Archives for category: family

I have been a little obsessed with getting a bar cart for over a year now.  I’m not really sure where this began. Maybe it was a scene from Madmen that became lodged in my brain one of those nights that I fell asleep watching.  I remember my Grandmother had a wicker bar cart when I was in my mid 20’s that she would wheel into the living room when my husband (then boyfriend) and I would visit. She mixed a potent cocktail!

Make Your Own Mini Bar with a Bar Cart

Better Decorating Bible


Burlap & Crystal

Coldwell Banker

Lily Lemon Tree

101714 tgt bar cart

Even Target has bar carts!

Bar carts – not just for drinks. They work for stationery too!


I have been searching for some new ways to decorate for fall in my home. I’m a little behind this year – so I went in search of some cute, relatively simple and inexpensive decorating ideas. Here are my favorites:




Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  Saturday would have been my Grandmother’s 94th birthday.  It all makes me think a lot about my own childhood and some of my most treasured memories and possessions.  My Grammy didn’t have much money, but she had more love to give than anyone I know! Just ask my brothers, my cousins, any of the people we never knew that she would help in any way she could, and all those people invited to family picnics that she “adopted” into our family.

One of the ways my Grandmother showed her love best was through her cooking.  As kids, we would all get excited to go to Grammy & Grampy’s house for ice pops made from Tang, strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake, Grammy pickles, Grammy’s chocolate chip cookies, brownies, ginger snaps, and pancakes topped with homemade strawberry jam! My grandparents owned a strawberry farm – where we wandered the fields and woods freely and our imaginations would take us all over the world… with constant pit stops for a little strawberry picking nourishment.

I have Grammy’s recipe box.  It is one of my most treasured possessions.  It is a tangible piece of Grammy that I have.  The recipe box is unattractive, does not go with my decor one little bit, and it  doesn’t matter.  When I open that recipe box, I have those delicious recipes and memories in my Grandmother’s own handwriting.  When I look at those recipes I feel like a piece of Grammy is still here.  Those are love letters from heaven.  I miss Grammy and think of her often, especially on her birthday and Mother’s Day – but in a way she’s still here.

Incidentally, I have since discovered that many of those Grammy amazing recipes were not Grammy originals.  They are Nestle Tollhouse Cookies and that my Grandmother could have had a few episodes of “Semi-Homemade” on the Food Network.  I just thank God that she actually wrote out the recipes instead of cutting them out of a magazine!

Consider writing those recipes out by hand!  You never know what it will mean to someone 30, 40, or 50 years from now.  Recipe boxes are available at Stone Hill Paperie with matching recipe cards if you want to put together a keepsake of your own.  I’m starting mine today.

{© 2012 Stone Hill Paperie Amy Hammond | Photo © Amy Hammond}

Life gets hectic. (But you knew that already, didn’t you?) You have a task list beckoning you that will more than likely go unfinished again today. For a moment, let’s put that aside. Take a moment to breathe, reflect and leave a paper trail.

In the age of digital communication and iPhone apps, paper may seem like a foreign substance. Consider reintroducing it into your life by taking a moment to journal a thought or two each day. It may seem daunting to turn off the email and pick up a…if you pen, but a few minutes of reflection can reset your mood, reintroduce yourself to you and even be a keepsake for generations to come.

Keeping a journal does not require hours of deep contemplation. Make it a goal to jot down a few sentences. Quickly and concisely track your memories, kids’ accomplishments or work goals. As time goes on, look back on previous years’ thoughts and rediscover the journey you’ve taken. It could become a treasured piece to future generations, providing them with a direct link to you.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Meagan of Defining Motherhood | Photo © Meagan Church}

Perhaps you’ve planned this for months or even years. Maybe it’s an unexpected, yet oh-so-pleasant surprise. Or the agency called and the adoption is finalized. No matter how it came to be, it’s time to celebrate the addition of a new life to your growing family. Here are some new ideas to let your nearest and dearest know that you’ve got a bun in the oven.

Check out these design inspirations that combine typography, premium papers, Envelopments® Original Artwork and the most adorable baby photos.

This Asher Oakley featured sample gives new meaning to the concept “precious cargo.” A tandem bicycle complete with a trailer definitely says “Family.” Inside a folded card, there is a photo of the newborn along with his birth details. The entire piece is sealed with Burnt Sugar along one edge of the card. An Aruba liner ties the ink color into the envelope.

For the Colton Hobbs birth announcement, a soft palette of pale blues and yellows are offset with vibrant red and neutral gray. Add a Cocoa outer envelope and this simple Z-Card changes from Someone New into Something New.

There’s nothing like the face of a newborn child. On the Richard Carter, Jr. announcement, a perfect headshot is paired with a graphic representation of the alphabet. This simple layered card is a great way to let friends and family know about the new man in your life.

Simple and sweet, the Garret Peters birth announcement uses a postcard format. This eliminates an outer envelope and reduces the cost of postage, yet has a huge presence with a photo on one side and the “meet and greet” information on the other.

Proud parents often feel like they’re on cloud nine when they hear their baby laugh for the first time or get through the night without crying. The Tyson Bliss featured sample includes an aviation theme and a photograph of the new little guy with his head in the clouds. The announcement is wrapped with black and white twine and a die-cut seal.

The inspiration from the photo of Violet Smith sleeping in her tutu is precious for this pink and cream birth announcement. The soft tone of EnvelopmentsClassic Ecru-SUT96 matches the paint color used in the nursery of this future ballerina.

“B” is for Bianca. The Bianca Marini feature sample pairs the Envelopments Bloom pattern with baby words that begin with the letter “B.” A matching liner pulls the pattern into the outer envelope.

The baby shower invitation for Amber Svenson uses a Twist Card and a Matryoshka doll to convey the idea that they’re “nesting.” The graphics are printed in vibrant colors that coordinate with the Twist Card and outer envelope.

Twice the laughter, twice the smiles, and twice the laundry! The arrival of twins is twice as exciting. The birth announcement of Rachael and Kelsey Vanguard uses a clothing line with baby clothes and stitched lettering to spell out their names. The color of their onesies was also coordinated with Envelopments Reef envelopes.

With everything that goes on during the first few weeks of having a newborn, it can be difficult to take a mail-worthy snapshot. This card brings all the sentiments without an actual photograph.

Printing on both sides of a signature Z-Card, the Serpentine scored card was folded to start at the top of the tree and then “Rock-a-bye baby.” Francois Rasmussen’s announcement opens to reveal the rest of the nursery rhyme along with birth information.

Baby showers can take on any theme conceivable. In the Jolene Clark featured sample, a literal approach is taken ~ combining a collection of umbrellas with bright colors and a festive Kaleidoscope pattern.

Life is filled with noteworthy occasions. Some moments are just too important for a mere phone call or text message. With over 230 colors and 90 shapes and sizes in the Envelopments design line, combined with our creativity, expertise and fantastic service . . . how will you define your moment?

You can see more of this fabulous line of Envelopments card stocks, pocket folds, envelopes and more to create your custom birth announcements and invitations and define your moment by visiting Stone Hill Paperie in Skippack, Pennsylvania.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Envelopments | Photos © Envelopments}

The New Year isn’t the only time of year you can set resolutions. All you need is some focus, initiative and a desire for improvement to set goals and start down a path of overall improvement. From work to recreation, family to personal health, let today be the day you decide to make a change for the better. Here are some simple steps to get you started in the right direction:

Reflect. Ask yourself what has worked for you in the past and what hasn’t. Was training for that 5K easier with a pal or going it solo on a treadmill? Was it easier to eat more vegetables when the chocolate chip cookies were left behind at the store?

Focus. Take a good look at what changes you want to make. Most importantly, be specific. Don’t just aim to be slimmer. Focus on the things that can help you achieve that (such as the aforementioned 5K) and set a date for when you will accomplish it.

Write it down. Put your goal in writing, whether in a journal, on your iPhone or even a mirror so you can be constantly reminded of what you intend to do.

Tell someone. Accountability will help keep you focused, on the right path and motivated. Tell your friends, spouse, kids and/or parents, and ask them to encourage you to reach your goal.

Get to work. You have thought about it and told people, but now it’s time to actually take action. If you feel yourself losing steam at any point (which is bound to happen), get creative and explore new ways to get there.

Enjoy the journey. Don’t wait for the final result to celebrate your progress. Share your journey and mini-triumphs with friends, colleagues and social media acquaintances

Be proud. And when you finally get there, don’t hold back. Be proud of what you’ve done and the time you’ve spent getting there. Then it’s time to start all over again with some reflection, focus and an entirely new goal to take you to yet another level of accomplishment.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Meagan of Defining Motherhood | Photo © Heather Donahue}

Sadly, it’s that time of year again. Sniffles, sneezes and sick ones are around every corner, oh no! To stay on top of your health and fight the seasonal sniffles, here are a few winter wellness essentials:

winter wellness essentials

{Untitled by Yvette Inufio}

There are several ways to stay well when the odds are against you. Here are a few favorite, tried-and-true methods:

1. Pound the green tea. That’s right, get to steeping! With it’s immune-enhancing boosters, green tea is known to help fight colds and reduce flu symptoms.

2. Neti. Do you use a neti pot? it’s a simple way to irrigate the nasal passages with unbeatable results. It’s safe, easy and soothes the lining of your nose as it removes the excess mucus that lingers in the sinuses as fertile grounds for infections and bacteria.

3. Up your Vitamin C. Consider increasing your Vitamin C intake. Taking an Emergen-C is always a quick and easy way to do this.

4. Hydrate. Simply staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will help you feel better and wash your cold away.

5. Stay warm and rest. Pay attention to your body and rest if you feel tired. A simple ceramic heater can help keep you warm and toasty no matter where you go!

6. Eat lots of garlic. Garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help ward off minor infections.

7. Eat honey. Honey is great for soothing a sore throat. Try adding some to your tea, or melting 2 teaspoons in a mug of hot water to sip on.

8. Avoid phlegmy foods. That is sugar, white flour, wine, dairy and red meat- as these enhance the build up of mucus.

9. Gargle. Gargle with warm salt water to help soothe and heal sore throats.

10. Eat some soup. Eat warming, nourishing foods such as good hearty veggie soup.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Bonnie of Going Home to Roost | Photo © Untitled by Yvette Inufio}

Looking for some easy afternoon snack ideas for your kids or even for yourself? From no-hassle ideas to ones that take a bit of prep time, the following list includes 20 options to calm afternoon hunger with healthy options that won’t spoil dinner.

Grab and Go
String Cheese
Carrots and ranch dressing

A Few Minutes Prep
Trail mix with your favorite nuts, seeds, cereals and bite-size crackers with a hint of candy or chocolate chips
Crackers and hummus
English muffin and cream cheese
Celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins
Banana smothered with peanut butter and topped with sprinkles
Peanut butter and honey toast

Think Ahead
Tuna salad and whole wheat crackers
Ham slices with cream cheese, rolled into tubes and cut into bite sizes
Fruit and cheese kabobs
Homemade granola bars
Hard-boiled eggs
Wrap with lunch meat, cheese and spinach

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Meagan of Defining Motherhood | Photo © Heather Donahue}