Frances ❤s Summer & a Giveaway! (Closed)

May 8th, 2013

Erin, Elyse, and Rebecca! Thank you for sharing your Summertime favorites – I’ll be sending all three of you a magazine!

Friday night we headed out to Frances in Central Phoenix for their 7 year anniversary party. Georganne, the owner of this sweet boutique, & her amazing team have created such a bright & welcoming home in the heart of our capital. If you live around these parts & haven’t stopped in, get there as fast as you can! It’s chock-full of sweet stationary, beautiful handmade jewelry, cute clothes, the most amazing line of Remix shoes, and even has plenty of somethings for the guys and babies in your life. Ant has been complimented on what a thoughtful gift-giver he is many times and I am here to tell you – it’s because he shops here. (Secret’s out, bud!) Plus, there are so many other great shops & eateries surrounding Frances that it’s the easiest thing to plan out a Saturday or Sunday just traipsing around Phoenix shopping, filling your belly, & fostering a happy heart. So you get yourself to the neighborhood, stat!

Frances was also celebrating their first magazine release, the Frances ❤s Summer guide! It’s 50 pages of beautiful photographs, beautifully styled. So many talented people worked on this project, it’s a wonderful collaboration of several inspiring local artists and hard workers. It features 50+ ways to stay cool in this beloved desert of ours, Summer style tips, awesome local places to eat, and a handful of inspiring people to watch for. Also! Summer recipes, gardening tips, & the cutest 4th of July party ideas. Really it’s so thorough & full of inspiration, & focuses on the GOOD parts of a Phoenix Summer, which we all need a reminder of when the temperatures reach scorching digits.

We were so honored when Georganne contacted our family about being a part of it. You can see us wearing clothing & accessories from Frances & GROWop boutique. We had the best time shooting on the farm that day & Ella is just thrilled to see herself in a magazine! (Well we all are!)

Friday was a blast. Chatting with friends, flipping through this new magazine & feeling so much love for this space we’ve all created a home in was the perfect reminder to be happy where we are. We are lucky to live here. And we are lucky to have met such an amazing group of movers & shakers doing good, inspiring things in our community.

And now a chance to get your own copy of Frances ❤s Summer!! Georganne was so generous to give us a few extra for family and giveaways, so today I’m giving away two copies of this awesome little mag!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Summer where you live. Whether you’re local and feeling the Summer vibes already, or won’t be feeling it for some time where you are, let me know what you love! I’ll pick two winners randomly and post the names here next Wednesday. Good luck!



September 19th, 2012

I’m feeling so inspired tonight. And it may just be the after dinner coffee working, but I’ve got a buzz that I want to harness and turn into something creative.

I have a lot on my plate right now. Ella’s birthday is two weeks from tomorrow and her party is just two days after that. I want to give her the world. I’m trying to be intentional while I plan this one, which means only putting time into creating things that will give her a thrill. Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I tend to go overboard. I pile lots of ideas up high, many of them handmade, and then when I realize I just can’t get to them all, I get disappointed in myself. And I hate that for the obvious reason but also because then it seems that the party was about me and what I could manage to get done, and that feels horrible. It’s about my girl. Only her. So this year I’m taking in her requests and trying to keep my eyes on what matters to her most. And being on the brink of four, this girl has sooo many ideas and suggestions. “Mom, we have to have a LOT of flowers. LOTS of them.” It’s so fun to plan with this child.

On top of party planning I have a couple custom plush orders to fill in the same timespan. I’m so excited about these dolls and thrilled to have the opportunity to create them. This just means I have to manage my time very carefully. (Something I have never been very good at.)

I also have a hefty list of handmade items to craft up by December. I’m on a mission to build up my inventory for Frances’s annual Crafeteria show. A few weeks ago I made a big calendar and gave myself weekly project due dates. I started off strong but after the first week of success I really lost my gusto. I have a lot of time to tend to that calendar, but boy is it looming over me.

And then there is always keeping this space updated. I want so badly to record everything – fun days out, all the little things these funny little girls do, dates with the husband…sharing new plush, projects around the house and tutorials. It’s been hard to find the time to catch up lately.

So, I am in over my head.

But it’s nowhere I haven’t been before. Writing all of it out has kind of made me feel worse! But somehow my inspiration is still with me tonight so I am going to get off the computer and put it to use.

Goodnight – xoxo

On Writing

August 24th, 2012

We have a love/hate relationship, this blog and I. One week or two or three if I’m lucky, I pour every spare minute into this space. I spend hours sifting through photos and spend every night editing photos and planning posts. There’s the passion, that’s the love part that this blog and I share. And it’s fun.

But then after those couple of weeks, the lust drizzles out and I hate it. I can’t bring myself to sit down and stare this screen in the face. Those past few weeks were so full of passion that I’ve completely drained any desire I have to go on with it. So I ignore it and then after a few days I start to feel really guilty. So then I return, begrudgingly, and dread drafting every and all posts until I reach that love part again.

This time though, on this downswing of hate I felt toward the task of blogging (it shouldn’t even be a task, it should be fun, right?), I moved on from the guilty part. I started to grasp some perspective. It’s not the most important thing in the world. Of course not. No one will be in anguish if I step away and come back when I can, or not at all, ever again. There are no rules attached to this space for me, my blog. No schedule I have to adhere to. And that felt really nice to keep on my mind.

I’ve been busy doing other things this Summer. My fingers found a home at my sewing machine again. They’ve been feeling up fabrics and dancing across my crochet hooks. My late nights are filled with sewing and drafting patterns and crochet, and most importantly, very most importantly, spending quality time with my husband.

The other night I baked up a batch of pumpkin scones. Something about it triggered memories of those first few months with Ella. My little October baby, born at the perfect time to usher in my favorite time of year. It really was perfect. A brand new baby, sweet smelling with dark grey eyes, my instant forever favorite in a season full of favorite things. And in thinking about that time, I remembered how my blogging used to be so different. It wasn’t so much “blogging” to me. It was journaling, just writing, just recording. I wrote more authentically, unashamed, more from-the-heart. I was confident the only person that read my words was Anthony, and that was only if I asked if he’d read them, and then also my mother, my always supporter. And so I felt like I had nothing to hide. I just let everything come. I was influenced by no one. When I think about that time, the last few months of 2008, it feels so dreamy. Grey and warm and floaty. It was perfect. There is one word I can put to that time, probably the most favorite time in my life. Comfort.

And you know what? I realized that night as I was waiting to pull the scones out of the oven, I think I associate writing with comfort. Just as I associate Fall, with comfort. Mixing these scones and breathing in the warm scents of pumpkin and cinnamon made me long to sit down and write again. And to share. And to savor.

And this doesn’t mean that I haven’t felt comfort lately. The Summer months actually bring a lot of comfort into this home. The girls and I, we sort of become shut-ins, hiding from the 115 degree heat that licks at our door all day. We do go stir-crazy, as you’d expect, but in between those times, we are reveling in our days together. Playing and reading books and building forts and hours of coloring. Seeking cool air in Target runs and trips to the library. Running laps around the kitchen and chasing each other with doll strollers and princess tea carts. And late at night when it’s just the man and me, we replace our fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies with sweet gelato or Nutella popsicles.

There is plenty of comfort to go around in the Summertime, I’m learning it’s just a different sort.

If I start here again, sharing for anyone to see, I want to be like that writer I was at the end of 2008. Unabashed, fearless, myself. Fresh and dripping sap all over my husband and girls. I’ll think of them, and them alone, and write whatever wants to jump out of my heart.

I think I finally caught a breath of fresh air.

Stella Sisters

June 4th, 2012

Have you heard these girls?! We are majorly inspired over here. Watch how quick we buy Ella her first guitar…

I was showing these videos to the girls today at lunch and was so mesmerized (again) that I didn’t notice the baby pouring her smoothie down her belly. And since then, Ella’s been asking to see “the two girls clapping their hands on the boxes.”

Give it a week and Ellen will have these sisters signed to her label. They’re amazing, don’t you think?