5 Bloggers Who Are Sure to Inspire You

inspireTo inspire another is a beautiful thing.

And these five bloggers consistently bring it. Obviously they’re not alone when it comes to inspiring so watch for more bloggers to be highlighted here in the future.

But today, I’m delighted to introduce you to the first five bloggers brimming with inspiration:






Beth Saadati // Bittersweet: Because Sweet Still Follows Bitter…Even in Loss. This is a blog no mother ever wants to create. It’s vulnerable. It’s heart-wrenching, and yet quietly inspiring. You see, it’s a story focused on the aftermath of Beth’s 14 year old daughter, Jenna, who committed suicide three years ago. She speaks of loss, her words as heavy as her heart. But Beth’s story, above all, radiates great Light and insight for parents and teens.


Merissa // Little House Living – I admit she had me at the vintage Mason jar on her blog header. Frugal living tips, garden tours, and recipes from scratch soon followed and I was hooked. I hope to begin embracing my own simple kind of rhythm as we move forward in our plans to trek across town to the foothills.


Helene // Helene-In-Between – When Bloglovin’ pops up in my inbox, I’m scanning the list for this site. Boundless blogging tips for writers, and non-bloggers are sure to enjoy her travel posts. Beautiful pictures, timely tips, and fun giveaways will inspire you for days to come. {You’ll definitely want to follow her on Pinterest.}


Kenzie // Hello Neverland – Everything about Kenzie’s site inspires — the white space, the clean lines, the content. It’s all there and more. Some of the subjects covered on this site: Faith, Writing/Journaling, Intentional Living, Clean Living, Creativity, etc. Her recent book review on More: Find Your Personal Calling and Live Life to the Fullest Measure by Todd Wilson is excellent.



Joshua Becker // Becoming Minimalist – “Let’s be known for the lives we live. Not the things we buy.’ His words on this site, as well as his books, are simple, to the point, and a tad convicting. Okay, who am I kidding? For people like me, it’s more than a tad, but I need to receive it in bits so it’s not overwhelming. His latest book, The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own has arrived in my mailbox. Now to find it under all my half-packed boxes. 🙂



Have you visited any of the sites above? Do you have a favorite blogger who inspires you? I’d love to hear more! Who knows? They may end up on the next blog featuring inspiring bloggers. Please share in the comment section.


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5 Lifestyle Blogs That Change The Way I Do Life

by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

I marvel at the ways the internet has changed the way we do life.

At the touch of our fingertips we locate new recipes, learn how to cover popcorn ceilings in creative ways, spiff up our blogs, and countless other things.

Lately, I’ve started setting aside time to peruse a variety of blogs via Bloglovin ← (which I love!) Today, I’m sharing a handful of sites that are sparking changes in my life, both in small and positive ways. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do! They’re in no particular order.

Blog Thrifty Chick

Thrifty Decor Chick

Sarah shares simple, inexpensive ideas on decorating. Her ideas are easy on the eyes, as well as the budget.

Changing…how I tackle decorating. With Sarah’s creative penny pinching ideas, all things are possible. I’m hoping to use some of her Pinterest ideas in our next home.




The Nester

The Nester

With a mantra like, It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful, how could you go wrong? Myquillyn Smith won me over with her book The Nesting Place and her blog never disappoints.

Changing…the way I see everything, not just my home. Imperfections hold their own kind of beauty.They’re to be embraced, not shunned⎯in our daily life, as well as our homes.




City Farm House

City Farmhouse

Inspiring DIY projects, decor ideas, and yummy recipes. {And it doesn’t hurt that she too has a big crush on buffalo checks.} She also uses a lot of white…my favorite color.

Changing…the way I spend my time. Her Project Gallery alone convinced me of the need for an allotted guilt-free perusing time. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.


Chip and Joanna Gaines

Magnolia Market

Chip and Joanna Gaines. Enough said.

Changing…the way I view house projects with my own hubby. Instead of calling my hubby Bob Vila (because he has to touch everything he sees in antique stores) I will bite my tongue pause, and thank God for Brian’s sense of humor. Oh, what I would give for a Chip and Joanna makeover!




Modern Homesteading, A No Fluff Look at Rural Living for Newbies (for all my fellow chicken lovin’ friends!)

Victoria is the real deal. She lives in a 80+ year-old log cabin, in the boonies with chickens and blueberry bushes. She blogs for GRIT and Mother Earth News and is a huge proponent for essential oils and self-reliant living.

Changing…this full-fledged city girl into a, dare I say, country girl? Okay, so you won’t see me relying fully on the land (how far is the nearest Starbucks anyway?) but you might just catch me picking blueberries and feeding chickens.

So, there it is! My list of favorite lifestyle blogs. Which blog do you think you’ll visit first? If you have a favorite lifestyle blog, please share it with us! 

{If you like lists, stay tuned for more favorites in March! Hint: Blog/Photography, Foodies, Inspiring.}

A Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt the Whole Family Can Enjoy!

We’re often encouraged to jot down in a journal the little things in life that we’re grateful for…and for good reason. Shifting our days into a lower gear allows us to notice the seemingly trivial details of life, giving us an opportunity to notice their value, and being grateful for them.

Taking photos is an excellent way to slow down and to focus on the details.

Recently I came across a Gratitude Photo Scavenger Hunt by Sarah Dawn Designs. (The only links I could find to her Web site were broken but I want to give her full credit for coming up with this creative and timely idea!)

Below is the “Something I’m Grateful For…” scavenger hunt list. Some photo ops include: Take a pic of something you’re grateful for in nature, in the city, in the workplace, etc. My favorite lands on November 30th: Take a photo of how you intend to spread the spirit of thankfulness.

This exercise in gratitude is not only fun and beneficial for us adults, but also for our children and grandchildren!

{double click to enlarge, save image to print}
Having trouble saving/printing this image? Go to this Pinterest site {Sarah Dawn Designs, 2011} to download.
If you’re a novice photographer, such as myself, you too will love Mary Denman’s site. She gives practical advice on taking the best pictures possible (even with our phones!)
So, which of these 30 ideas are you most looking forward to photographing in November? 


Mix It Up This Fall! Top Three Trail Mix Recipes


Top Three Trail Mixes
{Enjoy with family or scoop some into bags for gifts!}
Whether prepping for a hike during this Fall season or switching up your snack options, I’ve scoured the internet in search of the yummiest trail mix options. I found them courtesy of a newfound Pinterest {awesome} find, Craftionary.
Click on the links below for the recipe. The final recipe is listed, as the Web site where this recipe originated from is no longer available. (I like to give credit where credit is due whenever possible.)


Halloween Trash Mix


Combine party Chex mix and/or trail mix with candy corn, popcorn, and gummy worms. Serve in paper bag. Perfect for gifts!


Do any of the above mixes catch your fancy? Let me know which one you’re most likely to try first in the comment section. I’m going for the Halloween Trash Mix if for no other reason than I get to scoop them in paper bags. Shallow, I know.


Distress Paint With… Vaseline!

by Cathy Baker

The task was daunting for someone like me. Knowing how I want something to look is one thing, but getting it there often requires more confidence than I can muster. For instance, painting our farmhouse table legs a distressed white.

But one Fallish morning, it dawned on me that I’m not limited by own knowledge, or lack thereof. Pinterest and similar sites are just a tap away! What’s the worst that could happen? I could always slap a coat of black back on the legs if needed.

Chalk paint or no chalk paint? Gloss, semi-gloss, or flat? I was inundated with hundreds of options. Then, the pins parted, revealing one of my now favorite sites — Love Grows Wild. Liz’s option was simple. So simple, in fact, that I had everything but the paint on hand. Score.

What do you need? 
Paint and brush
Damp rag

My version below will give you a glimpse into the process. When I did this last year I didn’t think to document my progress so these are just random photos taken along the way. To read Liz’s tutorial, visit her post on distressing here. 

To ensure I’d like the new white distressed legs, I held up a white sheet of paper against the dark tabletop. I also googled images to snatch additional ideas. How could we survive thrive without Pinterest?

Okay, that’s self-explanatory, but hopefully you agree I made the right choice painting the legs white.

I began by painting a flat gray color over the black to add a layer beneath the white. This way, when distressed with the sandpaper block, gray would show through instead of black. The sweet part of this deal was the paint guy at Lowes took a flat black and simply added white to the mix until it hit the tint of gray I desired. The flat black paint was a return so I saved a few bucks which was, however, promptly spent at Starbucks on the way home.

BEFORE painting it white, I applied Vaseline, as Liz states in her tutorial. I smoothed it out with my finger, mostly around edges where natural distressing would occur over time. A few times I took my damp rag and whisked away at the edges in hopes of producing a more natural look. Remember! Wherever the Vaseline is, the overlay of paint (white, in my case) will not adhere well, so apply carefully. I painted two coats of white, waited until it was dry to touch, and then went back with a lightweight piece of sandpaper, gently sweeping across the less-adhered areas. It worked beautifully! 

I chose to live with a lightly distressed table for awhile since I can always go back and distress it more. We’ve lived with it now for almost a year and still love it.

I’m learning that I can do things if I’m willing to have a teachable spirit…and follow tutorials by Liz from Love Grows Wild.

What’s something you’ve done that you didn’t think you could do?

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