August 1, 2014

MY FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY

Welcome to August, brave hearts! I will unashamedly admit that August is one of my favorite months because it's my birthday month AND because it means that autumn will be here before we know it! :) A new month means another Favorite Things giveaway!

This month I am co-hosting with Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts to bring you some beautiful hand-lettered stationary from Ashley Buzzy Lettering! I've had basically all of Ashley's work on my wishlist ever since I discovered her site! I received one of her adorable cards in the mail and immediately knew that I wanted you all to have the opportunity to win some goodies from her shop!

One lucky winner will receive a set of her Around the River Bend and It's a Long Story notecards. I'm so excited for you to have some cute and sassy stationary to send to your friends!





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 please play by the rules! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is sponsored by these wonderful ladies: 

If you would like to be one of the sponsors for the next MY FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY, join the team! You can find more information by clicking here and for 15% off all advertising options, use code MYFAVORITETHINGS at checkout!


HAPPY WEEKEND!

July 31, 2014

LAKE DAYS.

Sometimes you just need a day on the lake. We packed up last Saturday and drove to Lake Ocoee, which is where I used to spend part of every summer when I was growing up.  My grandparents' church has a camp on the Ocoee called Camp Cherokee, and for years and years my grandparents had a camper trailer up there.  We would go and stay with them for a week or two and canoe, fish, hike, swim, and boat.  Lake Ocoee is where I learned how to water ski and where I was thrown off a tube more times than I can count. Those summers were full of family, laughter, and tan lines.

My grandparents haven't had a place up at camp for a long time now and sold their boat a few years ago, so I haven't spent quite as much time up at the lake as I did in my younger years. It was so fun to go back up there, paddle my kayak all the way back to camp, sit on the dock to eat lunch, and watch the little fish swim in the shallows.

There is something about being out on the water that is so relaxing to me.  It's soothing and healing to sit in a boat on the water and let the wind and current take you where it will. Something that's not soothing or healing? Major sunburn. I drowned my skin in sunscreen, but thanks to my Scottish heritage and the fact that I sweated all sun protection off within fifteen minutes, I ended up with a phenomenal shorts and tank top sunburn...which has now turned into a phenomenal shorts and tank top tan. Awkward tan lines are the story of my life.


















HOPE YOU GET OUT ON THE WATER THIS SUMMER!

July 30, 2014

MUSIC & LYRICS | NEEDTOBREATHE

When NEEDTOBREATHE's latest album came out a few months ago, I immediately fell in love with it.  I listened from beginning to end crying and dancing my way through. When the last song had finished, I felt like I had just walked through a long, hard, and beautiful season in someone's life.  I read this article and realized that I actually had.  This album tells a story of brokenness covered in grace, healing, and redemption. It tells the story of you and me at different moments and seasons in our own lives. It tells the story of Jesus' love, forgiveness, and faithfulness.

If you're looking for some new music to add to your summer playlists, I highly recommend Rivers In The Wasteland. You'll be listening all year long. :)



WHAT'S ON YOUR SUMMER PLAYLIST?

July 29, 2014

BESTIE STYLE.

While in the same city as your best friend, it's a given that you do a photo shoot together. When it comes to Beth and me, that means wearing clothes from GAP, sporting our favorite pairs of Chacos, and laughing uncontrollably. We were walking around Old Colorado City, found a nice brick wall, and snapped away. As you can see, seriousness isn't really our thing.

I love this friend more than I can say and treasure the times we get to see each other. It's hard living across the country from your best friend, but Beth and I have found over the years what ways are best for us to communicate and stay in touch and be a part of each others lives. Here are some things I've learned along the way...

Be intentional and setup good communication habits. 
Some people are phone talkers, some love to text, and some love to skype. Everyone has their favorite form of communication. I recommend all of them from time to time. Beth and I talk on Gmail chat just about every day. It's how we stay in touch and know what is going on during the every day. We also do Google hangouts once a month with our friend Sam to talk blog life and encourage one another. My best friend, Nat, lives in Knoxville and we are texters and phone talkers. We can talk on the phone for five minutes or an hour just to catch up on the week and the highlights of our lives. My mom and her best friend have an agreement where they call each other once a month for a nice, long talk. Life is busy and sometimes it is hard to make time for the people who aren't living in the same city as you, but I think it's important to make your friends a priority no matter where they live!

Write letters and send gifts.
I don't know about you, but I LOVE snail mail. It makes my day to find a handwritten note in the mail from a friend. It means the world knowing that they took time to sit down and write some kind and encouraging words for me. Send gifts. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant! A friend sent me a bumper sticker for my car last week so that I could be in the same bumper sticker group as a few of our other friends. It's little gestures like that, no matter the size, that warm my heart and make me feel included and remembered.



Go visit and plan trips.
Nothing beats spending time together in person. If they are within driving range, go visit your bestie for the weekend.  Or take some of your precious vacation time, shell out the money for a flight, and go on a mini vacation! I promise it is worth it every single time. Every couple of months, I go visit my best friend in Knoxville or she comes to Chattanooga for the weekend. I try to fly out to Colorado a couple of times a year to see Beth and all of my friends there. My college best friends get together throughout the year, and this year will be our 2nd time taking a trip together. We all saved our moneys and set a date and are heading to the beach for a long weekend. The time you spend together is time you will never forget, and it's time that strengthens and deepens your friendships.



Pray for each other. 
I have a great group of friends who I know pray for me on a regular basis. I can't tell you how greatly that encourages me! Ask your friends what you can be praying for and follow up with them about it later to see how they are doing. Someone reminded me once that it is important to actually pray for someone if you tell them you will. That seems like a "DUH!" thing to say, but I know we tend to say "I'll be praying!" or "Praying right now!" and then think about it but forget to actually sit down and pray for a minute.  When someone asks me to pray for them or someone else, I try to practice praying for that thing immediately because I don't want to wait and forget about it later. Pray for your friends, their family, their husbands/wives, and their relationships with Jesus. Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I've started setting aside a day a week to pray in particular for my friends. It is a great way to practice being intentional!


Friendship, like any relationship, is hard sometimes and requires a lot of work on both sides. It's not a one way street. These people are ones Jesus has brought into your life for a reason. They are a beautiful gift of great value and should be treated with care. Don't forget to tell your friends today that you love them. :)

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE REGARDING FRIENDSHIPS?

July 28, 2014

WEEKEND UPDATE.



RECAPS
1 | Holders Not Folders. This instagram series is bringing me so much joy. I absolutely love making new insta friends, seeing all of your creative photography skills, and being involved in such an encouraging community!

2 | Birthday parties. My core group got to celebrate Alex's birthday last week. Even the husbands joined in for dinner and games! Hello, Disney Apples to Apples! I love that small community I have been given and the fact that we get together every week for fellowship and time with Jesus.

3 | A day on the lake. The fam and I took another kayking trip on Saturday up to one of my favorite spots. We paddled forever, floated around, ate our lunch, and paddled back. I am currently the shade of a lobster seeing as all of my sunscreen melted off after about 15 minutes. Ow.

4 | Design changes. You may have noticed I have a new blog header! I'm going to start switching up the blog design slowly but surely. No big overnight reveal this time, but you'll see small changes here and there every now and then. :)

5 | Harry Potter has taken over my life. I started the seventh and final book this weekend, and I can tell I'm going to be a complete mess all the way through it. I'm only a few chapters in and have already cried multiple times. Haha!

OTHER FINDS
-- Oh my deer.
-- Judah and the Lion (one of my favorite bands) have a new album coming out in September!! Go check 'em out and support their project!
-- On making friends after college.
-- Are you looking to buy a DSLR? A friend of mine is selling his!

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
Colorado Camp Days
Q&A | Meet Jordyn
Throwback Thursday | Walt Disney World
Holders Not Folders | LINES

AD SALE!!
I'm offering 40% off all ad spots through tomorrow! Use the code GOODBYEJULY


HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND, BRAVE HEART?

July 26, 2014

holders not folders | LINES

It is the weekend, brave hearts! Hope you're having a beautiful one! Beth and I introduced our instagram challenge and our hashtag #holdersnotfolders just a few weeks ago, and I have loved seeing your photos each day. If you haven't already, please join the community that is coming together in our hashtag challenge!

Last week the challenge was "LINES" and I must say I was blown away by all of your photos. I absolutely loved seeing your different perspectives. You are all so creative! This week's photos were full of summer time sweets, Jimmy Fallon (my favorite), Chacos, babies, Africa, and the US of A.




For the next 7 weeks, Beth and I will be sharing our top favorite #holdersnotfolders instagrams every Saturday.  We will also have a new prompt each week to help you look for the community and friendship in your world! This hashtag is about the little things and the big things in our lives.  It's about reaching out and inviting others along on the journey.

The prompt for next week is THREE. Y'all did so great last week, and I can't wait to see what you come up with this time! Go crazy, get creative, play with perspective, dream big, and don't forget to hashtag #holdersnotfolders.  Be sure to check back next Saturday to see the featured instagrams. I can't wait to see all of your photos!

WE HOPE YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL WEEK!

July 24, 2014

throwback thursday | walt disney world

Picking up old photo albums and flipping through pages of years gone by is one of my favorite things to do. I love seeing pictures of times in my life that I am too young to remember or giggling at all the phases I've gone through over the years. I was looking through one of our old albums the other day and found photos from my first and only (so far) trip to Disney World!

I went to Disneyland for the first time this year while I was out in Cali visiting my brother and sister-in-law. It was magical. Then the best friends started talking about planning a trip to Disney World at Christmas, and I was all in.  I'm so excited to go back with some of my besties since I was only four years old the last time my family was there.  So many things have changed and my love of all things Disney has grown immensely over the years. It's going to be the greatest Christmas vacation of all time!

But first, a quick look back in time. The year was 1993. I was four years old and obsessed with Minnie Mouse. I'm pretty sure my grandmother bought me that outfit. This was back in the day where boys always tucked in their shirts and white sneakers were totes hip. This was also during the Bowl Cut Saga. My mom swears it was cute, but all I see is a mop of hair on my head. I mean, shave the crown of my head and call me Friar Tuck, amiright?? ;)


I was very huggy with all the Disney characters and apparently thought Goofy's nose might be a good place for a power nap.


I mentioned I was obsessed with Minnie Mouse. So obsessed that, because my family was obviously not finding her quickly enough, I walked off on my own in the great wide world of Disney to hunt her down myself. Honestly, I'm not sure how I snuck off unnoticed by my family, but there I was...little four year old Megs...walking around Disney in search of Minnie. I remember meeting her, but I don't recall being alone.  The whole family was searching for me for about an hour until they finally found me with my BFF, Minnie.


Apparently I was still learning how to clap at the age of four? That or I was too exhausted to clap all by myself.



Obviously, Disney isn't always the happiest place on earth for every one...except for me. I am always full of Disney joy...and warm hugs.




WHAT ARE YOUR DISNEY STORIES?

July 23, 2014

Q & A | meet jordyn

Hi friends! Today I'm excited to introduce you to Jordyn of She Who Fears. She is such a sweetheart, and I am delighted she is sharing a little bit about herself on the blog today! Be sure to stop by her site and say hello!

1. When did you start blogging?
I started blogging on March 8, so a little over four months ago, which has been exciting and stressful, and also amazing all at the same time!

2. What is the inspiration behind the name "She Who Fears"?
It originally comes out of Proverbs 31:10, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” And I had originally planned on Woman Who Fears, but with the help of my husband, we decided that ‘She’ sounded less uptight haha. 

3. Tell me about your Etsy shop!
Steel and Twine started soon after moving to Wyoming while trying to [affordably] decorate my new home! A few posts of some die’s on instagram lead to a few friends wanting a few pieces and before I knew it I had an Etsy shop in October of last year!




4. What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Unashamedly, I just had to look up the definition of hobby because I honestly wasn’t sure! In my free time, when I’m not cleaning and organizing, I love creating, coffee-shop-dwelling, hanging out with my sweet husband and dogs, or anything outdoorsy really. Do those count? If they don’t, we’ll just pretend that they do.

5. Current favorite song?
Malleable Beings by The Paper Kites. I go through seasons with the genres I like, but this song has been hanging around since Christmas-ish time!

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Hard question! I think that I would really love to explore Europe with my husband. While I really am a warm weather type of girl and there’s all sorts of hot places I could go, the things that I hear about the Alps and small cities intrigue me so much! Plus, I’ve been to Romania and would love to venture back that way.

7. What is the motto you live and work by?
“In Christ.” And I know that that seems vague, but it covers a multitude. As long as I remember that I am in Christ, I am able to be gracious towards myself—whether that’s a big mess-up or small—gracious towards others, and also to consciously receive the grace that is poured out from the Father that keeps me hidden and assures me of His love for me.


If you are interested in being a part of the Rivers and Roads team, use the code FREEDOM for 25% off all advertising options. Happy Wednesday! :)