Nicole’s “Fall-ing in Love” Wedding Shower

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As our church’s resident party planner, I had the joy of coordinating a wedding shower there for my fellow member and friend Nicole (who also asked me to plan her actual wedding) and her sweet fiancé Ben! Since it was in September, “Fall-ing in Love” was an obvious, easy theme. Thanks Ashley for the softball lob! ;)

We had all kinds of autumn-themed sweet treats to enjoy, including a caramel apple bar, apple cider, and iced coffee. The decorations were super easy too – lots of fall florals, leaves, and mini gourds and pumpkins.

My crowning achievement for this shower, though, was the pumpkin patch cake!!

I. made. it. myself. and. I’m. still. proud.

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I love her SO much. Couldn’t have asked for a better person to be my first bride. ♥

Stay tuned for details from the wedding itself – new post coming soon!!

Burke, Moore, & Hendrickson D.C. Reunion

One of my favorite trips we took in 2019 was to Washington, D. C., to visit our old friends Wesley and Brittany Burke! Wes was interning at Capitol Hill Baptist Church at the time, and he got Daniel a highly-sought-after ticket to a 9Marks Weekender, an event that the church hosts for pastors, elders, other church leaders, and seminary students. They get a front row seat to the way Capitol Hill does things, and it was life-changing for Daniel to get to go. I didn’t get to go to the sessions with him, but I did get to spend four solid days catching up with Brittany and our friend Kelli, and that was THE BEST consolation prize.

I can’t believe how fast all of these littles have grown! 😭😭

Daniel and I got to walk around the Capitol Hill area one afternoon with Blake and Kelli, and my favorite place we visited was the Library of Congress! Thomas Jefferson’s personal library was on display, and the number of topics he had books about blew me away. I was disappointed that we didn’t actually get to go inside the iconic rotunda, but it was still neat to see the place in person through the glass.

The girls and the kids explored the city on our own one day too, and even though our feet felt like they were about to fall off, it was a great day! We went to Grand Central Station, walked the National Mall, saw the Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, walked around the Washington Monument, and we even got a peek at the White House. Towards the end of our adventure, we lucked out and found a little farmer’s market in a park near our bus stop, and I’m telling you….that burger I took a picture of might have been the best burger I’ve ever had.

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Love my Burke babies!!

Daniel and I also got to hang out with Josh and Nicole, Daniel’s older brother and his girlfriend who live really close to the Capitol Hill area. I realized too late that we never took any pictures together, but it was so fun to browse the nearby art museum and enjoy a few drinks with them at a local pub.

The girls LOVED him. ♥

I can confidently say that if we lived in D.C., we would absolutely go to Capitol Hill. Their Sunday service was absolutely amazing. The music made me cry, the preaching was intelligent, thought-provoking, and engaging…but more than that, it was just so apparent that they are doing things in a wise, healthy way. Daniel learned so much from their elder body, things that are helping transform and energize our local church now. I hope we get to go back someday!

2020 Goals + Word for the Year

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Three years ago, I unintentionally started my own New Year’s tradition. Instead of creating resolutions that would be too easily forgotten or too quickly broken (like giving up fast food completely or working out every single day), I made a list of a few specific, measurable, realistic goals: a list that I could come back to a year later to reflect on and see how I grew. And the idea kind of stuck with me, so here I am, for the fourth year in a row, thankful for God’s faithfulness in 2019 and turning a hopeful eye toward the new year ahead!

MY 2019 GOALS WERE:

  • Each night (or as often as I can), write down something that made me happy that day. ✓
    I didn’t actually complete this for the whole year, but honestly, I’m okay with it. I started feeling guilty when I would miss a day (or twelve days), and the whole point of doing it was to bring myself joy, not guilt. So…I quit! And I gave myself permission to not feel bad about it. Instead, I’ve been taking more candid photos – my mom friends cuddling their babies, Daniel and his friends laughing while watching a game together, church friends quietly serving behind the scenes. I’ve still been preserving little moments of joy, just with a camera instead of a pen.
  • Plan a “stay-cation”.
    As much as I wanted to make this happen…I waited too long. :( I wanted to try to plan one in the midst of Daniel’s busy season, to give him a breather, but it didn’t work out like I had hoped. But I’m not giving up, and we’re going to do this soon!
  • Learn something new – an intimidating recipe, common phrases in a few other languages, maybe a yoga pose. But something brand new to me. ✓
    1. Ear candling! Super weird. Still don’t totally understand how it works, but I always wanted to try it at least once.
    2. Aerial yoga, for Robyn’s bachelorette party – SO FUN! I wish there was a studio near me so I could take classes.
    3. I planned my very first wedding (Nicole and Ben’s) as a paid event coordinator!! One of the most stressful, magical days of my life!
    4. I made my own butter, and it was FREAKING amazing. Just cream + a jar with a lid + salt. Yummmmm.
    5. Kaci Walston taught me how to make her famous pie crust!
  • Finish reading through the whole Bible chronologically. ✓
    This took me a little over a year and a half to complete – it’s a carryover from last year’s list of goals. I look back on this experience with so much joy, and I can’t wait to read it all again, and again, and again, until my last breath. ♥
  • Do just enough cardio to keep my heart from literally bursting at two of the most anticipated, most emotional, and most exciting weddings of my life: Robyn + Travis // Amanda + Ryan. ✓
    Two of the sweetest, most beautiful, and most fun weddings I’ve ever been part of. 2019 = THE YEAR OF LOVE ♥♥
  • Find a fun 5k in my area, train for it, and run in it. ✓
    I did the Color Run in Tulsa with Daniel, Robyn, Travis, Jennifer, and Stacey, and it was a blast!! I surprised myself with how much I ran versus walked.
  • Pray for Daniel every single day. ✓
    It may not have been LITERALLY every day, but I made this list to keep myself on track, and it has really helped!
  • Have at least one TV-free day per week, and one social media-free day per month. 
    I definitely did NOT do this every week or every month. Again. *facepalm* I think this is something that will always be on my list of things I want to get better at. I’m just going to put it on every goal list from now on until I accomplish it.
  • Set specific time aside to do something for our marriage: a weekend away, a marriage conference, etc. ✓
    We had a dinner date alone at the steakhouse while on our friendscation cruise in October, and that time together and our conversation were a breath of fresh air! We also had some really great conversations in the car while traveling for Christmas.
  • Host our friends for a full-fledged, multi-course dinner party.
    Between all the weddings, parties, baby showers, and traveling that happened in 2019, I just didn’t have time. This is still on my list for the future, though – it’s going to happen eventually.

• 2020 •

Continue my streak from last year and spend time in God’s Word every single day.

Go skydiving!

Do a “no-spend” week.

Visit somewhere new with Daniel.

Call my parents, siblings, and grandparents more.

Try something new: an intimidating recipe, learn common phrases in a few other languages, geocaching, maybe a yoga pose. Something brand new to me.

Go to a drive-in movie.

Make some emergency preparedness kits: one for the car, one for the basement, etc.

Have at least one TV-free day per week and one social media-free day per month.

Shop local more: downtown shops, summer farmer’s market, etc.


I’m also continuing my tradition of picking a Word for the Year! The last three have been HopeCourage, and Joy. Joy was the absolute PERFECT word to describe 2019, and for 2020, my word is:

D I S C I P L I N E .

I’m not gonna lie, my whole body dry-heaved just typing it. But I feel deeply burdened by my lack of discipline in too many important areas to count, and I am confident, yet again, that this word was given to me by the Lord for a reason. Here’s to another year of learning and growing!

What is one of your goals for this year? Tell me in the comments!

20 Questions for 2019

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What was the best thing that happened this year?
Oh wow. I thought 2018 was good, but 2019 has been killer!! The three things that shine brightest in my mind are: (1) Robyn and Amanda’s weddings, (2) Planning my first wedding, and (3) Going on our second friendscation cruise but with wayyyy more people this time around and it was THE BEST WEEK!

What was the most challenging thing that happened this year?
Saying goodbye to our old community group. It was healthy and thriving, and we were asked to help combine two other existing groups and foster a new environment of unity, trust, and affection for each other, just like we had with our first group. I had a really hard time with it at first, even though I knew it’s what we were supposed to do. But God worked things together so beautifully, and now I look forward to Tuesday nights every single week. I love them all so much!

Who were your most valuable friendships with?
My Lakepoint people. Directly related to my last answer, I have been astounded by how quickly I’ve bonded with people within our community. There are people in our previous group and even our current group that I saw at church every Sunday but never had much of a friendship with, and now I can’t imagine going a single week without seeing them. My heart literally hurts when we are apart for a long time.

What are some new skills that you learned?
I tried aerial yoga for the first time, and I got a lot more confident with normal yoga! I also planned my first wedding as a paid event coordinator, and it was freaking unreal!!

Pick three words to describe this year.
Honestly? I want to keep my words from last year: Fun, restoring, & enlightening.

What was your biggest personal change from January to December?
I’m finally starting to care about my health. I still don’t really enjoy working out or eating right, but I had a pretty big mental breakthrough when I did Keto again before our cruise, and I am determined to keep that healthy mindset alive in 2020.

What was the best book you read this year?
Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot or The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason. Both offer invaluable insight about God and marriage for anyone, whether married or single.

What did you do to serve others this year?
Too many things to name at Lakepoint. I also volunteered downtown as a Durant Main Street Influencer, and I did Meals on Wheels with some coworkers.

Name a couple of positive memory-making experiences from 2019.
In addition to everything I mentioned in the first question…Durant was a finalist in the Small Business Revolution competition, we spent a weekend in Dallas with the Burnses, Ezra James was born, we traveled to D.C. to see the Burkes, we spent our anniversary weekend with the Wesberrys, and Craft Pies Pizza Co. opened downtown!

What 2019 accomplishments are you most proud of?
This might sound stupid, but between huge projects at work, planning Nicole’s wedding, and preparing to leave for the cruise the day after said wedding, September and October were two of the longest months of my life, haha! My mind is still blown every time I try to figure out how I got so much done the week before the wedding.

What are some things you’ve learned to accept this year?
Two big things! First, a lot of things I freak out about really aren’t that big of a deal, and I just need to get over myself. And second, marriage doesn’t look anything like what you see in the movies. Even 7½ years in, I still catch myself expecting Daniel to read my mind and say all the right things at just the right time, but I feel like I’m ending 2019 in a more realistic, patient, forgiving place than where I started.

In what ways did you grow spiritually?
For the first time in my life, I spent time in the Word EVERY SINGLE DAY this year. It has truly become part of my daily routine, and I can’t go to bed without doing it. I’ve also gotten a lot better at praying for Daniel every day and reflexively surrendering my thoughts to the Lord.

What did you gain in 2019? What did you lose?
Gained = new friendships through our new community group, and a general sense of “okay-ness” with who I am. I’m finding a happy medium between pride and self-loathing.
Lost = weight! lol

Name a difficult situation you overcame.
Truthfully, each one that came to mind is a little too personal to blog, and even more truthfully, I don’t really feel like I’ve overcome most of them – I’m still in the midst of a couple of messes. But as the year comes to an end, I can confidently say that life is still good, my faith family is a taste of Heaven, and I trust God completely with my future.

What is something you want to do better in 2020?
I want to be less self-centered as a wife, coworker, family member, and friend. And I want to plan more parties and weddings!

What was the best thing you did with your time this year?
Host people in our home. Nothing else compares to fun nights with people I love in my favorite place to be. ♥

What was the single biggest time-waster in your life this year?
Games on my phone. *I know, I’m a child*

What are you most grateful for in 2019?
If it’s not obvious already, Lakepoint Community Church, and everything that has come along with it.

What do you want to leave behind in 2019?
Hurt feelings, awkward conversations, impatience, and laziness.

Who do you want to be in 2020?
Emotionally strong. Brave. Fun. Whole.

Maybe 2019 was an amazing year and all your dreams came true! (And if so, just shut up and enjoy being a Disney princess.) Or maybe this year completely sucked, and you’ve been ready for 2020 since June. Either way, we can’t successfully walk into the future without making peace with our past, whether it was good or bad. I can’t think of a better way to close the book on 2019. Feel free to join in and answer them for yourself!

Robyn’s Wedding Shenanigans

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2019 was the year of  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. After my sister-in-law Amanda’s wedding in March, I immediately started gearing up for the next one – this time, for my sister Robyn and her beau Travis! (Okay, let’s be honest…I started planning Robyn’s wedding shenanigans the day after she got engaged.)

Her bachelorette party was easily one of my favorites I’ve ever hosted! We ate dinner first at The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen, and then walked next door to do an escape room. One of my favorite things about that night was giving Robyn a temporary tattoo of Travis’s face!

After the escape room, we retreated to an Airbnb and enjoyed Princess Diaries-themed snacks. The next morning, after brunch at a place called Hatch, we went to an aerial yoga class, and it was a BLAST!

A few weeks before the wedding, my parents’ church hosted a wedding shower for them, and I got to spend some sweet time with my mom and grandmas.

Her rehearsal was lovely too, and we got to eat at The Pizza Factory for the rehearsal dinner, where the ranch dressing is so good you seriously contemplate drinking it. (Also, can you tell we like pizza…?)

Her wedding day was the absolute dreamiest – gorgeous venue, chill bride, sweet vendors, all kinds of family and friends…ahh!! It was the best day!

I’m convinced that one of the best things about going to weddings as an adult is getting to see people you haven’t seen in years. Robyn’s wedding was basically just a huge reunion, and I loved it. ♥

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I love you five-ever, Robyn and Travis! So happy we’re family!

Amanda’s Wedding Festivities

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Remember when I shared that BOTH of my sisters got engaged in the same weekend?? Their weddings were both this year, one in March and one in June! I’m definitely playing catch-up here, but I am so excited to finally share some photos with you all.

The first wedding of the year was for my sister-in-law, Amanda, and her guy, Ryan, and I hosted a travel-themed wedding shower for them through our church.

I also had the honor of throwing her bridal shower based off of “The Office” at my house, and it was such a riot!! I’ve never had so much fun blowing balloons up halfway, haha!

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Amanda’s maid of honor, Alesha, did a fabulous job planning her bachelorette party too! We went to dinner at this super cute (and delicious) place in Dallas called Ida Claire, did an escape room, spent the night at an Airbnb, and went to Six Flags for opening weekend!

Her wedding day was pure craziness, especially when the cold front rolled in as the girls were taking pictures. But the ceremony was the sweetest, the reception was a blast, and she looked SO beautiful!!

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Congratulations again, Ryan and Amanda! Love you guys so much! ♥

Behind a Happy Marriage

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I’ve got a question for you. Married or not, think back to a season when you were unattached. At that time, what came to mind when you thought about marriage? What did you imagine married life would be like? Personally, I pictured lots of Instagram-worthy adventures, a perfect balance of laughter and tender “sharing our hearts” conversations, fancy date nights, a nice house, beautiful kids, and singing in perfect harmony while cooking together in our could-be-a-screenshot-from-Pinterest kitchen. And also I would be lying if I didn’t include the presupposition that we would constantly have the hots for each other. But mostly, I imagined that we would be completely and perfectly and incandescently happy together.

Fast forward to the present. Not to scare you single folks, buuuut….marriage hasn’t looked much like what I imagined, although we do laugh A LOT and our house is a total hidden gem. It’s not that our marriage has sucked, because it hasn’t! It just hasn’t lived up to my (unrealistic) expectations. We’ve been on a handful of really great adventures, but my photos of them are rarely anything special. And we haven’t had nearly as many fancy date nights as I had anticipated. Daniel can’t carry a tune in a bucket, our less-than-impressive kitchen can only fit 2-3 people in it at a time, and we’re still waiting on those kids. We’ve had harder conversations than I could have ever imagined anyone having with the person they love most in the entire world.

But guess what?

We are still super happy.

Wanna know what’s made all the difference for us, behind the scenes?

1. Sometimes, we go to bed angry. But we always go to bed together.
“Don’t go to bed angry” is one of the most repeated pieces of advice I’ve heard from my parents’ generation about how to succeed in a marriage. But there have been multiple nights that we have gotten absolutely nothing accomplished by staying awake. It was better in the long run for us both to shut up, sleep on it, and pick the conversation back up the next day when we were in a better frame of mind. However, we have always gone to bed at the same time, even when we’re frustrated with each other.

2. We check in with each other.
Every Sunday, typically, we walk through our weekly calendars together: what’s going on for each of us at work, lunch plans with friends or coworkers, church responsibilities, weekend activities, etc. This ensures that we’re on the same page for the week and don’t accidentally double-book ourselves or each other. We also text and email throughout the work week, sometimes to touch base about the day and sometimes just to say “Hey, I love you!”

3. We prioritize time together AND apart.
In our busy seasons, we make a point of planning evenings at home together, even if it’s something as simple as making a big bowl of popcorn and watching through the Harry Potter series (which we do every fall, by the way). But we also intentionally put guys-only and girls-only activities on the calendar too! For example, Daniel has a long-standing Buffalo Wild Wings night every other Thursday, and I usually hang out with the girls on Sunday nights.

4. We ask for help.
When our relationship starts drowning under the weight of selfishness, hurtful words, unmet expectations…really just sin in general, we don’t try to weather the storm on our own. We bring in the cavalry. We don’t confide in anyone who would encourage us to do things like punish or ignore the other person, take our rings off, flirt with a coworker, or take a break from each other. Instead, we humbly invite the advice and prayers of our closest friends who have a healthy view of biblical marriage and will lovingly call out sin, challenge us, and cheer us on.

5. We do ministry together.
The really funny thing is throughout our marriage, we’ve discovered that we don’t have much in common. (Those of you who know both of us well probably just snort-laughed.) We have different taste in music, movies, food, hobbies…almost everything. But one thing we have in common is our love for the Lord and our church family, and that is one of the strongest foundations (if not THE strongest foundation) you can have in any relationship. We have individual ways that we use our gifts to build up the church, of course, but we’ve experienced some of our greatest joys in serving together over the years at the BCM, leading multiple small groups, and helping facilitate Lakepoint’s marriage and pre-marriage ministries. 


Our happiness isn’t dependent on the state of our finances, where we’ve lived, the health of our relationships with friends and family, physical appearance, our ability to start a family, or even overall compatibility. Every one of those things has changed multiple times since we met, and if we tried to find happiness or security or comfort in any of them (especially compatibility), we would be severely disappointed.

Happiness can’t be found in things that are constantly changing. It must, instead, be found in something unchanging. Something constant. Steady. Unshakable. Enduring.

Our happiness in marriage is fully dependent on one thing – or, rather, one Person. 

Our gracious, never-changing, ever-faithful God. ♥

 

 

 

Small Biz Spotlight: The Dear Fox

This post is the latest in a new segment I introduced on the blog: Small Biz Spotlight! As an aspiring small business owner myself, I know a few of the struggles associated with running your own shenanigans, especially when it comes to marketing and building rapport. I want to do whatever I can to be an advocate for other people like me. Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting small businesses!

I’m not lying when I say that Jimi Hightower is easily one of the coolest people I know. She’s the kind of person you become friends with pretty much instantly, and she makes you feel like the most important person around whenever you’re together. We met years ago through our husbands, who were in a big homegroup bible study together, and even though she and her husband Stephen moved to Seattle not long after Daniel and I got married, we’ve stayed in touch off and on. We even got to spend a fun day with them on the tail end of our Alaska trip a few years ago!

Jimi is insanely creative and talented, and she was one of the first people I thought of when I had the idea for the Small Biz Spotlight. In 2016, she and her friend Sarah started an Etsy business called The Dear Fox, and I can’t wait to show you all the cute stuff they make!


Embracing The Chaos: When did you start The Dear Fox? Was it on Etsy first, then Instagram? Where does the majority of your business come from now?
The DEAR/DEER Fox (Sarah): Jimi and I decided to start the Dear Fox one rainy morning at her apartment in Seattle. We love to craft together, especially in a town like Seattle where the majority of the time it is cold, raining, and grey. Jimi taught me to embroider in 2016 and I’ve been doing it since. That morning, we brainstormed names and came up with the animals we most closely identify with and played around with our options, and The Dear Fox was born! The majority of our business I believe is trafficked from Instagram to our Etsy. We have been vendors at a few events, which cultivated more followers via Instagram, who were then sent over to our Etsy for our full collection.
The Dear FOX (Jimi): Back in grad school, we picked out spirit animals for our girl gang and they just kinda stuck. Sarah’s a deer (Reindeer) and I’m a fox. When it came around to the arduous challenge of naming our business, we thought incorporating our spirit animals would be a cute way to make our mark. The Deer Fox was taken, so after playing around with spellings and word arrangements, we finally settled on The Dear Fox, which ended up being cute in its own way. We started on Etsy and then utilized Instagram as a way to market our business. Originally, the majority of our business came through Etsy, but Sarah has been takin’ our wares to craft shows in Tennessee, and so now most of our business is coming from those sales. Etsy can be really challenging because there’s SO much and it’s hard to make it to those first few pages. It’s really important to market what you’re selling in such a way that people will search for it.

ETC: So what made you want to start a small business, and a crafting business in particular?
Sarah: After six months of daily embroidering, I had accumulated so many pieces that I didn’t know what to do next. This has become such a passion project, and a hobby I turn to when I’m feeling anxious, bored, sad, happy, excited. It takes my mind off of everything and just becomes very therapeutic. Turning our craft into a money-making endeavor is only because it is so fun, I enjoy it so much, and I create often. I wanted to share the final product with anyone who is interested.
Jimi: I’ve always been quite the crafter, so when I started making things that I was wearing often, people started asking me where they could get one. I started doing commission pieces, and then realized that I could actually make some money from my hobby and share my creations with other folks. Sarah was in the same boat, so we decided to give pursuing a legitimate online business a shot!

ETC: What training/resources/etc. did you use to get started?
Sarah: Jimi is a constant resource and support for me. Professionally, personally, and as a hobbyist. She and I have a true friendship and connection, and we always bounce ideas off of each other and our group of like-minded best friends. Jimi really got us started from the beginning. From teaching me the craft to begin with, to maintaining our social media, to hearing out ideas and responding to criticism. We make a great team and resource for each other in a lot of facets of our lives.
Jimi: When we first started out, and especially when we were working on getting our business license, I spent a lot of time researching “how to start a business.” Every state is different and Washington is pretty strict, but it was encouraging that a lot of folks were asking the same questions, and I found the licensing websites to be really helpful. Etsy also has a lot of informative blogs that helped point me in the right direction, but they’re very clear that you’re on the hook for everything so it’s important to have your ducks in a row.

ETC: Work-wise, do you consider your business a full-time or part-time gig?
Sarah: Definitely part-time, if even that. We do this for fun. We do this because we like it, it is something that keeps us busy, creating, and working together – which we really like to do!
Jimi: Definitely part-time, and it ebbs and flows. When we’re preppin’ for a show, I’ll spend every spare minute sewing; but then there are times when I won’t sew for months. It just kind of depends on what we have lined up and how much inventory we have on hand.

ETC: Where does your inspiration for your pieces come from, and what do you enjoy most about creating/being an artist?
Sarah: My inspiration seems to come with the current pulse of the nation. In 2016-2017, my work leaned toward the political left for obvious reasons. Since the aftermath, I’ve done lighter themes like fun rap lyrics that can be considered a little risque but in feminine colors and styles. Lots of organic colors and shapes found in nature. And because I work in a zoo, I love to do animals – an animal pun is even better. What I enjoy most about being an artist/creator/maker is working on something that brings me joy and then sharing it and seeing joy on someone else’s face. I love the Weeknd, and I did a fun sexy quote with him but in very traditional stitch style. A woman likely in her 70’s bought it and absolutely loved it, and this was one of my highlights of this whole project with The Dear Fox.
Jimi: I like to create things that enhance and showcase pieces that you love. I sew all of our shawls, and I LOVE picking out the fabric. I have a clear aesthetic (florals, earth tones, and busy patterns), so it can be hard for me to get outside my patterned comfort zone. I like picking fabric that flows and accentuates the patterns and makes what you’re wearing pop. I also make our jewelry displays, which are typically made to order because the supplies are hard to get a hold of, which makes them a little pricier. I LOVE jewelry and was tired of having it all stashed away most of the time (Lord knows I can’t wear it all!), so when I came across an old type drawer at a flea market, I thought a modified version would be a unique way to showcase my jewels. When I make something, I want it to make a statement – sometimes it’s a shawl with a busy pattern that flits around behind you when you’re struttin’ down the sidewalk on a nice summer day; other times it’s a piece of junk that got a new life displaying your memories contained in that necklace you got when you were on vacation, the ring from your grandma, the bracelet your friend gave you, or those earrings you never wear but can’t bring yourself to give away.

ETC: Where do you envision your business going?
Sarah: I envision Jimi and I constantly being open to change and flexible on the direction we take this endeavor. We love growing and learning, and we welcome change, which, in my opinion, can only bring good things.
Jimi: I don’t really know. I know it’s good to have vision and goals and all that, but Sarah and I have always been flexible in our business plan and mostly do it as a way to share our craft and make a little side dough. So, I’m excited to see where things go and am looking forward to opportunities that may pop up.

ETC: What are the top 3 things you’d tell an aspiring small business owner?
Sarah: 1. Be patient, don’t expect to sell sell sell immediately (or ever) in a saturated platform like Etsy or in a creative environment like Seattle. 2. Think outside the box and be malleable. 3. Work with someone you trust, know well, have worked with before, and, most importantly, love endlessly and through thick and thin.
Jimi: 1. Taxes are confusing, especially when you’re dealing with inter-state. However, I’ve found the city/state business and tax reps to be incredibly helpful. I’ve called and emailed them with various questions and they’ve always been helpful and responsive. Odds are, you’re not the only one with that question. 2. Come up with a formula for pricing. There are tons of resources out there to help you come up with your own. Whatever you use, make sure you’re payin’ yourself for the work you’re putting in. For me, it was helpful to have some structure to how I was pricing items because it also made me feel validated if someone pushed back on prices (people can be real rude sometimes). 3. Own it. You made it, you built it, be proud of it.

ETC: And finally, most importantly…french fries, or potato chips?
Sarah: Gotta get that potato chip crunch.
Jimi: DEFINITELY French fries.


And now that you’ve heard a little about them, here’s a look at their work!

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Thanks so much, Jimi and Sarah, for sharing your crafty world with us! To see more of The Dear Fox’s pieces for sale, check them out on Instagram or Etsy.

Look Inside My Summer FabFitFun Box!

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For my birthday a few years ago, my bestie/cousin Jennifer got me my first FabFitFun box. And I was OBSESSSSSSED. A huge box of full-size goodies worth hundreds of dollars for only $30-50 = the happiest of all happy mail.

Fast forward to a month or two ago. I was scrolling on Facebook and came across one of those ads you always see of famous people opening their boxes on video and offering a promo code. This particular promo code was for $20 off of your first box, and I thought, “………yup, I’m doing that!” I set up an account, got to customize a few items, and waited impatiently for my box to ship! There are only four boxes per year – one for each season, and $50 per box. I probably won’t keep the subscription forever, but I’m already looking forward to the next one!

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1. Sutra Professional Mini Travel Blow Dryer

This was one of the items I got to customize. I used it the other night, and it actually worked really well! It took a little longer to dry than normal, but it’s worth it to save space in my luggage for our next trip out of town.

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2. 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask

I got to pick these too! Honestly, I don’t even remember what the other options were. I saw the $160 price tag and thought “I’m getting the most expensive option I can, since I’m only paying $30 for this whole box!” I would never pay that much for these masks on their own, but I can’t wait to try them.

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3. Odeme Silicone Wine Glasses

This was the last item I got to choose; the rest were all picked for me. Aren’t they cute?? They are microwave and dishwasher safe too!

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4. Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream

I won’t use this myself (already found my favorite stuff!), but now my guest bathroom will have an extra special product for out-of-town visitors who stay with us! If I wasn’t completely sold on MONAT, I would totally use Living Proof.

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5. COOLA Makeup Setting Sunscreen Spray

This stuff is supposed to give your skin a matte finish, while also preserving your makeup, hydrating your face, AND giving you sun protection at the same time! I already know I’ll be packing this for our cruise in October.

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6. Invisibobble® Original Hair Rings

Have you guys ever tried these?? I’ve been curious about them for awhile. I tried one out the other day and actually really liked it! My only complaint was that it was a little difficult to get out of my hair. But it felt very secure and my ponytail never got saggy, and I didn’t ever feel like it was pulling or pinching my hair.

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7. Generation Clay™ Ultra Violet Brightening Clay Mask

Face masks are honestly my kryptonite. I read the ingredients and it sounds like total heaven: desert lime, bentonite clay, davidson plum, aloe vera….yay for my face!

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8.  Whish Exfoliating Foot Mask

Can’t wait to get my feet cruise-ready! Apparently you put it on at the end of the day and sleep in it, and wake up with softer feet. We’ll see!

 

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9. Grace & Stella Rose Facial Spray

Call me a nerd, but I’m crazy about good branding. And this is FABULOUS branding, from the box to the logo to the name…I just love it. I’ve never used rose mist or rosewater before, but I’m a sucker for cult skincare products!

Want to get $10 off of your first box?? Click here to get started!