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Back to School: The Parties

back to school partiesHappy Weekend! In all my back-to-school perusing on the web, I have run across a zillion cute cute parties that I want to share with you today.  I stole the photo above from our school themed Valentine’s dinner because all the decorations fit these celebrations so well.  If you didn’t see it back in February, you can check it out here.  Our daughter’s graduation party a couple of years ago, also fits with it nicely.  You can see it here.

school theme centerpiecesource

And here are some that I have run across this week that you might like.  Enjoy!

back to school party with apple

back to school party with school

(Here is the school supply favor table for the party above.)

back to school party with school supplies favor

back to school party and printables

back to school party with Lauren Haddox

back to school party with crayon box

Junie B. party would work for a back to school party

back to school party with tree decoration

back to school with cake

back to school party with yellow

Back to school

back to school party

If you need a few ideas for food for a back to school dinner, how about these?

food for party

 foods for

And if you are doing the back to school theme for older kids, here are an couple of centerpieces more fitting for them.

back to school

back to school theme decor

Hope these photos have given you a few ideas for your own back to school celebration (or maybe just some fun eye candy for your weekend!:))  Our Saturday is cuh-razy today with a yard sale for my mom, our oldest coming in from training in Dallas and packing to move to Seattle, our middle son coming in either tonight or tomorrow from finishing his summer job in Atlanta and packing to move to Seattle with brother, daughter home to attend a bridal shower with me for the fiance of my nephew…and somewhere in there we need to fit in a belated birthday party for middle child.  I will need to remember this hectic weekend in a couple of weeks when the house is super duper silent.

apple table

Our internet provider is doing some MAJOR upgrading this weekend, so I will be without internet service here until Sunday evening (and no, I do not have a smartphone.)  I hope to be back with either details on a back to school dinner here or some home decorating soon. Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time…

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Judy - August 23, 2014 - 6:30 pm

all of these have some great take away ideas kelly….you should have added to this list a photo of your classroom door from a couple of years back that you featured….you do/did an outstanding job of welcoming your students to school!

sounds like you have an overflowing plate this weekend…i hope you find a few minutes of time for yourself and a good book!
Thank you Judy! Check out the post before this one for some of our classroom doors. Can’t wait to read the Jan Karon book (and Ina has a new one out in October I believe.)

L J - August 23, 2014 - 6:34 pm

Hi Kelly
Love the ideas especially the display with the sunflowers. I’m on faculty at a local community college and I’m thinking I’m going to “borrow” that idea and use it in the lobby near my office.
I’m an empty-nester and I agree it is important to treasure those times when everyone was home. Enjoy the family time!
Go right ahead and borrow away! Ideas are meant to be shared. :)

Louvina - August 23, 2014 - 8:04 pm

Enjoyed it so much! Love the lunch box ideas and your tablescapes are right up there with the best of them –for me!! My goodness girl how do you catch your breath on weekends like this?! But sounds like so much fun!! My gang is off to Disney for the weekend and I was invited but in this heat, I declined. But when I saw the Wilderness Lodge Hotel lobby pictures — what was I thinking! I could have had a great time there hanging out!! Will be watching for the next update.
Gosh thank you Louvina! I think I would have passed on Disney in the heat as well. (Even though I do think the Wilderness Lodge architecture and interior design are all out amazing!)

Debra - August 23, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Love…Love those DIY apple party plates. So cute. I have those red polka dot napkins and white dot paper. Hmm, that would be fun for a casual fall dinner after going apple picking, maybe? Fall will be here sooner than we think. The end of August and early September are always hot for the kids at school. Never fails. These temps lately of 90’s with heavy humidity, can leave please. Still love those number plates. Wish they were current. Boo hoo. Well, enjoy your busy, busy weekend with your children. Birthday wishes to your son. Ok, now I have to go back and check out a few of the links Kelly, as I am sure there is more eye candy to enjoy. :) Thanks.
Debra, that would be a great idea for an apple picking party! I am with you on wishing the humidity and high temps would go away, but I know they are here for several more weeks. Target could make a nice profit if they would bring out those number plates again, wouldn’t they?

Katrina - August 23, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Oops…. you got another post out before I had time to comment on the last one!
I love,love,loved all the pictures of your classroom and the doors on your hall! I am with Kathy…. It ALMOST made me miss teaching with the key word being “almost”….LOL! I would be so excited if I was a student and walked onto a hallway with all that cuteness!
My granddaughter’s 4th birthday party was today. The theme was pinwheels! My daughter’s due date is in 16 days so she was happy it was a success and can be marked off her list!
A friend and I are thinking about going to the Cashier’s Designer house next weekend. You aren’t going, are you?
Loved this post too… You know I always love all of them!
Almost…but not quite, right? If I were retired, it would not make me miss it. Happy 4th bday to your granddaughter! What a clever theme for a party. I bet it was precious! We did not make it to the Designer house this year. My husband has been with with boys on their road trip across the country, so no trip for me for awhile. boo hoo.

Dawn - August 23, 2014 - 8:07 pm


This is all too cute! I love the back to school party idea. Thanks for sharing it all with us. Good luck with your internet.
So happy you liked the ideas Dawn! Thank you for reading!

Arlene@Nanaland - August 23, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Love all those cute party ideas Kelly. I will be thinking of you as you adjust to all those life changes with the children moving away from home. At least you will have a new place to visit!!
I’m so glad you liked the ideas Arlene. :) Thank you for thinking of me and the empty nest here. We will have a new place to visit, but boy is it a long way away!

Kathy - August 23, 2014 - 10:24 pm

I just had to get rid of my teaching materials. I don’t know why I was hanging onto them…but our hardware store building (where they were stored) sold and I had to decide whether to toss or keep and with all of that is going on, I had to toss. Now, I am seeing your cute ideas and thinking….I could have used that for…Oh, well! (I did try to give my materials to younger teachers but I guess they wanted their own new stuff.)
I hope you are planning trips to Seattle. I think it looks like a fun place to visit…all of the antique markets, etc.
If you can, look at Katrina’s facebook page. She has the cutest photos of her granddaughter’s pinwheel party.
This post reminds me of the first day of kindergarten for our daughter. I had a Barbie cake made for her. (The doll was actually in the cake and her dress was the cake.) I see the influence of scrapbooking in the decorating above and in your previous post. Take it easy, Kelly!
Oh dear! You got rid of all of it? There are some things I will hang onto when I retire, but there are several people who want my job and my room, so a lot may just stay as is. :) I know we will visit Seattle, but I don’t have any idea when that will be. Our sons will have more money than we do, so it may be that they have to fly here to visit instead of us going there. LOL
I think I had a Barbie in the cake when I was a little girl. I will check out Katrina’s facebook page to see her cute granddaughter.

Martha - August 24, 2014 - 8:35 am

You always come up with the best table decorations. I have laughed at the back to school parties….I think they would have to be for moms, not kids. Although as happy as I was for school to start, about a month later when we were bogged down with homework and after school activities, I longed for the long days of summer.

I hope you don’t have withdrawal pains with your internet down. I just got mine back this morning after 24 hours and I feel like a junkie with a fix. I hate I am addicted to it and I’m like you, no smart phone (yet).
Thank you Martha. You are probably right about the moms wanting more of a celebration that the children do with going back to school! Glad to know that I am not the only soul on the planet who does not have a smartphone. :)

Paula B. - August 24, 2014 - 9:03 am

Such cute ideas, very festive. I was thinking, though, of all my teacher pals and how sad they are to see summer coming to an end. However, most are eagerly decorating their rooms and getting set to get into a routine as Fall comes our way. I still (six years out) feel the nostalgic pull of the school bell as each September rolls around. Hope you have tons of fun this weekend despite the hectic pace. Good luck to daughter returning to college and to the boys heading out to Seattle. Yay for new adventures!
It is a big change from summer to Sept. school. Thank you for all the good wishes for everyone’s new ventures, Paula. They certainly are new adventures!

Amanda @ Dixie Delights - August 24, 2014 - 9:11 am

very cute ideas!! I love every single one you chose!!!
Thanks Amanda! You are a theme party queen!!

DiAnne - August 24, 2014 - 10:50 am

Love these school decorating posts. Like others mentioned, these posts make me ALMOST miss school. You must be a fabulous teacher.
I hope you visit Seattle. It is beautiful. Our daughter has been there the past three years on business and each time she discovers something new. I hear there is a train ride up the Pacific. Coast from Seattle that is breathtakingly beautiful and reasonable in price.
Take care,
Yes, almost. I hope we get to visit Seattle too. A train ride along the coast would be gorgeous. Thank you for letting me know about it DiAnne!

Barbara (WA) - August 24, 2014 - 11:11 am

I see trips to Seattle in your future! I grew up in Renton (south Seattle) but now live across Elliot Bay from downtown. When it is beautiful here, it is gorgeous! Just curious if your sons are attending college here or working. My son works at Microsoft.
I hope you are right Barbara! Both of our sons will be working in Bellevue in computer work (but not with Microsoft), the other is not sure yet exactly what he will be doing. He is hoping to be tutoring students who will be taking the LSAT, and then he plans to go to law school himself in a year.

Garden, Home and Party - August 25, 2014 - 9:38 am

There are some cute ideas. By far my favorite tables and clever accessories are those you created! I’d want to hire you as a party planner every time. :-) I really like the sunflower table too.
I’m thrilled for the new adventure your sons are about to embark on…as a blog friend and “MOM” I’d give you a hug and invite you to lunch to help with the transition. These transitions are always a little difficult for us parents.
Aw you are too sweet, Karen! I could use a hug, and lunch with you would be so much fun. :) It has become VERY quiet around here!

Design Chic - August 25, 2014 - 3:24 pm

You are one busy lady – don’t know how you keep the comings and goings straight. Love the idea of a back to school party and so many cute ideas. Your daughter’s graduation party was amazing – wonderful attention to detail!!
A calendar helps tremendously! So glad you liked all the parties – including ours!

Jayne - August 26, 2014 - 9:30 am

All of these are super cute ideas! How easy to incorporate into the classroom as well. Like the one from Instead of the food, the teacher could put out some school supplies. (Found for cheap of course! Or maybe even donated from stores, churches.)There are always those parents who struggle buy even the basic supplies. I see labels for supplies and cabinets, bulletin board ideas, door decorations. Almost makes me wish I were back in the classroom. Almost! Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you have your best year yet!
Great idea Jayne! Thank you for the well wishes!

Back to School – The Classroom (and 10 Ideas for Teacher Gifts!)

back to school

Welcome to Back to School season! Although our back to school time started here almost a month ago, I think this week is a more traditional time for it in many states. There are so many readers here who work in education (or are retired from education) that I thought it might be fun to devote a few posts at this time in the year to all things school.  Today I wanted to share some classroom decor, but there will be parties and school themed home decorating coming for you later.:) So come on in…

math books

Since I spent several weeks of the previous summer working to get my classroom (a math room) in shape, I did not change it any for this year. (You can read about the before-and-after by clicking here.)  There have been a large number of requests to see more of the room so this is a bit more detailed view of it.class room

The wicker loveseat (above) is the coordinating piece to the wicker sofa that currently lives on our back porch.  You can see that the set was a stained natural wicker before I painted it.

classroom storage and display

classroom shelf display

The black “chalkboards” are boxes wrapped in black bulletin board paper and written on with chalk. The dolls are my old Holly Hobbie dolls from my childhood dressed in more contemporary clothing than their previous prarie dresses, petticoats, and bonnets.  Did any of you have Holly Hobbie dolls when you were young?

closet display

I made the 3-D pencil from an old wrapping paper roll, and all the cutout things around the board were made from art paper found at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. The small folding chair there came from Target, and I spray painted it black. (The bulletin boards are empty because we had not done any “art” projects at the time I took these photos.)

bulletin boardThe child’s black chair on top of the storage cabinets came from Pottery Barn Kids (and I painted it.)  And yes, just like in our home,  there are several jars in the room.:)

math room

(You can see I definitely need to refill my candy jar!)top of file cabinets

That wooden teacher’s desk sat in a glass doored display cabinet in our school lobby for a long time.  One day they decided they wanted to get rid of it, and I was very lucky to nab it before it was sent out of the building into storage! (Wish I had been fast enough to get the old card catalog from the library before it escaped.:()

teacher desk

I thought you might also want to see the doorway.  I did tweak it a bit.  Here is last year’s…

math doorway

And now here is this year’s with the addition of the red “rulers.”  All the teachers on our hallway did the “around the door” thing, so I joined in.

math doorway with rulers

Would you like to see a few more of the classroom doors in our building with “the around the door thing”? (I don’t know what to call it! LOL)  The door from my 3rd grade classroom a couple of years ago is on the left in the next photo, and the same door done by the sweet teacher in there now is on the right.  Her colors are so cheerful!

classroom doors rulers

And here are a few more on our hall.

classroom doors pencils and crayons

classroom door colored pencils and crayons

classroom doors colored pencils and rulersAnd while we are on the subject of back to school, let’s talk about gifts for teachers.  Here are a few ideas for some things that teachers would totally love if you wanted to send any of them in with your child for the first day.

Anything to eat is very much appreciated:)These first two include links to recipes for yummy treats, and they have free printables, and the third one has a caramel dip that sounds yummy!

first day of school

back to school mix recipe and free

apple and caramel dip

mints for

While we don’t really need any more “stuff,” I think anyone would love these cute jars!

Vintage Ball Jar Teacher Gift with free 

jars for teacher

Plants or a bouquet of flowers are thoughtful gifts.

plants for

flowers for

These thank you notes are a great (and useful) idea that all teachers can use, and the link has them as free printables.:)

free printables for thank you notes for

And finally, I think most teachers absolutely love gift cards.  (I know I do!)  So these for Starbucks – or any coffee shop for that matter- are always fun to get.

thanks a latte

That brings us to the end of part 1 for our Back to School posts.  I hope you found an idea or two that you could use as we crank up this new school year.  As always, thank you for stopping by!  I’ll have more back to school goodies coming to you soon.:)

Until next time…

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Lori Lucas - August 21, 2014 - 1:20 am

I am one of those that has been hoping you would show us your classroom. I knew it would be that cute. Who wouldn’t want to learn in it? Our school started today and I am teaching in a new town. I decorated my classroom with everything letters (I teach high school English), and brought in many things from our home too. You can be sure I will be studying your pictures for ideas I can steal! Thanks for sharing with us. Have a great year. (Sorry you had to start so early!) Lori Lucas
I think your letters theme would be perfect for your classroom, Lori. You may steal away any idea you get here. I think teachers are like sponges – soaking up every little idea we can find for our classes. :) Hope you have a wonderful school year!

Lisa - August 21, 2014 - 5:17 am

Your classroom is the cutest I’ve ever seen, and all of the bridged door decorations are great! It looks like a very happy place to be educated. School started August 4th for us. :)
Bridged doors! That’s a great way to describe it. Thanks for the term! It sounds like you weren’t far behind us with your early start. Whatever happened to school starting after Labor Day?

Gail - August 21, 2014 - 7:36 am

Teacher Kelly: How adorable. Your students and those of your colleagues must feel so blessed to be taught by such imaginative teachers. Just to walk in your class must give your students much incentive to do as well as they can possibly do. How important you all are in the instructive part of their
young lives. I pray that everything your hand sets to do will succeed and prosper in your student’s lives. Blessings!
So sweet! Thank you Gail! We do have some imaginative overworked teachers on our staff. Education is not for the faint of heart!

Kathy - August 21, 2014 - 7:50 am

Your school must be a fun place to work and a happy place for children to learn. I love the decorating. (I had a white wicker rocker in my classroom and loved decorating for “back to school”.) I am always on the lookout for a card catalog and those pull down maps. The teacher gift ideas are fun. I especially like the cookie and succulent. This post ALMOST makes me miss it. LOL! (And, I really mean LOL!)
I had a white wicker rocker in my dorm room long ago. You and I will probably be fighting over some card catalog we both find. LOL And I am on the lookout for a pull down map too – although I am picky about the colors in it…so it is probably going to be impossible to find one exactly like I want.
Almost made you miss school??? Pinocchio your nose is growing! :)

Arlene@Nanaland - August 21, 2014 - 8:09 am

Okay, Kelly, I am busy pinning these back to school happies for the teachers. I sent candy along with sharpies to my grands teachers. I added the tag, I hope you have a year of Snickers and joy with your Sharpies! I did a gift bag, adding Snickers and Almond Joys along with a package of Sharpie Markers. I know when I taught preschool, I loved to get little happies from my students. And I love your class room…how different school is today from when I was in school in the Dark Ages.:)
Thank you for sharing the blog love on your pinterest boards Arlene! I am glad you can use the ideas for teacher gifts. YOUR teacher gift sounds great!! I love Almond Joys, and they are also one of my mother’s favorites. So I would definitely have loved to receive your gift on the first day. :)

Lauren - August 21, 2014 - 8:50 am

Oh my goodness Kelly you have the cutest classroom I have ever seen, I just love all of your decorating ideas! Your students, parents and school are so lucky to have a teacher that puts so much effort into creating such a wonderful classroom that is overflowing with creativity! The children must have the biggest smiles when they walk into your class for the first time!
Goodness Lauren! Thank you for your very sweet comment. Everyone at our school works to make it a home-y and caring environment for our students, and most spend a lot of their summer vacation to do it. (Which makes our short summer break even shorter!) I do think the children like it, and I know the parents appreciate it. I was a greeter at our school’s Sneak Peek the night before we opened for the first day. I overheard numerous parents saying that they just loved our school – and they were talking with other parents – not staff members. So they do notice. :)

Anne from Atlanta - August 21, 2014 - 10:25 am

Golly, Kelly! You must be the best teacher ever! I wish that I had had a math teacher like you. Thanks for sharing your clever ideas. Your gift ideas will work for teachers and lots of other folks as well.~Anne
No.. I am not the best teacher ever, Anne. :) We all work very hard, and everyone shares their ideas. I am probably the oldest teacher there though! LOL (and the one with the most years of teaching.) I am glad you liked the gift ideas and can hopefully use them.

Jackie Caruso - August 21, 2014 - 11:04 am

Hi Kelly, I love your classroom and happy you did a post about it. Your students are lucky to walk in such a cheerful classroom. My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and I help her with her classroom decorations. Can I ask what you used for your pencil points? Also, I love all the cut outs – scissors, banners, apples, hands, numbers, etc. Does your school have dies for these shapes, or do you cut these out with scissors? I’m always looking for ideas for my daughter’s classroom. The décor above the shelves made me smile, especially the wagon and tricycle. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jackie! How sweet of you to help with classroom decorating. :) The pencil points are simply semi-circles of manila tagboard rolled into a cone with the tip colored black using a marker. Then I glued the cone into the opening of the cylinder that forms the main body of the “pencil.” The shapes are not die cuts. Everything around my door and bulletin board are things I just drew and cut out with scissors – except for the hands. I did purchase a pack of them in a multicolor pack years ago. I also drew the numbers using a ruler to help guide me. I am glad you liked the wagon and tricycle. Those belonged to my children when they were young. The students who come into the classroom for the first time always ask me if they can ride the bike!

Jill - August 21, 2014 - 11:20 am

I am not a teacher, but I love seeing your fun classroom Kelly! I thought about being a teacher for a while when I was in high school. I would’ve loved all that back to school decorating of my door, room, and bulletin boards. But then school would’ve started and all those little eyes would’ve been looking back at me and I would’ve been like,”Okay, what should we do NOW?” Hahahahaha! Is there a job for people who just like to do the decorating part?
You must work in a building full of creative people. All those doors look fantastic!
Too funny! If there WAS a job like that, I would most definitely apply for it! That would be so much fun. :)
Yes, there are a lot of creative teachers in our school!

Scribbler Unfocused - August 21, 2014 - 11:53 am

This wonderful post makes me wish I could go back in time and have you for math! I might have actually learned something!

I have no young children in my life any more, and I had no idea that classrooms looked so friendly and homey. This is a certainly a vast improvement over the old beat – up rows of desks and a crabby old teacher up front droning on. No wonder I didn’t learn anything in math class!
It is very different from the way it was years ago. I haven’t seen rows of desks in a room in an elementary school here in decades. But I do love my old fashioned desk! I don’t want to part with it even for the big new ones that house the computer pieces. :)

Garden, Home and Party - August 21, 2014 - 12:18 pm

What a great classroom and school. I love elementary school, especially when they are staffed with such caring and creative teachers. Our children went to such a school. I wish I had had some of these back to school gift ideas back in the day.
How clever and fun.
Thank you Karen. I work with some very hardworking and creative ladies. What in the world did we do back in the day when we did not have Pinterest?! I don’t know how we even survived! LOL

Debra - August 21, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Just the other morning I was in the back yard and heard the all too familiar rumble of the big yellow school bus. We built our home the summer our eldest daughter was five and just starting kindergarten. She’s 32. Sweet memories. Going through your post today was like an “I SPY” book. The wicker sofa (I want) and a wicker lamp too I spotted on the top of the cabinet, your touches of red, pottery barn influence and of course your “signature” jars. Your room truly reflects you Kelly. You are not only an influence to we blog readers, but at the look things with those doors, maybe your fellow teachers as well? The doorways are so welcoming. Thanks for the shares of the teachers gifts. Though a little late for me. My favorites are the yellow ball jar, pencil vase with sunflowers and of course that yummy green apple with dip. I will need to try that dip. I love Heath bars. Well Kelly, may you have a wonderful school year ahead and thanks for stirring good school day memories.

You sneaky thing you Debra! You spied way too much! LOL I work with some very creative folks, but yes some of my patterns did make their way around the hallway at school. Wasn’t that yellow jar super cute? I really need to make a few of those to use around here. (And I want to try out that dip too!)
Thank you for the good wishes for our school year. :)

Barbara (WA) - August 21, 2014 - 12:49 pm

Well, I am so not surprised your classroom is as wonderful as your home! Have a great school year, Kelly :)

PS: I just bought another jar, heh.
Aw you are too sweet Barbara. :) Another jar???? Oh my! Perhaps you will use it for all the gorgeous flowers that are blooming in your yard. (On your blog I saw you were selling some of the bouquets of freshly cut ones. Great idea!)

Martha - August 21, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Your classroom is wonderful, I love all the happy, joyful and creative touches. It has to make learning a fun job when you get to do it in a place like that.
I really enjoyed seeing the doors…..I just helped my daughter get the door to her kindergarten classroom done with a chicken coop theme. All of her co-workers work hard on a new theme for their back to school doors every year. I always look forward to seeing what great ideas they come up with.
Your gift ideas were great too. Several years ago one of my daughter’s students brought a pretty bucket filled with practical and fun things as an early thank you from her mom on the first day of school. It meant so much to her that she has done that with her children’s teachers. It is easy to forget all the time, sweat, love (and personal money) that teachers give your child. Being appreciated is always nice.
A chicken coop! What a creative theme for a classroom! A bucket full of needed items is always a wonderful gift for a teacher to receive.:) I hope your daughter has a great year with her little kindergarteners!

Joan - August 21, 2014 - 4:14 pm

Kelly, I don’t know who would have more fun in your classroom; you or your students…. It reminds me of visiting a kindergarten teacher friend so she could show me what she had done before school began. She created a huge multidemential apple for the children to walk into/through. All through the year for various seasons and holidays she did this. Sometimes it was tunnels, palaces, forts, even various trees. With the trees the door was the trunk and all around and above it were the
branches, leaves and fruit or blossoms. Her things made Me want
to go to her classes. Yours, too.
I’ll bet you students love coming to school because it is obivious you love what you do.
Blessings to you as you seek to help them on their way.
Wow, your friend’s doorway sounds amazing!! That would take an incredible amount of energy and time, I know. I used to work with a teacher loooong ago in first grade (who also taught both of our sons) who did something similar. She would have her father come help her “build” her seasonal displays. Everyone loved her! (Now she homeschools her own 6 or 7 children – can’t keep up with how many she has now. LOL)
Thank you for your very sweet comments Joan!

Donnamae - August 21, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Don’t have kids in school anymore…but so enjoyed this post! I used to work in an elementary school, that my kids attended, and have many fond memories! ;)
So glad you enjoyed it and that you have fond elementary school memories! There is nothing like the excitement of all the little ones, is there?

Dawn - August 21, 2014 - 7:04 pm


You classroom is adorable as usual! I just love all of the bright colors (especially the green)! I had a Holly Hobby watch growing up. You teacher gift ideas are spot on! I always love those sweet gifts the students bring me. I am exactly one week in now (we started last Thursday). I hope all is going well for you in your school year. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you liked it Dawn! I can’t remember seeing a Holly Hobbie watch years ago, but I bet yours was cute. :) Happy back to school to you. Hope your year is off to a great start!

Louvina - August 21, 2014 - 10:59 pm

Thank you for a “seasonal back to school” posting! Oh how I enjoyed the beginning of each school year. Planning a new theme each year and creating new bulletin boards– thought about it ALL summer!! Loved seeing all your special touches. My 3rd grade teacher’s room so inspired me to want to be a teacher — she had a play store, a Bird Club with hikes and nature crafts, a canary in a cage that sang so sweetly and a huge wasp nest in a tree branch on top of the cabinet!! I can still remember all those things to this day!! As teachers, we never know how we influence those young minds. Thank you once again for sharing your school and looking forward to seeing more inside your special world! Just thinking– that first week of ” teacher tiredness” is a mixture of exhaustion and euphoria! Don’t you agree? After going barefoot — getting used to shoes again!!:)
You are more than welcome! Your 3rd grade teacher sounds like she was one in a million. What a great way to teach children to appreciate all that nature has to offer! That first week of teacher tiredness had some euphoria in it (mostly euphoria that we made it through it! LOL) but mostly tiredness here. I go from a lot of sitting at a computer in the summer to running around like crazy and standing for VERY long periods of time at school – so it is both physically and mentally exhausting. I’m getting old!
p.s. Hope you found a beach house!

Marianne Skarupa - August 22, 2014 - 8:49 am

Oh, your students are truly blessed! What a wonderful, wonderful classroom. There really is nothing quite like a clutch of new yellow pencils – sigh. I’ll be passing this on to my sister who finally has her own classroom after moving from room to room during the day and a friends daughter who just graduated from college and is decorating her very first second grade classroom. A very happy school year to you! Marianne
Thank you for sharing the ideas Marianne. I know your sister and friend’s daughter will be happy to decorate their classrooms. It is such a fun way to start the year! :)

Amanda @ Dixie Delights - August 22, 2014 - 9:19 am

Your classroom is just as wonderful as your home!! I love every detail and know that your students must feel so welcome and loved just walking into that space. And all of the “around the door” things are incredible. What a great school!!! xo
You are too sweet Amanda! Our teachers are all very creative, and we work hard to give both our classrooms and our school a home-like atmosphere. I am glad that you liked it! :) Happy back to school to you!

cindy hattersley - August 22, 2014 - 9:52 am

You must have the most darling classroom in the USA. What lucky kids to have such a inspiring learning environment. I am going to post this on my facebook page!!
Thank you Cindy, but I am sure it is not. It is just as much fun (maybe even more so!) to decorate a space that children use as it is to decorate a home. Thank you for sharing it on Facebook!

Amy Mac - August 22, 2014 - 11:26 am

This is such perfect timing! I posted on my blog today (before I even saw this post!) my Back to School entryway at our house … inspired by you! Love your blog, love your impeccable taste! Zip over for a visit if you have a minute!
Thank you for the blog love, Amy! And your tetanus lunch box is to die for – well not actually die…you know what I mean. :) Very cute decorating at your place for back to school!

Sue - August 22, 2014 - 11:22 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the details of your classroom. It is perfect in every detail and so are the rest of your colleagues’ doors. Fun! My daughter taught kindergarten and I always loved helping with her “back to school” decor. Her last name starts with H so she had Mrs. H’s hive with a giant beehive around her door. Her class newsletter was “What’s the buzz” or something cute like that. That was a pre pinterest too:-)
I don’t know if everyone realizes just how much LOVE goes into all that planning and cutting! Your students are fortunate.
Love the bee hive theme! I bet the color scheme was yellow and black – love that too! You are so right about how much love goes into all that work. How wonderful that you helped your daughter ready her schoolroom for the year.

Pat @ Life At Lydias House - August 22, 2014 - 11:43 pm

I love seeing your classroom. I haven’t taught in many years and I love seeing all of the creativity out there in the classrooms now. I can’t believe you have Holly Hobbie dolls!! I still have 3 HH dolls in a plastic tub in my attic because I just can’t let them go! They are more than 3 feet tall and my mother made them for me for Christmas one year. I even had an accent wall of Holly Hobbie wallpaper and my HH tea set is in my china cabinet today!
I think you must be my sister Pat!! Our Holly Hobbie dolls are about 3 feet tall. When I was a little girl, I covered our closet wall, with Holly Hobbie gift wrap, and I also had the HH tea set! That is just too funny!! Do you remember The Betsy Clark line that was out at about the same time? It was “country girls” but they had kind of pointed heads? I loved them too.

Paula B. - August 24, 2014 - 5:28 pm

Amazing room, the kids must love it. Elementary teachers have all the fun of an “audience” that appreciates the décor. I always loved to do what I could with the cinderblock walls of my high school classroom. And, too, we were restricted by fire codes for what we could do – nothing on hallway walls. Loved what the other teachers had too, that must be one colorfully decorated school. Pinning this on my “Fall” board, hmmm, maybe I should have a teacher board! You’re right about so many going back this week – just finished wishing many friends in several different districts, best wishes for a successful school year. Here’s wishing all the teachers, here, a wonderful year ahead!
Our walls are that beautiful cinderblock too, Paula. The fire codes limit creativity quite a bit, don’t they? The kids do enjoy the rooms, but I think they think of it more as “fun” rather than “pretty.” YES you should do a teacher board!

Tessa - August 24, 2014 - 6:37 pm

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I’ve never in all my life seen such a darling classroom!!!!! Math was the one subject in school I didn’t like, but I think if I’d been in your class I might have changed my mind. What LUCKY kids!!
Thank you Tessa! I am so sorry you didn’t like math. I was always such a geek. :( It was science and social studies that were never appealing to me…too much to memorize!

Talk of the Weekend #4

Talk of the House Talk of the Weekend

Can you believe we are already halfway through this end of summer month?!  August is always a roller coaster ride of emotions for me, and this one has been no exception.  With the string of St. Simons Island posts taking over the blog lately, I feel like we need to catch up with each other!  So let’s start at the beginning of the month…

Normally, school does not start until August around here, so the roller coaster of emotions begins with the excitement of a new school year offset by the loss of summer freedom.  Since our academic year began in July, the roller coaster ride started a little early.

top of classroom cabinet

Sunday, August 3rd was my birthday and our wedding anniversary.  I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a cake with caramel or chocolate frosting.  (Such a tough decision!)  So my husband made the executive decision in favor of the caramel cake.:)He used a different frosting recipe than the one he has used in the past, but it only made enough frosting to do between the layers and the top. I had a brilliant idea to make a chocolate frosting for the sides.

birthday cake

It sounded like a good plan, but it actually wasn’t that great.  As daughter said, The chocolate with the cake is good.  The caramel with the cake is good…but the chocolate frosting with the caramel.. not so good.  So much for starting a new food fad! LOL  I will say the caramel frosting was absolutely delicious! (We’ll just need to double the recipe again the next time we make it.)

On the Monday after my birthday, my sweet friends at work surprised me with this in our break room:

chocolate pound cakeMy cake baking friend makes THE most delicious cakes! (She is also the friend with the divine potato soup recipe.:))  This chocolate pound cake with the tunnel of chocolate frosting (like yummy fudge) is probably one of her most requested cakes, and we devoured it at work. It is her top secret recipe so I am afraid I cannot share it with you. Darn it.  My dip making friend made my favorite olive dip.  It is delicious with Tostitos scoops.  I can share that recipe with you:

Talk of the House Olive Dip recipe


Later that same week, I got all excited about an email from one of Jan Karon’s publishers.  She told me the tour dates have been set for the new Mitford book tour AND she will be coming to Atlanta!:)

Here are the dates and locations:

9/2    Birmingham, AL: Alabama Booksmith @ The Cathedral Church of the Advent @ 6:30 PM

9/3    Lexington, KY: Joseph Beth Booksellers @ 7:00 PM

9/4    Dallas, TX: Authors Live! @ Highalnd Park United Methodist Church @ 7:00 PM

9/5   Wichita, KS: Watermark Books @ St. James Episcopal Church @ 6:00 PM

9/6   Atlanta, GA: Georgia Center for the Book with A Cappella Books @ Holy Trinity Parish, Decatur @  7:00 PM

9/7   Raleigh, NC: Quail Ridge Books @ 7:00 PM

9/10 Lynchburg, VA: LifeWay Christian Store @ 6:00 PM

9/11  Richmond, VA: Fountain Bookstore @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church @ 7:00 PM

9/14  Blowing Rock, NC: Fifth Annual Mitford Homecoming @ Chetola Resort @ 2:00 PM

Click  here for details about each event.  The Atlanta book signing is co-sponsored by The Georgia Center for the Book and A Cappella Books, and that wonderful bookstore is making it possible for us to order signed copies of Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good even if we cannot attend the event.  Click here for more information.

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon

I don’t know if we will be able to make the Atlanta date,:(so I am thinking perhaps we could do the very last one in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.  It will be at the Chetola Resort.

Chetola resort in Blowing Rock

We have driven past the beautiful lake and up to the inn a few times, but we have never stayed there.  They are currently offering a special for the weekend of the Jan Karon Meet and Greet.  You can find more information about it here. It sounds like a great package! (We probably need to call very soon because I am sure they will go fast – especially there.)

While we are on the subject of Jan Karon, I want to stop right here to discuss the Barbara Hinske books. I had a reader send me an email saying that she was not happy with the first book due to all the offensive language in it.  I had to agree with her, but I thought perhaps I was alone and  just being old fashioned in my reading preferences when I read the first one.  I think my children would think nothing of the language…not sure if that is good or not.  When I started reading the books, it was with the recommendation that the books were going to be similar to the Jan Karon books, so the large amount of bad language in the first one kind of threw me for a loop. I have asked writers before about why they have to put that in their books, and the usual answer is “to make their characters authentic.”  I get it, but for many people, bad language is a turnoff and keeps them from being entertained by the story.  I guess a writer really needs to know their targeted audience. What appeals to some does not necessarily appeal to other readers. So I am just telling you this in case you find the language offensive and are considering reading the books.  Her second and newest book is much better than the first and did not have much “bad” language in it at all. I loved the plot in both books, and it definitely draws you in. Phew!  Got all that?

book giveaway

Okay, so now to the winner of the books and the Amazon gift card.  The winning number was this one:

17and it belonged to this comment:

giveaway winner

Congratulations Arlene!  I will be getting in touch with you to send you your prize.  Thank you to all of you who left your comments on the St. Simons Island posts.  I still have one more to share with you, but I think I will save that one for next summer.  I have something a little different for you for next week.:)

So where were we? Oh yes, the August roller coaster.  Well, our daughter’s birthday was the Sunday after mine. Her boyfriend came for the weekend, and at daughter’s request, we had a quiche lunch for one of her celebrations. (Another girly Sunday meal.)

quiche birthday lunch

 The birthday banner is one I made years ago for her 16th birthday, (a random-acts-of-kindness party that you can read all about here) and the table runner is a roll of polka dot paper from Paper Source.

happy birthday bannerNo homemade cake for her special day…She wanted petit fours from a local bakery. (She also says that one day she wants them for her wedding in place of a traditional cake!)

birthday candlesWe spent that rainy afternoon seeing this delightful movie:

the Hundred Foot Journey moviesource

I LOVED it! Best movie I have seen in a very long time.  And if you haven’t been to see it then get off this blog post, and go see it right now.:) It is precious…a feast for the eyes topped off with something sweet for your heart.  Here is the trailer…

the hundred foot

The movie is based on this novel, that I am just going to have to read now.

the hundred foot journey novel

The Hundred-Foot Journey

A week or so ago One Kings Lane had a sale of many of the props from the movie. (The sale is now over.:()  If I had seen the movie before the time of this shopping event, I know I would have tried to purchase that green bicycle.

shopping the hundred  foot

Additionally, the movie has inspired Le Cordon Bleu to offer classes that recreate dishes from The Hundred Foot Journey. Click here to find out more if you are interested.

bleu ribbon kitchen cooking

Our middle son’s birthday was last Wednesday, but he was still working in Atlanta, so we will have to celebrate his when he returns home next weekend.

And now let’s talk about a low point in this roller coaster ride of August.  On Thursday we all learned of the very sad death of Robin Williams.   He has always been one of my favorite actors who had such talent and heart. How awful that depression can take you to such dark places in life that death seems to be the only answer.  But I don’t want to dwell on that dark part of his life.  He was so much more than that. I want to remember him for all the smiles and laughter he brought to millions of people, and I think our President expressed the sentiments of so many in his condolences:

“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”

It was the role of bangarang Peter Pan that was my favorite of all of his roles.  I loved Hook and have watched it over and over through the years.  How could you not love that movie with Williams’ hilarious and heart tugging lines, Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell, a gang of rowdy but endearing 10 year old boys, Dustin Hoffman as a pirate, Maggie Smith as an all-grown-up and grandmotherly Wendy, an amazing musical score, and a beautiful old home set in London (at Christmas no less!)?

I have always said that adults should appreciate the movie more than children, and I ran across this article that supports that view as well.  If you are a fan of Hook, you will enjoy reading the article.  And if you haven’t seen the movie, watch it next weekend on Netflix and then go read the article.  It says everything I could have said about the movie and more (minus the loving Granny Wendy’s house part.:))

Robin Williams would have wanted us to find our “happy thoughts,” so while we are loving houses and Neverland, I have a nursery for you to see.

Elle T. Neverland   photo by Melody Melikian Photography 

This Neverland nursery is the brilliant work of the talented designers at Elle T. in California.  Their attention to detail is unbelievable.  All the references to Peter Pan are amazing…the pirate ship, the map, the treasure chest, the tick tock clock, the bottle of pixie dust, the blocks with a “second star to the right,” (and a framed quote about it) a model of London’s Big Ben, dresser knobs with maps inside, and old copies of Peter Pan books.  They have other nurseries in their portfolio, so I hope you will take a look around their website.

pixie dust   photo by Melody Melikian Photography 

It has been a long time since we have needed a nursery in our home.  We moved our “baby” off to her junior year in college this weekend, and I will tell you more about that this week.  (More of the  roller coaster of emotions!)

And now I feel we have caught up on almost everything from this roller coaster month (except for one dinner I want to share with you next weekend.) I am at almost 1900 words in the word count for this post, and I need to stop!  Hope you have had a good weekend.  I will leave you with fond memories of Robin Williams and some scenes from Hook.


Find your happy thoughts.

Until next time…

a signature

Martha - August 17, 2014 - 8:16 pm

You did cover a lot in this post!
August is a crazy busy month for you… Happy birthday and anniversary! The cake looked great, what a wonderful husband you have. I was sure you were going to say the chocolate and caramel were divine, but sometimes too much of good thing is just too much.Your daughter’s birthday meal looked delicious. Your August is like my May, lots of birthdays,anniversaries, graduations and of course….Mother’s Day.
I look forward to seeing the movie…although it will probably be when it is out on DVD.
Yes, I did! I thought for sure that would be a great combo for the cake…maybe it was just too rich. I think your May is probably more demanding than our August since you throw in graduation and Mother’s Day with everything else. I don’t think I could handle one more thing in this month!
Definitely watch The Hundred Foot Journey!

Mickey - August 17, 2014 - 8:18 pm

Hi Kelly….I sure enjoy reading your blog. Just wanted to say my wedding anniversary is also August 3rd, we just celebrated our 40th. The time sure does fly, it doesn’t seem possible. I start back to school in 1 week so I am savoring those last few days although I am always ready to see the children. Have a great week. P.S. I see the movie “You’ve Got Mail” is on shortly, that might be my Sunday evening….one of my favs!! Loved the tour of St. Simons!!! Mickey
Congratulations on your wedding anniversary too! We are not quite at 40 years (but if you count the 10 years we dated, we would be getting close!) Enjoy your last week of summer freedom. Can’t believe we have almost been back a month! You’ve Got Mail is a good movie to put you in the mood for fall.
Glad you liked all the St. Simons posts, and I hope your school year starts wonderfully!

Design Chic - August 17, 2014 - 8:42 pm

My parents both have birthdays and an anniversary in August, so today we celebrated their 62nd anniversary and 88th and 89th Birthdays…a busy month for us too! I think I may have liked your caramel/chocolate icing – two of my favorites! We saw the Hundred Foot Journey last weekend and like you, my husband and I agreed that it was by far the best movie we’ve seen in a long, long time. Wishing you a great start to your week!
Your August is as busy as ours. I forgot to mention we have a nephew and a niece that also have August birthdays! Happy birthday wishes to your parents and a congratulations on their amazing 62nd wedding anniversary. Wow! Good to hear another recommendation for the movie. I think we may go to see it again. (I liked it that much!) I hope you are having a good week!

Louvina - August 17, 2014 - 8:53 pm

What a nice way ( a new post from you) to end a very wonderful weekend with family and friends celebrating 50 years of marriage! Everything was lovely— 20 for an Italian Lunch only 2 miles from our home and then back to our lake house for a reproduced wedding cake with our 50 year old topper plus a pineapple punch! And a gift of 2 weeks at Beech Mt. the last 2 weeks of October which is near Boone and Blowing Rock!! Now seeing you are going there one month before and a new Mitford book! My! I love the green bicycle– and was just thinking how nice one would look parked by our white picket fence! You are so inspiring and such a role model to all of us to have lovely family gatherings. And now my husband’s gift to me— to go this week and find a beach home to buy!! I am so flying high!!! Mercy! My cup runneth over! :)
CONGRATULATIONS on your 50 years of wedded bliss!! It sounds like your celebration was perfect. 2 weeks at Beech Mountain would have been gift enough, but “go find a beach home!!!” OMG. Boy am I jealous!!!! I hope you find one that is everything you want it to be.
Congratulations again girl!

maria - August 17, 2014 - 9:02 pm

What month so far! I think chocolate + caramel cake sounds delish. I, too, am a fan of Hook. What are your thoughts on Finding Neverland? I loved it. Hope you have a great week!!
Finding Neverland was good to me but oh sooo very sad. I loved the music. It was gorgeous!
I hope you are having a wonderful week Maria.

Gail - August 17, 2014 - 9:08 pm

Hi Kelly: So loved this blog! Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary belated! I am sooo very jealous that you might be going to Blowing Rock to see Jan but thank you for posting the dates for her book tour. It just so happens I will be in Raleigh on the 7th. I hope to be able to see her and perhaps get her to autograph the book I have yet to purchase:-) What a treat! Loved your daughter’s birthday dinner. Gives me inspiration for my upcoming granddaughter’s birthday. Perhaps I need to ask her what she would like:-) Your husband is a treasure even though the cake was a bit of a disappointment but it certainly had all my favorite elements in it…carmel and chocolate. Can’t believe you started the school year in July…seems like I just read the blog that said you couldn’t wait for your vacation to start. Where does time go??? Anyway, thank you for such a delightful blog! And thank you for the tip about the movie. Will try to go soon!….Blessings!
You are the lucky one to be in Raleigh and able to go to the Jan Karon book signing event! So glad you liked the b-day dinner. Yes, we went back to school in July…middle of the summer in my mind! Thank you for the kind comments about the blog and the birthday and anniversary wishes. I hope you do get to see the movie. It was a good one!

Arlene@Nanaland - August 17, 2014 - 9:20 pm

First, I am so excited to be the winner of your give away Kelly! Second, Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary. I always love seeing your house decorated for celebrations. Third…we LOVE Hook, here at our house and fourth, I just read a wonderful children’s book, The MIraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. We have had a sad week here in Nanaland with the diagnosis of our three year old grandson as autistic, then some dear friends lost their 18 year old son over the weekend. So just reading your blog lifted my spirits and made me forget about the stresses here for a while. Love you and your blog!!
Congratulations Arlene! With all the sadness you have had lately, I am glad there was a bright spot of good news for you. :) I looked up the book you recommended. It is by the author of Because of Winn Dixie, and sounds like it would be a wonderful story (that brings on the tears.) Thanks for the recommendation! I am going to look for it in our school library.
I hope your week has started out good.

Joan - August 17, 2014 - 9:42 pm

You always give me a lift when I see your post in the InBox. It
is one that is Never deleted until read and looked over in detail. And this time, as usual, you didn’t disappoint. Thank you for being sensitive to what we might not want to read in the way of offensive language. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Jan
Karon’s books are wonderfully written, well thought out plots,
and nary a word that could not be recommended to others.
And speaking of Jan, thank you for keeping us abreast of the schedule for her new book.
And Happy belated Birthday from a fellow August girl. Blessings,
as Always.
I am glad that the blog posts give you a lift Joan. Happy birthday wishes to you as well for your August birthday! We should all just have a big b-day party together…with lots of caramel cake. :)

Dawn - August 17, 2014 - 9:55 pm

Great post, Kelly! Exactly what I wanted to read on a Sunday night as I gear up for a full week. We had meetings last week Monday and Tuesday and started school Thursday. I helped my sister move this weekend and now I am wrapping up my school work to start my week off up to date. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in your next post! Let me know if you ever get the super secret chocolate cake recipe! ;)
Sounds like you are in full swing with school and everything else Dawn! Hope this week is going well for you. I will definitely share if I get that super secret recipe. :)

Jennifer - August 17, 2014 - 10:09 pm

Thank you for this post, Kelly. Now I have two movies (haven’t seen Hook),and a book(love Jan Karon)to look forward to. Happy Birthday to you, your daughter and your son. You clearly know how to celebrate life!
Well good! You better get busy on your book and movies then Jennifer. :) Thank you for the birthday wishes. I hope you are having a great week!

Kayleigh Harkins O'Neal - August 17, 2014 - 10:54 pm

Happy belated birthday, Kelly!! I’m very jealous of the chocolate pound cake – I know it was delicious. Your blog makes me miss home and everyone at The Chapel. I’m with your daughter and the petit fours too…so delicious! Loved your post and tribute to Robin Williams as well.
Hi Kayleigh!!! So good to hear from you. Yes, you do know that delicious chocolate cake AND those bakery petit fours! It was all very good, and I wish we could have had you here to share it all with you. I hope you are enjoying your new home and your new job. We miss you!

Linderhof - August 17, 2014 - 11:50 pm

A delightful post. Oh, and if you google Pillsbury Bake Off Tunnel of Fudge Cake, you might find the “secret recipe”. I think it may have been one of the first (if not the first) Pillsbury Bake Off Winner.
Thanks for the recommendation on the recipe. I am thinking that her cake would be a chocolate pound cake with the icing being the one I make for my Texas cake. I will see if the Tunnel of Fudge has ingredients like that combination.

Debra - August 18, 2014 - 12:45 am

First off, Belated wishes to you Kelly on your Birthday and Anniversary. Wishes to your beautiful daughter too. Oh, birthdays. I just celebrated my 59th the end of July. Ouch! Need to take in this upcoming year before the big 60! I liked your daughter’s choice of quiche and petites. Love quiche for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Yummy! So nice to see a few family moments and such good sports they are! Will need to get out to see this movie maybe, since I opted out on the Diane Keaton, And so It Goes. Oh, Robin. Such a treasure. I loved him in Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire.

Thank you for all the birthday and anniversary wishes, Debra! Belated happy birthday wishes to you as well! I will be catching up with you in a few years. :) I really loved the movie, and I hope you get to go see it.

Lori Lucas - August 18, 2014 - 1:19 am

I think the cake is lovely to look at, and sounds delish. I’m sure I could have “forced” myself to eat a slice…or two. Caramel cake and icing is my all time fave tho. We also let our “children” (all grown) decide what they want for birthday dinner. No one has ever requested quiche, but it sounds great! My school starts this week. Let the madness begin! Lori Lucas
I love caramel cake too…not butterscotch flavored caramel…the real stuff.:) The quiche dinner was a good and easy one..much easier than our middle child’s request for the Carraba’s copycat Chicken Bryan with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. I hope your week has started off well with a low level of madness. LOL

Paula B. - August 18, 2014 - 10:09 am

Wonderful post, Kelly. As always! Happy (belated) Birthday and Anniversary, hope you enjoyed that celebratory weekend. I was thinking it was brilliant to add the chocolate frosted sides to the cake, not as good as it sounds, I guess. Your daughter had a birthday and a return to her junior year, ah, the marching on of time. Scary, how fast it goes. Robin Williams, such a tragedy – what a gifted actor who left us so many memorable performances. He will be missed by so many of us. And, I’d say you are back in the swing of things now, at school. Oh, my. We are getting the most out of our August even though things start to get busy for my husband before school actually starts in September. (He’s the Athletic Director of our high school.) We have our wedding anniversary this month, too, as well as a birthday. Yay, for cake and celebrations. Also, have a baby shower that I am baking for this morning. First to be born in the next generation of our family. Sweet! I hope things are settling down a little for you and that you have a nice long relaxing weekend coming up for Labor Day. I saw the Hundred Foot movie and loved it. Cried, too! Have a great week!
Thank you Paula – for liking the post AND for the birthday and anniversary wishes.:) I thought the idea for the mixed frostings was a good one…perhaps it needed a different kind of chocolate – dark maybe? I might just have to experiment with that one! Your August sounds like a busy one too, and if your husband is the athletic director, then your fall will be super busy! Wasn’t the Hundred Foot Journey just wonderful?! I cried too…in a good way. :)
Hope your week is off to a great start.

Scribbler Unfocused - August 18, 2014 - 10:25 am

I really enjoyed your post! Happy belated Birthday to you and the Leos in the family! (Mine was Aug. 1)
A belated happy birthday wish to you on your August 1st birthday! I think all of us Leos are taking over the world! LOL
Glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great week!

cindy hattersley - August 18, 2014 - 10:59 am

Love the addition of the jalapenos to the olive dip! Yum I am pinning this one!!
If you like olives, you will love this Cindy! I am the only one in our house who eats them, so the dip at work was a BIG treat!

classic • casual • home - August 18, 2014 - 11:13 am

Robin Williams’ death hit me hard, too. So talented and so sad that he was in that much anguish. We have the same 8/3 anniversary! Happy belated birthday!
Happy belated anniversary to you! And thank you for my birthday wishes. Robin Williams will be dearly missed. What a tragic end to a life that gave so much joy and laughter.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs - August 18, 2014 - 4:21 pm

Happy Birthday wishes to you and your daughter… the combination of the caramel and chocolate really does sound great….so nice of hubby to make that for you…and Happy Anniversary to you too!…and I believe the entire world is grieving the loss of Robin Williams…he was such a great talent and truly had the gift to make us laugh…
Thank you Shirley! My husband is always a good cake baker – better than me for sure. I agree that the world is grieving over the loss of a super talented soul. So sad.

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - August 18, 2014 - 8:48 pm

Wow . . . who says there’s nothing going on in August hasn’t been to your house! We are taking our oldest to college in two days. Sigh. So goes August.
You said it! Good luck with getting your oldest settled in for college. It took us the better part of two days, but the room is finally finished. Hallelujah!

Mimi - August 18, 2014 - 11:21 pm

I so enjoy your “Talk of the Weekend” posts as they are always so “newsy” as my grandma used to say. :-) What a wonderful husband and such sweet friends to make those delicious treats for your birthday! And what a terrific mama you are to prepare such a great meal for your daughter’s birthday.

We are big “Hook” fans in our house too. In fact, the day Robin Williams died, my son came running out to the kitchen as soon as I got home from school to ask if I’d heard the news. :-( He was such an amazing, versatile performer who touched so many lives with his many talents.

Hopefully the rollercoaster of emotions will slow down soon. Have a wonderful rest of the week!
I am glad you like the random news in the Talk of the Weekend posts. Yep, my husband is a keeper, and my sweet friends are good cooks. :)
I think we need to start a Hook fan club. When I think of Robin Williams I think of him in his role as Peter Pan…not a bad way to remember someone.
The rollercoaster of emotions still has two more stops before the end of the month. Look for them in another weekend post. :)

Tessa - August 19, 2014 - 8:25 am

That movie looks soooooo good. I might have to see it tomorrow to take my mind off of my empty house. It will be the first time in 12 years that one of my little people isn’t alongside me during the school day. :( xo, Tessa
Hi Tessa! The movie is wonderful wonderful. You will love it! It will make you want to cook up a storm….which will keep you busy until your guys return home from school. So I think seeing it is a great idea for you. :)

Garden, Home and Party - August 19, 2014 - 9:03 am

I’ve been so behind this month with answering my must read blog sites, sorry.
Where to begin…I’m so surprised to hear that there are schools in the country that begin in July and, as I remember, don’t get out for summer until June (is this correct?). I hope the roller coaster has leveled out and you’re enjoying a sweet sail into fall! The language in the book…I understand offense, but I tend to be tolerant if the the book is well written and enjoyable in every other sense. Language for me is easier to tolerate than violence.
Happy Birthday, my dad’s birthday was August 4th and while he’s been gone for many years, I always think of him on the 4th. The cake looks amazing, I would have caramel and chocolate would be a dreamy combo. I’m glad you shared the olive dip recipe. I’m a big fan of tapenade and will definitely try this.
I hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer. I’m eager to read the Jan Karon book, you’ll have to share with us the signing and surrounds.
Don’t apologize Karen. I have not had time to read blogs, so you are doing much better than I am! Yes we go back in July and get out right at Memorial Day. Their goal for starting so early is to be able to have final exams for the first semester right at Christmas break, so that the students don’t have to be tested after the holidays on material from before it. Kind of crazy I think.
I agree with you about being able to tolerate language more so than violence. I especially cannot handle violence towards women in anything. It really bothers me.
I am so sorry that your father is no longer with you, and I hope you remember him with sweet memories on his special day.
Definitely make that dip…so easy and SO good!

Susan - August 19, 2014 - 2:16 pm

Oh, Kelly, this was a lovely post! I was entertained by the variety and quality (as always). Thank you for your tribute to Robin Williams -nicely done :) Sending happy thoughts your way~
Oh there is definitely lots of variety here! I went all over the place in that post. LOL Thank you for reading and commenting. Hope you are having a good week.

L J - August 19, 2014 - 10:17 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary–though belatedly. I think Robin Williams was a special kind of genius–comedic and a very caring human–so special and he’ll be sorely missed by many of his friends and of course, his family.
On a different note I share the same birthdate with your daughter. That would be only the month and day–unfortunately not the same year or even the same decade :-} So please wish her a belated Happy Birthday from me and I do wish her many many more. BTW I too love petit fours-an excellent choice!
Lastly, I hope you are able to make the Jan Karon weekend event. I can’t as I’m in CA but I can look forward to your report.
Thank you so much for the birthday and anniversary wishes! I agree about Robin Williams. He was truly so special. Happy belated birthday to you! I wish our daughter could have shared some of the petit fours with you. :) I am afraid our schedules don’t work with seeing Ms. Karon on this book tour. I am crossing my fingers that there will be another book and another book tour in the future.

Pamela - August 20, 2014 - 9:39 pm

Hubby and I will have our 44th Anniversary and as empty nesters we take our summer vacation in September it’s great no crowds and rates our low

Pamela in WV
Happy anniversary to you and your husband! How lucky for you to get to celebrate without all the crowds. :) We might have to move our trips in the future to Sept. to do the same.:)

Jayne - August 20, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!!! Boy, August is just full of celebration for y’all! January is like that for us.
You did cover a lot in this post! I loved to see your family in the pictures. I hope your school year is going well for you so far. You have such sweet teacher friends. They are the best, aren’t they? Hope the roller coaster slows down soon for you. Enjoy the ride!
Thank you Jayne! I don’t know if I could take a January like our August. That would be right on the heels of the Christmas holidays…quite exhausting! Yes, my teacher friends are great. :)

Vicki Crowe - September 12, 2014 - 12:17 pm

I got to meet Jan Karon when she came to Birmingham. It was wonderful! She is so genuine and warm- and will shake everyones hand and is not camera shy. A real Southern gem!
OMG how lucky you were Vicki!! So jealous here. I know you enjoyed that evening, and I do wish I could have been there too. Hopefully there will be another book tour in the future (when I am retired!)

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