Messy Kitchens + Discount Code

Good morning friends! I hope each and every one of you are having such a wonderful Monday morning. This is my "day off" which really just means I can wake up with the sun rather that before and focus all my work time on house stuff, blog designs, and my Etsy shop orders. So Mondays are still "work days" for me but so relaxed!

This past weekend was a funky one. I baked all weekend at The Biscuit Shop because my boss went out of town. She normally does all the baking so it was kinda a stressful weekend but so much fun. I love my job and am so grateful that not only did the Lord provide a way for me to help our family financially, but He gave me a job that falls so much in line with my passion for food and the kitchen. 

Ben's family also came in town and hung out most of the day Saturday which was fun. While I was so wiped out from work, it was nice to have people in the house and enjoying watching football together. I fell asleep on the couch with our pup and it was just a great day of recharging and resting. We were able to see some dear college friends over breakfast Sunday morning. These two guys live in Texas now so we don't get to see either of them much anymore, but they were in our wedding and Ben's fraternity brothers and great friends so it was nice to spend time with them over food and coffee. I made buttermilk biscuits, and sausage and cheddar biscuits, which was fun to make at home for the first time. 

Funny story though, I am so used to making 96-100 biscuits at once that we ended up with wayy more biscuits than the 4 of us could eat. So I sent bags of biscuits home with the guys and we have biscuits to munch on for breakfast for the rest of the week! Score!! 

I also was able to spend a good bit of time yesterday just pouring myself out creatively in Photoshop and Illustrator. I have had such a specific vision for my Etsy shop, and I wanted to create some prints that coincide with my overall vision for the shop. I spent some time designing a few prints that I wanted to share with you all today! 

I love the relief that comes from creating a total mess in the kitchen. I hate for the kitchen to stay messy...don't get me wrong, I am a clean person!! PROMISE! But it feels so good to dig my hands deep into flour, or cut veggies and throw them into hot pans without care about some dropping or getting on my clothes. Messes create memories. And messy kitchens are always rich with laughter, and joy, and memories!! I am all about creating products that provide visual reminders of deep and meaningful SLOW DOWN, unwind...let go, and make a mess every once and while. 

This song by Sovereign Grace Music always brings me to tears. Music moves me so much, and often speaks to me in such powerful ways. But this song, man y'all...the Lord is so good to love us despite our sin. It truly is a mystery why He chose us...why he wanted a people that left to their own devices would reject Him...he extends grace and love to us, and it is an AMAZING MYSTERY!! 

This final print is so special to me. This is one of my favorite old hymns, and was sung at our wedding by my brother and sister! I love the progression through each verse and the way the Lord is celebrated in it all. It is easy for us to dismiss the love of the Lord by elevating our own "goodness"...but we are all wicked and undeserving of what the Lord has richly poured out on us, and so this love should push us to awe and worship! 

All of these prints can be purchased in the Etsy shop started at $8. They come in 2 sizes, and I can even customize the colors for you to match your style and home more perfectly. AND today only I will have a sale on these prints, use code OHSIMPLEJOYS10 for 10% off all the prints! I pray these bring you encouragement and life and truth to the walls of your home! 

These are a Few of my Favorite Things // Coffee + Printables

One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to declare from the rooftops your love for awesome businesses, and companies and connect your readers with such great entrepreneurs. It fills my heart with joy! So I am just doing a little happy dance as I write this post because these two companies are gonna make you want to dance too! Two of my favorite things are coffee & pretty paper. I cannot go a morning with out drinking a cup of joe, and there is not a room in my house that does not have some type of design print on the wall. So today I wanted to connect you all with some dear new friends, and awesome ladies - Christin of Sweet Aroma Coffee, and Lauren of Elle & Co. Design. These ladies both offer some crazy awesome monthly subscriptions through their businesses that I am thoroughly enjoying!

Christin and her husband started Sweet Aroma Coffee to make money that will go towards stopping sex trafficking. They have a huge heart for Jesus, and seeing the Lord proclaimed and lifted up in some of the darkest places around the world. Sweet Aroma offers a monthly coffee subscription that highlights coffee from different regions around the world. For example, this month I received a 12 oz. bag of coffee from Rwanda, and a 12 oz. bag of coffee from El Salvador! 

The coffee every month will come from two different countries, and is fair trade coffee. A percentage of what you pay monthly goes to 61 Project in Kenya, and Wipe Every Tear in the Philippines. The monthly cost is low for the high quality coffee you will receive. If you are a coffee drinker like me, it just seems to make sense to give money to buy coffee that is doing something for the Kingdom! I hope you will check them out. 

Elle & Co. Design has just launched an amazing printable library that you can subscribe to for just $6.99 a month! Lauren is an amazingly talented designer, and her products are beautiful. I have loved my subscription so far, and cannot wait to use all of her adorable printables. She offers invitations, gift tags, prints, note cards, and more! 

Every month there are new items in the library, and you have access to them all! I love this unique concept, and the best part is you will always have a quick gift if you ever need one. Just print off some note cards on card stock, or frame one of her adorable teacup prints...and there you go, easy and price conscious gift! 
I have already used the gift tags for wedding presents, and her note cards for keeping up with all my to do lists! I hope you check out this awesome library! You will be so glad that you did! 

What are some of your favorite things?

Some posts you may have missed:
Single and Content - my story of my season being single
Bread & Wine Project - Blackberry Crisp - FIRST Bread & Wine Project link up!
Big Announcement - Did you know we are having a BLOG RETREAT?
Lessons from Piper the Pup - Who knew you could learn so much from a little animal?

Handmade Highlight - Half Pint Prints

We finally made it back to good ole Mississippi last night. It was sad to leave the beach after such an awesome and relaxing trip, but I was really thankful to be back home. Ben and I spent a good bit of time talking through goals, and my blog/design schedule over the weekend so I was really motivated last night to hit the ground running with these new goals. (I have some exciting posts in the works with more info on this, so stay tuned). 

As most of you who have been around my little blog for awhile know very well, I LOVE handmade. My love for handcrafted goods goes much deeper than just pretty colors, and trendy items. I love supporting women who love Jesus and desire to use their gifts to serve him and others with them. My heart behind this Handmade Highlight series is to introduce you to women who are doing just that. I hope to connect you with creative women and small business owners that are doing big things for the Kingdom of Jesus, and that are super talented as well. 

Today, I am so excited to introduce Amber of Half Pint Prints to you all. You may recognize Amber from last month's sponsorship post. She has been hanging around Oh, Simple Thoughts for a little while, and is such a joy to know. She is very talented in designing prints, invitations, and more!

Here are some questions that I asked Amber to help you get to know her a little better, and some pretty photos of her lovely products!!

What inspired you to pursue opening an Etsy Shop?
Back in 2007 I was just leaving my career as a graphic artist for a newspaper, to stay home with my brand new baby boy (who's not so new and not so little anymore). Here and there I would design things for family, friends and some previous customers I had from the newspaper. I loved being able to create again. After tons of encouragement from my man and a baby that finally began to sleep, I began this little shop. It's my little corner of the web where I can create, share my love for the Lord with others, and still share my day with my boys at home.

What has been the greatest joy for you in this business?
I love that I get to have some small part to helping people celebrate big moments in their lives. And that I get to do it all in the comfort of my own home with my boys running around at my feet. Motherhood had always been a dream of mine, but I needed some sort of creative outlet and my shop was the perfect fit for that. 

What are your favorite items to make? I started out just designing invites, but as the years have gone on my favorite thing to design are art prints that you can post around your home that remind you just how great our God is....and just how much He loves you. I keep a running list on my desk of things that I've heard and have inspired me. It's my go to when I'm ready to sit down and create something new.

How do you stay inspired?
I think you can be inspired daily by people around you, reading books, listening to speakers, looking in your backyard. I'm all about taking it all in and creating reminders of those moments. Whether it's a great quote you've heard, a favorite verse or just recognizing the beauty in the simple things...I want to remember. 

What is one thing the Lord is teaching you right now?
Haha....this one's easy! It's been on going for a while now. I AM NOT IN CONTROL. I'm a bit of a control freak at times and He's really showing me that I don't need to make lists of what I am going to do or schedule my entire day. All I do is create disappointment for myself when my plans don't go how I want ( and let's be honest they don't most of the time when children are involved). I went through 4 years of infertility trying to control every aspect of everything. It was emotional and it was hard. Then when I was at my lowest I finally let it go...and let God do his work on me and my heart. He ultimately was going to control whether we had a small family or large one a successful business or a unsuccessful one. All to say...I now know just how much He loves me and that His ultimate plan for me, at least now, is to show me that He's got this. And that I just need to glorify Him in all He's done and is still doing for me. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to small business owners?
Just be you. There are people out there trying to do everything (I was one of them for a while), but if you're you, you will find that perfect group of customers for your shop and they will keep returning. If I could add a second piece of advice, I would say talk to other shop owners. There are so many out there who are willing to share advice and help you get your shop on your feet.

Thanks so much Amber for sharing your heart today, and your awesome talent. I have several of Amber's prints in our home, and the are gorgeous. You much head over and check out her Etsy shop, like now! :) And stick around this month to see more from Amber, and maybe even a giveaway of one of her products later this month! (wink, wink)

A Harvest of Blessing
Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Madison of The Wetherills Say I Do"