Christmas Mantle

Happy Monday! Can you believe Christmas is 7 days away?! I’m freaking out– I haven’t bought the first gift. As a designer sometimes we are SO busy helping others that time just flies right on by. Although I did catch enough of a break to spruce up our office a bit for the holidays.

These gray and white gingham pillows where were it all started. I never go into Kirklands and just happened to visit their new location in our town, once I was in there I fell in love. They’re the perfect mix of Evan and Company and comfort. BTW, those pillows are on sale for $13.99 this week.

The mantel is the focal point of our office space. My desk sits in front of it and clients face it each time they come in. As always I wanted to create something that was brand cohesive and fun so I pulled together shades of gray, white and silver. Of course it had to match our pillows too.

A mixture of silver ribbon, taper and pillar candles, wrapped gift boxes and silver ball ornaments made up this years holiday mantle. These are mostly things I had around the office from years of christmas decor and collecting.

My tree is an artificial 6ft slim fraser fur that I actually picked up from Wal-mart about 3 years ago. I know, don’t judge me. But it was cheap and I was desperate and Wal-Mart was right there. I think my favorite addition are the white planter boxes we acquired from an event this past November. Doesn’t it make the perfect “tree skit/ stand”?!?

The tree has a about 4 rolls of ribbon on it,  an assortment of ornaments and picks. Each year I collect more and more stuff. The ornaments were purchased from Hobby Lobby a several years ago and the ribbon and picks are from a local floral outlet.

It’s certainly makes me smile each time I walk into work. What do you think? Have you thought of some ways to incorporate some over these ideas into your home of office decor next year?

Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to come back later this afternoon for a Christmas Tradition that we skipped last year, but   you’ll want to be a part of this year.

Oh and for those of you that are curious I linked some of my office furnishings here. They’re on sale this week too: Desk  Office Chair | Arm Chairs 

Pizza, Instagram, Comparison and what I’ve learned

This past weekend I packed my bags and went to hang out with my long time friend Brandon and his family—  They live Niceville, Fl.  The change of scenery was just what I needed.  Who knew there was such a place.  Ok, Ok! I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too… “Are the people of Niceville really nice?” I mean, they not mean. LOL

During my 4-day adventure, we spent a lot of time eating— Pizza, Hibachi, seafood, and even Chick Fil A. I’m stuffed thinking about it. By the way, If you’re in the area, you have to try the buffalo chicken pizza from Domonics. SO YUMMY! We even threw in some Alabama football too (he’s a HUGE fan). Y’all know I could care less, but I watched with a smile. You’re welcome, Brandon. But I think what I loved most about my time there was our conversations. It’s always fun to catch up and reminisce on old times, but it’s also fun to meet new people.

Greyson, Brandon and Amy

While in Niceville, almost as soon as I arrived, I met this sweet gal that attends their church. The following day we met again and it was as if we had been friends for years. Ok, not years, but months. Haha. She introduced me to her group of friends, but it was the way she introduced me that made me stop and think. “This is Evan. He has 5,000 followers on Instagram and a Youtube Channel.”  At first I laughed, thought it was comical and cute, but the more I thought about it, I couldn’t help but think, “is this what our world has come too?” Living in what people call the “Millennial Generation (myself included), we too often define our lives by the number of followers we have or the amount of likes we get.

Social Media has created this idea that “it’s okay to pretend to be okay.” We post only the pretty stuff.  The stuff that makes us look good. The stuff that makes people think we’re living a perfect life, but the reality of it is, we aren’t. We’re humans. We struggle. We hurt and most days we don’t have it all together.

As most of you know, over the last few years, I have been through some pretty rough patches in life. I never in a million years thought I would see the day my parents called it quits on their marriage. It hurt and it hurt deep. I’m known as the funny guy, the guy who makes people laugh, the life of the party if you will. It was during the darkest hours of my life, I lied to people. I pretended to happy, but deep inside I was hurting. I needed someone to talk to, but instead, I turned to the internet where I pretended to be ok.

During that time period of my life, one of the most important things I learned was that “Comparison is the Enemy of Self-Worth”. I realized that I was too worried about what others thought of me. I used social media (“Likes” and “Followers”) to validate who I was. I was more focused on my image being tarnished.  I learned the hard way that comparing myself to others and their accomplishments made me feel inferior. I let the disease comparison burry itself in me.  It destroyed who I was— my self-worth and my confidence.

Comparison will eat you alive if you let it, yet so many of us do. We compare our success, talents, job titles, relationships, looks and even our cars and house.  Genesis 1:27 says, “God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”  No one can take this away from us. We were created in the image of God and that alone is something to be proud of. Be who God created you to be.

 

Dream Big. Pray Harder.

Most of you don’t know but this past year has been a whirlwind of a year for our family. We’ve endured somethings that I never thought we’d have too. But no matter what came our way it wasn’t too big for God. He knew what we needed and when we needed it the most.

“Dream Big. Pray Harder” is my life motto. Since I read the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, my prayer life has never been the same. “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Why? because they don’t require divine intervention.” is one of my favorite quotes from the book. God WANTS us to Dream Big but most importantly he wants us to Pray even Harder.

My Mom is one of the strongest people I know. She’s been through the ringer this year, but she never once stopped Dreaming Big or Praying Hard. When we were younger, Mom quit school and put her career on hold to be a full time mother. She was going to school to be a nurse. I still think that’s hilarious. My Mom, a nurse? HAHAHA  Never in a million years, But it all make sense now… the Lord was preparing her. Preparing her to be help others. Geenks (AKA as Mom) always dreamed of being a teacher. Her heart for helping little ones learn is like nothing I’ve ever seen. She’s traveled the World pouring into the lives of children everywhere.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/chooperchristmas In May of 2016 I am thrilled to announce that she will be graduating with her degree in Elementary eduction from Auburn University Montgomery. As a part of her work study she will be traveling to Costa Rica this summer to help develop an elementary science curriculum related to rain forest ecology. Fancy Huh? Most of you are well aware that traveling isn’t cheap and times can sometimes be tough. I wish I could fund her entire trip, but I can’t. I wanted to surprise her so I came up will a brilliant idea… I know, I’m the worlds BEST son. 2015-12-08_0004 My brilliant idea… the “Dream Big. Pray Harder.” t-shirt.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas All the profits from the sales of these t-shirts will go towards Mom’s trip to Costa Rica. The shirts are $25.00 and include complimentary shipping. Pre-Orders begin TODAY. We will be accepting pre-orders until December 17th. If you are interested in giving one as a gift for Christmas they will be ready and shipped just in time. We are currently working on our e-commerce site and hope to have that ready in the next upcoming week or so. Until then if you are interested in ordering a shirt you can email: evan@evanandcompany.com.  View More: http://nickdrollette.pass.us/egcchristmas  I couldn’t have pulled this surprise project off without the help of the talented team of folks that are behind it. A HUGE thank you to Nick Drollette, Tiffany Taylor and Cameron Norris. We’ve quietly been working on the this for several weeks and I am thrilled it’s finally finished and ready for the world to see.

You’re going to be one heck of a teacher. Those kiddos will be lucky to have you. I LOVE YOU MOM.

Humbled

Yesterday, I did something that I typically wouldn’t do. Something that most would’ve considered out ordinary for me. I left my blog camera’s at home and told very few people what my plans for Wednesday afternoon actually were.

Why?

Because I wanted to do this for myself. Most of you are probably thinking I spent my day at the spa or shoe shopping but I didn’t. I volunteered at a local nursing home. I didn’t do it for publicity. I didn’t do it because a family member is a resident. I did it because I saw a need.  2015-12-02_0002 Mrs. Alberta Woodson has been volunteering at 6 different nursing homes and rehab facilities in our city for years. Residents look forward to seeing her walk through the doors each year for their annual Christmas Party. She leaves not detail untouched. Showering each resident with gift after gift. They don’t get just a candy cane– Mrs. Woodson does it up right. Wether it’s 40 patients or 200 they all go back to their rooms with an arm full of goodies.  Lotion, shampoo, socks, fruit baskets, cologne and they even get a few new clothes.

I’ll be honest with you though, I was unsure of what I was getting into. I hate hospitals and nursing homes. I don’t know what it is but it just freaks me out.  But I left South Haven nursing home yesterday  afternoon a better person that I walked in.

2015-12-02_0001 Thanksgiving has come and gone but the spirt of the holiday keeps on giving. I stepped outside to grab some extra cookies out of the car and when I walked back in I will forever remember the minute I stepped foot in the cafeteria. Nurses, volunteers and residents were gathered around  a boom box singing an old hymn. You couldn’t wiped the smile from my face. It was something I’ll hold in my heart forever.

Thankfulness is a choice and when we choose to be thankful our emotions have no reason but to be exude joy. It can be the smallest act of kindness, but when it’s given out of gratitude it’s bigger than we imagine.

As American’s we sometimes get so caught up in our bubble that we forget about everyday life around us. Wednesday was a day that I needed. A day that took me back to reality and made me realize a life isn’t so bad after all.

Thank You Mrs. Alberta Woodson has a servants heart and obeying the call that was placed on your life years ago. I was honored to be a part and look forward to Monday.