Getting started on my Messy Box

Messy Box Review

Have you ever had a grand idea – something that seemed so great at the time, but quickly became overwhelming later when you tried to bring it to fruition? That’s how I feel about scrapbooking. I love the idea of having all of our memories in this adorable book filled with stamps, stickers, pretty paper and photos… but I have so many questions. Where do I start? How do I start? How much stuff do I need? Where do I keep all the stuff when I’m not using it? How much will this cost? ETC. Anyone else??

At the same time, though, I love the thought of doing something with my hands and having a tangible project at the end of the day. This blog is in a way its own scrapbook – it documents so much of the seasons of my life (and my family’s) and I’m so grateful for that! But again, I’m looking for something tangible.

Then I stumbled across A Beautiful Mess’ Messy Box subscription… and I was intrigued. They send you a monthly box with a few scrapbook papers, lots of stickers and paper cut outs and basically a beginning and end for your project. I asked for a subscription for my birthday this year and last week I got started with my first box! Everything they sent was soooo cute, and having only so many supplies helped me scale down the overwhelming idea of “scrapbooking.”

Messy Box Subscription

My plan with the Messy Box is to highlight just a few things from each month – whether one big thing happens (like my baby shower in January) or several small things happen (date nights, having friends over, a day trip somewhere, etc.). I’m so excited to use my hands to feel creative and document our lives in a fun, small way that we can look back on. This will also be a great way to document #albrechtlittle’s life in small increments, as we don’t plan on sharing much of it via the internet (sorry guys – more on that another time).

Messy Box Subscription

Messy Box Subscription

The Messy Box works like this: subscribe for $19.99-$24.99/mo (depending on the duration you sign up for in the beginning) and get scrapbook goodies sent to your door each month! So far, this has made me actually print photos – something I never do thanks to my iPhone – and create a couple pages highlighting my shower! Everything in the photos above was from the January box.. so I need to get to work on my February and March memories!

Are you into scrapbooking? How have you made it a more manageable task? I’m looking forward to my six month subscription to see if it helps me make something huge a little smaller and more doable for me. 🙂

PS – A Beautiful Mess has no idea who I am and did not sponsor this post. I just wanted to share this with you and show you how I’m getting creative with my memories outside of the internet! Let me know what you think!!

My first attempt at Fashion Blogging this year & new glasses!

Firmoo Glasses Review

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Holy moly I forgot how hard it was to take pictures outside in the winter. It took all of about 10 minutes for my toes and ears to feel like they’d fall off any second. Fashion bloggers, more power to you ladies. How do you do it?!

I even had a cute outfit on underneath my coat, but I couldn’t take it off, dang it! Just removing my gloves for these photos made me call into question my sanity. Since I took nearly the entire year off of blogging last year, I realized just how much I need some serious TLC with my camera. I spent the first 10 minutes outside just trying to get a shot that wasn’t incredibly over or under exposed and then 10 more minutes of shooting, fervently praying there would be at least one photo in focus. Darn self timer! Needless to say, you will find me playing with my camera this weekend, trying to earn back my blogger status 🙂

But, on to the point! These glasses! I reviewed a pair of Firmoo glasses about a year ago (but more wisely chose the FALL instead of WINTER to do this…) and was super excited to get the chance to work with them again. To be honest, I’m an extremely cheap person, so I’ve had the same pair of (mostly unworn) glasses since probably high school, which means they are way out of style and most likely an incorrect prescription. I hate spending money on anything that can easily be broken (read: sat on), so I never buy expensive sunglasses or regular glasses. That’s where Firmoo comes in – they have a wide selection of frames and are inexpensively priced! So when you lose your glasses (or sit on them), it’s not that big of a deal to easily replace them. They ship quickly, as well, and I’m all about shipping anything to my door that I could buy in the store, especially when it’s cold outside. 🙂

If you’re in the market for a new pair of glasses, or just want another pair to switch up your daily style, check out Firmoo! I have hardly taken these guys off my face since they arrived two days ago.

Do you wear glasses? Where are your favorite places to shop?

*I was provided a free pair of glasses in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links – these links add no additional cost to you, but help support 34 Magnolia Street. Thank you!

Book Review: The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

This book is for every person who has ever looked at her home and sighed in frustration, who has been too scared to make changes in her home for fear of failure, who has looked at the beautifully Pinterest perfect homes online and felt utterly unable to match up.

This book is for every woman who longs to make her house a home, to create a cozy space and a welcoming place for family, friends, and strangers. This book is for the home owners, the renters, and the bedroom livers. I cannot say enough about this book.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautifulhas been on my to-read list for quite some time. I had heard lovely things about it, and it certainly did not disappoint. This book is essentially a huge encouragement to all the types of people I mentioned above. Myquillyn goes above and beyond to shatter these ridiculous expectations of home decor we all have in our minds and encourages those who feel inadequate. She gives you practical ways to turn your house into a home you love, no matter your budget or rental status.

This book has finally given me the courage to attempt painting furniture (read: the ugly coffee table we’ve hated for two years, but I’ve been too scared to paint.. photos to come to prove it eventually ;)), to not worry about how others perceive my house, even when it’s “messy,” and to be thankful for the home we have, even the parts I don’t love.

I’ve learned to call those parts of our home “Lovely Limitations,” as Myquillyn writes in her book. Often, those lovely limitations she hated about her home were what she ended up loving most once she figured out how to transform it into something she could get behind.

For any of you ladies who want to decorate but have no idea how to start, take a break from Pinterest and start with this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Have any of y’all already read this? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m feeling so inspired to get to work creatively in my home!

*I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. Take heart, these words are my own and all opinions are my own – 34 Magnolia Street is my outlet for sharing things I love, and this I absolutely loved. There are affiliate links in this post.

The Best Handmade Shops YOU Should be Gifting this year

You guys, can you just scroll up again and look at all the photos of these gorgeous handmade pieces one more time?! My favorite part about being a creative is that we can make things, and I love even more when people get to make things for their livelihood!

The prints and decor items pictured above are all handmade by some seriously talented people – people who love what they do and what they make. I wanted to highlight some of them for you, to tell you a bit more about them/their shop AND a few of them have offered special discounts for you all!!

Check them out:

1 //  Winsome Easel

Kristin is the creative mind (and hands!) behind her lovely prints. She is actually from the town we moved from and our circles of friends overlapped, so we saw each other quite a bit. We even worshiped together at the same church! She is a lovely, inspiring woman of God on a mission and you could spend hours drooling over every time in her shop. She sells prints, pennant banners, custom invitations and beautiful woodcuts, all graced by her hand-lettered magic.

The heart behind her shop, so whimsically named Winsome Easel, is that she believes beautiful words and authentic relationships can transform this world. She wants to give you a visual reminder of words we know to be true, but sometimes forget. And she wants to help us celebrate the events and moments of life that make us filled to the brim with joy.

You can check out her shop and follow her on social media here:
 SHOP  ||  INSTAGRAM 

2 // Ruffled Paper

Jess, the mastermind behind Ruffled Paper and all of its adorableness, and I kind of “go way back” in the blogging world. She has advertised on 34 Magnolia Street (I think even when it used to be The Albrechts Blog?!) and we’ve stayed in touch off and on since then. I’ve LOVED her prints for a long time – she has such a variety and they are so fun.

The “be brave” print of hers really strikes a chord with me because it seems like as twenty-somethings, we have to be brave to survive! We’re all in this weird tension between wanting to do great things, but not being quite there yet… we’ve got to be brave to make those dreams a reality. She also sent me her “don’t let the muggles get you down” print, which I just think is adorably hilarious.

** You can use the code MAGNOLIASTREET to get 20% off her prints now through 1/20/2015!**
You can check out her shop and follow her on social media here:

3 // Opus & Verse

Barbara was so fabulous to work with throughout this process – you can tell she truly loves what she does. To see a little glimpse into who she is, check out her very own words about starting her shop:

“I love maps! Truly, everything about them — the vintage color combinations, the intricate details, the names of the cities and countries, the unending possibilities they represent. I have been working with maps since I started my first Etsy shop — Magpie and Max — back in 2011, where I make banners and other decor from vintage maps, vintage books and vintage sheet music.

But with Opus and Verse, I wanted to do something more artistic and keep the maps intact. I started by making a few as gifts for friends — travelers, new moms, fellow map-lovers. The response was great and I knew I had to start separate shops for these prints. I enjoy the process of creating each one and love it so much when my customers send me photos of their prints in place at their home, especially in nurseries and children’s rooms. I also love making custom prints for people, so they have just the right wording and map for their space. I always use REAL vintage maps and not photocopies or prints, because I think there’s a real difference in the quality and feel of the piece when the maps are authentic.”

**You can use the code OPUS2014 to get 25% off your entire purchase now through 12/31/2014!**
You can check out her shop here:

4 // The Rustic Orange

Annette seems like such a vibrant lady, from the brief conversations and Instagram stalking I may or may not have done once she agreed to work with me… ;).

But seriously, her pieces are oh, so adorable! I’d encourage all of y’all to check her out on Instagram, since her Etsy shop is on hold until she gets through her next craft show! Despite her Etsy break, be sure to visit her shop and “heart” it, so you can get updates! It’s stalk full of adorably inspiring and I-need-this-now pieces.

This little wooden, glittery, encouraging block has added the perfect bright touch to our dining area!

You can check out her shop and follow her on social media here:

5 // Ace Avenue

Rachel and Drew are the creatives behind their stunning handcrafted wooden signs, knives and furniture. I’ve been eyeing those signs for a while now (haven’t you seen them all over Pinterest?!) and jumped at the chance to partner with them! The inspiration for their shop comes out of their desire to share the hope, comfort and love they’ve found in Christ.

Decorating our home with reminders that Christ is truly all we need is one of my goals because, despite the glaring beauty of that truth, it’s too hard for us to forget! I adore this rustic sign Rachel made us.

**You can use the code MAGNOLIA for 15% off their shop now through 11/30/14!**
You can check out their shop here:

6 // Naptime Diaries

Jess and her team at Naptime Diaries have been such an inspiration to me for a looonggg time. Her work is beautiful, and she has such a heart for encouraging women in their dreams, but also in where you are right now. Because sometime life is just straight up hard.

If you’re looking for inspiration – this is your stop. Check out her blog and her shop, and then go spend some time in the Word. Because you’ll want to.

**You can use the code MAGNOLIA for 15% off now through 11/30/14!**
You can check out her shop and follower her on social media here:
SHOP  ||  BLOG  ||  INSTAGRAM

Phew, I hope you loved these prints and decor items as much as I do! It has been such a pleasure to share these shops with you because I’m a big believer in chasing big dreams, even when it’s scary. All of these ladies (and men!) are chasing their dreams in ways that inspire me to dig deeper into my own.

I hope you’ll feel that same little push in your heart. Also, I hope you feel that little push to go check out some of these great entrepreneurs! They deserve a few seconds of your awe today 🙂

P.S. HAPPY FRIDAY Y’ALL!! Let’s celebrate for a second.

I can see clearly now ;)

Firmoo Glasses review
I’ve had glasses since the first grade, although I haven’t worn them consistently since middle school… and I don’t recommend that to anyone, just an fyi. I have a bit of a special case, though, seeing as my biggest eye issue is having lazy eye. My left eye has nearly perfect vision, so although my right eye practically needs a magnifying glass to function, I can see fairly well without wearing glasses. My brain reverts to using my “good eye,” so I haven’t felt the need to wear my glasses much.

When I was younger, I was that kid wearing an eye patch (sad, I know!!) over my good eye in order to force my brain to use my lazy eye. Yes, like a pirate but with glasses! 😉 Once I graduated from the patches with pictures or patterns on them, I used patches that looked like huge bandaids over my eyes. It was around that time I realized how ridiculous I looked and took action by hiding them from my parents… ha!

While the no-glasses motto seemed to work for a while, now that I have a desk job that requires my eyeballs to stare at a computer screen for eight hours a day, my eyes are struggling. So I finally gave in, got my eyes checked and found a new pair of prescription glasses.

When I got my new glasses, Jacob’s first statement was, “I bet driving with you will be an entirely new experience, now!” The man says I’m not a good driver, but I say the same about him, so take that for what it is.

Firmoo Glasses Review

I received these glasses from Firmoo.com in exchange for my review and, to be honest, I had a great experience with them. While the glasses are a bit larger than I had expected (hello, wannabe hipster lady!), they are growing on me and definitely meet my need for working, reading and driving! They arrived quickly after I purchased and they matched my prescription perfectly – all I had to do was submit a photo of my prescription.

If you are interested in getting new glasses, I’d suggest you check out Firmoo.com for a sturdy pair of fashionable glasses – they are also offering their “First Pair Free” program now, so you can get selected frames FREE.

Have you bought glasses online before? What was your experience? I’ve learned I should be a bit more detailed while reading product descriptions – for instance, the dimensions of the product… but I’m all about shopping from my couch whenever possible.

Happy Monday!

*I received these glasses for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links – these are at no additional cost to you, but help support 34 Magnolia Street. Thank you!!

Bedroom Facelift

Our bedroom has been the least decorated room in our house ever since we moved in. I’ve had the piece that hangs above our bed since our first apartment, so that has been the lone decoration in our bedroom since we moved in last April. How sad is that?!

Jacob even said something to me the other day. While getting ready one morning, he said, “You know, I think we need to get some things on the walls in here…” I know that when he actually says that, it’s the darn truth!

Jacob took a student on a college visit trip last week, and while he was gone I did a little rearranging. He’s never surprised when he comes home from a trip to see either new additions to our apartment, or everything we have just in a new place. 😉

I received this beautiful Scripture Bunting from December Caravan (owned by Rebecca who blogs at Caravan Sonnet!), and it took me a few days to decide where I wanted to hang it. The gorgeous colors match several rooms in my house, but when I walked into our bedroom, it clicked. I moved our dresser to the wall you see above, hung the print I’ve had for a few months and wah-lah! Perfection.

This little corner is now one of my favorites in our entire house! I walk into our bedroom and just smile. When I’m digging through my jewelry drawer in the morning to get ready, I am reminded, “Rest in the Lord. He makes things secure.” – Psalm 16:9. I need that reminder often, friends. It’s so easy to find my hart wandering off to find un-restful “rest” elsewhere.

December Caravan has all sorts of beautiful Scripture buntings, even seasonal options for this Christmas! Check Rebecca’s shop, and you can use the code MAGNOLIASTREETFRIEND for 15% off.

Happy shopping!!