Thursday, August 21, 2014

31 Days: 500 Words a Day


     Inspired by Jeff Goins, I am challenging myself to write 500 words a day (starting today) for the next 31 days. I know it's the middle of the month, but I'm going for it!

     Writing is a challenge because when we fail to get in the habit of it, we do it a lot less, and therefore aren't as good at it. I know that when I have not been writing for awhile, my creativity isn't flowing as well.

     It's very interesting that I should stumble upon this idea of writing 500 words a day for 31 days because at the beginning of 2014, one of my ten new year's goals was to "develop the habit of writing for five minutes daily." I've definitely been developing that habit, even if I'm not always consistent.

     So what about you?

     If you have any interest in joining me for these 31 days, whether you are writing a book or blog posts or journal entries, I'd love to hear form you in the comments or in my inbox.

     I know lots of you out there would love to get some words on the page.

     And do this math.

     31x500=15,500 words!

     You could practically write a book in a month. Granted, not a Moby Dick or Gone with the Wind, but hey! you'd have a great start!

     Who's with me?

~Madeline

5 Stylish Travel Essentials



     When I travel, either on a boat, on a plane, or in a car, I have found these five items not only practical but very stylish. And I admire stylish travelers (but if they are in Paris, I'm mostly just jealous.)
  1. Scarf ~ You never know what the temperature is going to be, and it can fluctuate especially if you're on a longer trip. Take a scarf. It's good for around you neck, in your hair, or around your shoulders.
  2. Small cross body purse ~ This is my latest find. You really can't put a whole lot in here, but it is wonderful for a "pocket-sized" book, lip balm, and mints (or whatever you like to keep on you.) That front pocket on mine is where all my cards go (mostly library cards and gift cards LOL.)
  3. Journal/Book ~ I like to read and write, but I usually don't do both on the same day. Wherever I go, I probably have a book to read or a journal to scribble genius ideas in.
  4. Pen/Pencil ~ Oh the great debate! Pens are my preference, but you never know when they'll leak all over your new cross body purse, so pencils are great too. Even if you choose a book over a journal, you never know when you'll need a writing utensil. When someone asks, "Does anyone have a pen?" you get to be the one who hands it over with a flourish that says, "I came prepared."
  5. Fuzzy socks ~ For cold planes, hotel rooms, or long car rides, these are just as amazing as a scarf. I have at least ten pairs right now.
     What do you take on your travels?

~Madeline

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Create

Image

     Today I want to share the word on my computer screen.

     Create.

     We were created by the Creator of all that we might create. And everyday when I open my laptop Scribo (that's his name), I see it.

     Create.

     It's a word that calls me to this space where I can write my thoughts. It calls me to work on my book. It calls me to do just that: create.

     What are you creating today? A home? A business? A piece of art? A friendship?

~Madeline

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Grand Reveal of My New Bedroom!

     Hey, y'all! Welcome to my room. It's cozy, functional, and pretty. I clearly love yellow pops on a white background.
 

     This is my cozy bed. My mom described it as a cloud, and truly, sleeping under that duvet is like sleeping on a cloud!

     I love to read, sleep, and spend time with God here. The side table is a nice addition since I went without one for many years.


     I love to sit at my desk and write, study, or read. In the corner, you see the pouf I wanted for forever. It's a dream piece, and I love perching there to chat with friends, read, or tie my shoes. :)

     As you can see, I have three places I love to read. Okay, maybe I just read everywhere. (I do.)

 
     Here is the one place I don't read: my closet. Now that would be a squeeze! Our plan is to get Elfa shelving, but until then, I have rainbow books on my top shelf.
 

 
     Y'all know how I LOVE my rainbow books. We've had them in the study before, but this is my personal collection. It's a simple, ten-minute-or-less project that you can do to instantly add some WOW to your bookshelves.

     Now that you have seen the pretty pictures, here is a blah! before picture.


     That's the corner where my pouf is now. Y'all, the ONLY thing in this room was the desk. Literally. That's it.


     My incredible mama (who had never painted a room in her life) painted my room this beautiful white, Snowcap White by Valspar, while I was out of town. It took her four days of constant labor, but I am very grateful. As you can see, it wasn't a very lovely color to begin with.



     Here are my MICI magazines on my side table.
 
 
     I had my eye on this light fixture when we were selling house No. 1, and it's such a lovely touch.
 
 
     Ok, so this is the project we are working on now. Excuse my choppy panorama.
 
     I have been gathering these pieces for years, and each has a story. That is clearly for another post.
 
     Some of the above pieces weren't framed yesterday, so we drove to Ikea and bought 5 frames for just $25!
 
 
     Excuse another sub-par panorama. You get the jist. The heart, big bunny, Oceans, dots, and small book page (between "read" and "JUNE") pieces were all framed for 25 bucks with Ikea frames. Score!
 
     I spray painted the two little blue paintings' frames white.
 
 
     And for the grand finale, my finished gallery wall.
 
     So, here's what's up in my room:
 
Projects:
Scrape popcorn ceiling
Paint white
Hang light fixture
Frame final pieces for gallery wall and arrange
Hang gallery wall
Replace flooring
 
Sources:
Sheets ~ Pine Cone Hill twin hemstitch sheet set
Duvet ~ Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Pillows on bed ~ Caitlin Wilson
Pillow Pet Sam ~ gifted
Side table ~ West Elm Martini side table
Alarm clock ~ West Elm
Pouf ~ Lulu & Georgia
Pillow on pouf ~ gifted
Bunny Sybil ~ Jellycat
Desk ~ West Elm Parson's desk
Pillow at desk ~ Bad, Bath, and Beyond
Lamp ~ PB Teen
Lady Guinevere ~ Joss & Main
Light fixture ~ Home Depot
Gallery wall pieces ~ to be shared in another post
 
Pieces to buy:
Chair
 
     I have my eye on this one...
 
 
My favorite part of the room:
It's my space; therefore I get to decorate it however I want.
 
The room feels:
Clean, pretty, sophisticated, bright
 
     Thanks for letting me share. My bedroom is farthest along (décor-wise) compared to other rooms in the house.
 
~Madeline

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Introverted Extrovert


     "I'm an introvert."

     Everyone seems to say that nowadays. The truth is most people are more 50-50.

     Introverts could be defined as people who get energy from being alone, and extroverts could be defined as people who get energy from others.

     When people ask me, I use a new term that I'm 100% in love with:

     "I'm an introverted extrovert."

     "That's not a thing," most respond bluntly cutting off my stroke of genius.

     Oh yes it is! I know because that is what I am!

     I love interacting with people. I am very good at it. And I have lots of friends to chat with and words to get out.

     But I love to be alone to. I think everyone does to some extent.

     At family reunions (where my 50+ cousins are playing games, talking, and goofing off CON-STANT-LY) I find myself in tears after a few hours if I don't get a chance to debrief my thoughts by myself.

     I think more than I speak. Some would say that makes me an introvert.

     I think many of us might reject the label of extrovert because we've had bad experiences with talkative people. Or vice versa: We would reject the label of introvert because we want to talk SOMETIMES.

     Join the movement. If you're an introverted extrovert like me, oh PLEASE let me know I am not the only one. Comment below, or if you are viewing this in email, click over to the blog.

~Madeline

Friday, August 15, 2014

How Not to Accept You're Singing the Wrong Lyrics


     I wish I could call this post "How to Gracefully Accept You're Singing the Wrong Lyrics," but that's not my strongpoint. :)

     The other day I was singing this song by Casting Crowns, Thrive:

Just to know You and
To make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It's time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
     Except I thought we were made to fly! Seriously, wouldn't that be so much more inspiring? I mean, thriving rhymes with surviving (like my dear mother pointed out), but I was singing the wrong words.

     I wish the lyrics said "We were made to fly" because that makes me happy. Flying is a very real, freeing picture.

     And y'all, we WERE made to fly! To be at our fullest in Christ, to soar on eagles' wings, to be free!

     So next time you sing those words, remember, we just maybe were made to thrive, but we were definitely made to FLY!

     Don't accept you're singing the wrong lyrics as stubbornly as I do.

     "What if I fall?

     "Oh but my darling, what if you fly?" ~e.h.

~Madeline

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How Old Are You?


     It's a question I was asked again and again last weekend at a Christian women's blogging conference, Declare.

     "How old are you?"

     Once I answered, they said they thought I might be 22 or even 25 and just look like I was fifteen, but "No," I assured them, "I am fifteen."

     After that I knew they would either ignore me or be fascinated by me. They tended to be fascinated. Why? Because I was the only teenager at the conference. In fact, I had asked them prior to signing up if it was okay for me to come, since the lowest age on the sign-up form was 18.

     They were amazed when I said I'd been blogging for two years and handed them an adorable business card.

      And the general consensus from everyone was "Aw, you're so cute!"

      Thank you. But although I am cute, I am serious about this whole blogging thing.

     The conference wasn't just blogging tips and tricks though. It was full of life-giving Scripture, wise speakers, and real, nitty-gritty life and grace. All of which I am passionate about.

     And on the last night of the conference, they announce who won the drawing for a ticket to Declare 2015.

     "Madeline Os-" and my stomach drops.

     My hand flies to my mouth. In that moment, my joy and gratitude overcome the butchering of my last name. (It's ok, Heather, it wasn't the first time that's happened. I guarantee you!)

     "Thank you, Lord," is all I can say or think. Then Eryn launches into a beautiful speech, which I cannot even try to put into this keyboard, about how she never dreamed the next generation would be influenced as a result of the conference. But I was a perfect example of how it WAS. Despite my age.

     "God did that for you," my mom says over the phone minutes later. "He loves you so much."

     "I know," I whisper with tears in my eyes, "I know."

     I have so many tales of how God has provided for me and my family. But this ticket is really ringing true every day as I consider how out of over one hundred women, God wanted me to go to Declare next year for free.

     Walking away from Declare 2014 where the theme is Wild Obedience, I know my wild obedience looks like writing for God, not my audience, or even myself.

      And as I type with white-spray-painted fingers, I know that I can even glorify God with writing about home décor. Oh, yeah, I can!

~Madeline