Tuesday, April 15, 2014

/ / What is Your Dream Job?

     What better way to kick off a Tuesday than discussing dream jobs? I've always been a dreamer. Once, my first grade teacher (who I ended up teaching beside last year!) told my mom in a parent conference that I sit and daydream during lessons. She imagined I was thinking of butterflies, flowers, and polka dots. She was most likely right. Then, a few weeks ago, I took this personality test and what were my results? Dreamy. Yep, so there ya go. Lately, I've been dreaming of my passions. What if teaching isn't what I'm supposed to do forever? Or maybe I'm meant to do other things, too? More on that later.

     To celebrate my sweet sidebar friends (some of my very favorite blogs), I decided to put the focus on them for the day.  It's so much fun to connect with other bloggers, am I right? So, I asked them all the same question and I'm loving their responses. Check 'em out!

If you could leave your current job to pursue your dream job, what would that dream job be?

 Samantha 
I love these types of questions. It was about this time last year that I had quit my day job to pursue my creative dreams. I wanted to pursue blogging and running a handmade shop full time and that is what I'm doing now. I still feel like I'm in the beginning of my journey and I still have so much to learn. This creative journey has been by far one of the funnest jobs I have ever had. It is also one of the hardest and intecutually involved jobs I've ever had. You can't just settle into it, you have to keep pushing, creating, experimenting, and evolving. It's a job that requires me to keep challenging myself and strive for something greater. It's a dream that Jesus continues to shape. 

 Madison
I really think if I left my job as a graphic designer, I'd be a photographer. I've always loved photography and if I somehow had the opportunity to do that full time, even for a little while, it would be amazing! I love being able to capture people and special moments. 
I'm so excited to shoot my first two weddings in August!  

Amy
my dream job? man oh man, so many options. if money wasn't an option either i would open up a shop. either a coffee shop or a retail shop.   

 Kaysie 
If I could leave my current job to pursue my dream job... I would either become a forensic sociolinguist or figure out a way to make a living by writing. I studied Linguistics in college, and loved the branch of socio, but there are perks of being a work from home writer, namely, pajamability (the ability to work in pajamas). I made that up. Maybe I'm a writer already? 

 Christina 
Man friends, I am SO happy and blessed to actually be working at my dream job! I always wanted to teach and always have had this obsession with cooking and baking. The Lord has been so gracious to me and has made it so that I get to do BOTH in this lovely blog world. Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe is such an immense blessing! I wake up every work day happy to do what I do. I've met so many amazing friends...shared so many fun recipes...and have become a part of such a great online community. It's the best. I will say though, that whenever He calls us to become parents, I'm ALL over that! ;) 




Allison
 BLOG + FACEBOOK + INSTAGRAM + BLOGLOVIN 
My dream job would be to make enough money blogging and crafting that I could stay home and work in my cute little office space. I would absolutely love to be creative all day long and get paid for doing it!​ 

Danica
Since I was a little girl all my aspirations in life where to glorify the Lord in everything I do. Being married and being a mom were always something I desired and have been so blessed to already have met the one God has for me. Now this may not sound like a "dream job" to most women but for me, my ultimate dream job would be to stay at home with my children. I desire for my future littles to know the Lord and grow up in a home that exemplifies that. Nothing in this world would bring me the amount joy and satisfaction of being able to have this dream job, nothing!


What about you? What is your dream job? Would you ever leave your current job to pursue your dreams?
  

Monday, April 14, 2014

/ / Our Wedding: The Ceremony

I'm so excited to finally share our wedding ceremony with you! Finally, everything leading up to this day is past us and we can now say our vows and call each other husband and wife. The whole entire day was filled with all things good and beautiful (except for a few hiccups earlier that morning). We were surrounded by amazing friends and supportive family. We felt so blessed and loved!
It really doesn't seem like it happened almost 10 months ago! Wow, time is already going by quickly. I still remember the nervous butterflies I was feeling when it was just me and my dad standing in the church foyer waiting for our turn to walk down the aisle.

Right before the ceremony, we read the love letters we wrote to each other. I could barely make it through mine without crying. I kept having to stop and think about emotionless things (i.e, my nails, where my shoes scuffed? Do I need more lip gloss?) but I did get through it and then it was time to walk next door to the church! I couldn't believe it was really time. My girls gathered around me and took turns praying blessings over the ceremony and our marriage. Now that is something I will definitely cherish forever.
Right when we were about to head over to the church, a friend showed me this post from Lamar on Instagram. Isn't his caption sweet? He calls me his bride. 

We finally made the 30 second walk to the church next door. As soon as we stepped into the church foyer, I could hear Jon and Anna Kate (our wedding singers) singing this song. 

Soon enough, Jon and Anna Kate began playing an acoustic version of "You're Beautiful" and one by one, my girls walked down the aisle. As each one left me, I grew more and more nervous. My thoughts were on Lamar and what he was thinking and feeling. I wondered if he was as nervous as I was!

Then, all of them were gone and it was just me and my dad. I remember saying, "Well, it's just us now". And then we walked closer to the door. There was a small window into the sanctuary, but I made sure to stay out of sight.
I wanted to make sure I was coming down the aisle at a specific part in the song, so when it got super close to that part, the doors flew open. I immediately felt God's spirit in that sanctuary.

"When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful"



Walking down the aisle to Lamar was the absolute best part of my day.  Once I saw him, my heart did a turn. He was in tears! I couldn't take my eyes off of him, and I think it's a miracle that I didn't burst into tears, but I stayed strong somehow. I knew if I started crying, I wouldn't be able to stop!


We took communion, said our vows, and then Lauren read a poem that she wrote especially for me and Lamar. She named it "Two Travelers" and you can read it on her blog here.

Cute little maps we gave our guests after the ceremony. The reception was just across the square!

This is me saying, "Eeeek, we're married!!!" Notice, my shoes came off right when we got out of the sight of our guests. I was bad and didn't take anyone's advice on breaking those beautiful babies in. My feet were killin' me!


Finally, we were Mr. and Mrs. Griffin. Husband and Wife. 
And then it was time to take pictures and head to the best party we'd ever attend on earth.


Location: Stonebridge Church
Processional: You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham
Recessional: Something in the Water by Brooke Fraser
Photographer: Amelia of Bloom & Lo
 Other wedding related posts you may have missed: 



Did you carefully choose your wedding processional or recessional songs? What were yours? I'd like to know!



Thursday, April 10, 2014

/ / The Iced Coffee That Changed My Life

   

   I have a confession: I'm not a huge fan of iced coffee. My coffee's gotta be piping hot and never iced. Plus, When I buy it from a coffee shop, it tends to be watered down with too much ice and flavorless. Maybe I'm going to the wrong coffee shop for them? Anyways, I am a huge fan of The Pioneer Woman and I'm practically obsessed with all of her recipes and her life in general. I mean, the girl lives on a ranch and gets paid to cook, create recipes, blog, and host a tv show. Ever since I got married, I've been trying out her recipes a few nights a week. This may or may not be the reason I've gained some happy marriage weight. ;)
       I have never come across a recipe that Lamar and I didn't just love. One of the first recipes of hers I discovered was for delicious iced coffee. I dogeared it, but never got around to actually making it until last week. Let's just say, it was one of the highlights of my week. Yes, coffee was a highlight. I might have a problem. This is the coffee recipe that changed my ways, y'all. Not only can I whip this up real fast in the morning, but I'm saving my moolah from being spent at the coffee shop on the way to school. Even if you don't usually like iced coffee (like me), you'll love it and you'll wanna make it over and over again. Be warned!


You'll need:
Half of a pound of good ground coffee (About 8 oz)
3.5 quarts of cold water
Splash of Half and Half (or other creamer. I used vanilla caramel creamer)
Sweetened condensed milk (a tablespoon per serving)
(Note: You can use any type of milk, sugar, or creamer of your liking!)


 Start out by pouring the ground coffee into a large container, pitcher, bowl, bucket, etc.


   
   Then add the 3.5 quarts of water and stir. Cover and let it steep for at least 8 hours. I let mine sit overnight.

       Now, you have reached the stage where God will test your patience. Grab a fine mesh strainer, and line it with either cheese cloth or a coffee filter. I went the coffee filter route, because where in the world does a girl find cheesecloth? I searched everywhere. The coffee filter worked great, it just took forever to filter. Again, it's worth the wait!  Place the strainer over a clean pitcher (You want it to be one you can keep in the fridge).


     Now, pour the coffee in the strainer and let the filter catch the grounds. Use a spoon to press the liquid from the grounds. After a while you might have to change the filter out. I think I went through 3 filters. This took me a whole 15 minutes or so.


 Once all of the glorious silky liquid has been filtered into the pitcher, discard all of the grounds. Now, you can either serve this right away or you can put the coffee into the fridge to chill. I didn't want to wait any longer, so I served it right up.

       Add ice (but not too much), a splash of creamer, a splash of milk, and a heaping tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk. Pop in a straw, stir, sip, and let your problems melt away. I'll tell ya, I wish I could go back to my mornings last week: relaxing, reading, blogging, enjoying God's creation outside (while escaping the bees), and enjoying this yummy coffee. It made for the most perfect week. I'm a simple person to please, y'all.

*Helpful tip: To avoid making a watery iced coffee, freeze leftover coffee (already brewed) as ice cubes. Use these instead of regular ice! When they melt, it just adds to the flavor instead of watering it down.
 

Do you like iced coffee? What is your favorite way to relax in the mornings?
 

Monday, April 7, 2014

/ / 10 Things I Miss About Spring Break 2014.


     I really don't want to face the fact that spring break is over. Back to work I go, and I'm just keeping in mind that there is only 7 more Mondays of school left until summer break! Can I get a "hallelujah"!? I had the most amazing week off, friends. I stayed home, relaxed, and enjoyed some me time. I didn't go on vacay, travel, or explore my city, but it was easily one of the best weeks I've had in a long time. So because I don't want to work my brain harder than I need to while still on SB (I'm typing this on Sunday night!), I present you the 10 things I already miss about my break.

1. Sleeping in.
2. Beginning each morning by brewing coffee or making this perfect iced coffee.
3. Spending the morning on the patio while nibbling on banana bread, sipping my coffee, and reading through my favorite blogs.
4. Enjoying some popsicles on the patio with Lamar during his lunch hour. (Do you see him trying to escape my camera??)
5. Spending quality time with my cat babies on the patio. Okay, do y'all see a trend here with the patio? I basically lived out there!
6. Mason jar drinks: mojitos with my friend Julie and the iced coffee.
7. Happy mail! I ordered this book after seeing it in Anthropologie and fallin' in love with it! I bought it on Amazon at a fraction of the price. Win!
8. Celebrating my sissy's birthday! We went out for pizza and cupcakes Thursday, shopping on Friday, and had a family dinner on Saturday where we showered her with presents. It was quite the celebration!
9. Being able to have lunch with friends in the middle of the day, during the week.
10.  Relaxing and really just being lazy. Not having to be anywhere or even get dressed...it was a beautiful thing.

When times get tough at work and I'm worn out, I'll just remind myself that summer is almost here!

Have you had time off lately? How did you spend it? 
What are some of your favorite ways to relax?


Friday, April 4, 2014

/ / Then and Now: A Birthday Post.

I'm not sure if you all know, but I am blessed with three amazing sisters (and a little brother, too!). There is something so special about a sisterly bond. It is unbreakable. Today I'm celebrating my beautiful sister, Katie. It's her birthday! 

Here we are back in June 1992. She's the one with the curly hair. I always wanted her curls!


And almost exactly 21 years later on my wedding day...

Isn't she beautiful? Not only is she beautiful on the outside, she has such a sweet and quiet spirit. 
 We both went to the same college (Go Eagles!), went through the same major, and made some fun college memories. Now that we are a little more grown up, we are forming a new and refreshing bond. One built on trust and friendship. I'm blessed to be her sister!
 God has big plans for her and I can't wait to see what this next year will have in store.

Happy birthday, Katie!


SOME FUN LINKS FOR YOUR FRIDAY:

This proposal makes me giddy inside!
Browse through the fun Etsy Swap link-up posts (and view mine below).
This song is one of my favorites.
Amanda inspired me to try this recipe earlier this week..delish!


Happy Friday! What are you celebrating this weekend? Birthdays, vacation, or just relaxing? 
I'd love to know!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

/ / Etsy Swap: The Reveal!

   
        Hooray! The Etsy Swap reveal day has arrived. This is the day where we share who our secret partners were, what we received, and what we sent! When I first got the official email of who my secret mission was, I was so happy! I had actually just discovered Susannah's blog a week or two before and had immediately started following her. When I got her name, I went straight to Etsy and searched forever to find her something perfect. I had about 10 things in my cart at one point, but knew I had to narrow them down. The next day I stumbled upon this shop, and when I spotted this print, I knew it was the one for Susannah. Even though it wasn't exactly purchased through Etsy, it still supports a small business and local artist (Jenny is from Atlanta!). The rest of the little goodies I found at Target--my favorite.

Here's what I sent to Susannah:

+ 1 Corinthians 16:14 print from Jenny Highsmith Lettering
+ Glitter tape, coasters, greeting cards, eos lip balm, and mug from Target


The day my package arrived from my secret person, I couldn't wait to open it to see what my new friend sent me. I had no idea who could have been given my name, so when I saw the name on the return address was Samantha from Elah Tree, I was so happy! She has become such a good blog friend and we've really connected. I can't believe she kept it a secret from me, but I'm glad she did. :)
She really hit the nail on the head with my present. It really felt like it was my birthday or something! Thank you, Samantha!

Here's what Samantha sent me:

+ Brass earrings from Hum Right Along
+ Clutch made by Samantha herself of Elah Tree
+ Cute little journals from Ordinary Artists

Follow Samantha:

This experience was such a neat one. I mean, who comes up with amazing ideas like this!? Well, Amy and Meg are who. They are brilliant. Thanks girls for thinking up such a great idea! Guys, don't forget to visit their blogs to see the other posts in the link-up.


Did you participate in the Etsy Swap? What did you get? Who was your secret mission?



Monday, March 31, 2014

/ / Hello April, Goodbye March.



/ / Beautiful blooms, blueberry waffles, surprise mail from Lacey, Kitty snuggles, Meeting Madison.

March was a pretty quiet month. My two favorite things that happened this past month were celebrating my mom's birthday, and meeting my best blogger friend for the first time. Other than that it was uneventful, yet tiring. I'm excited for a new month, especially April! There is so much to look forward to! I'm linking up with Allison's monthly Hello/Good bye post to share my excitement for this new month.

Goodbye March, hello April! 
Goodbye super cold temps, hello 80 degrees. 
 Hello Marietta Farmer's Market (which means yummy, fresh meals).
Goodbye to only using internet and PW recipes, hello to using recipes from my shower last spring. 
Goodbye escaping the cold, hello long walks outside.
Goodbye to March birthdays, hello April birthdays (my sister Katie, and bestie Lauren)! 
Goodbye St. Patrick's day, hello Easter. 
My Easter gift to Lamar two years ago.
Goodbye layers upon layers, hello sandals and short-sleeved shirts. 
Goodbye to thinking of following my dreams, hello to making them happen.
Goodbye frozen vegetation, Hello blooms and greenery.

   

Hello to my last full month of teaching at my current school. Bittersweet.
Goodbye relaxing on the couch, hello taking advantage of our cozy screened-in porch.
Goodbye dark nail colors, hello pastels!

  

Hello to finalizing our vacation plans to Greece!
Hello to connecting with bloggers near me with this Coast to Coast blogger map.
Hello bonfires and yard games every weekend with amazing friends.

   

This month has so many surprises in store, I believe. A new month means new beginnings and saying goodbye to the old.  I'm excited to renew my trust and delight in the Lord. Hello to spending more time in His presence and giving it all to Him. No more worrying, no more doubting. He has already overcome (John 16:33)!

What about you? What are you saying goodbye and hello to as we go into a new month?