A Quote and a Tribute

On Friday I found this quote. Loved it, and scheduled to share it with you on the blog on Monday because I had already posted for the day. They say that everything happens for a reason and often times I believe it...


On Saturday morning, my beloved Grandfather "Poppy" passed away suddenly, yet swiftly without much suffering, in his favorite chair. I learned the news while Grace and I were in the checkout line at the grocery store, buying some last minute items for her birthday party later that day. I was shocked and devastated.

Somehow we made it out of the store, spiral ham, 2 Hello Kitty Balloons, Blankie and all. Once I walked through my own door and Grace was with Matt I broke down and cried. Hard. I cried on my bed, my head flooded with happy memories - how he used to pack up the old station wagon and take my sister and I to East Beach before my grandmother retired, how he taught my husband how to install a wood floor, how he used to squeeze and hold my grandmother's hand, and more recently how Grace picked up all of his Poppy'isms like complaining about the snow or searching for candy. I needed that. But there came a point when I had to make a decision. I realized the original purpose of this day was Grace's birthday. So I decided the only answer was to celebrate. I'm not talking about celebrating our loss, but celebrating everything we had and still have, the wonderful memories, the things Poppy built with his bare hands (of which there are many, including the childhood home I grew up in), but above all else we owed Poppy something so precious we were able to find the strength to celebrate and be joyous on this most difficult day. To celebrate his darling great grand-daughter Grace, whom he loved endlessly.



So celebrate we did. When my Mom, Sister, Grandmother (Nannie) and Sister's Boyfriend Michael walked through the front door it was hard. Hard to see my pain mirrored on their faces. But I'm grateful that we had some time before the party started to share this moment together. A little later the rest of my family filed in, and we let them know the news.

Although this family party had a much more somber tone than most, Grace was able to light up the room in that special way that a spunky and sparkly two year old can.

We ate cake, we sang Happy Birthday. Six times because Grace demanded it. 


She made us smile and laugh. 
On that day we all made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and Grace. 


The next day we did it all over again, this time for Grace's party with her little friends at the Providence Children's Museum. Again, it was hard, but our little Grace enjoyed herself immensely and we needed that.

On Sunday night my nerves were frayed and my energy was drained. Grief is heavy. Now that our festivities are over it's time for me to rest, reflect, and start to heal. I'm so lucky to have the strongest, most amazing family I could ever ask for and supportive, caring friends. I know that being strong has its limits. You must remember to be kind to yourself so you can rebuild. You deserve that, my family deserves that.

We will always remember our Poppy for the wonderful man he was. Anyone who knew him knew that he was reserved, but his love ran very deep. For his family, his pets, his passions like gardening, race cars, and woodworking.
In several ways it will be impossible to fill the void. From his many years in Carpentry, Poppy knew how to fix everything. In fact, recently a light bulb was out and needed changing, to which Grace remarked, "It's broken, Poppy can fix it". Even before 2 years old she knew it too.

I could never say thank you enough for the things he gave me, made for me, showed me... but I know he knows how much we all loved him. Rest in Peace Poppy.
Eugene P. Dow
(1928 - 2014)

Top L: Building 1620 Shermantown
Bottom L: Early tool box
Right: Poppy and My Mom



23 and Me

The Difference a Year Makes

Wow. It's incredible to see how much little ones change in a year.

Cupcakes: Year One - Whatevs Mom.
Birthday Cake: Year Two - Best Day of My LIFE!


Pure Glee!

Pink and Gold Party

Grace turns 2 tomorrow and we are having a party! Wait, let me try that again. We are having TWO parties!

Tomorrow we'll be hosting family at our house and then on Sunday we'll be hosting her little girl friends at the Providence Children's Museum. We did invite boys, I swear, but not one of them could come!

Anyway, for tomorrow's fiesta at our house we're going with a Pinkalicious theme. You know, the little girl who ate too many pink cupcakes and literally turned pink? May this serve as a warning dear Gracie... there are consequences in this world. Just kidding! A Pinkalicious theme was perfect to combine Gracie's love of cupcakes with my favorite color scheme du jour - pink and gold!

Believe me, things won't get as fancy schmancy as my Pinterest Inspiration, but it's fun to look at isn't it!


Follow Melissa Carrier [@Jemstaa]'s board Pink and Gold Party on Pinterest.

Freebie Friday: Gold Glitter Square Social Media Icons

I've got some new Fab Friday Freebies for you this week!

More gold, more glitter but this time in a blog sidebar friendly square shape.

Friday Freebies Gold Glitter Social Media Icons


Here's how they will look in your sidebar (again, ignore the styling of "Let's Connect" as it is a part of my blog template).
Free Gold Glitter Square Social Media Icons

There are five formatted links that you can insert your social media & contact links. Change the a link to suit your blog.
Open an HTML/Javascript gadget and copy/paste the code below into your gadget:


<a href="http://www.facebook.com/graceandjosie"><img alt="" src="http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg604/Jemstaa/GoldGlitterwithwhiteFacebookLogosquare_zps63f4504c.jpg" style="width: 32px; height: 32px;" /></a></p>

<a href="http://www.twitter.com/graceandjosie"><img alt="" src="http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg604/Jemstaa/GoldGlitterwithwhiteTwitterLogosquare_zps476e1882.jpg" style="width: 32px; height: 32px;" /></a></p>

<a href="http://www.pinterest.com/graceandjosie"><img alt="" src="http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg604/Jemstaa/GoldGlitterwithwhitePinterestLogosquare_zps1693fbdf.jpg" style="width: 32px; height: 32px;" /></a></p>

<a href="http://www.instagram.com/jemstaa"><img alt="" src="http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg604/Jemstaa/GoldGlitterwithwhiteInstagramLogosquare_zpsb7c1ff8d.jpg" style="width: 32px; height: 32px;" /></a></p>


<a href="http://plus.google.com/+GraceandjosieBLOG/posts"><img alt="" src="http://i1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg604/Jemstaa/GoldGlitterwithwhiteGoogleLogosquare_zps7bca3027.jpg"width: 32px; height: 32px;" /></a></p>


Throwback Thursday: Grace is One

Grace's 2nd birthday is in just 2 days! To kick off the festivities, here's a look back at her 1 Year Cake Smash Photo Shoot with the talented Sarah Pudlo.

Grace is One & Grace's Newborn Shoot

Here's Daddy's favorite shot:

Sarah Pudlo One Year Birthday Cake Smash

And here's Mommy's favorite shot:

Sarah Pudlo One Year Birthday Cake Smash

We love you Gracie! Can't wait to see how you tackle cake as a 2 year old!

Wordless Wednesday: Fashion as Art

NYFW - Tadashi Show

NYFW - Tadashi Show
NYFW - Tadashi Show


Rockefeller Center

[All photos taken by me, Waterlogue app applied]

3 Things on a Tuesday

1. This has got to be the cutest Valentine I've ever seen.
"You're one in a minion"

2. Grace is all (and I mean ALL) decked out in her Valentine's Day finest.

3. The tutu has a bit of room so I'm sure we'll see it return next year.

Happy Valentine's Day

Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or Gal'entine's Day I hope it's a happy one!
I'm all about sharing the LOVE and want to thank each and every one of you for being amazing readers. 

THANK YOU ♥

5 Pins for Inspiring LOVE

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us and love is in the air! Here are 5 things on Pinterest to inspire love.


This reminds me of special times at the beach with my husband. We got engaged and married in Jamaica!



Heart shaped fireworks? For real? Or a little Photoshop magic?



My favorite scene in Bridget Jones' Diary.



How many bottles of wine have we shared? Let me count the ways...



A bold, but true statement.


Gold Glitter for Valentine's Day

As you all know, or can gather from this blog and my content lately, I'm obsessed with gold glitter. There's no telling how long this will last so you'll just have the bear with me for now.

It was these sequin leggings that kicked off my inspiration for this Polyvore set. I'll offer a reward for anyone who can find these for me.

Gold Glitter for Valentine's Day


Swarovski earrings
swarovski.com


Swarovski jewelry
swarovski.com


Valentine's Day Cards (I'm not good at these either)

It seems like just yesterday I was pouring my heart out to you all and admitting that I'm not great at Christmas cards... remember?

Well... we've officially reached the Valentine's Day procrastination zone/you're way too late to even think about mailing anything deadline. Luckily, Grace has it covered. She finished her Valentine's Day cards yesterday and plans on seeing Nana, Nannie & Poppy, and Memere this week so no need to bother with the pesky US Postal Service.

@Jemstaa
Grace's Card Factory
And as for me, I've got my husband and baby covered (I actually sent Grace a Valentine's Day card through the mail via Fashion Week because Papyrus was generously handing out and mailing cards to your loved ones from their booth in the tents!) but I also like to share the love for Valentine's Day -My Sister, BFFs, Friends who are co-workers, grandparents I won't see, etc.  This year I found a really fun selection of eCards at Paperless Post. I love Paperless Post. And for the record. they are in no way sponsoring me or forcing me to say such wonderful things about them, I just like them ok!

I just sent Grace's Birthday invites via Paperless Post and while I was over there, spotted these fun Valentine's Day cards.

@jemstaa
Paperless Post Valentine's Day Cards
And just in case you need some help, visit their "An Illustrated Field Guide to Valentine's Day"

Valentine's Day Style

One of my favorite parts about early February is the excuse to wear the pink and red combo. I love it. 
Here's Grace from this morning sporting my new red heart sunnies from the Red Dress Fashion show that I attended on Thursday. Guess I'll never see those again!

Pink cable-knit sweater - Ralph Lauren // Red heart leggings - Old Navy
Saturday Morning Selfies
After traveling to New York for the past few days it was good to be home with my tiny fashionista! 


February is here!

I was so looking forward to the start of a new month and it's here!

February, although really annoying to spell, is a month that I'm really trying to embrace this year. Usually it falls into an unpleasant association with January (good riddance) but this year I'm trying to adopt a new outlook on February.

First of all, I get to look forward to a new Birchbox (yay!). Second, I may be a rare creature but I love Valentine's Day and celebrating it from Feb 1- Feb 14. Third, I always remember that by Valentine's Day it's not complete darkness when I leave work! And most importantly, it's Gracie's Birthday Month!

Oh and something else to celebrate! We completed our month-long Mac & Cheese Cleanse and it wasn't so bad!
@jemstaa
This month I'm giving up Diet Coke, but hopefully for good, not just until March. I'm just not ok with what's in there anymore.

So Birthday Month. Grace and I kicked off Birthday Month yesterday with an impromptu trip to the Mall. I think it was even her idea... "Wan go Mall, wan see Santa, wan ride Merry Go Round, wan ice cream". The kid had an agenda. Grace grabbed her purse(s) and we were off! Luckily Target opened early but as for the rest of the Mall we had to wait, and wait. So by the time the Merry Go Round opened at 11 we were first in line. And then it was straight to Pinkberry because I promised that too. I was done by about 11:30. That's what happens when you go to the Mall too early on a Sunday.

Flower Dress - Old Navy