Viva Las Vegas : Happily Ever After

Have you ever been to Fashion Show Mall in Vegas? 

It's pretty epic. 

A fashion show stage and catwalk literally rise from the ground floor and models strut their stuff. As soon as the show is over, the models step back into their window-shop positions as the stage and catwalk lower back down into the basement of the mall like an elevator. 

Sheer genius.


We celebrated Jackie's birthday at Maggiano's, family style Italian. 

Mmm.


The guys fought against Optimus Prime. 


And we took a lovely family photo in front of a fountain.


Here's a few last Vegas shots for your viewing pleasure...






Thanks Chase and Jackie for letting us stay with you guys. We're super proud of the things y'all are doing in Vegas. God is doing amazing work in and through the two of you. Can't wait to see what else He will do! 


Mom and Dad  - Few kids can say that their parents have been married for 30 years... much less happily married for 30 years. Chase and I have been infinitely blessed by you two. Your kisses in the kitchen and hands intertwined when you walk have not gone unnoticed. In fact, it is the imagery of your entire marriage. Thanks for loving each other wholeheartedly. You have not only stuck with each other through the worst of sickness - but you have fought for each other within in. Thanks for rubbing mom's feet when her neuropathy kicks in full-blast and for driving dad at nighttime because glaucoma has glazed his eyes. Your support of one another is impenetrable. Thanks for remaining faithful in prayer and in the Lord when doctors said mom would only have one more year to live in her darkest time of sickness, and when doctors said dad wouldn't be able to see his daughter's birth because he would be blind by that point. 

Most people must live by faith and not by sight.

But I have seen. 

I have seen that God heals and that He does a mighty work in marriages, in families and in our bodies. Thank you for leaning on Christ and each other in times of trials rather than straying apart from one another. Thank you for setting such a pure example of marriage for Chase and Jackie, and JD and myself. 

We love you.

Here's to 50 more years of being newlyweds. ;)

Viva Las Vegas : Red Rock Canyon


Not what you would be expecting from Las Vegas, huh?

Located about 15 miles outside of Vegas, Red Rock Canyon will overwhelm your senses. It is a glorious creation of fossilized sand dunes mixed with amber and crimson cliffs, thanks to the iron oxide built up throughout many centuries.


Isn't my mom lovely?


And this guy? He's such a stud. ;)


The stark contrast between the deeply colored rocks and the barren valley truly mesmerizes onlookers.


Chase & Jackie


Dad, Chase & me


JD & me


Happy 30th Anniversary, mom and dad!






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?






Life Skills 101 Class and More Etsy Product Releases!!



We shipped off a set of matching placemats and this table runner to one of our new favorite customers, Heather, last week. She requested a cursive font. I sent her a few fonts to choose from and she picked this super cute one!! Everything turned out fantastic and she really seemed to love them!! We love customizing orders to our customers' preferences! If you find something in our store that you love but would like to tweak to fit your style, just let us know and we will be more than happy to work with you to make it happen!!



Monogrammed Coasters

Don't destroy your coffee table with water stains. Use these elegant monogrammed coasters and entertain your guests in style!

Each coaster measures 3.75" x 3.75" and has an aged, rustic character. Each coaster is painted with a monogram of your choice and in the color of your choice (brown, black and red are the most popular). We carefully place felt pads on the backs of each coaster in order to protect your furniture from being scratched or damaged. These coasters are sealed with an exterior / interior protective coating. They can handle the puddles from the most condensating of drinks; and their luster can easily be revived with the swipe of a wet or dry dishcloth. :)

This Home is Our Nest ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Chatter Shadow Box

Henry Ward Beecher once said, "Birds finish the nest with their own breast, so it is the bosom that makes the home, and not the bill or the claw." Home is the nest you build for all who enter your house. Our home has been built with endless of joy, love, blessings and friends.

This one-of-a-kind wooden shadowbox measures 6" x 6" with a width of 1.5" on each side.

One on side, a large, beautiful bird's nest peaks out from the shadows and hosts three light blue and brown-speckled eggs. I have handwritten Henry Ward Beecher's quote around the light blue border. The sides have big, lightly golden polka-dots and an aged glaze.

The opposite side boasts a pretty turquoise and gray paisley background with five cardstock tiles: heart with rhinestones {love}, a brown bird with a crown, counting my many blessings list, friends hiking with a turquoise beaded base, and a road map {joy}.


This Lovely Nest ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Chatter Shadow Box

Home is the nest you build for all who enter your home. When building our nest, we've found that our home is intricately woven with faith, hope and love. Without these elements, our home would simply not survive.

This one-of-a-kind wooden shadowbox measures 6" x 6" with a width of 1.5" on each side.

One on side, a large, beautiful bird's nest peaks out from the shadows and hosts three light blue and brown-speckled eggs. Scrabble tiles spell "Nest" against a deep golden background. The sides have big, white polka-dots and an aged glaze. The top of the box has a tiny white and gray bird perched along the surface.

The opposite side claims a beautiful gold and maroon background with five cardstock tiles: cross {faith}, a brown bird with a crown, belt of hope, small nest with glittered light blue eggs, and a heart with rhinestones {love}.


Life to the Fullest Subway Art ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Subway Chatter Box


Believing, dreaming, joy, growth, bliss, love... these are all crucial elements to living "life to the fullest"!

This wooden Subway Art box measures 10" x 10" x 1.5" and may be hung up on a wall or stand alone due to its 1.5" width. Be constantly reminded by the words on this piece to Believe, Love, Live, Dream, Joy, Bliss, and Grow. The background is layered with distressed ivories, golds and browns. Three antique, rusted stars line the bottom of the piece and one medium-sized star makes a statement beside "Dream". In the top lefthand corner, three rusted mini stars line the corner with wire nailed into the wood.




PS:




Cooking, baking, sewing, table etiquette... you name it. I have the privilege of teaching 13 amazing young ladies "life skills" this semester for one of the local homeschool co-ops. You can join in on the fun by following our class blog: http://ladylifeskills101.blogspot.com/. I'll be teaching step-by-step instructions on every project we'll be doing in class this year. :)




Being Intentional in Marriage, especially when physically apart



JD's trip lasted an entire three and a half weeks. That's 24 days. 

I had to come up with something that would make it seem like I was there in spirit. I wanted to do more than just Face Time every day (which was still incredibly refreshing); more than a card every day; and more than just a picture every day.

So I started digging through all of our "love" keepsakes and found this oldie but goodie... 


I sent this little "scrapbook journal" to JD during his summer on a mission trip in Mobile, Ala. It is filled with quotes, lyrics, pictures, random facts about me, encouragement and sweet drawings I tore out of old books. 

And I thought, "Of course. I will make another one of these for him except I'll give him only one page per day, and he can put the journal together himself!!"

So I did.


I made a page for every day we were apart from each other and stuck each one in an envelope. I also included two binder rings and my favorite pen so he could assemble it and write back, when the opportunity arose. 

Glimpse inside...


Day 2 was awesome. I was in the grocery store, unable to Face Time with him, when he got home from work and got settled into the hotel room. (Seven hour time difference is not cool.) In honor of our tradition of putting our hotel slippers on as soon as we get to the room, he sent me some awesome photos of him pouring coffee in his hotel robe and slippers. 

Tears may have started falling down my face in Publix at this moment.




I reminded him every single day, "Don't forget to send a postcard back!!" He must have gotten tired of it by Day 21... But at least he remembered to send one back!!


We love dancing. Like. We. Love. It. We dance in the kitchen, at weddings, in the car, in the pool. You name it. We dance there. Needless to say, I was super bummed at the fact we weren't able to celebrate National Dance Day together on July 27th, so I asked him to dance in the hotel room in honor of me. But he worked 17 hours that day, Face Timed me and fell straight to sleep. I guess we'll just have to celebrate it during Date Night tonight. ;)



I begged JD to journal while he was over there. But he was honest with me and said, "I may journal like the first couple of days, but I'll get burnt out." So, I knew if I made him journal because of the journal we were putting together, he would do it. :) And he did. I made it easy for him though. He only had to "write me back" a few days and I would give him questions so he wouldn't just be saying, "Day was good, but I miss you," every day. It's not like he had much to write about, besides work, anyways. 

For example, the question on the other side of this card was, "Have you done anything cool where you are? See any shows, ride a camel, visit a museum? Write about it on the back. I'm really missing you. I love you sooo much!!"

His response: Cool architecture. Ate baby camel tonjia and Moroccan harrico soup. 

Simple and concise. Obviously, the complete opposite of my style, but that's just one more thing I love about my man. ;)





The finished product. 

It is absolutely crucial to be intentional with one another in marriage, especially when you are physically apart. I hope this gives you a few ideas in case you and your love have the unfortunate event of being separated physically for a while. This journal served as a tool for us to communicate things we might not have been able to otherwise, and gave JD something to look forward to every day!


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! 



Welcome Home, My Love...

Maybe you noticed these pictures on your Instagram feed yesterday?


And then you thought, "Wait. Where did he go?!"

Well, I can't tell you his destination but I can tell you that my husband has been in another country for THREE AND A HALF WEEKS!! If you were to compile every single day that we had been apart since dating, prior to this trip... it would still not add up to three and a half weeks - 25 days - that we were away from each other at this one time.

If you're new to our blog, I'll fill you in on a few key details...

  • JD travels for business pretty frequently.
  • Thanks to his gracious company, I am allowed to travel with him unless security/safety issues arise.
  • We choose not to post any real-time information when traveling.

I picked him up from the airport with this tears, bright green sign, tears, a box of Cheddar Jack Cheez-Its, tears, and Mama E's pecan mini muffins. Did I mention a terribly dreadful amount of happy tears!?

So we packed up the car, headed home and unpacked the bags. A few minutes after JD said, "I'm going to try to stay up late so I can get re-adjusted to central time," I found him sweetly sleeping with his new business class eye mask covering his eyes on the couch. Hey, he made it to 5 p.m. That's better than I would do. 


We woke up at 7:30 in the a.m. and started sorting through his foreign treasures...


How cool is this engraved scroll-holder? JD got our last name engraved in English and Arabic. He suggested we write our vows in calligraphy, age the paper and store them in here. ;) He's awesome.


JD received these tiny houses on his KLM flight. All business class passengers get to choose one on each flight. I'm thinking: Christmas Village material. 

Normally they store potpourri in the houses, we think, but they didn't for these because of Customs regulations. 


We love collecting things from other countries, especially when they have English on one side and the country's language on the other. Thus, we have a wonderful collection of Coca-Cola products. JD also brought back some Tabasco, Colman's Mustard, Ketchup and Jelly jars. Yum!

And then he pulled out a grocery bag of... chocolate bars. Snickers, Mars, Kit Kat, and Twix bars all with Arabic writing on the sides. Room service would leave them on his bedside table. It will take us at least a couple of months to finish these off, but I was so glad he saved them and brought them back to share with me!! 

What did we do to celebrate his return??


We shaved his beard off, devoured Five Guys burgers and fries, and...


we counted / rolled the coins from our finally-filled-up coin jar. And we had so. much. fun! Honestly. We sat there, laughing and talking with music playing in the background, simply counting coins. No TV. No distractions. Just spending the day together. Pure bliss. JD decided we should try to find all 50 states for the quarters and a penny for every important date in our lives year.  The only state we couldn't find was Colorado. We're hoping we'll find it eventually though! 

Oh - and we found four "Jesus Christ" coins. "Good For One Dollar In Trade" Haha! We were pumped each time we found one in the jar. Praise the Lord that we do not get into Heaven based on how many Jesus coins we have stashed away in an old coin jar! 


Come back Thursday to see how we remained intentional in our marital encouragement during each other's absence. 

The Epic Shabby Chic Bridesmaid Luncheon for a Dear, Dear Friend

My mom and I hosted a bridesmaids' luncheon for my first "BFF", Emily Perry. We met at the age of two and have been friends ever since... yeah, 22 years. THAT is sisterhood. Her and her sweet new husband, Brian, dated for eight years and have finally TIED THE KNOT!!

Anyways, I have been so. stinkin. EXCITED. to show you photos of all mom and I put together. Among many other things, Mom (referred to earlier posts as "Mama E") set up all of the centerpieces and decorated the mantel; while I made the chargers, mason jar glasses and table runners. 

Meet Mrs. Gardner...


Mama E: "Tomorrow, call me 'Mrs. Gardner'."
Me: "No mom! We're not going to call you 'Mrs. Gardner'. That's going to be Emmy's new name."
(I was thinking it was a game she was wanting to play.)
Mama E: "Yeah. Call me 'Mrs. Gardner'..."
Me: "No, mom. Seriously, we are not calling you 'Mrs. Gardner' all day."
Mama E: "I'm talking about what you should write on the chalkboard!!"
Me: "Hahaha - oh. Well, maybe we should write, 'Tomorrow we shall call her Mrs. Gardner' instead...?"
Mama E: "Oh yeah. That would be much better."


The bride and bridesmaids' table. 
Notice there is an old school desk to the bottom left-hand corner. That's what you throw in when you miscount the number of guests coming. 


Mom used kitchen towels for the napkins to provide a more aesthetically pleasing presentation.

The bridesmaids and bride sat at the "groom" table, and the families of the grom and bride sat at the "bride" table. Thank you, Scrabble.


These lovely monogrammed jars with a chalkboard lid will be sold in our Etsy shop SOON!!


Drink Options:
Cucumber Water 
water with slices of cucumbers and branches of mint and rosemary - this refreshing water ran out QUICKLY
Virgin Mimosas
orange juice and sparkling grape cider
Coffee


The "marriage" mantel. Mom set all of this up. Isn't it lovely? We threw the vintage book wreath together in no time!


Menu Options:
Various flavored muffins
Mini pecan pie muffins
Heart-shaped fruit with dip
Egg & bacon casserole
Egg & sausage mini casseroles
French toast casserole
Italian cream cheese cake

My parents' neighbor, Amy, helped out with some of the delicious menu options!



The entire luncheon was a HUGE hit! 
Brian & Emily's wedding took place Sunday night. 
The wedding was beautiful and flashbacks of our childhood created kiddie pools of tears in my eyes.
Emily is such a blessing to my life. 
JD and I wish them both a lifetime of pure bliss!!


"This way... to happily ever after."


Attraction: What's that one quirky thing that made your spouse fall for you?

"Mmm girl. That smile. You just gave me whiplash."

"Oh my gosh. His hair? Yeah. It's pretty spectacular."

Let's be honest here. When we are attracted to somebody, there's just something about that person that we are drawn to. Whether it be their character, their personality, their laugh... it's something. 

And sometimes a lot of times, there is normally at least some physical attribute that draws us to that person too.

For JD, I'm pretty sure my glasses were a big selling point for him. 


Ok. Now, I know that there are thousands of things he could say that he loves about me... but my glasses are kind of near the top of the list. As in, they're probably in the Top 5. 

I read an article by Terri Trespicio entitled "Guys really do make passes at girls who wear glasses" on February 7, 2012. I had no other choice but to capture this quote and feature it in my journal... for no other reason but because the guy who flirted with me when I was wearing glasses one day is now my husband

Glasses make a person feel confident, sophisticated and smart. Yeah, they may have been dorky in middle school but the frames industry has really turned the style around. 

{People ask me if my Warby Parker glasses are real or fake way to often!! And yes. They are very much so real.}

I really can't say it any better than Ms. Trespicio, "Glasses seem to say I may not be all that accessible, but I'd love to see you try." 


And my sweet husband tried. 
Eventually, he broke through the barrier of non-accessibility and claimed victory over my heart. 
Unbelievable. 
But oh so wonderful! 

What does your spouse or significant other find in you that is truly enthralling? 
Even better, what is the #1 reason you were drawn to your significant other?

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