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.

Advertisements

homemade granola

granola

My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Elder, instagrammed a picture the other day of some granola she was making that could make your mouth water!

I had to have the recipe- & share it with all of you!

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1 ½ cups sliced almonds (slivered)

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ cups raisins (Craisins are good too!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.  In a saucepan, warm the oil and honey. Stir in vanilla. Pour liquid over oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon.

Then spread granola in a baking pan or cookie sheet.  Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Stir in raisins. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 wk or freeze for 3 months.

photo 2After class today, I decided it was time to give her granola a whirl! I changed the recipe up a little bit, simply because I wanted a smaller portion, and I wanted it immediately… story of my life.

I used:

2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal

1/2 c of lightly salted almonds I chopped myself

1/4 c dark brown sugar

dashes of both salt & cinnamon

1/8 c vegetable oil

1/8 c honey (+ a drizzle because I adore honey)

a few drops of vanilla

1/2 c raisins

photo 1give this mix a try then eat with milk, on top of yogurt, on a sweet potato, or all alone!

It tastes fabulous and will have your home smelling amazing.

 

“nothing else even comes close”

“I’m going to need a full set.”

“Acrylic, please!”

If this sounds like your trips to the nail salon, I know you natural nails are in need of some rescuing. I used acrylic nails for years even though I knew they tore my natural nails to pieces. When I would finally remove them, I knew I would have to baby them for months before they were actually strong nails again. The acrylic was gone, but I was left with soft brittle nails that would practically split in half when I attempted to open a ziploc.

I have, after years of searching, found the remedy! Thanks to my roommate on this one… She is the nail queen.

Formula 2 by nailitiques. Their company tagline is “nothing else even comes close” and that could not be more true. It does cost a pretty penny, but I’m telling you, it is a miracle in a bottle. Totally worth the splurge!

logo nail01

They claim their formulas were created to treat different nail conditions. The salon-tested formulations offer special combinations of ingredients, including hydrolyzed keratin and protein in combination with gelatin and calcium to build a healthy nail foundation. The protein formulas bond the nail layers together building a strong nail foundation resistant to peeling, chipping and splitting.

Nails will see marked improvement when treated with Formula 2. This formula consists of a unique blend of protein and conditioners. The protein immediately acts to help bond nails that are splitting or peeling. Formula 2 helps strengthen the nail resulting in long, strong and healthy nails.

in_style_magazine_best_beauty_buys-92

One of my favorite products ever- and if that isn’t enough… It is one of InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys!

Pick some up at your local Walgreens or CVS! I’ve already talked my Mom out of the artificial habit- YOU should be next!

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?

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.

WIAWbutton

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.
3

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!

2

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.

7

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.

8

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.

11

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!
image

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,

803371_596561360373543_245179675_n

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

804135_597613810268298_108829766_n

big breakfasts that stuff tummys for long road trips,

861513_599101396786206_1353895684_n

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

861975_600145010015178_775147442_n

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

861983_599120420117637_527070094_n

words of wisdom from EmilyLey.com,

862442_595568433806169_842532610_n

intense card games and laughs with close friends,

862875_598732350156444_1347818041_n

& 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!

url

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

 photo

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.

Image

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:

803356_593274930702186_311689367_n

THIS TYPE OF MOMMA

803908_594430767253269_311561895_n

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES & DESTIN TRIPS

861750_591666630863016_1932607636_n

READING TIME & PUPPY SNUGGLES

862254_593309634032049_256497773_n

HOT COFFEE, LEMON POPPYSEED ANYTHING, & BEING PRODUCTIVE

hunger

COOL PINTEREST FINDS

style-blog

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.

Image

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.