Up until a week ago, we knew Valentine’s Day as an annual holiday, to be celebrated on February 14th , with your sweetheart, and then promptly swept aside in preparation for Easter. However, last Saturday, our perceptions were shattered as we celebrated Valentine’s Day on February 21st with – get this – 10 other women. It was such an affair to remember, that we have vowed to celebrate Valentine’s Day for the entire month of February from here on out, making it more of a season than a once-a-year holiday. Don’t expect to see us in anything but perfectly clashing pinks and reds in February 2016.
Our guests for February’s dinner were Ashley LeBlanc and Melissa Simmonds, co-founders of Write It Down Stationery here in Joplin. They launched their first line of stationery on the 21st, and it is nothing short of spectacular. We had the privilege of catering their launch party, which was complete with strawberry milk and donut party favors (the really colorful, sprinkly kind of donuts), wines to pair with each of our courses, and a valentine exchange! It was, to put it simply, rad.
Ashley and Melissa’s motto for Write It Down is, “Sweet, simple whimsy for generous souls.” And their first stationery line is just that. They feature a series of sharable cards, which are perforated at the top, so that you can tear off the top portion and share the love. It’s not re-gifting. It’s paying it forward. It’s generosity. And it practically defines simple whimsy! These chicks have got it going on.
Ashley designs all of the cards by hand – watercolors, hand-lettering – there’s really not a lot she can’t do. Melissa is in charge of the marketing, social-media and blog side of the biz, and helps Ashley with their DIY segments, as well as features on fellow creatives. Their first line includes a “Thinking of You” card, a “We Work Well Together” card, a “Thanks-a-Million” card, multi-occasion floral cards, a hearteye emoji card, and a card stating, “I’d Share My Doughnuts With You”, which is of course reserved for only the most exclusive of relationships. A love for stationery and paper products runs deep in Ashley and Melissa, and it shows in the quality of their product. They may operate out of a home office, but their stationery looks anything but homemade. Both their online presence and their physical cards are beautifully designed, meticulously crafted and certified impressive.
Pulling off a launch party can be a difficult task. We know that from experience. As you’ll be able to tell from the photos, Ashley and Melissa did it, and they done did it good. We tip our hats to the ladies who not only will be supplying all of our holiday, and any other occasion you can think of cards for the rest of our lives, but who also have found where their talents and passions collide. Seriously check out the stellar team behind Write It Down Stationery. When you do, you’ll be impressed, humored and most likely be craving doughnuts for the foreseeable future.
We’d also like to share one of the recipes we created for their Launch! We hope you enjoy P.S. This would also be a killer St. Patty’s recipe, which only just now crossed our minds…hooray!
Roasted New Potatoes with Sweet Pea Pesto
Serves 4 (as a side dish)
4 Small-Medium New Potatoes, cut into wedges
1 T Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Pesto:
1 Handful Fresh Basil
1/3 C Sweet Peas (frozen or fresh, defrost if frozen)
½ C Pine Nuts
Squeeze of lemon wedge
½ t salt
1 T parsley (fresh or dried flakes)
Preheat oven to 385 Toss potato wedges with EVOO, salt and pepper and lay one flat side down on a baking sheet Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crisp.
While the potatoes are baking, put all pesto ingredients into a food processor, and blend until smooth. The pesto should be slightly gritty. Let the potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes. Once they have cooled spread pea pesto over the top and serve! If you have extra pea pesto, put more on your potatoes, or grab a spoon.