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Nov 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  I hope your day is spent with family, friends, and being grateful!

Enjoy the turkey, the potatoes, the football, and the post-meal nap! 

Nov 24, 2015

Whistle While You Work!


I'm one of those people who always needs background noise when I work.  Whether it's finishing up a blog post or working on editing a shoot, I need to have something to listen to or watch while I'm working.  If you're like me and you need to split your focus a little, then here are five easy tips for "whistling while you work"!

1 // Find a great way to watch your favorite shows online. One of my picks is the NBC TV Everywhere app!  You can watch TV without the TV using your desktop!  Catch up on your favorite shows like The Voice, The Blacklist (one of my faves!  So many plot twists and suspense...I get scared pretty easily, so watching this one while I have something to distract me a little, like work, is a good idea!), and Chicago Fire, among others.  The best part about NBC TVE is that you can watch full episodes of your faves anywhere, with no cable log-in required, straight on your desktop!  Great for when you're working on the go!


2 // Play some music.  This is a "duh" moment, but the kind of music you play can really affect your work!  I love listening to movie scores while editing a wedding, or maybe some up-beat pop music if I want 

3 // Have some snacks on hand.  I can't work if my tummy is grumbling, so I like to keep some healthy snacks nearby!

4 // Have a workspace that inspires creativity.  Check out this post for more tips!

5 // Get comfortable!  I'm a "comfort above all else" kind of girl, and I get the most done when I'm dressed comfortably and in an atmosphere that lets me relax a little.  Even my office at work is warm and cozy!

What do you do to whistle while you work?  


Nov 19, 2015

The Guys Behind the Blog // November


Woohoo!  It's that time of the month again...time for the Guys Behind the Blog! I love this monthly link-up where AJ gets a chance to take over the blog and answer some questions for all of you.  If you've never joined us, grab your guy and the questions below and linkup sometime in the next week!


1. What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?
I played Football, Baseball and Basketball.. I was really only ever any good at football and baseball though. Mostly because I was huge compared to other kids…

2. If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?

EASY. E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLESSSSSS v Patriots… But the timing would have to be right. Ya see, the only Super Bowl that my team (the Eagles… Obvs) have played in while I have been alive was against the EVIL EMPIRE (AKA the Patriots). And if you are not a sports fan you should know two very important things… The Eagles only lost by 3, and THE PATRIOTS WERE FOUND CHEATING THAT SEASON. Coincidence?? I think not. I want to see the eagles CRUSH them hard… preferably culminating in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick retiring.

3. Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?

I like the Winter Olympics the most. I love that event where a bunch of guys/girls are basically sitting in a bullet flying through an ice tunnel. That’s amazing. If I had to participate… I would choose almost anything but that event. Because it’s fun to watch but I value my life… 

4. What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?

My favorite food to eat at a sports party depends on the sport… If it’s football I love chili because it’s a great fall food. If I’m at a World Series party then the best thing is a Hot Dog! And finally if I’m at a Stanley Cup party (Which I never am), I will be craving wonton tacos… Mostly because I always end up watching the Stanley cup at an Applebees for some weird reason. 


5. Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?

BRIAN DAWKINS. This guy is the classiest. He was my favorite player on the Eagles growing up and has become a total legend in Philly sports. He’s a great example of an athlete who loves Jesus and hitting people, because you CAN love both! He also was just insanely fun to watch and always got the crowd pumped up. He is the voice/writer of this awesome video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4bb06sxWpg


________________________________

For the record, I knew he'd like this month because it was an opportunity to talk all about sports!
This month's link up will be open through next Friday, so join in with us!

And here are the questions for December....join us starting December 17th for next month's link up! (we're going a week early again because of the holiday, but in January we'll be back to our regular schedule of the last Thursday of the month!)  
1. What's on your Christmas list this year?
2. Did you believe is Santa as a child? Do you have any funny Santa stories?
3. What is a Christmas tradition you hope to pass on someday?
4.  Do you open presents on Christmas morning or a different time?
5.  What is your favorite Christmas song?  Movie?


Date Night Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias


As newlyweds, AJ and I like to try to go on dates once in a while.  We love exploring our town, trying out new restaurants, and we've recently gotten into the habit of going out once a week and just sit down to have dinner and really talk.

I love those little dates, because they give us a chance to really connect after a busy week.  I'm learning quickly in marriage that it really takes intentionality to make sure that your spouse feels cared for.  Life can get really busy, and so it's important to set aside time that's free of distraction to spend together and focus on one another. 

No matter where we spend our date nights, I try to never leave home without some basic essentials in my bag!  There's nothing worse than setting out on a date and getting derailed because of a minor ailment like a headache, or just being uncomfortable because you forgot something or you have an outfit mishap.  I put together a little Date Night Essentials kit with a bunch of products that are must-haves in my option so that date night never gets cut short!



Here's what's in my purse on any given date night:

Advil Tablet Vial // Advil is probably one of my most-important purse essentials for date night or any day of the week!  Use Advil tablets for headaches, minor arthritis and other joint pain, muscle aches and pains of the common cold.  Keep the convenient, purse-friendly Advil Tablet Vial in your bag for any little ache that threatens to cut date night short!

Nexium 24HR // Let's face it:  having heartburn is enough to ruin any evening out with your man.  Having Nexium 24HR in your bag can help give you heartburn protection.  (May take 1 to 4 days for full effect.  Use as directed.)

Emergen-C // I always like to have some Emergen-C on me in the event that I feel something coming on.  I just feel good about having that little extra boost at my fingertips!  With over 20 varieties of vitamin supplement drink mixes, Emergen-C offers the formula, flavor, fix, and FUN you're looking for!

Lint Roller, Static Guard, & Stain Remover Pen // These are some of my biggest must-haves!  Having these practical items in your bag will ensure that you keep your date-night outfit looking picture perfect!

Deodorant // I can't tell you how many times I get so caught up in my morning routine that I almost forget to put on deodorant.  There's nothing worse than realizing that you left the house without smelling good, and keeping a small deodorant in your purse can come to the rescue in this sort of situation, or when you just need a quick refresh!

Nail File & Clear Polish // Keeping a nail file in your purse is a no-brainer...if you break or snag a nail, there's nothing worse than not having a way to fix it.  Having a nail file in your bag is a quick and easy fix in this situation!  Having a bottle of quick-dry clear nail polish is important because it not only can stop chipping, but it can also stop a run in your tights!



You can find all of these date-night purse essentials (and more) at Walmart!  One quick and easy shopping trip was all it took for me to put together the essential purse survival pack that's perfect for any and every date night!



WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-HAVES FOR DATE NIGHT?  WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS KEEP IN YOUR BAG?

Nov 17, 2015

Hunter Boots & Flannel


DETAILS // 
Boots:  Hunter | Leggings:  Fabletics | Shirt: Old Navy | Vest: Old Navy | Watch: JORD

Call me basic, or predictable, or whatever, but I'm just gonna say it:  I think I found my fave outfit for fall and early winter.  

I've had a pair of Hunter boots on my wishlist for a while now.  I can't tell you how many pairs of cheap rainboots I've gone through. I distinctly remember the first pair I got in college...they were a cute navy blue with little anchors on them.  And I thought they were great every time I boldly walked across a rain-soaked quad on my way to class.  But then, halfway across the marsh that our beautiful, grassy quad inevitably turned into in the New England rain, I would notice that my socks felt a little cold...and wet.  And so, the boots that I had trusted to keep my tootsies dry failed me.  So last week, when AJ and I were walking through Costco, I was shocked to find a stack of neatly-piled Hunter boot boxes.  They had no price sign above them, and knowing what they normally retail for, I figured they couldn't be more than $20-$30 less than the usual price tag, so I didn't even bother to ask.  Later that weekend, I thought about them and checked online and was shocked to find that they were only $80!  So I ordered a pair online and friends...they're popular for a reason.  They're comfortable, totally sealed, and so classic.  

I paired my Hunter boots with a pair of Fabletics leggings, a boyfriend flannel from Old navy (my new fave), and a puffy vest for a shoot that I had scheduled on Sunday, and after my client headed home, I decided to grab a few photos of myself, because it was one of those outfits that I just never wanted to take off (so comfy).   









WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT THESE DAYS?  DO YOU OWN HUNTER BOOTS?

Nov 12, 2015

The Golden Vlog // November

I seriously can't believe that it's time for the Golden Vlog again...and that we've already hit mid-November!  To be honest, I kind of got a bit of the holiday fever yesterday....my boss gave me a spruce-scented candle the other day and now our office smells like a Christmas tree forest...pretty great, if you ask me!  

Anyway...this month's Golden Vlog is all about work and jobs!  Watch below to hear more about what I do for work now, what my first job was, and to see my special guest on this month's vlog!



Life w/ Mrs G & the Artist ~ Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin
Amanda Moments ~ Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Brave Love Blog ~ Instagram | Bloglovin | Twitter
Heavens to Betsy ~ Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
My Favorite AdventureTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Here's the Rules . . .
1. You must follow your hosts on at least ONE form of social media to linkup w/ us. 
2. We want to see your face! How many times you roll your eyes, and if you talk with your hands! So link up a post featuring your VLOG answering this months questions! Please link up a post not your blog's home page, and be sure there is a VLOG (video blog) featured! This is the Golden Vlog after all ;)
3. Add the button above or a text link to one of the hosts to help us promote this crazy thing!
4. Spread the love! go watch, listen, and comment on other blogs and make some new friends!
If you have any questions at all or want to be included on our monthly Golden Vlog Letter with next months questions just email lifewithmrsgandtheartist@gmail.com
*all links not featuring a vlog or this months questions will be removed!

Nov 9, 2015

Abide


You want to hear something funny?  This post, just a title and a sentence, has been sitting in my draft folder since January.  Yep, you read that right:  January.  That's how long it's taken me to actually sit down and write it.

For the past few years, I've been choosing a word for the year.  In 2014, it was teachable.  I wanted to come to work, to my personal life, to my online world with a teachable spirit, and reminding myself of that in the face of criticism or a moment when I just need to own a mistake was a great perspective shift.

When 2015 started to loom, I decided that my word would be abide.  I was trying really hard at the end of 2014 to spend time with Jesus daily and I was in a season where contentment was escaping me (as evidenced by the cry fests that I had to both my mom and AJ about how "we're never going to get married" ha...funny one, God).  So abide it was, and when I chose that word in December of 2014, I had no idea the craziness that 2015 would hold, or that I would be ending the year with a different last name.

To be honest, I don't think I embodied my word in 2015.  In a lot of ways, I'm not sure that I'm heading out of this year more centered than when I came into it.  But at the same time, I do know that I'm closing out this year with a better awareness of the presence of Jesus in my life.

The way I see it, change can take you by surprise, even if you see it coming.  This year has been a year of change, both personally and in the life of our church.  Since our pastor's accident back in June, we've seen growth and revival coming to our county and congregation.  We've watched God orchestrate too many moments and happenings to even count, and as a staff, we've become more and more aware of the way God has worked and moved to carry us through the storm we faced on the evening of June 7th.

When I chose abide as my word for 2015, I didn't know that I'd spend 9 months of this year planning my wedding and then celebrating my brother's marriage as well.  I didn't know that so many of my friends would welcome babies into their families this year, and I didn't know what the transition into married life would look like.  Now, two months after saying "I do," I'm realizing that abiding looks differently than I expected it to.

Abiding, now, doesn't just mean getting up a little earlier and opening my Bible, or trying to carve out some time to read a book that reminds me of God's goodness.  It means saying no to commitments that take away from time spent with my husband.  It means encouraging one another to grow in our walks with God and being cheerleaders for one another in all things.

Last year at this time, I thought I knew what this year might hold.  I had plans, I had goals, and I had a word.  Have I embodied the word abide in the way that I thought I would this year?  Most definitely not.  But in the process, I've learned so much more about the way that God shows up and surrounds us with His steadfast goodness, in both the hard and the joyful times, and I think in so many ways, that's a greater lesson than I could have ever taught myself through my own striving.

DID YOU HAVE A WORD FOR 2015?  WHAT HAS GOD BEEN TEACHING YOU THIS YEAR?

Nov 5, 2015

Meet Quincy!


If you haven't already met him via my Instagram feed (sorry, but he's kind of taken over at the moment!), then I'd like to formally introduce you to the newest Fick, Quincy!

AJ and I were super excited to welcome Quince to the family on Saturday.  We have been talking about getting a dog someday since long before we got married and over the past few weeks started seriously discussing it.  I had been keeping my eyes on a few websites that listed local puppies from family breeders and when we were in Boston this past weekend with a few friends, I saw Quincy and his siblings pop up on the site.  He was too cute, so I sent the link to my mom who replied "OMG!"  

On Saturday, as we were beginning our trip home, my parents decided to give the breeder a call and go see the puppies.  When they arrived, they found Quincy to be the last puppy left unspoken for.  My mom immediately called me and put me on FaceTime and let me virtually meet this sweet pup.  The breeder wasn't going to be available on Sunday and couldn't guarantee that they would hold him for us, so I told my mom that I trusted her judgement and if she thought he was a good pup, to bring him home.  She called me back a few minutes later to tell me that the breeder would only take cash and that the ATM wouldn't allow her to take out what she needed, so we wouldn't be getting our puppy that day.  We were bummed, but not entirely heartbroken as we made plans for me to leave work early on Monday to go see him.  

Fast forward a few hours as we stopped for a little break on our trip back to PA.  I casually mentioned to AJ and our friend Brit that I was secretly hoping that my mom was fibbing and that we'd be going home to a puppy, but I also didn't want to get my hopes up, so I convinced myself that that wasn't going to be the case.  However, when we walked into our house later that night, we got the best surprise ever when we discovered the sweetest little pup waiting for us!  

It's been a fun week so far with our new addition.  He was off to a rough start on the whole crate-training thing (ahem...we didn't really get sleep the first two nights), but we have him down to a schedule now and he's been getting better.  Mostly, though, he's just the cutest thing there ever was.  AJ said the other day that he loves him so much that it hurts, and I totally agree.  He's also AJ's first dog, so watching them together is pretty much the sweetest thing.  

I'm sure you'll be hearing/seeing more of Quincy on the blog in the future, but for now, give him a warm welcome!  (Because, you know, he avidly reads this blog and wants to hear you tell him how cute he is.) 





Nov 4, 2015

Fall Fashion & Better Life Bags


DETAILS // 
Bag:  the Linda by Better Life Bags  |  Shirt:  Old Navy  |  Jeans:  Gap  |  Flats:  Old Navy  |  Necklace:  Rocksbox  |  Hat:  Old Navy  |  Vest:  Bass

I really love shopping small and supporting businesses that are making a difference.  While it's not always completely feasible when shopping for clothes and accessories, I like to support these types of businesses when possible.  

That's why I've been wanting to feature my Better Life Bag in a blog post since I got it in June.  When I took it with me while apple picking a few weeks ago, I figured there was no better spot than in the orchard to shoot some photos of this great bag! 

If you're not familiar with Better Life Bags, they're a Detroit-based company that employs women with barriers to employment and gives them an opportunity to earn a fair wage and make a living for their families.  They are making an impact on these women and their families and furthering God's kingdom in the process.  What's not to love?

The cool thing about Better Life Bags is that as the customer, you design your bag.  They have an interactive website where you can change leather colors and fabric patterns on the bag design of your choice, and each bag is made to order.  While these bags are a bit on the pricey side, I think they're totally worth it simply because of the heart behind the company.  It was definitely worth saving up for it!

I love my Linda from Better Life Bags.  It's the perfect size for a day out or even if I'm headed to meet a photography client...I can fit my essentials along with my camera and a notebook easily in my bag, and I love that it has both shoulder straps and a cross body!    

Truth be told, I'm a total purse girl, so it's not hard to find a bag that I love.  But there's just something so satisfying knowing that I gave my money to a quality company that is doing good work and using it well.  If you haven't checked out some of Better Life Bags' products, I highly recommend you do so here!







HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF BETTER LIFE BAGS?  DO YOU OWN ONE?  WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ETHICAL FASHION COMPANY?
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