The best 6 months...

Today, my husband, Bryan, and I have been married for 6 months.  I can say that without a doubt, it has been the best six months of my entire life.  We have grown together incredibly.  In October, we were married on the 18th and left for a week long honeymoon in Jamaica the next morning.  What a blessing to have 7 days in paradise with your new husband and best friend.  It was incredible.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our home in November and in December, we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple.  We had so much fun (even though Bryan's not been much into "decorating for the holidays' before) putting up our Christmas trees (yep, we had two).  We travelled home to Pensacola for a week for Christmas and got to spend some real quality time with friends and family.  That was so nice - to be back home surrounded by the ones we love. 

It was on our car ride home to Tampa that Bryan convinced me to follow my heart and start ELP.  I'd been dreaming and talking about it for months.  His entrepreneurial spirit has been such a guiding light for me in this adventure.  I worked for a few weeks on the initial set up and launched ELP on January 2, 2009.  Since then, I have worked with 75+ brides... created full invitation suites for 13 weddings... and earned over $13,000 in revenue.  Now, just four months later, we are working with Hi Design for a new website with e-commerce capabilities, finalizing the ELP product lines, and redecorating my studio/office at home.  

Throughout it all... Bryan has been so supportive... even when I've had to shut myself in my office and work at inopportune times.  Last weekend, we had a beautiful heart-to-heart about ELP and the direction it's headed.  To see the pride in his eyes when he talks about how I've followed my dream... it's the most amazing feeling.  He is, without a doubt, my rock and my best friend.  While I am still mastering the art of balance, I know that I've been blessed over and over again in my marriage.  What a feeling to know that you couldn't ask for anything more.

Adults Only - How to say so...

From the e-vite website... a great answer to a question I've heard a few times...

Reader Rochelle asks, "How do you tastefully tell people to leave the kids at's an adult-only affair?"

Answer: Carefully, Rochelle. Very carefully.

While there are, of course, many good reasons why someone would choose to turn their party into a kids-free zone, this can be a very sensitive issue for some people, mainly parent-type people. They may feel they are less welcome at your event or that you are rejecting their kids.

Here's how to avoid hurt feelings:

Keep it positive. Sometimes wording can make all the difference. A phrase like "adults only" sounds a bit less negative than "no kids allowed."
Add an explanation. You'll avoid questions later if you pre-emptively explain your reasons in your invitation's message to guests. No need to over-apologize; just keep it honest and simple: "Sorry, money is tight right now," "Unfortunately, our place isn't kid-proof," "We're too limited on space to invite everybody," "Thought it would be fun to get together with just the grownups. Kids invited next time!"
Make no exceptions. Some guests may contact you to ask if their kids can attend.

While you may be tempted to give in, it's best not to — or you'll risk upsetting the guests who respected your wishes. If asked, tell them you don't think it would be fair to other guests. You can also offer to help find a sitter or see if any other guests want to share a sitter so the kids can have their own mini party while you have yours.

Smile and roll with it. If some guests show up with children in tow, resist the urge to say something or get upset. As a host, it's your job to make guests feel welcome (even if they aren't). You might even want to have some kid-friendly food and drinks on hand, just in case.

Sleep... now... please!

I've been staring at this for about 14 hours straight... and that's just today. Really exciting things are happening... I'm finalizing the "product" lines for ELP and working on website copy for Hi Design. They sent over the finished homepage screenshot on Friday and I immediately fell in love. It captures the Southern style and sweet charm that ELP represents so well. I'm exhausted and off to bed... but the photo above is a screenshot of the new ELP invitations (and coordinating save the dates, thank you cards, menus, programs, enclosure cards, and response cards that aren't in the photo) that will debut with the new site!

My new iMac!

Well, if you've ready through my FAQs on the side... you know that I am using a Dell computer now. For so long I've been drooling over the new iMac. It's enormous, has incredible quality graphics and colors, and just looks amazing! I've always been a PC girl, but have found myself checking the Macs out more and more. So finally, yesterday, I took the plunge and bought ELP a 24 inch iMac! I am beyond excited for it to arrive next week- but nervous to learn a new operating system. A lot of friends have told me that you have to "dumb down" to use a Mac because it's so simple and user-friendly. I purchased Adobe Creative Suite 4 for my new toy today - as well as Microsoft Office for Macs (so that I can still use Word, Excel, etc). I also bought a new program for billing, invoicing, managing projects, called Freelance. It's for creative professionals who have lots of things going on at one time. I'll post later to to let everyone know if I love it. I have a feeling that it's going to solve a lot of my problems. Time management is so hard these days. I have so many things I want to do for the new website, new brand, and grand re-opening of my Etsy shop... but so little time. I've vowed to lock myself in my little "studio" this weekend to get a few things crossed off of my ever growing to-do list.

Happy Easter!

I want one.

This might be the coolest thing I've seen all week. I came across these hilarious little notebooks from a post on Twitter. HA-larious (pronounce that please, I know it's not spelled right).

The notebooks have sayings like "I'm going to marry into money... and this is my plan" or "I'm going to be a princess... and this is my plan" or "I'm going to be ridiculously rich... and this is my plan"

What would yours be?

Mine would say "I'm going to be cooler than Martha freakin Stewart... and this is my plan"


Mother's Day Sale

Mother's Day is May 10! I just posted a new ELP personal stationery sale for Mother's Day on my website. If you're interested in ordering a boxed set, email me at for details and NEW options.

How to Hide the Blogger Banner

I thought this was interesting and wanted to share it with other bloggers, designers and friends! That pesky navigation bar that runs at the top of your blog can be hidden. Here's how:

To hide the Blogger Navbar:
1. Log in to your blog.
2. On your Dashboard, select Layout. This will take you to the Template tab.
3. Click Edit HTML. Under the Edit Template section you will see you blog's HTML.
4. Paste this code in the top before the word BODY: #navbar-iframe { display: none !important; }
5. Click SAVE.


Frequently Asked Questions

I've been receiving questions from friends and other stationery designers on products I use, vendors I work with, and other how-to type things. ELP is a continual work in progress and I've appreciated learning best practices and "what works" from the veterans OR at least those who've been doing this longer than me. It's nice to hear these things from those who've been down this path or similar paths and can share thoughts based on their experiences.

So I thought I'd return the favor and extend a helping hand, some tips, info and links to others who might be looking for the information I looked for (and continue to look for). Feel free to comment if you have other ideas and/or want me to elaborate on anything! I've posted the links to the FAQs on the right toolbar.