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A Popsicle Date!

| On
September 30, 2015

Confession: I really, really don't like coffee. I don't even want to like it. I think it's totally ridiculous to spend $4 a day on a drink + it scares me to think about relying on something to get me awake in the mornings!

But you know what I do like? Popsicles. 

There's a place near me called Hyppo Pops that sells super fancy popsicles in the coolest flavor. My personal favorite is the mango champagne but I'm also partial to the key lime pie and the orange cream when it's dipped in chocolate. Yummyyyyy. 

Soooo if you and I were to get together and chat about life, we would not go on a coffee date. We'd go on a popsicle date! And here's what I would tell you. 

+ Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the little details I have to take care of. Like about a minute and a half ago, I remembered something that I had to do, and I've already forgotten it again. I have a lot going on in the next few weeks and it's all I can do to do the bare minimum! But I'm working hard to take time to myself and to practice self-care.

+ I wish I had more time to read these days! I reserved a book at the library and didn't even have a chance to go pick it up before the time expired. And a few weeks ago, I took two books out of the library and only made it like five pages into one! How sad is that? I think once things calm down a little bit I'm going to buy a book or two for my nook and practice carrying that around with me just for moments when I'm waiting around. 

+ I've really had a hankering to go camping lately! The weather is just starting to cool down (just a teeny bit) here in Florida and it makes me want to spend allll the days (and nights) outside. If only we didn't have such busy weekends, I know I could rally some friends to make a weekend trip of it. 

+ I've been hearing God's voice so much over the last few months that when over the last week, he's been quiet (or I've been worse at listening--it's more likely the latter), it's been pretty hard to handle. Last night, my sorority had a prayer night and I just didn't even know what to pray for; I've been so overwhelmed by details.

+ On a less serious note, what is with restaurants in college towns giving out free food all the time?! Moe's gave out free queso two weeks ago, a pizza place gave out free pizzas, last night Krispy Kreme was giving out free doughnuts and coffee AND BJ's was giving out free pizookies! I mean, I'm not arguing with it, but I don't know that it's the smartest business decision since college students will literally just go in to take the free stuff and leave.

What would you chat with me about if we went on a popsicle date? Also, equally important question: what kind of popsicle would you have?

A Typical Day in My Life

| On
September 28, 2015

I've decided that some of my favorite posts to read are those in which a blogger will talk about their daily life, what a normal, super typical day looks like. It's easy to choose to mention only the big events or the exciting news, but I think it's easiest to get to know someone by seeing what they're day looks like. So today, I'm linking up with Brave Love Blog again to share what a typical day in my life looks like. 

7am: I wake up, roll out of bed and get ready for my day. Usually I try to tidy up my room a little bit and pack my bag for the day before making breakfast. I really, really love breakfast so usually I'll make eggs or pancakes with fruit or a mash of bananas and peanut butter and granola. None of my roommates are up at this time so I'll usually just enjoy a leisurely breakfast and check email or bloglovin' or sometimes I'll watch a little TV.

8am: I leave for school. I ride a scooter everywhere (#collegetown) so it takes a little bit longer to get to campus from my apartment. I've learned the hard way that there's no way to get my hair to look good after the combination of wind + helmet hair from riding my scoot!

8:30am-11:30am: I have classes in this block of time everyday. Most days, I have organic chemistry, French, and then public speaking. Sometimes afterwards I'll go out to lunch with a friend but usually I'll go on and head home.

12:15pm: I take a ~20 minute nap here about half the time and that usually gets me ready for the rest of my day! I'll unpack my bag, make lunch (usually this is my big meal of the day and I'll eat leftovers for dinner) and plan out my afternoon.

1:30pm-5pm: Homework, studying, etc. Usually some Netflix in there somewhere because I'm human. I'm on a break from working at the lab right now because I'm waiting on some samples, but usually I'd work this chunk of time a few times a week. 

5pm-9pm: This chunk of time definitely varies depending on the day. Twice a week, I have an evening class (forensics!) and the other nights of the week I might have a pledge meeting for my sorority, a Bible study, or a meeting with my accountability group. It really depends. Usually I eat dinner somewhere in that chunk of time. 

9pm-11pm: If I don't have any big events, I'll usually use this time to study or blog or do my Bible study. This is a little bit more of "my time" so I try to do a little something fun or relaxing if I'm not too jammed for time. After that, I'll usually watch about half an hour of TV or Netflix before going to sleep and doing it all over again!

This is just a usual day--weekends and days that I teach kickboxing or have a sorority event look totally different and totally crazy! But it's all fun, for the most part. What do your days look like?

A Letter-Writing Wishlist

| On
September 27, 2015
If there's one thing I really love to do in life (and there are many), it's writing letters. It all started when H and I started dating long-distance over the summer, and now over the whole year. 

It started out just being a piece of notebook paper stuck in an envelope, but as we've written more and more letters, I've found how fun it is to pick out the perfect card for someone. Now, I'm trying to learn to decorate envelopes a little more, from writing out the address in a beautiful script to adding vintage stamps.

Today, I'm linking up with the Brave Love Blog and I just wanted to share a little wishlist of mine, specifically for letter writing! Links are below.
A wishlist full of everything you need to write perfectly whimsical cards. Click through to see more!

Seen any cute cards lately? Any other things you're wishing for these days? Share them!

I Forget How Big I'm Blessed

| On
September 26, 2015
Well, well, well! Things are looking a little different around here! I'm still working on getting everything totally together, but I'm liking the way things are turning out. I really wanted to make things feel a lot lighter and brighter to reflect the things we talk about here on the blog + I feel like the new colors are helping with that!

But on to my actual post for today, I just want to vent at you for a little. 

I've had my ups and downs in life. More so in the last few years. I know what it's like to feel so sad and so alone and so close to giving up. I know a lot of people can feel me on that one, right? But I've also been so so so blessed by God, especially in the last month. Like crazy blessed (so much so that I'm considering using #blessed. Not quite there yet though.). 

But there's something that's really been irking me lately, and that's when other people don't realize how blessed they are. Of course, I could go into all the cliches about how at least we aren't starving in Africa, but that's not what I mean. I'm talking about all the little things in life that God gives us that we just plain overlook because we're too busy looking at the things that don't matter.

A few days ago, after a really emotional day (and week and month, let's be honest), I was driving home and decided to stop and take a short jog around a pretty area of my campus. As I was finishing up my run, I realized I was near an area of campus where bats spend the day and are known to fly out all in a swarm right after sundown. 

Conveniently, it was almost sundown. I'd always heard cool things about the bats at twilight but hadn't ever seen them, so I figured I would wait and see them. I found a spot, sitting on top of a fence and I watched the sun go down. (Picture below is from my instagram.)


And then the bats started flying out of those two houses there. Thousands of them. Now, I know this sounds super nasty, thousands of bats flying all at one time, but it really was beautiful in the same way as a big flock of birds. 

And after such a long day, and really a long series of days that have been beating me down, there was something so therapeutic about seeing a display of something so free. I laughed. Isn't it funny how God gives you just what you need, right when you need it?

But the thing that broke my heart was all the people around me, not noticing this amazing thing going on right above them. As the bats flew all around, people were looking down at their phones, driving home, focused on other things. I just wanted to hop down from the fence, grab them by the shoulders, shake them, and say, "Don't you see what you're missing?"

I am those people most of the time. I'm usually so wrapped up in the deadlines, in the checking-off of boxes that I don't look up. I can't even imagine how many blessings I miss. 

There's a song that I hear a lot on the Christian radio at home called "This is the Stuff. To be honest, I don't even really like the song, but ever since that night with the bats I've had this one line stuck in my head:

"In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I'm blessed."

Curated / 20

| On
September 20, 2015

This week has been insaaaaanely busy! Like busier than I've had in a long while. I've had a lot going on with my sorority--we're required to be at every single event during our pledge period which (including meetings) is usually like 6+ events a week. It's definitely been a lot for me to handle, so thanks for sticking with me while I figure stuff out!

But even with all the crazy (which I maybe could do without), I really have felt myself growing in a lot of ways over the last month or so. I've especially been comparing how I act and treat other people and myself to the way I did the same time last year. I know I've become much more self-aware and in tune with my emotions and how they affect the way I act. I've become much more confident and hard-working. Of course, there's always more to go, but these last few weeks have really embodied that quote on my sidebar: "We are happy when we are growing."

I'm not a huge poetry person, but there are a few poems that I read throughout high school that have really stuck with me to the point that I know parts by heart. One such section has been playing on repeat through my head over the last few days as I've really been struggling to forgive myself for mistakes that I've made. Here it is, an excerpt from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.

Does that resonate with anyone else? I know that hits me right in the heart right now. The rest of the poem is really beautiful too--go read it!

How has your week been? Do you read poetry? Wanna share some 80s music with me? 

Faith App: She Reads Truth

| On
September 09, 2015

If y'all read anything from Christian bloggers or are active on Twitter, you may have already heard of an app and a blog called She Reads Truth, or SRT. I've just begun using the app in the last few months + it's made such a difference in my life that I wanted to share it with any of you who are believers.

There are a couple parts to the app. There's simply a Bible, where you can flip through all of the books and chapters. You can also choose between translations! I know I like to read in the ESV and then flip over to the Message for a little different take on the same words. While you read, it's really easy to add a note to a passage or bookmark it for the future. Both are saved in the bookmarks section. How handy!

But my absolute favorite part of the app is the Bible reading plans. Some are free (i.e. the Bible in a Year, Hymns series, etc) and some are paid, but at a very nominal fee. From what I can tell, most paid plans are $2 and a few are more when they last longer than a month. But think about it--any devotional book would be much more than $2! I think it's well worth the investment if you find one that interests you.

But for each reading plan, you'll be assigned a passage to read daily. In addition, there's also a section for anyone in the same reading plan to leave their comments and discuss what they learned from the passage. This is especially helpful to me these days. I'm doing the Bible in a Year plan and right now I'm in Isaiah. Let me tell you...Isaiah gets a little bleak and sometimes it's easier to apply it when you see how someone else interpreted the same Scriptures.

I also especially love how you can easily check off days or go back to catch up on any days you've missed. It makes it much easier for me not to give up entirely every day I miss a day! And there's a handy indicator at the top that will let you know what percentage of the plan you've finished. It's so satisfying to see that number rise!

I really love this app because it lays out a simple and totally-doable plan for me to spend time in God's Word daily, which is great for us believers who are trying to stay focused on a lot of things in a really busy world. 

Have you tried the app? How do you spend your quiet time?

Goal-Getters / September

| On
September 07, 2015

Hi lovely readers! It has been a LONG month. August was just so jam-packed with activities and travel and new things that July feels like years ago. At the beginning of August, I was still in Michigan for the summer, working. I finished up my summer work, spent a few days at home in North Carolina with my boyfriend H and other friends before I moved back down to Florida for another year at school. 

I'm finally feeling like I'm starting to get settled in--I just unpacked my last bit of stuff into my apartment yesterday (even though I've lived here for three weeks now). I have to say, it's starting to feel like home! 

Of course, I've got another busy month coming up. My classes haven't been too demanding yet, but I know that'll pick up soon! I start my lab work this week and I'm also going through the pledging period at my sorority which will take up a lot of time, but be so worth it. I'll be a busy bee! Here are a few goals I want to keep in mind while I work through September.

+ In short, TIME MANAGEMENT! I have a lot of commitments going on this month. The first 40 days in my sorority are days when we have the most activities, plus I do still work two jobs, plus I have a full load of [tough!] classes! It'll be really crazy, but I know that everything I'm doing is worth my time. I just can't afford to get bogged down or waste [too much] time on Netflix.

+ Get a week ahead on posts. Because life will be so crazy, I want to have a little wiggle room around here to take a few days off blogging if I need to. Life gets busy, ya know?

+ Plan a letter-writing challenge. Yay! I'm really excited about this. I'm planning on putting together a challenge to write letters super regularly--to our friends, family, political leaders, strangers, etc! Let me know if you have any ideas or if you want to be a part of this!

+ Try out biphasic sleep. I know I said I'd do this last month but it just didn't work out with my schedule. I'll let y'all know more about this soon!

And then just a few little goals...

+ Practice calligraphy at least twice.
+ Work at least 25 hours in the lab. 
+ Be intentional about getting to know my sorority sisters!

What are your goals for September?

September Mixtape

| On
September 05, 2015

I don't usually post on Saturdays, but since it was a quiet week on the blog front, I decided to join Bailey Jean in the challenge for today over on Brave Love Blog and post my monthly mixtape a little early! Specifically, the challenge today was to make a playlist just by shuffling up all the songs in our iTunes library.

I feel like I need to give a disclaimer first though! I listen to a verrrrry wide variety of music. I've got my workout/kickboxing music, my Christmas music, my worship/hymn music, my sleep/classical music, my 80s rock, my indie pop, my 60s folk and on and on and on. So let's just mentally prepare ourselves for a playlist that is likely not going to be cohesive at all...and then I'll share a real playlist at the end :)

Here we go!

I Am the Bread of Life / Collin Raye [I thought we were pretty cohesive until this point!]
A Drop in the Ocean / Ron Pope [9th grade throwback]
All Will Be Well / Gabe Dixon Band
I Got A Name / Jim Croce [doubling up on the Jim Croce!]
Scattered Diamonds / Hungry Kids of Hungary [aaaaand here comes the indie]
Hell on the Heart / Eric Church [a remnant of my very brief country phase]

Well that was fun, but how about a real playlist that you can listen to all the way through without getting dizzy? ;) Here's what I'm listening to these day:

What are you listening to these days? Leave me recommendations! Playlists! Links! Give me allll the music!

How to Make Your Twitter Feed a Source of Positivity

| On
September 04, 2015

Over the last year or two, I've really wanted to pare down on my social media usage. For myself personally, I really only use Facebook and Pinterest--and even with Facebook, I don't enjoy using it, I just feel like I can't get rid of it since it's used so much in college for group pages and events.

But for this blog, especially over the last six months, I've really really used social media sparingly. I shut down the facebook for this blog, because I hated it. I stopped scheduling tweets, because I hated it (do we see a pattern here?). And I even stopped reading twitter very often because I was just tired of reading the same old "click my link here!" and sassy complaints and political rants. 

But I'm trying to remind myself that it doesn't have to be that way. If I don't like my twitter feed, I can change it. Crazy idea, right? So today, I wanted to share a few ways that I'm doing that in case any of you want to join me in my journey to make social media a little more human and a little more happy. 

#1 Set an example in your own tweets.

Take a moment and think about the kinds of words you would like to see on Twitter. Kind, honest, genuine words. Self-promotion that (when necessary) feels real, not rehearsed and scheduled. Now, take a moment and reconsider how you tweet. Do you complain on twitter when something goes wrong in your life? (I do.) Do you rant when something isn't working? (Guilty.) By staying kind and positive towards other people on social media, we're teaching people how we should be treated as well.

#2 Unfollow any account that makes you feel any less than stellar. 

Do I need to elaborate on this? If someone is constantly complaining, putting other people down, bashing other people/opinions/views/personalities/etc, UNFOLLOW THEM. Their attitude is not worth listening to. 

#3 Follow accounts that add to a positive mindset.

On the flip side of number two, consciously seek out the accounts and the people that lift you up and help you keep an optimistic attitude. There are tons of "posi" accounts that are super cheesy, but never fail to make me smile! Also consider: your favorite comedian.

A few exerpts from my favorite positive Twitter acounts:






Any others to add? How do you make your Twitter feed more positive?

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