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! 


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Summer Caprese with a Twist

One of my all time favorite salads to eat all year long but especially during the summer is Caprese. Caprese (Italian for " salad of Capri") is super simple to make and always pairs nicely with a baguette or fresh bread of just about any sort and a good bottle of wine.

For this variation, I really didn't change much.

I absolutely love heirloom tomatoes and stopped in at my local Trader Joe's (of course) for all of the ingredients I needed for dinner last night and for this salad.

4-6 small to medium sized freshly sliced tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella (the fresher the better)
Fresh basil
2 tbs Olive Oil
2 tbs Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

I always like to give a protein option (my hubby's favorite) so you could also twist this recipe even more by adding some yummy grilled chicken.

Rinse your arugula and lay onto a platter.
Finely chop or cube tomatoes and mozzarella and layer over the top of the arugula.
Next, chiffonade our basil and layer on top of the previous ingredients.
Dress the salad with your olive oil and vinegar ensuring that you evenly coat
the ingredients.


I really do love the extra layer of texture, taste and crunch the arugula adds to this popular salad and what I love the most about this is that it's so quick and easy to prepare it's great for last minute summer guests and ANYONE can make it!

I sure hope you all are enjoying your Thursday! Come back tomorrow to take a peek into some of Julie Blanner's favorite spots in her home as we share her space for She's Home. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


NAME |  Fresh Tangerine

I met Kim and her amazing team a couple of months ago when I took their modern calligraphy course. The setup was amazing and the instruction top-notch. I loved their studio and knew almost immediately that I wanted you all to know more about them since, well, I was myself quite intrigued. 

This she-team of amazing women, powered by passion and loads of creativity, have taken jewelry design to the next level. I am so thrilled to introduce you guys to Kim and the team at Fresh Tangerine, Seattle. Their cute little shop is located in the Pioneer Square area of downtown so if you're ever in the area, it's a must stop shop for one-of-a-kind jewelry and authentic smiles and conversation even if your not on the market for a new midi or accessory. 

I was working at a day job that I didn't really like and I was really wanting to go back to France and travel more.  I also couldn't really see myself working in a corporate office job and I knew I had to find a way to have a flexible job that would allow me to travel.  I originally started Fresh Tangerine witht he idea that it would be a side job to supplement a teaching income in France. I bought a bunch of supplies, signed up for some local craft shows, in Portland and spent every night and weekend designing, making jewelry and trying to establish my brand.  After the holidays, I was approached by CRAVE ( a guidebook that features female owned businesses ) in August of 2011.  I was able to quit my day job to work on Fresh Tangerine full-time. Now I have a team of amazing women who help keep Fresh running. 


Of course! It was really scary to quit my day job and to give up that consistent income, but I knew that I needed to fully commit to my business in order to make it grow. 

Another defining (and terrifying moment) was when I decided to move my business from Portland to Seattle.  I had no idea how it would affect my business, not to mention the fact that I was moving to a new place where I didn't really know anyone. I was afraid I might lose customers, or that people in Seattle wouldn't understand my aesthetic or vision.  I've been in Seattle for a little over a year now, and it was the best decision I've ever made. I found a great neighborhood for my studio and everyone in the creative community here has been extremely supportive. 


It sounds cheesy, but don't let fear stand in the way of you pursuing your dream career.  There are always going to be a million reasons for why you shouldn't do something, but who cares?  I firmly believe that there is room for everyone in the creative world and if you really want something you can make it happen.  It can be difficult to put your work out into the world for everyone to judge and it's tough to hear when someone doesn't like your work.  I've found that for every person who doesn't like what you do, there are way more people who love it and that's what is important. 


Lately I've been living by the mantra "find comfort in the uncomfortable".  So much of being an entrepreneur is about  venturing into the unknown, which can be scary. I'm definitely someone who always likes to have a plan, but sometimes you have to just follow a path without knowing where it might lead.  


I love that I have the freedom to make my own schedule even though I usually stick to normal hours. It feels good to know that the work I put in has a direct result in my business. I also love that I get to choose to grow and what I want my job to look like. 

Kim (far right) and her amazing team at Fresh Tangerine 

Wow, guys! How's that for motivating! Thanks so much to Kim and the rest of the Fresh Tangerine gals! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

THE MAKERS | Wish You Were Northwest

Larry the kids and I have lived here in the PNW for a total of almost five years now. It's really hard for me to believe that we've been here that long.

Being from the South, I never really knew what to expect when we first moved here. I knew I loved the landscape, all of the beautiful trees and greenery and yes, even the rain. There's just something so beautiful about this place that keeps us on our toes and seeking more and more adventure in life.

Insert, Wish You Were Northwest,  a apparel and accessory design company focusing on exploring all the Great Pacific Northwest has to offer in nature and style. I'm absolutely in love with these girls and love what they stand for-living life with no limitations and always on the lookout for adventure!

NAME | Wish You Were Northwest
OWNER | Tory and Tahnee

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

Our names are Tahnee and Tory and we own Wish You Were Northwest, an apparel company inspired by the Pacific Northwest. 

We are sisters who grew up just outside of Seattle. We were raised in a music-filled, free thinking family, in a log home amidst more well-loved animals than we could count! Our parents took us on day trips almost every Sunday, usually with no particular destination.  This is where our love for the PNW was rooted.  Although the two of us are different in many ways, we are alike in many as well. We both love long aimless drives, chocolate chip cookies, music, dancing, laughing at YouTube videos, campfires, BBQs, the visual arts and of course, fashion. 

Starting this business was natural in that we combined many of our interests into one thing. Since we have a special place in our hearts for the area we get to call home, we had this desire to created clothing that invited people into our wold.  We like the messages we come up with to convey a sense of adventure and belonging, on clothes that we would reach into our closet and wear day in and day out.  It's been so exciting and rewarding to be doing something we both truly love to do. 

IMAGE @mattiekrall

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

Our dad has owned businesses our whole lives, so we grew up seeing challenges come his way but his overcoming them always made a bigger impression on us. I don't think fear has been too much of a struggle for us, I think working together really helps in this as we balance each other out.  Putting our ideas and creations out there in the beginning and not knowing if we hit the mark or were way off made us nervous though! Letting people in on your creativity can be a very vulnerable experience, but one of the most rewarding too.  

If we ever face fear along the way, we quickly go back to gratitude for having this business, which realigns us and puts it all into perspective.  We know we have Jesus to thank for our success and we want Him to be the guide in all of this.  
IMAGE @rachelbarkman

What advice, if any, would you offer anyone who dreams of starting their own creative business? 

Once you can narrow down what you love to do, you have half of the work done! The other half has to do with having a really clear vision for your business and staying on that course.  However, within this you have to have the ability to change and be molded by the process, so it's always striving for that just right balance I think. 

IMAGE @lyssmoore

Do you have any favorite quotes, scriptures or mantras that you have chosen to help lead you through life or decision making processes in business?  Why is this your favorite?

Lots of bible verses come to mind, but the general overriding approach we find most important on a daily basis (and want to never forget) is to always be generous and put others first.  We try our best to run every response and decision through that filter.  We also like to remember to go with our gut instincts on things because we've learned that it's pretty trustworthy, especially since we almost always have the same gut instinct. 

What is your favorite part of running your own business?

I absolutely love the creative process with my sister.  There is nothing more satisfying than we have completed a new design, photographed it and put it up in the shop.  We also both love the people we have gotten to connect with on Instagram.  That continues to be an exciting adventure and a great source of our inspiration every day. 


design + development by kelly christine studio