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Apartment Dreaming | Living Room Inspiration

The big move is coming closer and closer by the day! Dreaming of my new apartment has only increased since I last shared inspiration for my bedroom, and today I wanted to give you a glimpse into what I've been imagining for the living area. While I would love for there to be exposed brick and high ceilings with worn wooden beams, this is not the case. My apartment building will be brand new, construction completed next month, and I'll be the first one to live in my apartment. I'm hoping for bright walls and a big window, keeping the color palette neutral with bright pops. 

We sold my black leather couch and chair when I left Baylor, so as soon as I'm back in Texas I will be scouting Craig's List for a good deal on a lighter one. A couple of cozy arm chairs would be ideal, but that might be pushing my limit and my budget. Storage is always at the forefront of my mind in the planning process. I have several white shelves I want to fill with baskets either in the entry or just inside the living area to work as a "home base" for the apartment. 

A few other dreams include thrifted finds such as the above planter stands (Anthropologie but totally DIYable), the painted ladder with greenery, and a wall collage of lovely gold foil prints, the "Live Creatively" gem from Lindsay Letters included. My mom has an antique buffet table that I previously used as a TV stand and I hope to put it to good use once again. I wish I could mount the TV on the wall above it but were not allowed to hang anything. Well, at least not with anything other than command strips. Bah. Any thoughts/suggestions? I'd love your opinion on all of this!

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off To Portland We Go

Well, to Portland we went. A trip down to Oregon has been on my bucket list since moving to Seattle, and I finally checked it off this weekend! Several friends and I had tossed the idea around, but it was Luis who decided to make it happen. Actually we were pretty chill about the entire planning process ("Hey, what if we went to Portland next weekend?" "Sure, I'm up for it." // "You still up for Portland?" "Absolutely. Why not?") which is shocking for the detail-and-schedule-oriented/obsessed people we are. 

It was Memorial Day weekend so of course everyone is headed out of town, but I had work and nannying commitments all weekend so my holiday fell on Friday. Thursday evening we loaded up and battle traffic, making it to Portland in just under 3 hours. That baffles me, too. You can't get across Texas in twice that amount of time from some places. But here we are deciding to go to another state for a day trip and it's no big deal.

One of the sweet gals from the Lifegroup we went to at Baylor graciously opened her home to us, and it was such a treat to spend time with Corey! She is also one of my Big's in the theatre department (think sorority families) and I'd been missing her dearly.

Our first stop Friday morning was VooDoo Donuts. Out of the friends we pestered for suggestions, this made the top of every list. There was a line out the door and it smelled delicious from down the street. These donuts are intense! And so delicious. I may or may not have taken a break from The Daniel Plan this weekend because of our trip. Don't worry, I'm back on track now :) Luis and I both chose a plain glazed donut and then one of the more interesting options: Oreo, of course. I think I'd choose it again and again if I had the chance, but one was more than enough. SO sugary! But SO good.

See what I mean? So bad, but so good. After breakfast Luis and I camped out at Stumptown Coffee for about an hour to get paperwork and e-mails done, you know, since we can't leave work at home, and from there we wandered downtown. My favorite stop was Powell's Books. It was 4 stories at least and a giant warehouse of new and used books. Their drama section? I swooned. I walked away with one used Karen Kingsbury novel and a set of Shakespeare magnets for the fridge. 

Next we met back up with Corey for lunch at a cute little crepe place. Strawberry and Nutella crepes are the way to my heart, but I went with something more savory. Ham & swiss for the win. We waited out the rain and chatted with the owners for a bit, then on a whim decided to trek out to Multnomah Falls. Talk about gorgeous! 

It was here that I broke out my Instax Mini for the first time. I have to say I'm a fan! It's been on my wish list for a while, then a few weeks ago Michael's had them on sale for 30%. A second promotion took 25% off my entire purchase on top of that so I snagged it for a fraction of the price. Last week they had it 40% off among other sales so keep on the look out if you've been dying to get your hands on it, too. It's obviously clunkier than just snapping photos with your iPhone but these prints will fit right into my 6x8 Project Life album.

Isn't she lovely?! Corey was one of the first people I met at Baylor. On move-in day she and Carissa, my other big, walked into my room with a bag full of goodies and two hugs I'll never forget. They made me feel so welcomed, so loved, and so cared for as a baby freshman. I miss them dearly, and it was a treat to see her on Friday.

As much as I love this shot, my hands were shaking for fear that I'd drop my phone into the roaring waterfall below. Oh the lengths we go to for a good Instagram ;) After wandering the falls, our little group headed back to Portland. We took a short afternoon nap then Luis and I went to McMenamins for dinner and a movie. This place was SO COOL! It is literally an old school building in the middle of a residential neighborhood that was remodeled to become a restaurant/bar/hotel/theater and who knows what else. We had a meal on the patio then went to a $4 showing of Divergent (yes I've seen it three times now, so what?). Instead of your typical theater seating, there were couches and armchairs filling the room. What?! I was very impressed and would go back in a heartbeat.

Portland, you did not disappoint. I'm sure I could have found plenty of other adventures if I had the time, but it was certainly a Friday well spent. What did you do with your Memorial Day weekend?

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100 Happy Days (Part 2)

Look at that! We are over halfway through the #100happydays challenge, and I'm proud to say I've only missed 2 days. The past 25+ days have been full of rest (somewhat forced by sickness), reflection (again, over a week in bed will do that to you), and reorganization (...so I got stir crazy, okay?). But those past 25 days also saw many adventures with friends, exploring new parts of Seattle and Washington, and watching a plethora of good movies. You can follow the rest of the #100happydays challenge on Instagram, @baileyjeanrobert :)

#100happydays Part II:
26. Days off in my hobbit hole of a room, curled up in bed with a good book are my favorite.
27. I went on an unfollowing spree to make Instagram a positive inspiring place. From 1005 to 300 in a day.
28. The Good Friday service at my church was full of lessons for little ol' me. 
29. A simple day decked in my new army green vest and some Anthro jewels. 
30. Easter Sunday at Mosaic Community Church was quite the party to celebrate the risen King.
31. Hogwarts is hiding at UW. Kelli and I explored campus and I fell in love with the library.
32. Pretty blooms in the backyard.
33. Cameron was in town which meant Molly Moon's with Luis!
34. My hair and make-up always looks its best late at night with nowhere to go. Story of my life.
35. Cameron's family and I explored Tulip Town. What a day!
36. A change of plans meant that I spent the evening at Barnes & Noble going through my PowerSheets.
37. Blog planning? Oh yes.
38. Another date with my PowerSheets and Goal Planning sheets. :)
39. Sometimes its good to disconnect and hibernate for a while. 
40. May is to be Target and fast-food-free. Let's see how that goes. It has been a struuuuggle so far.
41. I'm going to the Hope Spoken conference next spring! Woohoo!
42. A happy mail day with a new favorite pair of books: The Nesting Place & Bridge to Haven.
43. A sick day made much better with a pleasant reminder of what's to come.
44. A day off was much needed at the beginning of my sick week. Praise the Lord for gracious managers.
45. Sweet friends brightened my weekend with tulips, gatorade, and soup for days.
46. The start of Kristin's 31 Day Scripture challenge sent me to Romans.
47. Sometimes you show up to work on your day off and retreat to Starbucks to read.
48. My Peter Pan brought me the sweetest handwritten note. He's kind of precious.
49. A grad announcement from a sweet friend and an encouraging note form another made it a happy day!
50. My She Reads Truth study packet arrived! Yay! 

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Sit and Stay A While || A Coffee Date

For a girl who doesn't like coffee, I'm a huge fan of coffee dates. So let's pretend, shall we? It's just you and me. We are perched by the window or in arm chairs off to the side, drinks in hand, hearts on the table. Norah Jones is playing softly throughout the room, the atmosphere is warm and inviting, and we dive right on in after briefly chatting about the weather (Seattle has been gorgeous lately, by the way) or a funny run in in the parking lot (but really, how hard should it be to parallel park my tiny car?).

If you and I sat down for coffee and my turn to share came around, I'd smile but my eyes would be tired. I can almost guarantee a half-hearted laugh would precede the upcoming conversation and my drink would become cold by the time I finish. I'd regale you with stories about the show that I'm directing. Trying to put together a production of Peter Pan with 4th-6th graders is a hoot and a half, and sometimes I feel up a creek without a paddle. We had more than one "come to Jesus meetings" about the disrespect being sent my way and the lack of discipline and dedication they have been showing. I've had parent meetings and e-mails, in class injuries and injustices, and the props I've been carting around in my tiny car scraped up the back seat. Fun right?

But that's the thing. It can still be fun. Some days I laugh so hard that I cry, and sometimes my actors are brilliant by complete accident! One encouraging comment from a student or one handwritten note with hearts and stars, and I remember why I loved being in shows as a kid. I only remember the good times and the laughs we had, not struggling with the teacher to get everyone's focus. I think about how someday these kids are going to reminisce with college friends about "that one time I played Peter Pan in the 4th grade and it was awesome!" and though they may not remember my name, they'll remember how they learned to be confident and quirky and to work together on something bigger than they are.
I'm also on the countdown to another major move, and that is at the forefront of my mind constantly. I have a little less than 1.5 months left in Seattle and I want to make the most of them. However, I know myself and I know that I have been on shut-down mode. It is a struggle for me to initiate with my friends. It is a battle for me to agree to an outing, even if I love bonfires on the beach or dancing with my friends. I'd rather stay in and read or journal or watch my way through Grey's Anatomy again. Part of it comes with being very, very sick for two weeks, but I know my heart and that is not the only root of the problem. My season is changing and my sphere will be radically different. I'll keep and cherish these friendships, but they are going to look different. They'll go on with their lives and so will I. They get to keep one another and I will be starting anew. Part of me, not necessarily the conscious part, is functioning on the idea that it would be easier to slowly start the letting go process now. The other part of me knows that I should be pursuing these friends and taking full delight in the time I have left. But it's hard. Harder than I thought.

Last night I had an impromptu froyo date with one of my roommates and she shared a piece of advice that she was given before her last move. "Lean in." Y'all, that phrase does something inside of me that I can't quite name, but man do I feel it. I want to lean in to this season. I want to take a strong hold instead of running in fear. I want to pursue the people and places God has for me right now. And I'll need His grace to do it.

And if you didn't know it before, you'd soon find out that once you got me talking it's pretty hard to stop me. Something I've been feeling convicted about lately is the apathy that has followed me into this "in between" season. I have not been taking care of my health, physical or spiritual, the way that I want to. I want to create and cultivate heart healthy habits that will carry me through EVERY season of life, and I've come to realize that can begin NOW. I don't have to wait until I move or until June 1st or even until Monday morning. It's time to pursue my dreams and desire with vigor and to hold fast to His Word and His goodness through it all.

I am beginning The Daniel Plan next week. I can't even begin to explain how bad my eating habits are (let's just call them a very unhealthy coping method). But it's not just a diet or a fad. I'm looking at the bigger picture and wanting a greater change. And this is where I'm beginning. I'd love for you to follow in the process! I created an Instagram account specifically for my journey to heart healthy habits and you can find it here, @bravelovedoes. If you've been considering The Daniel Plan, I'd love for you to join me! It'll be better together, yes?

Thanks for listening friends, and I cannot wait to hear your hearts in the link up at Oh Simple Thoughts. Have a happy weekend!

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Style for Justice | Votes Needed!

If you haven't heard of the Noonday Collection or International Justice Mission, you're about to :) These two organizations have flown onto my radar sometime in the past two years and can I tell you how amazing they are? Noonday seeks to enable and equip women in Africa to make a meaningful living, and the beauty that they create in the form of jewelry and accessories also makes a big impact. They provide scholarship programs, emergency assistance, and even give a portion of sales to make adoptions happen! Now that's a vision I can get behind. IJM is an organization whose mission is to "rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible".  WOW. Incredible right? 

Today it was announced that Noonday Collection and IJM are teaming up with a group of writers, bloggers, photographers, aka storytellers to visit the heart of Noonday in Rwanda and to share the impact that is being made. There is ONE SPOT for someone to join them. It is all expenses paid and the opportunity of a lifetime. This is where you come in!

I would love the opportunity to go this summer, but I need your help to get there. Now through May 28th voting is open and you can vote once per day! It will be narrowed down to the top 7 then the top 3 and from those a winner will be chosen at the beginning of June. I can use all the support I can get! And won't you join with me in praying for this trip? Whether or not I am chosen to go, it is going to be an incredible chance for God's glory and gospel to be shared there and back again!

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Making May Happen | A Little Inspiration

After a week+ in bed, I was in major need of some fresh inspiration to get out, get going, and to get things done. I've been daydreaming of crisp whites, gorgeous flowers, plenty of fresh air and natural light.  Kristin is hosting a 31 days of scripture challenge which has been blowing me away, and I'm only 3 chapters in to Romans. I hope everyone had a relaxing, refreshing weekend and made your moms feel special! Enjoy your Monday :)

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In the past 5 days I have...

In the past 5 days I have...
....slept half the weekend away.
...slept more like half the week away.
...called in sick to work twice... or was it three times?
...become properly dehydrated. Oops!
...been drinking Gatorade like it's going out of style.
...gone to an urgent care clinic like a big girl.
...been blessed with flowers & gatorade & soup.
...introduced the Brave Love Book Club!
...read the first three chapters of May's book, A Million Little Ways.
...caught up on Grey's Anatomy, Chicago P.D., and Once Upon a Time.
...watched more movies than I can count. Correction, that's 10 movies.
Romeo & Juliet
The Great Gatsby
About Time
Rise of the Guardians
The Book Thief
August: Osage County
12 Years a Slave
Les Miserables
Les Mis + Director's Commentary

We will return to our regularly scheduled blogging shortly. Thanks for your understanding. ;)

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Introducing the Brave Love Book Club!

Book clubs have always sounded so appealing. I am an avid bookworm and book-collector, but in recent months I have not read as much as I would have liked to.  2014 is the year that changes! One of my goals is to read 15 books & 15 plays in 12 months, and I wanted to invite you in to the challenge. 

This is where the Brave Love Book Club comes in to play! 

This can be as involved or as noncommittal as you'd like. The goal is to get us reading and digging deeper into what we're receiving! I'm notorious for speed reading, and often when I go back to an old favorite I catch new things that I skimmed the first time. Yikes! 

The Brave Love Book Club Vision: Each month will feature one book, mixing it up between old favorites and newer titles. I will host a link-up at the end of the month where we can share our thoughts, reviews, reflections, you name it. This is not a requirement, but an option! I'll also pose discussion questions on Instagram and Twitter throughout the month to encourage you along the way and to connect our growing community :) 

And depending on the interest, I would be willing to host a Google hangout, Twitter party, or Instagram direct message to connect with everyone! Just let me know what works for you and we'll make it happen!

Brave Love Book Club 2014:
May: A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman
June: Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
July: You're Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth
August: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
September: Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
October: So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore
November: Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
December: Girls with Swords by Lisa Bevere

There you have it! In May I will be reading A Million Little Ways and I would love for you to join me! It's currently on sale on Amazon here. Don't fret about breaking the bank for these books. Head to the library, download the e-version, borrow from a buddy, or break out your well-loved copy and let new life breathe from it. I can't wait to hear what you think of this one!

Be sure to use the #bravelovebookclub tag if you share about it. I've got a giveaway in mind for down the line ;)

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Making May Happen

The saying is true: April showers bring May flowers. And May 1st brings a new round of goals and a recap of last month. The turn out this time is much better than last month's! It actually surprised me. I didn't feel terribly productive (and my April Tending Sheet from my #PowerSheets looks rather empty), but I still made April happen. May has the potential to be FULL & FRUITFUL. For this month's focus, I snagged a quote from Shauna Niequist: More love. Less hustle. She wrote about it here and ever since then it's been on my mind. Saying no to opportunities, volunteering, and, well, anything in general has been very hard for me over the years. I get into the mentality that if I don't do it, it won't be done or it won't be done right. Or I think that if I say no, someone's opinion of me will shift or lessen. It's about time I learned saying no makes room for a greater yes. 

The sermon on Sunday was about the difference in volunteering and serving, about how the Lord takes more delight in His people listening and obeying than in the sacrifices they make of their own accord on His behalf. A quick recap that deserves so much more time, as it spoke VOLUMES to my heart. Maybe more soon. This month I want to say yes to what matters and no to the excess. I want to say yes to serving my spheres of influence and my callings whole-heartedly, and no to self-centeredness and complaining. The Lord is my chosen portion and cup, the boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places! Amen?

April Goals:

Begin Peter PanYep! This one kicked off with a bang! My students are doing SO well. They were supposed to have the first half of the show memorized this week, and I had a lot of blocking and choreography to take care of. We have another month and a half before our show, but that doesn't mean there is any time to waste.
Invest in Anthro dishesI can't wait to show these beauties off once I'm in my new place. Most of the dishes are in Texas already, and the ones I picked up here are packed away awaiting departure. 
Start a new (doable) morning routine. This has only just kicked off this week, but I'm enjoying it so far. Getting enough rest the night before makes a major difference. 
Clear the clutter. Donate clothes, trinkets, etc. I've at least started this process. My closet has been decluttered, and I'm going through jewelry and decor this week. I will host a rummage "sale" for my friends in the next couple of weeks, basically giving them a first look before I donate the rest.
Get active & drink more water.  I did the latter part at least! Drinking enough water is a struggle. I only like it if its crisp & cold, but when I have an iced tumbler of it I positively down it. As far as getting active... well, there's always next month. THIS MONTH! 

Read & review the 3 books I've been sent. One book down, two to go. You'll hear more about Spoken For next week, then hopefully you'll dash off to B&N or hop on Amazon and order it up! The other two are on my list.
Take care of car issues to prep for the move. My car is going in the shop this week. SO CLOSE!
Make significant progress on Mini Project Life. Progress was certainly made! I'm so happy I switched to the 6x8 album. You'll hear more about Project Life very, very soon. And it will become a frequent part of this blog I'm hoping!

And most importantly: Be prayerful. Be present. Be patient. I won't cross these off because I think there is definitely room for improvement, but I have to say these certainly helped. I wish I had it tattooed on my arm or something to keep it at the front of my mind (...well, not really. I think tattoos are beautiful but I'm too scared to ever get one). It's a good mantra to have.

May Goals:
Make time with Jesus in the morning a priority. 
Make significant progress on Project Life & BLOG about it!
Catch up on One Little Word 2014 prompts. 
NO eating out except for post-church lunches. Goodbye, Chipotle. Nice knowing you.
NO TARGET RUNS. Y'all. I need some accountability here. Actually a lot!
Participate in the She Reads Truth Nehemiah Study. Have you ordered your study pack yet?
Write in 1000 Gifts Journal nightly. 
Be in bed by 10:30pm during the week. Any night owls out there? I haven't had a bed time in years.
Get my car fixed for the move.  It will happen, Dad, I promise!
Read for fun (and introduce the Brave Love Book Club). I'm so excited for this! Check back tomorrow ;)

Okay, friends, let's do this! MORE LOVE. LESS HUSTLE. Start today. What are your goals this month? Anyone want to be my accountability buddy? Target is already calling my name...

I'm also linking up at THE TINY TWIG. Go check out and encourage the fabulous ladies who are coming together to Make May Happen!

PS. I'M GOING TO HOPE SPOKEN 2015! Just bought my ticket this morning. Anyone else going to be at this incredible conference?! Tickets are selling fast! Tickets are SOLD OUT! Be on the look out via the #hopespoken hashtag for ladies selling their tickets or for more tickets to be added. I'd love to see you there :)

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