{life} a beautiful fall morning walk

I've been trying to go on more walks outside of the yard with my dog, Zoe. We both need the additional exercise. My other two dogs, Annie & Jags, both get a very good workout as they are crazy for playing fetch. Zoe, not so much. Her attention span is so short and she really doesn't like to do what the other dogs do. She's always got to do something a little different and special. She's my little rebel.

So while my husband plays with Annie & Jags, I'm trying to walk the neighborhood with Zoe. It's a tough, but beautiful walk. Living in the mountains there aren't many flat areas and my neighborhood is no exception. Oh and I forgot to mention the lack of oxygen at this altitude! But, it's a great workout and I'm trying to stick to it for both our sakes. Being Fall in the mountains means the leaves are turning and it's absolutely beautiful! I took these pictures on our walk this morning. The colors of the changing leaves are so vibrant and inspiring.


{special project} rehearsal dinner invitations

WEDDING REHEARSAL DINNER INVITAIONS. My nephew is getting married at the end of next month and I was asked by my sister-in-law to create the invitations for the rehearsal dinner they are hosting. I was so honored and delighted to be able to contribute something! We recently received our wedding invitation in the mail and they are stunning. The wedding invitations are a beautiful handmade set featuring a natural handmade paper with layered card stocks to create a three dimensional effect and a big red bow. The rehearsal dinner is going to be a fun luau theme and I wanted to tie the design of the rehearsal dinner invitations into the wedding invitations.

I'm now inspired to create a tropical themed wedding suite for my wedding shop, Two Hearts Wedding Shoppe!


{halloween} customer favorite t-shirt

CUTE HALLOWEEN T-SHIRT. Halloween is quickly approaching and we thought it would be fun to show you one of our customer favorite t-shirts! Our customers simply adore this fun Halloween t-shirt design featuring an original kawaii illustration of three cute candy corns with the words "Me So Corny" below it! Available for men, women and kids in a variety of sizes, colors and styles.

Me So Corny Halloween Dark T-Shirt shirt Me So Corny Halloween T-Shirt shirt


{holiday 2011} personalized zebra chic christmas holiday party invitations

PERSONALIZED MODERN CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY PARTY INVITATIONS. We've been working on lots of new designs at The Spotted Olive™ and are pleased with our latest Christmas Holiday Party invitation! Zebra print is a huge trend right now and we thought it would be fun to combine it with the holidays. It's fun and funky yet stylish and chic.

Shop The Spotted Olive's fabulous selection of personalized Christmas Cards & Invitations.


{it's official} summer is over

Hope you had a wonderful Saturday! I know this isn't news to anyone and we usually have some snow on Pike's Peak but today when we were out and about we noticed the peak was covered! Just another reminder that summer really is over. It sure is beautiful though, isn't it?


{sale} 50% off hip & trendy business cards

50% OFF HIP & TRENDY BUSINESS CARDS. Happy Monday! A big sale is always a great way to start a new week off. Enjoy 50% off modern and professional, 2-sided professional business cards at The Spotted Olive™ through 9/14/11 with coupon code: DEALBIZCARDS at checkout!

* 50% of the business card pack net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying business card packs are purchased and the coupon code DEALBIZCARDS is applied at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). Offer is valid through September 14, 2011 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.


{remembering} 9/11

My heart goes out to all who have been affected in any way by the tragic events of 9/11. I remember getting ready for work that morning with the television on seeing the planes hit the towers and watching in horror as the events unfolded. Once I got to work, the entire office continued to be glued to the television and during this time our company was receiving bomb threats, but we were not allowed to leave work. It was quite frightening and difficult. Those shocking images of tragedy and loss are forever branded in my brain, but it in no way compares to those who were in New York, at The Pentagon, Pensylvania and surrounding areas seeing it all first hand and experiencing loss of epic proportions. I can't imagine the unbearable pain that so many feel to this day. Just thinking about it all brings me to tears.  

Our neighbors were a wonderful middle aged couple with no children. On 9/11, the man (Dean) who was a career Army professional lost his brother at The Petagon. It was devastating, of course, as it was for everyone. His brother's wife just had a baby and they had another little boy who was about 2 years old. To add another cruel twist of fate to the tragic events of 9/11, the mother of the two little boys (Dean's sister-in-law) was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was not given long to live. Once she was gone, the boys would come to live with my neighbors and they would raise them. I remember seeing the mother on a visit as she was preparing things for the boys and the rest of their lives without her. It was so heartbreaking talking to her about what had happened and what she was doing for her boys' futures. She was a lovely woman. Sadly she did pass away very soon after that visit and the boys came to live with my neighbors. They were so young and such good little boys hit with such tragedy so early in life. A few years ago they moved away and we still hear from the family from time to time. It's always nice to know that they are doing well. From these tragic losses, my neighbors were able to do something good and raise their nephews in a loving, caring home.  

As we remember the tragic events of this day ten years ago, the lives lost, the heros that emerged and the pain that is still felt, I recommend visiting the 9/11 Living Memorial Project which is an online interactive tribute commemorating the lives and preserving the stories of September 11, 2001.

September 11th, 2001 was a life changing event not only for the people of New York and the United States, but for people of the world. As we reflect upon this day, it is important to recognize that we are all connected, we are all human beings living on this planet. We should embrace our differences and learn to live together in peace and harmony. A few years ago I affirmed the Charter for Compassion. The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological and national difference.

Peace be with us all today and always.


{new!} cute personalized halloween photo cards

Cute Personalized Halloween Photo Cards. Happy Friday everyone! I've been working on some more fun personalized Halloween photo card & invitation designs. This photo card design is fresh in my shop today! It features trendy chevron stripes in Halloween colors with a cute little ghost and the word "Boo!" in a fun typeface.

Shop The Spotted Olive's selection of personalized Halloween invitations and photo cards!


{update} enchanted makeovers event

Back in August The Spotted Olive™ participated through The indiExhibit by contributing to special gift boxes for the "Stepping Back in Time" Dinner & Dance event put on by Enchanted Makeovers for Alternatives For Girls in Southwest Detroit. We created special inspirational message buttons to be included in the gift boxes especially for this event. 
Terry Grahl, the founder of Enchanted Makeovers, posted this wonderful message and video regarding the event.
 Thank you to the indiExhibit members for your beautiful gifts to Enchanted Makeovers Stepping Back in Time Event on Aug. 28th. There were many happy tears when the girls opened up their boxes. GOD BLESS YOU!

What an extraordinary event and wonderful video. The women looked so beautiful and the event appeared to be spectacular in every way. I am extremely honored and proud to have been a tiny party of this beautiful event for some amazing women. Thank you Terry Grahl & Enchanted Makeovers for your dedication to this cause. And a big thank you to all the wonderful staff and volunteers at Enchanted Makeovers and Alternatives for Girls (as well as shelters & volunteers throughout the world) for giving of yourselves to help others. The world truly needs more people in it like all of you.

To learn more about Enchanted Makeovers, please visit: www.enchantedmakeovers.org. To learn more about Alternatives for Girls, please visit: www.alternativesforgirls.org.

P.S. You can see a tiny glimpse of one of our buttons still in it's packaging at 1:41 in the video. :)


{happy winner} brenda boo

More pictures from Brenda Boo and I couldn't be happier!! I was absolutely thrilled to get this great picture from the beautiful and talented Brenda Boo of Brenda Boo Art and The Bootique holding her stationery and envelopes from The Spotted Olive™. Brenda was the winner of the All Women Stalk giveaway back in August and was kind enough to snap this picture and send it to me! I love it!!!

Brenda is a friend and an amazingly talented artist and I just adore her work. I have one of her fabulous art prints hanging up in my office. And that reminds me that I need to return the favor of this wonderful photo and send her one of me holding her art! Adding that to the project list now.

You can check Brenda and her work out here:

Brenda Boo Art
The Bootique
Brenda Boo on Twitter
The Bootique Fan Page on Facebook

I just may be doing another giveaway of Brenda's amazing art very soon so stay tuned. :) Thank you again, Brenda, for sending such great pictures. XOXO!


{sale} 20% off cards, postcards, photo cards, invitations & announcements!

SAVE 20% ON INVITATIONS & MORE! We're having a huge sale on cards, postcards, photo cards, invitations & announcements from now until 12/31/11!! That's right, you can save 20% on all your purchases of cards, postcards, photo cards, invitations & announcements until the end of the year when you use coupon code: HOLIDAYCHEER at checkout!

This offer is not limited to holiday themed cards, photo cards, postcards, invitations & announcements! It's valid on all cards, photo cards, postcards, invitations & announcements. Looking for birth announcements? Check out The Spotted Olive's collection and SAVE 20%! Throwing a bachelorette party? We've got funky fun bachelorette party invitations that you will save 20% on with code: HOLDIAYCHEER at check out. Get your Halloween photo cards and party invitations and SAVE 20%! Purchase your Thanksgiving photo cards and gathering invitations and SAVE 20%! Of course, it's also a great time to purchase your holiday, Christmas & New Year greetings especially when you can SAVE 20%!

*20% of the invitation, greeting card, photo card and/or postcard net sale price will be deducted when one or more qualifying invitations, greeting cards, photo cards and/or postcards are purchased and the coupon code HOLIDAYCHEER is applied at checkout. The net sale price is the price of the product (excluding shipping and taxes). Offer is valid through December, 31 2011 11:59pm PT. This offer does not apply to past purchases and may not be combined with any other Zazzle promotional or volume discount offers. If a volume discount applies to your order, you will receive either the discount set forth in this offer or the standard volume discount, whichever is greater. Offer valid on Zazzle.com only.

Expires 12/31/2011. Use Promotional Code: HOLIDAYCHEER

{happiness} the best picture ever!

I'm so excited and overjoyed today!!! My day started off by receiving two wonderful happy customer pictures. Below is the BEST PICTURE EVER and I just LOVE it!!

Sent in by the fabulous Brenda Boo of Brenda Boo Art and The Bootique, this ultra cute photo collage features gorgeous Brenda with her darling daughter, Sunni, holding a piece of stationery from The Spotted Olive™ with "We {heart} The Spotted Olive XOXO" written on it! This has completely made my day, week and month!!! My heart goes pitty pat every time I look at it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Brenda & Sunni for your sweet note & picture. I will definitely treasure this forever. The biggest hugs and kisses go out to you both. XOXO.

{wishlist} inkling by wacom

I recently learned about the new inkling digital sketch pen by wacom. This is the coolest thing ever. The inkling allows you to sketch on any piece of paper and have a digital version automatically created. This amazing pen looks like a regular ballpoint pen but it is so much more powerful. I read that you will be able to create layers as you sketch and then edit the drawings in Illustrator and Photoshop. I am drooling over this! I'm putting it on my Christmas list for sure.


{music inspiration} queen

Today would have been the fabulous Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday and it is only fitting that I post Queen as today's musical inspiration. I adore Freddie and Queen. They are true musical icons.  I love Freddie's charisma, creativity, incredible talent and spectacular showmanship. Amazing. Queen is one of those bands that survives the test of time. Great songs, great music, great performances. One of the best bands in the history of rock 'n roll.

Please stop by the website Freddie For A Day to see how you can help fight HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Happy Birthday, Freddie. May you rest in peace. Long live King Mercury!!

{random} weekend snapshots

Hi Everyone! Happy Labor Day. I hope that you are enjoying this long weekend. The weather has been beautiful here and we've had a lovely time the past few days. Yesterday we had a cookout with lots of great food including ribs with Cripple Creek Barbeque sauce (for the meat eaters), grilled vegetables and haloumi, goat cheese & dill biscuits topped with marscapone cheese and grilled veggies tossed in balsamic vinegar, watermelon, bloody marys, sun green tea and coconut cookie sandwiches! I ate way too much but it was all so good.

If there is no wind tonight I'm hoping we will be able to have movie night under the stars with a fire in the fire pit to end this nice long weekend! I hope your weekend was wonderful too!


{weekend} happy labor day

What's better than the weekend? A long holiday weekend!! Happy Labor Day weekend to all my friends in the USA. I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend full of relaxation, delicious food and the company of family and friends.


{cause} celebrate japan dolphins day

Save Japan Dolphins Day in Colorado
{photo via Save Japan Dolphins on Facebook}
Today is Celebrate Japan Dolphins Day and the first day of the dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan. I am a supporter of Ric O'Barry and the Save Japan Dolphins cause. I truly admire Ric O'Barry and his efforts to educate people and save dolphins. I am so grateful to have learned about the plight of dolphins and about how amazing they truly are from his Oscar winning film, The Cove. It was a very hard film to watch and I cry every time I think about it, but I truly learned so much that I was so unaware of and I am happy to be educated on this subject.

In an effort to be positive, Ric O'Barry and the organizers of Celebrate Japan Dolphin Day thought it would be more effective to get people to be FOR something than AGAINST something. Through this, they have organized an international day of dolphin celebration in several cities around the world. Educating with peace and love is a great way to spread the word about this and any other cause.

Dolphins are remarkable and incredibly intelligent creatures and deserve to treated with respect and compassion. I hope you will be inspired today to learn more about dolphins and what you can do to help them through this cause.

Below are five points on dolphins and this cause from Save Japan Dolphins:

1. Dolphins are sentient beings, who should not be harmed or slaughtered.

2. Captivity kills - don't buy a ticket to dolphinariums!

3. Dolphins are worth more alive than dead to Japan; through eco-tourism and other green policies, Japan’s economy can make a full recovery.

4. We support Japanese peoples’ right to know about contamination of dolphin meat with mercury and radioactivity; we are concerned for the people.

5. Many Japanese don't know about the drive fishery killing of dolphins and actually oppose it when they understand what is happening.

Visit www.SaveJapanDolphins.org to learn more about this cause and what you can do to help.

UPDATE: It looks like the event in Taiji, Japan was successful and peaceful. Read Ric O'Barry's blog post on the day's events. Dolphin celebrations and peaceful protests are taking place throughout the world today.

{hello} september

Welcome September! I can't believe how fast summer flew by this year. I thought it would be cool to kick of the month with this awesome song, September, by Earth, Wind & Fire. I love it and totally dig the outfits in the video. I really adore the the remix of this song and scene when it is played in the movie Babel—an excellent movie! Happy September to you.


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