Lily & Val Living - A pretty place for all who love the simple things in life.
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #72

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #72, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

 Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #72 with milk and cookies watercolor, bordeaux earrings and practicing effortless watercolor

1. “Milk and cookies watercolor for something fun coming!” – Valerie

2. “I can’t stop buying HH&Co earrings from the Lily & Val Flagship Store! I love all the different colors and they go with so much! This is my newest pair- a Bordeaux color.” – Valerie

3“I’ve been busy behind-the-scenes prepping for the Lily & Val 2017 Holiday Collection Launch! It takes many tries for me to achieve watercolor brush lettering that looks loose! All the effort that goes into “effortless” style!” – Valerie 

 Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #72 with L&V Stencils at Michael's, team anniversary photo and Fall sidewalk chalkboard art

4“I still get giddy seeing Lily & Val for Plaid Crafts stencils in Michaels!” – Valerie

5. “This past Saturday was the 1 year anniversary of the Lily & Val Flagship Store and what a good day it was! We hardly had time to take any pics, but at the end of the day we managed to squeeze in this team selfie!” – Valerie

6. “Whipped up this chalkboard sign for the store this week for fellow fall-obsessed friends!” – Valerie

Illustrated Watercolor Lettering Online Class

Friends, I’m so excited to introduce you to my brand new, online lettering class with Brit + Co! You can officially sign up today for Illustrated Watercolor Lettering Online Class!

Join Valerie McKeehan for her Illustrated Watercolor Lettering class offered through Brit + Co

This class combines so many of my favorite things, particularly combining illustrations with lettering!

We’ll be using watercolors in the class, but many of the techniques for lettering in this way can be translated into different mediums! I’ll be discussing how and where to use florals to embellish your letters, the most common readability errors and how to fix them, and the three design principles that I always use.

Join Valerie McKeehan for her Illustrated Watercolor Lettering class offered through Brit + Co

We’ll also be creating this sweet, finished work of art with a beautiful saying!

By the end of the class you’ll know how to:

  • Layout a cohesive design using anchor points, margin lines, and more!
  • Use a Micon pen to add in details to your watercolor illustrations.
  • Work with watercolor to add embellishments and quotes into your final design.

This class is on demand! After purchase, you will be directed to the class for you to watch wherever you are and at your own pace. It’s yours to come back to again and again!

Join Valerie McKeehan for her Illustrated Watercolor Lettering class offered through Brit + Co

Join Valerie McKeehan for her Illustrated Watercolor Lettering class offered through Brit + Co

Enroll now and you’ll automatically be entered into the class giveaway!

You could win prizes up to $146 in value, including:

  • A canvas zipper pouch from Lily + Val.
  • An 11×14 watercolor art print created by Valerie.
  • Two Brit + Co classes of your choice.

Three winners will be chosen at random on 10/16. Winners will be announced via a post on brit.co and also notified via email.

Illustrated lettering prints by Lily & Val

I absolutely cannot wait to see what you create!! Please be sure to tag me on Instagram @valeriemckeehanso I can see! Above prints are available on lilyandval.com!

Enroll now into Illustrated Watercolor Lettering Class!

October Happy Mail Idea- Pumpkin Butter For Fall

Happy Fall, friends! October’s Happy Mail Idea is all about spreading some love through a homemade food gift in cute packaging.

Food Gift Idea: Send a Lily & Val Happy Fall Card + Pumpkin butter packaged in jars topped with our FREE hand-drawn pumpkin butter labels! Simple & sweet Food Gift Idea: Send a Lily & Val Happy Fall Card + Pumpkin butter packaged in jars topped with our FREE hand-drawn pumpkin butter labels! Simple & sweet

Pumpkin butter is easy to make and with the addition of my new canning labels with World Label, it’s instant packaging for gift-giving.

TO MAKE THIS HAPPY MAIL:

Follow the steps for making pumpkin butter in this recipe. Download the FREE pumpkin butter labels, print them out, and add to the jars!

Add on a coordinating “Happy Fall” card from Lily & Val. You could even write the pumpkin butter recipe inside the card for the recipient to keep.

P.S. Be sure to check out these tips for sending food items in the mail!

Food Gift Idea: Send a Lily & Val Happy Fall Card + Pumpkin butter packaged in jars topped with our FREE hand-drawn pumpkin butter labels! Simple & sweet   Food Gift Idea: Send a Lily & Val Happy Fall Card + Pumpkin butter packaged in jars topped with our FREE hand-drawn pumpkin butter labels! Simple & sweet Food Gift Idea: Send a Lily & Val Happy Fall Card + Pumpkin butter packaged in jars topped with our FREE hand-drawn pumpkin butter labels! Simple & sweet

We love the idea of surprising someone with a little gift just because! Sending happy mail doesn’t need to be on a big budget or a large scale. If you create a bit of happy mail inspired by ours, we would love to see! Use #LVhappymail on Instagram!

We’ll be sending a boxed set of 8 Happy Fall cards + Printed Pumpkin Butter labels off to one lucky winner!  Check out our Happy Mail Instagram post to enter!

Food Gift Idea: Send a Lily & Val Happy Fall Card + Pumpkin butter packaged in jars topped with our FREE hand-drawn pumpkin butter labels! Simple & sweet
5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins

I have such happy memories of painting pumpkins. Growing up, it was one of my favorite fall activities. I never even carved a pumpkin until I was dating my husband! Although I have since taken up carving pumpkins in the Fall, painting them will always be my pumpkin decoration of choice.

On Saturday, October 21st, we will be holding an elegant pumpkin painting workshop in the L&V Flagship Store. Over the span of two afternoons, I sat down with Emily and we poured some creativity into our pumpkins in preparation for the workshop! For our faraway friends, I wanted to share our 5 creative ideas for painting elegant pumpkins!

5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating

1. Monogram or Initials

Bold, block-style initials painted in black work beautifully on a medium/large pumpkin. Add metallic accents and laurel branches in a wreath shape to really accentuate and contrast the monogram lettering.

5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating 5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating

2. Brush Lettering

Brush lettering is a simple idea, but I will never tire of it! Think of short words like “gather”. The word “spice” is also cheeky and clever. These make nice “statement” pumpkins to display next to more painterly pumpkins.

5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating

3. Metallic Stems

An easy way to add an elegant touch to your pumpkins is to paint the stems! Try varying different metallic stems of gold, rose gold, and silver.

3. Spider Web

I LOVE how the black paint looks on a small white pumpkin. It’s an elegant/chic take on Halloween decor. You could even paint a spider onto the web (our fear of spiders prevented us from doing this! Ha!) We did, however, add some silver metallic washes onto the web!

5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating

5. Metallic Leaf

Painting multiple leaves is beautiful, but you can also try painting just one statement leaf on your pumpkin! This works well with a small pumpkin. It will look as though it has been wrapped in a metallic leaf. Beautiful!

5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating

The Workshop:

For those in the Pittsburgh area, we hope you will join us on Saturday, October 21st for a fun, Fall morning of painting pumpkins! We will teach you a variety of options for painting your elegant pumpkins. Spots are limited! Read more and sign up here.

If you enjoyed this post, please share the below image! 🙂 Happy October, everyone!

5 Creative Ideas for Painting Elegant Pumpkins | No carve pumpkin ideas | pumpkin decorating
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #71

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #71, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #71 with hand-lettered pumpkins, gold stem pumpkins and a boxing party!

1. “Emily and I painted and hand-lettered pumpkins in preparation for our upcoming Pumpkin Painting workshop! It was so much fun to relax and dream up the ideas.” – Valerie

2. “That gold stem!!! SO pretty!” – Valerie

3“The awesome L&V team stayed late in the office to put together 10,000 cards into boxed sets for a special wholesale order! We were pretty excited about our accomplishment at the end of the night.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #71 with a sneak peek of the 2019 cocktails calendar, a gorgeous balloon wall photo backdrop and Pumpkin Spice Everything travel mugs at Anthropologie

4“Chalk champagne! Believe it or not, I’m already working on the 2019 cocktail calendar!” – Valerie

5. “How AMAZING is this balloon wall for our 1st Anniversary Open House at the Lily & Val Flagship Store? It’s going to make such a cute photo backdrop! I’m in love with it!” – Valerie

6. “Eeeeeek! I was finally able to see the Lily & Val for Anthropologie travel mugs in-store!! Of course, I took a ton of photos! It’s very surreal to see this collab come to life.” – Valerie

FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads!

FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter!

A few years ago, I drew these chalk art jam labels for my friends at World Label. I heard such an amazing response from them, so this Fall, I thought I would give you all some refreshed jam downloads for 2017!!  Keep reading to get your FREE Lily & Val for World Label hand-drawn jam label downloads!

FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter!

I decided to update the jam labels with a white background and black pen and ink lettering. They are clean, modern, and simple, but still with a hint of rustic charm. I love how versatile they are for even decorating your jars with a colored ribbon! There are so many options.

FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter!

Every year, I make a ton of pumpkin butter! I eat it on bread, oatmeal, and I confess, even by the spoonful! I love making extra to put in mason jars and give to friends and family. Printing out these jam label sheets is such a simple and easy way to make a cute gift and I love that!

FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter!FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter!

In this set, you can find labels for Strawberry Jam, Raspberry Jam, Grape Jam, Peach Jam, Apple Butter, and Pumpkin Butter!

Download them on the World Label Blog!

FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter! FREE Lily & Val for World Label Hand-Drawn Jam Label Downloads! Strawberry, Peach, Grape, Raspberry Jam plus Pumpkin & Apple Butter!

And here’s my pumpkin butter recipe:

Ingredients:
29. oz can of pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup brown sugar (you can substitute coconut sugar for a healthier option; Also, to cut back on the sugar, I’ve used 3/4 cup and it was plenty sweet for me. Adjust to your sweet preference.)
3/4 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
OR replace all individual spices with 2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
 
Directions:
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients (except lemon juice). Stirring frequently, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and let cool.
Once the pumpkin butter has cooled, pour into mason jars and refrigerate!
Pumpkin butter recipe to record in your Keepsake Kitchen Diary this Fall

I finally recorded the above recipe in my Keepsake Kitchen Diary! I think it is sure to be a Fall staple in my family for many, many years to come. Shop the Keepsake Kitchen Diary recipe keeper on lilyandval.com.

Happy jam making, my friends!

I’m So Glad I Live In A World Where There Are Octobers Free Desktop Wallpaper Download

October's "World with Octobers" Free Desktop Download

Hello, October! It’s so nice to see you again! October is by far my favorite month. Probably because it is my birthday month and a month-long celebration of everything Fall! I completely agree with this beautiful sentiment. I hope you enjoy this free download for your tech!

 

World with Octobers Pumpkin Free Desktop Wallpaper from Lily & Val

Download OCTOBER DESKTOP WALLPAPER 

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS >> Click the “OCTOBER DESKTOP WALLPAPER” link or the image above. When the image is opened in a new window, right-click the image and select “Save image” or drag it to your desktop (You may have to click twice to bring the image to its full size).  Once the image is saved, go to your System Preferences> Desktop/Screensaver and choose this image as your new wallpaper!
Coordinate your tech with this bonus iPhone wallpaper!
World of Octobers Autumn Pumpkin iPhone wallpaper download
For more pumpkin love, check out the Lily & Val Fall Collection! 
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #70

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #70, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #70 with soft neutrals for 2018, black and white botanicals and tea for two

1. “Loving the soft neutrals lately. This blush and gray floral pattern is for something exciting coming in 2018!” – Valerie

2. “More hand-drawn botanicals!! I can’t get enough! This is one of the new prints in the L&V Fall Collection and we blew it up for a window display in the Flagship Store!” – Valerie

3“This past Saturday was a slow one. Drinking hot apple cider in our favorite mugs and watching a movie during the day. I loved it.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #70 with new botanicals, raspberry sundaes and DIY yarn wall hangings

4“Yes, even more hand-drawn black and white botanicals this week! These will be new labels for World Label! Stay tuned!” – Valerie

5. “Over the weekend we went to the Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic festival with my Mom. This festival reminds me of my childhood. Growing up we ALWAYS had to get something from the Sand Hill Berries stand. Mak and I got raspberry sundaes and my Mom got raspberry cheesecake. It was worth the calories just for the nostalgia of it.” – Valerie

6. “Emily shared the wonderful tutorial for this yarn wall hanging on the blog a few weeks ago and I just had to make one for myself! It’s hanging as a statement piece in my dining room!” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #70 with floral crowns, faux wedding bouquets and beautiful sunrises

7. “I made a sample flower crown for the workshop we have coming up…and things got a little out of control!” – Emily

8. “Working on a faux floral wedding bouquet for someone special to me. I love the idea of being able to keep your bouquet forever!” – Emily

9. “These beautiful sunrises are the perfect way to start my busy days. For just a minute, I am able to stop and appreciate the beautiful surroundings.” – Nicole

 

Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap

Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store

This past Friday in the Lily & Val Flagship Store, we held our latest Faux Floral Workshop – a gorgeous wreath perfect for Fall! (You can read all about our spring Faux Floral Wreath Workshop, too!) I just wanted to share some of these pretty photos with you from the evening!

Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store

The Details

Each person received a gorgeous, modern copper frame at their place setting as a base for their faux floral arrangement. This frame was handmade specifically for our store!

Each setting also included the meticulously chosen faux blooms for the project. I am still in love with this unexpected color palette for Fall!

Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store

How pretty does the wreath look with canvases from the 2017 L&V Fall Collection?

Lily & Val canvases for your fall decorating

Emily, L&V Merchandising Director & Stylist, designed the wreath project and taught everyone the steps for creating it while sharing her tips & secrets for working with faux blooms! (Emily is responsible for designing the stunning faux florals you see for sale throughout the Lily & Val Flagship Store.)

I absolutely love faux blooms, but they can get a bad rap. Her tips for how to choose faux flowers, what pairs well with what, and when to go faux were so valuable! She left everyone feeling equipped for tackling future faux arrangements in a modern way!

Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store Fall Faux Floral Wreath Workshop Re-Cap at the Lily & Val Flagship Store

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this workshop! Take a look at our current schedule on lilyandvalflagshipstore.com. Up next is Chalk Project Night!

We can’t wait to see you there!

5 Tips For An Organized & Productive Week

I love this time of year for many reasons (not just the pumpkin spice!) One of the things I love most is getting back into a routine. Summer schedules are always sporadic with vacations and events, but Fall feels like a refresh button. As I’ve been thinking about how to get into better working routines this Fall, I thought I’d share my 5 tips for an organized and productive week.

P.S. Have you seen our newly released paper supplies on lilyandval.com. There’s something about the back-to-school season that screams “new paper supplies!” (Regardless of going back to school or not! 😉 ) There are a lot of organization helpers in this new collection.

paper supplies from Lily & Val | desk accessories | organizational help | Paper goods

Tip 1: Write Our Your “Big List”.

I have three sets of lists that I use regularly. 1. My daily “to-do” list (lives in my planner) 2. My weekly “to-do” list (lives on my weekly notepad) and 3. The BIG list (lives in a dedicated notebook.) The “Big List” is reserved for absolutely EVERYTHING that I need to accomplish and goals I’m working toward. This list helps me make sure that nothing is forgotten. It’s my catch-all for big tasks, small tasks, and everything in between.

Every time I start to feel overwhelmed or that nagging feeling of forgetting something, you can usually bet it’s because my big list is not up-to-date. When I take a few minutes to sit down and update this list, my anxiety lessens. My brain can release those things. To-do lists aren’t as scary written as they are being juggled in your head.

Starting your week with an up-to-date Big List will help you make better, informed decisions on how to spend your time. You can then transfer the priorities to a weekly list.

A chalk art style weekly planner pad to keep you organized

Tip 2. Be realistic with your daily to-dos.

Something I struggled with for a long time is the concept of “done.” Laundry drives me crazy because it’s never done! Even if you wash and dry every load, the clothes you are wearing will cause your feeling to be short-lived. I realized that sticking with only a “Big List” or even a weekly list was a mistake. I would never completely tackle that list and I would just feel defeated. My days weren’t feeling accomplished regardless of how hard I worked.

That’s when I started transferring items from my weekly list into action items for my daily to-dos. It’s tempting to load up that daily list, but be realistic. I like to ask myself “what are my top 3 priorities for the day?” Then, when I check those things off, it feels like a great sense of accomplishment. This method has reframed my concept of “done.”

Rise & Shine magnetic notepad for your grocery and shopping lists | features gold foil details

Tip 3. Do the hard things first.

We often find ourselves saying “I don’t have enough time,” but what we really mean is, “I don’t have enough energy.” Energy is just as valuable a resource as our time and arguably, what we should pay closer attention to when we’re organizing our day for effectiveness. When we are completely spent at the end of a day (or in the middle of the afternoon), it doesn’t matter how much actual time we have, we’re not going to be productive.

Each decision, each task, each action depletes your limited energy bank. Structuring your day to do the hard things first (when you haven’t yet depleted your energy reserves) is a great way to set up a productive day! Also, when you start your day with a “win” it propels you to have more wins!

Side note: Starting is always the hardest part, especially when it is something that seems daunting. When this is the case, I trick myself. For example, I’ll tell myself “you just have to get to X point then you can stop.” More often than not, I keep going past that point because I’m now in a working rhythm.

Desk accessories, journals, notebooks, and more from Lily & Val

Tip 4: Build in breaks.

As I mentioned in tip 3, we all have a limited energy reserve. When we spend our working days doing nothing but depleting those reserves, we’re not going to have anything left mentally at the end of the day and completing our tasks will be a struggle. Instead, think about how you can structure your daily routines to build in time for breaks. Maybe that means a coffee break at a certain time or a pause to read your favorite magazine.

This is especially needed after a taxing project or period of intense concentration. When I have a lot on my plate, I tend to get stuck in a “pushing through” mentality. Instead, if I pause to take a break, my energy is renewed and I’m more effective at tackling the project when I come back to it.

The Lily & Val 2018 Agenda planner features chalk art illustrations on each month

Tip 5: Set yourself up for the next day.

It’s hard to leave work at work, but something that helps is to pre-plan the next day. First, pause for a few moments to recognize the day’s accomplishments. Give yourself a mental pat on the back! Then, determine tomorrow’s priorities and action items so they’re ready to go in the morning. It also helps to tidy your workspace a bit so you’re walking into a fresh desk or office.

Recently, I read an article about being good to your future self. Asking “what will my future self appreciate?” has helped me become more organized and self-aware of my actions in the present.

Cute blush and gold foil weekly desk pad to keep your organized | weekly planner pad

I hope these tips have been helpful! Here’s to a refreshed, productive, and meaningful Fall season!