Claire had her heart set on gardenias for her bouquet, and being the fairy godmother, you know I had to deliver! We special ordered these beauties and babied them for days, hoping they would hold out for wedding day. The bouquet was a mix of the same greenery from the garland as well as white roses and the gardenias. Of course, Zack had to have a very special bloom of his own!
In November of 2020, I had the honor of decorating for and attending the wedding of my fairy god daughter Claire. This was such a special day, one that we have dreamed of and planned for all the years she worked with me. A day filled with the love of close family and friends, special memories, and southern traditions.
The back drop for this special day was Claire's family home, an early 1900's Greek Revival style house that happens to be filled to the brim with family history, stories, and fond memories. Not only did Claire grow up here, but it has been filled by Claire's family members for many generations. We didn't have to do much to make this old lady shine on wedding day. Just a few ferns and fresh magnolia leaves and she was ready to welcome her guests!
The day of the wedding was so sweet and perfect! The house came alive with chatter and laughter as family members gathered to get ready. Tara and I, along with a few other friends, prepared the food for the reception while sneaking in peeps at the bride while she prepared for her big moment. Every detail of the day was sweet--even the jewelry had a story. The pearl necklace was a gift to Claire from her parents when she graduated from high school. The beautiful gold bracelet was a gift to Claire's mother from her Dad on their wedding day. Such a special way for Claire to have her Dad with her on her big day.
The grand staircase of the home was just begging to be draped with the most beautiful fresh garlands. This was the perfect spot for the bride to show off her beautiful train and veil.
The garlands were a mix of fresh Italian ruscus, Leyland cypress, magnolia, seeded eucalyptus and baby blue eucalyptus.
Mr. Terry showed up to decorate the beautiful cake. So simple and elegant.
At wedding time, a very special escort showed up to drive Claire around to the front of the house for the wedding; Ocilla's former Mayor along with his classic, 1961 Pontiac convertible! This was such a special treat from our friend and neighbor Lamar, as Claire currently serves on Ocilla City Council, as did her mother and grandfather before her!
Claire's family walked around to the front of the house to signal that it was wedding time!
It was a perfect cool, November day for this sweet and intimate family gathering, officiated by Claire's uncle. Every detail was a shining example of the love that this family has for one another.
After the ceremony, guests were welcomed into the house for a small reception. The dining room was set with a lovely spread of snacks, served on family heirloom serving pieces.
After a lovely afternoon of visiting, we sent the bride and groom off with much love and dried rose petals. The perfect ending to the perfect day.
Just a fun side note, Claire and Zack now call this lovely old house thier home! What a special tradition for Claire to carry, to have grown up here, to marry here, and to now start her own life and family here, in this place so full of happy memories. (p.s., we are still back yard neighbors which is a major blessing to me!)
Two weeks later we all gathered again to celebrate! After the sweetest wedding day, and a tropical honeymoon, it was time to party! We were back at the beautiful family home to decorate, string the lights and set up the dance floor!
With a group effort (and some expert steering from Mr. Terry) we moved this old car (loved by Claire's Dad) to the front yard for pictures.
The chilly December evening was perfect! The neighborhood came alive to the music of an awesome band and the old house was happy once more to have a yard full of guests.
It was so fun to put our dancing shoes on and rejoice over the marriage of Claire and Zack, and it has been a privilege to welcome him to the family! I am so blessed to call them friends and neighbors!
On the last update, our brick house was just studs! Boy have we been busy ever since. This will be a doozy of an update!
Sometimes I struggle with how personal I should be on my blog posts. How transparent should I be about our current situation and life decisions? I'm not exactly sure where that line is, but here is my attempt at being honest with you about what's going on with all of these renovations.
Phillip grew up way outside of the city limits, and our whole married life he's been trying to find his way back out there. While on the hunt for a home, I quickly fell in love with a house that had a ton of potential, but was located smack dab in the heart of downtown.
Though this seemed to be the perfect location for me, it didn't fit my husband's preferences. As reluctant as he was, he finally agreed to take the plunge just so that we could have somewhere to call home. If you're not familiar with our first renovation journey, check it out here!
Fast forward 5 years. My husband has been so patient and adapted to living in town as best he could. Now that we have children of our own, we have started thinking about our long-term goals. We both want our children to grow up playing in the dirt, learning how to fish, growing a garden...doing all of the things that Phillip enjoyed doing as a kid. Though it may not be necessary to live in the country to be able to do all of those things, it is our dream. We want a piece of land of our own--a place to invest in and share with our children, and our children's children. We have worked so hard to be where we are today, and we felt like it was the right time to take the next step towards our dream.
With all of that being said, we decided to put our house on the market! You can't imagine the whirlwind of emotions that we've felt over this decision, even to this day. Our realtor shared the listing with the popular Facebook page "For The Love Of Old Houses", and boy did it take off! It received almost 14k likes, 3.4k comments, and 4.7k shares...wow! It was so encouraging to read through everyone's comments and know that our vision for this home truly came to life and was being appreciated by so many.
It was then time for our annual family vacation. We desperately needed a break so we tried to take a week to focus on our family and enjoy just being with each other. After only a few showings of our home, we received our first offer! It was a bittersweet moment, almost too good to be true. We wrestled with accepting the offer from a state away, but finally decided that it was now or never. We said yes and the process has been rolling ever since.
Now, I'm sure you all know where I'm going with this story. Yes, we will be moving into the Brick House on Beech Street! Though it definitely wasn't our intentions at the time of purchase (we wanted to rent it to a family member), it seems as if it was God's intentions all along. It is amazing to see how he faithfully takes care of us, lines opportunities up for us, often times when we least deserve it. Never in a million years did I dream that I could have a home this beautiful, nor did I ever think I would be ok with selling it! God has given me a peace about taking this step, and now I am actually excited to be moving next door. I am most excited about living a simpler life, and hopefully being able to purchase a piece of land of our own in the next few years.
So, now that you have a life update, here is an update on the progress! This is what the house looked like last time I gave you an update.
After we got back from vacation, the sheet-rockers came and we had walls! It's amazing how different things look with a little separation.
Here's a glance at the master bedroom before and after bring primed!
Phillip was able to install our cabinets so it gave our bathrooms a little more life. They turned out to be so spacious, and a great use of space.
Here's a look at the living room if you're standing in the kitchen. I love how the natural light pours in from the big windows in the front.
Here is a look at the kitchen if you're standing in the living room.
The cabinets really do pull things together! Even though this is a relatively small house, we ended up having a wonderful size kitchen.
We even have a nice sized dining area!
This is your view once you come in the front door.
It's all coming together! Next, it's time to paint. I have decided to go with a contrast trim to give the house a little character. I can't wait to show you how it turns out! Here are the colors I'm thinking. I'd love for you to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Thanks for following along with us on this journey! We have loved sharing every step with you, and we can't wait to show you the end result!
Hey friends! Welcome to my garden tour! If you have been following my Alder Street Rennovation story, you may remember that the yards were in almost as bad a shape as the house! There was no grass in the front yard, and after we finished our construction the back yard wasn't in great shape either. The sweet lady that lived in the home before us had a very green thumb but the existing plants and bushes were in very weird spots so, unfortunately, there wasn't a lot I could keep! This is a reminder of the front of the house after we had started a little of the demo.
It has been a long process and lot of hard work but things are finally starting to shape up!
The camelia and hydrangea came with the house and I was so happy to be reminded of how they are flourishing after looking back at the "before" picture. You can see that I added a little brick pathway that curves around to the side porch. I did this myself over a period of time so if you see any spots that look a little uneven, please forgive!
Defining the front flower bed with a border and creating this little path across the front of the house helped to create a more welcoming and intentional space. The flower beds are filled with plants that I don't really have to do much tending to, rosemary, Texas sage, the camilia and hydrangea bushes. Other than keeping them trimmed and watered, they don't need much care. My pots and urns are my favorite way to garden! It is so fun to keep them upadated for the changing seasons, and it is easy to take care of them and keep them watered.
The brick path curves around to meet the little side porch we added and the hexagon stones that create the path to our patio.
This pretty little pathway leads to our favorite spot, our patio!
Matt and I started the pathway a couple of years ago and just never got past the end of the porch! Last year, when life slowed down during quarantine, we took the opportunity to get it done. Well, almost got it done. The process of the pathway and patio took a while beacause those stones are so heavy and getting them as level as possible is such a pain! It could also be because we would lay four or five, and then call it quits for the evening and have a cocktail. Hahahaha.
Life got busy again and I didn't quite get the patio rounded out, but we will keep chipping away at it. This is our favorite spot to sit and have coffee on cool mornings or to have a cocktail on fall evenings under the twinkle lights. Even though we are sandwiched pretty closely between our neighbors, the fence and the bamboo give us a nice bit of privacy.
I have more pretty containers of flowers on the patio. I love to keep little things I can clip to bring inside to enjoy. I also have a pot of herbs that I love to snip on when cooking dinner.
Well y'all, I think this garden tour might have been more fun for me than anybody! It is always good for me to take a step back and remember how far my little home has come. Sometimes I have tunnel vision and can only see all the things that I still need to work on! Now that the front yard and patio are looking good, I have got to move on to the back yard. I have been working hard to clear out and tame the jungle but there is still a lot to do to get it looking good. I hope this has inspired you to spend a little time outdoors and create a space that you truly enjoy! Don't worry if it takes you a few years like me, life is always a work in progress!
While you are here, take a look around the shop. We have some great little pots, perfect for starting succulents, herbs or small house plants!
I know I haven't updated you all in a few months, but that's because we haven't made much progress lately! With the school year winding down, Spring events in full swing, and Phillip's business busier than ever, we have struggled to find time to commit to the house next door. Also, we have the cutest little helper who tends to slow us down a bit. (As you can see, she LOVES ladders.)
We weren't in love with the previous floor plan of the house. The kitchen was awkwardly large, the living room was small, and it was two bedroom/two baths, with no master. We were able to maximize the use of the square footage of the home by completely changing the layout.
Phillip had the great idea to move the kitchen to the front of the home, and create a large cased opening to make the living room feel larger. I know it is hard to envision the layout when everything is still studs, so I sketched a quick floor plan for you to see! It is definitely not to scale, but this will give you a better idea of what we're working with.
This is the view when you walk in the front door. The kitchen and dining room are to your right, and the hallway is directly in front of you.
This is your view looking into the living room from the kitchen.
This is your view looking into the kitchen from the living room.
The house lacked a master bedroom, as I have previously stated, so we definitely wanted to create one. When Phillip decided to move the kitchen to the front of the house, it made sense to move the master bedroom/bath to the back! We turned what use to be the laundry room into the master bath and closet.
The picture on the left is the guest bathroom, which turned out great! This is where the washer and dryer will be located, as well as a large vanity and roomy linen closet. The picture on the right is looking into the master bathroom.
Also, this house lacked a hallway, so we wanted to be sure to add one in so the flow of the house made more sense. This is the view from the master bedroom doorway.
The existing two bedrooms were a decent size, but as I have said before, there was a ton of wasted space. We were able to figure out a way to squeeze in an extra bedroom/office, while still keeping two large bathrooms! Here is a look at the two guest bedrooms. The room on the left is larger with a spacious closet, and the room on the right is much smaller. We will add two small closets on either side of the window with a window seat connecting them.
We have been busy doing electrical and plumbing work, so hopefully we will wind that up in the next week or two. Then we will have the house insulated and get the sheetrock installed! Hopefully it will all start coming together soon so that I can share more details with you!
As if our life wasn't already hectic enough, Phillip and I decided to take on another home renovation project. I know, I know...we're crazy. We are fully aware! I vividly remember saying that we would never do this again--so what gives? You'll understand why we chose to take this leap once I explain a little more.
When we purchased our home (Beech Street Bungalow) back in 2016, the only thing about the home that we weren't crazy about was some of the surrounding properties. We knew, in particular, that the home and property directly next door were not living up to it's potential, and hoped one day that it would.
Fast forward to 2020. Our home had been "completed" for almost two years, we had a new baby girl, and were awaiting another foster placement. Our marriage was in one of the calmest stages we had experienced thus far! Our neighbor shared with us that he was interested in selling his home, so Phillip and I began dreaming. Dreaming of what this home could be, dreaming of the change it would create in our neighborhood.
After many late night discussions, a lot of research, tons of number crunching and the weighing of future plans--Phillip and I decided to make an offer on the house! This is where the crazy part comes in. Could we afford it? Probably not. Did we have time to work on it? That's an easy NO. Did we know what we were getting into? Haha, no, you never do! But did we have the desire to see this home brought to life, and to be the ones to give it a second chance? Yes!
If you know me, you know I am very much a planner. I also love a challenge. This idea seemed to speak to me on so many levels--planning for our future, as well as a fun design and budgeting challenge. I was, and still am, delighted to be a part of this project and I can't wait to share the journey with you!
Enough with the backstory, let's give you a tour!
The exterior of the home lacked curb appeal, mostly due to the small fenced in front yard and the carport area.
Here is a better view of the front of this home. (Check out how close our houses are to each other.)
The easiest decision to make was also one of the simplest things to do in order to instantly affect the curb appeal. We pulled up the fence in the front yard, tore out the screened in porch under the carport, and cleaned up the yard! Just that simple change made the property more attractive. One obvious decision we pulled the trigger on early in the process was putting a new roof on the house. You will see in some of the pictures that there was extensive damage due to multiple roof leaks, so we definitely wanted to take care of that!
Here's a tour of the inside of the home.
The Living Room:
Bathrooms #1 and #2:
The Laundry Room/Closet:
Here's a peek at some progress. We felt the need to completely gut this house given the state that it was in, which opened up the opportunity to change the entire layout of the home. We did decide to change it from a two bedroom/two bath, to a three bedroom/two bath house. One bedroom will be small, but it could also function as an office.
On the next home renovation update, I'll share the new layout with you, as well as some of our ideas! This may be a slow process, but I promise to keep you posted along the way. We hope that by taking on this project, we will breathe a little more life into our neighborhood. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity so close to home!
I already know what you are thinking. It is almost February, the season of love, so here comes the obligatory, sappy love post about how sweet Valentine’s Day is and the shameless promotion of something I would like you to buy from me for your Valentine. Don’t worry! That is not the purpose of this post. Well, not exactly. I am going to ask you to buy something, but don’t worry, it’s for a good cause! I hope I can put a different spin on this season for you, and I hope that by the end of this post you are feeling all the feels in a way that surprises you a bit.
Lately, at least to me, it seems the world around us is lacking in the love department. We all know that 2020 was a rough year for most. We are all still reeling from the effects of an ongoing global pandemic: illness and death, financial distress, failing small businesses, depression and anxiety, unemployment, food shortages… the list could go on forever. On top of that, racial and partisan divisions seem to be at a boiling point as riots continue and we have even seen our very own Capitol temporarily taken hostage and our democracy threatened. I saw a very funny meme a few days ago that pointed out the pronunciation of our new year is “2020 won” Unfortunately it does seem like we have all let 2020 get the best of us.
If you look back in our more recent history, tough times are usually something that unites us. Even if only for a short time, we have been able to put our differences aside and see each other as human, instead of as a color, or as a republican or a democrat. It has been so disheartening to watch as the struggles of our current times have turned us against each other. That we have allowed something as simple as a face mask, to cause division and incite hatred. I am not making light of racial and political struggles, because I know they are very real. I am just saying that there seems to be something major missing in our country, and I think it is love. We are all too busy thinking we have been wronged in some way, or that our struggle is worse than someone else's, or that no one understands us, or that “our” particular interests are not being represented. We have lost sight of our most important and most basic job, to love one another as Christ loved us. You may come back at me and say that the people causing the most trouble, are not believers, and you may be right, but I am willing to bet that most of the loudest mouths, and the biggest troublemakers in our society right now, would claim to at least believe in God, and would probably even claim to be following his will. I know you will also say that there is plenty of good still happening in the world and we just see the bad. I know that too, but just to be clear, there are a lot of serious, bad things happening. Things that are important, and need to be addressed, but if we as a whole, can’t figure out how to approach those situations first with love, and respect for our fellow man, we will never be able to overcome our differences.
Don’t worry, I am not about to take a political stance, or force my personal beliefs on you. I am getting to the “love” part I promise! The truth is, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed. 2021 is off to a rocky start. We are facing many unknowns and uncertainties. It is easy to get swept up in the craziness of the world, and forget that we can all move mountains, if we start with ourselves, with our own families, churches, businesses and communities. I was reminded recently, in my daily devotional, the importance of focusing on the unfailing and incomparable love of the Lord. Psalm 118 was the scripture that went with the devotion on the particular day I was reading, and it happened on a day that I truly needed to hear it. The Lord reminds us over and over that His love endures forever.
Psalm 118 basically lays out all the hardships of this world, and reminds us that the Lord is mighty, He is our refuge and strength, and His love endures forever. It was a good reminder to me, that no matter how crazy the world around me gets, I can rest in the fact that I am fully loved by a mighty God. The world may fail me, and men may hate me, (whether it be over disagreements on mask wearing, political party, race, or religion), but His love endures forever. If we, who believe, are comforted by this unfailing love, we must also feel empowered by it. Empowered to show a glimpse of it to others.
As Tara and I were brainstorming about the Spring schedule and our themes for the year, we just kept coming back to “share the love”. We are all given opportunities, everyday, to share the love. Whether it be kindness to a neighbor, patience with a trying customer, food to shut ins, a prayer for those who are hurting or struggling…. this list could also go on forever! It is easy to get wrapped up in joy and happiness at holiday time, but we are hoping that we can encourage and ignite you to make a conscious effort to show some love in your community. Reach out to families that are suffering the loss of a family member, send a card to a family member you haven’t been able to visit.
Here’s another challenge for you. Yep, you know I have to bring it around to loving your community and your small businesses! Send your community leaders an encouraging note to tell them that you appreciate the work they are doing. Get involved in a community project. I can promise you that now, more than ever, volunteers are needed! Don’t forget to shop small this Spring. It is easy to remember at holiday time, but your small businesses need you all year. Be mindful of where you are choosing to spend your money. Think of the businesses that are the lifeblood of your community. I promise you that 2020 wasn’t kind to them. Think of the businesses that you would miss if they weren’t there any more, and make it a point to support them when you can. Even if it is just once a month.
We have come up with a fun little way you can choose to “share the love” with one of your favorite small businesses. We are selling these cute little stickers, created by 1 Canoe 2, as a fundraiser for our local Downtown Development Association.
We would love to send one of these to your favorite small business. Just include a message in the comments box at check out and include the mailing address for your favorite business as the shipping information. We will send the sticker of your choice and your message (free shipping) in a sweet card to the small business you choose. Click HERE to purchase one!
What a sweet way to “share the love” and build up a business that has probably had a hard year. You can order several and hand them out in person if you would rather make it a point to stop in at your favorite places.
Our DDA has taken on the tall task of turning an old, abandoned property in the heart of our downtown, into a lovely pocket park.
We are doing this on a very limited budget and will have to do a lot of fundraising. Buying this little sticker might seem like a small thing to you, but for us it is one more small step in the right direction. Not only will you be sharing the love with the small business that you choose, but you will also be sharing a little love with our hometown of Ocilla, GA.
As you gear up for this season of love, we hope you will be mindful and take the time to think of others, outside your family or friend group and share the love.
Baking goodies for others to enjoy is quite possibly my favorite tradition during the holidays. The only thing that makes it even more fun is having happy little helpers! My niece Cadence and I have a history of making sweet treats together, last year Lila was by my side as I whipped up Christmas goodies, and this year I am excited to share this yearly tradition with our foster daughter!
(Be sure to turn your volume up to hear Cadence's merry humming :)
Christmas cookies may be my favorite treat to make and share with family and friends. Here are a few reasons why:
- You can make multiple flavors and put together mixed treat boxes.
- Most cookie doughs freeze really well, so you can make dough in advance!
- Cookie decorating allows you to be creative and give your treats a festive touch.
- Cookies are naturally single-servings, so they are great for holiday parties.
- Santa loves cookies!
In the past, we've shared our favorite Sugar Cookie recipe, as well as the ever-famous Fruitcake Cookie recipe. Both of these recipes are classic Christmas treats, and will quickly become family-favorites! You can find the recipe cards for these two cookies in our Recipe Archive!
Today I wanted to share one of my new-found favorite cookies with you! Often called Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, these fudgy treats are covered in powdered sugar, creating a beautiful effect when baked. Not only are they showy, but oh-so delicious! These are the perfect dessert for the chocolate lovers in your family.
This Christmas, I hope you'll try a new recipe or two, make unforgettable memories with your little ones, create new holiday traditions, and share yummy treats with your family and friends!
If you're looking for a unique way to package your Christmas Cookies this year, consider our Cookie Box Kits! Each kit contains 6 cookie boxes, twine and tags to create the sweetest gift!
I am not usually one to promote wishing your life away, but lately I have found myself dreaming of the holidays, a happy new year, and moving right on in to 2021! I think we can all agree that this year has left us with so many feelings of uncertainty that we are ready to move on to new season of life. At The Southern Merc, we even launched our first Christmas collection on the website a little earlier than planned this year. Not that we don't love fall, but we were getting the feeling that folks are ready to deck the halls and have something fun to celebrate! Are we right?
My sweet friend Melissa took a new job over the summer as the chamber director in a neighboring town. While fixing up her new office and getting organized, she realized that she had purchased and hung on the wall a 2021 calendar instead of 2020. We all decided that this was her sub-conscience telling her she was officially over 2020!
While we all had a good laugh over this, there is something to allowing yourself to spend some time thinking about and dreaming of the future, especially when coming out of a hard time. If you've found yourself starting to move on to next year in your mind, then you are going to need a beautiful new calendar or planner to help spruce up your work area or home office. Rifle Paper Co. makes the most beautiful calendars and we are in love with the designs for 2021!
So head on over the store, treat yourself to a pretty new planner, and start dreaming of a fabulous future! Good-bye pandemic, election year, hurricane season, home school, and virtual offices. Cheers to a new year and a new, refreshed you!
To shop our calendars, click HERE.
Recently, Tara and I hosted a beautiful bridal shower for our dear friend Claire, who will be getting married in November. Y'all know we love an excuse to have a party, so when Claire got engaged, I didn't waste any time starting to put together ideas for her bridal shower. This party was extra special to me as I am blessed beyond measure to be Claire's Fairy Godmother. Claire was in middle school when I moved back to Ocilla after college. I rented my first little house from her family and since that made us backyard and backdoor neighbors, Claire and I became fast friends. She would pop over to my house in the afternoons to chat about school. She begged me for a job at the store and never forgot that I told her she had to be fifteen to start working. She rode her bike to work on her 15th birthday and she has been a part of The Shoppes family ever since. When I bought my little house and moved around the corner, she was thrilled that we would still be backyard neighbors. It is so comforting to live so close to someone who has become so dear to my heart.
Over the years we have cried together, mourned together, worked hard together, laughed together and celebrated together. It is so exciting to now be celebrating her upcoming wedding! I don't think it is possible for me to be more happy for her. She is going to make the most beautiful bride!
The date was set, the menu was planned and we got to work on the decor. Tara and I put our heads together and decided on a color palette of greens, and shades of pink and coral. We used citrus fruit and peaches for an extra pop of color.
I used my collection of vintage milk glass containers as vessels for the beautiful floral arrangements. Some arrangements received whole peaches or small oranges and others were decorated with halved grapefruits. The addition of the fruits to the decor was really beautiful and added an extra special touch.
We enlisted the help of Jorjanne and Claire's special friends, Courtney and Kelsey, to help us host. This talented group of women worked hard to make our vision come to life!
The shower took place in the morning so we decided on a brunch menu. Tara was full of good ideas for this because brunch foods are her favorites!
We knew we needed sweet and savory menu items alike, so of course cake was at the top of our list. How can you have a party without cake?!
Tara took one of her favorite recipes and dressed it up a bit. She started with a vanilla cake and layered it with white chocolate buttercream and peach filling--yum! She piped the outside of the cake to look like petals to give it a fancy flair.
Our other sweet option was a glazed lemon cookie. These treats were tiny and delicious--perfect for a brunch!
We love a beautiful charcuterie board, and we thought this would be a fun opportunity to have one! Full of baked ham, cheese slices, fresh fruit and miscellaneous biscuit toppings, this board was a hit!
We offered homemade plain and blueberry biscuits to go with our board. We thought we needed another savory option, so we decided on a Sausage and Cheddar Quiche, baked as individual servings!
It turned out to be a beautiful display of delicious breakfast favorites.
This shower was so fun and so sweet. As I looked around the room at all of the beautiful women that came to celebrate with Claire, I was overwhelmed by the amount of love contained in one space. Our gathering wasn't just about gifts and cake. (Although it might have been the best cake I have ever eaten.) This group truly came together to shower Claire with love and support as she prepares to enter into a new season of life, which made the day just perfect.
If you are planning a party or shower for someone special to you, check out our blog posts about "parties and get-togethers".
An attitude of gratitude. It's easy to say, but harder to live by.
I have my good days, but I also have my fair share of bad ones. It's as if I wake up and roll right out of the wrong side of the bed.
The great stealer of joy strikes again, and I allow him to. I let my wall down and just let him convince me that whatever it is that has me bent out of shape is more important than loving the people around me well. Though that isn't my intention, that is inevitably what happens. I hide behind fake smiles and uninterested conversation, stealing the joy of laughter and sincere concern from my friends.
It's so easy in today's world to allow the "dreary wearies" to set in and ruin your whole day. I am so guilty of this from time to time. We know people who have allowed that attitude to take over day after day, and it's no fun to be around them. It's quite exhausting, actually.
I know right now it's especially hard to keep our attitude in check with so much confusion, fear and hate in the world today. But what if we were born for such a time as this? What if the world so desperately needs our light during this crazy time to bring hope and joy to others? We can't allow an occasional bad mood to dim our light. We must press on and choose to find the joy in every situation. We must work to create an attitude of gratitude, rather than allowing our circumstances to determine our disposition.
It seems as if our world has lost the genuine feeling of gratitude. Many have grown to believe that they deserve something, have the right to, are owed something, or have earned it by meeting minimal standards--including our children. (Ouch! Did that hurt? It hurt me a little.)
I am learning that it is our responsibility to raise our children in such a way that develops a sincere heart, a strong work ethic and a concern for others. Teach your children about gratitude. Start when they're young and help to create a thankful heart in them. Our children learn by example, so be that for them. Look for ways to daily display an attitude of gratitude so that it becomes a natural reaction for them.
Sometimes, the best way to show your gratitude is through words. A handwritten list of things that you are grateful for is a great way to state and recognize how much we truly have to be grateful for. However, this only works when you realize that every good gift is from God, not solely as a result of our hard work or sacrifice.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Here at The Southern Mercantile, we are extremely grateful for our customers and fans. We know and recognize that if it weren't for your love and support, this company wouldn't exist. Every single comment, share, purchase or visit is crucial to our success!
We strive to have a grateful heart, and hope it is evident in all we do. We love to create, and we love that you provide that opportunity for us.
In this day and age, it seems that thank you notes are becoming a thing of the past. For our first paper design, we knew we wanted to create a beautiful thank you card that could be enjoyed by all. The original design was created by Roxie and me, a colorful combination of watercolor and acrylic artwork.
We hope to encourage an attitude of gratitude with the use of these cards, as well as a genuine excitement for expressing your many thanks. If you're looking for a few tips on how to carefully craft your own thank you notes, check out our blog The Art of the Thank You Note! In this blog I describe why thank you notes are important and how to make yours stand out from the crowd. Make someone's day by sending them a genuine, heartfelt thank you, and you just might be the catalyst for spreading a little light in a dark time.
If you are interested in ordering this set of 10 thank you cards and envelopes, shop now!