November 29, 2013

The True Test of Friendship

We have all have all different kinds of friendships in our lives. Some of the friendships are simply meant for a season, others for a lifetime. As I have grown older and gone through college, and had friends get married, I have learned that the true test of a friendship is distance. I had friends in college, where if you saw one the other wasn't far away. We lived together and did everything together. But, over time we drifted apart. Mainly, they went back home to where they are from and I stayed here. Now, my only glimpse into their life is through Facebook.

But, then there are those sweet and special friends that move hundreds, even thousands of miles away, yet you still stay connected.



I have two of those friends. One lives in Savannah with her husband, and the other lives in Austin with her husband and two kids. When your friends move a distance away the relationship obviously changes. It's inevitable. You aren't able to run over to their house for a quick 30 minute visit, you don't run into them at work or at church anymore, and phone dates become difficult with differing schedules. But you know your relationship has taken on the weight of distance when you both make plans to see each other despite the distance. Whether that means them making the time to see you in their busy schedule while they are home or you planning a visit to see them.

I guess I am about to experience the true test of friendship with all of my friends….Australia. But, you know, I think deep down we already know the friendships that will last forever.

November 28, 2013

More than a season

I think one of the absolute greatest parts of this holiday is how it reminds people to take more than a passing thought about how much they have to be thankful for. Just check out Facebook. There are more positive posts on Facebook than ever {:which is a nice change I must say!:}

This year lets transform our thankful Thanksgiving mentality into Thanksliving. Let's be the people who don't need a special holiday or month to remind us to count our blessings. We all have far more things to be thankful for than we can count.

Happy Thanksgiving beautiful readers! I hope you are enjoying every moment of this holiday with your family. I am soaking up every moment of my last Thanksgiving in the states for a few years.

A few of my sponsors are also sharing their thoughts on this holiday.


Mandi Welbaum
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November 27, 2013

Oversized Sweaters & Sparkle


Two things I love: oversized sweaters and sparkle. And combining them makes it all the better. Oversized sweaters are very in right now which makes this kids happy. {:Side Note: Has anyone else noticed that girls clothes are getting looser and guys are getting tight? Just saying:}

Anywho...This entire outfit is also from the very affordable, Kohls. I LOVE that place.

Here's my look of the day.

Sweater: Simply Vera Wang Collection
Leggings: Lauren Conrad Collection
Heels: Candies Collection


Also, a huge birthday shout it to the most fantastic woman on the planet, super woman, aka my mom. Love you! Happy 30th Birthday!

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Linking Up With: Style ElixerBecause Shanna Said So

November 25, 2013

My Favorite {:and very affordable:} Hair Products


1 / 2 / 3 / 4

1) Suave Dry Shampoo: I did my research on this little product and all the reviews say that this cheap dry shampoo works just as well as any of the pricier, salon line, dry shampoos. I use to be the girl who had to wash her hair everyday, but I can honestly say this product changed that. It gives my hair extra volume and soaks up any grease thats in there trying to give away my unwashed hair secret.
2) Redken Hot Sets 22:  I was actually just bragging on this product the other day to some friends. Its my curling product BFF. Hot sets doubles for me as a protecting agent from the strong heat of my curling iron and as a hairspray. I spray this on each layer before I curl it and it holds my curls all day.
3) Ion Volumizing Mouse: This product is the only thing I have found that gives my limp hair noticeable lift. If I run out and don't have replacement bottle on hands I can definitely tell the difference in my hair.
4) Purology Super Smooth: My mom learned about this product on Dr. Oz and told me about it. I have naturally wavy/curlyish hair and on those humid days my hair looks like a mess. This serum doesn't make your hair look greasy but definitely helps to block out the elements. I have tried multiple serums from other salon lines and they either were worthless or made my hair look like a grease pit {:not worth it:}. So, this one gets my frizzy hairs approval. This product is a little pricier but will last a long time.
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November 23, 2013

Thoughts from the girl who is moving to the other side of the world


When I first accepted the fact that I was going to be moving to Australia I would wake up in the middle of the night and have these intense moments of anxiety. They wouldn’t always happen at night though, sometimes it would happen while I was washing dishes or in the middle of my day teaching. I would just become overwhelmed by the “what ifs.” 

It happened quite a lot because when you find out you are moving to the other side of the world in less than a year; it consumes your every waking thought. I don’t think about it incessantly anymore, and I can once again focus at work, but there is still the daily though of “holy crap, I am moving to the other side of the world!”
{:Hanging out on a huge rock on one of the beaches in Australia:}

So what does one think about when they realize they will be living upside down in Australia this time next year? Well, lemme tell ya! The questions are about as all over the place as I am.

How long will I be over there before I start to develop the kinds of awesome relationships I have here? I mean I will be living with a few other girls so that will help me to quickly get to know people, but that doesn’t mean they will be my long lost soul mate. I mean most of us know that living with girls isn’t always the easiest. 

Where am I going to get my hair done?! I am sure you are thinking this is the least of my worries, but no one wants to be walking around with 6 month old roots people. This is important! Okay, maybe not the top two important, but still important.

I HATE things that crawl or slither!
Annnnnnd I am going to the continent with the most deadly snakes and spider!? Enough said.

How the heck am I going to function without a car?
I have friends who lived there who have assured me that public transportation there is fantastic, but it will definitely be an adjustment from coming and going as I please to switching over and operating on a bus o train schedule. {:This one I think will fall into place when I get there, we’ll I am sure they all will.:}

I wonder what kind of job I will have while I am there. 
I am paying my own way over there so while I am in school I will work part time. So I can't help but to  wonder what I will do. Will I nanny, will I work at a fast food store, will I work retail? Who knows and who cares as long as it pays!

How in the world am I going to afford this endeavor??
This is probably the question I panic over the most. When you apply, the college has you calculate out about how much money you will need to have to be over there for two years and when you calculate it out, it's no pocket change people! It can stress this girl out pretty fast until I remind myself that God called me to this and if He called me to it He will provide. He hasn't set me up to fail, rather He has gone ahead and prepared a way for me. And honestly, that is the answer to all of these little worries. God knows my heart and my concerns and has an answer to every question, even down to who will cut and color my hair, because he is a God of details. I love that about Him.

So yeah, even though new thoughts and questions rise up in my head on a daily basis it's always good to know that the one who called me to this already knows the answer. I just need to remember that!


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November 20, 2013

From Summer to Fall




Sweater (similar)// jeans // bracelet (similar) // booties  (similar)

Over the summer I wore my favorite knit sweater from H&M with a mini skirt. I can't bare to put this sweater away until next spring so I revamped it for fall.

How do you make your spring/summer wardrobe work for fall?

Linking Up: Style Sessions

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November 19, 2013

Christmas Wish List


Just sharing a few items on my Christmas wish list for this year. It's not too early right?



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Love this Michael Kors Hamilton Bag. I couldn't find an exact match but it's similar. I probably wouldn't want anyone to actually spend this much on a purse for me but I do love it.

This denim hoodie is adorbs from American Eagle. I can already think of so many way to incorporate it into my wardrobe.

Well since I lost my watch somewhere. I have been forced to look for a new one. I am now loving this Michael Kors beauty.

Am I crazy for loving these tribal aztec leggings? Oh well, if I am, I am. I like them. I found a pair similar to these at Forever 21.

Although all these gifts would be lovely my "big ticket" item is ca$h this year. With the big move coming up I could definitely use some extra of that. I also desperately need a pair of fabulous black heels. Mine are 20% colored with permanent marker. {:Oh don't pretend like you haven't done it!:}

Whats your big item on your Christmas wish list?
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November 18, 2013

A Little Weekend Recap


With only having a four day week last week, I didn't feel quite as exhausted on Friday. That was a good thing because I had a party to go to at 7:30 {:7:30 is normally when I get into my pajamas so I had to mentally prepare that my date with my pajamas would be hours later that night:} It was totally worth it to celebrate these two at their engagement partly.
{:Can anyone say hello gorgeous future babies?!:}

Then Saturday I slept in! Yes, yes I did sleep in and it felt fantastic. I have so many friends that say they just can't sleep in anymore now that they get up for work everyday. Nope never have had that problem. I always wake up at wish on Saturday morning but briefly think how glorious my bed feels and roll over and snuggle back in. When I finally did roll out of bed around 11 I decided it was time to decorate the outside for Christmas.
I decorated the rest of the house last Monday and Tuesday. So it didn't happen over the weekend, but I thought I would still share since I haven't yet.



Then I hurried to get ready to celebrate another friend. Today we got to celebrate Carly and baby Blace. She seriously is due in less than 2 months and is way more in shape than I am. {:The chick is planning on running a 5k at 38 weeks pregnant! Can we say rockstar?:}


Sunday was pretty relaxing. I enjoyed snuggles with my Gracie girl.

Then, I actually washed, dried, folded, AND put away my laundry all on the same day. For those of you super freaks who do that every time you do laundry, we cannot be friends because you will just make me feel lousy about myself. {:Just kidding….kinda:} 

I also made hamburgers. Now that may not be a reason to apply for Iron Chef but I cooked and that alone is huge!

Then I updated my iPad and the dagon thing won't work now! Did anyone else have this problem? Its telling me to connect it to iTunes, and well I did but it's still not "restring" itself like it says it is. Any advice? 

Linking up with Sami for Sami's Shenanigans
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November 15, 2013

Shameless

The other night as I was enjoying a can of Spaghetti Os in bed I realized that I have a rather extensive list of things that I probably should be ashamed of at almost 27 years of age, but I'm just not. It's like the old saying goes, some habits die hard…or not at all.

So for your weekend reading pleasure I thought I would share how I just might be a 5 year old living in a 27 year olds body.

I should be ashamed that...


  • As mentioned earlier, I still believe a can of Spaghetti O's {:with meatballs of corse:} for dinner is a balanced meal
  • I still call and want my mama to come over and take care of me when I am sick
  • I prefer chicken and stars soup over chicken noodle {:It just taste better okay:}
  • When I go to Dairy Queen I normally order a vanilla ice cream covered with sprinkles
  • I have the inability to sit or stand still {:I must shake or sway always:}
  • Coloring makes me happy
  • I squeal when I get really excited
  • I put socks on in my house sometimes just so I can slip and slide on the hardwood floors
  • I still want to cry when I know I am going to the doctors office to get a shot or blood drawn
  • I bite my nails and cuticles
  • I still take naps, a lot
  • I normally order french fries as my side instead of vegetables and a baed potato like most mature humans my age.
  • I have yet to put the Christmas tree up that I haven't broken an ornament. {:clearly I should not touch breakable things like every other good little five year old!:}
  • My mom still tells me to brush my teeth at night {:not every night, but sometimes. I don't burs hmy teeth at night. Shh don't tell.:}
{:since we are on the topic of five year olds I thought I would show you a throwback picture from when I really was 5:}

I could probably go one, but now it's your turn. I dare you to tell me one of your five year old habits!

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November 14, 2013

Trading comfort for your calling


There's something I have started to realize these past few months as the reality of moving to Australia becomes closer and closer: comfort and calling rarely {:if ever:} coexist.

I can remember countless times praying to God asking Him to reveal the call He had for my life. So often those prayers were answered with silence. I use to think "okay, God I am asking what you want me to do with my life FOR YOU. This is hardly the time you should be quiet." But, so often He was revealing what he wanted me to do and what the next step was, I just didn't want to hear it that way because I wasn't willing to give up my comfort to go all in with what He had for me.

See I live an incredibly comfortable life. I live in a cute little house that I own and adore. I have a nice job {:with summers off:} that pays the bills. I live a short 30 minute drive from my parents. I have a church I love. I have the kind of friends people pray for. And, I have the cutest dog on the planet. I'm living the dream!

But then, God goes and messes with my comfort and tells me that His will for me is to move to Australia. AUSTRALIA! If you hold a globe and put one finger on West Virginia and the other on Australia you will see that it is literally the farthest place away from home.

Now, I know Australia isn't some awful, dangerous third world country, but it's certainly not my comfort zone either. I am going over to a foreign country alone. I don't know anyone who lives in Australia. I'm going from living alone to living in a house with 5-7 other girls. I am leaving my family, friends, and dog  half way around the world. AND, I am quitting a job that I have gone through college and a masters program to have. This whole idea may sound fun and exciting to an outsider, but it's certainly not comfortable.

But God gave me the choice: Will you be more concerned with your comfort or your calling?

He wasn't going to push me into doing anything I wasn't willing to do. So often He simply asks the question and lets us decide. When left with this decision we realize that we don't want to leave the safety of our comfort zone and what we know for the unknown, scary, and uncomfortable. I mean, God couldn't really want us to be uncomfortable could he?

Think about it this way. Have you ever had something that needed rehabilitating or know someone that has? They go in and take off the comfort of their brace or cast and endure weeks and weeks of pain and discomfort, but they go through it because they know the end result is worth the discomfort.

This is how it is with God. He often asks if we are willing to get uncomfortable for him so he can take us somewhere so much better than the safety of our comfort zone.

One question I always get asked when people find out I am moving to Sydney to attend Bible college is "what are you going to do after?" My answer is always the same: I don't know. A lot of peoples faces show their instant though of "you're an idiot." But this is probably where I struggle the least. I have so much faith that if God is calling me to get this uncomfortable for His will, the other side of this journey is going to be a way better story than even the beginning and I cannot wait to share.

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November 13, 2013

Sweaters, Boots, and Scarves Oh My

Hey friends guess what I did last night?! I decorated for Christmas. You can be a bitter Betty all you want about it not even being Thanksgiving yet, but I think it's fantastic. I woke up this morning and snow flurries were coming down, and if it's going to snow I at least want to have a Christmas tree to read by. Okay, okay snow and reading actually really have very little to do with why I put up my Christmas decorations already. I just really enjoy them and since it's the last Christmas in my own home for awhile, I wanted it to last.

Annnnnd that has absolutely nothing to do with my Wednesday fashion post, I just wanted to share. I'm sure I'll post pictures of the house soon. But speaking of pictures, I have some that actually have to do with fashion, the main reason you are probably even reading this here blog post so I will stop the rambling madness and just get on with it.

Cardigan: GAP Outlet//Button down.Earrings.&Pants: NY& Co.//Shoes: Soda//Necklace: Kohls//

Top&Scarf: Old Navy//Pants: NY&Co.//Brown Wedges: Kohls

{:This is my personal favorite outfit of the week. I am a sucker for army green and black:}
Jacket: TJ Maxx//Tank&Wedges: Target//Pants: American Eagle

Scarf: Kohls//Chambray: H&M//Jeans: Kohls//Boots: Amazon//Link Bracelet: Forever21//Cross Bracelet: Alter'D State

Oversized sweater: VS//Boots: Amazon//Black Pants: Kohls

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November 12, 2013

The Single Girl Diaries-The Fairytale

Think about your favorite scene from your favorite romantic movie….the scene where Jack is holding on to Rose at the bow of the ship in the Titanic ; in the Notebook when Noah and Allie are out on the lake and the storm comes rolling in; or when Edward drives his limo to Vivian's apartment and climbs up the fire escape to rescue his princess in Pretty Woman.

As single woman we are often longing and waiting for our fairytale. We dream about when it's coming and with who it will be. We dream about what it will look like and how he will sweep us off our feet and romance us. But, what we really need to know is that while we are waiting on our fairytale, we are missing the one God already has for us.

God, the lover of your soul, wants to romance you. Sometimes just thinking of that either makes us uncomfortable, or brings us to wonder if it's okay for us to see God this way. But the most intimate way God relates to us is as the bridegroom, and as our groom he wants to take us on our own fairytale. One that is designed specifically for us. Though he won't romance you in ways of romantic nights on the lake in a canoe for toe or with candlelight dinners, he will romance you in ways that only he can. Ways that he specifically thinks of to capture your heart. After all, he does know you better than anyone else. He will give you a beautiful sunset on your worst day to remind you, you're never alone, and just to bring a smile to your lips. He will sneak a 20 dollar bill in your winter coat from last year for you to find at the exact moment you could use a little extra cash. He will send you to a chapter or verse in the Bible that speaks exactly to what is going on in your life, so that you can know He is with you. He will whisper encouragement into your soul in your weakest and most insecure moments just because it breaks his heart to see you hurting and struggling.

God's love notes are all around us but so often we don't see them because we are too busy waiting for a different kind of fairytale. We are waiting for a fairytale that could never compare to the one that is waiting for us to open ourselves up to.

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November 11, 2013

Every weekend should be a 3 day weekend!

Don't you agree? Just that extra day makes me feel like I ACTUALLY had a weekend. If you're like my friend Andrea, who has a three day weekend every weekend, I envy you!

Not only was it a 3 day weekend, but it was just an overall fantastic weekend. Like one of those where I am sitting here and actually cannot stop smiling good. 

Friday: I went out with two of my girlfriends. We went downtown to a local flower shop that has a huge Christmas display. The owners shut down the store the week before the reveal and decorate from top to bottom for Christmas. At the reveal they have hors d'oeuvre, drinks, and live music. It was fun; then, we headed out for coffee and dessert. Girls nights are the best, but I failed and took ZERO pictures this night. Sorry friends.

Saturday: Saturday morning I got to speak at our women's ministry gathering at church. It was fun. I love being with the girls! Although I have to admit my mind was preoccupied because my bestie was ten minutes away welcoming this precious girl into the word.
Welcome Lilah Belle {:aka BABY P:}.
Oh my goodness my heart wants to burst with happiness just looking at this sweet girl!

I got to spend a few hours with this sweet girl and her momma. It was definitely love at first sight.

I mean she is so cool at only hours old that she is already posing with the peace sign. She knows what's up.

Big sissy, meet little sissy.

And I mean I am biased, but their momma is a rockstar.
Well first off, who looks like this 2 days before they have a baby? But, that isn't why she receives rockstar status…she had that little one natural! Shew that makes you a rockstar in my book every time.

Sunday: It was another fantastic day at church. We actually had a guest speaker, who happens to be the man who runs Hillsong Leadership College, Mark Hopkins. It was neat that I got to meet him on Sunday and chat with him a bit about the move across the big pond. 

Monday: The weekend actually kept going past Sunday. Praise the Lord! It has started with sleeping in of corse, but then, I actually got to drink my morning cup of joe out of a coffee cup. This rarely happens because I am always flying out the door with my to go cup for work or church or somewhere else. Ah it was so nice!
A morning of reading, listening to music {:on my new Apple TV which I love:}, and blogging. Perfection.

And after I finish this post it is about to be a Christmas explosion in this house. Yep, I am decorating for Christmas today, and no I don't think it's too early. I mean listen, this is my last Christmas in my house so I want to enjoy it for longer than 2 weeks, so I am saying that it's allowed!

How have you spent your extra long weekend? Am I the only one putting up Christmas stuff already?

OH! And don't forget to enter to win a $75 Target Giftcard here if you haven't already!

Linking Up With: Weekend Shenanigans

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November 8, 2013

Why I'm Moving to Australia


Okay, let's be honest, the first time you read I was moving to Australia you thought it was exciting, but I would be willing to bet you had the word crazy floating around in that brain of yours somewhere too.

I mean imagine trying this shoe on for size: you have your own home, you've not only started your career but are 6 years into it, finished your masters a year and a half ago, love the life you are living and then BAM you are suppose to go and move to the absolute furthest place on the planet you could move to.

Feel your heart racing with fear and panic yet? Welcome to the club.

Okay, so here's the story. 

Three years ago I boarded a plane to Sydney, Australia for what I thought would be just a fun ten days attending a women's conference at Hillsong church and exploring the land down under. 
{:This is a picture of the church:}

I was right. The conference was amazing and I had a blast going to beach after beach and landmark after landmark, but little did I know, that trip would soon turn this girls life upside down.



Hillsong {:the church where I attended the conference:} also has a leadership college. While I was there I was sitting in what they call chapel, it's just a small church service for students, when the president of the college prayed over someone who was suppose to come there to go to school. I thought nothing of it until the president came to me after chapel and asked if I was that person who he prayed for. I kind of just giggled and laughed it of with a "no, no that's not me."  

In the days after coming back from Australia God planted a seed in my heart and told me I was suppose to go back over to Sydney to go to school at Hillsong. But, I told Him no. It just didn't make sense. I had a house, a job, at that time I as getting my Masters. Just no God. No. And God being the gentleman He is, just let it be. 

Well fast forward to September of this year. In September our church held its own women's conference called Adored. It was an amazing, amazing weekend. That Sunday morning in our 9:30 service I was just overwhelmed with joy and excitement from what God had done over the weekend and then God dropped the bomb on me. The bomb that said His next step for me was to travel half way around the world and attend bible college. I instantly started the ugly girl cry. It was out of control. I remember having an argument with God during service. "No God. I don't want to. I have a house, a good job. My friends are here. My family is here. I don't want to go. IT DOESNT MAKE ANY SENSE!" Well obviously as I am arguing with God in my head a message is still being spoken, but as I tune back into what the speaker is saying, just after having told God it doesn't make sense, to hear her say {:no lie:} "following the call of God rarely makes sense." Well HELLO. Why don't you just Bible slap me God? I mean yeesh! So as soon as I got out of service I grabbed two of my girlfriends and told them immediately what God had told me. I knew I had to tell them immediately because if I didn't I would spend the next dew days rationalizing the fact that it wasn't really God and questioning whether God "really" spoke to me. I was certain he had and I was certain that I did't want to obey. But, also certain that I had to obey.

So three years ago I took this picture in front of Hillsong church, and in just 8 short months I will stand in front of its doors again. This time as a girl very far away from home, just following the call of God.




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