The Thing About Blogging

a simple blogI can never quite get past the fact that when I blog about fashion, recipes and/or home decor I almost ALWAYS see my highest blog traffic. I mean, I love a great sweatshirt or pair of boots, a cute side table and a super new recipe as much as the next girl, BUT sometimes I hold myself back from talking about those things in this space because I am afraid that someone will stop by and they will think that I am the sum of those things. So I take these long hiatus from blogging so that I don’t just put out those type of posts. And then I realize that just means that I’m simply silent. We KNOW this about me. It’s already been well-established, right?

If you’ve been hanging around for more than two weeks you KNOW that this blog has too often been plagued by sprees of silence. I’m trying to keep talking. Really, I am. In fact, this might seem random, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about just why I miss Xanga {God rest it’s sweet cyber soul} and after mourning it’s slow painful death for the past few years, I finally realized why I still miss it. I miss Xanga because it felt like a daily journal. The thing that I *think* blogs were intended to be. It was a place where we all connected to each other in a way that was more intimate and encouraging than browsing a quick status update.  When Xanga lost it’s steam, Google’s Feed Reader helped to keep that feeling of connectivity but when Google decided to pull that service, we were left with a gaping hole in the social media sphere. Instead, we’ve turned blogging into a spectacle where we feel this uncomfortable compulsion to put out and publish a mini-magazine complete with edited photos. It’s a LOT of work and honestly, it isn’t always so fulfilling.

Sometimes I just want to write about my day and *gasp* FORGO all photos. I mean, I can’t even publish a blog post without photos easily with my current blog theme. UGH. I think that it all starts to feel like too much. I want it to be easy– because it’s not work. It’s an outlet and an avenue for connecting with people, but as of yet, it is NOT a job. Nor do I want to treat it as one {unless I’m bringing in some bank through the blog– then I can reconsider}.

So I will do my best to keep talking here. Sometimes I will have fun photos, a new treat to share or pictures of myself being ridiculous in an outfit. And I will give myself grace and tell myself that it’s ok to do those things {because I like seeing those posts on other blogs too}. But sometimes I will talk about what’s on my heart and remind the world that for lots of people life is pretty ugly. And outside of Jesus and the love that we show to them because of Jesus, it can be suffocatingly hopeless. {This is usually when crickets start chirping here and readers drop like flies, but that’s O.K.}

My Christmas List

This is my Lovespun Christmas List

Hey all! Can you believe that Thanksgiving has officially come and gone already? Wow! That was fast. Now I feel like I can “officially” put on my Christmas cap and start thinking about what I am going to wrap up and put under the tree. I did venture out for a bit of Black Friday shopping with my mom today, but the older I get the more I prefer to stay cozied in and shop with a click of my mouse. Moreover, I really enjoy supporting small business owners when I can too.

My morning jolt. Black Friday begs for a "triple."

My morning jolt. Black Friday begs for a “triple.”

This year I’ve spent a little bit of time thinking about MY Christmas “wish list” and I thought I would share it with you in case you are itching for a few ideas! {And also because I promised Jeremy and my mom that I would do a blog post with links to the things that I really want this year}. So without further ado, here are the things that I wouldn’t be mad at seeing underneath the tree. {And before you think “WHOA~ that’s a LOT, the answer is that NO, I definitely don’t expect it all!} ;) *You can click the photos to link to the items

1.  Every year it snows in Indiana. Every year I tell the kids that I can’t go out and play in the snow with them because I don’t have A) Snow Pants or B) Snow Boots. Every year my mom says, “Next year I am going to get you snow pants and boots for Christmas.” Every year when Christmas rolls around I don’t want to waste precious Christmas wishes on snow pants and snow boots. Ahem.

Enter these babies~~ I swoon. These are just slightly different than the ones I saw today in the mall, but I think that for the same price, I like these better.

Womens Sorel Tivoli Twist Duck Boot Khaki

 

I can handle a pair of inexpensive snow pants to go with. I don’t wear them enough to need a great pair, but I would don these boots throughout the winter even when I’m not trudging through the snow!

2. Grace and Lace~ Ok, I love Melissa and her company. I love her heart. I love her investment into the world. I love her encouraging words and willingness to speak into people’s lives. She’s the real deal folks. So what I really love most is supporting that vision and cheering her on! So upon my wish list from Grace & Lace are these few items:

 

I’m also a TOTAL under-shirt-tank/cami-junkie, so I’ve been eyeing these for months. One in black might be a nice start!

They would look awesome with one of these:

I’ll stop now! You get the picture

3. I’m not even gonna pretend that I need this for anything other than being able to type long Instagram captions (because I seriously loathe having to key in much text from my phone– hence, I don’t send long texts either!) and watch Netflix. But hey, we can absolutely use it for homeschooling too, so there’s that.

4. I live for great planners. Someday I will design one. It will be a hybrid between a notebook and a calendar and it will include amazing colors and hand lettering. Maybe that should be a goal for 2015. Do you think? It also won’t be too big OR too small. It will be my dream planner. Until then, I want this:

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5.  These pens…because I am obsessed. Le Pens. They don’t bleed through your pages. That’s all you need to know to live happily.

 

6. Silhouette Cameo Machine~ Because sometimes I want to make awesome appliquéd things in the studio– and I don’t have the patience to cut and trace. Plus, homeschooling. Right? We can make everything a homeschooling supply. {On sale through tomorrow at Joann.com for $209}

Screenshot 2014-11-29 00.26.43

7. Adorable MacBook Air keyboard stickers are a must. Just because they make life a little happier via kidecals on Etsy.

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8. My basement NEEDS this print because I’m a good Hoosier girl who loves a breaded tenderloin. And bacon. Because, well…BACON.

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9. This is boring, but I would like one. I have nothing witty to say about this. I just want to make some yummy gluten free bread in 2015.

10. I don’t actually have this on my Christmas list {unbelievable, I KNOW} but YOU should! Evy’s Tree is one of my all-time favorite shops. I am patiently awaiting their spring line right now, but seriously, you cannot go wrong by ordering a luxury hoodie from Amy and her sweet-as-pie staff. RUN to Evy’s Tree and take your pick. You can thank me later! ;)

Evy's Tree Sophie in Graphite

 

That’s all on that’s on my list. Do YOU have anything awesome on your Christmas 2014 wish list? If so, what is it? You should leave a comment and let me know because, well, we could all use some inspiration for gift giving this season! Now let’s hop to some shopping!

Studio Update

Yesterday I wrote a post titled “Nourish.” If you missed it, I just took a few minutes to fill you all in on where I am at personally now as well as where we are at as a family as it pertains to nourishment. There are sure to be many more posts on this topic in the coming months as I can’t shake that word from my heart. I’m cautiously wading into a world that I am just familiar with enough to be slightly nervous to enter.

I figured that I should lighten the mood today and give you all an update on the shop. Between A Happy Trip and homeschooling and just taking the time to keep my family on track, I haven’t found myself with lots of time for keeping the shop rolling. If you’ve been around here for long, you likely know that while I LOVE the design/creative side of handmade, I don’t like the tedium of the construction process.

111814 Shop Update

After I wrap up the orders that I currently have in queue, I will likely shut down the shop for a while. Undoubtedly I will end up with a few random projects that I will likely list on Instagram or through the FB page {because I go on creative binges like that– so if you aren’t already, you should definitely follow me on IG and FB}. In the meantime, I’m on a mission to finish these Zippy!’s in the next week or so.

Zippys in Progress

Much love to all of you today. Are you working on anything creative now? I’d love to see it! Comment with your IG name so that I can keep track of what you’re up to also.

 

Nourish

Nourish

Our family has felt the pangs of malnourishment lately. Lest you think that we’ve fallen to the dark side, let me assure you that it isn’t that grave. Except that it is beginning to feel that perhaps it IS slightly grave and pressing to us as a family. For better or for worse, we Smith’s don’t tend to find a lot of significance in discipline for the sake of discipline. {Please don’t take that any further than exactly what is written– we do find significance in discipline for the sake of growth and betterment}. But discipline without purpose? We tend to eschew that. Most specifically as it relates to anything that is inconvenient.

What I am primarily referring to here is our physical nourishment. Of course, this applies to the spiritual, intellectual & emotional also, but for now I think that I can only handle addressing one of the problem areas at a time.

I’m not going to put on a “I’m a crunchy momma” mask. And that is in NO way a slam on “crunchy” moms. I believe in you. I believe in WHAT you stand for. I believe that you are making awesome choices to put the health of your family at the forefront of your priorities. I’m cheering you on! But I have a child who has extreme aversions to everything that is good for him {and believe me, I’ve tried to be sneaky}. I grew up gagging at the sight of fruits and veggies too. And while, quite thankfully, I actually *like* most fruits and veggies now, it’s still a struggle for me to make myself take the time to eat them. In my brain they are simply superfluous to the GOOD food. You see the problem here, right?

So I subsist on carbohydrates, meat, cheese and sugar and my family comes along for the ride. Occasionally I pull out my juicer and that pretty much rocks, but it’s the exception to the rule. I mean last night for dinner I cooked a ham, whipped up some divine homemade mac’n’cheese, added a side of roasted baby asparagus {see, I did add a veggie THAT time} and polished it off with a homemade pumpkin roll {after all, the pumpkin roll is to send our students on a trip to Nicaragua– it’s dietary benevolence at play here}! But all of us FEEL pretty yechy. I’ve gained a few pounds since summer ended. Jeremy and I are both having skin issues. And the kids, well, let’s just say that it’s nothing short of obvious that they NEED nourishment. Parker’s Go-Go Squeeze’s probably don’t cut it.

What I don’t do is load the kids up on Twinkies and Fruit Snacks and Lunch-ables– but still, I’d might as well. If you do, I’m not judging you. Maybe your kids eat those things AND will grab an apple or munch on a carrot. One of mine will sometimes– one of mine won’t. We all have to pick our battles.

The thing that I’m feeling, this persistent nudging on my spirit, it’s conviction. Conviction that reminds me that just as I go to the Lord of my spiritual nourishment, my children and my family come to me for their physical nourishment. That weighs on me like chains around my neck. So for 2015 and the near future, I’m going to be intentional about focusing on NOURISHMENT. In fact, I believe that my word for 2015 will be “Nourish.”

Guys, I’m not about to say that I’m 100% in yet. I’m not. Really, I’m pretty terrified to embark on this journey. We’ve tried and failed before. I really like grabbing a slice of pizza at the mall. If “eating pizza or Panda Express at the mall” was a legitimate love language, I’d claim that one as my own. Choosing a different path means choosing to find something else that brings me peace and joy. {And yes, I know that I could just opt for a protein bowl at Panera, ok?}

For now, I have a few books on order to help me get started on the journey. I’m even feeling the urge to really nourish my home, so I’m sharing The Nester’s book below too.

 

On a side note, I actually crave almost every single recipe that Angela Liddon posts over at Oh, She Glows! And this coming from girl who could possibly be classified as a bona-fide carnivore. This is the one that I am craving now.

Screenshot 2014-11-17 16.24.55

 

It’s actually from this book. They are both going on my Christmas list. And that will get its own post for another day.

Bringing Back the Scrappy Tutu

The holidays are rapidly approaching. I kid you not, I woke up to 16 degrees outside. I was not amused. However, this early chill IS putting me in the holiday mood {even if I do happen stay in my pjs and shop online this year to avoid the frigid temps}. And while I’m sitting at home in said pjs, it never hurts to have a project to tackle on any given day. Thus, here is one that you can do in one afternoon while you’re watching Elf for the 314th time. That’s not just me, right?!

christ scrappy tutu cover Or you can click here.

Happy holiday creating! But in all seriousness, wouldn’t these be ADORABLE in family pictures out at the Christmas tree farm? For the love of cute!

a happy holiday