Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Playlist: September Grooves

Can you believe September is almost over?

September has been a doozy, y'all. A complete drive-by month. I don't really have any words to describe how fast it has flown by, or how odd it has been, but thankfully I have some glorious tunes to show for it. Here are the songs that got me through September. Enjoy! 

Image result for alvvays band antisocial

 This indie Canadian outfit has a gift for pairing dark, eccentric lyrics with upbeat beach-y guitar melodies. Ya can't beat it, y'all. Their new album came out midway through this month and I have been DIGGING it. Their songs are perfect for sunny Saturdays or chill mornings cleaning your room. Such good vibes!

I seriously have so much love for this band. They are one of the best! Even though "Sacred Hearts Club" came out a while ago, I've still got it on repeat. It's one of my favorite albums of the year by far. I've also been spinning the "Supermodel" and "Torches" albums and looking into some of Mark Foster's solo music. You really can't go wrong with these stellar grooves, friends.

Image result for otis redding  cover greatest hits

Oh, my soul. I don't know what it is, but I've been in a soul mood lately...? This song is warm and honest and everything lovely. It's a perfect song for a slow dance or just watching the morning sun come up as you sip tea in your favorite coffee shop (guilty). Give it a listen and you're sure to smile!

Image result for younger now miley cyrus lyrics

I know, I know, I know - it's Miley Cyrus. JUST LET ME HAVE MY DISNEY CHANNEL MOMENT. While I don't exactly know what has been going on with Miley Cyrus and her music post-Hannah Montana fame, WOWZA, "Younger Now" is a jam. I love how Miley's voice is sultry and a bit old-school. She seems to be a great singer live, too?! I dig this track, even though it took some warming up to. Kinda stoked to see what she writes next.

Image result for oh hellos album

If you're looking for peaceful, whimsical folk, you've found it, sister! It took some time for me to come around to The Oh Hello's tunes, but once I did, I was hooked. Their lyrics are honest, filled with Biblical allusions and an equal measure of optimism and heartbreak. Perfect for an early morning run or writing a novel set in a woodsy town. You'll want to have the whole album playing in the background the whole day long!

Image result for bleachers music

First off, Jack Antonoff just seems like a wonderfully awkward sir, and that makes his music all the more enjoyable. "Take Me Away" is feverish and apologetic and a little manic all at once, in a low-key sort of way. Like a bruise forming beneath the skin.

Image result for beach boys smiley smile

This song is classic. It's worming its way into my heart and quickly becoming one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. Can't beat it. Give it a listen!

What about you?

Please, please, PLEASE for the love of all that is good and sacred, comment a GIF of one of your favorite musicians or bands doing something hilarious. Or leave a song recommendation if you're a gem! What is your favorite album right now?

Friday, September 22, 2017

How to Be Your Own Kind of Creative

Yo, my people!

As bloggers, artists and writers, creativity is something we adore. We live for it, obsess over it, and are constantly seeking new outlets to express it. Creativity is a beautiful thing! But not every creative soul is the same. What works for one person in the way of artistic process may not work for everyone. So how do you hit your own creative stride? Here's what I'm learning about being your own kind of creative! 

Don't compare yourself.

WHY DO IT. No, really...why do it?

Know this: EVERYONE compares themselves. Even that musician you love. Even that actor you aspire to be like. EVERYONE DOES IT. I don't know why we do. Hey, it's a fallen world. But just know that being your own kind of creative starts with just that - realizing that the Lord has made you unique and that He has plans for the creative life only you can lead!

Embrace all types of creativity.

Creativity isn't limited to words on a page. You can be a writer, yes, but you can also explore painting, cooking, fashion design, learning about science, etc. Even loving others can be creative! Do you have a tender heart? Make someone a birthday card or show them you care by babysitting and coming up with fun games for the kids! There is not one cut-and-dried "type" of creativity. So don't stress if you're not one certain kind of creative. Embrace you!

Discover your creative rhythm.

When and why do you get lit up about a creative project? Learn to identify patterns in what things encourage you to make your art and when you are most creative. For me, I always get super inspired after running in the early morning. Or, conversely, super late at night. (Wha?) Know when you are most productive and tap into that. After all, it's your own creative process. Know what works for you!

Remember that no one's perfect.

Oh gosh, no! I know that social media and the Internet makes it really easy for other creatives to appear #flawless, but YO - that's not true. Never pursue perfection in creativity - it's impossible and just ruins the journey. I beat myself up so much about making my novel "perfect" that I had to put it aside. Ask yourself what is more important - attempting to make something flawless or learning and experimenting with your art along the way. It truly is a journey!

What about you?

What does being your own kind of creative mean to you? What kinds of ways do you pursue creativity outside of writing/blogging projects? Is there anything you wish you'd known earlier in your creative journey? Let me know down in the comments!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Falling in Love with Christ Again

Good morning, y'all!

I write this post by hand in a coffee shop before the world has woken. Hurricane Irma left my family safe but without power for roughly 3 days, and during that time I re-visited what it means to create in the analog sense. Writing by hand is beautiful and time-consuming! BUT I DIGRESS

I wanted to remind you of the LOVE that is in the Father.

I have been forgetting lately that the love of Christ is a relational love. There is a reason He is called our Heavenly Father, folks. He wants an intimate relationship, not religion.

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" 
- Romans 8:15

Lately I have been viewing God in a way very apart from who He is - as someone stoic, judgmental, as if He were looking down on me. God has to judge sin, of course, but He came to earth to SAVE and to LOVE and to DRAW NEAR, and that is something I've been wrestling with. When I feel guilty, I choose guilt and my own thoughts over grace, which is just not the truth.

Beautiful cousin is beautiful.

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through Him." 
- John 3:17

If you are in Christ, the Lord is not counting your flaws against you. I love when He sends me reminders like this, even in a coffee shop. I guess I just need to dig into His Word more and absorb what He is trying to tell me. Because without Him, I'm a mess, yo.

So that's it!

Just a quick reminder that I am loved and so are you, and that the Lord's love gives us strength. We have all the hope and peace we will ever need, despite what our brains try to tell us. P.S. Did you notice something different today? *dances and points to URL* FREE PIE FOR EVERYONE! If you have any trouble accessing things, please let me know!

What about you?

What do you love about the Lord? How do you grow your relationship with Him? Is there anyway I can pray for you? P.S. Thanks for everyone who reached out during the hurricane! Means a lot! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Living the Artistic Life Everyday of the Week

Hey there, friends!

Today I want to talk about living artistically. I know a lot of you are creatives, and often it can be hard to juggle school, work, family, relationships and all of the other things life throws at us. How do we make time for creative pursuits in the midst of daily life, not just on the weekends? Here are some of the ways I tackle this in my own life.

Listen to music.

Yo, for real though. This might seem like a simple tip, but adding music to your day can make your life feel like a film that you are the star of. Walking to and from work, I always try and listen to music that inspires me or makes me happy, like the Beach Boys. Listening to good music can get you ready to tackle the day, calm you down and feed your creative side.

Unplug after a pre-determined hour.

This is so important, y'all. All day long we rush around, tapping away at our computers, completing assignment after assignment in the digital world. Devoting an hour or two before bed to completely unplug is magical. It helps your brain recharge. Take the time to write your thoughts in a journal, pick up your guitar, or paint. Often we feel like we have less time than we actually do because it's eaten up with so much technology. UNPLUG!

Keep a notebook.

Even if you're not a writer or "the notebook type," this tip can help you hold onto ideas you didn't know you were losing. I don't know how many times I've overheard some wonderful snatch of dialogue or gotten a great idea for a story/song on the fly. Having a notebook on you at all times ensures that you can be creative wherever, whenever. It's fun to write down your ideas on actual paper and not just on your phone because then you will have a full volume of all your cool ideas in one place!


One of the things that keeps me constantly inspired and growing is reading. Read everything - magazines, novels, the newspaper, websites, other people's blogs, your own blog, the back of soup get the point. You would not believe the inspiration that can come from reading other people's work and learning about the world. Especially if you're not taking classes! Reading is one of the biggest ways to learn on your own.

The windows are boarded up because of Hurricane Irma. I can't wait til FL is safe again!

Support your local creatives.

Get out in your community and meet the people who are pursuing their dreams and creating wonderful things in your town. Rubbing shoulders with those who do what they love can help you form meaningful connections and inspire you to move forward in your own creative pursuits.

Devote time daily to your passion projects.

This could be anything from baking cookies to learning photography to writing your novel. But the important thing is that you move ahead. Even thirty minutes a day towards a project is still PROGRESS. Take that time you would have spent checking and re-checking your social media and devote it to your craft. Creativity doesn't just have to be for the weekend. If you can't find the time, try going to bed at a decent hour and waking up one hour earlier than usual.

What about you?

How do you stay creative during weekdays? Are there any websites or makers who have been inspiring you lately? Is this a type of post you'd like to see more of?
Let me know in the comments!  

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Pursuit of Perfection

Hello, my people!

Today I want to talk to y'all about perfectionism! Perfectionism, comparison, and insecurity are things that I struggle with periodically and that have been on my heart a lot lately. I am going to do whatever it takes to make 24 a year of confidence, but I'm not there yet. I wanted to get y'all's thoughts on this.

For me, perfectionism can manifest itself in the form of creativity.

Being creative is a glorious thing. (Other glorious things: pumpkin spice candles, movies in the theater, black skinny jeans...the list goes on.) But what if the art you make isn't P-E-R-F-E-C-T? What then? I put a lot of pressure on myself to make things that meet my very high standards. This is something I've struggled with in regards to my novel and most recently, this blog.

What's wrong with a little mess?

The thing about perfectionism is that it never leaves you satisfied.
There is always something new to fix, improve upon, chase. This struggle leaves me feeling either super prideful or super insecure, neither of which I want to be. I don't want to hold others or myself to ridiculous standards and I don't want to feel paralyzed by so much self-awareness. It's not always as intense as I'm making it sound, but yo, it can be a real thing.

It can be a real thing and it can keep you from dancing in joy before the Lord.

I don't think social media helps. There is nothing wrong with art or expression, but when we try to control our image so much that it starts to consume us, we lose ourselves. I'll be real with y'all, I put a lot of thought and time and planning into this blog and sometimes it kills me that it's not "perfect." Part of me wants to delete everything and start over, which is the timeless Ye Olde Blogging Struggle.

But I'd rather be honest than perfect.

I'd rather be real than perfect.

"When I felt secure, I said, 'I will never be shaken.'
O Lord, when You favored me, You made my mountain stand firm;
but when You hid Your face, I was dismayed."
- Psalm 30:6-7

In a world where much is false, I want to love.
After taking some time off from blogging this summer, I realized that that is what I want in life. To create, yes, but not to pursue perfection. My legs are weary from chasing unrealistic ideals for too long. I want to be filled with others and not self, and keep in mind that the ones who appear most polished are often the most broken.

This is my prayer.

What about you?

Is perfection or comparison something you struggle with? What are ways you combat that? Have you ever thought about deleting your blog and starting again? 
Happy Friday, friends! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Good morning, my people!

So today's the day. 24. Incredible! It's become a bit of a tradition for me to celebrate my birthday on the blog (see 21, 22, and 23 for reference), and this year is no different. Though I can't believe I'm 24(!), I'm super inspired to see how the Lord will change me and work in me this year.

One thing that I love about birthdays is that they signify a fresh start. In this 24th year, I want to put my past behind me, and move on to the glorious N E W things that the Lord has planned. I really want to make this year about growing Christlike character, creating, praying, and spending time in nature.

No song better to listen to on my birthday then Switchfoot's "24."

Dear Lord, let's make 24 a year of confidence, celebration in You, victory, and loving others with a full and open heart. Thank You for every second of my 24 years!