Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lost and Found: Gratitude at Starbucks

Today I was having one of “those” days.  Nothing felt right.  I wanted to crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head.  It happens sometimes – not often but each time it does, I feel lost not knowing how to rid myself of the blue feeling.  Usually, I just push through, putting one foot in front of the other.  This too shall pass, right?

This morning I took a different approach.  I went to Starbucks to sit for a few minutes before beginning my day, hoping that a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of waking, feeding and dressing two precious boys would give me the space to take a deep breath, shed the proverbial funk and start my day anew. 

I had already planned my Starbucks visit, picking out my chair (oh how I hoped it was empty!), mentally ordered my coffee and hoping they got the order – how wonderful it would be if my coffee ready and waiting for me when I got there! 

When I walked into the coffee shop I immediately scoped out the scene – Yes!  my seat was empty and waiting for me.  My coffee wasn't ready yet (what?! They didn't receive my telepathic order?).  However, there was only one person in front of me – that would just have to do.

In less than a few minutes my hot coffee was in hand and I was on my way to my seat. There was a woman in a wheelchair blocking the entrance to the cluster of chairs I was headed towards.  No problem, I just had to finagle a little to get my large backpack containing my laptop through the small space between her motorized chair and the leather seat at her side.  I managed, looked back and gave her a smile and made my way to my seat. 

When I sat down I noticed the woman in the wheelchair was looking at me, and smiling.  I smiled back again.  A few minutes passed and I glanced over again and she was still smiling at me so I smiled at her again.  The longer I sat there, aware of her presence, I realized her smiling face was just what I needed today. 

How many blessings had I overlooked this morning alone to get to this spot where I am now?  I can’t ignore the fact that I walked into Starbucks, a luxury this woman grinning back at me did not have.  And, here come the tears. 

You see, there was a time we thought Michael, my two and a half year old son whom I wrote about here, could not see or hear and wondered if he would ever walk.  I know what it is like to have a child in the hospital.  I have spent countless hours at his bedside as he recovered from major surgery or fought off an inexplicable infection.  I have listened to the doctors as they have given me prognoses that were bleak, at best.  And, I distinctly remember promising myself, over and over, that when we got out of the hospital I would never take another day for granted.  

But, today I forgot my promise.  I took this day for granted.  Not only do I have two healthy children at home, Michael is doing phenomenally.  He can see.  He can hear.  He doesn’t walk yet but he will.  Michael didn’t smile until he was eighteen months old but now he smiles all the time.  He is making HUGE progress.  And, he loves his little brother, smiling and outstretching his arms anytime Sam is near him.  He rubs his head against Sam’s cheek and shrieks with joy.  It warms my heart just thinking about it.

Today I was reminded of my promise never to take another day for granted at Starbucks by a stranger.   My heart has been restored to a state of gratitude.  I have no doubt I will need another reminder, I am only human, but I hope and pray that my next reminder be as gentle as the one I received today from a beautiful, smiling woman in a wheelchair.

From our family to yours-

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monogramming Memories

When I sat down to write this blog about monogramming, I started thinking back to my childhood and it reminded me of Mema, my other grandmother.  If you read my last blog post about G-mama (my dad’s mom), you will agree I have been quite nostalgic lately! 

Mema is my mom’s mom and was the definition of a fine, southern lady.  When I think of her farmhouse in South Carolina where I spent many summers running through the peach orchard while Mema sat in the rocking chair on the porch, I remember the smell of warm apple pie, the sound of teacups clinking and the sight of everything monogrammed.  From tea towels and bed linens to fine china and silver, her house had curly letters embroidered or engraved on every surface. 

Why are monograms so nostalgic?  I asked my Aunt Gwen, my mom’s sister, who carries on the tradition of monogramming everything with a flat surface and this was her answer: “Monograms remind me of a more genteel time when ladies wore dresses and make up and sipped tea.”  She went on to tell me how Mema used to have all of her monograms sent to New York to be designed.  She said, “We had our sweaters, purses, linens and all we could think of done. It used to be somewhat of a status symbol.” 

Monogramming has changed since then.  There are programs that quickly align the letters, machines that sew lightening fast and millions of designs to choose from.  Monograms are not as much of a status symbol as they used to be but they still turn a special gift into an amazing keepsake.  That is why everything we make at Princess Linens can be personalized. 

My boys are little but already I look back at the pictures of our special occasions and my heart melts when I see their sweet smiles and their precious outfits which have all, of course, been monogrammed.  Time passes too quickly and monograms are our way to slow down a little and remember a more “genteel time.”  Just like Aunt Gwen said. 

From our family to yours-

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Platinum 1934, Inc.

Most of you don’t know this but we have a corporate name under which our brand names Princess Linens and Doodlebugz Crayola operate.  Our corporate name is Platinum 1934, Inc.  It doesn’t mean much to our customers but has more to do with how our company is structured.  I was asked the other day about the origin of the corporate name and as I was telling the story felt very nostalgic.

The name Platinum 1934, Inc. is a tribute to my late grandmother, G-mama.  I know it is a strange name, one I have never heard anyone else use in referencing their grandmother, but that is what we called her.  G-mama was an amazing woman and I loved her very much.   When I was 7 years old she taught me to work with my hands.  She first taught me to crochet and I was immediately hooked on the wonderful world of needle arts.  She would show me my errors and how to correct them. Later she taught me how to knit and again how to undo and redo stitches without having to take out rows and rows of hard work.  She had the patience of a saint.  When we weren’t weaving needles in and out of fiber, we would draw and color together.    

When G-mama turned 90 (she lived to be 99) she gave me her platinum engagement ring that she had worn since 1934.  It is a beautiful, delicate ring with a modest diamond and two small sapphires on either side.  Years later, I was trying to decide on a name for my company.  I wanted to honor the woman who meant so much to me and without whom I would surely not have developed a love for all things creative.  Platinum 1934, Inc was born. 

I still think of G-mama often, especially when I am designing new products.  When I developed the Doodlebugz collection, she was my inspiration.  In the age of video games and often limitless TV, I wanted to make products that would inspire kids to be creative whether at home or on-the-go.   I envisioned children chalking on a placemat while mom was in the kitchen making dinner instead of parked in front of a television. 

I still love knitting in my spare time (of which I have very little these days with a 2 year old and a 6 month old).  But each time I sit down to knit or when I begin designing a new product, I think of G-mama. I am so grateful for the countless hours she spent with me, showing me all the wonderful things these hands can do.  I hope to one day do the same for my kids and maybe even my grandkids many years from now.

From our family to yours –



Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I’m usually a very private person but today I wanted to share with you a little something about my life. In addition to owning Princess Linens, I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful young boys. Sam is a bouncing six month old baby and Michael is my busy two year old, who happens to have Down Syndrome.

What is Down Syndrome? Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in approximately 1 in every 691 live births.  People with Down syndrome are both physically and mentally delayed and can have medical issues ranging from mild to severe.

Although there are many challenges and fears with raising my son, the blessings are tremendous. Yes, raising a child with special needs is a unique challenge, and there's still fear about Michael’s future because of health and social challenges; and certainly some days are much more difficult than if I had a "typical" child.  Many everyday activities like doctor's appointments, social gatherings, travel accommodations and even mealtimes are that much more difficult.  But at the end of the day I wouldn't trade the relative difficulties for any convenience or absence of fear. He has filled our hearts with so much joy and love.

You’ll be seeing more of Michael in the future since I am using my handsome boys as models for the Princess Linens clothing line.  In the meantime, I wanted to share this moving poem written by Emily Perl Kingsly, a mother of a special needs child that sums up our experience:

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

From our family to yours – Kathryn 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Contest: Facebook Easter Photo Contest - Win a $50 Gift Certificate!


Do you know a child wearing a Princess Linens outfit for Easter?  If so, post a picture of your little boy or girl wearing one of our outfits to our Facebook wall for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate and to be featured on our Facebook fan page!  

Contest ends 4/4/13 at 12 midnight EST when one lucky winner will be chosen randomly and awarded a $50 gift certificate redeemable at The winning picture will be featured on our homepage and will be used as our Facebook profile picture for some serious bragging rights!


Visit our Facebook page and upload an image of your child wearing a Princess Linens outfit

B. EXTRA ENTRIES - One Entry Each
  1. Share this image to your page and leave a comment letting us know that you shared it
  2. Like us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know that you liked us
  3. Tweet this contest - You can do this one time per day through 4/4/13 at 12 midnight EST. Example: I want to #win the Facebook photo #contest from @princesslinens
  4. Follow us on Twitter - @princesslinens
  5. Post as your Facebook status and post a comment letting us know that it is your status - Example: I want to win the Facebook photo contest from Princess Linens! You can do this one time per day through 4/4/13 at 12 midnight EST.
  6. Follow our Blog and post a comment letting us know that you followed the blog
  7. Join our newsletter and post a comment letting us know that you joined
  8. Blog about this contest and leave a comment with a link to your blog

Official Rules:
1. US and Canada residents only
2. Contest ends 4/4/13 at 12 midnight EST
3. Winner will be chosen randomly 

Good luck!  We can't wait to see all those sweet boys and girls!  

From our family to yours - Kathryn 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pinterest, Here I Come!

I have finally become an official “Pin Head” and have joined Pinterest! Apparently, I am behind the ball since there are an estimated 12 million subscribers and 80% of those users are women! I was interested in how busy moms, like myself, use Pinterest, so I did a little research and discovered some interesting facts:
·         Top 3 reasons why moms use Pinterest:
·         It’s just fun (90%)
·         I like organizing my interests (67.8%)
·         I like looking at beautiful things (67%)
·         The average number of Pinterest boards for moms is 18.
·         “Food/recipes” was by far (91.4%) the category/subject moms pinned the most.
·         Others in the top 5 were “Crafts” (74.5%), “Home Décor" (55.5%) “How-To” (52.7%), and “Fashion” (39.5%).
·         Fewer than half of moms (42.3%) used Pinterest to plan events, with 78.7% of that number planning a child’s birthday party.
·         About two-thirds of moms (66.5%) both pinned when they came across something of interest and pro-actively searched for items to pin.  

Well, I have just started with Pinterest and I already have four boards and I’m just getting started! I’m in agreement with all three top reasons to use Pinterest; it’s fun, it makes organizing my many interests easy and the pictures are beautiful and engaging. I find I’m drawn more towards the fashion, home décor and crafts, other than food/recipes. Who knows? Maybe one day Pinterest will inspire me to cook!
In the meantime, check out my new Pinterest page at and tell me what you think!

From our family to yours –





Monday, February 18, 2013

New Arrivals

The creative juices have been flowing at Princess Linens! Maybe it is because I have a four (almost five!) month old that I have been inspired by all things baby lately. Or perhaps it is because I have had several friends deliver babies already in the month of February. But, for whatever reason, I wanted to introduce something new, especially for babies. And after searching for the softest fabric I could find, our Snuggle Collection was born!

Baby gowns are so easy and practical for newborns. Without snaps or zippers to struggle with, diaper changes are a breeze. And, the 100% cotton lap shoulder bodice makes it easy to put on and take off, especially in a sleepless haze!

With our luxurious snuggle fabrics and silky satins, we created matching blankets that are as soft as newborn skin.

Of course, everything can be personalized, making these gifts keepsakes that both mom and baby will love! We hope you will be as inspired by our new collection as we have been.

From our family to yours –

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Tradition of the Easter Bonnet

Amidst wintry days and heavy coats, many people are already counting down the days until springtime. Spring is a time of rejuvenation and renewal when flowers and trees sprout their new buds and green is a welcomed replacement to the brown of the colder months.

It is also a time for many to celebrate Easter, the Christian holiday that coincides with spring, and the traditions that go along with it. One is the Easter bonnet. During the Great Depression, it was seen as a luxury to afford a new hat.

Composer Irving Berlin made the bonnet a fixture in popular culture through song with his popular composition titled Easter Parade using the parade in New York City as his frame of reference. The Easter parade, which made its way down 5th Avenue from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, dates back to the mid-1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services and then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new outfits and hats.

If your little one is in need of a new outfit for Easter or other springtime celebrations, we just received our new arrivals! A new addition to our 2013 collection, this pale pink polka dot pique dress is perfect for Easter with or without an Easter bonnet!

Visit to view more of our new arrivals! 

From our family to yours –

Monday, January 14, 2013

Valentine's Day With Kids: 5 Ways To Celebrate at Home

While the rest of the world is headed out to dinner, most parents, especially the more frugal ones, are likely at home doing dinner, bath, bedtime, etc. However, you don’t have to give up a romantic holiday just because you have kids.
Here’s a list of five at-home date night ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

·         Fancy Family Dinner Valentine’s Day is a great time to eat together as a family. Decorate the dining room, use a tablecloth and fill the kids’ sippy cups with sparkling juice and yours with champagne!

·         TV Marathon Have you been dying to watch an entire season of Downtown Abbey? Now’s your chance! Netflix or rent DVDs and enjoy from the comfort of your own bed after the kids are asleep.

·         Wedding Video Replay Tonight’s the night to break out your wedding photos and video. You may be inspired to relive some of the best moments.

·         Spa Day Take a bubble bath, watch massage tutorials on YouTube, put cucumber slices on your eyes while you lay in bed. Take turns doing each other's nails in crazy colors if the kids want to get in on the act.

·         Baking Bonanza Charity Mathews of Foodlets suggests this recipe for Healthier Cupcakes from a Box Mix that you can make as a family. We even have the perfect Chef Apron & Hat Sets for your little Valentine! 

Happy Heart Day!
From our family to yours –