Monday, September 15, 2014

Abstract Art

So we moved over the past few weeks, Labor Day weekend was the final push and the first time we slept in our new little abode. WE LOVE IT! I'll post more about that in the next few weeks, but for now, I'm going to share with you my new favorite hobby which I have negative time for, painting. With all the other things I should be doing, like working on Pure Joy Paperie, putting things away, my biggest concern has been the art for the walls and I decided to literally take things into my own hands and get to work. I want our home to full of color so I went to Michaels, bought myself some paint brushes, canvases and acrylic paint, put little B to bed for the night and started on my blank canvas.

My first little pieces came out cute, and I love the way they look in our family room. I think we're going to end up mounting that TV but the prints will probably stay right where they are.




It's such a fun little activity and a MAJOR stress reliever for me. With the move and the business and the very active baby, this mama needed to get it out and I find painting to be such a lovely way to do so. Anyone can paint, and it doesn't have to be hard. Literally just mix colors and put them on the canvas and have fun with it. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NEWSPAPER FEATURE AND MY THOUGHTS ON MOTHERHOOD AND LOOKING IN

You can't imagine my excitement when I woke up on Wednesday morning and saw my face (along with little B) on the cover of our hometown newspaper! Of course I had known I would be in the paper, but seeing it in the flesh was really cool. The Stamford Advocate did a feature on how I turned my experience with motherhood into a launchpad to leave my job and start my own home business to have somewhat of a balance between staying at home with my son and working. I'm so fortunate to have been able to take a risk like that, and I can't go on without recognizing my husband and his un-dying support, and my family who have helped us in more ways than you can imagine. I obviously couldn't do this without them. Also, my dear friends and all my social media peeps who "like" and encourage me along this crazy motherhood/working girl path I'm racing on.

I feel very fortunate to have something I'm passionate about, or better, to have realized what it is I am passionate about outside the home. I LOVE graphic design, art, stationery, paper anything. I love hearing inspiring lyrics or quotes and turning them into an art print so others can be inspired, too, I love creating beautiful invitations that set the stage for the awesome party one is throwing for a joyful event. I love staying on top of trends and creating them in my own version on paper. I love painting. And most of all, I love sharing it all with YOU. 

I truly believe we all have a passion, an energy that's inside us, that needs to come out. For me, it's this visual creativity that if didn't get out, would fester and probably turn negative and scary somehow. For others, it may be gardening, or cooking, or baking, or even crunching numbers. I feel that it's so important to look inside and figure out what your "thing" is, and if you can turn into a hobby, you're lucky, a career, you're GOLDEN. 

Motherhood is amazing in so many ways, but it takes sacrifice and a lot of hard-decision making to get it right, or at least get it going on the right path. While on maternity leave, I was faced with a monumental decision. Do I go back to a job that I like, but definitely not in a passionate way, or say goodbye and try and make this passion I have work for me to make a little extra loot for our family. Again, with the support of my husband and family, I was able to take that risk, I obviously couldn't do it without them.  

One year later, the reality of my balancing act is... it's always about to tip. I get a lot done while he naps, I work like a crazy freak. The laundry doesn't get done like it should, I don't cook like I used to, the house is more often than not a complete mess, but I do get to spend a lot of quality time with Brian. I've been there for him almost every minute of his first year of life and that is something I will cherish forever, and hopefully he will, too (probably not).  There are days when it's hard, like when he doesn't nap, is miserable teething and I have customers emailing me like, "girl, where is my sh**, it's been two weeks". And the toddler, walking thing, holy SH*. Sometimes I call Brian and say, "I'm going back to work, I can't take this anymore" but he lovingly and generously talks me off the ledge. Sometimes when my mom comes over, I break down and cry to her. With that said, I'm extremely motivated to make this work and will keep at it as strong as I can to see where it goes. Bottom line, I love it, and I love being a mom so I feel like a hit the jackpot with the whole motherhood/career thing. 

Also, side note, my mother just retired and lives literally a minute away so this has helped in a HUGE way. She is so great with Brian and babysits for me now, a lot. The business is able to function because she's there to help, and with a toddler running around, I don't know if I could continue without her help. 

While I was being interviewed, my goal was to inspire others who were in a similar situation as me, facing the incredible life decision on what to do after baby. We live in such an expensive area (for Fairfield County readers), it's hard to get by on one salary, especially for young families who are just getting established. I would love it if some of the women reading the article took what I said to heart about looking IN (forget "LEAN IN" for a second) think about what you love, and see if there is a way you could try and make it work. Even if it's on the side, or during your lunch break at work, start exploring and get inspired!!!!

LINK TO ARTICLE (in case you feel like reading it after my really long post)


photos by Lindsay Perry for the Stamford Advocate

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES AT PURE JOY PAPERIE

Good morning everyone! I recently had a photo shoot in my office space and got it all cleaned up so I thought I would share some photos. I LOVE my space because it is in a loft that overlooks the first floor of our house and it gets so much natural light. It's the perfect place for me to create and keep me eye on the little guy while he goes through all my supplies, trashes my organization and eats paper clips (don't fret, I get them out).








The new house has big shoes to fill for a home office, I'll keep you posted on the progress of that! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Passenger - Scare Away the Dark

I recently purchased Passenger's Whispers album and the song Scare Away the Dark really spoke to me. We're all so "screen-obsessed" these days and this song is a reminder to get away and live in the moment.

He performed it on the Today Show this morning and it reminded me that I wanted to share it with you:



well sing
sing at the top of your voice
and love without fear in your heart
feel, feel like you still have a choice
if we all light up we can scare away the dark

we wish our weekdays away
spend our weekends in bed
we drink ourselves stupid
and work ourselves dead
and all just because
that’s what mum and dad said we should do
but we should run through the forests

we should swim in the streams
we should laugh we should cry
we should love we should dream
we should stare at the stars

and not just at screens
you should hear what i’m saying
and know what it means to sing

sing at the top of your voice
and love without fear in your heart
feel, feel like you still have a choice
if we all light up we can scare away the dark

well we wish we were happier, thinner and fitter
we wish we weren’t losers and liars and quitters
we want something more not just nasty and bitter
we want something real not just hashtags and twitter
it’s the meaning of life and it’s streamed live on youtube
but i bet gangnam style would still get more views
and we’re scared of drowning and flyers and shooters
but we’re all slowly dying in front of fucking computers so sing

sing at the top of your voice now
oh and love without fear in your heart
can you feel, feel like you still have a choice
if we all light up we can scare away the dark

oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
well sing

sing at the top of your voice
and love without fear in your heart
feel, feel like you still have a choice
if we all light up we can scare away the dark

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cucumber Soup

I love a tasty cold soup in the summer and this delicious cucumber number developed by my friend Leah is a winner.



Here is what you need:

About 6 lbs. cucumbers, chopped
2 yellow bell peppers
jalapenos, chopped (to taste)
small handful of dill and mint
large bunch of scallions or chives
large handful cilantro
6 cloves garlic
2 1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 tsp Emeril Essence
5 cups yogurt (preferably Greek, whole milk)
1 cup sour cream
3 tbs olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar

Here is what you do:

In a cuisinart or vita mix, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.  Make sure to do in batches so as not to have a messy overflow!  Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if needed.  Garnish with chopped fresh chives or cilantro.  

Enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our New Home - Before Pictures

I'm SO excited about our new house!! It's so picture perfect, isn't it?? There is a little bit of work to do but minor. We're re-doing one of the bathrooms, painting the entire house, I've been gardening up a storm and I'm also insisting on painting the kitchen cabinets although everyone is telling me not to. 






I mean don't you think a fresh coat of white would be nice in here??











An that's a wrap! Can't wait to keep you posted on the progress :) 




Thursday, July 24, 2014

What If I Fall...

Brian is still sleeping so I get to blog with coffee #heavenly #grateful. My friend Lauren sent this to me the other day and thought it would be a cute print...


I love the saying, don't you? 
Feel free to share it with your peeps for a little inspiration on this beautiful Thursday! If you do, mention #purejoypaperie for a regram!