The Story of My Greek "Beloved" Tattoo

There's now a word etched into my skin! Oh, the meaning behind this one.

RAD52in52 for 2016

RAD52in52 for 2016

Here are my 52 bucket list goals for 2016!

BLOG-TEMBER: A Moodboard for my Blog

This post is part of The 2015 Blog-Tember Challenge! Today's prompt: Create a collage or inspiration/mood board that describes your blog.

I really love a good moodboard. Designers I follow use them for clients -- LOOK AT THIS EXAMPLE -- and I just think they're so fun! I decided (mostly to avoid the hassle of tracing back to original sources for proper photo credits) to use all of my own photos for this one. What better to represent my own blog than my own pictures from my own life, though?! 

So-- here's what grabbed me as I scrolled through the 1,500+ (!!!) photos on my camera roll. Lots of books, coffee, snapshots from my adventures and trips, my parents' front porch and the backyard garden, books and journals and my Bible, my tattoos, doodles... I have to say, I think it pretty accurately represents my blog, but I want to hear what you think!

My hope for this space of the Internet is that it would be an authentic, genuine, honest place where you get to come as you are and see glimpses of my heart and soul through words and images. I hope that it's a place that encourages you, inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, gives you ideas, helps grow your to-read list, makes you feel like part of a community, and opens your eyes to more and more of who the Lord is. I want to give Him glory through this space by being true to who He has made me to be in all that I share here.

Have you made a moodboard for your blog or yourself or for a client? Share the link in the comments! I would love to see it!

BLOG-TEMBER: An Introduction

The Internet has brought amazing people into my world that I NEVER would have met otherwise. It's the coolest thing, and I'm thankful for those people every single day. I've partnered with friends and made ideas come to life, I've joined friends and vlogged for the first time ever, I've met fellow gluten-free vegans...etc.

One of these amazing friends is Bailey. She's one of the very best. She's hosting The Blog-Tember Challenge this month, with a prompt every day for all of September. Because I know myself and know that I could never manage a post a day on top of my regular blogging (and on top of the launch of The Rising too), I'm going to just be picking and choosing different days to jump in on, but I am so excited! Thanks to Bailey for organizing and hosting this awesome challenge!

Today's prompt is this: Introduce yourself however you like! Pics, vlog, collage, your choice :)


I'm Rachel. My initials are RAD, which is why you see them up there in the corner. My favorite color is emerald green (my birthstone), so that's up there in that logo too, and the arrow is significant to me for a lot of reasons. I even got it tattooed on the side of my foot! To me, an arrow is such a simple tool, basically useless on its own. In the hands of a skilled Archer, though, it can go so far and hit a target and actually have an impact. My life is like that-- useless on its own, but in the hands of the One who made me, I can actually go the distance and have an impact for His kingdom because He is the one sending me. It's a reminder to run the race He's set before me, to give Him the glory, and to never be too proud on my own.

I'm an INFJ, and Strengths Finder says my strengths are responsibility, connectedness, belief, intellection, and empathy (if you're into that kind of thing like I am!).

I work for Rethink Creative Group and our faith-based blog The Rising is my baby. We re-launch on Sept. 8-- stay tuned! 

I've been a believer my entire life, and was baptized when I was 7. My testimony is one of brokenness and redemption, heartbreak and healing, trying to live life on my own then learning how to embrace and love community, trying to be self-sufficient, failing, and then learning the sweet, beautiful, radical gift of grace, and a whole lot of falling flat on my face before a Lord that is merciful and so mighty to save me time and time again. I'm daily amazed by Him. 

I was born in Maryland, grew up in Arizona, and now live in Virginia. I've learned that home isn't places, but people, love, and a whole lot of pieces put together.

I'm a gluten-free vegan. Yes, it's hard. Yes, I still get my protein. Yes, I love it. No, I don't want to eat a burger, but thanks to everyone who always says that! ;)

I have another tattoo on my arm that I love love love, and you can read the story behind it here.

I'm a major bookworm. I write monthly blog posts about what I'm reading here, and my friend Amber and I host the #COLLABOREADS link up every month here!

I love adventure, exploring new cities, finding fun coffeeshops and drinking too much coffee, spending hours in bookstores, being outside, napping in my Eno hammock, traveling, scouring farmers markets for the best fresh produce and WILDFLOWERS, and experiencing everything I can everywhere I go.

I absolutely love sunsets and have been known to dangerously try to capture them in pictures while driving...oops.

I have a braid or a bun in my hair most days. It's a wild mane otherwise, and a girl's gotta do what she's gotta do.

I created this project called Story Seeker last summer as a way to get to truly know new people and swap stories. It has changed my life. You can read the stories here. If you want to share yours, I would be honored and absolutely overjoyed to hear and share it! 

I made a bucket list for 2015 and have LOVED how much it has pushed me to do new things!

I'm a liiiiiiittle obsessed with Shark Week. I watch a TON of Food Network and HGTV. I love love love Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, Scandal, Bachelor/Bachelorette (guilty pleasure), Parenthood, Nashville, One Tree Hill, and How to Get Away with Murder. Wow, that's a lot of shows.

I'm a huge hockey fan-- GO CAPS. I grew up going to Phoenix Coyotes games and my high school boyfriend played and loved hockey too, so I got really into it and am now a diehard Washington Capitals fan through good and bad. Other sports? Eh. 

I'm learning lately to live my life with eyes open. I want to wake up from my slumber, calm the chaos, and make all of my life matter and be meaningful. I'm choosing to be grateful daily, even when I feel overwhelmed or out of control. 

It's so fun to share more about myself, but now I want to know more about YOU. Share a fun fact in the comments, friends! :)


23 Things about Me (Because It's My Birthday)

Maybe we're friends in real life, or maybe we've never met, and maybe this is your very first time on my little corner of the Internet! One of my favorite things to find on bloggers' sites is lists of things you never knew about them, and I decided it was a fine time to share one of my own as a way of celebrating my birthday (YAY)! 

Enjoy these (very random) facts that you probably never knew about me...

  1. I was born in Maryland and lived there for five years before becoming an Arizona girl! I will always call AZ home, though, because when you live somewhere from kindergarten through high school, it undeniably becomes home. I firmly believe the West Coast is the best coast.
  2. I've never broken a bone, but I have had 4 major knee surgeries, my appendix taken out (in Costa Rica on a mission's one of my most exciting stories to tell at parties) and my wisdom teeth out (with no funny video footage--bummer).
  3. When I was little, I was obsessed with creating families and writing stories about them. I would make whole profiles of each person with all of their favorite things and likes/dislikes, and then would write little stories about them all. I guess I've always had writing in my blood...
  4. I'm a hardcore introvert (INFJ through and through) but people who first meet me never think I'm introverted! I guess I fake it well when necessary!
  5. I'm 5'3" which is conveniently my birthday (May 3rd) and also makes me 6+ inches shorter than my mom, dad and "little" brother.
  6. My eyes are green, my birthstone is emerald, and my favorite color is green. I loved that Pantone's color of the year for 2014 was emerald-- it was everywhere and it was awesome! I use that exact shade in my logo and around my website.
  7. I don't like chocolate (never really have and especially not now that I'm vegan and can't eat a lot of it) but I LOVE fruity candy-- orange is my favorite flavor by FAR. Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Skittles, Sweetarts,'s my weakness. I would almost always choose candy over baked goods or any other kind of dessert, except maybe fro-yo (fruity sorbet topped with berries and nerds is my go-to)!
  8. My eyesight is technically perfect according to my eye doctor, but since I get awful headaches and migraines like ALL THE TIME, I wear glasses when I read or look at my computer screen! It makes a huge difference. Plus, I feel cooler and more studious when I wear them, so it's really a win-win.
  9. I watched the documentary Food, Inc. when I was a senior in high school, and I quit eating all meat cold turkey (pun totally intended) right after! I've been a vegetarian now since June 5, 2010. The beginning of my last year at JMU, I got really sick for a few weeks after coming back from a summer in London, and after seeing my doctor, realized I was allergic to wheat. Thanks to my body being super weird, I also couldn't handle eating any dairy anymore, so out of nowhere I became gluten-free and vegan in one fell swoop! I do cheat occasionally and eat some seafood and eggs, but overall I love it even though it makes life way more complicated.
  10. I've traveled to Mexico, Canada, France, Costa Rica, England and Scotland-- I can't wait to see which country I get to go to next.
  11. One of my favorite childhood travel experiences was a six-week sabbatical road trip my family took the summer before I went into 7th grade. We left from Arizona (with our mini-van packed to the brim with everything we would need for the whole summer) and journeyed up through California, into Oregon, to Washington where we embarked on a week-long Alaskan cruise, then up into Canada, and then back down through Montana, Wyoming, the corner of Idaho, Utah, Four Corners, then back home to AZ. We hit quite a few National Parks and many other incredible sights along the way, and I'm so glad it was before we had cell phones or iPods or DVDs in our car to distract us-- it was a trip of a lifetime and I'll never forget it!
  12. My family has a miniature schnauzer that I named Uli (after a German woman on Project Runway the summer that we got her)-- she's adorable.
  13. I was on the newspaper staff in high school, and was co-editor in chief my senior year. We redesigned the paper into a newsmagazine that won some awards-- I loved that class and being part of all of it.
  14. We didn't have cable until I was in high school. I joke that I was a super sheltered kid (I mean, I only watched Arthur and ZOOM, and my boy band of choice was Plus One because I had no clue who the Backstreet Boys or NSYNC were...) but I'm so grateful for it in hindsight. 
  15. I passed out on a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Sedona, AZ once...
  16. I have to keep my nails painted or I'll bite them. Bad habits die hard.
  17. I could never do a cartwheel or a handstand or the splits, and always wanted to be able to. Maybe someday...
  18. I've never seen the Harry Potter movies. I know, I know. Everyone I tell freaks out. It's just one of those things, though. Just not interested.
  19. I HATED living in VA the first few years I was here (also because high school was hellish, but that's a whole different story) but I have completely fallen in love with Richmond since moving back after graduation. I love this River City.
  20. My favorite sport is hockey, by far. I went to quite a few Phoenix Coyotes games growing up, but became a huge Washington Capitals fan in high school thanks to my then-boyfriend who was an avid hockey player and fan. I'm loving that we're in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs-- let's go Caps!
  21. I have two tattoos-- an arrow on the side of my foot and this one I designed on my left forearm.
  22. I love love love snail mail. Cute stamps, fun stationary, little doodles or extra things tucked in, beautiful's my favorite.
  23. My love languages are gift-giving and words of affirmation (yep, they're tied for first) and then everything else is much much lower. Physical touch is my lowest by far-- not a fan of hugs over here. No thank you!

Anything we have in common? Anything you think is super weird or cool or interesting? I would love to hear from you in the comments :) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a birthday to celebrate!