This is my humble collection of attempting to live a life full of lovely things. A blog highlighting crafty projects, inspiration, and all things delicate & detailed. To learn more click here.

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Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.


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Entries in Inspiration (156)


styling for this old house magazine

Sharing my most exciting styling project to date! The publication This Old House magazine hired me to style a gorgeous bathroom for their May issue.

Here's the first image from the layout—not too shabby, eh?

And another shot that wasn't used in the layout.

The "his vanity" pictured above is my favorite part, I just loved the little shaving details. And below is my name PRINTED in the issue. *pinch me!*

Such a great project and an incredible team to work with on location. Not to mention a beautiful subject (the historic/modern bathroom in St. Louis). And to make an incredible job even better—I'll be styling another project for the magazine next month! SO exciting. 

All photography/design owned by This Old House magazine // Produced by Tisha Leung

Photography by Alise O'Brien // Styling by Me // Interior Design by Joni Spear // More bathroom details on this Houzz feature


selling flowers at the market

My goodness it's nice to post some real photos. Here's a glimpse of my May venture.

Gotta sneak in a before. That way the "afters" are more exciting.

Overall I'm not sure this was a profitable gig, BUT I did have fun being a part of the market community and more importantly I'll most likely get a few paid projects from the networking. So still a small success. Being self-employed, it's always a risk to take on new ventures and always always a learning curve.

It also doesn't hurt when a trendy girl exclaims, "This looks like the cover of Pinterest!" as she sees my table. I love myself a good ol' ego boost.

Have a great weekend everyone!


back once again {and a portland itinerary}

It is not lost on me that my profession of "back to regularly scheduled blogging" has become a broken record. But here I am again with more instagram photos of my recent shenanigans. 

I just got home from a relatively unplanned road trip from Oklahoma City to Portland (that's a lot of driving, folks). My former college roommate needed a driving buddy to get from OK to the Northwest, and I just so happen to be the perfect travel companion.

Below are a few photos and also a great itinerary if you find yourself in Portland for a few days.

If you have two full days you won't regret these activities:

::: day one :::

- Start the day with a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts
- Next head on up to NW 23rd Street, where you can stroll along and visit all kinds of fun boutiques. We found some steal deals at Crossroads Trading Co. and you can grab lunch anywhere (we stopped at a McMenamins).
- Once you feel the drain of too much shopping, you are only a short drive to Powell's Books for relaxing read. If you're not shopped out yet, you are now conveniently located next to a few staples like West Elm and Jonathan Adler.
- For dinner, we headed over to the Alberta Arts District for some delicious tapas at Cruzroom. You won't be disappointed.

::: day two :::

- Start the day with a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts (haha kind of a joke...but kind of not)
- Our morning activity was a trip to peruse the Pittock Mansion. The amazing view of the city alone was worth it. The mansion was quaint and the grounds were a fun stroll too.
- Run into Bunk Sandwiches, grab a delious lunch and continue on to Mt Tabor Park for a picnic. (From Pittock to Mt Tabor takes you from one end of Portland to the other) Spend some time relaxing and conversating.
- Do not miss an afternoon stop at Salt & Straw. This ice cream is like no other, with seasonal rotations of sweetness.
- Another stop you must make is at Kennedy School. An elementary school converted to hotel/resturants/etc. I will make time to thoroughly explore this place again some day. So rad.
- Lastly, for dinner we ended the night at Tabor Tavern. It's a favorite of current resident/roomie, Mekala of Tie That Binds.

A busy few days but I loved ALL of it. Such a fun trip and I love my college roomies so much! Wish I could hang around those ladies more often! Anyone else have a favorite that I missed slash a must see for next time?!

All photos from my instagram, be sure to add @joyeverafter (me) to your feed! 


inspiration comes from ::: the work of my hands

This blog has never been consistently stable for editorial content (like diy's and columns). It's never been all that great as a lifestyle blog either. I do not consider myself a writer, and much prefer looking at pretty photos to reading & writing. I've bounced around in my blog journey, unsure of my actual goals as a blogger.

Bluntly, this is my journal of life as a creative and my various projects. So I want to get down to brass tacks, and write a few posts about what motivates my heart from its very depths. Those small parts of life that truly cause a yearning to thrive from within, you know?

Every spring is a miracle to me. I chose to invest in my dirt because it was an eye sore. Little did I know that every year would emerge a new joy to wash over my soul.

Sickly winter twigs suddenly sprout the smallest beauty.

From rocks there arises new life. Like pure magic.

Each year I forget what to expect. You can find me outside just staring at the ground, waiting to catch a glimpse of something new. It's like the anticipation of Christmas, but completely different. Unexpected and faithful. Sporadic but sustained. A reflection of grace renewed.

Like any baker or builder, there is a mountain of gratification with a job well done. Do you have any insprirations that offer continual surprise?


bloom inspiration

Anyone simply holding their breath, waiting for spring to arrive?!

I certainly am. And these gorgeous-to-die-for-flowers are just a little inspiration for the impending buds.

Annnd also ideas for my upcoming business venture! In May I'll be selling my own flower arrangements at the Farmer's Market...Eeeee! It might be too early to share the news but I cannot contain myself. So for now I'm collecting as many ideas as possible on my floral Pinterest board. Have you seen any simple arrangements lately that I should add? Or favorite blooms to make sure I include?

Image Sources: 1. Studio Choo on Design*Sponge // 2. Once Wed // 3. Wild Folk Studio Blog // 4. Emily Henderson // 5. Wild Folk Studio // 6. Photography by Jose Villa, featured on Once Wed //


color speaks

I think a little color will lighten my mood. How about you? What ways are you using color lately?


something wonderful

This quote jumped out at me today. Maybe because I've living in anticipation lately? Or maybe work has been slow and I've been thinking too much (and organizing!). Either way, expecting good things for your future is a must.


learn something

A reminder that each day holds a lesson for us to learn. Sometimes lovely. Sometimes unpleasant. Hopefully surprising.


welcome 2013

Mid January is when people recap their life talk & about their new year goals, right???

On top of life and put together is the story of my life....not so much. If I were to recap last year on Joy Ever After it would be a really short post—because I blogged maybe 6 months out of the year? It's like we're at that point in our relationship where we need to break up or tie the knot. Commit or move on.

Good thing deep down I DO love this relationship.

So here we go. Because my life feels a little complicated, my 2013 resolutions/goals/commitments are simple: Take Chances + Embrace Change.

This will be a challenge for me. I like being comfortable. Most people recap what they'd like to change—I recap that I DON'T want change. To be honest, I've avoided this "new year" post because last year was sooo comfortable. My freelance work flourished. My husband and I enjoyed living together, taking life pretty easy. We achieved many personal goals. We are part of an amazing community of friends and have a home that we love. Not much discontentment in 2012, and New Year's Eve didn't exactly bring excitment of great hope in 2013. Actually, I had a death in the family that night and spent early January surrounded by broken hearts.

And as I look to what this year will hold, I see a lot of change. A lot of risk. When life gets too comfortable, it's probably time for change. My husband and I will face decisions. Do we uproot this life we love? Do we exchange our freedom of comfort & ease to start a family? Do we dive in to a new job and a new community?

So here I am looking to a future of uncertainty and transitions. Leaving behind good things, in the hopes of greater things. Please stay with me to share this adventure.


a twinkle in your eye

I think I'd like to be more deliberate with purpose in heart from day to day. It's too easy to get caught up in mistakes, emotions, and worries—which is NOT our designed purpose.