SPOTLIGHT: THE QUEEN BEE

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7585925472_IMG_0961I love a good birthday party! And with any good party comes exquisite details – the cake, the balloons, the invitation. Details that shouldn’t be forgotten include the wrapping paper and the stationery to be used for proper thank you notes! I’m a lover of paper and paper design, and Baton Rouge’s The Queen Bee should be your go-to stop for unforgettable paper details and top-notch customer service.

Owner Michelle Beauboeuf, was a dream to work with when creating custom stationery, enclosure cards, and one-of-a-kind gift wrap for my girls. She simply asked for their interests and favorite colors. My seven-year-old girly-girl Eloise chose “rainbows and unicorns” and the color turquoise; my four-year-old candy-junky and frequenter-to-the-dentist, Charlotte Cate chose “lollipops” and the color pink. From there, Michelle and her staff worked their magic to create the most amazing pieces for my girls! Y’all it was all designed in-house … the note cards and enclosure cards were printed in-house, too.

7585925472_IMG_09487585925472_IMG_09507585925472_IMG_09407585925472_IMG_0947For those interested in the process, Michelle says, “Typically, the customer will come in, and we will get some information from them. We will ask who the recipient is, what they are into, what colors they like, and any other information that will help us with the design.” Michelle and her staff will walk you through all of the options including paper, fonts, colors, envelope color, envelope liners, return address and addressing options. Once all info is gathered, the design begins and a proof is sent to the customer. Upon approval, the customer should have their stationery within days of ordering.

One of The Queen Bee’s newest ventures is custom gift wrapping. I was so excited to have custom gift wrap designed for the girls. How exciting to show up to a friend’s birthday party with a gift wrapped in your own custom paper? Just like an invitation or note card, Michelle and her staff can create something personal and custom, each design different from the last. From monograms to specific party-themed paper, this service of custom-designed gift wrap is going to be popular! I can already imagine Santa’s custom gift wrap this holiday season …

The Queen Bee is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Follow The Queen Bee on Instagram @thequeenbeebatonrouge.

 

LEMONADE FOR SALE

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This past Saturday, we were asked to pop in to Oh Pair’s summer sale. Oh Pair offers affordable, durable, high quality shoes and accessories in an assortment of sizes, widths, and styles to accommodate every parent’s needs. The children’s shoe store, located in Baton Rouge, was offering a “Pop and Save” sale where customers could pop a balloon to save 20%, 30%, 40%, or 50% off their highest priced item. The store also had a sale table with shoes priced as low at $15. Charlotte Cate and Eloise each choose a pair of pink Cienta sneakers for $15. What a steal!

In conjunction with their summer sale, Oh Pair, hosted a Lemonade Stand benefiting Cure for Daisy. Daisy is an amazing 7-year-old in South Louisiana with Juvenile Myositis, a rare incurable disease. She’s raising money and awareness for CureJM. Daisy was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM) at the age of 3. Juvenile Myositis (JM) is a group of rare and life-threatening diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. Juvenile Dermatomyositis is the most common form of JM.

Charlotte Cate and Eloise enjoyed selling lemonade knowing it was benefiting Daisy and those with JM!

Follow Oh Pair @ohpairbr and Cure for Daisy @curefordaisy on Instagram.

Outfit Details: Red Beans seersucker bloomer set // Red Beans seersucker halter top // Old Navy skinny jeans (only $9) // Gold Salt Water Sweetheart Sandals // Gold Salt Water Surfer Sandals

I HAVE A THING WITH PAPER

I love paper. Invitations, stationery, gift tags, Christmas cards, LSU Football schedules, Halloween cards, Valentines, etc. The list goes on. I love the design and layout of cards and the feel of thick, luxurious paper. One of my favorite pastimes is designing paper products for myself, family and friends, and clients who have become friends over the years.

I’m a sucker for good design. I find I’m always inspired by the world around me. Font combinations I notice as I’m driving, color combinations seen in magazine and catalog print, beautiful designs in womenswear and children’s clothing, stunning locations which would make for the perfect photoshoot location, etc.

While it’s only June, I’m constantly brainstorming ideas for Charlotte Cate’s birthday invitation (because she’s the next birthday in our little family) … and her birthday is in December. I also find myself thinking about this year’s Christmas card … again, I know it’s only June. I know this is unusual, but it’s me. And it’s what keeps my creative juices flowing.

Below are some of my personal favorites that I’ve designed for our family throughout the years.

Charlotte Cate’s Birth Announcement // antique “CC” monogram incorporated into a hot pink letterpress flat card

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IMG_6985Charlotte Cate’s Breakfast with Santa Birthday Invitation // hand-glittered vintage Santa

Eloise’s Picnic in the Park Birthday Invitation // collaborated with Rifle Paper Co. to design a custom silhouette print gifted with each invitation // custom calligraphy // hand-tied with gold bakers twine

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Eloise’s Kindergarten Valentine’s Cards // ring erasers were attached to cards

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Eloise’s Ice Cream Social Birthday Invitation // hand-glittered watercolor ice cream sundaes

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2013 Cascio Christmas Card // tri-fold card designed around Charlotte Cate and Eloise’s portraits done with Fred Frey Photography

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2014 Cascio Christmas Card and Moving Announcement // Santa-themed folded card to share our new address and Santa’s new stop // Stefanie Cascio Photography

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2015 Cascio Christmas Card //tri-fold card designed around Charlotte Cate and Eloise’s portraits done with Jeannie Frey Rhodes Photography // hand-tied ribbon to coordinate with lettering, “Oh, What Fun!”

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2016 Cascio Christmas Card // Custom holographic foil // Eloise and Charlotte Cate’s artwork was incorporated into card design

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Eloise’s First Grade Valentine’s Cards // Heart glasses to coordinate with “All the Heart Eyes” emoji themeIMG_7044IMG_7040

Christmas Gift Tags // 3″ x 3″ custom gift tags to coordinate with girls’ portraits and personalities

DIY: DIAGONAL PATTERN FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS

IMG_5610Nothing screams summer quite like friendship bracelets. As a child, I have a vivid memory of making these with my cousins and best friends – especially on rainy, summer afternoons.

Last summer, Eloise dabbled in making friendship bracelets. She learned how to make the Chinese Staircase pattern and practiced until she made them perfect. She enjoyed choosing color combinations that she knew friends and family would find special. As school started up, she let the craft take a back seat to homework, soccer, and gymnastics. However, with the rainy, summer days upon us again, she has picked up the craft once again.

This summer, Eloise has learned a new design – the Diagonal Pattern. She’s excited again to choose unique color combinations for whom her bracelets are designed. Her first bracelet, designed for herself, includes neon brights in orange, coral, pink, and lavender. Good choices, Eloise!

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IMG_5593Diagonal Pattern Friendship Bracelet

Materials:

  • embroidery floss
  • scissors
  • safety pin

Directions:

  1. Choose 3 or 4 colors of embroidery floss
  2. Cut each thread to a length of 60-65″
  3. Fold the floss in half and knot to create a loop at one end
  4. Use a safety pin to anchor floss
  5. Loop thread 1 over thread 2 to form a number “4”
  6. Take thread 1 and go under thread 2 then up over thread 1
  7. Pull thread 1 up to tighten (hold thread 2)
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 with thread 1 (you should have two knots now)
  9. Use thread 1 to make two knots on each of your remaining threads
  10. Repeat process with remaining threads until desired bracelet length is achieved

If all else fails, there’s a YouTube tutorial for everything! I hope your little one enjoys this classic summer activity as much as my Eloise does.

 

SUMMER BUCKET LIST

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Eloise and Charlotte Cate are officially finished with school, and summer is upon us! Today we wrote out our first-ever Summer bucket list, and we are ready to start checking things off the list! Compiling the list got the girls excited and helped to add some fun to the monotonous rainy days we’ve had over the past week. If you haven’t made a bucket list with your little ones, I highly recommend it!

I can’t believe Charlotte Cate will be starting Pre-K soon! I am trying to soak up every last minute of having the girls home together before they are both in “big” school. Even when they get sick of each other, we are going to make this the best summer yet!

 

SUMMER FUNOutfit Details: Everbloom Girls Cotton Sundress // Everbloom pompom headband // Everbloom dot capri leggings // Everbloom panda t-shirt // Everbloom Lola skirt // Everbloom pompom headband

OUR FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOKS

IMG_3836We love books around here – board books, picture books, chapter books, fiction books, nonfiction book, the list goes on and on and on. Our love for children’s books really comes as no surprise as Eloise was named after the main character in one of my childhood favorite’s, Eloise.

As a preschool teacher, picture books and board books have always been important. I’ve always loved that my girls can sit for what seems forever to read and look through them. As Eloise has grown as a reader, it’s been fun to watch her share her love of reading with her sister. Often, I will find her reading to Charlotte Cate.

Story time has evolved in our home, and as a mama it makes my heart smile big. What once was a time led mostly by me, has turned into a time shared between my girls and me. It’s amazing to see them self-select books, read predictable texts, decode new words, make real-world connections, etc. Oftentimes, Eloise will fully lead story time now; it’s incredible to see her interaction with a book, and her ability to bring books alive for her sister.

I’ve completed a round-up of some of our favorite books throughout the years.

0-2 board2Shopping Details: Pantone Colors // First 100 Words // Goodnight Moon // A Night Night Prayer // Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? // Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? // This Little Piggy Went to Prada // You Are My Cupcake // Big Girl Panties // You Are My Sunshine // Teeth Are Not for Biting 

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Shopping Details: Jesus Loves Me! // Llama Llama Red Pajama // Press Here // Once Upon a Time // When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really, Angry // Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox // Baby Beluga // Down By the Bay // My First Book of Girl Power // Even Superheroes Have Bad Days

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Shopping Details: Little People, Big Dreams Coco Chanel // Madeline // Eloise // Chloe, instead // American Girl: Ultimate Visual Guide // The Bear Scouts // Pete the Cat Too Cool for School // Elephant and Piggie The Thank You Book // Henry and Mudge the First Book // Junie B. Jones First Grader (at last)

Here’s a video clip of Charlotte Cate “reading” Big Girl Panties, one of our favorites for zero to two-year-olds!

I’m always on the hunt for more books to build our little home library. Do y’all have any great recommendations? I’d love to try them out! Please share your favorites in the comments.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHING MY GIRLS

PHOTOGRAPHING MY GIRLS

Many of you have asked, “How do you get such great photos of your kids?” Trial and Error. I’ve always loved photography, but learning a DSLR takes lots of time and lots of practice. Especially with moving objects such as young children.

What camera do I shoot with?

I have a Canon T6i. I’m obsessed with its ease of use, and the wifi capability is a game-changer! Using the Canon app, I’m able to upload photos directly to my iPhone. This feature is especially helpful on vacations or special events when I need that instant gratification and the ability to share with others quickly.

Previously, I had a Canon XTi, which I loved, but wanted some updated features and capabilities that the T6i offered.

While I do think the camera is important, the lens is equally, if not more, important. I do not shoot with the included kit lens; they just don’t give me the photos my heart desires. Good lenses are investments. But keep in mind that your lenses can be used with future cameras. I suggest investing in a lens that stays open at 2.8 when zoomed in. It’s pricey, but that’s what it takes to achieve the results you want.  Continue reading “PHOTOGRAPHING MY GIRLS”