I remember when I was little, I always told people my favorite holiday was Easter. I was usually met with looks of confusion. Not Christmas? I think, even then, I knew this holiday was so important and was surrounded by feelings of hope. Hope that we can all change and grow and be better each day. The renewal of spring only makes those feelings stronger.

This Easter was no exception. Where Christmas this year seemed overwhelming and too full of "expectations" I'd set for myself, Easter has been refreshing. I've been able to take things a little easier and feel so thankful for this family of mine. Between family snuggles, thoughtful lessons at church, and my little boy get excited about presents for the first time as he dug through his Easter basket, I couldn't help but feel thrilled for all the future wonderful moments ahead.

My little bunny with with cutie cotton tail :)



Elegant Birthday Party for Jess

A few weeks ago, my lovely friend's husband contacted me about doing some decor for her upcoming birthday. He wanted to throw a surprise party for her, which was so sweet as this is her first birthday since they've been married. He asked for some simple details to pretty the place up a bit and we decided just balloons and flowers would do the trick. I truly had to restrain myself from doing a hundred other ideas, but I was really happy that the restraint paid off in a look that was clean and elegant.

This birthday girl was Jess of the blog Golden Swank. If you haven't checked her out before, do it. She's not only gorgeous but has amazing fashion sense. Both on and off her blog. If she looks familiar, she has appeared on my blog a few times, see here and here.

For flowers, I went with fluffy cream garden roses, two different spray roses, eucalyptus and blossoming spring branches. Seth and I made the gold tinsel tassels over a few nights while watching our tv shows, then added them to simple white balloons with gold ribbons. Finally, I brought in some candles and a few other accents like a pretty tray and gold pillow, to finish the look and create a glowing ambiance once the sun set.

A hand-painted vase for the big arrangement.

The beautiful birthday girl in her birthday flower crown.

Jess's husband, totally worn out, haha!

Happy Birthday Jess! I hope 24 is the best year yet!



Ruth's "Hen Do" Bridal Shower

Saturday evening, I hosted a bridal shower for Ruth, my sweet friend of 11 years. She recently returned from a year and a half living in England, so I decided to throw her a proper, British "Hen Do" (English Bridal Party) Only instead of high tea or dirty games, I went literal with the theme. A bridal shower inspired by hens. Plus, Ruth has a farm, so the barnyard inspiration totally worked.

I snapped these photos as we were setting up before the party. I've learned that once I start hosting, photography doesn't happen. Unless there's a photographer there to do it. So I wanted to capture a few of the details before my house was filled with about 30 chattering women. I definitely didn't get photos of everything I'd have liked to, but at least I have some!

On the menu, we had homemade tomato basil soup, two salads, cucumber finger sandwiches, deviled eggs, tea scones with homemade strawberry jam, fresh vegetables, (with braised asparagus... yum!) fruit, homemade oreo-like "heaven cookies," bundt cakes and either rosemary or raspberry infused lemonades.

To keep things simple, because this time of year always seems so crazy, I customized this free printable suite from Wedding Chicks for all of my paper goods. Invitation, food labels, decor and games. We played a fun version of this "He Said, She Said" game, but I changed it to "Cluck Cluck or Cock A Doodle Doo" and guests circled the silhouette of a hen or a rooster.

Congratulations Ruth! I really do love you a bushel and a peck :)




Well, it's Monday. And that either means a fresh start, or a groan and a new headache. We'll see which. Lately, life has been kicking my butt. I feel pulled in too many different directions and I don't like the person I am when I'm spread too thin.

Last week, I heard a ring at the door and one of my dearest friends "anonymously" doorbell ditched me and left these beautiful roses. She knew I had been having a rough time, and the sentiment made tears spring to my eyes.

Seth and I were talking recently about how it's easy to feel invisible. I have so many wonderful, supportive friends and family members, but I often feel like I'm taking on the world alone. Seth remarked that I put off an air that I have everything together. It's why he was intimidated by me when we first met. (I was just shy.) This perceived strength is often compensation for the opposite, but I am unfortunately horrible at asking for help. I just build my walls higher, hoping I can continue to do it all myself. But really, I need love and support. Just like everyone else.

I wanted some photos to hold on to the way I felt from receiving such a simple gesture. So I took the roses out of their paper and tied my favorite silk scarf around them. They were fully open, nearing the end of their life, and this only made them more beautiful.

While I tied them together, some began dropping their petals. As roses do when they're at this stage, big clusters of petals effortlessly floated to the ground. I was struck by the grace of these roses. They knew they had lived their life, provided the beauty and joy they were created to provide, and could now just let go with contented ease. It made me fall in love with them even more.

Is it weird to be so emotionally affected by flowers? Probably.

Regardless, I think that was a lesson I need to learn. When I've done all I can do, I want to learn to let go and show the maturity and grace I felt the roses possessed. I want to feel joy in what I am able to do, and see that as enough. To know that I'm enough.

I also hope I can have the grace to pay this kind act forward. I want to give simple, but meaningful gestures to loved ones in need. I want to learn to question people about how they're doing, and keep asking. Because it's better to annoy them with questions than to let them feel alone behind their walls. I hope to become more aware of others' struggles and be a more charitable person.

My new motto, until I can pull myself out of this overwhelming rut, and hopefully long after, is "grace."



St. Patrick's Day Table

Top o' the mornin' to ya! Last night, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by inviting family over for our yearly feast of corned beef, cabbage and root vegetables. I like to properly set the table for any occasion I can, so I pulled out my gold tapers and chargers. It was missing something so I threw together a little plumosa fern garland to give the table the pop of emerald it needed. Pop some fern and Queen Anne's lace in the bottles, and it's good to go. I was really happy with the simple, but lush results. Even better because it was pulled together with things I already had.

Happy St. Patty's Day to ya!



Inky Blues: Sneak Peak

Wow, I had every intention of posting this yesterday, and the day completely got away from me. It was one of those days where every single thing seemed to go wrong. I woke up late and my brain was all foggy. Greyson got a cold and started leaking from every hole in his face (gross, I know, but true) and was anything but his normal, happy self. I spent way too much time on the road, got pulled over for the first time and saw a terrifying accident where a motorcyclist (not wearing a helmet) was hit by a suburban. Our family received some sad news. By the time I made it home, my head was throbbing and I still had a massive to-do list looming over my head. And it just happened to be one of the four nights of the year where Seth has to stay at work all night. I was barely holding it together.

It's days like yesterday, and I know we all have them, that make me so grateful for the opportunities we have. My most recent collaboration was like a breath of fresh air to my life that had started to feel so bogged down within the last year. I felt rejuvenated, letting my creativity take hold again, after so long.

So today, I want to focus on these beautiful moments and thank the lovely ladies, and my fantastic husband, for all their help pulling this shoot together. I couldn't have done it without them and these times make life feel so blessed.

Now, enjoy some sneak peaks with a mix of photos by the photographer and our iPhones.

Oh, and in case you missed it, here is some of the inspiration I pulled from.



Inspired By: Inky Blues

Good morning, lovely people. Last week, I worked on a fun little project that I am seriously in love with. For now, I thought I'd share some of the inspiration for the concept I came up with. This vibe matches my mood so accurately now, as we're caught in this short hesitation between winter and spring.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting some sneak peaks, but I really just can't wait to share the whole thing! Soon, my friend. Soon.

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