A fun project- Lottie Leather

Tuesday, December 11

Hello dearest friends!

As you can see, I haven't tended to this space since May! Goodness gracious. But, it's been a wonderful break to just live my life in real time...I'm rarely on the computer or phone these days- a nice change:)

But I did want to pop on and wish you all a wonderful Christmas season, and share with you about a really fun and exciting project I've been working on with my husband and sister-in-law. Let me introduce you to Lottie Leather...

As most of you know, Kevin and I lived in Nepal in 2013, where we helped set up an aftercare home for girls rescued out of abusive situations. Living in Nepal changed my life, it was one of the best years ever.

The last 3 years, Kevin's sister Kristi and her husband (and 3 kids) have lived in Nepal, while her husband worked on his PhD dissertation. We all noticed how many amazing resources there are in Nepal, but how little industry is present because of the economic situation as well as infrastructure. For years, electricity has been sparse, and when there's not electricity, business cannot happen as usual, making it almost impossible for it to become a place of booming industry.

25% of the country's GDP is remittance, meaning money being sent back into Nepal from Nepalese workers in countries abroad. So many families cannot support themselves with jobs in Nepal, so generally the men decide to go to countries in the Middle East or Korea to find jobs and then send money home to families. The means thousands of families are growing up without their father's present. It breaks my heart.

We all put out heads together, and decided it would be really neat if we could start supporting local craftsman in their trade to make beautiful leather purses and bags, as well as other products we found.

Almost a year later, we are finally getting Lottie Leather off the ground. Right now we offer 4 different bag styles with two different types of Leather (cow and buffalo)

We also are selling some really fun felt garlands, a leaf garland and a start garland (which comes in a set of 2). You can see below how adorable they look as Christmas decor:)

We'd love for you to take a look at our website! Right now, we are selling genuine leather bags at a very afforadable price, as this is our initial batch of bags and we want to keep the price point low to see the interest! Cow Leather bags are $55 and Buffalo Leather bags are $45.


Purchasing a bag means creating more jobs for Nepali craftsman, and the more jobs provided in Nepal, the more families get to stay together. And we are all about that:)

I would LOVE to hear your feedback. We hope to design some new bags soon, so please send me ideas of what you'd like to see!! Can't wait to hear:)

Much love friends!! Merry Christmas! 

Entryway make-over

Wednesday, May 23

BEFORE (when we first moved in January 2016- as you can see it's a bare wall behind that couch!) 


We moved into our house 2.5 years ago and have done soooo many projects! I'm not sure i've even shared a single one (except Avonlea's nursery), and can't wait to start posting them:) We are by no means done...it's an ongoing labor of love.

 Projects have become my love language! But seriously, the last few years i've asked Kevin to give me a "project" for my birthday, and he's willingly obliged. The first year we moved in he put in our DIY built-in Ikea book shelves. Last year he put beadboard up in the dining nook, and this year he put beadboard and hooks up in our entryway.

Our entryway consists of a super long wall that is across from the living room. When we first moved in it just felt like an awkward space I didn't know how to fill. Pretty quickly on I felt like I needed a big piece of furniture to help fill it out. I scoured craigslist for a few months, and finally swooned over this antique pine armoire shipped over from England from the 1800's. Kev lovingly drove the 2 hours with me to pick it up for our craigslist seller, who was such a dear woman. It was the perfect light wood color to warm up the space. For about 2 years, the armoire was all that occupied this space, and I finally decided it was high time to put the finishing touches on the wall.

I love shiplap, but it's a little more time-consuming than beadboard. Beadboard comes in big panels from Home Depot, and I think it adds a lovely dimension. We put up the panels, added a strip of wood, and then mounted some hooks to the wood for a final touch. I seem to have SO many purses these days, it's been awesome to hang them up instead of throwing them on the floor!

To fill the space in, I added some antique chairs (that I found at a yard sale) to the left of the armoire, and then spent hours trying to figure out the perfect bench to occupy the right side. I wanted it to be simple but interesting. Have you guys ever used Wikibuy? It's essentially like a database of everything being sold on the internet, and will tell you where to buy it to get the best price.

I ended up landing on this wooden ACME Charla Bench, and am so happy with my purchase. Wikibuy showed all the places selling this bench, and I was able to save money because I found the best price it was being offered at. So handy!

So, what do you guys think? I'm debating putting hooks on the left side of the armoire as well, but then am afraid it might make it look too crowded. Thoughts?

Can't wait to share more projects with you all soon!

Avonlea's First Birthday

Monday, April 16

We had a great afternoon celebrating Avonlea's first birthday. I cannot believe this sweet girl has been in my life for a year, man, the time flew!! I look back on this year and thank God for gifting me such an incredible gift as this sweet daughter of mine. Truly, she is a joy. 

I wanted to celebrate Avonlea with all our family around her, commorating her life in a special way. But I also didn't want to do anything fancy...so I opted for a family party that was real casual. I threw most of the decor together the night before, and woke up early the next day to head to the farmers market to pick out the prettiest bouquet of wildflowers! They were gorgeous and became the focal point...their cherry colorful blooms lighting up each room with celebration! 

My inspiration for Avonlea's party decor came from my love of Rifle Paper Company florals!  I hung this garland above the food table, put out the Rifle Chatbooks I had made for Avonlea, and the crowing jewel was the ADORABLE dress my mom made for Avonlea using this Rifle Paper Co. fabric. She looked so adorable:) 

I also made my first gluten and dairy free cake! I was really nervous as I've never made a cake from scratch before. I had a picture in my mind of making a pretty layered cake with berries on top. I searched Pinterest for the perfect one, and found this recipe here. I totally picked the recipe based on the gorgeous pictures of it (which is probably not the best way to pick a recipe), and the night before had visions of a total Pinterest FAIL! Fortunately the cake was a total success!! So deliciously moist and flavorful....I loved it so much I nearly ate the whole thing myself haha! My mother-in-law also made a bigger funfetti cake for the masses to eat which was great! 

Avonlea thought opening presents was fun...I think she was more enthralled with the tissue paper than her gifts, but she seemed excited regardless! People were so generous, thanks fam!! She was NOT sure about blowing out the candles on her cake. The entire time we sang to her she was looking around super confused at what was going on! Why are all these people looking at me? haha! She wasn't too into the cake, she preferred the strawberries on top more (which I am SOOO fine with, hehe!). 

Kevin made a little slideshow video to music of her first year of life, and we gathered around the tv to watch that! So amazing to see how much she's grown! I made an Avonlea trivia game that people filled out and then everyone guessed the answers. Questions like "when was Avonlea's due date" and "what is her actual birthday" and "what was Avonlea's height and weight when she was born?"....my father in law won! Nice work Mitch!! 

All in all it was a beautiful day spent soaking in the sunshine with the people we love, eating yummy foods, and celebrating one very loved little girl. But I do have to laugh because I think Avonlea's favorite part of the party was watching the dogs play fetch in the backyard! Oh well!! Happy birthday little one!! 

Our sweet Avonlea turns one!

Wednesday, April 4

Tonight Kevin and I took Avonlea on a bike ride. As we were riding along and laughing at how cute Avonlea looked in her ginormous helmut, we both looked at each other and couldn't believe that just one year ago we were at the hospital while I was induced, and then 24 hours later gave birth to our precious Avonlea Grace. 

This year has been a beautiful testament to the miracle of life. Life, what a gift! Our little spring blossom arrived at 8:30pm on April 4th and for the past year has sown joy into all the nooks and crannies of our home and hearts. Just when I had thought that I had reached my full capacity to love, it was shattered by bringing this tiny miracle into our home. And all of a sudden that capacity to spill love ballooned, and only grew steadily, a soft but steady drumbeat of affection that increased by day. I never knew this kind of love. 

Every day for the past year, as I rocked Avonlea to sleep and nursed her, I thanked God for this gift. Who am I to receive something so precious? And yet, there she was with her big blue eyes and tiny fingers, attached to me in a way I can't describe. And every night, I still stand in awe of a God who gives such good and tender gifts. Thank you Jesus for Avonlea. 

She is a lover- she blows kisses, and waves to everyone (no joke, at Trader Joes one day I parked my cart near the flowers as I picked out a bouquet, and she literally waved to every.single.person. who entered the store…I couldn't stop laughing as she made people's day with her greeting!). She freely gives all her stuff bunnies and lambs kisses and hugs. She kisses daddy and I often with her open mouth kisses, ha! And she's a snuggler, boy do I love that! 

She has spunk!- She cracks me up with her feisty zest! She's not really at an age where I discipline her, but if I say "no" to her when she tries to touch a power outlet, she will look at me and start laughing and say "no! no! no!" ….which of course brings me into a fit of giggles! The other day she was laughing and then all of a sudden took both her little hands and put them on my cheeks and drew me in for a kiss and then started bouncing up and down! so cute! 

She is a child of God- I think about how much God loves her, how he made her and how he will use her in the future. I pray that God will use Kevin and I to love her well and show her glimpses of God's great love for her. 

I love you Avonlea Grace, happy first birthday!! love mama and daddy! 

One year ago

Tuesday, March 20

One year ago I was pregnant and coming up on my due date of March 21st. Kevin and I were driving back from the bay area and saw this beautiful almond orchard in full bloom, where we stopped the car on the side of the road, and ran out into the blossoms and snapped a few pics of my pregnant belly (here).

Last week, the blossoms were coming to a close and I thought it would be fun to snap some with the sweet baby who was hibernating in my belly last year:) The blossoms are mostly off the trees, and the lighting isn't great, but I didn't care…it was so fun to just see the difference a year makes!

A year ago I was dreaming of holding my sweet baby girl, praying into her life, singing to her in my belly, and preparing for birth (and agonizing over her being So late, haha!). What an incredible time that was. I look back at it as such a sweet time where the Lord was catching all my fears and excitement in his hands, gifting me a peace that surpassed all understanding, and a season of celebration for the life to come. I'm so grateful when I look back on those few months before her birth. They were lovely.

In a few weeks, on April 4th, Avonlea turns one year old (HOLY MOLY!). We are having a little birthday party for her, and I can't wait to really reminisce on this past year with her. But for now, here are my pictures one year a part, wearing the same dress, but one with the hope of a child to come, and one with my little treasure in my arms:)

Happy Tuesday! xoxo

{haha I laugh at that picture on the right…i'm so pregnant and am just ready to have my baby, hehe!}
 My little blossom:)