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Q + A day – let’s chat!

For many years, I’ve done a once a year Q+A day.

Well, today’s the day!

Here’s how this works:

Since I chat at you post after post, sometimes it’s fun to switch things up and find out what you want to talk about.

For the next few days, I’ll be hanging out on comments answering your questions.

Any topic is open for discussion: family and life, faith, random things that you’ve wanted to ask but haven’t, decorating, blogging, business curiosities – any of it – I want to know what you’re wondering about.

I wish we could all sit together and chat in real life and actually have a conversation, but this Q+A is the next best thing for us online friends.

So go ahead and ask me anything in the comments and I’ll reply back as best I can.  Feel free to chime in and join the conversation as well! No topic is off limits and I’m a fairly open and honest girl … so … ask away!

137 Responses to Q + A day – let’s chat!

  1. Amber September 18, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    Hi Emily! As a former “fire fighter family” are you able to share the good and the bad about the true ins and outs and culture of that profession (what is it really like? Is it a good profession as far as working around family life, etc)? We have a young teenage son who has been interested for years and still hasn’t wavered from thinking he’d like to pursue that field. He is too young to volunteer, but as a homeschooler, he is already starting duel enrollment in college courses and will probably test into community college next year. This would make it somewhat helpful to know more about the job (from a perspective of someone who has lived it) so that he can choose related classes. Thanks!

    • emily September 25, 2018 at 9:47 am #

      Fire fighting is an incredible job and if any of my kids wanted to go that route I would not hesitate. Of course there are always variables to consider: the department you work for, the shift schedule, the amount of fire vs. medical calls (most of Ryan’s calls were medical related. He always wished for less medical and more fire related calls since that is what he loved to do). It is a great idea for your son to take some EMT classes and to shadow or volunteer at a department just to try it out.

  2. Melissa September 16, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

    Hi Emily! Did you like traveling with all 4 kids in an RV for your summer trip? It’s a dream of my husband’s to travel with our small children in an RV and I’m wondering if that’s realistic or if we will drive each other nuts?! Would you ever buy an RV or was it a once in a lifetime thing for your family?

    • emily September 25, 2018 at 9:49 am #

      We LOVED it! We took our car and pulled a trailer which meant we spent many hours in the car. It really was great. The kids watched movies, we listened to books, we stared out the windows, we slept, we talked. Our youngest was 6 – which was a good age – not too young that she couldn’t handle being in the car for hours at a time.

      We bought our airstream for the trip and then sold it when we returned home. We loved it and considered buying it back this summer, but realized we really don’t travel like this on a regular basis. So maybe we will buy an RV or airstream again, but we don’t have plans to right now.

  3. Meredith September 13, 2018 at 6:35 pm #

    What nail polish colors are you liking lately?

    • emily September 19, 2018 at 11:45 pm #

      I’m just always and forever a neutral polish girl. I try to mix it up every once in a while with muted, rusty reds or grays, but I always come back to a soft pinkish white. My go-to is Elegant Pink from DND (gel).

  4. Susanne September 12, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

    First off, thank you for who you are are and what you stand for. You are a breath of fresh air. I love your writings, your style and your decorating.
    I read you faithfully. I also ordered from your store. I loved those brass frames. Any hope of finding the place that sells those?

  5. Steph September 12, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

    Ahh! It’s not the 11th but hopefully I can chime in still! I’m looking to go on a year long RV trip in a couple years. I’ve loved your posts about your trip. Since it’s been a couple years, what is your favorite memory/thing looking back and perhaps something you would do differently now?

    • emily September 25, 2018 at 9:59 am #

      Hmmm … our favorite memory looking back is just how special it was to be together for such an extended period of time to see so many great places. We talk about our trip all the time and while we will not do it again, we do talk about traveling to the same places again.

      Something we would have done differently … we would have built in a break between New York and Boston. By the time we got to boston, we were all exhausted. A couple of days of vacation from our vacation (like we did in Florida a month or so earlier) would have been good.

  6. Susan September 12, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

    You are inspirational and beautiful inside and out. I respect your depth of love and honor for God and find you inspire me. But I have a frivolous question! I’d like to have just a few sure fire fabulous dinner recipes to pull out for fun entertaining. Any suggestions?

  7. Tiffany September 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm #

    I have been struggling in my identity and sense of self lately and so many of your posts have helped me (knowing that what I’m reading is coming from the heart of a Christian woman has made all the difference.) So please know that your words have helped others and you have made a difference. Continue seeking His will for you and all will be well!

    I feel like I’m in a season of change, but haven’t quite figured out what direction the Lord is steering me. I have considered going back to school and graphic design is an area I keep coming back to, but I am hesitant. While I feel like I have an eye for design and creating things, I have no talent for drawing and that is holding me back. As a graphic designer, do you feel like that is just a basic requirement and I should move on from this idea?

    • Vivian Schneider September 13, 2018 at 11:26 am #

      Tiffany,

      Your post is the first one I read! And I can totally relate. I, too, have NO drawing artistic ability (like my professional artist twin brother!). However, I love working on the computer and have taught myself several programs in the graphic design field. Getting a “degree/certificate” in this field is something I think of often as it would open many doors regarding a future career.

      The Lord will steer you in the direction HE has for you. I don’t think you (or I) should hold back if we have a passion for creativity regarding design, color, etc. Take some classes and see how you feel.

      Hugs! Vivian

      • Tiffany September 14, 2018 at 9:13 am #

        Thank you Vivian! ♥ I think I may just do that!

  8. Rebecca September 12, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

    Nothing really to ask, but I do love this blog. I appreciate your honesty and love your style!

    • emily September 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

      Thank you Rebecca!

  9. Taylor September 12, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Emily, I love your writing voice, ideas, and content! I’m 29, about to turn 30 :) I’ve got two little babies and I freelance from home. I’m definitely in a growing stage (who isn’t?) and I’m aware of how precious my time and my years are. Just wondering what advice you would give young women in the beginning of family life, marriage, career? What did you do that is memorable or helpful or helped establish yourself? Or any general advice for women my age. Thank you.

  10. Michelle September 12, 2018 at 8:10 am #

    Emily,
    I love your style and as a fellow Red-head with two red girls I love to watch your color pairings in clothes. My question is this: do you have a suggestion for a more full figured blogger that shares a similar fashion styles as yours. While I love your looks, many of the tops and pants do not translate to a size 12 fuller figure.

    Keep posting because I may not be able to buy the same clothes, but I always love the looks and especially your shoe suggestions!

    Michelle

    • Nancy September 20, 2018 at 9:15 am #

      Check out Chic Soul. :)

  11. Shannon September 12, 2018 at 7:39 am #

    Emily,

    I second a lot of the compliments given above. I love your style, honesty, and values. And as a believer, I know your desire is to not just focus on beauty for the sake of beauty! Our God is a God of beauty, and we can embrace this with wisdom and discernment. We have the joy and privilege in making our homes a place for others to feel welcomed and comfortable for a bigger purpose.

    No question here but just wanted to thank you and encourage you to continue to embrace the roles and gifts God has blessed you with. I know there are always times to step back and re evaluate- but I am cheering you on!

    Also, have you read Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin? Based on some of your recent comments about your time in the Word, and your passion for teaching/learning, I think you will appreciate this book. It has changed and shaped my personal Bible reading.

    • emily September 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm #

      Thank you, Shannon! I have not read Women of the Word but I will certainly look in to it!

      • Ruthann September 12, 2018 at 3:22 pm #

        I so agree with Shannon! It’s a must-read for every Christian woman! You won’t regret it

  12. DJ September 12, 2018 at 7:31 am #

    Where did you stay when you went to Seaside,FL? And how do you find the cutest places to stay on vacation? They are always so beautifully decorated!

    • emily September 25, 2018 at 9:52 am #

      We stayed in a condo at WaterSound and loved it. Here is the post with all the details: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/road-trip/road-trip-seaside-florida/

      As far as finding good rentals, I’m typically a little picky about how they look in addition to their location. Sometimes that means we pay a little extra.

  13. Shannon September 12, 2018 at 7:00 am #

    Emily,

    I second a lot of the above compliments that were given. I love your style and how you desire to help other women embrace the joy of making their homeas a place where others can find comfort and rest. I am thankful for your focus on beauty and not just for the sake of beauty! But as a believer, it is such a privilege to make our homes welcoming for a bigger purpose!

    I don’t have any questions, but I just wanted to thank you and encourage you to keep embracing the gifts and roles God has blessed you with.

    Also, have you ever read Jen Wilkin’s Women of the
    Word? Based on some of your recent comments about your personal time in the Word, and the passion you seem to have as a teacher/student, I think you would appreciate it. It has changed and shaped how I approach my Bible reading.

  14. Shanna September 12, 2018 at 6:10 am #

    Do you know why Dana Miller from House Tweaking just disappeared from the internet? I was a faithful reader and without any warning she quit posting a couple years.

    • Erin September 12, 2018 at 6:23 am #

      Yes! This! I’ve missed her and hope she is going well. Oddly after reading a blog for so long you feel like you almost know the person. It’s weird for them to just be gone one day. Ah, the odd world of social media that we live in! I know she does not owe anyone an answer, but she had a lot of faithful readers that miss her.

    • emily September 12, 2018 at 11:06 am #

      I don’t know but I miss her, too! I check in on her site every once in a while to see if maybe she has posted something, but it is quiet. I hope she is happy and thriving doing life outside of her online world. But I sure miss her stuff!

      • Shanna September 16, 2018 at 4:56 pm #

        I can’t believe it, but she just posted! So cool to know she’s alive and well.:)

        • emily September 19, 2018 at 11:43 pm #

          I know! I got the email and was like, there she is!

    • Amber September 14, 2018 at 9:43 am #

      Mandy Ballard from Biblical Homemaking just disappeared, too! I followed her blog for years and hope she and her adorable family are O.K.!

  15. Caryn Dahm September 12, 2018 at 5:38 am #

    Good morning. Hope I’m not too late to ask questions. My questions are about business. I’m a watercolor artist working from home. I’m blessed to be very busy with commissioned projects, art camps and teaching classes. My days are so full with work and I’m extremely grateful for that. My business questions are below ; ).

    – Do you use an accounting program and if so, which would you recommend?
    – I have my art work in 5 stores in my local area (prints and notecards etc.) I’m ready to start keeping better track of my inventory. Do you have any kind of system in place to keep track of things like that?
    – What would you say is your best advice for improving instagram followers? I’m working on growing that this year. I’m currently taking your online photography class and I love it. It’s been very helpful.
    Thanks for hosting this Q&A! I’m grateful you would make the time to do this. Many blessings to you and yours!

    • emily September 25, 2018 at 9:56 am #

      Great questions!

      1. We have a CPA and bookkeeper. We use quickbooks online for basic accounting. Tax Jar is used for calculating state taxes.
      2. All of our sales come online and our shop has built-in inventory functions (shopify is a great online shop platform).
      3. Instagram is an ever-changing game that I am not great at. There are so many others who are more qualified to share how to grow instagram – Jenna Kutcher has a course that might be extra helpful for you: https://thelab.jennakutcher.com/

  16. Elizabeth September 12, 2018 at 3:05 am #

    Hello Emily,
    I am so thankful that I have stumbled upon your blog this past year. I turned 40 in May and for the last 6 years I have been a full time stay at home mommy of 3. My littlest is about to enter PreK and my twins are now in 1st grade. Next year will be the first year that all of them will be in school. I’m a former elementary school teacher, but I love being home and want to continue with that once everyone is in school. We are slowly renovating a home, room by room, and I want to continue to do that as well as be available to the kids. I’m not the creative type, but am hoping to make some money with some sort of “work from home” job. Any suggestions?

    • emily September 25, 2018 at 10:03 am #

      Hi Elizabeth. Congrats on getting those babies to this almost school age point!

      The best way to find a work from home option is to evaluate your skills and interests. What are people asking your advice on? What do you love doing? What skill do you have that could serve others? What need to do you see out there that you could fill?

      With your school background, could you do tutoring? Create classroom resources to sell online?

      If you are particularly great at administrative skills, try looking into being a Virtual Assistant. This is a great resource for learning more about being a VA: https://www.vaclassroom.com/

      I hope this helps!

  17. Rachel September 12, 2018 at 12:13 am #

    One last one…
    Will you consider making another font in the handwriting you did your new logo in?
    I have another font you did, but this one above is so pretty!

    • emily September 12, 2018 at 3:01 pm #

      I would love to! The thing about fonts is that there is a real art to the ones where the letters connect (and I don’t know this art!). So unless I work directly with a font creator, I’m not sure I’ll be able to turn my lettering into a font :)

  18. Rachel September 12, 2018 at 12:01 am #

    Thought of another question…
    Does Ryan still work from home? My hubby does, and I have a hard time getting anything done! He’s on and off the phone, (sometimes in office, sometimes not), up and down the stairs, in and out of the kitchen, he turns AC on, I turn it off… Any suggestions??

    • emily September 12, 2018 at 3:06 pm #

      Yes, Ryan does work from home. And I totally get what you mean about having to share your space and feeling distracted! We end up spending a lot of time talking throughout the day – which is wonderful on one side, but totally unproductive on the other! We just recently switched offices – he is now working from the above-garage studio space and my office is in the house. I think if you asked him, I was the one distracting him when his office was in the house! So now that I can be inside and putz around if I need, I don’t feel like I am interrupting him.

      Maybe your husband needs a dedicated office? Or maybe you could figure out a schedule where he works from a coffee shop or remote office a few days per week so you can feel productive at home.

  19. Rachel September 11, 2018 at 11:43 pm #

    Just copied the DM from yesterday… 😊
    Hi Emily,
    We’re going to start looking at laminate flooring for a rental and I’m wondering if you’re still happy with what you choose for your office? I pinned one of your photos and noted that it was called Lakeshore Pecan from Home Depot right? Also, does it sound “plasticy” when you walk/tap on it like laminate usually does? Thanks!!

    • emily September 12, 2018 at 3:03 pm #

      Sorry I missed the DM!

      We do have Lakeshore Pecan up in the studio and realy love the look of it. It has a laminate sound, but it honestly doesn’t bother me. I think if you have a rug and furniture in your rental home, it will be just fine.

  20. jen September 11, 2018 at 4:48 pm #

    In the most sincere and humble way I want to ask how you reconcile your desire to decorate and redecorate which costs a lot of money and time with the calling on Christians to give to the poor and serve others. I know this could sound like a terribly snarky question, but I really don’t mean it as one. I used to love to decorate, but I have been absolutely paralyzed for the last few years. I don’t think that is a healthy place to be, especially as we are a family who moves often . . . and I need to decorate each new place we live. I get it that it is about each person’s convictions, but I would love to hear your thoughts about it all. Yours is one of my fav places on the internet!

    (you said we could ask anything! :) )

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

      Have no fear! I don’t take that as snarky … in fact, it is something I think about often and while I wish I had a great answer, I don’t. I struggle with the material-ness of what many of my posts consist of (This is the best couch ever! Here are the things I want to buy! This is a great book! We’ve switched offices again and I bought a new rug for it!). I never, ever want someone to leave my space on the internet (or me in real life!) and think, “I need to buy more stuff to be happier/better/more on-trend.” Oh, it’s such a struggle for me! And yet, I think we all have this desire to bring beauty to our homes and our closets and I want to offer simple and inspirational ways to do that. Its a strange balance of holding both of those together.

      I feel like my friend Myquillyn (the Nester) does such a great job of talking about this idea in her newest book Cozy Minimalist. I read an early copy a few months ago and underlined many parts and found such a spiritual connection with her idea of using our homes as places to welcome and share life and so making it a lovely place is completely worthwhile AND pleasing to God. Yes, he wants us to be generous and hold finances with an open hand, but I think he also values celebration and gathering and family. I highly recommend getting Myquillyn’s new book: https://amzn.to/2QkKrlU

      • jen September 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

        Thanks! I do really appreciate all that you share, and you are very right that we do desire to bring beauty to our lives! Thanks also for the book rec!

  21. Lona September 11, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    Emily! I really love following. You offer us more than you know. You are not “noise” to me. You are my space in the tech world that I finally get some quiet and add free time to chill out and dive in. Whenever I see something from you I save it for a quiet moment. I make myself a cup of tea and I sit and read. It is such a pleasure reading…you mentioned finding purpose and reason behind blogs and this internet life but trust me, I think you are so fun to follow and I love what you share. Hugs!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you so much, Lona. This made me tear up.

  22. Michele September 11, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

    I love that you have been so open and honest about your struggle with identity. That’s where I’m living now – do you have any books, resources, etc. you would recommend that God has used in your journey?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

      It’s a total struggle and one I am believing for more depth and healing and confidence. The enneagram has been wildly helpful in giving me words for understanding more of who I am and why I do what I do. I loved this book the most (https://amzn.to/2p0GhU0). I meet with a spiritual director once per month and she is so gentle in helping me discern what the Lord is saying to me. I journal a ton and listen to lots of podcasts (here’s a list of my favorites: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/things-i-like/think-listen-podcasts/). I am listening to the audio version of Alex Seeley’s book Tailor Made and highly recommend it (https://amzn.to/2x1uojW). I have loved this series on The Bible Project on Image of God (https://thebibleproject.com/explore/image-god/). My most important practice, however, has been reading God’s word, taking time to quiet myself and ask the holy spirit to show me the lies I’m believing and what the truth is. It is a journey that I’m right in the middle of and hope that as I come closer to that Quiet Confidence I know he has for me, that I’ll be able to share it with others.

  23. Melissa September 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm #

    Emily, you are truly beautiful inside and outside. I love your transparency and authenticity. I love that you share about your faith and your struggles with a large audience. People are listening. May the Lord bless you and may you hear His voice in the quiet. Blessings! From the other side of the state. 😉

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

      Thank you so much, Melissa!

  24. Ginny September 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    Your house looks great. I know you have a dog. How do you deal with dog hair? I find ours all over, even on my computer!

    • Kathy September 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm #

      I have to jump in here and say the best purchase I have made in a long time is a Dyson cordless vacuum (on sale at Costco). It was a little over $300 I think even on sale but worth EVERY PENNY! It has a swivel head, is lightweight and great suction – even on smooth carpet – and all that dog hair goes into a canister that you empty at the end.
      I”m sure there are other brands with similar vacuums out there but I can speak to this one and totally recommend it! Easy to use every day if necessary for all that hair!

      • Lynn September 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm #

        Isn’t it really loud? I’ve read reviews that they are, which makes me hesitant to buy one😔

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

      Atlas is a labradoodle that is supposed to not shed, but he still does. It is just far less than the average dog. So we don’t struggle as much with dog hair as those with other breeds. I happen to like vacuuming, so I try to run it a few times per week and that seems to do the trick.

      It’s our darn kids and all the dirt they track in that is the real problem!

  25. emily September 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

    I have taken a LOOOOONG break from coffee chats. The truth: behind the scenes I’ve been a bit of a floundering mess not knowing what to do with this blog and business and my purpose. It’s actually quite stressful for me and I’ve been praying and praying for clarity and a renewed sense of purpose for my work online. I take things very seriously (probably too seriously, most of the time) and struggle with just adding more noise to the online world if I have nothing helpful to say. I’ve been feeling like I need to be quiet and through that quiet am working through my identity, healing and growing and I believe the Lord will show me my next right steps.

    That’s a long answer to a simple question :)

    Basically, I just want to be doing the work that God has for me and not just throwing out more noise if it is not helpful, necessary, encouraging, genuine, purposeful.

    Will they come back? Perhaps. Sometimes I really miss it. I’ve tried to pop on Instagram Stories a little more to fill in that hole, but that doesn’t always feel right to me either.

    Can you tell I’m struggling with this?!!!

    • Casey September 12, 2018 at 11:31 am #

      I think it’s smart to pause, examine and recalibrate. You’ve been doing this job a long time. The content has tweaked and the methods of communicating with readers has tweaked, but at the heart of it sharing your life through your creativity online has been the consistent basis of your job.

      As I read these comments I notice a recurring theme that mothers of young children need your encouragement. Your “40 by 40” list has the goal of authoring a children’s book. I think you would be a fantastic author of a Christian children’s series. Your kids are past the age so you have hindsight of how your choices impacted their character and what you would do the same/differently. You could write to the kids while mentoring the parents. I think it could utilize your creativity while giving you purpose.

      *please hold my salt as I don’t know you and have no business giving you life advice*

      • emily September 12, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

        Casey, this is exactly what I want to do with my children’s book. I have always said the purpose of the one I have in mind to write is for little girls, but maybe more importantly for their mama’s who are reading it to them. I just want us to know the love and acceptance and identity we have in Christ and I want it to come through in a story that is meaningful to a mother and delightful to a daughter.

        Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  26. Mikaela September 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    How do you balance home and family ‘stuff’ between your husband and yourself? How do you work through the times when one of you ends up carrying the bigger load (home care, kids’ activities and needs, meal planning and prep, etc.) for far too long? Or, maybe you never get to this point?

    I’m a mom in the trenches of having several babies and toddlers and am wondering what the tricks are for someone who seems to have it balanced so well!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

      I totally understand how you’re feeling, Mikaela! And just to make sure you know – I do not have this balance down. Sure, we are a little further along and the needs of our kids are different now than in the stage where you are, but that perfect balance is a myth.

      I remember reading something that my friend Jami Nato said years ago about instead of seeking balance, we ought to see obedience. What has God called you to in this season? This day? This moment? Do it. If he called you to it, he will surely give you the grace to make it through.

      In a much more practical sense, the way things have worked in our family is that I mostly do the kids/home/food and Ryan does finances/future planning/anything and everything tech + maintenance. Is it a perfect balance as far as specific jobs? Nope. I would guess that on paper, I do more (and believe me, I would love to do that just to prove how much responsibility I have!). The thing is, most of the items on my list I want to do. I don’t want to give the things up (like take the kids to school, fold laundry the way I want it folded, run my own errands) and so I get to choose to either do them to the best of my ability or look for another solution (remove it from my list? Ask Ryan to take it? Outsource it?)

      It sounds to me like you are feeling a little overwhelmed (totally understandable!). I think it is okay to talk to your husband about this and see if there are any things he can take off your shoulders AND look for areas where you can simplify, remove or outsource.

      One of those things in our life is meal planning. I am terrible at it and therefore do a terrible job at it. So we have three meals delivered to us weekly and it makes a HUGE difference in our lives. I don’t stress about what’s for dinner, I get to just make whatever they send us and we eat healthy meals. It was such a great choice for our family.

      See if you can find ways to remove a few things from your list or adjust the way you think about that list and hopefully that will take some of the stress off.

      Also? YOU HAVE BABIES + TODDLERS!!! Don’t forget how demanding those babies are and remember that things will get easier as they get older. You are doing an amazing job, mama.

  27. Sara S. September 11, 2018 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Emily!

    Been a big fan for such a long time. Your simple classic style is so relatable, and so adaptable to every new trend. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    I’d be interested to know – what’s an average day look like for you? I’ve recently detached myself from an overwhelming amount of volunteer work, and with two kids growing up fast (13 and 16) I’m doing some soul searching to discover what’s next for me.

    My question is this – how do you map your day? Accomplishing what you do demands some structure, I’m sure. I have all these projects rolling around in my brain and each day I think, today I’m gonna do “that” one. So I ship the kids off to school optimistically, then there’s morning dishes, a load of laundry, walking the dog, exercise, making beds, etc. All of a sudden it’s lunch time and I have two hours until the kids get home. It feels like I never get anywhere! Share your wisdom, creative one. How do you balance? :)

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

      I totally get what you mean! I feel the same way many days.

      My typical day:
      7 am wake. Get Brady off to school. (ryan gets up with our high schooler at 6 so I can sleep in)
      7:30 back up to my room to read my daily scripture and journal
      8 am get Audrey and Mason ready for school. I like to have the kitchen picked up before I drop them off at school.
      8:40 take them to school
      Tues, Thursday, Friday I go to barre/pilates at 9-10:30, Mondays and Wednesdays I just come home
      My days totally vary depending on what I have going on. Sometimes I’ll work – email takes up lots of time. I design our monthly paper works collections, I’ll write a blog post or do customer service. I am working much less right now than last year (by choice and also because I’m trying to figure out what direction I’m going). Sometimes I’ll run errands. Sometimes I tidy the house, volunteer at the school, meet up with a friend or do a project. It just depends on the day and what we have going on.
      3 pm Brady gets home from school
      3:45 Mason and Audrey get home from school
      4:45 pick up Ethan from cross country practice (m – f)
      5:00 take Mason to football practice (m, w), pick up Audrey from soccer (th)
      5:30 take Brady to football practice (t, w, th)
      6:30 make dinner, eat dinner, wash dishes, clean counters (I love this routine and mostly love having a clean kitchen to wake up to. I’ll put in my headphones, turn on a podcast and disappear into my head for a while. it’s delightful.)
      8 pick up Brady from practice
      8:30 read a chapter book to Mason & Audrey – we just finished Mrs. piggle wiggle :)
      9 kids in bed
      9 tidy the house, watch a show, read, take a shower, hang out with Ryan, play candy crush (I can’t help it)
      10:30 bed (this is early for us, but we’re trying to get to bed at a reasonable time since we have to be up early)

      I LOVE having a to-do list that I can check off. I’ll even put things on there that I have already completed just to make a check mark. This helps me focus on a few things that I want to do for the day and then actually do them.

      I hope this helps! I know every family and season is different so you just have to adapt to make things work for you. I am an expert at forgetting to take time to just sit – always feeling like I have to be productive. So this year, I’m trying to give myself more grace and enjoy a magazine for 20 minutes if I feel like it!

  28. Elizabeth September 11, 2018 at 11:28 am #

    I love seeing your fashion choices and cute outfits and marvel over your cute figure. Any exercise and diet tips for us? :)

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 11:43 am #

      Thanks, Elizabeth!

      So two parts to this answer:
      1. Part of my figure is due to genetics and a fast metabolism. I’ve always been slender, thanks in part to my dad.
      2. Being slender and being fit are two different things and this year is the first time in my life that I’ve consistently done a workout. I fell in love with Barre and pilates, found a local studio and go two or three times per week. It is absolutely the best. I feel stronger and love having a regular class to attend.

      As far as eating, we are pretty healthy with our food choices (mostly whole foods, lots of eggs, avocados, salads, water and plenty of treats because I can’t live without).

  29. AmyGThat'sMe September 11, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    Hi from Sugar Land, Texas!

    Love your emails, blog and creativity. Love coffee chats, trip insights, faith based insight, and adore your monthly paperstyle “club”.

    With regard to your gorgeous paperstyle offerings: Is there a way to build my own monthly set for a price point of $15-$16? For example, I find myself using the scripture cards, notes, and calendar most. I would prefer to get just those monthly, especially l if there was a quarterly email asking me if there is anything I’d like to add to my order before it ships (you know, kind of like the grove.com website does?).

    I coordinate a Bible Study Small Group following our larger Merry Ministries Bible Study. It is a very Bible based study, less about “me” more about “God” and so your scripture cards are perfect!

    I may be inclined to add some to my monthly order if I saw them in advance or if I had an email asking to add to my order. . . I have to justify my use of the $25 monthly set, but a set that I can “build”as a standard would be awesome.

    In addition, a monthly standard order for a $15/$16 price point, now, that’s something I would not only buy for myself but also would be inclined to GIFT to others for 2-3 month subscription. Maybe this is something you’ve explored, please accept this with respect.

    love your creativity, please keep at it!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

      Thank you Amy, for the great question and your kind compliments.

      Funny thing … I have a brainstorming list on my desk as we speak with ideas for how to adjust Paper Works, simplify, make changes, adjust the purpose, etc. I love the idea of lowering the price and narrowing the items. I might be sending you a separate email to pick your brain :)

  30. Cheyne Farrell September 11, 2018 at 11:17 am #

    Hi Emily! I finished all the lessons in the Simplified Decorating course and wanted to say thank you for so many wonderful ideas and really just breaking down the process. I have watched the creating a color palette lesson twice so far and have a question: I am drawn to neutral furniture, walls etc with pops of emerald green and/or teal with maybe a touch of peach also. Do you think that color scheme might be too much? Thanks again for the course, I now feel like I have a starting point and that I don’t have to do everything at once :)

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm #

      I love that color scheme! Especially if you love it! Look how pretty this image is: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AZl3fxztFqXjhy1Ea_x_HjjMjZ0Iba3ULwWoA6x6lm2nD7jIkZBFnrY/

      • Cheyne Farrell September 12, 2018 at 8:50 am #

        Love it! Thanks

  31. Stacy September 11, 2018 at 11:12 am #

    Love your style! What are your go to gray colors? I’m trying to find a gray exterior paint color that doesn’t look purplish color.

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm #

      Grays that read purple are so common! Look for something with more warmth to avoid that purplish hue. My favorite gray is Revere Pewter (it is quite light, so not sure it is what you are looking for). I also love Texas Leather which is a muddy gray and dark. I wish I knew the color of the exterior of our house because it is a pretty nice shade of medium gray!

  32. Mo September 11, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Love your cozy Crate & Barrel sectional. I have been trying to sell my husband on it. He is concerned it will be too deep to sit on & our adult feet will not touch the ground. What is your experience?

    • Becky September 11, 2018 at 11:39 am #

      I’m doing the same thing!! Trying to convince my hubby to let me buy it. I even order a material sample from Crate & Barrel! ha

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 11:46 am #

      He is right – if you lean all the way back, your feet do not touch the ground. I am 5’7 and LOVE how deep it is. Plus, it gives me the option of putting throw pillows on as functional, not just for looks, and that makes this pillow-loving girl happy.

      I will say, that while you do not touch if pushed all the way back, you can still sit comfortably with a pillow propped behind. And, for the many, many times that you want to be more comfortable, the depth offers that.

      You could always go in to a crate + barrel store to test it out. We did before we ordered just to make sure it was comfortable for our heights. Good luck!

      • Sarah September 15, 2018 at 8:01 am #

        We just ordered the Axis li sectional b/c my husband had the same concerns. It is a little more tailored, but super comfortable. We are moving our Crate and Barrel couch that we have had for 12 years to the basement. It held up so well.

  33. Kim September 11, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    Favorite white dishes that don’t scratch. Plus tips for raising four little people. I’m due with #4 in January and already feeling a little overwhelmed on how to fulfill everyone’s needs (and schedules) including my own…

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 11:51 am #

      Yay for four kids! You will do wonderfully. I was with my sister-in-law the other day and her two kids (ages 3 and 1) and its amazing how quickly you forget all the work it takes to mother little ones. I did it and mostly loved it and yes there were hard days and the kids were naughty or all needing me at the same time, but somehow you make it through and then 8 years later you look back and can hardly remember :) You will be fine! Just keep loving them and ask for help and try to do something little just for you every once in a while (read a book, take a walk, coffee with a friend, create, whatever feels like “you” – do it!).

      As for white dishes, we have our same dishes from our wedding from Crate & Barrel and are happy with them. https://www.crateandbarrel.com/aspen-dinner-plate/s568678

      I also like this style: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/mercer-dinner-plate/s237020

  34. Donna G September 11, 2018 at 11:08 am #

    How do you reconcile the Enneagram with your Christian beliefs? It seems sort of woo-woo to me, and I’m hesitating to dip my toes in that water.

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm #

      Such a good question.

      First, I would highly suggest reading Marilyn Vancil’s book Self to Lose, Self to Find ( https://amzn.to/2x45YHr). She does a wonderful job of showing how the enneagram can be used to display God’s character in and through us and how to use the enneagram to become more of who God made us to be.

      For me, I see the Enneagram as a tool that helps me understand a little better the complexities of personality. It has been so helpful for me this past year or two in putting words to patterns I see in myself and others. One thing I like so much about it is that it is not static – once you identify with one of the nine personality types, you begin to see patterns of thoughts and behavior that happen when you are healthy and when you are in stress. I love having these tools to help me make conscious decisions and recognize when I am not living out my identity in Christ. Something I’ve been really thinking about these past few weeks is “renewing your mind” and I feel like the enneagram is one tool that is helpful in giving me the language to understand areas where I am weak and strong.

      Hopefully this helps answer your question. I know the enneagram has become a trend and can look and sound woo-woo. You certainly don’t need to study it if you feel weird about it. But if you do, look for those with Christian perspectives and I hope it will be as life-changing for you as it has been for me.

      Resources for the Enneagram I love:
      Self to Find, Self to Lose: https://amzn.to/2x45YHr
      Road Back To You: https://amzn.to/2x45YHr
      YourEnneagramCoach on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yourenneagramcoach/
      This podcast: http://www.anniefdowns.com/2017/09/21/that-sounds-fun-episode-53-beth-mccord-the-enneagram/

      • Wendy September 11, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

        I do not know anything about Enneagram but totally understand the need to figure out personality types. I have found the book Personality Plus by Florence Littauer to be most helpful in this. She is a Christian and explains the different personalities so well.
        Just another idea!

        • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

          Thanks, Wendy!

  35. Casey September 11, 2018 at 11:02 am #

    What teenage temptations are you most worried about for parenting teens? Cheating for grades? Purity? Toxic friends? Partying? How do you navigate the anxiety, if any?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm #

      I am parenting teenagers! That is the first profound truth. How did time go so fast?!

      Okay, as for temptations …

      My initial response is that I’m not overly worried. Yes, our kids will be tempted plenty as they grow, but I would like to believe that each of our kids are responsible, kind, Jesus-loving people and my prayer is that they would be able to stand up for what they believe and encourage their friends to do the same.

      What I am most thankful for, at this point (with a 9th grader and 7th grader) is that they have really solid friends. Each of my older sons have friends who share their beliefs with families who are involved. I (at least at this point), that Ethan or Brady could hang out with his closest friends and they will make good choices. Will this change as they get older and more temptation is put in their way? It might and at that point we’ll adjust.

      Our hope is that by keeping the kids involved with sports and activities they enjoy, encouraging positive friendships, staying connected with youth group, and being present and available (even if it means listening when it is past their bedtime and I just want to be done for the night!) we will be able to make it through the teenage years as best we can.

      Parents of older kids … is this just wishful thinking? Or do you have any other suggestions?

      My girlfriend and I were just talking about how we went to MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) when the kids were younger and now we need a MOTS (mothers of teenagers) to be part of!

      • RubberChickenGirl September 19, 2018 at 10:27 am #

        Just parented five teens. Stay on top of their music and social media…..but they will always find a way around it if they are rebelling. The internet, porn etc are so available. We did a filter for years and I need to get back to that. The deal is that just googling any actress is porn enough for male eyes and that won’e get filtered out. I suggest keeping phones, tablets, all electronics in public shared areas like near the kitchen where you can supervise. A big mistake we made was allowing those things in bedrooms and your kids suffer: tech neck, sleeplessness, possible addictions, and just sheer procrastination and laziness about the things they really should be doing like homework, time with God and family, cleaning etc The same temptations we face!

  36. Lara September 11, 2018 at 10:59 am #

    Any advice for those of us who just put our baby in Kindergarten and are learning to structure life without little ones beside them 24 hours a day? How to balance all that still needs to be done and be more ready when all the kiddos get home? Also, looking for easy ways to start (should have done this long ago) having a bit of devotional time alone. Totally new to podcasts and techy ways to help with that… Any ideas?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:27 pm #

      What a special season when all the kiddos are off to school! It is strange, isn’t it? Having all this free time.

      I still say my best, most productive and most enjoyable year was when the boys were all in school and Audrey just went three days per week. It gave me three days to get my work done and the other two were spent doing mom things and not feeling guilty about not getting any work done. I liked that balance.

      My suggestion to you is – enjoy a little break! Give yourself some time to adjust to this new schedule and try not to feel guilty for taking some much-deserved time off. You’ve been busy mothering all day every day for years and now you can take a moment to catch your breath. No shame in that.

      Second, maybe see if you could instill a bit of a schedule to help you feel productive without being over-ambitious. Set a few simple goals for each week that you think you can actually accomplish and put them up somewhere where you see them regularly and can check them off. If it works for you to have a weekly schedule of chores (laundry on monday, floors on tuesday, grocery store wednesday etc.) this might help break up the work so you don’t feel like it all has to be done right this minute.

      Third, put down your phone. It is such a time suck and distraction and at the end, very little good has come of all the scrolling (said the girl who has a business online and lives off of people visiting my blog and instagram …). But truly, if you need help getting on a better schedule, remove the distractions.

      As for devotional time, now is your chance to work it into your schedule with a quiet house! I’ve never been a wake-up-early person so waking before the kids hasn’t worked for me. This year, I have about 30 mintues in between getting my middle schooler off to school and starting the elementary kids getting ready, so I take that time up in my room to do my morning scripture reading practice.

      A few of my favorite devotional resources:
      She Reads Truth http://shereadstruth.com/
      This Devotional is great https://amzn.to/2x6qoin
      The Bible Project (https://thebibleproject.com/) is amazing and has a year bible reading plan with tons of resources using this app http://www.readscripture.org/

  37. Kim Beck September 11, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    I love following you for your fashion and style tips. I agree with some of the other comments — I miss coffee chats. So my current struggle is organizing all the stuff — especially paperwork, mail, coupons, etc. I have so many coupons I receive, recipes I clip, and stuff I just don’t know how/where to file. Any ideas?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:52 pm #

      Thanks for following! And I’m figuring out what to do with coffee chats (see my coffee chat comment below).

      Organizing all the stuff. Such a pain, isn’t it?!

      My best tip: get rid of most of it :) Just because it has a place doesn’t necessarily mean you need to keep it. We are on the tail end of a whole house purge and my criteria was if I haven’t used it since moving in (two years ago), it doesn’t need to stay. We took an entire carload to give away and threw out/recycled way more than I imagined we had.

      As far as coupons, mail, etc. I always try to open the mail right away and put most of it in recycle so it’s not cluttering up counters, file boxes, etc. Ryan does our bills so he has a stack on his desk that he works through. I keep track of kids paperwork in a small file box (truthfully, I get rid of 90% of it – do you see a theme?!). I have a few file boxes that are pretty enough to have out, but work great for holding important papers, notes, receipts, coupons, etc.

      Target has cute organization that makes it easier https://www.target.com/p/magazine-file-holder-hearth-hand-153-with-magnolia/-/A-53177729

  38. Jen September 11, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    My family is considering a move to Washington, but I’m only really familiar with the Seattle area, and know we don’t want to live there (and can’t afford to). What are some of your favorite cities/neighborhoods that have excellent public schools, affordable homes, and are close-ish to some body of water..I’m trusting that’s not too much to ask for in WA!

    PS – love all that you do and share with us. Your style is such an inspiration, and your love for Jesus and life is infectious, too!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

      Washington is a wonderful place to live and we welcome you here! Yes, Seattle is so expensive – the whole of western washington is on the high side, unfortunately.

      We moved to Gig Harbor for your same reasons – excellent public schools, affordable-ish homes, near water. We adore it here.

      Another great option is across the bridge from us in University Place. Again, great schools and nearer to restaurants and city life (Tacoma) if that is appealing.

      My sister lives up north in Snohomish which is pretty. Not near water, but there are lakes and it is more farm-y.

      I hope this helps!

      • Jen September 11, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

        Thank you! I’ll be in Seattle in a couple of weeks…hopefully I can find some time to visit Gig Harbor!

    • Kacy September 11, 2018 at 2:59 pm #

      We used to live in Ellensburg, WA and it’s gorgeous as well. Not in Seattle, not near any water, but it is across the Cascade Mountain Range and it gets 300 days of sunshine. 4 TRUE seasons. I miss it so much! A lot of people live in Eburg and work in Seattle. Or weekend in EBurg.

      • emily September 11, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

        Ellensburg is so pretty!

  39. Taylor September 11, 2018 at 10:50 am #

    Any tips on styling, whether that’s a powder room vanity, bookshelves or a console table? I love how you pulled together your studio shelves with just the right mix of cute objects while still maintaining a clean, airy look!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:41 pm #

      I wish I had a formula! I just move things around until it looks pleasing to my eye. Start with a few larger items so that you can fill in the space without too many tiny things. Add some books (if the spines color coordinate, all the better!) and a couple of decorative objects. I love mixing textures and be sure to pop some fresh greenery in there!

      This might be a helpful post to read for styling and choosing great shelf objects: http://roomfortuesday.com/essentials-for-shelf-styling/

  40. Shyla September 11, 2018 at 10:45 am #

    Good morning, Emily!
    Do your kids have a set task list of what they should do before and after school? If so, what is an example?

    What inspired you to do blogging for a living, instead of a 9-5 job?

    Thank you! xoxo

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

      Hi Shyla! Regular chores + kids has never been my gifting. So we don’t necessarily have a set schedule of tasks and jobs – they have their normal routine (below) and then we’ll ask them to do extras when needed.

      Morning: breakfast, make lunch (I help with the 8 + 10 year olds, but the older boys make their own), get dressed. I don’t stress about made beds, but sometimes Audrey does it on her own). If the dog needs food I’ll ask someone to do it.
      Afternoon: homework, piano practice (for our oldest), sports practice (on various days of the week for each of the kids). If the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, I’ll ask them to do that. They bring their clothes down to be washed when the laundry hamper fills up. Sometimes when the laundry gets overwhelming, we’ll do ‘Family Fold’ and they all fold their own clothes. Otherwise, I usually fold and they put it all away. We’re just trying to be a helpful family and all contribute (not sure how perfectly that’s going, but we’re trying!).

      As for blogging for a living … I had no intention of it becoming what I do for a living until it just turned into that! I designed custom stationery as a part-time job from home when my first babies were tiny and then started blogging about 10 years ago. As things grew and we were able to put products in front of a growing audience, it turned into a business. Ryan was a fire fighter for 12 years and retired to work with me about 3 years ago. He is a business marketing pro and takes consulting clients from time to time.

  41. Sarah September 11, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    We are birthday twins! I also will be turning 40 on October 5th and would love an update on your 40 by 40.
    Did you keep up with the list?
    Did you add or take anything from it?
    Or like me, did life got busy and you might have gotten to 5 of those things? No judgement!

    I would love your thoughts on turning 40. Mine could be summed up in one word….disbelief :)

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

      Hi birthday twin! That’s so fun! I have another friend, Emily, who is our birthday twin, too. So happy almost birthday to us!

      My 40 by 40 list is going well. I have done most of the things and there are a few that I’ve altered or dismissed :) I’ll do a post with all the updates on my/our birthday.

      As for how I feel about turning 40 … I think I’m good with it! I am so hard on myself and wish I was more confident and settled in my spirit, so I’m hopeful that 40 will be my year :)

  42. Lindsey September 11, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    1. Are you going to do coffee chats again? I miss watching those!
    2. Also, I posted this on IG the other day (I know you get a lot of comments) wondering what brand your new trucker hats are? We also live in the PNW (central Washington) and I’d love to grab one!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:55 pm #

      I had no idea how many people liked those coffee chats. I answered elsewhere about my quietness lately and I’m hoping for clarity so I can carry on with confidence.

      Those hats are adorable, aren’t they?! I just found the site online! https://stickersnorthwest.com/collections/hats

  43. Rebekah September 11, 2018 at 10:18 am #

    I’ve been missing the coffee chats!! Wondering if you’re bringing those back? 😊

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 2:56 pm #

      Thanks, Rebekah. I answered on another comment with my long reason of why I’ve been quiet. I don’t have a quick answer but after hearing so many of you say you miss them, it makes me want to do them again :)

  44. Becky September 11, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    Is there anything you really miss about your old house?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

      Love this question!

      I miss a few things:
      1. it was much brighter inside. I miss that.
      2. I miss having a big pantry
      3. the kids miss having neighbor kids to play with. We purposely moved to a home that was not in a close neighborhood to have more land and more intentional family time, but we do miss having kids right next door to hang out with after school.

  45. Aline Costa September 11, 2018 at 10:07 am #

    Hi Emily!

    Have you experienced depression or anxiety?

    I’m dealing with these things and as a christian it’s hard to me understand it and see God around.

    PS.: I’m sorry about my english, I hope you understand me. =P

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

      Thank you for leaving a comment! You’re english is great.

      I am so sorry you are struggling with depression and anxiety. First, I do hope that you have a counselor or friend you can talk to to help you make the right choices for you. I have not had severe depression or anxiety, but certainly life has been hard at times and my body’s natural response is to become anxious. Scripture reminds us to “renew our mind” and “think of things above” (romans 12:2 and colossians 3:2) and these practices, while contrary to our habits, can make such a difference in deepening our faith and seeing more than just the dreariness of our earthly reality. However, please do not hesitate seeing a doctor if you are just not able to will yourself out of depression/anxiety. I pray that you will find healing and that you will know how much God loves you and is right with you. xo.

  46. Laura September 11, 2018 at 10:07 am #

    I love that you painted the subfloor in your new office! Will you be sharing pictures of the office swap soon?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:34 pm #

      I will! So far, I am loving the new office (I’m sitting in here now!) and once I get everything put back together, I’ll share all the pictures.

  47. Phyliss September 11, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    Just an observation…..I love your style! Look me up the next time you visit New Orleans so I can introduce you to our culture. Glad you decide to stop on your road trip.

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:04 pm #

      Thanks, Phyliss! We loved our time in New Orleans and hope to come back again!

  48. Carrie September 11, 2018 at 10:03 am #

    I love Q&A Day! I’ll give you a little context before asking my Q…I’m a full time working mama who found out my position was being eliminated after 12 years. I’ve had a lot of time to adjust to the news, so I’m in a much better place with it, and my last day is coming up next Friday! It’s also easier with excitement on the horizon as we grow my husband’s mental health counseling practice into a group practice to serve more of our community. I have a big adjustment ahead from the corporate world to small business owner as I’m the new marketing person…and also the bookkeeper, administrative assistant, and interior designer (only the marketing part I’m trained to do!). :-) Which brings me to my question, we have an opportunity to have our waiting area and offices featured in a small counseling magazine, which I thought could be great exposure for our little business. I just signed up for your photo class to help me with the pictures and can’t wait to watch! But I thought I’d also ask if you have any general staging tips as I tighten things up for pictures, especially as you work on your own new office, and any places you might have read a great (simple) design article. Although I put the spaces together, I’m no designer but have to write our article myself, so I’m a bit nervous about the content. Thanks so much for all you do and share of yourself and your beautiful work!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:08 pm #

      This is so exciting! Big transition but it sounds like you are up for the changes!

      When you are taking pictures, but sure to use a tripod as it will keep the images as clear as possible. Turn off the lights (if possible) and just use natural daylight for clean, editable lighting that doesn’t have that yellow cast. Bring in greenery or flowers to give the space life. Get down on the level of the furniture and try all different angles. Come in close, move out to get the whole room. Just shoot a ton of photos!

      Sounds like a fun project and I hope it is a great success for your new practice.

  49. Ivy September 11, 2018 at 10:00 am #

    I have a design dilemma and would love some suggestions on how to reno a bathroom with a vintage blue, cast iron tub. The color of the tub matches perfectly to SW Manitou Blue (SW6501) and is in mint condition. I don’t have the money to recoat/paint it, so I need to work it into the theme of the room. Can you make some suggestions?

    p.s. I miss the coffee chats as well…

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

      Your tub sounds gorgeous! Embrace that pretty blue!

      If you have the option, I would keep everything else in the room really clean and classic to let the tub be the star. You could add in artwork that pulls in the blue (like this: https://www.minted.com/product/art/MIN-IZH-GNA/curaao?ccId=1475615&color=A&org=title&shape= or this https://www.minted.com/product/wall-art-prints/MIN-V9I-GNA/otonio?ccId=1913518&color=A&org=title) or look for a vintage rug with some blue in it. Hope your bathroom turns out beautifully!

  50. Tsh September 11, 2018 at 9:53 am #

    I loved your striped dish towels that you sold in your store…in fact, obsessed and need more! Are you ever going to offer them again? In not – any ideas of where I can get them??

    Love your style!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

      I have a small box leftover that I will sell soon! Otherwise, you can order them from Design Imports.

  51. Catherine Haynes September 11, 2018 at 9:51 am #

    I love the annual trip you take with your extended family (August), the house and property look amazing. I would like to start this with my own family and extended family.What are your recommendations, how far in advance do you book the home (or is it owned by family?) , how did you find that location, can you recommend any specific places to stay or websites to use to find a home like that and how do you keep all age kids entertained, how do you figure out dinner with so many people etc…
    Also, I am taking 2 of you classes! Love them!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

      I love that annual trip, too!

      We have been doing the trip for 7 or 8 years now and always go around the same week each year. Some years we have all of the family, some years there are fewer (just depending on other travel schedules/work schedules) so we rent a house based on who will be there. We prefer to all stay in one big house and we must have a pool and lots of yard space to spread out. We prefer private locations so we can be noisy and not worry about bothering neighbors. We like to stay within a few hours of Seattle, but prefer the east side of the mountains to make sure we have hot, sunny weather. All of these criteria make it hard to find the perfect house! The one we were at this past August is a great option, but it is about 5.5 hours from us and we wish it were closer! We just look on vrbo to find good options.

      There are 10 kids in our Jones family (another cousin has 4 kids but they live in San Diego and don’t make it up for this trip) and they all love being together. The girls spend most of their day playing dolls or swimming; the boys bounce between sports, swimming, lawn games, super mario brothers. When the kids were little, we had mandatory naptime/quiet time from 2-4 where they went in the house to sleep or play or watch a movie and the grownups had the pool to ourselves for happy hour and games. This year, the kids were so chill, we didn’t need to send them anywhere and we all just had a great time. My oldest planned our family olympics and came up with daily activities to go along with it. We actually had a really great time doing these camp-like events for an hour or so each day (think scavenger hunt, volleyball, trivia challenge, etc). My mom set up a cute spa day for the girls and ended up giving most of the adults poolside manicures/pedicures. That was a delight! My aunt brought along a simple craft we used to do as kids (these fabric covered ornaments that are sort of quilt-y looking). One night my dad set up an outdoor movie and another night we did a sing-along. I mean, we sound like such a dorky family with all these activities!

      As for food, we each bring our own breakfast, lunches and snacks. One family makes dinner and does the clean up each night of the week. This is great because then you only have to think about one dinner during the week. We had one extra couple than dinner nights so my sister and brother in law offered to do daily poolside snacks instead. It was heavenly!

      That was a lot of words :) We just really enjoy our annual jones family vacation.

  52. Sarah September 11, 2018 at 9:39 am #

    Emily,

    I follow your style all the way from Colorado and I love it!
    I had to buy Crème de la Crème nail polish after you featured it, and it is my favorite color.

    1. What color of nail polish do you recommend for fall?
    2. When should I prune my hydrangeas? How do you propagate hydrangeas?

    Thanks!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

      Hello over there in Colorado!

      1. I have three good fall polish options and I even wrote a post about them: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/beauty/perfect-polish/
      2. I have no idea how to prune hydrangeas :) My mom has done it for me and our landscape guys did it for us last year, but somehow managed to do it incorrectly since they did not bloom this year.

      Anyone know how to take care of hydrangeas?! Help us out!

      • PJ September 11, 2018 at 1:26 pm #

        You need to know what kind of hydrangea you have as some need fall pruning and others need spring pruning.

      • Crystal September 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm #

        PJ is correct on the knowing the type of hydrangea. However since you had them pruned last year and they did not bloom this year chances are that your hydrangeas bloom on old wood, which means next years flowers will be on this years current stalks, so don’t cut them back if you would like flowers.

      • Claudia, My Little Bungalow September 13, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

        Sarah, I bookmarked this page on caring for hydrangeas: https://www.drivenbydecor.com/hydrangeas-how-planting-prune-change-color-fertilize/

        You may find it useful!

  53. Liz September 11, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    Hi there! So excited to “meet” you! I have been a follower for a few years now. I appreciate what I experience as a confident lady that is not afraid to start (and finish, more on that later) a project and then change it if the outcome doesn’t feel right (kitchen cabinets!). So to my question (and back to finishing things), do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the details and perfect outcome that you stop creating? I have countless (embarrassing, no?!) projects that have stalled because of this “perfection paralysis” where I have an outcome of perfection I have envisioned and fear of not liking the end result that I never get started. If this is you, how do you get past it and create anyways?

    Thanks for opening up your heart and mind!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

      Yes! Absolutely. When I start to look at instagram or pinterest too much, I feel like I have to have a home that is pinterest or instagram worthy and that stops me in my tracks. The fact is, we don’t have the budget for custom cabinets and new wood floors and instead of listening to that lie that tells me unless my house is perfect it’s not worth working on, I just go with what we have. I don’t love our kitchen cabinets (I honestly liked them better the dark color, but it was just too dark for our everyday life), and I hope we don’t have to live with these floors forever and ever, but I would rather try to make things better than constantly hate my house. As far as perfection comes, I try to stick to projects that I have a vague sense that it will turn out okay. Things might not be perfect, but they feel like an improvement in the meantime.

  54. Ashley September 11, 2018 at 9:27 am #

    How did you get into graphic design? I’m just getting started with Illustrator but I love it so far. Any tips? How do you find your inspiration? Were you self-taught?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm #

      I started playing around with graphic design after college when I started designing stationery and invitations for friends and family. I began using Microsoft Publisher (does that even still exist?!) and then found free software to use. Later, I taught myself Adobe Illustrator and haven’t looked back. I did take a community college course on Illustrator and am happy to report that I had taught myself pretty well! There are so many tricks and shortcuts that I am still discovering and I’m thankful to have google to search for how to do things when I get stuck.

      As far as inspiration, I find it all over the place. I love looking at branding and marketing materials, reading magazines and looking at graphics, coloring and layout, perusing pinterest. I adore children’s books and follow a bunch of artists on instagram.

  55. Alison September 11, 2018 at 9:22 am #

    Your house’s style has changed so much since the early days of the blog. Would love to hear your thoughts on how you’ve evolved and found your style. I’m having a hard time finding what is right for me, but feel that you have found your signature style- which is so beautiful and calming. As I type this, I’m realizing your decorating class might actually answer this question! ;)

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:40 pm #

      Yes, we do talk all about this in the decorating class! So you might love that.

      I’d like to say that I have a clear style, but I think it just keeps evolving and I try new things and then I change my mind and try something else. That doesn’t really work when you’re making large purchases or big decisions, so for those I always go with neutral and classic. All the little accessories and paint colors can be changed out so easily that I’ll often just go with what catches my eye and hope it works.

      I am finding that going this more masculine, moody route in our new house is not for me. It is just too dark. I like bright, neutral, clean, pretty. So now I’m finding ways to adjust this house to fit that brighter aesthetic.

  56. Julie September 11, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    How do you strike a balance between adhering to your faith and having a presence on social media which can sometimes conflict with certain Christian principles? Like remaining humble, trying to keep up with trends… just the struggle of finding that spot where you feel like you’re on the ‘right’ path? Thank you.

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 9:45 pm #

      I certainly don’t have this balance figured out. I wrestle regularly with social media, the role it plays in my life and our society. I could go round and round (and I do in my head) and ultimately land on the fact that I always have to be conscious of where my heart is. If I’m posting out of a sense of wanting affirmation or to show off, it’s better for me not to post. If I’m posting something helpful or meaningful or purely for entertainment or encouragement and my focus is not on how many likes or clicks or comments I get, I post. It’s not a perfect science and half the time I mess this up. I’m just very conscious of the power of social media and am always trying to find that ‘right path’. Man, it’s hard!

  57. joann September 11, 2018 at 9:06 am #

    Did you do a post one time about your favorite gold spray paint? Or have you moved on to rub n buff? I looked (I think it was last year) and couldn’t find it.

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm #

      Here’s the post I wrote about using both gold spray paint and rub n buff: https://jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/get-brass-look-drawer-hardware-much-less/

  58. Meredith September 11, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Are you going to do a new coffee chat soon?

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

      I have taken a LOOOOONG break from coffee chats. The truth: behind the scenes I’ve been a bit of a floundering mess not knowing what to do with this blog and business and my purpose. It’s actually quite stressful for me and I’ve been praying and praying for clarity and a renewed sense of purpose for my work online. I take things very seriously (probably too seriously, most of the time) and struggle with just adding more noise to the online world if I have nothing helpful to say. I’ve been feeling like I need to be quiet and through that quiet am working through my identity, healing and growing and I believe the Lord will show me my next right steps.

      That’s a long answer to a simple question :)

      Basically, I just want to be doing the work that God has for me and not just throwing out more noise if it is not helpful, necessary, encouraging, genuine, purposeful.

      Will they come back? Perhaps. Sometimes I really miss it. I’ve tried to pop on Instagram Stories a little more to fill in that hole, but that doesn’t always feel right to me either.

      Can you tell I’m struggling with this?!!!

  59. Tami September 11, 2018 at 9:01 am #

    Good morning! :)

    So many thoughts ….

    1. Miss your coffee chats. (Not a question, just an observation.)
    2. Do you know that every time I see something black and white striped I think, “Ooooh, Emily would love that!” (Like we are best friends)
    3. Looking back, aren’t you so happy you did that summer road trip? I am so sad that we never did that. My oldest is 19 now so ……. Also, while I am thinking of it, I have a suggestion for you — start a photo album for each kid on your phone and every time you find a great picture, throw it in there. You will be shocked at how fast high school goes and how many photos you need ready to go at a moment’s notice when senior year rolls around.
    4. Favorite devotional? Something easy and fun. Like an app or something…

    xoxo

    • Vanessa September 11, 2018 at 9:35 am #

      Agree! Miss the coffee chats!

    • emily September 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

      Thanks for the questions, Tami!

      1. Thank you. I just answered a long answer above and will figure out what to do with my life soon :)
      2. I love that! It makes me happy that you think of us as friends.
      3. I am so, SO happy we did the road trip. We get really nostalgic thinking about it. That is a great idea about photos of the kids. I don’t take a ton of them and really should!
      4. I like She Reads Truth (http://shereadstruth.com/), Paul Tripp (https://amzn.to/2x6qoin), Melanie Shankle’s newest one (https://amzn.to/2Qn7vAv)
      I know you did not ask this, but in my own personal devotional time I have realized that I was becoming so dependent on other people’s thoughts on God that I wasn’t even opening my own Bible to see what God wanted to say to me. So I’ve closed all those devotionals and am just spending time reading through the Gospels (one chapter a day) and journaling each day and it has been amazing.

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