trunk or treat? 12th man style.

Is anyone else asking how is it already almost Halloween? Which means it’s almost November. I swear school starts, you blink and the holidays have arrived. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Trunk or Treat and fall festivities are all the rage right now. In fact, last Friday was the boys’ Trunk or Treat event at their school. I got roped into doing a trunk and put the boys on a mission to figure out what they wanted our theme and game to be. I love that they love helping me with this stuff now.

After much perusing of Pinterest and thinking through what we already had so as not to break the bank we came up with a {Seahawk’s Themed Trunk} any Seahawk fan or their auntie Lisa would be proud of. Just look how cute it turned out…


For the record, all the credit goes to Mr. Grayson who designed and made the entire display in the back. It’s was seriously too cute. I would put things up and he would say, “No mom. Not there.” Gulp. Ooooo-kay. I guessed I asked for help, right?!

For the event, the trunk also had to have a “carnival-style” game that went along with the trunk. Pinterest gave us some direction and helped us create this football field-inspired table that my cute lil’ 3rd grader helped paint with spray paint. You can find the table idea here. We also used an adorable gal’s post to create a goal post made out of PVC pipe that can be found here.


Best part? It was a low cost project my other half would be proud of. Oh, and I convinced my ‘almost’ 9 year old that it would be super cool to have a football-themed birthday party after all that hard work. It’s a win-win. My only cost was the turf from Lowes that I found a remnant of, PVC pipe materials and spray paint. Woot.

Maybe you have a Trunk or Treat coming up or maybe it’s a ‘pin it’ for another day. Regardless, get your 12th man on and show a little Seahawk pride. GO HAWKS.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

want to see some other {halloween} ideas?
take a lookey-loo at what you may have missed.

{s’mores pancakes. spooky breakfast.}

{treat for you. printable halloween tags.}


Continue Reading · Comments { 4 }

chalkboard wall. servant warrior style.

A new chalkboard with a new focus. This started with something for our biggest baby, but has turned into something for the whole family. It’s a little thing we like to call… being a servant warrior.

The theme for this month? Working hard to be a family of SERVANT WARRIORS.

Why? Oh, I always have a reason why.
This all came to be a some time ago were having some serious talks with our oldest lil’ man about his choices. We were seeing a pattern of forgetting about the importance of putting others first, selfish choices and thinking of just himself. After way too many talks, uplifting {I thought} speeches and being at our last straw we came up with something to help him practice the art of thinking of others first, you know being a servant warrior.

After a few weeks of our Mr. G practicing this we noticed a huge difference and his little bro wanted to be a part of it too. So, we decided to turn it into a family thing. We are all doing it together and working hard to make it a {norm} in our house and our life.

Love this? Well, you should really thank my amazing {and smart} other half. The hubs came up with this during one of our {parenting brainstorm sessions}. Please tell me we are not the only ones who have seshs on how to deal with those menaces, I mean cuties, of ours.

This is a theme for my husband. He truly is a perfect example of a servant warrior, always putting others first and working to be a servant in all things. I want my boys to grow up and be just like him. He is an amazing role model for what this ‘looks’ like in life. Whelp, no time like the present to start helping our kids to be servant warriors, right?

Our board is a reminder of what we are all working on as a family…. being SERVANT WARRIORS. To help bring this to life I created some cards to fill out and we sat down with the kids to explain how it works. The gist of it is fill out a card, add it to the jar and each month we will celebrate with a dinner out {winner with most cards chooses!} and we read everything our family did over the month to be servant warriors.

And for those perfectionists who are just like me and love the art of stencils, attached are the font templates I whipped up to get the board finished a little faster. Yes, I sit, analyze and nit-pick my writing, so sometimes I enlist the help of my computer and some tracing {see a how to here} to get it just right in a little less time. See? You really can whip up a chalkboard, even if you think you are not the artsy type!

I already can see the impact it is making in our family. The kids come home each day and make sure they fill out at least one thing they have already done. I love it. No joke.

Next week, I will share a template for the servant warrior cards and some strategies we used to kick it off. I hope you’re as excited as I am.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {family} ideas?
take a lookey-loo at what you may have missed.

{super threes. for the kids.}

{nightly prayer.}


Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

summer faves. latest crushes.

Don’t worry, I am still alive. Yes, I have been a bit absent in the world of blogging. I’m trying, but not sure how successful I’ll be at it. Being a mom, keeping the house clean, trying to work, finding time to volunteer in classes, blah, blah, blah. You know it, so I’m pretty sure I don’t need to go through the whole list with you has put this to the bottom. Sorry, friends.

The good news? Summer is here! We are officially on our 7th day and I can’t believe it. Time for fun and not having to pack lunches every day. Can I get an AMEN? With that said, my summer crushes. Won’t you crush with me?


Sur La Table, my home away from home, is where you can find this reusable and dishwasher-safe ice cream tub.  We are all about making homemade ice cream in our Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker and I found this gem the other day that has {already} made my life easier! Easy route? Use one of the ice cream starters to get it done in a cinch. Our fave is Mint Chocolate chip!

ice cream quart


bucks straws

I love water. Like, I seriously love it. Just about as much as I love jars. My latest crush has been gulping down water in my 32 ounce mason jar with fabulous, colorful straws. Find the tropical reusable straws at your nearest Starbucks {I’m sure there are about 10 within a 2 mile radius!} and pop it in a large ole’ mason jar. Add water, or whatever you fancy. If anything, you can thank me for being hydrated.


No joke. These are seriously fun. Me and Gray had a serious battle this morning and I was huffing and puffing by the end of it. Not to mention, I got some serious rug burns because I was committed. Do I dare say that the 8 year old beat me? These are so much fun! And, the best part is they don’t require nerf bullets. AWESOME! We found our guns here for Sawyer’s birthday and bought these rechargeable batteries to go with them. I think some more might be in our future.


This isn’t just my summer crush this year, in fact I fell in love with these last year and I am still head over heels for them. I may {or may not} have a few pairs of the Spring Break Away Shorts because they are seriously that amazing. Check out all the colors this season!
Here’s why I love them:
| not too tight & longer length my thighs appreciate |
| can dress up or down |
| sweat-wicking fabric, thank you |

Do you have any crushes you just can’t help but smile at this summer? Share! I want to know. Maybe we can share our crushes and crush together.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

the week. my to do list. yours too?

I am a list girl. I have a thousand all over the place. The perfect gift for me? Post-it notes or a notepad. Serious. Not joking. Ok, and maybe some new clothes or shoes.

A list for me and a list for you. I am calling it my {the week. what to do.}. A little place where I get organized and get er’ done.

The template is {free} and just for YOU. It’s as easy as copy, print, cut. A cute way to stay organized and on top of things.

{you will need}
paper cutter
paper and printer
the week. what to do template. weekly. and the week. what to do template. list.
cardboard and chipboard
pad/book compound


step 1. print the ‘the week. what to do.’ template by clicking {here for weekly template} and {here for list template}.

step 2. cut the template in half… it should measure 8.5″ x 5.5″ for the weekly list and cut in fourths for the list template.

step 3. cut the cardboard/chipboard to same dimensions  … i used cardboard that backed a print I had lying around.

step 4. use your clamps to hold down the sides. apply the glue with a small paintbrush.
– apply at least two coats of glue for an even consistency.
– place a clamp in the middle as well to keep from puckering in the middle
– if you are wanting to make these right away… rumor has it that caulking from the hardware store will work too!

step 5. dry. write. get er’ done.

to do notepad 2 What better way to get organized and efficiently get through your week? As I said before, the task is easy peasy and will take you a little less than five minutes to get er’ done. Maybe one for you and one for a friend or two? Maybe getting ready for those end of the year teacher gifts?

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other diy related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{thank you cards for the family.than}

{diy personalized key art.}

{lemon bars. printable tags..}

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

bathroom redo. for the kids. much better.

Do have that one room that you know you should start because every time you look at it you cringe? The kids’ bath was one of those rooms for me. Not so bad you couldn’t use it, but it was quite the eye sore. And, I am not one for eye sores. Why didn’t I do it earlier? Uh, who knows. But, I wish I would have because it took a total of two weekends to get er’ done. Oh well.

Here’s the before. A lot more maple, fake marble with lovely sinks that had the same faux look. Goodbye, tired old bath.

kids bath before

A few changes and voila. Look at the beauty now.

kids 7

bath 2

kids 4

kids 3

And, do you see that lil’ cutie in the background? Shadow likes to follow me wherever I go and never passes up an opportunity for a little photo op. What did we change? Just a few simple, inexpensive tricks that make a bathroom transformation seem a little closer to a reality than a dream.

{love it? want it?}

Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams ‘Moody Blue’
I am not one for color, but I figure the kids bath is as good a place as ever. So, we went for a more ‘colorful’ look that had a little vintage twist.

Cabinet Paint: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White with ClearWax
If you follow along, you know I heart Annie Sloan. And, I HEART the new cabinets. We painted the cabinets white to keep it clean, brighten up the space and have some consistency with the kitchen and hallway cabinets. We sealed it with a clear wax and friends, this huge change took hardly anytime at all. I think I had all the cabinets finished in two days. Big difference. Not a lot of time. Amen.

Cabinet Hardware: Marshalls & Target
I said it once and I will say it again, a little hardware goes a long way. I found the round cuties at Marshalls, sorry folks, that ‘s one of those places that is hit or miss. Keep your eyes out for them, they are cute and cost me a whopping $5. The larger pulls I found at Target a few years ago and used them on our hallway cabinets, but had a few leftover I was saving for a rainy day. They come in a 6-pack and are so versatile and cute.

 Tile for Floor: Natural Timber Ash Porcelain Floor Tile at Lowes
This just might be my favorite part of all. I can’t get enough of it. Porcelain floor tile that is made to look like old barn wood. Which basically means I can easily clean it but not sacrifice the look I love. Seriously, die. We used the same tile as in our master bathroom which you can see here.
We chose to use 8 inch planks in a repeating pattern. Best part? Less than $3.50 a square foot. You can find a link to the color and product we used here. It was worth the extra time it took to get straight lines because I absolutely LOVE it.

Tile for Backsplash: Arabesque Lantern White Porcelain Mosaic
Another favorite and easy on the budget. This Arabesque Lantern White Porcelain Mosaic was found at Floor & Decor for just $3.79. Booya. And, when you only need three sheets it’s a happy day. A little white grout, elbow grease {thanks, hubs} and you have a new backsplash.

 Countertops: Black Galaxy – honed by our granite subcontractor
This was a freebie, kind of. We had extra from one of Paul’s projects that had been sitting in our garage for about forever. Kids and shiny granite? Uh, no thanks. But, we were able to hire our granite guy to ‘hone‘ it for us, which took away the shiny look. Now it looks a little more like soapstone {a fave for this girl} and a little less like your traditional granite. Does it leave crazy spots? Yes, but I am teaching those kids to use a wipe and keep it clean. We shall see how long that lasts…

What do you think? Way better? An updated version that looks a little more like the rest of our house. A few quick changes and it looks like new. Well, almost new. Perhaps your bathroom is calling you to try a few of these tricks out yourself.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other diy related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{master bath redo.}

{kitchen makeover on a budget.}

{powder bath makeover..}

Continue Reading · Comments { 2 }

My latest crushes. Are you with me?

No, not a life-changing post. Just a little glimpse into what I am currently crushing on. My favorite new treats or those things that I drool over and wish I could just click that button and officially buy it, but my conscience tells me otherwise. Ok, let’s be honest. It’s probably not my conscience, but my darling husband’s voice that echoes in my head.

Here they are… a few of my biggest crushes. Some small, some big, but all just way too cute.

Chanel Lip Gloss. This is my staple. I may {or may not} have a few different colors. It is that good. A perfect gloss that isn’t too sticky and a fly-away piece of hair doesn’t get stuck in it. Don’t let the colors scare you…they go on light and are the perfect quick addition to a makeup routine.

BP lace up shoes

I have had these for awhile and I still love them. Let’s be real, I love them the most because my feet fit in them and they are super comfortable. Yes, I have been blessed with the start of bunions thanks to some real winner genes in my mom’s side of the family. But, I also think they are just so stinking adorable and dress up any outfit. They might just be my favorite crush of all. Find them here at Nordstrom.

me and my house sign

I have been drooling over this sign for ages, but I have the hardest time buying something when me and the hubs can put our two heads together and make it. This was that for me. I wanted it and knew I could technically make it, but was feeling lazy. But, some of my two favorite people surprised me with it for my birthday. I was one happy girl and it proudly hangs over our door and as a constant reminder for our family. Sigh. I really do love it. You can find it at my besties place, Magnolia Market. Ok, we are not really besties, but I think we could be if she’d give me a chance. I am going to hunt her down when me and some girls visit her Waco silo in April. Watch out, Jojo.

calligraphy  I think I want to learn calligraphy. Let me rephrase that, I do want to learn calligraphy, but do I have time? I think this little starter kit might be right up my alley. Can you imagine how darling my cards would be addressed? Hmmm, I might need to take the leap on this one. Do you love the kit as much as I do?

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 4.58.29 PM

This one is for my kids, but it also is one of my total crushes. This site is the perfect place for a little art inspiration and {if we are being real} it will occupy the kids for at least 40 minutes, which is a winner in my book. This site is called Art for Kids Hub and the dad who does all the drawings is uber cool. They have stuff for my big boy to choose from {tons!} and even a section for under 5. Seriously, cool stuff.

lake house

Well, I loved her other four books, so I can’t imagine that I won’t LOVE this one too. She could be one of my favorite authors. This one just came out and I just might need to grab it up before we road trip to AZ for some spring training and a trip to grandma’s house. Want it? Check here.

 Do you have any crushes you just can’t help but smile at? Share! I want to know. Maybe we can share our crushes and crush together.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

a {how to} ikea hack. an upgrade to bookshelves.

The other week I shared about the shelves in our bedroom that went from boring black to something that makes your heart skip a beat. It’s true that they were originally found among the aisles of Ikea, but now I think they have a little nod to Restoration Hardware. Ahhh, a little more my style.

1-ikea hack

Remember, I was on a budget? The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. And, when they were placed in the room with love they took up a whopping six feet of wall space.

It really was super easy and didn’t cost a lot of money. But, you have to be willing to take on a {paint it on, look at it, decide to add more} approach. A little trial and error approach. Just a few things will get you started.

1-Recently Updated4

For all of those type-a people this may not be your favorite {how-to} diy. I literally painted a little on, wiped a little off and then sat back and stared at it. I kept doing that throughout the week until it looked the way I wanted. I know, eeek. Sorry, folks. If you are in the mood for a little trial and error, {and I assure you there is no way to mess it up} follow along.

 {step 1}
take off glass shelves and prepare work space.
Pretty easy. Prepare space. Enough said.

 {step 2}
use dry brush technique with
brushed pewter metallic paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint. 
Squeeze paint on to a paper plate. Dip brush into paint and use wiping cloth {or a hub’s old white t-shirt} to remove a majority of paint on brush. Haphazardly and in quick strokes, paint the piece in various directions. Try not saturate one area. At this point, less is more. Continue dipping, wiping brush and painting on shelves, while trying to achieve a very “rough, unfinished” look.

 {step 3}
use dry brush technique with
medium gray paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint.
Clean out brush or use a new one. Squeeze paint on to a paper plate. Dip brush into paint and use wiping cloth to remove a majority of paint on brush. Continue applying paint in a haphazard fashion, remembering that less is more and you will continue this process a few times with each paint color. Continue dipping, wiping brush and painting on shelves with second color. It should still have a very “rough, unfinished” look.

 {step 4}
use dry brush technique with
french linen paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint.
Repeat steps 2/3 using that same technique, but with the french linen paint. Use this paint very minimally or exclude all together. This allows for a gray hue to be layered, but only small amounts are necessary. More will be used on the bottom shelf.

{step 5}
repeat steps 2 – 4 until piece has a layered, brushed
Continue repeating steps until you have achieved the weathered, iron look. I used the metallic paint and gray the most and continued to alternate between paint coats several times. Paint it on, step back and look at it to decide what areas need additional paint or layers.
You’re probably going to love this part… I let it sit in the bedroom for a week and would add layers of paint a day at a time until I had it just the way I wanted it. Sorry for those out there who love instant gratification.

when you’re done it could look something like this…

{step 6}
painting the base of the shelf.

For the bottom shelf I used all three paint colors, but used 2x more french linen than the other two. I used the dry brush technique, but also used a painting block I have to spread the paint in a “chipped” fashion. Again, I used the dry brush to wipe on layers of paint and continued this for several different layers.


To be honest, the shelf is not my most favorite part. It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned because it is a different material than the shelving unit. Next time around, I might add a stained wood shelf to the bottom or leave it black. Fortunately, I had some crates and larger items that do a pretty good job of hiding my least favorite part. Phew.

{step 6}
looking glass spray on glass shelves.
I repeat. Totally optional. I only did this because I already had the Looking Glass spray and I have a secret crush on anything that has a mercury glass look. Totally not necessary, but I totally did it anyways.

Using Krylon Looking Glass Spray, give the shelves a mirrored, mercury glass look using a vinegar and spray technique. You can see directions and how I achieved the same look on a chandelier here.

looking glass

I mean, come on. How amazing are? I would say they are a huge improvement and turn something that is a little ho-hum into something that makes you just want to smile. A few days of painting and there you go. So. Much. Better.
thx cards & bookshelves

Looking for some styling tips and a way to fill those shelves on a budget? Find some tips here. Maybe a simple transformation can change up a boring piece into something a little more jaw dropping. Make a statement. On a budget, of course.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

Continue Reading · Comments { 0 }

a kitchen favorite. ziploc baggies.

Don’t laugh. This is quick and kind of ridiculous, but I think you should know about it. I am now in the know and do I dare say that I may {or may not} have ordered like a billion packages because I love them that much.

Remember the other week I shared my new jam? You know, my smoothie jam? If you want a delish smoothie recipe that hits the spot look here. And, if you are like me and it pains you to throw out that last bit of smoothie that doesn’t fit in the cup or doesn’t have any takers, read on. Seriously, read on.

The first question… where have you been all my life? Look at these amaze-ing inventions. Hello, genius.

Zipzicles are my new best friend. You can find them on Amazon and I am not lying when I say they are the smartest thing ever. Pour that leftover smoothie in, pop in the freezer and you have some ready for those kiddos when time is ticking.

Can you imagine the fun? Make your own yogurt squeezers for the little kids. Or, maybe some tasty poolside drinks for the big kids. Come on, it’s just too much fun.

Zipzicles, I thank you.

eat. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

if you missed my other {morning goodies take a lookey loo. 
see something you like?

{buttnernut squash muffins}

{blueberry banana muffins}

Continue Reading · Comments { 4 }

styling shelves. tips and tricks.

Earlier I shared about the ikea shelves that I turned into something a little more me.  You can find more about it here. Today is a day all about styling. I seriously heart styling anything. Shelves. Mantels. Tables. It’s a serious problem, but it could be good news for you.

I think I have said it a million times before, but I am all about making a statement, albeit while being on a budget. Don’t get me wrong, I could style a room and make it cost big bucks, but that’s not real life for me. The bright side is that there are simple ways to make a shelf look a little prettier without spending oodles of money. A few simple tips that turn it from blah to a little bit of fancy.

  styling tip 1

Truth. Do all things in 3s. My mom taught me this. Make a trio and all is well. This simple trick will make any shelf look a little more polished and a little less thrown together. Believe it or not, in styling odd numbers are your friend.

styling tip 2

 Add some depth and dimension by making sure that you have items of different heights. Adhere to the “rule of thirds” so that everything looks proportionate to one another. Did you know this applies to clothes too?  Varying heights will turn something a-ok into something pretty amaze-ing. Try it. Love it? Hope so.

styling tip 3 As you have heard, I am a total bookworm and I have a huge collection of books. But, I am all about style and sometimes the books don’t actually go with my decor. I have a few tricks to solve that problem that are easy as pie.

  • Rip off the book covers. Gasp. Yes, I really do this. In fact, I just bought 40 books for a women’s ministry event at a local thrift store and ripped off every single cover. Grab those covers, rip them off and tie a few together with twine. The neutral palette of the pages will go with just about everything. Can you find the cover I ripped off on my shelf?
  • Cover with something you have lying around. I have used dictionary pages, atlas pages, newspaper, and even fabric from a ripped laundry basket {that was a cheap one}. When using paper, tape it to the inside covers of the book securing tightly on each side. If you go the fabric route, invest in some spray adhesive and glue it to the cover.
  • Visit a thrift store or Habitat for Humanity. Head over to the hardback cover books {I get mine for $2 each} and start looking underneath the dust jacket covers. Find a color palette or hue that would work in your room and look for books that have similar spine and cover colors. I walked out of our Habitat for Humanity with a stack of light blue and pale pink books for less than $10. Stack them and you have a great addition to any shelf without spending a whole lotta’ money.

What makes you smile? Find an item you love and go on a hunt for more. I stumbled across these two phones at thrift stores and couldn’t get over how cute they were. The white one was a steal for $10 and the black one had to come along too. They are the perfect accessory and add a little interest. For me, it’s phones and scales. Look around my house and you might find a few of those gems hidden. What about you? What makes your heart skip a beat?

styling tip 5

Yep. It’s that simple. Don’t worry about hanging and putting nail holes in the wall, instead find a few frames {notice my trio on the right?} and rest away. An easy way to showcase art without having to worry about symmetry and makes changing out frames a cinch.

Can I tell you one of my favorite parts of these frames? That cutie on the top left is my Grandma. After she passed in November, I found this picture of her working on a Boeing plane in the Seattle factory during the war years. Each day I’m reminded of this special lady who was quite the fashionista, even during the war years. Oh, g-ma. I heart you.

 Are you sold? Did you learn a few new styling tricks? I hope so. Try a few of them out at home and let me know how it goes. This post is a special shout out to my girl Mrs. Barcello who thought I should do this post about five years ago. Here you go, this one’s for you AB. xo

Coming up next week… how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves for a just under $20.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

Continue Reading · Comments { 2 }

bedroom shelves. my own ikea hack.

Our bedroom is huge. Why do they do that? It totally annoys me. For a personality like me, it means that I have to spend more money buying furniture to make it look ‘done’. Well, after almost three years it is finally done. Deep breath. Then a smile.

I need a statement piece, but this girl is on a budget, so I found something at Ikea and made it a little more me. The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I love when things just work.  Here’s the {before}.

ikea shelf

I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. But, the best part was that my shelves took up six feet of wall space in our room. What could be better?

DSC_0009 After a little bit of styling, some thrifting for books at a Thrift store and visiting ‘my store’ for some unused items, I now look and smile. What started with something that wasn’t really me has turned into a piece that I am smitten with.

thx cards & bookshelves1 thx cards & bookshelves

A few coats of paint and some stylish pieces make any bookcase better. Are you looking to fill up a large space in your house, too? Maybe these will be the perfect addition for your space. A little sweat and then a lotta’ smiles.

Coming up… simple tips for styling shelves on a budget and how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO


Continue Reading · Comments { 5 }