Survival

ExamWkEssentials

Coffee in the form of Iced Caramel Lattes, good music, a planned reward to celebrate finishing, studying something that has eternal significance, food to fill the tummy and fuel the mind during last minute cramming, great friends for encouragement and much needed breaks (not the TV show this time!)… all served with a side of procrastination!

See you on the other side!

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A Quick Workout for Busy Days

Travel days are always busy- even when the “traveling” is only 2 hours worth from Starkville to Memphis.

Wednesday was a busy day that involved finishing all my classes for the semester (woohooo!), completing a project, babysitting, and driving home!  Knowing all that the day held, I pulled myself out of bed and headed downstairs even though it was the perfect stormy morning for sleeping in!

I planned on having eggs like I have the last couple days (trying to get more protein), but I just wasn’t feeling it. My belly wanted carbs… in the form of cinnamon cereal. So I went with it. Alongside my cereal, my new mug I got for my birthday filled with coffee from the keurig, 2% milk, and stevia. Thanks Mom!

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The almonds and strawberries were a pre workout snack

Even in this busy day, I wanted to get a good workout in (without taking too much of the day) and make use of my new running hat 🙂 Thanks M!

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I hit the Sanderson Center after class for this:

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And let me tell you, my heart was pumping! It felt a lot better to ride in the car knowing I had 3 miles done.

Can you find 40 minutes to get your heart pumping? It’s not so bad if you take the Lifetime app with Army Wives on demand 😉

PS: Have you heard of She Reads Truth?! It is daily devotional for women.. I highly suggest you grab a cup of coffee and head on over there today. A new portion is beginning, with the focus on Hosea. It’s too good to miss. I posted a link on my Facebook this morning- I promise it’s so good.

shereadstruth

Overdraft

Saturday morning I woke up and immediately headed to the kitchen to find the waffle iron and get cooking. There is nothing better than fresh waffles on a Saturday morning!

While I cooked, my older brother called (the one who used to add up multiple charges from his debit card and subtract that one sum out of his check register..), and told my mom and I that last night when he looked at his Regions app, we both had negative balances…

I knew it couldn’t be right. I keep up with my credits, debits, deposits, everything on my Regions mobile app.. I had just checked it the day before and everything was fine.

After checking into it further, he was right. A check I wrote in February was just deposited, in April. My lack of writing in my check register came back to bite me! I had, in fact, overdrafted. Ughh- Now I was so frustrated at myself… If I had just written everything down, this would not have happened.

But, I called regions, told them my story and even went on to say, “I know it is really due to my lack of keeping track..” The sweet guy I talked to credited back $18 of the $35 I was charged. I was so glad.. although I did selfishly think that getting the entire $35 back would have been better!

Romans 6:14

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

As I calmed down, I started to think of the grace, although partial, the bank had shown me. It reminded me of the amazing grace God shows us say in and day out.

We “overdraft” our “accounts” every single day.

We are naturally sinners.

But our “bank”, God, credits us back the fee, over and over. 

He doesn’t credit us back partially, but always fully.

He forgives and wipes our slate clean.

via pinterest

via pinterest

I couldn’t be more thankful for our forgiving God, and practical metaphors that show us clearly how he loves us fully and consistently shows us grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

DWYS: 2

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20130419-DSC_394220130419-DSC_3953 20130419-DSC_394820130419-DSC_395020130419-DSC_394720130419-DSC_3976Just for kicks, this little beauty had to join in on the fun!

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Shirt: Old Navy, Chambray

Leopard Belt: Kohls

Shorts: Ann Taylor LOFT (love em so much I also own the denim!)

Coral Earrings: Target

Don’t let a low budget keep you down!! Some Target, Kohls, and Old Navy finds put together with purpose can stand beside the J Crew ensembles any day!

Lies

Cleaning my room is no fun and a lot of fun at the same time. I love some of the stuff I find; and even end up thinking “who is this girl?” about things long forgotten. It actually cracks me up.

But Thursday night, I found a notebook with notes from a bible study Lauren and I led last semester. I want to share a few things with you just to spur your thinking, if nothing more.

3 big lies women believe:

{1} Who I am and What I Struggle With are the same thing.     Isn’t that an easy trap to fall into? It makes me think of the AA thing.. “I am Billy, and I am an alcoholic.”

{2} Who I Am and What I Do are the same thing.    This is similar yet different. It is more about letting your job, sorority, or hobby define you. Yes, they are apart of you, but not who you are.

{3} Who I Am is not good enough.     Can I get an amen? As women, it can be a constant battle to fight against Satan whispering this in our ears.

Let’s no longer believe these lies. What if we let Jesus Christ’s identity truly affect ours. Would that impact our behavior and daily lives? Would we let it impact more than our words, actions, and the bumper stickers on our car, but our thoughts too?!

Our behavior and thoughts represent our beliefs. But I would go further to say our behavior and thoughts reveal our beliefs.

This shocked me.. it was so spot on. It was so convicting. I hope to throw off these lies and run without abandon into the arms of the Man who speaks only truth- life giving truth- as I enter my twenties.

Truths to replace these lies: 

{1} What you struggle with does not define you.

{2} What you do does not dictate who you are.

{3} We, YOU, are good enough. You were made in the hands of the Almighty carpenter.

Carry these truths with you and have a sweet, relaxing weekend. xoxo

celebrating

I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon/evening! It somehow happened to include most of my favorites! Mitchell and I got into Collierville around 12:30, spent some time at his grandparent’s, then headed to Booyas with my mom! (My all time fave..!)

After Booyas, we had to hit up Target! I tend to have withdrawals while in Starkville with nothing but Walmart! .. It’s rare lately that my mom and I get to go without being in a hurry so this was so much fun!! Thanks Mom

Once we got home, Marley and I went for a quick run before getting ready & heading downtown.

Majestic Grill & Melting Pot were our destinations for the evening! I enjoyed every minute of it! It was so fun to think back on old memories and laugh- It’s crazy to think we’ve spent TWENTY of my birthdays together! So thankful for my parents, grandparents, bros, and M. It feels so clique to say “blessed”… almost even seems like it needs a hashtag before it- haha!- but truly, I am.

3rd birthday together- love it.

3rd birthday together- love it.

After lots of consideration of just about every item on the menu, I decided on Grilled Salmon with a Honey glaze, Sweet Carrots, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes- combined with a few handfuls of their famous parmesan fries we all shared- perfectly satisfying.photo 2

Me and the boys

Me and the boys

My Dad, My Mom, and I

My Dad, My Mom, and I

Nana, Me, and Poppa

Nana, Me, and Poppa

For dessert, we decided on two mixtures for the table. Bananas Foster (which included white chocolate and cinnamon and smelled phenomenal!) and Flaming Turtle (caramel and chocolate, too!- that actually came to the table flaming!). Our “dippers” included fresh strawberries, bananas, graham cracker covered marshmallows, brownies, cheesecake, and red velvet cake!! YUM. We washed it down with coffee. Just like I adore coffee in the morning, I love to have it after dinner.

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Around here, we crack up at how long birthdays last.. it goes from one day to a weekend to a week to a month! So you probably will hear more about my entrance into the twenties before this is over..

More than ready to hit the hay now & wake up for more relaxin tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is awesome! The days pass slow, but the years go to fast.

To Much Lacquer

You’re probably wondering what I meant in my last post by whitening my toenails. No, it isn’t some sort of Michael Jackson stunt… just the testing of another one of those Pinterest ideas!

My toenails are never bare. I literally take one color off just to re paint them with something new. Now, they seem to be screaming for air. They look pretty bad- extremely yellow.

Here’s the before: (they have actually improved a lot on their own since tuesday)

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I don’t think the picture accurately shows just how bad they are!

Anyways, I decided to try two different ideas I have seen “pinned” at the same time.

{1} whitening toothpaste

{2} hydrogen peroxide

photo 3I simply applied each substance with an old toothbrush and let it sit for five minutes. Then after 5 minutes, applied again and let it stay until my toes had been covered for a full ten minutes!

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Rinsed… &

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TA-DAH! Oh wait, I don’t see much of a difference. Maybe a tiny improvement, but it looks like fresh air and bare nails are the only thing that will actually heal this nastiness!

I guess it turns out everything pinteresting can’t be miraculous.

*** An extra tip~ hydrogen peroxide is GREAT for teeth whitening. Wet your toothbrush in it, brush all over the fronts of your teeth.. with mouth open, let it sit for about 30 seconds. Then, put toothpaste on your brush and go on with brushing as you normally would! I see results in just days- promise ya.

checking in

Yesterday I asked Mitchell, “want to know what I ate today?” (Yes, I’m weird like that. It had been an out of the ordinary good day so I’ll tell anyone who will listen!) But his reply was, “oh yea, for What I Ate Wednesday?”-Love that blog reading dude.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take pictures & share WIAW with you this week 😦 This morning I woke up with every intention to do it a day late. I even took all the breakfast & lunch pics. Then Chick-fil-a became lunch instead and pictures of what i ate went out the window! Maybe I’ll do one day this weekend 🙂

So much fun planned for this weekend- thrilled for birthday festivities! For now, I’m packing and cleaning my room on top of studying for an exam tomorrow… productive, but not much fun.

Just wanted to check in with you & let you know what’s coming soon! Plans are in the works for completing the vlog, a fashion post with good pictures (chambray & leopard), and an attempt at whitening my toe nails! haha- stay tuned.

If you’re one of those people who just loves to find new blogs to read- try Nutritionella. She’s awesome!

See you soon!

 

Where is your mind set?

This morning, I woke up feeling just kind of BLAH… Not for any particular reason, just out of it sort of. My back aches a lot when I wake up (mild scoliosis + addiction to stomach sleeping)… so that didn’t help.

I reached for my Bible and journal **after checking twitter, facebook, instagram, and email– {nobody’s perfect}. After prayer journaling a bit, I wasn’t feeling into that either. I was praying specifically, “I feel sad for some reason, would You lift my head?”

I decided to open the Word and look up a couple verses Rachel sent this morning.

-Ephesians 6:19

&

-Colossians 3:1-4

which says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Ok God, I hear You. My funk is due to where my mind is. Class, back aches, my birthday, and the number on the scale are of this earth. They are worthless compared to the things of your Kingdom.

I think Colossians 3:5 needs to be repeated in my mind throughout everyday:

 Put to death what is earthly in you.

Easier said than done, right? But let’s all do it today, with the help of the one who is above all things. He is even above the tragedy in Boston yesterday. We were surprised/saddened/hurt by it. But to our God, it was no surprise at all. Let’s find peace in that.

Completely unrelated but while you’re here, check this out.

Sweet Disadvantages

If this reads like a college paper… It’s because it was my actual speech for Intro to Communication… But I think its information you’ll find helpful!

Enjoy… If that’s even possible on a Monday!

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Would you purposely ingest a chemical you knew was used to preserve dead animals? 

Due to my love for Diet Dr. Pepper, I was reluctant to believe the crazy facts I am going to share with you. The more I studied artificial sweetener and their effects, the more I realized just how prevalent they are. We are ingesting them everyday from diet soda, yogurt, baked goods and most types of chewing gum. AND it turns out, that Stevia I thought was WAY better than Splenda and Sweet’N’Low… isn’t. Cue crying as I stare at black coffee wondering how to make it drinkable!!

I want to inform you about the history and creation of artificial sweeteners, and how they affect your body in relation to both weight gain and various illnesses.

I constantly debate their pros and cons for my life; the most current health and fitness information had always interested me. I have ironically used these sweeteners for years, done extensive research, and gained knowledge from reliable sources to share with you today.

 I want to start with a slightly frightening story about how “fake sugar” came to be. According to the web article “Artificial Sweeteners – More Dangerous than you ever imagined,” the most popular artificial sweetener on the market, aspartame, was discovered in 1965 completely by mistake!!

    1. Chemist, James Schlatter was attempting to develop a drug to treat ulcer disease when he spilled some of his mixture onto his finger. He licked his finger to clean it off and was amazed to find that the mixture was over 200x sweeter than sugar.

Unfortunately, many chemicals are involved in the making of this white powder; Methylene chloride is one of them; It has many uses, so we come into contact with it often. However, artificial sweeteners are the only form of it ingested. Here’s the crazy part: Prolonged skin contact with methylene chloride can cause chemical burns and dissolving of tissues in the skin. If that isn’t shocking enough, it is often used to strip paint and weld plastic together.

This is what we are coating our insides in.

Soon after the accidental invention, it became apparent that artificial sweetener could be the best thing, financially, that ever happened to the diet industry. All those involved in getting Artificial Sweeteners into our foods were more interested in money signs that human health.

One of the most appealing facts about artificial sweeteners is the fact that they are zero calorie and therefore seem like a perfect ally in the fight against extra pounds. Another plus for many people is the fact that artificial sweeteners can be used in both cooking and baking, making it seem like the most convenient change in diet to save lots of extra calories.

However, more current research argues that this is simply not true. Artificial sweeteners in our systems lead our body to believe we indulged in copious amounts of sugar…

        1. Within minutes, our blood sugar rises.

Then, our bodies start to release leptin and insulin, instructing the body to store fat. Simultaneously, serotonin levels are decreasing; this is the chemical that lets us know we are full.

Consistently ingesting artificial sweeteners creates the perfect environment for weight gain and a greater percentage of fat, despite your greatest weight loss efforts.

The internal consequences can be even worse than extra pounds. Just 10 grams of aspartame, or other similar sweeteners, can cause medical issues. These chemicals in your body often have laxative like effects, bloating and diarrhea. On top of that, you may experience headaches, migraines, mental confusion, dizziness, and seizures.

If you can believe it, there is more.

    1. The FDA strays from informing the general public that research claims worrisome effects, including cancer, due to artificial sweetener are running rampant.

Artificial sweeteners are now being referred to as one of the most dangerous and controversial food additives in human history.

  • It seems the accidental discovery was foretelling the not so sweet weight gain and chronic illness artificial sweeteners can lead to.

Now when you sit down at restaraunts, determine whether you are interested in cancer, migraines, or a few extra pounds before ordering that Diet CokeCoke products are so cerosive, they can be used for hard core cleaning. They say if you leave Coke in your toilet overnight, it will clean better than any other product on the market. Just last week, I used Diet Dr. Pepper to get all that caked on gunk out of my oven!!

Why I still think it’s okay to drink the same thing I clean my oven with… I’ll never know! But I’m working on it!

On a less scary/more exciting note, Spencer has been begging for months to make his blog debut… I figured what better day than today to introduce him! Happy 20th Birthday to this crazy guy. Thanks for always standing up for the blog when Mitchell argues that I slash to many words being a great friend. From Columbus trips in the Dud to hilarious nights playing cards in Destin, life wouldn’t be the same without ya! Keep getting sunburnt. 🙂  I hope your twenties are full of more fun (& trips back to Memphis to hang with us) than you can imagine!

Whitney, Spencer, Me, and Mitchell

Whitney, Spencer, Me, and Mitchell