Friday, May 5, 2017

Celebrating Mom: A Gift Guide with DaySpring

*This post contains affiliate links and was sponsored by DaySpring. I hope you enjoy the collaboration as much as I did!

April showers bring May flowers, and May brings a certain holiday to celebrate a special lady! To be honest, I haven't always been able to make it home on Mother's Day to be with family (I remember a particularly windy *ahem TORNADO-Y* one spent in the basement of my apartment out of state), but no matter where you are I think it is totally possible to shower the mothers in you life with love and reminders of how grateful we are for them!

Today I've partnered with DaySpring to bring you a fun gift guide of a few things that will brighten Mom's workday and space this Mother's Day!

A Mother's Day Gift Guide with DaySpring

1. She Believed Vintage Floral Tumbler. This travel tumbler is great for on-the-go and for making staying hydrated throughout the day way more fun! It's insulated, so it won't leave water droplets on the table, and it's gorgeous to boot! The side of it reads "She believed in His plan even when she couldn't see His path." 

2. Sweeter than Honey Coloring Book. Is anyone else excited that "adult art therapy" is so in right now? I have had all the heart eyes for this coloring book by Lindsay Letters for a while, and it is just as beautiful and inspiring in person as her art prints are! This is perfect for the mom looking to relax and unwind while keeping scripture up close and personal.

3. Bless Our Home Windchimes. My mom has a great view from her office of a nook in our backyard for bird watching, and she recently perched some comfy chairs out front to enjoy the spring weather. These wind chimes dance magically in the wind and the sound is simply lovely! It would be a great addition (and incentive to spend some time in the cool air!) to any outdoor area.

4. So Very Blessed Jumbo Mug. Any coffee drinkers out there? This gorgeous jumbo mug is painted so prettily to remind us of just how blessed we are. Talk about an extra pick me up in the morning! It would make a great gift for any mother in your life, and it may be tempting enough to get one for yourself, too... or is that just me? ;)

5. He Will Rejoice Over You Scroll Banner. What a stunning wall hanging! This one isn't technically in their Mother's Day collection, but it was too beautiful not to include. It features the verse Zephaniah 3:17 that says, "The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love and will rejoice over you with singing." Plus the calligraphy is swoon worthy, don't you think?!

It was so hard to narrow it to my five favorites, but I think there's something for everyone here! 
Be sure to order by Monday, May 8th to guarantee Mother's Day delivery!

What's your favorite of the five? 
Is there one your Mom would just love?!
I'd love to know!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Simplify: April Goals

Goals in the first week of the month?! It must be a miracle! ;) Last night I mentioned to one of the girls at lifegroup that I feel like I'm finally coming out of survival mode, and boy does that feel great. April is the slow down after competition season, and it's the start of the LAST six weeks of the school year! I'm almost no longer a first year teacher (praise the Lord!). Now how about those monthly goals?

Monthly Goals:
1. See Carissa's show in Dallas. I can actually already cross this off the list, and I'm SO glad I made it a priority! Last weekend I drove up to see Carissa in Bruises: Animal vs Machine and it was incredible! She's a BEAST in the best way possible, an absolutely incredible actress (and friend)! The show was so well done and I left feeling inspired to go and create more art. Also, I saw it on April 1st and somehow managed to escape without a prank from my Big, so that's a miracle, too ; 

2. Budget/finish school orders. With the spring semester winding down, we are getting in all our final orders for classroom supplies, program needs, and things of that nature. I want to plan well for next year (how cool/relieving is it to know where I'll be in the fall?!) so this is a MUST.

3. Make progress on financial goals. I read Love Your Life Not Theirs last month and it brought some much needed perspective. This month my plans are to get at least halfway to my first savings goal by filing away my tax return immediately, pay the deposit on our house (more details below), and purchase a final plane ticket for my summer travels. If I stick to the budget I can manage all three by the start of May. Fingers crossed.

4. Find a house to rent for next year. I am SO excited about this one (and it's almost complete)! A friend and I are going to rent a house next year instead of living in our separate apartments, and we've been on the hunt for a few weeks. We've finally found one we love and are in the application process right now. I can't wait to show you what we plan to do with it and progress along the way!

5. Map out a Ketogenic plan. How many times have I made this a goal and abandoned it? This time the goal is to make a PLAN, specific and simple, and to begin it. I want to be more realistic when it comes to setting goals for my physical health, because my temptation is to think too big then I fall too hard. Saturday is my planning day and I'll keep you posted.

6. Read 5+ books. This month I'm hoping to tackle a few new books (from my library stack) and finish a few I didn't quite tackle in January. At the moment the new list includes: Perfect, Flawed, Nothing to Prove, Throne of Glass, and Sarah's Key.

7. The Contentment Challenge. If I've tried it once, I've failed it six times. But now that I have financial goals and a new house on the horizon, my motivation to bring in less stuff and to spend less money is FAR greater than ever before. I want to save, save, save instead of spend, spend, spend, and I want to clear some of the clutter. Here we go!

Weekly Goals:
1. Active 3x's per week.
2. Only eat out max 2x's weekly.
3. Lesson plans in on time.
4. Sabbath Sundays.
5. Essential oils progress.

Daily Goals:
In the Word + Active + No $ spent + YoungLiving 
 + Water + Ketogenic + Read for fun

What have you made happen so far in April?
What goal are you working on this week?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Simplify: March 2017 Goals

The last week of March seems like a fine time to share the month's goals, right? ;) At the start of the year I had great intentions of sharing goals on the 1st of each month then a re-cap with cute graphics at the end. It was a good idea, but not exactly practical for my season. So here's a bit of both all in one!

Monthly Goals:
1. Direct One Act Play to the best of my abilities. I have been preparing my students to compete with their UIL One Act Play Proof since the start of the spring semester. We've rehearsed for weeks, I spent spring break painting and finding costumes, then finally it was time four or contest last Tuesday. We didn't advance to the next level BUT my students did a great job and have a show to be proud of! 

2. Visit family for a weekend. I hadn't been home since Christmas due to weekend events and my rehearsal schedule, so it was important for me to put a trip home on my calendar. I got to stay with my parents, get dinner with a friend from college, see Newsies in theatre, and do a bit of shopping. All in all a great trip home.

3. Finish Celebrate Your Season. Illustrated Faith released an online workshop taught by yours truly last month, and it ran for four weeks, ending mid-March! Celebrate Your Season was all about digging into what the Lord is doing in your life right now without wishing it away while we wait for this, that, or the other. I SO loved creating the videos and sharing my pages and heart with everyone online. The class is still available, so if you haven't taken it already you can find it HERE.

4. Rest well during spring break. This was definitely a priority for March. I've been in survival mode for a while, trying to flip the switch to thrive in my new city and job, but it wasn't quite working. Spring break ended up being the perfect blend of rest and productivity. I took a few days to relax and read, while still finding time to finish our set and run school errands. My sister even came to town for a few days. We had a full day of rehearsal before our contest, and I finished the week by bowling and seeing The Shack that Sunday. I couldn't have asked for a better break!

5. Read 5+ books. This month I've done pretty well working in reading time throughout the weeks. So far I've read No More Faking Fine, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, Lost in a Book, The Shadow Queen, and What Falls From the Sky. I've also listened to What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and Anne of Green Gables on audiobook.

6. Order a Letterfolk Board. In an effort to be more financially responsible, I've scheduled out a few purchases throughout the year. March was the month to finally snag my Letterfolk board and I LOVE IT! I picked up The Writer in gray and have really enjoyed putting funny things and book quotes up in my living room.

I knew it was competition month so I kept the goals pretty simple and specific, which seemed to help!

Weekly Goals:
1. Ketogenic 80% of the time. Hahaha. Nope, this didn't happen.
2. Simplify (one goal per week). Ehhhhh. Kinda.
3. Blog 2x's per week. More like one post for the whole month...
4. Lesson plans in on time. YES. I actually managed this one!

Daily Goals:
Lent study + Psalm daily + No $ spent eating out 
Bed at 10:00pm + Up at 5:30am + Pilates + Read for fun

What have you made happen so far in March?
What goal are you working on this week?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Celebrating Valentine's Day with DaySpring

Y'all know I love me some DaySpring, and when it came time to hunt for Valentine's Day gifts they did not disappoint! DaySpring has long been a resource for me when it comes to all things Illustrated Faith, but they have so much more to offer! Books, jewelry, home goods, and more, y'all! Goodness galore!

I was so excited to put together a gift guide for the upcoming holiday (it'll be here oh so soon!), and today I'm sharing a few of my favorite finds.

First up, the You & Me Jumbo Mug! I'm a bit of a mug collector myself, and this pretty red beauty stands out in the pile of wide ceramic coffee cups I've accumulated over the years. I loved it so much that I actually have it out on my counter holding my favorite teas! This is a great gift from him to her or back again, and I think it could be made into a fun coffee-date-in-a-cup surprise with a few of your favorite treats and a Starbucks gift card or two.

Second, we have the LOVE Letterpress Block Set. You can buy individual blocks to build your own name or phrase, or pick up a pre-made set that reminds you of the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, or even HOPE and JOY. I have a few phrases up my sleeve and hope to build my collection so I can change the words at will! This would be a great gift for anyone on your list, and something to be kept for years to come!

Number 3 is the first two items in the 5 Love Languages collection, a Journal for 2 and a matching Ready-to-Go Gift Bag! If you haven't read The 5 Love Languages to figure out your own (and those of your family/friends/significant other) you should! You don't have to be dating or married to do so, either. I love the idea of this journal as a way for couples to keep up with one another's thoughts and needs, making it easier to serve in specific ways when one's tank is running low. Plus, isn't it gorgeous?!

The gift set continues with a few more options for that special someone:  Love Notes, Sticky Prayers, and a Coupon Book. The designs match the journal and gift bag, and they are perfect to gift as a set or individually. A great reminder that the little things matter and can make a big difference!

Last but certainly not least is my favorite item on the gift guide, this gorgeous His Word in My Heart Pendant Necklace. A simple heart with a cross along one side says it all: Christ at the center for all to see. It's sleek but meaningful, beautiful but lightweight. I cannot wait to gift a few of these to friends and family oh so soon!

Just for you today, use the code 25FORYOU for 25% off your order AND free shipping! You may want to bump up the shipping to get it in time for Valentine's Day, but with the discount it's totally doable!

What was your favorite item?
Who are you gifting to this year?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Simplify: February 2017 Goals

I'm actually getting these goals out before the end of the month! Be proud y'all ;) February is off to a running start, and I'm excited to see what the rest of this month holds. The weekend disappeared far too quickly, and while most of you were watching some big football game, I curled up with my computer and a couple of favorites: Finding Dory and Shakespeare in Love. Neither disappointed.

It's back to my PowerSheets to map out the month ahead, and this time the goals found themselves color coded and piling up quick. Let's take a peek, shall we?

Monthly Goals:
1. Launch the #psalmsdaybyday challenge. Recently I have been struggling to be in the Word consistently, and I have not made time in my schedule to do as much Bible journaling as I'd like to. At the end of January I got the idea to read a Psalm per day, and it was delightful to find that by starting on the first day of February it would wrap up on the last day of June! I shared the first month's list HERE and have been participating with a daily page in the hashtag HERE.

2. Attend the LIT event by Beth Moore with Annie. This is coming up next weekend, and I'm so excited! Beth Moore announced this one day event back in November, created specifically for women in their 20s and 30s who feel called to write and speak, and it was my Black Friday purchase of choice! Annie flies in Friday, and I can't wait to spend the weekend with her!

3. Direct One Act Play well. It's getting into crunch time for our competition show! With only 3 days of rehearsal per week, I need to be diligent and dedicated to our time and my responsibilities during the week. I want to set my kids up for success and model both fun and professionalism along the way.

4. Create a budget/savings plan. This was put on my list of goals at the top of the month, then yesterday my pastor started a series on money and possessions. Talk about great timing! I want to map out some upcoming expenses for the next few months then really take a hard look at where my money is going this month. If you fail to plan you plan to fail, right?

5. Complete the Entrusted study & dig into Seamless. My other plans for getting into the Word are to follow a couple of Bible studies with friends. Annie and I have been going through Entrusted, and I want to tackle the last of it before the conference this weekend. Jenna and I have recently begun Seamless and I'm loving it, too!

6. Read 5+ books. This one made it back onto the list! Honestly, it will probably make it here every month. For February I plan to read the following books: Glass Sword, Cruel Crown, King's Cage, You Are Free, No More Faking Fine, and Nothing to Prove. Stay tuned for the reviews.

7. Simplify health: Ketogenic research/eating. This month's simplification topic is health, and part of that is simplifying my meal prep to eat ketogenic during the week (and to spend less money on food while doing it). I feel so much better when following this map, and it takes less time once it's all prepared. Hopefully it will go better this month than in January!

8. Make a Goodwill pile/run. Health may be the month's theme, but I still want to make an effort to simplify my things as I go. I have started a pile for Goodwill and want to keep building it and make a big donation at the end of the month.

Weekly Goals:
1. Lesson plans turned in on time.
2. Sabbath/unplugged on Sunday.
3. Church/Lifegroup/Discipleship/Bible study.
4. Active 2/3 times weekly.
5. Blog 2/3 times.
6. Complete weekly One Act Play task.

Daily Goals:
Quiet time in the AM + Psalm daily + No $ spent eating out 
Bed at 10:00pm + Up at 5:30am + Prayer/gratitude + Read for fun

Here we go! Let's take week 2 by storm and hit the ground running!

What have you made happen so far in February?
What goal are you working on this week?

*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. They won't cost you a penny more, but they might help this first year teacher to an extra Sonic run after rehearsal ;)
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