Wednesday, April 23, 2014

etsy crushes | oh hey!

oh hey!
it's wednesday already...i  can't believe it!
my week is flying by and there are a few recipes i'm itching to make before the weekend (like this one, looks so easy, i have everything on hand, and hello healthy!).
i also must admit that i have been spending way too much time browsing through etsy. it's like an addiction, i can't stop, and it is MORE dangerous than pinterest because you can actually buy everything on here. ah, my wallet.

i may or may not have ordered this from one of my past crush posts...and i love it. like love it. you'll see it in some pictures of me i'm sure.

so enjoy this week's crush post...i know i will.


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

see other etsy crush posts here.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My weekend | iphone photos

So the internet is down at work today - which means I'm posting from my phone!
Woop woop!
I wanted to post some pictures from a photoshoot I did a few weekends ago - but that isn't going to happen today - you know, no internet and all. 
So you'll get to enjoy some random photos from my weekend off my iPhone.

friday: girls night, lots of fun, laughter, and deep conversation.

saturday: morning coffee & bagels with my grandma and aunt/uncle/cousin, painting one wall in my room (i'm doing one wall at a time for now haha) and hanging new curtains. that night i went out with my friend, the boy, to a comedy mystery theatre performance and it was amazing. we had some good laughs, a nice walk, good conversation, and chill time at the house.

sunday: church with the family, worshipping Jesus, running errands, good lunch!!!!, followed by a much needed run, and relaxation!


apparently i love my cat.

see the last iphone weekend photo dump here.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

you are lovely | jenny

today you get to meet jenny from | wonderfully complex |.
she is such a delightful woman.
a woman who digs deep and isn't afraid to make things happen.
she is an encouragement and i must tell you, her part in this series blew me away.
she was raw, vulnerable, and all together lovely.
you are lovely | sixth installment

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

This Scripture was my anthem during sophomore year of college. It was God’s love letter to me, a reassurance that He delicately made the heartbroken woman I saw in the mirror, and He declared His workmanship beautiful.

Even more, He saw the extra 30 pounds she was carrying, the acne scarring her cheeks and the circles under her eyes, and He said “there is no flaw in you.”

To this day I still struggle to believe Him.

I almost took the easy way out with the vulnerable self-portrait. A quick picture with unkempt hair and no make-up, and I would be good to go. But it’s never bothered me to go outside the house with no makeup or to even take pictures of my 5 a.m. self , so I knew that would be a cop-out.

When I saw my white shorts in the back of my closet this week, I knew what I had to do. I originally bought these shorts because they were a size 0 and they fit – a number I hadn’t seen since high school – a number we’ve been brainwashed to associate with words like “thin,” “beautiful,” “fit.” In my eyes, it was the perfect reward for how far I’d come from those heavier days.

Only nine months later, and I can barely button these shorts. The extra weight I’ve gained hangs over the waistband as a constant reminder that I no longer live up to those high standards of beauty the world has pressed upon each of us.

The self-portrait was harder than I thought. I caught myself sucking in, looking for the most flattering angle, turning my head slightly to camouflage my lazy eye. Then, finally, telling myself to relax and remember that this is what vulnerability is all about.

I felt anything but lovely in that moment.

I feel lovely when I’ve been in my pajamas all day, but my husband can’t keep his hands off me. I feel beautiful when there’s not enough time to fix my hair, yet everyone tells me how great it looks. I feel gorgeous when I slip into my favorite little black dress that hits me in all the right places.

Beauty not born of my own effort, not a thing earned by something I’ve done. No that’s a beauty created by the Heavenly Father above, who knew exactly what He was doing when He knit together these love handles and this curly-haired head with this athletic form.

And every time I scoff at the image staring back at me in the mirror, it’s the same as telling God His masterpiece is not good enough.

Yet, still He whispers, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

I don’t know why vulnerability is hard for everyone, but I know why it’s hard for me. My college friends once told me they were intimidated by me before they actually got to know me. They said I wore confidence like it was a favorite sweater. But, in reality, it was more like armor.

Everyone has always said, “Confidence is beautiful.” If you act like you’re beautiful, then maybe everyone will begin to believe you are. But when confidence is an act, there’s a constant fear someone will learn the truth – then everyone will know you’re not as pretty, as intelligent as passionate as you portrayed yourself to be.

That’s why vulnerability is hard. Because we know when we’re stripped of all our armor – our makeup, our degree, our funny jokes – everyone might not like what they see. Yet, I’ve found God uses these vulnerable moments to create something truly beautiful…

… late night messages to my mother half-way across the world, “I hate the way I am right now. I don’t feel beautiful anymore”…

…breaking down in front of my best friend senior year, “I can’t do this anymore, I’m just so tired…”

…making it to the wedding night, “here I am, all of me… is it everything you thought it would be?”

And God responded through each of these loved ones, “You are altogether, beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”

I’m not saying God overlooks the brokenness of my sinful nature. He loves me too much to leave me to my fleshly desires, but instead continues His process of sanctification in my life daily.

I am saying that God looks at me, His creation, and sees all the delicate, inner parts He knit together in my mother’s womb. Like a master chef, He created the perfect “Jenny” recipe – a tablespoon of competitiveness, a cup of curly brown hair, and several handfuls for desire to write – and when He was done, He declared it marvelous.

And it’s out of this knowledge that we can be truly confident – that God loves us more than we could ever know or ever hope for – that He intentionally created us with purpose and beauty – and one day we’ll shed these earthly bodies for new heavenly ones.

And, until then He declares, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”


see more of the you are lovely series here.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

friday | links


i am so glad it's friday, and good friday at that. the sacrifice Jesus made today is far beyond anything i can really comprehend. when i really stop and take a look at all of the mistakes i make, all of the greed, malice, bitterness, and frustration within my heart...i wonder how a God who is just, merciful, graceful, loving, and righteous could ever love me. and yet He does. not only does He love me, but He died for me, for you, to have the opportunity to live a life that brings Him glory and an eternity spent within His presence. i am so undeserving, but He did it anyway, because He loves me more than i can ever comprehend.


+ this list of 20 things i wish i'd known in my late twenties. solid.

+ so incredible true.

+ i've been looking for some fresh, new, and interesting podcasts, julia nailed it.

+ i love this mother's day gift.

+ i love all the bright, white, clean lines in this room!

+ wanting to try something similar soon.

+ i probably shouldn't have found this so hilarious, but i did. i really did.

+ the perfect pop of color for a party!

+ i will never stop loving this man, or his character. #merica.

+ uh, apparently i've already reproduced because this child looks like me a little too much.

+ wise, wise words.

you may have missed...

+ thoughts | how to have hope.

+ list | things i love.

+ april | hudson taylor.

have a lovely weekend, & stop and pause to reflect on all that Christ has done for you.

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side note: the picture up top is not a painting i did, i took the picture, and used the app waterlogue. ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

list | things i love


walks on the beach at sunrise//sunset.
rain on a tin roof.
a cup of hot tea.
singing loudly when i'm home alone.
sincere gestures.
a good hair day.
that feeling when you know the Holy Spirit is in the room.
putting my itunes on shuffle and hearing a song i haven't heard in a while.
my family.
praying with those i care about.
the smell of fresh laundry.
tan lines.
learning something new.
holding hands.
coconut anything.
that warmth under the covers when it is cold outside.
deep conversations.
long hikes.
making new friends and learning their stories.
clean bed sheets.
snail mail.
leaning into someone.
being challenged.
smiling at strangers - and them smiling back.
moments full of hope.
lists. ha.
a big, long hug.
good lighting.
being out on the water.
being joyful.

a small list, not finished, definitely no where near encompassing everything, but just off the top of my head a few things that i love. it's good to stop, reflect, and be happy with where you are in life, wherever you are in life.
what do you love today?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

etsy crushes | april showers

happy wednesday!
not sure what the rest of the US/world is like today, but it went from 80+ yesterday to 44 this morning - quite chilly; and i love it! i was telling my roommate how lovely it would be to have one day a week throughout the summer like this. grueling hot temperatures with one day of relief - uh yes please!

to go along with this weather (hello spring?) i figured i would share some of my latest spring-ish favorite finds on etsy. enjoy.

see past etsy crush posts here.


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6


what are you currently crushing on?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

thoughts | how to have hope

i've been processing a lot lately.
words, thoughts, lyrics, conversations...everything is just filtering in and out and some of it is weighing heavy.
the truth is - life gets hard.
we get busy, run down, journals full of lists to scratch off - things that make us feel important, cared for, even sometimes defining our worth.
i dont know about you, but sometimes i would like to have a pause button.
hit that sucker and sink into the couch for a few minutes to unwind.
to sit in a silent house with no expectations and reprioritize.
to have a moment to feel full of hope.

each season in life i feel like we're meant to learn something.
right now, i'm wrestling through a few lessons, some i'm gaining momentum, others i'm loosing traction - so life goes on.

within the last week i've been looking into the word hope.

| hope | (n)
a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
a feeling of trust.

so how do we have hope?
how can we feel it if we're so full of other expectations, needs, and to-do lists.
how can we really feel hopeful in the midst of an uncertain situation?

>>>slow down<<<
even if only for a moment.
turn off the music, the tv, the background noise.
walk into a quiet space and breathe.
if your home is chaotic - go to a park.
find some place to slow down, unplug, and think.
seperating ourselves from chaos brings perspective.

>>>embrace the silence<<<
we are so consumed with noise that we rarely know what to do with ourselves in silence.
silence can be scary.
it gives our minds a chance to really think, without abandon, and touch on things we might want to forget. silence is key.
to find hope, you first have to see what it looks like.
and it isn't found when you've busied yourself to the point of constant noise.
embrace the silence and everything that comes with it.
yes. pray.
i know that everyone who reads my blog doesn't believe in God - but i'm never one to hide my faith.
having hope is found and grounded in prayer.
when life is overwhelming and you can't see the beautiful hues of the sunset you pray for sharper vision. you pray for hope.
if you're feeling hopeless - pray for God to bring you hope.
always pray - without ceasing. (1 thessalonians 5:17)

when you help others, you help your own heart.
take your focus off of yourself and put it on others.
are you struggling with stress at work? help a coworker.
are you frustrated with loving your family? do something kind for them.
are you overwhelmed each day? call and talk to a friend about their life.
when we invest in others, our current struggles grow dim.

i'm sure there have been thousands of articles written on how to find hope and keep it.
we're a generation searching for hope.
i've just touched on a few life lessons i've learned so far in 25 years and i'm sure if i was to read this in 10 years i would have edits to make and points to add.
we are all constantly learning - and in the process trying to remain hopeful.
for me, my hope is ultimately found in God - in His promise and provision.
if i'm being 100% honest, without God in my life hope would feel like a fictitiousstory.
He brings me hope, daily.
and i give Him praise.
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