Watson & Mayberry

Handmade goods to accompany you on your grand adventures.

There's a New Boss Babe in Town

Guest FeatureSteph Sheraton

A few years ago, W&M was nothing more than an eclectic spread of random handmade things on a table @ a local Farmer's Market. Before we had our own Etsy shop & before demands grew us into our own website, we had no idea that this handmade business would one day allow me to work from home & raise our babies. There's a heaping handful of people to thank for getting us from point A to point B but there's one who made a huge impact when we were fresh on the market.

Enter: Stephy McCauley.

Stephy then was a friend-of-a-friend who heard that some girl in Seattle was making cool stuff & she wanted in. She tracked down my contact info & bought a bag from me (all you long-time sweet followers, remember the jute Leah Hip Bags? Yeah- it was THAT long ago.) But she didn't just buy a bag. She used the heck out of it & took every opportunity to spread the word about my newly blooming shop. She sent me cards & texts telling me how great my goods were & that she would do everything she could to help "get me out there." As a new girl on the block of the small business world, her words were pure GOLD. This infectious, loud blonde from Texas was singin'  my praises, all because we had a mutual friend & she just legit gets crazy joy from breathing life into people's dreams. She's the kind of gal that wouldn't dare pass up a kid's lemonade stand & who would drop her own cold cash to buy a piece of art from a high school student just to make sure they felt like they were the bomb when putting themselves out there for maybe the first time.

We took the opportunity to interview her while we could still snag a spot in her busy schedule b/c her new business (52 days old of a babe to be exact) is EXPLODING & as you'll read below? She ain't slowin' down anytime soon.


W&M: So Stephy, tell us about your business.

M+L: My business is McCauley + Luck, we sell fun and flirty earrings at a fun and flirty price through social media, our website and pop up shops at fun boutiques, expos and businesses.  I call it "slingin 'rings" ...it's the most fun business I've ever been a part of....probably because I made it - right?

W&M: You've only be open for all of 2 seconds- how's it going?

M+L: As of August 8th we have been open for 52 days.  We have taken off like wild fire, and really it is me trying to keep up, keep it fresh and keep it fun while we continually gain followers, friends and attention over the DFW metroplex and over the nation through social media.

W&M: What are some things you've done early on that'd you'd attribute your quick success to?

M+L: God first.  Without Him, there's no way this happened.  I accredit a lot of it to who God made me to be...karma is a real deal - what goes around definitely comes around.  I have supported a LOT of friends through different endeavors, and they in turn supported me more than I could have ever imagined.  I knew I wanted to start something, I just didn't know what.  So when I started an earring line - people could not get enough of it.  My friends were my biggest advocates, I also accredit a lot of the success to my friends @Dallasites101 - Lily was my first customer and her and her partner Kara have featured me a more than a few times on their instagram with over 64k followers.  Also, my friend Angeline - she asked me to be in her store, and that really legitimized me as a business owner to be in a storefront...I now am now in six.  Without my girlfriends, I would not have started this business.  They pushed me, supported me and are my biggest cheerleaders.  I'm so grateful for them.

W&M: Where'd the inspiration for your business come from & how long did it take you to "take the plunge" & go for it?

M+L: McCauley + Luck started as an Instagram blog...so I had about 250 followers on it when I started.  I wanted to make an instagram that left people greater than when they came. I had followed so many instagram accounts that left me with more foul of humor, and a negative outlook on the world ...I wanted to do the opposite.  I knew I would find something to use the already branded McCauley + Luck - just didn't know what.  Then I found a vendor on a Saturday shopping with one of my girlfriends - it took three of my girlfriends 2 weeks to talk me into doing it as a legitimate business - I left the vendor at 3:47 pm - was asked by my friend Angeline to do a pop up shop that @Dallasites101 was hosting, it started at 7:00 - by 9:00 I was sold out.  And I said out loud "well...I guess I'm in the earring business huh??"  My friends all laughed and a few teared up.  I come from nothing.  I paid my own way through college (still am technically - thanks Sallie Mae)...when I first moved to Dallas I worked 2 jobs to try and keep up with my friends who the majority were from very prominent families.  Didn't bother me a bit, I love working...and my friends never even thought twice about how differently we were raised.  I'm still close with all of them, and love watching them grow in business, in love, and all of their beautiful babies.  I moved to Dallas in a beat up Kia Sportage, that made a weird sound - just picture the episode from bridesmaids pulling up to the big mansion and she doesn't have a cup holder lol. 

I never thought of being an entrepreneur, I love my job - my boss and his wife and family are incredible (executive assistant in commercial real estate) - I just wanted to make extra money for my travel habit.  I have killer hours, and I didn't want to increase them, so I didn't want to ask for a raise...so I made a side hustle that has not only made me a lot of money out of the gate - but I have met some of THE MOST incredible people.  I have always been told God has a HUGE plan for my life, and it is to influence others towards greatness, I just didn't know the avenue he was going to use.  I'm not made to be a pastor, I say whatever I want - and it's just in my DNA - I know this is what God has created me to do...the earrings are just a by-product. My goal is to treat people well, speak into their lives and let them know someone cares about them, wants their life to be epic and wonderful, and someone is here for them.  I would definitely say my customers are actually my friends.  I care about them.

W&M: You've got a bunch of "M+L Girls"- are all of your friends models?:)

M+L: RIGHT?!!?!?!? I'm so lucky.  God has blessed those girls with not only incredible beauty, but I picked each one of them for who they were to me, or who they were to the community.  You should see the photographer herself, Paige.  She's a real gem - and a tiny little blonde who can handstand on top of the Eiffel Tower most likely.  They are just breathtaking individuals.  Laila is actually helping me find a house to purchase at the current moment.  Brandy did all of my logos, business cards...she does my product photographs and is one of my biggest cheerleaders.  There were actually so many more M+L girls I wanted in that photo shoot....all of my friends are just jaw-dropping.

W&M: Any hiccups thus far as a small business owner & how have you handled them?

M+L: I mean...yeah.  Before my website, it was hard to keep track of what everyone was purchasing, have they paid, how did they pay...etc.  So I totally sent earrings to people who hadn't paid yet.  Whatever, what goes around comes around - no big deal.  Maybe they needed a little package in the mail to brighten their day - who knows.

W&M: The "boss babe" world can be an ugly place of competition & false cheerleaders. You've gotten yourself a reputation of being one who rallies around people & encourages women to chase their dreams. Would you speak to that for us?

M+L: How lonely would life be if we were the only one chasing our dreams?  We would have no one who could truly understand our struggles or genuinely cheer us on about our victories.  We would have plenty of people to say "congrats" but none that are jumping up and down for us like we are deep down in our soul.  People are my heartbeat. They are what get me up in the morning.  The connection of soul to soul, is what we were created for.  I sling earrings simply to be a part of their moments.  I think that is why I love earrings so much - because they make people happy - they bookend our thoughts and bring joy to others who see it.  I get to be a part of every moment when they wear them - and every photo of their vacation.  People are why I love McCauley + Luck and THEY are what make up this company.  I'm simply just the founder, they are the company.

So that's that. Learn how to spell "McCauley" b/c it's a name you're gonna need to know.

Poppy's Morning Market

Recipes, GatheringsSteph SheratonComment

It's no secret around here that we Sheratons love a themed get-together. In addition, there are few places we'd rather be than at a festive farmer's market. As our darling Penelope's 2nd birthday was quickly sneaking up on us, we'd planned to gather the fam the prior Saturday morning for a crepe brunch on the patio. Low key, small & intimate. Matt & had I unofficially agreed that we'd do "big parties" for the kids every other year & on the off years, we'd keep it light or do something extra fun as a fam. But as fellow creatives may agree, once the party's theme had come to me, it was near impossible to slow this train's roll- sorry babe. Now we had a full-blown shindig on our hands. Oops:). 

I normally don't start planning or gathering specifics for an event until the week of. With a handmade business to run, 2 babies to raise & a church that I want to actively serve in, ain't nobody got time to be obsessing WEEKS before. So this shindig was no different. The week of, I began to gather the decor (mostly from within our home & for sure a thrift store run or 2)!!

This year, like the year previous, I'd planned the party to be outside- with no feasible backup plan (which is sort of dumb in Seattle- I know). But I had a vision & wanted the party to be just so! I envisioned bluegrass music rockin', market "booths" scattered around our patio filled with beautiful things to eat & do. The Saturday of P's party, I woke up to rain. RAIN. I sat in the living room, killing time & waiting for a break in the wetness to rush out & set up. BUT IT JUST KEPT RAINING. 45 minutes before folks were due to show up, there was a break in the sprinkling & I frantically threw bunting & tables all over the slippery patio. As 10 o'clock struck, the sky filled with dark rain-filled clouds. I looked @ Matt, feeling totally defeated, & asked if we should cancel. Our home was a hot mess & had been completely dedecorated so I could use it all for the patio fest. He smiled reassuringly & said "Can't cancel now!" Isn't it a wonder that our spouses can calm our crazy & bring such constant comfort?

But like a birthday miracle, the sun slowly crept out, the outdoor hangs were spared & it dried up so fast I eventually got to even throw my rugs all over the patio like i'd envisioned. So many of my "ideas" never got to be displayed & so much left forgotten in the 30 min. scramble to "make a party" on the patio. But as always, PEOPLE WIN. Our morning was filled with people we adore, adults hung around sipping coffee & chatting, kids ran a muck laughing, & bluegrass blared amidst wild flowers & fresh crepes. It was PERFECT. The decor may have not been what I'd have hoped but we succeeded in creating a "feeling", People felt loved, memories were made, & our sweet Penelope had THE BEST DAY.

My fav moment of the whole gathering was near the end when my in-laws surprised Poppy in the driveway with a BMW convertible. It nearly made my heart burst to watch her cruise with a great big grin while all the kids chased her around.

Parties for our family have always been the perfect excuse to gather loved ones & create something beautiful. We felt so blessed to be surrounded by such fantastic friends & family. Thanks to all who came & loved on our girl:).

Here are a few details of the Morning Market & some simple DIY's

MORE COWBELL!! er, MORE BUNTING!!

It's my decorating go-to for sure. I accumulate more with each gathering & it adds so much life & color to have strewn about. And HELLO- SO CHEAP!! I hit up the Goodwill Outlet a few days previous & got a bag of vintage linens for under $2. A quick wash & dry & then cut into strips & voila!! Easy scrap fabric bunting (more pics @ end of post). Another fav bunting were these vintage doilies (thrifted as a set for $2) that I tied on cotton cord. I adored how it turned out!!

Another simple one that added so much charm was to hang all of my vintage aprons on a cotton cord, just as you would a clothes line. I'd planned to do the same with a beautiful stack of vintage doilies but ran out of time- boo!

Signage is always a must for me @ gatherings. I love when food is labeled with menus on chalkboards & fun signs are around. For our Farmer's Market theme, I spent $10 on lumber @ home depot & whipped up a bunch of signs. My fav is the "Poppy's Morning Market" posted sign. It was simple- 3 boards ($2/per & pre-stained) & painted. On the bottom I had my hubby staple on some chicken wire. The night before the party I tucked branches & wild flowers througout it, creating the most festive, whimsical entrance to the gathering.

Food for a Morning Market "brunch" theme was really fun & REALLY easy. I did a market run the week of & stocked up on lots of fresh berries & produce. My talented sister-in-law made a gorgeous homemade pie, my mom brought super fun donuts & my mom-in-law brought beautiful scones. So apparently it takes a village:). I busted out a plate of sprinkle cake pops as well (a go-to oreo cream cheese recipe thats SO EASY!! Recipe on Penelope's 1st bday blog post). My husband is quite the closet chef himself, so he had a "Creperie" booth & whipped up hot, fresh crepes for the whole crew.

The "naked" cake was a breeze as well. Want the dirty details?

I used 2 white cake boxed mixed & baked them in 2 different sized. When I was popping them out of the pan, a huge chunk fell off & I just laughed & patched it up w/ some frosting- oops. At 10pm the night before, I guess a girl just stops caring:). Simple Pinterest buttercream frosting went between the layers along w/ fresh cut strawberries & then I topped it w/ a bunch more berries. A little powdered sugar shake all over & voila!! a $5 masterpiece to be eaten by tiny toddler mouthes.

For drinks, we served a pitcher of cold brewed coffee with fresh cream & our homemade Brown Sugar Lavendar syrup (recipe in previous post). It was a HIT! We also served strawberry lemonade, OJ, & La Croux. But when there's coffee, who really needs anything else?

B/c it was a Farmer's Market theme, I'd planned to raid the local farmer's market the day before for fresh flowers. When I rolled in? It was closed- boo! And b/c it was Mother's Day weekend, fresh flowers & the grocery were SO EXPENSIVE! We ended up snagging a bouquet from Costco & the rest? I went out afterdark with a giant IKEA bag & shears & took a walk, snipping anything wild I could find on the sidewalks around our neighborhood haha! It ended up being quite thrifty & just as festive.

We covered all the "eating" tables with brown butcher paper & mason jars of crayons. We had done this @ our wedding way back when & it's always a win!!

And Penelope's darling mint dress w/ mustard & navy balloons?? Snagged it @ a consignment shop while I was pregnant with her & hoarded it all this time for her second b-day- it's amazing how perfect it was, pockets & all!!

Here's a few more snaps from the party!! Thanks "Auntie Lex" for capturing P's party so we could relive it over and over:). 

"Hey, Brown Sugar Lavender Syrup- GET IN MY COFFEE!!"

RecipesSteph SheratonComment
FullSizeRender.jpg

Ah, springtime.

Yes, it snowed here in Seattle this week but we can't help but look forward to sunshine, Sunday morning runs to the Ballard Farmer's Market & dinners on the patio overlooking the sunset. But until then, this brown sugar lavender syrup in our coffee is EVERYTHING. And it's crazy easy.  

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking lavender
  • sauce pan
  • mason jar for storage
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for added flavor
IMG_2661.JPG

Step 1: Add water, sugar & lavender to the sauce pan.

IMG_2660.JPG

Step 2: Turn stove on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.  

IMG_2666.JPG

Step 3: Turn down heat & allow to simmer for 2 minutes. (tick-tock, tick-tock)  This is when to add the vanilla extract if you're wanting a sweeter syrup flavor!!

IMG_2677.JPG

Step 4: Strain lavender with a paper towel or spoon.  Let cool. 

Step 5: Enjoy a tablespoon (or 2) in your java & pretend it's spring:). Store in a mason jar (or tight sealing container) in the fridge. If sealed properly, it'll be good for up to a month!

FullSizeRender.jpg

Looking for some at-home coffee suggestions??

I'm a self-declared coffee snob. Having worked espresso before, I can spot a good cup'a joe & a fraud from a mile away.

We gave up on expensive espresso machines (they were so... well... expensive. And the espresso always started to have a weird "espresso machine" taste instead of just the flavor of the bean shining through) & fell in love w/ aero press for pulling our own shots. We pull 2 shots of espresso, add a tablespoon of our Brown Sugar Lavender syrup, a splash of cream, & pour over ice. DI-VINE.

Roasters we currently love?

  • Stumptown - "Hairbender" roast... b/c it's SO YUM & comes in our Smith Brothers Farm milk delivery.
  • Bird Rock Espresso - a random find on a trip to SoCal in La Jolla. The won micro brewer of the year!

Bottoms up! Happy weekend!!

Guest Feature: Olivia Rice & her charming east Texas home

Guest FeatureSteph SheratonComment

I'm under the notion that when you find a good thing you should share it. No, not offering' up my handsome husband for date nights, but my ride-or-die homegirl & past college roommate Olivia Rice has an eye for creating a home that I just HAD to highlight! Checkout our brief dialogue on the subject & feel free to fall in love with her gorgeous east Texas home via the photo candy:). Cheers!

Olivia & husband Micah.

Olivia & husband Micah.

Tell us a bit about yourself & how you'd describe your home.

I went from living in a small town outside the city of Seattle to living in a small town outside the city of Dallas. Quite the climate change, I know, but that’s what happens when you fall head over heels for a Texas boy. After seven years of living in our charming east Texas town, it continues to win my heart every day. It’s the kind of town where the grocer still walks your groceries to your car, where the local postman stops at the neighbor girl’s lemonade stand, and where we pull folding chairs to our front lawn to watch Fourth of July fireworks over the high school stadium. Our 1920’s bungalow home sits on the kind of street I grew up only reading about – lined with Colonial, Victorian, Tudor and cottage style houses all shaded by hundred year old pecan and magnolia trees. I never imagined I’d live in an old house. When we moved in I didn’t know the first thing about decorating or home renovations, and quite honestly, I still feel like a rookie!

What are a few of your favorite projects you’ve done in your home- details that you’ve created that you are most proud of?

My husband and I really wanted a buffet in our dining room, but my goodness, those things are not cheap! We were bopping around Home Depot one day and ran across a raw wood shop bench for $70. We both looked at it and then looked at each other like, “can we make this work?” We brought home, painted and roughed it up a little bit, and bam – the perfect dining room buffet! We laugh every time we remember that it is a tool bench.

Our room divider was one of the first pieces we found for our studio apartment during the first year of our marriage. We rescued the panels from my brother-in-law’s garage and fastened them together for the ultimate statement piece. We couldn’t afford a Christmas tree that first year, so we strung lights and hung ornaments on it. It was perfect. Fun fact – it was originally a window display at Neiman Marcus.

You know when you have an idea pictured in your head, but you have a sneaking suspicion it won’t turn out as good as you hoped. Well, that was NOT the case with our book lamp! Constructed out of vintage books and a wire basket for a shade, this piece is one of my ultimate favorites.

Having flowers in my house is such a treat. They add so much color and joy. So, when I stumbled upon one of Lia Griffith’s tutorials on how to make paper roses, I knew I had to try it. These beauties won’t ever wilt and are the perfect accessory to any mantle or dining room table.

With zero home renovating experience under our belts, my husband I decided to tackle a bathroom – eek! Hours of YouTube tutorials and coveted help from some handy friends later, we were in awe of what we were able to accomplish. If someone would have told me five years ago that I would be cutting and laying tile, taping and bedding walls, and building floating shelves I would have cried laughing. And now I feel like I can take on the world, ha!

You’ve been in your home for five years now. What have you learned along the way? Any tips for new homeowners or other folks wanting to redecorate?

Shop in your own home first. When I get bored with a spot in my house, like my mantle, the itch to buy something new is often irresistible. But, more often than not, simply switching up your existing pieces can make it feel like a brand new space, without having to spend any money. This is what my husband affectionately calls “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” ha! I will walk through the house pulling everything off of shelves, bookcases, tables and the mantle and plop it all on our dining room table. Simply lumping your pieces together in one hodgepodge can inspire a new combination of colors and textures. You’ll be amazed at how “new” your stuff will feel just placed in a different spot around your house.

Take it one space at a time. Decorating is overwhelming - so much space to fill, so many projects to complete. Pace yourself and take it one space at a time. I’ll admit, this is not easy for me. I look at a room and I see ten different projects and I want all ten done at the exact same time. Take your time, find pieces you love, and don’t rush to fill up your home with a bunch of clutter right away. For every cute corner in my house, I have three more just begging for attention.

If you love it, go for it. Your home is a reflection of you – of your family. Style it and fill it with pieces that make you happy. I know there are rules about how high to hang your curtains, which colors go best in certain season, and the ideal way to mount a photo collage, but at the end of the day, you have to live in your house and you should love it. The best compliment I receive about our home is when people tell me that it matches us – that it reflects our personality and style. Our desire has always been that our home is a place where people feel welcomed and loved, and if I can accomplish that with a cute chalkboard sign, colorful throw pillow or plate of chocolate chip cookies, you better believe I’m going for it!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Absolutely everywhere! Magazines, Instagram, blogs, storefronts, antique malls, flea markets, and my friends’ homes. I love that you can find inspiration anywhere. I also don’t think there is any shame in seeing something you like and simply recreating it. That is how I learned to decorate my house. I would see a picture of something I liked and I would replicate it. After doing that over and over, you start to get your own eye for design and feel more comfortable trying something original or unique. Like anything, decorating just takes practice.

She's such a peach, right?! Follow her insta @oliviarice & gander @ her blog www.griffithave.com where she shares random thoughts & everything she writes seems to strike a chord with me. As lovely as her home is, her soul is even more so. Feast your eyes on a few last photos of her charming slice of heaven.

A Weekend @ Sheraton Post

Steph Sheraton

Since long before we even began dating, Matt's favorite place has been this secret camping spot @ Baker Lake. We came here w/ friends back in those days, but now along w/ the friends we bring our own babes. Miles down a gravel road & lakeside, far from cell phone reception & with no (ahem) restrooms or running water, our little family makes its way here every year.

We took our first camping trip of the summer this past weekend. The weather was stunning- refreshing & warm, the lake crystal clear & still. We explored. We ate, We hiked. We fished. We kayaked & boated. We snuggled. We laughed. We cooked. We built forts. We took walks. We checked nothing off our constant to-do lists. We soaked in the silence. We came home reeking of campfire & dirt, my family tanner & myself more freckled:). We were reminded why these weekend are so precious to us.

Here's a few photo captures of our perfectly imperfect weekend. Now back to sewing!!

Xoxo, S:)

 

 

Woodland Tea Party- swoon fest for our Penelope June's 1st Birthday!!

Steph SheratonComment

Sunday, May 15th we rang in our sweet Penelope June's 1st birthday w/ all the bells & whistles... ok, maybe not bells & whistles, but most definitely lots of tea cups, bubble machines, copious amounts of fabric & lace buntings, & most importantly- obnoxiously large floral crowns.

We laughed & swooned the afternoon away, enjoying the company of close friends & family & feeling over-the-top... BLESSED.

Of course it had been yet another gorgeous week in Seattle, like, bathed-both-babies-in-the kiddie-pool-on-the-patio-every-night kinda gorgeous. Then Saturday? It down poured. It rained all day Sunday as well w/ the exception of our party & the hour before it- a true birthday miracle! But b/c of weather & our usual busy Sunday morning @ church, by the time we got everything out to our little slice of heaven in the woods? We had 30 minutes to set up & decorate- YIKES. Thank goodness for a few good friends & family members who helped pull it all together!

Being a maker & a mama on a budget, I wanted to share how we pulled off this little love fest & for under $150- true story.

Here's how we did it- ready for the secret???

WE MADE PEOPLE PAY TO COME!

Ok- definitely not:D!

Here's the breakdown of the different elements of our little shindig & then a glorious photo gallery @ the end to eat your little hearts out!:)

 

PHOTOS!! I really wanted to "be in the moment" & not worry about capturing the moments I'd miss trying to capture them:). Our dear friend Candace took a million beauties for us- she's a midwife-to-be who also does all our W&M shoots, fam shoots, & was even there @ Penelope's birth to capture our first moments w/ her. We're obsessed! We also passed around our camera & got a bunch of gems from my mom & mother-in-law:).

Because our little Woodland Tea Party was in fact "in the woods" we had to provide our guests w/ directions of how to find our little magical spot. My hubbs picked up some lumber & we rigged these simple directional signs up right quick that marked the trail. So simple, so charming, & SO cheap. Some quick paint & scrap fringe? Voila. Total cost? $5.

Of course, when throwing a tea party, one must have a stellar table & spread!! We constructed ours in true Alice in Wonderland extravagance by connecting 2 long table & covering them with vintage floral sheets & table clothes (Total cost: $2). The table was sat with 6 chairs, each thrifted for $1/per & then painted or decorated. We also brought the 2 benches from our own farmhouse kitchen table to seat more buns. My favorite piece (still sitting on our patio since there's no spot in the house:D) is that wild floral chair!! I snagged it for $1.50 @ a Goodwill Outlet on a 1/2 price furniture day haha:). Here's how we decorated the table setting:

The table setting was basically a mod podge of stuff I just snagged from our house & threw in laundry bins. The different thing about throwing a party in the deeper woods is that if you forget something? There ain't no goin' back for it. But? That's SO much crap to carry!!! A few of the essentials I brought were some vintage floral tins, misc. mason jars we filled with fresh flowers I'd snagged that morning, & one of my fav details- 2 vintage egg baskets, each with an Anthropology Volcano candle burning in it so we can all agree- it smelt like HEAVEN in our little piece of the forest. We threw in lots of random things that I found charming- a vintage globe, some jadeite dishes & cake plates, & old Reader's Digest books w/ pretty patterned covers. Because it was a tea party, we obviously needed tea cups & such- not something I keep a million of around the house:). So here's what I did!! I thrifted them!! I snagged all of these for about $30 total (tried to spend no more than $1/piece). Another fun detail was the silverware. I snagged about 30 different silver forks w/ fun handles from a thrift store. It cost me about $4, so comparable to plastic flatware but was SO much more charming.

Everyone likes good food @ a party, am I right?! We lucked out a smidge in this dept. because our gathering was @ 3pm. We served up a tasty spread of gummy bears & peachios (that I purchased in bulk & my grocery checker TOTALLY gave me judgy eyes like I was just gonna sugar up my own toddler & bae w/ all that), homemade mini scones w/ jam (thanks to my baker-iffic sis-in-law), homemade lemon bars (thanks ma!), turkey wraps (thank ma-in-law!) & our party staple- cake pops. Here's my amazing life hack, fool proof, crazy-easy cake pop recipe:

World’s Best (& easiest) Cake Pops:
-1 package of oreos
-1 package of soft cream cheese
*Crush oreos (let your kiddo help w/ this by doing it in a large ziploc & letting them have at it!) & then mix in the cream cheese.
*Handle into small balls & allow to harden in the freezer
*Dip in candy chocolate, add a stick, & sprinkle!

We saved ourselves some major dimes by doing the cakes ourselves as well. I went super organic & cutting edge on these- or not so much. 3 boxes of Funfetti cake mix later, we had 2 2-layer cakes smothered in peach frosting & rainbow sprinkles- one for our guests & one for our little bae to smash to her hearts content:). We sugared everyone up w/ cake for less than $10.

DRINKS!! We set up our little yellow vintage table as the drink station. Because we're Seattle folk, coffee is always a must. We had a growler of cold brew (thanks Kels!!) w/ cream & homemade vanilla brown sugar syrup. We also served peach iced tea, water bottles & juice boxes b/c #kidparty .

The part I was most excited to see in action was setting up the "atmosphere". Ridiclous amounts of homemade fabric bunting, vintage quilt squares clothes pinned to twine draped between trees, & vintage doily dream catchers- every pop of color was so beautiful against the natural pallet of the forest. We also threw in a few chalkboards from home & took a few minutes to print off some pictures of this past year w/ our little dream girl. A simple element was a large wooden frame I snagged for $1 & spray painted gold. I push-pinned a few strands of vintage lace across the back & it provided the perfect canvas to display photos. The most magical additions were our lanterns. How to construct? I purchased 3 used lampshade covers ($6 total) & then cut off the fabric covering. I spray painted the structures gold & hot glued some vintage lace & random trims. Piece of cake!

At most kiddo parties, everyone gathers around for the present opening hay-day. To overcome this hurdle (& provide a cozy spot for babies to safely hang & crawl around) we laid out a waterproof tarp & then covered it w/ vintage quilts & cozy throws. Add a few pillows & it was basically glamping!!

 

Dressing the birthday girl- oh how i adored this part!!

I whipped up this darling sun suit for Miss P out of some beautiful eyelet lace my mom had snagged from Mood Fabric in New York & set aside for a special occasion. The matching mama-babe floral crowns I chose to purchase from a fellow mama & YOU GUYS. She was amazing to work with- I can't sing her praises enough. Check out her Insta @racooli.shop !!

Still reading? Here's a fun gallery of some special photos. What a perfect day for our little family!!

Sunday morning coffee & donuts

Steph SheratonComment
Grabbing coffee & donuts @ Fix Coffee House 

Grabbing coffee & donuts @ Fix Coffee House 

A long time ago, I remember feeling like God was challenging me to trust Him with my heart. Sounds whimsical, right? And if you're not religious it might sound downright weird. Fair enough. If you hang around any crew long enough, you start to pick up their lingo & the same can be true of the Christian church. Sorry:). For me, trusting God with my heart is to trust him w/ the core of who I am: my hopes, dreams, desperate passions- the details of my life. Back then they were fears of a college girl- “Will I ever get married? Will I be loved? Fulfilled? Do something significant with my life? “ And yet here we are years later- same question. But nowadays it looks a bit dfferent.

 

You see, at the wee hour of 12:11 a.m., tossing & turning, unable to fall asleep & allowing my mind to wander to all things here & there, I’m thinking about tomorrow. Picturing what tomorrow morning will hold: Like most Sunday mornings, it'll be coffee & donuts w/ my 2 healthy, vibrant babies before we join my husband at church where he'll have already been preparing & greeting for several hours. On Sundays the babies & I (often w/ friends & family) like to frequent local coffee & donut shops, finding new interesting cubbies in our city & new fav local haunts. "Maybe we'll walk to Broadcast Coffee where they have the donuts Tuck likes & the coffee I love. Maybe we'll wander down to Green Lake to Fix Coffee House where it's always busy & the people watching can be stellar. Or maybe it'll rain so we'll drive down to Whole Foods (where i can park my car in the free garage so we don't get wet unloading everyone from the car- GLORY!!) & I can get the baby scrambled eggs from the hot bar..." Such little, seemingly meaningless things, but these very things i'm realizing are everything. You see, I’ve just now realized that these simple Sunday mornings are in fact what I have dreamed of my whole life. Like- literally- this is it. I'm here. It's the abundance of love, of grace, of family I had always hoped for. I laid in bed tonight scrolling pictures on my phone- seeing the changes in my babies over even the last few months. My chest got tight. I could barely breath, overwhelmed with how much I love these precious babes in my care.

 

Yet here I am all these years later- same question: “Do you trust me with your heart?” Sure I do. But here’s the thing- game changer: My heart is so much THEM. My heart is my dreamy three year old son Tucker who’s footsteps padding across the kitchen floor when he’s coming to find me first thing when he wakes in the morning is a sound I’ll never forget. That little boy who finishes the songs I’m humming, always steals the last bites of my snacks (& laughs uncontrollably about it), who’s concerned for the feelings & well-being of the people around him. At three years old he gets that its important for the people around him to know they’re loved. My heart is my scrunchy-faced perma-smiler Penelope, only 9 months old but absolutely flawless, brave, & like waking up to Christmas morning everyday. Soft, warm cheeks, that press into my neck & chest when she’s being shy; eyes that light up when she sees her daddy- just like he’s always dreamed they would. Tiny, perfect dimpled hands, stronger that anyone would expect- I literally can not put into words how precious their tiny souls are too me. I value them before my life with zero consideration. I don’t fear for my life or safetly for the sake of that in itself but b/c I think “If I’m gone, will they be loved well? No one will love them like I do.”

 

Years ago before I had babies, I was making my mom a scrapbook & ran across a quote. Back then I found it to be cheeky & charming, but now it downright terrifies me:

“Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
— Elizabeth Stone

So sure God- I trust you. You have my heart & my attention- I understand that I'm not just a mom but that I have my own unique hopes & desires to deal with. But the real challenge now a days & true test of the depth of that trust is if i trust you with THEM. Do i truly? Helicopter mom tendencies & all aside? God, can you love them as wholly as I do? Do you have their best interests in mind? Will your heart hurt when you see their tender heart has been hurt by another silly little kid on th playground? Will you notice when Tuck is needing comfort & drawn near to him? Will you see the treasure that is our darling Penelope & protect her? I don't know if you're cut out for the job... surely no one can love them better than me.

 

Oh wait.

 

Except YOU.

 

After all:

Who better to protect our hearts than the one who made them & loves them most. 

 

Xoxo, S

 

Repurposing #allthethings & why I just can't stop.

Steph SheratonComment

In my last post, I mentioned how desperately I'm pursuing more simplicity in the everyday life of my family. Less "stuff" has been a huge component to that- less stuff & there's less to clean, fewer piles to lose things in & more appreciation for the things we do have- because we actually know what & where they are now. If it doesn't bring us joy or get used/worn regularly? Out it goes. (On that note- our George Foreman grill got donated this last week- forgot to run that one by ya, hubby- sorry!!:D)

Wednesdays are my work days. My precious mum-in-law Betty comes & scoops up our 2 babies & hands me a coffee in return. She's a saint, am i right?! I get 7 hours to sew goods, catchup on emails & do whatever else needs to be done. Here's the problem about working from home: I totally can't function in a messy space. It overwhelms me, stresses me out, & has to be taken care of before I can buck up and get s**t done. Any one else out there like me? Fist bumps all around. With a 9 month old & 3.5 year old constantly in tow, I can't afford to spend my one set work day cleaning the house. So this past Wednesday, I got so fed up w/ all the laundry piles in our bedroom that I went in, completely unemotionally attached to all my beautiful clothes & shoes, & filled a garbage bag in 10 mins. My mom would be appalled @ some of the things that went in that bag- heck- I was appalled. The majority of that bag went to my sweet friend Kels who posts the articles of clothing up on a consignment website & splits the dough w/ me- she's a saint as well. However, there were a few things from that bag I just couldn't bear to toss. So whats a girl w/ 2 growing babes & a sewing machine to do? Repurpose #allthethings into clothes for my kids! My chitlins get a new wardrobe without me spending a dime, I get to do something I love, & I can now actually slide the hangers in my closet around- this is huge, people! Win-Win for sure.

Repurposing has been something I've done for years- it's a huge part of how I started this business, as a matter of fact. I'd find really cool vintage leather bomber jackets & turn them into purses- a style that we still sell in our shop- the Lexa Bomber Bag. I'd find inspiration in all kinds of things- surplus duffle bags, vintage table clothes, even once a rad leather couch I deconstructed into purses- anything that made my heart pitter-patter i'd snag. A few years ago while prepping for his Easter Sunday sermon, our pastor asked if he could show one of my bags & share about my business. He was planning to preach on how God can repurpose our lives into something new & beautiful, regardless of what we have walked through & what we'd done. He can create beauty from ashes. He's into second chances. And thirds. And thirtieths. He shared one of my all time fav bags- a waxed canvas day duffle I'd constructed from a surplus tarp my husband snagged for me from a dumpster. He's the sexiest- I know:). It was that Easter morning sitting in a pew that it all clicked for me; why I get so much fulfillment from sewing- I'd even say it's refreshing for my soul. I connect with God when I create something beautiful- after all- it's what he's in the business of doing. I kid you not- sewing literally invigorates my soul. Who ever would have thought:).

Wanted to share a few closeups of pieces I constructed for my kids from this last batch of cleared out clothes, among them being tees for my toddler, rompers, blooms & a tunic t-shirt dress for my baby girl. On that note- if we made a listing in the shop for custom projects would anyone be interested? Like- send us your husband's old fav Tee & let us turn it into a romper for your new baby? That sort of thing- would love your thoughts in the comments:). Cheers!!

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

Favorite ThingsSteph SheratonComment

I spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning my home. But here's the thing: if you dropped in on me? I'd probably be embarrassed by the toys strewn across the floor, dishes in the sink, & a pile of clean laundry on the couch waiting to be folded. The second everything is in it's place, the counter tops wiped, & maybe even the victory lighting of my favorite Anthropology Volcano candle- IT happens. THEY want to play again. THEY want dinner. The nerve, right?! I follow a wonderful mama on Instagram, @mytinytribe . She's a cali native, mama to 3 girls, & what intrigues me about her is that she's a minimalist. She quoted a statistic a few weeks back that families who choose to live with "less stuff" spend 40% less time on housework. This struck a nerve with me. I'm a work-from-home-mama, a wife to visionary, hard-working pastor, & an individual who thrives on having purpose. That 40% less, whether that be even just an extra 5 minutes a day should be spent having face time with my kids. It should be spent growing & engaging the business & dream I love. Reading. A million different things.

I'm not a minimalist. I would probably freak out in a home w/ no pictures of our family displayed, not a single vintage book w/ a beautiful aged color on it's spine, & no egg basket filled w/ a few of my favorite cook books & some jadeite. I want my home to be refreshing. I want it to be "us." I've come to a place in my life where I want less "stuff" & instead, a few favorites. I'll trade my collection of 8 flannels I like for 2 that I love & feel killer in.

This has begun a long & slow process in my home & in my life to eliminate the clutter & narrow down our life to things we truly love. OUT w/ the cluttered basket of random kid toys & puzzles missing pieces & IN to a few classics my babes can find easily & engage with daily. When I say it's been a slow process, it's because it's not a journey just for me. My toddler & baby are growing by the day & their clothing & entertainment need are changing frequently as well. My husband has a right to what he want to keep & what he can let go of. It's OUR home. But you guys- I'm just So. Over. Stuff. 

I'll continue to share this process here w/ ya'll as I grow & learn & stretch, but for now, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things. I had so many clothes when I started this process that i'd actually forget what I had & would be pleasantly surprised when I'd find a cool shirt squished in the back of my drawer I'd forgotten about. I want to know what I have & use it wisely. The rest I don't need! So here are a few of my current favs; things I use & wear frequently & things I love. Enjoy!!

 

*BDG Olly Flannel Shirt (currently on sale for $39!!) This was a Christmas gift from my hubbs & I may or may not have worn it over Christmas weekend for 3... maybe 4 days in a row. It's that perfect. & don't judge my lack of showering- it was Christmas break so i took a break:D

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=36179117&category=W_APP_BLOUSES&color=060

*Free People Grey Sweater Leggings: (currently unavailable but here's a similar pair. Bought mine for $30 & wear them All. The. Time.)

http://www.freepeople.com/shop/better-late-than-never-legging/?c=leggings

*Free People Voile & Lace Trapeze Slip: This piece was a splurge when I had some fun mull come in. Worth. Every. Penny. It's divine on it's own or layered with chunky sweaters. Even under thermals & flannels! I picked mint- no shocker. LOVE. Shop the link below:

http://www.freepeople.com/shop/voile-and-lace-trapeze-slip/

*Slouchy Tribal Sweater: Brand: Koto. Scored it @ a consignment store but this brand carries tons similar & available ones online! Urban Outfitters carries the brand as well.

*Steve Madden Tribal Moccasin Booties: I bought these YEARS ago & I can't believe I haven't completely run them into the ground. I'm also not sure what i'll do when I eventually wear 'em out or have finally spilled one too many iced espressos on them! Available online through diff vendors- give 'em a Google!