Throwback Puffy Paint Pillow Covers

Puffy Paint Pillow Cover! | Puffy paint is baaaaack, folks, and looking chic as ever. Emily has some great tips and tricks for using puffy paint to embellish d.i.y. envelope pillow covers. Such a fun and easy way to change up decor!

Friends, Romans, countrymen (and women).  Lend me your ears!  It is only befitting to start this introduction with the words of Shakespeare because the wonderful lady you are about to meet is not only a fellow English major…but she also possesses a bust of The Bard, which earns her ultimate cool points in my book.  Oh, and she happens to be one of my dearest bloggy pals of Haven 2013 & 2014 fame.  Alas, I have {read more…}

Personalized Milk Bottles & Silhouette Promotion!

Personalized Plastic Milk Bottles: such a fun throw-back to the days of the vintage milk bottle. These would make such great shower gifts or hostess gifts (for the kids!). Super easy to customize, too!

Sigh….  I remember the good old days when we’d hear the clink of milk bottles arriving on the front doorstep.  The glass bottles would be icy to the touch.  For once, I actually wanted to drink my milk. No, I didn’t grow up in the early 1900s.  When I was in middle school, my Mom signed up for a service that would deliver milk in glass bottles to our doorstep each week.  Like magic.  We’d leave the {read more…}

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

Truth by Maya Angelou

I tried something I’ve never tried before, and I posted a one-question survey on Facebook asking for your vote on what post to share this Friday.  And you surprised me with your results. Freewriting!  By George, you wanted freewriting!  So, freewriting you shall get, my dears. Five Minute Friday It has actually been nearly a year since my last Five Minute Friday post, and I was eager to bring it back today.  For those of {read more…}

Rustic Vintage Spring Mantel & Balsam Hill Giveaway!

Rustic Vintage Spring Mantel via

As an adolescent, I went through a stage where I rebelled not only against my parents’ rules, but my Mom’s home decor style.  I remember turning up my nose to her hard-wood floors and vintage furniture, declaring that when I had a house of my own, everything would be modern: white walls, clean lines, wall to wall carpets…nothing that was “old.” Flash-forward 15 years. I’ve (thankfully) outgrown most of my angst, and I now really admire the ways {read more…}

31 Questions Birthday Video!

31 Questions Birthday Video

Hello lovies!  It’s your girl Lauren here…and guess what day it is today?  Yes, yes, it’s the last day of winter, but it’s also…my 31st birthday!  {What whaaaaat!}  And it’s my joy to have you over here for a small celebration. Now, for those of you who may have missed it, a few weeks ago, I published a call for questions from you all…31 of them to be exact…so I could better connect with you, {read more…}

Gold-Brushed Pine Cone Ornaments with #myfavoritebloggers

Gold-Brushed Pine Cone Ornament...adding some rustic glam to your holiday decor!

Today, I have for you perhaps the easiest tutorial in the history of Thinking Closet tutorials: pine cone ornaments brushed in gold paint to add to our rustic glam Christmas decor.  It’s almost a joke that I’m devoting an entire post to it.  But it’s actually one of my personal goals to share more quick n’ easy projects…ones that don’t take 8 hours and hundreds of pins to complete.  So, hopefully this will be an inspiration {read more…}

The Friday Five: Kids Being Awesome

Kids Being Awesome!

I’ve always loved kids.  Even when I was a kid myself, I loved kids younger than me; and I could not wait to be old enough to post a flier with those pull-off tabs on our church bulletin board advertising my skills as a “Mother’s Helper.”  It boggled my mind that I could get paid to play hide-and-go-seek all day.  Seriously?!  What better job is there than that? Even in my early twenties, I remember church coffee {read more…}

Paper Bag Gratitude Garland

Paper Bag Gratitude Garland!

Some of my favorite movies growing up were the old classics, and White Christmas was high up on that list.  My sister and I must have performed our own rendition of the “Sisters, Sisters” song a thousand times, pretending our paper fans were voluminous blue feather ones just like the Haynes sisters had.  And who better to sweep the sisters of their feet than a crooner like Bing Crosby and a comedian like Danny Kaye? Well, this {read more…}

The Friday Five: Cute Kids in Costume

Top 5 Cute Kid Halloween Costumes via

Earlier this week I shared my traumatizing trick-or-treating story.  Well, apparently, I’m not the only one with tales of Halloween terror to tell. Clearly, we now know Batman’s kryptonite: small, speedy canines. And I don’t blame this little girl for turning and walking away; I have the same reaction whenever I see S.O.U.S. (spiders of unusual size). For others, the horror is more on the “treat” end.  When you get handed a healthy treat like {read more…}

The Friday Five: Version 2.0

The Friday Five with The Thinking Closet & The Learner Observer

Who’s excited that it’s Friday?!  The Jonas Brothers are: Michael Scott is…time to bust out the boom box: Napoleon Dynamite is…though his facial expressions will never give way to his true emotions: And I sure am!  Because there’s excitement to be had even beyond the fact that the weekend is upon us: The Friday Five” just got bigger and better.  (Didn’t think it was possible, did you?  wink.)  In fact, I’ve dubbed today’s post Version {read more…}

Five Minute Friday: Brave

Have No Fear of Perfection

Would you believe that I wrote my blog content for today in five-minutes?  I almost don’t believe it myself.  I am slower than a tortoise when it comes to writing.  I write and re-write and re-write some more.  Forget about it when it comes to a tutorial with photos of each step that need editing and watermarking.  And to thicken the plot, I have this problem where I can’t do anything halfway…so I tend to {read more…}

Sister Summer Camp & A Book Page Banner

Sister Summer Camp | The Thinking Closet

So often, summer passes us by like a hazy dream, but the summer of 2008, my sister and I were determined not to let it.  We decided that if we could be intentional with our enjoyment both of summer and each other, we could savor our time more fully.  Thus, Sister Summer Camp was born. Here’s how it worked: about once every few weeks, one of us would “lead” sister summer camp and plan out an afternoon {read more…}

On Turning 30

On Turning 30 | The Thinking Closet

Today, yes, today on March 19th, 2013, I turn 30 years old.  Wait.  Hold up!  When did that happen? Wasn’t I just 5 and losing my first tooth?  Or 10 and suiting up to play softball with the Nasty Tigers on Saturdays?  Or 15 and learning how to parallel park (or at least making brave attempts)?  Or 20 and wearing a pink beehive wig in my college’s production of Into the Woods?  Or 25 and terrified {read more…}

The Art of the Surprise Note


For those of you lovelies who may have missed my guest post last week: When Jessica and Linz generously invited me to share something on their blog Sweet Athena on the theme of celebrations, I got to thinking not just about the grand fanfare celebrations, but the little ways one feels celebrated in a day.  You know what I mean? Like that hug that you get out of nowhere from a friend.  Or that tilt of the hat {read more…}

The Art of the Surprise Note: Guest Posting at Sweet Athena

The Art of the Surprise Note by The Thinking Closet

Guest posts are kind of like playdates, aren’t they?  You get to go over the house of your fun new friend for an afternoon, share your stories, meet their family and friends, and return home a renewed gal…(and probably wanting a new toy). Well, today I get to have a “playdate” over at Jessica and Linz’s blog, Sweet Athena.  If you don’t know Sweet Athena, you should.  Part of what I love about that blog {read more…}

A Special Baby

This is Lauren, signing off.

Merry Christmas Eve, friends! Just had to share this beautiful video in which the children of St. Paul’s Church in New Zealand tell and act out the Christmas story.  There are so many magical moments in it – – I watched it three times in a row.  I just couldn’t get enough of those precious accents.  Look out for my favorite character: the third wise man.  Thanks to my M.I.L. Rachael for sharing this with {read more…}

Spend Less to Give More: Food for Thought

Spend Less to Give More...Food for Thought this Christmas via

Do you ever see a film or a commercial that just strikes you somewhere deep, and you never forget it? That’s what happened to me when I first saw “The Christmas Conspiracy” video a few years back when our friend Denice P. posted it on her Facebook wall. If you have two-and-a-half minutes to spare, here it is: It’s a simple concept, but one that I think we all need to be reminded of.  I {read more…}

10 Heartwarming Videos – Kids Edition

10 Heartwarming Videos - Kids Edition - by The Thinking Closet

If there’s ever a month for heart-warming, it’s December. So, to kick things off, I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorite YouTube videos that are guaranteed to make you smile.  After all, they involve kids. The soul is healed by being with children. ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky These videos will restore your faith in humanity and your hope in the next generation…if you ever lost it. 1.  PS 22 Chorus “Viva La {read more…}

“It’s a Major Award”

Liebster Blog Award

If you were a child of the 80s, perhaps you were raised on one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, A Christmas Story.  There are too many memorable moments in this movie to choose a favorite, however, one moment in particular was called to mind for me today.  The leg lamp scene.  Here it is if you need a little reminder: Well, this week, I had the honor of receiving my own “leg {read more…}

A Slice of Humble Pie Served Up by Craftgawker

I'd Like to Order a Slice of Humble Pie, Please? - Reflections on craftgawker - via The Thinking Closet

Here’s a story about craftgawker, and self esteem, and being human. So, for those of you who don’t know, craftgawker is a site a lot like Pinterest in that it boasts a smattering of inspiring images just asking to be collected and clicked on.  It’s truly a beautiful site if you have an eye for things created by hand. However, I have learned recently that craftgawker is not like Pinterest in one noteworthy way: you {read more…}

Denim Skirt Reveal

Denim Skirt Reveal via The Thinking Closet

Remember the denim skirt I made for my sister, Lisbeth?  The one from my Easy Denim Skirt Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist? Well, I promised pictures, and here they are.  Brace yourself for amazingness: I think I literally gasped when I saw these for the first time.  She has just taken my simple denim skirt and turned it into something fantasmagorical.  And I love that she tucked in her shirt in the second photo for {read more…}

Sewing 101: Darts & Marking

Tracing Paper - Sewing 101 - via The Thinking Closet

I’m back to Raechel Myers’s Sewing 101 course online.  This time, we’re practicing darts & marking.  And apparently, darts aren’t just things you throw at a target.  And marking…well, let’s have a quick heart to heart about marking. So, I sort of lol’d at myself because when Raechel said we needed tracing paper for this project, I went out and bought what I thought was tracing paper – – the clearish thin paper of my {read more…}

Lil Journal Project – Week 3

Captiva Island, Fort Myers, Florida - Lauren & Pop Pop

This past week, Mark and I ventured south to Fort Myers to visit my grandparents, a.k.a. Mor Mor and Pop Pop, and their precious kitty, Ana.  Our time together was so wonderful.  In the past, our visits have been overshadowed by this sense of urgency to savor every moment since it might be another year until we’d see them; however, this time, we had the sweet relief of knowing we’re within driving distance of them! {read more…}

Les Misérables: Start Getting Excited

I’m sometimes skeptical when a new movie comes out, and it’s the millionth version of a story we’ve seen time and time again.  You know what I’m talking about right?  Spiderman.  Again. Robin Hood.  Again.  A Christmas Carol.  Again.  Again.  And again. Such was my prejudice when I first heard they were doing another film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Misérables.  I thought, “Didn’t they just release the remake with Liam Neeson?”  Then, Mark looked it up {read more…}