chalkboard wall. thanks. giving.

November. It’s here. Time for one of my favorite holidays of all, Thanksgiving. I love a chance to share what we are grateful and our thanks to those who fill our lives, big and small.

For this month, some thanks and some giving. A chance to share and see just how lucky we truly are.  

The theme for this month? A little thanks and a little giving. Oh, and a place where we get to say thanks.

Part 1. Let’s be thankful and giving. Can I get an amen?
If we repeat it enough do you think it will officially stick? That’s what I am aiming for. And, it is just plain cute. The {giving} banner took about five minutes to make. Promise.

Grab some dictionary pages or something from an old book. Trace the needed letter templates that can be found here. Cut it out and add some twine. Hello, beauty.

Part 2. Just what are you thankful for? 
It’s a tradition and I am sticking with it. Kids, what are you thankful for? A little lesson in the abundance of blessings that they have. And, it’s just as meaningful to us adults.

A little magnetic tape, stamps, washi tape and a {free} printable and you have yourself a pretty gosh darn cute chalkboard wall. That’s one thing to be thankful for.

Some {effortless} tricks to make your chalkboard wall the cutest on the block.

pencil pouch with arrow

magnetic labels with arrow

And, the {free} ‘thankful’ printable template for all those thankful thoughts, big and small.

thankful note with arrow

Wishing you a thankful season filled with family, friends and cherished time together. Start writing down all those things you are thankful for

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 {september} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{november 2014}

{thankful banner}


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disneyland. they don’t know. scavenger hunt.

I. Am. So. Excited. The kids don’t know. It’s a surprise. Shhhh… don’t tell. We are surprising them with a trip to the magical place, otherwise known as Disneyland. {To be honest, we did surprise them, but getting this out didn’t happen until now. Oops.}

We are mean parents and we are those parents who have yet to take our kids to Disneyland. Don’t say it, I already know what you’re thinking. Meany-pants over here. But, October changed all that. They were in for a treat and didn’t even know it. I secretly packed their bags and gathered everything a family would need to make the trek to the most magical place in the world. And, they had no idea. I am just giddy thinking about it.

To make the trip even more special, I created a scavenger hunt that they got once we were in the car. Their suitcases were hidden away and they thought we were on our way to run some errands. Surprise. We are so stinkin’ sneaky. Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

The scavenger hunt envelopes went a little something like this…

savenger hunt with label

Want a scavenger hunt for yourself? It’s as easy as download, print, cut and put in envelopes. Easy peasy.

scavenger hunt 1

Want a scavenger hunt for yourself? Click here to download your own clue cards. All you need to do is PRINT, CUT, PUT IN AN ENVELOPE. Voila!
scavenger hunt clues
Once they solved the clue they were given their next envelope. Seriously so fun and the cutest thing ever. Once they solved the last clue and made a guess they got to open their package, which held the book Secrets of Disneyland.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 2.02.53 PM

So sneaky. So surprise-y. So fun. Just wait until you see all the pictures. Check out my instagram account to see some of the adventures in action.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {kid & parenting} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{super three.}

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character traits. more of that super three stuff.

Earlier you heard me talk about our newest addition to the night time routine. A little something we call the {super three}. I still love it and it’s safe to say the kids are still in love with it too. If you missed it, take a hop over here and learn more. You won’t be sorry you did.

Just so as not to forget, it went a little something like this…

The gist of it is that each night you share three character-based things you saw them doing during the day with some specific examples. It has been a great way to share just how proud I am of the little people they are becoming, but I am the first to admit that at times I need a little bank of character traits to spark some great examples. So, this mama went to work hunting down some character traits that I can fall back on when my mind blanks.

character traits picture

Aren’t they perfect reminders of what we can and should be focusing on each day? I have already printed a copy for myself as a reminder of what character traits to be looking for in my kids. Want a copy for your home too? Find two different versions here. Print it. Put it up somewhere special.

Still want to know more? I found a great site called a site devoted to providing tools for growing Godly character. Seriously good.

Character traits. Love them. Now it’s time to get to work on developing some serious character traits in those three kids of mine.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {kid & parenting} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{father’s day. a different type of present.}

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super three. perfect way to end the day.

Let me start my saying this… I did not come up with this. I wish I did, but sadly I did not. I will tell you that I love it and am grateful to the gal that did.

This gem of a parenting trick came from the daughter-in-law of the leader in my parenting bible study. I know, confusing. I heard it the other week from my bible study leader and it has stuck like the syrup Shadow gets in her hair. I love it. And now it is one more part of our nighty-night routine.

It’s simple. A little something called the {Super Three}. I love it. The daddy loves it. But more importantly, the kids are all over it and make sure we don’t forget the {super three} before we turn out the lights.  It makes my heart smile to see their grins and hear about what choices, words, and actions they chose that made them extra special in our eyes. No words to express how much it melts your heart.

In fact, my middle ba-bay Sawyer {aka wild child}, asked if he could give me a super three. What??? How can a mom say no to that? Seriously the cutest thing in the world and I was grinning from ear to ear. What is better than a little super love for your little one?

It goes a little something like this…

Fortunately, it’s easier than you think. You gaze them lovingly in the eyes and share three character-based things you saw them doing during the day. And, sharing specific examples makes it even more of a treat. Easy, right? Told you.

Friends, can I just say that the {super three} can be for the little ones OR the old ones? Don’t you think everyone loves to hear what made them special today, even amidst our darkest days? Nothing shines a little extra light than that affirmation of who we are and what makes us so unique from the kiddo next door.

Another great new addition to our nighty-night time. And, a chance for the kids to hear all about what makes them so special, regardless if it was a good day or a bad day. They truly are my little super-beings, but now I get to tell them why.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {kid & parenting} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{a new kind of nightly prayer. so worth it.}

{hands free mama.}

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fall shoes. fall outfits. inspiration two.

Last week, I shared my two favorite new fall shoes and some outfits to go along with them. If you missed it, take a lookey-loo here

Today, two new outfits to inspire and {what YOU should wear.}. Get ready, here is your second round of inspiration.

Number one. gray heeled booties.
Still love them. Here is another way to show off these babies while out and about.

{what you should wear. outfit inspiration number two.}

Lucky Brand ‘Betweixt’ Booties / ‘Mother’ jeans / patterned blouse /
Leather cream cuff bracelet from Francesca’s / Alex & Ani ‘J’ Bracelet / J. Crew gem bracelet in wine

Number two. a twist on traditional running shoes.
Ready to run? Maybe just run some errands? Whatever. Wherever. I think these might be your friend. We have become besties as of late.

{what you should wear. outfit inspiration number two.} 

New Balance Woods 620 Woods / ‘Citizens of Humanity’ black jeans / black scarf /
denim cuffed shirt / gold tassel necklace / snake cuff from forever 21

Fall shopping and wearing inspiration. Maybe you’ve already decided what you will wear tomorrow. If not, follow along with me on Instagram and see what other gems you might see me or the little lady wearing.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {what i wore} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{brush on spf. amazing.}

{three goodies for your closet.}

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fall shoes. fall outfits. inspiration one.

Shoes. They had me at hello. But, you already know this. I could have a million shoes. Sadly, I don’t. If only I were a celebrity and they just sent me shoes. Oh well.

For you, some of my favorite fall shoes and for outfits to inspire. I am calling this {what you should wear.} and it’s a lookey-loo at my new shoe favorites and essentials for the fall season.

Number one. gray heeled booties.
C’mon, booties are in. You need a pair. These cuties are comfy and stylish. The perfect height for those of us that didn’t get the long and lean legs.  Cute with a dress, skirt or your favorite pair of jeans.

{what you should wear. outfit inspiration number one.}

Lucky Brand ‘Betweixt’ Booties / ‘Mother’ jeans / similar scarf /
Vince Navy Tee / Alex & Ani ‘J’ Bracelet / J. Crew gem bracelet in wine

Number two. a twist on traditional running shoes.
Let’s be honest, I am always running around. I am either getting things accomplished or chasing after Shadow {that’s what I call my little three year old cutie.} I need something that is comfy, cute and can either be dressed up or down. Look at pinterest. Trust me, all the rage. I am in. You too?

{what you should wear. outfit inspiration number one.} 

New Balance Woods 620 Woods / ‘Mother’ jeans / Anthropologie infinity scarf /
J. Crew baseball tee / Alex & Ani ‘J’ Bracelet / J. Crew gem bracelet in yellow and gold

Next week? Two more outfit inspirations for your closet. One for the booties and one for the running shoes. Get excited.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other {what i wore} related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{what i wore. vegas style.}

{three goodies for your closet.}

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trick to keeping the bathroom clean. martha would be proud.

I am pretty sure one day, long ago during my college years when I {actually} had time to read through a whole magazine I stumbled upon this tip. I am pretty sure it was from my good friend, Martha Stewart, but let’s just pretend I came up with it all myself.

Needless to say, it has been my nightly ritual since college and I think it makes ALL the difference in the world. Want in on the secret? Not hard. Oh, so easy. Lifesaver.

You may have figured this out by now, {or already know me way too well} but I am a little {ok, a lottle} of a clean freak. I love things clean and tidied up. I am not one for clutter or messes. But, this girl doesn’t have enough time in the day to get bathrooms cleaned multiple times a week. Who am I kidding? I am on a two-week rotation basis, so I need to make each day count. The longer it looks clean the happier this girl is.

{and the only}.

Seriously, that’s it.
Keep a washcloth tucked in a secret spot. After you finish washing your face, brushing your teeth, applying your nightly moisturizer follow this routine:

1. Take out a washcloth.
Wow. Hard. Have one handy.

2. Wipe it down.
You heard it right. I wipe it ALL down. I wipe the faucet {now so shiny!}, the counters, the everything.

3. Smile and admire.
Look at how sparkly that faucet and counter are. Do it every night and your bathroom cleaning duties will be extended by days, do I dare say weeks? Trust me. It extends your cleaning duties by at least a week.

Just look at how sparkly and clean these bathrooms are? A little motivation for you.

Bath Fixture 3{pinterest. my link disappeared, sorry.}

bathroom fixture {hazardous design}

bathroom fixture 2 {traditional home}

Want to see more bathrooms? Visit my pinterest board and see some bathrooms that I heart. Sigh. Someday. Visit them here.

With that said, I thank you, Martha. And, I think my friends will thank you too. Don’t you think?

love. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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diy headboard and reading lamp. perfect for the boy.

My boy is getting big. Time for a big boy bedroom. Earlier this week, I shared our inspiration. You can read more about it here. My little man and I worked hard to get this {summer} project done and he was seriously the cutest little helper eva’. Oh, and the new piece is pretty gosh darn amazing too.

Just a few simple materials will get the job done. A little something I like to call… easy, peasy.

fence boards {total of 6}
Pine 1×4 ripped down to 2″ wide {total of 1}
white paint
red paint
stain {i used special walnut}
ruler or 2×6 to measure straight lines
first aid stencil template
sconce {optional}

bed materials

bed 1

{wish i would have… used painters tape to tape the outside and then filled it in. would have made life a whole lot easier and a little less stressful while grayson was painting away. whelp, now i know.}

Seriously adorable, right? I love it. He loves it. I love it. What could be better? Oh, I know. The entire project cost me a whopping $38. You heard it… THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS. Fortunately, I have a lot of goodies hanging around the house and extra paint for days, so I only had to purchase the wood {$15} and the sconce {$20} plus a little tax. Sigh. Clap. Smile.


Maybe a new piece of art or a reading lamp for your room too? Who knows, maybe these will end up all over my house because I love them so much.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

I linked up at Moonlight & Mason Jars. Won’t you follow along too? Find it here.

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bedroom for boy. new version. the inspiration.

Holy cannoli. My first born. My baby. My lil’ G is… OLD. When did that happen? He is seriously growing up before my eyes. Can you hear the tears rolling down my cheek? He officially started 2nd grade and this mama is having a few {okay, maybe more than a few} issues with that. So sad.

Well, this summer it was our goal to transform his room a bit. The little Lulu got his old bed and he got a chance to upgrade to a bigger bed and a more {mature} twist on his room. Gulp.

The room reveal will come later. For now, the inspiration that started it all. Mr. Grayson was all over helping, giving ideas and being a part of the whole process, which required some serious mommy patience. Painting with a 7 year old? Need I say more?

Step 1. New bed.
The man of the house built him a new platform bed which we stained. More the come later.
Bed? Check.

Step 2. Light issues.
G is totally into reading right now. Oh how that makes my heart smile. So, we needed a way for him to read, but also some type of headboard to offset the low platform bed. After some brainstorming we came up with an idea… a framed out piece of art that would hold a plug-in sconce.

Aha, inspiration. G and I got to work brainstorming some different options and came up with our top seven. Stop it. Too cute.


| 1 schoolhouse electric princeton | 2 world market ethan3 ikea ranarp |
| 4 schoolhouse electric radar | 5 restoration hardware industrial era | 6 ikea ranarp |
| 7 barn light electric lovell |

Let’s be real. I have expensive taste and apparently my son inherited it from me. Our first choice? Number 4. I mean, die. It is ADORABLE. That was the one we HAD to have.

But then my voice of reason, otherwise know as the husband, gave us a big fat n-o. Why is it the cutest? Well, because it is a whopping $205 buckaroos. Oh boo. The husband won again. He reminded me that our 7 year old will not appreciate a $200 sconce. Well, I guess I will just have to find another place for it where I can appreciate it.

So, we settled on Grayson’s second choice and most inexpensive. Holla.

Just a little sneak peek…

{ikea ranarp plug-in sconce.}

Seriously in love with this one-of-a kind art piece. When I walk by Grayson’s room my smile gets a little wider. Later this week, find out how to make one of your own. Get excited.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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

{striped linoleum floors. amaze-ing.}

playroom floors collage

{master bath redo. on a budget.}

{mercury glass chandelier.}
mercury chand 1

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mimosa bar. hello school. goodbye kiddos.

I fully admit that I enjoy the start of the school year. I seriously heart summer, but it some kind of wonderful to get back into a routine. With that said, I thought that a mimosa bar would be a fitting way to toast to a new school year with some friends and fellow mamas.

So easy. So fun. The perfect way to wish our babies well as the school year starts. Hello, mimosa bar.




mimosa bar food

 Who doesn’t love a {free} printable to go along with it? Something that makes your mimosa bar stand out from the rest. Well, it’s your lucky day. A thank you from me to you for following along.

printable label with heading

{you will need}
thick paper
mimosa bar printable
juice label printables
washi tape or scotch tape
frame or picture stand

{your task}

step 1. print the ‘mimosa bar’ template {here} and the juice labels {here}.

step 2. cut the juice labels out of the attached template.

step 3.  cut ribbon to desired length, loop around and adhere with washi tape.

step 4. loop over juice bottles.

step 5. add the mimosa bar printable template to a frame or on a picture stand.


Just look at how ca-ute it is. Don’t you want to host one too? I have already decided that this will have to be my new tradition. It was way too much fun.

sip. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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