Archive by Author

Power of a Handwritten Letter

18 Feb

Over the holidays I received a letter from a college friend that took me by surprise.  Her letter talked about how much our friendship meant, how I cheered her on when she needed it and how I’ve always been by her side.  That letter made my day.  If you know my friend, you’d know it took a lot for her to write it.  I was so inspired by her letter, that I decided in 2017 I was going to pay it forward.  I have committed to writing a letter of gratitude to all my close friends and family in their birthday cards this year to let them know how much they mean to me.

I had lunch recently with my college friend and told her how she inspired me to pay it forward.  I asked her what inspired her to write that letter and she said “a glass of wine.”  All kidding aside, she said she wanted to let her closest friends know how much they mean to her.  I told her how it inspired me to do the same.

Seeing that it’s only February, I’ve only had the chance to write a handful of birthday messages.  Some were more challenging than others, but I focused on what makes those people special to me.  I did this without expectations of any response, but to just let people in my life know how important they are.  Funny thing?  Every one of those cards I’ve given or sent has inspired them as well. I’ve received such heartfelt messages saying how much those letters meant to them.

I encourage you to write letters of gratitude to people important in your life.  You may inspire them more than you know.  And you can’t tuck a text or email in your drawer to pull out and read over and over again.  A handwritten letter is so much more meaningful.  Order some fresh new stationery or pen a letter in the next birthday card you send.  You’ll never regret letting someone know how much you mean to them.

xoxo,

Jennifer

 

Wedding Inspiration: New Orleans

15 Feb

With Mardi Gras around the corner, it seemed fitting to have a New Orleans themed wedding board!  Whether you love Mardi Gras, New Orleans or just the idea of a fun party, this inspiration board is for you.  You can be bold with your color palette and most anything goes.

How fun would it be to have tables strewn with colorful beads?  And to have a variety of masks your guests could use at a photo booth?  You can even have a King Cake to really keep with the theme!

Check out our inspiration picks for your New Orleans themed wedding:

Fleur de lis invitations, Purple damask photo save the date cards, Traditional fleur de lis napkins, Mardi Gras die cut invitations, The Big Easy border note cards collection, Design your own personalized plastic plates, Create your own twisted handled bags, Fleur de lis letterpress flat note cards, Fleur de lis wood block rubber stamp and Personalized clear plastic small wine glasses.

Other Image Sources:

Band Procession: http://www.brit.co/new-orleans-wedding-ideas/?crlt.pid=camp.XqlsyKUiw0Ak

Beignets: http://www.brit.co/new-orleans-wedding-ideas/?crlt.pid=camp.XqlsyKUiw0Ak

Street Sign Centerpiece: http://coreyann.com/blog/brides-talk/brides-talk-%E2%80%A2-cassie

Wedding Guests in Masks: http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/gallery/23021

Bride: http://www.stylemepretty.com/vault/gallery/23021

Suitcase With Beads: https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-photos/real-weddings/new-orleans-historic-hotel-wedding/i/15c39d8a196b38f4-ee27f7de7e7664e6?view=end

King Cake: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/southern-weddings-magazine-10862917/navy-gold-louisiana-wedding-by-greer-gattuso-4716746630

Bride and Groom: http://arielrenaephoto.com/new-orleans-french-quarter-wedding-crystal-will/

Emoji Cookies for Valentine’s Day

24 Jan

 

I am lucky to have daughters who love to bake.  We try and reserve Sunday afternoons for baking and love trying new things.  This last Sunday we decided to make emoji cookies to share with friends.  Seeing that emojis are still so popular, these cookies were a huge hit!  I even brought some to work to share with coworkers and everyone commented on how cute they were.

If you’re looking for something sweet to gift this Valentine’s Day, these emoji cookies would be the perfect thing!  If you really, really love emojis, you need to check out our personalized emoji gifts that make great Valentine’s Day gifts, too.

Here’s the recipe I used from Karenscookies.net:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar, processed in blender or food processor for 30 seconds
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. Almond extract or emulsion, optional
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour.

Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed (see Dough Preparation and Baking tutorial for more information on creaming times). Add yolk, beat well. Add whole egg, vanilla and optional almond extract and beat until well-incorporated. Add flour; beat at low speed just until flour is mixed in; do not overmix. Divide dough in halves or thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined pans. Bake in preheated oven until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (very large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes). Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.

For the frosting/glaze, I used this recipe, also from Karenscookies.net:

  • 2 lb powdered sugar
  • ½ C plus 2 T milk (10 T)
  • ½ C plus 2 T corn syrup (10 T)
  • 1 T. flavoring, any combination (I like 2 tsp. clear vanilla, ½ tsp. Almond Emulsion, and ½ tsp. clear butter flavoring, but you can get creative and try different things.)

Mix together till smooth. Divide up and color as desired.

You can use this icing just the way it is for both outlining and filling in. If you’re looking for more detail, you can thicken up your outline color with a bit more powdered sugar if desired. The formula is not set in stone, feel free to experiment with different ratios of liquid to sugar to get the consistency you like the best.

Hope you have fun making your own creative treats!

xoxo,

Jennifer