Tuesday, October 10

INSTA SNAPSHOTS | Summer Collapsed into Fall



If you don't follow me on Instagram you've been missing out on lots of pictures of how the new house is coming along.

And I get it...some of you just don't want to add one more app or social media commitment to your life! I completely understand.

Hence...my decision to start sharing periodic "Insta Snapshots" of my Instagram feed so I can keep you in the loop with things you may be missing out on.

I'll simply post a square image containing 9 different photos I've posted on IG recently and do a little breakdown below of each pic. Simple, right?

Top to bottom, left to right
1. Ella's room - wallpaper by Anewall - WOW! We love it.
2. Love me some Magnolia Journal
3. "Gratitude...when what you have is enough" - instant download sign in my shoppe
4. View of our dining table looking into the living room
5. View of my hutch
6. "And All At Once Summer Collapsed Into Fall" - instant download sign in my shoppe
7. Guest Bedroom (using a World Market runner on bed - see it on my table in pic #9)
8. Same sign as #6 but with white background
9. Dining table - pretty runner from World Market (also used on guest bed - see #7)


That was easy...and now I feel like you are caught up a little bit.
I've been decorating for Fall using leaves and branches I've collected from around the neighborhood and I'm loving it. Keeping things simple you guys. My life. My decor. My schedule.

It feels awesome.

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Finally starting to feel normal again after having bronchitis since right after Hurricane Irma blew threw. It feels nice to feel normal, doesn't it?
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Wednesday, September 20

LIFE | Do You See What I See



Man oh man oh man!
Every time I'm all geared up for sharing + blogging these days, I feel like I'm surrounded by crises that cause me to pause and prevent me from posting.

First it was Harvey in Houston.
Then Irma in my home state of Florida.
The earthquake in Mexico - the 2nd one in two weeks!
And Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico right now.
And I intentionally refrained from using adjectives because every single event has been devastating. 
That's not even touching on the fires in the Northwest and so many other natural disasters going on simultaneously.

So....I keep putting blogging off to the side...
feeling awkward and inappropriate.
Guilt stops me from talking about fun things when so much suffering is occurring around me.

I have to shamefully admit I've even found myself on several occasions disappointed in SMF's aka social media friends, who continue their regularly scheduled posting, not even so much as uttering a word of concern for the many lives being changed, wrecked and even taken.

I think it's the similar feelings associated with losing someone. It's almost appalling and heart wrenching to see the world continue on as normal...not even a slight pause...when your world has come to a complete standstill.

BUT...
Here's where the growth and learning come into play.
Once again, I have realized the importance of normalcy and "business as usual" - as heartless as it may seem. 
It's crucial to our survival to not miss a beat.
It's imperative for the ones that are struggling to watch others move forward.
There's a healing that occurs. And though it's painful, I truly believe it to be part of His plan.

So, today I have had a change of heart.
I think I'm realizing, again, there is never going to be a perfect time to share things for there is and always will be something horrific going on in the world.

My blog is my safe place - and hopefully a safe place for you as well.
It's the place I come to when I want to tune out the world.
It's a place for me to laugh...and cry... and frankly everything in between.
My blog is a part of me; therefore it's a part of the world.
Today, because I am able, I choose to be the place of normalcy, the "business as usual".
I choose to be the escape.
However, I will also choose to pray.

Having said that, turn your eyes back to the photo at the beginning of the post - a photo taken just this morning by a sweet Florida friend on Facebook. In her own words, "Do you see what I see in the bright sunlight coming through the trees?"

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Hurricane Irma punched our state right in the face. We were without power for 5 days here in Florida but our area faired considerably well compared to areas within minutes of us. The Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas, the communities we now call home, endured considerable flooding, power outages and property damage.

The silver lining? Ella, Hamilton and I disappeared for a few days while power was being restored and headed back home to Central Florida to stay with my mom (and Ella stayed with her best friend). I got to surprise my two older girls by showing up at their places of employment and also share dinner and breakfast with them.

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Wednesday, August 30

GIVE | Love Served Here



Feeling inspired to do something to help the people of Texas who've been devastated by Hurricane Harvey, I'm donating 100% of the profits from this sign to the ongoing relief + recovery efforts.

The selfless acts of service + love depicted in images across social media and the news outlets truly defines us as a nation. We always come together and serve up love to one another...quite generously. It's truly inspiring.

Hang the printable sign in your dining/kitchen area - a reminder of your donation but more importantly, a reminder of the greatest thing we can do in this life...love one another.

Click here to make your $10 donation now!
UPDATED AUGUST 30th TO INCLUDE MORE SIZES - as requested by YOU!!

Receive 8 different signs... 4 sizes, two different backgrounds in each size. 
2 - 8x10 signs (chalkboard background + white background)
2 - 11x14 signs (chalkboard background + white background)
2 - 16x20 signs (chalkboard background + white background)
2 - 24x36 signs (chalkboard background + white background)


Lifting up the people of Texas through prayers...
xoxo
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I keep thinking about something my friend Heidi posted on IG the other day...
"Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of Christ".
Perhaps you needed to hear that too? xoxo

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Monday, August 28

BOOKS | Summer Reading


So before we kick off our beach sandals and tip toe into the Fall season, I just had to share with you the books I collected this summer.

You may want one (or two), for yourself...OR...you may want to add them to your ongoing "Gift Ideas" list. You have one of those too, don't you? You know, in the "notes" section on your phone? A list of names of the people you love and shop for throughout the year with links or descriptions to things you find randomly throughout the year? I know I'm not the only one who does this, am I? Well if you don't already do this...then I just gave you the best idea! *wink*

Anyway, I'm listing the books below with affiliate links to Amazon just in case:

Cut Flower Garden - I bought this one to inspire me to create a small cutting garden in my
                                  backyard. I follow Floret Farms on IG and really respect their story + growing
                                  process. I wasn't able to dive into this book yet, unfortunately, and a cutting
                                  garden was not in the cards for me this Summer but I will be using the Fall +
                                  Winter months to map out a plan for next spring.
                               

The Making of a Rag Doll - First, I do NOT sew. Regardless, I had high hopes of making a rag
                                  doll with Ella over the summer, using a glue gun or the iron-on fabric adhesive
                                  technique I've yet to try. lol But nope. Did not happen. But I love this book and
                                  the adorable dolls in it and I may just end up making this a secret project and
                                  making one for Ella for Christmas this year. *wink* (She has one that her sister, 
                                  Ema, made for her years ago. It's the funniest looking doll and yet the sweetest 
                                  doll I've ever seen since Em made it using scraps of fabric, yarn + buttons from
                                  around the house.  I should totally share it here on the blog. (see book on Insta)

The Wellness Project - This has been a fun + interesting book to read. I'm still not done with it but
                                  Phoebe takes us along on her year-long "wellness journey" she started in an
                                  attempt to heal her autoimmune disease. What I love about this book is she
                                  chose 12 different health-related topics to implement, try, research each month.
                                  So this book is not just about food - although there's a yummy smoothie recipe 
                                  she shares that I've been LOVING. She also touches on topics including "green
                                  makeup", posture, hormones, sleep and more. I shared it on Insta!

100 Days of Real Food - Really been loving this book. I've used it to cook many a meal over the
                                  summer. Ella's favorite recipe was the Mac + Peas. Very yummy. It's just a
                                  really great book of recipes for making the process of cooking REAL food easy
                                 + fun. The No-Bake Peanut Butter Oat Bars are YUM and approved by us all.
                                 No one liked the Lime + Cilantro Coleslaw though. *wink*

The Magnolia Story - Need I say more? No, but seriously, I bought this book right before we moved
                                  and I haven't even cracked it open yet. Ha!! But I know it's good because so
                                  many people have said so. *wink* And it's Chip + Joanna. You've already read
                                  it, haven't you?

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm - I've only looked at the pictures. I got this before we
                                   moved too. I follow Liz, from Love Grows Wild on Instagram and love her
                                   charming style. And even though I'm moving away from the "farmhouse" style
                                   home decor, (I mentioned why on my Insta and will expand on it more
                                   here at some point), there are fun DIY projects in this book! It's the whole
                                   reason I bought it in the first place.  A lot of the projects can easily be adapted
                                   to fit a lot of different home decor styles. (like the simple greenery wreath,
                                   printed book page art, monogrammed doormat, etc.)

Hand lettering for Relaxation - Haven't even popped this one open yet, just so many other books
                                   things fighting for my attention. But it's a pretty book. And I love hand lettering
                                   and I love to relax so it seemed like a no-brainer to get this one. Ha!!

The 4-Hour Work Week - Have not even looked at this one yet. It's thick. So maybe I'm
                                   intimidated? But it came highly recommended by Emily Ley so....I bought it.
                                   And the title sounded very promising. Although truth be told, I'm not a fan of
                                   the cover.  It'll never make it onto the coffee table - which I don't even have yet.
                                 
The Turquoise Table - "Finding Community and Connection in your Own Front
                                     Yard." That pretty much sounded exactly like the book I needed having just
                                      moved into a new neighborhood who's tagline is "front porch living". Truth?
                                      Haven't opened it yet. *frown* I'm still excited to read it because it goes
                                      hand-in-hand with my search for simple + authentic living. It'll get read.

Chasing Slow - The only book I read from cover to cover this Summer. It's SO good you guys.
                          I will be reading this one again. Not even kidding. I already posted about it here
                          but it's worth saying again...this book gives such a fresh perspective to this crazy,
                          fast, chaotic world we live in...through a true story, from a real person. LOVE!!

Devotions from the Front Porch - Truth? I bought it because I loved the front cover. And it went
                                       right along with my desire to start my day off by reading something
                                       inspirational by the morning light on my front porch.

So there you go. If you've read any of these I'd love to know what you thought.
Better yet, do you have any must-have reads you'd like to share with me? Let me know!!

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Notice in my opening paragraph I used the word "collected" and not "read" when referencing my summer books. *wink*
If anything, my list of books may point to a possible addiction?
And that I apparently have a real problem with actually starting and finishing them. Hmmm? I should look into that.                             
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Monday, August 21

HOME DECOR | Summer Collapsed Into Fall


Ella is back in school.
Summer is slipping away.
The sun will be "collapsing" into the moon later today during the total solar eclipse.
And so yes...a new sign felt very appropriate.

This quote by Oscar Wilde sums up my feelings exactly on letting go of Summer. (you guys already know how I feel about it by now...it's the same song and dance every year for me, isn't it?). *wink*

Love the sign too?
It's now an instant download in my Etsy shoppe, so you could literally print this and have it hanging in your own home by the end of the day...if you really wanted to. AND...there's a chalkboard version too! Want to see it?


So there you go.
A new season.
A new sign.
And a new sky today...at least for a little bit.
I think that about wraps it up for me. *wink*

xoxo,
Jess

KEEPiNG iT REAL
Ella is home sick today...
I probably would've just kept her home anyway because apparently strange things happen during an eclipse. Have you heard that? Do you believe it?
Regardless, I'm taking advantage of the extra snuggle time I get with her.

Truthfully, I don't really care much about the eclipse and I'm feeling super guilty about it.
Would you believe me if I told you I didn't even know it was even happening until a couple of weeks ago?

I'm standing in a CVS getting ready to check out and some lady walks in and asks the cashier if they carry solar eclipse glasses. I literally thought to myself, "What a weirdo. Who walks in and asks for that?"  I forgot about the incident and two days later a neighbor mentioned her plans of traveling to Tennessee for optimal viewing of the eclipse. I pretended to know what she was talking about. Then the very next day, a friend told me her husband and her two girls had plans to travel to see it as well. Are you kidding me??? Hello? Where in the world had I been? Under a rock apparently. *giggling*

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