Thursday, September 1, 2016

Donut Themed Birthday Party

It's hard to believe Molly turned 7 on Tuesday.  How is it THAT possible? And yet, memories of her as an infant are so distant. Photos of her as a toddler recall times that are surely long ago.  We celebrated her 7th with a small party at my parent's house last weekend - the guest list included 95% girls, a sign of the times to me.  Mike and I are forever grateful to my parents, Gma and Grandpa, for allowing us to throw parties at their spectacular home and being such gracious hosts.  This year, my 90 year old grandfather, Carter, was visiting from Ohio, and served up  mimosas to our adult guests. Uncle Scott and Aunt Meg were also there to celebrate and very helpful! Lucky us to share the day with great family.

The party was a "donut and pizza" themed pool party.  Here's a look at the highlights, including all my crafts and adorable kids faces. I put together the annual number photo canvas - one of my favorite projects.  Molly just adored the donut set up!

I created gift bags using my Simply Stamps donut stamp (easy plug.... #sorrynotsorry) and my Clearsnap Inks. I created the hats you've seen above. (Tutorial coming on the Simply Stamps blog. Those are a labor of love but they turned out great!)  All of the donut sunglasses, pencils, trays, notebooks, and other swag are from Oriental Trading Company! I always make an audio CD of all of my kids favorite songs as favors. This year, there was lots of Taylor Swift and Kids Bop!  And pictured here is Gma -- such a great co-host!

The "Happy Birthday Molly" donut banner hung here is from Swanky Press - my go to Invitation shop! She provided me with the matching banner and I am so thankful! It looked great.  Little donut floats doubled as other favors and helped pump up the theme!

Mike is a loyal guy sporting his Holmes Stamp and Sign Shirt. I didn't arrange this plug, by the way. He wears this shirt ALL THE TIME.   We turned up Kids Bop and Connor Man and Daddy started the party!

Rule: When having a pool party with a donut and pizza theme, always order donut floats and pizza floats. Am I wrong? 

A trip out to the beach! 

Post-beach Pizza and then homemade party hats and a candle in a donut rounded out the day! Last - a nap with Grandpa.

And there you have it! More is more, right? :) Happy 7th to my beautiful daughter - inside and out. How the time is flying.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Beginnings & Fresh Starts

Today is about a fresh start. 

Since 2009, I wrote very a popular blog followed by many that got thousands upon thousands a views per month.  I hit a half million page views and basically called myself a celebrity.  (Clearly my ego needed a check.)  But for many reasons, it's time to move on from that domain.  This first post of many marks a new and necessary chapter in my life. 

As an art student and through my 34 years of life, I've heard people say: "Less is More." That's utter crap 90% of the time. I adopted the motto, "More is More," because rarely do I encourage a philosophy that limits anything.  More party decorations? Yes. It's more. More friends? Yes. Why not more? More time for reading, relaxing, and watching Bravo TV?  Of course, I want more of that. Want more wine? Yes! Did you really have to ask?  

Face it. More is more. Less is not more.  

Since my last post on the old blog on May 2nd, my life has been a whirlwind of travel, adventure, family milestones. Connor turned 4 years old. Molly is practically a teenager but in actuality, she's almost 7. And my husband has stepped up more than ever.  (He gets that more is more.)  Tomorrow, June 30th, is his 44th birthday.  That's a big deal for Zards. 

But the biggest change has been my career. 

Other than my 2014 hiatus in solid attempt at my own social media marketing business, I've played in the stamp world. I didn't plan that.  I didn't go to the University of Michigan and dream that one day I would devote myself to marketing personalized address stamps. But like many things, it fell into my lap and I became passionate about promoting a brand that I loved. When that business declined, I was let go, and it was time for me to look else where for an income that I could get excited about.  I didn't dream I would end back up in the stamp world. 

But as fate would have it, I have.   Meet Simply Stamps. You can get used to me promoting it.  Simply is the new stamp. 

In late April, I was connected to a company called Holmes Stamp Company and was introduced to the President and CEO of a business that has been in business since 1954. I was drawn specifically to his passion for his business, his desire to grow, and his true empathy for the 60+ people that he employs on a full time basis out of Jacksonville, Florida. He's the most optimistic man I've ever worked for. How refreshing this "we can accomplish anything" attitude is - you might not really know. 

I interviewed for weeks but I ultimately was offered a full-time position!  My fancy title (what's in a title, anyway?!), Vice President of Brand Strategy and Creative, means I have the opportunity of branding of all of their e-commerce brands, among other things. Holmes Stamp Company owns a dozen successful e-commerce stores such as Name Tag Wizard, Custom Signs, Holmes Stamp and Sign, The Trophy Center, All American ID, Simply Stamps, The Logo Nation, Savannah Stamp & Stencil, Fessco, Plaques and Awards, and really the list goes on and on.  They're all experts in this crazy world of SEO (search engine optimization) so I am not allowed to link them all up. You'll have to go Google them so I don't get fired and tank rankings. 

Not since I had the opportunity to work for a mentor and owner of a sales & demo agency out of California have I been such part of an extensive team of talented individuals. There's a rock star team of  I.T., a dedicated marketing team, dozens of customer service reps, and a slew of talented people in production and shipping. I feel like I belong to a group of people that are funny, smart, and driven.  I especially like the management team and exceptionally fond of the CFO, largely in part because I enjoy surrounding myself with wicked smart people. 

Today, the site redesign of Simply Stamps officially switched after the team and I worked for months on the logo, colors, typography & photography.  I hope you will check it out. 

Operation Site Rebrand - The New Simply Stamps look! 

I am also leading a talented group of people in product development.  We launched some new and trendy patriotic mugs, signs, buttons and more in the shop for the 4th of July. This was my first launch of product development since I joined the team and I am excited about what we created and got onto the site.  The coolest part of of my new job? Not just stamps. It's a true evolution of my career.  #thinkbeyondstamps

I am blogging regularly for Simply Stamps and I hope you will join me over there and read it from time to time. 

My plan is to keep this new blog updated with general "Libby O" updates about our family, my work, and anything that stays true to "more is more."  After all these years, I am still trying to make Libby O happen.  What's next?  If you've made it this far in the post, a huge giant thank you for the love and support.  Onward to what's next in this fresh start of life.