Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Join me, won't you?

You'll find my usual Wordless Wednesday post below, but there's something important I wanted to share with all of you.

Blogging has brought me a tremendous amount of happiness throughout the past year. My once small world as a new stay-at-home mom has grown exponentially with the addition of wonderful "friends" I have come to know through the blogging community. There is not a day that passes that I do not find myself saying a silent prayer of thanksgiving to God for the blessings He has bestowed upon my life. Having had a successful and uncomplicated pregnancy, and to have watched as my vibrant, beautiful, and healthy daughter has grown and thrived this past year leaves me speechless as to the true awesomeness of God. And, it saddens me so to read about a family so deserving of a happy ending, but instead only finds heartbreak.

Many months ago, I began to follow Megan's story. Unfortunately, Megan and her husband, Brent, lost their newborn son, Cohen, just days following his birth as he was called home to be with God. Just thinking about their story of faith, hope, and loss brings tears to my eyes.

Thanks to some of Megan's thoughtful and supportive friends, the blogging community is joining together tomorrow in a moment of silence to honor Baby Cohen and show support for Megan and Brent.
What: Moment of Silence for Cohen

When: All day, Thursday July 1st, from midnight tonight to 11:59 pm tomorrow

How: Bloggers participating will post the Cohen banner (below) or simply post Cohen’s name in large letters on their blog.

Why: July 1st Megan and Brent will be holding Cohen’s memorial service. The moment of silence is an opportunity for Megan’s blog community to stand behind her and support her on this difficult day. Linking up will give Megan a chance to see the support at a glance.

Participating bloggers can link up on July 1st at Send Love To Cohen. Please join us, show your support, and help spread the word!

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God."—Luke 18:16


God Bless!


{Scroll down to see our Wordless Wednesday post (Wet n' Wild) from earlier today!}

Wet n' Wild (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

Sometimes it takes a little work...


To have a lot of fun!




{Like GG's wigglin' caterpillar sprinkler? Click here to get one for your little water baby!}

Click here to enter the fantastic giveaway from Invitation Consultants!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The "WRITE" Choice (An Invitation Consultants Giveaway)

As I mentioned in the previous post, I used Invitation Consultants to create and order the guest invitations for my parents' 40th anniversary party.


Since I created the invitations, it goes without saying that I thought they were perfect for the occasion. But after numerous compliments and inquiries about the invitations from guests of the party, I knew for sure I'd made the right choice selecting this company.

Not only does Invitation Consultants offer a wide selection of stationary and invitations to meet your every need, but they have simplified the entire online ordering process making it convenient and easy to add a creative touch to your next big event or special occasion.

After corresponding with Kaity, Invitation Consultants' Media/Client Relations Coordinator, I couldn't be more thrilled to host a giveaway for a $20 gift card to their online stationary store.

And, as with any giveaway hosted here on Webbisodes, I thought you would like to know a little more about this fantastic company.

{From the Invitation Consultants website...}

It all began in 1999 when Allison, a born entrepreneur, left her career in marketing to start her own business. She wanted to do something that truly touches people's lives. So, from a spare bedroom in her apartment in Tampa, Florida, she started Invitation Consultants.

Initially, the business catered to local brides. Pretty soon, however, she started realizing that the internet was a much more effective way to reach potential customers. She set up a website and started selling customized printed invitations and announcements online.

She also realized that brides are not the only people in need of invitations, and the website started offering invitations and announcements for any occasion: birthdays, bar & bat mitzvahs, corporate events, holiday parties, and much more.

The business is on a fast growth path. The business moved out of the apartment into an office space in 2001. The first employee was hired in 2001, soon to be followed by many more. In 2002, Allison's husband Olivier left his job, in order to join Invitation Consultants. The company has been growing at a steady rate.

Thanks to Allison's passion for invitations and stationery, true dedication to the customers and a lot of perseverance, Invitation Consultants has grown to become a real success story.

So, not only is this a great company, but it's a company based out of Florida, my home state! It just doesn't get any better!

Giveaway ends, 7/6/10. Now, here's how to enter:

Mandatory entry

{1} Visit Invitation Consultants and leave a comment here telling me how you'd use the gift card.

Additional entries:

[2} Follow Invitation Consultants on Twitter.

{3} Follow Allison on Twitter.

{4} Become a fan of Invitation Consultants on Facebook.

{5} Tweet about this giveaway.

{6} Post a message on FB about this giveaway.

{7} Blog about this giveaway.

Remember to leave a comment here for each entry and be sure to include your email.

Gillian Grace was a big fan of her grandparents' invitation.

Just don't take it away!


Miss my post about the surprise anniversary party? Don't cry, scroll down or click here to read all about it.


First we HOST, now we BOAST!

What has been an idea several years in the making, finally came to be one weekend ago. On Saturday, the eve of my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, Bret and I {together with 25 of their closest friends and out-of-town family} pulled off a surprise of a lifetime, an anniversary party!

Party preparations began in the New Year and by the second week of January, I had the date and location set. I then began scouring the Internet for ideas and inspiration for the soiree. Although red is usually associated with 40th wedding anniversaries, I only wanted to use it as an accent color. Having had our rehearsal dinner at this particular venue, I knew I needed colors that would brighten, what has a tendency to be, a dark space. Plus with it being a summer party, I wanted the decor to be a reflection of the season, light and airy! Once I arrived at my color palate of corals, peaches, yellows, and light greens, with hints of purple and touches of red, the rest was just legwork and details.

From the cake to the flower arrangements, down to the outfits my family would wear, I wanted to keep all my ideas for the party organized. With the help of a free online photo editing site {Big Huge Labs}, I created an inspiration board to keep me on track. This is also the site I use to create photo collages here on Webbisodes.


My original inspiration board

Creating and ordering the guest invitations was one of the first items I tackled.


Invitations by Invitation Consultants

Being a self-admitted perfectionist, I knew exactly how I wanted the evening aesthetic to look. Convincing Mom and Dad that dining out with the baby on a Saturday evening during the peak of tourist season would be difficult, so I knew a great plan was necessary! Being cautious not to reveal our hand, I devised a CIA inspired, black-ops esque, mission impossible, you never saw me coming, failure is not an option strategy! {I'm expecting a call any day to take over all military operations!}

For my parents, I created an invitation similar to the one I made for the guests, obviously omitting parts of the original invite like SURPRISE and PARTY! I purchased my mom a beautiful outfit from her favorite store {Chico's} and ordered my dad a Tommy Bahama shirt from Zappos {Can't say enough great things about}. I wrapped everything in a big brown box and attached the new invitation on top.


During one of our weekend visits, I left the package behind unbeknownst to my parents. After Mom and Dad's discovery of the mysterious parcel, we received an excited phone call and a grateful acceptance of our dinner mandate invitation.

Planning this party, I felt a little like Santa Claus. I made countless lists and checked them all no less than a million times. For months, I made phone call after phone call to vendors and shop owners to ensure that everyone was on the same page. I grew up a little while planning this event and learned to care a little less about others' perception of me {the persnickety, persistent, pain in the you-know-what client} and care more about doing whatever it took to produce an unforgettable event!

The night of the party, I was a nervous wreck! Not able to oversee the final preparations myself, I sent Bret to supervise and complete a few finishing touches. Walking into the restaurant that evening and seeing that everything had come together so beautifully was a great feeling. But nothing compared to the satisfaction and joy Bret and I received from finally having the opportunity to give a little something back to my parents, the two people that have given us so much.

One of the many highlights that evening included a video in honor of my parents' special occasion. I've uploaded an abridged version of the video shown that night. If you plan to watch be prepared, even this shorter version is nearly ten minutes in length. Hey! What can I say? For a couple with 40+ years of history between the two of them, it was a miracle I was able to get it that short! {Quicktime movie may take a few minutes to load, but hopefully you'll find that it's worth the wait!}

To view the video, click here.

The room was beautiful, the decorations splendid, and the food was top notch prepared by renowned Pensacola chef, Irv Miller. But it was the company that surpassed it all! The tone of the evening was nothing short of magical, and seeing my parents surrounded by such a large group of family and loving friends, meant the world to not only them, but me as well.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.--Anonymous

{Party Pictures}
It's all in the details...

Red velvet cake topper with individual red cupcake favors for each guest

The arrangements turned out beautifully!

Dinner and Toasting {Buddy Lanier (lower right) and Dad (upper left) make toasts.}

Playing hostess and Momma was hard work! But as you can tell, GG found ways to keep herself entertained.

The guests

Mom and Dad enjoying the party! And, as always, GG was a big hit!

Mom and Dad, the couple of the evening!


Be sure to check back later today for an exciting giveaway sponsored by Invitation Consultants!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} It's Monday and that can only mean one thing...back to work! Just kidding, every stay-at-home mom knows there's no such thing as a weekend off, we're always working! Monday means it's time for a Mommy and Me picture. It's been a while and we've been so busy around here that I have little choice but to make the best of the few pictures I have of my munchkin and me, good or bad!

This would be an example of a BAD one (at least of me anyway...)

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

{2} Good news! Heather is the winner of the On Top Baby Bows giveaway! Please email me by Wednesday to claim your fabulous prize! Congratulations!


{3} Email is wonderful, but like laundry if left unchecked it has a tendency to quickly pile up. This past week during my brief bloggy vacay, I unplugged completely. For two full days I did not so much as open my laptop, only to return home and discover a whopping 362 messages in my inbox. Holy communication overload, Batman!


{4} Vacation season is in full swing! Never a fan of flying, one trip has us scheduled to hit the skies in late July. Destination: The Windy City!


{5} There wasn't any wind to speak of but even the slightest breeze would've knocked me over last week as I opened my anniversary gift. Let's just say Bret truly outdid himself this year! {More details in a future post!}

{6} It's all in the details and with GG's first birthday less than a month away, there's so much to do! Currently our guest room looks like the backroom of Party City.


{7} I've been racking my brain trying to think of ways to keep the kiddos attending Gillian Grace's birthday party entertained. Please send any ideas and suggestions my way!

{8} May I make a suggestion? If you're planning a summer trip to our area {the Gulf Coast}, you might want to reconsider. No thanks to bureaucratic politics in Washington and the good-for-nothing folks at BP, the oil has finally reached our beaches. What was once just a nightmare, has become reality and making matters worse is the fact we know that this is only the beginning. It's hard to tell which birthday GG will be celebrating by the time this wrong is finally made right.

Find image here

{9} Beginning this week, the wait is over! Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight saga, hits theaters Wednesday. Though I never would've thought I'd be a fan, I can't wait to see this movie! I see a date night in my future!


{10} I'm a huge fan of this week's featured commenter, Jennifer. She puts the real in NY Housewives.


{11} Even though I hope you visit every day, be sure to check in on Thursday, July 1st. I'm unveiling a really big surprise that will hopefully be a bright spot in your day! Here's sneak peak...


{12} Thanks, Torie from Life with Rylie for passing along the Sunshine award. Awards from bloggy friends always brighten my mood!


Make it a great week, y'all!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

In our house summertime rivals Christmas for the busiest season of the year. With so much to do, I'm barely able to keep my head above water in a sea of responsibilities. So before I loose the little bit of sanity I have left, I'm going to take a few days off from blogging to get things back in order around here and reprioritize my ever growing list of "to-dos".

But I couldn't go before leaving you with the details for my newest giveaway, courtesy of Torie from On Top Baby Bows.

Torie has been kind enough to giveaway a $10 store credit to her fabulous bowtique. She has the cutest bows, headbands, and hair accessories for your little one. I especially love the fun clippies, perfect for Gillian Grace's growing hair!



Mandatory Entry:

{1} Follow Torie's bow blog, On Top Baby Bows.

Extra Entries

{1} Follow On Top Baby Bows on Facebook. {1 entry}

{2} Subscribe to posts on
Torie's family blog, Life with Rylie. {2 entries-Please leave 2 separate comments to let me know you subscribed.}

{3} Tweet about this giveaway. {1 entry}

{4} Post a message on FB about this giveaway. {1 entry}

{5} Blog about this giveaway. {2 entries- Don't forget to leave me your blog address.}

{6} Visit Torie's Etsy shop and tell me what you'd buy with the store credit. {1 entry}

As always, remember to leave a separate comment for each entry and don't forget your email address in at least one of your comments. Giveaway ends 6/27!


And, congratulations to Laura for winning the Brooks Boutique giveaway!

Have a terrific Tuesday and wonderful rest of the week!

See y'all Monday.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Lucky number 7

Bret and I were born in 1979.


My first name has 7 letters.


His middle name has 7 letters.


We first met in the fall of nineteen ninety-seven.


On our first "date" he picked me up from my sorority residence, 807 West Panhellenic Drive. It was October 17th.


7 years after first meeting, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary.


The address of our first home was 2635 {2+6+3+5=16; 1+6=7}, and our townhouse number was 907.


Bret graduated with his Ph.D. and we made our first major move as a family from Florida to Alabama in 2007.


Our first child, Gillian Grace, was born on 7/20/09.


And today, Bret and I are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary.


Looks like the odds are in our favor for a long and happy marriage!

Lucky number 7...}