Friday, April 29

GIFT IDEA | Mother's Day 2016


Hello friends!
Looking for a simple gift idea for Mother's Day?
The "Thank You, Mom" book by M.H. Clark from Compendium is a great way to really tell your mom how much you appreciate all that she's done for you through the years. It's filled with quotes and statements that touch on the care she's given, how she's really defined what family means and the love she shares. The book manages to wrap up all the "feels" a simple card can't possibly do.

Besides that, it's a pretty book she can leave on her nightstand and read over and over for years to come. (AND...you can order it on Amazon and it'll arrive in plenty of time - especially if you are an Amazon Prime member). *wink*




This is one of my favorite quotes in the book!
I'm actually considering personalizing the book I'm giving my mom by going through and adding any little extra sentiments or even memories I want to share.

I'm thinking this book would be perfect for pairing with this Wild Honeysuckle Candle from Anthropologie and a pretty bouquet of her favorite blooms. I'll be including this charming Mother's Day Flowers Card too! And I'll probably have to throw in a bag of her favorite candy...just because.

What ideas have you come up with for the moms in your life?
I'd love to be inspired so please share! *wink*

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I'm typically a last-minute planner when it comes to gift-giving so I feel pretty proud of myself for being on top of things. Now all I have to do is figure out where we should go for brunch this year.

P.S. Want to know what I asked for? A gift card to Stitch Fix. *laughing*
I told you I was addicted already! 

Read more...

Thursday, April 28

SHARE | Pretzel Bar by Chandice Probst

Good Morning friends!
Today, I've got another fun "bar" idea to share with you for your next celebration!
You gluten-free people out there are going to be exceptionally excited about this one...


PRETZEL BAR
by Gluten Free Frenzy

I recently had the opportunity to work with Chandice from Gluten Free Frenzy on a couple of Chalkboard Signs for a Pretzel Bar she was working on in collaboration with Glutino.

It turned out really cute and I'm thinking you all might be inspired to create one yourself!!



Such a cute idea, right?
Especially knowing even your guests with gluten sensitivities can join in on the fun!!
Are you feeling inspired to create one of your own?

If the answer is yes, you're going to love me!
I'm making the sign available for FREE for TODAY ONLY - before I load it into the shoppe!
There are actually two different 24x36 signs to choose from and the 11x14 "The Works" sign is included as a free download as well!

click to download -----> 24x36 Casual sign <-----click to download

click to download ----->  24x36 Sophisticated Sign  <-----click to download

  click to download -----> 11x14 "The Works" Sign  <-----click to download

Grab them FOR FREE while you can my friends!!
And be sure to check out Chandice's full blog post with all of the details of her set up and the inspiration behind the whole Pretzel party and "The Works" sign. Such a cute story!!

Happy "almost Friday" my friends!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
It's always so fun to be introduced to new people through referrals from previous collaborations.
Thrilled that Jessica with Fantabulosity is the one that sent Chandice my way!

P.S. I'm back in yoga pants again today...but there are only so many days in a row I can wear my uniform. *giggling* (see my Stitch Fix post).

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Tuesday, April 26

LET'S TALK TUESDAY | No. 9 :: Stitch Fix


Wow! Wow! Wow!
It's been killing me not to have time for our weekly chats.
With that said, I'm leaving the guilt on the floor as I pull up a chair today and spend some time with you favorite people of mine...answering a really fun question this week, by the way. Let's go...

Q: "Hi Jessica. I love your blog. I really do. I'm a mom that has similar interests as you and your blog keeps me motivated and inspired. My question is pretty random. You mentioned in a recent post about the personal stylist websites. I immediately went and checked them all out and it sounds so fun. Before I take the plunge, I'm curious if you've actually signed up with one of them yet? If you have, which one did you decide on? And I hope you'll do a blog post about it. I want to sign up but a little hesitant and your feedback might be just the push I need. Thanks in advance." - Sabrina T.

A: This question couldn't have come at a more perfect time since I received my first "Fix" from Stitch Fix last week. Yep. I signed up with Stitch Fix you guys and I'm telling you something...it's incredibly fun. I absolutely LOVE it. I know...I've only gotten one box but I'm already hooked.

FULL DISCLOSURE: My reasoning behind signing up for Stitch Fix is to change some really bad habits I've formed over the last few years. Working from home keeps me sitting at a desk the majority of my day and I find myself wearing yoga pants and sporting a messy bun almost everyday. I've gotten lazy about my appearance and I ended my relationship with clothes shopping due to the extra "fluffy" I've put on from such a sedentary lifestyle. I want to change all of that.

So how's it work and what do you do to sign up?

Go to the Stitch Fix website and sign up. It'll include you answering some questions to help your personal stylist understand your needs, interests, size, shape and budget. Based on those answers, your stylist chooses 5 items personalized JUST FOR YOU and ships them to you.

Here's what came in my box: (one dress, two shirts, one pair of jeans and a pair of shoes)

FIX #1

When your shipment arrives there is an invoice detailing each item you were sent along with the price of each item. There are also instructions in the box explaining how the process works. You are encouraged to try on everything in the box...whether you think you like it or not.

So that's what I did.


Omgoodness! Those TOMS!? I couldn't wait to try on those adorable shoes!! Look at the darling fabric lining on the inside of them too! I just love everything about them...the color, style, EVERYTHING! I'm not sure I've ever seen a cuter pair of TOMS. But then again...I haven't gotten out in a long while to do some real shopping.  

I confess that I rolled my eyes at the thought of trying on a pair of jeans. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I wore a pair. I just don't like the way I look in jeans right now. But I don't really like the way I look in anything these days...see FULL DISCLOSURE above. *wink*

I read the personalized note from my stylist named Liz, and here's part of what it said... "I think a good first step is to exchange the yoga pants for a great fitting pair of jeans. This pair was designed specifically for the curvier gal and should provide you with amazing comfort day in and day out while still looking stylish." 

I completely chuckled at her kind use of "curvier gal" and was inspired to take the challenge to try those bad boys on. Omgoodness. You guys!! I cannot tell you how perfect these jeans fit me...AND they are super comfortable too. WIN!!


I didn't love the grey striped shirt at first. But then I tried it on.
And I'm actually wearing it right now! *giggle* 
I love the color of it but was concerned the stripes would make me look wider than I am. But it's super comfortable and has 3/4 length sleeves. Plus, I think it will continue to look better on me as I work on decreasing my "fluffy". WIN!!


I immediately snubbed my nose at the colorful top...because it had purple in it.
But I tried it on anyway...just like the instructions said. I love the way it fit on me. The cut was great for my current shape and size. It was super comfortable material too.

There was also a navy blue dress. I didn't like the way it looked before I tried it on.
and it was no better after trying it on. *frown*

The last step of the process (and you have to do this within THREE DAYS of receiving the items), is to figure out what you want to keep and what needs to go back.

After you've tried everything on and determined what you love, if you have items to return, there's a USPS priority envelope included in your box and you just stuff everything inside of it and drop it off at your local USPS location. CONVENIENT!! (there's already a label on it and it's FREE SHIPPING). Done.

So...here's what I ended up sending back...


TOMS: No!!!! I did not want to send these back. I really loved them. BUT...the right shoe was slightly too big and the left one was a bit too tight. So weird, right? I contemplated adding a heal insert or something to the right shoe to make it fit and then just deal with the uncomfortable tighter left shoe but for $88 I decided I should be completely happy with how they fit and not have to make adjustments or "deal" with it.  I was sad to put them in the bag. *frown*

CHEVRON TOP: I couldn't get past the colors you guys. Also, I felt like it was something my mom would wear. (sorry Mom). *grin* But the fabric and the way it felt when I put it on was dreamy. Seriously. Hoping my stylist sends the same shirt but in a different color pattern?

NAVY DRESS: Was not flattering on me at all. I didn't like anything about it and couldn't package it up to send back quick enough! *wink*

So, you sign onto your Stitch Fix account to "checkout" (ie. pay for the stuff you are keeping). This also requires you giving feedback on the items you received...marking items you are keeping and items you are returning and the reasons for both. Whatever your balance is for the items you are keeping, your $20 "styling fee" you've already paid is applied and you just pay the remaining balance for your new kicks! *wink*

The feedback you give at check out will help determine the selections for the next "Fix" you receive. You also have the option at ANY time to change your "Fix Frequencies": 
- Every 2-3 Weeks
- Every Month
- Every Other Month
- Every Three Months

And that's it!
So fun, right?

Are you going to try it?
Have you already tried it? Good experience? Bad?
Let me know. I'd love to hear what you all think about this!!

I'm so happy to have been able to chat with you guys today!
I guess I got my "Let's Talk Tuesday" fix too! *wink*

xoxo,
Jessica

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Okay, so I've been wearing my new outfit like it's a uniform...ha!
And I was so happy with my first fix, I changed my frequency from monthly to every 2-3 weeks. Ha!
May 5th can't get here fast enough. *laughing*

I do wonder if everyone's stylist is named Liz! *wink*

Read more...

Thursday, April 21

LIFE | Lemonade + Lollipops Stand


Lemonade stands are the best! Aren't they?
But how about a lemonade + lollipop stand? Even better!!
Especially when it's being manned by two adorable little girls that have been planning this day "for forever!" (in Ella's words). *wink*

Yep! Ella and her best friend Elise set up a lemonade and lollipop stand this past weekend and these little entrepreneurs did quite well together!








Our neighborhood was having a community garage sale so it was the perfect opportunity for them to sell their little hearts out!

Lucky for them, I had been working on a project for Hershey that allowed me to build the lemonade stand they used. My Hershey project and photos were due on Friday and the girls turned right around on Saturday and used the stand for their Lemonade + Lollipop stand.

DISCLAIMER: I did NOT build this lemonade stand all on my own. My stepdad came to the rescue and helped bring this to life. We worked together all while teaching me how to use a power saw, cut 45ยบ angles and learn how to use and load a nail gun. I feel so empowered...because those skills are going to continue to come in handy for other projects down the road! Thank you Rick!!

Anyway, I thought you'd appreciate a peek at their adorable little stand!
The metal piece on the front came from Hobby Lobby and then I created a chalkboard sign, printed it at Office Depot, (and had them mount it onto foam board too). Then I added some strong magnets to the back to secure it to the metal. LOVE it.

And I'll love it even more when I replace the plexiglass top that's temporarily protecting the wood right now with some stainless steel or zinc or something cool! *wink*

Why would I go through the trouble and expense of building this stand when I could have easily covered a small table with a table cloth?

1. The girls will get years of use from this - and it's totally cute. *wink*
2. I've been saying for about 3 years now that I need a "standing" workstation in my studio to
    eliminate all of the hours of sitting I do at the computer or when I'm crafting. So this will be
    actively used in my studio and pulled out as needed for lemonade (and lollipop) stand use.

I thought it'd be fun to share this with you and that you'd love the turnout!

I'll be sharing the full Hershey project I did using the stand.
Including the DIY for the "lollipop cake" you see in these photos.

The sources for supplies and materials are listed below if you are curious.
Have a fantastic day my friends!!

SUPPLIES + MATERIALS
- Lemonade Stand - DIY by Pen + Paper Flowers (and my stepdad)
- Corrugated Galvanized Sheet (1x2) on front of stand - Hobby Lobby 
(couldn't find a direct link on their website so here's the item number from the packaging: #1245471)
- Chalkboard Sign - Pen + Paper Flowers
- Lemonade Dispenser
- Lollipop Cake - Pen + Paper Flowers - tutorial coming soon!
- Lollipops
- Chalkboard Box holding lollipops - Yankee Candle - from a few years back
- Free-standing Chalkboard sign (with lemonade pricing) - Hobby Lobby

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I was a complete freak on Wednesday + Thursday, prior to the Saturday the girls were setting up their stand. I was in the middle of trying to finish up the three projects for Hershey but I also really wanted to have the metal on top of the stand so it would blend nicely with the metal backing for the sign AND I wanted to make sure I had something to protect the table from spills and sugar and stickiness!

So I found myself calling numerous businesses and driving around trying to find a place that could accommodate my request. After several stops, I finally decided to let it go and just figure all that out AFTER the fact. Plus, my stepdad had a connection for the plexiglass and managed to get that to me on Thursday night! Phew! Yay!!

Read more...

Monday, April 11

BEHIND THE SCENES | Projects for Hershey's

Good Morning friends!!
Just wanted to pop in quickly to say I'm excited to be busy behind-the-scenes working on three completely different fun projects for Hershey's. (all due on Friday, by the way)

Here are a couple of sneak peeks for you to give you an idea as to what I'm still styling, photographing and even building a prop for this week. I think you'll love all three ideas and will be able to implement them as part of your upcoming celebrations!





In the meantime, I hope you'll celebrate with me for being featured twice on the HGTV website last week (photos #1 and #2) as well as twice today on Bridal Guide (here and here)! #cuetheconfetti

Seeing my work recognized will never get old!

That's all I've got for you today, friends!
I hope you all are doing fantastic and that you have a terrific week ahead!
I'll be back soon.

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Seriously trying to plan a trip out to Waco!
Is it bad to want to do it over the Summer as part of the kids being out of school?
I'm thinking it will be scorching hot in Texas at that time. That might be miserable?
Anyone else looking to visit Chip + Joanna? *wink*

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