is there anything you want to know?


Today is a great day for a little question & answer moment.

If there is anything you’d like to know about me, our family, the business, our home, life in general … I’m here to answer.

You can ask me any question in the comments and I’ll respond back {as best as I can} as a reply to your comment.

It will sort of be like we’re having a real life conversation as friends

only in a weird cyber-ish way.

But still as friends.

Okay : ask away :

316 Responses to is there anything you want to know?

  1. Carol February 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    Hi — found you not too long ago, and can’t thank you enough for all the free printables, especially the Bible verse artwork! Love your style — appreciate your time and work!

  2. Amy August 12, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Hi Emily-
    I don’t follow a lot of blogs but by far yours is one I LOVE. You have so much talent and inspiration. My family just bought a home…finally :)
    My question is, I am on the endless search for a couch that is comfortable and stylish. I love your tufted couch with all the pillows in your recent post. Would you mind sharing where it’s from/what style? And do you find it comfortable. I’m looking to have it in our family room. Thanks so much for your time!!

  3. Martina April 28, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Hi Emily, I was just wondering where do you live :)) In a lot of your instagram photos, there is so beautiful nature! And I also want to thank you for your amazing work!

    • emily April 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      We live about an hour south of Seattle, WA. It is definitely beautiful!

  4. Stephanie April 12, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Where do you find your lovely throw pillows that are in many of your photos? They are so beautiful and unique!

  5. Dawn Wiggin April 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Hi Emily! Do you have a list of on-line sources that you typically purchase fabrics from? As you well know, its so difficult to find the selection in our local fabric stores!

    • emily April 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      There are a few great online resources … fabric.com, hawthornethreads.com, kingcottonfabrics.com, calicocorners.com

  6. Shalise April 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    When are you going to share your fireplace redo? I am curious about the stone you chose (color/style/brand). We are in the process of our own fireplace makeover and I just love how yours turned out… (although a full photo might be nice to see)

    • emily April 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      It will be soon :) We still have to finish a few more things and then we’ll do the big reveal.

  7. christen April 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Hi, Emily! I’m super tardy so I don’t have a question but wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful tutorials you post! My mom and I had a lovely weekend together making a similar wreath for above my daughter Evie’s crib and a stack of burp cloths as well. Your tutorials were so, so wonderful- the projects created such sweet memories and beautiful handmade additions for my first little one. I love your blog so much and just wanted to say “thanks!”

  8. Caryn April 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Where did you get the natural fiber rug that is currently in your living room?

    • emily April 4, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      It is from IKEA. A little small for the space, but it was a great price!

  9. Nicole April 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Hi Emily, I’m a little late to the Q&A party, but I was wondering about your business. Are you a sole proprietor or an LLC? I want to start my own small home business, but I’m not sure which is best. How did you decide which way to go when starting JDC? Thanks for your input!

    • emily April 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      I started as a sole proprietor and now we are an LLC.

  10. Melissa April 3, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Hello. Would you mind sharing what color of paint you used on your kitchen cupboards and on the walls in your kitchen? Great blog! I love it!!

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      The kitchen cupboards is a custom mix to match our existing trimwork in the house. It is sort of creamier than I would prefer, but looks nice and not stark-white. The upper walls are Texas Leather by Benjamin Moore. Love that color.

  11. Winnie April 3, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    Hi Emily,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas and all your diy projects. Love it.
    I just want to ask which part of the US do you reside in (don’t worry I’m not gonna stalk you) and the printables for the easter project, are those handwritten or is it a particular font. I love the simplicity and all the table settings look great. I mean they are all charming in their own way. Looking forward to your reply. God bless you and your family always. :)

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      1. I live about an hour south of Seattle, Washington.
      2. The easter print was done by Lindsay of Lindsay Letters – it is her amazing calligraphy!

  12. Felicia April 3, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    You do such a good job in so many different crafty areas, what is your favorite?

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      I like paper crafts the best. And I think I would love sewing if I did it more often.

  13. Kim M. April 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Hi Emily! I loved your Christmas post about how you were trying the four presents (something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read) for your kids. My husband and I want to do it when my daughter gets older. I have been so curious…how did it go for your family this past Christmas? Is it going to be your new tradition?

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Great question! I was going to do a follow up post after christmas but I was honestly over christmas and didn’t want to talk anymore about it! So I’ll probably post about it before next christmas. But I will say that yes, we’ll do it again. And yes, the kids were terrific with it. It was hard for me to limit myself – but also a good learning experience. And I think it was good for the kids to get their most important things and not a lot of fluff.

  14. jordan April 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    It seems like you have a lot of creative people in your life (family/friends). I was wondering if you would ever do home/room tours of your mother in law, mother, sisters, bff, etc.?

    Also, do you ever see Ryan quitting his job to do JDC full time?

    Has jealously from friends/family been an issue for you since your blog has grown?

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      Wow – those are interesting questions!
      1. I do have lots of talented and creative people around me. My best friend’s house is really cute. My mother-in-law has the best taste, my mom and sister’s have great homes too. I’d love to take photos and post them. Great idea.
      2. We would love for that to be a reality! We’re working towards it, but it is risky as we do have four kids to provide for! We’ll see. He’s always working on side projects and different businesses, so at some point I do see him retiring from the fire service, but I’m not sure if it will be to work for JDC or one of his other business ventures.
      3. I don’t think so … most of my real life people are not into blogging. They read mine and maybe a few others, but they don’t really get the whole blog thing so it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. They are proud of me and so supportive. And as my best friend says, she is not surprised to see me in this phase of life because I’ve always loved style and sharing it with others. She is very good to me.

  15. Militza April 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Hi Emily! Thanks for this Q&A! I write a blog, which I love, but the hardest part has been building reader engagement. Were there any specific actions that you have taken throughout the years to help readers become more engaged and leave comments? Thanks a million in advance :)

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      I wouldn’t say I get a lot of comments. Part of the reason is that I do not ask a leading question at the end of the post. That is probably the best way. The times that I do receive the most comments are when I write a more journal-y post that strikes a chord with other women. On just the day-to-day posts, there is not a ton of reader engagement. I think that’s okay. Number of comments does not prove that a post is good or relevant or make you a better blogger. So maybe think through why it is you are seeking more comments? Probably the most important thing is for your readers to share a post {either on facebook or via email or pin images from it}. So make sure you have some sort of share buttons at the end of your posts to make that possible.

  16. Leah April 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    Not really a question, but more of a comment: I found your blog a few years ago and it has been a source of encouragement that was much needed! I started my own blog recently and have often thought of how organic and simple you keep things. It is hard when every piece out there about blogging is full of rules and structure to feel like you can be genuine. Thanks for being a light of encouragement and openness!

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Well, you are welcome! I break rules all the time, but that is part of the beauty of doing your own thing. And honestly, there really isn’t just one way of doing things. We must do what works for our own situations and personalities and time commitments and goals. That’s my opinion, at least :)

  17. Nicole April 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi Emily! I am a member of the blog class (and i love it!)and I have big dreams for my blog but i often get discouraged by what I don’t know how to do and often lose hope that my blog will be what I want it to be or that I can accomplish what I want to accomplish with it. I am learning the importance of feeling okay in the midst of being in process but how do you stay encouraged and what has helped you push through the aspects of blogging that are intimidating (if any). Sorry if this question is too vague…

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      I am discouraged all the time! There are a million better bloggers out there writing more often, posting fresh content, creating better projects, taking better photos. My numbers may be larger than they were a few years ago, but they are still small compared to BIG blogs. I compare and feel insecure and have to really work at keeping things in perspective. The last thing I want to do is STRIVE and STRESS and COMPETE. I just want to do what I am called to do and I hope that is enough.

      I was talking with a blog friend {ashley from the handmadehome.net} and we both feel the same way: no amount of striving will get us where we want to be. There will always be more. So instead, we chose to be grateful for where we are – even if it is not exactly where we want to be, we must chose gratitude.

      Not sure if this encourages you. I know it is hard when you are pouring your heart and time and energy into your blog and it feels like it is going nowhere. Keep going, keep following the Lord’s leading, be yourself and make strategic choices when necessary. You’ll get there …

  18. Kim April 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi Emily! Thank you for this blog and everything that you and Ryan do to put such great ideas, thoughts, and creativity to the universe! I truly am grateful for the constant inspiration that you guys provide to your readers!

    We just bought a new home and your blog gives me so much inspiration for decorating! But I have a 4 yr old daughter and she loves princesses and pink and has so many toys! As I am looking at Audrey’s room, it’s so tidy and chic! Does she have a play room where all her toys are? My daughter’s room constantly looks like a tornado’s gone through it! She has so many toys and clothes (that’s due for giveway/toss) – but I guess my main question is do you have any suggestions on how to keep toys organized is a chic manner?

    Also how do you go about discplining your kids? I put my daughter in time-out, but I’m not sure how effective that really is.

    Also (sorry for being all over the place) – have you ever done a sewing tutorial? I have been wanting to learn so bad how to sew, but it seems soooo complicated! I would love to sew my own curtains, etc.

    Thanks so much!!

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

      Um, you should see the current state of audrey’s room. Now that she is old enough to have dressup and a play kitchen and a trillion dolls, her room is a mess. I’m thinking of an update in there as she is no longer a baby and needs more of a play/bedroom. We do have a playroom, but most of her girly toys are stored in her room.

      Yeah – we don’t have that one figured out. I love Love & Logic in theory, but we don’t always practice it. Time outs are our go-to discipline for the little ones. Audrey is still pretty distractable so most of the time I can get her to focus on something else. For the older boys, they lose privileges {like ipad time, no book time, etc}. It’s a constantly changing thing, this parenting.

      I have never, but it’s on my list of upcoming classes! Just a mini class about the basics of sewing. I’m thinking I’ll have my mom help because she is the expert. I just sew pillows :)

  19. Madaline April 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    How many JDC | monthly subscribers do you have? Did you ever foresee that it would become what it is now?

    I’ve been a subscriber for about a year now and love it! It often times helps spark my creativity and reminds me to send a little note to someone!

    • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      I hoped it would be successful! There is a principle in marketing that you can assume a 1% conversion rate when you offer a product. So if you have 100 readers, you can assume 1 will purchase an item. Based on those numbers, we have about two times as many subscribers as the general rules says we should, so we feel very thankful! There is a constant stream of new subscribers and ones who cancel after several months but for the most part, we’ve had only positive feedback. I’d like to keep things fresh with new items and we’re trying to figure out the best direction for monthly. I’ll probably send out a survey soon :)

  20. Kristine April 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    How do you get dinner on the table most nights ??

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      We try to have a rough plan for dinner. If not, I start thinking about it around 4. Half the time we end up eating breakfast for dinner, going out or finding something basic like spaghetti or grilled chicken & veggies. My kids are good about occupying themselves while I make dinner. Ryan is also home most nights to help.

  21. Roberta Jung April 2, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Wanted to know if you have any other downloadable paper flower patterns/instructions.

    I made the paper orchids and used them to decorate our Christmas gifts – they looked so beautiful and elegant! Thank you!

  22. katie r April 2, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I signed up for your emails (I already subscribed in google reader) to get access to your easter printables. I have gotten a confirmation email and then a link to todays post but not the printables. Did I do something wrong? Love your posts on life and faith and design!

  23. Sara April 2, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Hey Emily! My friend Lindsay is updating her kitchen (we all love those projects!) and she really liked the color of granite you used in your kitchen. Your post about your kitchen updates said that you got it from Home Depot, but could you let me know what the name of the granite it? Thanks Emily, and I hope you haven’t had to answer this too many times yet :) Thanks

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      I wish I knew the name of it. We bought it about 4 years ago and I never marked down the name.

  24. Deanna April 2, 2013 at 7:37 am #

    Thank you for your inspiration . I really enjoy opening up “emily” in my email in box because I know there is a nice surprise waiting :) How do you create your graphics ? Do you draw and design your own originals or do you edit/transform existing graphics ? I’m learning and have great vision but am struggling to do it myself .

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Many of the graphics I create myself using Adobe Illustrator. I use a lot of digital scrapbook papers in my designs for texture and sometimes I make my own patterns as well.

  25. Becky Monteiro April 2, 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Hi Emily. I just came across your blog this past week. You have no idea how has changed my life. It’s the first time I’m writing a comment. My whole life I always felt like I needed to live a creative life but so far that has not happened.
    I’m from Brazil and I’ve been living here for about 9 years now. I have two little ones, and I’m never motivated enough. Your life experiences have inspired me to make a change. I realized that is not too late. You revolutiozed my way of thinking. Who knows maybe I’ll have a blog of my own, even though I don’t think I’ll have followers. I’m very different than the other girls, most of them don’t look eye to eye. I’m very blunt and honest with my comments and most women I know can’t handle that. God bless you and your beautiful family!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      Becky … thank you so much for such a sweet note. I am honored to have helped you affirm your need to create!

  26. Colleen Huff April 2, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    My husband and I have evolved to having very different decorating taste. Years ago we shared the same taste but I have grown to love a more eclectic approach and love Mid century modern too. I am a stay at home mom and love the blogs, yours especially, pinterest,etc and DIYing. How do you suggest we decorate our new house with both our taste? Do you ever run into this with your hubby?

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      This one is tough and certainly not something Ryan & I have figured out. Our real life friends know that decorating is our biggest marital issue! I know that’s crazy, but we both care and have opinions and so we’ve worked hard to find a middle ground.

      Have you seen those design shows where they take his style and her style and merge them into a collective one? I love those because I think a house is not just meant for the woman to decorate and the man to endure. A pink and flowery bedroom would never fly in our household! So maybe you could each do an inventory of what you like and somehow find a common ground. Do you both love light, white spaces? Or dark, cozy feel? Can you find a few major pieces of furniture that you agree on and then accessorize with an eclectic mix?

      Hope this helps …

  27. Elizabeth April 2, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    I’m thinking about getting lash extensions. What is the maintenance like?

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      I love mine. Mostly because I don’t have to wear mascara. I get them filled about every three weeks. If you are careful to not touch your eyes and sleep on your back instead of smushing them on your pillow like I do, they could last longer. Some places recommend a certain cleanser and comb, but I literally just don’t wash my eyes and try not to touch the lashes. Pretty easy maintenance if you ask me!

      • Jennifer April 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

        I have short stubby clear eyelashes, and I’m very interested in eyelash extensions. I have never heard of this before! Seriously, I look like a different person with and without mascara. At the same time, if you had the wrong person apply them, it seems like it could go badly. Do you have any recommendations for a reputable source? Did you have a recommendation from someone before you tried it, or did you just go for it? I feel like I sound a little crazy, but this is such exciting news!

        • emily April 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

          I went with my friend who had heard about a good local place. If you are in the seattle area, I’m happy to share the salon where I go. Otherwise, just ask around to see if you have any friends/acquaintances who have extensions to find a good salon. Of course you want to be careful since this is going on your eyes! And beware … once you start, you will never want to go without.

        • kathy April 5, 2013 at 11:27 am #

          Can you recommend an eyelash place near Bellevue? Thanks!!

          • emily April 5, 2013 at 11:33 am #

            I go to lash chicks in bonney lake. It would be a bit of a drive for you, but I am happy every time. I’m not sure of a great place near bellevue, but I’m sure there are many.

  28. Sally April 2, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    One more thing. I think it might be more helpful for others to see pictures of your home and closet under your stairs as it is daily instead of picked u and pretty (maybe before and after pictures). I heard a lot about how lovely your home and family are (no doubt) in the comments. But, I hope they understand our worth is not in just those things. Our beauty and worth is also in the beauty of who we are in the mess and chaos of daily living when things are not so pretty. Do not intend to be preachy. Some of the most beautiful people I know don’t always look so on the outside.

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      I do agree. I will make an effort to show the process more.

      • Cassie April 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

        I have to say that I have always been impressed with how “real” you are in expressing the truth of your daily life! When I read your blog I always feel that you are doing your best like the rest of us, and you never appear afraid of showing or talking about the messy reality. Thank you for that!

        On another note, what is your all-time favorite, must-do craft? xxx

        • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

          I really, really, really love the book page wreath. It’s so light and fluffy and neutral. It looks equally pretty on the front door or in the house.

          I’m partial to realistic, inexpensive, simple projects. Nothing that takes hours and hours and doesn’t turn out like the example. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending an entire evening on something you don’t even like.

  29. Sally April 2, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Discovered your blog recently when looking for ideas on how to create paper flowers. Using your button bouquet idea (from Family Fun Magazine) to raise money for a Relay for Life event I am participating in. I recently resigned from my job that had become very stressful and am enjoying being at home and creating for my own self-created Sabbatical. Very refreshing and rejuvenating for my soul. I have been reflecting on being creative and how it is a reflection of who God is and who he created us to be and that taking the time to create and sharing this with others is an act of Worship. The use of wire also inspired my emerging teenage artist son to create wire trees attached to rocks to also raise money for the event (as well as spending money for him). Thanks for inspiring others to create. I also made a coffee filter flower wreath and am making some for others. Since I am not working, it is great to find ideas that I can afford to do. My husband is saying no (in a responsible manner not oppressive) to the platform beds for my teenage boys who are too tall for a normal twin bed – need X-long) until I go back to work so we can afford the expense. Sigh.

  30. kendra April 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm #


    i’ve been following your blog for awhile now and i love everything. i don’t know that the q&a is the right forum for my question but perhaps its the best way to contact you.

    i have been looking for recipe cards for at least a year now. my grandmother is getting older and i would like to have a hand-written recipe card from each grandmother and my mother to hang in my kitchen. but, i cannot find anything that really goes with something so timeless. i am looking for something classic but not retro (or 1990s with gingham…). would you have any interest in doing something like that? if not, do you have any ideas of good paper sources? i have done some hand lettering but i know that if i do it myself i will see every flaw in it for years…but if someone else does it, i won’t. does that make sense?

    i’ve kind of put the whole search on the back burner because i couldn’t find anything but this past weekend, my grandmother took a spill and i realized i don’t have as much time to complete my project as i would have hoped.

    thanks emily!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      this is a great idea. Have you looked at paper source? they always have nice designs. I have also found recipe cards online that I like {search for printable recipe cards}. Hope this helps!

  31. Rachel April 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    Hi Emily, How do you stay so fit?? Any special diets or exercise?? Do you stay away from carbs?? Thanks!!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      I am not so sure I’m fit … just thin :)
      Partially, it is genetics. I also try to make good food choices, but I’m sort of a sucker for anything crackery or sugary. I’m pretty active, although I don’t have a specific workout routine. I like pilates. Actually I love pilates. And barre workouts. Wish I did them more! My best friend claims I eat like a bird. I’m not sure about that, but she’s probably mostly right.

  32. Kayla April 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Love your blog and the blog class! You have inspired me so much to start my own blog and gave me the tools to do it! I’m amazed at all that you do with 4 kiddos! When the kids were little, toddler age (like mine who is 16 months) what activities or special things did you do with them? How do you fit quality time in with each child?


    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      Thanks Kayla!

      We live in a neighborhood where I have a group of friends with kids all the same age. When the kids were toddlers, we spent a lot of time together meeting up at parks or library story time or the open play time at the gym. We still hang out a lot, but our kids are usually in school or we go to the neighborhood park afterschool. Having other mom-friends has been the best thing to help make it through those tiring toddler days!

      As far as quality time with each child, this is harder to do with four. We like to read to them before bed, but that is usually a group or partial group event. We do one on one dates from time to time – just to starbucks usually.

  33. Amber April 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi Emily,
    I have often thought about starting a blog, as I too love to create and decorate, but I cant help but worry about sharing myself on the internet and becoming vulnerable to whoever happens to stumble upon my blog. Do you ever worry about strangers stalking you or your family? I am not trying to freak you out by the way! It is just honestly something I worry about and has held me back.
    Thanks so much.

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      No. I actually don’t. But my husband does. I am much more trusting and free with details of our lives and he is more protective. It probably is a good balance. There are things you can do to protect your family – don’t share names or the location where you live or show exterior photos of your home. You can write with a pen name and keep your children off your blog altogether.

      We have kept our married name private and try to use No. 1, 2, 3 for our kids instead of their real names. Audrey just is known as Audrey – not sure why I share her name and not the boys. There are certainly creepy people lurking and I’m sure some of them have read the blog, but I really haven’t encountered anything that has threatened our security or privacy.

  34. sylvie April 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    hi emily! first and foremost, thanks for being so candid and real in your blog and this Q&A. also, thanks for the wonderful free printables you offer!! wanted to ask ~
    1. what fonts did you use on audrey’s birthday invitation?
    2. if you were to do it all over again, is there anything you would have done differently with regard to your blog? what about your business?
    3. how do you record/organize your creative ideas?
    4. in your opinion, what are the top 10 “must-haves” for anyone wanting to start a blog/business?
    5. for fun….what’s the title of the last book you read? your favorite magazine?
    you are such an inspiration in so many ways!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      1. I used bombshell pro and courier
      2. I don’t think I would have done anything differently because it has all been very organic. Some people go into blogging with a plan and actionable steps and that is not really how I have approached it {which is not surprising because I do very little with a plan and actionable steps!}. We are at a point now where things need to sift a little to figure out where we are headed, what we’re doing, what I want to be known for, etc. Sometimes I wish I could just start from scratch with a perfectly branded company and products that make sense and a process that is seamless – but this is probably not reality. It is always a process and I’ve learned to just adapt and change and grow.
      3. I pin things. I tear things out of magazines. I jot down ideas on random scrap pieces of paper and leave them stacked up on my desk. I start projects and make adjustments and they sit on my office floor for weeks.
      4. yikes. I’m not sure I could name 10! I’ll try: a passion, a talent, a website, a catchy/recognizable logo, an email list, something of value for your people, a business bank account, business email address, a workspace you are inspired in, a supportive family/friends.
      5. What Alice Forgot. Favorite magazine is country living.

      • Abbie (Five days...5 ways) April 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

        I read What Alice Forgot recently after stumbling across it in a bookstore when I needed a good vacay read. It was hard to put down!

        • emily April 3, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

          I know! I read it in just a few days because I was so intrigued and wanted her life to work out!

      • Christine Williams April 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

        I LOVED What Alice Forgot!

  35. E, April 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    I absolutely love your blog (it was one of the first that had me started following) and am looking at taking the blog class. With the blog class, I remember it used to say something about getting a package with WordPress included – is that still the case? Thanks!!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      WordPress.org is always free. But we do offer a free wordpress theme to our students.

  36. Heidi Biggs April 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    Love your blog. Love your shop. I loved the embroidery you did of your daughters Bible verse and I’ve always wondered what Bible verses you’ve done for your other kids. Be well!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:42 am #

      My boys are all the same: joshua 1:9
      Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid. For the Lord your god is with you wherever you go.

  37. Ashley @ the handmade home April 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    I just read through all these and feel like a total dork/like I learned more about you haha! This is a fab idea!!! And your sisters had me in hysterics. Love.

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      My sisters are the best. I’m glad you know me better!

  38. Elizabeth April 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Let me start by saying sorry if you already answered this. I am on my phone so I haven’t read all the posts. I was curious about how you got the word out about your blog and company when you first started. I am currently trying to start a little creative business of my own. Thanks!!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      There are lots of ways to spread the word … unfortunately none are instant or without some effort. Some of the best things you can do are: connect with other bloggers, offer giveaways or freebies, create great content that is sharable/pinable, submit ideas and blog posts to larger blogs as guest posts or featured posts.

      It takes time, for sure, so just be true to yourself and create the best content you can.

  39. Codee April 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Emily – love your blog! How did you teach yourself Illustrator? I am looking into taking class but already have the program. Do you have tutorials you would recommend? Thanks!!

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      I really just played around with it. One of my friends knew a little bit so she walked me through the basics. You could try Nicole’s Classes {online illustrator class}. I’m also hoping to put together a mini class for how I use illustrator – it seems like there are lots of you who would like to be better at the program!

  40. Shoshanna April 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Have you ever thought about doing a blog post on your brothers-in-law? We hear so much about your sisters, I wonder about the handsom men they married…

    • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Eric, you are the best. I should totally do a blog post all about you :)

  41. Isabelle April 1, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I love your blog. I am a homeschooling mother of six and have not given up on a beautiful decorated home! My oldest daughter loves to read it too.
    Have you ever sought of homeschooling? Do you know any homeschooler? I know a bunch of homeschooler who follow your blog! Thank you for your efforts!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      You are an amazing momma!

      We thought about homeschool and still think about it from time to time, but are not sure it is the right fit for our family – at least at this time. One of my good friends homeschools and its fun to see how she does it. It takes a lot of work, organization and selflessness – I admire you homeschool moms!

  42. Barb April 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    What church do you belong to? I admire your faith and outlook on life.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      We are memebers of Eastlake Community Church {www.eastlakecc.com}. We drive 60 minutes to church each week but are so thankful to be part of a community who love Jesus and want to see others’ lives transformed.

  43. Alex April 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Hi Emily,

    I love your blog and all the jdc monthly printables I receive each month! As a mother of four, what advice would you give a first time mother to be?! I am 14 wks pregnant and expecting my first baby in early October. My husband and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Thanks for any words of wisdom you can share :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      So exciting! Congratulations.

      Best parenting advice: do what works for you.
      You can read every book, get advice from every parent, but what it really comes down to is doing what fits best with your family. There is no one method for swaddling or best formula or perfect schedule for a child – each has their own likes and dislikes, own temperaments, and your family situation is different from the next. Be as relaxed as possible and just love your baby and husband.

      and Trumpette socks are always adorable for baby boys or girls.

  44. Eryn Flores April 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Your blog is the first I have ever read. The inspiration was like the heavens opening up over my head. I can’t wait to see what decorating advancements you’ve made with your beautiful home. (Like the wall above your fireplace. :)

    I love your pumpkin painting in your dining room you made. Would you ever consider making it a print for purchase? I would be first order for that!


    • emily April 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks for the compliments! Our fireplace is almost complete – still trying to decide on a stain and then I’ll take photos. It turned out great!

      I would love to turn the pumpkin painting into a print. I just have to figure out how to do it and hopefully have it up for sale by next fall.

      • Eryn April 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

        Oh! This is good news! I hope the print will have the option of 11×14 or larger.

        Can’t wait to see the fireplace!

  45. Lynn April 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Do you make a decent part time income blogging? I realize you might not want to be too specific, but I am curious. I want very much to transition to working at home, and I’m just not sure how to do it.

    You’re one of my favorite bloggers, by the way. I’ve read almost everything you’ve written for the last couple years :-). I love how honest and real you are, and your home projects are so fun!

  46. Ivy April 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    I love your blog and your style! You are all around awesome!
    I have a few random questions:

    *How do you organize your family photos? I am struggling to get caught up on our albums and would love to hear what you do.
    *Do you have any favorite Photoshop actions?
    *I noticed in a few photos on instagram and your blog that you’ve painted your living room. What color did you choose?


    • emily April 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      1. I wish I had organized family photos! My friend makes a yearly book on snapfish documenting favorite moments and that is what I’d love to do.
      2. Pioneer woman has a great collection of free ones that I use almost all the time. I also like florabella.
      3. We painted our living room a light white/gray called Wind’s Breath by behr. I’m not sure I’m in love, but it is nice to have a change.

  47. Nichole April 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Another few questions

    Where do you shop for your little girl?
    Where do you shop for your home?
    How much in monthly fees do you spend on your blog?
    What’s your favorite websites?

    Thanks for your time!

  48. Kelly April 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    How do you cut the sea salt caramels so perfectly? I tried using some olive oil on the knife but it still didn’t work well. The photo you posted looks so much better then mine!!


    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

      yuummm … that makes me want to make a batch. I just use a large butcher’s knife. And cut it when its cold.

    • Shannon April 2, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Try using a Pizza Cutter…its worked for me. :)

  49. Nichole April 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    In regards to money do you budget? Coupon? Would love some insight please!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      We roughly budget. Neither of us are great at it. We buy a lot online – amazon especially and take full advantage of amazon prime for the free shipping. I also love sales at old navy and gap kids for the kids. So while we don’t coupon, we do try to buy things on sale.

  50. Brittany April 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    You seem to really like your iPhone…I’m curious, do you have any favorite apps? Perhaps ones that help you stay organized?

  51. Michelle April 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    A lot of the bloggers I follow occasionally get free items to wear, products to try, furniture, and decor. What free items have you received?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      Not a lot. Since I only post three times per week I don’t like to take up those posts doing product reviews, so I usually say no if approached.

      My favorite collaboration is with Jessica of Joyfolie shoes – I promote her collection and am compensated with a pair of her shoes. Win/Win!

  52. Jen April 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Hello gorgeous gal!
    Favorite make up?? Mascara? Lips? Eye shadow?
    Quite a superficial question, I know.
    ;) xo
    You are darling!
    <3 Jen

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I’m a drug-store girl these days {before kids I adored Laura Mercier, but I don’t find the time/money to spend on makeup these days!}.
      face makeup: neutrogena tinted moisturizer
      mascara: l’oreal voluminous. But I don’t actually wear mascara with lash extensions.
      lips: origins lip gloss
      eyeshadow: just whatever colors I like in a pack – i think I have neutrogena.

  53. Brookann April 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I love your art prints and was wondering if you would consider doing one of the following quote by Tad Carpenter, “What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” I love this quote and would love to display it, but haven’t found a print of it that I love. But if you made one…. :)

  54. bekka April 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Hi! I’m working on developing my own little brand and was curious about how you set up your online shop. How did you choose a server versus something like etsy? I’m wanting to set up a shop similar but am having a hard time weighing the pros and cons. Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      This is my {and ryan’s} thought on using etsy or other site to sell your stuff: your branding gets lost. Not always. But usually when I’m searching on etsy for something I don’t always pay attention to the actual shop the item is from. It is harder to set yourself apart when there are many many shops just like yours. For that reason, I think having your own shop on your own branded blog sets you apart.

      There are certainly benefits of using etsy {ease of use, simple to navigate} so ultimately you have to do what works best for you. We use a shopping cart service called Wazala, but we are working on a shop re-design using a wordpress plugin instead {woo commerce}. You can also set up your shop and have paypal buttons to sell.

    • bekka April 2, 2013 at 4:44 am #

      Thank you so much for doing this q&a and taking the time to respond to all of us. I have learned SO much! I’ve been feeling the same way about getting lost on etsy, so it was nice to hear it from someone else, too. Thank you!!

  55. Andrea April 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi Emily! I must say, your blog is my most favorite! I am so happy to have stumbled upon it!!

    Being that it’s April Fools Day (and my bday!) What is the best prank you’ve played or had done to you that you’d like to share? Do you do anything fun with your kiddos today to celebrate?

    Have a nice day!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      I forgot it was april fool’s day until this morning so I had nothing planned. I should do something tonight …

      I can’t say I’m much of a prankster but i’d love some ideas. Anyone?

      • Erica April 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

        I love pranks and wish I could have a prank-filled marriage, but unfortunately, my husband was in a fraternity in college and has some GREAT ideas and I’m too much of a wuss to play on his level. For example: I’d LOVE to pour freezing water on him while he’s in the shower, but I’m afraid of what I’d get back. :)

        • Leenie April 2, 2013 at 5:51 am #

          Oooh what is it about fraternities that make them so crazy!? I feel the same way Erica! My fiance was in one too and every time I think of a great prank, I never execute it because I’m afraid he has no bones about shaving off one of my eyebrows or something horrible like that! It’s nice to be best friends but sometimes, I’ve got to remind him that I’m not one of the boys.

  56. america ririe April 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    hello emily,
    i think you’ve recognized my name by now, i’ve been asking little questions over the past , to which i love being able to say you’ve actually answered everyone single one, which is why i’m a faithful subscriber. you’re passion for life, Christ, lifting others up, and teaching/empowering other women at the same time is commendable… it’s sounds creepy but there’s a little something in almost every corner of my house from your blog ie. printables, design ideas, paint colors,etc..

    so my question is: you always inspire my creativity with your graphic design, when others have asked how you create things you’ve responded with the software you use, but I’m curious as to where the patterns and things come from…i know you share when you’ve personally created something, but like floral patterns, stripes , polk dots, and the like, where do you find those? thanks

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

      I love digital scrapbooks sites like two peas in a bucket and design house digital. Be sure to check the licensing requirements if your are using the items for resale.

  57. Lindsay April 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Hey Emily – I know you stay home with your kids – but I’m curious to know if you have a schedule for blogging. I currently work out of the home and I’m looking for a little consistency with posting/writing/working on my blog BUT – I don’t want to create yet another to-do for myself (I still want it to be a fun, creative outlet).

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Generally, I write at night after the kids have gone to bed. I have to be aware of what I’m blogging about so that if I need photos I can have those taken during daylight.

  58. rachel April 1, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    I’d love to know what your system is for keeping on on blogs you enjoy on a Mac? I am still fairly new to using a Mac and opening my bookmarks and scrolling through blogs I have bookmarked is sort of tedious. Have you found an easier way?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      I currently read through igoogle but that is going away in just a few months so I’m not sure how I’ll read! I like to actually go to the blog to read because blogs are pretty. I subscribe to a lot of blogs via email and that makes things easy. I’ll probably just create a new email address and have all blog subscriptions go there so that my email does not get even more out of control.

      • Stacy W April 2, 2013 at 6:18 am #

        I just started using BlogLovin! It’s great!

        • rachel April 2, 2013 at 10:58 am #

          Thank you Stacy W! I’ll check into it! :)

  59. Emily April 1, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Can you talk a little bit about the success of your Blog Class? I remember a post a while back when we got to see a little bit of the new blogs but I’m curious to know if anyone has been able to significantly grow readership and/or monetize their blog as a result of taking your class.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      That would be a fun post. The response has been great. It has been a lot of work and so we have not promoted it much because we’re still adding more content and streamlining things.

      As for growing readership/monetizing, I’ll have to ask the ladies who have ‘graduated’ to see how their blogs are going. We do not promise that growth/money making will come easily, but we give a good foundation to build on. You CAN make money, but it is not instant. You CAN grow readership, but it takes some effort and creativity.

  60. Sarina April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    I love reading your blog. I find it so inspiring on so many levels!
    You and your family radiate such love and warmth… your faith in God is evident in each smile, each post, each photo of your family… !
    As a young, Christian, married stay-at-home-wife I have a question for you; How do you and Ryan manage your relationship?
    Like, what happens when there’s issues that come up that potentially create conflict? – Relationships aren’t always a ‘bed of roses’ – how do you deal with the ‘prickly’ times?
    What do you to to build up your relationship?
    Thanks :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      I’m not sure we’re the best at dealing with conflict.

      We’re both stubborn.
      I shut down.
      He holds grudges.

      We’re working on it.

      Love & Respect was a really helpful book for us.

      Most of all, we’re just working on being refined and transformed and less selfish and more sacrificial.

      • Sarina April 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

        Thanks Emily, I’ll have a read of that book :)

        You are such an inspiration and a role model, thanks for writing this blog :)

  61. Julie Anne April 1, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Why don’t you have twitter?!??! :)

    ps… looking forward to meeting you at Allume!!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      I don’t understand twitter.

      And I’m already on my phone too much on instagram and email and taking photos so I’m not sure I need another thing :)

  62. Cali April 1, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Oh gracious, you have a lot of questions to answer. :) Favorite places to buy clothing/shoes for your husband? Lots of bloggers post about their own clothing and clothing their children but I’m the main clothing shopper for the hubs, too, and I always am on the look-out for good quality, style, and deals. Ideas? Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      He doesn’t like me to buy him clothes :) I like banana republic for him. And I usually find good shirts at Nordstrom Rack.

  63. Nicole April 1, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    What did you do that helped grow your business of art prints, etc., the most?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      I think having other bloggers post about them has spread the word the best.

  64. Kelly April 1, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    I recently bought a new computer (MacBook Air) and I was wondering if that is sufficient enough to build a good blog? It doesn’t have photoshop or anything fancy on it….will that be okay? I’m quite a newbie in the MAC world, so I’m not sure I know how to use it yet. Will that affect me taking the blog class? You should have seen me try to explain to the salesman at the Apple Store that, “there’s this blog lady and she has a blog class I want to take….can I do that with this computer?” hahaha…..I’m such a nerd! And to think I came from a family of computer programmers (who all were put into a state of shock by my flip to the MAC world!). Thanks for your help! Dare I say, (without sounding too dramatic) that it’s changed my world since stumbling upon it two years ago. Keep it up lady!!

  65. Stacey April 1, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Hey Emily,

    I had a question and then realized for safety purposes you might not put it on the web. Maybe you can give a general answer? As I get curious about home businesses and how they are more than hobbies for many people nowadays, I get curious about how much (maybe a percentage?) your JDC contributes to your family income/budget and I then got curious about if you have tuition costs for your sons’ education. Sorry I know those are personal questions, but I love to hear how other women in the home business field make it work. Thanks!! Stacey

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

      I know, they are personal and yet I feel like some real numbers are important to share. Probably not here, but I’m thinking about it as part of our talk at Allume. SO much vagueness about money and it seems sort of silly. We all know how much professional athletes are making, right? Why not professional bloggers? Maybe that’s a bad argument.

      I wish I could be less vague, but I will say yes, I make an income that has significantly impacted our family. We’ve been able to pay off debts we didn’t think we’d be able to so quickly. It covers our costs for our weekly babysitting and school tuition.

      Here’s how that income is earned:
      1. jdc|monthly 2. the blog class 3. the shop 4. affiliate fees.

      I know all bloggers do things differently and make different amounts and there are different ways to go about it. Statistically, most bloggers do NOT make a significant income. And most don’t make money for at least a few years. There are some things you can do to make money which we have thankfully been successful at. There are no promises that if you follow x steps, you’ll make x-amount much money. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

      • Stacey April 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

        Thanks Emily!! I really appreciate your transparency. I think it’s good for some people to know that just writing a blog post every other day does not bring in an income. It’s the other great work that you have created and offer (you guys seriously know how to do it, btw, nice job) that actually brings in the moolah! :) Affiliate fees and ads sound like an easy way to make money, but as you posted, it’s not the #1 (or 2 or 3) method. As you replied to someone earlier, it’s your GREAT CONTENT that makes your blog what it is, so way to go!!! Not many people are as creative and talented as you too! Congratulations I’m so happy that this is how God has chosen to provide for your family’s needs (and many wants). Cool to know too that you’re somehow affording tuition for 3 (someday 4) kids. We also will be paying school tuition and not always sure where the money is going to come from.

        Hope you get to plan another trip (Maui again or some where new?) with Ryan soon!

  66. Samantha April 1, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    I love all of your decorating ideas! My husband and I are renting right now as we are looking to purchase our next home. What has been driving me crazy is this ugly linoleum floor in our master bath. I don’t want to spend a lot of money since we be moving hopefully soon but do you have an ideas I can do to change/cover it up? I’ve done two cute rugs but only helped a little. Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      We have ugly linoleum too. Maybe try those peel & stick tiles? Maybe that’s cheesy. I guess short of ripping them out and adding new floors, area rugs might be your best bet.

      Anyone else have a suggestion?

      • Lacey April 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

        I’m really enjoying reading these!! For the bathroom floor, what about using teak tiles over the existing linoleum? The beauty is you can take them with you when you move out. Just a thought! http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/20165486/

      • Christi April 2, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

        Years ago we lived in military base housing, and had a similar floor situation. I laid down contact paper (it was white and came on a roll) then painted it. I painted a checkered pattern then polyurethane over the top. It was surprisingly durable, and easy to mop. When we moved, I just pulled it right up and mopped the original floor.

    • Leenie April 2, 2013 at 5:35 am #

      The peel and stick have come a long way but if you want something inexpensive that looks nice, I’d try the click-lock type tiles. They come in lots of finishes: stone, wood, bamboo and even cork. Some can even be grouted to make it look like “real” tile (check your local Home Depot, lots of samples on display). These are great for re-doing floors in older homes that may have pretty tiled walls to the floor and tiled baseboards because you can just install it right over the existing floor (no worries of cracking tiles you want to keep during demo) or in your case, placing over the existing floor but having the option to easily uninstall and take them with you when you move.

  67. Susannah April 1, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    How long have you be into graphic design? What made you start a blog? Out of all the blogs you follow, out of the people you don’t know personally, which one do you feel would be your best friend/you’re most attached to her blog?https://jonesdesigncompany.com/thoughts/is-there-anything-you-want-to-know/

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      I have been designing since I can remember. Maybe not on a computer, but always drawing or designing homes or something. I started graphic design when I worked as a marketing person for two real estate agents. That started my love and it continues.

      I started a blog because I had read a few others and thought “i could do that!”. I didn’t really know what I was getting into and was totally new to the whole blog world. It sounded fun to have an excuse to be creative and share it with strangers. And the feedback felt great, I’ll be honest.

      There are a few bloggers who I would love to be real life friends with. I’m meeting a few this year at Allume and I’m so excited about it. Paige {simple thoughts} is so wise and sweet and I can’t wait to meet her in real life. The Nester {or Myquillyn as she’s know known by} has always been my biggest fan and I look forward to hugging her and thanking her for all of her support in person. Ashley {the handmade home} has become an sweet online friend and I hope to meet her soon. Jami {the natos} and Emily {the anderson family crew} are amazing and I’m thankful to have met them and call them friends.

      But here’s the thing: I have really good LOCAL friends that I probably need to be pouring into more than I do the ladies I meet online. I hope that doesn’t sound rude. I just think we can get caught up in thinking “oh that blogger. She is so cute and fun and has this darling house and pretty children and I think we would be just the best friends”. All the while, you have a next door neighbor who is cute and fun and has a darling house and pretty children and is RIGHT NEXT DOOR and yet you don’t pursue a friendship. I’m guilty of it, too.

      That was not the answer you were looking for. Sorry to get all preachy :)

  68. Heather April 1, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Hi Emily! Love your blog!!! I am DIY’ing ( is that even almost a word!?) my wedding invites. Wondering if you have any tips and what your top favorite fonts would be??

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

      For wedding invitations, I love a fancy script font like Bickham script or bombshell pro. I like things aligned center with a mix of two fonts – a simple all caps for the main content and then a script for the names and maybe a detail like ‘dinner & dancing to follow’.

      And I love a nice slightly textured paper with either one layer behind of a coordinating colored cardstock or simple rounded corners.

  69. Kim April 1, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    Hi Emily, I love your blog and look forward to your posts! I was wondering how long you spend on getting ready in the mornings? Any tips for a quick morning routine? Also, what is the best book you’ve read recently?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      My morning routine is quick, quick, quick. I usually wash my hair every three or so days, so that makes getting ready easy. And I have fake eyelashes so I can really go without makeup. I don’t wear a ton of makeup normally, but I do like a sheer tinted moisturizer, concealer, a little blush and clear lip gloss. My hair is often in a ponytail.

      Best book I’ve read recently: Cold Tangerines by Shaunna Niequist.
      I also just finished What Alice Forgot, which I really loved. I can’t decided if I would recommend it to everyone, but it really made me think and reflect and I appreciate that.

      • Angela S. April 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

        I read What Alice Forgot last summer. It was intriguing, wasn’t it? And it made me think. Like really think, about my life.

        Love the bloggity blog. And your dining room. xo

  70. Katherine April 1, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Hi Emily! I love your blog, your home, your craft ideas, everything. I would also love to see updated photos of your house. I like in progress photos just as much as the finished thing anyway. :) also, if you don’t mind sharing, what things do you choose not to do? Like, do you cook dinner for your family or get takeout more often? With all that you have going on, I know there have to be many things you choose not to do. Thanks for all you share! You have been so generous with sharing good ideas.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      In the process photos would be a better idea for me :)

      What do I not do:
      take showers
      work out regularly
      eat breakfast
      clean my house {except vacuuming and keeping the kitchen clean}
      meal plan
      make lunches the night before
      read my bible every day
      watch much tv {other than project runway, housewives of beverly hills, survivor}
      play legos with my kids
      volunteer at the school {once/month to teach art. I wish I volunteered more. I just don’t}
      The list could go on and on …

  71. Nicole@progressoverperfectionblog.com April 1, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    I actually emailed you my question…
    Thanks! :)

  72. Heather Ballis April 1, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Hi! I love your website and blog and vision! I have a similar vision of creations, inspirations and a community of contributors- how did you design your website? Is it a template? Do you host and update it? Can you help me advice me on an affordable way to begin a website/blog/email? Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      We use WordPress.org, with hosting through Dreamhost. Our blog template is called THE COTTON. I designed the graphics in Illustrator and saved as png files. Ryan does the technical side of the blog – figuring out which plugins/services to use and keeps things running smoothly.

      WordPress.org is free, as are many themes and most plugins. That is the beauty of wordpress. You just have to pay for hosting and purchase your domain name.

  73. Lissy April 1, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Hi Emily,
    Love your blog! I look forward to it and it’s a sad day when there’s not a new post! ;) I am wondering what you felt like was your “big break”? Or what have been the fun and most exciting milestones that made you know you were growing a successful business?
    Love what you do, keep doing it! :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      That’s a fun question!

      Long, long ago we hosted a summer boutique {so much fun, so much work, we’ll never do it again!} and it was featured on The Nesting Place. That was a big deal. Really I can say that was my big break – to have a big blogger {the nester} first of all see my blog and secondly share it with her readers. Really that is what gave me a boost in both confidence and readership.

      The Better Homes & Gardens shoot{s} have been amazing. I have not shared this, but they came in December to shoot two other rooms in our home. Those should be out soon and I think that’s going to be pretty surreal to see our home in a real magazine that I’ve been reading for years and years.

      Making money is obviously a big milestone. That has been fun.

      And sometimes I’m recognized while out and about. Actually, usually its Audrey that’s recognized. Super flattering and kinda crazy.

    • Lissy April 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Thanks for your response!

      I’m sure being recognized is so weird… I totally thought I saw you at Ikea last week and got all excited. Nope, just someone else with red hair!

  74. hillary April 1, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    who is your favorite sister?

    • Favorite Sister April 1, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      Me of course. But it’s close…Emily has the best hair, you have the best boobs and I have pretty much the best of everything else. Except make up applying skills. And singing voice. But I am a great dancer. Oh, but Emily can do body rolls and Hill, you can do a mean booty shake. I’m still the best though.

      • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

        You should have seen the dance moves I did for your kids last night. A little bieber Beauty & the Beat. Awesome moves.

      • hillary April 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

        a) nice name, amy.
        b) clearly you have not seen my boobs since breastfeeding baby #3.
        c) you’re only the best if we’re using a ‘who’s the best at being a bossy older sister’ scale.
        d) or i guess maybe ‘who’s the best host’ scale
        e) i think we can all agree that my dance moves are far superior to either of yours. (come on! its ALL i have!)
        f) although when em really gets going her moves are pretty amazing

        • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

          amy also is the winner of the most organized while feeding multiple children. She’s really good at that.

          Hillary – you are and will always be the funniest, wittiest, trendiest, best art print packager of all time.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      You are my favorite little sister.
      Amy is my favorite big sister.

      So there.

      • hillary April 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

        what a wussy answer. but i know the truth.

        • Lili April 3, 2013 at 8:03 am #

          Y’all are hilarious! It reminds me of and makes me miss my sisters!

  75. Emily H. April 1, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Emily! I remember you saying you don’t love alot of Christian inspirational books out there. Could you talk about what you do for devotional and if you strictly stick to reading the bible- do you use a plan or what? I sometimes struggle with how to go about my own devo time, so thats why I ask. Your blog was the first one I ever started reading- thanks for all you do!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      What I mean is that if I’m going to read a book, I will probably always choose a novel over a christian self-help/parenting/marriage/etc sort of book. Not that they are bad or unhelpful but I love what my pastor says: if you haven’t applied what you already know, there’s no point in learning more.

      I struggle, too, with my own devotional time. I am not sure what to read or for how long. I know, know, know it is important, but I resist it becoming a ‘have-to’ religious checklist. I read Jesus Calling {for adults and kids} and Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers almost daily.

      Then there are times like last week when my soul just ACHES for hearing from Jesus. So I journal and pray and usually cry and open my bible and he always shows up.

  76. Kelly McNeill April 1, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    Quick and easy question here…
    Can you recommend a good printer for at home print jobs (stationery, art prints,etc)??

    Thanks, Emily!
    With joy,

  77. Amber April 1, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Emily! Your home and your designs are so beautiful and calming. Love that your heart for Jesus is reflected through it all. Would you ever consider e-design or making design boards for others? Thanks for what you do!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

      Thanks for the compliments! I don’t know if I’ll ever do interior design for other people. I find that I can do it for my own home, but struggle with doing it for others. Plus, there are so many more qualified, talented designers, I’m not sure if the world needs me too.

      • Julia April 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

        I would ask the same question. You really are qualified and an amazing decorator. I would totally love to purchase an inspiration board and I’m sure soo many other women.
        Please… Please … Please …… pretty please ?

        • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:47 am #

          Oh my goodness … you girls are nice. I’ll consider :)

    • Julia April 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Amber, Amazing question. There have been several times I have wanted to ask her the same exact thing. She is totally qualified and I also would Love and purchase an inspiration board. I love her design for the home.
      Thanks for taking the words right out of my mouth. XOXOX Julia from New Jersey

  78. Kate April 1, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    First of all, as another Seattlite, I love your blog! You are so inspiring to me as a fellow mom, and are constantly pushing me to be more creative in my own life.

    So my question for you is nothing big, but I am a little obsessed with the cute dolls you have made. I cannot sew to save my life. Have you ever considered selling a custom made doll? I have a little girl and would love to give her her first doll for her first birthday. I just adore the one you made for your daughter and have found none that compare. ( I am also a neutral lover)

    I’m sure I’ll think of more important question later, but that is all for now!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      I wish I could sell those dolls and maybe someday I’ll figure out how to manufacture them to make it cost effective. They take me about four hours to make and so I would have to charge a lot of money for a silly little doll {but really darling} in order to make it worth it. So for now, I am not selling them. I will say that even a beginning sewer could make one – I did it and have very few sewing skills!

  79. Bobbi~ April 1, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Hi Emily!! I have been on a search…a big one! I wanted the Ten Commandments to place in a very special place in my house but I cannot find a print that I like :) Have you ever thought about designing a print with them for the house? I thought about you immediately :)

  80. Christie April 1, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Hi Emily! Thanks so much for all the amazing inspiration from your blog; I’ve been reading for several months now and have thoroughly enjoyed everything. I really appreciate your passion for Christ woven throughout your content. In a past post, I remember you talking about Christianity and then saying, “but I haven’t even picked up my Bible in a week.” I’m ashamed to say I immediately judged you for that, and then my own heart lashed back at me, “Neither have you!” It’s a constant struggle for me to love Christ above everything and to make time for studying His Word. So here’s my question for you (since I’ve thought about that comment a lot since then): how are you doing? Thank you so much for being transparent and real. It was a huge help to me.

  81. Sara H April 1, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    How/where do you store all your holiday decorations and settings and keep it all organized without it taking over your house? (without kids it was easy, but with my 3 kids I never feel like i have enough room or storage!)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      I should show you my under-the-stairs closet. Then you’ll know how terribly unorganized much of my life is :)

  82. Lauren April 1, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Oh, how I wish we could hang out at Starbucks for some good girl/mama talk! :) Speaking of, what is your favorite Starbucks drink? If you could move to another part of the country, where would you go? And… any fun Easter traditions that you’ve started with your sweet little family?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      Fun questions! I’m actually sitting in starbucks right now :)
      1. favorite starbucks drink: decaf, tall, extra hot one pump mocha
      2. we would probably move to northern california. Somewhere close to the beach. With more sun than we have here in washington.
      3. We don’t have any particularly special easter traditions – easter baskets on the table in the morning, church, family time. All of us grownups have so much fun together and the cousins just play and play. Its so nice to have family close by. Which is precisely why #2 is out of the question.

  83. amy April 1, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    How much time do you spend each day or a week on your business?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      hours and hours and hours :)
      Between me and ryan – all our conversations and actual sit-down-and-work-time, probably 30? That’s a total estimate. It could be more or maybe less, but I doubt less. Honestly, we love talking business, growing a business, coming up with new ideas. It’s totally ryan’s passion and we love doing it together.

  84. Jessica April 1, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Emily

    I adore your blog. Would you mind sharing what you and your husband do to nurture your marriage during this season of raising little ones? Do you have any favorite date night ideas? Thanks for sharing with all of us!!!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Great question! I always want our marriage to be healthy and part of that means doing things without our kids. We took an amazing vacation to Maui last year … we’re itching for another one like that. Ryan is a fire fighter, so he is home quite a bit during the days when he is not on shift. This gives us a lot of time together. We also work on JDC together, so sharing a passion has been an amazing thing for us. We like to go on dates, but don’t do them regularly. And this sounds weird, but we drive 1 hour to church on sundays and we pop in a movie for the kids and spend all that time talking. It sort of acts like a date!

      • Lili April 3, 2013 at 7:59 am #

        That is SOOOOOOOO funny!!!

  85. l.e. April 1, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Hi Emily!

    First and foremost: I love your blog. You have inspired me in so many ways (personally, in my marriage, in my faith) since I found JDC over a year ago. I love when one of your posts pops up in my emails :)

    My question(s): I love your designs and the obvious thought and time you put into them. Graphic design is something that has always interested me, and I am fortunate enough to have access to a few products (such as Illustrator) which I have been trying to learn. What was the most helpful to you when starting your business? Did you have a particular resource that was an outstanding benefit to you (to learn what could and could not be done in the business) or was it trial and error? What words of wisdom could you offer to someone interested in this as well? I’ve read (and been so greatly touched by) the backstory you have provided on the blog, but still find myself stumped when it comes to the business-side of things.

    Hope that’s not too much to ask. Thank you in advance!

  86. Cheryl Ann April 1, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    First off….I am old enough to be your mother…..and I just LOVE your blog! You are a wonderful example of a young mother who, in my opinion, is doing it the right way. Way to go!

    Do you have the apple print that was in a past JDC monthly available? Finishing a redo in my kitchen with an apple theme and would like to add your print, however, could not find it.

    When are you going to be in South Carolina? I cannot miss it!

    Can a 50 something like me, really learn to start a blog, especially when she is not very computer savvy?

    My 28 year old daughter (single) moved to Vancouver, WA from northeast Tennessee not long ago. Any advice….on all topics?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Cheryl Ann! Thanks for introducing yourself and thanks for the encouragement. We are doing our best as parents and the kiddos seem to be turning out okay :)
      1. I am thinking about offering old jdc|monthly collections in the shop. Hopefully soon.
      2. Ryan and I will be at the Allume conference at the end of October. We’re so excited to explore South Carolina!
      3. YES, for sure! We have lots of ladies in the blog class who are in your age group. Obviously you will need some working knowledge of how to use a computer, but as long as you are willing to stretch yourself, you can definitely learn. My mother-in-law just retired and is starting a blog – can’t wait to see what she does with it!
      4. Best advice for your daughter … find a church or community to get involved in. Nothing is worse than being lonely. I hope her transition goes smoothly!

    • Brianna April 1, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      I’m from Vancouver, and just wanted to jump in and say that Vancouver is a fantastic little community, and I’m sure she’ll have a blast. I’m in the Seattle area now, but I’m hoping someday we can move back. Like Emily said, joining a church is good, and there are excellent churches in Vancouver, and some great small, local charities and volunteer organizations like SHARE to get involved in, too. Then, there’s Portland just across the rive, too!. She’ll have plenty of ways to meet people.

  87. Kyla April 1, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Hi Emily,

    A while ago you posted an instagram picture of yourself with 3 botanical prints in the background in dark frames? Can you give me more info on where they hanging and where you found them?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Those are my favorites {although I think I say that about everything}. My mom gave them to me years ago. Unfortunately I don’t have a source to share. But you could try flipping through old botanical books and tear out your favorites to frame.

      • Kyla April 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

        Where are they hanging in your house?

        • emily April 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

          They are in our little bathroom on the main floor.

        • Rachel April 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

          I think I can actually answer that question from Kyla. Those prints appear to be the same ones from Bombay company they sold about 17 years ago. We had just gotten married and I saw them in Bombay. I think they had about 15 different flower prints to choose from and they were $30 each – a fortune for us at the time to spend on artwork. I was able to get three and they’re still some of my favorite pieces of art. They have black wood frames with a gold dot (bump) kind of inner strip between the black wood and the print.

          • emily April 2, 2013 at 10:47 am #

            Ha! And now I know the source!

  88. Courtney J April 1, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    How on earth do you run a home based business, blog, have home decorating projects constantly going on, AND have four kids??? Seriously. Spill it. Do you run on 3 hours of sleep each night? Have a babysitter every day? An assistant? And do you find you still have time to cultivate your real life friendships too? I’m baffled but would love your input on how you try to achieve balance and maintain your energy.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      This one is a popular question I can tell. I will devote an entire post to how I do it because I think us women need all the encouragement and ideas we can get. To tell you the truth, I’m sort of exhausted :) Lots going on and I’m not always doing it all well. Here’s just a few things that help:
      1. My oldest are in school full time, No. 3 goes three full days per week and Audrey is a good tagalong.
      2. We have a nanny that comes on tuesdays for 5 hours.
      3. Ryan is home a lot and helps with business stuff.
      4. I work pretty quickly.
      5. I’m terrible at cleaning, cooking and exercising.

      I will write a full post, so be on the lookout :)

    • kate April 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      Yay! So excited to hear this! You are such an inspiration :)

  89. Meg April 1, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Yo. So, I fell in love with your blog because you were showing pictures of your house. I liked what you did in your kids’ rooms, your office, and your main living area. Any chance you could share how those rooms have changed? Mainly the kids’ rooms and your room. I feel like I’ve seen recent pictures of the main rooms downstairs. Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:57 am #

      This one is a common question too … I’ll write a real post.

      Our house is a constant state of change and I haven’t updated photos of the house in forever. Partially because none of the rooms are finished, partially because getting everything cleaned up enough to photograph is hard with our crazy household! But I’ll do it …

  90. Elise April 1, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Hi Emily! I was just curious how the raising of a new puppy is going? We just got a puppy as well and are dealing with the “lovely” house training and obedience classes.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      Atlas is darling and I love having a puppy – but it is hard work! And inconvenient. Sometimes we think it’s the worst decision we’ve ever made, other times we love having a dog. He is finally potty trained, but he still chews on everything so we keep him tethered most of the time. He hangs out in the kitchen where we are always in and out of so he’s still with us, but not allowed to roam the house for things to destroy. This seems to work for us. Now that our weather is getting better, we’re at the park a lot and he loves running with the kids. This is so good for him and it wears him out. We have not done obedience school {which we’ve been meaning to do} but he’s highly trainable, so we’re doing okay.

  91. Jen April 1, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Hi Emily!
    Do you use a wacom tablet to do all of your beautiful designs or do you draw and scan? What do you find works best for you? Also, I would love to create my own font and have not been able to find a program to use.

    I love your blog, thanks for sharing all of your creativity with us!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      I have a wacom tablet and use it sometimes. Mostly I either just use the mouse {most of the time} or I hand-draw and scan. I love the live trace function in illustrator and use it often. As for creating fonts, I have never made one ‘the right way’ so I’m not sure how to go about it {with all of the letters connecting correctly}. I do have a fun resource that I’ve been meaning to blog about for how to create your own font. I’ll post soon!

      • Chaney April 1, 2013 at 10:58 am #

        Oo fun! I look forward to hearing about that. I love fonts and typography!

  92. Julie April 1, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    What font do you use for “jones design company”? My daughter would love to use it for her wedding invitations. Love your blog!

  93. Erica {let why lead} April 1, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I’m curious about any thoughts/feelings you have on using social media to grow a blog. I have a facebook and pinterest page for mine, but I’m not eager to bombard people with ME. :) I hear you have to post to facebook multiple times a day, but I just can’t bring myself to do it! Maybe this is something you cover in your blog class, though… Anyway, I love your blog! Keep up the amazing work!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      I totally get you. There are lots of ways to approach using social media and I’m sure those who post, tweet, etc. multiple times a day are seeing growth. But it’s not really me, so i don’t do it. I was at a conference last year where one of the speakers was sharing how she schedules her tweets days in advance and posts to facebook at optimal times per day and it sort of stressed me out. The best I can do is blog and pin an image to my pinterest page and sometimes link it on facebook. I’m sure it has hurt my growth, but it works for me. THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!

      We do use facebook comments for our giveaway – so when people enter to win it is posted to facebook which spreads the word – this has been great for us. Probably doesn’t work for everyone.

      The Blog Class talks about ways to grow traffic and certainly talks about using social media – but it is not an exhaustive resource for using social media.

      All in all, just do what works for you. Maybe networking with other bloggers, doing guest posts, linking to link parties, etc would be more comfortable ways to spread the word about your blog.

  94. H April 1, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I inherited an old but sturdy (really good solid wood) dining set. It needs to be refinished, but the chairs are impossible to sand down (too many grooves). So I was considering using a gel stain on the dining set as is. I’ve never used it and don’t know if it’ll work. Can you tell me anything about gel stains? Techniques…which brand is best…
    Thank you! You’re always so amazing, and I appreciate all your ideas!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:08 am #

      ooohhh … sounds great. I have never used gel stain so I’ll open this up to anyone else who knows …


      • Erin April 1, 2013 at 11:13 am #

        I know nothing of gel stains, but I have been doing a bit of research on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. They say you can use it on any surface and it requires no sanding or priming. It’s spendy, but I’m really close to making the plunge!!

  95. jena yoder April 1, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Hi emily just a quick ? I am a mom of four. My kids are five, four, two and 19 months. My oldest will be starting school this fall and my husband and I are torn between public, private and homeschooling. We are leaning toward homeschooling but I am a little nervous about this. Its hard to just do the normal tasks around the house with all of them not sure how I could throw teaching into the mix. So what would you suggest? Do your children go to public or private?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      You are a busy mama! It’s so fun though and so I hope you are loving it even through the craziness.

      If I could choose anything for our family, we would do some sort of hybrid of private school and homeschool. Lindsey {thepleatedpoppy.com} sends her kids to the most amazing classical academy and I wish we had one closeby. We thought for a while that we would homeschool and then quickly realized that it would not allow me to pursue other interests {like JDC} and so we decided to send our oldest two to the local public school. We have a great school district so it has worked out well, but I’m feeling more and more like I’d like to send them to private school where they would get some faith mixed in with their education. Our third goes to a fabulous montessori school and will stay there for kindergarten next year. Audrey will join him there for her first year of preschool.

      There are plenty of moms who homeschool and care for little ones, but I knew it was not the right fit for our family. I think it really comes down to obeying what the Lord is asking you and also making sure it is a good fit for you. Hope this helps!

  96. Krissy April 1, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    How do you manage to do DIY, craft and home improvement projects when your kiddos are home and balance it all? I have one 18 month old boy and can’t manage to get any craft or decorating projects done. I’m back to working full time now, but when I was part time I couldn’t get anything done while home with him. I’d like to try to find time on the weekends, but that is proving to be challenging also. I can’t imagine hanging wallpaper with just myself and my son home. ha ha. My to-do list is growing and not much is getting checked off! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:15 am #

      I think I did the wallpaper when a few of my kids were home, so I guess they are just used to mom doing her crazy projects while they play :)

      I will post about how things work around our house with getting work/projects done with kids around.

      Also keep in mind that my munchkins are a little bit older. Audrey is 3 which is very different from the mischievous 18 month old stage!

      • Krissy April 2, 2013 at 6:33 am #

        Thanks for the reply. Made my morning :) It’s good for me to aspire to get more done even with a toddler so I appreciate the inspiration. Thanks for answering all of our questions. So nice of you to take the time! Have a great one!

  97. Gretchen April 1, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    I so desparately want to start a blog but honestly am scared of failing. I don’t know if I have “time” to commit to it. How much time in general do you think you devote to your blog daily, weekly? Also, did you do your blog design and branding? If not could you share who designed your look? One more question. I asked before if you offered a design/branding service and sadly you said no, but do you see that in your future? Thanks for allowing us to pick your your brain. You are a gem of inspiration!!!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      I’m happy to have my brain picked! That sounds gross. Oh well.

      I did the design for my blog using a wordpress theme called The Cotton. Basically, the template is all set up and I just plug in my graphics. I did some blog design a few years ago and found that it was fun, but took a lot of time and couldn’t be my only focus. So for now, I don’t see custom blog design/branding as part of my business. You could try blissandtellbranding.com. She does a beautiful job!

      As for how much time it takes – this is completely up to you. I post about three times per week and each post takes about an hour {more if I’m posting a tutorial as I also have to do the project and take photos}. What takes the majority of my time is answering email and doing customer support. I wish I could just come up with blog content! So we’re trying to figure out how to streamline things.

      Another thing that might help is for you to really process your goals and expectations for your blog. If you want a place to ‘journal’ there is certainly no pressure in terms of time and frequency of posts. If you are hoping to launch a new business and quit your real job, obviously it will take a lot of time. What are you afraid of failing at? Are you afraid no one will read? You won’t be able to do it? Maybe try addressing the fears and figure out just what it is stopping you.

      To tell you the truth, blogs do not grow instantly. It does take time and work. And we probably all feel like we’re failing at some points. I feel like it a lot. But I just have to keep things in perspective.

      Hope this helps. I do wish we were sitting face to face to really dialogue!

  98. Mary Beth April 1, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    Hey Emily! I’ve been blogging for about 2 years and I finally decided this year to really pursue blogging. My questions for you are:

    What is the best thing you’ve done to grow your blog and promote the business side of it?

    At what point did you decide to add sponsors and what made you decide to do away with that?

    Thanks so much for any help you can give me!

    mary beth

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      Great questions!
      This is probably not the answer you want, but the best thing I do is create good content. I work very hard to come up with interesting blog posts with good images. Like most businesses, word of mouth is the greatest tool and having my content reposted, shared, emailed, pinned, facebooked – these are all the most powerful ways to grow a blog.
      Our monthly giveaways have also be big in spreading the word.

      I offered space for advertisements after we had a good following {I actually can’t remember when that was and how many readers}. I think I did it because everyone else was. It certainly made a little bit of money, but per Ryan’s suggestion, we took down those ads. Rather than send people away from our site, we would rather use our blog to share our content and keep you engaged on JDC.

      This is really just a matter of choice. Just the way we’ve done things.

      • Mary Beth April 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

        Emily, that is perfect! Thanks for your help! I just did a giveaway and received lots of great new readers from that. For the longest time I was NOT about promoting anything and now I want to put my hard work out there without being self-absorbed. My husband thinks I should have sponsors, but I have mixed feelings about it. So I was just curious what caused you to start and then do away with it. I’ve been following you from your very beginning stages and you were one of the first bloggers that convinced me I should give this whole thing a try. I even wrote a post recently and included you and a few other inspirational bloggers in with it…http://annapolisandcompany.com/2013/03/bloglovin/

        Thanks again so much!!!

  99. Deb April 1, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I would love to get started in making graphic designs. To be honest, I’m clueless and have no background in it. But I would love to make cute Thank You, Birthday, etc tags and signs. I feel like a fish out of water! I have a MacBook Pro but don’t know what programs would be good for simple items. I’m not looking to sell them … just want to treat my staff and friends to some special items. Thanks for letting us ask you questions!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Even though Illustrator is an investment, it really is worth it for learning some graphic design basics. You can try a free program like pixlr.com to get started, but you may get frustrated with the limitations.

  100. Robyn April 1, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    How did you find the motivation to start your business while still handeling kids, husband, family, friends etc?? I have ideas galore and energy during the day when my time and physical being are comitted to everyone else. When i have time there is no energy left!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      You are not alone! It is exhausting and if right now is not the right time for you, just keep all those ideas in a journal and the time will come. I started my business before I had kids and maintained it during the really little stages of the first three kids {I designed custom stationery and was particularly busy during christmas card season. It was stressful, but we made it work because it was like earning a part time salary for a month of hard work – that was worth it for our family}. The blog came about right before No. 4 was born and then grew from there. It was honestly not intentional but has been the greatest thing for me personally, and also our marriage.

      Just be patient, keep brainstorming, take little steps and when opportunities arise, be ready to grab them!

  101. Alex April 1, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I guess the first questions cover mine, how do you manage your home/kids/work/blogging… etc, any parenting advice? I have a 2yo and a newborn and barely find the time to clean around the house, eat as healthy as I can, and not to mention get out of my PJ’s

    Also, any good cooking recipes you might recommend? Any tips on organizing activities for the kids/chores/housekeeping? I guess its all very random but I think its the hormones making me feel a little chaotic at the moment.

    Love your blog, and I really admire you for giving me hope that having a lovely family/great work is possible.


    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      I’ll post about how we manage it all soon.

      Here’s a good post that I wrote a few years ago: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/featured/time/

      I’m not great at cooking fabulous meals for our family. We eat a lot of burrito bowls {cilantro lime rice, black beans, grilled chicken, lettuce, salsa, avocado} and grilled meat, veggies. Sort of boring.

  102. Rachel April 1, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Hi Emily,

    I love your blog. You “used” to post craft ideas and tutorials. Will you ever do that again? I’ve loved the ideas.


    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:37 am #

      I still do tutorials and crafts. I have a bunch I’ve been working on. They are sporadic just depending on when I’m inspired.

  103. Naomi April 1, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Your home is remarkably clutter free! How do you manage and organize stuff that comes in or is created? How do you archive?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:38 am #

      I recycle most of it.

      That’s the truth.

      We have a box of special things the kids make, but most of it is enjoyed on the fridge for a few days and then tossed.

  104. Riana Jones April 1, 2013 at 8:19 am #

    Hi Emily,
    Love your blog! Do you have any great tips for painting furniture? I want to take a already painted white dresser and paint it navy for our baby boy’s nursery! Thanks!

  105. Mandy April 1, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    I’d like to know what color the granite is in your kitchen? I’m in the process of finding an alternative to marble, and yours is one of the few kitchens I’ve seen lately that makes granite look as pretty and modern as Carrera marble.


    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      I don’t know the name of the granite but it was one of the least offensive options from home depot. If I could do it again I would chose concrete or limestone or some other solid colored material. Although I will say the granite hides everything!

  106. Mikaela April 1, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    How do you go about landscaping projects? Are you mostly DIY, or do you leave it to the professionals? Also, if you go the DIY route, do you have any tips or resources you use to determine what your lawn care/landscaping needs are? My husband and I just bought a house and we’re trying to figure how how much we should do ourselves (to save money) and which aspects we should consult professionals for.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      We are total DIYers and have no idea what we’re doing! Both of our moms are good in the garden so they have helped us figure out what plants are best. We tore out our entire backyard and planted shrubs, layed concrete, etc.

      Our yard is super tiny {we’re dying for more space!} and we’ve considered hiring a landscape company to come mow/edge/fertilize but it takes Ryan about 7 minutes to do it all so it seems like a waste of money.

  107. CeCe April 1, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    I have a simple question: How is your caligrophy class going? :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Oh gosh, I wish I was practicing!

  108. Terese April 1, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Emily, I love your blog, and think you are amazing! I just started a business and was wondering how much an ad costs on your blog? Also, do you have any stats as to whether ads pay off on your blog for folks who buy them?

    Thank you,

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      We don’t currently offer ad space. Most blogs will give you stats so keep asking around!

  109. Amy W April 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    What kind of stainless steel appliances so u have? Would u buy them again? And are they hard to keep clean with 4 kids? Thanks so much. I love your blog.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Our appliances are white which makes maintaining super easy. Not as fancy as stainless, but I actually like that they blend in with the cabinets. Our beverage refrigerator is stainless and ryan has some sort of stainless cleaner that he wipes it down with every once in a while.

  110. pve April 1, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Since you asked, Where do you see yourself in five years?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      I am the worst at projecting and goal setting … but for you, I’ll try:)

      I will be 39. Yikes!
      My oldest will be 14. Oh my!
      My littlest will be not be a baby. Boo!

      I see JDC growing – not sure where or how – we’re sort of in a shake-up-figure-out-where-we’re-headed phase right now so I’m not sure where we’ll be. I don’t see us living in our current home. Again, not sure where we’d go. I’d like to be in better physical shape. Maybe we’ll adopt? Maybe we’ll build a house? Maybe we’ll travel the country and homeschool?

      See, I’m terrible at projecting.

  111. Tia April 1, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    I love your blog, and I have been saving up to do your blog class; so excited to do it. My question is–and if you answer this in your blog class, just tell me that–when trying to pick what you are going to make your blog’s them, like cooking, or crafting, or sewing, etc., how do you know what is the right one for you?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      We actually don’t go into it much in the blog class so I’m glad you asked now!

      This one is just up to you – whatever you love to do, whatever you are passionate about or will hold your attention – do that. Or if you can’t decide, do a little of each {that’s what I’ve chosen}.

      One of the best exercises is to take an inventory of your life to figure out what you love the best. Ask your friends and family what they see your best skills or interests are. They sometimes help direct you in ways you wouldn’t see for yourself.

  112. Nancy Austin April 1, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Two questions…
    1. I have a tiny little blog that I started last fall. I’m trying to remember that for now it’s a hobby and not spend too much money. But I’ve been toying with idea of choosing a benchmark and allowing some spending when that is reached. Any suggestions for my benchmark? Should I choose a number of daily hits, number of followers, what do you think?
    2. When were you at APU? I know I’m older than you but I love finding fellow alums out in the world doing it right! Wonder if we know the same people?!?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      1. What are you wanting to spend money on? Advertising? Supplies? This one would be a fun one to have a real conversation over coffee!
      I’m not sure how to answer because I’m not sure of the surrounding circumstances. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
      2. I graduated from APU in 2001. Both Ryan & I graduated from there as well as my best friend {who I talk alot about}. We loved, loved, loved our time there.

  113. Ashley April 1, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Your home is so beautiful and your life is general just seems lovely. In an effort to be encouraging to us gals who might find themselves envious, where do you have help?A nanny, cleaning service, assistant? Just trying to keep it real so we can all keep our sanity (and lose some guilt and unrealistic expectations)!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      FOR SURE!

      I do have a nanny on tuesdays from 10-3.

      We had a cleaning company during the holidays but do not currently have a cleaner. Which means our house is not clean. I need to hire them back.

      Please keep this in mind: i am a very visual person and can’t focus when the house is a mess. I pick up a lot. I hound my kids to pick up {they don’t, but I still hound}. And you rarely see photos of the real state of our home :)

  114. Ashley Collum April 1, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Hi Emily, where are your favorite places to buy furniture from? I’m having a hard time finding classic pieces that are stylish, and I love all of your furniture. :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      Lots of our furniture was given to us, is old, or super random. I can tell you where our main pieces were purchased from though.
      Sofa: andella home
      old sofa: crate & barrel
      tufted chairs in living room: ethan allen
      coffee table: wisteria
      dining table: restoration hardware outlet
      dining chairs: ballard designs
      kitchen table & bench: cb2
      master bed: restoration hardware outlet
      end tables: target
      kids’ bunkbeds: costco
      glass entry table: potterybarn

      Hope this helps!

  115. Megan April 1, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Hi Emily,
    I have been a fan of you and your blog for the past couple of years. I really enjoy the pictures of your family. You and your husband have a gorgeous family. Soo stinkin cute! I love all the questions so far, looking forward to your reply to them. I am curious what camera you use and the one key to taking great photos?
    Thanks again have a blessed day.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      I have a canon rebel SLR. I don’t have it with me so I don’t know the exact details :)

      I need to take a photo course because I still shoot using automatic settings. Someday I’ll shoot manually. Best tip: use natural light. Turn off all artificial lights. That’s what I learned from the BH & G photographer!

  116. Sandy April 1, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Hi – my co-worker just turned me onto your blog. It is refreshing.

    Question: What ideas can you give me or what website would be helpful to make a cramped entryway scream organization and style? I have a split level home with a small 40″ wide x 22″ deep area for all things that land by most doors. Any suggestion? I think its the one thing that can either brighten my day or bring it down a notch just by the look of it.

    Also, any suggestions on nutrition for a teen who hasn’t been diagnosed with allergies but whom I suspect as having some sensitivity to food. I’ve taken dairy out already.

    Thanks – Happy belated Easter.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      1. If you have vertical wall space in your entry, use it! Add function by putting in a skinny bench or hooks or baskets, add beauty by adding art. Maybe try painting the walls light to keep the space bright or add texture with a fun wallpaper. And put in a light that makes you happy.

      2. nutrition: I’m not your girl :)

  117. Sally April 1, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    I’m considering starting a BLOG like yours, but really want to know if you make a decent wage from this. Do you contribute in a significant way to your family income and how long did it take for you to start doing so?

    Thank you for your inspiration, energy and contributions to this world!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Yes, I make a significant income from JDC. Here’s a breakdown of how I make money:
      1. jdc | monthly {our monthly printable papergoods subscription}
      2. our online art print shop
      3. the blog class
      4. affiliate fees {like from amazon or when I promote a friends’ ebook}

      As you will notice, none of these come specifically from blogging, but all are part of the jdc brand and blogging is vital to that.

      So when we wonder if a blogger can really make money, the answer is yes, but the answer is not as simple as just writing blog posts and making money from those {although it can be if you push affiliate products or join an ad network and have a ton of traffic}.

      This is what ryan always says: you can make money two ways – either sell your own stuff or sell someone else’s stuff.

      Hope this helps!

  118. Shannon Silsby April 1, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Good morning Emily. I love the four individual silhouettes you have of your kids. How big are the silhouettes and how big are the frames?
    I have four kids as well and want to copy your wonderful idea.
    I love your blog. Thank you!
    My best,

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      I love the silhouettes too!

      they are in the largest IKEA ribba frames. I transferred them onto posterboard and then painted in the lines. Nothing fancy, but they make a big impact.

  119. Lynn Cooper April 1, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    I have always wondered…your name is Emily Jones (correct?) but you have a wall of L’s. What does the L come from? My name is Lynn so I have always loved that wall!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      My maiden name is JONES :)

  120. Trista Finch April 1, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    I am curious about your SEO as I’m a work in progress as far as this whole topic. Does your blog class cover this topic? I would love to know any “secrets” if you have any.
    Happy Monday!!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      We do talk about it in the blog class, but not in depth. It could be an entire class on its own.

      There are ways to become ranked in google searches through titling posts, titling images, using key words and phrases. Let me see if i can dig up a good article for you …

  121. Janet April 1, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Is there any way I would be able to purchase just your “Believe” print with the beautiful butterflies, without subscribing to your monthly newsletter?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Yes. I’m going to order a bunch today and I’ll have them available soon.

  122. Karena Kreger April 1, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    I love how you do all things well! You’re creativity, consistency and even your format is an inspiration to me. I was curious, do you blog because it is profitable financially, or do you focus on your design/print to meet that need? How do you divide your focused time between what is profitable and what is your passion? Or have you figured how to make them one and the same?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Oh, goodness. What a good question! I blog because I love it and because it is where the Lord is using me for now {read more here: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/thoughts/the-lamp-print/}. I create because that’s just what I do!

      When the blog was almost 1 year old, we were running a monthly deficit of almost $500 for bandwidth, service fees etc. Ryan sat me down and said that even though it was a wonderful hobby, it was costing too much. If I were to continue, I needed to make money {at least enough to cover the costs}. So I started selling prints. And then it’s just grown from there. Ryan is my business partner and this has been a fun experiment in finding new ways to join that creative side with the financial provision side.

  123. Alexis April 1, 2013 at 7:54 am #


    Can you give us an idea into your daily schedule? How do you balance it all?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:16 am #

      I’ll write a real post. But most days are a little different just depending on who is going to school, what activities we have, if ryan is home or at work.

  124. mary kate April 1, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    what kinds of jobs did you have before having your children?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      I was a nanny during college breaks {my little nanny girl is graduating from high school in just a few months!}. Then I was an assistant for a real estate team. I had my real estate license, but did not sell. Just did their marketing/design/assisting. Then I started JDC and did custom stationery. I did this while the babies were babies and started the blog right before Audrey was born in 2010.

  125. Sara April 1, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Hello! I am a mom of 2 precious boys and have always wished for a little girl. Did you do anything different (diet, vitamins, prayer etc.) to help your chances of conceiving a baby girl? It must feel wonderful to have Audrey to share ballet and fun girly things with. Your family is beautiful!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #


      Nope, we did not have any tricks. Honestly we did not consciously try for any of our babes {I know, how irresponsible}. And I do adore having my little miss. She is the best. So much like me which I love and get and have compassion for her.

  126. cailin April 1, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    With all the teasers you’ve given us of how your house has changed since you posted your first house tour, would you consider giving us an updated tour? I would just love to see all the beautiful and brilliant room updates!

    PS. Congratulations on the kitchen photo shoot!!!!

    • cailin April 1, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      oh, and I just remembered – are you still planning on doing a “ruffles week”? would LOVE that. :o)

      • emily April 1, 2013 at 9:42 am #

        YES!!! I really want to. I’ve had it on my to-do list for a long time. This spring for sure.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Yes, I promise. Just have to finish some of those projects!

  127. Leslie April 1, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    I have questions about your blog class. I have been thinking about starting a blog because I have ideas to share and a desire to connect with others, but I’m worried about the technical side of things. How much time do you spend dealing with spam? Do you need access to an computer-expert friend to help from time to time? Or can a person learn the basics as they go along? Also, I don’t want to start something that I can’t finish (or continue) well.

    Thanks for offering this opportunity to ask questions. I love your writing . . . and have used many of your ideas with students and in gifts for friends. Thank you for being so transparent.

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Great questions.
      There are plugins to help deal with spam, so that should not take your time. We are your computer expert friends in the blog class, so no need for more :) A good working knowledge of a computer and the internet is important, but we really try to boil it all down to the most basic steps to make the process simple.

      If you have any other questions, feel free to send an email!

  128. Chaney April 1, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    Hi Emily! I love, love your blog and your graphic design items like your prints and JDC monthly stuff! I know you mentioned awhile back you took an Illustrator class to learn the software and sharpen your skills. Was taking the class worth it, and how do you feel it’s changed the way you design things like your prints? (Everything always looks so good and professional!) Thanks for the Q&A!

    • annie April 1, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      Ditto to Chaney’s question! :) I’ve been floating the idea of learning Illustrator {or InDesign} too, but am wondering if it’s enough of a different product from something like Publisher. Thanks!

      • emily April 1, 2013 at 10:24 am #

        Illustrator is a thousand times better than publisher. I designed with publisher for years and when I switched to illustrator it really changed how i design. If you are just looking to do text, then publisher is fine, but if you want more control/options illustrator is the way to go. I don’t know indesign, but i’ve heard it is excellent. Someday maybe I’ll learn it :)

    • Madaline April 1, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      The programs are a LOT different from Publisher (and so worth it to me!) I have a BFA in Graphic Design but recommend Nicoles Classes for learning the basics of the programs!

      • annie April 1, 2013 at 9:14 am #

        Madaline: THANK YOU! I will look into the classes you mention. :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:23 am #

      The illustrator class was great. I was surprised to learn that I had taught myself pretty well! Although I did learn a few new tricks {like the align button – I was just eyeballing the center line!}. I don’t think it has changed the way I design, but it gives me more confidence knowing that I’m on the right track. I’m thinking about offering a mini course on illustrator … anyone interested?

      • annie April 1, 2013 at 11:29 am #

        ME ME ME!!!

      • Chaney April 1, 2013 at 11:36 am #

        Yes please! I would love that!

      • rachel April 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

        And as you already know, I’d be in for sure!!

        By the way, I live in Northern Cali! On one of your other responses you said you liked Northern California. We live in Sonoma County and it is beautiful!! Hey, maybe you could move here and teach me graphic design in person!! LOL! :)

  129. Erin April 1, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    My three-year-old is OBSESSED with ballet. I couldn’t find a ballet class for three-year-olds in our area, but she is taking tap this year and enthusiastically anticipating ballet class as a four-year-old. I am absolutely ballet challenged. I don’t know anything about it! Any tips for ways I can encourage her now? Or performances that would be appropriate for her to watch? (We saw our local ballet group perform Cinderella last weekend and she is still talking about it.) Any information or tips you can share would be so appreciated!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      That is the cutest. I’m surprised there is not a creative movement class or anything for her to take. I think the best way is to find books about ballerinas {there are a million!}. Taking her to local ballet productions is also great. Audrey saw Cinderella and the Nutcracker last year and adored both. Another great idea is just to turn on ballet-ish music and let her dance!

  130. Tonya April 1, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    Once a blog is up and running with all the initial technical set-up complete, how much time would reasonably be needed to maintain it (not counting writing posts)? Also, if I were to take the Blog Class, how much money should be budgeted beyond that (hosting, etc) that must be purchased elsewhere? I’m frustrated with blogger but can’t decide if it’s worth spending the money when I’m not sure how far I’ll decide to go with it. Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:30 am #

      You shouldn’t have to do much maintaining once your blog is set up. Sometimes you’ll have to update plugins or add new features {like if you want to add graphics to your sidebar or add a shop or change out advertisements}. Most of the time, you should just be able to create blog content.

      As for additional costs, your hosting fees will be about $100 per year which includes purchasing your domain name and then any additional services you decide to use. For example, we use a service called Aweber to manage our email list and send out email blog posts. We also pay for a company to manage our monthly subscription and we use paypal which takes a portion of each purchase made in the shop.

      WordPress.org is free, as are most of the plugins {I think all of the plugins we recommend in the blog class are free}. We also give you a free theme to use, but if you want to use a different there are tons of other free ones or paid versions {the theme I use on my blog was about $45}.

      Hope this helps!

  131. Erin April 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    I know you said you are a Christian. At what point during the day do you do devotions or focus solely on Him without the distractions of a busy home and business? I too am a homemaker, Mom, wife, and business owner. Thanks!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      This is never the case! I try to read Jesus Calling devotion {both adult and kid version} on my phone before I get out of bed, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Daily devotions are quick and most often not quiet.

      I wish I would get up early, but I stay up much too late. Still trying to figure this one out.

  132. Hailey April 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    What happened to your “what I’m wearing” posts? They were so fun and it helped motivate this stay at home mom to try to look cute while at home with the kids!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      It’s a fun series that I just have to get motivated to join again {do you read thepleatedpoppy.com? she does it every week with a linkup to lots of other wiw ladies}.

  133. Jessaca April 1, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    How do you stay inspired and motivated? Although I get inspired I usually don’t have the energy/time/etc to be motivated enough to carry it through (I have a two year old).

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      Sometimes I am neither inspired or motivated! Sometimes I’m just required to be {like when jdc|monthly is coming out in two days and I haven’t started designing!}. I like to read magazines, read blogs, read books. I’m very visual so I’m usually inspired by strange things I notice {like the scallop of a skirt at the store or the font on a sign}.

  134. Amanda April 1, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Do you use photoshop/indesign/illustrator for your graphics and printables? If so, how did you learn them? Did you take courses or self teach?

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      I use illustrator for graphic design, photoshop for photo editing. I taught myself both programs and know illustrator much better than photoshop. I took a college continuing education course in february on illustrator which was great. I use actions to edit photos in photoshop so I really only know the minimum to make my photos look good.

  135. Taylor April 1, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    How do you stay so skinny??

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      You’re nice.

      Partially genetics {my dad is skinny}.
      Partially eating sporadically {I do have four kids}.
      Partially staying active {again, I do have four kids}. The puppy has actually helped with this too. He forces me to get outside and take a walk/run.

  136. Jessica L April 1, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    How do you get your printer to print to the edge? Is this a printer thing (you either have the right printer or you don’t) or is this something you can correct through print settings? I find when printing printables that often go to the edge, my printer messes with the alignment (printing some parts to the edge, while leaving white space on others). Everything always looks perfectly set up on my computer, but then the print out looks horrible. Help! :)

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      Most printers won’t print to the very edge. There is always a margin. If you are printing from Adobe Reader, there is a box you can check that either says fit to page or actual size. Just make sure you click the actual size if that is important or fit to size if you don’t care exactly what size it comes out but you want the full image.

  137. Serah April 1, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Hello! I remember once you mentioned that you try to feed your kids very healthy. Exactly what do you do? All organic? No sugar? I have two boys and sometimes it’s such a challange, especially when one can be a little picky. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      This is such a struggle. We do eat healthy-ish. I love crackers and so while we’d love to go totally non-processed, I’m just not sure I can do it! We eat organic when available/convenient, but are not totally sticklers. I do buy organic whole milk and the best meat we can get. We should not eat sugar, but we do. It is so hard for my school-aged boys because their friends are eating pringles and fruit roll-ups and they get carrots and strawberries. We’re trying to make good choices, but there is a lot of pressure to eat fun food rather than good-for-you food. I’m thinking this will be a post soon and I’d love to hear other suggestions.

  138. Maggie April 1, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    Hi Emily,

    I love your blog and think your home is lovely. It looks like you have done a number of updates lately. Will you be sharing an updated house tour or perhaps more project posts? Would love some inspiration for lightening up our home for spring!

    Thanks and have a great week!

    • emily April 1, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      Yes, for sure. I have a few project posts coming up. Lots of updated house photos to take. We’d like to do a whole house tour soon.

  139. Evelyn April 1, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Hi Emily!

    How do you find balance with all of your kids/work/blogging/JDC? I love reading your blog and adore your style!


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