Thursday, January 28, 2016

Feeling pretty


For those of you who follow on Instagram, you see pictures like this all the time and I refer to them as style spam. Well today I had no plans whatsoever of posting any style spam, or of taking any pictures like this. I had a full day of work planned, wasn't going anywhere, and didn't do (or wear) anything special. But, I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. I'd wished I could capture the feeling right there, the one I had; the one I saw in the mirror.

It's difficult to write about it now. That moment is almost an eternity away, it was twelve hours ago. Twelve hours in a mom's life is so full of ups, downs, highs & lows. A regular day, an eternity long.

But immediately following the pretty feeling moment, I was inspired tremendously to write. I was going to post to Instagram and decided not to because the caption would be too long. That's when I decided that I needed to blog it.

I'm told somewhat regularly that I look like I... "have it together." Whenever told that I think, Hmph, well I certainly don't feel that way. But I say thank you. I think the key to looking like I have it together is that I'm comfortable. I've finally learned how dress and carry myself in a way that is true to how I feel & how I want others to interpret me; it's very casual, but with attention to detail. It might look like this:

  • a mom bun with a leather bow hair tie
  • earrings with sparkle
  • Sorel boots with a heel
  • jeans with bling detail
  • a pretty bracelet stack
  • a chunky cowl
  • a cup cozy to dress up my coffee
I mean, that's all just stuff. But it's joy in stuff and a reflection of who I am- comfy, cozy, pretty & casual. They're all little things, details, that are almost effortless to add to my day. The little effort they do take to add is worth everything. Without the effort I'm a lost soul; not "put together."

So, am I tricking myself and everyone else. This put together business. I feel like a mess a lot of the time. The small mentioned details being the velcro that holds my fragile sense of self together. Well, read it however you'd like. Someone told me to "fake it 'til you make it" once and I thought, why not?

Since then, I don't wear things I don't like, I don't eat if I'm not hungry, I don't talk if I don't have anything to say. I don't explain why I like what I like.

I dance when I like the song, I buy it if I love it, I sleep when I'm tired. I accept and value how I feel.

We don't have time for anything else. There's just enough time to make it, and no need to fake it.

We're all pretty. And we're all not. It's a feeling, and one that others recognize in us and believe- either way.

So today I looked in the mirror and felt pretty. I suppose I looked it, too. I liked what I wore. My expression was pleasant, but here's the deal...I feel pretty when:
  • I'm calm
  • I'm working at my desk and all I see are my hands and silk, my wedding band, the stack of rings with my kid's names on them, a sparkly druzy & pretty bracelets
  • I'm walking for coffee in boots with heels
  • I'm dancing with the kids
  • I'm snug in a cowl
  • my nails are cared for
  • in natural light
  • I'm sitting by the fire
  • my clothes fit well
  • Elle West smiles
  • True smiles 
  • Evley hugs me
  • I put on lip gloss
  • Gabe loves me...so does that mean always?
I don't feel pretty when:
  • I yell
  • I'm hungry
  • I'm tired
  • I'm anxious 
  • I'm overwhelmed
  • I talk with nothing to say
So, to take care is to feel pretty. I felt that & recognized it today- if only for a moment, and then it passed. 

What makes you feel pretty? It's important to know and maybe you've never asked yourself. Comment below if you'd like to share :)

love, JL

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Elle's Favorite Apron :: DayLu Designs Product Review + Coupon + Giveaway


Today is Elle West's birthday!!! Four. Years. Old. How the heck did this happen?! So, kinda like Evley Love's one year pics, I've been sitting on these gems for awhile. But I figured that today would be the perfect day to share them as a way to celebrate Elle's birthday!

Elle West loooves to help in the kitchen. She loves to pretend to cook pretty much anywhere (she makes lots to eat in the sandbox ;)), but her favorite is getting after it with real food in the kitchen.

I'm actually not the greatest Mom at encouraging this. Watching kids crack eggs makes me cringe, and having a chair scooched up against the counter drives me batty. In my defense, we have a really small space to work with in the kitchen. And yeah, well, the rest is just me ;P

BUT!! I get over it for Elle West because she loves it! And maybe one of these days she'll kick ME out of the kitchen, which would be a dream!!

These pics are from Evley's birthday in July. It was a big deal that Elle West made the birthday cupcakes for everyone. She did it from start to finish and it truly blows me away how capable she is.

When we received this gorgeous apron from DayLu Designs she just wore it around the house until I gave her reason to wear it in the kitchen. It is SO pretty, and you know how we feel about PRETTY things!!
DayLu Designs is a Mother-Daughter team who makes aprons for everyone- Mama, Daddy, Babes, plus specialty aprons like their Vendor & Studio aprons. These are made to use while also being stylish. I am absolutely astounded by their quality craftsmanship. When you see the prices that go with them, you might think it's too good to be true.

My pics are a bit more about Elle, and a little less about the apron. So I'm afraid that my "product" photos for this review don't do the apron justice. There are two pockets in the front that Elle loves to store her hands in as she's running around the yard (yes, the yard. Remember the sand baked goods I mentioned!). The apron also features two buttons for an adjustable neck strap. This ensures that we'll get to use the apron for a long time- often times children's aprons become too small on account of that neck strap...not a problem here.

And I've already mentioned how pretty it is!! Gah! It's practically an adorable outfit on it's own! the bow in the back just seals the deal for me, it's gorgeous!!

DayLu Designs generously offered to help celebrate Elle's birthday today with a coupon code good on anything in their Shop - Exclusive to PRETTYblog readers!! Enjoy 20% off your purchases of $25 or more with the code PTYJLNOV now thru Sunday 11/15! 'Tis the season for pretty handmade gifts and baking helpers in the kitchen ;) Shop all of the DayLu Designs styles here & Enjoy!!
Okay, now it wouldn't be a birthday around here without a birthday bracelet, would it?! DayLu Designs and I have teamed up to giveaway a Girl's Apron of choice + a Child's Adjustable Braided Charm Bracelet to one lucky winner!!

You'll have the chance to enter the giveaway on Instagram tonight on my page, @prettbyjl! If you aren't on Instagram, head on over to DayLu Design's Facebook page to follow + share this post to your page! *You must "like" DayLu Designs and share this blog post to your fb page for your entry to count. Please comment on DayLu Design's post or comment here on the blog to let us know you've entered! If you're on Instagram you may enter both ways to receive an extra entry!!

Find additional rules and closing date on the giveaway posts themselves and Good Luck!! Thanks for celebrating Elle West with us & for your appreciation of PRETTY handmade things!

X O X O X,
JL

Monday, November 9, 2015

One year :: Evley Love myStyle = Little Mischief + Gracious May + Hip Chixie + Shop Nomi Handmade

Clothing
outfit: Bloomers & halter from Little Mischief Co.

Accessories
headband: Lacey Headband by Shop NOMI Handmade. Find them on Instagram at @shopnomihandmade
necklace: Boho Fringe Necklace by Hip Chixie
bracelet: Child Charm Bracelet by Pretty by JL
shoes: Chestnut Suede Moccasin Boots by Gracious May

Photography
All photos are by & property of E. Lee Photography :: Visit her Website and on Facebook to see more of Esther's work & to schedule your own shoot. 

{click on each image in this post for a better view}

You guys. My baby girl's one year pictures. Where has the year gone?! And I'm four months late posting!!! So really she is 16 mos. old today!!! 

As always, Esther did an incredible job on this shoot. Evley (especially in these days) can be particularly tough to capture. Elle West was to same way. For being such pretty children, they took sort of unpretty photos when they were babies. Do you know what I mean? Ah, but this girl. Pretty photo or not, which these undoubtedly are, is a Baby. Doll. She is such a joy in all of our lives. And judging by these pics, what do you want to bet that she knows it?

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet because I've got gobs to do this morning. Since we're here, I'll give you a quick update on why I've been MIA lately via the PRETTYblog... I've been making lots of accessories. I've been absolutely and totally loving it. But being full-time Mama to 3 kiddos is really all there's time for. So to try to do something else (my Shop being the something else) is nothing short of a challenge. I've gotten into a great routine though that is working well for the family. I'm getting to grow my Shop & enjoy my kids a lot of the time without being a stress case. The routine, in a nutshell, is called getting up early!! Haha!! And going to bed early!!

Anyway, now that the silence is broken here on the blog I hope to share this way with you more frequently. Maybe if I do, my Instagram posts will come in under 900 words, heheehee ;P

Happiest Monday, Friends!! Click on the links in the description above to shop Evley Love's look and stop by my Shop to see what's happening!! There is a super fun Holiday Promotion going on, too, so learn about that from expanding the shop's announcements :) Click here to browse.

X O X O X,
JL

Friday, August 28, 2015

august quote :: desktop + art print + bookmark

Hey there!! Can you believe that summer is all but behind us?! Things have felt nuts around here and I haven't been in touch like I'd like. I hope to catch you all up soon now that school is in. That still might be a little hopeful as I begin prepping my Shop for the holidays!! But I'm still gonna try! 

Well here is, finally, August's PRETTY + Inspirational Quote...better late than never, right? It's so perfect for me! I love the quote and the style, and think I'll be using it for most of September!! I hope you'll enjoy it, too.

As always, a giant thanks to Chloe for the design and for keeping me at least this active on the blog!! Grab your free downloads from the links below!

>>---> to download the image to set to your desktop, click HERE.

>>---> to download the pdf for your free printable 5x7" art print print + 3x3" bookmark, click HERE.

>>---> to collect them all, click HERE.

Are you on Instagram? Show us how you are enjoying your #PRETTYbyJLquotes and tag and share the love!! You can find me @prettybyjl to see what I'm up to with mine & find more of Chloe @chloechristinemarty and also @remember_the_day_artwork!

X O X O X, JL

Sunday, August 2, 2015

6th Annual Family 5k Walk/Run


You guys!!! The Family 5k Walk/Run is now less than THREE weeks away!!! How did that happen?!

I have been at my very worst at marketing the event this year. But, don't let that fool you...this year's event is coming together beautifully and will likely be the very best to date!! Click on the image above to register online now, or keep reading for more event information!

Event History-

The Family 5k Walk/Run was started by me and my two Besties (Chloe & Emily) in 2010 as a way to  get my little business (or idea of my business) involved in the community. I've dreamed of designing & manufacturing nursing bras since my oldest was born in 2008. The Family 5k became a part of my business journey (...a journey that is still very much in progress).

The idea behind the event was to help cultivate the acceptance and encouragement of breastfeeding in our American Society and on a local level. Breastfeeding is so normal, right? Yeah, that's what I think. But plenty of people still aren't supported in their decision to breastfeed.

I aligned my business with Best for Babes, my favorite breastfeeding organization, and all the event's entry fees benefitted the organization.

In 2011, Durango Pregnancy Center (a local organization) became another beneficiary of the event; with the proceeds split 50/50 between the two organizations.

In 2014, the event became Durango Pregnancy Center's primary fundraiser. The Family 5k Walk/Run is now run through the Durango Pregnancy Center (instead of Pretty-Bras for Nursing Moms, LLC) and is organized by the Family 5k Walk/Run committee (which I'm a member of).

Over the years, we've made small to substantial contributions to Best for Babes and Durango Pregnancy Center by using the Family 5k Walk/Run as a fundraising platform. The event continues to grow and is looked forward to by locals each year.

About the Family 5k Walk/Run-

The Event is very unique in that it is the only event of this nature that caters to the entire family. While we do time the runners and announce winners in the Men's & Women's classes, we only give awards to the winners of the Kids' 1 mile. Our runs are less about being competitive and more about getting out and being active as a family and community.

We have vendors and interactive booths for the kiddos, as well as a bounce house. Strollers and bikes are welcome on the course (or scooters or wagons) and Serious Delights provides brunch for the entire family. We always have amazing prizes donated for our giveaway (items for the entire family), and we've got the best 5k swag bags in the state (I'm pretty sure). In a nutshell, it's a steal of a deal, benefits two awesome organizations, and is pretty much just a fun outing for the family and that also happens to have a 5k & 1 mile run!!

This year's event- 

This year's event will be held at the Durango Rec Center Amphitheater & Animas River Trail again. The site is beautiful and family friendly. Durango Fire & Rescue will be there to give first aid demonstrations and there just might even be a Fire TRUCK!!

The entry fees have changed a little...This year 5k entry fees are $30 instead of $25 and that price is for an individual of any age who wishes to participate in the 5k run; participants will receive an ever t-shirt this year #WootWoot, and the Kids' mile in now FREE!

There will again be a bounce house, games, vendor booths, and an amazing brunch provided by Serious Delights Bake House!! But this year, the giveaway items are unreal!!! Here's what's up for grabs:

Strider Bike & Helmet from 2nd Ave. Sports

Day Pack with Reservoir from Backcountry Experience

1 pair Men's Running Shoes with accessories (Gift value: $100)
1 pair Women's Running Shoes with accessories (Gift value: $100)

1 - $25 gift card Durango Joe's

1 - $25 gift card Top That Yogurt

So are you coming or what?!!! It's in less than 3 weeks!!!! Register online NOW and find all of the event details on the Event's Web Page!!

See you there!
JL

Friday, July 17, 2015

july quote :: desktop + art print + bookmark



Well isn't it the #truth!! This month's quote is so calming; exactly what I need. Summer has felt crazy.  Chloe's PRETTY + Inspirational quote is, honestly, just what I need right now. I hope you'll grab your free downloads below and enjoy!

>>---> to download the image to set to your desktop, click HERE.

>>---> to download the pdf for your free printable 5x7" art print print + 3x3" bookmark, click HERE.

>>---> to collect them all, click HERE.

Are you on Instagram? Show us how you are enjoying your #PRETTYbyJLquotes and tag and share the love!! You can find me @prettybyjl to see what I'm up to with mine & find more of Chloe @chloechristinemarty and also @remember_the_day_artwork!

X O X O X, JL

Monday, June 8, 2015

june quote :: desktop + art print + bookmark

Breathe deeply this month and enjoy the adventure of your life. Keep your eyes open and enjoy all that is pretty out there. I'll be doing my best, too ;)

Chloe nailed June in this months PRETTY + Inspirational quote, if I may say so myself! Grab your free downloads below and enjoy!!

>>---> to download the image to set to your desktop, click HERE.

>>---> to download the pdf for your free printable 5x7" art print print + 3x3" bookmark, click HERE.

>>---> to collect them all, click HERE.

Are you on Instagram? Show us how you are enjoying your #PRETTYbyJLquotes and tag and share the love!! You can find me @prettybyjl to see what I'm up to with mine & find more of Chloe @chloechristinemarty and also @remember_the_day_artwork!

X O X O X, JL
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