sponsor highlight

a little sponsor love

I love my sponsors so much. You all make coming to this blog a joy, and it has been so much fun meeting so many new friends through sponsorships! Meet some of the lovely ladies that have been on my team this month! 


ANNA OF PARK AVENUE


Who is your favorite Disney character? 
I have always loved Belle from Beauty & The Beast. But lately I am a huge Olaf fan. I mean who doesn't love warm hugs?! I made my husband go with me to see Frozen in theaters the day it came out. Best decision ever.

What inspires you most you when it comes to blogging? 
Photos and meeting new people. I am learning more about my camera every day & how to capture that perfect shot. I am loving having my own little space to share all of my photos...whether it's a recipe I tried, a trip we took, home decor, or just snapshots from the week. I also love connecting with other bloggers and getting to know them. This blogging community really is special and fun to be a part of! 

What is in your coffee cup daily? 
I love a little spoonful of sugar and a splash of milk in my daily cup(s) of coffee- I drink at least three cups a day (it's an addiction..the struggle is real). During holiday times, I like to throw in creamer flavors like pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha. I love to taste the holidays! 

BETSY OF HEAVENS TO BETSY
BLOG //  INSTAGRAM //  FACEBOOK

Who is your favorite Disney Character?
Belle!  

What inspires you most when it comes to blogging?
Community!  I love engaging with other bloggers and get so inspired to be a better writer and designer by seeing so many other awesome blogs out there!  I think that being a part of a blogging community is one of the most challenging and inspiring things that you can do as a blogger!

What is in your coffee cup daily?
Archer Farms Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée coffee with a shot of french vanilla creamer

TAYLOR OF NEWLY NABORS


Who is your favorite Disney character?
There is pretty much a dead even tie between Rapunzel from Tangled and Ana from Frozen.  I feel like I identify most with then because I can be totally awkward at times, use humor in most situations, crave adventure, and find joy in the small things.  They rock!

What inspires you the most when it comes to blogging? 
When I started my blog I was fueled by my love of writing and wanting to share the new adventures of married life with our family and friends.  As time went on, I liked being able to write my honest opinions about things, things in life I struggled with, a place to document goals, and just connecting with others.  Blogging has proven to be a great way to connect with other women who have similar thoughts, opinions, and faith, and I am so grateful for that!

What is in your coffee cup daily?
Oh, you know, about two or three cups of coffee.  Hot, cold, lukewarm, I'm not choosey.  Coffee is super delicious and I love to try new ways of enjoying it.  If coffee's not in my mug it's probably because I've recently gotten on quite the tea kick.  I'm loving exploring the new world of tea!

Show these sweet ladies some love today! They all have fantastic blogs, and are wonderful to follow along with! Thank you Anna, Betsy, and Taylor for supporting Oh Simple Thoughts this month!

Meet Beth of Oak + Oats

Friends I am so excited to introduce you to one of my sponsors and sweet bloggy friends today! Beth of Oak + Oats is no stranger to most of you I am sure. She is such a joy to know and work with, and we just so happen to be in the same Influence Network Community Group which has been so awesome and encouraging! So sit back, and read a little bit more about this awesome lady, and the super cool Instagram Photo Challenge she has started along with Meg of Rivers and Roads

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF:

Hello! My name is Elizabeth and I blog over at Oak + Oats! I’m a twenty something who pretends to be a grown up. I love people, Jesus, adventures, dress up, creating,exploring, and being married to my best friend! Oak + Oats is a lifestyle blog about being rooted and nourished in Truth! Join me in my journey of living a simple, natural, and healthy life. If that wasn't enough, you can learn a bit more about me here!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA APP & WHY?

I love instagram. It is hands down my favorite social media. I love that you can create a folder of snapshots and memories. Filled with places you go, people you love, and things you do. Enough space for a caption but not enough space for too many crazy rants or buzzfeed articles. It is a pile of pictures that you can carry in your pocket – like those plastic inserts you can put into your wallet - but better!

I also love the community that can happen in instagram when we share pieces of our everyday and use our phones to create a mini blog - they do say a picture is worth 1000 words! A couple weekends ago, Megs & I introduced our instagram challenge and our hashtag #holdersnotfolders. The heart behind #holdersnotfolders is community.

WHAT IS HOLDERS NOT FOLDERS?

Holders Not Folders is a community that Megs of Rivers and Roads & I started of instagramers who grow, stretch, learn, live, share, experience, comfort, and love. The idea behind the name is that we HOLD onto each other and do not FOLD into ourselves. It is choosing community over isolation.

We want you to be a part of the community. Get involved in the current instagram challenges we have going on, find new instagramers and bloggers to follower, stretch & grow your phone photography, and reach out.

HOW CAN WE GET INVOLVED?

We would love for you to join the #holdersnotfolders community! You can start by following us on instagram (Megs of Rivers & Roads || Elizabeth of Oak + Oats ) and checking our blogs to see the current challenge! After that, it is all up to you! Get creative with your photography and look for beauty in the everyday! Use the hastag #holdersnotfolders and check out the rest of the community! Comment on pictures, say hello, and find new people to follow! 


I personally have loved following along with the creative pictures in this challenge. They are all so beautiful and inspiring! Do you love Instagram as much as I do? Dont forget to hurry and use promo code COFFEEDATE for 50% off all ad spaces this week only! Spots for September are almost full so hurry hurry! 

I am an open book -- Ask Away!!

I have LOVED the question and answer sessions I have seen on some of my favorite bloggers spaces lately. I think it is a brilliant idea, and really allows for you as the readers to get to know the person behind the blog. So today I am doing just that. I would love for you all to ask me all kinds of questions...it can be anything from things you want to know about me, marriage, our puppy...anything. I would love to be as transparent as I can be, and open myself and my life up to you all a little bit more.


So just use the form below and enter your questions. All of these will be anonymous, so no worries about that! I cannot wait to see what questions you come up with. I will be posting my answers in a video in a few weeks so yay for the second blog video, and a chance for you all to hear my apparently rather southern accent again! 



Also, meet one of my sweet sponsors this month, who recently just did a Q&A session herself, Bailey Jean of Brave Love Blog! Bailey is a sweetheart, and it is so evident to see how much she loves life and Jesus when you spend just a few minutes on her blog. I love her post on what kind of blogger she is, and her 101 in 1001 list, they are both so inspirational. Make sure and hop on over to Bailey's blog and show her some love today!

What is your favorite smell? 
Oh, girl, tough question! After working at Anthropologie I fell more in love with the Voluspa Volcano candles than I thought was possible. They have a relatively new scent call Blue Jeans in the same signature blue container and it is divine. 

What song always puts a smile on your face?
Summertime demands a good country playlist in my book, and I have to admit "Play it Again" by Luke Bryan is a recent favorite. Really anything with a little bit of twang is the sweet tea to my summer, and his Crash My Party album has been on repeat  ;) 

What is one thing you have learned this month?
This past month was my in-between month, transitioning from Seattle to Texas to wait for the start of grad school in Oklahoma next week. I have learned that transition is not an excuse to forego discipline, especially when it comes to spending time in the Word and taking care of my physical health. It is easy to put things off with my routine out of whack, but the Lord has graciously taught me that every person and every place on my path is purposeful and an opportunity to seek His will for my day-to-day, even when each day looks different than the last.


If you are interested in joining my sponsorship team for September hop on over and use promo code COFFEEDATE for 50% off all spots TODAY ONLY! I would love to have you on the team and work to grow your blog or business!

Happy Weekend friends! I am unplugging this weekend, and stepping away from social media to enjoy some sweet time with my little family. So enjoy the weekend, and rest with those that you love! 

Sponsors Make The (Blog) World Go 'Round

When I began offering sponsorship spots in April I had no idea what a blessing it would be to me. I was a little nervous, and a little clueless. I stepped out, and began to sell ad spots, and wow it has been awesome. I have made some of the dearest friends, and have learned so much a long the way. I often receive emails asking how I knew I was ready for sponsorships...or how to start. Well here are a few tips that I was given before I started, that are spot on.


1. Have a plan. Get Organized.
This is huge! In order to be successful in offering sponsorships you have to have more than just the desire to have sponsors. Create a plan. What spots will you offer? How many will you offer of each spot? What will each spot include? How much should you charge? 

Take time to think through these questions. Base the price on the size of your blog, and start small. Less is more. Don't start off offering 20 ad spots at $15 a pop...start small, test what works best for your blog, and tweak, tweak, tweak. I think every blogger knows this hobby is a constant experiment in trial and error...so what works for Sally Sue and her blog sponsorships may not work for you. So take time to think through your plan of attack. How will you promote your sponsors? How are you going to work to help them grow?

Also, it is so important to be organized! Figure out a system to keep up with your post schedule, and stick with it. Some really great resources for blog printables can be found below!

Elle & Co. Design Printable Library (pictured in my shot below)
Elah Tree
Steel & Twine

2. Have a consistent following on all social media platforms & your blog. 
I will be the FIRST to shout from the rooftops that numbers are not the only thing that matter in blogging. I strive constantly to guard myself from becoming a slave to my Google Analytics stats or becoming consumed with the numbers...but when it comes to people paying you for a spot on your sidebar...you do have to care about your stats somewhat. And you must have a consistent following (across all social media as well as your blog). Are you receiving comments on your posts? Do you have a large following on your social media platforms? Do you have around 100+ followers on GFC or Bloglovin'? These are important questions to think through. 

If you do not have a consistent and considerable following then you won't have much to offer your sponsors...you want to be able to promote them, and help them grow. So you have to have people to promote them to in order for this to work! :)

3. Have time to dedicate to your sponsors. 
Offering sponsorships takes time. This is just the cold hard truth. So if you have the time to dedicate to highlight posts, social media shout outs, giveaways, and guest posts GO FOR IT! However, if you do not have the time, maybe think through offering sponsorships, or how you can manage your time in such a way to allow you to dedicate yourself to those who are paying you for your attention and time! You want your sponsors to feel valued, and cared for, so this takes time just like any friendship or relationship in your life! 

I hope this has been helpful for you! Offering sponsorships has been such a rewarding experience, and such a joy for me as a blogger. I am always trying to figure out how to make my sponsorships a better experience for my sponsors, and how to work hard for every single one of them! 

And now I want you to meet some of my sweet sponsors this month!
What is your favorite summer fruit? I have the hardest time picking my favorite foods for anything. I just appreciate so many flavors and textures and crave them all in equal proportions but in a varying degree of frequency. But I think the two I gravitate towards most in summer are figs and apricots, probably because we had them in our backyard when I was little in California and I would eat them right off the tree. Nothing spelled summer like eating what I had just picked.

What drives me in blogging? I struggled for a long time getting the drive to really be devoted to blogging, but this year after I was married and had settled into an incredible job, I found myself full of creativity and had to let it out, so I came back to the blog world! Then, I found this amazing sense of community I didn't know existed amongst bloggers and now, I just can't imagine not blogging and interacting with my friends there.

What's in my coffee cup? Dark roast coffee, always, milk, or sometimes French vanilla creamer if I've felt luxurious at the grocery store and splurged, a teaspoon of sugar, and a dash of nutmeg to draw out more of the warmth of the coffee.

What is your favorite summer fruit? Watermelon! Especially with a little salt!


What drives you when it comes to blogging? I want to provide useful tips and the things that I am learning with my readers. Additionally, I want to share more my story about Dystonia with the world and connect with other sufferers, due to the lack of consolidated information available. It's a movement disorder that affects a quarter of a million people in the United States.

What is in your coffee cup daily? This summer, I have been loving cinnamon coffee with hazelnut creamer, usually served cold! If I make it hot, but let it get cold, I will just add ice cubes to my mug.


What is your favorite summer fruit? My favorite fruit in summer is definitely strawberries! I put them on everything. Currently I've even been putting them on my whole grain English muffin and chocolate coconut peanut butter.  Its like having a chocolate covered strawberry every morning!!

What drives you when it comes to blogging? I love blogging, because that short time that I am typing and editing a post it puts me in my own little perfect world.  I can literally block out everything that may be going wrong around me and just be ME! I like to write about things I know and what others may find interesting.  I am just a small town girl and don't try to be anything I don't!

What is in your coffee cup daily? I can't survive without coffee in the morning- or anytime of day for that matter.  I MUST have flavored coffee or flavored creamer though.  Coconut flavor is my favorite and I actually prefer iced coffee over hot, even when here in PA it's 20 degrees!!

What is your favorite summer fruit? My favorite summer fruit is definitely watermelon! Watermelon just screams summer and 4th of July to me.  I think this love started at my grandparents house.  I have so many memories of my sweet grandparents cutting up a huge watermelon for us in the Summer.  

What drives you in blogging? This is something that I have actually been giving a lot of thought to recently.  My blog started solely as a way to keep friends and family updated on our journey with my husband's Minor League Baseball career.  It wasn't until the beginning of this year that I realized I wanted a bigger purpose for my little blog.  I wanted to use my blog as a way to connect with other bloggers and encourage other Minor League wives.  God really put on my heart that my blog should be used to share how He is working through our baseball journey, and not how my husband is performing on the baseball field.  So my drive to blog comes from my desire to encourage others and build community through blogging.  

What is in your coffee cup daily? What is in my coffee cup has just changed! I am a huge coffee lover.  I was on a huge latte kick the past few months, but the last few weeks I have completely switched to iced coffee with a little bit of milk.  If I'm treating myself I add a little bit of chocolate and  oh my goodness is it good! And now I'm having to refrain from driving to pick one up.. 


Want to join my sponsorship team for August or September? Hurry on over and grab a spot! I would love to meet you and help you begin growing your blog! Use code BLOGFRIENDS for 15% off all spots this week!

Also, don't forget! TOMORROW is the 2nd Community Brew and we hope to see you there! The topic is marriage, but check out the prompt page, there is something for every season of life! :)


4th of July + Thoughts on Withdawing

This weekend was one for the books you guys. So many sweet memories were made. We kicked off the weekend with a fun date night Thursday night, and it was full speed ahead from there! Ben took me to my favorite little downtown restaurant for some yummy chocolate cheesecake, and then we watched a movie at home, and cuddle with little Piper girl. It was so fun, and such a needed time together!

Friday we got up early, made homemade blueberry lemon sweet rolls(remember I told you I was craving them last week?), and began our 4th of July. We went to the refuge for the morning, and had so much fun letter Piper run around. The refuge is a big wildlife reserve a few miles away from Starkville, and it is just the perfect place to relax and get away. 









Self timer pictures with a puppy cause lots of giggles. We finally got a few good shots, but not until after many ones like these above. Friday we grilled stuffed burgers, and had loads of watermelon. We watched fireworks, and then crashed hard. Saturday was spent working on projects, and cleaning up around the house. 

So seriously it was the best weekend. I think another reason why I enjoyed it so much is because I had decided on Wednesday of last week to just take some time to withdraw. First things first, I am a TOTAL extrovert. I get my energy from people, and so when it comes to withdrawing, I really do not enjoy it. I hate being alone for long periods of time, and really do not require "me" time. BUT..."But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray." Luke 5:16 Jesus withdrew. 

So this past weekend starting on Thursday I just signed off social media. I deleted my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook apps on my phone, and did not look at them all weekend. For me this was a way to withdraw, and to stop, slow down time, and press into my here and now. I often find myself with my nose in my phone, halfheartedly listening to Ben talk, absorbed in the media world. Don't get me wrong, as a blogger, there is totally a time for social media, but it must be held into check. 

So I have decided to more actively set aside time to withdraw. I want to be present in my day to day life, and relish the gifts the Lord has given me like blue skies with no clouds, loud fireworks that you feel in your chest, watermelon dripping down my fingers, and the smell of burgers on the grill. (all of these are from my gratitude journal). 

Withdrawing helps to clear the skies in our life, slow down time, and it helps us to live fully in the everyday "mundane" moments! 

How was your 4th of July? I would love to hear about your fun holiday traditions! 

Cup of Tea Sponsors + Promo Code

I am so excited to get to introduce you guys to some really special ladies today! These precious fellow bloggers are my "Cup of Tea" Sponsors, and are all worth getting to know! I promise you won't be disappointed by their wonderful online spaces! 
 BLOG // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM





Thanks so much ladies for sharing a little bit of you with us today! So happy to have you on my sidebar this month, and to know you in the blog world! Do you want to join the Oh Simple Thoughts team? Use Promo Code JUNEJOYS for 30% off all ad spots and services THIS WEEK ONLY! 

Also, don't forget to make sure you enter this giveaway to help you study the Bible more deeply this summer!



Etsy Favorites - Tea Edition

Happy almost Friday! Can I start by saying, I am a coffee lover at heart, but lately I have really been struggling with changes in my body that I am feeling are a result of too much caffeine. I love to drink coffee every day but I have seen that in order for me to not have shaky hands and trouble breathing I need to only have one cup a day. And I am even considering implementing regular periods of "coffee detox" where I go off coffee and 

caffeine

 for a week or so. So...enter my new love of herbal tea! I have NEVER been a big hot tea person...it never seemed to have enough flavor and kick for me...but here I am, now proclaiming my love for the stuff. Yeah sure, it kinda looks like grass...but it is so yummy, and pretty good for you too!

So today I wanted to share with you my favorite Etsy finds that are all related to tea! Are you pumped yet?

 1.

Tea Towels

- I think these little guys from

luluandluca

are so beautiful! Perfect for wrapping up some yummy scones to keep them warm, or for placing tea cups and saucers on...just so pretty!

2.

Organic Cotton Tea Bags

 - The best part about these is that they are REUSABLE! So no throwing them away, and they are perfect for all your favorite loose leaf teas! Check out more adorable linen and cotton items by

Natural Linens

 3.

Stamped Spoons

 - I am mildly obsessed with these guys! These bring a lovely charm to scooping sugar into your teacup. They would make a perfect gift, as well as a perfect addition to any tea party.

4.

Vintage Teacups/Saucers

- Vintage is all the rage these days. If it is old, it is cool. But really, how special to drink tea from such a lovely and unique teacup? I think it would be so special to have a couple tea cups and saucers from my grandmothers, or great grandmothers even. Ben and I did not register for fine china when we got married (which I do not regret), but I do wish I had something fancy to drink out of from time to time. 

 5.

Herbal Tea Sampler

- I had the privilege of trying out this awesome sampler set of herbal teas from

URPriceless

a few weeks back. I had my sister help me out because she was in town and LOVES tea. We had so much fun trying all the different types of herbal teas included in the URPriceless package. They were all phenomenal. This package includes 10 sampler packets of the most yummy herbal tea blends. Best part? It is only $11!!!! 

This package comes with 10 different samples of a variety of herbal teas, all made by Shannon herself. Each package of tea can make about 2-3 8 oz. cups of tea...so wow, what a deal to get so much for such a great price. 

My top 3 favorites from the box I received were:

Peppermint Twist- This tea has peppermint, lemon balm, and orange peel, and it was so yummy. It was smooth with a perfect little zing from the orange! It instantly made me feel refreshed and energized! 

Sereni-Tea- One, the name of this tea is adorable, and so fitting. With chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, and dandelion root, this is the perfect tea to sip and unwind at the end of the day. I enjoyed this tea sitting in bed reading before calling it a day, and it was so yummy. I have thing for teas with chamomile so this was a winner for me! 

Keith's Delicious Tea- This also has peppermint, sensing a theme here? :) But this tea also has lemon balm and calendula in it, and it is perfect. The balance is wonderful, and the floral tones make it a lovely afternoon tea to serve to friends, or in my case, to sip with my little sister. 

All of the teas were yummy, but the ones with the peppermint were my favorite! Shannon's packaging was wonderful, and the sampler box arrived very timely! Shannon was a joy to work with, and I cannot recommend her Etsy shop more highly to you. Please go check her out! 

6.

Tea Print

- Many of you have probably picked up on this by now, but I have a little thing for prints. Especially witty ones that are super cute and fun. Like this one, so cute to go above a coffee/tea station or in the kitchen! And I am in love with most everything the

Printed Palette 

creates!

What about you? Tea lover? What is your favorite type of tea?

So excited to introduce you to my small ad sponsors for the month of May! These ladies are gems, and a joy to follow along with through blogging!

Meet Lisa of

Lisa Loves John

! Lisa is what I like to call the DIY queen. She always has some cool project, craft or recipe appearing on her blog. She is a great source of inspiration!! 

What song can you not get out of your head?

Although I haven’t seen the movie yet, I absolutely love Frozen’s Let it Go.  I mean really, this song is so catchy, and basically impossible to get out of your head.  And I’m not going to lie, I love all the cute remakes of the song too!

What has been your favorite meal lately?

Pizza all day, every day!  For real, I don’t discriminate… I love everything from wood fired pizza to frozen pizza – I will eat it all!

Go to summer nail polish color?

I love bright colors in summer, but my go-to is probably a nude… something low maintenance so if it chips, it isn’t too big of a deal, but it still looks clean and put together.

What is the Lord teaching you?

Without a doubt, the Lord is teaching me patience.  I need to release control and wait on God’s plan and timing.  Thankfully, HE has been patient with ME in learning this lesson.

BLOGLOVIN'

//

INSTAGRAM

Meet Meg of

Rivers and Roads

! I have loved getting to know Meg more this month. Her blog is always a source of encouragement, great info, and inspiration. 

What song can you not get out of your head?:

 I cannot stop singing "Multiplied" by NEEDTOBREATHE. Their newest album is AMAZING and I listen to it over and over.

What has been your favorite meal lately?:

 Breakfast for dinner. I know it's simple and well, breakfast, but it is delicious. I love whipping up some scrambled eggs, maybe some toast, and most definitely a delicious smoothie to get in some fruit + dairy.

Go to summer nailpolish color?:

 I am crushing on 

Essie's Ballet Slippers

 polish these days. It's the most perfect hint of pink for me. 

What is the Lord teaching you?

: I've been doing the She Reads Truth "The Risen Christ" plan, and absolutely love it. I've been reminded a lot about what my life should look like knowing that I have a risen and reigning Savior.  Thanks to 

Rend Collective

, I've also been thinking a lot about the art of celebration. There is so much to be thankful for even in the midst of this broken world, and we need to remember to celebrate those gifts! 

TWITTER

//

INSTAGRAM

Encouraging our Husbands (Guest Post)

Good Morning Friends! I hope your weekend was restful and filled with joy like ours. We had Ben's whole family in town for his sister's graduation, and it was such a celebration! She graduated with honors, AND a 4.0! Way to go Rachel (yes, we have the same name) We are so proud of you!!

I am looking forward to this new week for so many reasons...It is a fresh start, I have an awesome giveaway coming up on Wednesday that you can be a part of while helping someone else, and next Sunday is our one year wedding anniversary! Great week ahead! Today I am actually blogging over at A Harvest of Blessing today, about being an encouragement to your hubby. Make sure and check it out!!



Also, I wanted to take a minute this morning to introduce you to one of my sweet sponsors this month!

Meet Amber of Half Pint Prints! I "met" Amber through Instagram, and just fell in love with her Etsy shop. Her prints are beautiful and I now have several hanging up in our home! Her products are well made, unique, and perfect for gifts, happy mail, and gallery walls! Please go check it out! Now for a few fun questions for Amber:


What are you craving right now? 
Right now I'm craving sunlight and warm weather. I live in Northern Indiana and it's been a hard, long and cold winter this year. We had almost triple the amount of snow this winter than normal. I'm looking forward days at the beach with my little guys and evenings on the porch swing with my man drinking glasses of sweet tea. 

What are you reading?
This is so unexciting right now. Currently I'm reading Dobson's Bringing Up Boys. I grew up in a family of all girls...and boys are WAY different. Add a strong willed boy to the mix and some nights I go to bed wondering what I could have done different for the day. Summer is rolling around and when it does, it's prime reading time in our household. This is when I usually break out Pride & Prejudice. I reread it every summer. It's my all time favorite. My man may not want to read the book, but this is one he'll sit down and watch the movie with me (Colin Firth version preferred).

How would you describe your ideal day?
My ideal day would be waking up and having a nice cup of coffee followed by the best donuts ever from Rise n' Roll Bakery. I'm a total homebody, so I'd probably spend the morning playing in the yard with my boys or riding bikes on the trails. I would do some reading on the hammock. We'd have our family over for a cookout and some evening board games. I like to keep busy, but I also like the busyness to be with my family or friends.

Instagram // Etsy // Facebook  

Thanks so much for sponsoring me Amber! You are a joy to know! :) 

Some post you may have missed: 

Other GREAT reads:

Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Jenni of Frankly My Dear!