Archive | January, 2013

how do i love thee? {a fun diy with free printable}

While perusing pinterest, I came across an idea for loving your kids in the month of february. Each day, you cut out a heart, write something you love about the child and tape it to their bedroom door. Each morning, they wake up and feel extra loved as they embark on their day. Cute idea, right?

I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I’ve gone and created my own hearts playing off the lovely poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.


There is a numbered heart for each day until valentine’s day.


I’ll show you how I made mine.

You’ll need:


:: printable hearts {download below}

:: assorted scrapbook paper {or plain white is fine too}

:: scissors

:: stamps or pens to write sentiments

:: glitter if you’d like to embellish

:: a long ribbon to hang

STEP ONE: print template on assorted paper and trim around dotted lines


I’ll be doing this for four kids, so I printed several different pages on different paper


STEP TWO: write {or stamp} something you love about your husband/child/friend/yourself



STEP THREE: hang ribbon from top of door {embellish if you wish}


STEP FOUR: each day, add a new heart {attach with double stick tape}


  finished-banner        only-you

I’m really excited to do this for the kids this year. I don’t always do a great job celebrating each one for their individual qualities and so not only will it be special for them to hear, but it will be really great for me to think about.

If you’d like to make a love banner of your own, feel free to download the template below.






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laundry room idea board

Like most large households, ours produces a massive amount of laundry. And like most moms, doing that laundry is far from my favorite task.

I have found in my limited research that most laundry-doers fall into one of these categories:

1. you are forced to do laundry when you realize the kids are out of underwear. You have laundry-palooza and wash/dry/fold/put away 83 loads in one day.

. . . or . . .

2. you wash and dry as things get dirty, but are left with wrinkly clothes that sit mounded in baskets/your guest bed/your floor for days {or sometimes weeks} on end.  When the mountain can get no larger {or the kids complain that they can’t find any clean underwear} you spend four hours folding in front of some highly intelligent tv show like the Bachelor or Housewives of BH.

Am I right?

Unless you are my mom and find great joy in doing laundry and search the house for things that might possibly need washing just so you can do another load.

I’m not kidding. She’s crazy. In a good way.

Anyway …

I’m ready to change my ways and be a little more like my mama. Or at least reduce the elevation of my weekly mountains.

Most people would create a schedule or system to make things easier, or enlist their children to help. Not me. When in doubt, I redecorate.

Let me explain …

Here’s what my laundry room looks like today:


It’s a nice enough space – long and skinny, but plenty of room to move around. It’s light, conveniently located in our house {upstairs} and we bought a new washer & dryer last year that we are very happy with {top loading washer}.


The cabinets are reused from our kitchen {ugliest finish ever}, the laundry bins are random rubbermaid totes, and the wire shelf holds clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for a clean, functional laundry room with plenty of storage {the washer was on our back porch in our old house and I was too scared of rodents to go out there half the time}, but I’m thinking that maybe if it was functional AND pretty, I would be more interested in spending time in the room. It may be a faulty theory, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Here’s what I’m thinking:


1. It all started with the rug. West Elm was having a rug sale and I just couldn’t pass this one up. While I usually steer clear from bold color, the laundry room seems like the perfect place to go for it.

2. Next came the idea to paper the back wall using my favorite gift wrap. I did this technique in the nursery, so I figured it would work again in here.

3. The butterfly print is from IKEA – it tones down the color while still being a pretty focal point. I’m thinking it will go along the left wall.

4. I will for sure paint the cabinets white and would like to replace the wire shelf with one or two wood ones. I still have to think about the hanging-clothes issue.

5. The chippy dresser will stay for now. I have no other place for it and actually think it could work in the room once everything else is looking good.

6. Time to upgrade from rubbermaid totes for dirty laundry bins – the cute gingham ones will come in the mail this week. Not sure what the material is like, but hoping they will work.

7. Let’s talk about that striped bin. Is it not the cutest? Also coming this week and very excited.

So that’s the plan. I’ll keep you posted …


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keeping organized in the month of love

February is a busy month for our family. Three out of six of us have birthdays, Ryan and I celebrate our dating anniversary {I know, that’s dorky. But we dated for so long before we were married, it is almost more special than our wedding anniversary}, there’s valentine’s day, school events and a few weekend trips {we do what we can to make it through this  dreary pacific northwest winter!}.

Needless to say, organization in the month of February is a must.

Organization that is easy to use and cute to look at is a big bonus.

JDC | Monthly was created as a way to help simplify and organize life in a stylish way. This month I’ll be using every . single . item {except maybe the daily menu because its all I can do to create a dinner plan – adding in a breakfast and lunch schedule would push me over the edge}.

This February, I played with hearts and arrows. It’s pretty cute, if I do say so myself.


The collection includes:



Every month I also show how to create a simple project. This month, we’ll make this festive tassel banner:


So fun to decorate for valentine’s day and birthday parties.

You will also receive a limited edition printable art print.


And maybe my favorite this month are these sweet valentine love notes.


Leave them around the house, slip them into your child’s lunch box or use them as gift tags.


JDC | Monthly is an incredible value at $9.99 per month and your first month is free.

You are welcome to give it a try. If it’s not the right fit, you can cancel at any time.

Plus, all JDC | Monthly members receive 50% off all printables in the shop.


Make your month organized and become a JDC | Monthly member!

Click the button below to sign up:




When you sign up you will be directed to the current month’s link immediately. Billing is done on a 30 day cycle {so if you join on the 15th, you will be billed the following month on the 15th}. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the collection of pdfs, as well as the project tutorial.

dotted line

P.S. If you are already a member, your February link was emailed to you on the 22nd. If you need any help please let us know.

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walk in love

This new art print has been in my imagination for some time. I was waiting until I had just the right message to go with it and the creative inspiration to get it out on paper. That time came a few days ago – when the house was quiet {three in school, daddy sick in bed, little miss busy with a sticker book} and my bible open.


This is what I read:

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
2 John 1:4-6

I love that it is written to a woman {most likely a reference to a certain ancient church, but, whatever}, love that it includes children, and love that it boils the Christian faith down to the most basic requirement – to love one another.

But something else really struck me.

We live in a time where love is a word we just throw out {I just did a few times up there} to describe how we feel about something.

“I love this song”

“I love that color”

“I love your shoes”

We say it all the time. And we probably mean it. There is a lot to love in the world.

This scripture takes it a step further. Love, yes. But also walk in love.


It’s not just a matter of saying you love it. It’s in the actual doing {the walking} when love makes a difference.


I put the new print on our entry table. When we pass it, I hope it reminds us as we come and go to remember our ultimate purpose: to love.


What that looks like, I’m not certain. Maybe some days it means having a little more patience in how I interact with my kids. Or maybe it’s taking the time to stop and talk with the chatty neighbor lady down the street {even though I have things to do and places to be}. Maybe it’s writing that thank you note or smiling at the straight-faced bus driver.


All simple things, really. None requiring much more than a few extra minutes and some thoughtfulness.

 The best part of it all is that it doesn’t matter what’s on our feet – high heels or flats, boots or barefoot – we can all walk in love.




This print is a new favorite of mine and I hope you love it as well.

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a joyfolie discount for jdc readers

Are you a shoe girl? Or have a little girl in your life who is?

If so, you will love Joyfolie. Each season, Jessica {the designer and entrepreneur behind joyfolie} comes up with the most gorgeous new styles.  Here are a few of her wintery looks:


The Eloise for women and Ellie for little girls.

joyfolie girls

Darling, right?

You can grab a pair {or two} for 30% off this week only with an exclusive JDC discount code.



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book week: what I’m reading & link party

This has been a fun week. Thanks to all of you for sharing your favorites in each category. We have a pretty great resource of books to refer back to!

Today is the big link party day where we get to tell each other what we’re reading.


Me? I’m reading The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.

I never thought I’d say this, but I prefer reading from the kindle app on my ipad. I was resistant at first, but it really is quite convenient.

I’ve read some great books on the ipad – my most recents were The Forgotten Garden {also by Kate Morton and so amazing} and The Dressmaker {loved that one very much}. Once I finished those I was searching online for a new book. A few days later The House at Riverton showed up at my doorstep. Apparently I one-click purchased the real book. Dangerous thing, that one-click purchase button.

So here I am, reading a real book. It is “a gorgeous debut novel set in England between the wars. Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, it is the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all and kept a secret for decades.” {from the amazon description}.  I’m only a quarter of the way through it, but the story is proving to be captivating. I recommend it.


Okay, now for the fun part: your turn to link up and share what you are reading!

Feel free to take the title loosely – if you’d rather share your favorite book or something you’ve been wanting to read, go for it.

Here’s the deal:

1. link to your blog post where you tell us what you’re reading

2. add the button above to the bottom of your post to let your readers know they, too, can join the party!

{copy & paste the code below for a quick way to add the button}

what i'm reading
<div align="center"><a href="" title="what i'm reading"><img src="" alt="what i'm reading" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Ready, set, go!

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book week: favorite faith-based reads

Today’s book week topic is books about faith.


I have to be honest with you: I’m not crazy about Christian books {they can get a bit cheesy}. I’m not crazy about self-help books, either. At this point in my life, if I’m going to read, I want a well-written novel that sweeps me away to another time or place with interesting characters that I grow to love and miss dearly when the story is finished. I suppose that makes me more of a read-for-entertainment-reader rather than read-for-growth-reader.

However, I do value the wisdom and perspective of chrisitan authors and have found a handful of books that have made a huge impact in my life.


So here are my favorite Christian books:


I’ll add commentary about each one, because even though I said I don’t always love Christian books, these are truly great:

1. the voice bible // This is a brand new translation of the bible that helps both new readers and the seasoned bible-scholars read scripture with a fresh perspective.   “Scripture is presented not as an academic document, but as an engaging story. The intention of the scholars and authors who collaborated on The Voice is to enable readers to hear God speaking, to experience His presence in their lives.” {from the voice website} This is the bible used at our church and I really like how it reads as a story, without taking away the integrity of scripture. Click here to learn more.

2. love and respect // Men and women approach life differently, see things differently, hear the same comment differently and this book helps decode those differences in a really practical way. Ryan and I did this book/dvd series several years ago and it has made a difference in how we understand each other. As a society, we put a lot of emphasis on love, but this book shows that for men respect is just as important. A must read.

3. i will carry you // Angie’s blog was the first I read and I completely fell in love with her and her family. This is the story of God’s faithfulness through unimaginable grief. You’ll cry. But in a good way.

4. so long insecurity // I probably could have filled up each of these spaces with something by Mrs. Moore. She’s just incredible. I wish it were not so, but insecurity is such an issue with women and this book is truly a way to find freedom.

5. inside out // Beware: this book will make you look at the ugly parts of yourself that you like to keep hidden. It will pull them right out and make you address them. You will not like what you see, but you will love the results if you allow yourself to dig deep. My best friend and I did this together – I highly recommend going through the questions with someone you know well, who loves you even when you admit ugliness and who can help identify some areas of weakness. It was invaluable to work through this with K.C.

6. jesus calling // A daily devotional with simple, but poignant thoughts with scripture to back them up. You can download the app and read from your phone if you’re lazy like me and prolong getting out of bed each morning for as long as possible.

7. jesus calling for kids // Same as the above, but worded for school-aged kids. I probably get more out of this one each day than the grown up version. Also comes as an app.

8. the jesus storybook bible // What is it about this bible that makes me cry every time I read a story to the kids? It’s beautifully written, beautifully illustrated. Hits on all of the major bible stories, but always comes back around to the fact that Jesus is part of it all.

Those are my picks for favorite christian literature. What are yours?

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book week: favorite books for girls

Here we are – half way through book week.


Have you enjoyed all of the great book suggestions? I have a handful to check out that were recommended in the comments. If you have any other favorites, please be sure to leave a comment and let us know!

So let’s talk about favorite books for girls.

As I’ve mentioned before, children’s books have always charmed me and I accumulated quite a collection of sweet stories and illustrations before I had any children. It’s fun to now watch our littlest enjoy those girly books {truth be told, her brothers love them, too}.


Here are a few of my favorite choices for girls:


Once again, it was so hard to narrow down my favorites. There are so many beautifully illustrated books with charming stories to choose from!

If you have any go-to girl books, do share.

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book week: favorite books for boys

This happens in our house:

boys reading

The boys spending their evening reading.

Let’s be honest, part of the reason they enjoy it is that it prolongs bedtime. But I hope that they will continue to love reading and we do our best as their parents to find books that hold their interest.

Here are a few of our favorites for the boys:


It was really hard for me to narrow these down. And I would never say these are only for boys. But these are some of our boys’ most loved stories.  The entire bear series is adorable. As is the bat series and elephant & piggie. And Narnia must be on the list even though we’ve only made it through two of the seven books {we love the movies}.

Do you have favorite books for boys? Please share!

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book week: favorite books for baby


This week is devoted to books. Each day I’ll share my favorites in different categories and I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments. On friday, we’ll do a link party.


I’m really excited about this one. It will be a great way to hear about new books our internet-friends are crazy about.  So start your blog posts {or start reading a book!} and we’ll share at the end of the week.


Today’s category is favorite books for baby.


{mama & No. 1}

Even though they are too little to fully understand, reading sweet board books is so good for babies.  My No. 1 loved books from the very beginning. No. 2 couldn’t make it through an entire book until he was about three years old. Each kid is different, right?

This collection of books are our family’s very favorites:


These have made it through all four of our kids and some of  my favorite things to gift to new babes.

Please share … what are some of your favorite books for babies?

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home depot gift card winner + coming this week

For as long as I can remember, the Seahawks have been my team.

We hosted a party this morning {flapjacks & football for us west coast viewers} to cheer on our Seahawks.

Did you watch? It was a terrible first and second quarter. Then we came back.

it. was. intense.

Then the falcons came back and kicked that field goal to win the game. So sad.

I will love my hawks forever and cheer even louder when next season starts.

. . . . . . . . . .

The winner of the home depot gift card is: SHARA LEE!

{congratulations shara! Please send me an email and we’ll get your card sent out}

. . . . . . . . . .

Coming tomorrow …


A week of favorite books.

See you tomorrow!

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I’m feeling the need to add some orange into our lives. Not sure why. It’s just my color crush of the day.


See what I mean? Orange is just so fresh and unexpected. But only a little bit. I am such a neutral girl and so fickle {today I love orange, tomorrow I will probably tire of it} so I know myself well enough to not use color in permanent ways. But a few accessories here and there {both for me and the home} is perfect.


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Do you have any color crushes today?

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your home deserves it {a giveaway}



  one winner will be selected on saturday 01.12

{P.S. the comments are closed on this post. Please click the button above to enter the giveaway}

For giveaways, we do require a facebook or yahoo account to enter. This is less about endorsing either service and more about the ease of running the giveaway and getting word out to as many friends as possible. Thanks for your understanding!

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how switching out lights can make a big difference

Like most homes built in the last 10 years, every single ceiling light fixture in our house looked like this when we moved in:


Admittedly, it’s not the worst light fixture in the history of light fixtures, but it’s pretty boring.

One simple way to update a space and add style and interest is by switching out the ceiling light.  Over the past six years, we’ve slowly accumulated new fixtures for each room {only a few more to go} and it does make a difference. We have kept all of the original lights because when we sell, we will most likely take many of these with us.  Here are a few of our lights:

I installed this entry light all by myself. Nearly shocked myself in the process, but all worked out fine in the end.


The beaded fixture was a recent find at home depot. {right here}

In my office, I recovered a hanging drum shade in IKEA fabric, added bias tape to finish the edges and it definitely adds more personality to the space.


For a similar fixture, try searching for drum shade pendant {or choose this one}

We recently stole the crystal chandelier from the dining room and put it in our bedroom.


The scale is better in here and it makes the space a bit more glamorous.  I adore this chandelier – mostly because it came from our first home in Seattle – a teensy, run-down 1920’s craftsman. This light fixture was maybe the only thing worth keeping in that house.

In it’s place, we hung this giant rectangular fixture over our dining table.


It is from Restoration Hardware {we found ours at the outlet store for a steal!}.

This little light in our kitchen is a favorite due to its great industrial style and its low price tag.


The Ottava pendant lamp from IKEA.  I sort of want to wire in two more for a set of three over the kitchen table. A clear Edison bulb looks great in it.

My mom found this vintage chandelier at an estate sale and I sprayed it glossy black for Audrey’s nursery.


And put a bird on it.

If you are looking to update the lighting in your home, some great resources are:

Ballard Designs {I’m smitten with this and this}

Barn Light Electric {this one is next on my list for the boys’ room}

IKEA {this is cute}

PotteryBarn Teen {this one is fun. So is this}

and if your budget allows, Circa lighting always has great options.

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our new puppy

Perhaps my newest pinterest board tipped you off:

jdc pinterest board puppy love


Or if you follow me on instagram, maybe this photo gave away our surprise:

Yep. We finally did it.

We got a dog.

Our family grew this christmas and now includes this sweet pup:


He’s a black labradoodle {labrador retriever + standard poodle} and cute as can be.


We are maybe a little crazy to add a puppy into our lives right now, but we’ve been talking about it for a while – actually a few years.  We always said we would wait until our baby was not a baby and since she’ll be three next month {what?!}, we figured the time was now.


So far, our Atlas {named after Ryan’s favorite book} is a great puppy – frisky at times, but mostly mellow and happy.


You’ll undoubtedly see much more of the puppy here and on instagram – I’m a smitten mommy.


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