the big one

Parties!

It’s so fun to share some sweet photos from my first party to host this year!  The honoree is a little chubby and completely perfect.  My son, Gus, turned 1 in January!

So, here are a few family photos of my simple and affordable decorating ideas for the big day!

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So I’m kind of a closet florist..graphic designer…and event planner…

Although, I don’t really know what I’m doing with the flowers or foam, software or ribbon,  I make up for my less- than-amazing talent with exceptional enthusiasm. And amazingly, I do actually have a couple, very trusting friends that have let me do their floral arrangements and table top decor for their parties, (Thank you, Christy!)

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So, when I attend a party or baby shower, I just love to see how my friends have decorated for the event. It’s so much fun to see how the hosts or hostesses have chosen to honor the honoree!

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Even for my beautiful baby showers that my friends hosted for me, it was so much fun to see how they interpreted me and my tastes.

But for this low key event that I want to share with you.  You’ll see that we celebrated in a simple, fun fashion.  It was all about family and simple decorations.  And as I warned my friend Ashley before the event, “Beware! Our house is covered in plastic!”

In fact, all decorations were from The Oriental Trading Company website or our local dollar store.

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photo timeline of Gus’s 1st year

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And speaking of family, the grandparents had photo ops!

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Grandpa and Janny
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Nana and Gramps

And so did our sweet (extra) family member, Jessica, our nanny.
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The cupcake wasn’t a hit with the very sleepy birthday boy.Gus' bday 94 Gus' bday 97

But my goal was to have a fun theme that was simple, inexpensive, and just right for our very loved 1 year old.  And I think we achieved that.  It was an easy evening, and I was grateful to reflect on the miracle of his 1st year!

So, what’s your best advice for event decorating on a budget?! I’d love some new ideas!

xo, jc

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i’m thankful

To simply say I’m thankful today would be an extreme understatement.  After experiencing the most painful and joyful year of my life, I look back at the past twelve months and am in awe of God’s majesty and love for me.

Even in the midst of the most bittersweet moments, I find that I have far fewer answers to the “big” questions than I’ve ever had, but those unanswered questions confirm that my God is bigger than my human mind or heart can grasp.

My husband, Mark, and I lost our precious baby girl, Georgia, last year on December 5th.  She was born far too early.  And though she was perfect, she was just too tiny for this world.  Even as I type these words my eyes fill with tears, and my chest feels tight as it does most days.  Even though almost a year has passed since her precious minutes with us, my soul longs for her presence.

Yet as I write this, I have a beautiful sleeping baby boy snuggled in his carseat behind me.  We’re driving to visit our family for the day and show off our little eleven month old miracle, Gus.

 Now when my alarm clock, Gus, wakes me at 7am each day I am truly excited to jump out of bed and climb the stairs to see his smiling face and kicking legs as he greets me.

Even though I often feel the weight of profound joy and despair, I remind myself that Gus is healthy and happy.  I try my best to embrace the moments I can hold his chubby little body to my chest.  And when he tucks his head into my neck, I melt.  These are the most treasured, sweetest moments I’ve ever known.

Mark and I have a safe home, our health, careers we enjoy, and most importantly we have our undeserved but cherished baby boy, Gus.   Thank God.

xo, jc

dining room design

a few furniture favorites…

Nashville’s newest interior design blog, Interior Canvas, is up and running!

dining room design
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Two Nashville girls, Cameron Weaver and Anna Kristin Yarbrough have created a fun read about all things design.  They have featured retailers, designers, and decorators guest posting about all things pretty, each sharing his or her own perspective on what’s hot and what’s not so hot…

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I was excited when the ladies asked me if I would share my favorite 5 furniture lines with IC readers.  Of course, asking me to narrow it down to only 5 is a little tough, because I love sooooooo many!

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So, I sent over some fabulous photos and a little background on the best of the best. Check out that post here!

Thanks for including me, IC!

And best of luck on blogging!

xo, jc

 

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new york new york

Every spring my best friends and I take a trip together to talk, shop, eat, and talk more…
From the moment we plan the trip and choose the dates, I look forward to having uninterrupted free time to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world.

With babies and career, sometimes I feel like I only know the basics of their lives, and I always want to know the details.  I’m sincerely interested in what they are loving, struggling with, and looking forward to.


So, I promise I won’t show you a thousand tourist photos of my friends and I on our trip to New York, but I wanted to share some things that caught my design eye.

I truly believe inspiration is all around us, and thankfully when we’re not working or caring for anyone else we’re able to notice all those details of life. We are able to truly “smell the roses!”

First stop: lunch at a fantastic mexican restaurant.  Of course, I took numerous photos of the amazing ceramic tile chandeliers.

 Next stop: check in at the Hotel Gansevoordt.  Enormous and fabulous purple glass chandeliers

 The room’s sleek furniture and plumbing fixtures.

Then there was a bit of shoe shopping…I found these.

 An afternoon glass of wine at this little cafe…

It reminded me of France, and I loved the laid back atmosphere.

 

What trip are you looking forward to this summer?!
xo, jc

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real life

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First, thank you all who read this blog and call or email me to tell me what you think about what I write.

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What I’ve found over the year and a half since I started the blog is that not too many people comment on gorgeous living rooms or fabulous kitchens, but they do comment on my posts about my struggles with anxiety, depression, and infertility.

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Goodness, that sounds grim, but my life is not!  I have obstacles like everyone has, and I choose to see that darn glass half full!

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So looking at said glass, I wanted to share a little bit of information about me.  I’m going through the IVF protocol as we speak, and I’m praying for a healthy, happy baby.  I’m sharing this for two reasons; the first is that I want to be authentic.  The second reason is that I WELCOME your prayers if you’re willing to send them my way.

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God has held me so tightly throughout my life.  When I think about the first 34 years for me, I imagine Him holding me in His hands.  I see the sometimes very bumpy road I’ve traveled, and even though I was scared to death and confident I wouldn’t make it through…I did.  He was, in fact, holding me.  I was safe the entire time.  Why was I so scared?

This experience has been the same in so many ways.  I know He has a plan. So, whether or not “my” baby comes from my belly or not, I am grateful because I am blessed.  I am healthy.  My husband is a truly good man.  And my girlfriends are so encouraging and supportive of my dreams.

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So, here’s to knowing how blessed we are in the little ways even when some of the “big” things don’t go our way.  Its trying to realize in the moment how pretty the sunset is in its perfect shade of pink or watching your puppy split leap toward you when you walk in the door each afternoon.

Thank God that things will always go the way that is ultimately best for us.  They will go His way and according to His plan.

xo, jc