Musings: Entrepreneurship, Asking for Help, and a Giveaway

I've been blogging here for about a year and if you know anything about me, I like to go for things. I'm the oddest mix of a chronic planner and a spontaneous doer.

I started End Quote Studio right before leaving for a four month trip to Spain. While the timing seems strange, it's worked out perfectly. I have four months to play with my style, to plan, to create and to collaborate.

That's what has really been the best, actually, the collaboration. I've emailed bloggers and found people I aspire to be. It's an exciting time. And like most things in my life, there's an underlying message for me: I need help. I found an amazing creative and sister in Christ to work on my blog design. The blogging community has been more than willing to help. For example, Rebekah from All That Glitters is hosting a GIVEAWAY for a printable of your choice this week!

 In addition to my Movers series, I'm starting a Setting Up Shop series. If there's one thing I'm sure I want to be in life, it's an entrepreneur. Why not showcase people who are already rocking it? As per my usual style, the series content will be short and sweet, sometimes featuring just a quote from one of my favorite entrepreneurs.

As always, there are a million and one changes happening right now. Thanks for sticking with me.

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Mirando: El Escorial and a Real Madrid Game!

El Escorial is a beautiful monastery about an hour outside of Madrid. This past Monday, the patron saint of something related to our had a special day, so we had the day off. We rode out to the tiny town of San Lorenzo only to find out that El Escorial was closed on Mondays! (Despite the fact that we called to make sure that it was open.) Thankfully some of the best views are on the outside.

Yesterday, we went to a Real Madrid game. It wasn't the most exciting match, but being in the stadium with people who were so invested in the team was exciting. Also, being relatively (very relatively) close to Ronaldo wasn't so bad either.

My first GIF haha

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Mirando: Aquí and Ahora

Hard to believe it's already been two weeks in Madrid. If you've been following on Instagram, you've already seen pictures from my visits to the vast majority of Madrid's museums. There have also been trips to the Rastro, a giant flea market, and a couple of walking tours.

Originally, doing touristy things felt cliche. Now I appreciate it. I know more than I thought I would about the history of Madrid. My new goal is to do touristy activities without acting like a complete tourist. I'm finding the balance of taking pictures and just letting the moment happen. After drinks with some friends of my friend, I stumbled upon a shop and ended up buying a pin that says "Aqui and Ahora" (here and now).

That's my goal right now, to be here in Madrid. I'm humbled by how much I need to learn, excited by how much I have yet to do, and thankful for the way that my concept of home has expanded.

The oldest restaurant in the world

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Musings: On Pickpockets, Idolatry, Grace, and Humility

Well, friends. This post will be longer than most.
Just a pretty, yet wholly unrelated, wall in Madrid
Let's start at the beginning. Nearly a year ago, I both got an iPhone and started a blog. Thus began my love/hate relationship with social media. I was always torn between wanting to share what God is doing in me and wanting to show how "beautiful" my life was (or how beautiful I made it appear). Especially since being in Spain, it's easy to use social media as a means to boast about myself instead of using it show Christ in me. I've been working through defining what a healthy use of social media means for me. Better put, I've thought about what an authentic use of social media means for me.

Pride feeds in to my desire to use social media as a means to be admired. Humility is something for which I'm continually praying. I told my friend on Friday night that I was being humbled every day by my inability to fully communicate in Spanish. Saturday night brought further humbling.

About three years ago, my iPad was stolen in the city. I was silly and that night shook me. Since then, I've been extremely vigilant about protecting my goods. In listening to my program coordinator talk about safety, she told us that an incident will affect at least one person in our group. My pride wanted that person not to be me.

But it was. During a trip to Salamanca, I put my phone in my back pocket because it couldn't fit into my purse and I felt bad leaving it in my coat. By the end of the night, it was gone. In that moment, I felt ashamed. I still do. Back pockets are a pickpocket's best friend.

I felt overwhelmed by two feelings. First, I wanted to hide the fact that I was dumb enough to be pickpocketed. Second, I wanted my phone back. I wanted my ability to share my life with the world again, for people to know what an exciting time this was for me.

In short, my prayer for humility has overwhelming been answered. I am reminded that I will fail, because I am human. I have an automatic fast from Instagram. Most importantly, I have an opportunity to share God's grace. If I'm being honest, my faith hasn't been where I want it to be, but God in His grace keeps pulling me towards him. After all, only He could turn a stolen phone into a blessing.

I'm writing this post for me. I'm writing this post because it's humbling to honestly share where your heart is. I'm writing this because because I forgot how, more than wanting to be admired, I want to be authentically known. I'm writing this because I think that's what I've wanted this blog to be all along. And thank you, friend, if you've read this all the way through.

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Leibster Award

My friend and fellow blogger, Lindsey, from The More Awesomer blog nominated me for a Liebster award. The whole idea is to spread the word about growing blogs. I was one of ten that Lindsey nominated and I get to nominate ten blogs of my own. As I seek to create community this year, the Liebster award seems like a perfect starting point.

1. Favorite sick day movie?
I tend to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's or Charade if I'm feeling down, emotionally or physically. When Holly Golightly has the mean reds, it makes you feel like you are not alone.
2. What is your crazy unrealistic dream job?
I would love to get paid to travel, something like National Geographic. How amazing would it be to get paid to see the world?
3. If you could go anywhere with anyone for a weekend, who would you take and where would you go?
I'd go shopping with Audrey Hepburn in Paris and Milan. Her style is classy, simple, chic, and exactly what I aspire to. We'd probably have to go thrifting because there is no way I could afford the brands she wears in her movies.
4. List three of your favorite albums of all time.
Ok, this is really hard since I'm more of a song and mixtape lover than an album lover. I'm gonna go with the Lion King broadway soundtrack. I wanted to be Nala on Broadway when I was younger. I'd also have to say Kids These Day's Traphouse Rock album. The drummer went to my school and I'm continually in awe of their talent. They're one year older than me and have a critically acclaimed album!! I'm gonna take a cop out on the last one and say that the Sleepy Train Tracks mixtape on 8tracks has been the soundtrack to a lot of the important projects that happened last semester.
5. How did you pick your blog name?
Live and Move came from Acts 17:28: For in Him we live and move and have our being. The whole idea of my blog is to document my life and to remind myself that it's meant to be lived for His glory.
6. What’s the best thing you have ever eaten?
There's a small lakeside town about 1 hour from my house. Any time we visit, we have to eat at Popeye's. (Not the chain) There's a seafood pasta that I ate once before they took it off the menu. It was absolutely unbelievable. My mouth is watering even as I write this. 
7. If you could master one skill in a day (an instrument, a language, etc), what would it be?
I'd definitely pick up Italian. My goal has always been to master Spanish, then Italian, then French. It's been slow going with the Spanish, though. Hopefully living in Spain will help me to finally become fluent.
8. If you could go to a carnival with three people alive or dead, who would you go with?
I would love to hang out with Jesus, Langston Hughes, and Bon Iver. I know, it's a strange combination, but I'd be so entertained by their company that I wouldn't even really need the carnival. And who wouldn't want to see Jesus try his hand at carnival games? 
9. Favorite Skittle flavor?
This is a toughie. I love combining the skittles so the flavors are more complex. So, all of them...?
10. Favorite quote of all time?

“Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.”― Augustine of Hippo It summarizes my life goals, and gives me guidance as I try to live.

My Nominees:

My questions:
1. What's your favorite song for getting a lot of work done?
2. Do you prefer sweet or salty food and what's your favorite?
3. What's one event that you'd like to attend in your lifetime?
4. If you could have anyone design you an outfit, who would it be?
5. If you could take one piece of art from a museum and put it in your home, what would it be?
6. Where do you go to de-stress?
7. What's one youtube video everyone should watch?
8. Name a song lyric that still stays with you.
9. If you could pick an 8th wonder of the world, what would it be?
10. What's your favorite thing to drink, not just alcoholic, but in general?

Mirando: Metaphors

Living in another country, speaking in another language. It's become a metaphor for my faith. I know things. I understand the majority of what is said. But, oh, is it hard to speak up. This time abroad is about finding my voice so that I'm just as comfortable talking about my faith as I am with talking in Spanish. There's a lot of work to be done.

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P.S. Check out this week's giveaway!

This giveaway is kind of a big deal

Are you ready for this? 
I don't think you are...

In honor of Keep Calm Blog On's First Blogiversary, I've gathered TWENTY of my favorite blogging ladies to host the giveaway of a lifetime. All blogs have to get their start somewhere and connecting with other bloggers is a great way to get some more exposure.  The winner of this giveaway will get ad space on the sidebar of all 20 blogs for the month of February! This means that your ad could reach a potential of 30,000 followers (including our blog and social media followers). This is an awesome opportunity for a new blogger, small business or a blogger who wants to get some more exposure (really, what blogger doesn't??).  Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below and visit all of the fabulous ladies participating in the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mirando: Toledo

We took a day trip to Toledo, a city about an hour outside of Madrid. It's got the most interesting history and architecture, a mixture of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian influences. I couldn't have picked a better way to be introduced to European architecture. I'm taking an art history class, so I'm sure I will learn more.

I love being here. My roommate and I speak Spanish 90% of the time. I have friends familiar with the city who have been gracious enough to share it with me. Being independent, it's great to constantly be in a situation where I have to figure things out myself. Now, I'm trying to get plugged in with a small group, a church, and some language exchanges. As much as I love Americans, I'm here to absorb the Spanish culture. My other travels will begin soon, I have two trips that are already paid for and a couple of others in the works.

I realize that I like things short and sweet. A lot of times, I prefer to let the pictures say the most. Other times, I'll have a single photo and a few brief thoughts. If you ever want to know more about something, just leave a comment and ask! And I'm averaging a new Instagram every day.Follow along if you wish.

P.S. I didn't edit these photos. Toledo is that pretty.

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End Quote Studio: The Inicio Collection

In case you haven't heard, I started a little printable shop last week before I went to Spain. As I've dreamt and conceptualized, the plan is to release collections of four printables at a time. This first collection is aptly named The Inicio Collection. It's the beginning of my journey abroad and of my entrepreneurial journey. Treat yourself to some printable decor and inspiration. I can't wait to see these prints decorating your spaces. Share them with me using the hashtag #endquotestudio!

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Movers: Kristina Modares

The Movers series is designed to highlight people who are living and moving in exciting ways.

My name is Kristina Modares I'm 24 years old. I live in Austin, Texas and I love the energy and people of my city. It's a great place to live if you like to be active, love music, and food. Ohhh the food! After I graduated college I really wanted to experience a city I had never been to before. Austin had been calling to me for a while and I had a gut feeling that I would fit in well. I packed up my little car and as soon as I arrived, I felt like I belonged. I recently started an online Etsy store called 

I started Nine89 because I really want to be an entrepreneur and I figured this would be the best way to begin! I have never been a "9-5--office job" person and I don't think I have ever felt comfortable in a formal school setting either. I used to think that there was something wrong with me, or that I wasn't smart, but I realized this was not true. I have learned so much more on my own. I think living in a city like Austin, has really helped me learn that I can be comfortable being myself, and has allowed me to come into my own. 

I have been vintage and thrift shopping ever since I can remember. When I was a young child my mom would take my sister, brother and I to thrift stores as she shopped for treasures. During that time period the vintage trend had not caught on yet, you didn't see teenagers and young adults digging through somebody else's belongings…that was not "cool". I think that's why I am unique in what I do, because I have grown up doing this. I know where to start looking, I know what people want and I love the hunt!

Another passion I have is traveling. I have been to numerous foreign destinations throughout my lifetime. As much as I have traveled abroad, I realized I need to travel more within my own home country. 2014 will be the year I am properly introduced to my homeland! I will be going on tour with my extremely talented friend Drew Davis for two months. Drew moved to Austin around the same time I did and is such an amazing singer and songwriter. Drew and I will be blogging, meeting amazing new people, taking pictures, and saving money as much as we can! I will be collecting vintage items in each city that we go through and am bringing most of my inventory on the road with me! It will be like my own little mobile store. I want people to follow Drew's blog---and if we are in their city, it would be great to meet my customers, and her fans! I love building relationships and being able to sell my vintage items in the process, is a dream come true.

When you put yourself out of your comfort zone, you truly reach full potential, and all the insight and confidence follows suit. So get unstuck, get uncomfortable; women can do so much and we are so strong! Don't make up silly excuses or utter the words, "I can't". Stand up straight, walk in confidence and prove to yourself that you are capable of great things! I wish you all the best in life and if you ever want to talk about anything or need advice on how to push yourself, I am always willing to help! 

Be sure to follow their journey! Their links are below.

Kristina's Links:
Instagram: kmodares
Twitter: kmodares

Drew's Links: 
Instagram: drewdavismusic
Twitter: drewdavis_music

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At the beach, in Asturias. I loved the colors.
I was speaking with my grandma about going to Spain yesterday, describing how I'm excited and nervous and expectant and scared. She replied by telling me that life is about that mixture of emotions. When you think about it it, you're never experiencing only one feeling. There are undertones at play in any instance.

All of this is to say that today I leave for Spain. I'll be there for four months. This will be my space to talk about it and whatever else catches my fancy. Today, I feel expectant with undertones of nervousness. I announced the launch of End Quote Studio this week, which will still be up and running while I'm gone. My dear friend already arrived in Spain and I am so thankful to have her meeting me at the airport. Next Monday, I'll be traveling to Toledo. There will be trips across Europe. And behind all this, I'm expectantly awaiting my last college summer.

Spain, I'm coming for you, and que será, será.

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What's a girl to do in Europe?

It takes a while for things to feel real for me. One of those things is that  I'll be spending four months in Spain starting this Friday...! I could post about my mixed emotions, but I'll save that for another day. Today, I need your help.  I have a short list of places I want to travel, but I want your opinions. What is your favorite European destination, and what's one thing I should do while I'm there? Thanks for giving my travels an exciting start!

El Retiro, from my last trip to Spain

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Things Fall Together: The Story of End Quote Studio

This is the story of seemingly unrelated events that resulted in me owning a small  tiny business.

End Quote Studio

Summer 2010: My love of quotes inspires my common application essay for college.

Fall 2013: I get my first job with a cubicle and a chance to decorate it to my liking. Of course, I scour the internet for printables of meaningful quotes.

Winter 2013: I decide I'd like to try a new hobby. I order a calligraphy kit from Etsy. After nailing down the basics, I find myself writing words, quotes, and song lyrics. The process forces me to work on areas where I struggle, patience and letting go of control. I began to experiment with digitizing my work. This led to a few prints, which tumbled into a cohesive collection, and ended up as a shop.

End Quote Studio is a place to find a printable treat that will brighten and inspire any of your favorite places. I plan to update the shop with new collections as I'm inspired. Right now, I would love for you to give it a look. If you like it, maybe tell a friend? If you don't, tell me what you'd like to see. Thanks, friends.

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Pen Pals, Anyone?

I've been practicing my calligraphy for the New Year. More here.

When I started this blog, I thought that I would come up with DIY ideas, showcase my photography, and share inspiring thoughts. Honestly, my approach was quite self-centered. I got really into growing the blog and neglected to grow the relationships that the blogosphere offers. I have the opportunity to do life with people across the country, across the globe, even. 

I'm going to Spain next semester, and I had this idea. Why not offer up the chance to be pen pals with anyone who's interested? Next semester would look more like sending emails, but after that I would love to write some old-fashioned mail with newfound friends. 

Not sure if anyone will take me up on this, but this year is about investing in people. It's worth a shot.

Shoot me an email if you're up for it!

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