Monday, August 27, 2012

Girls Craft Brunch

Do you have a circle of gals that know you better than anyone else?

If you don't, I suggest you go out and find a group right now.  For real, don't waste any time - go find one!

My group of gals consist of Megan, Lauren, Meagan, Betsey & Courtney.  We are all mamas - some of us are new mamas, some of us have little ones entering kindergarten.  We love to talk...and eat.  Yes, food is essential.  Throw in some mimosas, and you've really gotten our attention. 

We love to get together every few months and hang out and socialize.  Our craft get togethers started because we wanted to have time to gab and make something creative.  We've been rotating hostesses for almost a year, and I love this girl time.

This time was Lauren's time to host, and she pulled out all the stops.

Food, glorious food......

drinks + stripey straws (c'mon, it's a girly party)!

 Our set-up for crafting and chatting....

Courtney (and Benjamin) + Meagan + Lauren + Betsey + Megan = busy, busy gals

Sometimes, our little people get to join in the's precious Benjamin!

and adorable Ava Grace...seriously, those little toofers!

 Here's what we created...fabulous post-it note holders!

And here's the whole these gals with all my heart!

So, if you have a group of gals that you love to spend time with, I highly suggest having a girls craft day - make it brunch or dinner or just drinks.  Peruse pinterest, find a fun craft and plan away!  You'll have a great time, I promise!

And to my precious gals - I love each of you very much, and I can't wait to have fun again!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pink boots

Annie Louise is now the proud, I mean PROUD, owner of new pink cowgirl boots.

This past Christmas, SheShe bought AL a pair of cowgirl boots, and we wore them until they wouldn't zip up anymore.  We were all so sad because they were seriously adorable.

So, since we're doing a "barnyard bash" for her 2nd birthday, I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and get a new pair of boots.  We went to our local boots store (hey, we ARE in Tennessee, y'all)...and if you are in the middle Tennessee area, you need to visit French's.  BEST selection...and don't even get me started on the sale room.

Anyways, it was like we were in AL's Heaven.  She went nuts.  She started grabbing whatever boots were within arm's reach.  She started yelling "my boooooooooooots!  my boooooooots!" And I was freaking out because every pair she picked up were like $80!  No, thank you - not willing to pay that much for a pair of shoes that will be too small in a few months.

We did a lot of digging and searching and found this precious pink pair that were well within my budget, and my sweet girl wore them straight out of the store.  She has worn them to bed. To go outside.  To go eat.  To a wedding shower.  You get the picture.

I actually had to hide them yesterday because they needed a break.

And to top off the preciousness, she actually let me video her singing one of her favorite tunes.

Please try not to die from the cute.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Turning dreams into plans...Amber Housley Inspired

a doodle from yours truly
This past Thursday and Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the Amber Housley Inspired Workshop (or AH Inspired).  I have been so excited about this workshop for the entire summer.  As the days got closer and closer to the start date, I got more nervous.

I don't know why, but the nerves were present!  But they didn't last long.  As soon as I entered the adorable venue plastered with pink and orange, I felt right at ease.

no detail missed - everything was absolutely perfect!
Have you ever been in a group of people and just felt like they "got you"?  Well, that's how I felt for 2 days.  For 2 days, I was in a room full of talented and driven gals, all chomping at the bit to unleash their creative potential.

And I felt like I was at home.

this quote - yes!
Sometimes, well most of the time, it's scary and intimidating to have your own creative business.  You're putting yourself out there through your "product" - whether it be baby clothes or stationery or event styling.  You are allowing yourself to be open to criticism, praise, good things and negative things.

All at once.  
day 2 - breakfast...again, perfect!
 You could decide to just keep it all in to yourself and save many tears and hurt feelings.  Or, you could put yourself out there.  You could make all your dreams come true - despite how others may try to make you feel.
notes, notes, notes....
 That's what I really learned at this workshop.  Amber took 3 amazing gals and let them tell their story.  And I learned something wonderful from each of them.

myself + Jessica + Sara

From Sara, I learned that no matter what you do in this life, your family always comes first.  Always.

From Jessica, I learned that you can take an unfortunate situation (i.e., planning a wedding with a tight budget) and make it relatable and inspirational.

From Courtney, I learned that you can make your biggest and wildest dreams come true...with a little work, you can make BIG things happen.

And from Amber, I don't think I can even summarize what I learned from her.  She's amazing, y'all.  If you ever have the chance to attend one of these workshops in 2013, do it.  You won't regret it.  Amber is a wealth of knowledge and kindness, and she's an all-around classy lady.

I have lots of ideas for this little space of mine and for a particular business that I adore called Mattie Mae Designs.  The look of things will be changing here, but I'm still the same ole Lena.

Just a more gutsy, I've-got-my-dreams-down-on-paper Lena.

the entire AH Inspired - Nashville II group
And I hope you'll stick around to see some of those dreams turn into plans.

She decided to start living
the life she always imagined.
She turned her can'ts into cans. 
and her dreams into plans.
She took the leap and
grew her wings on the way down.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Who am I?

Today, I’m attending this amazing workshop with this amazing group of gals called Amber Housley Inspired.  I wanted to attend the inaugural event back in March, but had previous plans, so I begged Amber to have another event in Nashville…and lo, and behold, she did! 
When she made the announcement, I immediately registered.  I was NOT going to miss it again.  And I was fortunate enough to win a partial scholarship, too, for a written entry on why I needed to attend the event.
There were so many reasons why I wanted to be at this event – but the number one reason is to find out “who am I? And where do I fit in?
I’ve talked before about how I’ve become distant with blogging.  But here’s the thing – I love it, 100% adore it.  For so many reasons.  But I don’t know where I fit in…
I do know these things:
I want to make much of Him, always and forever.
But I also want to tell you about how quickly my doodlebug is growing up and how she can count to 14 now (true story).
Oh, and can I show you these really cute onuses and things that my mom and I make, too?
Do you see where I’m going with this?
I have so many ideas for this little blog space of mine, but I don’t even know where to start.  I know I want to encourage each and every one of you reading, to make you laugh, to make you feel like you’re not alone.
So, while I’m away for these 2 days, I hope I can find these answers, or at least some resemblance of them.  Wish me luck.
And to those of you that read each post, thank you from the bottom of my heart…you are truly special to me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mattie Mae Designs - an update!

Well, so many weeks have passed since I wrote this post about our little side business, Mattie Mae Designs.
And nothing has happened.
I take that back, things have happened – like this cute shirt was created.
I mean, how cute are these squirrels?!

Oh, and this one, too.
C'mon!  A chicken with an umbrella...stop it!
But that’s it.  We’ve done lots of creating and had a few sales, but I’m back at square one.
We want to open an online shop, but I don’t even know where to start, so I’m asking you (yes, YOU) for your help.
If you own an online shop, do you use etsy?  
Or do you use another location to host (i.e., storenvy, big cartel)?  
Why do you prefer one over the other?  
If you could give ONE piece of advice to a hopeful online boutique owner, what would it be?
And in the meantime, would you do a gal a huge favor and go like our Mattie Mae Designs Facebook page HERE?  I would so greatly appreciate it!

Oh, and check out these new designs + some new products we're experimenting with....

colorful patterned tree
pillow covers with appliquéd flowers & trim!
sweet birdie library bag!
playing around with some new FOX designs!
Thanks for all of your input...look forward to hearing all of your advice!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I heard an interesting little tidbit on the radio station I listen to the other day about habits – about how hard it is to get back into a habit after a period of inactivity.
Of course, I immediately started thinking about some of my habits, and how difficult it was to make them a part of my routine.
Flossing, for one.  
My Granny has worked for close to 3 decades for a pediatric dentist office.  She saw kids come into their office with mouths full of cavities.  She swore her grandchildren would not be like that.  And so she taught us the basic habits of dental hygiene, and it worked.  I went to the same dentist office that she works at until I got married, and I’m proud to report that I have never had a cavity.
Of course, we were without dental insurance until I started working full-time last year, and I decided I should probably find a dentist office that didn’t have murals of jungle scenes painted on the walls.
I walk in full of confidence that despite the fact that I hadn’t been to a dentist in a couple of years, my teeth would be in tip-top shape.
Sure, my teeth looked great, no cavities…but I had been skipping a pretty crucial step in my dental hygiene.  Flossing.
I had developed the beginnings of periodontal disease.  They even gave me a pamphlet to go into more detail…YIKES!
I had to sit at the dentist’s office, mouth wide open and completely numb for TWO hours while a hygienist scraped my gums.  Not fun.  
All because I didn’t take a few minutes every day to floss.
You better believe almost every single night, I take time to floss (and rinse with Listerine).  It took me having to go through that horrible procedure (and even worse – sore gums for days afterwards) to get it through my head that flossing is important.
And that’s how it feels with other habits that are important to me – church, time studying the Word, time one-on-one with my husband – I have to work at making them a part of my life.  
Are they essential to my well-being and happiness?  Absolutely.
Do I sometimes have to hit rock bottom to realize how important they are to me?  You betcha. 
But that’s the thing…I am completely and utterly committed to making time for these things – I will move things around, re-schedule, stay up later than normal, get up earlier in the morning - you name it, I will do it.
That’s how important they are to me.
So, I challenge you – write down a list of those habits that you are having a hard time “fitting in” to your schedule.  Identify open or unused time during your day when you can fit in some time with your hubby or time when you can sit down and read a devotional.  
You will notice a change – trust me.
Do it now.  Don’t wait until you are full of Novocain and unable to speak for half a day…because, well, that’s just not fun for anyone involved.  
Here’s my list of hopeful habits – habits I’m hoping to merge into my schedule permanently:
  1. Blogging
  2. Bi-weekly date nights
  3. Monthly volunteer/service projects
  4. Weekly women’s fellowship/mentoring sessions – anyone, help?
But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was. But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out—he will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:22-25

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Countdown to 2!!!!

Annie Louise – 

You, my love, are 23 months old...almost 2 years old.

I won’t even say it, you already know what I’m thinking…you are growing up too quickly.
I think this month you have grown developmentally more than you have this entire year.  I am absolutely blown away at how much you are learning each and every day.
This month, we entered the “what’s thaaaat?” and the “who’s thaaaat?” phase.  And yes, you stretch out the “thaaaat” – cutest thing ever.

Anyways, you are so curious.  You want to know about everything – the who, what, when, where and especially why.  And I love it.  Just to watch your eyes and your face while we are doing any task – you are so interested in it.  Most of the time, it follows with a “I do it.”  You’ve seen us do it, and you just know you can do it, too.
Independent isn’t even the right word.
You are officially huge.  Like massive.  Most of the time, when we meet someone new, they ask, “she’s how old?”  They cannot believe that our not-even-2-years-old daughter is that tall.  You definitely have your daddy’s genes.  

Your vocabulary is growing and growing.  You repeat everything we say, and you are starting to put words together to form short sentences.  You love to boss the dog, Turner, around all the time.  And you say “no, daddy!” anytime he does anything to you (and you sound like a British gal when you say da-ddy!).  You are so cute!
You love shoes, hats, hairbows, clothes – definitely a girly girl!  You pitched a horrible fit the other day to wear your pink fedora – I guess this is the first of many fights we will have over clothes!  
Baby dolls are your favorite.  You love to bounce and “ssshhh” and pat and rock and sing to those sweet babies.  I know when the time comes to welcome baby #2 into our lives, you will be the best big sister. 

You are such a picky eater right now.  BUT, you always ask for cookies, marshmallow or “ice ceam samwiches” – all the time.  You want to sit at the table now, the highchair is not your favorite…you really look like a big girl sitting at the table.

You still love to sing songs – “wheels on the bus” is our favorite right now, and to watch your sweet face light up when we sing just makes my day.

We’ve been making it a ritual to pray before meals and before bedtime, and I could just melt when I see your little hands pressed together and eyes squished tightly…I hope you will grow up understanding the true power of prayer.  What a beautiful gift. 

You are an absolute blessing from God, my sweet daughter.  Even on the hard days, I know this.  I will never, ever, ever stop thanking God for letting us take care of you – you make me want to be the best person I can be.  Everything makes sense when we are with you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your big 2nd birthday!
Love you, mama 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Stella & Dot Sample SALE!

So, if you didn't know already, I am an Independent Stylist with Stella & Dot!  I love being a part of this up and coming company, and the jewelry is absolutely amazing!  

I had a trunk show this weekend at my house to showcase the new fall collection (which is amazing, by the way), and I also had a SAMPLE SALE!  I sold a lot of the samples, but I had a few remaining, and I thought I would see if anyone that wasn't able to make it the party might be interested here!

I'm trying to clean out my samples so that I can make room for new...all the prices listed are the sale prices (which are 50% off the regular price).  The first person to comment with the NAME of the piece they want + their paypal information will get first dibs!  You can view all the products as well as more information about each piece on my website -

*shipping is $5 - can combine shipping if you buy more than one piece!

Shop away and tell your friends! 

Palamino Necklace

Marchesa Necklace

Leona Pendant Necklace

(another view of the Leona Pendant)

Isadora Pearl Bib Necklace

Bianca Tassel Necklace

Avery Chains & Pearl Necklace

Nahla Necklace

Eleanor Bangle

Lindsay Bangles in Pink & Orange
$29.50 each
can be sold together or separately!

Maddie Pearl Earrings

Another view of the Maddie Pearl Earrings

Sole Bracelet
*adjustable - this is one of my favorites!

Renegade Cluster Ring
*this is one size fits most - adjustable band

Another view of the Renegade Cluster Ring

Tudor Studs
*stone in middle is purple - beautiful!

Clover Key Necklace

Callie Bracelet
*is adjustable

Another view of the Callie Bracelet

Toujours Bracelet

Another view of the Toujours Bracelet
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns - help me make room for new samples!

Also, if you didn't get to make it to the trunk show, but you would like to purchase something - use this link for my current trunk show -

Thanks, y'all!