How To Subscribe To This Blog

Hi everyone…it’s me again. I know, I know, you are SO glad to hear from me, I’m sure. ha.

Just wanted to address a quick issue that has come up…I have heard from a couple of people that this blog is coming up twice in your blog readers, one is the entire blog and the other is truncated {shortened}. I’m so sorry about the double posting. I haven’t had a chance to chat with Brooke, my graphic designer about it, but I am pretty sure the problem is coming from when we combined the blogs. Either way, it is annoying and I’m sorry. The only thing I can suggest at this point is to delete  one subscription, but if that doesn’t work, I would suggest deleting them both and starting from scratch. Again, I am SO very sorry about this.

But since we are on the subject, I want to share with you all how you DO subscribe to this blog {especially if you decide to delete the blogs and start over}. I have been asked over and over how to do it- many of you are faithful facebook followers and come to the blog through that- and since we are having this issue I think this time is just as good as any to explain it to you all.

So here are the steps to subscribe:

1. Click on the RSS feed symbol on the top right hand corner of the blog, like this

2. A page will pop up that looks like this page. From here you choose the blog reader that you use to track your blogs.

Since I have a google account {anyone can open one, in fact, if you have a you tube account, you more than likely already have one}, I use Google Reader to track all my blog reading. In fact, I had no idea there were other readers out there until recently. Either way, you have a LARGE option here, so pick which one you like. :)

Lastly, if you want to receive email updates whenever we post, then enter your email in this box below and follow the prompts. This is different than the reader. You must do both if you want the blog to show up in your reader, but still get email notifications.

And that’s it! I hope that helps! So sorry for all the confusion and hopefully we will get this worked out. I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I am SO thankful that you read my blog. I feel very humbled by it and I want you to know that I value your time and the listening ears you offer me. Thanks friends.

Oh, in closing, today is the LAST day to use code THANKYOU15 in the shop to recieve 15% off your entire order. Thank you again for all you do.

Oh…Valentine hoodies coming this Friday, Spring hoodies coming Feb 29!

xoxo

Preschool Pickups, Adult Acne and Other Tidbits

Hello everyone. Amy here. Don’t you love how much I’ve been posting lately?!?! ha. YIKES. Just a lot going on around here I guess.

So I’ve gotten my DIY post checked off my list and my Team Ashley post done {PLEASE do whatever you can to help Ashley, whether it’s donate through the button on the side bar, buy a tee or some cards…whatever you can do would be awesome!!}, and now I just need to add a little venting post. Aren’t you excited?? ha. Right.

Anyway, am I the only mom who stresses out about Preschool Pickup time? Seriously, It kills me. See Brandon, when he is in town, usually takes Jake to school and picks him up, so when it is my turn to do it, I go through the same emotions all over again. Like I have never picked up my kid from school before or something. It’s super similar to the same feeling you got the first day of high school after a long break. ha. I jokingly call this Preschool Pickup hour “Mommy Comparison Time”. Haven’t heard of it? Well, let me fill you in….Preschool pick up time is when all the moms {and some lucky dads} converge on their kid’s school and pick up their children. Oftentimes, if you are either a stay at home mom or mom who works from home {like me}, this is the only time you get out of the house {other than the grocery store} and communicate with parents who are in the same boat as you. It’s a very interesting moment…and here’s the emotions that go through my mind prior to arriving:

  • About 20 minutes before 12 PM {Jake’s pick up time} I look up from my work and realize that I need to get in the car and drive the 10-12 minute drive to Jake’s school. Usually I have not gotten dressed yet, combed my hair or put any concealer on skin blemishes {more on that momentarily}.
  • Running around the house in a panic, I scan my closet and end up putting on the same thing I wore a day or two ago, hoping no one will notice.
  • I also sprtiz myself down with perfume. Because nobody likes the “I’ve been too busy to take a shower” smell.
  • I drive like a maniac to the school and while in the car, I cover my blemishes and curl my eyelashes.
  • If I have time, I will twist my hair up or attempt to look like I cared about it at least.
  • I park in the same parking spot and quickly glance around to see who’s there and who will notice how unkept I look.
  • I sprint to the preschool classroom and try to make it before they charge me for being late.
  • Once in the classroom I smile and say hi to all the moms. You know all the moms that know each other because their kids went to school together last year and we’re the new people. Right. Thankfully they are SUPER nice, but I am still at the getting to know you stage and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I feel like they must think I am a walking BASKET CASE. ugh.
  • Wait for the teacher to tell me how Jake did for the day and then grab him by the hand and start walking back to the car.
  • I say hi and chat with parents who obviously know my son {he’s Mr. Social, remember} but who are wondering who in the world I am. I reintroduce myself, chat and be friendly {To have friends you must show yourself friendly remember?}.
  • As I walk away I think about how cute all the moms look and how they MUST wonder why I don’t comb my hair or bother to wear a different outfit every now and then.
See, Mommy Comparison Time.
Well, today, as I running away from the school with my child by hand…I noticed a group of moms by the grassy area out front of the school. Jake begged me to go over so he could play with his friends, so I thought, “sure, why not?” and walked over and joined the moms. I said hi and chatted for a bit. The moms at our school are sincerely really sweet and fun to chat with. Anyway, most of the moms in the group started to head towards their cars with their kiddos, but one mom in particular lingered and we started talking.
I have noticed this mom before. In fact, at one of the class parties we chatted for a bit. Although I couldn’t remember her name, I remembered she went to a local high school and we graduated around the same time. She’s very pretty. Her husband is a nice looking man, very distinguished looking and they drive a very nice car. I always thought they were most likely affluent and had their set group of friends.
But today, while our kids played, we chatted for almost 45 minutes about life, how tough the economy is right now, school choices for the kids and the Lord. She was not anything like how I precieved. I loved it. She was awesome.
Oh and she’s a working mom like me. Double bonus.
I came home and told Brandon how Preschool Pickups are so not what you think they are. These other Moms are just like you and me. They struggle like us all. And they are just as self conscious about themselves as you are. How do I know? Because this mom and I chatted about that. It’s not just me that feels this way. And guess what? She told me, “I have been thinking the last couple times I see you that I love your style”!!!! HAHA.
Things are so not as they appear.
I told Brandon that if I gave into the “let’s just get out of here” feeling that was going through my mind while walking to the car, I would never have had such an encouraging conversation, relaxed for a moment or made a new friend.
What a good lesson, yes?
So I encourage other Mom’s out there…don’t give into the “Mommy Comparison Time” at Preschool Pickup. Get to know the other moms…they are just like you!
Oh…and I did this all with this beauty on my chin {and this is WITH concealer on, FYI ha}
Yes, my friends, that is what is lovingly called “Adult acne”. Right. So somehow, with my sensitive skin and all, a little clogged pore on my chin got out of control and blew up to the size of a golf ball {or at least it felt that way}. Since I am picker, I attempted to help relieve the pressure. Um, right. Didn’t work. Note to self, DON’T PICK.
And with ALL that said, I bring this to a close with this: I have decided to offer advertising on my sidebars. I’ve been approached several times regarding it, but just never wanted to get into it. But after some thinking and praying about it, I feel that now is the time. If you are interested in advertising on my blog, send me an email: amy@evsytree.com. I am also offering some giveaway slots. If you would like to do a giveaway on my blog, please let me know and I can see what I can do for you.
All inquiries will be reviewed by me and I reserve the right to turn away shops that do not jive with the overall look of my blog and/or my values. Thanks for understanding….
Well, that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed my preschool pick up and adult acne venting. ha. oh boy. Until next time {at this rate that will probably be tomorrow,ha } xoxo

DIY w/Evy’s Tree: Easy Gift Basket Filler

Good Morning everyone!! So we used to have DIY Fridays, remember? Yeah, well, since we’ve combined my family blog with the Evy’s Tree blog {hope everyone is still liking it combined!?!} I decided I liked Food Friday on Fridays instead…so we’re just going to have a DIY w/Evy’s Tree every now and then. Is that ok with you? Good! :)

Right after Thanksgiving I was shopping at Anthropologie and found these DARLING initial mugs. Sitting right next to them was a table full of initial stationary. I had this great idea to buy a mug and pack of sattionary for each of my sister in laws and create a little gift basket with them. I was SO excited about this gift! ha. I found some little baskets at the dollar store and put the mug, the cards and one of my favorite candles in them. I then made some little coasters from this tutorial and wrapped them up in a ribbon and put those in the basket as well. I was very proud that I had these gifts all set by, get this, the first week in December. I NEVER have gifts ready this early. Ha.

Anyway, I set them aside in my “gift closet” {that’s a closet where I hide all my gifts in case you didn’t know what that was, hehe}. On the weekend we were supposed to exchange gifts with my in laws, I pulled them out and realized to my horror that I forgot to buy gift basket filler and we were leaving for my in laws in 30 mins! YIKES. I had to think quick. I already had planned to wrap the baskets in cello wrap, but had no idea what to fill the basket with. I glanced over and saw the roll of heavy duty brown paper that my husband uses to wrap the ebay items he sells online. I quickly ripped off a couple large sheets and ran over to my shredder….Oh and I made sure my shredder was empty btw. :)

And I ended up with this……I inserted the gift items and wahlah!!So there you have it easy peasy gift basket filler. Seriously so easy. In fact, I thought to myself after I was done that I could have used a paper shopping bag from my stash, if I didn’t have the brown paper.

Oh and my sister in laws loved the baskets. They were so much fun. I hope this gives you some ideas…what do you use for gift basket filler?

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Team Ashley: Auction Tee Shirts Now Available

A big, big thank you to you all for your love and support that you have all shown regarding the Team Ashley Auction and donation. I know Ashley appreciates everything you all have done and to be quite honest, is blown away by it all.

The team is working on a blog post to answer all the questions that have come our way over the last week. I am also going to go into the blog comments and try answer some of the ones left in my blog post comment section. Please be patient with us. We are all doing our best to keep up with the massive amount of emails that have come our way…as well as keep our own lives going. ha. So bear with us. We want this to be amazing for Ashley and we are SO EXCITED about the response of donors. I think you all will be thrilled to bits to see who has donated.

Now on to tees…we had several people ask for Team Ashley tees so they could show their love and support for Ashley and the upcoming auction. We do have some very special tees that will be in the auction, but for now, the very talented Stephanie Corfee created this darling one….

If you know Ashley, you will understand the humor in this tee. :) They are available in both men and women sizes as well as youth. All proceeds will go towards Ashley and her donation funds.

Click HERE to purchase.

PLEASE pass the word!! we want these tees to sell!! :)

See you later this week with more auction info. And thank you again for all your sharing you having done to promote this. All for Ashley!! :)

xoxo

PS…want a cheap and easy way to help Ashley? Check out Stephanie’s kid fill in the blank thank you cards that are a $1 download HERE.

And there are a couple Boom Town Hoodies left HERE.

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Food Friday: French Press Coffee

Good morning! I wanted to share with you one of my every day favorite treats…coffee fresh from a French Press.

Brandon and I are always super shocked whenever we have people over and find that at least 8 times out of 10 they have never even seen a French Press. The most common comment we hear while we make our coffee is, “WHAT is that?” To be honest, we don’t even own a coffee maker, we love our french press so much. So I thought, since we have that reaction so much from our friends, that more than likely many of you have never given a french press a try…or maybe never even heard of it.

I’d like to say I know the history of a french press…but I don’t. I know its very European, but other than that, I can’t give you much history. What I can tell you is that the coffee it makes is AMAZING. Seriously. I can’t stand drip coffee any more. It pales in comparrison to coffee made from a French Press. And its super easy to make too, you just need the right tools. Are you ready to learn how to use a French Press? Yes? Fab! :)

I took all my pictures yesterday and was in a hurry to finish before I lost light so I didn’t really think about moving the knives, the mixer, the plate or the cookbook. Sheesh. Sorry. It looks like you need all these things, but you don’t. You just need what I circled here. ha.

So basically, here’s what you need from L-R:

Hot Water/Electric Kettle, coffee, coffee grinder, coffee scoop, french press, carafe

To be honest, the only thing you REALLY need for a cup of coffee with a french press is hot water, coffee grounds and a french press, but this EVERYTHING you could possibly want to live life with a french press. ha. Carrying on….

So here are the steps from A to B. It’s actually really easy, seems more complicated here, but I promise…we do this EVERY morning. It’s a piece of cake.

Step 1: boil hot water. We use our electric kettle.

Step 2: Put two scoops of coffee in your grinder.

Note about the grinder: for years I had Starbucks grind my bag of coffee upon purchasing and would keep the bag in the freezer. I would do a scoop and a half of coffee to one french press. However, my sister in law Brittony, who works at Starbucks finally convinced me to buy a grinder. It was $20 from Target. For a french press you need the grind pretty coarse and she suggested a Burr Grinder. Its a type of grinder that almost every brand carries. Anyway, I really have no idea what that means, but if you buy a grinder for a french press make sure you get a Burr one. Ha. sorry I don’t have more reason for you other than “Brittony said” :)

Step 3: Dump grinds into French Press

Step 4: Poor water into French Press. You want to fill to about 3/4″ -1″ from the top.

Step 5: Place top on the French Press but DON’T PUSH THE PRESS DOWN YET. You let it sit like so for 4- 5 mins. Brandon always sets the timer. I never do. ha oops.

Step 6: Press the lever down slowly.Step 7: Pour!!

Yes I am aware that this picture is blurry AND I spilled. I was attempting to take these pictures while pouring which means I used one hand. Note to self, ask Brandon to help next time. ugh.

So what’s so great about a cup of French Press? {Besides the great mugs? Right, it’s my motto, so I just go with it ha}…apparently the oils stay in the coffee with you press it so it is just a luxirious cup of full and thick coffee. I promise you will taste the difference. So we get asked ALL.THE.TIME. what we do when we have parties since we do entertain quite a bit. Well, here’s where the carafe comes in. I have three of these puppies and we make several pots of french press right before its time to serve coffee. It takes a bit of time and getting used to, but it is always so worth it to see your friends faces light up when you serve coffee. These carafes keep the coffee warm for HOURS. In fact, one time I had a party and didn’t clean up after myself as it was so late. {shame, shame} When I woke up in the morning and started cleaning…the coffee WAS STILL WARM in the carafe. Super cool!So some French Press tips:

1. Never use soap when washing the french press out. Just dump the grounds out and rinse the press out with hot water. The oils stay in the pot and just makes a better cup of coffee.

2. Don’t buy the glass the french press {like the ones that you see EVERYWHERE}. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with them…they do work. But they break easily- so not necessarily a long term item. We have been through a handful of glass french presses over the years {we always try to have two around}, but this one here has lasted since our wedding.

3. We recommend buying a thermos type french press, like the one shown. It will keep the coffee warm for several hours. We bought ours at Crate and Barrel with a gift certificate from our wedding {thanks Auntie Judy and Uncle Abel!}. If you have a thermos french press, you will only use the carafe for entertaining. A thermos french press is an investment and trust me, you will LOVE it!

Well, I think that’s it! I hope that helps you get started with your first cup of french pressed coffee. Please let me know if you try it! And does anyone else french press? Give us some tips if so!

Happy Friday all! xoxo

UPDATE: Shopping list

Buy our French Press HERE

Buy our favorite carafe HERE

Buy a Burr Grinder HERE

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WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday}…On Thursday

Sorry so late with this WWWW post, we had a lot of action yesterday over here on the Evy’s Tree home front. Did you see the blog post about our dear friend Ashley? Well you can see there is something big in the works after you read it. We are super excited about what’s happening.

Anyway, WWWW….

Rebecca seriously has the cutest kids. Her little girl is wearing the Mini Black Night Brilla, a HUGELY popular one around here!!

And here is Lana’s little girl wearing the Polka Dance Brilla, which is sold out.

And here Renee wearing the Lumberjack Brilla, which I still have some left of…if you would like one send me an email: amy@evystree.com they are marked down quite a bit.

And lastly, here’s Bethany. I adore this picture. Seriously. Here was her email to me:

“I wear my Evy’s Tree hoodie ALL THE TIME (including today)!  Why?  Because I can still look cool while carrying two kids!  LOL!” 

Have a picture you want to have on WWWW? Just send me a picture to amy@evystree.com.

Linking up with Lindsay today! {er…yesterday, ha}

pleated poppy

Team Ashley: Boom Town Brillas

I am so excited! A while back my seamstress dropped off a couple bins of “left over” fabric. Inside one of the bins was enough strips to do one size run of both adults and kids Boom Town Brillas. I squealed for joy as I thought I was completely out of fabric.

In case you are new around here and are just getting acquainted with Evy’s Tree and/or Lil Blue Boo, last fall I designed a hoodie to match Ashley’s Fall 2011 Boom Town line. I started doing this after Ashley so sweetly asked me to collaborate with her on Spring Line last year. It’s always super fun to do things like this with another designer.

So the last couple of days I’ve been feeling a bit bummed as money is EXTREMELY tight and I would love to give something to donation fund before the auction. But just not going to happen around here this month. Maybe not even next month. Boo. So as I started pulling that fabric out I had a great idea…why not make a bunch up and donate all the proceeds to Ashley’s fund?!? Gives me and YOU a chance to do something for Ashley. AWESOME.

So if you are interested….

Adult HERE

Kids HERE

Thanks friends for all you do to help Ashley. I’m so excited about this. It feels so good to help someone else once in a while, yes? :)

xoxo

Team Ashley: An Auction Benefiting Ashley of Lil Blue Boo

If you have been active in the blog world, facebook or twitter over the last couple weeks, no doubt you have heard about Ashley of Lil Blue Boo and her fight against a nasty cancer caused by a molar pregnancy. Or perhaps you saw the very heart touching and massively circulated “Rite of Passage” video of Ashley shaving her head after she started losing so much of her hair.

Haven’t heard of her? Didn’t see the video? Well let me introduce you….

Ashley is a young mom. Just like me. She has a little girl, very close in age to my little boy. She owns a handmade clothing line, just as I do. And she blogs. She blogs lovely heartfelt blogs about life, crafting, DIY projects and her business. She’s beautiful- tall and thin with gorgeous blonde hair and a stunning face. When Ashley and her husband began to work on expanding their family from three to four, their attempt resulted in a miscarriage. To make the miscarriage even more heartbreaking, it happened just a few weeks after her father suddenly passed away.  But she was brave and in October, 2011, they tried to get pregnant again. However this time, she had even worse luck. Her pregnancy was a continuation of her first pregnancy, a molar pregnancy, which resulted in a form of cancer called Choriocarcinoma. 

Unfortunately, this form of cancer grows very rapidly, and in her case, it was spreading. She had to have the cancer removed, and fast. As if things could even get any worse, while she was on the operating table to remove the cancer, she started hemmoraging and almost died. The only way the Doctor could save her was to do an emergency hysterectomy…killing her chances to have more children. And still leaving her with the cancer in her body to fight.

I don’t know about you, but this story gets right to my heart. Because it could be ME. It could be you. It could be any of us. And I have to be honest and say, it’s more than what I think I could ever bear.

But you have to know Ashley. When her father died, she found a slip of paper on his desk proclaiming “Choose Joy”, and that’s what she and her family chose to do in the wake of his death. She held onto the saying during her first miscarriage…and she screams it just as loudly now during this fight for her life. She chooses joy. Don’t believe her? Just read her blog. You will be amazed at how she is willing throw discouragement to the wind and forge ahead with a smile on her face. It’s beyond touching. It’s inspiring. I encourage you to watch that Rite of Passage Video. You’ll see what I mean. But don’t say I didn’t warn you- you will cry. {click on the picture and it will take you to the video}

Although she rarely mentions it on her blog, you and I both know that cancer is expensive. Very expensive. Even if you have insurance, not everything is covered and treatments that might be necessary can add up very quickly. Ashley has recently learned that her cancer seems to be chemo-resistant at the moment, which means her family is exploring everything they can to try to cure this cancer…which at this time means a more aggressive form of Chemotheraphy. These types of treatments can add up and suck the life out of you. Literally. Ashley is so positive and upbeat, so she would never talk about this, but on top of worrying about bills, I am sure she also worries from time to time about her business. Trying to keep things running smoothly {with the help of her amazing assistant Lisa, of course! :)}, and making sure that all her employee’s salaries are met, the clothing gets produced and everything continues just like normal can’t be easy.

You can imagine how much this all must weigh on her.

Luckily for Ashley, she has a very close group of friends who are working super hard to help. They were sweet enough to welcome me into their circle to work side by side with them to raise some money for Ashely and her family so she could do everything possible to fight this cancer. They are an amazing group of ladies. We call ourselves “Team Ashley”, and….

WE HOPE TO RAISE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF FUNDS FOR ASHLEY’S FAMILY.

Wouldn’t be great for Ashley to have a little money set aside for those bills and maybe even give her a month or two off from her online shop so she could focus on getting better 100%? Team Ashley is hoping to do just that.

To Ashley’s surprise and astonishment, we decided to put together a two day auction to take place on February 27- 29. The team has gathered donations, many of them one of a kind, from some some very generous vendors- almost 70 of them and still counting. The items up for auction are AMAZING. Seriously, amazing. We’re pretty sure you will agree and we hope to raise an epic amount of money for Ashley during this event.

But we need you. Can you help? We need the word spread about this auction. We want to bombard every blog, facebook and twitter page with awareness of this event. How? By talking about it. A lot. Can you do this? If so, just grab the button over on my sidebar {or copy photo to put in facebook and twitter} and start talking. Start yelling!! :) Many of you have a large amount of blog, facebook, and twitter followers….could you promote this auction? Daily if possible?

Lastly, we understand that many people do not have the time, interest and/or patience to participate in auctions. Or maybe you don’t want to wait until February to do something for Ashley. We’ve made it really simple for you help. Over on my sidebar under the Team Ashley logo is a donate button which is linked directly to Ashley’s donation account. Feel free to give whatever amount you like; $5, $10…anything would work. Even your “little bit” can be combined with someone else’s “little bit” and turn into something huge for Ashley.

Thank you so much friends, for being so kind and supportive. I can’t imagine there isn’t anyone who isn’t touched by Ashley’s story after reading it. Even if you can’t donate financially- your love, prayers and kind thoughts towards this family will mean the world to them. Thank you again. God bless you all.

Amy and Team Ashley xoxo

We are no longer accepting donations for this auction, thank you for all your interest! For more info please read HERE. This auction has been approved by Ashley Hackshaw, Lisa Walker and the rest of the Lil Blue Boo team and is the official donation/auction deemed to raise funds for the Hackshaw family. 

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Shop Talk: Sale Items and Some Tees

Just want to let everyone know that there are just a few sale items left in the shop from the Fall 2011. Click HERE to see what we have…I just added this one to the sale list today:

Also, I have a few of these tees listed

Click HERE to see the tees.

And please be sure to check back tomorrow. We have some BIG news to announce and would love for you to be apart of it. :)

xoxo

My Little “Elves”

L-R: Brooke, Maddie, Brittany

I would like for you to meet my neices. Well, two of my nieces, Maddie is my adopted niece, she is Brittany’s best friend and has been around us forever. All three girls are in an amazing homeschool program which allows them two long mornings a week to work as interns for Evy’s Tree. I call them my little Elves. They have been a godsend. They keep me laughing most of the time and its so cute hearing their little jibber jabber about teenage life. Reminds me why Brandon and I love working with teens. Its such an awkward yet special time in life.

Today they informed me that to avoid the strings while eating a banana, that you eat it from bottom to top, which means you open it at the bottom and start eating there, or what they call backwards. I don’t have a picture of this as we have eaten all the bananas around here today, but I am dying laughing that I have just now heard this news! Really? A way to avoid those nasty strings? AWESOME! ha :)

Side Note…did you know teenagers eat like 5 times a day? Well, they do. Seriously, that bring a GIANT bag of food with them every day. It’s pretty amazing.

xoxo