6 small (yet impactful) changes for your home.

6 small (impactful) home changes to make right now // maggie whitley

Too many times I pretend I love our home without really, truly, fully loving it. Of course there are specific things about our home that I love, but there always seem to be bigger things I don’t love that somehow override what I do love. (Do you ever feel like that?) The apartment we’re currently in is perfect for our family right now, even though it has it’s quirks and disadvantages.

Our apartment may be a small space but it’s where we live, where we love, and where we practice grace. I’ve been slowly making changes to make our home even better for us and how we use it daily/weekly, and even more specifically I’ve been trying to build up momentum so these changes don’t take too long to for me to actually implement. Oh, the freedom that has brought me.

SIX SMALL CHANGES TO MAKE IN YOUR HOME:
1. ORGANIZE // our bookshelf has many purposes but was looking a little cluttered, so I re-organized a few shelves (this took all of 5 minutes) and now it’s more aesthetically pleasing.

2. HANG // for months I’ve been wanting a world map on the wall in the nursery, and I finally bought one! (See a glimpse of it here.)

3. MOVE // this one probably surprised me the most: I moved a floor rug a mere six inches so it now butts up to the wall (instead of leaving a gap of hardwood floor showing). The visual impact this change has is incredible, whoa!

4. MAKE // I grabbed some extra fabric and an hour of my time and sewed 2 new envelope-style pillow covers for our couch. This allowed me to re-cover two pillows that didn’t match our decor anymore using materials I already had on hand.

5. CHANGE // since our bedroom is really just a corner of our living room, it’s easy for the bed to become an immediate focal point, which I try to avoid. The first change I made was moving our bed so it isn’t the first thing you see when you walk through the front door. Then, I switched our bed quilt to something less bright and more neutral (even though I love bright/colorful materials). This two-part change stopped our bed from screaming “look at me!” and it’s also allowed me to create a neutral, relaxing bedroom nook inside our small apartment. I call that a win! :)

6. EDIT // I tidied up our 5-hook wall organizer (that hangs behind our front door) to include only the essentials. Anything we don’t use weekly was put away, but still within quick reach. This visible area is now refreshed and took me about 5 minutes to edit it’s contents.

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The great part about all of these changes is that, aside from buying the wall map, the only requirement needed was my time. Maybe it’s how I’m preparing for the birth of our second child, but my new mantra is that I want our home to be a little oasis from the hustle Los Angeles brings on so easily. I want our home to serve our family’s needs (relax, learn, love, grow). It may be small, but our home is full of intention. And, I want it to be a reflection of who we are while allowing us to grow individually. These six changes have made our home so much sweeter :)

I bet you could find a way to implement these six changes, too. Take 15 minutes right now and make your space something you love. You deserve to feel refreshed while at home — ready, set, go!

When your big brother plans a suprise visit…

family maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

venice beach umbrella maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

My brother visited me for my birthday in July — a surprise visit! — and I just have to say, having a solid relationship with your sibling as adults is pretty rad. We’re only two years apart in age, but now that we have children of our own we have a totally different, awesome relationship from when we were younger.

Last year Matt surprised me by flying to Los Angeles for a week. It was his first time meeting Maxwell and it was amazing to see them interact as uncle and nephew. This year was more of a reunion for them. It was like we stepped back in time (minus my new baby bump) and the flow of his visit didn’t miss a beat. My brother has two boys of his own, so our parents are very curious if our second Whitley baby will be a boy or girl ;)

airplane bank maggie whitley

airplane bank maggie whitley

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Uncle Matt and Maxwell (about 5 months old), Summer 2013

We visited the Santa Monica Promenade soon after Matt and his girlfriend Kim arrived in LA. While we were window shopping, and reminiscing about Matt’s visit last year, we stopped into a baby boutique where Matt bought a red airplane piggy bank for Maxwell.

Once we were back at home they sat at the table and Matt taught Max how to put the coins in the thin slot on top. There’s a special message written on the bottom… and reading it makes me feel so many emotions. I’m incredibly blessed to have him as a big brother, and how much he loves my family.

I’m grateful that the miles between us are like a strong, woven rope. They don’t take away from our relationship, instead they give us something to cling to.

$75 gift card giveaway with The Mint Julep Boutique!

I’m really excited to share with you today’s giveaway sponsored by The Mint Julep Boutique, direct from the heart of Dixie. The gals behind the shop have a passion for fashion and sweet tea… sounds about perfect, right? On Wednesday I shared one of their yellow maxi dresses for my 27 week bump update and as promised, today we have a $75 Mint Julep gift card to give away.

Mint Julep has oodles of colorful dresses, tops, bottoms & accessories inside their store. Here are four of my favorites:

mint julep boutique maggie whitley

1. Rising Sun tank in light blue/peach // 2. Fall Frenzy dress in magenta // 3. Amaze Me cardigan in neon coral // 4. All I Need romper in orange

What makes these four pieces my favorite is you can easily pair it with a solid or neutral. I’m a big fan of wearing gray, even though I love a pop of color, so to me these four pieces are the perfect balance to creating an outfit.

And I know you don’t want to talk about it, but with fall nearing (hello, August 1st!) I thought it would be fun to ask Mint Julep to share with MWD their favorite upcoming fall fashion trends. Their reply? Animal prints, fur vests, booties, plaid, print on print, and hints of gold.

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

As you know, I’m currently in a wardrobe transition ;) I can usually wear non-maternity on bottom with the help of BeBand, but my tops definitely need to be longer in the front with a little stretch to the fabric. The Mint Julep Boutique has some great pieces that double as maternity wear: knit maxi dresses, tunics, and kimonos.

27 weeks pregnant maggie whitley

sweet and simple maxi dress in yellow, paired with a vintage ring and braided sandals

THE GIVEAWAY // use the widget below to enter to win a $75 gift card to The Mint Julep Boutique! Each reader has 7 opportunities to enter to win. We’ll randomly select a winner next week and will notify her via email. Good luck, and thank you for supporting the shops that help support my family.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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)