Inspired Creations Contest – The Winners!

I am excited today to share that Ami and I have finished tallying the numbers and we are officially ready to announce the winners of the first Inspired Creations Contest! Earlier in the week we announced the top 10 finalists on Elizabeth Anne Designs and then recruited a few our fellow bloggers (three of the most inspiring bloggers going, if you ask me) to help us decide on our grand prize winners. A huge thank you to our guest judges, Kathryn of Snippet & Ink, Maria from Ritzy Bee and Jen of Green Wedding Shoes, for lending a hand!

Without further ado….the winners! (All photos link to the original posts.)

3rd Place – Rustic Campsite Wedding Inspiration
From the get go I practically shouted my love for this quirky, modern retro camping-themed inspiration shoot from the rooftops. A wedding? At a campsite? With blue-speckled tin dinnerware? It doesn’t get much better. Well, throw in some s’mores and a gorgeous cake perched atop a charcoal grill and I guess it just did. In the July heat, I am loving this submission all over again this week. Who’s up for camping this weekend?

Concept & Design – Jesi Haack Weddings
Photography – Gabriel Ryan Photographers
Floral Design – JL Designs
Cake – Sweet and Saucy Shop
Paper Goods – Paper and Thread
Dress – Mary Me Bridal
Chairs – Signature Party Rentals
Hair & Makeup – Flourish

2nd Place – Urban Rooftop Picnic
Speaking of shouting from the rooftops, this rooftop picnic with breathtaking views of the Dallas skyline was refreshingly fun. I loved the fresh lemon yellow, crisp white and kraft paper color palette paired with the simple summer details. And, of course, the calligraphy fanatic in me couldn’t get enough of the inspired calligraphy accents that popped up throughout the design. This is rolling hillside meets chic urban downtown locale at its best.

Photography – Catie Ronquillo Photography
Planning – After Yes Weddings
Stationery and Calligraphy – Nicole Black, The Left-Handed Calligrapher
Hair and Makeup – Emily Hudspeth
Location – Off The Grid
Floral – Earth Blooms Florist
Linens – Event Linen Solution
Accessories – Ink and Button
Gown – ‘Dahlia’ by Stephanie James Couture, from The White Gown Showroom
Bridesmaids dress – Alyn Paige
Models – Ashley Vasicek, Jessica Baker, and Jacob Reding

1st Place – Dandelion Wine
The book-loving, literature buff in me loved this Dandelion Wine inspired design from the second I laid eyes on the gorgeous images from Sara Gray Photography. The color palette, the budget-friendly DIY ideas and the sweet personal details won me over so it’s understandable why this entry stands tall as our grand prize winner. It’s unique, modern and rang in well under the $500 budget – it was a favorite with readers, vendors and bloggers alike. Congratulations, ladies! You stunned us with your creativity and it’s an honor to crown you the winners of the first Inspired Creations Contest!


Kim and Bonnie from Punch
Kathy from The Party Place
Sara from Sara Gray Photography

A HUGE thank you to all of the immensely talented wedding professionals who participated in the contest. We were blown away by your creativity, your passion and your unique ideas. Truly. I’m still in complete awe and can’t wait for the next contest! Winners, hang tight – Ami and I will be emailing you before the weekend to discuss your prizes and look forward to chatting with all of you.

Have a great idea for the next Inspired Creations Contest? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.


Birthday Girl Guest Post

Good morning, everyone! Popping in quickly today to thank you all for your support and love. It means so very very much. Things here are slowly looking up, although I’m not feeling completely ready to jump back into the blogging routine just yet, but I might pop up later in the week with a bit of inspiration I can’t resist sharing. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a recent guest post I wrote for Birthday Girl featuring my favorite party details. Check it out and have a great day!



A Loss

Hello, friends. A quick note today to explain my unexpected absence and to let you know I may continue to be MIA for much of the next week or more. My family and I have suffered the tragic and sudden loss of one of our own and are currently grappling to come to terms with the depths of grief we are experiencing. He was 21 years old and had the kind of smile that could light up a room – he will be forever missed and his absence forever felt. It’s hard to explain in words just how close my extended family is and likewise it’s impossible to explain how his loss has shocked us all. Hopefully in the next few days this dark cloud hanging over us will start to lift and hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m going to be spending the next several days with the people who mean the most to me and without whom I’d be lost.

To those of you who caught wind that something was amiss – thank you for your love, your support and your prayers. It has meant the world to me and to my family and I cannot thank you enough.


Adoption Party Ideas

Last week I received an email from a reader, Mattie, who is helping her friends plan an adoption party in celebration of the adoption of their two daughters, age eight and ten. Mattie writes -

“I’m emailing to see if you or your readers have any inspiring ideas for an adoption party? My friends are finalizing their girls’ adoption at the end of July and are throwing them a huge party. We are trying to come up with something witty that has to do with joining the family, making the family bigger, etc. Or anything that would be cute and creative. She isn’t looking for anything too “themey” like luaus or princesses. The girls are 8 and 10. Thank you!”

When Mattie wrote me, I immediately starting thinking of ideas. I love the idea of a big huge party to celebrate a new family and right away thought that a thumbprint family tree guest book could be perfect. All of their family and friends could ink up their thumb and “sign” the tree. The print could later be hung up in a prominent spot in their home to remind them that family is more than skin deep.

family-tree-guest-book-idea{Photos by Jason and Anna Photography via Style Me Pretty.}


{Photo by Jonas Peterson via Inspired Goodness via .C is for Charmed.}

Because the girls have been with their new mom and dad for a couple of years now, I love the idea of a family photo line showcasing photos of favorite moments and special occasions they’ve shared together.

family-photo-line-adoption-party-ideas{Photos by Piknik Studios via Weddingbee.}

photo-clothesline-party-ideas{Photo by Jenny Jimenez via The Bride’s Cafe.}
wedding-photo-clothesline-adoption-party-ideas{Photo via The Knot.}

Borrowed from a common tradition in wedding ceremonies, I think a sand ceremony is equally as appropriate for an adoption celebration. Because, really, isn’t an adoption just as much about the merging of lives into one family as a wedding? They might also consider asking a close friend or minister to say a short blessing or make a special toast as a way of reflecting on the occasion. Another great idea would be to plant a tree together as a family to symbolize their unity and growing together.
unity-sand-ceremony-tree-planting{Photo by Micah Dahlberg Photography via Polka Dot Bride.}

kids-planting-a-tree{Photo via Tree Appeal.}

Finally, I think celebrating each daughter, the things they love and what makes them unique is a great idea.  If they love strawberry or chocolate, board games or soccer, puppy dogs or horses, find ways to include details that reflect them both. Interactive activities like candy buffets, crafts or team games like tug of war or badminton make a party memorable and keep guests talking about it for a long time to come.
sweet-candy-bar-buffet{Photo by John Rozier.}

vintage-coloring-books-birthday-party-paper-dolls-580x386{Photo by Jeremy Harwell from Vintage Puppy Themed Birthday Party.}

Mattie would love to know what you think, too. Do you have any great ideas for an adoption party? Please share!


Inspired Creations – Retro Milkshake Bar

Have I ever told you about my obsession with ice cream? No? Ok then, allow me to introduce myself. “Hi, my name is Cyd and I am addicted to ice cream.” No, seriously, ice cream is my favorite food. Ever. So today’s milkshake bar Inspiread Creations Contest entry? Pure brilliance. I’m sure you’ll agree. (If you don’t, you must not love ice cream. And if that’s the case, I’m really really sorry for you.) While designed with a fun summer wedding reception in mind, this collaboration from Kellie Kano and Elissa Keno would be perfect for a birthday party or any other backyard celebration.







Retro-Milkshake-Bar-Unique-Wedding-Ideas-19Elissa’s husband built the mikshake bar and they used colorful shower curtains for the backdrop. With red and white striped paper straws as their inspiration, they used neapolitan pink, brown and white and fun retro touches like chalkboard signage, glossy white bar stools, glass bottles of Coca Cola and assorted classic ice cream toppings to bring all of the details together for the perfect retro milkshake bar.








ice-cream-shop-retro-milkshake-barIsn’t this just the best? I love the idea of a fabulous milkshake bar or make your own sundae bar at a wedding or at your next party. It’s perfect for kids or for those of us who are kids at heart. In my book, you can’t go wrong with ice cream. Throw in a handful of cute touches like striped straws and neapolitan colored bunting? Now that is absolute heaven. For more details and photos visit Elizabeth Anne Designs – a huge huge thank you to Elissa and Kellie for inspiring me to no end with this amazing idea!

Vendors -
Photography and concept – Kellie Kano Photography
Styling and concept – Elissa Keno
Gown – Angel Sanchez from Tre Bella Bridal

{Photos by Kellie Kano Photography.}