Archive | July, 2013

the FINAL summer giveaway with lisa from lisa leonard designs


 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


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



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.


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.



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}.


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



 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}


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!


{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

{one winner will be announced on saturday august 3}

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summer giveaway with kate from centsational girl


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




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!



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.


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


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.


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.



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}


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.



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


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

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


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




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’.



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.



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.



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!


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!


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

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 {} 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


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


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


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!


{such a lovely space! See more here}

And the playroom


{see this space here}


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!}


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


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


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



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


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


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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