My favorite sources for color inspiration…

 

my favorite sources for color inspiration

We use color inspiration everyday.

Maybe you went to put an outfit together at the store, and you were drawn to a certain color combination. Or you decided to buy a piece of jewelry to go with a dress you had it home, and you already knew it would look good because you had seen that color combo in a magazine. Color inspiration plays a big role in not only our wardrobe choices, but in decor, art, and the list goes on. I have found that a little inspiration goes a long way in helping me to brainstorm for new products that I design for my shop, or even what photo props I should use when shooting pictures of those products.

Today I’m going to be sharing a few of my favorite resources that help to feed my obsession for colorful everything!

 

Design Seeds

WARNING: This site is highly addictive!

Jessica Colaluca has curated some of the most beautiful photographs and turned them into amazing color swatches. I believe most of the photos are entered via Instagram hashtag #seedscolor, where she selects some of her favorites and turns them into a useful swatch. I could spend forever browsing her collections!

Color Collective

While Lauren’s site is similar in concept to Design Seeds, her overall style is very different. Showcasing everything from geometric scarves to bold patterns, her flair is a bit more modern. I love the simplicity of her taste, and how many of her photos are related to either fashion or art.

Charming Charlie

Charming Charlie is one of the most mesmerizing accessory shops I have ever been in. Something about aisle after aisle of color organized fashion is very appealing. While each aisle is sorted by the main color of the product, without fail, there is a little pop of a complementing color in that same area. I generally try to look over a couple of products in each aisle and study what two or three colors they paired together. I then think about why those colors work so well together. You would be amazed how that information will suddenly come handy the next time you go shopping!

So that is the method to my madness… I hope you have fun with your next color venture!

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!

New planner accessories!!

 

The planner accessories are finally here!!

I wasn’t quite sure how to put today’s Periscope into words (LOL) so I decided to just show you the new planner accessories that launched today instead.

white cherry blossom planner accessories

Out of all four designs, I think this cherry blossom is my absolute favorite. Then again, I have this thing for flowers so it’s probably no surprise.

red pineapple planner accessories

My favorite part about all of these? Aside from the shimmery glitter, I’m in love with all of the color options. Something about color + glitter just makes me one happy camper. =)

blue unicorn planner clips bookmark

And unicorns… I mean seriously. My planner seriously needed glittery unicorns.

glitter heart planner clip accessory

Weather you are a beginner or a novice planner girl, planner clips are such a big help when it comes to staying on top of your day. I like to use one to mark my weekly planner while using the second one to mark the monthly calendar. It saves me so much time, since I don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to find my spot. Hope you enjoy!

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!

Our family’s restaurant tradition…

our family's restaurant tradition

This tradition changed my family’s attitude at the restaurant…

Several years back, my family and I went out to eat for some family time. We don’t go out to eat at a ‘sit down’ restaurant very often, so this was kind of a big deal for us. Our waiter was amazing, and the food was brought out to us quickly. It was just as good as we had remembered, and we were really enjoying ourselves. We were sitting there deep in conversation when we heard the people at the table in front of us grumbling about the food, service, and the establishment’s existence in general. The crazy thing was, they had the exact same waiter that we did.

Once they got done complaining and left, we started thinking and talking about a sermon that our pastor had just given about being thankful. We’ve never been the people who call the manager over to complain over little things, but we had also never taken the time to go out of our way to thank someone who had been waiting on us. Both of us have had restaurant and retail experience, and both of us know how difficult some customers can be no matter how hard you try. We decided to make it a habit, from that point forward, to ask for the manager when we were given excellent service.

By the time the manager had gotten to our table, you could tell that he was really nervous. (I guess I would be too, after dealing with the table in front of us.) He asked what he could do for us, and for the next five minutes, Scott bragged on the waiter, the food, and the whole experience. The poor man was shocked and was quiet for a few minutes, and I’ll never forget what he said. With a smile on his face he said, “Thank you for taking the time to tell us what we were doing well. It’s not very often that someone goes out of their way to be so kind.”

It’s so much easier for us to critique everything that is going on around us, than it is to find things to be grateful for. We complain about how long it took for us to get our refills, we complain about not getting a parking spot closer to the entrance, and really anything else we can think of. When we take the time to purposely find things to be grateful for, it changes our entire perspective. Now, when we go out to eat, we can hardly wait to call the manager over and brag on our server. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when we have had poor service, and did not call the manager over. However, as a whole, making it a priority to purposely be grateful, has changed our attitude, and  we’ve gotten to see a lot smiling servers and managers in the process. =)

 

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!

Mason jar valentine + free printable

mason_jar_valentine_craft

Mason Jar Valentine +Free Printable

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we have been busy making little cards for Sean’s preschool classmates and teachers. I had this idea to make gifts for his teachers, and decided to just turn it into a printable so you could enjoy it too!

You’re going to need:

coloring_printable

Each printable is enough to decorate 4 jars! You can either color the sheet, or print it out on some scrapbooking paper if you want to skip this step. Cut each piece along the dotted lines and you are ready to get started!

mason_jar_gifts

Wrap the paper band around the mason jar and tape it in place. I tried using an ‘off brand’ 16 oz jar, and for some reason it did not fit. The good ol’ mason jar worked perfectly.

candy_hearts

Tape or glue the heart in place to cover the band seam. Fill it with your candy or chocolate and it’s all done! I used the colorful conversation kisses. I think that all the colors make it so pretty! Now that I’m thinking about it, I bet it would be really fun to put a homemade cookie mix in it! It makes a really cute teacher gift when the kids decorate it with their stamps, stickers, and crayons. You could even use it as a vase to put flowers in.

tokyo_blossom_boutique

This doesn’t just have to be a ‘gift jar’. Use it as a cute date night jar, blessing jar, or an adorable coin bank. Get creative and show me what you came up with by tagging me @TokyoBlossom on Instagram or Twitter!

Click the heart to get your free printable!

free_printable_tokyo_blossom_boutique

 

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure page.

Making Yourself a Priority to Serve

Making_yourself_a_priority_to_serve

Making Yourself a Priority to Serve

For those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you guys know that my sister, Joy, came to hang out with us, not too long ago. We did everything from play with makeup to having a much needed girl’s night. But outside of laughing till we cried and acting crazy like we normally do when we’re together, I learned somethings really important about myself. We were talking about church, work, etc. when all of a sudden she looked at me and asked, “Julie, what do YOU want to do?” The last several years have been full of learning experiences that have stretched us. It’s matured me, made me more practical, and taught me some really important lessons, but in the process I lost something…

I had spent the last several years pouring my heart and soul into my family and business, but I had quit making it a priority to invest in myself, outside of the basic necessities, like my devotions and physical health. It was a scary moment for me, because right then, something clicked. I thought I was being practical, unselfish, and hardworking… but in reality, I was tired, burnt out, and disappointed by the lack of little dreams that brought sparkle to my life. Was it possible that I could spend my entire life not making myself a priority at all, in the name of ‘serving others’? Was it possible that I would look back and regret what I didn’t do, because I thought I was doing a good thing?

I think it’s VERY important to pour out to others, unselfishly serve, and do our very best to bring honor to the Lord. But if I denied my family things like opportunities to cultivate their dreams, moments of relaxation, and fun times with friends, they would probably think I was heartless, yet here I was doing that to myself. It was a huge reality check for me, and here is what I’m doing to fix it:

1. Be honest with yourself.

The biggest lie we ever tell is often to ourselves. ‘You don’t deserve happiness’, ‘you’re being overindulgent’, ‘other people will think you are lazy if your take time for yourself’, are all lies that can fill my mind if I let them. Just stop! Talk to yourself like you would talk to a loved one. Being honest and direct, with a heart of compassion is far more productive than the ugly lies will ever be.

2. Realize that you have to fill up first.

It’s very tempting as a mom to dive into my day, head first, before investing in myself. My kid is hungry, we woke up late, I have to be somewhere early… All of those things are legitimate reasons to go into overdrive, but without filling up our soul with the proper care, we won’t have much to offer. I start my day out with my quiet time with the Lord, and I exercise most days, but I am trying to add one more thing just for the pure fun of it. That may be reading a chapter in my favorite book, or it could be watching a funny video clip that makes me laugh. Whatever it may be, I want it to be something that helps me to start my day off on a fun note.

When you fly on a commercial airline, the flight attendant will instruct you to place the oxygen mask on your own face BEFORE you help anyone else. There’s a reason for that. If you are oxygen deprived, then you won’t be able to help anyone else efficiently. It’s the same way in life. We can’t expect to be able to help others, if we are constantly running on empty.

3. Schedule yourself in.

Go on, do it! You’re not being selfish when you make time for yourself. This is going to sound silly, but I used to try to avoid taking a nap as much as possible. I would think, “What a waist of time!” until my body was so desperate for rest that I would fall asleep sitting up. I started blocking out time on the weekends to take an afternoon nap and it’s made a huge difference. I put lavender oil in my oil diffuser, put on some relaxing music, and allow myself to get some quality rest. My family is much happier when I take the time to rest! By the way, I use the Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy – 100 ml Premium Aroma Cool Mist Humidifier with changing Colored LED Lights, Waterless Auto Shut-off and Adjustable Mist mode to help me relax and I absolutely LOVE it!

4. Remove negativity.

Sometimes we are in situations that can’t be changed right away. Maybe you are facing tough financial times, and while you are working towards paying it down, you’re still dealing with the stress. We can’t always remove all negativity from our life, but we can all remove something. Start with what you can do!  Maybe it can be something as simple as seeing your current situation with new eyes and choosing to be more grateful for it, or something as difficult as letting go of unhealthy relationships.

5. Find accountability.

If you have struggled in the past to make yourself a priority, be sure to set people around you that will keep you on track. Wether your tell a friend or close family member, make sure it’s someone with your best interest in mind and genuinely loves you. Chances are, if it’s someone who is near and dear to you, they’ll already be aware of your struggle and will want to be there for you. When I talked to my husband, he was already well aware of what was going on. It was so nice to be able to tell him everything and then ask for suggestions on how I could make these new changes a reality. He had some very helpful ideas that I know he will bring it up if I start to drift off track.

stand_up_and_sparkle_free_printable

You can also get my free “Stand Up and Sparkle’ check sheet, to keep you on track, when you sign up for our email club!

 

 

Did you miss today’s Periscope show episode of Stand Up and Sparkle? You can watch the replay here!

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure page.

The encouraging letter box.

The_encouraging_letter_box_tokyoblossom

Do you ever forget to keep in touch with people that you may not see on a regular basis? Solution = the letter box!

I’m going to show you a little letter box trick that has helped me to write my loved ones more often. I’m seriously introverted, so above calling or texting, I love letter writing via the old fashioned, snail mail way. Plus, it really gives me an excuse to buy pretty stationary!

When you set up your letter box keep in mind that this is the system that has worked best for me, but you can get creative with the concept, to make it work for you! I started off with a pretty box that would hold the notecards I have on hand. I think this was actually a box that I got on clearance at the craft store. It ended up being perfect! Whatever box you use, make sure it’s something you really love. I don’t care if it’s new or repurposed, but it needs to be something that you really enjoy using. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are going to want to use it!

letter_writing_stationary_tokyo_blossom_boutique

I put everything I would need to write an encouraging note into the letter box. Pre-stamp, and label your envelopes. By making it easy to just ‘grab and go’, you’re making it easier to form a habit! I have a list of loved ones that I write on rotation. Postage can get a little pricey, so I send out the letters on designated days, and then text people on the other days. You can change up how you plan it, but I’ve found that having set ‘mail days’ helps me to actually do it.

A little card might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes it’s those little cards that give us just the encouragement we need for the day!

Hey! I hope you enjoyed today’s Periscope! If you didn’t catch it live, you can always see it again here.