Monday, August 26, 2013

20 + 20 (Mark's 40th Birthday Bash!)

My husband Mark turns 40 this year, and when I asked him how he'd like to celebrate it, he responded, "A day at the cottage with friends." So this weekend, we did just that.

Naturally, there was some paper prettiness that went down. He is married to me, after all. I joke with friends that my creativity ends when I get in the kitchen, so I tried to line up as much catering as I could so that I was able to focus on my forté: cute decorations, and good wine. Hehe.

For the theme, I started with a black & white chalkboard motif... but then I worried that it might seem too depressing (mostly black), so I threw some mint green in there. Where does the "20+20" come from? Well, he's as fun as two twenty year olds (I wish I knew where I read that...) so I thought I'd spin off of that for fun. I cut long runners (12" wide) out of chalk cloth that I found here, and then at the last minute I drew some fun swirls and numbers on the runners. It was an easy way to dress up our simple white tablecloths!

Our food was catered by the phenomenal chef Dino Grossi, a client and friend of mine from Volare Ristorante in Wixom. And together with the help of some friends and family, we pulled off a perfect evening and the funnest weekend filled with laughter, conversation, and good food to celebrate my hubby.

Looking forward to many more birthday celebrations to come!

Happy Birthday Mark!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lunchbox Notes

School's coming (shudder), and I've got a four-year-old who goes to Jr. Kindergarten this fall. That's right folks... five mornings a week at a brand new school. I love my little skoober, and am always looking for ways to tell him... but as a mom with a toddler and a newborn, sometimes it takes a miracle just to get out the door. And while I'm blessed to be able to work from my home studio most days, on the days when I go in to clients' offices, I found myself whipping out a piece of construction paper and some markers from the craft drawer and making one of these:

While these are all well and good, this beautiful artistry (note sarcasm) takes time. And I found myself being tempted to re-use the signs. Because let's be honest... there are only so many ways to draw kissing hands.

But it won't be long before my little guy (who still adores finding these notes) will be embarrassed if one of these shows up in his lunch box.

That's when I decided that something had to be done. There had to be a cute, easy way for parents to create little love notes for their special little people, even while on the run. Something that was small enough to slip in a lunch box, without being a Post-it note (not that there's anything wrong with Post-its...). And best of all, something that was easy to give, and fun for a toddler to receive.

I knew that I had the fun factor down pat. My little man can't HELP but scratch off a card. Every time he finds a stray scratch-off card in our house, he comes to me and asks if he can scratch it. I call him our quality control manager. So imagine his surprise when he scratches a card and finds a funny cartoon, or a short little love note in mommy's handwriting, written especially for him! And thus, Lunchbox Notes were born.

The shot at the very top of this post is my little guy with the very first card.
Here it is again:

Disclaimer: I paid him $0.26 for the shot. I offered him a quarter if he would pose for the camera after scratching, and then I let him keep his scratching penny. Before you judge me for paying my son to pose for the camera, consider the shots below which represent our last attempts at a family photo during cottage week this summer. My son hates. having. his. picture. taken.

It's my own fault, I realize. After all, I did do THIS to him as an infant (see below). I'm not sure what finally broke him. It could have been the antique bonnet (which he clearly was embarrassed of, even at just 5 mos), the bear rug experience, the leg warmers, or the Anne Geddes-style "Baby-in-Distress" photo shoot attempt (lower left) which yielded shots that never made the birth announcement. Either way, getting a picture of my son is always a challenge. Thankfully, it didn't take much coaxing to get my son to smile with the lunchbox notes... and if you were there with me this morning during the shoot, you'd know that behind the card, that little stinker was sticking out his tongue.

But I digress. Back to the Lunchbox Notes. Here's a step-by-step look at how they work:

Each set comes with 20 cards printed on our premium, ultra-thick card stock, 20 scratch-off stickers, and a cute hand-stamped muslin bag that's perfect for stashing in your junk drawer until that moment when you need them most. 

Inklings Lunchbox Notes are available for purchase here. To my awesome blog readers, please feel free to use the coupon code "BACKTOSCHOOL201310" for 10% off your set!

So what will you write on yours?