Monday, July 30, 2012

Project Purge: 15 Days of Giving It Up.

In order to help our friend
Jami raise funds for an organization near and dear to her heart, Theresa & I (along with some other women) are helping to organize a garage sale. The funds raised will be passed on to this deserving organization.

Garage sales are always a great motivation for me to clear out some clutter because I have a deadline and a definite end goal in mind. This time around, because I know the items I unearth will be sold and the money will directly benefit someone else, I have extra incentive.

There's a book sweeping the Christian community right now called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess7 is the true story of how Jen Hatmaker (along with her family) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess {food, clothes, spending, media, possessions, waste & stress}, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence. 

It's next on my To Read list and until I can get my hands on it, I've been following along on Jen Hatmaker's blog. I was struck by this blog post where Jen shares seven mini-projects to help jump-start people in the mutiny against excess. Her seventh tip is turn your excess into justice, with the idea being purge your possessions, sell your stuff, and pass the money you make along to a worthy organization.

Theresa and I immediately turned to our favorite treasury of ideas, Pinterest, to look for an organizing/cleaning/purging challenge to help guide us. (We did work through 40 Bags in 40 Days last spring but I have found there is always, always more de-cluttering to be done). 

This time around, our search came back empty.

And that's when the magic {insert God} began.

What if we created our own purging checklist to work through?

What if we shared it with others via our blogs?

What if we were inspired to live with less so we could give more?

What if we dreamed big, lived big, and gave it ALL up?

Via text messages and Facebook chats and Google Docs, a new blog series was born: {
Project Purge} 15 Days of Giving It Up.

Theresa and I will both be posting on our blogs throughout the next couple of weeks. Some of the information will overlap (i.e. we'll be working through the same spaces), but we'll also be writing our own individual posts from our own unique perspectives.

While we like to think of ourselves as soul sisters from different misters, we are also quite different {I'm a beaver, she's a golden}. And while I provide the nuts and bolts, she provides the heart. We hope you'll follow along on both blogs for double the encouragement, double the fun.

We'll help you get a plan in place before you start, focus your purging by suggesting 15 different spaces and places to attack, and offer encouragement along the way.

We think it's time to give it up.

We'll do this together. 

We'll do it for us. We'll do it for Him. We'll do it for them.
The Terpblog

The Terpblog

Sunday, July 29, 2012

{Etsy Extravaganza} More Winners!

I Love Handmade Print by LeensPrint
We wrapped up the {Etsy Extravaganza} giveaway over the weekend!

Thank you to everyone who entered!

All entries have been verified & winners have been notified via email.

Here is the second set of lucky ladies...I hope you enjoy your prizes!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Day 6 | Gift Certificate to Gray Mornings Photography & Design
Megan @ Shaping Up To Be A Mom

Day 7 | 10 Yards of Fabric Tape from Homemade by Cameron
Amie @ Pinkapotamus

Day 8 | $20 Gift Certificate to Gadanke
Meredith @ Wait Til Your Father Gets Home

Day 9 | Bohemian Blue Earrings from Bagatelle Designs
Nicole @ Me + the Moon

Day 10 | Holiday Hair Clip Gift Set from My Little Pixies
Kelley @ The Grant Life

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Thanks again to these great Etsy shops for sponsoring the giveaways!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's an Olympics Summer!

I am a big fan of the Olympics. I love the inspirational stories and the national pride (from Greece to Great Britain, from Albania to Zimbabwe). 

I love the competition and the pageantry. The hopes and dreams of nations and individuals on display. The best-of-the-best, once every four years, special-ness and uniqueness of a huge variety of sports.

I love that even in this torn up world, people can still come together and find some common ground.

And, of course, I love me some Bob Costas.

I have a lot of special memories, both watching the Olympics with my family growing up (my mom loves the Olympics as much as I do!), and then later as an adult. 

I remember watching the 1998 Winter Olympics {Nagano} huddled around dorm room sized TV's in Cook Hall, the 2002 Winter Olympics {Salt Lake City} in our first house as a newlywed, the 2004 Summer Olympics {Athens} feeling our baby boy's kicks from inside my growing belly, and the 2008 Summer Olympics {Beijing} in our current home with a 3 year old and a 1 year old by my side.

The Olympics mark time for me in a way, and one of my favorite questions to think about while watching them is Where will we be in two years? Or in four?

Even with all of my love for the Olympics, we have never hosted an Olympics party. It seems these days that I jump at any opportunity to celebrate just about anything. It's a way to bring community together and now that the kids are old enough to appreciate it, it adds some extra life and laughter to their young days.

While many of our days are rather ordinary around here (and I treasure those days as much as the more exciting ones), I also hope the kids will someday remember a family and a group of friends who did their best to make the ordinary extraordinary.

We wore our red, white & blue with pride, hung medals around our necks, chowed on Olympic worthy treats and snacks, and talked, laughed and bingo-ed our way through the Opening Cermony, well into the night.

I know what I'll be doing for the next 2 weeks. How 'bout you?

{Party Credits}
Printable Party Sign // Mirabelle Creations
Opening Ceremony Bingo & Memory Sheet // Thirty Handmade Days

Insta.Life {Jolly July}

It's hard to believe summer is two thirds of the way over!
We're packing in as much as we can into the long summer days.
Here's a glimpse into our recent summer livin'...

Mid-summer sunset over Lake Michigan.
Headed down to the beach shortly after this picture was taken for a quick dip.
Spent the 4th of July enjoying a very relaxing, very convenient 
stay-cation on the back deck.

Slippin' & Slidin': the best $9.99 I spend each summer.

She thinks it's her personal drinking fountain.

Taking a trip to the health food store with Daddy very seriously.

It's been hot! hot! hot! and we are all whipped.

My first trip to a well-known, well-loved local establishment.

A relaxing evening on Brett & Kara's "farm". Caden showed Aunt K3 the ropes {"wings down, wings down"and K3 picked up a new poultry pal.

Saturday morning sweet surprise:
a delicious donut delivery from our neighbors!

Playing cars with my boy. Pick any three cars out of his bin and he can tell you with 99% accuracy which car will win in a Hot Wheels race. #uncanny

Monkeying around.

Catch you later, July!

life rearranged

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Living the Width, Volume III

Did you sneak a peak at last week's {great reads}?

Here's your chance to share! Scroll down to link up your own posts...

The idea behind {living the width}:

a monthly mash-up of posts centered around intentional living, new experiences, celebrations, community, pushing the limits, glimpses of glory, and aha moments.

I'd love to read your latest adventures, see your newest projects, and share in your joy as you seek to live not just the length of life, but the width of it as well.

{Party Guidelines}

1) The intent of this link party is to share posts that inspire and motivate others and that showcase your very best bloggy (& living life well) work!

2) All types of posts are welcome including crafting & DIY, tips & tricks; simplifying & organizing, parties & celebrations, musings & reflections, projects & challenges, milestones & accomplishments...and everything in between.

3) Feel free to link up more than one post. Please link recent posts that were written and posted in the month that corresponds with the party (i.e. Volume III = July 2012). Make sure you link directly to your post, not just your blog.

4) Please share the blog love by posting the {living the width} button within your blog post or somewhere else on your blog OR feel free to spread the word by tweeting, sharing on Facebook, or calling your mom. Check back and see if your post is featured as a good read next month!

5) Lastly, go grab a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes clicking through some links below and commenting on your favs. Let's applaud each other for attacking life with intention and purpose!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On Saying No: A Bloggy Confessional

Printable Credit: Shaun Groves

About two months ago, sort of on a whim, I decided try a few new things with my blog.

I created a Facebook page, added sponsor spots, launched a new monthly link party, won some sweet ad space on a couple of other blogs, hosted my first giveaway, and put together a cool printables partnership.

I jumped in with both feet into the big-ol'-blog-o-sphere partly out of curiosity, partly as a challenge, partly just for fun.

In the past two months, I have learned a ton about networking, growing, tweeting, sharing, and html-ing (i.e. cursing).

I have loved every minute.

But when I'm really honest with myself, I also know that a modern day around-the-clock blogging gig isn't for me.

I'm afraid that while I'm following everyone else's rules about what a blogger "should" do, I'm missing out on important moments that are right in front of me.

Following the lead of ladies like Angela @ Angela's Adventures, Ann Marie @ White House Black Shutters, and Diana @ The Girl Creative, I'm tossing it all out the window and making my own rules.

I'm learning to say order to be able to say yes.

First, what I know to be true:

1) I love to blog.

2) My primary purpose for blogging is to celebrate my little family of five and record our adventures.

3) My secondary purpose for blogging is to encourage other women to live the full width of the life God has set before us.

4) A couple of not-even-close-to-being-purposes for blogging: to make money and to gain "clout". 

5) There are better uses of my time then spending endless amounts of time lost in the blog-o-sphere.

6) It's hard to be out there living the width when I'm staring at a computer screen all day.

7) I want my life to be fueled by freedom, not obligation.

Next, my plan going forward:

While the opportunities are seemingly endless in the blog-o-sphere, I am going to be more intentional and very selective in how I choose to spend my time in the future. I will continue to host link-ups, features, giveaways, special series, etc. but only as inspiration, opportunity, and free time arises and allows. My blog is a place of community and creativity and these types of posts help to foster those values, however, these posts will be fewer and farther between.

On saying yes...

I want my early am time to be spent immersed in my daily She Reads Truth reading. I want mornings around here to mean slowly drinking my coffee, meeting up with friends at the park, and creating space to live and breathe and slow down. I'd love to preserve my afternoons as a time for work (housework & "real" work) so that I can spend my evenings enjoying a family meal, playing in the yard, and not rushing through the bedtime routine. And my nights should be about relaxing with my husband, reflecting on the day, and preparing to do it all over again.

And if this means less time for other things, so be it. If it means saying no to good, but not-high-priority, opportunities, that's A-OK with me.

A few closing words: I want you to know that if you find yourself here, reading this blog, and you're not sure why you're here or how you go here or how to initiate a bloggy break-up, it's OK to go. No guilt. No worries. I promise not to be sad. I know what it's like to feel completely overwhelmed when you open up your Google Reader in the morning. Unsubscribe, un-follow, un-like. Please do what you need to do.

And just because I'm scaling back,  please don't think I'm going to fall off the face of the blog-o-sphere. I still have plenty of love to give, I'm just going to be a better steward of that love, and make sure that in all things (bloggy and otherwise), I am true, honest, and authentic.

I hope you stick around because I'm a community-oriented sort of girl, but if you don't that's OK too. We all have a limited amount of resources, especially in regards to time and energy, and I hope that we can all re-commit to using them well.

Learning to say order to say yes.

Grace & peace, bloggy friends, grace & peace.

Monday, July 23, 2012

{Etsy Extravaganza} Winners!

Thank you to everyone who entered our 10-day Etsy Extravaganza giveaway!

It's been fun picking winners - I wish I could have picked you all!

If you didn't win but loved the shops, be sure to "heart" them so you can find them next time you're ready to make a purchase. I think homemade goods make some of the best gifts, and I love supporting small business owners!

Here are our first five winners:

Day 1: Custom Necklace from The InkSpired Collection

Day 2: $20 Gift Certificate to Rylee's Collection
Melissa P.

Day 3: Upcycled Bracelet & Key Fob from un.tied
Day 4: Custom Print from Sarah M. Dorsey Designs
Lara R.

Day 5: Summer Fun Sailboat Necklace from Renewed Upon a Dream
Trinity B.

Emails have been sent! Hope you enjoy your new Etsy goods!

There is still time to enter five more giveaways {catch up here}!
Five more winners coming soon!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Etsy Extravaganza GIVEAWAY {Day 10}

Etsy Extravaganza 10-Day GIVEAWAY {Day 10}
Holiday Hair Clip Gift Set
from My Little Pixies!

Meet EB: I'm a stay-at-home mom of two sweet girls, age 3 and 6. I spend my days trying to soak up their sweetness and hold on to them just a little longer before they grow up. My husband's a local OB/GYN, so over the years we've spent quite a lot of time at the hospital visiting him when he's on call and enjoying being all together when he's home. We love finding adventures to share together! I'm really grateful that I can be a constant in my girls' lives and being able to work at home doing something I love is a great blessing!

The Story Behind Her Shop: I started making bows when I had my second daughter (February 2009) and quickly discovered that I loved doing it, and after lots of practice, I learned that I could be good at it! All I wanted to do in my spare time was make bows - and it wasn't long before I was making so many I could never use them all! My Little Pixies has become exactly that for me. I make bows because I love them! I love the creative winds that sweep through me and wake me up from sleep with new ideas to try. I love the way a project comes together and how I can make something beautiful with my own hands. I love how art is something that is always changing- and I love how the science nerd I have always known I am (hello, chemistry major!) is becoming an artist in this third decade of my life.

Making bows is more to me than just making money. It's about connecting with people. The majority of my clients are moms, just like me - I feel a kinship with them in our shared motherhood. Many of my long-time clients have also become friends, and I have found understanding and support from people I have never even seen. For that, I am so grateful. I love how today's technology can bring people together who might never meet in real life. The Etsy community is a truly cool place!

Prize Details: Holiday Hair Clips Gift Set, an 8-clip set including a hair clip for every major holiday, including Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas - plus a cupcake clip for a birthday. The set makes a great gift! It's cute all year long! Value $28.

Enter Here: Use the Rafflecopter gadget below to enter for this sweet prize. And phew! We made it! All 10 days of giveaways have been announced. If you missed any, please go back and check them out here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Etsy Extravaganza GIVEAWAY {Day 9}

Etsy Extravaganza 10-Day GIVEAWAY {Day 9}
Bohemian Blue Petite Earrings
from Bagatalle Designs!

Meet Sophie: My name is Sophie. I was born and raised in Belgium and moved to the USA with my husband and our three daughters in 2000. We decided to plant our tent in Colorado because we love the mountains so much. I love the outdoors and to ride my bike in the beautiful Colorado countryside.

I have always been attracted by colors even before starting making jewelry. I would always find a room to paint in our house or a piece of furniture to decorate in vivid colors. What started as a relaxing hobby at the beginning developed into a full-blown passion for beads and jewelry. I particularly love Swarovski crystals because of their inner beauty and sparkle. Swarovski crystals have a magical and sparkly quality to them that reflects the beauty of the natural world surrounding us. They can be found in many of my designs.

About Her Shop: My jewelry is fun to wear and joyful: the abundance of colors is meant to reflect and bring out all the good feelings in your heart. I handcraft each piece of jewelry right here in my Colorado studio. I take pride in my designs and there is a story around every piece and the colors I choose.

Bagatelle Designs is a line of contemporary handcrafted jewelry with vibrant sparkling colors and elegant designs. I make colorful and versatile jewelry for the modern woman on the go who cares about her look even when short on time. My designs are feminine and so versatile that you can wear them with any outfit in your closet. I love to use Swarovski crystal, bohemian glass, and natural gemstones.

Prize Details: One pair of Bohemian blue petite earrings. Made of natural and genuine colorful gemstones, these are so precious and adorable in shades of turquoise, lapis lazuli blue and carnelian. Value $22 USD.

Enter Here! Use the Rafflecopter gadget below for your chance to win! And get ready for Day 10 of the Etsy Extravaganza giveaway series...any guesses who it could be?? 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Living the Width, Vol. II {great reads}

We're halfway through July and it's time to highlight 
some of my favorite
{great reads} from last month's Living the Width, Volume II party!

Read on: I promise you will be inspired by these women!

TRYathlon | Nedra @ Adventure Mom

A triathlon is on my bucket list and Nedra provides the perfect inspiration for following through. She refused to let her fears or her excuses stand in her way (especially since her inspiration was a 62 year old cancer survivor!)

"If you have something you’ve always dreamed of trying or experiencing, 
I encourage you to push through the resistance and the fears and go for it. 
The reward is worth the risk."
{full post here}

Be Kind & Work Hard Quotes | Michelle @ Michelle Lea Designs

Everything Michelle creates is clean, simple, and beautiful including these great {free} printables reminding us to be kind and work hard.

"Summer is a time to relax, recharge and live simply and I think that these 
two quotes remind us of that."
{full post & printables here}

Shopping Fast | Lisa @ Team Jousma

I am inspired by Lisa's month-long shopping fast. Read what made her decide enough was enough along with her recent update.

"How can I justify all this spending when there are so many that go without? 

So for one month, I am going on a shopping fast. No purchases outside of food or unforeseen necessities that come up."
{full post here}

Rainbow Birthday Party | Heather @ It's a Long Story

I LOVE a good celebration and Heather knocked it out of the park with this pretty party for her three year old daughter. Click over for the fun party pics!

"This was my first time doing a "theme" party, so I went with something that I thought would be pretty simple, and threw Abbey a Rainbow Party!"
{full post here}

Thanks for sharing, bloggy friends! 
If you were featured, here's a button for you!

And get ready to share your posts at the next edition of Living the Width
(coming week)!

The Terpblog
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