Friday, November 30, 2012

Amen for Friday

Well hello there! Can I get an Amen for it being Friday?


I'm currently sitting waiting for my oil to be changed, and can I just say that I love spending $50+ on an oil change! #saidnooneever

After this I'm heading up to Nor Cal to celebrate a wee little one's 1st birthday! Crazy that friends of mine already have babes of their own, but hey, makes for some rockin bday parties. Am I right?

Anywho, just stopping in to say have yourself a wonderful Friday! And a great weekend too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm Sick :(

I rarely get sick. Rarely, people.

Confession: Except on the rare occasion where I drink too much wine.

But it's happened. The cold has gotten to me, and it's been here since Saturday. Bleh.

Walked into work on Monday morning only to use the very last kleenex at my desk. Talk about perfect timing, right?

Being the "rarely get sick" type of person, I don't have nearly enough "what to do when you're sick" knowledge. So where did I go? My dear friend Google. Here's what I've got so far:

More Kleenex. Although I'll admit, didn't really need Google to tell me that one. It only took 2 days of paper towel using for me to realize I could probably use a break from the sand paper feeling. Kleenex for the win!

Been drinking tea. Lots of it. The herbal kind to be exact.

Been steering clear of dairy. Apparently it's not good when you have a cold? You're welcome, cows.

Warm soup has been theee best. Definitely considering ditching my lunch for some of this delicious magic healing substance. Except I have leftovers of this for lunch, and it's pretty bomb I must say. So we'll see about that.

And now I come to you guys. Second to Google, you're probably my go-to for advice these days.

What are your remedies for a cold? Got any tricks up your sleeve? I'd love to try em'!

(Also, if you want to join in on the Blogger Gift Exchange, there's still time! Just leave me a comment with your e-mail address, and I'll be contacting everyone tonight!)

Happy Humpday, loves!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So I have an idea...

Back before summer started (ahem, where has the time gone??) the wonderful Elizabeth from E Tells Tales came up with the idea to assign pen pals. I was assigned Elissa from It's Only Life, and ironically the two of us started commenting on each other's blogs before we even realized we were pen pals.

E knows her stuff, because Elissa and I have really become friends over the past few months. Between e-mailing and skype dates, I know it's only a matter of time before we plan a trip to meet IRL :) Not to mention we each sent each other a package, and isn't snail mail the best?

When I saw this at my door last week, I was so excited to get some blogger love {the best kind, right?}.

So I got an idea. If getting this package made my day, I want to spread the love and send some Blogger Holiday packages of my own!

And I thought maybe others would want to get in on this, and we could get a Blogger Gift Exchange organized if we have enough interest.

So you tell me, what are your thoughts? Would you want to get in on this?

Monday, November 26, 2012

20 something single Jesus-loving work in progress

So I'm writing this post for the lovely Becky's Women Connect link up, and I'm supposed to have a distinguishing title. And maybe by the end of this post, I'll have thought of something (I did), but right now I'm really struggling. 

How to distinguish myself? 

Well, I'm single. {Insert gasp here}

Is it just me, or is that extremely unusual here in blogland?

Seeing as it was one of the examples listed, it would make sense to put that in my title. But I'm not sure I want to be identified with that. I feel like when you say your single, it goes one of two ways. You're either searching for the one and hoping to change that relationship status on facebook any day now, or you're rocking the whole "happily single! who needs a man?" thing. 

And the truth is, I wouldn't say I fall into either of those categories. I do want to meet the right person.  I love being somebody's girlfriend, and I absolutely can't wait to be somebody's wife. 

But I'm okay with being single right now. I've had my fair share of relationships so far, and for now, it's nice to just be me. It's nice to figure out who that is exactly, and to focus on what makes me happy. What I enjoy in this life.

I'm a firm believer in making the most out of the one life we're given. So I'm happy to take advantage of these single early 20s years. 

Alright, now what else?

I'm a California girl, born and raised. But don't let that fool you, Boston's got a place in my heart too. 

Dad's from Boston, and let's just say he raised 3 Boston sports fans.

Blogging came into my life at a perfect time. As a freshly graduated, newly employed 22 year old, I was happy to pick up a new hobby. 

Little did I know that not only was I picking up blogging, but readingcookingtravelling and more. Having this space to document even the littlest of moments gave me more appreciation for them. I had no idea how much I would be gaining by starting this little blog here. 

And I had no idea how many amazing people I would meet.  

My motto is you can never have too many friends, and I love that blogging allows us to meet people we might never otherwise meet. 

So what else?

I'm 23.

BFFs with Jesus

A financial analyst (you can feel free to shorten it to nerd).

And honestly? Just loving life post college. 

Best way to sum it up would probably be to say I'm a 20 something single Jesus-loving work in progress.

Messing up and falling short almost every day, but growing a lot too. 

So who are you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"But everyone knows that"

So the other day I was talking to a friend. I asked him to describe his first impressions of me. The vibe I give off to people when they've only known me for a few months.

I was curious, you know?

He said a lot of things. But the one that I can't get out of my mind is when he said:

"You're very religious, but everyone knows that."

I just smiled after he said that, and I'm pretty sure I stopped listening to the rest.

Let me back up here.

I was raised believing in a God. My mom was raised Jewish, and my dad Catholic, so we kids were raised back and forth between temple and church. We weren't baptized, and we didn't have bar or bat mitzvahs. We celebrated both Jewish and Christian holidays, gave thanks to God and beyond that our parents didn't pressure us to identify with any particular religion.

It wasn't until high school when I was invited on a church retreat that I found the Lord. I met Jesus, and invited Him into my life for real. He became my personal Savior during that trip.

But my relationship with Jesus was just that, a personal relationship. Each year moving forward was different, some years I was extremely invested in my faith and others it wasn't as much of a priority. I had this fear of offending others that often kept me from discussing my love for Christ.

I can now see that that fear is a fear of rejection. A fear of judgement from others.

I really can't say what happened when I first stepped foot at Reality church on January 1st of this year, but something just clicked. I realized that the way I had been living my life was not doing any good for anyone. I was not letting Christ have the rightful place as center of my life, and I was not sharing with others what has made such a huge impact on my life.

It wasn't any of my own doing, and it didn't have anything to do with the particular sermon preached that day. It was God saying enough is enough. It was Him loving me so much that He reached His hand down into my little heart and mind and rearranged some things.

And I didn't go running into the streets preaching the Gospel. I didn't shout from the roof tops "Jesus is the only way!" I simply realized that I needed to find a way to share. I needed to tell God that I am ready to become a witness, and I am ready to open myself up to learning how to do that.

I'm certain it's different for everyone, probably even changes through out the course of our lives. But God just showed me over the last 11 months that if I open myself up to talking about Him and what He is teaching me in my life, He will move others to listen. It's only my job to be willing to share, and He will do the rest.

So to hear that people perceive me as "very religious" just made my little heart overflow with thankfulness. I am so incredibly thankful for the work Christ has done in my life over the past year.

Praise You Lord, for You are good.

Happy early Thanksgiving, my friends!

Monday, November 19, 2012

An Epic Game of Capture the Flag

This weekend included something truly epic

A game of Capture the Flag. You probably already figured that out from the title, right? 

But not just an ordinary game of Capture the Flag... a game of Capture the Flag on a Palm Tree farm.

Yeah, an 11 year old's dream come true, right? 

We know. We lived it. 

I might have not properly dressed in a dress and tights, but don't you worry. That didn't hold me back. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering... Red team totally won. 

Can't you just see the look of defeat in the background? 

So. much. Fun. (yes, with a capital F)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All Things Possible

Well, hello there!

Remember when I said I was going to be better about blogging? Yeahh, I guess I lied.

My bad.

I'm just popping in for a quick hello, because I'm currently at work. You know, working.

Also my bad.

But I wanted to share a song that I will probably be listening to on repeat for the rest of the day. One of those songs where the lyrics just capture the goodness of the Lord so well. And inspire me to cling to Him through all phases in life.

In the past 24 hours, some pretty intense prayer requests have come my way. When this happens, it can sometimes be a reminder of all of the difficult things that we encounter in this world. But God has been helping me to look at this in a different light.

I am so excited to be praying for these people. So excited to be a part of God's plan for their lives, and my own. And I am so thankful that He has brought these issues to my attention so that I can watch His beautiful, magnificent hand take care of everything.

My God is strong and mighty,
My God is faithful.
My hope is in the Lord,
for He is able.

Amen, amen, amen.

Have yourself a very blessed Thursday!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Rundown

According to Instagram:

One: Celebrated the lovely roommate's birthday with some delicious sushi at one of our favorite sushi restaurants. Definitely a go-to birthday celebration spot for us.

Two: Woke up bright and early (waking up at 5AM should not be allowed on weekends) to volunteer at the SB marathon! If I couldn't run the half, I definitely still wanted to participate somehow.

Was not upset that I got to spend the morning with the wonderful Tabitha and this adorable thing:

Why, yes, that is a puppy dressed as a dragon. He's up for adoption, too. My roommates have no idea how lucky they are that our household didn't grow by four more legs.

Three: Went on a mini road trip on Saturday night to go line dancing at a hot spot down in Thousand Oaks. I'd heard about it tons, but had never actually been. So glad I went! Now I've got two more dances to add to my small collection. It's growing!

Four: Sunday was just gorgeous here in Santa Barbara. Our church is right by the beach (awful, I know) and the view always leaves me feeling so thankful to be living in this beautiful place.

This morning was not quite so gorgeous. But hey, I'll take the borderline freezing temperatures as an opportunity to layer up!

Dress: Cotton On, Boots/Socks/Tights: Marshalls, Scarf: American Apparel, Jacket: Santa Clause

How was your weekend?

(Instagram: @sweethomesb)

Friday, November 9, 2012

HAPPY Friday

It's been a while since I did one of these, but I've got a lot to be happy about so bringing it back. 

HAPPY Friday guys! :) Let's see... 

**Getting to play with this adorable pup made me happy.**

**Having a delicious potluck with my amazing Community Group made me happy (& full!).**

**Being able to start running again this week made me happy. 5K with no pain!**

**Finally signing up for Pinterest this week made me happy. Already have tons of new craft and recipe ideas! Can't wait to put them to use!**

**Seeing the start of fall made me happy.**

**Spending some much needed time with the Lord this week made me happy. He is so, so good.**

**Getting to celebrate this girl's birthday today makes me happy. She is just the sweetest roommate I could ask for, so thankful for her!**

I hope you have yourself a very, very HAPPY Friday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Verse for Thought

I want to start a new segment on the blog called Verse for Thought. I want to do this for a few reasons. One is that I would love to hear what verses are speaking to you in your life. 

I'll be honest with you, I have not always been devoted to my faith. I'm sure I'll share my testimony at some point on the blog, but for now I'll just say that 2012 has been a truly pivotal year for me. 

I've experienced the life changing love of Jesus in a way that I had never experienced it before. I've fallen in love with this book called the Bible, and I wouldn't be accurately depicting my life on this little lifestyle blog here if I didn't include what I'm learning. 

I feel a difference when I go even just a day without reading the Word. It truly transforms my days, I need it. So to help hold me accountable, and to help me share the verses that speak to me in my life, I'm starting Verse for Thought. I would just love it if you chimed in with some ways God is impacting your life, too. 

Today's verse is one that I read a few weeks ago, and I've been meaning to do a post on it ever since. It truly spoke to me, and I can't seem to get it out of my mind. 

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 
and by Him God reconciled everything to himself. 
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of His blood on the cross. 
This includes you who were once so far away from God. 
You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions,
yet now He has brought you back as His friends. 
He has done this through His death on the cross in His human body.
As a result, He has brought you into the very presence of God, and 
you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a single fault.
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. 
Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. 
Colossians 1:19-23

When I read this, it was seriously a woah hold up moment. 

God sees me as holy. 

He sees me as blameless. 

Without a single fault. 

And my one job is to believe it. And to stand firmly in it. Own it. 

How easily I forget that. Forget that Christ died so that I could reap these benefits. So that my sin is no longer counted against me, and I am free to be seen as pure again. 

How easily I forget to stand grounded in that truth. 

So today, I want to tell you that you are holy. 

You are blameless. 

Without a single fault. 

When is the last time someone told you that you were flawless? Because in God's eyes, 

you are

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I know I'm about 15 years behind everyone...

But I finally joined Pinterest.

I know, I know, where have I been?

I don't really know, but I'm here now and ready to hop on this train. If it's anything like Instagram, I'll be hooked in no time. 

Made my first board (Vegetarian Recipes), made my first pin, and I'm officially in the Pinterest world. 

So tell me, what are your favorite things to pin? What boards do you have? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Who knew?

Santa Barbara really does have seasons!

Hello, fall!

Stick around will ya? I'm kind of diggin' the boots and scarf look. But yesterday I deeefinitely had to ditch the scarf when you creeped up to 80+ degrees on me at around noon.

Oh well, I'll take a few hours of scarf-wearing weather each day.

Happy Tuesday :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Recap

I just love Holidays. Especially holidays where you get to dress up and eat candy. I especially love celebrating them with my roommates. Considering we had just moved in and thrown our Halloween Housewarming party last year, it was only appropriate to come back for round 2. 

We had plenty of decorations, and fun festive treats. Like witches hat cookies, Reese's broomsticks, apple teeth and breadstick fingers. 

Now who's ready for Thanksgiving? Another holiday that includes good food, my fav.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy November!

Why hello there!

Did you have a good Halloween? I hope so!

Sad news, the firefighter costume didn't get worn last night...

At least not by me! I'd say that counts, 6 years baby. Now that's what I call a good investment!

Today, I'm kicking off NaBloPoMo (aka National Blog Posting Month). I seriously slacked in October, so I'm ready to give this a shot to rev up my blogging engines again. I've got pleeenty of posts that I've been meaning to do, so it should be good to finally sit down and write these babies.

Last night, we were hosting our 2nd annual Halloween Party, so a re-cap of that is coming soon I'm sure. For today, all I want to leave you with is a verse that's spoke to me recently. It's written on my cubicle, to help me stay grounded in how I want to live my life.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us,
a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

~Ephesians 5: 1-2~

I hope you have a wonderful first day of November. Go love on someone today.