August 29, 2014

5 WAYS TO STAY POSITIVE FACING THE IMPOSSIBLE

I love to live for the impossible. Tyler and I were running errands one day and I was talking about how I love living for the impossible. When I live for the impossible it puts me in a very vulnerable position and in turn wraps me up in Jesus. I'm fully dependent on him, because there is no way I could make it happen or do it on my own.

Though I have an affinity for the impossible it is really hard sometimes. I get discouraged and sometimes doubt creeps in. That is the worst. When doubt creeps in I'm often left feeling so confused. I wonder if those impossible dreams were really what Jesus had for me and then I found myself feeling lost. Doubt is a thief of believing in the impossible. Doubt creeps in and I lose patience, "it's been so long, how do know this is it?"
I have had to learn how to stay positive in those doubtful moments. I have had to learn and seek Christ in those moments. I'm so excited to share with you today, 5 ways I stay positive when facing the impossible.

1.) Prayer: I pray often and constantly. I also ask friends to pray for me. I have a prayer journal that I write down all my prayers in. No matter what they are. Whether it's one sentence or three paragraphs I let Jesus know what's on my heart. During these prayer times I have found great clarity. In times of confusion I'm given direction and peace.

2.) Quiet Time: There are some weeks when I feel beat up and crushed by the world. It's during my quiet time with Jesus, spending time in his word that I feel refreshed. I could have a week where I feel like I'm barely holding on to my dreams and the dreams of our family and folding myself in the promises of Jesus keep me on track.

3.) Reflection: There have been many times when I have forgotten things that Jesus has made happen in my life. This is one reason why Tyler and I document all the amazing un-explainable ways that Jesus has taken care of us. When I feel lost in my dream I remember all the other ways Jesus has been preparing the way for me.

4.) Communicate: Share your dreams with your friends and family. Tell them how Jesus has worked in your life, tell them how it is hard, and ask for them to pray with you. Don't carry your dreams alone. Share them with your community. It's in times of doubt that your community can carry you through.

5.) Trust: Simply trust in Jesus, a blind, unflinching trust. It's will be hard, but sometimes that unflinching trust is the only thing that keeps your head above water. Impossible dreams are hard and risky, they are meant to be hard. Trusting Jesus is the only way for the impossible to take hold in your life.
Staying positive about impossible dreams is really hard. It's easy to passively let those dreams go and pass you by, but it's the impossible dreams that keep you wrapped up in Jesus. I don't want to live a life that takes me away from that. What impossible dreams has Jesus given you?

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August 28, 2014

HOLD FAST

Community and the lack of community has been on my heart lately and for a while now. I hadn't yet figured out how I wanted to talk about. One morning I was going through my She Reads Truth devotional and that morning's particular topic brought things full circle for me. Tyler and I have friends here and we have community, but still something was missing. These words hit home,

"When we meet together, spur each other on and encourage one another, we can better hold fast to the promise of hope and trust in God’s faithfulness." "The glue that binds us together is God’s presence in each of us." - She Reads Truth
I have missed being able to share life; my goals, dreams, hurts, struggles, triumphs, excitements and achievements with others. Others whom I'm bound with through Christ. There is something exceptionally beautiful about doing community with others when it's Christ who holds you together. There is a common understanding, things understood that aren't spoken.  A comfort, a joy, a peace, and love is comprised in Christ.
Through my experience with seeking community and gaining a better understand of community I found and have experienced community in a new way.  Through a new platform, Google Hangouts. Its seems kind of odd, but a couple months ago Beth, Meg, and I decided to start meeting monthly to catch up and chat about life and goals. Not very long after that we got to the point where we were chatting all the time via google messenger. It has been through this new community outlet that I found others in whom I could encourage and be encouraged by. Others in whom share similar goals and dreams. Others in whom I pray for and whom pray for me. We are bond together through God’s presence in each of us.
After having way to much fun during our Google Hangouts I suggested to Tyler that he and his college buddies should meet every month to do the same. I wanted Tyler to experience the same thing I did. Now Tyler and his good friends meet up once a month and share life together. Where have you found unexpected community?

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August 26, 2014

CSS CRASH COURSE

I've recently had lots of questions regarding the CSS I use to change different aspects of my blog design. I'm not sure about all the technical terms, but I do know adding CSS to your design allows you to make minor changes without having to re-write a bunch of HTML code. When I first started blogging if I had questions about changes I wanted to make I would ask Tyler. Over time I started trying to figure out these changes on mine own. Thank goodness for Google. Anything I wanted to know I googled it.
The longer I blog the more CSS code I find, because I'm constantly looking for different ways to change or tweak my design. I'm super pumped for today because I'm sharing all the CSS that I'm currently using. I'm not a designer of any kind, I have simply found CSS that works for me.

1.) You need to know how to add CSS to your blog.  CSS can be added through template customization. Under the advanced settings there is an option to add CSS. Easy peasy, right? Hurray!

2.) You simply have to add the different CSS that you would like. Start coping and pasting like a pro!

---- Removing the Shadow Box from Images ----

.post-body img, .post-body .tr-caption-container, .Profile img, .Image img,
.BlogList .item-thumbnail img {
  padding: none !important;
  border: none !important;
  background: none !important;
  -moz-box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
  -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
  box-shadow: 0px 0px 0px transparent !important;
}

---- Centering Your Post Title ----

.post-title { text-align:center; }

---- Centering Your Post Date ----

.date-header { text-align:center; }

---- Justifying your Post Text ----

.post { text-align:justify; }

---- Centering you Tabs  ----

.tabs {text-align:center !important;}
.tabs li {display:inline !important; float:none !important;}

---- Adjusting the width between your post title and header ---- 

h3.post-title {
margin-top: -10px !important;
}

.tabs-outer{
padding-bottom: 40px !important;
}

---- Adjusting the width of your post photos ---- 

.post-body img {
width: 700px;
height: auto;
}
What do you think? Will this CSS help you in your design ventures? What CSS are you currently using? Do you have any design tips for us?

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August 25, 2014

5 THINGS // VOL. 21

1.) Last week I got the best surprise in the mail! I was chatting with some friends about Austenland and how much we loved it and the next thing I know I'm getting it in the mail! Best ever! Are you an Austenland fan?
2.) Do you remember these little guys from early this summer? They have been growing and growing and we just transplanted them into a new planter so that they can grow to their little hearts content. I can't wait until they start flowering.
3.) It's a rare occasion that we actually have over cast skies, so when we do I drink it in. I miss raining days and thunderstorms something fierce.
4.) Tyler and I picked up some new kicks. We've been doing P90X3 for three weeks now and it was stressed to exercise in court/training shoes, so we decided to see if it made a difference.  It totally did and we have been loving our workouts! 
5.) I received the cutest earrings from a friends new Etsy shop! I think they are so so fun, I can't wait to style them with a fun outfit and share it with you! How was your week?

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August 21, 2014

SUPPORTING THE DREAMS OF OTHERS

I have learned over time that I love encouraging people in their dreams. I love supporting them and I love being able to love them through their dreaming. This is a passion that Jesus continues to shape in me and I think it is something that he taught me through Tyler.

When Tyler decided to pursue animation and go to an entertainment school I knew that he needed lots of support and encouragement. This wasn't a week or two of support. This was years and years of support and encouragement. I have learned that it fills me with joy to learn the hopes and dreams of others and to do my best to encourage, love, and support them.
Encouraging and Supporting the Dreams of Others

1.) Listen: There is something that is so amazing that happens we we sit and listen. We all need that. We need to be able to talk about our dreams, share our goals, and talk through our thoughts. Listening provides great support to someone because when they share with you, you help to carry their load.

2.) Speak Truth: Jesus instills dreams in our hearts and it's through him that our dreams are made possible. When we share our dreams it's so important to wrap them in Jesus's truth. When other's need encouragement it's Jesus' promises that will lift them up. When things feel impossible it's Jesus who provides peace to know he will provide. Be that vessel to speak truth.

3.) Speak Love: The words we use and the tone we use to communicate and encourage others is so important. All things can be said in love, even the hard things. Speaking love wraps someone up and Jesus uses that love to help propel them forward and provide affirmation.

4.) Make Time: I have watched Tyler and I both spend time with others that have encouraged us in our dreams. Something that has become really important to Tyler and I are are skype dates and Google Hangouts. Beth, Meg, and I hangout once a month. We catch up, chat about our goals and dreams and encourage each other in our pursuits. Tyler meets up with his college buddies through skype and I have encouraged them to start meeting once a month. They chat about their goals and spend time encouraging each other. It is one of my favorite things.

5.) Be Gracious: Sharing our goals and dreams puts us in a really vulnerable place. Letting people into those parts of our lives also means allowing them to see the outcome and the outcome isn't always successful. Be gracious when other share their dreams with you. Be gracious when someone feels like they have not been successful. Help to pick them up and encourage them forward.
Something that has become really fun for me is encouraging others by sending fun notes. There is something really thoughtful and encouraging about getting a hand written note. How do you support the dreams of others?

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August 19, 2014

A DAY AT POINT DUME

One of this summer's adventures included visiting Point Dume. I was really excited when we decided to go because It was on my list to visit this year. Point Dume is located on Malibu State beach and it's absolutely beautiful! Parking was easy which is a huge plus here. When we arrived we picked out a spot right near the base of the cliff. It's so nice visiting the beach because even though it may be hot in the valley, it's always rather cool at the ocean and the water is so cold.
We packed a cooler with food and grabbed a handful of other fun items to take with us. We lounged on the beach, ate delicious food, and had a lovely time. As we hung out on the beach some guys arrived and started setting up to climb the rock face. It was was really neat and fun to watch. We saw lots of beautiful sea life, walked along the beach, and adventured through a section of rocks to visit a more secluded area of the beach.
Exploring the section of the beach that was on the other side of the rocks was one of my favorite parts. Once we made it over there, there were only a handful of other people. There were also different rock formations to explore which were lovely.
Visiting Point Dume has been one of my favorite beaches in SoCal. It's not quite the same as Cambria, but for only being 45 minutes away it's great. I would definitely  recommend it if your looking for beaches to visit. What have been some of your favorite summer adventures?

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August 18, 2014

5 THINGS // VOL. 20

1.) This past week was rather slow. I was recuperating from being away and then I got sick. I spent most days on the coach watching Gilmore Girls, but by Friday I was feeling better and preparing fun goodies to ship.
2.) Even though I was sick last week I made major progress on my August Goals. I even finished my business card design after re-designing them one to many times.
3.) Tyler and I visit the library often. This weekend we picked up a bunch of fun movies to watch. We have really missed spending time together since our summer has been so crazy and stressful. We're trying to catch up on some "us" time.
4.) Prior to moving to California I hadn't ever been to an In-N-Out. It's always so delicious and I love how they have scripture on the cups and fry containers. Now when ever I crave a burger I always think of In-N-Out. Do you have an In-N-Out in your town?
5.) More plants made it to our house this weekend. Yay! We were specifically looking for a longer planter to transplant some flowers in. We found one that works, now we just have to see if they will make it. Fingers crossed. How was your week?

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August 14, 2014

The Artist Guild: A Photo Shoot

*Welcome to the Artist Guild, this is our opportunity to create together. The second Thursday of the month we come together to share our creative projects. There are eight creative activities that we'll be working on through September. To learn more, read here. We would love to have you join us and link-up your creative awesomeness! 

Today's Artist Guild activity, Share one non-related blog photo shoot.

This activity was actually really hard for me. Taking photos for my blog has become second nature, so I needed something completely different. Tyler had the greatest idea. He suggested I take photos the weekend that his college buddies were here. This would be perfect because Tyler would love photos of the weekend and I knew the experience would end up really stretching and challenging me.
One of my favorite things about taking these photos is that I was able to hangout with everyone, snap a bunch of photos and no one thought twice about it. I didn't have any one hiding behind something or trying to move out of the way of the camera, it was great. I also felt a little bit like a groupie, but that's no big thing.
I knew this experience was going to be about capturing all the guys having fun and hanging out. I wasn't going to pose anyone, I had no real control of the lighting we where in, I just had to go with it. When these guys get together they are a riot. They laugh so much. I don't know anyone else that Tyler get's together with that laugh and smile this much. It's really fun to be a part of.
 A part of the festivities was going to Nickelodeon for family fun day. A major take away from that day; squirt guns. Lots and lots of squirt guns.
One of my favorite things about this is the fact that Tyler has this relationship with all these guys and they all make an effort to stay in touch. They all went to college together and they all work in the same industry. Totally completely fascinating. I look forward many more years of laughs with these gents.
1. Link-Up your Artist Guild post below. Please link to the post and not your home page.
2. Be encouraging. Comment on the post before you and tell them how awesome they are!
3. Hashtag your creativity! #theartistguild




Our final Artist Guild link-up

September 11th : Vlog
That's right, you read that right. We're going to vlog. Recap your experience with The Artist Guild; what you learned, which tasks you loved, which tasks you didn't love. Get creative and have fun!


 <a href="http://elahtree.blogspot.com/2014/01/creativepromps.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-AbOKuARSJbQ/U3uIXMOmqII/AAAAAAAAFxA/nUDI-h1KpCU/s1600/Button.png" border="0" alt=" photo Button.png"/> </a> </div>
 

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August 13, 2014

Caring for Succulents

Succulents have become some of my favorite houseplants. I can't wait to slowly add more and more. I think they are just lovely and I appreciate the green life they add to our home. While I have loved having my succulents I have been a little concerned how I should care for them. I'm still learning how to care for succulents and other plants in general so I have set out to learn more about the best ways to care for them. 
I started researching how to care for succulents and I found three sites that were full of great advice and tips. I gleaned tons of information from here, here, and here. I hadn't heard to much about how to care for succulents except that they were really easy to care for and they were super hard to kill. I wanted my little succulents to have more care then just, "barely making it," so learning all this amazing information has made my heart happy.
What I learned:

1.) Succulents need to be watered at least once a week during their growing season, which is spring and summer. In the winter months they need to be watered every other week to once a month.

2.) Rain water is better then tap water. If your using tap water, you should periodically repot your plants to reduce mineral build up. Every year is suggested to provide fresh soil and check the roots.

3.) Succulents need a specific amount of sunlight, around 6 hours of light. My little succulent actually got burnt because it had to much direct sunlight.

4.) Succulents prefer summer temps between 70º and 80º and winter temps between 50º and 60º. These are pretty perfect temps for Socal.

5.) Succulents prefer a specific potting mix. I had no idea. The most important aspect of it's soil is that it should be able to drain well. Adding sand to compost mix will help to achieve a well draining soil.
I was super pumped to learn so much about my succulents. I feel so much better about knowing how to care for them properly. My least favorite thing about plant care is possible bugs. I learned that succulents can get spider mites. Yuck! But spider mites also hate water, so overhead water or misting is a good preventive act. Good to know if you ask me. Do yo have succulents in your house? What are some of your succulent care tips?

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