May 29, 2012

Roots Before Branches

I gotta have roots before branches
to know who I am
before I know who I wanna be
and faith to take chances
to live like I see a place in this world for me.



 Roots before branches. Oh how I love that. I too often forget that just because I can't see the roots doesn't mean they don't matter. They matter a whole lot. As I look around at the sturdy trees standing firm, I realize that they are depending on their roots to hold them up and care for them.


Roots before branches. I love the idea of being rooted in who I am and what I stand for before I bloom. The more I discovery who I am, the more I am able to stand firm in my roots, in my faith, in the truths I hold dear. My roots matter, they matter a whole lot. The deeper and stronger my roots are, the more sturdy my branches will become. I'll be better able to support others, love better, and be kinder.



there's always a seed
before there's a rose
the more that it rains
the more I will grow.


by Room for Two




cardigan + tank: ann taylor loft
skirt + belt: target
shoes: nine west


linking up with lindsey and casey

*don't forget to enter the $100 ann taylor loft giveaway!

May 28, 2012

2-for-1 Deal + a Giveaway

These past few weeks I have been beyond encouraged and inspired. So many of you have sent me kind emails and words of encouragement + love to my inbox. Thank you so much for believing in my dream and supporting me in so many different ways. I decided to have a special sale for my dress line for one day only. On Tuesday, May 29th, I'll be offering a 2-for-1 deal on my new dress line. If you order at any point on the 29th, you'll be able to get 2 dresses for the price of one. Just pay for 1 dress, and when we contact you, you will be able to select two! 



Also, I've extended the $100 Ann Taylor Loft giveaway, so feel free to enter it while you're at it!

And lastly, I wanted to share something that has been on my heart for awhile. I'm the kind of person who stays up late pondering over ways to make the world just a teeny tiny bit better. I seriously lose sleep over my heart aching for those who are hurting. However, rather than keep losing sleep over certain things and people, I decided to take a small step forward. I'm going to start donating a can of food to a local food bank for every item that is purchased from my shop.

Mother Teresa once said,


So I'm going to start small by just feeding one, and perhaps together, we can feed many.

May 25, 2012

5 Things to be Happy About

1. On Monday, I was up early and out the door to run some errands. As I was driving, I noticed a huge rainbow spanning across the skyline. It was seriously breathe-taking and reminded me of His promises to us. I pulled over so that I could snap the photo and use it as a reminder.



2. Failure. Oh how that scares me. I think the fear of failure holds me back more than anything. But I'm learning to fight back, to get back up, and keep on dreaming.



3. Summer is finally here! I just pulled all my shorts out from last year and giggled a little at the wide range of colors I owned. I won't be hard to find this summer.



4. I made this "dream big" craft a few years old and it sits on my desk. I have to wake up everyday and remind myself to remove the concept that anything is impossible from my vocabulary. I truly believe that BIG dreams are possible.


5. My running shoes. I just hit ~18,000 miles of running over many, many years as a runner. If only my knees could talk! My running shoes have been my saving grace. They have allowed me to run off my thoughts, blow off stress, dream up new projects, etc. 


May 23, 2012

What YOU Are Doing Matters

Every morning as my feet hit the floor, I find myself whispering, "be brave today." Bravery. Something about it scares me to no end, yet gives me so much freedom at the same time. I spent most of my childhood as a wallflower, observing, studying, and just taking everything in. People laugh when I tell them I used to be very introverted and shy because that girl is long gone. Somewhere along the way the wallflower bloomed and became a wildflower.

As a wildflower, I wear my heart on my sleeve. And more often than not, I share little bits of my heart with many. I have found so much comfort in sharing a story with someone when I hear them utter a sigh of relief at the end as they say, "really? you too? I thought it was just me." Then all of a sudden; the tears, the aching of my heart, the bravery in sharing my words....they are all worth it. The alone we both felt sudden melts away. And no matter how hard the circumstance is, someone else can relate, and it makes it that much easier to take another step forward. 

Last year I stumbled across this quote:



Bravery. Often that means I share my story first even if I feel like a fool at the end. I share pieces of my heart in hopes of giving comfort to another. When our hearts are on the line, there are so many reasons to build up walls of protection. As I whisper, "be brave today" there is a tug on my heart to share words, stories, pain, and experiences. In fact, sometimes I literally have to say the quote aloud and remind myself that my words are a gift to another. I had a certain experience on purpose, and perhaps just one person can relate. But uttering those words + stories aloud means clothing myself in bravery.


So I step out in faith. Sometimes my toes are stepped on and my feelings are hurt. But bravery meets me there. And I remind myself that I'm only writing and sharing for the one. The one person who can relate, who needs the encouragement, who needs the strength to move forward, the one who needs to know they are not alone. Bravery means I start taking down my walls and letting you in.

May 21, 2012

A Day of Kindness

A Day of Kindness is something that has been stirring in my heart for awhile now. I launched the dream project a few months ago, and have been blown away by the notes y'all are leaving and the stories of changed hearts that you are sharing. The dream project is about offering up bits of love and encouragement to others, and making the world a little kinder along the way. 



On June 4th, I am launching a day of kindness and would love for YOU to join in. The good news is this; it won't cost you anything and its super easy. 

What is all about: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" -Aesoy. On June 4th, we will come together to spread kindness to family, friends, neighbors, teachers, and strangers. I believe that there is something powerful when we use our voices together for good.

Who can be involved: You. anyone and everyone. seriously.

When will it be: All day on June 4th. I'm sure some people are wondering why not sooner, so I'll go ahead and answer that question. I would love to spread the news {as well as have you do the same} so that as many people who want to join in, know about it. This way we can all join forces together and use our voices for good.

Why: A favorite quote of mine is: "if your heart is full of love, then you always have something to give." I feel like kindness is a free gift that we should be giving away to others on a daily basis. This will just be a day that we all do it together and use our voices to shout kindness from our rooftops.

How does one participate: A day of kindness will be similar to the dream project, where people wrote little notes of encouragement, put chasingbigdreams.com at the bottom, and posted them on mirrors, cars, doors, books, etc. So on June 4th, write a note, include the link on the bottom so that we can build a community of kindness right here, and post for a stranger to see. Please note: you can do more than write a note. There are a million and two ways to offer up kindness to another. Here are a few examples: take your neighbors trash bin to the curb, bring a co-worker flowers, help someone cross the street, etc.

Sharing the stories: I believe that encouragement is beyond powerful; it breathes words of life back into our souls. If you post something on June 4th, snap a picture of it and email us. You can also tweet the pictures and/or share your stories. Tag @bigdreamquotes and use the hashtag #bekind that day so we can follow along with all the kindness.

side note: the website (chasingbigdreams.com) is currently down as the hosting site is making some corrections to it. fear not, it'll be up and running soon!

May 18, 2012

5 Things to be Happy About

I'm so thankful that its finally Friday. I got a shot at the doctor's office on Wednesday that basically kicked my butt, so I've been resting for the last 48 hours. Needless to say, I'm a little restless as a result!

1. I always swoon when I go into a store and run into mini pink and green things. As much as I love pink and green, I love it a million times more when it comes in something teeny tiny. If my feet would fit in the shoe, I wouldn't have hesitated for a second before buying them.



2. I've been skipping dinner lately and eating at the ice cream shop that is literally two minutes from my home. Its become a seriously bad habit, but its oh so good!


3.  I babysat for my sweet friend who adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia last year. Oh how I adored loving on him for an evening; such a sweet cuddly little boy.


4. My friends got a sweet puppy dog and I have loved playing with him. I had no idea puppies were so hard to manage, so I don't think I'll be getting one myself!



5. My sweet dad came over to my house a few weeks ago and installed this whiteboard on my wall and I found a cute paper banner at target to hang above it. I decided to put up a whiteboard because I'd like to hold myself better accountable for encouraging others. This allows me to write down peoples' names and addresses and send off chocolate, cards, etc in the mail. It's amazing how simple words can change around someone's day. 



May 15, 2012

How I Wore it: a Pink Clutch

I launched the dream project a few months ago, and have been blown away by your love and support, and how much y'all care about encouraging others. There have been stories that have brought tears to my eyes over how much good y'all are doing for one another. As a result of launching the dream project; I now carry around an assortment of pens, markers, post-it notes, and index cards in order to leave little notes of encouragement wherever I go. 

Fashion to Figure approached me a month or two ago about reviewing one of their products. While their clothes don't fit me, I love that they make such wonderful clothing so that a woman at any size can feel beautiful inside and out. I was pretty much sold on reviewing a product for them when I discovered they had pink clutches, something I had actively been looking for.


The clutch is the perfect size to find all my necessary items like phone, keys, wallet, etc. I was especially over the moon when it arrived and was bigger than I thought it would be. I tend to carry far more than needed, so I like that this size clutch can accommodate many items. I can now carry around all my pens and paper for the dream project without it all pouring out of my tiny wristlet that I used to carry.


It comes with both an over the shoulder strap as well as a clutch handle, which comes in handy depending on what I have going on that day.


Dress + Cardigan- Ann Taylor Loft
Heels- Nine West
Clutch: c/o Fashion to Figure
Photos by: Kim

Don't forget to enter the ann taylor loft giveaway!

May 14, 2012

Let's Do This + a Giveaway!

Last week, I took a leap of faith, and launched a dress line where one could preorder some dresses and support my dream. I was blown away with all the love, support, and encouragement that I experienced. To be completely honest, I thought I would potentially experience some backlash or some not so kind words, so I was overwhelmed with the endless love that poured out. It warmed my heart to no end!


This weekend, I studied up on indiegogo.com to further learn the ins and outs of how to get on the front page; which I assume would lead to more support. After studying it in depth, I discovered that they track traffic based on the links on their site, not by me creating my own things to tweet or facebook and having others do the same. So this week, I wanted to see if y'all would be willing to support me and share the mess out of those two links found on my site.



I'm offering up a giveaway as means of gratitude from my heart because really, y'all were so kind to me last week. All of you made me realize the unbelievable power of social media and how we can accomplish goals when we band together.



May 10, 2012

5 Things to be Happy About

This week has been full of adventures and dream chasing! I've learned a lot about being fearless and facing trials, and I'm so thankful for what this week taught me!

1. I finally got up the courage to chase after a really, really big dream! I wanted to cry over all the love and support y'all offered up. Oh, it made me heart burst with happiness.




2. I made a random trip to Joann's Fabric and found a cute ring kit, so I made myself a fun little ring in about 2 minutes!


3.  I was in target searching for Mother's Day cards when I found myself in cartoon form and couldn't help but snap a photo. It cracks me up how much it reminds me of myself.



4.  My friends got an adorable puppy and boy am I smitten with him!



5. I attempted to rock a romper and asked for y'alls opinion on twitter. I giggled a little over the responses that people said they didn't like rompers on adults, because this is actually an adult sized article of clothing! {I tend to wear mostly girl's clothing}.


thoughts on the romper?

May 8, 2012

How I Wore it: A Dream Chaser

This week I am living my dreams out loud. I launched a dream this week that has sat in my heart for three years! And let me tell you what; letting it out was so freeing. While I'm scared to take the leap of faith, it has been so worth all of it. I seriously cannot thank y'all enough; from the bottom of my heart. My heart is so full of love and encouragement from the outpour of your support! I knew I couldn't launch it without you, and boy, did y'all show up!!









I have a quote that sits in my office that says, "tell me my dreams aren't realistic, and I'll tell you that yours aren't big enough." I am a firm believer in big dreams because truly the sky is the limit. So here is to taking a leap of faith and growing my wings on the way down. I'll let you know what it looks like when I land! 


sweater + ruffle dress: the loft
shoes: mini boden


ps: don't forget to enter the HUGE giveaway or check out the dress line launch!

I'm linking up with the pleated poppy 

May 6, 2012

Exciting News + a HUGE Giveaway!!

I feel like I've been waiting for this day for a long time. You know when you have a date with a star on it and you slowly cross off each day, getting more and more excited as the day comes. Its exactly how I felt last night as I crossed the very last day before the star. I've been working really hard in order to *attempt* to pursue a dream of mine, and today is that day.

About three years ago, I went away on a beach vacation just after graduating college. I had a degree in early education and was jumping at the bit to become a teacher. But without a job in hand at time, I was restless, and with the economy at an all-time low then, I began to wonder what else I could do. As I sat on the beach, I flipped through a magazine and discovered the story of how Eileen Fisher started her billion dollar company. She only had $350 dollars but an extremely driven heart. It made me feel like the sky is the limit. In that very moment I knew exactly what I wanted to do in my life; own a girls' clothing line. I started learning about business by launching an handmade accessory line, and learned and grew from there. 

In January, I felt a deep stirring to find a way to launch a dress line this year. I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of wise and brilliant business women along the way. In February, I headed off to Blissdom, hoping that conference would be just what I needed in order to take the leap of faith to chase this dream whole-heartedly. I found that extra nudge over a chat with my friend, Kate, who reminded me that I really had nothing to lose and that I would never know if I didn't tried.

After much debating back and forth, I finally decided how I would launch it. I would make this dream about more than just myself by allowing others to join in and be a part of it. I created a site where YOU can help me make this dream a reality. Here is the link where you can purchase a dress {or two} and help breathe my dream into a reality. Perhaps you don't know any little girls in your life; it would mean the world to me if you'd pass the link on.






And because I feel like celebrating this leap of faith, I'm offering a *huge* giveaway in hopes that y'all will share the link with your friends!






May 4, 2012

5 Things to Be Happy About

This week has been both fun yet absolutely chaotic as I have a bunch of big projects on my plate.

1. I took a little time off to take a big breath and remembered what it felt like to be a kid. Who knew swinging could be so much fun!


2. I was away in Utah for my birthday, so it seems like the celebration here have yet to end. Although it seems a little silly to celebrate it when its already a different month. Regardless, I've loved getting to eat so many cupcakes!


3. I got an adorable pink and green (surprise, surprise) beach bag from my big sister. It has made me so excited about the thought that summer is just around the corner.



4. My sweet friend Kate won a contest and had a nail polish designed after her mood board. I ordered some and its such a pretty color. I can't wait to paint my nails!




5. It's been amazing to watch a dream come to life and be in the flesh. I'm hoping to launch the start of my dress line on Monday, and I'll be ask you to jump on board with that dream! I can't wait!!


May 2, 2012

Loving People Well


We all have gifts. Yes, YOU. I think I discovered mine at a young age. The truth is I have a sensitive soul and a very tender heart. I don't mean tender in the cry at commercials kind of way. I have a tender heart in the sense that I ache for the hurting, the broken, the defeated, the lost, the hopeless, and the weary. So my gift is words. Words that lift, encourage, inspire, give hope, and are lavished in love. And my love is people.

If you asked my roommates from two years ago what our kitchen used to look like; they'd let you in on the a little secret that they called me Betty Crocker. Every week, I was whipping up some sort of sweet treat, putting them into little bags with pink and green ribbon, attaching a tiny note, and sending out love into the world. As seasons of my life shift and changes, so does the way I use my gift, but my heart never ceases to outpour love.


However, somewhere along the lines in these past few years, I found myself fully engaged in an online community struggling to see how my gifts fit in a place where I could not physically wipe tears from eyes, show up on doorsteps with flowers, or be a phone call away in case of an emergency.




A few months ago a sweet friend sat me down, and reminded me that I have NO idea what is going on, on the other side of the screen. And she were exactly right. As bloggers, we get to CHOOSE what we put out there, how we present it, and just how much we want to share. So more times than not, I see a picture perfect house, beautiful children, and a life that looks wonderful tied up with a pretty bow on top. So while I feel like some blogs paint a pretty life picture, it did not equal the same feelings perhaps on the inside of their hearts.

So while I battled between how do you encourage this community, I leaned on my life tagline, which is simply, "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting a battle." When I wake up and tell myself that every morning, it changes things. It reminds me that behind the perfect hair-do, the well-behaved children, and always folded laundry clothes, that people are hurting. So my dear sweet friend suggested that I read behind the lines to see where the hurting and aches are. So I encourage in the cracks, the gaps, the nooks, and the crannies. And while I do have some friends online who share their hearts and guts out, there is still only so much I can do from 1000s of miles away.




There are moments when doubt creeps in and I wonder if sometimes there is such a thing as too much encouragement. But I remind myself that I've never met someone who said, "oh that girl cared too much about me" or  "I wish she wouldn't love on me so much." So I always, always, always air on the side of lavishing people with love and kindness.

As I continue to cultivate online friendships, I have learned that I cannot physically show up on their doorstep. And if you know me and my heart; you realize how hard that is for me to accept. But I've learned that there are other ways to show up. My heart can arrive on their doorstep in the form of chocolate, flowers, cards, balloons, etc. And my encouraging spirit can overflow their mailbox and inbox with inspiration and love.



If YOU ever need encouragement, just go up to my contact button and let me know how I can better encourage you.