Friday, August 31, 2012

bits & pieces.

i'm excited to start a new feature on style of a songbird, called bits & pieces. i have been so struck by this quote lately: 

i want to document some of those "little things" throughout my week that in the end, add up to be the "big things." i'm linking up with lauren and carina to highlight five moments {or bits & pieces} of life that i am grateful for:

one. enjoying a "just right" cup of coffee in my favorite new ikea chair.
two. so much *love* inside this envelope full of treasures to incorporate for my art journal from a dear friend.
three. not too many things that can make a day better than a fresh pedicure.
four. "i create love that spirals through me and dances with joy." art journal page inspired by hannah.
five. date night with my love.

a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut

have a beautiful weekend! <3

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Thursday, August 30, 2012


just in case you don't happen to follow me on instagram, twitter or facebook, just thought i'd let you know that as of last saturday, i now have purple hair. 

and i'm loving it! :)

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

oh how pinteresting // august edition.

can't believe this is the last week of august!! i have some wonderful "pins"i've found to share with you! enjoy!

aren't these earrings the coolest? 
Vintage Dangles. $19.95, via Etsy.
pinned here.

these look so fun!
Alcohol ink coasters
pinned here.

i want to collect stones to make this.
Stones glued to felt = hot pad  Love this! I would want to make place mats too!
pinned here.

homemade jewelry cleaner. i tried it and it works!
Jewelry cleaner - tried it today and my engagement ring is almost blinding, it's sparking so much :)
pinned here.

freeze herbs in olive oil! brilliant.
Freeze fresh herbs in olive oil, toss in pan when needed. No need to ever waste fresh herbs again! So smart!
pinned here.

mmm...gonna try this soon!
panera soup
pinned here.

love the idea of a thin neon outline.
outlined neon nails.
pinned here.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

the power of our story.

imagine that your profession, your life, your joy and passion are wrapped up in your voice. imagine that you are a speaker, teacher, preacher and singer.  

then, in a matter of seconds, your voice, the tool which you use everyday is taken away. and now, twenty years later, you communicate in whispers

this is the story of a mighty, humble, eloquent man named bob sorge. we had the privilege of hearing bob speak this weekend at our church. jeremy and i have been impacted by his {numerous} books, but i experienced the power of his story exponentially through hearing his testimony in person.

and i might add that he continues to travel the world, sharing his story, whether he has to write down his thoughts on paper or have his whisper amplified through a mic, his story is still being heard. and through the life altering tragedy, and incredible darkness and despair, bob has emerged with power, faith and determination.

some of the nuggets of wisdom he shared:

when you tell your story, others find themselves in it and they find strength for their journey 

meekness is the opposite of pushing, a softened strength

we have to enter into the fullness of our story 

there are voices that try to dummy it down, and say, just shoot for plan b, or the lesser way, but my soul refuses to be comforted

just because the answer is delayed or He's silent, doesn't mean God said no

you are never too old for God to rewrite your story

this isn't only your next chapter, but your best chapter

you must share your story. no matter the cost. just because the answer is delayed, do not lose hope. the longer you wait, the more your faith can grow. be encouraged... {i know i am.} thank you, bob, good and faithful servant.  

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

what's in your bag?

i've seen lots of bloggers share the treasures they carry with them, and i was inspired by bekah to share my version of "what's in your bag?"{and like many others have shared, i took out all the recipets, gum wrappers & extraneous crumbs before snapping this photo. my purse is never this clean.}

purse, target // i think this was $7 on sale. it's accompanied me on many road trips.
wallet, fossil // on super sale at macy's a few years ago. one of the only items i own that's real leather.
planner, target // i'm still a pen + paper girl. just can't shake it...
mini notebook, target // picked up this adorable notebook for $1.99 to jot down inspiration on the go!
elf blotting sheets, here // my face tends to be oily. these work wonders.
various lipsticks // because you never know what mood you'll be in.
c.o. bigelow mentha lip shine, bath and body works // favorite. hands down. never leave without it.
altoids & gum // self explanatory.
headwrap, the bridge // when my bangs need to know who's boss.
headphones // always come in handy. and these are so easy to lose!
keys // and little plastic membership thingys. {i need to take some of my michigan ones}
iphone // and my adorable case i found at marshall's for five bucks!
ibuprofen // for the occasional headache.
chocolate chip, brownie & oat bar, trader joes // hey, it's healthier than a candy bar, right?!
waterbottle, target // if you know me, you know i carry a water bottle with me 24/7.
pens & pencils // because sometimes things really need to be "penciled" in.
hand sanitizer // i'm a germ freak.

i think these posts are so fun! feel free to do your own {or share a pic on instagram!}


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

the wonderful world of art journaling & altered books.

warning // once you enter the world of art journaling & altered books, it's hard to return to life as normal. you will find yourself perpetually inspired & continually jotting down phrases or sketching images.  

ok, now that the warning is out of the way, i am thrilled to share some resources & materials to get started on your own art journal or altered book. 

first things first, there are no rules and there's no right or wrong in art journaling. i'm just sharing what i have learned along my {short} journey with this art form.

what's an altered book?
basically, a mixed media approach to creating art from the pages of an ordinary book full of text. you can choose to incorporate some of the already written text into the page {or not}.

what do i need to get started? 


here are some of the basic supplies i use: 

paint brushes of all sizes
old books
acrylic paint 

again, there are no rules, so feel free to use any art supply you have! {however, try to be careful with using something too heavy or watery, as it may bleed through...BUT since, there are no right or wrong ways of transforming it into an art journal, embrace the "bleeding through" if that's what you were going for!} i have found that the thin sharpie pens work well!

what are some online resources? 
this is my favorite art journaling resource that provides fantastic inspiration & support.
mandy and teresa are the artists that form "the art journaler." they have kits & prompts available!
wendy and donna post pictures and videos of their creative process. {so inspiring!}
{there are SO many amazing art journalers out there! these are just a few that i have found helpful!}

how do i connect with other art journalers?
i've found an amazing community and support system of artists on instagram and twitter. 
{you can find me there---> eesimpson}.
just use these hashtags to connect: #taj #artjournal #alteredbooks

a beautiful + brave fellow artist is hosting an incredible giveaway on her blog of your very own personalized "secret message" page designed by mandy.  check it out here.

i would be delighted to answer any other questions you have about art journaling & altered books! please feel free to leave a comment. happy creating!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

links to love.


hey everyone. hope you had a wonderful day! i spent it painting & baking with my new friends. it was wonderful! here are some links i've been loving lately. enjoy! 

have you heard about the pixie project? so fun {and for a great cause}!

although i don't need this quite yet, i'm still very hopeful that i could win mandy's giveaway! {you can enter}

love this knotty DIY.

going to use my {soon to be rotten} bananas to make this.

so fun to see her creative process. i love how she wrote a secret message to herself on one of the layers.

need cheap jars? jackpot.

links on how to make your own spaghetti sauce, yogurt, peanut butter, applesauce and more!

50 questions to ask your spouse on a date. awesome resource!

just picked up this new planner at target. endless possibilities await!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

it's back.

the best thing happened to me last week...

i got my creativity back. 

my life has been so filled with details and have-to's, that time to create always fell to the bottom of the list, and eventually didn't even make the list anymore. 

but last week i broke out the paint. opened up a new {thrifted} book and started to get messy again. 

and i can't tell you how great it feels!

i also feel like i really found my niche in altered books. i love the possibilities of a blank canvas, but 
i find it much less daunting to start with a page full of already written words. in fact, i'm having a blast incorporating some of the "secret messages" i find into my creative process.

so many times our creativity is blocked by the idea that we don't have what it takes or won't measure up. my friend julie shared this and it so resonates with me:

Viewers have looked at my work, and expressed how they would so love to be able to create work from their spirit...intimate pieces that speak of their deepest thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears, questions...
It is my belief that every single person has the ability, and the need, to create from such a place. It does not require any special talent, nor education, nor even the 'correct' tools or supplies. We are all gifted in infinite ways to express ourselves creatively. It is simply a matter of letting go of any fear, or expectations....and having the courage to look within....and the boldness to express whatever you find whatever way you are called.....and to be confident about who you are....your thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and desires are all valid....and valuable....and worth expressing.....the world needs more authenticity....the world needs all of you.....♥

creativity, it's so nice to have you back.

i'm saying yes to...sticking with it. getting it down. and letting it out. 


for those of you who are interested in starting the creative adventure of art journaling & altered books, i'm going to post later in the week sharing the basics and some resources i've found to be super helpful!


Friday, August 17, 2012

loving lately.

one of my favorite parts about blogging is being able to share my "favorites" with all of you. from food to beauty products to an amazing blog, here's my list of things i'm loving lately...

one // heart adoption necklace. help support my new blogger friend, carina's family in their adoption process by purchasing one of her beautiful heart necklaces, here. {i plan on ordering one SOON!}

two // rita's italian ice. one of my favorite parts about living on the east coast! my combo this week was pear italian ice with vanilla custard. you can find a location near you here.

three // suave waterless foam shampoo. i'm sure you have all heard of dry shampoo {a powder like spray that absorbs oil and freshens up your "second day" hair}. this stuff is equally as amazing, but formulated for drier hair. (it's the consistency of a mousse). you can purchase it here.

four // swork it app. i haven't caved in and purchased a gym membership yet, so i've been using this workout app to get fit at home! you can choose a time between 5 minutes to an hour, full body/specific areas and it even has a yoga section. check out the website here.

five // mama space blog. this blog is written by beautiful, hannah. it's a space full of "beautiful places and magical faces." so thrilled to have found hannah's blog and connected with her. she embodies genuine peace and raw courage.

six // dark chocolate almonds from trader joes. these are ah-mazing. in case you can't read the label, it says: roasted almonds drenched in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar! {when the temperature gets a little cooler, i'm mailing a box to my sweet friend in oklahoma...anyone else want some? i'll take orders ;) hehe...}

let me know if you have specific questions about any of the items i'm loving lately! wishing you a weekend full of adventures & relaxing moments of familiarity! <3


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

the best 18 dollars i've ever spent.

i'm hoping this title perked your attention. (it may be a slight exaggeration, but still...)

i recently spent the day with my mom and quickly noticed her purse. "that's so cute!" i said, "where's it from?" to my delight, she replied, "wal mart." i gotta tell you, this is not what i expected her to say. (it looked like it was from a boutique or department store).

her purse was adorable, just the right size, and had a silk scarf tied around it. she told me she just picked it up a few weeks ago, so we made a mad dash to the nearest wal mart and picked one up for yours truly! 

the purse is actually called "the umbrella tote" if you happen to look for it at the wal mart nearest you. (it comes with a free umbrella attached! bonus!) and, in case you haven't guessed yet, it was priced just right at $18.00.   

here are a few reasons why i love it...

one---> the material is "wipeable."
two---> you can change out the scarves depending on your outfit or your mood.
three---> it stands up on it's own. (no one likes a floppy purse.)
four---> it has organizational compartments inside.
five--->it's not too big, not too small.

i'm a huge scarf fan (most of them are thrifted!) i am having so much fun switching out the scarves.
here are three different ways to tie them depending on the length:

sidenote: my mom actually bought me this purse for my birthday. but the title "the best 18 dollars my mom ever spent" sounded cheesy.

let me know if you head out to wal mart and search for this treasure! :) 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

what do you stand for?

they say we stand for nothing
and there's no way we ever could.
-john mayer

{i want to be known by what i'm "for" rather than what i'm against. to spend my life recognizing and calling forth beauty, possibility & hope.}

this idea has been burning on my heart for the past week or so.
so many people spend their time & channel their energy in protest.
fighting for what they don't like or don't want to happen.

it pains me so much in and out of the religious world that so many people are known for what they hate, don't agree with and will spend their time, energy & lives fighting against.

---> but what is it that excites us, stirs us, brings us joy & delight?

i read once that it's best when working with children to tell them to do something instead of always no, and stop and don't do that.

Holding Hands

i don't want to spend my life standing against, but i want to align myself with movement, possibility and hope. by standing for something, i will consequently fight {against} injustice. not the other way around. 

i want my DO and love and desire list to be longer than my NO and hate and never list.

to live is to choose. but to choose well you must know who you are, and what you stand for, 
where you want to go and why you want to go there.
-kofi annan


Saturday, August 11, 2012

links to love.


absolutely love this art journal page. i'm having so much fun with my own!

make a vest out of a scarf. perfect. 

ok. now this rice krispie treat recipe i HAVE to try.

one of my favorite parts about fall. i have to admit, this summer has almost been too hot for me!

i love it when she makes lists of awesome DIY's.

she has so much wisdom. {and a heart of gold}. 

don't know if i'd take the time to do it, but it's really pretty.

ahh!!! i am SO excited to join in on this thrifty love exchange.

forty smoothie recipes in one place! awesome. {think i'm going to try OJ + peach +banana}.

one of my new favorite blogs.


Friday, August 10, 2012

loving lately: lipsticks.

as much as i love shopping for make up, it can be quite overwhelming. {so many promises, colors, formulas, shapes, applicators, etc.} but when i find a product i really love, naturally, i want to share it! {to save others time, energy, money, frustration, etc.} i recently picked up these three new lipsticks {based on recommendations from fellow bloggers and friends} and i love them all!


revlon just bitten kissable balm stain in lovesick. purchase here
i was a little skeptical of this product claiming to be a "balm" and a "stain" at the same time. but honestly, it's so true. the color lasts so long (like a stain) but glides on, leaving your lips soft and moisturized (like a balm). and this color, lovesick, is the perfect pop of pink!

wet and wild mega last lip color in purty persimmon. purchase here
i read this review about the wet and wild mega last lip colors and decided to try this one out. i didn't own an orangey red, so at $1.99, this was the perfect time to try this new shade! i wore this lipstick today for the first time and it lasted all afternoon. it's got the prettiest hint of orange without being too bold.

elf studio matte lip color in nearly nude. purchase here.
i asked on twitter for nude lipstick recommendations and my friend courtney told me about elf's matte nude lip color. i have been wearing so many bright lipsticks this summer that applying this nude color was shockingly light. but it's the perfect paired with a dark smoky eye. so worth the $3.00!

do you have any favorite {budget friendly} lip colors to share? 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

thrifting haul {with video}.

i checked out the Goodwill around the corner from our new home here in Connecticut this week. wow! talk about thrifting heaven! they had such a huge selection that even after an hour, i still had more to explore. i'm sure i'll be back {very soon}. here are some of the treasures i found...enjoy!

if you missed my first video (a headscarf tutorial), you can check it out here


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

kindness changes things.

Come alive - Print

i love when a common theme shows up in my life & other blog posts i read. this week, it happens to be about the kindness of strangers. ashley shares her story here and jessica retells a moment that lifted her spirits here

my "moment" happened in the food court of a mall.

as i was throwing away my greasy leftovers, a beautiful woman came up to me and said, "i just love your short hair! and how you are wearing that headband. they just don't look right on me. i cut all my hair off recently and am still trying to figure out how to style it." 

"it's funny," i said, "i was totally admiring yours from across the room too. your bangs are perfect."

her eyes lit up! "i cut them myself!" she exclaimed. 

Kindness Matters - Print

a simple compliment sparked a confidence in both of us. i really believe there is a sisterhood of those with short hair. you can sometimes feel lonely in a room full of women with long, flowing locks. it may seem like such a short exchange between us, but it was like instantly, my spirit was lifted. we both recognized beauty in each other and all it took was the boldness to speak it out.

Kindness Changes Everything - Print

a compliment costs us nothing but a few breaths. but three words: "you are beautiful" can mean more than you could imagine.  a simple, seemingly inconsequential compliment can alter the course of someone's day, week or even life. and in some cases, when we least expect it, it can mean the most. like jessica's late night walk.

so today, i'm challenging you (& me) to recognize {inner and outer} beauty and speak it {type it} out. it could make all the difference in the world.


so to the lady in the mall who chopped your hair off and cut your own bangs, thanks for being bold enough to say hello in the food court. it wasn't just your hair that's beautiful, but your heart.