January 30, 2015

5 THINGS : VOL. 37

1.) When we arrived this past week we were greeted with cold weather and lots of snow. I had lots of hot chocolate this week and lots of lovely slow moments. It was much needed after a week of travel.

2.) We ventured out after the snow storm and had lots of fun in the snow including snapping some style photos. More on that next week, stay tuned!

3.) Snow, snow, and more beautiful snow. My heart has been so happy.

4.) I received my very first happy mail at our new home and it was the sweetest surprise. I was curious about how we would receive mail and I was excited that it was so easy.

5.) We ventured to downtown White Plains, as well as a few other areas and my favorite part was seeing all the beautiful history.


Blogging and staying organized.
Because yes, they do often die.
Popcorn and candy? Yes, please.
I want to go to all the places
Get in my belly. That's all I have to say. 

How was your week, friends?

January 29, 2015


Welcome to our new home. Technically it's temporary, but this is where we will be for the beginning of this year and even though it's temporary it feels extremely refreshing. We live in a small one bedroom apartment which is apart of Hyatt House. It's fully furnished and has most of everything a person may need. Minus any baking dishes, but I brought our cookie sheet so I still can bake cookies.
When we were making our way here I kept wondering if we brought too much. I was concerned that we wouldn't have enough space, but I was surprised and grateful because the space has been just perfect. For the most part we only brought clothes and everyday necessities. The other items we brought were mostly office related and things that we use most often.

There is a small desk in the living room area which I was pretty excited about. We weren't quite sure how the apartment was laid out, so when we got here and saw there was a desk I was excited that I would have a work space. I was totally watching Alias when I took this photo. :) 
I really like the layout of the apartment. There are double doors that lead into the bedroom and there is a good size bathroom and closet. I think one thing that I really like the most is that we only have here what we really  need and the things that we use most often. It makes my minimalist heart happy.  This might be random, but both tvs in this apartment are bigger then the tv we used to have and we definitely didn't have two.
A lot of our time here feels like a special treat. There are lots of complementary things that come with our stay that make it feel like a time of rest. We're excited for our time here and we're excited for what God has in store for us. xo. Samantha 

January 28, 2015


Seven days on the road was a little tiring, but what an adventure it was. I love that we went completely across the nation. There were times when we were tired, there were times we were a little grumpy, but there were also times filled with laughter, games, joy, and excitement. We started our journey last Sunday morning. Our morning was a little more stressful then we would have liked... we had to repack the trailer and squish everything in our car. We got it all in there though and we were on the road.

I was so excited to begin our journey. I felt like our moving day would never come and it just didn't feel real until we were on the road. We were pretty determined our first two days of travel. We needed to make it to Joplin in a good amount of time because we had a lot we needed to take care of once we got there. 
We traveled across the southwest on I-40 and took in lots of beautiful desert, mountain scenery. Traveling across the southwest in January is actually very beautiful because it's the one time of year that everything looks a little bit more green. The winter month's there are the best.
Our first day's goal was to make it to Albuquerque, NM and we did! Whoop! By the end of the day we were ready to call it a day. We grabbed a hotel and settled in for a good night's sleep. We were super tired. We hit the road again the next day and our goal for that day was to make it to Joplin. We made our way through Texas and Oklahoma.
We ate lots of sandwiches, lots of cuties, twizzlers,  and plenty of hummus and snacks. One thing that we did that was really fun was taking pictures of Toothless at all of our stops. We did forget a couple of times, but he did make an appearance in Texas.
We arrived in Joplin late on Monday. We unloaded our car, ate some good food, and went to bed. Boy does travel and moving across the country make a person tired. All I wanted to do was sleep and sleep and sleep. On Tuesday we had to unload our trailer and pack everything in our storage unit. We didn't keep a whole lot of items so unloading things out of our 4x8 trailer didn't take to long. We ran a couple of errands and then our next goal was to go through the items that were going into the car. We had to make sure everything was going to fit. Before hitting the road again we purged some more and repacked some bags. We actually repacked our storage unit twice too, because we wanted to put down pallets.
We only spent two days in Joplin taking care of everything and the time flew by. We stayed focused on all of our moving goals and made sure we got everything accomplished. That was a little tough because we would have loved to spend time with more friends and family, but we just weren't able to.

On Thursday we were on the road again. Our driving goal for this day wasn't as long as the first two as our Thursday goal was to make it to Nashville. We made good time and was able to have dinner with Tyler's dad. I ended up going to bed early that night because I was so tired. Friday and Saturday were two of my favorite days of driving because we were finally venturing to a part of the states that I had never been too.
Slowly everything started to turn white and history poured out from the country sides. It was so beautiful and one of the loveliest drives of the trip. As we continued east I kept thinking about our time driving through the southwest and I loved how different each region was. We spent a lot of our last two days driving in the rain and snow and we then we were greeted with more snow by yesterday's snow storm. We are slowly settling in and getting lots of rest. The rest has been my favorite. We can't wait to explore more of our new home and I can't wait to share it with you. xo. Samantha

January 23, 2015


I really wanted to write this post, but I wasn't quite sure where to start. That happens to me often. I was skimming instagram and it came to me. One of the things I learned in 2014 and maybe one of my favorite things was gaining strength to say no to the world.

Every dream I've had and I believe nearly everything I learned was about saying no to the world. In August, when I stepped back from looking for work many thoughts  flooded my mind and told me I was a fool. I thought in the world's eye's it probably was foolish, but I didn't care. I was going to trust in Jesus.  I've also spent a lot of time reflecting on last year and what I want for this year. During the last few months of 2014 I spent a lot of time trying to be everything. Trying to be all the things that I saw other people being. I didn't really see it until I looked back on it and then decided I was going to say no to trying to be those things. So many people are doing so many great things and I got caught up in thinking I needed to be doing those great things too. But, of course that didn't work for me, because I'm my own kind of great. I learned that trying to do all the things that I saw others doing, took away from what I really wanted.

2014 taught me that I want this space and life to breath an air of freshness and simplicity. I want to be open to however Jesus wants to use me. I want to let go and find quiet moments with Jesus. 2014 taught me that no matter what is happening in life; whether it's hard moments, happy moments, or stressful moments, that they can be simple moments wrapped up in Jesus. 2014 taught me that I don't have to be great at everything, it taught me that I don't have to do all the things or try to achieve all the things. I had moment with Jesus in 2014 that shaped me in ways that I can't even explain. 2014 brought new light to who I am in Jesus. xo. Samantha

January 21, 2015


This Saturday we will arrive at our new home and I couldn't be more excited. Last week was overwhelming and this week brings us our new home. Something that is a little different about this move is that our housing is provided for per Tyler's contract. Long story short, he is contracted to finish a specific movie so the studio provides housing. This is our first experience with something like this and it's really exciting. 
Last week we spent a lot of time determining what we would actually be taking with us to the East Coast. The items that we packed in our trailer are going into storage so everything we are taking to the East Coast all had to fit in our car. So, you know, clothes, everyday hygiene, stuff like that. I really had to think about what other items I may need or want to take with us. Items that I knew were  a must were office items and our computer, of course. I decided to create a small office box which would include office related items that I used most. I then created a home organization binder. I took my blog binder and added a handful of tabs in the front that were all related to home organization. It has been amazing and a life saver. I also decided to take few items that represented home for us. A few photos and a few decorative items.
Being that this is our first experience doing this I'm sure we'll learn a lot. I know I keep saying I'm excited, but I really am. I'm so excited for this new adventure and I'm so excited for what we have already learned and experienced. Do you have any experience with temporary living? xo. Samantha

January 20, 2015


Our travel week as began. We hit the road yesterday with our packed trailer and we're on our way to the east coast. Before our road trip began I made sure to pack lots and lots of snacks. If you're anything like me, when it comes to traveling you probably need lots of snacks. Whether I'm in a car, a train, or a plane snacks are a must. Even if I ate before I left, the minute I'm traveling the hunger sets in. I've come to find that there are certain snacks that work better then other snacks. And it's those healthy snacks that keep me going and keep me feeling good.

1.) ALMONDS : High in protein and good for you, almonds are a great travel snack. They are a dry food so you can throw them in your bag and you can take them everywhere.

2.) FRUIT SNACKS / DRIED FRUIT : I secretly only wanted to put fruit snacks here because they are my favorite. But, dried fruit is actually better for you so I included both.

3.) CARROTS : Crunching and refreshing. Carrots are great and easy to travel with. Another great item that can go in your bag and easy to snack on.

4.) PROTEIN BARS : Tyler and I both love protein bars. Tyler love Clif bars and they are high in protein and are pretty hefty in the snack department. One of my favorite protein bars is power crunch bars because they are high in protein and have a lower amount a sugar.

5.) DARK CHOCOLATE : For reals, chocolate is a must. Plus, I love to eat dark chocolate and almonds together. Win, win. 

Do you snack often while you travel? What are  you favorite travel snacks? xo. Samantha

January 16, 2015


1.) This week was full of friends and goodbyes. It really was lovely to see everyone, catch up, and spend time together. We're so excited for this next adventure, but we will miss everyone.

2.) This week was full of so many things to do. We had tons of packing, tons of purging, and then more packing and purging. But it was all worth it, we're loading the trailer tomorrow and hitting the road on Sunday. I can't wait!

3.) Do you know what a lot of packing and purging lead too? Yeah, eating lots and lots of cookies. I made cookies for Tyler to take to work and I ate my fair share too.

4.) I cleaned out my closet this week. I've actually been working on purging my closet all year, but this week was all about taking everything out and packing all the things. Including my old pair of snow boots. I can't want for the snow!

5.) I finished putting together an office box and all the office supplies I'm taking to Connecticut. It was really fun picking out my favorite office items and getting everything together.


Healthy options, for a healthy year. 
This, Blog Style Guide.
Raspberry goodness.
Leather & copper, yes please.
On finding your focus.

How was your week, friends? 

January 14, 2015


2015 is full of the unknown and I love that. We know that we're moving but everything on the other side of the move will be new. We've never lived on the East Coast. I've never been to New York or Connecticut. Everything is an adventure and everything holds the opportunity to be brave, take chances, and try new things.

With all these new changes I'm excited for what's in store for this space. Over the holidays I sat down and wrote down the things that I really enjoyed blogging about and the things that I didn't. I was grateful for the time to reflect on 2014; what I learned, how I grew, the posts I really excelled at and the posts I didn't. I spent time thinking about what I enjoyed seeing on other blogs and what I found inspiring. I'm really looking forward to challenging myself with new content and continuing to shape this space.

With our move and our new home will come lots of adventures and that is one thing I hold so dear to my heart. I want life to be filled with daring adventures and I want to encourage you to seek out your own adventures. I'm looking forward to embracing everyday moments as each will be new. I want to squeeze out the loveliness of each new day. I'm looking forward to the challenge of creating inspired living spaces and learning to be creative in the space we have. I plan on continuing my get strong journey and learning a way to share it with you. I plan on sharing lots of style because that is one of my favorite things, as well as lots of life, faith, and encouragement. What are your hopes for 2015?  xo. Samantha

January 12, 2015


Phew! We officially move in 6 days. I'm so excited and I can't believe it at the same time. Last week started out kind of rough, but then I relaxed and all was well. I'm currently writing this at our dinning room table as the rest of our apartment, including our office is a hot mess. There is stuff every where and there are boxes every where.

Let's see, where to start? Since we are moving clear across the country we have decided to get rid of nearly everything we own and only take what will fit in a 4x8 trailer. This has been one of my favorite things, yet it has also been really hard. Here's the thing, I love minimalizing, I love purging, donating, and getting rid of things, it makes my heart happy. The hard part? The hard part is going through nearly every single item that you own. Now that's exhausting and a little overwhelming. I'm not just taking things off the shelf or out of the cabinet and putting it in a box. Nope, I'm pulling every single item from where it is going through it and creating a huge pile in my living room of what's being donated. Phew!
In our office we have taped of a section on the floor and walls that is the size of our trailer. We would prefer not to have an surprises on the day we pack the trailer, so if it doesn't fit in that spot it's not going. We keep going back in the office, moving things around and taking things away. Over this weekend we moved out all of our furniture. When we found out we were moving we decided we would give away all of our furniture to our friends in need. We loaded our furniture on Saturday and took it all to it's new home.

One of my favorite things about this experience is that we are getting down to the things that we use most and cherish most. Every time we let something go we're excited for a time when we can really pick out something that we love. So many things that Tyler and I have are things from before we were married and lots of the items are super old. We love that in our next home we'll be starting with a blank canvas.

This week we'll finish packing, purging, and donating. And then I'll be doing lots of cleaning. Even though the state of our apartment sometimes feels chaotic it has been such a beautiful picture of what Jesus has in store for us. It made my heart so happy to know that we were willing to give everything away and embark on this new adventure Jesus has for us. xo. Samantha

January 9, 2015


1.) We came home from our holiday travels this week and I was pretty excited about it. I was ready to get things going with our move. As always we enjoyed every minute spent with family and I always enjoy time in Joplin, as it's much quieter.

2.) My first day back and I got a cold. During our time gone I worked really hard not to get sick and the minute I get back and bang. It was a little overwhelming because I knew we had so much to do. Thank goodness, I'm finally feeling better.

3.) I cleared out my office this week. We planned on using our office for packing, purging, and determining what was going to fit in the trailer. It's pretty crazy in there.

4.) With our return home so began a huge amount of purging. We're not taking that much with us when we go so there is a lot to go through.

5.) We created a command center for our move. I always forget all the things that need to be done through when moving and this is the first time we're moving and getting rid of nearly everything. Phew! I'll be sharing much more of a moving update on Monday. Cheers!


Casual style is my jam.
Jump start your new year. 
How cute are these two
Healthy snacks, yes please.
The most amazing granola bars.

How was your week, friends?

January 6, 2015


Hello dear friends! January is definitely starting off with a bang, don't ya think? I love the energy that comes with a new year, there is a beautiful newness that comes and a feeling of being able to take on the world. January's TriStyle & Co. challenge is so perfect for January as it echos a sweet message for this new year. And it's so perfect for Tyler and I as we take on a new adventure this month. 

For this month's TriStyle challenge Elizabeth, Meg and I are partnering with Jordandene and styling this "Courage Dear Heart" tank. We are so excited to be partnering with Jordandene this month! We're always excited to share these challenges with you friends; excited to encourage, awaken, and celebrate the inherent beauty in each one of us as we live in community.
For this month we are styling this Courage Dear Heart shirt from Jordandene. See how each one of us style it and then show us how you style yours! Use the code: FANGIRL2014 for 20% off your purchase. Once you get your shirt in the mail show us how you style it on your blog, instagram, or twitter! Make sure to use the hashtag #TriStyleCo so that we can see your wonderful creations. The last Tuesday of every month (January 27th) we will be sharing our favorite posts, tweets, and instagrams with everyone!
So, first I want to share that we took these photos in Joplin, while we were home for the holidays and it brought back to many memories of shoots when I was behind the camera. I was really encouraged too, because we were able to jump right in and get our shoot done. It was a good thing too because I was soooo cold. I really love these types of tops because they can be styled for warm or cold weather and it was fun to style this top for a little cold weather. I wanted to go with a comfy, warm style so I paired my top with one of my favorite button downs, my go to vest, and a pair of jeans.  Athletic shoes are also my jam and you can catch me wearing them with all my every day outfits.
MEG : One of my favorite things about tank tops is that they are perfect for layering. I feel like my body temperature fluctuates every five minutes and can never decide if it wants to be hot or cold. :) We were at Disneyworld when I took these photos, and the weather was so warm during the day but cooled off pretty quickly in the evenings.#layerweather. I paired this tank with my favorite shorts from GAP, a cozy cardi from Ann Taylor, and Chacos, which are my every day go-to pair of shoes.

ELIZABETH : Megs and I brought our shirts along with us to the Happiest Place on Earth. I figured that I would have a better chance at rockin' the tank top in Florida and I was right. I paired my wonderful "Courage Dear Heart" shirt with shorts, a pink cardi, matching pink Minnie ears for Disney flare, and chacos for walking miles around the parks. I should also point out my stylish Micky Band - mouse to mouse, these things are magical.
TOP : Jordandene // BUTTON DOWN : American Eagle  // VEST : GAP // JEANS : Express // 
SHOES : Asics // NECKLACE : Golden Linings
We can't wait for you to come along with us! Join the TriStyle & Co. Community! Get to shopping and don't forget to #TriStyleCoHave an idea of what we should style for next month? Tweet us using the hashtag #TriStyleCo and follow us on twitter too - @oakandoats @megmcilvaine @Elahtree  xo. Samantha

January 5, 2015


The very first item that I got that was made out of really nice leather were my cowgirl boots and my very first thought was, "Oh, goodness, how will I keep these leather boots looking nice and lasting  forever?" Isn't it great how leather items last so long. I had never had leather cowgirl boots before so I asked a friend and they suggested saddle soap. Easy enough, right? I was pleased and so ecstatic when saddle soap did the trick and taking care of my leather boots as well as my other leather accessories was so easy.
Using saddle soap to care for you leather accessories is so easy. First remove any access dirt from the item with damp cloth. Second, rub surface with saddle soap with moist cloth. Wipe off any excess lather with damp cloth. Last, once the leather is dry, buff with soft cloth to develop shine.
I'm so glad that taking care of my  leather accessories is so easy and I'm so glad that it will give them a good long life. How do you care for you leather accessories? xo. Samantha

January 2, 2015


Hello to the new year! Hello to 2015! I've been thinking about 2015 and there is a lot that Jesus has in store for us. Phew! Did you see yesterday's announcement? A lot is going to happen this month. Even with so many changes taking place my hope for 2015 is that it will be a year a learning and a year of listening.


1.) Focus on Jesus : A lot is going to happen this month and it's going to happen in a very short amount of time. I feel that Jesus  has been preparing us for these transitions, but I want to stay focused on Him as we go through each day.

2.) Stay Relaxed : If I'm not careful I can get pretty stressed out. Between planning, packing, and my desire to want to keep blogging through the process I know I'll need reminded to relax and let go. The blog will probably look a little different this month and that's okay.

3.) Make Memories : We are about to embark on a new adventure and I'm so excited! I don't want to let the planning and adult responsibilities get in the way of Tyler and I making memories along the way.

4.) Move all the things : We're moving so this one is pretty important. We need to pack all the things and move all the things.

5.) Have Quiet Moments with Tyler : With any life transition I think it's sometimes easy to neglect your favorite people. Even though Tyler and I will be together during all of these new changes, we'll be focused on projects. It will be important to take time away from the moving projects and have some quiet moments together.

What are  your January goals? xo. Samantha

January 1, 2015


I've been thinking about this post for two weeks now. At one point I had it all written out in my head, I never remember what I wanted to say in  those posts though. Two weeks ago Tyler called me from work. The first thing he said to me was, "are you sitting down?" I knew what would come after that sentence. The tears started to roll and my heart began to swell. What we had been praying for for months and months was finally unfolding.

Tyler and I both struggled through the conversation as he told me that he had an interview. That's a whole lot of emotion just for an interview, right? Well, about a year ago I started to pray for this interview. This has been the fire that has burned inside. This has been the fire that I refused to let die out. Many of the posts this season that I wrote about waiting was about this and it was hard. I believed that Jesus had something for us and I knew we were in the waiting.

So, are you wondering what I'm talking about it? Let's just get it all out there. We're moving to Connecticut!!!! I'm so excited! I'm over the moon! I was so overwhelmed with emotions for days and days and I cried for days and days as well. It was the most amazing thing to see everything come together and be in awe of how Jesus worked everything out. Hopefully, one day I'll get it all written down. Now, on to why we are moving to Connecticut. We're moving for Tyler's career. He will be starting at Blue Sky Animation Studios on January 26th, which means will be moving on January 17th. Phew! It's all happening so quickly and we're so exited.

This space will look a little different this month, but I'll still be around. My hope is to document all of our moving experiences and share them with you. Stick around, a lot is going to happen this month. xo. Samantha

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