A Simple Christmas.

Over the past few years, we’ve chosen to have a simple Christmas. Our tree went up, but all it held was a strand of lights. Christmas stockings were hung, but all the “extras” didn’t get added to the shelves and walls. .The decision was partly because of Alex’s hectic work schedule: he just didn’t have the time to get the decorations down! However, it’s also because we love simplicity during this season.

Simple Christmas Decor, Minimalist Christmas

We were wondering what to do this year. Should we get all the decorations down this year, or just keep it simple again?

Last weekend Alex went to get a Christmas tree… Z-man BEGGED to go with daddy. Miss T and I stayed home and snuggled up with a good movie. He came home with the top of a cedar tree… it was weirdly shaped and the epitome of a Charlie Brown tree. πŸ˜‚ When I began putting sparkly lights a few nights ago… ALL the cedar needles began falling off. This weekend we’ll be hunting for Christmas tree #2. πŸ˜‚

Simple Christmas Decor, Minimalist Christmas

To be honest,Β I’ve felt like Charlie Brown when it comes to Christmas these past few years. The pressure to have the perfect gifts and a perfectly decorated tree makes me wonder:

 

What is Christmas REALLY about?

 

It is a season where Everything. Must. Be. PERFECT? Or maybe it’s more about enjoying this special season, celebrating the birth of a perfect Savior, and less about the stuff.

Simple Christmas

It’s about loving on those around us.

There’s nothing I love more than spending time with family and friends. That’s the best part of this season; getting to be with those we don’t get to see that often. Laughing around the dinner table as Auntie tells the BEST stories. Hearing tales of when we were kids, watching the little ones open their presents… Β and making new memories made with friends we hold dear.

This season should be FILLED with grace.

We have been given so much, so freely. Just pause for a minute, and let that reality permeate into your soul. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t need to have the perfect tree, or go into debt buying the perfect gifts. I can almost hear Jesus whispering “Rest, weary child. Just REST. There’s no need for all this worry over such temporary things.”

Simple Christmas Decor, Minimalist Christmas

So, it’s another Simple Christmas for us. I spent a few hours gathering some greenery in the backyard for window decorations, and the stockings are hung on the mantle… And I love it. I want to spend my time enjoying the people I love, watching Christmas movies and drinking hot cocoa… because to me, that’s what Christmas is all about.

The first Christmas was pretty simple. Why can’t it still be today?


What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

Things You Need to See (Vol. 1)

I’ve never been good at these link round-ups. Not on a routine basis, anyways. (Actually, I never stick with any one thing for too long… not a big fan of routine over here! 😜) However, I often come across articles, ideas, or beautiful things that I want to remember or share with you!

So here we go:

  • A Book Advent Calendar. Seriously, this is the BEST idea! No need to spend lots of money or give candy (if you’re against that kind of thing)… simply wrap up your favorite Christmas books (maybe supplement with a few from Nana’s house!)… & read your way to Christmas. 😍
  • You HAVE to follow on Barbara over on Instagram. She has the most simple, beautifully stunning feed. (And a lovely accent!)
  • The White Envelope. Wait a minute… I have to blow my nose. Seriously… grab your tissues before you read this. 😭😭😭 It made me re-think (yet again!) the meaning of Christmas.
  • OH! Don’t forget that Winterlust, my new clothing line came out on Monday! There’s plenty of time to get your orders shipped before Christmas! (I’ll be putting a rush on anything that has to be made!)

 


Share something that’s been inspiring you below!

Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup.

I’ve been fighting a cold this week. The kind that makes your head feel like it’s exploding, or like you’ve been run over by an 18-wheeler. It’s hard to cook wholesome food when you don’t feel like getting off the couch. (Especially when you can’t really taste it, anyways. πŸ™„ )

But this season just BEGS for comfort food, doesn’t it?

There’s just something about a good hearty dinner; filled with lots of chicken stock (apparently, itΒ actually helpsΒ when you’re sick!) & veggies for extra vitamins & nutrients. 😍 Well, last night I decided we needed soup, so I pulled out one of our favorites:

Sausage, Potato, & Kale Soup.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s a one-pot wonder. I love being able to cook a healthy meal with the least amount of mess possible, and this is DEFINITELY one of those meals. πŸ™ŒπŸ»

First up, brown the ground sausage in a large soup pot. (I like to use Country Style, or make my own.) I love the sound of something sizzling in a pan. 😍

While the meat is cooking, chop a medium sized onion. Add the onion & 3 cloves of minced garlic into the meat & cook it all together for another 5 minutes. Pour in about 7 cups of chicken broth, and add some Rosemary & Thyme.

While you’re waiting for your broth to come to a boil, wash & slice about 5-7 potatoes. (The number depends on how much potato you want in your soup.) I like to leave the skins on, and slice them super-thin so they cook quickly. Add them to the pot and let it simmer.

While you’re waiting for the potatoes to cook (about 15 minutes), start chopping a bunch of kale. I promise, it actually tastes good in this soup… just trust me on this one. πŸ˜‰ (Isn’t this cutting board amazing? It’s made by Bucklebury’s, a local small business run by two of my dear friends!)Β 

Once the kale is chopped, turn the soup down a bit. Add about a cup of whole milk (or heavy cream), and half a cup of sour cream. Stick the kale in there & stir it all around. Let the soup cook for a few minutes to wilt the kale.

I just finished a new set of pot holders, so of course I had give them a test run while making soup. πŸ™‚ They’re made from 100% cotton yarn, and are extra thick to help keep the heat off your hands (and the table!). They work great, and look really pretty too. 😍 (They’re in the Shop – and just the right size for a big soup pot!)

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

 


Click here to download the recipe!

Winterlust.

We got side-swiped with anΒ AWFUL cold this weekend. So, to start out with… please forgive anything that doesn’tΒ make sense. My head is ALL plugged up, I’ve spent most of the day on the couch… and everything feels a bit swirly. πŸ˜‚

So… I’ve been working on another collection. While I really had hoped to get it out mid-November, I’m horrible at planning ahead and usually end up doing EVERYTHING last minute. (Much to Sam’s dismay! 😬 )

However, I’m SO thrilled to show you the new collection. After about 6 months of planning, loads of ideas, new designs (and plenty of procrastination)…

WINTERLUST.

Adventure Pocket Shirt

If you’re a wanderer at heart, then this collection is for you.
It’s designed to inspire new adventures, and encourage you to
chase after wonderment… allΒ while keeping you warm and cozy.

Chasing Wonderment Hoodie

I’m absolutely in LOVE with the Wanderer Hat. It’s fleece lined, crazy-soft, and OH-SO-WARM. 😍😍😍

Wanderer Hat

Winterlust is here just in time for last-minute Christmas shopping!

 

SHOP THE COLLECTION

 

Chilly Mornings and Coffee.

When I was a kid, one of the most exciting things in life was getting to spend the night at my Nana Mel’s house. It was magical… my sister and I had our own special bedroom, and our own pretty nightgowns that smelled like Nana. Nana’s house has it’s own smell… a special blend of her favorite perfume and spices; like Colonial Williamsburg and Tea and Cookies.

The best part was that Nana Mel woke up early. As a kid, I loved getting up before anyone else. I would sneak down the stairs, making sure to be extra quiet so I didn’t wake up my sister (who was NOT a morning person. πŸ˜‚ ) Nana Mel would have a pot of hot coffee made, and I always got a cup. The perfect blend of sugar to coffee.

On chilly mornings we would go outside and sit on the concrete steps. They were cold and damp, so Nana would lay a towel on them and wrap me up in my blankie. We would listen to the birds. “That’s a robin,” she would tell me as her breath made fog in the air. Enjoying sips of coffee while the morning sun made the world sparkle and glisten.

This morning when I woke up early, I groaned a bit inside. We all have colds here, so I woke up with a stuffy nose and sore throat. Yuck. But then…

Stillness. It was quiet. I could hear Canadian geese flying over the house, honking loudly as they flew. Cup of tea with honey to help the stuffy nose. QUIET. Instantly, I was 9 years old again, sitting on Nana’s back step. Peace soaked through my bones, and the memories felt like the best kind of hug.

 

I’m wishing you a morning like this.

(Without the cold, of course. πŸ˜‰)

 


Want more inspiration? CLICK HERE to join the newsletter!

 

When Hard Work Comes Together.

These past few days have been filled with LOTS of work. In between chasing after toddlers, I’ve been prepping for the Winter Clothing Collection photoshoot! It’s been three days full of creativity, screen printing, and all the last minute details.

The best part about the photoshoot day is seeing ALL the designs, creativity, and work that I’ve been focused on for the past 4-6 months actually come into existence! It’s so much fun to see the girls’ excitement over the clothing they were modeling, and to watch Samantha work her magic behind the camera. (She is SO talented!!!)

So, that was this morning. 😍 Stunning girls, and seeing everything my brain has been dreaming up happen in a just a few short hours. I can’t WAIT to share the new collection with you!!!

I decided to take the afternoon off to rest and enjoy life. There have been hot cups of tea, Netflix binging, and enjoying the quiet during the kids’ nap time. 😌 This day couldn’t be any better. Full of adventure, fresh air, and my favorite part of small business: the photoshoots!

 


πŸ‘‡πŸ» Sign up for the newsletter below if you want to see the new Winter collection first! πŸ‘‡πŸ»

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The Rental House is Rented!

Do you remember my post from a few months ago about Hubs’ newest project… another house renovation? Well… here’s how that’s been shaping up over the past few months…

In July, we bought our second property, a small two-story town house that needed a whole lotta love. Thankfully, it wasn’t in as bad a shape as our tiny home, so Hubs knew that the process would go a lot faster. He hoped to have it renovated by the end of this year.

The neighbors came over and told him that he should tear it down. That it was un-liveable, and beyond awful. But we’re crazy, and knew that it could be turned into something lovely. (Have you SEEN what Hubs did with our tiny home? 😍) So, he worked. Almost every night… for 5 months.

It was HARD.

The thing I enjoy most about renovations is being able to see the progress happen over the course of a few days… and watching Z-man’s joy at being able to “help” Daddy. 😍

But SO worth it! He came home on the Monday night before Thanksgiving, and said “It’s Done.” I don’t know when I’ve heard such relief in his voice, except maybe after the kids were born and I was through the worst part of labor! πŸ˜‚ Really, completely renovating a house is a lot like having a baby… it takes a LONG time before you ever get to see progress, but the joy and relief when your “house baby” is finally born is magical! Β πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Before...
& After

Two days after Thanksgiving the renters moved in; a young couple looking to settle down and start a good life together. We’re thrilled to be able to help them get started… and thrilled to have Daddy home again! Until the next project begins, that is… 😬

What do you think of the final renovation?

Thanksgiving Rest.

Hello, dear friend! I hope your weekend was filled with amazing food & LOTS of rest. Our certainly was! We finished a HUGE project right before Thanksgiving (more on that soon!), and I spent the weekend enjoying having Hubs home, eating gluten-free cornbread, and snuggling toddlers. 😌

Our family got to have TWO dinners on Thanksgiving day. Was that ever fun! The morning was well-spent baking Apple Cranberry Crumbles. There’s something wonderful about the spicy, sugar-coated mixture. I love getting the flavors just right. 😍 (I never use a recipe to bake my apple crumble, so if you’re hoping for one… y’all are out of luck. πŸ˜†)

 

In between baking, Hubs dug sweet potatoes in the back yard, while I watched Criminal Minds and knitted on a pair of socks. (After a week of prepping products for Black Friday weekend, I needed a personal project to spice up my creativity. πŸ˜„) They’re almost done, and I couldn’t be happier with how they’re turning out. Now… if I can just finish them without needing another skein of yarn…

This weekend was exactly what we needed… calm, fun, and family. I can’t wait to tell you about the next big project I’m planning!

I’d love to hear from you:
What part of this past weekend did you love the most?

Minimalist Greeting Cards

I’m going on a rant for a few minutes… because, this is something I’m passionate about. Here goes:

I despise buying cards. Birthday cards, Baby shower cards… Pretty much any kind of card. It’s not that think cards are pointless and a waste of money. Actually, it’s the opposite: I really like to find the PERFECT card. And… cards are almost always WRONG.

Seriously; how many times have you gone to the drug store, & spent an hour trying to find the perfect birthday card? The pictures don’t match your Mom’s style, you can’t find one that says “Mee-Maw” on it, and the POEMS. Oh my WORD, don’t get me started on the overly sentimental, sappy poems. I wouldn’t say something like that in person, so why would I ever ask a friend to slog her way through reading it?

Ok. End rant. πŸ˜†

Here’s what I DO like when it comes to sending cards:

  • I like simplicity. Nothing overly fancy or fluffy. I really love having a simple quote or wording that just of says it all. Simple, but meaningful enough to tug at the heartstrings.
  • I also want plenty of room to write my own note. Okay, it’s usually more like a letter… and I always run out of room. If I’m going to send a card, I want it to be something special between me & the person on the receiving end.
  • I like pretty cards! Gorgeous papers, and smooth velvety envelopes (in some other color besides white or pink!) Why can’t cards be simple, AND pretty?

I got frustrated by the lack of cards, & I think I’ve designed the perfect card set.

 

 

Introducing: the Minimalist Cards.

It’s a simple 5×7 greeting card. No fold, but a flat piece of textured, thick paper. Each card has a phrase on the front, which can often be used for multiple occasions. The minimalist design leaves PLENTY of room for writing that note (err… I mean book) on the back. The cards comes with matching deep gray envelopes.

The best part: You can purchase the cards individually, or mix and match to create your own perfect set! I have pricing for up to 20 cards… If you’re looking for a large bulk amount, Please Contact Me Here!

 

AND…
*drum roll please*Β 

I also have added minimalist Christmas cards to the shop, too! These cards have simple, traditional Christmas phrases, & there’s plenty of room on the 5×7 card to tape your favorite family photo on the back.

 

 

Happy Shopping!

 

Cornbread.

I have to start my story today with a bit of backstory. Z-man is GREAT at keeping his food on (and at) the table. He likes to test his boundaries like any toddler, but once he learns the rules, he’s fairly good at keeping them.

Miss T, however, is a WHOLE different ball of wax. She’s a little tiny tornado, and breaks the rules as much as she can… no matter how much I fuss at and correct her. She’s fiercely independent, stubborn, and a total wild-child. (I don’t know where she gets that from… πŸ˜† )

So. Last night, I gave the kids some cornbread as an after-dinner snack. It was left-over from the night before, and the kids loved it. They were settled, busily snacking on their crumbly bread and watching Chuggington. I decided they were behaving (HA!), and went into the laundry room to fold the laundry mountain.

All was well. I kept checking on them briefly, but not really looking at much beyond their faces.Β Soon enough, it was almost bedtime. I walked into the living room, only to see the horror in front of me:

There. Were. Crumbs. EVERYWHERE.

It was a crumb massacre. I had no clue one small piece of cornbread could turn into so many crumbs. They were strewn all over the floor like confetti on New Year’s Eve. I still don’t know how she did it. I tried to do a “miss the crumbs all over the floor” dance to go into their room, because it was time to start putting away toys and to get ready for their bedtime routine. It didn’t work. Then I realized that that Miss T had pranced her little self (and whatever was left of her cornbread) INTO THE BEDROOM.

All in the span of about 20 minutes, my house went from “fairly-neat” to “Crumb-Laden War Zone”. I was quite a bit bewildered, and hid in the laundry room for the rest of the night (the only clean place left in the house). I managed to sweep the crumbs off the sheets, off the floor, and the kids finally fell sleeping in their beds.

My question at first was this: Β How can one TINY girl make such a mess?Β 

 

But after I had time to cool down, I started thinking. What if I made a mess like that? Not with cornbread… but with INSIRATION. What if I started sharing my passion for living well, slowing down, and chasing wonderment? If I kept going no matter what anybody said, could I help change someone’s life? What if instead of just sitting here, hoping to make a difference someday… I actually get up and start spreading joy-filled inspiration like Miss T’s cornbread crumbs?

Who knew all of these deep thoughts could come from my toddler’s cornbread massacre? 😏

So I want to ask you:

 

What can YOU do with your piece of cornbread?

 


Join in the conversation below! I’d love to hear from you:

What are you passionate about? What can you
spreadΒ around like Miss T’s cornbread crumbs? πŸ˜€

 

Give Yourself a BREAK.

Please hear me today, dear friend… because I want these words to wrap around you and feel like the BEST kind of hug:

You are doing an AMAZING job. Yes, you. You; with your laundry mountain and all those unfinished projects. You, with that frazzled unwashed hair and the pile of papers waiting to be finished for the next school assignment. The choices you made are the best you could make at the time… especially when dealing with cranky kids, a headache, and only one cup of coffee.

A bunch of half-finished Christmas ornaments that I never listed in the shop last year.

This week I’ve really been pondering the idea that we need to be a good boss. You see: I’ve been a HORRIBLE boss to myself. I constantly beat myself up for decisions I’ve made.Β I’ve spent too long thinking that I’m not doing a good enough job. I’m not working hard enough, the business isn’t growing fast enough, I don’t know how to balance work and home and family and life.

On, and on, and on it goes.

Here’s what I’ve decided:

 

 

As my own boss, I’d tell me to stop working when I’m not thinking clearly.

I’d tell me to go soak in the tub instead of trying to crank out one more assignment.

And I DEFINITELY wouldn’t let me feel guilty for buying that Chai tea latte.

 

Put the crochet hook down… you’ve worked on these for 3 hours straight. Take a break.

So for the past few days, I’ve been trying a new experiment: Whenever I start feeling discouraged or disappointed in myself, I’m trying to be a better boss. Instead of letting my inner “mean girl” take the reigns, I want to remind myself of the truth:

 

You made the BEST decision you could given the circumstances.

Even if you messed up… it isn’t the end of the world! You can start again tomorrow.

And in the words of Tom Haverford & Donna Meagle: “TREAT YO’ SELF!”

 

 

One Dozen Done! (Click the photo if you want a set!)

I want to hear from you…

How are you being a good (or bad!) boss to yourself?

and…

What are some things you can tell yourself
when your inner mean girl tries to beat you up?

November Journaling Prompts

I’ve been journaling for over 15 years now (Man, that makes me sound old. 😳)Β As I’ve grown into adulthood, the practice of writing each day has become a love of mine. I write prayers, feelings, thoughts, and (of course) there’s a bit of venting about things that are frustrating.

I would love to be able to share my love of journaling with you!Β So, I’ve created a list of journaling prompts for the month of November! If you’re new to the world of journaling, or just starting after a long break… here are a few Simple Tips for Journaling.

 

Scroll down to download and print November’s Journal prompts!

30 Journal Prompts for each day of November - start journaling today!

I hope you enjoy these prompts! CLICK HERE to download the printable PDF of the prompts at the end of this post… feel free to print it out, share it on Facebook, or pin the image above on Pinterest!