Our very first GIVE-AWAY!!!

I've been selling Live With Less tees for about five months now and I think it's about time to do a give-away!

If you'd like to win one of these super cool t-shirts there are multiple ways to enter below. If you already own a tee, don't worry, you can still enter to win a 'back-up' or win one for a friend!

Over the last five months I've been blown away at how many people (some I've never even met in person) have supported, encouraged, and cheered on this little endeavor of mine. So this give-away is just one small way I can say THANK YOU to all of those people.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATS to Amber Z. for winning the Live With Less t-shirt give-away!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!


Watching... the clock to savor the amount of "nap time" I have left to get some things done. Those couple of quiet hours are a sweet part of my day. 

Listening... to All Sons and Daughters station on Pandora. LOVE them. 

Enjoying... catching up on some posts from some of my favorite bloggers, smells from a french vanilla candle burning next to me, and sipping on a Dr. Pepper courtesy of Chick-Fil-A which are the first drops of caffeine I've had in four days. 

Planning... on experimenting with iWeb to design a new site for Live With Less. I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm up for the challenge. 

Excited for... my husband to come home tonight! He's been in Tennessee on a staff retreat the last four days and we haven't seen each other in a week! 

Inspired by... many great women who God has crossed my path with lately. His timing IS perfect. 

Cooking... nothing. Because I stink at it. :/ 

Remembering... The Justice Conference last weekend. Loved being in a great city like Philly and being with so many like-minded and creative people. 

Missing... my long hair. Just a little bit. 

Happy Thursday friends:) 

To the land of Rocky Balboa, cheeksteak sandwiches, and brotherly love..

Tomorrow I'm headed to Philly! My friend Kristen and I are driving out east to attend The Justice Conference

"The Justice Conference is a two-day annual event to promote dialouge around around justice related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights, feauturing internationally acclaimed speakers, hundreds of humanitarian organizations and dozen of pre-conference workshops." (Taken from the JC website)

I am incredibly excited to hear and learn from some people who are making a huge impact when it comes to the issues of social justice both locally and globally. I am especially looking forward to hearing from Lynne Hybels, Lindsey Nobles, and Shane Claiborne

I am also excited to say that I will be participating in a Poetry Slam (hosted by Relevant Magazine) as a part of the pre-conference on Friday night. I submitted a spoken word video a few weeks ago and was chosen to be one of fifteen people to compete in the poetry slam. The winner will get to perform in front of the entire conference (5,000 people) at the final main session on Saturday. I'm pretty sure I won't win but in the chance that I did, I would probably have to forfeit my crown due to a foreseeable fainting incident. For real, I think I'd have a serious panic attack if I actually won. Haha! I am really looking forward to meeting some other artists and soaking in a lot of great pieces that will be shared. The two judges will be Micah Bournes and Jefferson Bethke. Geez, no pressure there. 

Can't wait to give you all a re-cap of our weekend when I get back! 

It's more than just a t-shirt...How I'm living with less.

The words 'Live With Less' for me, are not just about a t-shirt. If you've followed my blog even just for a few months you've probably heard me talk about the 'Live With Less' t-shirts I've been selling since September. The t-shirt, in my mind, has two goals. To raise money for clean water for people in Africa who don't have access to it. I don't want to just live with less stuff, I want to give more. The second goal is to encourage and inspire others to 'live with less' on a daily basis. The t-shirt project has been so fun for me. Starting a project like this brings inspiration, opportunities, and even new friendships. But I'm not just the "seller", I'm also a participant. It'd be kind of silly if I were seeking to inspire others to 'live with less' but I weren't actually doing it myself. I'm still growing in this area and I am by no means the expert. But I'm trying and I'm making progress and that's what matters right? Progress? And by the way, this whole 'Live With Less' is not meant to be intimidating. I'm not expecting people to get rid of 90% of their possessions and move into a studio apartment and live off the land and only rely on a bicycle as their main mode of transportation. If that happens to be the way you live then GO YOU! But for most of us it's not. My hope for you (which is the same hope I have for myself) is that you can identify a few areas of excess in your life and figure out how you can take the control back. Jen Hatmaker wrote an incredible book called "7" that takes a much deeper look into riding your life of excess. If this idea intrigues you, you should read it. 

So here's what I'm currently doing to 'live with less'....

  • I've cut my wardrobe down to about 35 items. This doesn't include pajamas, socks, underwear, coats, or shoes. Everything else I've cut down significantly and I'm trying to be content with that amount. It's hard because I like clothes and I like a variety. Sometimes I feel inspired when I really like the outfit I'm wearing and even though that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's not where my worth or security should come from. And as a side note, a lot of times if there's something I want... I'll try to sell something I already have and then buy that new thing. I wrote more about that practice a while back which you can read about here. It's a good one:) 
  • I don't buy stuff for my house. Like decorative stuff. I use to make weekly trips to Goodwill or Home Goods to buy something to fill a space on a wall or in a room. Even if it was a steal in terms of price I would usually end up feeling guilty because I knew I didn't need it. There are plenty of improvements I would love to make in my home but for me, once I start, it quickly gets out of control in my mind and in my heart. I wrote more about this here a while back. 
  • The latest experiment I'm doing involves credit cards. Justin and I have a few credit cards we use. We pay them off at the end of every month and we use them mainly for the reward points. A lot of cards give you cash back or money for gasoline. It's worth it to us to use our credit cards for as much as we can in order to rack up as many points as we can. But here's the catch... statistics say people tend to spend 12%-18% more when paying with a credit card versus paying with cash. My husband and I are currently going through Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey and we've quickly come to the conclusion that I am the spender and he is the saver. Duh. This was not a surprise. It's not a problem for him to overspend when using a credit card but for me, it can be. So for the next 40 days (the Lent season) I removed all the credit cards from my wallet and I will only be using cash. I know this will be a challenge because I'm so used to just whipping out the credit card but the GOAL is that I will spend less. We'll see how it goes:) 
I know these are just beginner areas in which some of you are probably way ahead of me. I'd love to hear some of the ways you 'Live With Less'. Got any? 

**If you'd like to purchase a LWL tee to help you be reminded to live with less... just click the LIVE WITH LESS shop tab at the top of this page. 

A move & a new season.

Oh hey there friends, 

I'm back! I've really started to get the itch to blog again and I think this insane season we've just come through is finally in a calm place. A lot has happened in the last three months which is why my blog has been pretty quite. I'll spare you all the many details... Here's where we're at now. 

My husband accepted a new job at a new church. It's been almost four months since we've been apart of a consistent church community, i.e.: people we see on a weekly basis. This new job required a move so we are now living in Round Lake, IL which is an hour north of Chicago and an hour and a half from where we were previously living. We're renting a house and trying to find our way around town. This is the first time for us in two years that we don't have anyone living in our house that doesn't have the last name Laib. In October of 2010 it started with my mom who lived with us for about nine months, then our twenty-one year old friend Jenn moved in July 2011, then our twenty-two year old friend Niki moved in September 2012, and then we were placed with a five year old foster child in October 2012. Yeah, you counted right... we had SIX people living in our house, three of whom we're not biologically related to us. 

In many ways that was a sweet season because we loved Niki, Jenn, and our foster son very much, and still do, but it was a little too much to handle for this momma. No season lasts forever and it was time for our season to change. So here we are... at a new church in a new house in a new town. Just the three of us. And it's sweet. Our former 'house guests' will always have a special place in our hearts because of the time we got to love and invest in them and for the joy they brought to our home and our family. 

The weight I've been feeling for the last few months has been lifted and it's time to start running again. (literally and figuratively!) My soul is being refreshed and my passions renewed. I'm excited about this new season and how God will continue to shape me to do great stuff for Him. 

I'm back blogging world, I'm back.