mailcarrier appreciation day - free printable

February 4th is national thank your mailcarrier day!
i couldn't let the day pass without acknowledging it
since so much of what i do - being a small online shop owner - depends on the mail!

that last one is circa 2014!
when i first launched the stitching the states kits - crazy stuff.

cut to size and attach to candy, cookies, or even a gift card for a cup of coffee,
then leave it in your mailbox with the little flag up.
one simple little kindness can completely change someone's day - in this case your mailcarrier's!

happy national thank your mailcarrier day friends! xo
(cute artwork for printable is provided by DigitalArtsi on etsy ♥)

Christmas 2018 ♥

popping in to say it's here! Christmas has arrived in my etsy shop
everything is just so bright & colorful & HAPPY!

Merry Christmas Darling planner / purse charms with jingle bell & tree charms

one of my favorite new releases this year, is this 7 card Christmas story set 
designed to tell a different part of the nativity story with the flip of each card

this & all card sets in my shop can be purchased 
with a mini wooden easel to be displayed in a child's room, 
a desktop or maybe even near your coffee maker :)

matching nativity animals stickers for your Christmas cards

deer and bunnies and bears oh my! ;)

if you loved last years vintage cars & carols scripture cards - you'll love this new set 
with bright colors, new carol quotes & vintage bug car designs

and matching stickers too! they come in 3 colors to match the cards 
and can be purchased with envelopes for all your holiday snail mail needs

don't forget matching gift tags too!

this cute Christmas girls & dresses design comes in cards / envelopes / gift tags as well

 and there's still a few surprise craft boxes & mini books left in my etsy shop

the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for that one person you know who loves to craft or bible journal
... or maybe just for yourself ♥

i hope you find something you love in my shop this year
 i pour tons of love and a little bit of me into everything i create & sell so happy shopping!

our tree is actually up VERY early this year - only because i was hoping to cross a few holiday 
to-do's off of my list and try to be ahead of the game this time around?! hopefully.

if you follow me on instagram, 
you know we did a little shuffle in some of the main areas of our home
this is the before & after!

i keep telling everyone that was my fun creative house - and this is my 40's grown up house :)

what do you think? before or after?

i'm loving the after. it just feels so peaceful.
and as much as i crave color & happiness, there's just something about the quiet & simple

starting the week off with a big cup of tea and a very long to-do list
hope you found somthing here that inspires you or helps tackle your Christmas gift list ♥
Merry Christmas Darlings!

drop sugar cookies ♥

just popping in to share a favorite cookie recipe ;)
school starts tomorrow so there's lots to do, but over the weekend i filled the cookie jar with
they've been a family favorite ever since!

these cookies are so soft and yummy AND easy to make as far as sugar cookies go ... i mean don't get me wrong, we love us some basic roll em out frost & sprinkle take all day and a half to make sugar cookies - but when it's not Christmas and you're just in the mood for a basic sugar cookie without all the fuss - this is it.

add a little frosting and pop these in the cookie jar for the week! 
they won't last long i promise :)

almost 20 ♥

Marriage is hard work guys. Some people say marriage is easy... it's just a walk in the park.  And I don't understand that. because what planet are you from? which two people anywhere in this galaxy are perfect? There has to be conflict and lack of communication and unfair expectations in any relationship with two people. Because it's natural. Because we're human. Because we're instinctively selfish and because if there wasn't, what would be the point of marriage? It's supposed to be the ultimate picture of how Christ loves us - and without growing and pulling and pressure and heat and heartache how would we grow? How would we learn? How would we be more like Christ? We can't get there without growth.

Some people say marriage is impossible. And I don't understand that. because anything is possible *with God*.  I know there are exceptions - abuse, infidelity, addiction - but *sometimes* even with & through all those things God will work. He can change. He can make you new. Make your marriage new. He's applying the heat and molding the clay and stretching you beyond anything you thought you would ever be able to endure. Pain beyond recognition sometimes. All to make your marriage or in some cases maybe just YOU into the ultimate testimony of His dying love for us. 

But the enemy hates it. 

He'll tear it down tiny piece by tiny piece if he has to. And if you'll let him, he'll slither ever so quietly into the tiniest hair line fracture and take your marriage down from the inside out one thought at a time. 

But choice. 

Choose not to let him. Choose to fill those gaps ladies. Choose to let Jesus pour out of you and cement those gaps shut with unselfishness. With an open heart. With Mercy. With forgiveness. With time. With priority. With sometimes I don't want to do this but I'm just going to do it anyways. With a little Victoria's secret & a few chocolate chip cookies. (cause I'm old fashioned like that) And because deep down ladies, our men just want to be respected. They want to know we're proud of who they are. They want to know they're enough for us.  Enough at 20 and still enough at 40 50 & 60. 

You can't do it on your own.

God wants us to need Him in our marriages.  And sometimes you might have to wait.
 Months, years maybe even until heaven, i don't know...
now i know, not everyone will agree with me and that's ok.  I also understand every relationship is unique and complicated and sometimes for safety or other reasons the end of a marriage is necessary ... but as a general rule and because like everything else in life - stuff takes work. It takes time. It takes discipline and it takes choice. And because I've never seen a perfect long lasting no effort marriage just fall into anyone's lap.  And I get it... it'll never be perfect like in the movies we all watch or in the books we read but it will be worth it. Pinky promise.♥

much love ♥

bathroom remodel ♥

hello friends.
i posted a few pictures of our bathroom remodel a while back on Instagram 
and i promised i would post in more detail about the project here on the blog, 
with some source info & a few before pictures too ♥
(even though i always forget to take those until it's too late #bloggerprobs)

we moved into this house almost 13 ago after leaving a small starter house that we had lived in for a couple years ... when we got here the house had been updated in some ways but in a lot of ways i knew it would take a while before we made this house our home. 

over the years we've been through every room in the house updating, tweaking, renovating ... except for the main bathroom upstairs - it had been one of the last things on the list because we knew it would be a big job as well as a pain to tear apart because it's the only shower in the house.

my husband & my dad did most of the work installing a new window, shower/tub, vanity, sink & toilet - and we purchased everything right at home depot.

Home Decorators Collection 49 in. W Marble Vanity Top in Arabescato Venato
Home Decorators Collection Thornbriar 48 in. W x 21.52 in. D Vanity Cabinet in Cement

the old tub & shower unit was original to the house (almost 40 yrs) and needed to be torn out completely - new drywall had to be installed behind it as well because of water damage

Delta Classic 400 32 in. x 60 in. x 74 in. 3-Piece Direct-to-Stud Alcove Surround in White

Delta Classic 400 60 in. Left-Hand Drain Rectangular Alcove Bathtub in High Gloss White

all the hardware for the sink & shower was from Home Depot as well

we opted for a separate tub & shower instead of a single unit mainly because we wanted the bigger/deeper tub since my girls love to take bubble baths (and by bubble baths i mean sitting in the tub for an hour reading books & watching 5 minute crafts until i yell time to get out) 
(the other day one of them asked me if i would bring a snack up to them cause they were getting hungry....???? um. no.)

the aqua rolling cart was from ikea a few years back, but i think they still carry it and i know i've also seen a similar version of it at Michaels as well. i'm using it to store hand towels, washcloths and some shower supplies that are handy to have nearby but not in the shower 
(razors, shaving cream, shower comb... you get the idea :) 
the shower curtian (which i love) was from world market ... i purchased it probably three years ago and was holding onto it for when we remodeled. i can't seem to find it anywhere on the interwebs so i'm thinking it's been discontinued :(

i've had a lot of questions about the flooring we chose - it was a grayish wood colored waterproof laminate safe for bathrooms, and yes, we went right over the existing tile, added new molding and it worked like a charm. we considered tearing the tile out but it was level and undamaged so we decided against the extra work & mess!

thinking the wall behind the toilet is looking kinda bare
got my eye on this adhesive wall paper from target but we'll see :)

the window in our bathroom was fairly large (not a typical bath size window) so when we replaced it, i knew i would want to keep it open as much as possible since it lets so much natural light into the bath & upstairs hallway - i shopped for weeks to find panels that i liked but they were either room darkening, too long or too short. so when i saw this simple white shower curtain it dawned on me to cut it right up the middle in half and i would have two panels that were the perfect size. i also bought a cloth shower curtain liner (did the same thing by cutting it in half) and hung it behind the white curtain on the same hooks for another layer of privacy (i hemmed the raw edges i cut with stitch witchery and the iron:)

the green clock was on clearance and target & the canvases are from at Home

we have one storage space/closet on the upper lever and it's in the bathroom behind the door - not ideal but we make it work - it's an open space with no doors so i try to keep it organized and a bit styled since it's all out in the open - the metal caddy holds products we use on daily basis and are within easy reach (plus it looks pretty :) the baskets house towels, products, toilet paper, kleenex etc.

the large white framed mirror is from Lowes

i forgot to take a picture of the old vanity and mirror before it was ripped out but it was just an average builders grade bathroom setup, nothing special 

i think the previous color was called lettuce leaf green ... yikes.

and the dreaded boob light ... who's idea was it to install those lights in every house in america? :)

it honestly feel like i'm in a hotel bathroom everytime i go in there ♥ it's clean lined & simple with a little bit of color here & there - such a huge difference! if i missed anything or if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me in the comments, i'll do my best to answer. :)

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