Magnolia Must Reads | 36

Happy Saturday!! Today is another glorious weekend day we have protected with our lives to keep free from commitments. I’m talking wake up without an alarm, make a big breakfast, stay in your pajamas too long and (let’s be honest) do a whole lot of blogging. Ha! If I’m truthful, the majority of my blogging/photography happen on Saturdays, so I’m always welcoming this day to get ahead for the week!

In the mean time, I found a few posts I loved this week that I think you’d enjoy as well. Check them out!

+ Love this gorgeous DIY Wedding Dress Lace Ornament. What a precious keepsake to have!

+ Need some encouragement in chasing your dreams? Here are some great words to help you define them.

+ Peppermint Hot Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. Enough said, right?

+ The first feedback I’ve heard on “boosting” your blog’s Facebook page posts. What do you think? Have you tried it?

+ Have we connected on Instagram? That has been my favorite way to get to know you lately! Let’s connect!

What you may have missed:
+ GIVEAWAY!!!! ESV Journaling Bible & $30 to Amazon
+ Lady in Red (and the coldest pictures ever!)
+ DIY Owl Themed Baby Shower
+ DIY Natural Berry Wreath & a Collab with Madison!

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And what I really want to do today is introduce you to my sweet friend Mandy. She has been hanging around these parts before, and I’m so glad to have her back! She blogs over at Mandy Living Life… where there’s no adventure you won’t envy!

The girl travels, and she does it well! For proof, you can check out her 8 Night England, Wales and Paris Itinerary and her Gift Guide for the Travel Lover. One of my favorite things to ask people is what superpower they’d choose if they could. She chose invisibility, which definitely has its perks, although flying was a close second. In my book, that makes her pretty cool.

I also loved her recent post on 7 Fantastic Books for Photography Inspiration. I don’t know if it’s the designer/creative person in me, but I am so inspired by pretty things: pictures, artwork, scenery, people, architecture, etc.

You can catch up with Mandy and her traveling adventures here:
BLOG  ||  TWITTER  ||  INSTAGRAM  ||  PINTEREST

Magnolia Must Reads | 35

Horse
Happy Saturday! If I’m honest, today feels pretty unlike a Saturday to me because I’ve been up since 5am baking cupcakes for a baby shower I’m throwing this afternoon. I’ve spent all my free minutes this week (not working or at other evening commitments) working on details for the shower, so I’m excited to see it all finally come together today.

I’m also excited to do some serious resting afterwards! No more of this 5am wake up call every day this week thing 😉

In the meantime, I hope YOU are able to get some rest this weekend and do some things you love. I’m sharing with you a few articles and blog posts I read this week that I loved – let me know what you think!

+ Looking to make your own tree skirt for Christmas? Loved this tutorial & the skirt!

+ Ever heard of the book #GIRLBOSS? I’m dying to read it. This review convinced me to move it up on my “to read” list.

How to take your own family Christmas photos.

An adorable Christmas craft to do with your littles this year.

All of you should be reading Nina’s blog because she’s hilarious.

+ Trying to get organized this Christmas? Check out these free holiday organizing printables!

What you missed this week on 34 Magnolia Street:
What’s the deal with Pure Barre?!
December Goals (or NOT goals)
KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway!
Operation Read Your Shelves: The Meaning of Marriage

I’d also love to introduce you to a truly dear friend, Betsy from Heavens to Betsy! Betsy and I have been blogging friends for a while now, and I’m hoping to meet her next year when we both go to the Influence Conference! She’s a gem, and I’d love a quick coffee date one day. 😉

Heavens to Betsy Highlight

Betsy is another one of those jack-of-all-trades gals who kind of does it all. She runs her blog, just launched her new SHOP and founded The Peony Project, an online community for women who seek to uplift Jesus and encourage one another in their online lives. She’s pretty dang cool. Her idea of a perfect day is sleeping in, spending time with the people she loves and finding time to be creative. We should all make that happen sometime soon, okay?!

Some of her favorite posts of mine are her HTB Handmade announcement, her so very thoughtful post on Advent, and a great how-to: How to Make Money Blogging.

You can catch up with Betsy here:
BLOG  ||  SHOP  ||  INSTAGRAM  ||  TWITTER  ||  FACEBOOK

Happy Saturday!

Magnolia Must Reads | 34

Happy Saturday, friends!! Today is the first Saturday in too long that we haven’t had any commitments, and we’ve worked hard to keep it that way. We are waking up without an alarm today, making a big breakfast in our pajamas and resting. I’ll probably be doing a lot of reading in preparation for Operation Read Your Shelves in just over a week! (How is it almost December already?!)

I hope your day is filled with things you enjoy – and at least a few moments of real rest. If you have some time, check out these links I loved this week!

How to reach your goals.
10 ways to embrace your quarter life crisis.
What I think blogging should really be about.
Some great resources for starting your Etsy shop.
So, your job is crushing your soul….
Some thoughts on your Christmas List in light of minimalism.
The most delicious looking homemade sugar cookies I might be making today
My girl Betsy opened her Etsy shop yesterday!
To the woman with a baby in the baby carriage
5 ways to give back this Holiday season.
How to choose direction when you have a million ideas.

What you may have missed:
+ The best handmade shops YOU should be gifting this year.
+ 7 Steps to surviving the holidays as a newlywed.
+ Cozy & Cute style: pattern mixing & lovely layers.
+ I can see clearly now: what do think of my glasses?!

I’d also loooove to introduce to you my sweet friend Jaelan, the lovely lady who made those delicious sugar cookies listed up above!

She blogs at Making Mrs. M about a variety of things, but some of my favorites are her recipes, her post on “The Politics of Blogging,” and her amazing classic black look for The Creative Closet. The girl is stinkin’ adorable, am I right?! If you aren’t sure, it’s because you didn’t click over to see her classic black look, so get over there!

She’s basically a jack of all trades in the blogging world, and Making Mrs. M has become one of my new go-to blogs each day. She’s a southern lady who, surprisingly, loves unsweetened tea, and she dreams of opening a vintage style confectionery. She wants to make delicious chocolates, cookies and cakes. She’d sell candy by the pound, serve gourmet coffee and offer hand-dipped ice cream. It would be a place where people would go to be kids again, and a place kids would go to just be kids.

Well, that sounds like a place I’d love to go! 😉 You can catch up with Jaelan here:
BLOG  ||  INSTAGRAM  ||  TWITTER  ||  FACEBOOK  ||  PINTEREST

Magnolia Must Reads | 32

Happy Saturday, friends!! There’s little I love more than waking up to a slow Saturday. I have a lot of things I’d like to get done today, but very little that is a solid commitment. I’ll probably be drinking too much hot chocolate, because I just haven’t been able to get enough lately! That’s my kind of day.

I’ve also been doing a lot of decorating this week, so I’m excited to show you peeks into some of my new favorite spots in our apartment later this week. I will probably spend a lot of today trying to put together my first gallery wall – wish me luck!!

While you’re enjoying your weekend, check out these posts I loved this week… you won’t regret it! 😉

Read & Appreciate
+ Why we all have time to get in the Word.
+ A great guide for how to get paid to blog.
+ The cutest gender reveal in all the land.

Make
+ Hand Knitting 101.
+ These delicious peanut butter cookies!
+ This fall leaves banner.

Connect
+ Loving this new Instagram link up!

What you may have missed
+ A letter to my every-day self.
+ November, I’m ready for you.
+ Ruffles, boots & scarves, oh my!
+ Women of the Word Book Review & Operation Read Your Shelves Link Up!

And I’m also overjoyed to introduce you to my dear friend Madison this morning! She blogs over at Wetherills Say I Do, and if you just take a little peek over there, you’ll probably never come back. You’ll be lost in her archives because there’s so much good stuff there!

WSID is a faith based lifestyle blog where Madison tries to focus on the importance of the every day moments in life. She blogs to try to create a community of readers and to encourage other people in whatever they’re wanting to do. And let me tell you, she does those things so well. You can see her sweet, encouraging spirit oozing from the pages of her blog. Some of my favorite posts of hers are her 31 Days of Prayer, 5 Reasons to Choose a First Look, and her Weekends with the Wetherills Series.

Madison loves coffee with a little milk and sugar, and her perfect morning is a lot like mine – slow, homemade breakfast with her husband and spending time in the Word. If you click on ANY links today, I really hope you click over to check out her blog – it’s one of my favorite daily reads.

You can catch up with Madison here:
BLOG  |  INSTAGRAM  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |   PINTEREST

Happy Weekend!

Magnolia Must Reads | 31

I don’t know why, but I’ve been having the weirdest, most vivid dreams every night this week. I had a horse growing up that I had to sell when I went off to college, and one night I dreamt I randomly found him and it was like we lived happily ever after. Last night I dreamt about my grandpa, who passed away when I was in eighth grade, and also that I was pregnant. So strange.

Jacob and I have had a jam packed week with commitments, and it’s just the start to fall’s craziness. Saturdays will definitely be treasured from here on out, to say the least. I hope you get at least a few moments of down time today, as well. And if you do, be sure to check out these links that I loved this week!

Blog
+ Becoming a better blogger giveaway.
+ She’s giving away a ticket to the Influence conference!
+ 10 Ways to stand out.

Decorate
+ 5 ways to decorate on a budget.
+ 10 Ways to decorate your walls.

Read
+ Bible reading for the modern woman.
+ Need a cookbook? Look no further.
+ Her favorite & least favorite books of 2014.
+ Thoughts on “borrowing happiness.”

What you may have missed
+ Golden Tote review & my new favorite sweater.
+ 5 Steps to a gorgeous fall centerpiece.
+ Lets All Be Brave book review.
+ Layers on layers, please.

I’d also love to introduce you to my sweet friend Rebecca. It’s funny, because Rebecca and I actually have mutual friends in real life, but I didn’t meet her until we “met” through blogging. She blogs over at Caravan Sonnet and has an Etsy shop full of the sweetest Scripture buntings and albums.

I’ve asked Rebecca to answer a few questions, and I really don’t think there’s any better way for you to get a glimpse of who she is than to just read her words as they are. So rather than me giving a little summary, stay with me and follow along as you get to see a glimpse of her kind heart:

What is one of your favorite quotes?

A quote by Elisabeth Elliot has been a challenge and encouragement in my journey of becoming primarily bedridden and fighting Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease and Cancer. She states, “The pain of loneliness is one way in which He wants to get our attention. We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that here, where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, is the place that we may learn to love Him- here where it seems He is not at work, where He seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place. If faith does not go to work here, it will not work at all.”

What is your preferred drink?

Last year, after going on my first cruise, I was stuck in the airport for over 12 hours. At that time another passenger who was going to be on my flight and also stuck in the airport (there were only about 15 of us) suggested a drink from Starbucks that I have fallen in love with and has become my “treat reward” once a week after completing all of my doctors appointments and treatments for the week. It is a soy-vanilla bean frappacino with no whip cream add a pump of vanilla syrup and triple blend it. Seriously y’all So delicious!

What is one of your dreams that you are working on?

Being sick and fighting for my health I think that there are tons of dreams I have and yet there are so many that I think the Lord is growing softly and quietly during this season. One of the main dreams that I have is to be married and become a mom (and I would love to foster and adopt! so I would love a ton of kiddos!). Another dream would be to have my health back and to be able to “fully live life” and yet I am learning to live fully in the moment that the Lord has me in. Recently I completed a dream that I have which was to write and have a book published, and I am so excited to see how the Lord has opened so many doors for this to happen. It will be coming out in 2015 and I have recently completed the rough draft for my second book. Another dream that I had (which grew out of the experiences from the last couple of years) came true in August when I started a ministry called “SEEN Gathering,” which exists to encourage the hearts of those who struggle with Chronic Health Conditions. I love how the Lord puts dreams in our hearts and brings them to fruition!

As you can see, Rebecca is truly a treasure. Some of my favorite posts from her blog, Caravan Sonnet, are Show Up in Hope, 12 Things to Pray for Someone Struggling with a Chronic Health Condition, and the ever-informative What is Lyme Disease?.

You can catch up with Rebecca here:  BLOG  |  SHOP  |  INSTAGRAM  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK

She Prospers

I know.. it’s rare that I post on a Sunday, right? Well that’s because I have something special for you. Earlier this month I stumbled across Ashley from She Prospers and fell in love with her and her blog. Its design is so dainty and clean that I just want to hang out there all day, ha! Not only that, but Ashley is such a genuine girl who draws you in.

I’d love to introduce you to her, so stick with me and get to know her a bit!

What encouraged you to start a blog?

My husband and I were serving as missionaries in China and I desired to invite my family and close friends along on our adventure. Writing has always been a way for me to process what is happening in my heart and I wanted the people closest to me to be able to experience a bit of what we were walking through with us. After we returned to the States, I missed writing and felt like a blog would be a wonderful platform that could be used to encourage other women. So I decided to be brave and continue writing.

What is your vision for your blog? In other words, WHY do you blog & WHAT keeps you going?

My desire is to cultivate community and creativity. As women, there is something deep inside us that needs to connect with others, and my hope is that this space can unite an encouraged and inspired group of women with the love of Jesus. My heart is most often moved by the simple things in life, whether it be gazing at a moving photograph, enjoying a delicious home cooked meal or having a heart stirring conversation with an old friend. I would love for that same comforting feel to overflow from this blog. I also plan to use my influence to share the visions of various ministries, non-profits and small business owners, who are working in different ways to advance the kingdom. Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting other women who feel the same and am so thankful for the warm welcome that I have received entering the blogging world.

How did you meet your husband?

That is a good question. Ha ha! Neither of us can actually remember the moment we met each other, but we do know that we met in a mutual group of friends at our church. The first things that I can remember about Drew (besides the fact that he’s so handsome), was his ability to easily connect with others, his calming laid back personality (which is so opposite of me), and his faded converse sneakers.

If you could have any superpower for a day, what would it be?

I love a good story and have always been drawn to books and movies set in different time periods. My superpower would have to be traveling back in time. I think it would be amazing to experience history unfold before my eyes. To be able to meet heroic men and women, encounter different cultures, wear gorgeous dresses (insert my obsession for Downton Abbey), walk through the homes of artists and writers and dine with Jesus; it would just be spectacular.

Since you love to read, will you list a few of your favorite books lately?

Currently reading: Brave by Annie F. Downs, Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis, and re-reading The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.

Can’t wait to read: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, Seven by Jen Hatmaker, and The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morias.

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Ashley is seriously a woman after my own heart – so many of her answers above just made my heart jump with a resounding Yes! Some of my favorite posts from her blog are When Technology Takes Over: Fighting for Balance, her beautiful reflection on the book of Hosea, and when she shared her faith story.

You can catch up with Ashley here:  BLOG  ||  FACEBOOK  ||  INSTAGRAM