the greatest show on earth

Happy Monday everyone!  I had a fabulous weekend and I hope you all did too.  Before I tell you about it, let me first announce the winner of the pair of tickets to Arden Theater’s production of Freud’s Last Session…drumroll…Karen M!  See you at The Scene for snacks, drinks & the show on Friday night!  For anyone else who is interested in joining us, you can purchase tickets for $30 each here.

Ok, now for the Greatest Show on Earth!  Seriously.  It was the greatest.

We hosted a circus theme birthday party on Saturday night and it was a blast!  It was everything I hoped and dreamed that a circus themed party could be…a little bit of vintage…a sideshow…creative costumes & styling.  Fire eating.  Yes, I said fire eating.


Let me just cut to the chase with some pictures.  Don’t try this at home!  This man is a professional fire eater.

There was also a real live strongman but unfortunately I didn’t capture pictures of him doing his thing which included tearing a phone book in half, bending a horseshoe and other metal objects.  Crazy stuff that you’d probably only see at the circus.  Or at my house on Saturday night.  We managed to transform our sunroom into a theater and cram about 50 people in for the show.


I encouraged guests to dress according to the circus theme and did they ever deliver!  I suppose we may have been a little Halloween deprived due to the storm.

Ryan was a lion tamer.

And so was our friend Leigh.  I was the bearded lady.

There were many clown variations including an entire family of rodeo clowns.

Followed by an entire family of circus gypsies.

Best costume went to the half man/half woman.

I had some bearded lady competition.

There were so many fun costumes and props.  I didn’t get to snap pictures of them all.  At some point I had to put the camera down and just enjoy everyone’s company.  Oh and there were lots of lions too.


I am guessing that if you’re still reading, you are thinking that a circus theme sounds like fun, right?  Yep, it is and it can be fairly easy to put together.  I planned a color scheme of red and blue with hints of white and pink.  No matter the theme pick a color scheme up front so the event has a consistent delivery.  Just like choosing colors when styling a room.

I wanted this circus to have a vintage look so I sourced an old poster, clown cornhole game, reproduction popcorn containers and more.  I also pulled out some mismatched vintage furniture from my inventory and used fabric remnants and linens within the color scheme.  You don’t have to buy all matching and new tablecloths when styling a party.  Always shop your stash first.  Again, just like styling a room – always shop your home.

You may have guessed that there was popcorn at the circus along with peanuts and animal crackers.  I also designed a few flower arrangements in the popcorn containers.  Half of the flowers came from my garden and the other half were purchased at the wholesaler.

When picking your color scheme, consider what the venue already offers.  Our dining room palette worked perfectly with the circus reds and blues.  I added a bunting that I had already made.

The circus theme is definitely all ages.  We had the aforementioned sideshow for the adults.  There was a pony corral for the young kids.  Ahem, rocking horses not really ponies.  Plus a pinata, hula hoops and some other games.  The fire eater also made balloon animals.

All in all, I have to say that this was a pretty great party.  Two days later and I am still smiling ear to ear!  I had so much fun celebrating my soon to be status as the big 3-0.  True story.  At the end of the month I’ll be 30 and I couldn’t be more excited.

Oh an I’m sure you are wondering where Wilson was for the festivities.  He was slinking around…

all that glitters

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree!  How I lo-ove thee! 
Our tree is trimmed and presents are starting to accumulate underneath.

We chose a tall, skinny Fraser fir that fits just right in the window space we carved out for it.  The tree is actually in our dining room.  Tonight we had dinner next to it and it was really quite nice!  Plus, it provides for a holiday focal in that room while the living room’s focal point is exclusively the oversized rustic mantel.  And  did I mention that the tree smells ah-mazing!

I tend to stick to a traditional color scheme when trimming the tree.  White sparkly lights and gold ornaments with a hint of holiday red.  This year the traditional decor was accented with our overall Christmas theme of galvanized, burlap and sheet music to coordinate with the mantel.

Burlap played a major part as the tree garland. 

The only new ornaments added to the collection this year are sheet music DIY balls.  I just inserted strips of vintage sheet music into clear glass balls.  And now we’ve got sheet music on the mantel annnd tree.

Did you spy where the galvanized comes in?  I skipped the tree skirt this year.  We put the tree and stand right in this big galvanized tub.  It keeps things tidy when watering the tree, looks awesome and seems to spare some space under the tree…for more gifts!

Yes, even the gift wrap follows the rustic theme.  Natural brown paper.  Burlap ribbons.  Sheet music wrapping and tags.  Plus hints of gold and red.

Consistency really pulls it all together.  It is easy to have a theme in your Christmas decor by simply repeating the core elements and colors.

What is your Christmas theme this year?

Linking to:


an affair to remember

Hey there!  We are in the peak of fall wedding season.  A few weeks ago we went to a lakeside tree themed wedding which you can read about here.  And just last weekend we attended another family wedding, this time in the neighborhood.

It is amazing how much you can customize a wedding to suit your style and personality.  I love to see what details each couple comes up with.  There were few commonalities in the recent family weddings.  Oh except for this bridesmaid who was in both and wore a deep purple bridesmaid dress to each.  (And she’s loving her Circa Dee cameo right now.  Hi Ali.)  Anyway, eggplant or deep purple seem to be quite the wedding trend for 2011/2012.

The bride wore a one shoulder strap gown with tons of detail on the full skirt.  It was a modern choice accented by a vintage style updo and a classic fingertip veil.  Gorgeous and quite complementary to the asymmetrical architecture of the modern church where the couple wed.

Speaking of church, it’s been awhile.  I mean it has been awhile since I have attended a wedding in an actual church.  The trend as of late has been to have a short ceremony/cocktails/dinner & dancing all in one venue.  I found it to be a refreshing change to witness the formality of matrimony.  It was a reminder that there is something bigger than us in this life and love regardless of an individual’s religious beliefs.

The bride and groom originally met in a college dorm years prior.  A few months ago they headed back to the meeting site and posed for engagements pics.  They incorporated the pictures into their save-the-dates and gift box pictured below.  I love the idea of taking engagement photos at the original meeting site unless of course it is less than memorable like a seedy bar, frat party or strip club (actual places some of my friends met their mates!).

The reception was held at the swanky Meadowlands Country Club.  Not only was the inside gorge but so were the grounds.  Ryan and I took a peek at the courtyard and gardens during the cocktail hour.  There he is posing.  The sun hid for their wedding day but at least it didn’t rain!

Back inside we feasted on tons of tasty hors d’oeuvres.  It was enough food to make a meal. 

I was taken back by this simple yet genius candle display.  Loving!  All it consists of his upside down stemware in various sizes with tea lights placed on top and slate tiles below.

It’s even kind of spooky in low light.  You might just see this again in my Halloween decor.

Ok so moving onto the dinner and dancing portion of the evening.  The couple’s first dance was to Better Together by Jack Johnson.  They were definitely the Prince & Princess of their ball!  Or perhaps King & Queen.  Either way, they looked like royalty.

Now let me tell you about the comedy that the bridal party brought to the party.  Enter the Maid and Matron of Honor.  They didn’t exactly look like Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince but they could rhyme.  I have to be honest, as these girls stepped up to the mic to give their toast I was thinking “oh not a girl speech”.  You know they can be sappy or sobby.  But not this toast.  They rewrote the entire Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song to reflect the bride and groom’s courtship.  It was hysterical and the beat was on point.  It could easily be a you tube sensation by now.  Truly legendary.

The flowers were also beautiful.  The tables alternated between low florist arrangements and tall branch arrangements with twinkling lights.  The flowers also met the color scheme in purples and whites.  Phalaenopsis orchids were intertwined in the branches and seasonal dahlias arranged in the low arrangements along with hydrangeas and roses.  Another classic and stunning choice.  Did you expect anything less?

Even the cake got the floral treatment.   Oh and that cake was good.  I am always left wanting more wedding cake!  The cake was followed up by a coffee bar.  In nearly 10,000 weddings that it seems I’ve attended, I have never seen a coffee bar like this.  I am talking a separate bar set up with top shelf liquors to mix with your java.  It was an extra special treat for guests.  I was so busy tearing up the dance floor that I almost missed the coffee bar.  Seriously, I was sore the next day.  We had a blast!

Best wishes newlyweds!

Now I’m off to get ready for another wedding.  The last of the fall wedding season for me.  Have a fab weekend friends!