Do you have a book? Yes, I have a self-published e-book called "P.S. He Loves You: A Devotional on Finding Worth + True Love in Jesus" -- you can purchase it here. And read more about it on my "Book" tab here on my website.
Your husband Daniel plays viola, right? Where can I buy his music and hear more? Yes! My one-man wonder husband plays viola (as well as several other instruments!) and is a true talent with a passion for music. His music gives me chills, is my favorite sound, and I'm his #1 fangirl :) You can learn more about it at his website: www.danielmorrismusic.com
Can you write your whole love story for us to read? Yes! :) I am writing it out as we speak and will share it so so soon and I'm incredibly excited about this project!
My blog began back in 2011 as a way to share my heart. And what was on my heart at that time? Many things, but especially waiting for Mr. Right, singleness, dating, heartaches and breakups, and loving and being loved-on by God through it all. I became known as "The Purity and Singleness Blogger", spoke at Influence Conference in 2013 and led a workshop on Singleness and Waiting, and replied to thousands of emails from young women (and men) who were walking the same path. It became my ministry. I wrote often and boldly about my decision and heart to save sex for marriage, found so many kindred spirits who were also waiting, desired to start waiting, or had waited and were happily married! I wrote honestly about the struggles and joys of singleness, my loneliness at times, and my relationship with Jesus as the ultimate love of my life. When my future husband came on the scene (through blogging... we met on Instagram ;) our relationship became very public -- I have very openly shared and wrote about how we met, dated, got engaged, and just recently got married mostly on my Instagram (search the hashtag #cowboyandme_alovestory) and a little bit on my blog (read how we met / read about our engagement)
The reason I've shared our love story so openly is because I wrote and spoke about singleness so honestly -- I want (and feel an obligation in my ministry) to share the "end" of the story. To tell how God brought us together in a way only He could, how He crafted our stories, weaving them together so beautifully. Taking brokenness, dreams, crushed hearts, and prayers -- creating a truly magical love story only He could write. He performed miracles and brought life to our hopes. He took two broken people looking to and trusting in Him and gave us the most beautiful gift. And we want to encourage those who are waiting to know it is worth it. I pray our love story can be an inspiration to those who feel alone and forgotten. Our love story is truly a gift and we want it to be a testimony for others to see how big and good the Lord is!
I am going to be sharing our love story, soon. I'm currently writing our whole love story (from before we met, until now) and cannot WAIT to share this project with you. My prayer and hope is that it encourages those who are waiting, and those who just generally need hope and inspiration to keep trusting God for big dreams. He is able, He is good, He remembers, He loves you.. so so much, Stay tuned :)
What happened to Graceful Magazine? Oh, that special and lifelong dream of mine! Well... life got a little busy. :) I got engaged, planned a wedding and got married... and those big important life things took top priority, as they should. But, Lord willing, I am picking it up again soon -- expanding it's vision and have some huge dreams and plans. Stay tuned on this one. And follow my Graceful Magazine Instagram account for updates. Thanks for your patience and understanding with it, friends who got so excited and supported! It means so much to me.
Are you still writing your book, "The Darling Diaries"? I announced that book dream and project a while back, right before I met Daniel...and then, life got really (happily) busy! I most definitely plan on picking it back up. The heart behind it and vision for it was to write a book that would be a lot like my blog in book-form: encouragement for young women and honest talk about life, falling in love with Jesus, guys, dating, waiting and singleness, pursuing big dreams -- all with my story and heart woven throughout. I have so much of it written and sitting in a binder. And will share more when it's the right time to release that as the Lord leads!
What did your blog used to be called? When I first began my blog in 2011 (ah, I can't believe I've been blogging for so long!) I called it "Sweetness Itself" because I felt like the Lord put it on my heart, based on Song of Solomon 5:16 - "His whispers are sweetness itself, wholly desirable." I felt called to write honesty and boldly about my relationship with Jesus, sharing His word bring writing and speaking to women on my blog about His truth. There are so very many voices out there in our culture -- screaming things at us: lies about how we should be, look, live. Yet, the Lord speaks all the time -- in whispers -- and His words are truth. His words are the sweetest we will ever hear, if we stop and listen! ("Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life." -- John 6:68.) I shared so much of my heart for several years on my blog under that name and then felt led to change to my name, Erin James (itserinjames -- "James" was my "pen name," just for privacy's sake because my maiden last name is VERY unique!) And now that I am married, I've changed it one last time to Erin Morris.
How tall are you? 5'9. (And thankfully my sweet hubby is about 6-foot 2 so I can wear high heels... Yay!)
How do your hair with the beachy waves? I am filming a hair tutorial to share my secrets (it's super simple!) and will share it soon on my YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/happilyevermorris
What happened to your Airstream? We still have it! (see hashtag #wildandfreeairstream on Instagram for photos.) Daniel and I bought our very own 1976 Airstream Sovereign last October. We are follow the Lord's lead on what He has for our future and the Airstream may be part of that.. we will see! Regardless, we just adore travel, adventure, and a wild and free lifestyle. And I love all things vintage so decorating it would be a dream!
Where do you live? Right on the beach in Los Angeles, California.
Can we meet up for coffee? Oh, how I would love to! I see my blog as a virtual coffee date, sometimes -- where my readers and I can connect and share our passions, hearts, stories, happiness, heartache, and things we love. But, between being a newlywed wife, writing a book, and running my blog, my time is very limited at the moment. A dream of mine is to plan meet-ups sometime soon where I can meet and connect local gals who are kindred spirits. Stay tuned! But I can suggest some amazing coffee shops in Los Angeles area:
- Huckleberry Cafe (adorable, delicious + known to be Taylor Swift's favorite!)
- Aroma Coffee and Tea
What are your favorite coffee and tea brands? We all know I'm a big coffee and tea fan! Recently, I've switched to decaf-only for drinks because I'm trying to be as healthy as possible and caffeine began taking it's toll on my health. For coffee, I love Peet's dark roast decaf coffee with a little organic half + half and some agave nectar! And for tea, I adore Harney & Son's Vanilla Comoro with honey. Yum! My absolute favorite tea would really be any really quality loose leaf from a tea house, but sometimes those are a bit expensive so for bagged tea, that's my go-to.
Do you make money on your blog? Yes, I make money through advertising (see my advertising page above) sidebar ads and Instagram product features, selling my e-book, and affiliate links.
How do you edit your photos? I use Photoshop, Lightroom, and PicMonkey.com. And a few apps on my iPhone: VSCO cam, Afterlight, Facetune, Over, and PicFrame (for collages.)
Can you give me advice on blogging? I get e-mails every week asking for blogging advice, and I so wish I had time to reply to each lovely one! Blogging is close to my heart and has been a blessing in my life -- it's been a door to opportunities, an avenue to meet some of my closest friends, one of the reasons I met Daniel :), a job and way to make money, and has cost a huge amount of work, commitment and dedication. I'm no expert -- I'm still learning about blogging every day! But, I have been doing it for four years now, and have learned quite a lot about it along the way.
The main way I learned how to be a blogger, design, market, use HTML coding, use social media, create and self-publish an e-book, edit photos, etc, etc -- is this: Google.com! When I began my blog, I couldn't afford to advertise on anyone else's blog, buy a fancy camera, or take blogging classes (although those weren't really around until later!) And so, I did the best I could with what I had. And I had an old laptop that sometimes worked, an iPhone, and a heart full of dreams! I Googled everything. I spent hours (and honestly shed many tears in frustration and discouragement) as I taught myself graphic design, photo editing, and blogging in general.
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard" and "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" are two quotes I often recited. In my experience, confidence and hard work are the two most important things to focus on while starting up a business on the Internet. Being kind to others and "networking" -- not by asking people for favors, but just genuinely trying to make friends, following likeminded bloggers, and just putting yourself out there with the gifts and talents you have. Write, take photos, create original art, make videos, design products! Be yourself and use what you have -- even if you don't have the best camera, the laptop you'd like to use, the money to buy a nice blog design. Start with what you have, work hard, and build from there.
I'm planning to share a blogging series to help my sweet readers who've emailed me, but until then you can read a post I shared on this topic, here.
What are your thoughts on haters and how do you deal with them? Haters gonna hate, so shake it off, right? ;) Sometimes, it's harder than that, though, to deal with mean comments, bullying, and hate mail. My heart on the whole subject: my blog is a space of GRACE. Of encouragement and inspiration. Of kindness. I barely have time to reply to my kind-hearted, well-meaning, wonderful friends and sisters. I certainly don't want to use my time arguing, defending, or wrangling it out with hate-mailers. Basically, I feel the same way as Kelle Hampton in her post on trolls and haters: here : "I appreciate meaningful conversations and differing opionins about everything from religion and politics to parenting, but personal attacks, demands and general 'you're doing it wrong, you suck!' comments simply aren't tolerated here. No shirt, no shoes, no service. Kissy emoticon. Handclap emoticon...... After years of allowing people to anonymously leave snarky comments-- because 'you put yourself out there, you should be able to take it.' -- I now adhere to the same rules I have in my home: if the dog s**** on the carpet, I clean it up." I am so thankful for the 90% of comments, emails, and words I receive that are life-giving and kind, and that's my focus. I pray for those who spread hate, though -- it's such a sad waste of a precious life and harms others significantly. Let's all be brave and kind, like Cinderella, mmmmkay? ;)