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what we did this weekend

If you ask my kids what their favorite place in the world is … better even than Disneyland! … they will always answer: Whidbey Island.

boys-on-beach

Our friends have this glorious beach with a nearly-complete boathouse and it is where some of our very best memories have been made. We’ve been going since our oldest was 4 and Audrey was but a thought and to watch our kids all grow up together – exploring, building, creating, collecting, deepening their friendships, breathing in the ocean air, gaining independence, getting all banged up with cuts and scrapes and sore backs from hours of digging for clams or sand shrimp or just really deep holes – being active kids. It is the best thing a parent could ask for.

This weekend was shrimping weekend. An annual event where the dads head out early in the morning to capitalize on the 8 hour window that makes up the entire shrimping season.

shrimp

No one but the dads are particularly into eating shrimp, but there’s just something so enjoyable and simple about sourcing dinner from the sea. Whether it’s shrimp or oysters or crab, it’s just plain fun. Those beady eyes are pretty nasty, though, huh?!

beach-collage

It rained on and off for much of the weekend (typical northwest beach experience!) and still, it was just as memorable as always. Feeling thankful for weekends like this.

Note: So I don’t often post about our everyday lives, what we’ve been up to, stuff about the kids. Little bits here and there, I guess, and lots of ‘ordinary moments’ on instagram, but mainly I write about home projects or crafts, design-related topics, my personal thoughts and what I’m working through, or just pretty things. I started out posting random moments from our family life but those have tapered off considerably over the past two years. Why? I’m not totally sure. Keeping our family life private, I suppose. Figuring out what I like to write about, what my thing is, working hard to make each post as valuable as possible for you. But between the HopeSpoken conference last month and watching American Blogger just the other night, I feel encouraged to share my story. More of it than I have been. Part of that is just regular family life. What we do, what its like to be a mom to these four right now, memorable moments worth capturing. I don’t want to share to brag or show off or present a dreamy-looking-un-reality, but rather to let you in, see a little more of our life, and connect beyond just a love for pretty things or a simple craft. I’m not sure what that will look like, but probably just a post here or there that won’t make it to the tutorials page or the freebies page or have any pinnable content. Just regular life. It should be fun.

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reader survey 2013 results

reader-survey-long

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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share the love

There is something so sweet about taking a day {or month, really!} to celebrate something as wonderful as love.

Valentine’s Day is commercial … yes, I agree … but it is special, too.

It gives us an excuse to bake a cherry pie

 to serve our kids pink milk and pie crust cookies for an after school snack

to sip hot cocoa with heart-shaped marshmallows out of a dainty teacups

and indulge in frosting covered cupcakes.

It encourages us to send our loved ones handwritten notes

and deliver prettily packaged treats to our friends.

I like that Valentine’s Day has turned February into the month of sharing the love.

I was inspired by Valentine’s Day when creating the JDC | monthly february collection.

It is full of red, pink, whimsical flowers and fancy writing.

And is available now.

To receive these printable goodies, and new ones each month, you are invited to join JDC | monthly. It is just $9.99 per month {your first month is free!}.

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celebrate childhood

{ Giveaway has now ended… thanks!}

Typically my monthly giveaways have something to do with the current month {birds in april, cozy in november}. One of the things I love most about putting the collections together is coming up with a theme without being too obvious.

But the January Giveaway collection has nothing to do with January. In fact, it is sort of crazy to do one with a bunch of fun kid stuff since we just got over a season of gifts galore.  But I just couldn’t resist the cuteness that makes up this collection.

{from left to right}

ROW ONE: floor puzzle from Land of Nod, three little buckets, my favorite reusable snack bags from Armommy

ROW TWO: Kiki & Coco in Paris {such a cute book}, play art print, set of 12 stipe straws

ROW THREE: tootsie pops, handmade bunny, sweet wintry mittens from Something from Nothing

ROW FOUR: etch a sketch {a classic}, set of 24 lunch box note cards, uno game {another classic}

I want to mention a few of the items included.

First, these darling mittens.

Karen makes mittens for men, women, children & babies using felted wool from old sweaters. Her selection is great and truly one of a kind.

{click the image above to visit her etsy shop}

Second, let’s talk about snack bags.

Do you go through ziplocks like there’s no tomorrow? We do. They store legos, rock collections, money and of course snacks.

But these snack bags are quickly taking over for our family. I love the cute patterns, love that they are washable and reusable.

I may not let me kids keep their rock collections in them, but I do keep one in my purse with lipsticks!

And finally, this delightful children’s book that doubles as a coffee table book in our house.

This charming book shares the adventure of a girl and her dolly in Paris. It was photographed by the talented Stephanie Rausser, the doll is by Jess Brown and was written by my real life friend Nina Gruener.  The book in the giveaway is signed by all three!

You can purchase a copy here.

This giveaway has now ended. Thank you for entering!

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the christmas tutorial collection {free}

Last year, we worked long and hard putting together this collection of Christmas projects … I couldn’t just let the collection go to waste, so we have decided to offer it this year for free!

To receive your copy of the 30 page pdf with instructions for each of the projects shown above, please enter your email address below.


for-you



{please confirm your email address in order to receive the pdf}

Merry Christmas!


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a tour of the blog

Just thought I’d take you on a tour of the blog just to point a few things out:

blog1

Like subscribing via email. See that button on the top left? When you enter your email address, the blog posts will come straight to your inbox, as well as occasional promotions, discounts and messages sent only to the mailing list. I’d love for you to sign up!

Next down is the newest feature – ways for us to hang out outside of the blog. Like facebook, pinterest, subscribing via rss and sending an email. I will soon add twitter {I just have to acquaint myself with it first}.   I finally confirmed my account with pinterest and will be adding some of my favorite ideas for home, craft, food, fashion and ‘stuff’ as time goes on.  Of course I’d be pleased for you to ‘follow’ along!

Over on the right side are buttons for you to sign up for the giveaway and to take a peek at my shop.

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Scroll a little further down and on the left side you’ll see links to my 25 favorite fonts, the paint colors we’ve used throughout our house and my F.A.Q. page.

Continue Reading →

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sweet little headbands

From the day my baby girl was born I loved putting her in headbands. Maybe it was something about not having the chance to accessorize any of my other babies, but getting this little girl fancied up with a sweet headband was {and is} such fun for this mommy.

audrey

There are a million headband makers out there {just search for ‘headband’ on etsy and you’ll see!} and some very darling ones at that.

But, if you haven’t yet figured this out about me, I like simple, classic and neutral.

Even on my baby girl.

audrey 2

So I’ve decided to put together a mini collection of my three favorite go-to headbands:

white headband-1

gray ruffle-1

yellow flower-1

They are now available in the shop.

hadley 1

isabella 1

natalie

emily

They are ‘one size fits most’ {approximately 15 1/2”} handmade with soft elastic and can be worn by babies, toddlers, big kids and ladies. {There are small pieces on the flower headbands, so please be careful if your baby is anything like mine and wants to pull it off and chew on it}

headband collection

You can purchase a sweet headband by clicking {H E R E}

P.S. There is not a what I wore post this week … but let me just say that three out of the seven days I was wearing skinny jeans {I think I’m a convert}.

P.P.S. Special thanks to my little models Audrey, Hadley, Natalie & Isabella. Aren’t they the sweetest little things?!

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paint

paint colors

Paint is good. It is inexpensive, easy to apply and can transform any room in a matter of hours. We like to paint and find ourselves repainting rooms often. I thought I’d share some of the colors we currently have in our home. They are neutrals {no surprise there} and they go with everything, but be sure to try out a sample in your home to see how the color looks in different light.

T H E   E N T I R E   H O U S E

Our home was painted from top to bottom in a great neutral wheat/gray/beige by Rodda {HFH09 – relaxed khaki}. This is the color that is in our entry, the base coat of my office and the stripes in the boys’ room. However, I can’t find a sample online and I believe Rodda is only found in the Pacific Northwest, so here are some comparable ones I found by holding up my Benjamin Moore {BM} fan deck to my walls.

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BM hazy skies {OC-48}

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BM grant beige {HC-83}

T H E   D I N I N G   R O O M

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BM berkshire beige {AC-2}

T H E    K I T C H E N

This is the color on the top of the walls.

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BM texas leather {AC-3}

T H E   L I V I N G    R O O M

Our walls have been this gray-blue for the past few years

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farrow & ball light blue

but we’ve just repainted the room with this new color

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restoration hardware slate

T H E   N U R S E R Y

This is a soft blue-gray that doesn’t really look like this swatch on the walls. Sorry about that. It is a bit lighter and softer in real life.

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Behr rhino {710E-3}

It is pretty similar to the ever-popular Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware

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restoration hardware silver sage

The bed & shelves in the nursery are painted this sludgy gray-blue-green {also not very well-represented by this image}

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Sherwin Williams rushing river {SW2093}

Need a few more suggestions? Here are a couple of pretty ones:

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BM revere pewter {HC-172}

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farrow & ball mouse’s back

** NOTE: while you can never get the color to match perfectly, we typically have the paint swatches color matched at our local hardware store. It is not the fanciest paint, but seems to do the trick **

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I need a cause

***UPDATE***

Thank you all for such amazing suggestions. It is both terribly heartbreaking to read about each charity and see so much hurt and need in the world, and also incredibly encouraging to know that people are truly loving people by creating, participating in, volunteering and donating to each of these worthwhile causes. I have been exposed to so many new organizations and I encourage you to look through the comments to learn about many charities that are making a difference in the lives of those who need it.

****

This Christmas, my extended family decided that instead of exchanging gifts, we’ll be making a donation to a charity of each person’s choice.

Receiving gifts is fun, but we all realize that we have so much more than we truly need and we’re looking forward to blessing others this holiday season.

But I have a problem.

I don’t have a charity.

My older sister’s charity is The Ben Towne Foundation in honor of her good friend’s nephew who passed away after courageously battling cancer at the age of three.

My little sister’s charity is Children of the Nations, an organization one of her good friends works for that cares for orphaned children across the globe.

My uncle is suggesting a donation to the local Young Life Club that they support.

My husband says he’s going to give to the NRA, but mostly because it will really irritate my cousin who passionately despises the NRA.

I like the idea of giving to something that will make a difference, something that will change a life, or at least make one a little better. Supporting children or women or people groups that need empowering is a bonus. A Christian organization is great, but not a requirement : after all, I think Jesus mostly just wants us to love and care for His people and there are lots of charities doing it that are not necessarily ‘christian-based’.

I know there are a multitude of really great causes, and I’d love to be exposed to new ones.

So I’d love your suggestions.

Do you have a favorite charity? Please share in the comments below and include a link {if you don’t mind} to the website/blog of the organization.

Thanks for taking the time to help me find a cause!

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getting to know you {7}

getting to know you

amazing

 

My answer: amazing dancer {ballet to be exact, although I wouldn’t complain if I could just do the moonwalk. And if I could dance like the contestants on So You Think You Can Dance – I’d be in heaven.}

Now its your turn : are you a the singing type or the dancing type? And if you are awesome at one or the other, don’t be shy about letting us know! Its fun to appreciate each others talents :

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getting to know you {6}

getting to know you

I can hardly believe that this is our sixth week of doing this : my how time flies.  Do you like the questions? Are you enjoying reading the answers? I totally am. It is fun to get to know each other.

This week’s question is:

word

You can elaborate if you wish, or just give one word.  I’m looking forward to hearing where you are at!

My word is  . G R A T E F U L .

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getting to know you {5}

getting to know you

Last night I went out for dessert with my sisters and cousins.   Our plan was to eat at:

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to get a *H U G E* slice of:

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{coconut cream pie}

But it seemed that every other Seattle-ite thought Dahlia Lounge was the perfect place to spend their Friday night as the wait was 3 1/2 hours.

So we changed plans and headed to another yummy favorite:

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They’ve done some updating since my last visit and now have the cutest menu ever {apparently I’m more concerned with the font selections than the food options!}.  I strayed from my norm of ordering something apple {crisp, pie, crumb cake} and ordered this:

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{sicilian donuts with orange honey-ricotta cream and warm nutella chocolate sauce}

Oh. My. Goodness. It did not disappoint.

So : my question for you this weekend is:

dessert

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getting to know you {4}

The weekend is here – which means {among other things} it is time for

getting to know you

This weekend’s question is:

vacation

I have vacation on my mind, even though there is not one in sight! So, we’ll just dream for now. But rather than the usual ‘if you could go anywhere, where would you go’ question, I’ve added the component of traveling alone.  Would you do it? Have you done it? Where would you go? What would you do?

I think I would take a little trip by myself – spend the time sleeping, relaxing, reading and maybe a bit of shopping. But when meal time came, I think I would be so embarrassed to dine at a restaurant alone!  Once in college I decided one of my life goals was to see a movie in the theater by myself. I did it, and it wasn’t terrible {other than having to say ‘just one, please’ to the ticket lady}, but it would have been better if I had a friend with me. I think the same would be true for a vacation.  I love the idea of being alone, but I think I would get pretty lonely, pretty quickly. 

As for where I would go : right now, I’m torn between Napa, California staying in some gorgeous bed and breakfast at a winery overlooking the changing Autumn leaves, snuggled up by a fireplace reading a good book and wearing a cute chunky knit sweater and Frye boots that I don’t own but want

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or someplace warm and tropical like Maui where I could spend my days laying out on the beach or swimming in the ocean, enjoying the amazing beauty that is Hawaii. 

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Ahh, both sound wonderful. 

But both sound more wonderful if I had my husband or my sisters there with me!  So maybe my answer is no :

Okay, your turn.  Leave a comment if you want to dream for a moment :

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getting to know you {3}

getting to know you

It’s that time again : you girls are fun to get to know and I can’t wait for your answers to this week’s question:

pregnancy

Now I realize that not all of you have been pregnant, and I don’t mean to be exclusive, so if you haven’t experienced pregnancy cravings, you are free to make something up {or share a weird craving that you’ve heard of or just tell us about what you had for dinner. I don’t care : I just think this game is fun!}

My answer:

With all four of my babies I craved ICE like it was dessert. I would go through the Starbucks drive-through and just ask for a cup of ice. Yum, it was delicious.

With Audrey, I experienced the WEIRDEST craving to eat Lemon scented Soft Scrub, lick the chalkboard and drink lotion. Crazy. I seriously had to remind myself that I would be insane to actually take a bite of chalk.  I asked my doctor about it and apparently this medical condition {called Pica} occurs when your body is lacking minerals such as iron.  Some women crave dirt or clay or metal. I just wanted to eat toxic cleaning supplies.

Anyway, I did find out that my iron was very low and took some supplements to bring it back into the normal range – and my infatuation with soft scrub greatly diminished. Weird. And kind of funny.

Okay, now it is your turn : can’t wait for the off-the-wall answers.  Have a great weekend!

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getting to know you {2}

The question this weekend is:

{I’m pretty sure that is not a grammatically correct way to ask that question, but I couldn’t think of another way. Forgive me.}

My answer: I’m a mascara girl. Without it I look 12.

Leave a comment if you’d like to play along. I love reading through your responses!

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