Together is a beautiful place to be {real moments, real memories}

christmas, finding beauty By November 10, 2015 9 Comments

I looked at the calendar yesterday and saw that we are already well into November and my heart did a flip. Wow, Christmas comes so fast every year! Even with the best intentions, I seem to find myself overwhelmed and rushing in those final days before Christmas. When I saw the date on the calendar, I felt like I was already behind. I was on the path to failure before I’d even begun. But Christmas isn’t about having it all together, is it? This year I want to slow down and go a little easier on myself. I want to focus on real moments, create real memories and love the people around me well.

When I say ‘real moments’ I mean, I want to get away from trying to create the perfect picture to post on instagram. I want to be in the moment. I want to let it be imperfect and honest. When I say ‘real moments’ I’m admitting to myself that there will undoubtably be stress, frustrations and messes. I mean, life simply isn’t perfect–no matter how hard we try {and believe me, I’ve tried!}. But in the stress and mess there are silly moments and laughter. There is forgiveness. There is love. There is togetherness. Together is a beautiful place to be. I believe this is where memories are made.real moments real memories-01-2

Last week, I cleaned went through all our Christmas decorations and gave four large boxes to the thrift store. Now everything we have fits into two bins {except our white tree}. I’m keeping the decor simple this year. Truthfully, I never used it all–it was just clutter. The decorations add to the fun, but it’s really about being together. A few twinkly lights and go a long way.
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I’ve started Christmas shopping but I need to make a list and get organized. It will come together, right?!

real moments real memories-03-2This is our busiest time of year. The shop is crazy busy {so exciting!} and there is so much to do to prepare for our own celebration. This year, I’m making decisions to embrace the imperfect and live in the moment. Stress will happen, but if I’m not aiming for perfect, I’m pretty sure there will be less stress. And the stress will be less stressful. And what is, will be enough.

I want to focus on my family and not worry about the dishes in the sink.
I want to sip cocoa, watch Elf and say all our favorite lines.
I want to take naps and drink lots of vitamin C to fight off the inevitable cold.
I want to let the kids decorate the tree even if all the ornaments end up on one side.
I want to give meaningful gifts and not worry about having it perfectly wrapped.
I want to remember that the bedhead, the pancake breakfasts, the kids laughing and playing, the gift wrap littering the floor, the yummy food, the time together, the love–these are the things that matter. What’s real is what matters.

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real , full of meaning, and from the heart – wear them all!

christmas, jewelry, what I'm wearing By November 5, 2015 3 Comments

Oh friends! Our holiday collection is HERE! We’ve been working on this collection for months and months. It’s always surreal to see something go from a sketch, to a sample, to a product on the website, and then finally seeing it around YOUR neck or on YOUR finger. It always seems sort of unbelievable. It’s humbling. It’s an honor to be part of your story.

As we launch our Christmas collection, I’m thinking and planning our family Christmas season. I already know it will be imperfect. But I want to make memories we’ll keep forever. I want to let it be messy and fun. I don’t want to worry about the tangled up twinkle lights–we’ll just get a new set. My home doesn’t have to be perfectly clean or tidy. Maybe we’ll play too many video games or eat too much pie. I’ll probably loose all the gift  receipts I planned to keep safe. I’ll likely stay up way too late on Christmas eve, wrapping gifts. I want to remember mornings snuggled on the couch with coffee. I want to side by the fireside and feel the warmth on my back. I want to focus on the moment, focus on love, focus on what matters. This is what’s real. #myrealchristmas

Can I share some of the new designs with you?Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 7.34.58 PMThere are so many rings in this collection that make my heart melt. They are full of meaning–and I want to wear them all! I think I may need more fingers. 😉

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The rings are meant to be stacked and the NEW bangles are meant to be layered together. It’s togetherness that feeds our souls. Each of these pieces represents someone who has your heart. Each of these pieces is created just for you. The symbolism holds deeps meaning.
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The ‘good things in threes ring’ above is different and funky and I love it. Good things often come in threes–three little words, “I love you.” Three people–You, me and us. Three is a significant number. See all the details for this ring here.
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And the birthstone stacking bangles? Oh my goodness. Hand-wrapped gemstones are breath-taking. Layered together they make a huge statement. I love them!
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These pieces are about real life and real love. It’s the messy, beautiful stuff of everyday that makes our lives meaningful. It’s not perfect. It looks nothing like a pin from Pinterest. It’s honest and true. This is where I live. This is where you live. This is where we journey together and find hope.

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This season is full of rushing and worrying and stress. What if we set it aside and enjoy the blessings all around us? What if we let each other be imperfect? What if we let it be what it is? I think we’ll find more joy and meaning, don’t you?

See all the new ornaments here.Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 7.35.34 PM

You can see the whole collection here. Let’s make real memories this Christmas. #myrealchristmas. What’s real is what’s beautiful.

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holiday home tour

christmas, decorating By December 9, 2014 6 Comments

We’ve got the house all decorated and we’re soaking up the Christmas season. I love sitting near the tree and enjoying the twinkle lights. I’ve got a cinnamon candle burning and Christmas music playing. Wanna step inside for a tour?

The front porch is super happy, especially after the sun goes down. I love the red poinsettias and twinkle lights.

A couple years ago I made the DIY doormat. You can see the directions here. So fun!

I set up our new nativity from the shop in our entryway. I want it to be the first thing we see–to remind us of why we celebrate Christmas. And it’s high enough so David can’t reach it.

Love these hand-painted signs by Barn Owl Primitives. And have you seen their new website? Friends, it’s so beautiful! And watch this video about Kristi’s story. So cool.

Adorable, right?

The handmade nativity is very dear to my heart and I have been so humbled to see it resonate with you! These are still available and you can have it in time for Christmas!

This painting is a thrifted find and the lamp was super ugly–but I stripped the shade and spray painted the base to make it new.

A happy silver bells wreath hangs near the windows and reflects light.

 Our white tree feels very vintage and the ornaments pop against the white background. It’s from Target online.

Every year, grandma gives the boys a new ornament. We love pulling them out every year and reminiscing about past years.

And every year we add a new ornament from our shop. Again, it’s not too late to order for Christmas!

This ornament was a souvenir from England. So many sweet memories and so much meaning.

I kept the mantle almost the same, I just added a few trees and a big ‘merry christmas’ sign from the shop last year.

This elf was a gift from my mom when I was in college. I still love him 20 years later!

These letter cards {from the shop last year} were layered with printed paper and brads and they make a big impact.

We keep our ampersand sign up all year, but the red feels extra Christmas-y and fun during the holidays. You can find it here, from Junk Art Gypsyz on Etsy.

It’s tradition we hang our stockings on the staircase. We did that when I was growing up.

Is your house decorated? What’s your favorite decor for the Christmas season.

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hello california snowmen

christmas, DIY, hello monday By December 8, 2014 11 Comments

It’s been warm here in California BUT lately we’ve had some rain and things have cooled off a bit. We need the rain so badly and we’re feeling thankful and cozy. Since it doesn’t snow where we are, we have to get creative with making snowmen. This year, the cousins painted snowman ornaments. I found these at Target and they were a HIT!

It’s a brand new week. How about some hellos?

***Hello Monday is where I greet the new week with an open heart and a fresh perspective. It’s a new beginning–and there’s so much to be thankful for! Join me by leaving your own hellos in the comments section or linking up a hello monday post there!***

Hello cousins gathered around the table. This is the stuff memories are made of!

Hello finding a craft project that works with three year olds and twelve year olds. Victory!

Hello taking this project very seriously.

Hello letting the paint dry and then hanging them from the tree.

Hello planning for other Christmas crafts. It’s our tradition to make gingerbread houses and cut snowflakes.

Hello wanting to eat healthy this month BUT being way too tempted by sweets at every turn. January is a new beginning, right?

Hello busy busy workshop! We are kinda crazy over here!

Hello quiet evenings at home. We’re working through all our favorite Christmas movies…Elf, Rise of the Guardians, Polar Express, and more!

Hello wanting more coffee because the mornings are gray and chilly.

Hello planning gifts for teachers, aides and babysitters. They are such a blessing in our lives!

Hello haircuts. Didn’t we just get haircuts? It’s already time again?!

Hello to YOU! What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments or link up your own hello monday post there!

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ornaments are here!

christmas, decorating By October 16, 2014 4 Comments

Well it’s been a whirlwind week! The response to nativity completely knocked my socks off. I’ve worked on this project for so long and I’ve had moments of excitement and moments of insecurity–so to see it in the real world and hear how much you love it is amazing. And humbling. And awesome. I’m so thankful.

Today I’ve got new ornaments to share. I know Christmas is still 9 weeks away, but many of you are already planning.

These hand-crafted ornaments are a tradition for many of you, year after year. And they make heartfelt gifts for teachers, babysitters and dear friends. I love how personal they are and that they carry memories with them. Precious.

Above is the brand new Love and Laurel ornament. It represent heartfelt affection and honor.

The detail on our hand-crafted snowflake is truly beautiful. Personalize the banner with names or a sweet phrase.

How sweet is the new nativity ornament? Love all that this represents.

Last year the alphabet ornaments ‘My Holly’ was far and away our best seller!

The Molded Heart ornament is a sweet classic. I adore this one!

The snow globe is full of whimsy and magic!

And how fun is the brand new family tree ornament? I love it!

You can see all the new ornaments here. Which one is your favorite?

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hello to good-byes

adventures, christmas By December 30, 2013 5 Comments

Our time with the English cousins is winding down. Tomorrow we drive them to San Francisco and watch them board a plane back to England. We’re so sad to see them go! I’m tearing up just writing this. I don’t like good-byes. At all.

Last week we had a couple magical days at Disneyland. It was sunny our first day–with lots of sunscreen and bottled water, and rainy our second day. So we purchased ponchos and braved the wet day. We had a blast!

How about some hellos for a new week?

Hello packing up the car and seeing off our English cousins. I’m so sad!

Hello editing pics from our time together. Such sweet memories.

Hello quiet house and taking down Christmas decor. My heart is breaking.

Hello laundry and email and homework to catch up on.

Hello visiting family in Southern California. Yay! Something to look forward to!

Hello to saying goodbye to 2013.

Hello getting ready for a new year. It’s going to be a good one!

Hello to a brand new week. What are you saying hello to this week? Leave some hellos in the comments section or link up your own hello monday post there!

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diy hostess gift

christmas, decorating, DIY By December 20, 2013 1 Comment

Hi friends! I have another super fun and cute DIY today! Do you remember my post about hand stamped dishtowels? Well here is another fun and functional holiday version!

There are so so many fun holiday gatherings and dinner parties around this time of year and I love the idea of bringing a thoughtful hostess gift. Bring a bottle of wine  wrapped in these adorable hand printed tea towels to your next gathering! Such a simple, fun, and thoughtful gift!

We used holiday stencils and painted organic polka dots with gold paint. So fun!

After the towels dried, we just wrapped them around the bottles with some ribbon and topped it off with a custom ‘my holly’ ornament.

What is your favorite thing to bring to a holiday party?

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diy golden feather garland

christmas, decorating, DIY By December 12, 2013 5 Comments

I have another super fun, super easy DIY for you today! Paint dipped feathers are such a fun accessory for a holiday table setting or the perfect addition to your holiday wrapping. We created a fun garland with them that can be used all year around!

Supplies needed:

– feathers

– gold paint

– gold glitter

– gold string or wire

– sparkly garland

With a foam brush pain the top half of the feathers (pretty simple right?!).

While the paint is still wet, sprinkle them with glitter to your heart’s content. Once they are dry, you can flip them over and do the same on the backs, or just leave them as is! We tied them on to a garland and hung it on a cute outdoor table. How would you use dipped feathers in your holiday decorating?

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diy box wood wreath

christmas, decorating, DIY By December 6, 2013 9 Comments

Hello friends! I’ve got another project today. This DIY wreath is too easy and too cute!

Supplies needed:

– wooden embroidery hoop

– faux boxwood garland (purchased at Michael’s)

– glitter branches

– wire

– strips of fabric or ribbon

– scissors

Use the wire to tie one end of the garland onto the hoop, then just start wrapping. You want to keep it a bit on the loose side so you can adjust later. Once you wrap the garland all the way around, secure the other end with wire as well.

Tuck the golden branches into the weaved garland. If you wrapped it tight enough they will just say, otherwise you can use the wire to make sure it is extra secure. Tie a strip of fabric around the top of the hoop and you are done!

How cute does it look over a mirror or in a wall collage?

 

 

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