Let’s talk about happiness!

leafy plant maggie whitley

A couple weeks ago I made a $7 purchase and brought two leafy green plants home with me. I’ve known from the past how beneficial having plants in your home can be, my dear friend even talks about this on her blog (and often!). But I think it’s something I easily forget (especially with all the moving we do) because one day my planty lightbulb went off and I realized exactly what our home was missing… leafy green plants.

But not just any kind of plant, a non-flowering plant. I didn’t want any more color in our home. And really, all I was looking for wassomething that would grow with minimal care. So I picked out two plants that would thrive indoors, would be OK without any direct sunlight and could handle only being watered about once a week.

I don’t really know what it is specifically that brings so much happiness when leafy green plants surround us — does anyone know? But I do know they’re an instant happiness boost for me. They draw my attention upward or outward, wherever they’re placed in our home. Plants are the perfect companion to our books stacked tall, to the little clusters of toddler toys that decorate each room. They’re just so fun.

Other things that are making me happy this month:

- I finished reading What Alice Forgot and I highly recommend it!

- watching Maxwell drink out of a straw

- the rhythm of handmade: cutting fabric and sewing Caroline-made items

- orange juice with high pulp! (#pregnancycravings)

- holding newborn Cheyenne, my friends baby girl

PS. I meet up with a group of three friends regularly and we are all having babies this year! AND, there was a (very short) window where we were all pregnant at the same time. Having four new babies in our group has been making me happy all year! :)

 

Hey handmade makers, we need you…

the jones market maggie whitley

Back in June we hosted a summer giveaway bundle bearing nearly $900 in wares, and not only was it so fun to host but I’m pretty sure it was the greatest surprise for the actual winner to receive all of the items. Also! It was total fun for us to put it together for the MWD community.

And guess what? We’re working on a fall-themed giveaway for late August, but this time we’ll be breaking down the bundle into two categories: back-to-school & cozy fall essentials. If you’re a handmade maker and would like to join one of our giveaway bundles, click right here for all the details.

We’ll be accepting submissions through August 8th and the giveaway will be live on August 25th.

We are accepting only a limited number of shops so the giveaway doesn’t feel too overwhelming, so we would love to hear from you. Or — share this announcement with your community of handmade makers using one of the social media links below.

PS. it’s almost Friday! :)

(photo credit The Jones Market)

What’s your favorite (fiction) book?

books maggie whitley

Reading is one of those pastimes that totally relaxes me yet inspires me, all at the same time. Often when I’m reading my mind trails off and my thoughts jump from one idea to another, but the neat thing is I don’t forget what I’m reading about or lose my spot on the page. I recently finished a book, so I’ve been scanning my bookshelf for something new to read — but I don’t think there’s anything in there I haven’t read. So I’d love to know: do you have any book recommendations for me?

Some books I’ve read recently (and loved):

Nesting Place

A Million Little Ways

Chasing God

Blog, Inc.

Bread & Wine

I really enjoy reading fiction; romance novels aren’t really my thing. I think my favorite is a book that leaves me feeling inspired and challenged, with a twist of hope woven throughout :) Also, a lot of the fiction books that Target carries are totally my kind of read. Makes perfect sense, right? Thanks in advance for sharing a title or two!

(Affiliate links included.)

PS. some of my favorite indie biz books!

How to sew a fanny pack.

fanny pack maggie whitley

I recently had the opportunity to sew a fanny pack.

Oh yes, that’s right.

And while at first I was totally disabled over how to actually sew it (I like to over-complicate the process (don’t ask me why)), I had a light-bulb moment one afternoon and realized I could take my template for a Gussy Sews pouch and modify it.

Genius :)

fanny pack maggie whitley

And guess what I discovered? It was way more fun than I thought it would be. The thought of sewing a fanny pack used to scared me, but now — when I think about actually sewing a fanny pack — I realize it was just the challenge I needed.

A simple zip closure, an adjustable belt that ties around the hip for a quirky, knotted look. And of course a Caroline-made suede tag. The finished pouch measures about 8″ x 5″. It’s so cute!

fanny pack maggie whitley

I’m still beaming over sewing this. Seeing my collection of fabric scattered across my work table, turning on my sewing machine, the challenge of sewing something for someone else just because — it was totally amazing. It filled my need to create right to the brim.

Looking at these photos I’m reminded of my favorite quote, “inspiration is all around you.”

And to that I say, amen.