Friday inspiration…

let your smile change the world maggie whitley

It’s been pretty quiet around here this week. Nothing super specific came to mind, so I let the quiet slip in. It feels good to have the confidence to do that :)

This past week I stumbled on this quote while scrolling IG. It reminds me of my time at home with Maxwell — and soon Baby #2! If there’s anything I hope accomplish before each day ends it’s that I want my children to know how much happiness they bring me. It’s easy to stop teaching, praising, encouraging them because we think we’ve done it enough times already, but these three things make their little souls come alive.

Last week I had a conversation with my friend Ruth and she said, “next to loving the Lord you could not influence Max more than to be joyful like you are. He will be remembering your smile as his greatest comfort.”

So simple, powerful and true! 

So that’s my Friday inspiration for you. Want even to read more inspiring words from Ruth? Check out this post and this post. I love reading her archives, there’s so much wisdom in there. xoxo

Art credit is A Little Bundle.

“Zest for your nest” — a giveaway with Gingiber!

It’s Monday again, which always happens as the result of a fun, full weekend.

Monday’s used to not feel very fun, but now I look forward to their “welcome back to routine”, and today for extra good reasons :) Our XL sponsor this month is Gingiber. I’ve admired Stacie for years (literally) and we even have a custom illustration of Bauer (below). It hangs in our nursery since Maxwell and Bauer are the best of pals. But the illustration is more than art to me — it’s a lovely reminder of just how well handmade connects us.

bauer illustration gingiber maggie whitley

I’m very excited for you to get to know Stacie (and her creative process) through our interview below, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. She’s offering a 4-pack Safari print bundle to one Maggie Whitley Designs reader :)

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gingiber feature maggie whitley

“Hi, I am Stacie. I am a mother of 2 (soon to be 3), trying to find the balance between running a growing small business and caring for my family. I create animal-themed illustrations and sell my work on art prints, pillows, tea towels & greeting cards. I recently started licensing my artwork with companies like the Land of Nod and iPop! I am 28 years old and just relocated back to Springdale, AR so that my husband could start his first tenure track faculty position! My life is always in motion, and I love it!”

“I would encourage my fellow makers to make products that they adore. Don’t just follow the trends. If you love your products, believe in what you are doing, and put in a lot of time perfecting your craft, I think that you will find success. I would also encourage you to not look around and compare yourself to other makers. I stay off of Pinterest for that very reason! The visual stimulation can be overwhelming and let self-doubt creep in. Comparison is often called the thief of joy, and it is so true! Keep your head down, find passion & joy in what you do, and surround yourself with a circle of encouraging makers!”

gingiber feature maggie whitley

“I am inspired by color and patterns. I often look to vintage quilt patterns for inspiration when I am starting a new project. I am also inspired by my kids. For instance, my daughter’s favorite animal right now is a bunny, and I find myself sketching bunnies by the dozen!”

“I find that when the days are long, I make a big to-do list and try to knock through the items as systematically as possible. I would love to have more days filled with simply sketching and being creative, but lately I have been putting in a lot of time doing the manual labor portions of Gingiber, such as sorting calendar pages or cutting out pillow patterns. So, having a to-do list keeps me on task.”

gingiber feature maggie whitley

“Balance? What is that? Kidding. But seriously, my husband is such a huge supporter of my business, and often you will find my whole family up at the studio working and playing together. I am in a busy season of life, having just moved to a new state, my husband starting a new job, and my kids starting school. So we squeeze in together time whenever possible, even if it means eating dinner at the office, or a quick weekend getaway. Sure, the lines are blurred between work time and family time, but right now we are making it work.”

gingiber feature maggie whitley

gingiber feature maggie whitley

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GIVEAWAY // One MWD reader will win a bundle of four (4) Safari Prints from Gingiber (valued at $85). Use the widget below to submit your entries. We’ll select a winner on Thursday the 18th — good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A sweet reminder of home…

leaf Maxwell maggie whitley

leaf maggie whitley

coffee lipstick maggie whitley

One of the things I really miss about living in the Midwest is the change of seasons. ;) They’re just not the same out here in California (at least not in Los Angeles). Whenever we’re outside my eyes hunt for the burst of yellow and orange leaves, it’s a natural habit — one I don’t think I could kick if I tried. So imagine how happy I was when we found an orange leaf while walking our neighborhood! Max instantly started reaching for it and I thought to myself, “yes child, this is what Fall is made of.”

Also, so random, but last Fall I distinctly remember walking our old neighborhood and stepping on a pile of crunchy, red, fall-infused leaves on the sidewalk. It was a sweet reminder of home.

It feels good to have the seasons change. It’s like a natural prompting to change things up, try something new, implement a new routine. Fall also reminds me of wearing our moccasins, enjoying the feeling of hot coffee in the morning, a cool(er) breeze in the evening, turning on the oven to make dinner (something we avoid like the plague right now!), caramel apple suckers, snuggling up to read books, and of course spiced apple cider.

If you live in the Midwest will you please say hello to Fall for me? I hear it’s cooled off quite a bit, and honestly I’m really jealous. It’s supposed to be near 100* most of next week, so naturally the main thing on my radar is scoping out a few places to play where the A/C is running on high. Ha!

Enjoy your weekend, friends! I’m off to finish my “baby prep checklist”: size 1 diapers, a larger diaper pail and a couple of fun drawer knobs are on my to-buy list. I can’t wait :) xoxo

PS. Handmade makers: there are a few spots left in our October Baby Bundle giveaway and 2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

Appointment: booked!

caramel hair maggie whitley

So, I did it — I booked a hair appointment for Friday morning. My goal is to become a lot less bleached and a lot more caramelized and I’m inspired by this look. I hope I love the results, because one thing’s for sure: I’m not loving how often (and costly) I need to be highlighted. Besides, Fall is the perfect season to go a little darker. And with a newborn joining our family in just a handful of weeks, the last thing I want is to be sitting in a hair salon ;) Newborns are the best and I’m so so so so grateful to become a mama again.

Related: I’m giving myself a couple bonus points for knowing in advance how important it is to take care of my mama self. It can feel selfish to set time aside just for me, but I know that time benefits the whole family. Can I get an Amen?