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CRAFT | Valentine's Day Teacups & Saucers

Monday, January 30

How cute are these Valentine's Day teacups filled with jellybeans?

Want the scoop on these super sweet teacup and saucer sets?
Create them yourself using nothing but a Sharpie(s) and get to writing your favorite sentiments...

I got a little creative and created a heart by playing off of the handle of the teacup.

Items to note...
• Use a little bit of rubbing alcohol and you can instantly remove the marker.
• I picked up my teacups and saucers from HomeGoods.
• with Love book seen in some of the photos can be purchased from Compendium

• Quotes I used:
- "I have loved you for a thousand years" from Christina Perri's song "A Thousand Years"
- "Love reasons without reason" - Shakespeare
- "Find the one who makes your heart smile" - Proverb (taken from the with LOVE book mentioned above)

This is just one of the reasons I love Pinterest so very much.
I came across this idea from a pin by Rhonna Farrer...
who was inspired by Curbside Nation! 

see how Pinterest passes on inspiration...

books | Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas

Wednesday, January 25

For those of you who've been anxiously awaiting the release of the book by Amy Atlas...
(the one she's been working on behind the scenes for over the past two years)...


Amy revealed the book cover yesterday and shared some insights into what we can expect...
• 352 pages
• 270 never-before-seen photos (including dessert tables)
• 15 chapters
• 100 "eye-popping" recipes
• 75 affordable DIY craft projects

I. Can't. Wait!!!

The book will be on shelves April 24th...
BUT you can....
PRE-ORDER yours NOW via at an amazing discounted price.
I purchased TWO...
one to keep pretty as a "coffee table book"
and the other one to keep in the kitchen.
GREAT idea...right?!
I should probably go back and order another one as a gift too?
What do you think?

Want to know one of the reasons I've been so excited about this book release?
This has been a two-year project for Amy.
She took her time and put her heart into the pages.
It never felt to me that Amy was merely trying to capitalize on her success and large fan base by releasing a book.
She often shared her book journey and the behind-the-scenes with her readers over the past two years.
And guess what...
When Amy mentioned yesterday...
she worked really hard to keep the price point low for all of us...
my suspicions were confirmed! *wink*
Thank you for always being so genuine Amy!
I couldn't be more thrilled for you!!
I can't WAiT to get lost in the pages...

in the studio | Quilted Blooms Collection

Monday, January 23


This adorable design was inspired by the quilt I shared with you last week...
The one lovingly sewn by a mother, for her daughter...
The quilt used as inspiration for the baptismal program I designed for her daughter's baptism...
(One of the most beautiful, intricate quilts I've ever seen)?






I'm in LOVE with the results of the final design...

(last names/personal information removed)

I'm calling it the "Quilted Blooms Collection"...
and it will be available in the shoppe later this week.

I hope you love it too...
 and that it added a bit of "lovely" to your Monday!!

 Ila...thank you for letting me play a small part in Ava's special day!
I'm amazed by your quilting talents!!

I worked all weekend getting caught up on orders.
It's been QUiTE a busy month.
Lots of celebrations going on!!
Seriously getting closer and closer to the need for an assistant.

promise ME | Bake Me A Cake • goal #29

Thursday, January 19

This past Saturday...
I was able to cross off a few things on my "promise ME" list!!
One of those things happened to be my long awaited visit to "Bake Me A Cake" Pastry Shop & Bakery.
I'd come across their pastries in a local mall some time back and vowed to visit their actual bakery shop.

Little did I know...
This Pastry Shop has received quite a few impressive accolades since first opening in 2001.
The husband-wife team (Mercedes & Alex Strachwsky) that own, operate and are the creative forces behind the beautiful confections...
have managed to gain an impressive clientele base...
(including some celebrity clients such as Shaquille O'Neal and Paris Hilton).

In addition to that...
Bake Me A Cake  has been awarded:
Wedding Wire's Bride Choice Award for 2010 and 2011

Quite impressive, wouldn't you say?
I feel so fortunate to have their shop located in Central Florida.

At Bake Me A Cake, an array of pastries, cookies and breads are offered...
in addition to beautiful custom cakes.
On Saturday, we walked out the door with these gorgeous mini cupcakes...










They look GREAT on The Pastry Pedestal™...don't they!?

Want more information about Bake Me A Cake?
Here are their social media links:
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Blog

Promise #29...DONE!!

I almost missed being able to visit Bake Me A Cake on Saturday.
I didn't realize the shoppe was supposed to close at 2p.m. Saturday afternoon...
I should've called...I know...
We arrived at 2:07p.m. *sigh*
As luck would have it...
There was a cake consultation still going on...
so the shoppe remained open.
We LUCKED out!!
I was SO happy!!

coming up | color inspiration

Tuesday, January 17

Since I took the day off yesterday to spend with my girls...
I'm working overtime to catch up on all my orders...

In the meantime, I thought I'd share with you some beautiful COLOR inspiration


I photographed this quilt as inspiration for a customized baptismal program I just designed...
The details are amazing!! One of the most beautiful quilts I've ever seen!!
I'll share the whole scoop on it later...
but it turned out A. dorable!!!

Have a great Tuesday!!

We had the most wonderful Family Night last night...
A "pizza picnic" followed by a game of football...
finished up with roasting marshmallows and making s'mores.

I, of course, am sticking to my vegan "promise ME" goal...
which means I couldn't partake of the s'mores.
it was still fun roasting them and just having time!!

family night | Family Wishes Jar • 2012

Monday, January 16

Good Monday Morning everyone!! (and Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day)

I'm feelin' fired up from a productive weekend...
and I'm looking forward to a great week ahead.

It's the 3rd week of January...can you believe it?
almost the end of the first month of a brand-new year!?
Some of us may still be creating resolutions...
and setting goals.

With that said...
I wanted to share with you something we did for Family Night a couple of weeks ago.
Since I'm always looking for ways to strengthen our family...
by actively keeping our connections alive and well...
I came up with the idea of creating a "Family Wishes" Jar!

(My inspiration came from this post/photo from Green Wedding Shoes).

We sat down as a family...
I gave everyone 4 slips of paper...
and we each came up with activities we'd like to do together at some point over the course of 2012.
The activities were not meant to cost money, necessarily...
but to promote engaging family activities - in some form or fashion.

Some of the ideas were as simple as:
• getting outside and playing together...(game of volleyball, football)
• heading to a location for some fun...(park, beach)
• staying inside for a game of cards/dice.

With our ideas gathered, I stuck them in an ordinary, random jar I had and set them to the side.

It wasn't until this past week...
I took some time to transform a jar I already had into what is now our official
It's something we can keep on display...
Selecting items one-by-one until we've accomplished them all.
(All I need to do is change out the tag every year).

I started out with this look...


But I really wanted it to match my creamy white home decor so I changed out the blue ribbon for creamy tulle...

Here's how I created the jar...
(all of these items I already had on hand - no need to purchase anything new)

jar from Target
Armour Etching Cream
• Paintbrush
Scotch Tape
• Vinyl Stickers from Office Depot
• Pink Felt Sticker from Martha Stewart

Apply stickers to jar using scotch tape as a guide for keeping them aligned create a frame around the letters.

Apply Etching Cream and wait 90 seconds

Rinse under running water to remove etching cream

Wipe off excess water and peel stickers off. Done!

You've seen me use this process before.
It's a fast...
simple way...
 to personalize any glass or mirrored item.

Want more specifics on this technique?

Don't let the jar distract you...
If it inspires you...GREAT!
My real goal today was to inspire you to create your own FAMiLY WiSHES.
They could be in the form of a list instead of a jar.
It's not about the container...
It's about sitting down together and coming up with ideas...
and then following through on those ideas.
THAT'S what's important!

Presentation is just the icing on the cake! *wink*

So excited to have checked off some things on my "promise ME" list this weekend.
(I'll share details with you this week).
Feelin' good and motivated...
How are YOU doing?

holiday | 2011 Holiday Recap

Friday, January 13

Since my Christmas tree is still up...(no laughing anyone)
I figured I could still get away with sharing with you my recap of our holidays...

I'm so glad I caught these photos of Ella helping me sift powdered sugar one day...

She got a  little carried away with spinning the handle...
making it an adorable photo to capture after she unexpectedly dusted herself...*wink*

Our annual cookie baking was a HUGE success.
While the adults focused on making traditional cookies...
The kids had fun with their annual task of decorating the sugar cookies.
They are getting quite creative as they get older...
We had everything from a "baby elf", several melted snowmen and even a bearded gingerbread man...

Things got even better when I broke out the "Disco Dust"...
Next thing I knew the girls were using it as eye shadow and lip gloss...
(I LOVED the look so much, I just may consider doing it for my next "GLAM" outing). *wink*

This year, our family welcomed our sweet little adopted Elf named Stuart.
He surprised us each morning with a new,  precarious hiding place...






Because he was such a funny little elf and added an extra element of magic to our holidays...
We decided to make him some mini Elf Donuts and left them with Santa's cookies and milk...
He must've loved them because they were all gobbled up when we awoke Christmas morning... *wink*

I know the Christmas holidays have passed...
but I hope you've taken a minute to recap/document your own festivities of 2011.

Stay tuned for our:
"Family Wishes" Project

I. am. soooooo behind...
on absolutely every aspect of my life right now!
Stay focused Jessica!
Just. stay. focused!  *wink*
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