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BOOK CLUB | February Discussion :: May You Live a Life You Love

Saturday, February 28

Be kind to yourself. Dream great dreams. Listen to your heart. Celebrate your strengths. Appreciate your talents. 
Delight in your own uniqueness. Find time for joy. 
Give of yourself. Lean into the hard work. 
Seize new opportunities. Find wonder.

And that was just the first page, my friends.
What a darling book this was to read for the PNPF Book Club during the month of February!
For those of you who read May You Live a Life You Love, I KNOW without a doubt, you were inspired.

This simple read is just filled with thought-provoking and inspiring quotes.
I found the bright colors and lettering to be invigorating and added even more depth to the inspirational words - simply from the energizing colors. Do you agree?

I love every one of the quotes and inspirational thoughts in the book. Narrowing it down to just two wasn't easy but here are my picks:

(1) This one actually came from the back flap of the book cover:
"May you find your life filled with every good thing - epic challenges, deep joy, great accomplishments, and plenty of silliness, patience, courage, and adventure. May you find yourself surprised, humbled, and honored at the gifts that come your way. May you find yourself, every moment of every day, living A LIFE YOU LOVE."

(2) A wonderful reminder to stop taking life so seriously:
May You Cultivate Silliness - "I still listen to instinctual urges. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. I never water my garden without soaking myself" - Leo F. Buscaglia
What a wonderful reminder to stop taking life so seriously!!

Now that you are done reading the book - and I'm sure many of you actually took the time to read it through multiple times - what will you do with it now?

Will you leave it on display somewhere in your home?
Will you pass it along to someone else who may need the inspiration?

For me, it's just too cute to just stick up on a shelf to collect dust.
I'm going to leave mine out to help usher in Spring and to remind me to read one page every day for ongoing inspiration. I'm hoping my girls will see it and be inspired to pick it up to and flip through the pages.

I've also already given a copy as a gift to Ella's teacher, for Valentine's Day.

I really enjoyed this book and hope you did as well.
Leave your feedback in the comments below! I'd love to hear what you thought and get a gauge as to how our first month of the PNPF Book Club and February's selection impacted your life.

Are you starting March's PNPF Book Club selection with me?

There are going to be some happy Instagram friends who will finally receive the copies of the May You Live a Life You Love book and the sets of matching note cards to go along with it that they won when I hosted the giveaway a couple weeks ago! So sorry for the delay. When I finally got to the post office for boxes - they ended up not being big enough and I've had to go back to find something more suitable. Thanks for your patience as you've been waiting!!

Ella was a bit under-the-weather this weekend but we got her out of the house on Sunday afternoon. She's at home with me today...bored...but resting. *wink*

iNSPiRE | Be Bold • Be Brave • Begin

Tuesday, February 24

Sometimes that's all it takes...
a start...
a step...
a beginning...
with boldness and bravery on each arm.

I shared this BE BOLD, BE BRAVE, BEGIN Art Print on my Instagram feed this morning.
I wrote it and designed it after some inspirational reading I did from a book I recently ordered called "31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer".  As the title's a collection of  simple but thoughtful prayers written by a variety of creatives looking to uplift, inspire and guide the "dreamer" and the "doer" in each of us. (One of those creatives is actually a beautiful friend of mine...Aedriel Moxley).

If you are searching to bring added "purpose" to your work and to create with more "intention", this might enjoy this. The "31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer" book is great on it's own but there is even The Dreamer and The Doer Journal that coordinates with it.

This could have easily been a PNPF Book Club selection.
There's just not enough months in the year to share with you all of the may inspiring books I come across.

Have a beautiful day, friends!

I am in SUCH a freaking funk.
Whenever there is very little sunshine and there is cold air knocking outside my window...I struggle.
I don't know how all of you people who live in the North...surrounded by the frigid cold temperatures and snow for extended periods of time can keep it together. I am in awe of you! *wink*

MAKE iT | Sparkle + Shine Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookies

Friday, February 20

You guys - I'm totally IN LOVE with these darling, "Sparkle + Shine" oreo cookies.
And you won't believe how easy they are. Like SUPER EASY!

When I showed up to the school last week with a basket of them for Ella's class Valentine's Day party, I had someone ask me where I BOUGHT them. And then when I told her I MADE them she told me I should SELL them!? *blushing*

They DO look a bit fancy, don't they?!
But they are SO NOT FANCY at all.
It's amazing how a little bit of

ART PRINT | Write It On Your Heart

Thursday, February 19

I shared this art print on my Instagram feed a couple of weeks ago.
The accompanying verbiage I posted said - 

"Whatever your dreams, hopes, or wishes...write them on your heart. Reference them often and do something everyday to inch your way closer."

I love that and I thought it ended up so cute I decided to

BOOK CLUB | March's Selection :: Sheet Pan Suppers

Sunday, February 15

Friends!! It's time to be inspired in the kitchen!!
I've chosen Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert as the PNPF Book Club selection for March!

Trust me when I say I went back and forth over what book to select to follow in the shoes of February's awesome selection!!

In the end I decided

ART PRINT | You Have My Whole Heart for My Whole Life

Tuesday, February 10

I had a very sweet friend recently commission me to create an art print for her to gift to her hubby for Valentine's Day. She provided me with the quote and then gave me creative liberty to come up with something she could hang either in or right outside of their room.

I thought it turned out so cute I decided to offer it as an INSTANT DOWNLOAD art print in my shoppe as well as to make it available in pillow, mug and framed art print formats too!

It's so perfect for Valentine's Day but I can totally see this for a bride and groom
as well as displayed in a baby's nursery and child's room. Can't you?

I hope you LOVE it as much as I do!!

And because I love you...
here's a 50% off discount code to use at checkout for the INSTANT DOWNLOAD 5x7 Art Print:
Just type in ALLMYLOVE4U at checkout to enjoy the instant savings!!

The discount code expires on Valentine's Day so use it while you can!

Email subscribers got a surprise email this afternoon - a limited time offer to print this for FREE!
If you aren't signed up you can sign up to receive MONTHLY EMAILS from Pen N' Paper Flowers. By signing up, you'll receive exclusive freebies and be privy to fun giveaways, new products and special announcements.

Heading into the kitchen right this second to whip up some last minute Valentine's Day treat ideas to share with you. Ella's class party is on Thursday! Eeeeps!

GIVEAWAY | May You Live a Life You Love Books + Note Card Sets :: Instagram

BOOK CLUB | May You Live the Life You Love :: Author + Illustrator

Friday, February 6

Just a reminder that the PNPF Book Club kicked off on February 1st...
Are you reading along and feeling inspired?

I've added a Book Club button to the menu bar at the top of the blog AND on the sidebar so that you can easily keep up with the current book selection and follow along with the discussions/reviews every month.

I've got a couple of fun surprises for you today related to the fabulous book selection for February: May You Live the Life You Love by M.H. Clark

I received an unexpected box from Compendium last week filled with more copies of "May You Live the Life You Love" book AND the matching Note Card Sets. They were sent to giveaway to YOU!! That's right. More books and Note Card sets are waiting to be given out.

Since I've already done a giveaway on the blog, I'm going to be doing this next round of giveaways on Instagram. (you are getting advanced notice so you can be ready)!!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram today and stay tuned for the surprise announcement over there in the next day or so.

In the meantime, the other surprise I have for you is that I've got exclusive "Behind the Scenes" information about the creation of this book! - directly from the brilliant author, M.H. Clark, and talented illustrator, Sarah Forster.

I just LOVED learning about the creative process and inspiration behind this fun book and I think you will too...take a listen...

Both M.H. Clark and Sarah Forster say they wanted to create “a collection of bright wishes to offer someone”.  I think they absolutely reached their goal!

M.H. Clark said she wrote this book at the library. She would look at people that walked into the library and think “What would be a good thing to wish someone?” I just LOVE this visual of M.H. Clark sitting at the library being moved to come up with things she'd like to wish the people surrounding her in that setting.

Sarah wanted to design a book that was “uplifting, joyful, celebrating life.” Accomplished!
She also used a broad rainbow of colors: “I wanted the book to appeal to a colorful and vibrant life.” She tried to make the words feel like they were dancing on the page. She totally did that!!
The quotes are also done with a handwritten type because she wanted it to feel “Like its someone speaking to you personally.” I love that and really appreciate handwritten type!!

Both of them had lovely things to say about the overall message of the book.
M.H. Clark says that through this book she wanted to impart the message “I hope you get a chance to do the things that inspire you”.  She wanted to encourage people to live the life they want. An inspiring life looks different to everyone – live it on your own terms. There are big and small ways to live a vibrant life – whether it’s traveling or just picking up a colorful bouquet of flowers at the farmer’s market. Her words: “Know that there’s always room to do the things that make you feel alive.”

I love everything she had to say here. "Live the life you want". "Live it on your own terms." "An inspiring life looks different to everyone". "There are big and small ways to live a virbrant life." And "there's always room to do the things that make you feel alive!!"  So inspired by her words!! Aren't you?

Sarah, the illustrator,  shared her soundtrack for the book. While she was designing this book she was listening to a lot of reggae and Caribbean music…and imagining herself in a sunny place. Here are some of her selections she shared with us:
Toots & the Maytals
Desmond Dekker
Bob Marley

Wasn't that SO fun?
The book was brilliant all on it's own...
but now having this background information on the creation of it makes me love it that much more!!

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!
And don't forget to to stay tuned to my Instagram account for the surprise announcement!

Pretty sure I'll be playing those music selections from Sarah around the house this weekend.
Who doesn't need a little more sunshine in their life? *wink*

FREE | Love Is Like Butter Art Print :: The Cake Blog

Tuesday, February 3

"Love is Like Butter...there are no substitutes for the REAL thing..."

Can I get an "amen" to that, baking friends?
I hope you love the FREE 5x7 art print I designed as an exclusive download for The Cake Blog this month. If you LOVE it...go download, print and frame it. (or skip the frame and just pin it to your corkboard, secure it with a magnet to your fridge or use some cute washi tape to hang it on a mirror or window).

It's PERFECT for displaying this month - don't you think?
Shoot - print a few out and gift them to your girlfriends as part of the "GALentine" dinner or festivities you may be planning this month with your best girl friends!!

It comes in three different background color options too so *wink*

Wondering about those adorable candy hearts shown in these photos?
They are called Heart "Sweet Shapes" by Sweetworks  - and I LOVE how they taste.
They are like sweettarts but without the tart. *wink*
And they come in lots of different fun shapes and color options so you are sure to find something perfect for whatever celebration/dessert table you are putting together.

I never did get to host the "Friendsgiving" I was hoping to have in November due to the devastating family circumstances that took place a couple of weeks prior.

So now...I'm re-thinking things.
It's always so crazy-busy in November with three birthdays and Thanksgiving, (not to mention the approaching Christmas season), so as much as I've been dreaming about a Friendsgiving for over 3 years just doesn't seem to ever come together. If it did ever miraculously happen - I just don't foresee it staying a strong, consistent tradition. (too many variables out of my control).

I've been talking to J about the idea of hosting a "Friendship Dinner" in February.
What do YOU think? There's not a whole lot going on in February - at least not for us.
I could shoot for the end of the month. Gives me a little more time for planning and preparations and doesn't interfere with all of those surprise romantic getaway plans I'm sure J has up his sleeve for us. *wink*
I'll keep you posted.
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