Friday, June 29, 2012

intentional summer.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”  - Ray Bradbury 

summer is for living. 
not just existing, but living. 

the best summers really aren't the ones where you sit in a hammock and read fluffy novels and eat popsicles every day (although this should definitely happen). 

make your summer intentional--live every piece of it up to the hilt.

make a reading list of tough books and improving books and glorious summer books.
need inspiration? start with Dandelion Wine and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
push someone into the ocean, eat pie with your hands.
get out of your comfort zone and love people even when it's tough.
stay up all night talking to a best friend about what really matters. 
do what you've never done to get where you've never been.

live big, live splashy, live intentionally.

change the world.

-Polka Dot

      Monday, June 25, 2012

      scenes from paris | a guest post by carlotta

      Guys. Jenn is in France. Without us. Something about that seems slightly unfair, doesn't it? I say we all hop on a plane and surprise her. I jest, I jest (only slightly, though). ;)

      Jenn asked me to share some photographs and words from my surprise birthday trip to Paris in 2010. It's almost been two years, but the memories haven't faded a bit. It's such a stunning (if not slightly overwhelming) city. There is so much tucked into the crooked streets that it's impossible to see it all. The patisseries (literally several per block) are out of this world and I could spend forever and a day people watching. I'm  under the firm belief that everyone should visit Paris at least once in their lifetime--I can't wait to go back and explore some more.

      Much love,

      Thursday, June 21, 2012

      Fueling your inner hermit - guestpost by Olivia

      While Jenn and Jess are bashing around London, I'm enjoying the summer days from my backyard.  I've often thought of myself as a hermit, opting for the comforts of home instead of traveling around.  While I am venturing out more now (I'm going to Texas by myself in July - that's a big deal for me), I still consider myself to be a hermit.  Until I get my license, I'm dependent upon my parents to take me places.  So, for those days when your mom doesn't want to leave, or your dad is too busy, here are my tips for fueling your inner hermit.

      Find all those books you've been wanting to read, curl up in your favorite place, and read for a few hours.  Some books on my list for the summer include Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

      This is pretty simple.  Take photos of things you've never photographed before.  Capture your house and its memories to the best of your ability.  (If you're into that sort of thing.)

      Alternate title:  Make good food and eat it all.  My dish of choice often includes sugar, but make whatever you want.   

      I love to grab a blanket, run outside, and lay under a shade tree.  I'll read, write, sleep, listen to music.  There are endless possibilities.  Take a nap on the couch.  Watch your favorite movie.  

      Here are a few things I like to do: soak up the sun, sing really loud, run around the house with no shoes, have a campfire, explore the woods, roller blade, play soccer.
      So go and try some of these things out, and maybe you'll start to call yourself a hermit too!
      Hey there, I'm Olivia!  I like to call myself a hunter of beauty.  A photographer, writer, reader, artist, and Christian - that's who I am. I love early mornings, summer days, meadows during golden hour, sleepovers with great friends, and late nights with my sisters.  But, really, I just love to live life.  I blog over at Rise and Fly.

      Sunday, June 17, 2012

      Stranger Danger!! | guest post by Andrew

      Most of you don't know me.

      Hey, I'm Andrew.

      Now you know me, so we can continue.

      Jenn trusts me. A lot. This is evidenced by the email she sent to me regarding this post:

      June 17th. Don't forget, or I keel you.
      (Be appropriate.)

      I think me posting on her blog genuinely scares her. Even though she was the one who asked me to do it. (I don't understand, I'm not that scary of a person!) In fact, the only time I have heard from her since she has been gone was when she popped in on facebook to remind me to post and to "be good". A simple reminder to post would be attributed to my already failing memory, but the second part... it could be because, to quote her, "you're a boy." (Dunno if you guys caught onto that. I'm glad we got that out in the open now. Awkward situation averted!)

      Nah, I think its because apparently I'm the only "guest poster" who actually knows her in real life. (Be jealous!)  I'm sure I could say a lot of embarrassing things about her, but I feel like doing so might violate that rule of her's... something about being appropriate. It is possible, however, that an amusing story or fact might accidentally slip out over the course of this post, so bare with me.

      Also, I probably meant "bear with me", because asking you to "bare with me" would be awkward. (Dangit, have I already broken the rule I was given?) :)

      So, anyway, yeah, I'm Andrew Bashaw. Andy. A-Bash. Andywoo. I don't think I know any of you guys, so I guess I need to try to make a good impression. If you know me at all, it might be as the director of the music video Jenn shared here recently. I don't have a personal blog of my own, so I can't tell you to follow me anywhere, unless you want to follow me in real life, in which case... erm, yeah, no.


      I met Jenn and her sister, Cassie, because we were homeschooled in high school and our friends ran in some of the same circles... it was just inevitable that we would meet. Although Jenn does rag on me sometimes because apparently I sort of ignored her a few times in person when we didn't really know each other yet. I guess she really really wanted me to talk to her, ya know, understandable, it crushed her when I didn't at first. But that's all in the past and I've tried to make it up to her. Anyway, since we actually started talking and stuff, we've become pretty dang good friends. We have a bi polar friendship where we're nice to each other a lot, but then we also enjoy a lot of deprecating humor. Sometimes Jenn says that I have a nice smile. Sometimes Jenn's mom says I have a nice smile. Sometimes Jenn's mom says I should marry Jenn so we can have children with nice smiles. Then sometimes I laugh hysterically, because, honestly, who would want to marry Jenn?

      (Hey remember that one time when I said "honestly, who would want to marry Jenn?" I was kidding. Because Jenn is a wonderful person, and she will never be the old maid she so fears becoming.)

      A little about me. I live in central Ohio, some thirty minutes from our host. Jesus Christ has saved my undeserving soul. Seriously, there's no way I deserve anything other than death, but instead, I'm given life. That blows my mind. I'm going to college and am close to finishing my associates degree in digital video and sound. You can tell I'm moving up in the world because I just filmed a tv commercial featuring a guy in a pig costume barbequing ribs. In addition to film and video, music is one of the biggest parts of my life. I'm not sure what I'd do without it. I attempt to write/play/sing, and regardless of how much I succeed, I enjoy it.

      I'm not very much like Jenn in a lot of ways. In other ways, I'm very much like her. She hates Looney Toons (that was almost a dealbreaker in our friendship). But we both love cheesecake. I don't appreciate a good book like she does. But we both highly value a sense of humor in people.

      Don't you think that's what makes a good friend? Someone that you share enough with to have common ground, but have enough differences with to fill in each others gaps? And also to make for more stimulating conversation. You don't want to hang out with someone who is EXACTLY like you or, as one of my friends put it, "you might as well just talk to yourself." You gotta have friends who bring out other sides in you, who challenge you to think, who show you different perspectives.

      Using my last paragraph as a segway, I am now going to indirectly address the possible elephant in the room. Did you know it is entirely possible for guys and girls to honestly be "just friends"? In fact, I think its important. Guys and girls think about things very differently, obviously. And as I just said in the previous paragraph, I think its important to have friends who complete different sides of you. Just taking that same concept a little further, I think its wonderful to have female friends, because they bring very different things to our friendship than some of my close guy friends do, and vice versa. Its great to be able to talk with a girl about most anything and hear their perspective on it, no awkwardness attached. Really, its only awkward being friends with someone of the opposite sex if you make it awkward. Unfortunately, a lot of people think it should be awkward, and consequently, it is awkward for them. But really, its entirely possible to be perfectly normal friends with them, so long as you're honest and open like you would be in any friendship. Heck, it might even reach the point where they call you "honey" for no apparent reason. ("Andrew, are you possibly admitting this has happened in your friendship with Jenn?" Of course not, it would be absurd to- yes I am. Whoops, I guess that was one of those embarrassing Jenn facts I warned you might pop out. Its probably not the first one in this post, though. I deeply apologize. Don't tell on me. hehe.)

      I think perhaps I have written enough. You know a little about who I am now, and hopefully it didn't scare you all too much. When Jenn gets back I'll have to talk with her about how much she was paying me to do this, I don't think we ever got around to that discussion. If she doesn't kill me first for any of the things I wrote. I hope she's proud of me for posting within the first minutes of June 17th. Now I will end this post with some shameless self promotion.

      My music:
      My videos: and

      I hope this post has helped keep you all entertained until our favorite globe-hopper returns, and I also hope that you all have enough of a sense of humor to understand all the teasing/sarcasm/satire employed in it and not walk away utterly offended and revolted by myself. :) Farewell.

      - Andrew

      Wednesday, June 13, 2012

      taking the time + exciting news || guest post by Jess

      Hey there lovelies!
      Jess here from over at Yours Truly, and I get the awesome pleasure of doing a guest post while Jenn is living it up in France! Three cheers for how amazing Jenn is?

      I've been thinking lately about just taking the time. Taking the time to sit with my family and just talk. Taking the time to go for a walk while the sun's out, because I can always finish that post off later.

      Taking the time to laugh about how today I practically dropped everything that I was holding and how I banged my head on a cupboard door; because laughing is so much better than getting annoyed about it.

      Taking the time to be still and know that He is God, instead of being distracted by everything that comes your way.

      So. These next few weeks, I am determined to just take the time. I mean, I'm still going to blog, but I'm going to just get off the computer once I'm done and spend some time doing the things that actually matter. Because banging your head on cupboard doors really matters.

      Wanna join me? In just taking the time? Let's get our patooties offa the computer and let's drop things and do random gravity checks and drink tea with Mama and watch Iron Man with brother and write thoughts down and dance in the kitchen.
      Ok? Let's just go for it.

      Oh! And another thing. I'm taking the time in a few weeks to meet up with Jenn in London. Talk about freaking-out-so-excited. To hear more about it, hop on over here and watch the video I made where I chatted like a chipmunk about it all.

      hey there! I'm jess. I blog over at your truly, where I ramble about lots of good, weird and real stuff.

      I'm ridiculous. and way too talkative. and crazy loyal to my country.
      I take photos, I write stories, I sing songs, I play music. and I love Jesus. so much. aaannnd, I'm a New Zealander living in England.

      pop over to yours truly why dontcha? I'd love to meet you!

      Saturday, June 9, 2012

      Summertime // guest post by kimberly

      shirt: gap // jeans: gift // shoes: malaysia // sunglasses: brothers // jewelry: etsy
      Photobucket Photobucket

      I can't seem to stop talking about summertime. It's that lovely season when people begin bringing out out the cute shirts, shorts, and sandals. You know what the crazy part is though? I live in Hawaii, so we're talking year-round summer temperatures here. Still, there's a hidden charm held within these months, and the days outdoors are probably my favorite part. After studying and reading textbooks for hours upon hours for a greater part of the year, sunlight almost becomes something of a novelty.

      So for the next few months I'll be out roaming the shoreline, soaking up some rays, catching a few waves, and, of course, taking pictures. C'mon it's summer, people! What are you going to be doing?

      Ready. Set. Dive in!



      Hey, my name's Kimberly! I'm that person who over-exaggerates, laughs way too much, and takes photos all the time. I write about fashion, writing, faith, family, and everyday life over at my blog. Come visit sometime.

      Tuesday, June 5, 2012

      Abigail | senior portraits (& other news)

      Before we proceed, I thought I might as well tell you some exciting things that have happened recently.  Okay?  Okay.

      -one of my friends gave me a ride on his motorcycle.
      -my sister graduated.
      -Jack Hanna was at the grad ceremony with a live uncaged cheetah that I really wanted to pet.
      -I performed my final song in my vocal technique class--"On My Own" from Les Mis.
      -my friend Andrew directed this amazerifying music video that I've kinda had on replay. seriously, go watch it. the song and the video are so legit.
      -with all that's going on, I have been suffering from a severe lack of sleep.
      -lack of sleep does great things for my humor, but not-so-great things for my grammar.

      Okay, moving on.

      You want to know an exciting feeling?  
      When you're a photographer--when you're growing into your photography and you're really starting to consider yourself one and feel comfortable with that title--and you one day look at your images and realize...hey, you really like what you create.  
      Yeah.  That's a really good feeling.  

      You want to know an awkward feeling?  Quote yourself.

      These are a set of images I'm proud of, and I'm proud of this girl who I've known... oh... forever-ish?  She is truly beautiful inside and out, and I'll give her full credit for half the creativity and inspiration behind this shoot--she really made it her own.  The best thing about photographing your friends?  You can honestly wonder around town wherever and just command them to freeze when you want to take a photo.  Not that I'd ever do that...

      Abigail's grad party was last weekend, and it was so exciting for me to see my images printed and passed out for the first time.  It's literally thrilling.  That's my art, and people like it.  And better still, I like it.  And that just makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

      ps--so you know that little going to France news?  yeah.  I leave tomorrow.  so if I seem like I'm extra hard to get a hold of during all of June, ya know, that's why.  see you all in a month!