Sparkles & Spirits – a wine tasting and jewelry party

Over the summer I hosted a fun girls' night out wine tasting and jewelry party. Karen, a friend of mine from back east, is a rep for Traveling Vineyard – they send you five bottles of wine, along with recommended food pairings. You have the wine and food ready to go, and your wine guide will walk your guests through the tasting, explaining the characteristics of the different wines and how the food pairs with them. In my case, my wine guide was over 2000 miles away, but she did the tasting over speakerphone and it was fabulous! Karen and I were a little unsure of how the long-distance tasting would go, but it was surprisingly easy to do. It helped that Karen is very good at what she does and made it fun for all of the guests!

I paired the wine tasting with a Chloe + Isabel pop-up shop. I set up a display of jewelry so my guests could shop, snack, and sip – not a bad way to spend an evening. I had fun creating little printable Chloe + Isabel-themed wine glass tags and setting up the table with wine and food pairings - thanks, as always to Pinterest for the inspiration. 

If you're interested in hosting a Traveling Vineyard wine tasting, contact Karen – I promise you and your guests will have a wonderful time! And if you'd like to host a Chloe+Isabel pop-up shop of your own, either locally or long-distance, email me and we'll get the ball rolling! You can earn tons of free jewelry just in time for the holiday season. 

Custom wedding invitation, stationery, and accessories

custom wedding invitation and stationery design

One of the most customized projects I did in the last year was a special set of wedding invitations, stationery, and accessories for a local couple. Meagan Crain, their wedding planner, contacted me and we met with the couple early on to get a feel for their style and vision for their ceremony and reception.

They wanted a unique and completely custom design that captured them and their relationship with a nod to our location here in Tucson and the setting of their wedding, Hacienda del Sol, a beautiful historic local inn. 

We ended up deciding to commission a custom watercolor painting of the iconic entry gate at Hacienda del Sol. The artist was able to capture the casual, whimsical style they were going for, and an added perk to this approach is that the couple got to keep the original painting as a beautiful keepsake. 

They chose a kraft paper gatefold backing for the invite, and finished each one off with twine and a charm. 

We also had the artist create a separate little watercolor of a succulent that matched the invite. We used this as part of their wedding logo and it helped to tie all of the pieces together – the program, response cards, escort cards, etc.

In lieu of traditional table numbers, we found hand-drawn images of local flowers, animals, and images to identify each table, all indicated on a big poster I designed and with individual cards for each table. 

I learned so much from this project – there were many elements to coordinate and a lot of communication to make sure that we captured their complete vision, but the end result was a truly customized and unique package for this couple. Check out more details from this fabulous wedding at Meagan's blog here

photography courtesy of Kelly+Sergio Photography


Square business card designs in the shop

When I designed my business card for my Chloe+Isabel boutique, I got some nice feedback from other merchandisers who liked the unique design. I love the square shape and pearlescent cardstock that I used for these, and I had fun working with the C+I color palette and style to create them.

Shortly after that I did some design work for a friend who is a consultant for Rodan+Fields and I started thinking that other direct sales people could probably use some design assistance as they work to establish their own brand and create marketing materials. I just added a new Etsy listing for custom square business cards for any direct sales business, and I hope to add some other options (postcards, rack cards, flyers, invitations, etc.) soon - in the meantime, email me if you'd like a quote on any of those materials!

chloe+isabel watercolor pearl square business card design

Summer Solstice Sale from Chloe+Isabel

Chloe+Isabel is having a fantastic sale right now! Buy 2 pieces of jewelry, get 1 free – this is good on ANYTHING in the shop and is stackable - so yes, you can buy 4, get 2 free, etc. This deal is only good for a few days, and they're expecting some limited edition items to sell out, so check it out quickly!

If there’s something you’ve been eyeing or you need some cute, unique accessories for vacation or a wedding, now is the time to jump on this deal! C+I jewelry would also make a great birthday or hostess gift, and several of my small business owner friends have bought items as reward incentives for their employees and team members – this deal is a great way to save on gifts and multiple items. If you have any questions or need recommendations, let me know. 

Shop here and take advantage of this great deal!

MidCentury Modern Wedding Invitation and Menu Custom Design {graphic design}

Last year I collaborated with a local wedding planner, Meagan Crain of MC Events, on a custom design for a midcentury modern wedding invitation, dessert table sign, and menu. This was for a stylized photo shoot, not an actual wedding, but it was a fun project and I just recently got the photos, which were taken by She.We Studios of Tucson. I loved this theme and enjoyed coming up with print materials to coordinate with the style of the shoot!

Need a custom design for a wedding invitation or other event? Contact me and let's start brainstorming!

Stitch Fix Review #5

Has it really been since October that I've written a Stitch Fix review? I don't know where the past few months have gone, but I have some catching up to do! 

Stitch Fix Review #5

For my November fix, I requested a cute and casual top I could wear for our family Thanksgiving get-together as well as something I could wear for holiday parties. Here's what I got:

The Danny 5-pocket knit pant in grey: thanks to Stitch Fix, I have discovered that I love this Kut from the Kloth brand, but in this case I was disappointed because they were a little tight and not quite a great cut for me. They went back.

Next up, the Daniel Rainn Brock Lattice Detail Blouse in a deep red. I love, love, loved this top. Loved the color and the details around the neckline (pardon the wrinkles in the photo - it was a little wrinkled out of the box, and I'm lazy). But tragedy ensued.....after I wore it once, I washed it. Per the instructions. Did not dry it. And it much so that it was misshapen and super short. I was pretty devastated. I emailed Customer Service figuring it was a long shot since it had been worn and washed, but they were FABULOUS. I was disappointed that a replacement wasn't available, but they had me send it back and issued me a credit. Score for Stitch Fix – thanks for taking care of your customers!

Rocco 3/4 Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress - Stitch Fix Review

I can't ever seem to have enough dresses, and the Rocco 3/4 Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress was great - a nice, right-above-the-knee length and a jersey material that was actually thick enough that it was very slimming and comfortable (so many dresses are in that super thin material that shows everything - ugh!). However.....practicality got the better of me, and I sent it back since I have a few other black dresses already. A few months later.....I regret it. Wish I would have kept it.

The Skies are Blue Debby Metallic Detail Pullover Sweater was my stylist Carli's suggestion for Thanksgiving, but this was probably my least favorite piece in the Fix. I liked the bit of sparkle, but it was just kind of blah and not a particularly flattering fit, so I sent it back.

My accessory piece this time around was the Isadora Crystal Gem Layered Necklace. I love this - super pretty and sparkly, and perfect for dressing up anything. I've worn it several times. 

All in all this was an ok Fix, just unfortunate that that one top shrunk. I loved that Carli, my stylist for this Fix, did listen to my suggestions and did her best to fulfill my requests.

Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? Use my referral link here and after you sign up, you'll get your own link to share with friends, and you'll get some Stitch Fix credit when they use it!

Stitch Fix Basics:
Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that is perfect for so many of us - whether you love fashion, style, and clothing or hate even thinking about shopping and putting outfits together - either way, you will love this.
I love clothes but find myself buying the same types of things over and over again and struggling to find cute, current styles that aren't too young or too old and frumpy. Enter StitchFix, where you fill out a survey on their website so that your stylist will be able to make smart choices for you, taking into consideration your style preferences, body type, budget, and lifestyle. To get a Fix that you'll love, be sure to spend some time making sure you give clear preferences in your survey. You pay a $20 styling fee and they will send you five pieces – in my case, I typically receive four clothing items and a piece of jewelry. If you keep anything, the $20 is applied towards those items - and if you keep all five items, you get 25% off the whole thing, which makes that a pretty tempting deal each time (well-played, StichFix)! If you choose to send items back, there's a prepaid bag right in your box to drop them in - it couldn't be easier!
You can choose to receive regular Fixes (monthly, quarterly, whatever) or schedule them one at a time.
Ready to try it out for yourself? If you use my referral link I'll get a little Stitch Fix credit, and when you create your own account you'll receive a code to share with your friends for credit. And I'll be your best friend. Let me know if you try it – I'd love to hear what you think!

Chloe+Isabel Memorial Day Sale

Chloe+Isabel has a great sale this weekend – I haven't seen them do a promotion like this one before. With any $100 purchase, you get to choose from one of these free gifts:

free gift choices - chloe+isabel memorial day sale

These bracelets are super cute on their own or stacked with other bracelets, the gold or silver earrings are perfect basics that go with anything, and the statement earrings are a perfect summer piece that would look great with anything from a simple top to a dressy dress. AND we're offering $25 off of any $125 purchase. There are some really great, unique pieces that just came out with the new C+I summer line - check out my shop at

chloe+isabel memorial day sale

Chloe + Isabel Jewelry

I recently took the plunge and became a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel, an online jewelry boutique. This decision was a little spontaneous....I came across some of their jewelry online, started shopping the site and adding things to my cart, one link lead to another and.....I decided that if I loved the jewelry, why not share it with friends and enjoy a discount?! 

I was excited to get the Essential Kit in the mail to start with, as well as a few extra pieces that I ordered. I love it all and started wearing it immediately. 

To begin, my favorite: 

The Le Rococo statement ring and modern links cuff bracelet have quickly become my favorites. I love the deep amethyst color of the ring - and its fun design and size - and the simplicity of the bracelet will make it something I will wear with everything. You can search for these items right in my shop, and email me if you have any questions!

Next up, the cushion cut cocktail ring. Can you tell I love statement rings? I love this light blush color and the sparkle; can't wait to wear it for a night out:

Another piece I'm loving – the Gilded Reeds Aventurine long pendant. The photo doesn't do it justice, as this stone looks a touch darker than it is in person, and there's a touch of sparkle on the chain. I love this aqua color and having the option of a longer necklace like this one. 

Next up, the Ocean Lace drop earrings and flex bracelet - beautiful stone and silver.







The Palliette single drop earrings - I'm a sucker for a brushed gold finish, and I can wear these with anything I own:







And last but not least, the Pearl & Crystal Floral Filigree earrings - beautiful and delicate, these would be stunning with a simple black or white dress - a perfect accessory for summer wedding attire!

That's only the tip of the iceberg! The new Summer Collection is being released tomorrow, and I can't wait to share more pieces. You can search for any of these pieces in my shop at, and if you're interested in hosting an online pop-up shop, contact me - it's incredibly easy to be a host, and you will earn free jewelry!

Oceanside, CA Family Vacation Review

Oceanside California and Legoland travel review

Several years ago, I wrote a little review about a trip we took to Oceanside, California. The funny thing was that we just sort of accidentally ended up there when my husband was looking for hotels near Legoland. We had a great time, but didn't make our way back for several years. Turns out that family friends of ours have a vacation rental in Oceanside. My parents rent the house once or twice a year, and when we can, we tag along for a few days. We went this past year over Labor Day weekend, and had a wonderful time. 

Oceanside is a laid-back, casual beach town, not nearly as pretentious of some of its ritzy Southern California neighbors. In my book that makes it perfect for a relaxed family getaway. While we love Tucson, the east coast girl in me misses the beach and needs to see the ocean every now and then. This trip to the coast helped us to regroup and breathe a little before we jumped into a jam-packed fall full of school, homework, sports, work, and activities.

Because the house we rent is right on the beach, we spend 90% of our time there. We drink our coffee in the morning, watching the surfers until the kids decide to change into bathing suits and begin their day - digging in the sand, jumping waves, collecting shells, and meeting other kids on the beach. Notice I said nothing about watching TV or playing video games - that's the beauty of this vacation; they can keep themselves busy for hours at the beach!

At night we sometimes grill out - Fish House Vera Cruz in Carlsbad has a beautiful selection of fresh fish; this year we picked up some swordfish and threw that on the grill, baked some potatoes, and had a fantastic meal while we watched the sun set. Food really does taste better at the beach!

Oceanside, CA sunset

We also ate at Hello Betty Fish House for the first time. I loved the casual concept with the big open windows and nice selection of Baja-inspired food. I had fish tacos that were great. After dinner we took a walk on the Oceanside Pier. The pier was pretty crowded in the evening, unlike the times we'd walked it during the day. 


This year we decided to revisit Jake's Del Mar, a restaurant we had eaten at once before, for another dinner. It's a little drive down the coast from Oceanside, but it's fun to see the scenery down the Pacific Coast Highway if you choose not to take the freeway. The views are spectacular and the servers are very attentive despite the crowds, so all in all it was a nice evening. 

One of our days was spent at Legoland, just a few minutes down the road in Carlsbad. Truthfully, at 8 and 10, my kids are getting to be a little old for Legoland as they're starting to enjoy more daring rides at other theme parks, but my son is still a die-hard Lego fan and my daughter actually won the tickets in a coloring contest by our local TV station, so why not?! The kids found out about their MiniFigure trading program (How did we not know about this before? You can bring your MiniFigures and trade them with park employees.) so they were excited to do that, and it was fun to see the actual set of The Lego Movie in person. My son is still dreaming of the day when he can get the Lego Death Star, so he enjoyed seeing that on the Lego Movie set too. We enjoyed the gorgeous weather and fun family day, so it was a nice outing and added a little variety to the trip.

One of our favorite traditions is to end the trip with a big breakfast at Beachbreak Cafe before we load up the car for the long drive back to Tucson. This is a great local place with tons of delicious breakfast options - bring your appetite!

That's it for this trip, but we're definitely hoping a return visit to Oceanside is in the cards for 2015.

First Communion Invitations - New in the Shop!

One of the most popular categories in my Etsy shop at this time of year is First Communion invitations. I love designing items for these pretty spring celebrations, and I really enjoyed creating custom designs for my own son's First Communion a few years ago. 

I've had some pretty, simple silhouette invitations in the shop for a few years, so this year I decided to update them with a few different options of watercolor backgrounds and a modern calligraphy script. I love the way they came out, and the background is super simple to modify for customers who want different colors. You can check them out here, and I can create cupcake toppers, thank-you notes, and other printables to coordinate with these themes as well.