One More Reason In Which To Give Thanks
When my older children were young, I used to make a point of figuring out a new style of decorating the Thanksgiving table each year in order to add a little extra dash of spice to the holiday. I’d also think up a clever way of infusing “gratitude” back into the event beyond just reciting the dinner prayer.
With a mixture of acorns, pinecones, felt, paper, a fishbowl and whatever else I could rustle up, my kids would find me on the kitchen floor crafting away intent on ensuring that the meaning and warmth behind the holiday was not lost in the sauce so to speak. Everything has become so commercial these days and family dynamics can sometimes do more to kill a mood than enhance it.
This is why I love the blog An Alli Event so much as blogger Alli Smith sure knows how to throw a party especially a themed one like Thanksgiving. And those she throws are filled with warmth, meaning, and a ton of spice. I think they term that in her neck of the woods “Southern Charm”. Well, she’s got that and more and through her tasty blog, she shares it with her readers regularly. And now she is sharing it with you through her interview below.
What is your full name?
Alli Rutherford Smith
What is your personal mantra?
My personal mantra is a favorite Bible verse. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
Tell us about you and your life.
I live in the beautiful state of South Carolina and I have five children and four grandchildren - with the 5th one due to arrive in December! I enjoy hosting parties - large and small - cooking, blogging, spending time at the beach, photography, reading and hanging out with the family. I also love music. I can't carry a tune, but I will belt out a song in a heartbeat!
What is the name of your blog? When was it launched?
An Alli Event was launched on October 25, 2012. Whenever I was planning a party, the kids would roll their eyes and say, "Oh, no, another Alli Event." They wanted my tagline to be, "From the window to the wall, I make a good cheese ball." That's when I rolled my eyes and added, "Helpful Hints for Extraordinary Events."
What is the primary focus of your blog?
Cooking and entertaining! I share recipes, menus, table decor, etc. Entertaining doesn't have to expensive or exhausting.
What makes your blog different?
Many of my recipes are southern classics and have been handed down from my grandmother and my mom and if there's a story behind the recipe, I'm sharing it. I keep it real and family friendly with a healthy dose of laughter. I don't take life too seriously and I hope my blog reflects that I love life, love to share my favorite recipes and love to laugh.
List any awards you have won.
I've won several blogging awards, but my greatest accomplishments are being featured in Parents Magazine (print and online), Baby Lifestyles Online Magazine and Huff Post. My photos have been purchased by Coca-Cola and Dollar General and a recipe I created was purchased by Aunt Jemima. For me, these accolades mean much more than any blogging award.
Are you a Brand Ambassador and if so, for which companies?
I am a Brand Ambassador for World Market and Oriental Trading. I work with many brands and I have one rule: I only work with brands I love!
What is your favorite social media outlet?
I absolutely love Facebook! My followers really get me and I get them. I recently posted my first recipe video on FB and it went viral within the first 24 hours (8 million). Within one week, it reached over 33 million and has been viewed by 15 million. What's not to love?
What is the one piece of advice you would give to moms who may be interested in beginning a blog?
Spend time researching before you ever launch a blog. Preparation time is never wasted time! You can find a wealth of free information online regarding how to start a blog. You just have to dig for it. (Google was my BFF when I was preparing to launch my blog)
Share the name of a blog you read regularly (besides your own).
Are you an entrepreneur or professional beyond your blog (and outside of being a mom)? Please share.
Yes! I'm a frequent speaker at ladies conferences and church meetings and host a monthly Girlfriends Club for the ladies at my church.
Do you support – either formally or informally – a particular social cause?
Yes! I support local homeless shelters and an orphanage in Haiti. Our church helps feed and support the children on a monthly basis and we purchase their school uniforms and back-to-school supplies each year. My husband travels to Haiti often to help out and check on the kids that we help support.
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
When all is said and done, I want to be remembered as a girl who loved life, hosted the best parties and gave back to the community. I want people to smile when they remember me.
Alli has also shared with you a pecan-pie-cobbler recipe that you and your guests will need to eat with their shoes off in order to give space for ya’ll to wiggle your toes with delight found here. I’m adding it to my menu this year. You will also find some wonderful ways to prepare a rather colorful kiddie table, if like her and me, you run out of space at the main table and insist on everyone sitting together at a table. I’m not there yet but I will be in about five years, no doubt, so I will file this post away for later while continuing to keep up with An Alli Event now. An invaluable resource for the celebratory season, I now have one more thing to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.