Tuesday, July 22, 2014

things I'm loving right now // etsy loves // blogger edition...

Dear friend,

With today's installment of Etsy finds, I thought I would change it up a bit and showcase some of my blogger friends' loves! There are so many amazing artists out there and Etsy is the perfect place to find them all under "one roof". You're sure to find handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts your friends and family will love as well as special things for yourself. Sometimes I find myself on there for hours just ooooogling over all the amazing finds! 

Let's see what other bloggers are loving right now...

"As most people know, I am obsessed with all things Disney and everything animated. Samantha from Elah Tree actually just introduced me to Brittney Lee, who is a concept artist for Disney! Ahhhhhh! As in, she has worked on Frozen and Tangled and many, many other projects. I have been drooling over her blog and her etsy shop over the past week. This would be my dream job if I had the moolah to go back to art school! Until then, I'll just be stalking Brittney's blog and watching lots of Disney movies. :) I love this dreamy coffee shop print. It just looks like the perfect morning!"

"Etsy is one of my favorite places to find unique gifts, items and inspiration. There is always something amazing to find. Recently, I've been loving all the soaps and soap dishes, not sure why, it's probably because I think they are pretty.  I have been swooning over a homemade soap and ceder soap dish I found. I just think it's lovely."

"I am loving my new necklace from Mia Earrings! :)"

"I've been loving the jewelry you can find on Etsy. It's high quality and so unique! One of the shops I love is Moulton, based here in Austin. She designed the earrings for my bridesmaids and they were beautiful!"

"Sheesh, where do I start? I'm smitten over so many etsy shops lately. Since the day my little one came into the world, it seems as though my camera was attached to my face. Now as she has moved into toddler-hood, she has become more interested in how the camera works and looking at photos of herself after each snap of the shutter. What better way to help bring out the mini photographer in her, than to present her with her very own mini camera! These little cuties are handcrafted out of pine wood, painted with simple and soft colors and the perfect size and shape for my toddler's little grip. Now she can have her own little photo sessions and embrace her imaginative/creative side."

What are some Etsy finds you're loving right now? If you haven't heard, right now if you use code SUMMALOVING upon purchasing an ad spot, you will receive 20% off! Hurry! This discount is good only through the end of the month!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

apricot jam...

I've decided that I would really like to try and slow things down this summer.

Remember when we were kids? Summer meant sleeping in, taking it slow with as little responsibilities as possible, and having fun. We had the right idea. Now of course, being an adult is A LOT different than a kid and there are just some things we can't do (like sleep in until 11 every day) or have to do (like unfortunately, work...) I get that and I'm fine with that. This is exactly the season of life the Lord has me in and I'm extremely thankful for it.

That being said, I would still like to take this summer, with it's longer days and warmer nights, and really breathe it all in and enjoy myself. Take more walks. Go to the beach more. Be out in nature as frequently as possible. Hang out with family more. Hang out with family longer. Go on (free-ish) dates with my husband more. Get off the computer. Get my head up and off of my phone. Talk to friends more. Hang out with friends and do things like drink tea and make delicious foods. Like the day I hung out with my friend and made homemade (homegrown) apricot jam.

That day guys...that day was magical.

Friday, July 11, 2014

buttery lemon shortbread bars...

Is it just me or do any of you keep tabs open on some sort of device FOREVER just to remind yourself you need to make something?

Yeah, yeah I know there's Pinterest, but honestly sometimes my pins get lost or forgotten after they are pinned. And seriously, sometimes there's a recipe I see that sounds and looks so good that it takes precedence over any and every recipe I've ever seen in life. Ever. (Hahaha)

Which means one thing...I'll sometimes have 4+ tabs open on my iPad that I can't close until I've tried out said recipe. My OCD brain hates when I do this. Hates opening up my internet browser only to have all these websites already staring at me as if they were saying, "What are you waiting for?? Pay attention to MEEEEEEE!" It wishes that I would find some other creative way to remind myself to "try THIS recipe" stat. It's so annoying. But I do it anyway. 

That being said, I'm so happy to be able to finally close one little tab. Ahhhh success, friends. It feels sooooo goooooood. One down, seventy five to go...Just kidding.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

a giveaway // ruffled paper...

There are few things I love more than cute and fun ways to decorate packages and goodies. No joke. Right now I have a drawer, sleeve of our desk AND giant box in our closet filled with adorable gift, goodie bag, package and snail mail decorating supplies. Like these botanical labels and stickers from Anthropologie. They're kind of my favorite. Every time I bake something special or send a letter I get super giddy because I get to choose "the perfect" added bling for that friend or what have you.

I once had a friend gift me with a box FULL of cute stickers, ribbon, twine, rubber stamps, kraft paper goodies, pens, markers and other amazing decorating gift supplies and I squealed an actual squeal upon opening. We were all also at a very fancy smancy place at said time. Sorry friends (not sorry). 

So when I had the opportunity to get some goodies from Ruffled Paper, I jumped on it! 

I mean, honestly. Look at all the amazing stuff they carry! From stationery to party supplies, invitations to shimmery baker's twine...it's a decorating freak like me's heaven on earth. I did end up grabbing some of that shimmer twine, in both gold and silver. I love the way it jazzes up simple wrapped packages and boxes of baked goods. I figure you can never have too much baker's twine. I want all the twine!

Something else you can never have too much of? Kraft paper bags and gold foil stickers. Like these gorgeous hearts. I use those bags for everything from gift card wrapping to cookie packaging (just tie closed with some twine or tape shut with washi tape or these heart stickers). They're perfect with a giant decorated sugar cookie or huge fresh baked chocolate chip cookie for a loved one, placed inside.

These heart stickers have been used to spruce up a snail mail envelope, leave a love note for the hubbie, seal things closed, and add just a tiny touch of fun to a kraft paper wrapped gift for a friend. I usually go on the "less is more" side of things and add just one or a few depending on the size of the package. These are also great to snazz up my bible study notebook ;)

Then there's the pièce de résistance- these adorable strawberry jam recipe cards. Maybe it's because it's summertime, maybe it's because berries (and strawberries at that!) are totally in season right now, or maybe it's because I also have a major slight obsession with recipe cards and all things mason jar...but I had to have these babies in my life. Like, haaaaaaaaaaaaad to. Guys, mason jars.

I'm so glad I did get them! They're SO DANG CUTE. They come printed nicely and on heavy cardstock paper and are ready for you to jot down all your favorite recipes, either for yourself or to give away to a friend. 

These all arrived in perfect condition, packaged all cute and dapper and with great timing too! A dear friend of mine, who just had a sweet little boy, needed gluten-free pie in her life pretty much right away. These cute decorative pieces made my baked treat that much more special.

Like I said before, I like things simple and love the "less is more" route. So I simply placed one heart sticker on a kraft bag, wrote out the recipe for the pie I was gifting out on one of the mason jar recipe cards, and inserted it into that bag. 

Then I generously wrapped her cooled pie with some of the gold baker's twine (which made it look so fun), tied a little bow, and placed it in a brown paper pie box. I placed the kraft bag with recipe card on top and closed the box up. On the bottom right corner of that box was another gold foil heart sticker. Classy and elegant. 

Here's the super duper fun part! Jess of Ruffled Paper has generously offered to give one Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe reader this amazing gift packaging set, as well! Holy cow, right?

One of you lucky ducks will win ALL of what you see in this post (except the pie...sorry guys)- a $34 value!!! These babes are sure to make you a gift wrapping or snail mail decorating champion. 

Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.
Now for the small print: Ruffled Paper provided me with a free samples of these products to review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. All pictures and opinions are my own. CONTEST OPEN TO US RESIDENTS ONLY. Contest will run for 7 days and will end on July 15th. Winner will be shown on this blog post upon being chosen AND will be contacted by Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe via email. Winner has 24 hours to email back and claim prize before a new winner will be chosen. All prizes were graciously donated and shipped to winner by Ruffled Paper.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

things I'm loving right now // etsy finds 3...

Summer is here. So naturally, todays edition of Etsy finds is inspired by my love for things brightly colored, beachie and vintage. You can bet that if it's got a pop of color and/or sold at a thrift store, I'll most likely love it to death. I'm a simple girl.

Check out these amazing artists and tell them hello!