FINDING JOY IN CROWNING OTHERS

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My dear friend, Tamera Beardsley, whom I was fortunate to meet through this blogging world, sat one evening at her home and told me about her passion for “crowns”. Not just the crowns you put on your head but those inner, invisible ones, the ones hidden in your closets that need to be brought out. In Tamera’s words, she says “It’s about learning to celebrate our own crowning moments.” I left that evening touched by this beautiful message and determination to find my crowns and wear them proudly. Tamera began this year with a “crowning” celebration. Not only does she post incredible messages and photos but she is also creating some of the most exquisite and beautiful crown headpieces any woman would dream of wearing. You can find all of her messages and creations by clicking on her name.

Well, you all know me, and when I get an idea I love in my head I often run with it, and crowning others, well this was an idea that just kept growing. With Tamera’s permission, I used some of her beautiful messages and photo’s to help me create a “crowning” tea party for some of my wonderful and dear friends. (I did invite Tamera but since she lives a few states away, the timing of Mother’s Day weekend didn’t really work for her).

Created and sent out my invites.
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Knowing long ago I wanted to have this party in conjunction with Mother’s Day because I felt it was the perfect time to remind women the importance of “Crowning” ourselves.

Each guest was given a crown photo holder, which were originally a natural burlap but I chose to glitter them up by using spray adhesive and then sprinkled them with lots and lots of glitter. Then I clipped on a “crown message. I knew this would be part of my table setting, helping to set the tone.
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This crowning message, I printed as 4 x 6 prints and then glued them on the front of 4×6 note pads, which I then wrapped with twine and a name card, which became their place cards at the table.
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(notice again how I used a little doily to add just the right touch that was missing?

My newest tablecloth, which I have been in search for, I finally found at Joann’s craft. Yes, it’s just material, and for me, it was perfect!
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I wanted the table setting to give off a feeling to my friends that they were special, that they were worth “crowning” yet I didn’t want it to feel stuffy or too elaborate. Therefore I used my fine china (my original from my wedding),
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but I kept the table scape more natural and meaningful.
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Using some family heirlooms . . .
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Then simply adding some rose colored mason jars with wild flowers instead of roses.
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The finishing table was just what I had in mind.
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Hanging some banners with “crowning messages” . . .
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And using doilies to hang from the chandelier.
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Then placing Betty with her message on the porch and I was ready for my friends to arrive.
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We began out luncheon with a fruit salad . . .
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Followed by a greek chicken salad . . .
Some strawberry-rhubarb muffins and tea sandwiches . . .
And then some yummy desserts; Eclairs, Dulce de Leche Chocolate Pecan Squares, and fresh strawberry cake.
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During our luncheon as we all sat together we took turns telling one another how and why we would “crown” ourselves that day. What a wonderful and delightful conversation.

After lunch my friends were really in for a surprise, this cute floral arrangement of silk flowers (which I normally never use in vases, I’m a fresh flower kind of gal) was there for them to create their own crowns.
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Serious and fun business . . .
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But pure JOY!!!
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(my adorable mother)
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I’ve learned through the years that it’s Ok to crown ourselves, in fact its important to crown yourself.
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Whether your wearing an invisible crown or an actual crown made of florals or jewels, it’s a beautiful reminder that you’re deserving of this respect, of this kindness, of this appreciation.
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It’s a helpful reminder to stand a little taller and be grateful and proud of being the woman that you are today. But I will say, the most joy you will ever get in a crowning moment is to simply crown another.
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As always my friends, thanks for dropping by. Have a most wonderful day.

Linking up with Dawn Lucy for fun fashion friday

PLAYING IN NATURE = THE BEST WAY TO SPEND QUALITY TIME

It’s no secret, especially to those of you who know me, I like to shop. It’s a terrible hobby but one I’m quite good at, just ask my children (and husband). There’s really quite an art to shopping but that’s for a whole other post. Today, I’m going to share one of my other loves, one I picked up when I was a child and fortunately have kept. It’s my love for nature. It didn’t take me long as a young mother to realize my children behaved so much better when I simply took them outdoors and let run and explore their surroundings. And as a mother, you do hope and pray that some life lessons you teach will be carried on or appreciated and possibly used by your children when they grow up. Therefore it made my heart sing with joy when my daughter came for a visit and decided that instead of dragging Molly to the mall for some “girl shopping time”, which usually last for about 30 minutes of happiness,
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the best way to spend some quality time would be in nature . . .
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So we did just that . . .
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We put on some fun birkenstocks . . .
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Some spring dresses . . .
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And allowed this little one to explore to her hearts content.
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The curiosity . . .
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(Molly with her great grandmother-my mom)
The excitement . . .
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The wonder . . .
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was much more magical than any new outfit found at a shopping mall.
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I’m feeling truly grateful for this love of nature which ingrained itself so many years ago into my heart . . .
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And which continues to fill me with joy each time I walk into a secret garden . . .
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or a merry-g0-round filled with flowers . . .
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or an open courtyard just waiting to be explored.
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As always my friends, thanks for dropping by. Have a most wonderful day.

Linking up with Patti for visible Monday.
And Cherie for Shoe and tell,
And Jess for turning heads tuesday

WHITE JEANS, ARE YOU WEARING THEM?

The wonderful staple of white jeans . . .

When it comes to spring and summer, one of the best staples to pull out of your closet is a pair of white jeans.

So why is it, that I continue to have a love-hate relationship with this staple?

I’m kind of guessing it’s due in part to my height, I see all these fun ways of wearing white jeans and then I put them on and I’m not so happy about the outcome. I first purchased a pair of white cropped jeans (jcrew) and although I like the easy fit, they just don’t do much for my small height. When I do pull them out, they tend to call for a fun casual style.

Pairing them with boot shoes (sperry) . . .
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And a denim shirt (gap) . . .
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Gives me the look I’m after.
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This season I decided to try the higher waisted skinny jeans (Joe Jeans) to see if they would add some secret lengthening.
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By pairing them with heels . . .
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And an all white slate (sweater Ann Taylor-purchased last year but they have some fun ones this season as well) (gold necklace-banana republic) . . .
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It gives me a whole new white jean look.
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I’m thinking the jcrew pair might make it into Tori’s wardrobe.

What about you, are white jeans a staple in your wardrobe?

Make sure to head over to Adrienne’s @ therichlifeonabudget and Jill’s @ everythingjustso for their HIMY series, to see some fabulous ways women are wearing their white jeans.

Linking up with Allison for her Wednesday Pants series.
And Alice for TBT
And Dawn Lucy for Fun Fashion Friday

GIFTING WITH A BOOK (PART TWO)

First off, this is NOT another “gift ideas on what to give your mother” blog post. I don’t know about you but I kind of get a bit tired of seeing all those posts, mainly because I feel we should personally know our mothers well enough to purchase a gift for her all on our own. But with that being said, I thought I would share another picture book I love gifting and a fun way to add some glam to your packaging.

This little book from compendium books has the cutest message for any of your friends, especially if you have some creative ones. I’m not going to tell you the ending on What you should do with an idea, that’s for you to go find out, but its absolutely precious.
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As you can see I sometimes simply just wrap twine around this book with a handstamped gift tag and off it goes.

Other times, I glam it up a bit by adding a junk bow, (named becuase you just use junk sitting around your craft room).
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This particular bow I used coffee filters, which I soaked in tea water and then threw in the dryer to give them an old look, old vintage music sheets which I cut with some pinking sheers, some old lace, and a few different textured and sizes of ribbons. You just layer on the material you want to use then use one ribbon to tie them all together and your have yourself a junk bow.
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I use my junk bows on homemade cards all the time, which also makes a wonderful simple gift on its own.
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I’m thinking everything looks a little better with a junk bow, what about you?
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I just might be off to make some more today . . .

As always my friends, thanks for dropping by. Have a most wonderful day.
Linking up with Jann for SYC where it’s full of fun inspirations.

GIVING MOTHER THE GIFT OF FLOWERS WITH TIME AND SHOES

This week the adorable Cherie at style nudge invited me to be her co-host for her weekly shoe and tell and with mother’s day around the corner, I decided it would be the perfect time to share my early mother’s day gift.

What mother doesn’t love flowers? Well I know this one certainly does, in fact, I wrote a few years ago (here) about receiving a wonderful bouquet of fresh dandelions. It’s no secret that my adult children know my love of flowers, especially the ones carefully planted in my garden. And yet if you were to ask either one of them what their mother really loves, both would most likely shout . . . SHOES! So this year, with much delight, they combined both loves and gave their momma some happy shoes.
One pair being these overly comfy birkenstocks.
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When Cherie asked me to describe my style, I kind of laughed because it’s really quite casual these days although I like to think of myself as a casual chic kind of dresser. I think my children have embraced my casual chic style. Pairing these fun birkenstocks with a linen skirt and floral eyelet blouse gives just the right casual chic look that I enjoy.
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The other pair were these fun floral sneakers.
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This seriously shows off my casual look.
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But I sometimes know when to embrace the lady-like feminine style. And a change of shoes is really all you need.
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Shoes, and possibly a hat and some more lace.
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Receiving the gift of shoes is always a welcomed, fun, and enjoyable gift which I definitely put to use but the best gift which I receive year after year from this sweet daughter is her gift of time.
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She gladly shows up on an early Saturday morning (even flying in from Omaha) and spends the entire day helping me plant my flower gardens. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable two sets of hands are.

I hope all you woman, mother’s or not, have a wonderful Mother’s day this next weekend.

Now it’s your turn to show what fun shoes you’re wearing for the week simply click HERE to LINK UP TO SHOE AND TELL.

Also linking up with Patti for visible monday
And Jess for Turning Heads Tuesday

ONE SWEATER – THREE DATES

I spotted this sweater a few months ago and although its long sleeved and quite cozy, it’s also light weight and makes for a great travel item. Therefore it got me thinking, more like pondering for a reason to purchase another sweater knowing spring would be just around the corner (but who am I kidding, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah where one day it can be a beautiful sunny 70 degrees and the very next day its snowing). So of course I walked out of the store with this little item in my shopping bag.
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And let me tell you, it’s had so much fun . . .

Just by pairing it with heels and patterned dress pants . . .
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grabbing my little messenger bag, which, by the way I’m loving so much that I think hubby has my permission to buy the pink one for mother’s day . . .
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makes for the perfect dinner date.
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Pairing it with my leopard flats . . .
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larger bag . . .
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and a skirt, makes the perfect ensemble for a lunch date with girlfriends.
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You see, usually these lunch dates have an alternative motive, we somehow choose a restaurant near a fun boutique or even right in a shopping mall, so flats and a larger bag make shopping a little bit easier.

And since I’m a nice girlfriend I’ll show you how this sweater gets worn the most . . .

with my nike’s and skinnies . . .
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as a playdate (aka work day uniform).
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Don’t you just love it when an item can take you on so many different dates?

I’m linking up today with Cherie @stylnudge for Shoe and Tell. As you can easily tell, it’s really the shoe that makes the difference.
And Jess for her turning heads Tuesday
Outfit details
sweater- banana republic
skirt- gap
pants- gap
heels-nine west
leaopard flats-aerosole

LET’S GO FLY (MAKE) A KITE . . . AND HAVE A TEA PARTY WHILE WE’RE AT IT.

When I think of spring I think of flowers blooming, birds chirping and kites flying. All three of these make me quite giddy, but let’s face it, going to a park on a windy day and flying a kite, well life doesn’t get much better than that.
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I still have fond memories of flying kites as a family and then on dates, but I think my best kite memories are the years I spent teaching school and each year as an art project I would have my students create their own beautiful kites and then on the first windy day we would go out and fly them.

So this year I decided to once again make a kite . . .

By quilting the paper together and then folding and hot glueing it to the sticks.
(my cute momma was so patient and kind to be my helping hands)
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And is this lacy tail the cutest thing ever?
(no, I’m not going to fly this kite)
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It’s going to be my front door greeter.
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As well as my spark for a spring tea party.

I used my three loves of spring to create the invite . . .
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Got busy making more kites . . .
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lots and lots of fun kites, that hung on my wall as a banner . . .
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even hanging from the chandelier and ceiling . . .
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And welcoming my guests as they arrive.
(I always put this sign out so my guests feel right at home the minute they step foot on my porch and I also don’t need to worry about getting to the door each time the doorbell rings)
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Then you know me, I started on my table scape . . .

Incorpating a kite as well as some birds and flowers.
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And adding a few pictures that went along with my kite theme.
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For the place setting this time I used my white china dinner plates, pastel china salad plates, and gold flatware.
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Placing a neatly folded white linen napkin underneath this fun tea cup which was used as both their party favor as well as place cards. I wanted their party favor to also go along with the theme of birds in song, flowers in bloom and kites in fight.
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Once again pulling out and using my ralph lauren bed spread using the stripe side this time, it was the perfect choice to liven the table up and it just reminded me of kites.
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Table was all ready with their fresh drinks and place cards as they entered my home.
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What an enjoyable afternoon we had, sharing lots of fond memories, making new friendships and filling my home and heart with all kinds of laughter and joy.
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As always my friends, thanks for dropping by. Have a most wonderful day.

As promised for my guests here’s the recipes from our menu.

Strawberry Soup
Fill blender 3/4 full of frozen strawberries
add 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
and fill the rest with milk (I use 1%)
Blend until it’s like a smoothie.

Punch
In a large bowl combine:
1 (2-liter) bottle Shasta diet grapefruit soda
1 (12 ounce) can frozen white grape juice, undiluted
1/2 bag of ice (I like to use sonic ice)
Mix with no water, just lots of ice.

Avocado and Caramelized Pineapple Salad
2 Tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 3-lb pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch thick slices
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup orane juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 avocados, peeled and chopped
1 cup blackberries, rinsed
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped

In a bowl combine sugar and chili powder; sprinkle evenly over pineapple. In a nonstick skillet, cook pineapple 10 minutes over medium heat, turning once until sugar is caramelized and pineapple is golden brown. Remove pineapple and cool at least 10 minutes. Cut into the 1 inch pieces.
In a large bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, orange juice, cilantro, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper (I also like to add maybe 1 tsp or more sugar). Add pineapple, onion, sweet pepper, avocados, and blackberries; toss gently to combine. Add lettuce, toss gently until mixture is just coated and serve.

Cucumber and Strawberry tea sandwich

Stir together 1 (8ounce) package cream cheese, softened; 1/2 peeled, seeded and finely chopped cucumber, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup minced red onion, 3 Tbl. finely chopped fresh basil (I prefer to use 1 table spoon basil and 2 table spoons of fresh mint), 1/2 pepper, 1/2 salt. Spread on white bread with diced strawberries.

Orange and Cranberry tea sandwich

Stir together 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened, 2/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup orange marmalade, and 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans. Spread on pumpernickel bread with thinly sliced smoke turkey and fresh arugula.

Linking up today with Jennifer @awellstyledlife and Heather @stylemindchic for their new link up party about inspiration. What inspires you and others to live the way your do, dress the way you do, decorate the way you do, etc. Today I’m sharing how this simple kite inspired my Spring time tea party. It only takes one item to light a creative spark.

Linking up with Jann for SYC
And Alice for TBT