Thursday, November 27, 2008


We have so much to be thankful for today. Our God, our family, friends, the magical place in which we live, our employees and customers, to name a few. We are most grateful for our little one, who makes every day brighter. Thank you for supporting our businesses and for reading this blog. We wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.

{Special thanks to uber-talented Marla Carter, who managed to capture this family moment.}

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hooray for Hollywood

Friday's Game Night was fun with Claire hosting the Hollywood theme. We all huddled up inside because it was freeeezing. That didn't stop the littlest players from eating ice cream. How do they do it??? It was a treat to catch up with newlyweds Carol & Dave {aka: Mr. Bud & Alley's & Taco Bar}. Congrats to the happy couple!

Tween Queen

Happy 12 Savannah and thanks for celebrating with us!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gracious Girls

This was our first-ever Girls Night Out at the pizza place, and the theme was "Giving Thanks." The ladies who attended donated to Heartworks Kids, an organization that will use the money to help local families in need have a better Thanksgiving. Heartworks Kids, started by Lauren Romano, provides an opportunity for children and their parents to give back to their community, with kids taking the lead.

Check out this gorgeous group of women that I would personally like to thank for opening up your hearts {and checkbooks} to help others. Special thanks to those who couldn't attend the event, but still donated to Heartworks. And a huge thanks to Lauren for devoting your time to such a worthy cause. {Additional photos on Sowal Scene}

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's a bird, it's a plane...

It's Super Pierce! The youngest member of the Howard clan celebrated his third birthday at the pizza place this week. He is an adorable ball of energy and a favorite playmate of our little one. This Superman's mom has one of the most entertaining blogs around, so make sure you check out Simply Seleta. Happy 3, Mr. P!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


There are three playhouses in the Cottages for Kids event we haven't talked much about, but that's because they are already sold! That's right. This year in addition to the live auction that will happen Saturday, November 29, there is a Buy It Now option for each cottage. The cottages that have already been sold are still on display in Rosemary Beach and can be toured by little ones through Friday, 11/28. Here they are:

The Crooked Cottage
Builder: Regal Stephens, Architect: Thurber Architecture, Designer: Porter-Smith Design

Tweet Crib
Builder: John Willis Homes, Architect: Chancey Design Partnership

Spin Sail
Builder: Four Seasons Builder, Architect: Fouquet Architecture & Interior Design

There are so many wonderful people who been instrumental in making this event a success. Here are three of them.

Kelli Arnold, Kate Johnson {Chair} & Kathy Kemp

Cottage Spotlight: 1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

For further info, visit the Cottages for Kids website or read our review of the event.

The following are excerpts taken from the Walton Sun article about this cottage.

Take one part children’s book, add one part imagination and two parts daring and guts and what do you have? The latest Alys Beach Resorts playhouse creation for the 2008 Cottages for Kids extravaganza. Alys Beach Resorts is unique among all Cottages for Kids participants: They alone have built and donated a cottage every year since its inception in 2006.
Here is the story behind the cottage named 1 Fish 2 Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, a take-off on Dr. Seuss’ 1960s children’s book. Armored with smashed, recycled soda cans, this cottage is a nautically inspired sea creature creation. Pirates and plunderers can dive into the belly of the beast, where a tire swing entertains those recently swallowed. Those lucky enough to escape the digestive dungeon can scale the great net to a second story sanctuary where they can watch for mermaids and scallywags and create the tales that true child adventurers have been creating for years.

The Alys Beach cottage is an overscaled fish made from a plywood form that is covered with crushed cans as fish scales, all built by Alys Beach employees with the help of Alys Beach Construction and Superintendent John Spears. In addition to the repurposing of aluminum cans, the cottage was completely built from materials left over from other jobs at Alys Beach. The use of recycled materials will teach kids that “most disposed materials can be used for something else and don’t have to be thrown away,” according to Alys Stephens, Alys Beach Style Director.
Stephens also noted that, “CVHN is a great local charity that we love giving to. There is big pride among the employees in our company who love to build the cottages and support CVHN. Everybody here watches the cottage unveiling and it is a great opportunity to give back to our community.”

Cottage Spotlight: Fury from the Deep

For further info, visit the Cottages for Kids website or read our review of the event.

The following is an interview with Craig Baranowski of CJB Construction, builder of Fury from the Deep.

PBTS: Who were the locals involved in the creation or construction of your cottage?

CRAIG: Our Cottages for Kids 2008 team included many local individuals that worked hard on the success of the cottage. Charlie Mitchell and Chris Stoyles with Archiscapes came up with a design concept that the entire team loved. It was a crazy design but we knew we could build it. James Deering was the chainsaw artist that carved the giant octopus. Dana Hicks hand painted the octopus to look as if it jumped out of the pages of a fantasy novel. Steve Underwood hand painted all of the writing details on the submarine. Jose Castillo Jr. of Castillo’s Custom Carpentry worked tirelessly with me and Charlie Mitchell of Archiscapes to build the cottage. There were many late nights working past 1:00 a.m. to ensure we met our committed delivery date. Stefan Dailberl worked his magic inside the submarine to bring it to life with a working dashboard with knobs, switches, lights and sounds. Stefan also generously contributed to the authentic telegraph which controls the submarine's engine commands. We had many great sponsors on the cottages including Jim Murray of Freeport Ship Building who donated most of the material for the submarine. Gary Tucker with Builders First Source, Pan Handle Bolt, Sherwin Williams and many others.

PBTS: What makes your cottage "green?"

CRAIG: Fury From the Deep was build almost entirely green. The giant octopus was carved from magnolia and oak trees that had to be cut down for the South Walton Montessori Academy’s renovation in Eden State Park. CJB Construction worked closely with the tree cutters to ensure they cut the stumps at the right length and did not dispose of them. Builders First Source moved the giant stumps to their lumber yard for storage until the Cottages for Kids project began. The boat materials were reclaimed from Freeport Ship Building from one of their recent projects called the "RiverQuest Explorer," an environmentally friendly tour boat for RiverTour Pittsburg. The boat uses hybrid fuel propulsion and was built to specifications of the nonprofit US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The propeller and all of the console and valve knobs were reclaimed from old ships and projects. All of the lumber for Fury From The Deep was surplus lumber from Builders First Source. It was lumber pre-cut and intended for boardwalks. We had to retrofit our design to accommodate the use of the material.

PBTS: What characteristics make it unique?

CRAIG: Chris Stoyels with Archiscapes and I agreed from the beginning that we did not want to built a typical fairy tale cottage. We wanted something that would stretch the imagination of both kids and adults while offering a platform for extensive play and imagination. Such elements as the submarine console, working propeller, bubble window and tube slide we believe we created an exciting, fun and unique experience for everyone.

PBTS: From where did you draw your inspiration?

CRAIG: Chris and his team of architects are crazy {in a fun way}. I am not sure where or how they came up with the idea, but it is inspired by the Jules Vern novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Thus, the name on our cottage reads "Nautilus."

PBTS: Is there anything else you want our readers to know?

CRAIG: This was our second year doing Cottages For Kids and we really enjoy seeing all of the parents and kids go crazy over all of the cottages on the Rosemary Beach Green. It is a fantastic way to help out the Children’s Volunteer Health Network.

Cottage Spotlight: Beyond the Wave

For further info, see our review of the event or visit the Cottages for Kids website.

Andrea Plunk of Studio-A-Architecture designed Beyond the Wave along with Will Dunn and Whitney Davis of Davis Dunn Construction. The cottage draws inspiration from a little shack Andrea saw in the Bahamas that was once used as a pirate hangout. It’s a simple design that is made to be durable and flexible in accommodating the needs of children in a playhouse as they grow.

All of the artwork is original and created by several family members including Andrea's parents and her children. Andrea and her brother Sam Beaver covered the floors with paintings of sea life. Kiddos will love the beautiful mermaid, purple octopus and friendly shark beneath their feet. Andrea says the mermaid is based on the legend of Lauralei as she is beckoning the pirates to the underwater world. Her brother Sam is a long-time veteran of Seaside's Via Colori and a professional artist.

This adorable cottage is sure to delight mermaids and pirates of all ages. Andrea wanted to recognize and thank her generous sponsors who donated materials: E.F. San Juan {shutters}, Gulf Coast Shutter {hardware}, John G. Gordon Roofing {roofing}, JMC, Inc. {framing}, Edge Brothers Painting, Inc. {painting} and Bevolo {lighting}.