Inspired by the Metro cooking show at Reliant Center yesterday, I’m simmering cinnamon sticks on the stovetop after our brief, but welcome, rainstorm this morning….while planning my 10-year-old’s birthday party.
I attended the show yesterday but it’s also going on today, Sunday, September 18, 2011 – so if you’re ready this post this morning…get out there ya’ll!
Hundreds of vendors and several presentations are included in the general admission ticket but headliner Paula Deen takes the stage at 1:00 p.m. today (her 11:00 a.m. luncheon and photo op today is sold out).
I saw Paula’s presentation yesterday and it was very entertaining. On the stage with her was her husband and while he sorta put together a chicken and mac and cheese dish (they didn’t really talk much about it or tell us what was going into it) Paula told us about her family (she has two new grandchildren) and her new book (it’s coming out soon and she’s going to be hitting the road to promote it next month.
So far Tyler, Austin and Dallas are on her Texas tour calendar). She literally pulled out her hair (she has extensions, ya’ll!) and sympathized with our record-breaking heat in Houston by telling us that fat girls don’t look cute sweatin’. The back of the bleachers butted up against the expo floor so it was hard to hear at times – but I laughed the entire time. She really is so funny and down-to-earth and boy do the ladies in Texas love them their Paula. Three friends sported “We Love Paula” shirts and even little girls tried to get in a hug from the side of the stage. I was disappointed that we didn’t walk away with a recipe card because I was dying to know what they marinated that bacon wrapped chicken in, but I’m sure she covers a hundred good chicken recipes in her book. The chance to see her in-person was a great experience.
The real highlight of the Metro Show for me was the opportunity to meet and hear Dallas-based entertaining guru, Tara Wilson @savvysoutherner. This gal is fantabulous and has oodles of great ideas to put on your next party from a kids birthday in the backyard to a intimate gathering of your closest friends, family and local politicians and celebrities (because we all have stars and politicos over for dinner, right?!)
Seriously though – Tara is the cutest thing and I can tell why she’s considered a go-to expert for party planning of all kinds. She loves finding things around the house, yard and garage sales to make parties unique (think fall foliage in an ol’ school plaid thermos for a centerpiece).
I seriously want to be her when I grow up. Look at me up on stage with her! She asked for a volunteer and my hand shot up like a bullet. I made an customized envelope liner with her. How cute is that?!!!
Since Jackson turns 10 in two weeks and I’VE DONE NOTHING to get ready for his big day. I’m sitting here with a pad of paper in hand all Tara-like (sans the big ol’ beautiful turquoise bead necklace that she on yesterday BUT I’m going to find out where she got it – you know you want to know, too!) trying to think of a cute but inexpensive way to pull off the party of the year.
I think I’m going to have a nerf-gun party at the park and put the invites INSIDE nerf gun darts with a message that says something like “you’ve been targeted to attend Jackson’s party” or something like that. Cute?!
I also met Heloise, you know – the Hints from Heloise, Heloise?! She’s actually the first Heloise’s daughter and she speaks today at 11:00 a.m. so get out of your jammies and go up to Reliant Center. You can hear her speak for free with your admission ticket and she’s always got something funny to say (and it rarely has anything to do with getting stains out!)
I’m not gonna lie, sisters. The expo floor was PACKED and almost too close for comfort crowds around tables for free tastes of fudge and tortilla chips made the experience a little heated. When the show comes back to town next year, September 16 and 17, 2012, I hope they’ll open up the space to allow for more walking room.
But I’ll be there no matter what. The show is great and besides by then Tara and I will be Besties and she’ll call me up and be all like, ”Jenn, I’m coming to Houston for the Metro Show this weekend, can we get together and can you help me with my presentation?”
And I’ll be all like, “Of course, Tara!” Because I’m a super-cool friend like that!
Still Living the Dream, ya’ll!