Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 3

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 3 ||

This weekend marks the last weekend before Thanksgiving and how is it that it’s already almost Thanksgiving?! It truly does seem like time is constantly in a state of fast-forward and keeping up is difficult at times. But, nonetheless it’s been a fun few days that kept us busy and even Greyson decided to thrill us with something new – crawling! My heart is full and never a dull moment in this house…so here are the scenes from our weekend!

weekend running partner and views

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 3 ||

It’s been about four weeks since I began running with C25K and although I’ve had to go back and forth between intervals, I’m beginning to see a change! I’ve lost about 2 lbs, my endurance is beginning to improve, and there are a few pants where the waist doesn’t feel as snug. I personally loathe running, or really any kind of activity, but I hate the way I was feeling about my postpartum body more – we all have to have that first day and I’m glad I’m finding the inspiration to push through.

This weekend, however, I started noticing a pain in my left knee which has caused a slight derailment to my running routine. I’m thinking I need one of those knee compression thingys to help with putting pressure on it and to keep me from doing more damage. If anyone has any recommendations for knee support please pass any advice along!

Crawl so hard…

You guys, my mommy heart just can’t even contain my excitement for this moment. Grey had been doing his army crawl for a little while now and I knew he was on the cusp of getting up on his knees and just the other night it happened! He’s still getting used to his newfound skill and is very excited to move around on his own. He also has learned to go from tummy to sitting on his bottom and back again! Soaking it all up before he really takes off!

celebrating Rooted, a baptism, and the church nursery!

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 3 ||
Image Source: Janet Baucom

I can’t believe 10 weeks has passed since I began Rooted, a Bible study of sorts, at my church. I was seeking community and looking for a way to become more connected with my church, and the wonderful people that fill it, and Rooted allowed me to achieve just that. I had an amazing time with these people (although not everyone could make it to our celebration dinner/photo) and had the honor of listening to their stories as well as sharing my own. Rooted was a great experience that deepened my faith and understanding of God in my life and gave me the opportunity to gain new friendships with these lovely people.

It was also a privilege to be standing there in support of a friend from our group who was baptized at this past Sunday’s service. What a deeply moving opportunity to be a part of. I could barely keep it together as tears filled my eyes witnessing everyone from children to the elderly accept Jesus as their savior. It’s such a powerful moment for us as a family and for me personally.

Oh! And Sunday was our first time putting Greyson in the nursery during services. I knew Grey would do amazingly well as he’s so comfortable with new people; it was me that had the separation anxiety. Nonetheless, I prayed for a calmed heart as we successfully dropped him off and enjoyed our first uninterrupted service! Besides, I knew Grey would love to play and socialize with the other babies a lot more than being stuck with us. We’re both excited to continue placing him in the nursery every Sunday from now on. Yay for a successful Mommy Milestone and praises to God for His calming hand on our initial anxiety.

#verydanielxmas planning

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 3 ||

All weekend I’ve been so excited to get started on the planning of our #verydanielxmas movie menu and activities! Be sure to follow along on Instagram using the #verydanielxmas hashtag to see what we’re up to this season! I first narrowed down the Christmas movies and from there I’ve been browsing Pinterest for appetizer and treat ideas as well as themed cocktails. We loved the food/drink/movie pairing from Halloween this year and thought to continue the trend into Christmas.

…speaking of Christmas

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 3 ||

Can we go back to how amazed I am that it’s already Thanksgiving this week? Well, it definitely crept up on me and usually by November 1st I’m chomping at the bit to start decorating for Christmas. Every year I always try to convince my husband to allow me to decorate early, with no avail, until this year. This year November just cruised right past me and it was this weekend that I actually noticed that we’ve arrived at Thanksgiving. So, in my shock that I actually almost missed my opportunity to grovel and persuade the Christmas cheer early, I was able to sneak it in and begin decorating!

I’m excited to share a more in-depth holiday home tour like I did last year, so stay tuned for that post later on!

Linking up with Emily.


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Favorite Etsy Home Decor Inspirations

Home Decor Inspirations ||

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine

Hi. Have we met? If you’re new here you’re only just beginning to learn how much home decor makes my heart so happy. I literally think about it all the time only because I find so much inspiration and am eager to make our house feel like a comfy place to relax in. Whether it’s changing up the paint, adding new fixtures, or hanging a new print I am always finding new ways to improve our rental while decorating with unique pieces making our home feel like ours.

Here are a few Etsy finds that are inspiring me and my home this weekend!

one // Be Happy Doormat via InspireLifeToday

A doormat is an essential part of any home and this shop offers cute and personalized options for your front door. I love the half-circle mat and a simple message like ‘be happy’ is quintessential us.

two // The Everyday Floral Wreath via PresentandPantry

How cute is this wreath?! I love that it is adaptable for any season (or just add your own seasonal flowers yourself) and even comes with a handlettered family name sign to greet your guests. I am in love with how simple yet farmhouse chic it is.

three // DIY Faux Mantle via Ana White

I literally became inspired about this DIY project as I was preparing this list. In our new apartment we are blessed with a larger living room and to make use of the newfound space it dawned on me to create storage with a mantle. But instead of just hanging a large wall shelf I thought further about creating the look of a faux fireplace with a wooden mantle as shown in the picture. It would be a great option for a rental because it would just be temporarily fixed to the wall. I would also use a peel-and-stick backsplash in the fireplace part and decorate with oversized pillar candles or decorative birch wood. Cute idea, right?!

four // Home Is Wherever I’m With You sign via HouseOfBelongingLLC

I cannot speak higher of everything in HouseOfBelongingLLC’s Etsy shop and I simply want to own everything she creates. However, if I had to choose just one sign for our home it would be this one. My understanding is that a home is exactly what you make of it and as long as I have my family this concept of home can be made and found anywhere. I love the rustic look and the handlettered canvass just brings this extra cute component to this print.

five // Joanna Gaines Spirit Animal mug via SwallowsGrace

I love that I was able to find the ‘original’ coffee mug that was featured on Chip Gaines’ Instagram – talk about amazing marketing! As much as I love me some coffee, I love me some Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper (like I needed to explain who she is). She kind of is my spirit animal and I find she has amazing decorative taste. So much so that I would love for them to venture out of Waco and take their show on the road!

six // Handmade Ceramic Planter via ArtCraftHome

Another aspect of our future apartment is more patio space on the first level. I am so excited to create a green space outside where we can relax and possibly entertain any guests. Succulents and green plants are beautifully simple and this handmade and hand painted ceramic planter is just so adorable. The varying designs of their planters add a level of uniqueness to our home which is what I aim for as much as possible.

seven // Address Plaque Planter via SparrowAndScout

I created a similar address planter for our home now and can’t wait to add another one once we move. Although it was quite tricky for me to create the one we have now – next time I think I’m leaving it up to the professionals. I love the wood stain on this one and adding succulents just brings it all together. It also adds a touch of color and style to our front door area!

eight // White & Gold Minimalist Bud Vases (set of 3) via HoneycombStudio

I love how simple and unique these miniature vases are! The fact that each one is hand painted and varies from the next one makes it so special. I love creatives like HoneycombStudio because she focuses on each item in her shop with such detail. I love that these aren’t completely perfect and that you can see the brushstrokes on each vase. So cute and would be perfect on my faux fireplace mantle 😉

nine // Mini Wood Wick Scented Candles (set of 3) via TwineAndCottonMarket

I love Astleigh’s Etsy shop and have purchased a few of her fall scented candles and just love them! Now that she has scents available just in time for Christmas makes me so happy inside! What’s even better is that she now offers mini candles in sets of three for you to mix and match however you please. Each one is a hand poured wax apothecary candle with unique scents for each one. I couldn’t recommend her shop more!

What is inspiring your home these days? Any Etsy shops that are your favorites? Share them in the comments!

Etsy affiliate links are used within this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.
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Why Shop Small Business This Year

Image Source: Visit Ventura
Image Source: Visit Ventura

“The Small Business Administration identified that there are more than 28.2 million businesses operating in the U.S. as of March 2014. Of these 28.2 million businesses, most are “self-employed” – making up about 3/4 of the U.S.’s total businesses. Meanwhile, approximately half of small businesses survive five years or more.” via

I’m like many of  you out there and have participated in my fair share of Black Friday shopping. Waking up at ungodly hours just to wander in a haze of fellow shoppers eager to get my hands on that hot-ticket item that I probably don’t need – but’s it’s on sale, right?! Although looking back I can at least say I’ve had the experience, it was fun to go out with friends just to see what kind of deal I could get. I just don’t miss those 4am wakeup calls, standing in the cold (or sometimes rain), and the mean people. Oh, I don’t miss them.

Over the years since those days I’ve adopted my husband’s sense of minimalism. This new way of relating to material things has really helped me 1) live a more Christ-centered life by ‘not taking up treasures’ of this earth, and 2) helped me recognize what I need over what I want. Our home is always fluid in this respect due to the holidays (there’s no stopping my decorating) and simply having a baby in a one bedroom apartment. So although we find purpose to the things we bring into our home, it’s important for us to also be conscious about where we purchase from.

Holiday shopping is officially upon us and even if you skip the craziness that is Black Friday, I urge all of you to contemplate shopping small business not just on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but to make it a habit all throughout the year. Here’s why…


Do you like knowing where your tax dollars are going? I do. When you shop locally at small businesses your tax dollars go right back into the community it serves. This money goes towards public services such as schools and libraries, but also programs that support local causes – for Ventura it’s battling homelessness and substance abuse. These funds help support communities so why not give back to the very place in which you live?

Also, local businesses all the time give back to the communities in which they serve. Coffee shops and bars around Ventura always host local artists or musicians to play, seasonal events are held downtown which boosts tourism, and businesses partner with the community for special causes or local youth programs.

Supporting the local economy

We are well aware that our economy is a huge topic of discussion on a national level. But, by shopping small business you’re doing your part to boost your local economy which helps provide more jobs. With more jobs you’ll be supporting the bigger picture state-wide and across the U.S. Having more jobs available fuels the systems that keep your tax dollars local (see above) and community thriving.

Another aspect to this is that many small businesses outsource locally for their products. In Ventura, local restaurants partner with the farmers for fresh produce and vegetables or retailers often sell products made by local creatives or at the very least made in the U.S.A. I love shopping downtown because I know where my purchases are coming from and what they’ll be benefitting well after I leave.

Supporting business & product diversity

Not only by shopping small will you be supporting business diversity in town, but you’re also supporting the sale of unique products. Yes, it’s easy to run to Target or Walmart and purchase those mass-produced toys or home goods, but wheres the fun in that? I love giving unique, but purposeful, gifts because it tells the person receiving it that you put thought and consideration into what you’re giving. It’s more meaningful that way – otherwise you may well have just given them a gift card (which is okay, too).

But it doesn’t stop at gift giving. I love bringing unique items to bless our home with because it was either handmade or created with care – not some machine pumping it out. Home decor is one of my favorite hobbies and I get so excited when I’m able to find that unique piece that adds just the perfect touch to any room.

Small Business Saturday

In 2010 American Express launched their very first Small Business Saturday, which aimed to connect people with their local businesses. A year later SBS became a nationally recognized day that is nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (for all you online shoppers). According to American Express, 2014 projected that about $14 billion dollars were spent at local businesses on SBS and last year alone 95 million people made the decision to shop small. Wow.

I love Ventura because of the variety in small businesses to choose from! This is a snapshot of all the local businesses who are participating in SBS this year on November 26, 2016 in my town! If you visit the American Express website you’ll be able to locate small businesses in your own community who will also be participating this year.

Why Shop Small Business This Year ||

Support local business and pay with cash or debit if possible

It’s amazing work American Express is doing to create awareness and accessibility of SBS, but one cannot deny their stake in the day as well. Most credit card companies benefit from your purchases and even incentivize your shopping with cash back or points for every dollar spent. AmEx is offering their cardholders 2x the rewards (but you have to enroll your card ahead of time) up through the end of December for small business purchases. However, be mindful that credit card companies, and even AmEx, take from local businesses in the process through transaction fees of at least 3%. I only ask that you consider that it’s equally important to know where your money goes when shopping small.

How can you shop & support small business all year long and for the holidays?

  • consider farmers markets for seasonal fruits and veggies
  • fill prescriptions at mom & pop pharmacies
  • eat and socialize at local restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, and coffee shops
  • shop for clothing at local boutiques or retailers
  • purchase gift cards or certificates for local services like massages, nail salons, or hair studios
  • shop Etsy versus major chains
  • support local business by writing Yelp reviews or contacting the owners directly
  • purchase local merchandise of your favorite spots around town (be a walking billboard)

These are all little, but easy ways, you can support not only your community but your local business owners. This holiday season I challenge you all to make one or two of these changes in your shopping habits whether it be for yourself or a gift to another.

How do you support your local small business? Anything I missed and should add to the list?

See this post featured on Visit Ventura’s official website!

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Scenes From Our Weekend | Family Photos | vol 2

Kelly Daniel | photo c/o Toki Lee Photography

Greyson’s First Family Photos

This year I was beyond excited to finally get a few professional photos taken of my little family for our annual Christmas card. This year in particular is especially one-of-a-kind because it happens to be Greyson’s first Christmas. I had waited almost my entire life for this very moment; a time in my life where I can begin establishing my very own holiday family traditions and family photos being one of them.

My husband and I hesitated only slightly because we knew that professional photos would be an investment. We considered that since I have a nice camera we could possibly swing taking our own photos by enlisting a friend to snap them for us. However, I quickly realized that something simple as family photos would be far from it considering my wriggly eight month old and pup who rarely sits still long enough for anything let alone a photo. After a bit of discussion I was able to convince my husband both of us of the meaningful investment we would be making by opting for professional photos.

Finding Our Photographer

Then the hunt began. Who would be a good fit for us and within our budget? Like always, I took to Yelp to help me narrow down local photographers and I immediately was drawn to Toki Lee Photography. Not only was she local and had five stars, I fell in love with her ability to capture the moment for each of her clients. I perused through her gallery and I knew deep down she was the one for our little family. Before long I reached out to see if she was able to pencil us in to her busy schedule (this is considering she is more than just a self-employed professional but she’s a mom too!) and within the day she responded and from there began building a beautiful friendship. She’s one of those souls who you first meet and feel an instant connection with; like someone you’ve known forever.

Cherished Memories

We were able to work around our busy schedules and last Sunday we met her at this beautiful location she found in Ventura County. We discussed possibly doing the shoot at the beach but fell in love with the woodland backdrop that Ventura provided near the mountains and hillside. It was so perfect considering our unofficial woodland theme for Greyson ever since we were pregnant with him. I just know these photos will look absolutely beautiful in his nursery when we move to our two-bedroom apartment early next year.

Here are a few pictures from our session with Toki!

Kelly Daniel | photo c/o Toki Lee Photography

Kelly Daniel | photo c/o Toki Lee Photography

Kelly Daniel | photo c/o Toki Lee Photography

Kelly Daniel | photo c/o Toki Lee Photography

Kelly Daniel | photo c/o Toki Lee Photography

Kelly Daniel c/o Toki Lee Photography

Greyson: Baby Gap 3-in-1 layer one-piece

Aren’t these so adorable?! I mean, I know I’m only slightly biased. We had such a great time being directed by Toki because she knew exactly what she was looking to achieve with us, but also captured natural interactions between us as a family. In the end it was so hard to choose only 15 as we loved so many of them! I’m just so excited to use these beautiful photos for our Christmas cards this year and cannot wait for them to arrive.


I am so pumped to be partnering with Minted this year to not only share with you our 2016 family Christmas cards, but to host a giveaway! Minted will be providing a $100 credit for not just one of my readers, but THREE. Be sure to check back at the end of the month for my Christmas card unveiling post and for more information on how to enter! All you need is to submit your name and email – no hassle and no hoops to jump through. Easy, right?!

Until then, be sure to visit Minted to see all of their lovely designs for this years holiday cards! I love that every year there’s something different to choose from that will be sure to set your cards out from the rest of your friends and family. Select your favorites today (click the little heart hovering the picture) so that when it’s time to use the credits you’ve won you’re ready to go!

Affiliate links are used within this post, but 100% of these opinions are my own. Any commissions made using my links go towards funding this blog so thank you all in advance for supporting me and Primarily Inspired!
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