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PRESS | Popcorn Bar on the TODAY Show

Monday, February 24

My friends from Kernel Seasons emailed me on Friday to let me know they'd just seen one of my Popcorn Bar photos featured on the TODAY Show. 

They were doing a segment on "6 Wedding Ideas inspired by Pinterest" and all of a sudden…there it was…my photo! (the exact spot on the video where my photo is shown is 1:48 - just in case you don't want to watch the whole thing). *wink*

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I shared the news on my Instagram feed on Friday afternoon but if you happened to miss it I wanted to share it here too!

Here's my Popcorn Board on Pinterest - I'd love for you to follow along!
Follow Pen N' Paper Flowers's board Popcorn on Pinterest.

A HUGE "Thank You!" to Kernel Seasons for taking time to let me know they'd seen it - it totally started my weekend off right! If it wouldn't have been for that email, I would've never known it had ever been featured. Kind of crazy, right?

Was I totally bummed that the original source (ME) was not mentioned in the segment?
Absolutely. It would've been nice to have been contacted by Karson & Butler to give me a heads-up about the feature but regardless…I'm seriously flattered one of my wedding ideas/photos was selected and featured! *wink*

LIFE | Father Daughter Dance

Thursday, February 20

Ella's very first Father Daughter Dance was on Saturday night - the day after Valentine's Day.
She was a bundle of nerves for some reason and did NOT want to sit still for pictures.

I managed to snap a few good photos and I wanted to share with you the adorable handmade corsage and boutonniere I made for her and her daddy to wear for their special night.  The school was selling fresh flower versions for $30 bucks a pop *gasp* so I decided to make my own. I knew immediately I would incorporate the DIY paper flowers I recently shared with all of you and they took me a total of 30 minutes to put together! I think they turned out perfect! and darling! PLUS…Ella can keep them forever as a reminder of her special night with her daddy.

This was Ella getting irritated with the photo-taking...

and here she is…done with photos and ready to head to the dance!

I've never been to one of these things, obviously, but I hear it's all about the dancing and desserts! Come to think of it, isn't that what life is all about? *wink*

J doesn't like his picture put on the blog…
just so you know why his head is cut off in every photo! *wink*

CRAFT | Ella's Rainbow Unicorn Birthday :: Thank You Cards

Tuesday, February 18

If you were wondering how I put together the Rainbow Unicorn Thank You Cards I first showed you last week…I've got all of the details for you today. It's not a complicated process at all but I wanted to share with you some insight into the reasons I packaged it just in case you decide to recreate these yourself.

Along with the Rainbow Unicorn Thank You Cards I gathered all of my supplies:
Ditto Dots washi tape // Tissue Confetti (info below) // Birthday Photos
Blank Business Cards (just something I happened to already have) // Pen // Clear Envelopes

I knew I wanted clear envelopes because I wanted the coordinating confetti to show along with the fun graphic of the Thank You Card - and Ella's cute signature.
However, because I didn't want Ella's photo to show for everyone at the Post Office to see I just put it face down against the backside of the Thank You Card. (If you are concerned that the ink from your handwritten personalized message on your Thank You Card will transfer to your photo during the mailing process you can insert a thin piece of tissue paper trimmed to size to put between the ink and photo to help protect it). I didn't need to do that because I wrote the cards at least a week before I finally inserted the photos and got them mailed out - so the ink was good and dry.

Making the tissue paper confetti was one of the fun steps of the whole process! It's super easy too! Simply make sure your tissue paper is folded several times and use a paper craft punch. If you have never tried this I bet you are thinking it's going to get all jammed in your craft punch. Trust me…it cuts like butter. Now…if your tissue paper isn't thick enough - not so much! *wink*

I chose to use a 3/4" Paper Punch for the Thank You Card Confetti but you could use any size you want! The tissue confetti used to fill the inside of Ella's Birthday Balloon was created with a 1" circle paper punch - which was just a little bit bigger and to be honest…I bought the balloon confetti pre-punched from Shop Sweet Lulu. I also happened to purchase the bundle of assorted tissue paper seen below from the same place and then made my own for the Thank You Cards.

Choosing which photo of Ella to include with the Thank You Card was the hardest part for me. I ended up just letting Ella decide! Which helped keep her involved in the whole Thank You Card process. Originally I was going to just use shipping labels for addressing the envelopes, (and you could totally do that), BUT…I wanted to use a little washi tape as an accent and I wasn't sure if it would stay attached to the outside of the envelope. So, I had a really old package of leftover blank business cards (the ones that you use for printing your own business cards from home - does anyone do that anymore?). If the Thank You Card was being hand-delivered then I only wrote the person's name. (as seen below). I taped the addressed blank business cards to the back of Ella's photo using the cute washi tape. I slid it into the envelope and then added the confetti. I liked the size of this confetti because it wasn't too small - which would have more of a potential to cause a mess upon opening…if you know what I mean!

I LOVE snail mail, people! It's absolutely one of my favorite things. And I especially love preparing invitations and the such in a fun, fabulous way. It will never get old for me. Seriously.
This technique is simple yet significant. (if you saw my Instagram post today you'd know exactly what that means). I hope you'll get yourself some clear envelopes for mailing out your next set of invitations or thank you cards. Love them!

Rainbow Unicorn Thank You Card
Solid Tissue for DIY confetti
Tissue Confetti pre-punched
Clear envelopes
Washi Tape

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day weekend by the way. I hope you all did too.
Aside from being spoiled with gift cards to some of my favorite places, J and I enjoyed a last-minute dinner at a local Italian restaurant that proved to be exceptional. While we were out, Ella was at the church fully engaged in making cupcakes and cards to present to us when we returned. So sweet.

Clara planned a big fancy night out with her girlfriends that don't have boyfriends. *wink* They got all dressed up and had dinner together at Olive Garden before heading out to see the new movie Endless Summer. She even went and got a pedicure and manicure for the big night along with a new dress! I just LOVE that she did that. She had it planned for months and was so excited about it and get this…she paid for every single cent of it! 

I will be sharing the sweet details from the "memory-making event" Ella and J had together on Saturday night! Stay tuned!

SHARE | FREE Monthly Printables Blog Hop :: St. Patrick's Day

Monday, February 17

I just LOVE this Art Print because it's a such a simple reminder of our self-worth and the power we have as women to truly be the gold at the end of the rainbow! I hope you love it too because this is the FREE printable I've designed for February as part of the MONTHLY BLOG HOP I'm participating in this year with 7 other fabulous bloggers. (See January's collection of FREEBIES right here).

Not only does this printable come in Color as well as in Black and White…
I've also created a .pdf for you to easily create a stencil to add a little sparkle to your art print like I did to the one below...

I really can't decide which one I like better. The simplicity of the art print without the glitter is just as appealing as the "show-stopper" quality the sparkle adds to it. You decide what works best for you.

Use the stencils to trace the letters and hearts onto Shiny Gold Card Stock, Gold Glittered Card Stock, or Gold Glittered Adhesive Backed Card Stock and cut them out and glue them right over the word "Gold" and the little heart accent. OR…use the free .pdf I created with your favorite cutting machine like I did. The Silhouette® or the fabulous new Cricut Explore™ will make the job a piece of cake!

To download this Free Art Print (and Stencils), use the preferred link(s) below:
8x10 Black & White .pdf or .jpg
8x10 Color .pdf or .jpg
11x14 Black & White .pdf or .jpg
11x14 Color - .pdf or .jpg
Art Print Stencils 

Now it's time to participate in the "Blog Hop" portion of this post by visiting each of these other fun FREE printables posted today from some of your favorite bloggers! Click on each of the links below!

Hope you are having as much fun using these FREE monthly printables as I am creating them!

I've been doing some real "Navigating" over the last few weeks and I've made baby steps towards the direction I'm trying to go. There are many areas I'm coming up short but I'm determined to not make those shortcomings my focus. Darn it! *wink*

iNSPiRE | She Spreads Love

Friday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
Just wanted to take a minute to tell you all how much I LOVE you!!
I appreciate you being here, sharing in my experiences and loving me back with your comments and daily blog visits.

I hope your day is filled with love and I thought this light-HEARTED quote I designed and shared on my Instagram feed this morning was perfect for today! Hope you LOVE it!

And I hope your weekend is filled with "butter knife-heart" moments - spread the love everyone!! *wink*

Valentine's were finished last night - the cupcakes for Ella's class (store-bought) were given to the teachers yesterday. Teacher gifts are almost ready to go - just need to add ribbon to the cupcake packaging and THEN...I'm off for back-to-back guidance counselor appointments at the high school (in which I'll have to leave smack dab in the middle to run Ella to pre-school by noon). Then I'll run back to the high school to finish up the appointments and when I'm finished there, I'll head up to Ella's Valentine's Day Class Party. What was I thinking when I scheduled those back-to-back appointments on Valentine's Day? *sheesh*

I'm so bummed. I had this cute little stuffed animal bear Ella fell in love with at the grocery store yesterday. I had it hidden under my purse and other items while we shopped and when I was checking out I conveyed to the cashier to hide it…since I didn't want Ella to see it. When I got home the bear wasn't in the bag…or on the receipt. Darn it! I guess the cashier thought I meant "hide it…I don't want to buy it." *frown*

So now…my two older girls have received their treats for Valentine's Day but little Ella will have to wait as I try to figure out how to squeeze in running back up to the grocery store (and praying they aren't all gone) to be able to give it to her when she gets home today. Oh well. Completely not the end of the world. I was just so proud of myself for strategizing yesterday and getting everything done so I wouldn't be running around today. Or so I thought!? Ha!!

FLASH SALE | Sweet Love Collection

Wednesday, February 12

Wanted to offer up a little something to show my LOVE for all of you!
You can snatch this up RIGHT NOW for only $5 bucks…

Sweet Love Collection

I just adore the hand-drawn details of this collection and I designed it to be used beyond Valentine's Day…this is perfect for a wedding shower, baby shower or anniversary celebration.

I hope you LOVE it!!
The Flash Sale ENDS at 9:30 p.m. EST tonight!

I have a million things I need to be doing but I scheduled some time this morning for a friend instead. Just hung up the phone with my sweet friend Kori for our first official "Coffee & Cocoa Convo" - a way to quickly and casually check-in, catch up and stay connected with each other. Love her!

LIFE | Sprinkle the confetti - let's celebrate getting stuff done!

Tuesday, February 11

Sprinkle the confetti people! It's time to celebrate!
All of Ella's Thank You Cards were finally finished and sent last week! *high five*
AND…I was also able to edit all of the Rainbow Unicorn party photos and will be sharing the details soon!

You are looking at the front of the thank you cards - addressed and ready just before I mailed or hand-delivered them. More details on how I put these together are coming later this week.
For now, just know they are tucked inside pretty clear envelopes from JamPaper and Envelope!

I've been asked to bring cupcakes to Ella's Valentine's Day party on Friday so I was contemplating making my own or just picking up a delicious dozen or two from Cupcake Delights.

THEN…I saw THESE posted on Facebook today by my sweet friend, Carrie, from The Cake Blog and I can't help myself. I'll be doing the mini-sized version and I'm hoping the kids absolutely love them!! I promise to share my results!

WIN IT | Core'dinations Giveaway

Monday, February 10

You guys KNOW how much I LOVE PAPER CRAFTING so when I heard about this awesome giveaway sponsored by Core'dinations I just had to share it with you!

There are 3 different awesome prizes up for grabs and all you need to do is take THIS brief survey about shopping for paper crafting supplies and you'll be entered to win. That's all there is to it.

I already took the survey myself and I think there were only 14 easy questions to answer. I'm all about giving my opinions and feedback if it's going to make a difference in products and items made available in the stores I shop in. And heck yes! I'd love the opportunity to win something just for participating!

Here are the THREE prizes up for grabs for the THREE winners that will be randomly selected:
1st prize: A basket filled with $500 worth of paper crafts
2nd prize:  $100 Jo-Ann's gift card
3rd prize: $50 Jo-Ann's gift card

Here are the rules:
*Winners must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win. Winners will receive a paper crafting basket worth $500, a $100 Jo-Ann’s gift card or a $50 Jo-Ann’s gift card. No substitutions. No purchase necessary. This giveaway ends February 16th, 2014 Midnight EST. Winners will be chosen randomly and notified via email address provided in entry form, by 2/18/14.


I really do love giving my opinion on things that matter to me. And paper crafting happens to me one of my favorite things. Taking this survey was a no brainer for me!

CRAFT | Easy Handmade Heart Doilies

Friday, February 7

You guys are soooo going to LOVE me for this super easy Valentine's Day idea!
I'm sharing the details on how make the most sweet and simple Valentine's Day DIY over on the SNAP! blog today!

You can literally whip up 10-15 of these paper napkin heart doilies in less than 30 minutes.
Be sure to head over to SNAP! to check out the step-by-step directions.

I also wanted to quickly mention how fabulous the Pinterest Party was last night in celebration of the launch of Kelly Lyden's brand new book: Stylish Kids' Parties.

There were over 400 pins posted in one hour. The Stylish Kids' Parties Board is now filled with awesome party ideas for kids!!  If you missed it…be sure to check it out! LOVED all of the inspiration that was shared by so many talented party stylists and bloggers!

(Wow! This part ended up being longer than my actual post). *blushing*

I was inspired to make these paper napkin heart doilies after seeing them on Martha Stewart. I have to tell you though…the video tutorial from Martha Stewart was less than desirable. She spent the first  full 2 minutes ranting about how employees should be more supportive of their employers during these tough economic times and it really put me off. I interpreted it right away as being passive aggressive and sure enough she ends it by mentioning how one of her own employees misrepresented the Martha Stewart Company on social media. I was seriously embarrassed for Martha. THEN, the next 2+ minutes she shares her MUST-HAVE shampoo and conditioner that she personally uses everyday. The thing of it is…the shampoo and conditioner she is promoting is around $20/bottle and when she admits to also using it on her DOGS I about fell over in my chair.  I don't know…maybe it's just me but mentioning "tough economic times" and then promoting expensive hair products (for canines too) within the same 5 minutes just didn't seem like a good call? Yikes! I have no idea how old the video is but regardless…I was quite stunned and disappointed. I wanted to point all of this out because I wanted to site the original source of inspiration but wanted to also prepare you for the first 5 minutes of the video.

Anyway, on top of that…the actual video tutorial was confusing to me and I must've cut 10 different napkins before figuring it out on my own.  I think the tutorial I put together is much easier to understand! *wink* Ella and I made the heart doilies together and it was so fun to see all of the variations we could come up with! It was like magic. Of course Ella was bored after a few minutes but I just kept going as if I were Edward Scissorhands until I had a ridiculous amount to photograph for the post! Ha!

iNViTE | Pinterest Party with Kelly Lyden

Thursday, February 6

There's a fabulous Pinterest Party going on tonight in celebration of 

This one hour Pinterest Party starts at 8p.m. CST RIGHT HERE on Pinterest.  Join me and some of my favorite party stylists/bloggers as we fill up THIS PINTEREST BOARD with lots of fun ideas for kids' parties related to food, diys, centerpieces, party decor and my favorite…desserts!!

Here's how YOU can get involved too:
Head over to your Pinterest account and create a New Board titled "Stylish Kids' Parties" and start pinning ideas you love using the hashtag #stylishkidsparties in the description. You can then repin the ideas from OUR PINTEREST BOARD onto your new board. Some of YOUR pins will be chosen to be added to the pinterest board! How fun!

I hope to see you later tonight - and be sure to tell your friends!

If you missed my Instagram feed yesterday…
I actually got all of Ella's party pictures prepped for posting
AND the thank you cards are finished!! Wahoo!!

SNEAK PEEK | Ella's Rainbow Unicorn Party

Tuesday, February 4

It's taking FOREVER for me to get done with going through and prepping the photos from Ella's 5th Rainbow Unicorn birthday party.

It's not the actual process that's been the challenge…
it's the constant barrage of interruptions, work, deadlines and life as we know it.

I just can't hold off any longer sharing one of my very favorite party elements…
So here's a peek…just to keep you excited until I'm finally able to share EVERYTHING!!

I've had too many irons in the fire and I'm working on "navigating" my way through the process of fixing all of that. I keep reminding myself to be intentional and purposeful with my time. (my whole "one little word" journey). That includes personal as well as work time! I'm making progress…but I've got a treacherous journey ahead of me. It should NOT take me this long to post about something so important to me - Ella's 5th birthday party. The holidays following right after her party don't help the situation every year but I've GOT to get better at party-detail-turnaround! Ha!!

FONT CRUSH | Cantoni by Debi Sementelli

Monday, February 3

Hi…my name is Jessica and I am addicted to using Cantoni - my current favorite font crush! *wink*

Ok…so you already knew that. It's no secret around here that I've been using this fabulous font in almost every design or project or Instagram post lately. I love that it can be simultaneously fancy, fun, casual and whimsical. I really cannot get enough. LOVE it!!

So as you might imagine…when Debi Sementelli, the artist behind the creation of this beautiful font, reached out to me about wanting to do a blog post about some of the ways I've been using it, I. was. beyond. flattered.

Check out her post right here...

Coincidentally, through conversations with Debi I was happy to discover my favorite app by Rhonna Designs has commissioned Debi for the use of the Cantoni font in a new soon-to-be-released update. I'm SO excited about that and thought it was so amazing to think two of my favorite things will be merging together! Can you say match-made-in-heaven!?

I really enjoyed conversing with Debi through emails and learned that for her, the process of designing a font takes about 6 months. Wow! I had no idea!! That's a lot of love, time and effort put into creating a beautiful font like Cantoni and it makes me adore it all the more!!

I also learned how devastating it can be to a professional lettering artist like Debi for people to illegally share her fonts. One of Debi's fonts has been shared illegally over 2500 times. Yikes!!

I share all  of this because I think it's important to remember that there's a face behind your favorite font.
There's a person, just like you and me, who's working hard to get their art/work seen by the world…and to be justly compensated for it.

I'm so happy to have been able to connect with Debi directly! She's a font celebrity in my little world of graphic design and I'm truly flattered to have my projects featured on her blog! Thanks again for the feature Debi!!

If you want to purchase the Cantoni font too...GO HERE!
Or check out the NEW Belluccia Bold font by Debi Sementellireleased just last week!

Super Bowl last night….right? "Woo. Hoo." (said with sarcastic enthusiasm).
I'd love to be able to say I'm a huge football fan like the rest of the world seems to be…
but I'm just NOT. I'm annoyed by it much of the time I think mostly because I live with someone who's a complete diehard fan and allows it to dictate much of his schedule/activites/time with family during football season. (and apparently the rest of the world is pretty much the same way). SEE UPDATE BELOW!

I, however, am one of those people who's more about the food, commercials and the half-time show. With that said, I do have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the performance from Bruno Mars last night. He is a true entertainer and the collaboration with the Red Hot Chili Peppers was AMAZING! I wasn't expecting to have my socks blown off. Did you all feel the same?

J had his feelings hurt when he read over the part of the post where I'm annoyed by his addiction to football. So…to be fair…let me just tell you a few of the wonderful things I love about him:
- He actually reads my blog posts. *wink*
- He's 100% dedicated to being the best dad ever…and I have to say…he's pretty dang awesome. I wouldn't describe him as the cuddly teddy bear type but as abrasive as he can sometimes be he has won over Ella's heart. He has somehow managed to find the perfect balance between effective parenting and nurturing. I personally am still working on this as I tend to be a "softy".
- J does the grocery shopping for our household. He insists on it. (mainly because he wants to control the finances plus he says the bill always goes up when I go). Regardless of the motivation behind WHY he goes…the fact is…he goes. Every. Single. Saturday. He knows the grocery store personnel on a first-name basis and he takes Ella WITH him. They've been tag-team shopping ever since she was old enough to sit on her own in the cart. In fact, to be completely honest, the grocery store people know Ella by name and on the off-chance that I go with J and Ella I receive two different looks/reactions from most of the grocery store clerks:

1. Surprised to know Ella really has a mom and not just a dad.
2. Disgusted that I never do the shopping myself…how dare I pass along that task to J.

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