ever/after

ever/after keeps the little things special

Posted in Simply Living by christy winston on May 25, 2010

My Mom always says, “To make a house a home, all you need is good music and a dimmer switch.”  This was my mantra as I was unpacking moving boxes, looking around our new 1 bedroom apartment (you can see the whole thing from the front door!).  When Gary first suggested this down size I refused and looked at him like he was completely crazy to even consider it.  We were taking the plunge, head-first into ever/after and discussing ways we could cut back. We knew we had to make some serious changes.  One day Gary says, “Okay…so I’ve been thinking….I have a really good idea, but it’s…….scrappy.”  Oh boy…  It took me a good week to actually take him seriously, another week to forgive him for even suggesting it, and finally another two weeks before I finally agreed.  We purged.  We condensed.  We had a modern garage sale (ie: Craigs List).  And much to my surprise…We’ve barely noticed!  Sure there are days when we can go insane with the concentrated clutter per square foot, but overall it hasn’t really felt like a sacrifice.  Maybe that’ll be a different story after another 6 months, but it’s been worth it for now at least.  We have our tiny office for storage too which helps–it’s filled to the brim with baby vnecks and cool kids’ clothes!

I often think about the advice a woman once gave me about parenting, “Make sure you make the little things special.”  That’s exactly what we’re trying to do.  A weeknight dinner at Chick-fil-A used to be for convenience, but now it’s a special treat we look forward to.  It’s wonderful!  The service and hospitality is better there than most fine dining restaurants in the area where you walk out with a $75 bill and adjada!  If you haven’t tasted the goodness of Chick-fil-A for yourself yet, go and I’m certain they’ll will make a raving fan out of you too!  Then when you think couldn’t possibly love them more, examine their company values and charitable vision…you’ll advance from fan to devotee.  Check out the ways Chick-fil-a is shaping individuals to be winners, leaders empowered to change the storyhttp://www.winshape.org/

ever/after purchase for purpose

Posted in Favorite Brands, Simply Living by christy winston on May 21, 2010

ever after

ever/after loves a purchase with a purpose.  A refreshing trend is sweeping over retail, inspiring people to be about more than just the bottom line.  We were inspired, and created a casually cool kids clothing line using premium fabrics that gives 25% of the profit from each garment you buy to the children’s charity of your choice.  We believe helping others can extend to all areas of our lives, even the clothing we buy.  We’ve made some lifestyle changes as we begin this new adventure.  We want each purchase to be meaningful.  How awesome is it that you can dress your kids in clothes you’d actually where yourself and change the story of a child in need all at once!?  You can reverse the effects of neglect for an abandoned baby, empower an at risk child to overcome academic challenges, or provide a place of refuge for a whole village–all from one totally rad baby vneck t-shirt!  We’ve discovered incredibly cool people creating their own products with a purpose.  I think it’s so cool that we can accessorize Ever’s ever/after baby vneck t-shirt and boyfriend fleece shorts with a beanie that provides income for women in Uganda, a bracelet that supports the indigenous Sami People of northern Scandinavia, and shoes that provide an equal pair for a child in need!!  Now that’s consumerism at its best!  Check out some of our favorite brands and the amazing things they’re doing in the world:

Krochet Kids Int. – http://www.krochetkids.org/home.php

SwedArt – http://swedart.com/

31Bits – http://31bits.com/

Toms Shoes – http://www.toms.com/

live simply ever/after

Posted in Simply Living by christy winston on May 20, 2010

ever after

There came a point, last December, when we came to the realization it was time for a change.  We’d been conceptualizing ever/after for two years and working on it whenever we had time leftover after our day jobs, Gary at PacSun and me at James Perse and mother of a toddler.  Gary would leave for work before Ever would wake up, and be home after she’d gone to bed…it wasn’t unusual for him to go 3 days without seeing her.  I was blessed to have a position with James Perse where I could work from home and I’d get most of my work done in the late night while Ever was in bed.  Life was “good” aka we had lots of stuff.  But, when you have stuff you usually want more stuff.  Looking back on our lifestyle then, it seems so anemic even though most would think we had everything.  I would have little epiphanies during the day and think, “Why are we doing all of this again?? So we can drive a BMW?  Have a big apartment?  Spend money almost as quickly as we brought it in?”  I think everyone wants to know that life is about more than that.

ever/after came to be thanks to our God-given passions and a combination of life experiences.  It wasn’t diligence, intelligence, or coincidence…it was providence.  We are so thankful for this opportunity and for fresh perspective.  We’re finding such joy in the little things like eating burritos on the beach as a family at 5 o’clock, pretending our little 1-bedroom apartment is part of a hotel,  $1 taco Tuesdays, packing pb&j and hiking the cliff trails…I could go on and on!  Actually I will…ever/after has a new category called “Simply Living” that we’ll be updating this week so we hope you’ll tune in often.