Posted on

Hello 2018

I’ve officially completed the first week of 2018 and I’ve been doing quite a bit of purging, clean slating and then reconfiguring. I’ve noticed that right toward the end of the year the piles of trash and paper scraps have flooded my office floor. My desk is loaded with business cards and the occasional scattered brochures. It’s THAT time of year!

A New Year means new beginnings right? Out with the old and in with the new? I’ve been inspired by some amazing people in 2017 as I continue to “build up” in the New Year.

To help motivate myself I’ve candidly captured some wisdom from some of my fave creatives / business owners / colleagues to inspire/advise you to make 2018, your year! If you don’t know these powerful ladies, get to know them. Better yet, follow there success. I’m still learning from them.

Here’s to littering the floors more, breathing fully (metaphorically and literally because the flu is no joke this time of year) and laughing a lot louder in 2018.

 

Amanda Edwards
Baker & Owner, Adeline’s Cake Artistry, @akacakes

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” -Lao Tzu

 

Michelle Franzetti
Photographer & Owner, Franzetti Photography, @m_franzetti

“Business Wisdom: find people who are smarter than you and figure out a way to work with them. Barter, trade, save up. Do whatever you have to in order to ensure you are working with people who are better than you. It’s the only way you will have the space you need to get better too!”

 

Tiffany Brannon Foreman
Speaker & Business Owner, Limitless Leaders

“Be humble in all that you do as your business will eventually reflect your inner true self. Do things for the right reasons.”

 

Machon Fogle
Stylist, Educator & Platform Artist, Hairapy by Machon, @choni_c_f

“Keep your blinders on, worry about you, your business, and being successful. Passing on some wisdom does not dull your shine at all.”

 

Samantha Johnson
PR Speciality & Owner, SamanhattanPR, @SamanhattanPR

“My Advice for 2018 is …no matter who you are, odds are you unintentionally think to prepare for the worst more times than not, but in 2018 try to ask yourself, “what’s the best that could happen?”

Ephesians 3: 20-21 in the Message: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us”

Do the work. You literally have to stop overthinking and journaling and positive meme posting and just do the first thing. A lot of our answers come out in the movement, not in the brainstorm during a netflix binge. Write the next 20 lines or pages, contact the adoption center, take your health seriously, schedule therapy, record that podcast, audition for that film, go viral… do something toward your goals/happiness to force yourself to take the next step.

Get out of your own way and be great daily!”

 

Jacqueline Rowan
Owner & Blogger, Jrow Photography & Designs, @jrow_everything

“Starting a business can be an amazing fulfilling adventure but it will take time and patience to build the business of your dream. Don’t get discouraged if in the beginning things are slow or not going your way. Don’t quit! Keep going and remember that the world wasn’t made in a night… nor a successful business.”

 

Jessie Laine Powell
Jazz Artist, Singer/ Songwriter, JLP Music

“Don’t harbor unforgiveness. You immediately imprison your own heart. Forgive and set yourself free. This is true liberation.”

 

Tashari Berry
Financial Advisor, World Traveler & Owner, Tashari Financial Group LLC

“Successful entrepreneurs (online or brick and mortar): What’s your no.1 fear for you and your business?

Is it:
a) Revenue: How to increase profits while decreasing overhead expenses
b) Balance:  How to balance your business and personal life before you lose your cool.
c) Retirement: You don’t have a plan in place. All you ave is the business as your retirement plan. “

Posted on

LIT: The Miracle of Christmas

True Story: While reading a bible passage of the Christmas story to my kids before bed, an idea came to me. I was literally telling my kids that each time I reflect on the birth of Jesus and how it ALL came to be, I notice more subtle details that make this story more special than before. 

In our current message series at Crossroads Church called “Rediscovering the Wonder” the realization really hit me how awkward and random all these little events came to be to create the MOMENT we treasure each year. 
 
I sat there on the edge of my sons bed and just looked puzzled as they continued to ask me questions about the story. Finally when they realized I wasn’t responding, my middle son spoke up and asked “Where did you go?” And I stared at him for a second. 
 
Where did I go? I was replaying this random string of events in my head. How a young tweening adult was impregnated by God and living with all the fatal drama… how three old guys followed a star technically for years before getting to Bethlehem, wandering like groupies from city to city in hopes of meeting a king…. and how the lowliest class of people on earth were notified FIRST of this spectacle before anyone else. 
 
I mean, this is an impossible story. But in all of it, its proving God is possible. His works are real.
 
And I kept going. To the inn keepers that turned away Mary and Joseph not knowing what miracle and spectacle lay before them. In our modern day lives, am I the old inn keeper thats turning away the son of God? Am I missing the Moment?
 
Slowly my brain unravels this big idea: the miracle wasn’t the babe being born, he was coming with or without everyone else… the miracle is us listening and seeking something bigger and being present to witness something greater than our individual accomplishments. The miracle is listening to God’s desire for us, fulfilling the promise to Abraham from the near beginning of man. Immanuel; God with us. 
 
All these little scattered supposedly insignificant pieces brought together by a creator who knew it would all play out to those that are welcome to receiving Him. 
 
Am I receiving Him? Am I still seeking?
 
“Umm, MOM? Where’d you go?”
 
“Whoops, sorry. I literally just noticed something cool that I didn’t before.”
 
— 
Posted on

We gather in November, Pt. 2

Tada! Part 2….

If you’re like, part whaa? Then read this first. For the rest of you lovely bunches of Oats, today’s #TablescapeThursday was simply put, FUN! Getting further away from the traditional green red and orange look & used only two colors –keepin’ it cozy.  In my Ernest voice, know what I mean?

All month-long I’ll be showcasing tablescapes of various styles I love. Be inspired & purchase custom paper items on #OctaneOnEtsy! Lookout for extra pics & comments in my Instagram stories!

Interested in having Octane design your holiday party or event? Chat with us at info@lexoctane.com.

 

So this is where I decided to get fancy with the camera. I love pumpkins… but I also love to reuse. You better believe these were from Halloween… its got my little ones doodles all over them. Love the array of families memories spread all across the table!

 

What is it with natural wood?! I Iove the texture and color and works really well with the candles I put in my faux lanterns. It always flows well with natural foilage. And I loved that the table is bare… I like being able to use the table as a means to talk to others I don’t always get to talk to. Having tall crazy pieces kind of ruins that possibility. It’s a Ga-ther-ing, remember?

 

Let’s talk about these menus. My kids crack at me for still using “turkey day” instead of Thanksgiving Day. Growing up the only time I had turkey was on Thanksgiving Day (and the leftover turkey salad sandwiches thereafter ) with my family. As a paper enthusiast  kraft paper gives me LIFE. I was also shooting for a signature look. (The curse of being a graphic designer…and all her “looks”.) Just a simple natural black and white feel with my favorite embellishment, satire. That’s right we’re having TURDUCKEN, Grandma’s mashed potatoes (not that Idaho in a microwave bag mess) and The Pie of ALL Pies… who doesn’t want that?!!

 

 

 

Overall this was more fun than last week because its closer to my personal style. Next week we’ll get further from traditional and go for the gold… literally! #StayTuned and continue to follow #OctaneOnEtsy for more #TablescapeThursday inspiration for you holiday gatherings!

Posted on

We gather in November, Pt.1

Hello #November! This month is made for gatherings, giggles and gnache.  I’m always excited to experience all three with loved ones this time of year. Fall brings out the best of my creative crafty mood. Not too hot and not too cold… hot cider… and all the pumpkin you can eat!

As a child I loved dressing the table and the habit never left me. So to continue this little childhood tradition I’m showcasing lots of dreamy tablescapes and paperie and  invite you to follow me all month long as I dress to impress the table!

Be inspired & purchase custom paper items on my #etsyshop! Lookout for extra pics & comments in my Instagram stories!

Interested in having Octane design your holiday party or event? Chat with us at info@lexoctane.com.

This table is a pretty traditional look. I used simple traditional tones of gold red and green to capture the nostalgia of old time holiday season. Chargers give all the elegance needed to dress up the table. The “Give Thanks” printable is from @circutofficial. This printable is pretty easy to use and style however you need.

 

 

I love details! It what makes every thing flow and connect together to set the mood. These simple leaf cutouts are perfect for an extra decor at each setting. I decided to add some foil to these for a lil more “bling” factor. (Psst! You can purchase these and other paper greenery on my etsy store for your Dinner Party 👍)

 

 

What do you do when your vase breaks at a vendor setup? You SAVE it and reuse it for rustic chic candle holders. I repurpose almost everything if I can. My little way of saving the planet, one #nailedit at a time!

 

 

Believe it or not my mom would constantly remind me to make sure to make sure it looks the same as everyone else’s plate. But mooom! The christmas radio is just starting! I’m dancing and styling full spirit over here! And yet somewhere in Kentucky my mom’s looking at this and scowling. Haha! Sorry mom!

Let’s talk greenery! I got away from using the cheaper faux vinery and started looking at more elegant ways to showcase florals. Paper florals is definitely its own fine art but I fell in love with paper foilage. Hopefully you’ll see what I mean at the next tablescape reveal!

#Fin

Posted on

Octane Presents: The LexParty Project

“Just get the idea out so you don’t have to worry/stress about it anymore.”

I’ve recently listened to the words and advice of Tim Jones, Creative Director of Cornett at a local networking event at Pivot Brewing and this specific one stuck.

I love crafting. The idea of uplifting others is always a core denominator for me. But this specific idea keeps recirculating in my heart and I can’t keep holding onto it anymore!

Time to get it out!

Since the adoption of our son in 2012 I’ve gone the extra mile to make sure his little moments were just as meaningful as the big ones. I’ve seen countless unique birthday project organizations outside of Kentucky for foster kids and newly relocated families. At first I started crafting a few cards to parents that mentioned there child didn’t have any friends show up at birthday parties or a newly moved family that was just getting settled and the kid(s) needed some encouragement.

These moments resonate with anyone at some point in there life. And with all the wordly pressure to “fit in” I figure a few sheets of glitter and cardstock can make an impact with others in a dark or lonely place. Put that next to an amazing cake or a cool gift card and you’ve got a few extra smiles that wouldn’t have come any other way.

Keywords here: Positive. Vibes. Only.

So look out Kentucky! I’m rolling up my sleeves and partnering with multiple organizations across the Bluegrass to form The LexParty Project. A simple way to ‘pay it forward’ and inspire others! Click below for info or fill out the form to send a kid some encouragement in Kentucky.

Check it out here! 

Posted on

Three Years Later: Same Clothes. Better People.

So, I decided to go out on a limb this year for our wedding anniversary this weekend. We did a photoshoot in our wedding clothes.

I’m serious.

Most of us can’t even wear the blouse from this time last time last year. I can’t.  ( But kudos to everyone that kept there new years resolutions of weight loss .)   Miraculously my idea panned out.

This year the “newlwed” cloud landed in a rough season for my husband and I and I clearly had a vision for how to commemorate and treasure a year of loss and joy and triumph.  Reminding each other of the eternal promises we made “for better or worse… in sickness and in health.”

Life is a growing process.

Life takes it time.

Time heals all things.

Not just fortune cookie wisdom.

This photoshoot meant so much more than just reminiscing from “I do” three years ago,  this still is an emotional renewal of the faith and promise of loving deeper; especially when it doesn’t always feel loving.

I was super fortunate to cross paths with amazing knit queen and local photographer Lea Thompson of Velvet Paper Photography who just happened to be working with me on a future IG giveaway (shhh… more about that later) and offered an open photo session that we miraculously fit into.

And thus this idea of SAME CLOTHES. BETTER PEOPLE was born.

Because… its true.
I’m better because he loves me when I’m physically at my worst.
He’s better because I love him at his darkest and lowest moments.
We’re better because we keep running back to God in the midst of pain and sorrow and confusion.
We’re better because God keeps loving us to love each other deeper, especially when the answer is no.

Our wedding day symbolized all that and more. What better way to remember eternal promise than with the love of your life?

This whole experience was surreal. In seeing the photos, seeing the joy and the love that endures past the pain of optimistic failure, low self esteem, multiple miscarriages and a crazy amount of personal soul searching. The greatest of these is love. We stuck to it. And we’re better for it.

So I began my FB post:

In our nearly 7 years of life together this year was really a rough patch.

“For better or for worse…In sickness and in health…. and the greatest of these is love.” These words have such deeper meaning now than the first time we said it to each other.

This season has given us deeper purpose. It’s taken us through winding narrow paths. Roads less traveled.

It’s easier to scoot it under the rug and not wield the bad times as times of promise. But it was a promise. A promise from our Maker. A promise to a man filled with the characteristics of God. A promise to myself.

Inch by inch in weaving Gods love into the fabric of our lives, we’re certainly not the same ‘Danielle + Kevin” from three years ago. We’re better.

We see it in lives present. We feel it in lives lost.

In our clothes
In our skin
Between souls

We still ‘do’.

“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good…” – Genesis 1:31

#InTheBeginning #MSfamily #WeddingAnniversary

 


Location: Jacobson Park
Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto

 

Photography: @velvetpaperphoto
Posted on

Franzetti Photography: Turning 40 with class…and cake!

I can say this session was a first for me and Misty! This firecracker had her birthday coming up and she wanted to CELEBRATE! We connected through a mutual friend and when we spoke on the phone about her session, she told me she wanted lots of color and CAKE. I think we nailed it;)

Misty is basically a badass in all the ways.

We had a great time shooting, but the rain got in our way a little bit. Then the photographer nightmare occurred… we lost the light. It got too dark too quickly for me to really shoot my usual style and I freaked a little bit inside my head. But, then I remembered that we captured GREAT photos already. Everything else was going to be..well…icing on the cake!

So we rolled with it and ended up with photos that are so different from what I typically shoot. Misty is basically down for anything so after we got through with the cute, flirty, fun pictures, she was more than game for a little depravity!

 

READ THE FULLY STORY: Turning 40 with class…and cake! 

Posted on

Making friendships after 30

Take it or leave it; this is who I am.

I started my day with prayer & soaking up a new podcast by Jen Hatmaker FOR THE LOVE and the series was on girlfriends.

It was a hard listen even though all the good tidbits and wisdom was invaluable. Lately I struggle with friendships and confrontation. I don’t have a lot of close friends. I can talk to anyone, I can tell strangers my life story but I don’t let people “in” much, at all.

Since I was a young girl I always wanted friends but never had them. In high school I attempted to throw a luau themed party for myself that turned into my younger sisters ‘swole’ summer field party. People didn’t want to friend me. I didn’t want to friend myself. I was emotionally lone a lot.

Fast-forward 20 years … different ocean, same boat.

I can only think of 2-3 real girlfriends in entire adult life —  two who ironically dislike each other. Over the years I just stopped trying to ‘play god’ in uniting them so I felt better about it. It’s become a good thing but still separate.

When I listen to Jen’s podcast I note some big truths about myself:

  • Friendships scare the hell out of me because it involves investing more than I want to
  • Personal failure is more devastating then professional failure
  • I still crave real life friends

I feel a Spider-Man quote coming along… “with great power come great responsibility.”

Her guest was the eloquent author Shauna Niequist.  These girls / published authors speak about how there friendship of 10 years had such deep impressions and altered there lives because of the investment in there friendship. Investment = time.

As I’m listening I’m thinking to myself: “Yeah I don’t have that; time. Or do I?”

If I spent the extra hour that I spend crafting for instagram photoshoots and creating marketing e-blasts for more wedding clients … would I have more friends? In my lack of friendships, its made me only focus harder on polishing my craft. And I love that about myself.

How are these women making intentional time to be at each other’s doorsteps? How are women making space for friendship to be a “shelter”. Honestly, if I had a shelter I would never leave for home. (But I also have to understand that I in turn would be a shelter for them too. Maybe I’ve done that without thinking it.)

My favorite part in this amazing podcast was the advice to “only connect”. I don’t have to leave this amazing impression with people. Just be present. If I’m not in a good place then be ok not in the good place. Just like Shauna that shared this tidbit I tend to hide from humility or sore spots. Who doesn’t?

But I know humility is one of the most humbling gifts God offers. So I smirk try not to hide so much, take it as another notch in my belt and press on. Knowing He will use it for His good … somewhere. At least I nailed that one.

In my daydreams I think about hosting this quaint high end dinner party— just a buffet with friends families over some HGTV style lavish space I created. People come and laugh and share and connect and leave deeper friends.

Stop. Who are these people?

And It’s still a dream because I don’t feel comfy doing this anywhere but home. You won’t find me downtown hanging out drinking martinis and skinny drinks. I barely make it to The Fig for coffee / lemonade unless it’s work related. How can I desire the result of something more than the actual work of doing it?

So I’m left with investing time & energy (which can be gratifying) and the fear of being judged and disappointing out of my own insecurities.

This is my impasse. So I want to hear from the world.

I’m about to turn mid thirties and I have little ambling about having lasting friendships beyond my marriage (that took three tries before I got it right even). What am I missing here? Is it better for me to notably wave / nod at the idea of real friendships? Or is friends (the good , the bad & the WAY ugly) in this day & age overrated?

My Prayer: God. I’m struggling being with your people. I’m struggling defining relationships that are meaningful and rich beyond my professional career. I’m praying that your Holy Spirit breathe the right words in me and grow my confidence to build things that matter in the people you love. Help me to see past my perfect flaws for the greater good of your desire to connect each other on earth. Help me radiate your fire for connection.  Amen. 

LISTEN to the full podcast. I’d love your comments.

Posted on

Franzetti Photography: Three Under Five

Warning: looking at photos of this beautiful family may result in baby fever.

I am falling in love with newborn sessions. The first time I was asked to do a newborn session, I excitedly said yes, but in my head I was completely freaking out. I have not had a baby so obviously I believe babies are the most breakable little peanuts on the planet. Oh… I refer to babies as peanuts a lot 🙂 Flash forward multiple newborn sessions and I am completely loving the special moments that happen during these sessions. I am invited in to this totally precious time in a family’s life and it is the best.

This family in these photos is obviously beyond beautiful. Mamma Erin is undoubtedly a wonder woman. These three sweet girls are all under the age of five and her house is dreamy. On top of all that, she spends every day motivating women to love themselves and live healthy lifestyles. She is a coach through Beachbody and is one of the best I have seen. She does so much for women regardless of if they want to purchase any product. She gives away rockin’ recipes and is always there to give you a pep talk. I loved getting to spend time with them and Erin even made me a delicious healthy shake for the road!

Every photographer is different. During a session, I like to focus on the family connection. Instead of props, I like to fill photos with smiles and tiny toes. It is so sweet to see parents and siblings interact with a new babe! I love doing sessions in the family’s home because we can try to capture them as they really are during this chapter of their life. Extra bonus: new mama does not have to worry about packing anything up!

READ THE FULL POST: Three Under Five

 

Posted on

On The Last Day: You Were There

To the parents of students receiving school awards but were not present — you were there.

Let’s face it… with elementary aged kids the last day of school is EPIC, right? Most of the last week of school is filled with end of the year accolades to further boost their esteem for summer break.

Today I got dressed extra early just to get to school two hours after I dropped my kids off to watch them receive special recognition at the end-of-the-year school awards.

I got there 20 minutes early to grab a decent seat. This year the award ceremony seemed faster than before. I watched each student receive an award and receive applause from peers and the gathered assembly.

There were smile’s and cheers. There were kids that were told to stand still for pictures with their teachers.

But there were also students that received their award and quietly sat back down in the gym.  Whether by accident or design they there was no extra picture taking or parental hugs or pats on the back. No matter what direction they looked.

And that is OK too.

It’s OK for kids to understand the importance of work ethic. It is important for children to see their mothers put in hours so that they can value higher achievement and future opportunities.

As mothers we can’t be everywhere all the time. But we can celebrate the milestones in our own way.

So whether or not you were present at the school assembly is irrelevant. Because you were there along the way helping them to success.

You were there for homework time banging your head against the table for them to finish the worksheets. You were there when you got the discouraging teacher phone call from school about your child’s class behavior. You were there when they brought home the A+ spelling test.

You were present when they ask you questions about life. You responded when they acted out of pain and anger. You comforted them on their darker days. You help them to prioritize things that matter.

All of these things are greater achievements than sitting in a chair for 30 minutes. In this self bubbling world it is our obligation to keep our children planted in the things that matter. Do not succumb to the customs and behaviors of this world. (Romans 12:2)

To the parents of students receiving school awards but were not present — you were there right there with them, dancing/smiling /fist pumping in the place that matters most— their hearts.

Go get’em 🙂