HOME                        ABOUT                        SHOP                        CONTACT                        SPONSOR                        NEW HERE?                        GOOD READS                       


weekend update.

- core group. all five of us back together again
- a whole weekend in colorado
- staying in the broadmoor hotel. a first and probably a last. ain't nobody can afford that!
- time with my best friend and her hubs
- blue skies and autumn temperatures
- trips to the zoo

review // Cardstore
#etsyswap2013 // the reveal
download this // shine your light

i just got home from colorado late last night and am trying to recover from a whirlwind trip to my other home. pictures from the rocky mountain state to come later this week :) now, can someone please bring me a large caramel latte? great, thanks.


review // Cardstore

snail mail is my absolute favorite. this probably doesn't come as a surprise since i tend to talk about it ALL. THE. TIME. i was so excited to find Cardstore recently! they offer super cute, quality greeting cards at an affordable price. score. this is my favorite online card shop by far. the website is clean, well-designed and easy to navigate.  they have a huge variety of options from birthday to christmas (my fave) to just because cards and all are customizable to a certain extent. they also have a blog you can check out! so, as you may remember, i became an aunt last week! one of my college besties had her first baby and all babies deserve to be celebrated, right?? so i hopped over to Cardstore's site, picked out the pinkest birthday card i could find, customized the fonts, and had it mailed to myself. i wanted to be able to hand write a personal note before sending it on its way to mississippi. i know what you're thinking. babies can't read! this is true. but their moms and dads can and they need all the encouragement they can get! plus, it's super fun to have cards you received as a newborn and be able to go back and read them when you're older. i have a couple from aunts and uncles that i will treasure forever. so go forth, be merry, and send snail mail! p.s. the best part of this is that i got to sign as an aunt for the first time ever. :) hooray for besties and babies. disclaimer: i was gifted this card by Cardstore. however, all opinions are strictly my own.


#etsyswap2013 // the reveal

happy thursday! as you are reading this, i am most likely on a plane heading to colorado for vacation. errr, i mean, a business trip. but let's be honest, it's a mini vaca. some work, some play. i am SO EXCITED i get to see my best friend and spend time in my second home state.

also, today is the day to link up your etsy swap posts and show off the fun gifts your received! amy and i had so much fun planning and participating in this and hope you did too :) my swap partner turned out to be my favorite southern newlywed! i was so excited to get alex as my swap partner that i started shopping immediately and had several items just sitting in my etsy cart for days while i was deciding which were going to make the cut. here's what i ended up with for alex.

mason jar lid // the mason bar company
cute cards // meghan mccrary
prints // lindsay letters 
washi tape // prettytape

alex knows how much i love notes. receiving them, sending them, it doesn't matter. so she got me some snail mail supplies::washi tape (i'm obsessed) and the cutest note cards. EVER. thank you, thank you, alex!

note cards // pen and paint 
washi tape // prettytape

follow alex here::

did you participate in the etsy swap? be sure to link up below!!

amy and i would love for #etsyswap to become a bi-annual event. what do you think?
your next opportunity to participate will be coming up in february/march!
please feel free to spread the word!


download this // shine your light

you are loved.
you are not forgotten.
remember that today.
and here's a gift for you.
// download this //

happy wednesday, brave hearts.


weekend update.

- new friends and coffee dates at rembrandts. i love the chattanooga art district.
- iOS7. forever and ever. amen.
- phone dates with old camp friends
- heart talk and beautiful afternoons at the park
- going to a coffee tasting. SO nerdy. i am such a hipster...
- sermons filled with grace and truth
- my shop had its first customer this week! super fun. i'm hoping to add some more items over the next week or two. baby steps :)
- so much snail mail this week + i received my etsy swap gift! check back thursday for the reveal :)

heart talk // oak+oats
forgiveness:learning to walk in the light // hope engaged

- this video is just too great not to mention again. go watch it. now.
- i wrote this post on seasons two years ago, and it is still a good reminder for me.
- listen to it. believe it. God is good. all the time.

minnetonka mocs. all of them. i bought a pair last fall and wear them all. the. time. best shoes ever. seriously. if you are looking for a good pair of mocs this year, i highly suggest this brand. comfy and stylin'.


music & lyrics // the civil wars

oh the caged bird dreams of a strong wind that will float beneath her wings.
like a voice longs for a melody. oh Lord Jesus, carry me.

praying you have a beautiful weekend, brave hearts.


autumn inspired.

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

i am so ready for fall. cozy, baggy sweaters with skinnies. the crunch of leaves beneath my feet. a crisp breeze. hands wrapped around warm mugs. pumpkins carved. old, soft flannels. scarves (oh gosh, scarves. i'm obsessed.) campfires and smores. coffe shop afternoons. sunday drives with windows down. the list goes on and on.

what do you love most about this season?


Q & A // the travel agency

you know how i talk about my favorite southern newlyweds all the time? well, this is the cute couple. alex has recently started a new job in the travel world, which she knows a whole lot about. yes, she was that girl who vacationed in beautiful places around the world while growing up thanks to her mama's job. i know, i'm jealous too.

because i honestly wasn't sure how the travel agency world works and because i like to promote my friends, i asked alex to fill me in. oh, if you want to see more pictures from their incredible wedding, click on the link below. they had a spectacular photographer!  

Tell the blogging world a little about yourself!
Hello! My name is Alex Smith. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and moved to Chattanooga in 2009 to go to college at UTC. This June, I got married(!!!) to my wonderful high school sweetheart, Todd. Then, in July, I embarked on an exciting new career; I am now a travel agent! My life consists of learning to be a newlywed, setting up our home, loving on our puppy dog, Luke, settling in to my new career, and living for the glory of God.

How did you get invovled in the travel world?
I am working from Chattanooga as an Agent for The Travel Agency, Inc. whose home office is located in Arlington, TN. I have grown up around the travel industry, since my mom has been a travel agent since 1983 and has owned her own agency since 2006.  I have traveled extensively including Europe, Mexico, multiple trips to DisneyWorld, numerous states throughout America, and much of the Caribbean.

Why use a travel agent?
A travel agent offers valuable knowledge and security, since this is what we do all day.  Your time is valuable and the travel research process can be very time consuming, so I can put my organization skills & detail-oriented personality to good use & plan your trip.  I can make your trip (planning and all) enjoyable from start to finish.  Without a travel agent, you are on your own.  When you use me, you can contact me at anytime during the planning process (and the trip itself) with any questions or concerns.  You don't have to worry about anything; I am your problem solver. 

How much does it cost to use The Travel Agency?
There are NO service fees on your vacation travel. I work on commision, which means the tour companies & cruise lines pay me to help plan your vacation at NO additional cost to you.

What does the process look like to book a trip?
Step 1: Call or email me!! Let me know what you are interested in: what do you want to do, where do you want to go??
Step 2: I will send you options that you can look through and you can choose your dream vacation. If you didn't see your ideal vacation from this list of options, my search continues!
Step 3: once your vacation is chosen, we will setup a payment plan and I will send you your documents and all your trip information when it comes in!
Step 4: Go on your trip and enjoy!!

What are your favorite resorts you've visited?
My favorite vacation I have ever taken is probably to Beaches Turks and Caicos! The water is clear calm, and seriously gorgeous! And (like any Beaches and Sandals Resort) they go above and beyond with their all-inclusive accommodations.

My second favorite vacation would have to be our honeymoon. We went to Sandals Antigua in June and the resort was breathtaking! We got to walk along the beach to dinner every night and it was just the relaxation we needed as we enjoyed our first week of being newlyweds.


okay, so seriously how great is that? planning your next vaca could be much less stressful with alex as your travel agent! this, of course, is coming from my completely unbiased opinion ;) you can contact her by...
phone: 901.626.9887
or check out The Travel Agency website.  

<< what is your dream vacation?? >> 


weekend update.

- well, in case you missed it, my blog name changed and the blog got a beautiful makeover!
- having the bestie in town
- adventures and new hiking spots
- crafting: felt flowers for the win
- one day of cooler temperatures. it was a perfect fall day! now it's back to the 80s :(
- sunday movie nights with hobbits and dwarves
- the puppy turned 2 and is as sassy as ever
- i'm an adopted aunt! aimie's little girl was born last night! :)

weekend update // rivers and roads
music & lyrics // mumford & sons
thursday's letters // the bayou
who are you? // myers briggs edition


- chipotle doesn't mess around, y'all.
- this adoption story is just so beautiful

these hunter rainboots! goodness, they are calling my name and are perfect for rainy autumn days. am i right or am i right?

p.s. today is the last day to enter the milk+crown giveaway! don't miss out! :)


who are you? // myers briggs edition

today i'm linking up with jenni for blogtember! i know, i'm about five days late on this post, but better late than never! :) i was supposed to take this short personality test and respond to my results.

let me just start out by telling you that i took the myers briggs test for the first time when i was fifteen. i was dual enrolled and attending a local community college getting credit for highschool and college classes. being in the 10th grade, i was trying to figure out what i was good at and what i might want to study once i graduated from highschool. so i took the test, which i think was really helpful for me as a highschooler to understand a little bit more about my personality. i took the test again during my senior year of college. i was preparing for interviews and searching for internships and didn't really know how to communicate about my strengths and weaknesses. my dad, who is a marriage and family/professional counselor (so he knows a thing or two about personalities...), encouraged me to take the test again and gave me all sorts of material to look through about my personality type. the test layed those strengths and weaknesses out for me in a way that was very helpful when interview time came around! the great news is, each time i've taken this test, i've received the same results. so at least i'm consistent if nothing else! :)

the best friend showed me this a couple days ago and i LOVE it. i'm currently reading the harry potter series (i know, i love kid books) because i've seen all the movies and was told the books are so much better...which is almost always the case. so who am i? dumbledore! i'm an ENFJ.

so what does that mean? here's some info about ENFJs:

"living in the world of people possibilites, they enjoy their plans more than their achievements.  they get excited about possibilites for the future, but may become easily bored and restless with the present." // this is totally me. i'm a planner and a dreamer...like rapunzel (who i would obviously be if i were a disney princess...)

"ENFJs are charming, warm, gracious, creative and diverse individuals with richly developed insights into what makes other people tick." // i feel like i've almost always been able to read and understand people really well.

as an ENFJ, i love people, spending time with them, and getting to know their story. i highly value people and get invested very easily. this happens not only in real life, but also with ficitional characters. for example, i love doctor who. i know, i'm a total nerd and i'm okay with that. so i found out my favorite characters were going to die and was trying to explain to a friend how upset i was about it. they did not understand until i exclaimed that it felt like my best friends were about to be killed off!!! dramatic, i know. calm down, megs. but really, i wish i could be friends with fictional characters in real life. that would be the best!

i absolutely hate conflict and have had to learn how to handle it better over the past few years. i get really shaky and nauseous and would rather hide in a hole in the ground than deal with the present situation. super healthy...NOT.

i am a planner to the core. this isn't necessarily a negative characteristic. afterall, the world does need some of us to be planners. however, i have had to learn to go with the flow more often, be flexible, and be more spontaneous. it's good for my soul :)

as much as i love personality tests and how much they reveal about myself, i would like to say that i don't think anyone should be put in a box. you may have some character traits of other personality types and that's okay. i certainly do. that's one thing i love about poeple in general: we are all SO different and it's through our differences that we can help each other grow and learn.

// have you taken the test? what type are you?? //


thursday's letters // the bayou

dear roadtrips, you are good for my soul. new places with old friends. a weekend adventure is just what this little heart needed.

dear mississippi, your sunsets are majestic. seriously. also, i almost feel like this little grassy spot belongs in middle earth. #nerdalert

dear bayou, your alligators don't scare me! okay, maybe a little.

dear Jesus, thank you for beautiful friends and healthy pregnancies.

dear texas, thank you for giving me this wonderfully unexpected friendship 3 years ago. i love having ginger friends ;)
dear aimie, i'm so excited for you to be a mama! now tell little evie it is high time to say hello to the world. can't wait to snuggle that little nugget at christmas!

dear ocean, my perfect day would be sitting on the shore and listening to your waves crash in all day without getting sunburnt. dear fair skin, good luck with that.
my trip to southern mississippi was so refreshing. we were really hoping evie girl would make an appearance during our visit, but for the time being, she is super comfy right where she is :) overall, it was a beautiful weekend with besties who aren't afraid to speak truth and who encourage and love well. thank you, Jesus, for friends whose hearts are seeking after you.

p.s. don't forget to have your gifts shipped by september 16th (that's monday!) for the etsy swap! :)


music & lyrics // mumford & sons

>> inspiration found at 3:00 <<

mumford is my soul music.
on my list of favorite things, it's a close second to narnia.
and that's saying a lot.

// and i will love with urgency but not with haste //

happy wednesday, brave hearts.


weekend update // rivers and roads

happy tuesday, y'all! big changes here on the blog this morning. it has a new name!! and a new design!! i feel like a kid on christmas morning.

first, i'd like to start off by thanking sweet kiki over at in its time for all of her hard work on my new design. she was so fun to work with and so patient when i asked hundreds of detailed questions :) thank you thank you thank you, kiki. you are such a blessing!

second, rivers and roads. what? as some of you know, i would love to open a print shop and "i have thoughts" just didn't fit my idea of a good shop name :) really though, i think rivers and roads captures my love of adventure and the outdoors and the general idea that this life i'm living is a journey. one that isn't always easy, but one worth taking.

third, if you currently have my button on your blog, would you do me a huge favor and grab an updated one? thanks a bunch! you're the best!

you may or may not have noticed a couple new items. shop & sponsors.

i have opened a shop on society6 but am just getting started. i have some of my photography listed and will be adding prints as i design them. this is not a process i want to rush, but will be learning and posting as i have time :) thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging about this new little dream of mine!

the sponsors page is a work in progress as i am still figuring out exactly how i want to handle that aspect of the blog. so stay tuned!

if you are new around here, please don't be shy! say hello, make comments, ask questions! i love getting to know you :) now, on to the weekend update.

- jenny & tyler concerts. love getting to see this sweet couple when they come to chatt town.
- wedding flowers that actually dried well
- watching the sunset from my favorite bridge
- having my first ever blogger meet up with samantha. yay blogger friends!
- lazy sunday afternoons strolling around my city
- cool(er) morning temperatures. autumn is just around the corner!

DIY instagram frame
mug swap 2013 // the reveal
etsy crushes // NO. 4
on choosing joy + a free download

- this UP inspired birthday party
- a new van gogh painting was just unveiled. i can't help but wonder if The Doctor was there when it was painted...
- this etsy shop full of pretty washi tape!!
- tyler ward's version of "roar". the harmonies...mmmmm.
- kiki posted about these washi tape stickers. i want!

i've also teamed up with beth from oak+oats and kristyn from milk+crown for a sweet little giveaway to celebrate, so go check it out after noon today!


on choosing joy.

so i'm going to be honest. i got really discouraged a couple days ago about this whole print design thing. discouraged because i don't feel like i have a "design style" like so many shop owners have. and discouraged because i haven't had the time to really sit down to learn and work on this project the past week. the best friend reminded me that it takes time to find and create your style. it's a work in progress and it's not one you should rush. so i took a deep breath and sat down tonight to teach myself a couple new tricks in photoshop. one step at a time.

a lot has gone on this summer that has been really difficult and hurtful, and it's easy to turn to bitterness and anger in those situations. i went back and re-read some of my posts from when beth and i were doing our book club on 1000 gifts and Jesus showed me that i had not been choosing joy consistently. it's so much easier to let my heart attitude be negative than to be thankful for the positives. a sweet friend reminded me that i cannot control all situations but i can control myself and my attitude. i'm so thankful for friends who are willing to gently speak truth into my life and remind me that i need to show love, offer grace, and choose joy.

so i made this for me, but i'm sharing it with you :)

"count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you the know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
// james 1: 2-4 //

Jenny Highsmith


DIY // instagram frame

so i like instagram. it's my photgraphic journal for all of you to see. it's how i keep up with besties who are far away. and it's how i keep up with you, my sweet blogger friends! my instagram feed is filled with a lot of precious memories that are saved on the world wide web, but i wanted copies for myself. so i used printic and postalpix to print off a bunch of my photos. there are seriously lots of ways you can decorate with instagram prints, but i had several old frames sitting around my house that i wanted to use. i'm sure you've all seen this while skimming through pinterest feeds, but here's a little tutorial for you.

what you'll need::
- picture frame
- spray paint (optional)
- chicken wire
- wire cutters
- staple gun
- clothespins (or some other type of clip)
- intagram prints

i'd suggest taking your frames and spray paint outside or you may end up with a killer headache. i was working on another project a few days ago and was using mod podge in an enclosed space. let's just say i got a tad loopy.

i had just enough of this metallic paint leftover from another project for two coats on this picture frame. make sure you let the frame dry thouroughly before continuing.

next, roll out your chicken wire over the back of the frame and measure how much you will need. take your wire cutters and clip along the wire. be careful, though. dealing with chicken wire is not for the faint of heart. owwww.

lay your trimmed piece of chicken wire over the frame to make sure you have cut it properly. it's okay if you have a little extra on the sides.

then take your staple gun and start stapling up one side. i put a staple in every 2-3 inches or so. once you have one side done, start on the opposite side of the frame. as you staple, pull the chicken wire tight so it's not too lose or flimsy once you're finished. trim or fold over the excess wire on the sides of the frame and you're done!!

pin your instagrams to the chicken wire for a fun new display. i used baby clothespins from hobby lobby, but you can use whatever kind of clip you'd like :)

 << do you ever print your instagrams? >>
<< how do you display them? >>


etsy crushes // NO. 4

etsy swap partners were emailed out yesterday!  if you signed up and did not receive an email, please let amy or myself know :) i was so excited to get my assigned partner, that i started shopping immediately. my etsy cart is full of "maybes" already. 

just a helpful hint // i found that if your swap partner doesn't have a lot of favorites saved on etsy you should check out their pinterest. people pin etsy items all the time. i've found a lot of ideas from my swap partner's pinterest boards :)

reminder // mail package by september 16th and link-up on september 26th!

what are your current etsy crushes? i'd love to see them! link-up over at taking steps home.

 chevron pillow // $34.80

hello stamp
// $10.75
hipster print // $5.00