Happiest Thanksgiving + Inspiration Board No. 104

27 November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! John and I are spending the week at home in NC. We’re planning to wrap ourselves in blankets and watch the Macy’s parade this morning, then meet up with dear friends and their family for a hike and turkey dinner this evening. We’re bringing pimento cheese and John’s family’s cranberry sauce recipe!


Clockwise from top left: calligraphy invitation photo by Morgan Lamkin via 100 Layer Cake, fall flowers photo by Kate Osborne via Snippet & Ink, bar cart photo by Rustic White via Style Me Pretty, maple pecan pie from Martha Stewart, candle photo by Rustic White via Style Me Pretty, place setting photo by Aubrie Pick from Apartment 34, grape and apple pie from Bon Appetit, turkey from Food & Wine

Today I’m feeling grateful for my husband, for technology that connects us with our far-flung families, for friends close enough to share Thanksgiving with, for a busy shop, and for our new and super-comfy king size bed (even though we’ve yet to buy a quilt and are still sleeping on it in our sleeping bags!).

P.S. Gift guides are coming your way next week! :)

Featured in Emily Ley’s Simplicity Series!

24 November 2014

Emily Ley is one of the loveliest friends I’ve met in my working life. I’ve long been a fan of her and her products, and am thrilled that she had me over to participate in her Simplicity Series! Go take a peek at my “pick six” – tips and tricks I use to add margin and meaning to my life.


P.S. Have you purchased your 2015 Simplified Planner yet? I have a Weekly in my hot little hands (they’re sold out!) and am excited to start adding dates to it!

P.P.S. I mention it in my post for Emily, but this is your yearly reminder to sign up for eBates, if you haven’t already! Earn some money on those online purchases, people!!

Rethinking our wall of art

12 November 2014

Sometimes, we just don’t get things right on the first try, am I right? Once I started to plan our house’s color scheme, I knew I wanted to order a very large canvas of one of our wedding photos for the long wall on our first floor. The colors were perfect, and I loved the idea of being reminded of that beautiful day without having life-size portraits of ourselves staring back at us!

We saved up and ordered the largest size available through our photographer as our Christmas gift to each other in 2013. When it arrived, I was blown away by the quality (it looks like a painting even very close up!), but was a little sad it wasn’t larger. It’s 36×24″, but I would have loved for it to be even a foot wider to really fill that space.

For the last several months, I’ve known the wall was not finished, but I couldn’t figure out what to add to it thanks to a very unfortunately placed thermostat – right in the middle of the wall!! How rude. If this was our forever house, I would bust in and move that sucker over to sit on top of the light switch, but alas, that is not in the cards here. Slightly awkward, isn’t it?

photo 2

Finally, I realized that instead of creating a grouping around the canvas to fill that space (I could never figure out a good way to do it), the best option would be to move the canvas over and add new art in its place. I would love to do a grid of four large frames, very orderly, to balance out the single large canvas and the more organic gallery grouping on the other living room wall. Please excuse my very poor Photoshop skills, but something like this…


I’ve been looking for a spot to do a grid like this, so I’m glad I finally found one! Here’s my inspiration:





Sources: Design Mom | HGTV | unknown | Design*Sponge

For the frames, I’m planning to do light wood – Target has some great options right now that I hope are large enough! I think black would be too harsh and white wouldn’t have enough contrast against our white wall. The photos will be black and white family photos, I think – maybe wedding themed. We shall see, and I will update y’all when we do!

P.S. More photos of our home!

Minted Christmas cards + a giveaway!

6 November 2014

Update: We have a winner! Congratulations to Molly L., commenter number 99!

I love Christmas cards! I love browsing potential designs, I love choosing one, I love writing notes, I love sending them, I love receiving them, and I love displaying them in our home. The whole process is one of my favorite holiday traditions! Like the last two years, we’ll be sending a Minted design, and like the last two years, there are too many good options! So once again, I’m enlisting y’all’s help. Which one is your favorite?


1. Snowy Love and Joy | 2. Very Merry Lettering | 3. Be Merry Pine Branch | 4. Merry Typography | 5. Hap-Happiest Time

Best believe I’m using a photo from Natalie + Joe’s wedding, courtesy of Meredith Perdue! We don’t look this good too often :)

Minted’s editing software is seriously sophisticated – I love that you can adjust your photo and the design elements so easily. Their foil-pressed options are also amazing, but I think the real star this year is their new envelope addressing! The envelope designs coordinate with the card designs, and they offer recipient addressing for free!! I love doing my envelopes in calligraphy, but the designs are ridiculously cute…

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.27.25 PM

Now for the extra-fun part: I have a $250 Minted gift certificate to give away!! To enter, just comment below with either your favorite option from our Christmas card finalists, or the Minted design you’d most like to order for your family! (Or both!) I’ll randomly choose a winner next Friday!

P.S. Yes, our newsletter will be back! I’ve gotten many emails about this, so I wanted to say it here: I’m opening up three spots to design similar newsletters! $100 for a ready-to-print file, customized with your family’s stats and news. Email me at em (at) emformarvelous.com to reserve your spot or ask more questions!


Minted has graciously gifted us our Christmas cards, but I chose to write this post, and the opinions are my own! I have loved everything about Minted — especially their crowd-sourced designs — for many years, and I love sharing what they’re up to with y’all.