The Todd Nest : Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch

Sneak into our garden and check out the Easter Egg Hunt we had with our neighbors this year...

As most of you know, we inherited an amazing backyard garden when we bought this house. The lady who lived her before us spent most of her days cultivating the lovely flowers that bloom year-round. We couldn't think of any better way to enjoy it than to enjoy it with others. 



Decor: We used the potting bench JD and dad made for us as the drink and dessert table. It worked superbly! We displayed chalkboards which proclaimed the glory of Christ, that He is risen! Unfinished quilting squares were used as tablecloths and we placed our snowball hydrangeas in old tins and a large vintage teapot. They bloomed just in time for the brunch. Mom and dad gave us their super sweet vintage cooler on wheels so we served ice out of that and filled with side pocket up with little glass Coca-Cola bottles (not pictured).


JD and I put together a mass of these "Jelly Bean Story" favors with the help of our next door neighbors. My friend Katy Jo told me about the poem she found online but I rendered it a bit to give it more diversity in the rhyming. :) The design matches the invitations we delivered to our neighbors. My genius husband had the idea of placing a couple of our barnwood boards on the arms of the island chair to create another table. Gosh, I love that man and his creative brain. We set a watering can and a few other vintage items on it. One of our neighbors brought us a lovely spring bouquet we set in the watering can.


All of the neighborhood kids came over, with baskets in tow. 


They started wandering the backyard garden as soon as we said "go"! 
{did you like the rhyming there...?}


Since we're planning on hosting this Easter Egg Hunt and Brunch annually, we asked the kids to return their emptied Easter eggs to a basket so that we could use for next year. (Thanks to my parents, we ended up having a total of 600 eggs!!! And thanks to our church small group, we had several hands willing to stuff tiny prizes in each one. Wahoo!)


The kids emptied their baskets and sorted through their eggs to find lots of little surprises....


And we even hid six golden eggs (a few with half dollar coins and one with a $5 bill). One of the kids found two golden eggs and sweetly gave his second one to Lilianna. She opened it only to find the one rolled up $5 bill. Cha-ching! 


This was, by far, my favorite moment of the day. I loved watching JD help little Ava open all of her eggs. While we're incredibly happy in the season we are in (married without kiddos), these moments certainly make my heart anticipate the day that we have some little Todd-lings running around. He's going to be an amazing dad one day. ;)

Ok... retreating from the sappiness, each family brought a delicious brunch item which varied from homemade cinnamon rolls to cheesy grits casserole to homemade biscuits with the fixins to sausage pinwheels to fruit to cute cupcakes. It was incredible!! 


Look at all of these beautiful faces!!


What an absolute joy it was, to see relationships being built and families gathering together all while worshiping the resurrection of Christ through joining in community!



We loved, loved, loved getting together with everyone... but having my parents with us made this celebration priceless. My mom is the master of hosting and making all things lovely. Seriously. She is the person I call before typing "how to" into Google. 

I thought she was going to help me organize everything and give me a checklist of things to be done. On the contrary, she made dad turn into an estate sale early Saturday morning instead of coming to help us. Before you start judging her and thinking that this was a terrible thing for a mom to do, please know that in hindsight, I couldn't be more grateful. I'm incredibly dependent on her and she knows it. She wanted this to be an event that JD and I put together all by ourselves, to show that we could do it without her and dad. 

It's the same way I learned to ride my bike... My dad was always there guiding me but when he knew I could peddle on my own without falling off, he stepped back. He let me ride freely, with my hair flowing in the wind (or stuffed under a fat helmet). He trusted that I learned all that he taught me and that I listened well. And you know what? Sure, I fell off a few times after that, but I always got back up. I learned from my mistakes and developed into a really great biker that only falls off her bike rarely now (instead of often. Yes, it still happens occasionally).

And so it went with the party. It made me flip out at first, but at the end of the day, I learned SO MUCH MORE!! She and dad stepped in when they were absolutely needed but stepped back at all other times. Thank you for teaching us your skills, your tricks and your creativity. Thank you for trusting that we learned those things and learned them well enough to do it all on our own. Thank you for letting us go forth on our own, but still coming to support us and celebrate with us. We are so deeply grateful for you both, mom and dad. 


The entire event was a massive collaborative effort. Thank you to everyone who helped us prepare / brainstorm, brought food, and helped clean. We couldn't have done it without you all!!


Etsy Product Release : Easter Bunny Burlap Tote


Do you realize that Easter is in THREE weeks!? 


Surprise... The bunny will be hoppin' in early this year! 

Don't have a panic attack YET. We can help you take care of one thing....

Introducing the Easter Basket Tote:


Isn't it lovely??

You can find it in our Etsy shop here

My mom and I came up with this little beauty in February while JD was out of the country. She is a genius and I'm so thankful for our mother / daughter / closest girlfriend / business-partners relationship. I can't wait to show you the antique booth I helped her and dad set up at the Cotton Depot.

Now, back to the Easter totes...

Our little cousin, Emma Kate, came over for the day to be our Jitney model. She was a perfect lady and her mom dressed her in the PERFECT attire!! 


The bag is blurry in the photo below but it was such a sweet photo of Emma Kate that I couldn't resist in sharing it!! She showed off that tote like a paid pro.


The Deets:

This sweet Easter Bunny burlap tote bag is perfect for the kid on the hunt! It's large enough to hold tons of candy but small enough for a young child to carry around.

Don't forget to order one for your favorite teacher too!

One white Easter bunny is stenciled in the middle of the front of the bag. We handmake each bunny tail out of special paper. If you would like a different colored bunny, we would love for you to message us with your preference and we will customize your order without a problem. Each bag comes with a special Easter tag attached to one of the handles. The backside of the burlap bag is plain but can be stenciled with a name or monogram in any color for $3 extra. Message us and we will create a custom order if you would like it personalized.

The burlap bag is lined with a sheer thick material to prevent items from slipping through the burlap material. It has been coated with a protective coating for easier cleaning and color fastness. However, we do not recommend machine-washing. 

Dimensions: 9" x 11" x 4"

AND We're Back...

Back from what, you ask?

Life.

I wish I could say we have been so busy exploring the world that we haven't had much time to write, but it's certainly not the case. On the contrary, we spent an amazing few weeks visiting with family scattered throughout the South. The roadtrips were awesome - filled with deep theological conversations and always ending with the sweet sound of laughter. The time we spent with family was precious and will forever be engrained in our hearts.

We then returned home mid-January with a heap of things to catch up on. This, of course, includes redecorating and repurposing some really cool antiques we were given and some other ones we stumbled upon during our family vacations. I'll be blogging about those special things in the very near future.

My mind has been RACING with an overflow of ideas for Jitney's Journeys - both our blog and our Etsy shop. Do you ever feel like your mind is pouring out ideas so rapidly that you can't get it down on paper fast enough?? That's been me for about five weeks now. It's a pretty bittersweet feeling. While I'm super excited about all of the ideas, I realize that I just don't have enough hands to produce them all in the quick timely manner I'd like - and even less resources to hire people to help. Fortunately, I'll have some wonderful creative hands-on-deck for about a month soon so that will be a HUGE help! In the meantime, we're in the midst of creating a solid business plan (thanks to JD's business classes and my public relations training in college) that will hopefully carry us through in the long haul. It's tough to have a long-term mindset when you have so much excitement stirring to get things done in the moment, but that's how the tortoise won. And we must have the mindset of the tortoise if we want to be successful.

Starting February 11, we will have all of our burlap products up and ready for production in the Etsy shop. Until then, we have these super cute pillows up for sale...

This one was created specifically with Valentine's Day in mind but you can set this lovely thing out any day of the year!!






Oh yeah... And I turn 25 tomorrow.

Thus, the biggest reason for me to start back in a steady routine of blogging, but more on that later. 

Have a happy Monday!! 


Turquoise and Bison Hide : Moleskine Leather Journal Cover


Over the last few years, I have wanted so badly to make my own leather journal.

Fortunately, my brother's brother-in-law taught him how to make one. Ergo, for our Christmas present, Chase (my brother) helped us make my first leather journal.

We're all spending Christmas at my parents' this year. Chase and Jackie flew in from Las Vegas Wednesday and we drove in from Huntsville that night.

Mom, Jackie and I had glitter and cardstock scattered everywhere with our projects while Chase and JD took up the other side of the basement with bison hide and leather-working tools.

Very few moments are as special as seeing family gathered together, especially when it's your husband and brother (dad joined in later after he came home early from work to be with us).


In all fairness to JD, he made 98% of my journal while I was working on other Christmas presents and drinking coffee. 

Have I mentioned that my husband is rockin'??

Look at this beautiful bison hide journal they put together for me:

front on the right, back on the left


It took us a while to figure out what kind of clasp we wanted to do in the front. My only non-negotiable was the turquoise closure. Brown and turquoise are the Jitney signature colors.


Instead of making an actual journal with the super rugged and gorgeous paper, we ended up making a leather journal cover so that I can interchange all of my Moleskine journals. 



I stitched the flap for decorative purposes and styled the closure. Besides that, my sweet husband worked for several hours on making it perfect. 

There was so much selflessness poured into this creation (JD was pages-deep into a new zombie novel when I asked him to help me).

I am deeply thankful for priceless moments spent with my amazingly creative family. I could not ask for more this Christmas. 

What do you think of the journal cover?

Thanksgiving Rummaging and Reminiscing

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of you have probably had five blog posts since Thanksgiving Day but we wanted to share our weekend with y'all anyway. :) I cannot wait to spend a couple of hours delving into your blogs, checking out your holiday happenings thus far. 

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. As much as I love giving gifts (and let's be honest... receiving gifts), Thanksgiving is one of the rare holidays that is all about family and friends. No tangible gifts. Just the gift of community. How awesome is that?

We spent the weekend at JD's parents in West Alabama. As some of you may know, JD's dad celebrated his eightieth birthday in October. Yeah - celebrate good times! C'mon!

He kicks it better than any eighty-year-old man we know. He walks about seven miles every day... after breakfast, after dinner (and probably most days after lunch). 

So we joined in, walking sticks and all.


And it was such a blessed time. 

There is just something so special about Thanksgiving walks with the fam. I'll never forget one Thanksgiving Day I spent walking under the amber trees at Lake Oconee (aka The Bungalow) a few years ago with my sweet Gingin. She shared with me how crucial it is to savor every moment, because you really never know when it will be the last. You think you know that until your grandmother reminds you. Then you realize you really don't know much at all so you better soak in every ounce of wisdom she has. JD and I are both thankful for the wisdom and lessons our precious parents and grandparents have taught us.

Back to the weekend....

JD's childhood room is still decked out in baseball posters. Stacks of baseball cards (with chalky gum still in the plastic wrapping of unopened cards) line the walls. Random Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines can be found in drawers and high school and collegiate awards still hang proudly on the walls. Needless to say, I love sleeping in there. It makes me feel like I can share a special part of him that I never had the chance of knowing. 

We spent the weekend trying to clean it out but had trouble since so much held a special place in JD's memory. Obviously, we had to share a few of our favorite finds with you...


The American Gladiator soup thermos. The black slanted writing is none other than the names of each gladiator. What!?


We rummaged through old papers and sermon notes. The ones above and below were favorites of mine. 

Why?

Because it proves that opposites truly do attract. 

JD's occupations of dissimilar interests include all but one of the things I wanted to do in life. When I was young, I spent every day in the basement teaching an imaginary classroom while writing lessons on several chalkboards for my "third grade students". I started college majoring in Radio, Televison and Film to be a News Anchor / Reporter - and switched halfway to finish my studies in Public Relations instead. And now... I would love to teach an art class. 

My only non-interest was a medical illustrator.

At least we agreed on one area of dissimilar interest.


However, my favorite find was this: JD's written testimony from high school (pictured below). Even though our stories of salvation never change, our testimonies of God's goodness and mercy are ever-changing in such a beautiful way. It was so awesome to read about the place God had JD in that season of life. 


And then we found this... a poem JD wrote in college that made goosebumps pop up on my arms. 

My sweet husband is such a humble man. Reading things like this make me fall even deeper in love with him and Christ. I am thankful for him.


Unbeknownst to me, JD set up my new sewing machine and all of my supplies in front of the TV (so he could watch football while I sewed) while I was sorting through his childhood room.


Thus goes the weekend: Walking, Turkey, Walking, Sewing, Football, Eating, Cleaning, Organizing, Sewing, and Walking. :)


What was your favorite Thanksgiving memory from this year??


Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! Please go check them out and show some love! :)



2010 Flashback : Happy Halloween Mad Scientists' Style

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween is a pretty huge event at the Adams' home (Whit's side of the family). Mom and dad think of a theme for the following year beginning the night of the present Halloween (i.e. the house was decked out like a pirate ship in 2009. that same night, they decided the next year would be a science lab). It's amazing the things they come up with... and they execute everything to a tee!

Every year, a plethora of brave (and not-so-brave) little kiddos stop by the house. We missed last year and will be missing this year too... but in honor of the Adams Family tradition, we felt it was only fitting to show you the videos we made from 2010: The Year of the Adams Mad Scientists' Lab.

Enjoy!


Get the full tour of my parents' "haunted" home here:



A few characters that stopped by, of course we offered them "brains and hearts" to eat. A few of our favorite characters were Woody & Buzz, the Sumo Girl and Optimus Prime among many others. We ran out of candy bags within the first hour of trick-or-treaters!



What would a Mad Scientists' Lab be without a bubbling, boiling pot of stew? The kids LOVED this experiment - all thanks to my genius dad. :)

 


This was the first year JD took part in the Pumpkin Carving tradition for my dad and me. We went techie-mode... 





We hate missing out on the tradition this year but we'll be thinking about all of our family as the trick-or-treaters come running out tonight. 


So, we're curious... do you have any special traditions on Halloween / the autumn season? Fall Festivals? Pumpkin patch picking? Trick-or-treating?

Viva Las Vegas : In-N-Out Burger vs. Five Guys


If you live on the West Coast, surely you've been to In-N-Out Burger, right?

Chase brags about how phenomenal it is every time he would come back from visiting Jackie's family in California. 

JD and I were pumped to try it out first hand. Thus, we decided to make it a priority in our Vegas Venture. 

The entire family kicked it animal style... or Wild Animal Style, as I like to say... from their Not-so-Secret Menu



The Verdict?

In-N-Out was delicious. We were digging the scripture on the wrappers and the 50's style vibe.

BUT, we decided that we still choose Five Guys and Fries as the Nation's Chain Burger Champ. The fries are perfect and the burgers. Yeah. Period. That's the best way to describe them. The burgers cannot even be adjective-ized. 

We've made our choice, but what is yours?
Which burger chain is your fave?






Philanthropic Friday : Emma Kate & the Nephcure Foundation

Things have been INSANELY crazy over the past couple of weeks. We've missed keeping up with our blogger friends and posting about our adventures but time slipped away before we knew it. Here's an attempt at getting back on track...

We want to introduce you to our sweet little cousin, Emma Kate.



Isn't she precious!? She was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome a couple of years ago.

Emma Kate is our inspiration for a new series we are beginning this week: Philanthropic Fridays.



We will probably only host Philanthropy Fridays about once a month. It will be a chance for you to link up and post about philanthropies or ministries that are close to your heart too. Let's get the word out!

Here's an excerpt about Emma Kate from Meredith's (Emma Kate's mom / my cousin) blog....


The entire time she was at the hospital she was SUCH a trooper. Never shed a single tear or complained about the treatments. Even through all the needle sticks, IV's, night wakings, ect., she was braver than us. 
The nurses were impressed. 
We were all impressed.
There were so many unknowns, and the doctors were far from encouraging! It didn't help matters that my son (5 months old at the time) was fighting a 104 degree fever and double ear infections. Thank God for family! And thank God for all the people lifting us up in prayer. With so many hard things coming at us at once, we were so thankful Emma Kate embraced the situation so well. Seeing her strength helped us out.
I cried more then than I have in my entire life. Part of the tears were from seeing how the steroids affected my sweet little girl so much. She went from hugging and smiling, to hitting and not wanting to be touched, overnight. Despite the behavioral changes on the second day, she still did well with the nurses and treatments. Thankfully, by the third day the initial shock to her system had calmed down and she was MUCH better. Needless to say I hugged on her ALL day that day, since she hadn't let us touch her the day before. A 2 year old not wanting to be touched or hugged by a parent is so much harder than you can imagine. Especially when all you want to do is love on them and let them know it's okay.
You can check out the rest of Meredith's blog here. Daniel and Meredith have changed Emma Kate's diet to reflect a gluten-free, dairy-free and low sodium lifestyle because of her condition. Along with other great tips and wisdom, Meredith's blog has fantastic insight and options on which foods to buy with that diet.

So what is Nephrotic Syndrome?

Nephrotic Syndrome, in itself, is not classified as a disease. However, it can potentially lead to blood clots and very serious conditions such as kidney failure if not treated correctly. In a properly-functioning system, the kidneys spill protein into the blood. With Ns, the kidneys spill protein into the urine instead. This causes swelling, lack of energy and urine output. Though Ns is most common in kids, doctors have yet to figure out the cause. More importantly, there is NO CURE. There are two types: minimal change (what Emma Kate has), and FSGS which is far more serious and often ends with a transplant. Eighty percent of the kids have the minimal change and do respond well to treatment. Though the cure has not been found, high doses of steroids or chemotherapy drugs can help put the body in remission.

There are a few ways you can help to find a cure...

(1) Walk. Are you free on September 15? Do you live near Alpharetta, Ga.? Go walk. Registration is free; they have a Zumba warm-up activity; and a Pancake Breakfast begins at 10:15... Do you need any more enticing?! 

(2) Donate. Emma Kate's team is trying to raise $2,000 for the foundation by Saturday. If you or your company are interested in donating, click on the Donate link. 

(3) Get the word out.

(4) Pray. Pray. Pray. For the kids who have the rare condition and for the families who have the challenge of comforting their kids through it. And pray for a cure. 


Philanthropic Fridays Button


Link back to us on your blog adding the button above to your post!







Etsy Product Release!! "Home Is the Nest You Build" Series


We are super excited to announce a few of our new products that arrived in our Etsy shop yesterday!!

These products were created by the one and only Mama E. We have entitled this series: 
Home Is the Nest You Build


"Our Flourishing Home"
We pondered over this piece for quite sometime. Then, all of the sudden, it just came together. A flourishing home is difficult to build, but wonderfully satisfying to attain. 



"Our Wild Nest"
Home is the nest you build for your family... And it just so happens that our nest is a WILD one!! Isn't family more enjoyable that way? If your home is filled with an overwhelming amount of laughter and joy, this may just be the perfect piece for you to place in your home. Take pride in that Wild Nest of yours!


...And my personal favorite... 


"Our Sweet Nest"
Since we've had a place to call our own as a married couple, we have always called our home, "Our Sweet Nest" in the same way I call JD, "My Sweet Husband". The word "sweet" just fits our lifestyle to a tee. I'll be honest, this is a tough piece for me to let go of. If you're an avid reader of our blog, you know that birds and nests have a lot of symbolism in our marriage. But, I am willing to let this piece go as long as someone will cherish it as much as we do. :)


Hope to see you in our Etsy shop!!
More products to come throughout the next few weeks! 



New Etsy Arrivals Coming Soon to Jitney's Journeys!!

You've asked for it and we are about to rock your face off with some new amazing stuff in our Etsy shop


Prepare yourself.

And your wallet. ;)


Mark your calendars for August 20. We will have an awesome Release Party going on right here at Jitney's Journeys where we will introduce all of our new handmade products. 

In the past two weeks, we've added a new member to our team... Mama E [my mom]. Talent truly flares from her fingertips like a freshly-lit sparkler. It baffles us. We're thankful for her inspiration and the joy she takes in sharing her creativity with our shop. 


Are you dying for a sneak peek yet?! Ok. Ok. Here's a few snapshots to tickle your fancy...



People always come to our little home and ask, "Where did we get that awesome LOVE banner from?" We made it. And now you can have one too! It's on super heavy duty cardstock... as in, I had to put on safety glasses just to use the scroll saw to cut out these letters. In fact, I don't think I would even classify the backing as cardstock. It's that intense. :)

These other pieces were created by Mama E. We (especially, I, Whitney) are infatuated with birds and nests. They have such a sweet spirit about them, but at the same time, scream freedom. That's my style.


Glass-etched, monogrammed Mason jars


And this. Oh. Isn't it just lovely? I have officially created burlap napkin rings. It was a far cry from an easy task, but we're really hoping people will fall in love with them as much as we have. 

Who wants some fantastic Chevron napkins? This girl does. I think we'll put some of those up in our shop too. 


Follow us on Instagram for more sneak peeks over the next two weeks.
@jitneysjourneys