everyday inspiration

Posts tagged “inspiration

happy thoughts

A few simple, happy thoughts for anyone having a tough week
or for anyone who likes happy thoughts.

*It’s 75 degrees in February. Let me repeat, it’s 75 degrees in February. Let porch season begin.

*I spoke to the absolute sweetest old lady on the phone today (who I didn’t know). She started the conversation by telling me her grandmother’s name was Mille and she was the best person she’d ever met. We talked for 20 minutes about names and strong grandmothers and having kids and travel and true love, and it totally made my day. And she ended the conversation by saying it made hers too, because it made her reminisce about her grandmother.

*I’ve seen two amazing, deserving couples get an answered prayer of adoption this week. Their posts warmed my heart and made me praise our truly incredible God.

*This Is Us has been renewed for 2 seasons. Yes, every episode makes me cry, but ultimately this makes me very happy.

*I may be extra busy with work lately, but I still have time to spend with my amazing husband, delicious food to eat and a warm bed to crawl into at night.

*When your mom knows exactly what prayer to send after a rough day –

Feel your panic. Feel your frustration. But keep your eyes and heart open. There’s a part of us, our heart, that knows where we’re going, knows what we need, knows what the next step is. Our heart will lead us on. And God will move us forward.

Oh, and it’s National Margarita Day.
Happy thoughts, indeed.

xo xo

A Mother’s Advice

It has been a rough couple of weeks. Everything has just been so busy and insane and I just feel like I’m going to burst.

It seems like everyone is feeling this way. Maybe it’s the pre-summer busyness (is that a thing?) or we’re just getting older and we live busy lives. I don’t know, but it was really getting me, until I took my mom’s age-old advice to heart –

“Take things day by day.”

She has always told me that – in high school, when I had play practice every night and AP homework and was stressed to tears; in college, when I had books to read and papers due (in classes I could care less about) and was stressed to tears; now, when I work all day and dream about work all night and have a busy social life and am stressed to tears.

And when I really stop and heed her advice to take things slow, day by day, sometimes minute by minute, it really helps.

It also helps to remember all of the things I have to be thankful for. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Yes, work has been super busy and stressful, but I really really do enjoy my job. How many people can say that? In the last two weeks I’ve had meetings with Snapchat, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Pandora, Refinery 29 and more … how cool is that?!

I have amazing friends and we go to trivia night and events at Crystal Bridges and make surprise Snapchat filters for parties and try to solve clues to get out of an escape room and send silly text messages.

I have a loving family and a house to care for and food to eat and new clothes to wear, and generally want for nothing.

Life can be crazy. I’m not downplaying that at all. But when it gets so crazy you feel like you’re going to lose your mind, here’s my advice – stop. breathe. remember all the things you have to be thankful for. and remember my mom’s advice, to take things day by day.

It’s all we can do, and the day is all we have.

xo xo


wednesday, my inspiration.

The most vibrant sound in the room is one that can either soothe or distress.
The wick is almost at its end, but fights for dear life, throwing its light from side to side and forcing itself to be heard and not forgotten.

At times it competes with the screaming thunder, but its benefit is its consistency –
laying a raspy baseline throughout the room.

The puppy is confused. He looks up from his sleepy state on the newly carpeted floor, searching for the source of the hissing and buzzing.

The thunder stops and the rain begins; the wick seems to play in harmony with the pitter patter. Occasionally birds add a verse, bringing the illumination of spring.

The girl sits on the couch drinking it all in.

She sits in her cushy sweats wine in hand, after removing her corporate attire. She sits with fragrant food in the crockpot, waiting for husband to arrive home. She sits on her immaculate couch, admiring her new rug. She sits oblivious of how thankful she should be of nearly everything around her.

She sits in silence.

She allows herself the peace and rest and lack of distractions that are so hard to come by. She doesn’t feel the need to turn on the radio, or the tv, or grab her magazines.

She sits in silence.

And then the hail begins.

Short hair, don’t care

Raise your hand if you’ve ever chopped off your hair.

Raise your hand if you were as nervous and stressed out as I was.

Y’all, I was a mess. Why is that? Why was I so wrapped up in myself about my HAIR?? I loved my long hair, and I felt like it was my identity. For the longest time I couldn’t even imagine cutting my hair. It took me so long to get it as long as it was and I felt so beautiful with long hair. I often thought if anyone really wanted to punish me they should cut my hair in my sleep and I would be devastated. I recognize how narcissistic this sounds, and that’s one of the reasons I went through with it.

My worth is not in my hair. It’s not in my clothes. It’s not in the car I drive or the house I live in or the trips I take. Praise the Lord for that, seriously.

When I finally cut it, everyone kept asking, “What does your husband think?” Of course he loved it, but when I told him that, he said, “Why does that matter? If you’re happy, I’m happy.” Awww.

But he’s right. I should be confident in myself and my choices. It doesn’t matter what other people think. I know that’s easier said than done, but I really do think self-confidence is radiant. You can tell when someone loves their body no matter what their size and it’s just so beautiful.

I’ve only had my short hair for two days, but I have been LOVING it. It’s so fresh and easy. I feel more trendy and modern. And I’m so ready for spring. It’s given me the push I needed to transform myself into a healthier version of me – working out, toning my body and loving me for me.

IMG_3221 copy

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel

xo xo

Resolutions. [10 days later]

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 10.41.31 AM

Turn off the TV by 9pm. Get in bed and read.

Cook more with my husband.

Step away from my phone when around other people.

Blog more. Blog about what matters to me, not for others.

Embrace who I am. Don’t force things I’m not, like spontaneity.

Read the Word of God every day, even just for 5 minutes.

Go outside. Enjoy our backyard. Enjoy our energetic puppy.

Be engaged. In world events, in relationships, in work, in play.

Do small, unexpected things for people I care about.

Make our house a home.

Be more conscious about the food that goes in my body.

Love my body.

Take each day as it comes. Do not worry about tomorrow.

Travel somewhere new. In my hometown, in my state, in my country, in my beautiful God-given world.

B E  H A P P Y.
xo xo

“I have finished.”

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.‘ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

This morning, I pushed myself. I pushed myself to get out of bed. I pushed myself to put on my running shoes. I pushed myself to have a positive attitude about the 2 miles ahead of me. I pushed myself to cross the finish line.

And it felt remarkable.

I wouldn’t consider myself athletic or a runner, but I did it. I challenged myself in a way I haven’t in a long time.

I wasn’t prepared for the run. Husband and I were running consistently for a few months, but stopped the past few weeks. Then I remembered we’d already signed up for the ALS Run in Downtown Bentonville. I literally had dreams all night that I was the last person crossing the finish line and it was humiliating.

Good news – I wasn’t the last, not even close, but even if I had been, it would have been okay. As I was running this morning, I just kept telling myself I can do it. I can push myself harder than I think I can. I let my body take over instead of my mind telling me I couldn’t do it anymore, and I realized how amazing it felt just to be running, regardless of where I was in the pack.

As I’m basking in my satisfaction of doing something I was so fearful of, I have a few thank you’s –

Thank you to my husband for constantly pushing me on our morning runs and giving me the positive reinforcement I need.

Screen Shot 2014-09-27 at 9.33.45 AM

Thank you to my mother for encouraging our running and signing up with us, and most importantly staying by my side during the run this morning as we pushed along together.

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And finally, thank you to Queen Bey for getting me across the finish line with her flawless songs.

xo xo

sunday inspiration

1c405da59d888c9b9803a9a21bd911e8{simple fashion – stripes + army vest}


{capturing beauty in a wine glass}




{fall recipes – goat cheese + walnuts + honey}


{clean and classic decor}


{passionate love, humphrey bogart + lauren bacall}

xo xo

Carry On, Warrior

It’s not often you find a book you relate to so well that you vow to re-read it every year before you’ve even finished it.

Thanks to my wonderful friend Nicky, I was introduced to Glennon Doyle Melton, her blog momastery.com and her book Carry On, Warrior. I honestly don’t even have the words to express how much I love this book. Its heartwarming, its hilarious, its smart, its inspirational. As Nicky described it before I started reading – “Its part auto-biography, part beautiful essays, all about life and Jesus and being a human.” Pretty perfect description.

What’s interesting about this book is that I could see how one could read it at different times in their life and learn different lessons each time. There are a lot of chapters about being a parent, of which I’m not currently, but when I am, I’m sure I’ll go back and read it and relate so much more.

As I’m about halfway through the book, I’ve already bookmarked several pages of her words that have been so inspirational and fitting for the time of life I’m currently in, struggling through death and grief.

On helping her sister deal with a tragic situation: “I learned that in these disasters, all we can do is tell them that their grief is real, and if it lasts forever, then we will grieve with them forever. As far as I was able to tell during those two years, there was nothing else worth saying. It was not going to be all right, ever. Everything doesn’t happen for a decent reason. I couldn’t do anything at all except feed her, hold her when she cried, pray angry prayers, keep showing up and know that time, and my home and presence would offer healing.”

To her son, on the death of their fish: “When he asked me, ‘Why Mom? Why does God send us here, where things hurt so much? Why does he make us love things He knows we’re going to lose?’ I told him that we don’t love people and animals because we will have them forever; we love them because loving them changes us, makes us better, healthier, kinder, realer. Loving people and animals makes us stronger in the right ways and weaker in the right ways. Even if animals and people leave, even if they die, they leave us better. So we keep loving even though we might lose, because loving teaches us and changes us. And that’s what we’re here to do. God sends us here to learn how to be better lovers, and to learn how to be loved, so we’ll be better prepared for Heaven.”

Y’all. I just had to share those passages. When I read the first one, I literally just started crying because she’s SO right. I don’t want people to know that just so they can understand what I’m going through, but I want to know that and remember it for when I’m helping others through their grief. Then the second passage – whether it’s a 6-year-old struggling with the death of his fish, or a 25-year-old struggling with the death of her dad, we all ask the same questions and her answer gave me HOPE.

Now is the part where I tell all of you to stop what you’re doing and go buy this book right now. I want to buy a billion copies and give them to everyone I know. And even if you don’t, I’m sure I’ll be writing at least one more blog post about what I’ve read, but in the mean time,

Carry On, Warrior
xo xo

{inspiration} Home Decor

As stated previously, I am now a homeowner, which means I am also now an interior designer, and where else do homeowners/interior designers find inspiration, but on Pinterest?

Follow my inspiration below. xo xo

83d469c248438f0853822d2d10dfff13{absolutely need these}


{stunning doors}


{love how rustic chic this is}


{organization – I need more in my life}


{in love with mirrored furniture}


{this would make my mornings so much easier}


{gold, gold gold}


{beautiful mirror gallery}

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 6.02.49 PM

{april showers bring may flowers}

{spring things}


{pretty in pink mani}

d5f5decd62aec611a90de5eee2773805-1{pink lemonade margaritas}


{colorful minis + windblown hair}

fe066a994276b9236204cd2760a4b765-1{breathtaking sunsets}
b5ba9c746f814e18563288b79810e84c-1{patio living}

7e5dd9dcba950c8693b9bf4aafa267a7{farmers market flowers}

07e97ee28c5998c00cb0c97518fadb05{long walks with pup}

e0e3254181a34f39dbde7068abeace9e{outdoor brunch}

xo xo

“What a lovely surprise to discover how unlonely being alone can be.”

A funny thing has happened since I’ve been married. I’ve forgotten how to be alone.

In college I cherished my alone time. Living with 2, 3 or 4 other people was often too much for me to handle. I wanted to go to my room, shut my door and be alone.

Until recently, I’ve always been someone who recharges by being alone (the true definition of an introvert they say.)

I’m so used to being with my husband that when I’m not, I don’t know what to do with myself. Being with him has become my new recharge. I still need my “alone” time, but now my alone time means me and husband time.

On a recent work trip, I spent a full day and night alone. I wasn’t traveling with anyone so I didn’t have anyone to talk to in the airport or eat dinner with. I didn’t have anyone to “get away from” and go into my room and shut my door. It was so lonely. I couldn’t enjoy the peace with myself. I couldn’t enjoy myself.

This weekend, husband was busy all day Saturday and Sunday so again, I was alone. But I did something I haven’t done in a long time, I took myself on a “me” date and spent some good quality time with myself.

I did exactly what I wanted to do – I went to Barnes and Noble. I chose 3 books I was interested in and sat down and read the first chapters of each. (How I decide which book to buy) I was in no rush. I had no one to answer to. I just sat and read. After that, I did my favorite me activity – shopping. Then, before I was ready to head home I did something else just for me – went to TCBY.

What a rewarding, comfortable, enjoyable afternoon that was. God opened my eyes to the importance of me time and gave me an opportunity to see how valuable it can be.

Tuesday nights are officially me nights now. Husband has karate for several hours so I can spend it as I please. It would be so easy to take this time to clean, do grocery shopping, be busy (which I’m so good at), etc. but instead I’m going to relax and do what I want to do.

I’m sure in a few years when I have kids, I’ll be dying for alone time. Time to just sit on the couch with a glass of wine and a good book. So tonight, I will do just that and enjoy.

xo xo

The Power of One – The Warm Heart Co.


Remember how I said I was reading a book called The Power of One? It’s an inspirational story about how one person can make a difference. Well, I’m now seeing in my own life just how true that can be.

One of my oldest friends, Danielle, is one person making a difference in children’s lives in Malawi.


San Diego, California 2005

About Malawi:

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa, bordered by Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. The estimated population is 14.9M. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”.

Malawi is among the world’s least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. The Malawian government faces challenges in building and expanding the economy, improving education, health care, environmental protection, and becoming financially independent.

Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labour force and government expenditures. There is a diverse population of native peoples, Asians and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs.

About The Warm Heart Company:

Danielle has visited Malawi twice and in her words “it seriously rocked my world. I see everything different and left a piece of my heart over there! I sponsor 3 little girls through Children of the Nations, and I am so incredibly in love with them that I cannot even put it into words.”

photo 28

She started The Warm Heart Company on Etsy selling men and women’s t-shirts. Currently, 75% of the proceeds will go to sponsoring her 3 girls in Malawi, but she hopes she can eventually support other opportunities in the country, including The Thatch 210 Project, which is re-roofing huts in the Malawi.

From my personal opinion (and husband agrees), the shirts are AWESOME, and more designs are coming.


photo 29Please please support this terrific cause and my dear friend by purchasing a t-shirt and sharing with others.

Purchase on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWarmHeart
Follow on Instagram: @thewarmheartco


Inspire Me: Oscar Wilde

Every once in a while you find a quote that just really fits everything you believe in, a life mantra so to speak. For several years now I’ve adopted one from Oscar Wilde as my own. “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”

While that one is a favorite, there are quite a few others I truly love as well. I hope the quotes below inspire you just as much as they did me.

xo xo


“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”

“The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

“Women are made to be loved, not understood.”

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

You might also enjoy: Women – You Can’t Live With ‘Em, You Can’t Live Without ‘Em, Inspire Me: Stormy Tuesday, Fail Better

Inspire Me: Saturday


Amen. Enjoy your SATURDAY.

xo xo

p.s. have you checked out Kate Spade Saturday, yet? love, love. ❤

You might also enjoy: Inspire Me: Rainy Tuesday

rainy tuesdays.

AulAfklCAAEp4sdHappy Tuesday, xo xo