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They beautify our world in countless ways and provide inspiration for how we decorate, dress – and, for us, how we design! Above all, one of our favorite things about flowers is that they are nature’s language for love. While we often think of roses as a symbol of heartfelt expression, this spring we’ve fallen for a less fussy but no less lovely bloom – the Lisianthus.

With their beautiful flounced petals, they’ve become increasingly popular wedding flower in recent years, but we think they’re a wonderful choice for showing appreciation at any time. In shades of blue, lilac, yellow, pink, pale green, and more, they brighten up any space with undeniable charm.

Even better, Lisianthus have been known to symbolize devotion, gratitude and long-lasting bonds. A perfect choice for Mother’s Day!

Why not send a bouquet to the mom in your life with a note that reminds her:

That her many small, thoughtful acts of caring have not gone unnoticed


You appreciate her for always being there as a constant support, friend and wonderful mother

You admire her generous, caring and kind spirit

We think that’s a gift any mother would love to receive!

To make your gift-giving even easier, we’ve partnered with Flowerbud to offer a special hand-selected arrangement of Lisianthus. For an added bonus, we’ve included a set of note cards featuring four of our beautiful, hand-painted designs. Celebrate the woman who means so much to your heart this Mother’s Day by following the link to place your order.

 

We’re so excited to share our new, inspiring May wallpaper freebies from KATHY DAVIS™! We hope they provide you with a beautiful backdrop to Create a Life You Love, and serves as a reminder to embrace the beauty that surrounds you every day! Desktop wallpapers are available with or without a calendar; smart phone wallpapers include the art along with a quote. 

Click any of the links below to download the wallpaper size that works best for you. Once the image pops up in a new window, simply right click and save the image.

iPhone wallpaper:
iPhone 5 | iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 Plus

Desktop wallpaper with calendar:
1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1440

Desktop wallpaper without calendar:
1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1440



Questions or having trouble downloading? Please contact [email protected]

 

We all want our Moms to know we cherish the relationship we share with her, especially on Mother’s Day. But how do we find the words to let her know just how much she means? With Mother’s Day right around the corner, here are a few suggestions to help you express your love and gratitude.



Acknowledge HerThink of all your mom has done for you, from guiding and encouraging you to making you feel OK, no matter what. Acknowledge and recognize her for her influence and the things she’s done or continues to do that have a positive impact on your life. Share some of what you’ve been able to accomplish because of her love and support.

Mom, you inspire me to dream big.

In little and big ways, you’ve always been there for me, as a constant support, as a friend, as my wonderful mother.

Create a Compliment ListMake a list of all the things you love about your mom. Maybe it’s her kindness and generosity or her sense of humor and creativity. Perhaps you admire her positive outlook on life or appreciate the way she’s able to find joy in so many small things. Compliment her on the traits and habits you observe that make her such a wonderful woman and mom.

Mom, I admire the kind of woman you are, the way you look at the world, the way you care for others and the way you spread joy wherever you go.

You’re generous, caring, kind, smart, funny, encouraging, loving, giving, honest, compassionate and just plain awesome.


Offer a WishIs there something you’d love your mom to have more of in life? Or maybe you just want her to keep enjoying all the good she already has. Offer a wish or blessing for more — more happiness, love, harmony, contentment, beauty… Envision a future filled with all she deserves, and celebrate her with a shower of bright wishes and hopes.

May you be blessed with love and happiness…today and always.

I hope this special day that celebrates you is as warm as your hugs, as sunny as your smiles, as joyful as your spirit and as loving as your heart.



Most of all – say thank you! Sure, you know all the ways your mom is there for you. And you’re aware that her many small, thoughtful acts of caring make a big difference in your life. But maybe you don’t always take the time to thank her for being so amazing. Mother’s Day is the perfect chance to do so.

No matter how you choose to honor and celebrate Mom, what’s most important is that you do it from your heart.

To make your gift-giving even easier, we’ve partnered with Flowerbud to offer this Mother’s Day bouquet of lovely Lisianthus as well as a box of blank notecards featuring four of our beautiful, hand-painted designs. Celebrate Mom with a gift sure to bring beauty and joy to her special day — sent with all the love in your heart. Click here to place your Mother’s Day order.

 

From color and form to texture and patterns, nature serves as a rich palette for inspiration when it comes to the creative world. We’ve long been inspired by the instantaneous way they can brighten spirits or bring life to a room – with very little effort!

It’s no wonder, then, that we’ve drawn inspiration from flowers for much of our Mother’s Day art through the years.

This year, for a fun twist, we arranged for our watercolors to serve as a muse for a special Mother’s Day bouquet from flowerbud.com – and we’re so excited to share the results with you!

Below are a few samples of the art that Flowerbud used to inspire a hand-selected Mother’s Day bouquet.

And here is the end result … a beautiful arrangement of Lisianthus! We could not be any happier with these graceful and gorgeous, ruffled blooms and hope that your mom, or any of the women who play an important role in your life, will love them, too!

Of course, we couldn’t stop right there, so we’re offering a custom box of blank note cards featuring watercolor designs to go hand-in-hand with your arrangement.

Click here and remind your mom she’s beautiful with the timeless gift of flowers!

Yesterday we learned how personalizing any celebration for a guest of honor is all about the details. We had so much fun adding personalized touches to our fiesta-themed celebration and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! With Cinco De Mayo around the corner, here are some free downloads for you to add to your own festive celebration! Follow the instructions below to download.

Fiesta Banners:
Once you’ve printed the PDF, which has 3 color options, cut out the banners, score the white lines at the top portion and fold over. Attach to string using double-sided tape or glue.

Place Cards and Labels:
Print the download, cut out the labels, score in the middle and fold to stand up. These can be used as food labels, place cards, or party instructions!



Festive Paper Wrappers:
Print and cut out the wrappers of your choice (large and small sizes included). Glue or tape wrapper onto tin can, wrap around, and adhere to the other end. These can be used for floral arrangements, cacti, party utensils, etc. 

Enjoy and be sure to let us know how these help you celebrate the people in your life —down to the smallest details!

Click here to download: Fiesta Banners, Place Cards and Labels, Festive Paper Wrappers.

When the image pops up in a new window, simple right click and save. Questions or having trouble downloading? Please contact [email protected]

 

Planning a celebration for someone special to you is a beautiful part of Creating a Life You Love. However, ensuring that the event feels truly personal and intimate is no small feat. For pointers, we reached out to expert Sarah Reese, a Pennsylvania-based event designer who understands that a successful celebration is all about the details.

Follow along as we apply her insights just in time for a Cinco De Mayo themed birthday bash!

A brightly colored tablescape and banner reflects this fiesta’s guest of honor
and her upbeat personality!

Designing an event is so much more than choosing the best colors, creating the biggest backdrop, or finding the perfect party favor. All of these things are important and a fun part of the process, but an event that leaves guests in awe is one that inspires a deeper understanding of who they are there to celebrate. The event should tell a story through every aspect of décor, from the grand entrances and seating charts to centerpieces and personalized favors.

 From the invite to a non-traditional cake, the vibe for this gathering
is cheery and fun, like our GOH.

Ironically, the guest of honor (GOH) is often the one person who gets left out of the planning process. Yes, the GOH may have a say in what they like and don’t like, but it’s important for the host to consider who they are. What do they like? What makes them unique in this world? Why are we celebrating them? What qualities about them make the rest of the world smile? All of these answers collectively can encourage and inspire the design of the day. So many of us get caught up in making the design look just right in all of the matching details that we forget to highlight our guest of honor in every way possible. Sharing the story of the one we are celebrating can turn any event from a nice party to one that becomes a wonderful treasured memory. 

A hand-stamped fiesta hat is sure to leave a impression with guests.

Here are some quick ideas on how to incorporate personalized details throughout your party and craft an event that doesn’t just make a statement but shares a story:

Create a welcome sign that highlights some of the GOH’s favorite things or best qualities. This could be in the shade of a favorite color or in a font that reflects their personality. Instead of the normal chalkboard sign, try creating an oversized opened book for the book lover.
Create a guest book that can become a keepsake for the GOH. If the GOH likes music, why not have guests sign old records with metallic sharpies that can be stored creatively? Or, if the GOH loves balloons, have guests fill out a slip of paper with a note and insert it into a balloon to be inflated…and then popped at the end of the party!
Create a centerpiece that reflects who the GOH is. For the balloon lover, create a beautiful hot-air balloon display with a basket at the bottom. It’s sure to blow guests away!

A successful and unforgettable celebration is all about the details. It’s about creating an atmosphere with components which, when viewed individually, may go unnoticed but when viewed collectively create a memorable experience that sends the guests off feeling like they know their GOH just a little better—and delighted to have been part of something truly unforgettable.

A quirky and memorable goodie bag filled with our GOH’s fave – donuts!.

Sarah Reese is an Event Designer and owner of Story By Design Events. Born and raised in the Lehigh Valley, Sarah graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Public Relations. She admits that when she sees something colorful and “out of the norm,” her heart skips a beat. While her personal style influences her work, it is always secondary to the unique, personal stories of each of her clients.

(Look below for a free downloadable tool to help take the stress out of gift-giving!)

Some people are just natural gift-givers, leaving a trail of wow’s in the wake of sharing their thoughtfully chosen present. Others struggle every time a special celebration looms. They go the expensive route, thinking a big, showy gift is sure to be appreciated. Or they ignore the hints the gift recipient’s been dropping all along in favor of something they believe shows a little more thought and care.

This month, we offer a few suggestions to help take the stress out of gift-giving for just about any occasion. With some advanced planning and a little extra attention, you, too, can be the giver of an ultra-thoughtful, wow-worthy gift.

These five tips will show you how.

1.  Pay attention to clues To avoid the mad scramble for the “perfect” gift that can happen before a birthday, holiday, or other special occasion, become a silent detective. When you’re around the recipient, watch and listen for the things they love, the new discoveries that are exciting them, or the favorites you never even knew they had. Are they drawn to dragonflies? Do they love the color turquoise? Does the scent of lavender conjure up instant relaxation? Keep track of such clues to take the guesswork out of making that special purchase.

2.  Keep a list — and a collectionThink about what the people in your life tend to gravitate toward. Once you identify the recipient as a sports enthusiast, crafter, nature lover, or whatever their passion happens to be, keep a list of things you might want to get them. If you spot something that speaks to their hobbies or lifestyle well in advance of their special day, buy it and store it away (just make note of the purchase so you don’t forget!).  That way you eliminate the stress of the last-minute hunt for the ideal gift.

3.  Expand your reachIf you’re not in constant contact with the recipient or around them enough to pick up on any clues they might drop, don’t hesitate to reach out to a best friend or family member — someone who may be more intimately familiar with their tastes and interests. And don’t forget social media: a Pinterest board or Instagram account can be fabulous places to learn what’s captured their attention.

4.  Offer your servicesMaybe you’ve heard your loved one complain about a particular errand, lament their lack of “me” time or admit to struggling with a project. Offering a gift of your skills, time or talents can afford something even more valuable than a physical token of your affection: peace of mind. Can you organize a home office, wash the car, or babysit the kids for two hours so they can have some quiet to themselves? A gift of service is not only an expression of caring it helps the recipient feel better about themselves and some aspect of their lives.

5.  Give the gift of experience. A meaningful gift is about enhancing relationships, whether it’s with family or friends. A museum membership, a spa day, or theater tickets all make memorable gifts that encourage spending time together. Similarly, choosing an activity the recipient’s always wanted to explore is a wonderful way to support a goal while making fun memories.

Instructions for download:Click here to download the 8.5×11 PDF printable gift guide. When the image pops up in a new window, simple right click and save.

Once you’ve printed the guide, which comes 2 sheets to a page, cut the sheet in half and you are ready to fill out for the people you love!

Enjoy and be sure to let us know how these help you celebrate the people in your life!

Questions or having trouble downloading? Please contact [email protected]

They’re festive, fun and best of all… FREE!

How to assemble yours:Click here to download the “8.5 x “11 PDF printable. When the image pops up in a new window, simply right click and save.

Once you’ve printed the design, all that’s left to do is cut out each flag, fold in half over a dowel rod or bamboo skewer, then adhere the ends together with double-sided tape.

Enjoy and be sure to let us know what celebrations you’ll be using these for!

Questions or having trouble downloading? Please contact [email protected]

 

We are all creatures of habit, finding comfort in our routines and the predictable rhythms of our daily lives. But sometimes restlessness or a kind of emotional fatigue can set in – and that’s when we know it’s time to shake things up with a little spontaneity. Wondering how? Here are five easy ways – why not start now!

1. Change your cuisine! Next time you’re dining out or preparing to cook a meal, opt for something completely different. Your taste buds will thank you for the variety!

2.  Put your radio on scan…then crank up the volume! There’s nothing like discovering some fresh tunes to add a little variety to your day…and maybe even take your music tastes in a whole new direction.

3. Talk to a stranger in the supermarket. Whether you’re standing in the checkout line or choosing a melon in the produce department, you’d be surprised to see how just striking up a random conversation can give you…or someone else…a lift!

4.  Try a new route! Wherever you need to go on a regular basis, take a detour. A change of scenery is always stimulating. Try a different drive to work or school…or drive past your exit when the day is done and see where you end up! You never know what you might discover.

5. Simply say “yes!” How many times have we turned down an opportunity for fun, adventure or just a get together with a friend just because we had to do the laundry, didn’t feel like leaving the house or…fill in the blank! And kids are the ultimate source of spontaneity with requests for a later bedtime, more dessert, a trip to a favorite ice cream place, one more book, etc. Often our first instinct is to say, “no,” but “yes” can go a long way to a little extra happiness for everyone.

 

We’re so excited to share our new, inspiring April wallpaper freebies from KATHY DAVIS™! We hope they provide you with a beautiful backdrop to Create a Life You Love, as you “celebrate life” in both the big and small moments! Desktop wallpapers are available with or without a calendar; smart phone wallpapers include the art along with a quote.

Click any of the links below to download the wallpaper size that works best for you. Once the image pops up in a new window, simply right click and save the image.

iPhone wallpaper:iPhone 5 | iPhone 6 | iPhone 6 Plus

Desktop wallpaper with calendar:1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1440

Desktop wallpaper without calendar:1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 2560 x 1440

Questions or having trouble downloading? Please contact [email protected]

Bedrooms are one of the most important rooms in the home, as they nurture and provide relaxation. When we turn in for the night, here is where we are held and embraced.  We are restored mentally, emotionally and physically as we sleep.

Here are 6 things you can do to create a place of refuge in your bedroom from our friend and staging consultant, Jill Angelo.

Keep clutter to a minimum; less is truly more when it comes to décor.

Treat yourself to the best thread count sheets, pillows, blankets and bath linens you can afford.  Feel the luxury against your skin.

Declare the room “electronics free” — no computers, smart phones or televisions. Electronics emit static electricity, causing restlessness.

Set the stage for peaceful sleep in the evening by making sure your bed is made in the morning. Don’t snooze till the last moment. When you bound out of bed in a hurry, that energy remains for your return in evening.

Keep a fresh plant or flowers in the room, especially in winter months when it’s too cold to open windows for fresh air. They are life force and elevate oxygen levels.

Introduce soft lighting or candles to prepare the room for relaxation.

Jill Angelo is the author of Sacred Space: Turning Your Home Into A Sanctuary. She has more than 25 years of experience in business and operations management, an education in marketing and design, and a background in psychology and the mystical arts. Her fine-tuned abilities and out-of-the-box approach to life have uniquely prepared her for creating sacred spaces for people with wide-ranging interests and budgets.

 

Part of Creating a Life You Love means not only surrounding yourself with beautiful things but maintaining a home environment that inspires peace, tranquility and mindfulness. This month, as we celebrate the theme Be Present, we’ve invited author and staging consultant Jill Angelo to share how our decorating choices can inspire us to be more present in our everyday:

Solitude is essential for creating, decorating, and appreciating your home. Without solitude, the crazy business of modern life is all too likely to take over and rob you of peace. Many of us spend most of every day in front of one screen or another: our smart phone, computer, the TV (sometimes all three at once). It can be exhausting to the mind and spirit. It isn’t until we disconnect—literally “unplug” ourselves from technology, close our eyes, take a deep, cleansing breath and come back to center —that we fulfill our essential need for peace.    

Solitude has nothing to do with loneliness. Instead, it’s about embracing quiet, celebrating its healing qualities, and allowing it to teach you how to listen more deeply to your inner world. Silence allows for contemplation and reflection. Through silence, we build deeper relationships. And, more importantly, silence allows us to become more present in our everyday lives.

When you consider solitude in connection with creating and decorating your home, welcome these clarifying words — calm, stillness, quiet, peace, tranquility — and infuse them into your decorating palette with textiles and color.    

Textiles: Become fully acquainted with what ignites your sense of touch. Is it deep, thick, velvet draperies? Crisp cotton or delicate lace curtains? Maybe it is a puffy, white down or thick, polar-fleeced blanket. A deep, worn leather sofa or a soft suede over-sized chair. When you are inspired by your textile choices, your rooms will radiate the clarifying qualities you’ve used to create them. Be mindful of the textiles in each room and decide whether they fill a functional need or simply appeal to your senses (or both). 

Color: The vibration of color is the essential foundation for our created environment. The amazing gift of color can instantaneously transform your home. Colors directly affect our moods and have tremendous influence in shifting the way we feel at home. When choosing colors for peace and tranquility in your home, consider these hues and their significance:

Browns are grounding and stable

Blues prompt patience and calmness

Whites suggest purity, peace and simplicity

Greens inspire balance and harmony

Here are 5 easy suggestions to bring peace and tranquility into your everyday life and your home:

Declare “electronic-free” moments, hours, or — better yet —days. No phones, computers, TV, or electronic games.

Use your favorite chair as a “time-out” chair — a place of sanctuary and self-renewal. Sit by a window. Read a book. Take a catnap. Make sure to have your favorite blanket with you.

Have green plants and fresh flowers in your home. They are an absolute life force and elevate oxygen levels.

Bring your favorite natural smells into the home with herbs, essential oils, or candles.

Above all, keep things simple and as clutter-free as possible. 

Remember, your home is a reflection of your inner world. Make it sacred. And beautiful.  

Jill Angelo is the author of Sacred Space: Turning Your Home Into A Sanctuary. She has more than 25 years of experience in business and operations management, an education in marketing and design, and a background in psychology and the mystical arts. Her fine-tuned abilities and out-of-the-box approach to life have uniquely prepared her for creating sacred spaces for people with wide-ranging interests and budgets.

May the sun shine upon you. May your day be full of Luck, Laughter and Love! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Worry…we all do it at one time or another, and some of us are even chronic worriers. What makes us worry? Usually, we’re thinking about something that “might” happen. Yet understanding that there’s nothing in life we can actually control, it may be helpful to remember that worrying has absolutely no value…other than to deplete our energy, our health and our joy! So it’s really in our best interest to try to minimize the worry in our lives. How? Here are a few ways to help tame the worry beast:

Try a breathing exercise. Even if you only have a few moments, try and step aside and spend some time focusing on relaxed, deep breathing.

Keep a list of positive affirmations/reminders that keep you focused when your thoughts to turn into an anxiety whirlwind. Thinking positive thoughts and using positive words when times get tough can encourage you to see the brighter side of things and not let the stress of the situation take over!

Just get outside and move! Walk, jog, take a bike ride or even swim outdoors if the weather’s just right. Just being active outdoors can help you clear your mind and work through your worries. Even if you aren’t up to being active, simply taking in fresh air and sunshine is restorative, both physically and mentally. And when you think you don’t have time to take an outdoor break, recognize that that’s when you need it most!

Talking to a friend often takes a load of the mind. It helps to not feel so alone with in your fears.

Find a healthy way to get worry out of your mind by putting that nervous energy to good use. If you’ve got plenty of energy to worry and fret, might as well put that energy to work. Paint them out, write them out, exercise them out… the options are endless.

Practice mindfulness when interacting with people today. When you talk to someone, focus on staying in the moment and really listening. You may find that even casual “small talk” becomes more meaningful when you take the time to enjoy it!

“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment: You create a good future by creating a good present.” Eckhart Tolle, Author

The quality time families spend together in the present has a clear impact on the quality of their lives in the future. As parents, being truly present with our children is important, not only for the sake of our relationships with them, but also for our children’s well-being. So many big and small moments with children can be lost when parents are pre-occupied with activities or even thoughts about work, to-do’s, or personal issues. Such distractions diminish the joy that comes from being both physically and mentally present in family life. Conversely, many parents also allow children to engage in activities that interfere with opportunities to live in the moment with us. Increased use of technology, by both adults and children, can clearly add to these distractions and interferences. Whether it be extended television watching, cell phone use, or hours logged on a computer, electronic devices can serve to connect you to many things…often at the expense of the valuable “in the moment time” families can spend together. There are many different kinds of activities and moments together that families can enjoy when they switch off electronics. Provided below are some great technology-free options: Be playful… as a family, take time to play cards and board games, piece together puzzles, build a little obstacle course in the backyard, or create your own scavenger hunt. Be creative… do chalk drawings on the sidewalk, make photo collages, bake something, make seasonal decorations for your house, make a shadow box, build a birdhouse, make a terrarium, make a time capsule, draw, paint, listen to or make music together. Read Together… take time to read together or side by side. Family visits to the local library will open up new horizons for things to read and conversations to share. Family Exercise… do low impact activities together…walk, toss a ball around, play outdoor activities, bike). Find New Adventures… take day trips, explore your area through public transportation, rediscover nature. Perform Community Service… schedule family days to help in the community. Learn new fun skills… as a family, learn to juggle, spin a hula hoop, or do basic magic tricks. Talk… often times, families underestimate the value of talking together. Protect time with no devices on to simply talk, share, and discuss the events of the day.  Do Chores Together… clean out closets, plan and do “DIY” projects, detail the family car, give your dog a bath, update family photo frames. Also… as a parent, if you would like some suggestions or advice on how to better understand the impact of technology on your children’s lives, the following articles may prove valuable. These articles are provided by an important area resource, the Center for Parenting Education.  TELEVISION: TEACHER, TROUBLE MAKER, OR TOOL?

IS VIEWING THE SAME AS DOING? WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW SCREEN TIME IS AFFECTING THE GROWING BRAINS OF THEIR CHILDREN

INTERNET ADDICTION-HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH TIME ON THE INTERNET FOR KIDS?

NATURE AND CHILDREN – A NATURAL FIT

Contributor: Bill Lessa’s involvement in the arts spans his lifetime, and he wears many hats in both the private and public sectors. He is Vice President of Administration at Kathy Davis Studios, Executive Director of the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, and president of the executive board for The Center for Parenting Education.