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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Long Distance Friendship

So I'm not entirely comfortable being in front of the camera. And I'm also not a huge fan of the color pink. But here I am, getting my photo taken in some bright pink shades. You know why? Friendship. Are you confused?
Back in April I attended a blog conference in Arizona where I met some fly bitches. Yes, bitches. (We are that tight so I can call them that.) While I was so thankful to have met them, it was like, dang we live literally all over the country so seeing each other will be hard.

The lovely Illy, came up with the idea of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Sunglasses. She wore them over on the east coast. Then passed them on to Leo, who took them all the way to Ireland!

I took them to the west coast, gracing the edge of the Pacific Ocean. So they have now been coast to coast and even international! Their next stop is up north to Seattle to visit Erika. (I actually get to give them to her in person because she is coming to San Diego next weekend and we're going to have a little blogger party!) Be sure to follow them along!
It's pretty crazy to think of my friendship with these girls. It never would've happened if I hadn't started blogging. What a good decision that was, huh? ;]

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Today I turn 28. Yep. Twenty. Eight. Wow. I feel so old, in the blogging world, and in the real world. When I was younger and thought of where I would be at 28, it is not where I am today. But, I'm ok with that.

Sure, sometimes I feel like I'm "behind" as I watch babies, weddings, and engagements flood my Facebook news feed. Sure, I let then "when are you getting married??" remarks get to me sometimes. But when I am really honest with myself, I like where I am in life. I wouldn't change a thing. So back off society. I'll do what I want when I want to. ;]
(My favorite birthday-related photo, my cousin and I on her birthday.
Don't I look happy in my lop-sided over-sized turquoise bow?)

On another note, in honor of my birthday all birthday cards in my shop are 50% off!
Only $2.00 per card with no quantity limit. Stock up now so you don't have to worry about getting a last minute card next time! Enjoy! xo JA

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Upcoming Shows

I am a vendor at three shows this Fall. This is a big deal for me. I have only done two shows in the past three years (yes, fail, I know.) So doing three within ONE month has me nervous.

I jumped into this because I have been wanting to get more involved in the local handmade community. Plus, I figured that since I quit my day job, I'd have more time to brainstorm marketing ideas and stock up inventory. Of course all that justification gets thrown out the window when the time comes to start prepping and I start freaking out.

So, if you are in California you should probably come say hi to me here:
I'm doing my first Queen Bee Market show in Aliso Viejo on Oct. 27th. I have never gone to a QBM show but I have heard great things all over blog land about them. I'm so excited I was accepted as a vendor! Apparently the displays at this show are extra elaborate. While I'm not sure that is my style (I like simple), I'm really looking forward to seeing the creativity in other people's booths.
I will be at the Culver City and Santa Ana Patchwork shows. And, bonus, my friend Gina, of Acute Designs, will be at the Santa Ana show as well! I have been to Patchwork several times, and was a vendor once. It has always been a great experience and I am looking forward to participating again!

Are you in the area? Mark your calendars and come see me!

For those of you have done several shows in a row, how do you prepare? I'm so nervous! :]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Michigan In Instagrams

Well, I feel like this is deja vu because I'm playing catch-up again. Last weekend I didn't get much JAA work time because we shot two weddings. This weekend I didn't get much JAA work time because I spent a 4 day week in Michigan. Totally worth it, but I'm still in my usual freak out mode today.

We got back to our house at 11:30 pm and while Jordan has the ability to stay up till 4am working and then going into work a few hours later, I do not. I am not a vampire. I need my sleep. So I zonked out on the couch soon after getting back home.

So for the next couple days, playing catch up it is! So while I'm tackling e-mails and orders, here's a peek at my stay in Michigan!
 Mom showing off her garden. (And I can't even grow damn tomatoes..)
 Catching up with my bff, Isabella.
 Had to go to a Tigers game! (Even though we jinxed them.)
 Visited my Dad at his loft in Detroit.
Michigan sunsets....no filter.

What did you do this weekend? Do you spend your weekends working or do you set your work aside?

Also just a reminder, there's a great giveaway going on over here. And I still have sponsor spots available for October over here. xo JA

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats

One of my awesome sponsors, Megan, is here to share a recipe with you guys today! This is a different sort of recipe for you to share with your fur babies! I'm definitely going to make some for Penny girl soon.
Hi, JAA readers! Today I want to share a recipe for homemade peanut butter dog treats with you. I make these all the time for my two pups, Roscoe and Pepper, and they also make a great gift for any dog lover. Best of all, they are super easy and fun to bake.


These treats require very few ingredients. The most important are the oat and brown rice flours -- do not substitute wheat flour, as many dogs are sensitive or even allergic to the gluten in wheat. 

This recipe makes at least 40 treats:

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup peanut butter (all natural, without much added sugar and salt, is best)
2 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cup water


1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, eggs, and peanut butter. Add a 1/2 cup of water and combine. If the dough is too dry, add more water. If it is too wet, add a little extra flour. You want dough that is basically the same consistency as sugar cookie dough. Around this point my dogs usually head into the kitchen to help me clean up the floor :)

roscoe and pepper

2) With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes, or you can skip this and just roll the dough into small circles. I end up doing this anyway for a couple dozen treats, since my dog Roscoe is only 17 pounds and needs small ones.


3) Arrange the treats on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil, but they don't usually stick). You can really crowd them on there because they don't spread when baking.


4) Bake 18-20 minutes, remove from oven, and allow to cool. Then treat your dogs to a peanut buttery snack! For crunchy treats, leave them in the oven another minute or two. For softer treats, remove a little early.

The best thing about these treats is that they are all natural, so you know exactly what you're feeding your dogs, unlike many boxed, store-bought treats. In fact, you can even eat these yourself if you want -- I have! They just taste like bland peanut butter cookies, since dog tastebuds don't scream for salt and sugar like ours do :)

Hope you've enjoyed this recipe! I'll be sharing more dog treat recipes soon on my blog. If you really want to pamper your pet, stop by my Etsy shop and pick out a knit bow tie or blossom collar for your pooch! Thanks for reading :)


Thanks Megan! I know Penny girl is going to loooove these. :]

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win a custom designed large embroidery hoop here!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight + Giveaway: Beautiful Blendings

I'm so happy to feature my friend, Tara, today! She has been so supportive of JAA and I am so thankful! Please be sure to show her some love!
well hi there. 
I'm Tara. 

Writer, beer wench (by night), handmade loveliness biz owner (by every minute of every day), vino lover, and crazy Grey's Anatomy fan. What? It's totally normal to own EVERY season right? In my world it totally is. 

I am not married (yet). But I am whole-heartedly, head over heels (or incredibly amazing boots) in love with a man who works really hard at a job he's passionate about and makes me coffee every morning.  We're still figuring each other out. And we love it.
As a recent transplant to the LA area; I'm still adjusting to the constant sunshine, ridiculous traffic and beautiful ocean. That ocean that I've only had time to visit twice in the year I've been here. Oops.

I'm no expert on anything. But I try new things, and I'd love to share crafts, recipes, stories, opinions and fashion thoughts with y'all. Want to get to know me? Hell yes! Welcome new friend!

Today Tara is offering one lucky reader a large custom designed embroidery hoop! ($35 value) Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

The winner will be chosen in one week and notified by e-mail. Good luck! xo JA

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Michigan Bound

I'm going to Michigan today and I don't think I have been this excited to go home ever. I haven't been back in over a year, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. But more-so, there's a lot of fun plans in store.

I get to meet my cousin Kristen's newborn, Ella. Being an only child, Kristen was the closest thing that I had to a sister growing up. In fact, sometimes we even called each other that. The fact that she has a daughter now blows my mind and I cannot wait to meet her!

I also am looking forward to seeing my Grandpa. I mentioned him last year in my "What I'm Thankful For" Thanksgiving post, so some of you may remember that he has Supranuclear Palsy. I called him on his birthday (which happened to be the day his first grand-daughter, baby Ella, was born!) and it was so hard. His speech has gotten so much slower since I've last seen him and I know it's possible that the next time I see him he will not be able to talk at all. I'm really learning to appreciate the time I get to spend with him.

And then we have the main reason for this trip. A wedding! Yes, another wedding. My fourth one in three weeks! My good friend is getting married on Saturday. Jordan and I are going as guests but I know a part of me is going to be tempted to shoot some video. I'm going to bring my camera just in case. ;]

You can follow along with all the fun over on Instagram (username: julieannart). Keep an eye out for a fun giveaway tomorrow! And I'll be back Tuesday. xo JA

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lets Work Together In October

Hi friends! I cannot believe September is half way over! I need to get started on my Halloween costume (although I don't know if I can beat this one). It's also time to open up the floor for October advertising! 
If you're looking to advertise your blog or shop in the month of October, let's work together! Views are on the rise over here at JAA. In the last month, we had 75,000+ unique visitors, averaging 4,000+ pageviews per day. Ad spots start as low as $15 for the month.

And don't forget, past sponsors get a 20% discount! Just e-mail me for the coupon code!

I know October is going to be a great month! I get to visit my blogging homie in San Diego. And I'm also a vendor at the Queen Bee Market at the end of the month! Plus, I'm looking forward to the usual Halloween and fall traditions that come with this time of year! I'm so excited! :]

If you're interested in advertising on JAA in the month of October, you can find more information here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Playing Catching Up

This week I feel like I'm playing catch up a bit. I find it kind of funny considering I was *hoping* to stay more on top of things after quitting my job. Yeah, no. That was the case for about a week. Then I spent my weekend shooting two weddings with Etch Films and lost track of orders and blog post preparations.

It's also sort of awesome though....to be self-employed and still be busy. I really like having the opportunity to see how many areas I can use my skills. This wedding videographer thing really sort of fell into my lap and turns out, I'm alright at it. And more so, enjoying it. I mean, how can you not enjoy going to weddings all the time? (Rhetorical question, I'm sure there are people who hate weddings....ya crazies.)
(Do you recognize my nail polish cabinet from this DIY tutorial post?)
So while Saturday and Sunday were spent shooting weddings, Monday I went to work on JAA. I knocked out two wholesale orders that I knew I needed to get out before going home to Michigan on Thursday (eek!). I've also been trying to get my new blog design up but that keeps taking a back burner to my Etsy shop responsibilities. 
And here's little Penny mama. Just because you know, she's frickin' cute alright?

What about you? Playing catch up? On top of it? xo JA

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Bama + Ry Jewelry

Meet Jasmine! She is the face behind Bama + Ry, her business of awesome jewelry all stamped by hand! 
"My name is Jasmine, nickname bama, and I live with my husband Ryan ("ry") in Portland, Oregon. I have been making jewelry on and off since 2002, though I’ve worked professionally in writing and marketing for about 12 years. I am drawn to hand stamped jewelry because of its highly personal nature. Each letter is done by hand, so it isn't a perfect art, but when you string the letters together, they form something quite meaningful and personal.
 Whether it’s a custom family necklace or just a sweet saying I picked up along my own path, I believe words are incredibly powerful. A beautiful or bittersweet phrase is a work of art in and of itself. Words can empower you, move you, inspire you, and remind you. I try to showcase that with my jewelry. In many ways, this shop was born the moment I miscarried our twins this past February. I've always dreamt of two things: creating for a living and becoming a mama. I've learned, though, that there are things you can control and things you cannot. So, with this shop, bama + ry, I'm putting my energy into something that I can control. And, for the rest, I will put my wishes out to the universe and just let.it.go. "
Shop // Twitter // Facebook // Blog

I love hand-stamped necklaces! They are so simple yet versatile, and the perfect personalized Christmas gift! If you know someone who would love a piece of hand-stamped jewelry (or maybe you want one for yourself!!), Jasmine is offering JAA readers 20% off with the coupon code JULIE20! Check out her shop!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hot Chocolate Dessert Drink Recipe

Since the weather is starting to cool off and most of us have Fall fever, I have a scrumptious hot chocolate recipe for you today!
What you'll need:

1/2 c chocolate chips
1 c milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp instant coffee granules
Add a 1/2 cup of the milk and chocolate chips to a sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the chocolates are melted. Add cinnamon and coffee granules and continue to stir for a few minutes until they are dissolved.
Pour the chocolatey liquid through a strainer into a mug.  Then add the rest of the milk on top. I foamed my milk using this technique. I also sprinkled some cinnamon

This is a pretty chocolately drink so if you want to tone it down feel free to add more milk. But in general, this was the most flavorful hot chocolate I have ever had! Nomnom!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Postal Pix Giveaway

I'm so excited to pair up with PostalPix to bring you a special giveaway today! I am so into Instagram these days, always sharing, liking, and viewing photos. But so often those photos end up trapped on my phone. PostalPix is an app that lets me order prints of my Instagram photos straight from my iPhone! Super convenient! 
I ordered their most popular product, the 4x4 print. It's been really fun to come up with ways to use them. Lately I have become a list-making freak (what I need to do for the day, what I want to do for the day, what I actually did for the day...) and I've started adding my PostalPix prints to them with washi tape for fun!
They also offer your photos printed on aluminum. I thought this was cool so I had to order one of those too! It's really nice to have a sturdy photograph that doesn't curl at the edges or get ruined by water. Plus, it doesn't even need a frame, it's so easy to just prop up!

Today PostalPix is offering one lucky JAA reader $25 credit towards printing Instagram photos! Use the widget below to enter!

A winner will be chosen with Rafflecopter in one week and the winner will be contacted via e-mail. Good luck! :] xo JA

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tooth + Tooth Fairy Costume DIY Tutorial

I've gotten lots of requests for this tutorial! We did the best we could to demonstrate how this tooth costume was made while actually not having it anymore. (Dare I say, it was too big, Penny wanted to make it her bed, and we threw it out?)


2 regular pillows
2 long pillows
1 white sheet
1 big needle
thick white thread

1.) Sew the edges of the pillows together, alternating between long pillows and regular pillows to create a "cube shape."
2.) Cut up the bottoms of the long pillows and shape the corners to form the roots, then sew edges.
3.) Cut armholes towards the top of the pillow (you may want to step into the cube to get correct placement), then sew edges.

4.) Cut a hole in the middle of the white sheet (that your head will fit through).
5.) Put the tooth on. Put your head through the hole in the white sheet and let the rest of the sheet fall over the tooth. Adjust for comfort and look. Have a friend pin the sheet into place all around the tooth. You will have to cut excess sheet away and tuck it under the edges and pin to get a finished look.
6.) Carefully take it off and sew the sheet in place very securely, then remove pins.

The crown is optional. While Jordan was going for a tooth that had a crown, this did throw off quite a few drunk guys at the bar. "Hey! The Tooth King! Cooool!" Yeah no.
All illustrations c/o Jordan. :]

Good luck! E-mail me if you have any questions. And don't forget to check out our other costume tutorial: Pacman and Ms. Pacman!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Bake All The Things

Are you ready for your mouth to water? When Gena from Bake All The Things sent me over her photos for this post, I immediately got hungry. Her baked goods look soooo yummy!
 You want yummy goodness from the bakery? I'm your girl!

After five years in the non-profit fundraising and event-planning world, I'm excited for a career shift. I never imagined I'd be my own boss, or own a business, but I'm having terrific fun tackling the learning curve! Baking ooey, gooey, delicious treats has always been an enjoyment, and I'm thrilled to put my creativity to work! When I started baking, I quickly realized my specialty: indulgent, decadent treats. Often this includes recipes with hard-to-find or extravagant ingredients - I'm pleased to offer these small-batch goodies for your enjoyment!
Unicorn Poop cookies? I'm dying. Love it!
If your mouth is watering like mine, you're in luck! Gena is offering 15% off to JAA readers with the coupon code JULIEANNART15. Check out her shop to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Show Gena some link love!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


My lovely sponsor, Carina, of Lovely Little Whimsy sent me this pretty copper heart necklace. I hand-picked it from her shop because I loved the simplicity of the design. As I browsed her shop I learned that there was a special purpose behind it. Adoption.
Carina has always enjoyed being artsy. She decided to start her Etsy shop to help with the adoption process. All of the proceeds from her sales will go directly into her and her husband's adoption fund.

Carina is offering 20% off to JAA readers with the coupon code JAALOVE!

So be sure to check out Carina's shop! She has a wide variety of jewelry, including cute neon button earrings, and pretty teardrop pendants. Help Carina change a life!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My 1st Day Being Self-Employed

My first day being self-employed was weird! There was no....flow. I was resorting to my To-Do Lists the entire day (which I guess is a good thing) because there was this sense of not knowing what to do. Like, ok what needs to get done next? It is definitely going to take me some time to get used to this!
I woke up (before Jordan may I add) and immediately got dressed. I read this great post from The Tiny Twig with tips on working from home. A key factor was actually getting yourself ready for the day (out of your pajamas). I knew I had errands to do anyways so I made myself look presentable. (Although I should mention that today I am currently sitting here typing in pajamas.)
The majority of my day was spent doing things for my business that I had been putting off for too long. Ex: business bank account, seller's permit, insurance. None of which were exciting to take care of (especially sitting at the DMV for 2.5 hours) but the excitement came in on what it MEANT to be doing these things. JAA is getting serious!
On top of Etsy shop orders, I also got one wholesale order and one wholesale inquiry yesterday. And while I have always had a sense of happiness with every sale I receive, there was another emotion that set in when those big orders came through. Relief.
Overall, it was a good day one, and I ended it looking forward to day two. :] xo JA

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Easy Sliders Recipe

I made these sliders for the Fourth of July and made them again for Labor Day. They are a great go-to appetizer because they are easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. I'm really glad I found this recipe because I have never made burgers this way before. The meat has a creamier texture than a normal burger and a different distinct flavor.
What you'll need:

2 lb ground beef
1/2 c mayonaise
1 packet onion soup mix
2 c shredded cheese
24 mini buns
sliced pickles (optional)
grilled onions (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beef and onion packet in skillet over medium-high heat and cook till brown. Drain excess grease. Stir in mayo and cheese.

Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay out bottoms of the buns and add meat mixture on top. Add pickles or grilled onion if you want. Replace bun tops. 
Cover with another sheet of foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Add some ketchup and you're good to go. Prepare to get messy! ;]

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win the Lace Knit Mason Jar Centerpieces Giveaway!

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