Old Blue Eyes – Frank Sinatra

Frank SinatraHi, my name is Mandee and I am a Frank Sinatra junkie.

That’s the sign I should wear around my neck. I was introduced to Frank’s music by my parents and it grew from there. In my mind, there is just something romantic and fun about his music. I listen to it in my car, at home and anywhere else I am able. His songs put me in a good mood and I sing along (not very well, I might add).

I like Harry Connick, Jr. singing Sinatra songs as well but if I get my choice (and I can’t listen to the real Sinatra) I will take Brett Eldredge singing Frank any day of the week. He is actually an up and coming star on the Country music horizon but I remember watching him sing “Fly Me to the Moon” and “New York, New York” at  parties when he was growing up. He has a clear, rich voice… just like Frank. His new single “Raymond” is unbelievably good.

This Christmas, I will pull out and dust off my Rat Pack Christmas album and sit back and enjoy Frank, Dean and Sammy — Legends in music.


Image Credit – “Nothing But The Best” by Frank Sinatra at Amazon.com

P.S. To read more about my musical musing, read this article – Music of My Life

For more info about Brett Eldrege, visit Brett Eldrege — Country Music Artist


Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Retro Christmas

Ornament Sensation cardMy favorite time of year is approaching. No matter what life has thrown at me during the rest of the year, Christmas gives me hope and keeps my spirits up. The promise of a new year and opportunities for improvement around me. I guess it’s like a renewal to me.

<b>Retro Christmas</b> designs have always been my favorite – A Retro Christmas is so fun!  They remind me of a simpler time, family and friends. So, one of the ways I incorporate it into my holidays is by sending Retro designed <b>custom Christmas cards</b>. Some people refer to Retro as <b>Vintage</b> as well. They seem to be pretty interchangable.

Here are a few of my favorite Retro Christmas cards for this year. If you visit the link above you can see the whole collection! This is a mixture of 1960’s mod and more 1950’s vintage but I love them all. The choice is difficult this year.

Customizable Christmas Shopping cardVintage Christmas Card cardVintage Christmas Card cardLas Vegas Retro Christmas Card card ornament retro photo template card

Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 9:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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One of my Favorite Suppliers

*Note – I am NOT an affiliate for this company, simply a happy customer sharing a great shopping experience.

COD WholesaleOver my many year career in the event decorating industry I have worked with a number of suppliers. Today I wanted to let you all know about on in particular. COD Wholesale. A few years back, the LED lighted centerpieces had been introduced and the industry was clamoring for suppliers. I let the initial hub-bub die down before I suggested lighted centerpieces to my first bride. She, of course, loved the idea and I went on the search for a supplier.

There are many out there but I ran across SOD Wholesale, liked their simple and informative website and decided to try out a small order with them. I ordered the Floralyte II (has an on-off switch) to try out in several centerpieces the Bride was considering.

They were fast, friendly and I was ecstatic with my new find. That was the beginning of my relationship with COD Wholesale. Since then, I have ordered many, many more Floralytes, lighted centerpiece bases, votives and much more. They have a nice selection and the prices are competitive if not cheaper than most. I always received my orders quickly and they were correct.

So, if you are a Bride or an event host, consider COD Wholesale for your event decorating needs. I highly recommend them as a happy, past customer!

Published in: on October 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Paris Themed Christmas Tree

Paris ChristmasI have always had a sort of romantic notion of Paris, France. having lived in Paris, IL for 12 years, it just got worse. I ended up decorating my living room with Paris paraphernalia and loved it!

During one Christmas season, I decided to add to my holiday decor by decorating a smaller tree in the Paris theme. I had a blast with it. I looked everywhere for ornaments that would work with the black and white color scheme I had chosen as well as anything that I could hang on the tree depicting the city.

I chose a bucket I found at a local home decor store for the base of the tree. It was black and white and had “Tres Chic” written on it. Additionally, I made ornaments from pearlized plain white ornaments. I used black puff paint to write French words and drew abstract Eiffel Towers on others. (See image)Paris Ornament Close-Up

The result is posted on the left. I just wrote an article at Squidoo about decorating a Paris Christmas tree with resources for doing it yourself.

I also have another article titled Decorating Small Themed Christmas Trees that includes Paris, School Spirit, Girly Girl, Rock n Roll, Golf and few other themes. Small trees can be placed around your home to add to your holiday decor. Make one that matches your kitchen (I had a Coca-Cola tree in my 50’s diner style kitchen too), or highlights a collection or passion. It’s fun and doesn’t cost as much as re-doing your main tree.

Just another of my Favorite Things… Mandee

Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Theme Parties and Weddings

Vintage Hollywood ThemeArabian NightsAncient Greece








One thing I truly enjoy is decorating for themed parties and weddings. I love everything about it — the planning, research, building and actual decorating. Below is a short list of a few of the parties I have done in the past and some articles I wrote to help others planning an event with the same or similar themes. I like details and building my ideas from others, so here are some of my ideas for you to build on.

  1. Vintage Hollywood
    Vintage Hollywood Themed Decor and Ideas
  2. Rat Pack
    Rat Pack – Vintage Vegas Themed Wedding or Party
  3. Ancient Greece
    Ancient Greece Themed Wedding or Event
    In the Spotlight Theme – Ancient Greece
  4. Arabian Nights
    Arabian Nights Theme Decor
Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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Personal Stories

Personal Stories Book

Best Christmas Gift Ever!

I am passionate about recording your life, your story and your history. Memoir is a very important genre to me. I want to share (one more time in a blog) one of the coolest gifts you could ever give or receive.

As I grow older I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had some sort of record of my grandparents lives. Both sets of my grandparents were very interesting but from different social classes. I often wonder what Mamaw would have done when faced with a certain situation or what Grammy would have done. Alas, there is no way to find out since they are no longer with us.

How were they raised? What were their goals on life? What were their feelings and thoughts on just about anything?

I long to know but never will. The Story of a Lifetime: A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs by Pamela and Stephen Pavuk is a wonderful gift to get you started writing about your life.

My parents were given this book by my brother to start chronicling their lives. When finished it will be the best gift they have ever given our family. My unborn grandchildren will have the opportunity to get to know their great-grandparents in their own words. They can share stories, philosophies and what their life was like thru a personal memoir such as this.

So, my recommendation today is, start now, before it’s too late. Life has so many twists and turns that none of us know if we will be here tomorrow. Give this book to your parents, grandparents or to yourself. The gift you receive in return is priceless!


for more information about Writing Memoir visit Writing Life Story or visit my blog Life Story Writing

for more information about the book, visit this page I made The Gift of Personal Stories (all links open in a new window)

Poems for Parents of the Bride or Groom

Poems for ParentsWhen I was a bride — eons ago it seems — I wrote a poem to my parents. It was a “thank you” type poem. I read it to them at our rehearsal dinner and their wasn’t a dry eye in the house… including me. It was heartfelt and a long overdue thanks for all they had done for me.

Since then, I have improved upon it and have written an article that has some poems for brides or grooms to give to their parents. Not everyone can put on paper what it in their heart — so here’s some help!

Wedding Poems for Parents of the Bride and Groom

For other poems like favor, brother or to the bride or groom from parents — check out Wedding Poetry.

Poems can be mounted inside a frame along with a baby picture or wedding picture and make a wonderful keepsake. Parents keep the things their children give them. Make this one – on your most important day – worth while! Below are a few ideas for framing a poem to give to your mom, dad or both parents!

Mom and Dad
“Mom and Dad” Touching 8×10 Poem, Double-matted In Burgundy/Dark Green And Enhanced With Watercolor Graphics.




Poem for Parents 8×10 TO MY PARENTS ON MY WEDDING DAY Picture and Poetry Keepsake Photo Gift Frame ~ Heartfelt Wedding Day Keepsake Gift for Parents Mom and Dad from Daughter/Bride





Mikasa Love Story 5-Inch by 7-Inch Invitation Frame

Published in: on October 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Buffet Tiered Stands

Tiered StandYou will find one of my favorite things to decorate is buffet tables. They can add so much to an event’s decor and hey, your gonna serve food anyway… why not make it attractive? Decorating Buffets or Buffetscapes (as we call it in the catering industry) is a very simple concept – present your food in an attractive manner.

One way to make your buffet table space do double or triple duty is by using vertical space — go up! Tiered stands are perfect for holding your food and making it look good! Below are two of my favorite stands. One is a traditional tiered stand and the other uses both horizontal as well as vertical space but frees up space underneath it for complementary items like condiments.

Tiered stands allow you to add decor underneath them like greenery or flowering silk bushes to add character or re-introduce your theme in a unique and attractive manner.

My first choice is this stand:

It’s different in that it’s not the typical round tiered stand. It features a chrome rack and decorative glass platters for serving just about anything. The platters have sides so you don’t have to worry about food falling off. It is $27.52 at Amazon. Click the following link for more specs and technical stuff:
Godinger Dublin 3-Tier Server

My second favorite is due to my love of all things with BLING!

Set of Three White Iron and Glass Cake Stands
White standsThis is a set of 3, beaded dessert stands. This one is a bit more at $107.08 but you get three for the money and can use them individually or all together. I look at it as an investment. It can even be loaned it out to a friend or family wanting to snaz up their buffet for a wedding or other event.

Until Next time…


Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Boo! As children we learn this word quickly. Parents play peek-a-boo or play with babies saying “Boo”. As adults with associate it with the Halloween Holiday as a word you say to scare someone. I cute and fun way to greet your trick or treaters this year is with a “Boo!” or other themed Halloween welcome mat. It is festive and full of the Halloween spirit. I have a couple of these and love to use them during the month of October.

The first one:

Halloween Coir Mat - "Boo" by tag®
This one is $20.99 and made by tag. It is my favorite! You can just brush or shake it clean to keep it looking good. Click on the picture for more information.

My 2nd welcome mat says “Enter if you Dare”

Halloween Coir Mat - "Enter If You Dare" by tag®
It is also brush or shakeable to clean and made by tag as well. It is a little more at $24.99 but will last for years. The spider web design is fun without being to frightening to children.

Last but not least is this vintage designed Halloween mat featuring a black cat.
Happy Halloween Spooky Black Cat Indoor Outdoor Rug Mat

It has a rubber backing and is pretty easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth. It reminds me of Halloweens when I was a kid!



For more items with “Boo” on them, visit my Everything BOO article.

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Storage for Halloween and Fall Decor

euro case in red Being in the event industry and decorating for parties has taught me to be organized! You can’t decorate if you can’t find your decorations! But, the decorator in me likes to find stylish ways to store things too.

We recently moved to a smaller house. This was a challenge. I learned to purge and to make most of my furnishings do double duty. One of my favorite finds are these stacking suitcase storage boxes. They are so useful, stylish and take up vertical space rather than horizontal (which is in demand at my house). There are 3 in the set and they come in a variety of colors too. The BEST part is that the set of 3 is only $25.99!!!

Other colors available to match most any decor (click on the pictures for more info and to visit where I found them):
Euro Case in Sky Blue - Set of 3 by Resource International Euro Case in Purple - Set of 3 by Resource International Euro Case in Soft Green - Set of 3 by Resource International Euro Case in Pinkberry - Set of 3 by Resource International Euro Case in Banana - Set of 3 by Resource International Euro Case in Red - Set of 3 by Resource International

3 suitcase style boxes that can hold my scrapooking supplies, sewing notions, magazines, glue gun and assorted crafting tools – plus they are stackable and make a nice end table for next to a chair or sofa. I was thrilled with this find because it does double duty and is inexpensive. What do you think?

For more cool storage ideas see Storage for Halloween and Fall Decor

Until next time,



Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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