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Cultivate Book Cover Reveal

Like most of our Cultivate What Matters and Southern Weddings team members, I joined the team in a unique way. I'd known Lara outside of the creative sphere for about a year when she asked me to help her current nanny so she could focus solely on finishing her second book. I turned her down initially (I still feel a little bad about that, Lara!) and instead took a full-time job in Customer Service and Social Media with a start-up in the Triangle. When my hours at new job unexpectedly shifted, I offered my assistance to Lara with Grace and Joshua. During this, we had a few conversations about my newfound love for customer service, and she mentioned that the Southern Weddings team was looking for a Customer Delight and Shop Manager. A few whirlwind days of conversations, interviews, and prayer later, I officially joined the Southern Weddings and (at the time) Lara Casey Shop team!

All that to say, I've had a unique vantage point for the past 14 months of book writing, and I can attest to the fact that writing a book–especially a book as intimate as the book Lara has written for you–is a labor of love. It's a labor because it means pouring yourself, your time, your energy, your story in words on a screen that will one day make their way into the hands of women across the country (and hopefully world!)

Our team has been lucky to stand alongside Lara throughout the duration of our time on this team, and today we're standing a little bit taller and a little bit prouder of all the hard work she has poured into these pages. Friends, it is my distinct privilege to officially introduce you to Lara's second book, releasing on June 27th:

Cultivate Cover

These words were written for you, as an invitation to change the way your story is being written. These words were written as a reminder that you can cultivate what matters.

Right where you are.

Little by little.

In every season.

In the mess.

In the thick of it.

With lots of grace along the way.

Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey, officially releases on June 27th, but you can pre-order your copy here today! Head to Lara's blog for a video she's been working on for the past year to introduce you to her heart behind this book!

Our hope is that these words inspire, encourage, and equip you to cultivate what matters, right where you are.

Cultivate_Banner

PS. Join Lara LIVE on Facebook today (Wednesday, March 22) at noon EST for more behind-the-scenes of the book!

 

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Life Lately

I'm going to confess something to you: I had editorial content lined up for this week, but it just didn't get finished! Don't worry; it's helpful and relevant content that we'll still be sharing in the coming weeks! Progress, not perfection, right?

The past two weeks have been full of fun and exciting things in the Cultivate office, and I wanted to invite you behind the scenes of some of these fun projects! If you follow us on social media, some of this might be old news to you, but we know many of our friends aren't on Instagram or have stepped back from it, so I wanted to offer a Life Lately post of sorts! Our office might not be big enough to invite each of you over for coffee, but we hope you enjoy this peek into our week!

Spring_Potluck

Most days we play Tetris in Lara's refrigerator with our individual lunches, but a spring potluck was on the calendar earlier this week! It might have been 30 degrees outside, but we enjoyed sitting around a table and soaking in the sunshine! We also learned a lot of fun new facts from Lara's Amazon Echo.

Nicole_BTS

Can I brag on Nicole for a second? She takes all the product photos you see in our shop, and I usually take photos of her taking photos. Seriously, if I scrolled through my phone I'm sure I'd come across at least 15! Luckily, she doesn't seem to mind.

Mason_Dixon_Madness

We're big college basketball fans in the office (anyone else rooting for a UNC vs. Duke championship game?), but the brackets we've printed and hung in the office aren't about basketball teams; they're about the best Southern foods! The Southern WeddingsMason-Dixon Madness is on, and we need your help voting for the best Southern food to see who comes out on top.

MTH_Prep

MTH Conference kicks off next week, and we've been finalizing the last details! We can't wait to meet these ladies!

Grace_Upon_Grace

We're launching five (!!!) new volumes of Write the Word next month, but that's not all! We've got these beautiful Faith Desk Cards coming to the shop too!

Speaking of Write the Word journals, I'm having a really hard time keeping these things a secret from you! I was able to help choose the themes and Scripture for these, and I cannot wait for you to see the full collection!

Inside_Cover_WTW

The inside liners of the new Write the Word journals. You guys, these entire things are wonderful. Okay, no more pictures! 🙈

Gracies_Garden_Plan

Lara has been hard at work on her Gardening 101 series, and she wrapped it up earlier this week! Even if you think you have a brown thumb, this is the place to start. She offers great advice and some sweet encouragement to you! (PS. You can win a garden. A whole garden!!)

Finally, we don't have any photos yet, but if you watched Lara's Instagram stories, you saw that we decided to rearrange the entire office yesterday! We're excited to better use the space for our growing team!

What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

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Renew Breaks: what are they and why we do them

Each December, the Cultivate and Southern Weddings team crowds around a computer screen, pulls out a set of PowerSheets, and digs into some serious dreaming and planning. Why? While we each have individual PowerSheets for our work and personal goals, we know reflecting on the past year and setting goals as a team will prepare and equip us to continue to spread our missions!

Those of you that followed along last December might remember our word for 2017: RENEW. The definition of renew is to make new, fresh, or strong again, and the minute it was suggested, we just knew it would be the perfect word for our year.

We've talked at length about the importance of taking care of yourself in your personal life, but I want to share more about something we have incorporated into our company culture (thanks largely in part to Lara's personal experience and encouragement!) over the past year and half: renew breaks!

What is a renew break? A renew break can be a lot of different things! The easiest way to describe it is it's simply a time to step away from your computer and to-do list to do something different and give your brain a break. We add it to our Tending List each month, and we hold each other accountable for it, too!

If you're looking for a way to incorporate a little bit of self-care into your workday, here's a round-up of some of our renew breaks from 2017:

renew-break-date-night-scheduling

Marissa took some time last month to schedule her company date night for February!

renew-break-check-the-mail

Because Kristin works remotely and can sometimes not step outside during a workday, she prioritizes her mailbox walk each day!

renew-break-nail-painting

Ive learned that the best time to paint my nails is right before digging into my inbox because nothing will get chipped! I keep a few polish colors in my desk drawer when the mood strikes, and I'm lucky the in-office gals don't mind the smell!

renew-break-reading

Amber spent some time each day reading a new book and checking off one of her daily PowerSheets goals!

renew-break-walking

If you've been following Lara's 2017 goals, you know an active lifestyle to give her more energy is on the top of her mind! Her new FitBit encourages her to get up and get to moving if she's been still for too long!

renew-break-get-outside

It's tempting to spend our lunch breaks tied to a computer, but Emily has been stepping outside to her porch for lunch ever since we've been experiencing this spring-like weather!

renew-break-warbyparker-tryon

This was one of my favorite renew breaks from the past month! Emily brought in her Warby Parker try-on kit and modeled some options for the in-office gals! Head to her blog to see what she chose!

As you can see, our renew breaks aren't large or extravagant affairs! They're simply an opportunity to take a break and refresh our spirits to finish the day strong!

Are you going to give renew breaks a try? What are ways you renew your mind throughout your workday? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!

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We’re hiring at Cultivate and Southern Weddings!

Our small but mighty team is growing, friends! As many of you know, our company houses two brands: Cultivate What Matters and Southern Weddings. Both brands exist to help you cultivate what matters, right where you are, whether that's your relationship, an intentional wedding day, a thriving business, or a joyful life. We are a unique company! Each team member contributes to both the Southern Weddings and Cultivate operations. And now, we're looking for a new team member who loves the heart of both brands and can help us take our work to the next level.

We are committed to finding the right person (or persons!) and tailoring their responsibilities in a way that suits them and our growing business. That being said, here is what we're looking for:

The person most fit for this position:
- Is a good writer
- Has strong copy editing skills
- Has a strong knowledge of our brand and heart for our mission
- Has a strong personal aesthetic and exquisite taste
- Has a passion for PEOPLE - including brides, moms, students, and business owners!
- Has extraordinary people skills (email and in person)
- Has some knowledge of/experience in the wedding industry
- Has a joyful spirit and thrives on “situation solving”

This person's tasks may include:
- Customer service correspondence via social media and email
- Writing blog posts, newsletters, magazine features, and social posts for both SW and CWM
- Copy editing all sorts of content across both brands
- Back-end content and marketing support: loading photos, formatting posts, product sourcing, vendor communication, tracking campaigns, etc.
- Online shop and fulfillment assistance: correspondence, boxing, stickering, assembling, etc.

We are looking for someone excited to jump in and tackle any and every task with excitement and flexibility!

We are open to candidates who can commit to either part-time or full-time employment, with preference given to those who can work in our Chapel Hill, NC office.

If you are excited about this opportunity, please click here to fill out our job application. Applications will close Friday, March 3.

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What’s New on CultivateWhatMatters.com!

Welcome to the new Cultivate What Matters site! When we launched this site as a beta version last year, we were blown away by the number of people who were excited to create a profile, get into groups, and start encouraging others in their goals.

Now, we're excited to debut our latest update! Here's what's new:

1. We're Now CultivateWhatMatters.com!
If you've follow along with Lara's blog and her story, you know this name change was a long time coming! We're thrilled that we have a new home online that clearly reflects our mission. Our site is now the home to an amazing community (you guys!) and content that will help you start where you are to cultivate what's really important to you.

2. No Access Code Required.
Hooray!! Now, whether you're a PowerSheets user or not, whether you've started your next PowerSheets set or not, you'll be able to create a free online profile and start engaging with others for tips, tricks, and accountability. While you'll find that our site is largely dedicated to and reflective of the PowerSheets process, everyone is welcome to start cultivating what matters.

Plus, we now offer Facebook Login, so you have one less password to remember and can save time logging in!

3. Updated Groups Page!
One of our biggest desires for you is to be able to easily find people who share your heart and your priorities. In addition, we want to make sure we're simplifying your lives and creating features that are easy to use! Many of you are already on Facebook and have created Facebook groups for your PowerSheets friends so you can chat on a platform that is easily accessible to you. Following your lead, we decided to move all groups to Facebook! Now, you can create a Facebook group and leave a link to it on our Groups page for other members to join. Not on Facebook? We'll be keeping our main Cultivate Users Group active on CultivateWhatMatters.com for you and are looking forward to chatting with you there!

Cultivate Groups

4. PowerSheets Page
In on our continued mission to simplify your lives, we've put all of the PowerSheets resources on CultivateWhatMatters.com! You'll see a new "PowerSheets" link in your navigation that houses all of Lara's PowerSheets examples, Tending Tips, and more.

5. Updated Blog and More Content!
This is our favorite update yet! This little online space is about you. We want to share more of your stories, and give you even more resources to cultivate the things that matter most to you. In the coming weeks, you'll be hearing from us more often on this blog as we share everything from our favorite tools for productivity, to ways to personalize your PowerSheets, to interviews with people we admire. So much goodness is in store!

Cultivate Blog

We are always making improvements so that this site functions and serves you better! However, if you experience any bugs, or have suggestions for us, please feel free to post them to our Technical Feedback Form! We're so excited you're here with us and can't wait to share more!

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