Friday, October 2, 2015

A Year of Octobers

So, yesterday I was driving along, minding my business when all of a sudden I realized that it was October 1. Now, I know that fall officially began a couple of weeks ago but for some reason, in my mind, it's really not fall until I see change in the seasons. The trees begin to fade into beautiful hues of red and golden browns and yellows and the temps truly begin. Around here, that's usually right around October. 

As I thought about all the things that come along with the adventures of fall, I thought to myself, "Wait, why is October called 'October'?" Knowing that 'oct' means eight, I was baffled by the thought of the tenth month of the year having the name of the eighth. After parking, I  decided to do a little online research. 

Turns out that years ago (like a bazillion years ago) the Julian calendar actually held October as the 8th month but when we switched over to the Gregorian calendar (the one we all use today), the month kept it's original name but changed its place. In the back of my brain amidst the cobwebs I'm sure I learned this somewhere but it was a fun refresher for the nerd in me. 

It became more and more apparent to me that this whole thought process was more the leading of the Holy Spirit and less me. 

As I continued 'thinking' I remembered that in relation to the biblical representation of numbers, 8 holds a pretty significant meaning. It's the number that represents resurrection, regeneration, a commencement and new beginning. 

Sliding in here to say please don't get freaked out. I am no numerologist and don't believe that numbers hold any strange power. I do, however, believe that God created them and over and over again in scripture we can find God's use of them to show and put on display how infinitely powerful and awesome He is. Just  the thought of it all makes my heart sing.

So, new beginnings...that was it! That's what He wanted me to think about and, of course, just be in awe of just how awesome He is to us and how good He is but we can talk about the details of that in another post. 

I was reminded in that moment that God is not just in our moments or certain seasons of life but that He is in it all. He IS the beginning and seeing as how yesterday was October 1, well it was essentially the beginning of the beginning. You know, with October being the eighth month and eight representing the beginning and it being the first day of the month of beginnings. Confused yet?

Simply put, we look at seasons with our human eyes and can appreciate them all for what each of them bring visually a lot of the time. With each season we have hope, we lose things, life becomes more full, we see the beauty in things we never really saw before, etc. But God, He is in them all. He is in every season-the beginning and end of them all. Literally and figuratively. Naturally and supernaturally. 

John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 

He hasn't just been here or with us since the beginning it is WHO HE IS.  He is the God of NEW BEGINNINGS. The God of Octobers. The beginning of the beginning. He is in the details of it all and he really cares about it all. Every single moment, minute and second of our Octobers and pretty much our entire lives.

Months have gone by and I've struggled, ya'll. A lot. Mostly in my mind with feeling defeated, displaced and sometimes as hard as it is to admit-worthless. The days of summer seemed to pass by with little hope of catching my breath or finding purpose and meaning in many of the days. 
But, He is faithful. 

In this season of fall that we, with our human eyes many times, see as a season of dormancy and death, He is alive. He is doing a new thing. He is still breathing life into dreams and bringing visions, heart cries and passions to life in me and in you. 

So, my question to you is this: Where are you? I mean, emotionally speaking. Where have you been? Have you been in a place that needs some life breathed into it? Have you been angry about some things that haven't come to pass or some prayers you prayed that you haven't seen answered? Or, are you on the other side? Are things going amazingly well for you and you couldn't possibly imagine them getting better? Either way, He will do more. 

 Isaiah 43:18-19 Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Not it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." 

Truth is no matter what your season may look like whether you're in fall or winter or spring, He's at the beginning, middle and end of them all and He promises to make a way even when there seems to be none. Let's,together, look forward to a year full of Octobers.  A year of the end of some harder seasons and the beginning of others that will amaze us with His love for us and His infinite power, grace, mercy in our lives. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

She Laughs | The Power of Imperfections

The thing is, I don't always.
You know, laugh without fear of the future as the title suggests.

I worry.
I doubt.
I second guess.
I compare my gifts, my talents, my desires.

I wonder if I am good enough.
Smart enough.
If people like me enough.

If they really genuinely care or love me enough to see my heart when I am not saying or doing what I should or what they expect from me...

I'd love to say that I am completely free of my human-ness. I am not.
As a matter of fact if there was any power that I possess it's the power of being SUPER HUMAN.

I am flawed. Imperfect. Needy, even.
I am frequently late.
I yell at my kids from time to time.
I am impatient and sometimes not so kind.

I promise I am going somewhere with all of this. Stick with me.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

All that stuff that I just listed above really doesn't matter much in comparison to the amazing power that comes in acknowledging God in it all. In the light of His glory, His grace, His infinite power and wisdom He takes all of my worries, my weaknesses and dims the light on them to magnify all of the wonderful gifts He has placed in me {and you}. And in that, there is power.

Honestly, this summer has flown by for me. Most of the things I thought I would accomplish still lie waiting to be completed and let's not even talk about the schedule with my kids. Nope, we won't talk about that. Today.

While most of my plans have fallen to the wayside, His plans have prevailed in my life and particularly in the area of His calling for me and the direction of RHB.

This coming fall will hold many new ventures that I am so excited to share with you over the next few months. In these  new ventures we will delve into what true freedom looks like in a series that I've mentioned to you a few times here on the blog-SHE LAUGHS.  

Are you like me from time to time?
Worried? Challenged? Fearful?
Unsure of the future and what it holds or not so confident in your gifts?

There is hope.

His name is Jesus.

He comes alongside you to remind you of who you are. He reminds you of what He has placed inside you and gives you all power to accomplish every good work in His name, for His glory.

As an added bonus, along with His power, you get an extra dose and helping of peace, joy, strength, courage just because it's who HE is.

Honest truth...I have no idea how all of this is gonna turn out in the next few months, in detail, but what I do know is that He promises it will be good. Super good. Like, for real.

And that promise, well, it's the same for you, friends.

Ready to dive right int his fall with each of you, 

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Art of Home Series with Jeanne Oliver

For some of you who have been around here for a while you've gotten to know me, we've acquainted ourselves with some of the deeper yet impactful and meaningful parts of my life. 

What you may not know about me is that I have a deeply rooted love for simple living and creating an environment in our home that fosters a place for creativity. It's really rooted and grounded in the foundations of my upbringing and it's a part of my childhood that I have and always will cherish. 

When Jeanne contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in joining in on The Art of Home Series with her and some amazing bloggers, without hesitation, the answer was "yes!". I honestly had no idea what I was getting into but knew that it was going to be amazing. As I received more details about the series, it was confirmed, it would be amazing and a great opportunity to not only share my heart with all of you but to inspire each of you to embrace what home means to you and really take a look at some of the traditions and memory making rituals involved in creating a life and a home worth loving. 

Art of Home | Simple  Modern Living will be about some of the lost arts of caring for our home and family.  Each week will contain step-by-step videos with decorating, cooking, gardening, entertaining, housekeeping and more.  The following will be shared:  The Art of Farm to Table, The Art of Gathering, The Art of Domestic Moxie and The Art of Reclaimed Style.
This four week course is your favorite home and cooking magazines come to life!  Maybe it will even bring back sweet memories and we will all learn from each other.
I'll be sharing some different ways to incorporate each week's theme into your everyday living and tips on how to do it all more simply. I sure do hope that this sounds exciting to you because I am SO excited to share with you all. Each one of the amazing ladies in this course all have so much to share and will bring something unique to the table. (Pun totally intended) 


Week One
The Art of Farm to Table
This week is all about gardening, cooking and preserving food.

Week Two
The Art of Gathering

This week is all about opening your home and creating a space where people feel loved and special.

Week Three
The Art of Domestic Moxie
This week is all about creative and fun ways to keep your home.

Week Four
The Art of Reclaimed Style
This week is all about using what you have and finding new uses for found objects.

I am so excited to announce that the class is officially open for registration and if you're like me you love a good deal.

Right now you can sign up for these amazing courses at an early registration rate of only 42.99.  Just click here to be redirected to the registration page (PayPal).

1. Sign up at (FREE) 

2. Once you account is approved click HERE for a full list of courses or find the most popular courses along the left hand side of the page

3. Click on the course you are interested in, (hopefully THE ART OF HOME is your first pick!)  and then click the +join in upper right hand corner, pay and you are in.

4. Read instructions on the course page for the start date of the course.


I couldn't be more excited about partnering with Jeanne, Lissa, Bre and Jennifer to bring this series of classes to you and hear about how they inspire you to create a home and life you love, more simply. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

We Are Rich | Keeping Your Healthy Perspective in a "More is More" Focused World

I'm not even sure how to start this one off.

So, I guess I will take it back to almost a year ago when I was spending some time with a friend. 

Our kids were in an out of the house, up and down the stairs, on and off the potty yet, for some reason that day, we didn't seem to mind at all.  Our conversation was full of good nuggets and lots of yummy coffee. Coffee is always a good thing to add to conversations around here. Just makes things better. 

Anyhow, just as we'd realized our precious time was coming to a close, I took a deep breath and said, "We are so rich.". 

I honestly don't know where it came from. Can I be completely candid with you? Until a few months back I would never have even thought to let something like this come out of my mouth. 

I mean, I've had moments here and there where I've been thankful for things but most of the time I lived my life so caught up in the little details that really didn't matter I couldn't ever really focus on the big picture. 

The kids need this. I serve all day. We're pulled in 50 different directions. I am so tired. I don't feel like doing that. Can I get a break? Can someone do something for me? 

Blah. Blah. Blah. 

We don't mean to do it but we all, at some point in our day to day lives, respond in this way.  

While some of these thoughts may never make it to our mouths, we can sometimes rehearse them over and over again in our hearts. 

Luke 6:45
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. 

Whoa. That's heavy. Right? 

Well, while the thought of knowing that the things we say can be directly related to the state of our hearts, it brings great delight to know that God is in the business of giving us new ones. 

I tend to believe that my thoughts often line up with my heart as well. 

When thinking of what we have and what we do not have it really is a matter of perspective, a change of heart and what we allow our minds to focus on that will lead us down an unhealthy path of discontentment or allow us to focus on the many amazing people and circumstances God has given to us or placed us in. 

I'm not saying it's the easiest thing in the world, especially when we've practiced the opposite for so long. However, just like any other muscle in our bodies the heart can be strengthened and become stronger when we put qualities like gratitude and thanksgiving to practice. 

Can I just say, BTW...I'm not just preaching this at you. I'm right here in the middle of this thing with you. We bombard ourselves with media and images and fill our minds and hearts with the desires of others' ultimately unknowingly becoming numb and rejecting the desires and plan of our Creator. This is just an opportunity for us to serve notice to oursSELVES that we are ready to live a more fulfilled life and use the gifts that God has given us to live in freedom and call purpose out in others. This heart check, if you will,  is just another step to living in THAT freedom. 

With that being said, here are a few ways I am learning to live in the moments and begin to foster an environment where, from the inside out, 

And I don't just mean the way you think about things.  I know it sounds pretty blunt and straight forward but it's true. How many times have you left the comfort of your home or neighborhood to volunteer with or give your time to those living in situations or have lifestyles culturally perceived as less fortunate to return to yours with a new lease on life? I get it, we all want to provide good things, safe homes and neighborhoods and an amazing life for our kids but what's any of that really mean if  we don't give them a worldview of just how amazing God is in not just our lives but others' and how He wants to us ALL of us to better one another? It's so much easier to focus on what you don't have when you stay in your own little bubble. 

Just as the scripture says, what our hearts store, our mouths speak. Many times the heart and the head are one in the same. I want to practice, in my mind, being thankful. I want to rehearse the goodness of God in my life over and over again. I want my children to hear me saying how amazed I am at the goodness of God in our lives and not just hear me say it but feel me mean it. 

Psalm 27:13 I remain confident in this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
It's a promise. His goodness surrounds us, we need only open our eyes, our minds, our hearts to seeing it around us. 

Take some time daily, weekly, whenever...but be purposeful about tuning your heart and mind to rehearsing gratitude in the margins of your bible or in a journal on your bedside. Keep it in your car when the moment hits you. The more we exercise the muscle of thankfulness, the more it becomes our knee-jerk reaction to situations and thoughts that come our way. 

I guess number two and three kind of go hand in hand but how amazing is life when we open it up to those around us? I don't think I can really say it any better than Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG):

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in.  The smallness you feel comes from within you.  Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way.  I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

This is honestly one of my most favorite scriptures. I don't know about you when you read it but I almost take it as a challenge. A "taste and see that the Lord is good" kind of challenge. 

We are not called to live the small lives that are many times a result of unhealthy thought patterns. These thought patterns develop many times as a result of negative thinking about who we are but where we are in our careers, families, relationships, etc. We fence ourselves in with every single negative thought that we allow to control us.

We are rich, indeed.

Our lives are full of His goodness, His grace, His mercy.
Our hearts are full of His praise.
Our moments are filled with laughter and our time and thoughts filled not with the mundane but with the overwhelming sense of not just the richness of our lives but the fullness and richness that living a life in Him and with Him brings.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A vol25 Antler Study & A giveaway

If you've never heard me talk of antlers either here on my blog or on Instagram then you must have been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years. 

It's no secret that I have a love affair with this fine order of taxidermy and love picking  them up from just about anywhere from vintage and antique shops to online stores. I seriously just can't get enough. 

Well, I few months back I got a sweet message from Jessica of Vol25 and was so excited about the opportunity to not only get my hands on one of her amazing works of art but also showcase it and be able to offer a discount, and to one lucky reader, one of her very own. 

You guys. The quality of Jessica's work is unmatched. 

I know there are some fakes out there posing and making canvas wall hangings and there are a few who obviously do it well but please don't fall for the work of those who don't. I was super impressed with the attention to detail she takes in making each piece. 

If you'd like to know more about her process you can read all about it here

As if all of that wasn't enough for me to fall in love, the icing on the cake is that Jessica is a local gal hailing from the Methow Valley right here in WA state. 

We're partnering to offer one of you one for your home and for those who don't win, there's still something in it for you.  If you order from Vol25 between today, July 15 and July 22, you will receive 20% off of your order by using code "restorationhouse" at checkout. 

Jessica was so generous to offer that and I am so excited to extend that offer to each of you! 

Now, the giveaway.

To enter just leave a comment below telling us why you'd like to win this amazing wall hanging and that's it! If you follow me on Instagram (eh should) then you can also follow the prompts there for an extra entry! Yay! 

Good luck to each of you and every home needs as many of Jessica's pieces (you'll see what I mean when you head over to her shop) so go ahead and check out all she has to offer and come back here on Friday where we will announce the lucky winner! 

Happy Wednesday, loves! 


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I'm a Good Mother, Always.

A couple of weeks ago I was having a chat with a friend and one thing led to another and we began to talk about our hearts and desires for our children. 

In this season of life I am in, this topic is one that seems to surface often. 

Growing up in a home where my mom wasn't always able to care for me as she desired, I had a host of "moms" guiding me and telling me what I should and shouldn't do. This, of course, didn't always set the best example for me. 

When I found out that I was pregnant with our first born I freaked for many reasons. One of those reasons was because I was absolutely terrified at the thought of taking care of someone other than myself (I blame that on growing up as an only child) and becoming a mother to this child who would need me more than anyone else ever had before. I was terrified. 

I mean, you guys, I was completely freaked out. 

I thought...
"What if I ruin this kid?" 
"I don't have any authentic mothering experiences or any that I thought compared to that of others' so what will I use as a guideline for creating an environment for our children to thrive in?" 

These along with many other thoughts bombarded my mind. 

While the truth is that none of us, no matter how we grew up, can ever truly be prepared for all the ups and downs motherhood will bring, I still feared that no matter how much Jesus was on my side or how much I psyched myself up, I'd fail. Miserably. 

To my surprise, I am now a mother to four absolutely beautiful souls who call me "mom". 

I do mean 'surprise' in each and every sense of the word. Really, I do. 

We didn't plan for a single one of them BUT could not imagine our lives without any of them and know that's just the way God planned it.

I'm nowhere near perfect when it comes to leading this little ones. And, yes, I have failed more times than I can count on ten hands; however, the thing about failure is that God takes those things that we see as failures and uses them to grow strengths in us and enable us to encounter more and more of His grace, forgiveness, mercy and His love. 

So, that conversation with a friend...

I had quite the revelation that night. 

I realized that there is a difference between a 'mom' and a 'mother' and I'm not sure that I have complete revelation of it just yet but, nonetheless, it has set me free to love my kids in a whole new way and bring just a little more freedom in my parenting. 

Of course, since I'm all about living a more free life and not living that free life alone, I thought I would share just a bit of what God shared with me in that moment. 

Here it is...are you ready? 

"I [you] may not always be a good MOM but I am always a good MOTHER." 

At the core of who I am, in my heart, I mother my kids like no one else was created to do. 

Your story, my friend, is really no different. 

No one can do what you can for your children and the gift of YOU is all they really need. Your heart for them, your encouraging words, your smile, your hug. All of those simple things are what makes you a good mother, their mother. 

I know that you're probably asking, "Why would we want to be good at only one of these and not the other?" 

The truth of the matter is that you really don't have to be better at one than the other. 

I believe that when you give birth, you are instantly a mother. 

(Granted, I know, there are select cases where some mothers have issues with bonding, giving their children up, etc. but this doesn't even necessarily make them bad mothers and these are pretty rare cases) 

As for moms, we are always a work in progress. A mom can yell, say the wrong thing or not give the attention needed to her kids.  She may lose her temper or just not want to be around her kids altogether for a short or extended period of time. She is finicky and sometimes not exactly sure why she ever had kids in the first place. Relating? That would be the mom in you. 

A mother's heart does not change; it doesn't waiver. A mother's heart seeks to care, nurture the hearts of her own. She protects, gives and loves unconditionally. 

My mother's heart is the part of me [or you] that, at the core, desires and prays the best for her children at all times. 

Since making a clear definition between the two I have been able to seek to always mother my children and have fun being a mom at the same time but not strive for perfection in either area. 

God has given me the grace to be just who He called me to be as a mother and mama to my kids and I'm trusting him to lead the way, all the way, everyday, even when I want to pull my hair out in frustration over some of the most silly things. 

I am certain...

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philipians 1:6

You'll never be a perfect mom, but you're always a good mother. And He who is faithful is completing a good work in you and your children. It's a promise. 

Hugs and love to each of you mamas out there and here's to freedom in our parenting and the room to love our kids where they are. 


Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Gathering | How to Make the Most of Yours

If you've followed along here for any significant amount of time you know I love that word - GATHER. 

I honestly can't explain why in entirety but it's what I like to call a "meaty" word.It's full of richness and has a lot of meaning to me. 

SIDENOTE | Maybe you noticed that in the past two weeks the blogging thing has been on a bit of a break for me as we transition into summer. All four kiddos are now at home with me every day and I struggle with the balance between finding time to plan out posts and schedule them and wanting to dedicate as much time as I can to my family and especially to our kids who I am finding with each day are slipping away from me in so many ways as they mature and get older. 

So, you may see a little less of me around here in the next month or so but know that the fall will bring lots of good and wonderful things for us all! 

So, I digress..GATHERINGS. What would life be without the coming together of those who serve so many different purposes in our lives? 

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Okay, so I guess I lied. I know why I love the word. THIS is why I love gathering. Something absolutely supernatural occurs when when we come together for a purpose. To unite. To connect. To empower. To encourage. 

When women come together, there is an infinite and simultaneous need and fulfillment that are both recognized and satisfied when we, His girls, gather. 

Last week and the week before was all about that as I was blessed to celebrate 40 years of life with one of my best friends in LA and then I came home (with a 24-hour turnaround) to bless another friend with the help of styling an outdoor party. My heart was ever-so-full in awe of God and how amazingly blessed each of us are to have one another. 

Seriously guys, I couldn't ask for better friends. 

What I loved most about that night is that most of the girls represented don't necessarily do life together on a regular or daily basis. We all have our day-to-day and busy schedules and some of us, while we have mutual friendships, surprisingly met one another for the first time that night. But, there is nothing better than connecting the hearts and lives of others and seeing the delight in someone's eyes when they realize they have a lot more in common with someone than they ever expected. 

Combined with good food, laughs and stories for days we had a quintessential Hebrews 10:24 night. 
We all left with full hearts and bellies encouraged and ready to take on the next day. 

Summers are meant for the gathering of people. Don't you think? 

With that in mind, here are a few ways to make the most of yours. Whether it's styled to the 9's or not, opening up your heart to new relationships can pretty much look any way you'd like. You just never know what your invitation may mean in the life of another. 


1. COME ONE, COME ALL.  Don't be afraid to invite people that you've had on your 'list' for years that you've wanted to get to know or who you feel need to connect with others. Most people are just waiting for an invitation. 

2. STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Whether the host or the guest, staying where you've always been is not fun at all. Be willing to step out of your usual comfort zone or friends zone and chat with those around you that you maybe haven't talked to in a while or have never held a conversation with. I am always so amazed at how completely normal I find most people are when I initiate conversation.

3. IF YOU CAN DO IT, ASK FOR HELP. So decorating isn't your thing. I get it. 9 times out of 10 someone in your circle has a passion for it and while at the end of the day, THE GATHERING in and of itself is the most important thing, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere is a close second, in my opinion. Find inexpensive ways to add character to table settings by searching Pinterest and blogs and if you want to go further, make it personal for your guests by adding fun favors for each one of them to take home. 

4. STRIKE UP THE BAND. Music is everything in my world. Everything. I love worship and jazz. I also get down with a bit of Christian Hip Hop from time to time as well. Nothing sets the mood like music. Download your favorite tracks or use Pandora and snag a wireless speaker for hours of tune-filled fun. 


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Refreshing Honey & Lemon Fizzer with Ginger Beer

Seattle is one of the most beautiful places in the summer and contrary to popular belief our summer temps here can get pretty high. Being from the South, I am a sucker for slow days and summertime sips. This refreshing drink is easy to make and surely quenches even the most parched of bodies.

When I was a little girl and had a cold, my grandma always whipped up a sweet honey and lemon concoction to help ease the throat pain and break up nasty coughs. You could easily make this honey and lemon syrup yourself but who wants to stand over the stove on a sunny day? Not me. I decided this bottle from Crate and Barrel was the perfect mix to make this a quick recipe!

You will need:
2 oz Honey and Lemon Syrup (I purchased mine, of course, from Crate and Barrel)
1 oz Lemon
1/2 c Ginger Beer
Cocktail Shaker/Strainer
1 sliced lemon round (for garnishing)

Combine all ingredients in your shaker and shake vigorously.
Pour into glass, ice and all.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

THE MAKERS | Marabou Design

NAME OF BUSINESS | Marabou Design

Can you tell us more about this business and the story behind how you started it? 

After the birth of our daughter in 2007, I was inspired to create and manufacture responsible products for the modern family and their extraordinary friends.  I launched Marabou Design in January 2009. With a background in graphic design, I began my career in paper goods, then applied my skills to other avenues such as corporate branding, editorial styling, art direction and illustration.  I love all things festive! 

Were you or have you ever been afraid while starting or running your business and why? 

Of course! As bloggers, artists, writers, and business owners, we are afraid. Anytime you create something or put yourself out there for criticism, it can be intimidating.  I rely heavily on my faith daily and look to my family for encouragement during times of uncertainty.  Over the years, I have learned to acknowledge self doubt and procrastination early.  [This] allows me to process, feel and identify the source of fear.  

What advice would you offer to anyone who dreams of starting their own creative business? 

My greatest advice for a creative starting out would be to be prepared to work harder than you ever imagined.  Set a weekly schedule, tacking daily goals one by one.  Be willing to collaborate whenever the opportunity presents itself, but don't be afraid to say "No!", remember you are the brand and last but not least, have fun! 

Do you have any favorite quotes, scriptures or mantras that you have chosen to help lead you through life or decision making process you feel would be an encouragement to others? Why is this your favorite? 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Phillippians 4:8

This verse reminds me to live wisely and to seek the beauty of the small things in life. 

What is your favorite part of owning your own business and why? 

I am blessed to have the opportunity to take my ideas and develop, improve and participate in others' lives.  Your income is limited only by your creativity and willingness to work and every ounce of effort you put into your business benefits you directly.  Bonus: Casual Friday can be any day of the week! 

Thanks so much, Brandy, for letting us into your world and for inspiring us all to be a little more brave and embrace our creativity!

Monday, June 8, 2015

my new favorite DIY Tassel Throw and The Classroom Collective

Happy Monday, Friends!

I sure hope you all had a wonderful weekend! The countdown has begun for us around here in Seattle as our kids get out for the summer later than most of you but they do get to return much later than most of the country as well-after Labor Day. Anyhow, we have 7 more days of school and we are so excited to officially let summer begin! 

This week is full of all sorts of fun stuff for us as a family. Our oldest decided he wanted to try his hand at baseball this season and his team is now playing for the championship. It's been so fun to watch him stretch himself and develop new relationships with some of the boys on his team. 

This week will also include and Instameetup at my new favorite spot as well as the grand opening of the same, Classroom Collective. 

Have you heard of these amazing girls? 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've heard me mention the talents of co-owner Lindy Dodge of Thimble and Cloth Blog but when you add the dynamics and talents of Candice Hackett of Ivy and Tweed, an amazingly skilled photographer and creative, you've really created one of the most powerful teams of women who not only have a passion and love for creating but empowering others to do the same. This is what Classroom Collective is all about. Community. Creating, Connecting.

Anyhow, when the girls messaged me and told me that they wanted to send one of their DIY Tassel Throws out to me I was super excited to get my hands on it! 

You guys. I love it. 

Seriously, you guys, is it scrumptious or what?

I played around with styling it a bit just for funsies. 

I absolutely love the texture of this throw and the personality it adds to our living room. It's super soft and I'm pretty sure we'll have to do some coin tossing on our family movie nights to see who gets to use it first. 

If you are curious about The Classroom Collective (and how could you NOT be) you can hop on over to their site to find out more about the upcoming classes and all the fun stuff that they will have to offer in the next couple of months. If you're not local, no worries, I am pretty sure that Lindy and Candice have some creative ways to keep everyone active in this amazing community of creatives they are building. 

If you are indeed local, please join us for the Instameetup tomorrow on location at TCC studio or on June 13th for the official grand opening! I can't wait to meet you and to hang out with these amazing girls! 

p.s. if you want to learn how to make this tassel throw for your own home, stay tuned! These girls have so many fun classes coming soon! 

Loving you more than you know! Have the best week yet!


Friday, May 29, 2015

SHE IS HOME | At Home with Julie Blanner


I am so excited to kick off a fun series here called She's Home where we will go into the homes of some of my favorite designers, creatives and bloggers and find out what special spaces in their homes are their favorites and why. 

We're starting it all off with Julie Blanner of, a lifestlyle blog chock full of DIY, entertaining and lifestyle inspiration. 

I've followed Julie on Instagram and her blog for a while now and just love how effortlessly she seems to style and her heart for entertaining and home. 


fresh take on traditional, blending function with design for casual living.


Those that I share it with, of course! I love that our home is becoming a reflection of my family and our lifestyle.  We have been working to maximize the features we love and minimize those we don't. 


I'm enamored with Lauren Liess' neutral style & slightly modern eye for design. Ina Garten and Martha Stewart are also inspiration far beyond the craft room and kitchen.


For me, home is a sanctuary where we can relax, which is why I enjoy creating a neutral home. I'm currently transforming our master bedroom into a Sonoma inspired retreat. 


In the Colonial, the home you are seeing, I couldn't choose between the kitchen and dining room! I really enjoy cooking with my family and enjoy a classic kitchen, but I also love the eclectic mix of the dining room, which happened naturally!  In our new home, it's currenly the laundry room.  It receives a lot of natural light and feels so fresh! 

Thanks so much, Julie, for sharing your home and some of your heart with all of us! What a sweet place you've created for your family and for those who enter your home! You're truly creating a home! 



design + development by kelly christine studio