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Nov 29, 2020

HTB Happenings

this week has been one of my favorites...i love thanksgiving so much!  and it officially marks the start of the christmas season.

+ happy thanksgiving! i hope you had a great holiday!
+ i made my first two sales on htb handmade!  i'd be honored if you kept me in mind for christmas shopping (and it's now stocked with those adorable hair bows!)
+ i've been loving my journaling bible.  i've been doing the she reads truth give thanks study and have been really enjoying spending intentional time in the word and hand lettering through my bible!
+ aj came home for the week on tuesday and he brought me yes, please.  so excited!  we love parks & rec and amy poehler and we are always looking for creative ways to make being long distance a little easier...so we're planning on reading this book together over the next few weeks

in case you missed it:
+ check out my christmas wishlist and enter to win $200 in paypal cash!
+ to all of my blog friends, i love you!
+ do you like to wear dresses?  check out this 
+ thanksgiving always precedes the miracle!
+ and as usual, started this week off with a grateful heart!

don't miss these:
+ what are your ten secret dreams?
+ i'm in love with this styled wedding shoot featuring megan's watercolor calligraphy!
+ these tips for managing your black friday shopping can definitely apply to the rest of the crazy-busy-christmas-shopping season!
+ take into account these considerations for updating your wardrobe.
+ i love natalie's tattoo and loved hearing more about the background behind it!

happy weekending!

Nov 28, 2020

My Christmas Wishlist (+ some Extra Christmas Cash!)

1.  toms brown herringbone desert wedges // i've been a fan of toms since college.  they're crazy comfy and i love companies that give back!  and these wedges are adorable and perfect for work this winter!

2.  metallic fleck double walled traveler // for all of the mugs i own, i actually don't own a ceramic tumbler.  i would love this cute tumbler for those starbucks runs when i'm taking my coffee on the go!

3.  oceans print from winsome easel // ever since i saw lauren feature this print in her gift guide, i've been swooning!  so adorable and such good lyrics!  i would love to hang this on my wall!

4.  west elm universal expert notice board // i love this little clipboard!  so cute for hanging above my desk and clipping up quotes, notes, and photos!

5.  orchid pavilion mug // i'm a total mug addict, and my favorite place to pick them up is anthropologie!  this mug is adorable, and perfect for a morning cup of coffee or tea.

6.  gold initial necklace // aj, if you're reading this...hint, hint.  but seriously, this is darling!  i would love a little "a&b" necklace!

7.  nate berkus gold office supplies // i absolutely don't need a pair of scissors or a stapler, but i'm loving gold this year, and these just look so polished and pretty!

8.  yes please by amy poehler // amy is one of my all-time favorite people.  (yes, people)  i have been waiting to get my hands on this book...i have no doubt it'll be a laugh from cover to cover!

there's nothing better than a little extra cash around this time of year, so i've partnered with a bunch of other fantastic bloggers to give away some paypal cash...$200 of it, to be exact!  we want to bless one of you to make your christmas a little extra special, so check out these ladies and then enter to win below!

all entries will be verified, so please play fair!  good luck and happy christmasing!

Nov 27, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

our thanksgiving weekend will be busy...thanksgiving with my family today, aj's cousin's wedding tomorrow, and then thanksgiving with aj's family on saturday!  but busy or not, this is one of my absolute favorite holidays!  as you probably could guess, living a life of gratitude is something i really strive to do.

i love thanksgiving because it's the first celebration in the holiday season.  there's this great quote by ann voskamp that goes something like this: "thanksgiving-eucharisteo-always precedes the miracle."  that quote so perfectly frames the holiday season.  we give thanks, and then we prepare for the miracle of christ's birth.  and in a season of spending money and getting and giving more, i, for one, love the idea of starting off this season with a day of giving thanks!

so happy thanksgiving friends!  i hope you're having a fantastic day, and getting to spend lots of time with family and friends!

Nov 26, 2020

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, 2020

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, 2020

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, 2020

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 [email protected]!

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, 2020

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!

Nov 19, 2020

Community Brew // When Everything's Not Mapped Out

today i'm joining in with madison over at wetherills say i do and rachel of oh, simple thoughts for their community brew link-up!  community brew is a monthly link-up that is designed for bloggers to be "open, honest, and vulnerable, and to build community with others."  november's prompt is seasons, so join in and tell us a little bit about what season of life you're in!

a few weeks ago i sat at the island in my parents' kitchen crying to my mom as i described the season that i'm in right now.  because halfway through my twenties, i'm waiting, still in a season of transition, still not putting down roots, though my heart longs for them.

when i was in college, i read a book called here's the hindsight.  it was like sitting down to coffee with an older and wiser friend...the kind of book that i wrote down quotes from and hung them all over my bulletin board above my dorm room desk.  i recently pulled that book back out and flipped through it.  i had forgotten about some of the details of the author's story, and chuckled when i read these words:

i knew what she meant.  i couldn't wait to get my feet on city soil; it seemed like the move to nashville couldn't come quickly enough.  even though i knew it was looming ahead, waiting for it was like waiting for your meal to arrive at a restaurant where everyone else is eating and you're starving.  the anticipation frustrates every breath.
i was worried i had doled out too much of the "we may not know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow" rhetoric.  while it's true, it's a hard truth to hang on to when you want everything to be mapped out and to make sense.
-here's to hindsight, p. 57

i nearly laughed out loud reading those words because they so perfectly echo and mirror my season of life.  i know what is looming in the distance, but it's just not quite time yet.  and so i don't know the when or the why of it all, but i do know that there is a reason for where i am. 

one of my favorite books of the bible is ruth.  what i love about ruth is that she was in a season of unknown and waiting.  with her husband gone, she followed her mother-in-law to a land that she didn't know, and there, she waited.  i don't know if ruth knew that god was holding her tomorrow.  after all, she wasn't an israelite and culturally, it wasn't the norm to do what she did by following naomi.  she probably didn't plan on spending her days gathering leftover wheat, but she did anyway, waiting for what might come next; she carried on with the task at hand in faith that god had a plan..and in doing so, waited for what might be better.  and eventually, god delivered.  

god doesn't always (or ever) hand us a road map for the season of life we're in.  mostly, he just asks us to trust that he has our back, that he has a plan.  i don't know where you are right now...maybe you have it all figured out and you're settled into a life, (a job, a family, a house) that will be your season for a long, long time.  or maybe you're like me...waiting for what's next. 

i long for the road map.  to know exactly where i'm headed, exactly what god has for me, exactly when it's all going to happen.  i'm a planner (can you tell?)...i like to know the plan, i like to stick to the plan.  but i'm learning, in this season where i often feel lost and unsure and when the map looks like maybe it was stuffed in the glove compartment for too long and now it's hard to decipher where the roads are leading, i'm learning to press into jesus even more.  i'm learning to stir up the big dreams within my heart, to cover those dreams in prayer, and to pursue him even more deeply.

because if there's one thing i know about the future, it's that no matter where i go or what i do, i want people to know who sent me.  so while i wait, i can think of no better way to spend my time than getting to know him better.

so what about you...do you wish you had a road map for life?  what is your season like right now, or have you ever been where i'm standing?

Nov 18, 2020

Cute & Comfy Style

since my outfit post last week was such a hit, and i had so much fun doing it, i thought i'd snap a few more!  (who knows?  maybe these will be a regular feature here?)

but i'm gonna be honest with you....just posting photos of myself i something i'm not 100% comfortable with.  i mean, i love seeing y'alls style and getting outfit ideas from all of you fashionistas out there, but that's just never what my blog's been about.  so i think if i'm going to keep doing these fashion posts, i'll try to also leave you with a few styling tips or tricks, or some information about my personal style!  take it or leave it, i won't be offended!  

so today, i'd love to talk a little bit about my style.  i like to shop, and i love clothes, but if i had to define my style, i'd have to say that it's definitely more classic-casual.  i have a few "pretty" tops in my wardrobe, and i love dresses, but most days, you'll find me in a pair of jeans, some flats, and a shirt or sweater.  i work at a church, and am lucky that i can wear jeans to work every day if i want to.   (though i'm not going to lie, i think i might also love dressing all cute and office-y for a more formal job!)

fall is without a doubt my favorite season to dress for.  i love layering and i love cozy accessories, like scarves! (can you tell? haha)  i also enjoy taking a more basic, comfortable top (like this striped shirt) and adding a cowl, jacket, and some bracelets to dress it up just a bit and pull it all together.  like i said, i work in a fairly relaxed environment, and two days a week, i'm a preschool teacher, so i like to be cute and comfortable!

and i'm linking up today with the creative closet and talking about cozy style!

and here are the details on the outfit if you're interested!
shirt // free bird
jeans // old navy
jacket // h&m
cowl // modena
shoes // gap
watch // betsey johnson
bracelets // alex + ani and kate spade

Nov 17, 2020

Grateful Heart (+ a Giveaway!)

well, it's a rainy gloomy monday here in pa!  it's the kind of day that i wish i could spend in sweats curled up with my favorite blanket, a warm cup of tea, and a good book, ya know?  but since i'm working this morning and taking aj back to the airport this evening, i think it's a good day for a little re-centering of this grateful heart!

it was a crazy weekend, aj was home because our church was releasing it's first worship album (which he engineered and produced), and we had a huge concert last night that he ran sound for.  it was so fun and awesome to see months worth of work come to fruition!

a special shout out goes out to my daddy today!  it's his birthday, so leave a comment and show him some love.  he's the biggest source of inspiration and positivity that i know.  he's been battling cancer for about 18 months now, and just had chemo on thursday, so unfortunately, he's spending his birthday (hopefully on the upswing), home from work and still recovering.  but his strength and faith in the great healer is unmatched....i'm so grateful that he is my dad!

here are a few other things my heart is happy about today:
warm rooibos tea
short monday morning meetings
a great night of worship last night
some extra time with aj
dark red nail polish (i'm addicted)
a cuddly puppy that has now been with us for a year!

and just to sweeten your monday, how about a giveaway?  i've teamed up with some awesome blogging friends to give away a gift certificate to better life bags!  i love businesses that give back or are doing awesome things, and better life bags is one of my favorites.  they employ women living in detroit to create these beautiful bags, giving the women a source of income and a stable work environment.  i love the mission behind this company and whoever wins this giveaway is going to be a lucky duck!
i am swooning over all this gorgeousness! and you know what? you can even design your own better life bag online and pick your own fabrics and everything! how cool is that? 

in order to spread some christmas cheer your way, i have teamed up with some of my sweet blog friends to give one lucky winner a $100 gift certificate to use towards one of these gorgeous bags!! yay! 

all entries will be verified so play fair! and enter to win below! :)

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