofoam "E" home that had been part of a larger word from an event at church, so we stashed it to use for her party.  It's hard to see here but we quickly sprayed the edges green and then covered the top with wrapping paper.  My paper fan stash that's usually out at Christmas came in handy too.

We had dreary weather so the lighting is bad, but we added similar decorations in the Dining Room.

Several months ago I picked up a variety of these nylon lanterns to use when we planned to decorate outdoors, but since that didn't work out I just hung them where I could around the house.  They have a solar light inside and ranged from about $5-10 each I think, so they were a small investment that I plan to reuse often.  I used a rainbow runner from Hobby Lobby on the table, then scattered honeycomb balls and paper lanterns, gold and silver mirrored balls, and cupcakes down the center.

She currently prefers cookie cake, so I made a large sheet pan size for her "friend" party, and a smaller version for the party we had the next day with just family.  I added in some pictures of her through the years on the day of her family party, she didn't want them out when here friends were over ;).

The Breakfast Room off of the kitchen got more nylon lanterns and a variety of whatever I could find that was sparkly and colorful.

Even with the rain, we were able to hang a photo backdrop on the covered corner of the patio.  I hung some of my old curtain panels, then used pins to attach more paper fans and tissue paper puffs, along with another set of "16" balloons.  I also had a basket of photo props for the guests to use if desired.

We can't believe she's reached this milestone and had such fun celebrating our girl!

Two short weeks later, we celebrated my son's Graduation. Again, I had big plans for outdoor graduation decorations as well, and again, it poured and poured all morning of the ceremony until right when we got home...  thankful it stopped in time for us to take our photos outside.

 Dress- fairly recent from Marshalls  but very similar here, on sale for under $50!
Shoes- similar here 
(affiliate links used)

Again, with last minute decorating plan changes, I kept things simple.  I bought this yard sign at Michael's a few weeks before and we put it out after it stopped raining.  I've seen companies that do these signs but was glad to find one we could put out ourselves, and I'll hang onto it for our next graduate in two short years!

Inside, things were similar to what I did for her party, but with a change to his school colors.  I was actually able to reuse her "16" balloons (they stay inflated forever) by flipping the 6 upside down ;) and I just added the 20 and strung them on a ribbon to make a garland.

Beside the mantel I strung more ribbon and used mini clothespins to hang photos filled with lots of  memories, family, and friends with the graduate.

In the Dining Room I set the table up with some of his mementos, hobbies, and awards. 

I pulled out lots of "growing up" photos and strung those with clothespins on a ribbon behind the table.  I bought a simple blank scrapbook from Hobby Lobby, then set out a basket (that he made in third grade!) filled with blank notecards.  I asked each guest to write him a note with a memory, encouraging word, scripture, or prayer and I'll attach those all inside the book and give it to him.

We served lunch after Graduation for the family who was able to come.  The food was all buffet style in the kitchen. I didn't get a photo in time with it spread out before we ate, but I added another 2019 garland over the island by simply tying a ribbon to the pendants.

Finally, I'm not a pro, but I enjoy making special cakes for the kids on their birthdays or special occasions.  For graduation, I made a round cake into a mortar board cap.  It was easy!  I made 2 8" layers and frosted them (in hindsight I wish I had made 3 to make it a bit taller), then we cut a square of cardboard to lay on top.  I covered it with foil before frosting it and laying it on top, but also in hindsight I didn't really need the foil... that part just gets removed anyway so it didn't matter that it was covered.  I had some number picks to use on top, so before icing and laying the cardboard on top I poked the holes where I wanted them to go and inserted skewers so they wouldn't disappear when I frosted the top. 

I finished it off with a simple Congrats and the number picks.  They are foam and were actually all attached together on a hanging sign from the party store, but I cut them apart and hot glued each one to a skewer. 

We had such fun celebrating our boy and are excited about what's in store for his future!

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A few times this year I'm decorating tables for a board meeting luncheon for our state's group of churches.  My goal has been to make it nice, but as always to use a lot of what I have or can borrow, and decorate on a budget.  Today's post is short and sweet and I debated sharing this with you since it's so simple- nothing overblown or over the top- but really that's the point of why I write this blog!  I want to share simple, affordable, achievable ideas especially for church or event decorations since I've found inspiration for those events lacking on the internet.  So, here you go! 

garden theme table decorations, church banquet decorations, table centerpieces, banquet centerpiece ideas

We have a round table set up in the middle of a long serving table that is filled with a larger centerpiece.  This time for the event, since it was held mid-May, I wanted to just do a seasonal garden type theme.  As usual, I gathered up what I could from around my house and added to it. 

I wanted to share this too, I loved how the caterers arranged the salad and bread in these large galvanized tubs.  So pretty for a more casual presentation!

Here is how the round lunch tables were decorated.  My main components were lanterns and bunches of fresh flowers.  I had 2-3 lanterns with candles inside and bunches from Trader Joes that I divided into 3 mason jars per table, and just scattered everything together.

The "pop" for the tables was the cloth napkins.  We rent the linens so I chose 5 colors (inspired by the colorful stripes on one of my Kate Spade notebooks) to mix and match around the tables.  I tied them in a simple knot with a combination of black and white striped and gingham ribbon.

Lastly, there's a little coffee station that I add a few small decorations to as well.  Recognize some things from my front porch?  :)

If you decorate for events often I highly recommend investing in some basic lanterns to keep on hand- they work for so many different occasions.  Ikea has some that are very affordable per piece if you're collecting multiples to use on tables.  Mason jars are also great staples to have that can be used in a variety of ways. 

I decorated this same space for another luncheon a few months ago, see that here if you missed it, and more decorating ideas for other events I've done here.

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