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Nov 26, 2014 An Open Letter to a Blog Friend...

i don't think i can fully express to you what you mean to me.  when i began blogging, i had no idea what community there could be in this internet world.  i never imagined real flesh and blood friendships would come from it.

i expected that blogging would look a lot like me curled up at my desk, coffee in hand, drafting posts and commenting on others, but never that it would also look like texting prayer requests at lunch and sending each other crazy selfies and actually drinking coffee across a table instead of just across a screen from one another.

there are so many of you, and so forgive me if this letter feels impersonal, but know that i sincerely mean each word.

you've come alongside me at a time when life is hectic and when i've been desperate for friends who understand this part of my life.  as the title "blogger" has become a greater part of who i am, i've felt silly time after time identifying myself as one to those who aren't a part of this world.

and you've been so much more than a blogging friend.  our conversations have gone beyond whatever we each wrote this week and have become life-giving.  from unpacking the devotion we read this morning to asking the hard questions, you've become someone who meets me where i am, and encourages and challenges and celebrates and prays right alongside me.

we are part of a world that can be competitive and all about "me, me, me!".  but how fortunate to have found friends, true, honest friends, who cheer one another on and champion one another's causes.  who look at this journey as a privilege and one filled with collaboration and cooperation.  who genuinely care for one another instead of just looking at one another as another statistic...a page view, a follower.

i don't think either of us could deny the grace of god in allowing our paths to cross.  after all, every good and perfect thing comes from him.  so thanks.  thanks for being the friend i needed when i needed one.  thanks for the check-in texts, the little "saw this and thought of you" messages, the excited tweets, and for including me in your life, both online and offline.

i hope we'll be able to squeeze one another in real life someday, but in case that doesn't happen, know that i'm so grateful for you.


Nov 25, 2014 Dressing Up

i'd absolutely describe myself as a girly-girl.  i love sparkly things, doing my hair and makeup, and dresses, among other things.

as i mentioned last week, i work in a really laid-back environment.  as an employee of a church and a preschool teacher, i often find myself getting messy (like on sunday when i was attempting to sculpt a "mashed potato" bust of our senior pastor out of joint compound.  or when i made my own play-dough for my preschoolers).  so the fact that i'm allowed to wear jeans to work is just fantastic.

but i also love to dress up a little from time to time!  i especially love weaving that laid-back style and a dress together.  starting with a casual dress and then layering up with a jean jacket, scarf, and some boots is a great go-to outfit for me.  i'm constantly carrying my keys and phone with me all over our large church building, so having pockets in my jacket is a must.  and if you haven't figured it out by now, i'm basically always wearing a scarf in the fall!

so a few tips about dressing up, but still staying comfy:
+ choose a dress with a soft, non-clingy material and a classic, free-flowing cut.  a dress with a slight a-line will look great on most figures!
+ choose comfortable shoes.  flats, boots, or wedges are great!  you can make a dress a little more casual or a little fancier with your shoes alone.  but if you have a long day ahead, be sure to pick something that isn't going to make you wish you could take them off!
+ layer!  throw on a jacket or sweater, or even a vest!  adding another texture and color can help give your outfit a little bit of pop.
+ accessorize.  add a belt to your dress and then pick a few finishing touches!  my daily go-to's are my watch and alex+ani bangles...they go with everything!  toss on a scarf as well to complete your look!

dress // target
jacket // gap
scarf // gifted
boots // matisse
boot socks // gold toe
watch // betsey johnson
bracelets // alex + ani and kate spade

how do you dress up or dress down a dress?

Nov 24, 2014 A Busy Monday (and a Grateful Heart)

today was a crazy day, to say the least.  from a morning filled with meetings to an afternoon spent writing announcements for our december bulletins, my head felt like it was spinning pretty much all day.

i started to write this blog post as i took a break earlier, and headed over to ember grey to grab the link for her weekly link-up, and got distracted by her post, which then turned into a text conversation about having coffee in nashville together and packing to michael bolton.  and so, i'm just getting around to this post now.

here are a few things that i was particularly grateful for on this busy monday:

+ coffee.  always coffee.

+ shipping out the first two orders for htb handmade!  also, the overwhelming support from all of you!  thank you so much for being excited with me for this new adventure!

+ melissa esplin's i still love calligraphy course.  i'm learning so much!

+ thanksgiving is this week!  favorite.

+ winning a signed copy of let's all be brave.  now what to do with my other copy?

+ a girl's night with my aunt on saturday.  pizza, the holiday, chocolate chip ice cream.  perfect evening.

+ aj comes home tomorrow for the holiday.  then it's just the final few weeks and he'll be home for a month for christmas!

what are you grateful for today?

Nov 22, 2014 HTB Happenings

well friends, i don't usually post on saturdays, but there's just so much goodness out there in the blogging world that i'd like to start these little weekly recaps as a way to share some of the things you may have missed around here and on some of my favorite blogs!

+ aj was home last weekend and our church launched it's first worship album!
+ i love apple care.  my computer crashed and the lovely people at the apple store replaced my hard drive for free!
+ have you been watching how to get away with murder?  craziness!  (i'm also in the process of binge-watching gilmore girls on netflix!)
+ sarah has been sporting the custom scarf i knit for her!  want your own?  email me at!

in case you missed it:
+ you know my love for hand lettering...check out the launch of heavens to betsy handmade!
+ what's your everyday style like?  i'm all about the comfy & cozy!
+ do you ever wish you had a road map for life?
+ i love starting the week with a grateful heart, and a giveaway doesn't hurt either!

don't miss these:
+ what little things do you like to gift to your girlfriends?
+ pumpkin monkey bread sounds like too good of a thing to be allowed in this world.
+ as if i need any convincing to travel, here are four reasons to travel more!
+ what camera doesn't need a coat?
+ newbie bloggers, you won't want to miss these great tips!

happy weekending!

Nov 21, 2014 Heavens to Betsy Handmade

i'm so excited about this announcement!  i've been feeling a desire to create a space that will not only challenge me creatively, but will allow me to share my creative gifts with others!  and so, i've been praying for a while about what a potential heavens to betsy shop could look like, and what i'd want to put into it.

if you don't know my love for hand lettering, well, welcome to my life.  i have way too many prints sitting on my desk waiting to be hung up.  prints by amazing letterers who are far more talented than i.  and that fear of not being "good enough" has held me back from taking this step for a long time.  but a few weeks ago, i was listening to a podcast from the influence conference where lindsay sherbondy (of lindsay letters), one of my very favorite artists, talked about how there's room enough for us all in the creative world.  coming from her, that was one of the most freeing things to hear.  there's room enough for us all.  just like there's enough room for us all in the kingdom of heaven, there's room for us all to utilize our creative gifts here online.

my greatest desire is to honor god and glorify him with anything i make.  he is the one who gifts us with the talents and strengths that we have, and so he deserves to be honored with those gifts.  so a portion of all sales from my shop will go to kingdom-builing work both domestically and around the globe.  some of these organizations will be the mocha club, foreign and domestic missions, and project rescue.

so, without further ado, i give you heavens to betsy handmade!

i'll be stocking the shop with more prints and other handmade goodies as time goes on (keep your eyes peeled for some chunky infinity scarves!), but here are the prints from my launch collection!

i would love to have you stop by the shop and check out the launch collection!  and if you're looking for a print for yourself or a friend, take 20% off of your total purchase with the code "launchmonth" now until the end of november!
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