April 2016 archive

Celebrate Your Graduation with Minted

Your big day is almost here! GRADUATION!!!! I know you are getting more excited as that day approaches. Meanwhile, the parents are cringing and trying to find someone they can pay to turn back time.  My daughter will be a senior next year and I’m already a wreck. I got teary eyed at my son’s induction into the National Junior Honor Society when they played Pomp and Circumstance. How will I ever survive a graduation? I guess I will be the one wearing sunglasses indoors. Junior year has been crazy enough with ring dance, college tours, and SAT’s.  Will I even be able to handle senior year without medication?  I will pray for those of you in the thick of it.  Remember the fun things though; you get to have a party and celebrate your graduate.  Throwing a party is always my favorite part.  You know me; any excuse to plan a party.  I have partnered with Minted to help make this process easier on you.  Their graduation announcements and gifts are really top notch. Plus they have stationery, thank you cards, and tons of other products you may need.   They are always my choice when I do my own holiday cards.  The process is simple and I always get a quality card.

Minted Graduation announcement. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I wanted to share Minted’s addressing assistant program. If you order cards from Minted they will address your invitations for you for free. Check out their site and see if the cards you order are eligible for this program. The process is very easy and saves you tons of time.  Also check out some of their graduation gifts.  I love the portraits of your favorite school building.  I know that would be a lovely gift to put in a new apartment or office.

framed school portraits from Minted. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

There are so many color options to choose from when selecting announcements. I am so into rose gold right now.  I like how this card features the graduate and that is the main focus.  Your guests know they are getting a graduation card from you.  If you are wanting a card that stands out, this could be the choice for you.

The Future is Bright Minted Graduation card. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

If you’re having trouble picking a picture for your card, this option might work for you.  You can feature several pictures.  I know when I’m doing holiday cards, I like to display a couple of pictures of us throughout the year.  You may want a picture of you in your cap and gown and then several of your casual senior pictures.

multi picture graduation card from Minted. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Most people pick the pictures they like first and then the card selection comes second.  However, if there is a specific card you know you have to have you can tell your photographer ahead of time the type of shots that you would like.  For example, I need three vertical pictures and one horizontal photo.  That way you are certain your pictures will match the card you have selected.  Otherwise, select the pictures you like and match them to a comparable graduation card. Minted has tons to choose from so I’m sure you will be able to find one in the format you are looking for.

Horizontal Guy Graduation announcement from Minted. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

If you are getting ready to do senior pictures, here are a couple tips:

  • If someone is doing your makeup, have them do it near a natural light source if possible. You want to look like your everyday self.  Your make up just needs to be a little darker to show up nicely in the photos.
  • Keep your hair simple and timeless.  You don’t want to pick something that is dated.  Your pictures will be on your parent’s wall for years to come.  If braids are in this year, I can guarantee they won’t be in style next year.
  • Girls keep your nails short and clean.  If you paint your nails, paint them a light color or a french manicure always looks lovely.
  • Wear clothes that you and your photographer have agreed upon.  Sometimes certain clothes go better in certain locations.  Also stay away from clothes with lots of print or writing on them.

Peach and green graduation announcement from Minted. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I hope you were able to find some helpful tips or products.  Good luck in your next adventure. I’m sure you will do great things along the way.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

This Post is Sponsored in collaboration with Minted. Thank you for supporting Yours Truly Jenn sponsors.

The Georgia Peach

We have been back for 2 weeks since our trip to St. Thomas and I have to tell you It’s going to be a long time until summer break. Why do they give us so many holidays and days off the rest of the year and then make us go from April to June without a single break?  YIKES!!!!!  To help me remember our wonderful time away I wanted to bring back something to help remind me of the Virgin Islands. Almost every drink they made had some form of rum in it.  So we’re going to use coconut rum and my love of peach schnapps to make The Georgia Peach.  I think it is a great drink to make for a small dinner party or a girl’s night in.

The Georgia Peach

        1 oz Coconut Rum

        1 oz Peach Schnapps

        1 oz Vodka

        2 oz Ginger Ale

Pour the first 3 ingredients into a shaker filled with ice.  Shake well and strain.  Pour into 2 chilled martini or fluted glasses. Top with the Ginger Ale.  For an added touch, garnish with a peach slice.

Georgia Peach Martini www.yourstrulyjenn.com

You don’t have to be on vacation to enjoy a relaxing evening with family and friends.  The small things that make us happy are sometimes right in our own backyard.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Links you Might Like

Hey friends… I have to share some of the cool things I’m finding on the internet.  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I’m up a lot in the wee hours of the night (so you night owls should talk to me on Instagram. I’m probably up). I tend to roam the web at night finding cool things that I just need to share with you.

About a week ago Sugar Paper, the company that brought us wonderful holiday supplies, announced they are collaborating with Target again for a new office line. Click the link to find out all the beautiful items that will be coming in July 2016.  I hope they have taken into account the supply and demand.  You know how the Lilly Pulitzer thing went.

Have you started spring cleaning yet?  Check out this pantry to give you some inspiration.

You don’t have to be from the south to shop at Reese Witherspoon’s store Draper James. There is something for everyone.  If you love classic southern style or hosting parties you have to check this out.  Follow the Instagram feed too. It’s amazing!!!!

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere has an amazing mojito recipe that would be great for Cinco De Mayo.  if you’re looking for one with a twist this is the one to try.

Blackberry Mojito www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Are you having one of those days where you just don’t know what to do with your teen?  Click on Jen Hatmaker’s blog. She is a down to earth mom that puts it in perspective.  It’s nice to know there are other moms going through the same thing.

If you’re looking for a good nonfiction book to read I’m currently reading Presence.  Author Amy Cuddy brilliantly presents how to take your most stressful moments and challenges and face them head on.  This is a great book for any age, but would make a great gift for a college graduate.

Don’t you just love Tori Burch everything?  I think this one piece bathing suit is the hottest thing you can buy right now.  It’s trendy, but classic. If you can rock that suit you will be looking hot by the pool.

My blogger of the week is Camille Styles. She is a lifestyle blogger and wrote one of my go to entertaining books called Camille Styles Entertaining.  I keep it on hand for all kinds of parties.  It is broken into seasonal entertaining and I love it.

If you’re looking for more decorating information that hours of pinterest can’t fulfill, try Houzz.com and a british online magazine The Luxpad.  Houzz gives tons of photos and buying resources if you see something you like.  The Luxpad has lots of reviews, interviews, and well written home decor pieces.

For us Kate Spade lovers, you need to check out this insane Downing Desk.  This might send you into sticker shock, but if you’re treating yourself to a splurge I won’t tell.

Got any favorites or must haves that I need to check out?  Please share in the comments below.  I’m always looking for the next new thing.  I have to keep up with my teens and act somewhat like I know what’s going on.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Entryway Make Over Before and After

I love a good make over.  What better place to start then at the front of the house?  It is the first impression people get when they walk in your home.  Hopefully, it reflects your style because it is an important part of your home. Your guests want to feel welcomed when they walk in and the entryway has the ability to do that.  I have a two story entryway so I needed decor pieces that would adequately fill the space.

My original console table was beautiful but was a little small.  I loved decorating it for Christmas with my nativity scene. I usually like change, but my parents gave me this table when we moved in so I was a little hesitant to get a new one.   The color of the console was beautiful and it matched well with my hardwood floors. Really the only thing it needed was to be a little larger. I was ready to update it and get a piece that fit the space a little better.  Below is a picture of our original console table and decor.  I love that picture of my babies when they were little.  By the way, it is still in the foyer. We just moved it by the door.  I couldn’t get rid of that.  This console table was also repurposed to a different room.  I love when that works out.  You feel like another room got a brand new piece of furniture.

BEFORE

The original console table in my entryway. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

This console table by Restoration Hardware is AHHH-Mazing.   I loved it as soon as I saw it.  The color is perfect and the style definitely fits our home.  I love how it has space to decorate on the upper and the lower sections. The decor is now spaced adequately and fits perfectly when you walk in the foyer.

AFTER

My new Restoration Hardware console table for my foyer. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Minted artwork. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I chose to use some color in the entryway and brought out some pink in the decor and artwork.  I love this painting from Minted by Katie Craig.  Check out my post on other Minted products that would be perfect for Mother’s Day gifts. You can’t go wrong with one of these gifts. If you’re looking for more entryway ideas check out this post I did last year.

  Yours Truly,

Jenn

Minted for all the Mothers in Your Life

Mother’s Day is coming up quickly and it’s time to think about the lovely ladies in your life.  I don’t want you to be stressed about finding the right gifts.  I actually love shopping for Mother’s Day.  I think of my mom as one of my best friends.  She is a very selfless person that puts other’s needs before her own.  I strive to be that kind of mom to my children. I have been a mother for over 16 years and each Mother’s Day is so special to me. My children and husband try to make the day so relaxing. It’s nice to have a whole day set aside where everything is about you. It gives you the feeling that you are appreciated by the ones you love. However, the day isn’t only about me. It’s about the other ladies in my life as well. I love sharing that day with my mom and my grandma. Minted has some lovely gifts to take care of all the special ladies close to you. I know there are things I loved when I was browsing the site and there are plenty of gifts for new moms and grandmothers as well. I’m excited to share some of my favorites with you.

The Love, You Love framed portrait by Seven Swans was my favorite. I was lucky enough to receive this from Minted. I’m obsessed with rose gold right now and the pressed foiling  makes this matting so unique. I like things that you can customize because you know not everyone is going to own the same thing. Ordering this was a very quick and easy process. There are tons of frames to choose from so you will get exactly the one that matches your decor and style. You can purchase it framed or just matted. However, You can’t find pieces of framed artwork for this price in many other places. My suggestion is to go ahead and purchase the frame. You select one of your own family pictures and personalize it right there on your computer. The steps are so easy I could even do it and you know I’m not tech savvy. I like how Minted walked me through the steps of finalizing my picture selection. This made it easy for me and I knew the final product would turn out unbelievable. I have it displayed in my office where I can look at it daily and remember our wonderful family trip to Hilton Head.

Love you, Love frame from Minted.  www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Flower Mom by Minted

Flower Mom By Sara Hicks Malone for Minted.

I love sentimental gifts.  My office is full of gifts that my children made me and it makes me so happy to see them on a daily basis.  I can look at each picture or pottery piece and know my child took their time and attention to make me something really special.  Minted has an amazing way to showcase your child’s special artwork or handwritten letter. The process is as simple as uploading the drawing and Minted transforms your art into a framed masterpiece done by your child.  I know you and your child would treasure this gift for years to come.

Minted Custom kid drawings as art. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Your child’s drawing transformed into framed art.

A first Mother’s Day is very special and you will always remember your first one.  I know I do. You can’t go wrong with these new mother’s gifts from Minted.   The Petit Floral frame (pictured below) and The Love You To The Moon and Back Framed Art by Chasity Smith are so cute.  All new mothers have pictures of their newborns everywhere.  A lot of new parents show the growth of their baby’s first year by doing photography sessions every 3 months. You know they will have tons of photos to display.  These make perfect gifts for the new mom.  Hint, hint to all the new dads out there.

Minted Petit Floral newborn frame

Petit Floral by Phrosne Ras for Minted.

Did you know minted has amazing artists from all over the world that create beautiful artwork? The artwork is so versatile and has so many options that this would be the perfect gift for any mother on your list.  After receiving my framed portrait of my kids, I was so pleased I wanted to look more into the artwork Minted offers.  I was looking to spruce up my new console table in my foyer and I wanted to pull out some spring colors on the wall to match the decor I used on the table.  I was so happy to find artwork that was so cheery and brightened up my foyer with beautiful colors. The Grapefuity Too by Katie Craig had the perfect colors and concept that I was looking for.  It really is the piece I wanted to greet my guests and make them feel welcome in our home.

 

Grapefruity Too by Katie craig for Minted... www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Don’t forget that Minted has amazing invitations for every special occasion.  If you are throwing a Mother’s Day brunch or luncheon, head over to Minted and find the perfect invitation to match your color scheme and theme.  Leave me a comment below telling me how you plan on spending your Mother’s Day.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

A special thanks to Minted for sponsoring this post. 

 

April Book Chatter

If you don’t know my background, I’m a former reading specialist.  Books are my thangggg.  Have you seen the library make over that was a much needed project in my home?  I have a problem where I go and buy the latest books. Especially the new YA books that are going to become movies. Unfortunately, I have so many books that are in the stack that still need love and attention. I just got back from our spring break in St. Thomas and was able to read 3 books while I was gone.   Also, I’m probably the only person who doesn’t have a kindle yet.  I’m just not into them.  I like to hold a “real” book and turn the pages.  The satisfaction of finishing a book and starting a new one just seems cooler with a book that you can hold in your hand.  However, then I have the problem of the space issue on my shelves.  I guess I will continue on in my non tech ways until it doesn’t work for me anymore.

Book Chatter stack of books

The first book I read was WINNERS by Danielle Steel.  When I go on vacation I like to read beachy reads that I can get through easily and quickly without much thinking.  This book was very predictable but a decent story line. The beginning starts right out with the conflict.  Lilly is a high school student training for the olympics when some of her ski team get into an accident. Her doctor, Jesse, plays a big part in her life and has some tragedy early on in the book as well. The book goes on to show how they work through these hardships. If you are looking for characters that work hard and can give you a nudge to do the same then you will like this book.  Of course you know a romance is going to be brewing if it is a Danielle Steel book. But this was a decent beach read.

I love the way BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty was written.  There are a lot of characters and I have a hard time at the beginning of books learning all the characters and how they belong in the story.  But once I get into the book and how all the characters fit then I can really get into the plot.  This book is about a group of snobby kindergarten parents and their kids and how they interact with each other throughout their first year of school.  The new parent and her son are targeted from the very beginning in a bullying situation. The book just snowballs from there. At the end of the story there is a murder and the whole book leads up to this climax in the book.  At the end of each chapter they have characters talking about different things like the murder and events that happen in the school further along in the book.  I love this part because it really keeps you reading to see what happens.  It gives you tidbits of what is to come and pushes you to keep turning the pages.  I finished this book rather quickly.  Being on vacation gave me lots of reading time that I normally don’t have.

I have finally read #GIRLBOSS written by Sophia Amoruso founder of Nasty Gal.  I loved it.  The story is actually very fascinating.  I think everyone likes it so much because it is genuine, and written so personally.  Those qualities make it very easy to read.  I really liked reading the beginning about her teenage years and how she got her start selling vintage clothes on eBay.  I think everyone thinks you have to have a 5.0, go to an ivy league school, or have a trust fund to make it.  She worked really hard and created her dream job.  There would have been no major in college designed for what she wanted to do.  Sometimes you have to create your own path and take a chance.  That’s what I liked about the book.  Not everyone has to take the same path to success and she expresses that point very well in this book.

The next book I will be reading is by my favorite author, Lisa Scottoline.  It is called MOST WANTED and comes out Tuesday, April, 12th 2016.  I read all of her books immediately when they come out.  If you haven’t read her books you need to go out immediately and reserve them at your library.  Several of my favorites are; Save Me, Every Fifteen Minutes, Keep Quiet, Look again, Don’t Go, and Come Home.   She writes on topics that are a little controversial and there is usually a thriller thrown in as well.  Leave me some comments below on books you are currently reading.  I am always looking for new books to read and of course feed my book buying obsession.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Why I chose White in My Decorating

I decorate using a lot of white.  My china and everyday dishes are white.  My couches in my main living room are white as well.  Would I have ever decorated with white when I had small children? NO!!  But my children are older now and I can have pieces that I have always wanted.  Some people see white as a boring color and sometimes almost stark or sterile.  I see it as an opportunity to have a neutral space to use pops of color or layer different hues of creams, beiges, grays, or black.

 

white sofa with fall accessories. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

There are many ways to add a cozy, warm feeling to a home filled with tons of white space. One of which is adding tons of texture.  You want to layer textures and patterns so you have dimension in your decor.  You can do this by adding pillows with patterned fabric as well as solids of varying colors.  You can also buy throws for different seasons.  A plush fur throw or knit throw would be perfect for winter, while a cotton or linen throw would work well for summer.

winter white pillows on white sofa- www.yourstrullyjenn.com

Adding natural wood, marble, leather, and metals are another way to bring in materials to warm up your space.  I love how leathers and an industrial piece gives a room a masculine feel.  I have bookcases in my family room that have metal sides and marble tops and I think they really add depth to the room.  I wanted to make sure the couches weren’t too feminine so I added this piece to even out the room.

Metal bookcase with marble shelves adds an industrial feel to the room. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Leather and animal hair chair gives such a masculine feel. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Use Varying tones in a room.  You never want to go with one hue in a room.  I watch shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and Flip or Flop all the time and I think it’s crazy when the home owners come in and say I want everything to be all white. They literally want the cabinets, the paint color and the flooring to all be one shade of white. The designers know best and they always try to break up the space with varying color tones and accessories that give the space dimension. This gives you an opportunity to bring in different shades of cream, gray, beiges, and black.  Some whites I’m loving are Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and Simply White and Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray.  They are very different but I love them all.  There are so many whites that it can really be hard to choose.  Some look like “just” white while others look like they have a gray tint.  Whites can be cool or warm.  Who thought picking out a white could be so difficult?

Another great way to cozy up a neutral space is to bring in greenery.  I haven’t had much luck with live plants except for my lemon tree.  My kids got this for me two years ago for Mother’s Day. When I got it, it was about 6 inches tall. Now it is about 3 feet tall and going strong.  It hasn’t produced any lemons yet, but it has had lots of blooms on it.  At least I haven’t killed it yet so that is a step in the right direction. Adding live or artificial greenery to a space makes it seem like a more lived in space.

You can’t forget the accessories.  Accessories add the personality to your home that shows off your style and makes your home unique.  These items are the things I would change out seasonally to add color and character to my home.  In the spring, I would put lovely purple and pink tulips out.   In the fall, I add lots of brown and orange.  It’s these pops of color that give me the look I’m going for.  These items don’t have to be expensive to make a difference. It’s the little details that make your home special.

Accessories help bring life to neutral spaces. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

As you can see, decorating with white doesn’t seem boring at all to me.  It seems quite the opposite.  A great way to start trying out using white is getting a set of nice white dishes.  You can add tons of color through placemats, napkins, serving pieces and your centerpiece.  You can start small and work your way into using whites and neutrals as your situation allows.

white dishes using pops of color. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

White dishes are great to create a neutral place setting. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Do you decorate using whites and neutrals?  I would love to hear how you use whites in your everyday decorating. Now that we’re in spring, what are you putting out to give your decor a fresh, bright feel?  I love when you guys comment down below.  Check out my instagram account as I update this more frequently.

  Yours Truly,

Jenn