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!! 


Life Skills : The Lovely Ladies Luncheon


Get it?

Like - You can't touch this (oh-oh oh oh oh-oh)
Break it down (more oh's)
STOP - manner time.

Ok. Well, I thought it was witty.

Anyway, most of you know that I taught life skills to a group of twelve amazing young ladies this semester. Since I have been out 7 of the 14 classes because of travel, I wanted to do something super special for them while still teaching them a super crucial life skill. 

So we had a luncheon.

THE Lovely Ladies Luncheon, that is.


This is the formal invite I sent out, with a glimpse of the image on the envelope to the right.


Rhinestones, glitter, textured cardstock - you know, the works. 

The assistant teacher for the class (who is amazingly awesome) hosted the luncheon at her abode.


Each girl brought food (potluck style is probably not the fanciest, but we worked with what we had).


And I pulled out every nice dish JD and I had at our house (not to mention $1 chargers I found at Michael's that morning - oh yeah!!). 


Annnd... I may have pulled most of my Christmas decorations down to create cute centerpieces for each table. 

Did you notice that we put the bread rolls in Santa's sleigh?... That was a collaboration effort between a couple of my students. ;)


The girls learned how to create a centerpiece using vases, old bottles and antiques I've collected over the years for next-to-nothing at antique / thrift stores. 

Side note: One of the girls put up a pic on Instagram the next day of vintage vases they found at an antique store. I was beyond-words proud. :)



We put all of the plates and silverware in the kitchen and left the chargers empty so that the girls could set their own place settings. (Hands-on experience is the best tool, right?)

Each girl set her place place setting:
Dinner plate on bottom, salad plate on top.
Forks on your left.
Remember: F-O-R-K has four letters and L-E-F-T has four letters.
Spoons and knives on your right.
Remember: S-P-O-O-N and K-N-I-F-E have five letters and R-I-G-H-T has five letters.
Size of the silverware goes from smallest on the outside to the largest on the inside. 
Follow the sizes with each course (i.e. furthest fork from you is for your salad, largest fork beside your plate is your dinner fork).
Tea glasses always go to the top right of the plate.
Napkin goes in the lap. 


After we went over a list of table etiquette pointers, we passed a box of cards around the table called Table Topics. My favorite question was, "At what age is someone old and how does a person stay young?"

There were a variety of answers from 17-years-old is "old" to 40-years-old to 80-years-old. My favorite answer is, 
"You're only old when you begin thinking that you're old." 

That's wisdom -- from a teenager. 
I love it.


We finished up the afternoon with a present-wrapping and bow-making lesson where the girls dominated. I'm pretty sure they'll be giving out packages this year with stellar packaging! 


What do you think about being old...
At what age is someone old and how does a person stay young?


**Thanks to Shelby for taking some of these fantastic photos!





Friday Favesies

We're linking up again this week with Ruthy over at Discovery Street for:






We are behind on sending out our Jitney Year 2 CD... even though we planned way in advance to get them out by May 29, my optical drive on my computer crashed. We debated on getting the drive replaced or just giving in and replacing my ole' faithful Mac. Unfortunately, the drive won. :) Apple replaced it and we were back on our way. We designed, printed and put together our CD covers (photos coming soon); and now we're just waiting on our super cool "recycled newspaper" envelopes we ordered from The Container Store. My inspiration for the cover of the envelopes are these beautiful calligraphy creations:


This season, we wrapped our brown couch in a white canvas sofa cover. Thanks to Organize Your Stuff Now, we will now be wrapping the four giant brown pillows in super sweet chevron fabric. I was planning on sewing pillowcases for the couch pillows but this approach may be a bit easier. I wonder if they come untied easily though?






However, my ---hands down--- most absolute favesie of this week is....


Yes. This guy. You see, we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day for each other simply because one day, eventually, we'll be the mom and dad to some pretty cool kids (whether by birth, adoption or both). I enjoy celebrating the fact that JD Todd is going to be an incredible dad to our kids and vice versa. So I woke up early Sunday morning, cooked him breakfast, set it on our wicker breakfast tray and carried it into the bedroom.

Whit: "So what do you want to do today? It's your day. We're celebrating you."
JD: "Honestly? I want to eat this delicious breakfast and then spend the day rearranging your office so you can hang up the crates we bought on our way back from our anniversary, plus you can really focus on organizing stuff for the Etsy shop."

Seriously? And that's why he wins the Friday Favesies post. :) We spent the entire day taking stuff off the walls, laying it all out and then nailing it all up again. Here are a few shots of the new and improved office in our apartment... We're leaving out a couple of things to post later so be on the lookout!


This wall took quite a few hours to put up, but it was worth it!! 



I finally crafted this pushpin Mason jar. What do you think?


This is the printing and shipping wall -- everything I need to grab when putting together one of our Jitney's Journeys packages. Perfection. :) 

We found the three wooden lock boxes at an antique store on the side of the road coming back from Chattanooga. The guy who sold us the boxes (for $10 as a set) said he was pretty sure the boxes were a piece of junk. However, we are super drawn into the TV show Storage Wars right now, so we thought we may have a unique find here! Even if we don't, they make awesome storage and organization boxes. :)


This "Pop Shop" crate was propped up at Knitting Mills Antique in Chattanooga, just calling our names. JD picked it out. The crate holds my yarn upright and is the perfect size for large Mason jars. 


I have been searching for months to find an old Coca Cola crate that I could store my thread and bobbins in. Cha-ching!! We found this beauty at Knitting Mills Antique in Chattanooga on our anniversary trip.


Old coat hangers from an antique market that I now use as my packing dispensers.


My fabric station -- these lovely old suitcases are PACKED with fabulous fabric!


The Staple Piece



We told you a couple of weeks ago that we would share our "special find" from the Cotton Depot.

This is it!

This is our home. I've been looking everywhere for that "staple piece" to build our house around when the time comes, and this is it. It went up for sale six days before we bought it.

As soon as I laid my eyes on it, I started frantically calling JD. "We have to get this table, JD. It is so perfect and it is everything I've dreamed of for our home."

Please note here that we are trying really hard to become less materialistic. As in, if God calls us to leave everything behind and serve in a third-world country, then we would quickly and willingly drop everything to respond to that calling.


I'm really thinking this table would fit on a plane along with our one suitcase of absolute necessities...? Haha

The lady hung a "SOLD" sign on it until JD came to Monroe. We picked it up Saturday and she said at least four people had come in since we bought it, asking if they could buy it from her if they paid her more money. Thankfully she was the sweetest lady and kept to her word until we picked it up.

Isn't it just the sweetest table you've ever seen? It is handmade from old barnwood and the legs are white-washed. We will probably put a bench along one side when we move into a house.

Do you have a staple piece that you've built your home around?

Special Finds at The Cotton Depot

Is it in you?? The desire to find the hottest deals at the lowest prices... with the most history behind it? 


Here are the hottest things I found when antique-ing in Monroe, GA, at The Cotton Depot with my mom the week before Easter...



There is just something classic about an old rotary phone, no? This screams retro and America. Don't you love it? I had to part ways with it after snapping this photo because I have a lovely yellow one just like it (oh, but it would fit in so wonderfully with my light blue and red kitchen appliances!!). 



Old filing cabinet. 
Oh yes. I've been searching for something like this for a while. I just never expected it to be so perfect. This purchased jewel will be stored in my shabby chic office when we buy a new home. 



These pieces were created using photo frames and candlestick holders. Fantastic way to create a tiered look to those photos, word art creations or scrapbook paper accents!



This lady's booth is one of my favorites. She has such a beautiful way of organizing her products. Old suitcases such as the one above simply make my heart melt. Did I mention that my mom had a tiny tan one waiting for me (with a few inches of fabric for me to play with tucked inside) when I went to visit her and dad the week before Easter? She knows me so well. :)



{sigh} 
An old sewing machine head. This baby was only $22 but will probably never be able to work again without the sewing table and presser foot. I don't care. It's beautiful. 



One day, JD and I will buy an old typewriter to put in our home. We just have to find the perfect one. This one was close to it, but I had already maxed out the budget for my trip. How so? 

...Well, we'll show you that once we have it all settled and cozy in our home...





And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this absolutely striking photo of my mom walking her garden. 

Isn't she beautiful? 


We had the best time walking around their yard as mom pointed out each plant and the history behind it. Many of the plants have been pulled from her mother's and grandmother's yards, simply to be re-planted in my parent's yard. I look forward to the day my mom and Gingin pass down plants to us when JD and I move into our first house. 

Come back Thursday to see photos of my parent's yard and the magical little fairy garden they've created in an old rusty bathtub from my grandparent's lake house in North Georgia.