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Our Valentine’s Day Pot Luck

13 Feb

Potluck

2015 Valentine’s Day Potluck at The Stationery Studio

Although it’s grey and gloomy outside our Chicago window, we are not letting that stop us at all.  Today we are celebrating the joy of Valentine’s Day and are throwing a Pot Luck lunch!   We are usually so busy planning months ahead that we sometimes miss enjoying the events currently happening.  But not today … today we are all about everything pink and red.

It’s normal for us to be planning a few holidays out … right now we’re working on Mother’s Day, Graduation, wedding season and Father’s Day.  We’ve been busy adding terrific items for those occasions such as brightly colored new wedding napkins, acrylic trays, stationery, photo graduation announcements and groomsmen/bridesmaid gift ideas!

But today, we are taking a moment and getting ready to enjoy an actual holiday at the right time of year!  It’s Friday February 13th (we’re not worried at all) and we are ready to enjoy a Valentine’s Day lunch with our office family.  We have all signed up to prepare one of our favorite dishes and we will certainly have a fabulous spread.  We’ll definitely enjoy a lot of treats as we talk about weekend plans, family, upcoming events, gifts we are giving this weekend, and sharing recipes of course (our specialty!).

It’s nice to take a time out to relax for an hour and forget about the cold winter outside – as we enjoy some hot chili, healthy salads, fruit tray (featuring rose-cut strawberries) and of course a bit (or more) of chocolate. So happy to celebrate a special time of year together!  There are a lot of upcoming occasions this year so you too can do the same either in your office or with your friends.  It’s fun and easy and a great way to show everyone that they are appreciated.

 

 

I Like Warm Hugs

2 Dec

fb-givingTuesday

As Olaf, the popular snowman from the movie “Frozen” would say, “I like warm hugs.”  Of course, a warm hug to a snowman is probably not a good idea, but the idea behind it is that Olaf cares about others. Today is #GivingTuesday.  Yes … the hashtag is intentional.  #GivingTuesday is a social movement created to inspire giving back.  It happens the day after “Cyber Monday” to encourage people to give back and remember the reason of the season.  Today The Stationery Studio is participating by donating 5% of every purchase to feed those in need.  Our goal is to reach $5,000 (maximum) to donate to our local food pantry.  The holiday season is often a time when food pantries are at their lowest and really in need.  I am excited and honored to be a part of #GivingTuesday because it’s something at the core of my personal values.

Giving back comes in so many forms.  Sometimes it’s as simple as giving someone a hug when they’re having a bad day (Olaf the snowman would approve).  Or just listening to someone who really needs to get something off their chest.  Giving back can be a  massive undertaking like taking on ending world hunger.  Or making sure everyone has a warm bed to sleep in.

I encourage you to find a way to give back this holiday season.  Make it an annual tradition with family or friends.  Need ideas?  I’ve got a few to get you thinking (and doing!):

  • Start a bake sale and give the profits to your local food pantry
  • Gather needed items for your local pet shelter
  • Visit an assisted living home and listen to residents stories
  • Deliver presents for those in need (ask a local church)
  • Help out at a local food kitchen
  • Offer to make meals for a neighbor or friend who’s ill
  • Have your kids write holiday cards to service men and women fighting for our country overseas
  • Smile at someone who could use some encouragement

So the last idea seems trivial, right?  But that’s the idea.  Giving back doesn’t have to be some grandiose plan or idea.  It can start with you just thinking about others and how giving back can start with a simple gesture.  I’d love to hear how you or your family give back during the holidays.  You can help inspire others and give people ideas.  Tell me in the comments below or write me on our twitter or facebook page.

Happy Holidays and happy giving back!

xoxo,

Jennifer

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte #nationalcoffeeday

29 Sep

Did you know today is National Coffee Day?  When I logged onto twitter this morning, I was deluged with images of coffee and the hashtag #nationalcoffeeday.  Seeing that it’s Fall and I can’t get enough pumpkin spice lattes, I wanted to share a recipe I make at home.  I usually whip up a few to share with friends since it’s so good!

pumpkinlatte

This recipe was taken from AllRecipes.com.

Quick Pumpkin Spice Latte

Original recipe makes 1 serving
1 cup milk, divided
1 tablespoon white sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup brewed espresso (I use coffee)

Directions

Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.
Pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes. Add espresso and whisk until foamy, 1 minute.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Jennifer