DIY Hanging Shelf

If you haven't guessed yet, Becky and I are all about DIY's. Especially easy ones with minimal effort. Anyway, I have this awkwardly placed window in my room which left me trying to figure out unique ways for storage. I also wanted to fill up some wall space and make it look nice.

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I had seen various hanging shelves on Pinterest so I decided to make one of my own using things I already had (so I didn't have to spend any money). So, here is this easy peasy do it yourself shelf that looks super boho chic.

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All you need is:

  • Yarn (what I used). Leather or other string would work too.
  • Piece of wood that is sturdy but not too heavy.
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • *Wood stain or paint* I decided to leave the wood natural but this would be a super easy add in if you want it a different color.
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1. I found a great piece of wood on the beach one day. I cleaned it and set it aside until I decided to make it into this shelf. You can find some wood at Home Depot or somewhere and stain it (or paint) to your desired color.

First, I used the yarn to measure how long I wanted the shelf before I cut it to the desired length. I also had to make suer that there was enough to loop around the wood. I cut four strings total, two for each side. 

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2. Next , I looped the string under the plank and secured a knot at the top. This is where the glue gun would come in handy to secure the string even more. I repeated the same thing on the other side. 

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3. Then, I gathered the string up and tied them together at the top. I left the excess string long so it would gather together as fringe. 

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And TADA!!!

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I hope you guys have a fantastic week and let me know if your end up making this shelf!!

 

xoxo Beth Ann

Enliven

Happy Thursday friends! 2018 has arrived, and we have two things on our heart: 

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1. We're believing that this year holds so much promise for you. That the seeds you've been planting and watering will begin to take bloom in this new season. We're believing with you that the promises you are fervently waiting in God for, are coming swiftly in Jesus' name.

2. We are committing to allowing our creativity to soar to new heights and great depths. Reaching into the chambers of our hearts and using all that God has given us to inspire, to bring light to, to add to, to breathe life into, and to be consistent in doing so. 

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In this bright and beaming year of 2018, let us seek God for the sake of knowing Him better, just to catch His heart. While we are believing and waiting and hoping in God, it is so important to remain in Him, to abide in Him, to walk with Him. His word promises that when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him.

If you have any New Year's Resolutions, join us in letting this be of utmost priority this year: Let us seek Him with everything that we are, and His word promises that everything else will be added unto us.

"Seek first His kingdom, and all else will be added unto you."

Let us dive head first into all that He is, the wonder, the peace and fullness, and into His all consuming presence. Let us watch for God-moments and God-encounters. Let us be open to all that He has. Let us say YES to all He asks.

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We would love to hear what your focusing on in this new year in the comments below!

And Happy New Year friends! Here's to enlivening the atmosphere around us.

Xoxo - Becky & Beth Ann 

Celebrating 1 Sweet Year with Aria

Time is flying friends! We at the Afable household are barely catching up. We have yet to put together a baby photo album of all of Aria's firsts, but let me tell you that I can honestly say I don't feel like I have missed a thing. A friend gave me a piece of sweet yet simple advice on my wedding day four years ago, which was to take mental snapshots of every moment because it goes by much too quick. And for the past year, my husband and I have made a conscious effort to be present in each moment with our little family. We have tried our very best to soak up each moment with our girl - the good and the crazy... we want to remember them forever.

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We especially want to remember the way she fought into this world. So, In honor of Aria Jade Afable turning one this past October, we wanted to share with you the day that we met. (Stop reading here to spare yourself some of the descriptive details.)

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I would say my pregnancy started off as average as pregnancies can be, the nausea daily, the stretch marks, weird body changes.. but at the 24 week mark is when things started changing. We were grocery shopping and I had some abnormal bleeding. And when pregnant, they tell you every weird thing is normal, while at the same time to be watchful and in tune with your body. So, I used my maternal discernment and we called the hospital around 9:30PM. They had us come in and they did a ton of testing to determine that I could be going into preterm labor. We stayed over night and I received some steroids to help baby girl if she decided to come that day. The next day came and everything looked normal, so they sent me home. They thought it may be placenta previa, but were not positive and just told me a few things to watch for.

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Months had passed, and around 35 weeks I began uncontrollably itching all over without a rash or any other symptom. I researched the heck out of what it could be and found that it was most likely colestasis a rare disease that 1% of  pregnant women can come down with and it can result in having a stillborn child. So yes, in the middle of the night while I couldn't sleep and was reading up on this I was low-key freaking out. We went to the doctor and kept getting blood tests to find out that it was most likely the cause. They planned to induce me at 38 weeks.

As I tried everything under the sun to make her come on her own before the induction, the Sunday of the 38th week came. I was working at church that morning and training a new vocalist for Worship Team when I felt this weird pull and push inside of my stomach, a pressure I hadn't felt before. As I got up to walk down the hall, I felt a rush of liquid coming out. I thought my water had broke! I passed my husband in the hall and mentioned that we may need to go to the hospital but I would keep him posted. When I was able to check on it, I found that it was blood, a lot of it. And I was losing a ton by the minute. We have such a good community there and people started coming to my aid right away. They pulled up our car and Luis and I ran every red light and got to the hospital in 7 minutes. By this time, we knew something was very wrong and were literally screaming in tongues crying out to God. We rushed into the hospital and tried to explain to the officer the situation. As he wheeled me back, I'm (only by God's grace) calmly telling the nurses, "I need two IV's, I'm losing a lot of blood and may pass out." Because of how calm I was, they did not take me as seriously at first. Once they strapped me down and had her on a monitor, they saw how urgent everything was. As they hooked up the second IV to me, her heart rate drastically dropped and they all exchanged glances and said gravely, "Did you heart that?" Followed by, "Ma'am, we're going to prep you for emergency surgery now."

They rushed to unplug everything and started wheeling me down the hall and I turned to my husband who was in tears and said, "Just trust God baby." They whisked me out and into the surgery room so fast, yet time seemed to pass so slowly. My two prayers throughout this moment were: that she would be okay and that I wouldn't pass out. 

I have never had surgery before and I am very dramatic when it comes to doctors and needles. So they shoved the catheter up before I was asleep and even though I was in and out of consciousness at this point, I still had enough strength to ask them not to do that yet. Then I proceeded to ask how they were going to put me to sleep... as if that mattered. The anestioslogist calmly yet irritated said "Just breathe" as he placed the mask over my face and I was out. 

What felt like 3 hours later I drearily woke up to my baby girl's cry and I turned to see my husband's tear stained face with the sweetest relief. We made it. Both of us. We made it. I had never felt a more joyous surge go through my body before. We made it. God is good.

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God held us the whole time. I was alive to hold my baby. 

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And can I tell you as if it could get any better, the moment that I held her in my arms for the first time was so magical. There isn't a feeling in the world to describe it. I was a mom, and I actually felt like one. What a call that was now placed on my life. Indescribable.

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At this point, I was very high on the morphine that they had flowing through my body (since I didn't get local anesthesia) and kept thanking the doctors and nurses over and over and over like a broken record. But, I really was so grateful that God created them and their wise brains that day. Every detail of this day was a divine appointment and we certainly will never forget it! 

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Happy One Year sweet girl! We are certain from the surprise moment that you began growing as a little bean inside of me, to the  adventurous way you entered this Earth, and to this moment here and now with your brave yet tender heart, that God has incredible plans for your life. We are honored to disciple you through this world and we pray God's wisdom and discernment over us as we lead you. 

Thank you again to all of our family and friends for storming Heaven with your prayers and for dropping everything to come around our family during this time. We are more than blessed to have you alongside us to raise our little girl.

Our lovely announcement photos, Hospital photos, and Fall family picture are all by our favorite: NikkiKauzlarichPhotography

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What a time to be alive, love on someone close to you today,
XO - Becky

Happy Christmas Time

It's hard to believe that Christmas time is already upon us. Anyone else feel like this year was a gigantic blur? With all of the hustle and bustle and holiday prep, we are making sure to keep some of our favorite holiday traditions alive. One of them being, Christmas movie binging!! There's nothing more cozy than a big cup of hot coco, your favorite blanket, and a Christmas movie marathon. 

So, join us as we narrow down some of our favorites just for you (in no particular order)...

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The Holiday

This is a must and it’s probably the least cheesy of them all. It's very well made with some of our favorite actors. It's also not overly Christmas themed. Rumor is that its currently on Hulu.

White Christmas

This movie is a classic. It's a bit long but it's so worth it. Bing Crosby is in it and it's amazing. P.S. it's on Netflix!

Christmas With Holly

This was a Hallmark movie from a few years ago about a little girl who lost her mom and is being raised by her uncles. Oh goodness, it is so darn sweet.

Jingle All the Way

This movie cracks us up every time we watch it. Arnold Schwarzenegger AND Sinbad fighting over a toy is hilarious.

Preacher's Wife

Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington... need I say more.

A Christmas Prince 

This is a new Netflix original. It is so sweet and has pretty decent acting. I mean, you can read the title, watch the preview, and pretty much know the story line, but isn’t that what makes you watch these sweet cheesy holiday movies anyway?

Muppet Christmas Carol

I think this is the only Christmas Carol version that we even like. The muppets make the movie!!!

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 Literally one of our FAVORITE Christmas movies of all time: good cast and good story. A must watch.

While You Were Sleeping

This was our mom's fave movie when we were growing up. We watched it all the time. I would totally watch it any time of the year but it does have a sweet Christmas sentimental element to it.

Christmas With the Kranks

Such a grand lighthearted funny classic.

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We really could go on and on and add about 20 more but we will stop here and let you tell us what your favorites are!

Merry Christmas folks!

xoxo,

Beth Ann & Becky

Re-alignment

Dearest friend, I hope this Thursday morning finds you well! I want to get real and right to the point -

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This past week, I found myself in a  bit of a rut. One that flowed into every piece of my life that makes me who I am. For instance: my creativity was at a halt, my organizational skills/house duties seemed to be hiding, and I was having a hard time trying to be myself in the midst of all of my emotional feels. And as my Pastor often says, "Emotions are a valuable tool, but not a good guide (my paraphrase)."

Life has a way of bringing us to these un-welcomed moments, leaving us with a choice to be made. Currently for me, it is one of those seasons where I feel that I don't have space to breathe or focus because everything (good and bad) is hitting all at once.

Maybe you've recently found yourself at this choice too. It comes down to... Will we let our circumstances dictate our perspective and mood OR will we lean in closer to our Creator and let His Word remind us of our victory in Christ and the joy we have in Him for eternity? 

For me, I always desire the latter decision, however, sometimes I can get caught in the middle of the storm without realizing that I've let it pull me into the facts and reality of the situation instead of holding onto God's truth. Honestly, I hadn't sat down and spent intentional time with God for almost all week. I was slumped into a bout of depression and trapped in my over-analyzing mind, when in an instant God reminded me, "That's not My voice!" Because I hadn't been in His presence enough, I wasn't as sensitive to His voice and His truths in my life. Perspective is everything, what we allow into our hearts and minds is EVERYTHING. So, I sat down and made myself a roadmap that will help me see when I need a heart and perspective check, I pray it helps guide you too! Ready?


6 Clear signs that I need to realign my heart with God's truths:

// Any form of irritability: are the little things bothering you? 

// Insecurities begin speaking: Are past/current insecurities speaking louder to you than God's truths about you? 

// Inability to rest in God's peace: Are you feeling chaos and confusion around you and you can't seem to find your way out? Have you been in a pit of depression or complacency?

// Negative Perspective: Are you grumbling and complaining more? Are you finding the bad in everything instead of the good?

// Emotional Overload: For you sensitive people (ME), is your sensitivity becoming flesh-led instead of God-led? Do you find your emotions exaggerating a bit?

// Life struggles make a reprise: Are you more tempted to, or actually giving into the things you know that tempt you?

If any of these resonate with you, like all of them did with me, maybe it's time for a readjustment. So, I challenge you to block out at least 30 minutes of your day for the rest of this week, grab a big cup of coffee or tea, grab your Bible and a journal/or your phone to take note of what God shows you and just sit in His presence expectantly. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, you don't really need coffee.. For in the words of Joyce Meyer, "Just let Him know you want to spend time with Him. Lock yourself in a room, and say "God, time." And just let God know that you want to meet with Him.

If you are looking for a passage of the Bible to read in or maybe start for the first time, the book of John in the New Testament is always a good place. I'm stuck in there right now and am getting so much! I hope this road map helps you when you need a heart check and that it reminds you to realign your perspective with God's truths.

We are praying for you and we can't wait to spend time with you this holiday season through all of the holiday drinks at Starbucks and all of the cheesy Christmas movies! Also, you must go see some Christmas lights and get into the spirit!

With love,

Becky

Life is ART

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"I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art."

- H. B. Carter

 

photography by Katie Ward 

Music Favorites

Hey folks! Here's an update on our Summer Bucket List (click on the link to head back to our original post)...

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We have successfully completed 10 out of 17 things!!! Fall hasn't technically started yet, so we're still working on those last 7. (Side note... We can't wait to have a Fall Bucket List coming your way soon since it's only our FAVORITE season.)

One of the things we got to cross off our summer list together was a ROAD TRIP! We've taken a few separately, but we were ecstatic to take one together with our family. Find a recap of our trip from MD to MO HERE

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So, with all of the road trips, our daily commutes, and random adventures, we've been driving A LOT lately. We have found that music and playlists created for every occasion makes trips and driving long distances even better! 

On some trips we have destinations, and on others we just drive to nowhere and clear our minds. Sometimes it's nice to put on chill music and not have to think, and then there are times when we know we need to worship and praise our hearts out with an intentional playlist of uplifting worship. There are moments when we want to dance and scream out all of the words to some classics with our throwback playlist. And then... Christmas all year round anyone? We've got you covered. Come follow along with our playlists and musical moods on Spotify at: NLVND.

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Some of our current favorites are - -

On Your Face Worship:
Take Courage - Bethel
Divine Romance - Phil Wickham (always this song)
Holy Ground - Passion
You Waited - Travis Greene

Uplifting Music/Worship:
Hillsong Young & Free | Hillsong United
Jesus Culture's new album  - Love Has A Name
Amanda Cooks album - Brave New World
Any Audrey Assad

Chill Music:
Our Morning & Afternoon Drive Playlists

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Go find more from us on Spotify!

Do y'all have any favorites we should know about right now? 

Moving Stuff & Apartment Tours

 God told us in the beginning of this year that "This is the year.." We knew He meant for us to fill in those blanks and to believe Him for the unimaginable...

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What a whirlwind this past month has been! Luis, Aria, and I are finally all moved into our new home and the crazy is starting to settle. There's a never ending list of things to do tucked away in my mind such as: painting, fully unpacking, redoing our pantry, putting up new light fixtures, painting, cleaning the carpet, etc. But this week, we have resolved to sit and to simply live in our new home as a family. Though, I'm sure I will still find time to decorate every corner!

In honor of moving, I wanted to share some memories and a tour of our very first home - our sweet little apartment, where we became a family of three.

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Aria was around 6 months here and still fit into all those cute onesies! This room was definitely eclectic and fun. I've kept most of the same decor but am putting a new spin on it in her new nursery.

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While our space was small, it fit so much community and love inside of it. We hosted a Bible Study for a few years and literally filled every inch of this apartment. One thing we love about our new house is all of the extra space we have to fill with family and friends!

While our space was small, it fit so much community and love inside of it. We hosted a Bible Study for a few years and literally filled every inch of this apartment. One thing we love about our new house is all of the extra space we have to fill with family and friends!

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Our good friend Nikki Kauzlarich captured these sweet memories in our apartment, and we can't wait to make a thousand more in our new home! I'll keep you posted on all our DIY house projects to come. I can't wait to share our miracle house story with you either!

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Always remember to hold tight to God's Promises,
XO - Becky

PS. Follow us on Pinterest HERE!

Favorite Finds

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One of our most favorite ways to shop is buying second hand or better yet "vintage." Whether thrifting, antiquing, flea market-ing, yard sale-ing.. you name it! We love snagging a good deal on something that has character. A few posts back, we shared some of our secret thrifting tips. Click here to read them! This morning, I wanted to show you some of my prized "vintage" finds.

I love interior decorating and even call it a hobby. So, one item I feel that can add to a room and at the very same time be useful are magazine racks/record holders. This black leather one with a metal handle and a wooden top was my first one. I purchased it for $19.99 at a local antique shop. It now holds my hubby's car magazines on his side of our bedroom.

This jewelry holder/stand below, I snagged at a Unique Thrift Store for $3. I love how it has that antique feel and adds a little pop of color/pattern to our room.

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Also on this table are two vintage necklaces, one from each of our Grand-mas. They are so dear to me.

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I found the most unique top for $12 at a consignment shop while on a mini vacation. I fell in love with it's quirkiness and how I hadn't seen something like it before. I later found it in a small local shop for around $80. What a steal!

Needless to say, you can find us bargain hunting/antiquing at least once a month. And we're always up for company! 

Happy Shopping,
-Becky

Photography by Katie Ward

Hello Miami

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I love me some adventures! So, when my boo Pam came to visit me a few weeks ago we definitely took to the road. It was one very full day that was not wasted one bit. From Vous church, to yummy tacos, to talking about going after your dreams, to the best cold brew either of us have ever had, to finding the coconut man on the side of the road, to trying on glasses at Warby Parker, to posing by walls for epic photo shoots, to laughing until our sides hurt, to the yummiest ice cream ever, to belting out 90's hits all the way home. We did it all and had such an amazing time. I wanted to let you in on our day. The links to the places are at the bottom. Have a fun weekend folks! 

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DIY Sharpie Mugs

If you know us (or if you've been following along and seen all of our coffee posts) you know we drink A LOT of coffee. Of course we enjoy the caffeine boost but more so we love the taste. We also love to drink it in cute mugs because it tastes better that way! Am I right? We thought it would be fun to share this easy DIY mug tutorial with you so that you can make some for yourself and friends! They are completely dishwasher safe which is the best part! I included a simple one and another with more detail. 

If you know us (or if you've been following along and seen all of our coffee posts) you know we drink A LOT of coffee. Of course we enjoy the caffeine boost but more so we love the taste. We also love to drink it in cute mugs because it tastes better that way! Am I right?

We thought it would be fun to share this easy DIY mug tutorial with you so that you can make some for yourself and friends! They are completely dishwasher safe which is the best part! I included a simple one and another with more detail. 

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MATERIALS: 

  •   Coffee Mug - I actually like to find blank white ones at the thrift store because you can find some fun funky shapes. Or as you can see I also did a sugar canister. 
  • Oil Based Sharpies  - Normal sharpies will not work for this. You can find oil sharpies at a craft store like Michaels. I would go with a fine point or extra fine if you want to do intricate detailing. I have had the best luck with black. Other colors work but tend to change color with the baking process. 
  • Wet Wash Cloth - This will make it easy to wipe of mistakes.  
MAKE IT (SIMPLE):  Wash the mug with soap and water before you begin. Once it fully dries you can start.    All you have to do is pick a saying and write it. If you mess up, wipe it off and start over. If the ink has set too much and is not coming off, go wash it with soap and water and when it is dry, start over.   You can also pick a pattern and draw that. Polka-dots, stripes, squiggles, whatever you want. 

MAKE IT (SIMPLE): 

Wash the mug with soap and water before you begin. Once it fully dries you can start.   

All you have to do is pick a saying and write it. If you mess up, wipe it off and start over. If the ink has set too much and is not coming off, go wash it with soap and water and when it is dry, start over.  

You can also pick a pattern and draw that. Polka-dots, stripes, squiggles, whatever you want. 

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 MAKE IT (DETAILED): 

You will need both fine and extra fine oil based sharpies for this.

After washing and drying the mug, sketch out your picture. I usually free hand it directly on the mug but sometimes I sketch it on paper first. Then, I tape it on to see how it will fit.  

For the picture of the girls, I used the bigger markers to plot out the big points first and then I went back with the extra fine markers to add in the details. 

BAKE IT:  Let the mug dry overnight.  Make sure to clean off any marks/mistakes you don't want on your mug before placing it in the oven because you will not be able to get them off after. Set the oven to 350• The key is to put the mug(s) in right when you turn the oven on. This way the mug heats up gradually and does not get streaky burn marks.   Bake for an hour and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.   Turn the oven off after an hour and let the mug cool inside for another hour. I know your tempted to peek but do not let air in until the time is up.  

BAKE IT: 

  • Let the mug dry overnight. 
  • Make sure to clean off any marks/mistakes you don't want on your mug before placing it in the oven because you will not be able to get them off after.
  • Set the oven to 350•
  • The key is to put the mug(s) in right when you turn the oven on. This way the mug heats up gradually and does not get streaky burn marks.  
  • Bake for an hour and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.  
  • Turn the oven off after an hour and let the mug cool inside for another hour. I know your tempted to peek but do not let air in until the time is up.  
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Voila!! There you have it! So fun and so easy! 

*GIVEAWAY* Maybe you are a busy bee and don't have time to make mugs, maybe you don't have a creative hair on your head, or maybe you just want to win... I would love to make you a mug. I will pick one winner and create a custom mug for them. Giveaway details are available on our instagram @NLVND_. Go enter there and spread the word.

Don't worry non-instagram friends, we have blog specific giveaways coming soon. 

Xoxo Beth Ann

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Photography by Nikki Kauzlarich 

Road Trip!

This past weekend, we got to cross ROAD TRIP off of our Bucket List (check our last post). We traveled twelve hours from Gaithersburg, Maryland to the great city of Fenton, Missouri. We attempted to make it a non-stop party - and I'd say we succeeded. There were endless playlists and 2-3 coffee stops a day. And of course we stopped for tacos. It really did have everything, and the best part of all was the stellar company. Here are some highlights:

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We wanted to share the songs that kept us going those twenty-four hours. Follow us on Spotify here: NLVND. If you're planning on taking a road trip of your own soon, catching a plane, or need a new pick me up for your drive to work - we have you covered. We'll keep them up to date, so check back often! Happy listening!!!

 

xoxo, Becky & Beth Ann

Summer Bucket List

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Summer is here and we are pumped about it! We have been longing for pool days, relaxed vibes, watermelon, and flip-flops. We've both got some fun summer-y things coming up and a few of them get to be together (heck yes!). We thought it would be fun to make a bucket list  with some things we want to do and hope you'll join in too. 

Take a road trip. Grab some pals, snacks, and a good playlist. Plan for some fun stops along the way. It's all about the journey folks. 

Find a new coffee spot. This is essential. Good coffee with a cozy atmosphere, yes please. 

Get by the water. If you live close enough to make a day trip to the beach, do it. The ocean pretty much cures everything. If the sea is not an option, get to the pool.  

Go on a morning or evening hike. Go see nature and sing with the birds. Find cool rocks, explore a new place, and enjoy every step. Don't forget bug spray though. 

Read an inspiring book. Read something that will challenge you, encourage you, and excite you. 

Read an escape book. Read something that takes you away on an adventure in your mind. 

Get coffee with a new friend. Coffee dates are the best. So many fine moments are had over a cup of joe. Plus you may just find your new bff4l. 

Serve your community. Get out there and do something outside of your comfort zone, outside of yourself. Even better if you can do it with family or friends. 

Start an herb garden. Fresh herbs are so yummy. They beat dried ones every time. How cool would it be to go out to your garden and grab fresh cilantro for you homemade guac!!?

Try new recipes. Maybe you'll discover your new favorite meal. Also, if you fail, it's okay.

Make a new craft once a month.  Making something by hand makes you feel so accomplished. Pinterest has something that even you can make (we promise). And don't forget to show it off! Even if it turns out really bad, you can make a funny "Pinterest Fail" meme.

Go on a walk once a day. Walks are awesome. Not only do you get to breathe in fresh air, you get to appreciate your surroundings, and your body will thank you for the exercise. 

Take a dance class. Dancing is so freeing and even if you completely suck, you will thank us for the fun you had.

Make late art. Try it! Make your morning coffee more exciting. 

Redecorate a room in the house. If you only have a room to yourself than pick a part of your room to makeover. It feels good to switch things up. 

Sew a pillowcase. There are super easy tutorials. You can do it by hand or with a machine. 

Watch the sunrise and sunset in one day. Wouldn't this be epic?! 

Happy summer guys!! What things would be on your summer bucket list? 

 

photography by Kathleen Marie Ward.  

#Yesstocoffee

If you were to ask me my favorite drink, word, smell, model for photos, thing to hold, thing to look at, purchase to make, and what I will drive 30 minutes plus for.. I would have to say COFFEE.

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Today, I'm talking all things coffee! You can imagine the ear to ear grin on my face right now. Disclaimer: I am by no means a coffee expert, I'm just slightly obsessed with the stuff. 

It all started when I worked as a barista at Borders Book Store (may it Rest In Peace). I hated the smell and taste of coffee. I couldn't understand for the life of me why people would pay for it. Slowly but surely, I inched my way through mochas, flavored lattes with one shot of espresso to cream with a little coffee, and here I am now in a committed relationship with Coffee.

Coffee and I continued together when my husband and I registered for a Mr. Coffee Pot for our wedding. We then got into the French press trend and are on our 5th one because those things can be fragile! You can buy my favorite one HERE. Then I tried my hand at pour overs with this simple and cheap one HERE from World Market. And best gift ever, Luis bought us a fancy espresso machine for Christmas one year! I am so close to mastering some beautiful latte art. These machines are pricey, but they'll bring you the highest quality and best results at home. Click HERE to see which one we bought.

Currently, my favorite coffees and roasts are:
French Press: Madcap - Six One Six
Or one we've been buying locally from our favorite coffee stop - Gravel & Grind
Espresso: Stumptown - Hair Bender
Inexpensive coffee to have on hand - Peets Coffee (any roast, you can find it at most grocery stores)

From time to time, you will catch us posting about our love for coffee. And since we can't get enough of it, we are eager to know your favorite roasts and favorite coffee spots! Please share your coffee secrets with us.

Stay caffeinated,
-Becky

Photography by: Kathleen Marie Ward Photography

Avocado Goodness (with eggs)

Raise both hands if you LOVE avocados as much as we do! We wanted to give you a simple recipe for your long and special Memorial Day weekend that we can't get enough of. 

Ingredients:

:: 1 large whole ripe avocado
:: 6-8 boiled eggs (less or more to taste, I would start with less and add more to your liking)

After eggs and avocado, add in:
:: Spritz of fresh lemon or lime / whichever you have on hand. This is for taste but also to help the avocado stay green and vibrant
:: Salt & pepper to taste
:: Something to eat it with!! I love it with toast and croissants. If you are gluten free or if you're trying to stay away from carbs, it is equally delicious over brown rice/quinoa and fresh spinach. Lastly, it can be used an awesome dip with tortilla chips, any chips, crackers, YUM! 

Directions:

:: Fill your pot almost 3/4 (enough to submerge the eggs) full with water and get it boiling at a medium/high setting on your stove.
:: Add some salt which will help get the peeling off easier. 
:: When it's bubbling/boiling - carefully place all of the eggs in the water, turn it to a low heat setting and cover it. I read that it takes 12 minutes when done this way, but the more eggs you add - the more minutes you add on. For this many eggs, I put 20 minutes on the timer. 
:: When the timer goes off, Drain the water out and run cold water over them until they are ready to be peeled. 
:: Once eggs are boiled and peeled, cut the avocado and add in the eggs two by two mashing them through with a fork each time. You can also cut the eggs up before adding them in so it's easier and quicker to mix. 
:: Then stir together all ingredients. The riper the avocado the easier it will be to mix and the smoother the consistency. 

If you want to bring more flavors out and more nutrients, by all means - do it! When I get the chance I'm going to try adding in: raw onions, chopped celery, flax seed, chia seed, garlic powder, and the possibilities are endless. My mouth is watering. Don't delay, try it! Your taste buds and your tummy will thank you. IF you end up sharing it (I can eat the whole thing by myself), whoever you share it with will thank you! 

We hope you are well, and we have SO MANY exciting things coming your way in the days to come! Happy Memorial Day weekend, and a BIG THANK YOU to all of those who have served. We are so blessed to live in this country and to have our freedom.

PS. Our giveaway with Jord Watches ends THIS SUNDAY, so go to our previous post and ENTER ENTER ENTER!!!! 

We're praying for you friends,
-XO, Becky

Photography by: KathleenMarieWardPhotography