Meet Linda McMillan

Meet Linda McMillan

Graduating high school or college is a milestone, so it’s only fitting to have a photo session to commemorate the event.  Luckily, we’ve partnered with our friend Linda McMillan to make your life a LOT easier!  She’s a very talented photographer, and she consistently provides amazing Senior Portraits for her clients.  Linda’s most popular package is the Signature Session, which includes 3 outfit changes, 2 hours of photography, professional hair styling and airbrush makeup, plus online gallery viewing and ordering for one month… Talk about the royal treatment!  We love the idea of getting all GLAMMED up to capture your senior year.  If you’re going to document the occasion, you might as well look and feel your best!

*Like the sound of that?  Keep reading for more information on how you could WIN a Signature Session!*

Linda also gives every client a Senior Swag Bag after their session… which happens to include some personalized folded notes from Barque (wink wink).

As icing on the cake, Linda’s Senior Swag Bag also contains an exclusive coupon from us for a discount on custom graduation announcements!  It’s simple – bring in your photos from Linda, peruse our samples for ideas, visit with us about fonts, colors and paper options, and we’ll work with you to create the perfect announcement.  It’s a win-win.  Fabulous graduation photos to cherish AND custom announcements as fun or quirky as you are.  (Hey, you’re heading out into the “real world” – your big debut should make a splash!)

Honestly, we’ve been a fan of Linda’s work for awhile now, so we jumped at the chance to collaborate with her on this.  She’s our kind of people – and we think you’ll like her too.

For more information on booking a session with Linda McMillan Photography, check out her website HERE.  Then come see us – we can’t wait to help you create the perfect announcement!

*** PSSST – For a limited time, we’ve partnered with Linda McMillan Photography and Beauty by Brooke for an awesome Signature Session GIVEAWAY that ends on September 1, 2016.  See details pinned to the top of our Facebook page HERE.  ***

enter the giveaway

Giveaway ends on September 1, 2016.  Other restrictions may apply.  This promotion is in no way  sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.

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Aloha Team Dinner

Aloha Team Dinner

This past weekend the Barque team said “aloha” (goodbye) to summer AND “aloha” (hello) to a great fall ahead!  It was the second annual End of Summer Party for us, and it really was a lot of fun.  For me, it’s a wonderful way to connect with my team on a social level, and it’s also the perfect opportunity to incorporate products that we sell in a “real life” setting so my gals can see how people use our stuff outside of the store.

IMG_4802 smA colorful chalkboard sign on the front door was a great way to welcome the girls – and check out the FAB lettering skills of our very own @kelseylainee (go find her out on Instagram now)!

Once they walked through the door, the girls were greeted by our store mannequin, Manny, dressed in a sarong and coconut bra with plastic leis. Quite festive.

IMG_4755 smThis casual soiree incorporated a lot of color, from the DIY Tassel Garland to the painted pineapples… and everything in between…

IMG_4809 smIncluding a little island flair on the bar cart… (key limes, a painted pineapple, tropical postcards, tiny drink umbrellas and more plastic leis)

IMG_4902 smOf course I had custom beverage napkins made, and I decided to spruce up some gold striped paper straws with cupcake liners to make them look more floral – aren’t they fun?  The used this tutorial.

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IMG_4804 smThe idea of adding edible flowers to the drink bucket was an inspiration from Pinterest – it added great color and made it more festive!

IMG_4811 smNow isn’t that the prettiest drink you’ve ever seen?

As a centerpiece for the table, I used a combination of painted pineapples, fresh palm leaves from my local florist, coconut bowls with greenery, plastic leis and drink umbrellas.

IMG_4814 smWe were lucky enough to have Kelsey also hand paint our place cards too – aren’t they perfect?  LOVING the hombre effect, and it was fun that everyone’s name was different!

FullSizeRender_1 smFor the meal – which might be my favorite part of the entire evening – I created a menu using recipes out of  cookbooks that we carry in the store.  It gives all of us the chance to try something new, and it gives my team the opportunity to experience some of the selections we offer our customers – even if they don’t cook much themselves!  This year’s selections came from four books – Lighten Up Ya’ll, Southern Cooking Family Style, Up South, and Boozy Shakes…

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IMG_4815 smMenu cards were made using the same pineapple icon as the beverage napkins, because making coordinating party elements is what we DO!

TO START

watermelon bites + lime salt*

grilled shrimp skewers

SOUPS + SALAD

peach + tomato gazpacho ( for the record, this was my favorite dish, but it wasn’t a crowd favorite)

kale + dandelion + orange salad

MAIN

bbq pulled pork tacos + cilantro cabbage slaw* (using Kelle B BBQ Sauce, recipe coming soon)

DESSERT

key lime pie boozy milkshakes*

*these were the crowd faves!

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IMG_4807 smFor party favors, I had custom koozies and gift tags made.  Paired with some personalized folded notes and fruity candy, they made a pretty nice and colorful take away.

IMG_4903 smAll in all, it was a great time, and it only makes me excited about the year we have ahead with this team.  ALOHA to a great year ahead, ladies!

#teambarque

{if you want to check out my inspiration for the party, take a look at this Pinterest Board for more ideas}

 

Pretty Painted Pineapples

Pretty Painted Pineapples

For our Barque Team Dinner this summer, I had decided on a tropical theme, so I knew that PINEAPPLES would be the way to go for decorations.

Ultimately I decided that painting only the tops would be easiest – and since I had less than a week to plan the entire party and menu – that sounded like a good plan.

If you’re going to paint your own pineapples like I did, you’ll need:

  • pineapples with pretty crowns (that’s the green part on top) – not too bent or torn up
  • cans of colorful spray paint
  • a few plastic tablecloths ( I got mine from the Dollar store)

IMG_4649 smFirst, spread out the tablecloth on a table or flat surface, leaving enough room to cover for overspray at the top but plenty of extra tablecloth on the bottom.

IMG_4650 smPlace the pineapple on the tablecloth.

IMG_4652 smBring up the loose tablecloth from the bottom to cover the base of the pineapple.  Just tuck it in and carefully wrap it around the sides so it’s nice and snug and protected from the paint.

IMG_4654 smLightly spray the crown of the pineapple with your desired paint color.  If you’re going for an hombre effect, use the lighter color first.  Be sure to move quickly and make several passes at different angles.  You’ll also want to make sure you get it from the “top” angle…

IMG_4657 smYou can let it dry and then do the other side, or gently roll the pineapple over inside it’s little tablecloth to get to the opposite side to pain –  totally depends on how much time or patience you have to sit and wait for paint to dry.  ( I had none.)

IMG_4655 smAfter you have your base coat, use a darker color in the same color scheme (or a coordinating color) to lightly spray just the edges of the crown.  You don’t want too much paint or it will cover up your first coat – you just want enough to give the color a little depth.

Untuck the pineapple from the tablecloth and allow it to dry completely.  Then marvel at your handiwork.

finishedpineapples sm(colors shown in this photo from left to right:  yellow + orange, hot pink + red, aqua + royal blue, orange + pink)

These colorful and festive pineapples make a great centerpiece together or a fun addition to a bar cart or entry table.  They’re perfect for a tropical soiree – and they’re so darn easy, they’ll probably become your go-to summer party decoration.

Dogs Get Skin Cancer Too

Dogs Get Skin Cancer Too

Although I’ve been a dog owner my whole life, it’s never occurred to me that my dogs needed protection from the sun.  If it’s never occurred to you either – dogs get skin cancer too.  I recently learned this first-hand, and now I want other dog owners to be aware.

dogcancer

My Vizsla Lucy loves to sunbathe, and a few weeks ago I noticed some odd spots on her abdomen.  At first they looked like tiny bruises, but over time transformed to look  more like moles (but bloody in color).  My vet recommended that we remove them, so we scheduled surgery and had the spots sent off for testing.  When they called with the lab results, I was told that Lucy’s tumors tested positive for skin hemangiosarcoma.  I was glad to know that removing the spots was action enough to remove the cancerous cells, but now I have to protect her from the sun to prevent more spots… and now my little redhead is wearing doggy sunscreen (welcome to the club, Lucy).  Yes, you read that correctly, Dog Sunscreen is a thing.

If your dog “sunbathes” belly-up like my Lucy, you might consider getting some, as the tummy is particularly sensitive to excessive UV light.  The skin that’s most important to protect is anything light-colored – like a nose, ears, or the soft underbelly/inner thigh area.

Please note:  If you’re going to protect your dog with sunscreen, it’s important to know that you CANNOT use sunscreen made for humans.  Most of them contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to dogs.

dog sunscreenBarque is proud to now stock the only FDA compliant dog sunscreen formula.  It’s easy to apply, non-greasy and dries quickly, so even if your pet licks the applied area, it won’t harm them.  This sunscreen is also water and sweat resistant, which makes it great for beach or lake dogs.  Maufacturer’s instructions recommend that you apply the sunscreen every 2-4 hours if the pet is outside or is in the water for more than 80 minutes.  This sunblock is ideal for Boxers, Bull Dogs, Pit Bull Terriers, Bichons, Poodles, Schnauzers, Dobermans, Retrievers and any pups who like to sun belly-up.  Get yours today in-store or on our website.

{You can see this product featured on the TODAY show here.}

 

 

Fiesta Floral Invitation: Behind the Scenes

Fiesta Floral Invitation: Behind the Scenes

We create a LOT of custom invitations, but this spring I designed one of my favorites thus far – a festive Mexican floral with stripes.  In my head, I envisioned the flowers on a Mexican embroidered shirt – so that’s where I started for inspiration.  As you can see in the screenshot below, I found several photos of Mexican embroidered shirts for ideas.  Then I created a few flowers to start playing around with.  Slowly, with lots of moving and rearranging, the floral design started to come together.  The final part of the process is where it REALLY starts to firm up – selecting the final colors for the design.

fiesta floral screenshot

I love how this invitation turned out – it’s fun and cheerful and makes me all kinds of happy!

(And for those of you who have wondered “how it’s done”, now you know. )