Alda Ellis, author, speaker and entrepreneur, founded the Alda’s Forever Company and has been designing and producing fine gifts of historical reproductions since 1989. Alda is noted for traveling extensively, promoting Arkansas, including India and China. She is the author of over 24 books including Sentimental Living , A Table of Grace , The Christmas Guest and The Gentle Art of Hospitality. Alda's book, Velvet Noses is for those who love horses. Alda is a frequent “on air” personality with QVC and graduate of the QVC School of Excellence. She was featured presenter/ speaker at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining show, with Paula Deen & Bobby Flay. Washington, D.C. Nov. 2008. Alda is a Tea Educator, Consultant and Speaker at Las Vegas World Tea Expo for the past 4 years. She hosted 19 episodes of the television show, Sentimental Living with VTN and hosted the hour long PBS entertaining special, Sentimental Living. Most notable, the company was feature cover story of Nation’s Business magazine. The company was sold in July 2007 .
Now she and her husband Buddy, are enjoying sharing the home and horses they love. She serves as Vice President Board of Directors, (UALR) University of Arkansas at Little Rock Ottenheimer Library. Alda serves on the Harvest Time International Board of Directors, Sanford, FL (A world hunger organization). As a community activist, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Pulaski County Historical Society. She and her husband "Buddy" have been married 40 years with two sons. Alda is a breast cancer survivor, losing her mother to breast cancer and she remains active in promoting Breast Cancer Awareness. Alda says, "Being blessed with such a beautiful historical home, it is our joy in sharing it."
Getting ready for a television interview with Jeanne Caldwell.
Delilah and Buddy
Entertaining with Style...
"Wedding Week" , as seen on KATV television, an ABC affliate
Entertaining with Style...
"Fall Tailgate" , as seen on KATV television, an ABC affliate
“ Style… it cannot be bought. It is not what you wear, but who you are: Style is the way you decorate your house; it is your taste in books, music, poetry and art; it is the way you arrange your flowers. Style is the personal touch you give to everything and everyone in your life. Style has nothing to do with money, but it is the way you live your life.”
Alda and Amigo
"Our dogs always had cold noses, and our little boys always had runny noses... but our horses always had Velvet Noses."
Today, Magnolia Hill is the historical lakeside estate owned by entrepreneurs, Alda and Buddy Ellis to offer brides and their families the most fairytale wedding venue complete with horse and carriage, white dove release, fireworks display and vintage cars. Scattered about the property you can find horses, sculptures and flowers, which emit a feeling of warmth that all guests enjoy. The gardens are lit at night with white party lights that make it feel as if you are dancing amongst the stars.
Dr. Morgan Smith (1868-1935) was a faculty member in Pediatrics at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences UAMS from 1904-1935 and also the Dean of the College of Medicine from 1912-1927. He built his Magnolia Hill home on historic Hwy. 5 or Stagecoach Road. The Stagecoach Road (or Hwy 5 ) area is known for the Civil War battles and its rich historic past.
The 31 acre estate returned to its turn of the century charm by its current owners, Alda & Buddy Ellis. It is placed on the National Historic Register of Places by the United States Department of Interior.
Along with Giada De Laurentis, Bobby Flay and Paula Deen, Alda was featured speaker and presenter at the Metropolitan Cooking Show in Washington, D.C.
Whether you are planning an intimate romantic elopement for just the two of you or a large family gathering, the historic Magnolia HIll is the perfect location to host your wedding and reception. It will be an event you and your guests will forever remember.
• Read our 5-Star reviews on Weddingwire.com
• Enjoy our seven pages styled shoot in Arkansas Bride
• Learn the reasons we were voted #1 on KATV "The A List".
• See our weddings in Weddings in Arkansas magazine.
• Enjoy our wedding featured in Southern Bride magazine.
• And see our weddings featured on favorite blogs...
Velvet Noses, by Alda Ellisext.
Alda Ellis, author, speaker, product designer and founder of Aldas Forever Company has been creating fine gifts filled with tradition and sentiment since 1989. She authored 24 books on hospitality and entertaining selling over 2 million copies. Alda hosted 19 episodes of the TV show, Sentimental Living with VTN. She produced two CDs with the London Symphony Orchestra. As a contributing writer for Wedding Ideas magazine she has given wedding design insights, planning tools, tips, wedding trends, and traditions. Under Alda’s direction, Magnolia Hill Wedding Venue is a multiple award winner on both “The Knot” and “Weddingwire”, the two top leaders in the wedding industry. Holding a world of experience with her love of weddings over the past ten years and hundreds of brides under her direction, Alda offers each bride detailed expertise for making their wedding, the Best Day Ever !
A Letter of Welcome...
As the fourth owner and caretaker of Magnolia Hill, the Dr. Morgan Smith estate, a job we do joyously, the history of this estate was recently the focus of the November Pulaski County Historical Society meeting. Dr, Morgan Smith was born in El Dorado, Arkansas on March 8, 1868, the son of a planter and state senator with considerable influence in Union County and South Arkansas. His father was a colonel in the Confederate army. Married in 1890, he and his wife moved to Little Rock and reopened his practice. Dr. Smith was charming, sympathetic, and humorous as he sported a goatee.
The Dr. Morgan Smith house was built in 1918 in the Craftsman style. Dr. Smith as a well respected and successful physician in the state built and used the home for both his living quarters and an office. The home sits on a hill overlooking one of Arkansas’ oldest roadways. During the Civil War, Union Forces occupied the Ten Mile House which is a few miles down the road. Stagecoach Road was then known as Military Road. On the Smith grounds, a few bullets and even a cannonball has been found, believed to be from the nearby Battle of Brodie Creek.
Embracing a Jeffersonian ideal, Smith constructed his ample home on a large property in a rural setting surrounded by farms. The architect is believed to be John Parks Almand. The stonework on the home was recovered from cobblestone streets in downtown Little Rock as they prepared to brick them. The house is noted for being the best example of Craftsman architecture in this area of the South.
Dr. Smith graduated from Tulane University. Considered by many to be Arkansas’ first Pediatrician, he was Dean of the Medical School from 1912 to 1916 and noted for obtaining the Old State House for use of a medical school as the legislators moved into the brand new Arkansas State Capitol building.
In 1947 the house was sold to Dr. Lester M. Hill. In 1960, Atley and Betty Davis purchased the house, and asked carpenter Cooley Mason to update the kitchen cabinets...never knowing that his daughter would someday be the owner. We the current owners, Alda and W.G. “Buddy” Ellis purchased it in 1980 and have raised our two boys underneath the cloak of history. It is our joy in sharing this bit of heritage with you, as the Dr. Morgan Smith house whispers of a time gone by, and yet offers a bridge to the future.