Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello Monday. A TINY Peek into the Schedule of a Stay At Home Mommy and Small Biz Owner.

It's been a long day so far and the afternoon just arrived. Waking up at 4:50 this morning to drag myself out of bed and like a zombie to the coffee machine to get my morning boost started. Then, to the cabinet to take my daily thyroid medication and straight to the kitchen table where I plopped myself down to begin prayer and devotion through the Sermon on the Mount. 

Once 5:30 rolled around, I headed to the craft room to get the orders finished and packaged up that need to go out today (thank God I scheduled my pickup last night since we are temporarily down to one car as of yesterday). As I worked on the crowns and veil, I also replied to several emails as I tried to multi-task. I had about 10 email conversations going at once and tried to get them organized so I didn't get any information and custom listings mixed up.

I completely finished one order and right about 7:30 heard little man playing in his room. Bug is up! I scramble to his room and after smothering him in morning smooches, I smelled something awful and sure enough, a dirty diaper...and not just any dirty that oozed out onto his pants and onto his shirt (hello motherhood). To the shower we went!

Afterwards, little bug and I prayed (his fav. new word-AMEN) and ate cereal together.

Between starting the laundry and doing the dishes, I tried to go back and forth to the craft room to get increments of as much packaging done as I can (mail man will be here soon).

I took a small break to get some fresh air with the little one and went outside to push him around on his trike and catch some indian bugs.

About a half hour later, it was time to go back and do some more packaging, send photos to a customer and answer a few more emails. All the while, pushing up the frozen yogurt on a stick every 2 mins for Levi and coloring on random pieces of paper with him.

For lunch, lasagna it was...not only for Levi's tummy but also for the floor. Clean up that mess. Check.

Time to play cards with little man and work on the laundry some more.'s about 12:30 at this time, go and finish packaging the orders and print shipping labels.

Come back and put the little man down for a nap as I sing "Jesus Love Me"-his going to bed song.


Husband is still at work. Baby is sleeping and the house is quiet. Emails still have to be sent. Several other orders have to be worked on. Photos need to be sent to customers. Another Mail Pickup has to be scheduled. Text messages need responses and lunch needs to be eaten.

But right now, relaxation takes will all get done in it's own time. 

It's OK to take a break, even if it's for a moment. Be good to yourself.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28

What do you do to relax and how often do you allow yourself a break amidst a busy schedule?

Friday, March 28, 2014

My True Passion and the Number ONE Reason Why I Do What I Love

I have been very blessed to be able to follow a true passion and do what I love. Not only do I love the pieces I create but the number ONE reason why I continue to cultivate my creative outlet behind Love Sparkle Pretty, is because of my AMAZING and WONDERFUL customers. I continue to get heart-felt messages from happy people as well as pretty photos of pieces that I have had the privilege to create for them-whether it be for one of the most important days of their lives or an accessory to make someone feel special everyday.

I just wanted to share just a few customer photos that have been sent to me personally via email or via hashtag #lovesparklepretty.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!

This sweet little gal is wearing the Ainsleigh Crown from the shop.

"GORGEOUS! I took it straight out of the box and to a session. I can't wait to use it again...I am in LOVE with it." -Ashton

Hoi-a bride from NY wearing the lace double blusher veil for her September wedding.

"Love my veil! It looks 100x better in person. I took a leap of faith ordering my Veil w/o seeing it in person and so glad I did. Kayla is quick to reply to messages and friendly. It came super quick to boost! Can't wait to wear it on my wedding day. Will send you pictures after the wedding. Thx Kayla :)"

Jennifer-SUCH a sweet bride from Canada whom I had the pleasure to create custom hairpieces and boutonnieres for the entire bridal party. I was her very first order on Etsy so I surprised her with a handmade pearl bracelet with hanging locket as a gift. 

I remember my first Etsy transaction. It meant so much receiving something handcrafted with love and I wanted her first order to be special as well. Welcome to the wonderful world of Etsy Jennifer! You will become addicted-if you aren't already. ;)

 "It was a wonderful experience working with Love Sparkle Pretty! She was completely delightful and made such beautiful custom items for my wedding. People raved about them. Can't recommend enough! Thank you!!
Also, I had no idea when I ordered the pieces but my (now) husband had bought me a key shaped necklace as a gift for the wedding day and the bracelet you made as a surprise was just so perfect to go along with it... I would just like to say again, THANK YOU so so much. You made everything so easy that I just had nothing to worry about."

Adorable jewelry packaged perfectly with a hand-written thank you note?! Thank you @lovesparklepretty 

Wendi- A beautful bride whom I created the dainty lace veil for as well as a completely custom garter set.

"Thanks for the gorgeous veil @lovesparklepretty"

Casey- I had the privilege to send her and her 2 daughters floral crowns which later became a part of the top selling crowns in the shop. Thank you for inspiring these pieces and your kind heart.

"I just had to say THANK YOU!!!!! Oh my heavens, I literally GASPED when I opened your gorgeous box today- AHH! WOW! Seriously WOW!...THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!! **squeals**" -Casey Wiegand

Heatherly Loves-Heather ordered a custom dreamcatcher (my dreamcatchers are now only available through custom order via email: Heather is the best and so talented! Seriously! One day we will have to meet someplace between IL and CA. lol

"Absolutely love my dream catcher. Thanks so much @lovesparklepretty you always amaze me with your pieces."

Tyler-My most adorable niece's momma. :) I created this large custom dreamcatcher for her with mint and gold accents. It's handstamped, "Dream Big" to give her inspiration to chase her dreams of becoming an RN. She's almost there!

"Thank you @lovesparklepretty for the most beautiful dreamcatcher I have ever seen! And thank you to @brittkneelittleton for getting it for me for Christmas! I love it! My wall of dreamcatchers is coming along! :)"

Lainey-This girl is the best! I am so thankful when I get to connect with customers beyond just the "online shop order." Not only did I get to send her one of these druzy necklaces but I also created her veil for her wedding day back in July. Getting to know the faces behind the "usernames" is truely amazing. Thank you so much Elaine for your continued support!

"Thankful for artisans & etsy for helping us connect with them! And my new #druzy necklace from #lovesparklepretty ! Beautiful packaging and a kind handwritten note to go with it Love it! Thank you so much @lovesparklepretty !"

Little Miss Andee-This girl is another continued fan of Love Sparkle Pretty. She's rocking the Gold Chain Headpiece from the shop. :)

Brionna-She is fantastic! I was so privileged to create this veil and flower hairpiece for her big day as well as another veil for a later photoshoot. Thank for your kind words throughout your emails and messages Brionna. :)

".... I loved what you created for me! Thank you"
She is also a Stella & Dot stylist!

One of the best kinds of happy mail to read when you wake up in the morning. Lindsey truely made my day! These words mean more than one will ever know.

Several emails were sent back and forth after this and getting to know her more than just a "customer" was so wonderful-her passion for jewelry design, her love of travel to the states and elsewhere in england, her education, etc. These are the people I am able to impact each day (even if it's just with a smile).

It may seem that I just make "pretty things" or I'm just another stay at home mom with a hobby but to me, this "hobby" turned business means SO much more than I can explain and I absolutely love what my passion has turned into and has allowed me to do. Thank you Lord God!

What is your passion and the reason behind it?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reflecting on Motherhood

"Children do not accidentally become mature adults of strong character, great faith, gracious relational skills, effective leadership qualities and sharp intellects. God's design includes the presence of a hands-on gardener, a mother, to tend and cultivate their hearts, souls, minds and relationships. As a garden cannot flourish without a gardener, neither can a child reach his or her potential without someone committed to careful cultivation." 

-The Mission of Motherhood

Saturday, March 22, 2014

{Another Milestone} First Feature in a PRINT Magazine

The other night, I opened  some of the best kind of happy mail. Love Sparkle Pretty has made its first feature in a PRINT magazine! This is the April issue of Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine-#1 monthly mag for new moms and moms-to-be. 

Getting featured in a print magazine was one of my "2014 business goals" and when Shea of P&N Mag contacted me back January about using one of my crowns from the shop, I was eccstatic! It totally made sense too because I've created several floral pieces for maternity shoots. They just add a bit of ethereal beauty to an already gorgeous glowing mother.

I'm so incredibly thankful and blessed for the opportunities I've been given and this one is definitely no exception!

You can purchase this issue very soon at Target, Barnes & Noble, Babies "R" Us, Borders, online and select grocery stores.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sneak Preview of NEW Designs Coming Late Spring/Early Summer

If you are a subscriber to Love Sparkle Pretty's monthly newsletter, you read that I am coming out with completely new bridal designs this late Spring/early Summer. These will be pieces never created for the shop nor created by me (hint: these won't be worn in the hair).

They will be very intricate, full of detail and will take quite a bit of time and diligent work.

I will be starting these stunning and very unique pieces while on my 3 week shop vacation next month (exact vacay dates will be announced soon).

Here's just a teeny tiny preview. Note: There are several more stones and beadwork not pictured.

What do you think these new bridal designs will be?

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's-An ordinary day + some green

Happy St. Patrick's Day my friends!

I don't really celebrate this holiday too much other than remembering to wear green so I don't get pinched out in public-would people really do that to a stranger though? Just in case, I'm covered.

This morning, I went and visited my dear friend Tara of Laila's Charming Pieces to talk shop and the latest mommy ventures while our toddlers teased and instigated one another around the house. I cherish our friendship.

While chatting, we shared our experiences with trying to grow and cultivate a business which is something I fell in love with and enjoy learning from each day. Once you find your passion, possibilities are seemingly endless if your heart is in the right place. It's nice to share a similar excitement and experiences with someone else.

Afterwards, I stopped by a couple supply stores and came home to carry a sleeping baby love to his bed for a nap. Meanwhile, I started on my custom floral crown orders-of which, I have several. Hello wedding season!

Chores will be started soon and I'm thinking chicken fajitas for dinner once the husband comes home from work.

It's just another ordinary sunny day (with some added wind advisories)...
Nothin' fancy.

What are you up to on this fine "green" day?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Recently {Sunshine, Sunsets and Fresh Air}

It's been a warm winter here in So Cal which means lots of sunshine, new blossoms, ice-cream eating, beach going and duck feeding. Spoiled much?
Picking weeds flowers.

Outside has been my favorite place to be. 
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt. Handmade Bracelets by Unbound Jewelry.

We spontaniously decided to bring Small Group to the beach after church. 
Sand between my toes? Yes, please!

The most beautiful beach sunset. He's my best friend, the most amazing husband and wonderful father.<3

Little Bug. I love you baby, to the moon and back. <3

We took a trip to Arrowhead for some breakfast, fresh air and to feed the little quackers.

Peaceful mornings with homemade fruit parfaits.

We took a trip to IKEA and this little man fell in love with the circus tent there sooo it came home with us. Needless to say, he's a happy "camper".

Side story from IKEA- When I got up to the checkout to pay, my purse was missing from the bottom of the stroller. I freaked! After talking to employees, one of them had found it in the store somewhere. I was SO thankful! I really don't know how it left the spot I put it but nothing was missing! Reminder, there really are decent people out there but next time, I will keep my purse on my shoulder.

Celebrating my momma's birthday. This is what happens when you take a 2 year old out to a nice least he doesn't waste his food right?

A peaceful trip with 4 generations to one of my favorite places, The Mission Inn in downtown Riverside. I could stay here forever.

What have you been up to recently?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Branding Changes + Winners

Ideas have been swarming in my head like bees around honey. It started a few days ago when I noticed that I'm just about out of buisness cards again. I need to order more but I'm to the point where I crave a new design-which in turn, had me thinking about branding.

I've been working on a few sketches for new logos, shop headlines, fonts and even a new name (which I can't seem to commit to just yet). It's making me a little loopy at times since I can't seem to make a decision. I can't stand the feeling of uncertainty and indecisiveness when it comes to such things but it's a work in progress just like everything else I'm learning as a small biz owner.

With my ideas though, I plan to launch the new look of Love Sparkle Pretty in May. That's my goal.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Also, if you can recommend graphic designers and/or print companies, it would be greatly appreciated.

As a side note, a winner has been chosen from the As Darling Does Giveaway! Was it you? Click here to find out! Also, if you didn't necessarily win the shop credit, count yourself a WINNER too because until Monday, use the code "Sparkle20" for 20% off your order over at As Darling Does! It's the cutest handmade shop for your littles with bow ties, headbands, blankets and bibs! Get your shop on!

Have a beautiful Thursday my friends. Looking forward to seeing all the #tbt!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hello March {New Line, Succulent Rings & A Look Book}

Hair Bow: Artsy Anthro Succulent Ring: Love Sparkle Pretty Glasses: Firmoo Jacket: Rue 21

It's March which means spring is right around the corner. I must say though, I'm going to miss the winter. Maybe it's because it didn't visit So Cal very often these past few months. *sigh*

With March also comes some exciting news, starting with ANOTHER new line-Victorian English Inspired Floral Crowns. If you follow along on Instagram (@lovesparklepretty), you may have seen a little sneak peek from the awe-inspiring shoot taken place at United in Santa Barbara. So EXCITED to debut these pieces!

Also in a couple weeks, comes a new monthly newsletter from Love Sparkle Pretty. If you haven't signed up yet, you will want to now because see that cute little succulent ring I'm wearing today? I'll be giving several of these away this month to those with VIP codes (codes you will recieve in the March newsletter). Fun right? Sign up now for March

I'm looking forward to new projects getting done this month such as the look book of all of the pieces in the shop and gearing up for wedding season.

I am also happily anticipating some down time with coffee dates, play dates and date nights to take my mind off the craft room antics when I need it most.

It's going to be a crazy exciting next few weeks. Bring it!

What are you looking forward to this month?
Use the code "SPARKLE20" for 20% off at As Darling Does-a sweet handmade shop of accessories for your little ones! Click Here to see the cutest bow ties, headbands and baby blankets!