Blog-tember Day 30 | Farewell Blog-tember

Here we are, at a truly bittersweet place. Excitingly, October and the freshness of Fall are in front of us, and sadly September and it’s Blog-tember challenge are behind us now.

Wednesday, Sept. 30: A farewell coffee date. Take some time to breath, sip a warm drink, and share with your new blogging buddies. If you’d like a prompt: how did the Blog-tember Challenge go for you? Any surprises? What was your favorite prompt, or what would you like to see included next time?

I’m all but certain that my sentiments are similar to a lot of yours..

Proud …that I was able to (somewhat) keep up with the Blog-tember challenge and share so much new content on The Cunningham Two

Excited…about all of you who I now feel like I know from the glimpses into your lives.

Sad…to see the challenge and the community come to an end.

Anticipating…following along with others as we all go back to our new normal of routine blogging.

Nervous…that I won’t do as well without the prompts and the community

-Learning… that I do enjoy blogging and that I have a voice and a pretty unique life and stories to offer. I’ve looked forward to writing posts most days and interacting with you all. Blogging does help me learn and process.

Inspired…to keep writing. The greater blogging world can be intimidating and I can tend to feel like I have something to prove. I want to stick to “Just Stephanie” without a huge platform and a need to be “someone big” but to keep sharing.

That’s all, friends! Looking forward to your wrap-up posts and hoping to see more from you and to interact with you more as we go forward into October! Blog-tober challenge anyone??? 🙂

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Blog-tember Day 27 | Wish List

Sunday, Sept. 27: What’s on your wish list?

Are you guys familiar with The Five Love Languages? I’m sure most of you are. The premise is that everyone gives and receives love best in one (or some combination) of five ways. My love language is gifts.

Really, my love language is giving gifts. On bad days I peruse Etsy and look for things to buy friends. I often say I wish we had more money so I could buy more presents.

Since we’ve lived the past five years overseas I have kept a Pinterest board of “gift ideas” for our families to refer to and a running list on my phone of things we like to be sent in packages. 99 our of 100 things on the second list are food. #noshame.

We’re going home for Christmas on furlough and we’re just asking for things like amazon gift cards (yay Kindle books!) and money so we can spend it at TJ Max and on all the fast food and 7-11 coffee, donuts, and slurpees our stomachs can handle. Oh my gosh and the egg nog.

Ok, I’m getting too carried away.

Whew, so while we’re going for more practical gifts this year, I’m still tempted to ask for all of these more tangible wish list items:

1. These Mason Jar Measuring cups and spoons

MasonDo I need new measuring cups? absolutely not. Are these practical? No. Are they the cutest things ever? Yes.

2. All of the shirts from Stately Type

Stately TypeI mentioned stately type on Thursday in my favorite follows post. My sister owns a few of their shirts already and says they’re super comfortable.

3. This Treat Yo Self Mug

Treat yo selfAny Parks and Rec people out there with me? Tom and Donna are favorites of ours. Well, really they all are. Except Jerry, of course.

4. Annnnnd more Enamel Mugs because they are awesome

Enamel Mugs Also in the “I don’t need them but they’re super cute” category, are these mugs from urban outfitters. I have this obsession with enamel mugs right now because we can warm up our coffee on our wood burning stove. They make me feel adventurous but the first one is totally me.

I could list things for days but I’ll just leave you with those few.

What’s on your wish list?

blogtemberbuttonI’m linking up with the Blog-tember challenge. You can too!

Blog-tember Day 26 | Recent and Future Reads

Saturday, Sept. 26: What’s on your to-read list, and what have you recently read? 

Whew, this is going to be a tough one, guys.  Like a lot of you, I love to read. I think I did all of the reading gushing on Day 14 of the challenge. Suffice it to say, yay books.

My to-read list is well over 75 books and that’s only the ones I’ve written down to try to remember…not all the ones on my Kindle and all the ones I want to read.

Here’s a few in each category of past-present-and future reads.

Past | Recently Read:

The Scent of rain in the Balkans – Gordana Kuic

This is a story of a Bosnian Jewish family living in Sarajevo surviving World War II in the Balkans. It was an interesting read for me because I knew every street they mentioned and every location they went to during the narrative. I think it might be a little boring for those who don’t know the area though, but what do I know?

Peace Like a River – Leif Enger

This novel follows an 11 year old asthmatic boy and his family as they search for his outlaw brother. I really enjoyed Leif’s writing style and how he wrote his dialogues. His characters were very real and honest and witty.

The Martian – Andy Weir

This one is pretty popular these days and will be a movie soon. I really enjoyed this read. The character was hilarious and I found myself wishing he was a real person. I felt like I learned a lot, and kept having to remind myself that this was fiction, but it wasn’t overly scientific or boring. Warning, he does use strong language and innuendos from what I remember.

Past Read

Present | Currently reading

1. Demon– Tosca Lee

Obviousy I’m not finished with this one yet but so far so good. It’s about a demon who visits a publisher and has the guy write his memoirs. He goes through the whole Bible story through the eyes of the fallen angels. Really cool perspective on worship and sin. I think it will be along the lines of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness in being theology shaping and mind provoking.

2. Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool– TJ MacLeslie

This is just a guy’s testimony of God meeting him and pursuing him. Ultimately the author and his wife end up moving overseas, starting a family, dealing with some health issues, and learning a lot about God. Not finished yet but it’s alright.

3. One Conversation at a Time – D. Michael Henderson

I literally just started this one yesterday with the ladies on my team. A friend of one of our teammates gifted us all a copy. The premise is that Jesus ministered through intimate exchanges with His disciples and we should follow his example.

Present Reading

Future | What’s up next

Just to name a few:

1. The Ragamuffin Gospel – Brendan Manning

2. The Prydain Chronicles – Lloyd Alexander

3. Connecting – Larry Crabb

4. Simply Tuesday – Emily Freeman

5.The Selection Series – Kiera Cass (Thanks to many of the Blog-tember posts from Day 14 )

6. War and Peace– Tolstoy  (Mostly so I can watch Lily James in the miniseries coming out in 2016)

Forcing myself to stop now. 🙂 Excited to scout out your posts today to add more books to my to-read list!

blogtemberbuttonI’m linking up with the Blog-tember challenge. You can too!

Blog-tember Day 24 | Favorite follows

Thursday, Sept. 24: Shout out five of your favorite bloggers. Who are your regular reads?

Most of my blogging career over the past six years has been keeping up with friends and family from far away and keeping those friends and family posted on what we’ve been up to.

That means that for the most part my most read bloggers are my people who are just sharing stories of what their kids are learning in school or where their jobs have taken them.

Also I think I’m still mourning the loss of Google Reader (yes I know that was a billion years ago…) and haven’t found a great substitute. Anyone wanna give me their two cents on Feedly vs Blog Lovin’?? Which one should I hop on board with?

Anyways. We all know I’m obsessed with Instagram so most of my “bloggers” are Insta peeps. They’re doing some COOL stuff though that you definitely need to know about. I’ll share a few faves and link you to their Instagram accounts.

1.  Annie’s Eats

Annies Eats   Annie was the first blogger I actually started following. My best friend and I found her in college and realized every single one of her recipes was good. We never had to test them out first and there were never any fails.

I’ve followed her through several re-brandings and she has evolved a lot from only sweets, which is how she was early on. But she’s still my go to for a good dessert.

2. Hand Lettering Co

Hand Lettering CoI found Chris from Hand Lettering Company a while back on Pinterest. I found myself pinning a lot of his designs and then sketching them in my notebooks in meetings (I have to doodle to pay attention)…I didn’t know they were all his until I found him on Instagram a while later.

They recently held a kickstarter campaign for a laser engraver which I happily backed and now have lots of their prints and notebooks.

3. Stately Type

Stately TypeOk these guys are so fun! My sisters and I are obsessed.

Every week Stately Type picks a theme. It used to always be states but they have branched out to cities, countries, ideas, holidays, causes, etc. He designs three shirts around that theme and then their Instagram followers vote on which one to produce. If you commit to buy (on the honor system) your vote counts for ten votes.

Then you get to pre-order the shirts at 20% off. They have SO many fun shirts. I think I have 8 on my Christmas list haha.

4. Natalie Creates

Natalie CreatesI just recently found Natalie on Instagram and love her colorful farmhouse and spunk. I mentioned recently my obsession with farm life and she definitely helps to feed that as she and her husband not too long ago purchased a hobby farm and raise chickens and grow lots of great things there.

5. Benjamin Hole

Hole and SonsBen Hole is like my Instagram guilty pleasure. He and his family have a farm and raise sheep (among other livestock!) for wool. They produce and dye their own yarn from the wool now. If you’re in sewing circles you might actually already know about them because their yarn is pretty coveted and they always sell out immediately.

I always tell Craig my ideal sabbatical would be to go work on Ben’s beautiful English farm and help with the sheep all day. Craig thinks I’ve lost it, haha.

Those are all for now.

Are you a faithful blog follower? Or like me are you drawn to the Instargam feeds? Do you have an opinion on Feedly vs. Blog Lovin’? Feel free to weigh in and help me choose one or the other!

Blog-tember Day 22 | Create

Tuesday, Sept. 22: Get creative! Sketch, paint, dance, play music, whatever then give us a glimpse.

I had grand plans for today! I love, love, love, creating things. Whether it’s decorating, making gifts, scrapbooking, designing Bible verse prints or invitations, baking, or painting canvases…it’s usually pretty life giving for me to be able to be creative.

I wish I was more artistic and original, I do. I would love to be a good hand letterer or typograpist (I think I just made that title up) I would LOVE to own an Etsy store full of my beautiful creations. However, the reality is that I’m just a really good copier, and I live in Eastern Europe where their tastes are super different than my own, plus shipping would just be the whole Etsy thing will probably never pan out.

My best friend and I dream of starting our own bakery and all through college created by making people funny birthday cakes as their birthday gifts. Again though, Eastern Europe. It’s still on the dream list though. (Along with our idea to have a peanut butter and jelly food truck on our university’s campus, but that’s a story for another day.)

Today I was ready to paint a wooden sign to go in our house, one that’s been on my to-do list for a while. I even remembered to ask Craig to search out a good piece of wood for me. But, last week we moved out of the house with the re-claimed wood pile in the back (one man’s trash…) and couldn’t take much with us and we just didn’t have the right piece. You’ll just have to wait and see that another day I guess.

What I did end up doing today for work was put together an inspiration board on Pinterest for our new student center. That’s as creative as it got here today.


I’ve mentioned previously that we moved to Mostar earlier in this year and so we’re starting from scratch as far as our student work goes. In Sarajevo we had a beautiful office space where we held all of our events and did all of our hanging out. We’ll have that here too, it’s just been in the process of being built in a new office/apartment building.

University starts the second week of October here but we just got the keys to the new student center last week. The next few weeks will be a blur of buying things and helping as my husband and our boss make all of the tables and the built in kitchen. Whew. We might be a bit crazy…but talk about creating!

What about you? Do you have a favorite creative outlet or many?

blogtemberbuttonI’m linking up with the Blog-tember challenge. You can too!

Blog-tember Day 21 | Words to live by

Hey all!

So, I slacked over the weekend on blog-tember posts and decided that was ok. We are till trying to unpack our lives and had a church work day out at the farm all day Saturday (in the 105 degree heat…c’mon Fall, be better to me than that!) so we were busy and beat


Painting the outhouse – The cabbage fields

But, onward and forward!

Monday, Sept. 21: A favorite quote/expression and how it has impacted you.

This was another tough one for me. There are so many bible verses, so many song lyrics, so many tattoo ideas to choose from. I settled on the few that I’ve actually taken the time to paint and display in our house. The ideas I have for more are endless, but these must be important to me if I’ve made the effort to get them on our walls.

1.  Adventure is out there!

Adventure is out there Any fellow Up fans out there with me? I could watch that move over and over again. I laugh, I cry, I want to adventure. I think #adventureisoutthere is probably my most used hashtag. Well, that and the dog’s hashtags. Yes, he has two. Yes I hashtag everything. #sorrynotsorry #noshame

I digress.

Early in our marriage, when we had already applied to move to BiH, I asked Craig one day “can we be one of those couples who travel?” He laughed at me asking if I had forgotten what job we just signed up for..and we haven’t stopped moving and adventuring since then.

2. Stay Wild | Never Stop Learning | Eucharisteo

Stay WildAlso on display in our home is this little collage. It hung over our wood stove in our old place and is already up in the kitchen of the new.

Along the lines of Adventure is Out There, Stay Wild and Never Stop Learning remind me to keep some spontaneity and that there are always new things and people out there we can learn and grow from. I never want to stop learning and growing, changing, and becoming.

Eucharisteo is also up there too. All the Ann Voskamp and One Thousand Gift ladies will get me on this one, but I needed a physical reminder to be thankful. In her book Ann explains that Eucharisteo comes from the words that mean joy, grace, and thanksgiving. One of our words for the year is “joy” and we’ve tried to practice naming out loud things that we’re thankful for. But we’re just not that great at remembering to be thankful and so having something I walk by every day as a tangible push to give thanks is necessary and nice.

Now I’m all excited for tomorrow’s prompt where I get creative. Maybe it will include some more words to live by!

blogtemberbuttonI’m linking up with the Blog-tember challenge. You can too!

Blog-tember Day 18 | Vlog : Where I Live

Friday, Sept. 18: Record a VLOG! It can be about anything you’d like!

Whew, Y’all, this was a bit intimidating! But, I prevailed and I can’t wait to “meet” many of you Blog-tember ladies through your vlogs and see more of your personalities.

I chose to shate with you all a little more about where we live in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s such a cool place!

Sorry for my shining face..I was going for natural light, haha. I also realized I could have said so much more, I just got caught up in the moment and failed to mention a lot about the facinating place we live.

Well there it is, my first Vlog! I’m looking forward to seeing what you ladies have to share!

What did I fail to mention that you would like to know? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer, maybe even a follow up Q & A vlog??

blogtemberbuttonI’m linking up with the Blog-tember challenge. You can too!