sweet gratitude, III

Trying to slow down more and remember to smell the roses. Sometimes it can be hard to really live in the present, without looking forward with “I can’t wait”s… for me, being thankful for what is going on right now helps.

Loving lately:

warmer weather, eno time,

warmer weather, eno time,

pinterest ideas,

pinterest ideas,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

oatmeal and coffee to start my days,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

verses God shows me just at the right time,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

fresh picked flowers, walks with friends,

of course sweet snuggles,

of course sweet snuggles,

and spring wishes!

and spring wishes!

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

What are you grateful for this week? Something amazing? Just getting through?

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Following Fads

Today I am joining the thousands of ladies in blog world who do something called “What I Ate Wednesday” every week! I will simply let you know what I ate in words and pictures, usually the iPhone variety! This type of post is hog heaven for the nosy girl like me, but if it’s not your thing (or your name is Mitchell- I can see his eyes rolling now!) move on. Check out my next post instead.

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Pop on over to peasandcrayons.com to check out all of her WIAW posts! She has 115…

I’m promising you my best effort at being consistent with this…. (yes, I know, I owe you a gratitude post!) Be patient with me as I finish up these last few weeks of school & exams then this summer the blog will be back in focus, the eats will be better, and this girl a little less stressed. 😉

image.j1pegWednesday mornings start out at coffee shops with 5 girls and the Word. I enjoyed a caramel latte & called it the appetizer to breakfast. I never want to eat breakfast at 7 because by 11 I feel like I could eat my desk.
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About 9 am I was ready for stove cooked oats. They weren’t quite like my moms bu still a stick to your ribs morning meal. I topped them with part of a banana, cinnamon, stevia, and honey straight from my pot!

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While the oats cooked, I cut up a pink lady to have with lunch and dusted her with cinnamon. Yes, her. She is a lady.6

It went perfectly with my string cheese & Chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich… a star of a choice if you need healthy and fast food. It’s just 290 calories for lots of protein and fullness! Honey roasted bbq sauce is not good for you, just to die for.

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As we were finishing, we were offered extras from a milkshake they sold so Mitchell and I obliged and I had just a few sips.

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While I worked on setting up some Mary Kay appointments I enjoyed a bowl of honey nut cheerios & milk… a never fail combo in my mind. Not specifically Honey Nut Cheerios, just any cereal.

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Then there came a “I’m so hungry I’ll eat anything.. I ate it so quick this was the only part left for a picture” snack while I worked. Not the greatest choice, but this post is the real deal! No deleting packs of cinnamon teddy grahams!
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Dinner was the highlight today! It turned out awesome… definitely will become a recurring meal! Taco Chicken Bowls!! Found the recipe here.

Unpictured: the cinnabon roll and cookie I wholeheartedly earned with a 7 mile run licked the plate beneath

What graced your plate today?

sweet gratitude, II

I am beyond grateful for:

The first day of spring and promise of summer to follow,

The first day of spring and promise of summer to follow,

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An incredible dinner and night of Bachelor fun with friends, Mitchell’s aunt, and cousin’s wife and her sister,

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big breakfasts that stuff tummys for long road trips,

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quiet time with my parents, the Word, and grande Blondes,

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the return of my favorite show, Mitchell lending me his iPad,

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words of wisdom from EmilyLey.com,

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intense card games and laughs with close friends,

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& a friend who gracious let me do her over with all my Mary Kay!

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

Remember to pause this week, and be grateful whether the circumstances seem great or just tough!

Finding the Fit Bit

Off and on for many years, I have heard about the “FitBit” & loved the idea of what it can accomplish. It is a smll gadget that throughout the day, tracks steps taken (like a pedometer), calories burned, and mileage~ right up this girls alley!

I always assumed it would be overly expensive so I never checked into it. But while we were in Destin last week, we got to talking about Spencer’s mom having one and I got excited to check into it.

The FitBit Zip tracks mileage, calories, and steps for $60 while the FitBit One tracks all of that + sleep for $100! I love the idea of both but decided to go with the Fit Bit Zip for price & I have used the iPhone app– Sleep Cycle to track sleep! It is super cool. You lay your phone in the bed with you and it keeps track of your movement in order to interpret which sleep zones you’re in, how many “REM cycles” etc. Check it out!

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I was so thrilled to start using the Fit Bit last Thursday! It has been better than I even expected. I wear it on my hip from when I wake up until I get in bed each night. It has made me so much more aware of how much I move and how many calories I’m burning.

It is really helping me to get more exercise throughout the day! Pretty often now I’m telling Mitchell, “let’s walk there to get my steps up!” It’s like a competition. The fitbit website gave me the goal of 10,000 steps a day & I love reaching it and even hope to bump that up as more movement becomes a habit in my life!

The last week has looked like this:

Thursday      8,047

Friday            9,822

Saturday       10,882

Sunday           5,641

Monday          8,033

Tuesday        12,425

& today, Wednesday

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for a total of 68,691 steps & 30.25 miles since starting!

One goal I have is to make my days more consistent!

Almost everyday, it has pushed me to take a walk with Marley or drag Mitchell out for a walk to and from campus. 🙂 So that’s something to celebrate! Anything is better than all that couch sitting I had grown accustomed to! Today, I went with Whitney and Max for a 2 mile walk in Sanderson! So fun.

The Struggle

I have never understood that “The Struggle is Real” saying. But I am hear to tell you THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.

Everyone is struggling with something.

Pride

Laziness

Anorexia

Organization

Self Discipline

School

Divorce

Depression

Anger

Resentment

I think this is such an important thing to realize. When I envy other people and crazily think, “if I were like them, everything would be perfect.” I have to remind myself, no life is without struggles.

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It took me a long time to realize that the struggle is part of the story. Without the valley, there can be no mountain.

I am a lover of fresh starts… new days, blank notebooks, August of every school year, January 1st, tanks of gas with zero miles. I constantly feel the urge to “start over” when I fall. However, in time, I have realized I cannot start over. I can never, on my own, wipe my slate clean. My story is my story.. ups & DOWNS included.

What are you struggling with?

Would you dare to just embrace it and know that

the Lord is working for our good (Romans 8:28)?

sweet gratitude

Although not our first instinct, gratitude can change perspective.

From The Happiness Project: Gratitude is important to happiness. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising. (woo hoo!) Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you are grateful for what you have, you are not consumed with wanting something different or something more. That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.

This passage inspired me to stop, or at least slow down, and be thankful for all I have. So once a week, I plan to share it with you!

This week, I am grateful for:

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THIS TYPE OF MOMMA

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CHILDHOOD MEMORIES & DESTIN TRIPS

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READING TIME & PUPPY SNUGGLES

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HOT COFFEE, LEMON POPPYSEED ANYTHING, & BEING PRODUCTIVE

hunger

COOL PINTEREST FINDS

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OCCASIONAL MOTIVATION TO ACTUALLY GET READY

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you..”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Early Mornings

Ever wake up before the sun?

I know… it stinks, you’re tired, your eyes won’t open, it is cold, you can’t even see… just. one. more. minute. I almost always beg.

When I fight the urge to stay under the abundance of fluffy white linens, I end up thanking myself God for it.

My ideal morning has me arising in the darkness, quietly tip toe ing around the house to get just ready enough, grabbing every belonging in my house it seems and heading across town to a coffeehouse. My living room will work too, but that never requires more than PJs which means my eyes are more likely to assume they can slack off on the job.

Preferably, Starbucks would not be my destination, although it absolutely suffices.

For early, quiet mornings, it has got to be the town’s best kept secret… A “hipster” atmosphere makes it that much better.

I have fallen in love with the ease of parking with only 3 other cars in the lot… the way the barista’s whisper before 9 am.. the clicking of the keyboard or turning of old wrinkled pages.. the way my pen runs across a blank page… the promise of new mercies, not yet tainted… It’s warms my soul. It is when I start my day early, in communication with my great God (in all truth, coffee is of no importance) that my storm of a day is less tragic. I am aware of my fresh start, that my sins of yesterday are forgiven, thrown to the side. For this, I keep coming back for more.

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via Pinterest

Starkville’s newest addition called 929… hits my idea of morning perfection on the head. It is located on Main Street, adding to the unmatchable atmosphere. You use unmatching mugs and check out at a counter made of old wood, beautifully battered. I just love their details.

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

via 929 Coffee Bar on Facebook

I’d relate the hours of say 6-9 am to the calm before the storm. You can check your email, but there will hardly ever be more than the 3 am LOFT, Banana Republic, and Coach sale notifications. No teachers asking for homework assignments, yet. But when I close my Bible, leave that place, get in my car, and venture out into the world, onto campus, wherever my day takes me, I will never be in the same state I was in, until tomorrow morning.

Heritage Red

A few months ago, after seeing a need for affordable rental homes in Collierville, my parents bought a house!

While checking it out, I saw a random old desk in the shed. It was pushed into the back corner adorned with lots of random junk so I only saw a quick glance of the front of it, but I knew I had to have it!

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The previous owner left it there & my parents said it was all mine! Months passed…. and finally this weekend we went to get it!

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It turned out even better than I remembered or expected! It is especially deep (atleast 3 feet!!) which makes for lots of workspace. Also, it is made of oak… great quality. And so heavy!!

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My dad and I picked up 3 bottles of spray paint from Home Depot in “Heritage Red” and immediately got to sprucing this baby up!

[This method known as the “impatient-must-complete-project-today” version. Always my first choice!]

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We chose “Heritage Red” to avoid the bright, stop sign red while still matching this part of my room

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A good coat and a couple hours in the sun left me with
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A new/old desk I absolutely adore

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that matches my $25 loveseat perfectly!

I can hardly wait to introduce them!! (The loveseat is in Starkville/Desk in Collierville) Come on May!!

 

Are You Happy?

Have you ever met that lovely new invention called one click check out on Amazon.com? Its terribly amazing. As well as amazing terrible for my checking account.

While I was on campus today, I found a green slip in my PO box meaning I had received a package! yay! I assumed it was a book I ordered on Amazon. Moments later I had the following between my hands:

via google mages

Yes, it is a book. It is indeed from Amazon. But remember that one click checkout thing? I had no recollection of ordering… (although I do remember considering it). I probably couldn’t have even jogged my memory with an interrogation from my mom sounding somewhat like, “What did you spend $4.63 on?”

I was incredibly excited though! And I think Buddha was right (on one thing) in saying, When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

I feel like I am just in a learning stage in my life. I am learning a lot about myself. I learn constantly in Mrs. Knight’s Intro to Communication class; even learned I may want to minor in Communication. I’m learning more about God, how incredible He is, and all that that encompasses. I’m learning to cook more. I’m learning to love vegetables. And as soon as I started reading the cover of this book, I knew I was going to learn  a lot more.

Just a few small excerpts/phrases from what I read today as soon as I cracked the spine. [The Happiness Project by: Gretchen Rubin] Take a second with each of these to just let them sink in:

  • –“there is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” -Robert Louis Stevenson
  • –I find greater value in what specific individuals tell me worked for them than in any other kind of argument- and that’s true even when we seem to have nothing in common.
  • –I was in danger of wasting my life.
  • –I had everything I could possibly want- yet I was failing to appreciate it. Bogged down in petty complaints and passing crises, weary of struggling with my own nature, I too often failed to comprehend the splendor of what I had.
  • –people teach what they need to learn
  • –the opposite of happiness, is unhappiness, not depression
  • –what you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while (this was all to convicting!!)

Can you relate to this? To not being as happy as you should be or want to be? For some maybe not happy at all?

Especially as she says,”One of my worst qualities is my insatiable need for credit; I always want the gold star, the recognition,” Gretchen Rubin encompasses so perfectly my search for thank yous after giving gifts, my love of the oohs and ahhhs when I redecorate.

In all of this, I am simply saying that “I am happy- but I’m not as happy as I should be. I have such a good life, I want to appreciate it more- and live up to it better. It is hard to explain. I complain to much, I get annoyed more than I should.” I haven’t been living to my full potential or being happy in my day to day, seemingly pointless routine. Through reading this I hope to find that something extra… enjoyment in the little things. But, of course, I will never reach that without keeping my focus wholeheartedly on the Giver of true happiness.

HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO LIVE PURE LIVES, WHO FOLLOW THE LORD’S TEACHINGS. HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO KEEP HIS RULES, WHO OBEY HIM WITH THEIR WHOLE HEARTS.

psalm 119:1-2

For a little happy in your day check this out….

What an incredible thing.. that not only is He constant, but He promises to never forsake us. Forsake meaning to give up. He will never give up on us, no matter what. He is only good. Oh to bask in that realization.

COMING NEXT IS A FASHION POST!

Jumpin’ on the HIIT train!

After class today, despite the TERRIBLE weather… (45 degrees felt like 20!) I felt a strange urge to hit the gym!

Once in a lifetime 😉 so I went with it telling myself I only had to stay 20 minutes! When I got there I had my body fat measured out of curiosity then I jumped on the elliptical to start some HIIT!

High Intensity Interval Training is the next hottest fitness trend behind Cross Fit. If you’ve been anywhere near Pinterest lately, you know that everyone’s been all over this trend!

HIIT definition from wikipedia: an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 7–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning

I created my own (combining elliptical and treadmill) for a hot and SUPER sweaty twenty minutes!

HIIT

Try it for yourself~ It leaves you feeling so alive!! I got my heart rate up to 188- goes to show how out of shape in shape I am. ha ha! This 20 minute workout burned a total of 201 calories for just 1.7 miles!

Now that my appetite is ready to roar, I’ve got tilapia in the oven!!