9.30.2014

Men Tell All

Today my husband is taking over the blog for Blogger Men Tell All! I could get used to having my husband on the blog once a week! AND it means we get to make an appearance on a Tuesday!


1. If you had a blog, what would you call it, and what would it be about? 
I did have a blog called Steadfast and Sure. It was named after the Hebrews 6:19 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast." It was about all of life. with a distinct focus on my walk with Christ. It fell through as life picked up and it hasn't been (yet) resurrected. 

2. If you could live inside any video game, which would it be? 
I am not a big video game player, but I would probably choose GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64. It was and is still one of the best games for any platform. Plus, what guy doesn't want to be a secret agent?

3. Who is your best player on your fantasy football team this season? 
I don't play fantasy football. I follow football enough to have a worthwhile conversation and definitely keep tabs on my two teams; Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers, but couldn't tell you who most of the players are or what position they play. Plus, keeping up with the week-to-week changes that need to be made to a fantasy team quickly consumes more time than I am willing to devote.

4. If you could play for any professional sports team, which one would it be? 
I think I would want to be on a professional running team. Specifically, Northern Arizona Elite. They have some great athletes who I have had the privilege of meeting from time to time, they are located in the most beautiful town in the country; Flagstaff, AZ, and what's the worst thing you have ever heard about relating to a professional runner (I'm looking at you NFL).

5. What do you typically do with an hour of free time? 
Depends on the day, but maybe get together with a good buddy, go out shooting my camera, or stay at home and watch some Netflix. (I just need to note that hanging with his AWESOME wife should be included in this list).

Becoming Adorrable

And you didn't think I would forget October's In the Word in One Year study calendar, did you?! I can't believe this is month three! How's the study going for you? 
If you missed it, be sure to check out my tools for bible study!

In the Word in One Year Chronological Bible Study Calendar October

post signature
Thredup Inc.

9.29.2014

Gertie & Baxter + GIVEAWAY

Gertie and Baxter infinity knit scarf

I CANNOT believe it is almost already October! A month ago I wasn't ready to let go of summer, but as the weather has cooled down I have been able to let go a little bit! I just love boots, denim, and chunky scarves, all of which come with Fall. Knowing this has made the transition a little bit easier!

If you know me well, you're probably familiar with my scarf obsession. I could probably fill a whole closet with scarves if my husband would let me. With my obsession, it goes without saying that I was OVERJOYED to get my first new scarf of the season. The vintage brown chunky infinity scarf by Gertie and Baxter is TO DIE FOR.The knitted material is incredibly soft, durable, and warm plus it pairs perfectly with a leather jacket! Each scarf is handmade with local materials from LA and Chicago, now how can you beat that?!

I cannot say enough good things about the quality of service I received from the owner, Julie. She was incredibly laid back and easy to work with. The scarf arrived in an adorable little package and in record time! You can't beat fast service. Am I right? I will definitely be purchasing Christmas gifts from Gertie and Baxter this holiday season!

Gertie and Baxter infinity knit scarf

Gertie and Baxter infinity knit scarf

Gertie and Baxter infinity knit scarf


Gertie and Baxter infinity knit scarf
Gertie and Baxter infinity knit scarf
In honor of Fall, myself and Amy are teaming up to give away one of these vintage brown chunky infinity scarves from Gertie and Baxter! All entries will be verified. 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this product in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. 
 
post signature
Thredup Inc.

9.26.2014

Stamp Nouveau



One of the most exciting things for me as a bride was knowing that I was going to share a last name with my husband. I don't tend to get giddy over much but the idea that we would be the "Boness Family" was thrilling. I haven't been able to get enough of things with my new last name and the word "family" following after.


That's why when I found Stamp Nouveau's return address stamps I knew I had to get my hands on one. What could be better than stamping mail with a custom self-inking return address stamp?! Nothing, friends. PLUS it saves so much time, because let's face it, I can be lazy.




My entire experience with Jen, the shop owner, was so pleasant. I received a proof WITHIN A SINGLE DAY. And my stamp followed in the mail shortly after. Once it was in my possession, I couldn't wait to start stamping away.

I have owned self-inking stamps before but Stamp Nouveau's worked flawlessly. Seriously, you barely even have to press down and you get perfectly distributed ink and a clean result. Not to mention these stamps are made through a 100% environmentally friendly process. How can you even say no?!

These stamps would make the perfect gift for newlyweds because I can't be the only person that gets this excited about return address stamps, can I?!



 I received this product in exchange for my review. All opinions are honest and my own. 

______________________________________________________________

You can also find me over on Cloud Nine today sharing some HTML Basics for Bloggers!
Happy Friday! 

post signature

9.24.2014

A 10 Step Guide for Studying the Bible

Bible Study Tools

I recently took a "Bible Study 101" class at my church and was surprised to find out how much I didn't know that I didn't know about bible study. As many of you probably know, I have been reading through a chronological bible study plan as a part of my 101 in 1001 goal list. Over 50 days in I started to wonder why I wasn't getting as much from the study has I had hoped I would. Well, turns out I was really just "reading" and not exactly "studying." The tools from this class have been incredibly helpful and although I do not use them everyday I have been trying to use them a few times a week. I know I cannot be the only person that struggles with this, so I wanted to share a few tips I learned.

Starting

1. Get prepared. In order to get started with a bible study, I truly believe you need a good study bible. I have a number of study bibles at home, but my pastor recently convinced us to buy an ESV Study Bible and it has made a HUGE difference in my personal study. The benefits of this bible are worth a whole post in itself. I also like to use a pen and highlighter, so having those handy is also great for getting started.

ESV Study Bible


2. Make a plan. Choose a consistent time and place that works for you to complete your study. One that is free of outside distractions. If you know that you are more focused in the morning in your office, aim to use that time and location to complete your study. Do what works for you.

3. Have a goal or destination. The key here is quality > quantity. If my pastor were reading this he would be shaming me for my chronological one year bible study because it is more focused on quantity. However, I have found a way to still apply these tools a few days of the week to my study. It's all about doing what works for you without compromising quality. Maybe for you this looks like setting a weekly chapter goal and breaking it up throughout the week.

Prayer

4. God is the one who transforms us, so why not ask him to do so through your study time? Prayers don't need to be long but they should be intentional. Pray for guidance, pray that God would work in your heart through your study, or pray that you can get through Leviticus (that's what I'm praying lately). 

Reading

5. Again, quality is key here so it is important not to tackle more than a few chapters. In this step you should be reading for content, context, and flow. Highlight sections that stand out to you so that you know to come back to them later.

Bible Tools for Studying
Observation

6. This is undoubtedly one of the most important part of your study. This is the part where you write down your observations (I would suggest in a journal) so that you can concretely process the information. What did you dig up in this passage? What stood out to you? What was the main theme of the passage? Maybe you write down a few verses. Maybe you write down questions you had. Nothing in the bible is insignificant so just write. Use your highlighted sections for guidance here. 

Interpretation

7. Here is where we try to find out what the passage means. Interpretation requires using other resources, including study bibles! This is not about our own interpretation, but instead the interpretation of what the bible is really saying. Think of yourself as an investigator.

8. Begin asking yourself questions such as: Who is the author? Where is the action taking place? Why did the author choose this word? What is the significance of this phrase? The notes you made during the observation stage will become helpful here.

9. Investigate. Use cross references and study notes to see if you can answer your own questions! Consider the context, compare translations, or talk to your spouse or church community. Don't stop until you have decided how this passage relates to the work of Christ and the gospel.

Studying the bible

Application

10. The bible applies to us and asks things of us. This is where we process what we do with the information we discovered in our interpretation. Your study is not complete without considering how this scripture is useful so DO NOT skip this step! It might be helpful to list out a number of possible applications. Consider questions such as: Is there an example for me to follow? Is there a verse to memorize? Is there a command to obey? THEN choose one or two of these applications and consider in prayer how you might be faithful to them. Be specific about what you will or will not do, and whom you will ask for help (in addition to God).

I hope this was helpful. If you are interested I would be happy to show you how I use these tools in my own process. If you have any questions PLEASE ask me and if I cannot answer them I know of some great resources that might be able to.

Tools for Studying the Bible

So tell me, how is your bible study going?

Also, I cannot take credit for these tools. My pastor was a HUGE resource in addition to The Village Church. I am simply just combining and reiterating their existing resources.  

________________________________________________________

If you get a chance, stop by Ruffled Paper where our wedding is being featured today! 

post signature
Thredup Inc.

9.22.2014

5 Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer

I had this idea to write a post about how to find the perfect wedding photographer for your special day. Then, I remembered my husband is a photographer and would probably have much more useful advice. So I recruited him for this post instead! I hope you enjoy! 
________________________________________________________________ 

5 Tips for choosing a wedding photographer

The photographs of your wedding day are one of, if not the only, lasting physical mementos you will have once all the cake has been eaten, the flowers have withered and you have returned to real life after the honeymoon. So, choosing a photographer who is truly going to capture the special moments, details and atmosphere of your big day is essential and worthwhile. Unfortunately, we live in a time where photography is accessible. It’s great for capturing those family outings, but for big scale events, it can mean swimming through a lot of portfolios to find the photographer that captures your style correctly. Here are a few tips to help you make an informed decision when you need that perfect photographer:

1. Style. Do you like light, outdoorsy and “soft” photographs? Or do you prefer bold, colorful and fashion forward photographs? Both are great and can capture your day splendidly, but is it something you are going to want to look at and be proud of 20 or 30 years down the road. The best thing to do is to look through A LOT of photographers portfolios. Make notes on what photographs you like and why. Note the difference in the style of the photographers. Do they have unique angles, do they have indoor photos as well as outdoor photos, is there anything you don’t like about their photographs that you want to be mindful of on your wedding day?

2. Price. If Cassie could tell you, she would say that I am the saver in our marriage. I am always the one looking for a better deal; not pulling the trigger on something because the price may seem too high even if that is the market price for it. I would usually tell you to take a better deal and save your money for something else. However, with photography, you usually get what you pay for. While you are looking through the portfolios of different photographers, take a look at their prices and what is included within them. If they don’t have prices on their website, ask them for it. Photography is a marketplace where it is ok to haggle with the photographer to get a good deal. The wedding photography industry is a big market and photographers want to have every weekend booked through the summer season. They will usually work with you to make sure that you book with them because they know there is another photographer waiting around the corner to snap you up. Be aware of what you get for the price (i.e., wedding album, how many photographs do you get to choose, how many hours of their time do you get on the wedding day, etc.).

Be ready to spend at least $1800 for 8 hours of photography. If it is more than that, make sure they are worth it or you are getting more from it. If it is less than that, ask yourself why. Maybe they are just starting. Maybe they aren’t good. Chances are they might have some learning to do still. Feel free to be aggressive and ask your photographer everything you need to to feel comfortable. This is a big chunk of change and you don’t want to be disappointed when your wedding is over. There are no do overs.

3. Personality. This one might get confused with style at times. But, make no mistake, the personality of your photographer is incredibly important. Be mindful that you are allowing this photographer into your personal space (and into some incredibly personal moments) on the biggest day of your life. I would encourage everyone to sit down with their photographer for coffee and at the very least, a skype conversation. Ask them questions, get to know them. How long have they been a photographer? What’s their inspiration? What’s their story? This is an interview. You not only want someone who can complete the job well, you want someone who you are going to get along with and feel comfortable around. If they are not presenting themselves well (physically or in personality), despite a good portfolio, make sure their quality is worth the awkwardness, because your comfort is going to come through the lens of the camera and show up in your photographs. Try to book the same photographer for your engagement shoot as you are going to on your wedding day. Use the engagement shoot as a precursor and a warm up for the big day.

4. The Fine Print. You think you know who you want as your photographer, you're almost ready to sign on the dotted line and reserve your day with them. You and your fiance get along with them just splendidly. Here are a few last reminders to take a look over before putting down your deposit:

What is their cancellation policy? Things happen. It is a fact of life. Maybe their car won’t start, maybe it’s a destination wedding and their flights get cancelled. Whatever it is, make sure that there is a back-up plan.

Will you be getting money back? Do they have a backup photographer who will take their place in case of emergency? Maybe they do make it and their camera breaks. Do they have a second camera to continue shooting?

These are questions to be mindful of. Like I said earlier, there are no do overs on your wedding day. Also, be mindful of payment dates. Very few vendors that you will be working with on your wedding day require a full payment in one sitting. Because of this, be mindful of how your photographer (and all other vendors) break up their payments. Is it half now, half later? 10% now, 50% at six months out and the final payment on the wedding day? How do they break it up and is there a return policy involved? If you miss a payment date, they may take that as a cancellation and/or charge you extra in interest for a missed payment.

5. How to get your photographer to like you too. Hopefully your photographer will bend over backwards for you on your wedding day. Any photographer worth their weight will understand that they wear many hats on the wedding day, from pseudo planner to boutonniere pinner to tracking down grandpa who wandered off because they know this is your special day and they have a reputation to be mindful of. However, you can do a few things to make sure your photographer has just as much an appreciation for you as you do them.

Feed them. Make sure you put extra numbers in your catering for your vendors. They are working 6-12 hours to make sure your day is amazing.

Stick to the schedule. You are only hurting yourself if your hair and makeup take an hour longer than planned and you are missing your bridal party shots. At the end of the day, if you run out of time for photos, there are no do overs. Talk with your photographer to set a timeline and stick to it.

Give your photographer guidance as to what kinds of shots you like. Pinterest is an amazing resource, but do not expect them to get every shot on your “Wedding” Board. You hired them because you liked their style, let them be creative and you might be surprised.

Tip your photographer (and other vendors). It’s not a requirement, but budget for some tips for a few vendors who are spending a lot of their time with you. Yes, you are already paying them a lot, but this is a great gesture of your gratitude. $100 for 8 hours of work is pretty standard.

What do you wish you would have known when choosing your wedding photographer? Are we leaving any tips out?

________________________________________________________________ 

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES!

Karissa and I are putting together a Holiday Gift Guide and we would love your help!

If you are a Small Business Owner:
E-mail me and tell me a little bit about your shop (including the link)! If it's a great fit for what we are putting together, then we can move forward and start the collaboration!

If you are a blogger:
We need you too! We are going to make this a fun collaboration that features a PayPal cash giveaway so you can buy a bunch of cute gifts at all these lovely shops! If you are interested please e-mail me.

post signature

Thredup Inc.

9.19.2014

How to Tangibly Support Friends in Times of Need

I mentioned that I have a love for community. Our church does what are called "missional communities" each week where we gather around a meal and live out the gospel together. Recently, a couple from our missional community (or MC) has been going through a really hard time. I immediately began to pray for them. However, do you ever feel like prayer isn't enough? Like you should also be moving in their lives instead of just expecting God to? I'm completely guilty of this. So, in praying for them, I began to ask God how I could tangibly support and encourage them during this trying time. While praying this prayer, I began to wonder how many other people also wonder how they might be able to support their friends in tangible ways during times of need. With that in mind, I have created a list of ten ways to provide tangible support.... Continue reading at A Deeper Joy.

If you haven't already, would you please take 5 minutes to take my 2014 reader survey

9.17.2014

The Story Behind the Tattoo: Ganesh

Ganesh TattooMy sweet new friend Melissa from Oh, She Runs recently asked me if I had any posts about my tattoos and I realized I didn't! Over the next few months, I have decided to share my work with you all. Some of them have great stories behind them and others don't. But that's OK. They're a part of who I am and I love that they will always be with me. 

Today I am sharing part of my half sleeve with you, my Ganesh. Ganesh, also known as Ganesha, is one of the most well known Hindu deities. He represents a number of things, most noteworthy is that he is known as "the remover of obstacles;" a god of beginnings and success. He has a number of noticeable features including his elephant head and broken tusk.
Ganesh Tattoo
I have alluded to the fact that I grew up in an atheist home a number of times on this blog. Despite that, I was influenced by many Hindu morals and values. Ganesh was always a prominent symbol for me growing up, representing something I could easily relate to- overcoming obstacles. 

I held fast to Ganesh for years and one day I just knew I wanted him to be with me forever. That I was going to take the plunge and get a half sleeve, with him taking center stage. 

Lucky for me, I had an amazing artist that fell in love with Ganesh as much as I did. He worked with me to ensure we were correctly representing him. It was a creative learning process for the both of us. 
 
Ganesh tattoo
Ganesh tattoo

It took just over two years for me to complete Ganesh and I couldn't have been more happy with the final product. 

Now that I am a Christian, people often ask me if I think it's weird if I have a tattoo of a Hindu god, or if I regret it, and my answer is always absolutely not. Even though I saw Ganesh as a powerful figure, he was never a god to me. So despite the fact that I believe in Jesus, I still believe in Ganesh and the things he represents. Do I worship him? No. But that doesn't mean I can't love and respect what he represents.

Do you have any tattoos? If so, what's your favorite?
Would you please take 5 minutes to take my reader survey

post signature

9.15.2014

Holiday Wish List


I know I might be getting a little ahead of myself with this post, but I just cannot contain my excitement for the holidays and my birthday any longer. Since M and I have started budgeting and saving like crazy, we haven't had much to spend on the little "extras" so I am looking forward to a little splurging around the holidays! Here is what is on my wish list this year:

1. Stitch Fix Credit. Last time I got Stitch Fix I honestly wanted EVERYTHING in my fix but my budget didn't allow it. Stitch Fix credit would allow me to get more fixes and keep more items next time!


2. Work Tote. The sheer amount of things I drag back and forth between my office and home is ridiculous. I would love some sort of durable, work appropriate tote that could hold all of my belongings. Something like the Frye Campus Shopper or the Madewell Transport Tote (both pictured below) would be perfect!


3. Keurig.You know, I didn't think I would like having a Keurig because I'm more of a french press lady, but then I realized how EASY it is and how nice it would be to have one in my office for late nights! And we all know how much I love coffee.



4. MacBook Pro. Now, I don't NEED this, but my current laptop is barely hanging on and I promised myself next time I would go Mac.



5. Massage. I am really bad at treating myself with things like a massage, but I absolutely LOVE them.



6. Perfume. Again, something I will not buy for myself, but something that I love! Daisy is one of my all time favorites!



7. Chacos. My Rainbows are on their last thread so it's time for some new kicks!

8. Barnes & Noble Credit. Because who doesn't love curling up with a big book during the holiday?! And I spend far too much on books as it is.




9. Airline Credit. I would love to go somewhere fun for a weekend trip sometime in the next year!



10. Cycling Gear. I'm in dire need of a new cycling jersey.



11. Fitbit. This is another thing I have gone back and forth about. However, I like that it's waterproof and can go in the pool with me for swims!









12. Fall boots. I had to throw away my beloved brown boots last winter and it was devastating. New boots would make my wishlist complete!


What's on your holiday wish list this year?
If you haven't already would you please take 5 minutes to take my reader survey


post signature

Swoon-worthy designer bags, now available for up to 70% off retail!