framed baby clothes and how I know my husband really loves me.


I wish I could say this ivory baby dress had been mine or is a priceless family heirloom, passed down for generations.  but the truth is, I found it in a favorite thrift + junk store of mine.  it was a steal at just five bucks!  however, the day I found it, I already had several other items I was purchasing.  I guess that little dress would've put me over, so I hid it on a rack between some old quilts, with the intention of coming back for it.


A few nights later, my family and I were celebrating my birthday over dinner.  we dined under the trees in my parents' backyard, feasting on shish kabobs at a pretty table my mother had set.  after I blew out the candle on a homemade molten chocolate cake, I began to open my gifts.  wouldn't you know each of the little treasures I found days earlier while shopping with my sister were wrapped up in a cardboard box?  among them was that sweet little ivory dress.  my sister snapped photos of things that caught my eye, hid them when I wasn't looking, and then sent my mom the pictures and the hiding places.  then, my mom went on hunt to find these items and surprise me with them for my birthday.

it makes me smile remembering this.  I'll never forget the thoughtfulness and intentionality of those sneaky girls.  and even though it's not an heirloom from my family, per se, it's still a family heirloom from someone's family and I am more than happy to give it a place in my home.

The fabric + frame are from Hobby Lobby.  the fabric is a beige linen and cost $16.99/yd.  with my coupon, I got a yard and a half for about $16.00.  typically, I would have searched for a frame at a yard sale or secondhand store, but large, chunky, gold frames are hard to find.  I had been eyeing this frame for awhile, but was waiting for the right time to buy it.  the right time is obviously when there's a sale.  regularly priced at $79.99, that's more than I would usually [read: ever] spend on a frame.  so when the frames were marked 50% off, I snagged this baby and a smaller 8x10, as well.  the frame was backless; so after giving my husband the dimensions, he cut some cardboard at work and brought it home to use as my backing.

I wish I could say this involved a fancier process, but maybe the simplicity of it will make it a more attainable diy project.  first, I measured my fabric against my frame, leaving a little extra around the edge, and cut it.  I just eyeballed it—no rulers or measuring tape needed.  I had a good bit of fabric leftover, too.  next, I steamed the linen fabric.  then, I stretched and wrapped the fabric over the cardboard and hot glued the edge of the fabric onto the backside of the cardboard.  after steaming the dress and using my straightener to iron out the collar [doesn't everyone do this?], I laid the dress onto the fabric covering and arranged it how I wanted it to look when hung.  using straight pins, I secured the dress onto the cardboard—first along the top, then along the bottom.  I then rested the frame against the wall and fastened the rest of the dress to the fabric.  it helped to stand the frame up so I could insert the pins completely through the cardboard and I was better able to see how it would look, rather than laying it flat on the ground.

once the dress was secured onto the fabric covered cardboard, I called my husband into our bedroom to ask him what he thought.  he was sweet, as always, and told me he loved it.  I mean, what guy doesn't want a framed baby dress hanging over his head?  literally.  I know he probably could not care less about this project or many of the things I do around our house, but he always humors me and is complimentary about these kinds of things. this is how I know he really loves me.  that, and one time he went to Walmart at night to get me coffee ice cream.  because for whatever reason, Blue Bell coffee ice cream is "not available" on Walmart's grocery pickup in our area and we had run out [aka it was an emergency].  this might not seem like a big deal, but this is the same guy who buys our dog food from a drug store, meaning he pays substantially [$3ish] more, just to avoid stepping foot in Walmart.  that was the night I knew he really loved me.  we've been married nearly four years and I thought he might before that, but this is how I knew.

I love the way this project turned out.  I tend to lean towards a more southern, traditional style and I think this embodies that.  I already had scissors, a glue gun, and straight pins; so between the frame, the fabric, and the dress, the grand total comes to $55ish.  not too shabby if you ask me.

what do you think?  would you ever hang a framed baby dress in your home?  or drop everything to run to the store to pick up ice cream for someone you love?


a {mini} fall tour.

Decorating for holidays, and decorating just because, looks a little different than it used to, as we have been living with family since the flooding of our home.  I really and truly have loved almost every minute of it, but it has certainly been challenging, at times, for all my "roommates."

One of the wonderful things about being back at home is that my sweet mother has given me complete "creative control."  in other words, I am free to style, decorate, rearrange, etc. the way I would in my own home.  this woman is so gracious to do this because, you know, it's not even my house!  but to be completely candid, I think she has probably enjoyed it a little, because who doesn't want a live-in decorator?

that said, it is interesting to decorate a different house in these new seasons.  I never dreamed that last fall and Christmas would be my last time to decorate for the holidays at the tiny white house.  however, at my parents', I have a great canvas to work with.  for instance, they have a mantle!  I know, I know—what a luxury, right?  but this is something we didn't have in our first home, so it's fun to create something centered around this.

But enough with all the words! without further ado, I'd like to share the 2016 {mini} fall tour with you!

When I began to envision my fall decor, I knew I wanted to incorporate this oversized frame. I actually acquired this sometime earlier in the year. one afternoon, I was driving the little girl I nanny to her voice lesson. the church where her lessons took place was located near Good Will; so some days, if time allowed, we would stop by to see if they had any treasures for us. but, that's actually not where this came from. it was on the way to Good Will that I spotted a dumpster behind a store and what looked like a dresser sitting near it. so we took a detour and that's where I happened upon this piece! the dresser was beyond repair, but this frame was on the ground behind it. it used to frame a mirror, but I suppose the dresser + mirror fell and cracked so the store threw it out. obviously, they didn't realize they could paint it, staple some toile fabric in it, and place it on their mantle for fall decor, but that's neither here nor there.

In the spring, we hung a boxwood wreath in the frame.  but when our baby arrived, that wreath moved to the nursery.  so the frame sat empty for some months, and then September rolled around.  I got the idea to frame some fabric and then remembered I had a couple yards of toile fabric I'd bought from Hobby Lobby to recover some pillows.  it had been sitting under our bed, folded up, in the very plastic bag it left the store in last fall, waiting for its time to shine.  with some assistance from my mother, we stretched + stapled this fabric in the frame.  it's a little simple, maybe even understated; but, to me, it definitely shines.  this is one of my favorite projects to date.  and the best part is it cost less than $10 to make!

As I've mentioned before, silver is one of my favorite things to feature in my decor.  this antique silver ice bucket was a gift from my husband last Christmas.  clearly, he knows the way to my heart.  in the spring + summer, it was filled with hydrangeas.  for the fall season, it holds stems of cotton.

The ice bucket sits upon my great grandfather's Bible.  my mother has several Bibles that have been in our family for generations, and I'm jealous and I want them.  isn't that ironic?  to covet someone else's vintage Bible.  she says I can't have them [yet, anyway]; but since we're roommates, I am free to use them in my/our decor.

Of course, pumpkins are a staple when it comes to fall decor, and there's just something about white ones.  the oversized blue pitcher is a favorite of mine and adds a little color to this mostly neutral scene.

A wire basket filled with cozy blankets is a simple, yet decorative way to create storage and warmth—quite literally.

In the 2015 {mini} fall tour, I mention that simply placing pumpkins throughout your home adds a little touch of fall without much effort.  this lovely vignette is on the shelves of the hutch in the kitchen.  you already know I love blue + white dishes and greenery, throw in a pumpkin and I'm sold.  and would you look at that?  another old Bible I covet.

As pleased as I was with the way the mantle turned out, I couldn't help but feel as if the fall decor wasn't complete.  so, I decided to set the little drop-leaf table in the kitchen.  I used my favorite blue + white dishes, fresh apples + berries, and a few nuts I found in the backyard. 

I was excited to use these chargers I scored at Home Goods when we were visiting family in Texas last Christmas.  I found them hidden under some bowls on a bottom shelf and just had to have them.  I did feel a little bad, though, because I'm pretty sure someone hid them there with the intention of coming back for them.  but you know, finders keepers, or whatever.

the mismatched flatware is part of my collection that I've gathered along the way, from antique stores to garage sales and junk shops.  the antique linen napkins were another Christmas gift from my husband.  cloth napkins are another one of my favorite things to collect.

It's not much; but it's warm and inviting, and that's enough for me.

thanks for looking!  what do you think?  how do you decorate for fall?

life begins all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
-Anne of Green Gables