as of lately

posted on: March 25, 2014

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Lets talk about what has been inspiring me lately. I mean, it kind of always has… maybe its just the oncoming of spring that has given it a whole new life and love. It starts when the sun comes up and ends when the sun goes down. White is my favorite color because of the way it reflects this. I’m wearing my sunglasses because of… tada!! BEAUTIFUL LIGHT.

Jake and I (finally) got around to registering for our wedding last week after months of being apart and I had to laugh at my taste in items as most of our conversations went something like this:

“Do you like this?”

“Yeah! I like the white.”

“How about this?”

“Well, it’s very simple and…white.”

“And this?”

“Let me guess before I look. White.”

Taste is a funny thing, mine seems to often be changing. But one thing I never stop loving is the sun. Maybe its a win win because I do love a good, dark thunderstorm, but, am nevertheless mighty pleased at the returning of the bright warm sun the next day. (Let me clarify something: I hate when it’s wet and sunny. You know when the sun comes out right after a storm and you’re like wait are you a rainy day or sunny day? You cant be both. Not my jam. I’m up for a totally gloomy, thunderstormy day OR totally bright, sunny day.)

But for now, I cant wait for spring. Light weight tees, messy top knots, open windows, fresh air, birds (not bees), fresh fruit, flowers, long walks, long days, toes, shades, sandals, smoothies, ice cream, and morning devotions on the porch while, of course, the beautiful sun comes up.

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Hello Apparel

posted on: March 10, 2014

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SWEATSHIRT: Hello Apparel
JEANS: Gap
SHOES: Thrifted (Similar here)

Feeling so proud to be sporting this cozy, fun, ultra-soft, red Hello Apparel pullover. Hello Apparel is dedicated to the quality of their products, and my my it sure does show. This hoodless pull-over is cut long and slim and has a fantastic light weight and does not feel bulky in the slightest bit. Did I mention how SOFT it is? It’s truly perfect for staying warm all winter long, or cozying up on spring and summer nights around the the campfire with friends. The red in this particular item is not obnoxious and cheesy, but bold and looks good with really any skin type. I’m not exactly a red person (let alone a color person at all), but I love the way this color looks. Also, I’d say their sizes run a little big. I’m in an XS here. Timeless and cute, and makes for a friendly atmosphere.. especially when people take the hello on your clothing as serious as if you just said it to their face. See more of their adult and adorable baby/toddler products here :)

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Of The Heart

posted on: March 8, 2014

We live in a society doused and dripping from every single side in overwhelming consumerism. Don’t look at me funny. You know it’s everywhere you go. On the side of the highway, in your mailbox, on your Facebook, in you email, on the radio, throughout your pinterest, instagram, grocery stores, airports, malls, television, churches and even on this blog. Goodness, just think about any time you have felt as though you are seriously missing out on something that could make your life considerably better if you just had, did, or went, blank. Paired with the undying sense of entitlement that our culture breeds and sinful nature eats alive. We talk about things like “simple living” fixing this problem, but we are so naive, are we not?

Today I was reading in Matthew 5 about generosity, service with a true heart of selflessness, and this seemly ancient concept called “loving recklessly while expecting nothing in return.” Sometimes we share, sometimes we share a lot. But do you ever notice something in your heart that festers within when you are soon in need and the helping hand does not come reaching back to you? Does the subliminal bitterness crawl beneath your skin and prod at your entitled consciousness? We hold tightly to what we have, and often we give freely the things that don’t mean much to us. Our time can be easier to dish out when we’re “free then anyway”, but what do you chose when 3 other priorities are on the list and they’re all in some way, shape, or form for you. We can be good at meeting a need, but sometimes we do just enough to feel like we’ve helped or make sure others know that we have.

I love this verse in Matthew that says “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Matt. 5:40-42). I love that word give. I’ve been learning how much it is not a simple verb, but a constant attitude of the heart. Living with eyes and a heart open to and longing to meet the needs of others for the sake of the gospel. Fighting the consumerist standpoint for and owe-nothing, need-nothing, selfless kind of love.

As I reflect back on my time in Uganda, Africa, I remember vividly the choice I had to make each day to pour into soul after soul, all the while knowing their ability to give back was for the most part limited to their heart. But thats all I wanted, a relationship. Sound familiar? Christ has shown us ultimate grace and has given us a gift we will NEVER have the means to repay, even if it was with all of our being, and His desire is for our heart. He knew we could not repay Him for his grace long before He made the choice to die for us. In fact, He knew our hearts would be cold and unthankful, but His heart was for us anyway. He chose us. And we have to choose to choose others.

What a God we ought to serve with reckless, abandon.

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Nutella Fudge Nut Brownies

posted on: March 6, 2014

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Lets hear it from the Nutella fans! Can you barely sit still?! I don’t even know where to begin raving about these amazing, yet extremely easy little brownie bites. Anywhere from the simplest set of procedures, to the yummy gooey inside and a mild nut crunch with each bite make them top of their business. If you can clear out just 5 minutes this week, you must give them a whirl. You will be thankful you did, and so will everyone else who eats them.

You may have seen them featured on A Cup of Jo earlier this week. So much fun working for the sweetest Joanna!! Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup of Nutella
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Spray a 12 regular or mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the Nutella and eggs. Add the flour and whisk until blended.  Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin pan (about 1/2 full for regular pan and 3/4 full for mini pan) and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.  Bake 8-12 minutes just until the tops have set and cracked around the edges. A tooth pick in the center should come out wet and fudgy. If it’s clean the brownies will be too dry.  Set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Remove the brownies from the pan and cool completely. Makes about 12 regular size and 18-20 mini size.

 

Enjoy this little treat, you wont want to stop making them. Happy baking!

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Your Fave Waves

posted on: February 28, 2014

So there’s talk about this thing called the “perfect beach waves.” In my opinion, it’s hard to say that when many of the gals trying to achieve this look are coming with an extremely wide range of hair types, styles & textures. So, how about instead of referring to it as this perfect, no-matter-how-hard-I-try-I-just-cant-get-it-right kind of beach wave, we’ll just call it your fave wave. I’m always trying new things with an imperfect, half-messy-but-I-still-tried kind of wavy look and if I’m being truly honest, I don’t even think I do it the same way for myself each time so don’t think that there’s only one way to success. I haven’t found the “perfect steps” because sometimes I sleep on wet hair and it’s a frizz party of a lion mane (and yet somehow still flat?) in the morning, and other times I can blow-dry and lift my roots and my curls will come out different in each situation. You see? Just read over my tips and suggestions and maybe try something new if you haven’t tried it yet. You might like how it turns out.


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  • Okay, you actually can’t live without this Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Sea Salt Texturizing Spray. Its perfectly rugged and yet so hydrating for your hair without drying it out (the salt) or leaving it too greasy (the conditioning). I’ve made my own.. let’s just say it’s really hard to achieve this product well.

 

  • Spray your product on damp hair. Sometimes I’ll dry my roots with my root lifter and THEN spray my salt spray about mid-shaft down to the tips .

 

  • After your product is in, while your hair is still damp, pull apart little pieces and twist them and continue to let it air dry. This will already give you a nice piecey look and texture before you ever start curling.

 

  • Manually wrap the piece of hair completely around the iron and avoid using the clamp.

 

  • Don’t curl the very ends of your hair.

 

  • Curl each section all the way to the root. If you are using a fatter iron, this will help with lift at the root.

 

  • Wait until all the curls have cooled before running your ringers through or flipping your head upside down to loosen them.

 

  • Try alternating the way you wrap each piece of hair around the iron. (forward & backward)

 

  • Finish off with a mist of hairspray and rock ‘n roll!

Have fun experimenting, my friend! And comment with some of your favorite tips :)

 

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Snowy Cinnamon Cocoa

posted on: February 25, 2014

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It’s just about mid-week and the temp is dropping to sinfully cold around here. Blaah. Im dreaming of toes in sand, cut-off tees, sunburned cheeks and messy hair… aaaand as I’m typing its starting to snow. How-to get amazing beach hair is coming later this week, but for now… how about a cozy and delicious pick-me-up to get us through you say? Well, Im glad that’s what you’re thinking because I believe I have just the thing with this Snowy Cinnamon Cocoa. Seriously, thee simplest thing of your life. Of course thats what I am ALL about over here so it will never be anything but that. Just a few minutes of your time for a yummy drink to help bring some comfort to this bitter cold. WORTH IT.

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Recipe:

4 cups of milk
2 cups of chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
whipped topping
chocolate chips

Combine milk and syrup in a microwavable bowl (or in saucepan over heat) and stir. Heat for 3-4 minutes and continue to stir. Mix in cinnamon and serve topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips. Whalah!

Happy Tuesday!

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DIY Headband for the Weekend

posted on: February 22, 2014

 

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Its been a while since I’ve posted. I got engaged, have been traveling, working, wedding planning, AND something so crazy fun is in the works!! Much of my time has been spent pouring into this new project launching so soon! It’s going to be so rewarding once it’s out on the market. Oops! Did I say market? YES. We are collaborating with some amazing artists (cough couch Puddleduck Paper Co;) to bring you insanely beautiful, inspiring products. I’m scyched to say the least!! Seriously though, stay tuned. It’s coming really soon so you don’t want to miss the initial launch (PRE-SALE!!) and giveaways! Enter your email in the subscribe bar if you want to be notified when this goodness is hot off the press.

Meanwhile, here’s an easy and fun DIY for adding a little tasteful twist to simple locks worn down or an up-do on the go!

1. Find your favorite fabric. It can be one kind, or get creative with two different colors!

2. Cut two long strips about 3 – 5 inches wide (this depends on how thick you want the headband).

3. Fold the edges in so they overlap just about 1/5 inch. If you know your way around a needle and thread.. have at it. I’m Miss. hot glue everything.

4. Cross your pieces and tie in the back once fitted to your head. Make sure that your seam is on the underside of the headband.

Simple and chic :)

Happy weekend y’all!

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The Inspired Home :: KITCHEN

posted on: February 4, 2014

I’m a believer in the fact that beautiful, inspiring things come from fresh, inspiring spaces (and people of course).

I’m sharing some of my favorite ideas for making spaces your favorite to be in, starting with the kitchen. How much more likely are you to want to create and experiment in the kitchen if it is a fresh, inviting, environment? Neuroscientists have actually found by looking at peoples task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and actually impairs your ability to think creatively.

See these photos as encouragement to finding your own ways to spark motivation and be creative in your own home.

 

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Some of my most favorite elements of a good kitchen are first, lots of natural light. Sunny days aren’t even always my favorite (I love rain), however a motivational working space and enjoyable place for me to be is flooded with natural light.

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Secondly, I’m in love with the open-shelving/open-cabinet idea. Done wrong, it could be a stressful over load of clutter, but done right, it’s simply dynamic and pleasing to the eye. Also, guests and friends don’t feel like they’re rummaging through your cabinets when you tell them to “help themselves”. I love that it possesses a welcoming and open feel for everyone in the room and encourages people to make themselves feel at home.

 

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Two more things I do adore are wooden kitchenware and white accents. Together, yes. It is such a fresh, rustic, yet organic esthetic and there’s nothing more perfect for a kitchen. When you bring a clean and simplistic atmosphere to a kitchen, your mind associates the food that comes from those counters as fresh and healthy.

 

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Pictured above are some beautiful, hand-made Heriott Grace cutting boards and rolling pins, and well as Felix Glenn serving and measuring spoons! |Shop cutting boards and rolling pins|Shop serving and measuring spoons|

 

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To add to my list, simple basin sinks. Like this white one pictured above! I like the brass faucet for contrast, too. They way it shows, not hidden totally by the counter is authentic and full of character.

Lastly, a sweet touch of chalkboard (or perhaps a whole wall) can bring a simple kitchen to life. The tricky thing about this though is keeping it clean and ensuring your space is bright enough to afford it. An entire black wall is really going to do a number on the way light fills the room, so make sure you’re considering that before jumping at the project… and then, have fun! Creative freedom and practical reminders everywhere you look!

 

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What are some of your favorite things about your kitchen? What do others seem to like and find inspiring about your kitchen?

Valentines Day Gift Ideas {His & Hers}

posted on: January 25, 2014

Valentines day is coming and sometimes it’s hard to know just what to get the one you love.  Here are a few practical ideas to help inspire good, unique, useful gifts for your love. Take a peak and keep a creative mind open to other thoughtful things he or she might like! Click on the names of each item to check it out.

 

 

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Lone Flag – Traveler’s Mug

 

 

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 Filson – Log Carrier

 

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 Grove – Dock for iPhone

 

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 Artifact Uprising – Square Print Set

 

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 Lone Flag – Seaworth Cold Brew Coffee

 

 

 

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The Oxford Trunk

 The Oxford Trunk – Hand Carved Bangles

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 Gap – Stripe Roll-up Pants

 

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Anthropologie – Brenton Apron

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 Bath & Body Works – Paris Amour

 

If you don’t think you have someone to treat this year, bless your sister with some flowers or brother with some smoked jerky ;-) You cant go wrong these goodies!

 

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A Few Winter Beauty Tips

posted on: January 20, 2014

I know, I know, its the middle of winter. Stinking cold (God bless you if you’re dancing around under the warm sun in a righteous climate). Even if you do like the cold, it’s hard to deny the evil developments of dry skin, chapped lips, and sinfully pale complexions. The spring is ever so hopefully in sight, but while we’re waiting for it to make its glorious appearance, I’m going to share with you a few of my most treasured skin care/beauty tips that help me weather the winter.

Quite honestly, some might seem basic to you, but I must say I was surprised at the volume of girls to which these tricks were new information when I started asking around. I’m not about keeping helpful tips to myself so pass them around! They can be lifesavers. Not in any particular order, but five to try!

 

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Vaseline - Vaseline is a best friend of mine winter through summer. Vaseline literally has endless uses, two favorites of which I am going to bring to the table today. First, lip moisturizer. It’s seriously the best. You can use it only at night if you don’t prefer the way it feels or looks (although it is clear and tends to look beautifully hydrating and glossy), or you can use it every hour of every day like me. I have one in my car, in my bathroom, in my purse, at my desk, and on my nightstand. The dermatologist informed me that the difference between Vaseline and Chapstick is that Chapstick draws the oils already in your lips to the surface and thats why you have to keep using it, while Vaseline adds oils, allowing them to soak in and result in more hydration. Secondly, Vaseline makes eyelashes stronger/thicker/longer. When I apply vaseline to my eyelashes overnight, I realize a difference in the strength and fullness of my lashes.

 

Tripple Antibiotic Ointment - Tripple Antibiotic Ointment is most commonly used for cuts and wounds where it works to fight off bacteria and heal skin. Though a bit more uncommon, I have found that triple antibiotic ointment is a miracle worker when it comes to concentrated areas of dry skin, and blemishes! I would suggest applying it at night and watch your dry skin and blemishes DISAPPEAR in 1-3 nights.

 

Exfoliate – Exfoliating is an important step that many of us often miss. Though you may not know that there is dead skin on your face, it needs to be removed about once a week with an exfoliant. One of my favorites is Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub, you can get it at Walmart, Target, or just about any drugstore.

 

Moisturize – I think this very well could be the most important step. I cant stress this enough. You have to moisturize your skin. At night you can use a bit of a heavier moisturizer or cream, but in the daytime I would choose something with a “daytime” label or serum. Clean & Clear also has some good daytime moisturizers if your looking for something prior to your makeup. Morning Burst Morning Glow Moisturizer is a good one by Clean & Clear.

 

BB Cream – Here’s a little tip to help fight the winter blues. My L’Oreal Paris tinted  BB cream is one of my most favorite things in my skin care and makeup kit. If there’s ever a time I forget it put it on before my foundation, I always notice almost instantly. BB cream, in my opinion, is the best resolution to avoiding that “cakey” makeup look and replacing it with a dewy, hydrated finish. Easy to do in the summer, much harder to achieve in the winter. The link I attached for the L’Oreal brand is amazing. Try it out, a little goes a long way!

 

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