Posts in Itty Bitty
Itty Bitty Lovelies: Straight from the Magazines

Hey you fabulous reader, you. How are you?? Can I tell you, the weekend around here was just gorgeous? Top to bottom, good old-fashioned fun. My youngest, L, got his first sunburn ever (oops, bad mom), and his sun kissed, rosy cheeks are just the cutest thing ever.

Back at it with some Itty Bitty Lovelies to start off the week from some reading I was able to do this weekend (reading magazines = leisurely bliss around here). And if you follow me on Instagram (go ahead, it's fun) at @parscaeli, you saw that my sweet friend, Andrea, sent Sweet Paul magazine my way, and I perused the pages over and over again.

Unforgettable centerpiece

Have 90 stems of fresh flowers sent your way? No? Me, neither. However, Sweet Paul did, and this amazing wreath centerpiece came into existence. Pop over and gawk with me. Back to reality, though... I think we could make something pretty spectacular from carnations or other inexpensive blooms in bulk quantity. The final effect is quite stunning. And, I kinda just want to wear it on my head. Is that just me?

Bold brows are the thing

I've had distinctive eyebrows since birth. Not particularly bold, but arched in a way that gives my face expression even in my most passive moments. The thick brow is on the return, and Rue has some great products and tips for making the most of our brows. Would you go bold?

Do not lose another earring

What do you do with all the spare buttons that come your way? If you're me, you put them in one of your dresser drawers until you decide you have too many and then you toss the less pretty ones. The Paper Mama through Better Homes and Gardens has created the perfect use for them. Button earring holders. Every great button has at least two holes, yes? Behold, a fabulous way to keep sets together and show off unique buttons at the same time.

Itty Bitty Lovely from me:

Pack the picnic blanket wherever you go

The weather around here is just turning the corner, and I'm so thankful that we still had our waterproof/weatherproof foldable blanket in the back. We were ready for soccer and softball games, and impromptu gazing at the clouds and sketching outside. Give yourself an adventure, and pop a blanket perfect for any terrain in the trunk. You won't regret it.

Off we go, for another great week...

xoxo, MJ




Itty Bitty Lovelies in Phone Photography

Welcome to a great week! How was your weekend? We watched C play her first outdoor soccer game and shivered as the hail came down on us, but then Sunday gave us warm, sunny skies (nearly 70 degrees), and we had some time for softball, some making, and even a run! Fitness, I will find you yet.

It's Monday, and Itty Bitty Lovelies is all about photography today - specifically, great photos from your phone. First off, are we buds over on Instagram yet? I'm @parscaeli, and I am on the hunt for some beautiful captures of the ordinary. Post your photos of the beautiful and mundane around you with the hashtag #celebratethenormal. The first round of shared photos will be posted on Wednesday (with a fun new prompt, too).

I'm always hoping to craft better photos and find something really interesting to share. Here are some reads to help you follow me on my quest to become iPhone photo amazing.

1. Quick tips to use your tech the right way

Kimberly at A Night Owl Blog has some reminders and great new info on photos from the phone. Things I discovered: how the HDR setting can make evening shots sing. I always wondered what that meant.

2. Filter something fantastic

I admit it, I find the myriad of filter choices for phone photography ridiculously fun. Veronica has seven photo editing apps to show off. What I love is the ways she shows the same photograph going through all the editing selections. I've seen more and more of VSCO CAM and PictTapGo. Which one did you fancy?

3. Bring Instagram to your screen

I loved this idea of bringing Instagram right to your desktop.. and you don't even have to be actively using the technology. Would you want to see your friend's photos refresh as you go throughout the day? Check out this find from Cool Mom Tech.


We have a busy week ahead with family heading our way for my oldest's First Communion. Crossing fingers for pleasant weather!! What's on your plate this week?

Let's make it a good one!

xoxo, MJ





Itty Bitty Lovelies: The Beauty of Minimal

Hiya, lovely! How's it going? Exciting times around here...It's a great week of the year, the holiest one for Christians, as we gear up for Easter. My family is looking forward to all the services this week (with our oldest in the Church choir) as well as a fun egg hunt and Easter brunch with friends. What have you been up to?

Today I'm bringing you some Itty Bitty Lovelies that work with minimal supplies for maximum results. When you can create a masterful DIY with only a few items it's just that much sweeter, don't you think?

1. Tape saves the day again

Though I love art and photography, I don't have as much of it hanging on my walls or sitting on my shelves as I would like. Why? Frames are costly.

Jordan from Oh Happy Day posted this, and I just have to share it with you. Using kraft tape and some other supplies, she made these gorgeous thin frames for her home. The final look is remarkable, considering the low price of the materials. I am almost convinced that I need to buy my own matte cutter, too ($15).

Can't you imagine these in bright hues for a children's room or a classic black accent on book shelves?

2. Wall gallery for the no budget

Melissa takes us through the art that hangs in her bedroom in this lovely gallery made of simple frames she's purchased from Ikea. I adore the rhythm she's created on her bright walls. And learning the details behind each piece is delightful. It inspires me and reminds me that simplicity is more.

Head over to her blog and see what I mean. I think I'd love seeing all these frames hung really tight together as she has them in some of the photos. Have you created a wall gallery in your home? I'd love to see it!

3. Elegant bracelets for all the gals on your list

When I saw this post, I knew I wanted to savor it for Itty Bitty Lovelies. My good friend Joy from Frock Files has created the purest friendship bracelet that you could wear to the opera or the supermarket and look glamorous.

The way that she's stacked them is divine, and the closure method is genius. These are completely budget-friendly and the perfect spring accessory. Way to go, Joy. You've done it again.

My lovely for the week:

Life is better with friends. Be bold and ask someone, with whom you share common interests but not much time together, to join you for coffee. Invite that family you've been bumping into all over for a simple dinner. Arrange a Google Chat with bloggers you admire. Too often I imagine that others may not have time or an interest to get together, when the reality is, we're all just busy living our lives. A warm invitation does wonders for the spirit.

Let's make this a great week, friends. It's time to contemplate, refocus, and celebrate all that is to come.

xoxo, MJ


Itty Bitty Lovelies to Learn, Make, & Use

Have you been hit by a winter bug yet? We had one run its course through our house this weekend, and I'm officially saying Bon Voyage right now, so it better be on its way out. So sorry I missed you yesterday. Monday was just not as much fun without you.

Never despair, I have some Itty Bitty Lovelies to delight you.

1. Become a PMS expert

No, no, no, not that kind. Pantone Matching System, silly!! You've seen the term thrown around in all sorts of posts and pins. And who can forget that emerald is the Pantone spring hue? Well, the lovely Leonora over at Yellow Heart Art has broken down the vocab to make the whole system approachable. Check out her super informative Pantone post.

2. Rock a great handwritten font

On my life list? Create my own font(s). Have you tried the Ifontmaker app yet? Until I get around to it, I've downloaded Anna's tip top handwriting fonts. She made four different styles, and they're all free. And, if my handwriting looked like hers, I would already have a font for sure! These alphabets will look great on photos and on their own. You may even see them around these pages. Thanks, Miss Anna of Dear Friend.

3. Make lots and lots of minis

Usually I'm admiring Jillian's bravery and adventurous spirit. But now she's amazing me with this easy, beautiful craft that kids and parents will love. Jillian in Italy shows us fabrics that charm, wraps them around circular cork boards and pops them on the end of a bookcase. Check out the fabulous result that I totally want to imitate. What a cute gift for your favorite tween or a teen headed off to college.

My Itty Bitty Lovely for the week is this: you don't have to leave it all behind. I was a full-time teacher for two years. I've taught a handful of classes here and there. My career path has taken me in a different direction, but part of me still yearns to be in the classroom. This weekend my husband (also a former teacher) and I had a chance to teach together, and it felt really good to be back in the saddle.

It reminded me that even when we chose something different from where we've been, we can still carry on the goodness that remains and come back to it again and again.

What are you bringing to this week? I'm excited to dig in.

xoxo, MJ

Itty Bitty Lovelies with High Quality Results

Helllooo, lovelies! It's Monday of a new week, and we're going to rock it. I'm a little off from these wacky time changes, but I am soooooo ready for spring.

To start off these bright days, I have three high-quality DIY projects, and by that I mean that you will spend so little time on these efforts, and yet you will come out looking like a crafting rockstar. Yes. A huh.

1. Your very own wax seal design

Ever since my senior thesis, I have been in love with wax. And a good wax seal, perfection! So the brilliant Lexi over at The Proper Pinwheel has integrated the use of buttons to create unique shapes and patterns. Head over to Whimsey Box, grab a few spools and your favorite buttons, and get ready to share some loveliness.

2. A new take on Easter baskets

The beautiful Brittni from Paper & Stitch has a fresh take on the tried and true mini Easter basket. And she offers lovely options if you don't want the traditional handle. Are you hosting a great Easter brunch? These would make brilliant placecard holders or dynamite decor sitting around your home.

3. Cut out leather cuffs

These are my fave. Melissa is talented in every area, and I adore her take on jewelry. She offers a super simple leather cuff (no, really, it is simple). And with the cut outs, leather transitions so perfectly to spring and even summer. Friend, if you and I make these, everyone is going to be asking us how we afforded such amazingness. And we'll snicker.

My little lovely for this week: Go with the spontaneous. I know, we have got to plan more and get more things done and accomplish, accomplish. Oh yeah, and succeed. But, you know what? When you feel the urge to call up a friend? Do it. Treat someone you love to breakfast. Definitely. Offer a hug, even in an awkward space. It's right.

I spend a lot of time planning, but I've so appreciated moments this week when I just went with my gut. This one's for you.

Special thanks to the beautiful people who offered their words on this post.

xoxo, MJ


Itty Bitty Lovelies To Charm You

March Mondays! Welcome to them, friends. We're going to make them grand. How was your weekend? My oldest daughter had the experience of her first Reconciliation on Saturday, and she was so excited to feel "lighter" afterwards. Other than that, ours was a pretty lazy weekend with errand-running and movie-watching topping off the excitement.

We're going to fill March with warmth and charm, and I found some super easy ways to do so...

Extend the Bloom Time of Your Tulips


This amazingly simple step will keep your tulips blooming for extra days... and you likely have what you need at the bottom of your purse. Pop on over to see what the ladies over at Sweet Lulu have to teach us.

Color Twine in Your Own Kitchen


Victoria from A Subtle Revelry posted a nice tutorial on dying twine on Mint's blog, Julep. Everything we need to change inexpensive twine to something much more fabulous is sitting in our kitchen cabinets! Ack, so easy and charming, too. Pair some of this fabulous twine with kraft paper for a classic look.

Organize in Style


Kendra shares such a cute storage solution that pairs twine (yes, let's use some of the beauties we just dyed) and cotton drawstring bags. It is so darling, in fact, I consider these final product good enough to gift! Check out her simple solutions and follow along with her new organizational series over at Piece of Cake/Peace of Mind.


Here's what I'm finding really charming these days: work date nights with my hubby. Say what? Yes, really. In the last few weeks, my hubs has taken me on quite a few work dates to great local restaurants, and I've had the pleasure of seeing him through his coworker's eyes. He's incredible at what he does, and I kinda fall in love with him all over when I see him in his element. Extra bonus: all of these meals have been delectable!

Am I crazy or do you, too, enjoy seeing your loved one in work mode?

Here's to a great first week of March.

xoxo, MJ


Itty Bitty Lovelies You'll Need

Well, hello there, Monday! This week is going to be sweet, and I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy that you stopped over to say hey today.

Our weekend was a slow one, just as I like them in February. And I, a lover of the sun, was surprised by my disappointment over the bright rays greeting me on Saturday morning. I was wishing for just a bit more darkness to let me get a few more winks of sleep. Maybe I'm turning into a bear? Certainly my eating habits are becoming closer to that of a hibernating animal. Nevertheless, more time snuggling and resting is good for my soul.

To start off this week with a little extra kick, I'm sending you three items that you may not have even KNOWN you needed (including a special list that will make your husband fall in love with Meg forever, trust me and read on).

The Perfect Scent


I'm down to my last drips of a favorite perfume, and I'm ready to try something new. I found this amazing guide to perfumery over at Design Mom that I just had to share with you. It talks about the difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum (I've always wondered), examines the categories of scents (I'm citrus all the way, how bout you?), and even suggests what might work best for you based on your skin type. I feel so much more knowledgeable and excited to purchase my next perfume.

Creativity with Chicken


We eat a lot of chicken in our house. My kids joke that I know 20 different ways to make chicken, but, in reality I have 3 go to dishes, and I'm always looking for new ways to spice up an economical, child-pleasing main meal. Enter these great ideas from TheKitchn. 10 new ways (for me) to cook up fun, flavorful meals. These are all approachable and interesting for both adults and children. On our menu plan for this week, BBQ chicken with carmelized onions, and planning on having the Thai chicken in weeks ahead.

Every Husband's Favorite Blogger


Meg from Meg in Progress is hilarious, charming, and one dynamo writer. She's been sweeping the internets with her great posts on relationships and whooing the world on some live TV interviews. This post has gotten a lot of attention, and for good reason. Meg outlines for all of wifeys just why we should have sex with our husbands every. single. day. Go read this one and then send it to your husband and watch him smile.

My Itty Bitty Lovely is not quite as intriguing but more of a happy reminder. Always give yourself something to look forward to. It can be small or gigantic. We all need to cultivate hope. The hubs and I booked tickets to Wicked for my birthday (in May), and I am super excited. I loooove musicals, and I enjoyed the book so it's something small but awesome to remember during the windchill of -10 kinda days.

Let's kick this week off right!


An Itty Bitty Move

Happy day after Valentine's day, lovelies. Good things are happening all around. Are they over in your corner of the world, too? I hope so... sending some right now to you.

Just when I thought I was into the new groove and this blogging schedule thing, I'm switching it up. These Itty Bitty treats are moving. They'll now greet your week on Mondays. I'm hoping they'll inspire the simplest and most rewarding of projects and ideas as you set foot out into a new week.

Plus, I've kinda been missing our time together on Mondays. Just because.

So I'm saving some surprises for Monday. Catch ya then.

Wishing you a bright weekend.


Itty Bitty Lovelies - Bonus Edition - for Valentine's Day

This is what I've been staring at the last few weeks. Lots of whites and shades of gray (no, not that one). Perhaps that's why I'm craving touches of red and Valentine's to satisfy my need for color and celebration.

What are you doing to keep the blues and grays away?

Tic, Tac, XOXOs

Jenn over on the ModCloth blog has this super simple idea of transforming simple flathead tacks with nail polish! Lovelies, we could do this in a few moments. How cute to paint some simple hearts on these and pin your love notes up for those you hold dear? I'm hoping to pull out some red polish and create Valentine goodness.

Feel the Love

You all know I can't resist an easy paper craft. Jessica over at How About Orange has a two-step process for irresistably simple three-dimensional hearts. Seriously, when you see the instructions, you'll wonder why you never thought of it. And her use of loads of little and bigs on a wall totally inspires me to fill a room with these expressions of love. Can you imagine lining them up as a pathway to a great little dinner you've planned for just the two of you? Hmmm...

Showing My True Colors

I saved the most genius for the final link. Brittany from The House That Built created a unique Valentine wrapping paper that tops the cake. That first method of cutting and folding shapes to reveal a burst of color below, to die for!! What do you need to also become the crafter extraordinaire? Two different colored papers and scissors. This method could be wonderful used for Christmas trees in December, balloons for birthdays, stars for special achievements... the wheels are turning.

My Itty Bitty this week?

Before you head out the door or start into your first task, text a few lines of love, encouragement, or just sillyness to someone on your contact list. This week, I've been sending them to the hubs, local friends, far away friends, and the responses are always immediate, grateful, and full of joy. It's better than brownies for breakfast (I had to do my own experiment, of course, to be sure).

Have a bright weekend, friends, even if the skies are gray.





Itty Bitty Lovelies for Valentine's Day

Here's some new Friday fun for you, my lovely friends. Itty Bitty Lovelies will include some big and small ideas and links that I've found that won't require you to invest your entire weekend (or take a short vacation) to accomplish. These snippets are scrumptious morsels that you can work into your everyday and make it just a little bit more magical. I'm even throwing in a very practical tip or two that I've discovered during the week. Most of these will not be asteroids of unbelievability, but they may just make your life a little bit easier... and that would make me more than itty bitty happy.

1. Cinnamon Rolls in a Lovely Shape

Do you make the delectable cinnamon roll in your house? These look so good. You can move away from the traditional spiral to an endearing heart shape. Super easy with big impact! Check out the recipe over at Cake & Allie.


2. Monkey Love


This monkey craft is great for a class Valentine or a little homemade love for your near and dear. I'd love to see it in red and pink for an extra obvious Valentine feel. You can do this with the kiddos if you have a half hour to spare. The crafters over at Fiskars have all the info you need.


3. Everlasting Fortunes


Felt fortune cookies? Yes, I see them in your future. This one will be a trip to the craft store, but the finished effect is awesome...and would be perfect for that very special announcement or enduring declaration of love. The brilliant contributors over at Honest to Nod have the deets.


My itty bitty discovery this week?

I am a much happier human being if I can get school lunches and snacks packed before dinner. What's the big deal? I'm not sure, but it's definitely a daily pick-me-up to know that my evenings are clear for work, blogging, and chilling with the hubs rather than food prep. What's your thought?

It's big, bad, beautiful to be back with you all. Thanks for visiting. Come on back next week; we'll have a good time.