Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Etsy Crush | Letters 4 Lilly


Button Bouquet by Letters 4 Lilly

I am totally loving this new trend of bouquets made up of something other than flowers. I fell in love with the felt flower craze and now I am seeing gorgeous creations made out of broaches and buttons.

What a wonderful momento to be able to keep from your wedding (and a lot less messy than dried flowers). There are tons of beautiful and unique options on Etsy, but this one made out of buttons from Letters 4 Lilly really caught my eye.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Etsy Crush | All Custom Gifts

Eli's first birthday is only two weeks away! Gah! In between crying my eyes out and being in shock I have been planning his party. I am a believer that kid's birthday parties should be simple and low key, especially the first (I mean he isn't even going to remember it!), but at the same time I love to throw parties.

I love an excuse to be creative with decorations and create cute little favors, color coordinate place settings, put together a kick-ass playlist, and cook up some yummy food for my friends and family. So far I think I have managed to keep things more on the sweet and simple side. The theme is Teddy Bear Picnic and I plan to put together some simple picnic-y food, throw some blankets on the ground and give out simple homemade chocolate chip cookies as favors (with adorable coordinating stickers of course).

One of the things I had my heart set on was cupcakes. I love cupcakes and I desperately wanted an excuse to create cupcake toppers with the cute teddy bear from E's invites (more on those later). So I decided it was the perfect time to finally buy a cupcake tower. I have wanted one of these for as long as cupcakes have been 'in'. But I had a hard time finding just the right one. I wanted it to be reusable, tasteful and more on the plain side so that I could use it for lots of different themes (I love for my parties to have themes).


Enter the amazing Flower Cupcake Stand from All Custom Gifts on Etsy. As soon as I saw it I knew it was the cupcake stand for me. I was totally blown away when I read that they are made from PVC material. How could something from the hardware store look so cute an chic?? I love that it's clean white, geometric design will easily go from a child's birthday party to a stylish bridal shower and back again.

Now all I need to do is buy some picnic baskets, print the cupcake toppers, bake some cookies, wash all my blankets, assemble mini sandwiches............

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Grace Not Perfection


Wearing a lot of hats can be overwhelming and lately I feel as though I am wearing some pretty heavy hats and not necessarily doing an awesome job in any of them. Trying to be the best mommy possible to E, work on building my business to the point I can pay myself what I was making before at my 'real' job, being a caring and loving wife to my hubby - these are just a few of the 'hats' I feel like I wear on a daily basis.

I have always been a perfectionist (my friends and family lovingly refer to me as 'Martha Stewart') and I also have a knack for playing down my accomplishments and success. Despite my wonderfully supportive husband's best efforts I always have an 'I could've done it better' attitude. I suppose that this is good to some extent as it drives me to ever improve myself, but it can also make me feel stressed out more often then is probably healthy.

But I can not go on this way. Although it might push me forward, constantly beating myself up for not being 'perfect' takes all of the sweetness out of the things I have accomplished. And I have to remember that it is ok to be proud of what I have done. And if I don't get everything done in the day that I wanted to, or a customer doesn't like the design I made for her, or business slows down and I hit a lull - it's going to be all right.

Another invitation designer that I find a lot of inspiration from recently posted about this very subject on her blog. She challenged herself to a standard of grace instead of perfection. To me this means do the best you can and be content that you put your best effort forward, even though it might not be perfect. Because no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and hits road blocks, but you can't let that get in the way of your passion and fire to move forward and try, try again.

Download the 'Grace Not Perfection' image here.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Flies By


It seems like just yesterday Spring was just starting to unravel it's fragile fingers and then suddenly August was halfway over. Time seems to fly by fast each year and this Summer went in record time. Now all I see on TV are ads for Back To School sales and previews for this Falls new sitcoms.

Summer is Wedding Season and this was by far my best yet. Of course I contribute a lot of that to the fact that I was working at building my business full-time and devoting all of my spare moments to designing, marketing, printing, cutting...etc. I learned a lot, my business grew and I am finally feeling settled into this new routine.

There is still a lot to do and finding the time proves harder than 'before baby', but I wouldn't change a thing. I recently designed the invitations for Eli's 1st birthday party, a mere month away. I am in shock that it came so soon and yet it seems like light years ago that I was pregnant, waddling around my house hoping and wishing that today would be the day our little boy would make his appearance. Now he is close to walking, eats spaghetti and is obsessed with climbing stairs. I was warned and yet so unprepared!


Planning his birthday party has sparked a few new invitation designs which I am happy to add to my Baby and Kids section. I am hoping this is just the beginning of many children themed stationery items I will add to my shop in the coming months. Now that I hired a dear friend to help me with the website re-design I am feeling more confident (and less stressed!) that it will get done sometime this year.