these jeans.

It's funny what a good pair of jeans can do for you...

After I had Leighton, none of my 'designer' jeans fit me. I kissed those 7's and a great pair of Banana Republic jeans adieu in hopes that when I eventually lost the baby weight I'd get me some new sassy jeans. So...I did lose that weight and went shopping for jeans after Christmas - eventually buying (2) different pairs of Joe's Jeans. I've never owned a pair before, but they were so soft and they fit so good and I'll tell you what...they look about 180x better than those Gap Jeans I have been sporting the last couple of months (no offense, Gap - I still like you - just not for jeans).

I say if you are going to splurge on something - make sure it's on your jeans. Tops, schmops - you can buy those anywhere, but jeans can do wonders for your bottom half and like I tell my husband, can you (or should you) really put a price tag on that?  ;)


long drive.

Today I went on a road trip for work. It was 3.5 hours each way alone in a car with a co-worker. I was up at 6:00 a.m.and home by 8:30 p.m.

And that is all I am gonna say about that :)


between me & you.

I ADORE these Between Me & You Journals. It's a gift you give yourself :) What a great way to keep memories alive forever! I want to get one for my Mom and I hope some day my sweet Leighton will want me to get me one. I am sure it will be one of the 'reads' that'll make you cry, if you are the sentimental type like I am. You could even be crafty and make one of these journals yourself, if you wanted to make it even that more special ♥


showing some love for your state.

Proud to be a Michigander? I know I am. So...I am showing some love for my state by sending out these note cards. I think they are pretty cute! Soon to be listed on my etsy site. Please note that other states are available. You can choose your favorite state/heart colors and fonts.

Wouldn't these be a great gift for someone you know who just moved away?


just wanted to share...

Those metal stamp sets are so expensive. You can get a basic arial uppercase set for about $10-20, which is reasonable. But, the lowercase set is just plain silly expensive until now...

Check out this website and get yourself that lowercase metal stamp set for a whopping $18.00. I know, soooooo cheap!

Click here!

You're welcome :)


etsy sickness.

I have a huge etsy problem - - - I can't stop perusing the site. Seriously, I spend at least a hour a day or more on there looking at stuff and pondering purchases. Also my brain is overloaded with ideas, inspired ideas from what I have been looking at for hours...


My name is Jackie and I am addicted to Etsy!
Help me.


american as apple turnovers.

I had an apple turnover today and it was delicious - so delicious, that I had to write about it here. Does anyone like these things besides me? I could eat like a dozen of them. I love the flaky dough. I love the sanding sugar or the drizzled frosting - whatever. They are good. Almost as good as my mom's homemade apple pie. I like my mom's pie a little better only because the apple goodness inside is not as sweet. I like it sweet, but sometime those turnovers are too sweet. I had the best apple pastry in Paris in September, but I am not heading to Paris anytime soon (bummer), so I thought maybe I should try creating some of my own. I bought some phillo dough on the way home from work today and I think I will search Martha's site for a good apple filling recipe. Keeping my fingers crossed that they turn out...I mean, how hard can it be: cut dough, scoop in filling, press all around and bake.

Ina Gartner - image credit here

Hmmm, I'll give you an update over the weekend :)


love notes.

Just listed in my etsy store are these swell mini valentine notes with envelopes. Super duper cute and ready to be hidden in pockets, lunch boxes and your valentine's mailbox. There are several designs and the bestest part is that you can pick what you want and how many  - - up to 12 total.

For Valentine's Day, I am planning a scavenger hunt for my husband and daughter. I am going to leave a Valentine note on the kitchen table early in the morning, so that they can play when they wake up. The note will give them directions to the next Valentine note. With each note, I am going to leave them a little surprise. Over the past few weeks, I have been buying little gifts for them and it's been so much fun. I can hardly wait until the 14th ♥

What are you doing for your Valentine(s)?


polka dot party.

Polka dots are fun and I get a lot of requests for notecards & party invitations using them and so I created these for my etsy store...labels that are polka dot and preppy!

On a scale from 1-10 for cuteness - these score a 10. These will surely get your mail noticed! :)


paris on my mind.

Lately, I seem to have Paris on my mind. Yesterday I was daydreaming of riding the metro and so after work, I made these.

Makes my heart happy to see the stops.



In an effort to give my etsy shop some variety, I created these more sophisticated looking note cards. These cards are appropriate for anyone, really - even to give to a man (gasp!). The front has a rectangular cutout that frames the thank you sentiment that is printed inside.

I hardly ever design anything in jewel tones, so it was so much fun using my earthtone swatch book in Illustrator! I love these colors, by the way. These in particular are thank you notes, but I can change them to be personal notes (with a name or monogram) or just hello notes too.

I even created matching address labels. Lately my address labels have been my top selling etsy item. I get orders for them almost every day. So cool!

I am feeling better these days too. Last night, I literally crashed when I got home from work. I fell asleep with Leighton at nearly 8:30p. and it was exactly what my body needed :)



I have been sick these last couple days - sore throat, coughing, chills, headache... I am so glad that it is Friday, cause I am going to get some rest this weekend - you know: lounge in my pajamas all day long style. 

Sorry for the lame post and short post, but I have a Nyquil bottle that is calling my name :)

Sweet dreams!



When I was 8 or so, I desperately wanted a gumball machine for Christmas. I got one from Santa that year with a milk carton shaped container full of shiny Carousel gumballs. My mouth salivates just thinking about them. Those gumballs are so juicy!

I recently found that red gumball machine in my basement in a box. When I got married and moved out, I took it with me thinking some day my son or daughter would be just as smitten with it. I have mentioned in previous posts on Letters to Leighton, that we are in the midst of finishing our basement...and I think we might clean this gumball machine, fill it with gumballs and put it on display. I think it'll go great with our arcade style Ms. Pac Man machine. Yeah...we have one of those too and it's so fun to play :)

The gumball machine was inspiration for my Valentine Card seen here.
Available soon on my etsy site ♥


yearn to learn.

image via Barnes & Noble

I really want this book - Hot Shots. I think I am going to use some of my Christmas money to buy it. Has anyone read this or heard of it? I have seen it posted on several blog sites all of which have awesome pictures. I really want to improve my photography skills! I have a great camera, but I just not doing it any justice. My sincerest apologies to Canon, but please know that I will get better ;)


an american in paris.

image from flickr

When I was in Paris in October 2009, I really felt like a bum because I couldn't communicate. After my first Paris trip, I had vowed to learn the language, so that I didn't have the need to say en anglais, svp? I have very limited French vocabulary, so unless I am ordering something I can just read off the menu, saying Hello or inquiring about the restroom, I am pretty much useless. Oh yeah...and I never got around to register for those classes, although I perused the class catalog about 100+ times.

One of my new year's resolutions and 2010 work goals is to learn how to speak French, so now I really need to commit to it or be a loser who doesn't accomplish her goals. And I can't live with myself, if that happens. My last trip to Paris was work related (we have clients over there), so it really is in my best interest to learn. Today I checked out some classes and they start at the end of January and they are near my work, basically once a week in the early evening. Sweet!

So I am going to go and sign up this week. I am pretty excited and nervous, only because I want to do great and I know it's going to be hard. I can't wait to be able to say more than Bonjour.

Wish me luck! Souhaitez-moi la chance!


address labels.

I sell a lot of address labels and so I have kicked it into high gear to get some more options out there. I think cute address labels are a must for snail mail. I mean seriously, how could you not want to glam up your envelopes?

Personally, I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't

Here is one that matches my flower notecards. These come in packs of 50. With different color flowers, because I wouldn't want you to not have choices. And because...sometimes it's a yellow day and sometimes it's a pink one.

I have several others that I will be adding to by etsy site soon. Just gotta get around to uploading all of them :)


little valentine minis.

I am so excited for these cute little notecards and the little sweet mailbox that will come along with it. I am going to be listing a valentine pack for all of you who would like cute little valentines to give out to your friends or would like them for your kids.

Included in the special pack:
10 notes with matching envelopes - there will be 5 different designs.
10 heart stickers that you can use to decorate your envelopes. Sweet!
Approximate size: 2.25 x 4"

One of the designs will be this little robot cutie! Yeah, I am pretty much in love with him too.


And...to make this even more special, all of the notes will be packed inside your very own valentine mailbox. Super sweet!

What a great gift for your little pumpkin' or for yourself ♥
If it is for a gift, I will happy to make you a special tag with his or her name that can be looped around the flag.

Check on my etsy site later in the week. Also, dearest friends of mine - if you order this on etsy and you do not want it shipped, send me a note and I will create a special listing without shipping charges.

Did I mention that I Valentine's Day?



image from we ♥ it

I know it's only January 2nd, but I can't help it...I am already getting excited for Valentine's Day. It's one of my top 3 holidays, even though technically it is not a true holiday. Every store has already begun to display their heart themed merchandise and I simply cannot resist all of the cute stuff. I love the seasonal items at Target because they are cute and inexpensive (so easy to decorate your house without it costing you a whole lot of money). Please stay tuned to my blog as I will be announcing a Valentine Giveaway within the next couple of weeks.

I even started making some Valentine themed note cards for my etsy shop ♥
More to come!


Hello 2010!

It's the first day of 2010 and I am starting off the new year with some changes. As you may have read on my other blog(s) Blue Soleil Design & Letters to Leighton, I said that you would see something new from me and after careful consideration I have decided to merge the two blogs into one with a new name. It was hard keeping up with two blogs and most importantly it is too hard to separate the momma from the designer ♥

I was thinking of a new name for quite some time. The name came from a heart shaped locket that I have that is engraved with the words toujours à mon coeur which means always in my heart in French. It's my favorite piece of jewelry (besides my wedding ring) and it is it kinda sums up what this blog is all about - all things close to my heart.

I hope that if you followed me on Bleu Soleil Design and Letters to Leighton, you will follow me here instead. I will try to keep it interesting, somewhat funny and most importantly, true to my heart.

Here's to a great year, great friends and new beginnings!