05 December 2014

Fancy Friday: Pinterest Favorites

Ooh hey! We survived Black Friday folks! All those sales (are they really worth getting trampled over?), new gadgets and consumerism galore. Ugh. I recently went on a Pinterest spree and I realized something: how many times do we get on Pinterest and just pin aimlessly? Do we even enjoy it? Do the people we follow just mirror each other or do they actually post original content? 

I love Pinterest, there's just no denying it. However, I'm working on posting more of my own photos on my blog, and therefore putting "original" content on Pinterest as well. But, because I know that I'm not the only individual in the world, I love to pin things from other people as well. I love to pin off my Feedly account. I love pinning off my favorite news blogs, lifestyle and fashion ideas too. And, more than that? I love following someone with unique content on Pinterest - a combination of articles, photos and design elements are my favorite elements in finding a new pinner. 

I've collected a few of my most recent favorites. I used to operate on the idea that "more is more" and wouldn't follow people if they didn't have more than say 5,000 pins. How wrong I was! Some of my favorite feeds are those which have a less is more approach and carefully curate their boards. I've included a few recent favorites, with the link to their pin, board and the original content all included (sourcing is a pet peeve). 

Do you have any Pinterest favorites you'd like to pass on? Share the inspiration! 

04 December 2014

A Satisfied Heart

Hello long lost friends! Just a quick note to pop over and let you know I'm posting over on She's Intentional  on three tips for a satisfied heart during the holidays!

Praying your holidays are blessed so far, and that you are well on your way to a peaceful season!

20 November 2014

Tight Hugs & Little Things

This photo just reminds me of so many things. Of Fall. Of Cuddly animals (Aussies & Border Collies in particular). Of lavender which is both beautiful and healing. But most of all, of love. 

Love means tight hugs at the end of the night, no matter what fights go on in the daylight. Love means giving even when you feel like you're not strong enough to help. Love means listening when you want to speak. Love means simply being when you so desperately want to act. It can be difficult, but it's one of the things I'm learning in my season. It's enough to wrap your arms around someone and Just. Be. Love. 

A few things that have touched my heart lately: 


I also posted over on She's Intentional about Comparison today if you're game to read it! 

Cheers to Friday and the weekend! 

10 November 2014

Flags of Our Fathers

I'm a history buff. I love books, and I love the book this post stole it's title from. James Bradley wrote two versions of this book, a young adult version and an adult version. It's an amazing book if you've never read it, however this post isn't about that book.

I ran across a post entitled 50 ways to display an american flag this morning and it definitely got me to thinking about some things. As an American, we enjoy hanging our flag as a symbol of patriotism, nostalgia and to have a sense of belonging. Even though, as pointed out in the post, the Flag Code says it's disrespectful to hang a flag as decor, it's become more popular in my generation, and is now acceptable to most people.

Seeing so many of these photos made me start to think about the symbols that surround my life and what they mean to me. I have knick-knacks and little curiosities on my dresser and desk that I look at every day. The snuff jar from my great-great-grandfather, the burlwood box I picked up at a yard sale with my grandfather and the vase I hand-painted on a birthday outing with a friend.

On my desk I have the latest addition to my Bible Collection, the  ESV journaling bible  , that I try to read every day. That Bible is my "flag" as a Christian.

This last week I was at a family conference with other like-minded believers and I was reminded again of the flag that our Christian fathers passed down to us. It is a flag that is worn, and seen many battles. Yet, it will not fail. Psalm 100:5 "For the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His Truth endureth to all generations." I've read many versions of this scripture, but nothing rings true like the King James version. His truth endures to all generations, not just his faithfulness as many other translations like to use, but his truth. The absolute truth. The unequivocal truth. The unshakeable, unchangeable, ever-relevant truth. The truth that I stand on as a Christian. The God of the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments. The God of the New Testament and the book of Acts. The God of today, full of Grace, Mercy and Love.

The flag our fathers waved will not falter and fail. It will stand tall and continue to be raised by our modern-day young people and the next generation. It will not be destroyed or watered down. His truth endures to all generations.

17 October 2014

Fancy Friday: Pretty Paper

left to right: IKEA, TJMaxx, Target $1 section for HEY! postcard & washi tape

#iovpenpals is in its second month and I hope everyone who's joined is having a great time! I've had a few questions regarding where to find fun stationery, so I decided on this Fun Friday I would include some photos and links of my favorite places to find great paper!

that great big pile of mess makes me so happy when I see it at TJMaxx...look at these cute thank-you's! Only 4.99! :) 

I have three top favorites that are probably unexpected: Target (hello $1 section), TJMaxx & Marshalls, Anthropologie & Paper-Source clearance racks and random boutiques. I put random boutiques last because while I love fun paper, I really don't like to spend a whole lot on it! And one of my favorite reasons for loving TJMaxx & Marshalls choices is that many of them are earth-friendly or recycled based which makes my heart happy :-)

all from the Target $1 section -  see how you can make the same card look different? So much fun! 

What to look for on clearance racks? Mix-match items. I love to find fun envelopes or sets that I can make look special or unique. No one wants to send the same card time after time or receive the same stationery that you sent out--variety is the spice of life!

card from TJMaxx, washi tape from Target $1 section and the lip sticker is a band-aid (hello, resourcefulness) 

A couple of other tips for fun letters?

absolutely love these gifted cards. The giant gold star confetti is leftover from school days and the washi tape is...Target $1
  • Washi Tape (tip, buy at Target -$1-or in bulk) 
  • Fun Stamps (they don't cost any more and they sure jazz up an envelope) 
  • Stickers (have you ever looked at Thrift Stores? They have great random grab-bags) 
  • Postcards- I like to send alone or include in with the letter I'm sending
  • Artwork - clippings make great little add-ins to letters! I'm always on the look out for cute things to include in letters. They make it 100% more awesome. 
  • Lettering - pull out your calligraphy pens and get to work - or markers, or even colored pencils! Whatever floats your boat skipper. 
  • Sealing Wax - seriously, look into this stuff! You'll get addicted!
Still want some more ideas? Look at my Going Postal Pinterest board! 

Happy Letter Writing! 

16 October 2014

Listen Learn Love

Serial & Spoken Word. I discovered the Serial podcast from the producers of This American Life and have been listening to it at work. I love to listen to music but it even music for eight hours a day can get monotonous. So I try to mix it up with podcasts, audiobooks, old time radio and music. THIS podcast has got me hooked! Today is the latest episode and after finishing the rest of them on Tuesday I’m super excited to listen to it! It’s a crime story, so it may be a bit macabre for some but I really enjoy it—definitely captures my attention while attending to spreadsheet after spreadsheet. I find that the spoken word really works for me in terms of all-day listening and keeping my focus on my work as well.

Preparation & Persistence. I’m trying to remember to prepare for everything life throws at me as well as preparing for every day individually. It makes such a difference when you even just lay out your clothes the night before as opposed to getting up wondering what in the world you’re going to wear! Anyone with me on that? In this, I’m also being conscious about when I messed up, why and how it affected me, my day and those around me. For example, if I don’t prepare the night before the next morning can be hectic for everyone  in the household since I tend to leave earlier than anyone else in the morning. My decision to not prepare affects us all. So I’m persisting in preparation even when my goal wasn’t met. Not giving up just because I failed one day…get up the next and start over!

Connection & Candy. Come on guys, we’re headed into the holiday season: it’s CANDY TIME!!! I love candy. I realllllly love candy. Chocolate, Candy Corn, Sugar, Sour, Sweet, Gummy, Hard & mostly anything. I love candy. Which means I have to walk and exercise and M O V E so I don’t become one giant sour patch kid. Which leads me to the connection piece.  Every night after work my mom, sis and I try to walk. It’s the one time of the day when our conversations are all together and we are all in one place. We don’t always feel like walking but we try to do it everyday. And it’s the best time. I can look forward to that time of connection when our focus is solely on each other and being out in nature. We see wildlife, it spawns conversation. We talk about our day, our goals and our futures. It’s the perfect connection time.

So what have you been up to this week? Listened to anything new? Learned anything? Anything you just love recently?

08 October 2014

Zero & Quiet

personal photo

I had an email sitting in my inbox for like a week. Entitled "The history of our world in 18 minutes." And because I operate on inbox zero (link here), this kept bugging me! I would be like, gotta to watch that TED talk so I can get the email out of my inbox. Until, one day at work, I just decided "you know what? I know the history of the world that matters, anything in 18 minutes I can google and watch later." So I deleted the email. And I felt set free. The tool that is supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient was clogging my ability to focus on what really mattered. 

Do you do this? Do you allow tools to become your focus instead of keeping them in their friendly toolbox and using them when necessary? Email, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Etc. Etc. Etc. (I don't even know what all the kids (because 25 is so old haha) have going on these days). Somehow, these things have taken over our lives and become the focus instead of the tools to improve our focus. 

I don't have all the solutions. But I happened across this on Instagram today and it totally hit me where I'm at. "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thessalonians 4:11) When you apply this verse to the INternet and business and social media, woosh. Conviction + grace + hope + dependence on the approval of Christ alone." - @jessaconnolly  

Lead a quiet life. What would that look like? What would my ideal day look like? It will be different from yours, but I decided to include here what my ideal day would look like to keep me accountable to achieve it. 

my ideal day: 
  • Wake up with an hour of quiet time before preparing for the day, and be able to spend that time in prayer, reading and writing 
  • Prepare for the day at a leisurely enough pace to allow for conversation with the ones I love
  • Attend to the day's schedule, accomplishing and prioritizing so that I have time for meaningful conversation, not procrastinating constantly which never allows time for connection 
  • Dinner with those I love
  • Outdoor Activity enjoying the sunset 
  • Prepare for bed 
  • Retire early enough to enjoy a good book before lights out! 
So, now that my ideal day is set-up, how do I get there? I'm doing it with two goals for October:
  • Lights out at midnight (trust me, this is earlier than most of my nights) 
  • No phone before bed (THIS will be hard. VERY hard.) Studies have proven that phone-light before bed keeps you awake, so I'll stick to my trust hardbacks, thanks so much! 
God created me not because He needed me, but because He wanted to give me a purpose. And I don't believe that purpose was to answer email and live a constant flow of social media. I love connections, but I need to focus on connecting to my roots and my family. I need to focus on doing what matters to Him, and fulfilling my heart in the process. I want to fulfill my purpose, not take up space. And I'm excited to focus more on that and leave the clutter behind. 

How do you cultivate quiet and zero distractions from your ideals? What makes it happen for you?


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