Ask B: Family Stationery

Dear B, 

I want to order custom stationary for my family. What wording do you recommend? “The ____ Family”? Or “The ___’s”….etc.? And do you think it’s necessary to have family stationery, as well as personalized stationery for each family member?

Sincerely, 

S


Dear S,

I’m a huge proponent of family stationery, as its uses are endless – thank you notes, well wishes to family and friends, a note to your neighbor, etc. Plus any excuse to commission beautiful custom paper goods, right? In terms of wording, I prefer, “The ___ Family”, however it is really up to you. As for the look, choose colors and a design that reflect your personal style, be it modern or traditional, bright or subtle.

As for personalized stationery for each family member, I think this is an excellent idea. That way, each family member can write their own thank you notes or letters. Plus, it gives the kids a chance to have fun picking out their stationery! You might have a local stationery store to use, but if not, there are fabulous online options available, such as Love Lucy, Ellis Hill, and Minted. I love this company for children’s stationery too, as they have precious designs to showcase each child’s interests.

Quick Tips
Etiquette

No. 1

“WHEN ATTENDING A WEDDING, IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO BE OVERDRESSED.”

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette

Biscuits and New Beginnings

 

While washing the breakfast dishes the other morning, I noticed the most beautiful white flowers blooming on the trees outside of our kitchen window. Such a tiny yet cheerful greeting from Mother Nature! It reminded me that the cooler temperatures and gray skies of Winter have been replaced with warm sunny afternoons of Spring, and how this year in particular I am so thankful for a new season.

At the beginning of this year I was diagnosed with food allergies to eggs and dairy, and it has certainly been a learning curve trying to navigate this new normal. We eat healthy as it is and I ate little dairy to begin with, however our family has had to look at food – especially baking – with a more creative lens. Believe it or not readers, from almond milk and coconut oil to vegan butter, there are so many fabulous non-dairy alternatives – how fortunate we are to live during a time when we have access to such things! Instead of viewing this as a negative (and believe me, there have been some challenging days), I’ve strived to view this as an opportunity to eat clean and learn about an entirely new way of cooking. And guess what? I’m feeling better than ever and eating healthier than ever!

Cooking as you know has always been a cornerstone to my life, as some of my earliest memories take me back to the kitchen’s of my childhood – cooking with my mom, grandmother and godmother. Now as an I adult I love to cook for my family, and my boys love to cook with me which is so fun. They have been such troopers about trying new recipes, like blueberry muffins made with coconut yogurt and our new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe made with vegan chocolate chips. Most recently we made biscuits to enjoy along provencal vegetable soup, and what a treat they were! Flaky and buttery as only a biscuit can be, we topped each with a pat of butter (vegan of course!) and drizzle of golden honey and it was pure heaven. The recipe is from the Sweet Laurel Bakery cookbook, which is filled with the most fabulous dairy-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free recipes, it’s my absolutely favorite. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have, and here’s to clean and healthy eating!

Biscuits

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons coconut butter, cubed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
3/4 cup coconut yogurt, store-bought or homemade
1 large egg, beaten (we omitted the egg due to my allergy)

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the coconut butter and coconut oil in a small bowl and chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the chilled coconut butter and coconut oil and cut in using a pastry blender, until a meal forms. It will look like wet sand, and the fats should be pea-sized. Stir in the coconut yogurt. Loosely form the dough into a ball and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Cover the dough with a second sheet of parchment paper and press into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough over itself in three sections, like you would a letter. Again pat down the dough until it’s 3/4-inch thick, and repeat this entire process two more times. This creates the fluffy layers that will puff and add lift as the biscuits bake. Press out the folded dough so it’s 1-inch thick, and cut out biscuits with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each biscuit with the beaten egg. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until puffed up and golden. Allow to cool or serve warm.

 

Advice
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

No. 2

“IT’S ALL ABOUT THE THOUGHTFUL DETAILS WHEN ENTERTAINING, SO CONSIDER LITTLE EXTRAS SUCH AS CUSTOM NAPKINS OR UNIQUE PARTY FAVORS.”

MORE SOCIAL ETIQUETTE TIPS

Interview with Lucy Murchison of Love Lucy

Several years ago we received the most darling children’s birthday invitation in the mail. Delighted by the beautiful hand painted “under the sea” design, I immediately knew this was more than an invitation, it was a little work of art. I flipped over the card to find, “Love Lucy” playfully scribed on the back, and a quick Google search later, I stumbled upon Lucy Murchison’s pastel paradise, Love Lucy. A treasure trove of stunning paper goods, Lucy creates custom party invitations, holiday cards, thank you notes and gift tags for any occasion. She even designed custom train, car, and sailboat prints for my son’s bedroom! And keeping it in the family, Lucy’s sister Claire works alongside her to make this incredible business possible. These two shine as a dynamic duo!

A true inspiration, Lucy’s talent, work ethic, authenticity, and southern charm make her one of a kind and the reason she’s amassed a devoted following. I’m thrilled to share an interview with this Dallas based small-business owner and mom, and know you will Love Lucy as much as I do!


Why did you create Love Lucy?

A friend encouraged me to start it. I was creating invitations for my own children and their friends. It was a matter of taking the next step. My baby was 6 months old and had just started sleeping through the night. It was probably the worst time possible to start a business, but when is a good time, really?

You design the most beautiful and classic invitations, gift tags, stationery, etc. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Thank you! I’m inspired by everything! Nature, architecture, book covers, interior design, museums, classic children’s clothing, hand embroidery,  and textiles.

I’ve seen on social media that you love DIY, including creating precious decor for your children’s birthday parties and their halloween costumes. Have you always had a passion for DIY?

I’ve always loved a project. When I was younger, my mom said I was going to be the next Martha Stewart. That was her way of telling me to shoot for the moon! We had art supplies at our disposal and spent quite a bit of time in the craft store. There was always a project to work on. I created matching bows for my high school golf team when we had tournaments, spent a bit too much time on class project poster boards and was always up for a mixer requiring a costume.

Juggling work and family can be challenging! How do you do it and what tips do you have for other moms who own their own business/work?

It is definitely a juggling act, one that I regularly have to step back and reassess. To start, I set aside times for me to solely focus on work. That time was non negotiable. It wasn’t going to have meetings or lunch dates. It was phone away, no distractions, only work time. More specifically, I work for 9 hours on Friday while our nanny is with the boys. When she arrives at 8am, I shift from mom mode to work mode. It is amazing what can be accomplished. I start by doing my most demanding work – custom designs, and as the day goes on, shift to the easier things such as sending proofs for invitations and packaging. It is an intense window of time but is hands down my most productive day of work.

What is your favorite design you’ve ever created? Why?

Oh my. This is a hard one. I have favorites but not A favorite. There is so much to it than just the design. We’ve been blessed with incredible customers who have amazing ideas. It’s not just an invitation. It’s a relationship and memories. There is nothing sweeter than helping a child’s vision come to life. A few recent favorites include dinos and cactus, girly Masters, tropical flamingoes and Dragons Love Tacos.

You just finished renovating your house – how exciting! How has your background in design influenced the design of your new house? What style is it?

When I was growing up, my parents flipped houses. I watched my mom pour love into all of the details and developed an appreciation for older homes. We purchased our 1920’s home over a year ago, and it is safe to say that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The process has been fun but also stressful. Who knew there were so many grout colors anyway? I have to remind myself that I’m not building a showroom and that it won’t be the cover of House Beautiful. It will, however, be a place where my children feel at home, a place where friends are welcome and where we can eat good food, create, laugh and make memories. It’s not our eternal home and won’t be perfect, but that’s okay with me! Love is being poured into the walls right now, and once we move in, love will fill each of the rooms. For that, I am thankful!

What does the Love Lucy HQ at your new house look like?

Love Lucy HQ! Every time I walk into the office, it feels like a dream. Although it isn’t the biggest room in the house, hands down, it’s the room with the best light and view. As far as design, its simple but feminine. Blush pink, clean white surfaces, a home for shipping boxes for every size.

What’s next for Love Lucy? Any fun new products or designs that you’re working on?

Life has been busier than usual recently, so I have to take it one day at a time.  We hope to expand our offerings and will make it easier for our customers to party plan by creating a one stop shop. We will continue to design custom invitations as that is what keeps us on our toes and pushes us to think outside of the box. We love what we do!