Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Me?

As I have learned more and more the older I get, there are always things we as humans can do to improve ourselves, live better, or become happier. At first, I didn't think I would be making any more resolutions as I only accomplished 2 out of my 3 from 2013. However, during church on Sunday, our pastor gave us a verse to live by and to make our theme for 2014:
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20. 
Because of this encouragement from our pastor, and probably God himself, I decided to try and evaluate myself and focus on what I need to change in order to live the life God wants me to live.
I will begin  this process by interviewing myself on what makes me feel the best physically, mentally, and spiritually.

After my interview, I discovered that my goals are very broad, but that's okay if those are things that I need to work on to become healthier physically, mentally, and spiritually.

My goals are:
-Become healthier (eating better, exercise, and sleep)
-Become intentional in my prayers, readings, and mindfulness meditation practice and fully exercising my faith which includes telling others all that Jesus as done.
-To keep a healthy work/play mix which includes studying AND socializing with friends/family

Although these are great goals, I also know of a personal goal I also need to set for myself which has to do with how I think/speak to others. 

I hope all of your resolutions have been goal well so far, and I pray that you will be blessed with love, joy, and prosperity in 2014!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Most Wonderful (Hectic, Crazy, Cold, and Beautiful) Time of the Year

As you may have noticed, I haven't been blogging too much lately. Well, I hope you can forgive me, but my family and I have been extra busy getting ready for the holiday season! Christmas has always been a big deal in my family. In fact, my husband and I are driving almost 1000 miles for this Christmas season and are staying gone over a week to visit family and friends "back home."

Although the driving gets tiring and my mind gets restless in the car, seeing my family and friends whom I haven't seen or have gotten to spend quality time with in a while makes all of the hardship, gas money, and boredom in the car worth it. Every. Single. Time. We love and miss our friends and family greatly, so the driving is a very small price to pay.

We might be spending the actual holiday of Christ's birth in our hometowns, but Josh (the hubs) and I have gotten into the spirit by decorating our very own (and first!) Christmas tree, decorating gingerbread houses at holiday work functions, enjoying and walking in our local Christmas parades, enjoying our hot cocoa, and have been watching Christmas movies almost non-stop since December began! (We might be going
 overboard. But hey Christmas only comes once a year right?) Our pup has even gotten into the spirit by lying on his blanket beneath the tree. Let's not forgot the real reason for the season though-----Christ's birth. I pray you keep Him in mind as well over your crazy, hectic holiday plans.
Pictures of our Christmas season are posted below.

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season this year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bohemian/Eclectic Bedrooms

I absolutely adore interior design. ADORE IT. I was the weird kid always rearranging her bedroom to get it to "feel right" and look good. My style has grown up from my blue sponge-painted childhood bedroom days. Thank. Goodness.

As an adult, I've been constantly drawn to bohemian, eclectic, and rustic looks, and I love to mix them all together in a cool, instant-relaxation kinda way. I am love with pairing natural elements (plants, rocks, wood) with cool, unique colors and patterns. I've attempted to do this in my own bedroom (which you'll get a sneak peek of at the end of this post). Does anyone else love bohemian and eclectic elements as much as I do??

I love the pairing of the beautiful wooden frame with the fun string lights and colorful shaggy rugs for the ultimate cozy, bohemian nook.
                                     Eclectic Bedroom by Mineral Wells Architects & Designers Amy Hopkins Designs

I really love the playful vibe of this bedroom especially with the light walls and fun, colorful linens. And who doesn't love the little storm trooper on the bedside table? The natural light makes the whole room glow with warmth and sunshine.
Image from Design Sponge

This bedroom has got to be one of my absolute favorites. This bedroom is not afraid to be bold and colorful. I love the mixing and matching of pillow fabrics as well as the canopy-curtained bed.
                              Eclectic Bedroom by Santa Ana Interior Designers & Decorators Darci Goodman Design

And finally----- Here are a few pics of my own bedroom, which is still a work in progress.

As you can see, I am a huge John Lennon fan and an avid reader. I love my cozy little bedroom where I can read, relax, and just be. I think I've done well on a limited budget. What do you think?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

So as many of you know, I am currently in a Master's Program. I have a racism presentation and a paper due this Monday.  (But then the semester will end and Christmas festivities can really begin!) Thankfully, I have managed to finish everything on Wednesday because this entire weekend is spent traveling and visiting with dearly loved family. :)

Here's a small taste of my Thanksgiving weekend activities.  This year my family and I have a lot to be thankful for,  and I am so glad I got to spend the holiday with them.

After eating to our hearts' content, my family decorates for Christmas including tree, outside lights, and all the inside trinmings.

How does your family celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Verse of Motivation and Thankfulness

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. - Col 2:6-7 (

I encourage you if you haven't already to download and use the free bible app from You Version. I use mine in the morning to help me get my day started with praise, thankfulness,  and God's love to help carry me through the day.

There's been times when I haven't read my bible like I should, and I struggled painfully with anxiety and depression. I trust in God and in his word, and it helps me when the anxiety starts to creep up.

What are your feelings about scripture?  Do you have a favorite verse you go vack to time and time again?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A New Friend (Furry-Friend)

So I love animals. Like LOVE animals. I grew up with a ton of dogs, and my mother currently has four dogs AND a rabbit at my childhood home.

As you may know, we have had a little shih tzu, named Wesley, for sometime now, but we decided we wanted to expand our furry family and get a cat. It just so happened that last Sunday the animal shelter was running a special on cats---half off any cat! Whoo! So we went to look at them with Wesley in tow, and all of the cats hissed, snarled, and tried to attack Wesley through their cages. Not good. But we talked to one of the workers, and just so happened that at the sister shelter located about 10 minutes away, there was a sweet, adorable cat who loved dogs that needed a home.

So, we hopped into the car and drove over to the other animal shelter where we fell in love with a grey/white tabby mix named Hydro. He is sweetest cat. He follows you around like a dog and loves to snuggle. We took him home right away. However, Wesley, while pretty good with cats in general, didn't understand why there was one in his home.

He barked. Hyrdo (now named Miko) hissed and, strangely, began to growl like a vacuum cleaner. It went so far that Miko even scratched Wesley in the face! I couldn't take it--- Wesley was my first furbaby! So, my wonderful husband looked up online how to "introduce" a new pet to an old one. It includes a lot of treats and a lot of belly rubs, but after about 6 days, it seemed to finally be working. Both animals did amazingly today, and I am so excited about our expanded family!

God has blessed me with an amazing, small family. There's a lot of love in that house. 

Have you ever had troubles introducing one pet to another? Do you have any advice for me?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Our Animal Friends

This weekend the Knoxville Zoo opened her doors for free to the public. My love and I LOVE going to the zoo on free day and today was no exception. I didn't get as many pictures of as many animals as I wanted to due to crowds and feisty mammals. :) 

It was a beautiful, if not chilly, autumn day. I couldn't help but get an aerial view of a couple of my favorite Savannah friends.

Near the end of our zoo adventure, we discovered this Americana farm animal exhibit complete with pigs, sheep, and goats all for petting.

Isn't this the cutest Carousel? I'm not sure why our Zoo has a merry-go-round, but I have to admit it was glamorous. 

Usually, my favorite animals at the Zoo are the otters and red pandas, but this trip I really favorited the elephants. The Knoxville Zoo has four currently on site, and this little beauty was not camera shy! Elephants are such beautiful, strong, wise creatures. They could do so much damage if they wanted to, but their quiet, complacent spirits are happy to live quietly with each other. There's a kind of simple beauty in that kind of life that I admire and desire for myself one day (once school is finished).
To live a simple, happy life is a very wise lesson to learn and one animals can teach us everyday.