Mena, Arkansas

Stonehill Cottages in Mena, Arkansas | happy together
This year we changed things up a bit for our summer vacation and went north. We wanted to try out a place we haven’t been too before so I looked up a bunch of places that were under 7 hours away from us and came across a small town of Mena, Arkansas. It looked really pretty and once I found Stonehill Cottages I knew we needed to try it out. I’m happy to say we had a great time and loved where we stayed. Our kids love nature so they had a blast as well because it’s a really small town and nature stuff is about all there is to do. I would really recommend this place if you are looking for a quiet getaway and enjoy the outdoors. It still wasn’t my sweet Tennessee, but it was a nice mountain fix for a much shorter road trip.

Farmhouse in Mena, Arkansas | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together
How adorable are these little cottages? I want to share pics of this place because the couple who owns them did such a cute job in designing and decorating them. We loved the farmhouse decor. My children now want a house like this haha. There were four of these on the property plus the owners house so it felt secluded but not like you were completely alone in the woods. It would be a great place to do a family reunion or something and rent out all the cottages.

Farmhouse Kitchen | happy together Open shelving in kitchen with shiplap | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Farmhouse Sink | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Farmhouse bedroom | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Shiplap walls in bedroom | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Stonehill Cottages in Mena, AR | happy together Purple Clover
We walked around the property a lot in the evenings and my girls enjoyed picking flowers and exploring. During the mornings we would go out and about for activities. One of our favorite places was Board Camp Crystal Mine. We had a blast and found so many pretty crystals. We like searching for seashells and sea glass, so this was right up our alley. The owner was very kind and goes with you to show you what to look for and all so you are for sure to find something. We walked away with a bucket full of all kinds of crystals and most were found right there on top of the dirt.

Crystal mining at Board Camp in Mena, AR | happy together Crystal mining at Board Camp in Mena, AR | happy together Crystal mining at Board Camp in Mena, AR | happy together
We also took a morning to go to Queen Wilhelmina State Park. It was a pretty drive to get there and the park itself was nice. It has a lodge where you could stay, a camping area, and a few fun things for kids like a mini train, mini golf, and play ground. We were interested in the trails and did the Spring Trail which was shorter but really rocky. Unfortunately it was really dry and we saw no spring. I saw places which looked like water would flow down, but we didn’t see a “spring” like place they make it sound like it has…so not too sure about that. We also hiked some of the Lovers Leap Trail which we enjoyed more because you were able to go to this spot and get a beautiful view. If you can’t tell, we enjoy hiking when there is something to see like an old cabin, a pretty waterfall, etc…. It helps motivate the kids (and us!) when they (we) start to get tired :)

Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas | happy together Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas | happy together Queen Wilhelmina State Park in Arkansas | happy together
We are always on the lookout for new places to see, so please share any cool places you like to visit on vacation! -jess

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Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirts

Silly Shirt DIY | happy together
Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind. That’s a pretty good quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, huh? It’s something I work hard to teach to my children and knew it would be perfect to make a diy shirt featuring that quote.

Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirt DIY | happy together Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirt DIY | happy together
I found these cute shirts at Old Navy and used my Cricut Explore to cut out the words and ironed them on (here is style one and here is style two I created for these shirts if you want to use them). I wanted them to be a little different, so I did two different types of font. It’s so easy to whip up something like this. We set up a special day to wear them and checked off another summer bucket list activity: Silly String Fight! They were so excited for this! We haven’t done silly string since my oldest was little and she totally freaked out when the string sprayed out haha. But they both are older and knew what to expect so we were good to go this time.

Silly String Fight | happy together
They stood back to back and we had them take a few steps forward at the same time.

Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirt DIY | happy together Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirt DIY | happy together
Then we counted to three and said “Go!” They turned around and started spraying. We had one rule: no spraying in the face. They had a blast and had wished we had bought more cans for them to spray.

Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirt DIY | happy together Be Silly Be Honest Be Kind Shirt DIY | happy together
I hope to have some more fun activities with them this week and I hope you all have some extra fun as well. -jess

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A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes

A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together
There is a lot more time to do extra fun things with my daughters since school is out for the summer. Last night we had a breakfast dinner and we went all out! We do not have an outdoor table at the moment so I brought out our coffee table and put pillows down for seating. I went with pancakes as the main dish and used this recipe to create cinnamon roll pancakes. They were a hit!!! So delicious. I even created this cute little banner to go on the pancakes. I made it in the Cricut Design Space and it reads “You had Me at Pancakes.” Isn’t it cute? It’s a #CricutSummer project. You can print and cut your own here if you like. I’m going to make a list of more ideas that we could do later today. What are your favorite summertime activities to do with your kiddos? -jess

A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together A Breakfast Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes | happy together Breakfast at Dinner: You had Me at Pancakes banner | happy together

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A Kitchen Nook Makeover

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
We have been living in our new house for almost a whole year now and since we are settled I’m at the point of making it more functional for our family. I want to share a simple kitchen nook makeover that I did to bring purpose to an empty spot in our kitchen.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
This spot is a good amount of space but had no purpose so it seemed like wasted space. It is right where the entry of the master bedroom is, so I knew I didn’t want to fill it up too much but it needed something. After going through a few ideas, I decided that a simple shelf with hooks would work well. We have an area in our laundry room that is kind of like a mudroom but I haven’t put up any hooks in there for coats and such yet and dedicated this space for that instead. This really works best for guests as well since they come in the front door and it would be more practical and easier for them to hang purses/coats here if they wanted.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
I wanted to add some beauty to the functionality of the corner and went “shopping” in my house for decor.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
This glass jug was from a jug of apple cider we bought last fall in Tennessee. I washed it real good and took the label off and it became a great vase. The faux leaves were a buy from many years ago at a shop in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The style I try to achieve in our home has a slight Florida feel. It’s kind of hard to explain, but I know what I want in my head! hahaha I grabbed two wooden cutting boards to add up here too. We have been using these really thin plastic boards lately, so I figured why not just use these for decor until we need them? I want to get one more larger round one to be the finishing touch behind these two. It will help fill in the gap between the boards and the baskets.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
These two metal baskets were originally a mint color. I had bought them in the dollar section at Target for $3 each a while back and was waiting for a way to use them. They were the perfect width for this shelf! I spray painted them black to go with the color scheme though. I filled them with a few odds and ends from my home for now until I want to change them out.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
These two wooden candlesticks were from my visit to Magnolia Market at the Silos. I loved them but didn’t really have a place for them yet. They looked too close in height next to each other so I added two different sized candles I had to create even more of a height difference.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
I made the shelf itself from 1 x 8 pieces of wood that I painted with Sherwin Williams in Creamy (7012).  This is the trim and cabinet color in the kitchen. It looks more white on the shelf than it does on the trim so I’m guessing it has to do with the kind of wood used. I added a piece of trim to the front edge to have it fit in with the woodwork of the house more as well. The wood brackets I used were from a local store called Stines and I cut the bottoms off to make them the same length as the wood. The hooks are from Lowes here. They are a nice dark bronze which goes with all the fixtures in our home.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
I added this “Cups for Days” mug rack that I also got from Magnolia Market. It’s something I have wanted for a while and after looking around on the internet I decided their price is really comparable for all the ones I found in this similar size. It was definitely a splurge, but a classic piece that maybe one of my girls will like and use in their own houses later down the road. It is currently holding a few of my coffee cup collection from Anthropologie along with some other mugs I have. My goal is to have an extremely eclectic variety of cups and plates so I buy at least one mug and plate a year from there.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
And lastly we changed out the boring old light with this one from Lowes. I’m saving up to add this same light in our hallway to bring some cohesiveness to my light fixtures. The people who built this home used a variety of builder grade lights, you know, like how many cheap light fixtures can we add? kind of lights. Blah. I’ve been slowly replacing the ones that are most obnoxious (to me) first. Oh, and in case you wanted to know, the wall color is Willow Tree by Sherwin Williams.

A Kitchen Nook Makeover | happy together
I’m so pleased this little kitchen nook makeover has brought more life and style to the kitchen and of course much more functionality! Now for the next spot in our home that needs some love…..

-jess

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A Plus Quilt in Grays

A Plus Quilt in Grays | happy together
As in typical form, there has been a baby wave among our friends and I’m working hard to catch up on gifts for them. I hadn’t been too motivated to sew recently but just pulled out some fabrics and made myself start. I’m glad I did as I was able to finish up this little baby quilt for a boy, a plus quilt in grays. And, of course, once I got sewing I haven’t wanted to stop! I was so happy that I was able to create this using all fabrics from my stash. Since I have two girls and I’m a girl, I tend to have more feminine fabrics. But I remembered this deer fabric I had bought and paired it with solids I had.

A Plus Quilt in Grays | happy together
The dark gray and beige are both linen fabrics and the other two grays are leftover square blocks from this quilt. I love when I can use leftovers from other projects. Since those squares were already six inches, I stayed with that size and since I didn’t have much fabric I went with a simple plus quilt pattern. I laid them out in a way that used up every single square I cut except for two. So I used a total of 42 six inch squares in all and used a 1/4″ seam. The finished size is roughly 30.5″ x 37.5″. I had to rework some to make use of them all and not have to cut more out but it all turned out fabulous. I used extra fabric for the binding as well.

A Plus Quilt in Grays | happy together
I found this solid fabric in my stash for the back that was just the perfect size. I then used a 100% batting because i like how thin and nice it is. I started with doing a simple straight line for the quilting but then decided to try and do wonky lines. I thought it was fun and went with the quilt and it was nice to try something different.

A Plus Quilt in Grays | happy together
I always want to try and do a “fancy” quilt but am always happy with how simple square or half square quilts turn out and they are truly so simple to sew up. Especially when they are bigger blocks. Have a favorite quilt pattern? -jess

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