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Category: Southern Newlywed

Sometimes it seems like all of the houses everywhere are white, white, white, yes? That doesn’t work for this color-loving gal, so when I spotted Megan Martin’s bright Florida home, I knew I wanted to share it here! The life she shares with her husband and three kiddos is equally breezy and beautiful, and I know you will love getting to know this sweet gal today. Enjoy, friends!

Thank you to sweet Sarahdipity Photos for this lovely glimpse inside the Martin’s home!

The couple: Megan and Jeremy Martin, 30 and 32
Years married: 6
Where they live: Jacksonville, Florida

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Hi! We are Jeremy and Megan Martin. We were both born and raised in sunny Jacksonville, Florida and still call the First Coast home. And we are the epitome of complete opposites! Jeremy is reserved, analytical, methodical, extremely smart, and intentional. I take chances on a whim, say yes and figure it out later, have a big imagination, and fail miserably at routines, ha! But you know what they say: opposites attract. Although wildly different, somehow, we just clicked from day one and have been learning how to love each other well ever since!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We’re just two people in love learning to live by grace, embrace the mess, and say yes to taking chances!
What is your favorite part of being married? Truly just doing life together! I love living out the slow, mundane, and daily routine with J just as much as I love the adventurous memories. It is all a joy.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? It really does take work. Once the rush of dating and wedding bells slow down, you have to be so intentional to be present and open with your spouse every day. It sounds so obvious, but as life goes on, it has been surprising to see just how real the work of growing together in marriage is. It is good work, though!

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? I don’t tend to splurge too much when it comes to our home. Almost every single piece of furniture in our home was handed down to us or thrifted and refinished to fit our style and I love it that way! My mom kept all of my Mema’s furniture, and when we got married, she let me choose pieces to fill our home with. My favorite piece is her vintage hutch. I painted it blue and gave it pretty new hardware. It is my forever something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue! To juxtapose the vintage pieces, I love to shop for more modern-inspired accessories. My favorite brands for the smaller details include Kate Spade, the Threshold line at Target, and amazing smaller designer businesses like Tonic Living, Framebridge, and The Lighting Connection.

Tell us a little bit about where you live. Since we first got married, Jeremy has had big dreams to build up a portfolio of residential real estate properties, so we’ve been working hard to make that happen. We’ve scrimped and saved and DIY renovated our way to home number three, where we live now!
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Moving in together was so FUN. Everyday felt like Christmas morning when we first got married! When it comes to our styles, Jeremy isn’t too opinionated about the actual visual design of our home but does appreciate clean and meaningful spaces. For us, blending styles has been more about being conscious of each other’s desires. He is so great about letting me stretch my design wings, so to speak, and I’m learning to lean into being intentional about details that matter instead of stuff for stuff’s sake.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? My favorite room in our home is the living room. When we moved in, Jeremy made the suggestion to not put a TV in our living room. We turned the traditional living room design around and have our couch on what would traditionally be the “TV” wall, facing the open floor plan. At first, I wanted to fill the open space on the other side of the couch, but we quickly found that having a big open void was perfect for our little family! The girls twirl and dance with Daddy. Sitting on the couch and watching them play is my favorite! It also lends itself to open conversation when we have guests over. No one feels like they are in their own corner, so it is easy for the whole house to feel together!

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We use our kitchen items most from our registry! We both lived with our parents before saying “I do,” so we registered for quite a bit of kitchenware. We registered for a timeless set of white dinnerware from Pottery Barn that effortlessly blends with any style and still use the same cookware and knives from our sweet wedding guests!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? I’d say register for the plush and nice towels! Six years later, I finally splurged on dreamy towels and they are the best! So random, but so good! ;)

Who cooks dinner? Most days I do! But there are plenty of afternoons where I call on J to pick us up something to make the evening easier!
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We are pretty simple eaters over here! Most weekdays we either eat skillet chicken or steak with a veggie or my favorite One Pot Pasta meal from Martha Stewart. I don’t plan weekend meals. We usually get together with friends and family on the weekends and figure it out as we go!
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I love the food blog The Girl Who Ate Everything! She has a ton of amazing and easy recipes to follow! I also frequent Martha Stewart’s food blog when I need cooking advice.

What most makes your house feel like home? Having our sweet memories framed on the walls really makes this place feel like home. I love catching glimpses every day of what can feel like distant moments!
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? My favorite memory from our wedding day was our last private dance in the reception space before we made our grand exit! Those last slow moments of soaking in our big day together were so special.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? I have a pretty keepsake box of wedding details and mementos that stays in our master bedroom. Every so often I will pull it out to remember our wedding day and now tell our story to our little girls. And my favorite photo from the night is framed in our living room!

How does your family handle finances? My husband is the brains behind our finances. Mostly because I am 100% a right-brained kinda gal! We don’t live by a strict budget, but I’m sure J wouldn’t mind it if we did. ;)
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? We don’t have a perfect balance by any stretch of the imagination. For us, it is all about little intentional choices. When we aren’t focused on daily making time for each other, we can quickly feel strain and stress in our relationship. The time won’t just appear. You have to make it! In our current season of life, that looks like getting up before the sun rises so we can have time to read and study the Gospel together and talk about what is going on in our worlds.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Jeremy is an Acts of Service guy and feels loved when he can come home from a long workday to a clean and uncluttered space. I don’t always make it happen (and he gives lots of grace there!), but I try to focus on serving him in the home so we can all enjoy a restful environment.
Do you have children? We have two little girls and one coming very soon in November! We are going to be surprised this time around and can’t wait to find out if we will be having a boy or girl!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… to learn our love languages. We are wired so differently, and the way we receive love is apart of that. In the early years, we often mistook genuine actions for selfish ones because we didn’t fully understand how we give and receive love individually. We are still learning and growing in love every day, but by simply understanding how to best show love to each other, even when it seems completely foreign, our relationship flourishes!

Thank you so much for sharing, Megan! Friends, you can follow along with Megan’s adventures on Instagram and on her site!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Sue reply

    Absolutely fantastic!

  2. avatar Baby Photography London reply

    Nice shots of the family! Specially the last one :)

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Some of my favorite pieces in my home, as simple as they may be, are the ones I had a hand in creating — like the cork board frame I painted sky blue and switch out every new year with our favorite Instagram prints from the past twelve months. My DIY skills are limited at best, so projects that make a big impact without requiring a big investment are what I’m looking for!

If I’m describing you, too, you will love Janet Crowther’s new book, A Well-Crafted Home! Janet holds a special place in our hearts because we featured her wedding to Collin a few years ago (which, unsurprisingly, was full of simple and chic DIY projects!). Janet and her wedding photographer, Julia Wade, have teamed up again for her second book, and the collaboration is a treat.

Janet is sharing her book’s easy tutorial for ice-dyeing today – enjoy!

From Janet: Ice-dyeing is seriously one of my favorite things to do and I hope you all will love it just as much! Once you have your completed fabric, you can use it to create several other projects in the book, like the blanket and ottoman pictured here.

Ice-dyeing is an easy technique using fiber-reactive dyes to make a colorful, almost crystalized pattern. As the ice melts over the fabric, it slowly disperses the dye and creates depth of color and multiple tones. Each dye session will yield stunning, one-of-a-kind results.

Supplies:
Gentle laundry detergent
1 pound dry, natural-fiber fabric like linen, silk, or cotton
3 gallons warm water
3 cups soda ash
5-pound bag of ice
1 tablespoon per color of fiber-reactive powder dye (see tip)

Tools:
Protective gear (gloves, eye protection, and face mask)
5-gallon bucket
Measuring spoons
Plastic sheeting, or drop cloth to protect work surface
Wide, plastic storage bin
Large, wire cooling rack (big enough to span the top of the bin, or you can overlap two or more on top of the bin)

Tip: Use as many colors as you want. I’ve made beautiful fabric using 5 colors, but even 1 color will produce outstanding results. For the blanket I used the following colors; rose red, jade green, rust brown, clear sky blue, and orange sherbet.

Steps:
1. Prewash your fabric with detergent to remove any grease or conditioners. Put on your protective gear.
2. Add the fabric and water to the bucket. Stir in the soda ash until it dissolves, then let the fabric soak for at least 15 minutes. Pull out the fabric and squeeze out the excess liquid.
3. On a flat surface, place the plastic sheeting under the storage bin to protect the surface. Set the wire cooling rack on top of the bin.
4. Scrunch up and twist the fabric loosely while placing it on top of the cooling rack. Make sure all of the fabric is within the edges of the plastic bin to keep any mess inside the bucket. Place a mound of ice on top of the fabric, covering as much of the fabric surface as possible.
5. Using a spoon, sprinkle the dye on top of the ice, one color at a time. Try not to overlap colors too much or the finished color will look muddled. Allow the ice to melt completely and leave the fabric untouched for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours.
6. Carefully remove the fabric from the rack. Rinse the fabric under cold water until the water runs clear. To help set the fabric, let it dry in the sun or place it in the dryer on the appropriate setting for the fabric. Before using, wash the fabric in the washing machine, by itself with detergent, then place it in the dryer on the appropriate setting.

Notes on safety: Whenever you are working with chemicals, always take the necessary precautions. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses to minimize contact with your skin. Always work outside or in a well-ventilated area. Utensils used for dyeing should never be used for food preparation.

Equal parts inspiration and DIY guide, A Well-Crafted Home is an irresistible resource for both aspiring makers and seasoned crafters. It’s currently available on Amazon and many other booksellers!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Kazie Fleming reply

    Janet Crowther’s new book, i’m loving it!

  2. avatar Jackie reply

    What an awesome DIY idea! I definitely want to try this out.

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Juicy peaches, ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sun-warmed berries, abundant zucchini — whether you cultivate a backyard patch or head to the farmers market each weekend, there’s no month like August for fresh produce. Instead of simply trying to gobble up as much as you can in the summer months (though absolutely NO judgment if that’s the route you take!), why not prolong the season by preserving your favorites through pickling, jams, and jellies?

Photo by Eric Kelley from Southern Weddings Volume 5

One of our most popular posts from the last ten years (!) is this simple jam recipe and accompanying printable mason jar labels from Homespun ATL that we originally featured in 2012. Whether you’re looking for a sweet wedding favor or just a fun newlywed weekend activity, we’ve got you covered!

P.S. This jam is meant to be stored in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of actual canning. (But feel free to use pretty jars, regardless!)

What you’ll need:
2 pints ripe strawberries (or about 5 cups), hulled and chopped
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
The juice of a whole lemon

What to do:

Bring all of these ingredients to a simmer in a dutch oven. Mascerate the strawberries until you have a bright, sticky, slightly chunky jam. Transfer to sterilized glass jars with tight-fitting lids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if you can make it last that long! Those biscuits are calling!

If you are feeling really adventurous, add a drizzle of balsamic and a few cracks of pepper to the jam while it’s cooking.

For the labels:

Download our PDF template here, and print onto regular paper or sticker paper. Cut along the black outline with scissors. If you’re using regular paper or cardstock, place the label on top of a mason jar lid, then screw the metal ring on top of it. Or, punch a hole through the top and hang it around your jar with a bit of twine or ribbon.

If you’re using sticker paper, cut out and place that pretty little label anywhere your heart desires.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Kyla Shattuck reply

    This is such a great newlywed idea! Dillon loves fruit, so this would be such a fun way to spend time in our kitchen together and bless him with a treat afterward! :)

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