Category Archives: THINGS I LOVE

CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

Happy Holiday | Bing Crosby

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear | Johnny Mathis

The Little Drummer Boy | Harry Simeone Chorale

Silent Night | Frank Sinatra

White Christmas | Dean Martin

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen | Perry Como

Jingle Bell Rock | Bobby Helms

All I Want For Christmas | Ray Charles

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas | Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters

O Little Town Of Bethlehem | Frank Sinatra

Away In A Manger | Bing Crosby

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree | Brenda Lee

Baby, It’s Cold Outside | Dean Martin

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas | Judy Garland

I’m old school. Mariah Carey and Glee Christmas can only last me so long before I revert back to the traditional songs I grew up on. I don’t know what it is about Bing and Perry that set my heart ablaze, but they really know how to make Christmas sound right.

I hope this playlist brings you joy this season. Grab some hot chocolate and your loved ones, and enjoy! And if you’re a Pandora listener, check out their Christmas Radio station. It’s full of the good ole stuff.

Merry Christmas

#thingsadored

GIVE THANKS

‘Tis the season to give.

But I want to challenge you to give not for the sake of the holiday, but just because you care about someone.

We all have people in our lives that influence us, sacrifice for us, and help us without expecting anything in return. Who are those people to you? Maybe they’ve encouraged you lately, watched your kids when you were in a bind, sent flowers or a meal during a time of loss, or shared something meaningful with you. Think about who that might be, and do something to show them they are appreciated.

Here are a few gift ideas for under $10 to get you started:

– Popcorn/ treat mix/ chocolate

– Flowers

– Candles

– Board games/ movies/ records

– Fun ornaments/ hand-made wreaths

Get creative!

I recently had some new friends (new as in a met them the day of) that offered to help me with some photos for The Simply Beloved. They donated their time and talents to create some beautiful pictures for us. In return, I wanted to do a little something to show them my appreciation.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

I purchased the candles from a local store and found the gift tags at Michaels. When they arrived at my house, I had them sitting on the table with some fresh peppermint chocolate cookies. It was easy, fun, and let them know how thankful I was that they wanted to be included in this project.

There are plenty of ways to make these little reminders festive. For edible gifts, Christmas treat bags were available. They also had really cute holiday stationary and cards if you like writing down your thanks. You could also purchase a few mason jars to put fresh flowers in. Wrap some red, green, and gold ribbon around the top, and you’re set! Take a few minutes to walk around your local craft store, and see what you can come up with.

What can you do to extend thanks to someone who cares? Spread gratitude this season! Say THANK YOU

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

#thingsadored

BABY BOARD

Back in March, my sister Lindsay had a precious baby girl that I happen to be completely obsessed with. Emerson Gray Duncan is the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen. Aside from showering her with gifts I’ve spent countless dollar amounts on (we aunts tend to do that), Lindsay asked me to make something for Emerson’s room that turned out to be SUPER cute. I’ll share…

“As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen” -Winnie the Pooh

Lindsay had picked out this adorable Winnie the Pooh quote and asked that I put it on a canvas to go above her changing table. So, we set out for the supplies! I usually buy all my products from Hobby Lobby, but if I can’t find what I’m looking for there (which is rare), I’ll check Michaels or JoAnn’s. I like Hobby Lobby best because their prices are great, they’ve always got coupons, and they’re a wonderful company run by followers of Christ. I know, too good to be true.

We picked out a larger white canvas to put the quote on, and then worked on the layout she wanted. After a few rough drafts on some plain white computer paper, I got to work!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

I used paint sharpies to apply the script. Once the full quote was written, we set out to add some color. To keep it simple, I grabbed some watercolor paint and lightly brushed a leaf pattern around the calligraphy. Once that was complete, Emerson gave us the thumbs up, and Lindsay took it home with them to put in her nursery!

Processed with VSCOcam with t2 preset

These projects are so fun and affordable. Don’t be afraid to try out something yourself! And if you’re interested in purchasing an item, check out my Etsy Shop STUMPandSCRIPT! I’m happy to personalize anything and everything for ya :)

#thingsadored

#TSHIRTPROJECT

I’m awkward. And lot of what I’ve been studying in the gospels is how important it is for us as believers to disciple to others. But how do you do that? How in the world are we supposed to show Christ to complete strangers when you may only have a minute in line at the coffee shop with them? I’m not going to be THAT girl obnoxiously bringing up my faith right off the bat because that’s just not me, and God knows that — He made me. Plus, we’ve talked about it.

So what then? Do I pull out my WWJD bracelets from 1999 and wear them everywhere? Carry my Bible from place to place and hope that a) someone sees it and b) asks me about it? I could always invest in some chacos? They’re pretty stereotypical if you’re going for the Young Life vibe, but that still isn’t enough!

Then, I suddenly felt the inspiration. I knew how to make this work and not look like a total dork! It’s funny the way God reaches you. For me, the more I spend time in His word, the more clear His word becomes. What used to come across as just any ole idea is now what I recognize as Him telling me to do something. Well, one day God spoke to me, and He said, “Make shirts.” I said, “Ok, what kind of shirts?” And He said, “Cool ones.” And I said, “Let’s get to Target then.”

So off to Target we go. I had been on Pinterest a ton, so I had some fun ideas of how I was going to make these shirts look. I got a few plain black and white tees, then headed to Michaels for the iron-on letters. Once the shopping was complete, I went home to find some verses for the shirts.

Now I knew that I wanted my message to be subtle — I wanted people to ask me what my shirt meant. So I found a few of my favorite passages and ironed on some words from those passages without including the actual verse. That way, when someone read ‘More Than Conquerors’ for example, they would have to ask me what it meant and TADA!! It was them approaching me instead of me approaching them! Once they became interested in what my shirt meant, I was able to share with them.

This tactic is great for a few reasons:

1 – I don’t look like a total dweeb trying to start an awkward conversation about Jesus with someone I don’t know.

2 – I’m challenged to actually memorize the full verse that my shirt represents and know what it is I’m going to share about that part of the Bible.

3 – I get a super cheap, super cute new wardrobe that has a cool meaning to it!

————————

I’m so excited about this new project and would be thrilled for all of YOU to play a part in it. I think this is a great opportunity to show our love for Christ in a way that is approachable and catchy. So I encourage all of you to find a cool verse, make your own shirts, add some fun jewelry/accessories, and go disciple to the world!

If you decide to take part in this fun movement, make sure to share your shirts with everyone! Upload your images + use the hashtag #tshirtproject. We want to see your works of art!

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

#thingsadored

#TSHIRTPROJECT

Photography by the lovely Southern Fried Photography 


IMG_6944

Shirt | Target

Letters | Michaels

Also have: iron/ironing board

EXPLORE BALTIMORE – FELLS POINT

This marks my fourth year in Baltimore. I can’t believe I’ve been out of the South for that long! But, now that I’m almost a vet at finding the best hidden restaurants + mastering the terrible highways, I’ve spent time venturing downtown into what they call Fells Point.

Fells is a precious little cobblestone street neighborhood that’s got lots of secret beauty to it. Anywhere you look there’s architecture with charm & character that’s well deserving of applause. You get the feel that it’s been around a while, but it is still clean and inviting. One thing you MUST do down there is eat. Maryland is known for it’s awesome seafood.

Crab cakes and football. That’s what Maryland does.

The food is incredible. You can stop in a little hole in the wall wine cafe or Irish pub just about anywhere. They line the streets of downtown like they’re guarding them from any other distractions that might come along.

To start, order a drink (Natty Boh is their famous local beer) and some sort of crab dip appetizer, whether it be with bread, veggies, or pretzel — you’ll faint before you can even put in your meal order. Next, you’re going to want to try a soup concoction that’s out of this world. So they’ll have Maryland crab soup as one option, which is crab and vegetables; they’ll also list cream of crab, which is self explanatory. What you do is order a ‘half-and-half’, which is one half of each. It’s not too creamy because you’ve got the veggies in there, but it’s also not too light because of the thickness of the cream of crab. Heaven. Then, you finish off the meal with an outrageous entree and possibly dessert if there’s still room.

After that heart attack of a meal, take a walk around the harbor. You could wander for hours and still never see all the sights, but the buildings are beautiful and all on the water’s edge. The shopping is great so make sure you stop in a few clothing stores as well as the random, quirky shops. You’ll find lots of treasures in there for yourself and your loved ones.

And let me know when you make plans! I’ll be there xoxo

#thingsadored

Processed with VSCOcam with t3 preset Processed with VSCOcam with t3 preset


– W H E R E – T O – E A T –

Kooper’s Tavern

Riptide by the Bay

Waterfront Hotel

Bertha’s Mussels

Tapas Adela

V-NO Wine Bar