I always enjoy reading inspirational books especially in the earlier months of the year. Resolutions and goals are still fresh in our minds and the desire to achieve more productivity at all times high. This year (so far) I've enjoyed these books...and I highly recommend them to you as well.
This book by Erin Loechner is an eye opener for all who've made a living/explored an online career, feel burned out and incomplete...I love her perspective on chasing the slow life and ditching the never ending chase for "the perfect" and "do-it-all".
(image by Design for Mankind)
An incredible book by Shauna Niequist on friends, relationships and the meals that bring all together and make it happen. This book reminds me so much of my upbringing, how food and hospitality was part of where I come from and the joy it all brings to one's life. What better way to take care of one another and strengthen relationships than around the table while having a meal and meaningful conversations.
Simon Sinek is a favorite author and speaker of mine. I came to know his work through his famous TED Talk "Start with WHY" and have been following his work ever since. On Leaders Eat Last he discusses what it takes for good leaders to exist in this world and what makes them good leaders. It's simple, when it matters most, leaders who are willing to eat last are rewarded with deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their leader’s vision and their organization’s interests. It’s amazing how well it works. And it can be applied at any part of our lives...
Today we are asking Aschley Fish (the mom blogger behind, Raising Happy Littles) to share the story behind her blog. She will also be sharing her thoughts on working with us on her custom order.
For those who don't know you, tell us a bit about your blog.
Raising Happy Littles is a "mom blog" where I talk about the challenges and incredible moments that come with motherhood. I tend to turn to humor in moments of challenge so there's sure to be plenty of that in the future!
How and why did you start blogging?
I started the blog because I love writing and wasn't getting my creative output fulfilled in other places in my life (read: gluing pieces of construction paper onto another paper to make yet another kind of tree wasn't doing it for me.) I have another blog that I'd done when I was younger about my journey with depression and I had loved connecting with other people in the same boat as myself and since being a mom is the center of my personal universe now, I'm always up to converse about it with others going through the same things!
I love that your blog has a personal story behind it and that you use it to connect with other moms going through a similar journey. Besides connecting with other moms in this crazy ride of motherhood, what other goals do you have with the blog?
My number one goal in motherhood is to raise genuinely good human beings that have a strong sense of self and are happy with who they are. Raising Happy Littles will eventually be, in writing form, the journey to doing that.
Amen to that! Speaking of raising good and happy humans, you recently commissioned us to create a custom necklace for you. Can you share a bit about the process?
I love working with Le Papier Studio! The process when I got my first necklace was more complicated than it is now, but I still loved it because it involved emailing a photo to a genuine person (what?!) and getting an actual personal reply (whhhhhat?!!) I was so excited and immediately knew I was going to get something of genuine quality.
I had a silhouette of my son on a necklace and even though I know it's good practice to take jewelry off and put it back on after showering, as I became pregnant with baby #2 I got a bit lazy and started wearing it continually. I can say with full confidence that that necklace was the quality I'd hoped because it looked just as beautiful as the day it arrived even after almost a year (and childbirth).
That's wonderful to hear, Aschley! Glad you're treasuring your necklace and you're happy with its quality. Tell us, what value does this necklace add to your life?
I got a new necklace when my daughter was old enough to take a nice silhouette photo and I got an updated one of my son. They're the mini charms on a chain and it's like having both of my children on my heart all the time. I treasure them so much and love when people ask what they are when they're observing from a distance. I can't even count how many times someone has said "They're actually your kids?!" when I've responded by showing them closer up which charm is which child. I recently lost my younger sister to a long battle with cancer and couldn't think of a better gift for my mom than a necklace of her silhouette so that she could keep her baby on her heart just like I do mine. I just have to say to Vana and everyone at Le Papier Studio: Thank you for the beautiful art you create. It's such a special and unique piece I have and that, now, my own mother has. The work that is put into the products is clear and having something handmade from your own memories is not common. I am very deeply impressed with this company!
Thank you so much Aschley! That makes me so happy to hear! It is out mission to foster the happy and special moments in life through each and every piece of work we put out there. So glad you could share your story with us today!
Ashley is wearing our Tiny Silhouette Charm Necklace (customized with her two littles' silhouettes)
When it comes to jewelry, I prefer something personal and timeless. That is why I am drawn to designing such pieces for Le Papier Studio. Last week we photographed a new collection launching in a few weeks and I can't wait for you all to take a look.
Recently I've loved mixing and layering my necklaces. I'll mix different charm sizes for a fun every day look.
You can pair a few different styles that complement each other. And if you didn't know where to start and which ones to mix together, I'd start with a tiny silhouette charm piece in 16 inch chain and add on a little birth stone at 18 inch length.
I'm also digging this dainty necklace featuring a gold silhouette charm on a silver chain with an initial charm in silver layered over. The possibilities are endless on how you wear, mix and match your favorite pieces. Wear them by themselves or layer them for more of a statement all your own.
My current favorites:
Running your business online has its own perks. Like getting to follow along on the documented journeys from a few favorites. Since the majority of my work consists on capturing little ones' into unique silhouettes, I am constantly drawing inspiration from young families with adorable littles. This is how I came across Susan Hutchinson and her precious twins, Henry and Marie. I must also mention that Susan is a devout Francophile...and well, Paris...holds a special place in both of our hearts. I'm happy to share Susan's story with you today, so let's get started!
For those who aren't familiar, can you tell us about Fleurishing?
Fleurishing is the name of my interior design company and lifestyle blog. My passions are abundant, but I mostly focus on my love of all things French, design, and of course, my children. My blog has evolved along with me over the years, and thankfully, so has my audience!
How did the blog/company start?
I started my own company in 2006 after leaving a larger firm, and have been fortunate to work for myself for ten years now! The blog began as an accompaniment to my design work, and as a creative outlet after moving to Pennsylvania in 2010. As it has for so many, the blog morphed into a business of it’s own, and has afforded me incredible opportunities and introduced me to such an amazing community. 2017 will mark my seventh year of blogging (time flies when you’re having fun).
It absolutely does, Susan! Tell us, what does your blog stand for?
The name is a play on the word “flourishing”, using the “e” as in Fleur, a French flower. It represents my Francophilia, and a time in my life that was (and is) indeed “fleurishing”.
And rightly so! You twins, Henry and Marie are so adorable. Thank you for capturing their innocent childhood in such a natural way, it's truly inspiring! Since it wasn't long ago that we collaborated on a fun project, can you share what was it like to work with Le Papier Studio? Can you tell us a bit about the process?
I was thrilled to partner with you all, and the silhouettes of my children came out perfectly. The process was simple and enjoyable!
That's wonderful to hear! I'd love to know what value does our product add to your life?
We will forever treasure our children’s silhouettes, as it encapsulates such a fleeting moment in time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I’m obsessed with the Le Papier name and logo, they’re so very French!
Thank you Susan for sharing your story with us and for continuing to be an inspiration!
Love the silhouettes we created for Susan? You can order yours here.
It's hard to believe we've been living in Richmond for a year and a half now. It's been a good move for our family and we are happy with life here. I won't lie, I miss Chicago and our friends but there's something about Richmond that I really like.
Richmond is relatively a small city but has so much to offer. It's known for the food scene (and I'm not talking the chain restaurants here), the river front activities (although we have yet to partake in any of those), it's glorious historic neighborhoods, the many beautiful parks and of course the museums.
Speaking of its architecture, there's one neighborhood I find absolutely charming. The Fan District. This neighborhood takes its name from the "fan" shape streets and is home to many cafes and unique restaurants and of course the different types of homes (dating of late nineteenth, early twentieth century homes). There are tree-lined streets and famous monuments along the streets.
What many different home styles are truly captivating. The styles vary from Victorian, Revival, Colonial Revival, Art Deco, Richardsonian, Tutor Revival, Edwardian, Bungalow, Spanish, and Georgian (just to name a few). We'd love to buy a home here but we would be under city schools, which unfortunately aren't great.
We've been looking in other close by areas, like Tuckahoe, known for good schools and a friendly, relatively young community.
On another note, I've been blessed to connect with some amazing people since our move here on both personal level and through work collaborations. I'm happy to say, it's starting to feel as though we are finally planting some roots in Richmond.
I am also continuing to study for the ARE (the Architectural Registration Exam). There are 5 exams in all and I have high hopes of becoming a licensed architects in the near future. The boys are doing wonderful and Aaron "still" loves his new job. Happy to say, it's been a good move after all.
Continuing with our stories series, I am honored to share with you the story of Jordan Varnadore behind My Southern Mommy. Jordan shares with me how she started her blog, what it stands for, and why she loves her LPS necklace so much!
I couldn't agree more with you, Jordan! You mentioned you hope for your blog to inspire young mothers like yourself. Can you elaborate on that a bit more?
Although it doesn't get as cold as it did in Chicago, we still have had some pretty chilly days here in Richmond. During the coldest days, I find myself going back to the same winter essentials, cashmere sweaters, scarves, hats and gloves, my favorite wool coat (I own it in two colors, black and beige) and must have boots.
Shop the look below
I am so excited to share with you all the story of one of my favorite ladies, her lovely blog and her experience with working with us. Today's guest is Sarah Tucker, a mother, blogger and wife with a knack for all things beautiful.
For those who aren't familiar, can you tell us a little bit about Sarah Tucker?
Of course:) I live in a little town on the gulf coast of Florida in an old colonial home with my husband, two sons and our boston terrier Lola. I enjoy writing for my blog, playing with florals, celebrating friends by hosting parties, and decorating.
Sounds like a good life to me:) How did the blog/company start?
My husband and I were married in January 2010, and we moved to Switzerland two months later. I started the blog as a way to document our life living abroad as newlyweds.
That's such a neat idea! What does your blog stand for?
I hope it helps inspire, and encourage others!
You've been a customer of ours for a while now. Can you talk a bit about your experience in working with us?
Any time I give Le Papier Studio to family or friends it instantly becomes a treasure, and an heirloom. The process couldn't be more simple - just submit a custom photo, you get a proof, and then as soon as it is approved it is sent to production. I also love that it comes beautifully and thoughtfully packaged.
Thanks for the nice words, Sarah! We strive to create heirloom pieces that will withstand time and become a family's favorite piece. Glad to hear you've been treasuring your LPS pieces and even gifting a few to family. What value do the product/s you’ve purchased from us add to your life?
Recently my grandmother passed away, and I had given her gold foiled silhouettes Vana made of her great-grandchildren. Since I gave my mother the same one, my grandmothers framed copy is now in my home. I love that I will think of her every time I see it. My necklace also serves as a reminder, of my greatest treasures - my boys, and it hangs close to my heart which is so appropriate!! I love that silhouettes are little snapshots of my children - ever changing but always so precious.
Thanks for sharing all these stories with us, Sarah!
A few of Sarah's purchases include our tiny lockets (no longer available on the shop) and silhouette portraits.
I don't know about you, but come winter my beauty routine becomes pretty minimal. There are a few products I've come to love during the winter months, especially when it comes to my morning routine. I like to keep it pretty simple and quick. After I discover this company, I've been all over their products, especially their face oil (this oil does wonders to your dry skin, guys!) which is part of my daily routine.
I also can't go to sleep without applying some of this moisturizer on my face and neck. I've used for the past 10 years. It's wonderful. You should definitely get some! When it comes to actual makeup, I do little to none. But I do love to apply a little blush on my cheeks. This one by Benefit comes in a liquid form and it will last you forevah!! I love all products by Laura Mercier. I own a few, but this translucent, silky powder is my go-to staple. It looks and feels so natural and also contains a unique light-reflecting ingredient that creates a soft-focus appearance on my skin. LOVE!
Last but definitely not least, this lip balm. I love the strawberry flavor!
Shop the products in this post by clicking at the images below the roundup.