Good Mornings

I don’t know about y’all, but the way I start out my morning often sets the tone for the rest of the day. Yesterday, I turned off all of my alarms in my sleep and woke up way too late for school. I felt totally undone the entire day and I came home feeling pretty rough.

Today, I woke up in a good mood. And somehow, that good mood lasted all day! I started to notice that things were just going my way. The kindergarteners were saying sweet things to me and just being really great today. I thanked God for each of them and felt myself smiling all throughout the day. Later, I took a moment to read the comments on our featured post on Madison’s blog, Wetherills Say I Do. Wow, that filled up my bucket, as we say in kindergarten. Just reading those made me feel even better. I thanked God again. I smiled some more. Then after school, I went by this new store in Athens that’s basically the Christian version of Anthropoligie. Does it get any better than that? Athens friends, go to Philanthropy. (Across from Creature Comforts, next to Ted’s Most Best [aka the best pizza place ever]). They donate 10% of your purchase to ministries in Athens! I made friends with the girl working there, and when she learned that I had an Etsy shop, she excitedly told me that she had heard of us and offered me so much encouragement. I left feeling so filled up and encouraged again. I noticed myself being friendlier to anyone I interacted with. I kept thinking, why can’t everyday be like this?

Maybe it can. Maybe if I start my days out thanking God for the good things instead of focusing on each flaw or mistake that I make, then I will end the day feeling spiritually renewed and thankful for what He’s blessed me with. I could’ve chosen to dwell in the mistake I made when I was being observed today at school, or all of the things I didn’t get checked off my to-do list. But instead I started counting my blessings. Today, I felt like it truly was well with my soul, and I liked that feeling!

Anyway, the rest of the evening was pretty great as well. I got to talk to someone in a downtown shop about selling some East West Design Co greeting cards there. It looks like our Athens greeting cards and the Georgia Home Sweet Home cards will soon be sold in stores!!! More details on that later. I couldn’t be more excited.

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Also, this happened tonight. There’s nothing like an impulsive trip to Target with friends, you know? The phrases “Um, I want to buy everything” and “I think I need these candles” were said multiple times, and Scarlett and I did both leave with candles.

TOMORROW. Only a few hours away. Jessica and I are finally heading to North Carolina for Emily Freeman’s writer’s conference: At The Barn. I can’t believe we’re doing this. I’m still not sure if this is for me. But something told me to go for it, even if I have to miss the Tennessee game tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how this will turn out and I know that it’s going to be a day of growth for us. We’re starting out the day in our sweat pants because…why would we wear our cute clothes in the car for 4 hours? And then we’re stopping in Charlotte for lunch, which I am PUMPED about because I’ve never been there. Pray for us, y’all.

What a wonderful friend. I love her dearly.

What a wonderful friend. I love her dearly.

september1Oh, uh here’s a nerdy student teacher moment…next week is apple week at school. I am a little bit too excited about this. A lot of apples will be eaten.

Custom South Carolina state print for a customer.

Custom South Carolina state print for a customer. Click here to order yours!

And just a little bit of extra, because I can’t resist pushing the shop on you guys in every post. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Odds & Ends

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but it’s been a pretty busy summer. One of the best things that’s been happening has been my and Lindsey‘s Etsy shop. Starting today, and lasting through this week, we’re offering a 20% off discount to celebrate our one month birthday!

Enter the code ONEMONTH when making your purchase!

 

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On a separate note, I discovered something really great today. It was one of those great discoveries that nobody really knows about. So I’m going to tell you. If you know me, you know that I have a passionate love for antiques. I love to find old things and give them new life! Thankfully, the south recognizes the greatness of antiques, but sometimes, antiques can get a little bit pricey.

I drive between Madison and Athens quite often when I’m visiting Ben’s family or when I’m babysitting in Bishop. The road that I travel is one of my favorite roads to drive on. It’s simple and peaceful, and there’s a few little places along the way that I think look adorable and intriguing.

Today, when I finished babysitting, I decided to stop by this little junk store called Reed’s Odds & Ends. It’s located right between Watkinsville and Bishop, so only 15 minutes away from Athens, if even that.

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When I went in, I knew right away that I would like it. It’s the kind of place where you can walk in and know who “Reed” is within seconds. And he was a cute old man. He was watching TV Land. HELLO. This place was filled with amazing stuff! I left with some crocheted doilies, a couple of old post cards, and two amazing blue mason jars. They are the best. I definitely think it’s worth the trip over to Bishop to go to this adorable little hole in the wall. ImageImageImageThere’s still more to discover between Athens and Madison.. Thomas Orchards, where I plan to buy some peaches, the Farmington Depot Gallery, and a pottery shop in Bishop. Hopefully I can knock em all out before summer is over.

Etsy Find: Amaginarium

ImageI recently saw this amazing USA cork board on a blog giveaway, which I immediately entered, and did NOT win.. because Lindsey did! But I couldn’t let this one go. So I went ahead and ordered one, and I can’t wait to get it in the mail!!! I also ordered some cute little arrows to pin on wherever I have been.. or wherever I hope to be. Who knows?

I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

 

 

Summertime

It’s hot out, y’all. It’s getting hotter everyday. Why am I not at the pool getting a tan?

Last summer I wrote about resting during the summer since none of my initial plans worked out. I was worried that it would happen again this time around, but it’s actually quite the opposite. I don’t know how it happened, but I have managed to stay busy almost every single day of summer. So far. I have only managed to carve out one day to lay out by the pool! That’s just an outrage.

But you know what? Being busy is rewarding. I work almost every day of the week for a company called Plant Partners. They supply the flowers and other plants to the garden centers of Wal-Mart. So, what I do is, I put on this hideous lime green vest that says “What’s Growing On?” on the back, I lace up my heavy duty boots, and I hang out in the garden center all day long. I’m supposed to be unloading shipments and rearranging things to make it look more beautiful for the customers, but a lot of times, those things have already been done and I come with nothing on the To do list. But overall, it has been really rewarding. The Wal-Mart employees are extremely sweet and cool, and I get to hang out around flowers all day! And that’s pretty therapeutic, even if there are psychotic birds swooping down from the beams above.

The Etsy shop is off to a good start. We’re really trying to not get quickly discouraged. The first day, we had a solid amount of orders. Since then, it’s quieted down a lot. I think both of us wanted to freak out and start worrying that this was a mistake and no one wants to buy our stuff. But if we gave up now, we wouldn’t have been in this for the right reasons. Therefore, we carry on!

IMG_3695I just love Steel Magnolias so much. There are so many quotable lines in it. I was just trying this out to see if I could do the blending of the two colors in my letters. But now that I think about it, why didn’t I blend blush & bashful? 😉

I tried making some bridesmaid cards last night to possibly sell in the future. What do you guys think? Lindsey and I agreed that we need to create things for our target audiences. People around my age are getting married. People her age are having babies. So now these things are in the works.

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What’s on everyone’s summer reading list?

Somehow, even though this summer has been one of my busiest ever, I have managed to get a lot of reading done. My love for reading has been reborn again.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

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1. Jesus Is by Judah Smith. I pick books to read based on a couple of things. One, I always judge a book by it’s cover. Who doesn’t do that? I’m sorry, but all of these books have great covers and all of them are awesome. And two, I take recommendations from people who I think are cool. And I definitely think Lauren is cool. She posted about this book last year, and I was immediately attracted to the cover, so I bought it. Yep. But guess what? It gives the coolest perspective on who Jesus was and is as a character. Judah Smith is a down-to-earth writer. I read it last year and had to re-read it again this year. And I never do that.

2. Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. This was definitely a keeper. I took this one from a recommendation by a girl whose blog I’m kind of obsessed with. And her name is Rachel as well! The book is so beautifully written. It’s really a collection of stories of how love can happen around the dinner table and how community is centered around it. I was hoping for more references to Jesus and different stories of him gathering around the table with his followers. But it was still inspiring, none the less. It’s also a cookbook. Pretty cool.

3. Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons. This is definitely my new favorite book. It was another recommendation by Lauren (she clearly has amazing taste in books!), and just a few pages into it, I knew it was going to impact me. It’s about finding your gifts and living in the present instead of trying to push things away to get on to the next step in life. I don’t know about you, but I’m very guilty of that in my life right now. Everything seems so temporary to me that I have just been trying to rush through it. So often, I find myself thinking things like, I’m just ready to graduate. I’m just ready to move on to what’s next in life. If I just get there everything will be fine. Nope. This book encourages readers to pray for God to keep them in the present and serve Him where we are at. It’s definitely one I’ll have to read again soon.

4. Loveology by John Mark Comer. Once again, a book recommended by some friends who were telling me about how they were going through this one in a Sunday school class. I don’t think people realize how seriously I take book recommendations. If someone mentions a title and I think it sounds interesting, it’s very likely that I’m going to research it and probably buy it. There’s nothing like a good book! And this one is really good so far. It’s about God, love, marriage, and sex. It’s perfectly blunt, just the way it should be. I definitely recommend this to anyone who has questions about these things!

What are you guys reading this summer? AKA give me some ideas for my next one. 🙂

 

 

Grand Opening!

This is pretty exciting. Today is the day. OUR ETSY SHOP IS OPEN!!!

Check it out.. now.

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I’m nervous but excited to see how this will turn out. It has been prayerfully considered for a long time. It’s been pretty interesting planning this from different sides of the country. There have been countless texts and trips to our respective Michael’s stores and conversations that include venting and frustration over scanning and printing. That was a whole adventure in itself. But thankfully, Athens Printing came through and really helped me out. It’s rare to find a company that actually goes above and beyond what they’re supposed to do to make you happy. It was definitely a blessing when they finally handed over 300 prints of my cards!

 

Yesterday was a great day. Instead of being lazy and sleeping in (like I really wanted to), I got up and went to the Farmers Market with Claire and Emily. I got some beautiful flowers and and this print from my favorite Etsy shop owner.. besides myself and Lindsey of course. 😉

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And then last night, I got to see two wonderful people get married! It was the sweetest wedding, and it was clear that Matthew and Hannah are two people pursuing the Lord in everything that they do. The whole event felt very relaxed and fun. And we had breakfast for dinner…what’s better than that?

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Hannah and I have gotten a lot closer since volunteering with the Cubbies (3 and 4 year olds) at Awana together at Oconee Heights this year. When we first started, I was very hesitant. I didn’t think I was going to like little kids. Even though I’m majoring in early childhood education, I tend to steer away from the little ones because I didn’t think I was meant for them. Hannah and I ended up having a blast with these children! They were more fun than I ever expected. I think that since we are both future teachers, we bonded over learning from these kids and the way that they do life. Since that experience, I’ve felt like God was teaching me that I can really learn to love little children just as much as the older ones. And then, of course, I happened to be placed in a kindergarten class for my student teaching next semester. I’d like to consider this all as a part of God’s arrangement. I’m excited to see what’s in store!

Since Hannah has also been super encouraging about the Etsy store and my products that I’ve made, I had to make her something as a wedding gift. I’m so excited about it.

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So that’s what’s been up lately! Please check out our shop. Spread the word! And most importantly, pray for us to keep Jesus at the forefront of our minds in everything we do!

Coast to Coast

Some exciting things have been happening lately. It really all started with my friend (who happens to be Ben’s sister) Lindsey. We have bonded over our love for crafting since the beginning of our relationship, and we both happened to share the same lofty goal of creating our own Etsy shops. We even joked around about creating one together someday, maybe when we were living in the same state again rather than on different sides of the country. But a few weeks ago, she texted me and told me that she felt like God was telling her to act on this now. I told her we should go for it. Something about it feels right. I have the tendency to have great ideas that I talk about and dream about, but am constantly saying that it’s not the right time for that. It would succeed more in a few months. It would be too much to handle right now. But with Lindsey’s enthusiasm, I realized that there truly is no time like the present. So we’re currently in the process of creating an Etsy shop that will sell watercolor prints and greeting cards with different designs and lettering.

We’re calling it East West Design Company. Lindsey lives in the west and I live in the east. I think it’s just kind of awesome.

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We really don’t know what we’re doing, to be honest. We’re nervous about failing, but excited at the possibility of succeeding and this becoming a bigger thing. We’re just learning as we go, all while living 2500 miles apart.

A cool thing that I came across in God’s perfect timing was a blog called Life Lived Beautifully. In her post from today, she gave the exact encouragement that we needed.

I am here to write to you, struggling business owners, big-dreamers, entrepreneurs with large ideas and small funds, that owning a business isn’t about success, followers or money.It is about the glory of God and becoming a woman after His heart. It is not about building self-esteem and accomplishing great things to put on your resume. If this is your purpose, you will quit a month or two later when the business doesn’t grow exponentially and you feel extremely vulnerable after putting your heart out for the whole world to examine. It is about greater things than mere resumes, it is about the kingdom of God. It is about being usable and useful to spread the Gospel in a unique way. It is about doing all things to make much of the name of Jesus. God doesn’t give us a platform to share trivial, fleeting things. He wants you to use a megaphone to proclaim His excellencies to a world that doesn’t know Him or value His worth (whether you have five followers or five-thousand.)

I don’t think it gets any more clear than that!

I’m excited for this and I hope you’ll love what we create! Here’s a preview of some things we’ve made so far:

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