Thursday, October 27, 2011

[Interested in Sponsoring?]

It's almost November!

For the past couple of months, I have been doing sponsor swaps, which has been fabulous! But God has been changing my heart about a few things. I love helping promote other blogs, and in turn they have helped ME! I have been soooo blessed by the support & the relationships I've made via this little space. However, one other thing has been nagging on my heart... and that's actually getting passionate about using this place to do something GOOD. As a possible platform to help some of those dearest to me AND help end a current, major problem in our world:

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This is an absolutely horrific issue that is going on NOW, as we sit here in our nice, comfy couches. Some of these kiddos are being sold into sex slavery as young as 3 YEARS OLD! I know not all of us are able to physically do something, but most of us are able to do something monetarily... even if it's just a little! So... ready, set, let's GO!

Our dear friends Josh & Laura from Dallas, TX, (above) are going on a two-week long trip to Cambodia with Hope For the Silent Voices at the end of December. Hope for the Silent Voices is
"... a not-for-profit organization founded to bring attention and resources to the severely neglected, disadvantaged, abused and discarded globally. Hope For the Silent Voices is committed to giving a “voice” to these individuals and groups as they have neither the resources nor the means for doing it themselves. We endeavor to have a positive influence on those we encounter by not just hearing these “silent voices” but listening to what they are saying. One of our goals is to forge dynamic personal relationships with those in need and to explore significant ways to enhance the quality of these individuals’ lives."

Josh is a dedicated former Marine who has served our country in multiple tours to the middle-East; he's a marathon runner, martial arts instructor and all around awesome dude. His lovely wife, Laura, is one of my dearest friends-- a talented graphic designer, blogger, marathon runner, yoga-participating-health-guru with a major heart for missions... both are incredible people who desire to SERVE.GOD and chase dreams (even seriously considering quitting jobs and even law school, say what???!, to pursue this FULL-TIME) to live out what God has commanded us to do --> serve + love + spread the gospel!

My goal is to hopefully pool the $$$ that I receive for sponsorships and in turn give it to them for their incredible trip! So won't you help us out?!!!!!!

Rates are super affordable! 

This little 'ol blog has been growing rapidly!
Exposure for you = blessings for them.
The end.


CURRENT STATS

SOLD OUT, taking inquiries for December


Please email me at findingbeautyintheordinary [at] hotmail [com] for more information!

* I will still be promoting myself on some high-traffic blogs so that means reverse exposure for you and your blog/shop *

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Some more information, from Laura herself:

"Giving A Voice To Children Globally"
 Hope for the Silent Voices   •  Cambodia   •  12.29.2011-1.14.2012  
Visit her blog, HERE!

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9


"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." - James 1:26-27

The winner of the Royal Daughter Designs $25 store credit is Meredith of Everything Espey! YAY! :)

Email me, gorgeous!! xo


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[That's Bananas]

I'm kind of obsessed with Rachel Zoe.
I've followed her TV show since it first aired.
What do you think of when you think of Rachel Zoe?
Why "That's bananas!" or "I die," of course.
 That and a Venti Starbucks cup with the teabag hanging from the side, duh :)
This woman is not only an incredible stylist, but now a super fabulous designer herself.
We all know that Hollywood is notorious for marriages that last less than 5 years (sad), but I think it's pretty cool how in love her and her hubby are after 20+ years (although they bicker like old people). They prove all of the people wrong who think that getting married "young" is a terrible mistake or something (also sad).

Rachel Zoe makes one pretty hot new mama, too.
I love how she's all about the bootcut jeans vs. skinny and all about the layering.
And man that girl can rock those fur coats.
I'm bananas for Rachel Zoe.

[all pics via my Pinterest]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

[Get Away from Your Desk]

I am kind of at a loss for words lately. You probably wouldn't have known it from yesterday's novel, but I've been struggling with some writer's block and lack of creativity lately. I think I did what a lot of creatives do: get super passionate, write write write, and then burn yourself to a crisp. I know a lot of this is my own fault. I haven't been taking the necessary breaks in nature that have the ability to rejuvenate my soul. Looking back, I barely remember taking breaks when I worked in an office. I spent 40+ hours a week in front of a computer screen. With the exception of getting outside on the weekends, I was always trapped in doors. It really does makes you tired, grouchy, and lethargic. For 3 straight years, I don't even think I took the time to go outside and just look up at the stars.


I think that's what became so
therapeutic about our move. Suddenly, I was always outside. Whether it was hiking, walking Hartley or laying by the pool (us AZ'ers love our pools)-- I was outside. Lately, I know I haven't been getting enough Vitamin D. Thus, my lack of energy for all things creative.

So today, since I am out of anything brilliant to say, my encouragement to you is to GET OUTSIDE and spent some time with God in nature!!

Soak up the sun, take in God's beauty and saturate yourself in it. Spending time with God in nature is another act of worship. Focus on the leaves that are falling to the ground and that are changing colors. Look at the soil in the earth that helps trees grow tall & strong. Look at all of the creatures that soar in the sky or that crawl on the bark of trees.

And when we go outside, let's be present.
Don't bring the iPhone.
Don't check emails.
Stop making a grocery list in your head.

"Blessed be your glorious name, exalted above all blessing and praise! You're the one,
   God, you alone; You made the heavens,
   the heavens of heavens, and all angels; The earth and everything on it,
   the seas and everything in them; You keep them all alive;
   heaven's angels worship you."

Nehemiah 9: 5-6 (MSG)


[all pics via my
Pinterest]





Monday, October 24, 2011

[Blog Friends in Real Life at The Shine Event]

Put on your seat belts, friends. There's a lot of words in this post today.
If you've followed my blog for awhile, then you know that my husband and I moved out to AZ from San Diego at the end of April. We had a few friends out here that were connections through Joshua's job, but other than that, there was no one. We had both grown up in San Diego. Both of our families live there. We went to a huge church and were really involved in our young married's group there. A lot of our childhood friends stayed in town, and didn't relocate.... there were a lot of people in our lives. And I mean that in a good way. We are blessed.

When we moved, it was a real shock to both of our systems. Every day, it was just the two of us. And I think that can be a really beautiful thing for a marriage. In fact, it's probably one of the BEST things you can ever do for a marriage: be completely, 100% dependent on one another. Joshua is my best friend in the whole world, and we love spending time together, but there was still a need for friendships in our day-to-day lives. Fortunately, God has provided for us in so many ways and has brought wonderful friends into our lives and has given us a fabulous "glue" with friends that we no longer live near.

If you've ever moved before, you know that moving is one of the strongest tests a friendship can ever go through. I'd heard that before, but it's true. A friend of mine recently told me, "Heather, some friends are friends for reason, season, or life." I have had to learn to be a good friend from afar (it's hard sometimes), and accept that some people just don't know how to be. And that's okay. Blogging has not only been an outlet for me since the move, but it's brought some great friendships into my life when I really needed them. I think a lot of people discount online relationships and it's WRONG. Some of the most incredible women I have ever known I have met here. I think other bloggers can say the same thing-- they "get it."
The beautiful thing about blogging, and I think why bloggers are so beautiful, is that they LET YOU IN TO their lives. There's a transparency that comes with the territory.


 
About two months after our move was when I started actively blogging. It was simply at outlet for me to write about all that I was going through in my new little world and to show friends & family pictures of our adventures. One of the first blogs I discovered was my friend Jen, of The Arizona Russums. She had "Arizona" in her blog title so it got me all excited that there might possibly be someone actually near me. So fast forward a few months of blogging...  I was actively following Jen's awesome blog, and then I met another sweet Arizona blogger (who actually spends every-other-weekend in my city, say what?!!!), Erin, of Captivated by Grace... it was time to finally do a blogger meet up!!!

Ashley of The Shine Project was having a huge event in Phoenix (more about this below) so we decided this was a great way to see one another. It was such a fabulous evening of fun and for such an incredible cause. These blogger friends are 100% the real deal. Who they are online is who they are in "real life," and they couldn't be more beautiful on the inside or the outside. We met for a fabulous happy hour before the event. Erin & Jen drove together and got a little lost, so I had some time to kill while I waited for them....

Old man sitting at a table near me: "So young lady, did a cute boy stand you up or what?"
Me: "No sir, I'm just waiting for two girls that I met on the Internet."
Bwhaahahahahaa!!!


Erin, me & Jen
   
Cute decorations // Me with Stesha of Classic & Bubbly

If you're not familiar with The Shine Project, it's a program that another AZ blogger, Ashley, has put on to help raise money to send 8 high schoolers to college. Through this event and it's auction (as well as an online auction) she's already raised thousands of dollars and it's only growing. The impact she's made on these kids lives, who would have never had the opportunity to go on to college, was incredible. The event was put on by the high schoolers themselves and it was amazing. And totally legit. The event was at the Octotillo Country Club, we got driven in on golf carts and it was as nice as some weddings I've been to. Congrats, Ashley, on a major success!!!!

Us with Ashley
  
I never win anything, but I did win a cute "This too shall pass" sign from 41 West Designs during the auction (Erin's holding it above). It looks so cute in my office! After the event, we were driving home and realized that we all didn't want to conclude our evening together so we went out for fro yo at the BEST frozen yogurt place I have yet to find in AZ! So my friends, what does this mean? That yours truly will be spending a lot of time in Phoenix seeing my new bloggy friends over fro yo!! :)

It was definitely one of the best nights of my life out here so far! I had so much fun! On my drive home, I listened to 80's jams and watched shooting stars out my window the entire drive. If you have never seen the stars in Arizona, it really is like nothing I have ever seen. I was so encouraged by these women and am so excited to see where God takes our friendship!!!

Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Target
Boots: Nine West
Necklace: Soleil Selene


P.S. Also through Jen, she informed me that her church has a sister church down in our area. We recently thought we'd found a church we loved, but God had other plans :) We visited this new church on Saturday night, a part of the Acts 29 network through Mark Driscoll-- who we love!!-- and it was off the hook! So not only have I made friends through blog land, we've also found a new church family. God works in mysterious ways. So the next person that discounts your online relationships, prove them wrong!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

[Sponsor Love, II]

There's just so much blog "goodness" in these here parts that I just can't stop posting all of these gorgeous faces for you to discover! :) Definitely check these lovely ladies out and leave them some love!!!! Happy Sunday!! xo

--------------------


Your name: Ashley 
Age: 25
Favorite Bible verse: "He gives strength to the wearyand increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29-31
What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island?
1.) Some sunscreen
2.) A good book
3.) A satelite phone (so I can leave when I'm ready!)
Your name: Liz
Blog:
Behind the Scenes
Age: 24
Favorite Bible verse: (Too many to list!!) But the one that's stuck in my head lately is Proverbs 16:1 "We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer."

What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island?
1.) My Bible
2.) Deodorant
3.) Diet Coke
Name: Katie
Blog:
Life in the 505
Age: 26

Favorite Bible verse: Right now I am finding hope in this verse: "Fear of man will prove to be a snare but those who trust in the Lord will be kept safe."
What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island?

1.) A lot of coffee
2.) A picture of my hubby and baby 
3.) A ball of yarn and a crochet needle.
Name: Bethany 
Blog: l&b
Age: 20

Favorite Bible verse: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island? 
 
1.) My hubby
2.) Bible
3.) Some good music :)
Your name: Betsy Pool
Blog: Romance on a Dime
Age: 28

Favorite Bible verse:
I've loved Isaiah 43:1-2 for a long time. These verses just reassure me of God's love for me and His providence in my life. I am His child, His princess and He will take care of me.

What are 3 things that we don't know about you?
1.) I lived in the Philippines for 2 years (the first two years of my teaching career were spent teaching Kindergarten at an International school for missionaries). 2.) My husband and I want to become self-proclaimed wine snobs. Discovering more about wine is a journey we started together! 
3.) My husband and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary and we have no children yet.
Name: Melissa Risenhoover
Blog:
Pineapple Lily
Age:
30
Favorite Bible verse:
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
 What are 3 things that we don't know about you?

1. I have three kids, three years and under.
2. I wanted a pet monkey when I was a kid. Then I found out they throw their poop...
3. My favorite show is Happy Endings!
Name: Victoria
Blog: Unlock Your World
Age: 19

Favorite quote: "The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island?  
1.) My laptop (with unlimited wireless connection) so I could blog (yea, I'm a hardcore blogger)
2.) My lovely boyfriend who is the absolute best company
3.) A a really soft blanket :]
Name: Noelani (noah-lon-ee)
Blog: Our Beautiful Little Journey
Age: 22

Favorite Bible verse: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. "-- Galatians 5:22-23

 What are 3 things that we don't know about you?  
1.) Ever since I was a little girl, 'organization' has always been a vital part of my life.
2.)  I call my daughter my little miracle baby, considering I got pregnant while on birth control, did not find out until I was 4 months pregnant, and ended up having her at 7 months. (you can read more about that, if you check out my blog!)
3.) I have recently opened my heart 110% to Jesus, and it truly is an amazing feeling (to say the very least)
Name: Kelli Diane
Blog:
Dailypolkadots
Age:
22

Favorite quote: "Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, & let go of what you can't change."


What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island? 


1.)  My boyfriend
2.) My camera
3.) A margarita : )
Name: Melissa
Blog Name:
Bruinette in Wonderland
Age: 24

Favorite Bible verse:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13 (I actually have a tattoo of this verse in Latin)

What 3 things would you bring on a deserted island? 


1. Filled bookcase that included my Bible, the Harry Potter series, the Chronicles of Narnia and hopefully some things I hadn't read yet.
2. A fire-starter (the large version of a lighter used for lighting a grill or fireplace), if I'm going to cook I don't want to have to run around looking for flint or rub sticks together.
3. A tent, I like a little privacy even if it is on a deserted island. You never know  when an unexpected visitor might drop by...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

[Sponsor Love]

HAPPY SATURDAY!
Here are some more lovely October sponsors!
Check out their awesome blogs if you haven't already :)

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Name: TJ
Age: 23
Favorite Bible Verse: "She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her." Provers 3:15.
Three things I'd bring with me on a desert island: 
1.) Mr. Taylor 
2.) The scriptures
3.) Sunscreen (got to keep my Norwegian skin healthy)

 
Name: xoxohannah (Hannah)
Blog: A Cup of Subtle Tea 
Age: 22 years old

Favorite quote: "What goes around comes around."

Three things I'd bring with me on a desert island: 

1.) James (of course) 

2.) A knife 
3.) A magic genie with unlimited wishes. Gotta be realistic right? haha :)

 
Your name: Irene
Blog: {I.R.E.N.E} -- Inspiration From The Little Things
Age: 28

Favorite quote:
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

What are 3 things that we don't know about you? 

1.) I'm a NERD (that's all caps)
2.) I'm a pillow-hugger
3.) I'm a coffee addict
Your name: Heather Boersma
Blog
: Dreaming Big
Age
: 27

Favorite Bible verse: Ephesians 3:20

What are 3 things that we don't know about you? 

 1.)  think the eyebrows are the most important feature of the face
2.) I love wake boarding 
3.) I lived in Australia for 6 months in the first year of my marriage.

Your name: JeNeal
Blog: Pieces of Luv

Age: 26

Favorite Bible verse: Philippians 4:13 "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

What are 3 things that we don't know about you?

1.) I love dancing to music inside my head.
2.) I have a love affair with chocolate DAILY

3.) I picture my "muse" as a little dancing fairy.

Name: Rachel Lee

Your blog/shop name: Dramatic Elegance
Age:
21

Favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 43:2-3

What are 3 things that we don't know about you?

1.) I am adopted through "open adoption," and I still have close contact with my biological mother/grandparents/aunts/step-father/little brother
2.) I just started to use only lowercase letters in my blog. It's a process with me and God to let go of me and my control and let Him use me. 
3.) I'm a writer, and am getting ready to start NaNoWriMo in November. 

Name: Kimberly Bonham
Blog: Girly Girl Crafts
Etsy
Age: 27 

Favorite Bible verse: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

What are 3 things we don't know about you? 
1.) I'm Mormon
2.) I have a huge desire to do a lot of good things in the world & help people who are in need
3.) I love playing the violin

Friday, October 21, 2011

[Royal Daughter Designs Giveaway!]


Happy Friday, friends! :)
I'm currently basking in what I should probably dub as the "post blogger meetup glow." I drove up to Phoenix yesterday and got to meet some of my favorite bloggers (
Jen of The Arizona Russums, Erin from Captivated by Grace & Stesha from Classic & Bubbly) AND attend Ashley from The Shine Project's fundraising event! It was INCREDIBLE! I can't wait to share the pics!! The night was an awesome success and I was truly impressed with how well it turned out-- Ashley is a rockstar. Getting to see the kids that have been personally affected by this movement was unreal.

-------------

Today, I am so estatic to announce this lovely giveaway from a truly genuine and incredibly talented woman-- Amanda from Royal Daughter Designs! This is a pretty sweet giveaway, if I don't say so myself! :) Be sure to check out her lovely blog & show her some love today! 
 
Hey y'all! I'm Amanda, nice to meet you. Of course, I haven't really met you, so head on over to my blog and say introduce your lovely self! Seriously, consider this your official invitation to grab a cup of mojo, pull up a seat, and let's get to know each other!
So I'm actually here for a giveaway, but seeing as how I'm going to ask you to follow my blogs, I thought I should tell you a little bit about myself:

Age:
 29

Home State:
 Texas (hence the overabundance of "y'all" in my blog posts)

Marital Status:
 Happily for 6 1/2 years

Occupation:
 Graduate student // Freelance writer and graphic designer // Brand new SAHFM (Stay-At-Home-Foster-Mom) to three boys, ages 10, 11, and 15. If you're not a math whiz I'll just break it down for you: I'm 14 years older than our oldest boy. Awkward? Not really.

Favorite Book:
 Anne of Green Gables // Redeeming Love

Favorite T.V. Show: 
Big Bang Theory // Parenthood // Castle // The Closer

Random Fact:
 My black lab, Promise, is 14. I've had her almost half my life. And also: my parents took me to a Mexican Food restaurant before taking me home to the hospital. True story. Have baby -> Eat Mexican food -> Then go home. Makes perfect sense to me.

Being different is okay: 
I'd rather wear sneakers than heels // I'd rather snuggle and cuddle than go on a fancy date // I'd rather sit in my front porch swing than go on a shopping spree // I'd rather read a good book than watch a movie

I blog about: 
I have a personal blog. If you want to get to know me - the real me - go check it out.
I also blog at Royal Daughter Designs. Starting on November 21 RDD will be hosting ChristmasOrnament Countdown: 30 days of handmade ornaments and holiday decorations. If you have a DIY ornament idea, I would love to show off your mad ornament crafting skeelz! Would you consider partnering with me for 30 days to share some of your awesomeness? You can find all the deets here.

---------------

Now, for the real reason you're here. Don't fool yourself, you know it's true!

Today one lucky blessed winner will win a $25 design credit to Royal Daughter Designs!


With that you can:
Get a free Pre-made Design Get a Premium Pre-made Design for $20* Last week I released a two new premium premade designs which are on sale through the end of October for $40. That would make it a steal at just $15! Get a Custom Design for $30-$100
Or use the credit for a la carte items!
To enter:

Mandatory:
Be a public follower of Finding Beauty in the Ordinary & Royal Daughter Designs via GFC (one entry)

Bonus Entries:

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, October 26th at 11:59 PM (MST)
Photobucket

Thursday, October 20, 2011

[Casey Leigh Giveaway & A Special Trip to Phoenix]

Hi friends! 
Find me over at sweet Casey's blog today for an awesome group giveaway! The winner of this gets everything. Say what?!! I'm so honored to be surrounded by these incredible ladies that I look up to and admire.

I am giving away 2 months of 200x300 ad space for November & December AND a $30 Anthropologie giftcard!!
:) 

So hurry on over to Casey's blog, sistas!!!

------------

Today I am traveling up to Phoenix to see Ashley from The Shine Project's amazing event tonight!!!! I could not be more ecstatic to meet her and see my lovely friend Jen with The Arizona Russums (fellow Casey Leigh giveaway participant) and sweet Erin over at Captivated by Grace! I am beyond excited. Rest assure, that there will be a TON of pictures taken... we are all bloggers, after all :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[WIWW: A Trip to the Mountains]

This is my first ever "What I Wore Wednesday" post.
There's always a first time, friends.
And can I just say that in one month from today we will have been married for 5 incredible years?!!
We have a love for all things 19. My birthday is on the 19th, we started dating on the 19th, we got engaged on the 19th, and married on the 19th. Cheers in advance to our firstborn child being born on the 19th one day.
Can I just saw... holy moly, where does the time go?!!

Recently, we snuck away to the nearby mountains for some fresh, crisp air.
The leaves are starting to change colors and it's a beautiful sight to see. I LOVE autumn.
And yes, you're seeing this right... we are still in Arizona. It's stunned us, too... that there is actually more than just cacti. That has been a fun discovery. This town is actually called Summerhaven. How lovely is that?! I think I shed a little tear the first time we landed here and discovered a cute little mountain town with cider, cabins, a legit ski-lift, and a little lake. It snows quite a bit. Yessssss (said in a Napoleon Dynamite way).

(Thank you for the lovely compliments on my hair and shirt yesterday. You all are too kind! Thank you. Don't think I love that shirt so much that I wear it two days in a row... I'm being honest when I say that I wore it about a week apart... these pics just so happen to be posted a day apart :)


On Heather:
Jacket // American Eagle Outfitters
Top // Forever 21
Jeans // Forever 21
Boots // Target
Hair accessory // gift, {Just.Lovely.Things}

On Joshua:
Jacket // Hurley
Jeans // Lucky Brand
Boots // Danner
Sunglasses // Oakley

On Hartley:
Sheer love :)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy!

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