Food Friday: Lemon Chicken, Polenta and Carrots

Happy Friday everyone! We are enjoying a nice rainy day with kids home thanks to no school for Jake. I LOVE these rainy days!! LOVE.THEM.

We tried a new recipe recently, a simple marinade for chicken. I heard about it from my dear friend Janelle, you can read her post about here. It was an easy and quick fix for two defrosted chicken breasts and was so, so yummy!

Her recipe for the chicken is as follows:

Lemon Marinade Roast Chicken

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs dijon Mustard
1 cup olive oil
4 chicken breasts

I had two chicken breast, so I cut them in half, as I always do and made cutlets. We never eat whole chicken breasts as we aren’t big eaters and don’t finish them. So cutlets is how we ALWAYS eat chicken. Plus it saves money. Bonus!

I started with rubbing salt and pepper on the chicken, then gathered my ingredients for the marinade.

Oh, side note, here’s how I juice lemons

I think I bought my little ceramic juicer for a couple dollars at Homegoods. Love that thing! Anyway, mixed it all up and poured onto the chicken. Janelle recommends marinading the chicken for a couple hours but we didn’t have time. Although in hindsight I can see how the marinading would have been AMAZING.

And I popped into the oven at 375 for 30 or 40 minutes until done. Meanwhile, Evy and I chopped up some carrots

We chop them up Matchstick style, but not quite Julienne style since they are a bit thicker.

We place them in our steamer and make sure to salt!

and set for about 20 minutes

Do you have a steamer? If you don’t, you MUST get one. They are very reasonably priced and one of the best kitchen appliances I own. Steamed veggies are so healthy for you. We have a double decker steamer from Target, and it looks like they don’t carry it anymore, but they have this one, which seems very similar. I would recommend any house to have a steamer, they make life so much easier!

Anyway, carrying on….Next I made some polenta. We love polenta. It is SO GOOD. I follow Giada’s recipe HERE.

boil water, then add the salt. I only use 1 teaspoon of salt, instead of two as I don’t like it very salty. When the water is boiling, slowly add the polenta while stirring.

The key to polenta is to keep stirring every so often. You will do that for about 15 or 20 minutes until the polenta is soft and thick. When it’s done, you stir in the butter and I added a little cream to mine, because Brandon likes it a bit runny.

Chicken is done!

Put all on a plate….I chopped up fresh basil for a little green and some taste. I also melt a little butter and drizzle it on the carrots. Not much, but just a touch so they aren’t dry.

It was DELICIOUS!! We will so use this recipe again. Thank you Janelle for the marinade!!

Does anyone have a great and quick Chicken recipe? I’d love to try it! Leave me the recipe! Also… I was thinking about making Food Friday a linky party where you could link up with your family’s food ideas. You could either do a Food Friday on your blog yourself or just link up with a food post you have done recently, would anyone be interested in that? Let me know. If so, we’ll start next week!! :)

Big hugs to you all. As always, thanks for stopping by! xoxo

OH P.S. Today is the last day to get a free lacey tee and free shipping if you spend over $125 and purchase at least one spring item in the shop. Enter SPRINGSHIP to redeem the free shipping. The offer for the tee and the free shipping ends tonight, so hurry. Have you gotten a spring item yet? They are CUTE {if I do say so myself :)}. xoxo

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I Am NOT a Neat Freak {What’s Your Cleaning Style?}

So for as far back that I can remember, I have been slightly messy. I guess it’s just in my DNA…in fact as I watch my kids I see how some kids are more concerned with the moment {me and Jake} and how some kids are more concerned about layout and their surroundings {Evy and Brandon}. Well, unfortunately, this lack of caring about my surroundings has been one of my biggest frustrations and battles in life. I started thinking more specifically about cleaning my house when I read this blog post and actually commented for the first time in FOREVER. ha. My comments prompted a blog post, imagine that! :)

I learned very early on that a messy environment creates havoc in your life. I also learned that if I didn’t want to be embarrassed when people showed up unexpectantly, that I better learn to have things somewhat clean most of the time. {learned that the hard way when my brother brought a guy I liked over and let him go into my room that was HORRIBLY messy. Will NEVER.EVER.FORGET that. ever.}

So even though my bathroom is always a mess {sorry Babe}, and so is my closet…and ok, really my entire room, the rest of the house has to look somewhat decent or else I start panicking. When we lived in Stockton, I really struggled because the truth of the matter was, we were really starting to outgrow the house, even though it was a nice sized home. Evy’s Tree was the biggest problem…there really was no way to keep a house clean that also ran as a factory 5 days {or sometimes 7 days} a week.

I did make a rule for myself while living in Stockton: clean the kitchen and family room EVERY night. No exceptions. That helped so much. But otherwise our Stockton house didn’t get cleaned until the house cleaner came, which was usually once a month.

When we moved to Santa Rosa, our budget changed and since we moved into a larger home, we just could not afford a house cleaner anymore, which meant I had to keep up on it myself. One day while browsing Pinterest, I found this great pin from this website telling you how to have a clean home in 15 minutes. The gist of it was…get your house really clean  and then just maintain a little bit every day. Her personal schedule looked like this:

I realized that I could do that!! So without thinking I kinda started doing little things here and there, and realized that I really do only spend about 30 minutes a day cleaning up at night {kitchen/family room} and maybe another 10-15 during the day {rest of the items noted}. And I HARDLY EVER spend all day cleaning, unless I have slacked and it’s gotten really bad. So despite the fact that I am NOT a neat freak, I am proud to say I have acquired some sort of cleaning schedule. Mine varies from hers. I do not have an assigned day per item. I just do them when I can. Here’s mine:

1. I clean the kitchen and the family room EVERY night after dinner. This includes doing a dishwasher load, wiping down counters, sweeping, putting away toys, fluffing the couch, etc. also includes vacuuming the family room when it gets horrible looking, which is probably weekly. This whole process takes no more than 30 mins, but usually 15 if I have been up on it every night. I only wet mop our hardwood floors monthly {or whenever Brandon decides he can’t take it anymore and he does it himself :)}. And to make you guys feel fabulous about your home, here’s an unedited shot of my kitchen right after dinner. wow.

2. The kids pick up the their rooms every night before bed and put toys away. This is a MUST to keep my sanity.

Side note: I do have these great baskets from Pottery Barn that I keep in the Family Room and I toss random things in during the day. If they start to get rather full {like they are now} I take them and dump them in the kids room. 

3. I clean the kids bathroom once a week during their bath. It only takes 15 minutes and I just usually sit in there anyway so I figure its a good time to take it on. I usually do this when I notice the room is getting a bit messy. I keep supplies in their cabinets above the toilet for easy reach. Here is a picture of their bathroom, and it’s desperately needing to be cleaned. I think tonight will be the night! :) Oh PS. The tile. It’s horrible. Bathroom remodel in the near future. :)

4. I clean the guest bathroom only when visitors are coming over or when Jake pees on the floor or forgets to flush the toilet and it starts to stink down the hall. ha. oh boy. Oh and this bathroom is being remodeled next month. We are adding a shower. Follow my guest bathroom board on pinterest if you are wondering what we’re going to do. :)

5. My husband makes our bed daily. I probably deep clean our bathroom{disinfect counters, mop floors, bleach shower} once a month. We clean the toilet whenever it needs it. I leave toilet bowl cleaner and supplies by the toilet.

6. I vacuum the rest of the house {besides the family room} whenever it is 100% necessary. Otherwise I don’t worry about it.

7. I sweep, dust, and windex the rest of the house when I notice it needs it or when we are having company. Here is our entry way and Living Room. These two rooms rarely get touched, so I just sweep when I see dust bunnies {like there are now under the bench seat there} or dirt.

7. I do all the laundry on the weekend and after I clear out the laundry room I also clean the floor in there as well. Probably takes a total of 10 mins. For those of you who think your laundry is overtaking you..check this out. This is when I was sorting laundry the other night. WOW.

8. Guest room is only cleaned when we have guest. Otherwise we keep that room locked and untouched. We just had guests, so the sheets are stripped. It will stay that way until guests come again, then we will make the bed and dust, sweep, etc.

9. Brandon cleans his own office. The kids are not allowed in there and he keeps it locked during the day when he is not home, so it stays just how he likes it and it rarely get seen, to be honest. ha. Bonus!

10. I clean the studio when necessary. Usually every couple of days I vacuum, straighten, etc.

 ******
My mom always said to me as a kid, “Clean as you go!” but it really never clicked with me or made any sense. But now I get it. Walking to the kid’s rooms? Pick up some items that belong in there while you’re at it, drop it off and get them out of the way. I tried to never leave a room empty handed. See some things on the floor? Bend over and get them while your standing there. When you get up from the couch, fluff it after you. That all makes life so much easier.
So, I’m curious, would you share your cleaning schedule? How do you clean? What little tips you have that help you keep your house looking decent? Would love to know!
Oh…and thank you everyone for all the great tips from yesterday’s post! I guess we do keep our heater high! ha. :) xoxo
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Chocolate Sandwiches and Ballet Disaster

I cannot start out this post without saying a HUGE thank you to all of you who bought a new Spring item yesterday during our line launch. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

I set a super high goal for yesterday and I was two items away from reaching it…so happy to get that close! I also have a goal for the rest of the week, so don’t stop shopping!! :) We counted our tees last night and we have some more available so we are going to continue the free lacey tee promotion as well as the free shipping if your order reaches over $125. Just enter SPRINGSHIP at checkout to redeem that. Click HERE to shop! Read more about the Spring line HERE.

So with that said, I need to chat with you all about a very popular subject here in our house: Chocolate Sandwiches. What is a Chocolate Sandwich you ask?

Here in the Miraflor House we make Chocolate Sandwiches with whole wheat Graham Crackers and this amazing Hazelnut Butter Spread from Justin’s. It’s organic and low on sugar {as low as a hazelnut/cocoa spread can be} and my kids LOVE it. It’s the perfect snack. So perfect that for weeks that is all Jake has wanted for his school snack. So every morning I make a couple up and put them in Jake’s lunch

So you can imagine my surprise on Monday morning as I was making up our regular chocolate sandwiches {which I always do while Jake is eating his cereal} that Jake told me that on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays he did NOT want chocolate sandwiches. Only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As I dug a little deeper, I found out that some kids in the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday class {he goes 5 days} said his chocolate sandwiches were gross and laughed at him. :(

I was so shocked. Jake is the type of kid that LOVES to be laughed at and will do anything to make people do it. In fact,a couple months back, Jake jumped so much on the bridge on the playstructure that his pants fell down and the kids laughed and laughed and he continued to jump away, loving the attention. So wow, what happened?

And who in their right mind DOESN’T like Chocolate Sandwiches?!?

So I am at a loss here. Do I tell Jake to not let the laughs of other kids bother him? How in the world do I help him not be insecure when other make fun of him, because God knows it will happen often in his young life. Brandon says I need to just forget it and move on. He’ll get over it and it doesn’t matter. I am sure he is right, as usual.

Oh boy.

And my girl. Well, here she is on her way to ballet this morning.

Wearing our very favorite Lacey Zip Up in pink.

So she’s been going to ballet once a week for 30 minutes. My mom takes her while I work. Apparently, according to my mom, she does nothing the teacher asks, won’t dance and just sits and talks to people. Today, as the class was waltzing around the room, she found two older girls who were watching the class and doing pretend ballet in the mirrors tried to play with them, an when they wouldn’t she started yelling at them. When they told her to stop, she started hitting them.

RIGHT. My daughter was starting a fight with kids at ballet. Fab.

I will be attending the next ballet class and making a final decision as to whether or not this is her “thing” {which I’m guessing it’s not, ha}. And regarding the fighting, my girl is pretty tough. VERY tough in fact. She has to fight for everything around here thanks to a very big older brother. Hitting is defnitely something we are working on over here. She is a major hitter. So she spends a LOT of minutes in time out. Oh boy.

And last but not least I just spent about 20 minutes on the phone with PG&E paying for our gas and electric bill. I pretty much just gave away our life savings. When the lady asked me what I kept my thermostat at, and I told her 70, MAX 72 on freezing days {it gets VERY cold here}, she acted like we were crazy and about passed out. So it sounds like we need to bundle up a little more. Too bad I am always cold. So I’m curious, what do YOU keep your thermostat at? Apparently the whole world {according to her} keeps theirs at 68 or 69. I’m kinda thinking its funny that she made such a big deal about 3 little degrees. ugh.

And that’s the low down over here at our house. How about yours? ha.

Oh and want to pin the chocolate sandwich? Go ahead, I made a “pin it” for it. :) xoxo

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Introducing Evy’s Tree, Spring 2012

Warning…very long post. :)

Are you familiar with the story behind the 1932 Ford V8? The car that saved Ford Motors? No? Well, let me quickly tell you about it.

It was right after the Great Depression, and Ford Motor company was losing money over it’s Model A, which was losing steam with buyers. Ford realized he needed a new engine to keep his company afloat and went to work on the new V8 model, which seemed like a stretch of an engine to his confidants. He continued to work on it, and after many failed attempts, released several styles of the Ford V8 in 1932, all of them at reasonable prices that the public could afford. They were simple, understated, but packed with power with the new V8 engine. The engine literally saved Ford Motor company. And little did Ford know, he would create a legend…the V8 became one of the most sought after engines…from police cars to gangsters to families, it was the car to be riding in.

How do I know all this? Well, my dad, a “hot rodder” in high school, coveted the car. 15 years ago, he found one in mint condition, buried in an old barn 20 minutes from their house. He bought it and renovated it. Almost 10 years ago I went on our first Great Race with my dad in that car…we ran that race three times together, along with my siblings.

So what does the 1932 Ford have to do with Evy’s Tree, you ask? Well, a lot actually.

The ’32 helping make Evy’s Tree look good last Spring.

In a way, I feel like this year’s Spring line is a lot like the 1932 Ford. You see, I can relate to Mr. Ford a little. Thanks to a big move, a kitchen renovation, a change in ministry, and a loss of faithful employees, I felt Evy’s Tree was like that old Model A that was so quickly spiraling out of control and causing Ford to lose millions. Evy’s Tree, as much as I hate to admit has been lagging the last couple months, partly caused my lack of attention thanks to the above named changes, partly due to a need to revamp, and partly due to a failing economy.

Yes, I very much feel like I can relate to Ford Motor Company for sure. But just as the ’32 V8 brought a breath of fresh air to Ford Motor Company, this Spring line has brought life to Evy’s Tree. I am so excited about that.

A little over a month ago I sat down and realized I had nothing for Spring. Zero. Nada. My creative juices weren’t flowing in the least and I felt SO.VERY.FRUSTRATED. What was I going to do? I started taking a good look at what prompted me to start this business and I realized it was for two reasons: Comfort and Uniqueness. I wanted to buy hoodies that strayed away from the the whole “Beefy Hanes” hoodie and jeans looks {which I have NEVER been able to pull off} and wanted to find something that I could lounge around the house in and then run out to the store, pick up my kids or even wear to work and still look decent. I wanted a “wow” piece, something that people would stop and compliment me on. Almost a comfy piece of art that stood out on it’s own. That’s why I made my first hoodie and THAT is the reason why Evy’s Tree exists.

So this Spring, I went back to basics. There are very few pieces, but what items are available are UNIQUE and FUN. They will make people stop and compliment you. You probably will only need one or two pieces, but the one or two you get will definitely be amazing. If you want something a little more simple and understated, then you can always purchase one of our Classic Pieces {Formally known as Discount Hoodies}. They are always in stock, ready to ship and a little cheaper than the regular hoodies. But from here on out, when we have a line release, it’s going to be unique, fun and limited. Because that’s what Evy’s Tree is REALLY about.

So this Spring…I have a confession for you. Usually a couple months before I release a seasonal line, I make a trip down to L.A. and purchase an entire car full of fabric. And then I schedule a photo shoot with the very amazing Sam Hassas. But thanks to all I have mentioned previously, Evy’s Tree just did not have the money this season to do all that. So I had to make do with what I have. I am proud to say, I have created an entire Spring line with fabric I have bought previously. It was a God thing, I tell you. Like He multiplied the five loaves and two fish. Somehow, I found all this fabric I hadn’t used before and was perfect for Spring.

Amazing.

When it came to pictures I put a call out there to all my photographer friends and asked them if they would be willing to trade hoodies for pictures. I had so many people excitedly agree to help that I had to tell some of them we’d do it next time. That is how amazing my friends are. These photographers took my items and ran with them and made them look beautiful. And the amazing thing, they all caught the vision of this line without me even telling them. They pretty much all came up with the same vibe…edgy, fun, bold. I love it. Honestly, I have to say, last night I had a little chat with the Lord about how thankful I am for these people. They are so special to me.

So with that said, I’d like to introduce you to the Spring line….

The following photos are from Monika McSweeney Photography. I have recently become friends with Monika, and I can say, she is so very sweet. And her girls are beautiful!! Find her facebook page HERE.

The following photos are taken by Rojo Foto Design. Robert is a very good friend of ours and his wife Cheyenne went to church with Brandon as a kid…her family was, and still is, very, very important to us. We are honored they would do this shoot for us. The little girl is theirs. :) Find his facebook page HERE. Twitter HERE.

And last but not least, my brother in law David of DASO Photo. I’m sure you have heard me talk about him before. He’s pretty amazing. His model is my dear, dear friend Elisha and her girls. Elisha has been with me since the beginning. One of my biggest fans and supporters. I love both Elisha and my brother so very much. Find David’s facebook page HERE. His twitter HERE.

I just can’t say enough good things about this line. Wow. I love it. 100%. You can see it all HERE. Side note: this line is limited. There are a few pieces that we can make quite a bit of, but for the most part there are not many of these pieces available. The ones that are extremely limited are the Lola, the Zebra Simple Remix, the Purple Lovers Mini Dress.

Don’t forget!! Get a FREE Lacey tee if you purchase a Spring item on opening day, Tuesday March 13. Spend over $125 and get FREE shipping: just enter SPRINGSHIP at checkout.

And the winner of the $250 giveaway?

The $100 gift card:

OMW, I’m so excited about this one…Kelsey used to work for me and is sooo amazing. So happy to see her win this!!

 And the $50 gift card:

Can you ladies please email me at amy@evystree.com for your discount codes?

Thank you everyone for playing along! I love you all! Don’t forget…the Spring line goes live at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST! See you then! xoxo

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TEAM ASHLEY: Tee Shirt Updates

Good morning everyone! Just wanted to check in with a quick update regarding the “Fear Will Not Rule” Tees….

About 100 of them have shipped. We are working SO VERY hard to get them out to you as quickly as possible. I just want to stress two things:

1. Team Ashley did not make ONE penny off these tees. Every little bit of profit went straight to Ashley.

2. Two of our team members are in charge of shipping them out. They both are working moms and are doing this on the SIDE. They even have their family members packing tees and printing labels. They are working that hard to get them out to you.

I am mentioning this as we know you are anxious to get the tees but hoping you will have patience with us while we do our best to get them to you. You all have been so kind and patient. THANK YOU!!

Lastly, regarding the donut tees…there were a few tees that were shorted us by the screenprinter and had to be reprinted. I believe everyone who didn’t get a tee has been contacted, but those are being shipped soon as well.

Thank you again friends for being so amazing and helping Ashley!! Money is still coming in for her health care and we are so eternally grateful. Big hugs to you all xoxo

Like Us On Twitter $250 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

Well, there’s a catchy title for you, yes?!? ha.

So friends, my life is crazy. Really, really crazy. In case you missed all the fun on facebook/instagram/twitter last night….here’s a quick recap:

My house at the end of the day

Make you feel better? Well, it should. This is not half as bad as it can get. This is a good day actually. Oh boy. So much fun, I’ll tell you. I had no sitter and Jake did not take a nap AND Brandon is out of town until Saturday. So that means there was no giveaway post yesterday. So sorry. Hope you all can forget it and move on with me. ha :)

So today. Today is TWITTER day. Do you follow me on twitter?!? If not, you should. I post all my pictures on there, chat with my husband, retweet all those inspirational quotes I love…you know, all those things you just DON’T want to miss {yes, I am being sarcastic! ha} But really, twitter is the place to be. It’s very easy to follow and I do give special discount codes occasionally, so you will be happy you did.

So how to enter in today’s Follow me on twitter {HERE} and then tweet this:

Do you follow @evystree? If not you need to. Head over RIGHT NOW and check out www.evystreeblog.com.

And then come back and say you tweeted it here in the comment sections of this post. Don’t have twitter? No worries, you can still enter via facebook by sharing this AMAZING picture by Monika McSweeney Photography.

This stunning model is wearing the new Sailor Brilla…the perfect Summer Brilla. Navy hoodie with light cream and and navy ruffles. This one should got with everything!

Share this photo on facebook and then comment under the photo that you did and your comments will be counted towards the $250 gift certificate.

Want an extra point? Head over to Monika’s facebook page {here} and like it. Comment in this blog post that you did. :)

And introducing the Crossover…a new hoodie made out of men’s zip up but refashioned to be the perfect running out of the house but need a cover up item. I think you will love it. It will come in black with grey sleeves, grey with light pink sleeves, and this color combo:

You will also have the option, for a few more dollars, to pick your color combo. Fun, right? :)

And last, here’s another mini dress. I LOVE this one. This is the White Rabbit Mini Dress

Want to see the whole Spring line?? Check out the shop on Monday morning at 10 AM, the entire line will be uploaded and ready for preview. The shopping carts go LIVE at 10 AM Tuesday, March 13. And I keep forgetting to mention that….

EVERY Spring purchase made on Tuesday, March 13, will include a Lacey Tee for FREE!! {One tee per customer and while supplies last}

So head on over and follow us on twitter and tweet our little saying!! Miss out on the other two giveaway posts? Click HERE and HERE.

See you Monday morning, when I’ll announce the winners of the giveaways! And don’t forget to pin this !! xoxo

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Spring Preview and HUGE Giveaway Day 2

Day two over here. Did you miss Day one? No worries…you can still get involved because every day adds up and equals ONE BIG PRIZE: a $250 gift certificate to the shop! And not to mention two runner up gift certificates: a $100 and a $50!

So if you missed yesterday, I suggest you run over and read what I have to say HERE. And if you didn’t get a chance to subscribe to my blog, you can do that HERE and then head over to the first blog post HERE and comment, saying that you did. {hope that wasn’t too confusing with all the HERE’s ha}

I do want to mention that I had a handful of messages from kind friends asking what they could do for Evy’s Tree. I have the best friends ever, by the way. To be honest, what I really failed to mention in the last post, but is probably the most important thing ever, is prayer. I believe fully in the power of prayer, how about you? Well, if you want to pray for Evy’s Tree here is what you could pray for…

When I lived in Stockton I had a team of two amazing people, Sarah and Jen. They both worked part time, but equaled one full time person. I felt like I was able to push Evy’s Tree forward and into the next level with their help. My mind was focused and purposed. But since moving to Santa Rosa, our budget has changed and I have needed to pull more of a salary from Evy’s Tree making hiring a full time assistant impossible.

So my prayer has been lately that God would provide the sales that would be the equivalent of one full time assitant. Could you help me pray for that? Besides sharing Evy’s Tree like crazy, that’s what you could do for me. :) THANK YOU!

So onto today. Today is FACEBOOK day. I’m sure this one is easy for many of you. Do you have a facebook page? You do? Well, great, this one is simple then!

I need everyone to click HERE and like my page. Now. Right this minute. And then come back and comment in the blog comment section that you did. That is your entry for today. Like us on facebook. Simple yes?

Want more entries? Make sure you followed my blog for one {HERE} and second, share this picture on facebook

and then comment under the picture that you did. When you visit our facebook page you will see the photo being shared…please comment under THAT PHOTO. You can share as many times as you like, just make sure you come back and tell me that you did so that your share will count.

Oh, and want a couple more preview pictures? Well, sure!

First I want to say something about the Brillas. They have been my number one seller, but this season you are only going to see three of the original Brillas. This season there will still be ruffles, but they will be slightly different. With this first Spring release {I’ll have some more spring items coming towards the end of the month} I will only have three Brillas. That’s it. Only three. They both will come in mom and daughter sizes, however, and some will be limited, like this one.

I put a call out for names on facebook last week and I finally decided on one. This is called the Lola Brilla, named after my friend Jenni’s little girl Lola. I love Jenni, she was one of my first blog friends and her family is darling. She has been a faithful friend and I appreciate her very much. And this chocolate hoodie with big pink polkas just reminded me of her little girl! So here’s Lola Brilla…

Oh and thanks to April for the name…April can you email for your discount code?? amy@evystree.com

And one more…do you have a Diana wrap? You NEED one. I promise. You will probably need several after you have one. They are that amazing. Really. Just ask anyone who has one. They truly hide a mulititude of sins while making you look like a million bucks.

This one is Tangerine, to go with Spring’s hottest color this season.

One more…introducing the Simple Zebra Remix. A little twist on our classic Simple using a grey and black zebra jersey and with the ever so popular grey ribbed sleeves that bunch up on your wrist. Very fun.

 Oh one more thing: Sale items are still available, although there really are only a few left. Click HERE to shop and enter code SPRINGCLEANING upon checkout to get an additional 30% off the already marked down price. The code will be turned off Monday morning, so make sure you snag what you want before then!

xoxo

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Spring Previews and a HUGE Giveaway

Well, it’s that time again…time to introduce a new line and as always, the week leading up to it we have some fun giveaways to go with it. But this time around, we are going to do things just a *tad* differently. I don’t think you will mind. :)

Here’s the deal: Evy’s Tree has come a VERY long way from where we first started. We have grown leaps and bounds, but have found ourselves in a bit of an interesting spot…we are too big to do things small and are too small to do things big. We are teetering on the edge of really growing and its a strange place to be. The truth of the matter is, if I want to make this a solid business where I’m not doing ALL THE WORK {key words here. I could run this business for the rest of my life and do everything myself, but my lifespan would probably be very short, ha}…we still have a VERY long ways to go until we can truly say this business is worth it’s time {or my time} in money. What does that mean in plain English? It means that if I don’t get a broader audience of NEW customers, then running Evy’s Tree the way I am doing may not be worth it in the end.

Recently I sold a Women’s Conference and I had several beautiful people come up to me say things like, “Oh my goodness, you’re famous!” or “I feel like I’m meeting a celebrity!” or “If only my business could be like yours!”.

*Hanging my head in embarrassment*

Can I be honest {yes, you all know I can be, hehe}? These statements make me SO VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. While I am honored that you feel and think so highly of me, I shrink inwardly in shame knowing what it’s REALLY like. Evy’s Tree has grown, yes, I will not downplay that, but please, NEVER mistake a massive amount of exposure to actual sales. EVER.

I once saw this beautiful coat on a European Royal. A British friend of mine showed it to me. It was featured in one of the big name gossip magazines and the coat was GORGEOUS. My friend started telling me the history about the coat. A mutual friend of hers from University designed it and owned a company making said coat and many others. She had her own website, shopping cart, wholesale lines with big companies…but in the end she had to close her doors because her output did not equal her input, or more simply: there were just not enough purchases. Which meant she could not continue to grow the business and make enough money to survive. So the coat company went under…despite the fact that a Royal had worn one.

What’s my point?  I have to grow this business to the place that it makes me the money I need to make it worth my while. I don’t want you to panic, I am NOT closing the doors on Evy’s Tree, but after I heard those statements from those precious ladies at the women’s conference…it caused me to evaluate it all; and I wanted you to know how it really is over here.

It’s not that exciting. 

I am still working my tooshie off, staying up way too late, and brainstorming at all hours of the day. I am still trying to make this work. Period.

What it really boils down to this is: how many hoodies do YOU really need? I know, I know, I have my Evy’s Tree die hards out there who buy every one and for that I am eternally grateful, but the majority of us only need a handful before we’ve reached our yearly limit. So that means I need more customers {on top of my faithful ones} to make Evy’s Tree work. That’s really the bottom line. I need more people to buy, and then tell others to buy. I need to broaden my nets, as it were.

So here’s what I need for YOU to do. I need to for you to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. And it starts right now, with the Spring line. Can you help me blow this thing up? Here’s where I need the MOST help

1. Facebook: My #1 referrer is facebook. Most of my customers find me there. However, ever since Facebook has switched up their format and started letting you see the MOST popular posts instead of ALL the posts, I have lost a lot of business. It seems like not every one sees what I post, even though I post constantly {to point of being annoying, ha}. I have heard that if you, as the reader, like a post that I write that it shows up more, so can you make it habit to like as many of my posts as possible from here on out? You don’t even have to read it! ha. Just like it so everyone can see it. Or a comment would be great too. {hint, hint :)}

2. Blog: This one is simple and obvious. Can you follow my blog? If you do, you will make sure to not miss a beat. If you don’t know how to follow this blog, please click HERE.

3. Twitter: Are you following me on Twitter? It seems Twitter has stayed the same while Facebook vacillates between one design and another. So…follow me on twitter please? It might be the only way for you get immediate updates from me if facebook goes belly up someday. ha.

4. Pinterest/Instragram: are you following me on Pinterest? How about on Instagram {evystree}? Let’s be honest…the more repins I get of Evy’s Tree items, the more word gets out there. Can you help? Follow me and repin Evy’s Tree!! :)

So here’s what we are going to do this season. I am hosting a $250 gift certificate giveaway this week. YIKES! I’m sure you all could do a lot of damage in the store with that puppy. On top of that, I will have two runners up: One $100 gift certificate and one $50 gift certificate.

So how does this work? Starting today, I am going to have to join each one of my social networks and tell me that you did. {If you already have, then great! Just tell me :)} Today is my blog…follow my blog {Instructions to do so HERE} and tell me you do = 1 comment.

If you want some extra entries, hop over to my facebook page and share this picture on facebook,

then comment under the picture that you did. You can share as many times as you would like and comment as many times as you like. Those comments will be tallied up at the end of every day and totaled with these blog comments. Each day there will be a new picture for you to share.

So to recap:

Join each social network blogged about today through Friday and comment on the corresponding blog post that you did: 1 point

Share the photo of the day on Facebook as many times as you like and comment each time you do: unlimited points

Make sense?!? Hopefully, sorry that’s so long!

So previews…well, like I said we’re doing things a tad differently. This season I am only going to show you a *few* items that will be listed on Tuesday, March 13. You will have to join us on Monday, March 12 to see the full line up. At that point the shop will be loaded and ready to go…even though you won’t be able to purchase, you will be able to see everything that will be available for purchase on Tuesday. Sound fair?? :)

So today we are just going to recap a couple of the ones I previewed last week, the first one was the Chevron picture above. You can read more about that one HERE.

And lastly, did you see the Brilla Mini Dress on facebook?? No? Well, here it is! I will have just a handful of these Brilla Mini Dresses in several colors. I think you will love it. The only bummer it comes in one size only…it will fit sizes 4-8. Boo. Will have to put a complaint out to American Apparel on that one. I do have a friend who is a size 10/12 and she says it fits her, but I have yet to see it on her so I will keep you posted on that one.

This one has the signature Brilla flower and a ruffled hood. It’s really fun. 

So again…to get your entry in for today, do you follow this blog? Yes? Great! Comment that you do. No? Just click HERE to do so then come back and tell me you have.

And don’t forget to pin it! Happy Spring everyone!!

xoxo

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Family Day: Petaluma, CA

Well it’s been quite the busy past two weeks….did you keep up with the Team Ashley Auction?? We raised so much money I almost don’t believe it. You all are amazing! We had so much fun and feel so blessed to be able to help the Hackshaw family.

My little blog has been so full with business and auction related posts the past couple weeks that my little family hasn’t been mentioned much. If you have followed my blog at all over the years you will know that it exists for my family. A little bit of history for them, so to speak. So with that in mind, I really hate it when I don’t get to highlight them much. Hopefully you all won’t mind a nice long Miraflor family post today. :)

This past week my in laws surprised us and sent us a text letting us know they were coming into town this weekend. We were SO EXCITED! I had just been telling Brandon how much I missed them. We are so used to having them so close and having them over for dinner, seeing them at church, etc., that it’s been really hard to not see them so much. So late Friday night they arrived and we couldn’t be happier.

Side note here: I mentioned to someone this weekend that my in laws came up and surprised us and their response was, “Oh boy, I’m so sorry!” UHHHH…NO! I ADORE my in laws. It made me so upset. I firmly believe that it falls on us, as young mothers, to love and respect our in laws, if only for the fact that they chose to love and raise the husband YOU love. It doesn’t mean I have to see eye to eye with them, understand all their choices or really think like them at all, but I do need to RESPECT them. Even if they are horrible to you and you have to draw some lines between you and them, you still need to show respect of them in front of your kids. Because after all, it’s only Biblical! {Ephesians 6:1} Ok, venting over. :)

Anyway, we really wanted to have a fun and relaxing day so we spent Saturday morning louging around the house {or my in laws and the kids did, Brandon was speaking at a Bible Study and I was doing my shipping} and then at lunch time we piled into the car and went to Petaluma for lunch. We had hoped to visit the Petaluma Adobe, but it was closed for budget cuts {ugh, I could say sooo much right now regarding CA and their choice of things to cut, but I will refrain, ha}, so we went and walked around downtown and had coffee and cookies instead.

Later that night we had soup and salad for dinner and watched a family video. It was such a blast. My in laws were able to attend church with us {a first time for my mom in law, second for my dad in law} and they loved being apart of our Sunday worship. We then went to Thai food with my mom {my dad wasn’t feeling well} and then it was time for them to go home. BOO. We will miss them so much. I wish they would come up every other weekend, but I know that’s unrealistic for them. BUT, I did try to persuade them, believe you me. hehe.

So onto pictures….We forgot our camera, so all of these were taken with our phones, so excuse the quality. Brandon made a bunch into collages which is pretty cool. :)

Our first stop was Walnut Park Grill. SO YUMMY. We love this place. Their onion rings are amazing and my Father in Law said the fish tacos are unbelievable! They only have outside seating, which was perfect for such a beautiful day.

Our trip to the adobe may have been a fail, but we were able to snap a gorgeous picture of the back side of the structure. Such a beautiful piece of California history!

Next up was 4th/Kentucky St, where our favorite Petaluma Coffee Shop, Acre {their website is pretty cool!}, is located. It’s a little shop with “hand made” coffee. The wait is long as they do every step themselves {and they only serve french press coffee, YES!}, but the coffee is AMAZING. Their treats are also so yummy and made locally.

At the table behind us was this artist sewing up some of these little guys…we were in awe of her creativity.

Across the street from Acre is the old Library which is now a museum. Brandon loves this building.

Brandon got some cute shots of Evy by a tree {which he entitled Evy and the Tree on Twitter. ha. Clever! :)}

Then we took a little walk up to Kentucky St. There is a bunch of really cute shops and antique stores in Petaluma and we took our time browsing through them. The kids had so much fun running around.

And my husband…oh boy. I have to preface this picture with this fact: he can make REALLY long and high jumps. I’m pretty sure its the massive amount of time he spent skateboarding as a kid, but regardless, he has been known to jump over the hood of car with no problems whatsoever. Well, he had his dad take a continuous photo of him jumping over this sign. The kids thought it was awesome and the entire walk back to the car we had to endure the kids running and trying to jump over shop signs. Right you can imagine how THAT turned out. ugh. Oh well…

It was such a wonderful day. So happy to be with my family! And the kids LOVE Family Days. What do you do on Family Days? Where are your special places?

And since we are speaking of family, I have to give a huge shout out to my mom. She is awesome…you probably have to know her and see her in person to know what I mean, but she is a GREAT shopper and we would literally be naked if it weren’t for her. She went to J.Crew last week and came home with this darling outfit for Evy {and if you ever wondered who Evy looks like, well here you go… :)}

and this new Gingham shirt and loafers for Jake. He was so excited about it that on Sunday he asked Brandon to match him. They were so cute!

So thank you Mom!! I love you SO much!

And thank you to my in laws…I LOVE YOU GUYS! Thank you for coming and visiting us! xoxo

Oh…before I forget…there is a SALE going on in the shop that ends tonight. Click HERE for more info.

And want 6lbs of fabric scraps at a great price?

Click HERE.

Lastly, Spring is coming! Tune in tomorrow for a HUGE giveaway and previews!

Big hugs everyone…thanks for reading such a LOOONNNGGG post. :) xoxo

WEEKEND SALE!

How about a little weekend fun?

All the Discount Hoodies are an additional 15% off this entire weekend…just enter WEEKEND at checkout to redeem the discount. Offer ends Monday at 11:59 PM PST….so I would hurry if I were you. :)

And I added a few things to the Discount Hoodie section. Like the Pink Polka Brillas

And all the Ruffle Cardigans, in every color

And there are even some things for boys too! Like the Ronnie Hoodies

And the Marbles

What are Discount Hoodies you ask? They are hoodies that we have plenty of material for and aren’t planning on discontinuing any time soon. Because of this, we mark down the price at least $10 less than the normal prices. However, we do not take preorders on them, they will pop up in the shop whenever my seamstresses get a chance to make them and ones they are gone, they will be gone until we restock. Like the sale items, they are a final sale.

OH…don’t forget the Sale items. They are being discontinued and are and additional 30% off the already marked down sale price. Want to know a secret?? I’m pretty much giving you these hoodie. Right. They are that cheap. Enter SPRINGCLEANING at checkout to redeem that discount.

Want to buy a discount hoodie AND a sale item? No problem, just make two separate orders and I will refund your shipping cost upon packaging your items for shipment.

So what are you waiting for…head on over!! Shop HERE.

xoxo

PS…will you pin this sale? Thanks friends!

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