Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking A Sick Day

My mom is coming into town this weekend! I am so excited to see her, even though I just saw her last weekend :)  I cannot see her too much and love having my mommy around.

I have decided in lieu of rushing posts and making them happen quickly and not as great as possible, I will do something slightly out of character and take tomorrow off.  I need to clean my apartment and I have been extremely sick for a week and need to rest and not worry about blogging and sorting out my thoughts.  I need to take medicine and sleep and eat soup and drink tea. 

I have also decided next week will be a week of posts revolving around my trip last week and you will hopefully get to see it all.  The following week I will return to posting as normal and join a bunch of link up parties (in hopes of getting more blog friends and followers) :)  Hope this all sounds good to you, because it's official and it's happening.

Thanks for your patience in my lack of ability to put words and pictures together.  Sometimes when you're sick, your head is cloudy and you just can't concentrate.  Hopefully Monday I will come back full force. 

Have a great weekend friends!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Need More Time

Sometimes I sit to write and posts flow out of my head and into the universe in perfect rhythm and happiness, and other time I sit in front of my computer with plenty to say, but have no idea where to start. Today is the later.  I have 400 pictures of my recent trip and, and I need more time to sort through them and make succinct posts with quippy titles and collages of pictures.  

I need more time to sort through my emotions of being separate from my parents and only seeing them for a few days at a time.

I need more time to put into words all the glorious food and smells and experiences.

I need more time to relax and unpack and just be back home.

I just need more time to process my trip...

You will have to wait for my head to catch up with my heart.  

This is all I have for you today folks.  Just a girl trying to learn the lessons God is trying to teach her and put them all into words.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oh The Places We'll Go...

I guess you will have to wait one more day to see my Boston and Bar Harbor pictures, simply because the cord and the camera are currently separated.  I solemnly swear to get them on the computer as soon as possible, but in the meantime I will not leave you hanging!

Traveling with my parents and Bill was ideal.  They were perfect company.  They enjoyed shopping and eating at the local watering holes.  They loved being together and had wide eyes taking in all the sights.  We all breathed fresh air and for the first time in awhile had the chance to relax.  This all made me want to travel more.  

I imagined us strolling in France and drinking wine in Tuscany.  I have a list of places I want to see, and I can picture us all there laughing and holding our glasses to constantly cheers.

I sit and imagine some of the places I would like to see with these lovely people, and I only hope the future holds some of these trips for us.

Monday, September 26, 2011

C'est La Vie

I'm back from my trip and feeling well rested and satiated :) Pictures and stories will be up soon, and many details will spill out in my exhuberance to tell you all about the magic that is Massachusetts and Maine, but in the meantime I wanted to share this sweet little picture I stole from my sister Joy's blog.

It reminds me of my lovely relationships and some dear friends. 

Relax today and enjoy a flask of tea.

Friday, September 23, 2011

3000 Miles From Here...

I'm in Boston and Maine for the weekend with my parents and Bill (actually I have been there since Wednesday).  I hope that your weekend is as fabulous as mine will be, filled with laughter and fresh air.  I plan to come back having gained a few pounds from the mountains of food and drinks I am consuming.  Don't worry about me, I am happy at this moment in time.  

See you on Monday friends! Have the most wonderful weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trading Tasties at Joe's

I asked a bunch of people what their favorite items from Trader Joe's were this past week, and the answers were overwhelmingly diverse! I knew people liked different treats from here, but a ton of people said completely different things.  I thought I would share some pictures of the various answers I got, because I want to encourage us that although what we always get is the best, maybe we should try other people's tried and true favorites.

So, for your viewing pleasure, take it all in!  Comment away and ask me what other items people said, or leave your own Trader Joe's favorites!  I am excited to try everyone's suggestions :)  The great news is there is so much out there that I am sure you have not tried, so go with one of these pictures and search it out in the store.  I trust all your judgement and think so many of these items sound so delicious.

Good luck with your new ventures friends! Let me know how they go.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Rules of Attraction

There is something to be said for innocence and gentleness that classic movies bring.  The romance is so different and less physical, it seems so genuine.  Movies today revolve around sex and physical attraction.  I can't believe how many women buy into it as something that can really jump start a relationship.  If a man thinks you are attractive enough he will fall in love with you... what a lie society tells!  Women find their value in men thinking they are hot, and honestly it breaks my heart. 

These movies make me smile because they are about a man loving a woman because of her charisma.  Sure he is attracted to her, because she is beautiful, but it is about what he sees in her personality and heart that makes him choose her.  What a picture of love.  Not about staying in perfect shape, but about having personalities that mesh and mold to build the other up and make each other happy.

However, there is something I find lacking in both current cinema and movies of old.  Generally the theme is an attention grabbing woman, and the man that falls for her.  Rarely is there a movie about an off-color man and a plain jane girl who falls for him.  I wish they showed that more.  Not only does it put pressure on the girl to be fabulous and stand out from the crowd to be noticed, it also lessens the man.  They are just there with no personality.  

I call for a drastic re-write of romantic comedies and old musicals and everything in between.  How about two fabulous people like minded in important matters and of the same faith coming together as one unified person and complementing each other.  I love knowing I am a fabulous woman with my own individual personality, but I also love the personality of the man I am with and how his plays into mine and together we make the most sense.

I wish every woman found her value in Christ and knew her worth.  The women in these old musicals exude confidence, in contrast to the women in current cinema.  There has to be a balance of all of these things.  As I type and write I realize that not all these thoughts are connecting, but I think thats ok.  I only hope I've provoked thoughts of your worth, whether you are a man or a woman.  And that the next romantic movie you watch you stop wishing you were in their shoes, because reality is not being portrayed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mornings Alone

On the weekends when I have the morning to myself, I truly enjoy assembling a delicious breakfast.  OJ, eggs, toast, avocado, cheese, salsa, coffee, vanilla creamer, and a banana muffin all made my food tray happy to be carrying something so great.  I love this tray so much, and every time I use it, a huge smile spreads across my face.  I'm so glad I spent so much time and energy picking out each individual picture and placing them where they work best.

It is truly a simple pleasure to have this alone time.  I listen to music and dance around the kitchen alone.  You should try it :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


I was watching the movie Serendipity the other day (hence the picture of Love in the Time of Cholera), and it got me thinking about fate versus predestination.  It is so interesting that the concept of God having predestined our steps is so much less accepted than the concept of the universe bringing our romantic life into form.  It seems so amazing that there is one person out there for us and that cosmic forces are working to bring us face to face with that special someone in a perfect chance encounter we will remember the rest of our lives.  We get swept up in the notion of love and romance and not caught up in the control something holds over our life stories.

However, any time I ask someone on the fence about their faith how they feel about predestination they are completely anti having God in control of what they do.  I think what is misunderstood is the element of control.  We always hold control over our own lives, God is not forcing us into anything.  However, we have the choice to make that we want his guidance.  After that choice has been made, he has the best path laid out for us.  It is not the best path, in his opinion, it is simply the best.  Whether we want it or not it is there, but we can choose a different path that takes us through frustration and turmoil in life.  He even has the romantic elements worked out if you trust in him.

I have been wrestling with why things happen to some people and not to others, and I think this helps bring it into focus.  Because God created us he also understands us.  Because he understands us better than anyone else, he knows where we are weak and strong and what we need to be the best versions of ourselves, but we have to learn through our circumstances not fight them.  People who fight through them come out the best versions of themselves on the other side.  Trust in God is not easy.  I cannot explain everything, but I can say that God sees the bigger picture.

I was just explaining to someone yesterday how I often feel like a child with God.  I want something that is going to hurt me - I want to touch the stove when it is hot.  God, my father, tells me not to do it, but I do it anyway.  Then I blame him for not stopping me, even though I waited until he wasn't looking to disobey.  Anyone relate?

Learn to be content in your circumstances.  Listen when he tells you not to or to do something.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Flavors - Food I Ate Friday

I started off the week with a post about fall, and I'm ending it that way too.  Get used to it, I love fall! :)

This week I was walking around the grocery store getting the usual suspects, and I stopped dead in my tracks while looking at creamer - peppermint mocha creamer was back on the shelf! Fall is here (and winter is right around the corner!)  I then started walking through the store and found a bunch of fall items.  I bought the creamer and made peppermint hot chocolate, and I could not contain my excitement.

I always hear people excited to get their pumpkin spice lattes and I wish I shared in that excitement, but it doesnt matter because other treats tempt me.  Whatever your fall flavor may be, go out and treat yourself! 

Get in the spirit. 
Snuggle up under a blnaket. 
Watch a movie with colorful leaves in a scene. 
Drink a warm drink. 
Wear a scarf. 
Whatever it takes :) 
Enjoy it!

Tomato Soup, Peppermint Creamer, and a Cranberry Orange Nut Bread Clif Bar for me please!

What are your favorite fall treats?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things


I love feeling like a million bucks and dressing up for work!

I love, love, love tiffany lamps, and this one sits right beside my bed.

I love my bunny and his crazy mane of hair.

I love Teuscher Coffee, Ashley Waterhouse, and Mikaela Holford.

This week I have been feeling as though I take these things for granted.  Not everyone has nice clothes, furniture they love, pets, wonderful friends, or the ability to afford fancy coffee.  I feel so blessed when I take a moment to meditate on my blessings.  If I just rush through life I tend to forget how fortunate I am.  I took a bike ride this past weekend and tried to focus on what God is doing in my heart and how many prayers he has answered for me this year.  I was truly amazed when I took a step back.  Every picture above represents an answer to prayers.  Money, a home I love, that little furry man, and wonderful friends to be with when I need them and when they need me. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If I Have Not Love, I Gain Nothing...

I'm learning about love.  

It's a lot messier than I thought it would be, and so much more work.  Patience is required every step of the way.  The crazy thing is, he needs to be patient with me!  I'm such a silly girl sometimes.  You always think you will be the one who is cool, calm and collected and then you end up being the crazy and you can't believe it.  Is that just a girl thing? haha

Bill is a man I am proud to be with.  His work ethic, morality, and gentle spirit draw me to him every day.  He makes my heart melt when he tells me I'm beautiful and smiles and looks into my eyes.  I am SUCH a scardy cat, but he makes me feel safe and secure.  He knows when to hold my hand and when to leave me alone and let me work through something. He holds me accountable when I start to slip, and he reminds me who I am, where my faith lies, and why he fell in love with me.  He constantly surprises me with his reactions and makes me the happiest girl in the world.  

I could literally gush about him forever.  I just can't believe he picked me.

Bill, you are it for me. I love you so much.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reflections on Heather Time

Sometimes when people come to visit it feels like a whirlwind and like they are leaving as soon as their plane lands, last weekend with Heather was one of those times.  I miss her desperately, not because I need anything from her, but because she is so genuine, real, and down to earth.  She tells me what is really going on in her life, and sometimes I hate all the sugar-coating people do.

While we may just look like 2 generic, unoriginal girls in all these pictures, I assure you our friendship is much deeper and meaningful than can be captured on film.  I think it's really hard to be friends from a distance when one of your love languages is quality time!  Just being around someone is how both Heather and I show love to our friends, but unfortunately we cannot do so right now, and it has become a stressor on us both.

I hope that instead of this trip being something that reminded her of what she is missing at home, it was more of an encouragement that she still has a friend out there who sends positive energy her way and gives her a reason to believe in friendship once again.

It is always interesting to spend time with someone you rarely get to see, but once felt so close to.  You assume you can pick up where you left off, but it's not always that easy.  For Heather and I, it is second nature.  We are successful and always will be.  I have become somewhat of an expert at overcoming the awkward silence that accompanies time apart and then a rush of time together.  I'm not sure what would happen if the opposite had been true.

I think there is something to be said for similar journeys.  When you cannot relate to someone else's struggle it is hard to feel as close to them.  Even though you can be 100% honest and open and loving, you do not understand each other.  You have not gone through it together, or you have never gone through it... Heather and I went through similar journey's and came out simultaneously.  We became people we could be proud of and we dropped a lot off our backs that we were both ashamed of and carried around as a weight.  That in and of itself is an accomplishment.  Finding our friendship amidst that is an achievement. 

What a blessing she is to me! I hope she can visit again soon :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Perfect Fall Ensemble...

This weekend we had a rain storm and the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees, but it still doesn't feel like fall does at home in Maryland.  However, a week from tomorrow Bill and I are headed to Boston to meet up with my parents and it will absolutely feel like fall there!  This made me wish (only for a moment) that I had extra money to buy fun fall clothes.  I just LOVE fall clothes :)  I love scarves and coats and tights and boots!  They all fill me up with joy.

However, since I am not independently wealthy, I decided to pretend for the sake of a lovely fall blog post, that I could find a wonderful outfit for fall and show you guys what I want.  I could never afford this, but I think it's fun to imagine/pretend.

Oh how soft and wonderful these clothes would be :)

ScarfCoat, and Boots.

I love love love these colors and silhouettes and everything about each of these items.

Do you love them as much as me?  What's your favorite fall thing to wear?

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's The Little Things and Food I Ate Fridays Combined!

An old friend of mine, Lindsay, whom I met back in Maryland and now lives in Hawaii with her husband, runs a much more successful blog than mine with sponsors and banners and a sophisticated camera.  She has such a sweet spirit and a lovely way with words, I enjoy checking her page everyday!  Well, this week she has something new going on and I hope I can successfully participate.  For someone as "technologically challenged" as me, you would think this blog thing wouldn't be such a natural fit! I am also trying labels for the first time today! 

Look at me branching out :)

She has a series of posts called "It's The Little Things" where she discusses little things during her week that made her smile or brought sunshine into her life... sounds just like me huh?  She wanted to have a link up party where a bunch of people posted on the same theme and link to her blog and put all our posts in one place.  You can read all about it on her page! And check out everyone else's posts. 

If you found my blog through Lindsay's "Link Up Party," Welcome!  I love new readers.  Comment away!

I normally do "Food I Ate Fridays," on Fridays, so I thought I would combine the two, because the food in my life is defintiely one of the little things I appreciate :)

This is a California burrito...It is kind of a San Diego staple and SO delicious.  It involves carne asada, french fries, a bunch of cheese, salsa fresca, and of course guacamole!  San Diego in general makes me smile, it is about 1 1/2 hours from my apartment, and any time I have a chance to make the day trip there, I gladly take it.  This hole in the wall Mexican place knew what was up and really delivered. 

While this may seem self-explanatory, this is called a Pizookie (a pizza cookie).  You may think, "Well, I could make that at home," but you just can't do it as well.  It comes in a bunch of flavors with perfect vanilla ice cream on top, and it is just glorious.  We got a chocolate chip and an oreo and it was purely wonderful.  Heather even said she would move here just for this treat, I was unnecessary at that point!

You may have read about Bruxie on my previous Food I Ate Friday post. It is worth writing about again.  This time we got a few strawberry lemonades, a smores waffle, a smoked salmon waffle with dill cream cheese and cucumber, and a buttermilk friend chicken and waffle, which stole a piece of my heart once again.  Honestly, every bite was great. I am SUCH a foodie, and I can't get enough of this place. 

Yum Yum Yum.

I am pretty sure my consistent dieting played a part in this post, as I took the weekend off while my bestie was in town!  You will get a few posts about her visit next week.  And just for an update sake, I have lost 15 pounds and enjoyed every morsel of this fatty food while she was here.  Back to salad and fish for me :(

Have the most loveliest of all weekends.  See you Monday!

Aisle to Aloha

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious and frustrated and tired.  Why can't life be like this picture? Relaxing and calming... Where is the line between selfishness and my own personal happiness.  How can I do everything for others while taking care of myself? Am I over complicating it?

Everyone in my life sees a free spirit when they look at me, but any label is hard.  Sometimes I want to be uptight and demanding, but feel that I have to maintain this perception and understanding of someone who goes with the flow.  Today I feel selfish, and guilty.  I'm tired of trying to please everyone, yet I want to please everyone else first.  I do not want to have my own way, but I really want people to understand what I want.

I always tell people they cannot get mad if they are not honest about what they want.  "People cannot read your mind."  Well, what I am learning is that I cannot practice what I preach.  I wish I was less self aware often, but then I would not be me.  I know I am better off understanding life and love.  I know I am blessed beyond measure to be given the life I have and the love surrounding me.  I wish I didn't take it for granted everyday.  I can always do better and strive more, yet I rarely choose to.  Why?  Especially when I know better... So frustrating and confusing...

God, grant me the patience to continue to live with you first, others second, and me last.  Let me see the beauty in this decision and let others see the difference in their lives.  My prayer is for continued realization that it is not about me and a greater appreciation for laying down my life for the sake of making others more comfortable.  I apologize for being selfish and I pray I can take charge of the next phase of my life and live entirely for you with your purposes in mind. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Silly Little Garden

I’m not sure what qualifies something as a garden, but if it is more than one plant than I have one!  I am pretty infamous for killing plants and then being really sad, so you can imagine my excitement when I walked outside the other day to find these little guys.

I could not believe that I had successfully grown yellow Tabasco peppers AND Thai basil!  Both of these plants are going a few months strong and some of my first successful attempts at a “garden.”  They sit on my patio ledge and make me smile when I sit in the living room with the blinds open as they reach for the sunlight.  I know this update may seem a little frivolous to some, but in my world it’s the little things that make me smile. 

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Don't forget to become a follower of the blog if you read consistently by using the "Google Freind Connect" to the right --->  When I reach 50 people someone will be randomly chosen for a prize!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sharing is Caring

Happy Tuesday Everyone :)

I had the most lovely weekend!  Posts and pictures to follow, but what you need to know is that my time with one of my very best friends was wonderful and honestly could not have gone any better.  She reminded me who I am and where I come from and she challenged me in new and important ways.  We really shared our hearts with each other and we both really needed that.

I'm so glad to have had time to spend with her!  In honor of Heather's animal love, here are a few giraffes to share my sentiment!

Picture Source
On a separate note, I have recently been reflecting on people's strengths and weaknesses and how we can be stronger together or we can tear each other down.  I think what most tend to forget, is that about 75% of that is a choice.  We can choose to work with those around us to make circumstances better, and we can choose to torture the people in our immediate path because they did something to upset us, whether or intentional or not.  

I guess I realized that I rarely choose to punish those around me, but if I do, I feel the difference.  There is tension and gut wrenching agony associated with guilt.  However, I often times feel alone in that.  So many get pleasure out of antagonizing and picking at those they care about, and that breaks my heart.  How can you teach those around you to show their emotions in a healthy way?  How can I tell them to express their frustrations instead of constantly taking them out on others?  

People have been telling me recently that they wish they were "as nice as me."  Well, as flattering as that is to me, and as happy as it makes me that I am perceived as nice as I attempt to be, I believe the statement is hard to swallow.  Everyone has within them the power to be nice, it is just a matter of exercising it.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Heather Simone is Coming to Town!

One of my very best friends in the whole entire world is coming to visit this weekend :)

She is the definition of wonderful and I am so excited to see her and spend time with her and just be around her.  Her energy is contagious and it helps to center me.  Her friendship reminds me what is important in life.  I will be making an effort to show her all my favorite places in California and hopefully have her meet alot of my favorite people here.  

Heather is someone who holds me accountable, builds me up, gives me tough love, and never lets me excuse anything.  We have literally been through hell and back, and she knows everything about me.  While this may sound stressful, she is also hilarious and fun and relaxing.  Our friendship is balanced and healthy and one of the strongest I have.  She is never high strung and never difficult. She is always a blessing and someone I treasure deeply. 

I am looking forward to time with her more than I can possibly describe in words.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

50 Follower Giveaway

Alright people, SO many who read this blog are not my "followers" and I want to know how many people are reading everyday!  

So...I'm going to give you some incentive.  It only takes a second and when I reach 50 followers I'm going to give away a prize to be announced when I reach 25 followers!

Just go the Google Friend Connect on the right -->
and fill in your information :)

Also, don't be afraid to comment!  I would love feedback and just a little something here and there.

Thanks friends :)