Posts tagged fashion
Graphic Tees: 5 Ways to Add Them to Your Look
You can make a graphic tee work in just about any setting. 5 ways to add one to your look!

You can make a graphic tee work in just about any setting. 5 ways to add one to your look!

Images via 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

My first graphic tee had a giant, glittery Minnie head on it, and I adored it - so much so that I paired it with everything in my kid wardrobe. And much to my great happiness, the graphic tee trend seems to be back to stay (hip hip hooray!).

In my years as a graphic designer and with my long-time love of sparkly Minnie heads, I've fallen for graphic tees. They give me the freedom to wear exactly what I want to say. And in opening Shop Pars Caeli I've had a ton of fun creating and seeing how you style our designs!

These fresh tees can add interest to a subtle work look as well as express all the feelings for a fun date night. Try these five ways to add them into your wardrobe:

Do the fancy graphic tee.

Do the fancy graphic tee.

Images via 1. 2. 3. 

1. Pair it with fancy.

The contrast of the ultra-feminine with the sporty casual is so much fun. Consider glamming it all the way with bright heels or a full skirt. Add a statement necklace on top. A skinny maxi is a fab addition for the fall.

2. Make it a cozy layer.

Our graphic tees are all kinds of comfy. They make a great first layer for the chill of winter or even a breezy afternoon at the beach. A graphic tee with some fit look great under cardies, blazers, breezy kimonos.

Add a foiled graphic tee to your favorite jeans for cozy + awesome. These from Shop Pars Caeli.

Add a foiled graphic tee to your favorite jeans for cozy + awesome. These from Shop Pars Caeli.

Image via 1. 2. 3.

3. Top off the best pair of jeans.

Perhaps the most classic way to style a great shirt is with a favorite pair of jeans. From a sweet pair of skinny jeans to the torn pairs that are all over the runways to a celebratory, colorful set of jeggings, the relaxed, sometimes-witty (and always entertaining) nature of graphic t-shirts make them a sweet companion. 

4. Show off some texture.

Chunky scarves show off against a slick graphic tee. A glossy statement necklace really shines against the backdrop of a matte or even foiled tee. Even loose or textured braids stand out nicely against the simplicity of the classic shirt.

5. Take it to the office. 

Saving my favorite for last, I love wearing my graphic tees to work. I've topped maxis and capris, and added the tops to slim shorts and layered them with blazers. Graphic tees bring your personality to the professional arena!  Making too much of a statement with yours? Add a scarf and military jacket and keep the extra special goodness to yourself!

How do you style your favorite tee? I'm always looking for more ideas! Bring them on.

xoxo, MJ


DIY Umbrella on the Cricut Design Space Star™

Disclosure: I am a member of the Cricut Blogger Network. I may receive prizes in exchange for my winning projects. Even though I am not being directly compensated for these posts, I am under consideration for a prize with Cricut Design Space Star. All opinions are 100% my own.


I've wanted to turn my Pars Caeli cloud into an umbrella design for the longest time, with no tools to make it happen. And then this wild and wonderful Cricut Design Space Star contest comes blowing into my life, and I know exactly what I want my first project to be!

This cloudy umbrella is basically a no-mistake project. Vinyl shapes can be moved and removed without leaving marks or residue. The shapes cling easily to the coated material, and the transparency of the umbrella allows you to see what you're doing the whole way through. I had my first bubble umbrella when I was six, and I've loved them ever since. These clear canvases also pair beautifully with the opaque vinyl.

So now that we've all left our intimidation at the door, here's what you need to make your own:

  • Clear umbrella (this one is from Totes in a classic design)
  • White vinyl sheets
  • Cricut Explore
  • Gold paper or vinyl
  • Cloud and lining template

Step One: Design your pattern. Of course, I wanted clouds. Using Illustrator I created an .svg file. Based on the size of my umbrella, I made the clouds about three inches wide. I was happily surprised with how many clouds I could fit on one sheet. Using the vinyl setting, feed your mat with vinyl into the machine and carefully remove the cut clouds from your mat when complete.


I created another .svg file with the thin lining that rests on the bottom of the clouds. I changed the setting to paper, and fed in gold hammered scrapbook paper. These were fragile so removing them from the mats was a careful process.

Step Two: Next I wanted a GOLD lining for the clouds. I'm joining with a merry group of ten creatives for this Cricut Design Space Star challenge, and we had decided early on that we wanted our theme to be Gold is the New Black. And, do you know what's even better than finding the silver lining on a cloud? Yes, that's right, finding a gold lining.


Step Three: Press the gold paper lining to the bottom of the white vinyl cloud. 

Step Four: Press the clouds to the interior of the umbrella. This will protect your design from the wear of the elements. I kept the clouds to the lower portion of the umbrella, with three on each panel, so that I could still see through the bubble. Decide on how much vinyl coverage you want on yours.


We've had a rainy end to the summer, and this umbrella, with its gold lining reminders is the perfect way to stay happy and dry in the downpours.

If you love this idea, head on over to the Cricut Pinterest board, and repin! I am so appreciative of your support and kindness!


My team, Lucky #13, has put together a wide variety of incredible projects. And you need to check out every single one! Find the links below. Vote for and pin your favorite projects!

You can also search for our projects on this and upcoming challenges with #cricutdesignteam13


Lucky 13 team in the Cricut Design Space Star™ team:

  1. Booties, Earrings, and Hearts from Andrea of Andrea’s Notebook
  2. Children's shirt and gold sandals from Celina of Petit A Petit and Family
  3. Cut out leather purse with cross lining from Erin & Tricia of Suburban Bitches
  4. Leather cuff from Monica of East Coast Creative
  5. Easy DIY hashtag t-shirts from Sarah and Jessica of Pretty Providence
  6. DIY umbrella and Pineapple Scarf from MJ of Pars Caeli
  7. Leopard leggings and tank from Sadie Jane of Simply Sadie Jane
  8. Laptop decals from Crystal of Sew Creative Blog
Lucky 13 team picture.jpg
The 5 best jackets for spring

Happy first day of spring, friends!! The warmth is almost upon us and sun will soon shine again. I love living in the Midwest for many, many reasons, but I do have to admit that the perma-gray cloud that is February and March gets to me. But the first day of spring (even if there are still piles of dirty snow on the ground and not a bloom to be found) still gives me hope.

And hope is one of the greatest gifts we have.

One of my favorite spring fashions in the jacket and blazer. It seems rather silly since I'm wearing coats and layers throughout winter, but the spring coat is quite different. It can be more playful, add interesting texture, and only need to provide the slightest of warmth (bye bye down parkas).

Here are my top picks for the best in spring jackets.

1. Asos  2. Loft 3. Banana Republic 4. Anthropologie 5. Land's End

How do you change up your look for spring?

Have a bright weekend, lovelies! Here's to more sunshine.

xoxo, MJ











Winter's pocket essentials
This is a sponsored post by Kleenex Brand. However, all opinions expressed are my own. Kleenex has been making design accessible for decades, and their new portable packs are super cute for everywhere you're headed.

Welcome to March, lovelies! February breezed by us with its formidable wind chill, and I'm ready to invite in the melt of March. The change in temperatures has my family searching for the closest tissue, and sinus issues have been bothering each of us. We've gone through a lot of Kleenex, even the emergency box in the car, in the last few weeks.

In the cold months of winter, my mom (and her mom, and probably back another generation as well) always has a fresh tissue up her sleeve. She is the kind of lady who is ready at hand for THAT moment when you need it. She's always prepared.

But I know, I, as the mom of 3 littles, am not always excited to trek around a wad of tissues. I find things up my sleeve irritating. In fact, I'm not even that keen on carrying a purse or bag at all.

Most of the time, when I'm heading out the door, my essentials go right in my pockets instead of a tote.

I will admit that I have done the ball of toilet paper in the pocket when called to duty with small, runny noses (have you, too?). But check out what I'm sporting these days. Kleenex has a great line of on-the-go packages in a ton of different styles that go with my gray wool as well as my bright paisley coat. They're super slender to carry, too, so that I still have room for my keys, my phone, and my favorite shade of red lipstick.

When it's necessary for me to act like a grown-up and pull out a canvas tote or an envelope clutch, I take along a few extras.

Throw in my go-to mascara, my lip treatment for the brutality of the Midwest, an alternative pair of earrings to switch up a look, and a great pen. And my Kleenex are making the whole medley of objects somehow look coordinated and intentional... and I'm pretty fond of that.

Check out all the other styles of on-the-go packages that fit with just about any look for men or women.

But do spill... Do you fill your pockets first or go straight to the bag? What are your essentials?

Thanks so much to Kleenex for the perfect timing of these treats. If you're near Grand Central Station on St. Patrick's Day stop by to see the new Kleenex brand designs from Isaac Mizrahi. Oh, yeah, and the prizes will be good.


Bring on the color, Pantone

Happy week, dear friends! Around these parts, it's cold with over a foot of snow on the ground, and it's a monochromatic lover's wonderland.

I am, however, a color fanatic. As much as I want to ooze passion for the shades of white and gray, I just can't. And my spirit is itching for the tones of spring and new life.

Pantone puts out color sheets for every season and many moons ago they posted their colors for spring 2014. When I first saw them, I brushed them off (who needs color suggestions?), but the more middle tone steel gray I breathe in, the more I realize how much I do need it!

So, today's post is just a bit of eye candy for you, to gaze upon the rich palette of colors that await us. And, if you're a bit like me, you'll sneak in these saturated hues before everyone else to offer a breeze of hope and spring! Please forgive the hearts, I'm still in a Valentine-kinda mood.

Placid Blue / Violet Tulip / Hemlock / Freesia / Celosia Orange / Cayenne / Paloma / Sand / Radiant Orchid / Dazzling Blue


What color are you gravitating towards these days?

xoxo, MJ

Design Stitch Go and Louise: 12 Bloggers Christmas

Are the post-Christmas days getting you down? Bummed to take down the tree? Take a load off and sit back for our third day of Christmas. The lovely Louise of Design Stitch Go (formerly of Laid Off Mom) is here with us today, and she's launching a new creative venture that you will want to get behind. 

I started blogging back in the summer of 2011 as a means of coping with my lay off. I wanted to share my creativity, my words, and bits and pieces of my life. I was always shy or modest about my creative process and my abilities and blogging gave me the confidence to come out of my shell. I've, since then, bonded w/ some amazing women (ahem...MJ being one of 'em!) and I honestly, can't imagine myself NOT blogging =)
What keeps me blogging?
The ability to share with a community, as well as, learn from a community. There's a strong bond among bloggers, and the support and motivation I give and immense and extremely humbling.  
I feel like I've also been able to hone in on myself...what inspires me.A nd more importantly find out who I am, in a creative sense. What my style aesthetic is, and where I excel the most.  
I never realized what a BAD ASS I was at watercolor, til I picked up a paintbrush this year. And it was even more gratifying finding out, through my blog, that other people appreciated my art pieces as well.
I'm actually at the beginning of a new blog: Design Stitch Go but I've been blogging for 2 years at Laid Off Mom.  I've since, turned the lights out on Laid Off Mom, but I'll always think fondly of it and everything I learned from it. Design Stitch Go! is a product of an "a-ha!" moment I had this year....following my love and passion for apparel design and construction.
And I'm always up for a laugh, a giggle or a chat on:
Design Stitch Go! is still in the early set up phase, there are only 2 posts right now haha...but January will bring some great content, so be sure to visit!!  But here's a few posts of apparel that I constructed from my previous blog:
My only wish for my blog in 2014 is "love". To continue to LOVE what I'm doing and share it with everyone! =)
Louise is a sweetheart with talent oozing out of her little finger. From fashion to crafting to painting to interior design, this gal is on top of it. I've been blessed to have Louise on my team for most of my blogging journey - to inspire, to motivate, and to laugh alongside. I am so excited for her new adventure over at Design Stitch Go, and see where she takes the fashion world.
I love this quote from her new about page because it encompasses the ethos of Louise:
Stop by everyday to see what I’m creating or what inspires me!  Or if you need help with your own design projects, I got you girrrl!
2014 is going to be a fabulous year for Louise, so tune in and watch her grow! I hope I can keep up.
xoxo, MJ
P.S. Tomorrow's blogger will encompass design, life, and kids all in one!! Don't miss it!
All for the love of cord

Please excuse that unintentional day off yesterday! We're back today, and I'm sharing one of my longtime faves for fall - CORDUROY! I've lived in Midwest climates most of my life which means that chilly temperatures are just part of the territory, and for me so is corduroy. I fell in love with its endurance as a little girl in cord jumpers and pants, and as a teenager I tried it in shirts, coats, and skirts.

These days I'm loving cord for the variety - so many colors, wales, and options for fashionable, comfortable, and cozy warm.

Here are my picks for how to wear cords this fall:

What about a cord shoe? These leopard print flats with a sassy bow are from Gap. Or cords in a hot color? Cobalt blue stretch cords featured here are super affordable over at JCPenney. The cord skirt is an easy option from Loft (and already in my closet for the season). And did you know with the right brand, cord can fit you like a glove. I'm oogling this blazer from Boden (as well as a ton of other styles in their fall line).

I embrace my inner cord lover every day with my Skooba laptop bag. I love the chocolate brown and the fun twist on a bag style with way too much black leather in its genre.

Are you with me? Do you embrace corduroy and all its goodness? Or is it a fabric whose days have gone by?



The top 4 for fall

Today, my friends, I have a delightful collaboration to share with you. I've huddled up with three of my favorite stylish bloggers to offer you the Top 4 for fall. These ladies are not fashion bloggers per se; they're classy women who exude a distinctive look. If you are not subscribing to their blogs, I highly suggest you add them to your list. Happy surprises will follow!



We're each sharing a must have for fall fashion. Hop over to Frock Files, Minnow + Co., and Laid Off Mom to see the essentials! (And now that I have these gals snookered in, you just might see a few more Top 4s coming your way.)

For me it's all about some great animal prints for fall. I know this trend has been around for a few seasons. To keep it fresh for 2013, the best way to take advantage of the patterns and tones is through sharp accessories. 



Carried with jeans or a little black dress, this Madison Phoebe bag from Coach is on my wishlist (donations currently accepted)! The slouch and structure are right in balance and the print is beautifully organic. At $350 it would make a big dent in my wallet, but the elegant styling with hints of gold would last (right?!).

Save For It:

The Ashby Calf Hair is a fantastic combo of wearable and statement. These 3.5 inch lovelies add punch to any outfit and are classic enough to last through the trends of a few seasons. I'm saving up for a purchase soon! And guess what, they're from Land's End.

Right Now:

At $9.95, this umbrella from H&M is just right for any of us to add to our fall wardrobe. It's a statement, on trend, and if it grows old for you, your bank account will be no worse for wear.


What's caught your eye for fall? Do share, do share!!

xoxo, MJ



For the love of blogging: The stylist

Welcome back to this favorite series of mine, friends!! Today I'm bringing you a true talent and an incredibly put-together lady, Mrs. Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34

Erin is a digital communications expert, fashion and décor enthusiast, and a stylist who has transformed her passions into her career. She went full-time last year to pursue her dreams of working with creative clients such as Rue Magazine, Trophy Cupcakes, Mark and Graham and Chloe Rose Boutique among others (yeah, she's that awesome).

Back in the day (AKA fall 2012), Erin was kind enough to recognize Pars Caeli as one of her Noteworthy Newbies, and I'm delighted to have the chance to have her over here with us to peek into her blogging journey.

Enjoy the images and Erin's adventure!

Apartment 34 was originally meant to chronicle the renovation of my first condo in Seattle, a renovation that has never taken place! Six years later I now live in San Francisco and the blog as blossomed into a full lifestyle site and I couldn't be happier.

Just look at my early posts. Horrible image quality, atrocious writing. My whole first year could be considered a mistake but it was my authentic voice at the time.


There are so many reasons I've kept up my blog for so long. First is getting to constantly talk about topics I love and have real passion for - styling, design, fashion, food, travel. I really do find all these things so critical to a well lived life. And then there is the amazing community of bloggers I consider myself lucky to be a part of. I've made true and long lasting friendships with people from all around the world through this crazy blogging experiment. And finally I blog for my readers. I feel an obligation to them - to deliver something fun, interesting and new everyday.

I look for inspiration absolutely everywhere - my files, bookmarks and pins go on for days. Something I hear about from a friend. Everything is a potential blog post!


I'm always drawn to someone with a beautiful well-designed aesthetic, gorgeous imagery, interesting fresh ideas and/or a compelling story. I'm a speed blog reader so there are few that get me to pause and dive in deep but I love it when they do.

I wouldn't even know what to do with myself. My brain is now so trained to always be scouting for the blog. I would have more time to read novels, watch movies and sleep though. 


I turned Apartment 34 into to my full time job last year, but the blog is only one component of my business.

I use my first career in PR & marketing to offer influencer marketing consulting services to lifestyle brands. In a nutshell, I know help brands I love work with the bloggers I love in creative and mutually beneficial ways. It's the ultimate win-win! I also moonlight as a stylist from time to time. I love helping a brand create a visual look or work with a magazine to style a really compelling shoot. I don't call it my profession though - it's more my little side project!

Oh, my, goodness. Erin has style just oozing from her veins. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Erin, and for setting a great example for what full-time blogging/consulting work can look like. It's a delight to have you over!!


If you're having trouble with the comments here, please feel welcome to send me an email at or tweet me a note to @parscaeli

Funday Fashion Monday: Outdoor concerts


Hi, friends! Happy Monday to you. I'm super excited to be over at Joy's place, Frock Files, as a Bright Light. I have some very fun ideas for you over there and a little bit more about me...Come on, let's go!

Are you all over the Olympics like I am? We managed to pull ourselves away from the set to head into Chicago for some time with family.  We also danced and sang as we watched a great outdoor kids concert. And let me say, I was surrounded by some fashionable mommas.

Here are my picks for a cute number to take you to your next outdoor music show.

That dress: Such fun colors for summer, no? This pattern looks so special, made just for this dress., and I love the turquoise/burnt orange tones to the simple silhouette.

Those shoes: Green shoes. I don't know...I just like 'em.

Those cute earrings: The great pop of color close to the face will do as much for your glow as a nice bronzer.

And a fun hat: Summer is the perfect time to try out a top accessory. This great hat is a terrific topper for a daytime concert in the park.

Hope you'll meet me over at Frock Files, and please do tell me if you think a ring is appropriate as a symbol of marriage and of motherhood.



Happy Fourth of July, friends! Today we celebrate the great US of A and all of the men and women who have made all this celebrating possible.

In real life, we're headed over to a friend's house for a cookout/bouncy water slide kind of afternoon, and we'll finish it off with fireflies and fireworks in the backyard. On the blog here, I've decided to throw a pool party!!

I had an in-ground pool for two years when my family lived in a wonderful, warm climate, and I have such great memories of hot afternoons under cool water. These days I don't have the luxury of a pool in my backyard but I can still throw a great party, and I have one cooking for you!!

Louise, Mo (one of my favorite Canadians), and Jess have fired up some great recipes and fashions for you to kick back and enjoy on this beautiful day. Thank you, wonderful women, for coming over and setting the place on fire with your creativity. So, have a seat on the chaise, grab a glass of Southern Belle, check out what Mo's wearing, and be sure to grab a heaping helping of that orzo salad Jess put together.

Louise is a rockstar, and she runs the hot spot blog of Laid Off Mom. She finds greatness, creates beauty, and spins around town with her little ones with ease. She's also, "out to prove to everyone that being laid off is not the end of your life…but the beginning of a better world!!"  And she has made this delectable for us...
Catch more from Louise by following her on Twitter.

Mo is hilarious. And she also makes some great jewelry. And blogs. And teaches. Full-time. Check out her goods over at Mo' Funk Designs. She's also got some lovely pool apparel for us to look cool and collected for the fourth. Thanks for bringing your stylin' to the US, Mo (and I totally want that cover-up)!
Pool Party

Catch more from Mo by following her on Twitter!

Jess is a science educator by day, and a runner, reader, dog lover, and chef on the nights and weekends. She pretty much knows everything about everything, and she's cooked up an easy, scrumptious summer salad that I'm really looking forward to making for me. Here's Jess...

It seems the dog days of summer have arrived early this year. If you’re like me, your interest in cooking has hit a yearly low. Fortunately, all the wonderful fresh produce makes it easy to create simple, flavorful dishes, like this summer orzo salad.

I particularly love anything that allows me to incorporate farmer’s market finds and fresh herbs from my garden. This week, I was lucky enough to find some beautiful grape tomatoes, and decided to feature them as the star of a simple salad. I also decided that I would use my new favorite herb – boxwood basil.
I found this guy while shopping for herbs and veggies this spring and was immediately smitten. It tastes and smells just like a sweet basil, but the cute little leaves mean that no chopping is required! Less prep time = more time enjoying summer.

I love this salad because the light dressing really allows the flavors of the tomatoes, basil, and feta to shine through. It’s wonderful both hot and cold. It’s also very versatile. Substitute fresh mozzarella, cubed, for the feta, or add chicken or tofu to make this a more substantial main dish.
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side.

  • 1 1/3 cup orzo
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 5 oz feta cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Juice from one lemon (not pictured)
  • ½ - 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain well. Wash and halve grape tomatoes. Wash and finely chop basil.

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine.
In a large bowl, combine orzo, feta, tomatoes, and basil. Add olive oil mixture and toss to combine.
Serve immediately if desired, or store, tightly covered, in refrigerator. Best enjoyed on a deck or patio with good friends and a glass of wine.

Yum. Yum. Yum! Thanks so much, Jess. To hear more about what Jess is cooking up follow her on Twitter.

And last but not least (there's always room for dessert), I wanted to bring the blueberry cobbler recipe featured yesterday on Grown-up Goodness for you all to enjoy with a jumbo portion of vanilla ice cream.
Loveliness!! I adore these kind of collaborations, and I just wish I could have these great ladies over for a real cookout (you would all get along so fabulously!!).

What's up for your Fourth? I'd love to hear.

Have an amazing Independence Day, friends. God bless America.


P.S. If you're interested in collaborating on something really fun, send me an email at'd be awesome to team up!!

Pattern Play: Polka Dots

Happy Monday!! How was the weekend, friends? We had a gorgeous one in the bright sunny skies of Chicago with some of my oldest and dearest friends. Navy Pier was the perfect setting for wonderful childhood memories for our little ones, and we toasted to new adventures over margaritas. Ahhh, summer.

I was inspired to hear that my oldest friend makes reading this here blog one of her daily activities. I was touched really! Thanks to all of you loyal readers who hop back over post after post to see what's going on over here in Pars Caeli. You're noticeably appreciated.

We're back to Pattern Play Monday! Welcome, welcome. Today's pattern: the classic polka dot.

I'm pulling back my super long bangs (which will be trimmed this week from their near chin-long status) with this lovely sating polka dot headband. Polka dots were made fashionable as early as the 1850s when a dance of the same name became popular. I still find them incredibly fashionable, fun, and fresh, particularly in the dark/light contrasting tones.

I found these two wishlist polka dot numbers for you. The shoes are from Madden Girl and you can find them over here on sale! And this flirty one shoulder dress from Forever21 screams, "Take me to a great summer concert and then out for a glass of wine, husband." ...Or maybe that was just the private conversation I had with it. Either way, I love how they accessorized it simply and let the simple polka dots shine.
Are you daring a pattern today? Have any great ideas you want to share for our next Pattern Play?

Thanks for stopping over. It's always lovely to have you here.


P.S. There are some charmed little cloud buttons over there ---------> which are inviting you to come see more! And a new feed burner, too. Please subscribe and get a little piece of my Heaven sent to you. :)

Doing & Wearing: Family Birthday Party

Here's me, one year older. I had a delightful birthday. It was a full day of work and play. My kiddos showered me with birthday hugs, wishes, and construction paper (pop up!) cards. My hubby made me feel honored all day long with hourly messages and sweet surprises.

He's a great shopper, completely in tune with my style, and this year he picked out this breezy, romantic dress. And in true-to-me fashion, I had to put it on right away (here I am, crouched down next to my littles enjoying my new frock).

I've been thinking about all the cute ways I'll wear it to work, to the beach, and even to Church this summer. Here's my fictional styling board of just what else I'd like to accompany my ikat number.

Jacket via Target, Simple drops via Loft, My dress also from Loft, Wedges from Mia, Bracelet from Marc Jacobs, and topping it off with a braid-end bun found from here.

I indulged in some of my favorites bites for our family dinner out: calamari with lemon, butternut squash ravioli, and four-layer chocolate cake. So, so yummy. My kiddos held tight to the reminder, "Let's all be good to each other, it is Mommy's birthday," and we relaxed and soaked in the celebration.

My favorite part of the day had to be these little notes I found all over my house and stuff. My dear hubby made sure to put these 30-some messages in all my usual stopping points (the bathroom mirror, my nightstand, the mantle). The top shelf of the fridge made me laugh. :) A simple gesture that made me feel surrounding and reminded of the great love we share.

Thanks for stopping over! Do you have any great fashion finds for a casual family dinner out? I'd love to see your ideas!

And if you're in the mood for a 2-minute break with some fun attached, head over to Molly's site, where she and her readers are helping me decide what statement my new umbrella should make! Voting is open.