A Wreath Making Workshop

Well, that was fun!! I was so lucky to get to attend a great event, right here in Jupiter, Florida. Halle Frey of Flowers & Fringe offered a wreath making workshop at one of my favorite new shops in Jupiter, The Ileen Boutique. My girlfriends & I signed up online and last night was the event. We had a BLAST! Halle supplied all the greenery & wreath making supplies and helped us create some pretty amazing pieces!

 

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Ashley, Nicole & Halle.

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Great shot Halle took of everyone that turned out for the event. A fabulous group of ladies!

Want to take a wreath workshop too? Halle is having one more workshop Wednesday, 12/16 at Uptown Art, West Palm Beach. Reserve your spot today! Have a great weekend! – Nicole

 

Jupiter Local Gift Giving Guide

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It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is officially over and it’s straight on to Hanukkah & Christmas! It’s been really fun doing the blog interviews this year. I’ve met so many incredibly talented locals! I want to do all I can to help our local entrepreneurs and thought a Local Gift Giving Guide was just the thing. So I made one for all of you, my lovely blog readers & supporters! It’s so important for all of us to help our Local Economy and support our fabulous local business owners. Lucky for us we have some really amazing shopping choices in our area! I’ve put together a list of some of my favorites. Here you go!!

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_AGSouth Florida based designer, Alexandra Gioia, pronounced joy-a, began designing jewelry for friends and family and launched her line in 2012. Alexandra Gioia features a variety of natural elements to create unique jewelry and gifts. From bold to dainty, each handcrafted piece is designed by Alexandra with the everyday woman in mind. Visit http://www.alexandragioia.com/ and see her whole collection of beautiful things designed & crafted in Jupiter, Florida! Follow this link if you’d like to meet her in person at one of these local events:  http://www.alexandragioia.com/blogs/news

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_BinkaInspired by growing up on the beaches of Jupiter, Florida with her shelter dog, Binki, Jessica created the simple yet versatile in wear style of binka. Binka’s mission is to support the rescue efforts of homeless and abused animals and to inspire people to adopt animals from local shelters and rescue groups. Jessica is offering 30% off of all orders/items with code BINKALOVESHOLIDAYS at checkout. www.binkagirl.com The discount applies for all items.

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_FFHalle Frey’s passion for flowers flourished while working at her aunt’s flower shop as a young girl. Ever since then she had envisioned herself having her very own floral business. Fast forward to the present and she is making those dreams into a reality. Infusing her background in marketing with her love of art, style, design and traveling to inspire and create floral designs. For Halle it is more then just the flowers, its creating a memory and a lasting relationship with her clients. Visit http://www.flowerandfringe.com/ to order one of Halle’s gorgeous Holiday Floral Arrangement. You can also find her at Uptown Art’s Pop & Shop Event, Dec. 6th and at The ileen boutique in Jupiter on December 10th for an exclusive shopping event.

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_KCThe Family Secrets Cookbook was written by Jupiter local Katie Choy. With the help of her husband & children she brought to life all of her Mother In Law’s family recipes. Lucky Us! If you haven’t tried Peruvian food yet, you don’t know what you are missing! With an unexpected blend of Incan and Cantonese flavors, Peruvian food hits your tastebuds full force, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked. The spices will wake you up, and the preparation methods are both startling and amazingly simple in most cases. Think you know how to stir-fry? Think again! Katie will take you step-by-step through more than 50 authentic recipes, from easy, everyday meals to elaborate dinners. Family Secrets is far more than a cookbook; it is a celebration of family mealtime. These meals are not only meant to be eaten together, but created together. Start your own amazing mealtime moments by taking your family and friends on a culinary journey to Peru! Visit http://katiechoy.com/ to order a book for yourself and everyone else on your list too!

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_MMM&M Studios has been a Jupiter Local business for over 30 years! Experts in Custom Picture Framing & Fine Art Printing, they also have an entire gallery full of locally made artisan gifts, local art and other unique items for everyone on your gift giving lists! Their friendly staff can help you with all your gift giving needs. They are offering free gift wrapping too! Stop in today and tell them Nicole sent you!

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_BBBAll of the taste none of the Junk! Bianca’s Brazilian Bites are all natural gourmet cookies and treats. Made with no flour, no refined sugar added, no eggs, no butter or unhealthy oils added. Our scrumptious all natural, gluten-free, no-GMO bites are baked fresh daily with no preservatives or additives. A promise to win your heart and your taste buds. Your body says thank you: finally a healthy cookie that tastes amazing. Send some to everyone on your list!

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_IGIleenGirl is a new boutique in Jupiter. Located in Downtown Abacoa. The owner, Ashely Lee, designs all the clothing in the shop! The outfit pictured above is her latest design: a see through loose sweater. Available in black and cream and one size fits all. It’s very soft material and stylish. Also pictured:  Ankle banded loose silk pants and hand bags, available in the shop too. The pants are one of their best selling items. Available in black, navy and brown. It’s a stretch waist banded design so also one size fits all. They always offer a free gift bag and wrapping. Ashley’s event list for December includes: The Barefoot Princess (Local online accessories shop) Pop Up Shop on Dec 3th from 4pm to 7pm. Also, Festive Fashion and Flower (wreath class and shopping) will be on Dec 10th from 7pm to 9pm. They will offer special sales during those events, so be sure and follow ILEENgirl’s updates.

 

LocalGiftGivingGuide_SGSporty Girl Apparel offers a large range of apparel and gifts for the outdoorsy ladies. Sporty Girl is a line of clothing that is centered to express a women’s passion for what she loves. There are many women in the world that love the ocean and the woods and the beautiful wildlife that inhabits these environments. Those women would love to have a piece of clothing that symbolizes their passion for the outdoors and looks fashionable. Whether in a tree stand or a turkey blind, out at hunting camp, fishing on a boat, hanging out at a marina or just out on the town you’ll always be DRESSED TO KILL when wearing Sporty Girl. Follow their updates for 12 Days of Holiday Savings. Also, their NEW, 2nd location, will be located in the Jupiter Dive Bar restaurant in the Jupiter Yacht Club, the south part of Riverwalk. Opens Black Friday!

Check out some past blog posts for even more of my favorite local businesses. They all have so many lovely things to offer!

As a Jupiter local myself I understand the importance of supporting our little community. Don’t forget, for every $100 spent at local businesses, $68 gets back to the community! That’s an amazing number! So PLEASE shop local and shop small this Holiday Season. It’s good for ALL of us!

As always, thanks for reading the blog, friends! I hope your Holidays are Merry & Bright! Are you or someone you know thinking of buying or selling a home in the Jupiter area? Have questions on how to even begin? I’d LOVE for you to Contact Me! Let me help you have an enjoyable real estate experience! ❤️ Nicole

 

 

Meet Kristy Grant of Sporty Girl Apparel

All I can say is WOW about this next interview. Kristy is a young, Jupiter Local, that is hard working and making things happen in Jupiter and beyond! I get so excited when I do these interviews. The hard working women in this area are seriously awesome. Kristy is no exception. Read on to learn more about her & her local business.

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Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kristy Grant I was born and raised in South Florida. I have lived in Jupiter Farms,West Jupiter, my whole life. I’m 27 years old and love the outdoors. I have two fur babies. One pit bull hound mix named Woodrow and the other is a blue tick hound named Gus. If you’re familiar with the old western Lonesome Dove (my all time favorite movie) then you’ll know where I got the dog’s names.

When did you start the Sporty Girl Apparel brand?
I started Sporty Girl apparel in 2008. I was 20 years old at the time and wanted to created something that looked cute and showed off my passion for the outdoors, that was completely different then what was out on the market at the time.

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Andrew & Kristy in Georgia with Woodrow (brown dog) and Gus (Black dog).

Who does the artwork for your apparel?
I do all my own artwork for the line. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time anymore to draw or paint like I used to, so I only come out with one or two new designs a year.

Who makes up the Sporty Girl Apparel crew?
The crew consist of family and close friends. The best way to have it. My mom, Kim, who is the book keeper & manager, deals with my wholesale accounts, primarily Gander Mountain, helps run the store and many other things in between. My sister, Jenny, was working full time running my store but she had a little baby boy 7 months ago, and now she helps wherever we need her to fill in. Then I have a few other amazing workers that are also great friends Jan, Sherry, Miranda, and Patricia. They are lifesavers whenever I need them and help me with everything from making products, working the store, internet, and helping out at shows.

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Kristy, with her Mom & Sister at a show.

What do you find most challenging about running your own business?
The most challenging thing about running a business, is finding time for yourself. I just recently discovered how important it is to have some time away from work. It’s not easy to shut your brain off from all the things that need to be done when running your own business, it’s a full time job. When you
leave work you never actually leave, so it was super hard to learn to try to leave work at work and I still struggle with that most of the week. But I know how important it is to take time to rest and enjoy other things about life.

What is the most rewarding thing about running your company?
The most rewarding is all the accomplishments and seeing the hard work pay off.  Every year the the things I tackle get bigger but the feeling is the same. From surviving my fist craft fair show in Dec 2008 to opening up my second shop location this year, the feeling of accomplishment and huge achievements is the same and keeps me going. Success is super rewarding and thankfully I’ve been lucky enough to continue to grow every year. Seeing excited happy customers keeps my drive to survive in the business world strong.

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Kristy with her sister & friends at the boat show.

What do you do on your days off?
I really don’t get many days off. Sundays I take off most the year, and that’s to catch up on household chores I let go all week. I do however try to leave work at 6:00PM and when I get off I do things for me. I love to take bike rides or walks through the woods and take wildlife pictures, that’s one of my passions. I luckily do get to take lots of little vacations throughout the year and for those I’m either hunting, fishing, or going on spear fishing trips to the Bahamas. I love to be either in the woods or out on or in the ocean, away from the hectic city life, where there are no people and it’s so peaceful.
Right now I’m writing this interview In my tree stand, on my annual 3 week hunting vacation at my family’s ranch in Georgia. We’re in the middle of nowhere and I’m just soaking up the peace, beauty and quietness of nature. Plus it’s my dogs favorite place as well, they love the freedom of running the fields, in the cool crisp air. I work super hard in order to take the time off though. Before this vacation I worked 2 months straight, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to get everything I needed to get done. The busy holiday season will start as soon as i get back. But all the hard work is total worth this!

How do you juggle work & family?
I’m so lucky and thankful I get to work with my family everyday, all day long. We’re super close, even on days off we hang with each other. Since my sister had the baby she’s not working that much but she can’t be away from us too long. LOL She and the baby come and hang with my mom and I almost every day of the week for an hour or two. Friends are another story. I’m grateful they are so understanding to my busy schedule. I hang out with my friends the most while I’m working. Like I said work never ends! LOL We do lots of photoshoots together and grab lunch or
breakfast to catch up after if there’s time. If not, they come to the shop and hang for a little bit to catch up. My boyfriend, Andrew, is super understanding and he is busy doing his own things most of the time anyways that he never complains when I work to much. We’ve been together for 10 years now, so he has grown used to me working a ton. Last year I took  the internet and a computer out of my house so when I get home I’m done with work. I used to come home and do computer work till 10-11 every night. When I started to get sick and rundown I knew things had to change. Now when I’m home I can focus on myself, my boyfriend and my dogs. For all the women who run businesses and have kids, I give you a TON of credit! I can’t imagine that right now.

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Sunrise photo shoot for the 2015 summer line.

Who is your favorite Superhero and why?
Honestly I don’t have a favorite super hero. I was never into those kind of shows or movies. I don’t really even know who they all are other than Batman and Spider Man. However, I always thought it would be so cool to have the power to fly. That sounds like a super hero trait 😀

Where can we find Sporty Girl Apparel online?
You can buy Sporty Girl  Apparel online at www.sportygirlapparel.com
You can also follow my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Wanelo
You can also buy us at 15 different Gander Mountain locations.

The Sporty Girl shop is located in Jupiter, North of Indiantown Rd, just North of Dune Dog or Center Street on Alt. A1A.
Sporty Girl Boutique
1001 N alt A1A
Jupiter fl 33477
561-972-6300
Our new store will be located in the Jupiter Dive Bar restaurant in the Jupiter Yacht Club, the south part of Riverwalk. Opening Black Friday.

We will have our Grand Opening for the new location December 5th from 11am-6pm. Please come and check out the new store! There will be lots raffles and discount coupons for buyers. The perfect time to get some holiday shopping done as well. It’s the day of the Holiday Boat Parade so the shop location will be an awesome spot to stay and watch it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read a little about myself and my business. Happy Holidays!

Thanks for reading the blog, friends! Please support our local business owners & entrepreneurs. They are a very important part of our little slice of South Florida. Northern Palm Beach County has many small businesses that make living here great! Know a business owner you would like to see featured. Contact me and they just may end up on the blog! – ❤️ Nicole

Meet Corey Morrow of Ink, Letter, Love

Those of you that don’t know me personally may not know that I have always been an artsy person. I studied art in college, worked in the art field for 15 years, and have dabbled in different medias for many years. One of my favorite things is beautiful, custom typography. I personally am horrible at it and failed miserably at it in college, but I’ve never lost my appreciation for it. While I was shopping at a local shop here in Jupiter, my eyes were drawn to some adorable hand lettered signs they had. When I got home, I did some research and found Corey’s website & work online. Now I’m am totally a HUGE fan of hers. What a talented woman, right here in Northern Palm Beach County!

ILL-fullLOGO-blackbackground-PNGTell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from Michigan, but I moved to Palm Beach Gardens when I was six and I’ve been a Florida girl ever since. I graduated from Florida State University (GO NOLES!) with a BA in Creative Writing, and have a MA in Writing from Nova Southeastern University I love a good story! For as long as I can remember, I have been a lover of words reading them, writing them, singing them off key in the shower & drawing them. My company, Ink Letter Love is just another way for me to celebrate my favorite invention words! I am a writer, editor, & artist with an affection for rainy, napfilled afternoons, frozen yogurt with sprinkles, & colorful socks. I have an incredibly supportive and hilarious husband, Matt, and a sweet little pug named Junebug. They are both highly entertaining and keep me laughing!

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When did you first have an interest in hand lettering?
My mom is incredibly artistic and encouraged me to play with my creativity growing up, and I have always been a lover of words it seemed natural that the two would intersect. When I was younger, I often tested out different handwriting styles when taking notes in class just to see if I could mimic a font I really liked and I am a big time doodler. Hand lettering is just something I have always done without really thinking and is an art form I truly love especially since there will always be more to learn! These days picking up a pen and writing by hand is somewhat foreign to many people, but it is
something I do every day and it makes me really happy.

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How did you get started in the “Hand Lettering for a living” field? How long have you been in the biz?
Earlier this year, my Mother in Law, Barbara, passed away after a terrible struggle with ALS. We were really close, and losing her hit me hard. Even writing this now brings tears to my eyes. A friend of mine, Caroline, hosted a daily hand lettering challenge through Instagram shortly after Barbara passed and I participated in an effort to distract myself and have something to look forward to each day. It reignited my fire for lettering and for the first
time in months, I was happy. Some friends of ours were getting married around the same time and had asked if I would hand letter some items for their big day I was overjoyed to be included in such an important day and obviously said yes! I had been planning to leave my fulltime job over the summer to pursue writing and editing full time, and figured I would letter on the side since I enjoyed it so much. As it turns out, the lettering was really popular and has completely taken off! Quitting a job with a steady paycheck was terrifying, but starting my own business has been the best decision and I wouldn’t trade my long days of lettering for anything! My company is Ink Letter Love because I honestly can’t live without ink, letters or love and the company can’t either!

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What has been your favorite project so far?
Oh gosh, this is a hard question! Every time someone asks me to be a part of their wedding day through lettering, I get misty eyed and am always so honored! I created a series of prints last month for couple expecting their first baby and that was a really special project. Each piece I create is unique and I am always overwhelmed by the positive response to my work. Recently, I was asked to letter on the mirrors behind the bar at Michael R. McCarty’s restaurant on Palm Beach and that was a really fun project! I love it when someone calls me and says, “I have a really crazy idea” because it means I get to do something I haven’t done before. It’s especially fun if the project is on a large scale like the mirrors at McCarty’s! I love that people get to go somewhere public and see what I have created it’s very surreal and humbling! I also recently did some really fun things for a styled photoshoot with other wedding vendors in the area and that was awesome! I do a lot of lettering on vintage windows and I got to hang my windows in a large tree for the photoshoot and it was a dream come true!

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Corey & Her Husband Matt

What do you find most challenging about running your own business?
All the computer/numbers/legal stuff that comes with starting & running your own company is really overwhelming and unfun. I don’t love sitting at a computer crunching numbers, I’d much rather be covered in paint making something!!

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What is the most rewarding thing about running your company?
Every day I wake up and get to do something that I really love to do and there is nothing better than that! My day is exactly what I want it to be and my schedule is really flexible so I can create and work whenever I want to!

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What do you do on your days off?
These days I don’t really ever take a full day off, but I really love being outside! So whenever I have a few free hours, I like to try and get out of the
house for a walk or something! I also really love spending the whole day in my pajamas on the couch watching movies with Matt and June we don’t get to do that too often, but when we do it is completely perfect!

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How do you juggle work & family?
I am honestly not good at it! I work at all hours of the day and my schedule can be crazy sometimes, so I really haven’t gotten a good grasp on that
elusive “balance”. Mostly, I try to put away my phone and my markers for a little bit each day and spend real time with my husband. A lot of what I do happens after normal work hours or on the weekends, so getting an hour or two of nonwork time each night can be hard. I don’t think I will ever truly achieve a perfect balance but I will always try to let my family know how special they are whenever I can!

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Who is your favorite Superhero and why?
I watched the Netflix series Daredevil over the summer and am now completely hooked! Daredevil is a superhero I didn’t really know of before watching the show, but I really fell in love with his story! He is determined and resourceful and is a total badass.

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Where can we find You and your artwork online?
The best place to see my latest work is on Instagram, I am @inkletterlove over there. You can also follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/inkletterlove or visit my site at www.inkletterlove.com! The best way to get in touch with me is via email inkletterlove@gmail.com I
love meeting new people, so say hi!!

Thank you Corey, for sharing your story! Your work is so lovely!!

Thanks for reading the blog, friends! Please support our local business owners & entrepreneurs. They are a very important part of our little slice of South Florida. Northern Palm Beach County has many small businesses that make living here great! – ❤️ Nicole

Meet Katie Choy, Author of Family Secrets Cookbook

Katie and I have known each other for several years now. Her three children and my daughter swim on the same swim team. Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve learned more about her. Let me tell you something… Katie is amazing! Read on!!

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Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised north of Pittsburgh in rural Western Pennsylvania. I moved to South Florida in 1994 to work as a travel nurse at the Jupiter Medical Center, where I met my husband Rogelio. In the short time I was here, he convinced me to marry him and make my home in Jupiter! We married in 1995, and in the next three years, had three beautiful babies. We have raised our children on the Loxahatchee River and have one cat, KitKat. Our oldest son has left the nest and made his home in the San Fransisco Bay Area as a computer programmer.

Why did you first decide to make a cookbook?
The idea to make the cookbook came about years ago. I loved my Mother-in-law’s food, and it was so different from what I had ever had. I used to watch her cook and write down the recipes. When the kids came along, I had no time, and it was put on hold. Once they were older, I started learning to cook from her again. I was collecting them purely for my own use, and one day my husband said, “You should publish this.” I sort of chuckled, but kept the idea in the back of my head.

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Presenting Christine Najac, director of South Florida Food and Wine, with her copy. She also gave an amazing review quote for back cover.

How did you get started on the book? How long did it take from start to finish?
I can’t tell you the exact date I started the book, since I had been collecting recipes for a long time. I hit a lot of roadblocks along the way, and I am very busy with my family, so it was a long process. I would safely say that from when I took it seriously, until the book was actually published, has been at least 5-6 years.

What do you find most challenging about making the book?
The most challenging part of the book for me was actually submitting the work. I tend to feel things aren’t “good enough” and have high expectations. Letting go, and realizing it will never be perfect was my obstacle to overcome.

Presenting Mike Moir, owner of Food Shack and Leftovers, his copy. He gave an awesome review quote for back cover.
Presenting Mike Moir, owner of Food Shack and Leftovers, his copy. He gave an awesome review quote for back cover.

 

What is the most rewarding thing about the final project?
The most rewarding part of the final project is knowing I am helping to contribute to the medical care for the underserved people of Peru. A portion of the proceeds goes directly to the Peruvian American Medical Society providing clinics and medical mission trips in the remote regions. Peru educated my husband, and I want to give back.

Do you have a favorite recipe from the book?
My favorite recipe…that is so hard, because most every recipe is my favorite. Well…..except the beef tongue (that is my husband’s favorite)!

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Do you plan on doing a book tour?
I have no tour scheduled yet, but I would love to do a book tour!

What does your family think about the book?
My family loves the book. They better, because they were all a part of it. My husband and daughter did the photography, my oldest son created the iBook version, my younger son helped with the writing and editing, and my cousin did the professional editing. It was truly a family affair.

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Where can we find out more about Family Secrets Peruvian-Chinese Cuisine?
You can learn more about Family Secrets at katiechoy.com. I am doing my own marketing and distribution and will ship anywhere in the U.S., or locals can contact me directly at katichoy@outlook.com. to get their signed copy.

Is there anything else you would like is to know?
I am fortunate enough to have wonderful friends who have hosted some book-signing parties in their home to help spread the word. I am planning on attending local events such as The Benjamin School’s Kid’s Corner holiday shopping and Harbourside’s Farmers market. After the holidays, I would like to start offering personalized cooking classes. I have an exciting event scheduled for April at the Oakland Park Culinary Art Showcase. I have a lot of ideas in the works. I have been asked to arrange culinary trips to Peru, and am in the process of working with a local travel agency to make this happen. We are scrambling to put the first one together for late February.

Thank you Katie, for sharing your story! Congratulations on this wonderful project!!

Thanks for reading the blog, friends! Please support our local business owners & entrepreneurs. They are a very important part of our little slice of South Florida.  Northern Palm Beach County has many small businesses that make living here great! I’m totally ordering a few (signed) copies of this gorgeous cookbook for the chefs in my life. What great holiday gifts!! – ❤️ Nicole