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Open Your Bible

Disclaimer: I received Open Your Bible c/o She Reads Truth as a member of the Open Your Bible launch team.

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A couple weeks ago I began my quiet time and this Open Your Bible study feeing inadequate. I sometimes struggle with spending time in God’s Word and the thought of a spending quality time in it again just left me feeling more like a failure. This advent season was hurried and rushed. I’d read a two minute devotional everyday and forgot what I’d read and the truth that came along with it hours later.

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Breaking Busy

Disclaimer: I received Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington c/o BookLook Bloggers

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This weekend I was again reminded how short our time on this earth is. Our lives on this earth are, but a blip in time.

As I read Breaking Busy this weekend my main thought process in summary — is the word “busy” really how I want to define my time on this earth?

I don’t know about you, but I want to live a full life.

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Fashion

Bliss and Braids

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Oh what a blissful day, the day I was finally able to braid a beautiful braid in my curly hair. I mean, I’ve only been trying for months. Thanks to my friends who have put up with my silly questions about how I can get a braid to work with my curly hair!

I used to braid my hair in grad school when I’d straighten it, but I’ve been trying to tame the curly mane and get a braid to work in it again. I’ve decided the trick that finally worked for me is to have it cut short so you have a lot less hair to work with and the other trick is simply practice.

If you’re struggling with learning how to braid your own hair keep practicing and practicing and practicing and maybe one day it will work. The day it works you’ll likely be beaming for joy to!

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Spark Joy

Disclaimer: I received Spark Joy by Marie Kondo c/o Blogging for Books. 

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Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up was an interesting read. In my opinion, the book could be summed up in a lot less words. “If it sparks joy keep it if not, thank it and get rid of it.”

While this might not have been my favorite book ever, the author does have some great wisdom on tidying up and simplifying your home. If you’re looking to learn how to better fold your clothes, organize your bedroom, office, kitchen, etc. and not spend an abundance of time doing it weekly it’s a great read. If you think you’ve already figured out that system, skip the book.

Three weeks before reading this book Peter and I went through simplifying process ourselves. It was so freeing. Freeing to bless others with things. Freeing to clear the clutter. Freeing to look in the closet now and find lots of items that spark joy, rather than being overwhelmed.

Finish putting your things in order as soon as you can, so that you can spend the rest of your life surrounded by the people and things you love most. – Spark Joy, Marie Kondo

Spark Joy receives three out of five ruby red slippers.

Collaborations Cooking

Make It A Movie Night + Popcorn Balls Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeItAMovieNight #CollectiveBias

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In our spare time Peter and I can frequently be found watching movie previews or trailers. When we started dating I was surprised to find that he watched more chick flicks than I did. I love movies that make me laugh or that have an element to suspense in them. These days we watch a mixture of our favorites.

Recently we made it a movie night and watched Goosebumps. Being that I read the Goosebumps books as a kid I couldn’t wait to watch the movie (and no I won’t spoil it for you)!

To complete our movie night I made homemade popcorn balls. Believe it our not homemade popcorn ball creation has quite a science to it and I’m going to hopefully save you from a sticky mess with my recipe. So today, I’ll be sharing my recipe for homemade popcorn balls and how that awesome snack can help complete a movie night.

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Fashion Fitness

13.1 Training or Bust

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Today is my official first day of “half-marathon training” according to my training schedule. I signed up for my first half-marathon on the 17th of January, four months before the race. When I signed up I’d never ran more than 4 miles at once.

In the middle of December I began waking up at 5:45 AM three times a week to run. I’ve slowly progressed from one mile runs to three mile runs three times a week. When I began running again I could hardly freely breathe through a mile.

Now I’m running through the pain of cysts bursting, the occasional side pains that come from poor meal choices before a run, and I can’t get enough of running. Putting my feet to the pavement no matter how fun or un-fun the previous run is amazing. Some runs are harder than others but they are all teaching me that I am more capable than I ever imagined. I’ll be training with more miles logged than I’ve ever ran in my life, barre3, and stretching. I can’t wait conquer this challenge.

The hubby and I had a bit of a stay-cation last weekend and we decided to spend some time taking some pictures with his strobe. I just got some new leggings so some active-wear shots seemed to be the perfect addition to the evening.

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Lifestyle

Jesus Culture Giveaway

Disclaimer: I received Jesus Culture / Let It Echo and a giveaway copy c/o Capitol Christian Music Group. Now I (and a lucky reader) can enjoy it in the car too, thank you Capitol Christian Music Group.

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The new Jesus Culture CD has been on repeat in my car for days. Today one lucky reader will have the opportunity to win a copy of their own (enter on Instagram, here).

My favorite song on the album is Miracles. It’s already by far my most listened to song of 2016, as it’s been on repeat ever since I received the album. I listen to it every morning as I drive to work and every afternoon on my drive home. The best part about the song is that it’s a long enough song that depending on how I hit the stop lights it’s the only song I listen to on my drive without restarting it.

The One who made the blind to see
Is moving here in front of me, moving here in front of me
The One who made the deaf to hear
Is silencing my every fear, silencing my every fear

It’s safe to say this album is 5 out of 5 ruby red slippers.

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Valentine’s Day

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KYALittleTouch #CollectiveBias

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This is my love story. Please read on to see how K-Y® TOUCH® enhances our relationship and click here for the $2 off coupon.

As with all great love stories, there must be a “failed” Valentine’s Day. Ours happened to be our first. Peter claims he’s not really an expert at gift-giving and not really a gift kind of guy. I think he’s learning to enjoy them a little more, and boy is he getting better at giving them, but he and I still have different styles of gifts. He gave really thoughtful, but completely not my type of gifts.

When February came, he wanted to sweep me off my feet, and being a cute nerd, he made a website for me asking if “I’d be his Valentine” (with a yes or no button…of course no took me to an error page and yes took me to his “gift”). He was working at a coffee shop at the time, so it was coffee-themed. I got the link mid-way through the day and what he made was sweet, but it was missing one thing that I was looking for: Peter neglected to say “Happy Valentine’s Day”. His site did ask “Be mine?” but I was wanting him to wish me Happy Valentine’s Day. In my family growing up, my parents would wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day first thing when I woke up. When I got older and got a cell phone, I’d hear “Happy Valentine’s Day” from my brother, my aunts, cousins, friends, etc. I’m also more of a tangible gift person. I like things that I can hold onto. The gifts could have all been written on paper, and I wouldn’t have cared one bit. He thought he had hit it the jackpot when he wrote coffee-themed poems about me but I never really “got” poetry.

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Fashion

Activewear Transitioned

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During the month of January I’ve been doing the barre3 challenge and training for my first ever half-marathon. After an early morning barre3 class I opted to transition my activewear to a cozy Saturday outfit because my tank and leggings were too cozy to want to change out of. Also, my hubby had a cold and couldn’t have told if I smelled or not after class.

Grey, white, and black are my favorite colors by far. Adding a pop of color in an outfit really brightens these rainy Oregon days up a bit.

The striped tank you see peeking out and the blue leggings were what I wore to barre3. I knew hanging out in a tank top all day in 50 degree weather wasn’t going to work, so I added a cozy grey tee for warmth and a scarf and pair of hoops to accessorize.

The best thing about having versatile workout/activewear clothing is that you can wear it all day long.

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Collaborations Cooking

M&M’s® Strawberry Dove® Chocolate Cupcakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendSweetness #CollectiveBias

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I find joy in celebrating the ordinary daily moments. Some celebrations are simple others are more elaborate.

One way to celebrate others is sending them a handwritten note on a American Greetings® card. A few of my friends will have notes appearing in their mailbox in the next few days. I love surprising friends with a handwritten note and enjoy the simple beauty of handwritten notes. I often re-read ones that friends have written me. I think the art of a written note is so much better than a simple text message.

Another way to celebrate others is by baking. I love to celebrate my co-workers and student ambassadors that I work with by randomly bringing in treats to the office. They love when I make cake and/or cupcakes and according to their rave reviews they loved this recipe I created.

So that you can make a batch of your own, today I’ll be sharing how to make M&M’s® Strawberry Dove® Chocolate Cupcakes. These are a perfect treat to share with your co-workers and friends!
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