Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#influenceconf meet + greet

Today, I'm linking up to share a bit about myself as I prepare to head to the Influence Conference in just about a week. My oft-neglected blog has been a little lonely lately, so this link up is a good excuse to wake it up!

I'm Ashley. Wife, momma, entrepreneur, lover of all things gold and patterned. I'm an extroverted introvert and love to make lists and load things onto my plate, but I also thrive on down time and dreaming.

The part of the conference I'm most excited about:
I can't wait to connect with old friends and make some new. I'm also so looking forward to soaking in wisdom and truth and inspiration from the speakers and conference leaders.

The one thing I won't leave home without:
I'm also quite excited for the Sashes Market - so Dez and I are definitely not leaving home without our Well-Press goodies, including our Influence Conference limited edition Well-Thought notebook (which, by the way, is up for pre-sale right now, and we are offering a discount when you purchase before the conference)! I was a vendor in the market last year as well (selling my jewelry), so I'm anxious to see how it goes this time around.  We pray these journals will be such a blessing to each woman who uses them!

Can't wait to see you there!  xoxo.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

freshly picked

I have been eyeing Freshly Picked baby moccasins for years, so naturally I was beside myself when presented with an opportunity to try a pair out on my Evyn girl.

These adorable handmade moccs are the real deal. Durable and sturdy, they are fitted with elastic around the ankles to ensure that they don't slip off baby's feet. They are available in a variety of colors of leather and suede.

I could not be more pleased with the quality and performance of these moccs! Evyn loves them, too - they help her walk with ease and she doesn't slip on our wood floors when they are on her feet. Plus, two words: Radiant. Orchid.

I'm also hosting a huge giveaway on Instagram that includes a pair of Freshly Picked moccs as well as a bunch of other treats for mama & baby. The giveaway is running for just a few more hours (ends at midnight tonight!), so get moving if you haven't entered yet!

**While I received a pair of Freshly Picked baby moccasins for free in return for this review, I was not paid to write this post.**

Monday, April 7, 2014


My sweet girl turned five. years. old. today.

We partied all weekend, ate ice cream three times today, and vowed to keep party decor up all week.

I can't even put my feelings about this girl into words... she made me a mom - she gave me the one thing I longed for, the thing that no material gift could top. She is sensitive and confident, beautiful and creative, wise and caring, intuitive and hilarious. She's my mini-me, my daughter, my friend, my calm, my storm.

When Brynlee was born, I had never experienced such a juxtaposition of fierce elation and crippling terror. In the midst of those intense highs and lows, I grew. She's changed me - and I am so grateful that I get to be her mom.

Since she was a newborn, Brynlee has loved the song "Baby Mine" and there is rarely an instance of a bedtime routine involves a request of anything but "Baby Mine and scratch my back." It is, and always will be, our special thing. One line boasts, "What they'd give, just for the right to hold you." Regardless of my day, my mood, my exhaustion, that line gets me every time. The Lord chose me to mother this soul - out of anyone. I just pray she can learn from me a fraction of what I've learned from her in just five years.

Happy birthday my lovey girl!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

april goals

I love making lists. Have I said that before? More than making lists, I love crossing items OFF of to-do lists. I know I'm not the only one, but I so often write down something I've already done so I can immediately cross it off.

I do love lists, but goal lists make my heart flutter and I get all fired up. I actually wrote down goals for this past month (not realizing that recording monthly goals were kind of a blog "thing" lately) and didn't do as well as I had hoped - but I didn't try very hard either.  

March goals:
- Focus on Lent. - Success, so far! I had never in my life given up anything for Lent, but doing so this year has been exactly what I needed to do. It has been so personal and refreshing and deep.
- Lose 10 lb, workout daily, count calories. - Semi-success - no workouts but I have lost a few lbs! Perhaps when Spring really does decide to come I will be able to do things like, you know, GO OUTSIDE and MOVE AROUND. Sheesh.
- Get up earlier than the kids. - Nope. Probably not going to ever happen, or at least not going to happen until my kids are teenagers and want to sleep til noon. I am a total night owl and NOT a morning person!
- Plan a small group girls' night. - Sadly, I didn't do this yet. We start up small group again next week (we are on a 3 week break) and I can't wait to chat with my girls and make plans.
- Read "Desperate" again. - Started it, but didn't finish.

I hope my April goals aren't too lofty, especially since we will be on vacation for 1/4 of the month, but I'll give them a go!

April goals:
- Continue to focus on Jesus in this season of Lent, and truly understand sacrifice - though it be on such a small scale.
- Spend consistent time in the Word. I'm always striving for this.
- Blog 2-3 times a week.
- Stay focused on my mae + nolia shop responsibilities, deals, and extra in-the-works projects.
- Read 2 books while on vacation (Finish "Desperate" and I'm not sure what else I'll dig into).
- Lose a few more pounds. Mama is determined to fit into all those clothes hanging in her closet & to also start feeling good about herself again!

I love that Hayley from The Tiny Twig is now doing a monthly link-up for goal setting inspiration and support. I'll be linking up and pressing on - bring it, April!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

mae + nolia, one word, & dreams

I'm staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page, not sure where to begin. Welcome to my newly-renamed blog and quiet space. I'm hoping to make this space a lot less quiet from now on.
mae + nolia? I like naming things. I like when things have deep, deep meaning... almost to a fault. Mae is obviously after my girl, and Nolia alludes to magnolia, which is a favorite spring bloom of mine and, to me, represents a fresh, beautiful start. My shop now has the same name, and this new consistency and simplicity makes my heart happy.


Life is busy and so full. I love to plan; I need to plan. I never do not have at least five lists going and I'd be lost without my calendars (one in an actual paper planner, one on my phone). I want to do everything - it's never possible, but it's in my nature to just want to do it all. I'm working on prioritizing my plans as they relate to the things that matter most. My family must not suffer in my efforts to prioritize and sort out this mind that is just fit to burst with all I must do. Thankfully, God is so gracious and so good - and He shows me the good He's made in me, despite my tendency to see only the flaws in my nature.


Despite it being April of this year already, I want to record my word of the year. I've chosen a word for the year, every year, for the past few years. This year, it's faithful. I couldn't even begin to recount the instances in the past year that the Lord has been so blatantly faithful. From answers to long-time prayers (and the answers were "yes" answers, nonetheless!), to the grace I've seen extended, to the blessings that have been piled upon me and my family, to the opportunities that have been given (and the close-walking He's required of me through these opportunities) - He's been faithful. Let me say it again: He's been so faithful. I am brought to tears by the simple, yet rich words of the song that declares, "You are faithful, God you are faithful." He's faithful when I'm not. I've had a renewed longing to show Him the faithfulness He's heaped upon me.

I am so lucky to have friends that understand me and dream with me. Mid-last year, my dear friend Dezirae and I collaborated to start a business that integrated our love for paper goods, organization, lists, notebooks, design, and doing life well. Enter: Well-Press Paper.

We've set up shop and were even able to participate in a local indie artisan market in the fall.  Our brand focus is not just on well designed, handmade and/or handstitched, high quality paper products - it's a mission and conviction to do LIFE well. Prioritize, then after those priorities are nailed down, do them well. In our brand's development, we've clung to Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. Constant renewal and transformation. I do like my endeavors to have a deep-rooted meaning, don't I? ;)


One more thing: I'll be hosting an Instagram (I'm @maeandnolia) giveaway next week to "celebrate" my rebrand. It's going to be a "fun things for both mama and baby" giveaway - with a handful of lovely shops participating (which may or may not include Freshly Picked moccasins)!

Friday, October 4, 2013

#influenceconf - "you are not the hero of your story"

Just a week ago I was in Indy at the Influence Conference. I'm still processing so much of the conference. I loved participating in the market, the speakers and workshops deeply stirred my heart, and I was able to spend sweet quality time with new friends and old.

Out of the entire time there, I think that the sentence that is most etched into my soul was spoken by Ellen during her workshop: "You are not the hero of your story."  I was so freed by those words - to be reminded that I am loved & known by Jesus and my words are a vessel to bring Him glory.  Always.  I was reminded that God gives us our passions, so pursuing them is nothing but the act of glorifying Him. Oh, and Ellen, you have a new stalker admirer. I was, and am, so extremely inspired by you and the hero of your story.

I'm still a bit overwhelmed (even after the fact) by the entire experience and I haven't fully unpacked my mind.  I'm grateful to have been covered with inspiration and wisdom and ideas and truth.  And I sure was glad to come home to my littles - as much as it was so good for me to get away, 4 days was entirely too long to be away from them.  We'll be spending this weekend celebrating Evyn's 1st birthday - I'm at a loss as to how this is happening already.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


the cooler fall weather.  And the fact that I got a gel mani today!

um, do my to-do lists count?  Otherwise, nada.  I'm bringing my copy of Unglued to Influence and plan on (finally) reading it on my flight home.

waiting for: 
my durn headache to cry uncle.  Oww.

excited about: 
the Influence Conference.  And also feeling quite throw-up-nervous.  One day left.  NBD.

trying to: 
wrap my brain around how it is possible that I turned 30 last weekend.  Also, how it is possible that my baby will be ONE IN A LITTLE OVER A WEEK. 

working on:
 jewelry, packing for the conference, prepping kid stuff for while I'm gone.

New Girl.  I actually finished the second season in about a day as I worked on jewelry for the conference this past weekend.  I am convinced those actors are actually their characters IRL and want to be their friends.  I need all the advice on how to deal with "street youths" that I can get!

purple shampoo once a week or so.  I went back to blond a few months ago (oh yes I did) and everyone kept mentioning the elusive purple shampoo that combats brassiness.  I bought, used, and was convinced.  I'm just now wondering how it's taken me 30 years to even know about this stuff's existence.  I've been using this one and getting great results.

 a sweatshirt and sweatpants.  Comfy and unimpressive.

my outfits and such for the conference.  Not because I am so stylish, but because my brain is so out in left field that if I don't plan them down to every last detail, I'll forget key pieces.  Like pants.

"Who's that girl?  It's Mae!" to Evyn, and to the tune of the New Girl theme song.  Obsessed.

to put it bluntly, sleep.

that I can't do it all... unless I don't sleep.  Then I can do it all and I am mean and overwhelmed. 
It's a really hard balance.

listening to: 
The Civil Wars and the ticking of the clock.

my "studio" had a bit more flat surfaces and a few more shelves.  In time... for now I will say I am so very grateful to have the space I do have!

lately (well, always) lots of multitasking.  It makes me tired, but I feel so much more alive when I'm productive!

dreaming of: 
the (until now) secret new business that my dear friend Dezirae and I have been so carefully planning for about four months now.  We're not quite ready to open shop yet, but we have big things in the works.  For now I'll say three words: handstitched paper goods.  Well made, well planned, well designed.  We like the word "well."  Wink.


I'll be leaving on a jet plane early Thursday morning (just typing those words is making my stomach flip out) for the conference.  The schedule looks full and wonderful and I am excited to present my jewelry to the market - I've never participated in any type of market so I'm feeling quite the range of extreme emotions.  I just want to be able to rest in where my identity lies and continue to pray through each moment and be constantly checking my heart while I'm there.  I'm also so incredibly excited to hear the speakers and attend the workshops and glean wisdom from these talented people.  I hope I can rest my heart and just soak it all in.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

the influence conference linkup

I'm not even sure I can describe my feelings about the upcoming Influence Conference.

In just a few words I'd say I am insanely nervous, excited, and hopeful. I wasn't able to attend the conference last year because of Evyn's birth a few days prior, so I bought my ticket for this year immediately after last year's conference. Let's just say my anticipation has been growing for exactly a year now. I'm looking forward to the plethora of information and beauty and inspiration and things to soak in. I'm not the biggest social butterfly, so I'm hoping I'll be able to just take it all in, relax, and enjoy myself without worrying about the kids at home and letting my nerves get the best of me.

2 things I'll be sure to have in my bag: 
- A great notebook (more on that to come!) and pen 
- My phone and charger - both which I'll have with me at all times. My phone dies so mysteriously quickly.

2 things I'm looking forward to during the conference: 
- Meeting new friends & the speaker lineup. Also, spending time with my buddy Ashley. She gets me, and her presence will put me at ease. 
- The Sashes Market - I fully intend on spending lotsa money on all the pretty things there! I'm also going to be a vendor in the market, and I'll be bringing a big stash of my jewelry.

If you're attending, I can't wait to see you there. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

updates for days

Wooah. So. Much. Info. To. Share.

Let's just delve right in. This has been a busy, BUSY season in my life. It's funny, I feel like once school starts things will actually calm down- probably because we will actually have a set schedule. But, who am I kidding? I'll probably still be running around like a crazy person, because that's how I do.

My first VeryJane deal went super well, yet I did pull my first all-nighter of my whole life finishing up as my deadline loomed. So a few weeks later, I got the itch again, and here I am- currently I'm taking a break from cutting and ironing, in preparation to again make over 150 headbands for my second deal, which ended a few days ago. But bonus! As I sew the night (and early morning) away, Netflix comes to the rescue! I am an expert on many things now, thanks to Netflix, including Taylor Swift, Auschwitz, nursery schools in NYC, homebirths, and I also mastered the first season of New Girl and the entire series of Felicity. I've also listened to many o' sermon, podcast, and my entire iTunes playlist so many times that listening to them now brings me to the point of nausea. And yet, I love it all. I love growing my business, making some money, and feeling like I am contributing financially. It's stressful but fun.

Speaking of my shop, there have been a few more exciting things unfolding. I prayed so hard for my business to grow. I prayed that just ONE opportunity would come up. Most of all, I prayed that God would reveal Himself to me through even my business and keep my heart and intentions focused solely on Him. Not focusing on money, popularity, success, or my own skills and creativity, but ONLY on Him. And, with that mindset, He has graciously chosen to bless me. I need to have daily (sometimes hourly... okay, by the minute) heart-checks to be sure that I am not focused on how many people have favorited my shop or commented on my photos or how many sales I've made- and if I do let myself be consumed with those things, to be serious with God and if my intentions are not right, to request He take everything away from me. I love that He can grow me and change my heart through ANYTHING, even through business, as silly as it may sound. I pray that I consciously need Him every single step of the way.

The past few weeks have been a little extra stressful with the all my work and endeavors combined with mothering combined with Ryan being out of town all week. He got a new job and is training - so being mom and dad for weeks straight has been hard.

I've also updated my shop with tons of new pretties - and I have even more to photograph and list. I just tonight brought a bunch of headbands to my salon and they will be for sale there as well. 

Also! I am going to be a vendor in the Sashes Market at the The Influence Conference at the end of September. I am terrified and nervous. But crazy excited.
Also, also. I was a contributor to The Tethered Crate this past month and I'm giving away a shop credit on The Tethered Crate blog - there's still a few days left to enter!

We had some special visitors this past month. Kerry, Rob, Luke and Lilah stayed for a quick and wonderful visit at the beginning of the month. The next weekend, the Wards came to spend a super awesome few days with us. And then the next weekend, my sweet Sarah from Boston visited for the weekend. Love.

Then there's my kids... Brynlee is 4 going on 25, Mac is suddenly potty trained, and Evyn is a crawling machine and has two teeth threatening to poke through. How is this all happening all so fast?! I do love it so much though- I love my big kids and I love the reward of them becoming less and less physical "work" and more and more molding and teaching and humor and eye opening wonder. Just the other day, Brynlee randomly said to me, "Mommy, the world is just so interesting!" Oh my sweet girl.  Sometimes I feel like I learn way more from them than they learn from me.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

turban headbands a-plenty

Just a little heads up- my turban style handmade headbands will be featured on VeryJane tomorrow for almost 50% off.  A limited quantity will be available in 5 colors (black, grey, mustard, coral, and cobalt) and are super soft and comfy.  The deal will go live in just a few hours!  I'm so excited but oh so nervous.

And... I have some crazy pretty friends-turned-models, don't I?  Lucky me!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Evyn Mae's nursery

Well now, I just might have my 9 month old Evyn's nursery about 90% completed. 
And I finally took some (poorly lit) pictures to prove it!

 Evyn would like to say... 

I wanted a simple, vintage feel to Evyn's nursery, without too much pink (but still a bit for good measure). I so enjoyed searching for the perfect little trinkets and treasures to make the room special, along with fabrics and baskets (which I'm still on the hunt for ones I love). All of the little shoes and dresses in the room were mine as a baby.  I DIYed a few things, repainted things (including the light fixture that we originally put up in Brynlee's nursery in our first house), and continue to swoon over a few things (read: that RUG). I'd be happy to supply any vendor info/DIY details if anyone is interested!


 Lots of happy and fun news to come regarding my shop. Soon!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

headbands & a handmade giveaway

I've added handmade knotted and turban wrap headbands to my Etsy shop! I'm also offering a coupon code to celebrate. I'm loving these headbands- the knotted ones look especially cute on my girls. They're stretchy and soft and made with love and care (and also made to order).

And... why don't I give away winner's choice of one knotted headband or one turban wrap headband?  Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter!  xo!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 22, 2013

let's play catch-up

Well hello there.  Clearly, a game of catch-up is in order around these parts.  I've been so busy- physically but mostly mentally.  My mind is a constant jumble-y swirl of big ideas, to-dos, emotions, inspiration, anxieties, and dreams, yet writing all those things down seems to be the most ultimately exhausting and overwhelming task lately.  I want to do, see, feel, and be everything.  Sometimes, when I want to do everything I have a hard time starting even one thing.  I'm not discouraged; I'm actually more inspired and hopeful in so many ways than I have been in a long time.  Yet, I know writing is so therapeutic for me, so I think a little effort needs to be made.  Surely I will miss many details in this collection of words from the past three months (especially since my brain is pure mush these days- yet I can remember entire songs from 90's boy bands from my highschool days word-for-word but can't remember if I took my vitamins five minutes ago- it's bad, people), but let the mental flow begin!

Let's play catch-up!

projects I've/we've been working on:

landscaping, room designing, nursery finishing (I swear I'll take/share pictures, hopefully before Evyn grows out of the crib), basement designing (I'm trying to make the space more efficient and organized- for the kids AND me), losing weight (blah- dropping the baby weight the third time around has been so tough for me), putting laundry away before it's been sitting in the basket for a week (I'm rarely successful at this), a rock box and a built in bench/storage in our back entryway (built by Ryan, who is killin' it with project completion lately!), various lovely-fabric-involving accessories throughout the house, and sorting through thousands of pictures on my computer- I need to delete seriously 1/3 of them due to blurriness, duplicates, etc.  It's such a daunting task!

things I've been learning:

Oh my.  This one might get lengthy.  I tend to have my thinking time and epiphanies when I'm in the shower or doing something in which writing down my thoughts is impossible (and immediately writing down said thoughts is vital or else they are GONE- mush brain, remember?) so I'll try my very hardest to keep the thoughts and ideas from flying away and, as soon as I can, dictate them into the notes app on my phone so they are at least somewhat preserved.

I'm learning that I need to find my identity in Christ ALONE.  Not in being a mother, wife, friend, daughter... I could go on but I'm pretty sure my point has been made.  I need to be confident in my identity.  There needs to be no room for fear and uncertainty.

I'm learning that I need to not only endure this crazy, exhausting, overwhelming season of life I'm in (I love my kids more than life but having three kids three and under has just plain rocked my world way harder than my smug self ever thought it would), but I need to also embrace it.  I originally named this blog "Embrace the Space" because I was focusing on embracing the fact that we had moved away from home and I needed to accept where we were physically living and doing life.  I feel like the "embracing" sentiment applies more figuratively to me now- it's all so cliche and yet so darn true.

I'm learning (from reading "Desperate") that one of the most important things I need to do right now is turn off the "voices."  Whether it be trying to avoid getting lost on Facebook, choosing to not read every (well-meaning) advice/parenting/spiritual article that is linked in social media, or paring down my blog-read list, it's all been so helpful to me in learning to actually think more for myself and my family, rather than seeing how everyone else does things and going from there.  Plus- it's helping me to turn to the Bible for answers first.  Who would have thought?! ;)  I'm also trying to not turn off my own voice and to stand firm in my convictions.  This girl has a long way to go in the confidence realm, but it's slowly building.  I'm so grateful for growth.

I'm also learning who I am.  I am getting to know myself in a way that I never have before.  God has been so gracious to me in teaching me that so many things about my personality that I've always seen as a flaw or a weakness might actually be HOW HE MADE ME.  It seems so very simple, but it all just blows my mind.  For example, most people may not see this, but I am (on the inside) very, very shy in many social situations.  I've spent most of my life trying to cover that up and act like someone who I'm not (and in the process making myself just look nervous, awkward, or just plain dumb) in such situations.  Instead of fighting and hating my shyness, I want to be able to just embrace who I am and focus on that, not on who/what I want to be.  I know I can be shy and still be confident at the same time.  I do still have the desire to be warm, social, and comfortable- I know deep down these are all qualities that God has allowed me to possess, and I so desire to find a balance of them all.  Personalities just captivate me- I love studying people and have been trying so hard to see strong qualities in the people around me as qualities God intends for good, despite how they might be misinterpreted and misused.

events I'm looking forward to:

summer activities, weddings, the Influence Conference this fall, spending time with the ones we love this summer, weekly playdates with some of my bests, and summer visits from some of my very favorite people.

products/items I've been loving (beauty, home, food, etc.):

coconut oil (for basically everything... no, really), my Rifle Paper Co. phone case, lemon italian ice, anything gold (especially jewelry), the "Choose Happiness" aromatherapy candle from Target , Ruum kids clothing (even though I still pine for 77Kids), Tarte mascara, Simple face wipes, and Surface hairspray (seriously, the best hairspray I've ever used!).

happy things that have happened in the past 3 months: 

We went to the Outer Banks with the Kirnan clan way back in early April.  It was just the break we all needed.

We finally got a new kitchen table and chairs- I'd share a picture if I had one but let me say I LOVE THEM.

In mid-May, I was able to travel to North Carolina and be present for the birth of my best friend Kerry's new baby girl.  God orchestrated it all in such a way that I will never doubt again that He truly does care about EVERY detail of our lives and pays attention to what's important to us.  She went into labor literally when I walked in her door and she had her dream birth experience (and met her baby GIRL Lilah Hope!) a mere five hours later.  I still get chills just thinking about those few days.  It was all so miraculous and surreal.  Evyn was my travel buddy and she didn't bat an eyelash at our plane rides, airport waiting, and disrupted schedules.  That girl.

Brynlee finished preschool!  She'll be going three days next year and Mac will be going two days.  I twitch involuntarily thinking about having to get the kids out the door EVERY morning starting in September.

Ryan and I have imposed a weekly date night which has been so great for us.  Whether we go out or (more often) have a "date night in," we get a chance to touch base and spend some intentional time together.  I'd highly recommend it.

Mother's Day and Father's Day.

Evyn Mae turned six months old.
Then seven months old.

This little sunshine is just the light of my life.  She is so happy all. the. time.  She loves food, the other kids, attention, snuggling, and tickles.  She sits up pretty steadily now and rolls around but has no interest in crawling and I'm juuust fine with that.  She is so incredibly sweet and her hair is filling in and is still pretty red.  I hope it stays that way, it's so pretty!

Meghan and Greyson came to visit and stayed with us all last week and it was glorious to get to spend so much time with them.  That big-little nephew of mine rivals Evyn in the sweetness category and, unlike his cousin, is a crawling machine.  I love that boy as if he was mine.  And he pretty much is. :) I'm also pretty sure we aren't going to get a picture of all our kids smiling and looking at the camera all at the same time for at least 10 years or so!

sad things that have happened in the past 3 months:

I stopped blogging for She {hearts} It.  I was sad to stop, but I'm feeling the tug to simplify and streamline things right now.  I feel like God is nudging me to let go of some of the "extras," and I want to be open to what He might have for me if I am obedient in that.

blogs I've been loving:

The Small Things Blog (yay for Kate's pregnancy!  I'm such a stalker), I Take Joy (Sally Clarkson, will you come live with me?!  I just adore that woman!), and I've really been loving beauty blogs.  I tend to go in waves when it comes to blog categories I'm currently interested in- sometimes it's home improvement and design, sometimes it's diy/crafty goodness, sometimes it's fashion, sometimes it's just inspiring words and appreciating the heart of some of the writers out there that inspire me.

music I've been loving:

The Lone Bellow, All Sons and Daughters, and The Civil Wars' new single.  Too bad we have to wait until August for the rest of the album!

Aaaand that's quite the conglomeration of thoughts.  My brain is relieved.  Happy weekend!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

NYC in 40 hours & a giveaway

Whoo, the past few days have been a whirlwind. My mom-in-law and sis-in-law took a quick-but-full trip to NYC for the weekend to celebrate Leah's golden birthday (which is today). I had never left Evyn for more than a few hours, so leaving her for the weekend (in Ryan and my father-in-law's capable hands) was a little unsettling for me, but I just tried to relax and have fun. Which we SO did.

We caught our 6am flight on Saturday, sleepy but excited.

We explored 5th ave after finally getting checked into our hotel.  Our original hotel was closed due to the damage of hurricane Sandy, yet Expedia failed to notify us.  Those Vera Bradley bags get pre-tty heavy after awhile.

The one shop my mom urged me to visit was Tinsel Trading Company, which was full of vintage goodies and treasures.

I had been on the hunt for the perfect gold-tipped flats for awhile and had no luck.  I especially wanted them for the concert we were attending Saturday night (pretty flats + tons of walking = win).  So, I bought these Target flats, taped them off, and spraypainted them gold (and sealed them with a satin clear coat).  I couldn't be more happy with them.  The one chipped a bit, probably as a result of all of our walking, but I'm thinking it's fixable.

We were excited to dress up a little for the concert... and yes, BANGS!  Still not sure about them, but we'll see.

We saw Tyrone Wells (a favorite of Leah's) on Saturday night.  The show was incredible, and the venue was amazing.  We had a blast.

Sunday morning, Leah and I slept until ELEVEN.  I'm pretty sure I haven't done that in 4 years.  We fueled up on lots of Starbucks all weekend.  There was a strange/awesome exhibit of these alpaca-like beasts in the lobby of Grand Central Station, so naturally we took a picture of ourselves chilling in front of them.

My friend Dezirae told me that I must visit Purl Soho, and she was right.  It was an adorable wonderland of all things sew-y.  I bought some fat quarters just because.

And, oh this girl.  My MIL and I were making fun of how Leah was walking in the airport with her big bag in front of her and her purse behind.  Never a dull moment with those two.  We had the time of our lives.


Here's a little happy for your Tuesday - I'm reviewing and giving away TWO PRINTS from French Press Mornings over at She {hearts} It today.  Sweet Jenny is offering a discount code, too.  I wish I could win!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

grapefruit, rapunzel, & a sewing seat

I should be sleeping, but instead I'm popping in to share a few fun tidbits of this week so far.

First, I've done yet another review of Nourish Organics over at She {hearts} It. This time, I've reviewed their new organic grapefruit wash, and I'm giving away an 8oz wash! There's a discount code too. Trust me, you're going to want to get your hands on some of this ultra-moisturizing, best-smelling-ever wash.


Second, little girlfriend FINALLY just got her hair trimmed. For the first time. Did I mention she will be 4 in a few weeks? Yeah.

My Rapunzel just recently decided a trim would not shatter her world, and perhaps it would even make brushing her sometimes-snarly ends a bit easier. It was barely 2 inches, but the act of cutting my baby's hair for the first time totally tugged at my heartstrings. My dear friend Leah graciously snipped those ends, just like she trimmed Mac's hair for the first time about a year and a half ago.


Third, I did finally finish the little seat to use at my sewing desk. I wish I had a "before" picture, but just imagine worn red leather and a scuffed, medium-wood finish. And the "after":

LOVE this fabric.


Last, I've been trying to be much more deliberate in taking pictures with my real camera, not just on my phone. So here's a few of my littles to make you smile. The days have been long and often trying lately, but I love these little people with all of my being and we are all growing and changing. Especially me; especially my momma heart. This post especially resonated with me today. God's molding me, and all I needed to do was let Him.

Oh, and the kitchen is DONE! Pictures to come.