Cinco de Mayo

It's almost Cinco de Junio, but I still wanted to share with you a couple of photos from a Cinco de Mayo party in Dallas.

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My cousin, Laura Adams, and her fun group of girlfriends, affectionately known as the Girls of Belfort Place, held a party to celebrate this holiday which is actually more widely celebrated in the U.S. than in Mexico. I love the miniature pinatas hanging from the chandelier! I wonder if they were filled with candy? {A funny sidebar: when I was little we took a trip to Mexico, where my parents bought a pinata for me to take back as the star attraction for my birthday party. The party goers and I were surprised when no candy fell out despite repeated beatings of the paper mache animal! How were we to know we were supposed to fill it ourselves?!?}

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Margaret Story made this adorable cactus-inspired centerpiece for the party, which was held at the beautiful home of Kay Neve. I can't wait to try this clever idea!

Sue Whitney at Round Top

One of the highlights of my trip to Round Top was meeting Sue Whitney, junk connoisseur and founder of Junk Market Style, her brand that revolves around-you guessed it-junk. Just my kind of gal!

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Sue was there signing copies of the new book she co-authored, Junk Beautiful: Outdoor Edition. Of course, I scooped up my copy right away and asked for her Jane Hancock. I can't wait to implement some of her wonderfully creative ideas! She has co-authored other fabulous books, including Junk Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers and Decorating Junk Market Style. Just the other day she appeared on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

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Sue's booth was totally inspiring. Items from the antiques market were pulled together into a stunning vignette and sold. Proceeds went to Houston's Habitat for Humanity. Next time you want to throw something away, just remember that even junk can be charitable.

One man's trash truly is another's treasure.

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

Kids love Easter and our little bunnies are no exception. They are still little, but I wanted their Easter baskets to be something special. I happened upon these bright buckets at Lowe's one day (for about $6 each) and knew they would be perfect to hold all the treasures the Easter Bunny would bring this year.

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The lady at the checkout counter looked at me incredulously when I told her why I was buying the buckets. She remarked that I would have to get a "lot of toys and candy to fill up those things." Little did she know that they would be filled with mostly grass!

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I lined the buckets with "grass" made from brightly colored cardstock paper that was run through our industrial-sized shredder at work (it makes crinkle-cut shreds). You can also make small quantities of paper with small shredders from office-supply stores. As you'll see in just a moment, we had enough grass to plant a small yard, which I would not recommend unless you plan to single-handedly bring back multi-colored shag.


I filled the "baskets" with lots of fun items from the $1 section at Target (I even managed to squeak by this year without including any candy...don't worry, they had plenty from friends & family!). I cut out colorful flowers and glued them onto paint stirrers (also from Lowe's) to add a bit of height to the baskets. Our kids used them as wands and rakes to scoop up their grass. They became somewhat dangerous as the day wore on so they were retired to the "later" pile (the wands, not the kids).

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After church we went out for Easter lunch and the cutest centerpieces were on our table. What fun to put Peeps and jelly beans in the vases! They didn't last long...our kids took one look at them and the Peeps were history within minutes. So much for the no-candy Easter!

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Our three-year-old got a haircut on Good Friday and his hairdresser (yes, he already has a hairdresser) surprised him with this cute-as-a-button homemade bunny cake. It was as delicious as it was pretty. I had a hard time making it out of the parking lot without biting off an ear. Don't think the kids wasted any time in getting to know this wabbit weally well!

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Egg-coloring (real) and hunting (plastic) was big at our house this year. I've never seen a prettier bunch of eggs than this, the first-ever batch colored by my little rabbit fu fu's (when I was younger I used to recite that riddle over and over, standing on my grandparents' hearth. Maybe I was doing a rain dance of sorts and didn't know it, since I ended up with so many rabbits?).

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A tiny part (and I do mean tiny) of our Easter grass explosion, or tumbleweed, as depicted here. Honestly the kids loved the grass more than any of the other toys, proving once again that the packaging is often better than the product. As they say, the grass is always greener.

Vintage Daffodils

Are there such things as vintage flowers? I'm sure of it. My mom's mom's mom (that would be my great-grandmother!) planted beautiful daffodils around her house decades ago, long before I was born. They're still blooming there today, even though the house is now gone. She died in 1967, so I'd say that's quite a green thumb.

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Even more amazing is the fact that some of the same daffodils were transplanted in my mom's yard and are thriving (in fact, multiplying). They look so cheery in the photos I took this spring. My uncle, who now owns my great-grandmother's property, brought some to my mom years ago. He gave me a few as well and they look bright and colorful. I plan to have him plant even more when we move into our new house.

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I've always wanted to go to the Nantucket Daffodil Festival, held every April. Apparently over three million daffodils bloom on the island in season. That's roughly 300 daffodils per resident of the tiny island! The festival's main event is the parade, during which 100 antique cars are bedecked with daffodils.

As much as I'd love to see those three gazillion daffodils, I think my great-grandmother's vintage flowers are special enough for a festival of their own.

Real or Fake?

Are these flowers real or fake? That's what my mom and I were wondering when we spotted them at a wedding celebration this weekend. They are so gorgeous they couldn't possibly be fake, right? I just had to touch them to see for myself.

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The answer is: both! The pink flowers are silk and the rest are real! Normally I wouldn't imagine putting such an arrangement together but these are over the top beautiful. Can't wait to try this idea (on a slightly smaller scale!).

Baby, Baby, Baby!

As I mentioned in a previous post, my friends Becky, Mimi, Vannessa and I recently hosted a baby shower for another friend. Her adorable baby boy was born earlier this week and is doing great so I thought now would be a good time to share some ideas from the shower. We didn't know if the baby was going to be a girl or boy so we did a pink and blue theme for the shower.

Vannessa was kind enough to let us have the shower at her beautiful home. She made these too-cute flower-shaped balloons by tying pink and blue single balloons together to form the shape. Then she stuck them down in her flower pots on the front porch for a surprise welcome for our guests.

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Becky made pink and blue cosmos and rimmed them with thick coordinating colored sugar. They were as lovely looking as they were refreshing! For the pink drinks, she used Stirrings Cosmo mix and for the blue she used Rose's Blue Raspberry mix. Of course vodka was added to both! To rim the glasses, cut a piece of lemon, lime or orange and run across the top of the glass. Pour the sugar onto a dish and dip the rim into it.

Rimming sugar can be found in every color (also check the cake decoration aisle) and the thicker the better. Fun to do for non-alcoholic drinks as well and kids love it (if you can stand the sugar high!).

Vannessa and I folded the napkins into what we thought looked like tiny pink blankets for the forks and tied them with a blue sheer ribbon.

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Mimi had the most gorgeous cupcakes and cake made for the occasion. Both were topped with pink and blue fondant flowers and yellow bumblebees {for the "Mommy to Be(e)}" and alternated in chocolate and vanilla cake. Mommy to Be(e) took the small cake on the top home for any late-night sugar cravings! We draped three little silkies in pink, blue and yellow around the bottom of the cupcake stand for a little extra "babyfying."

Our flowers were a mixture of colors and a variety of blooms, formed together in a tree shape.

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My cousin Cody, an aspiring personal chef and caterer (more about him later), prepared the delicious and oh-so-pretty food (Becky and Mimi served as his sous chefs). My favorite is his wild mushroom pate, made from every kind of mushroom you can imagine...and, well, that's about all I know about it except that it is to die for!

In the guest book, the guests shared their favorite "mom" tip, which I'm sure will prove to be invaluable in the coming months. I may need to borrow it from time to time to see if I'm doing anything right!

Roses Are Red, Hydrangeas Are Purple

These hydrangeas are right outside our front door at the lake. When we first looked at the house the stars must have been aligned for the seller because the flowers were in full bloom. Who could resist a house with these beauties staring you in the face? They remind me of Nantucket, one of my favorite summer (or fall, winter, spring!) places to visit.

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Over the years, the flowers have bloomed in different colors, ranging from light blue to dark purple. The colors depend on the acidity of the soil at the time. I've been told that you can control the color by putting pennies in the soil but some brief research on the internet would lead one to believe it's just an old wives' tale. I'll have to try it and find out...after all, the whole project would cost less than a dollar!

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In the photo above the blooms had gotten so plentiful and heavy that they drooped down over the porch. Many times there is just a sliver of walkway remaining to get to the front door. Some well-meaning friends have questioned why I don't cut them back to make more room. I don't believe in cutting back! They are too pretty to sacrifice for a pathway.

Of course, I will, on occasion, cut some blooms for our dinner table. But you'll have to walk around the rest if you want to eat.