Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bedroom Update // It All Started With a Lamp

We I did a little big of rearranging in the bedroom the other day. If you know me at all, this won't surprise you one bit. And it all started with a lamp. Isn't it peerrrdddyyy?? :)

On Monday my mom and I went to a super sweet Salvation Army (on 4th St. N, for those of you in Minneapolis), and I totally scored this incredible geometric floor lamp! We both had been looking for lamps so when we saw a sign stating that lamps were 50% I swear I heard the angel hallelujah chorus. So what did I do? Buy three lamps? You betcha'!

[Excuse the low-quality pic (high-quality hubby), hopefully I can post some better pics later... but this gives you an idea of the new space.]

After trying out the standing lamp in the living room, Loverboy and I both decided it just wasn't quite the right height for the space, so thankfully, I had already started tearing apart our bedroom [Loverboy gets to come home from work to lots of fun things. So grateful for a husband that just laughs when I yell at him from the furniture-baricaded bedroom that I'm tearing the house apart]. I've really been wanting a little side table by my side of the bed and I decided that our old coffee table [post on our new-to-us coffee table coming when I remember to snap some pics] might do nicely. Kind of quirky for the space, but it would give me lots of room to do what I wanted.

So, I had already moved things around quite a bit and the geometric lamp was able to find a home as a perfect little reading lamp in the corner. I kind of love it and have been spending a lot of time in there. Although the new arrangement feels a little bit tighter than the last one [kind of inevitable when you're moving a bed from away from the wall], it definitely feels cozier and like the space works better for our needs.

And my little side table just makes me so happy! The perfect space to stash a couple books, some lotion, chapstick, and other essentials! 

So there's a little update on the status of our place... hopefully some better photos will be coming your way soon! Thanks for stopping by friends, and happy hump day!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Friday friends! I don't know about you, but this week has felt long around here. I'm looking forward to a mentoring coffee tomorrow morning followed by another bachelorette party tomorrow night! Two of my dearest friends are getting married a week apart next month and the celebrations are flowing! I couldn't be happier for them and cannot wait for them to experience married life!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? Here are a few things I found on the interwebs this week. Enjoy!


1// I found this article on 'The 36 Questions That Lead to Love' quite interesting. I'm secretly hoping to talk through a few of them with Loverboy tonight. There's always room to know more about the one that you already love!

2// I can't wait to try these copycat Trader Joe's "Gone Bananas!" I discovered these gems while babysitting and we got a couple boxes last time we were at TJ and they are so delightful! Unfortunately the store was out of the kind of coconut oil I needed yesterday, so it will have to wait until another trip.

3// This post on the 'Top 10 Ways to Make a Marriage Retreat Meaningful' will be very helpful as Loverboy and I look forward to our #keepthelovealive weekends [you can read more about when we went to Stillwater here]. Out first trip wasn't super intentional, but really good to have some time away with just us. But I am looking forward to some more intentional weekends in the future... and we are going to an actual marriage retreat next month in Red Wing that I am super pumped about!

4// One of my lovely friends, Andra is co-owner of With Grace and Gold, a business that "creates purposeful and authentic branding for small businesses." [They are super awesome, so ya'll should go see what they're all about!] Anyway, I love that they recently posted about ways to balance your time online (read: SOCIAL MEDIA!) and gave a couple of suggestions of websites/apps to control and track how much time you are spending on sites. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rolling Craft Cart

I scored this adorable tri-level rolling cart for ONE DOLLAR at a thrift store in Madison a couple summers back when I lived in the Dells. It didn't have a price tag so when I asked how much and they offered it to me for a dollar I almost peed my pants in excitement. It was originally a silvery-metal color so I spray painted it white and called it good.

I kind of always pictured it as a bathroom piece, but we ended up using some different shelving in the bathroom, so I knew I had to think of some other fun way to use it. I had been wanting to create a crafty area in the office or guest room [even included it in my winter goal list], but just hadn't found the right place to set up shop yet.

So when I thought of turning this cart into a mobile craft center, I knew I had struck gold. Perfect for wheeling over to the coffee table for scrapbooking while watching a movie, easily accessible from the desk where it sits next to, and great for corralling all my little craft supplies. I decided to stick mainly to paper crafting supplies, since this cart is little and I have way too many supplies to all fit. Plus, paper crafting has been a favorite of mine for like ever in the grand scheme of the crafting world. So it just made sense. I used jars, tins, cups, mugs, and other organizers to sort and arrange my different supplies. Washi tape, small papers, glues, pens, stamps, etc. Each has it's own place in this little cart.

The top shelf houses small scrapbook paper and stickers, washi tape, little envelopes, sticky notes, and flags, tape and glue, paintbrushes, and pens.

On the middle shelf you can find stamps, stabilo pens, colored pencils, paper punches, decorative paper clips, and photos. The bottom shelf holds my Smash Books, Project Life Kit, and paper cutter.

So there you have it! A functional and cute little mobile craft station. How would you use this cart?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Friday friends! Woof has this week seemed long! I'm looking forward to a packed weekend of a double date, Women's coffee, bachelorette party, and birthday celebrations with family. Then Monday is MLK day so the hubs and I have planned a little date day which looks like it will be relaxing and fun! 

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite things from the web this week... from some of my favorite blogs and sites! Enjoy and have a wonderful, WARM weekend! [3 cheers for above-freezing weather!]

This stir fry spaghetti squash from A Beautiful Mess looks amazing! I have a spaghetti squash just sitting in our kitchen waiting to be used... and a stir fry sounds uniquely delicious!

This article, 8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Declutter by PopSugar, looks super helpful and I will definitely be pulling it back up in the next month or so as I try to attack clutter in our home.

The EveryGirl teaches us 15 Ways to Save on Decor. I already do a lot of these, but it's a good read to be reminded that decor doesn't have to be high-end to be fabulous! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's OK to Not Know What You Want to Be When You Grow Up

I never thought I'd be sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day doing Graphic Design again. Not after two summers of mindless computer-staring at my university job. The job that undoubtedly helped me get through school with less debt, introduced me to incredible people, and had it's own handbag of perks.

But after those two summers and 5 semesters of being a Graphic Designer and 4 years of studying it, I didn't really think I'd do it again (ironic, eh?). But here I am again, doing design for a church, this time, instead of a university, but design nonetheless. A job that I am so incredibly grateful to have, a job where I have met amazing people, a job that has connected the hubs and I to an amazing church family. But still, I don't see myself here for years on end.

So I find myself a bit distracted—one minute I'm all researching what it would take to be a home-stager and looking into Interior Design programs, and the next minute I'm making grandiose plans to go to grad school for counseling. And then the next minute everything seems too hard or expensive so I just sit there. I feel like a little bit of a mess.

But I guess it all boils down to the fact that I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

And that's OK.

Yeah, I have lots of things I really enjoy, but none of them seem viable for a career. So I sit and I stare at a computer screen for 8 hours a day because that is where God currently has me. I sit there and work to further His kingdom in the way, time, and place that He has me. He's writing my story, and although I wouldn't have imagined me back here, He knew all along. That's why after my 2 years on staff with The Navigators He began to stir my heart again for this thing called Graphic Design, even when I had basically sworn it off 2 years previous [did I mention you have to stare at a screen for 8 hours a day?!]. He began to bring back my desire and drive for this profession. And I know He did it for a reason. If even for the people we've met because of this opportunity.

But you know what else? You know what keeps me going besides the fact that I know that God has me right where He wants me? It's a job. And I think sometimes we (especially my generation) can put too much weight on doing what you L.O.V.E. for your profession. Don't get me wrong—I think that's awesome if you've found your passion and profession in one place. But I don't think it happens all the time to everyone for their whole life. Maybe it takes years of trying out different things. Maybe it requires going back to school. Maybe you find it for a bit but then it slips away for awhile. Maybe it never really happens to you.

But there is still room to be faithful and a hard worker and happy with your work situation, even if it isn't your dream. Even if you said you would never do it and yet there you find yourself. Even if you are searching and dreaming and wondering if there's something out there that would suit you better. Because true joy doesn't come from our day job. True joy comes from full life in Jesus. And we can have full life in Him regardless of our jobs.

We can be faithful and go to work with a good attitude, knowing that we can serve our bosses, love our co-workers, and shine Jesus in our work place. Plus, God is the best networker I know and he can pull strings like a boss. ;) So we don't have to give in to anxiety over what's next, if we're feeling like 'here' isn't forever.

And even if we don't know what we want to be when we grow up, that's OK. Because God is writing our story and HE knows what we're going to be when we grow up. And He has placed us where we are now to be there and shine Him.

P.S. I really liked this quote from a Relevant article on chasing your dreams— "Just like we're being transformed into God's image in steps—from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)—we don't achieve the dream God's given us all at once." Now if only I could find that dream... but that's for another day I suppose.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interior Inspiration: Kitchen Love

I kind of love a good kitchen. Which is sad, because the place we're living right now that I'm totally in like with has a not-so-wonderful kitchen [apparently I'm in a nice mood]. Forget the fact that it doesn't have a dishwasher [besides my cute hubby ;)], but the counter space is abysmal, the lighting is florescent (eek!), and the layout is not great. 

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But I'm counting my blessings with it's crazy amount of storage, normal-height sink and countertop (another apartment we applied to had a low sink and countertop!), and double sink (born and raised with one of those!).

All in all, it's not terrible, but it certainly isn't my favorite room in our place and doesn't super encourage me to cook, which is kind of bad considering that's not my natural bent. So I am left to Pinterest dreaming, in hopes that one day I will have a kitchen as cool as one of these. But until then, I guess I'm stuck cramped on my little slice of countertop underneath the florescent light. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Four Months

After three months of doing these monthly marriage posts, I have to say, they've accidentally become somewhat of a tradition and something that I look forward to every month. Taking a moment to look back on the previous 30 days to remember and be grateful. It's kinda nice.

So this fourth month of marriage started out with a night's stay at a B&B in Stillwater, MN. Which was sooooo wonderful and came at the perfect time right as Loverboy and I were both feeling a lot of job stress. We have been strongly encouraged by multiple different people to take a little getaway 2–4 times a year... just some time for the two of us to be intentional, reconnect, get away from all the hubbub of life, and work on our marriage.

This first trip was pretty chill and we didn't have a ton of super intense marriage building time, but just to get away and have fun together was so great. We stayed at the Ann Bean Mansion, dined at Marx Fusion Bistro, and got a private tour at the Warden's House Museum. We highly recommend all of those experiences! Also, I am officially dubbing these getaways as #keepthelovealive weekends. Just because hashtags are #ridiculous, but I still #lovethem.

Ann Bean Mansion

Marx Fusion Bistro

Warden's House Museum Tour

Other highlights included a small group Christmas party, finally getting my name put on our Wells Fargo account, tons of Christmas celebrations, a fancy dinner with friends, lots of good family time (especially with some sibs), the beginning of what I hope to be a decluttering trend for the year, an epic date night at Dave & Busters, trivia with the neighbor, and quite a few new recipes.

This was a pretty sweet month of lots of time together, learning how to spend lots of time together without getting on each other's nerves (ha!), dreaming of the future and asking God how he wants to use us, and learning more about communication and openness. All good things. Not all easy, but definitely good. :)

I love you hubs and am so grateful for another month together. You've got my heart, boi.

Friday, January 9, 2015


I recently finished reading Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker [and forcing it into Loverboy's hands/ears every couple chapters or so] and it is kinda bad-good. I got the book a few years back for free and it has sat on my bookshelf ever since. It's moved with me from place to place, been shuffled around, but always just sitting on my bookshelf. Staring at me. Because I knew what it was about, and I didn't want to read it. I knew it was going to challenge and convict me and I guess I just haven't been in a place where I want to be smacked upside the head until recently. 

So about a couple months ago I picked it up and put it on the desk. Then on the coffee table. Then in my purse. One step closer to me actually reading it. Then I actually started reading it. Then I finished it. And it's just what I expected. A good smack upside the head.


But I'm not really sure what else to say about it. Except that we've been doing a lot of thinking and dreaming and talking and planning around here. And that the above quote decently describes the book and our thoughts.

Here's what one reviewer on Amazon said about the book. [I'm about to quote somebody who quotes somebody. Get ready.]
I feel sometimes like we are all just "playing church", and that can be a suffocating place at times (just being honest) because... well, here's the way Jen put it: "Why did I spend all my time blessing blessed people who should be on the giving side of the equation by now?" (p. 21) Answer: because its safe and because its comfortable. 
YES. Safe and comfortable. I am way too obsessed with being both of those things. But really, I'm tired of feeding the obese, clothing the fashionistas, giving medicine to the perfectly healthy, "blessing the blessed," as Jen puts it. 

I want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help heal the sick. I want to do the things that Jesus tells us to do. I want to rid myself of this obsession with safety and comfort. 

But it starts one small baby step at a time, I think. It starts with giving to the homeless Native American man who waves at me from the corner on my way to and from work. It starts with doing things I wouldn't normally do, with people I wouldn't normally do them with. It starts with noticing those who I don't usually notice. It starts small, but I know where my Jesus has called me. I know what He has asked of me.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ —Matthew 25:35–40

Also, a few articles that have been wrecking lately, that I mentioned in my A Year in Blogging post
Dear World: Let's Stop Giving Our Crap to the Poor
# Blessed
Rich and Poor | The Question That Wrecked Us Both

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Interior Inspiration: Sofas

I've been dreaming of pretty sofas lately. Especially those in the gray family. I seriously just went to my pinterest board and like 90% of the living rooms I've pinned have gray sofas. There's just something about them that's so beautiful. Maybe it's the fact that they go with everything without being white (read: dirty in like .02 seconds in our home), or black (a little too dark and the perfect little lint-collector). Basically, gray sofas are that perfect neutral in-between that hides imperfections and still goes with everything. Thank you, gray, for being so awesome.

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The hubs and I have had our eye on a couple gray sofas from Dock86. Super cheap, and the best part?? The selling point that the sales floor people actually use?? The pillows come with it! Ahahahaha... if only they knew that I was laughing at them silently while smiling and nodding in fake appreciation. I could really care less about the pillows when I'm purchasing a multi-hundred dollar couch. But whatevs.

So anyway, you might be seeing a new couch around here soon. Or you might not. It really just depends on our mood and what we decide to do. But regardless, I'm dreaming. And in my dreams, the couches are all gray and tweed-ish and wonderful. And of course, they all come with matching pillows. 


Friday, January 2, 2015

I Will Choose

Back in the vault, from January 2, 2012 ...

Today I was journaling and thought of how often I choose NOT to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. So often I choose weakness, fear, hate, and sin over Jesus. But I have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead inside of me. I have that same power. I don't have to live in slavery to my flesh and the things of this world. I can live in the power of the Holy Spirit, or in the weakness and darkness of my flesh. I have a choice. 


Jesus, today I choose to live in the power of your Holy Spirit. 

I will choose...
love over contempt
peace over fear
forgiveness over judgement
truth over lies
surrender over control
purpose over apathy
faith over doubt
selflessness over selfishness
dialogue over monologue
God-pleasing over people-pleasing
trust over mistrust
praise over complaints
self-love over self-pity
your will over my will
belief over unbelief
changed heart over behavior modification
wisdom over foolishness
contentment over jealousy
victory over defeat
honesty over denial
boldness over trembling
doing over hearing
obedience over disobedience
clarity over confusion
patience over impatience
joy over despair
self-control over self-indulgence
righteousness over unrighteousness
freedom over slavery
relationship over religion
real over fake
purity over impurity
repentance over stubbornness
vulnerability over self-protection
gentleness over harshness
thanksgiving over discontentment
encouragement over gossip
people over things
feeling over numbness
your opinion over others' opinions
passion over laziness
depth over surface
acceptance over cynicism
humility over pride
discernment over uncertainty
strength over powerlessness
grace over legalism
dependence on you over dependence on others or myself
serving over competition
holiness over ungodliness
serenity over stress
growth over staleness
redemption over condemnation
life over death
you, Jesus, over the world.

What do you need to choose today? The ones I feel most convicted by as of late are "selflessness over selfishness," "changed heart over behavior modification," "contentment over jealousy," "passion over laziness," and "growth over staleness." Why don't you ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you one (or a few) that He wants you to embrace. 

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