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pop up shop wrap up

pop up shop day has come and gone, and it was the most fun!!  some background on this event – my friend cassie is a legit PR maven and is always coming up with these fabulous ideas for things i should do for calliespondence.  this event was brewing in her brain back in the spring, and the new kayce hughes store on the westside was the perfect partner!  i had the best time “working” with marissa and rachel from kayce hughes, and it was a blast catching up with a bevy of old and new friends!  the cupcakes courtesy of little cake bakery were to die – imo, they make the best cupcakes in atlanta.  they are not cloyingly sweet like some (cough cough gigi’s ahem), don’t have wacky flavors – just the tried and true delicious ones, and might i add even use real vanilla bean specks in their buttercream.  i mean…  that is dedication to vanilla, people.  (thanks to my friend shannon for delivering them!)  my friends brin and abbie came to help me “work,” and i can’t thank them enough!  i always feel like i should use air quotes when i say WORK because it really doesn’t ever feel like that.  i’ve had jobs, and they’re nothing like this.  working with delightful clients, serving cupcakes and making mail pretty.   i tell you what was work though – prancing around in heels (well, wedges) all day!  i hadn’t realized how far i’d fallen into the flats camp.  OMG i felt like i needed a salt bath or whatever people with old and tired feet do at the end of a long, arduous day.

if you missed it, it looked a little like this…

pop up shop 1

little cake bakery atlanta

pop up shop 2

cheers tags

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i’m wearing this dress from the new KH line – so comfy and cute!  i’ll wear it all fall, i am sure.

i loved the entire day, but one of my favorite parts was when my friends who closed down the pop up shop and i all walked over to JCT for dinner. it was such a fun group of girls, and i just had the best time telling old stories and hearing new ones.  i feel so lucky to be right where i am in my life, surrounded by such great people.  you throw in rbb and two sweet kids and i might as well have won the damn lottery.

thanks so much to all of the folks who made it out to the pop up shop, the wonderful gals behind the scenes at kayce hughes – and especially cassie, without whom there would have been no popping up!!

xoxo

friday tidbits

man…where do the days go?  this week flew, and what did we even do?  thankfully i have a camera roll to consult to tell me…

we’ve been slipping and sliding, foremost (well, when it isn’t raining cats and dogs).

photo-190

and popsicle eating.  the kids love saying BLASTOFF! when they eat these rocket ship popsicles.  i fill them with a smoothie made from fruit at the end of its life span…along with organic whole milk yogurt and any juice (typically 100% orange) i may have on hand.  they gobble them up!  i haven’t had the heart to sneak in spinach yet, but i think i will one of these days.

while i’m talking about food…y’all.  i have found the perfect summer lunch!  bibb lettuce, tomatoes, chicken pulled from a rotisserie chicken and avocado – topped off with ina’s buttermilk ranch dressing.  WOW – is this good.  and so versatile!  i love this dressing on salads, with pizza crust, and i set it out with some sliced cukes / carrots / grape tomatoes, bingo – instant app.  i can’t even talk about how much i enjoy drizzling it over ripe, sliced summer tomatoes with a little salt and pepper…

photo-190 copyi’ve been packaging up lots of gift sticker orders!  monograms and animals galore, and some customized ones as well.  here is one going out the door; a gift for a new baby boy – i really enjoy wrapping gifts for clients (and writing the little notes dictated to me to insert).  so fun, and it’s a complimentary service should you ever need it!

photo-190 copy 2i had one instance this week where i felt so old.  my mom kept rinne while rush was at camp so i could go and get my hair done (it needed some love in a bad way), and ended up having a short window of time where i could grab lunch by myself before popping back to get rush.  i was feeling so great with my new hair, just leaving a lunch of solitude and quiet (any mom knows how blissful that is!) and then i saw it in the parking lot.  THIS:

photo-190 copy 3do you see what is going on there??  an ANTIQUE tag on a late 1980s acura legend?!?!!  what the….  i mean, that car is not even that old!  at least it doesn’t seem like it.  my first car that i bought with my hard earned babysitting, lifeguarding and la madeliene-ing (come on, you know you love their tomato basil soup) money when i was 17 was this car, just the model after this one.  here she is (well, a replica i found on google images anyway).

ACURALegend-1255_2man, i loved that car.  but how could its just-a-wee-bit-older brother be considered an antique now?!  that is strictly reserved for chevy pickups from the 1950s and vintage mint green cadillacs.  i keep thinking of that phrase in this oft-quoted article – “you, too, will get old.”  i’m beginning to see why they say it’s hell.

i shouldn’t mention all of the greys my hairstylist had to cover up, either…!

xoxo

new offerings

i suppose the “cobbler’s children have no shoes” phrase is an old saying for a reason…is it ever true.  the lady they call mama runs a stationery business and my two chillren have never had calling cards?  pitiful!  i finally sat down and did some the other day, except i didn’t do a traditional calling card (which i do love).  i did a more modern version with an adhesive back so that i could slap them directly on a gift…plus, after a couple of calling cards went the way of the dodo after rush’s birthday party last week, i like that they will not be separated from the gift.  ever.

rush got some with a chevron background and a circle monogram…

boys chevron full

boys chevron close uprinne’s feature a zebra and a diagonal stripe.

zebra close up

there are so many cute ways to take this one, i couldn’t stop at just one option!

animal motif options3and then i did some more circle monogram designs for my friend and neighbor margaret’s baby girl, alice.  she is still a wee little thing but that doesn’t mean she can’t give her gifts in style!

monogram stripes 1

girl's chevron 2they are all in the etsy shop, under the gift tags section – and priced at quite a bargain, i might add.  they are $27.50 for 50 qty., and $50 for 100 qty.  colors can be customized at no additional fee.  you can purchase them from the etsy shop or you can always just email me too :)

i’ve had a hankering to wrap birthday party presents since i got them.  man, i feel so organized having a gift ready to go weeks in advance!  it’s seldom that i feel on top of things so i’ll take it :)

xoxo

 

thursday tidbits

first and foremost – THIS landed in my inbox earlier this week:

ina in atlanta

yes that’s right – INA IN ATLANTA TICKETS WENT ON SALE!  AND I GOT ONE!  IN THE 2ND ROW!!!!!!  i honestly don’t know if that is such a good idea, seeing as how i will quite possibly be foaming at the mouth or nervously church-giggling the entire time ina is RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.  luckily i will be surrounded by some good gal pals that can prop me up if i pass out, which is another definite possibility.

must….remain….calm.

in other exciting news, guess what starts tomorrow.  the ADAC sample sale!!!

chaise

(image from when i went two years ago – i still think about this chaise)

it starts at 9:00 a.m. on friday – more info here.  omg i can’t wait!

ok, we may not have any good terrestrial radio stations in atlanta that i can listen to in my car…but we DO have a comedy station that is awesome.  unfortunately i can only listen to it when i’m in the car alone (way too many “ugly” words flying around for the kids’ ears), but it is really good stuff.  92.3 if you’re in or around atlanta.  the other day i must have looked like a crazy person cracking up by myself in the car – they played jim gaffigan’s “bologna” bit.  i found the video here – just watch.  i love jim!

gaffigan

we had a little garden improvement project done this week!  here’s the before – it’s a stone path that goes from our front steps/porch around to our side patio.  the stones on the end by the patio are really steep off the ground – rinne would end up crawling over them.  girlfriend’s cautious.

garden path before

i never think to take before pictures until work is underway…so that is the sort of before.  instead of clean dirt, we had weeds, clovers and moss hanging out between the pavers.

and here is the after!  nice, even and pretty.

garden path after

i don’t know what is going on with these kids lately…but they are being such little BFFs that it is just about to melt my heart right out of my body.  the other day i caught them doing this in the car:

holding hands

and i can’t even talk about the good night kiss situation.  every night rinne proclaims she “want to kiss rusth.”  then he trots in and they smooch.  OMG.

on tuesday night, we took dinner to the park (new absolute favorite thing – take a packed up lunch or dinner to the playground – no clean up, alfresco dining and wears them out!) and as we were walking back to the car, rush points and says, “look mama!  a waterfall!”  i look around and think….huh?!  and then i see what he is talking about.  he and rinne both stared at it as if it were the 7th wonder of the world.

"waterfall"

bless those sweet little souls.  i hope they always see the natural beauty in sewer drains.

xoxo

healthy granola

i’ve talked here before about how i’m trying to cut down on the amount of refined sugar (this means white, brown or even raw – it’s really all the same – as well as any corn or cane syrup) my family eats.  this is not to say we don’t do cakes, cupcakes, cookies or ice cream – we most certainly do, in fact the kids ate ice cream from star provisions (it’s real iced cream from a local dairy with sugar added – mmm) the other night for dinner.  yes, for dinner.  sometimes you have to.  anyway, i think treats are totally fine from time to time – but the amount of sugar hidden in a lot of everyday items is kind of ridiculous.  things like yogurt, marinara sauce, ketchup, juice, cereal, applesauce and granola – those are things that we stock on a regular basis and can be loaded with unnecessary amounts of refined sugar.

the one i especially have taken issue with lately is granola.  all four of us love to eat granola with either whole milk yogurt or almond milk with berries for breakfast, so we go through it rather quickly.  there are four places that i grocery shop: publix, trader joe’s, whole foods and the dekalb farmer’s market (major heartsies for them).  i have scoured the granola shelves at all of these stores and done a little research on the options…

- publix: the only one they carry without refined sugar is mona’s.  mona’s is a fine option, but it doesn’t have a ton of flavor and is expensive.

- trader joe’s: i have loved trader joe’s for so long (the love affair began when i lived in california as a poor 22 year old and discovered two buck chuck.  it was a match made in heaven). i was infinitely sad to find not a one variety of granola without refined sugar on their shelves.  not a ONE!  i thought surely!  but what was extra sad, is that the trader joe’s brand granola would proclaim “LOW SUGAR!” on the front – only to turn the bag around to see the ingredient list, and sugar or cane syrup was the 2nd ingredient.  in what way does that mean low…like it wasn’t #1?  this is part of a bigger discussion about DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE ON PACKAGES, such as “all natural!” proclamations (not monitored; anyone could say that about any product) and similar.  the only thing you can trust is the list of ingredients.

whole foods: surprisingly, they only have 1 or 2 options of granola that is sweetened with a non-sugar ingredient, such as honey or maple syrup.  and they will cost you a pretty penny.  that is what i usually buy, but sort of flinch when rush asks for seconds of granola at breakfast time. :)

dekalb farmer’s market: they make their own granola, which is sweetened with honey – most of the time – and it is awesome.  i say most of the time because a few months ago, i bought a package of their granola and looked at the ingredient list when i got home, only to find “cane syrup” where i typically find the “honey” listed.  um…did they run out?  i mean they have like 2000 bottles of honey on a shelf just down the way.  the next time i went (i try to go once a month to do a big stock up), it was back to honey.  so who knows – but like i said, always always check the ingredient list!

SO.  there are options on the sugar free granola front, but they are all $$$ or sort of inconvenient to grab on a regular basis (at least for me).  which brings me to – making your own granola.  much, much less expensive and pretty convenient to obtain what you need.  now i know how this sounds – very granola-y!!!  but i promise it is so easy, and i am so glad my friend betsey told me just how easy it is because i was much more apt to try my own hand at it after hearing her stamp of ease approval.  she found the recipe on the 100 days of real food website (awesome resource if you’re thinking about trying to eat less processed foods) and i made it this past weekend.  super, super simple and rave reviews all around!!!  i’ll post the recipe from their website below with my notes added:

3 1/2 cups of rolled oats (i buy organic publix brand)

1 cup raw sliced almonds

1 cup nuts (cashews, walnuts or pecans – i used 1/2 c. pecans, 1/2 c. walnuts)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (you can find this at whole foods or similar – in a green bag)

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (i only used 1 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg (btw, who the hell grounds their own nutmeg??)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup raw honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. preheat oven to 250 degrees.  cover a large rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. mix the dry oats, almonds, nuts, coconut, seeds and spices together in a large bowl.

3. heat the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. once the butter is melted, mix in the vanilla and salt.

4. pour the hot liquids over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.

5. spread mixture on prepared pan into one even layer.  bake for 75 minutes.

6. the granola will become crisp as it cools, at which point you can break into pieces with your hands.  (i waited until it was completely cool and it broke apart very easily.)  store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

ET VOILA!  here is how much it makes.

healthy granola recipeso good with fresh berries and almond milk…

granola with berries and almond milki love finding things that my family likes, and that i feel good about feeding them too.  enjoy!

xoxo

thursday tidbits

what’s up party people!  did you guys have severe weather where you lived yesterday?  it was crazy here.  i didn’t hear any tornado sirens, but my iphone kept telling me to take cover (what??).  it rained pretty much all day, and we were forced to get creative with our in-home doings.  lots of reading, car rolling, (toy) kitchen cooking, dress-up happening (it’s amazing how a few odd hats can eat up time) and their new favorite activity…  stroller and grocery cart races.  actually, i don’t think it’s fair to call it a race, since rinne doesn’t even walk yet!  did i tell you that?  girlfriend is 16.5 months old and will only walk behind this grocery cart.  i would be alarmed but her own mother didn’t walk until she was 17.5 months old.  um, yeah.  i’ve never really liked hard core physical activity.

stroller derby
 the etsy shop has been bumpin’ lately.  thank goodness it was sleeping through most of holiday card rush, but now i guess people have woken back up and want some paper products!  so every time i log into etsy to fiddle with my listings, new items from my favorite shops come up and i ooo and ahh, then go waste a good 10 minutes checking out said items and thinking about where i could put them…  but i keep going back to this chanel nail polish print that pops up.  wouldn’t this be so fab in a dressing room?  seeing as how i don’t have a dressing room, and i share my bathroom and closet with a wooly man – maybe rinne needs it for her room.

chanel print

we are doing extreme home window treatment makeover here.  drapes for the living room, calliespondence worldwide HQ and rush’s room are all underway with just kate, and i couldn’t be more excited!  we’re also doing roman shades in the kitchen, and my friend/neighbor margaret and i found the most perfect trim.  it is from lee jofa (which – if you want to give your eyes a feast, duck into their showroom at ADAC, which is now open to the public!  it’s soooo good.), and will go on the white canvas roman shades.  it matches my trina turk “arches” print SO wonderfully!  the cushion on the seating bench in the kitchen will be made from that fabric, which i’ve been hoarding forever waiting for the right project.  rbb thinks this is ridiculous, i say: genius.

photo-180

speaking of hoarding, woah nelly – i am organizing my samples right now in the office.  PILES upon PILES of samples.  here is how it typically goes: i pick up a job from my printer.  i count out how many the client has ordered, and separate the overage for my sample bins.  there they sit in piles, accumulating over time, until it looks like they might topple over.  then i move them to a bin, and start fresh piles.  you can see how this is an issue.  i disposed of what felt like a million cards the other day, yet still, a few clients will get surprise gifts in the mail soon!  i found some personalized cards that i just can’t bring myself to throw away because i know someone (well, one person) out there can use it.  the OTHER good news is that i am going to conduct a tag sale pretty soon here.  YAY!!!  i am so excited.  i have lots of cards that could use good homes, and at a discounted price.  so check back for that!!  i can’t wait.

this was days ago…piles are much higher now.

organizing the office

aren’t fresh flowers the best?  i put a teeny vase with a few blooms right next to my sink, and it makes me so happy to look at.  gah, and they look so much better with a light blue background than deep, crimson red!!!

sink flowers

the most shocking news of all to report is that i GOT DRESSED today.  i mean, really dressed, down to a swipe of red lip gloss (this one).  man, it feels so good to have a “real” outfit on.  i haven’t donned the blazer since my office days and why not?  it’s just there, in my closet, all the time…along with my other “real” clothes.  they need to get more air time fo sho.

dressed FOR REAL

 

now, i’ve got some very important business to conduct at the grocery store.

xoxo

thankful + happy

so very much to be thankful for, today and every day!  hope y’all have a wonderful thanksgiving celebrating with the ones you love.

xoxo

happy birthday, baby girl

wow.  a year ago today, i was in an operating room having a baby.  i say “baby” because we did not know what we were having, but i was 100% convinced it was a boy.  i mean, even the nail salon ladies told me that so i could basically have bet the farm on it.  i carried the same way i did with rush, had about the same sickness level (although a bit more nausea the 2nd time around, not much) and really – i just felt it in my bones.  i have two brothers and rbb only has boys in his family – not even any aunts!  i really didn’t even let myself think that it could be a girl…why bother?  boys are grand! and wouldn’t mini burnette brother reduxs (rbb has one older brother) be cute!  i thought about all of the seersucker pants and navy birth announcement and soccer cleats and trains and twin beds and all of rush’s sweet outfits and legos and references to “my boys” and on and on.  it was decided – we would be a family of boys, and i would be the queen bee.  i was already thinking about whose chi omega mother-daughter tea i would crash (we would invite my mom’s friend jackie to mine – she only had boys).  for the record, my money was on brin and billie – i mean, she’ll be a legacy after all.  i was sure even if we went for number three, it would be a boy then too.  we were boy people.  yes!  bring it on!  i have the energy for this!  i am prepared with john-johns and polo shirts galore!!!

but then the craziest thing happened…  the baby emerged and no one said anything gender-identifying-pronoun-related, and i looked at rbb for a read…he offered nothing.  he was just staring at the baby.  so i asked what it was…he said, completely surprised and not totally convinced, “it’s a girl?!”  i sort of wanted to strangle him because that had to be THE MEANEST joke anyone had ever played on me.  can you believe him?!  cruel!  but then…the doctor said her.  her?!  you mean…it really IS a girl? of course, i just cried.  it’s kind of inconvenient to cry when your arms are strapped down and you’re wearing a hairnet.  not that the hairnet has anything to do with it, but a little bit of dignity goes out the window in the first place when you’re wearing one.  it’s a girl…i can name her after my mom…i can buy monogrammed bloomers and ballet slippers…we can go see the nutcracker every christmas at the fox…where do you buy hair bows…what previously off-limits envelope liner should i use in her announcement…i’m the mother of a little girl!!!!!

i have tried to let that soak in every last one of these 365 days we’ve had with rinne.  they’ve gone by so quickly, but at the same time, in slow-motion, since i am here to observe every growth and change (which i love, and did not get to do when rush was a baby).  and i am convinced that whoever coined the phrase “thank heaven for little girls” was a new mom that had a wily, out of control 3 year old son at home too…  rinne has been for the most part a heavenly baby, but with episodes of extreme sass and she can be quite a diva if i don’t serve her dinner quickly enough.  girl likes her food, she gets it honestly.

it’s so trite, but this year went by in a blink.  i took to taking detail shots of her sweet clothes so i could remember how fun it was to dress her…i may never get to do this again in my whole life.  (y’all, no offense to boy clothes – but they ain’t got nuthin’ on girl clothes.  i always suspected that, but was unproven.  now proven.)

 

my friend betsey told me after rinne was born, “i just think everybody needs a girl.”  i couldn’t agree more and still can’t believe i’m lucky enough to have gotten one.  happy 1st birthday, sweet girl.

xoxo

thursday tidbits

i got to do something this week that i very, very rarely get to do…had a long, leisurely lunch with a friend.  with no “oh, i’ve got to be out of here by 1 on the dot!” or rushing in late…just showed up at a restaurant and took off my coat, so to speak.  i think we stayed for close to two hours.  it was fabulous!  i had the best time catching up with my friend margaret.  she’s always got a funny story or two.  we went to joy cafe, which took the place of the original cafe at pharr…and dare i say is pretty darn good?!  my cobb salad was scrumptious and we HAD to split a cupcake for dessert.  i had heard from at least two reliable sources that they had the best cupcakes in atlanta.  that is a high compliment, you guys.  we split a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese icing and it truly was soooo good.  super moist and crazy flavorful.  and how simple and pretty?!

in other sweets news, rush filled another boom chart.  i told him that i would take him out for “ice cream” (frozen yogurt…it’s all the same to a 3-year-old).  i ended up taking him by myself on what i called a “date” and we had such a good time.  i am definitely going to start doing more one-on-one activities with the kids more often…i love getting to take them all in when i’m with them alone.  i cannot even tell you how excited this little person was to grab a big cup and hold it under the vanilla spout, and then to pour approximately a gallon of sprinkles on top.  it was so cute!

i am a co-chair of the spirit committee at rush’s preschool, which means i fill orders from the website for t-shirts, car magnets and the like…  rinne and i were there fulfilling our duties yesterday morning and i was walking past all of the classrooms delivering orders and ran into this.  do you think the teachers in this classroom watch the real housewives of new york city?

surely they had to have ramona singer on the brain when they decorated this door.

and, milly has dagnab done it again.  on their facebook page, they post the coolest stuff (good) that makes me want to shop (bad).  how about these manolos, just waiting for a tailgate on u. of georgia’s north campus…  i mean, come on.  perfection.  yes, we dress up for games – this is the south for crying out loud.

today is rinne’s last day of being zero.  tomorrow she is one – OMG!  i’m preparing a post but the tears may cause some spelling errors, just be forewarned…

xoxo

may i introduce…

i am so totally stoked about the unveiling of the new calliespondence website!  yeehaw!!  it is the dawn of a new day for sure.  i am thrilled to have my most recent work showcased on the web, in a format that i can easily show people what it is that i do.  it’s funny what exercises like this reveal…

turns out i have done a LOT of birth announcements.  like a ton.  who knew?  i guess i hadn’t ever really thought about it.  but when they’re all there in one place, with multiple designs behind each thumbnail…that’s a lot of babies.  i am so honored to have had that many new parents (ok, who are we kidding, moms.  i have yet to receive even one stray email from a dad pontificating birth announcements…) trust me with announcing their precious bundle.  makes my heart feel full.

and do you even believe i did not feature any party invitations on my old site…whaaa??  they’re what i do the most of, quantity wise.  i now have a section just for children’s parties…

and also for grown-up parties.

even a frequently asked questions page.  oh yeah. your burning questions – answered.

and for other, not answered, burning questions or even just to place an order…a contact page.

oh – and i would be remiss if i didn’t touch on the integrated “blog” link up top.  how cool is that?  now you just come to one place to get your calliespondence fix.  if you were an old blogger subscriber, nothing should have changed for you…if you were an old RSS feed person, this is the new link (btw i have no idea what that means, but my web guru tell me it’s changed).  if you would like to receive email updates with new blog posts, simply enter your email addy in that little bar in the top right corner, and they’ll come directly to your doorstep.  er, inbox.  you know what i mean.

i cannot thank daniel wahlig enough for helping me bring this new website to life.  he is an old marketing department cohort from the former corporate gig, and is now on his own – branding, logo-ing, packaging, marketing and web designing his way into the hearts of businesses all across atlanta.  he is the MAN.  if you have any marketing needs, he rocks, and you can check him out here.

all photography on the new site is courtesy of kerie cleveland photography (stationery photography), melissa tuck photography (stationery photography) and dylan blue photography (“about” page photography).  love all of those ladies and so excited to feature their gorgeous work!

and thanks most of all to my clients, readers, followers, and people that i pay to comment on blog posts.  y’all are the reason that i have new work to show.

xoxo