Photography

My Momma’s Garden.

Hello, friends! A happy Wednesday to you! I’m currently in Mount Pleasant, visiting my family! And today is my little brother’s eighteenth birthday, so I did not want to miss that! It’s certainly a hot little day, mostly spent in front of the fan, but I did wander outside to admire my mom’s garden.

I don’t know if I could possibly be any more thankful that I live in a world where flowers exist. If I had to choose my top three, it’d probably be daisies, daffodils, and lilacs, but I’ve never seen a flower that I didn’t like.

I eagerly await the day where I can have a garden all my own. I would love to have a mix of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Just imagine: you’re cooking dinner and you realize you don’t have enough cilantro for the salsa you’re making, and you go outside to pick some from your very own garden! I can’t think of anything better. For now, I’ll content myself with my windowsill strawberry plant and its adorable little sprouts.

I’ve mentioned my mom’s garden before, but as I come home from Traverse City for the first time, I’ve become more and more nostalgic about things. My mom’s garden being one of them.  How lovely is to be able to come home. 

This garden is the result of hours AND hours of hard work that my mom has done. It gets more and more beautiful every single time I saw it. I thought that I would share some photos that I’ve taken of this beautiful garden.

I hope you enjoy, my friends!

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Thank you so much for reading, friends! Have a great day!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

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Travels

Spending the Fourth in Frankfort.

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! I write this post, sunburnt as can be. I had such a wonderful Fourth of July yesterday, but definitely could have used some more sunscreen. Luckily, I had a sun hat on so that I didn’t get burnt on my face at all. Bobby’s family and I spent the day in Frankfort, Michigan. We sat on the beach, we wandered downtown, and we enjoyed the fireworks. Such a wonderful day!

Below is a picture I took whilst on our way to Frankfort. I love barns and always watch out for them while on a road trip. And hey, red, white, and blue! And that fence is so endearing to me. Absolutely loved it!

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This cutie pie yellow shirt is actually Bobby’s cousin, Jaden’s, but she let him wear it because it was starting to get a little chilly out! And how cute is it? I love it!

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I’m such a sucker for all things Michigan, cabin decor, or beach decor. The little shops in downtown Frankfort were really speaking my language. I have such a soft spot for knick knacks, but I am proud to say I bought zero knick knacks! Go me!

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How beautiful are lighthouses? As it got later, we were able to see it shining out on the water. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture any really good photos of it at nighttime, but that’s okay. I still had the experience. As great as photos are, it’s even more important to enjoy ourselves in the moment. 🙂

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Nothing much to say about this photo, other than I love looking at signs for businesses. I don’t know much about graphic designs, or such things, but I know a cute sign and lettering when I see one!

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How beautiful is this place? Truly so blessed to live in the Midwest, and even more blessed to live in Michigan!

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As the we furthered into the night, we began to get apprehensive that there would be a thunderstorm, but luckily for us, theses intense skies produced no rain, thunder, or lightning!

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Ah, the feeling of cold sand in your toes… or in this case, scalding hot sand that makes you wish you hadn’t left your sandals by your beach towel. When nighttime rolled around, the sand definitely cooled down, and felt MUCH better.

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Again, how adorable are downtowns and their signs? I adore them endlessly.

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How I wish I could’ve captured a photo where the lighthouse was in focus, but try as I might, the grass wanted to be the star of this photo. Oh, well!

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And the fireworks! It was so fun being able to watch the fireworks from our beach towels.

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This post is quite short, but I like the idea of being able to capture my day in photos, as opposed to always capturing them with words. In addition to my blog being a place filled with my thoughts, my outfits, and my home decor, I would like it to be a sort of photo diary as well. A great way to capture memories.

I hope that you had a wonderful fourth as well!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

A Journey into Self-Love

Becoming Confident in our Intelligence.

Hello, friends! And a happy Friday to you each and every one of you! For today’s blog, I wanted to make an addition to our self-love journey series. And a very important one, I will say. Becoming confident in our intelligence. 

Nothing embarrasses me as much as being told that I’m wrong, or that I did something incorrectly, or if someone flat-out tells me I’m not smart. There are so many aspects of life that can make us feel self-conscious, and for me, intelligence has always been number one.

Not only that, but it’s been the hardest  one to overcome.

I took a literature theory class two semesters ago and felt horrible about myself for the duration of the semester. People were able to theorize Nietzsche with ease, and whenever I tried, I was met with, “Um, well, not quite”.  I was surrounded by an entire classroom of people that I found to be quite intellectually intimidating.

I remember spending Halloween night feverishly writing a theory paper, not understanding anything at all. Knowing I would do poorly on the paper, and cursing myself all the while for being stupid.

And it’s so much easier to say things after the fact, but at least now I can say that I know LOGICALLY I’m not stupid. It’s so much harder to acknowledge such things when in the thick of it. Feelings are all too good at clouding our logic.

When we feel extra down about ourselves, there are a few variables we can consider.

Have I reached out and asked for help? When you’re worried about feeling unintelligent, asking for help can be the hardest thing in the world. It’s something that I struggle with constantly. That being said, it is SO important.

Asking for help is a sign not only to ourselves, but to others, that we are committed to learning. It doesn’t even have to be in terms of a formal education. Asking questions about fixing a flat tire also shows a desire to learn, which should be admired.

There will be people in our lives that WILL be smarter than us. That is life. We’re not in competition with them, we’re in competition with our past selves. LEARN from those in your life who you deem to be more intelligent than you.

Am I  surrounding myself with people who are making me feel dumb? And I don’t mean hanging out with very intelligent people, I’m referring to people who are intentionally bringing you down. Hanging out with people who we deem smarter than us can be difficult, but ultimately, we can learn so much from them. Another thing to remind ourselves of is the fact that everyone has a different skill set. Theirs may just be different than yours. And that’s okay! If that is the case, it’s the perfect opportunity to educate each other. How wonderful is it that we live in a world where we can share knowledge?

I also believe it’s important to use our knowledge in a kind way. Too often, people will hold their knowledge over others heads, using it as a weapon. We should aim to teach others, instead of keeping it all to ourselves. Also, I must mention that teaching is one of the best ways we can learn. Which is a win-win for everyone.

We needn’t know everything about EVERYTHING, but we should work to be knowledgeable about things that interest us, things that will benefit us, AND things that will benefit those around us.

And as hard as it is, we must be kind to ourselves in our education pursuits. Learn at our own pace, ask questions when needed, and to never stop trying.

Thank you so much for reading, my lovely friends. I hope that your day is a wonderful one.

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

A Journey into Self-Love

Healthy Living Through a Child’s Eyes.

Hello, friends! It is Friday! HOORAY! Some weeks just seem to take the longest of times, and for whatever reason, this week has felt that way. This is a post that has kind of been forming in my mind for awhile. I’ve realized that many people, myself included, do not spend as much time outside as we used to. The busy lives we live can make it somewhat difficult to do this. I began to think of this in relation to how we handle exercise. Two different events helped me come across a little epiphany.

Number one: an Easter round of Eenie Einie Over. A game which NOBODY seems to know about. Anyone outside of my family ever play it? I’ve looked it up online and it seems like more people call it Annie-Annie Over.  Anywho. It’s been a game that my cousins, brother, and I have always played when we get together. We played a round on Easter for the first time in years and years. We used to play this game for hours and I don’t remember getting half as winded as I was during Easter. As adults we don’t often do physical activity just for the fun of it. Our activity is calculated into calories, sets, and reps. Or our activity is planned within an inch of its lifeat 10:00, we’ll take a hike, but I have to be back at 1:00 so I can do this and this and this. Which may be a slight exaggeration, but honestly, it’s pretty true to life.

Playing Eenie Einie Over made me realize a couple of things.

The first being how out of shape I am. YIKES.

The second being that I miss playing outside like I used to. It’s fun to be outside and to exercise. To make the conscious decision to allow ourselves to channel our inner-child and be silly and explore the world around us.

We often view exercise as a punishment for not looking the way that we want to, instead of it being fun and allowing us to be thankful for all our body can do. Everyone has different abilities, so what we’re thankful for WILL differ person to person.

I know that many people will disagree with me on this, but I don’t think the gym is the best place or way to become fit. I think that it can be utilized in a way that makes it quite beneficial, but I also think there are many other ways to get exercise.

Number two: On Wednesday, Bobby really wanted to play basketball, so we bought a basketball and went to the park. Something so simple, but we were able to get moving and have fun. Working out doesn’t have to be rigid. For me, I don’t ever want it to be. I know that there are some instances where it may need to be, but I just want to suggest that we start thinking like children again. When not busy, run outside and explore your surroundings. Revel in the world around you and what you’re able to do. Healthy living is so much more than what our bodies can or cannot do, it’s also about what’s going on inside.

Spending time outside allows us to care for ourselves physically and mentally. Walk trails, smell flowers, play a game or two.

Summer is (finally) coming and I’m so ready to take advantage of the beautiful weather. I get giddy when I think of all the hiking trips, camping adventures, and canoe rides I have in the future. Being able to exercise like a child, really allows us to regain a relationship with our mind, our bodies, and the world around us.

As a child, I loved being outside. I still do, but often I feel as though I need to plan out my time outside, but I don’t! And neither do you! Walk out your front door and ask your inner-child what they want to do.  Our hearts long to feel what they once did, we just have to listen to them. Sometimes when I get outside, I  just can’t help it — I want to skip, I want to twirl. Obviously, this is not always a possible thing, but listen to yourself! Really listen!

We have such an innate connection to the outdoors, we just can’t help it! I think that by listening to ourselves, we’re able to strengthen our relationships. If on a hike with yourself, you’ll be able to strengthen your relationship with your body, by giving it exercise. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with the Earth, by surrounding itself with its beauty. You’re able to strengthen your relationship with your heart. Listen to what it tells you. Oftentimes, we don’t let our heart speak with us, because it feels things that we may not want to focus on. Feelings aren’t always practical, which can be hard for us.

Spending time with others in nature is a great bonding experience as well. One that I don’t think you’d quite get if going to the gym. Have you ever tried having a conversation with someone while both being on the treadmill? Nearly impossible, haha! Being surrounded by beauty allows us to be more vulnerable with not only ourself, but others.

In conclusion: listen to the heart you had as a child. Allow them to explore the world, to learn, and to make relationships with others. It’s all too easy to ignore them, as the business of adult life grows louder and louder. Listen to your body, too. What does it need? Listen to yourself and be conscious of the splendor the world provides us. Sometimes, feeling small in the world is what we need. Not unimportant in the world, but just small. Our worries aren’t always life or death. A childlike perspective is sometimes all that we need.

I hope that you are having a great day! And a great weekend to boot!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

 

Musings · Uncategorized

The Art of Keeping a Cozy House.

Hello, friends! A happy Monday to you! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! I definitely did. I was able to spend lots of time with my family, which I always love. Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it was outside. Finally! Spring weather! Sundress season here I come!

I spent most of my Saturday at my Momma’s house, which got me to thinking about how cozy it is. How could I have forgotten that? How can I have a house that’s half as cozy?!

I have never wanted to live in a large home with expensive, white appliances and impractical white furniture. My heart skips a beat whenever I see old farm houses way out in the boonies. I love houses filled with antiques and well-loved furniture. Anything handmade or passed down from generation to generation, I adore. I understand that this is not everyone’s style and that some prefer a more polished and expensive home, but I am not one of those people. For us regular folk, it is also probably out of our price range. We shouldn’t feel ashamed about this, not at all. It’s not what makes a good home anyhow.

I’ll use my Momma’s home as an example, since my nest isn’t quite where I’d like to be yet. Especially right now. I’m trying to sell items I don’t have use for and in the process, I’ve kind of turned my apartment into a big ol’ mess. And let me remind y’all, it is far too small for a big ol’ mess. All part of the process, friends…

The flowers that I posted for the featured image are my mom’s. She bought them for $3.00 at Aldi, then put them in various clear jars and put them at both windows. It’s something that cost very little money, but made her home feel so much happier. It also kind of reminded me of one of my recent blog posts where I talk about little luxuries. My mother bought those flowers to brighten up the space and to give her just a little extra pep in her step. She only spent $3 on them and paired them with some jars that she already had. Not only is it the flowers that cozied up the place, but also the way she arranged them. Coziness goes hand in hand with ingenuity. It’s doing something unique with items, repurposing them when needing a bit of change. I took some inspiration from her and picked some daffodils that grow outside my church and put them on my windowsill. My aunt lent me a beautiful white vase to put them in and it pairs so nicely with the bright yellow of the daffodils. Just that little added something makes a home feel much cozier.

Bobby and I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored BIG time. We’re trying to find home decor for when we end up moving to Traverse City. We were able to find so much wonderful stuff. I bought some wicker baskets, a little homemade cup, and some wooden crates from a winery in Traverse City, two of them! (I also bought a beautiful red and white polka dot skirt, and Bobby found 13 DVDS) and we spent less than $50 on all of that! I want to scream from the rooftops that it’s not about where you buy something or how much it costs that makes the item a treasure. I spent the remainder of the day giddy about my $3.00 wicker basket.

A cozy home is one where people feel comfortable. It is a tidy home, but it does not need to be spotless. It’s simply doing your best. Life gets busy sometimes and maybe laundry isn’t number one on your to-do list. That’s okay. It also doesn’t mean you have expensive furniture or a freakishly large TV, instead, it’s a place where everyone has a place to sit and a feeling of belonging.  Where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company. Play a board game, talk to each other, maybe even share a meal.

A cozy home is one where the host/hostess is friendly and makes their guests feel at home. You may not have the most expensive food or be the best cook, but let your guests know that they’re welcome to what you have. Offer them a coffee, a tea, or a glass of water. If they’re spending the night, let them know where the extra blankets are. Act as though you are happy that they’re there, do not act as though they’re a burden! The kindness you give, mixed with the coziness of the home can make for a wonderful time, for both you and your guests!

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in photos and lives we see online. We go to Pinterest for inspiration and instead we start feeling bad about our own home. We follow an Instagram account for DIY tutorials, but instead we feel bad about our skills. This is so harmful to us! We’re so lucky to have these resources, but we must remember that our homes do not need to be copies of what we see online. What’s the fun in that anyways? What makes a home beautiful is the people within it. It’s fun to decorate and create a cozy environment, but at the end of the day, what’s truly important is the time we spend with our loved ones, our home is just a place to make that possible.

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

Engaged Life

The Importance of Date Night.

Hi, friends! Happy Friday! I hope that your weekend is off to a great start!

I have a blog post where I talk about the importance of slowing down for ourselves, but this blog I wanted to dedicate to the idea of slowing down for our relationships. Be it friends, family, or romantic relationships, it is so important to take the time for those we love.

Bobby and I make an effort every week to have at least one date night. We generally do it on Friday, but if need be, Saturday. It’s such an important thing to do because it allows us time to focus on each other and not on things we need to do, for work or school, or even the wedding. And we make a very conscious decision to be present with each other and not be on our phones.

Life gets so busy and we don’t always give the people we love our undivided attention. And it’s so important for us to just slow down and enjoy each other’s company.

I think it’s especially important in a long-term relationship for you to continue to date your partner. It’s so easy to get in a routine and not even think about these things, but having a weekly date allows you to break free of this a little bit. You can’t focus on the dirty dishes in the sink, or the English paper you have to write, you just focus on the person you love. Not only that, but it’s something for you too look forward to all week!

Hope that this gave you some insight, but I gotta go! It’s date night! Hehe!

Thanks so much for reading!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

OOTD

I Can’t Wait Until the Flowers Bloom OOTD

Hi, friends! Happy Monday! I hope that your week is off to a great start. My photographer (and lovely fiancé) is back!!! If these photos seem better quality than the ones before, that’s because they are! I have two lenses, and I hadn’t really played around with the other one. This is the result! I think they look even better than normal!

Sunglasses: I honestly don’t know where these are from! I found them abandoned at church camp, many years ago (haha!)

Shirt: Thrifted!

Pants: ModCloth! (But I got them at Goodwill!)

Shoes: Cracker Barrel!

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day!

Xoxo,

Mattie Mae

OOTD

“Today is the First Day of Spring, but it was Snowing When These Photos Were Being Taken” OOTD

Hi, friends! Happy first day of spring!! I’ve been on a roll with these OOTD posts this week, and it makes me so happy! They’re so fun to do and Bobby is such a good photographer! However, today was a little difficult when taking photos because it was so yucky outside. First it was raining, then in started snowing. Happy spring, right? That’s just Michigan for ya! I don’t call my blog Midwest Mattie Mae for nothin’.

Bobby and I went to Target today (my favorite place) and this dress really stood out. Bobby said, “You have to have this!” So he bought it for me — what a nice boy, hmm? ❤ I absolutely love the mustard yellow contrasting with the dreariness of the weather. It made me feel like it was springtime, even if it was snowing something fierce.

 

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Dress: Target

T-shirt: Target

Boots: Kohl’s

Picnic Basket: Antique Store

 

Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope that your Wednesday went well! Almost the weekend, yay! And it’s finally spring! Double yay! Even though it was kinda yucky and snowy today, I’m still super excited!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

A Journey into Self-Love · OOTD

A Casual OOTD Paired with Thoughts on Self-Love.

Hello, friends! Happy Monday! I hope that your week is going well so far and that you had a great weekend! My Monday is off to a great start, I’ve had my morning coffee, I went to Qdoba for lunch with Bobby, and I am wearing a super cute outfit!

It’s only early afternoon, but I’ve been feeling so confident all day. It’s amazing what a cute outfit can do for you! So, I wanted to make an OOTD blog featuring it. And as usual, I had Bobby take the pictures. I stared at the photos while editing, not completely hating them, but not 100% loving them either. I stared at my legs. Bullying myself and asking myself, “Why have you been feeling confident? You look short and chubby in those pants.” But I’ve decided to post these pictures anyway. I like this outfit, I think it’s cute. I feel cute in it, too. Why should I let a couple of pictures change my confidence? Am I exactly where I’d like to be, weight-wise? No. I could definitely be doing more to live a healthy lifestyle. But I am where I am. There’s no reason that I shouldn’t still love myself. I’m worthy of my own love. So, without further ado, here is my OOTD post!

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Jean Jacket: TJ Maxx

T-shirt: TJ Maxx

Pants: TJ Maxx

Shoes: Kohl’s

Thank you so much for reading, friends! I hope that this post inspired you, be it fashion, or be it body-positivity. I also hope that your week is going great so far, and I want to remind  you that self-love is SO important, and that each and every person in the world deserves to love themselves. That includes YOU!

Thank you so much for reading!

XOXO,

Mattie Mae

 

Monthly Favorites

February 2019 Favorites

Hi, friends! Hope your week has been wonderful! Can you believe that it’s already March? I sure can’t! I wanted to start a new segment on my blog about my monthly favorites! I was thinking about doing ten per month and seeing how that goes! Please share your favorites of the month, too!

1.My first February favorite was going to see Legally Blonde: The Musical! I won’t go into too much detail about it, since I already have a blog post up about it, but it definitely is still worthy of a mention

(Pictured is me after the show with my new Legally Blonde shirt!)

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2. Another favorite of mine is this dress that I bought! I really wish that I could remember the name of the boutique it was from. I think it is just such a cute piece that is really versatile. It’s a great option for the transition between winter and spring because you can easily throw some leggings or tights on underneath and pair it with a jean jacket or a vest. You can also dress it down with a pair of hightops or dress it up with a cute pair of boots.

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3. Now this one may seem a little bit silly, but when I was so dang sick earlier this month, this helped me tons: Elderberry flavored Kevita. Elderberry is known to help with sickness and I find that it helps me when I have a sore throat. I was drinking at least one a day for a whole week. If you’ve never tried it, I definitely recommend it! It’s super tasty, too!

4. My next favorite is Blaze pizza! We got one in town a couple of months ago and Bobby and I went for the first time last month. And as someone who grows more and more lactose-intolerant day by day…. pizza can be a tricky thing. This place has some awesome substitutions for various dietary needs. INCLUDING VEGAN CHEESE! And oh my gosh, is that cheese delicious. A lot of vegan cheeses aren’t able to melt very well, but this one melted wonderfully and honestly tasted like real cheese. Definitely recommend if you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan!

5. This favorite may seem super basic, but it’s still a favorite! I found the cutest jean jacket at, where else, T.J Maxx! I am a huge fan of jean jackets and arguably own too many, but I didn’t have one that wasn’t too large on me. For the most part, I like my jackets to be a little bit baggy, but I wanted to purchase a jean jacket that was a little bit tighter so that I could wear it with a slightly baggier dress. It’s not a steadfast rule per say, but generally, when I wear a piece that’s tight, I like to offset it with a looser piece. If I were to wear a tight pair of jeans, generally I’d wear a top that was a bit more flowy and vice versa. And this jacket is perfect for that! It looks so cute with the dress that I mentioned in #2!

6. Now if my Elderberry Kevita favorite seemed a little silly, this one may seem VERY silly, but… Garlic powder! I’ve always been a big fan of avocado toast, but holy cow, putting garlic powder on it changes EVERYTHING! It adds just a little something extra to it, adding so much flavor to it. Basically, I’ve been adding garlic powder to everything I cook, it just makes everything better!

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7. Now, a lot of people on the internet get sponsored by this company, however, I am not. I just find it to be wonderful! It’s the browser extension, “Honey”. You basically download it and then it searches the internet for coupon deals! I’ve sort of (yikes) gotten back into online shopping, so this extension has been super awesome for me.

8. As I said, I’ve been loving online shopping, and I wanted to share two of my purchases from the month of February. The first item that I bought was a pair of blue-light glasses. I’m sure y’all know, but if you don’t, they’re glasses that are designed to protect your eyes while you’re using the computer. As a college student who also blogs, these have so far proved to be a life-saver, as I seem to find myself on the computer a whole lot. Not to mention that they are so dang cute!

9. Another J.Crew purchase was an adorable scarf with the cutest little pom-poms on it. I love fashion scarves so much, but I always have the absolute hardest time finding some that I think are cute and/or practical enough for day-to-day wear. I think this one checks both of those boxes. It’s a beautiful light green/grey color that serves as a great neutral. I envision pairing it with my new jean jacket, a black t-shirt dress and some white high tops! I think it will be the perfect spring outfit. I’m wishing and waiting for springtime, can ya tell?

10. Last but not least, Hulu! I’ve had Netflix for years and years, but couldn’t seem to justify having a membership to two streaming services. But Bobby somehow convinced me, and I gotta say, I think Hulu may be even better than Netflix! What do y’all think is the better service? All I can say is that they have some of my favorite tv shows, Pioneer Woman included! Should I say goodbye to Netflix? Hmm….

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope that you’re having a wonderful day! What are some of your monthly favorites??

XOXO,

Mattie Mae