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Wayfair Homemakers
Monday
Jan122015

Alexandra Hedin: 12 Bloggers 

We are making things happen today! The final four of the 12 Bloggers of Christmas (an annual tradition on Pars Caeli) didn't make it into the roll. I've saved these last ladies as ones to watch for 2015, and I'm highlighting some of their goals and new adventures for the new year. If you're not already following them, check out their sites for beautiful and inspirational posts.

Ali has been all over the weeknight party girl scene with her television appearances and great videos. She is on a roll, and I can't wait to see what kind of magic she can create for every traditional holiday as well as some new ones I know that she'll create in order to live life to the fullest. I know I'll be cheering her on!

I am revamping the website with a new look, new ideas, new STAFF! It’s very exciting and will be so fun to roll out.



I love making a big batch of punch for parties – and this one is a winner.  You can serve a huge crowd for not a ton of cash, and it’s always so festive to serve anything in a punch bowl.

There are so many!  Melissa, Lulu the Baker, just had a new baby which is so fun at the holidays. Amy Christie, This Heart of Mine, is pregnant with her third child and could use a little extra love. Jenny Batt, Hank and Hunt, is my best blog gal and so freaking creative.  

Monday
Jan122015

Design Life Kids: 12 Bloggers

We are making things happen today! The final four of the 12 Bloggers of Christmas (an annual tradition on Pars Caeli) didn't make it into the roll. I've saved these last ladies as ones to watch for 2015, and I'm highlighting some of their goals and new adventures for the new year. If you're not already following them, check out their sites for beautiful and inspirational posts.

I'm so happy to have this space to appreciate all that Kim of Design Life Kids has accomplished. Earlier this year, the love of her life died, leaving she and her two beautiful daughters. Kim is a strong and creative woman, and I've been so inspired by her passion. I have no doubt that 2014 was an absolute challenge for Kim, but she's persevered and created this fresh new breathing space for her daughters and herself. She's also opened an incredible fashion, accessories, and houseward store by the same name, Design + Life + Kids. Kim's aesthetic is cool, modern, and monochromatic.

DESIGN + LIFE + KIDS has turned into shop DLK, and it's been really fun, crazy and great! It's the perfect distraction for the craziness we've been enduring this year. Next year I'm bringing on a few really beautiful luxury kid brands like Motoreta and Tutu du Monde... that I can't wait to share.

Milkshake Tee. Wall Calendar. Balancing Blocks. XO Blanket

My blogger love goes out to Legal Miss Sunshine, Andrea Ament. She has an impeccable eye for design and travel. Her photos always capture the soft and subtle beauty of anything and everything around her. Her blog and obsession with all things pink is definitely one to follow.

Thanks so much, Kim! I'm ecstatic to see the DLK shop taking off in 2015. If you have a baby, a child, or a hip adult in your life who needs an awesome present, click on over to DLK and become known for your great taste!

xoxo, MJ

Monday
Jan122015

The crafted life: 12 Bloggers

We are making things happen today! The final four of the 12 Bloggers of Christmas (an annual tradition on Pars Caeli) didn't make it into the roll. I've saved these last ladies as ones to watch for 2015, and I'm highlighting some of their goals and new adventures for the new year. If you're not already following them, check out their sites for beautiful and inspirational posts.

I'm super excited to have Rachel of The Crafted Life to start it off! I will meet her in just a few days (for reals) at Alt, and I'm so lucky that she'll be an Alt Rep with me. Rachel has great projects and roundups on her site that inspire you to get a move on and make your space more fabulous.

For the upcoming year, I'd really like to expand my store. Right now, I sell goods on Etsy, but would love to take it a step further and host it myself in connection with my blog. Stay tuned for more!

I loved Rachel's post on her goals for this year! It's a great combo of business and personal, and I'm excited to see how the year unfolds for her. I foresee big, big goodness in her future. Also, make sure you stop over to download her awesome (free!) girlboss printables. Say what? Yes. Go check them out.

Gold-foiled Votives

This was one of those projects that I didn't really think too much about before doing, but that still came out nice (and you have to love that!). I still have them in my home and use them for votives in the fall and winter and flower vases for spring and summer.  

 

Would love to send extra love to Carrie of Dream Green DIY. Her photography is always on point and no matter the subject, her work is consistently beautiful. I seriously can't get enough of her blog!

I ordered these fabulous photo holders from Rachel's shop, and I love how they add a dash of modern to any shelf. Keep your eye on her friends!

xoxo, MJ

Tuesday
Jan062015

Goals for 2015

Hiya friends,

My magical two-week break has come to an end, and I'm delighted to report that it was filled with togetherness, laughter, crafting and creating, rest, and ample movie watching (have you seen the new Annie?). I sunk into my home and blissfully forgot what day it was or what had to be done by when, and I enjoyed my husband and my children and my extended family and good friends. This was just the kind of recharge that I needed after a busy, awesome year on Pars Caeli and elsewhere.

I opened up this space to give myself the freedom to create and the accountability to make projects, big and small, happen and offer others help as much as I could along the way. 2015 marks the third birthday of Pars Caeli, and we hit a few significant growth marks this year:

 

Attended and assisted with a major blog conference: 2014 took me and three of my pals to Salt Lake City, Utah, and to a design conference known as Alt Summit. My role was as an Alt Rep, and I was able to connect with numerous, wonderful creative people and speakers. One of my goals in going to Alt was to begin to monetize Pars Caeli. I have a wonderful full-time job, and I want this space to support that and my family. So ...

Connected with brands and networks that I admire and wanted to partner alongside: I joined Pollinate Media, which enabled me to get my creative juices flowing for specific brands like: Office Depot, Wet Ones and Elmer's Glue, Wet-Nap, and All You magazine. I became a Wayfair Homemaker, and I've guest posted for them as well as hosted a Housewarming Party here. I've worked with the wonderful folks at Minted to show Valentines, business cards, and Christmas greetings that are great art pieces.

(Thanks for bearing with me on this list... it's going to get exciting soon!)

Collaborated with makers I admire and respect: like my ladies of the Endless Summer Projects series and the party for Ali and the NYE Bash. Sheri, Joy, and I cooked up a six-part series for kids in the kitchen entitled Mini Cooks. Created for the Cricut Design Space Star challenge and collaborated with a new and awesome group of artists over a serious of four challenges.

Contributed to sites that have inspired me: I'm so grateful to Jen and Steph for letting me join their teams. With Jen, I've focused on that you can do to create special moments with your children. And our homemade daffodil wreath was one of her top posts from 2014! It warms my heart.

With Steph over on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, I've created a collection of printables for boredom busting, summer reading, organization, and more! I've grown while putting my graphic design muscles out there to help parents and kids alike.

And the biggest one for me:

I started my own business. It's been a super secret goal of mine for a very long time. The title entrepreneur is exhilarating, and I'm owning it! Pars Caeli, LLC, opened officially at the end of October with a giant employee roll of one. I kind of still can't believe it, but I'm so grateful, a wonderful blessing of 2014 for me.

 

All of these check marks have been very good for me as a mother, wife, professional, and human. In 2014, I was able to shush my inner critic, that mean girl who has often kept me from jumping on the trampoline of possibility. I crafted a lot of ideas and put my tenacity to the test. I showed my children that they can be recognized for their creations, their thoughts, and, moreover, they can lead and they can influence. We have conversations now that start something like, "When I grow up, I'm going to start a business that ..." I'm not signing any of them up for business school yet, but I love that their minds are moving in new directions.

Unlike some of my favorite people on the interwebs (whose angst I understand and whose energy will be missed), I'm not tired of social media or of blogs. Indeed, I've grown deeper in love. Friends, we have so much potential for collaboration and sincere learning through these communication tools, and I am here, and invested.

And I thank you for joining in the party.

So, what's up, what's up for 2015?

It's boiling down to my one little word for the year: GOODNESS. I'm working this year first to foster my own goodness. To take care of myself with sleep and nutrition. To see, like really see, the avenues where I can assist others in powerful ways. To find new possibilities for this mouthpiece, Pars Caeli, to echo the goodness all around us. And to remind you and re-remind me when we go wayward that we are richly blessed. I even want to find NEW ways to help you have watershed moments of goodness - through shared story and new knowledge - and times when you see in new ways the incredible power you have to make goodness happen wherever you are.

And what does that mean in a business sense?

1. REIMAGINE THE LOOK OF THIS SPACE: I've made updates to Pars Caeli through the years, but I'd like to pare down to the essentials and bring forth what you really want to see. Simplify and clarify, which means some behind-the-scenes work on my part to get this blog design to the sweet spot of beauty and ease of use.

2. ASK YOU MORE: I'm hiding my eyes on this one, but I've never done a reader survey! I know. I know. I want to know what you think. What keeps you coming back? What should we multiply in 2015 and leave behind for 2014? Keep your eyes open for the happiest, simplest survey you ever did see.

3. COLLABORATE: Blogging would mean so much less to me if I had to do it all alone. I love working with other artists and makers to brainstorm and to learn the process. I want 2015 to include more and on new topics. I want to continue to embrace the right brand partners to bring you bigger and better projects - and even a few giveaways, because, you know you deserve it.

4. CONNECT: Keep it real with you. I tried five posts a week, and I've gone down to one. Three a week is just right for my full-time work and parenting schedule. I want Pars Caeli to add to my life and not detract so let's agree to be all-in three times a week (or for an hour on Saturday or Sunday like so many of you fabulous people do!). I also want to continue to share my life and reflections in ways that are fair to the privacy of my loved ones and to be open and honest with all of you. It's getting trickier as my children get older, but we can do it. Pinky promise.

5.PRODUCE: I have an AMAZING something happening with the good people at The Land of Nod that will be coming your way in the spring. And it's a real live product. EEK! And I have a few other products in the works that I can't wait to share with you. In 2015, I want to add a SHOP menu to Pars Caeli. This is another super secret dream of mine that I've had since I was a preschooler pretending with my stuffed animals (what, you didn't do that?), and this is the year we put it to use.

I'm holding it at five because I get overwhelmed easily. :)

Have you set goals for this year? I'll admit that this is my first time sharing big goals, and it's more than a little scary. I mean, what if they don't really happen? Or if I fail? I'm going to hold on tight, and try to be good to myself if one of these goals leads me in a direction that does not make sense for the rest of my life - family, health, work. And, you know, let's all hug and forgive if we bump and fall along the way.

xoxo, MJ

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Writing down big girl goals did not come so easily to me so I thank these brilliants who helped me in formal and informal ways in the prioritization process.

Inspired by: Kelly of Studio DIY, Amy of Mom Advice and her M Challenge, Brittany's list on The House that Lars Built, Melanie Biehle's word, Kate's tactical list of four, Amy's insight at the beginning of 2015 on This Heart of Mine.

P.S. In case you're still up for more, here are our top 4 posts of 2014:

#1: 6 Fun Water Balloon Games: Endless Summer Projects

#2: The Under $10 Fix to School Paper Clutter and Chaos

#3: Paper Christmas Trees

#4: A Family Objective

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
Dec292014

Housewarming Party for New Year's Eve

Welcome back, friends! I hope you had an awesome Hanukkah or Christmas celebration. My house is still recovering from the messes of presents, big meals, and guests, but I'm a happy camper for all of the good times celebrated! You can catch all of our adventures on Instagram using the hashtag #parscaeli_christmas. The days of Christmas will continue tomorrow with a few more surprises and special moments, but today, I have a New Year's treat for you! I'm teaming up with Wayfair to host a Housewarming Party with some great ideas for your New Year's Eve celebrations! 

Here are my top six picks from our Wayfair bloggers as well as one of my own! Tell me what are your plans for the holiday?

1. RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL from Conni Jespersen. Conni has mixed together some fabulous flavors for the perfect NYE bubbly to enjoy with friends. I think raspberries are the perfect mix!

2. NEW YEAR'S EVEN CLOCK CAKE on 'A Casarella. Elena made these charming cupcakes for one fabulous birthday party/NYE theme. I love that everyone can enjoy a bit of the spirit of counting down to the new year. Or, you could enjoy one for each hour all by yourself!

3. NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY CROWNS on DomestiKated Life. Kate made these fun glitter crowns by cutting out just the right expressions for NYE! Her mix of colors is spot on, and these are easy enough for your guests to even create their own.

4. NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION BRACELETS on Tried and True. Vanessa has crafted something I never imagined in these focus word bracelets. Using the same idea as shrinky dinks, you can make your own bracelets to wear or hang on your mirror to remember and to choose to focus on all of the right things for the new year.

5. NEW YEAR'S EVEN PARTY HORNS on DomestiKated Life. Back again with Kate for some fun party horns. Add your own expression to these horns for a truly unique engagement.

6. DIY ROARING '20s NYE PARTY by Andrea for Cricut Design Space Star. I love the 20's flair that Andrea created in her banner. Aren't metallics perfect for the sparkle of New Year's Eve? Check out all of the accessories she created that would coordinate perfectly for your party.

+1. NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS PRINTABLE by MJ of Pars Caeli

We are busy talking about our favorite moments of 2014 in our home. Every year we make a family sheet of the bests of the ending year. It's a fun way to remember the big and small events that might have been forgotten and record it for year to come. We're also planning for 2015 and thinking about what we want to stop and what we want to start. Sometimes our lives can be just that simple if we take the time to reflect. I created this great printable for Modern Parents Messy Kids that you can print free and use with your family to talk about memories and goals.

A big thank you to all of our fabulous bloggers!! I'm hosting a family NYE party at our house, and I'm grateful for all of these fabulous ideas. What do you have planned for these last days of 2014?

xoxo, MJ