Monday, March 30, 2015

Hope Spoken 2015

The Lord continues to blow me away by how well He knows my heart and exactly what I need exactly when I need it. As many of you know the Hope Spoken conference was this past weekend. It was a gathering of 250+ women who want to own their unique, God-given stories while celebrating those around them. I think that same phrase could be said of the blogging community I've found, too. When I bought my ticket almost a year ago, never could I have imagined what was in store for me!

The ticket-buying experience in itself was such a God thing. I happened to be awake at 3:30 in the morning Seattle-time, horribly sick. Somehow my mom and I began texting (she was up getting ready for work in Texas) and I was scrolling Instagram, waiting for the pain to pass. It was then I saw that Hope Spoken tickets were available and flying fast! My generous mother gave me the green light and I snagged a ticket; they were sold out within a few short hours. I've never been so thankful for a stomach bug ;) 

Fast forward to March 2015. After a tumultuous, beautiful, and often stressful seven months of grad school, I was feeling spent. I have been given many opportunities here at OSU, but my heart was tired and in desperate need of rejuvenation and vision for what was to come. I needed my people. I needed more of Jesus. And I still do. Hope Spoken arrived in all its glory and simply swept me away in the best way possible!

I drove home Thursday night to stay with my parents, and snuck in a mani/pedi Friday morning. Around noon I met up with Rachel of Rachel Rewritten and Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts, two dears I had formed a friendship with through the internet but had never met in person. We squealed and hugged and made plans for lunch, including the sweet Sera Beth of Edna Grayce and a handful of others, and zipped off to Chuy's. I had to get these Mississippi girls some Tex Mex ;)

Me and "The Rachels". I actually introduced myself as "Not Rachel" once during part of the conference, and I couldn't have been more thrilled to spend the weekend with these two! Why does Mississippi have to be so far away?!

Things kicked off officially Friday night with an opening session, a meeting with our small groups, delicious dinner + time to shop the market, and finally a POWERFUL word from Jen Hatmaker. Y'all! That needs an entire blogpost on its own. What a hilarious and anointed woman! 

Our small groups were randomly assigned when we registered and picked up our name tags, and I somehow ended up in a different group than the roommates I was registering with. I say somehow and randomly but I really mean that God orchestrated even these tiny details! My small group leader was artist Jeanne Oliver who I knew immediately was a God-send, and the women gathered in my group were all there so purposefully! Fellow artists, actors, even another Baylor Theatre grad (?!?!); y'all, none of this was by accident. 

The incorporation of small groups into such a large conference made such a difference, giving us the opportunity to connect deeply with others instead of feeling like one in a sea of faces. I am so grateful to have met these women!

Saturday brought another full day --after an entirely sleepless night :( -- with more time to gather as a small group, hang out with friends, and hear from inspiring women on a variety of topics! I finally got to hug the neck of sweet Teresa of Hugs and Punches, and together we listened to Lynsey Kramer share her "Story of Seasons". The idea of savoring your season and cherishing the life stage the Lord has you in is something so dear to me, so I was all about this! 

I also got a chance to listen to Ashley Ann of Under the Sycamore tell her "Story of Adventure;" Ashley was the first blog I ever followed (six years ago!) and it was so refreshing to hear her vision behind it all. I vividly remember finding her blog one summer day, and it was also the day I found Pinterest, so you know all I did was *scroll scroll scroll* through both of those for hours on end.

Okay, now I have to take a minute to brag on a few random parts of the conference:
1. THE DECOR. Oh goodness, what a beautiful sight! From the succulent table centerpieces to the giant balloons with tissue paper tassels, everything was gorgeous! Paper flowers and pretty hand lettering sent me swooning, and the fashion of all the ladies in attendance wasn't a bad sight either ;)
2. THE SWEET TREATS. We were well fed this weekend in more ways than one. Tables full of cake balls and flavored cotton candy (salted caramel and coconut were my favorite!) as well as a candy bar and cookies galore were placed throughout the conference, giving us something to nibble on between the incredible meals. 
3. THE SWAG. Yes, I just used the word "swag" in a blogpost. Who am I?! Well, I'll tell you. I am a HUGE fan and grateful conference attendee for the generous "swag bags" we were given. They were full of prints and jewelry, knick knacks and notes from the speakers and shops, too. Jeanne gifted our small group with a book The Artisan Soul which I've been wanting to read for a long time, and a few other goodies. 

Lastly, we had an Oprah moment during one of the giveaways. Hope Spoken and hinted over Instagram that they would be giving away a Whitney English Day Designer (planner) to one of the attendees. Everyone held their breath hoping for their name to be called as a slip of paper was pulled from the bucket. The winner?  EVERYONE! Squeals erupted as we looked under our tables and found BOXES FULL of planners! Each attendee got to take one home! Now don't get me wrong, I love my Simplified Planner, but I have been struggling with it in this season. It wasn't the right fit. But now? Oh, my new planner is swoon worthy! What a treat!

Another highlight of the trip was a surprisingly large Baylor family in attendance! Amanda and I met through a mutual friend a few years ago, and it was a joy to room with her! I also got to meet Wynne of Gloriously Ruined, a fellow Bear, as well as several other gals invoked in Antioch (the church I went to in Waco) and other similar groups! Sic'em!

Saturday night was set up a little differently, ending the evening in "Share Groups". Each of these had a title: Young Moms, Seasoned Moms, Small Business Owners, Adoptive Moms, etc. When they announced Singles, my friend Megan and I laughed thinking we might be the only ones. But we went to meet our small group leader anyway. It turns out that we were wrong! Out of 250+ women there were.... twelve of us.

A great discussion was had as we shared the highs and lows of this season, our struggles and hopes and experiences being single and being in the church, being single in our jobs, and even being single in a conference such as this where it seemed everyone had a ring on their finger and a home full of little ones. I left that night feeling so encouraged, and more determined than ever to savor this time of my life. Yes, I have hopes and dreams and desires that are unfulfilled as of yet, but I have a season with SO many possibilities and adventures for the taking!

 I could go on and on about this weekend, and I probably will in the near future. And next year too! I ended up leaving the conference early Sunday morning to drive down to Waco, but I lingered in the main room through the last round of giveaways. And what happened? I won the FIRST ticket to HOPE SPOKEN 2016! AHHHH! 

Since tickets sell out so fast, I had thought to myself that I might skip next year so someone else could go, or that the Lord would need to make it very clear that I should go again. Well, I'd say He hit that one out of the park! I would love for you to join me there! Tickets should go on sale in May and they sold out in 12 hours last time, so be prepared. It's a weekend you don't want to miss!

What were you up to this weekend? Did you go to Hope Spoken? 
If so, what were your highlights?! I'd love to know!

Monday, March 9, 2015

UPDATE: 101 Goals in 1001 Days

I'm a list-lovin' gal, it's true. This should come as no surprise to you if you've followed Brave Love Blog for any length of time. I love lists of tasks (color-coded to-do's are my jam!) and lists of books I've read; I make grocery list after laundry list after bucket list and they're hidden all about the apartment. This, however, is the longest list I've ever made.

I started 2014 with a list of 101 Goals in 1001 days HERE. I've tweaked the list slightly since then (goals change when you move across the country!) and I've been cross items off slowly but surely. I have 565 days left to tackle the last 56 items (YIKES!), but I'll choose to look at the fact that I have successfully completed 45 already with 11 currently in progress. 

Come September 27, 2016, this list is going to have enriched my life and given me wonderful memories a plenty!

#21 is Project Life 2015. Above is my cover page, complete with a verse for the year and a snap of my haircut (it's still so short!) from January 2nd. I've only just begun but I'm excited to cross this off my list by the end of the year. More details on my Project Life process is coming later this week! 

101 Goals in 1001 Days
Started January 1, 2014.
(45/101) as of March 8, 2015.
To be completed September 27, 2016.
Completed | In Progress

1. Become a morning person.
2. Volunteer somewhere. YoungLife, August 2014
3. Take a personal retreat. February 2015
4. Go to a retreat/conference. Brave Love Seattle, January 2014
5. Read the entire Bible
6. Find a budgeting plan that works.
7. Memorize 101 scriptures. (4/101)
8. Re-read my college journals. September 2014
9. Find a church to attend/community group at OSU.
10. Mentor college/HS girls. YL 2014
11. Support an adoption. December 2014
12. Complete 1,000 gifts journal.
13. Get into grad school. March 2014, OSU
14. Write a book.
15. Make (actually do!) 10 Pinterest pins.
16. Go to New York City.
17. See The Nutcracker.
18. Organize 3 styled shoots. (0/3)
19. Watch Downton Abbey.
20. Read through my bookshelf.
21. Project Life 2015.
22. Go to Baylor Homecoming. November 2014
23. Get my teaching certificate.
24. Solidify my calligraphy skills.
25. Return to Europe.
26. Meet an author I love!
27. Follow/complete my Powersheets. July 2014
28. Host a Friendsgiving.
29. Go to a country concert.
30. Girls' trip with the Three Musketeers.
31. Send flowers to 3 people. (0/3)
32. Send 101 letters. (5/101)
33. Blog series every day for 1 monthFebruary + September 2014 
34. Consolidate/organize e-mail addresses. Fall 2014.
35. Go to an Instagram meet up.
36. Travel somewhere fun for spring break. March 2015. NEXT WEEK!
37. Help someone pull off a surpriseLuis's birthday adventure, March 2014
38. Redesign my blog. The new look: BRAVE LOVE! March 2014
39. Do ballet barre for one monthMarch 2014
40. One month of social media free weekends. 
41. Be published/featured somewhere. Simplified Series + Elle & Co. Coffee Date 2014
42. Meet up with blog friends in real life 3x's. (3/3) Victoria, Liz + Abi, Nicole + Rachel, 2014-2015
43. Host a Christmas swap. Winter 2014
44. The Contentment Challenge.
45. Learn how to better use my Canon Rebel t3.
46. Work with a blog friend on a project I believe in. #fireworkpeople Oct 2014
47. Start a Newsletter.
48. Join the Influence Network. March 2014
49. Activate artists in my church. EPIC, May 2014
50. Host a DIY series.
51. Hit 300 GFC/Bloglovin'. September 2014
52. See a midnight movie premier.
53. Record a vlog. September 2014
54. Record a tutorial.
55. Celebrate turning 23! July 16, 2014
56. Celebrate turning 24!
57. Write (become a regular contributor) for another blog/magazine/website. Glow, September 2014
58. Do the Color Run or a 5k.
59. Take a Zumba class. November 2014
60. Go to the gym 3x's/wk for a month.
61. Meet my first weight loss goal.
62. Meet my second weight loss goal.
63. Take a dance classWest Coast Swing, January 2014
64. Go to the tulip festival. April 2014
65. Go hiking.
66. Do a wine tasting.
67. Celebrate turning 25! A quarter of a century!
68. See real snow. February 2015
69. Own a pair of red Hunter rain boots.
70. Pay off school debt.
71. Learn to cook!
72. Go to Disneyland! February 2014
73. Invest in Anthro dishes. March 2014
74. Read 15 books/10 plays in 12 months. (21/15 & 11/10)*
75. Sell/donate excess. June 2014
76. Wear red lipstick every day for a week.
77. Try a new cut/do/style. August 2014 + January 2015
78. Get a professional blow out.
79. Take a spontaneous road trip. December 2014
80. Read all of Shakespeare's plays. (3/37)
81. Direct a playMarch 2014, Alice in Wonderland
82. Be IN a show.  2015, These Shining Lives
83. Take new headshots/portraits. June 2014
84. Rock the top knot/messy bun. Fall 2014
85. Financially bless someone. February 2015
86. Help plan a wedding.
87. Host a classy NYE party.
88. Take a spontaneous road trip. Portland, May 2014
89. Attend The Influence Conference. September 2015
90. Go to a professional sporting event. August 2014
91. Attend a blogger meet up/conference. Hope Spoken March 2015. TWO WEEKS AWAY!
92. Turn my handwriting into a font.
93. Host a blog link-upOne Little Word, January 2014
94. Visit Seattle again! Summer 2015
95. Own a Lindsay Letters canvas. July 2014
96. Master the art of Nanny's spaghettiFebruary 2014
97. Subscribe to an inspiring magazine. Darling, October 2014
98. Meet one of my role models.
99. Go to a real tree farm.
100. Have a real Christmas tree.
101. Make an advent calendar.

March will check #91 off my list with Hope Spoken in two short weeks, as well as #36 as I leave for a spring break adventure this weekend! To follow along the progress, I have a page dedicated to my 101 in 1001 list at the top of the blog. Be sure to check it out! 

Have YOU made a list of 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 days? 
Any items on my list you can help me with? I'd love to know! ;)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Likes, Volume II

Every week on Instagram I share a snapshot of some of the photos I've liked throughout the week. There are so many beautiful, inspiring, and encouraging images floating around my feed that I can't help but highlight the people that make me smile. I'm often tempted to post twice on Friday's because I come across so many pretty things!

Naturally, I wanted to bring some of that over here with another round of Friday Likes on the blog. Today I'm featuring three artists that I've been loving lately, a few items from my wish list, and a quote that's stuck with me for quite a while now. Take a gander and see what catches your eye!

I love following artists on Instagram. I am not much of a painter but I have a great admiration for those who are, and three of my favorites these days include Britt Bass (bottom right), Marnani Design (bottom left), and Chad Schoon (top left). Britt and Chad are largely abstract painters, and it's their color combinations and unique styles that keep me coming back. I will have a print of each in my home someday! Marnani recently covered New York Fashion Week with her watercolor sketches and they are divine! Plus that pretty passport cover and sunnies are only increasing my wanderlust. Who want's to hop on a plane to Europe with me? Anyone?

The quote in the center needs to be hung on my wall ASAP. Life can feel like a whirlwind and sometimes I take on more than I can handle. Other times I feel like my dreams are so big that they're far from manageable, but it's then that I remember this: "You are not a mess. You are brave for trying." BRAVE is one of my words of the year for 2015, and I want to be brave in the way I approach my days. I want to give my all with each try, pushing past failures or obstacles, trusting that the Lord has me every step of the way. He is what makes me brave, even when brave feels a whole lot like stepping out while still scared out of my mind. Let's be brave together.

Now for the wish list:
1. Time to catch up on Project Life. Here's a glimpse of a layout from another Studio Calico subscriber (I hit the year mark on my Project Life subscription this weekend!) making use of the latest kit. On Monday's goal post I noted that I want to tackle January + February in my 2015 album, and now all I need is time to do so.

2. This shirt from Anthropologie. I tried it on last month and it has been spotted on Pinterest several times since then. I still have half a gift card from Christmas hiding in my wallet, so it just may come home with me by the end of the month. Especially if it goes on sale. *fingers crossed*

3. The Wholeheartedly Study by Natalie Metrejean. Natalie is the twin sister of Val Marie whose journals I absolutely love, and this is Nat's devotional for single women. It's a season that can sometimes be very hard for me, and I want to savor every minute of it! I've heard great things about the study guide so far, so atop my wish list it will stay for now.

4. The Young Living Oils Premium Starter Kit. Casey Wiegand was one of the first I found to use the oils, and I am quite intrigued! I follow several accounts on Instagram that share the ins and outs of using oils --I currently use Digestzen by Doterra for my recent food sensitivity issues-- and I am considering investing in the starter kit. A life goal is to cultivate heart-healthy habits, and I would love for oils to become part of the routine.

What are you liking on this lovely Friday? Any of these pique your interest? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You

I laughed out loud the first time I read the title of this book.
Time for me? Pssh. Since when have I had time for that?
That's when I knew I needed to read The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner.

The heart behind The Mom Creative released her book last month, and my copy sat untouched for two weeks. It wasn't until that fateful Friday when the snowstorm from you-know-where (actually from You-Know-Who) that left me stranded in Ardmore, Oklahoma with this book tucked safely into my backpack. I had tossed it in on a whim, doubting I'd have time to read at home, but thankfully I'm always a just-in-case packer. With two days to myself in a hotel suite, I picked up The Fringe Hours and dove right in.

My knee-jerk reaction was still to scoff at the concept. I'm in grad school. For THEATRE. Spare time does not exist. And when it does, all I want to do is sleep. Besides, my schedule is far from normal. Do normal people know how to have rehearsal until midnight and still get eight hours of sleep? I thought not. How can I find these "fringe hours" and make them matter? (I cringe just reading this. Talk about a hard, prideful heart.) I gave it a "Well fine, I'll read it anyway," and dove beneath the covers to sink my teeth in. Boy, was I wrong. And boy was this book good.

While I could not always relate to the stories told about frantic moments carting kids from the kitchen to the minivan or stealing spare moments of reading while waiting in the carpool line, I could relate to several core ideas and struggles when it comes to carving out time for myself. For years I have glorified busy and packed my schedule to the brim. It was a source of pride for me to get to the end of the semester and see just how bursting-at-the-seams my planner would be. While taking on projects and giving my all to school are good things, I have to learn that self care is, too. 

In The Fringe Hours, Jessica provides space to reflect and reevaluate the way we spend our time, the reasons we have trouble saying no or allowing ourselves time to take care of ourselves. Taking time for me feels selfish. Couldn't cleaning the house be considered me-time? Why should I make time to read for pleasure when I'm swamped with required reading for school? 

The book is broken down into four parts: Explore. Discover. Maximize. Live Well. 

One cannot come without the other. Jessica addresses the things that keep us from making the most of our time and lives (guilt, comparison, a wrong perspective) and encourages us to embrace the things that matter to us, no matter how small. She even helps you identify the things that bring you true joy, such as childhood hobbies long forgotten. Did I remember that my love for decorating started at the ripe age of nine when I would spend HOURS drawing floor plans and room designs? Not until this weekend. Or that I've had a heart for fiction writing since my best friend and I spent our lunch hours writing a novel back in Mrs. Butler's sixth grade class? Hm. You know, I'd forgotten. And now I wonder if that binder lives on somewhere...  

I may not be a busy mom with three kids to care for, a house to maintain, a marriage to savor, or a job to carry on my shoulders, but that doesn't mean my season is any less deserving of self care or intentionality.

No matter where you find yourself, this book is for you. 

By far the biggest takeaway is the realization that taking time for me isn't selfish, but necessary for my health and daily living. It is not too much to ask, and it simply takes some prioritizing.

I found this quote from the Wall Street Journal and it has resonated with me ever since:

“Instead of saying 'I don’t have time' try saying 'it’s not a priority,' and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: 'I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.' 'I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.' If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”

How are you spending your fringe hours? What do you do to make the most of your in-between moments and take care of yourself? If you're looking for a place to start, I highly recommend picking up The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner. It just might change your life.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Making March Happen

The shortest month of the year has come and gone, and March is now upon us! The first page for March in my Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal calls it "A Month of Rebirth." February may have had only twenty-eight days, but each was full to the brim in my book. From completing These Shining Lives to every thinkable school assignment being due in one week, last month will not soon be forgotten.

Perhaps the most memorable treat happened over the weekend. I thought I would zip down to visit my parents for a few days and got on the road at noon on Friday. We had seen snow flurries in the forecast but thought little of it. It wasn't until my usual drive time of four and a half hours did not even get me to the Oklahoma-Texas border that I realized how poor of a decision I had made. I have never experienced a snow storm like this. Yes, I know to you Northerners this was nothing, but this southern gal and every other car on the road with her did not know how to handle it!

I saw a dozen cars off the sides of the road, one upside down with an ambulance at its side and I watched as another struggled to maintain control before veering off to my left. It was terrifying. My parents, bless their hearts, kept in touch along the way until I reached my breaking point. I found the first exit with food and lodging and pulled off to wait. Mom and Dad then insisted I cease the trip and wait out the weather there. One quick phone call later and I had a room at a hotel just off the interstate. 

At first I was frustrated nearly to tears. I berated myself for ignoring the weather and insisting on the drive, then for causing my parents to worry so and put me up at a hotel at the halfway point. This was NOT how I had envisioned my weekend. But then, I remembered something. 

Just that morning I had wished for a weekend away, thinking to myself "Wouldn't it be nice to spend a few days alone? No homework, no rehearsal, just reading, writing, and reflecting away from it all?" Well, thanks to the snowstorm I was getting that weekend retreat. God works in mysterious ways, does he not? Talk about a silver lining! And lucky for me I always overpack, so my bag was full of reading materials and journals to keep me company.

With the weekend to myself in a small Oklahoma town covered in ice and snow, there was plenty of time to read, rest, and reflect. I snuggled into clean sheets, ordered myself a pizza, finished a book in a matter of hours, and watched The Theory of Everything while steering clear of social media for two days. The latter was much harder than I thought it would be, but it made the weekend so much more peaceful.

I used Saturday evening to reflect on last month, filling out my PowerSheets and reviewing the goals I had set. Some of them were checked off with ease! Others... not so much.

February Goals:

1. Introduce + co-host #heartoftheWord study on Ephesians. This was certainly a learning process! We launched it, this is true, and when I dove into the book and reflected with these dear friends, it was so encouraging. But February was a busy month for all of us, so Heart of the Word is being reassessed to find better success in the future.
2. Perform These Shining Lives with my whole heart. Yes! Y'all, I cannot believe These Shining Lives is a thing of the past. February brought tech week with long rehearsals adding the lights and sound, then three performances. My parents, sister, and theatre big came into town for it, and their support meant the world to me. Yours, too! Read more about the process HERE
3. Finalize spring break plans. Done, done, and done. In two short weeks I will do one of my favorite things: travel all by my lonesome across the country and back. I am spending the first half of my break with one of The Three Musketeers (the nickname for me and my two best friends from college), Hannah, in Las Vegas. On my way back I will spend a few glorious days in Denver with another best friend, Micah, who I have not seen since graduation. I cannot wait! 
4. Get rid of the excess/donate a few boxes. The process was started but not complete. I have several boxes of donations that need to be dropped off at Goodwill. I simply did not make the time. I will also be participating in an Instagram sale/auction for some of my nicer clothes later this month. I'll keep you posted for where to find the Anthro goods ;)
5. Start the contentment challenge. Errrrr... I tried. Sort of. Starting afresh this month.
6. Read 3 booksI am happy to say this one was nearly completed! I had been listening to the audiobook version of Make It Happen and completed that last week (9 hours of Lara Casey speaking vision over my heart? Yes please!), and I read The Fringe Hours during my surprise retreat this weekend. SO GOOD! I did not finish a third, but I started Longbourn, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, and the physical copy of Make It Happen, so hopefully I can cross those off in March.
7. Prep weekday meals at home. Yes and no here. I did not eat out as much as I did previously and made a conscious effort to prep more at home, and I plan to do the same this next month.
8. Complete January's project life pages. I started, that counts right? February kept me busier than expected, even after my show closed, so I'm looking forward to catching up on PL soon.

Reflecting on goals unfinished is hard, especially seeing all the unchecked spaces on my monthly tending list. But it's about progress not perfection right? Every unchecked box is a space for grace, an opportunity to show compassion for myself and make improvements in the future. Now onto the beautiful month of March.

March Goals:

1. Attend Hope Spoken. Ah! This conference has been highly anticipated for almost a year! I remember reading about it when I was in Seattle, jumping for joy when my mom gifted me a ticket last spring (I had been awake all night oh-so-sick and it nursed my tired heart quiet well), and started counting down the days. I'm rooming with a friend from Baylor (and we're looking for one or two gals to add to our room if you need a spot). I cannot wait for this!
2. Visit Hannah + Micah for spring break. My spring breaks in college were spent on mission trips in a town near the Texas-Mexico border, and while I am sad not to be attending Awaken this year, I am thrilled to see these ladies near and dear to my heart! Distance has separated us since graduation but that will soon be remedied. Plus, traveling by myself brings me so much joy! Long layovers at the airport? Perfect for people watching and reading if you ask me. Bring it on!
3. Read 3 books. I actually have this ridiculous goal of reading 100 books this year + not buying any new ones, so I should probably expand this list. I want to finish Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, Longbourn, and Make it Happen, but I will probably toss Seven, The Circle Maker, and Z in my carry on for all my trips (so that makes it....6 this month?).
4. Follow the She Reads Truth Lent study. I began this study last week and am already a few days behind, but opening this app instead of Instagram early in the morning has already been refreshing. I'm hoping to get caught up this week. Join me?
5. Get caught up on Project Life. I started the 2015 album last month and I want to knock January and February out before the end of March. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so the idea of taking time to get good at scrapbooking again is a little daunting, but I'm willing to make it happen.
6. Visit a community group. I miss living in community. So much. My hope is to visit at least one Bible study/community group this month, looking for Christ-followers my age. Wish me luck.
7. Purge my closet/insta sale. I started clearing out the excess last month, but I admit that the pile of clean clothes and shoes in front of my closet has kept me from doing much more. A few blogger friends and I are hosting an Instagram auction/sale of some of our clothes later this month, so I want to get those prepped asap.
8. Finish the wall collage behind my TV. That wall has been driving me crazy lately. I picked up a pad of prints from Me & My Big Ideas at Hobby Lobby last week using a 40% off coupon, and I plan to washi tape the collage on the wall until I can get my hands on frames. It may be a one-at-a-time attempt so I can use these coupons over and over again.
9. The Contentment Challenge. I really stink at this. My self-control when it comes to shopping is SO BAD. This may end up on my goals list every month this year, and that's okay because it helps a little more each time. It will be difficult with a vacation and conference in the middle of the month, but if I'm careful with my spending elsewhere then I'll have more leeway on those days. 

What are you planning to make happen this month? Do we share any of the same goals? 
If so, let's encourage each other along the way! Life is better together, right?

PS. I changed my Instagram handle last week. I am now @baileyjrobert! I hated letting go of my middle name, but I wanted consistency between my Instagram and Twitter accounts (and @baileyjeanrobert was ONE LETTER too long for Twitter... BAH!). Anywho, find me at @baileyjrobert HERE and HERE to follow along for glimpses of my goal progress and daily adventures. 
Love Bailey Jean. All rights reserved. BLOG DESIGN BY Labinastudio.