This time yesterday, I was loaded up with bacon, egg and cheese biscuits, sweet tea and coffee…headed to the Children’s hospital uptown.  My dear, dear friend and her husband were there for their daughter’s brain tumor surgery.  Again.

 
 
You might remember me asking for prayer for them back in June.

 

2014-08-05_1407282929

 
 
 
They took most of the tumor out last summer but the catheter needed to come out this time.  What should have been an out-patient procedure was made more complicated by how her brain had settled around the catheter and they were told to expect another full blown craniotomy, a night in the ICU and several more days at the hospital.  All starting the day before Thanksgiving.  We were so, so sad.  They knew what to expect this time and so the anxiety was raised even higher.
 
 
 

I probably don’t even have to write that brain surgery is not for the faint of heart.  It has been hard.  But beautiful too.  Their community and friends have rallied.  There have been prayer vigils in their driveway, gifts showing up at the door, numerous texts and calls and offers to bring more food.  It makes me cry just thinking about how much that sweet little girl is loved.

 
 
 
And then the Lord poured out even more grace and kindness by moving mountains.  Ten minutes or so into surgery, a sweet lady walked over with a smile on her face and said that they were done!  Abby was in recovery, the procedure was really easy and simple and they could go home!  The same day!
 
 
Y’ALL.
 
 
 

That’s one thankful family this Thanksgiving Day.  At home with family that had flown and made the drive in, armed with lots of food, to man the fort while they were gone, now all together under the same roof.
 
 
 

I’m so grateful I got to be there because if I was feeling funky about the dreary weather or feeling unappreciated by my kids, I’m not now.  My heart was thrown into the reality that we are SO blessed.  I have been given so much and even the hard parts give gifts that I desperately need but won’t chase because I prefer to stay comfy.
 
 
 

So, I want you to know that I’m thankful for you.  YOU.  Thank you for reading and commenting and missing me when I drop off the planet.  Thank you for being there when things are light and when they’re a little hard.  Thanks for putting up with my run-on sentences and grammatical errors.  Thanks for being here.

 
 
 
I’m soaking today up with my family and then driving to the beach for shopping.  I’m so excited about all that and I think, in the spirit of just giving thanks today, I’m going to delay the Six Days of Christmas and push Day 4 off until tomorrow.

 
 
That’s ok with you, right?

 
 
 
 
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings, friends.

 
 

give thanks print

{free printable}

 

 

 

 

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I’m late today, but Day 2 is here!!!!
 
 

(Don’t know what I’m talking about?  See yesterday’s post.)

 
 
You ready?

 
 
 

day 2 collage

 
 
ALL of the beaded necklaces in the shop are BOGO 1/2 OFF just for today!  That includes the rosette beaded necklaces, the mini necklaces, bar necklaces, the single layer statements and double layer statements.
 
 
All you do is head over to the shop and look for the listings with the BOGO graphic.
 
 

Day 2

 
 
The instructions are there.  This ends at midnight so stock up on those cute, handmade gifts!

 
 
 
 

Add a Comment

 
 
 

Good morning, pretty people!   It’s Thanksgiving week!  YAY!

 
 
 

I just wanted to pop in real quick (sorry I’ve been the lamest blogger ever.  energy is just starting to come back.) and tell you about the shop’s first ever….

 
 

6 days of christmas

 

 

I’m really excited about this because starting today through Saturday we will feature a different deal and we have pulled out all the best ones for you!  This will be hosted on instagram (happy_little_lovelies), but I’ll put each deal up here for you as well.

 
 
 
If you’ve been waiting to do your Christmas shopping (and I don’t blame you!), the deals won’t be better than this week.  This is the time to get in on scoring that thoughtful, handmade gift you’ve been hoping to give…or, let’s be honest, GET!  Send your people to me with your wish list!  I’ll hook you up!

 
 
 
And y’all, I’ve prepared for this and stocked the shop with a bunch of new stuff. You want to check it out.
 
 

single blooms 3
deep teal full rosette 5

 
 
 
Also, just for you, I’m going to post ALL six deals here so you can plan.  This won’t be posted anywhere else.  Prepare your hearts.  It’s a lot to take in.

 
 

6 days collage

 

 

Each deal will only be live for one day so you have to wait until the day of the deal you want.

 
 
 
Here’s a peek at today’s.  It’s one of our very most popular deals ever.

 
 

day one collage

 
 

Hope to see you in the shop this week!  Psst….if you’re on instagram, find my post from yesterday.  You can tag a friend and enter you both in a chance to each win a necklace of your choice.  Heck yes.

 
 
 
 

Have a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving week, friends!  I’m super thankful for YOU.
 
 
 
 
 

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i didn't quit

 
 

 

I’ve thought about this post for weeks now because I have really missed this place.  It feels so good right now to the hear the rhythm and soft clicks of my fingers on the keyboard.  This is an outlet…a really healthy one…and I didn’t intend on going radio silent for 6 weeks.

 
 
And hey, thanks to those of you sweet ones who have checked in just to make sure I’m ok.  Y’all are the best and I’m happy to say that yes!  I’m ok!

 
 
 
My absence wasn’t planned at all but on Sept 6th we found out that I’m pregnant.  I know.  Also?  Not planned.

 

 
 
Many of you loved me through our loss last year and shared your own losses with me as well.  So I know I don’t have to tell you that the beginning of this pregnancy was scary like none of the others have been.  Add to that, the fact that my most favorite OB dr in all the land was out of the country for 2 weeks, pushing my first appt with him into my 10th week.

 
 
But on Oct 17th we heard one of the sweetest sounds a parent will ever hear.  That fast little swishy sound of our baby’s heart beating away.  
 

 
 

I know it doesn’t always turn out this way.  And I know that Jesus is every bit as bright and fair in the darkest places as He is in the sunshine.  I’ve walked with Him in both and have experienced His tender love for me in the midst of whatever we have to walk through.  We praise Him either way.  It’s just that this time it’s a lot easier.
 

 

Grateful doesn’t even cut it.  :)

 

Screen shot 2014-11-03 at 6.58.45 PM

 

 

So, in a nutshell, that’s where I’ve been.  Mainly in the bed with the craziest exhaustion I’ve ever had (turns out, being older and have 3 already is a big player here).  I went to blog one morning and there were no words.  All I was thinking about was baby, baby, baby but we weren’t ready to announce it yet.  So I gave myself a pass that day and then entered into the thick fog of early pregnancy.

 
 
 
I’m actually really impressed that I’ve gotten out this much.  Josh barely understands me {what with my inability to recall the most basic of words like “shelf” or my kid’s names or the components of english sentence structure}.

 
 
 
I’ve kept working in the shop and managed to keep the health dept away from our house.  We took a fun little trip to the mountains to reunite with sweet friends that moved away. We launched our biggest ever fall line.  I’ve been walking with a precious friend through her daughter’s brain tumor {and she’s been walking with me through this}. Our community group started back up. Josh’s grandmother turned 100 and we celebrated a lot with her as well as several other birthdays.  But that’s really about it.  I have, on the other hand, watched a LOT of Netflix and taken dozens of naps.

 
 
 
Where we’re at now:  I’m almost 13 weeks, due May 13th and starting to get back glimpses of energy here and there.  We are hoping to sell this house in favor of some more space {y’all, I have completely lost the desire to live the Tiny House life and that’s where we’re headed if we stay here}.  We’re shopping for a van/suv again.  I’ve brought on some help with the shop {YAY}, our house has under gone a decent sized project.  Other than that, life is just buzzing along like normal.

 
 
 
I still don’t know where the blog fits in all that, but I do know that I don’t want to quit writing.  I’ve just taken the pressure off to crank out 2-3 posts a week no matter what.  I don’t want to write crap, y’all. I’d love to catch you up on how the shop is doing, what I’m feeling about where it will fit when the baby comes, our house, projects I’d like to do that can be done from my bed :), etc.  So when the mood hits, or I have something I think might bless y’all, I’ll write.  Is that cool?

 
 
 
In the mean time, I’m killing some pickles like it’s my job {sooo cliche but I can’t help it} and flying through Gilmore Girls.  :)
 
 
 

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Good morning to you on this mid-september morning {choke}! Well, that whipped around quick, didn’t it?  Here we are, greeting a brand spanking new week.  Want to join me?

 
 

Happy Little Lovelies::Hello Monday...strategy, a flash sale, redecorranging and recipes

 
 

This week is more of a photo dump week for me.  Since I’ve been dealing with a broken screen for the last month or so, it requires GREAT effort to post on instagram right now so most of the pictures I take through the week never make it there.

 
 

I know.  I’m really sad about… but I’m shopping!  Hoping to have a new phone in hand soon!  And you know the crazy thing about all this?  My life has felt a tad less hectic and pressurey (the pressure I put on myself to keep up with all the social medias).  I’ve found myself certainly posting less but commenting on others pictures a little more, and therefore having more interaction.  And aren’t relationships the point?  I think this has actually been good.

 
 
 

Ok!  Let’s say some hello’s!

 
 
 

Hello quiet mornings and green smoothies on the patio

 

green smoothies with zoe

 
 

I’m loving the mornings I have with this little one after the boys go off to school and work.  We often take our smoothies outside on the patio and chat about whatever is on her little mind.  I can’t describe how priceless this is to me.  This sweet time with my girl is worth more than all the money in the world to me.

 
 

And for a few moments each morning I’m convinced that this is holy ground.

 
 

Hello date night with a pretty sweet view

 

date night sky line

 
 

I’m a Charlotte native, but I’m realizing how much I don’t know and haven’t experienced in this city.  Josh and I tried a new restaurant (The Peculiar Rabbit for you locals) because we heard they had some paleo/non-allergen friendly menu items and it was sooo fun.

 
 

It’s in a funky, artsy part of town and in an old church building that has 3 different floors.  We ate out on the roof with a pretty sweet view of the sky line.  Josh had a steak and I chomped on some fantastic chicken tacos.

 
 

{and bonus!  there was a fan by our table blowing on us the whole time and basically making us look like super models.  I’m not even mad about the sauce that kept blowing on my shirt every time I took a bite.  because we looked AMAZING.}

 
 

Hello more badge reels than I have ever made in my life

 

badgereels

 
 

I think I could make them in my sleep at this point.  In fact, I have to make more after I write this post so that might come in handy.  Apparently, this is the time of year that nursing school starts or people are REALLY excited about sprucing up their work wear.  And I don’t blame them one bit.  It’s just  so!  many!  badge reels!

 
 

Hello evenings by the fire pit

 

patio fire

 
 

Josh and I have talked about getting a fire pit for years and finally, a month ago, Josh found this one on sale for $50 so we did it.  And we can’t believe we waited so long!  We use this thing almost daily.  Today for lunch, the boys all roasted their own hotdogs and there are many evenings that we get the kids to bed and then settle in out here to watch the stars and talk in peace without interruption.

 
 

Isn’t it funny how 50 bucks can seem like so much money and deter us for years, but that’s what a date at a nice restaurant costs.

 
 

Hello Daddy love

 

daddy and zoe

 
 

Does anyone else see pictures like this and immediately envision wedding dresses, that awful tear-jerker Butterfly Kisses song and have to hold the ugly cry in?  Just me?

 
 

Hello “art”

 

zoe's wall art

 
 

But then I see this and say a prayer that the Good Lord gets her to that day alive.

 
 

{That’s sharpie and yes, it’s still there.}

 
 

Goodbye to an era

 

neighborhood theather

 
 

After 10 years of our church meeting in a music venue in NoDa {the artsy part of our city}, we packed up last week after the service and moved out.  This old theater had a lot of issues.  Like mold, flooding, draftiness, an ac and heat system that might work, loss of all our parking to a building project, etc.   And we had outgrown it.  Talk of moving has been happening for over a year.  But leaving felt a little sad.

 
 

In so many ways, we were NoDa’s church.  Many of the residents walked in off the streets and joined us.  You truly never knew who you’d see sometimes {even Lenny Kravitz came once while he was in town filming The Hunger Games.  Sat across from us.  It was a wee distracting.}.  I’ve grown to love this little community so much and felt completely comfortable here.  Not to mention that it has some of the best food in the city. It will be strange not being here every week.

 
 

Hello provision

 

new buiding

 
 

And then there was this week.  The Lord has provided this amazing space in the most internationally diverse area of the city for us as well as a partnership with a local Christian non-profit who reach out to refugees, immigrants and displaced people in the community in a number of really beautiful ways.  {You can read more about Project 658 here.} They have totally renovated this old skating rink turned Asian fish market into what you see in the picture along with tons of class room space, a lobby full with like 4 living rooms worth of amazing seating and coffee tables, a clothing store, offices and a kitchen.  We are their main leasees.  Que the Jeffersons.

 
 

I fought back tears all morning during the service as I reflected on where we’ve come from {and I don’t just mean the building} and where the Lord has clearly brought us.

 
 

It’s good when the Lord builds the house.

 
 
 

A few hello’s that I didn’t take pictures of…

 
 

Hello budding reader!  – This past week of kindergarten for Manny was especially sweet because it was the first time he brought home something and READ it to me.  So proud of that boy.  What a big world is starting to open up for him.

 

Hello dreaming — dreaming about simplifying our life, our expenses, the structure of my business and our possessions so that we can live out some things that are really close to our hearts.  Mainly seeing the world and showing it to our kids. My passion for simple living and travel is starting to merge and I’m catching a vision for how that could work specifically…it’s so exciting!  Do you think a family of 5 could live in under 1000 sq ft? ;)

 

Hello Gilmore Girls!!!! — did y’all hear the amazing news?!  Netflix is set to offer the entire season for streaming starting Oct 1st!  I’m counting down like it’s Christmas.  Fall is the best time to watch it, in my opinion.  Stars Hollow {New England} is breathtaking in the fall.

 
 
 

So that’s it for me.  What you, sweet friends, saying hello to this week?

 
 
 
 

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Hi, friends!  This is an especially fun post to write because I  l o v e  color.  It inspires so much wonder and joy inside of me that sometimes I’m caught off guard at how powerful it is.  And my hunch?  It affects you in a pretty powerful way too.

 
 

I just don’t think we’d feel the same way about the sky if it wasn’t blue; or the oceans if they were just brown all the time;  or if flowers were all different shades of gray and food was all green.  I feel like the Creator of all of this had a really freaking good time making this place as He washed it all in playful, brilliant and soothing hues.

 
 

And I’m pretty sure that gives us the freedom to play too….so let’s play!  :)

 
 

Happy Little Lovelies// Color inspiration:  finding beauty in the everyday

{suede earrings}
 
 
 

As a jewelry and accessories maker, my shop is chocked full of color.

 
 

 “So how do you come up with all your color combinations?” <– a question I get a lot.  And I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m no creative genius.  It’s already out there.  I just look for it.  You can find it too.  Every day life is brimming with color playing together.

 
 
 

My top 3 sources of color inspiration are:

 

1) Nature

2) Every day life

3) Color hunting

 
 
 

Let’s look at a couple examples and I’ll show you how they tend to show up in my shop.

 
 

Nature

 
 

nature collage

{all of these were taken by me in my normal life}

 
 

This is probably the easiest and certainly the most accessible.  I’m not always actively looking for ideas in my shop.  It’s more of a feeling I get when some combo strikes me.  Like that juicy grapefruit against my turquoise fiestaware plate.  Or the little yellow barn with the dark charcoal colored roof.  Or the fancy colors of that amazing flower I saw in Charleston layered with the lush green.  And nothing beats fall on the Blue Ridge Parkway here in NC.

 
 

If I see something that strikes me, I try to write it down and then use it as inspiration for my next collection.

 
 
 

Here’s what that might look like and I bet you can see the inspiration now…

 
 

Happy Little Lovelies: nature inspired collage

{one//two//three//four}
 
 
 

Every day life

 

Happy Little Lovelies: every day collage

{again, all pictures from normal life stuff}

 
 

{Please don’t get the impression that my life is tidy or clean or any more glamorous than yours.  I assure you, it’s not.  There’s lots of dirt, smelly diapers, whining and hot dogs for dinner here. These pictures were just snapped when something caught my eye.}

 
 
 

I don’t view the world in rose colored glasses, by any means, but I am pretty sensitive to how color changes it’s surroundings.  When you look for it, you can find beauty in even the most mundane.  Colorful dishes {even when they’re piled up dirty in the sink}, a cute ring with bright polka dots and sparkly nails on the ride to church, kitchen shelves decorated in a peaceful palette.  Even my little girl’s bright blue eyes and cute pink lips at lunch time….they get me every time.

 
 
 

Here’s how that might play out when I’m creating…

 

every day inspired collage

{one//two//three//four}

 
 
 

It’s really amazing when you think about it, how much beauty we’re surrounded by.  If the colors of our normal lives were painted on a canvas in a thoughtful way, it would no doubt be a masterpiece.

 
 
 

One last peek…

 
 

Color hunting

 

Happy Little Lovelies: color hunting

{chair//outfit//wood and crystal chandelier//seersucker and leather clutch}

 
 

So if 50% of the time I see inspiring color combos playing together in normal life, the other 50% is me going to find it.  It doesn’t sound very glamorous or artsy, but straight up work is part of the creative process…in fact, it’s a lot of it for me.
 
  In these particular finds I’m swooning over the rich color and pattern of that incredible chair; chambray {!} — especially with yellow and gold hues; pairing natural, rustic elements with sparkly ones and seersucker/stripes with leather.

 
 
 

Where do I find this stuff?

 
 

online sources–  Usually pinterest, etsy or screenshots from instagram, I go here to find most of it.  Sometimes I’m browsing.  Sometimes I’m typing in color combos and just seeing all the different ways that could look.  Often new combos come out of that.

 
 

 I also just started keeping a fall mood board so that anytime something strikes me, I don’t have to know how it will work out or what kind of jewelry it could become.  I just pin it and come back to it later.  That has been immensely helpful because it could be a picture of a tent in the forest but it evokes a feeling that I want to hang on to.  Listen to those feelings!

 
 

playing with beads — Most of the time, my design process looks like this:  have some idea of what you’re wanting to make, but not really; pull out ALL your beads and design board and sit on the bed; throw some beads on the board in an interesting color assortment; arrange beads together in tons of different combinations until you settle on something {go back to inspiration pics on pinterest if you lose the big picture}; string it, hold it up and see what you think; repeat.  

 
 

Sooo interesting, right? :)  This is where my notebook of ideas and pins from pinterest save me.  Otherwise, I drown in the sea of options.

 
 
 

Here’s where that leads me…

 

Happy Little Lovelies: color hunt

{one//two–coming soon!//three//four}

 
 
 
 

My hope is that this will inspire you to maybe see your surroundings with new eyes.  You don’t have to be a handmade business owner to get deep joy from the beauty in your life.  It’s all around you. And if you are a shop owner, I hope this little peek behind the scenes is helpful to you.  Be sure to check out my handmade business series to see more like this or subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar.

 
 
 

So glad you stopped by!  Now go find that beauty!

 
 
 
 

This post is a part of the Creativity Expressed Blog Series hosted by Jen at Lovely Messes.  Nine creative women are sharing the secrets behind their creative process, don’t miss a single bit of inspiration!

 
 
 

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Good morning, you guys!  I’m really glad to be back with you on a Monday morning again.  It’s been 2 weeks since our last one and that was completely unintentional.  This little constant in the midst of hurried, full weeks is such a grounding practice for me.  I hope you find that it’s the same for you.

 
 

{This is a sweet weekly rhythm where we greet a fresh week, open to the possibilities and on the hunt for joy, even in the gritty…because sometimes that’s where it grows best of all.}

 
 
 

Let’s dive in!

 

Happy Little Lovelies::Hello Monday

 
 
 

 Hello strategizing until my brain decides to quit

 
 

If you were to really ask me what I’m thinking about these days, about 75% of the time it’s probably business related.  That’s what this thing can do to you.

 
 

I try to read good fiction, get outside or leave the house, get down and play with my kids, kiss my husband and cook in my kitchen every day as a way to counter act that {and because those are great things!} but it’s hard to turn it off.

 
 

And let’s be clear, it’s not because business is soooo out of control that I just have to.  Don’t get that impression.  Mainly it’s because I find it fascinating.  I love trying new things and seeing how they work.

 
 

The next few hello’s are part of that process…

 
 
 

Hello flash sale!

 

happy little lovelies flash sale

 
 

{Want to win a $20 shop credit?  Screenshot that graphic and post to instagram with tag #happylittlelovelies .  I’ll pick a winner Tuesday!}

 
 

How about we kick off this week with a big ol’ flash sale?

 
 

These are kind of the best because you just hop on instagram, see all kinds of goodies there and the first person to leave their paypal address is the buyer.  It’s quick and easy and it’s a way for you to get my best prices and access to exclusive pieces that others might not have access to.

 
 

And this time the theme is FALL.  It will be dreamy.

 
 

So eat your dinner, grab a big cup of something yummy and come shop.

 
 

Tonight.  7:30 pm est.  See you there.

 
 

*note the change in instagram name and make sure you’re following!*

 
 
 

Hello Creativity Expressed series

 

Creativity-Expressed-Colors

 
 

Starting today, my sweet friend Jen is hosting 9 women in the creative blog/shop world in a series on creativity. These posts will give you peeks behind the scenes into their process in a way that is encouraging and inspiring.  Go check out that list of folks.  I will be posting about how I gather inspiration for color on the series on Thursday, and I am so excited to see what everyone else has to say.

 
 

{working in small spaces?  I’ll definitely be tuning in for that!}

 
 
 

Hello redecorranging

 

Screen shot 2014-09-06 at 3.54.53 PM

{source}

 
 

Oh how I wish I had made that word up myself but I want to give credit where credit is due.  Evie at Life In Grace wrote a great post the other day about how she’s moving things around in her home and repurposing them in other rooms, even if they were never intended for that room.

 
 

Genius.  It take no money and little time.  I’m in.

 
 

The shopping your home concept is not a new one but I love how she lets you see the way she does it {hint: she finds the things in each room that make her smile}.  It has inspired me so much to edit out the things I don’t love and move the things I do in a way that makes our home feel fresh and new.

 
 
 

Hello new recipes

 

mango chili coconut shrimp

{source}

 
 

Ok, so I’m going to do my best to not complain about the food sensitivities we’ve discovered we’re dealing with in our family….but it’s really hard.  Basically, I need to find or adjust recipes so that there are no grains {all but rice}, dairy, chocolate, coffee, onions, peanuts, chili pepper or pork.  After 3 months we can add things back in slowly {and by “we” I mean Josh but there are plentiful reasons why I should join him in this}.

 
 

The good news is that Josh is feeling MUCH better. :)  And I’m back in the kitchen trying new things as well as eating healthier.

 
 

So here are a few things we’re trying out:

 

Mini Egg Pizzas – The word “pizza” should definitely have quotes around it.  I did one pan with the pepperoni and one pan with uncured turkey bacon and I have to say…they were good and filling!  I’ll do them again.

 

Paleo Chicken Curry Stir Fry –  I took out the onion it called for, but that was the only thing I had to change.   The flavors were really nice but I felt like it need just a touch of sweetness to go with all the savory so I splashed in some OJ which I think made it even better {but I really love savory and sweet together}.  Josh and I liked it but the kids didn’t.

 

One Pouch Feast – We haven’t done this exact recipe but we’ve made plenty of foil packs filled with meat and veggies that were seasoned and tossed on the grill.  Really fresh and yummy.  I’m looking forward to doing this one with chicken sausage and sweet potatoes subbed in.

 
 

Other recipes already in our rotation that have been serving us well are the sausage, sweet potato breakfast hash, paleo sloppy joes, Mexican meatza and coconut, mango shrimp bowls. I have to make a few adjustments here and there, but nothing big.  Thankful for that! Now we need to focus on lunches that travel well. Any suggestions?

 
 
 

Your turn, friends!  What are you saying hello to?  And see you at the flash sale tonight?   It’s going to be fun so I hope you’re there!  :)

 
 
 
 

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Happy Friday, friends!  You’ve made it through the week!  I think you deserve the biggest iced coffee ever.  With fancy creamer.
 
 

5 mini obsessions

 
 

I love these Friday posts because they are just so much fun!  I list 5 things…any things…and today I’m sharing my top 5 current mini obsessions.  These are things that are adding a lot of joy and interest to my life on a regular basis right now.  Yay for celebrating the fun things sometimes, right?

 
 
 
1.  Tiny houses
 

tiny house 2
tiny house

{source}

 
 

This might be the biggest one.  I am consumed.  Families living in buses.  Families living in RV’s.  Families in less than 750 sq ft.  All of it.  I’m even watching the series Tiny House Nation
on Amazon.  My interest is at an all time high with this.

 
 

The radical simplicity and freedom these people are going for is so appealing.  We just don’t need that much stuff!  And can you imagine paying little or no rent/mortgage each month?  Or being able to hitch up your house and travel the country?  It  also doesn’t hurt that by some {very loose} standards, we live in a tiny house because we’re just over 1000 sq ft ourselves.  That feels kinda validating to me {though I have yet to see a house come even close to that on the show.  These people are living in less than 200 sq ft in most cases.  So yeah, we don’t really count.}, but on the other hand, our house feels HUGE to me after watching this show.  So my perspective about our current space has really been helped by seeing how other people are living.

 
 
 
2. The library
 

library books

 

 

Ok, I know this is might seem a little sad but I have been a library fugitive for the past 10 years until this summer.  Meaning, I had checked out books {and VHS tapes}  that I thought were lost.  When I found them, I was so embarrassed that I still haven’t turned them in.  I know.
 
 
It’s a long story, but I MADE myself take the boys to the library this summer and I asked if they would check and see how much my fees were.  They had no idea who I was.  My name was completely erased out of their system and apparently, they don’t do VHS tapes anymore.  You  should have seen the librarian’s face when I asked about that.  She told me to just keep them.
 
 
So I’m rediscovering this amazing and FREE resource!  Did you know that you can actually get on the computer, pick out your books, AND THEY WILL HOLD THEM FOR YOU???  It’s so great.  I feel rich every time I leave there…completely in awe of my good fortune.

 
 
 

3. No bake energy bites
 

no bake energy bites

 {source}

 
 
I wouldn’t exactly call these health food like the site suggests, but we make these every week.  I make a batch, store it in the fridge and when the boys get home from school I let them roll them into balls.  Yesterday, they ate the entire batch.  Like, every bit of it.
 
 
They are delicious, simple and really easy to change up if you want.  I want to do cranberries and maybe a little pumpkin next time…yum!
 
 
 

4. Simplifying my closet
 

The-40-Hanger-Closet-how-to-minimize-your-closet-for-maximum-style.-This-is-such-a-great-idea.-Invest-in-40-really-nice-hangers-then-get-rid-of-everything-you-dont-absolutely-love.-Great-tips

{source}

 

 

I’ve been reading about the idea of a capsule wardrobe for months now and am so excited to get started!  I have way too many things in my closet and I just flat out don’t like.  Wading through ugly t-shirts or pants that don’t fit well is a source of stress each morning that I’m happy to be rid of.
 
 
Another great resource that’s coming to me soon is The No Brainer Wardrobe {a book} and this post:  Purging the Closet:  A 30 piece wardrobe and free printable.  You’re welcome. :)

 
 
 

5.  Hand lettering

 

handlettered invite

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hand lettered print

{source}

 
 

So if I could possess any gift, you know, other than selflessness, the ability to drop 30 lbs no problem or just overall kindness, I would choose the ability to hand letter like a champ.

 
 

It’s definitely trendy right now but has been around for ages.  In high school, I bought a calligraphy kit and worked really hard at it.  Then I died to ever being good, but now Josh has picked it up and IS actually good at it.  I have been so impressed with him.  Along with that has come lots and lots of exposure to great hand letter artists.  Every where I go, I envision things hand lettered.  Such a beautiful talent to have.

 
 
 
 

What are you crushing on these days?  And isn’t this fun?  :)

 
 
 
 


*affiliate links may be used but my opinions are totally my own.

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monthly goals update graphic

 
 

You guys!  Can you believe we’re already here?  I swear, I’m shocked every month.  I feel like we were just talking about August goals.

 
 

{If you’re new here, welcome!  Each month I link up with Tiny Twig’s Goals with Grace and share how last month’s goals went with honesty but lots of grace, as well as share my new goals for the next month.}

 
 
 
I’ve been really looking back at the 4 main goals I had for this year:
 

1) take better care of myself – mentally, physically and spiritually;

2) manage our money better – save an emergency fund, start to pay off big bills and debt;

3) grow my business – both in profits and network, expand and diversify income potential;

4) live more simply – in finances, home, health and time.

 
 
 
I often need the big pictures…especially after the craziness that was August.  This reminder has been encouraging in some ways and hard in others.  I have to remind myself that those goals were basically an overhaul of my whole life from where I was starting.  Ok, maybe not a complete overhaul but a LOT of big changes would have to happen to meet those goals.  That’s where I’m learning to give myself grace.
 
 
Progress, not perfection.
 
 
And done is better than perfect.  Right?

 
 
 
So let’s get on with it.

 

august goals update

 
 

It was SUCH a crazy month that I had to give myself some “Do Not’s” as well as “Do’s.”  And I have to say, I obeyed myself pretty well this time.  Mainly because I didn’t have much choice.
 
 
And y’all, there were some real kinks in the road.  It was a grueling month with a lovely anniversary trip slammed right in the middle.  I dropped lots of balls and made a few people frustrated, I didn’t think I would ever get these boys registered for school {much less ready}, I had no idea how we would pull off a trip and a bunch of birthdays in the midst of it all.  BUT…I’m sitting here writing in a peaceful, quiet house.  The boys are in school, Zoe is with my mother in law and we’re all adjusting to this new pace.
 
 

Time to breathe deep.  The Lord is faithful.
 
 
 
yoga:  I tried it and really liked it!  I only did short little stretching sessions but it was really nice to wake up and work out the tightness in my back and neck.  I want to explore this further.
 
10 week business plan: I hit a few goals here and feel like I’m finally picking up a little momentum.  Starting a new business is a lot of work, but I’m more excited about it than I’ve ever been.  Y’all are going to  l o v e  it.
 
10th anniversary trip: we did it!  It was so wonderful.  We spent 2 days in Charleston and 2 days in North Myrtle exploring, eating and being lazy.  So good. {I have pictures to show you!}
 
living room walls: hmm.  I thought about them?  Does that count?  That one got moved to this month.  Oh well.
 
wake up at 6 am: so technically, it was more like 6:15-6:30 ish most mornings, but it was a lot earlier than it’s been this summer.  I made the boys do it too to get ready for school and they have done really well with getting up in the mornings.  Now that school has started, it’s closer to 6.
 
be ok with what gets done: I really am because honestly?  I’m kinda shocked we got through the month.  It wasn’t perfect, but the most important things happened so I’m really grateful.

 
 
 

Happy Little Lovelies: August goals update and September goals

 

{Like the new graphic?  I needed a change.}

 
 

Hello, September!  I love you a lot.  You bring routine, structure, a little more quiet and hints of fall.
 
 
 
b’fast smoothies/paleo dinners: my poor hubby is dealing with food allergy issues right now and I suspect several more of us are as well.  so we are having to really clean up our eating and since his diet is currently pretty restrictive, we’re moving towards eating more paleo full time {though sadly, he can’t even have paleo candy — bacon.} .  I also have fallen off the wagon a bit with my breakfast smoothies so that’s back on the list.
 
walks: aaand I didn’t do much exercise at all in the last couple of months but walking is a favorite of mine so I’m going to shoot for a few walks around the neighborhood a week.  It’s not much but it’s not nothing either.
 
the freaking yard sale: how many months has this made it to the list now?  3?  geez.  must make it happen!  we will feel so much better!
 
Josh/budget: this was a July goal that didn’t happen and I didn’t even attempt it in Aug so I’m going to try hard to get this nailed down this month.  financial goals don’t happen around here unless there’s a plan that everyone is on board with.
 
hiring shop help: sooo excited about this!  I’m getting help with packaging and shipping and I cannot wait to introduce her to y’all!  I have a team! I have a team!
 
start date for new business: I think we’re ready to pick a date to open this thing and get rolling.  You didn’t know this but I dropped a big hint about it here.  I’d be so grateful if you clicked over there and left your $.02.   Your opinion could shape what it becomes!
 
living room walls: yeah, it didn’t happen last month but I’m pretty motivated to change things up now that life is a bit more settled over here.  I plan to paint a couple of things white {my fav right now} and rearrange where everything is, taking advantage of the room’s Most Important Wall {if you’ve read The Nester’s book, you know what I’m talking about}.  I might even add a few new things so that’s fun.
 
plan the week’s tasks: with this being the first time I’ve had 2 kids in school, I’m a little unsure of what to do with myself.  On our way home from a Labor Day beach trip, I took out a notebook and wrote out all the things that needed to get done this week in the shop, the blog, home, etc.  Then I plugged tasks into each day of the week so I could have a daily task list.  It was simple and helped immensely.  I need to do that more.
 
 
 
 

So there you have it!  What are your hopes for September?  Do you enjoy this time of year too?
 
 
 
 

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One of the things on the short list of I wanted to get done in August is to refresh our living room walls.  Well, this has me thinking.  And drooling.  And maybe doing a little planning.  And wondering what you would put on your walls that’s not there already.
 
 

5 ways walls graphic

 
 

For me, this isn’t just a small thing.  Your walls tell the story of you.  They spill out what you love and hold dear, your personality and what brings you joy.  That’s not small.  So when I approach the wall space in our rooms, I’m thinking about what I want to say.
 
 
It’s ok, if it doesn’t get said perfectly, but I want people to look around and get a pretty good sense of our story.  I want there to be conversation pieces that bring up things that matter to us and leads into great discussion.  I want there to be a deep sense of beauty that comes through in our story.
 
 
 
So here are a few things that really inspire me:

 

 

1. Rustic, handmade meaning
 

screw art

 {source}

 
 
Story idea: use wood that had a former purpose we resonate with, pick a word that carries significance to us personally. Maybe it’s your word for the year, an inside joke, a word you love in a different language, the meaning of your last name, a nickname…anything that brings something special to mind. For us that might be “create” or “rest” or “restored”.
 
 
 

2. Repurposed and natural elements

 

reclaimed wood wall

 {source}

 
 
Story idea: again, using materials that have a story, work on the project as a family and let the kids help with painting. Maybe even sneak little words or dates that remind us of each person. {Jen Hatmaker did a wall like this recently during her family’s renovation and it was awesome.}
 
 
 

3.  Colorful art

 

Plein air Painting of Newly Renovated Bandstand at White Point Gardens  by Katherine Schneider resize

 {source}

 
 
Story idea: we actually have a small painting of this same gazebo from Battery Park in Charleston, one of our very favorite places. This past time Josh and I were there, I asked him to stand with me right in the middle of it and kiss me because I wanted to think of that every time I looked at our painting. I love that little painting in our kitchen even more now. Sometimes you just gotta go after what you want, girls. Amen? ;)
 
 
 

4.  The unexpected {the more diy-friendly, the better}

 

book art

{source}

 
 
Story idea: you could do so much here with a little elbow grease. In fact, the cheaper, the better. I’m a fan of quirk as well…always fun. Since Josh and I were music majors, a lot of our story started with music. We’ve talked for a long time about finding the LP covers of our favorite jazz albums and creating a gallery with them. Coltrane’s Ballads will always make me think of our dating period. We’ve also talked about taking our favorite piece {or pieces} that we played together and blowing them up to hang. And I’ll always have a soft sport for beautiful embroidery that says something irreverent. :)
 
 
 

5. Words that mean something to us

 

work hard stay humble

{source}

 
 
Story idea: this is pretty self explanatory but I will say this: I know that the standard “hello” or “family” or “love” on walls is all over the place these days and for that reason, I don’t want to go that route. I want to think outside the box. This will obviously be different for everyone, but I love the idea of walking into someone’s home and seeing “cray cray” on the wall. Or “welcome to the jungle”. Or a even a funny hash tag. Put something up that will make your guests either giggle or have to ask you about it.
 
 
 
 
Loads of fun ideas, right?!  So, here’s my question to you:  what words would you put on your walls if you could? 

 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 

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