Friday, January 31, 2014

Did a Little Rearranging

Today was productive to say the least! Since the weather was yucky and I had the day off, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to do a little lot of rearranging in our bedroom. Let's just say, this was very long overdue. I've been wanting to redo our room for quite some time now. I'm hoping to switch out a few pieces of furniture and paint in a few months. I just focused on moving things around and organizing this afternoon. I'm glad G was on board with the changes, because I sure needed his help moving some stuff. I love how it looks now! Can't wait until it's 100% finished.

Please don't judge me whenever you see these before photos. I probably should have snapped these shots before I started piling junk on the bed (and every other free surface that was available). Haha, oh well.

See? Told ya they were bad. Anyway. I basically moved everything from one side of the room to the other. I also took my keyboard out and moved it to the guest room storage room. We're still workin' on that room too. Slowly, but surely.

And now, drum roll please, the aftermath of my rearranging frenzy.

There's still much to be done, but this is a start! 1) I would like to get a curtain to cover our open closet space (it always looks so messy). 2) That computer desk will eventually make its way into the guest room and a bookcase will take its place. 3) I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the black shelves up or ditch 'em later on. My dad put them up for me and I'm having a hard time parting with them. 4) I want to sand down both of those white chest of drawers and repaint (or stain) them.  5) I really need to find something cute to hang over our bed. I'm thinking a scripture or some lovey dovey quote. 6) Last but not least, a new paint color needs to grace these walls. They've been blue for almost 7 years now.

I'll try to keep y'all updated as I knock some of these things off my list ;)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

If I Were ...

I saw this post by Miranda (from Miranda Writes) and decided to post a list of my own. Most of these were taken from Miranda's version, but I added a few as well. Feel free to make one yourself. I definitely had fun filling it out.

A month, I would be May.
A country, I would be Ireland.
A time of day, I would be noon.
A planet, I would be Saturn.
A sea animal, I would be a jellyfish.
A direction, I would be South.
A liquid, I would be passion tea lemonade.
A gemstone, I would be a mystic fire topaz.
A tree, I would be a weeping willow.
A game, I would be Mad Gab.
A famous painting, I would be Van Gogh's Starry Night.
A flower, I would be a dahlia.
A kind of weather, I would be sunny.
A musical instrument, I would be a piano.
A piece of furniture, I would be an old writing desk.
A color, I would be boysenberry (purple).
A means of transportation, I would be a sailboat.
An emotion, I would be wonder.
A fruit, I would be a pomegranate.
A sound, I would be wind chimes on a breezy day.
A vehicle, I would be a 1948 Dodge pickup truck.
A state, I would be Georgia.
A place, I would be a the seaside.
A taste, I would taste like coconut macaroons.
A scent, I would smell like Moroccan rose.
An animal, I would be a wild mustang.
A random object, I would be a 35mm camera.
A body part, I would be an eyeball.
A song, I would be Lay Low by Katie Costello.
An item of clothing, I would be a pair of ripped blue jeans.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Less of a Planner, More of a Promise

I had some last minute Christmas shopping to finish up that Saturday afternoon, but my mind seemed to be a million miles away. I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed. Our money situation wasn't looking too good and Christmas was right around the corner. I kept racking my brain, trying to figure out a way to make it all work and calculating what we would need to get by. Until, of course, I realized where I was and what I had come to do.

I looked around, making sure no one had witnessed me staring off into space. There I was, standing in a chaotic heap that once resembled a store aisle. A journal, that's what I was there for. After a long while of searching through each unorganized stack, I came across one that my friend would like. As I skimmed the shelves one last time, I felt the need to look up. Then I saw it, the words jumping out at me. Thank God for what you have. Trust God for what you need.

I thought it was a journal until I opened it up and discovered it was a 2014 planner. Kinda funny, since I had just told my husband that I needed a new one only hours before. But, since I was so concerned about money at the time, I had decided to wait and get one later. Well, as usual, God had another plan.

Not only was it purple (my favorite color), but it also had a butterfly on it. To any other person, that probably wouldn't mean much. But, you see, butterflies have always been God's little sign to me that everything is going to be okay. I couldn't help but smile when I realized that He was using something as simple as a planner to speak to me. Only He knew what I had been struggling with and He knew exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. It was a promise, a reminder that He'd take care of us no matter how bad things seemed to be. Needless to say, it came home with me :)

What has God used in the past to speak to you?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recent Finds No. 8

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

1. I'm wishing this quilt from Anthropologie wasn't so expensive. It's so pretty!

2. Great up-do. Most of the time my hair is in a side braid, but I should try this.

3. Make pretty things AND get enough sleep. Yep, that does sound about right!

4. Avocado strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing. Yum, just yum.

5. Gorgeous piece! I love it. Although, I'm not quite sure about who the artist is.

6. Normally I don't care too much for neon colors, but I love this pop of orange.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It Isn't Pho Me + Hair Dye Bust

Yesterday, I met up for lunch with one of my best friends at a Vietnamese restaurant by her house. Pho has been on my list of foods to try for awhile now and I was curious to see what all the hype was about. The restaurant was nice, as were their Thai teas. But, as soon as the waitress brought out the pho, I knew it wasn't for me. I mean, it looked great. But I knew after the first bite that it wasn't something I was going to be crazy about. I'll give it another try in the future.

After lunch, we went back to Amanda's apartment so that she could dye my hair. I've been growing out this mop for months now and it's finally past my boobies, which was one of the items on my dream list. I didn't want to cut it just yet, but I was craving change. I figured dying it would be the way to go (plus, I haven't dyed it since last September). Well, let's just say it was a bust! It took the red out of my hair and lightened it a tad bit, but that's about it. It wasn't even photo worthy since it looks ... the same. Amanda informed me that I should have gotten a few shades lighter since my hair was dark (oops). So, maybe I'll try again in a few weeks and maybe I won't. I have yet to decide.

(and yes, I may have picked the color based on the name)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Official Team Member + Retail Woes

As some of you may have seen on Twitter, I recently found out that Target decided to keep me. I am now an "official" team member. Honestly, I'm not sure how long I'll stay. Retail isn't really my cup of tea, but hey, it's a job. So, I'm simply taking it day by day until something better comes along (I'm really praying that God opens up a nice position at a photography studio). I just need to be in a place where my creativity can thrive and flourish.

Now, onto my story. Yesterday was one of the hardest days thus far. It started out like any other shift. About two hours had passed since I clocked in that morning. I heard a call on the walkie asking for backup cashiers. That's really the only part of the job I dislike (besides the mundane work). I cringed, as usual, but decided to go help out anyway.

It's not the scanning or bagging, or even dealing with the costumers guests. It's having to deal with cash speedily that freaks me out. Stick me in a quiet corner with a stack of bills or a pile of coins and I'm completely fine. But, add in the noisy commotion of a busy storefront while the guests glare at my every move and my brain gets a bit scattered.

I was two guests deep on lane 8 when she decided to join the line. I could already tell she was a bit uptight. Tired eyes, tightly pursed lips, arms folded. As she approached the register, I quickly rang up and bagged her two bottles of anti-aging cream. Hitting "total", I noticed the green bill out of the corner of my eye. $41.51 flashed on the screen as I reached for the Benjamin Franklin in her hand. Great, I thought, typing in the amount and hitting enter.

$58.49, the register drawer pops open. Instantaneously my fingers fumble over the bills and coins. All these numbers floating around my mind. I could feel her eyes searing into my hands and for some odd reason, I started to second guess my calculations. Fearing I had given her $10 too much, I placed a $10 bill back into the drawer. I handed her the money and as she counted, I instantly realized my mistake. The $10 should have stayed.

She looked up at me and snapped "this isn't right!", at which point I apologized and called my coworker over. I wasn't sure how to reopen the register after it had been closed. When it opened, I grabbed the missing $10 and gave it to her. Apologizing again, I tried to make light of the situation. I told her I had always been a bit bad at math, though my coworker assured me I was doing fine. The woman was shaking her head in disapproval. Then she hissed "sweetie, that has nothing to do with math, that's knowing how to count money" and stormed off with an attitude.

At that moment, I could feel the heat rush into my cheeks and tears started to well up in my eyes. It was such a tiny insensitive statement, but the words cut deep. I turned my light off and finished ringing up the person that was behind her. I was done. I walked to the back, head hung so no one could see the tears that managed to escape. I cried for a few moments, prayed and then pulled myself together. And, after thinking about her comment, I was aware of just how stupid she sounded herself. I mean, the last time I checked, math involves counting.

So, yeah. I didn't share this story to throw a pity party for myself. I've realized that I shouldn't allow what other people say or think affect me like that again. I just wrote about it so I can look back and laugh at the situation later on :)

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies

WARNING: these cookies are not gluten free, sugar free, fat free or considered "clean" eating. But, they are pretty darn delicious. I whipped up a batch of these bad boys last Saturday. We were having our annual belated Christmas gift exchange and cookies seemed like the best gift idea for the guys. Especially since they enjoyed the peppermint blossoms I made last year. All credit for this recipe goes to Ghirardelli since I found it on the back of their caramel turtle brownie mix years ago! Haha. I used to make them all the time for church get-togethers. They were always a hit.


1 egg
1 box Ghirardelli caramel turtle brownie mix
4 tbsp. softened butter
1 bag pecan halves

Preheat your oven to 350°. Place the brownie mix, butter and egg into a bowl. Stir (or use an electric mixer on low) until dough forms. It should take about a minute. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 1 inch apart, onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Use a spoon to make a small indentation in the center of  each dough ball and fill with caramel. Place a pecan half on top of the caramel. Bake 11-13 minutes. After they cool, forget what calories are for a minute and dig in.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

One Little Word

One word. 365 days to pursue it, to thrive in it, to make it count. Last year, my word was simplify. I started out 2013 with high hopes of simplifying our lives. I managed to purge a good portion of our possessions and reorganized our finances the best I could. I also learned that life will never be as "simple" as I would like it to be at times. It's a living, breathing, untameable thing and I'm just along for the ride — I've fully accepted that.

This year, my word is RENEW
"To give fresh life or strength to. To make something new, fresh or strong again."

Beautiful, isn't it? This little word packs such a powerful meaning. I felt it resonating in my spirit long before the new year came along. In 2014 I want to renew my passions, renew my relationships (especially my relationship with Christ) and renew my overall zest for life. I really want God to breathe new life into my dreams, into my friendships, into my marriage, into every fiber of my being. In my writing, in my photography, in my art, in my music. You name it, it's about to be renewed and made stronger throughout the year. I'm so looking forward to living out this word!

So, friends, what is one word that you would like to live by this new year?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Ringing in 2014

As the clock strikes midnight, I look around and smile. What better way to ring in a new year than being surrounded by the people who light up my life. The ball has already ascended, pieces of confetti have made their free fall to the floor. Champagne bottles pop as rivers of colored light cascade across the darkened sky. 2014 has made it's arrival. And just as quickly as it appeared, it will be gone. So, make the best of each and every moment in the upcoming months.

Wishing everyone a happy new year. May God bless all of you in 2014 and the years to come!