THE GIFT OF TIME

Jill-Smith-baby2baby-01Jill-Smith-baby2baby-02It feels good giving joy to others any time of year, but especially during the holidays. This year I chose to give the gift of my time to some very wonderful children in need. I love to be around kiddos, to hear the great—and more times than not, hilarious—things they say and to see such pure, raw innocence and happiness. In April, I helped a group of less fortunate children paint a portrait of their mom for Mother’s Day. As cliché as it sounds, it felt so good. I left with a smile on my face and felt like my heart grew three sizes (thanks, Dr. Seuss, for the perfect analogy). I knew I wanted to do more.
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Well, a few weeks ago I got to do it again! This time I spent the afternoon teaching a room full of 4-6 year-old kiddos how to decorate a cardboard gingerbread house. We markered and glued and stickered and glittered our way to creating the happiest little gingerbread houses you’ve ever laid eyes on. And when they finished their art project, there was a whole winter wonderland waiting for them as a surprise. It was a Nutcracker-themed party complete with ballet dancers, sugary treats and Santa himself.
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At the end of the party, each child left with a personalized bag of basic necessities and thoughtful holiday gifts to open on Christmas day. Gifts for their siblings were also included. My hope is that these gifts and toys will continue to add happiness to their every day lives. Being a mom myself, I get a little teary-eyed when I think about what I’d wish for their parents, not just at this time of year, but year-round. I hope that when their little ones rip holes in their pants or grow out of their shoes, that these gifts will replenish just what they need when they need it. And that they know that there are other people out there who care and hear and see and help.

If you want to offer support to these children and the kind people who run Baby2Baby, please visit their website. I have also designed a collection of holiday cards for them with the help of Tiny Prints. When purchased, 5% of the card sales go directly to Baby2Baby. To spread the word of giving back, the back of each card shows Baby2Baby’s mission. Use the PROMO CODE: BABY2BABYHOL for 30% off plus free standard shipping.
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If you’ve already sealed and mailed your holiday cards, there is also a set of everyday, personalized stationery available. Same wonderful deal applies: if you purchase any of these designs, 5% of the card sales go directly to Baby2Baby. Maybe the next time you are looking for the perfect gift for a good friend, you can give them a set of notecards and know that at the same time you are also giving funds to support some of these wonderful kids who I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.

Thank you Baby2Baby and Tiny Prints. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to help these sweet families. Here’s a video the talented folks at Tiny Prints put together…enjoy!

TinyPrints+Baby2Baby HolidayParty 720p from Jill Smith on Vimeo.

Photography by Getty Images for Baby2Baby
Event décor by Peggy of Fire and Crème Kids

HAPPY CELEBRATIONS

jill-smith-celebrations-01November was a month full of happy celebrations. Not just Turkey Day. My oldest and dearest friend turned 40 and I drooled over Instagram photos of her knocking out some beautiful yoga poses in Times Square. She inspires me. My stellar Dad celebrated his 70th birthday and ended the evening by whacking a piñata with his grandkids. He is still so young and so fun. November also brought my wedding anniversary. Nine years ago we were with a small group of our family and friends in Costa Rica saying yes, YOU, for life. And I’m so glad we did.
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Here are some photos of my little family. They make me the happiest girl of all, even when they stick their heads under my skirt instead of smiling at the camera. They always know how to get the best shots.
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Photography by Brooke Schwab.

Man-O-Man - Your inspiration runs deep! Thank you:)

2014 HOLIDAY COLLECTION

Jill-Smith-holiday-launch-01Remember when I promised there’d be more to come on my 2014 holiday collection? Well, here you go. I’m so happy to have this collection out for families and friends to explore and enjoy. This year there are more personalization options than ever before. If you love a design with one photo that says, “Merry Christmas”, but would prefer it have three photos and say, “Happy Holidays”…no problem. If you fall for a design shown in black and white, there’s a good chance you can find it in red or green as well. You can choose between different size cards and different types of paper. You can pick from many photo layouts the one that best fits your needs. There are add-ons like envelope liners. There are two different kinds of address labels and even a postage stamp. You just might make yourself a little giddy clicking away to see how many different ways you can personalize one design. Oh and if you don’t want to address and mail the finished product yourself, just ask Tiny Prints and they will kindly do it for you. Let’s get these cards ordered now so you can soak in the joy of the upcoming season.

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Explore my 2014 Holiday photo card collection for Tiny Prints here.
Explore my 2014 Holiday photo card collection for Shutterfly here.

More paper goods to spread the cheer:
Holiday party invitations
Corporate Holiday cards
Stockings
Ornaments
Holiday thank you cards

Gift ideas:
iPhone cases, personalized stationery, notebooks, notepads, thank you cards, pillows, coffee mugs

Tiny Prints is offering a 40-percent discount off any holiday card plus corresponding address labels and gift tags. Use code HOLCARDS40 at checkout.Offer expires 12/31/2014 (11:59 P.M. PT). May not be combined with any other offers and may only be used once.

jenny - You never cease to amaze me with your amazing talent friend! I LOVE your work!!!

GiddyUp - Darn, I just got giddy reading your post. I feel like some eggnog now. CHEERS!

PLAY PLAY PLAY

“I really regret playing,” said no one ever. Here is where I will share a photo that could make me happy forever. If you’d like to see all of the photos in my PLAY, PLAY, PLAY series, click here.

{ Fire pole. Also know as a “dinner is ready” pole. }
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Feliz fin de semana everyone!
Photograph by Brooke Schwab.

The Dude - What sound does happy make?
weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!