Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sponsor Feature // Part IV


BLOG

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

My favorite aspect of blogging is that you become part of this online world with amazingly talented and creative people who are, for the most part, kind and wonderful!

What is your favorite current blog of the moment?

http://colorissue.blogspot.com/

Please tell us about your shop/blog!


My blog is kind of like a journal/collage of my life, some days it involves cooking or crafting, on other days it's college sports, pictures from my travels and the scrapes I get myself into as a twenty-something living on my own for the first time in a (relatively) new city.    

What inspires you?

My faith, God has given me so many blessings over the last year, when I take the time to listen to where he is calling my next, I'm never disappointed. Also the ocean, that is my color palette for just about everything, peaceful and relaxing and completely out of my control.


BLOG // TWITTER
  
What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

 I really enjoy meeting new blogging friends. I have only been at this for a few weeks, but I have already met so many amazing people.     

What is your favorite current blog of the moment?           

 I am really inspired by Ashley from The Shine Project. She has a big heart and a great sense of style!        

   Please tell us about your shop/blog!  

My blog is all about discovering myself as a writer and finding inspiration in life's everyday moments. I blog about anything and everything that I find inspiring. My blog is kind of like a journal/collage of my life, some days it involves cooking or crafting, on other days it's college sports, pictures from my travels and the scrapes I get myself into as a twenty-something living on my own for the first time in a (relatively) new city.    

What inspires you?

I am inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things.     Personally, I want to explore my writing and learn more about photography. As for my blog, I just want to develop a site that readers come to for their daily dose of inspiration!               



BLOG// TWITTER

Please tell us about your shop/blog!

Owls and Lace is the story of my journey through college, figuring out who I am, living through my twenties and the things that crack me up every day. In the last three months I’ve broken up with my high school sweetheart, turned 20, hit my half way mark of college and started really figuring out who I want to be. My blog is where I track all of that, and watch the transformation unfold.

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

All the new people I get to meet, and all the amazing support that brings.

What is your favorite current blog of the moment?
         

The Daybook --Sydney’s blog is what sparked my huge obsession with reading blogs.

What inspires you?

The kids at work, my mom, unconditional love, blogs full of faith, and seeing the sky, whether it’s raining, the sun rise or just a really pretty Spring day.

BLOG // FACEBOOK

Please tell us about your shop/blog!

I started my blog after my sister Lauren and future sister-in-law Lauren convinced me to share my daily outfits and etsy shop.  I had no idea anyone besides them would be interested in reading my blog! When I started blogging I thought I would just post pictures of my outfits, but I realize that is such a small part of what I want to write about.  I’m excited for my blog to be a mix of my style and craft projects, but also what I’m learning in life!

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

I did not realize what a community the blogging world was.  I have loved meeting new people and really feel like I have made friends.  I love getting to know other women that have the same interests and are going through similar things. 

What is your favorite current blog of the moment?

That’s a tough one -  I have so many! One of my favorites is much love illy

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people who have opposite personalities than I do (like my husband).   It amazes me how differently they can handle the same situation.  I want to learn from them!

BLOG // BLOGLOVIN'

Please tell us about your shop/blog!

My blog is mostly just me cramming things I love into one place, hoping that someone else out there shares my passion for everything pretty, artistic and sweet-sounding.

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?

My favorite thing about blogging is the wonderful relationships with other bloggers- I would have otherwise never met these other fine gals from near and afar.

What is your favorite current blog of the moment?

Naming a most admired blog is not as easy as choosing a favorite aspect of all this. However, lately I have been waiting for a new post from Talk2TheTrees the most. I guess that makes it my most beloved blog at the moment.

What inspires you?

I'm the type of person who likes to do a weird thing called "people watching". I promise, it's not stalking! When you take time to look at the wide world around you, you realize everything can inspire you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Lady In Waiting,

...

I've wanted to write you for a long, long time.
Today seemed like it was finally the time and I hope that you'll hear me out.

Lately, you have really been on my heart.
I see so many of you longing for a love that is true and real and I know how you feel,
because I've been there.


[via]

May I encourage you today?

Take this time and use it wisely.
Prepare yourself mentally, physically and spiritually for a future love that is true.
Enjoy every second of your singleness to focus on who you are-- and not who you are with a person.

Even when the man that God has for you arrives, continue to keep Jesus #1, always. Your spouse will let you down and disappoint you, he's only human-- a sinner. You can not rely on him to make you happy, no matter how wonderful he is-- only Jesus will completely fill your heart, satisfy you, and make you whole. 

Please, please-- dump the secular mentality of our world and please care more about how your future man loves, honors, respects and desires to obey God than about how much money he brings to the table, what he looks like, and what he drives.


We married people are not looking at you as an unhappy person, a failure, or a woman who can't hold down a relationship. We are looking at you with love, appreciation and excitement for you as you patiently await the man of your dreams. It's usually only when you are with a man who's intentions that we question do we wish that you would open your eyes and run.

If you've made mistakes in the past, it's never too late to start over. God's a big God full of grace and love and can make you pure again. If you're still waiting... hold on... the world may tell you that it might not be worth it, but I think they all secretly respect your perseverance. They may tell you that you need to "test drive the car to make sure you want to buy it," but trust me, you don't need a test run-- God works everything together for His good (Roman 8:28).

[via]

Friend, please please please-- if you are a Christ follower, do not settle with anyone but (2 Corinthians 2:14). You might think that you have things in common now, but over the months and years, a common trust and faith in Jesus is all that will matter. It will get you through anything. A chord of 3 strands is not easily broken. With God at the center of your triangle, you are bound for marital success; doesn't mean that you will not have problems, but together you will be able to pray through them and seek God together.
In 5 years of marriage, I hate to say it, but I've already seen so many of our friends get divorced. The common thread seems to be one thing and this was it: not being spiritually like minded (of course there were other things that added to it, and I'm certainly not promoting divorce).

Don't settle for anything but God's absolute best. Observe him, pray about him, ask his friends about him, and spend a lot of time with his family.


"Be careful you do not offer too much of yourself to a man until you have good, solid evidence that he is a strong man willing to commit. Look at his track record with other women. Is there anything to be concerned about there? If so, bring it up. Also, does he have any close male friends - and what are they like as men? Can he hold down a job? Is he walking with God in a real and intimate way? Is he facing the wounds of his own life, and is he also demonstrating a desire to repent of Adam’s passivity and/or violence? Is he headed somewhere with his life? A lot of questions, but your heart is a treasure, and we want you to offer it only to a man who is worthy and ready to handle it well."

Stasi Eldredge,
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

Finally, I write to you with a heart that is full of wanting to save you from walking into something that would ever hurt or harm you. Why? Because I love you! Praying for you today. God's watching over you and your heart today.


Linking up with Call Me Blessed

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cup Half Full: Mom & Dad's Visit

Hi there! Happy Monday! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

We had a really great weekend that consisted of going to a farmer's market, meeting friends for breakfast, and a lot of napping and catching up on HGTV shows! After a few weeks of going non-stop, the time to relax was much needed and appreciated!

My parents were here last week for the 3-day weekend. It means to much to both me and Joshua that both of our parents take the time to come and visit us as much as they do. We never really go more than 2 months without seeing one another, and that is such a blessing! I know that the 6 hour drive through the middle of nowhere in-between San Diego and Tucson is not a pleasant drive! :) My parents are the most amazing people in the world and have always been my biggest supporters and encouragers. Not only are they my parents, but they are my best friends and having to move away from them has been really, really hard. I always go through like a 3-day depression after they leave. So sad!

But, on a more positive note, we had a great time while they were here. My mom and dad are just LOVING being grandparents-to-be! Can't you just tell?! :) Sorry for the picture overload below. We went to Sabino Canyon in the north Tucson Catalina Foothills for the very first time and I couldn't help but take a lot of pictures! It was a great hike with a lot of stunning views. One of my favorite things about living in a new city is exploring new places. Keeps life interesting!!




After the hike, we went out for some lunch at Gentle Ben's and enjoyed lunch in the sunshine. The restaurant is located directly outside of the University of Arizona campus and it's one of our favorite places to people watch. Lots of great fashion trends going on ;)
Also during their visit, we did some bike riding, my parents played golf, and we enjoyed a few trips to the lake. Can you see the snow on the mountains? A lot of it has melted, but yes, we get snow in Arizona-- lots of it, actually!


It was a great visit and I'm counting down the days until I see them next :)

How was your weekend? How are you finding beauty in your life?!

Cup Half Full Link Up Party


The goal of this link up party is to have a place where women can come each week and simply link back to posts where they find beauty in their life.

This is not a subject-specific link up party, but simply an overall theme of contented, thankful way of living. I don't really care what you want to link up, as long as it promotes a general positive, thankful, my-cup-is-half-full vibe.
  • Link up to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page.
  • Make this an interactive link up party by trying to visit a few other blogs while you're here and stop and show them some love-- because everyone loves comments! :)  
  • Grab a button or link back to this post so that your blog readers can come and join in on the fun, too! 
  • Thank you for stopping by!!



FindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com

<a href="http://findingbeautyintheordinary.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i349/FindingBeauty19/Buttons_%20Heather/Cup12Full.png" alt="FindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sponsor Feature // Part III

I'm so excited to introduce you to some wonderful bloggers and shop owners!! Each one of these ladies is so inspiring, creative and gorgeous-- it blows my mind! Be sure to stop by their blogs and shops! You will be happy you did. Have a wonderful weekend!! xo


blog // shop // twitter // facebook

Tell us about your blog/shop!


Hi! My name is Erin Lauray, and I write a blog called "by erinLauray" about life, mommyhood, parenting, love, and everything that I do as a stay-at-home "mom-preneur." :) I currently am pursuing my dream of opening my own web design studio by taking a few classes to fill in the gaps in what I already know after years of blogging. I plan to launch my new site and studio this summer (2012).     

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?   
 
The community. I would never have survived some of my toughest moments this last year without some of my bloggie friends.  

What is/are your favorite blog(s) of the moment?   

I have SO many I love, I don't think I can pick just one :)        

What inspires you?

My family, my fellow bloggers, the friends I have made through this whole online adventure. Walking around some of my favorite stores and outdoor places also gives me inspiration for design ideas and blog posts.    

                                  
Tell us about your blog/shop!

I'm Angie and I blog over at Living Aloha!  The Hubs and I are living our dream and loving our island lifestyle.  I write about our adventures and things that bring me joy.  Click on this video; it about sums me up. :) http://vimeo.com/32955852

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?    

Sharing my story and meeting like-minded, kindred spirits.   

What is/are your favorite blog(s) of the moment?   

Edie's, "Life in Grace" (lifeingraceblog.com)       

What inspires you?


I am deeply moved by the sea; it is cleansing and restorative and has a way of peeling back layers of my soul.  Water makes me feel safe and loved.  
                                   

blog // twitter // facebook

Tell us about your blog/shop!

I created Diary of a Brown Eyed girl to share about the stuff I love. My faith, crafting, fashion/style, charity/service and everyday life lessons. One of my biggest desires is  helping others. Each product that is purchased from my SHOP, part of the proceeds will be donated to Make a Wish Foundation to help children with life-threatening illnesses. 

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?    

 Getting to know all the wonderful bloggers out there   

What is/are your favorite blog(s) of the moment?   

The Shine Project, she is simply amazing and has a HUGE heart!        

What inspires you?          

  God. Knowing that I am not alone in this wonderful journey called life and that He has a plan for me. God is so amazing!!

Tell us about your blog/shop!

 Hi friends! my name is lauren and i’m a freshman in college. i love all things vintage and love to go thrifting in my free time. recently i opened a big cartel shoppe online, selling handmade greeting cards. i write about adventures at school, the things & people i love, and my day to day life. hope you stop by and say hello ;)          

What is your favorite aspect of blogging?   

The interaction with other bloggers   

What is/are your favorite blog(s) of the moment?   

"Show and Tell"     

What inspires you?

  i look for inspiration in other blogs, my friends, my family, the bible, my favorite artists' work, music, i'm inspired by something every where i go! 

Tell us about your blog/shop!


My blog is where a share my journey through motherhood {i have 4 beautiful girls}, sewing and starting my online shop. I also have some craft tutorials too. I hope to inspire others to follow their dreams. I am starting a “How to Sew Series” in February, so if one of your goals was to learn something new, then i hope you will stop by....
My Online shop is where i sell my lovely linen accessories....      

What inspires you?   

    "For me inspiration is all around, I find daily inspiration in my girls, other blogs and i love Pinterest... Fabric is another source of inspiration, the prints, colours and different textures always gets me experimenting making different products.

Tell us about your blog/shop!


   I blog about my life.  Fashion, cooking, projects, people and places, and any random moment that falls into Living and Learning, as I measure my life on these terms:  "Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you will live forever".         
                                   
What is your favorite aspect of blogging?   

Lately it's been the building of virtual friendships with other bloggers!  I love the people that genuinely have read my stuff, and I read their stuff, and we keep on going dialogue.  It's rewarding. 

What is/are your favorite blog(s) of the moment?   

    leatherandlace-lg.blogspot.com  She's raw, she's real, and she CRACKS me up every day.  And now that she's preggo...  Watch out.  I'm tuned in!    

What inspires you?

    Anyone that puts their self out there and dares to do it. Whether they do it well, or not, the fact that they dared to do it inspires me!!! 

Spread The Shine


If you were to have asked me in December 2010-- when I found out that Joshua and I would be moving to Arizona-- if I would have met some amazing women within only months of being here, I would have called you... crazy.

It was only 3 months after moving that I started to meet some amazing Arizona bloggers, like Ashley of The Shine Project and Jen of The Arizona Russums. A few months later, I met Erin, of Captivated by Grace, and what has happened over the months is that of true, real friendship. Not only online, but in person.

In October 2011, I headed to Phoenix to attend Ashley's very first Shine Event. It was spectacular. You can read more about my wonderful trip there here. What a great time we had! All these ladies are the real deal; 100% as genuine, real, transparent, funny, and gorgeous in person as you see online.

Since that event, Ashley's non-profit program has exploded. Today, I'm honored to be a part of a small group of women who are helping to spread the good news about her newest, secret, underground project...


From Ashley...

"Pass It Forward was designed to get people to do little things, everyday, that makes an impact on the community around them. Pass it Forward is designed around a card (read card that I've attached now so you understand). Each card is given a unique ID number. Lets say we're at McDonalds, and I decide to pay for the person behind me in the drive through. I'd give the cashier the card, and tell them to pass it along to the next car when the give them the food that has been paid for. I then go home and log into the website that was on the card, and find my unique ID number. I log into it, and add my information... My first name, city, and a description of what I did....Let's say the person behind me was you, you would pass it forward to someone else, and then would go home and do the same thing.

From the very beginning, you will be able to track where your card goes, and how many people you affect just by doing one simple act of kindness.

This project had the potential of working small miracles in the lives of those we pass, and we will then be able to see how far one simple act can go. I want to spread the shine community into something that is in every city, so that we can get more projects done and change more lives... I have strongly felt like this is a big way that will get accomplished."

Please make sure to read Ashley's blog HERE for more information on this exciting project!!
Many blessings and prayers coming your way, Ashley!! xo

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sponsor

 
 I would love to promote your blog or shop! 

Check out my new sponsor page for details HERE!

heather [dot] findingbeauty [at] gmail [dot] com
(please put "SPONSOR" in the subject line)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tired

Yesterday, I said goodbye to my parents.
Again.
It never gets easier.

I heard that it would get easier over the months, but it's still hard to say goodbye.
To say "see you soon," and "it won't be too long until we meet again."

After we said our goodbyes and I sobbed in my car on the way home, I immediately thought of heaven and how glorious that day will be. When I never have to say goodbye again. If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that I like to say that heaven will be "one big party" one day for those who are believers and I can't wait to get there. No more tears. No more pain.


via

When I arrived home, I decided to go on a long walk with Hartley through a field that is behind our house. The sun was setting and lit the field in shades of gold and honey. I found myself wrestling with why God brought me to the desert. A barren, empty land that brims with quietness, serenity, and lots of open sky. And in my wrestling match with Him, when I fought through tears and questioned His plans for me, I realized that this place has truly been a calming place for me. All over the Bible, God's people have found themselves in the desert and it's there that they truly have found Him and learned to cry out to Him.


"This is what God says,
   the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
   who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
   they lie down and then can't get up;
   they're snuffed out like so many candles:
"Forget about what's happened;
   don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
   It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
   rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
   —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
   rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
   the people I made especially for myself,
   a people custom-made to praise me."


-- Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)

 When my parents arrived home they called to tell me they got home okay. My mom told me that on their way home, she and my dad talked about this season of life that Joshua and I are in and that it is her prayer for me that I enter into a season of rest. We talked about how crazy the last 5 years of my life have been and I mentioned that I am still learning how to rest and relax after going non-stop over the years. We relived the fact that over the past 5 years...

  • After a year of being married, Joshua lost his job and was unemployed for 2 years
  • During those 2 years, I worked a high stress corporate job that I hated
  • We moved 3 times, and eventually spent a year living at my in-laws
  • Joshua moved to New Mexico for 6 months for work in which we were apart
  • Joshua started a new job with the federal government that required a year of probation and is dangerous every day leaving me in a state of constant prayer and faith
  • We stressed over money and bills
  • We had to say goodbye to our wonderful families and awesome childhood friends last May
  • And at that time last year, we also said goodbye to 8 couples that we were close to from our young married's group at church as we watched them move out of state, too.
  • We had to move to a new city where we knew no one and had no church family
  • We got a new puppy that has had a few scary emergency situations
  • We stressed over not getting pregnant 
  •  We worried after finally getting pregnant and the emotional roller coaster of fears that comes during the first 13 weeks
  •  And now we are trying to buy a new house that has taken us on another emotional roller coaster over the past week and probably will continue to do so until we have the keys in our hands :)

My mom literally said, "I can't wait until you're in your house with your baby and you can just sit and relax." I can't wait either. It doesn't mean that life will be perfect, by any means, but gosh, I didn't realize how tired I am. How stressful life has been. All good things, life lessons, hard trials that have strengthened us. I wouldn't change a thing. But what my mom said revealed a lot to me. It reveals how well she knows me!

I really want to use this time wisely before life gets busier and noisier with a beautiful little baby :) I will continue to try to enter into a time of rest. Of true, intentional rest with God. And that when I walk out into the desert and hear nothing but stillness, that instead of feeling alone or abandoned, I will continue to hear and seek God in the stillness.



via

It's so comforting to know that the God who dries all our tears is the God that has us in this season of life that we are currently in. He's the God who promises us eternity with Him in Heaven one day. He's the God who brings us streams in the desert, and the strength to endure tomorrow. He's the faithful God of rest.


"You have created us for Yourself, and our heart cannot be stilled until it finds rest in You.
"
-- Augustine


Linking up with Call Me Blessed

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cup Half Full: San Diego & A Concert

I'm so behind in posting these pictures, but better late than never, right? :) We went back home to San Diego, CA, for a 4 day weekend at the end of January to celebrate my mother-in-law's retirement and attend her retirement party. The celebration was a surprise party at a local wine bar and she had NO idea. It was great! She was the very first uniformed woman police officer in San Diego and had very many people show up to honor her. A very special night, indeed!

Although our trip was really short, Joshua and I did get to sneak in a trip to our old stomping grounds in La Jolla where we spent so much time when we were dating. It was crazy to be there-- talking about buying a house, our little baby
that's coming in August and how we see God moving in our lives... over 6 years ago we were just strolling down the beach with coffee in hand only dreaming that we would finally get to where we're at. It feels so good and we feel so blessed. God is so faithful to have given us far more than we deserve.

Hartley loves the beach and the water. He really loves grass, too! He doesn't see enough of it in Arizona!!
11 weeks pregnant :)

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is something we do have in AZ, but we have to travel to Phoenix to get (don't ask me why we are in AZ's second-largest city and we don't have one?!). Such a treat to get on our visit home!!

And last but not least, we saw The Civil Wars in concert back at the end of January, too. We had previous planned to see their show back in November when we were celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary, but the show got cancelled when Joy came down with laryngitis. It was an honor to see them live before they went on to win 2 Grammy Awards last Sunday night!! They are amazing and incredible life-- there really are no words for how great the show was! Although I will say that it was very hard to stand on my feet (no assigned seating) for over 5 hours without a bathroom break or water to drink and food to eat while 13 weeks pregnant!
 

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to travel home so easily (5.5 hour drive). I'm so happy that even though moving out-of-state was completely out of my control, God really did take care of me when he put me only an hour flight away from home. I don't think I could have taken anything farther. It's already hard enough!! My family is in town right now visiting and I don't want them to leave. Praise God that it's not only goodbye but "see you soon" today.

-----

Cup Half Full Link Up Party

The goal of this link up party is to have a place where women can come each week and simply link back to posts where they find beauty in their life.

This is not a subject-specific link up party, but simply an overall theme of contented, thankful way of living. I don't really care what you want to link up, as long as it promotes a general positive, thankful, my-cup-is-half-full vibe. 
 
  • Link up to your specific blog post, not to your blog's main page.
  • Make this an interactive link up party by trying to visit a few other blogs while you're here and stop and show them some love-- because everyone loves comments! :)  
  • Grab a button or link back to this post so that your blog readers can come and join in on the fun, too! 
  • Thank you for stopping by!!


FindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com

<a href="http://findingbeautyintheordinary.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/i349/FindingBeauty19/Buttons_%20Heather/Cup12Full.png" alt="FindingBeautyintheOrdinary.com" width="125" height="125" /></a>
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