January 27, 2014

featured on 100 layer cake!

what a lovely monday this is! i am just delighted to be alongside such talented, wonderful people + vendors on 100 layer cake today! i'm sure you remember me raving about how much i loved creating invites for aaron and shauna young last year, and i so enjoyed seeing all the other details from the wedding!

aaron + shauna are just beautiful inside and out, and i'm so honored to have worked with them! :)

happy monday!

[photos by braedon flynn photography]

the bear + the hare

when i was little, i wanted nothing more than to be an artist and character creator [ok, who am i kidding, that's still my dream!]. i loved [love] disney's animated movies - i drew characters from beauty and the beast over and over again, and started creating my own characters... i so wish i could find those old cartoons drawn on lined paper, torn out of my elementary school binders.

so, when i came across this little behind the scenes, i felt so utterly inspired - like something deep down was being awakened again.... it's so completely lovely. hope it brightens your monday as much as it did mine. :)

January 25, 2014

saturday sale finds!

i'm a bargain shopper through and through; so naturally, i always check the sale tabs first when i'm shopping online... here's a few of my favorite finds this week!! 
[i already have those birch straws - which i love - and i think i might stock up on more!]

January 23, 2014

to la lune logo!

it's so fun collaborating with fellow creatives, whether it's with photographers or culinary artists, or in this case, event planners + coordinators! i loved working with christy of to la lune, whose creativity and lovely eye for details are just inspiring! be sure to browse through all her lovely work here. :)

this logo was particularly fun because there were so many little elements that could be switched around and pieced together for different things - like the little moon phases were created in both a minty aqua and gold, as well as the 'to la lune' wording... both in minty aqua and gold!! love!

thanks so much christy for having me collaborate on your new brand! i'm so honored to have worked with you and hope to work with you again on other lovely projects. ;) so glad to know you. :)

ashley :)

January 22, 2014

wilde love photography logo!!

i know i probably say this every single time i post a project, but i guess i'm just in awe that i get to work with such amazing, talented people that i really connect with!! this logo, for portland based wilde love photography, was an absolute dream to create!! it was as if megan and i had known each other forever and had this instant creative chemistry... such a blast!

so excited as she rebrands her look and showcases her absolutely stunning photography! thanks so much megan for collaborating with me - such an honor to work with you!!
you're a gem. :)


January 19, 2014

things that don't make sense

just a couple of days ago, my friend and i were having coffee, catching up on life and lessons we're learning and swapping inspiration, etc., and [more often than not] we find ourselves laughing at the fact that sometimes, God just wants to teach us the most simple, obvious truths that we sort of shrug off like "oh, i already know THAT lesson..." and we forget that sometimes the "basics" are more powerful than the most profound, sought out truth that took us months to learn. of course, i want to grow deeper in His wisdom, dig in and discover new gems hidden in His word.... but i also want to keep that childlike faith that is teachable even in the lessons that seem so elementary, because most of the time, they're foundational, they're necessary, and they're just good.

reading through joshua [on chapter 9 now], i'm reminded again and again that God asks us to do things that don't make sense, at all. can you imagine what joshua was thinking when God told him His 'attack plan' on the city of jericho?! i'm sure that walking around the city [in silence] for 6 days, then marching around it 7 times on the 7th day, making a chaos of noise at the end, seemed like the craziest, most embarrassing thing to do, right? 

this city has locked up their gates, trembling at the doom to come, and then they see the israelites marching around their wall... and this is a land of giants. can you imagine the ridicule? their mocking laughter probably filled the city, except for rahab's home, which was probably kept in solemn silence, wondering if that little red cord was going to save them [different blog post on that... rahab's awesome]. 

God asked joshua to do something crazy, that didn't make any sense, and joshua obeyed - immediately without question. he could've easily said no to God, or asked a million questions, or delayed his action - gosh, how often is my obedience delayed or contingent on circumstance? "ok God, i'll do that... but not right now, i'll get to it if i have time, or when it makes sense..." 
can you imagine if the israelites never walked around that city because it didn't make sense? or what if they began walking and then on day 4, they were like, "this is too hard, we're not seeing even a hint that this is working. not one stone as fallen yet, there's not even a crack in the wall! this is just as crazy as the day we started. still doesn't make sense. the ridicule has increased. we're tired. we give up."

i cringe at the thought because, oh, i KNOW i do that far too often. too many times i wait until 'it makes sense' not only to me, but to other people as well. ugh, how often do i base my obedience on what other people will think of me and my decision? 
i just need to take God at His word and ignore what people may say about me, plain and simple.

it was only when joshua and the israelites had put their faith into action that God crushed the walls and gave them victory, it was only when the priests placed both feet into the jordan that God parted the water for them to cross, it was only when rahab put the scarlet rope in her window that she was saved.
God absolutely fights for us and does the impossible for us, but it is when we obey and act - when we participate in His calling - that we'll experience His glory and supernatural victories. 

[i feel like i have to interject a little side note: they were all human and made quite a few decisions based on what made sense without God's counsel, and experienced unnecessary defeat and heartache... and yet, God continued to give grace and renewed mercies every morning, always giving them new opportunities to participate.... so even if we've messed up and disobeyed countless times, He still loves us and still gives us opportunities to obey! hallelujah!]

i don't think i've ever felt so convicted while writing a blog post, ha! this lesson is for me, hands down. but i hope you're encouraged and feel a nudge to do something that you've been putting off, that you know God's calling you to do - step out! you can do it, because God has already guaranteed victory! how great would it be to have testimonies of listening to God's crazy awesome instruction, believing Him, obeying Him on the spot, and then getting to experience His glory and miracles we never thought possible?!   

January 17, 2014

freshly picked: spring things

even though it's still technically [and very much] winter here, i have such an itch to trade the dark colors of fall + winter for light bright hues of spring. i just purchased this pair of sunglasses [on sale!] that feel so much like vacation to me and get me all excited for warm weather + sunny days.... just like the rest of these little ditties that i'm currently putting on my spring accessory wish list...

January 9, 2014

on the hunt

with thanksgiving and christmas and lots of projects going on, i put homemaking on the back burner for a bit. there are so many things i want to do and so many updates i want to make... like getting some new lighting fixtures all over... and i mean ALL over... some of the most hideous fixtures [ok, i'm exaggerating... they're not unbearable, but they're just not my style!] are still hanging from ceilings + walls, and i'm really getting antsy to replace them! i love the geometric and brass look right now... and i have no idea where these are from [got these from pinterest of course... except for the white work lamp, that's from ikea]... so i'm on the hunt!

if you have any tips on lighting finds, please let me know! my little house and i would be forever grateful! :)

January 8, 2014

be brave

last year, i remember thinking [and saying aloud] that i wanted to start each year by reading the book of joshua in my devo time. i couldn't remember why i thought that, but i know i love the book, so i thought it was just because it was one of my faves.... then as i started reading it again, a lightbulb went off and i remembered exactly why i wanted to start off every year with this book...

the first chapter is short and sweet, basically God's telling joshua [and the israelites] to be brave, be courageous, and do not fear what's ahead because He has been with them and will continue to be with them and go before them. hello! that's exactly what i needed to hear for the start of the year!!

for someone who easily slips into anxiety and a headful of all the bad 'what-ifs', this first chapter held me by the shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes - BE BRAVE. I WON'T LEAVE YOU.

i picture myself gripping handfuls of heavy, blackened fear - fear of failing, fear of losing someone i love, fear of finances, etc etc - without any room for God's hand. He'll never force me to let go of what's in my hands, He'll never force surrender - it has to be my choice, and i can only reach for His hand when i've let go of fear. once i allow Him to take my hand, His cleansing grace and refreshing love washes away the stains of all my anxiety.

it's not easy, sometimes it's impossible to let go of our anxiety when we've let it camp out in our heads and hearts for so long, but the beauty of the gospel is that all we need to do is bring it to Him, time and time again. He doesn't get tired of us bringing our burdens to Him, even if it's the same burden, same struggle over and over again. the main thing is that we're bringing it to Him. what a lovely thing to remember.

He's got good things ahead friends, let's be courageous and walk in them!

xo! :)

January 7, 2014

logo for lovely living!

you know those people who just feel like instant friends the minute you meet them? that's how i felt when i first started emailing with lauren ashley gilmore [and funny enough, we share 2/3 of the same name... mine is ashley lauren! ha!]... her heart and warmth were felt immediately.

needless to say, i had so much fun building a new brand for lovely living with her... she was a dream and honor to collaborate with, and i can't wait to see all the lovely goodies she creates, and i know you'll love her just as much as i do!! check out her lovely new site here.

thanks so much lauren for everything... you know how much i love you and your work!! i'm so happy to know you. :)


January 3, 2014

paper + ink initiative

i don't know about you, but over the course of the last year i had to put limits on my phone use... i seriously checked that thing way too much. if i had a free moment, i'd check my phone, if i couldn't wake up in the morning, i'd check my phone, if i was in line at the grocery store, i'd check my phone. ugh!!! annoys me just thinking about it!!

my husband and i had a rule that whenever we were together we had to put our phones on the 'do not disturb' mode because it was just way too easy to look at what other people were doing and not engage with each other. i loved the rule because it became a good habit we formed and it's no longer a 'rule', it's just second nature to click the little moon icon and leave our phones elsewhere while we chat or eat lunch or take a drive. it's really helped me be present.

i also realized that i read two books the entire year. a whopping two books  [not including the bible] during the entire twelve months. and i know if i could see how many hours i had accumulated on my phone i would be so disappointed that i didn't trade some of that time for actual reading instead of liking/gazing/zoning on instagram/pinterest/facebook/youtube. seriously, what did i learn from all of that?! ok, maybe a little... i gained inspiration and some connections with people, but most of the time it was just a fleeting distraction, something to pass the time with.

i hate that i have to remind myself that time is not something for me to just "pass", it's valuable and it's not promised... so with this new year i want to use my time wisely and with good stewardship - i want to invest in things that matter and exercise my brain - reading more books, sketching and writing... being more hands on rather than just a spectator. so, i'm dubbing this my paper + ink initiative [or if you're on instagram, i'll be using the hashtag: #paperandinkclub - a simpler, less complicated name. :)] and i welcome you to join me! we don't have to read the same books at the same time or anything, just wanted to create a place for us to share what we're reading and things we're inspired by. it's open!

i just finished reading c.s. lewis: christian and storyteller by beatrice gormley... technically it's for younger readers but i really enjoyed it! it's been sitting on my bookshelf for ages [i think it even has a new title, ha!] and i finally cracked it open on the 1st; so good and so inspiring! the man had such an imagination and a quiet strength, never giving up!!

next up, coco chanel: an intimate life by lisa chaney... she has always intrigued me, but i've never read anything about her... i picked this book solely based on the cover [ironic, right?] and because i had an anthropologie gift card. :)

what are you currently reading?

[image found on designsponge.com]