Thursday, October 28, 2021

Create the Perfect Charcuterie Board with Coton Colors Atlanta

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Coton Colors Atlanta Charcuterie Event. While I love a good charcuterie, I stink at actually putting my own together. I was excited to learn some new tips and tricks from the on staff designer at Coton Colors, and maybe do a little post event shopping. And from start to finish the event, was perfection.

The staff did such a great job  - from start to finish every little detail was thought of. We arrived to our own charcuterie boards laid out for us to build, drinks, music, and an array of delicious snacks.   

The designer was knowledgeable about everything from cheese varieties, pairings, and even a few fun tricks to style your boards with a little extra "wow".  

She shared some ideas I never would have thought of on my own, and can't wait to share with my guests this holiday season. She was even great about sharing where to get quality and affordable charcuterie items if they didn't carry them in store. 

Her board building skills were amazing, and her final product was almost too pretty to eat. 


We totally ate the whole yummy display. 

Right down to the flowers. 

After the taste testing was finished, we were able to create our own board to take home to share. We each were given the opportunity to put our skills to work, and then shop for anything in store at a discount. 

How did I do? 

(Not pictured: large bag of yummy goodies I purchased to take home with me!)


I learned so many great tips and tricks on how to build the perfect charcuterie. Here are just a few of my favorites...

  1.  When purchasing items for your charcuterie, try to have a mixture of savory, sweet, and salty to offer. 
  2. The more color, the better! 
  3. Think of something unique to put on your board to wow the guests. It doesn't have to be edible! (For example: The designer added figurines, cut fruit, edible flowers, as well as made a centerpiece out of a carved pumpkin and a few small flowers.)
  4. Offer guests items at different heights. 
  5. Have a variety of tooth pick lengths available. (I thought having these longer tooth picks was genius! She said they help keep dangling sleeves and jewelry out of the dips.) 
  6. Take off all plastic and pre-cut your cheeses before your event. This is a huge time saver! (The designer informed us she does it the day before and stores them in these wax paper bags.)
  7. Make sure to have gluten-free items on hand. 
  8. Fold your meats. It looks neater, and it is easier for guests to pick up with tooth picks. 

Favorite Cheese: Unexpected Cheddar (from Trader Joes). This was a crowd favorite! 

Tons of you guys were interested in this event, and asked if Coton Colors plans on having another one. They have a lot of events in the works - be sure to check their events and social media pages often. There are several holiday events coming up that sound amazing! You won't want to miss them! I already can't wait to bring my girlfriends to the next event! 


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Friday, October 22, 2021

Pineapple Porch Picks + Giveaway!


Hi friends! We hope you've had a great week! Either way we have a feeling it is about to get waaaaay better. ;) We've done a lot this year to try to support local businesses. We know last year was a tough year for many, and one of the benefits of living in the Atlanta Metro area is the diversity of great entrepreneurs in our area. 

One of those lovely people is Janette. She owns the boutique Pineapple Porch in Marietta, GA, and - trust us when we say - it's packed to the brim with so many fun goodies! 


Based in the heart of East Cobb on the Northern side of Atlanta, Pineapple Porch Boutique is the a southern decor lover's dream, wrapped in seasonal goodness. Janette is a Kentucky native turned Georgia Peach. She comes from a large family and she celebrates those chaotic family holidays and moments in each item throughout her store. From girls nights out to big holiday dinners to children's birthdays - and everything in between - she wanted to design a store that reflects the traditions and southern hospitality she grew up with. 

Ultimately, she nailed it. 

The moment you walk through the doors of Pineapple Porch, you are comforted by staged home decor areas designed to embody classic southern coziness. Blue and white pieces are sprinkled in amongst the seasonal displays, and pallets of cream and brass set the stage for a luxurious southern shopping adventure.

Gifts, sparkling jewels, seasonal serving items , and more are all offered at Pineapple Porch. If you are local it is totally worth a visit to see what Janette has in store (its always changing to keep up with the latest in home decor, fashion and seasonal trends!). 


We could spend hours browsing the Pineapple Porch space, but for this little introductory post, we thought we would give you our Top Five Pineapple Porch Picks. These are the items we are loving most right now in store! 


We are no strangers to the luxurious cozy magic that is Barefoot Dreams. Pineapple Porch has a large, well-stocked section of the blankets, sweaters, and more. 

But our top favorite is this silk-like pajama set! We have never seen it before, and let us tell you - it is now at the top of both of our holiday lists!

These sets are amazing! This is a three piece pajama pants set in the most luxurious fabric you've ever slept in. They feel like you are wrapped in a soft cloud. They come in two beautiful colors, and have a coordinating sleep mask. 

This is going to be the gift we give this season! And Janette was nice enough to share a special code on this favorite for our readers. 

When you check out at the cash register just say "MAGNOLIA MAMAS" and you will be given a 10% off discount on the Barefoot Dreams Pajama Sets! 


This might be the most popular item on our list. From tweens to teens to women - this was "the bag" of the Summer. And now Fall and Winter too! 

This versatile and dirt friendly line comes in a ton of size and color options. Pineapple Porch has a huge selection of any and all types. Even tennis bags! But our favorite has to be the clutch and the large tote. 

We had trouble narrowing this category down. And keeping it family friendly. :) Janette has a fun cheeky side to her, and it shows in some of her fun gifts. But in the end champagne dreams won for our "girl gang" gifts category. 

We already can't wait to break out these champagne themed items at our next mom's night! 


Speaking of sleep overs the pajama section at Pineapple Porch is popping with coziness! There's an entire section dedicated to the most fun loungewear you will ever sleep in. And the most luxurious. 

(We already mentioned the Barefoot Dreams pjs right? Okay, good - just making sure you are paying attention! Because can you really resist a whole section of cozies?!)

They've already put out their holiday selection and we just loved these "Santa Claws" and "Champs" themed flannel pajama pants. 


One of our favorite things about Pineapple Porch is their large selection of jewelry. They carry both high end and more affordable jewelry options, but all are on trend and support local artists. We love that Janette has gone out of her way to support other Atlantans! 

And if not supporting local, she's done her best to support other women who are trying to make a difference in the world one sparkle at a time. 

But our current in store favorite has to be these fun beaded baubles! 

There are some for every season and every event - even a trip to get coffee. 

We think these are just plain fun, and can't wait to gift a few to our friends this holiday season! 


And now for a little fun Pineapple Porch surprise for you! We couldn't resist teaming up with Janette to give one lucky follower the following: 

- 1 Large Haute Shore Tote Bag
- 1 Swig Can Hugger
- 1 Pair of Silver Start Earrings

Seriously, how stinking cute are all these items?! 

1: Visit THIS POST on Instagram. Follow the instructions.
2: Leave a comment on this post letting us know: 


You can enter both ways!

Entries are open until Friday, October 30, 2021 at 11:59p.m. Winner will be drawn randomly and announced upon verification on Monday, November 1st. Winner will have 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be announced. Winner must be a resident of the U.S. 

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Where To Find Homecoming Dresses

Yesterday I shared all about my daughter's homecoming experience HERE and today is all about the dresses! I loved opening up Facebook all fall long to see my friends posting pictures of their kids dressed up and heading to homecoming. One thing I learned is that each school has a sort of different trend.  Some schools the kids go all out with sequins and heels, some are a little more dressed down and some are more like a casual dress with sandals.  

For our high school's homecoming most people get pretty dressed up so there were three things that the girls wanted.  Sparkly, Snug, and Short. I heard many moms stressing over finding an appropriate dress for homecoming and the struggle is real!  I learned quite a lot helping her shop for her first homecoming dress and although I know homecoming season is almost over for most schools, I'm hoping this will help someone out for next year. 


1. Your best bet is online - My daughter really wanted to try on dresses in person instead of shopping online so we went to the mall, but really didn't have much luck.  Everything was pretty picked over by mid-September. What we did find was poorly made, didn't fit well, and we had to wait in really long lines to try things on because of Covid regulations with fitting rooms.  One store we went into made me feel like Filene's Basement running of the brides.  Dresses would get put back on racks from the fitting rooms and girls would make a mad dash to grab what they could.  I'm glad we went so she could see things in person, but needless to say we left empty handed. 

2. Start early - No lie, next  year I will probably encourage her to start looking in August.  Between shipping times, weird sizing, and just the crazy schedule of our fall school and sports, going ahead and having the dress nailed down a head of time will be a major headache saver. 

3. Order several at one time - Even if she thinks she finds the dress she loves and knows it is "the one" go ahead and order a few others that can be returned so there are options.  You never know what it is going to look like in person and you might be surprised when they arrive. I had her go through and pick her top three to order and try on. 

4. Pick one of your own to add to cart - It's no secret that some moms and teen daughters disagree on clothing options and homecoming dresses are no exception. I actually convinced my daughter to add her green dress to our order. It wasn't the style she thought she wanted and definitely not the color she was going for, but once she tried it on it was her favorite!  The cut and color looked amazing on her and had I not add that one to our order she never would have found it!  


I mentioned the mall and we scoured all of our sources there without a ton of luck.  The big department stores had some, but a lot of it was picked over.  We ended up ordering several dresses from Dillards that were promising, but the fit wasn't right on any of them so I ended up returning them.  I would have had to pay to return by mail, but I was able to return in store with no fees.  

Another friend of mine told me about Lulu's, an online boutique and I felt like we had hit the jackpot!  This isn't sponsored in any way...just hoping this will help another mom. There were over 20 pages of homecoming dresses and just about every style, color, and design you could want.  Lots of the styles came in a variety of different colors.  I thought the prices were very reasonable and the shipping was really fast.  Also, they offered free returns by mail so I felt totally fine about ordering a few from there for her to try. We ended up ordering 3 and she liked them all, but loved the green one so that is what we went with! 

Left to right starting at the top. 

1. Pink Satin ($64)

2. Black with stars ($60)

3. Green sequin ($52)

4. Purple sequin ($58)

5. Silver sequin ($48)

6. Black strapless ($78)

7. Black one shoulder ($69)

8. Pink with glitter hem ($78)

9. Magenta sequin ($68)

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

HOCO Recap {A Mom's Point of View}

Last week was a whirlwind!  It was my oldest daughter's first homecoming and although it was crazy busy, I am SO very grateful that the kids got to experience a traditional homecoming week and all of the fun that goes along with it. Everyday they had theme days to dress up for spirit week and Friday was when the real fun began.  They had a school wide pep rally, homecoming parade and got to cheer for the varsity game. 

I stayed WAY too up late almost every night that week getting things ready. From poster making to float making, there was a lot to prepare for that week. Each cheerleader and football player has a poster hung in the stadium during the homecoming game.  

Crafting is usually my jam, but because I had so much else going on I decided to just make a poster digitally using a template on this site and then had it printed at my local CVS.  It was WAY faster and probably less expensive than it would have been to print out all my photos and getting lots of supplies.  

Our school does a big homecoming parade and it was so much fun.  A few moms and I planned and decorated the float for their team and it turned out really cute!  We used vinyl fringe to go around the bottom and then just dollar store plastic table cloths cut in strips to be the backdrop on the back.

I made their school logo out of colored construction paper and the adorable cursive balloon letters were the perfect addition! I'll definitely be ordering those again for parties.  

The balloon garland across the top was so easy to make using an electric balloon pump and a balloon garland kit

I see lots of balloon garlands in my future at parties and events! You simply blow up the balloons, put the ends through this plastic tape with little holes that they include and you are done.  We attached everything with zip-ties to the trailer and it all held great.  

I checked my little guy out of school early so he could watch the parade and he totally racked up on the candy.  I told him he wouldn't even need to go trick-or-treating! 

The girls did a great job cheering on Friday night at the game and because there is no rest for the weary they had their last school cheer competition the next day. They did great and got their highest score of the season. 

It was a mad dash after they competed to drive home so they could quickly get ready for the homecoming dance.  You would have never known they were so rushed with how beautiful they all looked. It seriously took my breath away to see them all.  

None of them had dates which I found hard to believe, but I know they had more fun just being together as a group anyway! 

Because of cheer rules they weren't able to get their nails done so they all used these glue on nails in the car on the way home from the competition and you NEVER would have known. 

They are still on a few days later and look great. It was a very inexpensive and quick solution to helping them get ready fast.  

After pictures, dinner and the dance her friends came back to our house and I had popcorn, desserts and snacks ready for them.  They were all so sweet the entire night!

Because of early practices the next day they didn't stay up too, late and woke up the next morning to a fun waffle breakfast.  

The food was honestly the easiest thing I did all week long, but looked fun and festive. The girls loved it. Putting everything together on a platter or board like that makes it look fancy, but is so easy for cleanup. 

I'm really just so happy that I was able to help out during the week and host the girls on homecoming night. I know these four years of high school are going to fly by and before I know it she'll be gone at college so I'm always happy to make things as special and fun for them as possible.  

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