#FridayFinds: Storytime

Photo books, notebooks, Happily Ever After, and knights and dragons – this week’s finds have a theme!



1. Chat Books and Prints: I’ve listed these in my Friday Finds before, but did you see the hilarious commercial they came out with recently? I think all mom’s can appreciate it! #ScrapbookingMutiny.

In addition to the books, which really do take 30 seconds to set up and arrive like mini Christmas presents each month, I also get five prints with each book for an extra $2. I never remember to print photos, so this works perfectly for me. When I get the notification that a book is going to go to print soon, I go into the app and select which photos I’d like to get as prints also. Super easy!

Want to try it out? You can get your first chat book FREE using my code: QN4VP2V6

2. Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks: I could no sooner chose a favorite Rifle Paper Co. notebook than I could a favorite star in the heavens, so I’m really excited about this three pack of mini notebooks! These are destined to be prayer journals, but in the meantime, they also make great desk decor.

3. Happily Ever After Sign: I picked this up in Flagstaff, and my favorite store with a terrible name: P.J. ChilCottage. (Love you guys, your customer service is great and your store is full of all things beautiful, but someone really should re-think that). They had several great options, but this one is perfect for our office book shelf next to some family photos. 

 

4. Storytime Socks: Aren’t these too cute?! I bought Edison the pair of knight and dragon socks also at P.J’s in Flagstaff, but you can buy them on Amazon! The ones I bought cost $12, but they are $8 on Amazon, although some of the other designs are far more expensive.
Those are my finds for this week! Do you have any new discoveries to share?This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

10 Fall Bucket List Ideas

I used to be ambitious with my fall bucket lists, and my summer bucket lists for that matter. The last fall bucket list I could find had ten items on it, with little doodles illustrating the items. This year I focused on our top priorities: food, travel, and, you know … overpriced pumpkins.

The memories are priceless, right?

1. Eat all the Pumpkin Things

Hooray for Trader Joe’s! But I hear Aldi’s has a great selection also. 

2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch

The most popular pumpkin patch in our area costs $18 a person. So… we found a cheaper option that ended up being just as much fun for Edison, I’m sure, considering that his favorite things were the corn maze, seeing a tractor, and looking at all the pumpkins. 

3. Take a Day Trip to See Fall Foliage

Our #3 item started as a day trip to Sedona, but we ended up going past Sedona to Flagstaff, because more than anything, we wanted to feel cold. When the sun was setting, we rolled the windows down as we drove through the mountains, and shivered happily for as long as we could, before putting on sweaters. 
We went for a “hike,” more of a walk, in Munds’ Park to enjoy the orange and yellow oak and aspens.

4. Explore a New Place

Google “best small towns,” “scenic drives,” “best diners,” “historic landmarks,” in your state and see where it takes you! 
We’d been to Flagstaff before, but we discovered new places this trip. We had turkey ruben sandwiches and deviled eggs at Aspen Deli, and spent the afternoon going to shops downtown and watching trains. And we found this incredible mural on Orpheum Theater!

5. Organize Closets

I started with Edison’s closet, and took a Saturday to sort through the pile of clothes Edison has outgrown that I’d been shoving into totes in his closet without any organization. I now have a trash bag full of stuff to donate, and one big tote full of all my favorite baby items, and one more tote full of clothes for Edison to grown into. 
Making a capsule wardrobe for yourself, or your kids, is another great way to spend a Saturday and organize your closet. 

6. Run a Turket Trot

The evenings are cooler, so after work I’ve been loading Edison into the stroller and taking Sirius along for a mile run. My goal is to run every night, but some nights Brian comes along and we’ll go for a longer walk. Other nights, it just doesn’t happen. Progress, not perfection. I’m just looking forward to that pumpkin pie at the end of the race!

7. Paint a Pumpkin

Easier and less messy than carving, plus, it’s great for little ones to get involved! Check out 30 painted pumpkin ideas!

8. Bake a Dessert

There’s so many fall recipes I’ve pinned, and never made. I think I should start with something simple. I’m thinking this three ingredient pumpkin bread might be a great choice, or these pumpkin oatmeal breakfast bars, or some pumpkin pie truffles.

9. Find the Best Apple Cider

Last year, we bought a jug of apple cider from a grocery store that will remain nameless, only to discover that it was indistinguishable from apple juice. This year, we tasted samples of cider at Trader Joe’s before purchasing, and then we found a new brand of apple cider at our Fry’s grocery store that’s also pretty decent. We still haven’t found any as good as the stuff made by the apple orchard in our hometown, so the search continues.
These Apple Cider Moscow Mules from Pretty Plain Jane’s look stunning!

10. Start watching the Harry Potter Movies

This is our own family tradition – usually in October, we begin the series with little Harry in the Sorcerer’s Stone, and by January, usually we’re finishing with the Battle of Hogwarts. If you’re not into Harry Potter, that’s ok (I guess), but you can start a different series you like, like Anne of Green Gables, Gilmore Girls, Star Wars, etc. 
What’s on your bucket list? Share your ideas below, or on social media!

#FridayFinds: Skillshare, Kid’s Cardigans, and Freshly

An Online Skillshare Class by Brit + Co

1. Skillshare Classes: There’s thousands of classes to choose from, for everything from art classes to email marketing to WordPress, and there’s hundreds of free classes too! The next class I’m going to take is “DSLR Photography for Bloggers” by Brit + Co.

2. Kid 2 Kid: As far as I can tell, this is local to the Phoenix valley, but I’m sure this model exists elsewhere too. Kid 2 Kid is a consignment store for kids clothes, toys, and baby equipment. It’s and affordable and ethical way of getting some awesome clothes. Some of my favorite clothes and shoes for Edison have come from here, including his navy blue moccasins. I’ve snagged Baby Gap sweaters for $5! Here’s my latest haul, in preparation for a trip up north:

Boots: $6.99
Winter coat from Zara: $14.99
Baby Gap jacket: $5.99
Blue and green striped sweater: $4.99
Alpine sweater: $3.50
H&M gray cardigan: $4.99
White softsole shoes: $9.99
Converse: $4.50

I think I’m also going to try selling some of Edison’s old or unworn stuff here, so I can get store credit!

3. Love, Lincoln: Another mama-made shop, they sell everyday clothes for babies, kids, and women. If you’re not lucky enough to find a cute cardigan at your local consignement store, check out the cardigans they sell, in 48 colors!

4. Freshly: First of all, Blue Apron didn’t work out for us. We were paying $60 for three meals a week, and there were no leftovers. But the biggest reason it wasn’t working for us was the time it took to make the meals – each one took at least an hour, minimum, even though the time estimate was 30-40 minutes. The food was also kind of unusual. So, the main goal of saving time wasn’t happening. After I cancelled, Brian sent me a link for Freshly. Not only does the food arrive in a box at your door, but it’s already cooked. It just has to be warmed up in two minutes! It costs less for more meals. It sounds a little too good to be true. Anyone else have any experience with it? Let me know!

How My Fall Capsule Wardrobe is Simplifying My Life

In October of 2012, I decided to change my shopping habits. I’d learned that the fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world, and is also notorious for human trafficking and forced labor.

Child workers, alongside exploited adults, can be subjected to violence and abuse such as forced overtime, as well as cramped and unhygienic surroundings, bad food, and very poor pay. The low cost of clothes on the high street means that less and less money goes to the people who actually make them. – Victoria and Albert Museum

For 31 days, I blogged every week day about the exploitative labor issues involved with “fast fashion.” For those 31 days, I wore ten items of clothing, and auctioned off my other clothes to raise awareness and funds for a human trafficking rescue organization. After that month, I felt incredibly free. I’d realized that I used shopping as an emotional crutch to cover insecurity, and my goal going forward was to keep 100 items of clothing in my closet.

Fast forward to 2016.

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Life Lately: Boats to Pumpkins

After a jam packed September, we’re savoring the slower days of October. 
Three of the four weekends in September, we were traveling or Brian was racing. He started with a open water swimming race in Canyon Lake. I dreaded waking up before the sunrise, but as it turned out, the little monkey decided to wake up at 3 am and not go back to sleep, so we were already up! The views were worth the early morning.

The weekend after that, Brian swam/biked/ran an Olympic distance triathalon!

 I shopped at the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market that weekend, thanks to my sister-in-law’s help keeping Edison occupied.

Then we took off for Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brian had a business trip there, and since his parents were in the area, we took the whole family and make a weekend of it. We went to the art museum, boated around the lake and the river, and visited the public market. Edison loved the boat … once he got over having to wear the life jacket.

We loved the city’s mix of historic and new. The architecture was incredible. If you visit, I recommend a day at the Historic 3rd Ward, including a visit to the Public Market, a trip to the art museum, and breakfast at Collectivo.
And a boat. I highly recommend you make friends with someone who owns one, or marry into a family that has one. If it comes with in-laws who watch your baby for you for the night so you and your husband can spend the night on the boat all by yourselves, count yourself extremely fortunate! But I might have taken the only ones that fit that description 🙂

We agreed that even with the added challenge of flying with a toddler, it was one of the most fun family trips we’ve ever taken!
This month, we’ve just had little adventures, and lovely slow Saturdays.
One of our little adventures was getting a little pumpkin spice crazed, and shopping at Trader Joe’s for the sole purpose of buying everything pumpkin flavored. We came home with pumpkin cereal, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin tea, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin butter, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin spiced chai loaf. And some apple cider and frozen orange chicken for good measure. 
Because, Trader Joe’s.

On our trip to Milwaukee, Edison learned the function of his backpack, and now he loves playing with it. I’m having visions of sending him off to school, and I’m so not ready for that yet! I’m glad I have a few more years!
And that brings us up to this weekend! Brian volunteered at the Half-Iron Man race, and we were a little glad that he wasn’t doing it this year. We went to a pumpkin patch, and even though it was annoyingly hot, we had a great time walking through the corn maze, looking at the animals (especially the chickens, still Edison’s favorite. How is he my son?) and picking out some pumpkins to take home. After that, we had dinner with friends we hadn’t seen in forever and got to catch up a bit.
Here’s the story of Edison’s first meeting with a tractor. He sees the tractor…
Love at first sight. 
Yes, he waved good-bye to the tractor as it drove away. Our Iowa pride was at an all time high.
This week, Edison will turn 15 months! He’s such a little chatterbox now, in the last couple months he added to “Mama” and “Dada” “Uh oh,” “bye-bye,” “Hi,” “light,” “dog,” “all done,” “up,” “thank you,” and most recently, “walk,” since we started going on walks in the evenings.
He’s also started holding our phones (or the TV remote) up to his ear and saying “Hewwooo?” and trying to carry on conversations with the TV. He loves waving to everyone, including passing cars on our walks, and of course, tractors.

And that’s life lately! Thanks for following along on our little adventures!

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DIY: How to Make A Reclaimed Pallet Wood Headboard

The story of our guest room headboard begins with a haunted house.
Last fall, we began a quest for projects that are cheap or free, and not junk. To make cheap or free things, you have to start with some materials, so that led to searching Craig’s List for free wood. 
I found one posting that described piles upon piles of boards, all free, and already weathered. The coordinates for the property were listed, but no way of contacting the owners. They’d had a haunted house for a couple years, but had torn it down. This was the last weekend before the wood was going to start going to the dump.
So, I convinced Brian that this would be a good way to spend a day, and with four month old Edison sleeping in the backseat, we drove across the valley to a deserted field, with piles of lumber. It was a little creepy still, but we dug through the piles of wood of all shapes and sizes and conditions and hauled off a several great boards. 

I’d also lined up a few free tree stumps for future projects, so we spent the rest of the afternoon loading tree stumps into the car in sketchy alleys. Fun times!

Brian also brought home some pallets from work, and those made up the front of this headboard.

It’s hard to believe it’s now been one year this weekend since we made this, and I’m just now sharing it. Edison wasn’t even crawling yet, and now he’s running around! In the last year, we, and our guests, have enjoyed the headboard and all it adds to the room.

Step 1: Deconstruct the pallets, removing the nails and sometimes the screws. 
Step 2: Reconstruct the wood into your headboard. 
Four boards horizontal was the perfect width for the double bed in our guest room.
Step 3: Sand the wood. 

Step 4: Since sanding could take a while, get your homemade stain underway. We were all about cheap or free, so I found a recipe for homemade wood stain on Pinterest. All you need is a jar with a lid, very fine steel wool, and vinegar. Tear up the steel wool and put it in the jar, then cover it with vinegar and fasten the lid. Let it sit for 24 hours before using.

I took it one step further, and added a tea stain, following this tutorial. So I painted the wood with the black tea first, and followed up with the vinegar stain.

Step 5: Apply your stain with a paintbrush.

In the photo below, you can see the difference between just tea, and tea and vinegar. It’s much darker.

I like lighter wood usually, but since this pallet wood had some dark stains, darker worked better in this case.

Step 6: Sand the headboard again, if you’re going for a weathered look.

Step 7: Attach boards behind the headboard for legs, and position behind your bed. We were able to bold our headboard to the bed frame itself, so it’s not going anywhere.

Edison approved! And look how tiny he is!

We still have a lot of styling work to do in the guest room (see mismatched lamps, empty photo frames) but it feels so much more grown up and put together with a headboard! And the dark wood happened to match our thrifted side tables perfectly.

Looks pretty cozy!

Total time to make the headboard was just a couple Saturdays. Total cost: the screws to put it together – everything else, like the vinegar and tea, we already had or was free!
My goal this fall, since we didn’t get to it last year, is to make something with the free log stumps we picked up in the sketchy alley. Stay tuned to see what we do with them!
What do you think of this project? Let me know in the comments below, or on social media. 

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DIY: How to Make This Easy Copper Heart Art from Contact Paper

You may be noticing a trend. I’ve been a big fan of rose gold/copper for a long time, and it’s finally starting to show up all over my house, starting with my kitchen shelves. 
I’ve also found ways to incorporate it into the rest of the house, thanks to great finds from Anthropologie and Target.
I made a mini version of this artwork first, for Brian’s Valentine’s Day gift. 
I liked how it turned out so much, that I made the bigger version.

You’ll Need: 

  • Blank canvas. I bought a two pack from Hobby Lobby, for less than $15.
  • Copper contact paper. I used this from Amazon, and love it.
  • Scissors.

Steps: 

1. Cut the contact paper into strips. Mine are about two inches wide. 
2. Cut the strips into squares. Cut the squares into triangles. 
3. Layout your heart, marking rows lightly on your canvas with a pencil. 
4. Peel and stick the triangles to the canvas. 

Simple, elegant, and easy –  just the way I like my DIY. 

If my copper obsession continues at this rate, I may need an intervention. 

You could of course create something like this with gold contact paper, marble contact paper, or wrapping paper, wall paper, or scrapbooking paper and glue. The possibilities are endless!

#FridayFinds: Little Man’s Closet in Black, Red, and Plaid

Little Man's Closet: Black and Red

Band hat / Charcoal grey t shirt / Striped jersey / Black with Red Bottoms Baby Moccasins Tinybabysoles Baby Moccasins,… / Jesus Grace & Pumpkin Spice – A Quiver Full / Plaid / Brave Tee – A Quiver Full / I Make Mama’s Heart full tees Tink Key / Plaid Husky Bow/ Bow Tie – A Quiver Full

Shop small this fall, y’all!

All the items above are made and sold by creative mamas. A few to note:

Edison owns a “Worth” tee from Camplight apparel, and it’s one of my favorites, since it’s so soft. Every purchase from Camplight Apparel helps feed malnourished children.

The “Jesus, Grace, and PSL” sweatshirt is for those of us mamas who love to cozy up in a sweatshirt with a pumpkin spice latte.

The “Brave” tee has a slingshot on it, as a reminder of the story of David and Goliath.

The plaid bow can also be worn as a bow tie, so I couldn’t resist getting one for Edison.

The PSL sweatshirt, Brave tee, plaid bow and scarf below are all from A Quiver Full, and 15% of proceeds go to fund adoptions.

Edison is a brand rep for them, so you can get 20% off your purchase with the code FF20. Just add “Scribbles From Emily” in the comments section when checking out, so they know we sent you!

DIY: Mini Living Room Gallery Wall

There are times, as all avid thrift shoppers know, when you may find something very interesting, and yet you know, deep down, you have no use for it. Things like, revolutionary embroidery.

Or cat portraits … disturbing on so many levels. 

But one thing I’ve found that you can always count on thrift store shopping for, is an abundance of unique frames. Sometimes, they just need a little paint or polish, and an inexpensive gallery wall is within reach.

Also, all things copper, dishes, and random objects – I can’t always resist their siren call.
Step 1: clean off the goo from the price tag.

Step 2: apply painters tape on the glass for easy clean up.
Step 3: paint the frame, and allow to dry. Those little cans of sample paint you can get at Home Depot or Lowes are perfect for projects like this, and they only cost a couple dollars.
Step 4: sand the edges for a distressed finish, if you’re into that.

I choose frames with a metallic finish, so after sanding them, the gold or copper shone through. 
That was the easy part. Next is hanging them on the wall. 

For all of my galleries, I trace each frame onto paper and tape them to the wall to determine the layout. 

PS: the print that says “The days are long, but the years are short” is from Hand Lettered Design.

Remember that your frames don’t all have to include photos or art – you can frame unique, artful objects too. And you don’t always need a frame – decorative washi tape is a great way to display artwork you might like to switch out regularly. 
PS: the watercolor is from Hello Lovely People.

Resources: 

There are billions of beautiful art prints you can download and print for free online. Here’s a few of my favorite sources: 

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Kitchen Progress: Copper Open Shelving

We did it! 
Our quick weekend project that turned into over a month of weekends is finally finished, and I love it!
First things first: here’s our before. 
Big, dated oak cabinets. With such a low ceiling, these cabinets made the kitchen feel very small.
Although I’d love to tear out the entire wall of cabinets and the double oven (which I’ll never in a million years use) and reconfigure the entire space for a better pantry … baby steps. And this baby step made the whole kitchen so much more inviting. 
Cabinets before: 
I liked the glass front cabinets that showed off my pretty dishes, and the other corner cabinets contained double-decker lazy susans, which gave us tons of storage. But, I regret nothing. 
The steps: 
1. Take down old cabinets. We donated ours to Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, although Edison would have like us to keep one for a playhouse. 
2. Paint and patch the walls. We also replaced the white outlets and outlet covers you see below for black ones that will blend into the granite.
3. Paint your hardware. After much back and forth, I went with these Ikea brackets and spray painted them with this copper paint. Actually, I spray painted them, and then I got too impatient while they were drying and I flipped them over too soon to paint the other side, and they had to be sanded and completely repainted. So, pro tip – don’t do that. 
Second pro tip – buy more paint and primer than you will need. I had to make two trips to Home Depot for the primer after running out, but most inconvenient was having to reorder the copper spray paint, since shipping was not fast. Waiting for the paint to arrive delayed this whole project, so be smart and buy three cans to start with. Besides, you’ll find uses for the extra. 

4. Build your shelves. This is the part that I can’t tell you much about, because Brian did all the work. As I told Brian, I’m the Johanna, he’s the Chip in this relationship – I come up with the ideas, and he builds it (Fixer Upper fans know what I mean). Here’s the tutorial we used.

We originally planned on sanding and staining the shelves. And then since this project had already taken forever, we decided not to. Our excuse is that someday, we’d like to replace these pine boards from Home Depot with actual weathered barn wood planks, so these are just temporary.

5. Install shelves, and begin never ending process of styling them.

A commonly asked question: Do you have to dust or wash all the dishes to keep them from looking grimy?

So far, no. The vast majority of the dishes I chose to put out are ones that we use relatively often, so they don’t collect any dust. and so far, the more decorative dishes haven’t either. I’m not sure if it’s because we have good air flow through the kitchen, or what the reason is, but honestly, if I did have to dust them once in awhile, I really don’t mind.

Another question: What did you do with all the stuff that used to be in the cupboards? 
Some of it, like the white plates, bowls, glasses, and most of the mugs, stayed. Other pieces were moved from lower cabinets, like the bigger bowls. I was able to move some of the dishes to the lower cabinets, and others, like all my Tupperware, to a cupboard in the laundry room. So far, I haven’t had any issues with the new arrangement.

There you have it: my copper kitchen! 
Would you ever do open shelves, or is that a trend you’d pass on? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.