Warming Up for Winter

As we head into November, I hate to admit it, but winter’s coming… ;)

So, I’ve been collecting cute + cozy pins and designing little art pieces to get warmed up and ready.

In terms of style, I’m inspired by bright coats (like this adorable one by Lauren Moffatt) and super-cute, but functional boots (like this pair by Modern Vice that I spotted on Eat, Sleep, Wear). (I’ll soon be on the hunt for stylish steals when it comes to boots & coats. Have you had any luck finding any gems this season?)

And, because I am, of course, a huge fan of all things cozy, as I gear up for the winter months, I’m stocking up on my favorite cider (honeycrisp!), lots of books to read (like Kate Morton’s new one), and my favorite fall and winter-scented candles (amber is always a favorite).

What about you? What are your favorite styles/cozy accessories this season?

{image credits top to bottom, left to right: 1. Modern Vice; 2. Lauren Moffatt; 3. Drink Cider artwork created by me for A Place to Dwell}

All design elements and typography by A Place to Dwell

Inspired City: Fall Library Date

I love library dates.

I love wandering around, row after row, searching for new books to read. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend a slow, relaxing Saturday. I think I might be happiest when I’m surrounded by books. ;)

I don’t know about you, but even though it’s only Wednesday, I’m already thinking ahead to this weekend. If you have the time, I encourage you to treat yourself to a fall library date. Pick up your favorite fall-inspired drink, and head to your local library. Take your time. Look at all the books on display for reading inspirations, wander up and down the rows, and see what you discover. You never know, you might just find your new favorite author or book!

Happy searching! :)


I’ve already been compiling my fall reading list.

Here’s what’s on it so far:

Love Does by Bob Goff (currently reading!)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Blog, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho

What about you? What’s on your list?

{photos by LuSarah SEAS}

Farewell, Summertime

{photography by LuSarah Seas; typography/design by me}

It’s Labor Day Weekend, which I suppose signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

For some reason, this summer seemed to fly by much more quickly than last, but perhaps we say things like that every year?

Looking back, it was a good summer. I felt challenged and stretched in many ways. I took some pretty major steps forward toward a few dreams on my heart (hello, eBook!), and I learned how to better trust my own unique creative voice. I sought inspiration at local events and through little adventures shared with friends. I learned how to pray bigger, bolder prayers and how to trust Him more and worry less.

I delighted in happy summer things like cold Izze sodas, good tunes, blue skies, and bright flowers. I ate plenty of sorbet from my favorite local place (always piled with lots of fresh fruit, sprinkles and chocolate bits, of course!) and read good books (like The Circle Maker and One Thousand Gifts).

I sought to live with an open heart, with open hands, and with gratitude always.

And perhaps most importantly, discovered even more of who I am and who He created me to be.

Happy Weekend!

I’m off to the pool to soak up some sunshine, read, and write and sketch some e-book ideas in my journal. I’ll be back later this weekend with She Reads Truth updates, thoughts on prayer, and other recent happenings in this life and heart of mine. Blessings to you today! :)


Amazing Things

{artwork by Mary Kate McDevitt}

I’m reading The Circle Maker, and one of the things I’m learning is the importance of trusting in and praying over God’s promises.

One of the promises He’s placed on my heart recently is what He promised through Joshua:

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

So, so good, right? :)

Something I used to think about, journal about, and pray about often is this: I am living every day in anticipation, ever thankful for His faithfulness.

God’s promise in Joshua is just the reminder I needed to keep living life that way.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that God is good and He does amazing things.

A Heart That Trusts

I’ve been reading a lot lately — taking in as many beautiful words as I can.

And in the midst of all those words and stories, God’s been speaking to me.

His main message? Trust.

I finished One Thousand Gifts this weekend, and I feel like I could keep going back and rereading so many of the pages (which I’m doing a bit of this afternoon, as a matter of fact, as I write this blog).

The author, Ann Voskamp, writes such challenging and inspirational words about trust an area of my faith that I feel God is really challenging me in this season. It’s tough work — this pruning, this teaching that He’s doing in my heart and in my life, but I believe the fruit of it will push me even closer to Him and give me bold courage to follow wherever He leads.

I liked that in One Thousand Gifts, Ann talks about trust being work, taking action, taking discipline: Believe is a verb, something that you do. Then the truth is that authentic, saving belief must also be? The very real, everyday action of trusting. Then a true saving faith is a faith that gives thanks, a faith that sees God, a faith that deeply trusts?

And she says that our daily work must be to trust, referencing John 6:29 AMP — Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]. She then writes: To trust in the Son, to trust in the wisdom of this moment, to trust in the now. And trust is that: work. The work of trusting love. Intentional and focused.

I think about how my trust in God has ebbed and flowed during the last few months. How I’ve questioned Him and wrestled with Him a bit over various circumstances I’ve found myself navigating.

But like Ann, I believe this, too:  I know my supreme need is joy in God, and I know I can’t experience deep joy in God until I deep trust in God.

Trust is everythingshe writes.

I think she’s right.

Her main focus of the book is the practice of eucharisteo (giving thanks), hence the book’s title One Thousand Gifts. And in her chapter specifically about trust, she connects the two beautifully.

I am changing, deep changing, and I am giving thanks, doing eucharisteo and eucharisteo is eureka, and I know why there’s no fear and why had I never seen it before?

Thanks is what builds trust.

Such a simple sentence with such immense meaning. Thanks is what builds trust.

She goes on to write:
How do you count on life when the hopes don’t add up?

The hopes don’t have to add up. The blessings do.

Count blessings and discover Who can be counted on.

* * *

I’m going to continue to count my own blessings and share them, here.

And as I abide in Him, and He in me, I look forward to discovering more of who He is and more of what He has planned for me.

{Imagine the Possibilities artwork by Penelope Dullaghan from the book Desire to Insire}

Giving Thanks

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Adventuring in New York City
Delicious chocolate samples (and that heavenly chocolate smell!) at the Brooklyn-based chocolate factory Mast Brothers
Dining outdoors (cute, quirky cafes are my favorite)
Visiting the Brooklyn Art Library (and reuniting with my sketchbook!)
Coffee and pain au chocolat (Le Pain Quotidien is amazing!)
The grandeur and timeless charm of the New York Public Library
Finding THE PERFECT pair of new specs—fingers crossed I can find them now that I’m back home! ;)
Scribbled notes while reading
Waking up to sunshine
The often hard, but very necessary practice of eucharisteo (giving thanks) and what it’s doing in my heart

P.S. These are the dream specs mentioned above that I found during my travels. I’m currently checking to see if I can order them now that I’m back home… What do you think? :)

A Summertime List (Or 10 Goals for a New Season)

1. Take frequent trips to local farmers’ markets and eat lots of fresh, in-season food all summer long.

2. Complete my study on women’s wisdom and Proverbs.

3. Start a regular walking/jogging routine (using the 5K app I just downloaded).

4. Buy a vintage-inspired bathing suit.

5. Get a bistro table for my porch, and spend my morning quiet time with God outdoors.

6. Look into my dream of renting an art studio space to share with some of my creative friends.

7. Make a summer reading list (another list! hehe), and plan plenty of outdoor reading dates (at parks, cafes, etc!).

8. Plan a picnic.

9. Trust more, hope more — and worry less.

10. Do something creative every day, in an effort to share more of who He is and bring Him glory in all I do.

What I Needed Today

I needed to get out today — away from the clutter at home and the clutter in my mind.
I needed to feel the sunshine and the wind in my hair.
I needed to let the sounds of people talking, children playing, and the chimes of a nearby church’s bells surround me — but not distract me.
I needed to write out my prayers and get lost in a book.
I needed to feel my pen move across the page, capturing thoughts and questions, hopes and doubts.
I needed to seek God and know that He was right there with me.

So, I did.

And it was lovely.

Vintage Books + Hot Cocoa

It’s been the kind of day that calls for good books and hot cocoa.

After grabbing lunch at a cute local diner with family, I’ve settled in at home to drink cocoa, do some blog/creative project brainstorming, and perhaps work a bit on organizing my craft supplies.

I hope you’re warm and cozy today.

P.S. How cute is that vintage book bundle? It was a Christmas present from my Aunt this year.