Wow, I can't believe it's already almost February! It's been a pretty exciting first month of 2018.
In case you missed it, here are the highlights from January!
Here's a list of all the posts from January:
See you in February!
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As you’ve probably guessed, my husband and I love to travel. We currently have some tentative travel destinations for 2018, though nothing set in stone. It’s exciting to think about the places we might go in the future!
As we travel more and more, I’ve become interested in checking out travel accessories that I think would make our travels easier or more enjoyable.
Here are Five Travel Items I Want.
Weekender duffel bag
I have a duffel bag I bought for pretty cheap at Walmart a couple years ago when I was in college that I have been using for most of my travels, but it’s kind of small and I don’t anticipate that it will hold up for too terribly long. So, I’ve been checking out some replacement options. These are two really cute ones I might consider!
I love to journal most days, and I definitely value taking note of my experiences while I travel. It’s a great way to remember all the neat things that happen and the places you go! While this isn’t necessarily specific to travel, my heart swoons at nice leather journals. This one in particular is especially lovely.
I have a Canon Rebel T5 camera that I like to take on my travels. It shoots great photos and captures all of our memories. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a good camera bag to keep it in. I bought a leather purse online when I first got the camera that ended up being too small. Here are a couple bags from Oliday that I’m interested in at the moment.
The second bag is technically marketed as a diaper bag, but I think my camera could easily fit inside, and it’s super cute.
I have to admit that I’m not a very experienced hiker. My husband and I hiked a measly three miles at the Grand Canyon on our honeymoon and that was plenty for us! Nevertheless, I enjoy it, and I’d love to do it more often (and further than three miles).
That being said, it might not be such a bad idea to invest in some boots. These are probably not the most high-end boots, but for a low-key hiker like myself, these might do the trick.
Unfortunately, Daniel and I don’t even have a tent! Most of the camping I have done has been with friends in college, and someone else always had a tent, so I’ve never had the need to get one for myself.
I think this two-person tent would suit us well on our travels, along with our two-person hammock we frequently use.
Hopefully Daniel and I hit the road pretty soon on our next trip. Who knows, maybe I’ll have snagged a couple of these travel items by then!
Do you have any tried-and-true travel accessories you use? I would love to hear your recommendations!
P.S. If you’re looking for some more travel items and inspiration, you can check out my travel board on Pinterest here or click below!
This past week has been a whirlwind. I had an interview and half a day of subbing on Monday. I subbed Tuesday-Thursday in pre-k and kinder. On Wednesday I got word that my great uncle had passed unexpectedly. On Friday I went home to my parents’ to attend the memorial service, which was a beautiful celebration of his life and faith. That night I went to visit my sister and a couple friends at my alma mater, then spent the day with my other sister and her girls on Saturday (hugs and kisses all around!). All the while I’ve been missing my husband, who has been attending a conference at his seminary - it’s our first time apart since we got married!
This Sunday, we attended church and a potluck with my parents and then celebrated my mom’s 59th birthday, which is on Tuesday. Daniel was able to come down for the day since the conference was over, and so did my little sister and her boyfriend, two of my other sisters, and their kids, so it was great to spend some time with my family!
My Joy for this week would have to be today, celebrating my wonderful mom and spending time with loved ones.
What’s your little joy for this happy Sunday?
After a long week, it's nice to have something easy and fast to throw on the table for dinner that isn't a pizza or take-out (while I do love me some Domino's).
Here to solve your Friday hunger is an incredible pot pie recipe from The Food Charlatan.
My favorite thing about this recipe (other than how fast it is) is that it uses crescent rolls, which I love and which are pretty stinkin' cheap. You can clearly see that my husband and I buy like 95% store brand - he's a graduate student and I'm a substitute teacher, soooo.
Hop on over to The Food Charlatan for the full delicious recipe!
Any favorite fast-and-easy meals? I'd love to hear from you!
P.S. You can check out other recipes on my Pinterest board here or below!
It's that time again! Here's what I'm thankful for on this sunny Thursday.
If you haven’t heard yet, Etsy is a fantastic marketplace for handmade and vintage items. I like to peruse through items even when I don’t plan to buy anything. I have personally been a buyer and seller on Etsy since 2015. (You can check out my artwork on Etsy here!)
Today I wanted to share with you, in no particular order, five of my favorite Etsy shops.
There is something about those little cardboard berry baskets that steals my heart. You know what I mean? Well, this shop offers lovely porcelain versions of those cute baskets, as well as other porcelain pieces “inspired by the farm-to-table movement.” Perhaps a bit pricey for a recent college graduate, but definitely adorable.
This shops features some downloadable hand-painted and watercolor floral designs. Since I dabble in graphic design for personal projects and occasionally for some of my own products, I think this shops products are useful and beautiful.
WelcomingGrace is a California-based shop that specializes in beautifully crafted flower crowns. This is definitely the “white girl” in me, but I think they’re lovely and whimsical and I want them all. This shop inspired me to DIY my own eucalyptus crown for my wedding, though I would have definitely bought one from this shop if that project hadn’t worked out.
This cute shop specializes in prints and illustrations, many of which are travel or landscape-themed. I’m inspired by automatte’s fresh and colorful designs! And I especially enjoy travel-themed art.
I really love natural products, and this shop offers some great soaps, lotions, and other beauty products that use natural ingredients. In particular, I’ve got my eye on some goat milk cranberry shampoo bars. Yessss. Oh, and I’m a sucker for anything “milk and honey.”
There you have it – five lovely Etsy shops to check out! Have any favorites?
And don’t forget to give my shop a look here!
So I wouldn’t necessarily site Urban Dictionary as a particularly reputable source, but in this case I’d have to say that its definitions of “baby fever” will suffice.
I think I can say that my diagnosis is clear. I definitively declare that I have baby fever, and I’ve had it since I was fifteen.
And to make matters worse, this baby fever has only heightened since the chances of actually having a baby became possible when I got married in December.
Unfortunately, this baby fever poses a bit of a problem because my husband and I have agreed that it would be pretty impractical to have a baby before he graduates from seminary in the next 3-or-so years.
Since being a graduate student is a pretty full-time commitment for him, along with his part-time job at the university’s library, I have a big responsibility to help provide for us while he gets through school. At the moment, that looks like substitute teaching, but hopefully soon that will look like full-time teaching.
Alllll of that being said, Daniel has this huge dream he is striving towards before we consider starting a family. Me, though… one of my biggest life dreams is to be a mom! Please don’t misunderstand – I have lots of goals for myself as an individual and dreams for Daniel and me as a couple, but being a mother is legitimately something I have always wanted and look forward to very much.
That’s also not to say that Daniel doesn’t dream of being a dad, but he has a very tangible, present life goal ahead of him that will be much easier to accomplish before we have kids. My biggest goal before children was to graduate from undergrad and become a certified teacher, which I did (yay!). I have other visions and hopes down the road, but none of them have to happen before we have children and a lot of them actually can’t happen until we get through this season of our life with Daniel being a student.
And I’ve gotta say, I really miss being a student. I mean, I was a student for 15 years of my life! That’s a long time. Granted, the latter 3 ½ years were a lot different, a lot more challenging, and a lot more growing than grade school. I miss the routine, challenge, goal-oriented mindset, and social aspects of college.
So baby fever is raging!
In the end, though, these circumstances have got me thinking about what short-term, smaller goals or projects I want to accomplish before having children. A lot of them truthfully aren’t that child-sensitive (I could very easily put them off until we have little ones running around), but crafting up some smaller dreams has given me something to focus on while Daniel pursues his current big dream.
In fact, I’d say this blog is one such dream, even though it wasn’t one thought up for the express purpose of baby-fever-distracting.
Take a look at my “Adventures Before Baby” list!
(Keep reading for more ideas on how to combat baby fever!)
So far I have been working a lot on improving my Etsy shop. With student teaching and planning for our wedding my senior year of undergrad, I unfortunately let it fall to the wayside in 2017. Now I’m back with a brand new fervor, and I’m really excited to see how it will grow and change over the coming year.
I have also started writing a book (!!) that I hope to finish this year.
I haven’t taken up cross-stitching, planted a garden, recorded my songs, or started writing a devotional with Daniel, but it’s just the beginning! I have plenty of time to take on these projects as the time comes.
I’m really glad to have some of these plans underway, as well as other projects that have just sprung up over time, like this blog.
Here is a list of other adventures and projects that just might curb the baby fever:
Do you have any projects keeping your creativity flowing in this season of your life? Anybody else have baby fever? Hopefully some of these ideas will help you out! I’d love to hear from you!
I’m currently doing a lot of exciting things! I had an interview this morning for an instructional aide position at a local elementary, I have been substitute teaching, I have some cool projects in the works (including a novel, whaaa?!), and, of course, I’m always dreaming of what’s ahead.
I am also currently reading some neat books. While I frequently enjoy reading some solid non-fiction books, I am currently reading two fiction books (and keep reading for a list of other fiction recommendations!)
Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables
This classic work is a massive French historical novel set in 1815 Paris during the Revolution. Hugo apparently explained the novel as follows:
So far I am only in the first of five volumes, and the eleventh of 365 total chapters, but I am enjoying it so far! Of course, it is understandably different from its screen adaptation, which I also very much enjoyed. (Musicals, anyone? Yes, please.)
Since I have seen the movie and know the premise of the story, it’s really interesting to see the bits of foreshadowing near the beginning of the novel and to anticipate the entrances of different characters.
Hugo is certainly wordy, and this is admittedly my second attempt at reading it. I am enjoying it more now than I did when I first picked it up as a sophomore in high school.
This year, (our first Christmas as a married couple!) my husband and I adopted the Icelandic tradition of giving each other a book on Christmas Eve. This is the one he gave me, and I think he chose well.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
The other book I’m currently reading is a historical fiction novel set in Amsterdam in the 1680s. It is centered around a girl named Petronella who has recently married a wealthy merchant. When she moves in, Nella finds things are secretive and unwelcoming and feels unwanted by her husband’s sister who also lives there. Nella’s husband buys her an elaborate dollhouse fashioned after their own home as a wedding gift of sorts, and when she commissions a miniaturist to furnish it, things take an eerie twist.
I am still near the beginning of this novel as well, but I’m hooked! I’m a big fan of historical fiction, and this novel has a bit of a low-key thriller bent.
Some other fiction works I would recommend:
What are you currently reading? Have you given any of these a try? (No spoilers!)
Happy Sunday, and welcome to a new series called Sunday Joy!
Every Sunday I will share a bit about what I’m up to that day and something from my week that was particularly wonderful. It could be something delicious I ate, somewhere fun I went with my husband, a project I worked on, or really anything! It'll be short and sweet.
This Sunday, my husband and I went to church, had a simple lunch at home while watching The Office on Netflix, and enjoyed the nice weather (finally!) Currently my husband is napping. We may go wander around Barnes and Noble for a bit this afternoon, and I'm planning on making a pot pie for dinner. So, a relaxed Sunday!
My Joy for this week is the lunch I enjoyed with my husband, his parents, his sister, and her kiddos at a hole-in-the-wall burger joint called Dubl-R here in Waco. Daniel and I have been once before and wanted to share it with his family when they came for a visit on Saturday. Supposedly the best burger in town!
It didn’t disappoint! I enjoyed a delicious old fashioned hamburger with curly fries and a root beer, and I loved getting to spend the afternoon with my in-laws and sweet niece and nephew.
What little joy are you thankful for this happy Sunday?
Every day when I get up, fix a cup of coffee, and sit down with my bible and journal, I write out seven things that I'm thankful for. These range from serious things, like family or clean water, to off-the-wall small things or food items, like fuzzy socks or lasagna. I've found that this practice puts me into a more grateful and positive perspective for the day, even when I list silly things.
To extend this daily practice, I've decided to start a post series called Thankful Thursday, which is exactly like it sounds. Every Thursday I'll list the things that I wrote in my journal for the day along with some additional things that I'm thankful for. I hope it adds some positivity to your day and gets you thinking about things you're grateful for.
So, here goes!
I'm thankful for:
Additionally, I'm thankful for:
& my family
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful Thursday!
What are you thankful for?
Recent graduate + Wife
+ Kindergarten teacher
+ Coffee lover + Artist
I'm a twenty-something trying to figure out this adult thing and using my spare time to run an art shop on Etsy and write a blog about life, art, education, and travel.