Sunday, August 31, 2014

#journalingbible

Y'all I am so excited and Amazon is such a tease.

Have you ever heard of a journaling Bible?  I had, but the only journaling Bibles I had seen involved simply writing in the margins and that's something I already do.  It wasn't all that exciting.

Then I realized folks were actually creating art in the margins of their Bibles with how hymns or verses moved them.

It's amazing.





Wha-bam! There you have it.

A journaling Bible has major room in the margins aka a notetaker's dream but not only is there room for notes but you can create masterpieces in those margins.  

I first discovered this through Valerie Wiener's Instagram:

Photo: Each of our thorns are different but our God is the same, when you feel that thorn..Pray. Give Him control and let him Work the way He does. 
Also, in case you missed it, there's a new blog post up on ValerieWienersArt.com answering all of your #journalingbible questions and showing you some new pictures...
#ValerieDoodlestheBible #doodletheword #lettering #scripture #jesus
Photo Credit Valerie Wieners Art
 Isn't that beautiful?

She led me to see other folks' Instagrams and Facebook feeds.

Photo Credit Shanna Noel

She is currently giving away a copy of :


Check out Shanna's blog to enter the giveaway, otherwise you can find Writing in the Margins at Amazon.

If you haven't seen my Instagram feed lately, I've been cramming it with giveaways. I apologize in advance and I promise to beautify it in the very near future :) I just really want to start the Erskine baby stock right this minute...I can't help it :P

Back to the Journaling Bible!

I also joined a Facebook Journaling Bible group which is filled to the brim with beautiful inspiration.


I joined and it felt like God was blessing me as soon as I hit that "join" button.
This picture was posted by the group moderator (and awesome artist) Shanna Noel shortly after I became a member of the group.  
The #travelingbible will basically be a gorgeous, inspiring Bible that will be carried across the globe.  

My favorite book in the Bible is Hebrews and I cannot wait to add some art in those margins :)

Speaking of which, as soon as I saw Valerie's gorgeous newsfeed filling with colorful margins, I did a total impulse buy and bought one.  It got lost in the mail (THE HORROR) but Amazon, being amazing as always, quickly resent a new one.  I'll hopefully have it this Tuesday and it will be perfect timing for my upgrade sequence to a crew commander.  Please pray over me and send me well wishes!



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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Before You're Expecting


Before I dive into this post with a very suggestive picture, I'm not pregnant BUT the conversation is happening.  Yes, praise Jesus we are in the stage where this is actually a feasible idea.  I wanted to journal through my experience of what it's like in the "before you're expecting" stage.  Now I'm not quite ready to share when I believe we will be "ready" but I think sharing all of this is going to be fun for me and hopefully informative for other families out there who may end up reading this.

If you know me at all, I have a fever...a baby fever.

It's bad y'all. I think I have wanted to have a baby with Ryan since the moment we got married.  It has been such a joy that now, at 3.5 years of marriage, we are legitimately having these conversations about planning our family.  

I can remember the moment Ryan asking me my thoughts on having a baby at X time.  You should have seen this gal's face, I was beaming from ear to ear.  Finally! Ryan was finally on the same mental wavelength as me.  Having studied reproductive rights and my interest in becoming a doula, I have a lot of baby books.  Color me weird at having all of these "baby books" in stock, but I am completely baffled as to how people can do so much research into purchasing something like a computer but don't know their rights when having a baby.  *Jumps off soap box*

Soooo I'm readily willing and excited to share my journey of researching products, trying things out, and educating myself on all things pregnancy, baby, and labor-related.  

Without looking at Air Force policies with Tricare, my birth plan involves having a doula, a midwife, and a water birth.  That would be a most ideal situation.  However, the other aspect of our family's plan is making sure that our military healthcare plan will cover it.  So my ideal plan may end up being in a hospital or where ever I'm covered.  If you've had any experience with pregnancy and the military, feel free to comment below! I'm all ears!

I recently went to my base gyno to have an overall check-up and she was this wonderfully pregnant captain.  It was so much fun being able to finally be excited and she was a bundle of energy herself.  It's great to finally be able to start asking these questions and figure out when my IUD can be taken out, etc.

For awhile I was incredibly reluctant to ever get pregnant while in this career field but then I started realizing that I needed to take care of myself and my family's needs and desires.  In the past year, I have volunteered for base/military everything and although I do a great job and am reliable, I started feeling overworked.  I was putting together great projects despite having limited resources and a lack of support, and the end result didn't satisfy me.  It started to feel very unfulfilling and I largely think it was because work without a lot of appreciation being sent your way is taxing. Being busy was my way of boosting my career and calming down the baby fever.  

After this happened several times where projects would come and go, and I just felt exhausted, I started taking mental notes of resolutions.  They included transitioning a lot of this energy into off base projects and volunteering or working off base.  Every volunteer opportunity that I've done in the community here has been amazing and so rewarding.  I feel that people are 100% committed and you're not working with folks who are voluntold.  These thoughts and ideas kept circulating and when Ryan brought up having a baby, I realized that I'm going to not only limit my base activities, but finally choose projects and volunteer opps that I can be fully committed to because being pregnant is a lot of work unto itself.

Writing this has been so therapeutic.  Now I only request your prayers and well wishes as our little family embarks on this journey :) 

  



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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dream Business Venture Campaign


Maddie from Kabbage (what a fun name, right?) asked me, "if you had the chance to start a business tomorrow, what would it be, and why?"

Gosh, where to start...

Maddie sought me out because my blog covers so many things that I'm interested in whether it is human rights, being a feminist who likes to craft, having babies, or living my faith- all of these topics are important to me and things that I feature on my blog.

If I had the chance to start a business, I would actually like to be part of an event planning company where I could style events.  I love coming up with the creative elements.  That in itself drives me and I am so passionate about making beautiful things and events.  So throughout this post is a look back at some of the things that I featured on my blog.  I'll also be talking about this dream venture ;)


When starting a new business, it takes a whole lot of will power.  In my current state, I have dabbled in the idea of opening an Etsy shop with fun greeting cards.  However, I haven't taken a business class and I know how to market the crap out of something, I also want to make sure I have some business savvy.  Faith is so important to me, but I'm also a goofball so I want both of those characteristics to be displayed in whatever business endeavor I choose.  It would be so awesome to start off with a greeting card shop and then move onto styling events (my eyes are totally lighting up right now).


If I started a greeting card/print shop through Etsy, I would want to have a solid set of card prototypes ready to go.  The focus of the greeting cards would be fun and sassy, ultimately a card collection aimed at successful, 20-somethings.
 

In order to create my business, I would love to have a desktop Mac versus my Macbook Pro that is starting to earn its years.  I would also need a laserjet printer to practice my prototypes.  I would also need to test out some print companies so that I can have a quality product.  As a girl who loves styling, I also can't send out my cards without some sa-weet packaging.  In terms of promotion, I would love to have a professional website as well.


Now if I was doing the styling and creative director position for an events company, that would be AMAZEBALLS.  I really love going all out with styling, so I imagine I would need to build a repertoire with clients and photographers.  I would also need a storage facility and a swanky office.  I love hunting on eBay for vintage items to complete a look.  If I had more funds and space, boy howdy, my parties would be Pottery Barn-worthy ;)


I hope you enjoyed peeking into some of dreams and endeavors with me.  What are some of your career aspirations?



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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ashton's Bachelorette Bash Part II: The Presents!

 

Instead of traditional bachelorette gifts, I asked each of the ladies to make a 12x12 scrapbook page for Ashton and to bring a favorite love story.


As the ladies were initially arriving for the party, they each left a lipstick print as a little memento for Ashton.

 

She loved it and it's such a fun and easy gift that is so adorable.


 

After the lipstick print, 
 




 




 











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Friday, July 25, 2014

Ashton's Bachelorette Bash Part II: The Games!

One of my absolute favorite parts about planning a bachelorette party is coming up with the games!
Some bachelorette parties have a totally wild vibe- which I love, but this bachelorette party definitely felt more subdued.  I wanted to create and find games that were classy, yet sassy.
 
 

Our first game of the night happened as soon as the ladies walked back in from our outdoors photoshoot.  Each girl was handed an envelope and told not to open it and to enjoy the food.
When everyone was content and had a glass of sangria (or two) in her system, 
we started the first two games.

 
The first was a sassy word game where each of the ladies was given a bedazzled clothespin (got them from Michael's- 5 pack for $1).  I asked Ashton to pick two words that were "forbidden" to be said.  She wisely chose missiles to avoid shop talk at the party and she also chose wedding (which would later get me).  If you said one of the forbidden words and someone caught you, she could "steal" your pin.  The lady with the most pins at the end of the night won a prize.

 

The next game, Find the Groom, is a really simple and easy way to kick off a bachelorette or bridal shower.  Ashton and I (without her knowing about the game) picked 9 gorgeous celebrities and of course you can't have a bachelorette without including the groom.  I photoshopped their faces onto a suit and had them printed out.  Once printed and cut, each "groom" was put into an unmarked envelope.
 
Each of the ladies got to open her envelope to reveal their groom.  The lady who had Matt won the first prize of the night.  These little dudes easily became a hit and the clothespins for the word game were also used to pin husbands onto blouses.  I mean, who wouldn't want James Marsden on their sweater?

 

Between each of the games, we took short breaks to chat, drink more sangria, take jello shots, or just eat.  It was a lot of fun!
  
 
 The next game, The Perfect Partner, is probably my most favorite bachelorette game ever and it was the first time I played.  I highly recommend it because it is a creative outlet and a nice way to transition into the more competitive games.

This was also the game where I lost my pin (boooo Andrea boooo).

 
 With The Perfect Partner, each of the ladies were given a drawing challenge to create their perfect partner.  They were told to not forget about personality, career, clothes, etc. while creating their perfect man.  I also emphasized that if they already had a significant other, it definitely did not have to be that person.  It's just a fun, silly event.

 

Once all of the ladies were done, we shared each of our perfect men.  There was a lot of facial hair and nice butts.  Surprisingly as important as monogamy is, it was not the first thing that came to mind for a lot of us.  There's a senior thesis in that somewhere.

 
 Hannah, being brilliant as always, utilized the entire page to explain Steve...named after Captain America.  She even flipped the page over to emphasize his nice derriere. She won, hands down.

You can see Hannah with Channing Tatum and her No Preggo the Eggo Baby
Another game that was going on during the length of the party was my notorious No Preggo the Eggo Cake.  Normally, I use cupcakes for this but I had the help of my friend Emily, who made a S'mores Cake.  It was delicious and fit so well with theme.  No Preggo the Eggo Cake is just like King Cake.  Several little plastic babies are hidden in the cake and the first person to find it wins the first prize of the night.  We had two ladies find babies at the exact same time, so two prizes were granted.

 We moved onto the more direct games and this actually takes a bit of time in preparation.  If you're keeping a running tally this is game number five (Word Game, Find the Groom, Perfect Partner, No Preggo the Eggo).  This was the Romantic Movie Quotes Game, and one that is a crowd pleaser for sure.  

 I utilized iMovie and sound bites from popular romantic movies.  I set it up so that the ladies would have to guess 10 romantic movie titles based off of famous quotes from said movies.  In iMovie, I would separate each sound bite with a slide saying "first movie" or "fifth movie" to give the ladies time to write stuff down and remember, you can't show the actual clip because that's too easy!

I highly recommend making a DVD of this so that it can play on a TV.  I had a snafu and the DVD could only play on a computer so the sound was a little limiting but still a lot of fun.

 

The second to last game, also utilized iMovie to make.  He Said, She Said takes a bit of planning and preparation.  I interviewed Ashton and Matt before the party on 10 unique things about themselves.  I also created a little sheet for ladies to circle a set of lips for Ashton, a mustache for Matt, or to mix things up, there was also the option of circling both.  We also had a tie breaker question as well.

 
The last game of the night is a Bridal Shower favorite- toilet paper dress designer!


I had Ashton split the ladies up into three teams with the goal of making a toilet paper wedding dress.

 
 As you can see, the celebrity grooms made it throughout the entire night.





 

This was the dress I designed with Brittany! :)


 
 


Kaila won with the addition of that amazing TP garter!

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