Author: Terri Johnson

Terri loves Star Bucks, Target and monograms. You'll find her behind the monogram machine at FancyBelles.

Tricks (but mostly treats) To Make Halloween A Hit

Today we thought we’d stop by with some tricks (but mostly treats) to make Halloween a hit.  It’s no secret that we L-O-V-E Halloween around here. Coming in only second to Christmas in our world of holidays, it’s a pretty big deal. Belle One brings out the spider webs, skeletons and jack o lanterns, while Belle Two prefers to keep her decorating more on the Fall side.  We’ve scoured the pages of Southern Living (naturally), the boards of Pinterest and the Pickler and Ben show (have y’all seen this show? Because…seriously. THE cutest) to find the best of the best decorating ideas!


Belle One prefers to start with a clean slate.  No Fall clutter.  We save that for November.  When the kids were younger, she kept the decorating safe and not spooky, but as they have gotten older, they request more and more gore.  Belle One likes to keep it a little on the cutesy side, much to their dismay.

tricks (but mostly treats)


We may have to grab this fantastic spider web mantle decoration for next year.  The price is great and it looks amazing!  You can get one for yourself at Amazon, just be sure to leave one for us!

mantle spiderweb

Y’all. Pottery Barn. Swoon.  Couldn’t you just die?  They are the masters of decorating.  We try and try to recreate their looks, but to no avail. Sigh.

Hopefully you grabbed some fun decorating ideas for the spookiest of holidays.  And if you’re still in need of a cute trick or treat bag, we’ve got you covered at our Etsy shop.


The Belles



Market Day in Atlanta (Part 2) | Shop ‘til You Drop. Then Shop a Little More.

Market Day is our big event twice each year for meeting new vendors and building relationships with them. We also shop a lot. We shop for you, we shop for us, eventually we go into some kind of exhaustion induced trance and we shop in our sleep. When we get home, we are surprised by some of the things we bought for ourselves, but FancyBelles always picks up great new things for you. We spent a lot!


We meet such awesome people that offer so many creative things. They are great people and great designers. One new friend gave us beautiful pineapple earrings. That is a great way to make friends. We also got all kinds of koozies. That doesn’t hurt new friendships either, I suppose.


We are particularly proud of all the great stuff we got from Prep Obsessed. All the things we were able to pick out really fall right into the tastes of those that shop FancyBelles. We are proud of the quality and creativity of what we are going to be able to offer from this trip. So much great stuff!


We found so many great bags we can hardly stand it. And boots! Did we mention the boots? We feel like we did a great job of adding to the cute and preppy things we have to offer with FancyBelles.


The last day of the event is Cash and Carry day. This is the day that we all get to buy anything we want for ourselves personally. By the time we have picked out everything that we know you will love, we definitely have our eyes on many things we want too. It is our reward to ourselves on the last day for getting all the deals we needed to for the trip. It is an excellent motivator for us to be sure we have done all that we need to for you.


We are so exhausted by the time Cash and Carry day comes along. This is when the trance comes over us and we buy in our exhaustion. Sometimes as we are unpacking, we surprise ourselves with some of the things we picked up during Cash and Carry. It is a nice bonus for going though. For myself, a pair of Tiffany sunglasses was my huge splurge. We also got costume jewelry and clothes that we adore.

It was a good Market Day for us and FancyBelles. We earned our reward this time by picking up some great deals for you. It’s going to be another great year and we are proud of what you’ll get to choose from now.

Market Day in Atlanta (Part 1) | 427,000 miles of fun with FancyBelles

Maybe 427,000 miles is a slight exaggeration, but only slight. The Fancy Belles look forward to Market Day twice each year because it allows us to find the best products for our customers. There is so much neat stuff to choose from and we know that you will love what we have for you. We stayed at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and enjoyed the accommodations very much.


We enjoy the whole experience too and like to bring the fun with us even though we are working. We try to make the most of this time on our own as Southern ladies without our children. Of course, we missed our children terribly, but we made the best of our time anyway.

We ate at the PittyPat’s Porch and it was really amazing. Terrance was our waiter and he adored us. Of course, he did. What’s not to love?! We got fried green tomatoes for free. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. We both had fried chicken and it was so much that we couldn’t possibly finish it all. We decided we were going to save the rest for breakfast. Yes, I said breakfast. We were on our own and really wanted to live it up … but we missed our children terribly, of course. Anyway, our very good friend Terrance comes back with a to-go box. We said, “You know what would go great with a fried chicken breakfast, Terrance?” And he said, “Hold on. I’ll be right back.” He brought us a whole box of muffins. When you are close like Terrance and the Fancy Belles are, you just know these things about each other. He was our buddy. We went back there again for a free desert.

pittypats porch

They also had an amazing salad bar at PittyPat’s Porch. We tried pickled watermelon rinds which we decided were not for us. At JP Atlanta we also gave smoked trout a try and didn’t care for it. This was about moving out of our comfort zone, but those two things will not be coming back into the comfort zone with us. The smoked trout was not our favorite, but the rest of the cheese board at JP Atlanta was great. It’s cheese! What else is there to say? Also, JP Atlanta had the best hamburger. I feel very good recommending this burger to you because I care about you and your happiness.

Jp Atlanta Burger

We went to the Sundial. It was a great restaurant, with great music, and an amazing view. I will say one of the Fancy Belles did not care for the heights. We made it out alive though because we are tough like that.

We walked a lot. I believe it was 427,000 steps. That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Our feet and backs hurt by the time it was all over. The bed was amazing though. We are lucky we woke up at all. How do you know when it is time to get up if there aren’t any children or pets around? We missed them all terribly, of course.

We got lost a lot. Like 427,000 times. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but still. I don’t know exactly how we managed to do it, but we seemed to take a different way every time we went somewhere. We got to use a VIP entrance once. I guess we were important people that once. We got in trouble with security in a parking lot we apparently weren’t supposed to be in. A security guard told us to slow our roll. He clearly did not love us as much as Terrance did which surprises me because what’s not to love?! There was a lot of glistening going on in the Atlanta heat and humidity. The beds were wonderful though. Did we mention the beds?

The whole event from the business to the pleasure was so much fun. There was always a party on the 17th floor. There was a lot to drink, but we did not partake this time. People dressed as Elvis were walking around. We didn’t buy from the 17th floor, but we went for the party. It was an odd place, but fun.

Believe it or not we did find time to shop for you too. We found lots of cool items that we’ll show you in the next post about Market Day! Thanks for joining us for this adventure and I hope you had fun reading about it. We want to bring you along on our journey whenever we can.

Putting Our Mark on the World

I’m a little embarrassed to tell this story, y’all. You have got to promise not to make fun of me. But when I was little, I thought everyone was spelling their names wrong on their towels. The letter for the last name was in middle! They had their initials out of order.

But my mother taught me to be polite. The towels were already monogrammed. I didn’t want to embarrass anyone by telling them they had been printed wrong! I just dried my hands, shook my head, and got out of there.

I was glad to find out I wasn’t the only one that thought that was unusual. Why do we monogram that way sometimes, but not other times?! There is actually a method to our madness, so stick with me and let me explain.

Monogramming is a way to define ourselves. We are laying down roots in our home and in our family. It is a way of declaring that we are not just passing through. It tells everyone in the house who we are and why we belong. When we give the gift of a bag or towel or anything with a monogram, we are telling the people we care about that we know who they are, that they matter to us, and they belong.

“Monogramming is a way to define ourselves.
We are laying down roots …”

There are traditional monogramming styles that communicate certain ideals. There are modern, sleek options that show progress and a modern touch. They all have their place and purpose.

The traditional monogram for women, and especially with married women, is that large initial in the middle that threw me for a loop when I was little. (Don’t forget you promised not to make fun of me!) The last name goes in the center in larger type with the first initial to the left and the middle initial to the right. This is good for calling back to traditional values. It reminds people of establishing a home and a family. There are variations that can be used for combining or hyphenating last names too.

“It says that we belong.”

The traditional monogram for men is all three letters the same size running from left to right in order. This can be used for a gift for anyone to create a sleek and modern look too. There is something crisp and clean about this style that goes well with a lot of different decorating styles in a home.

You always have the option of going with the single initial too. There is something bold about the single letter on its own. This option works for gifts with either a traditional or modern feel. You really can’t go wrong with the single initial.

“Give the feel of being combined
or creating a new identity together.”

A creative way to create a monogrammed gift that communicates starting a life together is the plus sign between the two initials – one for each person. Or you can do one initial over the top of the other with a line between like a fraction. Both styles give the feel of being combined or creating a new identity together.

Monograms are meant to identify us and allow us to put our mark on the world. There are many options, but every one carries the message that we care and we belong.

? & Hugs,
The Fancy Belles