WWWW {What We Wore Wednesday} and The Store Is Closing….

I know, I know, it’s Thursday, not Wednesday. And I haven’t done a WWWW for a while now, I’m sorry! There has been so much going on around these parts, it’s been a bit hectic. I’ll share more info with you all next week, but for now, I just wanted to let you know that…

The store is closing tomorrow {Friday} evening.

 I will explain what is going on with the shop this Monday through this blog, so please come back. I am going to be brutally honest about some things around here and I desperately need your help. DESPERATELY. I’m not sure how many Evy’s Tree fans I have out there anymore {especially since FB has changed up their timeline, it seems I don’t get to see many of you as often}, but if you love Evy’s Tree, I hope and pray you will support us when we reopen.

Will you be there on Monday {June 4} to hear more? I sure hope so!

And now onto WWWW…..

First my family on Memorial Day. Evy is wearing the Independence Brilla, my mom is wearing the Red Simple and Jake is wearing last years Independence for boys. I love these three. 

Meet Kirsten…she is a friend of mine, a friend found through Evy’s Tree. Kirsten is wearing a *vintage* Anchor hoodie {how many of you have those? they were a huge hit back in the day! :) }. As you can tell by the hoodie, Kirsten was one of my first buyers, and somewhere along the line I realized she was from Santa Rosa and had the same last name of a guy my brother was friends with in high school. Come to find out she married that same guy!! So we had a connection. She was also very good friends with a friend of mine from SR. When I moved, Kirsten and I have been in touch and it is so good to get to know her. She is SUCH a sweetie. She came by the studio in the Anchor and I had to snap her picture. Thanks Kirsten for being a willing subject! ha. :)

Next up is Jasmine…and I have to honest, I’m not sure Jasmine submitted this photo? My husband emailed me the pictures, so hopefully Jasmine doesn’t mind me using it! :) She is wearing the Pink Polka Brilla

I adore this picture of Evy and my nephew Lincoln. You can read more about this day here. Evy is wearing the Eggplant and navy ruffle pullover.

Have you seen beautiful SM from Forty Toes Photography in our Blue Zig Zag Brilla?? She is so stunning!

My beautiful friend Chrystyna wearing the red simple. I am soooo thankful for this lady, she has helped me out so much lately! :)

And lovely Angela wearing the Blush Diana Wrap. Loved how she placed the pin at her waist, what a good idea!! 

Well, that’s it for WWWW…thank you everyone for making Evy’s Tree such a big part of your lives! I am so thankful.

And don’t forget to check back Monday for more info on the shop. And if you want something, I’d snag it now! Shop HERE.

Jake’s Class Play Date

Yesterday was an amazing day. We had been looking forward to this day for quite a while…for the entire year according to Jake. Yesterday we had his class over for a play date.

I told you all a little about it before, but a couple weeks ago I decided to get the guts up and invite all Jake’s classmates, along with their siblings and parents, over for a couple hours of snacks and play. I was so shocked and completely floored when all except 4 kids could make it…we had a total of 13 moms

and 24 kids

WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!!! Seriously, it was such a blast. The kids played so well together and ran around like maniacs. Most of them dressed up in all my kids costumes…it was so cute to see.

We were so impressed at how well everyone got along. No fights!!

Have you ever thrown a play date? I haven’t! :) When we were in Stockton, I actually didn’t get very close to the other kid’s families as I knew that we wouldn’t be at that particular school longer than preschool so I didn’t see that there was a point. But this year, I realized how important it was to Jake. He was literally beaming from ear to ear the entire time and when everyone left he kept telling me “Thank you Mommy!!!” over and over.

You know, I’ve said this before, but I’m a bit of an introvert. I’m super happy being stuck in my own little world with my own little friends. But since moving to Santa Rosa meant leaving my big, big church community I was blessed with in Stockton, I realized that if I wanted to create a community for my kids, I needed to work at it a little.

And I’m so glad I did. These moms and kids are amazing. Seriously, they are top notch. So kind and sweet and their kids are super well behaved. Not all of them are staying on at Jake’s school for kinder, but we will still see them…Santa Rosa has many great sports programs and Jake is going to play soccer this year with most of them.

One of the special treats of the day was Jake’s preschool teacher stopping by. We LOVE Mrs B. LOVE HER. She is such a great teacher and the kids were SO EXCITED to see her!

That’s Jake with the spiderman mask, BTW. ha. 

So I encourage you…have a play date with your kids classmates! You will love the results! I was beyond blessed with the results. My heart was full that so many moms were kind enough to come and be apart of the day.

Oh….I have to show you these beautiful coasters….

This was a hostess gift from a beautiful Indian family in Jake’s class- I am assuming these coasters are straight from India! I was so moved by this gift…It’s simply gorgeous and something I will cherish for years to come!

In case you want to throw a class play date, here’s what we did:

Hours: 11AM-1PM.

Food: I provided PB&J {Frozen uncrustables cut in half}, juice and bottled water for the kiddos, as well as turkey sandwiches and fixings for the adults along with coffee. I also provided plates, plastic ware and napkins. Everyone else brought their child’s favorite snack. We had plenty of food!!

Activities: NOTHING! I set out crayons for the kids to draw, but nobody really colored, most of the kids played in Jake and Evy’s rooms or ran around outside.

So tell me, have you ever thrown a play date? Would love to know what you did. xoxo

So Thankful For Family

Brandon’s family came to Santa Rosa on Friday night. I just have to tell you all, I am so thankful for them. They are amazing. His parents would give everything they have to the ones they love and when they have given all, they would give the clothes off their back. That’s just the way they are.

Brandon’s sister Bryony, her husband David and their kids Scout and Lincoln, also came, along with Angel, Brandon’s brother Bryson’s son. My mom in law bought season passes for the grandkids to Discovery Kingdom {formerly Marine World} and she was eager to get them started. It’s going to be a fun summer with those things! :)

Everyone arrived late Friday eve and Saturday morning we woke up and had Pancakes, fruit and homemade scones.

Bryony’s homemade scones are AMAZING. I’m trying to get her and David to do a Food Friday on them. I think you’ll love them!

My dad came over for breakfast and brought a snake he found in a box of some mass produced items his company had made in China. He thought the snake came all the way from China and was so excited about it. We spent breakfast time looking up Chinese snakes on the internet with the nasty thing sitting on our table hissing at us all.

Brandon put the picture up on his twitter and we figured out {thanks to some snake smart friends} that the snake is just a plain ole’ garden snake that must have burrowed it’s way into the box here in America. My dad was bummed. ha.

After breakfast and the snake excitement, the kids got ready to go with Grandma. Only the older ones went this time…. and they were excited!

Meanwhile, Grandpa went with me to get some new chairs off Craigslist…

Aren’t they so darling? I’m fixing them up this weekend. Can’t wait to show you what I do to them. One of the arms was broken and the chair was a bit wobbily so Grandpa fixed it for me. SO thankful for him.

He also fixed up this chair…I’m excited to show you what we did with it!

After Lincoln and Evy took a little nap, Bryony, Grandpa and the kids and I headed down to Petaluma to meet up with Brandon and David, who were taking picture in San Francisco. Oh, one thing about their trip to SF….they happened upon a couple in the middle of a marriage proposal on Mt. Tamalpais! Sooo cool!!

We ate in Petaluma and then wandered around for a bit. Evy loves being with her Grandpa!

One of our favorite spots in Petaluma is this old wall off Petaluma Blvd. It’s a facade of a building and a great photo op. We took a few shots of the twinsie cousins Lincoln and Evy. SO precious!

On Sunday we spent the morning together {Brandon was speaking out of town for the night}. Grandpa was able to accomplish a BIG job…he fixed all the sprinkler system around our house!! That was HUGE!! There were spouts going off to no where and some plants weren’t even getting any water. I am so glad because now that means we can get bark to make our yard look a bit better! WHOOHOO, one step closer to being fully moved in! :) And my dad and Art mapped out the guest bathroom remodel. YES!!

Just before dinner, my dad took Art for a ride in his ’36. He was in Heaven. So cute. And I’m so glad my dad and my father in law get along and are friends. That is not common and I’m so thankful for it!

Today my mom is taking the kids to the church picnic. I had plans to go, but I had an urgent business issue come up so I will be locked away in the studio for the rest of the afternoon. I hope you all remember to say a prayer for the families of loved ones who were lost protecting our country. So thankful for them!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! xoxo

In Case We Thought It Was National BBQ Day….

My friend texted me this picture the other day. It kills me. This could be me. May we never forget what this day is REALLY about. A big huge thank you to all the military that daily protects us as a country. And a giant, overwhelming thank you to families who have lost loved ones all in the name of FREEDOM. Thank you, thank you. May God bless your families and may God bless America!!

And in honor of those serving our country, how about a discount code? Enter MEMORIAL and get 20% your entire purchase until Tuesday, May 29 at 11:59 PM PST.

Happy Memorial Day everyone!! xoxo

P.S. Brandon is gone and my kids woke up fighting and haven’t stopped. Today is going to be AWESOME. ha. ugh.

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Food Friday: Sea Thai Bistro

Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to share with you one of our favorite restaurants here in Santa Rosa, CA, Sea Thai Bistro. We just recently found this place, probably 6 months ago or so, and we are so in love. It is so hard to find a nice ethnic food joint that has both a wonderful ambiance and fabulous eats. Sea Thai has both. And on top of that, the customer service is AMAZING.

Meet Tee…

Tee is the Manager of Sea Thai and he is so awesome. On Mother’s Day we decided to go to Sea Thai at the last minute and called Tee…he got us a table in the crowded restaurant immediately. We love him!!

And this Reina with her nephew. She is one of our favorite waitresses…

Reina knows all of our orders by heart, which coloring pages the kids like, and where we like to sit. She is awesome too!!

And the food…OMW!! Can I be honest here…don’t kill me, but I had never had Thai food before we went to Sea Thai. I have no idea how in the world I had never tried it. I love it now..probably because Sea Thai is the BEST EVER!! A couple of Sundays ago my mom, Heidi and I were husbandless so we decided to go out together. Lucky for you, I had my camera with me!! Here is my favorite, the Peanut Noodle. It is SO VERY YUMMY!!

The kids always get Chicken Satay and rice….

The Summer Fire Chicken is Brandon’s favorite and if I am in the mood for some spice, I get the Holy Basil Chicken. There is also a delicious soup that we love too, I just can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called but it has chicken and tomatoes in it, with coconut millk. YUMMO.

Their deserts are also amazing. The sticky rice with Mango is my favorite. This time my mom choose and got a coconut ice cream dish and a chocolate cake. We dove in and started eating before I even had a chance to snap a picture so this is near the end here… ha

And some pictures of us. I will warn you, we had just been through two church services and this particular Sunday was a HOT one, I think it hit the low 90s. Too hot for us Santa Rosians. :)

My mom and goofy Jake…

Jake, Ev, and Jude staying entertained with someone’s iphone…

These two are precious…

And me and my buddy. I love this lady. So thankful we are friends. And just a FYI, we tried about 10 times to get a decent picture of us and this was the best one…not good at all, so bear with us. Wow, we look like we had been through the wringer! ha.

If you are in Sonoma County, make the drive to Sea Thai. It’s in Montgomery Village and sooo soo good!!

Do you eat Thai food? If so, whats your favorite dish?? Big hugs everyone!! xoxo

Goodbye School…

…Hello Summer!!

We love school around these parts {when we lived in Stockton, Jake went year round}, so you can imagine my surprise when I actually got excited about Summer vacation a couple weeks back. I guess just being back in Santa Rosa, where I was as a kid, is getting me all excited about lazy summer days outside, swimming in my parents pool, and the overall great weather that Santa Rosa offers during the summer. I have a picture somewhere of my younger brother and me, with our next door neighbors, playing outside in the field by our first Santa Rosa house. I gotta find it, as when I watch Jake and Evy playing in our yard with our neighbor girl, I so vividly remember see that picture in my mind. Super fun.

ANYWAY, school is out. Yesterday was the last day. Even though we were excited, it was kinda sad. I LOVE Jake’s teachers. They are so amazing and have loved Jake so much this year…and put up with him, because you can trust me here- he is NOT an easy student. Seriously. He’s probably the smartest kid on the planet, but boy oh boy, his energy level is off the charts. Those poor teachers. ha.

To thank them, we took Evy’s Tree, of course. :) A little birdie had told me that Mrs. C wanted the Pink Polka Brilla so we sent those for both teachers. I just love these pictures of Jake handing over the gift and Mrs. C opening it. You can see how excited she was!

Mrs. B {the main teacher} has been really, really sick this past weekend, so she wasn’t there in the morning, but she showed up at the end to say goodbye to her class. We were able to snap a picture of Jake with Mrs B after school. We love this lady. A veteran teacher, she will be our school’s preschool director next year. We will miss her in the classroom, but so glad she will still be on campus!

Jake and a couple of his buddies from school. We have made such great friends this year. All the kids are sweethearts! So sad that not all of them are staying at our school for Kinder. :(

And you thought we were excited about summer? Well, my dear, dear friend Heidi…she has been talking about summer for about two months, no kidding! She LOVES it and was so happy it was the last day of school. Her mom, Nancy Grandquist, drove all three kids and Heidi to school on the last day in old Chevy…blasting 50′s music. They even did Joshua’s hair like a greaser. They are such crack ups!

So here’s to summer vacation friends!! Any of you have some great, cheap, suggestions for  kid summer activities? We’re trying not to spend any money on camps this summer to save for school next year. YIKES!

xoxo

What’s Your Friendliness Score?

I’ve mentioned it before, but I moved around a lot as a kid. Most of the time it was in the same town, however, during my early childhood and primary education years, we moved from city to city a couple times. My Dad is a developer. Which means that when he builds something, its for profit only, not for sentimental reasons, which is why every home we ever lived in was inhabited by us for only a couple years.

It was hard.

I remember seeing all my friends who lived in the SAME house ALL their, what seemed to me, very long lives and here I was, only 8 years old and on our 5th home. I don’t know why this bothered me, but it did. Silly, really, since my parents always have gorgeous homes and every one we lived in was beautiful…but true to my character I cared less about beauty and more about sentiment. So it affected me at the time.

When I was in 3rd grade, we moved to Santa Rosa. I was so nervous. This was the 4th school I had gone to throughout my lifetime and I really worried I wouldn’t have any friends. And to be honest, I probably had reason to worry. Santa Rosa was {still is} a small town and most of the people at my new private school had been going to school together since Pre-K…their parents knew each other, their grandparents knew it each other, most of them went to the same church…it was a closed knit circle. I will never forget that the teacher allowed me to bring my cabbage patch doll to the first day of school, and I clutched the life out of that thing. I think I must have had a melt down on the second day when my parents informed I could not take it back. ha.

To make things even more interesting, my parents are not gigantic social bugs. My dad is an EXTREME introvert and would much rather be in his garage working on his cars than sitting and having coffee with the parents of his kids school mates. My mom is very social and made sure she tried to connect with other moms, but thanks to my dad’s shy behavior, they didn’t have people over much. Our next door neighbors were my parents closest friends…thankfully the dad was a commercial airline pilot like my dad once was so they had a lot in common and the mom and my mom hit it off. They were over at least once a week and vice a versa.

It took me some time and courage to have friends over. My mom quoted Proverbs 18:24 to me CONSTANTLY: “A man who has friends must show himself friendly”. I took it to heart…but still, I knew my home life was different and I was self conscious about it. We lived on a gigantic piece of property with a tennis court, swimming pool and three houses. Never mind that this property was my dad’s JOB…when people saw it they flipped and for some strange reason it made the kids make fun of me. They automatically assumed that we were in a separate category of life. {NEVER judge a book by its cover, you have NO IDEA what is really going on behind the scenes} Now that I am older I see it for it is but at the time I took it very personally and became awkward, insecure and shy about it. I was trying so hard to be NORMAL, and it was killing me.

We moved once again my senior year of high school to another small private school and this time I wasn’t about to let my insecurities get the best of me. I was determined that this was it…my last year of high school and my only chance to really give this friendliness thing a shot. So I plastered on a smile every day, invited people over, talked to everyone and loved on the popular and the unpopular.

This time it worked. I made friends. Lots of them.

I learned a REALLY good lesson. The core of my lesson was BE KIND TO OTHERS. ALWAYS. I can’t emphasis this enough. There is NO ONE who isn’t worthy of our kindness. I mean come on people…we’re Christians here. We of all people should be kind. Who cares if you have different social economic backgrounds, or life style differences or personal preferences, or denominational differences…it doesn’t matter! Friendliness is important. Period.

I recently went to the amazing Snap conference in Utah. I went by myself {yes, I’ve come a long way, and no I didn’t take my cabbage patch doll, ha}…and I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about it. My friend Ashley texted me a couple weeks before and told me to make sure we connected, and then my friend Shari and I emailed back and forth, so I knew I would have someone to hang out with {as it turns out we were stuck like glue, ha}, and my friend Heather was going to be there too…but I was still a bit worried. But the moment I stepped foot off the plane and on the air porter van, I struck up an instant friendship with another girl there. FRIENDLINESS WORKS. It was like that most of the trip.

You know, I read a lot of blogs, and many of the blogs I read were represented at the Snap Conference. I met several of the people who I have communicated with over the last couple years via blogging. Most of the people were AWESOME and so stinking friendly. It was like we had never NOT known each other. But want the truth?

A COUPLE OF THEM WERE PLAIN RUDE. Yup.

I was shocked at some of the girls who blog these amazing blogs and seem so sweet and sincere. Uh, no. They were NOT NICE, AT ALL. God forgive me for saying this, but it’s true. Why did I feel that way? BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T THE LEAST BIT FRIENDLY. And many of these people I would call “blog friends”. I hope and pray I was not like this to other people trying to met me. Dear God, I hope.

So here’s my point: BE REAL. Be who you really are. If you are brat in real life, you will be found out someday. If you are kind, make sure you portray that. Want to know one of my biggest fears? That I will meet some of you in public and you find that I’m not kind, friendly or sincere. It’s my biggest fear. And it should be. Because I need to be who I am at all times, not just on this blog.

We recently moved back to Santa Rosa. I haven’t lived here for almost 10 years. Things have changed, but not that much. It’s still a small town. My kids are in the same school I went to, and I’m not going to lie, it was hard that Jake didn’t go to school there last year. The moms all knew each other already and many go to church together. I was faced with the same insecurities I had as a 3rd grader…except this time I was smarter. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by this, we just smiled, and tried to be friendly. Most of the moms were friendly back. Yay! My son fit in just fine and we are having all the moms and kids over for an end of the year play date next week. I’m a little nervous about it {confession, sorry moms of Jake’s playmates if you’re reading this, haha}, as we haven’t really had anyone over this year and you worry, you know? What if they don’t like me, or my home, or the way my kids interact, or blah, blah. But you know, who cares! I’m excited to connect with these sweet moms. I hope I can be friendly, even if they aren’t {which they are, thank God}. And I hope to teach my kids the same thing.

So I ask you, what is your friendliness score? Are you kind to others? Do you love with all your heart? Do you make new people feel welcomed? Do you open your home to those who are around you? When you talk to people, are you REALLY interested in their life, or do you act bored? Take account of yourself and hold yourself accountable to the image you present either online or in public. Make sure it’s the same. And remember TO BE A LIGHT. So many people are counting on you. Don’t let them down.

Let’s do this together friends…because I still have a long way to go. I pray we excel at this friendliness thing!! Big hugs. xoxo

Paris Couture I Am Not

Yup, that’s me. Let me explain. It’s just been one of those days…er, weeks, actually. I just can’t seem to get myself together mentally. I feel like I have some form of adult ADD as I get started on something and then jump to something else before I ever finish. It’s really obnoxious to be honest and beginning to make me really mad at myself. ugh.

I have some really big business decisions to make this week. I would really, really appreciate your prayers if you could. I’m going to be honest here…are you ready?

WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I DOING?!? 

Have you ever felt that way? I’m really feeling that right now. Want the brutal truth? I’m not a designer. Not.at.all. I forced myself to buy this month’s InStyle magazine yesterday and flip through it. Uh, right. The highlight of Cameron Diaz going to Paris for the Couture shows? ha. Oh boy. I would be MISERABLE. I don’t give a flip about what Paris thinks about my clothes. Don’t care a bit. Nope. I really don’t care if my clothes are “in” either. Shame, shame, I know. But I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love clothes and I like to look cute and presentable, but It’s not about the clothes, is it? It’s about the person who wears the clothes….who they are and what their heart portrays.

So why am I doing this?

I asked myself that question yesterday. And when I couldn’t come up with an answer, I asked a friend. You know what they said? “Amy, because you are a minister’s wife and you enjoy reaching out to people. Because of Evy’s Tree you are able to touch and affect more people then ever would have previously.”

Wow.

So why am I doing this? Well, for you I guess. I put myself out there every single day because of you. You see, I know you. I AM you. I know what it’s like to be a mom, at home with kids, with spit up all over her clothes and wishing she had a cute little pick me up to throw on so she could run down the street to get the mail. Not Paris Couture, just regular cute clothes that are not quite understated, but not over the top either.

And maybe you’re not a mom….maybe you’re a college student, or a single young professional, or even a grandma. I know you too. Ok, not the grandma part, ha, but the rest of you, I know you as well. And because of you I continue to create and develop Evy’s Tree. Because I feel strongly that there is a niche out there that it can fill.

But more importantly, I do this because I really enjoy getting to know you all. I enjoy being able to let my light shine and reaching out. I enjoy hearing about your triumphs and your frustrations. I enjoy being a part of your world. And even if you never get a chance to personally share that all with me, many of you go through life wearing Evy’s Tree and in a sense, that is allowing me to be a part of your world.

My sweet husband ordered me this book for my birthday….

And it arrived yesterday. I spent the evening after church last night reading it. You all know how much Rachel inspires me, and it was so interesting to read what inspires HER. You know what I love so much about Rachel? Her concept is very UNIQUE to the individual. It’s all about making what you love work for you. It’s not about conforming to someone’s else’s idea of what is or isn’t right. It’s about finding what works for you and doing it right, over and over.

Boy, I love that.

I felt the Lord nudge me while reading this book. I may not be the best blogger out there {in fact I’m probably one of the worst and most annoying, ha}, I’m not great at designing {at least in my mind}, and I may not be the most organized person on the planet {but I’m trying to get better!!}, BUT…I do have some talents, and they come in the form of Evy’s Tree. So I’m going to use what I have to work for me for as long as I can…. and in turn I hope my talents bless you.

I am about to make some changes with Evy’s Tree. I hope you stick along for the ride. You’ll find out more about these changes during the next couple months, in fact I’m going to ask you to get involved in some of the changes. Hopefully you hop on board and enjoy the ride with me.

And if you are out there reading this…let me encourage you. USE YOUR TALENTS. You might think you pale in comparison to others, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be the best in everyone’e eyes…just yours and when you believe in yourself you become the best YOU God intended you to be. Even if it isn’t Paris Couture. :)

And with that…I think I just kicked myself out of my funk. ha. Thanks friends for listening. Carry on.

xoxo

What To Do When Your Child Draws All Over Your Couch…

You don’t panic….at least if you have white slipcovers, that is! :)

Sorry for the horrible pictures, I snapped them late at night before I tossed them in the wash…

Um…yeah, this was done with a ballpoint pen. And Evy might as well enter it into some sort of art contest as it’s pretty amazing don’t you think? I mean, look at the details!

Wow, these are right up Degas and Piccaso, don’t you think? ha. Oh boy.

So I’m not going to lie. I totally panicked. Especially since I had just wrote this huge post about how wonderful my couches were and that you could get anything out. To be honest, I was a little stressed I wouldn’t be able to get it out. It just overtook my cushions!!

BUT, I did what I normally do and sprayed it down with oxyclean, then added the max amount of bleach and then put it washer on the presoak option and let it soak for 30 mins. The first try got it almost out, but it was still faintly there, so I repeated it again. The second try did the trick….

As good as new! I promise you, you can’t even see one bit of it!!

So if I wasn’t sold already on white slipcovers {which you all know I was}…I am REALLY sold on it now. REALLY, REALLY!

So what in the world are you guys waiting for? Get on the white slipcover band wagon!! :) For more on my slipcovers click HERE.

xoxo

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