gift of thanks no. 4 & 5.

it is time to wrap up my gift of thanks series.
after all. thanksgiving is just three short days away. 
today i will be featuring two super simple. super sweet. gifts of thanks.
and tomorrow will be the grand finale. 

i really love gift of thanks no. 4.
it is literally the easiest gift in the world.
but it surely will mean the world to the recipient.

a love & thanks jar
is a wonderful gift of thanks for those you love most of all.

a love & thanks jar is exactly what it sounds like.
a little jar. jam-packed. with words of love & thanks.

i made one of these for my lovie a few years ago.
his love language is certainly words of affirmation . . .
so this meant so very much to him.
is there someone in your life who thrives on words of affirmation?
if so. this is the most perfect gift for them.

all i did was cut little pieces of kraft paper.
& wrote words of love & thanks on them.
some are silly. some are sentimental.
but all are surely from the heart.

just put all the little love notes in the jar & embellish it with a ribbon.
this will be the gift that keeps on giving for many years to come.
as the recipient can always go back & read your words for some encouragement.
{lovie still keeps his jar at his desk. so sweet}

a love & thanks jar is a sweet & simple way to share a grateful heart.

i also love gift of thanks no. 5. 
it is not quite as sentimental as no. 4. 
but it absolutely makes the heart warm.
and that is something to be thankful for!

a fall spice candle is always a necessity at this time of year.
it just makes the home so welcoming & cozy.

i especially love the tyler candle company line.
you can find them at our local boutique, marion's.

tie a fall colored ribbon around this burnt orange candle
& you have a darling. and divine. little gift of thanks.
one that anyone would love to receive.

gift of thanks no. 4 & 5 are both so easily put together.
you can have it done in a snap.
take a few minutes today 
& surprise a loved one with a gift of thanks!

stocking stuffers.

christmas is going to be upon us faster than you can say ho ho ho!
i mean. honestly. this blessed holiday is in just a few short weeks.
i don't know about you . . . 
but i have got to get going on my christmas shopping.
i tried to go yesterday. but quickly got distracted shopping for myself.
how terrible is that?! 
{terrible. but also quite fun}

i wanted to give you a little gift idea for all the lovies in your life.
your fam. your friends. your kiddos. your cousins.
your hair dressers. your daily barista. your nail techs.
your lawn man. your junior league committee. 
your kiddos teachers. your church preachers.
your bible study groups. your neighbors. 
your everyone & anyone.

this is the most perfect gift for all of them.
it is tough sometimes to find a meaningful & darling gift
while keeping the dollars down to a minimum . . .
and this is just that! 

for fifteen little bucks. 
you can wow your peeps with this great little gift.

mini scripture books.
perfect for stocking stuffers. present toppers. & gift exchanges.

i love that these little gifts are both beautiful
 & jam packed with the word of the Lord.
a true treasure. 

each book is 3 inches by 5 inches.
and they have 16 scriptures inside.
the scriptures are personalized for the recipient.
as an example . . .
thank you, God, for loving me so much that you gave your only son.
that if i believe. i will not perish. but i will have everlasting life.

all options are available on etsy.
place your order on there. or email me to place your order

15 dollars a piece. or buy five. get one free.

stock up now on these precious stocking stuffers.
they are flying off our shelves! 

gift of thanks. no. 3.

this gift of thanks may very well be my fave.
it is beautiful. sentimental. and tremendously encouraging.
the perfect combination of details that create a thoughtful gift.

gift of thanks no. 3
is a bouquet of autumnal blooms
adorned with a mini personal scripture book of thanks. 

sunflowers just exude the gloriousness of fall.
three or four stems make for the perfect mini bouquet.
tie a burlap ribbon around the vase & you have an adorable little gift.

mustard yellow. mocha brown.
burnt orange. sage green. & cream tulle
are such rich & earthy colors.
i just love this mix of hues.
i used these ribbons to attach the scripture book to the vase.

the mini scripture book of thanks is so darling.
how impossibly cute is that little pumpkin?!

the book holds sixteen scriptures that are personalized for the recipient.
thank you, God, for loving me so much that you gave your only son.
that if i believe. i shall not perish. but i will have eternal life.

like a burst of sunshine in the november sky.
love. love. love. sunflowers.

each mini scripture book is bound by a jump ring on the top left corner.
& the jump ring is embellished with a bunch. and i mean a bunch. of ribbons.
its the cutest little poof of ribbons ever. 

the inside is just an abundance of truth. 
remind me to give thanks to the Lord for He is good.
His steadfast love endures forever. 

these mini books are so perfect to carry around with you in your purse.
or keep it by your bed side table. or keep it in your car.
just have it handy so in those moments of fear. envy. doubt. anger. hurt. and so on
you can simply reach for your scriptures and read them to yourself.
the best pep talk anyone could ever wish for. 
what friend wouldn't love to be given one of these?!

they are most certainly a wonderful gift of thanks for a friend.
wouldn't you love to receive this gift?
it is truly the gift that keeps on giving . . .
our daily bread!

it is as simple as that.
a sweet little bunch of blooms & a handful of scriptures.
a most perfect gift of thanks. 

and in case you are interested . . .
the thanksgiving scripture books are available by order.
they are twelve dollars each.
or five for fifty dollars.
if you would like to place an order please email me

{they would also make darling plate toppers for thanksgiving dinner!!!}

santa clause is coming to town.

ho! ho! ho!
the jolly ol' man is coming to town!
and if that isn't exciting enough . . .
he is coming into my home & wants a little visit with you!

leisa rice. kiddo photographer extraordinaire. and i 
cheerfully invite you to join us for a santa clause mini session.
let her capture the magic that santa clause brings. 
the wonderment he stirs up in young minds.
& the great big bundle of joy he will bring to your babes. 

he has the rosiest of all cheeks. and a real sparkle in his eyes.
he has an authentic beard. and snowy white hair.
this santa clause is just the absolute best.

santa is professionally trained.

and has the most perfect santa outfit.

he has the heart of a real santa.

& loves to ignite happiness in every child.

this mini-session is one day only. & spots are very limited.
friday. december 6th. 
starting at 9 in the morning. at my house. 
twenty minute session.
150 dollars.
you get a disc with all your images.
no purchase of prints necessary.
such a steal of a deal! 

if you are interested in booking a slot please email me at 

holly jolly!

gift of thanks. no 2.

earlier this week i introduced a six part series.
if you missed it. you can find it here.
essentially. the series will provide six different ideas for 
gifts of thanks
that you can surprise your friends & family 
with over the thanksgiving season.

today i present you with 
gift of thanks no. 2

sharing the gift of a home-run. knocks your socks off. feast session.
in the true style of your very own family. 
in other words. 
what meal is your family go-to comfort meal? a special treat of a meal?
what makes your family really cherish a special dinner time?

for our little family.
it is definitely breakfast for dinner.
lovie loves pancakes. especially pumpkin spice pancakes. 
to him. well. to us. 
this is a super special family dinner. 
i guess you could say . . . we are thankful for pancakes.

and because we are thankful for pancakes.
we want to share the flap jack love with friends we are thankful for.

gift of thanks no. 2. is a tin of our fave pancake mix.

spiced pecan pumpkin pancake & waffle mix a la williams sonoma.
heaven in a tin. 

just a little tin.
with a little autumnal ribbon.

& a hand written little note. 

this makes for a sweet & very fulfilling gift of thanks. 

what meal is a special one for you & yours?!

a gift of thanks.

it is hard to believe that thanksgiving just a few weeks away.

before we know it the holiday season will be upon us in full force.
thanks will be given around a feasting table.
a baby will be born again in our hearts. 
 we will cheers the year away with some pop. fizz. & sparkle.

amidst all this celebrating 
we will certainly be busy with the bustle the season brings.

and in these busy moments. 
especially in this month of november.
i think it is so important to be purposeful in remembering 
to give thanks to all of those that we hold dear. 

our husbands. our children. our parents. our siblings.
our aunts. our uncles. our grandparents. our cousins. our in-laws.
our best friends. our acquaintances. our neighbors.
all of the people who bless our days. our years. our lives.  

a big. huge. ginormous. gift of thanks is surely in order for all of those you love. 
and what better way to give a gift of thanks than with sweet treats & surprises?!

over the next three weeks i will feature six little "gift of thanks" ideas.
these are fun. simple. inexpensive. little treats to surprise your peeps with.
consider it your way of sprinkling your community with a bit of love & thanks. 
{i love leaving little prezzies on front steps. who doesn't love coming home to that?}

i challenge you to pick a handful of people to surprise with 
a gift of thanks over the next few weeks. 
it will really make your heart swell with joy.

gift of thanks no. 1
a family recipe with a little sugar & spice.

we have all seen the pre-measured starter kits for various treats.
{typical hot cocoa. chocolate chip cookies, etc}
take that idea up a notch by featuring one of your fave family recipes.
one that will knock their socks off. one that you make every year.

in our family. our apple crisp makes an appearance every year.
scratch that. it appears 2. 3. maybe even 4. times between november & december.

this gift of thanks is as simple as printing out your chosen recipe.
& measuring out some of the dry ingredients.

i did the dry ingredients that make up the crumble topping.
{hands down. the very best part of the entire dish}
a little flour. white sugar. brown sugar. & oats. 

i poured the ingredients into a preserve jar.
keeping the ingredients separated into layers. 
put a little rafia bow around the jar & it is cute to boot.

this is the perfect little prezzie to leave on someone's front step.
a sweet little treat to come home to. 

on the back of your recipe you can jot a little note of thanks.
thanks for blessing my life with your friendship.
thanks for being so great. thanks for just being you.
thanks for anything & everything. 
and you can also share with the recipient why this recipe is so special.
do you make it every year on Thanksgiving morning?
is it your great.great.grandmothers recipe that has been passed down to you?
does this recipe have a secret ingredient 
that you only share with your very fave friends?
share what makes your recipe so special . . . 
special enough to share with an extra special friend!

who will you surprise with a gift of thanks this week?

winter retreat.

i am dreaming of a winter getaway this morning. 
while the weather is a tad bit cooler here in our parts.
i catch myself longing for a true wintery. blustery. day.

you know.
the kind of day where you drink hot cocoa. & chili simmers on the stove.
you play games. like scrabble. and lounge by a crackling fire.
you steal kisses from your lovie & he steals your heart all over again.

so. in my cozy little home. we play make believe.
we cozy up on our overstuffed leather couch. snuggled up in a fur blanket.
still in our jam jams. cup of piping hot tea in hand.
cinnamon candle burning. andrea bocelli singing in the background.
and i imagine that i am tucked away in one of these little gems.

who wants to join us?
a couples winter wonderland retreat sounds divine.
a girl can daydream.

God has been gracious

I am constantly amazed the way God links us to other people in life.  Through a mutual dear friend, not even in the same state, two new mamas that love the Lord living in the same area are linked to one another! I am one of the new mamas and Kristen being the other.  However, not too long ago it seemed that I would never have the sweet title of mom.  But as I type with one hand and hold my precious baby boy cuddling on me in the other its hard not to share what God has done in our lives. You see through emails back and forth over Kristen’s beautiful new book ministry we shared a little bit of life with one another. A large part of that life for us has been the struggle of infertility.  

            Growing up many of us dream of what our life will look like. We will grow up, get jobs, meet and marry the love of our life, have babies and live happily ever after. Or something along those lines! However the day we received the news from the doctor that having a child without medical intervention would be impossible those plans came tumbling down quickly.  Our hearts cried out to the Lord and couldn’t wrap our minds around the thought of not being able to have a family of our own. We prayed a lot the following months about what God was calling us to do. Did he want us to adopt? Were we supposed to try medical intervention? We decided to pursue both avenues of having a family.  During the next few years many things happened in our lives that we had not planned. My husband endured two concussions and three surgeries and it rocked our world. He needed me as a full time supporter and I was able to be there for him through it all. Looking back God’s provision for us and our family was so clear! He knew the timing and our desires and He knew what was best for us.  He also supplied an abundance of strength for us in times where we were running on fumes!  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul reminds us that His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is made perfect in our weakness! We have never seen His power more clearly than through these times.

Last year around this time we felt led to try a round of fertility treatments. We had all the arrangements set and our plane tickets booked! During the preparations we discovered a lump in my chest and the doctors feared the worst. We were told to cancel our plans and we would not be able to pursue fertility until further notice. Though God had showed up so much over the last few years it was still a daily battle of relinquishing control to His plans for our family. My heart just yearned to be a mom and we couldn’t understand what God was doing. On a journal entry dated November 25th, with tear stained pages, my last sentence read, “Lord, help me to be content where I am today!”  On November 26th I realized I was late but figured it was due to all the stress, the doctors did tell us it was impossible after all. I remember like it was yesterday the nudge to take an at home pregnancy test. I had promised myself earlier on in our journey numerous times I wouldn’t take one since it always led to disappointment. We had one test left…two lines appeared! I can’t put into words the feelings that overcame my husband and I as tears of joy filled our eyes. God had done the impossible…we were pregnant! The praises didn’t end there. My test results came back that I would have to do a minor procedure but that I did not have cancer! The Lord continued to watch over us and show up through the pregnancy and delivery and today we have a beautiful baby boy named Jax, whose name means “God has been gracious.”

Are you at a season in your life where you are asking “why?” Maybe you can’t see the good in what you are facing right now and you’re losing hope. My prayer is that our story will fill you with hope that God is still working the impossible in lives today. He knows the best plan for your life and is working each and every circumstance to fulfill that plan.  I would like to end with sharing some verses that touched our lives through this journey in hopes that they will remind you of His promises. May God bless you abundantly according to His will!


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love
 him, who have been called according to his purpose”
 Romans 8:28

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and 
not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

(pictures of our baby boy Jax, 11 wks young)

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