Archive | August, 2013

diy hand stamped tree slice

It’s accessorizing time in the boys’ room and so I’ve been scouring our house, finding a few things online and crafting my own items to give their room that campy/outdoorsy/vintage/boyish charm I’m going after.


This is one of the pieces I sort-of made. It started with the wood slice I happened across at the craft store. I originally thought I would paint the inside with chalkboard paint like this or this, but I couldn’t find my paint. Not one to let a little missing paint get in my way, I came up with a new idea: using my beloved alphabet stamps to ink a phrase.



Wood slice {i found mine at Michaels, but you can also get them online here}
alphabet stamps {I use this set all the time. You can order them here}
black ink pad {like this}

STEP ONE // decide on a quote and practice on a scrap piece of paper.


STEP TWO // stamp onto wood slice


That’s it.

I mentioned this on instagram yesterday, but I’ll do it again here. If there is anything I want for my boys it is for them to be kind. To think about others, to genuinely care, to understand that oftentimes we don’t know the whole story and so we must be compassionate just for the sake of being compassionate. I want them to stick up for each other, to befriend the lonely kid, to celebrate victories together and encourage when things aren’t going as well.  I want them to grow into young men who are kind. Not wussy; but empathetic. Not out-of-control sensitive; just tender enough to see life through another’s eyes.

And so I chose this quote. Not sure who the originator of it is {some say plato, others disagree}, but it rings true. Plus, my kids are all about battles and fighting, so it seems rather appropriate.


Easy, peasy project that is perfect for the boys room, but could be adapted for so many other spaces. Enjoy!

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the books I read this summer

I’m a sporadic reader. I go for months without picking up a book and then cruise through one after the next in a short period of time. When I’m not reading, I forget how much I love being engaged and entertained by a well-written story. When I’m reading, I wonder why I don’t do it more often.

I read mostly at night before bed, but when it’s a book I can’t put down I carve out minutes here and there throughout the day. Somehow the time to read just makes its way into my days.

Over the past few months, I’ve poured over several books worth sharing. Here they are:


the dressmaker // an aspiring seamstress is hired by a famous designer to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Of course disaster strikes and suspicions arise and Tess must decide where her loyalty falls. I’m a lover of historical fiction and so this one was an enjoyable and engaging read.

cold tangerines // a collection of short stories about celebrating the everyday. This book was recommended by a friend and it is the most heart warming and inspiring set of little essays. A must read, if you ask me.

a week in winter // an old irish estate is re-vamped and turned into a bed & breakfast by a woman looking for a second chance. It is there that a cast of characters come together each finding a way for themselves and enriching their lives. I love it when an author can create a handful of separately captivating stories and weave them all together until at the end, they become one big story. Maeve Binchy’s books are always well done.

sparkly green earrings // a heartwarming and hilarious commentary on motherhood written by well-loved blogger, Melanie Shankle {aka. big mama}. This one makes you laugh and cry and feel normal and overwhelmingly thankful for the opportunity to be a mother.

war brides // four women return to their war-era village in england 50 years after the end of the war to commemorate the occasion. It’s a story about the way their lives were changed by the war and another one of those great weaving-the-characters-together type of stories. Maybe not the greatest book of all times, but I really liked this one.

and the mountains echoed // an exploration of the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how the choices we make resonate through generations. The story takes place around the globe, but primarily in kabul, afghanistan. The book is beautifully written and almost poetic, the characters are so well developed and I didn’t really want this one to end. It breaks your heart but lifts it up as well.

bread & wine // another collection of short essays all surrounding the idea of sharing our lives around the table. It’s a story about the ways God nourishes our souls as we nourish those around us. Recipes are included and stories to go along with them. A lovely book and a great gift.

the house at riverton // 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 {via the amazon description}. I LOVED this book. All of Kate Morton’s books, actually. If you love downton abbey, you’ll adore this one.

give them grace // a revolutionary perspective on parenting that shows us how to receive the gospel afresh and give grace in abundance, helping our children know the dazzling love of Jesus and respond with heartfelt obedience {via the amazon description}. I haven’t finished this one, but really should. It is so the way I want to parent.

where’d you go bernadette // when her social-outcast mom disappears, 15 year old bee puts the pieces together to find her. It’s funny, sad, intriguing and an entertaining read. In other words, read it.

what alice forgot // after a terrible fall, alice wakes up forgetting the last 10 years. She thinks shes happily married, expecting her first baby, but really is going through a divorce with three kids who don’t even like her. How did her life end up like this? And can she get back to the way it was? This book makes you think and reflect on your own life. Where will I be 10 years from now? Will I like who I am? Would my 10-years ago self like who I am today? This one is a little crass, but a really entertaining and interesting read.

with all my love // I have only just began this one, so I can’t say much about it. The story is set in ireland and centers around the relationships between mothers and daughters. I’ll let you know how i like it.

So there you have it. Twelve good books worth reading.

Have you read anything fabulous lately? Please share …

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reader survey 2013 results


Thank you, friends, for taking the 2013 reader survey I had up a few weeks ago. Our goal was to help us get a better idea for who you are, what you love about JDC and how we can make things better around here. Curious about the results? Here you go:

about-you-reader-survey-results online-habits-jdc-reader-survey you-and-jdc-reader-survey

There were a few questions where you could write in your answers and it was fun to read through your responses.

Many of you like my honesty and realness best which is such a flattering compliment and affirms that I’m doing okay sharing more than just pretty pictures and put-together moments.

Some appreciated the clean design and uncluttered feel of the blog, which again is affirming to my decision to keep my site advertisement-free.

Most of you want to see more tutorials, more of our home, more in-the-process rather than all-finished type posts. And a bit more about our everyday life.

I’m on it.

So I’m kinda curious: are you surprised at any of the stats? Do you have anything to add?

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diy linen pinboard

Perhaps one of the easiest and most used projects I’ve ever done is covering a store-bought cork board with linen. It currently lives in my office, but it moves from room to room {sometimes holding jewelry, other times a countdown to christmas tag display}.

This is not a new idea or even one that you can’t figure out on your own, but it is one of those basics that maybe I should just remind you to do because you will find one million uses for it around your house.


cork board {from your local office store – any size}
linen or other medium-weight fabric of your choice {I actually used a painters drop cloth for this one}
staple gun
upholstery tacks



STEP ONE // remove frame from cork board

STEP TWO // cut fabric to size leaving 1-2″ overlap on each side

STEP THREE // staple one side, and then pull opposite side taught and staple to secure

STEP FOUR // repeat for other two sides

STEP FIVE // fold in corners creating a neat edge. Staple to secure


STEP SIX // continue stapling all the way around your board until fabric is tight and secure.


confession: my cork board was super cheap and very thin so the staple gun staples went right through and stuck out the front. I ended up using a regular office stapler and it held fine.

STEP SEVEN // push in upholster tacks, first spacing them out evenly around the perimeter of your pin board.


Now you can pin up inspiration, favorite photos, fabric and paint swatches or, of course, use it to organize.


I used this blank wall in our kitchen to tack up the pin board {with 3m command strips – the best invention ever} and added our calendar for september, a place to jot down random to-do’s before they escape my mind, and a stack of little cards that I can write notes to the kids and pop into their lunches. linen-pinboard-finished-and-styled

It’s far from the perfect command center that we could probably use, but it works in a pinch. linen-pinboard-organized-for-september

The fun printable calendar, note cards, art print, etc come from the jdc monthly september collection.


JDC | Monthly is a great option if you want stylish organization that you can print on your own {choose what works best for you and your family} and lots of extras like note cards, scripture memory cards, an art print and simple diy project that is new every month.


If you’re feeling the need for some new and fun ways to get organized this fall, we’d love for you to give jdc | monthly a try!

Included each month:

* monthly calendar
* weekly calendar
* menu calendars
* chore charts
* shopping list
* grocery lists
* note cards
* scripture memory cards
* art print
* a project tutorial with printable templates

You will be sent a link to access all of the pdf files. Download and print, or save them to your computer for a rainy day.

JDC | monthly members will also receive 50% off all printables in the shop.

the details:

You will receive the link to the monthly collection immediately after signing up. 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. If you decide JDC | monthly is not for you, you are free to cancel at any time.

Click the button below to receive JDC | monthly via email for $9.99 {try it for 7 days free!}.


As for the pin board, I hope it acts as a neutral base for all sorts of creative uses around your home.

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my office is in better homes & gardens

The craziest thing happened …


My office made the pages of Better Homes & Gardens.

The photo shoot was all the way back in December {they did the playroom too, but no word yet on when that one will appear} and I’ve been super excited to see how the room looked in print after being styled and photographed by inspiring and talented professionals {janna lufkin on the styling; john granen behind the camera}.



Doesn’t it look so pretty and clean and organized?! Don’t worry, it doesn’t always look like this. But it was so fun to see a real stylist do her thing – pulling L’s off the L wall, an old typewriter from the entry table and little cards and trinkets, ribbons and papers from my collection to use in the photos. She brought in a bunch of props, but I was so flattered that most of what was used is actually mine.

Another crazy thing? It took over 8 hours to get these shots. This was our first experience with magazine photo shoots {we’ve since had one more done in our kitchen – which is slated to be published next spring} and we had no idea what to expect. When I take photos, I just snap a few and go with it; when professional photographers photograph homes, they snap, then adjust, then adjust some more and then again until everything is exactly perfect. I loved watching John and his assistant work that day and hope that my photos have improved just a teeny bit because of seeing them.

If you would have told me five years ago that part of my house would be in a magazine, I never would have believed it. I am beyond grateful to the blogging industry for the ways it has opened doors and presented opportunities to just a normal girl like me. So, so honored.


You can read the article in the September 2013 issue {which should be available in stores now}.

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