Fantastic Father’s Day

I am lucky enough to have many fantastic fathers in my life. My own father, father-in-law, husband and grandfather – not to mention the extended family fathers and friends – there is an abundance of greatness among these fathers. Some of the similar characteristics these men share are their dedication to their families, ability to be present (Physically and mentally), be sensitive while maintaining their strength, intelligence and silliness. These men have been such an important influence on my life and on what I expect from my husband as a father as well.

My father is very important to me for so many reasons. Although my father was fairly strict it was only because he wanted what was best for me. Some of my favorite moments of my father was he wasn’t afraid to let me be “one of the boys” but also made sure to pick me a rose from our rose bush. He always treated me as the strong female that I wanted to be and understood me the most, as I suffer from anxiety and depression. My Dad was never afraid to carry a tune or dance with me. Most importantly through him and his parents (my grandparents) I learned the importance of family. Although my relationship with my father hasn’t always been the most solid… It is incredibly solid now and I am so thankful for the relationship we have today.

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{My Dad and I the day they brought me home : Picture owned by Lynn Coppotelli}

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{Picture of my Dad and I before I walked down the aisle : Picture owned by Drew Carlisle}

My husband luckily has many of the same qualities as my Dad as a father but in his own way (of course). From the moment my husband has become a father he has been very hands-on. I couldn’t have had a better partner in labor. Once we came home from the hospital Drew changed all the diapers until I was more mobile. He is always quick to take the girls when he senses I need a break. Drew is always teaching the girls new things, being silly, and a constant companion. I am thankful to have him as my constant companion and partner. Without him I would not be as successful in the hardest thing I have ever done – being a mother.

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{ Drew holding Viv for the first time : Picture by Lauren James}

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{Drew introducing Viv to Noli : Picture by Lauren Carlisle}

Useful Gifts – Some Dads really prefer the useful gift over anything else. Sometimes finding something useful that fathers need can be difficult to discover. Especially if you want to get something out the ordinary (ties, mugs, socks, etc.)… Here is a fun list of some great gift ideas for your father.

Professional Dads – These fathers can be very particular about what they want specifically. Here is a short list of things that I have gotten in the past that fathers have loved. I hope they help inspire you to get something that your picky professional father may want as well.

I bought this office bag for my husband who travels a lot and it is awesome. Durable, compact, and able to hold a ton! It has been the best gift I have ever gotten him. What I think I like best is that you can even make your own custom bag!

These are fantastic office headphones that will not only cancel outside noises but are also great for conference calls as well.

This is great for the office or at home. Both stylish and handy – I mean who doesn’t have a bunch of electronics they need to keep charged throughout the day!

Handy Dads – Handy Dads are slightly easier to shop for because there are usually tons of new equipment they want or need. Here are some out-of-the-box ideas that you could get them for Father’s Day.

This is the best tool for any kind of major demolition – it’s a fantastic all-in-one.

This is a great tool – everyone needs a light, but it is also magnetic so it is perfect for projects that your handy Dad may be completing.

This is a fantastic gift for your handy Dads and Moms!! It’s perfect for many projects with tiny parts or anything that is needed up a ladder.

Cooking Dads – Not all Dads love to cook but those that do are so special! Both my husband and father cook in the home. I always love watching them cook and do things so differently than my mother or I did.

This gift is perfect for those who wish they could add more smoky flavor without a smoker or non-gas grill!

 

 

Who doesn’t love spreadable butter all the time?? This will seriously change your view on butter.

This may not seem like a great tool but if you eat a lot of garlic and don’t want the smell on your hands this is fantastic. Not to mention it gets that pesky skin off in a skinny minute. I grew up with one of these, but soon realized this wasn’t a common kitchen item. I thought I would share!

Fun Gifts – All gifts don’t necessarily need to be functional – here are some fun gifts that the Dads in your life will be sure to enjoy – and maybe even share as well!!

Drones are all the rage and so fun to play with as well. Here is a great one to introduce to a new flyer.

Let’s face it: there isn’t anything quite like listening to vinyl! Here is a great way to listen to those old vinyl’s again!

Let your Dad reminisce the old days with this great old school gaming system!

This is a fantastic gift for those Dads who are really into golf and gadgets!

This is a great gift for hunting Dads or for Dads that appreciate nature.

DIY Gifts – Personally I love creating gifts with my children as keepsakes for people. They are so personal and a great way to get the children to be creative. It is also great for their confidence seeing their creation being appreciated by others. Here is a short creative list of DIY Father’s Day gifts.

I LOVE this idea!! I did this with my girls this year for Father’s Day and it turned out to be so incredibly adorable!

This is such an incredibly cool idea that could be used for really any gift giving event!! It’s not necessarily DIY but it is so creative and interesting!

This is a fantastic gift idea for the beer lover in your life!!

I absolutely love this picture idea – especially since my husband works in photography!

This is an adorable idea for several reasons. It’s also easy and fun to do again and again.

I hope you found this list fun, exciting, and inspiring for you to find something for the special father in your life. I know sometimes it can be hard to find the right gifts for men – but it doesn’t always have to be difficult. Sometimes it just needs to be a little more creative. I hope you can find the right gift for your fathers – but if not, there is always next year and they will love you anyway! Happy Father’s Day!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

 

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Creating Your Secret Garden | Part 2: Frost Doesn’t Have to Be a Foe

One of the toughest decisions to make when creating your garden is when to plant your crops. Choosing which plants to plant can be a daunting task – I always struggle with this. Whether it’s because I want to plant too much, worried about space, or timing of plants. The next several posts will be about when to plant, what plant for each season, and some helpful hints for success as well. Of course, planting is subjective due to weather, environment, and time of year – but I hope this article, and future ones, will give you some helpful hints and help guide your planting experience. This article will specifically be focused on the early spring and frost resistant crops. Frost can be a major danger to a lot of plants. Not only can it cause damage to foliage, but it can also kill some of your plants altogether.  It is important to make sure you plant frost resistant or cold hardy plants during these early days to ensure success in your garden.

Flowers – Bulbs and Annuals

Bulbs are essentially the resting stage of a plant. When the bulb reaches the right temperature, saturation and nutrition, then it grows into a wonderful plant. There are several cold hardy flowers that grow from bulbs including daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, irises and crocuses. These bulbs are typically planted in the fall and bloom in late winter early spring. Here you will find some more information on great bulbs for your garden.

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Annuals are plants that need to be replanted every year. These are plants you can typically buy in seed form or once they have sprouted and had their first blooms. Some of these cold hardy annuals include pansies/violas, calendulas, snapdragons, sweet peas and poppies. Personally, in South Carolina, I have not had a whole lot of success with poppies (even though they show magnificently at Brookgreen Gardens), but I have had a lot of success with pansies in the past that last through the fall! Here you will find a great list of cool-hardy annuals with some information on best time for germination as well.

Make it Green – Shrubs and More

Shrubs are great for a variety of reasons. They can add privacy, color, and shape to any garden. There are many different types of shrubs including ones that are evergreen, flower, and produce fruit. Some of the ones that we grow that are frost resistant are hollies, azaleas, and boxwoods. Each have their own purpose on our property. Yes, flowers can be fragile and difficult to grow while shrubs tend to be overall more hardy. Don’t be afraid to use shrubs in a variety of colors, flowers, and fruit bearing to add color to your garden during these cooler months. Here is a link to some of the cool hardy shrubs that can bring some color to your garden.

Trees

Trees may not be something you think of as having trouble with frost. As far as the cold, killing a tree in its older years of life is not likely. There are several trees that bloom and leaf during the cooler months or even year-round that can help bring color to your garden. Evergreens are easy because they are cool hardy and stay green year-round. One of my favorites is the magnolia. Not only is it an evergreen, but I love the large blooms of early summer! Some other early leafing or blooming trees are dogwoods, cherry trees, and crabapples. Here is a link so some of the other early flowering spring trees.

Crops – Can you really grow some cold hardy crops?

Yes! There are definitely plants that are resistant to cold temperatures and even frost. Cold temperatures can not only kill plants, but can also burn the foliage of some crops as well. Some of the crops that we have done well with during the spring months are sugar snaps, cabbage, spinach, and even strawberries. Listed below are some links with more helpful information on cold hardy crops and how to insure success with insight on some planting techniques.

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Covering Plants for Late Frost

If you do plant your crops too early or there is a very late frost, it doesn’t mean you have signed their death wish already. There are definitely things you can do to help protect your crops from frost and help ensure a successful future.  Whether it be bringing container plants indoors for a night’s stay inside, saturating the soil thoroughly to help maintain the warmth, or covering your beds with a bedsheet overnight to insulate them, there are methods by which you can potentially evade the worst.

So in short, you don’t have to leave your garden barren during these cooler months. Not only are there cold hardy plants that flower but cold hardy crops that do just fine in these cooler temperatures. There are steps you can take to not only protect your plants – but in general plants are resistant and resilient. They will probably come back as long as the frost and cold doesn’t last for long periods of time. Remember you won’t know how successful you will be until you try! So get out there and get started!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Feed Me Seeds| Recipes and Benefits of Eating Seeds

Seeds are incredibly healthy and recently their discussion has become the  forefront on many nutritional discussions. While consuming seeds isn’t new, the change in direction of diets – i.e. high fiber, low carb, gluten free, plant based, high protein, etc. – has caused them to become a new focus for many people. Seeds not only carry many vitamins and minerals but also contain fiber and protein as well. Listed below are some health benefits of eating seeds and some recipes to give you some ideas on how to enjoy these seeds in your daily life.

Chia: Chia seeds seem to be a recent diet fad that everyone seems to be enjoying. These seeds are high in protein, fiber, iron, and Omega-3s, and calcium. Some claim that it helps promote weight loss because the fiber causes the stomach to feel full – however the results of medical studies do vary on this concept. However, the medical world seems to agree that Chia seeds are healthy and a good alternative to unhealthy grains and improve your overall nutrition. Here are some great recipes for you to implement Chia seeds into your life.

Who says eating healthy doesn’t include desserts?

Blueberry Chia Seed Cashew Cake Recipe. A beautiful and delicious treat for any occasion.

I love this healthy jam!

Easy Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a healthy granola bar for a quick on the go snack!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Chia Seed Granola Bars - No baking and just a handful of simple ingredients needed!

Here is a great way to make your pancakes more nutritious:

Blueberry Chia Seed Pancakes | A simple pancake recipe filled with chia seeds for added fiber!

I love overnight oats – so easy, delicious, and nutritious!

Make ahead, ready when you are. Overnight Turmeric Chia Oats | Plant Based, Dairy Free, GF Breakfast Recipe, #ad

Here is a great list of awesome pudding recipes:

This delicious chia pudding recipe will make you seriously rethink reaching for that pint of ice cream #healthy #chiaseed #recipes http://greatist.com/eat/chia-seed-pudding-recipes:

Flax: This seed is also not “new” but has actually been around for thousands of years. This seed is high in Omega-3s, Lignans, and fiber. This little seed is also high in other vitamins and minerals. It has cited for  helping cardiovascular health, diabetes, and cancer. King Charlemagne even decreed that his people must consume the seed because he believed in their health benefits. I often used flax seed to give an extra crunch in my breading for fried foods. Here are some other great recipes for you to add to your list.

A great cracker to go with any cheese:

flax seed crackers recipe angle

Here is a great smoothie to add to your list

Tropical Pineapple Smoothie With Flax Seeds

Here is a great granola bar alternative:

No-Bake Peanut Buttery Flax Bars

Here is a great gluten-free waffle recipe!

Finally! A Low Carb Gluten Free Flax Seed Waffles recipe! These turned out moist with crispy edges and remind me of whole grain waffles but without the carbs and gluten! Delicious with butter and/or syrup (sugar free if needed)! | www.OurLittleEverything.com

Here is a great gluten-free low carb bread substitute:

Low carb flax bread

Hemp: Even though this seed comes from a plant that carries a controversial reputation for its recreational use, it will not carry any hallucinogenic effect. In fact this seed is high in protein, potassium, and fatty acids in addition to other vitamins and minerals. It is even often used as a vegan protein powder. I oftentimes eat hemp seeds in smoothies and cooked with my quinoa.

Do you like Nutella? You will love this seedy substitute.

Here is a great way to update your hummus:

Hemp Seed Hummus - diettaste.com

Here is a great cookie with some healthy notes as well:

Get these healthy no-bake cookies in your belly immediately. Made with hemp seeds, oatmeal, cacao powder, and more delicious and nutritious goodness. Hemp Seed Oatmeal No-Bake Cookie Recipe

I love this recipe!!

Hemp Crusted Chicken Tenders -- this easy and delicious recipe is packed with protein and is also naturally #glutenfree! | gimmesomeoven.com #gf #recipe

Paleo low carb bread sticks?? YES PLEASE!

Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks with Garlic Butter & Hemp Seeds (Paleo, Gluten-free) - These crispy, low carb cauliflower breadsticks are low carb and paleo. Garlic butter and hemp seeds provide plenty of flavor. Gluten-free, healthy & easy!

Here is another great overnight oatmeal recipe:

This healthy Chocolate Hemp Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie tastes just like melted chocolate ice cream and packs an impressive 15 g of plant-based protein while meeting the minimum RDA for omega-3s! | runningwithspoons.com #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Another quick and healthy breakfast recipe:

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Vegan Parm yummy!

Make your own vegan parmesan cheese with hemp seeds. It’s the perfect cheesy topping for pizza, pasta, veggies, salads, popcorn and more.

A healthy ranch dressing… oh yes!

Love Ranch Dressing, but you've got food allergies? This Homemade Vegan Ranch Dressing Recipe is not only dairy free, but it's also egg free and nut free too. Great as a dip, dressing, or spread for sandwiches and wraps. #paleo #vegan #dairyfree

Here is a guilt-free dessert option:

Poppy: I love these seeds and have been eating them since I was a child. These seeds are more common and less of a new fad but are no less important that the ones previously listed. These seeds are high in amino acids, manganese, and calcium. Although poppy seeds have nutritional value they can also be unhealthy in large doses – so please enjoy them in moderation. Here are some great recipes to meet your poppy seed needs!

Lemon and poppy seed is one of my Mom’s favorite breakfast foods… I can only imagine how much she would love these!

lwmon poppy seed pancakes

Here is a great dressing recipe:

Turmeric Orange Poppy Seed Dressing is tangy, slightly sweet and crunchy. You will feel an explosion of flavors in your mouth when you taste it. Perfect for fall salads! Plus, you can use the leftovers for smoothies.

Purim is such a fun Jewish holiday – why not enjoy it with this traditional Jewish dessert:

This Purim, make these no-fail hamantaschen cookies. Fill with nutella, poppy seed filling or your favorite jam!:

These sandwiches are great and perfect party food!

Make these quick and easy ham and Swiss sliders pop by adding some poppy seeds on top!:

This looks fantastic!

Finding Feasts - Polish Poppy Seed Cake_Makowiec

Pumpkin: I love pumpkin seeds and really enjoyed roasting them as a child. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, zinc, iron, and protein. Pumpkin seeds are great for so many things including its great source of magnesium, but it also helps with bone health, diabetes,  heart, liver, insomnia, and pregnancy as well. Here are some great ways to include this super seed into your diet.

Roasting the perfect pumpkin seeds:

After you've carved your jack-o-lantern for Halloween, it's time to roast perfect pumpkin seeds! Here's how you can make this salty and crunchy snack, that's healthy too!

This bark is so tasty:

Cranberry pumpkin seed dark chocolate bark tastes just like fall and is super simple to whip up with only 4 ingredients! (gluten free, grain free, paleo, and vegan)

Dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan pesto!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Who doesn’t love a crunchy tasty snack? Check this one out!

A simple recipe for Coconut Pumpkin Seed Snacks infused with lime and honey. Easy, delicious! Vegan and gluten free! | www.feastingathome.com

Here is another great paleo/vegan snack:

Apricot Cashew and Pumpkin Seed Bliss Balls by Nourish Everyday | Tasty, chewy and nutritious bliss balls made with natural dried apricots, cashews and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar!

Sacha Inchi: This is a seed you may not have heard of before but it is extremely healthy. It is also commonly known as the Inca nut and comes from Peru. These taste similar to pumpkin seeds and can add a great crunch to any recipe. These seeds are high in fiber and protein as well. It has also been known to help the brain, bones, and protect against cancer. Why not give this great seed a try?

Here is a great healthy cake:

Here is a great alternative to chocolate peanut butter cookies:

Chocolate Chunk "Peanut Butter" Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Peanut Free, Legume Free)

This is a great tofu recipe:

Here is a great soup for you to try:

vegan acorn squash bisque with sacha inchi seeds

Here is a great vegan brownie recipe:

Vegan Maple Caramel Crunch Brownies and Imlak’esh Organics Sacha Inchi Giveaway

Sesame: These seeds also aren’t new and most people have probably consumed them or seen them at some point. They are extremely high in many minerals, vitamins, and Omega 6 fatty acids as well. In fact they are often referred to as the “Queen of Seeds”.  These seeds have been known to help with cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, diabetes, and several other health issues. Here are just of a few of the great recipes that I found on this seed.

I love this sweet treat!

Pasteli {Greek Sesame, Nuts & Honey Bars}

Here is another great snack:

Here is a great Carolina staple and dessert:

Benne Wafers

I love Tahini and here is a great recipe to make your own:

Homemade Tahini - this homemade tahini is only 2 ingredients and only takes about 8 minutes to make and its perfect for use in any recipes, especially homemade hummus!

This is one of my husband’s favorites:

This is a great flatbread recipe:

With a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor.:

This is a great chutney and/or side dish:

Nuvvula Pachadi Recipe (Sesame Seeds Chutney)

Sunflower: I not only love the flower but also love the seeds! In fact I eat them often on a road trip to occupy the time. The seeds are high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E and copper. The seeds have been known to help cardiovascular health, bone health, skin health, prevent cancer, thyroid function, and diabetes. Here are some fantastic ways to implement sunflowers into your diet.

This is a fantastic peanut butter substitute recipe:

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter | DoYouEvenPaleo.net

Here is another great pesto recipe:

Kale Pesto with Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas

This is a great dip to go with so many different dishes:

Vegan Cilantro Lemon Sunflower Seed Dip | ElephantasticVegan.com

Here is another great brittle:

This is an easy method that doesn't require a candy thermometer. The result is a delicious, toasted, nutty brittle. A great Fall party or shower favor, school or office treat. From The Yummy Life.

This is a great way to spruce up your oatmeal recipe:

Sunflower Seed Cookies by @Jill | Dulce Dough:

Not only is this delicious but it has a fantastic name!

Sunbutter

Cheese alternative say what??!

Sunflower Cheddar

Multi-Seed Recipes: There is no reason to solely eat one of those seeds alone. In fact, like with most things, you are best eating these seeds in conjunction with other healthy items. So why not eat these seeds together? Here are some great ways to include multiple seeds into your diet.

Here is a great gluten free and vegan bread substitute:

Pumpernickle Nut and Seed Bread 3

Here is a great gluten free seedy cracker substitute:

Zucchini Crackers

I love bread and this one looks like pure magic!

Sourdough Pain de Campagne with Toasted Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Flax Seeds

Love this crisp bread:

Scandinavian crispbreads made with minimal flour, some salt, oil, water and sesame, flax, poppy and sunflower seeds (and a few aromatic ones too) are a crunchy, delicate platform for butter, cheese, pickled herring and anything at all savoury. They are superb crunchy accompaniment to soup, too. Versions of knækbrød are eaten all over Denmark, Sweden and Norway and considered essential foods. High in protein, healthy fats and fiber, these are a near-perfect snack.

Seeds are essential to our whole ecosystem. They are the beginning of life and improve our own lives as well. Implementing vitamins and minerals into your diet naturally is the best way for your body to digest these items as well. I wasn’t really into these “nuts and berries” types of diets – but implementing some seeds into basic foods is easy and has improved my diet as well. So go ahead buy that big bag of seeds at the store and give these recipes a try. I am sure your taste buds will thank you!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Hosting a Garden Party and Plant Exchange

As evidence by my other posts I have a serious passion for plants and gardening. I have heard of people going to and hosting plants and/or seed exchanges and I always wanted to be a part of one! It seemed like such a great way to add variety to the garden while also making it a social event. This year I finally got the courage to host one. I wanted it to be fun, elegant, and successful. Luckily here in Florida people are as into gardening as I am – so it wasn’t too difficult to find people who were interested in attending. Then the real panning commenced… I took to Pinterest, talked to others who had been to a plant exchange, and got to work. I was pleasantly surprised at how successful it was and I hope to improve upon my endeavors in the future.

Invitation – I personally really like old school invitations to parties. I find that it is more personal and really sets the tone for any event. Luckily I have the most talented sister-in-law, Lauren James,  to help me with any graphic/invitation needs. I mentioned to her that I was hosting this party and asked her if she had something that would fit or if we should just create a new invitation. Luckily she had something that was really perfect already!! We changed up the wording to meet my needs and viola we had the perfect invitation. (Side note – feel free to contact Lauren with any of your invitation/stationary needs!)

SOCL004_Garden_Party_Invitation_LACJAMES_Product_Pics-01

Décor – I love party decorations! It is a kind of way to transport your guests to a fun new location. For the garden party I am lucky enough to live in a home with fantastic landscapes and greenery. Therefore actual décor was luckily minimal and many of them I was able to gather from my own garden. I knew I wanted a wide variety of flowers to be placed on tables and create a centerpiece as well. Overall I think the effect was perfect for the event.

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{Pictures taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Food – As far as the food is concerned I wanted light refreshments that echoed the theme of the party – gardening and elegance. The menu was charcuterie, crudité, smörgåstårta (Swedish tea cake), Pistachio Bundt cake, and lemon lavender cookies. I was pleasantly surprised with how well all of the food came out remarkably well and really fit the theme I think. Listed below are the pictures of the food I created and the links I used for inspiration. I have also included any of the improvements that I made as well.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Charcuterie – I read several articles about how the create the best spread. I also love to eat this kind of food on a regular basis – which makes it very easy for me to create different tastes with the food provided. I will also say that I loved near a Trader Joe’s which also makes it easy to pick out good cheeses for a reasonable price.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Crudité – This is also another food that I eat constantly. This also screams garden to me – for there is nothing better than eating produce straight from the garden. I found an example of this kind on pinterest and it just looked so lovely that I decided to create one as well. It was surprisingly easy to make the cabbage into a bowl which was nice.

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{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Smörgåstårta (Swedish Tea Cake) – Tea sandwiches are such a classic taste and so easy to make. However I wanted to put a little twist on mine and found the idea to make the tea sandwich into a cake! It was surprisingly easy and tasted delicious! However I will mention my faux pas – I did not cut off the bottom crust which made the cake difficult to cut thru – but outside of that the flavor and look was fantastic!

Pistachio Bundt Cake– One of my favorite flavors is Pistachio – especially in desserts. My garden party was also near St. Patrick’s day so I thought it would be best to create something green as well. This recipe was really easy! Instead of using white icing like the recipe calls for – I made a lemon icing instead from the recipe below.

IMG_20170319_144444

{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Lemon Lavender Cookies – This recipe was also incredibly easy and so delicious. I really wanted to do something with lavender because I think it add such a fun element to anything with lemon. Instead of cooking the lavender in the cookies I decided to just add some to the icing of some of the cookies (in case some people didn’t want the lavender).

IMG_20170319_144450

{Picture taken by Lauren Coppotelli Carlisle}

Plant Exchange – So even though I read a bunch of articles and talked to several people about the exchange part I really didn’t know how this was going to all work out. Luckily the ladies there brought a wide variety of plants and were so cordial in the exchange – that it really made my job easy. If I am truthful I probably wasn’t the best host during this part since I didn’t really have a game plan with the exchange and kind of just let the others take over. Next year I think I will have some kind of orderliness to the exchange so that way everyone isn’t standing around and staring. So to be continued because I would love to do this again in the future with even more success!

Pins of Inspiration – Here is a list of some other examples that I found so inspiring and I hope to use possibly in future event or garden parties! I hope that you too can find some fun inspiration in these pins.

Plant Exchange Explanation

I found this article extremely helpful and plan on implanting more of these ideas on my next go round

How to Throw a Garden and Seed Exchange Party - girl. Inspired.:

I really wanted to do this but ran out of time – but it did inspire some of my decorative pieces

This article inspired me for a lot of the food I did

WEEKEND AT HOME / 27 | D E S I G N L O V E F E S T | Bloglovin’:

This article really inspired me for centerpieces for the party as well

Outdoor floating candles and flowers:

Despite some hick ups the party was an enormous success and I think everyone was able to leave with a plant that they will come to enjoy. I hope that I will be able to make this an annual event so that everyone can enjoy some new plants and some great fellowship. Honestly the day was perfect and I don’t think I could have asked for better weather or company. I am so thankful for these new friendships and the fellowship that we share. I hope that this post will inspire others to also get involved in gardening.

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of ciao_laurencop_sig-01the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.


Lauren {LAC} James
is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Rejoice! Easter Has Arrived |Spring Has Sprung

YES!!! FINALLY!!! It’s time to put up the movies, indoor activities, and winter clothing. Ok, maybe not quite yet – but it is almost time! I LOVE warm days and the promise of Easter. Easter itself holds a lot of nostalgia for me. Growing up in Pennsylvania, you never knew what the weather would hold – but I do remember most Easters being sunny and sometimes warm. We would all get fancy new clothes, dress whites, and begin planning for our spring and summer activities. As I have gotten older and moved away from the church (a long tumultuous story that I may share on another date), Easter has not lost its luster. It is a wonderful celebration of life, forgiveness, and rejuvenation. I hope that I will be able to continue to instill the importance of Easter upon our children as they grow older. Here are some great ways to keep some fun in your Easter celebrations this season.

Decorations – These objects really set the mood and can bring all of the whimsical elements to celebrating Easter. Here were some of my favorites – many of which remind me of some of my family’s favorite Easter decorations. I hope they inspire you to have some fun elements this holiday.

Here is a fantastic list of DIY decorations:


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Easter DIY Spring Home Decor – The 36th AVENUE

Easter DIY Spring Home Decor

 

I am in LOVE with this Easter mantle:

This is another great table set up that is much more simple and just as stunning:

 

This is another great table set up that is much more simple and just as stunning:

Here is a super sweet decoration that is easy to create:

 

I love this take on a terrarium for Easter:

Clothing – Easter attire bring me great joy. It’s always so bright and cheery – a seriously fantastic welcome back from the dredges of winter. Although I do not necessarily love outfits to match too much, I do really enjoy when outfits coordinate colors! Easter is also a great time to take some family pictures. Here are some of my favorite springtime outfits for Easter and pictures.

This option is classic and perfect for an active family:

Bright colors are always a fun choice for spring:

These outfit are so fun and whimsical – they capture the essence of the season:

You can never go wrong with a classic Americana look either!

I also love this more classic Easter look as well:

Food – Ah yes the food! Everyone has their traditional dishes for the holidays. My family always had ham, sweet potatoes, ambrosia, and deviled eggs. Some friends of mine always have BBQ while others fry a turkey! Whatever you do decide – make sure it tastes good! Here are some fun treats to add to your tradition that add a decorative punch!

I love how beautiful this food looks:

This is adorably perfect party food:

These chicks are the perfect app for adults and children alike:

Unfortunately Easter isn’t warm for everyone – this is the perfect solution for a chilly Easter:

Here is a gorgeous take on a classic:

Here is the mother-load of suggestions for desserts if you need more inspiration:

Drinks – It’s not a real party without some fun drinks for everyone to partake.  Here are some fantastic options for both adults and children alike. I love how these drinks are so festive!

These drinks are so adorable!

Who doesn’t love a good milkshake!

How about an adult Cadbury Crème cocktail?

For those with a sweet tooth!

Here is a nicely comprised list of some more fun cocktails for your Easter celebration:

Activities – Easter activities often include Easter egg dying (ADD LINK) and an Easter egg hunt. Here are some other fun ideas you could add to your Easter traditions while also keeping the children entertained!

Here is a great list of Easter games!

Here are some awesome science projects to complete:

Here is a great STEM project that even adults will love!

Here some great crafts that even allow the toddlers to get involved:

Baskets – Easter baskets were always the best! The Easter bunny always hid our baskets and filled the plastic eggs – which my parents would then hide after Church. I always thought it was such a fun tradition. Here are some great Easter basket ideas that could even double as party favors!

These are too cute for Easter:

Perfect for the “nerds” in your home:

These are beautiful and great for years to come:

Perfect for those getting ready for hot weather or a vacation:

Who doesn’t need another mason jar?

Life, forgiveness, and rejuvenation – what a great time of year!! Easter is such a wonderful time not only for religious reasons, but also because of longer sunnier days, bright colors, and promise of life. For me, it’s a time to enjoy new fashion, get crafty, and down-right dirty in the garden (stay tuned for more on this topic later!)  In fact, I am currently writing this outside in the attempts to enjoy this warm weather before ‘Ole Man Winter’ decides he isn’t finished with us just yet! So what will you do this Easter… crafts, egg dying, garden walks? Whatever you choose, make sure it brings you joy and reinvigorates a sense of new life within you – after all, that is what the spring and Easter are all about!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

 

An Eggcellent Egg Decorating Eggstravaganza

Eggs represent so many magnificent things, particularly the promise of new life. Spring is such a fantastic season of regrowth and rejuvenation. Egg dying is always my favorite Easter and springtime tradition. Growing up in Pennsylvania, we often spent the Easter holiday in South Carolina or Florida visiting family. I loved all the fun fancy dresses, ornate flowers, trumpets in church, and finally some warm weather. One of my favorite family traditions was decorating eggs. Both sides of my family were pretty into egg dying. My one Grandmother still has Easter eggs that her children made.  It is a fairly easy and cheap activity to do as a family. Plus, it helps spark my creative juices so that I can begin a new season of imagination and creation. There are so many new and interesting egg dying techniques out there that I hope this list will inspire you to try something new this season.

Color Palate – This was always the argument between my family and I… who got to start with which color. Those egg dye tablets didn’t always come with enough. Here are some ways to make your own egg dye.

Can’t go wrong with some good old food dye!

Natural food dye eggs options:

Here is a great twist on some egg dye:

This dye is sure to be a winner and dazzle all who see it:

M is for Mood Easter Eggs | eager Ed


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easter eggs coloring

 

Create these awesome metallic eggs using paints and alcohol:

More Traditional Techniques – There is something to be said for the old traditional techniques. They are time and time again reliable and almost guaranteed to give you the perfect egg every time! Listed below are some of my favorite traditional egg dying techniques.

This was one of my favorite ways to dye eggs as a kid, and one of my children’s favorites as well:

This is another fun way I decorated eggs growing up as well! It’s a great way to create fun patterns:

I loved making hombre eggs as a kid – but this technique is way easier than the one I used:

This is a super traditional and intricate guide to decorating your eggs:

This is a technique that was one of my father’s favorites!

Kid Friendly Techniques – To me there is nothing more fun than watching young minds create! Here are some awesome options for your children to create Easter eggs for all ages. They may even bring out the inner child in you! If nothing else, they are sure to create great memories for you and your family.

These adorable eggs are sure to allow the fun to keep on rolling long after Easter:

These eggs are super fun for any springtime party involving kids:

Here is a great way to allow kids to decorate eggs without all the mess:

Who doesn’t want to create dinosaur eggs?

These are super fun and easy for any kid to enjoy making:

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Kids love bubble wrap, why not use them to help paint some eggs?

I love this tie-dying technique… easy fun and each one is surely to be unique

This is another great kid dying technique

More Intricate Techniques – For those who want to be more creative or feel their creative talent maybe wasted on more traditional techniques, here is a great list for you! Who says you need to use dye or other traditional techniques? Mix it up and create something even more intricate and creative!

This water color technique is super fun for those who want more details in their egg dying techniques:

Here is an adorable way to make your eggs look more detailed using a simple technique:

https://sb.monetate.net/static/mg/v3.html#http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bhg.com|2.2134125117.1489424743051|2048117314|505b2df6 Creative Ways to Dye Easter Eggs from Better Homes and Gardens http://ads.pubmatic.com/AdServer/js/showad.js#PIX&kdntuid=1&p=37576

 

This is a great way to create a gorgeous egg:

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Here is a great technique using non-traditional material:

Here is a neat way to do some monogrammed eggs this year:

I LOVE these black and white eggs! Perfect for a modernist!

These are gorgeous and sure to last for the future:

These eggs are super fun! I love the look of marbleized eggs!

Adorable wax painted eggs:

 

These eggs are fabulous for those who have artistic abilities:

These eggs are so whimsical and beautiful – sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

These eggs are stunning and great for all of spring not just Easter!

Non-Traditional Techniques – These eggs are extra special and totally stunning. They could be used in multiple places – and many even throughout the year! These will surely get your creative juices flowing and will definitely be the talk of any social event.

This is a great way to not only decorate your egg, but also made it 3-D and beautiful:

 

These textured eggs are a super fun decoration that could be used in multiple seasons:

These non-traditional eggs are fantastic to display all year:

Who says you need to use dye? Why not use something that many women have lying around the house?

Who says you have to use real eggs? Here is a great way to decorate some plastic eggs.

This technique is not only beautiful but also great to use in years to come

I LOVE these galaxy eggs! Perfect for the nerd in you!

Seriously in love with this technique! A great way to create a fun and trendy egg!

I love these eggs – they remind me of something from Willy Wonka:

For the Naturalist – I totally understand not wanted to use chemicals to dye eggs. There are plenty of natural eggs dying techniques – but honestly these two were my absolute favorites! They also would be another inspiration for other natural dying techniques. If you do come up with something new, please feel free to share them with us.

I love this natural dying technique. Plus it opens you up for so many lessons for your children as well:

This is simply stunning and so elegant:

When I started this blog I wasn’t really sure what I was going to write. I knew I wanted some egg dying techniques – but was honestly shocked at how many different types there were… it caused me to WANT to write about all of these techniques. I can’t wait to start dying eggs with my children in the next few weeks! I hope they inspire you as much as they did me! Please send us your pictures of completed eggs – and have a very happy Easter and spring season!

Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

Preventing Boredum with Winter Themed Crafts

Winter is a magical time when the land becomes barren, sometimes snow covered and cold. It is also a time when the children are often indoors and it can be difficult to keep them entertained. I mean there is only so many pages to color, so many play dough snakes you can make, and movies to watch. I believe it is important to find joy in even the most mundane days – which for me often occur during the winter months. I feel like I run thru ideas like I run thru diapers and I am always almost out! So this quick list of winter crafts should help both you and your children keep away those winter blues.

Snow Crafts – Here are some great snow crafts. There are some sensory ones, some for decoration, and others that are fantastic keep sakes. This is especially great for those who don’t have snow during this time of year.

Make some snow! Not only is this a sensory activity but it is also great for those kids in the South who never experience snow and the kids in the North who always want to bring their snowy creations inside.

These adorable snow globes are great decorations and work on some fine motor skills as well.

I love making slime with the kids. It is so easy and fun!

These icicles are great decorations for the winter season!

This activity is the perfect keep sake for this time of year!!

Winter Animals – Winter animals are so fun to learn about because of their unique lifestyles. They have great ways to stay warm and fed even in the coldest of days. Here are some great crafts for all the kids to share with this time of year.

Here is an adorable walrus that could also easily be made into a mask for extra hours of fun!

This is a great activity for kids to practice a variety of skills in the creation of this polar bear.

This is a fantastic activity because not only does it show how some animals deal with winter but there are some fantastic books that can be read with this craft as well.

Here is an adorable penguin art project that even young kids could complete with a little guidance.

Here is a great project for some of the older kids. This project is a fantastic one to encourage engineering and critical thinking skills.

Winter Clothes – Winter clothes crafts are important for kids to help understand what clothes are appropriate to wear in each season – especially for those who live in warmer weather and may travel to colder regions someday.

Adorable idea of making ice skates – which could also be turned into a great lesson on the sport.

This is a great activity that actively shows children how to dress for winter using paper dolls

Another fun activity where you get to use those white crayons… finally!

Here is great mitten activity that is also great for decoration!

This is a super adorable activity that could keep the kids busy for hours once they have completed the craft!

Branches – Since the branches are bare during these months its important to discuss with the children that the plants are dead but are also hibernating like so many animals during this time of year. Here are some great crafts that include decorating with branches but also showing how they won’t stay bare forever.

Here is an adorable Valentine tree that is easy to create and very adaptable to any time of year.

This is an adorable craft that shows how the trees won’t stay dormant all year – plus it’s a fantastic decoration to keep in the home.

Here is another adorable craft the can even help you make a sensory book!

Here is a great painting and sensory activity for the kids

This is a great cause and effect winter craft for the kids.

These winter crafts are a great quick reference to a lot of fun things you can do with your children. Some are inherently educational and other can become education. What I like most is they mostly require items that are already located in the home. I hope these ideas help you to entertain those kiddos during these mundane months of the year. Plus there is nothing better than seeing those little minds at work creating their masterpieces and creating a lifetime of memories.

ciao_laurencop_sig-01Lauren Cop is a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) of Irish Twins and Senior writer/editor of the Olive Shoe Blog. Currently Lauren and her family live in Tallahassee, FL where she helps teach at a local pre-school. A Clemson fanatic, alumni and general sports enthusiast. She loves reading, gardening, food, and traveling. Follow her Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Lauren {LAC} James © 2015 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Pleasesubscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other Posts by Lauren Cop:

A Special Day of Love with the Kiddos| Quick DIY Activities for Valentine’s Day | By Lauren Cop

Valentine’s Day is all about the celebration of love. Temper tantrums, mealtime and bedtime battles, sibling rivalry, social life, errands, work, bills – it all contributes to a chaotic life. It is easy to let our appreciation of our children and the importance of expressing love and appreciation go to the wayside. Love is a powerful emotion that can solve many problems. With love, we can include, appreciate, and solve problems in a peaceful manner. I talk about love with my children all the time – the more it is talked about, the more my children can be made aware of the powerful effects of love. This Valentine’s Day, I plan to start my first celebration of love with my children. Listed below are just a few fun projects you can do with your children in helping your children to celebrate love.

Love your body – You get one body. Period. It is important that you teach your children how to appreciate their bodies from the get-go to prevent unnecessary health issues later in life. Discuss nutrition, fitness, mental health and especially how to appreciate their unique features. The Valentine Heart Hop was so fun to play with my little one. Through this game they are working on fitness and education so they are, in a sense, loving their bodies. This game is soo easy to put together and you probably already have all the materials in your home! You can work on numbers, counting, and of course hopping! Give it a try and see what fun you can create with your little one.

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{ Valentine Heart Hop, Photo by Lauren Cop }

Love is messy – both figuratively and literally – it can be gritty, dirty, dangerous, and even obsessive. Love is also not tangible. What better way to express something that isn’t tangible than playing with slime! Discuss with your kids how often times, big concepts cannot be confined to one form or put in a box. Love can be muddled, change shape, and grow during your relationships with people. This is another of those easy recipes that has many materials that you may already have in your house! Have the kids help in making this slime and really get down and dirty in the discussion of love.

**Note: When using this recipe, make sure you are using borax-based liquid starch. Anything else will not work – I learned this the hard way and totally devastated my children.

Love as an expression – As a parent, I try to express to my children how much I love them every day. Not only by saying the words but recognizing good behavior and telling them the things that make me happy and proud to be their mother. It has gotten so prevalent that my oldest Viv often asks me “You happy Mama?” What better way of getting your children to show their love for others than by making cards. I took the typical ‘Love you to pieces’ card and added this easy step. I asked my kids what they love about each person and wrote it down. We talked about how each person is special and how they help our family as well. It doesn’t matter how silly what they say may seem to you – it means something to your child and the people who will receive your card. Expressing love isn’t easy so help your child learn to express their emotions early with this easy activity. You will not regret their answers J

**Note: Instead of contact paper, I used tissue paper and glue.

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{ Love You To Pieces, Photo by Lauren Cop }

Love through foodFood is a love language all to its own. It is necessary for survival and so easy to show your appreciation of others by creating yummy food for them. This is kind of two-fold. You can have your child create food for loved ones and share them. Or, you can create sweet little Valentine’s inspired lunches for your children. An easy way to do this is just to cut everything into heart shapes! If you click here you can also find a lot of other Valentine’s Day lunch inspirations. Also don’t forget the note! My Mom would randomly leave notes in our lunches and Valentine’s Day was one of those. Even if it just says I love you – it will make your child feel so appreciated and loved.

Love is time – I don’t think I could ever spend enough time with the people I love. Many people are far away, work, get sick, are busy, etc… So it is not necessarily about how much time, but more of what do you do with that time. Have your children been especially difficult lately – which makes you yell, get frustrated, and in a constant role of disciplinarian? Maybe take a break, regroup, and devote some real quality time with your kids. Take them on an outing, eat an indoor picnic, have them choose what’s for dinner, play a game – engage your children! Ignore the bad behavior and try to praise the good behavior. Even if only one day this month is free, take that time for your kids. This is what will mean the most to your children – the time you spend with them. It is what they remember – do you want them to remember the disciplinarian or the silly Mama who isn’t afraid to wear a bowl as a hat!

Other Fun Love Language Links – If none of the above strike your fancy, check out these other fantastic links!

So as cliché as Valentine’s Day may seem, make it a day of investigating love with your children. Bring up the big topics and importance of love. Love is a convoluted, complex concept that we all need in our lives. Help your children grasp those concepts and in-turn show them a new side of your love for them! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be another Hallmark holiday – make it fun and special for your children so they one day understand this intricate concept. I mean, can’t we all agree that there needs to be more love in this world?

ciao_laurencop_sig-01

An Invitation to Inspiration | Winter Onederland

Hi friends!

I love this theme. Here in the South where we dream about snow flurries more than we actually see them, this play on Winter Wonderland is so cute and gives us an excuse to actually play with some snowflakes – even if they are made of paper or sugar.

One of the best things about this theme is that it is easy to do for both boys and girls, or even in a neutral color scheme. There are endless possibilities for simple yet creative decorations, food and beverages. Read (and see) on for a whole bunch of fun ideas for planning your own winder onederland party!

Like these adorable onesies from Tickle My Tutu on Etsy:

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…or this adorable Hot Chocolate Bar sign from So Sweet Design Studio – which would be a great addition for Mommies and Daddies to any Winter Onederland Party!

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…especially if combined with these free printables from A Crafted Passion…

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And love these beverage ideas, too, from Pretty my Party…

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This gorgeous setup featured on 100 Layer Cake-let is actually for a winter WONderland party for a six year old, but I just loved it too much not to include!

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Kara’s Party Ideas has some precious examples with an arctic focus – igloos, penguins and polar bears…

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Here is an invitation by The Olive Shoe for this theme, and colors can be changed as needed!

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And how about this AH DOHR A BLE high chair banner and cake table from Pretty My Party.. So stinkin cute…

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Love this plethora of ideas from Unoriginal Mom

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This cake is just…perfection, featured on Ardita Kola Photography. If you have a moment click through the photos from this gorgeous birthday.

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And one more precious high chair banner. I love the addition of the “O N E” to this one..

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If you’re not into DIYing, Shindigz has tons of pre-matched adorable goodies for this theme too..

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Have you thrown a winter onederland party? We’d love to see or hear your ideas! Please comment and share!

*Featured Image borrowed from Paige Simple.

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

Please visit the online art gallery {Art by LAC} and Etsy Shop too!

Other popular posts by LAC:

Creativity Crusader Spotlight | Meet Daniela Zographos | Yumsies Cookies and Confections

Hi friends!

I believe in the idea that we should lift each other up, celebrate the talents and capabilities of others, and share joy whenever possible. We, and by “we” I mean human beings in general, spend an awful lot of time – way, WAY, too much really – talking about people in a negative light… gossip magazines, news stories, petty girlfriend talk…

BUT…

There are so many truly incredible people who are doing phenomenal things and bringing smiles to other people’s faces. One of the goals here on the blog is to celebrate creativity and that includes, innovative, unique, amazing people, who I endearingly like to refer to as “creativity crusaders”.

Since this is the first spotlight (and y’all, we have some FANTABULOUSO people lined up for this year), let me give you a little info. This will be a monthly feature. Crusaders can be any age and in any profession. So what exactly is a creativity crusader?

  • Creativity crusaders are passionate about what they do for a living or as one or more hobbies

  • Creativity crusaders infuse creativity into daily life

  • Creativity crusaders champion the cause for creativity in some corner of the world

  • Creativity crusaders inspires others to be creative, think creatively and live a creative life.

That said, let me introduce you to our first creativity crusader. Meet Daniela Zographos of Yumsies Cookies & Confections.

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Daniela and I met at Taste of Anderson in a brief interaction where she was a vendor, and I noticed her branding in addition to her baking expertise. Branding, though essential to any business, is also in some ways a stellar example of going the extra mile. To me it says, “I care immensely about the presentation of my ____ (company, event, small business, etc.)” to the public. It’s a first impression, an investment, a process, and a practice…but I’m getting way off topic here…

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{The Yumsies table at Taste of Anderson 2015}

I met Daniela again when we were neighbors at a small vendor fair at Prodigy Hair Loft last fall. We had an opportunity to chat between meeting shoppers and instantly got along, bounced ideas off each other, and each came away from the event with several new ideas, projects, and even some collaboration. When I had the idea to start this spotlight, she was one of a handful that were immediately added to my list.

{ Insta-stalk her HERE @yumsiescookies }

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I only ask age because I want the overall range, over multiple creativity crusader interviews, to show that creativity crusaders can be any age…

How old are you (if you are ok with sharing…totally optional)? 27

In what city & state do you live? Anderson, SC

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Do you consider yourself to be creative? Absolutely!

BRAVO for owning it! Makes my heart happy!

What toys or activities were you drawn to as a child? 

Easy Bake Oven, Nite Brite, Scented Markers & Stickers (I used to have quite a collection of stickers in my sticker album.. I don’t think sticker albums still exist!)

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{How fun are these ABC cookies??}

What inspires you? 

My family inspires me to keep going forward with what I do, but I find inspiration in everything! If it has color, texture or scent… It’s inspiring me!

What do you do for a living?  

Homebaker, get it? I am a Homemaker and I also Bake from home! 🙂

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Are you formally educated or self-taught? 

A bit of both! During high school I taught myself how to bake through books. I later decided I wanted to further my education and learn how to cook properly, so I enrolled in Culinary School. After graduating 4  years later,  I realized I should have enrolled in Baking and Pastry School instead, since that was my true passion, but never had a chance. So 2 baking classes is the proper education I received.. everything else is from books, YouTube videos and good old fashioned trial and error.

Can I get an “Amen” for some YouTube videos, DIYers?

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How do you get un-stuck if you’re in a creative rut? 

There are 3 fool proof ways: 1. I step away from my project for a while, take a breather find inspiration outside my home, and come back once it’s done. 

2. I ask someone else’s opinion and input on what I should add or remove. and 

3. there is nothing like procrastinating and knowing my cake is due in a few hours to inspire me and get my tail moving.

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{ These…I just can’t get over these! Gorgeous Cinderalla Cupcakes}

How do you feel about your organization and time management skills? 

I can be AMAZING at organization and time management, but lets face it, if you are a creative person, you are more than likely going to have a cluttered desk, space, or whatever it is you work on. The only time my baker room is completely organized is when I am not baking. That is just how my cluttered , I mean, CREATIVE mind works 🙂

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Do you have a routine? 

For the most part, yes. It’s what keeps me on track with time management. On Mondays, I look over this week’s orders, go to the grocery store and buy all my materials and make a schedule . On Tuesdays I try to get all cakes and cookies in the oven. On Wednesdays I prep cakes  and cake pops. All cakes get filled and all cake pops get roll and decorated. On Thursdays, all cakes get covered whether it’s buttercream or fondant, and all cookies get iced. On Fridays, all cakes get finished and all cookies get packaged . Saturdays are delivery days and on Sundays the bake room gets cleaned up and prepped for the next week.

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{Gold and White 30th Birthday Cake}

How do you deal with stress? 

The only way I can deal with stress is to finish my project. Project delivered means the stress goes away! I also tend to listen to music while I work, it helps my mind wander a little.

If you have more to do than can fit in a typical day, do you get up earlier or stay up later?

 I stay up later. I find that the later I stay up, the more the creative juices get flowing. 

Yep, me too girl, me too.

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{Mermaid Cookies, Cake, Mini Cupcakes, and Cake Pops…SWOON}

How do you spend your time when you’re not working? 

Kicking my feet off the ground and enjoying my family!! I love what I do, but there is nothing like downtime with my husband and son.

What’s one piece of advice you would tell your younger self? 

Don’t be so hard on yourself, good things come to those who STICK WITH IT! and Believe in yourself!! we are our worst critic… it took me years to finally realize that and finally see that my work is truly worth it. 

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{Daniela and her cake pops at a vendor fair in December}

And just for fun…

Favorite color? PINK!

Describe yourself in one word. 

BLESSED! I cannot believe how far I’ve come, and it’s only possible with the love and support of my family.

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{Seriously, the talent is limitless, y’all}

The last thing you ate was… 

A piece of toast with Nutella

A favorite quote you want to share? 

“ I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and show parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

– Shauna Niequist; Cold Tangerines.   

 If you haven’t read Cold Tangerines, run and get it. I guarantee it will be the best book you have ever read. Your soul needs it, believe me!

I love her devotional, Savor, and will definitely be adding this to my reading list!!

Do you have any party tricks? Pro champagne popper. 

So perfect to kick off the spotlight series and be our January girl! And I can totally see that.

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Daniela lives in Anderson, SC with her family and is the owner of Yumsies Cookies and Confections. She is already booked through January of 2017, so if you want to order from her, book early! You can see more on her website, or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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{ Tags designed by The Olive Shoe for Daniela’s “Paint-Your-Own Cookies” }

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” – Henri Matisse

If you know a creativity crusader you’d like to see featured, I’d love to meet them and chat for a few minutes! Please email me at lauren@theoliveshoe.com.

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The Olive Shoe | Paperie & Design | Celebrating Creativity and Creatively Celebrating is designed and run by Laure {LAC} James © 2016 LAC James All Rights Reserved.

Lauren {LAC} James is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, and of course, come back and visit again soon!

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