We’ve re-opened the Caroline-made shop…

bag caroline-made maggie whitley

pouch caroline-made maggie whitley

pouch caroline-made maggie whitley

bag caroline-made maggie whitley

bag caroline-made maggie whitley

zip pouch Caroline-made maggie whitley

everyday bag Caroline-made maggie whitley

zip pouch Caroline-made maggie whitley

…and, for a limited time the shop is open.

The Caroline-made shop is a reflection of the last six years I’ve been sewing and passionately chasing after the handmade community, and it’s inspired after my middle name, Caroline. CM is a mix of high-end designer fabrics, suede details (tags & zipper pulls) and metal zippers (swoon!). It’s fancy meets daily perfect.

Inside the shop we have Everyday Bags, which work beautifully for your day-to-day needs, travel or as a diaper bag. We also have two zip pouches sizes: the Basic Pouch and the Pencil Pouch.

What a blessing it is to have you to share the Caroline-made shop with. And thank you for being such fun confetti-throwers with me! :)

Ten things I love // vol. 3

ten things i love maggie whitley

In a personal exercise to start noticing the small things around me I started a new series titled ten things I love. There are a lot of small things in our home that I enjoy immensely. These things aren’t just “things” to me (although they kinda are just things), they hold a special meaning. Some simply make me happy, others have taught me or mean something valuable, and a couple are of nature around us.

Ten things that remind me of surrounding beauty:

1. lip tint by Rimmel London in Perpetual Plum (as seen on me here). I wish the tint lasted longer, however it wears off evenly which is a huge perk!

2. a floral DIY envelope-style pillow cover (source: floral fabric)

3. this book. Buy it, read it, and be changed from it

4. finding handwritten notes from my hubby. This one reads, Thank you for the perfect morning –Z

5. coral polish!

6. “the best chocolate chip cookie” recipe. Definitely one you must try!!!

7. the gift of a pretty candle from Anthropologie (scent: grapefruit cilantro)

8. a new coffee mug from Anthropologie (color: coral)

9. visiting Santa Monica beach with my girls every Wednesday (related: how to take your kids to the beach)

10. palm trees growing in our neighborhood — yessssss

 

What are three things (that you absolutely adore) that surround you every day? Don’t think too long on this, whatever comes to mind — would you share that list with me in the comments? Even if you live in a small space, there’s beauty around you :)

The beauty in small spaces.

kitchen maggie whitley

I’ve been a renter for ten years now, renting apartments & homes all over the country.

It all started after high-school graduation. I spent four years at Central Michigan University (2003-2007; where Zack and I met/fell in love) renting dorm rooms, an apartment, and then a house just off-campus. After that I lived in Lansing, MI for almost a year (2007-2008). Zack and I were married June 2008 and shortly after that we moved to Detroit, MI where we lived for a year (2008-2009). We then moved to Minneapolis, MN for three years (2009-2012). And now we’re to the present: living in Los Angeles, CA for almost two years (since 2012).

bathroom maggie whitley

Most of the places we’ve called “home” have been small and perfect for a him & her. For two years we lived in a very generous-sized house in Minneapolis complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a backyard, patio and private driveway. At 26-years-old we felt like we hit the rental jackpot.

But towards the end of our time in that large house Zack and I traveled to Tanzania, Africa with Compassion International (truly one of the most life-changing events I’ve ever experienced) — we came home, and pretty much everything about our lives changed.

The amount of space we live in…

The number of physical “things” we own…

The answer to a 14-month prayer of growing our family: your womb is full…

The yard-less yard… (This one is still hard.)

All of these things were suddenly not as they’d once been.

kitchen maggie whitley

When we decided to move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles the size of our home may have shrunk nearly 75%, but our hearts grew immeasurably.

Living in a small space has been really hard for me at times. It’s even hard for me to write that out! :) But it’s allowed me to look deep and hard at what I consider most important in this life…

I don’t share often enough about the struggles that come with living in a small space, but I’m inspired to change that.

Because as I’ve learned: where there are struggles there is also beauty.

accessories maggie whitley

We were not created to be defined by the size of our homes or the number of adventures we’ve been on. We are not defined by how much gorgeous sunlight pours in our windows, or the thick never-ending grass that grows off our patio, or by having a (unachievable) large social media imprint.

There is so much beauty, even in the small spaces of our home, and the best way to find it is to know the asnwers to these questions:

- what is your purpose for this season of life?

- what changes do you need to make so you feel satisfied with the everyday?

- what internal changes would help you feel more confident with where you are right now?

- are you giving your most important people first priority?

From there, however life sorts itself out (in a way that feels totally natural to you), is what you need to be doing. Don’t worry about what your neighbor is doing or what their life looks like.

When all think alike, then no one is thinking, –Walter Lippman

If you’re going to worry, worry you’re missing out because you can’t stop your mind/eyes from wandering elsewhere.

It’s perfectly wonderful to be different, to be brave, to be dancing to your own life beat. And that’s something living in a small rental has taught me.

to be continued…