the art of celebration.



it's about time for some honest talk, friends. this video made me cry. like an aching cry. a cry that shouts "amen!" and "Jesus, please come back soon" all at the same time. this week has been a really rough one. it's been one of those weeks where just about everything in my life that gets me down weighed extra heavily on me. it's like one thing happens that triggers everything else. i spent a lot of time at work this week with uncontrollable tears rolling down my face. thank goodness for the privacy of cubicles, right? i spent my days with headphones in listening to some of my new favorite worship music...just trying not to fall apart. it was a week where i was exceedingly aware of how much i needed Jesus every minute of every day to hold me together.

in talking to my best friend about this week i told her, "i love Jesus so much. life is just so hard sometimes." so what do you do when the world wears you down? do you sit there and take the beating? no way, sister. you stand firm and thank the Lord your God for the gifts he has given. the gift to wake up each morning, the gift to glimpse another sunrise, the gift of laughter, the gift of life itself. every single gift. you name it.

you choose joy. 

"seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit, but joy is."

i'm not saying you have to be happy all the time. happiness is not the same thing as joy. joy is a spiritual discipline, and you must choose it over and over. this world will do all that it can to wear you down. fight, brave hearts, with all your might, for joy. no matter what you are facing, there is a Gospel and a King worth celebrating. and guess what? that King celebrates over you as well. you are his, and he cares more deeply for you than you will ever know. i pray that you and i both remember this, and that he would be the song of our hearts and the hope of our souls.  

how fitting that all of this hit me the week of easter. i am a broken being fully known and fully loved by a constant Savior who came to make me whole. Jesus came to save that i may live life and live it to the full. to live a life free of fear, free of sorrow, free of guilt, and free of shame. to live a life of celebration. there is nothing more beautiful than that.

take heart, brave ones, for He has overcome the world.

He is risen.

DIY | ribbon garland

i co-hosted a bridal shower two weeks ago, and all the decorations were made by alex and myself. we wanted to create a cute garland to hang on the wall as a focal point during the shower and happened upon this pinspiration. some of you asked for a tutorial, so this is for you!

this garland was so easy to make and it looks great! follow these simple steps to create your own!

what you'll need:
-- fabric | colors of your choice
-- string | i used baker's twine
-- scissors

one | measure your space and cut your string accordingly. i would add a little extra on both ends just in case you have an oops moment.


two | begin cutting your fabric into strips. i cut mine 1 - 1 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches long. we purchased 4 colors of fabric and got 1 yard in each of them except for the gold. we didn't need as much gold, so i think we just bought 1/4 yard. we had plenty enough to make two garlands!


three | tie the fabric strips around the string. as you do so, push the fabric together so that the garland looks full. it's very easy to move the fabric around if you need to insert other colors. don't worry about it being perfect...it's supposed to have a messy look.



four | if you have a color you are using less of (like our gold), add that one in last. it's easier to figure out the placement for it once you have the majority of the garland completed. also, try to be semi-random about your fabric placement. i think it's helps the overall aesthetic if the colors aren't too organized.



five | hang your garland and enjoy! i told you it was easy! i will definitely be making this one again.


what is one of your favorite DIYs?

april sponsors.

seasons come and go more quickly the older i get, it seems. spring has sprung already, and the world has come back to life. it's that time again to introduce you to the sweet ladies who have been hanging out on my sidebar this month! they are all so wonderful, and i am grateful to call them friends. get to know them a little bit better yourself, won't you?

DO YOU HAVE ANY EASTER TRADITIONS?



Growing up my family always had the tradition of going to a park after church on Easter Sunday and having a picnic. We would eat tons of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, rolls, and desserts. Now that I don't live near my family Easter is not the same. My hubby and I haven't really started an Easter tradition of our own...other than a Sunday afternoon nap after church. Who doesn't love a good Sunday afternoon nap, right?






My brothers and sisters and I have dyed Easter eggs for probably WAY longer than is truly necessary!  But, our favorite thing to do wasn't all these cutesy designs, but to have a competition to dye the perfect "golden" egg!  We would literally spend hours soaking our eggs in all concoctions of colors to achieve this.  Good family bonding time, and a tradition that will always be precious to me!





Easter in Colorado is very unpredictable weather wise. We always had an Easter egg hunt but never knew if it was going to be inside or outside! We also got an Easter Basket at the foot of our bed every year (even though we never believed in the Easter Bunny) and got to wear our fanciest dresses to church! Sundays were always family days growing up and it was the case Easter Sunday as well! Even now when we go over to my family's for Easter we get a basket and Robbin Eggs and possibly even an egg hunt. My family loves nerdy traditions like that! 




Every year for Easter, my husband and I celebrate what Christ did for us by praising and worshipping Him at our church's giant Easter Service. Being located in Hollywood, CA, we get quite a few attendees come Easter, so every year we have to rent out a larger space. Which is pretty neat. This year we're having it at The Palladium, which I'm pretty stoked about. It's going to be a big celebration of Jesus, fellowship and baptisms on Sunset Blvd! So fun! Then later that day we split the afternoon between both families and, of course, enjoy some delicious food. Love Easter!




I think Tyler and I are still forming traditions. Although last year I decided I wanted to bake a cake! A couple of years ago a friend of mine told me that her mom would always make a resurrection cake in representation of Jesus' resurrection. So last year, being our first Easter together I baked a cake for Jesus. It's really fun! For Christmas I bake him a birthday cake and for Easter I bake him a resurrection cake. I also always bake a bundt cake and say it's the empty tomb.

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For easter my family always gets together, does a large (and long) lunch, a small easter egg hunt for the kids, and a discussion on Jesus and His resurrection. It is truly a beautiful moment together as family.

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are you interested in joining the rivers and roads team? in honor of spring and because i love you, i'm offering 25% off all advertising packages. code: MAYFLOWER

i am beginning a monthly giveaway series in may that my feature sponsor will be able to participate in with me! you don't want to miss out!

if you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me! happy springtime, friends!

spring adventures.

spring is here! at least, in tennessee it is. everything is coming back to life, birds are chirping their springtime tunes, flowers are blooming, and pollen is everywhere.  every year when spring comes around we start our lists. you know the lists. spring cleaning and home projects and this and that. what about spring adventures, though? forget your work lists, start making your adventure lists for spring!

this cute springtime infographic was shared with me by shari's berries, and i just had to show it to you. fun fact: i started out as a graphic design major back in the day, so i'm a sucker for anything that's organized and visually pleasing. also, having a slight type A personality, charts are my jam.


SPRING BUCKET LIST
spend a sunday at the chattanooga market
take lots of scenic hikes
go on a kayak adventure
bike the river walk
eat meals outside and take in the fresh air
drive with the windows down and music up
finish reading two books 
go for a long drive in the country


WHAT ADVENTURES ARE ON YOUR SPRING LIST?

weekend update.



RECAPS
-- i bought TOMS for the first time ever. i don't know what took me so long to commit! i bought two pair. one bright and summery, and the other is a snow leopard print, because i'm sassy like that.

-- confession: sometimes i feel insecure about the fact that i do not use the instagram square frame anymore. i go for the rectangle. what is your instagram preference? (p.s. i realize this concern i feel is completely absurd ;))

-- my "speak life" t-shirt from naptime diaries came in this week! i love the reminder it gives to watch my words and to only speak words of truth that uplift and encourage.

-- the weather has been so nice and the days have been longer, so i've gotten to go walk my puppy a couple miles in the evenings when i get home from work!

-- on saturday night, i went to a drew holcomb and the neighbors concert. also, judah and the lion opened up the show and KILLED it. the whole evening was like a slice of southern heaven.

-- i went to see captain america yesterday with one of my friends who appreciates/loves nerdy movies just as much as i do! it was SO good! #merica

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
little brave | giveaways
spring bridal showers
the stitch fix experience
amanda fair designs | giveaway

OTHER FINDS
-- i loved this post on how to love a blogger.
-- i have been wanting to work on my calligraphy! here are some great tips and tricks!
-- this adorable dress was on sale last week and made its way to my house!
-- do you remember the goat video craze from last year? check out this one from Frozen.

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT YOURS TRULY
-- i could honestly drink caramel syrup out of the bottle. i am not ashamed.
-- my first car was a blue 1990 honda accord. i named him braveheart.
-- one time at the beach, my brother and i got stuck in the middle of a swarm of stingray. thank goodness for floats to sit on and calm water. we were fine, btw.

what were your weekend adventures?

amanda fair designs | GIVEAWAY

 photo amandafairdesignsgiveaway_zps52118b1a.jpg

well hey there! how are today? i really want to know. i'm so excited that it is almost the weekend and time for fun outings and time with friends!  but first things first...today i'm cohosting a giveaway with paige of moments for the journey. what's up for grabs? an amanda fair designs zipper bag of your choice! have you guys ever checked out her shop?...because you should! it is full of bright, fun colors and pouches in many sizes! so what are you waiting for? enter to win! good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor. ;)

HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! this giveaway is run via rafflecopter with several ways to enter! in exactly one week the giveaway will close, one winner will be selected at random and announced! the winner will be contacted by email. all entries will be verified, so pretty pretty please play by the rules! :) good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
happy happy friday, brave hearts. i hope you have a beautiful weekend!

the stitch fix experience.

i found out about stitch fix a few months ago through my best friend and finally decided to give it a try! before i tell you more about that, you may be wondering what stitch fix is and how it works. let me fill you in!

WHAT IS STITCH FIX AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
simply put, stitch fix is an online personal styling service for women. you will set up a stitch fix account, fill out a style profile (this includes questions about your style, sizes, and favorite things to wear), and submit! it is honestly as easy as that. you are assigned to a personal stylist who will go through your style profile and put together a package of 5 handpicked items.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
there is a $20 styling fee up front, which you pay once you have scheduled your first fix.  this will go toward your final fix total once you decide what you want to keep.  when filling out your style profile, you will have the option to choose what kind of price range you are willing to pay. stitch fix will send you clothing within your price range, but they say that the overall average of each piece is $65. here's the fun news! if you decide to keep all 5 items, you will receive 25% off your entire order.


WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU DON'T LIKE YOUR FIX? 
here's where my stitch fix experience comes into play. i received my very first fix last week and was so excited to open the box and try everything on.  i liked the color of the blouses and the dress they sent, but i didn't like the fit of the dress or one of the shirts. they sent me two pairs of jeans...a dark wash and a black wash. one did not fit, but the other did. however, i'd just recently bought a pair of black jeans, so i didn't need a new pair at this time.

so i didn't like enough out of this fix to keep it all, and i didn't want to pay full price for the couple of items i only sort of liked. no worries! stitch fix provides you with a bag with pre-paid postage to send back the clothes you don't want. i just had to drop it off at the post office and send it on its way back home.




although this fix didn't work out, i absolutely loved having someone else pick out clothes for me and ship them to my house! whether you keep your fix or send it back, you have the opportunity to give stitch fix feedback about each item. if you didn't love the items, give them very detailed feedback about what you didn't like, and be very detailed about what you would like to see in your next fix! the stylists want to know these things because it helps them do their job well! i will definitely be ordering my next fix soon!

HAVE YOU EVER USED STITCH FIX?

spring bridal showers.

this past weekend, my sweet friend alex and i hosted a bridal shower for our precious abbey who is getting married in may! abbey has been in my core group for the past four years. we met when she was a sophomore in college and i had just graduated. i was taking over as the new leader of the bible study she was in...my college bestie had led the group through their freshman year. i have loved not only being the leader of that group, but also becoming friends with all of those girls. abbey was so quiet to start out, but once you get to know her, she opens up. :) she is such a sweet, tenderhearted person, and i have loved watching her grow in her relationship with others and with the Lord over the past few years. it has truly been a joy.

when alex and i were planning for this shower, we wanted a theme that was classic and feminine. we went with mints and pinks and gold. in order to keep the cost down, we made all of the desserts and decorations ourselves. we were so pleased with how everything turned out!



we spent time sharing stories about how we met abbey/funny and awkward moments, opening gifts, and praying over abbey's upcoming marriage. it really was a beautiful time of fellowship together celebrating this sweet lady. love you, abs! i can't wait until may!