Archive | things i like

New goodies in the shop that I’m pretty sure you’ll love

Last week I received a new shipment of products for my little house + home shop and am excited to show you. If you haven’t checked out the shop, let me just say that I basically fill it with things that I want/have in my house – which means you’ll find lots of basics, neutrals, classic pieces and low price points.

We have a handful of new items (keep reading to see them + get a discount code) but I’ll start with this fun set of goodies:

Ever since using a stock photo of a thin gold metal frame on all my art prints I get questions about where to find a simple metal gold frame. West Elm sells a great one, but it’s spendy. We searched and searched for a vendor and finally found these minimal, modern, inexpensive, gold-toned metal picture frames. Hooray!

The gray t-shirt has been a long time coming … will you walk around town or the beach or work out in a shirt that declares your love and devotion to Jones Design Company? I do hope so. (My favorite detail on the t-shirt are the custom tags we had put on the hem. So cute).

Okay, on to more great items I just have to highlight:

Brass 3×3 Frame | Stapler | Tape Dispenser | Botanical Journal | Velvet Ribbon | Pen

Black + White Striped Towel | Marble Bowl + Spoon

Brass Vase | Cloth Napkins

Gold Picture Frame

Wood Toothbrushes | Mr + Mrs Dish | Fouta Towel

Of all the items in the shop, these are my current favorites (although that is really hard to say since I do love it all). Let me highlight why I adore them so …

Vintage Blossom Notebooks (set of 2) $13.95
I keep one of these in my purse at all times for doodling, note taking, idea capturing and list making.

Plant Mister $9.95
Keep your indoor plants hydrated and happy with daily misting.

JDC Wood Pencils (set of 8) $6.95
A classic wood pencil with hand-stamped logo and white eraser. The perfect pencil, if you ask me.

Marble Bowl + Brass Spoon $14.95
This little bowl and spoon set make the perfect housewarming gift. Just add a jar of specialty salt and you’re set!

Cloth Napkins $14.95
How chic are these striped cloth napkins? They feel very french and make me want to host brunch.

Botanical Journal $14.95
You’ve probably seen this one pop up on my instagram feed a million times. It sits on my desk and is just so photogenic!

Le Pen (set of three) $5.50
The best pens you’ll ever try, in three of my favorite colors.

Mr + Mrs Dish $5.95
Scoop up a bunch of these before they’re gone … they are the perfect wedding or anniversary gift!

Tall White Vase $6.95
My current go-to vase. It is sleek, simple, a touch organic and a great size for a small bouquet.

Gold Frames $5.95-$9.95
Minimal, modern, the perfect gold-tone and super affordable. Yes, please.

Brass Planter $11.95
I call this a planter and show pictures of it with flowers (and it does make a lovely flower vessel), but I also love it as a catchall on the entry table, kitchen counter, bathroom, bedside table.

Black + White Striped Dishtowel (set of two) $14.95
Do you have a set of these yet? If not, you must. They’re soft, absorbent and classic in every way.

Do you have a gift to buy or something that caught your eye for your home? I am so thankful for your support and as an extra way to say thanks, how about a discount?

TAKE 15% OFF everything in the shop

with discount code YESPLEASE.

The code is only good until Friday night, and inventory is limited, so get shopping!

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas (that he’ll actually like)

Father’s Day is coming up in just a few weeks and now is the time to think about what to get the man in your life.

ryan overlooking canyon It seems like guys are a little harder to shop for than women. Maybe there are fewer products geared toward men? Maybe all the products that are geared toward men are a million times more expensive?

Whatever the reason, men always end up getting a new tie or grill accessories or another World’s Best Dad mug for Father’s Day. And, if they are anything like Ryan, they graciously thank their kiddos, wear the tie and sip coffee out of the new mug.

In the spirit of wanting to gift the men in our lives something they will actually love, Ryan helped me pull together a list of 17 great Father’s Day gifts. The price ranges from $8 all the way up to $499, so hopefully you’ll find something on this list that fits your man and your budget.

Father's Day Gift guide

1 | Rite In The Rain Notebook $8
This is Ryan’s favorite notebook. It opens flat for easy note-taking, has grid layout and lines on same page, and the paper is waterproof!

2 | All-Weather Pen $15
The perfect companion to the notebook.

3 | Marble Tic Tac Toe $34.95
Elevate this humble game to display-status with marble pieces and board. We bought this for my parents one christmas and it makes such a nice gift.

4 | Straw Hat $24
True story: while swimming in the ocean in Maui a few years ago, this hat came floating out of nowhere and a friend picked it up. It was such a hit, Ryan went to the nearby Quicksilver store and bought the same one for himself. It’s his go-to beach hat.

5 | Pocket Knife $33
Does your husband carry a pocket knife with him everywhere he goes? If not, get him this one.

6 | Rainbow Flip Flops $55
These are Ryan’s long-time favorite (as seen in the photo above). They last forever, are very comfortable and the double thick sole gives them great arch support.

7 | 16oz Charcoal Mug $16.95
A great big mug for his morning coffee.

8 | Work Hard Poster $99 unframed, $269 framed
This poster would look so good in Ryan’s office and is the perfect dad advice: Work Hard and Be Nice to People.

9 | Brain Octane $22
So this one is a weird gift idea, but Ryan swears by it. He adds it to his coffee each morning and is completely convinced that it boosts his energy and ability to think clearly.

10 | Spark Mini Drone $499
If you’re looking to splurge, go for this one. This mini drone was just released and is pretty incredible. We watched the promo video and even though I’m not all that excited about drones, this one seems fun, easy to use, great quality video.

11 | Moonshine Candle $48
The best smelling manly candle.

12 | Slip-on Shoes $85
Great summer sneakers without the hassle of laces. Ryan just bought himself two pair :)

13 | 36 Hours Book $24
From the New York Times long-running series, this book is filled with how to get the most out of a short trip (36 hours) to 150 different destinations in the United States and Canada. There is also a book for traveling in Europe, if that’s more his style.

14 | Vitamix Blender $415
The king of blenders and an everyday use around our house.

15 | Waterman Boardshorts $60
The Quicksilver Waterman collection is their premium line of quality clothes made with durability and style. I’m a fan of grown-up-surfer-style, so you know I’ll be adding items from this collection to Ryan’s closet.

16 | He Reads Truth Romans study $24
Perhaps you’ve heard of She Reads Truth, but did you know they also offer daily study for men at He Reads Truth? This summer, both men and women are going through the book of Romans and this book would be the perfect gift for a man in your life. The study officially starts on June 5th, but you can always go at your own pace, using the book alone or following along online or on the app.

17 | Apothecary Bag $44.95
Go for a gift he’ll use again and again with this canvas travel apothecary bag. Ryan is a bag guy – he loves any and every well-made bag out there, so this is a no-fail gift idea.

Hopefully this list is helpful, sparks your own ideas and results in the dad in your life getting something he’ll really love.

After you pick your gift, don’t forget the card!

free father's day card
I designed this cheeky Father’s Day card as part of the June Paper Works collection. Each month, we give a few items away for FREE and this card is part of those June freebies. Simply download the digital file, print on card stock, and you’re set!

Grab yours over at getpaperworks.com.

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How to keep the kids (of all ages!) occupied this summer

With summer break fast approaching, I’m always looking for activities that will keep the kids occupied, entertained and off their devices.

You, too?

One of our go-to boredom buster activities is pulling up a guided drawing art less from Art For Kids Hub. I feel like I’ve talked about our love of this website before on the blog and probably social media as well, but let’s talk about it again.

Art is one of those activities that we will pretty much always say yes to. We keep lots of paper, markers, colored pencils, scissors and tape readily available for when the kids are feeling creative (or bored. Ugh, I hate that word.) I like that all four kids enjoy art and am always amazed at what they create.

Art For Kids is a website with hundreds of guided drawing lessons taught by Rob, an artist who started teaching his kids how to draw and turned that hobby into a pretty fabulous resource for other families.

I asked the kids to be my models after school to show you how universally entertaining this activity can be. So, here you have all four kids – ages 13, 11, 9 and 7 doing the same drawing of a llama and each one enjoying the process.

We did this lesson up in my studio and I can see this happening a lot this summer! I’m hoping that I can get in on the action, too, because I actually really enjoy following along and drawing along side the kids.

The thing I like best about Art For Kids is that there are hundreds of video drawing lessons that are super easy to follow and can work for all skill levels.

This llama, for example, was just as fun for Ethan (the oldest) as it was for Audrey (the youngest).

All of the lessons are done with Sharpie and I was a little hesitant about that at first. When we first started using this site, the kids were even younger than they are now and we all know that permanent market + four year old = nothing good.

BUT, in the words of Art Teacher Rob, using a sharpie (or other bold marker) means the kids can’t erase and just continue on with their drawing even if it isn’t perfect. It gives them confidence, makes for impactful drawings and the artwork always turns out so original because of it.

Once the line drawings are done, they can fill in with color.

Did you notice I have two lefties? Kinda crazy.

And – tada! – the finished drawings:

I love that each one is different, they are improving their drawing skills, and doing something together.

We have always just watched videos for free on Artforkidshub.com but a few weeks ago when I went to the site to pull up an activity for Audrey, I noticed that they now offer a monthly membership.

I subscribed ($2.99/month) to get access to all of the art lessons, hundreds of printables and all of the videos are ad-free (that’s what really tipped me over the edge. I don’t trust YouTube enough to let the kids freely watch videos. #mamabear). Plus, I am so grateful for Rob and his team to create such great entertainment for my kids that I’m happy to support his family business.

If you are looking for an easy activity to keep your kids occupied this summer, the Lex family highly recommends Art For Kids.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! We’re in Magnolia Journal

The summer issue of The Magnolia Journal is hot off the press with our darling Joanna gracing the cover. Isn’t she just the prettiest? I think all of America wants to be her best friend (my hand is raised, too).

We are pretty excited over here to have a feature in this issue of the magazine.

Last year, we pulled our kids from school and set off on a nearly 4 month journey around the country. It was a long-time bucket list item and we still look at each other sometimes saying did we really do that?!

Throughout our whole trip, we posted to instagram (#jdcroadtrip) and I posted updates on the blog after every-ish stop (here’s the roadtrip page with all of the posts).

We didn’t do the trip for any other reason than to be together as just us six and experience the best this country has to offer.

What happened was life-changing and bonding with memories that will last a lifetime.

The trip ended on a Sunday at the end of August and the next day we bought our new house. The kids started school in our new school district the following week. So basically, we jumped from one pretty incredible experience to another and never took the time to truly process, collect our memories and put a big bow on the whole thing.

Now that we are a year out, we are getting nostalgic about the whole thing. Memories are coming up more often, stories from the trip make their way into more conversations, the kids are asking to visit friends they met or go back to cities again and quite often we think about the restaurants we dined at and remember an amazing meal or latte or cool atmosphere.

Just last night, while driving home from my sister’s house, we had a great conversation with Brady, our 11 year old. It was late and they were supposed to be trying to fall asleep, but instead Brady asked a question that turned into answers and more questions and a great conversation. Once the car grew quiet again, Ryan and I agreed that we miss those uninterrupted opportunities for conversation we had while on the trip – because when you are stuck in a car for 4 hours and you already watched two movies yesterday, you talk. It takes an intentional slowing down to build this into our regular life and that just gets harder and harder as the kids get older, life gets fuller, responsibility looks you in the face.

 When removed from all of life’s regular routine and distractions, you have time for meaningful conversation and simple forms of entertainment – books, drawing, pocket knives, playing dice. At home we have things like school, work, tv, unlimited wifi, friends, sports, meetings, errands. None of these are bad; all our welcomely invited into our lives. It just makes us sentimental about the time we had traveling all those miles, seeing all those incredible sites, just us six.

Ethan, our oldest, grew from boy to young man during those four months right before our eyes. The deep faith questions he wrestled with and the physical transformation he went through – none of it was missed by us. We were together all day, every day to witness and question and wrestle together.

Brady was curious and engaged everywhere we went. He was the first to ask a question to a tour guide or ranger. His natural inquisitiveness and thoughtfulness was so cool to see.

History came alive to Mason as we stood where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his I Have A Dream speech, or walked the battlefield at Gettysburg. He was all about the big cities and the most famous of sites. I can’t wait to see what this trip inspires in him as he grows – will he study history? Architecture? Politics?

Audrey walked miles each day. Miles! And hardly complained. She kept up with her big brothers, she was pushed in her food preferences, she listened to books in the car beyond her kindergarten interests, and yet she kept her sweet smile and adorable sense of humor the whole time.

What an enormous privilege as parents to have these moments.

And for me and Ryan to have had four months to connect, dream, work through hard things, laugh, make decisions, be a team … this is the best part of it all.

We said when we were planning the trip that we felt like life was going so fast we needed to just stop and reset. That’s what this trip was. It was a chance to pull back from regular life, take a deep breath, create unforgettable memories and then make adjustments as we reentered.

 I didn’t mean to write all of that. Mainly I just wanted to tell you about the article in the magazine :)

It is a great article with snippets of our story, photos and cute artwork, some itinerary highlights and tips for planning your summer adventures this year.

But I guess I also want you to know that while it was just a road trip, I’ll always see it as so much more. It took months of planning and years of saving and many sacrifices along the way and every bit of it was entirely worth it.

If you find yourself or your family in a spot where things are moving at such a fast pace and you’re not sure you love who you are or where you’re headed, may I gently encourage you to find a way to stop, take a breath, and make changes as you reenter.

It might be a road trip or a job change or an afternoon spent quietly thinking and my hope is that it will be life-changing for you as well.

You can find a copy of the summer issue of Magnolia Journal on news stands now, or order a subscription here.

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Get a FRESH start this spring with a free Caldrea gift set

There is something so lovely about spring. The flowers, fresh leaves, sunnier skies.

It also ushers in this unexplainable desire to clean.

They say there are two types of people: the organized type and the clean type. I fall deeply and fully into the organized camp. Give me a tidy house over freshly mopped floors any day of the week.

That’s not to say that I don’t like a clean house, because I truly do. I just don’t particularly love to clean.

True story: when I was pregnant with Audrey (our fourth baby, who is now 7), I developed that super weird disorder called Pica in which I was compelled to eat non-nutritive things like chalk and cleaning supplies. My mouth would literally water if I smelled lemon soft scrub or watched gymnasts on tv clap the extra chalk off their hands. It’s an indication of a mineral deficiency which I had big time during pregnancy.

Thankfully I no longer have that strange urge to eat chemicals, but I do really enjoy good-smelling cleaning supplies.

And while I may not be scrubbing my floors regularly, I am scrubbing dishes every day and I figure that’s a pretty good place to keep that delicious smelling soap.

I’m all about making the every day more beautiful and simple pleasures like good smelling soap, a neutral scrub brush and favorite dish towel seriously make my day happier.

Fun bonus: the company where I get my soap and scrub brush is giving away a Caldrea gift set for FREE! 

Right now, when you sign up for Grove and place your first order of $20 you’ll get this SUMMER STYLE set for free:

  • Free Caldrea hand soap
  • Free Caldrea dish soap
  • Free Grove Collaborative Bubble Up brush and dish set
  • Free shipping

Existing Grove subscriber? You get a set of my favorite walnut scrub sponges! Click here to claim your gift.

I had been eyeing Grove for over a year – always thinking about ordering but never pulling the trigger.

And then last fall I just couldn’t resist the free gift and jumped in.

Coming up with what to buy for $20 has been so much easier than I expected. The things we regularly use in our household are available at comparable or even lower prices and it saves me a trip to Target (which, honestly is a money trap for me so reducing the number of trips there is a good thing!)

Here are a few of our go-to’s:

walnut scrubber sponges I’m a born and raised sponge user. Some people are grossed out by them, but they work so well to wipe counters and scrub dishes. I throw them in the dishwasher every once in a while and am not shy about tossing them once they look dingy and start in on that nasty dirty sponge smell.

rubber gloves To save my hands and nails, I wear rubber gloves to wash dishes. It makes me feel super old, but whatever. It works.

bubble up refill brush We use our bubble up brush on a daily basis and I love that I can order just the brush to switch out when the old one is looking a bit frayed.

accure cleansing towelettes I buy these for our nearly-teenage son to do my part at preserving his soft baby skin. Will these keep teenage breakouts away? I don’t know. But it’s worth a shot.

seventh generation disinfecting wipes For the counter, the bathroom, spills on the floor … these wipes make clean up super easy.

tom’s toothpaste How do my kids go through so much toothpaste? Whatever it takes to keep the cavities away.

dr. bonner’s all-one toothpaste What originally caught my eye was the graphic packaging. What’s keeping us using this toothpaste are the natural ingredients and subtle cinnamon flavor. It comes in peppermint and anise, too.

facial tissue box Allergies strike our family hard this time of year. Tissues are essential.

parchment paper This brown parchment is so charmingly old-fashioned. I use it for baking, mostly, but wouldn’t it be so great for wrapping sandwiches for a picnic?

accure shampoo + conditioner Smells great, works great, sulfate and paraben free.

The great thing about Grove is that I’m not stuck with any of these items and can always order more, less, try new products or keep to a regular order. They make it super easy.

Want to give it a try?

When you click over to Grove, you’ll be asked a few questions and your cart will auto-fill with $20 worth of products. Go ahead and take their suggestions or browse your favorite brands or household items and choose your own (but I’m going to highly suggest those sponges).

To receive the FREE Caldrea hand soap, dish soap, and bubble up brush set, your order needs to be a minimum of $20.

I hope you find Grove to be a helpful service that saves you time, money and keeps you happy when you’re doing daily household things like dishes and laundry and brushing your teeth. #simplepleasures


*Please note that Grove currently does not ship to Canada, Hawaii, or Alaska

*I am happy to be a Grove affiliate

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