A Year in Review: Your favorite posts of 2017.

January 2, 2018

 

It’s safe to say 2017 was one of the fastest years of my life. Oh wait, was that my opening line of 2016? Probably.  I don’t think I could proceed here without a proper salute to 2017,  and the days that made way for a new year. Here are the top 10 posts according to you readers of the past year….

1.A Family Update

2. Holding  her on the other side.

3. How we met/ dating story: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

4. Living room makeover 

5. Master bedroom makeover

6. Marriage: Loving through the rough and tough.

7. 22 piece summer capsule wardrobe

8. Holy grounds.

9.  8 bite sized habits for a better day

10. Back patio reveal

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Reset + Renew: We’re in this together!

December 30, 2017

 

Reset + renew – two words that keep making their way into my life and demanding attention.

I have experienced different wake up calls over the last few years  to my mental, physical, and spiritual health. Sometimes, it takes an ER visit to wake you up, and other times it can be a slow and gradual degradation that grabs hold of you eventually. After having my last two babies so close in age, and trying to run a full time family business, I was forced to face some things about my health that seemed to cross paths and knot at the center. I am in the midst of figuring it all out still, but if my own experience can help another, I am open to sharing it. I have spent so much time studying the human person, and wanting to understand how every layer of our beings are connected. I have become so intrigued and fascinated by what I am learning. I think as women especially, we are very good at neglecting self care in one aspect or another and often fail to realize how one area of our life quickly affects the other. We were designed to be complex, intricate, and unique, but when we fail to understand how woven the facets of our being really are, we can easily lose our way.
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A very merry Christmas to you.

December 22, 2017

 

We have been winding down over here and welcoming the chance to use these short winter days for rest and renewal. These children make me feel like I get the chance to relive that childhood magic of Christmas all over again. Each year, no matter how challenging, gets to end with the holidays….when we are reminded of the gift of each other. When the simplicity of that first Christmas asks you to make room in your heart for more love, forgiveness, and compassion. I’m grateful for that chance.

Those cute little faces that have minor anxiety when mom goes to the mailbox without them. This pic ended up landing on the Washington Post! Before we sign off for the year, I wanted to welcome you all into our home for a cup of coffee or cocoa;) So how about at least a glimpse of what’s been going on around here…

I don’t think those 5 noses pressed against the glass will soon forget that unexpected southern snow fall!
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A meaningful gift for each of my sisters.

December 18, 2017

 

In partnership with Art.com

One of the hardest people to find a gift for each year are my sisters. Maybe because they mean so much to me, and nothing ever seems good enough. This year I was able to team up with Art.com to come up with some meaningful gifts that I know will last them forever.

I thought about how it is so hard for me to ever commit to art in my home or get anything framed for that matter! So as I thought of each of my sisters, I picked out an artwork that reminded me of them in hopes that it would be a winner. It was really nice to be able to have them framed or mounted right on Art.com so that they are ready to hang. Anyone else have art that has been sitting for a year waiting for a frame? (Hand raised.)
 

 

 

 

Art.com has a huge selection of products, so there is really something for everyone on your list. I couldn’t resist picking out the classics like Renoir, Fra Angelico, and Monet. My sister Madeline spent last year working in Ireland so I did a wood mounted map of Ireland for her as a keepsake. I also found a good Audrey profile for my sister Gianna  in highschool who loves her movies as much as I do.
 

 

One of our favorite things for us sisters to do together is to have coffee, so I set up a time for all of us to gather over a good Christmas brunch. This is a fun gift to work into a table setting, and surprise your guests with! The hardest part was picking out the artwork, but the since these piece were mounted on wood, the only thing left to do was a find a good ribbon.
 

 
One of the reasons I was so thrilled to team up with Art.com is that they wanted to focus on remembering to give in charitable ways this season. I have come across several families this year who were misplaced from their homes, starting over, and going through a difficult time financially. I know first hand how having a semblance of home can make all the difference when things are hard. I selected a gallery wall of classics to pull together, and I will be gifting this to a very special deserving family this Christmas. I am so grateful to be able to give the gift of art in a meaningful way. Here are the ones pictured above

Beach at Trouville by Claude Monet
Ball at the Moulin de la Galette
Roses and Jasmine by Renoir
Wild Poppies by Claude Monet

What is your favorite art piece you have ever received or given? I’d love to hear!

P.S. ART.com is having a final holiday sale and everything is 50% off sitewide today. Totally grabbing this poster for the boys room.

*A special thank you to ART.com for partnering with us!

Making our home safe + economical.

December 12, 2017

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive Home. The opinions and text are all mine.

Anna: I have heard about smart home systems for a while, and thought it would be too complicated to work. However, with our electric and heating bills lately, Gabe and I decided it was time to commit! We started using Hive smart products, and I don’t think either of us were expecting to love it as much as we do. It has made converting our home to an economical safe haven simple.

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Easy affordable stocking stuffers.

December 8, 2017

 

We are snowed in today here in Atlanta, which basically means the cow jumped over the moon! It is so rare to ever snow, let alone 5-6 inches. My children were so excited that it might as well have been Christmas morning. Snowmen were built, snow angels were made, and hot cocoa was had by all;) It was one of those days that reminded me what a gift it is to experience this season through their eyes.

I wanted to share some of the stocking stuffers and small gift ideas I am doing this year in the self care category. I love giving sisters and friends things that they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves, but remind them that they are valued! (These are all clean ingredients, which means they aren’t toxic for our bodies. Most of the ingredients are plant and essential oil based.)

 

 

 

 

Shimmer and Shine gift bundle – Update- this set already sold out, but there is a body butter/body scrub set that is the same price with larger amounts. I ordered a few to divide up for gifts for teachers and sisters since they are some of my favorite body care items. The citrus scent smells heavenly, and they have helped my dry skin so much thanks to the essential oil/shea butter base.

 

The charcoal duo is another gift bundle that can be split up or given as a set. Charcoal is an activating ingredient that is known for targeting breakouts, oily skin, and blackheads without harsh surfactants. The charcoal bar cleared up my breakouts around my chin! It lasts forever too. The Charcoal mask is super smooth and I use it once a week. I apply it 5 minutes before my shower and just rinse it off that way. It absorbs excess oils and unclogs pores, so this is such a nice gift for anyone wanting to improve their skin.

Here are a few other favorites I wrapped up to give this year (If split up are under $25! All my secrets are blown now.):

Smoky Eye Trio – I am all about a simple 1,2,3 step makeup routine so the eye trio sets are really fun. I wear the nude eye trio most, but love the smokey trio for a nicer occasion. (And no chemicals in any of the products!)
Nude Lip Gloss Trio – This is another one to break up and stick in stockings. They are full size in beautiful hues that moisturize the lips. It comes out to about $15 each, and includes my favorite color Bare Shimmer.
Peppermint or Calendula Lip Balm – I am addicted. I get such dry lips in the winter, and this balm is so soothing and healing.
Baby Protective Balm – I actually use this for both me and my babies! It is helpful for rosacea, scars, dry skin, and even an intense overnight moisturizing mask!
Citrus Mimosa Hand Duo – This hand wash and hand cream duo is another awesome value to split up and gift for under $20 each:) They smell and feels divine!

 

I hope these ideas are helpful! If you are curious as to why clean ingredients became so important to me over the past few years, you can check it out here. (It’s a new wellness handle I just started on instagram.)

Have a happy December weekend!

Our Advent Traditions.

December 3, 2017


I love how many of you who visit each day are from different countries and different faiths! I appreciate that from time to time you graciously allow me to share tidbits of mine. This season of Advent (meaning “coming”) before Christmas is one I look forward to all year because it is filled with traditions, preparation, hope, and the chance to start anew. I wanted to share a few of these advent traditions with you in case you were also hoping to find renewal in this season on your own or with your family.
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