Columbia City Ballet and The Nutcracker

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We wanted to share one of the annual highlights of our Christmas season…
The Nutcracker is a timeless tradition beautifully carried on through the Columbia City Ballet in which this company (artistically directed by the highly acclaimed William Starrett) just celebrated their 50th year anniversary performance of The Nutcracker.   A Broadway-like production of the Christmas classic!  This is Columbias Koger Center for the Arts longest running production and boasts a full professional cast, set, costumes and choreography!

We began our afternoon at a Nutcracker Tea, hosted in a grand ballroom at the Koger Center where attendees are treated to a lavish spread of cakes, cookies, spreads and cheeses.

Tiny tea cakes and cheese straws, cupcakes and gingerbread, fruit and finger sandwiches, and hot tea, punch and beverage options.  Tables are laid with assorted mis-matched porcelain tea cups lending to fun conversations and showing off chosen cups and varied vintages.

Young attendees learn to “take tea” like little ladies!  From the youngest tiny dancers, to the moms and grandmothers, this is a girls day out no one will soon forget!  You cant imagine the fun my sister Katherine and I had spending the afternoon with my 5 girls all glitzed and glammed up for high tea and a ballet!!

Chair covers, real linen table cloths, color themed tables and bedazzled centerpieces made for a classy celebration and set the tone for a spectacular afternoon.

Gigi was wide eyed as pageant girls in their stiletto heels and sparkly tiaras waited graciously on our tables and hosted us attentively.

And when principal dancers made appearances to sign autographs, the girls were in awe!!  Gigi and Evie made rounds getting signatures from the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen and other Nutcracker starlets.  Company dancers patiently answered their inquisitive notions such as “do pointe shoes hurt?” and “are those your real curls?”  The Columbia City Ballet teas (of which there are more to come!) provide attendees with a “backstage pass” experience in which the veil is lifted and young girls get a peek into the beauty and dedication of meeting real-life-dancers!

As tea concluded, we made our way to the theatre to find our seats.  Ive seen the Columbia City Ballet Nutcracker performance many years and it never disappoints!!  But this year, their 50th anniversary celebration, was exceptional!  A real live unicorn stole the show and fresh creativity abounded with set, staging and choreography.  We feasted our eyes on the the sweet soiree as dancers retold the timeless story.  Spanish chocolate, Arabian coffee, Chinese tea, candy canes, gingersnaps,  Neapolitan ice cream, and of course the Sugar Plum Fairy performed by the talented and illustrious Regina Willoughby who takes the stage this year for her final performances before retirement as a legend!

The Columbia City Ballet thrives on the hard work and dedication not only of its talented dancers, cast and directors, but also from the unparalleled devotion of its volunteers.  Looking for a way to invest yourself in 2018?  Consider becoming a volunteer and supporting the arts through giving time to the Columbia City Ballet!!  The company boasts a full performance schedule for the 2018 calendar year.

Upcoming performances: 

Information about Midsummer’s Night Dream

Information about Bod & Movement Explored

Information about Cleopatra

Information about Off the Wall

Ticket Booking

***There is a similar FAIRY TEA coming up on January 27th at 1:30 pm in collaboration with A Midsummer Nights Dream ballet performance!!  Book your tickets now for another unforgettable mother-daughter girls-day-out!
Contact Katie Watson with questions: 803-397-1156
Or order tickets to the performance and request a setting at the tea HERE.***

Christmas Season Reflections

Friday, December 22, 2017

This special season of celebration started the weekend before Thanksgiving with the wedding of my brother Isaac.  We were overjoyed to be back stateside for this event and able to participate and join the festivities surrounding this couple that we love dearly!  Isaac has been a very special part of our lives and particularly an uncle who has invested significantly in Tristan and who has a soft spot in his heart for Gigi particularly….(we are holding him singularly responsible for spoiling her and her affinity to bubble gum!).

my guys clean up nice!

got a dance with my daddy!

Gigi was so honored to be asked to be a flower girl.   We’re so encouraged to see this new couple starting their life together.  Jamie is incredible with a huge heart for others and we look forward to getting to know her better now that we are closer!

Our tree went up before Thanksgiving because, well, I couldn’t wait.  This may have meant triple buckling kids in the back of the 7 seater Kia Sedona because mom thought it would be “fun” to take a whole Sunday and drive out into the middle of nowhere and get a tree all together!!  Safe to say, the memories (or at least the pictures) are more fun than the actual experience was!  Photo credits to Abi for documenting our little “flannel family”.

Absolutely loving having a real, pine-scented, needle-dropping, water-drinking tree in our home after 5 years of artificial in Thailand! This was Eden’s year to put the star on top!!

We’ve baked billions of buckeyes and frosted dozens of cookies.  Visits from my mom and sister over the holiday break have been fun impetus to mass produce baked goods and drink inordinate amounts of cider and hot chocolate.  Oh…and that fireplace!! Its been put to good use, whether its cold enough or not!!  Guests have graced our home in abundance and conversations have been deep and meaningful.  Abi and Britain have contributed Christmas music they’ve learned on the piano and the comfort of “home” has been felt keenly this year!

We are heading “over the river and through the woods” to Atlanta in the morning.  Christmas at my parents home and lots of traditions to be had!  Wishing each of you, near and far, a fresh realization of the wonders of his love!  A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices – all because of HIM!!
Merry Christmas dear friends from our Smith, party of 9!!


Christmas Gift Guide ***and a hidden giveaway!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Today we’re teaming up with some of our mostest-bestest-cutest-favoritest boutiques & businesses to share our sweetest, softest, coziest, creative, festive favorites for you to wrap up your shopping and check off everyone on your list!  Without further adieu, here are some of OUR favorite things that will be tucked under OUR tree this year or passed out to OUR dearest friends and family!!……

This year, skip the generic Starbucks gift card.  She dotes on your child, teaches them, and puts up with their tantrums or trigonometry questions.  She no doubt adores your kid, but doesn’t need another hand-made popsicle stick framed photograph of your little darling!  Give her something sincerely appreciative of the hours she invests and effort she makes all the live-long-day to nurture and care for your child.  Nothing says that better than a personalized market tote!  Fill with a cozy afghan.  Or holiday magazines.  Or baked goods.  Or bring her a home-cooked meal in this on the last day of school before Christmas break!  These totes will be a functional favorite she’ll cart back and forth to class for years to come.

Shop at The Southern Spool



Its a tradition at our house…..on Christmas Eve, just as we’re finishing our fancy dinner with Spode china after a beautiful Christmas Eve candlelit service, there is always a jingle of bells at the front door and the kids go racing to see if they can spot Santa fleeing in sleigh.  To date, no sighting has ever been made, but that sneaky Santa leaves a bag on the doorstep every year that is the source of much excitement.  Christmas pajamas!!  This year, Santa’s little helper has picked out precious nightgowns for the little girls.  Darling styles in the softest flannel are a winter must-have!  These nightgowns come in a variety of styles.  Choose from sweet smocking, tiered hems, long or short sleeves.  Available colors include aqua, light pink, lavender, red and white.  Guaranteed there will be “visions of sugarplums” dancing in their heads as they slumber in these sweet nighties!

Shop at Dayspring Dresses



Whether you’ve been invited to a cocktail party in the home of a friend or you need to thank your neighbor for watching your kids so you can run errands before Christmas, we’ve got the perfect gift to express your gratitude!!  Village Candles!!  We recommend keeping a stash of these on hand.  There are always moments popping up during the holidays when you need to pull out a gift….and everyone loves candles!  You cant go wrong gifting these to the hostess or the neighbor!  A few of our favorites include:
Costal Christmas – A superb balance of the seaside wind fused with fresh balsam to create a twist on the classic holiday fragrance.

Let it Snow – Freshly fallen snow coats the ground outside, ready for making a snowman. Inside you’re comforted by the sweet notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, caramelized sugar and zesty nutmeg.
I know, right?!  YUMMM!!

Shop at Village Candle
Use the code HOLIDAY20 for a 20% discount off any purchase!
***check out OUR INSTAGRAM where we’re GIVING AWAY two 26 oz Village Candles!!***



So everyone who is anyone knows that mermaids are just the thing these days!  We are loving this cozy basic that every girl needs.  Because somedays a simple blanket just won’t do….you gotta go get your mermaid on!   Perfect for cuddling up with a good book on Christmas break or lounging in while watching Netflix Christmas classics, these gorgeous hand knit tails are soft yarn and come in a variety of colors with flared tail fins and knitted scale detail.  Your little mermaid enthusiast will adore her snuggly mermaid blanket!  Small sizes for ages 2-5, medium for ages 6-9 and large for girls 10 and up.

Shop at Ruffles and Twirls



While my teen daughter may be over the glitz and glamor of iridescent rainbows and shimmering fins, we are pretty sure she is also going to want one of these subtle, sublimely, soft scaly tails!  We found big-girl and adult size sheaths to snuggle in from this cute online boutique.  Fun for fireside lounging or slow Saturday mornings, these plush mermaid tails are going to be her favorite fun-ctional gift this year!

Shop at Glitz and Gigglez
Save 10% when you use coupon code SAVE10



Ive been guilty of saying that girl clothes are more fun than boy clothes…..but that was before I met Junior Baby Hatter!  Specializing in accessories for your dapper dude, this boutique provides the most stylish caps and hats to accent any outfit.  Take your pick from tweeds, cotton flannels and cord caps and here’s the best part….you can get matching father/son hats or sibling sets.  Perfect to pair with flannel plaid shirts and show off your style for family Christmas pictures.  It doesn’t get any cute than this folks!

Shop at Junior Baby Hatter

Thanks for taking a peek at our gift guide.  Be sure to shop the deals and links above and tell them Perfect Shalom sent you.  And DONT FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY on our Instagram page to win one of two large Village Candles!!!