Creating Real Connections with Kara Elise


In today’s world, so many people crave having real connections. With so much taking place online, and more and more people eating dinner in front of their favorite Netflix show, it comes as no surprise that people are feeling isolated and lonely. On today’s episode, I am joined by Kara Elise, a chef, experience curator and hostess who helps clients by hosting dinner parties that create connection and community. She shares how she developed this idea for creating a dinner party company and why she’s always followed her heart. She discusses the power of words and speaking things into existence and the importance of taking time to pause, reflect and write things down. We also chat about how the Enneagram can help you to understand yourself and others.

What’s in this episode:

  • Always wanting to follow her heart

  • Moving across the country on a whim

  • Developing the idea for a dinner party company

  • The power of your words and speaking things into existence

  • Knowing that it’s okay to end a chapter and create space for new things

  • Taking the time to pause, reflect and write down

  • Getting rid of the fear of failure

  • Using table questions to get everyone to speak

  • What the Enneagram is and how it can help you understand yourself and other people

  • Hosting dinner parties for celebrities 

  • Craving real connections and how dinner parties can help fuel those connections

  • Having gratitude and being in the moment

About Kara:

Kara Elise is a chef, experience curator, and the ultimate hostess. She focuses on creating spaces and experiences that cultivate community. Kara's expertise in hosting, recipe creation, and food styling establish a culture of invitation through holistically designed, welcoming environments. She is intuitive, warm, and disarming. A genuine hostess encouraging us to live fully.

In a culture obsessed with technology, being busy, and overstimulation, slowness is one of our most difficult disciplines. Kara believes that creating intentional time to sit with others is an essential practice. A moment to feed our bodies and fill our deepest human desire - to be seen and known.

While fostering relationships in Los Angeles, Kara has garnered a network of influential guests, clients, and brand partners. Her dinner party movement has successfully traveled between the West Coast and London and continues to grow internationally - drawing in socially savvy, mindful foodies along the way for dinners, retreats, and events. Kara also collaborates with a variety of brands, turning their consumers into a community of thriving relationships.

Kara recently launched her YouTube channel empowering freedom in the kitchen and teaching how to eat both mindfully and beautifully. Her first cookbook, Toast, was released in September 2017.

Connect with Kara:
Website | Instagram | YouTube

Maui Retreat
Amy’s Collection with American Crafts
The Enneagram Institute
Sparketype Test
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie

I would love to hear from you! Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or on my website. If you enjoyed this podcast and you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to subscribe that way you won’t miss a single update. Craft a Life You Love by taking a small step toward turning happiness and fulfillment by savoring this season no matter where you are in your life and in the world.

Violeta's Stay Sweet Layout

Hello! This is Violeta Scrap and I want to show you how to create a new layout using Amy Tangerine’s collection Stay Sweet. It is a very fun and colorful collection so I hope you like this layout.

Violeta's Stay Sweet Layout

For this layout, I have used a picture with a white frame and a size of 6x4 inches in which I am with my colleagues. To make this layout I have used as a base a 12x12 inches white cardstock. Then I have placed the picture in the middle of the layout and at the bottom and the top of the picture, I have put some letters that are included in the sticker book of the collection Stay Sweet by Amy Tangerine. 

In addition, I have put some transparent stickers in different parts of the layout. Below the picture, I have put the title of the layout and more decorative elements. For the title of the layout, I have used different stickers and the alphabet from the Stay Sweet collection by Amy Tangerine. Moreover, I have put as decorative elements some blue heart enamel dots and above on the right I have placed some colorful letters and a blue sticker.

To add more color to the layout I have used the watercolor set from the Stay Sweet collection by Amy Tangerine. I have added some drops of blue watercolor in the entire project. Adding drops of watercolor to scrapbook projects give color to the projects.

I hope you liked the project that it is very easy to make, but if you have, any questions leave them in the comments section. I hope to be back soon with new projects to show.

Lots of love,

Violeta Scrap Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Supplies: Stay Sweet - Thickers - Be Kind (351206), Stay Sweet - Thickers - Roll With It (351207), Stay Sweet - Sticker Book (351208), Stay Sweet - Enamel Stickers (351212), Stay Sweet - Watercolor Set (351199)

Thanks so much for sharing this adorable layout, Violeta! Other Design Team member posts can be found here. Shop STAY SWEET now! Check your local retailer and online at Simon Says Stamp and

Showing Up for Others (and Yourself) with Emily McDowell


What do you say to a friend or family member that is hurting? Whether it be from illness, grief, miscarriage, infertility or any of the other ups and downs we can come across in life, there are moments when we just don’t quite have the words to say to comfort our loved ones. Today I am speaking with Emily McDowell, a writer, illustrator, speaker and teacher who after overcoming cancer and losing a friend to cancer a short time later, decided to bring a product to market that would help both the person on the giving and receiving end. Emily created stationery products that would help express what people are feeling but don’t know how to put into words. We talk about her business and why she merged with another company. She also shares what she does when she is in a creative rut and why she takes the time to focus on self-care. 

What’s in this episode:

  • Emily’s experience of going to a breath work camp

  • The main takeaways that Emily took from her experience

  • Recognizing that you’re not responsible for other people’s happiness

  • Listening to our bodies when they tell us to stop

  • Navigating through her illness and feeling disconnected from others

  • How cancer gave Emily a unique perspective of the world

  • Feeling like sympathy cards didn’t express what she wanted to say

  • Why she decided to get back into journaling

  • What Emily does when she’s stuck in a creative rut

  • Deciding to merge with another company

  • Being reactive rather than proactive in her business

  • Creating meaningful work 

  • Taking the time to focus on self-care

  • Emily’s advice on doing what you dream about 

  • Being mindful and keeping what makes life beautiful to her a priority

About Emily:

Emily McDowell is a writer, illustrator, speaker, teacher, and entrepreneur who is fiercely committed to not doing all of those things at the same time. After spending a decade working in advertising, she founded Emily McDowell Studio in January 2013. In January of 2019, Emily McDowell Studio officially changed names to Emily McDowell & Friends to reflect their expansion into partnerships with other artists and writers.

Emily’s work has been featured by The New York Times, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, BBC News, and NPR's All Things Considered, among many others, and in 2015, she was named one of Slate's 10 Designers Who Are Changing the World. Her first book, There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say and Do When Life Gets Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love, co-authored with Dr. Kelsey Crowe, was released on January 2017.

Emily currently serves as an equity partner and SVP of strategy at the Who’s There Group, while remaining creative director/founder of Emily McDowell & Friends. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and various half-dead plants.

Connect with Emily:
Website | Personal Instagram | Business Instagram

Knock Knock
On Being Human: A Memoir of Waking Up, Living Real, and Listening Hard by Jennifer Pastiloff

I would love to hear from you! Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or on my website. If you enjoyed this podcast and you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to subscribe that way you won’t miss a single update. Craft a Life You Love by taking a small step toward turning happiness and fulfillment by savoring this season no matter where you are in your life and in the world.

The fruits of our labor


Plans for the long weekend include this 💓⠀

We will also: ⠀

• be home⠀

• go out⠀

• see friends⠀

• read books⠀

• make stuff⠀

• play⠀

• go to a park⠀

• swim⠀

• eat yummy food⠀

• lay around⠀

• plan Jack’s 6th birthday party⠀

• try not to work⠀

• try not to play Disney Emoji Blitz too much⠀

• breathe⠀

• observe⠀

• reflect⠀

• be present⠀

• have fun⠀

Let’s take time to enjoy and savor the fruits of our labor. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 💓 What’s one thing you’ll be doing?

Slice of Life is Here!

Pumpkin Spice, crisp crunchy leaves on the pavement, a hint of chill in the air – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Autumn is right around the corner. My newest collection from American Crafts, Slice of Life, is all about celebrating the cool crisp vibes in the most colorful, vibrant way possible. I walk through the entire collection in a YouTube video item-by-item so you can see everything for yourself.  I hope you *fall* for it as hard as I did.

Slice of Life is Here

I wanted something to encapsulate the bright, warmth of fall, so this collection features a whimsical set of icons and images. Think of laid back, crisp Autumn days, cozy striped sweaters, comfort food and fall foliage. I’m going to give you a glimpse of each item in the collection. I can’t wait to see all the gorgeous things you all will create with Slice of Life. Hopefully, you have time to check out the video or even better yet– make a bee-line to your closest local crafts store and see the items for yourself. If not, I’m including three highlights from the collection here: 

Slice of Life is Here
  1. Paperclips -  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats so these adorable bookmarks are the closest I can get to our feline furry friends, so I’ll just go ahead and say that these are just PURRRR fect, hahaha see what I did there?

  2. Acrylic Stamps - Okay so stamping is a bit of an obsession of mine and now I want to share the love. This set of 13 acrylic stamps will help add ink and dimension to your pages – whether you need a tiny paw print, cluster of hearts, or a unique way to say hooray, these are sure to make a good impression. 

  3. Mini puffy stickers - pastries, pets, and pretzels...What’s not to love about this cute sheet of mini puffy stickers? Tiny enough to fit anywhere you might need, this set is a colorful reminder to  look on the bright side, enjoy your tea, and embrace those autumn vibes. 

Slice of Life is Here

For the rest of the collection, be sure to watch the video and stay tuned for more projects using it on my Instagram. Be sure to let me know– what do you think about Slice of Life? Which items are you most excited to try out? Do you have a favorite pattern? I love hearing from you all and seeing the amazing things you create.