it's the holiday season

Hello friends!

I'm SO in the holiday spirit right now.  Flurries are swirling in the air outside the window and I'm about to travel around the midwest to do the tour de family, which I couldn't be more excited about.  Yep, I'm ready for the people and pies I love to be gathered around the same table as we come together and give thanks.

Since tomorrow kicks off a whole special season of giving and tradition, and because I'm ready to get my apartment lookin' its holiday best, I thought I'd share a  print that's available in the shop. If you are on the hunt for some festive decor, be sure to head to my Etsy shop and browse around!  Christmas cards, custom stamps and some fun gift ideas are also there, too, so keep your eyes open for those!

Hope your Thanksgiving is sweeter than potatoes, Caitlin

how great thou art

Happy Friday, Friends!

I'm kicking off the weekend with a big smile on my face because today I am SO excited to introduce you to a little something something new to the Lettered Life Shop!  My very first canvas print!

As pictured above, this canvas features lyrics from one of my favorite hymns, How Great Thou Art.  It's so simple and rings very true in my life----sometimes I just look at things and am amazed that God made it happen.  I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, and all I can think is what a creative and loving God we have.  How awesome is He?!  How great Thou art!

For me, it's helpful to surround myself with things that inspire me and bring me closer to God.  That's why I wanted my first canvas to have the chorus of How Great Thou Art, because it's a reminder of how big God is.  And it gives me a chance to praise God each time I see it hanging in our living room.  And I thought maybe you might want a little reminder for your living room, too.  Or bedroom.  Or kitchen.  Or entry way or even you're bathroom---whatever spot calls your name.

So, pop on over to the shop.  You'll find the canvas also comes in peach and navy in addition to the chalkboard color, pictured above!!!  I love how those look as well!

Sending best weekend ever vibes your way.  And this little Carrie Underwood/Vince Gill version, which gives me goosebumps.

xo, Caitlin



oh happy day!

Hi there!

Today I just wanted to share that this case is available for iPhone 4, 4s, or 5 in the shop!!  I am crazy over how these turned out!  They colors are super bright and there is an awesome gloss to it .  I'm a big fan of slim cases---so this cover is perfect for me, which is why I immediately snapped it on my phone moments after it arrived in the mail.  (Photo for proof!)

For me, it was important to have something that channeled joy.  I take it with me most everywhere, so it should be a positive thing, right?  One of my Making Things Happen friends, Emily Ley (who is actually leads MTH!), talks about the importance of flipping your phone over so that the cover is face up.   Not only do you get to show off your lovely case, but it's a reminder to stay plugged into what's going on around you.  I find I'm way less likely to pick up my phone to scroll my life away when  I'm looking at "Oh Happy Day" and remembering how blessed I am each time I go to pick up my phone.

Hoping you're having one happy day!

xo, Caitlin

hello sunshine (and may goals)

Hiya friends (and May!),

I just wanted to say hello and check-in with my monthly goal progress!  Here we go...  

  • Reading 2 books a month. Yes!  I started with The End of Your Life Book club by Will Schwalbe---a true story about a mother and son who start their own "book club" after they receive the news that the mother has an advanced form of pancreatic cancer.  Knowing how aggressive this cancer moves, the two decide to focus on their favorite hobby: reading.  This book was moving and bittersweet, but the overall theme of choosing to live joyfully despite hard circumstances was so inspiring.  I felt like I was the third member of their club as I read, and I loved that.  And what bookworm doesn't love a story about people who also like to read?!   The second book I finished was Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist.   Shauna is one of my favorite authors, and I had been anticipating this release for months! (Exhibit A) I even recipe tested for the Gaia cookies back in October when she was still in the editing phase of the book---just look at page 284!  This book is a collection of short stories about Shauna's life and the importance of sharing meals with the people you love, with recipes sprinkled throughout.  It's like a memoir-cookbook-inspirational read all in one....and it is wonderful!
  • SheReadsTruth.  We're tackling the intense Hosea!  Hosea can be painful for me to read because Israel wanders from God about a thousand times and it's hard to see God so sad.  BUT God's love is so big that he redeems and redeems and redeems, so the moments of sadness are always replaced with feelings of gratitude for God's compassion, no matter how far we stray!
  • Blog 3 times a week.  Are you as tired of hearing me say I don't blog as much as I'd like to as I am?  It's ok if you are.  I don't blame you.  I'm going to be a little more realistic and adjust this to once a week for May.  Say a prayer for me?!
  • Grow my Etsy shop.   Like the little graphic above?  Want some notecards that say just that?  Good news---I have some up in the shop!  AND I just got some new items in this week that I'm going to take some photos of and add to the shop!!  Canvas prints, anyone?!  Super exciting!
  • Be in the sunshine.  That was a little goal I threw in for April, and yes!  I went for walks and spent more time outdoors, thanks to the fact that Indiana is finally showing signs of spring!  I needed some of that vitamin D.  Cheers to more of it!
I hope your May is off to the best start ever.
lots of love, Caitlin


big dreams and making things happen

Hello hello hello!

I can't really believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I left for North Carolina, but it has, and March is just flying by!  As I mentioned before, I flew out to NC to visit my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law and attended Making Things Happen!  It was a fantastic trip marked by awesome company, delicious food and a learning experience I will never forget.

While it's hard to share just one part of MTH because the whole experience was so illuminating, I definitely wanted to pass along the above quote.  It's one we talked about at MTH, and I just loved it....namely because it dared me to be honest about my dreams.  I think I underestimated the power of defining specific long-term goals, so actually putting everything down on paper was such an energizing activity.  One of my favorite questions asked to help us clarify our our long-term goals was "Where do you want to be when you are 80?" To be honest, I hadn't really ever thought that far ahead.  I have a vague idea of what I'm eating for lunch.  I've got a to-do list for the week going.  The weekend plans are penciled in, and I even have monthly goals that I've been shooting for.  But where do I want to be when I'm 80?  That question caught me off guard because it's a little out of the scope I typically think about.  But how powerful is that question?  What do you start to picture?  For me, I wanted to be serving God, loving my family, being creative, laughing with people with whom I've formed deep relationships.  And still of course dancing to Beyonce and making chocolate chip cookies for everybody.  And with this vision in mind, I have to think about how well I am currently preparing myself to live that life down the road.  I have to figure out what changes I can make today to get me closer to where I want to be when I'm 80.

If there's anything I can pass along from the weekend, it's to write down those dreams.  Give yourself a little gift of freedom and take ten minutes to think about what you really really want to do with your full-of-possibilities life.  And then think about one little thing you can do TODAY that's going to help you get a step closer, no matter how wild and crazy your dreams are.  Do something little that sets you on a path you're excited to follow!  (I get excited FOR YOU just thinking about it!)  Since being able to make great food for my family is one of my big-dream goals,  a little action step for me today is to find a recipe I can make for a family get-together this weekend, and I'm pretty pumped about it.

Let's do this!

xo, Caitlin


thoughts from 25

Hey friends,

The other night I was in the kitchen with my husband.  I was drying a piece of Pyrex, and he was putting away some Tupperware and whatever other dishes we had just washed.  We were talking about rent and money and anything else that was on our minds, when the whole context of the situation hit me.  I have a husband.  And we have real dishes and rent and other bills and even some Pyrex that we make dinners (and brownies) in.  And all of a sudden it seemed like I was an adult, and I quite wasn't sure how I got there.  Like all of a sudden five years went by and instead of thinking about whether I should do homework or go to the gym or just watch Oprah with my roommates, I was thinking about money and responsibilities and where on earth we got all that Tupperware.  And while I wouldn't trade one itty bitty little ounce of what my life is right now for time in the past, or for anything else for that matter, I just could not get over the fact that maybe I was growing up a little. Like life had been put on fast forward and in 10 minutes I went from running around God's country (Bloomington, Indiana) to being an adult with real-people chores and work and activities.  And the thought that ran through my head was, "When did this happen?"

And as I'm thinking about this, I'm realizing it wasn't just a few life-changing events that brought me to dish washing in the kitchen with my crazy-sweet husband.  Sure, moving across the country brings some life experiences, as does getting married and having a job.  I didn't really go from a college Caitlin to a semi-adult Caitlin in the blink of an eye, although sometimes it feels that way.  I am this Caitlin, who does what she does and thinks what she thinks, because of a million little happenings that accumulated and brought me to this very moment in time.  Seconds and minutes spent with different people in situations God wanted me to experience so I could become the person He wanted me to be.

I'm not sure if anyone else has these moments of "Oh my gosh, I think I might be an adult," but in case there's anyone else out there who maybe has these thoughts, I just wanted to say hi and don't worry, I do too....let's hang out.  And I think we might be ok, because maybe that's how life is supposed to happen. We get a little older and hopefully gain a little more insight with the days that pass.  We live a life that's full to the brim with more life, and it's hard to realize just how unique and amazing the moments are, until we take a step back and reflect, which we should do often so we're not caught off-guard in our kitchens on a random Friday evening.

So at 25, I'm taking a step back to say two things to both you and to God, who I know is reading this (Hiya!).  The first is, "This adult thing is so good," because I stand in awe of the life that's been given to me and the God/people who have brought me here, amidst the Pyrex and the craziness. The second is, "I'm so thankful," because there's no other way to to express that gratitude I have for being 25. Married, growing, creating, laughing. With a giant loving family and friends who are pure treasure. Memories behind and adventures ahead.  25 is great, no wait, it's the best and I'm so happy to be it right this very moment.

Peace and love,


to my valentines

Dear Valentines,

It's coming, it's coming! Valentine's Day is just around the corner and it's time to get down to business.  I'm not talking about making dinner reservations or  picking up some chocolate or making sure you know where to find some roses...although I have nothing against any of those arrangements.  I'm talking about professing your love to the people around you.

Here's the challenge:  Make Valentine's Day extra special this year.  Send a note to your aunt.  Leave your roommate some love.  Mail some sunshine to a long distance friend letting them know they are the best.  You can express yourself however you want.  Write it on a Post-it note.  Draw something on a napkin.  Frost a message on a cake.  Paint a sign and put it on the refrigerator.  Let's be thankful for the special people in our lives and tell them how much they are cared for this year!

Want to share your Valentine plan?  I'd love to hear below!

xoxo, Your secret admirer P.S.  If you'd like to send a card to someone, I know of a shop that has some pretty cute ones!!!  Head on over to Lettered Life Shop for some options, including the cards featured above!

dreams into plans

Hi hi hi!

So, I mentioned some New Year's Resolutions awhile back, and today, I'm holding myself accountable.  To make sure I'm staying on top of my 2013 goals, I'm going to check in on those efforts monthly.  I've heard the first step to accomplishing your goals is to write them down and another is to share them with people to really seal the deal. Hopefully these efforts, along with my true desire to make 2013 super special, will help me accomplish the things I've been wanting to do.  Not all of my resolutions apply to this month, but a few of them do.  So here's where I'm at:

  • Reading 2 books a month.  Check.  I've read Unlocked by Karen Kingsbury, The Luminous Portrait by Elizabeth Messina, Claire de Lune by Jetta Carleton, and I'm halfway through Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly and Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum.  This is wayyy more books than I thought I could read in one month, and I can promise you that I'm still a productive, social person even though I've had my nose in so many books!  The big thing is, reading gives me such peace.  Even if it's just reading a few pages.  I love being pulled into a good story (like Unlocked) or learning about a subject I need to work on (The Luminous Portrait) and diving deeper into the theology of my faith (Rediscovering Catholicism).  There are just so. many. things. to learn about out there, and books let you dip into them all.  Reading (like running) also helps calm my brain when I have 800 thoughts swirling in my head and I need to calm all that craziness down.  You know what I'm sayin? 
  • SheReadsTruth.  Check.  I was a little behind on the Advent plan, so I finished that up in January and hopped onto the Soul Detox plan when that started!  I've started sharing verses and thoughts from the daily devotional on Instagram and Twitter and love seeing other people's responses to the plan on social media.  (Here's a post about #SheReadsTruth if you are unfamiliar!)
  • Be involved in a ministry church.  Working on it!  Hopefully after tomorrow I'll have more to share about this one.  I'm super interested in getting involved with both the young adult and youth programs at church, and my husband and I are getting lunch with a church staff member tomorrow to see where we'd be a good fit!  So excited.  We are so glad to have this community nearby, and we are pumped to find ways to take on more of a leadership role!
  • Blog 3 times a week.  Just about.  I still need to make this a priority!  I'll get better!
  • Go crazy with my Etsy shop.   Yes!  I've added a bunch of listings and am continuously learning ways to make the shop look better and be more visible.  Each order makes me SO HAPPY because I love knowing that a little something that I made will help brighten someone's day.  Since I love letters, I especially love when cards or notecards are purchased because I know the customer will be sending love in the mail on the cards that I make!  So so cool.  I also received orders for 2 fun custom projects today that I can't wait to share soon.

What were your resolutions?!  How are they going?!  I'd love to hear them.  Let's hold each other accountable!

xoxo, Caitlin


Dear Sisters,

This verse is one that I have been reciting again and again this week (go ahead, memorize it!  right now!), thanks to #SheReadsTruth.  #SheReadsTruth is a daily devotional for women that I learned about a few months ago at The Influence Conference.  We just finished a plan called "Fresh Start" for the new year, and it focused on how God redeemed all SORTS of people to put them on His path.  One day specifically showed how God used Moses to save the Israelites, which made me want to watch The Prince of Egypt like crazy!  (Our family was slightly obsessed with When You Believe growing up.)  "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still"  is something Moses says to the terrified Israelites, who know the Egyptians are coming after them in Exodus 14.  I won't tell you what happens next if you're unfamiliar with the story, but know that this is where things get REALLY good and Moses's encouragement is proven to be true.

If you're looking for a devotional, I love a couple of things about #SheReadsTruth, the first being that it is available through the YouVersion app on my phone.  I know, I know, you don't need an iphone to do a devotional, BUT #SheReadsTruth encourages you to take a picture and instagram/tweet what you learned from the devotional and corresponding scripture, so makes it a visual AND an experience I can share with other people.  I think this is an awesome way to share the Word, so I'm all about it!  I also enjoy how the devotional are written in a down-to-earth style, and I like that I have it everywhere I take my phone...which is admittedly everywhere, so there's no reason not to check in with the daily reading!  While I don't instagram or tweet my daily thoughts often and need to work on being a little braver in this aspect, I have loved the themes of the last few plans including Advent and the Fresh Start I mentioned earlier.

So ladies of all ages, if you've been looking for a way to add a little more reflection to your day, check out #SheReadsTruth.  You do not have to have a smartphone to read the plan---you can visit the site daily to see what the readings are or sign up to have them delivered to your inbox.  A new plan called "Soul Detox" just started and it's never too late to join in.

xo, Caitlin

PS -  This print is available in the LetteredLifeShop!

small things

Dear Friends,

How sweet is this quote?  And how true.  Often, the smallest gestures done out of kindness for others can make a big impact.  One of my besties from home totally brought life to these words for me today!  She sent me  a "just thinking of you note" note in the mail, and reading her words brightened my day.  It was so sweet of her to think of me and do a little something special that I wasn't expecting.  Love her and the example she sets for me!

Let's all find one sweet, special thing to do today.  I'm going to pass on the note writing love and send one to my grandma.  Have any fun ideas?  I'd love to read them in the comments!

xo, Caitlin

words from ruth

Dear Little Sista,

Thank you for bringing this verse to my mind this week!  I loved reading this chapter from Ruth, who is such an awesome bff.  She demonstrates deep trust and commitment as she gives unwavering support to Naomi and serves as a great example of what it's like to love like God loves us.   I think she's also giving us an idea of how we should be close to God.  To go where he goes and stay where he stays?  Sounds like a good plan to me.

Thanks for the encouragement! xo, Caitlin


cheers to 2013

Dear 2013, It's so great to officially meet you!  I've heard a lot about you and seen you on my calendar app, but I'm really excited to spend some quality time with you.   I have a feeling we are going to have a great time together...just wait until you hear some of my 2013 resolutions.  (The first of which is to blog 3 times a week, along with taking a trip with my husband, finding a way to help out at the Boys and Girls Club and more.)

I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I'm super excited for our adventures ahead! Sincerely, Caitlin

all i want for christmas (and other holiday tunes)

Dear Friends, Christmas is almost here, and to say that Austin and I are excited is understatement.  To prepare for the big day, we've been listening to Christmas music for hours each day is an understatement.  Mariah Carey definitely inspired the print above---as did my who  mom performed an impressively convincing lip-sync version that I had the opportunity to experience first live via FaceTime, but I'll spare you the details on that one.

If you're on the hunt for some new Christmas tunes that really capture the reason for the season, be sure to check out some of the ones I'm posting below to hear some of our absolute faves this year! xoxo, Caitlin


1. NEEDTOBREATHE - Go Tell It on the Mountain 2. Hillsong United - The Fist Noel (Holy Is The Lord) 3. Francesca Battistelli - You're Here 4. Sidewalk Prophets - Hope is Born This Night 5. Dave Barnes - Mary and Joseph 

send some love

Hey there!It's December, and you know what that means. Time to bust out the Christmas tree, bake some cookies and send some super cute holiday cards to everybody you love.

As you know, I love me some custom lettering, and I'm crazy over Christmas, so I started making a few Christmas card designs for Austin & I to send out, and just couldn't stop! Now I'm offering custom hand-lettered cards for you and your family for $10! Just send your photo along with any other words or phrases you'd like to include on the card, and I'll send you the jpeg so you can print however you'd like.

Where should you print the image?  A few recommendations....

  • Upload the custom image to Walgreens or your local drugstore to print as a matte 5x7 print for 11 cents each!  So easy!
  • Print a your jpeg like a folded greeting card, envelopes included, through Shutterfly for $1.59 each, for 25 cards.

If you're interested, check out my Etsy site to get started.  I'm so excited to make the perfect card for you and hope you'll check it out!

Peace, love and hot chocolate! Caitlin