A California Adventure (& Learning to Live a More Vibrant Life)


I just got back from an amazing trip to California.


When I get back from seeing other cities and states, my heart is always full of gratitude and inspiration. We are so blessed when we step outside of our comfort zones, aren’t we — when we leave the areas and places we find most familiar and comforting? I’m learning how to do this more — not just when it comes to traveling, but also just living life. He’s constantly calling us to experience MORE.


I fell in love with California’s sea-salt bay breezes, corner coffee shops, vibrant colors, history, and creative culture.



chocolate   KtandKam

I sampled chocolates at Ghiradelli Square, stood in the sparkly sand at Whiskeytown Lake (yes, it had flecks of gold sparkles in it!!), had my first Pinkberry experience (the chocolate and almond slivers do not disappoint!), and enjoyed lots of sweet moments with my sister and one of my dearest friends.



I was inspired by clear blue skies, found fonts, vintage architecture, quirky shops and boutiques, and lots of delicious food. I left feeling thankful for the people God’s placed in my life — the family members who feel like friends and the friends who feel like family. I left knowing that His Hand is truly at work in this season, adding color, meaning, and beauty. I left knowing that He’s given me a story to live and share as vibrantly and faithfully as I can.

#MyInspiredLifeAPTD – Week 1 Photo Round-Up


[Photo credits top row left to right: ybosovik; hgottschalk12;  Bottom row left to right: toliveinspired; heynoots]

I am so inspired by the lovely moments you all are capturing for the #MyInspiredLifeAPTD photo challenge. Keep sharing your joys and inspirations and possibilities. I can’t wait to continue to share your photo stories right here. And if you haven’t joined the fun yet, click on over here and find out how! Would love you to be a part of it!

Thanks for being a part of this inspired journey!

P.S. I know I’ve already mentioned it once, but I’ll be releasing the eBook video VERY SOON. Eeeep! Can you believe it?! My friend Nate did an absolutely incredible job, and my heart is just bursting with excitement to share it with you all! Keep your eye out for it in the next week or so!

Leaps of FAITH


A leap of faith doesn’t mean you haphazardly go after something; it means you can envision a possible positive outcome and you believe in it so much that you have no choice but to ACT on it with intention… even though you don’t know how it will happen. You know that risking for what matters is worth it. The alternative is staying stuck and that gets you… in the same place you started.  ~ Lara Casey

I just love that wisdom, and it’s so applicable to my One Little Word of 2013: FURTHER. I’ve got an open heart to where He’s leading, and I’m ready to keep going further in my art and my faith.

I have a few updates to share with you today, as things might look a bit different on the blog for the next month or so (while I take a few leaps of faith!). ;) I’ll be kicking off a new series on Thursday called Calling All Dreamers. This new series will run for the next month or two, as I focus on writing the rest of my eBook. I’ve lined up a bunch of inspiring guest bloggers, and I hope you’ll be encouraged to dream bigger, bolder dreams, as a result of the honest words they share from the heart.

My posting days will switch up a bit for the next month or so, as well. Normally, I blog on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and occasionally once on the weekend. For the next month or two, I’m switching to a Tuesday/Thursday schedule to free up as much time as I can for eBook writing and designing.

While I will miss blogging regularly, I’ll stop in every week or so to share an eBook update with you all. I’m exited to have this plan in place to complete the book, because my goal is to have it ready for purchase this summer. Yay! :)

Also, be on the lookout for a promo video coming soon to give you an idea of the book’s look and feel.

Can’t wait to share the first Calling All Dreamers post with you Thursday!

Until then,

Be inspired.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to being a bit under the weather this week, my new Calling All Dreamers series will be postponed until next week, so I can focus on resting. :) Please check back Tuesday for the first in the series! Thanks, friends! Have a wonderful rest of your week!]

Making Things Happen in 2013

I spent much of my week-long blog Sabbath dreaming with The Lord. It was such a joy to spend that time with Him, sharing the desires on my heart and praying through new ideas and plans and dreams. During my week-long break from writing posts, I discovered Lara Casey’s Make It Happen series, and I prayerfully worked through the different goal-setting/vision-casting steps she’s outlined on her site. I’ve been so excited to share the fruits of that brainstorm (and my blog Sabbath) with all of you.


MY VISION FOR 2013: Inspired, encouraging, balanced, intentional, going further with an open heart. I will embrace my story and my season, living fearlessly, fully, and creatively. I will abide in Him and dream with Him, using my God-given gifts and passions to pursue what He’s laid on my heart. I will pray boldly, trusting His guidance. I desire to see a fruitful harvest in my life that glorifies Him and blesses others. My vision for 2013 is to be more of the woman He created me to be — inspiring, encouraging, and spurring on the people He puts in my life. My vision for 2013 is to bear His fruit in my writing, in my artwork, and in my relationships with others.

**Here’s what I’m saying YES to in 2013 (I have since added many more things to this list in my journal, and I also have a “what I’m saying no to” list):

1. Being intentional (intentionally investing in others and building relationships, intentionally pursuing my writing and art making dreams, intentionally praying and seeking Him…)
2. Creating more balance in my life
3. Positive heart and positive thinking (“from out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”)
4. Deeper trust in God
5. Embracing my current season and living fearlessly, fully, and creatively
6. Limiting computer time and making sure I’m spending time writing and dreaming in my actual journal, playing with paint and papers to create collages, and doing art journaling
7. Setting aside *focused* time for writing (without allowing myself to be distracted by Pinterest or social media)
8. Meditating on His truth daily
9.  An open, thankful heart
10. Living an inspired life
11. Encouraging others to use their gifts and live inspired, creative lives
12. Eating healthy, fresh foods (and fewer processed foods)
13. Believing His promises
14. Abiding in Him
15. Using social media to build community and encourage and spur others on (and not as a time-waster or a way to compare myself with others)
16. Believing that He has given me influence and that my gifts and my story matter
17. Running and yoga
18. Regular Sabbaths and fasting
19. Bold prayers
20. Being confident in being the woman He created me to be
21. Taking risks
22. Leaps of faith

After going through the above exercises, among others, I finally ended up with my 2013 goals:

1.   Write, design, publish my eBook. This book is my heart right now, and I am so, so excited to finish it and release it into the world. I’m already praying that it will be a blessing to those who read it.

2.   Grow as a teacher/speaker/writer. In the five-fold ministry quiz, I rank highest in the areas of Pastor and Teacher. This year, I want to really dig into those two areas and further develop them — stepping even #FURTHER into the calling the Lord has placed on my life. I also want to grow as a writer, continuing to develop my voice and stretching myself creatively as much as I can.
3.   Pursue new freelance opportunities and creative collaborations. There are a few publications I am dreaming to work with, and I need to get my ideas on paper (and in e-mail form) and reach out. I also want to just collaborate more with creatives in general. I get so jazzed about working with other talented people who love to make stuff, and I want to do so much more of that this year. It’s inspiring. It builds community. And it’s just so very good for the soul.

4. Make intentional investments: in relationships, in His Kingdom, in developing my God-given passions, dreams, and ministries of writing and art. I want to be intentional in 2013. I want to seek Him daily. I want to hear His voice and respond. I want to always be asking myself these two questions: “What is God saying to me?” and “What am I going to do about it?” And I want to be intentionally inspiring, encouraging, and spurring others on, building community and relationships, and bearing His fruit in everything I do.

5. Fight for my future marriage: We just completed a series at church about fighting for our marriages, and while I might not be IN a marriage currently, I can certainly fight for my future marriage. And I want to. I want to be a blessing to my future husband, even now, in singleness. I want to keep praying for him. I want to keep growing and being mentored and learning about who I am and what that might mean for our future relationship. I want to know — truly know — everything the Lord has to say about marriage, and I want to carry that truth in my heart. I want to be pruned and prepared. And I never want to stop hoping. I want to guard my heart against discouragement and know that His timing is perfect, and it’s always worth the wait.

6.   Seek balance: I want to be intentional about how I’m spending my time this year, and I want to be intentional about establishing a healthy balance in areas like online life/offline life, work/rest, etc. I want to pray and fast (and also pray more and worry less). I want to create more with my hands and not just at a computer. I want to get back to painting, collaging, and art journaling. I love typing out my thoughts, but I am also fulfilled in such a different way when I’m creating with my hands — when it’s messy, and imperfect, and tactile. I know I need to make more space for this in my life. I also want to eat healthy, fresh foods and exercise more. I want to joyfully create and work hard to accomplish my goals/dreams, but I also want to just experience the goodness of living life.

How are your goals coming along so far this year? Did you follow any type of goal-setting/vision-casting process?

P.S. I have a Making Things Happen Pinterest board, too. Check it out, here. :)

{images via Lara Casey}

We Have Influence – Link-Up


Hi, friends! Now that I’ve wrapped up my blog sabbath, I’m feeling refreshed and inspired and ready to jump back into the blogging community. Yay!

Today, as I sip my hazelnut coffee and appreciate the much-needed sunshine streaming through my window, I’m happy to be writing my post for the Influence Network’s Link-Up for Influential Women.

So, okay, let’s go! :)

3 Things About Me:

1. I love typography. Just as much as I love words, I also love the way they are artfully communicated and presented to the world. Typography is such a beautiful art form that never fails to inspire me. I collect fonts and love learning about lettering styles of past eras. (This beautiful book is on my wish list.) Lately, I’ve also been experimenting with my own hand lettering and am having fun learning more about that. A person’s handwriting reveals so much about who they are and captures a bit of their personality on paper — and I love that!

2. I love journaling (and notebooks!). I love journaling in all its forms. I keep art journals, prayer journals, daydream journals, etc. etc. I also can’t resist pretty journals and notebooks when I spot them. There’s something so inspiring about a fresh, blank notebook just waiting to be filled with beautiful, inspiring things.

3. I’m practicing fearlessness. The Lord has been teaching me a lot about bravery and fearlessness. He’s teaching me more and more how to take leaps of faith, trusting His guidance. I want to be courageous in all things — courageous in my art, my writing, my creating. Courageous in love. Courageous in my pursuit of the life He has planned for me.


{photo by LuSarah SEAS Photography}

One thing I’ve learned through The Influence Network:

I’ve been learning what it looks like to live out this verse from Hebrews: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24) It is an amazing blessing to connect with likeminded women — encouraging and inspiring and spurring each other on to bravely follow the call the Lord has placed on each of our lives. I am so thankful for each woman I’ve connected with, and I look forward to connecting with many more through this link-up! I pray that as a network we would continue to grow together as women of God, that we would continue to see women taking leaps of faith, prayers being answered, and women becoming more and more of who God created them to be.

Dear Reader…


I want to inspire you.

I want to inspire you to dream big dreams. To take risks and be who God made YOU to be. I want to inspire you to love hard and true, deeply and fearlessly. To trust in His plan for you. To feel hope for the future, but find joy right where He has you today. I want to inspire you to live FULLY and CREATIVELY. To pursue those God-given passions that make your heart flutter. And to keep pressing in close to Him, allowing Him to lead you and shape you and grow you into the woman He created you to be.

I want to inspire you to do these things, because I want to do them, too.

And I hope that we can learn together, grow together, and be inspired together.

Thanks for being a part of this space.

{Editor’s Note: I’ve been thinking a lot about my heart for this blog and why I write in this space. So, tonight’s post was all about my heart for those who take their time to read the words I share. You are all so special to me.}

Staying Creative // Natalie From Good Girl Style

 Staying Creative

Hi, friends! After a short break, I’m back with a new Staying Creative feature. Yay! And I’m so excited to introduce you to this week’s guest, Natalie from Good Girl Style. She’s quickly becoming a dear online friend, and I think she’s pretty awesome and inspiring. ;) You know how sometimes you meet someone you just click with, and you know you’re going to be friends? Well, it was just like that when I discovered Natalie’s blog through The Influence Network, and we started e-mailing and chatting.

I shall now turn it over to Natalie, so she can share some of her current inspirations. :)

{Coffee, Magazines, and Jesus Music = Happy Natalie}

Being a happy girl with a poet’s heart, everything inspires me. I actually have inspiration overload sometimes and can’t focus. Which is why I {try to} limit my caffeine intake and why I am a frequent user of the Twitter hashtag #caffeinecrazy (join me, it’s fun!). Anyway, when Katie asked me to share my inspirations, it was tough to narrow it down, but I did some good thinking and some pencil-chewing (what is the computer/typing version of that??) and these three rose to the top:

      1.) Thrifting. I get so inspired by the crazy-wonderful things I find thrifting and the whole experience. It is a treasure-hunt, gold-mine of happy and unique things. Lately, I’ve picked up a small sunshine-yellow pitcher, vintage Nancy Drew books, and  a small picnic-basket-like wicker purse.

      2.) Magazines are some of my favorite things to spend time with (that sounds weird!), and I love to be able to highlight, underline, bookmark, carry around with me, read over and over again in the middle of the night, tear out & stick on my walls with washi tape, etc. I enjoy the texture of the paper, the smell of ink on paper, and the beauty of a glossy, colorful magazine. Some of my favorites are: Darling Magazine, Life:Beautiful, People Style:Watch, Martha Stewart Living, Whole Living, and Natural Health.

      3.) Quotations. I have long been a collector of quotations and have filled notebooks completely with my collection. They offer me endless inspiration for my day, my creative life, and my goals.

{I’m also inspired by pink!}


I’m a writer, baker, dreamer, inspire-r, happy girl who loves Jesus. I write about faith-based fashion and finding beauty in our everyday lives. I strive to gather as much “beautiful” as I can each day and share it with you on my blog, Good Girl Style. Let’s be friends, yeah?

Thanks for sharing your inspirations with us, Natalie!

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How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter: #BeInspiredStayCreative.)

Living With Art + Color

It’s no secret how much I love color and art. When I’m surrounded by bright, happy shades and beautiful artwork, I just feel happier — and more inspired.

So, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the ways I embrace color + art in my home — and my life.


I created this Be Still and Know collage last winter. It serves as a beautiful reminder each day.


I love a good art cluster on the wall. I like to combine my own artwork with precious photos and inspiring artwork by others. Each piece I add to my curated collection tells a story and means something to me — which makes the whole display all the more special.


This wall holds art by some of my favorite artists: Heather L. Murphy, Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, Dinara Mirtalipolva, and Michele Maule.

And I made the polka-dotted bird piece, of course! It was one of the first collages I ever made, actually! The Explore collage above was the first! :)

artcluster couchpillows

I’m a huge fan of comfy, cozy pillows — and of course I can’t resist playful patterns and pretty palettes.


I collect milk glass, and this lovely bowl has held pumpkins, fruit, and festive pinecones over the years. It belonged to my grandmother (and I believe my great-grandmother before that), so it’s one of my favorite items in my home. (I adore the sweet scalloped edges and the little teardrop shapes in the glass.)


I like to add fun details wherever possible — like these cute + quirky handmade clay birds that my elementary art school teacher made.


Don’t feel like you have to confine your art and color to just your walls. Consider making your cupboards happy with multi-hued dishes + cups.

Fiesta dishes were on my wish list for a very long time, so I was excited to get a set of them for Christmas this year. (The tall blue drinking glasses are vintage and were a birthday gift a few years ago.)


Tea or coffee brainstorms are much more inspired with a pretty mug (and a cookie). ;)


Don’t overlook your wardrobe or accessories when it comes to adding colorful, artful pieces. This purple hue is one of my favorites, so I couldn’t resist adding this silk scarf to my collection. (Plus, it has little birds on it, which made it even more perfect for me!)


Ah, I am quite the notebook addict, and is it any surprise that I keep a colorful array of pens and notebooks at-the-ready to record every idea, hope, prayer, and daydream?


This adorable set is from Target. I love the sweet quotes, and — of course — the polka dots.


And just for fun — a photo of Mia. Because she always enjoys participating in my blog photo shoots! ;)

* * *

What about you? How do you incorporate color and art into your home and life?

Staying Creative // Lisa Galek

Staying Creative

Hi, friends! I’m back with the next installment of my Staying Creative series. I’m excited to introduce you all to Lisa — an inspiring friend of mine who shares my love for words. Her inspirations definitely speak to my word-loving heart, and I hope you’re as inspired by her interview as I was.



First of all, big thanks to Katie for letting me contribute to this series and inviting me to appear on her beautiful and inspiring blog!

So, what’s inspiring me right now? Well, that’s a good question.


This one is kind of obvious, right? Who doesn’t love working for themselves? Who wouldn’t be inspired by a new adventure every day? Well, it took me a long time to get here.

It’s kind of weird to think of myself as an “artist.” Up until a few months ago, I probably would have thought of myself as a regular old cubicle dweller. Certainly not as someone anyone else would look to for inspiration. I was working as an editor for a major company in Cleveland, and while my work was creative, that creativity was squeezed in between endless meetings, deadlines, and paperwork. I badly needed some inspiration in my life.

The thing I missed most while doing my job was actually writing. Since I was mostly reworking other people’s stuff, I didn’t have as much opportunity to come up with things on my own. Yes, editing is creative, but I had an itch and I needed to scratch it.

So, I decided to make a change.

I quit the regular job and started doing freelance writing. Though quitting a full-time job in a bad economy seems insane, so far it’s worked out pretty well (thanks to the support of my awesome husband). So, why is writing and working on my own terms so inspirational?

  • I get to write. Every day. Yay!
  • I set my own schedule every week. That means lots of working in my P.J.’s.
  • Every week is something new and different. New assignments, new projects, new ideas and inspiration.
  • I’m my own boss. ‘Nuff said.

But the #1 one reason freelance writing is so awesome and inspirational…


Being at home more has given me a chance to spend more time with my family, which includes my two lovely daughters – Elizabeth and Gwendolyn.


My girls inspire my work in so many ways. Sometimes its obvious, like when I’m working on writing geared towards kids. Sometimes, they’re just laughing at my corny jokes (kids love fart jokes, which makes me feel better when I throw one in somewhere). But, most of the time they’re just hanging around, being their adorable selves, and lighting up my life.

Of course, there are always those times where I have to throw on the TV so I can proofread something (“Hold on, girls, Mommy is looking up the correct spelling of the word “latte”). So, I’m grateful when they don’t freak out over my work and home worlds colliding.

#3 – BOOKS

Last, but definitely not least. Books always inspire me. Any time I have questions, worries, concerns, or just down time, I turn to books. (Sure, I also turn to people too, but until I can resurrect Jane Austen and make her my best friend, I’m still gonna need to keep my copy of Pride and Prejudice handy).

Pretty much the only downside to being a freelance writer and mom is that these other awesome things take away from the precious time I could be spending with books. Sure, family and writing come first, but books are my first love.

Before I could write, before my daughters were even though of, there were books. And I was a reader. So, anytime I get a chance to snuggle up with one of my favorites or a new favorite-in-the-making, I take it.

Here’s a little tribute to my all-time good reads:

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • The Bible by God (and various other folks)

So, that’s what’s inspiring me right now. How about you?

Lisa is a freelance writer and editor, and you can connect with her via her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks for sharing your inspirations and creative journey with us, Lisa!

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How are you staying creative these days? I’d love to hear about your current inspirations. (You can use this hashtag to share them on Twitter:  #BeInspiredStayCreative.)