Image Slider

Fun and Pretty Stationery from Etsy

| On
Monday, October 26, 2015
It's no secret that I absolutely love writing letters and with that comes a ridiculous love of pretty stationery and cards. Especially since I've moved far away from the majority of my friends and family, I've found myself going through so many cards, and so I've been on the hunt for some new ones!

As I'm sure many of you are, I'm a huge fan of Etsy because it's full of creative designs that you probably won't find anywhere else and you get to support people who are doing life their own way. I really respect that!

I put together a little collage of some of my favorites + linked to them below. Which are your favorites? Where else do you get cards and stationery? 

Left to right, top to bottom: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Any of y'all big letter writers? Aren't these adorable!! Don't worry--no sponsorships or affiliate links on these, just super cute cards.

Self-Care Solutions

| On
Saturday, October 24, 2015

I was just about to start off this post by saying it's been a busy week...but when is it not a busy week, am I right? Maybe it's just this time of year or this time in my life, but there are so many things in my life that I have to do and so many things that I want to do and it all just kind of adds up. 

And when I'm really busy--even when I'm busy with good things--I've learned that I don't take time to deal with my emotions, whether they're positive or negative. I just keep plugging along, getting things done, checking things off. Which is fine...for a little while. But if I keep up that sort of pattern, eventually, every stress or worry or little hurt that I've bottled up comes out and I have a meltdown because I can't connect to the wifi. 

You know what I mean?

But I actually know how to avoid those meltdowns. I do (the problem is that I don't always do it...)! 

SELF-CARE. That's right, spoil yourself a little. In the middle of everything busy and stressful, I absolutely have to take a break and love on myself a little. 

For awhile, I thought that I didn't have time for self-care, that I was just too busy. But over the last few months especially, I've noticed that when I skip out on taking care of myself, I tend to have those meltdowns or work inefficiently or feel tired and I actually lose time in the long run by not taking breaks. Crazy, right?! Here are a few ways that I like to practice self-care. 

COOK A DECENT MEAL / This one is actually two-fold in its benefits. First off, even though I'm not really a natural at it, I do enjoy cooking. It's very satisfying for me to see a meal come together (and then get to eat it!). But also, it does good for my physical wellbeing too. When I cook food from scratch, I'm so much more likely to make healthy food that I enjoy instead of something unhealthy but convenient. And when I eat healthy food, I feel happy with my choice and I feel physically better in the long run. 

TAKE A NAP / We all know this one, but you have to be careful to do it the right way. Really, a nap longer than twenty or thirty minutes may be doing you more harm than good, especially if it makes you stay up later and messes up your sleep schedule. But on some days, you just need to reboot your day and pretend to start from scratch. On those days, I'll get in bed, put a sleep mask and rain sounds on and set my alarm for 15-25 minutes. It usually refreshes me pretty well + I don't feel groggy!

SPEND TIME WITH A FRIEND / Says the introvert! Well, one on one at least. When I need a break, I might venture out into the living room and find one of my roommates and have a little chat, or I might call H and see how his day is going. To some extent, we can totally care for ourselves by caring about other people.

SPEND TIME IN THE SCRIPTURES / This is definitely something I've been struggling with. But I know that when I make Scripture a priority, I'm that much more prepared to love on myself all day, as well as everyone around me. Scripture is valuable for so many reasons, but one is that it always reminds me of my own value in God's eyes.

DO SOMETHING LAZY / This isn't always the best option as sometimes less lazy options of hobbies (like exercise or doing a fun activity) can be more fulfilling even if they require a little effort. But sometimes, you just need to take a long bath or watch some Netflix or noodle the internet. I think it's really important to consider what sounds the absolute best to you at a given time, not just what sounds the easiest. 

What do you do to take care of yourself?
Linking up with In Its Time.

Grateful Heart

| On
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Grateful Heart was a series that I started nearly a year ago...and then promptly forgot about it! My goal is to bring it back on a monthly-ish basis. The goal of this series is to take time to consciously + publicly acknowledge all the crazy blessings in my life that I might otherwise overlook. Feel free to join me!

The last few weeks have been hard, especially being sick. It's been about two weeks now since I got sick and I still don't totally feel back to 100%. Because of that, I've missed some classes, I've been hoooorribly unproductive (which is the WORST feeling ever for me) and as a result of that, been very frustrated and unkind to myself. It's been kind of an icky cycle. But these are the times that I know it's so good to reframe my perspective and remind myself of all the good things in my life.

+H visiting me a few weeks ago was so nice. I know this might not count because it was a few weeks ago, but whatever, I'm still grateful for it. He was with me for like five whole days, which is a longer stretch than we've seen each other pretty much since May. Long-distance is hard--more because I forget how much I love him and it's easier to slide into apathy than keep that love alive, so any time in person together is just wonderful.

+ I'm auditioning for a new format of fitness classes + I'm very excited! I've only been to a few step aerobics classes due to the times they're available so it's really a long shot that I'll be hired to teach it, but for now, it's been a fun project to keep me exercising and busy. But, side note, if you've never been to step class or think it's just for menopausal women, you're so wrong. It's really quite entertaining, I think + actually has some really complex patterns that are fun to learn.

+ My health when I have it. Health is definitely one of those things that is soooo easy to take for granted. Literally every time I get sick, I'll be lying in bed, not being able to breathe out of at least one of my nostrils and I'll be wondering how I ever went a day without thanking God for letting me breathe through my nose. Seriously. 

+ My big! A few weeks ago in my sorority, we had big/little reveal and I found out who my big sister is! In all honesty, she was exactly who I hoped would be my big, but I didn't think that I had gotten her, so I was thrilled! She has such a kind and caring heart and I can't wait to spend more time with her. 

What are you grateful for these days? 

Bible Verses I Want to Memorize + An App to Help

| On
Monday, October 19, 2015

To be honest, memorizing Scripture is never something I've bothered to do. I've always admired people who can drop a Bible verse for any situation at the drop of a hat, but I've realized that kind of memorization takes intention. You can't just decide you want to have verses memorized and then brush off your hands and be done with it all. It seriously takes work, y'all!

But I'm really starting to believe in the value of memorizing Bible verses and I think it's such an important thing that I've been missing out on.

I've started using an app called Scripture Typer (iPhone/Android/just the website!) that helps me memorize Bible verses in my spare time. I'm trying to make a habit of using it whenever I'm waiting in line or early to class. In the app, you can enter in a verse, pick a translation and then go through the study plan. 

You practice reading it through while typing in the first letter of every word. Then, the app will remove some of the words and you have to come up with them and then at the end, you do your best to write the whole verse. I really like it!

I've started a little collection in the app of verses that I'd like to memorize in the future. Here are some that I've been thinking about! 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [Matthew 6:33]

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. [Romans 12:9]

For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. [Psalm 33:4]

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. [1 Peter 1:6]

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. [Psalm 27:14]

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart [Proverb 27:19]

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. [Psalm 23]

Psalm 139 is my long-term goal but it's long so I won't post it here!

So I'm really interested to see how this journey goes. Like I said, I've never really memorized much Scripture + part of me thinks that I'll never be able to really commit much to memory long term. But we'll see!

I'd love to hear from y'all on this one. If you memorize verses, what do you memorize and do you have any specific methods? How do you keep from forgetting them over time??