new traditions

new traditions | madeline made

2015 so far has been about rest and recharge. we spent new year’s day exploring with the dogs and letting them run and play at an agriculture center and preserve near our home. we decided a family hike in the woods would be a tradition every year on january 1, a time to reset in nature and be together. growing up on new year’s day, my parents always cooked black eyed peas for prosperity in the coming year. last NYE we were in nyc!


do you have any new year’s day traditions?


new traditions | madeline made


don’t they look like they are having the time of their lives…?






happy new year!

happy new year! i am throwing up two middle fingers to 2014 and bidding it a long overdue farewell. if i can be honest here…this year has been a hard one. 2014 felt like one failure after another. anyone else with me on this one?


happy new year | madeline made


this was my last week at my job. it has been a surreal, challenging month and i feel emotionally spent. i made the decision to leave the architecture firm where i have worked for three years and pursue freelancing full time. this was such a difficult decision to make; i miss my wonderful coworkers already. i am so thankful for all my experiences so far and all the wonderful people i have met. i truly hope 2015 can be a year of discovering happiness. i hope to be more present here and in my life.


2014-12-31 18.21.19


ringing in the new year with friends last night (champagne and cards against humanity) was a welcome reminder of what’s important. this morning, our little family talked about our goals for this year. i mentioned to my husband that i want to create a barrier from this year and the past to the future, a reminder to always move forward. life is not perfect, far from it and it is important to realize that we are all together in it. seeing this quote on a favorite blog this morning reminded me of how much these words by t.s. eliot mean to me. here is to a new year and new start. wishing you all a wonderful 2015!


“for last year’s words belong to last year’s language
and next year’s words await another voice.
what we call the beginning is often the end
and to make an end is to make a beginning.”

-t.s. eliot


p.s. a soundtrack for your new year’s day.

p.s.s. follow me on instagram to keep up at @madleejo.



happiest birthday.

today is my 28th birthday! i will have to wait for the birthday festivities till this weekend, as i have another exam in three days, but i am excited for a birthday drink, gone girl with my best friend, celebrating with family, and of course planning for hawaii! i have always loved having a birthday in october as this month is full of all the best fall activities – pumpkin patches, leaves changing, crisp cool weather, and halloween parties.


what are you up to this weekend? here’s to hoping 28 is going to be WAAAAY better than 27 was :) this year has been a hot mess.


birthday love | madeline madebirthday love | madeline made

birthday love | madeline made

birthday love | madeline madebirthday love | madeline made

images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5






travel : hawaii planning

travel : hawaii planning | madeline made

i am so excited….we finally planned our much-needed vacation this year and our destination is…HAWAII!  we plan to go to maui and spend most of our time there. we want to experience both the western ‘desert’ side in wailea and eastern ‘tropical’ side of the island in hana.  my parents often tell me about how they visited maui when my mom was pregnant with me and now i will be returning again. it is hard for me not to plan a lot of things to do and see, but i know we both need time to recharge; so i will do my best not to type out an itinerary….


do you have any hawaii recommendations? i would love to hear what islands you recommend, where you stayed, beaches to visit, or any other tips you might have!


travel : hawaii planning | madeline made

travel : hawaii planning | madeline made

images kauai 1 / lanai 2 / maui 3



fall skies and happy news

i have only been gone three months. no big deal. there is much to make up for in the area of updates, but my most exciting news is that i am going to be aunt. my only sibling, sister and one of my best friends, natalie and her sweet husband matthew are having a baby boy, due march 6th! i am so happy for them and cannot wait to meet this little guy! the other thing i can offer is the most beautiful fall we have had in tennessee. here are some snapshots of our fall skies.


fall skies | madeline made

{bright pink skies on our anniversary}


fall skies | madeline made

{sunsets over franklin}


fall skies | madeline made

{last green on the trees}


fall skies | madeline made

{franklin in friday night lights sunset}


fall skies | madeline made

{magical clouds the night of my exam}


fall firepits | madeline made

{firepits on cool nights}


fall | madeline made

{pumpkin tree branches for fall}


fall studies | madeline made

{my desk for the past 3 months}


we celebrated our three year anniversary this week, it’s my birthday month, and josh and i are both finishing up our exams {which explains the long absence). lots more to share soon. much love.



our new family member

if you follow me on instagram, you have probably seen that we adopted a new puppy this month, baxter. this and a few other things could help to explain the silence here on the blog in may and june. baxter is a four month old lab hound mix with a sweet temperament who stole our hearts. sampson, our other baby, is still warming up to him, as he has been an only child for four years, but i think in time they will be best friends. aren’t his little spots the cutest? we are so happy to have him as part of our family now! do you have any tips for handling and introducing two dogs? it has been a really difficult two weeks with getting some bad news, but puppy cuddles are helping me get through.

meet baxter | madeline made

sampson and baxter | madeline made

meet baxter | madeline made


lately, i am reading this book for book club. have you read it?


[natalie came to visit this month! it has rained everyday in tennessee, but we trying to spend every dry minute here.]

summer nights | madeline made

[at the end of may, we celebrated my husband joshua’s 29th birthday at gray’s in franklin.]

gallery at gray's | madeline made

gray's franklin | madeline made

{i took a modern calligraphy course with my best friend at the skillery nashville.]

modern calligraphy | madeline made

[we have been enjoying summer in nashville’s 12th south and made a stop at the biscuit love food truck.]

biscuit love | madeline made

[we went to the outdoor movie night at the belcourt theater to watch ‘singing in the rain’]

outdoor movie | madeline made

[and of course we celebrated our wonderful father on father’s day, here is us in 1989.]

happy father's day | madeline made

much love to everyone this weekend.


drink : grapefruit basil paloma

grapefruit basil paloma | madeline made


to celebrate cinco de mayo, we made grapefruit basil paloma cocktails last night. they were so delicious that i wanted to share the recipe here with you! it’s a variation on the original paloma, “the dove.” it is a citrusy, fresh take on a gimlet or margarita and the tequila base makes it perfect for this holiday. i substituted the typical club soda for st. germaine liqueur to give the cocktail a floral tone and added my favorite summer herb, basil.


grapefruit basil paloma

1 part grapefuit juice

1 part blanco tequila

1 part st. germaine liqueur

squeeze of lime

muddled basil leaves

throw all off this in a shaker with ice, muddle basil and lime, and shake.

pour, garnish with basil, and enjoy!


this drink is equally as great with gin or vodka, so the liquor is interchangeable. let me know if you try this one.

enjoy and happy cinco de mayo!


grapefruit basil paloma | madeline made