In Lifestyle, Reading on
18 May, 2017

16 Must-Read Classic Novels

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love to read? Let me give you a little look into just how much and how it all started.

When I was in high school, I was given the task to choose from a list of classic novels about which to write a thesis paper. This was really the first time in my education that I was able to choose for myself which book I wanted to read (rather than being assigned a specific book).

Being that I cherished my childhood memories of living in England, I wanted to choose something British. I chose Wuthering Heights, and I have never quite been the same since. From that moment on, I couldn’t get enough of the classics, particularly those published in the 19th Century. After that, I was so passionate about reading in general that I would devour any assigned novel and write my thesis papers at least a week before they were due.

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In Home Decor, Lifestyle on
17 May, 2017

Color Crush: Blue + White Farmhouse

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If you know me and my neutral decorating style from following me on Instagram, then what I am about to say may shock you a little: I have a color crush.

Yes, little miss “I Only Do Neutrals” is in LOVE with the color BLUE this season! I can’t get enough of looking on Pinterest at blue and white decor, like this living room. And, after looking on Wayfair, TJ Maxx and H&M online, I just couldn’t help but share my finds with you. I’m also including a few of my blue and white prints from Simply & Ardently! Links are just below the photo above.

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In Home Decor, Lifestyle on
11 May, 2017

Live Simply. Live Ardently. Live Well.

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As some of you may know, I have been dabbling in a side business for a little while now. For the past several years, I have worked full-time as a graphic designer, but I felt like I needed a creative outlet where I could design anything and everything that tickled my fancy. And so my Etsy shop was born.

In the summer of 2015, I started designing wedding invitations and I listed a few of them on Etsy. And then life got busy and I gave up on it. I let my listings expire and focused on other things in my life that were more important.

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In Faith, Lifestyle, Reading on
9 May, 2017

5 Things Jane Austen Has Taught Me About Life (Pt. 1)

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Well, I certainly hope you’re not tired of hearing about Jane Austen yet. I have been reading through all of her novels within the last year, and I never tire of being able to apply her stories to everyday life.

I was folding laundry the other day (how exciting, I know), and apparently I do my best thinking when I’m completing mundane tasks. As I was matching socks and hanging up shirts, I was reflecting on some of my favorite moments from Sense & Sensibility, which I was reading at the time. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how many things Austen has taught me about life, love and everything in between. Today I’d like to share just a few of them with you.

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In Lifestyle on
5 May, 2017

Friday Favorites (No. 3)

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Happy Friday! After a crazy week of being sick and having a million little things to do, I am so ready for the weekend.

First of all, this week the internet has been really amusing. Between all the posts about Justin Timberlake and Star Wars, I’ve had a few good chuckles. However, can we please take a moment to recognize what will truly be the most exciting day of this month?! 

I recently watched the BBC miniseries version of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility, and I’ve been able to talk about little else since then! You guys, it was SO GOOD. I wouldn’t say it’s better than the 1995 movie, but it was wonderful. I laughed, and I cried. I have to say, I can’t quite decide who is the better Edward – Hugh Grant or Dan Stevens?! I truly loved them both in the role.

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In Faith, Motherhood on
3 May, 2017

Trust in You – A Real Life “Call The Midwife” Story

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Hi friends! You may have noticed that lately I’ve been sharing a lot of guest posts, and you may be wondering why. So – before I share today’s post by my friend Valerie – I wanted to give you a little insight into why that is.

I think it’s important to talk about life. And I don’t just mean “what I ate for lunch” or “my favorite drink at Starbucks” or “that’s a super cute shirt” type of conversations. Sure, those things are fun to talk about, but I mean really talking about the struggles in our journeys. The purpose of this is two-fold: 1) to encourage others, and 2) to remind ourselves of all that God has done in our lives.

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In Faith, Home Decor, Lifestyle on
27 April, 2017

Loving The Space (And Place) You’re In

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“It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain. Unless you find a way to do that, there’s always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there–wherever “there” is for you–you’ll be happy. But that’s just not life. If you can’t find happiness in the ugliness, you’re not going to find it in beauty, either.” Joanna Gaines

In January 2016, something really exciting happened for me and my husband – we closed on our very first house! We were so excited (and a little stressed), but it’s safe to say we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

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In Lifestyle on
21 April, 2017

Friday Favorites (No. 2)

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Wow, what a week it has been! I mean, honestly. This was one of those weeks when I got to Tuesday evening and was already completely wiped out (not to mention ready for bed by 8:00 pm). Please tell me I’m not the only one!

This week I read The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines. To be honest with you, up until this week I had only ever seen one episode of Fixer Upper! I have just been on such a kick with watching period dramas on Netflix or Amazon Prime, and I haven’t been in the mood for that type of show. However, on Sunday evening my husband’s grandma suggested I read The Magnolia Story and she let me borrow her copy. I have to say, I loved it so much! And now that my husband and I actually have cable, I can start watching their show on HGTV! My plan is to start from season one and work my way through to the current season.

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In Faith, Motherhood, Trials on
19 April, 2017

My Journey with Postpartum Depression – God’s Story

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Have you met my friend Helen Gentz from Helen’s Corner? Well, today you’re in for a treat! Helen is here to share with us her journey with postpartum depression. She has such a beautiful story to tell, and it honestly brought me to tears when I first read it! My prayer is that you will be encouraged just as I was. – Jen

It was a Sunday evening.

My 2 year-old son was fast asleep. And my 7 month-old daughter had finally gone down for the next few hours. It was my husband Joel’s prime time to decompress after a full day of teaching, preaching, and hosting friends. Mine, too, but I didn’t need to decompress because it was Sunday evening. I needed to decompress because it was like any other day. There I was, sitting in our TV room. Arms crossed. Anger. Tears. And my dear husband sat by me, unaware of how it got this far…this bad…this desperate.  

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In Lifestyle on
7 April, 2017

Friday Favorites (No. 1)

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Happy Friday! I am so excited that it’s Friday for two reasons: 1) It’s going to be super warm outside this weekend, and 2) I am starting a new Friday ritual here on the blog!

I’m aware that this is probably not a unique idea in any way, but in order to connect with my readers more I am starting something called Friday Favorites! A couple of times per month on Fridays, I will post a random update on my life, sharing my favorite moments from the week as well as anything good I’ve seen, read, watched, listened to, etc. In return, I would love for you to comment with your own Friday Favorites so we can learn about each other!

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