Monday, June 29, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with string
These are a few of my favorite things. 

Hello. Welcome to my blog. I want to share with you a little about myself and a few of the many things that make me happy. Above all, I am thankful for Christ. He is the giver of life and has given me abundantly more than I could ever dream. 

See that photo above? That is my crazy family on our wedding day. Yep. That lone photo sums us up pretty well I would say. They are my world. I grew up as I would like to put it a bit of a vagabond. My dad is a preacher and we took to the road for weeks at a time. We did not have much monetarily but what we lacked in that department we made up in life experiences and lots of love. Looking back, I could not imagine a more perfect childhood. Goodnight, John-Boy. 

Some of my fondest memories are of seeing places that most people only read about. To this day, I at times find it difficult to stay planted in one place and ache to see the world like I once did.  The husband and I are already looking at places to visit next year and will be hopefully saving and planning here in the near future. I've gotta get this boy out of Alabama. 

A few of my favorite things include coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Did I mention I love a good cup of coffee? I also love a good book and browsing bookstores, especially the ones that sell second-hand books. There is something about picking up a book and smelling it and wondering who the previous owner may have been and how the story may have impacted them differently. Ahhh. Edmund Wilson once wrote, "No two persons ever read the same book." Love that. 

So whether it be the giggles of my precious niece, Phoebe, a new sprig of life shooting through my bit of earth, discovering a thrifted treasure, walking hand in hand with the love of my life, sipping that third cup of coffee, creating a home, or watching Roman Holiday for the millionth time, I am reminded these joys are what life is about. It's the little things that make life that much sweeter. 

Wedding photography by: Glass Jar Photography  All other photos are my own.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Darling Dress

Oh how I love a beautiful dress! There is something so special and transforming when I throw on a dress to go to the store or to meet a friend for coffee. You instantly feel prettier, dressier, and more romantic. I would have a closet full if my pocket book would allow it. My favorite dresses are from Free People, Forever 21, and thrift and vintage finds. 

I found this gem on eBay. It is a Free People dress and it still had the tags! I love searching for dresses and finding the perfect treasure! It has been a pure delight to wear. I love the delicate neckline. It is sweet details like this one that makes the dress. 

My style of dress is soft, feminine, ethereal, and romantic. I would purchase all of my clothes from Free People if I could. Unfortunately, unless I hit it rich overnight that will never happen. Fortunately, I do search and find some lovely FP dresses at times on eBay, 6pm, various department stores and in the sale section online at Free People. In case you weren't aware, Free People is having a sale this week through 4th of July weekend. All of their sale items are an extra 25% off. You are welcome. There are already a couple pieces I have my eye on. If you fancy to take a look then here you go.

It's lovely to be a lady! 

Making french bistro napkin throw pillows

I am not a seamstress. If I am going to try to be creative and sew something it has got to to be the easiest pattern in the world. Whenever I get the hunch to take on any kind of project that includes a sewing machine I immediately ask my mom to come over and help. Sure, I could eventually figure it out but I also hate reading patterns and instructions and being the perfectionist that I am, I know my mother would do ten times the job I would.

My mom, Cindy, is also one of my closest and dearest friends and I always like an excuse to hang out together. There is nothing this lady cannot do if she sets her mind to it. Growing up she always saw to it that us kids had a full course hot meal on the dinner table, read to us at night, and often gave up new clothes and shoes so we would have everything we need. There is no other lady in the universe that I admire, respect, and want to become more like than her.

This little project only took us a short afternoon to complete. I had seen these adorable cloth napkins at World Market. I am a sucker for anything with stripes and that has a linen look to it. I purchased a bunch of these cloth napkin sets and had set them aside awhile ago to one day make pillows out of. They just happened to be the perfect size! We basically just took the fabric, pinned it on three sides, stitched the sides together around the hem, placed the stuffed pillow inside, and finished sewing up the last side. Tada! Easy as pie. I now have some new throw pillows for my living room couch! The ivory and grey stripes go with everything too. World Market has several colors of these napkins  here. If you like the ones I chose you can find them here.

In the future I will be on the lookout for more adorable cloth napkin patterns. They are an affordable and easy way to give a space a face lift, and an opportunity to spend an afternoon with June Cleaver herself.

Pink Peony

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~Emma Goldman

Oh how I love fresh peonies from the garden. They remind me of my best friend's wedding, spring, the miracle of life, and that God desires us to be happy, even in the smallest of ways. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Be our Guest

In the cherry blossom's shade there's no such thing as a stranger. ~ Kobayashi Issa 



This is our small guest room and study. This room used to be a deep ecentric blue. I can be a copycat when it comes to decorating. I have a bit of a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel...who doesn't? I once saw her study/music room featured in Domino magazine and it was painted that very shade of blue. It was fun while it lasted but it was never truly me. Number one rule in decorating: stay true to yourself and your style, unless of course your taste is for huge floral sofas and an over-abundance of chevron and burlap. In that case, seek help.

The past year I have really preferred the simple and clean look and have taken on the whole "less is more" attitude when it comes to decorating. I have become obsessed with white walls and clean spaces. My husband has told me I am not allowed to paint the entire house white but I have talked him into four rooms so far so yeah, yay me. It is amazing how the white has brought this room to life. It is so much more cheery and inviting. Paint colors never cease to amaze me how they can totally transform a room's feel and dynamic.

The bed is the futon pictured in the last photograph. That thing is pretty darn comfortable. Josh jokes about us getting in a fight so he can sleep on it. I recently ordered a futon cover and have been very pleased with it. I was a little hesitant about keeping a futon for the guest room since to me it gives off a college dorm vibe but the budget and size of the room won't allow for a replacement at this time. The cover certainly helped appearances and some throw pillows will hide a multitude of sins.

I do adore anything and everything by Rifle Paper Co. Anna Bond is a genius designer. I  decided to display last year's calendar because I'm pretty sure it would be a sin to throw anything away by this lovely stationary company. I have purchased several of their greeting cards with the intention of framing. Such lovely artwork. In one of my photos I have another of Anna's prints displayed. Totally obsessed.

The brass lotus hanging pendant lamp almost cost one of us a stay in this room for the night. That thing was a beast to hang. Thank goodness it is so pretty. I have this other obsession with lighting. About every room in our house has some kind of lighting statement piece. I have seen antique versions of this light, and an Anthro version that was way out of my price range, but I finally found an affordable one at World Market.

Some lovely room accessories that make me smile is the ship hanging over my desk. It is so marvelous and reminds me to never stop dreaming. It is also a reminder that no matter how old we get there is still a kid inside all of us. I find great enjoyment from my record player Josh got me for Christmas last year. I love the fact it is patterned after a trunk. I have a weakness for old trunks. He also gifted me with the unique Downton Abbey wine bottles. I am a huge fan of the show and I am proud to display that fact. I am aware I need to broaden my taste in vinyls. My vinyl collection mainly consists of folk and vintage soundtracks. I am working on it. Thank you, Spotify and Josh.

Last, but certainly not least, the portrait over the sofa holds a lot of meaning and special memories for me. The month before I got married I went to visit my brother, Nate, in Georgia for the weekend. We spent those three days hanging out, watching movies together, dining at our favorite spots, taking a day trip to Dahlonega, and smoking pipes. Sorry, Mom.

Nate has always been the creative artist in the family and a very personal gift-giver. He wanted to do something very special for my wedding present. I had seen his artwork before and was very impressed. After discussing different options, Nate decided to create a painting for me inspired by the sea. I have always loved the ocean and at the time wanted our living room to have soft blue walls. Off we went to the craft store to pick out the perfect palette. I can still hear Gungor playing in the background as I watched Nate hard at work painting the canvas with a beautiful mix of white, grey, and shades of blue paint. He tore out poems by Emily Dickinson about the sea and carefully pasted them onto the canvas. Grabbing handfuls of pipe tobacco, tea leaves, flour, and dirt he mixed it in with the brush strokes. The finished product turned out to be one of the most special gifts I have ever received and always reminds me of that October weekend we spent together-just the two of us.
I hope you have enjoyed my little house tour for today. Feel free to leave a comment. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Sources: World Market pendant lightDarling Wendy ship kite, Ikea floral pillow cover, West Elm grey pillow cover, Threshold bar cart, framed greeting card, vintage trunk digital conversion turntable, cream linen futon cover, Nate Berkus curtains, Paint color: Frothy Surf by Behr, Painting by Nate Currin

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I have recently been going through a television show on Scotland and it has totally enraptured me and made me miss this beautiful place so much. How I long to return one day and more specifically, the Scottish Highlands. They are truly magical. I have never been to a more breath-taking place. 

For those who know me best know that I have a special place in my heart for the country of Scotland. My fascination with Scotland began in my early teens. I remember seeing the movie Braveheart and being captivated with the heroism of William Wallace. I often played Celtic music in my room and loved anything with the sound of bagpipes (much to my family's dismay). I remembered reading anything I could get my hands on about the country and to my delight I was able to choose my history credit my senior year of high school. One of those homeschooling perks. You guessed it. I chose Scottish history and while I enjoyed it immensely it only made my desire to visit the country intensify. 

After I graduated high school I looked for an opportunity to visit and to minister while I was there. The answer to my prayers came in the form of Colin and Mary Peckham. I had heard of this couple through some of my family members but had never met them personally. Mary had been struggling with some pretty severe health problems and so the initial plan was to go and live with them for a short time as a care-giver. After I had booked my airline tickets and finalized my itinerary, Mary's health had drastically improved. I had wondered what my ministry could be if I wasn't needed in that area. Colin informed my Dad that he was in the process of writing several small books but needed someone to type them up and edit them before sending them off to be published. Perfect. 

A few weeks later I was on my way to Scotland. For the next four weeks I lived with the Peckhams while I typed up Colin's manuscripts. I often had to pinch myself to make sure it was real. I grew to love this sweet couple and felt right at home in their charming house in Broxburn. With Mary's fiery spirit and Colin's fun-loving personality, there was never a dull moment! They saw to it that I received the full Scottish experience complete with haggis, lots of custard (still to this day one of my favorites), bus rides into Edinburgh, and even a trip to the Highlands. 

Colin was so thoughtful and attentive to details. I remember he purchased me a map so we could trace my trip up north. I still have it. We stopped to shop, have tea, and take pictures any chance we got. We made our way up to the Isle of Skye and took the ferry across to the Isle of Lewis. Every stop was a history lesson, another castle, more tea and scones, and another souvenir (which Colin took great delight in collecting for me). 

While we were in Lewis I felt like we were at the most northern tip of the world. We visited a small church on Sunday that spoke only Gaelic the entire service. Everyone we visited had tea and biscuits for us and more stories to tell. I felt like I never wanted to leave. Couldn't I just stay in this simple, peaceful place by the ocean forever? 

Scotland was an adventure and an experience I will never forget. Colin and Mary both have since gone to be with the Lord. I look forward to seeing them again someday and swapping stories of our autumn together in Scotland that year.