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coming up | DiY Fall and Winter Wreath

Tuesday, November 29

With the month of December just days away...
I wanted to share a preview of the DiY wreath I'll be sharing with you this week...
A wreath that easily transitions from Fall to Winter...
and possibly every season in between...

A rustic wreath with a shabby-vintage vibe...

I'll be back with more details and the how-to...
just wanted to give you a little teaser...

Have a GREAT Tuesday everyone...

I'll be posting ALL about the Mini Angel Food cakes from yesterday...
Trust me when I say...
You won't want to miss it...

behind the scenes | Ella's 3rd birthday

Monday, November 28

I'm thrilled this Monday morning to share a few details from 
Ella's 3rd birthday party prepartions...





I can't wait to reveal all of the party details...
especially the theme...
I'm in LOVE with it.
Preparing for it over the past few months has been SUCH complete fun!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday!!
I was thrilled to spend time with family!
A warm thank you to my aunt and uncle for hosting it this year! Love you Susan and Dan!
And a huge thanks to the Lossing family for making the trek from South Carolina - miss you already!!

• I think I gained 10lbs from the Thanksgiving Holidays! (not a good thing since I scheduled our family photos yesterday)
The Pastry Pedestals™ have been on backorder after selling out several times. (a good thing for me...not so good for my sweet, patient customers)
• I have no idea where the month of November went and now I'm frantically trying to transition into December festivities!!
• It's "Baking Monday" for Ella and I and we're doing mini Angel Food Cakes for our Family Night theme. 
(I specifically picked Angel Food Cake because it's one of the things on my "promise ME" list)
• Speaking of the "promise ME" journey...
feeling SO very guilty for not keeping you more in the loop as to my progress...
as well as doing a better job at checking in with all of you participating...
my  "promise ME peeps"! 
(We've only got until February to keep our are you doing?)
• My sweet Ella has a's so hard seeing her little watery eyes, hearing her little sniffles and cough and knowing she's not feeling 100%. 

working from home | periods of reevaluation

Tuesday, November 22

I'm grateful for Mondays...
Mondays are "BAKING DAY" at my house...

Ella and I made Molasses Crinkles yesterday...
(one of my very favorite cookies, thanks to Grandma Ambs)

BAKING DAY works out perfectly with the fact that
Monday nights are our designated "Family Night"
(and I LOVE to have a treat for everyone afterwards)

In my quest to achieve balance...
mostly between being the mother I NEED to be and the successful business owner I WANT to be
I'd reached another period of reevaluation.
I decided it was time to revise my work day a little bit.
Well actually...
A LOT of bit...*wink*


I've rededicated myself to making sure we have Family Night every Monday again.

I can't wait to see this completely filled with things our family is grateful for...
(I made mine with a cheap poster frame, a roll of poster paper cut to size and some 2" black vinyl letters.

The plexiglass that came with the frame was placed behind the white poster paper 
to provide us with a hard surface for writing/adding the things we are grateful for).

The point is...
It is necessary to re-evaluate things in your life on a regular basis.
I found myself feeling extremely guilty at the end of most days...
feeling I had worked way too much...
and wishing I had spent more quality time with Ella.
(definitely red flags for a reevaluation)

I had to come up with a solution.
And I did.
I've set "firm" work hours for myself.
I've even got an alarm on my phone that rings (crows like a rooster actually)
and Ella knows that it's time for mommy to get off of the computer...
and it's PLAY TIME!

I took things a step farther too.
I implemented something I used to do with my two older daughters when they were toddlers.
I've assigned a specific "focus" to each day of the week:

At the end of our play time...
a sweet lullaby alarm on my phone reminds Ella and I both
that it's her naptime...

As silly as it all may sound.
I NEEDED this.
And so did Ella.
We have a focus.
I have a plan.
And we both have something to look forward to.

I feel more productive.
I feel more connected.
which means I FEEL more...
more of the things that are most important.

And I LOVE that feeling.
Perhaps you are struggling with some of the same things?
Maybe some of these ideas are something you can implement in your day/schedule.

With all of that said...
Grateful for my family.
Grateful for this time of year.
Grateful for the pies I'll be making on Wednesday.
Grateful my cousin and her family are coming for Thanksgiving.
Grateful for my mom that comes every Wednesday to spend time with Ella
(and provides me the opportunity to get a lot of work done)
Grateful for my life and the opportunities I've been given.
Grateful for my children and the fact that they make me a better person.
And today...
I'm especially grateful for
periods of reevaluation!

The rooster is crowing...
I'd better get going! *wink*

The Molasses Crinkles...
I still have yet to perfect this recipe.
They still turn out harder than Grandma Ambs and hers are always perfectly soft. *grumbling*
To top it off... J made this comment lastnight as he was sampling one of the cookies...
"They remind me of when I had my impacted wisdom teeth removed because of the ground cloves included in the recipe. 
(I guess I know what to bake now if I want to torture him). *wink*

The Grateful Wall Art...
You've no idea how much I can't stand having a cheap poster frame hanging on the wall. ($7.99 from Target)
it made NO sense to invest in an extravagant frame that I would be fretting over everyone breaking
every time they added something to the Grateful Wall Art.

And thank goodness those Vinyl letters are forgiving...
I had to reposition them several times to get them straight and centered.
I actually added the three dots to help center it within the frame...*wink*

And now you know...

books | Miette

Friday, November 18

Busy behind the scenes = quiet on the blog. *wink*
I thought I'd make it up to you by sending you off into the weekend...
with something I recently purchased that has me completely inspired.





Not only are the pages filled with charming recipes...
The photos of the shop itself are charming...
Charming enough to want to travel to San Francisco...
just to be able to walk through the doors.
 Did you notice the scalloped pages?
So completely charming.
This baking book is so very charming...
I'd love to open up a charming pastry shop of my own.
Like. Right now! *wink*
If you are inspired...
I bought mine right here...

Since I can't exactly go and open a pastry shoppe...
I feel inspired to make my studio FEEL like a pastry shoppe.
I'm seriously contemplating calling Miette and asking them for the name of the Wallpaper on the walls...
I'd LOVE to walk into my studio everyday and have that fabulousness to start my day off! YUM!!!
I LOVE it!!

By the way...Miette is the french word for "crumb".  (so charming) *wink*

Family | Happy 3rd Birthday Ella

Tuesday, November 15

It was Ella's birthday yesterday...
my baby turned three. *sigh*


Aside from a homemade chocolate chip cake (her request)
breakfast in bed...
picking up some birthday balloons...
eating her favorite dinner (spaghetti)...
a birthday photoshoot...
and celebrating with grandma and grandpa...


We kept things pretty simple. *wink*
(the birthday party with her little friends isn't until later)







Happy Birthday Ella Pie!!

I have no idea where the chocolate chip cake request came from?
Sunday night she'd decided on strawberry cake...(even though I was trying to push carrot cake) *wink*
and then...
Monday morning she decided to change up the cake??
I scrambled for a good recipe - ended up just using my fave white cake...adding chocolate chips...
and then adding chocolate chips to my fave cream cheese frosting recipe.
Best part is...
she helped me bake it.
(That is, until she got in trouble for continuing to eat the chocolate chips). *wink*

A HUGE thank you to Grandma A for making homemade spaghetti sauce!!
It. was. YUM!!

Oh...and she was pretty excited about getting her very 1st bike...
along with a Hello Kitty helmet and sunglasses!
Thanks Dad!!

press | Sweets on a Stick Book

Monday, November 14

Good Monday Morning everyone.
Nothing like coming back from a nice weekend with some exciting news...

Linda from Bubble and Sweet contacted me months ago...
asking if she could include The Pastry Pedestal™ in the book she was working on...
A book all about "sweets on a stick".

Sweets on a Stick Cover.tiff

I, of course, jumped at the opportunity and shipped some to her...
all the way to Australia!!

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from her over the weekend...
 sharing the photo used of The Pastry Pedestal™...

A Boston Cream Pie Pop Never Looked so Cute!!
boston cream pie by bubble and sweet for sweets on a stick

And here's the official supplier credits...Yay!!!
pastry pedestal suppliers

Thank you SO much Linda!!
I'm thrilled to be part of your new book!!
I can't wait to get my hands on it!!
To pre-order the book, GO HERE!
(due to be released in December)

It's officially Ella's 3rd birthday today.
Em and I will be surprising her with her first official birthday breakfast in bed this morning!
I'll be catching it all on video.
Depending on how grumpy she is...
I may share the video with you later! *wink*

got a habit you want to make or break?
Join me for another round of Rhonna Farrer's 21-day challenge!
She's starting another round TODAY...

Here's the habit I want to establish:
Incorporate the NFL Play 60 into our daily family activity.

Here's the habit I want to break:
Reaching for sweets when I'm feeling stressed
Replace this with veggies or whole fruit!!

holiday | veteran's day 2011

Friday, November 11

Wishing you all a Happy Veteran's Day!!


I hope you'll take a minute today to reflect on the daily sacrifices made by our servicemen and their families.
Today I can't help but think of my grandfather.
A few years before he passed away...
my family and I attended the annual local Veteran's Day Parade.
I was always so proud to be sitting on the curb, waving to him as he went by...

I'm grateful for the sacrifices he made for our country...
I'm grateful for the many other men and women who have valiantly served...
who ARE serving...
and who are preparing to serve our nation.
A huge heart-felt thank you for all you do...every. day.

I've created some FREE patriotic printables for you...
These ought to help you celebrate our servicemen and women, 
our freedom and our country with some real style...

Click here to download the FREE .pdf file

For those of you who own The Pastry Pedestal™ - you know what to do with these.

Those of you who don't own a set yet or are waiting patiently for yours to arrive...
You can create a simple banner by stringing these together...
make some simple parade signs for the kids to hold by attaching a wooden popsicle stick to the circles.

And I do hope we'll all remember, reflect and respect our Nation's veterans!!

The cupcake is a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake I made...
I'll have more on that for you next week...

building family ties | Dear Daughter

Wednesday, November 9

It's official...
The "Dear Daughter" journey 
has officially begun in my home!!



 I strategically purchased spiral-bound journals to fit perfectly in the mailboxes I created for the girls.
(I love it that I'm able to combine the two projects together).

I'm very excited to begin this journey with my girls.
I expect our relationships to blossom in ways I never even imagined!!

What are you doing to strengthen relationships in your home...
with your children...
with your family?

I'd love for you to share some traditions or projects you've embarked on with your own family.
Inspire me!!!

Off to whip up some cupcakes for a fabulous ceremony I'm attending today!
My 17 year old cousin - senior in high school...
is having an official "signing" ceremony for being recruited by The Citadel.
He's got some MAD Baseball Skills...among other amazing athletic talent...
he's super smart...
and humble.
He is SUCH a gem!!
LOVE him and I'm so very proud of him!!
Congrats Nate!!!

press | The Party Dress Magazine • November 2011

Monday, November 7

It's here!!!!
The Holiday Issue of The Party Dress Magazine has officially launched...
and it is overflowing with inspiration for the holidays!!!

I'm thrilled to be one of the contributors again...
which means...
the photo shoot I did last month...
the one with the gorgeous products I gave you sneek peaks from...
(Cloth & PatinaBee's Knees Creative and The French Nest Co.)...

Well now you can see exactly what I did with them all!!
I hope you enjoy it!!!

Introducing the vintage-french dessert table I created using the theme
"Unlock the Spirit of the Holiday Season"

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For all of the details and even more inspiration for the holidays...
Go now and check out
The Party Dress Magazine RIGHT HERE!!
tree cover 500

A very special thank you to Kelly Lyden from The Party Dress for including me in her FABULOUS magazine.
Also thank you to the wonderful vendors who helped bring everything to life:
Cloth & Patina
Bee's Knees Creative
The French Nest Co.

What a wonderful way to start the week...don't you think?

Styling: Jessica Kirkland @ Pen N’ Paperflowers, Inc.

Lucite Cupcake Stands: The Pastry Pedestal
Printable Placecards: Pen N’ Paperflowers, Inc.

Vintage Bottles: Cloth & Patina

Vintage Key Placecard Holders: Cloth & Patina

Burlap Favor Bags: Cloth & Patina

Repurposed Vintage Funnel: Cloth & Patina

French Sentiment Printed Fabric Ribbon: The French Nest Co.
Shredded Printed Paper: The French Nest Co.
Lace used around kraft paper packages: JoAnn Fabric & Crafts
Custom Sugar Cookies: Bee’s Knees Creative

Custom Petit Fours: Bee’s Knees Creative
Photography: Jessica @ Pen N’ Paperflowers, Inc.
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