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Monday, October 31, 2011

Day Trips and Coastlines

Bill and I took a day trip to San Diego last weekend and got in the car without a plan.  It was a dreary day with tons of fog and haze.  I wore a scarf all day and relished the cool breeze against my skin.  This was was exactly what we needed.  No plan at all, just each other.


Normally, Bill and I take take the quickest route to get to our destination, but with no ultimate place in mind we just drove down the coast and stopped where we wanted.  We toured a college we had heard about but never seen.  We found a statue downtown reminiscent of war times that made me think of my grandfather and the sacrifice he made for this country.  We found a fantastic new restaurant with unique cocktails and delicious food.  We discovered new beach towns and took it all in while holding hands.




We saw Bill's Aunt Donna last week at his grandma's birthday, and she said she can tell by reading my blog that he is the love of my life, and I know this to be true.  When she said it, I was overwhelmed by the reality.  Sometimes I feel like I do not deserve him - he is amazing.  

I believe in him with my entire heart.  I pray for him constantly that he will continue to know all that God created him to be and discover more about who he is in Christ everyday.  Whenever he tells me something new he is learning I am blown away to have this prayer answered time and time again in ways I never saw coming.  

I consider myself blessed to have his family becoming mine and to have his heart match mine so closely.  All relationships should be open and honest, and I am lucky to have found that in him and in so many other people in my life.  Thanks guys :) You know who you are.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Food I Ate Friday - Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Recipe is completely stolen from Real Simple, but once I had made it, I knew I needed to share it with the world.  Bill and I went to his grandma's birthday party last night and brought these little treats :)  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Pumpkin Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients

1 18.5-Ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 8-Ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners cugar
24 pieces candy corn

Directions

- Heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.  Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions. -

- Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let Cool. -

- Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a pice of candy corn. -

Side Note: Put the Candy corn on right before serving.  We learned the hardway that candy corn melts and drips and ruins the look of these!

Bill always pats his grandma on the head when he sees her :)

Happy Birthday to Bill's Grandma!  She is such a wonderful lady who truly lives a life of love.  She is always smiling and happy to see each person as they walk in the door.  I hope I am like her when I grow up!

Have such a wonderful weekend friends! 

See you on Monday with more fun fall posts.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Many Uses For Vintage Suitcases

I have a strong love for Vintage Suitcases.  There is something about them... maybe it is like people with vintage books.  The smell and the look and the feel and everything. 

I started looking up unique things people do with vintage suitcases and came up with a collection of pictures that inspire me and bring me a unique joy.  I hope by scrolling through these images you will find something to brighten your day.  If you do not share this love, let me know what you do love and what you are inspired by - for no rhyme or reason.

I don't usually start with my favorite image, but I couldn't resist.  I wanted to hook you :) 

I love that you can make them match... I am sure this is tough but worth the final product!

Planting plants in a suitcase?!? Yes please.

This would take an expert hand.  I want to buy this!

This is what I use my suitcases for.  Storage!

This collection of images makes me happy.
I hope this collection made someone smile.  It definitely worked for me! 

Happy Thursday everyone.  The weekend appraoches fast :)


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pup Time

I am constantly reminding myself that I am not in a season of life yet where I have the time and/or space for a dog; yet, I constantly find myself wanting one.  So, when Mikaela told me she was house sitting and there was a puppy to watch, I jumped at the chance to spend time with it :)




Her name was Addie, and her temperment was perfect.  Me, Bill, and Mickey (as I call Mikaela), took her to this beautiful park overlooking back bay and to Keane Coffee with us, and we all just soaked up pup time.  It was a beautiful day with perfect weather and made me hope to one day have a dog who just loved to be outside and be with people.  What a treat!


I can't wait until I have a pup in my life to be around and love.  One day :)

What kind of puppy do you love?  Let me know!

My dream dog would be either a Labradoodle, Golden Doodle, or a Wheaton Terrier.  Sigh...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Be Encouraged - We All Have a Past and a Present


I can say from personal experience that you can either use your past to propel you into becoming a better version of yourself, or let it sink you deeper into your sin because if you have done it once what is the harm in doing it again?

I dabbled in the bitter realm... and while I have done many things I was not proud of, I decided I could not let it ruin the rest of my decisions.  You cannot quit life just because of a foolish decision one time.  For me, it was about my younger brother and sisters above all.  I wanted to be someone they could look up to.  I wanted to challenge them to be better and not have them thinking in the back of their mind that I was a hypocrite who didn't know the first thing about worrying about others first.

Selfish tendencies are something we have to fight against our entire lives, but just because you have been selfish for the greater part of your life doesn't mean you need to be bitter and get more selfish as your time goes on.    In fact, there is no excuse to ever hold on to something just because you are comfortable in it.

People far too often let their past predict their future, when it should not be that way.  

Be encouraged today that it is never too late to change, and no matter what your past holds, your future is still determinable.  Find hope in the fact that everyday is new and we are able to redefine ourselves as often as we feel led.  Without growth, we would be bored.

Look into your life and allow yourself to see bitterness towards people and things.  Make every effort to remove it, because with that comes peace of mind knowing that nothing stands between you and God.

Be encouraged dear friends.  I can guarantee your journey is just beginning and that God will continue to mold and shape you and work your past into a glorious future, if you will let him.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Weddings are Wonderful

There's something about a wedding.  There are a lot of important events in people's lives, but a wedding just really gets to me.  It is such a huge commitment and such an amazing blessing to have found a person you can envision spending your life with.  I am always taken aback by the commitment, and the moment that each person says, "I Do" I well up with tears.  It is such a beautiful promise.





Bill and I attended two sets of dear friends weddings back to back weekends and were so overwhelmed with how beautiful the couples were.  They have such genuine love for each other and for those in their circles.  They had unique aspects to their weddings and really just celebrated each other and their love.  I love when a wedding is not about the event itself, but rather it is about recognizing their community and coming together to celebrate what they do for each other in conjunction with everyone present.




Honestly, I get lost inside my little bubble and forget that people do not have it as easy as I do.  I am surrounded by loving people who care for each other and for God in such amazing and passionate ways.  Marriage is such a serious decision, and I am so glad these two couples have entered it as pairs and best friends.  They are inspiring and wonderful to be around and I know they will succeed.

Congrats Sim and Jo and Nate and Amanda!

Love you guys :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Blessing of Beautiful Babies

I thought I would share a few pictures I stole off Facebook of Bill's adorable baby cousins (well they are his cousin's kids - so what is that first removed? - Ha let's stick with cousins!)

This is Logan and his parents Sarah and Rich and Reyes and her parents Theresa and Frank.  I could not get over how amazingly adorable they all are! I smile when I think that these parents have nothing but love for their children.  I am sure there are tough times, but I never hear complaining.  I am so glad to have both of these families around and see the love they have for their little ones and for each other.

I feel so blessed by them.







 

I hope you enjoyed these!  Happy Fall and Happy Friday everyone :)


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pinterest Inspired Fall Fashion

I know, I know, generally I am not big on posts about clothes or fashion.  However, as I was scrolling through pinterest this past week, I ran across a few clothing/outfit pictures that I could not help but share!

I really love the first outfit and would absolutely wear it.  Sorry I cannot tell you where to get everything, as this is all that is offered on pinterest, but it seems like some pretty amazing basics - which by the way is my favorite look!  I LOVE the purse and may track it down somehow :)



This second outfit is lovely.  I might have a tough time with the necklace, but I just love the overall soft feel.  Nothing abrasive about it.  It looks classy and sophistocated and I LOVE feeling that way! 

I have had this urge to buy cozy things lately since I have to dress nice for work, however I can never make comfrotable clothes look high fashion!  I wish I could look a little more intentional and less lazy.



Don't you love that sweater and socks! I want to drink some tea and read a book while wearing them :)


This last outfit reminds me most of me and my style.  I love it all!  The colors are bright and friendly and I also love ice cream in cones (ha).  The distressed comfortable jeans are my favorite.

I am not a super typical girl, but this post really made me happy to share! 
Let me know if you want more like it. 

Happy Thursday Friends :)



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

C'est la Vie - Relax Today

I want to make this section of my blog relaxing images.  When I hear this phrase, I feel tension release.  I imagine a hundred different scenes that all transport me into a place that would make me rest easy.  Isn't it amazing that we each have different places and things that speak to our hearts?

My goal with this is to give you images that can transport you elsewhere into a relaxing realm.  Every time you see a C'est la Vie post, take a deep breath and remember that life is a blessing. 



Sigh... Can't you feel the fresh air and smell the trees? 

What type of setting relaxes you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We Encourage - Purpose In Our Day to Day

I have to admit when I saw this link up party tears came to my eyes, because it is the reason I blog.  I want to encourage others through my sheer love for life, through relating to my struggles, and through my open vulnerability.  So, I sat down and prayed about what to write about and really focused on what I thought I needed to share.

Here is what I came up with :)

Everything we do has purpose and our big picture is small.

My twin brother taught me a very valuable life lesson about why things happen to us, and I want to share it with all of you.

He was a member of a successful band that toured and played and felt like they could make a career out of it.  While they toured they had children for sponsor at their merchandise table through Compassion Internaional.  The band broke up in an epicly disastrous way.  To spare you the details, it tore apart their friendships and money was placed over people. 

When I asked him why he thought it happened and how he was doing with comprehending his year devoted to this, he said that as he tried to understand it all he realized that if even one child got sponsored through this band, that would not otherwise have been taken care of through the organization, it was all worth it.  One year of his life was worth one child surviving.

How often do we feel like God gave us the short end of the stick because something did not go our way?  How many times could we take this perspective on what we have been handed?

I try to approach life this way. I was not given less than others, and God is using my life to effect others.  I may never see the fruits of this, and it may not be as clear as Christian's situation was, but it is amazing how lives and finances can intertwine to reveal an amazing framework of Christ's plan.

Every decision we make matters, and when something negatively effects us it is not necessarily a bad situation.  Sometimes one man's junk is another man's treasure.  We really do need to remember that.  God is not punishing us if something does not go according to our plan; He sees all and knows all and we have to trust His plan is better than ours.

Sometimes it gets overwhelming to think every decision we make effects others, but your scowl in the grocery store versus a smile makes a difference.  I want to encourage you to remember that your attitude and life can be used a positive impact on people you may never meet.  Do not forget you are valuable to change those around you whether intermingled into your life story or not. 

Brush off that negative "woe is me" attitude and take on the challenge of a consistent smile! 

You are alive and well.

Be encouraged.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Painting Pumpkins and Fall Fun

Mikaela and I wanted to add more fall touches to our apartment this week, other than just a centerpiece for the dining room table.  We decided to take on a pumpkin painting project!  I personally do not enjoy pumpkin carving, because I have never successfully carved anything that I loved. 

But, as we all know, I LOVE painting :)


We started with blank pumpkins and grilled cheese and tomato soup.  The paints came out and the inspiration flowed!  Music played in the background and we truly just gave into the process.



Mikaela decided to do an argyle pumpkin and I started working on a chevron pumpkin.  Mine required a self-made stencil and Mikaela traced hers onto the pumpkin itself.  We were loving the process and laughing at all the imperfections in our paintings (you can see the silly section where mine didn't quite line up right here!).




We were so proud of the finished products!  Most importantly, they made us smile and the bright colors really improved our moods.  What a wonderful time with a dear friend.
 
Sorry about the bluriness!

 

I decided to spread the love and paint Bill (and his roomies) a pumpkin as well.  Baseball is a mutual obsession in his mancave, so upon Mikaela's suggestion a baseball pumpkin was born.  I was SO proud of it and it made Bill so happy.   Win Win!


If pumpkin carving intimidates you, give pumpkin painting a try!  I loved it :)