Archive | September, 2013

the boys’ room reveal

As with all DIY projects, the boys’ room redo took much longer than expected, but hip, hip, hooray it’s done!  It all started with this design board. Next we repainted the walls, stained some shelves and installed a new light. And then end-of-summer-fun and back-to-school craziness and a few project hiccups later, I finally spent this past weekend finishing up the space. It came together just as hoped – merging my neutral-loving aesthetic with boyish charm and lots of personal touches.

Welcome to the new and improved boys’ room.


Our three boys {ages 9, 8, 5} share this room and a couple of things were important in the redesign.

1. It needed to feel light and bright. The two sets of bunk beds are dark and take up over half of the room, so it was necessary to balance the space with lots of white.
2. The boys wanted their own reading lights and places to keep their special things.
3. We wanted the room to reflect the boys and stay away from being overly theme-y or feeling too young.

I think we succeeded at all three.


The walls are now white, the ceiling is faintly blue and a custom window treatment {by my mom} made of painters drop cloths runs across the entire window wall. It’s amazing the difference a fresh coat of paint made in the room. The previous color was a nice neutral beigey-gray, but it just felt so dark. I was nervous going white, but after seeing this room transformation, we’re seriously considering painting our whole house white.


The inexpensive shelves hold a quirky mix of the boy’s favorite things: books, baseball cards, trophies, a bottle cap collection and a few pieces of drift wood from their favorite beach.



The stamped wood round sits on the shelf next to a couple of my oldest’s beloved hardy boys books.



That woven footstool turns out to be a great multi-purpose piece: I love it for propping my feet up while I read at night, the boys love it for stashing random toys when it’s time to pick up their room.

On the other side of the room are two more bunks, an old chippy dresser and new art wall.


Each bed has it’s own reading light, a metal wall locker and cork board for saving special notes and photos.



The collected art is really where the concept for the room began.


The Be Brave canvas was the starting point, then came this darling camping/hunting print.


With the chalkboard antler print, a photo of No. 2 on our favorite beach, Atlas’ announcement, a mini version of the Make Good Choices print, a pinecone print, painted canvas and striped bunting, it makes for a eclectic, yet clean little grouping.


One of my favorite features {and the one that caused the most headache} is this cork wall. It is just a small wall right when you enter the room and it seemed like the perfect place for the kids to tack up special photos, awards, notes. I’ll share all the details of this project fiasco later this week, but for now I’m just happy that those tiles are finally stuck to that wall.


I finished all of the last minute touches late on saturday night while the boys had a sleepover in the bonus room. When they saw the finished room in the morning, they were so excited {well, as excited as a 9, 8 and 5 year old boy gets about a finished bedroom} and that made the whole thing worth it. It’s bright and charming, clean and boyish … just the look we were hoping for.

I’ll share a full list of sources this week, but if you have any specific questions, please leave a comment and I’ll respond back with the answer.


for all of the sources, click here.

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a video about how to curl your hair to get loose waves

Here’s something a little different: I made a video for you showing how I do my hair to get these soft waves.


Believe me, I’m not a hair expert and I’m pretty low-maintenance when it comes to all things beauty related, but this technique works for me and it may be something fun to try on your hair, too.

The video is about 12 minutes long and not exactly taken at the most flattering angle or in the best lighting, but whatever. Look for Audrey who makes an appearance about halfway through wearing one fantastic outfit. She’s a kick, that kid.

Was it helpful? I do hope so. I wonder how many times I said the word hair. Oh my.

I mention them in the video, but here are direct links to the products I use {minus the butterfly clip. That one is vintage}.


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Enjoy your weekend and have fun curling your hair!

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my new approach to meal planning

Meal planning.

It’s one of those dreaded tasks because 1. it takes forever and 2. how are you to know what you’ll feel like eating three weeks from now?

BUT … having a plan for dinner makes life so much easier. Every mom-friend I talk to agrees that when we do have meals planned out ahead of time, our days {and especially dinnertime} goes a million times smoother.

I am not by nature a great planner. I like flexibility and am very in the moment. Yet I have a household that requires daily nourishment and that job falls on my shoulders. So I figure I better get my act together and find a system that works because I have quite a few years ahead of me of feeding my family {three of whom are growing boys and from what I hear, they are going to eat us out of house and home}.


I’ve developed a plan. A meal planning plan. One that I think might work {it has for the past two weeks, at least}. Here’s how I’m doing it:

1. Collect dinner ideas on my pinterest dinner board. We have a few favorites from cookbooks that are included as well.

2. Schedule dinners for monday – thursday on the jdc | monthly dinner menu calendar {more info below}. Mondays are our busiest days, so each of those meals are either soups or slowcooker meals to make things easier. We like to eat out or get together with friends on weekends, so no meals are set in stone for those days and sunday nights are usually spent eating masterfully made suppers at Ryan’s parents’ house.

3. Shop for one week’s meals each monday, using the pinned recipes to compile a shopping list.

4. On the meal day, I’ll pull up the recipe on the ipad and cook away.

5. The ultimate goal would be to repeat the same meals once per month for each season, so we’ll probably do this same schedule into november and december, and then switch things up a bit once the new year comes around.


The fact that my October meals are scheduled is a very proud moment. I find that cooking is not my issue or even the shopping … it’s the pre-planning and deciding what to eat and so now having it done gives so much freedom.

If you’d like to give our meals a try, feel free to download the filled-in calendar below.


{click on the calendar to download and print}

A few notes if you do follow this menu plan:

1. find most of the recipes here.

2. we eat a lot of chicken.

3. Most of these dinners are one dish meals, but sometimes I’ll add crusty bread or a salad or sauteed green beans.

4. burrito bowls are our favorite meal – we copy Chipotle’s recipe with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, refried beans, grilled chicken, grilled peppers & onions, pico, lettuce, guacamole and sour cream. Yum. It’s on the menu twice.

5. Ryan found a whole grain rice + quinoa mix at costco and it is delish. That is what we eat on the chicken & rice days.

Hope this is helpful for my fellow struggling-meal-planners

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Want more organization tools to help make your days a bit easier {and prettier}? I’m pleased to introduce the new JDC | monthly october collection.


This is our monthly printable papergoods service where you get an original set of practical and stylish calendars, lists, note cards and more. Here’s what’s included this month:



Upon joining, 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. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the newest collection of printable files. 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!}.

get-organized New this month … if you are not ready to commit to a monthly membership, you can purchase just this month’s collection. The price is $12.99 and you’ll have access to the files forever.


We’d love to see how you use your monthly goods. Tag a photo on any social media using #jdcmonthly so we can take a peek.

AND … please share your thoughts on meal panning. Is it a struggle in your household, too? Do you have a system that works? Any great tips?

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simple craft for kids: autumn dot trees

One of my goals this year is to do more activities with my kids. I’ve got the whole here kids you do this while I take care of this thing down, but actually sitting down and crafting or puzzle-doing or game-playing – that’s not my strong suit. So I’m making an effort.

Last week, we made these painted trees. It was a project I discovered on pinterest, originally from here.  The greatest part of this project was that it was equally enjoyable for my 3 year old, six year old and me. When my 2nd and 4th grader came home from school and saw what we had made, they wanted to make them, too. Good for all ages.


The steps are pretty simple: paint a tree trunk with three little branches with brown craft paint. Lightly draw a large circle to create a shape to paint within.


Then set out fall craft paint colors and a q-tip for each one. I used acrylic paint in red, brown, yellow, gold, orange and purplish-red.


Dip the q-tip in the paint and randomly dot onto the paper, keeping the dots within the circle.

kids-painting-dot-trees     painting-dots-for-fall-tree

Fill in as much of the white space as you can without completely overlapping the colors. This process is slightly mesmerizing. You just dip, dot, dip, dot.


It’s a fun craft that we’ll probably do again this winter {bare trees but white dots for snow} or in the spring {shades of green}. And don’t you think an ombre tree would be amazing?

If you’d like more ideas for kid crafts, this is my favorite site for art projects, Martha is always a good resource for attractive crafts, and feel free to check out my for kids pinterest board, too.

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have you seen these {new art prints}

Maybe you get this way too, but I was in a creative slump all summer.  Then suddenly fall approaches and – voila! – inspiration hits. It could be the season, or possibly the fact that my kids are at school all day and for the first time in years the house is empty and quiet, but nevertheless, creating is happening.

For instance, there are a handful of new prints that were just added to the shop last night. Allow me to introduce the most recent designs:



The other night while the kids were mesmerized by an episode of Max & Ruby {what is it about that odd show?!}, I began doodling in the kitchen which led to this hand-lettered goodness. Linen + fake-calligraphy + a feather garland = perhaps the best print ever to come out of this girl. This one is great for the Thanksgiving season, but equally appropriate all year long.



On our seven-year-anniversary, I wrote a love note to our house. The post looked a little too boring with just text, so I created this sweet cottage to add some color and visual interest. Sure enough, a handful of you kind readers asked for it in art print form and so here she is. This would be darling in an entry or perfect for a housewarming gift.



I’m guessing I say this at least ten times a day to my children {have a good day at school! make good choices!} but the truth of it is, I need the reminder too. My daily struggles may not include things like keeping my hands to myself or sharing my toys, but I certainly could work on speaking with a kinder voice and staying away from the candy in our pantry.

The blue and orange version will go in the boys’ room and the pink will be added to an updated collage wall in Audrey’s room as a friendly reminder from their mama. And each time I see the print I’ll remember it’s for me, too.


This one was hand-lettered that glorious max & ruby night as well.



Because there are never enough cute things for boys – this one is for them. Although I suppose we want our girls to be strong and courageous, too. Either way, this is a special verse we selected for our oldest son and it is just such a positive message. Be strong! Be courageous! God is with you! I love it.



Around this time last year, this little painting was born. Actually, it is not little – it’s on a canvas and takes up a whole wall in our dining room {see it here}. The painting has been turned into a print so that you, too, can have a white pumpkin adorning your walls this fall {or all year, as is in my case}. It’s a stray from my normal graphic style, but as I challenge myself artistically, I’m hoping to add more paintings like it to the shop.

So there you go. New prints, now available.

free-shipping-and-start-shopping I hope you like them.

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