October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

First off, let me just be open and tell you that Halloween is not my favorite Holiday to celebrate. It's not that I HATE Halloween, I just don't see a point in spending a lot of money on costumes or being scared for that matter. But one thing I do enjoy and get a good laugh out of are pet costumes! I wish that Miller didn't mind being dressed up, so for now I get to enjoy looking at photos of other people's precious pets :)

[All photos were taken from Pinterest]





October 30, 2013

Quite Time + Bible Study

The above photo is cultivating. When I look at it, I'm instantly get jealous. It's not because the woman in the photo is at a coffee shop (a place I always enjoy because of the fresh coffee smells that linger throughout the room and that sweet treats that always hit the spot). I envy the lady in the photo because she looks so at PEACE. She looks appears calm...enjoying the quietness around her.

Quite Time. I need more of it. It's that simple. I haven't been making it a priority in my life recently and I can tell a difference. I am filled with more anxiety, and finding myself worrying more and more each day. I need to spend more one-on-one time with God. I need to grow and linger in his presence more each day. This is my goal. This is my desire...to become a  better person through my relationship with him.

But how do you make  your time with God valuable? How do you use each minute you have to it's fullest? How do you have quite time? Well these are just some of the questions I used to ask. I can know say I have a pretty solid foundation that has worked for me and I hope that it is helpful to you. :)

1. Purposely set aside time. I try to make an appointment with God in the mornings by reading a devotional or two when I get into work, but if that doesn't work for you, find a time that does...even if it's not every day! Some days the mornings don't work for me, so I use the first few moments when I get into bed at night to spend with God. The time you set aside does not have to be long either! There are days when I only spend five minutes with God, and others when I spend an hour or two with him...but every minute is a good one.

2. Make preparation for your Quite time and Bible study. Find a place that you enjoy being--whether that be a coffee shop or a room in your house where you can be alone. Sometimes I use my car as my "meeting place". It can literally be anywhere that your little heart desires, just as long as you make sure you are not going to be distracted by the things going on around you. Sometimes preparing my quite time to take place at home is not the best decision for me because I am constantly distracted by what's on TV or by my Miller wanting to play. So I prepare for my time AHEAD of time.

3. Have all your materials available and on hand. You'll want your Bible, of course, but also get a good Bible dictionary, journal, devotional, pen/highlighter and paper. Get whatever materials you think you will need. It doesn't have to be everything I listed! Instead of a devotional, I use a notebook that I use for "prayers and praises". Just have what you need so that you can take note of things you come across during your quite time.

4. Prepare your heart. Talk to God about things you may need to confess, and enter your quite time  relaxed and at peace; without anything that may block you from hearing God during your Bible study.

5. Take the time to study the Word. You can't become the person God wants you to be if you don't take the time to get to know him first! The good thing is, there is no time frame or limit to how much time you study the Word. It's all up to YOU. Things are pretty much in your hands. You make the calls. But it's like any friendship, you have to devote time into it for it to grow and be where you want it to be. It's the same with God and reading the Word. You have to MAKE time to study so that you learn and are challenged and pushed to the next level. It's hard, and it's not always fun, but the outcome is SO worth it.
I hope that overtime you see the power of quite time and Bible study. I hope that you are pushed to the end of your ropes, and grow stronger in your faith. I would love for you to pray that I continue to make more time for quite time...and to be a continual influence on others.

October 29, 2013

Liebster Award

I would like to say THANK YOU Becky over at A Girl and Her Sparkles for nominating me for the Liebster award! This award is to recognize new blogs that currently have less than 200 followers. And that is the truth. I am a new blogger and I am still "getting my feet wet". But I am always so honored to be nominated for awards and for getting to meet new blog friends through participating in awards nominated for along with link-ups.

Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions given by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers and give them questions to answer.

Becky's questions for me:

1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging as a way to meet other gals when I first moved to Charlotte and as a way for me to "document" my daily adventures...something I would love to look back on over the years!

2. What is your next blogging goal?
My next blogging goal would be to do more OOTH and fashion posts...once I get my new DSLR camera of course ;)

3. Where is your favorite place to shop?
I love to shop at Target and Old Navy for sweaters and basic tee's. For shoes, I'm always able to find something at DSW. For dresses, skirts and more formal attire, I love Shopbop, Nordstrom Rack, and Lulu's (online).

4. What is your favorite piece of clothing?
I could not live without my  7 for All Mankind 'The Slim Cigarette' Stretch Jeans. The literally are most comfortable jeans I have ever worn and come in the perfect color.

5. What holiday gets you most excited?
I will always be a fan of Thanksgiving and New Years. I love celebrating life and family and reflecting on all the things I am thankful for and have to look forward to in the future.

6. What book could you read over and over again?
This question was an easy one for me. Hands down I can read Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson over and over again.

7. What is the blog that you read the most and why?
As bad as this might sound, I don't have just ONE blog that I read the most...there are about 5-10 that I check out each and every day! Read back on recent post here on some of my everyday reads and favorites.

8. What are your hobbies?
I LOVE traveling and exploring new places with Will, spending time with friends and family, curling up on the couch with my pup, photography, crafting and blogging!

9. What are three random facts about yourself?
I am TERRIFIED of spiders; fact and real. I love the smell of coffee so much that sometimes I will brew a cup of coffee JUST to have the smell lingering around the room. I already have baby names picked out for when Will and I have kids (or adopt).

10. What is your worst Pinterest fail?
My Pinterest fail would be the fact that I pin more things then actually attempting at creating the things I pin to my boards...

11. What is one of your daily rituals?
Each and everyday I have to have a made bed before going to work and I can't start my work day before reading a devotional of some sort.

I nominate the following for the Liebster award:

Alyssa over at The Lesson Plan Diva 
Bailey Jean over at Anchored in Love 
Victoria over at Happily Ever Strader 
Laura Virginia over at Meet Virginia
Chelsea over at The Kebs
Victoria over at Anchored by Faith
Emily over at Eloquently Emily
Elise over at Cheers Y'all
Morgan over at New Found Love
Ashley over at A&O on the go
Kelsey over at Southern in Love

My questions:

1. What is your favorite childhood book?

2. How would you describe your style?

3. What is your favorite season (Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall)?

4. What is the one piece of jewelry you cannot live without?

5. What is your favorite color?

6. What is something you have never done but want to do?

7. What is something that people misinterpret about you? 

8. What kind of blogs do you enjoy reading?

9. Do you have any favorite hair or makeup products?

10. What is your workout routine (if you have one)?

11. Do you have any blogging advice for those who are having a hard time getting started?

If you have more than 200 followers and I tagged you, go ahead and participate! I tried my best to find the littler blogs that I follow!

October 28, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Happy Monday, Sweethearts! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I packed my bags and headed to Columbia, SC where I spent my weekend exploring and catching up with one of my best friends, Emily! We have known each other for going on 10 years and she has seriously been there for me through thick and thin. I told Emily I wanted to "be kept busy" so she didn't let me down for one second this whole weekend!
The first thing on our itinerary was going to the Riverbanks Zoo which was SO MUCH FUN! Y'all would have thought I was about five years old...and Emily was such a sport because I probably stopped and gawked at every little thing we walked by! I haven't been to a real zoo in years and had the best time feeding the giraffes, watching the animals nap lazily and of course watching the silly penguins play and swim around!

After leaving the zoo, we went shopping. Who doesn't love an afternoon of strolling the streets, window shopping and enjoying the beautiful weather? I love a good consignment store, so Emily made sure to take me to about three during my time visiting!
After walking around and doing some light shopping, we were both hungry and stopped by The Gourmet Shop at Five Points for a quick bite to eat. If you are ever in Columbia, you have to check this place out. They have the cutest cafe (and best food) along with a shop full of cookware and other kitchen goodies that you would just lust over if you are one who likes to cook or host a party!
After an afternoon full of activities, we decided to head back to Emily's apartment for a much needed nap and a few hours of just relaxing before heading back out for dinner and football. And let me just say, USC fans do not play around; they are some of the most intense football fans that I have ever met! I loved being among all of the Gamecock fans, supporting and cheering on their team as they won the game against Missouri (in double OT)!
This was a much needed weekend in so many ways. Sometimes you just need to take a road trip and get away from your every day surroundings. Sometimes you need to have a girls weekend. Sometimes you just need to be a big kid and go to a zoo or step outside of your comfort zone and sometimes you just need to be with  your best friend and be thankful for all that God has blessed you with... :)
Sami's Shenanigans

October 25, 2013

5 on Friday & MORE!

Happy Friday, y'all! I hope this week has been smooth sailing and that you are looking forward to the weekend! I was just thinking this morning about how fast October has gone by and how we only have TWO months left of 2013. Is it just me or has this year (along with every other year) gone by extremely fast? To me, this makes me feel like I need to start doing a better job at living in the moment instead of trying to plan so much for the future. I feel that if I start doing a better job at that, I won't feel that "time is slipping out of my hands" as much. I'll keep you all updated on how this goes :)

One thing I do look forward to every week are all the fun Friday link-ups that I participate in! So without further ado...enjoy my 5 on Friday (and MORE) and have a great rest of the day sweet friends and I can't wait to catch back up with you guys on Monday.

ONE
I would like to say THANK YOU Becky over at A Girl and Her Sparkles for nominating me for the Liebster award! I am going to save this award to talk about next week so I can let it have it's own blog post.

TWO
CharlotteONE. If you live in the Charlotte area, are in your 20's-30's and looking to get connected, make a difference or find your purpose, then you should check out CharlotteONE.
Before this past Tuesday when my LifeGroup went to CharlotteONE, I had never heard of it. I had no idea what to expect but was excited to experience something "new". Basically, it is a city wide worship gathering that is a collaboration of around 50 local churches that meet on Tuesdays throughout the year, coming together as ONE to worship God and hear stories of others. When we went, they were finishing up the last of the Ransom Series, talking about personal transformation and showing ways that God has worked wonders in individuals lives. I personally feel CharlotteONE is great for new believers, for those who are new to the Christian faith, or just want more worship during the week! The music was fantastic, the prayers powerful and the people so warm and welcoming. I hope to be able to go again in the future and experience it a few more times.

THREE
 I get to go spend the weekend in Columbia, SC visiting one of my best friends, Emily!! I am so excited to have a weekend just the two of us, catching up on life, laughing over recent events, checking out Columbia and going to Em's favorite "spots". I've known this gal for YEARS and our friendship has only grown over the years and I am so thankful for her and excited to see her in mere hours.
FOUR
Ever since Mason over at Mason...Like The Jar blogged about the movie About Time, I have been counting down the days until I can go see it in theater! I adore Rachel McAdams and the story line is right up my alley. 
FIVE
One of my favorite magazines is redbook. My subscription just ran out but since my birthday is only 32 days away, Will went ahead and got me another year as an early present! Talk about making me one happy girl! :) I love the articles, photographs and pretty much everything in this magazine. Always on my coffee table. So excited for another year as a dedicated redbook reader!
We Took the Road Less Traveled
That Friday Blog Hop

October 23, 2013

Everyday Reads & Favorites

I have been encouraged, challenged, and loved by fellow bloggers. 
My eyes have been opened to the similarities and differences between me and those I follow.
I have grown confidence in myself. I have seen others transform into something magical.
I have found a passion. A network of new friends. A new found hobby.
   
I feel like it has been YEARS since I first started reading blogs. I remember the very first day that I started following a handful of blogs (before I had the courage to start my own) and thought about how neat it would be to document my life in a blog format, and overtime, be able to look back to see all of the things that I was interested in and going through. It wasn't until recently that I have been able to see how blogging has been a blessing in disguise.

Since blogging has been pulling on my heart strings recently (in a good way), I thought today would be appropriate to let you know what some of my favorite blogs are to following and who some of my favorite bloggers are! I hope you enjoy --> and be sure to give some love to the gals I mention :)
The first blog I ever started to follow was Emily over at Life with Emily. I've known Emily for years and she was always the most fashionable one of all my friends. So it is no surprise that Em's blog is all about fashion and her everyday life through photography. Emily's blog never lets me down...not only am I jealous of her jewelry collection, but she always writes about her fun adventures and her photos are always top notch.
Caitlin behind Southern Curls & Pearls is one-of-a-kind. Not only have we become real life friends, but she is seriously the sweetest southern belle you will ever meet. Caitlin is known for putting together really great outfits, having AMAZING giveaways, and is keen on healthy living. Cait is defiantly someone you can learn a lot from and her blog is one of the first that I read in the mornings.
Funniest and most lovable award goes to my sweet Alyssa over at The Lesson Plan Diva. Alyssa is fairly new to blogging as well and has become one of my closest friends. We first met when we went to Caitlin's Lilly Pulitzer event and hit it off right from the start. I love checking out A's blog because she does some really good recap posts on her weekends and writes about finding her place in this world and as an upcoming teacher!
Chelsea Kebrdle. Words can't express how thankful I am to be blog friends with this gal. Chelsea blogs over at The Kebs and is a Military wife to the love of her life and currently living in Texas. Chelsea emailed me a few weeks ago, and have since emailed back and fourth just about everyday. She is such a strong Christian and has been such an inspiration to me this month. Chelsea said recently exactly what my thoughts were on our new friendship: "I genuinely have thanked the Lord for us connecting and pray that our friendship continues to grow and that He have his hand on us becoming "real life" friends in the future".
Anytime I need writing inspiration, I immediately turn to Haley's blog over at Sequins and Things. Her blog always draws me in. Not only does this pretty girl write so well, she is adorable and always puts things into perspective. Yet another blog I read for this in the morning. And to top things off, she seems so genuine and someone we all would be lucky to know. 
Lastly, meet Sibi. You can find her blog over at Pearls and Grace. This gal is one of those bloggers that I would say touches on so many areas/topics that I like to read about. She is smart, classy, and full of life. She is someone I would say has truly enjoyed life and lives one day at a time. Sibi has touched on topics (her recent one being 31 Days To Becoming His Pearl Series) that really make me think...and I am always finding myself sharing with other the things she has written because they are that good.

                                                               

October 22, 2013

What's in my Handbag + Momma's Birthday!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! I first want to start by saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! I wish I was home to go out and celebrate your birthday with you and dad tonight, but hope you both have a fabulous date night enjoying some yummy steak and each others company!! I am so glad your first gift arrived in the mail yesterday and hope you enjoy it so much! I can't wait to see you soon to give you your second gift and give you on big hug :) I pray that today you feel loved, appreciated and content with everything God as done in your life. You truly are a blessing and I LOVE YOU...

Today I thought I would share what's in my handbag. Fun fact...I never carry the same handbag for more then a few weeks at a time! I'd say that they are one of my many guilty pleasures! I have over ten handbags that I really love that I circulate throughout the year...and it's quite possible that each year a purse of a particular shape/color/pattern/designer ends up on my birthday and Christmas wishlists :) I am just obsessed...easy enough to say.
1. My Kate Spade Mikas Pond Stacy Wallet: I can't live without this thing. Not because it holds my cash, credit card, debit card and coupons. I can't live without it because it's the perfect size and I am obsessed with the pink color of it...so fun!

2. Hand Cream. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is my favorite. It's great for dry, sensitive skin and doesn't have a smell to it which I prefer. My hands tend to stay dry, especially in the colder months, so a cream that is thick enough to provide moisture all day long is exactly what I need. I swear by this stuff...it really will provide instant hydration.

3. Jesus Calling Daily Devotional by Sarah Young. I carry this little thing around with me wherever I go. It's small enough to fit in my handbag, and is great to read first thing when I get to work in the morning.

4. Pens and Highlighters. I recently cleaned out by handbag or else I would have found a handful of pens and multiple highlighters at the bottom of one of my compartments. I like to carry these around just in case I need to jot something down, or highlight something from my daily devotional. You never know when your going to need to write something down...

5. Now that I give out business cards more regularly, it was important that I had something to keep them stored away in that would keep them from bending and getting lost among everything else...so my Kate Spade Brightspot Avenue Darla has done just the job!

6. My keys. That's an obvious one. I used to have more "decorative things" on my key chain but I just got tired of carrying around something so big so I decided to just have what I needed...simple is okay.

7. Burt's Bees and Lipstick. I can't live without either! I apply my BB about 12 times a day...and my lipstick gives me just the right amount of color that I like.

8. Coach Coin Purse. This is great to tote around my medicine in and is easy to find in my big ole' purse.
9. You know all of those reward cards you get at those stores you always go to? Well I started to collect way to many to count and decided to just put them all together on a big key ring...and so far so good! 

10. Nail polish...I don't know why I have this in my purse but yeah, it's there. Ha!

11. Handwritten notes. I love finding these! Will is the BEST when it comes to doing little things like leaving me notes in my purse, agenda and car. I never throw these out and cherish them so much <3

12. Roll-On Perfume. Currently I carry around Kate Spade Twirl. I am a very girly girl and feel the need to have a "scent" lingering throughout the day so if my main scent starts to go away around 3:00 pm, I roll-on a little perfume and am good to go!

13. My agenda. Anything gold and I am in love. Anything that keeps me organized and I am in love. So when you put the two together, you have me at hello! I got this planner at Target and use it daily to keep me in line with what I've got going on.

14. A notepad/mini notebook. Plain and simple. I like to write things down...and if I come across something that I need to remember, I just put it in my little notebook for the time being.

15. Hand Sanitizer- I'm a clean freak so this is always in my bag!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday! Check back tomorrow for a post on my favorite blogs and bloggers!!


October 21, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

Sami's Shenanigans

Weekends are something I always look forward to. I love that I have the option to plan a day full of activities, or staying in my pajamas, sleeping in, catching up on those recorded TV shows and being lazy. But as much as I love lounging around on the weekends, I really do enjoy being able to catch up with friends, exploring the city and going on fun adventures with the boyfriend. This weekend was just that; one filled with seeing friends, and enjoying the time I had with those I love the most...all while enjoying the great city that I live in!

As soon as work was over on Friday, I was lucky enough to get to meet up with my dear and sweet friend Alyssa who was in Charlotte for the day going to interviews for possible teacher positions. I can't wait for this sweet girl to make the move to Charlotte soon so that I can see her whenever I want :) She is literally one of the sweetest girls I know and one of my closest friends now!
Friday night, Will's Dad and Stepmom were suppose to come up for the weekend, but had to cancel last minute due to feeling under the weather. Even though we were a little bummed, Will and I still decided to go out to dinner. We enjoyed a rather large pineapple and ham pizza from Mellow Mushroom, talked about how are weeks went, and started thinking up things to do for the weekend.
After dinner, we went home to hibernate and crash on the couch...our belly's so full from an amazing meal. Saturday morning we woke early to meet Will's stepsister, Ariel, for breakfast at The Original Pancake House to celebrate her birthday a few days early! Yet again, another amazing meal that left us full but content.
It might not be evident yet but after a few hours of being awake on the weekends, Will and I tend to venture back to the condo for what we feel is a much needed nap time session!
After our power naps, we decided to go check out Not Just Coffee at the 7th Street Public Market. This coffee shop is in the cutest location and has a variety of of coffee selections, some even come in mason jars! I was excited to just walk around the small market area, drinking our coffee's and enjoying each others company.
After our afternoon "pick-me-ups", we made a few pit stops at the Verizon store, HomeGoods and Whole Foods. Will and I haven't made an at home dinner in months, and thought that Saturday night would be a great night to do just that...and we saved a little money which is always a bonus in my book!
Sunday I woke up but Will needed to catch up on some much needed sleep, so I let him. Who was I to argue when I got to go back to sleep for another hour as well!? After waking up, we got dressed and went and got lunch at Jersey Mikes and then I dropped Will back off at the condo and headed to Matthews, NC to meet up with Caitlin! Let me just say I LOVE this girl! I was so glad that I got to see her sweet face while she was home for the weekend. We had a Sunday Funday going to town decorating mini pumpkins with gold glitter and white paint, munching on candy corn and cookies and watching some of the Panthers game with Mamacita :)  
I am so thankful for new friends, my new hometown and all that God has placed in my life. He is so good. His timing is perfect. He ALWAYS comes through when I feel weak, helping me sense his strength and giving me the power I need to rise above any circumstances that I face. It's safe to say that I am so very thankful for all I have in my life and can't express my gratitude for people like Will, Alyssa and Caitlin in my life. God is GOOD...all the time.
Had to steal this precious photo from Cailtin <3






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