Friday, August 28, 2015

Interior Inspiration: 5 Swoon-worthy Spaces

Happy Friday, ya'll! (Apparently I'm channeling my inner southern gal today.) Seeing as we're moving soon (if you didn't see the announcement on instagram, check it out, and follow me... shameless plug!), all things home decor have been on my mind lately. The thought of having more space and a new layout is so appealing and I can't wait to get in there and have some fun. So I thought I would share some of the spaces that have been inspiring me lately as I've been dreaming about our new place. 


The light fixture, the basket, the rug, the lucite table that you can hardly tell is there... I love it all! Bring on a beautiful entryway! But this entryway isn't just beautiful... it's also functional! A place to sit, somewhere to corral your keys, and some extra storage. What's not to love?


I adore the bright and airy simplicity of this living room. The use of color and texture is awesome and definitely inspires me to get a little bit bolder in my choice of both. I'm also a major fan of the bamboo roman shades and definitely need to look into that for window coverings in our new place.


This bright living and dining space has a couple crucial pieces that I love—plants, beautiful moulding, and fun seating. Plus those floor-to-ceiling windows are to die for!


I cannot sing the praises of this kitchen enough! It's the perfect blend of bright color and white, with a bit of natural thrown in. I think I would love doing dishes at that huge sink looking out that stunning blue-framed window. Although open shelving in the kitchen is a bit controversial for practical reasons, I think everybody can agree that it looks beautiful... and this kitchen is no exception!


I love the black and white going on with the bed, and the warm tones in the rug and tables just makes this bedroom look so cozy. The simplicity is great... and I definitely want to try and incorporate 'simple' more into our new home.

So there you have it! Five spaces that I've totally been drooling over. Obviously, a lot of these spaces are the actual home themselves, but the general feeling and decor can be brought into any space... and I hope to bring them into ours! Do you have any spaces that you've been adoring lately?

Have a great weekend, friends!

Friday, August 21, 2015

When Anxiety Gets the Best of You

I'm not normally one who is burdened with excessive amounts of anxiety. I'm usually a pretty happy-go-lucky, we'll-cross-that-bridge-when-we-get-there kinda gal. But there are times—hours, days, weeks, seasons—that I find myself overcome with anxiety. And this past week just so happened to be one of them.

You see, these past few months have felt a bit like limbo. Nothing too extreme was happening in our lives, there wasn't much change, and we were waiting on what felt like a hundred things that just needed time. 

And then this week happened. Let's just say that each day has brought about some big change, decision, or stressor—from overseas trips, to housing situations, to future career goals, to phone calls with pharmacists and doctors—it's been one crazy week.

But it's also been one wonderful week. I have seen God answer our repeated prayers from the last months. I have seen Him provide. I have felt His comfort and peace as I have cried out to Him for guidance and strength.

I was again reminded that God is the only one who can give complete peace amidst anxiety-inducing circumstances. I was ushered into His presence where I experienced His grace. He did not leave me alone. He was right there, guiding, comforting, speaking words of truth and wisdom. All I had to do was ask.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
—Philippians 4:6–7
God can guard our hearts and our minds against anxiety, if only we ask Him, if only we lay before Him our desires, fears, anxieties, requests, longings. When we give it all to Him, He gives to us, in return, His peace, which surpasses all understanding. That's a pretty good trade, if you ask me.

So if you're starting to feel that anxiety creep in—that feeling of tightness in your chest, or shortness of breath, or being on the verge of tears—turn to Him! Turn to the only one who can fully remove that anxiety and replace it with unspeakable peace.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Changing our Habits: 30 Days of Eating Healthy

This past week Loverboy and I decided to start a very loose interpretation of Whole30... and when I say very loose, I mean ver-er-errrryyyy loose. Like, we're still eating dairy (gasp!). And salad dressing (say it ain't so!). And peanut butter (noooooo!). Ok, I probably shouldn't even call it a loose interpretation of Whole30. Whoever started Whole30 is probably rolling over in their grave. Except I'm sure they're still alive because they eat so dang healthy. Anywho...

We ARE staying away from mass quantities of sugar (read: any sweets, dessert, chocolate, candy, or anything with abhorrent amounts of added sugar) and carbs/grain stuffs (I'm not a nutritionist so I don't know the real way to say that, but basically no bread, pasta, couscous, aforementioned yummies like cake and cookies, cereal, pizza, breaded anything, and other things that make the sun shine and the butterflies dance). We're doing this because we (especially me) really love our sugars and carbs just a little too much. And by a little, I mean a lottle. 

We do however, have the right to decide we are going to cheat a little, but only for special occasions or when other people are feeding us. Not when we are sitting on the couch at home after work.

So, we're 5 days in to this 30 day thing... 1/6 of the way there! And it's been pretty decent overall. I've been enjoying eggs and cheese with fruit for breakfast, and we've learned that potatoes are actually a pretty good substitution for pasta. ("But HOW do we have shrimp and asparagus without PASTA?!" We figured it out... drama averted.)

I'm excited to see how the month goes, how we're feeling, if we decide to stick with some of our new habits and integrate them into our normal, everyday diet. So far I haven't felt too tempted (and in fact have even felt relief that I have an excuse to not grab that piece of cake at work). I feel like the past year or so I have filled my body with so much junk, so it feels good to have a little self-control (I might be singing a different tune in a couple weeks!).So if you have any good recipes for me, please pass them my way. And let me know if you've ever tried going sugar/grain free, and if so, how it went. Or if you were REALLY brave and actually did the Whole30. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

10 Organizations Fighting for Justice to Follow on Facebook

There's always so much talk about how Facebook can be detrimental... causing us to judge, compare, throw pity-parties, or find reason to complain. But what if we started to use Facebook as a means to learn more about a specific topic? As a way to educate ourselves and get connected to meaningful work around the globe? I've been trying it out the last couple months and it's been BOMB.

I decided to "like" a bunch of pages on Facebook of organizations that are fighting human trafficking. I figured it could be cool to stay up to date on what's happening in the anti-trafficking world, and since I'm on Facebook a decent amount of time, why not throw some good stuff in there?

So if you like seeing inspirational/motivational/convicting/informational/educational little photos, along with articles, news stories, blog posts and more that all have to do with anti-trafficking and justice, then I've got some sweet Facebook pages for you to "like." 
  1. Exodus Cry
  2. International Justice Mission
  3. Tiny Hands International
  4. The CNN Freedom Project
  5. Truckers Against Trafficking
  6. Stop the Traffik
  7. A21
  8. Not For Sale
  9. Love 146
  10. The Justice Conference
And a little bonus for you... we're just getting started, but check out the new ministry that Loverboy and I are helping lead at our church: Bethlehem Against Sexual Exploitation

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