Free Easter Bunny Photos

Hop into spring with this free opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny!

I don’t know about you, but we have done our share of meet and greets with the Easter Bunny. You usually have to pay a fee, stand in a long line, and by the time you get to see the Easter Bunny your kids are either too scared or over it.

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny || Sarah Sofia Productions

That’s why I’m excited to share FREE professional portraits with the Easter Bunny for Charlotte locals today, Monday, March 16th from 3-6 p.m. at Portrait Innovations studios in Charlotte, Gastonia and Huntersville.

Spring and the Easter Bunny go hand and hand and now is your opportunity to meet him for free with no long lines and make lasting memories with your family!

The Easter Bunny will visit Portrait Innovations studios located in Charlotte at the Promenade on Providence Shopping Center, Huntersville at the NorthCross Shopping Center and Gastonia at Gaston Mall. Each child will receive three free high resolution images with the Easter Bunny on a CD.

Free Photos with the Easter Bunny || Sarah Sofia Productions

In addition, Tuesday, March 10 through Sunday, April 12, Portrait Innovations will have a great Spring-time offer that includes 43 Portraits and 5 Spring cards for just $19.99, plus a FREE 16×20 Wall Portrait. Coupons for this deal can be found on the website at portraits.com.

Portrait Innovations has new spring backgrounds that allows you to be creative with your photos sessions and have a one-of-a-kind portraits that your standard photography studio cannot offer.  Plus, how can you turn down free Portraits with the Easter Bunny?”

Sprin family Photos || Sarah Sofia Productions

Portrait Innovations offers a full range of seasonal backgrounds, props and poses available for families to choose from.  For more details on portrait sessions please visit Portrait Innovations .

 

 

Coffee Talk with Charlotte Interior Designers

Since spring is right around the corner, many of us start getting the itch to spruce up our home. Today I am having coffee talk with Charlotte interior designer Beth Barden,  designPost interiors, to get us inspired.

blog headshot 4 super exposed

I met Beth through One Room Challenge and love her eye for design! She is always designing spaces that are fresh, fun and functional. Since we both share the love for a good DIY project and entertaining Beth was a natural fit to be a guest on Sarah Sofia Productions.

If you’re local in Charlotte you must check out Style Session Live!

Coffee Talk With Charlotte Interior Designers

Q: What is Style Session Live?

A: Style Session Live is a way to connect more locally in Charlotte and to provide FREE design advice.  We don’t want decorating to be intimidating and taking 30 minutes to chat with you about your design dilemmas might just be the first step in helping you finally create a home you love!

Q: How did you start designPost interiors and find your style?

A: designPOST interiors grew from a hobby to a blog to doing work for friends and family and now fills my days with small to full-scale decorating projects!  I have always loved design, even as a child I used to rearrange my room on a weekly basis so I am so excited that I get to do it as a legitimate job now!  My style is influenced by everything from my love of the beach to my quest to find the best deals to my desire to make my home feel comfortable and welcoming.  When working with clients I love the challenge of trying to find the right balance of their style, my style, and a few unique pieces for each space.

Coffe Talk with designPOST Interiors || Sarah Sofia Productions

Q Beth: How did you get into interior design?
A: My love of design started basically as a child.  I have always cared about how my surroundings look and get a lot of joy in tweaking things to be just right.  I never thought of decorating as a career and so instead got a degree that I never really used.  It wasn’t until I started getting requests from friends to help them decorate that I really started considering it as a job.  Blogging also really helped turn my hobby into a business.  I made connections, documented my work and style and eventually started getting more and more referrals.  It has been a blast to watch everything grow!
Q: What’s your favorite design project to date?
A: My favorite design project…hmmm that’s hard because I get attached to every room but I really love this one playroom I designed.  We went with an unpredictable black and white color scheme and the room just feel so fun to me!
Coffee Talk with designPOST Interiors || Sarah Sofia Productions
I also have a few projects that are currently wrapping up that I can’t wait to get photographed!!
Q: What’s your worst design project or most challenging project to date?
A: I am probably my worst client, ha ha!  I have tried lots of different ideas in my own house and some have been total flops!  I’d rather try it out in my house than a paying clients so I guess it’s all good! That being said, after several design challenges with my living room I finally love the new and improved space in our home!
Coffee Talk With Design Post Interiors || Sarah Sofia Productions
Q: What and or who inspires you as a designer?
A: I am overwhelmed with inspiration on a daily basis just from other blogs and Pinterest alone.  I also find lots of inspiration from going to actual stores.  I love seeing how they display things and use different color combinations.  If I had to pick one designer though it would most definitely be Emily Henderson- love her!
Q: How can the average person design a space on a budget?
A: Designing on a budget has been the name of my game for a long time.  I have never had millions to spend and even if I did I am just a budget girl at heart.  I am convinced I can find a knock off of anything I want at HomeGoods, Target or TJ Maxx.  Designing a space on a budget is just about having an open mind, patience, and a little guts!
Plan, organize, style and transform your space with designPost interiors!Contact designPost interiors: Website/Blog

Follow designPost interiors: Facebook and Instagram

Make sure you come back for Part II with Summer from Simple Stylings.

 

Wedding Planning 101 Series: How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

As a wedding planner and wedding designer I am thrilled to share our latest series on wedding planning 101. Over the next few months we will be dishing out wedding planning tips from wedding pros.

Grace + Vine Studios

My first guest post is from the talented graphic designer and photographer, Madison, with Grace + Vine Studios. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Madison on designing my new logo and on an upcoming wedding!  Ever since Madison’s dad put her first camera in her hand, she’s had a heart that beats for great pictures and quality design.

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Madison Grace + Vine Studios

Friends, I’m so excited to be sharing today with you! Sarah asked me to share some of my experience with being a wedding photographer based out of North Carolina. A little background for you first, my name is Madison and I run Grace + Vine Studios, a graphic design and photography studio, as well as my blog, The Wetherills Say I Do.

Getting engaged is such an exciting time! The excitement of calling family and friends to share the good news and being showered at engagement parties and friends wanting to see the ring only lasts for a short while though, before you have to get down to business and start planning. There are five main things people focus on planning at the beginning of an engagement: the date, wedding venue, bridal party, the dress, and the photographer. If you’ve been researching for months before you got engaged, finding the right wedding photographer may be easy. But if you haven’t, it can seem like an incredibly daunting task to try to find the perfect photographer.

how-to-choose-the-right-wedding-photographer

As a wedding photographer and a former bride, I have some tips that should help you narrow down the perfect one!

Style

This is the number one thing to determine when looking for a photographer. Even if you cannot articulate the style you’re looking for, there are going to be photographers that you dislike or like based on how their photos look. There are a few styles that photographers fall into.

traditional-wedding-photographer

Traditional: These are photographers who may do a lot of in-studio photography and for weddings they have specific poses they utilize in their bridal portraits and family shots. A traditional photographer is great for couples who want formal photos with lots of family members or desire to have lots of prints made or even a wedding album made by your photographer (as opposed to taking care of that yourself later on).

photo-journalist-wedding-style

Photo-Journalistic: These photographers focus on catching the little moments throughout the day. They’ll have photos of jewelry laid out for the bride, groomsmen putting on cufflinks, the father of the bride’s arm wrapped around his daughter’s. These photos all montaged together tell the story of the wedding day from start to finish.

artistic-wedding-style

Artistic: Photographers with an artistic style are known to have unique photos that might be detail shots that add to the story of the wedding. They’ll focus on unique angles and capturing creative details from the day.

Budget

This one always hurts. The big B word in wedding planning always stings a little. Here’s the reality though when it comes to wedding photography. You pay for what you get. If quality photography is important to you, you have to make it a priority in your wedding budget. No matter what your priorities are for your wedding, you should be setting a list of them and making them the most important part of your wedding budget.

Personality & Professionalism

After you’ve found a photographer you may like from their photos or website, it’s time to meet. Emailing can be a great way to get a sense of the photographer. Are they prompt? Are they accommodating? Once you’ve emailed a bit and gotten the details out of the way, I highly recommend meeting in person! There’s no better way to figure out if you click with a photographer than meeting in person.

Remember a few things:

-You picked your photographer based on their style, but they should be willing to capture the things you want for your wedding. They may not copy exact Pinterest images, but if in your first meeting they keep pushing their ideas on you over listening to yours.

-If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask! If you’re unsure of anything, ask!

-As a photographer, I highly recommend a first look. For more on my thoughts on a first look you can read my post here! But regardless of if you choose a first look or not, be sure to work with your photographer on a schedule that maximizes your time to take photos. This is a once in a lifetime chance and you will regret not having enough photos of you and your new spouse!

-Make sure you know what’s included in your contract. Many photographers opt for packages that include engagement shoots or a certain amount of hours shooting. Be sure to look over it and know what you should be getting.

Former brides, I’d love to hear your experience picking a wedding photographer! Current bride-to-bes, what’s been your biggest challenge in finding a wedding photographer?

Grace + Vines Studios is known for capturing essence of who people are, whether it’s for a wedding, 1st birthday shoot, or company logo.  Grace + Vines Studios has quickly become a weddings, events, and parties since 2010. “Who you are matters, it matters to us. We’d love to be part of your dream!”

Let Grace + Vine Studios capture the essence of who you are for your big day!

Contact Grace + Vine Studios: Website / Blog

Follow Grace + Vine Studios on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine’s Day Treat or Gift

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies A Valentine's Day Treat

We’re gearing up for Valentine’s Day with these fun and delicious heart shaped shortbread cookies.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

I received this Message Cookie Set by World Market in a Gift Swap and knew it was perfect for Valentine’s Day treats!

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookie: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups butter, softened
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 4 Cups purpose flour
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pam cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Stir in vanilla.  Add flour and mix with sugar mixture. Cover and chill for one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets and chill. Use message cookie cutters and small heart shaped cookie cutters.  Dough might be fragile so use spatula to slide onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes and decorate.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentien's Day Treat Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

I sprinkled just a little pink sugar over the shortbread cookies, but they really don’t need any additional decoration.

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

Simply place in sailplane bags, and cute tag, tie with pretty ribbon and voila’ your Valentine’s Day treat, party favor, or gift for your kids teachers and classmates is ready to be served!

Heart Shaped Shortbread Cookies: The Perfect Valentine's Day Treat

For more Valentine’s Day inspiration check out our Valentine’s Day Inspiration Round up and Valentine’s Day Party Sneak Peek, with the big reveal coming soon.

Credits

Styling and Design – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Flower Arrangement – Sarah Sofia Productions

Message Cookie Cutter Set – World Market

Gift tags, pink and gold tin bucket, and pink and gold pom pom banner – Target

White cake platter – Crate & Barrel

Gold votive – HomeGoods

White lanterns – Ikea

 

 

 

 

Top 12 Posts of 2014: Parties, Event & Interior Design + 2015 Trends

Top Partiy, Event & Interior Design Trends of 2014 that are trending in 2015

Happy and healthy 2015 my friends! I wanted to share my top 12 blog posts of 2015 with you today!

Sarah Sofia Productions had a successful year in event design and styling! You will notice 9 of the 12 top blog posts are events or parties that were big trends in 2014 and continue to trend in 2015. The other 3 of 12 top blog posts are interior design and home décor trends that spill over into this year.

12. Wine Tasting and champagne tasting parties were hot in 2014 and continue to be in 2015. Tastings are one of my faves to plan because it’s an intimate affair with food and wine/champagne pairings. Get inspired with our Wine Tasting Party!

Wine Tasting

11.  Easter Celebrations and Easter Celebration Part II have some great décor elements and fun colors.

Easter Celebrations

10. Pink + Gold GLAM Bridal Shower was a fan fav and still is one of mine! Pink + Gold were hot trends in 2014 and continue to be in 2015. The elements of this GLAM bridal shower can be used for any party that needs a little sparkle! We were featured in two publications for this photo shoot: My Tru Blu and The Bride Link

Pink + Gold GLAM Bridal Shower

9. Coral, Robin Eggs Blue & Elephants themed 1st Birthday Party is whimsical and had hot trends like dessert and candy bar, coral and blue colors, and of course smash cake.

045This party is a good example of interior design and home décor trends that are making their way into party trends. The theme of this party was based on the coral, blue & elephant themed nursery.

Kasey Loftin Photography

Kasey Loftin Photography

8. Thrill of the Hunt Series was a hit with treasures from thrifting from my guests Dwell by Cheryl and Jennifer, Pure & Simple Organizing, along with my treasures!

Finding the Good Stuff

7. Black Tie Weddings and Events are classic and will always be in style! There’s something fun and glamorous about getting dressed up in formal attire that makes the night special. The Queen City Gala: Black Tie for Charity was no exception!

Queen City Gala

6. Brunch with the girls: Summer Entertaining continues to be one of our top archive searches for 2014! Despite the rain, there are fun punches of color and easy party décor elements.

Brunch Sarah Sofia Productions

5. Surprise 50th Birthday Party isn’t your typical backyard celebration! The attention to detail from the food to the simple and masculine décor made this party an instant classic. Burlap and navy were hot trends in 2014 and continue to be in 2015.

50th Surprise Party

4. One Room Challenge Spring 2014 Master Bedroom and Fall 2014 Big Girl Room drove a lot of new traffic to our blog and demonstrated that trends in interior design continue to overlap with weddings, events & parties.

High & Low Finds

Many of the home décor items in both ORC rooms came from our wedding, or my daughter’s birthday party décor.

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3. Fall Décor and entertaining along with our Thanksgiving Tablescape were both hits with readers and the interior design industry! We were featured in Southern Girl Blog Community’s Fall Round up, Festive Fall Crafts and Décor.

Festive Fall Decor Tablescap

Thanksgiving Inspiration

2. Sofia The First Birthday Party not only had a lot of views when it was first published in September 2014 but continues to be our second most popular search into 2015! Sofia The First Invitation

Sofia The First and Disney character themed parties were hot trends in 2014 and continue to be in 2015! This Sofia The First party incorporated boys by having them dress up like Princes and adding special touches in crafts and food labels.

Sofia The First Birthday Party

1. Our biggest month to date was December 2014 with all our holiday and Christmas posts such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party, Trimming the Tree and Christmas Décor, Family Traditions with Recipes and Cookie Decorating Party, Cozy Survival Guide for Winter Months, and Christmas Tablescape.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Party 3

Merry & Bright

Holiday Traditions Cookie Decorating Party

We collaborated with wedding and event industry pros such as Classic Party Rentals, for Christmas Tablescape and were recognized nationally by Classic Party Rentals and in Southern Girl Blog Community’s Holiday Tradition Roundup, A Southern Girls Guide to Christmas Traditions.

Christmas Decor and Tablescape

Christmas Decor and Tradition

Cozy Surviival Guide for the Winter Months

However our most viewed post of December and of 2014 was New Year’s Eve Bash and Recipes!

NYE Bash

NYE BASH Recipes

Can’t wait to share more 2015 top trends in weddings, events, and parties in the coming months!

 

 

Thanksgiving Inspiration: Get The Look For Less

Fall Entertaining 2011

Now that Halloween is over and we’re entering the second week of November I wanted to share some more fall and Thanksgiving inspiration with you.

Fall Entertaining 1 2011

Glamming up your pumpkins, gourds, and eggplants not only add color but dimension to your Thanksgiving décor. For the easy DIY tutorial check out here.

Fall Entertaining 2012

You’re Thanksgiving tablescape doesn’t have to be fancy or traditional to be festive and colorful! Adding décor pieces that you already own and mix and matching them with one or two new pieces work great. Get the details for this look here.

Festive Fall Decor Tablescape

Here’s another simple Thanksgiving tablescape that I shared with you to kick off fall! I love the pop of orange, yellow, and red against the blue and burlap. You can check out the details of this look here.

Don’t forget the front of your home is the first thing that will greet your guests.

p 1 Fall Decor

Get the look and details from my previous post here.

Pottery Barn is always a source of inspiration for me during the holidays. Get the look for less and in 15 minutes.

Thanksgiving Decor

First step is to use accessories you already own! Everything you see here is something I’ve pulled from different areas of our home.

Thanksgiving Decor & Tablescape

I absolutely love these black lanterns from Ikea! I usually have them displayed outside but brought the outside in for a rustic look. The faux sparkle pumpkin is one of my favorite buys from Michael’s, but you can easily do it yourself. This gold sea urchin was pulled from our master bedroom. Don’t have colorful table linens? Make your own. I bought this fabric from Hobby Lobby for an event and have used it several times since then.

Thanksgiving Decor & Tablescape

I’ve wanted to try pumpkin carved votive for a few years now and love how it turned out. All you need is a small pumpkin, knife, spoon, candle, and electric drill.

Thanksgiving Tabelscape

I was easy and took less than 10 minutes. Simply slice off the tops, carve a small hole, and scoop out the flesh & seeds of the pumpkin.

Thanksgiving Decor & Tablescape

I decided to use pumpkins again this year as place settings. Simply write the name on the pumpkin with chalk paint or permanent maker.

Thanksgiving Decor & Tablescape

You can easily turn this pumpkin into a DIY decorating craft for kids to keep them occupied during dinner. Simply add fun stickers to the table.

Did you catch Mama’s Cranberry and Apple Dish, that will WOW your guests?

Mamas Cranberry and Apple Dish

If not check out the recipe and more Thanksgiving décor inspiration here.

Thanksgiving Inspiration and Recipes

We’re also teaming up with wedding and event pros this holiday season! Make sure you check out all the dessert inspiration, dessert table, and mini pumpkin pie recipe here just in time for Thanksgiving!

Holiday Dessert Bar

Mini Pumpin Pies Home is where the boat is

Credits

Design and Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions

Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Black Lanterns – Ikea

China and silverware – Villeroy & Boch

Orange chevron table runner – Hobby Lobby

Gold sea urchins – Target

Gold pumpkins – Michael’s Craft Store

 

Halloween Candy Buy-Back with Smiles by Payet

Get the scoop on how your kids can get cash for candy in the Halloween Candy Buy-Back!

Trick or Treat

We Trick or Treated at the Promenade Shopping Center last Friday.  Tomorrow is Halloween and Trick or Treat in Charlotte, which means even more candy!  I already know we will not be able to eat all that candy.

Trick or Treat

Usually we save a few pieces and either have my husband take the rest to work or simply through it away. This year however, we’re taking the leftover candy to the dentist. Yes, you read that correctly!

This Halloween, trick-or-treaters can bring their excess candy to Smiles by Payet Family Dentistry in south Charlotte and receive $1 per pound – up to $5 maximum.  Candy will be collected at Smiles by Payet Family Dentistry, 4601 Park Rd. Ste. 175 in south Charlotte on Saturday, November 1st from 10:00am – 2:00pm.  The candy must be unopened and children must be accompanied by an adult.

The candy is shipped to an organization dedicated to serving our troops, called Operation Gratitude.  Volunteers there send the candy and other items to be delivered to troops overseas in holiday care packages. Kids that come to this event are also invited to make cards for the care packages.

Good deeds.  Cash.  Goody bags.  And a plan to rid ourselves of all that left over candy!

 

 

Backstage Pass to High Point Furniture Market Fall 2014

I’ve had the pleasure of attending several High Point Markets as the design assistant to the talented Lory Cobb Interiors based out of Charlotte. I learn so much from Lory Cobb Interiors every time we venture to Market.

Lory Cobb Interios

Here’s a photo of one of my favorite installations by Lory Cobb Interiors!

High Point Market (HPMKT) is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, brining together 75,000 people biennially to High Point, NC. This year the market trends are “bright, bold and brassy” according HPMKT Style Spotters.

You learn quickly as a Market goer to wear the right shoes! Fashion is important but comfort takes the driver seat as you navigate the 11.5 million square feet of showrooms.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll recognize this faux bamboo desk in white and gold from Bungalow 5.

Faux Bamboo Desk

Their 2015 line did not disappoint and was by far a stand out at High Point!

Bungalow 5

My next favorite is Thibaut! Always a must see at Market with their fun colors and setting trends with patterns and fabrics.

Thibaut

I always enjoy finding new exhibitors such as Lowcounry Originals. Lighting is setting trends and becoming more of statement piece. Loved everything in Jamie Young Co.

Lighting

Shades of blue and red are hot right now! Of course my personal style is blue, white, and coral and found some great pieces at Trade Winds Furniture of Charlotte, Guild Master, Gabby and one of my favorites of HPMKT Ro-Sham-Beaux.

High Point Market

Hope this inspires you as much as it has me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queen City Gala: Black Tie For Charity Event

The Queen City GalaThe Queen City Gala, a first annual black tie fundraiser benefiting Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Lydia’s Legacy and Samaritan’s Feet was the premier event of the fall in Uptown Charlotte!

The Queen City Gala

The gala was held at the Levine Museum of the New South and featured a shrimp and grits station, Moscow Mule signature drink, and the talented band U-Phonik that got the crowd dancing!

Queen City Gala

The night was full of heart felt sentiment as the hosts explained why the three charities were so personal to them.  Followed by representatives of each charity, who spoke with such passion and moved everyone in the audience.

Queen City Gala

The color scheme was vibrate and represented the colors of the three charities.  We used melon linens for the cocktail tables and teal blue for the seating tables.  Pop of orange, coral, green, pink, and purple provided a great contrast to the table linens.

Queen City Gala

Queen City Gala

Since several of the hosts were involved in their charities in memory of a loved ones, I was especially honored and touched to be a part of this event.

Queen City Gala

Additionally, it was our relationship through the Junior League of Charlotte, which has a rich history of service, that brought us together. All four hosts, the founder of Lydia’s Legacy, Carin Ross Johnson, and myself are all members of the Junior League of Charlotte.

Queen City Gala

Besides the shrimp and grits and the Moscow Mule, the other fun element was the black tie formal attire requested dress code.  Watching people walk in and dance in formal dresses added a festive atmosphere to the night!

Queen City Gala

Queen City Gala

Queen City Gala

Everyone that attended the event went away knowing a little more about these three well established charities in Charlotte and not wanting the night to end after getting down on the dance floor.

Queen City Gala

To learn more about the Queen City Gala, the charities, and hosts please like Queen City Gala on Facebook.

Vendor Credit

Event Design and Styling – Sarah Sofia Productions

Floral Arrangements and Photography – Sarah Sofia Productions

Venue – The Levine Museum of the New South

Caterer – Best Impressions Caterers

Band – U-Phonik

Linens – Classic Party Rentals

Charities – Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Lydia’s Legacy, and Samaritan’s Feet

 

 

 

Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Cinco de Mayo

Cheers to another reason to celebrate with family and friends, Cinco de Mayo!

I love this holiday simply for the fun, colorful food and drinks! Not to mention the colorful décor you can use if you throw a party!

Short on décor items, don’t worry, Party City has festive party décor and tableware.

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Party City Tableware

Check out my previous years posts for menu, drink and décor ideas here and here.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!