10.01.2014

Portraits of Home - A 31 Day Photography Challenge | Day 1



Welcome to the start of my 31 Day Challenge for the month of October, founded by Myquillyn Smith from Nesting Place.

She has a motto that is the theme of her blog and recently published book:

"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."

My home is not perfect, and some areas aren't even beautiful. I am not trying to capture magazine-like layouts of precisely staged rooms, although I appreciate the time, detail, and artistic talent that contributes to those great interiors. These 31 days are about creating images that portray what home means on a universal level -- comfort, safety, nourishment, and family. The biggest challenge for me will be turning our everyday, practical space into something portrait-worthy (with my everyday, amateur Iphone camera).

Thank you for visiting! I hope you feel at home.

---> Nicki


9.30.2014

Recap & Roundup: September 2014

Happy Fall everyone! Can you believe it's already here?


This is what September looked like around T-shirt & Jeans:

Designer interpretations of the royal blue color trend on instagram

A late summer/ early fall outfit

My decadent birthday cake

The role monster trucks play at our house

Photos of our Labor Day outing to the Minneapolis city lakes (don't miss the red door)

One of my favorite dresses

A glimpse into my blogging process, and some blog friends

Some personal thoughts on change as my son started school

A simple, natural leaf garland craft with a bit of glimmer to it


Here are some of my favorites from around the web:

A beautiful fall home tour

An inspiring food blog with simple, stunning photography

This post on life's simple pleasures. So inspiring-you just have to read it.


Next month I will be joining The Nester's 31 Day Challenge, where I write on one topic each day in October. My series is going to be "Portraits of Home," and will be a lot of photography on a subject close to my heart. If you are here for fashion or crafts or whatever else, hang in there with me- those will be back in November. I hope to keep this October series interesting and diverse - it will truly be a "challenge!" (Wish me luck)

Thanks, as always, for visiting! Hope you had a great September.

---> Nicki

9.25.2014

DIY Metallic Fall Leaf Garland


We do a lot of seasonal decorating with garlands around here. At this point, we don't have a fireplace mantel, kitchen island, or long console table to deck out each holiday, and our other tables are too close to little (rearranging) fingers. Garlands are a good solution, and always make a room feel festive.


This fall, I wanted a sparkly leaf garland. I thought about glitter, but then found this metallic faux bois paper at Michael's (Recollections Collection). The simple brown was perfect, and I liked that it had a bit of natural texture.


The garland was so easy to make. I ended up just drawing two leaf templates (printer problems), but they are similar to this template from Oil and Blue.


This paper has a thickness and pliability that cuts really nicely. It almost has a fabric-like quality. I punched two small holes near the stem, and threaded some metallic twine through (from Paper Source). I made a slight crease in the middle of each leaf for a final touch.

There are 12 leaves total, and I used 3 sheets of paper.


That's it!



Happy Fall Decorating!

---> Nicki

Sharing with > Mod Vintage Life > The Dedicated House > Confessions of a Plate Addict > Coastal Charm > Rustic Refined > Tumbleweed Contessa > Elizabeth Joan Designs > Twelve O'Eight > Huckleberry Love > Sand & Sisal > Cozy Little House > Art is Beauty > Elizabeth & Co. > A Stroll Through Life > We Are That Family > Katherine's Corner> Artsy Fartsy Mama > Chic California > Imparting Grace > What's Cooking Love  > Miz Helen's Country Cottage > The Charm of Home > Craftberry Bush > Liz MarieNancherrow > Bacon Time with Hungry Hypo > Shabby Nest > Pieced Pastimes > Thoughts from Alice > Silver Pennies Sundays > It's Overflowing > Clever Chicks > By Stephanie Lynn >

All images by Nicki Hawes

9.23.2014

Sunday Thoughts: Adjusting to Change

We had a big change in our family this fall. Our oldest started attending kindergarten. All day kindergarten, which is now law in Minnesota.

As I was spreading peanut butter on one slice and jelly on another Labor Day evening, my mind began to absorb all the new adjustments this would mean for us. School is a whole different ballgame, with bus schedules, permission slips, and not being with my child for most of the day. I summed up my feelings of that night in a square Instagram picture of the lunch bag, with the caption "Having second thoughts about this whole kindergarten thing...," and hit publish.

My next personal Instagram post, less than 24 hours later, was of my boy. He had a bus tag around his neck, a backpack on his shoulders, gel in his hair, and a big smile on his face. My hesitant feelings were pushed aside by pride and excitement. I remembered how much I loved school at his age. The colorful books and charts, songs and rhymes, and the little desks with everyone's name spelled between the solid and dotted lines. I loved tasting "stone soup," playing hopscotch, lining up for assemblies, and counting on my fingers.

Kindergarten was the best.

Now, my son gets to have similar experiences, and as I walked him to class the first morning, I felt the jittery butterflies that always accompany a new school year.

Our middle child is going through a big adjustment too. His best friend and constant companion is suddenly gone. For the first hour of that first morning, we both felt a little lost.

We picked ourselves up and went to the park. As we threw rocks into the pond and ran around the baseball field, he seemed to relish my focused attention. He poured out every thought in his mind, and chattered nonstop. I realized this was an important time for him and our relationship. 

This is the thing about change: there are always pros and cons. Benefits and losses. Windows opening when doors close.

I've heard that nothing compares to carefree adolescence, that young family life is the prime stage, and that the golden years are the most rewarding. I take comfort in these contradictions, and conclude that every phase can be full and rich. 

Change will always be around the corner. May as well learn to embrace it. 

Happy Sunday,


Image by Nicki Hawes 

Why I Blog -- A Blog Tour


I am excited to be participating in The Blog Tour (or Touring Through Blogland) today. I've enjoyed reading many other blog tours, and getting a little glimpse of the process of other bloggers.

All images from Simply Suzanne's At Home

I was asked to join this tour by my lovely friend Suzanne of Simply Suzanne's At Home. I once saw a commenter describe her blog as rejuvenating and restful, and I couldn't agree more. When I visit Suzanne's blog, I truly feel at home. She has impeccable taste, and styles every dish and photo in a classically beautiful way. Her recipes are as inspiring as her photography; I want to try everything she cooks. Be sure to pay Suzanne a visit. She has some really exciting fall posts coming up (I can't wait to see her butternut squash pizza).

Now a bit about T-shirt & Jeans:

What I am working on...

A few months ago I blogged about our boy nursery, and how we had plans to redecorate it for our girl. Those plans are starting to come to life, and I have posts in the works about the process. I am also working on several fall-related posts, including decorations, snapshots, and cozy fall outfits. I am toying with the idea of joining The Nester's 31 Days Challenge, and doing a series on portraits of our home. We'll see what happens... 

How my work differs from others...

T-shirt & Jeans is similar to many lifestyle blogs out there, but the main thing that sets it apart is, well... me. I've read advice from numerous bloggers about "being yourself" when blogging, and I've really taken that to heart. I chose the name T-shirt & Jeans because it represents my casual style, but it also represents my laid-back personality and our informal family lifestyle.

My writing process...

I always have several post ideas swimming around in my head, and I usually keep a list of potential topics. I select from that list and create a schedule in my blog calendar. If inspiration strikes, or a post is seasonal or time-sensitive, then I rearrange my schedule.

I type rough drafts throughout the day, often from my phone as thoughts come to me (in between changing diapers and loading the dishwasher). I always try to have a post up Mondays and Thursdays, so I am usually finalizing my drafts the evenings before. Sometimes I go days without writing anything, and other times I can't type fast enough to capture the flow of ideas.

Why I blog...

Blogging is a much-needed creative outlet for me. I have visited blogs for years, and was always drawn to ones that were uplifting, honest, and inspiring. I hope to have a blog where readers can come relax at the end of the day.

< - - - - - - - - - - - - - - >

On to my features. I think the best thing about a blog is the personality of the writer. My friends below all have great personalities, and I look forward to learning more about them with every post. Here are my featured bloggers:

All images from Me With the Three

Me With The Three
I always enjoy reading Meg's blog about her family life. She has a down-to-earth style that puts you at ease, she is a really fun mom, and she has an amazing talent for photography. I enjoy seeing her vintage finds and her great photography tips, but mostly I appreciate how she captures everyday moments, and the obvious love she has for her family.

All images from Army Wife to Suburban Life

Army Wife to Suburban Life
I found Jessica's blog when I was looking for helpful blogging advice. She has several great posts with in-depth ideas I had not seen before. As I explored other parts of her blog, I found a smart, savvy writing style that comes through in every post, from crafts to culinary creations and practical life tips. Jessica is a strong army wife, dedicated mother, and an artist at heart. Her blog is a good mix of sensible and fun, and I always manage to laugh out loud when reading it.

All images from Black Little Button

Black Little Button
My friend Whit has a beautiful, honest lifestyle blog that chronicles her life as an army wife. Even with her husband far away, she keeps a positive attitude and is a wonderful mother. "Little Black Button" represents the button on her camera, and she has a series where she challenged herself to take a portrait every week in 2014. Whit also has an inspiring list of awesome goals. Be sure to check out her stunning photography website, full of soft, light-filled images.

This concludes my blog tour. I hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to watch for my featured bloggers to post their tours in the upcoming week.

---> Nicki

Sharing with > Ember Grey > She Lives Free > A Juggling Mom > Life of Faith > A Mama's Story > Oak and OatsModest Mom > A Harvest of Blessing > Cornerstone Confessions > Works for me Wednesday > Things I Can't SayImparting Grace > The Wiegands > A Mama Collective > This Darling Day > Pieced Pastimes > Mod Vintage Life > The Dedicated House > Confessions of a Plate Addict > Coastal Charm > Rustic Refined > Tumbleweed Contessa > Elizabeth Joan Designs > Twelve O'Eight > Huckleberry Love > Sand & Sisal > Cozy Little House > Art is Beauty > Elizabeth & Co. > A Stroll Through Life > We Are That Family > Katherine's Corner> Artsy Fartsy Mama > Chic California > Imparting Grace > What's Cooking Love  > Miz Helen's Country Cottage > The Charm of Home > Craftberry Bush > Liz MarieNancherrow > Bacon Time with Hungry Hypo > Shabby Nest > Pieced Pastimes > Thoughts from Alice > Silver Pennies Sundays > It's Overflowing > Clever Chicks > By Stephanie Lynn >

9.18.2014

A Pretty Dress


In my closet hangs a pretty, pleated, flowing, snakeskin dress.



I don't remember the exact date that I first wore it.  


I do remember a co-worker commenting on how she missed the "pretty dress memo" when I came to work in it one day. I had that job a decade ago.




This dress has been my Sunday best and business staple. I've worn it as a single person and as a wife. A working professional, and a mother.

  
It's even been stretched into a maternity dress for the first half of all 3 pregnancies.

It's forgiving like that.



There are periods where I get tired of it and leave it in the back of my closet for a while. But I always end up pulling it out after a bit of time has passed, and thinking, "This is such a great dress."



That's what classics are all about, don't you think? 




Do you have a favorite staple that's been in your closet for years?

---> Nicki

Sharing with > Mom Trends > The Style Record > Not Dead Yet Style > Lipgloss and Crayons > Oak and Oats > Coastal Charm > Tumbleweed Contessa > Elizabeth Joan Designs > Twelve O'Eight > Huckleberry Love > Sand & Sisal > The Fashion Canvas > I Do deClaire > Cozy Little House > Art is Beauty > Elizabeth & Co. > A Stroll Through Life > The Pleated Poppy > Cappuccino & Fashion > We Are That Family > Katherine's Corner > Let Your Light Shine Thursday > Sincerely Jenna Marie > Tres Chic Fashion Thursday > The Red Closet Diary > Artsy Fartsy Mama > Chic California > Imparting GraceThe Charm of Home > Craftberry Bush > Liz MarieNancherrow > Musings of a Housewife > Penniless Socialite > Rachel the Hat > Style Elixir > Shabby Nest > Pieced Pastimes > Thoughts from Alice > Silver Pennies Sundays > It's Overflowing > Clever Chicks > By Stephanie Lynn >  

All images by Nicki Hawes
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