Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

It's Friday again so you know what that means...  I'm linking up with Darci + friends for five on Friday!

Eat, Live, Run's blueberry almond sugar cookies had me at blueberry.  They've been a pretty consistent staple in our fridge this summer, so finding new ways to incorporate this seasonal fruit has been pretty fun. And deep down, I wish I could be Jenna's personal recipe taste-tester...

After a particularly heavy week, Ashton's post on letting it go really encouraged me.  She reminded me (through scripture & her beautiful words) that we are not alone, but that God is here to carry our burdens and lift us up when we can no longer do so.  Not an easy thing to accept, yet incredibly comforting at the same time.

So remember that network of amazing women I can't stop talking about? Well their annual conference is just a couple weeks away and while I am looking forward to this experience, I am still pretty nervous.  But seeing the posts pop up in my feed from other bloggers saying they'll be there too has actually put my nerves at ease a bit. Plus, I had a chance to chat with my roommates (Ashton & Tanya) last week and now I really can't wait to meet them in person next month!

I may be a little biased, but I am really happy with how my husband's latest photo shoot turned out! I was able to tag along & be his "photo assistant" for the day, which is not as easy as I thought it might be.  But thankfully we had good weather, a fun & unique location (McMenamin's Edgefield Hotel) and a very cooperative subject, which was the perfect combination!

Speaking of Edgefield, we're actually on our way back up there this weekend to see Death Cab for Cutie! It's my first time seeing the band & attending a concert at this venue, but as long as there is nice weather (fingers crossed) and good music, I think it will be a fun night!

Any fun weekend plans?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Power of Prayer

My heart is hurting today.

Diana Stone, a blogger who's story I have followed closely over the last year and a half, had to say goodbye to her newborn son, Kaden, today (just after she said goodbye to her twin boys last May).

Why would this happen? Haven't they been through enough?

I'm so sad & confused and can only imagine what Diana and her family are feeling.

Yesterday, when the Stone family could no longer lift their arms to God, the selfless women of the Influence Network came along side them to pray on their behalf. It was chilling to participate in the 24 hours of prayer and I'm thankful to be a part of this God-fearing network. Needless to say, the power of prayer (no matter the outcome) is real!

There are no words that can make this situation better, but I'd still like to ask for two things: (1) that you hold your loved ones a little closer tonight and (2) if you're the praying kind, say a little prayer for peace for the Stone family and what they have ahead of them.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pinterest Inspired: DIY Headboard

I'm going out on a limb here, but you've heard of Pinterest, right? 

If not, it's a lot like an online bulletin board in which you can "pin" your favorite finds from all across the internet in one, convenient location for future reference.  And I have been a fan since day one!  I can pin all day long if I had the time, but my biggest downfall... actually following through with trying some of my favorite pins.

Well, I can finally cross another pin off my {always-growing} Pinterest to-do list!


I can't remember when I first saw this DIY headboard, but I do recall thinking "this actually looks pretty easy!"  So when we bought a new {bigger} bed this Spring, I approached my husband with this pin in mind.  Honestly, I thought he'd shoot me down or steer me another direction, but to my surprise, he thought it was pretty cool and got to work right away planning what he'd need to get this done.

This is where my blogger fail comes in.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the actual process because it went a lot faster than I anticipated (seriously, by the time I thought to go get the camera, my husband had cut, sanded, and stained all four boards and they were just waiting to be put up).

But I am here to confirm that it was really as easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1: Pick up the supplies from your local home improvement store (wood, stain, Velcro strips)
Step 2: Cut boards down to size, sand, and stain.
Step 3: Once the boards are dry, adhere them to the walls using Velcro strips*.

*You might be wondering whether the Velcro strips would actually hold the boards up, but I'm here to tell you that our "headboard" has been up for over a month now and the boards haven't moved at all!  A plus?  We can remove them any time we want without damaging the walls!

So if you're looking for a headboard that is simple, customizable, and pretty cheap ($120 total), give this one a try!  I'd love it if you shared it with me after you do too :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!

I'm a little late in posting my five on Friday, but better late than never, right?  I'm linking up again with Darci & friends again this week.

With summer wrapping up, I'm loving all the vacation recaps that are popping up on my feed!  While we didn't have any big getaways this summer, I've been enjoying reading about other people's.  Two recaps that stood out this week were Bower Power and Blue Eyed Bride.  Both went to the beach with their families, but what I loved most was they both went with their best friends + families as well, which is such a fun concept I hadn't thought of!

I'm not sure if it's the longer days or the nice weather, but summer just feels like the perfect time to get things done around the house!  One of the items on our to-do list this summer was to re-stain our deck, which has definitely seen better days, but it hasn't happened yet.  But just as I was thinking this task might have to wait until next summer, Young House Love came to the rescue and shared step-by-step instructions on how they stripped, cleaned, and re-stained their deck in just a couple days.  I'm definitely motivated, so we'll see if I can motivate Sam...

One of my Influence Conference roomies celebrated seven years of marriage this week and she wrote a post on seven things she's learned since getting married and I sat their reading her post and agreeing with every suggestion she shared (even if Sam & I have only been married for five years).  Sure, marriage isn't easy, but when you invest the time & energy into your spouse and relationship, it is so worth it!

I consider myself an avid reader of blogs.  (I love posts like this where other bloggers share their favorite blogs to read because it usually directs me to a blog I add to my feed.)  One blog that I have enjoyed over the last year or so has been Emphasis Added, which is written by Emily who lives in Chicago with her husband and two beautiful little girls.  Her posts aren't usually long or in depth, but it's her descriptions and stories that capture my attention and keep me coming back to find out what new adventure they've had.  If you're looking for a blog with great stories and fun pictures, check out Emphasis Added!

This last link is just one that I found funny when it popped up on my Twitter feed.  If you know me, I am a fan of Instagram.  It's a fun way to share your life with your online friends through a picture & short caption.  Well, this week, I found a post titled "If Disney Princesses had Instagram, the World would be a Better Place" and I couldn't stop laughing at the pictures & captions that fit perfectly with some of my favorite childhood memories.  Too funny!

Hope you have a good weekend!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five on Friday

Tap, tap, tap... Is this thing on?

I apologize for the radio silence and really hope the desire to write more returns soon.  But until then... I'm linking up again with Darcie's five on Friday.

On Monday, I took a class presented by Kate of The Small Things blog on her top five blogging mistakes and, like the other Influence Network classes, it was great! As I listened to her share what has and hasn't worked for her, I thought about how even though I'm not a big, consistent blogger, I can still learn from all of her mistakes and better my blog even a little.  (If you stick around, maybe I'll put some of her tips to use...)

A couple of weeks ago, Sam introduced me to a show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and now I'm seeing it pop up all over the Internet. So when I came across The Big Mama's thoughts on the show, I knew it was worth sharing in the case you hadn't heard of this show yet.  Seriously, if you like to laugh, check it out!

Are you a fan of scarfs? If you're anything like me, you love scarfs, but feel bad buying them because you already own quite a few. Well I think I've found a way where it doesn't feel so bad - Meredith's annual scarf swap!  You can read about my past swaps here and here.

Lately, I've been hearing a lot about the topic of living simply.  Whether that's downsizing or just living off the land, it's definitely a topic I'm hearing a lot.  And just this week, while scrolling through my social media, I came across a video that a news outlet produced about the Prouty family and I couldn't help but share with others.  I can't say I could do what they have done, but their story is very inspiring and something I definitely admire.

You can probably tell by the way I talk about them weekly, but boy do I love the community I've found in the Influence Network!  They lift me up without knowing it!  Just this week, Hayley from The Tiny Twig shared her experience with bringing her first two sons into the world and what kind of feelings came along with them.  It's not perfect, but it's honest and that's what I appreciate most when it comes to interacting with her and the other women I've met through the network.  I feel like a little bit of a crazy fan, but Hayley is definitely one I can't wait to see next month(!) at the Influence Conference!  Maybe I'll even get up the courage to say hi :)

Happy weekend everyone!