Three Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching on April 21st and 22nd.  How will you celebrate this fabulous yet fragile planet which sustains us? Here are three fun ways get outside and celebrate our Earth and Mother Nature.

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Happy Earth Day!

First and most obvious, but we often miss this opportunity, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, and companionship with nature! Walk through the woods in search of emerging wildflowers and green moss. Go outside, no matter the weather!

Next eat seasonally and locally with this special offer for Georgia Grown Farm Basket from the ever-popular site Hand-Picked Atlanta.  Delight your family and friends by discovering  new herbs and vegetables to add to your entertaining menus, plus you’ll be helping local farmers with your support.

farm csa Georgia
Georgia Grown Farm Basket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember our blog post about favorite kitchen helper, Unpaper towels?  By using these washable workhorse towels from our Georgia pals Dot and Army, there’s another way to help our environment and earth, right in your own home, all year long.  More points for you and Mother Nature!

And finally, another chance to explore outside at this Atlanta treasure, Blue Heron Nature Preserve. All kinds of activities are planned for April 21, see there website for all the details and year round volunteer opportunities.

nature earth day
Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Atlanta

Can’t wait to take shop dog, Duke, for a long walk along the Chattahoochee River soon!  Let us know how you will celebrate Earth Day and use #inspiredtailoredauthentic #earthdayatl

 

MLK 50 | The Fight for Civil Rights Continues

Civil rights has been in the headlines a lot lately.  Whether it’s poverty, justice, education, decent housing, the quest for civil and human rights continues today.

This April 4th commemorates the 50th  anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  How will you discuss this historic event with your kids, family and neighbors?  To assist us and further these discussions, take advantage of a new city treasure, the Center for Civil and Human Rights.  

civil human rights Atlanta

Mark your calendar as you can live the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with your family at the interactive exhibitions of the Center for Civil and Human Rights on April 4th from 9am through 7:30pm.  Everyone receives free admission on that day too, thanks to the generous support of FedEx.  

civil human rights government
Center for Civil and Human Rights

 

The whole family will enjoy activities built around civil rights such as the Live the Legacy Photo Booth, an art exhibit showcasing SCAD art pieces, theatrical performances of Dr. King’s famous “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” speech and much more.

Wherever you are, listen for the Global Bell Ringing at 7:01 PM on Wednesday, April 4th.  Join people around the world to commemorate the official moment of the commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination.

civil human rights Atlanta
Human Rights Activists from all around the world

To keep this momentum alive, read the pledge for a call to peace and action.

No Justice, No peace;
Know Justice, Know Peace”
is our rallying cry.

With humility and kindness, we will come together with one another and build a community of peace and goodwill for all humankind.  This is what we need to teach our children in order to make the world a better place.

You can find the Center for Civil and Human Rights at 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30313 as part of Atlanta’s beautiful Centennial Park.  All photos are mine as this post is not sponsored in any way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why You Should Make Camp Plans Now

But it’s barely April you’re saying! Why should I look at summer camps near me now? Your kids will be home for the summer before you know it, asking what are we doing next?   Do yourself and them a favor, flip to your family summer calendar, and plug your kids in a fun and innovative summer camp, thanks to MODA, Museum of Design Atlanta.

Always forward thinking, MODA believes kids make great designers! They see through fresh eyes, love wacky ideas and are brave enough to think anything in this world is possible. campMODA teaches kids to use design thinking in combination with STEAM (science, technology, engineering,art/design, and math) skills to solve problems and address real-world challenges.  Believe me, these camps fill up quickly.  You’ll learn so much from them too.

summer kids calendar camp near me
campMODA from May 28 – July 23

Do you have budding engineer or computer game coder?  What about your teen activist?  There’s a spot for everyone.  Join one of MODA’s week-long full-day or half-day camps for kids and teens
(Pre-K through 11th grade) at one of four locations​: MODA’s Midtown home,
Georgia Tech College of Design, First Presbyterian Preschool and The Lovett School
in Buckhead/Vinings. Full-day camps (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are $495 per week, and
half-day camps (9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) are $250 per week. MODA members receive
10 percent discount.

summer camp kid calendar near me
Each campMODA ​2018 session features one of these innovative themes: Designing
with LEGO Robotics; Adventures in Blockly; Designing and Coding with Minecraft;
Craftivism; LEGO Robotics for Filmmakers; Architectural Design with Minecraft;
Circuits and Robots; Playground Engineering and Career-Building Design Studio
Field Trips. ​Reserve your spot to ensure placement in the camps of your choice.

summer camp kid calendar
Robotics, science, design and more

Registration for all camps is available at:
museumofdesign.org/campmodasummer

Have you looked at a family membership?  Not only can you save on summer camp, you’ll have access to adult lectures, classes and exhibits, perfect for family field trips and date nights.

 

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Sugar Sweet Baby Girl Shower

girl, baby, decoration, decor, pink
Banner from Thimblepress

February was a fabulously  fun and busy month for us!  First, our son’s rehearsal dinner and beautiful wedding at The The Stave Room (stunning photo backdrop, thanks to ASW Distillery) and then we hosted a baby girl shower for our oldest daughter who is expecting their first child very soon.

So, please enjoy some moments of pink and gold happiness from the Atlanta and NYC Baby Girl celebrations, perhaps taking some notes on recipes and decor for your next celebration.

baby girl shower, sugar sweet
Balloons by Thimblepress
flowers, cupcakes, cookies, pink, shower, sugar sweet
CamiCakes cupcakes, floral by Steve McKenzie

Topping off the light chicken salad luncheon, guests had their choice of delicious CamiCakes cupcakes or pretty pink sugary sweet iced butter cookies.  Some of us had to taste both!

 

 

pink, cupcake, cactus, succulent, sugar, shower, sugar, sweet
Sugar succulents by Nicolettsy and cupcake toppers by SmashCaked, both on Etsy

Aren’t those sugar succulent toppers the cutest?!  It’s amazing what you can find on Etsy.

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Pink and gold decor on the bar with cups and napkins by our fav, Sequins and Lipstick

In keeping with our baby girl pink and gold theme, our dear friend and tastemaker, Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch suggested the perfect rosemary, grapefruit cocktail recipe from Australian blogger, Tell Me Tuesday and you can get it here.  Pretty and pink!

Remember to look in your cabinet for serving pieces as shown by the mint julep cup holding the gold and white paper straws.

baby, girl, pink, shower
Parents to be, Molly and Jim
baby, stuffed animal, gift, Dockatot, blanket, crib gift
Do you know Atlanta-based Blablakids? The cutest, softest stuffed animals ever…here is Rivier the elephant, all ready to welcome Baby Girl!

We’ll keep you posted on upcoming developments as there’s nothing like a new baby to bring joy to our world.

 

 

Motivation and an Update

Sometimes We Need a Little Motivation

This year, we are motivated to be present in the moment, thanks to a recent sermon from   our minister, Dr. Bill Burch.  Present in the moment means focusing your attention on your companion, your conversation, your surroundings, and not checking your phone.  All kinds of good things happen when this happens – better listening, better thinking and better relationships.  The 2018 focus for our church is “All In”, based on the book All In by Mark Batterson.  I plan to read it purposefully and mindfully.

On the flip side, sometimes you can’t be present with someone because they aren’t here.  Perhaps they moved across the country, moved on with a new job, or are gone forever.

You may remember our post last spring about our son’s fraternity brother, Weston Lee, who was killed in action.  This young man is sorely missed by his family and friends.  That’s an understatement, I know.  Now here’s the update — our son, Carter, is running the Publix Half Marathon on March 18th in memory of Weston with a GoFundMe and all money donated will benefit the University of North Georgia  scholarship in Weston’s memory.

The irony of this? Carter admittedly hates running, which he readily admits, and hopes to motivate others to keep Weston’s spirit and his dedication to service alive.  He knows Weston would be urging him on as he doggedly trains for this race.

Another reminder to cherish the time with your friends and family…

That’s what life is about, isn’t it? Connecting, making friends, having adventures together,   motivating each other to be your best self.

On a lighter note, preparations are underway for our son’s wedding in two weeks!  We’re motivated by love to host the rehearsal dinner for this wonderful couple, their supportive friends and family.  Casual, comfortable and special is the mantra for the evening with the Southern Crust food truck, table decor by Steve and more surprises.  Stay tuned for details!

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“Black” Friday Shopping Fun

          Friday                                  noon – 5pm

#ShopSmall Saturday   10 – 4pm

Plus some of our fashion favorites are on sale…we hope you enjoy!

Burberry – Balmoral Packaway Hooded Shell Trench Coat – Black • Burberry • $795Bp. Foldover Crossbody Bag – Black • BP • $39
Women’s Wit & Wisdom Ab-Solution Stretch Ankle Skinny Jeans • Wit & Wisdom • $68
Women’s Sam Edelman ‘Penny’ Boot • Sam Edelman • $149.90
Women’s Michael Michael Kors Cowl Neck Sweater • MICHAEL Michael Kors • $58.96
Women’s Steve Madden ‘Ecentrcq’ Sneaker • Steve Madden • $59.95

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Getting into the Holiday Spirit + Giving Back

It’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas!  We’re getting in the holiday spirit this week as we prepare for the NMP Holiday Gift Show, this Thursday evening – Saturday.  You’ll find over 90 of the South’s most sought-after designers, artists, makers, food and more.

Here’s a quick preview of some what we’re bringing to the NMP Holiday Gift Show…

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Melamine Appetizer Plates Allegra Red set/4
scripture, Bible, cards
Small Squares with Mighty Words by Thimblepress

As a true partner in the Atlanta community, this 34th annual event directly supports the preschool’s scholarship program.  We are honored to be part of this talented and dedicated group, and look forward to seeing you there, and at steve mckenzie’s!

Dinner Party 101

“Let’s have some folks over for dinner this weekend!” – does the thought of this idea make your palms sweat? Don’t worry, join us on Oct. 7th for Dinner Party 101.  The ever-so thoughtful hostess, Paige Minear of The Pink Clutch blog joins us to give you the tools for an effortless, casual dinner party.

party, cocktail
Dinner Party 101: Saturday, Oct. 7th from 10 – 11:30am

You’ll go home confident, with easy, impressive recipes, design advice for a festive space, ready to reconnect with old friends and invite some new friends.

You’ll make some new friends and learn from stand-out makers such as Cathead Vodka, Schermer Pecans and Merry Cheese Crisps.

Tickets are $20 and space is limited, so grab a friend and get your tickets today! Be sure to contact the team at steve mckenzie’s with any entertaining needs.  See you soon!

Sharing Something Personal

We want to share a personal, yet somber, highlight from last week. Two weeks ago our 24-year-old son, Carter, a first year high school history teacher, tragically had an active duty fraternity (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) brother killed in Iraq. This rocked his, ours, and many others worlds’.

1st Lt. Weston Lee

Within hours of his passing, our son and his close friends determined that they’d like to honor Weston’s memory with a scholarship at their school, the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, using a gofundme account. The goal is $100,000 and  to date, $60,000+ has been donated.

Being a man of action, Carter took this story to his history students at William and Reed Academy, in Johns Creek GA, reminding them we have active duty soldiers in harm’s way despite being in a peace-time setting. He challenged them to collect items for care packages to send to these service members. Listen to what happened next:

What’s the takeaway of this story? Cherish your friends and cherish your freedom.

One person can make a difference and that one person is you.  Listen to what tugs at your heart.

Simple things and handwritten cards brighten a service member’s day

Read here to learn more about Lt. Weston Lee, his ultimate sacrifice and what’s being done to honor and remember this young soldier and remember to thank the next service person you see.

Who Doesn’t Love Iris?

pillow, Iris, fashion
Hand-made Iris Apfel Pillow by Huger Memories $295

Iris Apfel, fashion icon, business woman, interior designer, has inspired so many with her wit, style-sense and sharp eye. Our friend, Sarah Wiley of Huger Memories has created a fabric pillow homage to Iris, part of Sarah’s Women We Love pillow collection.

 

 

Oprah pillow
Oprah pillow

 

Huger is bringing your favorite heroines home in their new limited-edition collection. Using the same unique process to create custom memory pieces, Huger artist Sarah Gibson Wiley has hand drawn photos of the iconic women and then machine stitched the photos onto hand-cut applique to then create a 21” decorative pillow. They are all available for $295 at HugerMemories.com and at Atlanta’s steve mckenzie’s shop.

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Jackie Kennedy pillow
gift, home, house
House Portrait – a perfect housewarming gift

Not only can you add remarkable women to your sofa, Sarah loves to create a fabric memory for her clients, be it their home or pets or family.   Working with her client, Sarah gathers photographs and makes notes during the consultation – to ensure she captures the look and feel of the concept. She draws on her computer and chooses all stitches and areas of applique. A computer generated mock up is sent to her client for design clarity and approval. Once approved, Sarah selects designer fabric for applique and cotton thread to bring color and life to the drawing. Then she stitches the design on a fabric background that will then be either sewn into a pillow,  or framed either by you or by her favorite Richmond framer.

gift, beach, family, kids
Family beach memories

Sarah, Steve and Jill hit it off at last week’s The Southern C Summit in Sea Island, so much so that you can find her work in Atlanta at our shop, steve mckenzie’s.

We are always excited about featuring talented makers who create from the heart, such amazing pieces for the home.

dog, gift, pillow, art,
Add a pillow featuring your beloved furry family member!

Preserve a special memory with one of these hand-crafted pieces.  And what a special gift!

Sarah Wiley, the artist in her Richmond studio
Sarah Wiley, the artist in her Richmond studio

“My goal is to bring clients joy by creating lasting memories in the form of a unique art form”. – Sarah Gibson Wiley

Start the journey towards your own custom Huger Memories piece at: https://www.hugermemories.com and tell them steve mckenzie’s sent you!