Saturday, December 31, 2011

new years eve

Oh my! This month has gotten away from me! I've been dying to blog, but I've been quiet mostly because I've been trying to accomplish the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the month. That and the holidays have been a whirlwind! I have all these grand ideas in my head and so much to share, but at the moment my hair is up in a towel and I'm rushing to get ready, run errands and pick up my bestie, Jenny, at the airport! I'm so excited to be spending New Years Eve with her and Ashlee! It will be lovely!

I'm going to leave you to enjoy this sickingly adorable video that has been flying around the interwebs this week. I mean really?! If this doesn't make you swoon, I'm not sure you have a heart. ;)



P.S. I may or may not have been surprised with a piano for Christmas! I'll share the whole story soon.

Until next year my loves. xoxo


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wardrobe Wednesday

One of the blogs that I love reading is Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky. She is so creative and has such great style. Plus, her hair! I LOVE her hair! I was inspired after reading her post about fall color and winterizing a summer dress. The colors of her post reminded me of a hand-me-down dress from Jenny. I knew I wanted to recreate it, so that's what I did on Sunday. I also used Promise's Messy Bun Video Tutorial to do my hair. It is so EASY! I love it! I think it's my new favorite way to do my hair. I love finding people who share new perspectives. I never would have put this outfit together on own or done my hair like this, but I love how it came together.


Dress: From Jenny
Cardigan: Forever 21
Scarf: Forever 21
Tights: Target
Shoes: Seychelles
Bracelets: Premier Jewlery
Starlette Sparkler: Giant Dwarf Etsy



Monday, December 19, 2011

Music Monday: The Head and the Heart

My love for The Head and the Heart rivals my love for The Civil Wars. That's saying something.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

love was born

Oh my! I cannot believe how busy this time of year gets! It seems like there is always an event, a party, a dinner, a church service, another gift to buy.... This month is so FULL! That is part of why my blog has been more quiet than usual.

One reason in particular that I've been so busy, that I haven't mentioned on here before, is that my family and I participated in a combined church Christmas Cantata. A few of us Lutherans joined with the Methodists and spent weeks practicing "There is a Rose." When my parents first asked if my sister and I would like to join we both said no, but then I was asked again by our organist and was compelled to accept. Ashlee wanted to know what I signed her up for when we attended the first practice last month and were given over 70 pages of music and a cd with 30 minutes of music. I was wondering the same thing myself. I was a little nervous.

It's one of those weird things about me. I love to sing, but I don't call myself a singer. Most of the time I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. I think God has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zones when it comes to music. In August my family was asked/called to lead the worship team for our church's new second service. Um. Hello. God. Me? Not. A. Singer. So I've just been obeying. God asked me to help lead/start the worship team. So I have. God asked me to join the Christmas Cantata. So I did. Not only have a learned so much from doing both, but I've met some amazing people and have been so blessed through these opportunities.

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Everytime I would go to Cantata practice nervous or dragging my feet and everytime I would leave filled up and joyful. Last night was the Cantata. It. Was. Awesome. I was anxious, even after all the practices to walk into a packed church and stand on the risers in front of everyone because sharing my voice is such an intimate and vulnerable experience for me. As I stood there I said a prayer, threw away my doubts and sang out. It felt incredible. There is nothing like singing for Jesus. I know I wasn't perfect, but I'm so proud of myself for facing my fears and doing it anyway.

Participating in our churches worship team has been good for that too. We are still learning. There are Sundays where we mess up, but we move forward because we have to. Sometimes it's embarassing, but I keep going because God has asked me to. And there is always another Sunday coming up to prepare for. This has been a challenging lesson in obedience, but I know that I am growing because of it.

Speaking of growing musically, do those of you readers who are musically inclined or worship leaders have advice for someone like me, who loves music, but doesn't necessarily have much knowledge or experience?

I'm trying to convince my family that I need (and that we have room for) a piano that our church is going to get rid of. Hello! Free. Piano. I think they are getting tired of me "casually" bringing it up in conversation. For example, "Oh look! We just cleaned out that bedroom. A piano would fit perfectly." Wink. Wink.

Friday, December 16, 2011

christmas cheer

There are no words for this video. Just watch.

Monday, December 12, 2011

joy. pray. thank.

Yesterday's sermon really struck a cord with me. Especially after what last week was like. I took some notes and wanted to share them with you. The sermon was based on the scriptures from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24. I'll just share the first couple verses with you, but please read the rest for yourself. "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Pastor shared that having joy and being joyful doesn't equate with being happy. Joy comes from God and NOT from our circumstances. Our circumstances and the unknowns of our future can cause anxiety and worry. Joy is not easy because we do have trials in our lives and our futures are uncertain, but we KNOW that we are children of God.

That leads into praying without ceasing. We are to pray when life is hard, but we are also to pray when life is easy. Prayer is about relationship with God. The more we pray for EVERYTHING the closer we feel to God; we build a trust in Him and learn that we can turn to God for anything. Trust eases those unknowns in life.

Next the scripture says to give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what. This develops an attitude of gratitude and it shows where we place our trust. We are called to be grateful despite the unknowns in life. God has already prepared tomorrow for us! I love that! God even cares for us before we need providing.

God is there with us, even in the midst of our weaknesses. God doesn't always work in the ways we expect, but rather in the ways we NEED. It might be very simple rather than spectacular, but God is working. God simply provides even though He may not tell you HOW He will and He doesn't do a half-way job.

This is one of those lessons that I have heard many times previously, but I needed the reminder.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

alright

Oh man. This has been one of those weeks. If it could go wrong. It did. I'm not even sure how I've made it this far. Earlier today I was sitting at my desk telling myself that I could not cry at work. I'm blaming most of this week on my hormones. (Ladies, you know what I mean.) I'm also blaming technology for freaking out on me, causing me to get behind on work. It's just been a ridiculous week. I hope that your week has been a million times better than mine.

I'm praying that tomorrow is better. Sometimes in the midst of the craziness it's difficult to get perspective. I will feel better. I will get caught up at work. The world won't end. Everything will be alright.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

on the tv

It’s no secret that I love watching movies and TV shows. I’m a bit of a junkie. I know that it rots my brain and my eyes will forever be crossed and all that, but I just can’t help it. The same thing happens with books, I just get sucked into the story lines. I love the drama, the comedy, the action. Lately I’ve seen many good shows and movies and I wanted to share.


Drop Dead Diva- When I first saw previews for this show I thought it must be the dumbest show ever. Seriously, a pretty girl who dies and comes back as a lawyer? Luckily, one day I was bored and turned this one. I fell in love. Deb/Jane is so sassy and fun; and strangely enough I can relate to the dead girl who comes back to life. Plus, Fred, the guardian angel melts my heart. My sister and I even got our parents watching it.


Cyberbully- One Sunday I was sick in bed and decided to distract myself so I turned this on. Emily Osment and Kay Panabaker are in it, plus it's an ABC family movie. So duh, of course I'm going to like it. The title of the movie sort of gives away what it's about, but it's such an important topic. I've been the target of bullying before, but never cyberbullying. It was eye opening to see what teens these days are facing. And just a suggestion to any teens reading this: The internet is not your best friend or your diary. You do not need to put EVERYTHING you think, feel, breathe, like out there for the whole world to see.


Wild Target- Emily Blunt. Rupert Grint. Magic. I. LOVED. THIS. MOVIE. That's all I'm going to say. You must see it.


You Again- I don't know how I waited so long to see this movie! Marni's brother is about to marry the mean girl who made her life hell in high school. It's a fun movie about changing your ways and second chances.


Revenge of the Bridesmaids- So I like ABC family movies. So sue me. Hey maybe Deb would represent you. I digress. I just realized there is another mean girl in this movie too! I'm sensing a theme. I'm also getting off topic again. So what is this movie about? Undercover bridesmaids played by Joanna Garcia and Raven-Symoné trying to sabotage a wedding. It's pretty silly, but very entertaining.


Karate Kid- I was pleasantly surprised with the new Karate Kid movie. Jayden Smith and Jackie Chan were great! Good life lessons.


Miranda- Jenny introduced me to this British show and it has quickly become one of my favorites. It's about a single woman who is 34 (read in her mid-twenties), she is a bit awkward in social situations and especially around men, she owns her own shop and has a crush on the chef at the restaurant next door. It's surprising how much I relate to her. I absolutely adore her!


Felicity- Oh, dear Felicity. What can I say about you? You are young and naive and are always embarrassing me with your angst and awkwardness, with your massively curly hair, your crush on Ben and friendship with Noel. I don't know what to do with you. I just can't seem to stop watching.

I'd love to hear what you've been watching lately. Anything I must see?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Wrap Up and December Goals

No way is tomorrow December! (I think I said the same thing at the beginning of November.) I can't believe the year and my Happiness Project are almost over. It's been a challenging and busy month.

November: Food
-Read The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
-Drink 2 Miir Bottles of water a day
-Don’t eat out more than twice
-Try going vegetarian
-Help cook family meals



This month's goals were more difficult than I initially thought they'd be. I haven't made it quite all the way through The Kind Diet, but I should be done in the next couple days. It's been very eye-opening. I KNOW that the food we eat has an effect on health, wellness, body, etc., but I don't know all the facts, details, etc.  It has definitely inspired me to think more about the food I'm putting in my mouth. The Kind Diet has been a good resource and I want to try some of the recipes in the back.

I don't think I've had EXACTLY 2 Miir Bottles of water every day, but I definitely upped my water intake. My friends know me as the girl who NEVER drinks water, so this is very good for me!

I'm not sure how many times we actually ate out. There were a couple nights that we were feeling too tired to cook, but we are all trying to be better about eating at home.

Going vegetarian was quite the challenge. Since Ashlee has gone vegetarian for over a year, we've eaten a lot less meat, so I figured it'd be no biggie. I quickly realized how prominent meat is in my life. I definitely stumbled through this month, but I think I'm on the right track and that going vegetarian is something I want to continue. Ultimately, I don't really want to label myself food-wise, I want to eat natural food that makes me feel good.

I've been doing so much better helping cook our family meals. So often by the time I get home from work I'm too tired to lift a finger. Last week I helped my mom make a delicious butternut squash lasagna and tonight I helped make a broccoli divan.

So December. The last month of the project. December is for Happiness. It is my boot camp month, combining all the topics from throughout the year. Now, I don't expect I'll be able to do everything perfectly, but it's worth a try. My goals are as follows:

December: Happiness
-Exercise regularly
-Finish my 2007 album
-Regular devotions
-Send Christmas cards
-Pay extra on my student loan
-Study for my Electrical Systems final/get an A on the test
-Eat vegetarian

See past months Happiness Project wrap ups. January. February. March. April. May. June. July. August. September. October.

Wardrobe Wednesday: A Bit Rusty

It's been FOREVER since I've done an outfit post. I've been a bit of a lazy blogger lately, but I am hoping to get back into a nice routine.



Cardigan: Target
Blouse: H&M
Jeans: H&M
Shoes: Forever 21
Ring: Gift

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration

I think these two drawings are just the prettiest! I even have the first one set as the background on my computer. What is inspiring you today?
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

whale

This made me giggle. I just had to share.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

home

I've been wanting to paint again for a long time. I go through weird phases...I get ideas for paintings in my head, but sometimes it will take me months to work up the courage to try putting my ideas on canvas. My most recent painting was no exception. I worry too much that what's in my mind won't translate exactly how I want it to when I sit down to paint. I was inspired by the pictures below that I found on pinterest. 

I LOVE the first two paintings and knew I wanted to use lines and color.
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 With the next two pictures, I knew I wanted to incorporate lyrics using vinyl letters.
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When I first attempted to paint on Saturday things did not go how I planned. By the time I finished I felt like an ugly rainbow threw up all over my canvas. Sunday I tried again, repainting my entire canvas, but it was challenging due to the fact that I was quickly running out of white paint and was too lazy to get more. I managed to have just enough and finished this afternoon. The really hard part about having to start over is having to hand paint the letters since I was out of the vinyl letters, but I think they turned out okay. I used the lyrics to Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It is definitely one of my favorite songs right now. I've already hung this up in my bedroom....not that I really have room on my walls.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MiiR

Hello darlings! On Saturday I had the privilege of attending a screening of MiiR's documentary, "Beyond the Bottle." My sister has written about MiiR before. (See here.) Miir was started by a fellow SPU alum, Bryan, and I am so proud of what he and his team are doing.

So often I take for granted what I have been blessed with, even the simplest things, such as a glass of water. Did you know that nearly a billion people don't have access to clean drinking water? That number shocks me every time I hear it. MiiR is helping provide clean drinking water to those who need it most.


"At MiiR, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently about what we create and who it may impact. we do this by making our products highly functional, well designed while giving back to those in need. We decided to start by making great bottles with significant purpose behind them."


As you can see by the pictures, my family LOVES MiiR bottles. Not only are the bottles unique, customized to us, and a "pleasure" to drink from, using a MiiR bottle eliminates the use of plastic bottles and one dollar of each MiiR bottle goes to provide one person with clean water for one year.


MiiR partnered with One Day's Wages, which is an organization to alleviate extreme global poverty. ODW uses 100% of the money raised to directly grant to organizations, projects, and causes around extreme global poverty. Rad, huh?

So if you need an idea for a unique Christmas gift that also makes a difference, MiiR is the way to go!

Follow Miir on twitter.
Follow Miir on facebook.

Monday, November 14, 2011

the unexpected

I should know by now that life NEVER goes exactly how you plan. That seems to be the story of my life. This weekend was no exception. I got an unexpected phone call Friday while I was at work. My dad was attacked by a crazy neighbor cat after the cat tried to attack Blizzard. To make a long story short, my dad had to go to urgent care and we had to take the neighbor cat to the humane society to be quarantined in case it has rabies. The neighbors who own the cat are not exactly the friendliest and have a reputation for overreacting with other neighbors. After all that, the decision was made to stay home this weekend, so we missed my cousin's wedding. It's too bad, but I think we all really needed a weekend at home.



Speaking of the unexpected, yesterday morning I learned that one of our dear friends from church is moving to Las Vegas with her son. She has had some terrible things happen in her life lately and this move is a good opportunity for her to have a fresh start. I'm just so sad to see her go. Please say a prayer for guidance and wisdom for her as she and her son are making this new transition.


What unexpected things have happened in your life recently? Were they good or bad?

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11

Today after work my family is leaving for my cousin's wedding. I'm so excited for K&D. He and his wife-to-be have quite the unusual story. They were previously married about 13 years ago, divorced about 6 years ago, and reconciled about 2 years ago. Their lives are a testimony to God's redemption, forgiveness and abundant love. I'm so excited so be celebrating with them tonight!

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How will you be spending 11.11.11?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

on the shelf

Hey loves. I feel like I've had a difficult time writing "real" posts. By the time I get home from work my brain just seems to float away. I figured it has been awhile since I've shared my reading list, so that's what I'm going to do today.

Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
When I started the first book, all I knew is that it was popular, but I had no idea what it was about. My sister and a couple friends said that it took a chapter or so to really get into the book, which I also experienced. If you haven't read these, be warned, there is rather graphic sexual violence. Despite that, the stories Stieg Larsson told were amazing and intriguing, about a young woman named Lisbeth Salander and an investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist. I could hardly put these books down.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This is another one of those books that I heard that I must read, but I didn't really know what it was about or what to expect. It definitely lived up to all the hype. This is an amazing story that I laughed and cried through. It's about African American maids working and living in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. I'm anxious to see the movie now!

Currently Reading:
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
I just started reading this last week. I previously read Shauna's book, Cold Tangerines (mentioned here, here and here) and loved her writing style. She offers so many beautiful insights about life, changes and growth. I can't wait to finish.

The Real Girl Next Door by Denise Richards
My sister read this a couple months ago and when I saw it sitting on the shelf at the library I picked it up. It's been an easy read and I'm nearly done. I always find it interesting to read about the lives of celebrities. It's easy to think everything about them and their lives is perfect, but when you get down to it, they are people too.

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone
My sister, Ashlee, and my triplet, Jenny, have both read this book and since reading it, have both become vegetarians. (See my sister's post about the book here.) I'm so curious to learn more about how what you eat effects your health and your body. I previous read The Butcher and The Vegetarian and really enjoyed what Tara had to share about her take on food. (See my post here.)



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

tuesday inspiration

Here are a few images that are inspiring me today. Happy Tuesday darlings!







Thursday, November 3, 2011

halloween

I figured it was time to post my Halloween pictures or else I would forget until Christmas. As I mentioned before I decided to be Olive Penderghast for Halloween. It was an incredibly easy costume. I wore a black tank top, black jeans, black heels and a pearl necklace. I spent all of 35 cents on red felt and sewed the A. The only downside was that besides my family, no one got my costume. Duh, people! Anyway, I had fun in my costume. My amazing sister, Ashlee, was foursquare. I didn't post a full body picture of her costume, so you'll have to wait until she shares on her blog.

Compared to the past three Halloweens this year was very uneventful. Ashlee and I went to our cousin's party for a bit, but left early and stopped by the Matador before heading home.