Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Squash Salad

I've been enjoying a very inexpensive subscription to Bon Appetit magazine over the last several months. While I must confess that I will probably never attempt any of the recipes I see there, it has caused me to think outside the box a bit more when I cook.

For instance, I love summer squash (crookneck and zucchini), but I tend to serve it in only a few different ways: sauteed with onion, steamed with onion and tomato, or grilled. However, when the temp warmed up this week, cooler dishes sounded great! So I took a cue from a Gwyneth Paltrow interview in Bon Appetit and winged this dish. It's kind of loosey-goosey, so just make it your own!

Summer Veggie Salad

2 medium yellow crookneck squash
1 medium zucchini
6-8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or one whole tomato, diced)
1/2 - 1 cup small brocolli florets
1/2 - 1 cup small cauliflower florets
2 tbsps olive oil (give or take)
juice from one half lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Use a vegetable peeler to create long slices of squash (discard outer peel and seeds) -- just work with it and you'll find the best technique. Add other vegetables, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, add salt & pepper and toss to mix. Chill before serving.

{By the way, I added some chopped grilled chicken and small cheddar chunks to the leftovers the next day -- it made a marvelous lunch!}

Just for fun, I shared this recipe over at The CSI Project for their Summer Salads Challenge!


© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Benefit for Michele

My sweet sister-in-law, Michele, has faced some serious and chronic health issues over the past several years, including auto-immune disorders such as Lupus and Crohns. In more recent months, she has been under some very focused, specialized care and treatment which has required her to travel out of state. This treatment has not reversed her condition, but rather has led the doctors to refer her to another treatment facility in Bethesda, Maryland, to pursue a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, which may include a bone marrow transplant.

Michele has been physically unable to work for some time, and her condition and treatment have often required her husband, Tim, to be absent from work to care for her or travel with her. While Tim is a retired Air Force veteran and continues to work in his field as a civilian, insurance does not meet every need. Between the decrease in income and the increase in expenses, you can imagine the added stress they are feeling.

Will you join me in helping Tim and Michele with financial support? It’s fun and simple! I’m going to donate ALL of my Willow House profits in May to Tim and Michele for their upcoming trip in June to Bethesda. To participate, simply visit my Willow House website and click on the Willow House Shop online with me! Be sure to select me as both your host and your consultant when you check out. Or, if you prefer, give me a call to place your order (678-563-1014).

A few things that can make this more fun for you:
  • Check out our May Days sale (see “What’s New” on sidebar of my website) and take advantage of the super deals on twenty-seven of our most popular products. You can reduce many of these prices even further by adding one of these items to your order as a customer special, taking an additional 50% off the sale price!
  • If you are shopping online, don’t forget to check out the e-outlet specials and the weekly deals!
  • Speaking of customer specials, remember that with a minimum order of $39.96, you can purchase your choice of any one eligible (non-outlet) product, valued at $40 or less, at half price!
  • Want to purchase a great gift for Father’s Day, graduation, or just to keep in the gift closet? Our $25 multi-title gift pack allows your gift recipient to choose their own magazine subscription form twenty-two different titles.
  • And just to add to the fun… once sales reach $250 or more, everyone who selected me as their host will be entered in a drawing for free and half-price products!
Please pass this along to any one who you think might be willing to help by shopping with a purpose!

Friday, May 20, 2011

At last -- a real sneak preview of the jewelry!

Ooo, so how excited was I to find this picture in mail email inbox a few minutes ago! Here's an excerpt of the note that Pam Scott, Director of Sales Support & Events sent along with it:

I’m SO excited to share this exclusive sneak peek of our new jewelry collection! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these beautiful bracelets … you’ll probably see them on my wrist at Convention!
This is just a tiny glimpse of our new line. Come to Convention to see SO MUCH MORE at our first-ever Jewelry Showcase! You’ll also get to meet our jewelry designer AND order samples of this beautiful jewelry.
And here’s the best part — Convention attendees get first dibs on jewelry kit reservations for our soft launch this fall. That’s right — come to Convention and you’ll have the opportunity to guarantee your spot in this exciting new evolution of Willow House.

If you're excited, too -- or even just curious -- we need to talk. Contact me today!

Announcing... a giveaway!

I'm excited to be teaming up with Jessica over at over at Jessica Leigh as she hosts a Willow House giveaway! I discovered Jessica's blog when she posted about a Willow House product she had purchased and made creative use of (see below).  Since then, I've enjoyed the views from her camera lens as well as of her mother's heart as she shares (not to mention her clever blog header!).

I wanted to get to know Jessica a little better and let you get to know her a little better, so I asked her to share a bit with us...

Describe your family in 21 words or less:
Brant, Jess, Sam, Saw, Jesus Christ, family, church, friends, fun, lake, books, Bible, cook, eat, trips, sports, laughter, happiness, loyal, and crayons

Why do you blog?
it's fun!  it allows me to document things so i can look back and remember how i did something, and i've met some super great people through the blog world!!!

How did you become interested in photography and, more specifically, portrait photography?
when my children were born, it was only natural that i would take TONS of photos, being i was a scrapbooker! 

In your opinion, what is the single most important quality of a successful portrait photographer?
well. . .i must say  you must have a business head (which i don't), be creative, and LOVE working with kiddos!!  ok. . .that was more than one single quality! :)

What can the average mom do to improve her work as the official family photographer?
find some photographers that you like. . .even a local photog, and watch their work. . .watch their posing and non-posing, locations they use around you, etc.  get down LOW. . . and fill up the viewfinder with your subject.  if you are using an slr camera. .  .try to get AWAY from the green box, and move to the AV setting (my favorite)!!

What do you order at Starbucks?
caramel mocha frappuccino

What's your favorite Willow House product?
most definitely my vintage spiral stand, which is used everyday!  a picture is seen here of it sitting on my bathroom vanity!!!

Please head on over to Jessica's blog to join the fun -- you don't want to miss this giveaway!

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Willow House decor + jewelry = Simply Good Design!

Have you seen the sneak preview of the new Willow House Riverstone dinnerware? We all fell in love with the Riverstone Stacking Platters, introduced in the spring catalog along with the Riverstone Tapas Set. I can't wait to see the new dinnerware in person... but until then, I'll have to settle for this photo, where it's shown alongside the soon-to-come Adelaide Flatware.

What I love: the styling reminds me of Grandma's dishes, the hues remind me of the sea, the neutrals make it a great fit for modern eclectic, and the mix-and-match effect is just fun! These products will launch in our Fall 2011 catalog.

If you've been reading my blog over the last few weeks, you know that I'm super excited about the new jewelry division that Willow House will launch this fall. I've been promising you that same simply good design that you've enjoyed in our home decor products, and this short video below confirms that!

If you'd like to be a part of our jewelry division soft launch this fall, now is the time to join my team! And you can join for just $49 thru the end of May. Reservations for the jewelry division will begin in June. All Willow House consultants who attend our annual convention will be invited to be a part of the soft launch -- very exciting, and very affordable for new consultants at just $99. Please contact me right away to see if this opportunity is right for you -- I'd love to send you an invitation to join my team! And if you know someone who loves simply good design in home decor and/or jewelry, please pass this along to them!

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The plot thickens {or how Willow House jewelry is selected}

I always enjoy Plate and Pattern's blog, and this post is no exception. Boy, they sure know how to build the suspense! Now that some of the jewelry designs are complete, our wonderful Willow House design team is selecting the best designs for our new line. If you're intrigued about the new Willow House division featuring jewelry, you can learn more in some of my previous posts.

If you want to get in on the ground floor of this great opportunity, the window is closing soon! Sign up to be a consultant in May 2011 -- you can purchase our full new consultant kit for $199, or our mini-kit for $49 -- and you'll be given the opportunity to make a jewelry reservation in June when all is revealed. In addition, you can purchase other catalog items at half-price within 30 days of the ship date of your welcome kit (see details at mini-kit link).

I'd love to hear from you -- if you'd like to chat about the Willow House opportunity, please contact me with your phone number and I'll be happy to give you a call!

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

Thursday, May 12, 2011

More on Willow House Jewelry Division...

There's been a lot of interest and excitement about the news of the new Willow House division for jewelry! Our CEO, Bill Shaw, provided us with more info yesterday:

Dear Friends,

On the May Director Call, I promised a jewelry update, and I’m excited to share with you. We are thrilled with the progress of the new jewelry division, and we are on schedule for a public announcement the first week in June, along with a sneak peak of a small sample of the 200+ designs in production! (PS: You’ll see even more at Convention!)

I know you can’t wait to see the jewelry, and to meet our new jewelry partner. We have waited to announce the designer’s name on purpose — to give you time to focus on the impact of our multi-division strategy and what it will mean to you and your business.

I like to tell prospective Consultants that having two divisions means having twice the opportunity to succeed. If the company you’re considering only offers one sales division, they’re simply limiting your options. Today — more than ever before — it’s important to realize a greater return on every relationship. Other companies tell their sales people, “If you want more parties, you need to find more hosts.” Our people know the truth — sometimes it’s hard to find more hosts. If you want more parties, it’s much easier to offer your hosts more opportunities for parties.

Willow House is the only direct selling opportunity to offer two chances for your host to book a party each season. Now you can reach twice as many customers with the same number of hosts, generating twice the rewards! And who would you trust more than Willow House to start a new division? Over the past 10 years we’ve conducted two million parties, sold to more than 13 million customers, paid almost $400 million in commissions to Consultants, shipped 10 million boxes, all with less than a 1% return rate. With a track record like that, why would anyone consider another company?

At Convention you’ll learn more about our designer and what makes our jewelry line so special. For now, let me share a little bit to help you understand how lucky we are to have this incredible woman partnering with our company.

Obviously, because we had limited experience with jewelry design, it was crucial for us to find partners who are as strong in jewelry as we are in home décor. We’ve all seen what happens when companies with very little décor experience try to enter our market — they embarrass themselves with weak product offerings. We were determined to not make that mistake with jewelry.

We began by undertaking more than a year of exhaustive market research, profiling all relevant competitors in our space and identifying emerging global trends at retail. Our search led us to one of the oldest and most respected U.S. manufacturers of bridal jewelry. They agreed to work with us to help identify one of the most talented and highly experienced makers of designer jewelry. Last year we started working on a new venture that would bring the very best manufacturing and design experience to our company. Today, with the addition of these new partners, we have a wealth of jewelry experience that would have taken 20 years to assemble on our own.

Our new partner has designed more than 3,000 unique pieces during her life, and today you can find her work in quality jewelry boutiques and specialty retailers all over America. While she’ll continue to design and manufacture jewelry for her retail line, Willow House is the only direct selling company she will work with and design for. As her partner, not customer, Willow House will be the only direct selling company in the world that will offer her exclusive line — unique works of art designed exclusively for us and only available from you.

But she does so much more than just design jewelry. Her company sources raw materials, like fresh and saltwater pearls, gemstones, Italian clasps and silver ingots from around the world to ensure only the finest components are used in her manufacturing process. Unlike so many other direct selling jewelry companies that use buyers or purchase finished goods from vendors, we’ll be co-manufacturing with her as a part of our new business relationship.

By investing in co-manufacturing, we’ve eliminated the usual mark up on raw materials and the wholesale distributor’s profit, which allows us to sell direct to your customers. This means we can sell genuine designer jewelry at very competitive prices, instead of overpriced costume and fashion jewelry like so many in our space today.

I can’t wait for you to welcome our new jewelry partner to our Willow House family. Robin and I are thrilled to be her friends and business partners, and we are excited to introduce her new Willow House jewelry line to the world.

When we started this journey, our mission was three-fold: First, find the best, most reputable jewelry designer in America and produce the hottest exclusive line of designer jewelry. Second, ensure the very best quality by engaging in the manufacturing process ourselves. Third — and most important — guarantee your success by offering your customers exceptional value for their money. We’re proud to say that we have succeeded.

Have a wonderful week and be sure to share this exciting news. Who knows whose prayer you’ll be answering? Maybe your own.

Bill Shaw's signature

If this intrigues you, please contact me to learn more. I'd love to help you explore whether or not this opportunity is right for you and have you on my team!

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

Monday, May 9, 2011

Announcing: Jewelry Division for Willow House Coming Soon!

I'm so excited to announce that Willow House will be introducing their jewelry division in the near future! Imagine: a brand new direct selling company which will mirror the quality and style we’ve become known for as the leader in home décor. But it will be so much more. We’ve been working with the very best people in the jewelry industry to create a direct selling jewelry business that’s second-to-none, from design all the way through the manufacturing process.

I'm excited for many reasons; here are just a few:

  •  I know my Willow House customers will love simply good design in jewelry just as much as they love it in their home decor.
  • My wonderful hosts will have the opportunity to host a design workshop one evening and a jewelry party another time, with fabulous host rewards for each.
  • Consultants can opt to sell either line or both, with all sales working together toward promotions and incentives.

With all of that, I'd have to say it's a win-win-win! In the beginning, only Willow House consultants will be able to sign up to become jewelry consultants. But the company has made this so easy! During May 2011, you can sign up as a Willow House consultant for just $49. This minimal investment provides you with a lovely assortment of eight Willow House products, as well as all you need to get your business started -- over $200 retail value! And because you are part of my team, I'm happy to help guide you in getting your business off to the best start possible according to your own goals.

In addition, once your Welcome Kit ships, you’ll have 30 days to purchase any catalog item for 50% off* —
choose as many as you like! You can also qualify for a cash bonus during your first month in business, just our way of rewarding you for a job well done.

Once you are signed up as a Willow House consultant, you'll be eligible to register for the jewelry opportunity very soon. 

We'll be seeing the jewelry line at Convention this year, which is at the Cobb Galleria here in the Atlanta area. As a new consultant, you can attend Convention for just $99! I can't think of a better way to start your business than by attending Convention and learning the ropes from the very best (not to mention getting to preview our next catalog and the jewelry line!).

What are you waiting for? What do you have to lose? If this has piqued your interest at all, please contact me with any questions you might have. I'd love to have you on my Willow House team!

*Kit Add-On order, one discount per item code

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Windows and Rope

I really enjoy my Google Reader. Each day it brings me surprises, lovely little blogs that I once saw and might forget to check again. I had two nice surprises there today, one post dealing with windows, the other with ropes. {Side note: am I the only one who sees those two words together and thinks Alfred Hitchcock?}

Rachael shares her love for old windows on Lovely Crafty Home:

I have an old window exactly like that in storage. Here's how it looked at Christmas in our former home:

Maryann goes loopy for jute in For the Love of Rope:

I think rope would be a great addition to this Lady Jane Bottleneck Vase:

What would you do with old windows and/or rope?

{...speaking of RSS feeds (like Google Reader), I have a handy dandy subscription button off to the right, as well as a button to follow me. Join the fun!}

© Suzanne Jackson 2011.
{I'd love for you to share this post with friends, but please share the full link. Common courtesy dictates that you do not copy the post into your own blog without proper attribution. Thanks!}


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