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Create & Covid

Raise your hand if you are ready for life after Covid-19?

This pandemic has taken its toll on this heavily extrovert woman. My events have been postponed for the year, far less meetings, not seeing colleagues & clients on any regular basis. My world has been downsized. To say the least, I am ready to break out of this life! I am a creative, eager, impatient, have to have every detail as it is in my head kind of person. For my family’s and mine own saving grace…

Power Tools + Creatvity = this mom’s sanity.

My office took an organizational turn, when my son decided he needed a desk under his new loft bed. “

Sure, honey, you can take mom’s desk that is only used for storage!”

So my office became stacks of storage boxes, stacks of client folders, baskets filled with random cords, and usb drives. This is not helping my covid-19 sanity problem! To top it off , children were constantly stealing my grand pair of scissors (we all have THAT pair), my stapler, and my roll of tape. THAT’S IT-MAKEOVER TIME!

So I looked around, and started with a list of what I needed in plain sight everyday:

  1. Essential Working Tools; Paintbrush, can openers, business cards, reading glasses, cotton twine, essential scissors, and small ribbon scissors.
  2. Basic details for each of my clients: Names, Dates, locations, descriptive words, inspirational photos, list of vendors.
  3. Simplistic storage: Storage boxes, calligraphy paper, office supplies, full client folders, branding & styling items, books, etc.

I am a visual person. If it doesn’t please the eye, it doesn’t please the brain. So not only does my office need to be functional, but also, an environment I feel inspired by. I started my research…PINTEREST!

Yes, I am a creative that still searched for hours on Pinterest. I needed an idea, of where to start. My office is the size of a nice closet, and I have alot which has to fit. Every inch was needed for storage. Most obvious was under my work table. This space had become a dumping ground for everything in my work life: extra tiles, extra wood, cake stands (stacked 5 high), tool boxes, folded fabric, and no real order.

Project #1: 3 shelf bookcase into rolling storage. Yep, its that simple! I purchased a 3 shelf bookcase from Target, flipped it on its back, attached caster wheels, and took all the shelves out (I’m sure I’ll use them for later).

In went the things I always need for branding. Fabric in my brand colors (navy, lots and lots of NAVY!). Wedding favor examples, back up cake cutting set, sparkler bin, gift card baskets, fake gift boxes, styled out pattern plates & utensils. These are items that whether I go to a styled shoot, a bridal expo, or an open house, I have these items ready to be on display for my brand.

Wow that felt good, let’s tackle something more difficult.

Project #2: A Command Center.

Most families have a wall where a calendar with schedules, places for reminders, bills, coupons, grocery lists are kept. Its what I call a visual brain on the wall. I needed something with the same purpose, but different. I needed a command center for my everyday, important items.

Huh, I still have those wood pieces from that wedding…..

I have had this pile of herringbone wood pieces in my office for almost 2 years. I created them from 700 2″ x 6″ plywood pieces for wedding table decor. After the wedding, the bride didn’t have a use for them, so I gladly took these babies home. I knew I could use them in the future, so under my desk they went and sat, and sat, and gathered some dust, now they have seen the sun!

Finch Photo- http://finchphoto.com/

So here I go…. Measure the space, start arranging and gluing wood pieces together, Then layout the tools I need and look for the most important items…

  1. The scissors,
  2. Ribbon/Detail scissors
  3. Cotton Twine
  4. Paint & Stain Can openers
  5. Business Cards
  6. Paint brush
  7. Staining brush
  8. Mixing spoon
  9. Reading Glasses

Once my wood herringbone pieces were glued together, I was arranging & placing items. I wanted it to look like a collection of my brand, so I added some dipped paint lids I had extra, and scrap pieces of fabric. Every item had a place, I could find these items easily everyday, I could see if my kids had taken them, and It looked like I was ready to work every moment of the day.

I drilled some neutral screws 1/2 the depth of the wood pieces, and started hanging my items. Bought some vintage clips from Hobby Lobby for my business cards ( I need to find them, but need to refill my pocket stash regularly). Perfect!

Now, what else do I need to remember, or keep track up everyday?

Cards! I want to be better at the thank you, thinking of you, your are the best, thanks for saving my butt cards! My clients deserve this, my colleagues deserve it too! Plus a visual cue for reordering is a bonus! Now what do I have for this?? A cutting board + fabric= perfect!

Took an old cutting board we never used, stained & sealed it. Folded some fabric and secured it to the back. Install a utility hook in the wall- and


Now for the mail. My business mail is always piled in the everyday mailbox of my family. I need open house invites, client contracts, thank you notes, etc. to come directly to me, and a place to keep track of it all. Now a simple rack would be fine, but we are trying to keep some sanity in this house and discover new things! I had seen a fabric sling made for children’s books, why not a sling for mail!

I took out some scrap wooden dowels, a small scrap piece of wood, drilled, glued, and had the frame. Now for the fabric! I can saw, paint, construct, but NO SEWING for this woman. My kind mother-in-law stepped in and sewed a sleeve of fabric. I put it all together….

I added a fun, laughing photo of my family to remind me everyday, through every meeting, and every event, that I am doing all this for them!

So that took some time! Maybe something simpler is next:

Project #3: Paperwork!

I have stashes and stashes of calligraphy paper, linen printing paper, photo mattes, etc. that I tend to use for lettering projects. They orignally were stored on these 3 shelves taking an entire wall!

There was no organization, but they were just stashed up there. It was really a holding place for these pieces. I can do better!

I found this new idea on Pinterest using leather straps. Remember I mentioned all of my events were postponed, I’m on a budget. What was strong, and could be hold up to long term wear & tear? I noticed the cotton woven strap of my mommy purse. If you don’t know, the strongest strap in the world is on a mommy purse!

That would work ….Oh and look Hobby Lobby sells it by the yard in NAVY!!! I got 3 feet and a wooden circle. I wrapped one end around the wooden circle, and sewed. Pulled the strap tight, and wrapped the other end over the same hoop circle and sewed. In the end I had 2 navy cotton woven straps hanging from a wooden circle. I started slowly carefully sliding in the paper and mattes. It worked! The tension of the paper and the straps held everything in place. I immediately created another! Some screws in the wall and….

3 shelves downsized to 2 hanging storage pieces

So excited to see 3 shelves worth of supplies downsized to 2 hanging pieces, and for only $7!!! Keep this momentum up!

Next was client files. Now I can’t keep every piece of paper of each of my clients displayed on the wall. My wall isn’t strong enough for that! I did need to keep specific key notes on the wall for quick reference, kinda like cliff notes for my clients!

I knew I would be changing these details out, as clients hired more vendors or changed their minds. So, I used 3M command wall clips. Measured it out, and placed those on the wall, along with another cutting board made to hold brochures and topped it off with a dry erase To-Do board (thank you Target Dollar Section) Thanks to canva.com, I designed each client’s notes with photos, key words, and it made a beautiful display!

Project #4: Storage!

This was going to be big. This project was going to take some time. I needed to get this mess simplified & streamlined…

It was just simple-I had to build my own storage shelving unit. So I took some measurements,

6 ft. long-how long the wall is it was going against

42″ height because I didn’t want it too tall covering my home’s staircase, and I wanted to be able to reach pages off my printer without a stepstool

About 16″ deep: That was the deepest and biggest box I needed to fit on this unit.

I lined up all the storage boxes, file boxes, office supplies, client files, everything to know what height each shelf needed to be. Like I said, I am determined to make everything look exactly like what’s in my mind.

Then my lovely scientific minded husband came up with a plan of how to build it using lumber I already had on hand! Perfect! We started with those good ole herringbone wood pieces (yes, I had more than enough!)

Lined them up, and secured them to support/brace boards. We trimmed off the staggered edges with a circular saw, painted the legs white, and attached the shelving! Did I mention it was a long project? It seems so short and sweet but it wasn’t.

Once it was built I had to organize and style. I cleaned out every single box (@TheHome Edit would be proud).

Edited down every single thing. Then reorganized every box to make sense and have a purpose. Then I took my time selecting where each box would be stored.

One day at 1pm I thought it was perfect. Then another day at 11am I reorganized and thought that was perfect. Then another day at 2pm, I reorganized thought that was perfect-yes it was perfect! Finally my eye was pleased therefore my brain was pleased.

I tried out the placement of everything for about 2 weeks. It worked! It worked and looked beautiful. I printed my labels stuck them on every box, sat back and admired my hard work!

The office came together just like I wanted and within an amazing budget (alot of items I had on hand and it only cost me $40)

It was beautiful, simple, and functional. My table space was finally cleared for the first time in months, every piece had a place, and I was content.

So what did I do? I started designing my new projects….here’s a sneak peek but more coming later!

What I learned in 2019 and what 2020 holds…

How much I loved 2019…

2019 was one of the highlights of my career. I adored every wedding we had, and we had some that challenged every part of my being and my team; and lots that gave us so much joy! Let’s focus on the highlights of planning, designing, and coordinating every wedding we had this year. Its a big accomplishment to me, because I truly love designing a wedding. I adore taking my clients wants, styles, and personality; and turning into a visually stunning gift on their wedding day. Part of my design aesthetic is incorporating materials beyond tablecloths, flowers, and food. I love creating and building wood aspects, tile table tops, and more. If you have viewed me on Instagram you know I love a Lowe’s trip! 2019 let me run free with my designs. My custom designs went from small to super sized last year, and I can’t tell you how much wood I used. For a few weddings I got very lucky with a father of the bride and a groom willing to construct my crazy ideas! My team thought a few times I had lost my mind, but when it was all set-up it was worth it. Thank you to all my 2019 client who let me do what I do best, and trust me with their wedding designs.

Photography by Suzy Collins
Flowers by Sassafras
Chairs and Rentals by Luma Designs

One significant lesson I learned in 2019 was how valuable a wedding team is; not just a now and again helper, but a team. I now have hired 3 girls (Sarah, Erin, and Teddy) who work with me regularly on wedding days, and wedding day prep. I can’t imagine doing a wedding without them. They make the behind the scenes work so much easier and allows me to focus more on moments with my clients. They have taught me the proper and effective way to prep for a wedding day (don’t do it by yourself); and have forced me to get even more organized in the office. I love that my fellow vendors have come to love the girls and consider them part of every wedding.

Our 3 basic rules:
1. We don’t do ugly weddings
2. Sugar coating belongs on cakes
3. if we can’t buy it we build it

What 2020 holds…

My 2020 year gives me hope for more amazing adventures for Live Laugh Love Weddings. Of course Me and the team will be creating amazing weddings, and working with wonderful clients. You will see our work at some of our favorite venues: Kincaid House, Dara’s Garden, RT Lodge, as well as some private homes. I hope to continue working with Marblegate Farms, Mill & Mine; Cherokee Country Club, Holston Hills Country Club, Church Street United Methodist Church and more as well. I know we will cherish all the vendor relationships we have with caterers, photographers, florists, rentals, and everyone who puts their heart and sweat into our clients’ events. We also hope to offer more to more clients and vendors.

Photography by Traci Ancelet

Now there is Lefty Designs. I have found a love for custom creations, including signs, table top items, and some woodwork. Lefty Designs grew from the artist side of me wanting to create ideas that aren’t mass produced, that can go on to live in my clients’ lives and homes after their wedding. I have produced tabletop planter box centerpieces, wood herringbone accents, various seating charts, Tufted fabric centerpieces (see below), tile chargers for custom designed place settings, and more! I found many clients love the custom designed and built items, and many more asking for signs. Thanks to my very good friends at The Happy Envelope and Katherine Michalik, I also discovered a love for lettering. I have even provided signs to many wedding vendors including: The Spindle Tree, Southern Belle Beauty, Marblegate Farms, and many on display at Samuel Franklin Florist. I offer custom signs for weddings, businesses, everyday home decor, and of course Christmas! I am excited to keep building this side of my business, and making weddings even more amazing! Please note Lefty Designs, like me, go big or go home. So these designs are designed to make an impact. Our lettering is not for wedding invitations. If you are interested feel free to contact me thru our current website and reference Lefty Designs.

Photography by Danielle Evans
Rentals by All Occasion Party Rentals
Location: Marblegate Farms

Happy 2020 to all, and we can’t wait to see what this year holds for us! For inquiries please visit us here, and schedule a coffee date!

*We are welcoming to all cultures, religions, and genders,

New Hours: Working Mom

Working Mom
I am a working mom

Having my hobby and passions rolled into a productive business is a dream come true. I am able to spend time with my kids, and teach them how I built this business and how “mommy” provides for them and contributes financially to their lives. My kids have watched me sand weird looking pieces of wood, help build and paint tables, and they especially loved watching me calligraphy the words “Krispy Kreme” 4 ft. tall! My son will soon be the perfect chair liner upper, and my daughter will be the perfect wedding commander. Although they can’t understand all the details mommy does to make a wedding happen, they know I work hard at it.

They are truly lucky to get to have a mom who can juggle work, schools, and our life. I am truly lucky to have a husband who supports my business, and can provide stability for our family. While working “from home” is wonderful, there are tough times. This past year has been a learning experience for me and my family as it is the first year we have had a child in full time public schools. There were lots of wonderful memories, but also my kids had to make sacrifices that I didn’t want them to. My meeting schedule took a toll on my kids, my husband, and me. Mommy guilt struck too many times, and leaving screaming kids was worse.

Tomorrow, August 5th, starts the new school year for my children, and so a new schedule will start for my whole family including my business. Moments like picking up my kids up from school, or tucking them into bed won’t be jeopardized or sacrificed. Below you will find my new meeting schedule. This schedule is for when I can take meetings with clients, vendors, etc. I will also go ahead and notify that I will not be taking on any events for the December 2019, and I am booked for May 2020.

I look forward to making amazing weddings come to life this fall and into 2020, plus watching my kids grow!

Mondays and Wednedays: 9:30am-1:00pm

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9:30am-2:00pm/ 5pm-7:30pm

Fridays & Saturdays are for making weddings come to life

Sundays are for rest and mental health

Wedding Planner 101

Wedding coordinating is the number one service I am asked about. It is also the service most underestimated. The average cost of a wedding coordinator in Knoxville is $800-$1500.  It might seem expensive, but do you know what a wedding coordinator does?

Every wedding day I wake up, cook myself eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise, watch a few morning shows, fix my hair & make-up, put on a nice strapless dress and fabulous heels and arrive at 5pm for a 6pm wedding….Then I wake up from my dream!

Coordinating a wedding takes the most endurance, patience, thinking, and physical work I have ever done! An average wedding day for me is about 12-15 hours (yes, that is just the wedding day). These hours do not include the time I have taken to review contracts, follow up with vendors in finalizing orders, visit the venue, scheduling deliveries to make sure the rentals arrive before the flowers, the venue is open for the rentals to arrive, and the bride & groom aren’t being billed for any extra time to name a just a few items.

The responsibility of a wedding coordinator is huge. We must know what is happening at all times, what is about to happen, and what should happen in the next hour. We are constantly running schedules through our minds to ensure every detail will happen the way you, the client, wishes it to happen. We anticipate your requests before you ask, and rapidly make your wishes come true on the spot. We know every detail for every vendor every minute of the wedding day. On the wedding day most of us just do what needs to get done for the day to be fantastic. Some unexpected things I have done for weddings:

Escorted screaming flower girls down the aisle

Stuck my hands in a wedding cake as it was falling

Rearranged a bridal bouquet

Handled a guest getting bit by a copperhead snake

Directed a rehearsal with 31 people processing down the aisle

Worked one wedding day stretching 8am-3am (not including the 14 hours of set-up the day before)

Actual wedding crashers having to be escorted out 3 different times, once by police

A venue serving a full bar, and not the contracted just wine & beer (by me catching the mistake the bride & groom got a full bar free of charge).

A groom getting in a fender bender with the father of the bride’s vintage porsche

Having to find a taxi to pick-up a guest with a heart condition

This is only a glimpse into what I do for my brides.

The cost of a wedding coordinator may seem high at first, but the value is priceless. A mother of the bride said it best, “You spend $800 on a DJ, $2500 on flowers, $25 per guest on catering, $3000 on the wedding location, and another $2500 on photography, so why wouldn’t you invest top dollar for someone to oversee your investment for your wedding?”

Never underestimate a wedding coordinator!

New Beginnings

2014 seems to be just around the corner, and I can’t explain how excited I am for the new year and new weddings! 2012 and 2013 have been years that have done nothing but turned my life upside down. 2012 was a year that tested my family month after month. Every month we were given new challenges to the point where we were fearful for anyone close to us, as our bad luck started to spread to our closest friends. As my mom said on New Year’s Eve “I have never been a fan of the #13, but I have decided # 12 is the worst!” Our family gladly welcomed 2013, and with it I got the most adventurous year yet, pregnancy! I adore my son and do not regret one moment of my pregnancy, but what a challenge! In all categories of pregnancy I was in the minority in every way (the list is endless)! I gave birth at the height of wedding season to a adorable son. Becoming a mom is amazing, and an adventure each day. 

Because of the birth of my son I chose to take off the fall season. I want to enjoy these times with my son, and have some time to concentrate on getting Live Laugh Love Weddings better for the new year. I love my clients, but like many, some of the to dos I want to get done for my business keep getting pushed to the bottom of my list. Clients have always come first, as it should be. I truly enjoy my job and do not wish to give it up! I believe 2014 will be a fantastic year! All the new plans will be ready by fall for all to enjoy. You will recognize us, but hopefully just in a better light! 

I want to hear from you, please Like Live Laugh Love Weddings on Facebook, and tell us what you want us to create or what you want in your planner/coordinator!


Wedding Gift Controversy

Wedding Gift Controversy

Have you heard about the huffington post bride? Recently a bride went on social media complaining of a wedding guests’ gift of $100. The bride stated the gift was insignificant, and did not cover the $200 cost of dinner (per plate) the bride paid for the guest at her wedding. What are your thoughts? Nancy Barger and I went on WBIR to talk about the topic! Read the full story at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/wedding-gift_n_3535780.html

Changes in the year to come

It has been a long while since I posted on my blog. For the last 10 months I have been preparing for a new adventure, parenthood. I can now say I survived my unique pregnancy, and am loving every day on my son. I love being a mom, but also still adore my wedding work. I took a light load this year so I can properly readjust to being a mom, but also create some fantastic weddings. I will be improving my business to assist brides in creating their amazing wedding day. I look forward to the changes and improvements that will come to Live Laugh Love Weddings, but promise to still deliver the same (if not better) great service Live Laugh Love Weddings has always provided.  Thanks and I look forward to sharing all the goodies with you!