Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stella + Dot Trunk Show

images from stella + dot

I attended my VERY FIRST Stella + Dot Trunk Show this past weekend.  I have seen their jewelry before.  Mostly admiring a friend's stunning earrings or drop dead gorgeous necklace from afar.  Unlike other "jewelry parties" I have attended, their items tend to be a little more expensive, but it certainly shows in their quality and versatility.

image from stella + dot
Totes Adorbs!!  I'll just start out by saying this is the tote bag I purchased!  I love it so much, I can't keep it in any longer!!  The Getaway Tote in Red Ikat woven fabric with a spill resistant material on the interior.  Stella + Dot have really thought of everything with this one..... I love this Getaway tote versus the bag I currently use for weekend trips for MANY reasons....

image from stella + dot

1.  The two shoulder straps are actually big enough to carry the bag on your shoulder.  The bag I carry now, is more of just a forearm carry type of bag.  Not ideal when it is really, really heavy carrying through the airport.
2.  It also has the option of the detachable cross body strap for really easy, hands-free traveling. 
3.  Top zip closure.  So many of my weekend bags don't have this, and it is inevitable, that by some point in the trip everything falls out of the bag! 
4.  Whether you are packing for a one-night getaway or a week, the expandable size is genius!!
5.  THREE prints in ONE bag!  It just doesn't get any better than that!  I am a sucker for mixing prints!
6.  The bag is really sturdy and I can tell already it is great quality.  It can stand by itself, which makes for easy packing!

I know it's not jewelry, they have some absolutely gorgeous jewelry too.  Honestly, I could have bought it all.  But I weighed my options, and said to myself  "I will use this tote WAY more than that amazing statement necklace" even though it hurt a little bit!

This one was definitely hard to walk away from...still have my eye on you....

It really helps to have pieces to look at in person....and there was lots to look at!

Smart Jewelry -- They have these jewelry pieces they refer to as "smart jewelry" where you are really getting your money's worth.

This necklace is a 3-in-1 piece.  You can wear the two necklaces together for one large statement piece.  Or you can wear the turquoise triangle necklace alone.  Or you can wear the multi-strand necklace as a long necklace.  Love that!  See more on that at their website stella + dot - sutton necklace.  And this one comes in white also! 

They also have bags, wallets, small accessories, tech accessories, and scarves to choose from!  Who knew!

It may have been a little more than I would typically spend on a weekend bag, but I feel like it was time to upgrade to a "big girl" travel bag!  :)  I tend to hang on to things for a while, so I will probably have this tote for quite some time into the future.  I knew it would be money well spent.  I will probably use this bag almost every weekend this summer.  We are constantly hopping around, visiting friends throughout the summer. 

Katie was the fabulous stylist at the Trunk Show I attended.  You can get more information for Stella + Dot or about hosting your own party with her.  Click here to contact Katie!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Everyone is a Winner in My Eyes!!

Congratulations to Susan Frasher, who is the winner of the $30 Gift Card Giveaway to For The Love of Letters!  Just in time for Mother's Day, you can pick out something nice for yourself!! 

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest and supporting Jessica Stout Design as well as For the Love of Letters.  We both really appreciate all the love!  And because we love you all SO much, we are giving EVERYONE a 20% discount for this week only to For The Love of Letters online shop.  Pick something out for yourself, for your mom (Mother's Day is next weekend), for a friend, or for that Mommy-to-Be!!  Everyone is a winner here!!  Use the code JSTOUT20 at checkout to receive 20% off your total order.  Don't wait too long though, it is only good until the end of the week. 

(The winner of this giveaway is completely chosen by random from and

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Friday, April 25, 2014

You still got time to sign up for the $30 Giveaway

Have you entered to win your $30 Gift Card yet?!?!  Today is the last day so go sign up now!  You have until midnight tonight.  Winner will be announced on Monday!

Reason #225 I heart For The Love of Letters:
Sense of Humor!!!  

One of my favorites!!!  For sale at For The Love of Letters website.  

And since today is Friday, I just couldn't resist......

If you haven't entered the contest yet, head over to Friday's post to enter!  I know you got time for that!!  Winner will be announced on Monday!  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guest Post: INSPIRE series by A Slocum Story

I was thrilled and honored to participate in this series created by my friend Aleks Slocum of A Slocum Story.  She created this month long INSPIRE series for a group of inspiring women, each to tell their own stories of love, faith, fashion, work, and life in general. 

Today my story of taking that "leap of faith" into starting my own business is featured on her blog.  It is my untold story of what INSPIRES me to work hard and love what I do along the way.  A personal look into who I am, how I got to this point in my life, and who I INSPIRE to be

"It was my senior year of high school and I was sitting there looking at acceptance letters to colleges.  Two predominate schools that stood out to me was Ball State University and a two-year technical school for dental hygiene.  I knew the fate of my future lied within these letters and the decision I was about to make.

...I’m not a spontaneous person.  So it took many conversations with God, with my husband, with my family, to fully feel supported and inspired to make this decision.  Once I took that first step…I haven’t looked back since!"

Continue reading my story at A Slocum Story........

Friday, April 18, 2014

Free $30 Gift Card Giveaway!! {For The Love of Letters}


I don't know where to start on how amazing this local artist is of For The Love of Letters!  I was spell bound the first time I saw her hand lettering and now it seems her work is everywhere I go!!

I knew nothing of For The Love of Letters until a little over a year ago.  I was behind times I guess and SO wish I knew about her sooner!!  So, this is kind of one of those stories that ended up being, I know someone that knows someone, and we all end up knowing each other kind of thing.  So I'll try to give you the down-low on how I "know" Erin Barrett from For The Love of Letters (technically we have never met)!  :) But I love her already!!

I first saw Erin's work when she was commissioned to do a custom hand lettered chalkboard for a design client of mine.  My client was really excited about it, said her work was amazing, and I thought it would be a great piece of custom art to complete the kitchen design, so we went for it!  But, WOW, I wasn't expecting anything THIS incredible!  I was hooked!  I loved Erin's work and I went straight home to look up more of her work and started following her on Instagram immediately. (@fortheloveshop)  She is a great follow on Instagram, you won't be disappointed!

Dottie Couture Boutique Keystone Location

About this same time, I heard about a new little Boutique opening in Indianapolis called Dottie Couture.  You know this one from my private shopping event a couple of weeks ago!!  And who other than For The Love of Letters to do all of the hand lettered signage and artwork for the new store in Keystone.

Dottie Couture Boutique Keystone Location

From then on out, I have had a love affair with For the Love of Letters.  Erin has made it huge and now has a fun new website selling her signs and work to the public.  I mean how stinking cute is Erin and her new website?!?!  Photography credits on her website go to her friend and my friend Kelsey Clark of Apples & Honey Photography (the same girl who did my engagement photos and some wedding photos)  So you see it was one big circle of friends.....I was friends with Kelsey, my client (who is also coincidentally friends with Kelsey) was friends with this amazing local artist Erin, who is friends with Kelsey I guess Erin and I were just meant to work together eventually!!

For The Love of Letters website

If you are in the local Indianapolis area, you can also visit For The Love of Letters this year at the annual "Barn Sale" hosted by Restyled.  I go to this event every year.  It is one of the best outdoor vintage and antique marketplaces in the city, all summer long!  

I thought it was about time to get one of her signs for my own home instead of just drooling over her work on her website everyday.  It was really hard to choose.  I wanted one of each!  So I decided on a wood sign that would look good in any room of my home.

I decided on the wood sign, but there are also framed and unframed signs to choose from.  It's a wood sign that has been hand painted to look like a chalkboard.  There is an attached wire on the back for hanging. 

I really think this will be one of those pieces that gets moved around the house frequently.

This is where the sign has landed......for now!  I love it leaning on my buffet table, but I may move it to my entryway table......or hang it on the wall.......I don't know yet!

If you have the app PHOTOFY @photofyapp you can now get For The Love of Letters on your photos and Instagrams too!  Download the app (it's free), upload or take a picture you want to use, add a design element, choose "Featured Partners" and you should see For the Love Erin Barrett.  Click on that to add any of her designs to your images! 

Now it's your chance to bring For The Love of Letters into your home!  Enter the contest below with 4 chances to win.  You have an entire week to enter the contest.  So go out and tell all of your friends about For The Love of Letters and have them come back here to my website to enter to win a $30 Gift Card!  If you don't win, there will be a little something for everyone to enjoy so check back Monday, April 28th to see if you are the lucky winner!!  
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sip Happens Party {Animals at a Slumber Party!}

This was my first Sip Happens Party.  So, needless to say, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.  I didn't know any of the girls until our last get together at Kelly's home for the Java Jamboree.  We had so much fun then and all of the girls were so welcoming and sweet, that I knew I would have an amazing time with them again.   But there is something about wine that allows you to really get to know each other on another level!!  And I think this was my first "slumber party" since I was about 16!  As soon as I walked in and saw the wine glasses literally as big as my head, I knew I would get along with these girls just fine!!

The hostess with the mostess was Val of Chicken Scratch Blog.  She decided to do a "slumber party" theme with everything from chick flicks playing in the background (Mean Girls and Sex & the City) to pizza and a popcorn bar.  The theme for the #SipHappensParty wine was an animal theme.  All the wines either included an animal in the name or on the label.  Always thinking of others, Val even provided us with #swag bags to take home! 

Val -- Story Time!!

The #SWAG we received!  Oh, and a really cute headband that Val  made but I didn't take a picture of it because I am currently wearing it (and have been everyday since I got it)!  Even Aleks of A Slocum Story blog was sweet enough to put together a goodie bag for all of us with a "slumber party" theme!  SO thoughtful! 

I was snacking on the Dove chocolate from Aleks' goodie bag as I was writing this post.  And the phrase in the wrapper was just perfect!!  My heart smiled!!  Thanks Aleks!

Amidst the chatting...the laughing until I was almost crying...the shenanigans...and the world premiere of Kelly's soon-to-be #1 hit song "Wave To Me"...I completely forgot to pay attention to what wine I was drinking for an overall review.  Which is kind of the whole point of this party!   I guess I can just say that they were ALL good.  I only drank the white wines.  I like red wine, but white it usually my wine of choice.  I'm really not picky when it comes to wine -- anything will do!  Just nothing too sweet!  I can't really do a Moscato or a Riesling.  I usually prefer a dry Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, so mostly I drank the Dancing Bull Sauvignon Blanc.  Delish!

Alright you guys, let's count them....1,2,3,4,5,6,7......EIGHT total bottles of wine!!  And there wasn't a drop left when the party ended!  What can we say.....this group of girls likes their wine!! 

Did I have a fun time at my first Sip Happens Party?  Let's just say, I was the last to leave!  Which I always end up doing at parties somehow.  So needless to say, I had a pretty fabulous time!  I clearly remember early on in the night someone asking how long the party would last.  And Val answered until 1 or 2:00 in the morning, kind of jokingly.  We all laughed at the thought of staying up that late.  But I don't think I actually left until almost 12:30am!  I'm too old for that!  I guess when you get a group of ladies together and a whole lot of wine, there is just a lot to talk about!   I didn't want the night to end.  I think Kelly and I could have sat there and talked until the sun came up!  But we always tend to do that when we get together, and we ran out of wine! So.......there's that!  Overall, it was an amazing night getting to know these ladies one Sip Happens Party at a time!!

The next party is in June.  The theme is local wineries.  I can't wait!  Maybe we can get some free local wine out of this one! 

See other #SipHappensParty fun on the link below!

Follow all of our shenanigans and stay updated on upcoming parties on Instagram at #siphappensparty 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Home Office Tour: My Sister's Home

Happy Monday!  The weekend flew by once again and here we are, back at Monday!  I had a wonderful and relaxing weekend, with a little bit of work in there as well.  Saturday and Sunday was a beautiful day as I did lots of driving through the countryside visiting friends and family.  Friday night was Sip Happens party at my friend Val's house.  I will be sharing for details on that later in the week.  But if you want all the deets on what a Sip Happens party is, head over to Val's Blog Chicken Scratch or Eva's blog Eva Marie Typography.

I started some new fun client work this weekend!  But those are hush, hush for now!  You will see more on that as I start working on them!

While I am in "Home Office" mode, I thought I would go ahead and share my sister's recent home office makeover that she did in her home.  It is very different than my office, but it is also used in a very different way.  I wish I could have a pretty office like this and a craft room that gets all messy with projects!  See the beginnings of my home office re-do here and here.  



My sister really came up with the plan and vision of this space all on her own.  But I did help her source all of the pieces for the space.

Like me, she has always loved grasscloth wallpaper.  So the design of the space really started with that.  She decided to add board and batten on the lower part of the walls to add architectural interest to the space and to leave a smaller area for the wallpaper.  We decided to have the board and batten reach a little higher than half way up the wall.  Because they have tall ceilings in the space, it works better with the scale to have that be taller.

This starburst mirror from Joss & Main is probably my favorite thing in the room!

All of the furniture is from the same collection from Home Decorator's Collection.

I love this corbel.  It was one of the very first accessories we picked out for the space.  It is an antique corbel, probably out of an old house or something.  But it works perfectly as a bookend.  She purchased this at the same local shop we purchased the wallpaper from -- Carmel Design

They have a really cute shop in the Nora area off of 86th Street.  If you are ever out that way, stop in!

To see more of the transformation of my sister's home office, head on over to her page for all of the details. 

She goes through all of the steps of designing this office, from the original design plans to wallpapering, to the final details.
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