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May 27, 2014

5 Reasons Why Freelancing is Both Awesome & Awful...

i never planned on being a freelancer.  (and frankly, i'm not sure i can really call myself one since it's not the primary source of my income…)

but the reality is that i do quite a bit of freelance work on the side.  through photography, graphic design, even blogging.  the extra income is always welcome, and i love having these creative outlets to work through!  honestly, if i was booking enough, i think i could love being a full-time photographer and designer.  but for now, it continues to be a side job that i feel really lucky to be able to do.

if you do any amount of freelance work, then you know that there are moments when you're like... "yeah!  this is awesome!  i'm living my dream and doing what i want to do!"  and then there are also plenty of moments when you're more… "this is awful…i can't book anything and no one wants to pay what i'm asking and why did i ever think freelancing was a good idea anyhow??"

so here are the five highs and lows of my freelancing experience:

1. income! // awesome:  if you're like me and freelancing isn't your only source of income, then it's awesome to make a little extra money by using your creative talents!  awful:  it's not necessarily consistent.  i go through seasons of being really busy and it feels like the money is rolling in, and then other seasons when it just isn't.

2.  pricing // awesome:  freelancing allows you to set your own pricing for things.  you get to determine how long a project will take and what you're willing to do the job for.   awful:  pricing can be super tricky.  personally, i always feel bad charging close friends or family my normal prices for a photoshoot or design services.  and it never feels great when someone either tries to get you to charge less because they don't want to pay what you're asking, or when someone tells you they can't book you because they found "a better deal" with someone else.  but hey, that's the biz.  (check out this article by jon acuff on charging people for your services)

3.  self-promotion // awesome:  you get to say what you do and how you do it…you have control over how your services are branded and represented!  awful:  i hate having to promote myself or my services.  social media definitely makes it a little bit easier, but yeah, i still hate talking about myself or what i can do for people.

4.  business is booming!  ….or not // awesome:  you get to accept or turn down jobs that work for you or don't.  if you're just too busy, you can stop accepting jobs.  awful:  it's really hard to control that flow of business!  and it can be really discouraging when business is not booming or you put a sale out there and no one bites.

5.  time management // awesome:  you have complete control over your schedule.  you can work when you want to and aren't tied down to office hours and stuff like that.  i find that if i love what i'm doing, then i am constantly thinking about it or wanting to work on it.  awful:  if you're not good at managing your time or being self-motivated, then being your own boss is not an easy task.

so tell me…do you do any freelance work?  what are some ways you keep business going?  what do you find awesome or awful about it?

May 22, 2014

If We Got Together for Coffee...


…i'd want to drink mine out of a mug.  because it tastes better that way.

…unless it was warm out.  if it was warm out, i'd order an iced shaken passion tea.  or maybe an iced caramel macchiato.  (i'm assuming we'd meet at starbucks)

…i'd probably ask you what you've got on the agenda for summer.

…i'd want to take you for a spin in june!

…i'd ask you what your favorite ice cream flavor is, because it's warm out and i love ice cream!

…i'd tell you that i'm feeling very tired this week, after all the goings on with my family the past few weeks and now a bunch of sinus congestion that's just wearing me out.

…i'd ask what your favorite vacation spot is, and then daydream about it with you (as long as it includes warmth and sun.  if you want to vacation in, say, siberia, well then, you're on your own pal.)

…i'd tell you that i've been searching for a great summer purse, and i'm smitten with this one.

…i'd also tell you that i've wanted a longchamp tote for like, the past decade (not an exaggeration), and that i've been seriously considering investing.

…i'd probably ask you if you want to go shopping, because my summer wardrobe is just sad and i've had the hardest time finding things i love this year.

…i'd tell you that i'm linking up with a harvest of blessing!

what would you like to chat about over coffee?

May 21, 2014

Girl Talk // The Grateful Life

a little while ago, i started writing these grateful heart posts every monday, (thanks to emily at ember grey!)  starting my week off by listing some things that i'm grateful for has been an awesome practice, and one that has taken a lot longer than the past few weeks to get the hang of.

when i was in college, i started being intentional about living with a grateful heart.  i began looking for things to thank god for throughout my day.  when i grabbed the last bagel in the cafeteria or when a class got cancelled and i got to take a drive to the beach, i muttered a quick little "thank you" to jesus.

living with a constant sense of gratitude is one of the hardest things i can think of.  in a world that loves to complain, loves to belittle, loves to make things less than what they are, it can be difficult to find joy in the little things; in a parking space, your favorite coffee creamer being on sale, a passing rain shower.

and that's the problem, i think.  our world so often drowns out the gratitude.  ann voskamp once wrote that "our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in god and what he gives.  we hunger for something more, something other."

that so adequately describes our human nature, doesn't it?  from the beginning, when adam & eve took the fruit, they did so because they were led to believe that there was something more.  and we all must live with the weight of that decision, always managing the tension between what the world wants us to believe and what our god has for us.

but the thing, friends, is that the simple act of gratitude, of finding joy in the simplistic, in the everyday, in the seemingly ordinary, can do wonders in the way of managing that tension.  and it's not just being happy or thankful for what you find, but knowing who to thank.

so here are a few tips for you on your journey to living a more grateful life:

what things do you do to make sure you live a grateful life?

May 20, 2014

Meet June the Jetta!

well friends, here's an announcement i'm terribly excited to make…i bought a car!

my brother had an unfortunate accident in my car last june and i've been without one ever since. not a big deal since i live and home and my mom & i work at the same place, but still kind of a bummer.  for the first time in my 8 years of being a licensed driver, i didn't have a car!  

i decided a few months ago that it was high time that i get myself some wheels, but i didn't just want any car.  i wanted one that was going to last me a while, that would be a good car for aj & i to have once we get married/move/become adults, ya know.  and i've always loved vw's, and always have had my eye on a jetta!  so i found this little girl down in west chester and my uncle, dad, and i went last tuesday and i drove her home!

i'm absolutely loving her…she's pretty much everything i wanted and we're pretty perfect for each other…see?  don't i look like a jetta girl?

and of course, she couldn't leave the dealership without a name, so june the jetta it was!

do you name your cars?  

May 19, 2014

The Best Way to Start the Week

let me tell you what's not the best way to start the week:  waking up at 4:30am to your almost-8-month-old goldendoodle howling at his reflection in your back door.  ugh.  ollie, you're adorable and i love you, but i absolutely hate your tendency to bark at night.

however, what is the best way to start the week is with a grateful heart!  so, without further adieu….

here's what i'm particularly grateful about today:

a much-needed run yesterday
a new coffee cup from starbucks this morning
catching creamer on sale at the grocery store (2 for $3, baby!)
creativity
family support systems
some new clothes
my brand-new (to me) baby, june the jetta! (more on that later)
being productive
my mom's baked oatmeal

as usual, i'm linking up with ember grey for grateful heart monday! emily runs the grateful heart link-up every monday, and it's open all week…i encourage you to go check it out, read some of the other posts, and consider participating!

i'm also sharing a tutorial on making your own soy candles over at lovely does it today…so check that out!

and just as an added bonus for your monday….i'm offering all readers 60% off of any ad space/package with the code "springhassprung".

what are you grateful for today?

May 18, 2014

Nora & Brad's Engagement Shoot

i got a chance to do some engagement photos for aj's cousin nora and her fiancĂ©, brad, over the weekend.  we had fun catching some evening sunlight and i'm really happy with how the photos turned out!  you can see more here.

May 12, 2014

Grateful Heart Monday

last week was crazy for my family.

my dad's mom was in the hospital from wednesday-thursday (two weeks ago) after having a tia (mini stroke, she's totally fine), and then my mom's mom fell outside her house on friday, landing herself in the er.  except she wasn't totally fine.  she had a stroke in her cerebellum, throwing off her balance, her blood sugar was sky-high, she became non responsive and started seizing, got herself one heck of a concussion, and checked into a room in the icu.  after being intubated with a breathing tube from friday-monday, she finally came off of all the sedation meds, started breathing on her own, and the tube came out on monday morning.  she's now in rehab and doing well, despite still being a little wobbly and having some lapses in memory.

besides all that went on with my grandmother, we had a little scare with my dad…he went to penn for his four-week check-up and has been struggling with a bit of a cough (always scary for a lung cancer patient).  a chest-xray revealed something in his left lung that the doctors decided they wanted a closer look at, so they did a ct scan on thursday and ended up finding that it was stable disease with one lymph node and one nodule just slightly larger than the previous read.  apparently these reads can be subjective so they're going to just keep and eye on it and they suspect the cough is from an infection so they put him on antibiotics.  either way, it was a nerve-wracking few days.

on top of all of that, aj's grandfather is also in the hospital and not doing too well, so if you can keep him and their family in your prayers, that would be much appreciated.

so anyway, all of this craziness makes this week's grateful monday post all the more necessary and personally encouraging.

here's what i'm particularly grateful about today:

family
being on the mend
health
the puppy gets a haircut tomorrow (he's solo scraggly)
sunshine
aj's home!
my bro is home for summer as well
a potential second job on the horizon
catching a much-needed nap yesterday (the past week and a half has been exhausting in every way)

as usual, i'm linking up with ember grey for grateful heart monday! emily runs the grateful heart link-up every monday, and it's open all week…i encourage you to go check it out, read some of the other posts, and consider participating!

and just as an added bonus for today….i'm offering all readers 70% off of any ad space/package with the code "springhassprung".

what are you grateful for today?

May 3, 2014

What's in a Name

my real name is elizabeth, but i've been called betsy since birth.

in 7th grade, i tried to be liz.  it lasted a month and i was back to betsy.

those who really know me just call me bets, and it's one of those things that makes me feel really close to people.

sometimes people call me liz or beth or some other shortened version of elizabeth and i cringe a little bit because that's. not. me.

and sometimes, someone i just met drops the "y" from my name and one of two things happens:
either it feels awkward, like they're pretending that we're super tight but in reality, we're not on the same page….
or it's awesome because i've totally been friend-crushing and the little nickname they just adopted for me makes me feel like that friend crush has been fulfilled.

i also realized that i'm the perpetrator of this sometimes.  i will write an email or respond to a tweet or even talk to someone in person and i shorten their name.

so what about you?  do you have a name that gets shortened a lot?  do you love it or hate it?

May 2, 2014

Lately // According to Instagram

i can't believe that may is here!  i feel like i've been telling myself that may will mean warmth is here for good, and today it definitely delivered.  we were in the mid-70s here in pa, which was pretty great after a few dreary, cold, rainy days.  (but we still are missing leaves on our trees!  what the heck!?)

so anyway, march & april were busy (let's be real, what months aren't?) with work and easter and two trips to boston, so here is what was going on via my instagram feed in the past month and a half!
boston at night // my first stitch fix
in the car with the pup and holding the pup (can you believe he's only 6 months old in these pics?)
singing on worship team // my first selfie for friday introductions
some sunlight and an april snow shower // free rita's on the first (chilly) day of spring
mercury glass // fresh pineapple mango kale juice
with aj in boston and at home
philly from the art museum // my little snuggle bug
running // leaving aj at the airport (only one week left til summer break!)
flying // i saw les mis on broadway and it was ah-mazing.
when starbucks misspells your name // new reading glasses
coming and going on my boston trip last week!
some signs i created for easter at church // saw bullets over broadway during previews while waiting for aj's bus to get into nyc in march…it was a fun show!

May 1, 2014

What He has Done is Done Forever.

today i'm leaning into the grace of jesus. 
today i'm disregarding the voices of fear & doubt & worry that try to dismantle his promises. 
today i'm resting on the belief that what he has done is done forever. 

today marks one year since the word "cancer" ran across my family's lips in reference to my dad. 

one year since 40 of our closest friends and family gathered in the gt worship center and began praying for healing before we even had an official diagnosis. 
one year since life as we knew it changed forever.

what a year it's been. 

a year of learning to trust, learning to pray, learning to believe. 
a year of fear and uncertainty and anxiety at times.
a year of altering our vocabulary to regularly include words like adenocarcinoma, and mutation, and clinical trial.
a year of regularly using words like healing.
a year of education and educating.

a year of miraculous healing.


will you pray with me today friends?  


jesus is faithful to complete what he has started and we're resting in that.  he has brought my dad, my family, through this last year and repeatedly encouraged us with people and words and blessings.  we're firmly believing that god will use this testimony for his glory.  and we also believe that a huge part of dad's healing has been due to steadfast prayer.  so prayers for completion of his healing (and for this nagging cough that has surfaced in the past few weeks to get kicked to the curb) are appreciated!  
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