Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 New Year Menu

Here is my menu for the New Year. These are some of the things that I try to live by each day. What is on your menu for 2015? I would love to hear your hopes and dreams. Make it a beautiful, just like you year.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Do I Need to Brand Myself?

As someone who works in the field of "branding" I am often asked: " What needs to be branded?"  "What does it even mean to "brand" oneself?"  "Do I need to brand myself?"

These aren't simple yes or no questions. No matter your field, your goal, your dream, your current position, branding yourself doesn't hurt your image and it can even help guide you towards creating your dream job.

Business branding is, in large part, protecting yourself.  Buying your business domains, trade marking your name and/or business name, getting copyright or patent protection on things you create or invent is crucial in building your brand and business.  In the sense of business, consider branding as protection and a necessary step if you want to ensure no one can recreate what you do exactly as you do it.

Personal branding is different.  It's about making sure that when a group of people picture you or your personality they are all thinking of the same things.  It doesn't have to be what you wear, but it can be as simple as that, especially if you are in the field of design or fashion.  It doesn't have to be your comedic timing, but it can be, if you are a writer, comedian or television personality.  It doesn't have to be your products or services, but it could be if you are to be considered an expert in a certain field.  It is truly about representing yourself on any and every platform in a way that is uniquely and authentically you.  It's about being remembered and having the true you represented so well that you leave a lasting impression with people whether it be at the close of a meeting or when someone reads your "about" page on your website.

Do you need to brand yourself? Only you can answer this question and your answer depends largely on if you want to be thought of and remembered for what you contributed to the world when you're not around. Personally, my greatest contributions that I hope to be remembered for above all else, is as a woman who inspired others through her work and who was a really good mom at the same time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sheet Music Gift Wrap

I love the art of gift wrapping.  For me, the little details and the presentation of the gift are what matters most.  I adore this idea of using sheet music, old or new to wrap up your special gift for a unique touch.  You can take it a step further and search for music that matches the occasion.  Maybe it's the Happy Birthday song for a birthday gift, a special song that takes you and a friend back in time, or a love sonnet such as "The Greatest Love of All" for an anniversary.  

As a final detail try adding a vintage brooch, decorative button, or old piece of jewelry on top of a beautiful ribbon.  Whatever the occasion, this simple do-it-yourself gift wrap idea has a truly deeper meaning that adds to the gift itself.  So, next time you have a gift to give try adding a some music to your wrap and watch as you evoke a melody of pure joy!
Send us photo's of your beautifully wrapped creations.  We would love to post them and show them off for you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I love this simple DIY idea for making an envelope.
Use a square paper doily and fold the sides in around your card or invitation. (You can find these at Joanne Fabrics or Michaels Craft Stores) Fold the sides and bottom in around your card or invitation so they overlap slightly.  Make sure to leave enough room to slide in your card or invitation. Use a clear glue stick to hold them in place. (See photo for folding example) 

Finally, you can add a wax initial stamp, sticker, or label for an added touch to seal your envelope. Simple, inexpensive, elegant, and a truly unique way to set the tone for your special occasion.
Have fun, and then send me a photo of your beautiful creation to post or let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meaningful Gifts Make the Best Gifts


"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving."
Mother Teresa
When it comes to the holidays and special occasions, what kind of gift-giver are you?

Are you the slapdash purchaser who spots something on a shelf, presses on a bow, and calls it a day? Or are you the thoughtful gift-giver who carefully chooses gifts for each special person in your life?

In 2011, a record $52 billion dollars was spent on holiday shopping with the average shopper spending approximately $398.62.  It's too bad we can't quantify the love and thought behind all those gifts.

Without a doubt, gifts with thought put behind them make the most meaningful and best gifts of all.

Sometimes those gifts are made by tiny fingers in chaotic classrooms, like a painting made with small handprints or a carefully hand molded clay figurine. These are more than gifts, they are thoughtful moments captured in time that will be cherished forever.  Or maybe the gift is something painstakingly created in hopes that one day it will become a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, such as a quilt or piece of furniture to celebrate a marriage or birth of a child.

The good news is that handmade gifts like these aren't the only way to make gifts meaningful.

Store bought gifts are not invaluable because they're purchased versus being handmade. What truly makes a gift meaningful is that it is chosen with care because we take the time to really think about the person we're giving it to.

When you have a lot of people to buy gifts for such as, parents, friends, family, party hostesses, your child's teacher(s), coworkers, the mailman, the list goes on--that much thought can quickly become overwhelming.

Here’s a tip that has helped me to simplify and streamline the gift-giving process while making those gifts meaningful at the same time.  Start by making a list of the people you have to buy for with their qualities or characteristics next to their name. Next think about their interests and hobbies. What is their favorite color? What is it about them that you think makes them so special?

Once you've compiled your list, choose one item that fits something you have written down that can be personalized to fit the recipient, like http://www.juleeireland.com/category_109/Greeting-Card-Soaps.htm from Julee Ireland. This way, you can check off part of your holiday shopping in one stop while making sure to choose a special gift for each person on your list. You're taking the stress out of gift giving and being thoughtful at the same time.  What I like most about this idea is that you can do it from home while wearing your pajamas and sipping a cup of your favorite brew!

Whether store bought or handmade, a meaningful gift will always win out over the hastily given, latest new gadget on the marketplace.  After all, it's the thought that counts!

"Black Friday weekend shines as shoppers line up for deals, spend record $52 billion." National Retail Federation. N.P., 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back Porch Soap Company: Inspiration & Optimism: Beauty Products Rock New Y...

Back Porch Soap Company: Inspiration & Optimism: Beauty Products Rock New Y...: I had such an inspiring full-day of walking and shopping this year’s January New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) at the Javits Center...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Flower Inspired!

The Holidays are such a beautiful time of the year because it brings people and family together to celebrate and give thanks for all the blessings in life.  
It's also a time for great inspiration with all its shades of winter white, vibrant reds, varying degrees of green, and shimmering lights.  
I love hanging my winter wreath on my front door and setting out the poinsettias, with a hint of spray glitter,  sprinkled throughout my house.   
Flowers have a special way of bringing a smile 
to everyone's face.  
Today, I stopped by my favorite local florist to see Susan Winston, owner of The English Garden.  She has a Romantic and charming way of combining flowers, plants, and containers that is uniquely her own.  I love to wander throughout her shop and admire her creativity.  I absolutely fell in love with her 2011, signature holiday wreath.  I love, love, love, the way she combined succulent plants with flowers to create the perfect and unique festive look for your home.  The best thing about this wreath is that you can remove the succulents to plant in a pot after the holidays, or freeze dry it, to hang in your home year around.  

I also fell in love with her winter floral log arrangement.  How incredibly beautiful!  I think this is the perfect centerpiece while family is gathered around to enjoy their holiday dinner.  These are both so charming, romantic, and stunning,
I simply had to share them with all of you! 
The perfect holiday gift for yourself or a loved one, contact Susan at http://theenglishgarden.com/
Simply Inspired,