Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kat's Pinterest Faves

Kat and I are new bloggy friends, and I am so excited for you to meet her! She's a fabulous blogger, and I think that you're really going to love this post! Enjoy! :)

Hey everybody!

My name is Kat (short for Katarina), and I blog over at Lemonade Linings. I live in the Midwest, and spend most of my free time with my awesome boyfriend, Ty, and our adorable little rescue mutt, Bertuzzi. This is me with my handsome guys, in case you couldn't have guessed:


I work as a freelance writer by day, but love having my blog as a place to write creatively and connect with other fantastic bloggers (like Leslyn!) for ideas, encouragement and inspiration.  

Like many of you (at least, I'm sure it's many of you!), another favorite place I turn for inspiration is Pinterest. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I adore all of the wonderful ideas for crafts, recipes, hairstyles, etc. But, it also makes me feel like my hair is terrible, my wardrobe is frumpy and my apartment is ugly. Can I get an "Amen!" from those of you who have also felt this way?!

Regardless, Pinterest is always the first place I turn for inspiration. So, I wanted to share these five pins I want to try this summer. They range from everything from hairstyles to recipes, and I can't wait to give them a go!

1. Braided Bun


I have really thick and heavy hair. I've been told it's a blessing, but it definitely doesn't feel like it during the hot and humid Midwest summers. So, I often pull my hair up and get it off my neck to stay cool. I love how casual, yet detailed, this braided bun is. Plus, it doesn't seem too complicated.  Bonus!

2. Arm workout 


As I said, summers here can be hot and sticky! So, that means short sleeves and tank tops are not only a style choice, at times they're a necessity. I have a lot of different summer tops I love. But, after a long, cold Midwest winter, my arms aren't exactly feeling firm, fit and ready to be showcased. I'm going to try to do this arm workout at least three times a week to tone up my arms so I feel better in my summer wardrobe!

3. Homemade salsa 



Does it make me sound crazy if I told you that I've never made my own salsa? Honestly, I have about zero skills in the kitchen. Ty always jokes that I make a mean frozen pizza, and that's about it. But, chips and salsa is one of my favorite foods any time of the year (especially summer!), and I've always wanted to take a crack at making my own salsa! This recipe sounds delicious and simple enough that I won't end up slicing off a finger or burning down the kitchen. Really, I'm a hazard.

4. Closet Organization


Typically, I like to think of myself as a very organized person. But, then I walk into my closet and see it overflowing with items that I no longer wear or that no longer fit, and I realize that I have some room for improvement. I can be a bit of a "clothes hoarder" (is that a thing? I just made it one...), and I have a hard time letting things go. I'm making it a goal this summer to really edit my closet and only keep the things I'll actually wear. 

5. Summer Sangria 


Sometimes there is nothing more refreshing than a delicious, fruity summer drink. This summer, I want to whip together my own batch of Sangria to enjoy outside on the deck. This recipe seems ridiculously tasty and simple. Or, there's a great non-alcoholic version right here

Thanks for reading! I hope you'll come check me out at my blog, or follow me on some of my social media accounts. My information is below, so come on over and say hi!

Twitter: @kat_kuehl
Instagram: @katkuehl
Pinterest: kat_kuehl
Blog: www.lemonadelinings.com 

XOXO
Kat


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

8 Things that I Love and Hate About Blogging

Brittney and I went to college together, and have been keeping up with each other through our blogs over the past few years! She has the most fabulous blog, and I know that you would love it too! The link is below! Thanks Brittney for helping me out with this post! :) Oh- and check back next week for another post from her! Yay!!!

Hello to Leslyn’s lovely readers! I’m so excited that she let me have her corner of the blogosphere for the day. I’m Brittney from Razorback Britt. Leslyn and I met at college and have enjoyed following each other’s lives here in blogland.  We weren’t close friends at Ouachita, but it’s been fun reading each other’s blogs.  We got to connect at homecoming last year, where we actually performed together! Warning: unflattering photo coming…but it’s photographic proof of the performance.


So on to what I want to talk about today: blogging. I enjoy blogging so much that I do it for my job and my personal life.  I’m a corporate blogger in a marketing department, and then on my lunch breaks, I blog about my life.  I continue writing and posting because I love this medium of blogging.  Today, I want to highlight 8 things that I have a love/hate relationship with because of blogging. Sometimes this blog world is an amazing place, and sometimes, let’s be real, it causes some mental stress.

8 Things that I Love and Hate About Blogging 

1.     I love making bloggy friends.  I love when you find a new blog and you just “click” with that person.  I love that you can get involved in your new friend’s life – from praying for their new baby, to celebrating their weight loss victories, and being excited about their new job.  Friends are awesome.
2.       I hate the term “virtual friends.”  Some people in my life who don’t blog may refer to my bloggy friends as “virtual friends.”  This makes my skin crawl.  Nope, they are real people. I have a real friendship (sometimes I communicate more with bloggy friends than a real life friend!).  These friendships may occur in online spaces, but they are not “virtual,” they are real.
3.       I love finding new ___ from a blog (insert: recipe, boutique, restaurant, beauty product, movie, etc.).  Bloggers are the first ones to post recommendations for cool things – from beauty products to the neat new pizza place in their town. 
4.       I hate feeling like my tastes are not cool enough to blog about.  Sometimes we eat at Olive Garden (and gasp! I like it!), not always the organic, locally-sourced Italian place downtown.  Sometimes I use drugstore brand makeup, not always MAC or fancy brands.  Sometimes I make Hamburger  Helper.  I have to remind myself that every choice in my life doesn’t have to be blog-worthy.
5.       I love documenting my life. I’ve been blogging since 2009. FIVE YEARS, people.  It’s so fun to look back through old posts and remember things.  Often, I blog about random things going on in our lives, but I also highlight big stuff.  It’s fun to reminisce.
6.       I hate how badly iPhone photos look on my blog.  I have a camera. Heck, I have two!  I have a point and shoot (that takes great pictures!) and a fancy DSLR…but most of the time, all I have on me is my iPhone (and let’s be honest, it’s so much easier to upload pictures on the Blogpress app instead of dealing with a camera card, amIright?!).  But those iPhone pictures look so much worse on the screen.
7.       I love finding new followers/fan/readers.  Doing things like linkups and parties can help new people find your blog, and help you find new blogs to read.  Growing your sphere is a good thing.
8.       I hate being obsessed with numbers.  My internal dialogue when I see my number of followers has changed: “252! Woohoo!  Wait….I thought I had 251 last week, and I know I got two new people….so I lost a follower?! Who left?  I have to find them and figure out what’s wrong!”  No.  Too much, Britt.

So there ya have it.  8 things that I adore and loathe about blogging.  What about you?  Do you relate to any of these? Or do you have your own love/hate with blogging? I’d love to hear it!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Daily Reflections as Mothers

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to my sweet friend, Tiffany! Today, she has another awesome blog post ready for you guys! She's going to the hospital tonight to have her baby, so keep her in your prayers! Also, you have until tomorrow to enter the Jen Hatmaker giveaway!  

Hi Guys! 

While the lovely Leslyn is out having her precious little baby boy - I figured I'd take over her space for a day. My name is Tiffany and I blog over at Crafting A Fairytale. I'm a lifestyle blogger so you will find a little bit of everything: recipes, fashion, home decor projects and family life. It's my own little outlet to document my real life fairytale. I hope you'll stop by and stay a while!

Anyways, Leslyn and I share a mutual bff and we were able to officially meet last summer at our friends wedding. Before then - I was just a creeper that hung around her little space in this world wide web and acted like I knew her. What a fun weekend I had getting to know such a lovely lady! 



Little did I know that we would have so much in common: 
 A love for the Lord. 
Super attractive husbands. 
Long hair that we chopped off into bobs. 
Infertility problems. 

Crazy enough though, the Lord decided to answer our prayers and we both ended up getting pregnant with little boys - due two weeks apart! 

With this being my first kiddo, I don't really have a lot of advice to give - but I've sure been given a lot. Last weekend I was given some advice that I think we all should reflect on each and every day. 

"As excited as you are for your new bundle of joy to start smiling, sleep through the night, or roll over and start crawling - just remember that they are only little once and the days pass by SO fast. Cherish and enjoy every day and all that happens in it - even the hard ones." 

I think this is something us new moms will need to work the hardest at. Everything will be a new experience for us and we will anxiously look forward to those next big milestones. New days will come at the same steady pace - so don't wish away one day for the next. 

I'll leave you with something else to reflect on:



Love is patient. 

Am I patient with my child who is so different than I am?
Love is kind.

Am I kind when it takes my child twice the amount of time to do something than I think it should?
Love does not envy.

Do I wish my child were more like someone else's child?
Love does not boast.

Am I quick to share what my child does well or hide areas when my child doesn't seem to measure up?
Love is not proud.

Am I hesitant to share how I'm really doing or how my child is really doing out of a fear of what people will think?
Love does not dishonor others.

Do I ever dishonor my child, demanding that he be someone other than the unique person God has made him to be?
Love is not self-seeking.

Am I ever selfish in my interactions with my child?
Love is not easily angered.

How much energy do I waste being angry at my child?
Love keeps no record of wrongs.

Do I have an ongoing list in my head about everything my child has done wrong?
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.

Do I keep my mind focused on God's truth about my child?
Love protects.

 Do I protect this unique human being God entrusted to me even when he challenges my authority?
Love trusts.

Do I trust that God has a bigger picture in mind for this child's life?
Love hopes.

Do I hope and believe the best for this child, or do I dread what tomorrow might bring?
Love perseveres.

Do I keep my mind on the future possibilities rather than focusing on the difficulties and challenges I'm dealing with today?


There is so much to learn and experience as mothers. 
When can never stop striving to be the best we can be - the best God wants us to be. 


Lean on other people, ask questions, read up and most importantly pray. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Being a Mom

Oh y'all.

Mommyhood has wrecked me. In the most wonderful, incredible way.

I'm an emotional, blubbering mess all the time. I cry over little things that aren't important, and I get my feelings hurt a little more easily these days. Bless my husband's heart.

In spite of the spit up, blowout diapers (the worst one happened at Dillards. The first day I decided to take the babe out in public. Lord help me), milk stains (everywhere), fussy moments, lack of sleep, and all of the glamorous things that come along with having a kid, I love this little boy. More than I ever thought I could. As I type this, he is in the Moby wrap, strapped up against my chest, sleeping with his mouth wide open and making the occasional adorable baby sound. I melt. 

I can't get enough of this little boy.

Y'all know that I didn't enjoy being pregnant. And I was warned by several friends that the transition into mommyhood is not easy at all. They were right to a certain extent- but I think that God has given me (much needed) grace in the past few weeks. Yes, there have certainly been some challenging moments. But overall, the good moments have far outweighed the difficult ones.

I'm trying to soak up every single moment I can. So with that being said, I'll stop writing, and leave you with some pictures of the prettiest child that has ever lived. I realize that is a completely biased statement.

Oh... check out yesterday's post and enter my Jen Hatmaker giveaway! :)










My favorite picture. OMG.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Interrupted





I love Jen Hatmaker. I have for a while- you've probably heard of her book, 7, where she "rebels against excess". Before she wrote 7, she wrote a book called Interrupted. You guys- she has revised and expanded Interrupted, and now it's being re-released. And it's awesome.

I was given the opportunity to read a copy of the book before its' release, and it has made me think. A lot. I don't know if you remember this post, but I've been struggling- because I feel like there's more to my life than what it is right now. Even after having the most precious baby 15 days ago- I still feel like there's more. That's where this book kind of became a struggle for me.

In the book, Jen recounts the journey where her life was completely changed by a simple prayer: "Raise up in me a holy passion." She had no idea what she was getting herself into when she prayed that, but it turned her life upside down in the most unbelievable way. She and her husband went out on blind faith and started a church that wasn't like most churches that we see. I don't want to ruin the whole story, because it is most certainly worth the read.

In the book, Jen brought up a few things that really, really messed me up. At one point, she mentioned that she couldn't remember the last time she led someone to Christ (or something along those lines). I realized that I am the same way. I have become so consumed by serving the churched, that I have completely neglected the unchurched along the way. Shame on me. Then she had to add this Gandhi quote that hurt big time: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Ouch. That's me.

When you look at scripture, Jesus was not the popular guy, and he was not the guy who was friends with the "churched" (read: Pharisees). He did things that didn't make sense to them- he hung out with the prostitutes, lepers- "the least of these". Maybe it's time that I (and the church) step out of my comfort zone- and do what Jesus did. Instead of silently judging someone because they're not a carbon copy of my life (because I obviously have it all together... Haha), maybe I should start seeing them through Christ's eyes- a loved and valuable person who has a soul.


This is something that's bothered me for a long time. I've talked to my mom about it- I don't want to be a Pharisee. I want to be more like Jesus. I want to extend grace to others, even if they don't deserve it (a huge lesson I've learned recently). And let's be real- I mess up all the time, and I receive more grace than I deserve.

I want to change. Desperately. I want to make a difference. I have no clue how everything will play out, but when I die, I want people to be able to say that I lived my life trying to be more like my Savior.

Are you curious about this book yet?! Because guess what... Jen and the wonderful people at Tyndale sent me a copy of the (unreleased) book that I can give away. And... if you order the book through NavPress by July 31, you will get 20% off of your purchase! What?! That's amazing!

You have until Wednesday night evening to enter the giveaway, and I'll announce the winner Thursday morning.

About the Author:


Jen Hatmaker is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and A Modern Girl's Bible Study series. With a heart for her generation, she speaks at conferences around the country. Jen resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Brandon, and their five children. To learn more about Jen and follow her blog, go to www.jenhatmaker.com.


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