Recently, Tara and I hosted a beautiful bridal shower for our dear friend Claire, who will be getting married in November. Y'all know we love an excuse to have a party, so when Claire got engaged, I didn't waste any time starting to put together ideas for her bridal shower. This party was extra special to me as I am blessed beyond measure to be Claire's Fairy Godmother. Claire was in middle school when I moved back to Ocilla after college. I rented my first little house from her family and since that made us backyard and backdoor neighbors, Claire and I became fast friends. She would pop over to my house in the afternoons to chat about school. She begged me for a job at the store and never forgot that I told her she had to be fifteen to start working. She rode her bike to work on her 15th birthday and she has been a part of The Shoppes family ever since. When I bought my little house and moved around the corner, she was thrilled that we would still be backyard neighbors. It is so comforting to live so close to someone who has become so dear to my heart.
Over the years we have cried together, mourned together, worked hard together, laughed together and celebrated together. It is so exciting to now be celebrating her upcoming wedding! I don't think it is possible for me to be more happy for her. She is going to make the most beautiful bride!
The date was set, the menu was planned and we got to work on the decor. Tara and I put our heads together and decided on a color palette of greens, and shades of pink and coral. We used citrus fruit and peaches for an extra pop of color.
I used my collection of vintage milk glass containers as vessels for the beautiful floral arrangements. Some arrangements received whole peaches or small oranges and others were decorated with halved grapefruits. The addition of the fruits to the decor was really beautiful and added an extra special touch.
We enlisted the help of Jorjanne and Claire's special friends, Courtney and Kelsey, to help us host. This talented group of women worked hard to make our vision come to life!
The shower took place in the morning so we decided on a brunch menu. Tara was full of good ideas for this because brunch foods are her favorites!
We knew we needed sweet and savory menu items alike, so of course cake was at the top of our list. How can you have a party without cake?!
Tara took one of her favorite recipes and dressed it up a bit. She started with a vanilla cake and layered it with white chocolate buttercream and peach filling--yum! She piped the outside of the cake to look like petals to give it a fancy flair.
Our other sweet option was a glazed lemon cookie. These treats were tiny and delicious--perfect for a brunch!
We love a beautiful charcuterie board, and we thought this would be a fun opportunity to have one! Full of baked ham, cheese slices, fresh fruit and miscellaneous biscuit toppings, this board was a hit!
We offered homemade plain and blueberry biscuits to go with our board. We thought we needed another savory option, so we decided on a Sausage and Cheddar Quiche, baked as individual servings!
It turned out to be a beautiful display of delicious breakfast favorites.
This shower was so fun and so sweet. As I looked around the room at all of the beautiful women that came to celebrate with Claire, I was overwhelmed by the amount of love contained in one space. Our gathering wasn't just about gifts and cake. (Although it might have been the best cake I have ever eaten.) This group truly came together to shower Claire with love and support as she prepares to enter into a new season of life, which made the day just perfect.
If you are planning a party or shower for someone special to you, check out our blog posts about "parties and get-togethers".
An attitude of gratitude. It's easy to say, but harder to live by.
I have my good days, but I also have my fair share of bad ones. It's as if I wake up and roll right out of the wrong side of the bed.
The great stealer of joy strikes again, and I allow him to. I let my wall down and just let him convince me that whatever it is that has me bent out of shape is more important than loving the people around me well. Though that isn't my intention, that is inevitably what happens. I hide behind fake smiles and uninterested conversation, stealing the joy of laughter and sincere concern from my friends.
It's so easy in today's world to allow the "dreary wearies" to set in and ruin your whole day. I am so guilty of this from time to time. We know people who have allowed that attitude to take over day after day, and it's no fun to be around them. It's quite exhausting, actually.
I know right now it's especially hard to keep our attitude in check with so much confusion, fear and hate in the world today. But what if we were born for such a time as this? What if the world so desperately needs our light during this crazy time to bring hope and joy to others? We can't allow an occasional bad mood to dim our light. We must press on and choose to find the joy in every situation. We must work to create an attitude of gratitude, rather than allowing our circumstances to determine our disposition.
It seems as if our world has lost the genuine feeling of gratitude. Many have grown to believe that they deserve something, have the right to, are owed something, or have earned it by meeting minimal standards--including our children. (Ouch! Did that hurt? It hurt me a little.)
I am learning that it is our responsibility to raise our children in such a way that develops a sincere heart, a strong work ethic and a concern for others. Teach your children about gratitude. Start when they're young and help to create a thankful heart in them. Our children learn by example, so be that for them. Look for ways to daily display an attitude of gratitude so that it becomes a natural reaction for them.
Sometimes, the best way to show your gratitude is through words. A handwritten list of things that you are grateful for is a great way to state and recognize how much we truly have to be grateful for. However, this only works when you realize that every good gift is from God, not solely as a result of our hard work or sacrifice.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Here at The Southern Mercantile, we are extremely grateful for our customers and fans. We know and recognize that if it weren't for your love and support, this company wouldn't exist. Every single comment, share, purchase or visit is crucial to our success!
We strive to have a grateful heart, and hope it is evident in all we do. We love to create, and we love that you provide that opportunity for us.
In this day and age, it seems that thank you notes are becoming a thing of the past. For our first paper design, we knew we wanted to create a beautiful thank you card that could be enjoyed by all. The original design was created by Roxie and me, a colorful combination of watercolor and acrylic artwork.
We hope to encourage an attitude of gratitude with the use of these cards, as well as a genuine excitement for expressing your many thanks. If you're looking for a few tips on how to carefully craft your own thank you notes, check out our blog The Art of the Thank You Note! In this blog I describe why thank you notes are important and how to make yours stand out from the crowd. Make someone's day by sending them a genuine, heartfelt thank you, and you just might be the catalyst for spreading a little light in a dark time.
If you are interested in ordering this set of 10 thank you cards and envelopes, shop now!