Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vendor Spotlight

I would never buy something from someone I didn't like.
Is that too brash?
I'm going to go out on a limb though and say you wouldn't either. 
I mean we may have in the past, but I doubt we would ever do it again.
For some reason it just feels creepy. Doesn't it?
If I don't have a good feeling about the person, then the product
(no matter how lovely or how badly I may want it) doesn't measure up.
Even if it is perhaps the best bargain.

I love people with a great disposition.  
If I love your product or your services, I'm going to love them even more if you're awesome. 
I can't help myself. 
I want to invest in people who I like. 

Now you may say, 'well Stacey...if their product is aaammmazing, what does it matter'? 
It does and I'll tell you why. 
Because that product or their services are an extension of them.

When you own your own business or work for a company you are proud of - you can't help but pour your heart and soul into it.
It becomes you and you become it. 
It co-exists naturally and quite beautifully. 

There are times however when it may not. 
You go to that restaurant where you just looove the creme bru le but the service is terrible the last few times you were there.
Will you continue to go? How about the person who does an amazing job on your hair.
If they made you feel uncomfortable would you go back? 
The answer is no. 

I believe whole heartily that what you sell is what you believe in. 
You can tell when someone is enthusiastic or passionate about what they do - it can't be hidden. 
It oozes from them. Spills over and is down right contagious. 
I love that. 
I want to have people like that around me. 
I want to do business with them, become friends with them and get to know them better. 

That being said, I'm starting a 'vendor spotlight'  on this blog of people I admire. 
People I have done business with or would like to do business with. 
Enterpenuers who not only have fabulous products and services but more importantly the right attitude.

I want to spread the word about fun resources or things that sparkle a little extra to me and hopefully in turn will sparkle for you.
I will be asking the participants 20 questions.
The questions will have a bit about their industry but will mostly feature questions about them.
They will be random, fun and relatable questions.
I want you to get to know them on a personal level.
I want you to know who they are, why they do what they do, and their personality. 

I'm looking forward to showcasing fabulous people, their products and services.
I hope you'll check in often to see who steps into 'Stacey's Studio' to chat.
I can't wait...

Friday, March 25, 2011

2 Fabulous Treats for a Wedding Reception or Favor

I can't help it. I fall in love a little more each time I see one.
What's amazing is they're just as fun to look at as they are to eat.
I love that.

When there is a NY map designated to just cupcake bakeries, you know they're something special.
How about a cupcake blog with over 6,000 cupcake fanatics followers?!

They actually have a meet up at different cupcake shops all around NY.
I knoooow.
Who knew?!

I mean I adore them, but a fan club?
O M G!
I was all, 'sign me up' until I read that they all buy a different cupcake and then share them with each other.

Hmmm...I'm pretty sure someone would get stabbed with my fork if they reached over for my
little, fluffy, scrumptious cake of goodness.

I could see the NY Times now - 'Death by Cupcake'.
Not a terribly bad way to go.
Well, that's if you managed to get the last bite. ; )

I'm not sure what makes them special.
The fact that they are petite, individual, the perfect size really and all yours (hence the no sharing on my part)?
The perfect icing to cake ratio, the variety?
Or maybe it's because I have an odd fascination with them because I was the kid with the summer birthday who was never able to bring cupcakes in to celebrate.
Annnd maybe that's the reason why I don't like to share.
(Huh. Who needs a therapist, just get a blog ; )

So here is my one con about the cupcake.
I know what you're thinking, there is no con about a cupcake.

The wrapper.
Why do they make wrappers for cupcakes and not for muffins?
I'm at a loss here. Is it just for presentation?
The wrapper is impossible to get off without it effecting the icing.
It just complicates matters.
Now you want need to lick it off the damn thing,
 and how pretty does that really look?
You are all soooo lying if you don't think about doing it!

Enter: The Donut

Now this is something that can be shared.
It can be cut in half without the mess. 
No wrapper to worry about.
Glaze, powder, cinnamon, sugar, jam, jelly (aren't those one of the same?) custard, icing. 
Let's face it...being fried is kinda cool and the hole in the middle...adds to the fun!

I had a slight obsession with Krispy Kreme Doughnut when I first met Dan. 
So much so that I think I may have married him because of them. 
Shhhh ; ) 
Back in the day when he would visit me at work he would bring in a delicious big box for me and my co-workers. It was actually so much a part of our courtship that I had our wedding cake surrounded by the yumminess before it was cool to do so.

So you have heard the expression ' you are what you eat' right?!
Ummm, that's the reason I look more like a donut these days then the bride in the picture. 
You didn't think I got chubby from eating fruit...did you? ; )

photo courtesy of Leli Photography

That donut cake completely overshadowed the cotton candy machine, and the caramel apples btw. 
People still talk about it, and looking back now it wasn't extraordinary, it was only about the donut. 

 A cupcake or a donut is a no plate or fork needed kinda wonderful.
They're hip, cute and it's hard to stop at just one. Or five.
I know you're judging me.
It's okay.
Even if you don't have five. I know you want to.

Thinking about having cupcakes or donuts at your reception?
They make fabulous favors too.
Just pop them into a fun container with a donut or cupcake recipe maybe attached to the top.


Want to check out the Colossal Cupcake? It's huge and perfect for not sharing. ; )
It's part of the bake shop 'Crumbs' menu. You need to check out their flavors too: s'mores, brownie, caramel apple (omg), choc. covered strawberry, Irish cream and peanut butter cup are just a few.
They have a shop right around the corner in the Hampton's!

Want to see some fancy donuts?
Check out Big Apple Donuts (totally fab web site) to get some ideas or inspiration.

I interchanged the spelling of 'donut' or 'doughnut' through out the post. They are both correct ( I googled :) however, different companies used different spellings.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Snowy Spring

That's all I have to say. 
Cause a picture tells a thousand words...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Things First

The empty bottle of wine sat on the dresser in my apartment.
I had saved it because it was a pretty bottle but now it looked kinda sad because it was empty. 

It needed a new purpose. 
So Dan and I made a pact one night that when ever we would do something fun and out of the ordinary we would write the date on a dollar bill and throw it inside the bottle.

The dollars validated what we already knew.
That ordinary moments with each other were special and even the tiny moments were now reason  to celebrate. 

Watching the bottle fill up with not only bills but memories, was momentous because we were making simple, normal moments...fabulous! 
Some days we would throw a 'fiver' in because there were that many good times to remember just  in one day. 

The month before we got married we took the bottle and hiked a short distance to our tree.
The tree where our beginning started. Where we talked about growing old together.
(You can read about that day here.)

We needed the money in the wine bottle for our new life.
It was bittersweet to break the bottle on the tree and watch the money fly about us.
We knew the amount of money we saved was not measured by wealth but by the richness that those memories provided us with.

We had over 375 dollars.
Looking back now, it doesn't sound like much, but it was 375 things we did that we thought were special enough to appreciate.

I thought of the memories like deposits in a bank.
The more we put in the greater the interest. 
We invested those dollars to preserve a moment that might be lost and other wise forgotten.

Eight years later...

I'm sitting in my office and I thought about that bottle.
Those memories. 
The time that flew by.

So often, the happy fun stuff takes a back seat to the day to day stuff.
The career, the bills, the house, laundry, car, doctors and dentists.
Your laptop. Your iphone.

Please do me a favor.
Stop. Breath. Converse. Appreciate. Be grateful. Communicate, with actually words not just text.
Find happiness in the little moments.
Laugh. Enjoy. Get an ice cream cone. Doodle together. Eat only the green M&M's.

Do what ever you can to make normal everyday stuff, the stuff worth living for. 
Take the time to be silly with each other.

I moved my big 'to do' list/calendar out of the way a few nights ago and out peeked the frame.
Tucked away, waiting for someone to discover it, like the lost treasure that it had become.
It begged to 'breath' again - just like a fine wine should.

I picked it up and looked at the few dollars I couldn't manage to part with back then.
I smiled.
I thought of the excitement. Each dollar. Each memory.

Every laugh that was savored and tasted yet again from that very happy bottle.

I put the frame back down front and center.  
I turned the computer off, grabbed my keys and went to buy a new bottle.
Would you even believe me if I told you we rarely drink?! lol

I didn't want to wait for a moment to celebrate. I wanted the simple minutes of our day to be memorable...again.
I wanted to remind myself that first things should be just that.


Your favorite picture. The ticket stubs you saved. The love notes.
Why do we have them?

It's so we have the ability to fall in love twice.
Once with the person, and the second with the memory.

They say when you go to a wine tasting it's not about the drinking, it's about the tasting.
Maybe just like our memories, it's not about creating's about learning to savor them.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun Friday

I'm feeling a little bit of spring fever so I thought I would start the weekend off with some bridal inspiration.
Tis the season...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pancake Tuesday

You know when you hear something for the first time that you never heard of 
and the whole world seems to have heard of it? 
Yeah, that was me tonight. 
I hate that. 
I hate that I may have been missing out on something sooo good for so long. 
I mean who wouldn't like the permission to eat pancakes for dinner?!

They also call this day 'Fat Tuesday' - and I really didn't need to hear that to feel like I was missing out or want to join in. 
I have been having fat Tuesdays for a while now...

Speaking of pancakes...I got a kick out of the article below. 
Puuuulease tell me someone also has this issue and it's not just me?!

and I had to just add a picture...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bargain Baby Sitter

He steps precariously into the living room looking around as if we were recently ransacked.
I feel a smidge guilty as he steps over one toy and then another making a zig- zag path to give me a kiss hello.

 'How was your day?' he says.
My eyes follow his as he surveys the damage.

me: 'It was great actually.'
hub: 'Oh, yeah…what did you do?'

I cringe a little.

I'm not sure if it was worth it to tell him that I cleaned the very room he is standing in when I first got up, during their naps and about an hour before he got home. He would never have believed me.

'Are you referring to the wrapping paper?' I ask.

The wrapping paper was in large mounts strewn from the book cases and ripped into tiny pieces through out the room.

'Ummm, well Vienna found the wrapping paper I used to wrap her birthday gifts'.

I was waiting for him to tell me that maybe I should have taken it away from her.
Before he could though, I told him how it was the best $4.99 I spend on a babysitter
 for two hours worth of contentment.

He nods...and as he walks away I know he's making a mental note...
 to purchase more wrapping paper for when he babysits.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Middle Child Syndrome

Two years ago I was holding my two month old in my arms when I sprung the news on my 
folks that yes, we are expecting again. 

They continued talking as if they didn't comprehend. 
Then a look of fear shock happiness came across their faces. 
Before even saying congratulations, my mother looked at Vienna and said,
 'oooohh you're already a middle child'. 

I pulled 'V' in tighter against me to perhaps shield her from the words.

I vowed from that moment on never to make her feel like a 'middle child'. 
Even if I wasn't even sure middle child syndrome was real. 
All I knew was that with a third child the household dynamics change. 
The parents become out numbered and logistics become more complex. 

I decided then that each child will feel as if they were my favorite. 
Because, well, each one is. 

They are each so different that it would be hard to love them the same. 

Kinda like your favorite book. 
I don't think it's possible to pick out which part you liked best (the beginning, middle or end). 
I think each of those chapters adds to make the magic of that novel. 

Each of my children add to my happiness and having a 'favorite' limits my own happiness.  

When we found out Vienna was a girl, I was set on doing a jungle theme for her room. 
I love themes btw. They give an idea some focus. 

Now, I wanted jungle BUT girly and pretty, annnnd in warm tones. 
Sadly, it didn't exist.
All of the baby bedding on the market was either green or yellow (gender friendly) or 
tan and brown which came across more masculine to me. 

So, I researched and found someone to make bedding for me on Etsy. 
I picked out all of the fabrics, we decided on a style and I hired her to bring my vision to life. 
For roughly the same price as boutique bedding I got something totally custom,
 and different from anything I had seen.

With that said, I have to ask - what adds to the middle child thing?
If it's moving them out to share a room, I'm in trouble.
I have officially sublet her bedroom to her younger brother.
Do I sign her up for therapy now?

I thought I would post some images before I dis-assembled everything.
The room actually never got quite finished. 
I needed additional tie backs and more curtains to make 
them fuller...but getting pregnant a month after you have a kid puts some things on hold.

So this mural took me about six months to do (but I was pregnant at the time). It's a 'transfer' from a company called Tatougue. You can find this mural and a ton of other fabulous ones here

Each piece of the mural comes individual, so it took a while for me to place them on the wall. 
I would put it up and have to stare at it for about a month before I decided it would work in that specific spot. It's smooth against the wall, and it's really easy to do. 
I think it came out kinda cool.

The name over the bed is actually a vinyl decal. 
I found a vendor on Etsy who had the perfect pattern. I think it personalized the room a touch. 
Really simple, easy and only about $15 bucks. 
They have a ton of people that do really creative work with the decal's like this seller if you are looking for something a little more fun. 

Before you pity Vienna for being kicked out of her room - take a look at what she's moving into. 
In a kid's world, I'm pretty sure it's an upgrade... 
although if we asked Adryanna about sharing her room she wouldn't quite think so. 

When 'A' first got this bed I wanted to be in it more then her. 
It's kind of like an indoor tree house...but without the tree. 
What a place for a child to use there imagination. 

I don't have a full shot of her bed in her room so this is the manufacturers image. 
Dan made steps to climb up instead of the wall climbing ones which I thought weren't really age appropriate. You can find a bed similar to this and other play houses at

The girls will be sharing a room now so they can snuggle, tell bed time stories to each other and giggle.
Well, in my version anyway ; ) 

We actually got the dresser off of Craig's List (yep, I shopped there) because I blew the budget on the bed. The dresser was white and we added our own flair to it. The lamps are fun and probably one of my favorite things in the room. You can find them in a bunch of other punchy, fruity colors here.

I came across this book shelf/doll house in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. 
It was about $400 bucks. 
So, I  bribed bargained with my husband to make 'A' her own.


So if you want to have a little fun you can play 'I spy' and look for my laundry baskets in some of the images above. I'm not lying when I say I live out of our laundry baskets! 
For some reason I can never get the clean clothes back into the drawers. 
I'm working on that though, as well as the notion that it's okay to let some things laundry or a spotless house. 
I try not to let that define me, just like I won't let being a middle child define her.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Is Anyone Ever Happy Anymore?"

The words hit me like a brick when I saw them from a friend in an e-mail.

I sat back and took them in.
So much in that one sentence.

Now usually I'm more optimistic, but I have to tell you it got me thinking...
4th grade to be specific.

I remember standing single file waiting by the door for the bell to ring.
I was staring at Barbara Runco's double scrunched socks when I heard her say
she couldnt wait until high school was over.

High school. Really? What happened to elementry school?
Or 4th grade for that matter?!

After high school, she said, you could choose what you want to be when you grow up,
sleep in late and have no homework.

Wow, yesssss!
I couldn't wait until after high school now either.

I was convinced right then and there that once I was an adult I would 'be happy'.
As if life waits to bestow that magic gift.

So high school comes and goes and we are given the opportunity
to make some major life decisions.
We bide our time and do some soul searching.
We work to make a paycheck, feel a little lost and think happiness will be found after college.

Then degree in hand, panic sets in.
Seriously, where is this 'happy place'?
So we continue to search, and think we might find it in another person.

You wait, wish and pray for the person of your dreams to come into your life...
cause then you will certainly 'be happy'.
And then they do.
And you are happy.
For a moment.
But wait...maybe true happiness is when you get married.

And so it goes...

Are we wishing our lives away all for the pursuit of happiness?

We live in a world where expectations are high and I wonder if perhaps
we set ourselves up for disappointment.

What is happiness?

Is it big profound moments or all of the little ones in between?

I am not certain, but what I do know is that all happiness is fleeting.
The question though is, does it have to be?
Is it possible to keep that feeling?

Like our most favorite picture, if we close our eyes, I swear we can almost bring back that second. 
The smell, the sound, the feeling.
What if our happiness depends upon how we view life,
 and what we remind ourselves to recall and experience again?

It doesn't go away. It's always with you.
If you choose to visit it.

I read some where that if you incorporate enough little bits of happiness into your day, and hit pause when they come, if only for that moment you might find that you know exactly what it means to 'be happy.'

*p a u s e*

When was the last time you hit pause?

I'd love to hear your last moment of happiness. Was it bold or a quiet reflection?