Dec 31, 2018

Christmas 2018 - A Little Recap

Christmas 2018 Recap

I can't even believe it's already New Years Eve and another year is almost behind us! What happened to December? Or the whole year for that matter?? Even though I've been listening to Christmas music since Halloween, I feel like the whole Holiday season flew by WAY too fast. Faster than usual even. And for me, it was probably because I wasn't in the most festive mood until just a few days before Christmas....

Dec 13, 2018

Merry & Sweet: A Christmas Cookie Recipe Roundup

holiday cookie recipe roundup

Anyone else feel like the Holidays are sneaking up WAY to fast?! I haven't been in the most festive mood and have been slow to get my shopping done! (Someone tell me I'm not the only one!) Hoping to squeeze in some baking this weekend though -- usually sugar cookies & peanut butter blossoms -- but thinking I'll try one of the recipes below too...

Dec 3, 2018

FREE Printable Holiday Gift Tags

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

The new 2018 Holiday gift tag collection is here! This little freebie became such a tradition on my old blog that I actually felt sad not sharing any last year. (I wasn't blogging or designing much.) Even though this year has also been slow on the blog/design front, I knew I wanted to design and share a new set!

And once I started designing, I couldn't stop! So there are THREE new sets! (haha) My "normal" set with a little twist (a pretty scalloped edge!) and there are also two "fun" sets. I wanted to design a set of Santa/North Pole "mail" tags that you can even check off if they were naughty or nice. I also wanted something for my pet people! I designed those dog/cat faces years ago and wanted to incorporate them somehow. Both of these new designs are simple, sweet and great from kids, dog/cat people or anyone that's a kid-at-heart.

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

Download them using the links below and get to wrapping! I would suggest a cardstock paper, trim to size using scissors (or if you're like me, an xacto) and attach with some pretty string or washi tape!

The black & gold are always a fan favorite, but I'm kind of loving the colorful ones this year! I'd love to know your favorite! If you need even more options or feel like mixing & matching, check out my previous collections right here!

Save ink and print them off at your favorite office supply store, like Staples or Office Max. If you do want to print at home, you can usually buy a few single pages of cardstock (for cheap!) from them too!
Just go to the print center and ask!

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

Happy wrapping and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you! I really hope you enjoy using them as much as I loved designing them!

If you do use them, snap and share a picture on Instagram!
Tag me (@unionshore) and use #unionshoreholiday so I can see your pretty wrapping!!

LUMP OF COAL (black) // NAUGHTY & NICE (black & gold)

Want even more? Check out my past collections, here.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Free for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Printables can NOT be used for commercial use, edited or redistributed. You can't claim as your own or sell for a profit either. You CAN share this printable on your blog or social media, but please give credit and link directly to this post and NOT the downloadable file. Print results may vary depending on your printer and type of paper being used. If you have any issues/questions, please contact me. Thanks! :)

Nov 20, 2018

Support Small Business: 20+ Makers You Should Check Out

shop small, support small business

I know turkey day is two days away, but I wanted to share some awesome small shops that I think you'll like too! Many of them will probably have some great discounts this weekend since it's BlackFriday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday (lol), so I wanted to share now, so you can keep a lookout!

This is just a small list of the amazing makers out there! So grab some coffee (or hot cocoa) and start browsing! And maybe send some support their way! ;)

Nov 17, 2018

12 Recipes You Might Want To Add To Your Thanksgiving Menu

It’s so hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be here in a few days! I'm not exactly sure what I'm making yet because it's just the 2 of us. Plus Brandon has to work in the afternoon, so we'll be keeping it very low key and simple over here!

Since our "feast" will be very low key and simple, I’ve rounded up a few drool-worthy recipes that I wish I was enjoying. The only thing missing from the roundup is the turkey, because I figured you've already got that under control. And because Thanksgiving isn't JUST about the turkey! The sides and desserts are just as important! ;)

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

I'm drooling over here! I seriously want to try them all!
Also, just an FYI, I haven't actually tried making any of these. But they sure look delicious, don't they?

What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
And if you have a favorite recipe or food blog, leave a link in the comments!

pumpkin cinnamon rolls // apple french toast bake // cranberry brie bites
roasted veggies with maple balsamic // sausage stuffing // cauliflower bacon gratin
shredded brussels sprouts // butternut squash mac and cheese // honey maple carrots
no bake mini cheesecakes // salted caramel pumpkin pie // pecan slab

Nov 15, 2018

It's Not Nice To Steal

Not really a post I wanted to write today (or ever), but after finding my work stolen for the third time, it was time to address it. And I know the saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but it doesn't really feel good when your EXACT design is ripped off.

It’s nothing new to be inspired by another artists work. I’m inspired by amazing designers all the time, but there’s a huge difference between being influenced and completely ripping off someone's work. I’m not even talking about copying or when a design looks eerily similar. Yeah, that's not very cool either, but I think most designers have been there, on both sides. I’m mainly talking about knowingly lifting someone's design and claiming credit as your own. It's even worse when you profit from it. It's just wrong on so many levels!

For me personally, I don’t mind if you create something similar (not exact) to mine and use it for your own personal use. Of course, I’d love for you to purchase my products, because my little shop helps support my family. If you’re creative and crafty and I can inspire you, that’s great! Giving me proper credit or a link to my site is always appreciated too. But when someone crosses the line, and sells it commercially, I am not cool with that! I will report you (on Etsy, Zazzle, etc.) and take legal action, if necessary. As kids we're taught that stealing is wrong. It's not any different when your an adult or artist... you just don't do it! It’s wrong to claim and sell work that you didn’t spend time working on.

I have found my work stolen on 3 different occasions (that I know of) and it really sucks. In these instances they weren't even a copycat issue, they were blatant theft of my exact designs. The thief's literally used my free printable tag files (twice) and then I also found a few of my floral patterns (from Society6) being sold on larger site. I design things with heart and passion and so much time and effort goes into my work! Especially when I offer something for FREE, don't go around trying to sell and profit for your gain! It's just wrong and  when karma comes around, I hope it's not nice to you!

Please, don’t be "that" person.
You can be inspired, but please don't steal.

photo by dillon shook on unsplash

Nov 11, 2018

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags - Past Collections from Creative Index

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags by Union Shore Blog

If you read or followed my previous blog, Creative Index, you might already be familiar with these tags. If not, at one time, I was a much better (and more consistent) blogger and I always looked forward to designing these Holiday tags! It was always one of my favorite freebies to do and I seriously had so much fun designing them. It was even better to see people tag me in their posts/pictures... it made my heart so happy!

Even though my old blog is still up, I updated the files with my new blog name/logo. I also wanted them all in one place, hopefully making it easier to find and download, so I'm linking all of my previous collections below... each collection was designed to compliment the previous years, so feel free to mix and match! The options are endless!

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags by Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags by Union Shore Blog

And stay tuned.... I'm working on a brand new set for 2018! I wasn't blogging last year and this year has been kind of slow, but I'm excited to release a new set around Thanksgiving! But for now, have a look at my previous designs and hope they help to make your gifts a little more festive!

If you do use them, snap and share a picture on Instagram!
Tag me (@unionshore) and use #unionshoreholiday so I can see your pretty wrapping!!

** Each set has 2 pages of designs. Colors appear slightly different on screen and print results may vary depending on your printer and the paper you use. (ex. the red is brighter/bolder on my screen then actually printed) **

Each year/tag collection may not be available in every color.

LUMP OF COAL (black) // NAUGHTY & NICE (black & gold)
CANDY CANE (red) // SUGARPLUM (whimsical colors)

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Free for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Printables can NOT be used for commercial use, edited or redistributed. You can't claim as your own or sell for a profit either. You CAN share this printable on your blog or social media, but please give credit and link directly to this post and NOT the downloadable file. Print results may vary depending on your printer and type of paper being used. If you have any issues/questions, please contact me. Thanks! :)

Want to get on Santa's "NICE" list? I'd love for you to share this post on your blog
or if Pinterest is your thing, go ahead and pin one of these images.
Your support is very much appreciated! ;)

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags by Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags by Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags by Union Shore Blog

Oct 23, 2018

Cozy Sweaters That Caught My Eye

Sweater weather is finally upon us here in NC! Temps are falling, the mornings/evenings are quiet brisk and I'm ready for all things warm & cozy! I already have a few too many sweaters in my closet plus I'm trying not to spend money on unnecessary things, so a little window shopping was in order.

I rounded up a few favorites that caught my eye recently and that should keep us cozy through the Fall and Winter (ugh) months...

I might just have to splurge and buy the belmont! It looks so cozy and there are so many color options. The danika and pom pom sweaters are also favorites because of the pattern detail! I'm usually a solid/neutral kind of girl, but I'm loving all the patterns and colors! And as someone who never really shopped at Abercrombie in high school, I'm liking a lot of their sweaters! I might be a little "old" for the store and I'm not really sure how they will fit/look on me, but I might have to try a few on...

Any of these sweaters catch your eye?
Any stores that you never really shopped at before, and now you kinda love??

Alright, go shopping! No affiliate links used.
belmont // boucle cardigan // rainsford
danika // chevron colorblock // lace bottom
cable mock neck // textured crew // waffle cardigan
pom pom // funnel neck pullover // open front cardi-coat

Oct 11, 2018

6 Things I Loved In September

Trying to find my way back into blogging... So I'm starting today with a monthly series sharing some of my favorite things! When I was a way better blogger, I saw a similar post and thought it was fun, so this is my take! Each month (hopefully within the first week), I'll share some of my favorite and very random things I enjoyed from the previous month! Anything goes.... beauty, food, books, tv shows, apps, products.... anything I liked, used, found helpful, I want to share with you!

Let's jump right in! Here are a few things I loved in September...

Oct 10, 2018

An Update On Sonny

Well, we just passed the 4 month mark with Sonny boy. On one hand, it feels like yesterday and then on the other hand it feels like much longer. I'm not gonna lie, there have been some very stressful days. I may even have a few more gray hairs because of him (lol) but I'm so glad he's part of our family.

Sep 27, 2018

Helping After Hurricane Florence

It has been almost 2 weeks since Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast.

Even though I am extremely thankful that our tiny corner of the state was fortunate enough not experience the furry of Florence, my heart is still vert heavy. The people in New Bern, Wilmington and all the towns in-between (most are only a 2-3 hour drive away) are dealing with so much loss. Homes destroyed, pets abandoned, lives lost… I can't even imagine what they are going through. It's going to take time to rebuild and get back to normal, so please keep them in your continued prayers, and if you feel like donating I'll leave a few links below: 

Mercy Chefs - provides professionally prepared meals for victims, volunteers and first responders in national emergencies and natural disasters

Operation BBQ Relief - another great group feeding victims and first responders

Convoy Of Hope - helping affected people & neighborhoods by distributing supplies, helping with debris removal and so much more

Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC - provides essential food and supplies to those impacted

Diaper Bank of NC - distributes personal care & hygiene items

Good Shepherd Center - feeding the hungry & sheltering the homeless

New Hanover County Sheriff's Office - several officers/personnel had significant damage or total losses

OBAH Search and Rescue - non-profit comprised of certified first responders, deploying into Natural Disasters since Hurricane Katrina to rescue the animals left behind or displaced

Frank's Way Foundation - after losing his dog during Hurricane Harvey, Frank's Way was started to care for the animals that are often left during natural disasters

Paws Place Rescue - a no-kill shelter dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation & adoption of dogs that was severely damaged

+ Or shop for a cause! Profits from these shirts (here // here // here) and these art prints (here) are being donated to relief efforts.

+ For even more causes, check out this list of highly-rated charities on Charity Navigator. I'm sure there are even more if you search! Just make sure to double check and do some research to make sure it's legit!

+ Local OBX friends, Barrier Island Bagels (one of my favorite places!) is collecting food & supplies at their shop! They've already delivered 2 trailers and want to deliver more! Check out their insta for more info!

Jul 5, 2018

Life According To My iPhone

We live pretty boring lives around here, especially with Brandon's schedule lately. But I wanted to pop in, say hello, do some catching up and share some photos from my camera roll.... some instagrammed, some not. ;)

Jun 18, 2018

Meet Sonny

There's a new furry face around here!

We have been going back and forth about having another pup in our lives for a few weeks now. I'd been looking at different cocker spainel rescues and local shelters and when we saw this guy at the SPCA, we decided to go meet him!

Apr 29, 2018

Sunday Morning Coffee | No. 03

I can't believe November was the last coffee talk! Sorry!! So let's do some catching up and you can enjoy your morning cup with a pretty view, sound good?

So grab your cup of coffee (or tea) and let’s chat!

Apr 17, 2018

Spring Blooms - A Free Desktop Wallpaper

Free Download - Spring Floral Desktop Wallpaper - Union Shore Blog

Hi friends! First off, sorry I’ve been so MIA recently!

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things and I haven't shared a freebie in a while, so...... I created a FREE floral wallpaper to brighten up those desktops, inspired by one of my best-selling patterns... and the lack of Spring weather everyone seems to be getting. :-/

Mar 28, 2018

Catching Up...

Since I totally fell off the blogging train, I thought we should probably catch up a bit.

Mar 22, 2018

Get Your Soul Right

I'm not talking about going off into the mountains and secluding yourself... unless you want too. ;)

I'm more so talking about taking a break from social media every now and then. Facebook and Twitter is just so nasty and depressing lately... and we all have issues with the Instagram algorithm with low engagement and shady follow/unfollowers. So basically, don't let it get you down and don't compare yourself to strangers on the internet.

Happiness comes from looking beyond the screens. Enjoy the real world, the real people in your life and do the things that make your soul happy!

Jan 29, 2018

Why This Loss Hurts So Much

One month without our sweet Bosco. :(

On one hand it still feels like yesterday... and the other feels like so much longer.  It's a harsh reminder that the world doesn't stop and life will keep going on. And I'm no stranger to loss because my dad passed away when I was 15. Talk about heartbreaking and turning your world upside down! Now with Bosco passing, the band-aid that was holding my heart together, was ripped off and broke open my heart after years of healing...

Jan 17, 2018

Grieving & Healing

I was just a pup when we first met, I loved you from the start,
you picked me up and took me home and placed me in your heart.

Good times we had together, we shared all life could throw,
but years passed all too quickly, my time has come to go.

I know how much you miss me, I know your heart is sore,
I see the tears that fall when I’m not waiting at the door.

You always did your best for me your love was plain to see,
for even though it broke your heart you set my spirit free.

So please be brave without me, one day we’ll meet once more,
for when you’re called to Heaven I’ll be waiting at the door.
- author unknown

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