Made Roundup + Discount

Often when I stumble across a beautiful online shop, the prices turn me away. When I found Made and saw the beautiful products at reasonable prices, I wanted to share this shop with you! When I reached out to Linnea to see if she was willing to give you a discount, she generously gave us a 15% discount! How perfect to have an excuse to bring home beautiful housewares, just in time for spring and the interior reset you crave after a long, gray winter.

You can click on the numbers above to go directly to my top picks, or you can visit the whole shop at https://madegh.com.

Our discount code is MADE15 and it expires on April 1st (Easter!).

1.  I've been dreaming of emerald colored velvet pillows. You know from my last roundup that my dream couch is emerald velvet, so a velvet pillow in the meantime, can keep my emerald needs at bay.

2. This floral clutch is the fabric of my dreams. I'd put that on dresses, curtains, baby clothes, and certainly clutches.

3. That leather bag is the perfect, neutral camel color that begs to be carried all year round.

4.  Um, can we talk about bathroom smells? My in-laws introduced me to match lighting after using the restroom, and it's THE BEST solution to that *ahem* problem. Or you can use these matches to light your beeswax candles. Either way.

5. My favorite pair of earrings is a tiny, gold triangle stud that I picked up on clearance at Urban Outfitters years ago, and these tiny gold circle studs are that kind of every day wear good.

6.  This book for grocery lists and meal planning is the kind of thing I could leave out in my kitchen all the time and still love looking at, and that's rare.

7.  Portia is coming any day now, and the neutral baby bits this shop hosts are my cup of tea.

Practical things are often ugly, but it improves our lives to be surrounded by beauty! We interact every day with practical things (matches, meal planning, storage) and Made gives us the chance to upgrade something utilitarian to a more beautiful version of itself!



For almost seven years, I've been walking next to this man, spending all of my nights with him, and living every day, imperfectly, with him in mind. I've been paying attention to marriage for much longer than that though, watching humans succeed and fail.

God created the marriage relationship because it wasn't good for man to be alone. Matt needs me, and I need to be needed.

God also created the love between a husband and wife to be a neon sign pointing to how much He loves us. If we are loving each other well, people see that love and wonder about the good, selfless, kind, and faithful love of God.

What are some of the ways that you can purpose to show each other big love?

1. Make the time to talk during the day.

When you're dating, you text, call, email, write letters, and make every opportunity you can to see each other. You revolve your time around communicating as you gather and give information about each other. After marriage, you know so much about each other, and if you're not careful, you'll stop learning more.

You have to make time throughout the day to say, "Even though I have other things I'm doing, you're more important. How are you?" Whether this is spotty text messages, phone calls on lunch break, or a picture of something you've experienced today, it's vital to your marriage that you communicate when you're apart.

2. Purpose to spend time together.

Matt and I made a promise to each other before we got married that we would never spend 24 hours apart, if we could help it. We had heard an awful story about a couple that had been married for over 25 years, but they had spent so much time apart that their marriage was nothing more than a couple of roommates who weren't even friends. That's an extreme example, and our decision is extreme as well, but you have to make time to enjoy each other, on purpose.

Even in the busy hustle of business building, baby raising, and extra job working, Matt and I make time to do the things together. We make sales calls/ canvas for the business together. When he's working an extra job that's quick or for a friend or family member, Charlotte and I ride along to spend the time with him. Even just the extra time in the car to sing and pray and talk is precious and valuable.

3. Talk about your dreams. Verbalize your thoughts.

We aren't the same, Matt and I. Some of our dreams are dreams we both dream and some of them belong just to me or just to him, but we take the time to talk about them: to dream them together. Don't just talk about them, though. You also have to get into the harness together and pull hard towards the future. Even after years and years of marriage, you can't assume that your spouse knows what you are thinking/wanting/dreaming.

Have you asked your spouse what they dream about? Have you told your spouse your dreams recently? Have you dreamed that dream out loud in front of them and asked them to walk with you?

Before we got married, Matt and I heard someone talk about pink and blue microphones and pink and blue headphones. The idea being that when I speak, I speak with a pink microphone, but Matt hears with blue headphones. We have biological differences and can easily assume things incorrectly if we don't clarify. It's important to say things out loud and talk them all the way out.

There's room for success and failure here. There's opportunity for selfishness or selflessness. Take the time to communicate. Make the time to communicate.

Have Matt and I done this perfectly? Absolutely not. Some days I am selfish and it hurts our communication, and some days Matt fails too, but God has given us the perfect example of love, and we desire to act that out on earth so people can look at our marriage and say, "Man, I'm glad to see selfless love in this selfish, hateful world."


I asked God for x.

If you've known me long, you know I don't shy away from sharing details. Want to know my weight? Cool. I weighed 168 at my last OBGYN appointment. Want to know how much debt we have? $49,370.70 left on our mortgage.

But with the business we started this year it feels tacky to post exact numbers. There's nothing shiny or particularly special about what we are doing. Matt is serving people every day, and they thank him with payment in the form of president's faces. We crunched numbers before we started, and decided we needed x every month.

x is represented by that smallish coin on the left. That would put money aside for business taxes, pay our bills, put extra towards our mortgage (to be debt free by February 2020), and add to our business emergency fund.

At the end of month one, quickbooks made it really easy to see that God had handed us X, represented by the larger coin on the right. Why does it consistently surprise me that God has bigger and better plans for our family than I do? I don't know, but since it keeps surprising me, I imagine there's a decent chance you could use the reminder as well. God wants better for you than you want for yourself.

God loves you more than you love yourself. God promises to fill your mouth up if you'll open it wide.

He deserves glory for what He's done in our business this month. We didn't have any work set-up before Matt quit his job, we weren't allowed to solicit before we started, and I thought we were asking in big faith for x.

God saw our faith, saw our request for x, and gave us X. He loves us. He is faithful. We can trust Him. We trust Him more today than we did yesterday.


Last Times

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before, 
When you have freedom and time,
And nothing in particular to worry about.

the last time poem

You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
But don’t forget …
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed
your baby for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day
And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip then set them down,
And never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
Then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
And it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing “the wheels on the bus”
and do all the actions,
Then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
The next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your last dirty face.
They will run to you with arms raised for the very last time.
The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
Until there are no more times.
And even then, it will take you a while to realize.
So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them
and when they are gone, you will yearn for just one more day of them.
For one last time.
-Author Unknown-
As Portia's birth approaches, we're blessed to be able to see the last times coming. We can know that this bedtime routine may be the last time I don't have arms full of another babe. This may be the last time I make the walk upstairs to turn on her music box, instead of Matt helping her, while I breastfeed in bed. Savor the moments, mamas. Even in the monotony, look for the beauty. God has blessed us with tiny humans, God-inclined souls, to pour into every day. Fill them up with the best of you.



Near the beginning of this pregnancy, I asked my doctor her opinion on what my end pregnancy weight should be, and she responded with, "Try to stay under 165." It felt loose, to be honest. There was nothing hard and fast about it. It also felt miles away. I was under 130 pounds, so there was wiggle room.

Now, at 36 weeks, I'm weighing just under 165. The part of me that knows I'll be up over 165 before Portia makes her way into our home feels like a failure. That's just a part of my personality. As a goal setter, I like to hit milestones well, but can we look at this comparison picture and just do heart eyes together for difference??

Yes, I will probably be 170 pounds before Portia is born, but good golly does 170 feel better than 220 did.

I'll be back to 128 as quickly as my body will let me, and I hope that those of y'all who have weight goals will take the journey back to goal weight with me!


28 years. 35 weeks.

I remember how empty I felt on my 25th birthday. I was supposed to have been thirty-something weeks pregnant, but instead I had empty arms, a freshly empty body, and a nursery full of bits of blue with no son to fill them.

It's memories like that, still fresh, that make me thankful for days of fullness. Full arms, a full womb, and a filling home are nothing to take for granted. I'm grateful to experience a pregnant birthday, and we look forward to meeting Portia Liberty in a couple of short weeks.

There are women who you know, who I know, who have empty arms still. Pray for them. It's a lonely season.

Motherhood is lonely too. There's a glaring lack of friendship as we navigate through keeping home and raising babes. Reach out. Be friendly. Show love to someone who needs it.


Nowak Window Cleaning

Last week, our family began Nowak Window Cleaning a local window cleaning, gutter cleaning, and power washing service. Matt joked with his father, "We had a record breaking week for our business!" It was true, of course. It was our business' best week, because it was our business' first week (dad jokes), but honestly it was a beautiful week.

We had prepared and saved, padding our business account and personal accounts, but right out of the gate, our friends and family have spread the word, and God gave us favor in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Yorktown, Hampton, Elizabeth City, and Poquoson in our first week. There's no guarantee of consistency, but God will remain faithful to our family regardless of how the money fluctuates going forward.

If you want to follow along or know a Hampton Road's local home or business owner interested in a free estimate, we're on Facebook or you can email us at nowakwindowcleaning@gmail.com .