five things

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

Where did this week go?! Well, some of it went to treehouse building and driving to the airport and making a gallery wall and catching up with friends. But it’s gone by so fast that Easter has completely snuck up me. (FYI – I just Googled “snuck vs. sneaked” – both are correct!) I usually spend a couple of days creating color-coordinating outfits for our family for Easter – just because I CAN. But not this year. I’m sure we’ll all look fine on Easter morning, but there probably won’t be a match in the bunch.

Here are a few things on my  mind this week:


1. Treehouses. It’s not finished, and I want to do an entire post on it – Husband wants to tell how it REALLY went and how much it REALLY costs, so maybe he’ll guest post one day soon – but it was a ton of work, and the kids love it. For now, we are using that big green ladder for treehouse access, but there will either be a wooden ladder or a cargo net ladder in the front (we are still in negotiations). It is so fun to look out the dining room window and see this. (I’m not gonna lie – it’s also fun to have my car sawdust-free for the first time in a week, too.) Shout out to my father-in-law for helping Husband with this big project – those two were ALL IN on 10-hour days for almost a week. (My job was mainly KP duty – keeping everyone fed and energized – and, of course, throwing out my two cents every chance I got.)

2. Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick. This was a very interesting read, covering sleep as it relates to our use of screens at night, jet-lag, and depression.


3. Gallery Walls. Over the last few weeks, my friend, Jen, and I have been working on her living room wall. Her husband is a hunter, so she had several duck paintings lined up behind the sofa. She wanted to mix it up a bit and make a gallery wall, so we played around with different arrangements, shopping her house for other pieces, adding in a letter K, a wooden heart that Jen painted, and antlers we found in her garage. We finally installed it on Monday, and I just love how it turned out! The takeaway: when you want to make a change with pieces you already have, the gallery wall is the way to go. (Other “shop your house” takeaway: pillows! Jen wanted to update the ones on the sofa, and she found these darling ones in the closet. Sometimes you don’t need to buy new – you just need to play around with what you’ve got.)

movement and stillness

4. This quote. Husband and I had a conversation about this last weekend. These are two things that are constantly on my goals lists – moving my body and quieting my mind. I just finished Into the Magic Shop, in which the author, James R. Doty, tells the story of how he learned meditation and mindfulness and went on to discover how it connects with the power of the brain and of the heart. It is amazing to realize how the brain can actually be rewired through the deliberate practice of stillness. It is also amazing how something so seemingly simple can be so hard to actually DO. But I’m trying. Baby steps.

5. This made me laugh. We are BIG Alexander fans here – the kids love the book (and this one and this one, too) and the movie, and I remember getting in the car after school one day when I was little, telling my mom it had been a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” after having memorized the line when my teacher read it aloud to us. This is a great updated version.

Hope you have a weekend of being outdoors, rest, beauty, stillness, and laughter. Also hope you have a lovely Easter, and thanks so much for reading!


five things

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

We’re back in the swing of things after spring break, and it’s been a good week. We’re also super happy because my father-in-law is here for a visit, and he’s helping Husband build a treehouse in our backyard! It’s been a fun week, and we’re excited for a fun weekend. Here are a few things on my mind this week:


1. Baby chicks. Last Saturday, we got four baby chicks. We’ve had a coop for over a year, but we waited until this spring to get to get the chickens. They are so cute! They live inside for now, “brooding” in a Rubbermaid bin with hay and a heat lamp, in our den. BB and BG call them “The Sisters” – Fluffer, Fluffy Rose, Carlotta, and Gertrude (Gertie for short). BB is obsessed with their food and water intake, and BG just wants to snuggle them all day. They are growing so fast. Well, except for Fluffer – we’re not sure what’s going on with her – and we’re wondering if she’s a “her” at all. She’s about half the size of the other sisters, and she behaves very differently than them as well. But she eats and drinks and is the loudest chirper of the lot. It will be months before we will have eggs, but are already having lots of fun!


2. S*Town. Have you listened to this podcast yet? I first heard about it from Sorta Awesome, another podcast I like. S*Town is by the producers of Serial and This American Life. I may be the one person in the country who hasn’t listened to Serial, but I’ve heard great things about it. (Confession: I’ve been slow to join the podcast wagon. I’ll listen to one occasionally when I’m folding laundry or out for a walk, but I forget about them most of the time.) Something about the way Laura and Megan described S*Town made me curious. OH MY GOSH. I’m obsessed. I’m three episodes in (there are seven total), and I find myself planning ahead for when I can listen the following day. The story is captivating, the characters are fascinating, and the music behind the narrative and dialog is beautiful.  (And the fact that the people from Woodstock, Alabama, have accents that sound similar to the people from where I’m from in East Tennessee certainly adds to the appeal.) Language Warning: The S in S*Town stands for a common four-letter word, and the podcast is full of many more of them.

open book

3. How to Open a New Book. I remember getting new textbooks in 3nd grade, and our teacher led the class in this same series of steps to make sure the books were ready. I have thought of this several times over the years, but I didn’t realize this was actually a “thing”. And even though it’s 2017, and I have a Kindle and an iPad, I still read the majority of my books on actual pages, so this is something I’m going to remember for next time.

4. Are you required to find + follow your calling? I’ve read several articles (and even books) on this lately, and it’s really resonating with me and giving me freedom in figuring out what’s next in my life. Surprisingly, with that freedom has come MORE motivation to do the things that line up with my passions – like writing (here on the blog) and giving new life to old things (on Etsy). A good read.


5. Get Out Now. Loved this excerpt from John Stilgoe, featured on Austin Kleon’s blog.

Our weekend will be full of baseball, treehouse construction, and quality time with the baby chicks. I hope it’s also full of books and exploring passions and enjoying being outside (even in the rain). Hope your weekend is full of lots of good things for you, too. Thank you so much for reading!


etsy shop · Style

Spring Trends: Dress-Over-Jeans


I bought this dress on my honeymoon in 1998. I KNOW! Impossible because I’m so young. (Hahaha!) Funnily enough, it’s almost considered vintage! (20 years is the criteria for vintage clothing.) I fell in love with this dress and have worn it many, many times over the years.

But, as I’ve gotten older, I just don’t wear dresses as short as I used to – and I shouldn’t, truth be told. It’s just not as flattering as a knee-length or midi dress for me.



Several years ago, I realized I could wear this dress as a top with skinny jeans and cute shoes.

dress over jeans
(sources: 1 / 2 / 3)

I love the dress-over-jeans look. (I linked to more inspiring images in this post.) There are many ways to make this work with a variety of dress lengths, vintage or current. Today, I’ll show you three:

1. Short dress as a tunic with skinny jeans.




This is not a vintage dress but a “new-to-me” dress I thrifted from Old Navy. It’s fun in a bright color and paired with bright flats.

2. Midi dress and cuffed jeans.


This vintage dress hits below the knee, so it looks better with heels. It has the same silhouette as a jacket and jeans and can look very elegant. (See it on Etsy here.)


3. Long button up dress as a vest or jacket.




This is a good option for a vintage dress – remember those long button-up short sleeved (or sleeveless) dresses we wore in the early 90s? They are making a comeback, too. (See it on Etsy here.)

And even if you’re not a fan of dresses over jeans, I’ve got some other fun vintage spring dresses in my shop – click here to check them out.