Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In The Spotlight

Dim the lights!  Cue the drums! Shine the spotlight!  It's time to showcase a blog that will blow your socks off!  There is so much talent to be found in the blog world.  Each blog is an artistic and creative expression of it's author; so many gifted individuals with an eye for beauty, sharing daily doses of inspiring photographs, DIY tutorials, money saving tips, crafts, recipes, party ideas, stunning before and afters, and more.  There's really a little of everything out there, with new and original ideas surfacing continuously.  I've been profoundly inspired by many spectacular blogs and have decided to feature one every week from my treasure trove of favorites, all for your viewing and blog-hunting pleasure!

In The Spotlight This Week:

Because my little one's 4th birthday is coming up,  I have been scouring the net for ideas and inspiration.  It was during this search that I stumbled upon One Charming Party.  My eyes were immediately drawn to the lovely photographs, but it was the extensive archive of adorable, themed party ideas that kept my attention for over an hour.  Each party theme comes complete with ideas and tutorials for invitations, decor, recipes, games, and favors.  Many other themed party packages are available for purchase. Before I share some of my favorite ideas, allow me to introduce to you the dynamic duo of Brittany Egbert and Sara Westbrook, the talented gals creating the magic over at One Charming Party.  Read their story here.

Now, onto the eye candy!  Click on the pictures to read more.  Enjoy!

Country Fair Party

Art Gallery Party

Baking Party

Lemonade Stand Party

Strawberry Party

I am head over heals in "blog-love"!  These girls have some serious talent!  It's not just the ideas and tutorials they share (which are beyond brilliant), but the way they present them. WOWZA!! The photographs are phenomenal, most of them taken by the amazingly talented photographer Nicole Hill Gerulat. Check out her site here.  Presentation is everything and she does a phenomenal job of capturing the beauty of One Charming Party's creative displays, decor, food and party activities. (the Strawberry Party was photographed by Leslie Tippets, by Lindi Haws, and the girls at Charming Party themselves)   Has my annoyingly repetitive use of EXCLAMATION POINTS in this post gotten my point across?!!  I think One Charming Party is awe-some!  Lol!  =)  (Yep, this is me....shouting it from the rooftops!)  !!!!!!  There, a few more of those exclamation points for good measure.

Click HERE to visit One Charming Party now.  Take the stress out of planning your next party, SHOP for complete themed party packages HERE.  Love the photographs? Check out talented photographer Nicole Hill Gerulat HERE.

So, what'cha think?  Had you been to the One Charming Party blog before or does this post mark the beginning of party planning awesomeness for you?  Which party theme is your favorite?  If you've hosted a party recently and have posted about it on your blog, I'd love it if you'd share the link.  I need all the inspiration I can get!

Feature posted and pictures shared with permission from OneCharmingParty.com and photographer Nicole Hill Gerulat.  Please do not use any of the above pictures without written permission from One Charming Party and Nicole Hill Gerulat.  Thank you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Perfect Day

Some might say that the perfect day is one in which something spectacular happens.  Maybe you spend the day in some exotic place or you shake hands with someone famous that you greatly admire.  Maybe you eat some exquisite cuisine prepared by a world renowned chef,  get invited to a party for the elite,  or see a moving live performance.   My idea of the perfect day may sound quite ordinary to some, but I've learned that the greatest, most precious moments in life happen on ordinary days,  in ordinary places.

The perfect day for me begins with a sweet, wet kiss and an "I love you momma". A tiny little body crawling into my bed, wrapping pudgy little arms around my neck.    On the perfect day, I open  my eyes to the loving gaze of an amazing man whom I greatly respect.  Such a day is filled with the excited giggles of my little ones and the flirtatious teasing of my lover and my friend.   There is no need to go far to have a fabulous time.  All it takes is a trip to the neighborhood park, to the local restaurant, to the corner ice cream shop;  holding hands, telling jokes, laughing till our sides hurt,  sharing stories,  exploring,  learning, and loving. It doesn't require weeks of planning, traveling long distances, or  hundreds of dollars.   In summery, the perfect day for me is spent enjoying precious moments with those I love the most.

Yesterday was the perfect day;  a day spent romping around a nearby park, exploring and enjoying nature.  Then eating pizza at our favorite local restaurant and finally, arriving home to crawl under the covers for bedtime stories.  Yes,  there was a scrapped knee, some whining and many potty breaks, but those too are ingredients of my perfect day.  Kissing a boo-boo and wiping a tear, teaching independence and easing their fears,  how sweet it is. 

It borders the Hudson River, with a view of New York
and the George Washington Bridge.

 Beautiful winding road

Beneath the George Washington Bridge

 Steep wall of rock

Shots of the George Washington Bridge taken from the park

Huge fallen tree kept from falling down the mountain side by another slender tree

 Taking a stroll towards Ross Dock

 Long climb up Carpenters Trail

 Up steps, through tunnels, and up more steps

 Breathtaking view from the top


 Waiting out the rain under the trees

 Beautiful rainbow after the downpour

Bike riding in a large empty parking lot

 Yummy Cugino's Pizza

 Mmm-mmm good!

Lovin' mommy and daddy's comfy bed for story time

What is your idea of a perfect day?