CANCER; Mending Hearts through Light up the Night 2014

I have been trying to schedule my posts and blogs to stay more in tune with my audience. Today I was suppose to write, and post on pinterest, a pair of shoes I made for my own wedding, but instead……

I want to get more personal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Over the past two years since starting my business I have had the honor to work with many amazing woman, men, and organizations but none have touched my heart like Love is Bald and Pretty in Pink!!! The men and women behind both are amazing and inspirational as well as the champions they help!!!

I have also personally been touched by cancer as many of you have. My mother had breast cancer three times in her life and dealt with a lot of struggles and someone else I adore is dealing with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and currently in remission. I understand the threat of family, the scare of potential lose, the hope of getting better and most important the joy of recovery. Cancer is a life long battle for everyone involved and my wish is that through these organizations, we as a community, can help each other heal and be reborn. When cancer effects your home directly you deal with many emotions and it is not always easy to focus on the positive or the light at the end of the tunnel. So I challenge you today!! How will you help? Who’s life will you touch? Will you join us as we Light up the Night to HONOR all the men and women who have passed and survived this pain we call CANCER?

Halloween and Fall Events

So for those of you that know me I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!! It is my favorite time of the year and as I am on facebook and other social media sites I see the same question over and over again…

What events/activities are there to take my children to the Wilmington area?? 

So here are a few that come HIGHLY recommended (** denotes personal recommendations)


1. **Mikes Farm —— ——Lovely family outing located in Beulaville NC !!! All month of October they have everything from hayrides, pumpkin patches, concessions on Saturdays, Dinner musicals, to a haunted hayride and carnival on October 24th, 25th, and 26th

2. Poplar Grove ———- —– Located between Ogden and Hampstead they have costume contests for kids and PETS, petting zoo, fortune teller, bonucy house, haunted hayride and more. Visit website for specific dates and information.

3. **Panic Attack Haunted House —— —– $20 per person BUT WORTH IT!!!! One of the best haunted houses I have been to! Get a group of 20 or more and pre-register and you can only pay $17 per person. They also give military discounts and a VIP line for fast pass. MUST SEE!!!!!!!

4. USS North Carolina Battleship —– —– PLEASE NOTE THAT GHOST SHIP IS CANCELLED THIS YEAR! However they have Halloween Bash featuring caricatures, popcorns, tattoos, bounce house,  and trick-or-treating on Tuesday October 29th 5:30 to 8pm.  $5 per person children 2 and under are free. 

5. **The Pumpkin Patch —— —- Best place in town for the funniest experience for the kids to find the perfect pumpkin for your family in ALL SIZES!!!!

6. Trick or Treat Under the Sea ——— —— $8 per child for this event under 2 is free. Checkout website for more information and registration. Thursday October 24th and Friday October 25th 5-8:30pm

The list could go on and on and on so here are a few websites to find out more!

–Riverfest, Railroad Extravaganza, Mark Twain event at Thalian

–Pancake Breakfasts, Salty Paws, Blues and Jazz Festival, How far to the Bar P3 will be at the Pleasure Island Blues and Jazz Festival to face paint again this year!! We are honored to be a part of this amazing event for the 3rd year in a Row!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Image 



Piece of Advice……..

I have been planning events for the past 13 years as once I  became a mother for the first time my OBSESSION began…….

I have helped plan every one of my friends weddings, I go overboard with my children’s parties but I know that they will always remember them and the memories they bring. As the wedding planner I do my best to keep brides, grooms, and friends in one mode especially with today’s technology it can be very hard. There are so many amazing ideas out there to be found. For some people it can be overwhelming so my job is to help pull it in and stay focused on the true vision. My most important job is to help my clients save money!

With that being said now that I am the bride I want to do anything and everything!!! So excited and can’t wait to marry my fiance’. He is my best friend and I can not wait to become Mrs. Winter. I just finished our invitations and only spent $1.68 per invitation and that INCLUDES postage for mailings and RSVP’s to come back!!! WOW right?? (Blog coming soon) I find new ideas everyday but have to remind myself that I already had a vision and while it is great it’s not the one.

My best advice for anyone planning is to plan in advance. I don’t mean start planning a year out I simply mean think about things you can and will use for future events and purchase them on sale or hunt around for a bargain. Never settle on the first thing you find because chances are it’s not the cheapest! If you can DIY DO IT, if you can’t DON’T! Ask your friends to help as much as they can but don’t stress them out. Delegate responsibilities to multiple people well in advance so they don’t feel rushed and make your vision clear so they know exactly what you want. Everything is cheaper if you do it yourself but the last thing you want is everyone walking away from your wedding saying….

“Thank you God that’s over!”

So ORDER items that you can afford, SKIP on ones you DON’T have to have, and ask those you love to help on the pieces you TRULY ADORE!


Easy to make Party/Wedding Decor for Centerpieces

I know that we have lots of DIY people out there and I wanted to share this awesome idea I had to transform your jelly jars, spaghetti sauce containers, pickle jars , salsa containers and more!!!

Take ANY jars you have around the house instead of recycling them you are UPCYCLING——-thus making them FREE!!!!


Once you have the containers you would like to use begin by soaking them in hot water. This will help remove any and all labels (with a little elbow grease on some) so that you have a clean jar in unique shapes and sizes to work with!


Next you will need ribbon of your choosing to match with color scheme for party. I am making my jars for a 25th Surprise Party so I wanted some bright colors to really help it pop and sparkle. I bought this ribbon for $4.49 a roll for wide and $2.49 a roll for slim at AC Moore. Have all supplies in one area and ready for easy access; Hot glue gun, extra glue sticks, scissors, ribbon, and any embellishments :)



Next step is to let your hot glue gun warm up….I really got creative with my glue gun. Check out my tray to catch any spilled glue….Salsa lid!Image

Once the glue gun is warmed up measure and cut your ribbon and since every jar is different I simply went jar by jar to be quicker. Cut your ribbon so that the ends meet perfectly with no overlay this will ensure a smooth feel for ribbon. Image

Next to start gluing!!! Place a strip of glue where ribbon will meet and adhere.Image

You can add more embellishments if you wish. I choose to keep the jars for the table simple but did add more to the large vase for more of an impression.


Here is the vase I made


Hope you enjoy! You can place this on a table, charger, or mirrored tray for different effects and looks! Total cost for project $ 15.00 and I made 23 jars with ribbon left over for more!! CHEAP and BEAUTIFUL




Ways to save money for your child’s next Birthday Party!!!!

Most mom’s can barely say the words “Birthday Party” before they have spent $200 or more. Planning your child’s birthday party doesn’t usually lend itself to money saving tips and tricks since no one wants to cut corners on their child’s special day. Fortunately, there are many great ways to save money without taking the fun out of the party!!!!!! I PROMISE!!!

Stick to cake and ice cream!

 Fruit and veggie trays, sandwich fixings or pizza orders quickly add up. Plan your child’s birthday party in the afternoon, after lunch but before dinner, and be sure to mention the words “cake and ice cream” on the invitation so no one expects a full meal. Easily $20-$40 saved depending on number of guests


Do it yourself 

While I understand it is easier to let a party location handle goody bags or food, or to head out and order a cake, you’ll end up spending more money and not saving yourself that much time honestly. Make a cake the night before, have your child help with goody bags, and make lemonade instead of buying cases of soda. By doing things yourself that you might have paid someone else to handle, you’re sure to save money. These are money saving tips that can go beyond just goody bags and refreshments — follow that do-it-yourself mindset in everything you do. For some that say they aren’t crafty RELAX you can do it!!! Easily $20-$60 saved depending on number of guests ( Also see below for NO goody bag option)

Skip the amusement parks/locations/etc
Instead of shelling out the big bucks for an amusement park or an indoor arcade or play place, consider a party at home. Renting a bouncy castle, putting out the Slip ‘n Slide or playing more traditional party games is substantially less expensive, yet still makes for a great birthday party. Work with your theme for the party…EX. If it’s a Tea Party have the girls make their own glasses of tea, paint a pretty crown, or play dress up. Work with items you have around your house to keep costs down. Easily $40-$100 saved depending on number of guests


Don’t invite your child’s whole class 
This money saving tip is one of the quickest ways to trim your party bill. Having a large classroom-size birthday party might work for some families, but don’t feel pressured to make this a regular occurrence. Instead, allow one large birthday party for those special occasions (such as the big 10, 13, sweet 16 etc) and then keep other parties to a smaller crowd that you feel comfortable with. You can do more with the kids without spending a fortune. Easily $20-$50 saved depending on number of guests

Send home one small prize only 
Goody bag gifts end up here, there and everywhere. Don’t waste your money on candy, small games and toys. Instead, pick one item that goes with the party’s theme and send that home instead. Are you having a Go, Diego, Go birthday party? Purchase a Beanie Baby to go along with the rain forest theme. Other moms will appreciate that you aren’t just sending home more clutter!  Easily $20-$40 saved depending on number of guests. Think about it! You pack a goody bag and fill it with multiple items you can easily spend anywhere from $5-$8 per bag. Why not but one nice toy for that amount or less and save clutter and time!!! NO making up bags! ( If you choose this option)

Saving money by NO MEANS takes all the fun out of parties or planning. It is meant to make it easier, and most cost effective! REMEMBER……..YOU NEED TO ENJOY YOUR CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY AS WELL!!!!


Handpainted favor boxes! $4 for a pack of 6. You and your child could paint them together for a great favor for guests as well as a keepsake!

Have any questions? Ask!! Need Help? I am here!!!

Have a blessed day!


Where do heroes come from?

Through the course on starting this business I have come across a lot of amazing people, and I mean amazing! I pray that I can meet even more along the journey this career choice will take me on. A little over a year ago I was reunited with a dear friend from high school that I always looked up to back then, and still do, Kelli Neese Russell. Kelli is one of those amazing people who do amazing things for so many!!! Through her I have been blessed and will forever be in debt to her and her kindness.

This story began when Kelli asked me to facepaint for the St. Baldrick’s Event at Fibber’s in March of 2012. I had just started my business a little over six months before hand when she so graciously trusted me with her baby.  I brought my crew made up of my most trusted employees Tara Womble and Shawn Best both being my siblings. We painted on cheeks, foreheads, arms, backs, hands, and much more! We watched as all of those amazing and brave people shaved their heads to raise money for others in need. As we watched I remember my brother mentioning he wanted to shave his head after he saw a lovely lady shave hers especially after having scars that would be revealed. Not an easy thing for a woman, much less a woman with scars to show her story.

What you don’t know is that my brother, Christopher Shawn Best aka Shawn, was in a car accident in 1992. He was thrown out of the back windshield and a piece of metal went through his cheek, through his nasal glands, and entered his brain. He has a plate in his head and over the last 21 years has multiple brain surgeries, infections, scars, lost his ability to smell, and not to mention the scare of not seeing another day. As I am writing this he is scheduled for another surgery on March 20th. He is making a huge leap to shave his head this year despite his scars and wounds that go beyond physical so I am asking for any donation that you can give to help an amazing lady right here in our home town, Wilmington NC, who has been diagnosed with cancer. The more money we can raise the more help we can provide!

HELP HIM HELP HER………Where do heroes come from?


Check out Shaving for Chere , donate, and come to the event if you can!

Top Ten Reasons to hire a Planner;

  1.  Experience: Knowledge and experience is key. An experienced coordinator is able to solve last-minute problems on site without panicking and  match the right vendor to the client. With every Event a planner learns something new then pass this knowledge to you for a perfect celebration.
  2. Vision: The ideal experience for clients and their guests are a day were nobody has to think or make decisions. Your professional consultant will execute your vision and navigate all the events of the day so that you are free to enjoy your wedding-just as you’ve imagined it with ease.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: It is a wise investment to hire an experienced coordinator so that all of the money and months spent planning a perfect day will actually be executed to a couple’s highest expectations.
  4. The Gift of Time: Save time by getting valuable and qualified vendor referrals from your coordinator. No need to spend hours researching and wondering if certain vendors are right for you.
  5. Cohesion: With such a significant investment of time and money spent Events especially a Wedding, a professional planner will not only make sure that you have the correct pieces to your puzzle, but that they are all put together smoothly. They guide through the web of options while maintaining the client’s goals. Having all of the best vendors in the world is meaningless if the glue is not there to pull it together.
  6. Security: Having a coordinator ensures less risk of anything going wrong and more security that all the details will be just right!
  7. Stress Relief: Having a planner on board allows you to slow down, take a deep breath and truly enjoy the process of planning your Event or Wedding.
  8. The Matter of Manners: Etiquette can play an important role in a wedding, especially for those brides who want a traditional celebration. Wedding coordinators have experience and knowledge necessary to advice bride and families on how to invite guests, on how to deal with difficult family issues, on how to create a processional order at the ceremony, on how to assign seats at the reception, on how to send thank you notes, and so on.
  9. Creative Inspiration: It seems there are countless decor ideas out there, but your coordinator can help you narrow them down to fit your own wedding style. They can help you create customized options to make your wedding truly unique and memorable.
  10. Peace of Mind: There is nothing like knowing that you have someone to oversee all of the details that you have dreamed of and seeing them come to life.

{ Planning, Painting, & Photography! }


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