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Guest Post: Decorating with Etsy


I have a third fantastic guest post! This one comes to you from Patty who blogs at Atlantic Chic –  a lifestyle blog she recently started with her sister Michelle. They are Jersey girls who love fashion, makeup, and traveling. Patty also blogs at Reach Your Peak, which is her original blog. Check it out for health and fitness tips and workouts!


Decorating With Etsy

Have you heard of Etsy? I’m sure you have, but if you haven’t, it’s a website where artisans can sell their crafts…anything ranging from art prints to jewelry to home decor.
I love Etsy, and even have my own Etsy shop myself, which I’ll talk more about at the end of this post. Buying things helps support artisans who are really passionate about their craft!

So if you’re trying to decorate (or re-decorate) your room or apartment, here are some great pieces you may want to check out!







How cute are all of those? Here’s a little background on my Etsy shop. My mom and I started it because we wanted to make cute gym bags. Most gym bags are boring colors, and we wanted bright, colorful prints. Our bags are also water resistant outside and inside!
But we also wanted to do this for a good cause. We teamed up with Manitos, which is a charity started by a woman in Brooklyn, NY. She started this charity to help children diagnosed with cancer in the South American country of Paraguay. This holds a special place in our hearts because my family is from Paraguay.
10% of all proceeds goes back to Manitos. We are actually visiting Paraguay this summer, so we plan on going to the Children’s Hospital and buying things the hospital may need.
Please check out our Etsy shop and take a look around! Some of are bags are custom made, so you choose a fabric from our swatches and we’ll make you the bag…your bag will be one of a kind!
What did you think of my Etsy finds?
Do you shop on Etsy?

Patty blogs at Atlantic Chic, which is a lifestyle blog she recently started with her sister Michelle. They are Jersey girls who love fashion, makeup, and traveling. Patty also blogs at Reach Your Peak, which is her original blog. Check it out for health and fitness tips and workouts!


Etsy Favorites


If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that I love Etsy. I appreciate that it is a platform that artists can share their creations and profit from truly beautiful pieces. Sharing the stories of small business owners is one of my biggest joys. I have found a few of my favorite shops on Etsy like 8:38 Designs and Plum Paper (see my posts about them here and here).

I wanted to share two more favorites with you: Pure Impressions and Vintage Stamp Jewels.

Pure ImpressionsPure Impressions

Pure Impressions (website here) was created by Laura Hunter. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, she now lives in Casper, Wyoming. Laura was such a sweetheart to send me the rings, bangles, and keychains pictured below! She loves creating handmade jewelry and says it is one of the most rewarding things you can do. She is also a full-time mom with a full-time job. I love stories like Laura’s because despite her extremely busy life, she still finds time to do what brings her the most joy – which in turn brings her customers joy! Not only will she work with you to create exactly what you want, she will also make and ship everything super fast.

I’ve loved working with her and highly recommend her store – it’s perfect for bridesmaids, graduation, wedding, and birthday gifts!

Follow Pure Impressions on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Big, middle, little sis

Vintage Stamp Jewels was created by Monica, a stay-at-home mom of three. In her spare time, she loves to create this beautiful jewelry.  Her pieces are perfect for brides and bridesmaids.

I requested a layered necklace for my older sister who was recently engaged. The first layer of the necklace had a simple elegant heart and the second had her new initials “CLS.” My sister loved it so much.

Monica was so generous and threw in a stunning personalized ring for me as well. I wear it everyday and receive so many compliments on it. She is so accommodating and you can tell she genuinely cares about getting her customers exactly what they want.

Follow VSJ on Twitter and Facebook!


Vintage Stamp Jewels

Vintage Stamp Jewels


8:38 Designs Discount & Necklace Giveaway

Cali Love Necklace

8:38 Designs creates gorgeous handmade jewelry that can be personalized beautifully. The owner of the store, Leslie, was incredibly generous in sending me some of her stunning work. Oh and guess what else? If you enter promo code SMALLTOWNROOTS between April 14th-18th, you will receive 20% off her amazing designs! I also have a giveaway for the California Love necklace pictured, so keep scrolling! 

Cali Love Necklace

I adore the California necklace Leslie sent me. Since I am moving out of the state in the fall, I thought this would be the perfect item for a giveaway! The contest begins at 12 a.m. on 7/14 and ends at 12 a.m. on 7/21. Entry is extremely easy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

She has been working on expanding her state collection – her Arkansas bracelet was even featured on Country Living Magazine and the Valentine’s Day Etsy newsletter!

Leslie sent me California necklace and wrap bracelet at my request but then she threw in the bangles as a surprise for me! She is just so sweet and listens to exactly what you want in terms of personalization. I asked her to print C+R on the wrap bracelet for my sister Chloe and her finance, Ron. When I gave my sister this gift, she was so beyond thrilled!

The jewelry from 8:38 makes perfect gifts for people because it’s beautiful and easy to customize. There’s something really special about giving somebody you care about a personalized gift.

8384 83810 83811

I was provided with all of this jewelry from 8:38 free of charge in exchange for a blog post/shop review. All opinions are my own. 




Outfit of the Day: April 3rd (part two)


So I completely forgot to include the pictures of my bag in today’s outfit of the day post! I don’t know what’s wrong with me today.

Anyways, I received this GORGEOUS bag from I Flew The Next – a monogram Etsy shop. It’s an incredibly high-quality bag and the color is just divine. I carried my laptop, planner, lunch, and a water bottle in it all day and it held up. It never hurt my shoulder or anything. Definitely check out this shop!


9 7

I was provided this bag from I Flew the Nest free of charge. All opinions are my own.


Outfit of the Day: April 3rd

Outfit of the Day April 3rd

Outfit of the Day April 3rdThis incredible kimono from Jane is the perfect spring addition to my wardrobe. The bright colors and floral print brighten up any outfit. The beautiful chiffon fabric feels light and fun. I also adore this Kappa Alpha Theta necklace from Tomi’s Treasures – an Etsy shop that I found. It’s so dainty and stunning – I love it!

Necklace: Tomi’s Treasures | Kimono: Jane | Ring: Texas Roots | Purse: I Flew the Nest | Jeans: Vigoss | Bracelet: Alex and Ani | Booties: Sofft | Hair: Bellami Extensions | Tank: Mossimo Supply

Outfit of the Day April 3rd9

Outfit of the Day April 3rd

Outfit of the Day April 3rdI want to talk briefly about Tomi’s Treasures. Tomi was incredible to work with. She was so interested in hearing about my life as a college woman. She worked so hard to provide me with jewelry that I wanted. I will post later about another amazing necklace she sent me (it’s in the shape of Washington state!). She went above and beyond to make it for me. I would highly recommend checking out her Etsy shop full of beautiful Greek jewelry. She even has hand-stamped bottle openers with fraternity letters on them! Anyways, I would just recommend you check her shop out for big/little gifts or a something special for a friend.

Outfit of the Day April 3rd

Outfit of the Day April 3rd7

I was provided with the kimono by Jane, ring by Texas Roots, and necklace by Tomi’s Treasures free of charge. All opinions are my own.



Outfit of the Day: March 26th

Outfit of the Day March 26

Outfit of the Day March 26

I went to the mall today to get all of my spring shopping done. It’s “warm” today – about 50 degrees – so I didn’t need a huge jacket or anything. This outfit is easy to throw together but it looks really polished. I just love it! I actually bought the hat today and threw it on as soon as I left the store. It complements my outfit nicely!

Cardigan: Forever 21 | Hat: Forever 21 | Tank: Target | Jeans: Hudson Jeans | Watch: Kate Spade | Shoes: Sofft | Bracelet: Alex and Ani | Rings: Colby June, Pure Impressions, Vintage Stamp Jewels

Outfit of the Day March 26

Outfit of the Day March 26 Outfit of the Day March 26



Colby June Giveaway

low2Colby June is one of my all-time favorite handmade jewelry designers. Based on the tiny details in nature, this intricate jewelry is beyond elegant.

Besides being an incredibly talented jeweler, Colby is also a mother, wife, and school counselor. Many of the designs are inspired by her daughter Parry’s free spirit and her husband’s taste in modern architecture. A testament to the balance of nature, Colby June’s dainty jewelry is absolutely remarkable.

She was generous enough to send me these two stunning rings. I wear the leaf one everyday. You can buy them on Etsy here.


I am also doing a GIVEAWAY for the “small twig” ring below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Rules:

Giveaway open to US Only. Begins at 12 a.m. 3/26/2014 and ends 4/2/2014 at 12 a.m. One winner will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries. Winner will be notified by email. The winner will then have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be selected. Odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries received. The use of multiple email addresses, Twitter handles, or Facebook Profiles is not permitted and will result in disqualification. Not completing entry requirements will result in disqualification.

Here are some images of items also available at Colby June:

Colby June provided me with the two small rings pictured. I did not receive any other compensation. All opinions are my own.


Greek Stationary from Greeked

Stationary from Greeked

Continuing my recent obsession with Etsy, I stumbled across the store Greeked. The owner, Lisa Arnett, created this spin-off from her other Etsy stationary store, Skel Design, to have a Greek emphasis.

Greeked offers extremely cute to-do lists for almost every sorority. For an office supply addict, this is one of the best things ever. I love making to-do lists. There’s something about crossing items off that’s extremely satisfying.

Please check out Greeked on Etsy here.

Please also check out Skel Design here.


Skel Design creates super cute prints like this one!

Skel Design creates super cute prints like this one!

Stationary from Greeked Stationary from Greeked

Lisa was kind enough to throw in the “Keep Calm and Get it Done” notepad as well in the package she sent me. It was such a generous surprise! I loved it!

When I emailed Lisa, she was genuinely interested in my life. I really enjoyed working with her and it was fun to hear about how she was a Delta Gamma at UCSB and her daughter is an Alpha Phi at UT! I love meeting other sorority women!

I would highly recommend ordering through her because she clearly values customer service and everything shipped so quickly.

Here are some more examples of their Greek stationary:

Greeked sorority designs Greeked sorority designs

Please check out Greeked on Etsy here

Please also check out Skel Design on

Greeked provided me with the four notepads “Big,” “Little,” “Kappa Alpha Theta,” and “Keep Calm and Get it Done” for free. I was also provided the “When I laugh with my family…” print for free. I did not receive any other compensation. All opinions are my own.


Incredible, One-of-a-Kind Sorority Jewelry

Kappa Alpha Theta pendants

A retired art teacher of 32 years, Donna Johnston spends her winters in Texas, her summers in Michigan, and free time making incredible sorority jewelry. Donna has been a member of the Greek community for over 60 years! She is a member of Pi Beta Phi – passing her legacy down to her granddaughters. Using them as her inspiration, she began designing these beautiful pendants that she sells through her Etsy shop. Please check out her amazing sorority pendants that are only $19.50 plus $5 shipping here.

Kappa Alpha Theta pendants

Completely her own designs, Donna draws them first in ink, sends them to a lazer to cut them out of brass, and then she finishes the cutting process by filing each one and tumbling them for about 18-24 hours. After this, she puts a bail on each and they are plated in gold or silver. It’s incredible to think that each stunning pendant has so much thought, care, and time put into it.

Donna was beyond generous to send me two pendants for my own sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. When I first opened the package, my breath completely left me. I had seen her designs online, but seeing them in person is a completely different experience. The attention to detail is so clear in the design and quality of the pendants.

Outfit of the Day March 20

While Donna’s jewelry takes center-stage, I also want to talk about Donna herself because she’s an incredibly inspiring woman. I had the incredible privilege of being able to chat with her over email and learn a little about her life. The legacy Donna has left behind her is absolutely remarkable. I respect her so much.

Here are some of the many jobs Donna has had:

  • Art teacher for grades K-12
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Third grade teacher
  • Fifth grade teacher
  • Seventh grade teacher
  • Professor at Bowling Green University
  • Professor at Eastern Michigan University
  • Professor at Toledo University
  • Workshop teacher at local schools
  • Teacher at the Toledo Museum of art (children and adult classes)
  • Supervising teacher for student teachers
  • Elementary Principal
  • Author of her own book, “Now This is Art!”
  • Art gallery owner


I don’t know about you, but if I were to accomplish 1/4 the amount Donna has, I would be incredibly satisfied with my life. She also teaches art classes from her home and participates in art shows. She also attends various art classes like the watercolor class she’s enrolled in now! I highly recommending checking out her book – it’s great for young educators looking for new ways to teach art. Donna has put so much time and thought into it, it won’t disappoint.

Donna shared this quote with me from somebody she met at a meeting a few years ago: “We are always in the process of becoming!” Donna lives by this and firmly believes that constantly learning is what keeps one young in mind and heart.

I am beyond inspired by this woman. At almost 85 years old, she still has a thirst for knowledge. Her kindness, generosity, and passion shine through her incredible life’s work. I hope to live as full of a life as Donna has. She has inspired me to follow my passions and have the heart of a servant. Her dedication to education is remarkable. I am sure she has changed the lives of so many. I can only hope that I lead as a fulfilling of a life as Donna has.

Working with her has been an incredible pleasure. I hope that everybody reading this checks out her sorority jewelry store as well as her personal art store. I wish there was some way I could give back to this woman who has inspired me more than she knows.

Donna is licensed to make pendants for the following sororities:

Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Zeta Tau Alpha

Please check out her amazing pendants that are only $19.50 plus $5 shipping here.

I received these pendants from Sorority Jewelry free of charge. All opinions are my own.