Hope you all are having a bit o’ luck thanks to the Irish today! Holidays are always a big deal around here. We’ll be feasting on corned beef, cabbage and soda bread today (courtesy of Trader Joe’s!). Just got back from a mini-vacation to Whistler, B.C. and very thankful I thought to take an extra day off work to catch up!
How are you all enjoying St. Patrick’s Day?
My soul searching has hardly ended since the last time I wrote. I have been endlessly researching answers for what could bring my soul alive, and finding others who have shared a similar journey. Along the way I’ve found some inspiration women entrepreneurs. Emily Ley. Lara Casey. Whitney English. And many more. Women who said there is an option for someone like me who wants to balance their home life while doing something they love. Something that most importantly made a difference, and helped others. Because truly, that is what I have been lacking. The opportunity to help others, like myself, who are lost. If I can help just one of them, while taking care of myself and my family, I will consider my life’s work complete. But of course I won’t stop with just helping one!
I realized the best way I can help someone is with the skills I already know: creating beautiful designs for events, and helping people understand how to execute them with less time and stress on their part. I did this while working at a national stationery retailer. I did this while working as a wedding coordinator. And I loved it. But I never got to do the part that I really loved, which was make beautiful designs for people that loved them. So that is what I will do!
I am so proud to say that I launched my stationery line through Etsy on February 9, filled with wedding Save the Dates, dog adoption announcements, a “honey do” task list and a pug valentine postcard. It’s not much yet, but I am so thrilled to have it out there in the world. It was one of the most fulfilling moments I have had. I have several other designs cued up in my brain, and I can’t wait to find time to get them out. I feel as though nothing can happen quickly enough. As though I am just waiting for my life to really start. A Lady in Waiting. Right now I have an Easter postcard in the works… I’m very excited about it!
I am so thankful I found women like Lara Casey. Only further proof that I really belong in the South 😉 I am using the #Powersheets templates she designed to help explore my biggest dreams, then turning them into achievable goals. Here’s a peak at what my March goals look like:
I will be leaving for vacation soon with S and my family. Never has a vacation felt more needed! I’m looking forward to a chance to reflect, relax, and maybe even work on some designs. Until then…
As we celebrate the holiday season, where family all comes back together again, I wanted to share this beautiful film that Rachel Peterson of RP Imagery created as a surprise for me from my bridal shower. Such a wonderful way to remember the perfect tea party thrown by my sister-in-law Kaylin.
Videography: RP Imagery
Venue: Myrtle’s Tea House
Stationery & Event Planning: Kaylin Debiak
Hats supplied by my mother-in-law’s friend Margaret
After working at Paper Source for a year and casually done graphic design forever (I was designing newsletters with Microsoft Publisher at the age of 10), I was most excited to design our wedding invitations. The process lasted several months (not exaggerating) and consisted of many designs that were abandoned all together. The final design went through multiple drafts before arriving on the final printed piece.
All the paper was purchased at Paper Source, and then printed and cut down at a local printer. The assembly was done by my wonderful friends and family (thank you for putting up with my crazy assembly lines!!!). Not pictured is the green ribbon and silver wax seal used to hold together the components, which was the most time consuming part.
My vision was to create a classic, yet whimsical design for our “medieval garden” wedding. Some of my obsessions include brackets and calligraphy, which made their way into the design. The liners were Cavallini papers cut down and hand stuff by my great team.
Beautiful paper is another love of mine. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but I used the yummy Luxe white paper for all the pieces (which is quite a pain to find a printer for!). I ordered our return address stamper from Paper Source as well (are you noticing a trend??), which tied in with the brackets on the invitations.
There were MANY more printed pieces that added to our wedding suite that I can’t wait to share with y’all!
If I have learned anything in my 25 years on this earth, it is that life needs balance. When you deny yourself in the areas that make you happy, you are left feeling unfulfilled and just plain unhappy. Lately I’ve been feeling like the creative side that I crave so much has been empty.
I made a list of the 5 things I love the most in life: Parties/Weddings, Animals/Dogs, Etiquette, Organization and Design… invitations, stationery, etc. (I love my family & friends above all else!) I looked at where I spend the majority of my time (work) and if my job was fulfilling any of these loves. Even kind of. I get to organize projects at work, but that’s about it. I couldn’t shake the feeling of my soul being crushed by the lack of a creative outlet.
Continually soul searching and living life to the fullest is something deeply important to me. I stumbled across the Holstee Manifesto, written by a group of people who come from the heart of our generation. The Millennials. Raised to change the world, then told to mind our place. If there is one thing that gets me riled up more than anything is being told “No, that will never happen”. Those words build a fire beneath me, pushing me to work even harder, search even deeper to find what it is that I will do to make a difference in this life I am blessed with.
With that determination, I have set out to continue following my dreams and finding what makes me happy. Hopefully it will make other people happy, too. So with as big of steps as life will allow, I am charging forward to create designs that will inspire others to live a fulfilled life.
More to come soon…
Not many women talk about the emotional journey of changing your name. Being in the midst of the process myself. I can tell you it’s not as easy logistically or mentally as I originally thought it would be.
When everyone is asking you before you are married whether or not you are planning to change your name, future relatives and outsiders assumed I would with no question. Those close to me, young women, recently married friends, asked with almost a pained look of understanding. They knew of the mourning process one goes through when deciding to give up their former identity that they worked all their life to build and maintain. Suddenly they are a part of something else, not their own, yet expected to maintain.
Interesting fact: We signed our marriage certificate during the ceremony. This was not the final one. We ordered a replacement since our witnesses signed on the opposites lines in the heat of the moment. Should have put sticky notes!
For the fourth year in a row, we successfully put a turkey on the table for our family to enjoy. Hosting Thanksgiving is not a task one would normally volunteer for, but I believe the ability to pull off a day of cooking while entertaining both sides of our family is an important skill to master.
I would say this year was the most successful yet! I followed Martha Stewart’s recipe for the Perfect Turkey, which was lovely. The outer skin was a little tough, but I think I may have overcooked him slightly…
That’s my family’s Shiba, Milo, who made it to another holiday season. So thankful he got to spend some time, at his appropriate distance, with our pug Chloe. He secretly likes it.
For the first time, I actually was prepared in advance of the holiday (first time not working retail beforehand!). The prep work went as follows:
- Several Months Out: Communication with family that we will, yes, once again undertake the task of hosting Thanksgiving in our modest-sized townhouse
- 3 Weeks Out: Determine recipes (YAY Pinterest!) to create a good balance that will fulfill everyone’s vision of the perfect Thanksgiving meal
- 2 Weeks Out: Reserve turkey and research the likelihood of finding exotic ingredients… research alternatives (always have a back-up plan!)
- 0.5 Weeks Out: Purchase all ingredients, record oven cooking time for all recipes, create timeline (yes, I make I timeline for anything possible)
- Thanksgiving Eve: Bath time for the turkey in the brine
- Thanksgiving: Wake up in enough time to prep the first item to go in the oven before the parade starts!
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a major tradition in our family; we have many. My brother and I both marched in the Seattle parade the day after Thanksgiving. Any excuse for festivities and merriment, we’re there.
After dinner we played a card game that my hubby’s family would play at family gatherings. It was the perfect way to end the day (almost) all together, while incorporating both family traditions (we lost my brother to tryptophan before dessert).
Our menu this year included:
I hope all of you had a warm holiday surrounded by loved ones. From my family to yours, happy holiday season. Let the seasonal music commence!