BBN // Branding Photography

One of the highlights of being a small business owner is getting to collaborate and work with other small business owners. I've been fortunate enough to know Nicole of BBN for a few years now and it has been a joy to see her pursue her dream, watch her business thrive, and get to work with her. If any of my Fort Worth friends are ever looking for graphic design, branding, or a website, Nicole is always my first recommendation.

This branding session has provided Nicole with images for her website refresh, social content, and more. We had a blast shooting in the Lumen Room where some of her very own clients joined us to capture the quality relationships she builds during projects.


Embracing Art Outside of Your Niche

I think most people assume that just because my style is so niche that I don’t branch outside of it at all. That couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, the majority of my friends (IRL) create art that is very different from my own personal style.

There are a lot of reasons that I (and other creatives) diversify the art that they consume everyday, but here’s just a few…

 

IT MAKES YOU A BETTER ARTISTS

No one likes the person that only likes one specific music genre and is completely closed off to any music outside of it. I think this concept applies to all art mediums. Limiting yourself to a specific genre or style of work will prevent you from growth and get you stuck in a rut. PLUS, it will make you much more engaging in conversations.

(P.S. - Speaking of music, follow me on Spotify!)

 

IT HELPS PREVENT YOU FROM COPYING SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK

Intentional or not, it’s easy to consume art and replicate aspects of it in your own work. This is especially easy to do when you are only surrounding yourself with a certain style. We all know the classic fashion blogger poses or coffee + book flatlay on white bed sheets. While recreating popular looks within your niche might temporary get you more likes, it will fail to set you apart from the crowd and stunt long term growth.

 

IT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR ALL ARTISTS

Every artist needs all the support they can get. Even if you wouldn’t buy someone’s art or hire them for a project, you can still appreciate the time and skills that were put into their work. While artists need paid projects to pay the bills we also desperately need encouragement, affirmation, and support.

 

IT’S HELPFUL TO BRANCH OUT FROM YOUR DIRECT COMPETITION

While I don’t think you should view similar artists as competition (there is room for everyone out there), there is something to say about consuming and collaborating with artist who have a completely different market than you do.   

 

SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA MIX IT UP

While I absolutely love my style and it comes naturally to me, it is sometimes helpful to just take a completely different approach to your work. Whenever I’ve been a creative rut I have found it helpful to edit in completely new ways and explore new artists.

 

SEPARATION OF BUSINESS AND PERSONAL CONSUMPTION

There are a lot of business and artist that I follow because we would be a good partnership professionally. But just because someone wouldn’t collaborate or work with you, doesn’t mean you can’t personally enjoy their work. Some people like to have completely separate accounts for business and personal consumption, which I think can be very helpful.

 

YOU WON’T KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE UNTIL YOU EXPLORE IT

When it comes to art, the opportunities are endless. You will never know what type of work you will love and embrace until you give it a chance.  When I asked my followers why they follow accounts that are different than them, one of the responses I got was “If you don’t choose to follow people different than yourself, you’re missing out on BEAUTY!” and I couldn’t agree more.

 

IT GIVES YOU A NEW PERSPECTIVE

One of the many bittersweet aspects of the internet is our ability to curate and filter what content we receive. When we only consume people who think like us, look like us, and create like us, we are setting us up for some major blind spots.

 

Convinced you need to diversify your creative consumption? I love a good challenge to put a concept into action in your own life!

Take some time to…

  • Grab coffee with a local artist who works with the same media that you do but in a very different way.
  • Follow someone online who looks different than you do.
  • Listen to an artist or playlist with a music genre that you don’t typically listen to.
  • Follow someone online who thinks and talks differently than you do.  
  • Follow someone who has a different aesthetic than you do.
  • Go to an art exhibit that you otherwise wouldn’t normally attend.
  • Collaborate with a creative who is different than you and exchange services (take portraits of each other, paint for each other, etc.)

Craft Made Goods // Branding Photography Mini Session

One of my goals for this year is to start blogging more of my photo sessions, so I figured that March 1st would be the perfect time to start!

Meet Chelsea, the fabulous creative behind Craft Made Goods (and her cute pup, Lemon). I first met Chelsea at an event in the Foundry District where she had a little pop up shop. While we primarily focused on her embroidery work on this shoot, she is talented in many mediums (which you can see on her Instagram).

I've been wanting to shoot with more local artists who create physical products so I reached out to her and we grabbed coffee to brainstorm what kind of shots could help her promote her creative business and side hustle. Chelsea, Lemon, and I met up at the Fort Worth Lumen Room shootout to shoot some branded photography that represented the vibrant, kindhearted, and talented creative she is.


Fort Worth City Guide: Date Ideas

One of the reasons Noah and I love living in Fort Worth is because it’s packed full of things to together. Whether you’re looking for a free (or budget friendly) option or are planning a high end Valentines Day date, Fort Worth has something to offer for every couple.

FOR THE COUPLE THAT LOVES THE CITY

  • Visit Sundance Square
    • Sundance Square is packed full of great restaurants, you can find a comprehensive list here.Visit Sundance Square
  • Visit the Fort Worth Water Gardens
  • Visit West 7th.
    • Restaurants in the area located here.

FOR THE COUPLE THAT LOVES THE OUTDOORS

  • Go on a hike (and maybe bring your own picnic)
    • Definitely recommend Airfield Falls, it’s a short walk with a beautiful view! There are also some nice picnic tables and a shady area at the trailhead.
  • Rent some bikes and ride along the Trinity
  • Visit the Fort Worth Nature Center
  • Go canoeing or paddle boarding in the Trinity
  • Visit the Fort Worth Botanical gardens

FOR THE ATHLETIC COUPLE

  • Go to Top Golf
    • Enjoy some golf, drinks, and food at Fort Worth’s Top golf!
  • Go to Leonards Golf Links
    • If you’d like a more low key range option, Leonards Golf Links is a beautiful range in west fort worth. Their top notch short game area and lit driving range is the perfect date night for any golfer.
  • Go rock climbing at Summit
  • Take a fitness class together
  • Go bowling at Pinstripes
  • Try axe throwing at the Fort Worth Axe Factory

FOR THE ANIMAL LOVERS

  • Visit the Fort Worth Zoo
  • Volunteer together at one of the local animal shelters
  • Bring your dog(s) to ZBonz dog park
    • Note that they are closed on Monday. If your dog is a swimmer, be sure to pack a towel for the car
  • Bring your dog(s) to MUTTS
  • Have dinner on a dog friendly patio

FOR THE COUPLE THAT LOVES THE ARTS

FOR THE ROMANTIC COUPLE

FOR THE COUPLE WITH SWEET TEETH

FOR THE COUPLE WHO LOVES A GOOD DRINK


WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE TO HAVE COLORED HAIR

Ever wonder what it's like to have colored hair? I'm spilling all the details of the real life realities!

PEOPLE RECOGNIZE AND REMEMBER YOU… EVERYWHERE

It turns out that not many people have purple hair and that it’s pretty memorable. I’m always shocked by how staff remember me at the grocery store, local coffee shop, or my favorite shops. The WORST is if you don’t remember them!

PEOPLE ASSUME YOU’RE FRIENDLY

WAY more people talk to me in public with colored hair than when my hair was blonde. I think people assume you’re outgoing and free spirited so they feel more comfortable talking to you. In general, I consider this to be a positive thing but some interactions can be really awkward and weird.

WASHING IS AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS

This sounds disgusting but unlike dye for natural colors, fashion colors fade FAST. You will lose a significant amount of color even in your first wash. While there have been some great new products that don’t require you to take cold showers, you learn to train your hair to need less showers (and dry shampoo is your best friend).

NOTE: Don't forget you can shower WITHOUT washing your hair!

PEOPLE CAN SPOT YOU IN A CROWD

When trying to meet up with people in public it’s common to exchange descriptions of where you are and what you’re wearing (especially if you’ve never met the person IRL before). It turns out that purple hair is a surefire way for people spot you even in the most crowded places.

KIDS LOVE IT

One of my favorite things about having purple hair is kids pointing and loudly telling their mom, “WOW, mom she has purple hair”. My apologies (not really) to all the parents who blame me for giving their kids the idea to color your hair.

YOU HAVE A SPECIAL BOND WITH OTHERS WHO HAVE COLORED HAIR

Even if we don’t talk, we see each other. Sometimes you might be a little insecure because their hair is better than yours or you might silently be judging their dye job. You also feel obligated to compliment them back if they say something about your hair.

YOU FEEL MORE PRESSURE TO LOOK “PUT TOGETHER”

Stereotypes on people nontraditional hair and tattoos give you a lot of pressure to look put together whenever you go to meetings, are out in public, etc. (out of fear of looking unprofessional). I hate that this is the case but unfortunately it’s just the way it is. Here’s to hoping these stereotypes continue to have less and less power in society!

YOU LAUGH WHEN PEOPLE THINK THEY CAN DIY COLORED HAIR

If you want a hint of color, it’s one thing. But it’s always humorous when people who have dark hair expect to get vibrant hair with a splash of kool-aid or hair chalk. I’m very fortunate to have naturally blonde hair so my stylist was able to bleach it in one session, but it takes a LONG time for most people to even get to the point where they can add the color.

Disclaimer: I say this with complete acknowledgment that everyone with colored hair probably started by trying to do it themselves and doing a terrible job. We've all been there. haha

YOU FORGET THAT YOU HAVE COLORED HAIR

When you’re getting stares in public or people do a double take when passing you, sometimes you’ll remember… “oh yeah, I have purple hair!”

YOU GET ASKED FOR A LOT OF ADVICE

If you have colored hair you probably have a memorized spill of who does your hair, what products you use, and what the upkeep is like. I’m always happy to answer questions

I’m so thankful that I made the decision to color my hair last year. It might seem like a small life change and I don’t necessarily intend to keep it forever, but has been an extremely positive experience and rewarding creative risk!


1 Year Update on Living an Intentionally Sustainable Life

I dedicated 2018 towards learning how to live a more sustainable life. When I made this commitment I didn’t know how much I didn’t know, it has been a humbling experience to say the least. I’ve learned to continue learning from others, give myself grace in areas I’m not perfect in, and to just get creative! With that said, here is a quick recap on what I implemented in 2018 and what I hope to do in 2019…

FASHION

  • Cleaned out my closet and simplified my wardrobe
    • Was intentional about where I got rid of clothes. Either sold/gave them directly to people or repurposed the fabric for other things around the house.
  • Primarily bought clothes used or from sustainable brands.
  • Rented formal wear instead of purchasing a piece that would likely be worn once.

BEAUTY

  • Stopped using single use makeup remover wipes.
  • Use cruelty free products.
  • Use products with clean ingredients.
  • Use products that use recycled packaging, offer recyclable packaging, and/or uses as little plastic as possible). Then actually recycle them when empty!

HOME

  • Educate yourself on how your city’s recycling works.
  • Stopped using disposable wipes and paper towels for cleaning. I now only use washcloths and old t-shirts (that I’ve cut into squares).
  • Use more cleaning concentrates with reusable spray bottles.
  • Started composting.
    • We got a tumbler composter and it’s so dang easy! I’m excited to use this rich compost for our garden in the spring!
  • Avoiding buying new home decor when possible by buying used or going the DIY route. Facebook buy/sell/trade pages are my go-to!
  • Use reusable dishes instead of single use paper ones.
  • Use reusable Tupperware or mason jars instead of Ziplocks for leftovers and lunches.
  • For disposable items you just aren’t committed to giving up (like toilet paper and feminine hygiene products), purchase products that are organic and/or made from recycled materials.

SHOPPING

  • Carry around reusable silverware and straws to eliminate using plastic ones.
    • I’ve learned that you specifically have to ask to NOT get all this plastic. I can’t tell you how many plastic straws are in my car's glove compartment.
    • This is a big area that I’m by no means perfect in, but progress over perfection!
  • Bring reusable bags with me to the grocery store
    • If I ever forgot to bring my bags, I refuse a bag if my purchase is small enough to carry by hand or get paper bags and compost them.
  • Use reusable produce bags or no bags at all
  • Choose produce that isn’t already prepared and prepackaged.
  • Buy in bulk
    • While Noah and I don’t go through groceries very fast since it’s just the two of us, I always try to purchase things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, trash bags, etc. in bulk.
  • Refuse 2 day shipping when you don’t absolutely need something in 2 days. The slower you allow shipping to take, the more efficient it will be. (Even better, don’t order online if you don’t need to!)
  • Choose products that use recycled materials in their packaging.

MISC.

  • Bringing a reusable glass when getting coffee to-go and requesting glass cups when staying (some will give you a to-go cup by default).
  • Choosing glass packaging over plastic (when an option, especially relevant with jarred food).
  • Use a reusable water bottle while out and about.
  • Choose to drive to most gas efficient car when traveling the most (if you have multiple cars in your family).
  • For Christmas, I did not use wrapping paper and was mindful to use as little disposable materials as possible.

All in all, I’ve learned that sustainability takes a lot of intentionality. Especially when it comes to making purchases because consumers want options that are fast, convenient, and cheap. BUT, I’ve found that once you get past the initial learning curve, a sustainable life actually simplifies your life and worth every challenge you do face.

Whether you are only intentional about bringing reusable grocery bags to the store or you are very dedicated to living a zero waste lifestyle, every little bit counts and we are all in this together!


12 Books I'm Reading in 2019

*This post contains affiliate links. This just means that if you like any of the products enough to purchase them, I’ll earn some money (at no extra cost to you).*

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

Towards the end of 2018 I FINALLY started taking the time to read. Since I’ve picked up reading again, my to-read list has rapidly been growing. While all of these books aren’t brand new (though some are), these are all of the books I’m planning on reading this year!

IMPERFECT COURAGE: LIVE A LIFE OF PURPOSE BY LEAVING COMFORT AND GOING SCARED

I’ve wanted to dig into this podcast ever since it was released, so I’m finally making it happen this year! After listening to Jessica Honegger’s interview on the Sounds Good podcast, I’m extra excited to learn about doing big things and embracing imperfection along the way.

THIRST: A STORY OF REDEMPTION, COMPASSION, AND A MISSION TO BRING CLEAN WATER TO THE WORLD

I’m so inspired by world changers. This is the story behind the non-profit, Charity Water, and the journey behind it’s CEO. I’ve listened to many interviews by Scott Harrison and he inspires me to find ways to make a difference.

IF YOU FEEL TOO MUCH

This book is written by Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love on Her Arms. I’ve been following him for awhile and I admire his compassion for people suffering around him. The book is full of  essays that invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and that it’s okay to ask for help - something we all need to be reminded!

THE COLOR OF COMPROMISE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHURCH’S COMPLICITY IN RACISM

I’m a big fan of Jemar Tisby and know that this book will be nothing short of amazing. I’ve listened to his podcast (Pass the Mic) and followed his work for awhile. Jemar has played a huge role in helping my see my own blind spots when it comes to white privilege in our country.

WE ARE NOT YET EQUAL: UNDERSTANDING OUR RACIAL DIVIDE

Last year I learned that I had A HUGE need to properly educate myself on the racial division occurring in our country. I’m ready to be humbled and informed through this hard (but necessary) conversation.

GET WEIRD: DISCOVER THE SURPRISING SECRET TO MAKING A DIFFERENCE

It’s easy to feel pressure that we need fit in a box made by society. I’m stoked to explore the concept of embracing what is weird about yourself and how it can make a difference.

UNCOMFORTABLE: THE AWKWARD AND ESSENTIAL CHALLENGE OF CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE the church. But let’s be real, the church is full of sinners and there are a lot of messy things going on within cultural christianity. I can’t wait to dig into this book and learn how to help my own christian community grow.

EVERYBODY, ALWAYS: BECOMING LOVE IN A WORLD FULL OF SETBACKS AND DIFFICULT PEOPLE

I know, I know, how have I not read this yet?! I love all of the positive and optimistic vibes that Bob Goff brings into this world, so I’m pumped to dig even deeper in his book!

BECOMING

I mean, what even needs to be said?! I cannot ever imagine having the responsibility of being First Lady and Michelle Obama exceeded all expectations. I’m excited to learn about her life and hopefully become a better leader in my own circles because of it.

I THINK YOU’RE WRONG BUT I’M LISTENING

This book was written by the fabulous ladies behind Pantsuit Politics, one of my favorite political podcasts that encourages civil conversations between the left and the right. I think we all could learn a thing or two about having conversations with those we disagree with (especially politically), so I’m pumped to read this one!

GOOD NEWS ABOUT INJUSTICE: A WITNESS OF COURAGE IN A HURTING WORLD

This is a book than many leaders in the nonprofit world have recommended. While many often wants to separate Christianity and social justice, I’m excited to read about how these two go hand in hand.

THE GOSPEL COMES WITH A HOUSE KEY: PRACTICING RADICALLY ORDINARY HOSPITALITY IN OUR POST-CHRISTIAN WORLD

I just finished Rosaria’s book, Secrets of an Unlikely Convert and learned SO much from her. I’m ready to dive into her second book to learn more about biblical hospitality.

What books are on your to-read list? I’m always looking for recommendations to add to mine! <3


Fort Worth City Guide: Locally Owned Shops

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of supporting small businesses (ESPECIALLY local small businesses). Just in time for your Christmas shopping, here is a list of some of my favorite Fort Worth Small businesses for everyone on your Christmas list.

Note: All of the businesses included in this guide have physical shops, so no need to worry about ordering online!

 


GIFTED

Address: 212 Carroll St #110, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Website: https://www.giftedftw.com/

Who would love this shop: This shop is BEAUTIFULLY curated and offers a gorgeous selection of minimalist items for women, men, and kids.

 

DOCS RECORDS AND VINTAGE

Address: 2628 Weisenberger St, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Website: http://www.docsrecordsandvintage.com/

Who would love this shop: Docs is perfect for anyone in your life that appreciates eclectic gifts or loves music. The shop is packed full of vintage items from different vendors and a huge selection of (new and vintage) records!

 

SHOP SMALL FORT WORTH - THE COLLECTIVE

Address: 3608 Pershing Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107

Website: https://www.shopsmallfortworth.com/the-collective

Who would love this shop: The Collective is a curated collection of multiple Fort Worth Small businesses and is especially perfect for any women or little ones in your life. For an idea of some of the businesses that you’ll find in the Collective, be sure to check out their Instagram.

 

GREENHOUSE 817

Address: 411 S Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Website: https://www.thegreenhouse817.com/

Who would love this shop: Anyone with a green thumb (or wanna be green thumb). Greenhouse 817 is different than your average plant shop because they offer an eclectic selection of pots and some beautiful non-plant gifts.

 

LTO

Address: 411 S Main St #117, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Website: https://ltofw.com/

Who would love this shop: If you’re a fan of the interiors of Brewed, you will absolutely LOVE LTO. This shop has it all. You’ll find everything from new handmade items to beautiful vintage items. The store is full of clothing, home decor, and more.

 

WINTON AND WAITS

Address: 411 South Main Street, #121 Fort Worth, Texas 76104

Website: https://wintonandwaits.com/

Who would love this shop: Winton and Waits is perfect for the humanitarian and activist in your life! All of the products in this shop make a positive impact on Fort Worth and others around the world. The shop is primary for women and they have an adorable kids section!

 

TRIBE ALIVE

Address: 1455 W Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Website: https://tribealive.com/

Who would love this shop: This shop offers PERFECT gifts for women who care about sustainable fashion. Tribe Alive offers beautiful minimalistic women’s clothing and accessories that are made ethically and sustainably.

 

WANDERER

Address: 1455 West Magnolia Ave, Fort Worth Tx.

Website: https://www.wandererboutique.com/

Who would love this shop: This boutique shop carries beautiful women’s boho apparel, jewelry, accessories, and small home goods.

 

SKATE SHOP

Address: 1455 W Magnolia Avenue, Fort Worth, TX, 76104

Website: https://www.instagram.com/magnolia.skate.shop/

Who would love this shop: Any and all boarders in your life!

 

FWLOCALS

Address:

2700 Weisenberger St., Fort Worth, TX 76102

and 1208 W. Magnolia Ave, Suite 104, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Website: https://shopfwlocals.com/

Who would love this shop: This shop is perfect for anyone who is a Fort Worth fanatic. The shop is full of products for men, women, and kids. Fort Worth Locals offers t-shirts, keychains, hats, and more!

 

SUNDANCER

Address: 1300 Hemphill St Fort Worth, TX 76104 (Inside Panther City Salon)

Website: https://www.shopsundancer.com/

Who would love this shop:
Anyone who is passionate about holistic home & beauty. This shop is owned by the owners of Holistic Hemp Co. and you can find their products along with many other natural brands.

 

THE BEEHIVE

(Not only in Fort Worth, but a fabulous small business!)

Address: 4808 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Website: https://www.lovebeehive.com/

Who would love this shop: Women who love colorful and bold clothes and accessories. This boutique offers a fabulous selection products by female owned businesses like ban.do and Daisy Natives. Plus, the interiors are FABULOUS!

 

THE LATHERY

Address: 200 Carroll Street, Ste 170 Fort Worth, TX 76107

Website: http://www.thelathery.com/

Who would love this shop: The Lathery offers quality men's and unisex grooming products. The shop is full of specialty bath soaps, shaving products, fragrances and other tools for men in your life!

 

KENDALL DAVIS CLAY

Address: 1208 W. Magnolia, #102, Fort Worth, TX. 76104

Website: https://www.kendalldavisclay.com/

Who would love this shop: This shop is perfect for anyone who values handmade art and curates beautiful pieces for their home!

 

WAG

Address: 4737 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, Texas

Website: https://www.instagram.com/wagfordogs/

Who would love this shop: This is the go-to place for any dog lover in your life (or your own furbabies). WAG has a fabulous selection of pet supplies, dog toys, and the best treat selection around.

 

HOUSTON STREET TOY CO.

Address: 309 Houston Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Website: https://sundancesquare.com/houston-street-toy-company/

Who would love this shop: This classic toy shop will make anyone feel like a kid again. It’s the perfect place to get quality toys for any kiddos in your life.

 

W DURABLE GOODS

Address: 108 South Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas

Website: https://wdurablegoods.com/

Who would love this shop: W Durable Goods is the perfect shop for anyone who values classic, handmade, quality products. The shop is full of leather products, quality hand sewn bags, vintage hats, and more.

 

PANTHER CITY VINYL

Address: 1455 W. Magnolia Ave. #113 Fort Worth, TX 76104

Website: https://panthercityvinyl.com/

Who would love this shop: Any music lover in your live would love a gift from Panther City Vinyl! The shop has a curated selection of new and used vinyl records, specialty CD releases and music-related accessories.

 

CABBAGE ROSE

Address: 3905 W Vickery Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107

Website: http://www.cabbagerosequilting.com/ 

Who would love this shop: This shop has perfect gifts for any crafter or quilter in your life. I can always count on their awesome selection of textiles, quilting supplies, books & patterns, AND they offer classes!


How To Live A Life Of Gratitude (Beyond The Month Of November)

If you live in America and you celebrate Thanksgiving, you’re familiar with the fact that November is our culture's month of gratitude. You might be doing a thankfulness challenge on social where you post something you’re thankful for each day of November or maybe you are being intentional about being extra generous this month. But how can we foster a life full of gratitude BEYOND the month of November?

 

KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

While I’m nowhere near perfect at keeping up with journals, I think there is SO much value in them! There’s so much value in being able to reflect back on old journals to see how much you’ve grown, how much you’ve been blessed over the years, and be reminded of the things that have shaped you to be the person you are.

If you’re using a regular journal (without prompts) it can be easy to get stuck and only think of very surface level blessings. Click here to download a my list of 85 prompts for your gratitude journal which will help you recognize the big and little things you can be thankful for in your life!

I incorporate my gratitude journal into my daily devotion. In my Well Watered Woman journal there is a section for a daily gratitude on each day and I dedicate that towards gratitude for a character of God that I’ve been learning about lately, a physical or spiritual blessing, or people in my life that I’m thankful for.

If you don’t want to keep up with a physical journal, Grateful is an awesome gratitude journal app. This app gives you daily reminders to write an entry, gives daily prompts to help you think more creatively, and also allows you to upload images that are related to your gratitude for the day.

 

INTENTIONALLY PRACTICE HOSPITALITY

One of the best ways to show gratitude is by sharing what you have with others, whether it’s your home, the food in your pantry, or a card sharing your love through words.  I recently completed the She Reads Truth study on Biblical Hospitality and boy was it convicting for me.

I love this little excerpt on what hospitality exactly is, “Biblical hospitality is about more than sharing a meal or inviting friends over. It is the work of making room in our lives for others. True hospitality is a posture of charity toward the poor, of welcome toward the displaced, and of humility and gentleness toward the hurting.”

Here are a few helpful ways to practice hospitality in your own life…

  • Dedicate a couple hours every month towards organizing cards to send for the following month. These can be anything from birthday cards to just because cards!
  • Invite someone over for dinner once a month.
  • Make some baked goods for your neighbor.
  • Offer to babysit for someone in your life who needs a date night.
  • Host a game night.
  • Ask someone to join you on a coffee date (and buy their coffee).

 

SERVE CONSISTENTLY WITH A LOCAL NON PROFIT

While I think that it’s important to be serving regularly with nonprofits in your area, I think there is extra value in consistently serving with the same organization. This will build stronger relationships, allow you to be involved at a deeper level, and ultimately will make a bigger impact on your community. A lot of jealousy (one of the opposites of thankfulness) stems from focusing on what you think YOU want and what YOU think you need. Service is the perfect way to get your focus off of yourself and become more dedicated towards seeing the needs of others.

 

CHOOSING TO BE THANKFUL IN THE GOOD AND BAD TIMES

Notice that I didn’t say “choose to be bright and bubbly and happy in good and bad times”. When hard times hit (which it’s not a matter of IF, it’s WHEN), it is okay to grieve and struggle with your circumstances. However, it is very important to choose gratuity in hard times. While it’s difficult to see the long term fruit of trials when you’re in the midst of them, there is so much value in seeing the silver lining. Never forget that some of the biggest growth comes through challenges.

 

GIVE REGULARLY

No matter how tight your budget is, I believe you should always make room for giving. Set aside a certain amount every month to donate to a nonprofit and/or to give to people around you (grocery money for your friend who just lost their job, gas money for your cousin that is a college student, or buy coffee for the person behind you at the coffee shop).

 

How do you live a life of gratitude? I’d love to hear!


Fort Worth City Guide: Colorful Murals

I don’t think anyone will be surprised by the fact that I LOVE colorful murals! People always tell me that I find the best murals and ask for suggestions, so I figured this would make the perfect addition to my Fort Worth City Guides

Fort Worth’s mural scene has grown TREMENDOUSLY over the last few years and it is continuing to grow every month. Here are some of my favorites!

 

WESTBEND

Address:

1701 River Run
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Kyle Steed

Best time to take photos:

Due to the variety of murals at this location, there isn't one specific time that you need to be limited to!

Tips and things to know:

  • WestBend is PACKED full of murals! Be sure to explore all over the parking garage and stairwells for all the hidden gems throughout the business center.
  • Free parking is available in the garage so finding a parking spot will be the least of your worries!
  • While you're visiting WestBend, grab a slice of cake at Susie Cakes or pop at the Pop Bar for the perfect photo prop!
  • Tag any photos with these murals with the hashtag, #westbendfw and they'll most likely share your content.

 

COLORFUL BIRD 

Address:

Cartan's Shoes
1201 W Magnolia Ave,
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos:

If you're looking to avoid traffic and not do things in the area, Monday's are a guaranteed way to get a parking spot and avoid crowds. Otherwise, late afternoon light is definitely the best option for even exposure. (The photo above was taken early afternoon)

Tips and things to know:

  • Magnolia is packed full of things to do (and multiple murals)! While you're in the area grab coffee at Craftwork, Ice Cream at MELT, baked goods at Stir Crazy, and churros at La Zona. If you're not hungry, stop by Sundancer (in Panther City Salon), Fort Worth Locals, Wanderer, Panther City Vinyl, and Tribe Alive.
  • This mural is right by the street, so be cautious with little ones. To get a good shot of the mural, the photographer will probably have to be standing across the street by Craftwork.
  • Street parking is available along Magnolia, limited parking is available behind Cartan's and Craftwork, and there is a free garage at 1201 Alston Avenue

 

DREAM ON DREAMER

Address:

5702 Locke Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Katie Murray

Best time to take photos:
Due to the location, rush hour would be the best time to avoid.

Tips and things to know:

  • This mural is right by the street, so be cautious with little ones.

 

RAINBOW COWBOY

Address:

Micki Lynn Ave and W Vickery Blvd,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos:

Definitely avoid any high traffic times due to location of the mural. Mid afternoon is ideal.

Tips and things to know:

  • This mural is right by the street and the busy corner of Vickery Blvd, so be cautious with little ones.
  • This mural is in a residential area so you will just have to park on the street. Sunset Heights is one of my favorite cute little neighborhoods in Fort Worth! If you're like me and love looking at old houses with lots of character, consider driving through the neighborhood after your photo!

 


BLACK AND BLUE

Address:

410 S Henderson St
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos:

Photo above was taken in late afternoon. There is direct sunlight on the mural most of the day.

Tips and things to know:

  • This mural is right between downtown and Magnolia, so there are lots of things to do while in the area!
  • There is a free parking lot right by the mural.

 

BREWED - LOVE THE FORT

Address:

801 W Magnolia Ave,
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Artist: Starr Studios

Best time to take photos:

If you're looking to avoid traffic and not do things in the area, Monday's are a guaranteed way to get a parking spot and avoid crowds. Otherwise, late afternoon light is definitely the best option for even exposure.

Tips and things to know:

  • This mural is right by the street, so be cautious with little ones.
  • Be sure to use the hashtag, #lovethefort for a chance to be featured on Brewed's Instagram!
  • The wall on the patio is also a beautiful backdrop for photos.
  • While you're at Brewed, be sure to grab some of their amazing brunch and Kombucha on tap!

 

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

Address:
1305 W Magnolia Ave,
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Artist:Katie Murray

Best time to take photos: Morning

Tips and things to know:

Yellow Wall

Address:

MELT Ice Creams

Artist: N/A

Best time to take photos: Depends on the look you are going for. Afternoon light can be very harsh, so that might be a time you will want to avoid. It can also get very crowded on weekends which will make it difficult to snap that perfect shot!

Tips and things to know:

  • Also check out the black and white stripes on the wall in the front of MELT as well as their "SMILE" mosaic at the front door.
  • Free street parking and in the lot directly behind the shop.
  • If you're planning on getting ice cream for the shot, note that MELT is closed on Monday's and doesn't open until noon on other days.
  • Be sure to tag @melticecreams and they will likely repost your photo!

 

LOVE LIVES HERE

Address:

Chat Room Pub
1263 W Magnolia Ave,
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos: Since it is in a parking lot, morning!

Tips and things to know:

 

RAINBOW SPIRAL

Address:
Fort Works Art

Artist: HOXXOH

Best time to take photos: No specific time!

Tips and things to know:

  • Fort Works Art is a fabulous gallery that you should definitely stop in while you're in the area! You can find their current and upcoming exhibits on their website and Instagram.
  • Fort Works Arts has its own private parking lot.

RAINING TACOS

Address:

Taco Heads
1812 Montgomery St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Sour Grapes

Best time to take photos: Ideally avoid lunch and dinner rush, the parking lot fills up fast!

Tips and things to know:

  • I recommend taking photos while listening to this song.
  • Taco Heads is our favorite local taco restaurant. Be sure to stop in for some breakfast tacos (served all day).
  • Taco Heads has their own private lot.
  • There is also a fun cactus mural on one of their walls, be sure to check it out too!
  • If you're looking for things to do in the area, this mural is right by the Fort Worth Museum District and Montgomery Antique Mall.

PANTONE DOORS

Address:

Trust Printshop
2506 Tillar St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Trust Printshop Team

Best time to take photos: Know that midday will have very harsh lighting.

Tips and things to know:

  • This is an industrial area and you can park on the street anywhere by Trust.
  • If you're looking for things to do in the area, this mural is very close to the Foundry District.

 

BUTTERFLY

Address:

Pearl Snap Kolaches
4006 White Settlement Rd,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos: If you want to grab some Kolaches, before 2pm!

Tips and things to know:

  • The butterfly is pretty high, so don't expect to be able to stand directly in front of it.
  • Pearl Snap Kolaches has a private parking lot (where the mural is).

 

THE FOUNDRY MANTRAS

Address:
Throughout the Foundry District
200 Carroll St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107 

Artist: Brennon Bechtol

Best time to take photos: Anytime since the photos are all over!

Tips and things to know:

  • These mantras are found all over the Foundry District. Look between buildings, on the sidewalk, and all over!
  • Tag your photos with #28mantras and #thefoundrydistrictfw for a chance to get reposted!
  • Be sure to check out Inspiration Alley and the other Foundry District Murals while here!
  • If you're looking for things to do in the area, get coffee at Craftwork and shop at Fort Worth Locals, Gifted, and Docs Records & Vintage.
  • The Foundry has several free parking lots.

SIDEWALK ART

Address: 

Whitmore St & Carroll St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Katie Murray

Best time to take photos: Since they are on the ground, anytime!

Tips and things to know:

CROCHETED BUTTERFLY

Address:

Meyer & Sage
2621 Whitmore St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: London Kaye

Best time to take photos: No specific time!

Tips and things to know:

THE GRAND BERRY THEATER RAINBOW WALL

Address:

2712 Weisenberger St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Mariel Guzman

Best time to take photos: The mural faces west, so it depends on if you prefer direct light or shade!

Tips and things to know:

DOC'S RECORDS & VINTAGE

Address:

Doc's Records & Vintage
2628 Weisenberger St,
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artist: Donna (@dlassker)

Best time to take photos: Cars park in front of the mural, so ideally before Doc's opens.

Tips and things to know:

BLUE OMBRE

Address:
201 Vacek St
Fort Worth, Texas

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos: Doors face east, so it depends if you want direct sunlight or shade (this photo was taken in the morning).

Tips and things to know:

 

INSPIRATION ALLEY

Address:

200 Carroll Street
Fort Worth, Texas

Artist:

Multiple artists

Best time to take photos: Anytime!

Tips and things to know:

  • Be sure to check out the other Foundry District Murals while here!
  • If you're looking for things to do in the area, get coffee at Craftwork and shop at Fort Worth Locals, Gifted, and Docs Records & Vintage.
  • The Foundry has several free parking lots.
  • The Alley is in a fenced in area so you be much more at ease brining your little ones!

 

(Throwback to baby Noah & Jessica - Photos by Megan Kay Photography)

THE LATHERY MURAL

Address:

200 Carroll Street
Fort Worth, Texas

Artist:  Katie Murray

Best time to take photos: Anytime!

Tips and things to know:

 

 

MAG & MAY (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Address:

315 West Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, Texas 76104

Artist: Multiple Artists

*Will add more details after murals and construction is complete*

Locust Cider 

Address:

Locust Cider
710 S Main St
Fort Worth, TX 76104

Artist: Unknown

Best time to take photos: Mural is on two sides of the building, so really anytime of day works.

Tips and things to know:

  • Free street parking
  • If you're looking for something to do in the area, this is very close to Magnolia Street. You can also stop by The 4 Eleven, just a couple blocks down Main Street!