Merry Christmas!

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Hope you all had a great Christmas day! Here's to a great 2014.
Love, the Thompson's

for the last minute / gift guide

It never fails that we need a quick last minute gift. No matter how hard we try to make sure we have our bases covered it is always nice to have a few things lined up just in case. So, here are my favorite last minute gift ideas that cover everything from your girlfriends to hosts to next door neighbors.

Target will be your best friend. I mean--linens, wine, stationary. Super spot for quick pick up items.

Don't forget to check your local gift shop. Sometimes these places get overlooked during the holidays but usually they have the best gift options. If your a local, check out Kitsch in Norfolk. They have such a great selection....and you may just see some of Perch's knots there too!

Gift cards can seem impersonal but they never go to waste--at least not in the Thompson home! If you aren't comfortable with a gift card by itself, don't fret there are ways to make it a little more sweet. If you are giving a coffee or restaurant giftcard, pair with a bag of coffee or a to-go menu.

If you are in frantic mode--grab your scissors, head outdoors and snip a few pieces of holiday greenery. Bring it all together by wrapping it up with some paper or twine and call it a day!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday my friends!

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new camera + blogshop class

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Over the past year I've been hemmin' & hawin' over what to do about a camera purchase. A few months ago I blogged about this Canon camera that has been on my wishlist for a bit. Black Friday, Derrick and I went out and did a little perusing which led us to check out some cameras in person. After looking over the selection and handling different camera options--I decided against the 60D--it just seemed a little too much of a camera for my first DSLR. So, I went with the Canon T3i Rebel and I love it! Of course they had some crazy deals going on so I ended up with the camera, two lenses, camera bag and a 32gb card all for a steal!

My current point & shoot camera is a Canon powershot, which I have loved, so I wanted to stick with that same brand. So far, it has been very user friendly!

The next part is photoshop. That program can be a doozy and a little overwhelming for a newbie like me. One of my favorite bloggers, Design Love Fest, offers a blogshop class that goes over lots of these details. So the other day, I saw they debuted a streaming option for the blogshop class! I was immediately on board and grabbed a slot for the class in January. This was a much more affordable option too. {win-win!} I'm so excited and can't wait to learn some photoshop skills. Watch out peeps, I'll be a photoshop fool before you know it!!

the thompson tree

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Every year we look forward to Christmas tree hunting. After stopping by a few places, we found the one. And it is very tall and very full and we love it! Schlepping it home on top of the old volvo and bringing it inside was a doozy. The stump is so wide it just barely fit in the base.

You can see I was on the left side of the tree tucking the lights in further, and Derrick likes to have the lights un-tucked as shown on the right. We had a good laugh about that when we were all finished. Tuck vs. Untuck.

I have loved seeing everyone's Christmas trees all decorated and gorgeous. With ours, I just can't bring myself to be minimal or unique or creative. I mean, it's a Christmas tree and I can't get away from the traditional look. So, there you have it. With ornaments from our childhood, hand-me-downs from my grandparents and some new ones too.
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for the tech lover / gift guide

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New things are fun, aren't they?! So, when my new iPhone arrived a few months ago, the whole first world dilemma came with, what iPhone case to purchase. Why is a phone case purchase so stressful? It's just a phone case, not a life-changing item. I ended up buying one on Etsy , but it just wasn't exactly what I was looking for. The quality and craftsmanship was fantastic but I wanted something a little more sleek.

Then, I found Julia Kostreva. And all is well with the world. {smile.} And how about these ella b earbuds? The rose gold touch is so classy!

There are so many fun tech gadgets for the kitchen. This rustic wood ipad stand kills it in both form and function--great gift for the cook!

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You really can't go wrong with gifting an Apple product. The Airport Express will be much appreciated by the apple guru.

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Lastly, I've been smitten by the Nest family of products. They are so efficient and have such a clean design. This Nest Smoke Alarm is a nice alternative to the classic ones in every home--and it speaks to you?! Amazing. The Nest Learning Thermostat is a pretty awesome product as well. Definitely adding these to my wish list!
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photos + Christmas cards

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A few weeks ago I mentioned getting our photos taken by Alisandra Photography. Well, we received our digital images and had so many great ones to choose from for our Christmas cards. Our pup Sammy was with us and we didn't need to put him on a leash so you can see him wandering around us in the photos. Might just be my favorite part! Derrick managed to get caught being goofy and bring out some genuine silliness. Love that man.

We narrowed them down and chose our favorite; which I'll share with you soon. Now, on to addressing these bad boys and getting them in the mail!

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Refreshing Weekend

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This past weekend was full. Full in the sense of great moments with friends, accomplishing tasks for Perch Shop and getting housework done too! It was just one of those weekends that felt refreshing. Nothing record-breaking happened but it was nice to enjoy the weather, watch our local parade and have some fun with close friends.

Derrick and I woke up early Saturday morning and headed out to find some gems for my little Etsy shop. We scored big--thanks to my husband, the negotiator. I can be good with that part when I have to, but more often then not, he can do handle that part better and with a little more ease. I tend to give myself away with my excitement--which doesn't bode well with negotiating…..

There was one item I snagged for myself; this lovely wood ladder. I've been itching to find one that would mesh with our home, and I believe we found that one!

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After going to our favorite shops, I got to spend some time with one of my best girlfriends and do some grocery shopping. That might sound a little odd, but we both love going to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods so why not combine the two!

Later that night we kicked off our holiday season with our local parade followed by a Christmas party with friends. Such a great weekend!

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for the active / gift guide

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{photos via &}

These bkr glass bottles are a gem! I just had my third bottle delivered on Monday and am loving the heart design. Great gift for the lady who has it all. Find them here, pick your favorite color and grab one for yourself! Helps the environment all while looking trendy--that's a win in my book.

Lululemon has some pretty legitimate activewear and this long sleeve top while be a sure hit. This was gifted to me two years ago and it is still my favorite cold weather running top. I have it in gray but this blue is a great color to put some pep in your step during the cold winter days.

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{above photos via}

Accessorizing your activewear is a fun way to let your personal style shine. How about some colorful shoelaces and a fresh pair of sneaks for a pick me up? A nice pair of leggings are also a great choice for the lady on the go. Who says your active lifestyle has to be drab....not I!

For the next two Thursdays I'll be sharing some more gift ideas so stay tuned....

Cyber Monday Sale at Perch Shop!

Free shipping on all knot orders with code KnotFree
Head on over to my little etsy shop and take a look.
Happy Cyber Monday, my friends!

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{photo by shay cochrane}

Alisandra Photography

A couple years ago I was introduced to Alisandra Photography--I knew I would love her when I found out she goes by Ali and spells it just like mine. { kindred spirits! } She took that awesome photo above and we've kept in touch ever since, thanks to the lovely land of social media.

Ali put together a coastal styled shoot over the summer and she kindly included some of my knots from Perch. I was so blown away by this gorgeous beach set up. She did such an excellent job capturing all the natural details the beach has to offer--I mean, check out that driftwood!

I can't believe it took me to so long to share these pictures.

For more details and photos hop over to the blog, Inspired By This, and check out the feature here.

So, when Derrick and I were chatting about getting our Fall/Christmas photos together we immediately agreed on scheduling a shoot with Ali. She is a natural and I highly recommend her!

Happy Monday, friends!

My Veteran

I never knew my husband when he was in the Navy, but nonetheless I am so proud of him. He spent most of his time in Japan and I love hearing all the stories from those years. Just the thought of being away from home for years on end, in a foreign country mind you, is mind boggling! We live in such a huge military area that it is truly hard to go a day without coming into contact with someone that hasn't served our country.

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From the bottom of my heart; THANK YOU to all those who have given your time and love for the good ole' U.S. of A!

May we always remember to pray for country.
God Bless America!

The Realness of Relationships

This summer I started spending time with two incredible women on a regular basis. We are all at different stages in life and we each bring to the table different points of view but what we do share is the same love for the Lord. The thing I enjoy the most is the intentional conversations. Ones that get to the heart. You know, those conversations that can be a little hard to have. The kind of conversations where you are honest and transparent and vulnerable. And might I add that there is lots of grace and love poured out in these chats as well.

I tend to share lots of basic details about life with friends--but forget to really develop deep friendships where there is accountability and encouragement. Yes, my husband has a gift for listening and encouraging me. When I tell him what's on my mind and explain how confusing things and life and decisions are--he has a gift for seeing right through all of that and breaking it down so easily. I'll walk away from the conversation thinking "Oh, that makes sense."

Anywho, I am so guilty of thinking I have it all together and correcting those along the way whom I think need my {ever so gentle} correcting....!

Over the past 24 hours I have been reminded of the fruits of relationships. The genuineness. The love. The never-giving-up God that I am so thankful to have a relationship with. Hands down we have some pretty amazing friends and family. I couldn't ask for a better gang to go through life with.
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Brooklyn, NY

This past weekend I was able to scoot out of town and visit my brother in Brooklyn. Lemme tell ya--we had the best time! I hate that Derrick couldn't join me, but there is always next time....

Speaking of time, there is never enough time to do and see everything in the city. But my brother and his girlfriend knocked it out of the park with some pretty amazing shopping and delicious food and drinks.

One of my favorite stops was at the Brooklyn Flea. Such a great mix of vintage and handmade items--oh, and delcious donuts for a little shopping fuel. Potato sack, bracelet from Birdhouse Jewelry,  antler {long sought after!}, and a few other odds and ends made there way back to Virginia with me. I only wish I took more pictures....and maybe had another donut.

I can't tell you how incredible it was to spend a weekend with my brother. There is a lot of love for that guy and so glad we could have some family time together. I better stop before I get too sappy here...

Between all the fantastic shopping and tasty food I came back home and slept like a rock. Such is the life of NYC, eh?

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october celebrations

I must say October is by far our favorite month of the year. We celebrate our marriage and both of our birthdays--needless to say we do a ton of celebrating!

For our anniversary we keep things pretty simple with a nice dinner out. This year, we chose to celebrate at Taphouse right on the Virginia Beach oceanfront. It was a beautiful evening to sit outside and be reminded of the gorgeous views the ocean has to offer--and that we live so close to! It's starting to be a tradition for me not to buy the hubby a card. Not that I intentionally don't want to. I'll remind myself weeks leading up to our anniversary but somehow I can't seem to actually make it happen. I do make sure to verbally express my undying love over and over....

Next up--birthdays! We have some pretty amazing friends around here so we celebrated Derrick's birthday at a local restaurant. For me--a trip to New York is planned! I'm pretty excited to see my brother and spend some time shopping in the city.

In between all of this, my little etsy shop received its first wholesale order! I'm pretty excited about the opportunity to have my knots in one of our favorite oceanfront spots. More on that soon!

Happy Fall my friends!

being still / sometimes

Sometimes life gets busy. And that is how it goes sometimes.

Have you ever scheduled time to just be still? I'm feeling like this might be a new necessity for me. Yesterday I was able to spend some time just in the quietness of our home. Derrick was watching football at the neighbors and I was able to have a little time to myself. It was so refreshing and much-needed.

I love to make a plan and sometimes the plan takes over and I forget to actually take time to be still. And when I say be still, I mean spending time praying, reading the Word, and taking time to just be present. Those few moments were so needed and loved having that time...and planning to do it more!

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a new camera

one of my goals set for my little perch shop was once it hit one hundred sales i would start the hunt for a new camera. well, i reached that goal in july! i truly had no idea where to start--but i figured looking at my favorite bloggers and photographers (here and here for example) to see what they use would be a fine place to go. i made a note of what those smarties use and started some research. right now i'm using a canon power shot and feel pretty comfortable with there settings but am open to a new challenge. after lots of back and forth i'm almost positive i want to go with this one which is a Canon EOS 60D DSLR. and just in case you think i forgot--i'll also be getting a lense too! that would be helpful, eh? i think i'll start with a standard zoom lens and maybe snatch up a wide angle lens too...we shall see. thoughts??

don't expect anything too fabulous from me anytime soon since this is quite the adjustment. and any tips or suggestions you have--do share!

four years and counting

yesterday the hubby and i celebrated our fourth anniversary. it's just incredible how much we have done and how quickly time has flown by!

we were talking over dinner about the past four years and what major things happened in each of those years. first, let me just say that i can't believe how bad my memory is! nonetheless, one of the things we talked about was our love. i remember people saying to us; "you will love him more and more everyday." that was just such a foreign concept since i knew on that given day i loved him so much and how could i possibly love him more?!?

as we kept talking we were thinking back to all the different emotions and experiences that we had together. all those things deepen and strengthen us--bonding us together. i know this sounds super cheesy but it is so true. sharing life together and learning how we both respond allows us to love in ways we never knew how. all this to say--i couldn't ask for a better partner and am so blessed.

now, on to the next year! i can't wait to see what is in store for us. if the past years are any guide--it will be wild and crazy but lots of fun!

happy wednesday, my friends!

styled shoot + a splash of gold

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perch knots have been making some rounds lately!

the talented shay from shay cochrane photography snapped these gorgeous photos of my knots. i love this modern nautical look! make sure to check out her business too--she is a fantastic commercial / product photographer.

you are also getting a first look at the a new perch product! the small knot is a hand-painted metallic gold cotton knot. this will be a limited edition knot for the holiday season and will be available for purchase october 1. i'm having visions of gold knots in vases tucked with some greenery and lovely tablescapes. they will be just the right amount of sass to spruce up your holiday decorations; if i do say so myself...

another styled shoot happed early this summer too but will share those in the fall so stay tuned!

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yellow front door

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july was successful in every way other than i planned and did not complete one thing on my list! that's okay because august was where the action happened. some fun and not so fun projects were finally completed. you know those ones that you started forever ago and never completed? like my never ending trim, door and doorknob updates?! ugh--finally that has been put to rest. i take that back, there is still a little bit of trim in the living room to complete....

completing this took a few weeks to knock out. i just spent an hour or two after work a few days a week and then one full saturday morning. so, not too bad but glad it is done. painting doors are rather annoying...

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here is what finally got finished:

doors painted
doorknobs spray painted black {although now i'd like the hinges painted black after seeing the doors in this post}
front door painted yellow: benjamin moore's banan-appeal found here
{just the back of the door is painted. condo association would go into a tizzy otherwise!}

with the door now painted yellow i'd love to add a few accents to really tie it all together. maybe a different rug or piece of artwork in the entryway??

the horseshoe is a purchase from this etsy shop : cast and crew

july favorites

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over the past few weeks i've splurged and treated myself on a few things that i've been i've been coveting for years!

i went to sephora and made a couple beauty purchases--some based on recommendations and others just because. 

the urban decay's naket palette is awesome. i'm embarrassed to say but it has been about 4 years since i last purchased some eye shadow. {last purchase was for our wedding! eek....} this combo of colors is right in my comfort zone--i don't like anything too flashy for my eyes so this is a win in my book.

i also picked up this lip tar in narcissus by obsessive compulsive cosmetics. it's a little bold but i do love it. not an everyday lip but still glad i made the purchase. bonus that it is vegan and cruelty-free!

why did i not get the memo that perfume comes in as a rollerball? oh, lola by marc it. and it's perfect to keep in my purse when i need to freshen up. {day to night!} 

lily pottery is another shop that has been on my radar for quite some time but for whatever reason i never purchased anything until i saw this arrow bracelet and was smitten. can't wait for this to arrive!

how about some knuckle rings?? i love that these were on sale, adjustable and gold! score, score and score.
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and just because everyone needs a horseshoe in there this!

last but not least. the watch i don't know that i have looked at something for so long and waited forever to finally make this purchase but am so thrilled i finally pulled the trigger.

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oh and i had my parents here the past few days--best way to wrap up the month for sure.

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what are you crushing on lately?
happy day my friends!