2021 Word of the Year


Well, here we are 4 weeks into the new year (crazy!) and I'm finally sharing my word of the year with you! I don't always do this, and to be honest, I didn't think a word was going to hit me this year. Then one day while I was praying and asking God to give me a clear purpose to work on this year, a verse came to mind. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord."


Delight!

I quickly went to the back of my Bible where there's a concordance and looked up the word "delight" and "delights". I looked up all the verses with these words in them to see if anything struck me as something the Lord was trying to show me. When I came to Jeremiah 15:16, I knew I had found what God wanted to instill in me for the coming year.

"Your words were found, and I ate them,
    and your words became to me a joy
    and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
    O Lord, God of hosts."


Delight means to take great pleasure; happiness, joy, glee. There are a couple ways I want to remember this word throughout the year:

1. Very literally, like the verse says, I want to make God's word the delight of my heart. I want to need his Word like I need food! I want to come to love it even more. It's easy to get stuck in the rut of just reading the Bible to check off the list, to sing to God in church because it's just that part of the service. But this year I want to cultivate a love for and joy of God that makes me say He truly is a delight of heart.

2. I want to find delight in small, mundane things; in the everyday graces God gives us. Maybe it's the leaves changing or puppy snuggles. Maybe it's sweet friendships or maybe it's remembering that doing the laundry for my husband is a gift because it means he's here and we're together. Thanking God for these gifts, maybe even out loud, is something I want to do more of.

3. I want to create delight for those around me! To me, this would be going beyond the mundane and creating special moments, celebrations, dinners, days and memories that are extra special by adding fun, beautiful, thoughtful touches to them. I'm very excited about this, as it is already in my nature!

4. I want to take delight in the relationships around me and bring delight to others. Enjoying my friendships, my marriage and my family more fully and actually being mindful of how I can be more delightful to be around are a couple things I want to work on.



So that's my word for the year! I'm excited about it. I'm ready to see what God has for me to learn through this. 

Do you have a word for the year? If so, I'd love to hear it in the comments!



xoxo



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Our Bedroom Design Plan

I'm so excited to finally be finishing off our bedroom! It was on the list for last year, but #2020. So we're doing it in the first part of the new year and I'm thrilled. Our bedroom is TINY. We only have room for a queen bed (much to our frustration, as we'd both love a king!), only my clothes fit in the closet (my husband's clothes are in the office closet) and for some weird reason, our bedroom is also the coldest room in the house. These are all things we would like to remedy in a future house, but for now we're working with what we have! We're just grateful to have 3 bedrooms, so it's all good :)




We love our bedding so are keeping that, along with our dresser, headboard, framed wedding vows above the bed and our bedside lamps. We're switching out our rug to one with more charcoals and slate blues to go with our headboard, nightstands (we'll finally have matching ones!!), and adding art on the opposite wall as the bed. I'm really excited about this part of the design! My friend Ashley took gorgeous photos of the city we were married in while she was out for our wedding (in 2016) and we are getting 4 of my favorite shots framed. The photos are 11x14's and the frames are 16x20's so they'll have a generous matting. The frames are from Framed & Matted.

Here's a shot of the other side of the room. The dresser isn't my favorite, but we're going to save the money and keep it for now! I may end up spray painting the handles brass/gold to match the mirror.


THE DESIGN PLAN:
Since I love a good visual, I made this mood board to show you (and my husband) the vision!


duvet (sold out, but this one is similar) / sheets / white euro shams / accent lumbar pillow (sold out, this one is similar) / rug / nightstands / lamps / mirror / frames - "brompton" / olive tree / light fixture (this one is similar for less) 

I had seen the nightstands on Wayfair, but did a quick google search and found them nearly $50 cheaper on Overstock! I am thankful to have found some really pretty pieces that look a lot more high-end than they actually cost ;)

We got our new rug in a couple days ago and it's amazing how much it's transformed the room already! I will share with you on my instagram stories today. Stay tuned for the final reveal!

Happy Monday!
xoxo



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20 Favorite Things of 2020

Well, it's time for my annual "favorite things" post where I share my favorite items and / or habits from the previous year. Some of these items I've shared before and some are new to me this year! Here are my top 20 from 2020:

ONE
Beautycounter's new concealer -- I was always a Shape Tape fan, but once I switched to safer beauty, I still couldn't find a cleaner option that was as good as Shape Tape. Well this year, that changed. Our new concealer is just as amazing and I'm thrilled! Let me know if you need help with a color match. 


TWO
Lou & Grey sweatpants & sweatshirt. I've shared these many times before but honestly, I lived in them this last spring, fall and winter, so they deserve mentioning in case you're new here. I'm really not sure how to describe them other than they feel like actual butter and you'll need two pairs in case one is in the wash ;) I've never owned sweatpants until now (always just pjs or leggings) and I'm ALL IN. I got the sweatshirt for Christmas and it's just as dreamy. Size up if you want it more oversized!


THREE
Facial steamer -- I know I'm sharing a lot of beauty items, but what else was there to do when we were home most of the year?! I got this for Christmas and am already obsessed! I use it once a week and it helps open pores to prepare for masks and other serums/treatments and it's nice and warm so it's a wonderful, relaxing treat!

It's currently 20% off.



FOUR
Olive & June nail polish -- the brush is curved so it avoids getting polish on your cuticles. It's so nice and such an easy-to-apply formula. I also love that it's 7 free, so it's a lot safer than others!


FIVE
Walks around the lake with my friends -- we made this a couple times a week habit and it was amazing to get out, catch up and get Lincoln's energy out ;)


SIX
American Eagle leggings -- so soft, like butter!! I can run errands, do yoga and workout at home in them, but I'm not sure I'd work out at the gym (like running or elliptical) in them. Light work out, for sure!



SEVEN
Our living room artwork -- it really completed the room!


EIGHT
Podcasts!! Favorites include Made for This (faith), Journeywomen (faith), Scrubbing In (for fun), and a couple Bachelor ones ;) Ha! 


NINE
Essential oils, my new diffuser and our humidifier (which you can also diffuse oils in!)


TEN
These Madewell jeans-- so comfortable without needing to wash to shrink between every single wear. I would size down because there's slightly more stretch to these than other Madewell's I've tried. Love the distressed knee!


ELEVEN
High frequency wand-- I have yet to even share this because I wanted to give it some time to see if it really worked. And it DOES! I've been experiencing some hormonal breakouts this year (that, plus maskne) and my facialist suggested this wand that oxygenates the blood which helps kill bacteria. I use it when I'm breaking out and it really helps with the inflammation. It also helps with fine lines and wrinkles, so yay!! 


TWELVE
Bible highlighters! They are sort of like really thin, smooth crayons and I love them! We had to use a color coding system for bible study and these came in handy. No bleeding!


THIRTEEN
The "midi" dress. I have two (both sold out) and I love them both so much. I can't wait to add a few more to my wardrobe this spring! Here are some favorites:



FOURTEEN
This clean deodorant-- it's the best I've tried! I love the smell of both the coconut and the clean rose. I smell fresh all day!


FIFTEEN
This J.Crew Factory Coat-- McCann got it for me for Christmas and I love it! I was so worried it was going to be itchy, but it's not at all. We got it 50% off, so it was under $100. This exact one is sold out, but this one is similar! Or you can find an almost identical version at the regular J.Crew store. It's 50% off, has a little more length to it and more detailing on the pockets!

 

SIXTEEN
Our new living room pillows from Danielle Oakey Shop. I love the muted color and warm tones it adds to the room. (I already had the blue ones!)


SEVENTEEN
My new website! Rachel worked so hard on this design for me. This sparked some business ideas on my end and I'm SO excited about a big top secret project I'm going to be working on this year for you guys! More soon ;)


EIGHTEEN
Beautiful tile! I had so many client design projects that implemented stunning tile and I can't wait to show you this year!


NINETEEN
How could this even be a post about favorite things without mentioning my beloved garden?! It was definitely the highlight of 2020. I couldn't have done it without my favorite clippers (everywhere else is sold out of them!). One of my favorite things about my garden was my David Austin Garden Rose bush. This is the variety I have and they are delightful! They get really fragrant and blush pink with yellow centers on the bush, then when you cut them they turn white fairly quickly. They don't have a long vase life, but man I love them. 




TWENTY
This year my husband and I started Amazon wishlists and shared them with each other. The items are not all from Amazon, but we keep them so that anytime a holiday comes up, or we just want to do something special for the other person, we know some items they would like. It's made gifting such a breeze!


Okay, now you! What are a couple of your favorite things from the last year?!




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Our 2020 in Review


This time last year, we all probably felt so hopeful! We were all living in complete new year bliss ;) Then in March things took a turn, as we well know and probably don't care to discuss, but not everything in 2020 was bad. There was plenty of hard stuff, but there were also little rays of sunshine, too. I thought I'd share some snippets of our 2020 here:

JANUARY:
- I had the pleasure of designing and coordinating one of my sweet friends' weddings!
- Another friend and I threw one of our best friends' gender reveals. She had her boy in June and I love him to pieces!
- We got winter cabin fever and decided to book a Florida trip for February.



FEBRUARY:
- We had our traditional Valentine's Day breakfast -- oven pancakes -- and instead of going out to dinner to celebrate, we decided to save the money since we were going on a short vacation a couple days later.
- We enjoyed the BEST 4 days in the Florida sun. You can read about our trip to Ft. Meyers and Sanibel Island here!
- This month I got invited to the big Beautycounter conference happening in March. I was so excited to get the invite!



MARCH:
- I planned a trip to visit my family in California because the Beautycounter conference was in the Bay Area where they lived AND my Grandpa's 90th birthday party was in the same timeframe. I thought "how perfect!" and then when I got there, both events got cancelled due to Covid. 
- Since it was still new, my mom and I did get to take a wonderful trip to Carmel by the Sea and enjoyed the day on the beach and some shopping!
- Fear started setting in while I was on this trip because I was worried I wouldn't be able to fly back to Michigan. I remember telling McCann to go get toilet paper and some non-perishables at the grocery store. He thought I was crazy because it hadn't hit Michigan yet, but by the time I got home a week later, he was SURE glad I had him do that, because everything was gone!!
- We settled in for our "two week shelter in place" order, which as we know turned into months. At first I was okay, then I started to get very anxious and sad.
- I started offering 1 and 2 hour virtual interior design consultation packages. I was so thankful that I could still work from home in this way.
- We finished our dining room decorating.
- Our tulips started sprouting up out of the dirt and this reminded me once again: good things come from dirt. Spring is a promise! 



APRIL:
- We started going on biweekly walks around a nearby lake and that really helped us get out of the house and get some exercise. 
- Trips to the grocery store always put me in bad moods because it was just so depressing to see people in masks. It really made my fear set in that, holy smokes, the world is so different. Will we ever get through this?!
- I started noticing signs of spring!! Trees started budding and temps rose just a bit. Enough to offer some hope!
- We started plans for our new backyard deck!
- We celebrated our first lonesome Easter. I decorated our front window, made half of our Easter dinner and traded for half of my friend's dinner. I made and delivered cutout cookies to our nieces and nephews. It was certainly different, but we made the most of it!
- Our tulips started really growing and blooming, but most fell captive to our resident deer and bunnies. It was fairly devastating, considering it was all I had to do while stuck at home ;) In all seriousness, when McCann came in to wake me up one morning and tell me the tulips had all been eaten, I did actually cry and go back to sleep for a couple hours. This might of been my lowest day.
- My husband's company went down to 50% hours and pay. We were grateful he still had a job, but obviously nervous about this change.
- I struck up a sweet friendship with some neighbors!




MAY:
- The time had finally come: we started on our deck!! I'll never forget this because the weather was so crazy. The first day my husband started work on the foundation it was so cold they were out there in gloves, coats, and beanies. The next weekend when our brother in law came back to help, it was in the 60's! Oh how a week can change things ;)
- The deck was completed and I started working on the landscaping for the rest of the yard. I went to a huge local nursery with my two friends and got all the plants we needed for the yard. (Here's to hoping the survive the winter and come back this spring!)
- I painted our little outdoor shed a crisp white! It was a much needed facelift.
- It was this month that I finally was able to meet with clients in their homes again, so a couple of my projects that were on hold were now up and running!





JUNE:
- I finished planting our very first cut flower garden. This was one of my biggest 2020 joys!!
- I got to watch our little plants GROW. 
- We stained our planter beds on the deck and strung up market lights.
- We celebrated McCann's 31st birthday and he got the solo stove fire pit for the yard which we enjoyed many, many times this summer!
- We had our first of many beach days. What a sweet escape!
- My bff had her baby boy!! A couple weeks prior, we did a little drive-by diaper drop off for them with a bunch of friends. 
- Lots of fun progress on a couple client design projects, including a lake home.
- I launched my newly designed interior design website home!





JULY:
- One of my bffs baby girl's turned 1 and we celebrated with an outdoor party! 
- My cut flower garden really started taking off at the end of July. Our grass finally started coming in in the backyard so we finally revealed our backyard!
- My clients building a lake front home asked my husband and I to come for a boat ride with them. It was so fun!
- We threw a cute, intimate "sip & see" for my friend who had the baby boy in June. Since she didn't get a baby shower, this was really special!
- I had so much fun walking around the lake with my girlfriends (and Lincoln!) this summer. We usually did it a couple times a week and it was SO nice, since gyms were closed or required masks (I can barely work out as it is, I can't pay money to work out in a mask ha!)
- My grandma turned 90 and I was devastated not to be able to fly to CA to celebrate with her. I really missed family!







AUGUST:
- We started thinking about our plans for the basement renovation. We had our realtor over to tell us what he thought was most important in finishing off the basement, in regards to resale, so we had a great idea of what to focus on, how much to spend and how much we could expect to get out of the basement.
- I saw tons of progress on my design projects and had so much fun checking in on them each week! (I can't wait to share with you soon, two are almost ready to be photographed!)
- I encountered a personal hardship that was really draining for me emotionally. My husband was so supportive.
- We made some fun future plans-- it was really special to dream together!




SEPTEMBER:
- I hosted another friends' baby shower in our backyard! (She came in October!)
- We celebrated 4 years of being married with a little trip to Northern Michigan and Mackinac Island.
- McCann sprayed our basement ceiling black and built the laundry room from scratch!
- We enjoyed a nice Labor Day trip with two of our closet couple friends at an air bnb on a lake. Thankful for this time and friends.
- My first dahlias bloomed from my cutting garden!





OCTOBER:
- Our basement became the main focus. This month we painted the space, painted bar cabinets, installed cabinets, sink, backsplash, flooring and some other details.
- We enjoyed a beautiful fall with a couple campfires out back! 
- We took a trip to the apple orchard (would fall even count if we didn't?!)
- I had to take out our cutting garden, as we had our first frost. I learned a lot (like this year I want to get everything in the ground sooner so I have longer blooming time!) and I had to plant some daffodil bulbs out front that'll come up in the spring. Don't worry, deer usually don't like these ;)




NOVEMBER:
- I turned 30!! I had 6 of my closest girlfriends over to celebrate with my favorite Mexican food takeout (since restaurants closed again) and ice cream cake (my fave!) It was perfect!
- Our basement carpet got installed!
- We unexpectedly contracted Covid on Thanksgiving and were down for 2 weeks. 
- I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever. I also decorated our tree alone on Thanksgiving since my husband got sick before I did. It was sad, but we got through it. I was just thankful it wasn't worse!

DECEMBER:
- We recovered from Covid, but with some lingering side effects (my ears haven't been the same since and I had a really slight cough for at least a month and I still can barely smell anything, but my taste did come back and my husband is fine!)
- Since we got the virus, we were able to travel to CA for Christmas with my family. Honestly, this felt like a Christmas miracle. We are SO THANKFUL. It was a high of the year for sure!
- We got to hike and walk along the ocean, see family (safely of course), play games, and we had the best time.
- When we were home visiting, we got to go to our wedding venue (it happened to be open!) and it was so fun to relive those memories with my husband!



Where we got married!!





That was our year!

As with most years, but it's probably safe to say more this year than past years, joy and hardship coexist. No matter what 2021 brings, I'm hopeful that we'll still be able to pick out glimmers of hope and joy among the hard, and that we're armed with a lot more compassion than ever before.


xoxo


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