gift guide | mama's day

a few ideas to add some inspiration to mama's day gift shopping.

to be pampered:

JCrew Vintage Short-Sleeve Pajama Sheet: a nice pajama set is like the butter on the bread that is bedtime.

Diptyque Votive Candle Set: these are the candles I dream about. I just love the look of them. 

A French Kiss Bubble Bar: a little something for mama's "spa-at-home" evenings.

Leitmotiv Eau De Parfum Set: a perfume line inspired by "measures of classical music." what a lovely thought.

to nest:

Clear Glass Table Lamp Base: completely versatile. 

Latte Bowls: we use these daily.

Be Still, My Soul Posters: one of my most treasured quotes.

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Machine Bundle: because coffee.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful: just read that subtitle.

to read:

The Love and Lemons Cookbook: they help me look at meatless meals differently.

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse: their French countryside life is captivating, and it's French food.

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: I can't recommend it enough.

Steadfast Love: The Response of God to the Cries of Our Heart: whatever season of life we are facing, we want to know the steadfast love of our God in an even deeper way, to rest in that as He "wrings the worship from our hearts."

to be sentimental:

Disc Monogram Necklace: for the initials, names, or dates that we hold the closest.

happy upcoming mama's day, lovelies!

gift guide || hubby inspired

I used to be so overwhelmed about shopping for J. I put major pressure on myself for produce the most creative, thoughtful gifts to place under the tree for him. I lost all excitement in the process because I had placed such high expectations on myself -- expectations my sweet husband had/would never put on me.

Finally, within the last couple of years especially, I have come to enjoy the process of gifting to my husband. I have finally let go of all that self-inflicted pressure and expectation and actually listened to the encouraging, loving remarks of my husband. And in this process I've learned some helpful little tidbits. Nothing earth-shattering, by any means, but good reminders for us all to keep in mind as we shop for our guys.

simply pay attention. you see his day-to-day, you know what things he uses and needs on any given day. pay attention to see if something would help make a daily task easier or if something needs replacing.

listen to him. when he makes comments like "so-and-so recommended this book I'd like to read sometime," or "I'd really enjoy getting _______ at some point," make a note! keep an evernote folder on your phone or a piece of paper hidden in your journal where you can write ideas down throughout the year.

study your husband. J has always talked about how C.J. Mahaney encourages husbands to study their wives, to pay special attention to the comments she makes and the things she enjoys, the little things that bless and encourage her. I think it is just as important for us as wives to follow this example and study our husbands. obviously, this goes much deeper than gift buying -- and I would encourage you to take it deeper -- but it's such a good reminder for all the little pieces of life together. 

balance the practical and meaningful. remember that you're buying for him and not to get a wife of the year award.

be thoughtful of him -- what he enjoys, his tastes, his favorite colors. don't worry if you're buying him another book if he just loves to read. don't worry if this gift has something else to do with coffee if that's a favorite hobby of his. and don't compare what you are getting for your hubby to what your friend is getting for hers!

be wise. I bless my husband not just in the gifts I give him but in the way I go about buying those gifts. seasons of life change and your budget will be different depending on that ---- just make sure you're being your husband's helper in whatever season it is.

happy hubby shopping, friends! 

01 || the innovators by walter isaacson

02 || the last lion by william manchester and paul reid

03 || green sandalwood watch by Jord

04 || leather valet tray from jcrew factory

05 || lambswool shawl-collar sweater from jcrew factory

06 || sportsman's rucksack from l.l.bean

07 || men's handsewn slippers, flannel-lined from l.l.bean

08 || calvert suede oxfords from jcrew factory

home design || little' gallery wall

               photo credit: pinterest via: 1. 2. 3.

               photo credit: pinterest via: 1. 2. 3.

 Piece by piece AK's room is coming together. I've learned to slow myself down and better consider the options and form a plan of attack so I more wisely use our funds and I don't end up with something I'm not pleased with. I much prefer the result that ends in a few giddy jumps up and down than the result that ends in "I guess that will work." Thus, the process of planning out her gallery wall. 

I know I want to stick with white frames, but I want to break it up a bit with a few different options: a wooden sign, art or pictures hung up with little clips or washi tape, a mirror, or some initial letters. 

I am eager to frame some pictures of ak and our sweet nephews, of ak and her other little buddies, and of the moments of ak in our everyday. I'd love to write up a sweet quote for her in one of those frames, as well.

 I'm also giddy to get some prints hung up. Little calls Where You Lead "our song" -- melt me -- so I believe it's a must that we have some sort of ode to Stars Hollow up on the wall. Then as I was toodling around the Rifle Paper Co website my eyes fell on this Kentucky Derby print -- totes adorbs, people. J and I agree this is just too perfect to not demand a spot on our Little Louisvillian's gallery wall. 

It's so happy to see little pieces of home continue to come together. Though we still are in an apartment I realized a while ago that that doesn't mean I can't treat this as the home it is for us. I  can and I should! This is our home -- our sweet home that's bursting at the seams with memories and growth and everyday pieces of beauty. Our home to be fully lived in for however long we occupy its rooms. And though there are things about it that springboard battles of discontent I adore our little home and all the sanctifying of me and us that the Lord has worked in it.

 There are furniture pieces and other tidbits that will be on hold until the day our home goes from apartment to house, but we have been loving making changes that can easily move with us and that make it more our own space. And making Little's room into her sweet, bright spot has been my favorite of all so far. 

seasons || an autumn mood board

It's September 1st today. 

Every year when August comes my mind starts jumping forwards a bit --- fall is coming, fall is coming. I start dreaming of pumpkins, of mums on our doorstep, of gray days and crisp air, of sweaters and plaid scarves, of stews that cook all day and warm homemade bread, of evenings spent wrapped up in a blanket with a cuppa tea and a book. I get lost in fall; it's dreamy and cozy, inspiring and comforting. I feel an extra excitement to go adventure and, at the same time, a strong desire to be at home. 

My adoration of fall was deeply instilled in me by my darling mother and by the incomparable Anne Shirley. My mother's love for hot tea and Scottish scones, for rainy fall afternoons and a classic black and white movie, for crunching leaves and long walks -- she taught me to enjoy the very best parts of the season, the little things, the things that make it most wonderful. And Anne Shirley showed me how invigorating the chill in the air is, how the season rekindles a love for learning, and how very delicious the autumn scents are.

There's so much that is dear about the season of fall. It's pure loveliness. I'm so eager to fill up these next weeks with pumpkin and apple scented candles and baked goods, with finding the perfect pumpkin to carve with AK, with long walks in the quiet neighborhood across the street, with football games and cable knit sweaters. This season holds some of my most beloved memories and some of my favorite days to celebrate. I'm feeling that special autumnal thrill inside today, my friends, and I love it.

September, I'm so very glad you've arrived. 

images via tumblr, flickr, & pinterest (1,2,3,4,5)

fashion || the best kind of pants

These pants found their way into my closet last week. Whoever decided to marry fashion and the comfort of lounge pants gets two thumbs up from me. These pants are ridiculously comfortable, y'all. And they have pockets. I mean, what more do you really need in a pair of pants? I opted for a calmer pattern than some of the others that are out there. I've seen girls wearing some more "woohoo!" type patterns and some look adorable! I, however, look like I blew up in a fabric store in the 70s, so I think it's better for everyone if I just opt away from them. Plus, it's just really hard to steer my classic heart away from a black/white combo. 

I think patterned pants are so much more versatile than they might appear on first glance. I've seen them worn in several different, and equally adorable, ways. You can go casual with a tee and a pair of sandals, you can dress it up a bit more with a pretty camisole/sweater or jacket combo with wedges, or you can mix your patterns and throw on a striped shirt with it. You can do just do whatever your lounge-pant-comfy-pants-loving little heart desires. 

Here's a few of my suggestions.......

|| The Tops || 

1. Racerback Camisole in Bright Azurite -- JCrew Factory

2. Linen Lace Tee in White -- JCrew Factory

3. Printed Drapey Sleeveless Top in Warm Charcoal -- JCrew Factory

4. Layering V-Neck Tee in Vivid Spearmint -- JCrew Factory

5. Side-Slit Tunic in Burnished Coral -- JCrew Factory

6. These Are The Days Collector Tee -- JCrew Factory


|| The Shoes || 

1. Wedges from Nordstrom Rack -- these must have sold out already. Some other options -- (1) (2) (3)

2. Jane Heels in Cognac -- Target

3. Ainsley Knot Thong Sandals in Black -- Target

4. Boardwalk Sandals in Burnt Sienna -- JCrew Factory

5. Lakitia Embellished Sandals in Glitter -- JCrew Factory

6. Shauna Huarache Sandals in Cognac -- Target

Happy Shopping, my friends!



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shopping || a loft sale

Today is the final day of the LOFT Friends & Family Sale -- 40% off of everything! 

A few of my favorite finds......

-- Striped Linen Flutter Shell Top -- I heart my stripes

-- Linen Open Cardigan -- looks like the softest cardigan ever

-- Banded Sandals -- several good colors

-- Lou & Grey Anorak Vest -- something I've been eyeing

-- Lou & Grey Seamed Tank Dress -- something to wear every single day

Happy Shopping, lovelies! Let me know your favorite finds, too. :)

when the dresser is the wrong color

So we went to IKEA this past Saturday to finally purchase the long anticipated dresser for AK's "big girl" room. Yes, it's a piece of furniture, but this is the first time we've had an actual dresser in AK's room. Until now we've been using a bit more creative storage, which worked pretty well, but was definitely not ideal with for her growing self. So was I borderline embarrassingly excited about this dresser? Absolutely. 

We emmerged from IKEA, successful. Family fist bumps were shared as we wheeled our purchase out of the store, with a couple extra finds and an  ice cream cone in hand. We had our dresser. 

Sunday afternoon J opened the boxes and project dresser was underway. However, as he flipped the lid back and the pieces of the dresser were exposed, my worst "dresser fear" was realized. I was not looking at a white dresser. It was off-white, there was no doubt about it. When I carried a piece back to hold it up against AK's  white bed, it was confirmed. Instead of having a white bed and a white dresser, we were going to have a white bed and a dresser that was going to look like it had a bad white paint job next to said white bed. 

I shall not lie to you, friends. Tears were shed. It had been a long week, I had carefully shopped for the right dresser for months, we had spent decent $, and had driven 4 hours total to pick it up. Plus, I realized that I had to missed something online and, thus, the seeds were planted for dresser catastrophe. I felt like such a dummy. Suffice it to say, I didn't have the greatest reaction.

Oh, the ways we are grown. The Lord uses so many things, doesn't He? 

I mean, it's a dresser. Not a real life-altering issue. Sure it is frustrating when something like that happens, but at the end of the day, in right perspective, the color of my kids dresser doesn't exactly matter. And, hey, we live in a world with Home Depots where you can go and figure out a solution to make your dresser change from off-white to the very white you were looking for. Ahhh, paint, you little miracle worker, you. Would I rather have been able to buy a dresser, set it up, and say, "completion?" Sure, I would have. That's not what happened though and, yet, we have a solution, thanks to my patient, practical, and loving husband. 

I'm praying I grow to find the humor in times like these. To say to myself, "it is a dresser. It has absolutely no eternal significance." To take a deep breath, chill, and think. To come up with a solution, be wise and practical, and make the best out of each situation. I'm sure there will be more tears in the future, and that's okay. However, in those moments of disappointment and frustration, I pray that my heart will be more eager to choose gratitude and joy than anger and self-pity. 

It's amazing what you can learn because of a dresser.