Favorites + Inspiration

F A V O R I T E S  +  I N S P I R A T I O N
A growing collection of favorite online places.

Even though she lives in Tennessee and I live in Oregon, Shanna has become a dear friend over the last couple of years. (I think it's very funny that several of my close blog friends attended college with my husband. Apparently I attended the wrong school, ha!) We've shared many stories via blogs and emails that have brought us both to tears. God is so kind to give us these glimpses of eternal fellowship, tiny awakenings to the global body of Christ. Aside from all of that, I am constantly challenged by Shanna + Tim's way of living. And, thanks to them, I've made it a goal to adopt something new each month in my kitchen. Visit Shanna + Tim, you will never be disappointed by what you find there, whether it be a recipe, photographs, or words. And, speaking of words, Shanna's book, Written Together, is a must read. Must. Read.

This blog is a co-authored blog by pals Meagan and Holly. These gals are believers and write true and honest words and publish beautifully real pictures. They live far apart but are, as they put it, "bound together by a secret thread, coast to coast". I love that. 

I was literally blown away the first time I laid eyes on Rylee's blog and her work there. I discovered Rylee through Seed + Water's blog series "For Telling's Sake" --a must read, by the way! Be prepared to see some of the most beautiful wedding photography ever. Ever!

Knack is owned my sister Barb and she is my very best friend. I cannot say how thankful I am for her. We talk about everything and we talk almost every day, sometimes twice a day, wink! But aside from talking daily, I always am excited to stop by each morning and see what new creations she has coming out of her shop. And, speaking of creations, her book, Furniture Makeovers, from Chronicle Books is due out this Spring. You can order a copy here

My sister-in-law, Sara, is one talented lady. She adores my brother Dave and their children. (They are very adore-able!) Sara is in a different season of parenting than I am (her children are a bit older than mine) and I am always so encouraged by what she writes-- what challenges, encourages, and shapes her life and how she responds to all of those things. And, if that weren't enough, her creativeness is through the roof!

This is the blog of my friend Rachel. Even though we attended college together and knew of each other through our blogs, we never had officially met until a recent trip took me to the East Coast. I literally had chills as Rachel and I shared with each other how God's grace has saved us and made us whole. I love Rachel's honest voice. As a young mama, I need to hear the honest and real voices of others. I also love Rachel's sense of humor, an absolute gift that she'll share with you through her blog.

This amazing lady taught me a most valuable lesson: 'R' stands for Thursday. 'R' stands for Thursday! I incorporated it onto the 2013 Cranny calendars and think it's just the niftiest thing ever. So much more exciting than writing Thursday or 'Th', don't you think? (smile) I am always stunned by Rebekka's photography, by her love for Nashville, her perserverence in the middle of a drawn-out adoption, and her authentic and beautiful art. Each month, Rebekka publishes a free calendar download. Did I mention she does beautiful work?

Even though I don't personally know Rachel, I tell myself we are friends. I read in one of her posts that her dad was a pastor and they drove a station wagon. And, I thought to myself, "we would totally be friends in real life!". (smile) In all seriousness, I appreciate her love for her children, her husband, and her home. She is a military wife who finds herself moving here and there, yet, she seems to always make the most of every situation. And, seriously, her tool skills are amazing. I love visiting her blog for DIYs and simple ways to love my family. 

There are no words. I still remember seeing a video when the magazine first started. I was so struck by the simplicity and beauty of it all, and, most importantly, the wonderfulness of a magazine centered around gatherings. Gatherings of friends, new and old, young and young at heart. You'll not find a collection of more beautiful photographs and ideas for small gatherings. Period. Also? I love that they are a collection of global artists, many of whom are based here in Portland. That makes me happy.

A plethora of beautiful photographs filled with light and cheer. A breath of fresh air on any day. I found Katie's blog through Shanna at Food Loves Writing. I think one of the first posts that I ever read by Katie was her photography tutorial. And, I was hooked!

Hannah's tagline says "recipes and photos" but you'll find so much more in her online space. (And in her Instagram feed too!) Even though she posts infrequently, my excitement doesn't pale between postings. Seeing her blog pop up in my feed is like a little ray of sunshine for this Oregon gal.

Please go and meet my friend Bethany. Here's how she introduces herself on her blog-- "My name is Bethany. I am a believer in Jesus, wife to an idealist creative, and mother + homeschooler to four imaginative children. Here, I attempt to collect the ordinary -- knowing one day it will be precious -- and to remember simplicity really is beautiful. Welcome!" I love that. And, you'll love her simple yet challenging and truth-filled words. I would peg Bethany as Ann Voskamp's sister, both in her joy-filled attitude and in her God-given ability to string words together! Also, look Bethany up on Instagram at @cloisteredaway which is how I first came to know of her blog.

This talented gal has always encouraged my photography-loving heart. Literally every time I visit her space I think to myself "these pictures are so incredibly beautiful". Every. single. time. Go!

In all honesty, I don't even remember how I was first directed to Stacy's space. But, oh how glad I am that I came across her images and words. Sometimes, when I come across a very talented blogger, I'm fearful to ask a question. I'm fearful that they'll shut me down, never return an answer, or just plain be 'snubbish'. Not so here. I asked a simple question about a certain camera lens and received the kindest reply from Stacy. I'm so thankful for talented people, like Stacy, who are willing to share their knowledge, willing to connect with a soul states away from her own.