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. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

New Furniture DIY{ish} Sneak Peek and a Giveaway Winner

Hey ya'll! What a great weekend with family celebrating Mother's Day! I sure hope you all had a great weekend with family and friends as well! 

I just wanted to hop over and give you a sneak peek of a fun project I've been working on with Nia Sayers of Summerland Style

I trekked up North to fabric shop with her and finally settled on a pattern that I loved. Here we are almost two months down the road and I'm finally getting this fun project finished up! 

I'm only able to show a few peeks as we are still putting the finishing touches on my new love but I'm hoping to have it all wrapped up by next Monday for a final reveal! Can't wait to show off Nia's work and how we worked together to make this happen. 

Any guesses as to what it is? I know, that's probably a silly question but things aren't always what they seem! 

Also, if you remember, last Monday I hosted a giveaway to one lucky reader/follower! I am SO excited to announce that the winner is: MISS SHANNON EDWARDS (@Shannon Edwards) and because I just can't help it I'm picking one more blog reader for a second book (no tee). The blog winner is: LORI BOWERS! 

Shannon, you will hear from Lindsay shortly and Lori, please message me your home mailing address at! Thanks ladies! 

Thanks so much to each and every one of you who entered to win! 

I'll surely be having more giveaways so stay tuned! Hugs to each and every one of you! 


Thursday, May 7, 2015


Okay, ya'll. So I am surely no foodie but I do love a good, quick and easy recipe and since summer is just around the corner, salads are all the rave in our house.

Who's with me? Is summer not made for salads. As a matter of fact, in my mind, those two words are quite synonymous. No one wants to slave away for hours in the kitchen when there's so much sunshine to be enjoyed and in Seattle, there's even more truth to that.

So, insert this simple salad recipe made from Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch mix.

Again, this is a simple salad. So, there was no chopping of the kale or broccoli or cabbage. Just open the bag and you're ready to go. I also had a  chicken from dinner the other night that I purchased so I added a bit of that to the salad for a little more protein and so other unnamed persons in our household would enjoy it just a little more. Here's how I did it after that:

To the premade mixture I added:
Organic Raw Cranberries
Raw Sunflower Seeds (Add any nut you like. Almonds  or cashews would be great as well.)

1/4 c Olive oil
2-3 tbs Fresh lemon juice
1 tbs Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsb Honey
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper or to taste

Place in a jar (I just use a Mason jar) with lid on and shake to combine. Done.

Combine all ingredients and add toppings.

That is it, folks. It's just that easy. Some nights just call for that and lately it's just the kind of mood I've been in and what I've needed. Sometimes it's so hard to do quick meals but ensure they are still healthy for the family. I think this one fits the bill.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

THE MAKERS | Mary Jang + 3 Sons Clothing

Hey friends!

Welcome to the kickoff of our The Makers Series. I can't wait to share some amazing women in business who have taken their dreams and, with support, have turned those dreams into a reality. 

Many, but not all, of the businesses you'll see featured here will be near and dear either to the South which is where I am from or from where my heart currently resides, The Great Pacific Northwest. 

My hope is that in reading their stories of failure and victory, vision and dreams, you will be inspired to take the next step in your life to fulfill the passions and dreams and answer the call of your heart in your own life!

This week we are highlighting creative business owner, Mary Jang. She happens to be a friend of ours and over the short time that I've known her, I've watched her and her family live a life filled with adventure in sometimes the most scary way. You'll see just what I mean when you read just a snippet of her story below.

BUSINESS NAME | ThreeSons Clothing LLC
OWNER | Mary Jang

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

ThreeSons is a boys clothing line for ages 6-18. The clothing line will be a mix of urban street style and a twist to simplicity. More than a clothing line, I want to build a community giving boys confidence in who they are and celebrating their differences.  I believe everyone has a story to share, and no story is better or worse than another. My family has so many dynamics that makes us, us...I love it! Taking it back to how I got started and a little bit about my story, I've been a stay-at-home mom for nine years to my three boys.  I have a 10,12 and 17 year old. I believe everyone has their different seasons and no one does it the same, nor should they.  I decided to put things on hold on and off while staying at home with the ids. Two years ago I started to feel it's time. I did not know exactly for what yet, but I felt a desire growing inside of me.  I started to go through everything I have showed interest for in the past until something clicked. I love my family, fashion and have a heart for the youth. I know how important it is, especially in this day and time, for young people to have great leaders.  They need the type of leaders that will help them discover the leader in themselves. 

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

I definitely have been afraid at times while starting this adventure, but I don't ever want to look back and wonder "what if?". Honestly, I keep talking another step without giving myself a chance to think of fear. I stop where I am and wonder how did that just happen? Ha! I know I have God, my husband and my boys on my side so why not? One of the bigger things that keeps me going is that I know my heart and it's not looking for success but if I can help that one [person]. I feel if ThreeSons keeps that as their core we can only look forward.  

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

My advice for anyone that is dreaming of starting their own creative business would be, GO for it! Obviously not every situation is the same, and yes I believe in wisdom and discernment, but I believe in not letting fear take over your decision making. Love what you do! Inspire yourself and others!

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 are they/is this your fave?

I don't have any quotes memorized, but I always love a good inspiring quote! As for verses I always have a different favorite for my different seasons! But on of my favorites always is James 1:4-6.  It reminds me to not rush, not panic in my current situation, and ask the Father for wisdom.  He's always going to give you time and wisdom.  He loves us so much.

What is your favorite part of running your own business? Why?

I haven't owned my own business for a long time, but I love being able to do something I am passionate about. It's not your typical answer about being in control because that's not what I think makes a company strong. I think it's about having a solid foundation and building on top of that. Always willing to learn, grow, and remember the heart of what started this company is what will keep me taking the next step.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

GIVEAWAY | The Fearless Experiment by Lindsay McPhail

You guys. I am SO excited to offer one of you an opportunity to win a book that has pretty much changed my life and my perspective on the way I live it. I think I should give you a little bit of a background peek into why this woman and this book have impacted me in such a powerful way. 


I was introduced to Lindsay three years ago in a rather 'round about way. I was in need of a graphic designer and a local friend who used her for some branding recommended her. We began the design process and right smack dab in the middle of it she informed me that she could not continue the process. Her reason? She felt as though in her acceptance of my project, she'd blatantly disobeyed God and could not continue doing so. 

This moment marked our relationship for me, honestly. I thought to myself that if she was willing to be that honest about where she was and if she was that committed to following the heart of God and His call on her life, I needed to know her. 

Fast forward three years and even without meeting in person (even though she is only a state away-it's coming Lindsay) she has been one of the most influential, encouraging, uplifting, empowering women in my life. I've shed tears over the phone with her, she has spoken truth when all I could hear were lies, and has taught me how to even more so, relentlessly pursue the heart of God in my own life-fearlessly. 

Her book, The Fearless Experiment, is nothing short of a miracle but you'll have to read the book to find out why. I don't mean to tease you but there's not nearly enough space here even on this blog to even begin to articulate just how powerful Lindsday's story is. 

You can read more of Lindsay's story here
For more information about the book and how you can start living a life more fearless go here

For one super luck person, you will receive a signed copy of Lindsay's new book as well as a surprise treat along with it that you'll have to hop over to my Instagram feed to see! Just leave a comment here for your chance to win. Leave a comment and share via Instagram will afford you double entry! Who doesn't like to up their chances, eh? 

Winner will be announced on Friday! Hugs, love and cheers to a life full of the most amazing adventures filled with FEARLESSness! 


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