Currently | December 2015

Anticipating...the hope and motivation that comes with a new year. I'm excited about 2016. I've got a good feeling about it.
Cooking...I haven't cooked in like a month! It's about to drive me crazy. I really miss it. I'm thinking about whipping up a quiche today though, so there's that. sweet new Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors mug. My mom gave it to me as an early Christmas present. 
Feeling...physically? Sick. I'm pretty sure I've caught the plague. Not really, but I've got a sore throat and some pretty legit sinus congestion. Emotionally? Nostalgic. I'm just not in the Christmas spirit this year and I miss being a kid.
Learning...DIY home projects are not as easy as they appear on Pinterest. Ever.
Reading...An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde.
Wanting...The bathroom to finish cleaning itself. Also to have self-folding laundry.
Watching...So.Much.Good Mythical Morning.

Almost missed November! Life is making it nearly impossible to blog. Or do other things I care about.

Anticipating...Seeing my sister and her husband for Christmas. Also their puppy.
Cooking...Nothing. How depressing. I started a new job and I had to retire my seven on/seven off schedule. I'm learning to create a work/life balance but it's been a struggle thus far. How do normal people make time for things besides work? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Enjoying...My morning cup of coffee.
Learning...I'm capable of way more than I have ever given myself credit. Things I used to be so scared to even think about are becoming second nature to me. It's crazy.

Reading...You're Already Amazing by Holley Girth.
Wanting...A new jacket. It's cold.
Watching...Mostly just Alfred Hitchcock Presents on netflix. I only have 2 episodes left.

What are you into this November?

Recipe Roundup | October 2015

My goal was to try four new recipes and I tried twelve, so I'd say goal = completed. I tried some really fantastic recipes this month! 

Chili : recipe here
Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup : recipe here 
Blueberry Crumble (CLEAN!!) : recipe here
American Goulash (pictured, left) recipe here 
Baked Boneless Pork Chops : recipe here
Skillet Chicken Fajitas (pictured, right) : recipe here
Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Broccoli : recipe here
Braised Red Potatoes : recipe here
Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies (pictured, middle): recipe here
Chocolate Coconut Cream Truffles : recipe here
Chicken and Bacon Pasta : recipe here
Easy French Bread : recipe here

What recipes have you guys been trying in October?

Currently : October

Anticipating...There is some possible change happening in my life. I'm not gonna share it yet because it's not definite, but prayers would be greatly appreciated.
Cooking...I've been trying some new recipes, but I'm really wanting to try some pumpkin themed everything. I got me some pumpkin at the store! Any ideas what to do with it? I'm thinking a dessert.
Enjoying...This little piece of art...
Feeling...Pretty good. I've got myself a cup of coffee and Spotify is going. It's gonna be a good day.
Learning...To be content. This is something I constantly struggle with...learning that I am enough and that I have enough isn't easy!
Listening...Still jamming to Brand New by Ben Rector. Also discovered The Roosevelts this month. Check out these two songs if you want. Paris is my fav Ben Rector song (for changes every week) and I'm loving Everybody Knows by The Roosevelts.

Reading...Eat with Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food by Rachel Marie Stone
Wanting...The weather to cool down just a tad...
Watching...Ahem...I've gotten addicted to iZombie. And also America's Test Kitchen.

What are you into this October?

Goals | October 2015

Alright, so I kinda already feel like I'm failing because it's the 8th of the month and I'm just now sharing my goals...but alas, I'm still gonna go for 'em. So, I'm linking up with my dear friend, Hannah, for this post! 

October Goals
1. Memorize 3 scriptures. I've been kinda getting behind lately. The first one I've chosen for this month is Isaiah 59:1.
2. Continue daily Bible reading. 
3. Continue this 31 day challenge
4. Get back on track with water. Ughhhh, I haven't been drinking any water lately. :(
5. Get rid of any toxic or chemical filled cleaners in the house.
6. Finish purging the bathroom.
7. Continue sticking to my monthly budget.
8. Spend at least 5 minutes a day just unwinding and being conscious of my breathing.
9. Try 4 new recipes.
10. Finish 2 books.

What are your goals for the month? 

September Recipe Roundup

One of the things I want to start on Living is Simple is a recipe collection at the end of each month. This will be the recipes I've tried during the month and a short review of each one and an explanation of any changes I made.

Chicken Tetrazzini : recipe here
This was a was super easy and really tasty. Plus it made enough for leftovers for lunch the next day. The only letdown is that it includes "cream of" soup and I really want to get away from that. I haven't found a good substitute yet. Anybody know of any? By the way, I think the recipe would be better without the cheese on top. I'm going through a weird phase where cheese has been grossing me out. I know...I never thought this day would happen.

Chicken Scampi : recipe here
Okay...the noodle and sauce mixture was fantastic. I ruined the chicken...and I cooked a LOT of it. This was my first attempt at frying chicken, and it all went south when my oil got dirty, and I kept using it. My chicken was burnt, but still pink in the middle...apparently because I was attempting to fry it too fast. I'd recommend pounding the chicken beforehand. If I make this again I may do shrimp.

Classic Lasagna : recipe here
This lasagna was good! In fact, both of my parents agreed it was the best they had ever tried. I'll definitely make this again. Plus it made enough to freeze for another meal...there are some advantages of feeding only 3 people.

Loaded Baked Potato & Chicken Casserole : recipe here
My opinion of this casserole is that you can't go wrong with potato and bacon, right? I thought it was pretty good, but to me, the chicken felt like a random afterthought. It just really didn't add anything to it. But overall, the recipe was good. Not sure if I'd make it again.

Bowties and Broccoli : recipe here
So obviously, we didn't have any bowtie I used shells. This recipe is SO simple and I actually really liked it. I've made it twice this month already. I thought it was going to be bland, but I think the crushed red pepper helps add a little spice to it. 

Apparently, September was pasta month. Wow! I didn't realize how many meals I prepared actually included pasta. Haha.

Did you try any new recipes this month? Share!

No Shame.

I like some pretty embarrassing things and I used to be ashamed of them but now I realize they are the things that make me "ME". So I am now embracing the nerdiness that is me and I'm going to share a few embarrassing things I like or that I do. By the way, who decides this is embarrassing?! Ugh, society is lame.

And here we go.

Soundtrack music.

One of my favorite Pandora stations is the Pride & Prejudice Film Score station. Ain't gonna lie, I get super pumped when it plays songs from The Chronicles of Narnia movies. It is like creativity fuel for me. If you don't have it on your's, you best be adding it to your shuffle right now. The song there, Dawn, is so beautiful. I want it played at my wedding (lolz). Do yourself a favor and listen to it.

Disney music.
Okay, well, apparently most of my embarrassing things are music related. Interesting. I love some Disney movie music. I'm not talking about like Hannah Montana, I'm talking classic Disney. Like The Bare Necessities or You Can Fly! I love so many Disney ballads, it's hard to pick a favorite. What's your's? I know I'm not the only one secretly listening to them.

The moment of absolute perfection when it's a beautiful film score but also Disney.
Cheesy Christian romance fiction.
Okay, okay. Many women like these but I doubt many my age. I really enjoy books by Deanne Gist and Janette Oke...ahem...Plus I just discovered When Calls the Heart on Netflix and I'm already addicted. Although it's really different from the book.

History channel and historical documentaries.
I love me some history and learning about it. I just finished The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents and I highly recommend it. I learned some really interesting facts that I'm sure will be useful in everyday conversations. Instead of "How about that weather?" I'll say "How about that Teddy Roosevelt being shot but instead of being rushed to the hospital, he delivered his 90 minute speech?" Sure to be an ice breaker.

Running to epic soundtrack music.
Namely the Walking Dead or Doctor Who. Yep. TWD music is eerie and creepy, so it makes you run because you're scared. And try not running when you hear "I'm the Doctor". It's nearly impossible. Check it out if you haven't heard it...ah. I love it so.

It's only embarrassing if your headphones come unplugged and someone else hears it. This happened to me during a 5k. I got a little stare but who cares? Haha.

What embarrassing things do you like or do? Please share so I know I'm not alone. :)

Living Simply | Fasting from Social Media

Social media can be a great thing. It's a way to keep in contact with others, to know what's going on in their lives and to share updates in our own. But it can also be a bad thing. Social media acts as a tool for comparison and comparison is a thief of joy. Social media can also remind you of the constant bad things going on the world and can be really depressing. Taking time to "detox" from social media can offer some great benefits.

Signs you spend too much time on social media:

  • You feel anxious when you're away from your phone or computer
  • You only do things so you can share about them (this is a real thing)
  • You feel stressed out by a lack of response to something you post
  • You fail to get things done because you spend so much time scrolling
Things you can do instead of social media:

  • Spend time with God in His word or in His creation, or both
  • Get to know yourself better and discover new hobbies
  • Go for a walk or just be outside
  • Rest
  • Read
  • Write
  • Be creative: paint, draw, take photos
  • Spend time with other people, away from the internet!
How to detox from social media:

  • Use the "do not disturb" feature on your cell phone
  • Turn off all push notifications on your cell phone
  • Sign out of your accounts on your phone, computers, tablets, etc.
  • Charge your phone outside of your bedroom and use an actual alarm clock in place of your phone
  • If you find certain apps excessively addicting, just delete them. Such as games, facebook, instagram, or snapchat (gasp)
If you return to social media:
Be intentional with your posts
Set a limit to how long you will spend online
Let go of the apps and/or accounts you don't miss during the detox

I suggest you start slowly. Commit to one day of social media fasting. Then move onto a week. You will find that you rely on it less and less over time.

And now, enjoy all your free time. 

The Best Day of My Life | Blogtember Challenge

When I saw today's prompt, I had a hard time choosing a day to write about. I've had many great days, but which would be the best? Some of my favorite days have been at the beach, at a concert, traveling, or even just the simple days that are made up of coffee, books, and music.

But I have to say that the place I am the happiest is Disney World, so my trips there probably make up the best days of my life. I love how you can be a kid again, without judgement. I feel like I can do anything, be anyone, and go anywhere when I'm at Disney and I LOVE it.

 What's been your best day?

Obsession | Blogtember Challenge

Today's prompt is to write about a recent obsession. My current obsession is one that is fun and actually beneficial! Best of all, it's free.


Highbrow is a free e-mail course on many different subjects. You take one course at a time, each are 10-day programs and they send you about 5 minutes worth of information daily for those 10 days. It's such a quick and easy way to expand your knowledge. I was browsing through all the categories and different courses and there are tons of them I want to do. For example, the topics minimalism, super foods, influential women in history, and a brief history of medicine. These are just a few of the many they offer! I highly recommend checking their website out at

By the way, Highbrow isn't paying me to write about it or anything. I'm just sharing it with you guys because I enjoy it. I've been doing Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover so I'm all about discovering things that are helpful and FREE.

What's your current obsession?

The Real Me vs. Online Me | Blogtember Challenge

Today's Blogtember prompt: Discussing the difference between who I am online and who I am in "real life".

Although my tumblr is full of only positive posts and happy things, my life is obviously not only comprised of happy moments. I think that's true of most people. I don't choose to, as they say, air out my dirty laundry online. I really only share funny things, happy things, or fun adventures on my Facebook.

I think my blog is definitely a more honest look at my life than the other forms of social media. I may blog about loneliness or certain struggles that I'm going through but I very rarely, if ever, post about those struggles on anything else. I will complain about them in person but I've reached a point in life where I am pretty content with things and my complaining has really decreased, for which I'm sure many people are thankful.

I'm, as I've mentioned countless times, an introvert. Online me can read blogs and communicate with my internet friends all day. Real me doesn't want to communicate with people all day. Social settings exhaust me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy them. But a lot of times, I just want to drink my coffee at home with music and my laptop. I have no problem talking to people online and I think that's because you have time. You can think up a proper response. The other person isn't just staring at you, waiting for the next thing you have to say. I find that kinda scary at times.

I am definitely more free to discuss my faith, my interests, and my likes on the internet than in real life. It's funny because I have many great friends that I've met through blogging and we share so many interests. Most of my "real friends" and I have nothing in common. It's really stinking hard to meet people with common interests here in Alabama! As I mentioned in my previous post, none of my friends share my musical taste...well, they don't share many of my other tastes either. I do have one good close friend that I am beyond thankful to have. She even appreciates classic movies and it's really, really hard to find that! But my other friends feel more like acquaintances to me.

Well. This post made me rather depressed. Haha.

What about you? Do you feel like your online persona matches the real you?

Solo Trip to Nashville

So I'm not sticking to the Blogtember Challenge prompt for today, but my goal for September is just to blog every day this month, so I will definitely continue using some of the prompts but I also want to give you guys some updates on my life.

In August I went on my first ever trip by myself. I felt like quite the adult. I had purchased myself a VIP ticket to Needtobreathe's Tour de Compadres show at the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee. Now you may be wondering why I chose to go alone. There is a simple explanation: none of my friends really care for my music taste. I always feel guilty and constantly have to check and ensure they are having fun when they go to shows with me. Meh, I just wanted to have the ultimate carefree experience.

And I did. It was amazing. The show was comprised of Colony House, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe (my favorite band ever).

I wasn't really sure what to expect with the VIP thing. So, I waited in line for what felt like hours. They finally call us back and explained how this experience would work: All the bands would come out, they would sing a special song together, and then we would form a single file line, and one by one get our photos with all the bands. No selfies allowed and no one-on-one interaction with the bands. I was really disappointed with that because I've been waiting for 4 years and 5 concerts to meet Needtobreathe, but anyway. They whole thing was over in what felt like 3 minutes. I did get to sit between Jon Foreman (Switchfoot's lead singer) and Bear Rinehart (Needtobreathe's lead singer) which was pretty amazing. I literally only spoke to Bear. I was so disappointed because I'm a huge fan of all the bands playing and I really would have loved to have spoken to Drew Holcomb or Jon Foreman or Seth Bolt...or either Chapman from Colony House. Sigh. But Bear was really friendly. And as I walked away Jon Foreman said thanks and hoped I enjoyed the show. Tear.

 So there ^^ is the most expensive photo I own. Haha.

I met some pretty great people to talk to while waiting. There was a guy, who also came alone, that I talked to a lot. They were streaming the show live online, so the crew actually came up to me and Patrick (the guy alone) and interviewed us together so they could have some feedback from the fans. The interview was painfully awkward so needless to say, it wasn't aired. 

That aside, the show was incredible. There was this amazing sense of freedom being there by myself. I didn't have to care about embarrassing my friends by acting a fool, so I did just that. I was in an area with a lot of fogies who sat through Drew Holcomb. He's one of my favorites so I ain't about to sit through his show. I stood and I was literally the ONLY one standing in the entire area between the pit and the lawn seating. Pretty sure Drew and I made eye contact. Haha. I loved everything about the concert.

I even happened to run into a couple of celebs along the way. Steven Curtis Chapman was there supporting his sons' performance and Ben Rector was there supporting his compadres, as he was on the first leg of the tour. 

I've been a longtime fan of SCC and he was SO genuine and kind. In fact, he helped me steady the phone for our selfie, as you can see in the Ben photo...I was so shaky. I hate that it turned out so blurry but I am seeing him in November so here's hoping for a redo.

At the end of the show, all bands came out and performed Needtobreathe's Brother. I was excited to see Ben Rector was accompanying them on stage as well, and if you look you can see him in the light pink shirt and shorts in the picture below. If you like to creep, like I do. 

Day one of my trip was AMAZING. I explored a little Nashville and then had a fabulous time at the show. 

Day two was a little less incredible. 

As I hit the interstate to head home, I make it about 2 exits from my hotel and then notice the car in front of me swerving. Then I see what looks like a big metal pipe right in my lane. Guess what? I'm going 70mph and there are cars on either side of me. So, what do I do? Hit the pipe. Immediately my car starts shaking and my little caution light appears beside my odometer. Yup, I got a flat tire.

I had to call a tow truck and be towed because I'm a typical, helpless girl who doesn't know how to change a flat. That's an exasperated selfie, waiting on the tow truck. They took me to Firestone at Cool Springs and I got my tire changed and they made sure there was no other damage to the car. They were so nice there, so I have to give them a shout out. 

Anyways, I'm beyond thankful that the flat happened on day two and not day one! So that's a nice little recap of my trip. Sorry it was so wordy and kudos if you made it this far in the post.

Have you ever done a trip by yourself or is that something you'd like to do?

Books that Have Impacted Me | Blogtember Challenge

I love to read. Reading can take you anywhere, to any time, and you can be anyone. There's something so comforting about being in the presence of many books. I love it. Here are 5 books that have impacted me in some way:

5. Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman
This book really challenged me to become a follower of Christ, rather than just a fan. It really inspired my walk with Jesus to be deeper and more real than what it was before. 

4. Facing your Giants by Max Lucado
This was the first of Lucado's books that I read. I loved how he connected the problems we face to the the story of David and Goliath. It was a very interesting study on the story of David. After reading this, I was immediately a fan of Max Lucado and have been one ever since.

3. Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado
Another of Lucado's books makes the list. This book shares more insight on how we as Christians should reflect Christ in all that we do. The book really changes your perspective and helps us to see how we should live. No one can be perfect like Jesus but this book is a great guide on how to imitate His actions.

2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I read Harry Potter when I was in college, so obviously, I was a bit behind most people. But I credit this series with my love for reading. Before it, I hadn't read anything aside from assigned readings for school work. This series completely changed my ideas about reading. I became Sirius-ly (I'm sorry, I had to) attached to the characters, the locations, and the story itself. Not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed when it was over. I'm glad that this franchise has sooo many fans and that we keep the stories alive. 

1. Just Don't Fall by Josh Sundquist
I. love. this. book.
It's the story of Josh Sundquist, famous motivational speaker and youtube star, and his battle with childhood cancer. I'm not going to give any spoilers, but this book will have you laughing at times and crying at others. It's a must read. There are times the book is a little too honest but it's one of my absolute favorite books for sure. I highly recommend it!!

Which books have impacted your life?

My Inspiration | Blogtember

all images were found on tumblr. 

I am finally at a place in my life where I am happy and content with where I am. It's taken me 24 years to realize things don't always go as expected but sometimes, that's okay! My tumblr feed is full of inspiring quotes and images, but I really love the one of the hot air balloon above.

"Blue skies are calling, so get yourself outside." I love it. Being outside in nature is one of my biggest inspirations. There's just something about being alone with the Lord in the world He created that brings a closeness to Him that is unparalleled by anything else.

I'm inspired by floral prints. And want to hang a jazillion of them in my room.

Who doesn't need to be reminded to spread a little happiness now and then? 

Does anyone else gain inspiration from coffee or is it just me?

What inspires you?

Currently: September | Blogtember Challenge

Anticipating...Being debt free. I've got a little while to go, but it's going to be worth it! If I keep this snowball method and credit card free stuff going, I will be out of this mess by next summer. I can do it!
Cooking...I've tried 2 new recipes this month so far. Lasagna and chicken scampi. I'd never attempted to fry chicken before but wow. It must be an art. Let's just say the scampi was almost vegetarian.
Enjoying...Spotify. And that is finally fall! Fall is my favorite season (as I mentioned before) and I just love everything about it. (Although the 90 degree days are starting to get on my nerves just a tad. And the humidity...darn this humidity...)
Feeling...Worn out. I don't feel like I've rested at all this week. I'm in a wedding today so there's been a lot going on for that and then my mom is in the hospital now. There's just been some stress. say "no". I'm always afraid of hurting someone's feelings, but sometimes you have to worry about your own feelings.
Listening...Brand New by Ben Rector and thanks to spotify I just discovered Green River Ordinance and am loving them so far!
Image result for ben rector brand newImage result for green river ordinance chasing down the wind
Reading...Life is Beautiful by Sarah M. Johnson and A Bride in the Bargain by Deanne Gist.
Image result for life is beautiful sarah m johnsonImage result for bride in the bargain
Wanting...I've already indulged myself in one PSL this fall and it was well worth the wait. I want to learn a good recipe for making them at home because $5 for a cup of coffee is definitely not something I'm willing to fork out every day.
Watching...Firefly and The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents. Oh yes...and Cheers season 8. Haha.

What are you guys loving this month?