Because of all the positive feedback we got last week with our “Guest of Honor Trivia”, we wanted to share one more game with you. On Saturday we played “Who Said What?” for our friend Lindsay. She turned 30 and we surprised her with a celebratory brunch and game. Lindsay is pretty incredible, so we took this opportunity to let her know what we all thought of her. She is extremely talented and also really good at games, so instead of making the group be the competitors, she was the one who had to get the answers right. Among many incredible things…Lindsay has created a birthday video for my 30th, rewritten the words to “Don’t Stop Believin’” for our wedding rehearsal dinner, and oh- she won Wheel of Fortune, so we really had to step it up.
Don't Stop Believin' - New Lyrics by Lindsay
For this game, we emailed some of her closest friends 15 fill in the blank questions. (see below). We then compiled all the answers and printed out an answer key. Next we enlarged the font, printed them on regular printer paper, and cut them out in the shape of a chat bubble. Finally, we printed out photos of everyone’s faces on card stock. We used Photoshop to make the heads close to actual size, but you can also accomplish this simply by cropping the photo and making it bigger in a word document.
To play the game we taped all the heads to a board (or in our case the TV armoire we have). I read the statement and laid out the answers. Lindsay then had to match the quote with the person who said it. It was fun to see all the different reasons people loved Lindsay and to reminisce about some of our favorite times.
Lily appreciates getting a birthday card in the mail. Send one to your friend today!!
This game takes some advanced planning, but with a little participation from your friends, you can really show the guest of honor some love. To give you a starting point for your questions below are the ones we used for Lindsay. We can’t wait to hear about all the fun you have at your next party.
1. When I first met Lindsay I remember thinking…
2. I knew we’d be friends because…
3. I’ve always known Lindsay was a Rockstar. One of the first incredible things I remember her doing was…
4. Since I’ve met her she’s done an million things that make me think “how does she do it”. My favorite thing to brag about her is…
5. One of my favorite nights out with Lindsay was…. Because this happened….
6. Lindsay is an incredible friend. She’s always there for me when I need her. The most memorable time was…
7. I love Lindsay’s style. My favorite outfit of hers is… because…
8. Lindsay knows how to throw a party. The best part of her wedding was…
9. Lindsay is an incredible mom. I know this because…
10. Lindsay’s theme song would be…
11. I can always be cheered up when I think about this hilarious time I had with Lindsay…
12. If I were to cast a movie starring Lindsay, I would choose ….. to play her character.
13. Lindsay doesn’t ever surprise me. In 10 years I can see her….
14. If I could plan one night out with Lindsay, I would go…. and do… because….
15. Lindsay is the best roommate one could have. I know this because…
This past weekend we celebrated my best friend Katrina’s 30th birthday and we thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you one of our favorite ways to bring the fun to any party. Guest of Honor Trivia!! You can play this game at any occasion…birthday parties, graduation parties, or even bachelorette parties. It’s a great way to celebrate your friend, while reminiscing about the good times you’ve had together. There is really no limit to the type of game you can create.
We are lucky enough to have some incredible friends in our lives and we’ve been able to come up with many different games in the past. Two of our favorites were “Katie Law School Trivia” for when she graduated NYU and “Scott Nelson Trivia” on his 30th birthday. They both consisted of basic trivia questions about our friend read aloud to the party guests. For “Trina Trivia” we decided to step it up a notch.
Trina Trivia Score Board
Karla, Katrina, & I after dinner. Katrina & I have known each other since 2nd grade, so there was a lot of questions to choose from.
Her birthday dinner was at a restaurant with about 12 people. We divided the group into two teams and played it Family Feud Style. Instead of surveying 100 people, we simply asked questions that had multiple answers. I read the question first and then the team whose turn it was would decide if they wanted to play or pass. If they played and correctly guessed all the answers – they win that round. If they couldn’t guess them all before getting 3 strikes – the other team got a chance to steal their points!
Team 2 getting the last answer correct and winning the round!!
This game required some extra props and input from the guest of honor. We cut poster board into 11’’ x 14’’ rectangles to use as the answer boards. We then used double sided tape and colorful paper to cover the answers. (side note: the tape was stickier than I thought and after I pulled the paper off sometimes there would still be some covering up the answer, so when you do it at home, try not to put the tape right over the answer, it would be better if you put two pieces of tape on the ends) We printed out the questions and their answers so we knew which answers were behind which pieces of paper. To be sure we were completely accurate we emailed the Birthday Girl ahead of time to get her answers.
Some of our categories included:
her family pets
her celebrity crushes
colleges she’s attended
jobs she’s had
cars she’s owned
states she’s lived in
wedding parties she’s been in
countries she’s traveled
We then had a couple categories that centered around the people who were there:
reasons she loves her boyfriend
reasons she’s thankful for her parents & brother
top 5 moments from college
My favorite question included a visual aid. We printed out all of our photobooth photos and the teams had to name the other people in the pictures.
Team 2 seriously discussing what was the name of one of their family cats.
The whole game was a lot of fun. Everyone had a good time working together to remember the answers and a couple great stories were retold.
When creating a game for your friend there are a couple things to keep in mind.
- Your audience. How big is the group? Can you divide them into teams or would it be more fun to just have everyone participate?
- The location. Will the party be at a house, restaurant, or club? You want to make sure it’s not too loud and everyone can be involved.
- The length of the game. If you make it too long, people can get disinterested. If it is too short people might want more. We’ve found that between 10 to 20 questions is a good amount.
- The questions. When thinking of the questions, make sure you include topics that the majority of the people there would know the answer to. It’s not fun if you make the questions too hard. Include questions that highlight the reasons you love your friend. Does she enjoy traveling? What are her talents? What is unique about her? Think about some of your favorite memories, then turn them into questions. Avoid bad memories, ex-boyfriends, or ex-girlfriends. Keep things fun and positive.
- The structure of the game. Is there a game you love to watch on television? You can really base your game off of any existing game. Using “Jeopardy” rules or “Family Feud” rules makes it easier for everyone to understand the game. It’s also a good idea to simplify them a little if possible. For example, in “Trina Trivia” instead of having two team members face-off at the beginning of each round to see who gets control, we just alternated turns.
That’s about all you need to know. If you are using props be as artistic as you want, but don’t stress about that part too much. The most important thing is to celebrate your friend and the reasons they are awesome! Remember it is a game, so have fun. We’d love to hear about the games you create, so when you do, don’t forget to leave a comment below.
Have a great week!!
This has nothing to do with "Guest of Honor Trivia" but I just had to mention that we killed it at a Karaoke bar later that night with a little "Juicy" by Biggie!! Two words: Crowd Pleaser!
Ever wish you could have organizational guru, Peter Walsh, spend a week at your house? Well it turns out we are related to the female version of Oprah’s favorite declutterer. We’d like to introduce to you Geraldine Chandler, a.k.a. Aunt Ger.
This woman doesn’t just organize. She is a cleaning machine. We have seen her completely clean and organize an 8 room home in just one month. Her friends and family have told her this was her calling from God and even though she swears these are all learned skills, there is no doubt she has a true talent.
We knew her coming to our apartment would be a huge help, even if she only had time to tackle the linen closet. However, this is Aunt Ger we are talking about and she had the linen closet finished in one afternoon. In the week she spent with us she transformed our entire apartment and still had time to see a Broadway show.
Linen Closet Before & After (this is only an example, this is obviously not our linen closet, we would never be so messy)
Organization and efficiency are two things that make us extremely happy. The flip side to that is when things aren’t organized and efficient we couldn’t be more frustrated. As a mother and grandmother, Aunt Ger understands the importance of these two things and had many tips to help us make our life happier. She said there’s no reason to fumble around, waste precious time, and get stressed out when you can take control…and that she did.
We were using our “tiny Brooklyn” apartment as our excuse for our clutter, but Aunt Ger says “It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to squeeze into a studio apartment or moving into a mansion, the key is to have a place for everything.” We try to live by these words, because we understand this concept, but we had come to a point where we couldn’t find the space. Aunt Ger solved that problem. By moving some furniture, creating “work areas”, and making our entryway a welcoming space she made some big improvements to our home.
Just like Oprah has shared her master of organization with the world, we didn’t want to keep Aunt Ger and her talents all to ourselves. Here are The Basics of Organization According to Aunt Ger.
That last tip might be our Achilles heel, but we promise we’ll try. With these 10 tips, taking a lazy Saturday to reorganize a room or closet in your house could be a fun day to feel a little more accomplished. Plus, think about all the time it will save you in the future. Since you have a week until you can get to that (and we love shopping for things to organize with as much as we love organizing) we complied a list of some of our favorite organizational items.
Ikea & The Container Store are a must! We could (and have) spent hours in both of these stores. One of our favorite storage items from Ikea is this hanging mesh basket. The amount of stuff we can smoosh in there is unbelievable. Because of this one item we can clean up Georgia’s room in under 5 minutes. Extra bonus: she has made a game of taking it all out. We are working on the follow up game of her putting them all back in. We use these see-through shoe storage bins for just about everything…shoes, crafts, tools. Being able to see inside eliminates all rummaging.
We love cb2! These translucent office organizers keep things in their place without over crowding your desk. The Land of Nod is our newest discovery and we can’t get enough of it. There is no way your kids won’t love organizing with all these cute bins, baskets, and boxes to choose from. They also have a great blog that recently featured how to turn a simple bookshelf into a designer dollhouse! Love!
Happy shopping and organizing! We owe a huge thank you to Aunt Ger and we hope you will be using some of her tips and thanking her soon as well! Have a great week.
This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of seeing Mireille Guiliano (Meer-ray Julie-ano) speak at The American Museum of Natural History. I first discovered Mireille and her incredible story in an airport bookstore while looking for something interesting to read on a trip to North Carolina. Her book I read is called “Women, Work, and The Art of Savior Faire.” It’s a very unique book and I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon it. Not everyday can you get first hand advice on business and life from an incredibly successful business woman. Mireille shares her personal journey up the corporate ladder at Veuve Clicquot, THE champagne company, all the way to CEO. The reason I loved this book so much is because it’s real. Mireille didn’t isolate business from life. She gives advice and tips for enjoying and succeeding at life from a woman’s point of view.
Mireille is best known for her book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and she was at the Museum as part of their “Adventures in the Global Kitchen” circuit discussing the “French Paradox.” I follow her on Twitter, so when I saw she would be speaking in New York, I couldn’t wait to hear from her directly.
For those of you not from New York, The American Museum of Natural History is located on the Upper West Side of the city. I have lived in Brooklyn for about 4 years now and exiting the subway onto Central Park West was pretty much like flying to another country. Passing ladies in their polo shirts and pressed jeans, walking their tiny dogs and entering their doorman buildings is a sight I haven’t seen in a while. The high school students still make-out on the corner here, just in their designer clothes and coordinated book bags. The beauty of the stone buildings on the Upper West Side seem to exude culture.
As I entered the medium sized auditorium I was surprised by the number of distinguished older couples. It didn’t even appear that these men were dragged here by their female counter parts. They were very interested in what Mireille had to say. The rest of the crowd was made up of women ranging in age from mid-twenties to late forties. As a bonus to the advice and insight from this very successful woman, we also were served 4 different recipes from her cookbook, one of them being a chocolate mousse that I could have ate 10 more of (which wouldn’t actually be in accordance to the French way of life, but it was so good!!)
Now to fully understand where I’m coming from when I share with you what I took away from this lecture, you must understand that I grew up very “American.” We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches made with only the best – Jiff & Smuckers! Most of our vegetables came from a can. There was a long time I wouldn’t eat mac’n’cheese unless it was orange and came from a blue box. And to this day I still have either Oreos or Chips Ahoy with milk before bed. I don’t think any of those things would fall into what the French Paradox is all about. However, my family did teach me the importance of cooking food and sharing time together over a meal. Living in Brooklyn today, my favorite grocery store is Trader Joe’s and I am much more conscious of what’s in my food. I’ve never really ever stressed about what I eat or counted calories, but now that I’m a mom I’m much more aware of what I feed my daughter. We are still at a point where she only eats what I put in front of her, so she has developed a love for vegetables and grapes & raisins are her candy. I am not applying for my French visa yet, but I do think there is a lot to learn from Mireille and her take on how the French live.
Mireille covered many topics during the one and a half hour lecture. Some things seriously resonated with me, others I thought were insightful, and a few I will have to agree to disagree (she was really hating on the oreo, but I won’t hold it against her).
SERIOUS STATEMENTS- Don’t believe the hype about food in the news (i.e. butter is good this week & bad next week)
- The junk they sell by the cash register is enough to poison you for life
- Diets are about deprivations and rob you of pleasures
- We are what we eat
- Respect your body
- TV is the worst thing you can do for your health
- If you eat while multi-tasking you’re gonna get fat
- Drink Water
- Eat Yogurt (the yogurt she refers to is actually just milk and culture, not all the sugar filled snacks they are selling the grocery store…when I went recently I looked at the back of what seemed like hundreds of cups and was only able to find one that only listed milk and culture as it’s ingredients – Danon All Natural)
Mireille made it a point to say that everyone is different and you have to figure out what works for you. She gave her advice without coming across as though she was better than the rest of us.
- In France husbands don’t harass their wives, but it’s understood they should look and act a certain way
- Your brain needs 20 minutes to process what you’re eating
At one point I thought she advised us to not drink wine alone. I took this as meaning by myself on the couch watching The Notebook, but what she meant was to make sure you eat when you drink wine, so it doesn’t go to your head. I think both pieces of advice are good. Her feelings about cooking resonated most with me. She said cooking is an act of love, self expression, and relaxing.
At the end of the talk, she opened it up for Q&A. At this point I had wished I took notes when I read the book the first time, so I could ask a really good question. Instead I thought to myself…you have this woman with so much knowledge and life experience ready to answer any question you have, what do you really want to know. I decided to let her know I had been struggling with what to do about dinner lately, since I have a 14 month old who’s eating real food and a husband who often works late. Do I eat with Georgia and be full by the time Chad gets home or make Georgia eat alone so I can at least have dinner with my husband. I had expected she would give me a couple options or say whatever I was doing was fine, but she had a very direct and smart answer. She simply said, “Eat with your daughter and keep company with your husband. Just make sure you don’t eat twice.” Done. Question answered. This answer reminded me of another strong willed woman I know and made me love her even more. Not sure if it’s an American thing or not, but often times we seem to complicate things that aren’t so complex or waste time stressing about things we shouldn’t. Mireille seemed to have it all together. Life is tough, but just plow through. (or Chop Wood. Carry Water)
After the lecture, I brought my book to her to pay my respects and get an autograph. Then I bought a copy of her cookbook and waited for my train back to Brooklyn. In her cookbook, she shares some personal stories with you and some very tasty looking recipes.
I thought it would be fun (and delicious) to try my hand at her Chocolate Mousse and share my experience with you. Below is the recipe with some notes from this American woman who considers whisking my My*T*Fine Chocolate pudding on the stove as a wind down to a busy day. Let me start out by saying this recipe, all though it only has 4 ingredients is a lot more complicated than opening a box of powder and mixing it with milk. Almost immediately I was stumped. 6 cardamom pods. Uhh…ok. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what these things looked like.
This is cardamom.
Luckily one of my mommy friends has more experience than I do and pointed me in the direction of Sahadi’s, a gourmet food store. The people there were very friendly, but it was a New York City store and wasn’t too easy to maneuver my stroller. I was able to get the cardamom, pistachios, & chocolate here, but in the chaos of trying to get out of the way of the delivery guy coming through, find some stray Joe’s O’s to put back into Georgia’s cup since she had finished what I gave her already and was starting to loose it, figure out what the heck 70 to 80% cacao actually meant, and ordering from the man…I think I accidentally bought unsweetened chocolate. (note: this makes the mousse taste lousy)
This is the chocolate that worked and made it taste yum-o!
Once I was back home and had all the ingredients I read the directions a couple times out loud, so I wouldn’t mess something up.
First I chopped the chocolate, measured out the other ingredients and got my bowls and pot ready. Making mousse it quite simple. My second go at it, I didn’t even have to look at the recipe.
1. Place cardamom and ½ cup heavy cream in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. (this happens really quickly, so don’t leave the pot.)
2. Meanwhile, place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. (I actually did this first because “meanwhile” in recipes sometimes makes me stress, plus I didn’t want to burn the cream)
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the cream through a fine-mesh sieve over the chopped chocolate. (easy. The point of this is to get rid of the cardamom. They are very fragrant, so the crushed cardamom is just to give the cream some flavor)
4. Allow the chocolate to melt for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth, cool until the chocolate-cream mixture is just warm to touch. (this also happens a lot quicker than I imagined. Since the chocolate is chopped it melts quickly and then you can whisk it together. I really enjoyed this part. Unsweetened chocolate vs. the correct 72% cacao chocolate really made a difference here. Unsweetened chocolate = take a pass, 72% cacao = lick the whole bowl)
The unsweetened chocolate had a white color when it first started melting.
The good chocolate didn't have a white color.
5. Whip the remaining 1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream until stiff peaks form [be careful not to overwhip]. (I took advantage of my Kitchen Aid here, cause it’s magic when it comes to whipping heavy cream…you can literally see it become whipped cream right before your eyes.)
6. Gently fold half the whipping cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten and then incorporate the remaining whipped cream; the mousse will be a bit soft. (this should have been a red flag for me on my first attempt. My unsweetened chocolate did not make it soft.)
7. Spoon the mousse into the serving dishes, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (I haven’t mastered the “cover” it part. I just used seran wrap. It kinda smooshes the top and makes it look not so cute. Next time I will try putting it in a pastry bag and then putting it in the serving dish. I think that will make it look prettier.)
8. Before serving, garnish with pistachio nuts. (at the lecture they garnished it with chocolate chips, which I prefer. The pistachio nut are good, but I love chocolate)
Overall, my experience cooking mousse was by no means flawless, but I think I understand the core concept now. Chopping the chocolate and whisking it is very relaxing and enjoyable. I will definitely make it again. I believe the key to enjoying cooking is preparation. And since the recipe calls for 6 cardamom pods and I had to buy a pre-packaged container, I now have a lifetime supply. All I need next time is a pint of heavy cream and a bar of chocolate!! Thanks for coming along with me on this experience. I know it was a little less “card” related and a little more “Julie & Julia”, but we wanted to introduce you to this amazing woman we admire. You should try this recipe if you get a chance or get Mireille’s book “Women, Work, and The Art of Savior Faire.” Both are very inspiring. Have a great week.
This week we are excited to debut our brand new Thank You Cards!! These cards were made specifically for all of you. After last year’s high demand for our Hand Embossed Thank You Cards at The Hank & Jojo Shop at The Dekalb Market we decided to look into what is now our latest obsession in printing techniques: THERMOGRAPHY!
Before we knew thermography existed, we had plans to invent it. As much as we enjoy hand embossing, it is extremely time consuming. We had visions of buying one of those super-toasters (the kind they have at the bagel shop) and creating our own conveyer belt complete with a fan at the end to blow off any excess powder. Lucky for us, someone else had already perfected this concept. Thermographic printing produces a similar outcome as hand embossing because it is essentially the most efficient method of heating powder and ink. A powder is applied to the card. The non-hardening ink is then stamped and the excess powder is removed. Finally, the card is heated causing the ink to rise and become glossy. The result is exquisite.
For our first run of Thank You Packs, we designed 4 different cards for you. There is the whimsical dress form in magenta, the charming bicycle in kelly green, the stylish pregnant lady in yellow, and our favorite… the Brooklyn Bridge skyline in silver.
We thought we’d give you a little peak into our creative process for the Brooklyn Bridge skyline card because it means so much to us. I hand drew each building and water tower with a sharpie (actually – several sharpies) while listening to Sara Bareillies and drinking lots of iced coffee. This card means a lot to us because we currently call Brooklyn our home and used to live in Manhattan. Brooklyn is known for its water towers. Just looking out our window now, I can count 8. We love that each one is unique in its own way.
The Brooklyn Bridge itself is spectacular. It was built in 1883 and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Our favorite fact: The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was finished by Emily Roeblings, the first woman field engineer who supervised the project after her father-in-law died and then her husband became too ill to finish it. Because she played such a vital roll in the completion of the bridge, Emily was the first to cross the bridge in a carriage. She carried a rooster as a sign of victory. Walking across the bridge is the perfect way to enjoy a beautiful day. The pedestrian walkway is one level higher than traffic, which makes it very peaceful.
The three main building on the Manhattan side, all have great meaning to us. My first apartment in NYC was in the financial district and almost perfectly framed by the window from the view while lying in my bed was the Woolworth Building. Seeing it every night before I went to sleep and every morning as I woke up, I developed a great love for this building. It was built in 1913 by Frank Woolworth who for it paid in cash. It was the tallest building in the world for 17 years. It was nicknamed the Cathedral of Commerce and the lobby has been referred to as one of the most spectacular of the 20th century in New York City. Covered in marble, mosaics, stained glass, and murals, we have not seen it because since 9/11 it is no longer open to the public.
The second larger building is the Empire State Building, which is a must for any NYC skyline. The Empire State Building was build in 1931 and is 102 stories tall, which currently makes it the tallest building in New York City. Many people tour this building when visiting New York, but we prefer The Top of The Rock because it has one of the best views of The Empire State Building. We once heard a story that if you owned a room in The Empire State Building you got to choose the color of it’s lights one day a year. Turns out that’s a lie, but it did make for a cool story. Here’s a link to what the colors actually mean.
The last main building on this card is The Chrysler Building. We had to include this one because at my last job I would walk through it on my way to work every day. There is an exit from the subway that dumps you out in what is essential the basement. Not a bad basement either…there is a drug store, a shoe shiner, a dry cleaner, a deli, and a barbershop…and that was just what I passed on my walk. We love New York! If our card had a soundtrack it would be Jay-Z & Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” – so here’s the YouTube Video for you to enjoy!
At Love Jac we take Thank You Cards very seriously. It’s important to show someone your appreciation and taking the time to thank them might just make you a better person for it. It forces you to slow down in the chaotic world and do just what the card says…give thanks. That being said, we have forgotten to send a thank you card in the past. We aren’t proud of this. Sometimes it was because we didn’t have a card on hand when we thought about sending it. Sometimes we wanted to make a really awesome thank you card because the gift was so great that it took us about a month to finally send it out. Sometimes it just slipped our mind. For some reason it always seemed to be the one person we forgot to send a card to that notices and sends an email to our parents. With the creation of this new line of cards, we hope to not only eliminate our own bad habit, but help you out as well.
We’ve developed a list of guidelines or “facts” that apply to thank you cards. We hope it will help you remember to write them and enjoy the process at the same time.
LOVE JAC THANK YOU CARD FACTS!!
- You will always need them – be proactive and have them on hand.
- Leading up to your birthday is a great time to stock up!
- Pay it forward: they make great birthday or baby shower gifts!
- Keep a list (either in a notebook or your email) of thank you notes you need to write and ones you’ve sent. This way if you can’t remember, you can always consult the list.
- It never hurts to send a late card. People understand life is busy and they’d rather be thanked eventually than not at all. This exact reason inspired us to create one of our most popular cards.
- It’s important to show appreciation for someone’s generosity.
- It shouldn’t stress you out or make you feel obligated. If you have multiple Thank You notes to write we suggest you take an afternoon or an evening, pour yourself a glass of something you love, find yourself a comfortable spot to sit, and really enjoy the time to reflect on what awesome people you have in your life.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here to tell you Mother’s Day is Sunday May 13th this year. That’s basically one month away. We are telling you this not because we want to rush life along or because we want to force you into buying one of our new Mother’s Day cards (although they are on sale now). We aren’t trying to be like every big chain store and have our Christmas decorations on sale before Thanksgiving. We are telling you because we don’t want you to get caught up in the busyness of life and be panicking a month from now because you didn’t plan anything. We suggest you get the ball rolling today on your Mother’s Day plans. Email your siblings. Call your dad. Consult with your wife. Put a plan into action.
We feel that Mother’s Day often gets put on the back burner or pacified with a phone call. Now that I am a mom, Mother’s Day has taken on a whole new meaning and as sad as it is to say, it has made me feel really guilty for not making a bigger deal about it in the past. Being a mom is hard work and for those of you who haven’t experience it yet this may sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking when I say it. However, the truth of the matter is it’s a 24/7 job. The consistency is what makes it so tiring. That being said, it is definitely the most rewarding experience I’ve had to date. Georgia lights up my life!! She means the world to me and is the reason why, even though I may wake un-rested, I wake up with a smile on my face. Her little hugs or the smile she gets when I walk into the room fill my heart with such happiness. Nothing is better than those moments. I dream of the day she will say “I love you, mom.” The love I have for her makes me weep. As you can tell, I’m kinda turning into a sap right now.
If I realized my mom could possibly feel this way about me, I would have been having a Mother’s Day Parade every year! My mom means the world to me. She is the smartest, strongest, most loving woman I know. She always puts her kids first. So much so, that’s the reality I grew up in. Don’t get me wrong we celebrated Mother’s Day in my house. There were years when we attempted breakfast in bed or went shopping with my dad for a present. And you better believe she always got a homemade card, but even on Mother’s Day, my mom never made it about her.
This is one of my favorite pics of me & my mom. My brother took it!! Pretty good for a 3 year old and a non-digital camera!
There are families that have a Mother’s Day brunch or a celebratory dinner. We’ve heard of people traveling on this day just to be with their mom, but many times all that is possible is a phone call. Life gets busy and things come up. Sometimes it is not possible to be with your mom on Mother’s Day. What we are proposing this year is that you take one day to celebrate your mom. It doesn’t have to be May 13th. It just has to a day devoted to her. Write her a card and tell her why you love her…what you are thankful for. Get her a gift that will remind her of how awesome you think she is every time she looks at it. Ask her what chore you could do to relieve some of her work. Share a meal together and go around the table saying your favorite Mom moments. She might say it’s not necessary (again putting everyone else first), but make the effort and show her how much you love her.
This year at Love Jac we created our first collection of Mother’s Day Cards. We are so excited to share them with you that we wanted to give you a little backstory behind each one. We hope they resonate with the relationship you have with your mother and you send her one. We were inspired by our mothers, the relationships that we cherish, and the beauty that a mother possesses.
(clicking on the card will take you its page)
Who hasn’t picked flowers from their backyard to give to their mom? Even a flower that could be considered a weed looks beautiful to a mother’s eye if given to them by a little hand. It truly is “the thought that counts” when it comes to moms. We love that concept and wanted to preserve it in a card. These dandelions have the power to brighter your mom’s day.
These four words have the ability to melt a woman’s heart. Like I said above, I often dream of that day. We purposely left “Happy Mother’s Day” off this card because we think it should be sent whenever you please. When your mom gives you some good advice, does a load of your laundry, or simply makes you dinner…telling her you love her will show how much these little things mean to you.
This is one of three cards that contain a lady head vase. We became obsessed with them one year at Brimfield and started our own collection. Their beauty and elegance are so powerful. Many of them are missing earrings and we think that just adds to their charm. It’s like they have lived life and still look fabulous!! The fabric in this photo was bought one year to sew a summer dress. After many hours of laying out the pattern and cutting it, I still don’t have a dress, but I am happy this gorgeous fabric could be used in another way.
That’s right…we are wearing matching tie-dye jumpsuits and I couldn’t be more proud!! I want to point out that this photo was taken in the 80's, but nonetheless I was so happy for all of Daytona Beach to know I was my mom’s daughter. No one was mistaking our relationship. If I could wear matching tie-dye jumpsuits today I would. My mom is amazing and I want the world to know it. We hope you feel the same way about your mom and she gets a good laugh when you send her this card. If you want to take it one step further you could include a tie-dye gift with our card! (or not)
We completely believe in this statement. Every day we are becoming our mothers and nothing makes us happier. Let your mom know it this Mother’s Day.
We first saw this lady head in Beaufort, NC. She was beautiful and perfect (even with just one earring). She was also a little expensive (Brimfield has scarred us), so we passed her up. Little did I know, Chad arranged for his aunt and uncle to go back and buy her as a gift for me. She made it to Brooklyn via the US Postal service unharmed.
There comes a point in your life when your mom stops being just your mom and she is suddenly your best friend. You might not be able to remember the exact moment, but having your mom as your best friend is a wonderful experience.
While we were in Australia we saw these two hens sitting on a bench and knew it would make a great card. We immediately started imagining what they could be chatting about…just two gals catching up on life. If you can take some time out of your day to just sit and chat with your mom, you’re one lucky person.
No one can replace your mom that is for sure, but when you get married you have the luxury of forming a new relationship with your spouse's mother. For some reason television puts such a bad stigma on mother-in-laws, but we don’t agree at Love Jac. We think our mother-in-laws are amazing. We also think they deserve to get their own card and not just an extra signature on the Mother's Day card. Take this opportunity to let your mother-in-law know why you are thankful for her.
Another lady head vase. This is one of our favorites. The green is stunning and it also reminds us of Lucile Ball, so we thought it was appropriate to incorporate with our TV reference.
Not sure if it’s because Mother’s Day falls in May, but we always think of beautiful flowers when we think of Mother’s Day…especially a daisy. This card says exactly what you want… “To the world’s best mom”. No statement could be more true. Nothing else seemed more appropriate to photograph this flower on than glitter paper!!
We hope you order your Mother’s Day card in time for May 13th. If you can celebrate the day with your Mom we hope you make the most of it. If you have to postpone the mom-love to another day, that’s fine. Just don’t let it slip by. Even a simple phone call will most likely make your mom feel loved.
In an attempt to utilize Facebook a little more and spread the word about our Mother’s Day cards, we hope you click the “like” button next to your favorite Mother’s Day cards!!
And don’t forget, you essentially still have a whole month until Mother’s Day, so don’t stress out. Start the phone calls and make a plan. Your mom will thank you for it.
This past weekend we celebrated Easter and for us that means traditions and family. We hope all of you had a wonderful weekend no matter if you celebrated Easter, Passover, or the Easter Bunny!!
Easter has always been important to our family and has been filled with some of our favorite traditions. There is the morning egg hunt in our PJ’s (which was a lot more tame this year since the competitive spirit of racing for eggs filled with money was replaced with the excitement of Georgia’s new discoveries and eggs full of Trader Joe’s O’s). It wouldn’t be Easter without our traditional breakfast of egg cheese, kielbasa, hard-boiled eggs, Grandma’s Easter bread, and lamb shaped butter. The whole family getting dressed up to go to a crowded church service and then having a delicious ham dinner at 3 in the afternoon with our extended family and close friends is the blueprint for the rest of the day. Each year is a little different. Whether it’s a big egg hunt at our neighbors or a bon fire in our backyard we always try to be surrounded by the people we love the most.
Morning Egg Hunt.
Georgia at our neighbor's egg hunt! Each kid is allowed to get 10 eggs, so it's fair for everyone. Georgia was happy with just 4.
Found some eggs!
Rejoicing outside church with Uncle Tommy!! It's always fun to take photos outside in the natural light. Just be sure to get your subjects in the sunlight and not caught in the shadows of the branches.
Sometimes with all the running around during the holidays, it's hard to get a group shot. We try to get one after church before things get too busy and we forget.
This year we had Saturday Brunch with the Easter Bunny (and some of our close friends). Not sure if it will become an annual tradition, but it sure was fun!
We hope you cherish the traditions of your family. From the ones that have been around since you can remember to the ones you just started this year, sharing these moments with the people you love most are what makes them so meaningful.
We wanted to share the recipe for my Grandma’s Easter bread with you. Disclaimer: We are card and craft people. We only bake recreationally. Last week we mentioned not trying to be Martha Stewart. We have succeeded at that. We also don’t have the amazing food stylists, who we’ve been lucky enough to work with in the past. Long story short: We get flour everywhere when we bake and didn’t try to fake it for a perfect photo. We also don’t know why when everyone else writes a recipe they don’t tell you the measurements as you go and only list it at the top. Come on, do you really want us to have to refer back to the top of the page for every ingredient! So we will write it in both places for you! You are welcome!! Enjoy…
8 to 9 cups of flour (unsifted)
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 packets of yeast
½ cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 cups scolded milk (cooled to touch)
1 stick butter
1. Put 2 packets of yeast, ½ cup water, and 1 tsp sugar in a small bowl, mix, and let stand for 15 minutes. It will bubble and raise if yeast is good.
2. Melt 1 stick of butter.
3. Scold 2 cups of milk & let cool. Now for those of you who haven’t gone to culinary school and have no idea what this means (like us the first time we tried to make the bread on our own), basically this means put the milk on the stove on HIGH then stir occasionally until just before it boils. It kinda starts to steam and a thin film starts to form on the side of the pot. Once this happens take it off the stove and let it cool.
4. Combine 8 to 9 cups of unsifted flour, ¾ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt in a big bowl.
5. Next (this is where we take advantage of modern kitchen technology and go off script for a second) in your kitchen aid mixer combine 4 eggs, the butter you melted in step #2 and the milk you scolded & cooled in step #3.
6. Now SLOWLY add the dry combination to the mixer. If you do this too fast, you will make a mess. Actually, even if you do this slow you’ll probably still make a mess. (or at least we did…it’s a skill we have)
7. Transfer the dough from the mixer bowl to a larger bowl that you can knead it in. There’s no fancy kitchen gadget to replace this step. Take your rings off, get in there and knead that dough. This is when you can add the raisins, if you like. We just keep adding until it looks right. We don’t think you can have too many raisins. (Just make sure they aren’t expired!)
8. Form the dough into one large ball, cover it with some towels, put it in a dry, warm place and let it rise. After some time, knead it again, cover it, and let it rise once more.
9. Finally divide the dough into 3 sections and form 3 round loaves. Cover them with a beaten egg. (Grandma used just the egg whites, but Aunt Maryann said to use the whole egg, so that’s what we do).
10. Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 minutes. Then cover the top with brown paper, turn it up to 400 and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.
Creating things by hand can have a powerful effect on a person. Whether it’s making a card, building a bookshelf, or simply cooking a meal, making something with your own two hands provides a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
There’s this sense of pride when you make something yourself. And if that something is a gift for someone we believe it takes on a whole new meaning. We aren’t saying we only make the gifts we give. There is nothing wrong with buying gifts, but when you receive a homemade present you can feel the time and love your friend has put into it. When we create our cards, we always have this feeling in mind. We believe our cards can be the perfect accompaniment for your gift. They have that homemade feeling you want to convey whether you have the time to make the gift yourself or not.
This is a gift we received at our engagement party from Chad's family friend, Jimmy Eudy. It is by far the best gift we got that day because of the love and time he put into making it. He transformed an old horse yolk into a personalized mirror. He carved both of our names by hand and finished it with a high gloss. It is beautiful and we think of him every time we use it.
One of the great things about making something by hand is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. The fact that YOU made it should be what you focus on and embrace. The imperfections are what make it unique. Don’t try to be Martha Stewart or Bob Villa. You will enjoy the experience if you stay true to yourself and let your creative energy free.
We find ourselves making things as opposed to buying them pretty often. Call us frugal, but we truly enjoy the creative process. The number of times we’ve been in a store and said, “we can make that” is too many to count. We’ve sewn aprons, welded bottle openers, turned an old box into a “wine celler”, and even gave new life to a rundown hutch. (as time goes on, we hope to share the process of some of these DIY projects with you)
One of our favorite people in the world, Yvette, is wearing an apron we sewed for her one Christmas.
We like to say welding is a mans hot glue gun!! Here Chad and his cousin Brandon weld a souped up bottle opener.
We bought this box at Brimfield one year because of its character and low price ($15)! We didn't even have a plan for it. Then one day we realized we needed a place to store our wine...and the wine cellar was born. We added shelves, lined them with burlap, and finished the outside with a high gloss polyurethane.
Our hutch is hands down our favorite DIY project!
We try to make one thing by hand every week. Sometimes we can only cook a homemade meal or change out the furniture feet on our kitchen chairs, but those things give us a small sense of accomplishment. We encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t have to take up too much of your time. You can simply decoupage an old can to serve as a pencil holder on your desk or paint a ceramic planter for your back yard. You will find the process can be therapeutic and relaxing and the outcome will put a smile on your face.
That's right...it's just plain old spaghetti & meatballs with salad and a roll, but we made it and it was delicious!!
Creating cards by hand is the backbone of our company. It’s how we started. We’ve always loved arts & crafts and also consider ourselves true DIYers! As we continue to grow, we have begun to explore new printing techniques in order to meet the demands of our customers. When printing with these methods, we always start with a hand created process for the design. We’ve water painted, stamped, and even sketched (and sharpied) our original card creations! We believe when creating, the possibilities are endless. We also try to carve out some time to add to our Limited Edition cards to keep our creativity flowing. Be sure to check back there often.
We made this card for our friend Lauren, the Valentine's Day she was pregnant. We used markers, stickers, stamps, and glitter.
Below are two projects we’ve recently made, that are extremely simple. We hope they inspire you to make something similar for yourself or someone you love.
GEORGIA'S PEEK-A-BOO FUN!!
Last weekend our family took a trip to Ikea. We weren’t in search of anything specific, we just wanted to see what new things they had and let Georgia explore. Plus, we’re always in the mood for those Swedish Meatballs! While we were there Georgia loved playing with the Vitaminer Drapes (basically a colored miniature version of the plastic flaps at the car wash). We almost bought them because they were only $14.99, but they really didn’t match her room and they were too long for the space we thought we could hang them. So I thought, “I can make this”.
First thing Monday I searched through our art closet and found some pretty ribbon that went with her room colors.
I simply cut a piece for the top and then cut as many strands as I could to hang vertically.
Voila! Instant peek-a-boo fun! And I did it myself. And it cost me nothing!! (another reason to not let anyone call you a hoarder for keeping the beautiful ribbon you receive on gifts or buying the clearance bin ribbon just because. You WILL find a use for it.)
REPURPOSED DISHTOWEL DRYING RACK!
It seems as though we mention Peter Walsh often in our blog, but we are going through a purging period. A couple weeks ago, I realized we had way too many dishtowels. For some reason I found an emotional attachment to some of them. I don’t know why.
I decided to cut some of them up sew them together and make a custom fit towel that we can use when we dry our dishes…one that can also be easily thrown in the washing machine. Full disclosure: we wouldn’t give this as a gift and it’s certainly not perfect, but it serves a function, reminds us of good memories, and helped us get rid of more than half our dishtowels.
Now go…the week is just beginning. You have 7 days to create something with your own two hands! Enjoy the process and the feeling of accomplishment you get!
At Love Jac we believe your daily happiness is one of the most important things in life. We also believe your friends play a huge role in that happiness – and in turn you play a huge role in their happiness. By being the nicest person you can each day, you have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life. We do believe in big change and uniting for a cause, but affecting the people who are in your life on a daily basis is a great place to start. You might just be able to make the world a better place…for you and for me and the entire human race. (yes, we did just quote Michael Jackson)
The majority of our cards were created for you to send to your friend without needing a reason. They are intended to make someone smile…arrive just when they need a pick-me up…or just remind them of why you love them. These cards can be found under the category, “Dear Friend.” Our friends are incredibly important to us and we hope yours are too. For us there are two types of people we consider friends. There are the friends that “get” you…the friends you consider your soul mates. Then there are the people who you just met that are now a part of your daily life. Whether it be the co-worker you share an office with or the new mommy friend you see at the park. It is that person who you share the moments of your day with that might just become your closest friend. Both types of friends are equally important to your daily happiness.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to always like the person they share an office with or enjoy the people with which they spend most of their day. In these situations it is important for you to take control of your own happiness and cultivate the friendships that do matter to you and make you a better person. Life can get crazy at times and can seem to fly by. Sometimes it might seem like you don’t have time to evaluate your daily happiness, let alone figure out how to make it better.
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen…we introduce to you the HIGH-LOW EMAIL!! You might have already figured out how it works, but to sum it up: At the end of each day, you send an email to your BEST friend(s) listing the best and worst part of your day. Every day will have a high and a low. Even if you had an amazing day and the low could be considered a high or if you had the worst day ever your high might be kinda crappy. It’s a great scale to see how you are enjoying life. It’s the best way to see how your daily happiness measures.
The high-low email started for me when I first moved to New York City and realized all my best friends were still in Los Angeles. We started emailing and I instantly felt connected again. Life gets busy and it’s hard to call and have long conversations, but it only takes 5 minutes to send a quick email listing the best and worst moments of your day.
Because emails are written conversations, this serves as a great chronicle of your life. I’ve printed out some of these emails and glued them in my journal. Other emails have served in one extremely meaningful and memorable wedding speech. Some have been starred and read over again when I’ve needed a laugh. But most importantly they have helped me stay in touch with my friends no matter what state we live in.
Highs and lows can also come in handy in other situations. I can first remember initiating the highs and lows while on a trip to Italy with my best friend. Since we were keeping a travel journal, we have an account of the small details that made the trip adventurous in addition to the photos of the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. (high: eating pesto bruschetta on the beach/ low: trying to communicate with the Italians to figure out how to get from the airport in Genoa to a hotel in Cinque Terra). You can also write down highs and lows in a journal with your spouse or just talk about them at the dinner table with your family.
What are your highs and lows so far today? Who will you share them with? We thought we’d start by sharing ours with you… Our Love Jac high: finishing 4 new designs for some letterpressed cards coming soon/ low: knowing the process of getting them printed will take longer than we expect. Our personal high: having lunch with an old friend and introducing him to our daughter/ low: waking up with a slight wine induced headache.
We encourage you to email your friends and get the high/low conversation going. Whether it be old college friends, past roommates, or even your best friend you see often. This could bring you closer together and allow you to help each other increase your daily happiness. We also encourage you to mail a friend one of our cards. It might just be their high.
This past weekend while my mom was looking through some of my grandmother’s things, she found almost every card I’d ever made for my grandma. She said she could only get through four of them before she had to pack it up and leave the room. I was so excited to see these cards now that “Love Jac” is a reality. I didn’t think I would be emotional at all. Well, let me just say, about halfway through the first letter Chad had to bring me the whole box of tissues.
There is something so substantial about holding a card that it transports you back in time. As I read through the letters I had written, the thank you notes from my cousins, and the birthday cards from my aunts I was overwhelmed with emotions of love for my grandma. The fact that she had saved all of these correspondences said so much about who she was and how much her family meant to her. She was truly the matriarch of our family. She made everyone feel so loved and kept us all together. In this box there were wedding invitations and birth announcements all stacked together nicely.
All of this reemphasized the main reason we started “Love Jac” in the first place. These announcements and notes from loved ones are more than just pieces of paper. They serve as memories. They become a time capsule of the life one has lived. They are reminders of both those monumental occasions and those meaningful friendships that have made life wonderful. We believe when you send a note or create your wedding invitations you are making a lasting impression. You can make someone’s day a little brighter or even give them something to remind them of a wonderful memory.
Looking through this box of treasured items my grandmother had kept, we found several extremely unique and personal cards made by my mother - another confirmation of why we believe everyone eventually becomes their mother. Luckily, we can look forward to becoming a pretty awesome woman. My mom’s cards were fun, witty, and full of texture!! This also might be where we get our secret love of rhyming.
We know we couldn’t upload all of our cards, but we wanted to share a few of them with you. Below are some of the cards made by my mother as well as some made by myself…all for the woman we hope to eventually become.
“To a Peach of A Mother…From Two Bananas”
Materials used: construction paper, marker, photos.
We love this card because it illustrates my mom’s sense of humor. It just makes you smile. Plus, she gave great dimension to the peach and that photo of my dad is hilarious! What is going on with that beard? My mom looks so beautiful and put together and then there’s my dad…this wild man! It really captures their personalities and the love they have for each other.
“Mom & Dad…Happy Valentine’s Day”
Materials used: tin foil, construction paper, markers, stencils, newspaper clipping. My mom said she made this card out of tin foil because they had no money, but I think she was ahead of her time. Foil stamping is very elegant these days. This card grabs your attention and has texture you won’t forget. We also love this card because my mom’s handwriting is still the same today.
“To The Greatest Mom in The World...”
Materials used: construction paper, markers, crayons, pen.
We love this card because it is the classic card from a kid. It’s silly and it rhymes. You can feel the love coming through.
Materials used: construction paper, glitter, cotton balls, yarn, ribbon, glue, markers, pastels, tape.
I can specifically remember making this card with my cousin Perego (formerly know as Chris). Today he is an amazing artist in Daytona Beach, back then he was my cool cousin who knew how to create everything…including this pop-up card. He showed me how to make a card like many of my favorite pop-up books. You simply fold back the bottom of the piece of paper you want to pop-up and tape it to the card. You also have to be sure to trim the paper so that when the card is closed it doesn’t stick out. Bonus to this card…the mailman is holding an actual letter. By cutting a slit in the paper, we were able to slip in a small message. Full disclosure: Chris drew the mailman, but I colored it in.
“One Special Grandma”
Materials used: Lavender printer paper & purple colored pencil.
This card illustrates my love of rhyming. I feel like the younger you are the more you can get away with having things rhyme, but we still try to slip it in from time to time.
“Happy Birthday. I love you Grandma”
Materials used: construction paper, markers
I must have just learned how to draw musical notes, including a clef, and wanted to incorporate them into a card...either that or I was ahead of Hallmark and those singing cards.
Materials used: construction paper and ultra-fine sharpie.
I can vividly remember making Valentine’s Day cards with my grandma. She taught me how to cut out a perfect heart by folding the paper in half and cutting out one side. This card must have been from when I was in college and living in Boston. It’s simple, pretty, and to the point.
“I Love You…Get Better Soon”
Materials used: construction paper and ultra-fine sharpies.
I can’t tell exactly when I made this card, but I like that it’s straight to the point and signed “Love Jac”.
Materials used: construction paper, glitter, scissors, ultra-fine sharpie.
I must have made this one in high school, but it’s a replica of the kind of cards we used to make when I was younger. Glitter was always one of my favorite materials to use (and still might be today).
We hope you enjoyed our little show-and-tell. It was a wonderful walk down memory lane. It also gave us some inspiration for future cards. When you buy one that pops up or is made with tin foil, you will know its origin. We hope you are intrigued to go home tonight and look through your own memorabilia box. We also hope you can find an extra five or ten minutes to send someone a card that might just make their day and be preserved forever.