Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coffee Date (Round III)

Happy Saturday and happy beginning of the Christmas season! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to enjoy time with family and friends. Loverboy and I got to stuff our faces not once, but twice this week [perks of being married, folks!] and got to spend time with both our families. 

I don't know about you, but I just love Saturday morning coffee dates... so I thought I'd bring one right to the comfort of your own home. So grab a mug of coffee (or, ya' know... hot cocoa) and read on!


If we were having coffee, I would suggest meeting at Caribou and would get a Mint Milk Chocolate Hot Chocolate. Yummm.

If we were having coffee, I would ask about your holiday traditions. What did you experience in your childhood? What traditions have you/are you planning to carry on into adulthood?

If we were having coffee, I'd share about my excitement over a weekend getaway that the hubs and I are taking in December. The planning nerd in me is having wayyyy too much fun!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I hate the cold and the winter but how much I loooove having a snowy Christmas. 

If we were having coffee, I'd let you know that Christmas music, decorations, cookies, lights, and everything else are my absolute favorite things ever and that it all goes by way too fast! But this year I've decided to embrace the Advent season more than I have in the past in hopes that it will create a more drawn-out and intentional Christmas season.

If we were having coffee, I'd want to know what you do for fun in the winter. Activity-wise. Cuz me as a girl, I'm fine sitting around and sipping coffee, chatting, and doing crafts, but now that I'm attached to a man he gets a little stir crazy.

Pssst... Didn't get a chance to weigh in on what kind of content you'd like to see on the blog more often? Take the 10 second survey here! Thanks! :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Want to Hear From You!

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Best & Worst [Marriage Edition]

So a little over a year ago I wrote this post titled Best and Worst. It was based off this quote—"I have seen the best of you, and the worst of you, and I choose both," and was all about how we are called to love people in view of their flaws and shortcomings.

I wrote that post after being in my first real adult relationship for exactly six weeks and one day. And I didn't even know the half of it.

Because this first real adult relationship continued on for a year and 3 months to where I stand today and it has changed me.

When I wrote that post a couple months of marriage, 5 1/2 months of engagement, and 8 months of dating ago, the hubs really didn't know my best and worst, and I didn't know his. We were brand new to this whole relationship thing, plus we were long distance and had probably barely even spent much time together as a couple.

But I still loved this picture, this idea, of being loved and chosen by someone who knows your best and your worst. I mean, who wouldn't love that? Besides, of course, that it's terrifying to think of someone knowing you that well.

I loved it, but I didn't really know it. And although today I know it so much better than I did on that warm day in August, I know that I still don't even know the half of it. Because yeah, I've seen more of his best and worst, and you better believe he's seen more of mine (heavier on the worst), but I'm certain we still haven't seen it all. I'm certain that over the next weeks, months, and years more bests and worsts will come out, and ultimately, more bests and worsts will be born. Because this relationship, it's changing us.

So yes, I understand more deeply what it means to be known and loved. And it's a beautiful, sweet thing. It's a thing that wells up gratefulness in me. It leads me to worship my Savior who does it completely and perfectly and who also has gifted me with an imperfect but wonderful earthly expression of this knowing and loving.

But I also know that my understanding is so minuscule, so minute, compared to the grand scheme of it all. Because every day that I am on this earth my husband gets to see a little bit more of my best and worst, and he gets to continue to choose me, to choose both. And I get to do the same with him and we get to both experience this knowing and loving from the One who does it wholly and without reserve, Jesus.

And it's a really good thing that we have a perfect example to follow. Because this knowing and loving thing, it's hard. But it's so, so worth it.

//photos via Availeth Photography

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: Precious Metals

I've kind of been crushing on metals lately. There's just something about the way they shine. So, without further ado, here are just a few ways that different metals have been catching my eye.

Copper Mugs. These copper mugs are too adorable and are perfect for keeping your drink cold. However, we're not really in that season now, so I have my eyes on this for the warmer months. :)


Gold Jewelry. Jewelry trends ebb and flow just as much as clothing, and gold is hot right now! I love the simplicity and warmth of gold. And the layered look is always a chic option.



Metal Chairs. I'm loving the look of metal chairs right now! What they lack in comfort and warmth they totally make up for in style. Plus, throw a comfy pillow or warm blanket on there and you've got the best of both worlds! *cue Hannah Montana theme song*


Lanterns and lights. There is something so beautiful about the soft glow of a candle shining through patterned metal. And I adore these copper hanging lights. The geometric geek in me kinda freaks out when I see them. Plus, sooooo shinyyyy. 



Has metal been catching your eye as much as it has mine? What are you crushing on in the metal family? 

To check out more of my favorite things click here

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Goodbye Fall Goals & Hello Winter Goals!

Remember back when I posted my fall goals that I wanted to have accomplished by Thanksgiving? Well, I'm very happy to say that with a week until Thanksgiving I completed all of them, except the verse memory. :/ Boo on that, but yay on everything else!

Our guest room still does have a few boxes in the corner, but it is actually inhabitable, The Nesting Place was an awesome read and has definitely changed my outlook on decorating and the home. [My Home Manifesto was inspired by that book.] I participated in a very successful clothing swap where I got rid of a huge bag of clothes I wasn't wearing anymore and came home with a very happy bag of cute new (to me) clothes. Our walls are covered in our wedding photos [if you hadn't noticed] and as far as fall traditions... I'd say our hide from the trick-or-treaters in a blanket fort while we watch a movie is going to be a pretty good tradition!


So now I have a week to get cracking on that verse memorization, and then we're onto winter goals! Again, I know that winter isn't for another month, but up here in the great white north I think we can all agree that it has felt like winter for awhile now... so I'm jumping in!

And winter is long enough around here that I figured I would give myself enough to keep occupied. My end date for winter goals is my birthday—February 28. So that gives me a good 3 months to get going. 

Winter Goals

Make a crafty spot in the office
Reorganize the bookshelf... maybe buy another smaller one?

Decide on and start reading one decorating/home book
Read Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker

Try making one new dessert and one new entree
Create a holiday journal—memories of every holiday [thanks, Aunt Rebecca!]

Memorize 4 new verses
Read Romans

To Do.
Finish wedding thank yous by the New Year
Finalize my name change

Start a holiday tradition with the hubs. Any good ideas? :)

What are your winter goals? Anything specific to the colder months that you want to get done?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

3 Adorable Gift Wrapping Ideas

So I think by now we all know how much I love the HOLIDAYS! And with Thanksgiving right around the corner I think it's officially time for some good old holiday brainstorming. 

Now, I LOVE Thanksgiving, so I don't want you to get the impression that I'm skipping right over it to get to Christmas... but as I was perusing Pinterest today I just couldn't help but fall in love with these witty and cute gift wrapping ideas! Plus, who ever said gifts should be exclusively for Christmas and birthdays?? I'm a big fan of gifts and especially the kind that come at a time you aren't expecting—so why not give a Thanksgiving gift this year? These gift wrapping ideas are just what you need to make that little gift extra thoughtful and special!

1. Personalize the Plain!
Need to wrap a present in a pinch? Well then this first one is perfect for you! Simply grab some plain paper or a brown paper bag from your last trip to the grocery store and wrap 'er up! Then grab a sharpie and have at it! Add a finishing touch with some string, a bow or ribbon, or even some greenery or other holiday bauble.


2. Special Delivery!
Okay, how CUTE is this?! Tying your packages to the recipients favorite animal (in toy form, of course) is perfect for small gifts. I would probably fall over dead if I received something like this. 

 3. Washi Tape it Up!
Washi tape is everywhere nowadays! Michaels even has a full section with what seems like hundreds of different patterns. So why not grab a few rolls and get to taping? I especially love the idea of using newspaper as the main wrapping... so simple, yet pretty with the added pops of pattern and color that the washi tape brings. This Advent gift looks DIVINE.


So there you have it! Three super simple, super adorable ways to spruce up your packages this Christmas [and Thanksgiving!] season! Happy gift-giving!

P.S. Like literally... I already posted this but I'm coming back because I just stumbled upon this beautiful article on gift toppers! Check it out peeps.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Home Manifesto

It can be really easy for me to get caught up in decorating, organizing, and making things pretty in our home, all the while forgetting the reason behind doing these things. I always seem to get distracted by one more project, or rearrange, or tweak, without really enjoying and using the space to its fullest... and isn't that the whole reason I wanted those projects, rearranges, and tweaks in the first place? I forget that although I love decorating and it is a continual process, sometimes it's ok for it to be a means to an end.

So I decided it was about time that I took some time to sit down, brainstorm, and come up with a manifesto for our home. A roadmap of sorts, to guide us to where we want to be when it comes to our home. To come back to when we I get caught up or distracted.

We want our home to be warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating. We want people to feel loved, accepted, and inspired in our home. We want our home to be a place where people can come as they are and where deep connecting happens. We want our home to radiate the joy of Jesus and convey care for all who enter.

Our home is a place of acceptance. Our home is a place where truth and love are spoken and beauty is seen in the imperfections. Our home is a place where things look pretty because that's fun, but if they don't, then that's ok—you're still welcome. Our home is a place for deep conversation and laughter, tears and cheers, parties and quiet times. Our home is a place where people are more important than things, good stewardship is more important than the American Dream, and authenticity is more important than self-protection.


People > Things
Our home and our stuff helps us serve other people and serves the needs of our family; we do not serve our home and our stuff. We will not be mastered by things and instead will use them for God's glory in our lives and the lives of those we touch.

Good Stewardship > American Dream
We will not go in debt or spend excessively in order to have the newest this-or-that. We will steward our money in a way that is honoring to God and will give our first fruits. We will not succumb to the American dream, but instead will be creative in the ways we use our money to create a home that reflects our vision and mission.

Authenticity > Self-protection
Rather than putting forward a fake version of who we are, our home is meant to display our genuine selves. Our home will reflect who we are and where we are at. We will not cover up, apologize for, or otherwise make excuses for our home, but instead embrace the season that God has us in. Our home should be a place where others feel comfortable to be real as well.


So there you have it. The Douglas family home manifesto. Our hopes and dreams for our home, no matter where we live. What about you? Have you ever thought about what your home conveys to others, how you want it to function, your vision, mission, or values?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grateful [Two Months]

It's November! [Yeah, Heather, we know... it has been for the last two weeks...] Which means that all things social media are oozing with posts and photos about what people are thankful for. So I thought today that I would jump on the bandwagon.

Today I am oh so very thankful for another month of life as the wife of Loverboy. I can't believe today marks two months of marriage for us, but as I reflect on the last month [you can read about our first month here], I can't help but be grateful.

We've hosted our small group for pumpkin carving, gone on the best double date ever (Nickelodeon Universe, anyone??), gone through the membership process for church, traveled to Nebraska for an early Thanksgiving, hung out with our neighbors, spent time with family, visited Eau Claire and spent a roaring time with a precious family, had people over for meals, and gone on multiple dates. Life is so full of so many good things.

But life isn't all daisies and butterflies. This last month has also included difficult conversations, annoying paperwork and phone calls in attempts to make our two lives one, disagreements, and just general learning to live together as husband and wife.

And through it all God has been so good. Through the sweet times and the hard times this month, God has been faithful in giving us grace for each other and teaching us how to love. One thing I know, the sweet times would not be so sweet and the hard times would be far harder without the loving grace of God to guide us and the stellar example of Jesus that we get to look to.

So although today I am oh so very thankful for this union with this boy, I am more thankful for the One who brought us together, wrote our story, and sustains us everyday. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Also, we're getting super good at taking selfies.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

5 Ways to Fill Your Walls

Happy Tuesday, folks! Today I want to share with you some of the ways that we have filled the walls in our apartment... and let me tell ya, we have filled the walls.

Blank walls can seem intimidating at first, but armed with some good ideas, a few pretties, and a hammer and nails, you too can have beautiful, meaningful, and even useful(!) wall decor.

So without further ado, here are 5 different ways that we have filled our walls.

1. Large Scale Photography
Yes, I'm going there. BIG. Big seems expensive, right? Wrong! [Well, it can be, but it certainly doesn't have to be.] There's this little big thing called an engineering print that you can get at Staples for a couple bucks. Really. The only stipulation is they are black and white and can turn out a bit grainy or with a little white line running down it. But can you even tell in mine? Nope! They will definitely try and talk you out of it, but stick to your guns on this one, because it is just too good of a deal to pass up! This engagement photo was the first thing we hung up in our new apartment and I love it! It's a great above-the-couch statement piece, and at this price, a great way to fill a big wall! I picked up the frame at a goodwill for 7 bucks.

Total project cost: $10

2. Small Groupings
I think this is one of my favorite ways to display photos... in small groupings that tell a story or show off related items. Here we have four prints from our wedding... two portraits and two detail shots. I love how it shows how we looked on our wedding day. The gold frames are leftover from our wedding and were from the Dollar Tree.

Total project cost: $5

3. Gallery Walls
The ever famous gallery wall! All the frames and objects used in our gallery wall are thrifted or Dollar Tree purchases. You would be surprised what sweet frames you can find for a dollar at thrift stores! I'll be doing a more in-depth post on some gallery wall how-tos and tips I learned along the way, but until then, start collecting frames, photos, and special cards or prints. Or just go ahead and do it! My biggest take-away was that it doesn't have to be perfect, because let's be real, I don't have 10 hours to measure everything out and cut templates. That's what the back of your hammer is for.

Total project cost: $15

4. Miscellaneous Decor
Here's a way that you can get really fun and creative with your walls! Ribbons, lights, chalkboards... the sky is the limit here, people. Have something you love that's semi-flat and hangable? Put it up on a wall! See what it looks like. Take risks!

Ribbon backdrop [from our wedding] total cost: $45

5. Shelves & Storage
Last, but not least, let's talk about killing two birds with one stone in your wall decor. Have an empty wall that also happens to be near a place where some extra storage would be handy? Great! Add a shelf or other type of storage in lieu of a pretty picture or painting. For weeks I was trying to decide what kind of wall hanging I wanted above our stove. Then I realized we had this extra shelf and it makes for AMAZING storage in a place where we really needed it [and didn't even know it]. Plus, the shelf fills in the space and adds some color and pattern to the once blank wall. Win-win! The mason jar holder is from Target and was a wedding gift, and the mail/key holder was made and gifted to us by Loverboy's sister for our wedding as well.

So, there you have it! Five different ways that you can fill up those empty walls that have been staring you in the face the last weeks, months, or years. Decorating your walls doesn't have to be expensive or intimidating... you just have to get started. So grab your hammer, and get to it!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

Friends! It's Friday! I hope you've all had a rad week. For me, I feel like it was one of those weeks where you have to look at the calendar to remember at all what you did and where Halloween and Daylight Savings feel like they happened a month ago.

Anyway, it seems like a good week to do a personal weekend wrap-up and share a peak into the Douglas life this last week. Begin montage of crappy cell-phone pics.

Halloween night did in fact bring Blanket Fort 2.0. I think this one definitely rivaled our last one in height, but not in broad scope. We watched Stardust in there, which was pretty magical and you should probably watch this movie if you haven't. It's so weird and great and I've probably seen it close to 10 times because of my love for its quirkiness. [P.S. Doesn't he just look proud??!]

On Wednesday I decided to chop off all my hair! [3 cheers for the post-wedding chop!] I got to bring my ponytail home since I'll be donating it and had a lot of fun whipping it around in the car on the way home and grossing out both myself and my mother. Something about a ponytail not attached to your head is just weird. It sat on our dining room table for like half a day until I went and hid it in our guest room because I kept thinking there was a rodent on our table.

And in case you missed it on Facebook, here's me modeling my new hair at Buca di Beppos last night. The hubs and I hit it up for date night [and this girl had a coupon—holla!] and it was fan-freakin-tastic! We ordered this amazing seafood pasta dish that had shrimp, calamari, and oysters and originally had a spicy clam sauce that we swapped out for a garlic cream sauce [my spicy sensor is uber-sensitive]. My oh my it was like seafood heaven in your mouth! And the best part is that we took home enough leftovers for both of us to take a full meal's worth of this delicious feast for lunch today! Helllooooo round two! :)

Other highlights for the week included time with good friends and our awesome small group, meals with family, AND we are officially accepted for membership at our church! Woo!

Tonight we are having our respective girls and guys night—I'll be going to dinner with a friend and then we're headed to a clothing swap with our Sunday School ladies [we all know I like free clothes!] and Loverboy will be broin' it up. We're headed to Eau Claire tomorrow for a sweet friend's bridal shower and get to see some sibs on Sunday. Bring on the weekend!

P.S. How eerily similar are the photos of me holding up my hair and the receipt from my last post??
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