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May, 2011

giveaway winner!

hey y’all!!  i hope everyone had a great, long holiday weekend!  i was up to a little of this…

and also a little of that…

except our float wasn’t pink.  actually we had no float, but did inaugurate a pair of yellow floaties into our summer life!  yeehaw.

have i told y’all how bad my pregnant brain is?  i think i have but…i forget.  that’s the side effect, you see.  i totally blanked that monday was a holiday and i would be bustling about (as i’m sure all of you were as well!), thus not leaving time to post and announce the winner.  apologies!!  but…here, now, tuesday – let’s get to the giveaway winner why don’t we.

a HUGE gracias to all of you who entered, and my new (and old) follower peeps.  thank you!!  i LOVED reading all of your comments, and the folks who said they were stalkers before now absolutely cracked me up.  all of those summer cocktails sounded delish, let me tell you.  i think the winner was the margarita – i guess tried and true really is the way to go.  and, i’ll offer more giveaways in the future of course – i love doing them!

oh right…the winner!  by way of random.org, the winner chosen was….5!   and the fifth comment was left by…mayer!! 

Mayer said…

a homemade margarita!

mayer is a former neighbor of mine from ardmore park / collier hills and she is just darling – congrats mayer; i’m excited to make your stationery!!  email me to get started :)

thanks again y’all and hope that you enjoyed some of those frosty beverages this past weekend…

xoxo

2011 national stationery show

did y’all know there is a mecca, a gathering, a motherland, a trade show for stationery?!  i didn’t either until i jumped into the biz.  it happens every year in may in nyc, and OMG does it provide some eye candy.  it’s my goal to actually go one of these years…not exhibit (because i’m not that big time), but just to walk around and meet other stationers and see the booths, all that jazz.  look at all of the cool displays and new products that were there last week!

i need some of these to keep in my glove compartment.
linda & harriett, whose calendars i have loved for years, have a new watercolor calendar for 2012 that is just chock full of whimsy and color…which means i have to have one.

i’d like to speak to anyone that argues that letter writing is a dying art…judging from the magnitude and breadth of inventory exhibited at the national stationery show, i’d say heck no! 

don’t forget to enter the giveaway – open until sunday night when the winner is chosen!!

xoxo

savannah and ryan: art deco wedding in a historic theater

y’all get ready for some STYLE!  i absolutely adore what savannah and ryan chose for their wedding…glamour from days of old…black and white (with pops of silver) color palette…art deco flourishes…and a historic theater housing the momentous event.  love it all!!  savannah is an interior designer at a large commerical design firm, and we had so much fun creating the invitation.  being a designer, she of course had fabulous ideas!  black ink letterpress on white paper in vintage fonts, black envelopes with wrap around labels and black / white striped envelope liners.  take a look!

all photos, unless otherwise noted, are by the incredibly talented heidi from our labor of love.

above photo courtesy of melissa williamson photography
i also really liked what we did for the reply card – very simple, straightforward prompts with space for guests to write a nice note.
above photo courtesy of melissa williamson photography

the program was equally as fun – i was able to re-purpose the envelope liner scraps (love it when that happens…wait, actually that has never happened before) into a band stretching around the long and skinny program, tying it all into the invitation.  ahhhh…

and now for the event…the actual wedding!  wait until you see how gorgeous everything was…
i love this picture of savannah – i, too, wore a fur stole on my wedding day (it was my ‘something borrowed,’ courtesy of jen) and just love that detail!
sigh.  isn’t all just right in the world when you see two people in love!  congratulations savannah and ryan!!!
also, don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway!!
xoxo

time for a giveaway!!!

man, it’s been forever since we’ve done a giveaway!  what is up with that?!  no bueno.  so i’m going to make this a good one…get ready.

i’m going to give away a set of 50 ‘modern monogrammed’ notecards (from what i can tell, a crowd favorite) printed in thermography with lined envelopes, but of course.  color of ink / envelopes is winner’s choice!

here’s the one catch – this giveaway is open only to my peeps, aka followers of the blog.  if you are not a follower, you can become one by scrolling all the way down past all the pictures and my ramblings…yeah keep going…yes.  at the very bottom.  so – become a follower, and if you already are one, BONUS – and leave me a comment answering this question:

what’s your favorite summer cocktail?  or…mocktail, in my case.

my answer: well, i have two. usually – a pimm’s cup always does me right.  but this summer – strawberry-basil spritzer, minus the vodka.  babies don’t like vodka i hear.  still looks pretty tasty though?!

i will randomly pick the winner on sunday night for a monday announcement – so let’s hear whatcha got and GOOD LUCK!
xoxo

a miranda shower for baby b

i know y’all know brin, who has been mentioned on this blog oh, probably several hundred times.  she is my best salesperson and closest friend.  we profiled her wedding (along with the amazing non-profit she started) which essentially began calliespondence, her holiday card and now – behold her baby shower!  she is due with a little girl in august, which i am of course THRILLED beyond belief about to begin with, but then you throw in the fact that LLP (that’s our baby’s acronym – since we call rush ‘little man,’ this baby is ‘little little person’) and brin and barton’s little gal are going to be only mere weeks apart…it pretty much makes my year, no LIFE.  how fun is that going to be! 

one thing you need to know about brin is that she is not a girlie-girl – now don’t get me wrong, my girl loves some jewelry, clothes (we basically share one big closet), make-up, mani/pedis and the like. but please no ruffles, frills, lacey stuff, princess-type anything and definitely not a whole lot of pink.  so for this shower, we went with a lovely green and brown color palette, which matches the baby’s nursery.  and remember in sex and the city when charlotte was dying to throw miranda big ol’ baby shower with storks and a baby carraige marzipan cake, and miranda said she wanted fried chicken and no baby stuff?  right.  same idea!

the invitation set the stage…the registry information was included in the mini-card. 

hostesses were listed on the back.
we passed out advice cards for guests to write a note on, and for brin to keep.
now, the menu for this soiree was a little different from the typical tea sandwiches and deviled eggs you see at many southern baby showers.  going with the ”miranda shower” theme of no crustless sandwiches, we served chicken fingers courtesy of zaxby’s, a potato cassrole, a few salads and assorted desserts…with cookies and cream milkshakes to finish out the meal.  YUM!  check out the spread.  i think everyone enjoyed it, considering we barely had any food left!
and now for the best part – the people!  our friend heidi flew in from nyc for the fete, and it was fabulous to have her here.  a few years ago, heidi introduced us to kate, who she used to work with at a high-profile publishing house in the city…but brin and i are mighty glad she and her family migrated south.
l-r: heidi, brin, me and kate.  oh yeah, and i cut 8 inches off my hair this weekend.  feels great!
the group of hostesses with the mama-to-be…
l-r: anne-miller, kate, me, jennifer, brin, courtney, becca, nancy and paige.  we’re missing audra in this pic!

such a fun shower celebrating a wonderful mother-to-be.  it was a great day!

and i cannot WAIT for that baby to get here so i can love on her.  and of course buy her pink outfits ad nauseum.  just kidding, brin! 
xoxo

purple and orange monogrammed notecards

my good friend portia needed a gift for someone who did something very nice for her…and really, who wouldn’t like to receive a set of personalized notecards?  it’s so nice; all the work is done and the recipient can just go forth and thank, say hello, drop a line to whomever they choose.  it’s a good gift.  for these notecards, we used a chic orange and beet palette with a stylish monogram and dot border…check it.

if you ever need a gift to give, calliespondence can suit you right up with petite personalized notecards and lined envelopes (you may choose from a predetermined selection of liners, but i will assure you they are all cute!) for $2/each.  just shoot us an email to get started!
go forth and give…it feels good.
xoxo

baby shower favor – prego lady cakes

y’all, i went to the cutest baby shower last weekend.  it was for my friend lindsay, a sorority sister from college, who i have just LOVED getting back in touch with over our extra long “working” lunches! :)  you may remember her holiday cards, or the buncolator notecards we designed for the iphone app she created (how cool is that?!). 

soon enough, we’ll add a birth announcement to that collection, because lindsay and her husband are having a little boy in june!  i already know the specifics of the announcement and let me just say – you will like it.  she has great taste in paper items!
this baby shower was held from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, so there were only sweets served (otherwise known as my dream come true) in the way of cheesecake balls, fruit and cake with chocolate sauce and whipped cream and mimosas.  YUM!  everything was fabulous, and it was such a fun ladies’ shower. 

you will never believe the favors though….the hostesses had arranged to get as many “pregnant mama” custom cakes made as there were guests, and they just blew me away.  here is the one i was lucky enough to take home…

the boobs were cake balls and they were scrumptious.

just look at the array of colors and styles here!  all of the “gals” were wearing different little nighties.

from another shower the talented baker did, but same idea…the variety kills me!  look at that yellow halter top – hilarious.
they’re from a baker named kate who has a company called ‘and everything sweet.‘  and you won’t want to miss seeing a baby shower she helped host for paula deen’s new grandson…at paula’s house no less!!  the deens themselves cooked the food.  can you even imagine?  you may have also seen her on paula deen’s show; ‘paula’s best dishes.’  future dessert celeb, for sure!!
xoxo

cupcakes for a little cupcake

well. i just got my finalized CD with all kinds of fantastic images from melissa williamson photography, and have so much fun stuff to show you guys!!  so you won’t have to suffer through my amateur pictures for awhile, which i know you all are happy about (or if you’re not, you should be). 

i have been dying to show you this notecard and calling card set we did for my sweet friend katie’s little girl.  you may remember the cute whale cards katie used for thank you notes when she was pregnant?  after their adorable bundle of joy arrived, she contacted me to design some thank you notes and calling cards with emily’s name on them in a pink and brown color palette.  i love those two colors together!  we used a cupcake motif on both items…cupcakes for a little cupcake just makes sense, no?

the only way these could be sweeter is if they came with a picture of that precious little redheaded girl!!!

xoxo

blume boxes

thanks to the folks over at blume boxes for the shoutout on the stickers i created for mary maddox’s 2nd birthday party!  you’ll have to hop over there to see the full post.  i had never heard of these before my client introduced them to me, but using them for a balloon centerpiece (i mean, like little people can appreciate a well-appointed flower arrangement?) is genius.

they have tons of cute ideas for blume boxes on the ideas in blume blog.

i know amanda at dixie delights will love this lilly-inspired example!
um…and how fun are these cupcake toppers, featured at the party above.
precious!  i will definitely be keeping these blume boxes in mind for my next soiree.

xoxo

lickety-split dinner party

** this is not a new post, but got caught in the blogger outage last week and thus, disappeared! **

so…here is my fear of having only male offspring.  mother’s day / your birthday / insert any holiday that requires attention or a gift comes around, and there is no forethought, planning, mention, you get the idea…about the day.  i have seen this with my own brothers and i have seen it with my husband’s family, him coming from a family of two boys.  insert daughter or daughter-in-law to the rescue, with constant pestering, asking and sometimes telling “what are we doing for our / your mom for (most recent example) mother’s day?”  the answer is always foggy at best.  that’s where we found ourselves this past mother’s day - 2 p.m. ON THE DAY OF with no plans in sight to celebrate phyllis, my wonderfully spunky mother-in-law. 

so i did what any other empathetic gal would do – told rbb to call them and invite them over for dinner.  phyllis had been waiting for an invitation to see the new house as well, so this was a perfect excuse!  and i was off to whip together a menu so fast it would make your head spin.  i decided we would have:

salsa and guacamole with chips (starter)
shrimp tacos (entree)
confetti corn (side dish)
strawberries and either ice cream or cream cheese fruit dip (dessert)

now – nothing fancy but all quick and great for a family dinner on a warm may night.  so i scurried off to the store to pick up the necessities – some of this was fortuitous, as i had been at costco the day before and happened to pick up a carton of their ‘cilantro lime shrimp’ (already cooked, already sauced up - perfect) that i was planning to use for another dinner, but this would work even better!

the empty carton…but it was over by the refrigerated chicken salad, shrimp salad, etc. section of the store…

rush earned fifty gold stars for taking a 3.5 hour nap AND playing quietly in his crib for another HOUR (unprecedented), allowing me to get everything going in the kitchen.

first up – the salsa.  now i know most of you out there would think i had gone off the reservation for making my own, but i just don’t really like any of the store-bought ones and i also happened to pick up a couple of pounds of ripe heirloom tomatoes at whole foods (they were on sale) to use for…something.  enter, homemade salsa.  fantastic!  i quickly went to foodnetwork.com and searched “heirloom tomato salsa” – popped right up.  i tweaked the recipe a bit, but everyone went ga ga for it and wanted to make sure i would not lose the recipe.

heirloom tomato salsa

2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, seeded and cored (recipe says all the same color – 1/2 of mine were yellow, 1/2 were red – i like the color variety)
3 cloves garlic
1 red onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and split (please note this made the salsa VERY spicy – which we love, but maybe not everyone does!)
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil (or more if you prefer – it calls for 1/2 cup but i didn’t think it needed that much)

place all ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until desired consistency (i like mine pretty finely pureed). add salt and pepper to taste.  this made a GALLON (no joke) of salsa…but five adults went through all but maybe a quart.  it was delish and took me almost no time to prepare.

guacamole – i think everyone has their own guacamole method, but here’s mine.  i just wing it, but this is about what i do.

4 avocados, peeled and cored
1-2 garlic clove(s), minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tomato of any kind, small diced
juice of 1 lime (or lemon if you have no limes)
1/4 cup red onion, small diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

mash avocados with a fork.  add all other ingredients and stir gently.  add salt and pepper to taste.

no picture of the guac; it was gobbled up by the time i got my blogging druthers about me and thought i should document some of this.  so i got the salsa and the guac done, put big heaping portions in two bowls, set them on a platter with lots of blue corn chips inbetween and the starter was finito.

shrimp tacos – my plan was to heat up the shrimp right before we ate, but get all of the toppings ready…so i put each of the following things in small bowls and had them ready to go.

- chopped cabbage (red or green; my grocery store was out of red so i used green)
- lime wedges
- chopped cilantro
- spiked sour cream (my MIL is from texas…she likes things spicy and so do i!  take sour cream and mix it with a bit of chili powder and tabasco = spiked sour cream)
- salsa and guac would already be on the table from the starter platter

confetti corn – recipe from ina (found in the green back to basics cookbook). 

2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 small orange bell pepper, 1/2-inch diced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (now that i see this i think i forgot it…yes i definitely forgot it.  oh well.  tasted good anyway.)
kernels cut from 5 ears yellow or white corn, approximately 4 cups (don’t tell ina but i used frozen corn)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil, minced fresh chives, and/or minced fresh parsley leaves (i used green onions and cilantro – felt like it went more with the mexican meal)
heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. stir in the bell pepper and saute for 2 more minutes.


add the butter to the pan and allow it to melt. over medium heat, add the corn, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the corn just loses its starchiness. season to taste, gently stir in the basil or other green herbs, and serve hot.

i got this started before the guests arrived – sauteed the onion and bell pepper, then left it sitting on the stove so i could add the corn right before we ate and it would be hot. 

….and i was pretty much done!  once the guests arrived, i heated up a big stack of small tortillas in the microwave, added the corn to the saute pan, dumped that dish into a bowl and then put the shrimp into the same pan to heat those up for just a couple of minutes…and dinner was served. 

side note:  the vintage white napkins?  procured at an estate sale for 50 cents apiece.  i have a set of 6 and looooovvvvve them.

dessert was uber easy – chopped up fresh strawberries and served them with guest’s choice of vanilla ice cream or cream cheese fruit dip on top.

the moral of the story is:  be sure to have a daughter.  no really, a simple menu makes for a quick dinner party, but sometimes simpler is better?  everyone raved about the food (they were probably lying but it was still nice to hear) and i almost felt bad for taking credit because it was so easy and involved little, if any, cooking.  i was so pleasantly surprised that this came together so easily and we were able to make my mother-in-law feel special! 

xoxo