Monarch Workshop + Free Printables

Monarch Workshop feature via @poorandpretty

Monarch Workshop 2015 via @poorandpretty

I took the day yesterday to let the weekend’s events settle over me, and I’m still coming down from the incredible high that was Monarch Workshop. There were so many wonderful, inspiring, creative women all in one room — it felt like home. It was home. Finally! I don’t have to travel to New York, San Francisco, or some other distance to find my kindred sisters.

Photo Booth - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

It was two days of crafting, learning, yoga, networking, photo booth-ing (I’m with Melissa of the Haven Collective & Vintanthromodern Vintage and Bethany of Twenty Something Plus above), delicious food by Whisk + Brush, and lots and lots of hugs in Bananaland, Bridgeport. It was crazy cool women like Michelle Bablo who said “fuck this job” time and time again until she finally created her own kick-ass business as a “professional magic maker, gold fringe enthusiast & designer of colorful parties.”

Dream Team Q+A Panel - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

And Katharine Marino of YogaKat Fitness, who is probably the most loving, calm person I have ever met. She taught us to love our bodies, shake out negativity, and be present. She had us all pick out little wisdom cards and think about how we can apply them to our lives. Mine said “do what’s simple,” which is kind of perfect because I overanalyze and overcomplicate everything.

Do What's Simple - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

There was Nutritionist Debra Wolf who played us hilarious clips from Portlandia and showed us how to love our bodies from the inside out with healthy eating (and also: we consume far too much sugar).

Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

And crafter and textile guru Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom who left me with my greatest takeaway: own your path.

Monarch - Own Your Path doodle via @poorandpretty

Because my initial jot-down of this quote really doesn’t do justice to how much it resonated within me, I had to fancy it up a bit. I’ve designed it into two different printables/computer wallpapers:

Monarch-Own-Your-Path-wallpaper-1-via-@poorandpretty

Monarch-Own-Your-Path-wallpaper-2-via-@poorandpretty

Right click and save either image above to use it as a desktop wallpaper. You can also download higher resolution files to print and frame: download butterfly printable | download dots printable | download everything | these are large files and may take a while to download. :)

Photo Booth 2 - Monarch Workshop via @poorandpretty

I am so grateful to Jessica of The Confetti Bar and Latanya of Sprinkles & Booze for introducing me to this crowd of incredible creators. I’ve never felt so understood and accepted. I will be seeing a lot more of them that’s for sure! I’ve already begun to take what I’ve learned and work on myself and my future as a kick-ass entrepreneur.

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Celebrate Spring with 23 Floral DIYs

23 floral DIYs

Happy first day of spring!! It doesn’t quite feel like it here in Connecticut just yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve found a few ways to fill our home with flowers, even if they aren’t blooming yet.

1. Botanical Napkin Rings via Terrain. Brighten up your tablescape with these easy to make floral napkin rings. This tutorial uses real flowers, but you can substitute fake ones if, like me, you live in what has apparently become the arctic zone.

2. Floral Wall Backdrop via I Spy DIY. I love the floral backdrop trend! I know the blooms will only last a few days before they wilt, but aren’t they so pretty?

3. DIY kate spade Floral Necklace via Bromeliad. Hmm… pay $300 for a necklace or make it yourself for under $20? ;)

Timex Brit + Co ParDIY - tissue paper pompoms

4. Tissue Paper Pom-Poms via Poor & Pretty. These have become a permanent fixture in our kitchen, and I always get compliments when we have people over. My response? “They’re so easy to make! Don’t ever buy them!” Seriously. Buying them is a rip-off, and you’re far too crafty and clever for that.

5. Fresh Flower Love Sign via Sugar & Cloth. I can’t get over how lovely this simple little sign is!

6. DIY Pressed Flower iPhone Case via The Etsy Blog. These remind me of the pressed flower bookmarks Suzi and I used to make with our Nana when we were little. :)

7. DIY Fresh Flower Framed Mirror via Paper & Stitch. How perfect would these be as a wedding day photography prop?! If I were putting this in my house, I’d want to use fake flowers because it would be such a shame to see them wilt after all that hard work!

8. Floral Spring Wreath via Dwell Beautiful. Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas, you know!

9. Tissue Paper Flower Garland via A Subtle Revelry. Here’s another pretty way to string up tissue paper pom-poms.

10. Magnetic Fridge Vases via Woods of Bell Trees. Leftover nail polish bottles + magnets = awesome new fridge decorations.

11. Sugared Blooms via Terrain. These would be so pretty on top of homemade cupcakes or pies! Just make sure to use edible, (and pesticide-free) flowers like roses or violas.

12. DIY Spring Flower Crowns via Green Wedding Shoes. Be the queen of spring in these ranunculusly gorgeous floral crowns. (See what I did there?)

13. Fitzgerald Floral Embroidery Kit via For The Makers. I love my monthly For The Makers kits and this one evokes springtime year-round.

14. DIY Floral Letters via Honestly YUM. I would like to X and O Erica of HonestlyWTF for this beautiful floral arrangement tutorial.

15. Giant Fresh Flower Ampersand via Paper & Stitch. I see your floral X and O and I raise you an &!

16. Flowers & Bees Paper Garlands via Highwalls. Here’s another great garland, made from wrapping paper!

17. Tulip Pens via Muslin & Merlot. Remember having all sorts of crazy pens in middle school? Heidi of Muslin & Merlot is totally bringing ‘em back with her tulip pen tutorial.

18. Giant Wall Flowers via You Are My Fave. Stan might start seeing these bloom all over the house soon…

19. Fresh Flower Hair Bows via I Spy DIY. The perfect garden party hair accessory? I think so.

20. Iron-Transfer Floral Duvet Cover via Design*Sponge. I know this tutorial is meant for college living, but I think this duvet cover would look beautiful in any bedroom.

21. Floral Stamp Greeting Card via Deb Duty. I’m not much of a paper crafter, but this handmade greeting card is just too pretty!

22. DIY Floral Necklace via Green Wedding Shoes. Another beautiful (fresh) take on floral necklaces.

23. Paper Cut Inspired Wall Hanging via Poppy Talk. A daily reminder to love what you do — and if you don’t, it’s time to do what you love.

What are some of your favorite springtime crafts?

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Color Love: Lucite Green

Color Love - Lucite Green feat

One of PANTONE’s color trends for this spring is Lucite Green ~ a pretty color that looks like the lovechild of seafoam and aqua. I loved putting this inspiration board together because it reminded me that spring is coming (eventually) and that there are actual colors in this world (not just white, brown, and gray). Here are a few of my favorite Lucite Green things:

Color Love - Lucite Green via @poorandpretty

1. Peekaboo Clutch by ban.do. // 2. Door Knob Curtain Tie-Back via Urban Outfitters. // 3. Cheer I Go Top in Mint via ModCloth. // 4. Make Love Not War Print by Patti Murphy. // 5. 3″ Chino Short in Seamist via J.Crew. // 6. Mossimo Bikini Top & Bikini Bottom via Target. // 7. Copper and Dipped Enamel Arrow Ring by miju. // 8. 2015 Mint & Gold Confetti Planner via Paper Source. // 9. Seafoam Nail Polish by 100% Pure.

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5 Ways to Relax at Home

5 Ways to Relax at Home feat

5 Ways to Relax at Home via @poorandpretty

I’ve been a little more frenzied than usual lately, maybe because Stan isn’t around to balance me out. (He comes back from his two-week trip to Israel on Thursday!!) I’m a fairly high-energy person, and I tend to juggle a lot of projects at once. One thing I have difficulty with is relaxing. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because I can’t shut my brain off. If you have this problem too, you’ve likely tried solving it by a weekend spa getaway or a massage, which do work, but they get a little pricey. Here are a few things that work for me, things you can do at home without spending any money.

Disconnect Your Tech

1. Disconnect your tech. I’m putting this first because it’s the hardest one to do! We are constantly connected — checking our email, responding to texts, tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking… and hey, I’m as guilty as anyone. But turning off everything — phone, TV, computer — for a few hours is just so peaceful. (That’s why I secretly love when we lose power for a little while.)

Meditate

2. Meditate or do Yoga. This one’s a bit more obvious, but it’s worth including. If you live with others, give them a head’s up that you need some quiet time. Go to your bedroom or any room that is secluded and has a door that can be closed — it can even be the bathroom. Close (and maybe lock) the door and lay out a yoga mat or towel. Light a few candles and turn off the lights, maybe put on some relaxing instrumental music or Enya. Go ahead and laugh, but her stuff is great for relaxing. Sit for a few minutes and just breathe, focusing on the rhythm of your breath going in and out of your body. If you want to do some slow, easy yoga stretches, go for it. But remember: your goal here is to relax, not to work out, so don’t push yourself. If you’d rather just meditate, I find that placing a candle in front of me and concentrating on the flame helps my brain stay present and focused. Try not to let it wander off into the realm of tasks and to-dos.

Read a book

3. Read a real book. Call me crazy, but I read actual paper books. I do not read books on my iPad, and I don’t own a Kindle (and never will). I love the feeling of immersing myself totally in a story and a big part of that for me is the literal turning of pages. Oh, and I’m a highlighter and margin-scribbler. When I read, I don’t want to feel like I’m using another tech product. It’s my anti-tech time. Plus, the white/blue light emitted by tablets and computer screens trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, thereby keeping it active (and making it hard to fall asleep). The soft yellow glow of a nightstand lamp or book light won’t do that.

Take a Bath

4. Take a bath. I’m all about baths. I can’t wait until Stan and I have a nice deep soaking tub in our bathroom (it’s on our wish list). When I need to relax, I fill our tub up with warm water, toss in my Lavender Bathing Salts, prop my head up on a folded up towel and just soak until the water gets cold.

Go for a walk

5. Go for a walk. I guess you technically need to leave your home for this one, but even if you just go for a walk around your neighborhood, it costs you nothing and it’s good to get outside and breathe some fresh air. If your to-do list keeps growing or you’re really stressed about a specific problem, it helps to walk away from it for a while and get a fresh perspective.

What are some ways you relieve stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

All photos are courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo. Every month, they email an assortment of beautiful high-quality photos they’ve taken themselves so that bloggers and other creatives have killer photos to use online. Isn’t that awesome? :)

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Cinder + Salt is Makin’ Moves with their #LIKEABOSS Collection

cinder + salt - likeaboss collection feat

likeaboss with cinder and salt via @poorandpretty

You guys know how much I love Rachel DeCavage, right? She’s become a great friend and is a truly inspiring and tireless (seriously, girl, when do you sleep?) entrepreneur. When I helped her out with a photo shoot a few weeks ago, I got a sneak peek at her latest Cinder + Salt collection, and now I’m so pumped to officially share #LIKEABOSS with you!

cinder + salt - likeaboss

Inspired by the daily hustle of movers and shakers and lady entrepreneurs, #LIKEABOSS is just as energetic as Rachel herself. Says Rachel, “We designed our products for women who carefully balance their career and personal goals, and crave apparel and accessories that skirt the line. The designs are centered around inspirational phrases and are printed on items that can be worn at work, to the gym, and anywhere in between.”

cinder + salt - likeaboss collection 2

The motivational prints and tees are just as much a rallying cry as they are encouragement, especially the stayin’ hungry stayin’ foolish design, inspired by the famous Steve Jobs quote. There are five new designs in total, each printed with reclaimed inks on racerback tanks, slouchy pullovers, tote bags, and as 11 x 14 prints.

cinder + salt - likeaboss - go getter makin moves

I want one of everything, especially the pink Go Getter slouchy pullover!

cinder + salt - likeaboss pencils

Oh, and she’s even got a set of pencils, for everyday inspiration. Grab your favorites here before March 1st and get 15% off with code TAKECHARGE.

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