Wednesday, April 29, 2009

in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.

We all struggle with this: there's so much to do, but oh-so-little time. On Twitter and Facebook I am constantly reading about how busy, or stressed, or crazy people's lives are.

Sure, life will always be crazy and stressful if we look at it that way {yes, sometimes more so than other times.} But I think a lot of it has to do with our perspective...whether we choose to complain about the things we have to do or decide to do it with a smile.

I know I am guilty of my fair share of complaining...but wouldn't life be so much better if we make a conscious decision to not complain about things? I know it's hard. I struggle with it just as much as anyone else.

The thing that gets me is when we complain about things that are blessings in our lives. We whine about school, work, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, etc. When in reality it is such a blessing that we have the opportunity to go to school, that we have a job when so many people are unemployed, that we have money to go buy groceries, that we have a home to clean and make our own, etc.

One of my mom's favorite verses to quote to me when I was a little girl was Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without complaining or arguing." the scripture continues in verse 15, "so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

I want to be like a shining star, don't you? :)

I am writing this post as a myself and to you, our few and faithful readers out there. Let's make a conscious effort to not complain. Instead, let's be thankful for our blessings...and enjoy life a whole lot more.

With that said, here is some musical inspiration from one of my role models in life, Mary Poppins:

things on my mind right now {a random list}

  • why do good people have to go through not-so-good things?
  • i want to make all bad things go away for all those good people i love.
  • words are never enough.
  • i want to always be there for those who need it.
  • i want to pray more than i do...really pray, and not just for my chicken salad. i'm trying.
  • there are so many things that i want to do, but don't have enough time to do it all. need to set priorities, i suppose.
  • i have lots of photos to edit and sort through...lots and lots. still have family photos from easter i need to get to.
  • if i had to pick a least favorite part about photography {which is hard, because i love it all} it would have to be sorting through photos. it's hard to narrow them's hard.
  • i miss my sister who lives in indiana.
  • i'm going to miss my brother who will be living in maine for the summer.
  • i get to see my grandparents from maine soon {three more days!}
  • i want to have all the people i love in one place. let's all move to an island together. i'd be okay with that.
  • husby will be finished with this semester in six days...then all he has is his senior {guitar} recital this summer...and then he graduates. there will be a lot of partying going on in the zajas household. most definitely.
  • i'm thirsty.
off to get some water...

intern with us at carrie workman photography!

How would you like to work with the two of us? {not the Easter Bunny, us girls on either side of Mr. Easter Bunny.}

{image by husby at the Eggs Benefit}

This summer we have an internship opening at Carrie Workman Photography. If you are interested in photography, want to learn more, need to complete an internship for your college degree, or just want to work with two fun ladies, then this is the internship for you! :)

The internship would include:
  • helping with photo shoots
  • assisting during ordering appointments, etc.
  • interacting with clients
  • aiding in various office tasks for the photo biz
  • etc.
If this is something you're interested in, please contact me at: tiffany {at} carrieworkman {dot} com If you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask!

We will also be looking for an intern for the Fall semester. So, if you can't do the summer internship but are interested in possibly working with us in the future...please let us know that as well!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the many faces of jonathan.

If I ever have a not-so-good day, or need a little cheering up--I just look to husband, and he makes me smile...and laugh...until my face hurts.

{images by me, on vacation last year}

Thanks for bringing so much joy into my life, husby. I love you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

our wonderful weekend {in pictures}

What a wonderful weekend we had! Friday night was date night, and is always a treat. We started out by going to Taco Yaki {which we affectionately refer to as "Yucky Taco"...although it is not yucky and they do not serve tacos} for a yummy Japanese dinner. After we were full from dinner, we went to Starbucks and talked over coffee. And then drove around our wonderful town looking for new photo op spots for me to take portraits at. And we ended the night by cuddling watching the latest episodes of The Office and 30 Rock. Wonderful night.

And, here is our weekend {in pictures}...

Jonathan never orders good coffee. He always likes mine better. I tell him he should just let me order for him. :)

Mmmm...iced vanilla coffee. Love it.

Saturday afternoon I got to hangout with my dear friend Lauren. She was house sitting and we hung out by the pool talking about life and all that goes with it.

Saturday evening I got to photograph Thorne and Laura, one of my favorite couples of all-time! Here is a sneak peak of their shoot...believe me, there are much more to come. We had a lot of fun!

Sunday morning my wonderful husband led worship at our church {I'm so proud of him.} Jonathan's mom and step-dad came and visited us and we went to Tony's in downtown Chattanooga for some delicious italian! It was great getting to see them.

This weekend I also weeded out a spot in my backyard and planted a wildflower garden! Ahhh...I have always wanted to have one of these and I am so-very-excited about it! I'm just hoping that the seeds grow with no complications {I keep running out there every few hours to make sure the soil is still moist.}

How were your weekends, my friends? I hope you all enjoyed this absolutely gorgeous weather we're having!

Friday, April 24, 2009

have a lovely weekend.

{photo by my husby while on vacation last summer}

Hello friends!

I hope you'll all have a very lovely weekend. The weather forecast tells me that it's supposed to be sunshiney and beautiful for several days, and I am very much looking forward to that. This weekend I will most likely be: going on walks with husband and maxo, weeding out a spot in our garden for me to plant some wildflower seeds {now that the weather is finally nice and going to stay that way...yay!}, and helping Jonathan by making him coffee, giving him a good excuse for a study break, and proofing his many papers he has to write.

What are you up to this beautiful weekend?

In the meantime, here are some links to some of my favorite finds around the web this week:
Now for a roundup on what happened here at Jonathan & Tiffany this week:
I hope you all will have an amazing weekend! Go out and enjoy this weather, spend time with loved ones, and do something new.

and the winner is...

and the winner of the withlovetiffany card giveaway is...

drum roll please...


{we chose the winner by entering all the names of you wonderful participants into a list randomizer}

Dian, I will be contacting you by email soon to go over the details of the delivery of your prize...but just to let you know, you will be receiving your two favorite cards from the shop: "Sam the Owl" and "Sweet as a Cupcake"

Thank you to everyone who visited and entered our giveaway! We really appreciate all the support you've shown for me opening my shop, withlovetiffany.
I hope that you all will continue to visit and look at the different designs I put up in the shop {and perhaps purchase some as well.} :)

This giveaway was so much fun that I am sure we will be having another one in the future. Thanks again for all of you who entered! I wish I could send each and every one of you a prize to say thank you.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

second photographer needed!

Calling all photographers in the Cleveland/Chattanooga Tennessee Area!

{image by ilco}

Hello everyone!

For work, we are needing a second photographer to help out with a wedding on Saturday, May 16th. My brother's high school graduation is that same day, so I am needing someone to go to the wedding in my place to assist my boss, Carrie Workman.

We are looking for either a professional photographer or an aspiring professional who needs some more experience.

If you are interested, please email: info {at} carrieworkman {dot} com and send a link to your online portfolio.

studio inspiration series - nicole balch

Good morning, friends!

Here is another round of our studio inspiration series {if you missed the first one, go here.} This next studio space is by entrepreneur, stationery maker, blogger, and very-soon-to-be-mom Nicole Balch. Nicole is the author of Making it Lovely. A wonderful blog on the different projects that she and her husband have taken on to make their house a home. I am a big fan of her work!

Here is her studio that she works on all of her stationery and cards, Pink Loves Brown. I am drooling over how absolutely organized everything is in here. I have this fascination with organization. Little boxes, containers, etc. anything that can help make life more organized is beautiful to me.

So, here...take a look for yourself...

Look at all of those yummy boxes and trays to hold her cards and stationery!

I am in desperate need of an organized shipping station like this.
Right now all of the envelopes and shipping materials for my shop
are just lying in a pile {neat pile, but still it's a pile} on my desk.

Those curtains are adorable!

This little cubby would be great for outgoing orders!

{all images by Nicole Balch via Making it Lovely}

To see more of Nicole's beautiful studio, go check out the studio tour on her blog. She has a lot more pictures and descriptions of all the items that make up this lovely space of hers.

Once again, I'm inspired to organize my office even more today. :)

If any of you have a studio or office that you think should be featured in our studio inspiration series, please email me at tiffany {at} zajas {dot} com I would love to see pictures of all of your spaces!

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

rise and shine!

Why is it always so difficult to wake up early in the morning? Waking up early is something that I really want to makes the rest of my day feel so much better. I feel more productive, alert, and happy. But getting up the first time that alarm clock goes off is oh-so-hard for me.

Does anybody else have this problem? I know I'm not alone here!

I did it today though. I got up without hitting the snooze button, which was practically a miracle!

I've been reading some articles online on the benefits to rising early, creating a morning routing, and tips on becoming an early riser.

Here are some of the things that I have been doing to help me get up early:
  1. make gradual changes - I often make the mistake of being overly ambitious in my getting up early attempts...."I'm getting up at 5:30!" and then I end up turning off my alarm clock completely because when 5:30am rolls around my body thinks that getting up is just plain ridiculous. Instead, getting up 15 minutes earlier than normal is a lot easier to adjust to. Then, a few days later get up 15 more minutes earlier until you've reached the desired wake-up time.
  2. go to bed earlier - um, yeah...staying up until 12:30 and getting up at 6:30 {my desired wake up time} just don't compliment each other. I need to start getting to bed by 10:30.
  3. put the alarm clock far away from the bed - if the alarm clock is right on my bedside table, I will just hit snooze over and over and justify in my sleepy mind the reason for not getting up right away. If I set the clock on the other side of the room, I have to walk all the way over there to turn it I might as well get up for good anyways.
  4. get out of the bedroom {and away from the couch} and go do something - I have to admit, there have been times that I have gotten up and out of bed...but only to go lay down on the couch to snooze for another half an hour. But if I get up...and go put the coffee on, start exercising, go put a load of laundry in, take care of clean dishes, etc. I will wake up a whole lot faster.
  5. make a list of things you enjoy about getting up early - before I go to bed each night, I write out my to-do list and schedule for the next day. Having this list, and knowing how much I can accomplish if I get up at the time I want to, is very motivating. Also looking forward to rewarding things in the morning, such as coffee with husband, pilates, yogurt and berries, reading my Bible, etc. makes getting up early more enjoyable.
What about you? Are you an early riser or a nite owl {or both?} What have you found that helps you get up {and stay up} in the early morning? I would definitely love and welcome any more tips you may have...heaven knows I need all the help I can get to stick to this. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

it's the simple things in life, really.

  • coffee in the mornings
  • checking things off my to-do list
  • warm, clean bed sheets straight out of the dryer
  • a letter in the mail
  • fresh flowers
  • reading a good book
  • getting just the right amount of sleep
  • water with lemon
  • making things with my hands
  • my new gray marker
  • taking pictures and preserving memories
  • being with the people i love most in this world
  • laughing so hard my tummy hurts
  • evenings walks
  • smoothies
  • hammocks
It's amazing how much joy can be found in the simple things in life. I think it's so important to take a moment to stop and appreciate these things. Take time to enjoy them. :)

What are some of the simple things in life that make you smile?

Here's a list of more simple pleasures to brighten your day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

we're having a giveaway!

Hello friends!

As I announced on Saturday, I just recently opened up my very own hand illustrated card shop. In celebration of the grand opening of "with love tiffany", I have decided to have a little giveaway on our little blog here.

So, in order to enter...
  1. go to my shop:
  2. pick out your two favorite designs {including ones that have already been sold...i can make more}
  3. and come back here to the blog and leave a comment telling me the names of the two card designs that are your favorite.

At the end of this week, I will use a random number generator to select the winner! The winner will receive the two cards that they picked as their favorite! :)

This is my first giveaway on the blog, so I would love if you would participate! So, go to my shop and pick your favorites now!

::UPDATE:: Please include your email address so I have a way of contacting you if you win. Also, the winner will be announced on Friday! Stay tuned! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

i opened my own etsy shop!

Remember that little project/surprise that I've been working on? it is! I have now officially opened up my very own Etsy shop {named with love, tiffany} to sell my original hand illustrated cards. :)

I've been working on this for a while...coming up with inspiration for new card designs, buying supplies, creating the illustrations by hand, setting up the shop, etc. It has been very fun and very exciting!

I would absolutely love it if you checked out my shop and told everyone you know about it! :)

Tell everyone you know to come to me for their greeting card needs. I also accept custom orders, so if there's something you would like...just let me know!

Below are just a few of the card designs that are for sale in my shop. I'd love to hear what you guys think.

{photos by me}

all cards pictured can be purchased at

Friday, April 17, 2009

studio inspiration series - candice stringham

I love finding inspiration for improving our workspaces and home office. Since Jonathan and I both normally do most of our work from home, it's nice to have a comfortable, organized, and cheery home office/studio that we actually enjoy being in.

Looking through blogs of different photographers, designers, crafters, and artisans, I am greatly inspired by their different workspaces. And here, in a new blog series entitled studio inspiration, I am going to share a few of those with you.

Our first inspiration comes from photographer Candice Stringham. I love her office because she makes great use of a small space, and it is very chic and functional.

I also love her use of black, red, and white...because those are, afterall, some of my favorite colors.

Look how organized the entire office is. I love it when there's a place for everything and everything's in it's's such a refreshing feeling. Something I've been trying to work on achieving in my own office.

I have to say, I would love to own my own copy of that vintage camera poster.

Aren't those little bins for trinkets adorable?

{all photos by Candice Stringham Photography}

I love love love that large calendar. Love it!

Now that I'm even more inspired to go and organize my office, I think I might go do that right now.

Feel free to check out the rest of Candice's office at her blog. She has lots of descriptions and more pictures of what she has in her workspace. I highly recommend going to check it out!

adorable circus party invitations!

I have to say that after seeing these adorable invitations by blogger Caroline Armelle of Armelle Jewelry, I am just dying to throw a party just so I can send out fun invitations such as these.

Two things I absolutely love about these: the polaroids and the red balloons {I LOVE red balloons.} SO adorable! I have to say, I am thoroughly going to enjoy throwing birthday parties for our future kids one day.

Please go to see more of Armelle's invitations, click here. OR here are some of her images from the circus party itself {which is quite adorable as well!}

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the bunny, the bunny, oh i love the bunny.

This past Saturday at the Eggs Benefit we had a live bunny there for the kids { hem, me} to pet. He was the cutest little thing ever! Oh, I definitely wanted to take him home with me...but then husband quickly reminded me that we have a little dachshund who keeps our hands full as it is.

Seeing the bunny, however, did bring back many memories from childhood. When I was about 10 years old we bred and raised mini lop bunnies. It was a great experience as a kid, and it helped me learn a lot by running my own bunny business.

In addition to it being a good business learning experience for me as a kid, I just fell in love with this breed of rabbit. When one of our mommy bunnies had a litter, one of the babies was sick and was kicked out of the nest. We ended up reviving him, fed him by bottle, trained him to walk on a bunny harness, and he became the sweetest bunny ever. We named him Blessing, because it was a blessing he survived.

Aren't bunnies the cutest? I'm determined that we'll own one again someday {later down the road, maybe after we have kids}...I just have to convince a certain someone of the same.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

concocting a little surprise.

I've been working on a little project that I hope to share with you all soon. Until then, you shall be kept in suspense. Mwah ha ha...

{and no, the "little project" is not a baby. i'll just go ahead and answer that question right off. sorry to disappoint many of you.}


{illustration by svilen mushkatov}