beauty filled days

I don’t get to read nearly as often as I like. Most of my reading involves Obi Wan Kenobi fighting as the protector of the galaxy. I learn all kinds of new vocabulary. In fact, I was reading with my oldest and he stopped me nearly every other sentence to correct my pronunciation of the random planets in Star Wars. For those that asked yesterday, it was a Star Wars chapter book he was reading. I grew up reading The Gymnasts series…light saber battles are quite a bit different than the drama of Evergreen Gymnastics Academy.

I’ve had a growing list of books I’d like to purchase and finally placed my order. That smiling Amazon box was an exciting welcome on my doorstep. A little bit of everything just for me…no Legos, no Jedis, no Dora…bliss.

I’ve known for a year that FireCracker’s bed would be in the newly released Design*Sponge at Home…what a thrill to see it in print! I knew this would be an incredible book, but it exceeded my expectations. There are so many little graphic details that set it apart from other decorating books. Elegant and whimsical graphic ribbons give each section a unique feel – so beautiful. Grace and her team went above and beyond with the whole concept and content. The book is a work of art and feels like a labor of love. It is so, so good.

The next book was Handmade Weddings: More Than 50 Crafts to Personalize Your Big Day. I first thumbed the pages of it at the Paper Source store in Chicago. No wedding in my future, but the creative ideas inside are inspiring for all kinds of projects. When I was in college, I had a subscription to Martha Stewart Kids. I had no intentions for kids, but the design and ideas were so unique and inspiring. This book has ideas crashing around in my head…if only there were more hours in the day!

Dottie’s Angel’s book included an envelope with thread, a scrap of vintage fabric and piece of a doily – this book had me at hello. It is all things Dottie, which means all things Granny Chic. I’ve only been able to thumb the thick pages. Lots of white with pops of color, fresh, happy…it is quiet possibly the prettiest book I’ve ever owned. An then there is inspiration for my soul. Do you follow Ann Voskamp’s blog? Her recent book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Areis the book that is going places with me right now…school pick up line, bathroom while little ones wash, in one hand while I brush my teeth 🙂 Whenever I can squeeze in a few brief moments for reading, this is what I am reading….daring to live fully right where I am.

So those are a few things inspiring me right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting for hours or even 5 minutes reading. I’m thumbing pages. I’m stealing quick glances. I’m squeezing in bits of beauty in between the screams I let out when I step on a lego. Every now and then I get a few minutes on Pinterest too….I thought I’d share a few things I’m liking from my Pinterest boards….to give you some peeks at beauty too!

Click the title to find the original source, you can find other similar items on my individual pinterest boards.

Road Map Pendant * Color Inspiration * Super Girl Party * Floral Shoes * Go Outside Poster * Doily Crust * Super hero Globe * Outdoor Decor * Repurposed Organization * Letter Writing Box for Kids

Happy Friday…have a beauty filled weekend!

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  • Rachel S. - I’m reading One Thousand Gifts too right now. It is excellent and convicting!

  • karen brown - ashley~ ages ago i had sent you an email saying your pallet bed inspired me to make a pallet bookshelf for my kids’ playroom. i wanted to let you know i am just down a few page from you in design sponge on page 335. so fun to see it in print!

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate - One Thousand Gifts has been on my to-read list. I really hope to read it soon.

  • Kimberlee Jost - I think One Thousand Gifts needs to go with me to Blog Sugar.
    It’s on my list, too.
    As for Pinterest…it has sucked me in.
    Thanks to you.

  • Sarah Pratt - WOW! what an inspiring weekend I am going to have! thanks Ashley!Love you!

  • Tessa - I cracked up when I read about how your son was correcting your pronunciation of the Star Wars planets. When my son was in kindergarten and doing Kid Writing, his classroom aide went to the library and checked out a Star Wars book so she would know how to spell all the characters he was writing about. Such a fun memory for this Friday morning! And … isn’t One Thousand Gifts so good? I have to give myself a small chunk of time every now and then to dive into it because it is SO deep!

  • Debbie C - What a great collection of books! I want to read them all…gotta visit Amazon again soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Erin - Ashley- I read One Thousand Gifts right after it came out. It is truly mind altering in the most positive way. Constant gratitude is something the Lord has been teaching me for the last year. It isn’t always easy to think in this entitlement culture that nothing is deserved, but all a gift. So convicting! I know you’ll love it.

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - I love Dottie Angel. I remember my first visit to her blog. I just wanted to curl up and stay a while. I need to see that book!

    And Ann V’s book- it’s a life changer. So powerful.

    Lastly- your pinterest inspiration! I have to use that globe idea for my son. He would die! And that little girl super hero always gets me. I love it!

  • amber - I’ve been wondering when you would read Ann Voskamp’s book:). I’ve been working my way through it since August. It is life giving. And I love her blog. Thanks for sharing all the books. I love flipping through books too. Peaceful.

  • lauren - your blog is kind of pinterest before there was pinterest. just saying. 😉
    i have been meaning to ask— did online snapshops replace regular ones or are you thinking of doing both? i have raved so much i have friends wondering if you are going to be running the in person ones again?

  • Ranee - One Thousand Gifts is already on my “to read” list..glad to hear it’s as good as I was expecting it to be.

  • lauren - your blog was kind of pinterest before there was pinterest. just saying. 😉 and i have been meaning to ask– did online snapshops replace the regular ones or are you thinking of running both? i have raved so much i have friends wondering if you will be running the in person ones again…:)

  • Rebecca - Amazon is a genius for putting a simple smile on the box. I love those boxes. I have a hard time always recycling them right away because they did provide a split second of happiness with a smile.

  • Natalie - Great post! Cant believe you didn’t get a copy of the DS book for free!

  • Mary Lemon - I absolutely love your site. You have so many of the same decor items I do. And I like how you use these items so that they don’t look “old fashioned” but new and fun. I want all of these books. Firecracker’s pallet bed is awesome! And the Dottie’s Angel book looks like I could get tons of ideas from it. You’re just amazing! All the things you get done every day with four kids! Whew. Look forward to seeing your 5th!

  • Emily - I LOVED the gymnast books and had forgotten all about them! Thanks for the little smile this morning 🙂

  • Amy M - I read the Gymnasts too! Forgot all about it! And the Saddle Club…and the Baby Sitters Club…and Star Wars books 😉 Theres a whole slew of books written in the Star Wars universe…enough to keep your boy occupied for a while I think, even if he does devour books like I do – intending to devour One Thousand Gifts next thanks to you 🙂

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh ashley, congratulations on being featured! It looks amazing! I’m so happy for you! 🙂 I’m waiting on pins and needles for my Dottie Angel book!

  • heather - that’s it.
    i’m off to amazon right now.
    thanks for the inspiration, lady!

  • cailan - Wanting all of those books to show up at my door…soon. And thank you for the superb pins!

  • Lisa Pummel - I love Amazon. I order all my books from there. And I wait so impatiently for them to arrive! Read on!

  • Carrie Rowe - OMG!
    I’ve been wanting the 1st 2 books and now I want the 2nd 2!!!!
    Also, I love following you on Pinterest.
    Lastly… thanks for all you do on your blog, I heart it 🙂

  • salina - Awesome book collection. I too have the handmade wedding book purely for inspiration.:)

  • e l l a - Great inspirations indeed. My only question is when will YOUR book be out my dear??? 😉 xo

  • Heidi - I just got that Handmade Weddings book from the library and it is wonderful! I’m not getting married either but it has great inspiration, great photos and style. Love it!

  • Sharla - One Thousand Gifts is so good! It has changed how I go through my days.

  • Mindy - i’ve gotta learn how to arrange photos on my blog like you do. i have no idea how to add cute frames like that. love them. i just ordered the design*sponge book. i treated myself. and ann voskamp? i have no words.
    she is a hardcore amazing God chick!

  • AliG - I forgot about The Gymnasts! Too funny!

  • Nancy - I just found your blog a minute ago, and, Oh…How I love it!!! Beautiful pictures. Can’t wait to take a minute to go through it!

  • Nancy - Oh… How I love your blog! It’s Beautiful!

  • Marija - I’m putting these books on my wishlist. I read Design Sponge (the blog) every day, but the book looks so lovely that I have to have it! And One Thousand Gifts is a must-have, too.

  • hydeeann - 1000 gifts! so glad you found it. we all need it.
    all the other inspiration looks lovely, too. but my main read right now is kim john payne’s “simplicity parenting” and that’s inspiring me to do with less. hands down the best parenting book i’ve read in my 13 years of parenting. wish i’d had it from the get-go!

  • allie - In the middle of One Thousand Gifts myself and LOVING it!!

  • Julie B - You have the coolest pinterest stuff! I finally got on it, I had hesitated for a long time and gave in. I KNEW it would have me hooked. I’ll have to check out that book too. I HATE stepping on legos, they hurt the worst don’t they?!

  • cailan - Just wanted to add that I had never heard of Ann Voskamp, but clicked on over from your link. I feel I need a personal retreat to digest the richness she has compiled over there. Ordered her book and eager to start, so thank you so much, Ashley.

  • Josephine - oh my heart’s getting bubbly. im so happy to find your blog and reading this post already tells me i have a whole lot to backtrack and from now on, i’ll be amongst the many who already love your work.Thanks for a great inspiration! I’m gonna go get buy those books soon esp ‘One Thousand Gifts’. =)

  • Erin - oooooo yes!! I was at Hobby Lobby the other day and grabbed the Handmade Weddings book as I was checking out with my 40% off coupon. What a happy purchase!! I have loved it and am so glad I picked it up. I’ll have to check out Design Sponge at Home…

  • Kathie - What do you use to edit your postings? I love the way you posted the pictures from your Pinterest Board. So pretty!!

  • Brooke Whitis - Weird question…did you really get the dottie angel book from amazon or did you have to buy it directly from her? I have an amazon gift card, so I would love to order it that way, if possible. I hope you are doing well….!!