Archive | July, 2013

the FINAL summer giveaway with lisa from lisa leonard designs

summer-giveaway

 We did it! 20 days of AWESOME giveaways. Thank you to the lovely ladies who let us into their lives, for their summertime item suggestions and congratulations to all of the winners {your prizes are on their way!}.

To wrap things up I have a special guest who is just about as inspiring as any woman I’ve {virtually} met. She has a sweet family, a fabulous online business and is the type of lady you want as your friend. I’m so pleased to chat with

lisa-leonard-designs

She answered a bunch of my random questions and her answers just confirm what a talented, sweet, down-to-earth person she is.

lisa's-family

SUMMERTIME

We’re in San Luis Obispo, on the central coast of California. Summer means trips to the beach, camping, ice cream at Avila Valley Barn, fresh strawberries, lazy mornings and roasting marshmallows after the sun goes down.

FAVORITE-SPOT

We all gather in our family room/kitchen area and it’s the heart of our home. But if I want some quiet time, we have a cozy couch in our living room with lots of natural light. I love to sit in there with a good book and a cup of coffee.

sofa-in-lisas-house

INSPIRED-BY

Story. I want to hear your story and know who you are. The heart of our stories—that’s where we connect.

{Lisa and her family have a pretty inspiring story. Read more here}.

DIY-PROJECT

I love DIY! This jewelry stand is super easy and functional.

jewelry-stand

WORDS-THAT-DESCRIBE-ME

 Honest, imperfect, generous, creative, loving.

{funny thing is, I don’t even know Lisa, but this is totally how she comes across on her blog/social media. I love that she is herself and that it translates over the internet}

PROUD

I love creating unique jewelry and gifts. I want my designs to be truly original and fresh. When I see something go from sketch, to model to finished design, it makes my heart happy!

shop

{See more of Lisa’s designs in her fabulous shop}

We’re excited to finish out this series with a great giveaway to Lisa’s shop:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

To read more about Lisa’s family, her story, what she wore and her jewelry line, visit www.lisaleonardonline.com

{one winner will be announced on saturday august 3}

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summer giveaway with kate from centsational girl

summer-giveaway

We’re down to our last two days of this giveaway/blogger feature series!

Today’s guest is a pro – at blogging, diy’s, photographing her home … all of it. She is super talented and has become one of the top home bloggers due to her great sense of style, approachable design and generosity with tips and tricks. Please welcome the charming

kate

kate-centsational-girl

SUMMERTIME

Picnics in Sonoma, sunsets at the coast, and road trips to favorite California stops: San Diego, Carmel-by-the-Sea, or Lake Tahoe always get a visit!

california-surf

FAVORITE-SPOT

In the morning, my desk where I catch up on blogs and do my writing with a big cup of coffee at my side. In the evening, our bedroom where the kids and I snuggle up to read together at night.

kate-master-bedroom

{such a pretty room. I can see why she loves it!}

WHEN-I-WAS-LITTLE

An actress on Broadway! But then I realized when I became a teen I didn’t want to live that scene, so I chose a different stage: the courtroom. I practiced law for 7 years before turning to my adult passion: interior decorating and home improvement.

DIY-PROJECT

I have a ton of favorites but the one that gets the most use (and most traffic!) is the laundry room drying rack from 2009.

drying-rack

PROUD

My ability to teach myself something new, from learning to use power tools, to mastering Photoshop, to learning how to take better pictures with a DSLR camera. All self-taught!

{see 10 great photo tips at this post}

POSSESSION

If we’re talking material things, it’s a pair of vintage champagne glasses. They are Empoli Italian cased glass goblets we bought at the End of History in New York City and we toast our anniversary every year with them.

champagne-glasses

BLOGGER

The ability to work in my pajamas if I want! Not that I do. Okay I do it a lot, especially on rainy days.

dots

See more of Kate’s lovely home, check out her best diy’s and keep up with her current projects at www.centsationalgirl.com

Kate’s pick for her summer must-haves is this yummy-smelling body oil. I love it just for the bottle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{one winner will be announced on saturday august 3}

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summer giveaway with paige from simple thoughts

summer-giveaway

Sometimes you just want a friend who is a little bit older than you, maybe a stage or two ahead of you, who has advice to offer, a calming presence and the wisdom to tell you it will all be okay. Not quite your mom, not quite your peer. I’ve always been drawn to these type of women and today’s featured blogger is one who I would put in that position in my life in a heartbeat {if it weren’t for our across-the-country-distance}. She is a southern woman with all the charm in the world, who loves her husband in such a sweet and inspiring way, and who speaks so highly of her four girls and the privilege of motherhood. She makes me excited to watch my own children turn into adults. She is amazingly talented behind a camera and works as an ambassador for one of my favorite shops with a cause, Noonday Collection.

Please welcome

paige

paige-and-family

SUMMERTIME

atlanta braves; an air conditioner that cranks up as early as april and runs will into september; fresh georgia peaches; freshly mowed green grass and a back yard of hydrangeas; our annual trip to seaside, florida {affectionately referred to as holy week}; grilled hamburgers & hotdogs and ice cold coca-cola; a house full of girls, flip flops & wet towels; sitting at the table after dinner is finished and not hurrying off to the next ‘event’.

bbq

BEST-DECORATING-TIP

Over the years I’ve gone from being quite a collector and wanting to display all of my collections at all times to a much more minimalist approach in my decorating. I’ve spent a handful of years really minimizing and giving away so much of our clutter. In a home of six people, all of the ‘stuff’ can easily overtake and dominate a home. I wanted our home to be comfortable and clutter-free. A blank canvas where I can choose to display different pieces of art {oftentimes made by my children} or a simple large bowl of shells. I want the people in my home to be my focus, not all the things. I did a little video on my journey to simplifying here.

paige's-house

INSPIRED-BY

the white sand & crystal blue peaceful waters along the gulf coast; beautiful music, folk music, bluegrass, country, jazz. I love all genres really; stories of women overcoming obstacles in their lives; whimsical art; time with my girlfriends; love letters from my hubby; one-on-one time with each of my daughters; spending leisure time in one of my favorite shops: perspicasity, anthropologie, pizitz, patchouli’s.

paige-and-girls

COMING-TO-TERMS

I just can’t do it all and do it all ‘well’ all the time. I think as women we love to be the caretaker, the chef, the chauffeur, the gardener, the stylish fun friend, the hot wife, the well-read intellect, the carefree fun encourager, the everything. It’s just in our weave to try to do a lot and do it well. Many days I feel I fall short. I didn’t give enough attention to one of my girls, or I snapped at another one of them, I didn’t prepare a fabulous meal or I hurt someone’s feelings. I want to come to terms with being comfortable with the ebb & flow of doing life as a realist but maintaining a sense and a heart for dreaming. I want to come to terms with the fact that I can’t be the perfect mom that each of my {all very different} four daughters need. I’m thankful that my faith instills the promise that the Lord gives new mercies to me every morning … now I just need to give myself the same new mercies!

BLOGGER

Oh wow. How long do you have? I can honestly say blogging has been a game changer for me. While blogging is truly a labor of love, it’s a sacrifice of time to be intentional and regular about journaling our lives. Somedays I just don’t have all the time I’d love to spend writing down moments that I want to capture forever … but on the days I do, it is truly a blessing.I have more than one answer for this one. Blogging keeps me accountable to journal notes of encouragement for my girls. I can share my love of capturing images of them over the years and put those images in a medium with words and I love the outcome.Secondly, some of my dearest friends have truly been formed through blogging. Honestly, if I listed my closest friends right now, more than half were birthed in one way or another through blogging. A priceless blessing I can’t imaging being without!

dots

You can see more of Paige’s home, her beautiful daughters and musings about life at www.paigeknudsen.com

Paige is an ambassador for noonday, which offers accessories handmade by vulnerable groups of people around the world. Their  aim is to bring style while creating a pathway out of poverty for artisans and their families through dignified sustainable income.

Today’s giveaway is a necklace handmade in Ethiopia using recycled nickel, copper and bronze melted down from previous war weapons. Most of the artisans who created the pieces are HIV positive and receive healthcare and literacy training in addition to job training.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

To learn more about Noonday, visit here.

{one winner will be announced on saturday july 27}

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winners this week

Here are the winners for this weeks’ giveaway goodies:

boxwood wreath // Courtney Cotten

design book // Amber Low Middleton

narnia series // Lettie Burns

candle // Stephanie White

paper placemats // Melaine Thompson

Congratulations! Please send me a note {emily@jonesdesigncompany.com} and I’ll send out your gift.

We’re finishing up this series this week with three more fabulous bloggers {and prizes!}.

Enjoy your weekend

summer-lights {via}

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summer giveaway with shaunna from perfectly imperfect

summer-giveaway

Some bloggers are just inherently likeable. They share good ideas, are honest about their imperfections and give a heaping dose of inspiration. Today’s lady is definitely one of those. Please welcome

shaunna

shaunna

Shaunna answered a bunch of my questions and I’m guessing you’ll like her even more after reading her fun/sweet answers.

SUMMERTIME

 Alabama heat, trips to the coast, sweet tea, & a slower pace

DIY-PROJECT

I love a few of our projects, but the one I keep coming back to is our writing room and playroom.  We finished out our attic and turned the spaces into places that serve us so well, an office for me & a playroom/school room for the kids.  It was a 6 month process, but totally worth it in the end!

writing_room_redo_after_h

{such a lovely space! See more here}

And the playroom

playroom_h_newest

{see this space here}

WHEN-I-WAS-LITTLE

A writer.  Granted, I wanted to write tales of mermaids and fairies, but a writer nonetheless.

{congrats to shaunna … she just announced that she is indeed going to write a book!}

WAKE-UP

Drink a half a pot of coffee & write.  Seriously : my kids have two breakfasts: their snack breakfast and the larger one.  #reallife

BETTER-AT

Cooking them breakfast sooner!  And putting away clean laundry.  Slacker.

INSPIRED-BY

 The sea, paint, mamas who have dreams, & my little people.

desk

BEST-DECORATING-TIP

Go for it:do it all, and leave the perfection to someone else.  Create the home you want now.

bed_dresser_bedside_table

Shaunna has such pretty style with lots of soft colors and textures. She is a pro at painting furniture, does really great tutorials and even opened a small retail shop {it looks amazing!} and an online shop as well. You can see much more of Shaunna at www.perfectlyimperfectblog.com

dots

I’m crazy about today’s giveaway. These darling papers are great for simple decorating and add a cute graphic element to your tabletop.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{one winner will be announced on saturday july 27}

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summer giveaway with melaine from my sweet savannah

summer-giveaway

Today we’re chatting with my friend Melaine. She’s been blogging for quite some time and has such a laid-back, friendly, creative personality.

melaine-and-emily

One day about two years ago, Melaine and her friend came to my house for lunch. It was so fun meeting in real life and we’ve been able to catch up a few times since. She lives about an hour north of me in the most fabulous lake community and regularly hosts craft nights {which I have yet to make it to, but must!}. Please enjoy our visit with

MELAINE

melaine-in-her-shop

SUMMERTIME

endless hours swimming, BBQing, fishing, and paddle boarding.

DIY-PROJECT

a bar cart I made out of a tv table and old trunk

bar-cart

{so great! You can see the whole post here}

WORDS-THAT-DESCRIBE-ME

Determined, hardworking, focused, happy, and content.

BEST-DECORATING-TIP

if you love it, buy it. If you are wishy-washy about it, it’s probably not meant to be.

POSSESSION

our home

kitchen-with-view

home-tour

{I will agree with Melaine … I’ve been to her house and it is definitely worth cherishing! It is this darling shingled cottage with a view of the most charming lake. You can see her house tour here}

EVERY-ROOM

Something comfy. Pillows, blankets, slippers, soft area rugs.

pillows

BLOGGER

I love inspiring other people to get out and try things they otherwise wouldn’t have.  And also all the sweet friends you meet!

You can see much more of Melaine’s home, recipes, giveaways and projects at www.mysweetsavannah.blogspot.com

dots

Melaine is so great at executing ideas – it seems like she makes something new and creative everyday. One of her specialties are these great salvaged-wood frames and signs. She even has a fabulous studio to make them in!

frames

She is teaching an online workshop in just a few weeks where you can learn how to use reclaimed wood to make signs and frames. It’s going to be a great course! Learn more here.

Today’s giveaway is one of Melaine’s favorite summery things {in the savannah scent, of course}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{one winner will be announced on saturday july 27}

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5 winners from last week

congrats

Here are the five winners from last week’s giveaways

ART PRINT meegan jowdy

COWBOY HAT carri Gest

WASHI TAPE katie barnhill

DOT PILLOW shara bachman

NECKLACE kellie christensen

If your name is here, please send me a note {emily@jonesdesigncompany.com} and I’ll get your prize sent out to you!

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summer giveaway with emily from the anderson crew

summer-giveaway

Here’s a true {but sort of embarrassing story}: I met today’s blogger while at a conference last year. I actually didn’t ‘meet’ her right away. I judged her first.

She had this funky/cool platinum blonde hair, cute glasses, trendy clothes and was teensy.

I thought she was way too cool for me.

A day or so later, I actually met her and we totally hit it off. She is funky/cool, cute, trendy and teensy, but also tender and selfless and honest and so funny. I hate when I judge based on my own insecurities.

All to say, I am now a big fan of this family blog, of her photography and refreshing truthfulness. Please meet my friend,

ANDERSON-CREW

ANDERSON-FAMILY-PHOTO

DIY-PROJECT

Well, it’s nothing fancy, but my silhouettes have been one my favorite DIY projects that I’ve actually finished.  I tend to start a lot of things, but rarely finish.  I’ll blame my children for that one.

SILHOUETTES

FAVORITE-SPOT

My bed.  Or my couch.  Or really, just the floor.  Basically, anywhere that I can take a nap.

anderson-sofa

BEST-VACATION-SPOT

Well, seeing that I haven’t taken a vacation in 10 years (since my honeymoon) I should be asking all of you this question.

COMING-TO-TERMS

It might be another 10 years before I actually take a vacation.

WORDS-THAT-DESCRIBE-ME

Sarcastic, compassionate, feisty, helper, hippie-at-heart

COLLECT

Globes, milk glass, gnomes, antique plates and old furniture that sits in our garage.  My husband likes to affectionately call it all junk.
BLOGGER
All the memories I’ve recorded.  My kids will thank me one day for documenting all of their embarrassing moments.  Or maybe not.  But the reality is, I’ve recorded stories and pictures that might not ever have been remembered.  I’m so thankful for my many years of blogging.

anderson-kids

dots

One of my favorite things that Emily does is called Embrace The Camera. You can read all about it here, but basically she just encourages women to get on the other side of the camera lens and document life with us in the photo.

emily-embrace-the-camera

How great it is to have all of these little snapshots of daily life.

To hang out with Emily and her whole family, visit www.theandersoncrewblog.com

You will love them.

Emily’s family loves reading and their favorite series is Narnia, so today we’re giving the whole set away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{winner will be announced saturday july 27}

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summer giveaway with kristin from the hunted interior

summer-giveaway

Today’s blogger is one of my newest finds and I am enamored. Her style is sophisticated, glamorous, playful and bold. She has just been blogging for two years and I can’t wait to see where it takes her … very big things are coming her way.

kristin

hunted-interior-kitchen

Here is how Kristin answered a handful of my questions:

DIY-PROJECT

I feel like my DIY Skills improve with each project, so our new console that I created to look like the Bungalow5 Desk was a pretty proud accomplishment.

diy-console

{it looks so good! See the diy here}

BETTER-AT

Sewing.  I am getting pretty good with power tools, but I am death to a sewing machine.  Seriously, I have killed two.

BEST-DECORATING-TIP

My best decorating tip is to go with your gut.  Every time I have fallen prey to a design trend or listened to others I have regretted the decision.  Going with your first instinct will help lead you down the right direction.

bed-&-nightstand

POSSESSION

My Disco Ball: Crazy but true. My husband got it for me for my 30th Birthday & it just makes me smile.  My daughter often shakes her booty in front of it too which just adds to it’s sparkly appeal.

chloes-bedroom

EVERY-ROOM

Something black. It just adds depth & adds a touch of class to every space.

living-room

You can see much more of Kristin’s work, her house, and many tutorials at www.huntedinterior.com

dots

Today’s giveaway is a fantastic design resource and lovely coffee table book called The Design Cookbook. This media console from Kristin’s house is part of the book!

media-console
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{winner will be announced saturday july 27}

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summer giveaway with marian from miss mustard seed

summer-giveaway

What started as a place to showcase handpainted vintage furniture pieces, has turned into quite a wonderful blog filled with valuable resources, tutorials, practical advice, encouragement and lots of before and after inspiration. You will surely love today’s guest,

MARIAN

MARIAN

SUMMERTIME

Going to the pool, lake and playgrounds; taking family hikes, staying up late and sleeping in.

{P.S. at what point do kids learn that sleeping in is one of the best things in the world? Just wondering because mine haven’t yet}

DIY-PROJECT

I think I’m most proud of our DIY butcher block kitchen counters.  That project took my husband’s woodworking skills and my finishing skills to complete.

mustard-seed-kitchen

{such a lovely kitchen full of personal touches. See the space here}

WHEN-I-WAS-LITTLE

A Broadway actress.

{who knew?!!}

PROUD

Learning to reupholster furniture.

upholstery

{see just one of Marian’s fabulous makeovers here}

INSPIRED-BY

Women entrepreneurs who started a business on their kitchen counter and grew it into a successful company.

{Marian has her own fabulous business going. Check out her book and line of milk paint!}

EVERY-ROOM

An antique/vintage piece of furniture.  I think it gives the room soul.

living-room

Marian’s home is a wonderful canvas of vintage pieces and lovely fabrics. You can see much more at www.missmustardseed.com

dots

I just love today’s giveaway item – a great cottage basic that can be used for all seasons.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{winner will be announced saturday july 27}

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summer giveaway with sasha from lemonade makin’ mama

summer-giveaway

Sit down for a few minutes and click on this next bloggers site and you’re sure to feel relaxed, encouraged and happier. Her photos are clear and bright, with lots of pretty vignettes, doable ideas and her words are always sweet to the soul. I’m excited to introduce you to

SASHA

SUMMERTIME

We love summertime!! It means dozens of neighborhood kiddos in and out of my house, dogs that aren’t my own in and out of my house, food being eaten in and out of my house, doors being left open, nerf gun wars that last all day, sprinklers under the trampoline, veggies from the garden at dinner, and zinnias from our cutting garden being picked and arranged until fall.

sasha-instagram

{from sasha’s instagram feed – another must follow – @lemonademakinmama}

DIY-PROJECT

Scrap bunting banner for my daughter’s room {more here}

avas-room

or DIY glitter makeover for a pair of heels {see here}

glitter-shoes

WHEN-I-WAS-LITTLE

A housewife and mother. It’s true. I had a little kitchen and I spent hours diapering and feeding my babies and cleaning my ‘house’.

PROUD

Slowly letting go of my kids. I never thought it would be so hard to open my hands and give them extended boundaries, back when they were tiny and I was their world. Slowly, I’m saying yes and trusting them to not only branch out, but also make mistakes. I could never see myself doing that but I’m growing more and more used to the idea.

BEST-DECORATING-TIP

Know what you’re drawn to. I often go through my binder of ripped out magazine inspiration or Pinterest files and try to get a handle on the overwhleming theme in order to understand what I tend to like more of. I tent to love classic styles with neutral walls, floors, furniture and then go for pops of interesting color and patterns here and there. It’s so much easier to make a trendy update when it’s a small item like a rug, toss pillow or a framed print. And speaking of those updates – don’t be ashamed to change something every day just because you want to! There is something fresh about that. I’ve been into homes where it has looked exactly the same for the past twenty years. That’s okay … but it can get a bit stale. I change things all the time because it makes life fun.

kitchen

COLLECT

I love vintage cameras and blue mason jars with the zinc lids and I’ve got several of each. I display my vintage cameras but use my antique mason jars for craft storage and flower displays.

cameras-and-jars

EVERY-ROOM

A soothing feeling. I crave making our home into a haven for every friend, family member, neighbor and child. I want people to walk in and feel at ease and feel kind of forlorn when they walk out because of how homey and comfortable they felt while in it.

kitchen-with-blue-jars

dots

Sasha sounds like the most thoughtful friend. Her blog is uplifting, honest and pretty to look at. You can get to know Sasha at www.lemonademakinmama.com

Our giveaway item for today is from on of Sasha’s {and mine!} favorite shops-that-makes-a-difference: Noonday Collection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This necklace was handmade in Uganda and supports local artisans and provides a sustainable income for women. To learn more about noonday collection, click here.

Thanks for entering!

{winner will be announced wednesday july 24}

Continue Reading | 6 comments

summer giveaway with kirsten from 6th street design school

summer-giveaway

I love a great design blog and our featured blogger today writes one of the best. Her style is clean, she designs beautiful spaces and her use of fabric is great. She regularly shares great shopping sources and design ideas – if you love design, you’ll love her blog. Please welcome

kirsten

kirsten-and-family

SUMMERTIME

boating, camping, going to the pool and amazing barbecues!

FAVORITE-SPOT

My kid’s playroom is my current favorite spot. I adore the fun colors and happy vibe we have in our playroom. I also love hanging out with my kids in this room.

playroom

{it’s a super cute space! Check out the whole playroom here}

PROUD

graduating from college. I never considered myself to be very good at school and I hated college for my first two years. When i finally decided I wanted to study Interior Design I also discovered I had a love of learning. It makes such a difference when you are learning about something you are passionate about.

SUMMER-TREAT

popsicles. I’m obsessed! I eat about 4 a day. Rootbeer is my favorite flavor.

INSPIRED-BY

fabric. I’ve always loved pattern, color and print. All I need is one amazing fabric and I can put a whole room together. My favorite fabrics are florals with lots of pretty colors.

board

kirstens-work

WORDS-THAT-DESCRIBE-ME

happy, colorful, driven, funny, kind and compassionate.

EVERY-ROOM

Something sentimental. I’m not a very sentimental person so I don’t hold onto a lot of stuff. But I like to have at least one thing in every room that means something to me. In my kitchen I have my grandma’s cookbook on display, in my sons’ room I have pictures my husband took while he was flying (he’s a pilot) and in our bedroom we have vases and pictures that were my husband’s grandmas.

jetts-room

{see more of jett’s room here – it’s a great boy room!}

BLOGGER

I love the interaction I get with other woman. Being a mother can be somewhat isolating at times and my blog gives me the ability to connect with so many people from my own home. Without blogging I also would never have been able to start my own business. Blogging created an avenue for me to showcase my work and work with clients all over the world. My blog truly has been such an enormous blessing in my life!

dots

To see more of Kirsten’s work, her home and ideas, visit www.6thstreetdesignschool.com

Today’s giveaway adds a fun and fancy touch to any room in your home

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thanks for entering!

{this week’s winners will be announced on wednesday july 24}

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summer giveaway with ashley from under the sycamore

summer-giveaway

Today’s guest is such a treat. She is perhaps the most creative and down-to-earth blogger I read and the way she adores her family is truly inspiring. A friend commented on an instagram photo the other day that said something along the lines of how is it that i can love both your house and ashley’s house so much and yet they are so different? I totally get what she means – I love, love, LOVE how Ashley mixes patterns and uses vintage pieces in such a clean/eclectic way. Even though it is not how I do our house, I find her house so interesting and whimsical and comfortable to look at. Plus, she is such a likable person and so generously shares her talent and everyday life with us. Please enjoy our little chat with

ASHLEY

ashleys-family

SUMMERTIME

Lots of sunscreen, pool time, sprinkler under the trampoline and hoping the garden doesn’t die from forgetting to water when its 100+ outside. It also means concerts in the park, days at the lake, BBQing, homeade icecream and a really slow pace. The slow pace is my favorite.

hose

{from ashley’s instagram feed – A MUST FOLLOW! @underthesycamore}

FAVORITE-SPOT

The table and chairs in my studio. It sits next to a wall of windows that look out on where the kids are playing in the backyard and the chickens are running around. It is bright and if the kids are outside, it is quiet and peaceful. When the kids are inside it is still bright and cheery, just a lot louder!

table

{see more of this amazing studio here}

WAKE-UP

Feed our cat and let the chickens out to run around the yard. Our cat is still working to win me over, but the chickens had me at their first chirp.

chickens

FIVE-YEARS

In five years I will have kids ages 7, 9, 10, 12, 14…..and that is so exciting to me. Not sure what the day to day will look like, but I see myself happy and hopefully still enjoying a simple life with my family. And I hope by that time I can grow more in my garden than I kill…with more chickens running around.

{I love this answer. It just shows what a content and joyful heart Ashley has}

EVERY-ROOM

A comfortable & inviting place to sit

couch

dots

Obviously, Ashley takes amazing photos {and teaches us how to do the same}. Her site is filled with the most wonderful images, thoughtful words, daily commentary on a life with a full and adventurous family. If you are new to Under The Sycamore, be prepared to sit down for a long while soaking up all of the beauty.

www.ashleyannphotography.com

Ashley has a thing for washi tape and has the most impressive collection

washitape

So today, we’re giving a whole bunch away

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{this week’s winners will be announced on wednesday july 24}

Continue Reading | 34 comments

summer giveaway with edie from life in grace

summer-giveaway

I hope you are enjoying these giveaways/blogger features! It has been a nice break for me from my normal blogging {my children thank you!} and fun to learn more about these fabulous women.

Today’s lady is someone I only know through blogging, but a woman whom I admire greatly and aspire to become. She is a deep thinker, wise, has the most delicious style {you’ll see in a minute} and has an infectious generous and hospitable heart. I’m so pleased to hear from one of my faves,

EDIE-LIFE-IN-GRACE

SUMMERTIME

staycationsoiree

When you live on the lake, summertime is enchanted. It means sunset boat rides, breezy reading days on the porch, lots of popsicles and s’mores, and lots of house guests. After our house fire of 2010, everything changed for me. I knew that once we rebuilt our home, I wanted to use it as a means to love on others. I wanted to create a haven for my very awesome peeps and look for ways to share our lives and our broken but beautiful story. This little slice of heaven is serving us well. We hosted our annual July 4th Soiree and made perfect fools of ourselves with all manner of patriotic paraphernalia. The world can be harsh and full of heartache and sometimes the bravest thing you can do is find a reason to laugh. And as soon as I sweep up all the cake crumbs, I’ll be planning for next year. Hospitality goes way deeper than good food and clean sheets. It’s the bridge we make in our hearts and in our homes to others. It feels dangerous because it is. True hospitality wants fellowship, a heart connection. I’m fighting for it in my life and I’m hoping to inspire you to fight for it, too.

DIY-PROJECT

My striped bathroom is hands-down my favorite DIY. We did it in two half days and I LOVE It every single time I visit it. I love having a very small room with high style and lots of color and texture. It makes for an inspiring pit stop.

stripedbathroom2

EVERY-ROOM

Something that makes you laugh.

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Life is stressful and hard and adding a touch of whimsy to my rooms makes the load lighter. The ‘big books’ sign in my workroom always makes me smile. And maybe I’ll occasionally start rapping, but there are worse things in the world, no? I have a bust of David in my kitchen that likes to dress for the seasons and a sign on my porch that says, “Go jump in the Lake.” I have a disco ball looking light fixture in the living room and an outrageous pair of foo dogs on my screen porch. Add things to your home that make you smile. Or that make your brother-in-law think you might have escaped from the looney bin.

COLLECT

Books.

books

I may need a books anonymous program, in fact. I have been a book worm since I can remember. I love classics and I love a good novel. I just finished Stephen King’s book On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft and a little book by Henri Nouwen called In the Name of Jesus. I just started Home by Marilynne Robinson and Light in August by William Faulkner. I just ordered Beloved by Toni Morrison and hope to finish The Divine Comedy this summer. There is something magical to me about reading. I love language and love to read the best writers, who were nothing if not masters with words.

Hoarder of books. That’s what I am.

BEST-VACATION-SPOT

My screened in porch. I cannot tell a lie.

screenporchforbetterhomes

I sit here first thing in the mornings, to drink my coffee and collect my thoughts. This is where I wrestle with God and learn to live in His love. This is where I think about Diana and Julissa and how such a small sacrifice can mean so much. This is where the manna falls, if I have the patience to wait. Often, I don’t. But this porch is teaching me to sit, to be silent, to come to the world like a child—with wonder and delight and lots of questions. This little mini vacation on the porch each morning can set the day aright.

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Isn’t she the most lovely woman?! I want to snuggle in on that porch with Miss Edie and have long conversations and lots of laughs and eat her delicious food and absorb her wisdom and zeal for life. If you’d like to get to know Edie a little more, you can visit her at www.lifeingraceblog.com

Edie’s favorite summer accessory is without a doubt a straw cowboy hat. She wears one with pride and is so darn cute in it.

So today, we’re giving one away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering!

{this week’s winners will be announced on wednesday july 24}

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summer giveaway with emily from emily a. clark

summer-giveaway

 I love a good home design blog and today’s blogger is one of my favorites. She has a large family and a busy life, but enjoys design, doable diy’s and her home is a great real life inspiration. Please welcome

EMILY-CLARK

 Emily loves to make things pretty, but in affordable, un-intimidating ways. Her home is fabulous and she is generous in sharing great budget-friendly sources, simple projects and design tips and tricks.

emily-a-clark-house

Isn’t her style fantastic?! You can see more of emily’s work here.

Emily took a few minutes to answer some questions and here are her answers:

SUMMERTIME

No schedules, no shoes, minimal hair-brushing, eating outside and playing until it gets dark. (The hair-brushing part was about my kids, not me.  Really.)

DIY-PROJECT

I don’t know if it’s the best one ever, but I’m pretty excited about this stenciled wall I just finished in our nursery to replicate a wallpaper I loved.  I have plans to do some rearranging, and this will be the jumping off point for their room design.

reading-nook-emily-a-clark

{see the details of the reading nook here}

POSSESSION

Notes from my kids.

emily-a-clark-and-family

{SO cute!}

FAVORITE-SPOT

My office.  It’s full of light and books and it’s in the middle of the house, where all of the action takes place.

emily-a-clark-office

{such a beautiful room and clever use of the rarely-used formal dining room. See more here}

FIVE-YEARS

Doing what I’m doing now, but with a few more minutes of free time each day.  In five years, everyone in my house should be able to dress themselves and brush their own teeth!

BEST-DECORATING-TIP

Don’t get too bogged down with the small details.  Think about what you want your room to feel/look like overall and work toward that goal instead of getting sidetracked by the little things.  Not everything has to be perfect to create a room you love.

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One great way to design a space is to use a favorite piece of art or fabric as the inspiration. Emily’s giveaway pick could be the perfect starting-off point for a pretty seaside-inspired space in your home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for entering to win!

{this week’s giveaway winners will be announced on wednesday july 24}

Continue Reading | 25 comments