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thursday's letters.

dear friends, if you have not yet signed up for #etsyswap2013, you have until tomorrrow to do so! you don't want to miss out! i promise. who doesn't love snail mail, gifts, and new friends?? dear ben rector, i have seriously listened to nothing else but your new album for a week now. dear lindsay letters, i CANNOT wait for my cute new prints to come in the mail. dear summer, how quickly you flew by this year. it makes me a little sad to see you go. this does mean, however, that my favorite season is approaching!! dear mississippi, a car full of southern sass is road tripping your way tomorrow. so excited for a weekend full of besties and baby showers!!

p.s. the winner of the liberty shoppe giveaway has been announced! thanks to everyone who participated :)


etsy crushes // NO. 3

if you rushed over this morning hoping you could still sign up for etsy swap 2013, i have good news for you! amy and i have extended the sign-ups deadline to friday to give you procrastinators a couple more days to get in on this goodness. and when i say "procrastinators", i mean it as an endearing term. i am one of you. ;)

amy has started a weekly link-up for these etsy crush posts which gives me a great excuse to show you some super cute items i've found over the past few days.

felt flower // $20 

<< what are you crushing on? >>


DIY // canvas art

what you need::
- stretched canvases // size of your choice
- metallic paint
- paper mache letter
- pearl glimmer mist // optional
- some kind of adhesive // i used spray adhesive
- paint brush or foam brush
- pencil

to begin::
1. gather all of your materials. at the end of this post you will have the option to purchase the main materials and have them delivered straight to your doorstep!
2. the crafts you can create with canvas are pretty limitless. i knew that i wanted to incorporate lyrics in some way, and i knew i wanted to use gold paint. i'm obsessed.

note: please disregard the print-out of tennessee, the glitter, and the mod podge. that's another project for another time :)

3. i free-handed the chevron stripes in pencil on my canvas before starting to paint. then i used a foam brush to add the metallic gold paint. the canvas material soaks up the paint quite a bit, so i had to do two coats.

4.  i used the same foam brush and put one coat of metallic paint on my paper mache letter.  i attached the letter to the canvas using some spray adhesive i had left over from a previous project.

please excuse the mess, but this is real life. my crafting process can accurately be described as "organized chaos." ;)

5. my lyric canvas doesn't require any instruction. ha! i just love mumford and sons and this song. so i threw some some words on the canvas and was done :) voila!

6. lastly, i took the pearl glimmer mist spray and coated both canvases with it. the mist gives a little extra shimmer to your project, which i loved.

weekend update.

- receiving pretty mail from milk+crown
- successful mug swapping. hooray for cute mugs and new friends.
- listening to this album on repeat
- day trips to ikea. i got this fun cart :)
- trying on bridesmaid dresses for this sweet lady's wedding

etsy swap 2013 // sign ups close on friday!!
a day in the life // new adventures
the liberty shoppe // giveaway ends wednesday!!

guys, what's cuter than a baby elephant sneezing?
...a baby elephant being scared by it's own sneeze.
it gets funnier each time you watch.

you're welcome, monday.

<< how was your weekend?? >>


a day in the life // new adventures

last week i read jenny highsmith's post on making habits and setting goals and knew at once that i wanted to participate. i've had some things in mind that i wanted to spend time on but i hadn't committed to, and it was time.

real life moment: this is me. messy hair, sitting in my ikea chair, typing away. you're welcome.

background // i graduated from college three years ago and as it became clear after a year and half of searching that i was not going to find a job in my field of study, my motivation to be creative slowly died a little. a year and a half of cold calls, interviews and "no's" will do that to you. it crushes your soul, people. just kidding. sort of. i was a graphic design-turned-interior design major, so creativity and designing filled my days (and nights) for 4 years and the occasional DIY projects post-graduation just weren't cutting it.

i've played around with the idea of opening a print shop for a while now.
i've hesitated because:
a) i have a real fear of failure
b) i'm nervous to put my meager creations out on the world wide web for errrrbody and their mom to see and judge
c) my computer died in a tragic accident where i had to delete its memory in order to save its life. poor baby mac. in the process, i lost my photoshop program. so here i am, several months later, using a trial version, until i'm forced to pay again :)

today // i have finally decided that i need to be brave and start sharing some designs with you. so here we are. the point of this for me is not to be the best (because i know i'm not), or to makes lots of money (who needs it? ha!),  but to keep my creativity flowing and to continue learning. to work on something that i really love and enjoy. that's when i thrive most. who knows, maybe someday i'll actually be good at this ;)

my goal over the next two months is to design at least six different prints to put in the shop. i want to teach myself something new in photoshop each week. i've been obsessed with the gold foil trend going on these days, so that's what i wanted to focus on first. last weekend i sat at my desk, watched tutorials, ate too much ice cream, and put together a few designs. and guess what? i designed an iphone wallpaper for you! i'm thinking i'd like to give you a new one every week or so. how does that sound? okay? great!
download this:

on top of starting to design prints, the blog is getting a makeover and some other fun changes this fall!! i'm really excited for you to see it. :) now, go be awesome today.

linking up with:
Jenny Highsmith


Q & A and a giveaway // the liberty shoppe

today i am really excited to introduce you to a couple brave hearts who are making a difference in this world! kelsey and brooke are invested in the fight against human trafficking and have just recently opened an etsy shop called the liberty shoppe. a portion of each sale supports efforts to end human trafficking in their city, memphis, tn.

//every 30 seconds a person is sold into slavery. this crime is one of the largest in our world, with 27 million people enslaved.  it is sadly happening in our city,
 and we would like to stop that.//
"where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 
2 corinthians 3:17

tell me a little about yourselves::

Kelsey // I am a soon to be college graduate living in Memphis, TN. I work as a nanny part time to two sweet kids. I find joy in cooking, party planning, family, serving in my church, and my yorkie Holly. I am thankful for God’s grace each day, and a good cup of coffee! It is my passion to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking and to see girls realize their worth in the eyes of our Lord.

Brooke // I am a stay at home mom and have been married for three years. I’m from East Tennessee but due to my husband’s job, moved to Memphis just after we wed. It was then that my love for the Lord and serving others became one of my biggest passions. Another one of my biggest passions is a burden for the victims of human trafficking and a commitment to stop this crime.

how did you get involved in the fight against human trafficking?::
We both first found out about the reality of human trafficking through hearing Christine Caine, the founder of the A21 campaign, speak at our church. We heard her at separate times and both felt very burdened about this issue. Kelsey first heard Christine Caine speak about human trafficking at a Chick Nite at our church. “I still remember her passionate message to this day; the stories about the victims she rescued, and the call to action she gave us. I remember her describing the group she was speaking to as an army of women that God was raising up. I felt so inspired to help out, but I didn’t know what I could do at that time that would make a difference. I prayed for the girls that were enslaved on a regular basis and prayed that God would show me what I could do to help.“ Fast-forward about a year later, and Brooke was able to hear Christine Caine speak and learned about human trafficking. “As I drove home that day the Lord gave me a burden and passion for these victims, to stand up and be their voice.” Afterwards, Brooke started researching and realized the severity of human trafficking. Kelsey was not at this service, and Brooke felt compelled to contact her about it. We then discovered that we were both passionate about this cause and doing something to help was on our hearts. It was an answered prayer when Brooke contacted Kelsey and shared what was on her heart; now we knew that we were supposed to do something. From that day forward, we have sought God about this through scripture, prayer, and brainstorming ideas together.

what steps are you taking to make a difference?::
In the beginning we had big ideas and were full of faith about all that God was going to do through us. While, that is still true, we have been reminded along the way that God’s timing is not always ours and that what he wants to be accomplished will happen. Even when ideas have failed or certain plans haven’t come to fruition, we kept trying and persevered. Several months ago we thought to ourselves, “What can we do right now, what do we have in our hands?” We decided we would use our talents and things we enjoyed doing to make a difference. We thought of selling handmade hair accessories on Etsy and using the profits to fund our efforts to fight this injustice in our city, Memphis, TN. Right now we are selling handmade elastic hair ties in all sorts of fun colors! Our Etsy shop has taken off to a great start and we are overwhelmed with the support we have received. Our family and friends are really the best. Things are starting to fall into place and we feel like God’s timing for this is now. Our church, The Life Church Memphis, is an amazing place that we call home. We are an outreach church to the core and desire to make a big impact in our city. We as a church already support many organizations in the fight against human trafficking, but we are talking about future plans of one day being in the fight ourselves and using our church as a place of hope for victims of human trafficking. These conversations and plans bring so much joy and encouragement to our hearts. We could not be more excited about what is to come!

how can we help?::
There are many ways you can help. The first would be awareness: many people still do not know that 27 million people are enslaved today. Get the word out to your friends and family, those in your circle. Social Media is a great way to use your voice. Also, there are many great organizations in the fight against human trafficking. One that we hold dear to our hearts is the A21 Campaign. If you would like to financially support one of these organizations, the A21 Campaign would be a great option. There are also many organizations that sell clothing, jewelry, and other fun items, and your money will go to support this cause. Some of these include Sevenly, FashionABLE , and of course The Liberty Shoppe. We would so appreciate your support of our little shop! Action is also necessary to make a difference in this issue. If you would like to get involved, start with awareness and then move forward in action. Talk to your local church and see if there are already organizations in place near you that are in the fight against human trafficking. We encourage doing something that you love and using it to make a difference in the fight, like we did with The Liberty Shoppe. Last but not least, PRAY! Pray for those that are enslaved today, for their freedom and for them to know the Lord’s love.
so that was a lot of good information, and i hope you took time to read it! thank you kelsey and brooke for sharing what you are passionate about. now, go check out their etsy shop and all the super cute hair ties they have available!

just for funsies, i am giving away this set from the liberty shoppe. enter below. 
giveaway ends at midnight on august 28th. the winner will be contacted by email!


music & lyrics // ben rector

// i've been lost and found, but mostly i've been waiting //

ben rector's new album came out yesterday.
it was downloaded and listened to all day long. 
this song was on play and repeat. 


etsy swap 2013.

welcome! my name is meg and i love etsy. a lot.
this is my friend amy. we've never met, but if we had, we'd be real life besties.

we are super excited to announce that we are hosting our first etsy swap!

i know what you're thinking. "megs, what in tarnation is an etsy swap??"

well, amy and i both love etsy and favorite ridiculous amounts of things that we wish we could buy to put in our homes. but let's be honest, ain't nobody got money for all of that. i'm sure many of you are in this same situation. so we thought how fun it would be to involve y'all, partner you up with another blogger, have you stalk get to know each other via all forms of social media, and buy and ship each other etsy gifts based on your style! i know, it's brilliant! besides getting fun things in the mail, this is a great way to meet other bloggers and make new friends in this community.

etsy swap timeline:
8/27 | Sign-ups close
9/2   | Partner set up (we will send out emails to participants)
9/16 | Deadline to mail out package
9/26 | Link-up

price range: $20 - $25
*if you opt to pay more, we will pair you up with another participant who is willing to pay a little extra

the important stuff:
+ for this swap, we're goint to keep it for bloggers only, just to help keep things easier the first time around
+ sign up by 8/27
+ grab our button and share it on your blog :)
+ remember your partner isn't supposed to know who you are UNTIL they get their package [yay! surprises!!], so be super duper sneaky
+ once you get your partner's information, make sure you look through their pinterest, etsy favorites, blog, instagram etc. to get an idea of their style
+ if you want to go over the price range, please make that known when you sign up. we will pair you up with someone who has similar interests.
+ make sure you mail out your package before on ON the deadline of september 16th.  if you are running late, please break your vow of silence, contact your partner, and let them know. 
+ don't forget to link-up with us on september 26th to share what you received!!

interested? sign up here.

swap tips:
+ you can send multiple items. just try to stay within your price range.
+ i suggest sending a fun note with your gifts. everyone loves notes!
+ don't stress. your partner is going to love whatever you send them.
+ have fun! send gifts! make friends!

if you have ANY questions at all, don't be shy! ask us! leave questions in the comments section below. we are SO excited to have you participating and want this to be a fun experience for all!

feel free to hashtag along the way using #etsyswap2013

happy swapping!

i have thoughts
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weekend update.

- i got a nephew! sort of. my brother and sister-in-law brought home the cutest boxer puppy you've ever seen. his name is fin :) i just want to snuggle him. looks like i need to take a trip to cali soon so i can see that sweet pup.
- hangout time with the cousins // weddings // teaching cousins sweet dance moves (i am an awesome dancer...on opposite day)
- receiving my first purchase from the liberty shoppe! it won't be the last.
- being reminded of God's greatness through His creation. we have a Creator who pays great attention to detail, and for that i am thankful.
- discovering "if disney princesses had instagram"


thoughts to make your heart sing // sally lloyd-jones
harry potter and the goblet of fire // j.k. rowling (i know. i'm 25. kids books are my fave)
hinds' feet on high places // hannah hurnard

1. i am sometimes a procrastinator and almost always a perfectionist. it's an odd combination.
2. simply orange with mango is my fave.
3. i like my hot chocolate with a dash of hazelnut creamer. it's weird, i know.

// 3 random things about you? go. //


my best friend's wedding.

a year ago today, i stood by my best friend as she married the man she loves.
she glowed. i cried.
is it weird to say my best friend's wedding day was one of the best days of my life?
because it was.

i got to play maid of honor and give a speech where i stood with hands and voice shaking as i attempted to tell a funny story about the three of us in high school. we were awesome, by the way. never awkward or nerdy... don't believe any of the stories you hear.

i've known those two crazy kids since we met at camp when i was 16 years old, and wasn't the least bit surprised when years later beth messaged me one day to say that bruce had asked to date her. we went on to work that summer at camp together. so i got to watch as their relationship grew while we tried to remain sane and take care of 40 high school students for three months in the mountains of colorado. ten months later, i was walking out of a movie with a friend when i saw i had a text from beth and a picture of THE RING. i squealed, cried, and immediately called her to leave a squealing/crying voicemail. fast forward three months, and i found myself standing in front of a barn with some of my favorite people and watching my best friend walk down the isle. her wedding was full of laughter, happy tears, joy and Jesus. it was a precious day to be a part of.

b & b, it is a privilege to call you my friends. i am so glad Jesus brought y'all into my life all those summers ago, and that he brought the two of you together at his own perfect pace. i am blessed by you and by your love for Jesus. keep loving the Lord and, in turn, showing his love to one another.

happy 1st anniversary, friends!!

// all photography by: stellar propeller studio //


etsy crushes NO. 2 // and an announcement

i have a very fun and exciting announcement, everybody! amy over at taking steps home has asked me to co-host an etsy swap! what's an etsy swap, you ask? come back next tuesday for all the details.

that's august 20th.

you don't want to miss it!

but while you wait, here are my current etsy crushes. you can see my last round of crushes here.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

one of my favorite etsy shops these days is milk+crown. you have got to check it out.  i just ordered #7 in my etsy crushes from her shop and i cannot wait until it arrives in my mailbox!! kristyn is trying to make 30 sales in 30 days for her #30in30jewelry project. $10 of every sale through september 1st goes toward the mocha club's clean water project. in order to reach her goal of 30, kristyn needs your help. so tell your wives, tell your kids, tell you husbands, because we're trying to get some clean water up in here. seriously, this is a project worth taking part in, and i highly suggest you do.

BONUS: any order placed in august will receive 15% off any purchase by using the code "MARVELOUSCARA"

// what are you crushing on? //


colorado meets tennessee.

okay, so i didn't have a post planned for today, but i just HAD to tell y'all something. my two best friends met each other today! it's funny, i always feel like my best friends know each other because i know them and i talk about them all the time. so naturally, they should be friends too! right?

well, today those dreams came true. my tennessee bestie is out in colorado for a week long conference and got to meet up with my colorado bestie for breakfast. my only disappointment is that i couldn't be there with them. let me just be sappy for a minute and say that i am so thankful for both of these girls and for the parts they play in my life and this journey. each of them speaks God's truth into my life and encourages me to live a life full of joy and grace. i do not know what i would do without them. high fives for friendship!

 happy wednesday, brave hearts!


weekend update // birthday edition

FAVORITE MOMENTS:: picture style

my coworkers surprised me wednesday morning with balloons, cupcakes, and a disney princess puzzle // they know the way to my heart.

they also made me a book of 25 reasons why being 25 is awesome. my fave was the driver's license page. mostly because they made me rapunzel // again, they know me so well. ;)

family birthday dinner at the boathouse on the tennessee river

i always have a homemade chocolate icecream and oreos cake for my birthday. every year. and it is delicious. my dad has been the one to decorate our birthday cakes since i was born.

birthday poems written by my mom

birthday flowers from my brother and sister-in-law. they came in a cupcake vase and now that they've bloomed, i have a flowery cupcake sitting on my desk. yum.

and to top it all off, google wished me a happy birthday! i'm not sure if i should be excited or really creeped out...

let's make habits // jenny highsmith
recipes: puppy chow // until only love remains
to the writer // tickled yellow

DIY // paper flowers: part three

"the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." // john 1:15

these toms! i've never owned a pair, but i've always wanted to. i don't know what's holding me back. maybe it's the price. yikes.
// what was your favorite moment this past week? //


sweet mondays.

y'all, start your week off right with a whole lot of cuteness.

you're welcome, monday.


DIY // paper flowers: part three

i'm back with one final paper flower tutorial for you. that is, until i have another paper crafting spree. this one has been my absolute favorite! mostly because one of the main ingredients is glitter. sparkly goodness.

what you'll need:
cardstock // color of your choice
circle cutter // i tried both a 1" and 1 1/4" circle and ended up liking the larger circle better
hot glue gun

glitter flower tutorial::

step 1: cut circles from your cardstock. i wanted to try out the ombre effect, so i have a different color for each layer of flower. i used approximately 8-10 circles per color. you'll use more depending on how full you want the bloom to be.
step 2: take your scissors and cut a slit halfway up each circle
step 3: put a dot of hot glue on the left side of the slit and slide the right side on top of the left. this will form a cone. repeat.
step 4: put a dot of hot glue near the seam of one cone and place a second cone (usually the flattest side) on top of the seam.
step 5: repeat steps 3 and 4 over and over and over. you'll want to make the cones less severe as you go so that the flower looks more open once you're finished.
step 6: smother the center in hot glue and cover it in pixie dust. if you don't have pixie dust, i guess you'll just have to settle for regular old glitter.

i think these would be super cute sitting on a mirror tray. they also look like they should be floating in water or something spectacular like that. someone find me waterproof paper and i'll make it happen.

<< what are you crafting these days? >>