Blog Widget by LinkWithin

iNSPiRE | 100 Happy Days :: Days 1 thru 14

Friday, May 30

The last 14 days have gone by quickly since having started the 100 Happy Days Challenge.
For those of you who don't follow me on Instagram I wanted to post an update here on the blog to share with you the "happy things/moments" I've been documenting via photography and posting to Instagram. I shared DAY 1 HERE and now here are Days 2 through 14...

SHOPPE | Pre-K Graduation Party Collection

Thursday, May 29

They are HERE!
The adorable Graduation Party Printables are now in the shoppe and ready for purchase! (see the real party here)

Here's everything that comes in the collection...

CELEBRATE | Ella's Pre-K Graduation Party

Wednesday, May 28

Ella's Pre-K Graduation was on Thursday of last week.
I really thought I would be in tears but a very smart decision by Ella's teacher to include upbeat, happy music during the slideshow kept me...

CUTE IDEA | Cupcake Liners = Clever Dessert Packaging

Friday, May 23

Want a REALLY cute idea for wrapping up treats for celebrations, picnics, or food gifts?
I'm just loving how easy it is to take a cupcake liner (or cupcake wrapper - whatever you want to call it) and add a little bit of creative fun to any dessert presentation.

The liners provide an easy way to add a quick splash of color AND they make it convenient to "grab and go" - so they are perfect for dessert tables, bake sales and

LIFE | Our Farmhouse Table

Tuesday, May 20

Yesterday, I posted this photo on Instagram as part of the #100happydays challenge I have started and shared with you last week. It's a photo of Ema and Ella sitting at our kitchen table after school, playing "Go Fish" together.

I ended up receiving a lot of comments about the Farmhouse Table and I was going to direct people to my the blog post I did nearly 4 years ago about it…BUT…

GOOD THiNGS | Carrot Soup :: Recipe

Monday, May 19

Hello Hello, friends! I'm so happy it's Monday!
When the sun is shining and the day is beautiful it sure is easy to be positive and happy and excited about the day ahead…isn't it?

It's going to be a busy week for me with two milestones to celebrate: Clara's 18th birthday and Ella's Pre-School Graduation!

Right now though, I'd like to share this delicious

INSPiRE | 100 Days of Happy

Friday, May 16

And just like that…I've started the 100 Days of Happy Challenge.

I've seen the hashtag #100happydays floating around social media over the last couple of months and today…for whatever reason

SUGAR | Supermom Dessert :: Easy Whoopie Pies

Thursday, May 15

Do you have a favorite dessert you enjoy making that makes you feel like a "Supermom"?
You know…the desserts your kids rave over and beg you to make over and over again.
Desserts that teachers are still requesting you bring them…YEARS after you first shared them with the staff?

I LOVE desserts like that.
I have a handful of them and these Homemade Oreos, Polar Pies, Whoopie Pies (whatever you want to call them)…are

INSPIRE | Cycle of Inspiration :: My IG Art Prints

Wednesday, May 14

For those of you who follow my Instagram feed, you know that I post an original inspirational art print every day. (except on weekends).

I thought it would be fun, and maybe even enlightening, to fill you in on the process of how I come up with these art prints.

Every morning between 6:00a.m. and 8:00 a.m. I find time to sit quietly alone and read for a few minutes…in search of inspiration to start my day. (I don't use the entire 2 hour period…I just find some time within this 2 hour window). 

Right now my selection of books includes Simple Abundance, Hands Free Mama and Everyday Grace.

I read Simple Abundance EVERY morning, Hands Free Mama once a week and Everyday Grace if I'm needing something more.

I take notes while I'm reading - writing on the pages of the book…mostly in pen…sometimes using my watercolor pencils.

After I finish reading, I scan back through any notes or areas I've highlighted and wait for inspiration.
Sometimes I know right away what I want to say/create…
sometimes it takes several minutes to come up with something…reworking and rewording until I like it.

The idea behind creating these daily art prints is to motivate, encourage, uplift, remind, push, reflect, empower and ALWAYS TO INSPIRE.

You might be surprised to know that it's ME I'm trying to inspire…and I'm ALWAYS thinking of my daughters…hoping these will be treasures they will reach for as they continue to grow and become women. There are often times I will post something with Clara, Ema or Ella specifically in mind…knowing a struggle or difficulty they may be experiencing.

I will even pick up on the characteristics of my daughters and even other women that inspire me and I'll create a quote based on the the strengths of that person and the way that I see them - or the way they've empowered me.

I have also created an "Instagram Art" page using the "Notes" feature on my iPhone so that I can log any quotes I randomly think of throughout my day - which happens quite a bit! So if I'm not "feeling" something from my reading, I'll reference my "notes" too.

Once I've got my quote figured out, I use the Rhonna Designs app to add splashes of color or graphics but mostly I use Phonto for creating the text.

And then after I'm done creating the visual…I write up a little blurb to further explain the quote and post it to my Instagram feed. Then I sit back and "marvel at the magic of it all". *wink*

I marvel at comments like, "this is exactly what I needed to hear today!", "Love it!" or "Oh yes! Truth! Thanks for the reminder!", or how about this one from today: "Your posts always speak to me! Have an awesome day!"

I'm so glad the inspiration I am seeking personally is able to spill over into the lives of other people who are also searching.

The Instagram Art Prints are always about moving forwardbecoming betterevolvingbeing gratefulloving the people in my lifefocusing on what matters mostfollowing my dreams and ultimately striving to be the very best "She"(me) I can be. There are so many things I hope to be one day…and these are just little reminders to help me get there! *wink*

And that my friends is how the cycle of inspiration works…
I love that the inspiration starts with me reading an inspirational book…which leads to me creating inspirational art prints…to me sharing those art prints with others via social media…which inspires others... who then share with their friends by reposting and tagging and finally…the sweet comments inspire ME! It all comes full circle.

I'm inspired…I share it…others are inspired…they share it…and I'm inspired that they are inspired! Ha!! Awesome! It really doesn't get any better than that!

The IG Art Prints I've shared here today are the ones I created when I was experiencing SNAP! Conference. I needed them. They actually tell a little story about how my whole SNAP! experience unfolded - if you read between the lines! *wink*

One other thing to note…
I actually had some of these turned into "polaroid prints" using Persnickety Prints.
Persnickety Prints can print anything directly from your IG feed…

Look how cute they turned out!!

I LOVE them!
I hope you enjoyed a little more insight into my process for creating these daily IG Art Prints.
More importantly, I hope you were inspired in some way.
Even if it is just to have your own IG Feed printed using Persnickety Prints! Ha!!

If you'd like to keep up with the daily Art Prints, you can follow me on INSTAGRAM here!

Love you guys - thanks for being here!

You'll be happy to know I was able to take Ema to her birthday lunch this afternoon! Yay!!
We, of course, went to our annual birthday lunch spot: Garden Gate Tea Room.
It's probably my favorite day with Ema as of late. She's 15 now and there are days/weeks when I feel like we just butt heads constantly. But today was a good day. Good conversation. Good attitude. Lots of smiles and probably a little too much dessert. *wink*

Today is one of those days when I feel like things are going pretty smoothly…
despite Clara having strep throat, Ella developing a slight cough and runny nose and J waking up this morning with a very sore throat too.

FREE | Monthly Printables Blog Hop :: Patriotic Printables

Tuesday, May 13

Who's ready for the Memorial Day weekend we've got coming up? I know I am. And I'm planning on taking full advantage of the time I will have with my family. It seems like the last few months of my life have been out-of-control-busy. I am trying to reel it all in and simplify but it seems the more I try to simplify the more things/tasks/deadlines/commitments seem to multiply. I think things are exceptionally busy for me with a daughter who's getting ready to graduate from High School this year. (Graduation, 18th birthday + present, college preparations, Graduation Party, Graduation Present, Graduation Photos, Graduation Announcements, Baccalaureate, Senior Prom, Grad Bash, Yearbook, and on and on and on

Plus…I've got little Ella who will be graduating from Pre School - and since I've done NO volunteering in her class this year…aside from chaperoning a couple of field trips and handing out food & drinks at one party...I took on the task of organizing the graduation party for her class coming up on May 22nd.

Meanwhile, Ema is still waiting on me to take her to her birthday lunch from March. 

So I'm looking for something simple…simple and cute for celebrating ANY of the Red, White & Blue holidays throughout the year!  These might be just the thing you are looking for too!!

These were supposed to be part of the MONTHLY Blog Hop I've been participating in this year but I missed the deadline to get it posted with everyone else's things!! Yep! I'm that girl! See…too many irons in the fire. *blushing*

Anyway, you can use these on cute party straws, toothpicks for food items and desserts, lollipop sticks, The Pastry Pedestals and Pretty Party Skewers too!

Even though I missed the group deadline for participating in the Blog worries for YOU!
You can still download them for FREE 

AND…you still have access to all of these other fun (and FREE) Red, White & Blue printables from these talented bloggers by still participating in the actual BLOG HOP I missed out on this month!! Just click on the links below to snag your FREE goodies!!

Top to Bottom - Left to Right
Hostess with the Mostess – printable party popcorn labels
30 Days – 4th of July printables for kids
Catch My Party – Patriotic BBQ sign
Skip To My Lou – printable flag pinwheels
NoBiggie – United States Flag print
Nest of Posies – pinwheel cupcake toppers
Kori Clark – Summertime BBQ invitation
Living Locurto – free printable patriotic wall art

I still have not photographed my own daughter for her graduation announcements but I'm happy to say I was at least able to photograph one of my beautiful cousins for her graduation announcements. (on Mother's Day as a matter of fact). If she gives me permission I'll post some of the pretty photos here on the blog! *wink*


Monday, May 12

My daughter, Clara, shared this video with me last week and I was moved…
not just by the message of the video…
but even more by the fact that she…as a teenager…was moved by it as well.

I hope you'll take the time to watch this...
it falls right into play with the Hands Free Mama book I've been reading.  I'm fully aware of how social media can suck the life right out of our lives. So the message of this video isn't something new and profound for me.  BUT…I really appreciated the poetry and the visual this video conveys. I think we need constant reminding to put down our phones, iPads and any techy toy to play with WHO really matters.

Here's one of my favorite excerpts:

When I was a child, I'd never be home.
I'd be out with my friends on our bikes we would roam.
I'd wear holes in my trainers and graze up my knees…
We'd build our own clubhouse high up in the trees.

Now the parks are so quiet, it gives me a chill
See no children outside and the swings hanging still.
There's no skipping or hopscotch, no church and no steeple.
We're a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people.

So LOOK UP from your phone…
shut down the display…
Take in your surroundings - make the most of today

There's even more good stuff to listen to and see in the video…
I really hope you are moved…and inspired to LOOK UP!!

I was pretty much "unplugged" for the last 4 days.
I'd like to say it was by choice but honestly it was because my daughter lost her phone and I let her use mine because she was doing some overnight dog-sitting. I needed to be able to get a hold of her as well as provide a way for her to be able to reach out in case of an emergency. I have to say though…I thoroughly enjoyed not having it on me.

LIFE | Clara's Senior Prom

Thursday, May 8

She wanted to be a princess for Prom this year…and she absolutely was.
From her ivory and vintage gold ball gown prom dress to the flowers in her hair…
She was...

LIFE | Clara's Senior Prom :: Sneak Peek

Wednesday, May 7

Quite possible my favorite photo from Clara's Senior Prom this past Saturday…
She chose to step out-of-the-box this year and selected an ivory + vintage gold princess ball gown to wear.

Little did she know all that tulle is right on trend!! (not to mention the gold accents). *wink*
I think she looks absolutely gorgeous and going through these photos has been quite emotional for me. Where did my little girl go?

MANY more photos to come...

It has taken me nearly 5 hours (non-stop) to go through all of the photos and edit them.
Just in case you were curious as to how long this process takes me. *wink*
Thank goodness for the new PS Actions from ABM - they've made the process SO much more enjoyable and fun!! (More on that to come as well)!!

I will be picking J and Ella up from the airport in a few short hours.
They are returning from visiting J's parents in Illinois - I sure have been missing them!

Now, back to finishing up some design work I've been trying to catch up on ever since returning from SNAP! I'm coming to terms with the fact I will never be caught up. *wink*

LOVE iT | Pretty Flower Cookies

Monday, May 5

Mother's Day is coming up quick…
and I bet you are thinking that's a cupcake packaged up all pretty in the box above…aren't you?
I was fooled a little bit too…but it's actually a gorgeous flower COOKIE!

Today I want to share some super pretty cookies from Kelly Barkhurst…
owner of Oh Kelly's, Specialty Cakes and Cookies.

Kelly reached out to me asking for permission to use the FREE Mother's Day tags I recently shared here on the blog. She wanted to use them as part of her packaging for her pretty cookies! I said "sure!" and then asked for her to send some pictures so I could see how it turned out.  I LOVE them!! (oh! and the tags too!) Ha!!

It looks like Oh Kelly's is prepping for the launch of an Etsy store!
I'm excited for Kelly and her new, upcoming adventure and wish her all the luck in the world with her
darling pastries. Thank you so much for reaching out to me Kelly! Your photos turned out wonderful and I am so happy to share them here on the blog! I love what you did with the Mother's Day tags - they look beautiful next to your pretty pastries! 

Aside from Mother's Day, I think these cookies would be perfect for Teacher Appreciation as well as baby and bridal showers!

How the heck is it already May, people?
I'm freaking out just a little bit because May is a month of milestones…
My oldest turns eighteen and she also graduates from high school!

Last week was exceptionally busy.
I finally received the new shipment of The Pastry Pedestal and Platforms
that have been backordered for what seems like FOREVER and guess what? We were sold out by Saturday! Eeeks!! New order has already been placed - fingers crossed it doesn't take nearly as long to receive.

On top of that, I sent J and Ella off on Friday to Illinois for 5 days to visit with J's parents and family.
I also spent most of my weekend helping Clara prep for her Senior Prom on Saturday night!
Looking forward to sharing pictures from that…when I actually have time to edit photos! Ha!!
CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan