Simply September https://www.simplyseptember.com Being CREATIVE in everyday life! Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:11:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 https://i2.wp.com/www.simplyseptember.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/cropped-SS-Logo-copy.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Simply September https://www.simplyseptember.com 32 32 Ultimate List of Creative & Unique Gifts for Mom https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/04/19/ultimate-list-of-creative-unique-gifts-for-mom/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/04/19/ultimate-list-of-creative-unique-gifts-for-mom/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 23:10:28 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=1179 If you have exhausted the same gift ideas, have difficulty pinpointing her style to shop on your own, or just want something that will make her know you have her utmost joy at heart, then this guide is for you! I have compiled a list of what I have found to be some of the most unique and creative ideas for moms.

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* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

With Mother’s Day right around the corner…

Have you secured the ultimate gift idea for that special mother in your life?

If you have exhausted the same gift ideas for mom, have difficulty pinpointing her style to shop on your own, or just want something that will make her know you have her utmost joy at heart, then this guide is for you!

Whether you are shopping for your own mother, someone you consider to be the definition of a motherly figure, or are assisting your younger kiddos in shopping for their mama… check out this ultimate list of creative and unique gifts.

I have compiled a list of what I have found to be some of the most unique and creative ideas for moms. Looking to score some extra points? Keep this list on hand for future gifts as well (think birthdays, holidays and more)!


The Ultimate List of Creative & Unique Gifts for Mom

My Pillow

Who wouldn’t love the gift of a good night’s sleep? Guaranteed to be the most comfortable pillow you will ever use or your money back. As a mom to an infant and a toddler, sleep sure is precious and optimal sleeping comfort is key. I first learned about this product through an infomercial and I must admit, I am so interested in seeing if this product lives up to its hype. Click here and Save 30% with Promo Code AFL30

Crafting Classes by CreativeBug

Is that special mom in your life big into crafting? (If so, she sounds like my kind of gal!) This awesome purchase allows you to gift unlimited access to over 1,000 different craft classes (new ones constantly being added). Allow mom to pursue her passion through online tutorials, where she will think of you every single time she logs into her personal account. Not only is this a gift that keeps on giving, but it is also super affordable. At just under $5.00 a month, select how many months you wish to extend the subscription. Click here to check out Over 1000 Online Art & Craft Classes Just $4.95 a month!

Blue Apron

Does mom like to cook? Give her the gift of food. Heck, maybe this gift will end up gifting you in return if you get to enjoy the final product. All necessary ingredients and recipes will be shipped directly to mom’s door where she can enjoy preparing in the comfort of her own kitchen. Different pricing packages are available, but for a limited time you can enjoy 3 meals free with your first order by clicking here.

FabFitFun

Something about subscription boxes are so exciting to me! Perhaps it is because this gift keeps on giving after the date of delivery. This seasonal gift box will be stuffed full of full-sized beauty, fashion, fitness, tech and lifestyle products. How cool is that?! Check out this seasonal gift here. Use code “SPRINGTIME” for $10 off your purchase!

Sephora

Busy kiddos often means this mama goes without makeup. However, when I do get that opportunity to paint my face, I relish in the fact that I know the products are quality. If this sounds like the mom in your life, then why not gift her Sephora makeup or skin care products? Click here for numerous gift ideas and bundles. Not sure what she’d like best? She’ll love a gift card! Trust me.

Nixplay Photo Frame

Okay friends, this gift idea is definitely one of my favorites. I stumbled upon this company and their products around the holidays when I was in search of the perfect gift for my parents. This amazing digital photo frame is completely unique. Unlike other digital photo frames where you have to sit and upload photos onto a chip or thumb drive that is then inserted into the frame, this one allows you to do it all from the click of your smartphone. Here is how it works: you purchase the frame and then download the app on your phone. Then, whenever you take a picture on your phone that you think you’d like on your frame you simply add it to your app and boom, the picture is now on your frame. The best part?… this can all be done remotely! This means that by sharing your frame password with another family member, you can allow them to add photos to your frame as well. How cool is that?! Click here to enjoy free shipping on your purchase or to check out the latest products.

Stitch Fix

Does mom love to shop for new clothes, but struggles to find the time? Or perhaps she loves to be up-to-date with the latest trends but can’t quite complete that ideal look herself? Insert Stitch Fix. This awesome service will gift mom with her own personal stylist. Here is how it works: mom signs into her personal account where she fills out her own style profile. From there, she selects the date in which she wants her package delivered. A personal stylist then hand picks ideal clothing items and accessories that fits mom’s style. The items are shipped to mom where she can try them on in the comfort of her home. She keeps and purchases what she likes and sends back the rest. If she enjoys the service, she can continue to schedule shipments on a more regular basis! Purchase a Stitch Fix Gift Card here and simply print it out right at home. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

LovePop Cards

More times than not, a beautiful card to let mom know you are thinking of her is all that it takes. So why not say how grateful you are for all she does and how much you love her with these amazing cards? First shown on Shark Tank, I fell in love with these 3D paper sculptures. Bonus points for a specific Mother’s Day category of cards!

Ecocentric Mom Gift Box

Gift mom another fabulous subscription service! I love that this gift is perfect for ANY mom, including moms-to-be. These non-toxic, healthy, organic, earth-friendly products will be shipped directly to mom’s door for her to enjoy alone or with her kiddos! Each box will contain 5-9 products and range from personal care products, home products, food, treats and more! Click here to give a Mom Gift Box Subscription and enjoy free shipping + 3 Box Choices!

Shutterfly

There is something just so heartwarming about personalized photo gifts. You simply can’t go wrong when taking a precious photo that mom will love and turning it into a keepsake. Another huge benefit to this option is that there is quite a large price range so you can spend as little or as much as you desire. Click here to check out a list of unique photo gift ideas featured at Shutterfly.

Fit2B

The perfect gift for the mom looking to get in shape. This amazing online fitness membership program focuses on full body workouts for women both during and after pregnancy. Specifically, this program focuses on “mummy tummy” in a safe and supportive environment. Click here to check it out and gift a membership.

Zazzle

This exciting shop allows you to be the designer and personalize items for mom without having to necessarily add a picture as well. From totes to mugs, jewelry and more… I love searching through the pages and pages of available items. Check out Zazzle’s list of Personalized Mother’s Day Gifts.

Target Gift Card

What mom doesn’t love Target? If none of the above ideas seem to be an ideal fit for the mom in your life, you are sure to have success with Target. Click here to purchase your card.

 

I am most hopeful that this list has provided you with some exciting inspiration to gift that special mom in your life. A special shout out to all the wonderful mothers out there. I for one, couldn’t be more blessed to not only be a mother, but to have the amazing mother that I do… and I wish the same for you! 

     

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How I Taught Myself to Sew and You Can Too https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/04/12/how-i-taught-myself-to-sew-and-you-can-too/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/04/12/how-i-taught-myself-to-sew-and-you-can-too/#comments Wed, 12 Apr 2017 23:13:01 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=1131 Let me begin by apologizing. While I have shared with you a few different sewing related posts, I have failed to start with the basics in sewing. I have been sewing for so long that I forget that sewing can be quite a foreign concept to many crafters. With that said, let me give you a bit of a background as to how I essentially taught myself to sew and how you can too!

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* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

Let me begin by apologizing. While I have shared with you a few different sewing related posts, I have failed to start with the basics in sewing. I have been sewing for so long that I forget that sewing can be quite a foreign concept to many crafters. With that said, let me give you a bit of a background as to how I essentially taught myself to sew and how you can too!

My Sewing Background

I must tell you that while I have sewn endless clothing items and household decor, I am far from a seamstress. And while I have sewn quilts, I am far from a quilter. However, I know the basics and you’d be surprised how far the “basics” in sewing can really get you.

When I was in 7th grade I was a student in a required home economics course. This was the first time I was introduced to a sewing machine. I remember creating a holiday placemat as our final project prior to the semester ending. As useless as this placemat was, I precisely recall the joy I received out of creating this project. A joy that far superseded (in my case) the joy which I received out of the cooking portion of the home economics course.  In fact, the joy was so great that when the semester ended, I continued to sew with a needle and thread. As one can imagine, the joy quickly began to fade as sewing by hand with a needle and thread took ages. Apparently, my disappointment was somewhat obvious, as my parents surprised me with a brand new sewing machine as a gift when my Confirmation at church rolled around later that same year. Let me tell you, at this particular time in my life, I had never seen anything quite so shiny and pretty!

I opened my sewing box, followed the instructions for setup, and never looked back. I tried my hardest to implement the techniques I learned from my home economics class; however, this was basically how to thread a machine and how to sew a straight line. Both very important components, but could only get you so far.

The years that followed were full of endless trial and error. The Internet was created, but it was a time of dial up Internet connection and watching online tutorials and techniques was but a dream. Instead, I would beg my parents (and grandmother) to drive me to Walmart where I would raid the fabric department (spending the very little money which I had earned from birthdays and chores) and purchase different fabrics, buttons, thread, etc. I’d return home and try my hardest to bring to life what I envisioned in my head. While 50% of the time this just resulted in my ripping out more seams than I care to mention, the other 50% of the time resulted in some of my largest success stories to include my very own swimsuit, doll clothes, comforter, etc. all before the age of 15.

As my high school years progressed, I found myself spending less and less time on sewing. However, this didn’t stop me from lugging my machine off to college with me. Then came graduate school in occupational therapy and I must admit my inspiration for creativity blossomed and I once again found myself using my machine routinely. After graduating from college, that same sewing machine moved from my apartment to its final resting place in our new home, where it eagerly awaits my next project.

The beauty in my sewing “career” is that while it has spanned quite a timeframe and while I often went a year or two between projects, it always remained similar to riding a bike. No matter how much time between its use, the basic techniques always came back to me.

My Sewing Machine

In 7th grade, I was gifted a “Brother LS- 1217 ” sewing machine. This same exact machine was used for 99% of my sewing “career”. In fact, I used this same exact machine for 15 years straight because I simply adore it. I adore it not only because it was basic enough for teaching myself how to sew, but also because it allowed me to craft every project I desired without complication. Truth is, if it was not for the generosity of my husband, I would still be using this machine.

This past September on my birthday, my husband surprised me with a new machine. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a bit emotional boxing up my old one (although, it brings me great joy to know I will someday dig out this exact machine for my daughters to begin their sewing journey). However, the sadness quickly faded when I realized just  how much I LOVE my new machine, the “Brother International CE4400”. He actually purchased it directly from here. What I love about my new machine is that it is still basic enough for me to use on everyday projects, yet offers more modernized benefits (i.e. different stitches, assisted needle threading, etc.) You simply can’t go wrong with purchasing this machine and I can’t say enough great things about it.

How You Can Teach Yourself to Sew

I often hear people say just how intimidated they are by the idea of sewing. So intimidated in fact, that in most cases they never even attempt the skill, simply stating that they wouldn’t know where to start. They see (or hear) of people who quickly whip out quilts, costumes for children, home decorations and more and think, “there is no way that could ever be me”. However, the truth is, that you simply need not be intimidated. I am here to tell you that you do NOT need to be an expert seamstress to receive great joy by sewing your own masterpieces.

In fact, just like me, all you need are the basics in order to get started. As you read above, I learned the basics of sewing from my home economics class. While I can’t provide you with a time machine allowing you to go back to 7th grade and get the most out of the course, I can provide you with the ability to learn from the comfort of your home which I must admit is even better! This ideal online tutorial walks you through the Sewing Machine Basics. Combining this FREE tutorial with the picture diagram that accompanies your new machine, you are sure to be off to a great start.

After learning the basics, I believe there are two ideal options. One, you use the same trial and error method that I used (and in many cases continue to use) in order to expand upon your skills. Or two, you can explore the additional online sewing videos and tutorials available from CreativeBug for just $4.95/month. While I know this option isn’t free like the basic tutorial provided above, it truly is my best recommendation for learning to sew like a pro. I truly wouldn’t recommend anything I hadn’t checked out myself and I can’t speak highly enough about the classes available. From learning how to sew the ideal hem, to sewing any and all projects you can think of (i.e. purses, clothes, pillows, etc.) this website has it all. (Note: the subscription offers you tutorials and videos to more than even sewing. This subscription entitles you to videos on all arts & crafts, quilting, knitting, crocheting, etc.)

The truth is, sewing is far easier than you might think. All it takes is a little time, patience, a user friendly machine, motivation and a tutorial or two.

Enjoy My Step-by-Step Sewing Tutorials

Now that you know how to sew the basics, be sure and check out some of my other posts! The following posts have step-by-step picture and written instructions for basic sewing projects. Happy sewing!!

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Spring Has Sprung: FREE Spring Printables https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/04/02/springprintables/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/04/02/springprintables/#comments Sun, 02 Apr 2017 22:46:40 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=1061 Spring has officially arrived! Enjoy FREE access to spring inspired printables.

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Spring is here!

“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”- Proverb

Spring has officially arrived and I couldn’t be more excited! It is, without a doubt, my FAVORITE season. Here in Wisconsin, I am all for the beauty of the changing seasons and try to embrace each and every one of them… but, I know I’m not the only Wisconsinite that believes winter is just a touch too long.

In celebration of the new season, I decided to create a couple spring inspired printables pictured in the frames below…


“Spring- a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.”

“hello spring”


PRINTABLE USE

These spring printables are ideal for decorative use around the house, for making your own greeting cards, or for desktop backgrounds.

Personally, I have decided to print and frame them as a special spring decoration!

DOWNLOAD

Want to download these spring printables for FREE? Simply subscribe here. After subscribing, be sure and check your inbox for an email from me! Here you will receive a passcode and instant access!

Already subscribed? You were first to obtain access to these spring printables! Check your inbox for a “Simply September” email with passcode enclosed.

 

Wishing you creative and beautiful spring days ahead!

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How to Make a Children’s Coloring Bag (TUTORIAL) https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/29/childrenscoloringbag/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/29/childrenscoloringbag/#comments Wed, 29 Mar 2017 16:00:58 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=1018 Whenever we are on-the-go and my daughter has that desire to bring her coloring books and crayons along, she simply grabs her crafted coloring bag. Not only does this allow her to carry her own bag, but it also cuts down on the time of having to pack an art bag. Enjoy a step-by-step free tutorial on how to create your own children's coloring bag.

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* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

At two years old, my oldest daughter is currently at the perfect age to jump head first into the wonderful world of arts and crafts (I couldn’t be more proud/excited!). This means that I spend a fair amount of time every day being asked, “Can I color, Mommy?”, “Mommy, where are my crayons?”. In fact, her current interest is so high that the coloring demand is not confined to just our own home. Wherever we go, she often asks to bring along her crayons.

Not wanting to stifle her creativity, I found myself grabbing a random bag and throwing her coloring books and crayons inside. While this got the job done, this also resulted in loose crayons and a bag that was too large for my daughter to conveniently carry herself (i.e. it became one more thing that Mom and Dad had to carry around).

A few brainstorming techniques, some Pinterest digging for inspiration, and some trial and error later… my version of a”children’s coloring bag” was a reality. Now, whenever we are on-the-go and my daughter has that desire to bring her coloring books and crayons along, she simply grabs her bag. Not only does this allow her to carry her own bag (size fits her perfectly), but it also cuts down on the time of having to pack an art bag. This particular bag stays put together in our household. She knows that these particular crayons and coloring books are just for on-the-go coloring; keeping the coloring books fun and exciting!

(TIP: I find the highest quality coloring books with the most relevant characters can be found at, drumroll please… the local dollar store! At the Dollar Tree I often can be found raiding their aisles and stocking up with coloring books. And the best part… they are a dollar!)

Looking to make one for yourself?… here is my step-by-step tutorial!

Don’t quite feel confident in your sewing skills? Don’t let that stop you! Check out my post on “How I Taught Myself to Sew and You can Too!” Or, simply, check out this ideal video tutorial of Sewing Machine Basics. Then step over to these Online Craft Classes (select “Sewing”) that include video demonstrations in order to learn more advanced techniques!

 


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • ruler/yard stick/measuring tape
  • chalk (I prefer chalk to mark measurement cutting lines so I don’t damage the fabric)
  • fabric (any pattern or design of your choosing. You will see that I chose three different fabrics to give a fun, childlike theme to it with bright colors. However, you can easily choose just one fabric for the entire project if desired. Also, keep in mind that this is an awesome project to use scrap material you may have lying around. I used up scrap material for my straps below.)
  • Crayons and coloring books to include in your finished bag!

DIRECTIONS:

Begin with prepping and cutting your fabric…

1.) I recommend washing and drying (in the dryer vs. air drying) your fabric prior to beginning this project. This allows for any pre-shrinking. The reality of it is that this is a child’s product. Crayon markings, dirty fingers, etc. will all leave their marks on this bag. With that said, I wanted a bag I could easily toss in the laundry without risk of it shrinking and altering shape after all my hard work.

2.) Iron all the dried fabric so that fabric sizing doesn’t deceive you.

3.) Begin with cutting the fabric for the main portion of the bag. You will want to cut FOUR pieces. Two for the outside portion of the bag and two for the inside portion of the bag. In my case, this is the porcupine fabric (for the outside portion) and the green fabric (for the inside portion). All four pieces should be cut to 12″ x 13″.

4.) Next, you will cut the fabric for your straps. In my case this was the orange fabric. Cut TWO pieces of 4″ x 38″ fabric. (Note: in the picture above, you will see that my orange fabric doesn’t quite match these measurements. I chose to use up some of my scrap fabric for the straps and as a result had to sew pieces together to get to that overall 38″ in length.)

5.) Lastly, you will want to cut the fabric for your pocket that holds the crayons. I chose my pocket to be 8″ x 8″ in order to allow for the holding of larger crayons. This pocket can be customized per your desire. (Note: If you wish to have your bag hold markers or colored pencils instead, you will want to create a deeper pocket.)

Now that your fabric is prepped and cut, it is time to get to pinning and sewing…

6.) You will want to begin by pinning your outer fabric of your bag to the inner fabric of your bag. Make sure that the printed aspects of the fabric/the design is facing outward on both sides. Complete this same task on all four large pieces.

7.) Once pinned, you will want to simply stitch approximately 1/2 inch around your two joined pieces.

8.) Now that your two pieces are sewn together, you will be left with two reversible pieces of fabric as compared to your previous four. Find the top of your rectangular piece and fold over the top approximately 1/2 inch TWICE (i.e. two folds. This ensures that no frayed edges are showing). Fold the material towards the inside of the bag, pin and sew across the top. Do this on both pieces of reversible fabric.

9.) Now, we will move onto the straps. Simply fold the edges of your straps inward approximately 1/2 inch. Then pin and sew along the seam.  (Note: You can see here where I sewed my scrap pieces together to get to the desired length.)

10.) Now that you have your pinned edges of your straps (see above picture) sewn, simply fold the fabric over (lining up your hemmed edges) and pin down the middle. You will then sew the folded edges together (sewing over the previous stitched line). I then chose to sew the same distance from the edge on the other side of the strap to prevent the fabric from bubbling up and to allow it to sit flat.

11.) Now, we will  move on to the pocket. Similar to the straps, you will begin by folding inward the edges of your square and sewing them down.

12.) Again like the straps, you will fold over the fabric, lining up the hemmed edges. You will now sew along the top side of your pocket only (essentially sewing the two hemmed edges together) (Note: the sides of the pocket should remain open/not sewn shut.)

13.) Now, take the fabric from the front of your bag and center your pocket on the lower portion of the bag. Pin it in place. Now you are going to sew around the sides and bottom of your pocket so that it secured to your bag. Be sure to NOT sew the top of the pocket so that you can insert crayons inside.

14.) You will now want to create your slots for the crayons to fit snuggly inside. These openings may vary based on crayon size, whether you are using markers/colored pencils, etc. However, I made my openings spaced approximately 1.5 inches apart. I simply sewed a straight line down from the top of the pocket to the bottom.

15.) Time to sew on the straps. Below you see the front and back portions of the bag. The two straps should be laid out as shown. Place the bottom of the strap on the bottom of the bag and slightly overlap the side of the pocket (to hide the seams). Sew along the left and right side of each strap so that it is securely in place. For extra security, sew a criss-cross within a square pattern where the strap meets the top of the bag on both sides.

16.) Now that the straps are secured in place, turn the two sides/pieces inside out (or so the two outward pieces are now on the inside). In my case, you’d see the green fabric on both sides. Pin along the sides and sew approximately 1/2 inch around all three edges (obviously not sewing the top edges together so items can be placed inside).

17.) You bag is now complete! Simply turn it inside out once more so that your outer pieces are showing! Insert your crayons and coloring books and enjoy!

Now that you have mastered your very own “Children’s Coloring Bag”, are you inspired to keep the sewing projects alive for your kiddos? If so, be sure and check out additional Sewing For Little Ones projects. Complete tutorials included!


Fill up your coloring bag with these Free Coloring Pages from Crayola!

Shop Crayola brand names (by clicking on the Crayola image below) including: crayons, markers, Silly Putty®, Color Wonder, Creative Makers, and even Crayola® Custom 64 Boxes.
Get 20% off $50 at Crayola.com!


Let the sewing and coloring begin!

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Creating a Farmhouse Inspired Wine Nook https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/23/farmhousewinenook/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/23/farmhousewinenook/#comments Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:37:17 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=999 Are you a lover of all things wine? Do you find yourself excited by the idea of theme related nooks within your home? Do encouraging quotes inspire you? Are eclectic and farmhouse inspired vibes your go-to decorating style? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you are not only my kind of person, but you may also be intrigued by my wine themed nook nestled within my dining area!

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Are you a lover of all things wine? Do you find yourself excited by the idea of theme related nooks within your home? Do encouraging quotes inspire you? Are eclectic and farmhouse inspired vibes your go-to decorating style? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are not only my kind of person, but you may also be intrigued by my wine themed nook nestled within my dining area!

This project was one that started in our apartment and only grew within our new home. I began with my need to find a place to store/display my wine glasses without taking up the limited apartment cupboard space I had. After moving into our home, I decided to expand upon the storage element with additional wine elements (think wine bottles themselves and fun wine themed decor). Finally, I incorporated my love for all things quotes and printables and created some favorite sayings to inspire me with every passing.

The end result was one of my favorite nooks in our home… inspired by my love for eclectic and farmhouse vibes!

(Disclaimer: While I do love wine, I am far from a connoisseur. With that said, don’t be shocked by some of the bottles you see displayed. I not only don’t consume the most expensive wine, but I don’t decorate with it either ;)).

 

WINE CORK CANDLE

Years ago, I started collecting wine corks with hopes of creating some form of a project. With time, the collection naturally turned into a DIY project of its own with very little effort. I simply placed all corks within a glass bowl/vase. Inside, I inserted a smaller glass container, and within that placed a candle. I love the way the light from the flame makes the corks glow! (Note: when lighting the candle, I tend to remove the corks that are higher up in the container as to prevent any from falling directly into the flame. Nothing like a fire to put a damper on enjoying a nice glass of wine.)

  

 

INSPIRING QUOTE PRINTABLES

This was another quick, easy and inexpensive DIY project. I simply found some frames I loved and got to creating printables. Selecting some of my favorite quotes, I designed them as images, printed them as photos, and inserted them into frames.

   

   

FINAL TOUCHES

Final touches included incorporating a mixture of unfinished woodwork along with black, white and brown accents to match the surrounding feel of my eclectic and farmhouse inspired room. This entire collection was created with a mixture of pieces from: Pottery Barn, Michaels, TJ Maxx and a small local floral shop where I happened to snag the adorable unfinished table.

 

 

Does designing nooks and making good use of small corners excite you like it does me? If so, be sure and check out my Command Center nook as well!

 

DIY farmhouse inspired wine nooke

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Finding the “Me Time” You Deserve and NEED as a Mom of Young Children https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/16/findingthemetimeyoudeserveandneedasamom/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/16/findingthemetimeyoudeserveandneedasamom/#comments Thu, 16 Mar 2017 23:31:32 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=974 The truth is, we can try to do it all. We can try to be that mythical "super mom" until we reach that final straw and we burn out. And as ironic as it may be, it is usually the smallest thing that puts us over the edge. I once had a complete meltdown because the tab on the diaper I was changing broke. Of course it had nothing to do with the tab, but I had reached my boiling point. And once we do burn out and hit that metaphorical boiling point, even the "best" moms become useless to their children.

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* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

Are you head over heels in love with your young children? Do you pinch yourself thinking how in the world you got so blessed to be the mother to these amazing beings? Do you find yourself stopping every once in a while to watch your kiddo and wish that time could stand still? Do you spend whatever “free time” you have thinking about how to make their life just that much more enjoyable; from planning playdates, to signing them up for activities, or planning their next birthday party?

But, are you also that mother who barely has time to breathe, let alone think about yourself?

ARE YOU ONE OF THESE TWO MOMS?

Stay-at-home mom

The stay-at-home mom whose day perhaps looks something like this: get children up, get them dressed and fed, entertain them, start potty training one, while nursing or bottle feeding the other every couple hours, then start nap time for one while you quietly try to entertain the other simultaneously, then throw in a load of laundry (oh my God is it only 11:00 AM?!), then rock the baby again because he/she is up FAR too soon, then start lunch for one, oops baby is up again and hungry (didn’t they JUST eat?!), then pick up after the other (did a hurricane just come through?!), then try for the second round of naps for each only to shut the door of one when the other one wakes up crying (is my significant other home yet?!), then eat your lunch while trying not to drop bread crumbs on baby’s head, then do your 100th diaper change of the day (oh great a “blow out”, on to another outfit change and load of laundry), then start thinking about dinnertime, then bath times and stories, then clean up and somehow managing to eat your dinner at 10:00 PM with your eyes partially closed.

Working mom

Or perhaps you are that working mom whose day perhaps looks something like this: get children up, get them dressed and fed, get yourself dressed (well I guess this outfit kind of matches, oh well, no time to pick something else), drop them off at the sitters, hurry to work (how am I going to be late, again?!), try to focus on work without thinking about the million things you need to get done at home, making sure to be just as productive as your co-workers who aren’t spending so much of their time hooked up to a breast pump, run out of work to do the daycare dash and get to your kiddos right before the doors are closing (I know, I know, won’t happen again, so sorry I’m late!), then fly home and make dinner for your kid, throw in laundry and prep for the same thing again tomorrow, then bath time and books and bedtime, once again managing to eat dinner at 10:00PM with eyes half-open.

In many ways, would you say your life is currently revolving around your children?

 

If you answered “yes”, let me tell you, you are not alone! I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself before becoming a mom, “I won’t be one of those moms who let their every waking moment revolve around their children and entirely forget about their own needs, dreams, and desires.” And if you answered “yes”, let me tell you, that there is no shame in being one of those moms. Being one of those moms simply means that your children couldn’t be more lucky to have you. You go out of your way, most days sacrificing your own needs and personal hygiene (am I right? ;)) to make sure their needs are being met.

BURNING OUT

However, if you answered “yes”, let me tell you this… you WILL burn out. While I’m sure there are those rare “super moms” out there, you know the ones who are able to give every breath and waking moment to their children and yet still look polished, have dinner on the table, have a spotless home, consider all their relationship, career and life needs met and still have a smile on their face, I must say… I have yet to meet one. And trust me, I couldn’t be more fortunate to know some of the world’s best moms.

The truth is, we can try to do it all. We can try to be that mythical “super mom” until we reach that final straw and we burn out. And as ironic as it may be, it is usually the smallest thing that puts us over the edge. I once had a complete meltdown because the tab on the diaper I was changing broke. Of course it had nothing to do with the tab, but I had reached my boiling point. And once we do burn out and hit that metaphorical boiling point, even the “best” moms become useless to their children.

This is why we not only want “me time”, but we NEED “me time”.

Now, you might be thinking that I’ve so far stated the obvious. What mom, who is being truthful with themselves, would deny the need for “me time”. However, the question is how do we find the “me time” when we need 30+ hours in a 24 hour day?

DISCLAIMER ALERT

Now, let me start with a very clear disclaimer. I do NOT have all the answers and am by no means an expert on always finding the balance between “mom time” and “me time”. Perhaps you picked up on my lack of expertise when I told you about my diaper tab meltdown; but just in case, let me send the message home. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my occasional crying fit while trying to juggle all that comes with being a mom. I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I told you I hadn’t become the woman and wife I (again) told myself I would never become when my husband (who worked a long, tiring day at work) walked in the door and I handed him both children and muttered “tag, you are it!”. And I’d be a total liar if I told you that there aren’t days that I don’t put on a stitch of makeup, change into anything other than sweats, have given the slightest thought about dinner for the same evening and go to bed without so much as a shower. However, I will tell you that even though I may “fail” at having “me time” 75% of the time, that 25% of the time that I succeed is what makes ALL the difference!

Obtaining that 25% success rate was not something that came natural to me. Learning how to implement “me time” has taken years, trials (and many errors), open discussions, planning, and most of all… creativity.

HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR “ME TIME”

Coming to terms with not being “super mom”

Isn’t it often said that the first step in fixing any problem is first identifying that you have one? I know this was the case for me. As soon as I let me guard down and told myself that I couldn’t be a “super mom”, (and heck I didn’t want to be) things got a lot easier. Taking that burden of having to do it all off my shoulders was a HUGE relief. Telling myself that I am not my best self, and dare I say even “unhappy” going on like I was, is what needed to come first.

Identifying what will give you the most bang for your buck

The reality remains, you need to (and want to) still be the mom your children deserve. With that said, you can’t run off every other day for endless spa treatments and social outings with friends. So, you need to identify what will bring you the most happiness in sometimes the smallest possible windows. For some this may be crafting or shopping, for others getting a massage or taking a bubble bath. Others yet may find the greatest joy going out with friends or hitting the gym. Whatever your happiness may be, identify it.

Make a list of ideal “me time” activities 

“Me time” isn’t always planned. Sometimes “my time” can come out of nowhere like when your significant other unexpectedly gets home from work early (score!). And sometimes “me time” is brief. Perhaps grandma and grandpa swing by to visit with the kiddos for 30 minutes (score!). Knowing that “me time” isn’t always planned and lengthy, it is important to have a go-to list either mentally or written out.

Need help coming up with a list for those shorter timeframes?

This list should include short activities that fill up your happiness tank even if only for 20 minutes. Here are a few suggestions that I would recommend…

  • bubble bath
  • giving yourself a manicure/pedicure
  • reading a new book/flipping through a magazine
  • watching a TV show
  • taking a nap
  • Checking out these classes here and growing upon your passion in art related fields (think photography, sewing, handlettering, etc.) all while never having to leave your home.
  • Participating in these mommy focused exercises here.
  • Visiting Creativbug and watching over 1000 Online Art & Craft Classes to prepare for your next craft project (when you get a little more “me time”)

 

 

Having an open and honest conversation

I am blessed with a wonderful husband who works hard every day and yet still manages to come home with a smile on his face. However, as wonderful as he is, he can’t read my mind. In the beginning of motherhood I found myself wanting him to identify when I needed “me time”. However, the truth is I was being completely selfish. He too is overwhelmed with responsibilities and his own desire for “me time”. How could I expect him to identify, what I for a long time couldn’t even identify in myself?

I am fortunate to work both outside and inside the home. I work part-time as an occupational therapist and photographer (outside the home) and work part-time at home as a stay-at-home mom (who am I kidding, I’ve never met a part-time mom, we are all full-time moms!) and blogger. And while there are definite pros and cons to both working outside and inside the home, I will say that for me personally, I find myself needing “me time” all the more when I am home all day alone with my kiddos. I need those two minutes to decompress without my toddler pulling on my leg or my baby crying to be nursed.

As soon as I shared with my husband exactly how I was feeling and how I needed some “me time”, I was floored just how receptive he was. While life happens and his work schedule more times than not doesn’t allow for the “me time” of my dreams, he is far more understanding and eager to help me obtain my “me time” now that I have shared with him my needs.

Sharing “Me Time”

Just as I need my “me time”, I 100% know and value that my husband does as well. While he may not be required to take on all the same roles as I do as a mother, he definitely has his own set as a father. Being open and honest with him about my needs, allowed for him to do the same. Not only did he feel instant relief with increased “me time” but he was that much more understanding of my need when he could experience it himself.

Nothing like a good weekend to fill “me time” voids. In our household reciprocal “me time” often looks like this: my husband is with the kids while I get in a quick shopping trip. I return home and am with the kids while he in turn gets in his workout. It is all about finding the balance!

Understanding that a little goes a long way

As mentioned above, sometimes you only get the smallest bit of “me time”. However, you will be surprised how much a little can go a long way. Very quickly I discovered that I didn’t need an entire day to feel rejuvenated. Sometimes all it took was a 15 minute bath to decompress, change my mood and start anew.

Being open to the need to restructure

We all know life happens and children are often anything but predictable. While one day they may spend 100% of their time at home, the next day they may be involved in every activity under the sun, requiring you to run them this way and that way, and everywhere in between. One day your significant other may get home early from work, and the next he/she may be off on a business trip.

I’ll never forget how I felt that I had a good handle on “me time” with my toddler until my second baby arrived. All of a sudden, everything that was working in the world of “me time” was now a fantasy. Once again, I had to restructure how my “me time” would play out.

Knowing your worth

This last tip is perhaps the most important. You NEED to make yourself a priority and you NEED to know that you are worthy of having “me time”. As a mom, you can sacrifice it all, without sacrificing it ALL. Not only will your significant other, your children, your coworkers, extended family and friends, enjoy being around you more after you’ve had “me time”, but you will enjoy yourself that much more after “me time” as well.

Now get out there and get your “me time”! Always remember, motherhood is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. Make sure you are fueling up along the way!

What does your “me time” look like? Comment below! I’d love to hear.

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How to Have a Balloon Prayer Party https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/09/balloonprayerparty/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/09/balloonprayerparty/#comments Fri, 10 Mar 2017 02:37:31 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=951 Having dedicated our oldest daughter just two years prior, we knew that our minister would deliver a heartfelt and personalized dedication speech in honor of our daughter. Afterwards, all of our loved ones would reconvene at our house for a celebratory lunch and party. As wonderful as this day was the first time around, if I could have changed one factor, it would have been allowing our closest loved ones in attendance to have had a larger role in blessing our baby girl. This was when a "balloon prayer party" came to mind!

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The invites were sent, the cake was ordered, the menu was determined and her christening gown was laid out… the planning for my daughter’s dedication day at church was well underway. We were most excited for this very important and memorable day in our baby girl’s life.

A ROLE FOR LOVED ONES

Having dedicated our oldest daughter just two years prior, we knew that our minister would deliver a heartfelt and personalized dedication speech in honor of our daughter. Afterwards, all of our loved ones would reconvene at our house for a celebratory lunch and party. As wonderful as this day was the first time around, if I could have changed one factor, it would have been allowing our closest loved ones in attendance to have had a larger role in blessing our baby girl. This was when a “balloon prayer party” came to mind!

BALLOON PRAYERS

I decided to create paper hearts that I could easily print, hole punch and place out at the celebratory party. Each heart would allow each of our loved ones to write their blessings for our baby girl. I would then purchase one balloon per guest so that each heart could be tied to a corresponding balloon. After attaching each heart to its balloon, I would then ask each guest to hold their balloon and one by one read aloud their prayers for our baby girl. Then, weather permitting (after all this is Wisconsin we are talking about here), we would all file outside and release our prayers (balloons) up to Heaven.

Without a doubt, next only to the dedication service itself, this was my favorite part of the entire day. I will never forget seeing our loved ones holding their balloon and reading aloud their prayers. Afterwards, watching all the balloons simultaneously being released was the greatest symbolism of the day.

There were so many elements I loved about this event, but perhaps most, I loved that it allowed those who came to celebrate our daughter, those who wish for her a Godly life, and those who love her unconditionally, to be able to have such an important role on such an important day.

CREATE THE TRADITION FOR YOURSELF

Reflecting back on the day, I can’t help but think how this tradition could be used again and again for not only church dedication/christening/baptisms but also for weddings, baby showers, first birthday parties and more! I love this tradition so much, that I’ve included both the explanation sheet and paper heart printables below for FREE download! Click each to enjoy!

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How to Make State Specific Pillows (TUTORIAL) https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/02/statespecificpillows/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/03/02/statespecificpillows/#comments Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:49:12 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=922 Every year some of my closest friends and I get together around the holiday season and share laughs, food and gifts along the way. I needed to find the PERFECT DIY gift. This was when I decided to make state specific personalized pillows!

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* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

Every year some of my closest friends and I get together around the holiday season and share laughs, food and gifts along the way. Our goal is to purchase/make five of the exact same items that represent our favorite thing of the year and gift them to one another. And so was named our annual “Favorite Things Party”!

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

After having spent a good amount of time creating winter slipcovers for my home (check out my tutorial on how to make them for yourself, here), I quickly learned they were my new “favorite” thing of the year and I wanted to share them with my friends! This was when I decided to make my friends their very own pillows with a special personalized touch. All of my friends live around the Wisconsin area (we actually all met at occupational therapy school together!) and so I knew I wanted something unique to Wisconsin. A little brainstorming later and I was off to Jo-Ann Fabrics (my go-to location for the majority of my fabric needs).

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Sticking with my love for all things plaid, I found a color scheme I liked and secured multiple yards of the corresponding fabric. I then picked up 5 solid white felt sheets, one red felt sheet, white thread and 5 pillow inserts. Before I knew it I was back home and sewing away!


My exact step by step TUTORIAL on how to make a slipcover can be found here

Don’t quite feel confident in your sewing skills? Don’t let that stop you! Check out my post on “How I Taught Myself to Sew and You can Too!” Or, simply, check out this ideal video tutorial of Sewing Machine Basics. Then step over to these Online Craft Classes (select “Sewing”) that include video demonstrations in order to learn more advanced techniques!

A STATE PATTERN/TEMPLATE

After cutting all the appropriate pieces of fabric for my five pillow inserts, I switched the focus over to creating the state of Wisconsin with my white felt. (Note: do NOT sew your slipcover pieces together until after securing your felt state piece). I created a Wisconsin pattern that I used to expedite the process. I am attaching it here for any Wisconsinites that desire to make a pattern for themselves! Simply download this pattern, cut it out and place it over the white fabric tracing along the borders. (Note: for those not from Wisconsin, I suggest a quick online search for your state of interest. After locating the map, enlarge it to your desired size and trace the border.)

ADDING THE HEART

Next, I cut a small heart out of my red felt. (Heart also available on pattern here) I then placed the heart on the map in the exact location each friend lived. Taking out my red thread I secured the heart to my Wisconsin. (As you can see, the hearts are in different locations as my friends live in different cities).

FINISHING TOUCHES

With the heart properly secured down, I pinned my Wisconsin felt to the middle of the front piece of the slipcover and sewed it on. Once secured, I attached the back panels of the slipcover (per tutorial above), and inserted my pillow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just like that my “favorite” gifts were created and customized to each of my friends!

Don’t live in Wisconsin or know of anyone who does? No worry! This project can be easily altered per state! Enjoy!

PURCHASE PILLOW HERE

Not in the mood to craft these yourself? Looking to gift one as a perfect housewarming gift? Please visit my Etsy shop by clicking on the button below! Pillows can be completely customized from background fabric color, state and heart location (per specified city)!

ADDITIONAL HOME DECOR SEWING PROJECTS

Looking to create even more quick and Easy Home Decor Sewing projects? Click here to check out more tutorials!


 

                 

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Designing a Nursery with Paper Flowers https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/02/23/nurserywithpaperflowers/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/02/23/nurserywithpaperflowers/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:18:51 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=866 As soon as the sonographer told us we were expecting our second baby girl (or third if you throw our canine daughter into the equation), I immediately began thinking about her nursery! Okay, maybe not "immediately", as I was first and foremost overcome with excitement and joy to think of getting to be a mommy to yet another precious baby girl (I LOVE raising little ladies, a.k.a. "best friends"). With that said, I would be lying if I said I wasn't pinning ideas into my baby girl's nursery board by the end of that very same evening!

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* Affiliate links are included in this post. All this means, is that if you click on one of those links and purchase something, I may receive a small commission. However, you will not pay a penny more- promise!

As soon as the sonographer told us we were expecting our second baby girl (or third if you throw our canine daughter into the equation), I immediately began thinking about her nursery! Okay, maybe not “immediately”, as I was first and foremost overcome with excitement and joy to think of getting to be a mommy to yet another precious baby girl (I LOVE raising little ladies, a.k.a. “best friends”). With that said, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pinning ideas into my baby girl’s nursery board by the end of that very same evening!

For a closer look into my nursery board and others follow me on Pinterest.

Determining the Nursery Focal Point

Just over one year earlier, I had completed what I already found to be my ideal little girl’s nursery when we brought home our firstborn daughter. I poured my heart and soul into a wall mural while combining soft shades of pink, white, brown and gold into artwork and fabrics.  Now, not even a couple years later, how could I possibly create a completely unique space for little lady #2 that I loved just as much? I didn’t want to simply re-design what had already been done with another wall mural, but instead I wanted my new little lady to have her own nursery focal point. Furthermore, I wanted something for above her crib that I didn’t have to lay awake at night fearing could come crashing down.

This was when I came to the idea of large, oversized wall flowers. This time around, I decided to embrace soft shades of pink, brown, yellow, green and gray; allowing the flowers themselves to set the stage for the remainder of the decor, bedding and furniture.

Deciding to Craft the Flowers

We were smack dab in the middle of trying to complete a house renovation while also preparing for baby girl’s arrival. What little time I had when I wasn’t working, cleaning, feeling ill (I was one of those “lucky” ones that was on the highest dose of anti-nausea medicine and yet still was getting sick right up until delivery) or chasing a toddler around, I was in full nesting mode and doing an organization overhaul on my house. I really didn’t have the time to take on a huge craft project… or so I thought. I began to shop around for oversized flowers. Plastic, paper, fabric; it didn’t matter what medium, they just had to “feel” right to me in the space.

After weeks of searching I decided that if I truly wanted the look to turn out like it was in my head, I needed to bite the bullet and craft them myself! Boy (or should I say “girl” ;)), was I glad I did! The end result was exactly what I wanted– a collection of paper flowers.

 

Designing the Flowers

It turns out the hardest/most time consuming part of the entire project was just deciding to start. (Now isn’t that a metaphor for life!) After developing a loose plan in my head, I ventured off to the local craft store to purchase cardstock paper. I came home, began experimenting with stencil sizes for my petals, whipped out my hot glue gun and got to work. At the end of a very craft filled weekend, my daughter’s floral nursery was born!

 

Completing the Nursery Look

After hanging the flowers, it was obvious that I wanted them to speak for themselves and not overpower the space with heavy decor elsewhere. With that said, I shopped around for artwork (bonus points if it had a fun saying as I’m fairly obsessed with signage. See here for proof), bedding, a glider and accent pieces that fit with my overall theme. Known to be a bargain shopper, I was so pleased when I completed my look with fabulous deals at: Target, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Marshalls, Gordman’s, Home Depot, Etsy and Wayfair! The end result was a space that felt super inviting, calming and unique to me. Turns out my little lady was super eager to see it too and couldn’t quite wait until her due date (arriving just over three weeks early)!

Since finishing my baby girl’s nursery I stumbled upon this amazing tutorial for a Paper Flower Chandelier. Seriously, how amazing would this look in the space?!

 

 


Additional Flower Use

I’ve grown to love decorating with these flowers so much that I’ve created them to use for decoration outside of the nursery as well! Perfect for decorating for my daughter’s dedication party, when hosting bridal or baby showers, at a wedding ceremony or reception, etc… the possibilities are endless!

Available for Purchase on SimplySeptemberShop

Want to use these flowers to decorate that special room in your home or that upcoming event in your life? Custom orders and pre-made selections can be found here!

 

           

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Farmhouse Signs & Introducing Simply September Shop https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/02/15/farmhouse-signs-and-introducing-simply-september-shop/ https://www.simplyseptember.com/2017/02/15/farmhouse-signs-and-introducing-simply-september-shop/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:42:48 +0000 https://www.simplyseptember.com/?p=834 There it was... that big, open, underwhelming wall space staring back at me every time I entered and exited my home. I knew I wanted some form of a farmhouse inspired sign to accompany my previous wall decor (specifically the "Heaven" sign that has been in my family for years). However, I also knew I wanted the sign to be both simplistic and unique, but also to tie in elements of my pre-existing stain and woodwork. After many failed attempts to find what I was looking for, I finally decided to make my own and couldn't be more happy that I did!

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There it was… that big, open, underwhelming wall space staring back at me every time I entered and exited my home. I knew I wanted some form of a farmhouse inspired sign to accompany my previous wall decor (specifically the “Heaven” sign that has been in my family for years). However, I also knew I wanted the sign to be both simplistic and unique, but also to tie in elements of my pre-existing stain and woodwork. After many failed attempts to find what I was looking for, I finally decided to make my own and couldn’t be more happy that I did!

  

Here is How I did It

My project began with a solid piece of raw wood. After a little sanding, I decided to stain the sides. While the stain didn’t match my ceiling beams and half-wall cap perfectly, I decided to embrace this by avoiding an overall “matchy-matchy” feel. I then painted the top of my wood board an off-white, determined what saying I wanted to display, and began to freehand paint the lettering!

I loved the way the sign not only quickly finished off my wall space, but also allowed for a personalized feature. This led to my desire to create even more farmhouse inspired signs and before I knew it, I had a collection!

Shop Simply September Favorites

This collection led to me taking the next exciting leap in my Simply September adventure! After a number of very kind readers inquired about the ability to purchase final products when they weren’t in the mood/able to craft them themselves (Despite loving crafting, this is definitely something I can relate to as there often just isn’t enough time in the day to craft it all.), I decided to make this a possibility and open my own Etsy shop that goes by the name, “SimplySeptemberShop“.

From now on, a large number of Simply September posts will not only provide creativity inspiration, tutorials and DIY tips and tricks as it has previously… but you will now also be able to view the items directly in my shop if you desire to purchase them for yourself!

Please keep in mind that although you will find a rather sparse store at the current moment, as only my most recent farmhouse inspired signs are featured, more exciting items will continue to be added to the shop! Be sure to check back often for new items that will accompany future posts!

Shop Simply September HERE!

    

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