Blog Widget by LinkWithin

iNSPiRE | Savor the Sweetness of New Beginnings

Friday, January 29


Holy wow! It's almost the end of January and it's just crazy to me to think we've just about wrapped up the first month of 2016. Weren't we just tossing confetti and clinking the bubbly for New Year's Eve? 

Anyway, I designed this macaron art print as a reminder of how wonderful, fresh and SWEET new beginnings can be. And they don't just count in January. You can make a new beginning ANY time you need to. So...if you've gotten off track or want to improve an area of your life START TODAY!

Have a wonderful day my friends!!
xoxo,
Jessica

P.S. Email subscribers received this FREE art print and the coordinating digital wallpapers earlier this week! If you missed out because you haven't subscribed yet, you can SIGN UP HERE! I'll be sharing some free Valentine's Day goodies including another exclusive download soon! So sign up and stay tuned!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
My hopes are to finish painting the master bedroom this weekend. J said he'll help me this time.
I'll keep you posted over the weekend on my Instagram feed.

HOME DECOR | Vintage Valentine Pillow + Silhouette

Thursday, January 28


How adorable is this Vintage Valentine silhouette I created a few years ago?
I love how it looks on this pillow and think it will be darling sitting on the antique bench in my foyer.

If you love the pillow too, you can find it HERE!
Or if you're the creative type and would love to make your own Valentine's Day cards, home decor or art prints using this image, I've uploaded the .png file and made it available as an instant download in my shoppe.

Happy Friday Eve everyone!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Still only have one wall painted in the Master Bedroom - but the color is wonderful and I love it.
And wow! Is that the shortest blog post I've ever written in my life? Yes, I believe it is. #less

LET'S TALK TUESDAY | No. 3 :: Bedding, Blogging + Bakery Envy

Tuesday, January 26


Good morning everyone!
Have you thawed out from the cold temperatures that have had us all wanting to stay bundled up in pajamas for the past two weeks? Give me another mug of S'mores Hot Cocoa from the Hot Cocoa Bar!! Seriously!!

To be honest, I'm in a big hurry this morning with a few different work + life projects going on so I'm going to keep our "meet up" this week super short.

I've picked a couple of super simple questions to answer today AND...I have a couple of fun things to share with you too!!

QUESTION #1
Q:  Can I just say I'm jealous of the bedding you keep sharing on Instagram. Anything from Anthropologie makes my heart skip a beat but the photos you keep sharing are really making me want to go out and buy it too. It looks super soft and cozy. Did you buy the whole set? (duvet, shams, etc.) And when do I get to see the full set up in your bedroom? I'm just dying to get a peek. - Samantha A.

A: Oh my goodness you guys. Yes. The new bedding I purchased from Anthropologie back in July is soooo dreamy. I fell in love with it at first glance when I saw the beautiful, oversized flowers sewn onto it. 



It's called the Georgina Collection and it's gorgeous. I love it. I do have to tell you, I was expecting it to be softer than it is. It has a crepe-paper like feel to it. (not sure how else to describe it). It's soft on the underside though and because it's a duvet cover, when it's stuffed with a down comforter...it's so billowy and soft. Of the four color options available, I ended up choosing the creamy white (because duh...that's my favorite color and I'm not even sure why I was debating going with the white in the first place). I don't ever buy "sets" because I like to mix and match and make things my own. However, that being said, everything was so beautiful, I just couldn't resist. I got the Georgina Duvet, Georgina Bed Skirt,  Georgina Shams and the Georgina Euro Shams. No regrets! 

And yes, I'll be posting the full set up once I finish painting my master bedroom. (I've got one wall done)! Woo Hoo! And you guys!!! I LOVE the color I decided to just go with.


QUESTION #2
Q:  I've been following your blog for quite some time and I was wondering how long you've been blogging for? No real reason other than I'm just curious to know. - Jenn M.

A: Well...in blogger years, I would be considered ancient for sure. I started my blog in 2009. In fact, when I looked through my archives to see when my very first post was to be able to answer this question accurately, would you believe TODAY marks exactly SEVEN YEARS!! Yep! My very first post was January 26th 2009 - my Ella Pie was only 2 months old. (insert tears).  Don't you think that's so ironic and coincidental that I'm answering that specific question TODAY, of all days. (I really had no idea until I looked it up this morning).

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Okay, so before I let you go, I just want to share a couple of favorite finds from the past week.
You know...just like girlfriends would share with each other!

A COLOR STORY APP
I've been playing around with this new FREE photo editing app created by A Beautiful Mess. 
I'm liking it so far and I think you might enjoy it too - especially those of you who post on Instagram frequently. It's free. (There are plenty of extra filters and add-on options to purchase though). CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS ON THE APP.

WHITE ON THE WALL
My new favorite Instagram feed (and website) filled with beautiful vintage furniture projects by a sweet lady named Karen. Best part is she sells a lot of her beautiful vintage pieces and is just 20 miles west of Orlando in Minneola - making her about 35 minutes from me! #cuetheconfetti You'll love her stuff! Here's one of my most recent favorites that I wanted to snatch up!

MAGNOLIA FLOUR + THE STORY OF JOANNA GAINES
Okay, so this isn't something I discovered last week but it's something I just HAVE to share with all of my Fixer Upper fanatics that don't already know or haven't already seen The Gathering Testimony: Joanna Gaines' video or the announcement about the NEW Magnolia Flour (bakery) - coming in 2016! And if that's not enough for you...read this fun "11 Fun Facts you Never Knew About Them" by Glamour.  (my personal favorites are that (1) Joanna has NO interior design background and (2) they do not own a television and haven't for 12 years)! I could SO totally do that - except I'd have to come to your house to get my Fixer Upper fix. *wink* Anyone else seriously contemplating a move to Waco?

That's it for this week my friends!
Feeling warm fuzzies having been able to meet up with you today!
Until our next "Let's Talk Tuesday" make sure you get your questions in!

DIFFERENT WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS
1. Email me directly: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com
2. Leave a question on my Instagram feed anytime.
3. Leave it as a comment here on the blog.

Love you guys!
xoxo

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I wasn't sure whether to love her or hate her when I found out about the Joanna Gaines' new bakery opening up. Seriously? Could she not be any more perfect? She's already living so many of the dreams I'd love to be living...but for her to continue to add to that list of dreams...especially in the form of baking...well...I was feeling the feelings, if you know what I mean. And then I watched The Gathering Testimony video and all of the "feeling the feelings" I was feeling disappeared. *wink*

ONE LITTLE WORD 2016 | Less :: Perfection - a photo with a story

Wednesday, January 20



It's January 20th and I am finally mailing out my "holiday" cards, which, as you can see, are actually "New Year's" cards this year.

The perfectionist in me grumbles a bit to myself about this, and gives me a familiar look of disapproval and disappointment - like something one might expect from the stereotypical hyper-critical mother-in-law. 

However, the person who's learning to be a little more gentle with herself is tossing confetti since I'm putting them in the mail, high-fiving myself for not giving up and celebrating the fact that New Year's Cards actually make a lot more sense. Who's idea was it anyway to add one more stressful thing to our list of things to do, smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season? *wink*

Either way you want to argue it, the photo on the card has a story;
A humorous one actually - with some life lessons mixed in with it.

The storyline is all about "perfection".
One of the ways I happen to be utilizing my One Little Word, (LESS), this year is with regards to perfection.  I'm making a concerted effort to choose less perfection because PERFECTION IS AN ILLUSION, friends. And I'm working on ways to stop chasing after it.

So, speaking of illusions, let's talk about that photo on our New Year's Cards;
It's one of the reasons for the delay in sending out our cards in the first place.

First of all, as many of you have experienced, it's no easy feat having family pictures taken.
And for me, it's always a dilemma because I'm the photographer, making it harder to get a great family photo because I'm on the other side of the camera typically.

This being said, wrangling up all three of my girls on the same day is difficult - especially with one of them in college now. So, we decided on a day in November so Clara could meet us after work one afternoon in downtown Mt. Dora. This really gave Clara very little time to change and try to meet us before the small window of natural light disappeared on us. But we went with it anyway.

Clara was thirty minutes late, I was stressed and grouchy and this, my friends, is what ended up happening...


Lots and lots of overexposed, blurry photos. 

I couldn't believe it! I was in such a hurry, scrambling to utilize the disappearing light, I wasn't paying the least bit attention to what my camera was trying to tell me. I kept dismissing the overexposed images that kept showing up on the LCD monitor as if they had something to do with my 12 year old DSLR that had been giving me strange error codes previously.

So there I was, staring at photos upon photos of blurry photos on my computer I couldn't possibly use for my Christmas cards, knowing there was no fathomable time to gather all three girls together again for a do-over.

I thought all was lost. I seriously made the decision to not even send cards out. After a couple of weeks of stepping away from the photos, I looked at them again and decided one picture out of the bunch showed some potential for being salvaged; The very last photo in the bunch...taken just as the sun had literally disappeared from the sky.


I altered the lighting a bit... 


and then changed it to black and white.


There.
A little bit better.
I could totally pass this off as an intentional "artistic" image of my girls. *blushing*
I wasn't convinced I could really get away with it but uploaded the photo to Shutterfly anyway.


Is the photo what I had originally envisioned? No.
In fact, the girls have a sort of "ghostly" feel to them which creeps me out a bit.
But you know what I do love?
I love that this photo tells a story.
It tells my personal story of progress...not perfection.

This perfection-seeking mama of three has come a LONG way my friends. I still have a long way to go but I can tell you the previous me would've stressed out my kids, (and myself), with a re-do photo shoot.

This messy and imperfect and "not what I had dreamed of" photo will remind me for years to come that perfect is an illusion and that letting go of perfection keeps me humble...and human and HAPPY! 

To the family and friends receiving these this year...
"Now you know the whole story!" *wink*

Thanks for being here you guys! And for being part of my journey!
xoxo
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Until now, I've been too embarrassed to confess to my family that my camera settings was what was responsible for the blurred photos. Although I'd assumed it was from my ancient camera, I discovered later, the dial on my camera had been changed. (by a higher power I'm presuming? To teach me such an important lesson, perhaps?) *blushing*

LET'S TALK TUESDAY | No. 2 :: Book Club, App + Paint Color

Tuesday, January 19


Brrrr! It's another cold winter day here in Florida my friends!!
(currently 39º - high of only 55º). That's cold for this Florida girl.

Let's warm up together with our "Let's Talk Tuesday" No. 2 today. (click here if you missed No. 1 and find out more about the inspiration behind the NEW LTT blog series here on Pen + Paper Flowers if you missed the original announcement).

I have another set of fun questions I'm excited to answer today.
I'm just loving this little bit of time we are carving out each week to connect for a few minutes on a very real level - like friends meeting up over coffee or hot cocoa!


QUESTION #1:
Q: I loved the Book Club you were doing last year but I haven't seen any updated posts in awhile. What happened? Am I missing something? - Maria B.

A: Oh my! I'm embarrassed to admit this but the truth is...life is what happened. After going strong from January until August, I missed posting in September...and then October and before I knew it, it'd been three months and there was no way to catch up at that point.

The good news is, I've been brainstorming some ideas to update the PNPF Book Club to make it a little more simple...a bit LESS complicated. How about I skip the "review" part of things, which was the original concept of the Book Club, and just do a quick list of my current reads every month? What do you think? BTW: Here's one for you: "Whatever You Are, Be a Good One" by Chronicle Books. (Clara gave it to me for Christmas).

QUESTION #2:
I just love the inspirational thoughts you share on Instagram and I'm wondering if there's a specific app you use to create them? I think it might be the Rhonna Designs app but I thought I'd just ask.  - Amanda G.

My favorite app to use is called Phonto. It's SUPER easy and allows me the flexibility I prefer for manipulating fonts and letters. I actually just select the "plain image" option and then select the blank white square to add my wording. That's it. Now, having said that, I do love using the Rhonna Design
App when I want to add some cute design elements. And of course, I'm always using my favorite design program, Adobe Illustrator, for designs as well.


QUESTION #3:
Q: I just love your simple style - both with your designs and some of the images I've seen of your home decor. You'd mentioned awhile ago that you were in the middle of deciding on a paint color for your master bedroom. I'm in the middle of a master bedroom makeover and I'm curious as to what color you ended up choosing. Natalie P.

That's so funny you asked about this because I was at the paint store just YESTERDAY having a gallon mixed up to test out on the master bedroom. I never did paint the master as previously mentioned a year or so ago because I still wasn't convinced of the colors I'd chosen and I just sat on them. In fact, I've still got paint swatches on the walls and I just keep adding to them any time I'm inspired by a color I see on Pinterest or social media and any color recommendations from family and friends.

I'm not sure why, but I've been really stumped with what to do or what direction I want to go in for that room. I can't tell you how many "this is the one" moments I've had with paint colors only to sit on it for a few days and then change my mind altogether. (what is that?) Grrr. So...in keeping with my One Little Word (LESS)...I'm doing less second guessing, less procrastination and I will be moving forward..with confidence by the way...with the custom paint color I had mixed yesterday!


It's a color of happenstance because it was two different leftover paint colors Emalyn decided to mix together on a whim when she re-painted her bedroom a few months ago. Can you believe that? I LOVE the color she ended up with (shown on the top paint stick) so I had it custom matched and then used 50% of the formula for a lighter/brighter hue in the master bedroom. (bottom paint stick). And...yes, it's another creamy white neutral. My mom is SO rolling her eyes right now. And maybe you are too!? *blushing*

I'll share before and after pics soon! For now, I wanted to share a photo of the final Behr paint formula I'm using in the master bedroom, just in case you want to run right out and try it yourself!! 
Let's call the custom color: Happenstance.

Okay, and one more thing...
Have any of you seen the SureSwatch™ sheets? I noticed them for the first time at the Home Depot paint counter yesterday while waiting for my paint to be mixed. The concept sounds pretty cool - but I left without paying the $3 for one sheet. Now after having watched the how-to SureSwatch™ paint and SureSwatch™ Primer Decider videos online to learn more, I'm even more curious about whether or not they'd really work and if they'd be worth it? If you've used them I'd love to know what you think!! And if you haven't, would you consider using them?

Was that fun? Feeling a little more connected? I know I am.
Until next week friends...keep your questions coming!!

DIFFERENT WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS
1. Email me directly: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com
2. Leave a question on my Instagram feed anytime.
3. Leave it as a comment here on the blog.
If you ever have any issues at all being able to leave a comment on my blog, please email me directly to let me know so I can figure out how to resolve it for you: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com

xoxo!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I thought it'd only been a little over a year ago that I started putting different paint swatches on the walls in the master bedroom but when I went back to look at the original post about choosing a paint color I realized it was from August of 2013! Oh my goodness. That's just ridiculous. Now I'm embarrassed. See!! I've REALLY been stuck. For too long. Here's to LESS procrastination! *blushing*

STYLING | Hot Cocoa Bar :: Cabin in the Woods Edition

Thursday, January 14



We have really been enjoying and putting to good use the "Cabin in the Woods" themed hot cocoa bar I created this year for my family.

I think the enamelware mugs, pitcher and storage containers mixed with the rustic/woodsy Hot Cocoa Bar sign I designed, along with the other elements really gave it an authentic, earthy vibe. I just love it.

Hot Cocoa Bars are such an easy concept. Seriously. We've been doing these for years and this time I kept it even more simple by skipping the syrups, eliminating a lot of the toppings, using store-bought packets + bulk hot cocoa powder and even eliminating the pirouette cookies we've typically had on the table.


What's been so fun is that I decided to only offer the fixings to be able to create mugs of S'mores Hot Cocoato keep with the camp/cabin feel of it all. (including the addition of a culinary kitchen torch for roasting the marshmallows on top. We keep it in a drawer near by - for safety). 



Omgoodness!! These are SO good!

And okay,  I miss the cute peppermint stir sticks that usually grace the table, BUT my One Little Word (Less) has really helped me to simplify the set up and it's been wonderful. Our family and friends have thoroughly enjoyed it!!

I've got all of the resources mentioned and linked at the bottom of the post...so I'm just going to let you sit back and scroll through the rest of the details without me saying another word...because I'm practicing saying "less". *wink*















Do you all love it as much as I do?
If you don't, keep it a secret. *wink*

I'm just kidding! I really want to know which one has been your favorite?
"Baby It's Cold Outside" Hot Cocoa BarHot Chocolate Bar  or the new one I'm sharing today!?
I honestly can't decide.

So here's the scoop on everything for those of you feeling inspired to put one together...

TOPPINGS USED
Crushed Graham Cracker Crumbs
Mini Marshmallows
Hershey Bars - broken up into small rectangles (see photo of hot cocoa above)
Mini Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

NOTES + TIPS
STRAWS
These, of course, are not necessary. But they sure look cute and the littles think they are fun!

MINI CHOCOLATE CHIPS
The mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips I have on the table are not necessary if you are creating S'mores Hot Cocoa and use the Hershey Bars to top off your mugs. But a little extra chocolate is always a good idea...in my opinion. *wink*

S'MORES HOT COCOA RECIPE
Follow my S'mores Hot Cocoa Recipe for the perfect presentation.

HOT COCOA POWDER
I was originally going to use hot cocoa packets only  in order to really keep things simple. But then found the cute enamelware containers and decided to keep some bulk hot cocoa powder inside one of them. If you use the packets, have a small trashcan near by.

WHIPPED CREAM
When you purchase your cans of whipped cream, if you intend to wrap the outside of the can with kraft paper, like I did, pay attention to the design of your can. Redi-Whip tends to have a rounded top which makes it more tricky to wrap.

ENAMELWARE
Beware! Enamelware mugs are a wonderful conductor of heat; perfect to warm your hands on a cold night sitting by the fire. However, when using them in the comfort of your home, be sure to remind your hot cocoa drinkers - especially children, to use the handle on the mugs while sipping.

RUSTIC HOT COCOA BAR SIGN
I went with a color sign this year instead of the chalkboard signs I've done the past 2 or 3 years. Printing the chalkboard signs usually cost under $5 because they are black and white. To have a 24x36 color sign printed, it will cost you about $20. I also chose to save myself some time and I paid $10 for Office Depot to mount the sign onto foam board. The beauty of this sign is that you can have it printed in black and white to save money and it will still look awesome...just not as authentic. *wink*

CULINARY KITCHEN TORCH
The kitchen torch isn't something I kept on the table but it's SO fun for creating S'mores Hot Cocoa.

BLACK AND WHITE TABLE COVERING
This was actually one of those Ruana Wraps you wear. It was the perfect size for my small table.

BIRCH STUMP TREE PEDESTAL
This is actually one of those Bonfire Logs. I picked mine up at my local grocery store for $9.99

MORE HOT COCOA BAR INSPIRATION
Hot Chocolate Bar
Baby It's Cold Outside Hot Cocoa Bar

RESOURCES
Hot Cocoa Bar Sign 
Enamelware Mugs
Enamelware Pitcher
Enamelware containers - found these on clearance
Black and White Flannel table covering
Hot Cocoa Powder
Glass Jars with wooden spoons
Lantern
Tree Slabs - both of the flat ones came from Hobby Lobby
Birch Stump - Bonfire Log
Straws - Chocolate Brown Striped
Wooden Scoop for Hot Cocoa Powder + Marshmallows
Small Fern Trees - I actually picked these up at CVS during the holidays. They had ornaments on them to make them look like Christmas trees. I just pulled those off.
Mug Tree - also known as a Wire 3-Tier Glass Drying Rack 

I hope you love it and as always...
I hope you are inspired!!

xoxo

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I thought it would be cute to spray all of the green trees with that "snow in a can" to add more charm and authenticity to the table. Honestly though, I don't think it made that much of a difference. Can you even tell I used it? Not really.

P.S. The sign is crooked in the first photo.  Shhhhh!  *wink*

LET'S TALK TUESDAY | No. 1 :: Hand-lettering, Less + Valentine's Day Ideas

Tuesday, January 12


Welcome friends!! It's a very chilly Florida morning here today;
Perfect for a hot cup of cocoa and getting cozy for our first official "Let's Talk Tuesday".

After having shared this idea of gathering as friends on a weekly basis to dive into some friendly conversation, I have received some awesome feedback and great questions from you!!

Let's dive in, shall we?

QUESTION #1
Q:  I've been a reader of your wonderful blog for a long time.  I wanted to ask if you have always loved to draw and have always had that talent since a child or was this something you cultivated later in life?  I love to draw and doodle and have really nice handwriting too.  I've been this way all my life, though. :) Karen W.

A:  I love this question!! As I sat down to begin to answer it, I stumbled upon a blog post I'd completely forgotten about...specifically about my love for hand-lettering. It was so fun to read back over it and it addresses this question perfectly. Hop over there to read it and then come back here - I promise you're going to love it and that I'll be here waiting when you are done. *wink*


Back already? Did you love that little bit of insight?  Do any of you remember purchasing pens + stickers from the Hallmark store when it was all the rage? I definitely think that's where my obsession for paper products and stationery really began. And as far as being able to "draw" - I don't think I'm very good at that. But I do love to DOODLE!! I thought it'd be fun to share this photo I found from 2006 (above)!

QUESTION #2
Q: What made you decide to make your life more enjoyable by doing less, and how do you decide what is less without finding yourself back in the trap of taking on too much?
I am also trying to prioritize with doing less and living for purpose and not for perfection. I find myself back into taking on more again, although I know it takes away me time and family time.  - Kathlene T.

A: I chose LESS as my focus word not because I've perfected the concept. I chose LESS because I firmly believe by continuing to work towards this concept, I will be left with MORE OF WHAT MATTERS. I was once the person who said yes to everything and wanted to do and be everything! It's super easy to get caught up in the rat race or even in the comparison game and fall into the "trap of too much"!   Expect mistakes + regrets along the way because this is life + it's a learning process. Just know that despite the mess ups along the way, you have the opportunity to get it right the next time.

How do I decide what is less? Life provides us with refining moments we don't always ask for or want to experience. (see this Life + Loss post). These moments provide us with the chance to "re-evaluate" the direction we are going. Figure out what really matters to you and write it down. Reference it often when faced with decisions related to time + commitment and re-evalute often.

And by the way, I'm always re-evaluating! (see this post on time management,  periods of re-evaluationThe Fringe Hours Book, + Navigate just to name a few.)

Here's a glimpse into what makes up my "What Matters Most" list
Ella and I - November 2014

As Lara Casey says...progress not perfection!! I've gotten really good at saying no. And I've gotten even better at stepping back and taking a minute to really evaluate something before saying yes.  Now that's progress!!

QUESTION #3
Q:  I know I'm a little early but I like to plan. Do you have any advice on making cute classroom valentines? Melissa S.

A: It's never too early to start planning - especially for fun classroom Valentine's Day treats!! Here is one of my my favorite ideas from last year...


MORE VALENTINE'S DAY IDEAS
Sprinkles to My Cupcake Valentine's Day Cards
Colors in my Rainbow Valentine's Day Treats - includes links to some other fabulous ideas!
Sprinkles on my Sundae - great for a teacher gift
"Crush" Collection : candy + soda printable

I'm working on a NEW set of FREE printable Valentine's Day tags for you guys.
I'm skipping the sugary treats for Ella's classroom this year and will be handing THESE out instead.
I'll be sharing the cute packaging details for gifting THOSE so if you like that idea too, stay tuned for the upcoming post.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

It's been so fun sitting with you to answer a few of your questions.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

If you've been inspired to ask a question, here are some
DIFFERENT OPTIONS TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS
1. Email me directly: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com
2. Leave a question on my Instagram feed anytime.
3. Leave it as a comment here on the blog.
If you ever have any issues at all being able to leave a comment on my blog, please email me directly to let me know so I can figure out how to resolve it for you: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com

KEEPiNG iT REAL
In keeping with my one little word LESS...I'm attempting to do LESS sugar this year. (not my favorite choice by the way). Hence the non-sugary Valentine's Day treats for Ella's classroom this year. Yep! That was intentional. And...because I won't be making anything in the kitchen, it will take me LESS time to prepare these...giving me more time for other things. See how that all works out like that.  *wink*

And man...this whole "LESS" concept has certainly been challenging when writing blog posts.
I'm so used to getting "a bit wordy" and now I'm finding myself erasing entire paragraphs at times in order to keep things simple. This is so good for me. And for YOU too! *giggling* 

ONE LITTLE WORD 2016 | LESS :: Clutter

Thursday, January 7

"Five in 5"the fun little game I've made up to eliminate 5 random things from my life in 5 minutes everyday in an attempt to declutter and move toward my one little word for 2016: Less.

Good morning friends!! 
I just finished my green smoothie for the 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge my family and I are doing this month and it's the perfect time to follow through on my promise to share the "magic" that's already been happening in my world with regards to my One Little Word for 2016!

I remember when I started reading the ever-popular The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo last year. I dove into the book motivated and excited to get my house in order once and for all. 

I was intrigued to find out more about this revolutionary concept of decluttering and organizing and I literally got halfway through the book and read somewhere in the pages the average process would take 6 months. Six months!! I was so discouraged by those words, I put the book down and never picked it back up. 

With that said, my desire to declutter never went away - just my energy to make it happen.

THE CONCEPT
Five in 5 came from my desire to experience a sense of accomplishment (along with the empowering feeling purging provides), every single day - no matter what. 

Whether I'm sick, tired, burned out, dragging, deflated, overwhelmed or have just had a busy day, this  Five in 5 is something I can still manage to do. 

I didn't sit down and plan this out or spend hours thinking about it. It's really just something I started doing out of frustration, honestly, and it's quickly become an addictive habit. 

HOW TO START
Just randomly pick an area of your life, (drawer, refrigerator, dresser, pantry, kitchen, space, room, desk, closet, freezer, purse, bookshelf, car, garage, backpack, social media...whatever), and remove 5 things you don't need, don't use + won't use. Bam! That's it. 

DISCARD, DONATE, DESIGNATE, OR DELETE
Remove the 5 items from your life by applying one of the 4 D's...
Discard them in the garbage or recycling, donate them to GoodWill or a local church, designate a box for an upcoming garage sale or in the case of digital clutter...just hit delete!

Want to see what I've gotten rid of so far? I've been keeping a running list...

WHAT I'VE PURGED IN SIX DAYS
Empty soap bottle in shower
Stretched out hair tie
11 plastic medicine droppers + cups from kitchen drawer
Purged + organized one junk drawer
(I had more than 5 minutes to spend on this so I took the opportunity to make it happen).
broken glass from frame
camera bagstrap
scarf
business card
t-shirt
12 hair accessories
1 can of glitter hairspray
lunchbox
box of candy crystals
green tea bags
meringue powder
old popcorn shaker labels

On top of that, you may have noticed I've decluttered the sidebar of my blog...
AND...I've unsubscribed from over 172 email subscriptions using www.unroll.me in an attempt to clean up my inbox. *confetti*

This simple system is really working for me. 
If you've been feeling the urge to purge, I encourage you to try out this Five in 5 concept!
I'm certain you will be inspired!! 
I know I'm absolutely LOVING it and I'm already feeling the power in "LESS"!!

Do you have any brilliant ideas you'd like to share that you've found really helps to control the clutter? Leave a comment or send me an email: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com

Until next time...here's to less clutter and MORE clarity!!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Hi! My name is Jessica and I've recently become a "purge junkie".
I feel a sense of anticipation and excitement as I look for ways on a daily basis to experience the high that comes from getting rid of stuff. *wink*

On another note...you all are blowing my doors off with some great questions rolling in for the "Let's Talk Tuesday" post next week. I appreciate the emails and feedback and look forward to sharing!

LET'S TALK TUESDAY | Good Ole Fashioned Friendly Conversation

Tuesday, January 5

Good Morning friends!
Tuesdays around here are about to get REALLY good.


Let's meet up here on Tuesdays, just like friends meeting up for a quick cup of coffee, hot tea, hot cocoa, or green smoothie; Friends who are making time to catch up, share some cool ideas, let off some steam, ask for advice, talk about mom stuff or just pump each other up to tackle whatever we've got going on in our lives.

To get the conversation going each week, I thought it would be fun to answer any random questions you all have about my life, my business, my everyday happenings, how things work in my household with 3 children, or whatever you've ever been curious about. Maybe you've always wondered what I pack Ella for lunch every day, or whether or not I've managed to paint my master bedroom yet or maybe even what my morning routine looks like? I will also look to you all for feedback on things I come across or ideas I have stirring around in my head and fun things I've found or learned.

I just feel moved to reach out to you all on a much more personal level in order to really open up the door for some good ole fashioned conversation and dialogue. That's how friendships are formed, how communities are built and how relationships flourish.

Of course, in keeping with my one little word for 2016 I shared with you yesterday, we'll be keeping these conversations short + sweet - as much as we can - so that we can actually enjoy, (and continue to look forward to), a few minutes of conversation together without feeling like a huge chunk of our day has been lost. Less is more! *wink*

So...what questions do you have for me? It doesn't matter how silly it might sound or insignificant it my seem...ask away! Use the options below to share them and I'll pick a few + meet you back here next Tuesday!

DIFFERENT OPTIONS TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS
1. Email me directly: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com
2. Leave a question on my Instagram feed anytime.
3. Leave it as a comment here on the blog.
If you ever have any issues at all being able to leave a comment on my blog, please email me directly to let me know so I can figure out how to resolve it for you: pnpflowersinc AT gmail DOT com
I've had several people mention something about problems they've encountered when attempted to leave a comment and I want to get to the bottom of it this and for all.

Now...get back to your busy life!
I'll meet you back here on Tuesday for our next "Let's Talk Tuesday"!

KEEPiNG iT REAL
This post was much longer originally.
But I reeled myself back in chanting "less" the entire time and it's completely scaled back...just as it always should've been! *wink*

P.S. I've got less than 2 hours to get together some gifts for a post-holiday party at the cupcake shop tonight! Eeks!

iNSPiRE | One Little Word for 2016

Monday, January 4


Happy New Year,  friends!!!
It's that time of year for resolutions, promises, goals, dreams, motivation, changes...right?!

Well instead of getting all wrapped up and overwhelmed in all of that, I'm focusing on my one little word for 2016...


less.

Yep! That's it. That's my word!
A word that in actuality encompasses all of those before-mentioned things but in a nice, tidy, simple little package. 

It sounds pretty wimpy and unglamorous, doesn't it?
Don't be fooled though.
There's a lot of power that can come from that little word and I'm expecting big things!
I'm figuring that by focusing on the word "less" in all areas of my life...
I will actually end up with "more".
More of what really matters.

less clutter - more clarity
less distractions - more focus on my family
less sugar - more sustained energy, health + vitality
less comparisons - more creativity
less time in the studio - more focus during business hours
less procrastination - more productivity
less social media - more time blogging...because that's what I love!
less second guessing - more confidence
less fear - more faith
less time in my head - more time in my world *wink*
less excuses - more doing

And there's more I could share but I'm keeping it "less" today. *wink*

I was led to choose "less" by this blog post I read from Emily Ley.
And then I realized, as I typically do with all of my words each year, I've been on a journey towards this word over the last year.  Funny how things work out like that.

I've slowly been gravitating towards a much more simple life with regards to home decor, eating, work load + just taking time to smell the roses.

I'm really excited to watch the powerful changes I anticipate will unfold over the course of this year.

With that said, I've decided it would be fun to share a weekly update on how + what I'm doing with my word so you can watch my progress and cheer me on. I do hope you'll cheer me on! *smiling*

I'll pop in later this week to fill you in on the magic that's already taken place from this simple little word...and it's only Day 4 of 2016.

If you are new to the concept of choosing "one little word" and want to know more...or if you are curious as to what my past words have been, here are a few different links...
2015 - Shine
2014  Navigate
2013 Push
2012 no word - I was lame and didn't pick one...*blushing*
2011 Fresh

I'd love to hear what YOUR word for 2016 is!!
Share it in the comments!
I'll pick someone at random to send something special to.

Here's to less...so we can all have more! More of what matters!

xoxo,
Jessica

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Speaking of "what matters"...after a chest x-ray today it's been determined Ella has bronchitis. Boo!
She's been sick for the last week with a nagging cough and after a week of meds and no real improvement I took her back into the doctor today!

Lucky her though...she and Ema built a blanket fort just before New Year's Eve and she got to sleep in it for 3 nights in a row! She thought that was pretty awesome! I finally had her take it down last night so we could have some semblance of order back in the living room. Although she was definitely disappointed to have to take it down, I've promised to have a "sleepover" with her on Friday so we'll be setting up the fort again and this time I'll be sleeping in it with her. *wink*

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan