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Forever: Memories Made On Sam And Justin’s Wedding Day

Forever: Memories Made On Sam And Justin’s Wedding Day

I want to share with you that one of the greatest things with running a business is not only the people you meet, but the outreach of ideas and referrals people give you.

Those last Forever.

I posted the cover of my Fall 2017 Catalog on Facebook the other day and along with that asked if anyone knew of a boutique or shop they felt would enjoy the products I offer at Old Lake George and I want to extend that question here…drop me a note, I’d love to chat about it.

And now I want to pay that referral forward.

This is the contact information of my other nephew, Preston.

Preston gifted Samantha and Justin a wedding video as his gift to them for their big day.

Every feeling and every moment was caught on camera, by drone or video, and set to music. There are no words spoken for the entire six minute video, yet, everything was said.

I have watched this video a hundred times already and have yet to not tear up at their First Look.

But then the ceremony became the reception and those tears of joy and love turned into tears of laughter.

Remember when I said that Wade and I gave Sam and Justin a little gift and that you didn’t want to miss that video?

A quick backstory.

We wanted to get something for Sam and Justin for their wedding that they would keep Forever.

Wade doesn’t dance.  We didn’t even have a DJ or dance at our wedding.

He will only slow dance if I give him the “come hither” look.  🙂

So knowing this, my bright idea was to do a dance for them to my favorite childhood song, Little Willy, by The Sweet. I knew Sam would recognize the song right away because when she and Jack were little it was our go-to afternoon dance party song!

When I first gingerly approached Wade with the idea, I was braced for a, “Nope, not happening.” But he thought it was a great idea and was on board from the beginning!

Now all we needed were dance lessons and a choreographer.

I researched locally for someone to help and found nothing.

And then one evening Jimmy and Nikki, our neighbors, were over and I shared with them our brilliant wedding gift idea and dilemma.

At that moment all of our stars aligned, dancing shoes aligned and Nikki volunteered to choreograph for us being that she was in dance during high school and in college.

She quickly assessed how simple the moves were going to need to be 🙂 and put something together.

We practiced several times for about a week.

And then it was show time.

Speeches and toasts were given by the best man, the maid of honor and Justin’s Mom.

Then it was our turn.

We made Sam and Justin sit in front of us on the edge of the dance floor as we faced them and the rest of the wedding guests.

Besides Nikki and Jimmy, only two other people knew we were doing this.

Sam started to cry because she thought we were going to say something touching. Ha. Justin had no idea what was happening.

Wade did say a few words of Thanks to everyone for making this the Best Day Ever and then the music started.

During the brief intro of the song we got everyone clapping and I yelled out that they better pull out their phones, cause this will never happen again.

Enjoy the video and hold on tight for the Forever Dance.



Thank you Preston.  You captured this day Forever.


An Article for Successful People

An Article for Successful People

I was reading an article the other day titled Seven Things Successful People Do.

As much as I was hoping those seven things included eating whatever you liked, not exercising regularly and having Mountain Dew for breakfast, sadly, it did not.

However, one of the seven was Finding People To-Do Things That You Cannot.

And this is how I started on the road to success using that simple step.

A couple months ago, I had a vision of what I wanted my new logo to look like, but I was struggling with putting that vision on paper.

That is when I found the people to-do things that I couldn’t.

Flock is a business in downtown Minneapolis where Spencer rents creative space. “Renting creative space” initially sounded weird to me.

Can’t you be creative anywhere? Answer: Yes, but.

(For those of you wondering, Spencer is the photographer behind the amazing photos on this blog, my Social Media Director and last but not least, my nephew. He is brilliant, that is all you need to remember. )

Let me show you around Flock and you will see why Spencer works from here.

As you enter.

These long tables lining the room offer spaces which can be rented.

If you prefer a smaller setting, these cozy bistro tables are available in the adjacent room.

Six months out of a Minnesota year a sunny patio is available to grab a bite to eat and re-energize.

Right in side that patio is my favorite room. Some day when my kitchen grows up, it will look like this.

Other creative spaces:

In addition to these beautifully decorated spaces, Flock offers many other perks. One of them is this:

Big Brain is a designated brainstorming hour filled with laughter, brilliant minds and plenty of wine. Designed to bring together fellow creatives to bounce around ideas.


Spencer set up a late Wednesday afternoon “Big Brain” for us to join fellow “creatives” and brainstorm about my new logo.
Let me tell you, I have never, ever had a meeting that was so productive, energetic and fun. Okay, maybe the flowing wine contributed to the success of the meeting, but if that’s what it takes? Take note Corporate America! 

I’ll share the brainstorm session results and what came next soon.

Thanks for stopping by,

P.S. If you would like to learn more about Flock, click here.

Old Lake George: Do I Have A Story For You

Old Lake George: Do I Have A Story For You

The last time we spoke was way back in May.  I posted about being busy and never said anything more, not one little word from Old Lake George. I’m sorry if you felt abandoned 😉 But I am back and do I have a story for you!

One of my dreams is to own my own little shop. A cute boutique that had something for everyone. Pillows, rugs, furniture, paintings and sit arounds.

When I was little, I remember cleaning everything out my closet. Clothes, shoes, books, dolls, coloring books, everything. Although, now that I look back maybe “clean out” isn’t the correct wording. I actually tossed everything from the closet onto the floor of my bedroom. Basically I “cleared out” my closet.

There wasn’t much to clear out. It wasn’t that big of a closet, probably four square feet with four shelves on the back wall, one which was out of reach.

The purpose of my clearing was, of course, to put everything back in, but in its proper spot. I liked to pretend I was setting up a shop.

I remember plugging in a small lamp which I placed on the lowest shelf to make the shop look cozy. Beside the lamp always went my “cash register”. You know, an old receipt book with a number 2 pencil, the metal pokey for receipts and some loose change.

That first shelf was all business!

The remaining two shelves were set up with items to be displayed for sale.

On the first, neatly stacked, size 5T t-shirts and pants, maybe a pair of off-season shoes and socks.

Then the home décor shelf.

I had no idea that décor was a word when I was five, but this is the shelf that displayed a decorative pillow, some of the crocheted doilies that my grandmother had made, a set of napkins borrowed from my mom’s hutch and various sit arounds like a small tea set, a bottle with a penny in it that I got on a summer vacation to the Badlands in South Dakota, and books creatively stacked to fill in the space.

I spent hours and hours in that closet.

When the shop was finally ready, I would run downstairs and tell my family that I was open for business!

One by one they would come to my small bedroom closet and shop. My sisters never bought anything, just grabbed what I may have collected from their room and took it back.

My Mom always bought her napkins back. They were expensive. 4 cents for a set of four and I of course had to make change from a nickel. My Dad usually bought a book and I would have to use paper and pencil to figure out the change from a dime.

The Closet Boutique’s Grand Openings were always a hit!

Now let’s fast forward several years.

You may have noticed several changes on my website.

New logos, new banners, and a new about page. Newness everywhere! And the best part is, I have expanded my Etsy shop to now include an Etsy wholesale shop! My dreams of owning my own shop are finally coming true. It may not be the storefront I imagined when I was little, it’s the adult version of my Closet Boutique.

Old Lake George looks sharper, more defined and oh so French Farmhouse.

In the weeks and months to come, I will be posting about how these changes all came together. Let me tell you, it took a lot more than clearing out the closet.

There will still be occasional DIY projects and, of course, updates on changes in my house. Plus, we are down to the final days of preparation for our daughter’s wedding.

Believe me, when I say that that blog post will be amazing. (Amazing defined as emotion filled.)

But the direction this blog will be taking will be more interactive. I want your opinion about things and your thoughts on certain décor topics.

I hope you stop by often and tell a friend if you like what you see.

Welcome back and thanks for coming,

Hi This Is Sam!

Hi This Is Sam!

Hi this is Sam! Mom is having me guest blog tonight as she finishes up some last-minute things for the Market on Old Lake George coming up this weekend. Usually, I write these blogs with Mom, but this time I’m all on my own.

No pressure.

On Saturday we thought we would be ambitious and get the guest bedroom all painted. That didn’t end up happening. We figured out that it would be easier to paint all the trim in the room first, so that when we painted the walls we could cover any splatter from the trim painting. So instead of the getting the whole room painted, we got almost all of the trim painted. Not bad.

Yesterday, we didn’t touch the guest bedroom. We as in, Mom, Alyssa and I, were busy setting up for the Market on Old Lake George that starts Thursday. I won’t go into the details of how we prepared, because basically it was just a lot of cleaning, but the fun part was setting it all up.

We decided the best strategy would be to get all the big items into the garage first, then build around them. It turned out that building around the big pieces in the sale created little “rooms” within our garage. The first “room” started with the black bench. This will be the first thing people see when they walk into the Market, so we wanted to make a bold colorful statement with patterned pillows.

There’s another room with a bench as the centerpiece, and we wanted it to be colorful as well, but this time we decided to add some color in the rug and use more neutral accents.

I think the thing I love most about the set up is how much we have. Every “room” has a billion pieces that can be incorporated into any home. Plus, my Mom always does a great job of displaying things in ways that people would actually use them.

We even have two special themed areas, one I call The Kitchen and one I call Christmasland. In the kitchen there are some super cute coffee cups with handmade cozies by Alyssa. I want one for myself. From Christmasland, I could use an awesome, huge throw pillow and cute Santa head to decorate my apartment. (I hope you caught my subtle hints Mom.) 🙂

Honestly, we didn’t make Christmasland very big, because Mom and I are not ready to admit that winter is fast approaching, but for those shoppers who are prepared we thought they might enjoy these items.

The Market on Old Lake George actually came together quicker than I thought, but I guess I’m not surprised because Wendy always has a vision. (Yes I refer to my Mom by her first name sometimes. It’s weird but it’s fine).  🙂 I can’t wait to see how successful the sale is, and if I know my Mom, which I do, I know she will keep working on the bedroom all week too. I hope you are as excited as I am to see it.