Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I had to stop in on my little Christmas break with the family to show off this darling butterfly invitation I made for a friend. When she told me that her daughter wanted to have pink & purple butterflies on it I knew exactly what I was going to do.

Just to prove that inspiration can come from anywhere ... this time my inspiration from one of my daughter's old sleeper.

Here is the pink & purple butterfly invitation with some added turquoise for fun:





If you want your own butterfly invitation, I have already added the digital version to pingg

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays to all of you & merry wishes for a Happy New Year!



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plan a New Year's Eve Party

Since having kids (5 yrs ago), the hubby and I don't go out nearly as much as we did pre-kids. New Year's Eve is no exception. One year, when our oldest was 1 1/2  we were invited to a neighborhood New Year's Eve Bash - Kids Edition. We celebrated and watch THE BALL drop at midnight - East Coast time. Which means we celebrated at 9 pm. It was quite fun, especially because we were with friends & neighbors - and we got to bed at a decent hour! For me that was nice because I was newly pregnant and so very tired all the time.

Last year we celebrated in style! We got all gussied up and celebrated the new year with a lot of dear friends in a hotel ballroom. We ate good food, enjoyed great company, and danced into the night!

Don't be left out this year. Plan a party, host with a friend, invite your friends & neighbors, go out on the town. Enjoy the New year!

Oh and check out my newest additions to pingg. Perfect to use for your New Year's Eve evite, right?



That reminds me ... I need to work on our plans for New Year's Eve before it's too late!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

*FREE* Holiday Gift Tags

Enjoy some free holiday gift tags!!




Tip: Click on the image to enlarge it. Print using full sheet labels (pick up at office supply store). Simply cut out and stick on your lovely wrapped gifts.



p.s. use coupon code HOLIDAY until Saturday to enjoy 25% off your order & get a 2011 desk calender with every purchase at Swanky Paper

Monday, December 6, 2010

My budding artist

My little love has taken to drawing. He loves to use markers, pens, colored pencils, crayons, paints - anything that he can get his hands on.

He found my stash of 110 lb. heavy card stock that I use for invitations. For paper, this stuff is not cheap.

He drew Monster Teeth on them


Monster Teeth on ALL 54 pages - no monsters, just the teeth.


No to worry, I've got the guard dog on my paper stash. The dog knows what it looks like and will sound the alarm if one of my little loves gets into it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Forget Cyber Monday! How about Cyber Month?

Up for sale this week Personalized Stationery!  Christmas gifts, stocking stuffers, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice ... whatever your celebratory preference this sale will last all week. enjoy these savings!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tis the season for SALES!

Tis the season here at Swanky Paper. We are in full holiday mode; lighting the candles and trimming the tree! This season comes once a year, why not enjoy it as long as possible?!




While decorating & baking keeps me busy at home (I'll show you my baked goodies later), the Swanky Paper studio is bursting with stationery. With some fresh new designs quickly making their way to Swanky Paper's "Top Designs" status, along with a desk calendar with raving reviews, there is never a dull moment.


We have some incredible saving coming up. If you ever wanted some personalized stationery, or thought of giving it as a gift, now is the time. Swing by the Swanky Paper shop!

Here it is folks! Almost a whole month of savings are coming:



11/26 - 11/27 ::  50% OFF ENTIRE ORDER :: use coupon code THANKS
11/28 - 12/4 :: 25% OFF ALL PERSONALIZED NOTE CARDS + FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $75 :: use coupon code HOLIDAY
12/5 - 12/11 :: FREE DESK CALENDAR WITH EVERY PURCHASE + FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $75 :: no coupon code needed

12/12 - 12/18 :: 20% OFF ENTIRE ORDER + FREE DESK CALENDAR WITH EVERY PURCHASE + FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS OVER $75 :: use coupon code WINTER


 
Thanks for stopping by today!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brussels Sprouts Are Gross!

That's what I always thought growing up.

So when I became a grown up I decided to NOT buy them or eat them. (I can be stubborn sometimes) I kept my goal of this until .... my neighbor came over with dinner the other night. I was not about to turn dinner away. She's a great cook, everything she makes is yummy. So, what was I to do? I ate one of those gross brussel sprouts. then another. and another. and another. and another... you get the point.

Now I LOVE brussels sprouts. 


I went to Trader Joe's and pick up a stalk of brussels sprouts the next day. I cut & rinsed them first


Cook on the stove in a sauce pan with olive oil & butter


sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and start eating

If you are not a fan of brussels sprouts, everything tastes better with olive oil, butter & salt

Monday, November 15, 2010

Queen Bee Market {handmade heaven}

Every once and a while something will come up last minute and I make it happen. Such was the case this past weekend. Friday afternoon my friend and I left our little bubble here in OC and drove down to San Diego for the Queen Bee Market. Basically it is shopping bazaar for those who LOVE all things handmade. We were on a mission to get a start on our Christmas shopping.

There were some amazing and talented crafters (is that even a word?) exhibiting. We both found sweet success. And we may or may not have purchased gifts for ourselves too. (wink wink!)

Are you getting a move on your holiday shopping? You can do some shopping of your own right at home because here are some of my favorite vendors from the Queen Bee Market 

Allorah Handmade
the beautifully crafted fabric rosette necklaces were my favorite



loved the vintage flower earrings & necklaces


The Pleated Poppy
darling shabby hair clips (for lil'miss), and fun check book covers


Emily Sparks handmade
I'm a sucker for cute knitted goods - had to get this one...


Tiny Pumpkin
affordable (and seriously cute) custom painted piggy banks - need I say more?


Cut Sew Repeat
Crayon Roll! A must for all mothers


Glam Baby
well made messenger bags - great styles & fabrics


Did you see anything you like?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Help Wanted


hello my dear readers and thank you for visiting

I am working on a new project - something that I began over two years ago and I am finally close to the finish line. It is series of greeting cards, specifically boxed sets with a different theme for each box.

My test product is complete!!! (insert delightful squeal here!) 

Notice I said "test" product? This is where you come in.

I need some constructive criticism.

You will be compensated in kind (that's what we do when we're working on a shoestring budget around here!).

If you are concerned that your brutal honesty may hurt my feelings, don't. Besides, ALL opinions will be confidential. Your responses will be kept anonymous even from me. So yes, even you, my dear friends who I personally know, can volunteer too!

FINE PRINT:
This is how it will work.
**First, let me know you want in. Leave a comment with your email. OR email me to let me know you are interested. heather (at)swankypaper(dot)com.

**If selected, I will contact you with one or two quick questions to better know which product to send your way along with a request for a mailing address.

**I will send you the product to review, along with your compensation - a set of Swanky Paper personalized note cards of your choosing (your turn to insert delightful squeal here!)

**A few days after you receive the product I will send you a short online survey to fill out and submit as soon as you can.

EASY-PEASY, right?? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Recap: Little Miss & my DIY disaster

Are you a DIY kind of person?

I am, or at least I like to think I am. Sometimes my DIY projects don't turn out quite as I envisioned. This was the case for my daughter's costume. She was going to be a butterfly: white wings, hot pink tutu, hot pink onesie & white tights, and her cute hot pink boots from Target. (With all the hot pink I give you permission to roll your eyes!)


My tutu making skills need some refining - seriously. To put it bluntly, it turned out disastrous!

With a party on Friday night I had very little time to throw something together. Then I remembered that I bought a monarch butterfly that I was going to use when I decorated her room - but decided against using it. It was still in her closet.

I took her orange shirt and stitched the body of the butterfly on the back for some stability, added some elastic to the butterfly's body to make straps and voila...

She is a monarch butterfly!


Did you dress up for Halloween?? What were you?

p.s. If you have any tips on how to make a tutu, please feel free to leave a comment.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween: Jib Jab style

Happy Halloween

From my family to yours
Have a safe & happy halloween



Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My new Fav

It has been a few weeks since returning from an annual Startup Princess event called Touchpoint and I have yet to blog about any of it ...


One of the highlights on the Friday night party was meeting Mindy Gledhill, and extraordinary and talented singer & song writer - and she's pretty too! I have literally been listening to her music everyday since I bought it and it doesn't get old. Now all I need to do is spread the work so that she'll come to OC for a concert!!  







Check out her website to hear more of her music & enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2011 {Lovely} Desk Calendars

I have just added 2011 Desk Calendars to the Swanky Shop and these are definitely going to dress up your desk! A pretty new design for each month.

All designs featured on the 2011 calendar were taken from the best sellers and adapted to create something even better.

Even better news is that they are free. I said FREE!

Yes, I am giving these away because let's face it - everyone likes free goodies. Especially when it's pretty!


The 2011 desk calendars come in a CD case and the case also serves as the stand to sit on your desk or counter. You can even keep it by your home phone for a quick reference.

These lovely little things make great gifts!


{and p.s. I only ordered a limited supply of these ~ get yours before they are gone!}

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Surprise!

Not too long ago we headed north to see my parents, who live along the central coast. It's gorgeous there!
We went to celebrate my Dad's birthday - It was a surprise. Pulling off this surprise for my dad was a miracle. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother - we all managed to free up a weekend to celebrate this occasion. Working in cahoots with my mom, my sisters and I invited the guests, made all the arrangements and prepared for the festivities.

My Dad said that even after he heard everyone yell "Surprise!" he didn't know the party was for him. Only after he saw all of us there ... and the grand-kids running up to him, did he realize this party was his!

The kids were so excited to see grandpa!


Grandpa with all 12 grand kids!

The day after the party my family got together again and had a big breakfast before we all had to head back to our various homes. It was a short & quick trip - but worth it to surprise my dad!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Destination: China

Here is a recent wedding invitation I created off of one of my stationery designs. Grace and her fiance are getting married in China. She wanted to send out invitations but also use pingg.com to follow up with. I altered the Sen Sen design and made a fold over invitation and then added a red version of Sen Sen to my pingg collection.




Congratulations Grace & Jonathan!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Free Printables : Wise Owl Bookplates


Bookplates measure 3 1/2 x 4 inches. Feel free to print at any time. These bookplates are not going away. I prefer to print out on stickers. Avery brand makes this exact size and can be found at most office supply stores. In addition, sometimes you can find the office supply store brand carrying  this size in stores. Or you can print on any cardstock and simply tape or glue to the inside of your favorite book.






 

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Power of Moms

I am always looking to improve my mommy skills, so when my sister in law asked me to join her for a Power of Moms retreat, ... on the beach, in the beautiful Dana Point, of course I said YES! If anything, it was an excuse to hang out with other moms at a gorgeous hotel for the weekend!


**We all met in the lobby and had a lightening round of get-to-know-you. Here I am with my new friend Amy and my sister in law Emily**


There is something really great about being in a room full of other moms who are just like me. Wanting to be better to our kids. Hoping we are raising them right. Helping them grow. As we all know, instruction manuals are not handed out in the delivery room. We just hope that God gives us the strength and knowledge to be good moms.

Believe me when I say that I took copious notes. The theme for this particular retreat was ORGANIZATION. I am somewhat organized. I have my own system of things to do, papers to be filed, tasks to complete, forms to fill out/submit, school papers .... OK, who am I kidding. I am no April Perry when it comes to organization. I am not kidding, this woman needs to write a book on how to organize. I got so much out of her session and have begun to organize and create my system based off of hers. Haven't you noticed my lack of posting as of late? Organizing takes time!


**We had table topics at our Friday night dinner as well as our lunch on Saturday. So much fun to get to know my new friends better and to learn from them.**


In addition to a brilliant session on organizing, Saren Eyre Loosli focused her session on Traditions. Establishing simple daily traditions as well as big yearly traditions are key to creating lasting family relations. Several suggestions and comments were shared. It was so great to hear how other moms are creating lasting memories and deepening their family relationships with some really simple traditions. My husband and I have started a few of our own, however, after participating in this session, and with the help of my new mom friends, I have thought of a few more simple traditions that I hope will create meaningful relationships.
My kids are young right now, and this retreat was great timing. Beginning traditions when they are young is the best time to start.

As much as I loved the topic of traditions and the organization session my absolute favorite session was all about LOVE LANGUAGES. This discussion was presented by the lovely Susan. I had heard about the 5 Love Languages before but had never really given it much thought. Oh Man! This has been the missing puzzle piece. If you have kids, or are married, or have friends - OK, so you are all included. This is a must!!


**The lovely Susan talking about the 5 Love Languages and how it has helped her family.**


Ina nutshell, there are 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. We all have a strong language, or maybe 2 strong languages. I speak the language of Quality Time. So does one of my sons - we understand each other. It was during this session I had an "Ah-Ha" moment. My other son is NOT a Quality Time person. We do not speak the same language. Which explains why he is always a difficult child. No, scratch that, he is not a difficult at all, he just speaks a different language than I do. I NOW know his love language and I am learning to adjust in order to understand him more. It has been 2 weeks since I attended this retreat and I have been very conscious in coming to my son in his Love Language and I can already see a huge change in both my son and myself.

Talk about an awakening! Now that I have gotten a handle on the organization part (almost!), I need to read the 5 Love Languages book. Oh, and if you are interested you can take the quick version of the QUIZ to find out your love language. Give it to your significant other, your kids, your friends ....

**Here is our group of beautiful, smart, and lovely moms**

April Perry, co-founder of the Power of Moms organization, wrote a detailed blog post HERE.
Erin, another fabulous mom from the retreat blogged about it HERE.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thank you my friends

I attended THE party of all parties last night. It was the OC Blog Awards held at Pretend City. How I have not been there before is a wonder. That place was amazingly-super-fantastic for kids and according to my son, "it was the best place EVER!"

So about the party ...
It was a blogger-fest for Orange County. Some of the coolest OC bloggers were there, and I got to meet some of the authors of my favorite local reads & run into an old friend who I had no idea blogged. I was a little hard of hearing during the announcement of all the winners. I didn't hear Swanky Paper announced in my category so I sort of listened to the rest with one ear, while watching my son show me & tell me about all the cool stuff he found.

It was not until afterwards that I was told Swanky Paper won 1st RUNNER UP!
You guys are AWESOME and TOTALLY pulled through! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for all the votes.



I will display my winner's badge with all gratitude and love that it comes with ... and maybe for bragging rights too!

The first place award went to a darling little company called Rags to Stitches

Friday, September 10, 2010

9 years & counting


Nine years ago I married my best friend.

He loves me & all my flaws and continues to make me laugh everyday!

Happy Anniversary Rob!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Popsicles




That popsicle made her thirsty!

OC Blog Awards


Time for the Annual OC Blog Awards and Swanky Paper is a nominee this year! How cool is that?!

First, I just want to thank the person(s) who nominated me. I was surprised to get the news I was in the running - but TOTALLY thrilled!! Seriously.

Swanky Paper is up for the Best Handmade in OC category.

Just Spotted, the local blog dedicated to all things Orange County, is throwing an awards show that is sure to rival the Oscars!

While this is the OC Blog Awards, you don't have to be an OC resident to vote - So, head on over to Just Spotted and vote for me, while I go work on my acceptance speech.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Golf & Swim Party

Summer vacation may be over, but the heat is still on here in southern California.

I had the fun task to come up with an invitation for my nephew's 7th birthday party. The theme was golf and the kids would also be swimming ... easy enough, right? 

My sister in law found a cute tutorial on making your own little golf course in the backyard from Martha Stewart. Is there anything Ms. Stewart hasn't come up with??