June 29, 2012


Remember my obsession with instagram? Well my friends are obsessed too. Which means I get to do a wedding photo post filled with instagrammed photos taken at my absolutely fabulous wedding!!

Entry-way decor

The awesome beverage napkins my mother-in-law found!

Bikes, bikes, bikes! (WAIT until you see the bike tire chandeliers!!)

The happy boaters who honked and waved and shouted in joy from the river at the discovery of our wedding

Two of the awesomest people in all the world

Finger-print guestbook, complete with tandem bike theme! (Shout out to PERSONALIZEDprints on Etsy!)

Dancing our way down the aisle and through life!

It was so much fun to see all these photos on our honeymoon. Look out for a 'real' wedding photo post soon! (We got the web-link earlier this week, waiting anxiously patiently for the dvd to arrive in the mail!!

June 21, 2012


A couple of days ago, my dear friend tweeted: "@jnc should follow #shereadstruth through @Mama_Pea and @eatliverun on twitter and instagram"

...I love Twitter, and I also equally (that's a lie, probably more) love Instagram - girlfriend's tweet got me hooked. I quickly got on the internets and used the Google machine to do some research.

#SheReadsTruth is, as they put it simply, "women reading His truth together." It started with two friends who wanted to pursue the Lord together through His word. They started tweeting about it, people started asking...and then #SheReadsTruth was born.

Fast forward to today. They are starting a new plan called "Living The Surrendered Life" through YouVersion (accessible through app for your smartphone or online). Women all over are reading through the same passages of scripture and reading through the same devotional for the next 21 days and, as my friend put it in her email, "going to go for it and see where it takes me". Then, they are using social media to tweet and/or Instagram their journey, using the hashtag #shereadstruth to share what they're learning/what they believe the Lord is showing them.

I joined the adventure with their new plan today, and just in the first two lines of the devotional I was already convicted. I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to challenge me in the next couple of weeks.

Are you looking for a different way to be challenged in your growth this summer? Are you seeking fellowship with other women but don't know where to start? Join me and #shereadstruth and leave me a comment so I know you're doing it too!

June 18, 2012

Livin' for the weekend(s)

The past two weekends have been crazy busy but even crazier in levels of fun! Two weekends ago I had the privilege to spend the weekend in Charleston, SC helping my best friend/MOH in her farmer duties at the Marion Square Farmers Market! Cait got 'bit' by the farming bug a couple of years ago and has since re-located from our shared state of Maryland to South Carolina to work at Ambrose Family Farm! This friend of mine, in living out her mantra of doing anything and everything (especially at a moment's notice) managed to injure herself. That didn't stop this wonderwoman, however, as she insisted on being present at the farmers market. I did only what any sane person would do -- pretended to be a farmer for a day to help a friend out.

(Not only is Cait an awesome farmer, she is also a talented artist. Some of her photos have/are being displayed and sold (like at the indie-pendent in Atlanta!), or you can access her work on her blog, where she posts wonderful photos and even more wonderful thoughts! Check her out, she's one talented chickadee!)

This past weekend, I traveled 'home' to Bluffton, SC to attend our cousin's wedding (Congratulations Clermont & Al!!). The hubs has just started a new adventure in life and is off at school, learning a lot and meeting new friends; he left me to attend the wedding on our behalf & to spend Father's Day with his family. Loved every minute of it...even the time I learned how to play bocce ball and failed miserably. What I loved most about the wedding? The presence of a majestic kilt worn by the father-of-the-bride and a peppering of seersucker, bowties, and pastel-colored dress pants. Reminded me of the photos I see on Back Down South's blog & twitter! #SouthernSwag #inlovewiththesouth

This is my I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing pose

On Sunday, my father-in-law wanted to take us out on the boat. So went out on the river and went exploring. Love my family, love spending time with them, and love living and sharing life! I am one lucky lady :)

Sometimes it's so easy to forget how great simple things in life are; weddings, seeing friends, meeting new family members, laughing over silly things, exploring, watching dogs play fetch in the water...I'm so blessed to be able to be reminded of all His great provisions on a daily basis! May there be many more weekends like these to come!

June 15, 2012


Our wedding was amazing. I know everyone who as ever gotten married says that, but seriously. Just look at how blessed we were with the weather:

Like, srsly.

Right after the wedding reception, we hopped in the car and made our way to Jacksonville, FL. We flew out of  Jacksonville on Sunday and arrived in the Miami heat, rented a car, and headed south! We then spent the next six days relaxing, biking, and exploring Key West (and surrounding keys). I have nothing more to say about that, except to let the pictures do all the talking.

June 12, 2012

The "B" word: Part 2

Thank the Lord for internet. Without it, I would probably be knee-deep in library books in the "finances" section reading the "How-to for Dummys" book about budgeting our shared income. We already decided that we're going to try and live off of the 'earn-one, bank-one' lifestyle to help us live simply while also making sure we have the appropriate savings for emergencies/future. In anticipation for our new financial situation, and in post-wedding bliss, we have attempted to figure out the following categories in ways that make the most sense, while also saving us the most money.

Savings. Currently our savings account consists of the 60% we saved from wedding monetary gifts and the entirety of my bank account from my single days. Thankfully, it is more than the $1,000 Dave Ramsey suggests in his "Baby Steps" towards financial peace. It's always a good idea to save, and to have money saved up that could cover 3-6 months of expenses in case of emergencies. You never know when something might happen that requires the need for flexible monetary income. Being smart about saving now can help ease the stress and financial pain it might be to scrounge for money last minute. We're just getting started (Ramsey doesn't call it 'baby steps' for no reason), once we get two-incomes into this family, we'll be trucking right along with our earn-one, bank-one mantra!

Gift cards. Love. them. Love the fact that I can go to a store, shop, and then never pull out cash or my debit card to pay for my shopping trip. I also love gift cards because they sometimes allow me to shop at places that I wouldn't usually shop at. Example: Starbucks. I don't really even enjoy coffee, but when I do, I don't wan to pay an arm and a leg for what I call coffee (others call it caramel frappuccinos). The only thing that sometimes frustrates me about gift cards, though, is that I can never use the exact amount. I'm usually a couple dollars short from spending it all, or a couple dollars over. Overspending your gift card can add up in the long run, so I usually make sure I stay under.

"But Jocelyn", you may ask, "what do you do with the $3.16* you have left over on your card?" Thankfully, I am not the only one in the entire world who has a little money here and there left on a gift card. Someone else along the way got annoyed appalled at the amount Americans 'waste' by not using up all of our gift card balances, that they have done something about it. Enter GiftCardGiver.com - where you can mail them your remaining gift card money and they accumulate cards together to send to organizations that can use your gift card to bless others. Yeah, us humans can be pretty resourceful when we try.

(For those of you who gave us gift cards: please know that I'm the crazy lady that says "Thank You!" and "cha-CHING" to herself whenever she swipes her gift card at the checkout line. That audible 'thank you' is said in your direction, not to the check-out guy who thinks I'm crazy)

*True story: I once did have $3.16 left over on a card, and immediately thought of Tim Tebow #whatishappeningwithmybrain

Groceries. I moved into our house, which was previously inhabited by a 25-year-old male bachelor, my now husband. What does that mean? 3 bags of Pasta Sides, a pitcher of Tang, a bag of frozen wings, and enough Hot Pockets to last a lifetime - that's what it means. When I asked him about what his food budget had been, he gave me a blank stare then laughed and said "what?!?!?!". I decided that the first time I went to the grocery story, I would not worry about a budget. Instead, I would worry about how to stock my pantry with staples that could make multiple meals with simple ingredients. My favorite things to purchase at the grocery store (especially when they are on sale): pasta, pasta sauce (marinara & pesto), chicken broth, and frozen vegetables. I have made many a meal with those ingredients - pizza, fried rice, casseroles.

Buying in bulk. One of the many gift cards we received was a gift card to Sams Club. We set aside some time one Sunday afternoon after church and made a special grocery shopping trip to Sams (complete with a great slice of pizza and a Nathan's hot dog). What did we buy? Toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, body wash, cereal and chicken breasts (among other things). Two of those items have been pre-approved by Dave Ramsey's 'worth the splurge' list, so that was reassuring. As for the chicken, I portioned them out (2 breasts per ziploc bag), dated the bag, and put it in the freezer. Now we have chicken for meals without having to thaw too many over and over again. (Curious about what things you should buy in bulk? Read more here, here and here!)

This is just a start. People say you have to give yourself 2-3 months to get into the swing of living on a budget/within your budget means. We will update you once we feel like we have some sort of footing in our finances!

What about you? What do you do to save some money? What are some smart things you have done with your money that have paid off big-time? Any shopping tips?

June 7, 2012

The "B" word: Part 1

Budget [buhj-it] noun, adjective, verb, noun: an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc for a given period; the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose.

A while back I posted about our plans to live smart and responsibly with our finances. As we were anticipating our new life together as husband and wife, we had to come to the realization that our finances would also be making the merge with us (eek!). During pre-marital counseling, one of our homework assignments was to show each other our monies. Never before had I ever shown anyone my enormous laughable bank account, because up until that point the only one I had to worry about was myself. It was a very humbling experience for me, because I came to the realization that I needed to be smarter and more conscientious about where my money was going and how my money was being spent.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. As engagement parties came rolling through, we were confronted with the task of being responsible for managing our monetary gifts. I don't know how or why (actually I do know - God), but we sat down one day and discussed where we wanted to see our money going and how much we wanted to portion out for different things. Before we even started receiving money, we decided on a percentage breakdown, and even prayed over it (when you don't have a lot of money, putting non-existent money into a category requires a lot of faith!). Looking back, I am really glad we did this before we knew how much money we would be getting. By doing so, we were able to figure out where our priorities were without the influence of a bottom-line money amount that could have made us feel like we had more to keep and spend on ourselves.

The first thing we wanted to do was to give back. We have been blessed countless times by the generosity of both friends and strangers, as they selflessly gave to us when we did/do not deserve it. Throughout our engagement, we experienced overabundant expressions of grace and love. Thus, when it came time to figure out what to do with all the monetary gifts we were receiving, we only saw it fitting to give back to a cause that we believed in. We regularly tithe 10% of our earnings, so we followed suit and carried the 10% over to OFCB Ministries and their work in Bayonnais, Haiti. (Side note: we were able to visit OFCB in 2009 and our church continues to send teams there every year. They are currently in the process of building a new medical center, and we could not be more excited to support them as they continue to be a blessing to their neighbors). While 10% may not be a lot now, we are excited that our money apportioned to be saved now will allow us to donate our money in similar fashions in the future. As my father-in-law always says, we only need faith of a mustard seed...God will do the rest!

Saving vs. Checking. I'm a checking's-kind-of-girl; "if I earned it, I can spend it!" My husband's the mascot for saving; "...maybe if I squeeze the bills I have saved, more money will flow out". But when it came down to it, we made the realization that 1. I don't have a lot of money saved up/to contribute, and 2. I don't have a job lined up. Thus, we decided that at this period of time in our life, our money gifted to us would be better off saved than spent (60% to savings, 30% to checking). And thank God we decided that -- because now the burden of rushing to find a job has been lifted off my shoulders and I have been gifted some time to settle in and try out my new legs as a Mrs.!

We will still struggle with money and budgeting (our #1 point of tension in our relationship, thanks to the results of our pre-marital counseling questionnaire). But thanks to the generosity of friends and family, we have been given a very strong foundation from which we can grow into a life of simplicity, generosity, and hospitality.

Up next: how we're budgeting our spending money, and how we've already started spending it!

June 3, 2012


The Lees in our natural state

Knee-deep in opening wedding gifts, setting up the house, writing thank-yous, and other newly-wed tasks. Will be back soon with a more substantial post. Until then, please enjoy this photo of my new family.