Category

LIVING CREATIVELY

Howdy, friends! I am SO EXCITED to be back on the blog today and to be sharing Sybil’s lovely little nursery with you all. It has been such a fun labor of love for us these past several months and I could not be more thrilled with how each and every detail has turned out!

When we found out we were pregnant, I knew very quickly that regardless of what we were having, I wanted the theme of our baby’s nursery to be Classic Pooh. I absolutely loved Winnie the Pooh as a kid and love it even more now (Pooh’s Heffalump Movie may or may not be one of my top favorite movies to date. #noshame), so the fact that we have a kiddo of our own on the way who I can share the goodness with too, is so very exciting for me!

I’m not the type of person who likes to go bonkers with a theme, and I definitely didn’t want things to get excessive in here. So I took my time finding what I think is a good balance of Pooh decor and other subtle, unique things to compliment it.

For Sybil’s bedding, I decided to go with the cutest bee printed crib sheet and matching diaper changing pad cover from Target, a simple white bed skirt and my personal favorite, the Honeycomb Toddler Quilt in Horseradish from Pottery Barn Kids for when she’s older! Her gorgeous, solid wood crib was given to us, which was such a blessing and big money saver, and we were able to thrift the glider chair and diaper changing station. 

For her decor, I thrifted and was given a few things that I just gave a fresh coat of paint (including the darling piano, chair, and shelf above the changing station.) I picked out some Classic Pooh plush toys and prints that I found through Amazon and EtsyMy sweet friend Kimmy, of Drift Design Co., surprised me with a beautiful brushlettered print of a beloved Pooh quote and it was such a perfect addition to my gallery wall. I framed one of my favorite ultrasound photos of Sybil, two cute printed cards that came with my purchases from Harper Kate & Co (the most darling headbands you ever did see) and Briar (obsessed with all of their gorgeous bonnets!), topping it all off with my favorite little bee hoop from Thread Honey! Other amazing friends of mine made the CUTEST blocks, a crocheted bear, gave some jars that look like honey pots and an antique Classic Pooh bear, which I just about died over. The curtain I picked for Sybby’s room is from Target and I love how its pom poms match the DIY baby mobile I made (keep reading!). I just could not be more in love with it all!

Jay and I really wanted to work on some fun projects of our own for the nursery as well, and we’re both so giddy over how everything we made turned out! Jay rebuilt a dresser we found for free on the side of the road that was a piece of c r a p, by adding a new surface, drawer faces, and legs and lightly stained it all. He also built Sybby’s absolutely GORGEOUS bookshelves and I could not be more obsessed with them.

As far as my projects go, I had THE most fun creating some homemade decor for Sybil. I really wanted to make some simple kites to go on the wall next to her crib, so I used some spare fabric I had lying around, bought a handful of dowels and some natural cord yarn. Another project I worked on, and my favorite project, was Sybil’s baby mobile! I had spotted a super cute mobile from Pottery Barn that I really liked, but it wasn’t in all the colors I wanted and on the pricier side. So I decided to just wing it and try making one of my own! It ended up turning out so good and was more than half the cost of the one I liked from Pottery Barn! For this, I just grabbed a variety pack of pom poms, a nautical white wreath, a darning yarn needle and some natural cord yarn from Hobby Lobby.

Both of these DIY’s are dirt simple and so much fun to make! Initially I had planned to include directions on how to make some of your own in this post, but for the sake of length, I’m just going to do a separate blog post on them in the next several days. So be on the lookout for that!

 

Though Sybil won’t be in this room right away, it just feels so good having everything done and all ready for her when it’s time. It all could not have come together more perfectly. I kinda sorta wish this was my room!

Thank you all so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed getting to see how our girls’ nursery turned out. Only a few more weeks left until she arrives. EEK!

 

 

 

 

 

Well friends, it’s been a LONG TIME coming, but I’m so very excited to 1. Be back on the blog writing again, and 2. Share the latest and one of the biggest DIY’s we’ve ever done with you all!

Since finding out we were pregnant, life has just been a whole new level of crazy and different and exciting. We’ve been keeping real busy, trying to get as much done around the house as we can before our sweet Sybil arrives! My mind and body have just been in a whole new place and quite a bit has been delayed with the blog and just creating in general. So I’m sorry for being non existent over here for a hot second!

 

But anyways, on to the good stuff. This project was very special and sentimental for me, because it was restoring the dining table set I grew up with. There are endless, wonderful memories that were made sitting around this table and it just holds such a dear place in my heart.

When we moved to GA, we sold a ton of our stuff, including the kitchen table Jay built for our apartment, and so we were just planning to build a new one once we got into a home. I knew that my parents had this set in storage, but I wasn’t sure of its’ condition or what they planned on doing with it, so I didn’t think of it as an option for us to have. But once we got here, found our home and were making preparations to move, I kept thinking about how beautiful the table would look in our house and was curious if my parents would part with it.

I mentioned the table to them and they said that it was in pretty rough shape, with water damage on the top and that the fabric was destroyed on pretty much all the chairs. But I still envisioned it in our home, with some beautiful new fabric, sanded down, re-stained and just knew that we could bring it back to life. Jay very easily could have built a table for us, but we just felt so strongly about this set and decided that we’d rather have it instead.

My sweet parents ended up giving it to us, which was such a huge blessing and we got busy working on the table top and hunting down the perfect fabric for the chairs! At first I thought I wanted a colorful floral fabric, but then I just kept feeling like going a more simple route with them was the right choice. If you don’t know this about me, I have a thing for deep color tones, and I decided that a rich, deep blue would be the perfect choice for the fabric.

 

We ended up finding the most perfect color and texture of fabric from Joann’s and had a 60% off coupon, so we saved tons of money! The fabric was too thick for the buttons on the chairs (which for the record, are HELL ON EARTH to do and Jay pretty much had to make all of them because I kept messing them up) so we just snagged a yard of thinner navy fabric from Walmart for $1 and it worked like a charm. You can’t really tell in the pictures, but the buttons are a shade darker than the fabric of the chairs, and the contrast between the two blues is so gorgeous!

You would never know that this table ever had a thing wrong with it and we just couldn’t be prouder of the way it turned out. Though, I will say, that Jay and I have both agreed that we are NEVER doing anything like this again! As thankful as I am that we were able to fix and make this set our own, it took so much work and reupholstering those blessed chairs was the biggest pain in the butt. Upholstery is no joke, people!

So yeah, projects like these are definitely not for the faint of heart and our hands were quite full with all!

But it was the most satisfying feeling when we FINALLY finished everything. I just can’t get over how amazing it looks now and the fact that we did the whole thing ourselves.

I was hoping to have my plate wall for the dining room finished in enough time to show along with the chairs, but I just finished completing my collection and am still deciding on how I want my pretty plates hung. But I’ll have them up very soon!

Well I hope you all enjoyed getting to see the finished product and again, I am so sorry for how long it’s taken me to reveal it to you! Thanks so much for reading and be on the lookout for some more DIY’s coming to the blog for Sybby’s nursery. Eek!

 

 

Friends, I am so excited to be partnering with JORD on the blog today and do a fun giveaway for you all (Keep on reading)!

I don’t know about you, but if there’s something Jay and I have failed at far too many times, it’s been purchasing a solid watch. We’re a family on a budget and so we are always looking for good bargains, but we’ve made the mistake of paying less for lesser quality watches and they end up never lasting us long at all.

My hubby in particular has gone through several watches in the past year, so when JORD reached out I knew I wanted to gift my guy with a legit watch that will stand the test of time (see what I did there?) !

We picked Frankie Ebony & Gold as Jay’s watch choice and could not have been more impressed when it arrived in the mail! For starters, the watch comes in the most stunning wooden box, beautifully branded and packaged. The smell of the wood when you first open the box is absolutely glorious! There’s even a little built in drawer on the bottom, to keep all of the included care materials in place.

The watch is super sleek and classy, as well as simple and unique. It’s made of gorgeous natural wood, a perfect fit for my talented woodworker, and sapphire crystal glass. These watches are the real deal and we just couldn’t be happier with ours!

And on that note, I would love to make someone else happy who’s in need of a new watch, so I’m giving away $100 shop credit for JORD to one lucky winner. YAY! They have SO MANY OPTIONS to choose from for both men and women, so you definitely won’t have a problem finding the style that’s just right for you or a loved one.

TO ENTER, all you have to do is go HERE, provide your name, email, watch preference and you can increase your chance of winning by following JORD on Instagram!

Now even though only one person can take home the $100 credit, JORD will be giving everyone who enters a 10% off coupon code to use.  The giveaway will run until April 1st, so spread the word and get your friends and family to enter ASAP if they could use one of these beauties.

Thanks so much for reading and good luck, folks!


Watch Gift Ideas

 

How many of you have been stressed out from throwing a party and maybe so much so that you don’t even enjoy it and your guests? Or maybe you have been so intimidated from the thought of throwing one, you avoid it all together? I have been there and I get it. Over the past several years of hosting parties, I have learned a few lessons, tips and tricks that I want to share with you.  

I have always loved throwing parties and will find any and every excuse to do so. My family and friends thought I was crazy for hosting a housewarming party only a week after moving into our home but I just couldn’t wait! I know some would say that parties could be frivolous and do not really matter a whole lot in life. This thought reminds me of the episode of “Friends”, when Rachel reconnects with her old sorority sister, Melissa. They begin to tell each other what their current jobs are. Melissa says that she left her job of real estate because she wanted to do something where she can really help people and make a difference. So Rachel asks her what she is doing now and Melissa responds with, “Party planning”. Of course you hear the audience laugh because the thought of really helping people by planning parties can sound kind of lame, but I would like to suggest to you that in a small way, throwing parties, big or small, really can make a difference and be meaningful. It is a way to connect people with each other, potentially creating life-long friendships, and at the very least, make long-lasting memories!

So let’s get down to it. I want to share with you 6 lessons I have learned over the years of throwing and hosting several parties. From my huge DIY wedding back in 2011 before the Pinterest and Instagram era, or large vendor fairs held at my house like the Galentine’s Day Spa + Market I hosted this past weekend, to the smaller bridal showers, baby sprinklings, costume Oscar parties and even smaller surprise birthday celebrations and dinner parties. All of them begin with the same basic principles that lead to a fun time with lasting memories.

1. Pick A Theme

Picking themes like a woodland animal baby shower or something more generic with just a color scheme can be super helpful in narrowing your decisions on how to decorate. It also makes your whole party look cohesive and put together if you stick to your theme/color scheme. Pinterest will be your best friend for this step! I can’t even tell you how many secret boards I have made for the different themed parties I have thrown together. What a great resource!

My Galentine’s party was spa themed, so I chose to run with the color green because of cucumbers, and peach because I just love peach and am not a fan of typical Valentine’s colors. Once I picked my colors, I incorporated them into everything from the DIY cucumber eye mask that each guest received, to the heart shaped peach-colored cantaloupe and green-colored honey dew skewers!

2. Decorate For Cheap

There are lots of really quick, easy and cheap ways to make your party look like you spent a lot more time and money than you did. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Just a little paint and paper can go a long way! I love making bunting signs for my parties like the one I made this past weekend. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right color peach paper I needed and I live in a super small town that doesn’t have any craft stores, so I took peach paint and cheap poster board and made some of my own which turned out great! I always keep inexpensive twine, mini clothespins, and washi tape on hand too.
  • Another cheap option is to reuse decor items from past parties. For my wedding, I had used logs and tree stump plates that I had asked a local logger to cut down for me to decorate with (which he did for free!). Since then, I have kept them over the years and use them for most of my food tables at parties, or just around the venue/my house. I also used mason jars at my wedding and have kept them in my basement so that I can pull them out whenever I need a quick centerpiece.
  • Paper straws are also a great way to add to your decor. I have a giant bag with all different colored straws I have collected over the years and just pull out what colors I need for the specific party I am throwing. Most people don’t use the straws so I just put them back in my bag at the end of the night and reuse them for the next party! I also typically get matching party plates and napkins from TJ Maxx because they always have a great selection that is cheap. I store whatever is remaining for the next party!
  • I tend to buy green foliage like eucalyptus or myrtle or even filler flower, like wax flower or baby’s breath, to decorate with because they are cheaper than flowers. If I do buy flowers, I will usually go for alstromeria lilies because they are on the inexpensive side, but don’t look cheap like carnations. And the cheapest option is going out in your backyard and grabbing some wild flowers, pretty leaves or branches! For Christmas I always grab some pinecones from outside and get some clippings from my Juniper tree in our backyard. My husband and I also usually cut down a larger Christmas tree than what we want so when we cut it down even shorter to fit in our home, I will be able to use all the excess branches for decor.
  • Investing in drink dispensers is a good idea too because you can use them for many years to come. Not only do they have a great function, they also can add to your decor! I always put in fruits that coordinate with the colors of my parties and the color of your drinks can match too! For the Galentine’s spa, I made cucumber, lime and mint water and then sparkling green tea limeade that was an invention with raving reviews!
  • Along these lines, I usually try to make foods that go with my color scheme. This past weekend all of my foods were either green or peach/light orange and it made the tablescape very aesthetically pleasing! And let me tell you, the herbed cucumber chicken salad this past weekend was out of this world!

3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate!

I have a dear friend named Terri who always offers to help when I throw a party. Without fail, she will either come the night before or a little early to help with food or whatever is needed. Friends like these are keepers for sure! Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends or family. I am very grateful for my mom who will make her famous veggie pizza and my aunt who makes her renowned cupcakes and cookies for my parties whenever I ask them to. This past weekend I had so much going on outside of the party that I enlisted some more help from one of the vendors who is an incredible chef and baker to help me throw the food together. I also have a handful of friends who I can always count on to show up early to help. Punctuality doesn’t make sense to me but I am grateful for them because they will always help with last minute food prep! I also am very blessed with a husband who will help around the clock for my parties. He is usually in charge of  jobs like putting on the music, making sure the garbage can is never overflowing and taking out the trash when needed. He does plenty of last minute errands and always sweeps. Sidenote: I never mop before a party because it’s just going to get disgusting again with so many people in my house!

Delegating is key to keeping things simple so you don’t have to do it all, plus when people feel like they have a small part, they feel included and needed and can take some ownership of it too! Make sure to thank these people and give proper recognition where it’s due! If you show your appreciation, they will more than likely be willing to help you for your next party!

4. Easy Peasy Appetizers

My go-to appetizers are crock pot foods for sure! I am known now for my buffalo wing dip and cranberry meatballs. If you come to one of my parties you will likely see both of these dishes. I don’t branch out often because I do what I know people love and what is simple! Also throwing veggies (That match your decor) on a platter with store bought hummus is so easy. Or, my favorite, is making a simple and beautiful cheese platter with a variety of soft and hard cheeses, fancy crackers, grapes, almonds and rosemary to garnish. Simple but beautiful, and who doesn’t love cheese?! For my wedding I was gifted several white platters and server-ware, and for the past 7 years I have been using those for pretty much all of my parties! White goes with everything. Make the investment and you won’t regret it. Another idea to make the food prep easy and simple is to ask guests to bring a dish to pass! I know some could say this is tacky, but food is expensive, so people understand! I do this for my annual Christmas party every year. In years past I didn’t like doing this because I wanted all the food to look a certain way and to go with my theme (yes, you can roll your eyes, haha). But you can always request for friends to bring their food on a white platter or tell them you have a white platter they can use. Ultimately I have learned to just let the aesthetics go sometimes and not care; which brings me to my next point.

5. Imperfection is Perfect

Let’s face it, things are not going to go according to plan all the time. Life happens. Over the years I have had to realize that the party is ultimately about the people who you are hosting, and not the decor. You don’t want to be so focused on the way it looks or how things are running that you forget to connect with your guests and have a good time. If you do, people will not have a good time because they will sense the tension and the vibe – trust me!

6. Do It for the People

I realize some may not agree with me on this, and that’s fine, but I have found this to be an amazing mindset for me. To this day I still get people that tell me that my wedding was the most fun wedding they had ever been to and that brings me so much joy. I really think that this is because I made it a priority to make sure my guests and bridal party would be comfortable and enjoy themselves. I know a lot of people have the mentality that your wedding day is your day and you should do what you want despite people and their wants, but here’s how I see it: if people aren’t happy around me then ultimately it will rub off on me and then I won’t be happy. So really in essence I am making sure that people are happy so that I can be too. It’s honestly selfish, haha! But really when you think about it, the majority of your guests will lovingly supporting your marriage covenant throughout your marriage, so keeping them in mind when you’re planning is so important. For example, I wanted an outdoor wedding but I chose to move it indoors because in case the weather was bad I didn’t want it to irritate my guests or me! I made sure our venue (a barn) had AC installed for the hot July day and a nice bathroom was a must (a nice bathroom at any party/venue is really a must in my book!). Ample and easy access parking is always a good idea. Sadly the parking at my house isn’t awesome but my husband and I always make sure to pull into our garage to give more room. Thinking about the time of day for your party, the food you serve- having vegetarian options and sugar free treats are all great ideas. Be intentional with your planning – thinking about it from the perspective of your guests and what they would want.

Another way to make people feel more comfortable is to help introduce people to others they may not know. I realize not everyone loves doing this. For me as an extrovert, I love doing this like really love it! I love giving people topics to talk about and ways they can relate to each other. If this is not your personality type – ask a friend who is good at this to intentionally go around the room and connect people in this way. I feel for those introverts who hate introducing themselves and can’t think of topics to talk about so doing it for them will make them feel included for sure.

So when it comes down to it, it’s all about planning ahead in every aspect. No party has to be extravagant and huge but in order to make it a lovely time that brings lasting memories; it should be intentional, thought out and focused on what is most important – the people. I hope all of this helps make your next party simple, intentional and meaningful! I would also love to connect with you on Instagram! Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or if any of this resonated with you. Keep on planning those parties, friends! Everyone needs a reason to dress up once in a while!

ABOUT KIMMY: 

Kimmy is a small town designer, letterer, painter and party planner enthusiast. She is obsessed with plants, running ‘cause chocolate, a minimal, tidy home and Jesus. She lives with her bearded musician and teddy bear of a husband, Ryan, in Upstate NY where they are the pastors of their church, Anchor Oneonta. Kimmy loves helping others realize their passions and encourages them to use their gifts to their fullest potential, to ultimately bring glory to God.

Check out Kimmy’s Shop – Drift Design Co. – handlettered paper goods, apparel and home decor

Keep up with the daily and come say hello!

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If there’s one thing you should know about it me, it’s that I LOVE me some dark chocolate! So much so, that if Jay and I realize there isn’t any in the house, some major panicking goes down over here! It’s a problem, folks.

Well something I never buy, but find myself craving every now and then is chocolate milk. We have a pretty strict grocery budget, so it usually never makes the cut. Plus, we’ve officially switched over to almond+coconut milk this year (dairy messes with us both if we have too much of it) and those options for chocolate milk tend be more pricey anyways.

So I decided to just start making chocolate smoothies instead when I get the craving, with ingredients that we always have in the house! It’s oh so yummy, super, duper simple to whip up and much healthier than regular chocolate milk. Sharing my little recipe on the blog today for anyone else looking for a chocolatey treat (um, who isn’t?) that’s good for ya and easy as pie to make!

CHOCOLATE MILK SUBSTITUTE SMOOTHIE

  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter (or butter of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1-1½ Cups Milk of choice (We LOVE Blue Diamond’s Almond/Coconut Blend)
  • 1 Tsp. Chia Seeds (Because why not throw some extra nutrition in there?!)

Simply toss all of these ingredients into your blender (If you’re on the hunt for a legit blender, we are obsessed with our Ninja! THE best.) and blend them to a milky consistency. You’re welcome!

PS: This tastes extra yummy if you pop it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Tastes just like a chocolate shake!

Now don’t get me wrong, there will just never been anything quite like a glass of straight up chocolate milk. But I’m thankful for tasty, healthy, and cost efficient alternatives, that can help meet my chocolate cravings, without making unnecessary purchases or screwing with my tummy!

I’d love to hear if any of you give this a try and what you think of it. Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know if you approve. I’d also LOVE to hear any other favorite chocolate recipes of yours, so I can try those as well!

Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Monday, friend!

I don’t know about you guys, but this time of year is my absolute FAVORITE and I just get so excited when it finally comes around!

Thanksgiving is a holiday I always look forward to, I mean, who doesn’t look forward to a day that gives us all an excuse to stuff our faces with yummy food non stop?! But my most favorite part about this time of year is when the Christmas season rolls in. I get weepy just thinking about it. The music (which I’ll talk more about a bit later because I’ve got a fun little Christmas playlist for ya!), the movies, the decorations, the snow (please, God!), cozy nights by the fire, gift giving..I could go on!

But so much more than any of that, I love that this time of year helps us bring back into focus the greatest and most beautiful point in our history. When Jesus Christ came to this fallen world to save and redeem it. He lowered himself beyond comprehension and was willing to leave the throne of Heaven to dwell among us, living the perfect and blameless life before God that we never could. His all surpassing love for us, drove Him to come to a sick world, dying for the sin and wretchedness that permeated it, giving us the gift of salvation and fellowship with God. Because of Christ’s coming, we have a lasting, eternal hope. We have been fought for and forgiven and I love that the Christmas season gives us another opportunity to meditate on and rejoice in that very truth.

Last week my friend Kimmy Alsheimer, of Drift Design Co., told me that she was making an Advent calendar called Light Of The World  and asked if I would collaborate with her on it! I’ve never owned a wall hanging Advent calendar like this and absolutely loved the idea of having one hanging on our fireplace mantel, so saying yes was a no brainer!

When I tell you that this will be your new favorite Advent calendar, I truly mean that. Kimmy and her sister Amy created a stunning compilation of lovely devotional cards for every day of December, leading up to Christmas! Each card is unique, with tasteful designs, colors, text and themes. I love how well it blends with my home and compliments the fireplace (Side note: I snagged those cute stockings from Chip & Jo’s Hearth & Hand collection and am completely obsessed with them! other side note: My hubby and I made that pretty wooden art piece above the fireplace last year and couldn’t be more proud of it. Hopefully next year we’ll have time to make more and sell them)! Christmas decorations can be so vibrant and colorful, which is fun but also a little intense, so I love that this calendar tones things down and brings balance to it all. But aside from the aesthetics of it, I am really looking forward to just diving into each day of Advent, reflecting on the purpose of the season in a new, fun way with this calendar.

I wanted to get the calendar up on the blog ASAP because everyone needs to snag one of these beauties just in time for December 1st!  And Kimmy has a special discount code for all you blog readers! You can use the THELOWLYLIFE (the link attached will automatically add the discount to your cart!) at checkout for 15% off your purchase. The discount expires December 1st so get a move on people! And for a few bucks extra, Kimmy will hook you up with the supplies (twine + clothespins) you need to hang your calendar up. Hooray!

Now, back to the Christmas music! I wanted to share with you guys a fun Christmas playlist I’ve been working on this month. It’s a complete and total mish mash of some of my most favorite artists and Christmas songs! So if you’re looking for some new tunes and enjoy listening to a variety (and I mean a huge variety) of Christmas music, look no further my friends. You can find my playlist called Christmas Cheer over on Spotify, with a picture of Toby playing in the snow, looking as cute as ever. Just hit shuffle and you’ll be all set with about 25 hours worth of holiday musical goodness!

Thank you all so much for checking out the blog today. I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to celebrate  it with the ones you love (and that you eat all the glorious food you can possibly cram into your body)! Don’t forget to grab one of these gorgeous Advent calendars for you and your family to enjoy this holiday season and be sure to use that promo code for that nifty discount.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

In April I had the opportunity to visit Magnolia (again) for Spring At The Silos and it was a hoot! Pretty much all of my absolute favorite vendors were there and it took everything in me not to come home with at least one of everything. I called it quits after snagging my darling Nora hat from Gigi Pip and new favorite beach towel/throw from Suay Threads, but one of things I was obsessing over all day, was the gorgeous jewelry some of the vendors were selling!

I’ve been wanting a staple necklace to add to my wardrobe, that’ll easily pair with my outfits and add that final, perfect pop of color. As much as I wanted to purchase some of the necklaces I was drooling over at the Silos, I determined that I would just make one myself and save the money. And I’m so glad I did, because this necklace was so much fun to make and I loved being able to determine exactly what colors and style I wanted!

If you’re like me, looking for some unique jewelry to add to your collection, but don’t have much of a budget to work with, this super easy DIY is for you, my friend, and will be your go to piece of jewelry all summer long! A super cute necklace that you made all by your creative self and that’s under $20?!? You’re welcome.

DIY NECKLACE:

If you’re buying all of your supplies from Hobby Lobby like me, be sure to use the good ole’ 40% coupon on one of your items to save you even more money! 

  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors

STEP ONE:

Pick the amount and size variations of beads you’d like to use for your necklace. I played it safe and painted a bunch just in case I wanted to add more than I was planning. Plus, it’s always fun to have more options and colors to choose from when you’re done!

STEP TWO:

Choose your paint colors and get to work! It’s fun to mix colors and is also a money saver, so that you don’t have to buy a ton of paint. Think about what some of your favorite colors are and which ones make sense to include. For me, I wanted a balance of deep, bright and rich, so I painted a variety of each and narrowed down my final selections from there. I also added abstract designs to some of the beads, so if you wanna be adventurous, knock yourself out!

STEP THREE:

Let em’ dry! Drink some coffee, skim through the Magnolia Journal (because who isn’t reading or loving those right now?!) get some fresh air or catch up on a favorite show while you wait! I left mine alone overnight, just to play it safe. You’ll also want to flip them over at some point to make sure that they aren’t sticking to the surface you’re drying them on, which will make the paint scrape off.

STEP FOUR:

Now it’s time to make your necklace! Decide how long or short you want the length to be and cut the thread accordingly. Slip your thread through the bead holes, based on how you want them situated and then tie a small, tight knot with the ends.

And there you have it, my friends! A perfect, simple necklace that will be sure to make a statement with all of your pretty summer dresses and blouses! I just love how this looks with my Black Red Stripe Dress from Ashley Lemieux and can’t wait to wear it with other outfits.

Thank you so much for checking out my blog and if you give this a try, I would love to see and hear how yours turned out! Please let me know in the comments and be sure to tag me in a post if you share a pic of it on your social media.

Happy summer, folks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time last year, I was on cloud nine, launching my blog and sharing my very first post about some DIY Mother’s Day cards! My photography skills weren’t that great, to say the least and I didn’t really know what on earth I was doing at the time, but I loved being able to make something special for the incredible mothers in my life and share it here.

I don’t know about you, but I live 15 hours away from my beautiful, sweet momma, and I could not hate the distance more, especially on Mother’s Day! I would love to be able to celebrate and honor her in person this year, but it just isn’t doable, unfortunately. So I wanted to do something special for her, and decided to bake some homemade butter cookies! When my husband and I visited my parents in GA for Easter, mom gave me a scalloped cookie sheet that I just love, and I promised her I would bake her lots of yummy cookies in return!  As long as I can remember, my mom has always loved eating cookies with her morning coffee and I thought that whipping up a special batch using the cookie sheet she gave me would be the perfect gift for Mother’s Day! I also wanted to make some for my amazing mother in law and seester, who this time last year was pregnant with my niece, and praise Jehovah, Lorien is now a happy and healthy 6 month old beauty! I’ve learned so much from these incredible women and I am blessed to call them family.

Deciding on the flavor for my butter cookies was a no brainer. My hubby was given several bags of Teavana’s delicious Chamomile Bloom tea, which we both absolutely love and I knew that it would be the perfect ingredient for my cookies! Since I’m unable to bring these ladies pretty flowers, I thought that going a more floral route with the cookies would be a good substitute. These are super easy to make and turned out delicious, so if you’re wondering what to get for your momma this year, I would highly recommend baking some of these goodies. You just can’t go wrong gifting a batch of homemade cookies, people! Okay, here’s the simple, yummy recipe:

Chamomile Butter Cookies

Oven °325

Ingredients

  • 24 Cavity Scalloped Cookie Pan
  • 1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 5 Tsp. Softened Butter
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • ½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Tsp. Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ Cup Teavana Chamomile Bloom Loose-Leaf Tea (Or whatever loose-leaf tea brand your prefer)
  • 1 ¼ Tsp. Lemon Zest

Directions: 

STEP ONE: Preheat oven. Combine flour and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside.

Step Two: Beat sugar and butter until fluffy in a large bowl. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, maple syrup and mix until well combined.

Step Three: Gradually add and mix in the flour/salt and 3 tablespoons of milk. Work dough with hands until it becomes pliable.

Step Four: Add Chamomile and lemon zest to dough and combine well using your hands.

Step Five: Grease scalloped cookie pan with cooking spray. Begin pressing small amounts of dough (about a teaspoon in size, but add more as needed) into the cavities of the pan.

Step Six: Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway into baking. If cookies are not lightly golden, bake for an additional minute or two.

Step Seven: Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes and then transfer them to cooling racks.

You should end up with about 4 dozen cookies, so they’ll be plenty to go around and enjoy! Whether you’re a coffee or tea drinker, these will pair really well with both! I love how the maple and lemon balance out the flavor you get from the chamomile. If you give this recipe a try, let me know how it turns out for you and what you think!

I also want to give a quick shout out to Tessa Worley of Fox & Bear Paper Co. for the darling Mother’s Day card I snagged from her shop! She designs the absolute sweetest cards and prints and I collaborated with her on a recent post to tell ya all about them! If you’re looking for some new art or  just want to send a little love to someone, go check out her Etsy shop!

Thank you so much for reading, and Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful moms out there!

 

Last year, I asked a huge favor of my sweet, beautiful and talented grandma Harris. I have seen her make so many gorgeous clothes throughout my life and for whatever reason, have never asked her to make me any! So when my grandparents asked me what I wanted for Christmas last year, I knew exactly what to ask for. A pretty floral dress!

In September, I was able to visit my grandparents in Illinois and we went shopping for some fabric! I had THE hardest time narrowing down the style/pattern I wanted (my poor grandpa probably wanted to blow his brains out because of how long it was taking for me to make up my mind, bless his heart!), and when I did find something I liked, there wasn’t enough fabric available for it (story of my life). The process was so much fun though! We sat looking at catalogs for what seemed like hours and I even had my grandpa give his style expertise as to which fabric he liked best (sorry I didn’t go with your favorite, gramps!). Finally, I came across this gorgeous, black, floral fabric and just fell in love with it. I’m a sucker for a black dress in general, but throw some pretty florals in the mix and I go crazy!

I showed my grandma several examples of different styles I liked for the dress and I am still blown away by how perfectly she designed it. Initially I was wanting something longer and more flowy, but after finding this fabric, I decided to go a different, more classy route with the design.  My grandma made this dress without having the luxuries of me nearby to try it on or to help with the process. But she’s a pro, because it only took one small adjustment to get it where it needed to be. And folks, it is absolutely gorgeous! She left the waist wider because I told her that I had a brown leather belt that I thought would look good with the dress and it was definitely the perfect finishing touch! I knew that I wanted to save this beauty to wear for Easter. It just screams spring, and I’ve been over here counting down the months til I get to show it off!

One of these days, I hope to be able to spend a whole lot more time than I do now with my grandparents and have my grandma teach me her sewing ways. I would absolutely love to make some of my own clothes, as well as clothes for my future kiddos, and if I’m going to learn from anybody, I want it to be her! With the busyness of the holidays and how distant all of our family is from each other, it’s almost impossible to get any quality time with anyone once we’re all together. So to have that special day with my grandparents, just the three of us, meant so much and I’ll cherish those memories for the rest of my life. Thank you grandma for all of the time, love, and hard work you put into making my gorgeous Easter dress! I could not be any more obsessed with it.

Thanks so much for checking out my blog! I hope you all have a lovely Easter with your families.

Oh, and Happy Spring!

-Danielle

 

 

 

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I recently met Tessa, the owner and Illustrator of Fox & Bear Paper Co., through The Rising Tide Society. I absolutely loved her unique, darling style and was so excited when she asked to collaborate! I think what I love most about Tessa’s work, is that it’s just plain fun. It takes me back to my childhood, as silly that sounds, and every piece puts a huge smile on my face. I’m a pretty big fan of animals, so when I first laid eyes on all of her charming cards and prints, I just had to have some of them!

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I knew that I wanted some of her greeting cards, because you can never have too many of those lying around, but a few of her lovely cards in particular stood out the most to me! I always call my dad Papa Bear and Tessa had two of the sweetest cards for dad that were bear themed in her shop. I’ve always loved picking out cards, finding or designing the perfect one for the amazing people in my life, and the one I chose for my dad could not be more perfect! I can’t wait to give it to him for Father’s Day this year. I was also able to snag a cute Ewe themed Mother’s Day card for my momma (Sorry mom and dad if you see these early!) that I absolutely loved. My other favorite  was the I Really Love Dogs card, because it looks just like my little guy, Toby and because I really, REALLY love dogs!

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The next thing I picked was the Hobbit Hole print, because my seester and brother in law are the biggest Hobbit/Lord Of The Rings fans on earth and have majority of their home decorated with some sort of Lord Of The Rings theme in mind. My seester gave birth to my adorable niece, Lorien Grace (Lorien comes from Lothlorien, the kingdom of the elves in LOTR) a few months ago and is decorating her room Hobbit themed, so I knew she would just love this print for Lorien’s space.

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And lastly, I just had to get Tessa’s super cute Watering Check-List! Not only is this check list adorable, but it will help remind you to keep your plants alive, which I know I could use a time or two! It’s my dream to have a little garden of my own at our future house someday, and I know that I will definitely put this list to better use when that time comes. But for now, I’ll use it to keep up with watering the few plants that I have and daydream about that future garden of mine, full of some of my favorite flowers, veggies, herbs and succulents!

Fox & Bear Paper Co.  is currently on a little break, but her shop will be opening again early April, and you do not want to miss out on some of the amazing products this girl has up for grabs! One product of hers that I hope to eventually purchase and just adore, is her custom family portrait illustrations. They are so darn cute and I can already envision one of my hubby, our fluffy pup and I hanging on our wall. Tessa does an incredible job of meeting the needs of her clients and giving them the style and designs they’re looking for. Make her day and send some major love to her on her Instagram feed, where you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of some more of the beautiful work she does! You can start your wishlist now and then go crazy once her shop opens back up in April!

 

Thanks so much for reading, now I’m gonna go and water my plants!