T H A N K  Y O U  X

T H A N K Y O U X

When I set out to have a little Insta giveaway late last week to launch my new Designer Decals I thought I would receive maybe 20, 30 suggestions. So to receive 300 entries, it's safe to say I nearly fell off my chair. 
The winning design went to @redness419 for her entry of 'At last, my love.' 
I just thought it was so simple, versatile and heart wrenching.
Here it is here...
This winning design will be available (Friday of this week) to purchase as part of my debut decal collection.
As there could only be one winner... I thought as a way of saying thank you for taking the time to enter, and just your support in my work in general I suppose, I would brush out the runner up phrases that were oh so close to being numero uno.
I mean, they were all amazing - ok... except maybe that one weird one about holes? haha - you lot are a beautiful, creative bunch with a lovely way with words. It really was hard to even narrow down to these 5 that were next in line.
But here goes.... (in no particular order)...
Spread your light from day to night.
@sweatseeker
Such a beautiful message.
Love lives Here
@loveandbuoys and also @lovebitescookies
Yeah it does!
She dreams mores often than she sleeps.
@amberturvey_
So dreamy!
Mama says BE KIND
@ohmymumsy
Wise words from this mama babe.
 
Always kiss me goodnight.
@steffholmes.co
Such a beautiful reminder for the bedside table...
-------
So there you have it! Five delicious FREE printables for you to keep. Download via the highlighted links below each image, it will open the high res PDF to a new window which you can then download and save to your computer. Open the PDF once saved and print to a lovely card stock - you can find some lovely linen like thick-y A4 sheets at Officeworks or Spotlight... or any decent craft store really.
Print one or print all, print big or print small!
I hope you love... 
 Make you sure you tag me @louieluxe if you make some use out of these pretties.
Thank you again, lovers.
Big Love 
LL.
xx
July 25, 2017 — Jessica Windle
H E L L O.  I T ' S  M E.

H E L L O. I T ' S M E.

There I sat, in the front seat of my car. It was a hot December’s day on the Gold Coast. My self-made, Mumpreneur, WAHM design business had been thriving, I was ‘killing it’ as my friends and Instagram followers would say, I was earning a healthy income to help contribute to our family earnings, all the while being a full time Mum to our two growing boys.
All sounds perfect, right? 
Cue reality…
My littlest, who was then only just a mere, one year old, had gotten very sick. 
We were in the thick of Christmas season, when small businesses like mine, amazingly get thrown mountains of support in the form of orders.
I needed to be on the ball.
My little Rafferty accumulated an eye infection that looked like the stuff nightmares are made of. They couldn’t actually diagnose it at the time which didn’t help our cause, but there was a lot of back and forth to the ED at the hospital as he would wake up each morning with eyes shut over and writhing in pain. For weeks it wouldn’t go away and it totally messed me up as I played tug-of-war between trying to care for him and trying to keep up with my inbox.
 
 Leading up to this day, my store was at it’s peak with hundreds of Christmas orders waiting to be fulfilled. I was determined to make sure that every single one of those orders would arrive in time for Christmas Day as promised. All of them custom designed from scratch, then assembled and packaged by me. I didn’t sleep for weeks…
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, I slept, an hour or two here or there out of 24 hours in a day in order to see them through.
I was trying my absolute hardest.
I succeeded for the most part. I sent those packages out one by one. But out of the hundreds of orders I was dealing with, there were a few minor hiccups. Breakages. Lost packages. Delays. Each hiccup, given the circumstances, hurt me.
 
Because my process was stunted due to Raffy needing most of my attention, I was chipping into the profit of a majority of my orders to cover the extra costs occurred when expediting the process. I was refunding those orders in full that didn't make it as promised, even thought I had done the work. In other words, in those few weeks Raffy was sick, I was working to my wits end, yet losing money at the same time. But by this point in time, it wasn’t about money, it was about making sure I didn’t let anyone down, especially my little boy. Many tears were shed and I can easily say that this scenario was one of the hardest situations I’ve found myself in. So in the front seat of the car after the last order was sent out, a few days out from Christmas Day, I had a nervous breakdown.
Bawling. Hyperventilating. I couldn’t do it. I’d failed. Again. I was no entrepreneur. I was not magic. I was mentally and physically broken. I couldn’t sort my shit out and I wanted to give it all away.
“I quit,”
I whimpered to my husband. “I can’t do it anymore. I just want to be a Mum. I’m so tired… and what for?”
He was supportive, as always, and told me in my desperation that we would do whatever it was in order for me to be healthy and happy again. 
I had already put a password on my website so no one could make any further orders. I switched off my Social Media. And I hugged my little baby back to good health. He came right within a couple of weeks. Just a viral infection that wouldn’t go away.
My healing process however, would take a little longer.
You see, the irony of it all is that I started LOUIE LUXE as a healing tool. For those of you who weren’t here at the very beginning, since that first post in March 2014 (pictured below - 19 likes... Yass!) my page was originally called FINDING LOUIE.
 
The ‘storm’ that I evidently related to in my first post, was the reason why I started Finding Louie.
Louie/Louise, my middle name.
The ‘Finding’ part was all about finding the magic that made me, me - I was once her before, but she was long lost. It happens. Life’s seriousness and mundane expectations get in the way and before you know it, you are looking in the mirror and you don’t like or know the person that you see.
I was a far cry from my full potential.
The good thing is that I KNEW deep down she was in reach.
I’m a big believer that all women are MAGIC. We are phenomenal. What out minds and bodies are capable of IS pure magic. So out I set, to find her. Stripping myself back. What were the things that I liked to do in order to come alive? Reach my full potential.
You know, just light up… 
For me, these things were all very creative. Mainly, it was to cook really good food, listen and dance to my favourite music (I was a professional dancer in a past life) and write.
With ink.
On paper.
So that I did….
I got lost in it and it simply made me really happy. I started with penning famous quotes about life and love and then naturally I started tinkering with my own thoughts.  
My feed in the early days started by looking like this... 
 Post by post, I gained followers who genuinely believed in my work, who then became customers and before I knew it, I was living this amazing existence doing what I loved, with the support of an amazing community online. I had come alive. Louie Luxe was born. I was so proud of the work I was creating and most importantly, six months after I began posting on Finding Louie in search of real self love and happiness… after years of infertility, losses and a very dramatic ectopic - think ‘near-death hell’ or even ‘storm’ as per first post…. (making sense now?), then a stint of IVF, I miraculously fell pregnant. With my little Rafferty. He would become the treasured little brother to his big brother Jayce, eight whole years his senior.
Magic.
 
This Instagram page, had turned my life around.
I was genuinely happy, I was pregnant and it was just the beginning.
Because of the organic nature in how my little business grew, I never really had the chance to sit down and make those all important decisions on how I wanted my brand to look, how I wanted it to be run and how I wanted it to fit in with the already busy life that I led.
I was always short of time. I mean, even at the hospital when Raffy was born, three hours later, I was on my laptop in my hospital bed, freshly cut open, emailing my loving customers, telling them he had come three weeks early, but not to worry… it wouldn’t effect their order!!
YEP. I feel us women are really great at just being multi-tasking, hardcore troopers. 
So when this epic breakdown happened, there was just so much history leading up to that moment, which I guess is why it hit me so hard. 
There was a large part of me that wanted to opt out - go and get a ‘real job’ and spend the rest of my time playing with building blocks on the playroom floor with my toddler, both of us covered in Jatz crumbs and watermelon juice. Seriously.
Then there was this other part of me
that really believed in what I had created in such a short time.
Before Raff’s sickness, I WAS doing really well.
My customers would send through the most heartfelt and amazing testimonials and feedback, I was creatively fulfilled beyond my wildest dreams, and like I mentioned earlier… I was able to contribute financially to the family too which meant a lot to me.
My husbo agreed. “Louie Luxe is a great little business, you just need to iron a few problems out.” A big one for him was the no sleep thing. He hated that for me. It’s no way to live and was causing so much strain on the family and in particular my health. So I had to compromise. If I wanted to sleep, I had to decrease my workload - so for me, that meant eliminating my custom work via my store. As much as I have loved creating bespoke pieces that have been used at beautiful, intimate events and countless nurseries across the globe, that will be a part of so many memories for lifetimes to come, it’s something that I just cannot facilitate anymore.
Instead, I have created a range of ready-made products that I’m extremely proud of. They aren’t custom, but each design has been made from nothing, brought to life through my imagination and the love of ink and paper that set me off on this journey in the first place.
A lovely customer recently wrote to me that, “It’s so beautiful the way you’re able to capture emotion and meaning in a physical representation. I can’t thank you enough…” - with these beautifully encouraging words in mind I set out to create a range that would bring an extra shot of emotion to ceremonies, events, parties and soirees.
I feel that this is my gift and what truly makes me light up the world in my own little way. So I’m so pleased that despite the trauma of the breakdown, I am picking up my socks, learning, constantly learning, from my mistakes and will continue to work on this amazing path.
To begin with, I was just going to open the store, ‘next week’ - I started saying that in February…. Every week ticked by and the self sabotage was REAL. There was a real blockage, where I was physically terrified of opening the store back up to the public again. I just wasn’t ready. As well as working on the business, there was another major factor that I wanted to spend some quality time on before I set out and made myself vulnerable again. And that was… me. 
I’ve never really been good at gifting myself time or effort if it didn’t mean that if benefited others also. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this. I’ve never felt worthy. But as I looked through my camera roll on my phone of the years recently gone by since having Rafferty, I noticed how few photos there were of me. Like seriously, out of the THOUSANDS of photos of my boys, my work and my husband, there were about NINE of me. I cry as I'm writing this...
I was hiding.
I know I’m not the only one guilty of this. We give so much of ourselves to our families and building the family home, and for a lot of us, our work life too. Who on earth has the time or energy to spend on personally bettering themselves. I wasn’t even sleeping - how was I supposed to get to a gym. 
I knew I needed to change. Not for looks. Not for selfies. Not for new clothes (although shopping lately has been lots of fun).
For my health and well being, my state of mind, for the sake of not being afraid of having your photo taken so in decades to come your sweet children are able to look back on this beautiful time you had together.
There was one photo that came to mind (out of the nine to choose from - LOL) and looking at it, I feel the exhaustion, the fear, the resentment, the disappointment and
I’ve honestly spent the last six months turning myself around,
inside and out from the woman in that photo.
How could I talk and write about magic, reaching your full potential, transformation, love (especially self-love) when I honestly hated where I was at that point in time. When I didn’t want to share myself with those around me and instead hid behind my work and pretty pictures of anything that wasn’t truly me.
I needed to transform.
I had plenty to be proud and grateful of, but I’d really dropped the ball on looking after what was supposed to be the anchor of my family. I wasn’t really setting a great example for my kids and that probably made me the most upset.
The photo:
I know everyone is their own harshest critic. But I can tell you that this version of me is utterly exhausted, she is heavy in her step and extremely uncomfortable in her own skin.
I still get emotional when I look at this photo because I can see sadness in my eyes when I should of been having one of the happiest days celebrating my little Rafferty's 1st Birthday.
I wrote down my goals.
I decided to take it day by day.
Having come from a CrossFit background, I decided I couldn’t go back to that.
Mentally having to start from scratch again was a huge mental setback from the get-go.
So I decided to start something new.
For the new me.
An F45 studio (@f45_training_robina represent!! Yew!) had opened it’s doors five minutes down the road from our house, on the 21st Jan…  The timing was almost serendipitous. I remember so clearly the morning I walked in there to sign up. I was on a mission and I could feel the desperation in my voice saying help me.
Every morning I get up at 4:30am and train with them for 45 minutes. I haven't missed a training day since I made that decision to turn my life around.
Five months later I can well and truly say I have been transformed and my home and camera roll is now brimming with photos of us as a family. No more hiding.
It's not about looking a certain way. It's about resilience. Growth. Coming out the other side of a tough time fighting and saying, "I've got this".
Mama looks confident and at peace (and a lot less exhausted) and with that comes the rebirth of Louie Luxe.
Not just the website, but this little lady behind the brand.
I feel free to be me.
I feel light in my body and mind. I feel healthy and comfortable in my own skin and that is the foundation that I want to build my business on and the example I want to set for my children.
I can do this now.
 
I’m so excited for everything.
And THAT feeling is the best feeling in the world. That’s where the magic happens. 
I have so many people to thank for sticking by me and believing in me, even when I didn’t. You know who you are.
To my amazing followers who despite my six months hiatus to focus on my health and family, continue to stick around, support and encourage me and my work. I love you.
I’m sharing this with the Interwebs as I want to start being a little more transparent with those who care to listen. I feel like I’m learning a lot.
And it feels amazing to share that growth.
I'm hoping that if this can give just one wonder woman out there who has lost her spark, the hope that change is just around the corner, then this post is worth it.
You are worthy. You deserve the time and energy to allow yourself to grow.
It is okay to fail, it is okay to hit rock bottom, it is okay to breakdown.
The beauty is in the growth.
Just keep in mind that even the purest, most beautiful petals, 
bloom from a stem that had to breakthrough the dirt-ridden ground.
You have got this.
 
This will be my mission through my work. To inspire celebration of life, love, happiness, hope and growth. 
My designs won't be products, they will be tools to spread this message.
Let the fun begin.
 
Love, light + magic.
LL
xx

 

June 26, 2017 — Jessica Windle
How to make a pretty cake...

How to make a pretty cake...

Hey Friends!
So I thought I'd pop up a little vid on Youtube of JUST how easy it is to whip up an on-trend naked cake and then pretty it up using fresh flowers and a gorgeous cake topper. 
I just love how versatile this look is, I get sent piccies of versions of it everyday and it doesn't matter if it's a wedding, baby shower, birthday or 'just because', this cake is just effortlessly beautiful.
I for one find the simplicity of making a fresh and minimalistic cake and then adding a topper to make it relevant to the occasion just so satisfying. Gone are the days of rolling out fondant and trying to achieve a perfect looking cake... rustic goodness is here and I sure do hope it stays!
Now, this is not to take away from the beautiful work of the amazing bakers out there that are producing the most stunning naked cakes I've ever seen and when I am organised enough for a shoot or special occasion, I definitely leave it to the professionals (their work is insanely perfect), but this option I have posted here is purely for the peeps out there who have left it last minute or working to a budget or are set on having a go on their own for that sentimental attachment.
All you need is to bake a basic sponge (x however many layers you would like to stack) - I have done 3 for this tutorial. I've also opted for a chocolate sponge here and wait for it, I even used packet mix! I made a fresh butter cream icing using this recipe via taste.com.au
Just layer the sponges with the buttercream piped between each layer (hot tip: add fresh berries for a fruity hit to your cake) - you may notice I've been pretty skint on the middle of this cake that I'm prepping in the vid but this particular cake was just going to be used for a display at my market stall the following day so I didn't want to be too wasteful...
My biggest tip would be to is invest in one of those flat icing knives that I'm using - I bought mine for $2 from a Japanese dollar store - and it works wonders. Just keep smothering that cake with thin layers of icing and smoothing it out using the blade of the knife and you can't go wrong.
Apart from that I find that a pretty cake stand, fresh flowers and a cake topper is ALL you need to set the tone. 
Let me know if you attempt it and even better - send me piccies!
Big Love
LL 
x

 

 

 

 

October 23, 2016 — Jessica Windle
New baby shower printables + more x

New baby shower printables + more x

For those who missed it, my gorgeous sister (fit mama and all round superwoman @reviejane of reviejane.com ) celebrated the pending arrival of baby 'Coconut' in an intimate setting at the start of the year and I had the absolute pleasure of styling the event and creating special bits and pieces for the guests to take home.
You can get the run down and gorgeous shots from the day, HERE.
I thought I would share the love for anyone eyeing off the stationery I designed by creating some free printables, just like I did for my baby shower last year. 
 
This suite has a very simplistic, watercolour based vibe and totally gender neutral with hints of blush and a soft yellow with touches of hand lettering and super sweet hand illustrations.
I have included 2 versions of the baby predictions printable - one includes 'gender' as a prediction for those uber-patient mamas who don't find out the sex of their baby and the other has left off the gender prediction if it's already public knowledge. All you have to do is click on the below links and it will come up with a printable PDF, print, slice each A4 sheet down the middle to make 2 A5 sheets and repeat for however many you need.
Since Revie's baby shower I have created some of the custom items I designed for her suite for other mama's who have contacted me directly and had their hearts set on the celebration flags and name key tags (that double up as gorgeous place cards... amazingness!) - and I have since decided to make them available via my store for any others who may be interested. 
louie luxe baby shower celebration flags 
(custom name key tags double up as place cards and a little gift for the guests to take home)
(celebration flags... double as table decs and photo props)
Anyway, I hope this has at least provided some inspo or you've found the free printables super helpful and if you decide to use them, please tag me in on Instagram (@louieluxe) or send me piccies via email at hi@louieluxe.com I would absolutely love to see them in action.
 
(me and my babe at Revie's shower)
big love.
ll
x
 
 
 
March 14, 2016 — Jessica Windle
2 0 1 6 : New Year, Fresh Start

2 0 1 6 : New Year, Fresh Start

goals
A couple of months back on my Instagram I posted about 'Goals + Gratitude' - it was a hit with you guys. Perhaps you feel the same way as I do... I see so many people, mostly young girls, comment of other accounts '#goals'... like a throwaway comment, like they are chasing something hard and fast without truly acknowledging the hard work, failures and heartache that sometimes goes into achieving the things they lust over (it could be a house, job, body, family, outfit...) so perfectly displayed online. So I thought it would be nice to give you guys (and myself) an opportunity to pause at this busy time of year to reflect and plan in time for the brand new 2016 ahead of us.
When I brushed out this design I wanted to change people's mindsets as to how they perceive their goals. It's one thing to have goals and be constantly chasing a better version of yourself, but let's not forget all the amazing things we can be grateful for right now in this present moment. Sometimes acknowledging those things can be just as fulfilling as listing out your dreams and aspirations as you rediscover little bits of goodness that you truly love about our life. So I thought it would be nice to create a list for both... I feel both Goals AND Gratitude deserve the same amount of attention.
gratitude
So going into the brand new year... this is a little gift from me to you. Click below for your free download... Print to A4 and then perfectly slice down the middle for 2 little A5 sheets to fill out and refer to throughout the year. That way when you get a little lost throughout the year (as we all do!) you can look back and be reminded of all the things that you were excited for at the start of the year and also remember all of those beautiful parts of your life to be grateful for also.
Wishing you a healthy, love-filled and happy new year.
Big love.
ll
xx

 

 

 

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD HERE

 

December 30, 2015 — Jessica Windle

Baby Shower Printables

Hey lovers!

My beautiful family held me a baby shower high tea last weekend to help celebrate little prince #2 making his way into our lives - who is about 3 weeks away... woah!

I wanted to help in any way I could so I was allocated the very welcome task of table settings to suit the monochrome theme we had going on. Who doesn't love a good baby shower game to get the party started (and I promise, not a nutella stained nappy in sight!)

 

To share the love I thought I would make these Louie Luxe designed printables available to you guys in case you were after some minimalistic, monochrome, fuss-free goodness for your baby shower too.

You can download your Louie Luxe Baby Shower Printables here:

Baby 1

Baby 2

Baby 3

Each printable is designed to be A5 in size so the downloadable PDF is A4 in size with 2 copies to each page. Use a guillotine if possible to get beautifully trimmed edges and voila!

Hubby, big brother-to-be and I sat down that very afternoon and read all the lovely/hilarious answers and opened our generous gifts. Needless to say I cried... Such a special time.

Would love to see piccies if you decide to use this suite for your baby shower! Just tag @findinglouie in your post on Instagram so I can see what you are up to.

 

Big love.

ll

x

 

May 04, 2015 — Jessica Windle
Tags: baby shower

Hey lovers.

So I'm a little bit excited at how all of 'this' has been evolving. I've been overwhelmed at the response and support of my love for scribbling notes.
I just thought I would check in and let you know that I will be adding a whole lot more to the shop and I am constantly brainstorming and thinking of ways to bring you more typography goodness... so bear with me.
Please, if there is anything that you would like to see more of let me know via email hi@louieluxe.com
I love hearing from all you kind folk and talking shop.
Remember to follow me on insta @findinglouie
and to give my FB page a like facebook.com/findinglouie
so you can keep up to date with all Louie happenings.
much love
ll
x

 

March 22, 2015 — Jessica Windle
Tags: hi intro