Guys, this is one of the last nurseries I’m sharing and I LOVE it!!!
“When we remodeled our home a few years ago, we didn’t think about room to “grow.” We took out our third bedroom and turned it into an adjoining closet in our master bedroom. (Now) my daughter lives in our closet.”
“For the first few months of her life, we set Olivia up in a mini nursery next to our bed knowing we’d transition her into a bigger space when she turned 1.”
“We wanted to incorporate all the things she already had in her mini nursery and we were lucky that our amazing family and friends gifted us just about everything (and we were gifted the eames elephant right before finishing up her new space!)”
I have to assume that you want to make a pink and gold party in the near future (and that you are inviting me) so to help you with the planning, here are some great sources for pink and gold party decor:
I love my birthday! I seriously think it’s the best birthday in the world and I’m so happy it’s mine. It’s not rational, so don’t ask me questions about it, just accept it. In good news, you can totally celebrate with me! I’m having a birthday giveaway! Details at the end of the post…
Naturally, since I am turning 28 (which means that I’m almost 40), I’m being really introspective. What have I done right so far? In the simplest of terms: I’ve got an awesome husband and kids and I fulfilled a life-long dream of opening my own store and being my own boss.
What do I want to do better? I want to be better about setting boundaries for when I work so I can be more present for my family. It can be really hard to stop since if I don’t do something it just doesn’t happen and no one cares more about the success of the Bannerie than I do. But I think it’s important that when I’m with the kids and Tuvia, I’m with them. And maybe I’ll do the dishes more often. Maybe. It’s my birthday so probably not today.
What are my goals? Oh so many. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, I love that I have goals and I love working towards them. I’ll share them with you as I go :) *cough* Italy with Tuvia before I’m 30 *cough*
Anyway, you know how as people we evolve and change with the times (hopefully)? Blogs are the same way (again, hopefully). And mine has changed a lot in the past two years.
Did you know that I constantly write posts in my head? Like all the time. About everything. My grandfather once told me that when I wake up thinking about something, that’s when I’ve found my passion. I usually wake up to a little head of curls bobbing up and down at the end of my bed where she stores my necklaces or a lanky four year old body slamming into me. But after that the first thing I think of every morning is the Bannerie and Shoes Off Please.
I love the topics I’ve written about in the past: DIY, decor, and parties are my favorite things ever and I could do/read/learn about them all day every day. But recently the blog has felt a little unfocused and it’s left me uninspired. I still think about it all the time but not with the excitement that I used to. I had all these plans for how I was going to make it all interior design focused and do these awesome roundups and it’s really hard for me to step away from that but it’s the right decision for me right now. So, there are still a lot of cosmetic changes to come (hopefully), it needs a major organization overhaul and I’ve been wanting to give it a makeover for some time, but the main change will be the content focus.
Shoes Off Please will now be almost exclusively party-focused!
I’ve considered changing the name and it’s not out of the question, but for now it will remain “Shoes Off Please”, a place where you feel comfortable and kick off your shoes. Plus… aren’t the best parties the ones where you can’t find your shoes by the end? *wink*
I still have a few room tours and other posts lined up that I’m excited about, but after that it’s party central including a wedding I am super excited about!
On that note, if you want to submit any of those things (a party, wedding, baby shower, party project, roundup etc), please e-mail me at shoesoffpls(at)gmail(com) with 5-10 high resolution photos and tell me about your party/project! I am accepting from anyone, professional or not, but no spammers please :)
This week is also my blog’s two year anniversary! To celebrate, and because it is July, the best month ever (the best day ever being July 7th…have I mentioned that?), I’m having a giveaway of pretty things I love!
The winner will receive one custom letter banner from me, a white tulle skirt from the Porter Rose Shop (site coming soon!), a bag of “Let Them Eat Cake” confetti from the Confetti Bar, and a midi ring from the Glo-Shop! It’s like a party in a box!
Enter using the Rafflecopter below. You’ve got one week to enter for the chance to win all these goodies! Good luck dollfaces!!
*It’s My Birthday graphic was made using my custom Confetti Bar mix, Parties, Party DIYs, & Party Roundups graphic was made using “Let Them Eat Cake” mix, Call for Submissions was made using my fringe tassel garland
As they should be! Did you know that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and warmth? It just makes me love it even more. As a design, not the actual fruit which makes my tongue fuzzy. Here are some of my fave pineapples floating around:
I was going to post about business cards from Alt but my battery died and I can’t find my charger anywhere! So until my new one comes…
July Fourth kind of snuck up on me this year! If you are making a party (it’s totally cool if it’s a combined July Fourth/Gilit’s birthday party) then here are some great DIYs you can use for decorating:
1. A super easy way to make things look festive is with this fiesta garland from Oh Happy Day
2. If like me, you have a thousand billion mason jars (absolutely noooo exaggeration) then this is a great way to use some of them to make your party look great and it’s practical because mason jars are good for everything. Which is why I have a thousand billion of them.
3. A little more labor intensive but mucho bang for your buck with Lia Griffith! I mean is anyone gonna believe you actually made these?!
4. This is so pretty and looks so legit. Go out, grab some honeycombs and follow this BHG tutorial to make a Fourth of July garland.
5. What would a party roundup be without some Studio DIY? Here she shares a way to make a star garland without cutting out a million stars.
6. This ribbon decor tutorial is for a crafting with kids idea for Memorial Day but it’s perfect for the Fourth of July too.
So, what do you have planned for my birthday the Fourth of July? Did I mention my birthday is next week? Speaking of my birthday, I’ve got an Instagram promo going on for 20% off everything in the shop in honor of my birthday and 2K followers! How many times have I said birthday in this post? I bet I can say it a bunch more… birthday birthday birthday birthday… okay you get it.
This post is long. Real long. With words and pictures and whatnot. So go get a great cup of coffee in one of those big delicious mugs, get cozy, and settle in.
So… I did it. I got to Alt Summit and back in one piece. Despite the universe trying to hold me back. Hear that universe? Can’t stop me! (That’s really not an invitation to try again, it’s just a response to the last attempt)
I’m going to share all of it. Starting with the fact that the check-in lady at Newark wouldn’t let me on my flight (I shake my fist at you!!) and I missed the thing I was looking forward to the most: the sponsor party put together by Bing and the Alison Show. I know I should get over it, but I’m still kind of reeling from that.
*Dear Bing and Alison: if by some miracle you see this post, can you throw another party? And can I come? And maybe get some of those gorgeous Tosha designs while I’m asking for the moon? Thanks, that would be so great!*
There were more delays and planes I wasn’t able to get on because they were full, but I finally got there and the Grand America is GORGEOUS!! Seriously, it is the most beautiful hotel room I have ever been in and definitely bigger than my first apartment. The bathroom was so gorgeous I never wanted to leave. Like I would just be happy sleeping in the bathtub and having my meals on the bathroom counters.
The other fabulous thing about arriving? My roommate. It was one heck of a crappy day and I got lost in the vast gorgeousness of the Grand but finally made it to my room and Tammy Petro. She’s smart, makes killer flower crowns, and laughs at my jokes (Skype soon, yes?)
I started off with breakfast with a bunch of ladies that we had arranged beforehand through the Alt Summer 2014 Facebook page. It was such an enjoyable experience because I really got a chance to talk to the people there and hear about what they are doing.
I stopped in the Bing room (serious WOW put together by Rafael, in first Smilebooth photo), got some headshots taken (I really need to learn how to pose) and took some photobooths photos at Smilebooth.
Then we had a keynote speech by Joy Cho. JOY CHO! You know what else? Everyone knew who she was! I didn’t have to explain my obsession admiration, everyone around me knew what I know and were just as excited. I loved her speech. I knew her story already but it was still nice to hear and I loved that she used her friends as different examples of inspiration for success. (Um, coolest group of friends ever. Second only to my group of friends, but they can totally join us if they want to.)
1. Wise nugget from Joy Cho’s keynote speech:
The best decisions I’ve ever made have been the scary ones -Jen Gotch
After that we had our first breakout session and after fawning all over Melissa Esplin (I’m really sorry) I made a mad dash for the entrepreneurship class with Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked. You guys, I left that class legit inspired. She makes me feel like I can have huge dreams and ACHIEVE them. She was full of great quotes and real, practical advice. It was gold and I can’t wait to implement it and get started on the rest of my career. Also that woman is beautiful. Not important to her work, but it was nice to look at :)
2. Wise nugget from Susan Peterson’s entrepreneurship class:
Start where you are use what you have do what you can- Susan’s Grandmother
Next was lunch, but I didn’t have much of an appetite because of my cold. At this point I was already really fading but was determined to push through. After lunch was the next breakout class but I sat down for two minutes before I knew I had to get out of there and go lay down or get coffee. Before I did, I caught some goodness from Alice Yoo and Eugene Kim of My Modern Met.
3. Wise nugget from Alice Yoo and Eugen Kim:
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen- Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was briefly distracted by Izzy Hudgins and Audrey King who were so sweet and funny (and insanely talented) and completely understanding when I was off my flippin’ rocker on cold meds. I was so loopy and still spoke to the Silhouette rep Jeane, which was obviously a mistake and I have no idea what I said to her. They probably put me on a list called “CRAZY/DO NOT RESPOND TO”. Their setup was SO good (pink dresser, flamingos, gold foil balloons and amazing photo backdrop- yup)
I got a cup of coffee and lay down on my bed a bit before the next class: Photoshop and Illustrator with the talented graphic designer and blogger Jess of From Rain to Shine. I knew most of what she taught so it was a nice refresher, a sort of confidence boost for me that maybe I know more than I think, and I learned a new trick that I can’t wait to use again!
Unlock the background layer, rename it background, and duplicate so you always have an untouched version of your image just in case -Jess Becker
Then we had the food truck party in the park with street art and dancers and I am super proud to say that I lead the troops onto the dance floor (or foldable mat) and the Altees started dancing. I’m not the best dancer, but I felt like it would be such a wasted opportunity if we were just watching dancing instead of dancing with each other. Thanks to Tan, I am now basically a professional.
The next morning I took a photo styling class with Audrey King of French Knot Studios. I’d say my most frustrating struggles in blogging and the Bannerie are styling and taking photos. I learned a couple things in this class that will hopefully help but the one that helped me the most personally was seeing that my photos are so much better when my lighting is better. This is obviously the most important reason for us to get a house- so I can have a room with good natural light.
5. Wise nugget from Audrey King :
Make your photos a fantasy – Audrey King (seriously, see here)
Then I ran to A Practical Wedding‘s Meg Keene and Maddie Eisenhart class on Pitching to Brands. They started their slide show with a picture of Peggy and wore rocking outfits so you knew it was gonna be a good one. They had SO much information and again it was really practical and inspirational. It actually made me feel a little intimidated, but also like I could really do it, which (#truthbomb) is how I generally feel about things.
And can I tell you what I like about Meg? I mean aside from everything. She reminds me of myself. That sounds horrible. What I mean is, if Meg can stand in front of a class at Alt Summit talking about what she does and giving over all of this information and inspiration and she reminds me of myself, I feel like I can get to where she is. And that sounds awesome to me.
6. Wise nugget from Meg Keene (there were really a million and I’m having a hard time choosing):
A post with a brand that’s going to be re-published is gold -Meg Keene
Then everyone ran politely walked to lunch and to hear the next keynote speech by Martha Stewart. Can I just say that people go CRAZY for Martha Stewart? Like full on hyperventilating stampeding crazy? I capital ‘R’ Respect what she has created and I think all entrepreneurs can learn something from her, but I felt like people trembling when they saw her was a little over the top. That being said, she did share some wisdom nuggets.
7. Wise nugget from Martha Stewart:
You can always wonder if you didn’t do something right and someone else did something better, but there’s still time to do all of that too. -Martha Stewart
After the Martha stampede I went to a “Launching Your Product” breakout with Garret Gee and Emily McDowell. I didn’t know who Garret Gee was before the class but I enjoyed hearing his story and respect how he’s gone about launching the Scan app.
I was already a huge fan of Emily McDowell‘s and told her so when I tripped over her at the National Stationery Show earlier this year. She was totally cool about it. I was not. I’m just repeating myself but it’s so true: the class was informative and inspirational. Alt really hit it out of the park with speakers this year. Possibly every year, but this is the only one I’ve been to (so far).
8. Wise nugget from Garret Gee:
Beautiful people with beautiful minds make the world a better place -Garret Gee
9. Wise Nugget from Emily McDowell:
Don’t let not knowing how to do something stop you from doing it -Emily McDowell
Then there was some relaxing time and then off to the beautiful Garden Party!
The Garden Party decor was FABulous (thank you Tiny Prints!) but here’s the truth: I had almost nothing left at this point. I had no energy, I felt gross and ugly and like my nose was out of control and I ran out of tissues like three times. I didn’t feel like I was inspiring anyone else and that really, really bothered me. I concerned myself way too much with how I looked to other people when really I should’ve done what I usually do, which is wise nugget number 10.
10. Wise nugget from me:
You can’t concern yourself with how others perceive you, it’s a waste of time and energy -Gilit Cooper
Bottom line: Alt Summit is the best most genius thing to have ever been created and I want to go every single time it happens. It wasn’t the easiest experience for me this time, but it was FANTASTIC. I have so much love for so many people that I met and I want to start naming you but I’ll definitely forget someone. You all have something to offer and I am so happy I met you and am humbled by your talents. See you next time?
I’m leaving for Alt Summit tomorrow!!! I miraculously won a ticket to this incredible gathering of creative people: bloggers, entrepreneurs, businesses etc. that I have been wanting to go to for a few years now.
Like all the best things in life I am equally excited and terrified. I’m so excited to meet people, hear amazing speakers and learn everything I can, but because I’m looking at this as an investment I feel so much pressure to get as much out of this as I can. I’m going to try and keep it in perspective and do what I can and be happy with it. It’s all good stuff, not a bad problem to have :)
Anyway, one of the big things at alt is the business card exchange. I want my business cards to represent me and my brand, so here’s what I came up with:
The first part is my actual business card, designed by Cristina Martinez which I got from Vistaprint with a metallic finish for the letters. Because my main focus is the Bannerie, I want the first thing you see to be that logo.
I also want to include my blog header, also designed by the talented Cristina Martinez who captured my vision so perfectly. So I made business cards with the blog header on one side and a special discount to the Bannerie on the other.
Another thing that I love giving in my packages and get a lot of great feedback on is confetti. Awhile back I got customized Bannerie confetti from The Confetti Bar (see her interview here) so I threw some of that in a small glassine bag along with a little gift.
The most popular item in the Bannerie is the gold glitter letter banner so I made 150 mini gold glitter letter “YAY”s to include in the bag with the confetti. That way you know what kind of thing I sell and you get a little gift. You can glue it to sticks and put it on a cake, string it and hang it up or attach it to paper and frame it. I have some extra so the next few Bannerie orders will come with a little surprise!
I have to note that these photos do not show how glittery and pretty the letters are. I like them a ton more in real life and work really hard to represent them in the photos but I’m having the hardest time. And even though they look really glittery, they don’t leave glitter everywhere giving you the look without the mess.
I didn’t want to just throw the letters in. I had visions of “what’s ‘AYY’??” but I didn’t want to cover any of the pretty glitter-iness. Originally, I was going to string them all with twine, but the holes would be too big, so I moved on to monofilament, but then I would have to string all of them and attach them to something. Trying to save myself some time in the wildly busy flurry that has been this month, I decided to tape the back instead. This would keep the letters together and then I can include it in the bag of pretty confetti- a nice little gift.
I thought about putting it all in a large glassine bag, but then you don’t get a good look at the logo right away and one of my favorite parts is the glittery gold. Tuvia suggested I keep it all together with twine and I love that idea! My goal is to make every package I send out from the Bannerie feel like a gift and I love how it carries that over. So each card got tied up with pretty gold glitter twine from Knot & Bow.
The recommended amount is 150-200 cards, but I ran out of glitter at 150 and the truth is it was sort of a relief because it’s taken so long to put it all together as it is!
I still have to pack (!!!) and put the finishing touches on prep for my brother’s wedding which is next Sunday (I get back Friday….. wish me luck!) but I’m confident that it will all work out, as it always does. It usually involves really late nights but I am lucky to have an incredible life partner at my side who supports and helps me in everything I do. I owe that guy some sleeping-in!
Next time I blog I will be an alt expert, but I don’t want you guys to be intimidated. Maybe just a little intimidated. That would be fine.
P.S. I gave that guy some great cards from Mod by Mel for Father’s Day. If you have any card needs, you should check her out