Friday, April 29, 2011

April Giveaway Winner Announced!!

Congratulations to Elaine Jahn, of Charlotte, NC who just won the Blue and Opal necklace.  Thanks to everyone who e-mailed me, left me a comment and liked my facebook page.  Please keep spreading the word about Lakeside Chatter and hope you come back for more giveaways.
Up next Mothers Day Gift Basket from "Thoughtful Creations."  This one will be hard not to enter myself. 

Happy Friday!!  And THANKS AGAIN!!!  Love you all. 

With Love,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April Giveaway with Love.

April Giveaway.

Yesterday I wrote here.  And many of you have been so sweet and kind about Evan's little incident.    It is funny what our kids can teach us,  I think it is one of my favorite moments of being a Mom.  What they teach you…. 
But I am back to here today and still basking in our visit last week down in South Carolina and Georgia.  So it is time to focus on the good stuff and oh a week in the low country can fill you up with so much goodness.   The sights the smells, the sounds, (who knew frogs can make that sound...a cross between a yappy dog and a baby cry).  But if the gentle breeze and salt water air doesn’t put you in a good place then not much can.  At least for me. 
So on my hunt for something special to offer you my readers, followers and wonderful friends I journeyed into Old Bluffton right dead smack in between Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, NC.   

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Cupcake Girl

How can you not love that name ?  Cupcakes just make life a little sweeter and I am so happy I officially introduce you to Jen Stansbury who is the "Girl" Behind the "Cupcake."
I was fortunate enough to taste these delicious creations last month at the Spring Fling.  They are not only Scrumptious, but offer a variety of choices for families who may have a food allergy or aversion (i.e eggless cupcakes, gluten free etc..)  There are also a varity of flavors to chose from and she is happy to design a special creation for just about any occassion. 
Buttercream icing to look like roses.
Jen has been baking yummy recipes made from scratch since November of 2009.  She is a Mom, a daughter, freind and neighbor and loves to bake and would love to share some homemade cupcakes just for you.  In fact NOW through May 15th if you mention LAKESIDE CHATTER you will receive a 10% Discount on any order.  So perfect for upcoming Mothers Day, birthdays, special occassions or if you just need to....

Because why not!! Thank you to Jen for offering this great deal for all Chatter readers and friends. Make sure you check out her website and also visit and like her facebook page as well.
Now go order some cupcakes and enjoy the Sweetness of homemade goodness straight from the heart.  You can reach Jen at
With Love, and icing on my fingers,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Tuesday

So this is my view this week....

Just Kidding....  But not far off.  I am on Spring Break vacation on Daufuskie Island just off of Hilton Head SC.  Those chairs sit overlooking the Calibogue Sound and you know me and my camera had to take a photo.
But alas it is Tuesday and Tuesday brings my favorite topic of Sponsor Love!  So please checkout these great ladies, great products (cupcakes anyone?) and great new things happening to our community.

In case you missed the news (how could you right I mean you read the Chatter daily right...right....??)  Make sure you checkout last week's post about the new "Wylie Gateway on the Lake" and the "Lake Wyile Bowl n Bounce "coming soon!!  Can't wait for this to open in the fall 2011. 

A big hello and welcome to Jen Stansbury or better known as The Cupcake Girl. 

I was fortunate to taste one of these delicious cupcakes at the Baxter Spring fling last month  So delicious and what is really cool about this chicky is she offers Eggless, vegan and gluten free cupcakes for you and the little ones.  Check out her blog and make sure you like her facebook page as she is going to do a drawing at the end of the month for one lucky facebook fan to win a dozen FREE cupcakes of your choice.  More info on The Cupcake Girl and her awesome shop coming up in my next post.  Thank you Jen for being a part of the Chatter. 

If it is possible, yet more adorable designs from Sew What Mommy.  Check out this outfit: 

Stop the cuteness right?  With summer almost here make sure you put in an order for sweet outfits for your little ones or as gifts. 

Last week's Chatter feature was Lauren with The Plumfield Shop.  I hope you found her Etsy shop as sweet and charming as I do.  Make sure to read her story here and take a peek at her shop which offers all kinds of beautiful items.

Make sure to also check out volunteer opportunities from Steele Creek Outreach and don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday,April 30th for the River Hills Yard Sale which helps their preschool.  On top of the yard sale, Erin Jackson with Madison Lane Photography and will be taking free photos and offering 5x7 prints for $5 and 8x10 prints for $10. The sale is Saturday April 30th from 7-12pm.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday and make sure to check soon for Aprils Giveaway goody announcement.  Hint...  "Low country Flair"

With Love,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Family Fun Coming to Lake Wylie, SC

Happy Friday Chatter family. As we head into the weekend and Spring Break for some of us I wanted to share with you some exciting news coming to our neck of the woods here in Steele Creek and Lake Wylie, SC.

Friday, April 15th 2011
Nestled in between Lake Wylie’s Buster Boyd Bridge and the River Hills community, lays many well known landmarks of Lake Wylie, SC.  “T-Bones on the Lake”, a favorite for local boaters, "Rey Azteca", a family friendly Mexican Restaurant and the retail chain “Fred’s Superstore”.  Yet also included in those landmarks, unfortunately has been an eye sore for many years.  The vacant parking lot, of what was Waterside Market, including the graveyard of run down shops that have sat untouched for years, and have left local residents wondering- what or even if any change would soon come.
Regonizable sign in Lake Wylie, SC is about to change

All of that is about to be transformed and as a Mom, a local resident and huge fan of our wonderful Lake Wylie community, I couldn’t be happier.  What was once known as the ghost town by the lake will soon be bustling with family fun entertainment with retails stores and restaurants soon to follow.
Darrin Skinner, local, corporate recruiter and entrepreneur has teamed up with York Development to officially announce the major face lift of what was “Waterside Market” to be, “Wylie Gateway on the Lake” and anchoring the soon to follow shops will be “Lake Wylie Bowl n Bounce”, a family entertainment and fun center, located in what was once the Food Lion location.

Darrin, his wife Heather and their three kids live in the Lake Wylie area and are thrilled to be a part of the beginning of a new chapter in Lake Wylie’s History.  “Lake Wylie Bowl n’ Bounce will offer family entertainment for toddlers to seniors and everything in between.  The facility will have bowling, video games, bounce houses/inflatable's, and a lounge/food court where food, drink, sports, and entertainment are available.  We will provide a clean, safe, and affordable place where families with children, adults, teens, singles and private parties can enjoy themselves without having to leave the Steele Creek/Lake Wylie area.”

This is exciting news for our community.  Especially since Lake Wylie with all of its charm and boater appeal, really doesn’t have an established and well-known location for family fun and entertainment. 
“We want to change that” Darrin tells me.   One of the goals of the center is to fill a void in overall entertainment options in the Lake Wylie area.  We are planning the center as a place to meet friends, have a drink, watch a ball game, or listen to live music even if you never bowl a game or play a video game. There will be something for everyone. 

Other tenants to occupy "Wylie Gateway on the Lake" the will include some restaurants, a wine bar, cigar bar, coffee shop, and an ice cream shop to name a few.
This has been a work in progress since 2008.  And the location couldn’t be better.  Lake views are visible for many areas of the property and being so close to the boat landing by T-Bones, families can enjoy a day on the lake and then wander over to the shops for food, drink, family fun and more.
View of Lake Wylie through the trees in the parking lot or future site of Wylie Gateway on the Lake
Construction will begin in just a few weeks with a target open dated slated for the fall 2011. 

What is the best part of all of this Darrin tells me quite specifically “At a minimum, our kids will think Heather and I are awesome for owning a place with bounce houses.”

I couldn’t agree with him more and know my boys, ages 5 and 6 will be one of the many hundreds of kids who will soon enjoy a new chapter of Lake Wylie’s well known history of a family oriented community.

Look for more information coming soon and please feel free to leave a comment and spread the great news for our area!!
Happy Friday and a great weekend to everyone.

Mary Ickert

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Plumfield Shop

Last month I featured an article about Etsy. I you haven't heard of Etsy, it is an online store that focuses on handmade art, clothing and vintage items, along with jewelry, photography, accessories, craft supplies and more. I have become a huge fan of Etsy for several reasons’ but mainly because it is place where very talented and creative people can sell their items at very reasonable prices with an artistic and handmade touch. When I visit Etsy, I feel like I have been transported into an old fashion vintage shop full of intimate, cozy and beautiful items that all woman love. You know the kind I am talking about, candles, soft music playing, and the smell of jasmine or lemon pound cake. Little nuggets of the store full of romantic jewelry, soft colors and unique lotions and hand bags, sassy shoes, scarf’s... All the while light jazz playing and a sweet little lady who offers you a satchel for your items and a complimentary cup of tea. Yeah, I could spend all day on Etsy, but my husband and my kids might notice when dinner goes missing.
 So I am thrilled and super excited to introduce you to Lauren Perkins who is the owner, designer and creator of Plumfield Shop.
Plumfield Shop opened last year and offers a wide Varity of charming and sweet items for the home, children, gifts and of course for you, your Mom, or BFF. Her items are very creative and have an outdoors appeal that is perfect for spring and summer time.
  I have been honored to get to know Lauren a little a bit and how she got her Etsy business started and what it is like to be an entrepreneur in the Charlotte area. Read below to learn more about her, and make sure you check Plumfield Shop on Etsy as well as her blog which offers wonderful tips on sewing cooking and other bits of life.

Getting Started...
I have been sewing for five years.  I had always wanted to learn to sew and one day decided that it was time.  I picked out an inexpensive sewing machine for my mother-in-law to get me for Christmas.  I read the whole manual that came with the machine.  I asked my husband for help. 
Eventually, I found my groove.  After lots of practice and lots and LOTS of mistakes, I realized that I was in love.  The fabrics, the colors, the design and construction- everything about this hobby appealed to me.  The only problem was that I could never sew enough.  There was always something keeping me from sewing as much and as often as I wanted. 
Finally, my husband and I put our heads together.  We planned and we calculated and we schemed.  We came up with the crazy idea that I could quit my full time job and start a sewing business.  We read books, brainstormed shop names, and did market research.  And then we just did it. 

Plumfield Shop Launches.
I opened my shop in August of 2010.  I get to sew every day, sometimes all day, and I have never had more fun.  My favorite part is getting to work directly with a customer to create an item that is uniquely theirs.  There is a certain joy that comes from taking your skills and knowledge and using them to give form to someone else’s dream. 

On being an entrepreneur in Charlotte
I think that one of the advantages to starting my own business in Charlotte is that it is a large city with tons of resources.  I have access to all sorts of great supplies and inspiration here.  Most of the small business connections I have made so far are online, but I am looking forward to meeting other local entrepreneurs. 
The hard part about Charlotte being so large though is that I always feel like I am missing something!  I am sure there are lots of great shops and groups that I will never cross paths with and I hate to think that I’m not using my community to its fullest!

A big thank you to Lauren for allowing me to feature her here on the Chatter.  I think you will love her and Plumfield Shop as much as I do.  Don't forget to check out her shop visit her blog and on Facebook as well. 
Plumfield Shop
Plumfield Shop Blog
Plumfield Shop Facebook

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mark your Calendars.

Happy Tuesday Chatter Peeps!!
I wanted to send out a few updates of things coming up form my sponsors who I love love love and want to pass on the love by doing weekly updates.  Please help support my sponsors and get ready to mark your calendars for some great stuff and products.

"Container Days" is Friday, Sat, and Sun. (please see their info on their FaceBook events page here  )
They also have recently "unveiled" the pavilion - so the place is re-organized and looks awesome!!
Also (VERY EXCITING) Soline, a Bpeace ‘Fast Runner’ will be visiting Sugar Creek Garden Center this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (13th, 14th, 15th). She is a garden center owner from Rwanda who has been in business for 12 years. Her trip is being sponsored by the non-profit organization BPeace. BPeace was founded in 2002 and is a non-profit network of business professionals who volunteer their time and share their skills with entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries including Afghanistan, Rwanda, and El Salvador, believing creating jobs, creates peace. Bpeace made a commitment as part of joining the Clinton Global Initiative to create One Million Jobs for Peace.
Madison Lane Photography: Erin and her FABULOUS photography will be at the Spring Festival held at River Hills Church on Saturday, April 30th from 7:00-12:00 she will be there taking pictures for free for Mother's Day and will be offering 5x7 prints for $5 and 8x10 prints for $10. A great gift for Mothers Day!!
Sew What Mommy: More appliques on deck. These are just cuter than cute and perfect for spring and summer months coming. Check out their blog and facebook page for pictures and how to order.
Thoughtful Creations: Even more Mother's Day greatness, basket giveaway for May will come form the super talented Christine Barbera and be filled with so much great stuff including:
(2) small candles from Bath & Body works in Mojo and margarita
lime rose hand petals soap
lemon soap in the shape of a Margarita glass.
photo album
hot pink spa socks
hot pink bling nail file
cute tissues with little ladies chatting and laughing on them
bubble bath in the shape of a lime flower
And Much MORE!!!! Whoever wins this is going to be super lucky and I encourage you all to tell all your friends to enter the giveaway. More info on how to enter and when the contest will start will be posted soon!!!
Steele Creek Outreach:
Looking to volunteer, please make sure to check out SCO website and learn more about how you can help homelessness in our city.  They have several upcoming events scheduled through May including "Operation Mayday" which helps prepare Easter meals for families who are homeless.  For More information visit thier Facebook Page here.
Thanks again to all my wonderful sponsors, friends, neighbors, family and EVERYONE who is making Lakeside Chatter a true joy in my life and hopefully in yours.
Now go mark your calendars!!! And if there is anything coming up you think would be a great fit to post on Lakeside Chatter please feel free to send me an e-mail at or leave me a comment. Have a Great Tuesday!!
With Love,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

So guess what I am NOT good at....
Taking pictures of myself. So, so, sooooo not good at this. I mean sure I have a self timer and sure I could go that way, but where is the artistic value in that? A self shot in the mirror is way cooler and way more sophisticated (asuming you know what you are doing).
You see I got this idea form another awesome Mommy Blogger who really has her act together. And since I (soon) will be featuring all kinds of giveaways I thought it would be cool to practice with some photo taking with me,myself and I.

The Mission: Practice using Mirror, awful lighting in bathroom and horrific styled hair (it was practice people).
The Focus: Earrings... Not just any earrings but an exquisite set of shiny dangly earrings.

The kind I haven't worn in years, the kind I just drooled over when I opened, the kind that was a gift form a very thoughtful fellow Mom friend and Chatter Sponsor who just so proves to me how much I love this gig!!
And no, the earrings are not a giveaway item (again practice people, no way I would part with these beauties). 
Anyways, here is how it went....

Bummer....Got the Door..
And Now the Camera Strap...

Great shot of the camera huh? 

Oh for Pete's Sake....

Dag...That plant back there needs watering!

Getting there...

Close enough!

Lessons Learned:
1) I clearly had too much time on my hands
2) Next time an outfit with color!
3) Scratch that, next time have HUSBAND or friend take photos!!
So with 25 minutes of my life I will never get back I would like to officially announce Lakeside Chatter will be offering free giveaways starting as early as NOW!! Okay not this very second but THIS month!!! And to get you excited next month's giveaway will be focused on Mother’s Day. A big huge thank you to Christine with Thoughtful Creations who is offering a wonderful basket  giveaway full of items any Mom (or Mom to be) will love.  Pictures coming soon!!!
Don't worry, I won't be in them.  :-) 

With Love,

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ready Set Go!

So here you are.  The moment you have been waiting for as long as you can remember.  Today is the day.  You are going to start your own business!  You have done your homework, all of your research and you have done the planning the painstaking task of getting organized.  Your vision “your baby” is ready to be implemented.
You are ready. You are Set… It is Go time.  
So now what?  After all of that prep and anticipation, somehow, you can’t seem to find “Go.”  The most important part of this process is hiding on you. 
And you have no idea where to look.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Steele Creek Outreach - Moments that Stick.

Certain moments have stuck with me.
And I firmly believe that is what moments are supposed to do.
To stick, to teach, to help, to inspire and to make you feel alive.
Some moments feel great when they stick and some, well yeah some can sting.  Leaving an impression that one day, we hope, will eventually make sense.
My recent sticky moment came this past Sunday while I witnessed a room full of homeless men and women who had come together for a time of worship.
They have no home, no job, and very little food in their stomachs.
 Some of them are wearing the only clothes they own.
But they were there, arms stretched out, smiles on their faces, worshiping, enjoying fellowship and allowing themselves to be open up a little bit more.
Even if they don't like what they see.

I was there with a local group called Steele Creek Outreach.  I have not only adopted this fantastic non-profit organization to be a part of the Chatter, but I have also adopted the founder, Nichole Jaworksi and several of the other women I have known and have gotten to know over the last few months.  These women are a constant inspiration to me and bring a much needed awareness to an issue that is a worldwide epidemic.
Yesterday I admitted I judged the stereo typical "Soccer Mom."  Well today my confession is I sometimes judge the homeless man on the street.  He is there by his own doing, his choices....  he has no one to blame but himself.
Tsk.. Tsk.. Tsk..
And yes, while that may be true on some counts, that man I judged, that human being who has lost everything that person is just that.
A Person.  He has a heart, a mind, a soul, a spirit and bad choices or not, he is at the bottom of the barrel.
The end of his rope and I have to ask myself.
What if it were me?
Because isn't that really a question we sometimes don't like to ask?  What if I was the one who had a problem, made bad choices, lost my family, lost my friends, lost my way?  How would I feel if everyone turned their back on me if what I once knew to be a safe and cozy way of life, a roof over my head?  What if one day it was all gone?
By my own choices, or perhaps maybe not by mine, but a tragic event, a loss of a job....
And what if I had no one?
What if one day that is my son? 
What if it was yours?
I promise I am not going to get all preachy and soapboxy on you.  But I care very deeply about this matter and very excited and honored to be a part of Steele Creek Outreach as one of there official photographers going forward.  You can read more about SCO here.
And you can read more about Nichole's post on our uptown adventure here. 
In the mean time here are some more pictures I took.
Goody bags put together by SCO

A moment durning worship

A free meal was provided afterwards.

Commandos For Christ who provided the worship service.

Pastor Mary chat's with a local homeless man.

A local homeless man walks off into the unknown. 

Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave me a comment with your sticky moment.  Whether good or bad, if it stuck, then it is made you who you are today. 
Just like it was meant to do.  

With Love,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Soccer Mom's Confession - And A New Sheriff in Town.

Confession Tuesday: 
I Have judged you in the past... I didn't mean too...  every Mom has their "Ahh haa.." moment from time to time.  This was one of mine...  I would love to hear one of your's.

First, let me clear the air, for most of my late teens and early adult life I judged the so called "Soccer Mom." I admit it... I did. The mini vans, the line up of bobbing little heads visible through the back window. The sluggish way the Mommy drove and the bumper stickers,(or recently the magnet decals). Oh the magnet decals!  Yes I judged! I am very guilty of the evil, evil judgment of these poor innocent Moms.
So here goes, I sincerely apologize to all the Moms I gave dirty looks too, cussed at and judged so wrongly. If you ever thought there would be a payback day for me that moment has now arrived (stop your snickering). I officially became a soccer mom when we signed up Evan and Ryan for a youth soccer league. But I officially "officially" became a soccer Mom when I went to their first game.
I can sum up the experience in a few simple sentences:
1) There is never and will never be enough memory space in the camera and getting the perfect shot is more stressful and challenging than watching either child score a goal.
2) Both boys are without a doubt the most talented kids on the team. Sure, every Mom thinks the same thing about their kids but it is MY precious babies who are perfect. Well that is until Evan does score (but for the other team) and Ryan manages to get his cleats tangled in the soccer net.  This however does not matter since I got a great shot of both!
3) There is a well communicated and fair  rotation of Mom’s who are in charge of bringing the snacks and when one Mom in particular forgets (accidently) to bring that snack you will suffer fierce silent treatment even after you whole heartily attempt to hand out sticks of gum to make up for the blunder. 
5) All soccer shorts, no matter how well they fit, cause wedgies!  And there will be a contest as to whose child can mess with their wedgies the most (not an ideal photo moment).

So there you have it, my official look into to this new world. But now it is here where I need to introduce the husband in this story. Yes, my husband Chris does get left out from time to time in my ventures with the boys. Mainly because to date just about any and all of my extra circular activities have been with me, myself and I. Kindermusick, Gymboree, Art lessons, Play dates, Park dates, Swim dates, oh the list is endless. But here, here the husband enters the picture because a) it's sports related b) other Dads are involved and c) it is sports related.

Since the boys have been babies Chris has always been hands on Dad. He has jumped in when I needed, he has provided for us so I can stay home with them and he never ever judges me when I go for that second glass of wine to help me unwind from a stressful day. But for the most part it has been me as the front runner when it involves activities with the kids that take place outside the house. So we enter new territory here. Daddy is the "go to" guy. Daddy teaches, Daddy shows and Daddy gets them a cool soccer net and super cool new soccer shoes. Daddy pumps them up when they fall during practice and Daddy knows exactly when and where to insert tough love. I for the first time in awhile find myself no long their expert. When another little boy (we will call him Satan Jr.) knocks over Evan or Ryan and the result is tears, I respond by running towards said crying child with arms wide open and my "Mommy is here" speech. However, new rules new coach, new tactic, new sheriff in town. My husband is in charge now so I let him respond (well actually I don't really have a choice since Chris has tied and gagged me to my lawn chair), But there he goes, making his way to the child and within minutes child is up, smiling, wiping grass off of his knee and is back in the game. Chris walks back with a cool and calm swagger and I find myself fascinated... How did he do that? How did he stay so calm? Who is this person, and why is he all the sudden in charge?
Furthermore why doesn't this bother me?
Because when all is said and done he is the right man for the job. Just like I am the right one (and most qualified most of the time) for mine. I take care of boo boo's, bad dreams, crafts that involve endless use of a glue stick and a case of the sniffles. I cook, chaperon, event plan, organize and chauffeur. I love them in a soul wrenching way, love from the inside out, which means that just about anything and everything in my life revolves round them.
Until I realize that not everything has too.
It's actually really, really helpful to realize this and to also realize that Daddy is every bit the soccer Mom that I am.
Because we may differ on our sideline techniques but we agree on one thing:
Satan Jr. must go down...soon....very, very soon...
And I will get a picture!

Hubby with the boys (who are so over mommy and her camera) pose with their trophies after their last game.

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Applique's from "Sew What Mommy"

Happy Friday (and April fools day).  Hope any tricks that get played on you go over well...  I am still recovering from the rubber snake that got placed in my bed last night...  Oh how I love my little angels!!!
And speaking of angels, check out these adorable and creative new appliques and outfits from "Sew What Mommy."  Too cute and perfect for the warmer temps' coming. 
Dress from Old Navy and the sweet and sassy Octopus
makes it super adorable.
It is Mario time.  Perfect for your boy who loves
this little Italian-American cutie.

Seriously cute and perfect for summertime.

Going to Disney this summer?  Perfect Tee's to wear.
For more information make sure you check out Sew What Mommy as well as visit their facebook page.  Thanks Jenn and Amy for putting their creative talents to make such sweet outfits for the little ones.