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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Treats

I wanted to share with you some Christmas treats today that you might want to share with your family! I've blogged about these before, but I figured I would just post them all in one area so you can see them!

I just made my Italian Butter yesterday. This is better as it sits a day or two. So make it today and it will have plenty of time to marinate and get delicious!

If you want something sweet for breakfast, you can make these Cinnamon scones, or sticky buns!

If you are craving something sweet, go ahead and try my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie! Such a delicious combination!

I hope that these recipes find themselves on your table this Christmas season! If you make one of these recipes, I'd love to hear about it! Please leave me a comment and let me know!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Motivation Monday: Blessings

"Lift up your eyes. Your Heavenly Father waits to bless you in inconceivable ways to make your life what you never dreamed it could be."
Anne Ortlund

God's blessings come in many shapes and sizes. We fail to recognize them at times. Today's world is consumed with ourselves. It is all about me, myself, and I. This saying is telling us to "lift up our eyes!" God will bless you beyond measure to make your life the best it could be. 
I will admit, trying to find the blessings is hard. For example, this fall, our house was attacked with bees. They were coming in our house through the cracks in the doors! My dad tried to spray them, and ended up falling off a ladder and irritating his hamstring. (We thought he might have tore his knee up!) My dad and I are allergic, and at the time I was thinking, "why is this happening to us?" We didn't plan on having to spend money to have an exterminator come out and get rid of them. Looking back on it, it was a blessing. We were blessed that no one got stung. We were blessed that my dad's hamstring was only inflamed, and his knee wasn't ripped to shreds. 

Today, I want to you intentionally look for the blessings. Especially during this busy Christmas season, where our thoughts are probably not on the blessings you have received. Do you have your health? Blessing. Food on the table? Blessing. A family who loves and supports you? Blessing.

I hope this message will help you reflect on the blessings you have in your life. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIWW: Concert Edition

Last Tuesday, I went to hear Celtic Thunder! They were playing with the Pittsburgh Symphony for their Christmas show. It was a lovely evening, and Heinz Hall is decorated beautifully for Christmas. The lads were in perfect form, and it was a great jump start to the holiday season. I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the concert, but I did snap a picture of my outfit before I left! It's Wednesday, so I am linking up with the Pleated Poppy!

I went a little dressier to this event, because the concert was in a fancier location! My dress is from Forever and I wore my DIY scarf! You can find out how I made it here! My boots were from Fashion Bug, and they are surprisingly comfortable! I just grabbed some plain black tights to complete the look!

This look was perfect for the evening. It was a chilly night, and this look was warm and dressy. I was plenty warm walking from our parking spot to Heinz Hall.

If you ever get a chance to go to Pittsburgh at Christmas, definitely do so! The city is beautiful, and the cultural district has a plethora of shows to attend. Each building is decorated to the nines for Christmas, and so are the restaurants! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

How do you get dressed up for a fancy evening out? I'd love to see it! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Ipsy Bag

Why not start Christmas early, and show you my December Ipsy bag?! This month had some great samples, and ones I will definitely use!! There is nothing like getting samples in the mail at Christmas time, to help you get pretty for any parties you may be attending! Here is what was in my bag this month!

Bumble and Bumble- Bb Repair Blow Dry Sereum in Creme: That was a long name huh? This is said to help repair your hair from blowouts, and help you style last for 3 days. I just recently bought a flat iron, so I know that I will need this for my hair to repair any damage that the flat iron may cause.

Cailyn- Just Mineral Eye Polish: I received the color Orchid. This is a light champagne color with some sparkle, that will look great on the lid, with a light taupe matte crease, and matte highlight. This has a sponge applicator, that deposits just the right amount of color.

My LOUSY attempt at pictures by the Christmas tree. Sorry this is SO bad!
Nourish Organic- Renewing Eye Cream: I have so many eye creams to try! I really need to get more consistent with putting eye cream on. (New Year's Resolution perhaps?) This looks interesting because it has avocado, and argan oil. This also has shea butter. This is all organic and I am definitely excited to try this!!

NYX Cosmetics- Butter Lip Balm: I received the color Parfait, which is a fushia color. I like lip balms that give me some color on my lips to wear around the house, or if I am going out for a quick errand. I like the butter glosses, so I am interested to try these and see how these compare!

Tarte- Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara: SO, SO, SO excited to try this! I love trying samples of high end mascaras because I just recently tried one that always gets rave reviews and I hated it! I have heard good things about this mascara, and I can't wait to try it out! This is said to lengthen, curl, condition, and volumize your lashes. You'll be seeing a review on this once I try it out!

That is what was in my bag this month! I'd love to hear what you got in your Ipsy bag! Please leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Motivation Monday: God's Will

"God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will." Anonymous

I know that in my lifetime, I have questioned God's Will many times. Usually, I was questioning His plan for my life.

Why does He allow people to hurt, or get ill, or go through any form of difficulty? We don't have to understand it, but we have to trust in His timing and His will. When I was in college, I failed the Math Praxis 6 times. This is an important test to pass in order to be a teacher. I was always within three points of passing. I was angry at God. Why did He let me fail this test six times? Did He think I wasn't meant to be a teacher? I definitely had that thought cross my mind.  

To this day, I don't know why He had me fail that test six times. Maybe it was a test to let me practice patience and waiting. I trusted that He would guide me in the direction that He wanted me to go. If it wasn't the way I thought I should go, I had to trust His will.

If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, know that God allowed this to happen. They don't know why, but trust in Him to bring them through it. Simply trust. 

This week, I want you to totally trust God's Will. Instead of looking at obstacles as a nuisance, embrace them, and look at them from God's perspective. 

I hope you find comfort in this for the week!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Motivation Monday: Faith

"Faith is not believing God can, it's knowing God will." 
Anonymous

How true is this statement? I am a firm believer in faith and the power of prayer. Like many of you, I know several people who are struggling with illness, and personal problems. I pray for them daily.  I pray for the blessings God hasn't even done yet. I say "Thank you Lord for healing so and so," sometimes, the prayer will be, "Thank you God for the good weather we will be having" if we are traveling. 

I do this because I know God will heal that person, or give us traveling mercies. 

I have faith knowing that God will direct my path, and any obstacles he puts on my way are there for a purpose. Finding faith in the middle of a storm is not always easy. The Bible says that if you have "faith as small as a mustard seed, than you can move mountains." (Matthew 17:20)

A mustard seed, tiny as it is, is all the faith you need. Faith, and knowing God will pull you through whatever problems you may face.



Today, I want you to place all your faith in Jesus. Don't just believe He can, know that He will!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

November Birchbox

The day that I received my Birchbox, I also got my paycheck. Definitely a winning mail day! This month's theme was Giving. (How appropriate!) They also partnered with RED to help the fight against AIDS. Here is what was in my box this month!

Bain de Terre|Argan Oil & Passion Flower Color Therapy Oil: I use a hair oil every day, and I can't wait to add this into my routine! This is said to add shine and nourish the hair.

Ellovi|Tinted Lip Butter: This is said to be all natural. This leaves just a sheer wash of color, and will be perfect for wearing around the house and to run quick errands.

Juice Beauty|Green Apple Sensitive Peel:This is supposed to be a gentle peel with fruit acids to gently dissolve dead skin.

Not Soap, Radio|Joy inducing Body Wash: This is a lemon scented cleanser. I do like lemon scents because they are bright and cheery. I can't wait to take a warm shower and lather up!

Tocca| Crema da Mano-Bianca: This is a hand lotion scented with green tea and lemon. With the upcoming winter season, I know that my hands will get really dry, so I have already stuck this into my teacher bag to take to school and use!

They sent a bonus goody this month! Justin's chocolate almond butter will be delicious to put on toast, crackers, or let's face it: eaten with a spoon. I'm excited to give this a try and see just how delicious it is!

What did you get in your Birchbox this month? I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIWW

I don't think I have mentioned this before, but I absolutely detest wearing coats. They are bulky, you have to carry them in stores, and the list just goes on and on! I love outfits (and weather) where vests can double as my coat! Such was the case the other day. It was still chilly out, but I was able to wear one of my warmest vests and not wear a coat. As usual, I am linking up with the Pleated Poppy!

*I said it when I got this tunic that I would be wearing it all.the.time. I cannot tell a lie!

Without Vest

With Vest


Outfit Details:

Tunic: LTD Commodities
Leggings: Mossimo (Target)
Shoes: American Eagle (Payless)
Vest: Old Navy
Necklace: Bijuju

I think that this would be a great outfit to do some shopping in, you don't have a coat to handle, and are still warm, and are comfortable. The only thing I would change is my shoes. Nobody wears heels to shop in!!

I'd love to see your outfits! Leave me a comment and let me know what you wore!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

Raise your hand is you are still noshing on Thanksgiving leftovers! To me, Thanksgiving just brings in the Holiday season. I've completed some Christmas shopping already, (still have more) gotten in some quality family time, and did some organizing. I wanted to share with you some of my Thanksgiving with you!

The buffet
Thanksgiving Day had me eating a boatload of food. We had: turkey, chicken, stuffing, cranberry applesauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole (always with a brown sugar/pecan topping), noodles, mashed potatoes, rolls and I think that was it?! It was delicious!

My plate








Saturday, my family headed to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate with my mom's side of the family! Unfortunately, I was too busy eating and catching up with family members to take pictures. We participated in a white elephant gift exchange that is always fun! I ended up with an angel candle holder!

Sunday, I lounged around and watched sports. Duke was on, and they won! Then I flipped around and watched some more college basketball, NFL football, and one of my favorite movies, Serendipity! Definitely relaxing!

Monday was errand day, and catching up on some house chores. Definitely a relaxing holiday! Pretty soon it will be my birthday, and Christmas!!

How did you spend your Thanksgiving? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear how it went!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Motivation Monday: God's Plan

"People can make all kinds of plans, but only the Lord's plan will happen." 

Proverbs 19:21

How many times have we planned our day to the exact minute, and we find ourselves mad when things don't go according to our plan? The beauty of this proverb, is that you can plan all you want, but the Lord already has a plan in place for your life. His plan may include some trials and tribulations, but He wouldn't have put them there, if He wasn't going to help you through them. 

When I was three years old, I had to have open heart surgery. This surgery was not in my parent's plan for me, but it was the Lord's plan. What if God chose me to have this surgery, so my family could lead another family, or a doctor to Him? When you stop to think about it that way, it's pretty special isn't it? 

I take comfort in knowing that the Lord already has my life planned out for me. I know that my plan will include highs and lows. Things may not happen when I want them to, but when the Lord decides they will take place.

I challenge you today, to trust in the Lord's plan. Trust in His timing, and in His way. You'll find out that His plan was perfect all along. 

I hope this blesses you today. 
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