Monday, June 30, 2014

Initial Tag Necklaces

My new initial tag necklaces are finally in the shop! I'm excited because I've wanted to add these for a long time! They're great for layering with other delicate necklaces to add a personalized touch. Customers can choose from 14k gold filled or sterling silver chains and tags.  A few of my other necklaces will come with the option of adding an initial tag, too.

Switching gears from jewelry to health...This week I'm challenging myself to something. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I have never drunk eight glasses of water in a single day. It's ridiculous, but I just don't make time to hydrate as much as I should! I saw a pin this past week that prompted me to try drinking eight glasses or 6 BKR bottles a day for a week and see what happened. So, you are my accountability. I expect to be happier and healthier by Sunday! :)


Friday, June 27, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! The rose pic is one I shot in my yard this week. Like the Beatles say, "it's getting better all the time." Still got a long way to go. :)
After a pretty hectic month, I felt like I spent this past week just figuring out my routine again. Here are a few highlights from the week and then some links and photos:

-I made dinner for my family and it actually tasted great! Tilapia, rice, and a garbanzo, black bean salad. Yummy...

-I journaled for 4 hours one day. It really helped me feel centered and focused after a busy and emotional weekend.

-I went horseback riding with Erin and Abby. It was stupendous! I don't think I've ever ridden that long and on such an un-boring horse! :)

-I watched the Adventures of Tintin with my family. The best thing about that movie is how British and adventurous you feel while watching it.

-I liked this article on writing great web content.

-This is old news now, but I appreciated Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield's use of their platform...

-For 4 years, I danced ballet. It was long enough to get a grasp of how insane these people are! The Washington Ballet's most difficult moves:

-I read this post on A Cup of Jo yesterday and felt like I'd been given one of the most valuable pieces of advice ever. KINDNESS people. It's the key to success in not only your marriage, but all relationships. See, everyone already knows that, but the practical description in Gottman's article of how to and how not to respond to your loved ones was a great reminder.

-I bought this Oasis dress and wore it to my event last week. This week it went on sale...50% off. That's the way it works, isn't it?

-I know this to be true...

-This man always, always makes me smile.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

White Walls

This summer, a project on my to-do list is repainting my bedroom...I'm going with white. My family will at least raise their eyebrows at this. When I was little and my mom asked me what color I wanted my room to be, I said "pink." When I got a little older, it was "turquoise." When I was old enough to appreciate warm colors in a basement bedroom I said, "yellow." I would never ever have said "white." I was always drawn to colors and the more color I could cram into one space, the better. In fact, I remember telling my mother that I would never have white or taupe walls in my house when I got married. I just loved color!

I have since realized that loving color is a good reason to have white walls. I love it so much that I want to make it the focal point of the room, make people's eyes dart to vibrant hues popping out in pillows, plants and artwork, and be able to easily change out old colors for new ones.

Here is a roundup of white or off-white rooms with pops of color that demonstrate what I'm talking about...

Based on the pictures above, you can see that this technique works with a number of different styles. You can choose a multitude of colors for one room or just a pervasive shade. The possibilities are endless and fun to play with! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Now What?

I'm back from Ohio's state homeschooling convention! It was a crazy, fun, sleep-deprived weekend. There were many bittersweet moments because this year's convention was the last one of its kind. We're making big changes in 2015. I've truly enjoyed being a part of the awesome team that runs the show every year. They are dear friends. I also feel very strongly about helping parents to educate their own children. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be involved...

There has been such a build up to this event for me all spring. I found myself coming home and thinking, "now what?" The good thing is that my summer is now clear of anything big. I have nothing scheduled! There's freedom to do whatever whenever and focus completely on new things for Banana Grove Designs. My goals for the next few months are to clear out old inventory and learn some new techniques, enjoy the photography course with ABM and collaborate on projects with other bloggers. I'm excited! What's on your horizon?


Monday, June 16, 2014

Busy Week

I hope you all had a great weekend and were able to honor your fathers in some way. I played mini golf with mine. :) This week is going to be a little hectic for me. For the past five years I have been privileged to serve as an assistant manager of a convention for the state home educators' association in Ohio. There is always an intense amount of preparation leading up to it, but this year has been even more intense. The convention is at the end of the week, and while I will definitely be staying on top of orders and things, blog posts will be a little more brief than usual. Things should be back to normal next week, though!

Today, I wanted to share something I just found. Charity Klicka's blog & pinterest boards are so lovely. Follow her! Charity is someone I've traveled in the same circles with for a while, and I've heard her name a lot, but I had no idea she had such an eye for photography. The photo above is one of hers. :)


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Photography Class by ABM

I'm all ready for class! Yesterday, I signed up for the online course being offered by A Beautiful Mess called Mastering Your DSLR! It's being taught by Emma & Elsie's pro photographer friend Candice Stringham and it looks amazing. I've known for a while that I needed to jumpstart the process of learning to use my camera by taking a class. This particular one appeared on my radar in the spring, but by then it was too late to register. Thankfully, it's being offered again for the summer and it worked right in to my schedule! I'm so excited! Would you like to sign up, as well? We can be classmates!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

To-Do Lists

Clementine just used the word "undizzify." :)

Today I'm sharing something that has "unstressified" my life. I'm a to-do list kind of person. My brain is constantly bouncing from one thing to another, and if I don't have a written reminder of what I'm supposed to be doing, I don't get anything done. But, for a while, I was experiencing a lot of depression whenever I looked at my to-do list. Every day felt like a failure because I never got everything checked off and just rewrote most of the previous day's list each morning. Do you know the feeling? There's something almost hopeless about writing a daily list of tasks when you know you won't accomplish them all!

So, at the end of last year, I decided to try writing a weekly list in 2014 to see if it affected my mood at all. I'm here to tell you, it is a much more effective approach for me! I usually have everything done by the end of the week and I don't feel nearly as much pressure. I keep tally marks for things I do every day like exercising or devotions, and I focus my attention on priorities before moving on to tasks that could get done later in the week. And there truly is a change in my mood. Who would've thought something so simple could make me happier...I'm realizing that any little thing that promotes peace and calmness in life is important.

How do you handle the stress of your to-dos?

Monday, June 9, 2014

Family Reunion...

This is where I spent the weekend! Isn't it gorgeous? The reunion was in West Virginia at a little camping lodge in the mountains. These get-togethers only happen once every two years, and it had been that long since I had seen some of my family members. Reconnecting with everyone was such a blessing! Four generations of's amazing. It was simple, wild, outdoor family fun crammed into a day and a half.

Here are a few snapshots from my trip:

How was your weekend?


Friday, June 6, 2014


I'm off to a family reunion in the mountains! It's my mother's side of the family, and there are a ton of people. Her mom and aunt married her dad and his brother. Two brothers married two sisters = double the cousins. We'll be eating a lot and doing a ton of activities. I have no idea what else is planned, but I'm looking forward to seeing everyone! :)

Be back soon!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

6 Reasons Why Pinterest Is A Must-Have

What a resource Pinterest has become! It's hard to remember what it was like before we were pinning every photo, recipe, diy and outfit we came across online. It can lead to hours of addictive fun! But, there's more to it than fun. Here are 6 reasons why you should be using Pinterest if you have an online presence or a product to share.

1. If you blog or use pictures in any kind of digital publication, you're missing out on a great tool if you don't pin! As long as you track down the original source of the photo you want to use, it's the perfect way to find images.

2. When working online, visual is everything. If you have a brand, the images you choose to pin can do a lot to give your customers, clients or employers a strong visual of who you are and what they can expect from your work. 

3. Pinning is one of the easiest ways to keep track of online articles and blog posts. They're all in one spot! Pinterest will even let you have secret boards, which makes it easier to keep your public boards clean and styled according to your brand. Just pin all the useful/messy stuff in secret!

4. I can't tell you how many times I've had writer's block, started digging through Pinterest and been saved. There are a ton of inspirational ideas and pictures. It's like a vat of creativity.

5. When you want to spread the word about your own photographs or work, Pinterest is one of the first places you should turn to. A good photo or concept goes viral in no time!

6. One of the biggest reasons I have for recommending Pinterest isn't directly related to business or blogging. It's something I'll probably talk more about later because it truly has made an impact on me... Not only can you pin images, you can pin words. There are boards on Pinterest filled with quotes and verses; thousands of positive messages all in one spot. That's powerful. I'd advise you all to create a board of words that build you up and to visit it frequently. Here's mine


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Wear the Holly Necklace

Would you like some tips for wearing my Holly Golightly inspired necklace this summer? It's one of my favorites! In my opinion, it looks best with a simple neckline like a crewneck or a scoop. And unless you plan to layer it with multiple necklaces, I would keep the rest of your outfit simple and delicate. The first look is entirely reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn's Holly, but very summery. The second one is casual and perfect for summer right down to the Ray Bans. In addition to pearl, the Holly necklace comes in pink opal and black onyx.



Monday, June 2, 2014

Druzies for the Bridesmaids

After taking this photo, I realized that I arranged my druzies like they're in a band photoshoot. Ha!

I was so happy when a bride-to-be asked for a large order of my gold druzy necklaces for her bridesmaids. I'd love to give them to my own bridesmaids one day cause they're sure to add some glitter to the ceremony. I just wish I could get pictures of them being worn by my client's bridal party! :)

As you can see, I've been busy at the jewelry bench. A nice chunk of time gets taken up by online things, and it's always refreshing to finally tear my eyes of a screen and start working with my hands.

And on that note, I've been working on a new online means of keeping up with Banana Grove Designs! I shall be putting out a bi-monthly newsletter with special offers, sale announcements and more. If you're interested, you can sign-up to the right in the sidebar under "Join the Mailing List"! I wanted to give you a peek at part of it, so I took a screenshot. :)