The Toy Your Cat Will Love While You're Honeymooning

#CatVsMouse - The Toy Your Cat Will Love While You're Honeymooning - Paper Swallow Events

I love my cat. Maximus is quirky and full of personality. Whenever Michael + I leave on a trip, I always worry that he will get lonely or bored. For this reason, I'm always in the market for a new toy that will keep him occupied. If you're an engaged couple who owns a cat that they are concerned about leaving during thier honeymoon, I'm sure you're looking for different methods of keeping them entertained while you're away.

Temptations® Snack Mouse™ does exactly that! Max wasn't sure about it the first time I showed it to him, but as soon as he discovered that it occasionally holds treats he decided it was the new best thing ever. He loves the Temptations® treats and always complains when he's emptied the toy of his allotment for the day. (I've tried putting his dry cat food inside but he doesn't enjoy that quite as much.)

I do think it's important to note that Maximus is generally a playful cat. He's highly affectionate and always willing to play with string, balls, or any other item that strikes his fancy - particularly if it rolls around.  A less playful cat might not enjoy it quite as much. As you can see in the photos, He can hardly wait for me to put it on the floor!

So, if you're worried about your cat feeling bored, leave this toy out with some instructions for your pet sitter to refill the toy each day before they leave so that your cat has plenty to do! I think they will love it!

What toys does your cat like to play with?

xoxo, Stacia

This post was made possible thanks to Influenster and Temptations® in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own, as always. #CatVsMouse

Vendor Highlights: East West Design Co.

Vendor Highlights: East West Design Co. - Paper Swallow Events

Hello lovelies! Today I'm highlighting another vendor that I absolutely adore. East West Design Co. is a lovely Etsy shop that is just now expanding their business to include wedding invitations. Read more about them below and be sure to check out their shop for all kinds of beautiful print items! xoxo, Stacia

Tell us a little about yourself and East West Design Co.
My name is Rachel and I'm one half of East West Design Co.. My shop partner Lindsey and I started our Etsy shop in June of 2014 with little knowledge of what we were doing. We just knew that we loved creating paper goods and using our lettering to make pretty things! We have learned a lot since then. We currently sell prints, cards, and stamps.

What inspired your company's name?
Lindsey and I met through her brother -- AKA my fiance! We are getting married in April! We both knew that we wanted to create an Etsy shop together but we lived in two different states...across the country. Lindsey lives in California and I live in Georgia. From there, the name "East West" was born!

What inspired you to go into print making?
Simply a shared love for seeing beautiful scripture on the walls of homes. We are both natural crafters and just can't help but create something. Might as well make it into a business!

You are currently expanding your business to include invitations, what inspired that move?
I can definitely say that my own wedding planning has inspired a desire to put a couple of invitations into the shop. I'm making my own invitation suite and have enjoyed every second of it! Today I'm working on the calligraphy for my envelopes and my hands are already cramping! I'm hoping to add two or three invitation suites to the shop and maybe a bridal shower invitation as well!

Where do you go to find inspiration?
Scripture, Pinterest, wedding magazines, other shops that inspire us...there are endless sources of inspiration!

What is your favorite part of running your business?
I love packaging up a print and getting it ready to go out to the customer. It's so fun!

Do you accept custom requests?
YES! We love making custom prints.

What motivates you to return to East West Design Co even after a tough day?
Good question! Sometimes, we have a slow month. It's SO easy to get discouraged and think things like, "maybe I'll just focus on other things" or, "this isn't for me." But God quickly reminds me that He gave me these gifts to use. I have to check in with myself to make sure I'm not doing this for my own glory, but for His.

Do you have any rituals that help you get into a creative zone before starting your work?
I just have to try not to look too much at someone else's work. It's impossible to not be inspired by something else in some small way, but the most unsuccessful creative processes I've had were when I was trying to directly mimic someone else's art! When I just take a few deep breaths and start making, the outcome is always best.

What is something on your business bucket list?
I think it'd be awesome to have a calligraphy business! Although my cramped hand is currently disagreeing with me.

How can people find and connect with you?
Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Email: eastwestdesigncompany@gmail.com

Spring Clean Your Lifestyle: Detox Your Body

Today I'm so excited to have Britney back for Part II of her Spring Clean Your Lifestyle series! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge, Britney!

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Welcome to Part II of my three part series titled Spring Clean Your Lifestyle! Last month we talked about how to spring-clean your pantry by replacing old or preservative-filled foods with life-giving staples.

This month, we are talking detox.

Not the dangerous, skinny-by-the-weekend, drink-nothing-but-kale-juice detox, but the natural process of helping your body discard harmful toxins and replace them with balancing nutrients.

While there are several ways to naturally detox your body, I gravitate towards the least harsh- swapping out a couple of my regular meals each week for a detox recipe. I have found that by integrating cleansing recipes into my regular diet, I rarely need to make drastic diet changes. No 3-day-refreshes. No juice-for-a-week diets. Just simple recipes my whole family enjoys that aid in our digestion, energy levels, and overall wellness sprinkled into our normal routine.

If you are new to the idea of detoxing, this is a fantastic way to start. You will be fueling your body with superfoodnutrients without the usual side effects of a full detox- and you won’t ever feel hungry! Now that’s the way to detox if you ask me.

I’ve collected my favorite juice, soup, salad, and snack detox recipes so you can see how simple they are to incorporate into your regular routine. And since they use only real foods, you can eat them as often and in any (reasonable) quantities you want! Just be sure to drink plenty of water as the natural process of detoxification can be quite dehydrating.

Detox Juice
6 raw carrots
1 raw lemon - peeled
1 inch fresh ginger root
2 apples - cored and quartered
1 cucumber - peeled

INSTRUCTIONS:
Run all ingredients through a juicer and drink immediately.Store in airtight glass jar in fridge for up to 3 days. Shake before drinking.


Detox Soup
(adapted from theglowingfridge.com)
1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth)
1/2 of a red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 small head of broccoli, florets
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 zucchini, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon turmeric (I used powdered)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
fine-grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste
6 cups water (or 4 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups water)
2 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn in pieces
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
juice from ½ of a small lemon (or a whole lemon, depending how much lemon flavor you prefer)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. In a large pot, add the water and turn on the heat to medium-high. After it’s hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh ginger. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, adding in extra water or broth as needed (another 1/4 cup). Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper plus salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add in the water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add in the kale, cabbage and lemon juice near the last 2-3 minutes of simmering.
3.Enjoy!


Detox Salad
(adapted from gimmesomeoven.com)
3 cups chopped fresh kale
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS:
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice,crushed garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Add kale and Parmesan, and toss until the kale is evenly coated. Massage the dressing into the kale with your fingers for an extra minute or two until the kale is soft and dark green. Serve immediately.


Raw Energy Bites
1 cup dry rolled oats
1/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup nut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
2 T chia seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tsp vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS: Combine all ingredients and stir until well mixed. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll into 1-inch balls and enjoy! Keep refrigerated in airtight container for up to 1 week.

 Happy Spring and happy detoxing!

Britney Ammen is a mom and real foods coach who loves helping people to realize the full potential of their pantry through meal planning, cooking classes, and motivational groups. To learn more about her company, Dinner: Unprocessed, visit www.facebook.com/britneylynneammen.

Britney is not certified to diagnose, treat, or prescribe. Please see a wholistic health practitioner or doctor if you are unsure how certain foods may affect your condition or interact with medications.

My Week in Review

My Week in Review - Paper Swallow Events

It's crazy that it's already been a week since we got home from Chicago! Catching up is always a little crazy, especially since I got sick in the middle of the week, but this week I'm starting things on top of my to do list. It's good to be back on a routine!

1. I am IN LOVE with Amy Heitman's clever card designs! If you love sending beautiful cards to the people you love, or want some gorgeous wedding invitations, you should check her out! I think I'm going to order some just to frame. :)

2. Michael's birthday was this week. I love him so much and am so thankful to be part of his life. To celebrate we had dinner with our friends Kate + Cody; Kate + I made lobster. It was a great night! 

3. The venue I toured this week had some amazing and unusual flooring. It looks like wood, but it's really tile! I'm always looking for unique details, so I had to snap a photo!

4. We had several rainy days this week, but I must admit I've always found rainy days beautiful.

5. Yesterday Michael + I had lunch with Jenna and her husband, Lamar. They are the sweetest couple and I can't wait for the collaboration Jenna and I have brewing for next month! In the meantime, you should pop by her lovely blog

You May Have Missed:
Snapshots from Chicago
Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Day
My Week in Review

Awesome Finds:
This Tumblr is hilarious! I've been enjoying reading a few here and there.
I love every detail in this photo.
Wouldn't it be fun to make some of these?
Do you like this planter?
Such neat aisle decor for a beach wedding!
Ah! The golden light!

What have you been up to this past week?

xoxo, Stacia

Snapshots from Chicago

Snapshots from Chicago - Paper Swallow Events

Happy Friday! This week has been a doozy, you guys. Getting back from a trip is always full of catch up work, but I got sick on top of that so I've been trying to work through headaches. However, our time in Chicago was really good. There were wedding ups and downs, but overall it went super well.

I took my DSLR in hopes of capturing some super nice photos, but as the matron of honor I was WAY too busy for that. So all of these are photos taken with my iPhone. Getting to catch up with all of our college friends who were in the bridal party was so much fun. Jen looked gorgeous in her dress, and I loved all the special moments in her + Matt's ceremony. I'm really excited to see what the future holds for them!

xoxo, Stacia

The chairs at the rehearsal dinner were a little too short for the table. We made the best of it. :)

Snapshots from Chicago - Paper Swallow Events

Michael likes to make fun of me and how I consciously raise my eyebrows and open my eyes a little bit in photos so that you can actually see my eyes. This is his version of my face. haha.