Letter Writing Station {snail mail blessings}

I am indeed indebted to the amazing technological advances in communication since my college days, twenty-five years ago. Back then, the only way to connect with my family or friends  was through a very public pay phone in the hall of our dorm {not conductive to tear-fests or break-ups with beaus}, letter writing or popping in your car for a drive home. Letter writing was my favorite; going to your mailbox and seeing ANYTHING was a cause for a little jig.

Letter Writing Station. SugarBeans.org

With my Deary-dear away at her first year of college, I have reinstated a purposeful Letter Writing Station in our home to have on-hand for any family member to jot a quick note as the inspiration hits. 

Letter writing station. SugarBeans.org

Not only is my daughter in college, but many of her friends (who are now our friends) and my nephew are away from home for the first time. I've included different sized envelopes to pop in a little extra bit: favorite candy, Sunday comics {my girls favorite}, magnets, photos, etc. 

Letter writing station. SugarBeans.org

I've included some stationary in different forms: flash cards, old postcards, back of Bingo cards, and those Smash books have fun small pages to include in any letter. The small composition book holds all of the necessary addresses. And washi tape makes every envelope look like a celebration is about to happen. 

Letter writing station. SugarBeans.org

I adore this London container we found on our Spring trip to England; perfect storage for some letter bling. The orange crate was a $1 find at Target. Lots of markers, because color is a good thing. 

Letter writing station. SugarBeans.org

This little crate is by my side a few days a week. I know it has blessed our girl to get sweet reminders and words from home, and my other children are dipping in this crate (on their own!) to send quick updates and pictures to loved ones away from home. It's fun and blesses someone-- win, win! Really, a little bit of effort on our part, has the potential to make someone's day a little brighter! 

Mugswap 2014 {surprises in the mail}

Last year, I stumbled upon a mug swapping phenomenon on IG, hosted by ACuppaKim. The idea is to buy a mug for a 'friend' and a mug will show up in your mailbox from another 'friend' chosen at random. Since I love to buy gifts, this was a fun exercise in giving to someone unknown. 

Mugswap 2014. SugarBeans.org

This gorgeous and thoughtful allotment was delivered on a not-so-happy day, and so it was an especially beloved surprise. Can't wait to use that vintage stationary to write my daughter in college! April, girl, you did good! 

Mugswap 2014. SugarBeans.org

The swap has been such a wonderful way to meet up with new people and share in some fun. This year there was a bonus: donations were accepted to help a couple with their adoption funds. Pretty cool. 

This was the package I put together for my Mug swap buddy: Jessica from Two Shades of Pink. So thrilled to see her name as my partner; I have followed her blog for a few years and have been blessed by her colorful projects and uplifting prose. Go on. Check out her beautiful space-- you will walk away encouraged and motivated to make all the beautiful crafts posted!

Mug swap 2014. SugarBeans.org

I added some of my most favorite things: white mug from Target, Trader Joe's chocolate (!!!) & tea, colorful straws, measuring spoons, handmade heart garland, washi tape and treat boxes. 

The Mug Swap is such a delightful way to connect with other people in different parts of the country- sharing favorite mugs, teas or small treats. If Kim is up for another year, I will be signing up; you should too:)

College Gift {Buy + Handmade}

Our oldest daughter settled into her dorm this weekend to start her college career {!!!}. It was a weekend filled with laughter, tears, trepidation and exhilaration. She is starting something new and adventurous and we, as her parents, are so incredibly blessed to witness the beginning of this journey. Our daughter's best friend leaves in a couple days to start her college days, so we filled up a recent thrifted basket with some fun college essentials// handmade + store bought. 

Girl college gift basket. SugarBeans.org

Handmade: The blanket was bound with a satin ribbon; crocheted jar cozy filled with pens + pencils; and vintage-wrapped hangers ready to be hung. 

Handmade college gift. SugarBeans.org

Buy: Fig bars (yum), lint roller, pens, pencils, games, candy, mason jar sipper, and notebook. 

College days. Nothing compares. We sent these girls off with prayers, small gifts, and a piece of our hearts. 

What college essential would you want in a gift basket??

This week {Summer's End}

This week was filled with the end of summer; slow mornings and bittersweet summer nights marked the beginning of high school for a few and college for one.  We hosted a wonderful bonfire/ cookout for a few friends to say farewell to our college-bound girl. 

My teens and more. SugarBeans.org
We love front yard games!

We love front yard games!

The backyard.

The backyard.

And three days after the wonderful outdoor get-together, this happened: first day of High School for three of my teens. One sophomore, two freshmen. 

summer night4.jpg

My grad came out to join her siblings on the grand opening day. She's extra giddy because high school is in her rearview mirror, college just a few days away. 

Change. It's happening, and I am learning to appreciate the newness of our days. 

Granny Square Pillow {tutorial}

Granny Square Pillow {tutorial}

This project is the perfect marriage of my two favorites: crochet + vintage linens. This winter was filled with fun crochet projects {granny afghancrochet hook casesphone cozies, jar coziesmini flags and more} and I found my time crocheting to be quite relaxing, so the hooks have appeared even in the warmer months. Last week I finally purged an ugly cushion cover and replaced it with ...

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Frozen Bananas {Summer Delights}

Frozen Bananas {Summer Delights}

We have a few family members that find dairy difficult to digest; a bummer for the summer months with ice cream being consumed in large quantities by most people in town. BUT, I have found frozen bananas make a wonderful substitute to the taste and texture of ice cream without the dairy and icky side effects that plague some of my loved ones. 

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