Posts tagged giveaway
A Few of My Favorite Things + a Giveaway

You know that feeling.

The feeling you have when you get together with a good friend with whom you've lost touch but always loved and still miss? For me, that situation evokes joy, a sense of home, and GUILT.

Here I am, walking into the coffee shop, seeing you over there. I'm smiling that awkward, so cheesy smile I get. And mostly, I just want to let you know how good it is to see. So good. And somewhere in the middle of my chest, I'm feeling the pang of guilt. :)

You might be wondering, where have I been?

For sure there were times when I wondered the same.

Since I took a leap in June 2016 to spend more time on my business and art, I have been plunging, full force in (mostly) the right direction. And I've struggled to find the just-quite-the-right words to chat about all the things without launching you into a trilogy reading experience of the not-so-important.

But first and foremost, I want to say thanks. 

It is humbling to host a blog that has the same readership whether I write posts every week or every other year!

Thank you for STILL showing up, checking on me, following my micro-blogging on Instagram. Sharing and buying from my shop, Good in Store

And mostly, being a community that has made me want to return to blogging, to sharing, to creating and to connecting.

The lovely ladies pictured below don't know it, but they are the reason I'm back here again. Collaboration is what inspired me to publish my first blog post in April 2012, and it's bringing me back. I've learned that great collaborators are a gift to your business, your art, and, well, your general happiness!! And the internet of 2017 is a different community than the internet of 2012, but the quality of people behind the blogs has not changed. So I'm back to give my readers something extra special and extra awesome.

So TEN of my pals and me have teamed up for our FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY. For the next week, we'll be sharing all of our favorite things that we want to share with you for the holidays!! 

You can enter one, two, or all of the giveaways!!  For my favorite things, here's what I've included in the bundle:

  • A Take Care of One Another super soft sweatshirt
  • A 2018 desktop calendar
  • A three-pack of vinyl stickers
  • 2 placecard frames from the Heart & Home collection with art prints inside
Ready to enter for a chance to win? Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter and then enter my friend's giveaways BELOW! Thank you so much for entering My Favorite Things giveaway! Don’t forget to stop by and visit my friends for more chances to WIN their awesome giveaways!! My Favorite Things Lovely Indeed | The Merrythought | Squirrelly Minds | Alice + Lois Delineate Your Dwelling | Pars Caeli | Design Improvised | Idle Hands Awake | Lulu the Baker | Cloudy Day Gray | Tell Love + Party
My Favorite Things2.jpg

Click around to all ten giveaways and check out their awesome offerings just like an old school blog hop! The giveaways all close next Tuesday at midnight and winners will be announced next Wednesday!!

Enjoy and good luck and thank you!

It's really good to see you. Really good.


The Holiday Collective + A Giveaway

Ready now? I've been feeling the momentum of Christmas building, and now, we can let it loose!!! Wooo hoooo. Welcome to the official holiday season. As I've been dropping info about The Holiday Collective on various social media channels, I can now share an amazing set of giveaways with you.

Coming up on December 8, check over at The Holiday Collective for a fun holiday garland.

Coming up on December 8, check over at The Holiday Collective for a fun holiday garland.

It IS the holiday season after all, and we want to give our friends and family (and a little something for ourselves) only the very best, right? So, the team of 25 bloggers and makers of The Holiday Collective searched far and wide to find rockstar giveaways with high-quality awesome stores. From today (Nov. 27) until Dec. 15, we'll be giving away these incredible prizes on each of our blogs. For reals, check this out:

I'm so delighted to give away $100 worth of incredible kits, toys, and stocking stuffers from Seedling!! My kids and I are creating their Make Your Own Snow Globe kits, and the snow globes are such a fun final product, as well as their super cute packaging, that I'd feel really good about gifting one of their items to friends and family.

So I'm doing it!! I'm gifting you!

Stop back in tomorrow to win the prize from Pars Caeli + Seedling. The children in your life will thank you (unless you hoard the fun for yourself, and if that's the case, frankly, I can't blame ya).

xoxo, MJ

Three-Year Blogiversary + A Giveaway

Happy happy days are here!! Pars Caeli is a big three years old. By blog standards, Pars Caeli is an old gal now (9 months being the average lifespan of an active blog), and I can't help but reflect that she's just getting better with age.

As a way of thanking you beautiful people for joining along in any and every part of this journey, I have a fun giveaway of one of The Bannerie's glittery banners. In fact, I treated myself to a few banners that express in gold and glitter just how I'm feeling as we embark on another year of projects, collaborations, reflections, and musings. Here are my top three learnings as we embark on a new year!

We're only here once so let's love big! Boss babe banner by  The Bannerie .

We're only here once so let's love big! Boss babe banner by The Bannerie.


I feel pretty strongly on this one in the whole vein of "shower the people you love with love" kind of way. And I love that this blog has given me the kind introduction to a ton of wonderful people. And I've been able to help them with their dreams, and they, in turn, have boosted my goals, too! I feel so fortunate to be able to shine big, bright spotlights on talented makers producing wonderful projects, great pieces of literature, and clever perspectives on the world.

I have a ton of projects that I want to accomplish, and I love that this space is one for me and for others, where we can throw love over all kinds of greatness.

I plan on loving bigger and better as we embark on this third year!

Sparkle messages from  The Bannerie : Kind over Nice

Sparkle messages from The Bannerie: Kind over Nice


As much as I've loved highlighting and sharing others work, I've learned through collaborations that kindness always matters more than niceties. By that I mean, truly caring for the people with whom you work and genuinely looking to help them in real and powerful ways means so much more than the one off retweet or like here or there.

I'm always up for meeting new people, but I'm sure to keep supporting those whom I've known and trusted. As a "veteran" blogger, I want to help others through the meandering path of success but only in authentic and real ways. Far too many of us use the internet as a place where we are not ourselves, the comment or express emotions that are stronger than what we would deliver in person. And in year three, I'm up for making more kind connections and sincere gestures of support.

You got this. And you need a banner to remind you. Giveaway happening on Pars Caeli!

You got this. And you need a banner to remind you. Giveaway happening on Pars Caeli!

3. You got this

No, really, you do. I'm grateful that three years of blogging have brought me to here. I've got this. My own brand of fun, whimsy, crafty, mothering, project-making goodness. And you have your own list of comma-spaced awesomeness. And there is space, plenty of space, for both of us.

Pars Caeli has shown me that there are like minds all over the world, and now we have a venue for high fiving and patting each other on the back. And even kicking each other in the pants when necessary.

I want to give you one of The Bannerie's best selling banners with just this message! YOU GOT THIS! I have mine hanging in the studio right now. It's a super helpful mantra for those times when more than my fair share of doubt might creep in.

The Boss Babe banner giveaway is on until Sunday. And it's very easy to enter!! Pass the giveaway along to someone else as a fun gesture to show your love in big ways.

Thank you for joining in this journey and for celebrating the everyday kinds of wonderful that make life amazing. Can't wait to step into year three!

xoxo, MJ

Giveaway with DLK

Helllooo, friends! I missed you. I missed you so much that I really feel like I have to make up for our time apart. How about a little present to make it up to you? No, no. How about a big present?

I'm teaming up with some best buds (Joy of Frock Files, Melissa of Lulu the Baker, Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia, and Kim of Design Life Kids) to give away a $150 gift card to Design Life Kids! Yes, mm hmm. Happy about it, too. Design Life Kids is a new online shop for all things modern, designed, and fun. Kim has packed her store with home accessories, kids couture, and fantastical gifts that you'd feel good wrapping for anyone on your Christmas list.

What would I buy? I've narrowed it down to my top six gift picks. What would be yours?

  1. Je T'Aime Triangle Tee
  2. Playful DIY Craft Book by Merrilee Liddiard (one of my favorites - see my fangirl post)
  3. Arne Jacobson Cups
  4. Pasta Amore Pillowcase
  5. Dot Wall Decals
  6. Allo! Lemon Tee


Our giveaway runs until Friday morning at 12:00am (midnight Thursday). I really want you to win. Here's what you gotta do:

* Leave a comment below with your favorite item from the shop.
* And for bonus entries....Like DLK on Instagram
* Regram one of our Instagram images.

xoxo, MJ



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway with Suburban Goods

You all know I love a great collaboration. And I'm delighted to bring the fruit of collaboration right here to you! Today, and all through the weekend, you can enter to win this cute clutch from Suburban Goods Shop.

Erin of Suburban Bitches is one of my teammates on the Cricut Design Space Star Challenge, and she made this crazy cool leather clutch for a challenge. I thought it was too good to pass up, and I asked her if she was going to sell these. And guess what? Now she is!

Erin is an ex-scientist turned blogger and stay-at-home mom to three kids. She lives and started making purses totally on a whim.

"As part of a contest I made the first clutch and people were super nice and told me that I should start selling them. The funny thing is after finishing the first clutch and it taking me 6+ hours to make I told my husband that this clutch was a very limited edition of one. Then all those bad memories went away and I decided to make more clutches since my new memories told me that making the first one was so much fun! But really, I'm a creator and love seeing a product develop from the beginning to the end. My grandfather was always making things with his hands and I think I got some of his genes in my DNA (he also was a scientist). It's still funny to me that I'm making purses since I am not a handbag collector by any means. I've carried the same bag for at least 5 years now and the only time I change purses is when I'm headed to a live music show. Now though I find any reason to go out and show off a Suburban Goods clutch, which is the ultimate accessory to any good outfit."

Erin says that she selected the name Suburban Goods to allow for a range of possibilities in the shop. Look for more goodness to come from this small business!

And, why not? She's using some fabulous leathers, suedes, vegan leathers, and she pairs them with adorable linings that add a pop of surprise to the fun. Suburban Goods Shop is brand new, and I want to show Erin some support for her brave new efforts.

So, I had to invest. :) Erin made me a customized bag for work. I fell in love with her mix of blacks and browns for the fall, and she added a bit of polka dot and interior pockets to make it extra special. My new Suburban Goods bag also goes so well with my new black/brown heels for work (apparently I'm into tassels right now, too). Can you smell the leather from there? Like butter.

And I'm giving away a sassy clutch to one of you! There are lots of ways to enter. Pick as many as you'd like.

This black and gold clutch retails from $80, and you can get it freeeeeeee. Imagine adding it to a great pair of jeans for a girl's night out, or popping a blue dress with a splash of gold for date night. This one can go from Church to the clubs - it's a truly versatile piece.

Congratulations, Erin, on your great new shop. Let's show her some Pars Caeli love!

xoxo, MJ

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Charlotte Moon + A Giveaway

Hello lovelies, I've missed you. Due to an avalanche of work, a quick travel change, and a little matter of exhaustion, I had to take an unexpected blog break this week. I promise to still throw you the fabulous content that I had planned and spare you the melodrama of the details.

I'm so excited to re-introduce you to my pal, Claire. She's been on Pars Caeli before talking about life in Ireland (she is the big sis of one of my best friends and greatest people on Earth) and shared an amazing DIY on turning children's art into pillows. Claire hails from Northern Ireland and has recently made some dreams into reality by opening up her own store. I've been waiting to see her bloom into this, and I'm so excited to show you the first products from Charlotte Moon.

And I begged Claire to let me offer a piece of her collection to you beautiful people. And guess what? She agreed.

And that's awesome. And supporting people who follow their dreams? Well, that's even better. We should all do a little more of that (both the following and the supporting).

I interviewed Claire to learn more about how she decided to take this leap. Here she is in her own words:

I've been pretty obsessed with crafting since I was about 6 when I made a fabulous train out of matching boxes! My parents were always great about abandoning the dining room table to the latest project and messy creation and humoured us in the journey through knitting, embroidery, papier-mâché, sewing and paper crafts.

Charlotte Moon has been a project which has come to fruition after several years. Working as a divorce lawyer, I always made wedding invitations for friends to balance out the romantic karma! After having a car accident and some back surgeries, I've taken some time off to recover and Charlotte Moon has been a fabulous way for me to focus on my creativity.

I finally decided to launch my crafts in a more formal way in late 2013. I love parcelling up cards and buntings and baby presents made with care and posting them off all over the world! In terms of my favourite crafts to make, my heart will always be with the card making. I love receiving mail, and as a result I absolutely love sending cards to people for all occasions! I relish coming up with new designs for cards, and you can make cards anywhere! Mind you, the name buntings hold a very special place in my heart.

To order any Charlotte Moon goodies, email Claire at

Claire is giving away this sweet birthday banner above, and all you have to do is like Charlotte Moon on Facebook and leave a comment below. Giveaway contest ends Sunday midnight (EST - US time)

I'll be back tomorrow (surprise Saturday treat!) with some really cool stuff.

xoxo, MJ

We're Goin' Party Like it's our birthday

On April 3, 2012, I typed these words and set them up for publishing:

A blog is born. Do blogs hatch or are they birthed? I'm not really sure, but I can tell you that this one has definitely been a lengthy labor. And, just like childbirth, I'm going to go ahead and forget all the painful, ungodly details and plow on through to the happy moments.

Welcome to Pars Caeli (pars kilee), a piece of Heaven. This web home will soon be filled with designs and ideas that inspire me and my family. I imagine that you're pretty inspirational, too, so I look forward to learning about all the amazing ideas and projects you have to share.

As I read through my "first words," I'm so grateful to feel like Pars Caeli has grown to become an inspirational space for readers and, mostly, for me. It's been an active scrapbook and a motivator and a fourth child - well, maybe more like a pet.

And, today, we're going to party and celebrate as Pars Caeli turns TWO! And I want to spread the love so I've teamed up with the talented designers of Caravan Shoppe to bring you a giveaway. It's my first full-on rafflecopter giveaway so bear with me. :)

The entry possibilities are below and the contest runs until Sunday midnight EST. Winner will be announced on Monday right here! The best part is even if you don't win, Caravan Shoppe has an incredible selection of free, yes, free goodies that you'll want to print onto cards or great paper. Go check out their Daschund cards and amazing chalkboard prints!!

Big thanks for their love and support on this one. :)

Have a bright weekend, friends! Thanks to YOU for reading, playing, and praying along over these past two years.

xoxo, MJ

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If I were a _______, I'd be...

Sometimes simple events really capture my imagination. Brittany of the The House that Lars Built and Meta from One More Mushroom have put together a fun giveaway, asking folks to Instagram a photo that answers, "If I were a room, I'd be..."

I'll admit it I love asking people the silly what if inquiries. I've been known to throw in a good, "If you were (insert here vegetable, fabric, vehicle, etc.), what would you be?" to your average cocktail hour dinner party. Some find these sorts of questions forced, immature, and stupid. I find that they lead people to creativity, even if through a mocking and sarcastic path.

I hadn't yet thought about what kind of room I'd be (until yesterday), and I really enjoyed clicking through some of my boards on Pinterest to remember what visual spaces had inspired me.

I landed kerplunk right on this one, and it's playfulness, bold feel, and all around joyful aura made me say If I were a room, I'd be this one right here.

Featured on SF Girl by Bay and photographed by Adriaan Louw

I hope that I get picked to win the something fancy for my home decor, but even if I don't, I have loved seeing the rooms of people I know and imagining the kinds of people that might be attached to images I see coming in.

Look at some of these other interesting submissions:

What Every Creative Needs: A Space to be Inspired by Nature from Eden Hensley

If I were a room I'd have a special space you have to sneak away to to read your books. from
Ashley mae Hoiland

Dreamy kitchen from Country Living mag from Melissa

Check out the entire collection by following the #ifiwerearoomgiveaway. Go ahead and enter by Friday, too, but just realize, I'm gonna win!

I don't have a giveaway to offer, but this "what if" game has me thinking...

If you wanna play along, use the hash tag #ifiwereanoutfit. It's even okay to offer more than one idea. I'm still putting mine together, but I'll be sure to share once I've come up with something that fits me.

Have a bright weekend, and don't forget to celebrate the normal!

xoxo, MJ

Make It Monday: The Giveaway Make It

Happy Monday! And thanks for coming over. It's so good to have you here!!

I'm excited to show you a little something I've been working on. Back in early September I hosted a giveaway where I offered the first three commenters something lovely and homemade just for them. When I posted the giveaway, I wasn't exactly sure what that handmade goodness would be...

So I thought about my three winners: Hana, Louise, and Courtney. All three of these ladies are creative, talented, savvy women. They were each going through transitions with their on-line lives. I know that these sorts of changes can be stressful, annoying, and can sometimes make you question if it's all worth it.

Enter a little bit of printed reassurance. You are exactly where you are meant to be.

Certainly, I thought about the rest of our lives and how we can find ourselves somewhere (physically or mentally) where we never thought we'd be...the sometimes unexpected, notably unpleasant, tough places we land. The older I get, the more I realize how significant these places of challenge are and how much they have to teach us if we can hold on, breathe deeply, and trust.

I loved sketching these and thinking about their future homes in New Zealand, California, and Florida.


I asked the ladies what colors might work in their homes, and I received a green and two blues. Beautiful Louise even sent me a photo of her (gorgeous) living room.

The task of converting these sketches to Illustrator files was a time-consuming, but I love how they turned out. I'm not sure which color I like the best?

And for you, dear readers, a black and white version for your downloading pleasure. Sometimes we all need a little reassurance. Click on the image to download the file.


Did you create something this weekend? Any projects on the near horizon?


And a big P.S.: 

I can only take this as God hitting me over the head (which I need)... Today is the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She's a doctor of the Church, and a woman of great insight (Gretchen Rubin quoted her often in The Happiness Project, too). A friend sent along a piece of St. Thérèse's writing this morning. Check out those first lines. I knew I got these words from somewhere...

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.


I made these prints two weeks ago with no remembrance of St. Thérèse's writing. Hmm, I think I have a fresh Divine bump on my head.

And so I'm trusting that God has put me right where I'm meant to be, even when I kick and scream. Thanks for being here with me. :)

Mommy and Daddy School: Immersion




It feels great to return to Mommy & Daddy School posts after a 2-week hiatus here at Pars Caeli. We've been learning and doing, and I'm excited to share and to announce a fantastic giveaway for you + a wonderful little person in your life.


Leading up to the fourth of July my kiddos were all about maps and travel and puzzles. So, we wrapped all of that curiosity into a fun week of learning about the world and our special place in it.

For those of you just joining us on this adventure, let me just say that my hubby and I are former teachers who love to learn alongside our kiddos, and we take full advantage of this in the summer. However, we also both work full-time and believe in encouraging our children to try new activities in the summer months. The long and short of it–we, like so many other American families–have to find ways to squeeze in, maximize, and set aside intentional time to learn. When trying to juggle professional demands, swim lessons, camps, nap schedules, and the other 12 things that come our way every day, this can be t-ough. And we're not miracle workers...just parents with a lot of high hopes so let me share with you our ways we immerse ourselves in learning. Maybe you can use these, too?!


1. Use every tool at your disposal in the library.

Libraries are still the best, beautiful place to find dazzling information. You can read, listen, create, craft, eat, drink, compute, and entertain in ours (it's really not mine, I just visit 3 times a week).
Trying to consider the developmental levels and interests of my three, we headed to the board books, picture books, and chapter books to see what we could discover about the United States. We also explored the non-fiction section, and each child selected a book about their favorite state. Great patriotic reads and simple historic books abound. Over at music we found great CDs of Americana set to tune. Schoolhouse Rock (a little too old for our kids) has some great stuff, and we found other simple movies/shows about the US. We could have explored maps, puzzles, computer games, magazines, audio books, and more, but kids need snacks, too, so we left with our stack of 20 books/CDs.

How great is that United Tweets of America, Twitter friends? It's a charmed book with a page for each state bird.



2. Time learning in the car is not time wasted.

We have a lot of life stuff to meld into our summer learning so, like it or not, we spend time hauling to and fro in the minivan. One of the ways we continue learning during transit is through music. There are so many great CDs with toddler tunes, nursery rhymes, children's stories, pneumonic devices, and, in our case for this week, patriotic songs. So we played these melodies over and over and had some great sing-alongs while sitting at the traffic lights. Hearing my 5-year old sing that Grand Old Flag was a hoot!



3. Technology is your friend in small quantities.

I love technology, but I know that my children need it in small doses for real learning to take place. We encourage digital learning, and we allow our three kiddos time on the computer, Ipad, and Iphones.


Two great apps that we utilized for learning this week: Stack the States (great for adults, too!) and Learn the States (so many great variations).


This is my favorite children's atlas. Lift the flap!

Along with these, we coupled real maps and altases. Breaking out the world map, we pressed sticky dots on the states and countries where are friends and family reside, and we were able to talk about the places that grandmothers and great grandmothers traveled from. Really a lovely exercise in story telling.



4. Make your toys work for you.

Those blocks can make a great compass rose.  Take the Matchbox cars for a pretend drive along Route 66. My Little Ponys can help the settlers pretend to discover the country in your dress-up gear. You get the idea.


When we started this theme, I thought, what can we use around that we already have? Thinking I'd come up empty handed, I went on a hunt and found map puzzles, talking globes, and a whole host of other toys we could adapt for this learning experience. The kiddos, especially the 2-year old, loved playing with old toys in new ways.


5. Parents are the first learners.

Children can read our enthusiasm (or lack thereof), and nothing hits home as well as when they see Mommy & Daddy learning something new themselves. I find interjecting (short) stories of my first learnings or retelling of "when-I-was-5-years-old" is really helpful as it relates to content. Knowing the song Mommy learned to remember all the states is more fun. Learning of how Daddy experienced New Mexico makes the state come alive.


On top of that, we try to investigate questions within our learning that my husband and I also want to learn. What is our state flower? Should we include one in our landscape? How long would it take to do that cross country roadtrip we're dreaming of? Sharing these questions with our kids, and allowing them to follow our thought processes and tools for investigation lets them know we care about learning so much we make time to do it, too!!

And on that happy note, I'm excited and delighted to announce our first big giveaway!! Through the generosity of the lovely Mariah Bruehl of Playful Learning, one lucky winner and their incredible young person will win a spot in the creative Ecademy series, Through the Lens. I've enrolled M, and she'd love to have a great new classmate!

To win, please leave a comment below. If you want a bonus second chance, send out a tweet about @parscaeli and @playfullearning, and we'll give you extra credit! The winner will be announced on Monday because I love happy announcements at the start of my week. Good luck!!

Happy Wednesday!

Congratulations to Sandra! This giveaway is now closed. Stop back again for more goodness!

Playful Learning: Through the Lens eCourse

Through the Lens: Explorations in Photo Journaling, Wednesday, July 18 - August 8, is an e-course that has been created for children (and their grown-ups) ages six through twelve. Participants will gain new understanding of themselves and the world around them by exploring a variety of photography and writing techniques while creating and adding to their own photo journals. The goal for this e-course is to nurture positive self-expression through photography, writing, and art—to discover and develop a strong sense of voice. It is also a wonderful opportunity for parents and teachers to join in on the process and to connect with their children or students in new and exciting ways.