Simple Summer Spruces

Speaking of summer… She’s not gone just yet!

In the theme and spirit of yesterday’s post, today we’re sharing a few fun and simple ways to spruce things up and soak up all that’s left of sweet summertime!

A Touch of Tulips
Turns out, tulips are not just for springtime! I know I know, I used to think they were too—ya know—they go well with Easter eggs and such. But actually these little beauties are great for summertime too! They’re fairly affordable at the grocery store (mine carries them at three bunches for $12) and a little goes a long way. I usually buy two little bunches on weeks when I don't have time to get down to the market for a bigger bunch. I honestly struggle to survive without fresh flowers—I can't think straight! The key here is color! If you want to inject some summer into your space with a more classically thought of springtime floral like tulips, go for bold and bright shades! Avoid pastel purples, pinks, and yellows, and opt for darker violets, oranges, corals, and deeper yellows and fuchsias. Mixing these bolder, brighter colors will add the pop of sunshine you’re looking for!

Summer’s End Sales

Now is a great time to grab some great summer items for next year! Stores are already pushing fall decor (in some cases even Christmas—not cool)  and discounting all of the summer stuff to get it out the door! I’m not always an advocate of having a ton of seasonal items that you have to store away all year, but a few little pretties are just fine and just enough to keep you in summer spirits. Of course you can tuck them away for next year, but you’ve still got plenty of time to enjoy them a bit this year as well!

Below are one of my favorite summertime splurges—teeny flamingo plates! I think I got these a few years ago in the Target $ bins (4/$1) but I can honestly say I use them for everything and because I love flamingos I use them all year long! But they are certainly a fun summer touch when I’m entertaining! I’ve used them as plant plates, serving plates, cute pastry plates, etc. They just add a little summer sparkle—and while you’re at it—sip that smoothie out of a fancy glass! Because why not!?

Summer Spice
You probably all know by now that I spent a couple of years in MX and so all things Mexican have a special place in my heart. Mexican flavors and colors are a great way to spice things up and add some color bursts for summer. I keep this simple sarape on hand for a throw, a table cloth, and a picnic blanket throughout the season. I also keep some fun throw pillow covers on hand (you can find these cheap at places like H+M and IKEA) just to change things up for the seasons. I love that I can change out the covers because it’s much easier to fold and store those than a ton of puffy pillows!! Note that many items from your travels can have this same summer pop affect! Go dig out those souvenirs and add a splash of summer adventure to your space!

Summer Sips
And last but not least, here are a few of my favorite summer flavors I’m enjoying on those sizzling days when you just want something refreshing to cool off with! I even splurged and bought the oat milk for some extra at home cold brew!

Let us know how you’re spicing and sprucing up your final days of summer!

Summer's End

I honestly cannot even begin to explain to you how impossible it is for me to fathom that we are already half way through August,
 That summer is nearly at her end. 
That autumn is upon us. 
Don’t get me wrong—I do adore autumn. 
But I don’t feel quite ready for her to circle around the sun and come to us just yet. 
I wish just a little bit that we could freeze on our axis, stop all the spinning, and just stay in the warmth of the summer sunshine. For just a little while longer. 
No more orbiting.
No more changing, 

My wish for this moment is impossible, of course. 
There is no stopping. At least in the regard that I’m currently hoping for. The Earth will stay tilted and perfectly aligned on her axis and she will orbit on ushering in the seasons, and bringing us along with her. Whether we like it or not--whether we’re ready or not. 

It will all go on. 

It’s a fact of life that I both love and hate. 

Can I tell you the truth? 

I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say here exactly.  I think I’m sort of thinking out loud with you…

It’s just all moving way too fast for me at the moment. I am so sure I’m not the only one feeling that way. The summer is swimming along too quickly, the seasons too, and really just life in general. 

But even though the Earth will keep spinning and orbiting and the clock hands will keep ticking and the seasons will keep cycling, we can choose to stand still. 

In the midst of it all. 
We can stop. 
In the change and chaos that we cannot control around us, we can choose—fight if we must—to find calm and stillness within us. 

We’ll tell ourselves we can’t. 
At least until the kids are back in school or after Christmas or New Years or our next promotion—
We’ll buy into that lie so hard. Because quite honestly, as much as we hate the whiring on of life, it’s easier to let it just drag us along than to demand the alternative. To jump off and to rest.To go against the whirling. 
We don’t really have a good excuse though.Especially when we are intimately connected to  the Author of peace and of rest and of stillness--when He’s personally invited us into all of those things with Himself. 

I was recently convicted again by the thought that Sabbath--rest--is a commandment. How easily and naturally I comply to the other nine things I should NOT do but so nonshalontly breeze past the only one that I SHOULD do. It’s strange right? That I wouldn’t be more on board with that one very good thing that God created for me and commands of me? My refusal to stop and to rest is purely and simply disobedience and defiance.  #checkyourheart

So here I am on Monday morning telling you and telling myself to just stop it! While the world whirls on around you today, demand stillness and peace and moments to soak it all in within your own little space. —Like I literally added a chunk of time to my calendar today (and every day this week) called “pause.” Because unless my calendar yells at me to do it, I might not. 

How and when will you pause today?

Currently Reading

We're not exactly sure why, but summer seems one of our favorite times to dig into a good book! Perhaps it's all that time by the sea or in the sunshine that makes us want to get reading just as much as a cozy, rainy day! Both of us have determined to read more this year---here's what's on our summer reading lists!

1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This one has been on my wish list for a good long while. I happened to see a trailer for the movie coming soon and decided it was time! I'm definitely all about reading the book before I see the movie whenever possible. I really love reading something and imagining the writing and then seeing how it comes to life on screen. Just the motivation I needed---and at 700 pages + I'm going to need to motivation! I'm about 100 pages in and loving it thus far. It's just really pretty writing.

2. Where'd Ya Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Another that's been on my list for a good while and is also coming soon to the big screen. With the extra fun twist that it's set in my home city of Seattle! Haven't started this one yet but I'm really looking forward to it!

*Just a fun idea.... a friend and I were seeing a movie together and saw that the two books listed above were coming out in movies soon. We decided to each buy one of the books to read and trade and then see the movies together when we're done! Could be a fun summer activity for you and some friends--a book swap and a few movie nights out (or in once they hit Netflix!)

3. Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller
This one I'm admittedly reading for my Leadership Cohort at church, but it's been a really wonderful and eye opening read. If you are wondering how your faith can be more integrated into your work and everyday life, this is such a great resource! It's been a challenging and refreshing read that has given me a lot of great inspiration and perspective in my everyday.

1. Soulprint by Mark Batterson
This is one I shared on IG stories that I have been finishing up on my trip to Orlando. I have low key been trying to read all of Mark Batterson's books, so while this may not be the book for me at this point in my life, I like to be able to recommend fitting books for others and this is definitely one I would put in that category. Good for all of us, but transformational when read at the right time, ya know?

2. Lies Women Believe by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
I have heard a lot of good things about this book, so I am definitely excited to dive in. It is one that I am going in with the expectation of digging up some roots in my heart, so I am ready for some soul work!

3. The Good Neighbor: The Life & Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King
I'm gonna be honest, I have been wanting to check this one out, but worried it could be boring. It is a long read, so I will keep you updated if I end up finishing it. We shall see! 

Essential Oils for Summer


Ladies!You know by now that we love us some essential oils! We just can't get enough. Maybe you haven't had the Kool-Aid yet, but we're gonna keep it coming on this note either way because we just believe in the benefits so stinkin' much!

We love to update you as the seasons change with some fun and creative ways to put these little loves to good use! So, as expected, here are our summer picks and ideas! Feel free to share some of your faves in the comments or over on Insta!

Diffuser Blends

Spearmint (5 drops)
Lemongrass (5 drops)

Citrusy Summer
Tangerine (3 drops)
Lemon (3 drops)
Lime (3 drops)

Sizzlin' Summer Cool Off
Lemon (2 drops)
Wild Orange (3 drops)
Peppermint (4 drops)

Summer Boquete 
Lavender (5 drops)
Patchouli  (3 drops)
Geranium (2 drops)

Summer Solutions:

too much sun: 
coconut oil + lavender + peppermint
(mix well in hands and apply to sunned skin)

too many bugs: 
anti itch-- basil/ tea tree
sooth--lavender /chamomile

*roller bottle blend: Combine any or all of the above with fractionated coconut oil to apply before or after bug contact

Rach's 3 Favorite Summer Textures

Today I am sharing my favorite textures for summertime with you in all sorts of forms and fashions! There are just some things that feel like summertime and we think we should have all the things that make us feel like sunshine! 

1. Linen

It's for sure not the first time that we've talked about linen here on the blog and we can promise you it won't be the last. We. Love. Linen. For all the things. We love linen clothes and linen accessories and linen all around our space. Here are a few fun and fresh ways to bring linen into your summer! 

2. Terracotta

Is there anything that says summertime more than a bunch of terracotta pots! Turns out that terracotta is not just for pots! We love the color and we love the material, and this summer we went searching for ways to get more of it into our lives! Here are a few fun ideas for adding a splash of summer with some terracotta from accessories to bedtime! 

Geometric Terracotta Earrings from Etsy and if you're feeling ambitious....

3. Palm

Palm was one of my favorite discoveries from living in Mexico. So many wonderful things you can do with this texture and there's not more much more that screams summer than palm! Here are a few ways to put palm into your summer season!

4. Whicker
This one is classic southern summer! Whicker takes us to plantation porches and pitchers of sweet tea, but whicker is so much more than furniture! Let us show you some of our faves!

5. "Jelly"
Quotes are necessary here! We're taking this one is a few different directions. The yummy direction and back to our 90's childhood summer shoes! That's right, jelly sandals are still around and we think should certainly still be a thing! 

Three months ‘til 31||checkpoint

Remember about nine months ago when I went a little extra about turning 30? I made all of the lists to do all of the things because I was pretty excited about a milestone birthday and a brand new decade. Well. I figured it was about high time for a check in. For myself and for some accountability if I’m being honest. Also because D is just about six months away from her 30th and it’s about time to start being extra about that! Below you can take a look at what I’ve accomplished so far and what I still need to check off—I will note that some things I wanted to do this year and others just throughout my thirties. Believe me—there are a lot more lists where these came from! Let us know if you’re interested in seeing any of the others!

30 Ways to Celebrate 30 (this year) 

1. Fly my flower kite on Kite Hill  (Easter Sunday 2019 with ICON family <3) 
2. A new piece of bright pink bubble gum on the Gum Wall (With mommy in October) 
3. Plan my first ever trip to Europe!
 (France/Spain/Germany/Switzerland with Beka + Cara March 2019) 
4. Plan a trip to Africa
5. See Mt. Rainier up close. (coming August 2019!) 
6. Grow out my hair/bangs (FINALLY!!!) 
7. Spend more time by the water (building this into my Sabbath--working on it!) 
8. Train ride to Portland/Oregon Coast (with D in February) 
9. Be in a Book Club/read more
10. Eat and Write at Volunteer Park Café
11. BUDGET!!! (find a system that works) (getting there/quality friend time whilst getting there) 
12. SAVE $$$ (close to 10.000 this year) (slow progress...) 
13. Go kayaking on a semi regular basis
14. Winter weekend trip to LA
15. Bake for my neighbors
16. Stick to a morning routine/make the bed every day (ehhhhhhhh……) 
17. Plan my bluebird tattoo (but where to get it?) 
18. Join a Spanish conversation group/work on my Spanish in other forms (thanks interns!) 
19. Buy a polaroid camera (+document Europe trip)
YES to the polaroid--thanks mom-- fail on the Europe piece...(.left the film in Seattle....) 
20. Try all the coffee shops on Cap Hill (and rank them) (so. many. coffee. shops.) 
21. Visit the Amazon Spheres
22. Get back to the healthiest version of myself (go go go!) 
23. Rent/ride a bike in the city
24. Take on Whole Foods
25. Learn/understand a map of Seattle, WA
26. Explore as many neighborhood farmer's markets as possible
27. Go on more dates
28. Keep more house plants alive! (going strong) 
29. Go to the New Space Needle (celebrated a one year Seattle anniversary with a friend :) 
30. Take a water color workshop

30 Ways to Celebrate 30 (this October) 

1. Re-watch Friends--"The One Where They All Turn 30" (S7E14) 
2. 13 Going on 30
3. Birthday Brunch
4. Flowers (unlimited) ALL MONTH
5. fall shoppings (sweaters + boots, boots + sweaters #lavender) 
6. pumpkin patch day
7. try 3 new pumpkin recipes
8. donut day!!!
9. make bags for girls at REST
10. send 30 letters to people who have inspired me (maybe this year?) (working on it....) 
11. 30 scriptures that have got me to 30
12. 30 favorite memories from my 20s
13. go to the SAM and write and wander
14. throw/host fall party with friends 
15. hayride/bonfire
16. Sunday evening at St. Marks
17. Fall photography day
18. new plant babies from Plan Shop
19. lots of masking
20. chili for days (with mommy <3) 
21. treat myself to some products from shops that support HT survivors (my new promise ring) 
22. go for a long run in the city
23. watch Under the Tuscan Sun
24. choose a favorite photo to put on canvas/display
25. create lots of 30's lists/notebook
26. get a print of my Scripture for the decade
27. beach day with a scarf and a sweater
28. hang bedroom canopy curtain
29. Seattle with Mommy 
30. essential oil treats 

30 Places to Go in My 30's

1. Amsterdam
2. Wherever Beka is in Germany :)  (March 2019 with Beka--Kandern btw) 
3. Santorini/Greece
4. Paris (March 2019 with Beka) 
5. back to Israel (Jerusalem)
6. Pauls' Missionary Journeys
7. Cape Town
8. Australia
9. Madrid (March 2019 with Cara) 
10. Barcelona
11. Portland (bestie trip with D last Feb) 
12. Oregon Coast
13. Albuquerque (balloon fiesta)
14. Austen
15. Redwoods
16. San Fran
17. Macy's Parade (NYC) + The Curated to meet Christian Siriano
18. Maine
19. New Hampshire in the Fall
20. Chiapas
21. Napa
22. England
23. Disneyland
24. Sarasota (September 2019 with the fam) 
25. Sayulita (again)
26. Rio
27. Chile/Patagonia
28. India
29. Province/South of France
30. Hawaii (coming this January--happy 30th D!) 

Photo for Thought: Ordinary

Let’s be clear. Just because we run a blog does not mean that we are endlessly inundated with potential post content. We aren’t somehow exposed to more adventure or life or mishaps or creativity because we’ve got a post to put out. We’re just doing life just like you and sharing whatever adventure and mishaps and creativity that might come our way. But the truth is, most of our days are ordinary-nothing to blog about-sort of days.

Like today.

It’s Thursday. We, like you, can hardly believe we’ve made it this far and also struggle to comprehend that it’s already nearly the end of another week. Where has the time gone and why can it not go faster!? We’re getting up (probably earlier than we want to) and going to work and doing our jobs and dealing with the rain that won’t seem to quit and family stuff and trying to keep our diets clean and fit in those workouts. Just. Like. You.

Have we mentioned lately that we’re all in this together? Well, in case you forgot, we’re just here to remind you.

Be it adventure or mishap or struggle or triumph or just an ordinary Thursday near the end of June, we’re here for it.

And speaking of ordinary—Ordinary is way too often underrated. This is something we’ve definitely talked about before, but ordinary can be so lovely and so welcomed. We need to remind ourselves of that all the time. In a world where it seems that everyone is on vacation or getting married or having babies or starting new jobs every single day (thanks to social media) it’s so easy to fall into that trap of believing that our life just isn’t quite as wonderful. That somehow everyone else has it better or is at least getting a bit more excitement than us. And then, in a desperate attempt to keep up and spice up, we pack our days full of what everyone else is doing and waste away all of our ordinary in between life. The place where the most life—our life—actually happens. The sweet, simple, breathing in and out rhythm of our lives.

If we work so hard to pack everything in—all the things we think we should—we won’t ever learn that rhythm. We’ll miss our life—the one we’re supposed to have.

So we’re just here on this regular old Thursday to remind you to soak in the simplicity and ordinariness of today. To breath deep and look long on sleeping babes and running around rascals and cluttered kitchen counters and desks, and to soak it all in. Your life and your rhythm—to own and appreciate your ordinary. Not to worry, we’ll be over here doing the same.

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