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  • HJ Roundup: St. Paddy's Day

    St. Patrick's Day is this weekend - yes, already. Is it just me, or is St. Paddy's one of those "Class B" holidays that just sort of sneaks up on you? We celebrate at our house, for sure – corned beef and potatoes and Irish soda bread, and don't you dare get caught not wearing your green – but any other meaningful preparations tend to get lost in the wind.

    "Well, when it gets closer, I'll decorate a little," I tell myself. "I'll do some crafts with the kids, at least."

    Lies. All lies. And then before I know it, you're lucky if I've made time for us to get over to the city parade. Or even remembered that it's happening. #nailedit

    Be ye not like me! For both my sake and yours, I'm kicking off a new monthly HJ Roundup series where I'll gather up some great ideas and products and resources to make the most of the topic at hand. Today that topic is – you guessed it – St. Paddy's Day. Enjoy - and don't forget to wear something green (underwear totally doesn't count)!

     

    St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes

    via Oh So Delicious

    EATING & DRINKING

    • I have always wanted to make rainbow cupcakes, a la these cuties from Oh So Delicioso. Grab some belt-style candy like Airheads Xtreme Rainbow Berry flavor to form tiny 3D rainbows on top of regular old cupcakes (I won't tell if you just buy them at the store).
    • St. Paddy's isn't St. Paddy's without some traditional foods. Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, soda bread... my mouth is watering just thinking about it. If you're new to the tradition of Irish food, start off easy with some soda bread. My family traditionally makes the recipe found in Joy of Cooking (best cookbook ever), but Pinterest seems to have us covered pretty well with recipe possibilities.
    • Get some surprise smiles at suppertime by putting a couple drops of green food coloring into your kids' milk. My mom always did this for me on St. Patrick's Day when I was a kid, and now my little ones love it too. Tell them it's magic leprechaun milk, of course.

     

     St. Patrick's Day Mantel Display

    via Better Homes & Gardens

    DECORATIONS & DIY

    • Create a gorgeous but simple mantel display by placing sprigs of seasonal greenery in assorted jars. Even better: It's generic enough to stay up through Easter in a few weeks. *cue the praise hands* Better Homes & Gardens has a few tips on how to replicate this idea and more in their slideshow of Easter decorations.
    • Temporarily replace some of your framed photos with some festive printable St. Patrick's Day art. Download a print for free at Home Beautifully or Paper Trail Design, or for a mere $5 from Printable Love Story's Etsy shop.
    • These 4-leaf clover balloon wands are so stinking cute. You can get the details and purchase the mini heart balloons at Oh Happy Day (one of my favorite places to shop for modern party supplies).

     

     St. Patrick's Day DIY Shamrock Wand

    via Rocket City Mom

    FOR THE KIDDOS

     

    St. Patrick's Day Nails

    via @lacqaholic on Instagram

    JUST FOR FUN

    • Nothing says festive like nails bedecked in green, gold glitter, and rainbows. Check out the #stpatricksdaynails hashtag on Instagram for some starter inspiration.
    • Do your best Irish jig or Riverdance impersonation in the comfort of your own home by streaming a great playlist. I love to set a playlist running in the house on the big day to get everyone feeling festive! This Spotify playlist with 618 songs should do the trick... or we might just ask our Alexa device to play some St. Patrick's Day music for us on Amazon Music and see what she comes up with.
    • Take in an Irish flick or stream a bunch of St. Patrick's Day TV episodes after the kids tuck in for the night. This list of movies (I loved Brooklyn; my husband is a die-hard Boondock Saints fan) and this roundup of tv show episodes (The Office and Cheers never fail to slay me) will get you started!

     

  • Last minute gifts for the ones who mom too hard (with shipping deadlines!)

    Christmas is coming at us FAST. And while it's getting trickier to finish those orders up online to avoid braving the crowds due to items selling out or missing holiday shipping deadlines, there's still a little time left...if you know where to look! I rounded up a little gift guide for you to help cut through the overwhelm when picking out gifts for the queen mamas in your life who are probably mom-ing a little too hard this time of year. Find direct links and shipping deadline info below!

    1. Amazon Echo Dot ($29.99)

    The #1 thing on every mom's list is a little extra hands-free help. Okay, so maybe a maid, a personal chef, and an extra wife would be ideal, but Alexa can definitely help, if for nothing else than playing rock/paper/scissors with your kids for 20 minutes while she takes a shower. Free 2-day shipping for Prime members; otherwise, cutoff of 12/18 for standard shipping.

     

    2. Easy Tiger Co. “No.” Stackable Mug ($12)

    She can insinuate it with just "the look," but this mug can save her energy. What else is there to say? Nothing. Her sip of coffee will say it all. Standard shipping is 4-5 business days, so order by Monday, 12/18 to make sure you get your goods.

     

    3. SELF Journal ($31.99)

    You know she's got dreams and she's got plans, but what she doesn't got is time. Annual planning can get so overwhelming come January, so the SELF journal breaks it down to help you master new habits (and actually finish things) in just 13 weeks. It's kind of amazing. Priority shipping deadline is 12/17, or 12/18 for those on the East Coast (East Coasters can also get ground shipping through 12/18).

     

    4. Hettie Joan Gray Perfect Pouch ($36)

    The mama hustle is chaotic. Have you seen the inside of her purse? It's like a convenience store, a drugstore, and a trash bin, all in one. It's a hot mess, but you can give the gift of stylish organization with a gorgeous HJ pouch. First class shipping deadline is 12/17; Priority deadline is 12/20.

     

    5. Freshie & Zero “Love” Necklace ($58+)

    If you really want to go for the heartstrings, this is where it's at. Symbolizing the bond between a mother and child, you can get a Freshie & Zero "Love" necklace with as many tiny silver rings as she has children. I used to have one with a single child ring, but now I wear one with two – and it's my absolute favorite piece of jewelry. FREE first class shipping through 12/20 with the code HOLIDAY.

     

    6. Evil Queen “Damn It’s Early” Candle ($18)

    "Plz remind me why I got out of bed today," says the label. "Coffeecoffeecoffee," says the scent. Who says candles are just for bedtime? She's just going to pass out on the couch as soon as you start the movie anyway. Help her get her days started right with this gem (and by "right," I mean "drenched in sarcasm"). For Christmas delivery, order by December 17.

     

    7. Print Therapy “Rest Therapy” Essential Oil Roll On ($18)

    My dear friend Melissa expanded her offerings this fall with these essential oil roll-ons, and they're my new favorite things. What I love is how much thought went into their development; she mixed the oils not only based on their scents, but also based on their usefulness. The "Rest Therapy" scent is my favorite – I use it at bedtime, and I swear it's become a signal to my brain to turn off for the night. Order by Friday evening, 12/15 for regular shipping, or Monday evening, 12/18 for Priority shipping.

  • It's a Stocking Stuffer Soiree!

     

    Holiday shopping is getting down to the wire, and it's time to make sure those stockings are properly stuffed!

    Stockings are my absolute FAVORITE part of the gift-giving tradition. Growing up, Santa always had the most amazing little surprises waiting for my sister and me on Christmas morning, and it seems like our socks were always just utterly filled to the brim. Stockings always came first at our house – the bigger gifts had to wait. After making sure Mom and Dad had their robes and coffee, we would gather by the fireplace as a family, and each dump out the entire contents of our respective stockings. We drug out the entire process as long as possible, taking turns as we each opened one mini prize at a time. One of the most fun parts was not knowing whose gifts were whose under the tree until we'd opened our stockings – the piles of wrapped presents were unmarked, but we knew whose was whose by the which wrapping paper design matched the gifts in our respective stockings!

    As my sister and I grew older, we began filling our parents' stockings, then our husbands', and now our own children. We've carried on the same traditions into adulthood and it's so fun and magical to be able to pass them on to our own little ones.

    So don't forget those big kids and their stockings – but what to wrap? Well, I'm here to help you fill them up with Hettie Joan style with a little Stocking Stuffer Soiree! There's not a single thing in my shop that wouldn't fit inside a stocking, so let's light up their eyes with some HJ goodness.

     

    For the next week, you'll receive free goodies worthy of stuffing the best stocking ever - no coupon code necessary! The deals are cumulative, so when you...

    • ...spend $20 or more, you'll get a FREE pencil pack (and a little Hettie Joan sharpener!)
    • ...spend $35 or more, you'll get the above PLUS a free pen pack.
    • ...spend $50 or more, you'll get all of the above PLUS a free notebook and FREE domestic shipping!

     

    Don't forget that you always have the option of selecting free gift wrapping services at checkout, and it's worth noting that the holiday shipping deadlines are December 17th for First Class Mail packages, and December 20th for Priority Mail packages. These deadlines are only applicable to packages traveling to addresses within the continental U.S.

    Merry Christmas, y'all – let's go shopping!

  • Houston, we have a blog!

    Welcome to the VERY FIRST post on the Hettie Joan blog. *cue the confetti* I'm crazy flattered that you're here, I'm excited to *be* here, and I can't wait to get to know you better. The new Hettie Joan blog will be the best place for my beloved HJ family – that's you! – to head for updates regarding new releases, behind-the-scenes product development insight, and upcoming promotions – but that's not all. No, ma'am. Not by a long shot.

    Hettie Joan was founded out of a belief that having a little something – or even someone – that makes your everyday hustle a bit easier is an invaluable treasure, even if it's in the ever-so-smallest ways. In turn, this blog is intended to be a little bit like the corner of a comfy couch in my digital living room, where I'm inviting you in to sit down, share a cup of coffee or a nightcap, and shoot the breeze for awhile. Just think about the last cozy, put-it-all-out-there chat you indulged in with a friend; remember how you felt afterward? I got to do this very thing just last weekend, and was reminded how connecting with a soul sister can truly "fill your cup." That kind of fellowship certainly doesn't happen for me often enough, but when it does? It completely re-energizes me to get back to the grind and take on the world, and I ask myself why I waited so long to make the time for it.

    So from inspirational interviews with boss mamas on the go, to tips and resources that will make your chaotic weekdays a little less alcohol-inducing, and even free downloads and roundups of everything from shopping ideas to ways to your head, I hope you'll join me on this little journey and share your own input along the way. I'm honored to have you here with me!