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LIFE | Summer Work + Play

Thursday, July 31

Summer for me is always a weird mix of work and play since the kids are home.
I can't really dive into any work-related projects because my mind is distracted by my heartstrings - which are constant reminders to me to spend quality time with my girls while I can. Before we are sucked into the hustle and bustle of the new school year - followed by the back-to-back Fall months that inevitably whisk us away into holiday oblivion.

So…the other day…as I was thinking about this conundrum between Summer Work + Summer Play I was inspired to create the Endless Summer and Bottomless Ice Cream Sundaes art print. Pretty much in love with it - and as I said when I shared the initial inspiration on Instagram…it's FOR REAL who I am.

If you love the print and want it for yourself you can find it HERE in my Etsy Shoppe as an INSTANT DOWNLOAD or you can have it turned into a Tote Bag, Shower Curtain, Duvet Cover, Framed ArtStretched Canvas or Pillow by checking out my Sociey6 shoppe!

I'm on DAY 13 of another Whole30 - except I'm challenging myself this time to a Whole90.
The first time I attempted a Whole90 I made it to Day 76. This time…I'm not giving up or giving in.
In fact, the last day of my Whole90 will be my grandmother's birthday - October 17th. She and my grandfather are my motivating factors for this Whole90. Neither are still here on this Earth but they were both an inspiration to me. In fact, a friend asked me about the Whole90 on Facebook and I figured my response to her could be shared here too:

"I kept starting and stopping Whole30 for the last couple of months - never completing it 100% and I finally just decided to dedicate my efforts to my grandparents, (who are deceased), who were my heroes. If I couldn't find the strength right now to do it for ME…I decided to use the powerful examples they left behind to push me to do this. My grandpa was a P.O.W. in WWII for 6 months in Japan and my grandmother contracted MS in her early 30's so my memories of her was when she was confined to a wheelchair. I figured if my grandpa could live on fish eye balls and his leather flight jacket as a P.O.W. and my grandmother could endure the confinement of a wheelchair, I can certainly suck it up and do a Whole90. The motivation is working. Sounds crazy, I know - but it's what I needed. Both of their birthdays are in October too - my grandpa's is on the 4th and my grandmother's is on the 17th - which will be exactly when I finish my Whole90 journey. I look forward to celebrating my accomplishments as well as their legacy all at the same time."

SHOPPE | Pink + Gold Baby Love Collection

Monday, July 28

I really love when I'm able to work incorporate a new design concept into two totally different party themes and that's exactly what happened when I created this new Baby Love Collection.

I was in the middle of graduation party preparations when...

FREE | Monthly Printables Blog Hop :: Summer

SHARE | My cute + simple Summer Bucket List + Free Printable

Saturday, July 19

The other day…I found myself realizing Summer is 1/2 over…
and I still haven't made one of those cute "Summer Bucket" lists. 
Anyone else in the same boat?

Maybe it's because I've been too afraid to "commit" to anything for fear of not accomplishing everything? Or maybe it's just because I haven't had any real time to sit down and do it?

Yes…that's it.  I've been consumed with the graduation party…
but now that that's over it's time to focus on really making the rest of the Summer as memorable as possible.

I came across a super cute, super simple "Make See Do" list on Dear Lizzy's blog but when I attempted to download it - I couldn't find the link. Ugh!


PARTY STYLING | Orange Sherbet + Pink + Gold Graduation Party

Friday, July 18

My oldest daughter graduated from High School this yearand so did three of my sweet cousins - two of which are sisters. My two aunts and I decided to host a combined graduation party for all of them and I naturally volunteered to do the invitation, decor and desserts. With my two aunts focused on the food, paper goods, and drinks I was able to dive right into all of the sweet details I wanted this party to have.

We decided on a lakeside celebration at my aunt's second home here in Florida. We knew the girls would enjoy an afternoon of barbecue and boating vs. hosting a stuffy, fancy party but at the same time…I had it stuck in my head that I would not allow this to be just ANOTHER barbecue. This had to have a few simple elements to make it memorable and special…after all...these girls had just accomplished the first of the THREE major milestones in one's life: (graduation, marriage, motherhood).

We sent out the invitations and I began the task of...

COLOR INSPIRATION | Pink + Orange Sherbet + Gold

Thursday, July 17

Before sharing all of the graduation party photos I thought it would be fun to first do a post to share the color inspiration behind the party as well as some of the fun party decor products and pretty desserts that tied everything together.

Target never ceases to inspire me in some form or fashion and that's exactly where the color inspiration and direction for the entire graduation party started. I just happened to be walking past these beautiful gift bags, (shown above), one day in Target and knew immediately these would be the foundation of the grad party planning. 

There was even a perfect pinky tissue paper to go with the bags and I snagged some of that too. (you know I'm obsessed with tissue paper and use it for so many different crafting projects like this and this, and this diy it was a no brainer to grab it). Wish I'd snapped a picture of it too. Oops! 

And soooo….the party color scheme was official…

Pink + Orange Sherbet + Gold

The 2nd part of my color inspiration came from when I got to work with the Heidi Swapp products and fell in love with the PINK and CORAL Color Shine Products. The colors magically blended beautifully with the party colors and I ended up using them on some custom candy wrappers I did for the party - which I'll share with you tomorrow.

I went with a simple square invitation with a watercolor design and instead of having the invitations printed, we sent them as evites. This party was a combined graduation party celebrating my daughter, Clara, and three of my cousins…Kalie, McKayla and Abigail. With two of the graduates from Utah it was easier to design an invitation that could be emailed to my two aunts so they could then forward the invitations to whoever they wanted to invite.

With my color scheme official and invitations finalized, I immediately reached out to Carmen at The Flair Exchange to see which of her beautiful Tissue Tassel Garland Kits would match the party best. I ended up using a mix of the the pinks and golds from the Sweetheart Kit as well as the lighter pink and orange from the Bright Garland Kit. My original thoughts were to do confetti filled balloons using the Bright Confetti from The Flair Exchange (like I did for Ella's Birthday Balloonbut then I nixed the balloon idea and used the confetti on the table we designated for cards, photos and the money jar for the graduates. Thanks Carmen!!!

I knew gold and pink straws from The TomKat Studio were a must, even though I wasn't sure how I was going to use them at our lakeside barbecue. Bottled sodas and water don't necessarily call for cute striped party straws, (unless you are me and all of my fave party girls out there), but a party just isn't as cute without these adorable things, agreed? Thank you Kim!! Wait until you see what I ended up using them for. 

I decided there needed to be gold sparkles on the desserts for the party so I purchased some of this American Gold Disco Dust. In LOVE with the stuff. It's the perfect "true" gold and just a little bit goes a long way! We used it on cookies and cupcakes and cotton candy too!! So. FUN!!

These gorgeous tissue balls from Shop Sweet Lulu replaced my original idea of using balloons. I have to say - these things are MAGICAL! The colors I ordered were PERFECT and I was SO very happy with how we ended up using them at the party. (and no helium to fuss with if I'd stuck with balloons. Besides, Clara is scared of balloons so it all worked out...for her). *wink*  See the bottom of the post for the sizes I purchased.

I've been thinking about cotton candy and incorporating it into a party for awhile now.  Truth be told, I ordered tubs of it a couple of years ago so I wouldn't even have to make it. I wanted to make cute cupcake toppers with it. Well…when 3 tubs arrived only one of them had light fluffy cotton candy in it. The others had shrunk down to a hard 1" cotton candy remnant at the bottom of the tubs. I was bummed. 

THEN…about a year ago, I discovered Bon Puf and cotton candy literally became an obsession. I want to be that cute girl with that cute cart making up cute magical pufs of organic cotton candy with cute flavors for events…and sprinkling it with cute things. 

Hence I'm not that cute girl from Bon Puf and there's no one in my local area that I'm aware of that comes close to all of that cuteness…and…because I decided this graduation party would be the perfect opportunity to try out all of the cotton candy ideas I'd been dreaming of...I had to get creative

These perfectly colored Cotton Candy Sugars shown above (Bubble Gum, Pink Vanilla and O-Jay) are NOT organic but they matched the party perfectly and I'm really happy with the way everything turned out. The pink and orange sprinkles and Gold Glitter were the perfect toppings too! You'll see more tomorrow. 

We came up with the idea to have keepsake books for each of the girls. We encouraged party guests to write a little bit of advice/well wishes inside. I found these gold polka dot notebooks at WalMart (of all places) back in April when I headed to SNAP! the blogging conference. I wanted a cute little notebook to take with me and I was lucky enough to have found these still available a few months later for our graduation party books. Using a glue gun, I just added the different colored ribbons to make each one unique and then added a simple name tag. (you'll see the finished books tomorrow).

All throughout the party planning I kept finding myself subconsciously gravitating towards the party color scheme - like when I picked up a couple of bundles of spray roses for the cute new mug for my desk.  I'm officially in love with this color scheme and I don't see it going away for a while.

When the pretty desserts start rolling in for any party or celebration I do, that's when things really start to get real for me. There is so much "behind the scenes" back and forth communication going on between these fabulous dessert makers and I, which means getting the final results feels like a kid at Christmas; you've asked for a special gift and you hope with all of your heart you get it….but you never really know until you actually open it/see it. 

I've used Flourish Sweet Shop, Cupcake Delights and Sweeties a number of times for different events and celebrations and I'm always thrilled with what they come up with. These ladies put up with me...get me. I admire their talents so much and I'm grateful every time I get to work with them. There's such a fine line between sharing my vision and then giving them their creative license to come up with something that inspires them. (if you might imagine…I tend to overthink things on occasion and I have to reel myself back in).

It's not like I just reach out to them one time, throw out my color scheme and call it done. I fret over the little details and I want to make sure the vendors are on the same page as I am…as annoying as that can sometimes get. There are lots of back and forth pictures of frosting colors, design questions and things the average person more than likely doesn't even consider or think about. I'm grateful they are always so sweet to work with. *wink*

The sugar cookies shown above from Flourish Sweet Shop are always so pretty AND delicious. Remember those amazing Edible Paint-by-Party Cookies from Ella's Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Party she did?

For this party, I loved that Lisa tied in the "celebrate" from the invitation on the rectangular cookie. She even surprised me with the heart cookies and they were such a cute addition to the other cookies. Thank you Lisa!!

Judy at Cupcake Delights perfected the frosting colors on the mini cupcakes she made for us. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match with the whole color scheme. And I LOVED her idea of having all 3 cupcakes be different flavors; lemon, orange and key lime. They were FANTASTIC!! She sprinkled them with a tiny bit of the Gold Disco Dust and they were almost too gorgeous to eat. Thanks Judy!!

The beautiful chocolate covered oreos from Sweeties were a work of art. I so appreciated Kim being willing to step out creatively and try something new to recreate the watercolors from the invitation onto her oreo cookies. She did lots of research to come up with the best way to make it happen and when I started fretting over whether or not the gold she would be adding would be "just the right metallic gold" she kindly shipped them WITHOUT the gold so I could add the Gold Disco Dust I bought once they arrived. (the photo above was taken when they arrived and the photo below is WITH the gold I added). Beautiful, right? I vote these the prettiest oreo cookies on the planet!!  THANK YOU Kim!!

All of the desserts were gorgeous - so much so that everyone at the party kept asking, "are the desserts real?" They were so pretty guests weren't sure if they were edible or just for decoration. THAT is awesome!!

Stay tuned tomorrow when I post how everything ended up coming together.

I hope you liked this in-depth breakdown on the party details and the story as to where the color inspiration came from. I figured splitting up the posts would allow me to be less "wordy" when I actually post all of the party photos.

Updated: See how the Pink + Orange Sherbet + Gold Graduation Party came together!

For those of you who are wondering:

Tissue Balls Purchased from Shop Sweet Lulu

- Peachy Tissue Extra Large Round dessert table backdrop
 - Party Pink 19" dessert table backdrop
 - Peachy Tissue Ball & Diamond 5"
 - Carnation Pink Tissue Ball 5"
 - Blush Tissue Ball 5"
 - Carnation Pink 12"
 - Peachy 12"
 - Carnation Pink 8"
 - Party Pink 8"
 - Carnation 8"

Ella just walked by catching a glimpse of the Oreos on the computer screen and said, "I sure wish we had more of those, Mom." 

DID YOU KNOW | Once upon a time...

Monday, July 14

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved hand-lettering and doodling.
She used to win awards in elementary school for "best handwriting"
and she'll never forget that her 5th grade teacher chose HER to fill an entire chalkboard with assignments and practice sentences for the rest of the class because she was "such a good speller and had fantastic penmanship."

She has spent much of her life obsessing over the perfect pen and frequenting stationery stores to swoon over the selections of beautiful paper, pens and inks available.

She has doodled on any type of paper medium within reach during phone conversations and long waits; scrap paper, tissue paper, paper towels and even toilet tissue.

When she was a cheerleader she LOVED making the posters for game nights and her favorite part of Science Projects was creating the visual aspect of the experiment using a poster board.

She'll always remember overhearing her grandfather mention to her mother how talented and gifted she was after he saw one of the school project posters she was free-handing.

As a teen standing as a cashier in a grocery store, you could find her doodling and writing poems on the back of old receipts in between customers and when business was slow.

She even taught herself a little bit of calligraphy and a few years later, as a young adult, the president of the company she was working for at the time asked her to address, (in calligraphy), his personal Christmas Cards that season.

She has always loved lettering…even picking her children's names based on the way they looked when hand-written.

When she started her blog she picked the name based on what she loved most: Pen + Paper
and then tacked on "Flowers" to represent her 3 girls = Pen N' Paper Flowers

She has always been a deep-thinking, poem-writing, quote-hoarding, doodle-design making girl.

Her doodles are simple.
Her quotes are simple (most of the time) Ha!!
and the combination of the two leads to some simply fun design/art/stuff.

I hope you'll follow along as that girl continues to add art to her NEW Society6 Shoppe as well as to her Etsy Shoppe.

Rise and Shine Pretty Girl Art Print
Be True to You iPhone Skin

I have a notebook full of poems and another notebook filled with doodles and hand-lettering I've collected through the years.
I'm hoping to share the doodles with you soon.
As for the poems…I think I'll keep those tucked away…they're pretty embarrassing since most of them were from middle school and high school.

SNEAK PEEK | Graduation Party

Friday, July 11

Working on the graduation party pictures so I can share them with you next week.
So how about a sneak peek of the mini cupcakes from Cupcake Delights!
Not only were they gorgeous in the three different colors and sprinkled with gold glitter...
they were absolutely delicious - three flavors:  orange, lemon and Clara's favorite - key lime!!

Stay tuned for the rest…and have a great weekend everyone!

Oh! And I loaded another art print into my NEW Society6 shop - as well as making it available as an INSTANT DOWNLOAD in my Etsy shoppe - just in case you were wondering! *wink*

I just LOVE this orange sherbet + pink + gold color palette so very much I've been inspired to decorate Ella's room in the same color scheme - even using some of the same decor elements from the party! It's turning out really fun!

EXCITING NEWS | My Art Prints + Society6

Wednesday, July 9

Celebrate with me!! 
You know I love creating art prints.
And you know I love sharing art prints here on the blog.
I also share daily original art prints on my Instagram account every. week. day. 

Well…thanks to the many requests and encouragement from fans, friends and readers, I'm so excited to now have my art prints available in the form of...

FOUND | Cute Blogger Coffee Mug

Monday, July 7

You know I love small businesses!
I especially love small LOCAL businesses!
In support of small, local businesses I recently purchased this…

"I'm Famous - On My Blog" Coffee Mug

And because I'm not a coffee drinker, I knew it'd be perfect to keep on my desk…
filled with a gorgeous bouquet of pink and orange spray roses!

This mug makes me happy.
It's cute and it makes me giggle when I read it. 

You can find the mug RIGHT HERE. 
It's designed by a sweet, local Florida blogger named Melissa from Melissa Creates.
You'll find lots of other fun things in her shoppe so go take a peek!

The graduation party preparations were in full swing last week - hence the lack of blog activity.
The party was on Saturday and it was a huge success! Can't wait to share all of the pretty + fun details with you.
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