family

Anatomy of Fancy Schmancy Gift Wrap

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I am SO excited!  After 18 months of travel, planning, changes, delays and a few tears – but plenty of excitement, my new gift packaging is here!!!

In my 17 years of being a jewelry maker, my gift packaging has gone through several iterations.  I started with a simple organza bag, moved on to basic off-the-shelf gift boxes, then on to my first custom gift box design.  And now…something so precious and lovely that I can’t help but smile when I think of it. {sigh}

I must say looking back, I’m so proud of my packaging changes, but possibly even prouder of my improved photography skills!  Whoa!  That’s craziness.

I work super hard behind-the-scenes to make sure your pearls are perfect (another blog post about that is coming soon), your gift wrap is gorgeous, and that her pearls make it all the way to her hands without a hitch.  I think you’d be surprised at the journey of this gift packaging’s path into existence.  It was quite a roller coaster, but a ride definitely done out of love.

It all started in 2015 – hubby and I packed up and flew to the bright lights of Las Vegas to our very first major trade show.  Coming from our little town of Lompoc, we were crazy overwhelmed.  Holy moly!  We had spent weeks making a plan of attack, so we didn’t miss any vendors at the show.  It was all mapped out & loaded up on the phone.

It took us THREE solid 8 hour days just to get through all of the vendors.  We had meetings and looked through what seemed like a gazillion box choices with scores of vendors.  We were exhausted, so we spent the last night binge watching House of Cards in our gorgeous room at the Aria – while looking out over the beautiful lights of the strip.

We left Las Vegas exhausted, with a bag full of colorful business cards, brochures, and contact information.  We even ran into my business crush, Lisa Leonard, at the airport in Santa Maria [I was too nervous to say hello].  Goodness. {blush}  I felt like a goofy groupie.  So silly!  The funny thing is that I’ve been in the jewelry biz far longer, but she’s just AMAZING.  Seriously.  Amazing.  Cat got your tongue kind of amazing.  But I digress…

After looking through the piles of the colorful brochures and business cards, the research began.  I spent literally 3 months researching, contacting, chatting, requesting samples, and generally getting to know several box manufacturers across the country.  I wanted to find the perfect box to hold the pearls while still sticking within the budget, so I didn’t have to raise my prices just because of gift packaging.

We found a company relatively close to home (and only a few minutes from Disneyland…can’t beat that!)  So we took the trek down several different times to meet with the company, design the boxes, choose all…the…things.  It’s insane how many decisions go in to making a superb box!  The shell, the fabric, the lining, the outer covering, the hot stamping foil choice, the outer gift packer, the bow.  Then I found the best anti-tarnish cloth that was also soft enough to safely store pearls, and I hired a seamstress to custom-make my special anti-tarnish pearl pouches to fit perfectly inside of our new custom boxes.  Hooray!!

We found that to have the manufacturer tie the ribbon on top of the box (not around the box…I want you to be able to open them before gifting), was going to QUADRUPLE the price.  What?!?!  Seriously.  Craziness.  So I sourced the perfect pink ribbon and now we individually cut, attach, and hand-tie each ribbon to the top of each box, right here in our little California studio.

So after a crazy journey of elation, disappointments, joys and tears…I present to you the fancy schmancy gift packaging that comes complimentary with every Little Girl’s Pearls order!

So what do you think?  Do you love it, too?  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!! ♥

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Fruit and Fun Printable Class Valentines

It’s here!  Hooray!  I love making these every year.  This is my third annual free Valentine’s Card printable & I went a with a bit of vintage inspired fruit & fun theme.  This is my most popular post every year – hooray!!  I’ve added the links to the previous years’ Valentine’s below in case you’d like to see them all.  They’re perfect for your kid’s classroom Valentine Party or your very own Galentine celebration with your bestie!

It’s still early enough that you won’t have to stay up the night before Valentine’s Day, frantically gluing, glittering and stickering…I’ve got your back, mama.  Just print, cut & have your kiddo sign them.  Super easy peasy.

Okay, lovelies, I printed mine on matte photo paper (matte, so that they can be signed by your little).  But honestly, card stock will totally work in a pinch!  Don’t fret!  You’ve totally got this.  If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can send them to a photo printing place like Staples or Walmart, otherwise your home printer is just fine.

If you’re feeling super extra fancy, feel free to tape a heart chocolate on the back of the card (or a quarter for older kids if you’re looking for a candy-free Valentine option).  Voila, chocolate, cute cards, signed by your kiddo…score one for mom!

Okay, so click the button below to download your PDF printable.  Then print away!  It will print on a regular old 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, and the cards measure 3.5″ square (that will help when you’re measuring out to cut).

How did it go?  If you use the cards (from any of the years), I would sooooo love to hear your stories & see how they turned out for you!  If you tag them #littlegirlspearls when you post them, I will be able to find them.  I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

Are you looking for more Valentine Printables?  Check out our other free sets:

Happy Valentine’s Day, you lovely mama!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Easy Thanksgiving Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained While You Cook

Your family probably already has a few traditions of your own for Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a special routine for saying what you’re thankful for, or maybe everyone looks forward to grandma’s signature pie all year long. Thanksgiving is also a great time to start some new traditions, particularly if you’re looking for fun activities that kids will love to take part in.

1.    Succulent Place Cards
This is such a fun and easy activity for kiddos during the holidays!  While the house is a big hub of craziness and activity, you can send the kids outside for this quick and easy Thanksgiving or Christmas craft.  Littles and bigs will love making place cards for everyone around the holiday table.  Then all of the guests can have a sweet little succulent planter to take home after the delicious dinner.  Head HERE for full step-by-step photo instructions to show you how to make them.

Step-by-Step photo instructions to make succulent place cards for your holiday table

2.    Get the Kids Involved with Foraged Bouquets for the Table
The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving can get overwhelming for kids.  Everyone is excited, the house smells amazing, family and friends are ringing the bell…chaos is sure to follow.  One thing our boys love to do is head outside in the fresh air to get some energy out.  Send an older kid or an adult with the kids to pick a bouquet of “foraged” leaves, flowers and sticks (or several small bouquets).  Then they can put them in mason jars or vases on the Thanksgiving table.  Fun, festive & it gets the wiggles out!

foraged-thanksgiving-bouquets

3.    A Thankful Book
Instead of simply saying what you’re thankful for around the dinner table, how about having each person write it down? Then save the notes in a scrapbook or binder. It’s fun to set out a blank book or paper with pencils, crayons, stickers and markers for everyone to write down their thankful list while dinner is cooking.  It keeps the kids busy, and you can look back on it together every Thanksgiving.  Erin over at Home Literacy Blueprint made the cutest thankful books with her kiddos!

Idea and adorable photo from Home Literacy Blueprint

4.    Pin the Feather on the Turkey
If you have a lot of young kids in your family (or teenagers who like to be goofy like mine), pin the feather on the turkey is a great game to keep them entertained and get them in the Thanksgiving spirit. This is just like pin the tail on the donkey, except you’re using a paper turkey and feathers of different colors. For added fun, have each kid create and decorate their own feather out of card stock, stickers, pens, pencils…whatever you have lying around. They can write what they are thankful for & it makes the turkey so adorable when they’re finished!  Make sure you take a picture as a memento!

precious graphic from Living Well Mom – head on over there for instructions

What fun family traditions or kid activities does your family do for the holidays?  I’d love to learn some new ideas! ♥

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Easy Succulent Place Cards for Your Holiday Table

I’m always looking for fun things to do with my boys that gets them involved in the holidays.  These sweet little succulent place cards are perfect for kids (and adults) and will brighten up your holiday table!  These would even be adorable for a rustic outdoor wedding.

With just a few “ingredients” – most of which can be found in your back yard, you can make sweet little name cards for your holiday or wedding table.

  • small votive holder (or other small container – a tiny mason jar would work well, too)
  • sphagnum moss (I found a bag of it at Home Depot)
  • twigs of greenery from the garden
  • a stick
  • a tiny clothes pin or clip
  • a succulent rosette – or really any succulent sprig will do
  • a small name tag – or slip of paper

Wet your sphagnum moss & pack it relatively tightly into the holder.

Using your finger (or a pencil), make a hole down the center of your moss for the stem of your succulent.

Carefully place your succulent stem into the hole.  Add a bit of extra moss around it to secure it into the little container.

Add your stick.  If you don’t have a stick from a tree or bush, you can use a popsicle stick or even a skewer.  Make sure the stick is high enough to allow the name tag to show above the succulent.

Use your tiny clothes pin (I gilded mine with a gold-leafing pen just for fun) to clip the name tag and the greenery to your stick.  Set them on the table as place cards & you’ll have a beautiful holiday or wedding tablescape!  The best part is that your guests will have a great little gift to take home with them.  {so much fun}

What will you use it for?  I would love to see your version!  Be sure to use #littlegirlspearls, so I can find it!!  Have fun. ♥

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Strength and Dignity Free Printable

She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 | free printable from Little Girl's Pearls ♥

“She is clothed in strength & dignity & she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25

This verse has always sounded lovely to me when I was growing up and in college, but it wasn’t until I had my own kiddos that it really spoke to me.  It seems when you are put in charge of the care and feeding of tiny humans, fear of the future just settles in – it hunkers down and lurks in the back of your mind.  There are always worries about making sure we do everything perfectly as parents.  Laughing at fear of the future was a completely foreign concept to me.

Proverbs 31:25 free printable from Little Girl's Pearls | she is clothed in strength and dignity

Our family was a bit more on the “crunchy granola” side of things with co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing, homemade baby food & cloth diapers…  We did what “felt right” for our kiddos.  But oh man were there nay-sayers along the way & they shook me to my core!  I questioned our decisions regularly.  It seems that when you are raising tiny humans everyone and their brother has an opinion on the best way to do it to be sure your kids turn out to be productive members of society.

free printable from Little Girl's Pearls ♥

Now that my boys are 13 and 16 (seriously, when did that happen?), I can look back on all of the minute decisions and see that whatever we had chosen, our boys would’ve turned out just fine.  I am not kidding you.  As long as your kids are loved, fed and safe…really the rest is just details.  So if you’re just starting out on your mama journey, please know that all will be just fine.  Raising little people is stressful and exhausting and harrowing – our oldest had colic for four straight months of nightly crying (both him and me) & our youngest didn’t sleep through the night until he was 7.  But had I known I could have done it all without fear of the future, it would have made my new mama life so much easier.

free printable 8x10 print from Little Girl's Pearls | laugh without fear of the future ♥

So I’m giving you permission.  Permission to do what works for YOUR family.  What works for your kid.  What works this time, might not work with the next one – and that’s okay!  Seriously.  Roll with it.  You, my dear, are clothed in strength and dignity.   So whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, whether you cloth diaper or regular diaper, whether you homeschool, private school or public school…they will turn out just fine.  Just love them.  Love them with all your heart.  Give them your time.  Give them grace.  Then head on into tomorrow and laugh without fear of the future.  You’ve totally got this, mama!

Click here to download the free printable from Little Girl's Pearls. ♥

So click on the button above to DOWNLOAD your free printable to remind you that you are AWESOME and you’re gonna rock it, mama! ♥  To fit an 8×10 frame, simply trim 1/2″ off of either side and 1″ off of top and bottom.  Voila!  A perfect little printable for her nursery or your refrigerator!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Second Star to the Right Free Printable

Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning - Peter Pan | free 8x10 printable from Little Girl's Pearls ♥

I have two boys.  They are so old now.  I can’t believe how quickly they’ve grown.  12 and 16 is far too old for this mama.  When did this happen?  When they were little, their imaginations soared.  Just like Peter Pan and Wendy through the night sky.  They were gleeful and giggly and silly and wonderful!  Now that they are older they are just as imaginative.  Far more creative and brilliant than I ever imagined they could be.  The things their minds dream up are crazy amazing and wonderful and insane.  They make this mama proud.  It’s amazing how it’s hard to watch them grow up, but it’s so wonderful to see the people they have become.  They bring a joy to my heart that I will never be able to explain.  I’m such a goof – I’m tearing up a bit thinking about it!

My husband and I always joke that before kids we never lost our temper, yelled, worried or cried nearly as much as we do now.  However, we also never laughed as hysterically, dreamed as big or imagined as much as since our boys joined our family.  My mama hope and wish is that they never lose that creative and imaginative outlook on life.  Enjoy, my sweet not-so-little boys.  Know that this mama is right there behind you, cheering you on as you soar through the night – to the second start to the right and straight on ’til morning.

Second star to the right and on til morning - Peter Pan free printable download from Little Girl's Pearls. ♥

This little free printable is set up to print neatly on a regular 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of letter size paper.  The file is set to print at a very detailed 300 dpi (so it’s nice and crisp) – but it makes it a bit of a big file, so download it & walk away to get a cup of tea while it finishes popping up on your computer.

It is a PDF file, so you’ll need a PDF reader (like adobe PDF) – they’re available free online.  Simply print, cut off 1/2″ off the top & bottom and 1/4″ off of each size.  Voila – a great 8″x10″ print for your kiddo’s wall!  Just click on the image above to download your PDF.  If you have any troubles, give me a holler. ♥

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

from small beginnings come great things free printable

From Small Beginnings Come Great Things Free Printable from Little Girl's Pearls - perfect for her nursery or big girl room.

When searching around for quotes for your free printable this month, this old American Proverb really spoke to me right now.  I am a worry wart.  I mean seriously, I worry about my kiddos all…the…time!  My boys are 12 and 15, which I truly can’t believe.  I have a slide show of their itty bitty baby faces looking at me from my computer screen daily.  I absolutely cannot fathom that from those itty bitty babies I now have a spunky pre-teen and a ginormous teenager.  How on earth did that happen???

from small beginnings - a sweet free printable 8x10 for her baby nursery or little girl room | Little Girl's Pearls ♥

When our oldest was born we had nursing issues.  He was so tiny and sad because he was hungry.  It just broke my heart.  We spent weeks going daily back and forth to the next town to the lactation consultant.  It took 3 months, but we finally got the hang of it.

Come great things - a lovely free printable from Little Girl's Pearls for her baby nursery, baby shower gift or big girl room.

In those early days I was so worried about him gaining weight and growing.  Now he’s over 6 feet tall, taller than his daddy, and still growing.  He can polish off a 3 pound pot roast and a couple of pounds of carrots if we let him.  Oh my word.  So in the middle of it, we were terrified and worried constantly…but now from his small beginnings, he has definitely grown and blossomed into a wonderful young man doing great things.  He’s studying for his driver’s test (what?!?!?) and has become an awesome farmer and wood turner.  So even in the midst of the worry, no matter how tiny your little one is…just know that great things will come from her small beginnings!!

flowers

So here’s a big old hug to you, mama!  We are totally in this together.  Every age brings a new “small beginning” and in the end, great things will certainly abound!  So print it out and hang it in her nursery or big girl room. ♥

What a wonderful FREE baby shower girft! - from small beginnings come great things - free printable from Little Girl's Pearls

To download your free printable – something perfect to remind you that will all work out – just click the poster below.  You just need a PDF reader to open it.  It fits in an 8×10 frame.  enjoy!!

"From small beginnings come great things" free printable nursery print from Little Girl's Pearls.

I love you more than all the stars free printable

I love you more than all the stars free printable | Little Girl's Pearls

You may not know why, but this is so near and dear to my heart!  Firstly, I married an astronomy geek.  ♥  Secondly said amazing astronomy geek works on Vandenberg Air Force base here on the gorgeous Central Coast of California.  We are incredibly lucky to get to watch various rockets launch on a relatively regular basis.

There’s something so magical and amazing watching the rockets soar into outer space right in front of our very eyes.  So because their daddy does what he does & they have grown up watching these amazing fiery balls of light jet off into space, both of our boys are completely in love with the stars.  Our oldest is convinced he’ll be traveling to Mars and has decided to study sustainable farming, so he can be the first Mars farmer.

I love you more than all the stars free printable.

So while their feet are right here on the ground, their heads are all floating among the beautiful stars.  Giant balls of gas and fire that capture our imagination, creativity and love from a very young age.

My boys know that when I tell them that I love them more than all the stars that it is a BIG deal.  I love them so much, and this is just an itty bitty way to remind them.  Do you have a kiddo with her head in the stars?  This free printable might make a fun little graphic for her wall or a cover of a notebook.

It’s set up to print on a regular 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper.  I used photo paper, but feel free to use card stock or whatever paper you have on hand.  If you’d like it in a frame, you can cut 1/2″ off the top and the bottom & 1/4″ off left and right to fit in an 8″ x 10″ frame.  It’s a PDF document, so you can use any free PDF reader to open it.

get your free printable - I love you more than all the stars - from Little Girl's Pearls.

Sending a little star love your way today!! ♥✵☆ミ

First Holy Communion Gift Card Messages

10-first-communion-gift-card-messages

 

First Communion is a major milestone and meaningful moment for both your daughter and your whole family.  It is a wonderful tradition and a lovely milestone of growing into a Godly young woman. It connects your little girl to church and family traditions that have been carried on for generations.  This is such a special time for her and for your entire family.

Of course this is a big moment for her entire family and friends, too.  You should feel proud of this young lady growing up in a tradition of faith.  First Holy Communion is a day you’re going to remember throughout her life.  Whether you celebrate with a party or just a nice family get-together, it’s a special celebration for all.

Sometimes finding the perfect words to write in her First Communion gift card can be daunting.  So here are 10 suggestions that might help you find just the right words for her special day!

First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #1 – Congratulations on your First Communion. May you feel the warmth and comfort of the Lord’s love with you every day.
first-communion-gift-message-2
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #2 – As you celebrate your First Communion today, remember that God’s love will always be there to comfort you, guide you, and bless you.
first-communion-gift-message-3-mini
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #3 – Congratulations on your First Communion. I am so proud of you. You are growing into a graceful, and Godly young lady. Just as you are blessed with God’s love today, I know that our family is blessed by you every day.
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #4During your First Communion today and for every day to come, I pray you feel Heaven’s blessings shining down on you.
         first-communion-gift-message-5-mini
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #5 – As you take part in the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation for the first time today, know that you will carry the Lord’s blessings and love with you forever.
first-communion-gift-message-6-mini
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #6 – Congratulations on your First Communion! I hope you know that you will be filled with both God’s love and your family’s love for all the days to come. You have a special place in this family and in Heaven.
first-communion-gift-message-7
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #7 – I hope that you are full of happiness as you celebrate your First Communion. You have reached a very special milestone and accomplishment, and I am so proud of you.
first-communion-gift-message-8
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #8 – Today, you take one step closer to Jesus. You will be forever connected to his love, peace, and blessings. I hope you feel the joy of this closeness as you celebrate your First Communion today.
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #9 – On this very special day, I hope you can feel the light of the Lord shining down upon you. Happy First Communion!
first-communion-gift-message-10-mini
First Holy Communion Gift Card Message #10 – On your First Communion Day, know that Jesus loves you, and your family and friends do too. We are so proud of you. Happy First Communion!

Check out these beautiful and meaningful keepsake First Holy Communion Gifts for her, too.  So you’ll have both the perfect gift and the perfect gift card message for her celebration!!

First Communion Cross Necklace First Communion Earrings First Communion Necklace Gifts

 

Braver Stronger Smarter Free Printable

printable braver stronger smarter LARGER size

This, my friends, is one of my absolute favorite quotes of all time.  It’s hanging in my studio right now.  I look at it quite often.  It’s a great reminder…no matter what.  I know we all go through times when we fell “less than” or inadequate.  I have struggled with that my entire life.  It has taken me more than 40 times around the sun to come to a peace about my health issues, my body image and this crazy idea that was planted in my head many years ago that somehow I couldn’t accomplish my goals.

Braver

The thoughts in my head are sometimes so harsh.  They are definitely not things I would EVER think of saying to someone else.  But yet, I say them to myself.  Negative self-talk is really a big issue for me, do you struggle with it?  I’ve been trying to change the dialog I have with myself by being mindful of it.  After all, we mamas have a crazy amount of responsibilities on our plates.  We need a bit of self-care now and then!  Do you have any great ideas or tips to remind yourself to be gentle with yourself & quell the negative voices in your head?

Be gentle with yourself today.  Remember that you are Braver than you Believe, Stronger than you Seem & Smarter than you Think!!

stronger printable

You are doing a great job, Mama!  Keep it up.  I see you.  You are not alone ~ we are in this together.  So print this out and post it somewhere you can see it.  Share it with your kiddos & help them to {soar}.  Remember that *YOU* are absolutely {special} and {wonderful} and definitely “more than”. ♥

Smarter free printable

This is an 8″ x 10″ print that prints out right on a regular 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper.  I printed mine on photo paper, but white card stock works well, too.  If you run across any issues, just give me a holler.  Click on the image below to download your free printable.

Braver Stronger Smarter Free Printable

Do you know of a mama that could use a little encouragement.  SHARE this with her!

1 2

%d bloggers like this: