Tag Archives: Charleston

Celebrating Teachers: How to Host a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

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With the school year almost over, it is an ideal time to thank the teachers who have guided our children for the last nine months. The parents’ association of many schools celebrate the faculty and staff throughout the year while in some schools they are honored during a specific “teacher appreciation” week.

We have done a variety of things at my daughter’s school during her twelve years there. It depended on the age division, parent involvement and leadership. Since she has been in high school, we have supplied the faculty and staff lounge with beverages and snacks each month and hosted a nice luncheon near the end of the school year. I have been responsible for the luncheon for the last few years.

Ashley Hall, Charleston SC

My daughter attends Ashley Hall—an independent, girls’ school in Charleston, South Carolina. There is a lovely campus with a beautiful lawn and hundreds year old live oak trees. Given the setting, a luncheon on the lawn is a must (as well as lots of prayers for good weather).

I chose a travel/bon voyage theme this year knowing that everyone was ready to get away from it all in some way or another. The food table was decorated with antique [looking] luggage, globes and atlases.

antique suitcases and globes

food tables

The beverage and dessert tables were decorated in a more whimsical par avion (blue and red) theme with colorful, vintage [-like] suitcases and paper banners made from road maps.

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Each table had a living centerpiece (taken from my front porch container garden).

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teachers

luncheon on the lawn

Each place was set with a merci treat bag.

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The favorite part of the luncheon is always the “giveaways.” I found lots of great ideas that fit our travel theme at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

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Parents donated lots of great items to give away too.

giveaway

gifts up close

We held the drawing for prizes after lunch.

the drawing

The prizes are always a hit with the teachers. These two had trouble deciding what to pick. This year we had so many prizes that every teacher was able to select two.

making a choice

prizes

The key to the success of this luncheon–as always–was the great parent volunteers who helped decorate and who donated or made food.

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piled up

All of the supplies and decorations waiting to be loaded back into my car at the end of the luncheon.

The “Ashley Hall Upper School Faculty and Staff Luncheon on the Lawn” is a wonderful tradition and is just a small way of showing appreciation to the incredible individuals who guide and teach our daughters.

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 How does your school celebrate and thank its faculty and staff?

Why I love Rainy Days

Today was a rainy day in Charleston. But I didn’t mind.

I love rainy days.

Its a good thing because we get a lot of rain in the Lowcountry.

Here are some of the reasons why I love rainy days.

Catching up on some old-school letter-writing in celebration of the last day of National Letter Writing Month

Catching up on some old-school letter writing in celebration of the last day of National Letter Writing Month

Charleston is known for it's flooding problems especially in the area around my daughter's school. Getting around town in the rain can be a challenge but fun!

Charleston is known for it’s flooding problems especially in the area around my daughter’s school. Getting around town in the rain can be a challenge but fun!

April showers bring May flowers. And I love any opportunity to wear my Hunter boots and pink trench coat!

April showers bring May flowers. And I love any opportunity to wear my Hunter boots and pink trench coat!

Sunday afternoon essentials

An afternoon in to read, relax and get some puppy love.

How do you spend a rainy day?

A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 1

A few of my favorite things, part 1 on http://amywatsonsmith.com

A few of my favorite things, part 1

This morning I have assembled a few of my favorite things to share with you. It wasn’t very hard to narrow this grouping as they were all within reach. I keep my favorite things close.

And just to be completely clear, all of these things are items that I or a family member has actually purchased. None of these have been “freebies”.

Here is what I included in the photo above.

Lots of stripes:

Books:

A few other things:

  • White and navy swiss dot cotton pjs from J. Crew (a gift from my very sweet husband who knows how much I l o v e pajamas).
  • “Oops” letterpress card by Ink Meets Paper, my favorite local letterpress studio (soon to be featured in my “Bee Smitten” series). I am a huge fan of snail mail
  • Reading glasses by Peepers. Now that I have reached a certain age, reading glasses are essential. I leave them all over the house but try to keep them somewhat ‘girly’ so my husband won’t borrow them. I have several favorite brands but the price is right for these stylish lovelies.
  • 154 Cologne by Jo Malone. This is my “go to” scent but when I want to change things up a bit, I layer it with one of their other fragrances. My favorites are grapefruit and pomegranate-noir.
  • Bright pink leather handbag with lime green interior by Sigrid Olsen. I especially love the scallops and bow. I picked this up for a steal a number of years ago at Marshalls.
  • Cream satin handmade rose brooch. This adds just a little something to anything. I purchased this several years ago from my favorite local store, Out of Hand in Mount Pleasant SC.

A few of my favorite things are missing:

peonies, gingham, red nail polish, coconut cake, seersucker, grapefruit, velvet ribbon, English breakfast tea, rick rack, colorful espadrilles, . . . .

I will continue to add posts to this series so keep coming back to see more of my other favorite things.

What are a few of your favorite things?

How to Spend a Year Writing

Happy 1year birthday to amywatsonsmith.com

Well, today is the one-year birthday of this blog.

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday…

I don’t think that I ever really believed that I could actually spend a year writing on a regular basis. Okay, I use the term “regular” rather loosely. But despite my best attempts at procrastination, I still managed to write. No, I needed to write. And apparently I needed to write in this format (i.e., blogging).

The actual look and name and feel of my blog has changed several times as I learned more about blogging but the content has remained consistent. I have attempted to write about my life in an authentic way–not white-washing it as I hope many of my posts and photos demonstrate.

I have learned quite a bit about blogging along the way and even more about myself. I feel as if I am just beginning to hit my stride, so here I go. I am going to spend another year writing this blog. I do hope you will continue on this journey with me.

Below you will find links to my top ten blog posts from the past year. I invite you to read them again–or for the first time.

Thank you and God’s peace and blessings to you.

Amy

TOP 10 POSTS FROM THE YEAR:

1. How to Make a Spring Break Survival Kit

Spring Break Survival Kit

 

2. Lessons from Miss Frances: On Living, Loving and Laughing

"Lessons from Miss Frances on Living, Loving and Laughing" on www.amywatsonsmith.com

 

3. How to Silence the Voice of Doubt

How to Silence the Voice of Doubt: Just write

 

4. When Everything Has Gone to the Dogs

"When Everything has Gone to the Dogs," Chester, one of the "twins"--English Springer Spaniels

 

5. Game Day Done Right

Ole Miss Road Trip

6. The Love of a Dog

A dog's love

 

7. Bee Smitten: Banner Celebrations

Oliver's banner

 

8. Time Flies When You are Living Life

Daddy-daughter chefs in "Time Flies When You are Living Life"

 

9. How to Have the Perfect Vacation

"A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." -Robert Orben How to Have a Perfect Vacation on www.amywatsonsmith.com

 

10. Bee Smitten: A few of My Favorite Things

"Bee Smitten: A Few of  My Favorite Things / Photo of Judith Ann Entrican Kirkpatrick

Hopelessly in Love with Spring

 

Charleston Spring, Photo by Amy Watson Smith, 2013

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” –George Santayana

This may be true, but after these last few months of cold, I cannot help myself.

Welcome Spring.

Living in Charleston, South Carolina, I know that I have nothing to really complain about concerning winter. But even here we have had an unusually rough time of it. I also realize that by June, I will already tired of the 90+ degrees days.

But right now I have to believe in the promise of forsythia and dogwood and wisteria. As the sun warms my bones, I stretch and settle in like a cat napping in the sunlight.

Evidence of living life

Time Flies When You Are Living Life

I sat in front of my computer this morning wondering to myself what I should write for my next post.

A blank computer screen rarely provides me with inspiration.

My mind drifted to the well-intentioned blog editorial calendar I created in January.

Where did I put that thing anyway? Why don’t I have a few pre-written posts ready to publish at the hint of a dry spell?

My excuse, as usual: too busy.

Too busy? I looked around me to find evidence of my busyness. There appeared to be too many “unresolved domestic issues” to account for that.

I took a five-minute break for my daily dose of would haves, should haves, could haves…the Voice of Doubt enters (I thought I had learned to silence that thing)!

My mobile phone buzzes with a notification: a calendar reminder of a scheduled meeting for which I will undoubtedly be tardy.

Picking up my cell phone is often a big mistake.

Ten minutes and multiple social media interactions later, I glance up at the blank screen again. Well, that was helpful, Amy.

Disturbed by my earlier excuse of busyness, I pick up my phone again scrolling through my camera roll.  Maybe the evidence is right here.

Apparently I have taken more than one hundred photos on my phone over the last seven days.

Here is what I found:

Photos of the “new” sofa we found last Saturday along with fabric swatches for reupholstering it.

upholstery swatches

 

College visits  during winter break to Clemson and Wofford with my daughter who is a high school junior.

Tillman Hall, Clemson University, Clemson SC

Tillman Hall, Clemson University, Clemson SC

Wofford College, Spartenburg, SC

Wofford College, Spartenburg, SC

Daddy-daughter chefs preparing a weeknight meal.

Daddy-daughter chefs

Letterpress class at Redux Contemporary Art Center on Wednesday evening.

Letter press class at Redux Studios

Website header and background updated.

Newest header

Darius Rucker concert in Columbia SC with teenage daughter and her boyfriend.

Darius Rucker, True Believers Tour, Columbia SC

Saturday morning Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Flower arrangements made and safely delivered for the Ashley Hall semi-formal pre-event dinner (seated dinner for 26 teens at a private home).

Flower arrangements for dinner party delivered

Front porch cleaned and planters replenished by husband in hopes that the beautiful Spring weather is here to stay.

planters replenished for Spring

Girl Scout cookies located, purchased and consumed.

Girl Scout cookies at last!

Girl Scout cookies at last!

House full of teens preparing for dance finally leaving.

Teenagers leaving for dance

Pre-dance photo shoot.

Pre-dance photo shoot

All of the essentials of a great Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon essentials

Watching this season’s last episode of Downtown Abbey with my daughter.

Downton Abbey

Not pictured: Meetings, meals, work, school, family time, date night, talks with teenager, laundry, cleaning house, errands, doctor’s appointments, etc.

Evidence of living life

Evidence of living life

Ahhh. So that’s what I have been so busy doing.

L I V I N G  L I F E

Most of it is unscheduled, unquantifiable and cannot be crossed off a list.

Not distractions.

Not interruptions.

Just living life.

And thankful for it all.