Frederik Meijer Gardens

If you haven't already noticed, I'm kind of bad at blogging on time. I do things in my life, and days (or weeks) later, I'll finally post about it. So, almost two weeks ago, I ventured out to Frederik Meijer Gardens with my sister, her "little sister" (Big Brothers, Big Sisters), my brother-in-law, and my niece! It was a gorgeous day of lovely sunshine, perfect weather, and beautiful butterflies and plants.

Frederik Meijer Gardens is a pretty neat place to go. It's a national gardens, which is pretty awesome to have in town, full of beautiful flowers, sculptures, and butterflies when they are "in bloom." Have any of you ever been to these gardens before?

They also host a summer concert series, which I haven't gone to before, but it seems like a really good time. They always have really great artists lined up, and this year they have Ray LaMontagne in July. I'm not sure if I'll be going yet, but I would really love to see him perform. Ray LaMontagne is a seriously talented musician, and his song "Can I Stay" is actually our wedding song. :)

While we were there, we of course checked out their butterfly exhibit because it's really awesome to be up close + personal with those pretty creatures. I'll be honest, they kind of make me jump a little when they fly near me, but I can't get over how many of them there are + how different they all are. They're so neat looking, with all of their different markings, and it was really fun to see my 1-year-old niece react to them. You can see that in the first picture below that I took of her (one of my favorite pictures of her). It looks like she is discovering something for the first time (which she kind of is), with that look of wonder in her eyes and that tiny little smile. Makes my heart melt!

It was a really, really lovely day and I'm so glad my sister asked me if I wanted to go with them. If you've never been before, I suggest you go, especially when they have their butterflies exhibit. You won't regret it.

These pictures were edited with the awesome photoshop actions by A Beautiful Mess. The actions I used were Joan + Glow (Brighten) from The Mini Collection!

Fresh New Look

Hellooo! I just wanted to stop by and show you guys the new product photos I took today. When I took the previous shop photos with kraft paper, I was going for an earthy feel, but they just felt dark and boring. I've been wanting to take new pictures but haven't gotten around to it until today. Let me tell you, I am loving the fresh new look! It feels so much brighter + welcoming. The shop look before didn't really feel super cohesive, and was just far too dark for what I wanted my shop to convey. Now, it feels airy + I think it just feels like it has more of a purpose. You can see a few new pictures here, but head on over to the shop to check out the rest of the photos + the new look! Let me know what you think! I hope you like it. Have a great weekend. ♡

Happy Friday!

via my instagram

Did you know it's National Letter Writing Month? I was going to participate in a 30 letters in 30 days challenge, but I've epically failed. I've written 3 letters so far, and it's the 18th day of the month. Wow, Julie, really? I know, I know. It's sad. I'm a procrastinator and very unmotivated person, so it's really no surprise to me that this happened. I did enjoy writing those three letters though, and two of those I have to thank to the Letter Writing Workshop I went to this past Sunday hosted by Codi Ann Thomsen at the cutest little shop, Have Company, downtown. She was such a delight and so inspiring. We all worked on writing letters to whoever we wanted, and I was thankful to get a couple letters written in that time. It was so lovely to meet so many inspiring and awesome ladies, it was a really positive atmosphere and I'm so thankful I snagged a spot that opened up at the last minute. Codi Ann actually created the leather U.S. Mail clutch you see above + gifted it to us attendees. She is such a talent! I can't wait to use the clutch for a long, long time.

This week has been a good one, and I've got something good hopefully happening behind the scenes right now. It's a little up in the air as I have to check some things out to see if it's a good fit, but I'm excited and crossing my fingers. I'm currently making some stir fry for lunch before Nicholas heads to work. And later I'll be checking out that thing I just mentioned that I can't really talk about yet because who knows if it'll work, but I'm looking forward to it... haha. Otherwise, we have a relaxing weekend ahead with family time on Sunday for Easter. I'm looking forward to the food, ha. Enjoy these links + your weekend!

One dad turns his son's superhero fantasies into reality.

I know it's way late, but the best classroom April Fool's Day prank ever.

Portraits of Reconciliation. Wow.

The world, from above.

The most beautiful "volcano" eruption.

35 Things you'll never see again in your life. Ah, I miss the 90's.

A thoughtful video for those with (one of) the world's toughest jobs.

A Pretty Collaboration

Hey guys! I recently got the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a favorite lady + blogger of mine, Katy of All Sorts of Pretty. I've been reading her blog for a long time + I'm a huge fan, so when she approached me with a collaboration idea + complimented my work, I was stoked. She chose this quote because it really resonated with her + she thought it might resonate well with others too. I think it's a really great quote with a lot of meaning. I know I tend to stay in my comfort zone a lot, but it is important to step outside of it at times because that is what living is all about.

I had a seriously lovely time working with Katy, + I am so thankful for this opportunity. Head on over to her pretty blog + check out the feature! Take a look around the rest of your site too... as I'm sure you'll love it just as much as I do! As a fellow lover of pretty things, I think this collaboration was meant to be. :) I am carrying this print over in my shop for all of you who want to add a little bit of pretty wisdom to your life!


Happy Friday!

via my instagram

Hey everyone. I'm just sitting here as it's a pretty slow morning in my neck of the woods. The rain is falling and it is very relaxing. In a little bit I'll be heading downstairs with Nicholas so he can continue to teach me boxing. I've been having a lot of fun with it + I'm definitely improving, which is great. I'm very thankful for him helping me get in shape in a fun way. I've got a few things to do today, including sending out another order (yay!) that's heading to Texas, catching up on my letter writing (I'm a slacker), + later I'll be picking up some food to take to Nicholas while he is at work on his lunch break. When I get home, my mom and I have plans to finally watch Frozen, so I'm excited about that! It should be a good Friday. I don't really have any plans for the weekend, but here's to a good one. What are you up to this weekend?

Last night I was hit with a little bit of inspiration and created the two doodles you see in this post. The first is a quick, messy wreath I created that I'm really digging. I look forward to furthering that design. The second is a little magic for my sidebar to make finding the link to my shop a little easier + more pleasing to the eye than just in the upper-right corner. I really love how these turned out, + I'm thankful I was hit with that inspiration. It feels so good to create.

via my instagram

Here are some links! Enjoy. ♡

Stunning photos of children and their bedrooms from around the world.

Silly and fun photos of dogs shaking their heads.

13 things only siblings will understand. Funny!

The best 13 things about having a sister. I'm lucky and I got 3!

How one plus size woman is changing the way we see beautiful.

12 creative barcodes that actually work.

A great post by Bethany of Love Grows Design about why she's still on Facebook.