Astleigh Guest Post!

I found Astleigh’s blog through a link up a little while back and I love the look of her blog. She takes beautiful pictures and it’s so fun to follow along her first pregnancy. I’m so excited she is guest posting today!


Hi there! I’m Astleigh and you can catch me blogging over at Hill Collection where I share bits of my life as a married gal with our first baby on the way, DIY projects, home décor, recipes, etc. I’m a lover of the fall, coffee drinks, and a good read. I’d love to learn to knit, I prefer dark nail polishes to lighter ones, and I’m crazy for accent pillows, firmly believing you can never have too many, though husband might disagree. I’ve been saved by a mighty Savior and my life is built on Him as my cornerstone. The holidays make me giddy, desserts are my love language, and I get shy in front of a camera.


Creativity is my jam, and I’m always exploring new ways to express that. Most recently I’ve launched a design business, Hill Collection Designs. This new endeavor is my creative outlet, as well as such a fun way to interact and collaborate with others. Let me tell you more about it!


HC Designs is a card and stationary small business that offers anything from holiday greeting cards to shower invites and thank you notes. I pride myself on coming up with unique and classic pieces that will win not only your heart, but those that receive these sweet pieces of snail mail too! From pre-made to custom options, my cards are meant to inspire creativity and excitement. I can’t think of anything better than a mailbox full of Christmas cards. So why not spread that kind of cheer all year through?!


If you’re looking for holiday cards, may that be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, or so on, an invitation to send out for a wedding or baby shower, or a sweet way to say ‘thank you’, HC Designs is your place! I’d love to work with you! Take a peak at what I offer and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to chat, just send me an email:


Thanks for sharing in one of my passions today. HC Designs gives my heart all the exciting flutters and I’m looking forward to seeing where this business goes! Likewise blogging has been incredible for me and I hope there are many more years of it to come. It continues to open up my world to so many wonderful people, and through that I get special opportunities to guest post and share more of my life with you! So a huge thanks to Julie for letting me pop by her space today and share a bit about some of the things I love!

Find me on Instagram and Facebook, I’d love to connect! xo


How gorgeous are her card designs? I know I love getting mail in this day and age of technology. Thanks again so much for sharing your new design business with everyone today Astleigh!



Megan Guest Post!

Megan and I just recently became blog friends and I’m so glad. She is a Midwest girl like me and she’s been super supportive and friendly. By far my favorite part of blogging has been the community that it offers. Being able to connect with other ladies in other states and countries is just so cool!

Hi everyone!   A big thanks to Julie for allowing me to guest post today.  I actually found her blog through the link up that she co-hosts with Mattie each month & have enjoyed reading about her travel adventures!

carselfieI blog over at Megan Marie where I mostly jibber jabber about life, fitness, & the occasional wedding plans (eek!).  I started my current blog a few years ago & consider it a hobby.  Before that, I always had some type of online “journal” going way back to 7th grade— shout out to anyone that has ever heard of Kiwibox!  I enjoy having a place where I can record & recap life events to look back on someday.  And also meeting some really amazing people along the way!

Julie has talked about some books recently so I thought I’d share one of my favorites!

girlswhowentawayI have read this book at least ten times (maybe more).  I’m usually a fan of fiction books but this one just never gets old.  The author discusses society from the 1940s-1970s & how these girls were basically “sent away” by their families when they got pregnant.  She talks a lot about the culture during that era & also includes stories of the women who went through it.  I really enjoy reading the stories from the women, as they are telling it years & years after their experience.  A lot of the women say that they didn’t have a choice & that they had to give the baby up for adoption.  So, that’s what they did– signed the papers & returned back home to their normal routine.  Some of the women never talked about the baby until they were interviewed for the book.  Overall, I find it really interesting to read about how society looked at women who had gotten pregnant outside of marriage.  I guess that’s kind of the psychology nerd in me too, haha.

Thanks again Julie for letting me take over today!  Have a great day everyone!

One of my favorite thing about blog-land is hearing people’s book recommendations. I’ve never heard of this one but will have to add it to my list. Thanks again so much Megan!

Emily’s Guest Post!

I found Emily’s blog through a link up a few months ago and we bonded over her upcoming trip to Chicago next month. We all know how much I love my hometown. 🙂 But back to Emily! She is a really nice girl and it’s been really fun to become email pen pals and blogging friends now. I’m so glad you all get to meet her today through her guest post.

Hi everyone! I’m over the moon excited to to guest blogging for Julie today. Let me introduce myself- I’m Emily, the girl behind Comfortably Classic. I’m a newlywed, a 6th grade teacher, and a follower of Christ. I’m also an entrepreneur, a word I NEVER thought I would use to describe myself. 



About a year ago, I took a leap of faith and signed up for Teachers Pay Teachers, an open marketplace for teachers to share and sell educational resources. I had just finished my first year of teaching in a district that didn’t have approved curriculum yet. As I ventured into my second year, I reflected on how much I had learned and created for my students. I joined Teachers Pay Teachers on a whim.
Since then, I’ve built my store up to over 50 products, gained followers, created a blog, and met tons of wonderfully generous members of this incredible community. Oh, and I’ve made money! A year ago, I never would have thought that I could turn my passion for teaching into additional profit. I still have a long way to go and I’m learning every single day, but I’d love to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned over the past year!
  • Find what you’re passionate about and pursue it unapologetically. It can change your life if you let it.
free printable of this Abraham Lincoln quote. Love this!! #AbrahamLincoln #inspiringquote:
  • You can make money doing something you love. My husband and I are saving like crazy to buy our first house, and Teachers Pay Teachers has been such a blessing in helping us work toward our goal.
  • Your passion can be anything! Fashion, food, interior design, writing, photography, travel- there are tons of opportunities to turn your hobby into profit. One of my closest friends is a beautiful illustrator and created hand drawn programs for her wedding. She turned that talent into a business and now sells her personalized wedding programs!
  • People are your most valuable resource. Removing competition opens you up to amazing collaboration opportunities. Surrounding yourself with intelligent, hardworking people can make you feel less than perfect. Reject that insecurity and remember that we’re all works in progress.
  • “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.” This has been my mantra ever since opening my store. You are smarter and more powerful than you realize- be brave enough to start. I’m sure glad I was.
A huge thank you again to Julie for letting me share my story and my heart with you!
Be brave, friends!
XO Emily
I’m a sucker for quotes and love Emily’s inspirational post. We all need reminders every now and then to chase our passions and know that great things can happen if we seek them. Thanks again so much Emily!

Mattie’s Guest Post

Mattie, from Northwest Native, has been an awesome blogging friend of mine, so friendly and real. She and I started our first link up together, called “Tell Me About It,” that we host at the beginning of each month. Our next one is October 2nd where you tell us your favorite thing about your state! I’m super excited to move to Seattle next month and finally get to meet Mattie in person!

Today she’s sharing some items on her bucket list with you all:

My bucket list is mostly travel and experiences. I am getting married on October 10th and our goal is to save up for a down payment and buy a house as soon as we can. We also hope to have kids one day. But none of these things are part of my bucket list, especially since when I was in high school and part of college I decided I would never be married or have kids. But then Michael came around and changed my mind. So because of that, I don’t feel like those should be bucket list items for me.

Visit all fifty states. So far I’ve been to Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, and Washington D.C. (not a state, I know, but it’s included in this for me). Only nine states and D.C. That’s just sad. Reading blogs has really increased my wanderlust. Everyone talking about their cities and the great things there makes me desperate to travel! (Oh yeah, I’m not counting states where I’ve just been in the airport.) Currently Denver is near the top of the list of places to visit. I’m also desperate to visit Austin, NOLA, and Savannah. First I need to visit my friend in Madison as soon as I can (she’s been to see me twice, and the wedding will be three times!). And Michael’s cousin is getting married in Minneapolis next summer and since he and his fiancee are coming to our wedding, I think we should try and go to theirs!

This is from Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park in Montana. Michael and I went on a road trip to Montana and stayed in a tiny cabin with no wifi thirty minutes from Glacier. I love exploring different parts of the country!

Swim with dolphins. I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little girl. However, I took an animal law class my senior year of college (probably my favorite class of all time) and it’s made me really think about things like this. I only want to do this if I know it’s humane. Michael and I went to Mexico in March courtesy of the company I work for, and there was a place where we could’ve done this. But I looked into it and it turns out the place there is run horribly and is not very humane, so I couldn’t support that.
Run a 10K. I just decided on this one. I’ve run one 5K. The longest I’ve ever run is the equivalent of a 10K. The day after Michael and I did our 5K in March, we decided we’d try to tackle a five mile run, which would’ve been our longest ever. But at the five mile mark we weren’t dying, so Michael said, “Let’s just go until we hit an hour.” And then when we hit an hour we were so close to 6.2 (aka a 10K) that we just pushed through to that. Since then, the longest I’ve run is probably four miles. My standard run on a good day is a 5K (3.1 miles).
Go ziplining. I’m afraid of heights, but I think I would love ziplining, especially if it was in a super scenic location. I’ve been places where they had ziplining (Mexico multiple times) but just haven’t done it!

Wonders of the World. Apparently there are tons of lists of various Wonders of the World, but there are some that I absolutely want to see some day (though I wouldn’t mind seeing all of them!). Stonehenge, the Great Wall, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Empire State Building, the Panama Canal (my grandpa worked in the Canal Zone so my mom lived there for seven years), the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef (I was so close yet so far away when I was in Australia–sigh)… There are a ton more listed on the Wikipedia page, but I was getting tired of typing (and thought maybe you guys were getting tired of reading!). There are definitely more I want to see.

In my mind, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House in Sydney are wonders of the world. I was lucky enough to study abroad in the Sydney area for a semester and my friends and I did the bridge climb (like my childhood idols, Mary Kate and Ashley).

Exploring my own backyard. Oregon and Washington have a ton to offer that I’ve yet to see. Crater Lake has been on my list for years. I also want to travel to Bend, Oregon because it sounds like an awesome city. I’d like to go to Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens (I’ve been to St. Helens, but I was really young on a school field trip so I don’t remember it much!). I’d also like to go to Vancouver, BC (I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet) and go back to Victoria, BC (I went when I was twelve and it was beautiful).
There’s a ton of other international travel I’d like to do, but I don’t want to ramble for days. What are some of the things on your bucket list?
Thanks again to Julie for asking me to guest post!
I love that Mattie mentioned that Mary Kate and Ashley were her childhood idols because they were mine too! Hah. I, like Mattie have such a case of wanderlust and want to travel to SO many places both near and far! Thanks again for your post today Mattie!

Molly’s Guest Post

Day 2 of my week of guest bloggers comes from Molly at Colors of Life blog. She is so real and endearing. I love following along her life in Texas! Take it away Molly:
Top of the morning, y’all! First of
all, I just wanted to say that I am MORE THAN excited to be guest
posting today. I consider Julie one of my good blog friends and I’m so
thankful that she thought to ask me to be one of her guest bloggers
this week while she is gone.
Julie told me that I was to basically
introduce myself and my blog and I automatically thought “Crap, I have
to come up with something that makes me interesting to other
people!!!” Haha. So I thought. And thought. And thought. Annndddd
thooouggghhhttttt. Y’all, I’m a boring, normal girl. But, in guest
blogger spirit, I knew I wanted to have a post ready so I did the best
I could to be interesting for you. 😉 *crosses fingers*
So where to start? A little about me:
1. I go to school
I am a Business Administration major with an
emphasis in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior. I’ll graduate
this year (HALLELUJAH!)
2. I am a full-time
I just got a promotion at work to be a Human
Resources Generalist.
3. I am a full-time Red Sox
This is not a drill, I repeat; this is not a drill. I am
constantly getting score updates on my phone or watching when I have
some extra time.
4. I am a homebody,
a family girl, and would choose hanging out with my grandpa over going
to any kind of party. I love home. Home is where the heart is.
5. I love Jesus all the
I try to be as involved as possible at my Church, pray
constantly, live like Jesus would, and spend time with Him daily. It’s
hard and I fail every day but He reminds me that He still loves me
regardless of my flaws (and boring, normal girl-ness).
6. I’ve dealt with
an eating disorder, anxiety (still sometimes), depression, and a
multitude of health issues already in my life. As miserable as it was
at the time, it’s made me a stronger person and given me a whole new
outlook on life. I talk about them all in my Colors of Life
7. I LOVE, love to
Every day you can find me on a walk, following
along to a work-out DVD, or meditating along with some yoga class.
Exercise is a huge part of my life and always has been.
8. I have a passion for the
My ultimate career goal is to own or manage a
retirement home one day. I’ve been joking around a lot today, but this
is really not a joke hahah.
About my blog:
I started this blog one night last
spring after reading Shay’s blog and realizing that it was something I
really wanted to do. As mentioned in #6 above, I do feel like as a 21
year old I have already been through a lot in life and I wanted this
blog to be a way to share it with other people so they can realize
they aren’t alone and really to know that someone out there is
thinking and praying for them (hence Colors of Life and my COL page).
I’m a huge fan of scrapbooking, so I decided why not make this online
scrapbook with which I can share with my family and my friends. Some
of my best friends read my blog everyday as well as family members.
It’s always fun when they text me or e-mail me about something I wrote
about. It’s difficult to do something that not everyone else is doing.
I knew some people were making fun of me for blogging, but I still
continued it and I’m glad I did because I’ve met some really awesome
people in doing so.
My favorite vacation:
To be honest, my family has never
taken that many vacations. At least not as many as other people I
know. My favorite vacation to date is probably when we went as a
family to Orange
Beach, Alabama
in the Summer of 2014. We all enjoyed each other
and had fun doing nothing and laughing. Another good vacation was in
May when my dad and I went to Boston.
And every time we go to my grandpa’s house is a blast.
My favorite thing I’ve done this summer:
I didn’t really do anything OUT OF
THIS WORLD this summer. I had to take 2 summer classes that started in
June and went through July and I worked pretty much all summer, except
for the days we were in Iowa. So if I had to choose one thing it would
be going to my grandpa’s house. And meeting my cousin Tommy 🙂
IMG_8304 IMG_8268
What blogging has taught me:
Blogging has actually taught me a lot
more than I thought it would. Other than the fact that it has taught
me how to write better, it has taught me about being open and honest.
Blogging has taught me that sometimes people really do care about me
and my life as well. That there really are nice people in this world!
And it has taught me that my friends and family love it because they
can keep up with our life from all over the country. (The most fun
Bucket list and life goals:
I actually posted my bucket list right
. And then I mentioned some other things for my bucket list
and my life in a post right
Favorite book and movie ever:
My favorite book: ever would
have to be Nicholas Spark’s The
Longest Ride
(I reviewed it in this post) because I loved the plot
of it, the movie is one of my favorite’s, and I wish that was my
My favorite movie: Well, I’m more of a TV show kind of girl
rather than a movie girl. Some of my favorites are: Hart of Dixie,
Parenthood, Nashville, Full House, Gilmore Girls, Revenge, Friday
Night Lights, One Tree Hill, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, The Voice,
Grey’s Anatomy,The Vampire Diaries, and probably some others that I’m
forgetting. I told you I’m a TV show person!
What makes me, me:
I think probably the fact that i’m
not your average 21 year old. I know I just got done saying that I was
normal and boring, but hear me out on this one. I promise I’m not
crazy! All through college I haven’t really been like everyone else. I
went out and partied at Oklahoma, but once a weekend was fine and I
was over it. By the second semester I was completely over it. Not
every college student works and even likes to work. I always tell
people that I’d rather be working than be at school. I just like doing
something and feeling like I’m making an impact somewhere.
If a degree
wasn’t required I would not be in school. I like learning new things,
but not school things. I like real life things. Not all college
students still love living at home. Not all college students are
perfectly content staying in on Friday and Saturday nights. Not all
college students like the elderly/care about the elderly. The list
could go on. I’m just not your typical college girl and I’m 100% okay
with it, although I used to think something was wrong with me. But
that’s another story for a different time.
Julie, you rock! I hope you’re having
a blast out of town. Everyone else, you rock for reading this!!! Feel
free to come say hi over on
my blog
too. Have a great day everyone!
In the blogging world where a lot of people only show their ‘good’ sides, I think it’s so refreshing how realatble Molly is. Too bad she’s all the way in Texas and I’m moving to Seattle, because we could totally be friends in real life. 🙂 Thanks again for guest blogging today!

Lauren’s Guest Post!

I mentioned it last week, but I’m out of town for a few days in Seattle and Chicago (house hunting for our new place and saying goodbye to my childhood home) and I’ve rallied a few of my favorite blogger friends to fill in for me for this entire week. The first guest blogger is Lauren, whose blog, Post Grad in Progress, I found through a link up. She’s super sweet and you’ll love her!

Hello, hello, thanks so much for inviting me Julie! I feel pretty honored, humbled, and thrilled by Julie’s gracious invitation for me to guest blog while she’s away. But before I get ahead of myself let’s start with an introduction. Hi, I’m the Post Grad and I blog at Post Grad in Progress. But my name is Lauren and I’m a new graduate navigating through the real world trying to dig deep into what makes me tick. The real world for me being, moving to a new city, starting a new job, and molding new friendships along the way.


My blog is my happy place. It gives me an opportunity to craft like my favorite Anthropologie Hack Coasters, write recipes like my delicious meatloaf, and detail my travels: Russia, San Diego (part 1), San Diego (part 2), and my new adventure of Eat, Pray, Loving it in Europe.


One of my favorite bloggers, Erika, does this series Owning It where you tell a little bit about your quirks and what makes you, well, you. Every time I read a new post on a new blogger I rack my brain of what I do that is unique to me. Alas, this makes the perfect guest post. I basically get all my junk on the table from the get-go! This could go one of two ways…some people will relate or just laugh at my craziness or some people might run in the opposite direction. But hey, I’m owning it. Today and everyday.


  1. Hi I’m Lauren. 22 years old and I still sleep with my baby “blanket.” Yes, I put blanket in quotations because frankly, it isn’t a blanket anymore. He is the remnantof a former blanket tied together in a rag. Also, you might notice that I refer to my blanket as “he” because he just always has been. Weird, I know. I call him “T” because my babysitter called him my tranquilizer when I was little and it stuck. He’s a sense of comfort and may I say, a well-traveledblanket.

Good gracious, I’ve lost half of Julie’s readers by this point.

  1. I’m the clumsiest person you’ll meet but I’ve never broken a bone and I’ve never had stitches. Picture me knocking on wood at this moment.
  1. Raw potatoes give me the heebie jeebies. I love the taste of potatoes…french fries, baked potatoes, scalloped potatoes…but raw potatoes freak. me. out. Mostly because they smell like dirt and they can grow roots when they sit in your pantry too long. My skin crawls thinking about it. P.S. Just potatoes not sweet potatoes. I’m strange.
  2. I cry at the drop of the hat. One YouTubevideo of a soldier reuniting with his family and I’m dunzo. But on the flip side, I cry laughing so easily. It’s borderline embarrassing because once I get going I can’t stop. Also, my crying laughing doesn’t discriminate where I am. My coworkers have seen me crying laughing way too many times.
  1. When I was in 2nd grade and my family went to Jamaica I decided it was a good idea to get my ENTIRE head braided. I just got glasses, I burn easily, and I was going through an awkward stage so let’s just say those pictures are ROUGH. But my friends and I get a kick out of them.

I think I’ll stop there. I want to keep some of my cards close to my chest [Symbol]. But weirdness aside, I’m a girl who loves God, her family & friends, being creative, and traveling. See what crazy thing I’m up to next Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week @ Post Grad in Progress!

Thanks for listening! Have a great day, friends xoxo.

Thanks again for your post Lauren! I always love learning more about my blogger friends. I’m so excited for your very own Eat, Pray, Love adventure next month!