5 Things You Love About YOU

February spells one thing... L-O-V-E! When was the last time that you took some time to list a few things that you truly, abundantly and unapologetically love about yourself?


So, let's play a game.

I want you to take five pieces of paper...they can be any shape or size, it's just important that you have five of them.

Now I want you to write something on each paper that you truly love about yourself. They can be physical things, emotional things, things that you've maybe accomplished lately.

Take time to really let them sink in and choose things that mean the world to you. Here are mine!

  • I love my curls. As much as I hated them growing up and as wild as they would get (to the point that my Mom chopped all of my hair to an inch long for a few years), I love them. They make me who I am and show so much versatility.
  • I love that I am stubborn and challenge the world around me. I tend to not go with the grain, speak up for those who need a voice, and I really love that about myself. It shows courage, it shows determination, and while it may make others feel a bit uneasy, it makes me feel just  fine.
  • I love that I cry. Ha! This may come as a surprise to some of you (if you know me well...it doesn't!) but I cry a lot, specifically at the end of races. Often when I cross that finish line, I am a puddle of tears. It's raw, and it make me vulnerable. 
  • I love my thighs, or as I know them now, my quads. They are such a powerhouse and while growing up I often heard the term thunder thighs, they are pretty badass. They keep me going forward, the are slowly getting define and I see them as a pillar of strength.
  • I love my tattoos! (I bet you saw that one coming!) Each one has a story and a meaning. I have one for our sweet Arrow, one for my Dad, one for Owen, another for a special friend who passed away. The Scottish gaelic word for artist, an angel fish (that badly needs to be redone) and my boys' birthdates. And yes, there will be more. Why? Because they are a part of me and they tell my story. 

So what do you love about yourself? Make it count!!

xoxo
Shannon

Valentine's Gift Guide: Amber Bryce, #jewelery #handmade #soul

 
I have had the pleasure of working with Amber Bryce on a variety of pieces in the past, and she most certainly has become more than just a jewelry designer to me. She speaks a special language...she speaks from the soul, and teaches you to listen to your heart and trust yourself.

Amber is offering the unique opportunity to work with her in a free consultation to create your Soul Signature piece. This is a process that I highly recommend; I wear my every single day and know that it is a piece that is attached to my very core.


During the process, you will will learn so much about yourself. You will learn what your heart truly wants, what you are afraid of {good and bad}, what has been holding you back, and how you are going to crash through those road blocks. It's an intuitive experience, and one you will not regret having.


Sign up for your free Soul Signature consult today!


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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Seacret, #deadsea #mineral #skincare


Have you ever considered what minerals can do for your skin? I mean we take natural supplements for our internal health and wellbeing, as well as vitamins and whatnot, but do you consider what minerals can do for the health of your skin?

Unlike many skincare lines SEACRET'S products were nurtured for centuries before they found their way into your home. Why try to improve upon natural perfection with dangerous chemicals? Seacret carefully follows natures lead and proceeses ingredients with care. For YOU, this means safe products with real results for glowing healthy skin


Where science meets nature, Seacret combines Peptides, Vitamins, Amino Acids, Essential Oils, many Anti-Oxidants and Dead Sea Minerals into their age-defying formula to regenerate your skin cells and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for mature skin.

Also available are luxurious body butters and creams, foot creams and scrubs, and even mineral rich shampoos and conditioners for your beautiful hair.

Clarify and replenish with Seacret!


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Keep Calm and Kiss Me: FREE Valentines Printable

Happy Valentine's Day!!


Just a sweet little printable for this Valentine's Day, and yours FREE for the downloading and printing at home!

This year for Valentine's Day, I am feeling the need to bake and have an array of sweets for my sweet boys. Since the kiddo is a bit of a chocoholic {I do not know where he gets that from....;)}, there will be some sort of chocolate cupcakes, likely with chocolate buttercream and maybe some sprinkles to fancy them up.

My husband, on the other hand, is not a dessert guy or sweets guy...unless it's super rich dark chocolate or, on the totally opposite side of the scale, white chocolate. I think some truffles might be in store for him!

Then for me? Cookies. Give me all the sugar cookies with royal icing that I can whip up!

What are your Valentine's plans this year?

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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Love Me Knott - Bilton Creations, #jewelry #ldnont #handmade


Are you drawn to the raw power and beauty of natural stones? Designer Amanda Knott Bilton of Love Me Knott - Bilton Creations is and uses these elements in her handmade jewelry to create one of a kind pieces that are sure to become favorites in your accessory line up.


Love Me Knott - Bilton Creations also creates one of a kind bracelets, bookmarks and other accessories. All feature raw stones and silver, and are handmade. You can be sure that you are getting a truly unique handmade piece when you purchase from Love Me Knott - Bilton Creations!

Check out the ad in the Gift Guide, and mention it with your next order for 25% off!



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Handmade and Heartfelt: Valentine Finds on Etsy

Valentine's Day is just a week away; have you picked out the perfect decor, gift for your sweetie, or for yourself?


Introducing the 2014 roundup of Valentine Finds from Etsy! These are a few of my absolute favourite Valentine finds from Etsy, all handmade and all heartfelt.

(clockwise from top left)

7. LOVE Handmade Leather Guest Book or Journal by WeeBindery

What will I be giving my Valentine's this year? Very likely heart shaped sugar cookies, that Owen and I will decorate together {he's becoming a great helper in the kitchen}, a decent meal together, and then some snuggling on the couch.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Budding Artists, #art #ldnont #creativity


Committed to the promoting creativity, Budding Artists is located in London, Ontario and offers a variety of school and group based art fundraisers, studio instruction and creating custom keepsakes.

For Valentine's Day, Budding Artists wants you to Share the Love. Simply send in your child's Heart Art for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate!


As a extra special for Valentine's Day, Budding Artists is also offering 10% off travel mugs, coffee mugs and water bottles! A great gift for the kiddos to give mom or dad as a special keepsake!

I love the idea of turning your childrens artwork into keepsakes. It's such a sweet idea, and teaching them an appreciation for their art is something that I think is really important. Preserve those memories and their artwork with Budding Artists.


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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Noogle, #etsy #party #printables


Noogle is at it again with some fun designs for Valentine's Day!


Downloadable designs for Valentine's Day that are sweet and whimsical, different than your standard drug store or grocery store finds!

Designer Shannon Sheridan-Geldart specializes in designs that are kid-inspired for your home, parties, events, and more! She's designed printed invitations for Owen's birthday parties in the past, as well as digital designs for other parties that we've had, and she never disappoints!

Her custom party elements range from invitations to tent cards for your buffet table, but she doesn't just stop there. Need a door sign? Treat favor labels? Cupcake toppers? Banner? Noogle has it all and can custom design to suit your party needs.

For Valentine's Day, Shannon has a GREAT promo going for all Sweet Stella's readers!

 
Happy Valentine's Day from Noogle!


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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: FMoon Origami Jewelry #jewelry #ldnont #handmade



I'm sure you've all seen origami before, but have you seen teeny tiny little origami owls, cranes and flowers made into beautiful jewelry?

 
I can honestly say that I have never seen jewelry quite like it, and think that it is really special. Created by a designer in London, Ontario, Fmoon Origami Jewelry is all handmade and individually designed. No two pieces will ever be the same, so you truly are getting a one of a kind piece of art.






FMoon is coming up with new designs all the time, including the beautifully handsculpted origami flowers above, just in time for Valentine's Day. Other designs feature butterflies, owls, and the iconic crane.

To see more from FMoon Origami Jewelry, check them out below!


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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Jamberry Nails #nails #fashion #beauty

http://amandasimpson.jamberrynails.net/

Nail art and nail wraps are all the rage, and what a great way to accessorize your wardrobe in the dreary Winter months than with Jamberry Nails?

From every day chic designs, to ones that are perfectly sweet for Valentine's Day, you will find what you are looking for on Jamberry Nails. And as always, buy three get one free!






My favorites right now are Black Fleur-de-Lis Lace and City Lights. Both are absolutely stunning. Black Fleur-De-Lis Lace features a beautiful baroque design, full of intricate details, while City Lights is more subdued, with the added punch of metallic.

Greta for fingers and toes, Jamberry Nails are for everyone...even little girls! There's a brand new line of exclusive Jamberry Juniors for little nail artists!


Independent Consultant Amanda Simpson is also giving hostesses an added perk right now!


Hosting has never been easier than with Jamberry Nails! Contact Amanda today!

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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Custom Iced #bakery #ldnont


Have you ever had a sugar cookie that was just too good to be true? Well, I have and it came from Custom Iced, owned and operated by Claire Jackson, in Ilderton, Ontario. It was sugary and sweet, with the right about of buttery goodness...{mouth watering yet??}

This small batch bakery is whipping up delicious goodies...everything from custom designed cupcakes with handmade fondant toppers to beautiful cakes for first birthday cake smash photography sessions!


Claire's attention to detail and excellent customer service is getting her rave reviews! Check out these hand sculpted Minion fondant toppers!



She also specilazes in snowstopping pieces, like this giant cupcake that has been iced with flowers of all different colors. This is my personal favorite!



How fun would that be for a tea party, baby or bridal shower?! I love it!

To check out more of Claire's work, you can find Custom Iced on Facebook and on her website.



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Valentine's Gift Guide Feature: Baily Belle, #handmade #jewelry #accessories






You've seen me feature Baily Belle time and time again, and it's one Etsy shop that I continue to support and shop from. Designer Vanessa Baily has been creating up a storm of beautiful, unique and one of a kind pieces for her shop Baily Belle, and I'm thrilled to be featuring her in the Valentine's Gift Guide.



One of her newest pieces that I absolutely adore is her handmade customizable dreamcatcher necklace. I have never seen anything quite like it and it is so beautiful, it is worth adding to your collection.




Stunning right? As a special treat for Sweet Stella's readers, Vanessa is offering a great discount for Valentine's Day!




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Valentine's Gift Guide #valentine #giftsforher #giftguide

It's here! It's here!! It's finally here!

The Valentine's Gift Guide is here, and there are so many great promos, discounts and deals from really beautiful companies in it, that you won't want to miss a page!


Over the next couple of weeks, I will be featuring some of the amazing companies in the Gift Guide, talking about their products, services and why they are so amazing.

Need to send it to your honey and tell him which page your gift is on? Here's the direct link.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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FREE Valentine's Printables

Valentine's Day is almost here! Do you need a quick love note to tuck into your husbands briefcase? Something funny to send to a girlfriend? Maybe a little reminder for your child's lunchbox?

Here are four GREAT {and free} printables to celebrate the most romantic day of the year!





I think my favourite is Love is a Battlefield...but that may just be my profound love for Pat Benetar ;)

Easy DIY Valentine's Banner

Last year for Valentine's Day, I surprised my husband with a red meal....red wine, steak, red potatoes, salad with red peppers...and even whipped up some pink sugar cookie sandwiches with buttercream frosting.

To decorate our table, I made this really cute LOVE banner which would make an excellent prop for photographers {hello, engagement and maternity!}, on a dessert buffet, or just to put in the window like I did.

I simply printed out the pages onto cardstock, then mounted them on black cardstock and strung them all together with ribbon. Super simple and easy, but really sets the tone for a lovely meal with my two favourite guys.

Download the banner panels for free!
LOVE Banner

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Valentine's Gift Suggestions

Valentine's Day is just around the corner; have you thought about what you what to give your sweetie yet?

Keep it simple with a little handmade Valentine, like this easy DIY craft - a jar of reasons why you are so in love with your mate, or go a little over the top with finding the perfect gift on Etsy! Here are a few of my favourite Valentine finds on Etsy!

red polka dot journal by Buntmal



valentine card by Julie Ann Art





big red heart pillow by Honey Pie Design




red infinity scarf by Tina Dean Designs




Whatever you choose, make sure that it's from the heart. Valentine's Day is all about having a special day with your loved one, and showing them just how much you love them and appreciate all that they do for you.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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SWH4T$: Love {in a} Jar

Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome back to She Works Hard for the Money - a bloghop for hard working mamas to share their time and money saving tips!

The rules are super simple!

1) Follow your hostesses, Baby Shmizz and Sweet Stella's, via GFC

2) Link up a specific post that relates to money and time, your job, your business, couponing, anything that shows how you "work hard for your money".


3.) Post our button on your post

Have fun linking up and finding her blogs to read!


SWH4T

Love {in a} Jar

So...my husband decided to be super romantic this Valentine's Day and booked us a night at a local hotel, a romantic dinner, and even got a baby sitter for our son. I was shocked...pleasantly surprised...but absolutely shocked!

And I had squat to give him!

I started thinking and came up with this cute idea, which would be perfect for anniversaries as well!

Materials:



1 jar (I used a large jam jar)
3 pieces of paper
10 pieces of his favourite candy (Rockets for my Hubster)

Soak your jar a sink of hot water. This will make scrapping the label off a sinch!

While your jar is soaking, cut your paper into strips. They don't have to be perfect by any means. I did 5 notes for every year that we've been married, and 5 extras.

Set aside 5 strips of paper

Write out love notes on the remaining strips of paper. Reasons you love him...are proud of him...proud to be his other-half...proud of him as a father Really anything that you love about him.



On the 5 you set aside, write out activities to do together. Thing like...slow dancing...taking a walk together...whatever you'd like! Wrap them around his favourite candy



Scrape the label off the jar, and dry it thoroughly...you don't want those papers getting wet!

Once the jar is dry, stuff it with the notes, activities and extra candies!





Sweet and corny, but super thoughtful!

Link up your crafty, thrifty and frugal ideas with us!






Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

Since I can't reach through and give you all a super cute little Cupid Kiss...this will have to do!



Here's the tutorial for this cute little craft, and there's still time to whip one up and give to your sweetheart today! They take maybe 5 minutes!

And since I'm feeling extra sweet today...here's a coupon code! Take 15% off your entire Etsy order with code BEMINE15!

Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Vistaprint Calendars

Valentine ’s Day gift ideas! Get your other half something they’ll love.

Valentine’s Day is the day of the year all couples look forward to. A romantic dinner is almost compulsory, as is the exchange of heartfelt gifts. But what gift should you give? Flowers? Too cliché. Chocolates? Even more so! Balancing originality with sentimentality is a tricky task, but hopefully some of these suggestions will help:

Chocolate flowers:

Cliché plus cliché it seems, somehow equals a quirky and original gift. Handmade chocolate from a local chocolatier presented in an unusual shape (something romantic, preferably!) will be well received by even the most reluctant partner.

Personalised calendar:

This may sound like a strange suggestion, but a personalised calendar with photographs from special days you and your partner have shared combines sentimentality with practicality. This gift will keep on giving, as well, as it will be seen on a daily basis by you and your partner. Important occasions like birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and (you guessed it) anniversaries can also be included on the calendar.

A weekend retreat:

Sometimes escaping the hustle and bustle of life with your partner is exactly what the doctor ordered. With the costs of travel falling, a weekend away around Valentine’s Day can be the perfect gift. Why not consider something unusual like a white water rafting weekend, or a wine-tasting weekend spent at a vineyard?

Even with gifts, it’s important to remember that the main purpose of Valentine’s Day is to show your partner what they mean to you, so don’t worry too much if you can’t find the perfect gift! A heartfelt hug will send the message just as well :)

* this post was a sponsored post from Vistaprint.

Special Post: Chinese New Year SALE!

That's right folks! In honour of a very special dragon in my life {my Dad} I've created an Etsy coupon code for you!!

At checkout, enter DRAGON15 for 15% off your entire Sweet Stella's order! This includes all regular prices and sale items...and even custom orders placed before January 28th!!

That means you could get this gorgeous journal for only $8.50 (reg. $26.99!)



Just in time for Valentine's Day!

Don't delay! The Dragon sale will be over January 28th! Happy shopping!

If you need a custom order, please don't hesitate to contact me at shannon@sweetstellas.com