The Guy Behind the Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hello, I am Jacob, Laura's husband and I have been given free reign over her blog today as we are linking up with Heavens to Betsy (don't ask me what a link up is, Laura told me to include that). Camping, hiking, and anything adventurous are right up my ally. If anyone wants to buy me a dog, or convince Laura we should get a dog, I would be very appreciative. Also Taco Bell is great.

1. Have you ever had a blog, or have you ever considered starting one?
I have never had a blog and I pawsed to think about it for a second, then realized all I would blog about is cats and puns. Do we need more of those?

2. If you could be a member of any band, which one would it be?
Here is the problem; I am a terribly awful singer. I know everyone says that, but it is true. I think people run away when I sing therefore I would have to be in a band that I'd be able to blend in so that nobody can hear my voice. That leaves One Direction.

3. Valentine's Day is on the horizon - are you the date planner type or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Do you have anything planned for February 14 this year?
I am most definitely not a date planner, whoops sorry Laura. I always have a lot of fun and romantic ideas in my head but the hard part is planning them out. Right now the only plans for the 14th is a candle lit evening filled with paper mache hearts.... or not.

4. Tell us about a date-night-gone-wrong for you and your wife. If it's funny, all the better!
Pretty early on in our relationship, I decided to take Laura on a star gazing date. Being in Iowa, you are always surrounded by corn fields and a massively beautiful night sky. So the plan was to drive out into the country and star gaze in a corn field - it's the city kid thing do when they attend college in a tiny town. Sounds easy, right?

I picked her up around 10pm, found a random dirt road, and followed it for a few miles. We thought we saw a nice place to gaze so I began to pull over to the shoulder. Turns out dirt country roads do not have shoulders, they have ditches. I drove the car straight into the ditch and we were stuck for good. Maybe this is the part I should mention we were also borrowing a friend's car.

Not even five minutes later, while Laura was in tears and I was frantically pacing and kicking dirt, a pickup truck full of teenage farmers came to our rescue with their rope and pulley system. As the truck pulled the car out of the ditch we noticed a dead deer head in the back of their truck and asked about it. Come to find out, they were on their way to prank a friend's house by putting the deer head in their basketball hoop. Typical Friday night in Iowa.

5. And let's cover all the topics...sports...who are you rooting for in the Superbowl and why?
That's an easy one - the Vikings!

My Style // Customized Magenta Dress

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gold is the in thing this year. It pairs well with a variety of colors and is an excellent addition to give any outfit that extra special pop. Sometimes, however, my rule following heart struggles with naturally pairing this bold, antique-like color with everyday pieces. When eShakti sent me this magenta dress with gold detailing, my capsule wardrobe rejoiced. It has instantly become a staple dress, fits like a glove, and vanishes the fear of how to wear gold.

One of the most important factors I consider when it comes to my capsule wardrobe is whether or not a piece of clothing fits my body and style well. What is the point of having half a closet of clothes I only sort of like or that only sort of fit? My favorite part of eShakti is that I had the freedom to customize the dress for fit and style #doublewin. Sleeveless dresses are just not my thing so I opted in for the mid-sleeve option and above-the-knee length.

Gone are the days of weird fitting clothes and a self-conscious gold wearing Laura. Even if gold may not be your thing, you should head over to eShakti for yourself and browse their plethora of customized wardrobe options. And best news yet, because you are a loyal According to Laura Jean follower, use the coupon code accordingtolaurajean for 10% off your purchase!

This dress is courtesy of eShakti although all opinions, photos, and reviews are my own.
To find out more about what eShakti has to offer check out their Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter pages. 

How do you incorporate gold into your wardrobe?
What are musts for your closet?

Practical Tips for Encouraging Bloggers

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If you have stuck around this space for awhile, you know how important community is to my life. It is this vague yet practically beautiful idea that centers around people loving one another vulnerably and deeply. It is more than having a friend over for dinner or saying hello to those next to you in the church pews during Sunday greeting time - although nobody will argue these gestures are always welcomed. Community at its best is intentional and seeks to serve.

Now let's have a chit chat about the blogging community. Blogging is this dynamic and multifaceted platform that allows writers, dreamers, creatives, and everyday women (and men) the opportunity to expose their talent to a greater audience. It takes a significant investment of time, effort, and sometimes money to grow and succeed. Because of this, we are passionate, proud, and extremely dedicated to our own personal blogs.

In the genuine desire to pour into our personal ideas and dreams, I am afraid we too quickly lose sight of the community that is right in front of us in blog world. Admittedly, I sometimes want to see my images, tweets, and instagrams repinned, retweeted, and hearted more than I care about promoting others. I immediately respond to emails regarding awesome advertising opportunities and wait till tomorrow to reply to questions, ideas, or connections from bloggers.

These are ugly parts of me that I am not pumped about sharing with the world. I do so however, in hopes that we can grow together as women who encourage each other deeply and seek out a community in the most genuine of forms. Being online is not an excuse to care less or give less in friendships, if anything it allows us the opportunity to share life together in a unique way and create more positive spaces of influence on the internet.

Seek to Serve
The word serve has been engraved on my heart lately and it is an attitude we need to adopt in the blogging world. If every interaction was met with an honest desire to serve another, our community would be blooming. Serve those who ask questions, serve those who criticize, serve those who are your biggest supporters.

Genuine Promotion
The world is saturated with cheap promotion. Just the other night we were watching a television show and laughing at how obvious the promotional ad was implanted into the script resulting in tacky advertising. Let's make a commitment to not be that way and rather promote businesses, bloggers, and brands we truly love and support.

Praying for Others
Praying for others can go without explanation as to the power of thinking and lifting up those in our blogging community. Commit the words, dreams, and hearts of those in this community to prayer - that we may love one another well and reach out in times of need.

Affirm, affirm, affirm. Not every compliment, favorite post, or encouraging word needs to appear on social media or online. Take the time to affirm the bloggers around you through a text, phone call, or personal card. Express your gratitude and encouragement to them in a meaningful and significant way.

What tips do you have for encouraging bloggers?
Share a meaningful moment of a blogger investing in you.
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