Friday Favorites

  1.  Turkish towels

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Big, plush, soft, and stylish.  My go to kitchen towels. I found mine at TJ Maxx, but Amazon also has some good options here.

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2.  Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens

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* name and address have been made up and changed to protect privacy*

When I first started doing brush lettering, my favorite pen was the Pentel Touch.  Soon after, I ordered these Tobows.  For a while, Pentel remained my favorite.  Until I started doing 100s of invitations…. I soon began to despise the Pentel and love the Tombows.  With the Pentel, it’s really hard to get a hairline upstroke.  The Tombows deliver on this every time.

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3.  Coral Carpet Sedum

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*Image found here*

As I was perusing our little downtown farmer’s market, this plant stopped me in my tracks.  It looks like a succulent, but it acts as ground cover.  I haven’t bought any yet, but I’m in love and totally digging it… now to find where I would put it…

4.  Ikea Ektorp couch

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Two days after I bought this couch, my 3 year old took a non-washable marker and doodled all over it.  I almost cried before I remembered that I could just take off the slipcover and wash it.  In less than 2 hours, it was back on the couch in mint condition.  Not joking.  I will forever sing this couch’s praises.  (It also took me less than an hour to put together- and that’s a huge plus in my book).

5.  Simple Matters by Erin Boyle

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Finally a simple book on simple living.  The perfect coffee table book.  Beautiful to look at, practical to flip through.

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6.  Tea cups and saucers

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I love rummaging thrift stores for these.  For mere cents, these become classics in my collection.

What are some of your favorite things?

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12 Items to Buy Second Hand

Here are 12 items that you can buy second hand to save you money and add more character to your home and wardrobe

Life can get expensive.  Filling your home and your wardrobe with pieces you love on a budget can be quite a challenge!  I have been thrifting and garage saleing my whole life…before it was cool. When my Mom had 4 little ones under 5 on my Dad’s teacher salary, she learned how to shop, thrift and garage sale like a pro!  And I’m very grateful for all the tips I’ve learned from her.  When it came to decorating and organizing my home and buying clothes for myself and my family, thrift stores are my go-to.  If you’re looking for some great thrifting tips, my sister has some great ones here.  In this article, I’ll be recommending some items to be on the look out for when you hit thrift stores, antique stores, and garage sales.

1.  Solid Wood Furniture and Shelves

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2.  Genuine Leather

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3.  Unique/ Old Items

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4.  Baskets

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5.  Vintage Glassware

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6.  Name Brand Clothing- Especially with tags on them!

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7.  Linen napkins

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8.  Books

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9.  Throw pillows

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10.  Wall Art/ Mirrors

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11.  Lamps

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Used to be gold, navy and burgandy and I spray painted it white for a totally different look.  Added a $10 burlap shade for a total of $13.

12.  Organization Items

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These are the items I always look for when thrifting.  Always look for high quality, genuine leather, solid wood.  Don’t settle just because you’re at a thrift store! Happy thrifting!

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There’s Always Room for S’more Love- A Baby Shower

Since when did ladies get to have all the fun at baby showers?  Per request of the soon-to-be-parents, we planned a low key backyard couples shower to welcome the new little one.  And I have to say, it was one of the most enjoyable showers I’ve ever been to… and probably the prettiest.  The deck streamed with globe lights and candles, the fire flickering, tables layered with a delectable s’mores bar and Fall treats, and chairs filled with the best of friends.

And who doesn’t love a good s’mores bar…

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And how cool is my friend’s deck… and greenhouse…??? So. Cool.

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The best part about this was getting to decorate and plan out beautiful things with my best friends.  And it all started coming together so well.  The wildflowers were indeed locally sourced (as in legally or ehem… illegally… picked from a nearby highway).

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bread

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table decor

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But the real magic happened when the sun started going down, and the globe lights and candles came out to play…

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nighttime

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Then the guests arrived and the fun began.

Our Eagle Scout started the fire.  It wasn’t always burning since the world’s been turning.

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The father-to-be enjoying the freshly lit fire.

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The gentlemen.  Contemplating gentlemanly things.

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The roasting starts, and s’moregasboard commences.

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The lovely hostess.

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The glowing mother-to-be.
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So blessed to get to be able to celebrate these wonderful first time parents.

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Rounding the night up with gifts, and I’d say it was a good time had by all.

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Like our “s’moregasboard”?  Pin it!

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5 Tips for a Productive Morning

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Mornings.  You either love ’em or hate ’em.  I tend to be more of a morning person, but how a morning goes can determine my mood for the rest of the day!  A bad morning can make you reach for your pillow and chocolate by noon begging for it to be bedtime again…  Bless it.  Here are a few tips I’ve learned that help set the mood for the rest of the day…

  1.  Get the dishes done the night before.   Oh dear, yes, this is a hard one.  I’ve been married 7 years and have been a mother for 5, and am JUST NOW learning the importance of waking up to a clean kitchen.  If I wake up to a pile of dirty dishes, I literally feel like crying even before the day starts.  NOT what I need.  And if you start with a clean kitchen in the morning, you may even have the desire to make pancakes and waffles… who knows.  Or toss cereal bowls in the general direction of your children and have a mere 5 minute clean up.  To piggyback on this, this also means starting your dishwasher the night before so you can unload them in the morning.  There is something so refreshing about having a cupboard stocked full of clean dishes and an empty dishwasher.
  2. Go to bed on time.  This may seem like a no brainer, but how hard is it, right??? My husband works long hours and oftentimes, he doesn’t get home until 8 or 9pm.  When I still have to eat and clean up from dinner and my bedtime is at 11pm…. it just doesn’t leave much room for quality time!  But one trick that my husband and I observed was when we didn’t watch shows at night, the time passed by much SLOWER! It felt like we had so much time together.  I’m not saying you should never watch TV with your husband at night, but maybe try 2 nights a week to turn off the TV and just sit and talk or play a game or have a guitar and singing jam session or whatever your interests are.  Think outside the box and change up a weeknight.
  3. Wake up BEFORE the kids.  I cannot stress how important and crucial this has been in my morning routine.  Thankfully, my kids sleep in until 8, so I can be up by 7 (6:30 if I have a run planned for that morning).  This is when I brew my coffee, make my husband’s lunch, do breakfast prep, and put away clean dishes.  Then I sit down with my coffee, plan out the day, read my morning reads, and collect my thoughts before I’m needed by 3 hungry toddlers.  If this step doesn’t happen, I hit the ground running and I feel like I’m playing catch up for the rest of the day.  Some days, I don’t get a full hour, maybe just 30 minutes or even 15 minutes makes a world of difference!
  4. Eat breakfast.  When you’re mom, you’re used to skipping breakfasts.  Most of the time, you just FORGET.  Yeah, it happens.  But by mid morning, my brain is in a fog and I feel like I need a nap already.  After fasting for 8 hours all night, your body needs something to get your blood pumping and your blood sugar up.  Mommy breakfasts are usually a bit different than what a 5 and 3 year old might eat, so a little planning goes a long way to make sure you get your stomach full and brain jump started.  Try my 3 ingredient protein smoothie that takes all of 2 minutes to make! (And it’s dairy and sugar free!)
  5. Turn off your tech.  Sometimes, this isn’t possible, but I strive to have my mornings computer free and cell phone free.  Emails, texts, facebook, and calls can wait until lunchtime.  There are some exceptions, like when I use my phone to pull up a video we need for school or to look up where a peregrine falcon lives (my 5 year old apparently wants to know this RIGHT NOW).  But ladies, Facebook… it can wait.  Focus on your kiddos.  You will be happier, they will be happier, and you can have uninterrupted time later in the day.  I have now designated “online times” for myself.  During “rest time” every afternoon, I catch up on emails, blog, do a little Facebook browsing then shut it off until my evening online time.  Believe me, a tech free morning will make you MUCH more productive!

As a mom, it’s easy to fall into survival mode.  I know, I’ve been there, and I still go there.  But these 5 tips can help you THRIVE.  The more you put these tips into practice, the easier it will become, and you will wake up looking forward to your mornings.   Take productivity into your own hands, Mama!

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