and this Christmas...

...will be, a very-merry Christmas.

And that it was. I love Christmas. A lot. And didn't mind one bit that we had four of them this year. We spend Christmas Eve making memories with my husband's wonderful family. Christmas Day it was my family's turn, and we hosted! Matt and I both really love hosting, and realized after the day was over that we are going to need a larger dwelling place in order to continue doing so comfortably. Especially with Baby on the way :)

We all know that with Christmas, comes gifts. Giving and receiving. And I know everyone loves to do both. But I really LOVE giving. The spending time searching for just the right thing, or making just the right thing, is so fun for me every year. I also LOVE wrapping gifts... but that's a whole other blog post.

This year my mom wanted to do something special with her gift giving. My parents divorced this past year, and she wanted to make sure we got a few of the things that made our house a home for the many years we were all under the same roof. The gifts brought back memories for all of us, and some tears as we realized this meant the house would never be the same. But it really made for a good Christmas.

 My hubby also got me some really awesome things... Seriously. The pictures probably don't do justice, but know this. I was so blessed this year by his thoughtfulness. And hope everyone had those feelings while precious time was spent with loved ones.

Here's to a million more!

love & fur,


ponders and presents

It's quiet around here right now. Granted, I don't have kids or a noisy dog, and the hubster is out. But I feel like it's not only quiet in my house- the physical. It's quiet in my heart. In the heavens. I have been so heavily burdened by the news of such small lives being taken today. And feel those "motherly" tugs every time something more comes on the news.

Let us not forget these and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

On a bit of a brighter note, promised.joy is still partnering with E & co. for the remainder of this Holiday Season! And we (both Emily and myself) have been loving all the traffic in my shop and hers! It is so refreshing to see people going beyond themselves this Christmas :)

I've got some joyous goodies like this in the shop:



and here are a few beauties you can find on the E & co. website:

My personal fav- Sunny Day Rudraksha (link)

Cinnamon Spice (link)

Christmas Eve (link)

Stop by {both} and check out what we've got! Remember- 10% of each sale from my shop is going straight to E & co. And I know you want to see them receive a large sum. You can't even lie about it...

love & I believe in Santa,


a mouth-watering recipe

Right before Thanksgiving I was browsing Pinterest (you can follow me here) and happened upon this pin: 30 best pie recipes.

If you remember, last New Year's I made a resolution of sorts to become a pie maker. I've always loved pie- and probably loved the thought of being really good at making them even more. But until this year, I had literally never even helped make one.

I got my mom's ama-zing pie crust recipe and went to town. Ok, kind of. I've only made 7 this whole year. But that's more than ever before!

Anyway, back to the 30 best pie recipes. I decided I was going to choose one of those recipes and make it for Thanksgiving, along with your traditional pumpkin. And boy let me tell you... THIS recipe {Easy Blackberry Pie} was SO delicious I think I could have eaten the whole pie myself! The original recipe came from a blog: Remodelaholic. And I followed it exactly.

I made this at request of my father. His boss loves blackberry pie. Hehe

Blackberry Pie 
Makes one 9″
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare your pie crust, line one 9″ pie pan, and roll out enough dough for a top. (or purchase a 2 pie crust package freezer package)
In a bowl combine:
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
3 T flour
dash salt
1 – 1lb bag frozen blackberries (or blue…)
1-2 tsp lemon juice
Fold together, gently.  The flour and sugar won’t necessarily melt, it doesn’t matter.  Pour into the prepared pie shell.
Cut 2 Tbsp of butter into small squares and distribute over the top of the berries.  Cover with a top crust, either a solid piece with a few slits or lattice, which ever you prefer.  And  bake for 40-45 minutes.
Serve hot or cold!  Both are great!

Honestly. You need to make this. Even if you don't think you like blackberries. Just do it. Cuz I said so.

love & watering mouth,


Time: slow down

How is it already Tuesday? Is it just me, or are the days passing so quickly? Someone, make it stop!

This Thanksgiving I hosted for the first time ever. However, I did not make everything. We have a tiny kitchen and 2.4 other Thanksgiving dinners to attend each year- making it nearly impossible for me to make it all. So everyone pitched in- and it was delish!

I spent Saturday and Sunday with my mom and sister in Sioux Falls. We did some thrifting and eating out. We watched movies and ate junk and drank lots of egg nog. These are my favorite things during the Holidays. The easy, timeless, family-centered things. I have a lot to be thankful for.

love & be merry,


go beyond yourself.

I've been working on promised.joy's Christmas Line for what seems like forever. I started it in the early weeks of Baby, and then Baby had me sick for weeks. Therefore, I've just recently gotten back in to the swing of things.

I love Christmas. I mean. Really. Love. I'm one of those that people hate because I'm counting down from the day after last year's, and starting Christmas music as early as October. I just can't get enough of it.

Well this Christmas, I'm super excited to share with you something that is dear to my heart. A way we can all give back this Holiday season, and hopefully continue to pay it forward. promised.joy will be partnering with E & co., an accessory line dedicated to helping women in Chennai, India get off the street and back on their feet!

My beautiful, sweet friend Emily (above) is the founder and has such an amazing heart. I wish we lived closer so I could glean from her. This is what she says about E & co. :

Well, we would be lying if we said we had it all figured out but nothing has been more exciting than watching the company unfold into what it is today.

It all started with an idea to help street vendors in India, handcrafting their own items, grow their business off the street in order to help support themselves along with their families.

So, we booked a flight to India and we came across a group of women and their families living on the side of the road in the outskirts of Chennai handcrafting these beautiful necklaces!

Thus, the start of E & co.

With the purchase of every necklace, part of the proceeds will be going back to these women who have already been paid fairly for their craft by us, "E & co.". The proceeds coming from you is just an added bonus!

We plan on seeing these women through being able to sufficiently feed their families as well as put a roof over their heads.

We have BIG dreams for E & co. and plan on offering a wider variety of accessories as well as dabbling in the world of textiles but we feel that helping these women is a great place to start.

It only takes small steps to make a BIG difference.

So beautifully said, right? So here's the fun part! promised.joy will be partnering with E & co. through this Holiday Season. From every sale in the shop, 10% will be given to E & co. I foresee raising a lot for them and I'm SO excited I can hardly stand it!

So tell all your friends, and even the family dog! And remember to visit the E & co. website for more information on who they are, what they love doing, and how you can help all year 'round!

love & let's make a difference,


Happy Halloween!

I have a friend. Her name is Katie. But we might as well refer to her as Halloween Costume Fanatic Extraordinaire. She is really quite brilliant when it comes to coming up with group Halloween costume ideas. Usually it's the four of us. We've been friends since high school and we always love getting together to dress up. But as we get older, we move away, get married, go back to school, etc. and it's not as easy to do. Here's a look at some of my past years Halloween extravaganzas!

The year we were Trolls. We didn't really want to look naked (that's not very flattering...) So we went with themed trolls. Those existed too.

Then we were Lawn Gnomes. Seriously. Hilarious. My beard looks so real- just sayin'.

I also like to dress up just to hand out candy. This was an "I already have all the stuff (which also means I was meant to really be this in real life) in my closet" costume. Gypsy.

And remember when I dressed up just to go to opening night of The Hunger Games?! Ok, so that wasn't Halloween. But you get my point.

We start candy festivities this evening, and I still have no idea what I will dress up as... What are you going to be for Halloween? Also, how can they charge so much for a bag of candy?! It's absurd!

love & kit-kats,


Coming this Spring...

 You guys. I'm pregnant! And SO excited! Also, I gave up eating pork after I made the mistake of reading a lot about pigs and their gross-ness. Anyway, today I went to pick up a pizza... and bought some of Papa Murphy's pepperoni. To eat. Just me. Seriously... they smelled SO good when I walked in there. I couldn't resist.

love and don't judge me. plus pregnancy makes you weird about a lot of things. ok that's all.


Here's to knowing things...

A while back I had a friend email me with some questions regarding opening an Etsy shop. She asked me because I have one. But I haven't had it that long, and it's really just a hobby for me, so I felt like I couldn't really answer her questions well.

Then I had an idea. Why not ask some fellow shop owners {all of whom I love dearly} to help with the questions.

My dear friend wanted to know just a few things. Like what my top amazing moments and experiences on Etsy were. Along with some of the ugh moments and experiences. And some tips for those thinking of opening an Etsy shop.

I asked these questions to the amazing and thrifty sisters of Maydae {Stephanie May & Stormie Dae}. Seriously- these sisters could out thrift anyone and have an amazing eye for finding the things we all wish we could find! Stephanie May of Maydae also has a shop called Fibbie that she runs separately where she sells darling vintage kids clothes and wares. I also asked the beautiful and talented Kayla from Anchored by Love. Kayla sews just about anything, but her shop is adorned mostly with purses and bags. Serious talent going on between these three shops, you guys! I feel so lucky to call them friends and family :) (Maydae and Anchored by Love write blogs as well- check them out here: MD & here: AbL)


Kayla from Anchored by Love

Here is what Stormie Dae had to say {that rhyme was unintentional- I love when that happens!}:
 ~ Let's see...ugh moments. I think we've had a few:) My biggest one was the first time I mailed something breakable - and it broke. Now, bubble wrap is my BEST friend. Anytime we mail something fragile, I spend a lot of time and care wrapping it and testing the box (which sometimes means dropping it from a height) to make sure it won't break. When someone buys something from your shop, you have to keep in mind that they are really excited about it - just like you would be - and generally (especially if you are selling vintage or anything one-of-a-kind) - if it breaks, there is no replacing it. Luckily we have had some awesome buyers who understand and have given us a lot of grace when something has, unfortunately, not made it intact - and also luckily, we haven't had that issue in a long time.
Tips - I don't have a lot, but I would say to make sure you think through your policies and put them on your profile. Things like how you will handle returns, your shipping methods, etc. Give your buyer as much information as they will need to make a purchase from you - and cover your butt in the process.
Stephanie and I have spent a lot of time learning as we go. We put off opening our Etsy shop for a long time because we felt like we didn't know how to do it and where to begin. One day, we decided the best option was just to start and go from there. You won't and can't know everything right off the bat without experiencing some of it first-hand. So my advice is to just jump in, change things as necessary and have fun!

Stephanie May shared this:
~ Top Amazing! moments/experiences on Etsy:
The customers! We have met SO many wonderful people through Etsy - and we love getting to hear their story behind why they are buying a particular item. It makes it so personal and I think that is what Etsy is all about! We have had customers from so many amazing places - everywhere from France to Sweden to Turkey. It's always exciting to ship packages to far away places:)

Top Ugh. moments/experiences on Etsy:
Soon after we opened our shop, I was packing up a set of 6 drinking glasses that we had sold, and accidentally dropped one on the floor. It shattered, and I had a mini-heart attack. I contacted the customer right away, and she was so wonderful! She said that she believes that broken dishes mean good luck, and was excited to receive the others. She pretty much made my whole week with her response!
Anytime an item has to be returned, it's never fun, but luckily, as Stormie said, we have been very blessed with fantastic customers that are always forgiving and understanding!

Top Tips for those thinking of opening an Etsy site:
Photos, photos, photos! Good lighting, crisp, clear images, and different angles are SO important. Your shop will get so much attention with high quality photos, but if you have low quality photos (blurry, dark lighting, etc...) it can really hurt your sales, even if you have a great product. It doesn't mean that you have to have a super-snazzy camera either - if you can only make one change to your photos I think it should be to take them in natural lighting. SO important.
I also agree with Stormie - just jump in and do it! You could wait years (literally) trying to "be ready" to open your shop. You never will feel 100% ready, so start today!

And Kayla had this to say:
~ I would say to anyone opening an etsy shop, don't get discouraged! It's probably going to take a little while before people (besides your friends/family) discover you! I opened my etsy shop early this past year, and didn't have any sales for a while. Until one day I got on Etsy and had over 200 notifications. I later found out that one of my pieces was featured in the Etsy Finds newsletter that they send out everyday! I was so pumped. I ended up selling just about everything that I had in my store within a couple of days. It was awesome. So don't get frustrated or upset if nothing happens for a little while because you never know who could be watching!

See? Can't you just feel the overwhelming sense of talent and wisdom? These woman know what they're talking about- just check out their shops and blogs and you'll know!

Thank you, Maydae and Anchored by Love to taking the time to answer these questions. I know someone out there will gain from what you've shared!

love & advise,



You guys. I've been so absent. But I've been so tired. I literally eat, work and sleep.

  However, I've got some pretty exciting news about the shop coming up, so stay tuned!

Things like this will be going on sale

to make room for things like this (actually it's just a pile of fabric b/c it hasn't been created into something yet)

Anyway, I'll keep you posted about the funness coming soon! I'm SO excited about it I can hardly wait!

love & naps,


times to remember.

This weekend was filled with fun-ness. Saturday marked my 26th birthday, {woo!} which was celebrated 3 times with eating out goodness. I had coffee and birthday cupcakes (homemade by my mama- chocolate cherry = delish!). Matt took me shopping, where someone told me I looked like Mary Ellen from The Waltons {?} and out to eat at Minerva's. It's probably the nicest place to eat in Aberdabber. They have the most delicious house salad. Omg. I could just eat that!

On Sunday we had more birthday celebrations- out to eat for steaks {Mmmm}. Monday was the hubster and I's first year anniversary. We celebrated by.. You guessed it... going out to eat! (We don't usually eat out this often- don't judge us) We had Mexican, exchanged prezzies and talked about our favs of the past year. I love him :)

What did you do this beautiful Fall weekend?

love & leaves,


a swedish wedding {part 2}

Thursday came and went. We spent most of the day in Gothenburg- a main city 45 minutes away from Alingsas. We shopped until we dropped. Almost literally. And then it was Friday. Time for mani/pedi's and to decorate the reception hall. But of course we strolled the streets and ate more delicious food :)

Seriously, you guys. The wedding was gorgeous. The church was amazing. The ceremony was fun (even though I don't speak Swedish), and the reception was joyous. I LOVE that I got to be a part of it, and I will cherish the memories made there forever until I convince my hubby to move there :)

 Sunday they had a small get together for brunch and gift opening. People in Sweden are cute gift wrappers- I'll just say that. And they're so hospitable. Basically, I love Swedes.

Our goodbyes were tear-filled and a little heart achy. No one ever likes saying goodbye. Especially when you don't know when you'll see them again. But I believe in us. We'll be together again soon!

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention. Our dinner at the wedding? Moose.

love & memories,