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SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING’S EASY

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“Here come the longest days, when diving boards turn men into boys, when canoes get dragged over gravel to the river, when backyard grills stay on slow cooking all afternoon, when grocery trips are made in swimsuits with wet hair for impulse watermelon purchases, and when the best kind of air conditioning is found on a hammock in the shade.” —quote found on @hattonhenry’s instagram
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I love summer. It’s like the weekend of the whole year. We have already vacationed, broken out the sprinklers, spent full afternoons with our forearms sticky from aforementioned impulse watermelon purchases and stubbed our dirty toes countless tearful times. Just like when I was a kiddo myself, I still feel like I get a break for 3 whole months and should be riding my bike to the neighborhood pool every day with my friends.
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PS This summery party invitation sums it up well!
Photography by Rebecca Sanabria who should hop on a bike and join me at the neighborhood pool.

I SURE DO LOVE YOU

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Today is my mom’s birthday. I saved a copy of the letter my dad wrote her on her 50th birthday, 20 years ago (sorry to spill the age beans, mom). He has always hand made her cards for every occasion and written her embarrassingly witty and silly notes. Once when they were in college, he wrote a love letter across an entire roll of tracing paper from end to end and mailed it to her in a tube. He’s made pop-up cards for her and intricately cut cards using an X-acto before laser cut cards were popular. She has so many of these letters saved, but I thought I’d share this one in particular today because it will embarrass her the most. It is full of things that most likely only my family will understand. It is so Smith. It is so my parents. They are quirky and amazingly matched. They make fun of each other and put up with each other. Most of all they love each other.
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“….I don’t always remember to check the cars to see if they’re locked….and I don’t always remember to flush the toilet every time I pee and I don’t always put the dishes in the dishwasher the way you want me to….and I sometimes get upset when the kids do something that irritates me.”

“…I’m glad we’re husband and wife and I hope you continue to have many more birthdays and we continue to have many more years together. I sure do love you. I can’t believe you’re 50 years old and I’m 49.”

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you, and hope I can be as wonderful a mom to my kiddos as you are to me.

Wooch - You know I do understand all of this because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and I married that “apple.”
Your mom, and your parents are the cat’s meow, and I am grateful to have them as role models for our whole family.
My hope is I can only aspire to be as half as graceful as H.Tims in his wit, care for his wife, and love for his family, for mine.
I love you Nani…You ROCK my world!!!
Happy Birthday Gramzie, you are very loved :)

Megan - Happy birthday JoAnn! I have so many happy childhood memories at your house and in your Girl Scout troop. You always took us in and treated us as your own kids. I love looking at Jill’s pictures and seeing you as a grandma. The role seems to fit you perfectly! What a lucky family you have to have an amazing woman leading them.

Bobby - Wow!!! Just wow!!!

That’s a special family.

Gerry - I will never forget our times together..our dolls, parakeets., was it Melvin and Oscar
( My father in law) We tried to come up with strange names) Our paper dolls, clothing and houses we designed with everything to bowling alleys..I still cant’t bowl. Now we are both cancer survivors and still soul sisters. Loved the times in scouts and missed the times we did not connect in High school. So glad you were there for for my wedding. BFF…I will be joining you for the big B day soon. Glad to be happy and healthy! Family will all go to Disney World for birthday here in Naples for the 4th. Love and blessings! Gerry

BABY2BABY MOTHER’S DAY PLAYDATE HOSTED BY TINY PRINTS

Jill-Smith-celebsI flew to Los Angeles this past week as a designer and volunteer representing Tiny Prints, who launched their partnership with Baby2Baby. Baby2Baby is a non-profit organization that provides low-income children, ages zero to 12, with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves.

Tiny Prints sponsored the Baby2Baby Mother’s Day Playdate, a magical morning full of fun for 40 children and relaxation for 40 moms.
Jill Smith B2B_TP overallGarlands of gorgeous flowers were strung to welcome the guests. Yummy sandwiches, salads, fruit and more were beautifully prepared and presented for nibbling, but the cotton candy machine and chocolate fondue fountain got most of the attention from the little ones. Moms indulged themselves with manicures and personally designed flower bouquets. Meanwhile, children got their faces painted, applied fun “tattoos” and danced to the beats of a live DJ.Jill-Smith-girl-paintingJill Smith painting activityThere was also an art room! My “job” was to help the children paint a portrait of their mothers on canvases. Seeing them in smocks, with their canvases on easels, brought the biggest smile to my face and from what I could tell, the faces of everyone else too. I always find it fascinating to watch children explore their artistic side. I gave a few instructions – how to hold a palette and use the paint and brushes, and from there it was all up to their own imaginations. I was awed by the children’s creativity. Some were very literal, right down to matching the exact color of their mom’s shirt and eyes. Others were silly and interpretive, painting colorful hair and using heart stickers for their mom’s cheeks. All of the children started off a little reserved, but by the time they painted the skin, you could see their sense of pride in their artwork. The children were so kind and polite, all such little bundles of happiness. We had fun, so much fun! I was grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community as an artist, designer and mother.
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When the time came for the children and moms to board the buses back to their schools, all of the volunteers (including celebrity moms Molly Sims, Rachel Zoe and Nicole Richie) got to help with the most important job of the day — handing out personalized gift bags to each mother and child. The children’s bags were full of fun toys, colorful Nikes and essentials prepared exactly to their individual needs. They received warm jackets, pajamas and numerous outfits in their sizes, sleeping bags, healthy snacks, organic toiletries, books and art supplies. The moms received a sturdy tote bag with stationery and water bottle.
Jill-Smith-celebs-02Thank you, Tiny Prints, for inviting me to be a guest at this sweet event. Really, really thank you. And thank you also to the wonderful ladies at Baby2Baby for dreaming up this special day and working so hard to make it a reality. I know so much effort went into it. Seeing how much good came out of one distinct, unique vision was amazing to experience firsthand.Jill-Smith-3-girls
If this is a cause that inspires you, a portion of every Tiny Prints’ birth announcement purchased on their site will help provide more than 3,000 new cribs to Baby2Baby families. So, if you or someone you know needs a birth announcement, head over to tinyprints.com and place an order.

More photos and information from Tiny Prints.
More information about how Baby2Baby serves families in need.

Photography by Getty Images for Baby2Baby
Event décor by Peggy of Fire and Crème Kids
See the invitation to the event which I designed here.

Supplies we used:
16” x 20” canvases, paint, brushes, tempera paint sticks, palettes, easels, various stickers, washi tape and markers

jenny - yay! tiny prints could not have picked a better ambassador! looks like a lot of fun and a great cause. win win!!!

Tiny Prints & Baby2Baby Mother’s Day Playdate | Tiny Prints Blog - […] buffet of treats (a towering chocolate fountain!) and more. Our very own Tiny Prints designer, Jill Smith got the party started with a painting activity that allowed the children to paint portraits of […]

LATELY » Jill Smith - […] continued my work with Baby2Baby this year. Remember the playdate last April? Well, we are doing another one to celebrate the holidays. Soon I’ll be back in LA […]

THE GIFT OF TIME » Jill Smith - […] 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 […]