Here is a new collection that I’ve had in in my shop for a few weeks now!
I know it’s popular to do gender neutral parties right now, but I personally love an all-feminine affair for little girls! So this collection is truly dipped in pink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn’t want to overload you with photos, but it also has coordinating address labels, thank you notes, favor tags and water bottle labels to match! I couldn’t help myself.  Once I begin messing with the color pink – I cannot stop.
Blog to you soon,
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In January, my husband and I took a risk.  We packed up our little family and moved west.  As I pulled out of our driveway, I began to cry. Was I making a huge mistake?!? For the past seven years, I had called that house –  home.  My mind raced. The house I was driving away from was where I had brought my babies home.  I thought of my little ones taking their first steps and saying their first words in it’s hallways.  I thought of all the people who had been welcomed and the parties thrown.  I thought of how I had taught my children to pray in it’s rooms.   I thought of the moments those walls had witnessed.  My cry turned into an ugly uncontrollable bawl.

As I stopped to turn out of our Texas neighborhood for the last time (gulping air in between unbecoming sobs), a building caught my eye.  It was a large church I had passed a million times.  The church had Christmas lights still strung from the roof.  I stared at the lights.  It was weeks past Christmas. They seemed out of place on the church.  Annoyed, I immediately stopped crying and crinkled up my nose. Why don’t they take those down? I scowled.

Then it hit me. Even the most sparkling wonderful things in life, no longer shine and touch hearts the same when they have hung on past their time. I was hanging on.  I was a Christmas light on January 14th.

It was time for me to leave Texas. I knew it. My heart knew it. And no last minute emotions could change it. So I gave myself a scolding, made the left turn, and headed northwest.

I did not look back.  I was afraid if I looked back, I would turn back.   Instead, I thought.  I thought as I drove three little children, two dogs, and a recent eye-transplant patient 🙂 across four states.  I thought about turning 30…about following my heart…about taking risks.   I thought about how I was embarrassed when I placed my first invitations online.  I thought about how that risk was now my business.  I thought about how I had been waitlisted for law school three times, before finally  having to turn down the opportunity because my husband had gone temporarily blind and we were adopting Boston.  I thought about how I have never once regretted it.   I thought about all the times I had felt I should do something and then did not.   I thought about telling people we were adopting Ethan and Vienna at the same time and everyone looking at me like I was insane.  I thought about them now running into my arms and screaming at the top of their little lungs, “Mommy!” I thought about failed adoptions.  I thought about all my adventures abroad.   I thought about heartaches.  I thought about the day I married my husband – how I almost didn’t go through with it.   I thought about all the risks I had taken.  I thought about all my failures…and my successes.  As I drove, I realized anything with meaning in this life involves risk.

As I drove, I wondered about all the wonderful things that would have happened in the world had we all not worried about what others thought and just went for it!  If we unapologetically followed our spirit, what could happen?  Sometimes I feel that we do not know our mission, because we are too worried about living out the one we think others have for us.  Why don’t we all just listen to our individual spirits, blockout the naysayers and believe in ourselves. I do not believe that God has a mission for any of us that is less than 100% spectacular.  So why be afraid of living it?

There are a few times in all our lives where we have to throw logic to the wind and follow what we feel our spirit is telling us.  They are life-altering decisions.  But then there are other times, every day decisions, small risks, that we often shy away from because we worry about what others will think – which in reality may be more impactful on our life in the long run.

The small risks may actually shape our lives more than the so-called “life altering ones.”  Deciding to throw that large dinner party even though it scares you to entertain.  Putting your swimming suit on and jumping in the pool with the kids despite your lack luster thighs.  Trying a new recipe for Thanksgiving.  Calling an old friend out of the blue.

Now the dinner party may end up being a complete debacle.  You may end up getting a third degree sunburn by showing your  legs that haven’t seen sunlight in years.  Your mother-in-law may forbid you from ever cooking for Thanksgiving.  And your friend may actually turn into an archnemesis.  But you never know. You may end up being the hostess with the mostess, leave a lasting summer memory with your child, start a new Thanksgiving tradition, and rekindle a relationship that will last a lifetime.   I have to think that it’s worth the risk.

Leaving Texas was a risk.  Mr. Lewis was Vice President of his company and had a comfortable income.  But I cannot say we are afraid.  I think there is a quiet peace that comes over you whenever you know you are following your spirit – even if it’s risky.  Sometimes a leap of faith is actually more like a warm blanket being wrapped around your shaking shoulders.  Don’t you think?

Now that we have moved (and I had 22 hours of driving to think), I am focusing on taking small every day risks.  I don’t want to be a Christmas light burning bright on St. Patty’s.   I don’t want to be hanging on to what is comfortable.  Turning 30 in a few short days is pretty enlightening.  I really don’t have time for playing it safe.  I don’t want to wake up in 30 more years and wish I had done some things.   So today, I am designing new invitations, planning more elaborate events for clients,  trying a new recipe, and trying my best to step out of my comfort zone daily.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Blog to you soon,

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again …and again.   I have the cutest clients ever.

An adorable Georgia Peach named Dorothy contacted me last summer to create an invitation suite for her 40th wedding anniversary.   Dorothy and Tim have been married 40 happy years and wanted to celebrate in whimsical style.   I created a custom Alice in Wonderland invitation suite for her beautiful event and she ran with the rest.  Take a look.

Special links and thanks to:  Nate Henderson, Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Open Light Studio
Cake by Kerry O’Connor
Liz Demos helped Dorothy with inspiration for the event styling

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Nate Henderson, Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Open Light StudioPinThis

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All I can say is that I hope I am as chic and fresh as Ms. Dorothy at my 40th anniversary!
Thanks, Dorothy for letting me share! You (and your daughter) are definitely favorites. Happy 40th!

Sincerely,

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Let’s be honest, ladies. Men aren’t the only ones who could be labeled “slackers” when it comes to Valentines Day. There are a few of us – we will not name names – who by (no fault of their own) had to speed to preschool today while praying that the glue will dry on the Valentine boxes in the back of the Escalade. For all those women out there, these printables are for you.

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Download them, stick them onto candy, and be fabulous.
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AND You are NOT a slacker. You are a woman who has things going on. You are fabulous.
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Download the wrappers here, here, and here. Drop one off at Granny’s and Aunt Betty’s. They’ll love it.
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P.S. They are specially designed for the large movie sized candy. Above is a photo of the candy I used. No snack size snickers from us, ladies! We do Valentines big and expensive! (Psst… they are on sale for 50 cents a piece at Walgreens today.)

Gotta run! I’ve got to go pick up something for Mr. Lewis
that “I have had planned for weeks.” *wink* *wink*
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My best friend in the whole world just had her baby girl – FIVE weeks early! We were lucky. Mom is doing perfect. The baby, Miss Beatrix Rose, is perfect. Everything just worked out. Seeing her little pink bundle and smelling the fresh baby smell of her head full of hair inspired me to make some new baby shower collections. I just finished these designs and placed them in the store! Can’t wait to show you the coordinating items. Water bottle labels, address lables, stickers and thank you notes to come shortly! But seeing that I am really wanting to do a vintage circus theme baby shower for her ….there may be more invitations to come as well!
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February 10, 2011 – Not too long ago, I was watching a Paula Deen special. Paula was featuring a dessert recipe. She stated that everyone could make the recipe because it only required things everyone had in their pantry. Then she rattled off a small list of items. The audience blinked. Don’t y’all have those in your kitchen? She drawled. The audience clearly did not. Then Paula laughed in that Southern way that makes me want to eat a cube of butter just to make her smile! Oh, that woman!

Apparently, Ms. Deen has a well stocked pantry. And I would bet her Southern Charm that it has saved her more than once!

Lesson learned: A key to being a great hostess is a well stocked pantry.

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Being raised in an LDS home as a child, I grew up with the importance of having food storage.  But it wasn’t until I got married that I realized my mother’s food storage was slightly different than the normal Mormon pantry. Yes, we had our buckets of wheat. But we also had a wall filled with brownie mixes, frostings, pie fillings, extra cupcake liners, and candles. Plastic forks, extra napkins, food coloring, nuts of every variety, and umberellas for beach drinks all laid neatly in our food storage closet next to the canned beans. I will not forget going food storage shopping as a newly wed and my husband, asking repeatedly why I would need so many nonpariels. Case in point: my mother subliminally taught me Paula’s lesson as a small child.

So what do you really need in your pantry to be a well stocked prepared hostess?

Good question. I’ve done a little research and added a few touches of my own to compile the below downloadable list. You can download it here. You may have to add or subtract things according to your personal recipes and/or taste.

Also, if you want to go the extra mile and stock your pantry style for three months of daily living – not necessarily entertaining – feel free to download the above photographed inspiration card. I created them for my dear mother a week ago because she was teaching a seminar on canning for her LDS church class.  I still have so much to learn from that woman.

 

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Ladies, let’s be so fabulous together that when the unexpected party comes our way – we just open our well-stocked pantries with a snobby (but still sweet) smirk and pull off an event to remember!

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Super exciting news: In November, P.S. The Letter in Fort Worth, TX started carrying my collections in their brick and mortar store!!! I have been working on quite a few new collections for them, as well as my Etsy store. Here is one of my new collections, Cake & Ice Cream. It’s been a bit of a favorite. I couldn’t decide what color I liked it in best – so I ended up offering it in both pink and blue! Maybe a contender for my 30th Birthday Party!

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Hope you like it!

Blog to you soon,

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Iused to love it when the fire alarm would be set off in elementary school. A huge Cheshire Cat grin would come across my face that I would try to wipe off as we lined up to exit the school. It’s not that I enjoy danger. It was the release from mundane. The break from the routine brought about an uncontrollable giddiness in me. I honestly couldn’t help myself.

I now believe this is why I adore parties and entertaining. Daily life can become mundane for me. Rinse and repeat. A party or social event adds the unexpected spark to my routine. On an event day, I do not arrive at elementary, do my workshop, circle time, and calendar. The day is different. It is often frazzled, chaotic and maybe most importantly – new! It’s unexpected. The fire alarm goes off!

The other not-so-selfish reason why I love to throw a party is because of others. I love seeing someone transported from their daily life into a new world. When a very pregnant woman is surrounded by friends and the joy of being a new mom – she tends to forget her swollen feet and expanding waistline. Or when a bride blushes opening up a negligee, thoughts of how her fiance and her are fighting over wedding details vanish and the joy of marrying him overflows. A party is a chance for a mom to remind her son that he is her super hero…. or a daughter how she truly is a princess. I will never forget the baby shower after the adoption of my Ethan and Vienna. The immense trial I had been through wiped away, and I was nothing but a new mom. It was perfect. A well-planned event tells the guest of honor and the guests – they are truly loved. They matter. Worth celebrating. I just love that so much. With my products, I try to create something unique that will send a message to the guest that something fun and new is going to happen to them on that special day.

As more and more party blogs pop up all over the internet and my business has been taking off, I have been rethinking my purpose in blogging. I don’t want my blog to be just a place to feature the latest party or invitation I put together. (Not that I don’t mind an “atta girl” every now and then. Who doesn’t?! ) But due to the time commitment, I need it to have a purpose. I don’t want to take it too seriously. But in all honesty, I am like you. We want to spend time on something that means something.

In 20 days, I am turning 30. I’ve always just had a feeling that 30 would be a good year for me. I actually love the sound of being 30. It makes me feel grown up. No more pull-ups. Thirty means it’s time to be the woman you are meant to be. (P.S. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t planning the best party EVER!! Think Marie Antoinette meets Oprah’s favorite things minus the trip to Australia. Yes, ladies. Let us eat cake. Now I feel like I’ve told you too much…I digress…) Anyway, I am turning 30 and I want it to be a great year. I want to grow. I want to take some chances. I want to fail. I want to succeed. And maybe most of all, I want to have fun. I want to stand a little taller. Weigh a little less. Wrestle my kids to the floor more often. Kiss my husband with more passion. Laugh too hard. Work too hard. And do my hair every day. In other words, I want to pull the fire alarm. I want to expect the unexpected.

I want to become the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Part of that woman is an extremely good hostess. I love people who make other people comfortable. People who make others feel special just by knowing them. It truly is an art. To me, that is a good hostess. And although, I’m better at being a hostess than I was five or ten years ago, I still have room to improve. So that is my purpose in blogging. This blog will be an exploration of becoming a great hostess. I’ll still be showing you my products I’m working on. I’ll show my parties I’ve thrown for my clients and friends and family. But hopefully (fingers crossed), we will discover together excellent and inspiring tips on how to not only throw a fabulous party without the fuss, but to make others feel special effortlessly – not only at special events but in day to day life as well. I am not a believer less is more. I believe in knowing more you do more, but you do it so well it seems like less. Does that make sense? That’s what I want to do this year. Learn more, do it better until it becomes effortless.

So let’s entertain, ladies. I am turning 30. I’m pulling the fire alarm!

Blog to you soon,

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