Three Things on Thursday: Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

Thursday, June 27, 2013
It's time for round two of Three Things on Thursday and don't these colors just jump off the screen? This sweet and simple table setting is from an herb-inspired baby shower. I'm pretty sure the little one's name was going to be Sage or Rosemary. How precious! And I love, love, love the stripes and pop of color in the image with the vase of flowers. Lastly, I've had my eye on this camera strap for some time. It is made by a group called His Imbaraga which equips men in Rwanda to hold a stable job and provide for their small community. I ordered mine last week :) Let's call it incentive to break out my camera more while I'm out and about. Check out the site, they've got other great leather goods so reasonably priced!

The Circle: Summer Bucket List

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Sweet, sweet summer is upon us! A few of my friends are hosting a link-up over at In Its Time to share our summer bucket lists. I have not yet made one so why not start now? At lifegroup two (or was it three?) weeks ago we shared our #1 and/or #2 thing we've always wanted to do in Seattle but have never done. I have not done much so I was thankful for the the interesting ideas. Some even made the list below :)

Summer 2013 Bucket List

1. Go to a Mariners game. I missed the Rangers the first time they were in the city by a few days, so I hope to catch them in August!
2. Visit Bainbridge Island. I've taken the ferry before but we did not have enough time to go onto the island and explore. It is definitely a must for this summer.
3. Do a styled photoshoot. Even something simple just to try my hand at it.
4. Read at least 10 books. I'm in the middle of three at the moment so if I finish these and tackle a few more, it shouldn't be too difficult.
5. Turn 22! This one isn't a hope to ;) It happens on July 16!
6. Go to the beach. The rocky beaches around here are the talk of the town. And all over instagram. I want to get a look for myself, thanks.
7. Visit the Seattle Museum of Art. I did not get to go to the DMA before leaving Dallas but I've driven past the one downtown a few too many times not to stop on my way through next time.

Still hoping to add a few more to this list before the day is done. 
I'll keep you updated :) 
Linking up over at In Its Time: The Circle.

Special Spotlight {Amanda Marie Portraits} GIVEAWAY

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
[Image Borrowed from Amanda Marie Portraits, credit to Whitney Bennett
Alright, ladies and gents, I want to introduce you to the beautiful Amanda Marie. This gal is a Dallas/Fort Worth photographer & stylist who I have recently found and absolutely love! What dumb luck that I spot her after I move away from Texas. But since plenty of you are still in the area --and I can obsess from the great state of Washington-- I wanted to let you in on a little not-so-secret.

Amanda has just done a branding/site make-over and to celebrate she is hosting a giveaway! 
Pop on over to her site and give it a look! 

A Little Life Update {Currently in June...}

...reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Theatre Craft by John Caird. 

...watching Merlin. I am halfway through season two of the BBC's series and I love it! The friendship dynamic between Arthur and Merlin makes me giddy and I've always loved the stories of Camelot. I highly recommend it.

...trying to be productive with my days. I have more free time than I'm used to and want to make the most of it. Camps start next month so I have plenty to do to prepare for them. I should also go to the gym when I feel bored instead of hitting "next" on Netflix. Let's see how that goes this week ;)

...eating so many new things! I have never been an adventurous eater but I'm doing my best no to say "No, thank you," until I've at least tried it. Grilled asparagus, clam chowder, and artichoke dip have made it onto my recent list of a-okay.

...drinking water. One of my summer/year goals is to drink more water and less soda. I've pretty much rid myself of my addiction to Diet Coke which I am both proud of and sad about. And so with no sweet tea around, water it is!

...pinning essentially everything on Lara Casey's blog/websites. She is the editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings Magazine, a firm believer in Christ, and a super-mom who runs a succesful marketing/branding business alongside the also-fabulous Emily Ley. Can I be her when I grow up?

...tweeting about some crazy dreams I've been having. I think it's because of my new migraine medicine but I dreamt --in grand detail--  about my wedding where I missed my dress rehearsal because I had actual rehearsal, I had 12 bridesmaids all of whom I could name to you now, and I married, of all people, Zac Efron. Too funny.

...going crazy, as per usual, about the adorable little family that is Naomi and her two precious little-bits Eleanor & Samson over at her blog The Rockstar Diaries. She has great style, her photos are gorgeous, and they are cute as a button!

...loving the weather in Seattle. Even if it does mean I still get a sunburn... I don't mind the mist, the longer days, or the earlier mornings. It is perfect.

...hating how harsh that word looks on my screen. I currently dislike how far away my friends are. Half are across the world finishing a mission trip to Uganda and the rest are in Texas and beyond. Everyone just move to Seattle, okay? Okay. Glad we got that settled.

...discovering the depth of my need for Jesus. How I don't need a proxy, someone else to share a message, an encouraging word, or verse for me to find healing, comfort, or instruction from Him. There is sweetness in time alone with Him that I often put off in favor of the snooze button. He's worth the first-fruits of my morning! Of everything, really.

...enjoying home-cooked meals every night. I'm spending less eating out and finding new favorites.  Yum.

...thinking about All Girls Allowed. This organization has found a special place in my heart lately and I plan to share more about it later this week. They seek to aid and comfort mothers who are suffering and living within China's one-child policy and the gendercide that has been taking place for over 30 years. For more information now check out their website

...feeling a little bit tired. But I just might have the energy for an afternoon run. Well, an afternoon walk  along the lake. That sounds nice. :)

...hoping to find a Lifegroup this summer. I've visited 3 great ones already and choosing is going to be so difficult! Such sweet people.

...listening to Unforgettable by Nat King Cole.

...thanking Mel & Ken for being such gracious hosts! I'm so blessed by my Seattle summer family.

...finishing a little blog-makeover. Update, really. Check out some new links on the side {follow me on Bloglovin'!} and pages, too.

...starting to cut Hairspray for this summer's production. Trimming it to 45 minutes is going to be tough! Such a fun show but with only 2 weeks of rehearsal time we've got to get it whipped into shape.

What are you up to this week?

Sunscreen, Sweet Tea, & Sleep... or Lack-Thereof

Monday, June 24, 2013
Happy Monday, everyone! Happy on a Monday? Yes, actually, it's quite possible! And it is much easier to do when it is nearing 5:00pm and your day is nearly through. I hope yours has been spectacular as mine has! July is just around the corner -can you believe it?- and I've been in the great city of Seattle for a little over two weeks! Again: can you believe it? I certainly can't. It's been quite the transition but I am so thankful for how peaceful and fluid it's been. That's the power of prayer and a loving Savior for ya.

I absolutely miss my friends and family at home, as well as Chick-fil-a, Sonic's happy hour, and much of my summer wardrobe & crafting things, but it's been such a blessing to be living with a kind family that includes me and encourages so well. I've started spending time with the kids I'll be nannying on top of getting ready for the theatre camps next month.

I've also got a few exciting things to announce! I will be directing Hairspray in July, assistant directing Midsummer Night's Dream in August, assistant directing Peter Pan in September, then directing Alice in Wonderland in January! Quite the lineup and I'm quite excited :)

I've also learned a thing or two in my time in Seattle thus far. Some I expected and some that were quite the surprise. They have to do mostly with three things: Sunscreen, sweet tea, and sleep... or the lack-thereof of all three. Some All of these have been learned the hard way so here's a few life lessons with yours truly ;)

Sunscreen. Wear it. Every day. Whether or not you expect to intentionally spend time out in the sun, it can and will get you. Especially if you are fair skinned like me. Friday I only intended to walk around downtown with a friend and his family, but an impromptu rest in the park left me bright red after only 30 minutes of watching the water. Yesterday I went for a walk around the lake near sunset and, even though it was misting and overcast, I am a deeper shade of pink this morning. I never thought I would be more dependent on sunscreen up here in Seattle than I was in Texas.

Sweet Tea. It doesn't exist, except at McDonalds. Even when I ask for iced tea they typically bring some sort of raspberry flavored drink or one dripping with lemon juice and I have yet to learn to like those. I have to be so specific: iced tea, regular no lemon, and plenty of Sweet'N Low. Somehow in the move I've managed to work diet coke mostly out of my system {hoorah!} but you know sweet tea is not going anywhere. I also may or may not carry Sweet'N Low in my purse now... Just in case... ;)

Sleep. Get as much of it as you can. Staying up to watch 3 episodes of Merlin might sound like a good idea at 9:00, but at midnight when Netflix pauses --obviously concerned for your mental stability and sleep schedule-- to ask "Continue playing?", use that as your opportunity to close the window and go to bed.

How's that for a kickstart to my summer? I'm absolutely loving Seattle so far even with these funny trials and tricks, so stay tuned for more updates. Have a happy rest of your Monday!

Three Things on Thursday: Peonies & Pandora

Thursday, June 20, 2013
It will come as a surprise to no one when I say I am a pro at Pinterest. And Pandora. And Etsy (if only that, too, started with a P! All for the love of alliterations....).  Thursdays this summer are going to be spent sharing 3 favorite finds from the week and here are the first of the batch: A gorgeous wedding via Style Me Pretty where the bride's dress is my dream, my latest station on Pandora that has a fair of French jazz to brighten your week, and vanilla buttercream sugar scrub cubes that sound incredible. Enjoy!

Let it Settle into Your Bones!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Just a little something for your Wednesday. Praying for a day full of rest & blessings for each of you!

God's Heart for the Graduate

Monday, June 17, 2013
Can you believe I walked across the stage almost one month ago? Me neither. Driving up to Baylor for the first time seems more recent than that. Graduation was something that hung in the distance for so long then appeared and disappeared in the blink of an eye. My sweet family came to the ceremony to support and my friends threw me a going away party weeks before. In the moment it simply did not seem real.

Looking back now I know that was. It was very, very real.

A very real part of graduating is moving into a new season, taking that next step. It is a HUGE time of transition. For many --for most-- it means moving away from the school you hold near and dear and the friendships that you found there. For others it means moving hundreds or thousands of miles away from all that you've known or grown up with. I fell into both of those categories and I know many more on either side of the spectrum.

At graduation my parents gave me a card that now sits on my desk, a much needed reminder of what is to come. I wish I could send each and every one of my friends {Baylor, home, and blogging dear ones} a card & gift to celebrate with you! For now, here is my heart and God's heart for the graduates:

Lavish Gifts, Grand Victories, Great Adventures, Oh My!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I could leave that darling print for you and be finished, am I right? It has spoken to my heart more times than once. I have always been a multi-tasker and multi-dreamer and at the ripe age of 21 I am not yet a multi-millionaire. Surprised? Me neither. Disappointed? Not really. There are so many things that vie for our attention. Social media spits "this brand new thing" and "that awesome expensive gadget" or "this fail-proof way to do x, y, or z!" every time we blink. It is easy to get lost or over-stimulated. I have absolutely felt caught in the rush.

I am in the middle of an adventure. 
Let me say it again, I am in the middle of an adventure! 
A signed, sealed, delivered adventure from God and I am at the start in the middle of it! That's what life with Him is: an adventure!

In the past, I never would have called myself adventurous.
Shy? Yes.
Hesitant? Sometimes.
Safe? Always.
Daring? Never.

Adventure was not in my vocabulary. Oh, it was on my television and in my books, in the lives of friends and mentors, role models and super heroes, but little ol' me? I prided myself in following the rules, sticking to my guns, and having a healthy fear of falling, flying, flopping on my face and failing. The latter was what, I now realize, kept me from adventuring for so long. Fear of failing. 

I have big dreams and I have many of them. Some I have dimmed over the years to make them "attainable" and the rest I laugh off in the presence of others because I never think I'll get there. Neither of those are healthy or good ways to handle them. You see, my God is the God of big dreams. He is the God of lavish gifts, grand victories, and great adventures! It is easy to be daunted by the size of our dreams and to let them go to the way-side, but that is not what He wants.

He doesn't want us to suit up and trek up the mountain on our own. He wants to hold our hand, fit our feet with His Gospel, shield the sun from our eyes and use it to light the path He has for us. 

He doesn't want us to make camp at the foot of the hill content to draw in the dirt. He wants to bring us into the Promised Land, bear our load, and be our #1 fan all the way up the mountain. 

I don't have to have it all together before the adventure can begin.
I don't have to discount my dreams because of my human inabilities.
I don't have to have the perfect plan before taking the next step of faith.
I don't have to be dating to be someone of value.
I don't have to be the "perfect size" to love my body and treat it well.
I don't have to have 1,000 followers to share my heart on this blog.
All I have to do? Trust Jesus. 

Don't let what the world throws at you distract you from the victory that's already yours. He's won! We can conquer today, He's conquered eternity. The enemy has a laundry list of faults, fears, and failures to keep you right where you're at. Next time he comes your way, laugh at him and keep on going.

You've won, remember?

This is the Life {Seattle Summer}

Monday, June 10, 2013
"Adventure is out there." Many of you have probably seen the movie Up! and recognize this sweetly coined phrase. It has made a home in my heart this semester as I counted down the days to June 7, the day I would check my bags and board a plane to Seattle, WA. The doors to this adventure opened so quickly, details settled in a little over a week that I hardly had time to wrap my mind around it before the rest of the semester took over and I found myself walking across a stage and receiving my diploma {or an empty diploma tube with a promise that the diploma would, in fact, come later...}. But as of last Friday, my year in Seattle has begun!

The adventure started Saturday. If you've been following via Facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. most of this will not be news to you, but I thought I'd share it anyway :) I'm living with a sweet family and nannying this summer and will be spending the week in their guest room/office until I can move into my actual room. My bed folds out from the wall and the glass doors leave little privacy, but they are off on vacation so I don't mind too much. I've made it as homey as possible while living out of my suitcases and amidst the crafting supplies.
Saturday morning I braved my way to the nearest Target which was located on the 5th floor of a giant parking garage. I also discovered that there is a small shopping center walking distance from the house, complete with a Starbucks, Third Place Books, Albertsons, and Planet Fitness. I joined the gym, bought a used copy of Mrs. Queen Takes the Train and navigated my way to the airport and back to drop off the family on their vacation. The time difference is taking some getting used to, but that I will come with time I suppose.

Yesterday was church and I was so excited to return to Mosaic Community Church, Antioch's Seattle church plant. It was full of college students and young adults; I saw a handful of familiar faces and made new friends as well. One of my favorite realizations was while giving my run-down of just how I ended up in Seattle was that it is such a great reminder and testament to God's presence in that plan and His providence in opening doors and pointing the way. I wouldn't be here if He hadn't shown the way so clearly. I was invited to several lifegroups which I hope to check out over the next few weeks; I'm eager to get plugged in to community again.

Community is so necessary! We were not created to be on our own! The power a positive, encouraging gathering of friends with a unified purpose and love in life is so transforming. It's life-changing. And it's worth the risk of stepping into the uncomfortable or unfamiliar to find it. I'll admit, the idea of driving to a strangers house to meet a group of 8-25 people I have never met before and ultimately be open with the most vulnerable places of my heart and story is daunting. But I know I need it. I know what it's done in the past and what I want it to do in the future. I cannot wait!

This week is about exploring. I went exploring yesterday and stumbled upon a farmers' market in the parking lot of the bookstore/Starbucks near my house! How fun!? Four bright pink peonies sit at my desk. The flowers were overwhelming and gorgeous, and so cheap. The crepe stand was not so cheap but quite delicious. I'm looking forward to getting a feel for my new city and seeing what it has to offer, but also having a chance to settle in and relax before the summer kicks into gear. Stick around for the ride, I get the feeling it's going to be quite the adventure!

PS. Did anyone watch the Tony's? Celebration of theatre just makes my heart sing!