Author Archive | emily

If I were to redo our bathroom, it would look like this


We have no plan to redo our bathroom any time soon, but now that the rest of our main floor is looking all fancy with the new floors and white walls, I’m just itching to inject a little style into our master bathroom. And by inject a little style what I really mean is pretty much change everything.

Let me show you it’s current circa 2006 state:


When you walk in from our bedroom, there are two sinks on the right, a toilet room in that little area next to the wall, a tub and shower opposite and then our closet at the back.


Here’s the thing about our bathroom: it works. It’s clean. It functions just fine. But it’s just so blah.

So just like we’ve done with the rest of our house, I just want to inject a little personality into an otherwise builder-basic room.


Again, let me reiterate that there are no real plans to do the room, but in my imagination where my creativity just needs to do it’s thing, this is what I’m thinking:


I love the idea of making the vanity area more of a focal point, of tiling the walls all the way up with classic subway tile, adding tile to the floors and replacing the tub with a freestanding version. The colors, of course, would stay in the white, black, warm brown, mixed metals, neutral family – light and bright, clean and classic.

tub colors

And just for fun, here’s a more detailed design board:


Can’t you just see the vision?!!!

A girl can dream.

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5 beauty picks under $15


Looking for a few inexpensive beauty products to add to your routine?

I am working on upping my beauty game – less in a vanity way and more in a hey, you’ve been in the intense caring for babies phase of motherhood for 10 years and it’s time to take a few moments on yourself now way.  I started with the bigger things like making doctor appointments and getting my haircut, and now I’m slowing adding a few new products to update my beauty routine.

Probably like you, I value quality, but don’t spend a ton of money on beauty products. Back in the day before kiddos, I frequented the Nordstrom makeup ladies. Nowadays, I either grab a few things while running through Target or order on Amazon (thank you free prime shipping). So each of these 5 beauty picks are easy to find, affordable and tested by yours truly.

ONE / Boots No7 Perfectly Bronzed Pearls
give your skin a springtime glow with this subtle bronzing powder

TWO / Esse Tuck Me In Your Tux nail polish
clean, neutral nails are classic and my go-to

THREE / Biosilk Silk Serum
for shiny, silky hair (especially great for adding vibrancy back to your hair after winter)

FOUR / Maybelline Baby Lips Balm in Peach Kiss
swipe on this lip balm for fresh peachy color + moisturizer

FIVE / Rusk Wired Flexible Styling Creme
give flexible body and texture to your hair before or after styling


Have you added any products to your beauty routine that you’ve loved? Please share!

(image inspiration from Angie at

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useful + pretty right to your mailbox

this-week-collection copy

Each month, Paper Works comes to your mailbox (either the one outside your house or the one on your computer) and it’s like a special surprise gift full of all sorts of useful + pretty paper goods.


I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that this new collection for March is some of the loveliest designs yet.

Included in the bundle are calendars + daily planners:




meal-planning + shopping lists:

feed-items copy


and sweet little note cards to inspire real-handwritten-note-sending:


That art print up top also comes with the set as well as these four scripture memory cards:



For a complete list and all the details for how you can get paper works in your mailbox (you will love it!)


And just because I love this set so much, I’m giving away a printed bundle to one lucky-duck lady!


Click the image to enter!


Click here to give yourself a gift each month by signing up for Paper Works today!

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when you don’t know what your thing is


It’s a message I keep getting over and over and over:

Be who you were created to be.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Walk confidently in the gifts God has given you.

Shine your light.


At If:gathering a few weeks ago (it was so, so amazing. Truly one of the best weekends of friendship, great food, deep conversations and God whispering to each one of us), I left feeling affirmed to carry on and just do my thing.

I came home ready and motivated and even doodled this saying as a reminder.

And then I had a moment of crisis: What exactly IS my thing?

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve taken positive steps in overcoming comparison, have learned to accept yourself, ready to step into the great roles the Lord has for you … but you just have no idea what that looks like. You don’t know what your passion or gifting or talents – your thing – is.

I get you, darling.

I’m there too.

I spent some time brainstorming, reading articles about ‘how to find your calling’, reflected on times I’ve felt most alive and I’m slowing figuring out who I am and what I love. Just a few glimmers of awareness feels really great and hopeful and reassuring.

So if you see the photo above and feel excited to embrace your passions/talents/calling


you see the photo and wonder if you even have any passions/talents/calling


You have a purpose, great value, a unique ability and through intentionally reflecting, dreaming, talking with people who know and love you best, it will be made clear to you.

I truly believe that.

And maybe the best part of all, is that your thing looks different than mine and there is no need to feel intimidated or inadequate or puffed up when we look at each other. We get to live out our unique talents, seeing the beauty within each of us and sharing them with one another.

And so, my friends, let’s continue on this journey of doing our thing.

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a special day at the american girl doll store


Audrey turned 5 last week. Every parent throughout history has asked the same question when their baby turns a year older: how did that go so fast? And you can add me into that group. She is our baby and the fact that she just turned five only reiterates the fact that she’s no longer a baby.

I will say that I love the ages of our kids right now (11, 9, 7, 5). They are independent, but not pushing too many limits, able to buckle themselves in the car and generally fun to be around.  We’re sitting in a sweet spot and doing our best to enjoy these days.

Okay, but that’s not what I was going to talk about today.

For Audrey’s birthday, we went shopping for her first American Girl doll. We’ve waited until she was old enough to care for a special doll and a little more interested. A few of her friends have these dolls and her cousins are crazy for all things American Girl, so she was ready and excited to pick out her special birthday gift.


Did you know you can reserve a personal shopper to show you around and help you pick a doll? It was the best thing ever.  My mom and cutie niece Hadley (who is only 2 months younger than Audrey, but so much tinier!) met us at the American Girl Doll store and we took about an hour shopping around. Our sweet personal shopper, Briana, walked us from doll to doll giving little snippets about each of them and helped Audrey pick out her top three.


Once she had her top three dolls chosen, they were set out and Briana helped her make her final decision (with just a little bit of input from my mom who was really hoping she would choose a certain one). It was so much easier having someone guide the decisions and be quick with the process.

And her final decision was: Grace! The girl of the year.


Grace likes baking and has a cute puppy named BonBon and Audrey was sold.

I really love the way the company shows different girls, their histories and stories. Plus, the clothes and accessories are so fun.

After Grace joined our family, we had a little lunch at the American Girl Doll bistro.


The food was less than fabulous, but the experience was sweet and the girls loved having a birthday luncheon with their dolls.




I adore having boys, but it sure was fun having a special day with our girl.


And also? The American Girl Doll store bathroom tile is really cute.


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we mounted an ipad in the kitchen (and love it)


I posted this photo on instagram late last week:


I have a new dinner solution that I can’t wait to share with you! – but that’s not what got most attention in the photo. Instead, there were lots of questions about the ipad mounted in the background.

I have to admit that this was 100% Ryan’s idea. He is good at ideas. I wasn’t so sure about drilling into the beadboard and maybe don’t love how it looks, but sometimes function trumps form.


And in this case, it is super functional. Now that the ipad is in the kitchen, it gets used all the time. I use it for recipes, looking up things when they pop into my mind while washing dishes, perusing pinterest, playing music on our wireless sound system.


We used this articulating wall mount with this mounting bracket.


Pop the ipad into this ipad mounting case and it attaches to the mounting bracket.

A couple of great things about this setup:

1. It is not bulky. When the wall mount is folded flat against the wall, it’s very low profile.

2. The ipad can be tilted up or down, mounted vertically or horizontally and the arm pulls in and out for whatever angle you prefer.

3. Having an ipad off the counter, but still within reach is super convenient. We had no idea how much we would use it.

So there you go, my instagram question-askers. That’s how we mounted the ipad.



answers-to-questions   painting-front-door pom-garland-small

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diy pom pom garland (two ways)


I made these pom pom garlands around Christmas and wasn’t going to do a how-to because I thought they were just for christmas season. And then I couldn’t bear to take them down with all of the other holiday decorations, so I just casually draped them on the kitchen chalkboard.


And you know what? I decided pom pom garland is for all seasons. So here you go – a tutorial for how to make these year-round-put-them-anywhere-make-a-bunch-because-you’ll-love-them pom pom garlands.

Here’s what you’ll need:


chunky yarn (about 3 rolls) / pom pom makers (2 sizes) / embroidery thread / upholstery needle / scissors



wrap the yarn round and round the first side / then the second


trim the center yarn / cut a piece of yarn


tie yarn through center of pom maker / pull apart


trim long pieces of yarn and fluff



cut yarn to desired length


thread needle and knot the end / stitch through center of pom and through yarn


you can stitch a few times back and forth to make sure the pom is secure


in between poms, run the needle through the center of the yarn, then stitch on the next pom


Then hang anywhere and everywhere!





make large poms using this pom maker


cut three long pieces of yarn (in desired finished length) / tie knot in top and tape to tabletop to hold


loosely braid yarn / knot the end


run the needle through the center of the pom


stitch onto braided yarn (a few stitches to hold securely)


in between poms, run the needle through the center of the braid. Then stitch on poms in desired spacing.



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answers to the questions you didn’t even know you had

I don’t know why I titled this post like that. It just sounded fun.

There are a handful of questions I get frequently and I thought I’d jot down all the answers here. Perhaps you’ve wondered about one of these things and now you’ll know the details.

Here you go …

Where is the living room couch from?


We bought our pretty sofa a few years ago from Andella Home (it’s called the Audrey linen tufted chesterfield). I’m slightly protective of it and while it gets daily use, we don’t eat or drink or wear our shoes on it. I love that the back is tight and seat is deep so I can fill it with lots of favorite pillows (all of the ones shown above were made by me). Even with the light color, it has held up really, really well.

What are these wedges?


I searched high and low for the perfect nude/brown wedges. These are from Nordstrom by Vince Camuto and (of course) they are no longer available. These are very similar.

Where did you get the light fixture in the dining room?


A little over a year ago, we replaced the chandelier in the dining room with this linen rectangular shade pendant from Restoration Hardware. We found ours at the outlet store for super cheap, but they are on clearance on the rh website right now. The light came with a diffuser for the bottom, but we like it better without. The table and chairs are from RH, too. Apparently we have a thing for that store.

Where is the stag head from on the fireplace?

The deer in our living room is such a statement piece. I love a decorated mantle, but when we re-surfaced the fireplace and added the stag head, it feels fine just to leave the mantle empty. Ryan ordered the iron stag head from restoration hardware. It’s probably time to remove the wreath …

Will you be hosting The Blog Class again?


Ryan and I taught an online everything-you-need-to-know-about-blogging class two years ago and we’re so excited to run it again! We’ve been working, working, working to get it all updated and pretty and full and will be ready to launch in the next week or so (we’re hoping!). Lots more details will come, but just know if you’ve been wanting to start a blog and have no idea where to begin, or you want to take your existing blog to the next level and need some help coming up with a plan, The Blog Class is perfect for you. Stay tuned for more …

Speaking of classes, the Graphic Design class is currently open for registration!


I seriously adore teaching this class and inspiring creativity in ladies all over the globe through designing with Illustrator. For details, click here.

What color is your bedroom?

The deep tealy-blue in our bedroom is so moody and serene. The color is Marine Magic by Behr. I waffle back and forth between painting the whole room the color (right now the other walls are light gray) and going white in there like the rest of our house. It is a really pretty color.

All of the paint colors we’ve used in our house can be found on this page (but it’s no longer up-to-date because we painted over most walls with white this fall).

What’s your favorite source for washi tape?


Washi tape is such an inexpensive, universal, fun to use craft supply and there are a million different patterns/colors to choose from. I order most of my tape from here – the selection is great.

I have a whole page of favorite sources with links – everything from printers to paper, ribbon and curtains. You can find those here.


Anything else? If so, feel free to ask in the comment and I’ll reply back!

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painting the interior of the front door (do it!)


One of the first diy improvements we did to our home when we moved in was painting the front door.

Both sides.

It’s a little unconventional, but it gives architectural detail, a pop of color and dimension to a feature that could otherwise just blend in. We actually loved the results so much, we painted our back door too (green!).

My friend Rae and I are working on her entry (see the design ideas here) and one of the first steps was to give the space some character by painting the door a fun color.


Rae picked out two colors – a bright yellow and pretty turquoise – and after trying out both, we decided to just go crazy and pick sunshiny yellow.


We used semi-gloss interior latex and just started brushing it on. I only stayed for one coat, but Rae added one more once it was dry to really cover and saturate the color. I’ll post finished photos as we make progress with the next steps … hanging a new light fixture, artwork, hooks on the wall and a rolling crate for shoes. Even with one coat, it was fun to see how much the door brightened the space and gave it a jolt of unexpected energy.

In case you need a bit more inspiration to convince you that painting the inside of your front door is a great idea, here are some gorgeous examples.

coraldoor    teal-door    red-door2 yellowdoor   turquoise-door

image sources

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Have a boring front door that needs some life? Try painting it a favorite color. I think you’ll love it.

For more door inspiration, check out this pinterest board

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audrey’s 5th birthday invitations


My baby is turning 5. What?!

She’s just the best. She brings a girly flair to our family with her constant songs and dancing, she makes us all laugh and maaaybe has her daddy wrapped around her finger. Possibly her mommy and brothers, too.

The kids and I talk about our favorites all the time – favorite colors, favorite food, favorite memory. They all know that my favorite animal is a dolphin (I have been known to cry when I see sea life. I don’t know what it is, they are just so magical and majestic. Sea World is a teary place for me).


So when Audrey told me she wanted to have a dolphin party for her 5th birthday, there may have been a few secret happy tears. She knows her mama loves them and so she likes them too. See? She’s just the best. (Well, except when she’s not.)

Since I’m kinda into designing things, I had fun creating this invitation for her upcoming party. There probably won’t be a lot of decorations or fancy party food since we’re having it at an indoor pool, but I love making invitations and couldn’t help myself with the dolphin theme.

One little trick I wanted to share with you is how I add the glitter details. The secret? Glitter glue. This one, to be exact.


I used a free dolphin graphic and glitter digital paper to add to the invitation. The cards are printed on thick matte photo paper from home on this printer.


Then I filled in the outlines with the glitter glue.


And filled in the 5 as well.



The glue dries in about 30 minutes and does not flake off like regular glitter, so it works well for these types of projects.


I also added a few gold dots to a diy envelope liner (plain paper cut to fit).



Didn’t they turn out cute?!


We can’t wait to celebrate our dolphin-loving girl.

(for more information about how I create invitations/graphic design, click here)

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instagram highlights

I’m in Austin this weekend for If:gathering – super excited to see friends and laugh and be so encouraged and challenged. If you’re here, come say hi!

For a behind-the-scene look at our time here, come on over to Instagram (@jonesdesigncompany).

Speaking of instagram, here are some favorite most recent images and happenings:


a visit with Lindsey and her family in her darling house / vintage children’s books in my mom’s house


lovey-dovey images (prints in the shop: I still Do, Greatest is Love)


Practicing watercolors with a boden catalog / so happy with all the white in the house now


don’t even start on the Superbowl game. Still sad about that loss. The boys were so cute all lined up in their jerseys. / My oldest turned 11 this week.


More painting which turned into these free valentines


I’m staying this weekend with the girls who went to Rwanda and it feels so great to be back together! We dropped by the Noonday home office last night and felt like kids in a candy store just staring at all the pretty. I found my stag journal, too! (available here – on sale!).

Hope you have a great weekend!

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how to organize your iphone screen (and make it look pretty)


My phone is basically an extension of my arm. I carry it with me everywhere and while I’m not so good at answering phone calls, I do love it for everything else: texting, checking the weather, setting an alarm, taking photos, reading email, posting to instagram, checking out at starbucks … you get the idea.

So, naturally, I want my phone to be organized, easy to use and pretty to look at. The best way to do that? Organize all those apps into folders and add a cute wallpaper.


Here’s how I like to organize my iphone home screen:

Start by setting a custom image as the background. This cute arrow-on-kraft-paper design is part of our February Paper Works collection (each month we include a couple of wallpapers so you can trade them out each month!). Just save the image to your photo library, then open it up. To set it as your wallpaper, follow the steps below:


Now comes the fun part of organizing all of your apps. Rather than having each one on its own, I like to organize them into folders. Here’s what that process looks like:

how-to-organize-your-iphone-2 how-to-organize-your-iphone-3

I find that having apps grouped together in folders makes my home screen much less cluttered and easier for me to find what I’m looking for. Here’s how I have my apps grouped:

p h o t o / all camera, photo editing and instagram related apps

d a i l y / these are my regular-use apps like the clock, weather, facebook, jdc, pinterest and starbucks

u s e / the more utilitarian apps of the bunch like maps, the app store, settings, calculator and facetime

b i b l e / my go-to collection of bible/bible study/devotion apps

m u s i c / itunes, my music library, pandora, spotify, sonos and podcasts

m o n e y / my banks, paypal and coupon apps

p l a y / my kids think I’m weird for not having more games on my phone, but there are a few. They live in this folder (current faves: 2048 and tsum tsum).

n o t e s / just the note app. I use it all the time.

t r a v e l / things like yelp and

e x t r a / for everything that doesn’t have an obvious category

s o c i a l / social media apps I don’t use regularly, but want to keep like whatsApp and Line

g a m e s / just a few kid games – they each have a kindle, so they have their own apps on their devices, but these are for entertainment in a pinch (Endless ABC and 7 Little Words for Kids are favorites).


And that is how I organize my iphone home screen.

I’d love to know … do you have a different system that works for you? Do you have any favorite apps you’d like to share? Do tell …

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free set of valentine note cards + envelopes

free-valentines-cards-and-envelopes With valentine’s day just around the corner, it seemed the perfect time to share a few freebie love note designs. Watercolor doodles were scanned and formatted into sweet little note cards with matching diy envelopes. Keep reading for the how-to and to download the files!

To make the envelopes, here’s what you’ll need:

free-valentine-and-envelopes templates printed on thick white paper / scissors / adhesive (like this) / washi tape (here’s my favorite source)

STEP ONE / cut template on dashed lines


cut-out-envelope-template STEP TWO / fold in sides, press firmly to crease

fold-in-sides STEP THREE / fold up bottom, press firmly to crease

fold-up-bottom-flap STEP FOUR / use glue dots (or other adhesive) to attach bottom flap to sides

glue-dots-on-envelope STEP FIVE / write a love note and slip it in

card-in-envelope STEP SIX / fold down top flap and seal with washi tape

plus-envelope-taped Add a name to the front and send to your valentine!



plus-envelope There are four designs with matching note cards + envelopes, but feel free to mix & match!



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the care and keeping of you (and me)

I got my haircut last night.


My previous haircut was seven months ago. They suggest getting your hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks. You could say I was a bit behind.

Last week I had a colonoscopy.

It was so pleasant.

That is a total lie. None of it was pleasant. Except maybe the glorious sleeping gas they give you that knocks you right out and makes you dream happy dreams (it also makes you a little crazy and you might say random things to the nurses when you wake up and find hospital bed selfies you don’t remember taking when you look through your phone a few hours later. I’m slightly embarrassed about my post-anesthesia behavior.)

For months I knew I needed to get to the doctor. And that I needed a hair cut. And a dentist appointment and better face wash and moisturizer that doesn’t sting and all those little maintenance things you forget about doing for yourself when you are a woman.

This idea of self-care has come up in conversation a lot lately.

My girlfriends and I pushed each other to finally schedule doctor appointments after admitting how long it had been since we were last seen (me: almost 5 years. Not proud about that one). A lady yesterday told me she consciously chooses to buy her son new clothes before she gets something for herself, even though she could really use a few new items. An instagram friend shared that she finally pampered herself with a manicure – and decided not to feel guilty that it took time away from her to-do list.

Sometimes we forget about taking care of ourselves because we’re too busy taking care of others.

Sometimes we don’t have it in the budget.

Sometimes we don’t have the time. Or make the time.

Sometimes we’re waiting for the symptoms to just go away, or the weight to come off or our situation to change.

But ladies, we really need to care for ourselves anyway.

Getting your toes painted makes you feel pretty. Going for a run makes you feel rejuvenated and healthy.  Following through with a medical procedure makes you face the truth and move forward.  It doesn’t matter what your thing is – a haircut, new pair of jeans, updated lipstick color, an eye exam, a workout dvd, mammogram, crest whitestrips, a correct-sized bra – whatever it is, take a first step towards caring for yourself.

Do it for your kids (they need to see you take time for yourself!), your husband (he likes when you feel pretty!), your friends (let’s encourage one another!) – but mostly, do it for YOU.

So that’s my pep talk for the day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts … do you struggle in this area? Do you think it’s important to take time for yourself? What stops you? What one thing do you need to do to take better care of yourself? Let’s chat …

(and also, will you please remind me to go get my haircut in about 6-8 weeks?!)

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10 ways to celebrate the BIG game this weekend

My Seattle Seahawks are playing in the Superbowl this weekend. Two years in a row! It’s so unbelievable and well-deserved and this city has never been so electric and excited for our team.


I’ve been a Seahawk fan for all of my life and can’t wait for Sunday’s game. Call me crazy, but I can’t stop listening to sports radio listening to the commentary and interviews and lead-up to the game of the season. Just. So. Excited.

If you’re still putting together your weekend celebration (or need a few ideas for what to bring to a party), here are 10 great ways to enjoy the big game.

1. Show your team spirit with a diy applique shirt (see full tutorial here)


2. Make these delicious chocolate covered s’mores and add sprinkles in team colors (find the recipe here)


Seriously. Make these.


3. entertain your guests with a Seahawks word search



4. Decorate with a simple football paper chain


5. These buffalo blue cheese lil’ smokies won’t last long, but you will be happy you made them.


6. Print these coasters to protect your coffee table.


Free football coasters from design sponge – download here


7. Serve snacks in these printable snack cones (instructions and printable found here)


8. Bring out these easy football ice cream sandwiches for a crowd (and kid) pleaser


9. Grab a few rolls of washi tape in team colors to make these flag food picks


10. Send your guests off with these cute penalty flag party favors


Fun, right?!

Hopefully these will give you some great ideas for making your game-day extra special.


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