Thursday, July 28

you can take the girl outta jersey...

although i've lived in western new york for the last year and a half, and spent six years living in ohio, i am by birth, by heart, by choice a jersey girl! the beach, [or the shore, as we call it (: ] is part of who i am.

i love the beach for so many reasons...

...a friend was sharing this week how he knows someone who knows with absolutely certainty the presence of God whenever he hears the sound of waves. i, too, find peace for my soul, rest for my body, and joy for my heart at the beach.

...the beach makes me SO happy. i can't even put into adequate words why, but when i'm there my entire self revels. there is nothing that can keep a smile off my face. i feel at home.

...the shore was, in ways,  a rite of passage for us jersey girls. i took a few vacas with some of my best friends when were teenagers and reuniting in summers home from college. it's pretty hilarious for us to look back on these trips now. we felt so grown up then. (:  i love these girls and the memories we make so much. they are my lifelong friends. it's our dream that someday, someday, we will all get together for another vaca... this time with husbands and kids in tow... my, my, how far we've come!

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
join the fun!

Tuesday, July 26


home. i've been in my apartment for five months and i'm still working on making it feel like home. fortunately, i like the process. (: and there are so many wonderful bloggers out there who share their DIY tutorials for some fun projects. so this post will hopefully be the first of a few showing the decorations i've made!

i'm loving white ceramics. i have two pieces - a pear and a tree with two birds in it [partridges?!] in my dining room. i went yard sale-ing with my dad when i visited my family in june, and that's when i stumbled upon this owl for just [wait for it...] 50 cents! i'd been wanting to try my hand at spray painting and figured that was the perfect price to take my first try, regardless of whether it turned out ok or not!

the DIY part was really simple. a sunshine-y but not-so-breezy day + newspaper + $4 can of spray paint + $.50 ceramic owl.

i sprayed on one coat and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then sprayed on a second coat and let it dry for about an hour. because it was a little bug-gy outside, i did some touch ups inside. i let it sit overnight to dry completely. there's still over half the paint left in the bottle, so really the cost of this project was around $2.50. and here's the latest addition to my white ceramic collection!

i love him! and he makes a nice addition to my living room. i may be jumping the gun here but... i may be a spray paint addict! it's so easy and fun. there are a couple things in my apartment i'd like to paint, and i'm now on the lookout during this yard sale season for other hidden treasures. (:


Monday, July 25


get highlights.

blog more.

work out (walk, run, ride my bike) more each week.

make plans with a new friend once a week.

get up a half hour earlier to do devotions.

paint my nails.

when i become discontent with who i am, i make a list. when i think about improving who i am, i set goals. when i feel like i am not "measuring up," my first reaction is to find all the places i feel i'm lacking and determine in my mind to get my butt into gear and take action. i make myself my project.

in church we're working through the book of ephesians. "for we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." [eph 2:10] throughout my life, i've claimed that verse, especially the second part. it's encouraging to think that God gives us purpose, that He plans the details of our lives, and desires and creates opportunities for us to do good things with our lives.

but it was what my pastor said about the first part that made me think of my lists. i know that i am created by Him. His handiwork. but that word goes even farther than my mother's womb. i am His project. i am not my own project. it is He who made me, and i am His. i'm not supposed to be in control of who i become. as my Creator, He knows the me i'm supposed to be. He will shape me, mold me, stretch me, and purify me.  none of my lists are going to make me more me. only He can show me who i am. i am His project, and He's got plans for me. (:


Thursday, July 21

inspiration workshop [typography]

i'm linking up with gussy sews again for the inspiration workshop. this week's prompt was completely up to us! it was fun to think about the things that inspire me this week. i decided to do this post on TYPOGRAPHY. i love words, and i'm inspired by fonts and colors and all the beautiful, creative ways people arrange them!



i love looking at invitations, too! there are some really fun ones out there. typography can make something be even more personal and "you"! i'm inspired to think about creating ones for my wedding someday, or really any event (:

i hope you find inspiration in your week, friends!

Wednesday, July 20

snail mail

every time i hear someone say self-centered recently, i cringe a bit. i can hear in my thoughts and the words i say that i'm in the middle of a "me, me, me" fever. i figure one of the best ways to cure that is to get out and do something for someone else! so, with a little help from dayspring, i sent a few cards to friends this week. 

a month or so ago, i received the hope and encouragement card pack. i'm loving these cards! they capture what i'd like to say to a friend so well that sometimes all i have to do is sign my name! they are filled with thoughtfulness, care and, well... hope and encouragement!

once i started writing a few cards, i didn't want to stop! i loved thinking about my friends receiving these in the mail. this age of technology and instant access has made getting something in the mail even more meaningful, i think. i love getting snail mail even more than receiving a facebook comment or an email. trust me, i'm appreciative of the ways i'm able to keep in touch with friends across the country, but there's just something fun about actually getting to hold someone's thoughtfulness.

:: disclaimer: i received this product from dayspring through (in)courage in exchange for this review. oh, and because they rock. ::


Thursday, July 14

i've got sunshine

sometimes the sky is so pretty, i have to take pictures while i'm driving. um, or flying.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Tuesday, July 12

a change of heart


my list of needs is short.

my list of wants even longer.

i was talking [complaining] tonight about those same couple of things i always seem to find myself talking about lately. those things that i am convinced that if they would just go according to my selfish plan, i would be so much more able to be happy and thriving and do great things for God.

i came to the conclusion that things weren't happening because i wasn't presenting my requests to God. i needed to be more intentional about asking.

so i sat down with my bible and read a little before praying.

and as i got ready to tell God all the things i wanted, i found myself becoming aware of all the things i have.

as i gazed in front of me, i saw my bicycle. the bicycle i'd had money to buy this year. the  bike that i am able to enjoy riding because i have legs and arms and a healthy body.

i could see my new dining room table. i always have food to eat at it. and on saturday night, i sat there surrounded by friends.

pictures on my bookcase and fridge also reminded me i have lovely friends and family. cards on top of my fridge mean that i have people in my life who care enough to take time to actually write me a note.

i look around and am seriously so happy in my apartment. i love the hardwood floors, the space, the colors, the storage, everything about it. and i have found ways to be creative in decorating it - ways to express myself and create and craft things with my hands. i am blessed to have a home.

i came before the Lord expecting to ask Him to change some circumstances in my life and renew my confidence and trust that He would. but He revealed to me circumstances in which He has already blessed me. all around me are reasons to simply be thankful.

i don't think that means He doesn't care about the desires of my heart and the situations i'm struggling in right now. but He is more concerned about the condition of my heart. His desire is to mold and shape me, and this really is best done through trials.

i didn't get what i expected tonight. i got much more.

i'm thankful for a God whose ways are higher than my own and whose plans are better than mine. that is where my hope and confidence lies. i'm blessed by a Savior who is continually saving me from myself and making me more like Him.

give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. [ps 107:1]

Monday, July 11

ten on ten [july edition]

july 10 in pictures:

1. starting sunday  2. new blue nail polish on my toes! 3. a trip to bj's resulted in these yummy plantain chips. 4. relaxing with my stud in the afternoon 5. sunday is also known as hockey day around here. #24 is my stud (: 6. grabbing dinner at the local "greasy spoon" 7. gorgeous night sky 8. we had a kanjam tournament til dark. mosquitoes wanted to join in. we fought back with these candles 9. still so in love with my shutters and curtains 10. bedtime! 

ten on ten button small

Friday, July 8

:: created ::


i am a packrat.

as much as i'd like to believe i am a minimalist, the truth of the matter is that i keep things. school papers, art projects, cards, letters, journals... 

hold on to things that are important to me. 

most of the things i hold on to are things that i have created. i don't want to let go of them. they have meaning to me. i care for them because they are part of me. they are my creation. 

and as i thought about this the other day, the truth of God's love hit me. 

if i can care so much about a thought, an idea, a piece of art, how much more does my Father love me simply because He created me? how important are we to Him simply because He is our Author? how much value do we hold in His eyes simply because we are crafted from His hands? 

we are the creation of His thoughts, His ideas, His imagination... we are created in His image. 
(gen1:27) God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  

we are created in His image, and He didn't just leave it at that! He has a plan for our lives. He has created us with reason and purpose... for each of our days.  

(ps139:1-5,13-17) O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. you know when i sit and when i rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. you discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. you hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. . . for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. i praise you because i am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, i know that full well. my frame was not hidden from you when i was made in the secret place. when i was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. how precious to me are your thoughts, O God! how vast is the sum of them!  

may we seek His purpose for each of our days; may His thoughts be of priceless value to us; may the creation overflow with praise for the Creator.


a field. a couch. a giveaway. [for you!]

hi friends,

i wanted to let you know about a giveaway my friend justin is doing. he's an amazing photographer. see?

justin recently did an engagement shoot with two of my lovely friends, brennan and tara.

a vintage couch in a gorgeous field? i love.

and he's giving someone the opportunity to win this signed, limited edition 11x15 print:

check out his blog for more amazing photos and to enter!

all photos: jalexander photography
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