Where else you can find me


Books I Have Loved Lately | No. 1

I love hearing what other people are reading.. just like knowing what people eat for lunch or buy from the grocery store. It may be odd, but its one of those questions I love asking!

I also have a habit to keep a book if I loved it or donate it if I didn't like it. I hate keeping books around the house just because. I only want to keep it if I would read it again or refer it to a friend. I've been thinking about this more as we are filling up the new built-in shelves in our living room. My college professor always said to bring a book with you wherever you go because you never know when you'll have five minutes to read. My challenge for myself is to follow that rule and most of the time I bring around one of these books because they are my favorites!

So without further ado, here are some books I have loved lately...

1. Pursuit of God - I first read this by myself and then again in a small group of women. I believe every page is underlined and filled with notes. A beautiful book that you just want to read over and over. Its a quick read in size but full of depth.

2. Jesus The King - If you ever ask for a book recommendation, I'll tell you to read Jesus The King by Timothy Keller. It walks through the life of Jesus that is laid out in Mark and how He came to change every part of our lives.

3. Uninvited - This is the book I didn't know I needed. The tagline says "Living loved when you feel less than, left out and lonely" which didn't resonate with me until I read the book. WOW - I believe every woman needs to read this book.

4. Wabi Sabi Welcome- My sister just gifted this book to me and although it is a beautiful coffee book table, I couldn't help but mark up the pages because the concept of Wabi Sabi has resonated with me so deeply. It's something I would love to work into my daily life and highly recommend you reading about. I also love that the whole book was shot on film and unedited.

5. Surf Shack - A beautiful book of how surfer's live. I was so shocked at how many surfers revolve their entire life around getting in the ocean and their homes reflect that...which is so beautiful to me. My favorite home featured in the book is TOM's founder, Blake Mycoskie.

6. Storybrand - If you have a business of any kind, you must read this book! Another recommendation from my sister (can you sense a trend?!) and full of invaluable information.

7. Profit First - Another business book for those of you confused by finances. The way that profits are explained in this book make so much sense - you just have to read it to understand!

8. Out Of The Saltshaker and Into The World - I recently read this book with another group of women and I love the way Rebecca Pippert approaches a lifestyle of evangelism. Basically, she takes the pressure off of you and shares how our lives are proof of the Gospel. It's challenging yet freeing to read this book!

I hope you found some books from this list to add to your own. I'm interested, what are your all time favorite books?!


FIVE Years of Shop Always Rooney

 This month marks five years of Shop Always Rooney and I couldn't be more grateful for the growth these five years have brought to my life. Last year, I closed up my shop for the holidays with the intentions of not coming back to selling leather goods. I was burned out, uninspired and tired of making custom orders. Honestly, I was looking forward to never having to make another passport cover again. Through this season I learned so much about myself and how tightly I was trying to hold on to my shop. I noticed the place it held above my relationships and even the anxiety it was bringing to my life so I figured the best thing to do was to step back. Throughout the break I wrestled with the idea of closing for good.

January rolled around and after a month off, I had a desire to get back to making things and take it one step at a time. The anxious feelings were still there but as I faced them head on instead of running away, I truly feel like I overcame in that area of my business. I'm learning daily that my identity is not in my work or what I do.

So this year has been unlike any other. Its been slower and allowed me the space to really think of what is ahead. I thought this would be the last, but I truly feel like this is now the beginning. I'm practicing leather working more, branching out of my little box, making handbags and dreaming of what is to come.

I'm so grateful for you following along, supporting my work and helping me to improve Shop Always Rooney

Photos by Monica Burgess


Iron & Wood Blanket Ladder Ikea Hack | DIY

Blanket ladders are not new on the home design horizon, but they are a staple item. I have been wanting to make an iron and wood ladder for quite some time and finally found the perfect hardware to use from Ikea. This Ikea hack is so simple and takes about an hour! Keep reading for the tutorial on how to make your own iron & wood blanket ladder.

Materials: 3 1x2 6 ft. pine boards, 3 in. wood screws, 2 pairs of Ikea BORGHAMN handles (16 3/4 in.), circular saw (optional), sandpaper, drill, measuring tape

How-To: Cut one of the pine boards down to 14.75 inches. This will go at the top of the ladder to keep it sturdy. Sand the cut with sandpaper to keep it smooth. Attach this piece between the two remaining boards 4.5 inches from the top using wood screws. Measure down 9 inches and mark where you'll create a pilot hole for the first iron handle. Drill a pilot hole and repeat on second board. Attach first iron handle using provided screws. Measure 12 inches down and repeat drilling the holes and attaching the handles.

*I did not use stain on my boards since I was careful to choose a wood (pine) that I liked the natural color of. If you want feel free to paint or stain your boards to match your home.

 I love how this ladder turned out. It is simple, functional and a perfect beginner Ikea hack!