i am trying to establish myself as a blogger again. not that i stopped being a blogger, but after the whirlwind that was twenty-fifteen, i want to consistently get back into blogging + instagram + all the creative things that fuel my passions. i have been reading blogs + articles + magazines + books like crazy lately. i want to share a few of my favorites reads as of late. [yet another series on this blog, i know.]

being a new wife  [the tiny twig]

oh mylanta. #3. i needed to read that ten months ago! the expectation i put on myself to be the perfect wife was unrealistic and silly. i had all these notions in my head, which were culturally distorted. jared didn't expect these things of me. as jennifer said, it was pride. i wanted to prove my title as a new wife. HA. our situation was unique in that i had only known jared for two months when we married. so there were other challenges as well. like, you know, getting to know each other even though we were married. [to this day, i still wouldn't have done anything different!] this article was spot on for me.

what i learned | online dating  [in its time]

kiki nailed this post. as someone who tried online dating with success [aka: a handsome husband!], i completely agree with the tips she gives. i had zero hope in online dating, y'all. after two days, i wanted to delete my profile and forget the whole thing. had i known some of the things that kiki shares, i wouldn't have let myself get the crazy-stressed-this-will-never-work attitude.

wildflower  [drew barrymore]

drew's new book is a simple yet thoughtful collection of essays about her life. when i first researched this book, a lot of reviews talked about how drew discusses her past experiences, but not in-depth on the drugs and wild life she once lived. as i read this book, i realized that drew is in a different place in her life. motherhood looks good on her, if you ask me. she is more aware of every aspect of her life. i finished this book over the weekend, and i found it light and quirky - just like drew. plus, the book's name is my favorite for obvious reasons.

jess connolly 

if i could meet anyone in the world (including celebrities), it would be jess. her words have impacted my life so much lately. she is taking a break from social media for lent, but her blog and instagram are still packed with bits of goodness and truth. she also sends out weekly emails, which are so, so good. her new book (co-written with hayley morgan) called wild + free is releasing in may. i already preordered the book and so should you!

design for mankind  [erin loechner] 

i lovelovelove erin's writing style and her stories and her words and how i feel like reading her blog is equivalent to curling up on the couch with a latte and a really good book. what i appreciate the most about erin's blog is that when she is sharing a sponsored product, it is still fluid. i don't notice she's promoting a product until the end. that's how blogging should be. not just getting free stuff and saying, "i looooooooove this stuff." without giving any further deets or opinions.

now is your turn - tell me what you've been reading as of late. i thoroughly enjoy good recommendations.

hey, party people!

last month, the ladies + gents of a beautiful mess released their new photo-editing app, a color story. i am a huge fan of elsie + emma. ABM was the first blog i started following religiously. i was so inspired that i started a blog of my own shortly after discovering there was a whole blogging community i never even knew of. when they released their photoshop actions a couple years ago, i was ecstatic. [i reviewed them HERE.]

now they have released a photo-editing app. hollaaaaaaa. i immediately downloaded and purchased all the filter packs, which is seriously such a good deal. [i say this as a photographer, not a fangirl. i have seen people complain about the in-app purchases. #byefelicia. people always want free crap, which comes at the expense of a creative's talent. giving talent away for free cheapens it. plus, ABM is a business. c'mon - it's the price of a medium pizza or a venti-sized latte. a killer deal, for real.]

i have been playing around with the app for days. i edited the photos below with the new app.

edited with "cool down" from the CHROMA pack at 75%.

edited with "peony" from the DEEP pack at 100%. 

edited with "cool + bright" from the ORGANIC pack at 100%.

edited with "fresh air" from the FRESH pack at 100%.

 edited with "classic black" + "pop" from the (free!) ESSENTIALS pack. 

edited with "nightowl" from the BOHO pack + "leak 6" from the LIGHT LEAKS pack (effects).

they also released another app a couple years ago called party party. see my review here.

//  continue to document daily life in my bu-jo planner.  this is going to sound strange, but now that i am married and my mama is over two hours away, i have to adult without her reminding me of important things, like appointments and such. my brain hasn't fully grasped this task, so writing everything down helps me to remember what i need to do and what i have done. [mama, if you're reading this: thank you for always keeping track of every little thing for me. i love you.]

//  work on powersheets for february.  and (unlike last month) maybe do the prep before the last week of the month? maybe. "focus on little by little progress, not perfection." -lara casey.

//  read two books.  right now, i'm reading the selection. up next: wildflowers by drew barrymore.

//  scripture study + Jesus time.  this is vital to my life. i need to read His Word and seek Him in all things.

//  continue my photo-a-day project.  document on the blog, possibly.

//  celebrate leap day!  just because. :)

//  journal through kenzie's prompts.  i wanted to start this at the beginning of the year, but i'm learning to not try to do all the things because i'll just get overwhelmed and have yet another unfinished task.

-  our sweet baby milo gave us lots of laughs this month. he is growing so fast!
-  jared brought me chick-fil-a and a latte at work.
-  hubs know how much i love flowers, so he insists we buy fresh flowers every week.
-  i am completely 100% obsessed with starbucks' cheese danish.
-  sunset at the lake.
-  the art museum!
-  my stormtrooper coin bank. [target, you get me.]
-  our backyard is one of my favorite places in wichita.
-  one year since our first date!


-  THE BLACKLIST. ohhhhh. myyyyylantaaaa. this show. it is good. really good. i would get so entranced and then BAM! something crazy would happen, and i would jump ten feet out of my seat. intense, y'all.

-  on one of our regular saturday mornings at verita, jared wanted to go on spontaneous adventures all day. oooookkkkay, why? - i asked. because i know it will make you happy. #allthehearteyes. we walked around the art museum and then headed over to botanica so i could take pictures. it was the best saturday!

-  my family came up to visit that same saturday evening. we went to red robin, and i ordered the turkey burger and it was ahhhhhmazing. after dinner, we took them to a coffee shop, and as we were waiting for our lattes, i hear my brother quietly say, "so. many. hipsters." i almost cried from laughter.

-  we saw star wars. again. still just as good as the first time.

-  we hosted a friends' game night. we bought jackbox.tv on our ps4. it was so fun!

-  i am still really liking my job. dare i say - i LOVE it. when i moved to wichita, i wanted a fresh start in my career. i was a bookkeeper for ten years. there had to be something better out there, right? nope. when i found the job opening for a bookkeeper in valley center, i applied immediately and haven't regretted it once. praise the Lord!

-  this month marks one year since our first date. oh mylanta, y'all. my eyes are filling with tears just thinking about the last year of my life. God is faithful to provide. i remember listening to this song when jared and i began dating. i wanted God to make it crystal clear that the decisions i was making were for His glory and my good.


-  check out ONE book at a time. at one point, i had five books checked out. y'all, i didn't read any of them. i got overwhelmed and the holidays came and before i knew it, they were due. (after i had renewed them. twice.) one book, homegirl.

-  honey peanut butter > regular peanut butter

-  it's okay if i don't go forward with my original idea of posting every photo on instagram for my 366 project. ultimately this goal was to get me to take more photos - to worship my Savior by sharing my talent, but it turned into a guilty-fest. i have decided to not post every single photo on social media, but instead on the blog. i will post weekly, which still keeps me accountable, but it just feels like less pressure to perform and deliver.

-  the flu sucks.

-  i am so incredibly thankful for the ark. it is so life-giving. my word for the year has a lot to do with my church. i'll be sharing more on this in weeks to come.

-  sharpie pens are the best invention since sliced bread. [and regular sharpies.]

-  when your screen is locked on your phone and you get notifications/emails/etc - you can swipe left to delete or clear them off. this is an awesome little trick that makes me happy for some odd reason.

-  evernote is great for adding reminders, to-do's, and random thoughts.


-  document every day in my bu-jo planner. i have blogged about bullet journaling before. i have perfected the system to meet my needs by recording my life in a planner as opposed to a blank journal. that's why i love bullet journaling. it's effective, yet you can mold it to your needs easily.

-  read one book. HA. nope. (for what it's worth - it's the second day of the month and i'm halfway through one of my books for february. so HOLLA ATCHA GIRL.)

-  finish powersheets prep and finish january planning. guys, i barely completed this goal last week. i know some women who had theirs finished by january first. but as amy poehler says, "good for her. not for me."

-  blog.  worship wildly  //  a month in review  //  currently  //  weekly musings  //  everyday moments

-  document photo-a-day project. it was a lofty goal. one that i could attain, i suppose. but it kinda takes away from the project. sharing every single day is exhausting. and when i got behind, i felt embarrassed that my followers knew. ughhhhhhh. "my followers" is an obnoxious term. here's the thing: i don't want social media to become this thing that holds me back from fully living and worshipping. it was. it did. so i will find a balance. because Jesus doesn't care about the photos, but the heart behind it all.