etsy crushes // NO. 8

it is high time for some new etsy crushes, my friends. like amy, i love etsy. i love how diverse it is. i love how creative you homemade shop owners are. and i love that we get to support small businesses by shopping on etsy! it's because of these things that amy and i created the Etsy Swap! i'm sure those of you that participated in our swap discovered a lot of new shops out there. hooray! don't forget to promote those creatives to your friends and family. i know for a fact they need and appreciate your support! :)

p.s. if you missed out on our spring fever swap, don't worry. there will be another etsy swap this fall!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

what are you crushing on?

10 reasons to work at camp.

as many of you know, i spent a few summers in colorado working at a camp called eagle lake. they were some of the best summers i've had thus far and had such a huge impact on my life. one thing i love about eagle lake is the navigator's emphasis on discipleship. they realize the importance, as believers, of being poured into, walking alongside each other, and growing together in relationship with Jesus.

during the two summers i worked at eagle lake as a CREW camper, i was discipled by two incredible counselors. it was those two women and my experience at camp that made me want to go back as a counselor one day. i wanted to pour into others like i had been poured into. i wanted to spread the name of Jesus and be a part of the beautiful web of discipleship.  my heart was for the CREW program because i had participated in it as a high schooler and i wanted to work with high schoolers myself. high school is such an interesting time in life as you are entering a world of semi-adulthood and expected to make a million different life decisions without having had any actual life experience. it's exciting and confusing and completely overwhelming all at the same time.

so i worked with high schoolers for a summer. it was the most challenging and rewarding time of my life as i got to know my campers, their stories, and their walks with Jesus. we laughed and cried and prayed a whole lot. it was such a beautiful thing to be able to come beside those campers, to become their friend, and to see them grow in their relationship with Jesus. the greatest joy comes from seeing how Jesus continues to mold them even today, three years down the road. i formed friendships with my campers that have lasted, and i have even gotten to see some of them go back to eagle lake as counselors themselves. how wonderful is that??

so why am i telling you this? well, you see, summer is approaching and eagle lake is still in the process of hiring their summer staff! if you are between the ages of 18 - 23, and still trying to figure out your summer plans, this is me highly encouraging you to consider eagle lake camp. not quite convinced? let me give you 10 good reasons.

1. you get to spend the entire summer in colorado.
2. there is no humidity or mosquitos. (southerners will appreciate this the most.)
3. epic chaco tans are a given.
4. camp t-shirts -- to add to that awesome t-shirt quilt you're going to make five years from now.
5. you can't beat the community - 3 months with the same people? you get real close, real fast.
6. stars that burn like diamonds - seriously. sleep outside one night. i've never seen stars like that.
7. you won't sleep much, but you'll also never have felt more alive. #enthusiasmiscontagious
8. you may meet your best friend. i did!
9. you will be serving the Kingdom & be involved in something that has a significant eternal impact.
10. you will witness the Lord changing lives. your life & the lives of those around you. it is beautiful.


please let me know if you apply or are even thinking about applying! i would love to be praying for you! if you have any questions about eagle lake, feel free to shoot me an email. i love talking about that place because it is so dear to my heart, and would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. plus, if you end up at eagle lake this summer, i pinky promise to send you some snail mail because camp mail is like gold. :) please feel free to share this info with your friends! i know eagle lake is still looking for male counselors for this summer, so pass the word along to your brothers, friends, etc. thanks a bunch!


music & lyrics | currently listening to...

i've been slowly adding some new music to my library over the past couple of months, but last week i went all out. apparently it was "buy-all-the-albums" week. sorry if y'all missed out. ;) let me break it down for you. here are five albums you need to purchase immediately. it'll be the best thing you do all day. promise.

ellie holcomb | as sure as the sun
this album is full of grace and truth. i bought it the day it was released, listened on my lunch break, and cried the whole way through. every single lyric is laced with scripture and soothing to the soul. just what every heart needs.

judah and the lion | first fruits & sweet tennessee
both of these albums are so good, y'all. first fruits was their first ep and contains some really beautiful and fun worship music. sweet tennessee is an album that would make you feel southern even if you weren't from the south. it's music that will make you sing, clap, and stomp your feet. these guys opened for drew holcomb and the neighbors when they were in chattanooga a couple weeks ago, and i'm not going to lie, i would have been okay with them playing all night. it was like a perfect slice of southern heaven.

needtobreathe | rivers in the wasteland
i LOVE this new album of needtobreathe's! there is something about experiencing new melodies for the first time. i sat and listened to this one all the way through and felt like i'd been on a journey. it is a great of my favorites of theirs. a friend and i are looking to see them live at some point this year. wanna come with us? great! the more the merrier.

rend collective | the art of celebration
i just posted about this one last week! this whole album feels like one big party. as they say "heaven's going to be the greatest party of all time and we need to start practicing now." every single song is filled with joy and hope and a beautiful picture of Christ. it carries with it the reminder that we should be choosing joy daily and celebrating the freedom we have in Jesus. amen? amen!

p.s. if you like their music, i highly encourage you to support these artists by buying their albums and not just listening for free on spotify and such. ;) #musiciansgottaeat plus, you are going to want to have these tunes on hand to listen to over and over in the car, or at the beach, or while you're getting ready in the mornings, or heck, while you're washing dishes. kitchen dance parties, am i right?

what's on your playlist these days?

weekend update.

-- two copies of the secret life of walter mitty were delivered to my house last week. come to find out, in my excitement, i ordered the movie in march forgetting that i had already pre-ordered it in february. haha! somebody's getting walter mitty as a birthday gift this year! ;)

-- my core group and i have been dyeing easter eggs together for the past four years. it's one of our traditions. this year two of my girls couldn't make it so it was just alex, her hubs, and myself...dyeing easter eggs and watching finding nemo. the best.

-- i loved our sermon at church Easter morning from matthew 28. "and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." what a beautiful promise!

-- we had a super chill sunday afternoon watching movies, soaking up the sun, and reading books. i finished "the book thief" and ugly cried my way through the last few chapters. it's heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.

-- this post on patience during the journey was what my heart needed to be reminded of this week.
-- the wonderful world of snails. who knew a snail's life could be so magical?
-- have you guys seen this video floating around the world wide webs this week?
-- only the most adorable pictures ever
-- what is your disney personality? i'm mufasa. haha!
-- loved this post on vulnerability. we need more of that.

spring adventures
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DIY | ribbon garland
the art of celebration

-- the chronicles of narnia is my favorite literary series of all time.
-- i hate the taste and smell of olives.
-- growing up, my favorite disney movies were peter pan and robin hood.

how was your weekend?

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'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?


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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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.

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