Thursday, September 3

INSPIRE | Worry pretends to be necessary

I couldn't have said it better myself, Eckhart Tolle, and I couldn't agree with this more.
However, I've also learned it's much easier to roll in the worry and soften it a bit when you aren't in a situation that is worrisome.

My such situation was last week when I had a routine checkup on Tuesday that ended up sending me for an unexpected ultrasound. (this was the same week as the Christmas Brunch that almost didn't happen). Yeah. Crazy week for sure.

Well today...I'm celebrating.
A phone call today confirming negative test results have brought me much relief + gratitude to say the least.

For those of you who were already aware of the situation when I posted a little something about it on my Instagram feed and have been sending cyber hugs, love, support + prayers...THANK YOU!!

If you are going through a similar situation or know someone who is...
I thought you might enjoy this reminder.

Here's a link to the FREE "Worry Pretends to Be Necessary" Art Print...
formatted to print onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper or card stock.

And here's a fun creative idea!
Run it through your Heidi Swapp MINC machine and gold foil it for an extra "wow" factor!!
I've already got my eyes on the MINC mini for smaller projects...SO cute!!

J was never worried...not even for a second.
And that's why he's my rock.
And how did I celebrate today?
I stopped and treated myself to cupcakes.
...which J would highly disapprove of. *wink*


Tuesday, September 1

LIFE | The Christmas Brunch that almost didn't happen...

Giving you a little peek into the styled Christmas Brunch that almost didn't happen.

I've been working behind-the-scenes on this special project for the December issue of Romantic Homes Magazine. I had just put the finishing touches on the Christmas brunch last Thursday, (baked goods, beverages and food items all out on display), and was JUST getting ready to photograph the entire thing when minutes later, I found myself dialing 911 for my 16 year old daughter.

Ema had been home sick all week and missed the first day of school.
She had been diagnosed on Monday with a terrible virus and we expected her to be feeling better by Wednesday or Thursday. Well...Thursday came and just before noon she was rushed to the ER, by ambulance no less, after multiple episodes of passing out.

Clara, my oldest daughter, rushed home from work when she found out what was going on and helped me frantically throw plastic wrap on the perishables and get refrigerated items back in the fridge before we headed up to the hospital. (I actually would've just left everything out because who REALLY cares at that point but I was able to keep my head on straight long enough to realize the potential catastrophe I could come home to if I left it out with Hamilton, our Jack Russell, there all by himself.

Besides my worries about Hamilton eating the food, I have to confess I was overwhelmed at the thought of having to re-bake things because the task had been so laborious in the first place. We still don't have an oven from the lightning strike back in June, right? So...I cooked a Quiche Lorraine and two loaves of Cranberry-Orange Bread in a toaster oven on Wednesday night - of course, not at the same time. Desperate times call for desperate measures...and it actually worked pretty good. Ha!!

The baking saga continued early Thursday morning.
After dropping Ella off to school I rushed over to my mom's to bake some mini loaves and mini doughnuts at her house since those particular pans wouldn't fit in the toaster oven. I ended up trashing the doughnuts but the mini loaves turned out delicious!! (see below)


Anyway, I returned from my mom's Thursday morning, checked on Ema, who was still not feeling well but was sleeping, and I finished getting everything baked and prepped and styled. I had timed things just right to take advantage of the gorgeous morning light spilling in on the Christmas brunch set up and I was about to begin photographing everything.
BUT...Ema had different plans for me that day. *wink*

My Emalyn is doing better and attempted to go to school yesterday for the first time.

As for the Christmas brunch...
I managed to set everything back up the next day, stale bread and all, and I'm happy to tell you the photos turned out beautiful.

By the way...
Did you notice I like a little bread with my icing drizzle? *wink*

Yesterday, the original conclusion of this blog post read: "Besides being able to photograph everything and have it turn out so well despite the obstacles...I'm most happy Ema is starting to feel better."

BUT...minutes before finishing the blog post I had to leave to pick her up from school...because she really wasn't feeling all that better afterall. *insert tears*

So yeah...we were back at the doctor's office again today and they are testing her for mono. (even though we had her tested at the ER because her older sister came down with it about a month ago). Grrrrr!! Apparently it will produce a negative result if it's tested during the first week of the illness? Really? 

Anyway, Ema will be out for another week of school and potentially longer so I'll keep you posted on how she's doing.

In the meantime, you can find me in bed with my head buried in the covers until I'm fully recovered emotionally and physically from living in nutsville over here for the last week.
Ha! I'm only kidding...I intentionally included that because I know J reads my blog and I figured I'd jerk his chain a little. *wink*


Tuesday, August 25

BOOK CLUB | September Selection :: Live Happy

I'm slow to announcing the Pen + Paper Flowers Book Club Selection for September...
BUT...that doesn't mean I'm not totally excited about it!!

I've picked "Live Happy" from Compendium Books and it looks as though it will be yet another a beautiful, short + sweet, inspiring read once again, by M.H. Clark.

I have to say this woman is brilliant. She has authored so many incredibly inspiring books, many of which you and I have read together this year, and I can't seem to pull myself away from her specific works of art when it comes to choosing a new book each month.

This book promises to inspire us to really look for the happiness that surrounds each day.

"Every day is an opportunity to bring good into your life. Every day is a chance to find more happiness. And every day, you can find your happy simply by deciding to look for it. This colorful, uplifting book is a reminder to invite delight wherever you are."

I love that!! "Invite delight!"
That just may be my next art print...*wink*

Want to read along with me starting September 1st?
Grab your copy of Live Happy right here on Amazon!!

I'm absolutely LOVING the August Book Selection - if you haven't started it yet...
get going!! As always, my book picks are quick reads so you still have time to finish it before we focus on "Live Happy" for September!!

My girls are back in school...first day was yesterday.
Ella started 1st grade and ADORES her new teacher!!
Ema kicked off her Junior year in an Epic not going to school at all. *frown*
She's sick. Sick as in "can't-go-to-school-until-Thursday-or-Friday-we-hope-per-the-doctor" kind of sick. *frown*

Meanwhile...I'm working on a super pretty project for an upcoming magazine feature.
Sneak peeks are always being shared on my Instagram when you are missing me on the blog.
I'd love for you to follow me over there!


Monday, August 17

SHARE | Believe And It Will Be

I shared this on my Instagram feed last week and had someone ask where she could purchase the art so she could print it out and maybe even use the Heidi Swapp Minc machine to turn it into a gold foil art print. (If you don't have one - let me just say it's pretty amazing)!! There's a mini Minc too!!

Anyway - I thought I'd post it here on the blog as a free printable for anyone else who would love to print it out, frame it, color it, etc.

Download the 6x6 file HERE.

Here's the thought inspiration behind this artwork and what I shared on Instagram:

"I think when it comes to ideas + dreams, your relationship with "belief" is all that may be standing in the way. If you BELIEVE then it will be. (Belief fuels passion, hard work, determination + dedication). On the other hand, if you DOUBT...then "it"...(your idea, your dream) will disappear."


I'm thinking I should start posting a free black and white printable like this on a regular basis. I may include it as a freebie for newsletter if you aren't subscribed yet SIGN UP HERE!
If you love the idea, let me know by leaving a comment that says "Yes, do it!" *wink*

Last Monday before the new school year starts.
Last week before Summer ends. *insert tears*


Saturday, August 15

FREE | Sugar Is My Sidekick Art Print :: The Cake Blog

What started out as a simple sketch is now the FREE art print over on The Cake Blog this month...
This might be my favorite one yet since it includes all of my favorite sugary treats...popsicles, cupcakes, macarons, chocolate chip cookies, cotton candy and of course...a pretty cake!!
Enjoy it as a FREE printable file for framing or grab the wallpaper downloads to sweeten up your desktop as well as any of your other digital devices.

Find the DOWNLOADS HERE and enjoy your weekend everyone!!

Summer is coming to an end for us as we approach the first day of school on Monday, August 24th.
I say this every year but as much as I look forward to the routine of things the school year brings, Summer, for me, marks the end of another chapter with my kids I never want to stop reading!!

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