‘Inspirations’ Category Archives


A Heart for Africa

by Birdie in Faith, Inspirations, Life, Musings

I just completed my application for Africa Inland Mission‘s TIMO program and mailed it out this afternoon. I’m incredibly excited. Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a lot of reading about the Sakalava people and the ministry that AIM is trying to build with them, and the more I read, the more my heart aches to go.

I feel as if I’ve been answering the same question to all of my friends over the last couple weeks. Everyone is so curious to know what brought on my desire to go to Africa, so I thought that here would be as good a place as any to share the answer.

I’m not really sure how it started, except that I had been comfortable and content with my job and my quiet life and my home church, and then suddenly I wasn’t anymore. I was restless and discontent and this little seed of something—I hesitate to call it wanderlust, because that makes it sound fleeting and fickle, but I can’t seem to find another word more fitting—took root in my heart.

I reached out to my friends and family that Saturday night when I realized my restlessness. I think my exact text to them was something along the lines of, “I am so restless and bored. I feel like I need adventure and change. I’m not content.” The overwhelming response was to pray. After blogging about my restlessness (Clearly, I find that writing things out helps me to process how I’m feeling and identify potential reasons for those feelings.) I prayed and asked God to reveal the reason for my restlessness.

The next morning, my church welcomed back one of our own from her two years with her TIMO team in Africa. And that tiny seed started to grow. After the service, I spoke with her briefly, and then went home and started to look into AIM and their mission. I sought council of sorts from my sister, who has known far longer than I have that she had a heart for missions, and we went for a long, meandering walk through the quiet of the prairie path near our house, and talked for hours about Africa and God’s urgings for us to step outside of our comfort zones and find experiences that we never could have dreamed about. And the longer we talked, the deeper that little seed’s roots delved into my heart. After more prayer and soul-searching, I felt that I could say with relative confidence that Africa was the reason for my discontent.

I spent several weeks on my application, allowing myself time to reflect and digest the possibilities of all the places I might end up, and as I looked through some of the TIMO teams that AIM is hoping to send out within the next year, I felt incredibly drawn to the ministry to the Sakalava people of Madagascar. Maybe I won’t end up there; maybe God has plans for me to end up working with another ministry. But all I know is that Africa has taken root in my heart, and when I consider that by this time next year I might be six months into a two-year stay with a host group, my soul feels so light.

I’m so excited to see where the Lord is leading me, and I sincerely hope that soon I will be posting here to tell all of you that Africa is there, clear as day, on the horizon a few months away.


On Baking Bread, Part Two

by Birdie in Faith, Inspirations, Life, Musings

Read Part One

Yesterday I delved into what has been my idol for seven years, (food) and how God used my health in a profound way to give me a kick in the butt to be a better Christian and to free myself from the chains that food had so tightly wrapped around me. Today, I want to share a revelation that I had about God while baking bread.

I’m sure that sounds silly, that something as simple as baking bread can spark a revelation, but God has really opened my eyes lately to the way that everyday tasks can reflect His spirit and His desires for us as His children.

Baking gluten free is a whole different animal than baking with all-purpose wheat flour. There are many different ingredients that have to work together to do the same job as just that one flour. There are an abundance of GF flours and starches that, mixed in different ratios, produce different flavors, textures, and densities. When you’re just starting out, it takes a lot of extra thought. But as you become more familiar with the different components, it gets easier and it becomes second nature.

Therein lies lesson number two.

On Baking Gluten Free Bread and Finding God

Baking GF bread is a lot like being a Christian.

Okay, okay, that sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. I promise, I have a point, and it makes sense.

The Apron (or, Physical and Emotional Armor)

When we enter the kitchen with the intent of baking, we put on an apron. (Okay, I know, not everybody wears an apron, but you know what I’m getting at.) We use it to protect ourselves from splatters and the like, and personally, I don’t like to cook without one.

Likewise, as humans, we wake up in the morning and put on our armor to protect our delicate self-worth: clothes to hide our perceived imperfections, makeup to make us feel pretty, and a carefully constructed facade to keep everyone else from finding out that we aren’t perfect. We cannot leave the house unprotected, because we fear that we risk grave emotional injury.

As Christians, God is our armor. However, as an apron cannot hide a terrible cook, God does not hide our flaws. He uses them instead to help us make connections with others, and to glorify Him through reaching out to those who share our pain. He delights in our flaws and weaknesses, because they give us the freedom to seek Him and share our hearts with others. (For a better explanation of this, head on over to Rebecca Thornberry: Artist and read her blog entry, Hem and Haw. She makes more sense of this than I do. Go on. I’ll wait here. You can read the rest of this when you get back.)

The Dough (or, Our Skewed Self Perception)

Regular bread dough and GF dough look completely different. Regular bread dough has a silky texture that makes it easy to knead. Instead of having a strong structure, GF bread dough is more like a cake batter. It looks like this:

Pre-risen gf bread dough

Finished GF bread dough

If not for the sage advice of Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, I would have added more GF flour to this dough in order to make it look more like wheat bread dough. The problem with that would be that it would have ruined the entire batch. This batch was perfect the way it was.

In the same way, we as humans try so hard to fit into the world, to look like everybody else, and to be just like those people we admire. But God, in His infinite patience, slowly pours into us until we can finally acknowledge that we are perfect as we are. He made us different for a reason. There is someone we must reach who we couldn’t reach if we were just like everybody else.

The Rising and Baking (or, Spiritual Support and Trial by Fire)

Gluten is what binds baked goods together. It keeps them from being overly crumbly and falling apart. This is exactly why cornbread is so crumbly: corn meal does not usually contain gluten, and most recipes do not have a high enough wheat flour content to make it more like wheat bread.

Risen gf bread dough

GF bread dough after rising.

So, GF recipes need other binders, like xanthan gum, ground chia seeds, or flax meal, to give them a consistency reminiscent of “real” bread. They allow for that springy, high-rising structure so that people with celiac or gluten sensitivities can enjoy baked goods without ending up in pain or with permanent health problems. Without those binders, GF bread won’t bake right. It will end up dry and crumbly, and not like bread at all.

Like GF bread dough, we as humans can’t fully support ourselves. We might find something that seems to give us structure and support, but in the end, if we don’t have God, we fall flat. We don’t develop right in the fires of the trials in our lives. We try so hard to find that one thing that will bind us and hold us up, but we put forth all that effort looking in all the wrong places. All we have to do is look up.

The Finished Product (or, Where We Are Going and How We Get There)

Throughout the entire process of baking a loaf of GF bread, you have to gather up everything you ever learned about baking with gluten flours and throw it out the window. This is a whole other animal, and you have to take the time to learn the ins and outs of it without any preconceived ideas, or you’ll end up with a bunch of wasted ingredients and a failed loaf of what barely passes for bread. (Trust me. This is what happened the first time I tried to bake my own GF bread.)

Punched down gf bread dough

GF bread dough after being punched down.

Of all the steps in GF bread making, the only one that resembles its gluten counterpart is the finished product. All the others look so completely different that it’s hard to imagine it’ll all pull together and form something bread-like instead of something cake-like. Even seeing this whole thing through from beginning to end, it’s hard to imagine how it all turned out right.

GF bread dough ready to bake

GF bread dough ready to bake.

As it is with GF bread, so it is with our lives. No one, in the midst of trials and tribulations, can imagine how their life is going to end up right. When you look around yourself and all you see is chaos and ruin, it’s almost impossible to imagine that it’ll end up right at all. It’s entirely too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that maybe where you are isn’t where you’re supposed to be, and that the pain and suffering you’re feeling have no purpose but to break you down a little further.

Finished loaf of GF bread.

Finished loaf of GF bread.

But God knows just how you’re going to end up, and He can see the entire process from beginning to end. He knows how we’re going to get from a sloppy ruin to a beautiful, finished life. All we need is to go where He sends us and have faith that He will steer us right, and that he won’t leave us in the fire too long.

My bread turned out just right. I know that with God by my side, my life will turn out just right, too.

Sliced gf bread

Sliced GF bread.

Right now, it takes a lot of extra thought to trust Him to get me where I need to go, but every day that goes by, it gets a little easier. I’m looking forward to the day when it really does become second nature.



by Birdie in Faith, Inspirations, Life, Loves, Raw, The Past

It has taken all of my courage to write this, and even more to post it here for all to see. It’s long, but it is my heart. It’s time that I share it.

When I first began Suburban Bird and laid the framework for Suburban Bird Studios, I could feel God beginning to move in my life. I wasn’t sure in which direction or to what end, but I could feel Him guiding my path and urging me on in the right direction with those soft nudges like He always does. There were many times that I wanted to write about it, and share it with all of you, but I just couldn’t make myself do it.

When I wrote my first few entries here, and began to consider where I was going to take my business and how this blog was going to fit in with it, I warred with myself on whether or not I would share my faith here. I didn’t want to alienate anyone, or put someone off, or offend people. Quite frankly, I was only thinking of myself and what would be best for me. I wanted to hook and keep as many readers as possible, regardless of creed, and I was afraid to say anything about God or my relationship with Him for fear that I might scare off some of those potential readers.

How absolutely silly of me.

The fact of the matter is, God is as much a part of Suburban Bird as I am. I would not be here were it not for Him, nor would I have embarked on this adventure without His gentle encouragement. He put the desire on my heart to grow in the gifts He gave me, and to do so here where I might find accountability and support that I might not find elsewhere. And in those most formative weeks for this blog, He led me straight to those people who would unknowingly encourage me that it is perfectly appropriate to share one’s faith, and that I need not fear that the readers would not come because of it.

I really must give credit to the women who, simply through their blogs and their wonderful creativity, encouraged me to share what I’m sharing today: Lindsay of Aisle to Aloha; Laura of Along For The Ride; Rebecca of Rebecca Thornberry, Artist; and Jo Annie of Em Jay and Me. I doubt that any of them know that I exist, or that their words and their vulnerability to complete strangers have affected me as much as they have, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that, through some impressive link-hopping that I can no longer retrace, I stumbled upon these blogs and these amazing women who have impressed upon me the importance of being real. Because nobody likes people who are fake.

Which brings me to the point of this entry: I am not okay.

I’m slightly more okay than I was two nights ago (or, rather, three when this entry goes live) when I hit a very low point, and as I write this, I’m slightly more okay than I was even this morning. Things are getting better, little by little, and for that, I have to give credit where credit is due.

I am, by nature, a rather introverted person. I like my space, and I often enjoy my solitude. The problem I have run up against as I’ve gotten older and moved around from place to place is that, when I hit a low point for one reason or another, I’ve gotten far too good at distancing myself from others and pretending that I’m okay. This has left me very alone and very lonely, but I’m so good at faking it that nobody notices. I’ve also shifted away from God and have stopped looking to Him for help and instead looking inside myself for help that I’m not capable of providing. I am inadequate, and I am a disaster. I think I put it best on Twitter the other night: I am a ruin.

And too often, I have blamed God. I have abandoned Him, pushed Him aside, and cursed Him for all the things that have gone wrong in my life. I have raged at Him for the mistakes that I have made, and I have harbored bitterness towards Him for not speaking to my heart what my purpose is. I have been directionless for so long, and as my friends have slowly come into their own and have discovered God’s plans, at least short-term, for their lives, I have hated Him for not giving me the same.

But still He is faithful. When I stray too far, He gently reels me back in and reminds me that, even if I can’t see it or feel it, He knows what He’s doing. And every time I doubt His plan, He uncovers a little bit of what and whom He has purposely placed in my path and in my life. And there is nothing more powerful than that.

Two nights ago, I had one of those moments, and I cannot possibly even begin to communicate the difference it has made in just this little time.

Years ago, I can’t recall exactly how long now, I was wandering Facebook and came across a post on the wall of one of my groups that said something along the lines of, “I really just need someone to talk to, someone who will listen,” and listed an AIM screen name. I didn’t know this girl from Eve, and I didn’t know what I could possibly offer to her other than an understanding ear, so to speak, but I opened up my chat client and sent her a message that was probably something like, “If you still need to talk, I’m here to listen.” And it sounds lame to even type it, but that day, my life really did change forever.

That girl was my Bethie. You can find her over at Flicker of a Flame. We were both so different then, but we connected in a way that I had never really connected with anyone else. Between us, there was never anything hidden. From the very beginning, we bore each other’s scars to ease the pain, and let each other say anything that needed to be said, even if we couldn’t even imagine saying it to anyone else.

Over the years, we’ve both grown and matured, both personally and in our faith. And through that time, we’ve grown closer and closer. There have been times when we haven’t spoken for months at a time, but each conversation, on the phone or online, we’ve always picked back up right where we left off. We drifted apart a year and a half ago, but on May 20th of last year, I got an email from halfway across the world that, for the second time, changed my life forever.

It was unexpected to say the least, to wake up that morning and find an email from Bethie, who was in Mongolia at the time, but when I got to this part, I knew that it was exactly what I needed right at that moment:

I sat down on my bunk this afternoon with a piece of scratch paper and began to list the names of people with whom I would like to be friends forever.  Not of the Michael W. Smith corny persuasion or even the Vitamin C nice-for-graduation-but-actually-means-nothing-and-doesn’t-last persuasion, but the oh-my-gosh-I-can’t-imagine-my-life-without-these-people persuasion.  And, Carly, I thought of you.  I thought of you, and I almost cried.

And that was when I started to cry. The email went on:

Regardless of the time we’ve been out of touch and even the weirdness after Christmas, I feel like we have an intimate connection…and I’m not willing to allow that to float off onto the distant shores of nostalgia.  I want to know you, Carly.  I want you to be a part of my life, because you have already been more of a blessing than I can express.  It’s nothing that you’ve done or said, but everything about who you are and how we relate to one another.

That was so profound to me, to know that I didn’t have to do anything or say anything in particular to be loved, but just by being myself and being who God made me was enough. And even sitting here right now, fighting tears of joy, (my dad is in the other room and I don’t want to worry him) I’m making a connection and understanding a point that God was trying to bring home to me that I just couldn’t comprehend until this particular moment in time: being me is enough for Him, too. There isn’t anything I can do or say that will make Him love me; all I have to do is be me.

God works in such little, intricate ways that lay such strong foundations for the future. Every day, every word, everything that happens has a purpose, and it is so amazing when He peels back the layers and lets me see how He has planned things down to a T so that I end up where He needs me to end up.

But back to my story. After that email, and a whole slew of replies, Bethie and I grew even closer to the point that, even still, we insist that we are the same person. (Even all of the nicknames we have given each other sound similar and start with the same letter: Elphie and Ephie, Quails and Quaillykins, Birdie and Bethie…) And this woman who I have never physically met became my best friend. It just took me a while to realize it.

Two nights ago, I finally did. It was late, and I found myself sunk so deep into a hole of depression that I couldn’t see a way out, but I didn’t think anyone was awake to help me through it. Out of desperation, I sent Bethie a text that said, “Are you there? I need you.” And within the hour, she was there. She listened without judgment to everything I had to say, and said all of the things that I needed to hear but wouldn’t have taken to heart from anyone else. And she wouldn’t let me hide. (Even though I’m far too good at it for my own good.) And I’ve never had to hide with her. She’s the only person I’ve ever really had that with.

As I sit here now, writing this and reflecting on that almost three-hour conversation, God is revealing more and more of Himself to me through her. She loves me unconditionally, and she knows me inside and out. She draws me closer to God every time we talk, and even just one word from her can wipe away all of my loneliness. She is truly God’s hands in my life, and I can see in her a reflection of Him that I have longed to see for so long: that He is the dearest friend I will ever have, He loves me no matter what I do or how far apart we are, and all He requires is that I love Him in return.

I reiterate: there is nothing more profound and more powerful than that revelation.

So, this moment in time, these words that, for the last hour and a half have been pouring from my heart through my fingers, is a culmination of a thousand tiny moments, a hundred words exchanged, and one very, very dear friend. Bethie, there are so many things that I want to thank you for, but I can’t put them into words. But even more than that, I am thanking God that He knew better than I did how much I would need you. You reached out for help, and instead, ended up helping me. Isn’t it amazing how God works?

I may not be entirely okay just yet, but even now I am more okay than I was when I began this entry.

This is exactly why I warred so long and hard with myself over whether or not to be so open about my faith here. And this is exactly why God won that battle. He is moving in my life, and even though I still don’t know in which direction or to what end, I do know that it is a journey that I was always meant to share, and this is the platform I was meant to use.

My adventure is just beginning, and I am finally ready to embrace God’s plan for me and accept that He will always set my feet on the right path. All I have to do is trust that every pothole and unexpected ditch I’ll fall into along the way has a purpose, and He will always send just the right person to pull me out.


Found Poetry

by Birdie in Altered Books, Found Poetry, Inspirations, Writing

There’s something kind of magical about combing through the words on a printed page and finding bits of poetry there; a little bit in this line, a word in the next, a phrase in the one after that… Found poetry takes a piece of prose and turns it into something completely and totally new.

The concept of found poetry is something that I find incredibly attractive, especially since I used to be a very prolific poet. Most of my poetry was awful, but I enjoyed writing it until I turned my focus more towards prose. The novel for me eclipsed the poem, and for me, it became a lost art form. At least, until now.

My found poetry is still pretty awful, and I’m sure most of it makes no sense, but it’s so much fun that I don’t care. I’ve spent the last two nights after work happily defacing a 56 year old book with my Prismacolors, picking out little bits of poetry.



Valor - 4/23/11, from the Reader's Digest Condensed Books, winter 1955 selections

It was a dream—
Glittering, wheeling obediently—
a virtue called valor, worshiped
the supreme adventure.
It was a dream
and glittering visions faded
defeated by


A Witness

Witness – 4/24/11, from the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, winter 1955 selections

A Witness
What would you say
secrets and all?
I’ve lost it—
The final indignity
the shame.
We can lay the secrets on
direct examination
in the favorable light
of the sting.
We’ve got a witness to cover
all these and much more.

Have you ever experimented with found poetry? I’d love to hear some of your creations in the comments.


5 Things I’m Chirping About This Week

by Birdie in 5 Things, Inspirations, Life

Hello again, friends! It’s that time of week here at Suburban Bird when I share the 5 things that I can’t get enough of this week. So here goes!

This onion that sprouted in our pantry. Every day it grows a little more, and I can’t help smiling when I look at it. I know, I’m a little weird. But you have to admit, the way that each layer of the onion grows up into a new leaf is pretty darn cool!

The way that sunsets make even dead things look beautiful. Enough said.

Finding unexpected things right under my nose. This little nest, not much bigger than both of my fists held together, is perched precariously where several branches of this bush intersect. It makes me wonder if it was just built this spring, or if it was used last summer and I never even noticed.

Budding lilac bushes. By far my favorite fragrance ever, these little leaves are the harbinger of an aromatic May.

This gorgeous red bush. What can I say? Red is my favorite color, and this bush is just beautiful this time of year.

Tell me about your 5 things for this week in the comments!


5 Things I’m Chirping About This Week

by Birdie in 5 Things, Inspirations, Life

I want to apologize again for a lack of 5 things post last week. Life got in the way, and I was ill-prepared and didn’t have enough time to write my posts for the week ahead of time. This week, I won’t let that happen again. So, without further ado, the 5 things I can’t get enough of this week:

These gorgeous yellow flowers. We have a line of bushes along the street that explode with these vibrant yellow flowers every year around this time. They are incredibly fragrant, and they brighten up even gloomy, cloudy days.

The first daffodil of the year. These always pop up before the daylillies in our front yard, and they’re one of the first heralds of spring.

The promise of many, many daylillies. We have two huge banks like this in our front yard, and I’m always excited every year when they pop up because I know that soon, there will be so many flowers in there among all that beautiful green.

Warm days spent out in the sun. I love it when the weather is warm, but still has that crisp, chilly edge to it. I savor every one of those days because I know that, sooner than I’d like, they’ll be overtaken by the hot humidity of a midwestern summer.

Life growing up out of something previously dead. Every year when the weather warms and the days start to grow longer, this plant pushes back up through the skeleton of what it was the summer before. And every year, I’m awed by the way nature revolves.

So, friends, what are your 5 things this week? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments. Thanks for reading!


A Golden Thread

by Birdie in Art Therapy, Inspirations, Life, Musings

I am, by nature, a bit of a perfectionist with my art and my writing. Over the last few years, this has slowly begun to spill over into my working life. No matter what job I’m doing, I strive to do it perfectly and efficiently, and it bothers me to no end if I fall short of that goal. This, of course, means a lot of frustration with myself when I make mistakes or find myself diverted from a task by someone or something. This also means that I’ve settled into a sort of comfort zone, work-wise, where I aim low and try to find contentment in a job that I know I can do well. I’ve stopped challenging myself.

In recent months, I’ve realized that I can no longer afford to stay someplace just because I’m comfortable. I love my job, and I believe that I do it well, but it’s a job that I’ve been doing in one place or another for eight years. There’s no challenge for me there, now that I’ve mastered all but one of our departments, and have begun to master that last one. I enjoy interacting with customers and having a chance to brighten their day, but I’m starting to feel that gnawing need in the pit of my stomach for a challenge.

Another personality quirk (flaw?) that I’ve started to see in myself is a need to know where I’m going. Even if it’s only for the next month, I have to know where I’m heading. I’m not so good at plotting out the long-term because plans have a way of changing and evolving, (and I’m not fooling myself by discounting how much of that changing and evolving is God’s nudging me in the right direction) but it scares me, not knowing what my destination is for the near future.

It is because of this that job searching outside of retail is so terrifying to me. It brings up so much uncertainty, about myself and about where I’m going, that no amount of discussion and self-placation can completely dispel. At this point in time, I haven’t the slightest clue where I’ll be in a month, let alone next week. I may still be right where I am now, or I may be starting a new job, or I may be doing any number of things. All I know is that I’m stepping out of my comfort zone in a way I never have before, and I’m not sure yet if I like it or not.

In all of this, I’ve really been relating to the song Golden Thread by Joy Williams. Not only is it a gorgeous, catchy song, but it describes, almost exactly, how I feel right now. My life feels like it’s out of my control, and all I want is to feel a little bit of peace about it. So, after a particularly long day at work, I came home and settled down at the coffee table, pulled out my art journal, (which I haven’t touched in years) and just let it all out. Despite my need to know where things are supposed to end up, I refused to let myself plan how things were going to turn out this time.

At first I grabbed my scissors and started cutting, as you can tell by the sheet of lyrics that are the foundation for this piece. And then I started thinking about everything I was trying to process and release, and I realized that the scissors were just one more way I strove for perfection, and so I abandoned them.

It’s far from perfect. It has its fair share of flaws. The page curls. The golden string I used stuck to my fingers when I was placing it down on the page and thus protested against the perfect, gentle curve I intended.

I tore some of the edges of the letters. I tore too much of the tissue paper away in places. Sometimes, I used too much Mod Podge, and it left gloopy bits on the page.

But you know what? I love it. I love every accidental tear, every gloop and glop, every imperfection. I love that I approached this with only the vague image of a golden thread in my mind, and yet, the result was even more beautiful to me than anything I could have meticulously planned.

So, tomorrow I’ll soldier on in my search for a new job, and every time I start to stress about the unknown road that lays ahead of me, out of sight behind some bend or the crest of some hill, I’ll flip open my art journal and use this little bit of improvisation to remind myself that sometimes it’s best to have no idea where the road ends.

After all, what’s life without a little bit of adventure? I think it’s high time for my adventure to begin.

Update: A friend of mine sent me this quote after reading this post, and I found it pertinent and had to share: “Nothing in our past lives is wasted. Nothing that once made us feel happy and fulfilled is ever lost. There’s a golden thread that runs through each of our lives. We just need to rediscover this thread before the joy of living completely unravels” — Sarah Ban Breathnach


5 Things This Bird is Chirping About This Week

by Birdie in 5 Things, Inspirations, Loves

Each Saturday, I plan to post a list of the five things that I can’t get enough of this week, be it music, art, writing, etc. I would love for you to share your five things in the comments section. :)

Joy Williams – Speaking a Dead Language

I just cannot get enough of this song! It’s just so haunting and beautiful. In fact, I can’t get enough of the two EPs of hers that I have, Songs from This, and Songs from That. (links will open an iTunes preview page.)

My $9 apron from Home Goods

I found this apron at Home Goods for $9, and it just happens to be one of my favorite patterns, and my favorite shade of pink! It was a birthday present from my mom. Thanks, mom!

Cute critters in sunbeams

It’s that time of year when it starts to finally get green outside, and that also means nice, warm rays of sun streaming in through the windows. There’s no shortage of cute critters at my house, and they all love to curl up and bask in the sunbeams.

This fortune

I got this in my fortune cookie on the day that I launched Suburban Bird. It just seemed so fitting. :)

Caribou cups

I have always loved Caribou’s cups. They’re so much fun, and this one just takes the cake. It’s covered in a bunch of their baristas’ favorite things.

So, friends, what are your five things this week? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. :) Happy weekend!