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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