YAYYYY! Look what came in just in time for good weather ✌️😎

Precious blog-readers—

I love you more than ANY of my other fans 😊 The main reason why I love you is because you come here to read my thoughts—the thoughts that are too long for the 120 characters allowed on twitter. Even if there are only 5 of you, it means the world that you read my blog.

NOW, I’ve come with some exciting (and scary) news! 

👉 If we find my whole kickstarter within the first week (by April 14) then ALL of the kickstarter backers will be invited to a FREE, private concert in Athens Ga 👈

I would love nothing more than to invite you guys to my hometown and thank you IN PERSON for helping make my dream album come to life.

So spread the word!! It’s a risky goal but I believe in y’all and I think we can do it!

Em

Precious blog-readers—

I love you more than ANY of my other fans 😊 The main reason why I love you is because you come here to read my thoughts—the thoughts that are too long for the 120 characters allowed on twitter. Even if there are only 5 of you, it means the world that you read my blog.

NOW, I’ve come with some exciting (and scary) news!

👉 If we find my whole kickstarter within the first week (by April 14) then ALL of the kickstarter backers will be invited to a FREE, private concert in Athens Ga 👈

I would love nothing more than to invite you guys to my hometown and thank you IN PERSON for helping make my dream album come to life.

So spread the word!! It’s a risky goal but I believe in y’all and I think we can do it!

Em

Thank you, friends, for all the birthday wishes! It’s already been such an amazing day.

Also, I have a pretty exciting announcement—I’m making a new album!!

These songs are so important to me, and I can’t wait to record them. I’d really LOVE your help. Check out http://tinyurl.com/emilykickstarter for details and SPREAD THE WORD :) Its the best birthday gift you could give me

Love y’all!
Em

Surprised this precious girl with a house show last night for her 21st birthday! We crammed 55 folks into the living room & sang songs all evening. Thank you Kelly (+ friends and family) for being the best listening crowd ever ❤️

Played some songs with my love to a SOLD OUT crowd in Atlanta tonight. Couldn’t ask for more 💙

Thank ya, @carsontravers for the picture 😘

I’m so blessed and honored to represent my grandfather when I play his 1960 Gibson on the road. It sounds like a dream and he is so very generous to let me play it. THANK YOU, Bill Walker (aka Butchie)

Slavery is still a very real nightmare for so many people, and I’m in it to end it.

#enditmovement

Check out http://www.enditmovement.com for more information on how to shine a light on human trafficking and slavery

ATHENS! It’s been a minute, but I’m coming back for an acoustic evening at the Melting Point on Friday, March 28. Mark your calendars & bring your friends! I can’t wait to see your beautiful faces ❤️

GRIT…and Snapple

Today I keep coming up empty handed.

I’m feeling like I want more out of my days, but don’t know how to make it happen.

I’m feeling stuck.

I judge myself against the “successes” of others. Why do I do that? Especially when I know that success for me can only come from choosing to be the best version of myself.

Music is all sounding the same to me. I can’t find the motivation to keep trying, because what is coming out feels like a plateau, or maybe even a failure…

So when I started to feel this frustration and writer’s block, I sat down to journal out my thoughts and just get rid of it all.

I’m reading a book that defines “grit” as a character quality that enables you to work hard at something despite your setbacks, your plateaus, and even your failures. Grit is something that sets people apart. It’s the quality that statistically separates graduating students from dropouts—and on a larger scale, maybe even successful people from, well, I guess unsuccessful people.

"Never let your past failures determine your next step"

A great word of advice to someone like me. Someone who can, unthinkingly, choose despair over joy. It’s easier to give up on inspiration when it feels lost than to SEEK it out. Seek it out with GRIT.

Which got me thinking…

How do I re-establish GRIT in my life? How do I get back to a time when I still FOUGHT for joy and inspiration?

Right now I’m having an ice cold Peach Tea Snapple. Mmmh. It reminds me of when I was young.

I would walk down the driveway, in my bare feet, young and excited by the slightest surprise. And my neighbor, Nancy, would waddle over to my mail box and she would hand me a glass bottle of ice cold Peach Tea Snapple.

It was a tradition that we had started in the months before.

She had kids that were my sisters’ ages, but I didn’t have anyone to play with. So Nancy would sit with me and she would bring me cold Snapple.

I must’ve been 6, but I remember it in this rosy, beautiful memory that looks like an old film playing back in my head. Even now, when I’m twenty-three and on a month long tour away from home, even when I’m waist deep in snow, huddled next to the fire, and trying to make a song bloom from nothing.

There’s still the memory and the taste of Snapple.

Michael and I have had to do a lot of snow shoveling over the past few weeks. It’s a hassle, and it can be frustrating to wake up in the morning only to see that a fresh foot of snow has fallen where you had just scooped out a path.

I asked Michael how people got rid of all this snow, and he told me that people shovel snow all through the winter when it is still below freezing outside, but as soon as spring begins to hit the snow just melts.

So with all my frustration in the moment I had completely overlooked a fact. Snow melts. It gets rid of itself.

I have to see a metaphor in that for myself.

There will be seasons in my life when things are much tougher on me. I will try to shovel snow out of my path, only to have it fall overnight and cover up all of my progress. But—eventually—this problem will work itself out. And in the meantime I will also get to sit by the fire—which has no JOY in it when the sun is heating the asphalt and the kids swim in the pools and eat popsicles. No, there is no joy in a fire once the winter is gone.

But Here. Now. This fire is comfort, and it is peace. It is JOY.

There are joys to discover in all seasons, if I can choose to see them that way. I wish to live my life as UN-entitled as possible—as carefree as I was the day I wandered down the driveway, in my bare feet, excited by the slightest surprise, but not expecting it.

Back then the cold Snapple tasted, on the hot May afternoon, like this fire feels to my skin right now.

So, if I can find the Snapple, the fire, the swimming pool, the coziest blanket, then I can find my peace in this season, I can remember what’s important, and I can get my fight back. My GRIT.

Even when there is snow to shovel, it will melt away soon enough.

The beauty is, we experience the world and THEN we choose how we respond. Even though it’s tough, I have the power to choose how I react each day that the snow makes me cold. I can choose peace and JOY. That is a gift, if you ask me.

The snow will soon melt. So play in it while you can.

Don’t give up. Choose joy. Because for me, joy and hope lead to inspiration.

Tour Update

Greetings from Fulton, MO! Michael and I have been on a busy tour for the past several weeks, and we still have a few weeks to go. I thought I’d check in with you and let you know that I’m still alive and well, and maybe tell some stories from our travels.

I haven’t been blogging, but I have been keeping a short journal of the memorable parts of each city. If you’re at all interested in hearing the ins and outs of how touring goes, you might enjoy this, or at least get a good laugh in:

Dixon, IL- We drove through tiny farm towns with roads that had snow piled much higher than our car on the shoulder. Tiny town, sketchy hotel. Watched the Super Bowl and were so bummed to see Peyton and the Broncos lose. Also it’s -24 degrees! Ahh! But this is definitely s good start to the tour. A noon-time show with a surprising amount of excited students who came out to listen. A fan drew an amazing sketch of us playing which I will post a picture of later.

Richmond, KY - Another interesting hotel experience. We got a “non-smoking room” but it was on a smoking floor. So Michael and I giggled and tried holding our breath and power-walking while we carried all of our equipment down to the car. Obviously we have nothing against people who enjoy smoking, but the smell in a smoking hotel gets a little stale and suffocating after a few years. We needed to kill some time so we found a really cool pawn shop where I played some cool guitars and coffeehouse. Really cool show, such sweet people. Had a group of people show up from a completely different school, yay! Also, IT’S COLD!

Springfield, OH - AMAZING DAY. Our first nice hotel that actually had more than one piece of equipment in the “fitness room”. Had a nice workout and an amazing meal at a locally owned Middle Eastern restaurant called Moose’s. THE BEST hummus and Chicken Shawarma I’ve ever had. We had a fun radio interview in the afternoon and the show was at night. This school had an actual pub in their basement, and we played on the stage there. Cool environment, but pretty talkative crowd so we just tried out lots of new stuff and made the best of it. Oh yeah, and it’s still SO COLD. So cold, in fact, that we have had to bring all of our equipment in and out of the hotel every time we leave the car. Finally got down the system of getting 2 hotel carts and leaving one all the way packed up with gear in our room until we leave the hotel.

Kalamazoo, MI - SNOWY…and so cold. OMG, painfully cold. But this is one of the most beautiful snow days I’ve seen in a long time. The contacts at the school were so nice and helpful, which is always so appreciated. It was a really nice show with a professional audio guy and a great listening crowd! Here’s a funny story… I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to be healthy on the road, so I read this article about how awesome green tea is and how it can actually help you burn calories (etc.). So I ordered this huge, hot green tea about 30 minutes before I played the show. By the time I got on stage I was SO DEHYDRATED. I felt like I couldn’t control my voice at all, total cotton mouth. Michael asked me why I was so out of breath after the show and I just laughed. So maybe no more green tea right before shows… I’ll burn my calories later.

Chicago, IL - Michael and I are on this Middle Eastern food kick, so we drove about 20 minutes out of our way to have lunch at the Naf Naf Grill, which was PHENOMENAL. Then we checked into our hotel for the weekend, because our next show isn’t until Monday). The hotel was so nice and clean, and THE WORKOUT ROOM WAS AMAZING. Every now and then the health freak comes out in me and I start wanting to spend about 2 hours in a nice gym. We were playing at The City Winery in Chicago, (which is beautiful) opening up for Griffin House. I’ve loved his music since college, so I was really excited about this. But I did a really intense treadmill interval workout in that gorgeous gym, and started literally losing my eyesight on the left side of both of my eyes. Looking back I probably acted so funny, and Michael was sweet enough to take care of me and not laugh. So we ended up being a little late to the sound check on account of my stupid love for nice gyms. BUT the show was so great!! We sold like 50 CDs and several tshirts, and made a lot of new friends. Plus we ate like royally. This show made the whole tour for me :)

Weekend in Chicago - found a pet store and played with puppies for about an hour—which obviously made me the happiest person ever. But NOTE TO SELF: never get a Shiba. That dog literally wanted to eat us and ripped a couple wholes in my jacket and in Michaels pants…
We had a sweet date at Studio Movie Grill (dinner + a movie). We saw Monuments Men, which I thought was awesome! Late night trip to Whole Foods to pick up some healthy snacks for the road (which we would later come to find out tasted super bad).

Rolla, MO - Oh man. I guess every tour has to have a show like this. Bright fluorescent lights stayed on the whole time, and the kids weren’t super enthused about the whole thing. BUT I certainly made them laugh a few times, which is good. PLUS there was pie and it was delicious. The icing on the cake was the most terrible hotel fitness room I’ve seen yet. Everything in there was at least 30-40 years old. So we watched New Girl instead of working out :) Seems like we’re going to have to get used to gross hotels.

Chicago, IL (again) - We were QUITE worried at first because Michael and I pull up to this school and realize we are literally STAYING IN A DORM. Ew. The radiators were making these loud crack/ping noises all day and night, and I saw a couple spiders crawl out of the faucet in the shower. So if I’m being honest I had a pretty decent sized breakdown when I got up there. Tears and wine and stuff. Plus they didn’t have any carts or anything so we had to take 6 trips up and down to get all of our stuff. Cried a little more after that. But it was SUCH an awesome coffeehouse show! Everyone was great to work with and lots of people came, bought CDS etc. So that goes to show that first impressions aren’t everything.

Fulton, MO - Such a breath of fresh air! Nice hotel, professional audio, delicious food, and people were so nice. So I’m on cloud 9 by the time we start, and about 80 people showed up (yay!!) Sold lots of CDs and t-shirts and talked to a lot of cool people. What a good night.

The moral of all these stories is that I think there’s always a way to arrive at a positive conclusion in your life. It starts with the things that you focus in on, and it ends with a choice. The truth is, even though we sleep on scratchy sheets, wonder if the thermostat will ever work or if we will freeze to death, and play a few weird shows here and there, WE ARE TOGETHER, and we’re doing what we love. So at the end of the day, good or bad, I can cuddle up with the love of my life and we can laugh about it all. I’m feeling blessed and excited about the second half of this tour.

TRUTHS

Every new year is supposed to feel NEW, right? That’s why we make resolutions—because THIS YEAR will finally be different!

So then why, for the past several years, have I felt completely the same? I still sleep past my alarm to the last possible minute, I still put off my new healthy diet and going to the gym until tomorrow, I still get LESS done than I intend to. Yet all this time I have a picture of myself being this healthy, timely, early-rising, productive person.

So I’ve been wondering for the past few days how I can make my idea of myself line up with how I really live. If every “new” year is full of the same old habits, how can I make 2014 and beyond finally different? After some thought, I’ve pinpointed what seems to be my problem.

I let my EMOTIONS, rather than the TRUTH I know about myself, dictate how I live my life. 

"I’m in the mood for Chinese"

"Knee hurts, can’t run"

"Haven’t gotten enough sleep…snooze

There’s always something.


My lack of intentionality in the gap between my feelings and actions leads me to live the same sluggish life every year. The weakness in me will never want to be challenged…but it needs to be.

SO today I sat down and made a list of my TRUTHS. These are little facts about myself, notes to myself, motivations to live with purpose, and ultimately reminders of how I want to be. I started out with a list of 10 things to be simple, but it quickly grew to a list of 100.

The typical New Years Resolutions have always made me feel good—It’s a long list of things I dream of accomplishing, yet there’s freedom to let them slip by unaccomplished.

Because there’s always next year.

But after years of trying to start over, I have realized that one way or another I will be in some sort of life-pattern. So this year, laying out my TRUTHS instead of my resolutions means committing to a NEW pattern in life. My new pattern, despite my emotions in the moment, will aim to line up with the way I’ve always meant to be.

I’m coming into 2014 fighting!

Move #1 is to print off my TRUTHS and put them in a frame on my dresser. Good luck figuring out your own truths and how to live the life you’ve always meant to live.

I believe we can do it.

I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year! 

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :) 

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two. 

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it. 

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year! 

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :) 

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two. 

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it. 

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year! 

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :) 

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two. 

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it. 

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year! 

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :) 

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two. 

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it. 

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year! 

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :) 

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two. 

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it. 

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year! 

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :) 

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two. 

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it. 

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily

I can’t believe it’s already December 21st! It’s been such an amazing year. Michael and I have seen so many new places this year, met so many amazing people, and as we’ve written new music this year I’ve also seen a new and exciting style emerging in my music! I can’t wait to share new songs with you. I want to spend the next 2 weeks meditating on all that’s happened, so expect a very introspective blog post before the new year.

But UNTIL THEN, I’m talking decorations—because what is the holiday without the holiday cheer?
I’ve had a blast this Christmas season working on a lot of do-it-yourself holiday projects! I made a wreath, a holiday banner, a couple of signs to cheer up the house a bit, and I made my own Christmas cards at home this year!

I love that everyone has elements of their own unique style, so these types of projects are always open to interpretation. So I wanted to slip you a few crafting tips rather than go into detail about any of these specific projects.

First, ladies and you crafty gents out there, HOBBY LOBBY (or Michaels) is your friend. I’ve found them both to be reasonably priced, and you should always take the time to print off the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby has online. Just google it and bring it along with you.
For the holidays this year, I decided to shop with Hobby Lobby. A wreath and a banner were my top priorities. So I picked up a ready-made stick wreath for $14, and sifted through their greenery section, and the discount holiday section. Using some green wreath wire and hot glue, I attached my selection to the bottom of the wreath. Then with a thick roll of burlap ribbon I made my own bow.

For YOUR wreath, you can experiment with tons of different things. HobLob has a great selection of wooden letters if you’d like to put your monogram on the wreath. You can paint the letters any color you’d like! I think white has a unique pop.

I went for a more natural looking wreath, but if your looking to add some color to your Christmas decor (other than red and green) experiment with silvers and whites as a base, and with pastel-type colors accented here and there in the ribbon, or with beads, etc. Anything you like! There’s no shame in using Pinterest for inspiration :)

Next up, the banner is easy as pie. Find your favorite fabric (the less busy the design, the better) I went with burlap to match my wreath and the natural theme we have in our house. You can either cut your flags into the shape you see in my picture above, or into triangles, whatever you prefer. I always use stencils for the lettering, it looks professional and clean. Your craft store should have several different fonts and sizes. Using any color paint you like and a sponge brush, dab the paint through your stencil onto the fabric. Be careful, the paint sometimes bleeds through the edges and makes your lettering look sloppy. (If you prefer, you can trace the stencil and then remove the stencil to paint the letters.)

I picked a lace ribbon and simply hot glued it to the top of my flags. It’s that simple. In my opinion banners look good anywhere from hanging on the wall to draped around your tree or your mantle. I made a couple of small chalk boards (using chalk board spray paint and empty frames I had lying around) and strung it between the two.

Whether you are in high school and you have only your room to work with, in college decorating a tiny dorm, or trying to make your whole home look like a winter wonderland, there’s an affordable and creative way for you to make your space uniquely yours…AND as festive as you’ve hoped it could be!

It’s never too late to add a decoration here and there (I’ve been known to leave some of mine up all the way into January). Just have fun with it.

Merry merry Christmas!

Emily

Yesterday Michael and I celebrated our very first “Falliday”, which is certainly the happiest tradition I’ve ever been a part of. 

There’s something special about Fall that makes me the happiest person in the world. I think it’s a combination of the plants that bloom this time of year, the crisp feeling of the cool in the air, the way you suddenly have to start using a few more blankets and cuddling more often—it’s magic to my soul. 

So we created a new holiday for ourselves—a Falliday. 

We went to the Pumpkin Patch and picked out our little pumpkin family for the porch, stopped by Five Points Growlers and got a jug of Octoberfest on draft for the night, bought a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie at our local bakery, ate a picnic lunch, found the silliest thrift store costumes (Harry Potter and Tinker Bell), went for a long walk downtown, and finally came home to grill a delicious dinner and make homemade funnel cake and apple cider. 

It was a day that made me feel like anything is possible. 

If any of you are as inspired by Fall as I am, I hope you celebrate your own version of Falliday this year 🍂 Yesterday Michael and I celebrated our very first “Falliday”, which is certainly the happiest tradition I’ve ever been a part of. 

There’s something special about Fall that makes me the happiest person in the world. I think it’s a combination of the plants that bloom this time of year, the crisp feeling of the cool in the air, the way you suddenly have to start using a few more blankets and cuddling more often—it’s magic to my soul. 

So we created a new holiday for ourselves—a Falliday. 

We went to the Pumpkin Patch and picked out our little pumpkin family for the porch, stopped by Five Points Growlers and got a jug of Octoberfest on draft for the night, bought a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie at our local bakery, ate a picnic lunch, found the silliest thrift store costumes (Harry Potter and Tinker Bell), went for a long walk downtown, and finally came home to grill a delicious dinner and make homemade funnel cake and apple cider. 

It was a day that made me feel like anything is possible. 

If any of you are as inspired by Fall as I am, I hope you celebrate your own version of Falliday this year 🍂 Yesterday Michael and I celebrated our very first “Falliday”, which is certainly the happiest tradition I’ve ever been a part of. 

There’s something special about Fall that makes me the happiest person in the world. I think it’s a combination of the plants that bloom this time of year, the crisp feeling of the cool in the air, the way you suddenly have to start using a few more blankets and cuddling more often—it’s magic to my soul. 

So we created a new holiday for ourselves—a Falliday. 

We went to the Pumpkin Patch and picked out our little pumpkin family for the porch, stopped by Five Points Growlers and got a jug of Octoberfest on draft for the night, bought a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie at our local bakery, ate a picnic lunch, found the silliest thrift store costumes (Harry Potter and Tinker Bell), went for a long walk downtown, and finally came home to grill a delicious dinner and make homemade funnel cake and apple cider. 

It was a day that made me feel like anything is possible. 

If any of you are as inspired by Fall as I am, I hope you celebrate your own version of Falliday this year 🍂

Yesterday Michael and I celebrated our very first “Falliday”, which is certainly the happiest tradition I’ve ever been a part of.

There’s something special about Fall that makes me the happiest person in the world. I think it’s a combination of the plants that bloom this time of year, the crisp feeling of the cool in the air, the way you suddenly have to start using a few more blankets and cuddling more often—it’s magic to my soul.

So we created a new holiday for ourselves—a Falliday.

We went to the Pumpkin Patch and picked out our little pumpkin family for the porch, stopped by Five Points Growlers and got a jug of Octoberfest on draft for the night, bought a delicious oatmeal raisin cookie at our local bakery, ate a picnic lunch, found the silliest thrift store costumes (Harry Potter and Tinker Bell), went for a long walk downtown, and finally came home to grill a delicious dinner and make homemade funnel cake and apple cider.

It was a day that made me feel like anything is possible.

If any of you are as inspired by Fall as I am, I hope you celebrate your own version of Falliday this year 🍂