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i heart chip and joanna gaines. you too? {read more about The Magnolia Story}

If you've ever wanted more of Fixer Upper's Chip and Joanna Gaines, now is your chance! This sweet couple has written a memoir of their life together called The Magnolia Story and it releases mid-October (but you can pre-order it now! woo-hoo!!). How adorable are they on the cover of their book? magnolia story

The Magnolia Story, written with New York Times bestselling collaborator Mark Dagostino, documents the "first couple of home improvement" and their life together – starting way back in their pre-fame days. "Writing a book is a tough job," Joanna says. "But reliving years of memories together was so fun. Chip is a great storyteller, and I actually found that I have a knack for remembering details. We made a pretty good team and had a blast working on it together."

If you aren't a fan of Fixer Upper (yet!), here are the reasons why I've fallen in love with Chip and Jo-Jo:
  1. Joanna's style is impeccable yet comfortable. From her wardrobe to the homes she designs, her style impresses me with it's easy, down-home elegance. She uses lots of white and bring color into her design subtly but in just the right places. Every house that I've seen transformed on Fixer Upper makes me want to sit and get comfortable!
  2. Chip makes me laugh. He's easy-going, light-hearted, and doesn't take himself too seriously. I love it when he goes with Joanna to the antique markets because he always walks out with something crazy!
  3. They turn a broken home into a beautiful home. They take the worst houses in the best neighborhoods and completely transform the way they look. As an owner of a renovated home, I have such an appreciation for other people who take a risk on homes that need a good dose of TLC.
  4. They are creative entrepreneurs. Chip and Joanna are inspiring because not only do they have their show, but the Magnolia Homes brand is amazing. From the Magnolia Market to Joanna's new Magnolia Made home and paint line, they are transforming family homes not just in Waco but all over the world. (ps - I heard Liddon Furniture in Dothan is carrying her Magnolia Made line!!)
  5. They share their faith through serving others, being kind, and involving their kids in the design process. We need more families like the Gaines on television people.

I'm excited to be part of the Stree Team (aka the #shiplappers) who gets to share behind-the-scenes updates about The Magnolia Story so be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates! Remember, if you want to pre-order The Magnolia Story, you can purchase it here.

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Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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Art. Walk. Shop. {find me at Naomi & Olive this weekend!}

Art. Walk. Shop. Sounds like a fun Saturday, don't you think?

The Mural City Art Walk is happening this Saturday in downtown Dothan. Raleigh and I have attended the Art Walk the past two years and it is so much fun for our whole family.

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Walking down Foster Street, there will be over 50 local artists, food, and activities for the kids. Also, the forecast is 72 degrees and sunny. Can't get any better than that, can it?!

naomi and olive One of my favorite shops on Foster Street is Naomi & Olive (you too?).

This Saturday, I'm excited to get to hang out inside Christy's lovely shop and sign copies of Practice Hospitality. If you are heading downtown, please stop in and say hello! The Art Walk is from 10-5 and Naomi & Olive has tons of unique gifts and home decor items made by Alabama artists. Come and check it out!

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If you aren't able to make it downtown this weekend, you can still purchase a copy on our Etsy shop.  As always, thank you for your support! I truly wish I could hug each of your necks and tell you thank you, thank you, thank you! #lovemypeople

Here's to the weekend!

Christen

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a call to celebrate {free printable to record your Year of Jubilee!}

The Year of Jubilee header
Who is ready to party?

Today marks the first day of the year of Jubilee. Jubilee is defined as a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating fifty years. In Jewish history, a Jubilee is a year of restoration. Leviticus 25:8-11 shares that in ancient history, a Jubilee year is when people are supposed to return to their homeland and experience freedom. Once they have returned home, they are not supposed to sow or reap from the land for a whole year. This is meant to be a time of liberty where slaves are set free and blessing is granted on the people. Scripture tells us that to experience freedom in Christ, we have to repent.  It is also a time of judgment for those that choose not to repent of their sins.

So how can we apply this symbolic year to our own lives?

Watch this video to learn how:

Since our chances of experiencing a jubilee year is once or twice in our lifetimes, I think we should make an effort to record what is happening to us and how we are choosing jubilant living over living a life captivated by sin. When we start to actively journal the areas of our lives that we are in chains, we will begin to recognize patterns that might need to be broken. Recognizing these patterns will help us break free and live jubilant lives.   How this looks in your own life is going to look different than mine but I've put together a simple printable that you can put in your planner or a binder to help you record your very own Year of Jubilee!

The Year of Jubilee Printable

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This year can change your life and God can use you to change the lives of those around you. At the If:Local Leader training last weekend, Rebekah Lyons shared that experiencing a Jubilee is experiencing the freedom of God's love. I think this world is desperate for God's love and most people don't even know it. And I think those of us that do know God might need to spend some time flat on the floor, repenting of our sins and praying for our purpose so we can co-labor with him in a more intimate way.

I believe in celebrating the small victories, the happy moments, and the people who bring us joy. I see this year as a great big celebration, full of parties where we celebrate God's perfect plan for our lives. When this year is over, my prayer is for us to better know and love God and share his love with others through simple forms of celebration.

If you are wondering how to get started, here are some examples that I hope will inspire you:
  • Connection: The most important relationship in our lives is with God. Psalm 37:4 encourages us to delight ourselves in him and he will give us the desires of our heart. To not be disappointed with your life circumstances, you must learn to discern the difference between your own desires and God-given desires.
  • Acceptance: To accept that God has plans for our futures (Jeremiah 29:11) we must begin to change our thoughts and believe that God is in control of the events that happen in our lives, not us. Let this printable help you better understand God's will and why we experience both pain and joy.
  • Hope: Romans 5:1-5 teaches that hope comes last and does not disappoint. Before you experience hope found in Christ, you will have to persevere through suffering which develops your character.
  • Trust: Learn to trust God's plans by praying to follow his will for your path and believe that God brings love and mercy, not pain (Proverbs 3:5-6, Lamentations 3).
  • Patience: God provides benches in life for us to sit while waiting for our next steps. He tells us in Psalm 37:7-8 to wait patiently for him and to not worry or be angry. 

As we journey through the Year of Jubilee, we will have an on-going conversation on ways to experience freedom and what we are letting go of. Each month, I'll share a different topic to get us started in conversation. I invite you to follow along with the hashtag #celebratejubilee. Show us how you are celebrating this year and using your printable to document your Year of Jubilee.

For October, our topic will be about showing hospitality and celebrating the harvest. Scripture shares that the harvest season is a time of joy and farmers see the benefit of all the their labor. There are many feasts that happen during harvest season in scripture and people came together and to throw some pretty big parties. Since October is #31Days month, you will find me daily on Instagram sharing about Jubilee in the Harvest and Hospitality. I'll have some weekly blog posts here too so be on the lookout for those starting next week!

Friends, our time on this earth is short. Don't waste this life living in bondage. Release your worries so you can live a life of jubilee. Download your free printable and let's celebrate the Year of Jubilee!

 

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Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

 

 

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15 best planners for moms, students, and professionals {+ a giveaway!}

15 Best Planners for Moms, Students, & Professionals With a new school year about to begin, many of us are searching for the perfect planner to help us stay organized. We all have our own unique ways of tackling our to-do lists but many of us still enjoy the good ole' fashioned paper planner to jot down notes and keep us feeling just a tad bit in control of our days. Over the years, I've tried different planners but I still haven't landed on one that does everything I need it to do. Here are my planner must-have's:

  • Cute yet durable
  • Notebook size
  • Big spaces for the month so I can write in the blocks easily
  • Blocks for each day instead of hours
  • Heavy-duty paper so my Sharpie pens don't bleed through (I use pencil for my calendar but sometimes use pens for my to-do lists)
  • Tabs for me to get to each section easily
  • As an extra, I like words of encouragement or quotes sprinkled through the planner and extra pages for notes

A few weeks ago, I asked friends on Facebook if they had any recommendations for a great planner that starts in August and is cute. Over thirty people responded, some agreeing on the same planner and others with planners I'd never heard of before. I began doing some research on each planner and today I'm sharing my results with you. If you are in the market for a new planner, this post is for you!

Before we begin with the review, I'm delighted to share that I'm giving away a free planner {woo-hoo!} on Instagram.

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Our friends over at The Purposeful Planner sent me a planner to review and I think it will be just what one of you will need as you begin a new school calendar year. Follow @chris10price to enter in the giveaway!

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Also, our friends at Plum Paper are offering 10% off their planners just for you! Use coupon code PRICE10 at checkout - hurry, it only lasts for a month!

The Most Recommended Planners:

1. Erin Condren

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The Erin Condren planner was by far the most recommended planner from my friends. I can see why so many people love it! She has tons of options for you to choose from and has wonderful accessories to go with each style. Her LifePlanner is a favorite and teachers also love her Teacher Lesson Planners. I personally love the Prism Planner in Turquoise because it is stylish and can be monogrammed (however the Taffy Stripes comes in a close second!).

Planner Options:

- The LifePlanner has three options for cover design - ready to ship, personalized, or create your own

- Choose to have full 2016 calendar with remaining months of 2015 (perfect for a school year) or just a 2016 calendar

- Vertical or Horizontal Weekly Layout Options (I like the vertical because it is broken into time blocks)

- Price - $50 - $65

While Erin Condren was ranked the #1 planner according to my friends, one friend did mention that this planner has had the best major shipping issues. She said to look at the Erin Condren Issues and Concerns FB group before placing your order. As of this week, her store says that most planners will ship around August 13th.

2. Plum Paper

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{Christen Price readers get a 10% discount to Plum Paper! Use coupon code PRICE10 at checkout - lasts for one month!}

Plum Paper planners came in a very close second! They are more customizable than Erin Condren and can begin in whatever month you choose for a 12-month calendar. Right away, I loved the look of Plum Paper's site and the fact that they have add on tags that include My Home, Blog, Baby, & Direct Sales. They also have stickers! I really liked this mint and coral cover design. :)

Planner Details:

- Cover Designs are customizable

- Begin in whatever month you choose

- Choose how your weekly pages are laid out

- Price - $30-$40 (if you want to purchase add on pages they are around $2)

3. MomAgenda

Momagenda

MomAgenda planners were recommended by three of my friends. Their planners have simple and clean color designs and look like they would fit easily into a mom purse. They also come in a mini version! While this agenda looks like it would offer almost everything that I need, I was not as impressed with this site while researching because I didn't feel as though the planners were very customizable. But, they do have spaces for you to plan for up to four kids, which is extremely nice.

Planner Details:

- Comes in Spiral or Bound and has mini options

- August 2015 - December 2016

- Extra Pages for Vacation and Party Planning

- Price - $19-$75 (depending on size, the average size planner is around $40)

4. Lilly Pulitzer

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Lilly Pulitzer Agendas just make you feel happy with their cheerful Lilly designs splashed on every cover. Her Pink Lemonade Large Agenda caught my eye immediately! The Lilly Agenda is unique because it focuses on life being an adventure and it gives you pages to plan out your vacations. While this planner is fun, I don't know if it would be the most practical planner for me.

Planner Details:

- Spiral Bound and comes in Small, Medium, Large, and Jumbo sizes

- Cover is not customizable but is super fun and comes with an elastic band to keep pages in place

- Offers Weekly Pages

- Price - $17-$34

5. The Simplified Planner

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The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley is just what it says it is: simple. But don't let simple fool you...her planners are drop dead gorgeous. They are for the modern mom, businesswoman, and student with both its' functionality and elegance. I am especially drawn to her Academic Daily Calendar in Mint (which is sold out, of course!). But, her 2016 planners are available on September 9th so mark your calendars to snag one before they are gone!

Planner Details:

- Spiral Bound in Gold and comes in 7.75 X 9 inches

- Comes in three styles - Gold Pineapple, Happy Stripe, and Mint Dot (not customizable)

- Offers Monthly and Weekly Pages (weekly pages are scheduled from 6 am - 9 pm)

- Price - $58 (comes in a keepsake box!)

While The Simplified Planner was recommended by friends and the favorite planner when reviewed by my friend Kayse, another friend mentioned that while The Simplified Planner was very pretty it was not functional. She said that the pages were too thin and didn't hold up to colored pens or highlighters.

Other Great Planners You Can Purchase Online:

6. Day Designer

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Day Designer Planners claim that they will help you find lost hours, spend more time with family and friends, and lessen the chaos of daily living. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Her Black Spotty planner is whimsy yet elegant and I like how she has pages labeled "Today, To-Do, Dinner, & Gratitude." One friend mentioned that these planners were cute but big if you need to carry it.

Planner Details:

- Spiral Bound in Gold and comes in 9 x 9.75 inches

- Comes in three styles - Black Stripe, Black Spotty, and Printed Gold Stripe (not customizable)

- Offers Monthly and Daily Pages (daily pages schedule begins at 5 am)

- Price - $59

7. The Purposeful Planner

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{giving one away on Instagram - follow @chris10price to enter!}

The Purposeful Planner is new to market but stands up to the competition. With its gold spiral and trendy patterns, The Purposeful Planner not only looks good but it was created with well, purpose. It comes with pages for you to budget, menu plan, create a master task list, and set goals. Corie Clark, the designer of The Purposeful Planner says, "You can do anything in fifteen minutes!" Having personally used this planner, it is sturdy and not too heavy and gives you room to dream and plan.

Planner Details:

- Spiral Bound in Gold and comes in 9 x 10 inches

- Comes in two styles - CoCo Stripe and Holly Floral

- Offers Monthly and Daily Pages (with quotes and places to record your water intake, prayer/praise and brain dump)

- Price - $42 - $48

8. May Designs

May Designs

May Designs offers lots of different prints and options for monograms. If you are in the market for a pretty yet simple planner, this one is for you. You can choose months + weeks agendas or the planner can be just for your wedding, baby, or an adult coloring book.

Planner Details:

- 5 x 8 in size

- Soft Canvas Color and individually stitched for eco-friendly design

- Price - $16 - $23

9. More Time Moms

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More Time Moms big fridge calender was recommended by a friend and it claims to be a great family and home calendar. While I like the big spaces on each page, I just don't think I could look at the cartoon illustrations every day of the year! I'm sure this calendar is great and functional but it's not for me.

Planner Details:

- Spiral Bound, 15 x 11

- Tons of stickers for appointments and chores, plus comes with coloring pages for kids

- Big Monthly & Daily Sections

- Price - $15.99

Planners you can find in local stores:

10. Blue Sky

Blue Sky - Target

Blue Sky at Target - $9.99 (trendy and eco-friendly)

11. Arc

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Arc at Staples - $20.99  (sturdy)

12. Day Runner

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Day Runner at Office Depot - $39.99 (leather, zips up, durable)

13. Sn@p!

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Sn@p! Planners at Michael's - $14.99  (two different styles that can be customizable)

Free planners:

14. The Confident Mom

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The Confident Mom Planner - free to download online. Print it and put it in a binder or have it bound at Office Max.

15. The Handmade Home

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The Handmade Home Planner - when I worked at the church, all the girls downloaded this free calendar and we all loved it! I like how I can print out as many pages as I need and organize them exactly as it makes sense to me. I'm especially fond of the Notes Pages and the Ideas & Inspiration (I tend to have more words scribbled on these pages than anywhere else!) However, my notebook feels a bit like a college student and I wouldn't mind a more modern look and feel. But hey, it's free!

So, there you have it: fifteen planners that are perfect for moms, students, and professionals. I hope you can find a planner that is perfect for your schedule so you can spend your time well.

What's your favorite planner? Place your comment in the box below!
If you found this review helpful, share it with your friends on social media please! {and thank you!}

You can find us on Facebook and on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest @chris10price.

Don't forget to enter into our Purposeful Planner giveaway on Instagram or shop your discount at Plum Paper!

purposeful planner        plum paper

Happy planning, friends!

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

 

 

 

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10 ways to have a home you love

One year ago, this little house in the country welcomed our family of five. We moved in with an infant snuggled on my chest and I remember during his two a.m. feedings the unfamiliar sounds of the late night train chugging by, the fierce country wind that would surely blow this house down if it wasn't made of bricks, and the comforting creak of hardwood floors as feet walked across it. When we moved here, we claimed this part of the country as our own and have become beginner farmers, backyard chasers, and four-wheel drivers. This home is a victory for us and we mean it when we say that we love it out here.

As we celebrate our one year house-iversary, it's easy to see how far we've come in creating a beautiful and hospitable home but there is still so much decorating and furniture purchasing that we need to do. I like to think that this house is our canvas and we the artist, dipping our brushes into the colors of creativity and then turning the picture we have in our heads into a reality. While there is still a to-do list a mile long, I'm trying to tell myself and my husband, "Well done."

One thing that sets women apart from one another is accepting praise for their homes.

I've been in some of my friends' homes and they are always pointing out to me the things that they want to do to their homes or things that they wish they could change. I have other friends who are embarrassed of their homes and never invite anyone over. Then there are the friends that are overly confident of their homes and openly tell you how expensive that chair is that you are sitting in. Earlier this week, I mentioned that I'm trying to accept praise from others and I think this is something that women struggle with when it comes to our homes. We are so concerned with what other people will think of our homes that when we have guests over, we are overly confident or totally insecure. But, I think this can change if we choose to love our homes, however complete or incomplete they might be.

Here are 10 Ways to Have a Home that You Love:

1. Be Patient

Home improvement projects and decorating take time and money. We've been working on our playroom for nine months now (first Raleigh demo'd the room and then contractors finished it) and I'm usually in a better mood about this project if I try to practice patience.

2. Get Creative

We have this pink rocking chair that was originally in the girls' nursery but in this house the pink chair has moved from our living room, to the playroom, and now it's hanging out in the office. It didn't match all the other chairs in the living room but it served a purpose as a place to sit.

3. Live in it

Raleigh has always told me that it's best if we live in a space before we decide how to use that space functionally. It took us a while to figure out what kind of seating arrangement worked in our living room corner but then one day we tried this arrangement and it just worked. Our goal is to replace those lamps and add curtains but I just love how everything has come together so far.

4. Simplify

A few weeks ago, we had another garage sale. I also consigned in a kids' market for the first time. Getting rid of your stuff is a pain but it is also freedom. Raleigh and I have a new philosophy when it comes to stuff - less really is more. Cleaning out my closet, I've gotten rid of clothes that I haven't worn in years and even though I have a smaller amount of clothes, I tend to wear what I love more often. I can also see what I need and make new purchases with the money I got from selling. It's really a life-changer and it's so simple.

5. Be Brave

Having a house in the country, we are surrounded by nature. This time of the year, frogs hop on into our garage at night and stick themselves to our kitchen windows. The first time I got out of my car and saw a frog inches from my feet, I jumped, scared to death! Now, a year later, I don't bother them and they don't bother me. :)

6. Get Messy

Back in the fall, I spent a weekend cooking freezer meals. Y'all, our kitchen was so full of pots and pans. It was a huge mess to clean up but it really was so much fun. I cooked more than I have ever cooked before but those meals became our go-to Sunday night dinners. I need to gear up and do another round for spring and summer!

7. Relax

One of my favorite memories of living in this house was after a thunderstorm last spring our whole family went outside after the rain. Raleigh and I sat in the rocking chairs with Ridley and the girls ran around in their pajamas until the sun went down. The grass had that after-rain smell and the flowers seemed to have bloomed instantly. I wish we chose to relax like that more often.

8. Don't Do It All Yourself

Seriously, don't. Contract work costs more but they move faster (at least, that's how it's been for us). Be smart with your time and your skill level.

9. Stop Comparing

It's true, comparison is the thief of joy. It steals hope quickly and turns the art that we once thought beautiful into something that's not as good as our neighbors'. But, it doesn't have to be that way.

10. Love Who You Share it With

We have a pillow in our living room that says, "What I love most about my home is whom I share it with." I wouldn't want to have gone through all the renovations of this home with anyone but Raleigh. Now that we've been living in this house for a year, I love the memories that we've already created as a family. Our home is the place where we are the most vulnerable, silly, and free to be who God created us to be. It's comforting to share this space with the people I love most.

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