Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Annie Sloan paint giveaway and a New Year date!

Join me if you will...
I have a proposal for New Year's eve.

There is a wonderful tradition in Asian countries where they celebrate with wish lanterns. Khoom Loy as they are known in Thailand. These Wish Lanterns are often released with a prayer that one’s bad luck, sins or worries will float far away with the flight of the lantern.

What a glorious thought...
This New Year's Eve I am going to join with my loved ones(they don't know it yet) and we are going to release our Khoom Loy. God is so good and yet we are all troubled and burdened at times. The walk was never promised to be paved with rose petals. After all, every rose has a thorn or two. Releasing our burdens should be a daily joy and I believe that starting the new year by releasing our fears, hopes, troubles and joys to someone who knows how to handle them best is something to celebrate. Celebrate indeed!
I am certain that you could make your own(and I will research this for next year) but as for me, I ordered mine from wish lantern. Please join me and I would love to hear about your wishes for the upcoming year.

PS Dont forget to sign up for the Annie Sloan paint giveaway on the previous post!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Annie Sloan American Tour and Chalk Paint Give Away!

Announcing... THE ANNIE SLOAN AMERICAN TOUR AND CHALK PAINT GIVEAWAY! (This one is going to be Big!)
To spread some holiday cheer and celebrate the Annie Sloan American Tour, we are excited to announce this wonderful giveaway.
See how you can enter to win one the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Holiday Baskets given away by over 100 Stockist across North America! Each basket includes two fabulous pots of Annie Paint Chalk Paint, Annie Sloan Soft Wax in clear and dark, and Annie's book Quick & Easy Paint Transformations. **note: our basket does NOT include the book, but instead includes an EXTRA can of paint**
Plus there’s even more! In addition to the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Giveaway, a lucky winner of the holiday basket from each shop across North America will be entered for a chance to win a $350 gift certificate from Annie Sloan Unfolded. It is good toward your choice of a credit on your Annie Sloan American Tour registration fee or $350.00 in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! The big winner will be announced on Annie's Blog on January 10, 2012. Sound Good? Great! Here is how you get started to win BIG in the Annie Sloan American Tour and Chalk Paint Giveaway.
1) Contact your local Stockist and find out how to enter to win the Annie Sloan Gift Basket
2) Check out all of the exciting the details for the Annie Sloan American Tour and read all about this incredible event!
3) Become a follower of Annie Sloan’s Blog and comment with "American Tour 2012".

No purchase necessary to win. Visit for full contest details.

Our basket:

Alice and Jay's Annie Sloan Giveaway basket includes: 

3 cans of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in colors of your choice
1 tin of Clear Wax
1 tin of Dark Wax
1 hand painted color card

How to win Alice and Jay's Basket:

  1. Comment on this post, listing the 3 colors of paint you would like to win.
To earn extra chances to win:
  1. "Like" us on Facebook ( and post another comment on here letting us know you did so.
  2. Visit our website at and leave another comment listing one of your favorite items in our shop.
  3. Link us to YOUR blog, and leave us a comment letting us know you did!
The winner of Alice and Jay's basket will be chosen and announced December 30, 2011 using
Good luck!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Isn't this photo amazing? It conjures up the loveliest thoughts of all things magical. Some days are just made for lovely thoughts.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

a Victorian Holiday evening

Holy Smokes, it snowed in Thomasville! Not really, but the city of Thomasville hosted their 25th Victorian Christmas this past Thursday and Friday and this snow pit was part of the fun. I noticed lots of little ones having fun in this small hill of snow. It's something we rarely see around here(unless it's that soft kind that I blogged about recently!)
The city blocks off its main street and fills it with old fashioned Victorian splendor. These suits in a mens store window were made out of wrapping paper! Notice the jacket on the far left, all red bows. I had to stick my head in the store to give the seamstress a high five. These were incredible.

All of the businesses opened their doors and the restaurants brought their goodies onto the sidewalks. If you haven't been to Thomasville for dinner, you have really missed a treat. It has some of the best dining in the South. Liam's is divine, Jonah's has the best shrimp and grits, and grassroots coffee grinds it's own organic beans for a perfect cup o' joe.
This being said, we started our evening with a warm Chai tea latte(non fat ,of course, because we knew the evening held so many more calories!)
Next, chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Followed by the always yummy roasted corn.
In between our food stops, we did lots of window shopping. This store filled it's windows with snow queens. I really, really want that costume. I could wear it around the store on Saturdays during the month of January.
Next, smoked turkey legs. Ooh, this was good. It was smoked by the Savannah Moon Bakery and served with an apple bourbon bbq sauce. It was a good thing that all of our chosen eateries were at opposing ends of the downtown so we could walk off all of the previously eaten calories before we found the next treat(if wishes were only fishes!)
Yep! You guessed it. More food. This time we found the cotton candy machine. Jay ate all of his but Lindsey and only ate enough to pose for the picture(you believe me, right?)
The evening was enchanting and we all had a ball. The bagpipers were piping, the dancers were dancing and this fellow was our most favorite of all. He had christmas lights that blinked running all through his beard and A MONOCLE! Anybody that wears a monocle is the bomb in my book.
I hope everyone out there has a holiday evening that fills your heart with Christmas cheer. See you back at the salt mines on Monday.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!

I saw this great video on my blog world friend, tongue in cheek, this morning and was fascinated by it! I am a fashionista wanna be but somehow I am always the one with the 2 foot strand of toilet paper stuck on her shoe or the one that wore her dress backwards and inside out to church one Sunday(I did both of these). Maybe I can at least get the scarf right now! Click and enjoy! Have a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

let's paper the town with smiles

I have found this great blog(on PINTEREST of course!) .
is quite inspiring. I am thinking about going and buying the Sam's bulk package of pink sticky notes and doing this around my town. Isn't it great when you find a hidden message. It feels like it was meant just for you(and it probably was)! Go get some in your favorite color and let's paper the world with happiness this week!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

love letters...

Do you ever sit and wish for a sign from God? A sign, maybe a gentle nudge, or maybe a whack on the head? As I sat quietly in my bed the other evening I asked God for something; anything, just a tidbit to calm my anxious soul. I searched the sight for just the right verse but to no avail. Finally, after I had decided to just let it go and let God answer in His time, not mine, I got a phone call from my dearest friend. She read me a "letter" that her daughter had just read to her. It spoke so deeply to me that I wanted to share it with you.
Cry on my Shoulder

My beautiful Bride,
You are never alone, My beloved. When you hurt, I hurt, and it breaks my heart to watch you cry without me. I am here with you, desiring to be the shoulder your tears fall on. I too walked the world broken, my love. We will work through any and all things together, My bride. I can and will heal your broken heart. Call out my name in your dark hours, and I will hold you. Will you give Me a chance to love you back to life again? I promise that you will see the light of a new day and joy will come again.
Love, Your Prince who will wipe away your tears

"He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy" Job 8:21

I am sorry that I do not know the author to give credit but I do know the name of the book is, "Love Letters from God"

May this Season of Joy remind all of us that we do indeed have our own Knight in shining armor that wants to sweep us off of our feet each and every day. Have a Blessed weekend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

lovely places

There are lovely places in this world that we hold dear to our hearts. Cape San Blas, Florida is one of those places. The last time my family and I were down for a weekend, there was a wedding. The wedding was on the beach but the rehearsal dinner was at a local hangout, The Indian Pass Raw Bar. Not much to brag about as far as looks so they had decorated with these beautiful jars of daisies.
It may not be much to look at but the food is another story. These are some of the tastiest oysters you will ever eat. They are harvested about 100 feet from where the restaurant(term used loosely) sits. If you are within 100 miles of Indian Pass, you MUST go to the raw bar.
Once you have stuffed yourselves with fresh oysters, shrimp, crab legs and plenty of cold beer; you can head on out to the Cape and climb the lighthouse. It has recently been reopened and it is worth the climb.
Isn't the view nice?
Here we are goofing off by the sailboat that we pretended was ours for the day.
Lovely places create beautiful spaces in the walls of our memories. I hope that you and your family can spend this holiday season creating some of these precious memories.

Monday, November 28, 2011


We had a splendiferously good time this weekend with our official opening of the Christmas season. Lindsey and Kelsey spent the night before making dozens upon dozens of these cute cupcakes for us. They are so tasty and we had so many requests for the recipe that I decided to post it for everyone to try. Please take note that they used almond flavoring for ours.


1 box Pillsbury or Betty Crocker White or Vanilla cake mix
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup + 2 tbsp cake flour (NOT all-purpose flour)
1/8 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups water
3 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter (lightly salted)
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract or almond extract (optional)

1. In a large bowl, put water, extract (if using), eggs, melted butter and sour cream. Mix well with paddle attachment.

2. Add cake mix, sugar, cake flour, and salt.

3. Mix with paddle attachment at medium speed for approximately 2 minutes, or until most lumps are worked out. It is not necessary to work out all the lumps.

Pour into prepared pans and bake at 325 until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out
clean, or with just a crumb or two clinging to it.


1 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup water

8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Mix shortening, water, vanilla, almond extract, and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes. (it's very important to mix this long)

Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in.

Add additional water for desired consistency.

This spring when we have our Alice in Wonderland tea party, THESE are the cupcakes that I want to make. For directions on making these rainbow delights just go to my pinterest!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

christmas balls...

I am feeling the Christmas spirit drawing near! Today, we got down all of our vintage trees and ornaments and those good old plastic kitschy things(those things still smell plasticy good after all of these years).

I put in the CD with Burl Ives, Jimmy Durante, Dean Martin, and the Bing. It makes the holidays feel like they did when I was a kid.

Even though we had our sponsored Christmas Open house a couple of weeks ago, this Friday is the Official Alice and Jay kick off to the season. We are going to be open from 10 to 5 with a store full of Christmas Cheer.

We will have a hot chocolate bar, mimosas(back by request) and a candy wonderland for the little ones. The door hangers seen here will be for sale so YOU can have the happiest home in neighborhood! Please come and join us on Friday and don't forget: bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots and we will give you 20% off of your entire purchase(excluding AS Chalk paint). We can't wait to see you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

how to have a magical weekend.

My family had another fairytale weekend back in October. My beautiful niece was married in my hometown.

Remember this magical little church from a few months ago. We had another wedding here a few months back. In fact, it was this sweet bride's sister!

This is the church where I grew up. Isn't it lovely! We celebrated it's 175th birthday last weekend.

Back to that weekend! It HAD to start with Happy Feet! All of us gals have made it a Hallman tradition to begin a wedding weekend with pedicures. I wouldn't mind putting one in the middle and at the end too.

This precious little gal was the best flower girl ever! She loved her flower petals SOooo much....

that she wanted to keep them all in the basket for herself. Now, she wasn't being selfish because she went around and offered everyone a petal to admire and after ample admiration time, she would ask for her petal back. I love this girl.

Because the wedding was in October, we decided to use sunflowers and pumpkins to decorate. I had the bride and a couple of her bridesmaids gutting out pumpkins after that pedicure. They look like they are having so much fun.

After the gutting, we filled them with floral foam and then golden flowers from the local flower patch.

They turned out pretty nice for none of us to be florist!

It was a magical weekend indeed. Thanks for being my family, I love you all!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

officially obsessed

SO....I have a new obsession... Pinterest
LinkHas anyone else out there discovered this wonderland of ideas?

The beautiful images go on forever and you find yourself immersed for hours(or at least I do since I have I have already watched every family moving overseas be an international house hunter and I am kinda tired of house hunting!)

It is like therapy for your eyes.

Check out my boards at alice durham, follow me and then I will follow you. It is a really neat way of getting to know your blog friends a little better by watching them create boards that visually express the world that they live in.

But be is habit forming!
(All of these lovely photos can be found on my "dreams in pink" board and credits for the photos are given.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

snowballs in the South!

Way down yonder in the land of cotton is where we live. In this magical land we usually average about 1" of snowfall every 10 years(if we are lucky) so we have to use our imagination when we are hankerin' for a snowball fight. We spent this past weekend down on the farm with my family. When we had unpacked and took a moment to look out the back window all we could see was a blanket of white. It was breathtaking! My eldest daughter who is 23 years in age but about 4 in heart decided she and her sister should have a snowball fight...and so the story goes...

Constructing a snowball(man, just think of the Q-Tip you could make with that one. No chance that is going inside the ear!) in the South does not require gloves. Our snow is neither wet or cold. It is soft and fluffy!

See, I told you that girl is only 4 in heart years.

Ok, ok you have got us here! Real snow really does taste better than Southern snow.

On to the action. Ready, set, go!

Snowball fight is a success and ends in a tie! Both parties walk away from the action warm and dry and with rosy cheeks gently powdered by the fluff of a giant cotton ball.

This is Nellie. Nellie says, "you guys is just plain stoopid, this stuff aint snow, it's just cotton!"

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. J Nehru

Sometimes preserving the heart of our childhood is the key to finding this magical world. Thanks Loo for the opening the door for us!