Creatives: Southern Celebration with All She Wrote Notes

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 30•14

All She Wrote Notes

Do you ever find someone so delightful that they leave a lasting impression on your soul?  Do you ever taste food and enjoy company for what it truly is – an artform and a perk of living in the south?  Do you ever watch a storm roll in and hope that it doesn’t rain to ruin in your party and pray that it does just so you get a chance to feel the rain on your face and dance in some puddles?

All of this happened while I was in North Carolina this week and eating dinner with the lovely Maghon Walker of All She Wrote Notes: the totally southern calligraphy gal that loves gold, food, running, and all things celebration.

We ate dinner (my first time) at Top of the Hill which is a staple for any UNC-Chapel Hill grad.  Then we stopped by the decadent Sugarland Bakery down the street (which provided our wedding cake) and in between stopped and took some photos of the shimmery Maghon.

Maghon Walker

Why calligraphy?  Because she loves to celebrate.  Most of her calligraphy orders are done in order to help someone celebrate?  My new motto is intentionally creative – so this was perfect.  She is creative – and helps people celebrate.

Celebrations come in many forms: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, promotions, or you could just celebrate the fact that it is Thursday – and you need something to celebrate.

Franklin Street

Maghon also directs new creatives (so, anyone, really) to not try to copy others and their work.  Be your own and you will be successful.  So many out there find a certain style of lettering and copy it and call it their own.  In the writing business that is called plagiarism and in same goes for the lettering front.  Be your own person – find your own style – be successful at being you!

Maghon Walker

If you are in the need of anything southern and prettily lettered – contact Maghon and she will be happy to help you.

If you are ever in Chapel Hill – go to Sugarland and Top of the Hill.

If you are ever in a rain storm – dance in the puddles!

All She Wrote Notes Takes Sugarland

Kenan Hill Art

I do totally think the phrase suits Maghon to a T.  Thanks Averi for showing me your Kenan Hill Print.

Short How-To Study the Bible

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 30•14

How to Study the Bible

Most of us, if we are Christians, know that we are to read the Bible – the Word of God.  But, so many of us feel intimidated to open the book up so often times it sits on a shelf – even decorated pretty with flowers or other books – and collects dust.  Or maybe we just let others study the Bible for us and we are tempted to stay only with a book study with questions already done for us.

There is so much you can get out of studies already written, but I challenge you to dig deeper and study the Bible for yourself.  The good thing of being a Christian (among others) is the the Spirit lives inside of us and gives us His guidance when coming to the Bible to read it and gain wisdom, joy, and abundant life.

This blog post isn’t exhaustive, but I hope it is a start to your journey in studying the Bible or yourself.  And believe me, when you do this – it will help with your parenting and your marriage relationship and your relationship with friends and neighbors.  The Word of God is impactful for every area of life.

Start:

1.  I would start with a Bible (I use the ESV Journaling Bible – there are wide margins for you to take notes and there aren’t any notes from other authors – only the Word of God).

2.  Other things that would prove helpful to you are pens, pencils, and a notebook.

3.  If you are curious to what “experts” say – go to them later.  At least first sit down with just a Bible and the Holy Spirit and bathe in the Word for yourself.  It is living and active and you can understand it!

4.  First things first, take time to read through the Word.  Just read it.  Most of the smaller books of the Bible can be read in one sitting.  Do that.  While you are studying a given book of the Bible, I would encourage you to read it often.  Get an app on your phone and read it while waiting in line or sitting in the carpool line for your children.  You would be amazed at how much you remember when you read it often.

5.  Then I would challenge you to write it out.  Thats what the journal is first for.  Write it – even though  you have read it writing it will bring new findings to your mind.  Make note of those!

6.  Then ask yourself these three questions: (and there are other methods, but these are mine) – which I think are maximized for what you need for growth in The Lord and in the Gospel.  What does God say about himself in these verses?  What therefore do you learn about yourself in these verses?  How do these verses point you to the Gospel.

7.  For further study: look at commentaries, read or listen to sermons on that particular book of the Bible, ask questions, look at the rest of Scripture to see what the Word has to say about that passage.  But, first – let the Word of God speak for itself!  The Holy Spirit will be your Guide

You may be in a book of the Bible for a long period of time – but in time you will learn much about God, yourself, and the Gospel.  Let it soak in.  He is worth your time!

Sundays in the South

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 20•14

Macon Georgia

Sundays in the South…

Church.  Porch Swings.  Family.  Lemonade.  Football.  Books and blankets.   Flipflops.  Sand.

All the good things in life.

If I lived in my dream home – I think this would be my working island (bar) in front of a glorious window to suck up all the sunshine and see the blue sky or enjoy a good stormy day.

I love lemonade – but I want to cut the sweetness of it.  Maybe this one would hit the spot.

Since I’m in the gym these days working on my shoulders – I think this dress in its glorious purple hue might just be a good motivation!

Sundays definitely mean football, but football is also played on Saturday – and I love the Gators.

Church: more than hats and gloves and cool jeans and loud concerts or short preaching.  More about community and the Gospel.  Build a culture of community (living the gospel) in your church and home.

 

Ephesians on Kindle (SO EXCITED)

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 15•14

Ephesians

 

Big announcement: Prayers for the Journey: Ephesians edition is finally on Kindle!  That’s right – I have a self-published book on Amazon!!!

Here is a review of it on the CBMW site via my friend Courtney Reissig

If you haven’t heard of Prayers for the Journey – it is a kindle book devotional with journaling pages that literally walks through specific verses in Ephesians (or other books of the Bible) and helps wives know how to pray the word for their husbands.  I’ve been writing these since I got married, but have been learning about praying for my husband for two decades.

There are so many people to thank:

My parents and in-laws : thank you for always being an encouragement and my greatest fans

My Mister: thank you for being one who sanctifies me and prays for me – and also my first editor

Amy Torcasso: My designer – who also did the work on Treasuring Christ when I was writing it – but now we stay in touch through this!  Super talented and selfless

Sarah Popovczak: My editor for this edition of the Prayers for the Journey – she’s about to be a mom too!

Amelia McNeilly: A great publicist and encourager and the one who got this worked out for Kindle

Phyllis Robshaw: Amazing mentor and the one who lives out this act of praying for her husband and family and me – by praying the Word.

My Little Misters: Dudes that will make amazing husbands one day – and I’m already praying for them as they will be husbands to precious wives.

Margo Bowen: a mom of many and grandmom to many and a wife to one.  Thank you for loving my Mister as a son and for writing the introduction to this edition.

Future Editions: Nehemiah is available now on the blog for free.  Colossians is being typed up now and getting ready to be sent to my editor before she has her baby.  James is being written and prayed.  1 Peter is the the next one in the works.

Thanks all.  Please feel free to get the word out.  2.99 is a great deal and its for your kindle!

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 14•14

July is gonna be one busy month.  And since I’ve buckled down on the healthy eats (cleaner food, healthier food) to get off this baby weight and just weight I’ve put on since being back in Raleigh in 2010 – it may change things up a bit.

The Mister and I were talking in Hilton Head this weekend about how I’d miss eating fun food.  Most fun food is not healthy – like massive sweet potato pancakes drizzled with pecan brittle and syrup.  Doused with whipped cream – the real stuff.  I mean come on.  But, he helped me to see that you don’t have to cut out fun food entirely – just limit it and have smaller portions.  And make clean healthy food fun too!  It sure is pretty!

I also have a friend coming in town who loves to adventure, cook, and take photos as much as I do.  And we have a date night this week! :)

Monday: A kale quiche with havarti and turkey sausage

Tuesday: Panzanella and Grilled Chicken

Wednesday: Date night!

Thursday: Grilled Peach Pizza m Love and Olive Oil

Friday: Leftovers and random food all wknd since the Mister is at a conference.

Other times: macarons and zucchini muffins

Creatives: Photographer Mallory Ward

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 08•14

mallory ward photography

Love the way that people weave through your life at random times and bring light and sunshine each time they enter.

I first met Mallory when she was in high school when I was chaperoning a ski retreat with a church I used to be on staff with in Florida.  She had an eye for celebrating the everyday even then.  I love her pursuit of others, her craft, her friends, and her Jesus.

mallory 1

Now, she is in Woodstock for just a brief journey in life before she moves to Australia early next year, and we’ve reconnected – she’s come to our home and eaten at our table, she has given me lots of places to try out for coffee and good eats, and she has shared some of her life with me again.

mallory 5

Let her glimpse through her lens open your world to its love and light.

mallory 4

The above picture is a sweet newborn session with our dear friends Jack and Maizey.  Love this photo!

mallory 2

 

mallory 3

 

1.  How did photography come to have such a grip on your life?

Ever since I was a little girl, I would always take my mom’s camera and take pictures of anything I could. I always loved watching her reaction when all of these random photos came through on her camera, she knew I was discovering a hobby, yet little did I know it would become a passion. I had a friend in high school that would always take photos with me. We would pose, go on adventures with our cameras and play with natural light. Sometimes we would even skip morning classes to catch the perfect early morning haze on the island. I graduated high school in 2009, and that’s the year that I pretty much realized that I was really in-love with the beauty of a photo. My sister’s friends who had families started contacting me wanting me to do photo sessions of them, and then I just kept shooting. Everywhere I would go I would have my camera with me. I started taking my friends at college and around the area on photo adventures and just using them as models to expand my photography portfolio. So here I am- 5 years later, with many clients, and the same ones I started with who have supported me since the very beginning.

 

2 What would be a dream fulfilled for you and your lens and your soul?

A dream of mine when it comes to my photography would definitely be to use it as a way to record the adventures that life takes me on. When I went on my first mission trip to Haiti a year ago, I absolutely loved the way I was able to communicate with the Haitian kids through the power of a photo. It literally was like they had never seen how beautiful they were before. I would love to travel, and just take photos of different cultures, people and nature.

3.  What do you most like to be peering at when holding your camera?

Nature & people. Nature because of the sincerity of it and people because… well, people are just awesome. I absolutely love capturing couples during an engagement session because their love is so powerful it explodes through the photo. I love to put people in nature because it’s like the beauty of trees, flowers, or a sandy beach changes their perspective and gives them a sense of freedom and happiness. Children, also, are amazing to capture. They are so innocent and happy. Eyes, skin, smiles- there is so much beauty in everything!

4.  Is there any place you are dying to do a photo shoot?

I don’t think I could pick one exact place to do a lifestyle shoot. There are far too many amazing places in the world I have yet to see. Definitely would want to choose a place that if authentic, unique and natural. From an alley in Paris to a field in Ireland… I really couldn’t pick just one!

5.  What are three words that describe your photography?

Beautiful moments captured.

 

Faces: Happy First Birthday Sweet Girl

Written By: Kimberly - Jul• 08•14

 

Elysa Grace

Friends…life is much sweeter with friends.  This sweet girl’s momma and I were friends in seminary, I attended her parents’ wedding, and now, all these years later, we are living next door to each other.  Sharing life.  Sharing celebrations.

This family was in Florida for E. G.’s actual birthday but we are celebrating today by taking her first year portraits.

First birthday celebration

One of the great aspects I love living in the Atlanta Metro area is the lovely green spaces all over it.  Yes, traffic is a mess.  But, if you can traverse the traffic jams you get to the beautiful grounds of all these parks.  East Cobb park is one of them.  Only about 4 miles from us, it is a joyous place for our children to play together.

Sugar and Spice

Here’s to so many more sweet years Elysa – enjoy the new found joys and experiences of toddler-hood!

Pink and cement

 

What I Learned Today:

Written By: Kimberly - Jun• 24•14

blue hydrangea

I love living life with people and catching up with friends.  Today was one of those days.  And for me, catching up and hanging out usually teaches me something.  Today was no different.

I’m so glad friends are in our lives.  Especially during a season with much pain, I’m thankful for those friends that brighten your day and soothe you and make you feel right at home: no matter where you are.

Three things I learned today:

1.  Being known is something that is sweet – but you don’t want everyone to know you.  I really love having honest relationships with people (and even here on the blog). I love living life with folks and knowing what goes on in their lives and what God is teaching them – what they are walking through.  But, there are times when being known hurts and is painful.  You can do one of two things at that moment – and I think you have to know which moment you are in : walk away or persevere.  You have to decide for yourself with much prayer which one you should do in any given moment.  Walk away – maybe the relationship is a harmful one for you – you need to walk away.  But, in the most important relationships: your marriage, family, or tried and true friends – you persevere.

2. What do you want to be known for? How do people describe you to others? What do you want to be known for to either friends or strangers? There are some adjectives that I would love to be described as – and then there are some, that right now I’m not, but I want to be – so I know what areas I need to work on.

3. Travel – I love it. My friend travels for her job. She is not married and has the luxury of doing so. She packs up and heads out and pours into the community she is in for any given time. I love to travel and see the world. It is much harder with a husband and kids. But, I love living a life of an adventure. That’s why we are always in the car (except during nap time). I want to explore my area – which is ATL and is amazing to explore.

What are you learning right now?

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen (and help when you are tired of menu planning)

Written By: Kimberly - Jun• 23•14

Eggs

Another normal week of cooking here in the South.  Do you ever get tired of cooking or having to prepare meals for your family – or just for yourself?  I know I do.  5-7 meals each week not including breakfast and lunch – it gets tiresome and repetitive.

So, what do you do?

1.  Look at new websites and get new ideas. And you can also look at blogs that do an inspiration post (like How Sweet and Heather’s Dish). I do it to – like the Weekend Inspiration post or Link Love posts. I love giving you new blogs to read.

2.  Ask your family what are things they would like to eat. Of course my littles don’t really answer me right now, but my husband usually has good ideas. If you are having people over for dinner – ask what they would like to have.

3.  Look in your pantry and create some new dishes with what you have. I always have jiffy corn muffin mix and canned beans and soups in my pantry. Something may just catch your eye and bring some creativity to the table.

 

Monday: Farmhouse salads with fresh ingredients and hard boiled eggs and cheese and chicken strips.  One of our favorite go-to dinners.

Tuesday: We are having a first ATL house guests tonight so I wanted to know what I could cook. We are having roasted broccoli, fresh summer tomatoes, and parmesan Greek chicken.

Wednesday: Chopped Thai Salads from Pinch of Yum because the mister won’t be home till late and I can eat it right after the boys go to bed.

Thursday: Simple cold summer salads with crusty toasty french bread. Yes please.

Friday: Leftovers is what’s for dinner and then for a date night dessert: this tart. Truth be told I have a tart pan that I’ve never used. Yes, I’ve had it for about 10 years and never used it – always keeping it because I might use it one day. Well, that day is coming!

Saturday: Zucchini bread – I actually really love it. Summer goodness in loaf form. So, I’ll be chilling with this loaf, some eggs, bacon, and fruit for brinner.

Sunday: And then take some of the bread and toast it with a smearing of butter and milk and a banana. Then the hubs has this Sunday off so maybe some comfort food after church at night and leftovers for lunch. This Sloppy Joe bowl fits the bill.

Weekend Inspiration

Written By: Kimberly - Jun• 21•14

Blue Flower

Sometimes being a creative has its drawbacks.  For me, it really came this week as I thought about narrowing the fields for how I am creative.  But, all of it flows together.  And comparison isn’t good – but if you don’t see anyone ever better than you – how can you improve?

Well, I wanted to share some websites with you – ones that inspire me to be better at what I LOVE to do.  I am a creative person in most every field: from parenting, our weekly and daily schedules, photography, cooking, handlettering, cards, etc.  So, enjoy these websites and let me know some ones I can look at too!

Griffin Gibson Photography – a local to me photographer that I hope to contact soon (a friend mentioned her name to me) and take some lessons from.

Mallory Ward Photography – another young photographer that has an eye for special people and the every day.  I am having time with this girl this week.

Holly and Flora – this budding wine expert and foodie takes beautiful photography of the special and unique and fresh and local foods and spirits she makes in her home in Denver.  I always love any time I get to chat with this long-time friend.

All She Wrote Notes Calligraphy – I get the honor of hanging out with this girl in Chapel Hill in July.  Looking forward to a mini photo shoot and learning about her craft!  I love that she does it all free hand – she doesn’t print out what she does.

Adventures in Cooking – Her photography and inspiration behind her food is amazing.  Simple, rustic, beautiful.

Elyse Fitzpatrick – Her writing.  Straight forward, gospel centered.  That’s how I like to write.  Oh, to write like her (one day, maybe, ha!)

Laura Hooper Calligraphy – The travel, the style, the flare.  Love it.

 

One other note:  You’ll hear more about this in the days ahead….but I love living creatively.  I have thought about that this year – fighting the mundane, living and dwelling in creative beauty.  There is beauty all around us – so make every moment beautiful.  Glimpses of our Creator are all around us.  And beauty reflects him too.  I’ll be doing a series of blogs and photo sessions that reflect this theme as I introduce a new direction for this blog.

Be inspired.  Live Creatively.  Dwell in Beauty.