So Much To Say

Do you ever feel like your world is spinning, and spinning, and spinning out of control? You do? Oh good…then you will understand how I have felt the last year. Whew. What a year. WHAT.A.YEAR.

I say “year” because it’s almost a year to the date that I ended the Save Evy’s Tree Campaign and began my journey into mass production. Ummm…let me just say, this whole manufacturing stuff is NOT EASY. I know I’ve said it before, and you’re probably sick of hearing me say it. Sorry. It is what it is. Hard. Yup.

The past year has been full of some lows…ok, maybe a lot of lows. Not all of them attributed to Evy’s Tree, mind you. In this past year we received a positive diagnosis of ADHD for Jake, which allowed us to finally enter into IEP meetings and the creation of an educational modification plan. This has not been easy. Although our school has been WONDERFUL with the entire process, as a mom you worry. Hope you are doing the right thing for him…am I being too protective? Not protective enough? Is he happy and thriving? Am I doing my best? Living with ADHD is not a walk in the park, that’s for sure. But it’s not impossible either. Thankfully through the lows we’ve felt a lot of hope too. God is good.

And then there are the lows coming with manufacturing. Time constraints. Pattern reworking. Financial surprises {oh boy, LOTS of those!}. Delays {and lots of those too}. It’s enough to want to pull your hair out. And can I be honest? I have no idea what I’m doing. Yes, I said that. Really, no idea. But don’t panic. We’re all good now. Pretty sure I could step into the world of manufacturing and survive, but it hasn’t felt that way during this first run. I definitely have earned my wings in mass production, and I hope I can just grow from here.

But all that to say, it’s been an interesting year. I’ve cried a lot. Yelled a lot too. And stress ate a lot. Yup, I’m guilty of it. Do you stress eat? I do. Not proud of it, but there it is. Thank you manufacturing process for those extra 10 pounds that I am working so hard on losing now. Ugh. So awesome.

And my little blog. I had such high hopes for it. But the reality of it is…I really don’t have time much for it. But when I do have time, I pour my heart out. I promise. There was a time when this blog bled ME. It screamed my name. But now, it screams Evy’s Tree. Maybe that is me. I don’t know…can’t say that’s what I want to be remembered by when I die. When I leave this earth I hope people say I loved. And I was kind. And that you saw Christ in me. That’s what I hope. Not that you saw Evy’s Tree.

And then again, maybe I am Evy’s Tree for now. Maybe, somehow, through this small business, you see my heart? I hope so. I really, really hope so. Because the fact of the matter is I’m no different than you. I am just a mom, trying to make ends meet for her family. Just someone who needs extra income so is trying to create it while being there for her kids on a daily basis. I hope that comes through….I hope.

But you know, there is also another issue. Even though I am working at home to be with the kids, I am still so absorbed in my work. I find my kids tugging at my arms for my attention while I shout, “let me finish this email!”. I hate that. My goal in life is to simply be present for my kids…so why in the world do I struggle so much with it?

I guess the bottom line is it’s a balance. And I’m pretty sure it’s hard to find. And I’m trying. By HIS grace I continue trying. God is so good to me. He loves me just as I am. Did you know that He loves you too? He does. You are ok, just as you are. You don’t have to look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way for Him to love you. He loves you just for you.

That’s what I hope I say to those listening. I hope I show you that through all the tears, and the frustration, and the tough times…there are good times too. There really are. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, no matter what God does with Evy’s Tree…I hope that through it all you saw Jesus. And what He’s done in my life. And I hope you want Him in yours. I’m pretty sure that’s not very good business tactics to talk about your faith, but oh well. It’s not my goal to offend, so if I do please forgive me…. I’m not here to talk about convictions, or doctrinal beliefs, or dos and don’ts of Christianity…I just want you to know that Christ died for you, He rose again, and He loves you.

It’s that simple. 

So tonight…as I get ready in the next week or so to launch my first manufactured line, I just want to stand here and say, “It is yours, Lord.” Whatever and wherever this business goes…it’s in HIS hands. This mass produced line will make or break me. It’s the tell tale as whether I will succeed or fail. If I will continue to forge ahead or close up shop. It’s my precipice. And I just want to pick up this entire machine called Evy’s Tree, pack it into a box and hand it back to Him. It’s His. Do what you will Lord.

And to my dear, dear customers who have hung in there with me. I’m so sorry I haven’t shared more of my heartaches. I have tried at times, but I realize that no one wants to hear complaining. So thank you for bearing with me. Thank you for supporting us. I hope that through the years I am there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on. You all are the best. I hope you love this new line. It was all done for you and WITH you. Thank you.

I love you all. Thanks for being here, in this place we call The Adventures of The Miraflor Family…and Evy’s Tree. You guys rock!

Stay tuned this week for a tell all on the new line, hopefully by Friday….. xoxo

Us…after the kids woke me up this past week. Thankful for the time I get to cuddle these two, even if it means I’m awakened early in the morning and very suddenly! Thank you again for making these moments with my kids possible! 

So tell me…do you have a lot to say about something in your life right now? How do you deal with it?

Vintage Photo Contest {Sort Of}: The Lizzy

Ok, so I couldn’t wait much longer. Seriously, I’m so excited about this fall line. I spent the morning working on a video that better explains our new sizing…I think it’s going to be so helpful! I’m so happy to say that everything is running true to size, so no more silly American Apparel sizing. WHOOHOO!! ;)

Anyway, I have been giving some sneak peeks out via our email blasts. Do you subscribe to our email blasts? You don’t? Learn how to do so HERE…as I always give sneak peeks to our subscribers first. Oh, this time around I used Instagram, so you might want to make sure to subscribe to that feed as well {HERE}, if you don’t already.

So anyway, the Lizzy.Exactly two years ago, my mother in law and I created a pattern for side zip up hoodie. I had seen several side zips before, but again, I wanted to make it better, and put my “twist” to it….so a high neck, longer torso, and soft ribbed cuffs later, we came up with The Lizzy.

We made one sample {as seen on our model Kate}, but we had so many troubles with it {I’ll bore you the details}, but mainly, it boiled down to the fact that we found we obviously couldn’t hand make these at a decent price point, so the concept for the Lizzy had to be aborted, unfortunately.

Fast forward to last fall, when I was creating a manufactured line. I threw in the Lizzy as a side note {meaning, I ordered less of the Lizzy than any other style this season, so keep that in mind ;) }…but during the product development, I quickly discovered the Lizzy was becoming one of my favorite hoodies.

During our photo shoot last week with my brother in law, we all stood in awe at how beautiful the hoodie really looked on…..

Pretty certain we can all agree, the Lizzy is a stunner. {Above photo on Nora, our model this season, taken by DASO photo}. I’m not going to show you all the photos for the Lizzy just yet. I’m waiting to do a big lookbook reveal to show you all the gorgeous shots and details of this item. But I figured one little sneak peek wouldn’t hurt, right?

What do you think? Do you love it?? 

PLEASE NOTE: The Lizzy will be available for preorder on July 30. Please stay tuned for preorder details.

Want to enter to win one of three $100 gift cards? Here’s how:

1. Go HERE to our facebook page and click “share” under the photo we posted on the page. Then comment under the photo that you shared it. Make sure to comment so we can add you in the drawing!

2. Tweet about this photo and make sure you @evystree so I can count your tweet in the tally.

3. Pin this photo to your pinterest board {you can even start an Evy’s Tree board if you wish!}. Please make sure you come back and comment on this post so I can include your entry in the tally {I don’t trust that all @evystree on pinterest will actually show up in the end to tally, sorry!}

4. Forward this blog post via email to your friends….come back and comment on this blog post that you did.

Yes! You can do all four things every day! :)

Have fun friends! Thank you for loving Evy’s Tree!

Vintage Photo Contest: The Diana Wrap

Happy Day after the 4th everyone!! Hopefully you all enjoyed your day yesterday! We had such a lovely, impromptu time. Brandon was speaking at a youth camp in the morning, and we were unsure of the time he was actually going to return home, so really didn’t have any plans at all for the day. However, we were treated with a nice surprise when he came home in the early afternoon and we were able to throw together a lovely BBQ with some dear friends who were visiting from out of town. It was so relaxing, and ended with us chasing the fireworks around town, hoping to get a good view from our car. ha. That’s what you get for not planning ahead I guess. ;)

So back to the Vintage Photo Contest. I’m planning on only doing this for another week or so, until all our photos are back of our Fall manufactured line, then we’ll start doing something similar with those photos. Yesterday, we started previewing photos from our second Sam Hassas photo shoot. Today’s photos are still from that photo shoot…The Diana Wrap:

Somwhere along the line I bought a wrap type item from Norstrom. It was the first time I was introduced to the wrap concept, and I loved the idea…of a lovely, slimming piece of fabric that you could cozy up in. I became obsessed with wraps that were out there and one thing I realized about them, very quickly in fact, was that many of them were too busy. Had too many buttons, or neck detail, or weren’t long enough. I had this vision of making the perfect wrap and begged my mother in law in to help me.

After many tries, we came up with a very simple design that didn’t make me feel like I was a house, but covered enough that I felt I could hide underneath it if I was having a bad day.

We listed the first couple ones with our spring line in 2010. They sold like wildfire. Sam captured our model Andrea wearing this gorgeous coral number during this second photo shoot.

Andrea did such a great job modeling this wrap. She shows how it can dress up a simple outfit in seconds and make you look like a million dollars…all without sacrificing comfort.

I also love how Sam incorporated my parent’s house and my dad’s vintage car in these shots. It really gives the wrap an edge and adds an interesting dichotomy to the look.

I’m asked often if we will manufacture the Diana Wrap. Like most of the hoodies that I am going back and reviewing for mass production, my honest answer is I’m not sure. The wrap craze has escalated to the point that there are many lovely pieces created by many wonderful designers out there and my product, when it really boils down to it, isn’t a whole lot different than theirs. And due to the fact that I am still a small company, they are often able to offer theirs at a better price. So for now, we probably won’t revisit the wrap, simply because it’s quite costly to make.

But who knows…maybe we will. :)

Do you own a Diana Wrap?

Want to enter to win one of three $100 gift cards? Here’s how:

1. Go HERE to our facebook page and click “share” under the photo we posted on the page. Then comment under the photo that you shared it. Make sure to comment so we can add you in the drawing!

2. Tweet about this photo and make sure you @evystree so I can count your tweet in the tally.

3. Pin this photo to your pinterest board {you can even start an Evy’s Tree board if you wish!}. Please make sure you come back and comment on this post so I can include your entry in the tally {I don’t trust that all @evystree on pinterest will actually show up in the end to tally, sorry!}

4. Forward this blog post via email to your friends….come back and comment on this blog post that you did.

Yes! You can do all four things every day! :)

Have fun friends! Thanks for going down memory lane with us!

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Vintage Photo Contest: The Grace Wrap

Well guys, we’re back at it over here with the Vintage Photo Contest. So sorry I’ve been so behind…I’ll give a lengthy excuse in a separate blog post eventually, but for now I’ll just tell you that our final manufactured samples are IN. Over the next couple weeks we will be introducing them to you, showing you details in videos as well as pictures. The preorders will start in a few weeks, so get ready!

But for now we will continue down memory lane. When we left off last time we were discussing the first ever photo shoot we did. I would be remiss before leaving this shoot if I didn’t highlight one of the most popular items our company has ever done:

The Grace Wrap…..

The Grace wrap was made from a mens oversized hoodie. It had a lot of cutting and pinning and sewing involved in it. I mean A LOT.

For the trouble we went through for this puppy, we probably should have started from scratch but it sure is cool to say this item was a “repurposed” men’s hoodie…because it looks so amazingly feminine and unique.

I’ve had many people ask me if I will ever make this item again. Well, the short answer is “probably not”. But the long answer is “who knows?”. Right now, if you are lucky, you may be able to snag one or two on our facebook page while we clean out the studio as we are finding hoodies hiding in many little corners over here. But as for a future in our manufactured business…well….who knows. I’m sure you’ll see variations of it every now and then because who doesn’t love the idea of a wonderful, ruffly wrapped hoodie to snuggle up in? ;)

Do you own the Grace Wrap?

Want to enter to win one of three $100 gift cards? Here’s how:

1. Go HERE to our facebook page and click “share” under the photo we posted on the page. Then comment under the photo that you shared it. Make sure to comment so we can add you in the drawing!

2. Tweet about this photo and make sure you @evystree so I can count your tweet in the tally.

3. Pin this photo to your pinterest board {you can even start an Evy’s Tree board if you wish!}. Please make sure you come back and comment on this post so I can include your entry in the tally {I don’t trust that all @evystree on pinterest will actually show up in the end to tally, sorry!}

4. Forward this blog post via email to your friends….come back and comment on this blog post that you did.

Yes! You can do all four things every day! :)

Have fun friends! Thanks for going down memory lane with us!

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Food Friday: Amy’s Pasta

So last week I posted this picture on Instagram:

And I had several requests for the recipe. It occurred to me that perhaps it was hard to find on my blog since it was the first Food Friday I ever did allllll the way back in 2010 {?!?}, almost exactly three years to the day {whoa, that’s kinda weird!}. I didn’t give the name of the recipe in the title of the blog post…I just simply stated “Food Friday”. So I figured I should repost it. Scroll through the beginning of the post because you most likely don’t care about my potty training episodes that I speak of in the beginning.

But if you DO care, read HERE. Read after the food post, not before, because I promise it will gross you out. ha. 

Anyhoo….here’s my Amy’s Pasta recipe {original post HERE}…

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Ok, so I said in my last post that I would talk about potty training, but I changed my mind. Sorry. Post will come soon, I promise. I know you are all losing sleep over it and DYING to read about it. Fess up. HA.
But as I was making dinner tonight Brandon starting snapping away and after I saw the pictures, I thought I would try something fun. It seems a lot of my blog friends have “_______ Fridays”. My friend Jessica has Photo Fridays {check out this one from last week, she talkes about Evy}. My friend Danae has Fashion Friday…and I don’t know, there just seems to be a whole lot of interesting Friday posts out there.
So…
 I had this great idea. What if every Friday I talked about food?!?
OHHHH…. I LOVE FOOD!
Serioulsy, I do.
Anyway, I thought it would be cool if every Friday I shared one of my favortie recipes that I made that day, or maybe I shared pictures of a fun restaurant I have been to, or maybe I just share a random food fact that I learned. Ha. Either way, I thought it might fun.
I thought it would be even FUNNER {I know, not a word, sorry}, if some of my blog friends joined along. Because, as I am sure it is the case many of you, I am always in need of some good new recipes. Or I would love to know about so fab new places to eat, even if it’s take out.
So I’m inviting you to jump on the bandwagon, if you would like. Go ahead…steal my idea and start a “Food Friday”. I would LOVE to hear about your food. :)
And with that, I introduce to you…
Amy’s Pasta!!!
Ha, sorry, boring name, but since I made this up, I don’t really have name for this one. It’s basically been dubbed Amy’s Pasta amongst the Miraflor family…it’s literally the thing I am asked to bring to almost every family get together, and in the info email/text/letter or whatever all the family members get mine always says “Amy’s Pasta”…so that’s its name. And it’s perfect for those hot summer nights…nice and light and so yummy with fresh basil and tomatoes and can be made in 20 mins.
Oh, and I want to say, especially for the benifit of my personal trainer Emily, I KNOW I should be using whole wheat, but sorry, pasta is just not pasta unless it regular. So please forgive me and my lack of health consciousness! ha
Ingredients:
1 bag/box of pasta, preferably penne or bow tie
1 lb of sugar plumb or cherry tomatoes
Handful of chopped fresh basil {about 1/2 cup}- I grow a big pot on my deck during the summer…cheap!
String cheese
olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Parmesan Cheese
Boil pasta as directed, and while pasta is boiling, chop basil and put in a large bowl
Cut tomatoes into halves and add to the bowl. Add kosher salt…
*side note: don’t try regular salt for this one, it will change the flavor drastically. If you don’t have kosher salt, do yourself a favor and invest in a box. It lasts forever and is sooo yummy. And not to mention its healthier for you, I think? I can’t remember , but it does something better for you. haha.
Anyway, add kosher salt and pepper to the tomatoes and basil
Then drizzle olive oil into the bowl and stir contents together. You want enough to make it slightly soupy, probably 3/4 cup, but I never measure, maybe more. It will look like this:
*You can do all the above up to 4 hours before you add pasta. The longer the mix marinades, the soupier and yummier it gets. But usually I am in a big hurry so make it in 15 mins. :)
Cut up string cheese and set aside. I use at least 6 sticks, usually 12. I like a lot of cheese and so do the kids. And not to mention when you warm up the pasta the next day the cheese melts and is oh so gooey.
Stop what you are doing to help a screaming and fussy baby
{Remember what I said yesterday about looking horrible throughout the day? Well, you’re about to see a little sneak peak…}
And when holding her doesn’t help, put her down, even if she throws the biggest fit of the century…
Anyway, add pasta to the bowl and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese, toss.
Then add the string cheese last. If you add it first you will end up with big glob of cheese, not appetizing, trust me.
Toss and wahlah…
Everybody is happy, even little Miss Fussy Butt…
Hope you guys enjoy it!
And I hope to hear from you next “Food Friday”!!
xoxo
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Whoa

…What a day! So I’m just going to put it out there for all the world to know since according to my husband I have no filter {hey, that’s a good thing, right? You’ll always know I’m telling the truth. ha}….

I have a hernia.

Yup. It’s awesome. I’m sure you all so happy to know that vital piece of info and thankful that I scarred your minds forever, but there it is. My kids killed me and left me with a lovely hernia that I inherited after Jake’s pregnancy then I watched it grow during Evy’s. Thankfully it’s been not a big deal AT ALL. Thankfully. Just a little achy every now and then. But this morning….well, it made up for the 6 years of “no big deal”. Yikes!

So I will say this. I have a super high pain tolerance. Most of the time I am shocked to see blood pouring out of cuts that I had no idea were ever there or no recollection of how I cut myself. True story. And you can count on your hand the times I have called someone for help when sick. So when I doubled over in pain this morning while trying to make Evy some breakfast I was shocked. When the pain landed me on the carpet in a ball, I was appalled. And when I called my mom crying, I’m pretty sure she thought I was dying.

Hence this picture:

Two very worried parents sitting across from me in my living room. My mom insisting that we go to the emergency room and my dad claiming the emergency room would be the worst place for me “with all the germs floating around” {He hates hospitals}. Oh boy, these two. They are a kick I tell you. As they are passionately debating over what to do with me, I lay there thankful to have something to keep my mind off the pain. After about an hour of laying in a frozen state, the pain subsided and I made a visit to my doctor. Looks like it’s time to get this puppy fixed as I have a referral to a surgeon and an appointment booked in a week.

Dear Lord, really? Now? 

That’s kinda how I feel today, to be honest. I wanted to scream “NOT NOW GOD”….as Brandon is gone for a week, and I have a photo shoot coming up on Saturday…and there I lay, frozen, and unable to move. Even after the pain went away, I felt like someone had socked me in the gut. NOT FUN. The more I thought about this little health thing making me slow down, the more upset I got. I don’t slow down. Ever. And today, of all days, is a bad day to have to do that.

But God knows, doesn’t He?

I had a couple more interesting things happen to me today and after I {gently} bathed the kids and put them to bed, I sat down and really thought about all that transpired. And I saw myself doing it again. You know the thing probably most of us are really good at doing ….taking our lives and trying to orchestrate it on our own. As I sat on the couch I realized it was time again…to once more hand over my life and say “God, this is yours. This business is yours. This family is yours. My life is yours.”

It’s really what it’s all about, right?

So whatever health thing I have to stop and take care of soon, I will. Whatever pause button I have to push, well….it looks like I might have to push it. And that’s ok. I trust HIM. He has a greater plan for my life and He knows what I need to get where He wants me to go. Just have to keep remembering that. Keep looking at the things that remind me of it. Like these guys….

Even though they are directly responsible for that hernia. ha. They are cuties and for once they got along today. God knew I needed that. Oh and don’t mind my deck. As I was laying on the couch writhing in pain, my dad and I were mentally tearing it up and remodeling the backyard. Yeah, that’s how we roll, unfortunately. Type A at it’s best. Sheesh.

ANYWAY…. GUYS!!!!! I have the best news. Seriously awesome, awesome news. But before I discuss that, I want to point out that I am well aware that I have missed three days now of the Vintage Photo Contest. Yikes. Please don’t kill me {that’s a joke, sort of, since I’m not sure many of you are even participating, ha}….I will start it back up tomorrow or Friday, whenever I can get myself back in working order. But I wanted to tell you why {besides the blasted hernia} I haven’t had a second to do a vintage post….

OUR MANUFACTURED FINAL SAMPLES ARE IN!!!!!!

Yes, I did just yell that. Sorry. But I am so excited. The final samples are here and THEY ROCK. Like big time. Like the most amazing hoodies you will ever want to wear. EVER. The fabric…OH the fabric! It’s wonderful. So luxurious. Like you will never want to take it off. Ever. I have spent the past couple days, while Nicole has flooded your Facebook feed with amazing sale items {sorry about the flooded part :( }, working on the final specs, changes and approval and organizing a quick photo shoot to get some pictures of the out there to you.

I will tell you more about the hoodies when I start debuting some pictures next week, but I wanted tell you how cool God is…..

So you all know my good friend Heidi, right? Well her mom in law, Hope, is from Texas and has a great group of friends that she does everything. One of those friends is THE Sharon Young.  Ok, that name may not mean anything to you, but it likely will if you shop at Dillards or Coldwater Creek, because she designs clothing for them, along with a gorgeous clothing line of her own. Last month when Hope was out visiting her kiddos, I told her at church how tired and frustrated I was with this whole manufacturing process. How I felt like quitting. How I have given this my all and I have no idea what to do next most of the time. She patted my hand and said, “You must meet my friend Sharon”. Well, lucky me, Hope had all her Texan friends up here in the wine country for a long weekend and I got to hob nob for a bit. My mom and I met them at Rustic, Francis Ford Coppola’s Winery, for dinner….

That’s me and Sharon there at the end. 

And the entire dinner I was rude {sorry everyone else at the table, I feel really bad about how little I got to chat with you all! :( } and sat totally engrossed in Sharon’s thoughtful advice, business intellect, and design savvy. For nearly two hours she poured into me and encouraged me. I wanted to cry afterwards. It was exactly what I needed.

Before she left for Texas on Tuesday, Hope brought her over to the studio with the rest of the girls to see our product.

L-R Peggy, Hope and Sharon

When they arrived Nicole was busy cleaning out the inventory and listing it on facebook as fast as we could so we are nearly cleaned out, but the ladies all grabbed a couple tees to take back to hot Texas. They were so cute. I feel so indebted to Hope and if you are reading this: THANK YOU HOPE!! I love and appreciate all you did to get Sharon and I connected. She was a wealth of information and her timing of connecting with me the weekend I received my manufactured final samples was really truly God ordained. He knew I needed that! And to the rest of the Texas ladies with Hope. I LOVE YOU!! You guys are awesome and I wish I could have spent more time with you all. Big hugs to you and come back soon!!!

And in closing, I have got to tell you about a conversation with Jake tonight in the car back from dinner at my parent’s house:

Jake: So mom, you don’t do your hair much at all, do you?

Me: What do you mean, Babe?

Me in my mind: Uhhh..WHAT?!?! I spend great pains to make sure I curl it nicely at least twice a week. Sheesh kid, haven’t you noticed?!?!

Jake: Well, you know you just don’t take the time to do it…like put it in a knot on your head or a pony tail.

Me: But Babe, I wear my hair in a knot every day, and I do a pony quite a bit, what do you mean? Help me out here, what other mom “does” their hair?

At this point I go down the list of all the other mom’s in Jake’s class as well as good friends or family. FYI moms, he said NONE of you “do” your hair except:

Jake: Auntie Heidi, Mom! She “does” her hair!!

Well, look at you Auntie Heidi. Apparently you are the cool mom of the group. But wait, it gets better.

Me: So explain to me, what do you want me to “do” to my hair?

Jake: Ok, so MOM! I have this idea for your hair. It’s three braids, with big huge bows. Bigger than Evy’s bows, so we might not be able to do it, but Evy said we could borrow her bows for now, so that will have to do. Three braids, three bows Mom.

And there you have it moms. Want “done” hair? Practice your braids and purchase those bows. Awesome.

Big hugs everyone! xoxo

Ps…Anyone have any hernia advice for me?? Ever been in that much pain? Help a sister out! ;)

Vintage Photo Contest: The Pink Polka Dot Brilla

In case you missed it, please go HERE to read about the Vintage photo contest. In short, we are walking down Memory Lane this month and revisiting all our “vintage” Evy’s Tree photos we’ve taken over the years… a fun way to help us get excited about the future. At the end of the blog post I give you an opportunity to share the photo and enter to win one of three $100 gift card to the shop when it opens back up the end of July.

Have you guys been enjoying this? I know I have. It’s been so much fun to go through all these albums I have locked up in my computer. Kinda feels like Fort Knox! ha. Anyway, I’m still going through the Sam Hassas first ever photo shoot. As I said yesterday, I love this shoot. Everything about it was so special to me. I remember after Sam had finished editing them and emailed them over to me…I cried. I loved them so much. I sat in a restaurant with friends and screamed with excitement at every.single.photo. I adore them. So hopefully you’re ok with me stopping here for a while. :)

The hoodie I want to remember today is The Pink Polka Dot Brilla. I talk a little about the origins of this hoodie HERE. Basically, this hoodie has been with me from the start. And I’m going to let the cat out of the bag here, but the Pink polka dot Brilla will be the Brilla we mass produce this manufactured run. It’s been that good of a seller.

 Really, this hoodie defines us a business, to be honest. It’s unique. And cute. And you’d be surprised how many people comment “It’s too busy for me”…then put it on and find it looks amazing on. And never fails, you’ll get tons of compliments.
It’s also super fun. Makes you smile when you put on it…a bad day turns into a good one with the Pink Polka Dot Brilla.
Evy’s Tree is bound to take many directions over the years design wise…. but I have to say, what the wrap dress is to Diane Von Furstenberg, the Pink Polka Dot Brilla will be to Evy’s Tree.
Also, when Sam photoed this one, he hit the nail on the head as to the direction of our company. I’m not sure of the right words to use for this photo, but it screams EVY’S TREE…and has been our icon photo for the last three years.
He also managed to get one of me in the Pink Polka Dot Brilla….
And one of Evy. I adore this one. In fact, I need to have it framed….
Do you have the Pink Polka Dot Brilla? Is it your favorite too?

Want to enter to win one of three $100 gift cards? Here’s how:

1. Go HERE to our facebook page and click “share” under the photo we posted on the page. Then comment under the photo that you shared it. Make sure to comment so we can add you in the drawing!

2. Tweet about this photo and make sure you @evystree so I can count your tweet in the tally.

3. Pin this photo to your pinterest board {you can even start an Evy’s Tree board if you wish!}. Please make sure you come back and comment on this post so I can include your entry in the tally {I don’t trust that all @evystree on pinterest will actually show up in the end to tally, sorry!}

4. Forward this blog post via email to your friends….come back and comment on this blog post that you did.

Yes! You can do all four things every day! :)

Have fun friends! Thanks for going down memory lane with us!

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Vintage Photo Contest: The Olympia

In case you missed it, please go HERE to read about the Vintage photo contest. In short, we are walking down Memory Lane this month and revisiting all our “vintage” Evy’s Tree photos we’ve taken over the years… a fun way to help us get excited about the future. At the end of the blog post I give you an opportunity to share the photo and enter to win one of three $100 gift card to the shop when it opens back up the end of July.

I promised I would move on from our first photo shoot! Today we’re going to talk about our first PROFESSIONAL shoot. ha. Our last ones were our own, and despite how great I thought they turned out, I definitely needed a little professional help. Insert Sam Hassas. Sam is a good friend of ours and an AMAZING photographer. He got my vision for what I wanted to do right away.

I will never forget this first photo shoot. It will forever hold a special place in my heart. Everything was so new. I was excited about the direction of my little business and I really found every aspect of my new job thrilling.

One of my favorite shots of the day was of the Olympia. This is a great hoodie, one that I actually didn’t sell much of due to limited fabric…{maybe we’ll do it again in the future}. But one thing I loved about these photos is the light. I was so excited to get these back. I felt like I had hit the big time, and that we belonged in a magazine.

And yes, that’s Kate again! Isn’t she gorgeous? I’ll be sharing more of this photo shoot with you over the next couple days. I realized when I was going through this album that many of the photos I never really promoted. YIKES!

Do you have this hoodie??

Want to enter to win one of three $100 gift cards? Here’s how:

1. Go HERE to our facebook page and click “share” under the photo we posted on the page. Then comment under the photo that you shared it. Make sure to comment so we can add you in the drawing!

2. Tweet about this photo and make sure you @evystree so I can count your tweet in the tally.

3. Pin this photo to your pinterest board {you can even start an Evy’s Tree board if you wish!}. Please make sure you come back and comment on this post so I can include your entry in the tally {I don’t trust that all @evystree on pinterest will actually show up in the end to tally, sorry!}

4. Forward this blog post via email to your friends….come back and comment on this blog post that you did.

Yes! You can do all four things every day! :)

Have fun friends! Thanks for going down memory lane with us!

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Once Upon A Time There Was A Skinny Girl Named Amy

So last night as I was prepping for the Vintage Photo Contest Blog, I was rummaging through old pictures and pulling out the Evy’s Tree ones. Buried within my hard drive was a gold mine of old photos. One of the albums was entitled “Ventura 2005″….pictures of Brandon and my’s trip down to Ventura California to visit Brandon’s sister Bryony and her husband David, who was attending Brooks School of Photography. We spent the day walking around downtown Ventura and exploring the beautiful California Mission there in town.

Since David is a photographer, specifically a photojournalist, our family is very used to him snapping away with is camera…usually at very random times. This trip was the first time I remember really noticing him doing this. I remember feeling a bit weird that I’d turn and notice a camera in my face. ha.

Now we all just smile or continue talking, guess that means we’re used to it! It was so funny to look back on these photos and see the awkwardness in my face….but even more funny to go back into time and realize:

I WAS SO SKINNY!

I know I’ve talked about this before, but why in the world couldn’t I recognize how tiny I was? Seriously! If there is anything I hope to teach Evy, it’s to learn to see yourself for who you are. Looking back I could kick myself for not seeing it…and I wish to God I could get that tiny now. However, I’m pretty sure with the 40′s gradually approaching I’d look like one big wrinkled mess. HA.

Looking back on this trip also reminds me how easy we had it. I’m one who tends to get “stuck in the moment” thinking that life is so difficult RIGHT NOW. But if I could just manage to look down the road a bit…life is so much more complicated today then it was when we were newlyweds.

Back then we had time to pause, think, be affectionate. You know, do all those things that you can do when you don’t have kids, or a business to run, or a house to take care of. It reminds me stop and do that now…because life is so fleating.

The other day I was thinking about Abraham and Sarah. I started to consider how frustrated they must have gotten in life. You know, waiting all those years to have a child…the child God promised them. I wondered how many arguments they had about it. How many nights they cried themselves to sleep. And I smiled because I thought, God must have been watching every single one of those times.

And I was reminded that if we ever thought we were at the end of our rope…we must not REALLY be at that end, because that would mean God had no purpose left for us here on earth and we’d be gone. He has a reason for us to wait, just like he had Sarah and Abraham wait. It seemed silly, but God wasn’t done yet.

Sure gives you a little hope to think that way, doesn’t it?

So I guess my point about all that is this: don’t be discouraged when you don’t get what’s going on. Things really aren’t what you think…God is working in the background, tying up loose ends for us, finishing things, working His miracles. And someday you will look back on those days you thought were tough and say,“He was there all the time”. Just like I do when I look back at these photos.

Our famous awkward romantic photo was taken on this trip. And yes, that’s Bryony’s forehead front and center. :)

Oh and did I mention that I was VERY VERY skinny back then?!? SHEESH! ;) xoxo

* * * * * *

The winner of the Lovenell Giveaway is:

Congrats Stephanie!!

Vintage Photo Contest: The Rubix

In case you missed Friday’s post, please go HERE to read about the Vintage photo contest. In short, we are walking down Memory Lane this month and revisiting all our “vintage” Evy’s Tree photos we’ve taken over the years… a fun way to help us get excited about the future. At the end of the blog post I give you an opportunity to share the photo and enter to win one of three $100 gift card to the shop when it opens back up the end of July.

Today I want to talk about one of my first boys hoodie we ever made, The Rubix.

This hoodie is very special to me. First of all, Brandon and I made them together. The rubix is actually a patch, we cut out every single one of those felt pieces, glued them together, then sewed them together. It was A LOT of work, something we realized very quickly that we couldn’t make any money on, so we discontinued it near the beginning. I was so sad, because I loved this one, and was hoping to keep it around for a while.

This hoodie is also very special to me because it makes me think of my little boy. Do you see how small he is?!? I can’t get over it! These pictures were taken just a few days after Jake’s 3rd birthday.

Oh my word I could kiss those little lips. In case you are wondering why we never have Evy  model…well, we try, I promise! But she doesn’t really like to be in front of the camera and pretty much quits after a couple clicks. ha. Jake is a ham. He will go for hours smiling and laughing, so thankfully we have one kid who doesn’t mind posing for us.

These pictures are also special to me because these were our first attempt at product shots. We had no idea what we were doing, but we called our brother in law, the photographer, and he walked us through it. We just had our little Cannon Rebel and these amazing windows that faced East, so we got all the morning sun blasting in. We had to move our couches and everything, but it was worth it because Brandon was able to snag such great shots.

I always tell people, this business was really a family thing in the beginning {and it still is, actually}. We really worked together. Thinking about it now makes me all teary, actually. We had no start up money, and to be honest, very little time to start a business, but God literally DUMPED this into our laps. To this day we don’t know what He has in store for Evy’s Tree, but we feel confident that whatever it is, He will work out all the details for us. We are blessed.

Thank you for walking down memory lane with us! Want to enter to win one of three $100 gift cards? Here’s how:

1. Go HERE to our facebook page and click “share” under the above photo we posted on the page. Then comment under the photo that you shared it. Make sure to comment so we can add you in the drawing!

2. Tweet about this photo and make sure you @evystree so I can count your tweet in the tally.

3. Pin this photo to your pinterest board {you can even start an Evy’s Tree board if you wish!}. Please make sure you come back and comment on this post so I can include your entry in the tally {I don’t trust that all @evystree on pinterest will actually show up in the end to tally, sorry!}

4. Forward this blog post via email to your friends….come back and comment on this blog post that you did.

Yes! You can do all four things every day! :)

Have fun friends! Thanks for going down memory lane with us!

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