Posts tagged Design Mom
Pars Caeli takes on AltNYC - the people

Indulge me, please, friends. I have stories to tell from my first ever trip to New York City and AltNYC!! Amidst these recollections are some gems of wisdom from giants in the blogging industry, lovely images from the one and only Justin Hackworth (thanks Atly for sponsoring these amazing photos), and the buds of a few really great ideas that will be coming your way in the next few months.

To sum up my experience, this. Yes, this is how huge my grin was for the vast majority of my journey. Meeting friends that I've been corresponding with for months and jumping on new opportunities. Thanks to Paige for capturing the essense of me in NYC, and thanks to Emily for those incredible earrings.

From the numerous emails back and forth before purchasing tickets down to the final sentimental hugs goodbye, Paige and Emily made AltNYC an easy-breezy, glamourous, and downright hilarious trip for me, and I'm so glad we decided to triple up in our queen suite and make a glamping escapade out of the whole thing. See below: beautiful roommates with attitude

In addition to saving my business card future and giving me an insiders look at Brooklyn (these stories still to come), these two had my back and were the extra boost that I needed to power through that gasping feeling I woke up with the morning of AltNYC - AKA I'm going to Martha's offices this morning, ack!

For those of you not in the know on Alt, Altitude Summit was started by Gabrielle Blair and her sister Sarah a handful of years ago. Originally the conference was offered as a multiple-day event in Salt Lake City. Now, it's tranformed into events in NYC and San Francisco as well as an entirely digital conference focused on design, social media, and the best of creative content.

Gabrielle's blog, Design Mom, was the very first blog I followed, and one of the few definitive things I wanted to accomplish during my time at Alt was to meet Gabrielle.

During a break on Thursday, when poor Gabby was trying to catch up on a few emails, I totally interrupted her, showed off my lack of shame, and thanked her for the years of inspiration. I am a total believer that you have to support the people and organizations that you love, and it was on my bucket list to give my girl a hug, in real life.


And yes, she is that classy in real life, too.

Before AltNYC I began collecting all the blog and blogger info I could get my mouse on to tag it on a Pinterest board. Check out all the amazingness that went along with me to AltNYC over here on Pinterest. Turned out that Joy's tip on looking like my profile picture for the conference was a hugely helpful one!! Gals from all over were able to identify my bun and stripes, and I was greeted with so, so many warm, "Oh, you're MJ.."s.

I met dozens and dozens of incredible, creative, passionate bloggers (who also design, write, mother, photograph, style, travel, and bake), and I was completely inspired by the buzz of energy that filled the gigantic room. The extrovert in me was so charged I couldn't fall asleep til 3 AM following the conversations with ladies like this (all photos by Justin Hackworth; he's the man):

Okay, Martha and I didn't actually have a conversation, but she did stop by, and I was a bit overwhelmed!

Laicie of 1000 Threads (class and warmth)

Leslie Fandrich and Jen of Classic Play (cool, confident kids)

The ladies of ObsessSesh (hilarious and down to earth)

Amy and Alexandra and Molly and Mariah

As well as dozens of other gals for whom I don't have photos!!

And these gals on the rooftop of Martha's HQs

Emily, Paige, Theresa, and Ellen

All of these beauties taught me a little something different, and if I could, I'd wade in the diversity and freshness we all brought to the table. Spunk, passion, intelligence, and an incredible eye for design.

That's what I found in the people of AltNYC.

Tomorrow, my friends, I have the business cards that will delight you, and I'll tell you the tale of the cards that almost weren't. Stay tuned on Thursday to learn great ideas that you can apply to your life (blogger or not) from AltNYC.

Kisses to all,


PS. If you want to see even more of the experience from my view, head over to Instagram and follow #parscaeliatAltNYC to see start to finish.

PPS. Thanks again to Justin for these gorgeous photographs!!

A tri- to try

Oh, friends, today is the official Chaos Never Dies day of the year, and I'm feeling it. How about you? Perhaps the other two celebrations this weekend will bring about a sense of purpose and grounding with Forget Me Not day on Saturday and Veterans Day on Sunday. Grateful to those who have suffered and fought on our behalf.



Erika from Foxtrot Press and Studio put some great 2013 letterpress calendars all in one place for us to drool over. Thanks, Erika!! The depth on that Satsuma Press calendar... gorgeous. Looks like it's time to plan ahead for a wonderful year.


Jessica from How About Orange featured this project on pie chart necklaces. Wait! Don't skim over this. Go check out her final product and tell me that they would not be a super cool addition to your accessories.

Putting it on the to do... and maybe the gift list this year.


Oh, I just love this DIY. So simple and yet so unique. I can imagine a whole line of messages that you leave and light for the one you love. Or the suggestion of putting quotes from a favorite read for a bookclub gathering sounds fantastic. Thanks to Gabrielle at DesignMom for bringing it our way.

The Pars Caeli family is will be savoring life in a special way next week. I've got all sorts of goodness headed your way. I hope you'll stop back often and leave some comment love for a few fab friends who are heading our way.

Until then, friends, let's have a bright weekend!



Thankfulness on a Friday

It's Friday. Already? Short weeks are the bestest (as C would say).
After a trying couple of days. I've had a really lovely week, and I'm feeling particularly grateful.

I wanted to share with you a little something that has been playing in my subconscious, inspiring and reminding me lately.

About a month ago, Design Mom posted a project by Hailey, a photographer from Brisbane, Australia. She's titled her work 365grateful.

As I watched her intro, I connected with her sense of sometimes being dissatisfied for no good reason.

I kept a gratitude journal a few years ago, jotting down five or more moments of thanksgiving from the day (I was always surprised by how much food entered into it). The days of taking the time for such a focus have fallen away, but her story made me long to return to such a beautiful practice.

In her story, Hailey sought out the help of a nun who encouraged her with a simple thought: write down something every day for which she was grateful.

As an artist, Hailey took it one step further and took a polaroid of every day as well. Here are her words:

Taking one photo every day for a year of something I was grateful for really re-programmed my brain. I couldn’t believe how much gratitude affected my life. Seeing and celebrating the good in my life affected not only the way I felt spiritually and physically but it improved my relationships with others, too.
I love how she notices how romantic her husband truly is and that she feels connected to nature through this experience.
So, I'm feeling a thankful. Here are my five reasons today:

1. My husband always makes sure my car has a full tank of gas (even if he has to go out at midnight to fill it up for me). I'm quite talented at pumping gasoline, but he's also quite talented at loving me.

2. Lovely people I've never met have stopped by this webhome and made lovely comments and these simple gestures have lightened a rainy day.

3. My children with all of their bumps, dramas, and messes are the biggest delight of my life. And when I've rested my fork from a well-earned dinner, and I look over at their complete faces and watch their eyes, I can understand why the poet Kahlil Gibran described children as life's longing for itself.

4. I have a new(er) sink. And it's really deep. And it can hide hold two full days of dishes without anyone knowing that they're even in there. And I'm really good at testing this capacity.

5. I get to have tomorrow. Another day to start again, to notice all the pieces of Heaven around me, another day to offer my gratitude.

And I will be thankful.

Have a bright weekend, friends.

P.S. If you're game, I'd love to hear something that's bringing gratitude your way today.