New Products in Etsy Shop AND Chalkboard Speech Bubble, Wooden Letter or Custom Sign Giveaway!!

One of my favorite things in the word is creating custom products for people!  I always love being able to take that far out idea someone has in their mind and making it into reality!  Last year one of my girlfriends asked me to make her a set of signs to welcome guests for her beach wedding and of course I gladly accepted! (Look familiar?  Check out all the photos I took from the wedding here)  She had looked around for a while and everything she found was brown, rustic and plain but her wedding colors were bright lime green and a deep blue!  She wanted something fun and colorful that didn’t look too out of place at their relaxed beach wedding.  All it took was a fun finish to create a weathered look while still keeping it bright!

Earlier this month my neighbor’s sister was getting married and she wanted to have an oversized letter to use for photos and hang up at the reception.  Ta-da!  I white washed this beauty and it looked fabulous on the big day!

Then I got to thinking that since wedding season is quickly approaching why not add these fun custom items to my Etsy shop for other brides to enjoy?  Then I thought how much fun would it be to add in those cute little chalkboard speech bubbles that I used for Emma Grace’s Valentine’s Day shoot?  The bubbles would be so much fun for not only an engagement, save the date or wedding photo shoot  but even for a photo booth at the reception!  Outside of weddings wouldn’t they be perfect for a big brother or sister make a BIG announcement for their mommy?!?  Just to clarify Emma Grace is NOT announcing anything for our family!!!  Sorry, but that sweet pea will always be the LITTLE sister!

So, to celebrate the new additions to the shop I thought a giveaway would be in order!  You tell me would you like to win

a Chalkboard Speech Bubble??

OR

a Medium 18″ Wooden Letter??

OR

a Custom Wedding Sign??

The giveaway starts today and runs through March 6, 2012 at 12am!  I will notify the winner via email as well as post it to the Facebook page!

GOOD LUCK!

Can’t wait for the giveaway to end?  You can check out all the newest products in the Wedding Accessories or Photo Prop section of the shop for purchase today!

jRoxDesigns Giveaway

CLICK LINK BELOW TO ENTER!

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Emma Grace is 18 Months Old!

A little late posting this month but just as cute as ever in her Valentine’s Day outfit!

Monthly Photo Project by jRoxDesigns - 18 Months

Follow Emma Grace’s Photo Project Here!

Letters To Emma Grace

18 Months Old

 You are my little princess!  Although I swore before you were born you would be the little girl dressed up in a tutu while playing in the garage with her Daddy.  Well guess what…you are just that a sassy, tough little lady!  Your Papa gave you a tiara for Christmas and you enjoy wearing it all the time.  Although you are quite funny when you throw a temper tantrum while you wear your tiara!  Unfortunately you have gotten to that age where you know exactly what you want but because you can’t get your point across to us you get very frustrated!  I learned from your dramatic big brother very well to let you just throw your little tantrum.  As long as you aren’t somewhere or doing something that can hurt yourself I just let you go.  Although you are quite funny when you stop for a moment and look around to make sure someone is paying attention! 

Your hair is finally long enough for pig tails!  At first Daddy thought you looked very silly but I think you look adorable!  It’s still not quite long enough to be able to pull all the way back so in the mean time little baby bows work perfect!  Oh and your blankey is still your best friend!  There is no way you will take a nap or go to bed at night without it.  The only thing that I don’t understand is that you shove as much of your blankey as you possibly can in your mouth and chew on it while you fall asleep.  But I don’t think you ever let go of it while you sleep so by the time you wake up it is soggy and NASTY!  Everyone may have laughed at me when I bought you two back up blankets but boy am I sure glad I did!

We went bowling this month with Ahma and Papa while Jakie went to a birthday party at the lanes and you had a fun time!  You were amazed at everything going on.  More than anything though you had the best time pushing the balls all around on the rack.  You are a very easily amused child!

Everyone has been sick this month!  I started off with some sniffly crud and ended up giving it to all of you.  You are completely pitiful when you are sick.  Your nose would not stop running. After being sick and tired of hearing the two of us screaming and crying every time I went to use the bulb syringe on your nose, Daddy taught you how to blow your own nose!  It was amazing!  When you feel your nose running you hurry to the bathroom where you tear off two squares of potty paper, blow your nose and then throw the paper away!  Even your doctor said he has seen four-year olds who struggle to blow their nose.  Good job baby girl!  You are so smart!

Although with your big brother’s history with colds settling into his lungs very quickly your doctor recommended to put you on albuterol breathing treatments as needed for a week.  It was so sad!  I’m sorry sweet girl but you were wheezing and we just had to do it!  At first you were completely against it but then Jake showed you how he takes a treatment and then you were a little more willing.  After the first two or three times you realized that you felt better after taking it and then you BEGGED me to give you a treatment.  You would bring me the box with your nebulizer, sit down in your rocker and try to strap on your mask by yourself.  I was so happy once you got better because seeing your sweet little self attached to the nebulizer broke my heart.  Your brother has spent so many years struggling to get his asthma under control strapped to that nebulizer I just pray that you don’t have to go through the same thing!

Emma Grace is 18 Months - copyright jRoxDesigns 2013

Speaking of your big brother…he is still your hero!  You ask for him and Daddy every morning when you wake up and are devastated when they aren’t there.  A couple of times this month I even heard you say Jakie!  You are trying and doing so good with your words!

Every week you love to try to “help” me fold laundry.  You are such a great helper because you pick up each individual piece and shake, shake, shake until you are sure all the wrinkles are out!  Except all those pieces you pick up are the ones out of the pile I’ve already folded.  At least you try!

Emma Grace is 18 Months - copyright jRoxDesigns 2013

You still love to read!  You will read Olivia and Pinkalicious to yourself over and over every day but will never sit still for me to read them to you.  Your new favorite book is Pinkalicious and the Pinktastic Zoo Day because there are balloons in it shaped like bears.  You point to them every time and try to say balloons over and over again!  Who knows but it is pretty cute!  You also like to try to read any mail I leave on the kitchen table while you eat lunch.  This particular day you were enjoying the JoAnn’s sale flyer!

We went to the doctor for your 18 month check up and you are growing up so fast!  You were 22 lbs 10 ozs (26%) 31.5″ long (46%) and your big old head is 18.75″ (78%)!

Overall you are one healthy, too smart for your own good little girl!  In order to keep you out of some of the kitchen cabinets I took rubber bands and put them around the door knobs.  Well now that you are older I tend to forget to put them back sometimes but you run through the kitchen every morning and put the rubber bands back around the knobs.  You have NO idea that they are actually to keep you out!  You are also my little branding genius!  You recognize the Sun Drop logo and scream “DAAAADAAAA!” every time you see it even if we are in the middle of the grocery store!  You also recognize the logo for Daddy’s restaurant and scream his name again when you see it on his chef jackets or even on the side of the building when we pull up to see him.  You have started to recognize that certain things in our house belong to certain people.  Cars, trucks and Legos belong in Jake’s room while anything that looks like a cut of fabric belongs in Mommy’s studio and well ALL socks belong to Daddy and go in his bottom drawer.  Sorry Daddy if you find some socks that don’t belong to you!

Mommy and Daddy are so proud of the little girl you are starting to become.  It’s hard to believe we are half way to the 2 year mark.  The thought of you growing up brings tears to my eyes.  I don’t want you to grow up.  I want to bottle up your crazy toddler energy and keep it forever.  But then I think of all the memories that are yet to come and the idea of watching you grow as a person makes me so proud to be your Mommy.

I love you!

Momma

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DIY Herringbone Toy Box on Craftaholics Anonymous® Today!

Welcome Craftaholics Anonymous® readers!  I’m so glad you stopped by today!

Wooden Herringbone Toy Box by jRoxDesigns

Remember wayyyy back when I really wanted to make Emma Grace a fun toy box and shared all my ideas with you?  I know you were wondering what ever happened with that right?  Well you need to hop on over to Craftaholics Anonymous® today to check out my first contributor post and check out all the details !

2013 Craftaholics Anonymous Creative Team

I hope you guys enjoy it!  And while you’re at it make sure to check out Craftaholics Anonymous® on

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Growing up I always remember my Mom baking and the sweet smell of all of those tasty treats in our home.  Especially at Christmas time she would make dozens of cookies and we could eat them every day, all day and never run out until well into the New Year.  I think that’s why I love baking so much.  It reminds me of home.  There is just something so comforting about a sweet homemade treat that was made with love.  When Christmas time came around last year I knew I wanted to do something special for my Mom and so I thought making her homemade vanilla extract would be a perfect gift because let me tell you she goes through a lot of it!  It was actually really simple to make and I just followed this recipe from Beanilla.  Their website was actually a one stop shop for everything I needed.  I was able to order a 12.5oz glass bottle and enough beans to fill three bottles all at once.  They so many varieties of beans from the rich, dark and creamy Madagascar bean, which I chose, to the fruity and smooth flavored Tahitian bean! Yummm!

Are you ready for how simple this recipe is?

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Take each bean and slice it down the middle leaving about a 1/2″ intact on each end.

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Measure out 8 ounces of 35%+ alcohol.  The recipe recommends using a bottom shelf vodka so that it will not add any additional unwanted flavors to the extract.  You can also use bourbon, rum or brandy to achieve a different flavor if you wish.

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Fill your bottles up with the liquor of your choice and add your vanilla beans.

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Place the extract in a cool, dry place and allow a minimum of 8 weeks for the beans to infuse with the liquor.

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

The best part about homemade extract is that it is the gift that keeps giving because as soon as you use a bit of your extract simply add more liquor to your bottle to replace what you have already used.

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

I also made these cute little labels that were inspired by the labels Kathleen from Twig and Thistle made for her homemade vanilla extract!  Make sure to stop by and checkout her post because she has a free printable for you to use to make your very own extract!  Jake and I decided we needed to call ourselves The Smith Family Bakery Company since we made so many tasty treats as gifts for Christmas this year.  I thought it was cute and we just had to incorporate it into our labels!

Homemade Vanilla Extract | jRoxDesigns

Check out those pretty beans in that gorgeous colored extract!  Are you ready to start baking yet?  I sure am!

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Valentine’s Day Goodies and Star Wars Valentines!

Did y’all have a great Valentine’s Day?  We usually don’t get a chance to do a lot of celebrating since the hubby is off at work taking care of all the other love birds out there that are looking for a romantic dinner!  The kids and I usually hang out and give each other lots of kisses, hugs and say “I love you!” to each other all day!

Jake and I did make some super cute Valentine’s this year.  We found the original idea from Megan at the Brassy Apple to use glow bracelets as light sabers.  How cool is that?  We wanted ours to be a little different so we made our own!  I downloaded the font Star Jedi from here and then found a couple different graphics from quick Google searches to use.  It only took about 15 minutes to create them and they were the hit of his classroom!  Aren’t they fun?

Valentine's Day at jRoxDesigns

Before Jeremy had to run off to work he surprised me with a few things like these BEAUTIFUL roses!  I love having fresh flowers in the house!

Dozen Red Roses

There was also a box of chocolates…but when I opened it up what was inside was a lot better than chocolates!  I got a gift card to Home Depot!!  Jokingly I may have said something last week that I didn’t understand why people want fancy jewelry that they can only wear on special occasions a couple of times a year.  I may have said that all I really wanted was a sheet of 24/32 cabinet grade plywood to finish my bookshelves and of course he was listening.  Now that’s how you spell love in the Smith house!

Home Depot Gift Card for Valentine's Day

No need to worry though…my chocolates were still there…they were just hiding in the microwave. So my breakfast may have been these yummy strawberry and cream cheese pastries and a couple of chocolates! 🙂

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pastries and Chocolates for Breakfast

Did I mention that my littlest Valentine even left me a love note?  I love that little boy!

Love Notes from Little Valentine

So did you do anything special yesterday?  Or do you keep it low-key like us and exchange a couple of small gifts?

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