4.30.2014

Wedding Wednesday: Kansas City

This past weekend M and I had to go out to Kansas City for wedding duties. We had a dessert tasting with our caterer, a mock set-up with our decorator, and we finally got the see the [almost] finished wedding venue in all it's glory!

We left Saturday morning and made our way to the tasting. We tried cheesecake, cake/truffle bites, chocolate mouse cups, carrot cake cupcakes, and apple crisp! So tasty! We are doing a small wedding cake, but since we aren't big cake eaters, we wanted to have plenty of options as well! We are SO happy with the choices we made.

After our tasting we made our way down to the Kansas City Market. We got to check out tons of tasty produce, spices, and fresh flowers.




After the market, we wandered around the FOUR STORY antique shop nearby, which took a few hours. It was our dream come true.


We needed a break after this, so we stopped for some drinks and listened to some live music.

Once we were finished downtown, we headed out to Kansas City's best BBQ at Oklahoma Joe's. We waited just about an hour before ordering (it's in a gas station) but it was SO WORTH IT. M said he has had better brisket, but I disagreed.

After this we were so full and exhausted we just went back to our hotel room to rest, and ended up spending the rest of the night in. I took a bath and then we relaxed some more, it was fabulous.

We had a slow start Sunday, but then met with our AMAZING decorator from Vintage Rentals Kansas City to do some mock centerpiece trials. It was so much fun browsing all of her great stuff! This husband and wife team has been such a blessing to us! Here's a little peak:




After we were finished with this, we headed down to the art district for a snack and it started POURING on us. Tornadoes were in the forecast and I was really hoping this wouldn't put a damper on the venue reveal. Thankfully it didn't and once we made it to the venue it was incredibly clear outside! The venue was so much more then I ever imagined. Everything about it is PERFECT. I am so happy with our decision to have our wedding here.



It was such a fun, event-filled weekend. I can't wait to get married in LESS THAN 2 MONTHS!

4.29.2014

In the Word Tuesday: Pride

Good morning! Cassie and I are back for another In the Word Tuesday, and today I am talking about pride. Please join us by linking up below and grabbing our button!

I was telling M last week that I think I'm struggling with a lot more pride then I had previously realized. I had a pretty rough day at work and was immediately upset and doubting my own abilities. I just could not shake this feeling of failure and embarrassment, and I had no idea why. After praying about it pretty solidly, I realized God was trying to reveal to me that the problem was my pride.


I am SO prideful. Over my work, my body, my abilities, you name it. I take far too much credit for the things I have and the things I am good at, instead of thanking God with humility. Truth is, I deserve NONE of what I have. God has given me far more than I deserve, yet when things do not go as planned I still cannot handle it. I'm not sure how I got to this point, or why it took me so long to realize the extent of it, but I am so glad He is revealing it to me. It hinders so many aspects of my life.

I have continued to pray for God to reveal to me the areas in which I am prideful and to teach me to have more humility. I am trying to be more conscious in these areas, but I am under no illusion as to how difficult this may be. If you could, would you please pray for me? And would you leave a comment telling me how I can pray for you?

What is God teaching you this week?

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4.28.2014

May Goals

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! If you follow along with me on Instagram, you probably saw the eventful weekend full of wedding festivities M and I had in Kansas City! We had  a great time.

Each month from here forward I will be posting my goals for the upcoming month. These goals will be aimed at helping to complete my 101 in 1001 list. I'm taking it easy on myself since I have so much coming in May. This includes finals, my bachelorette party in Las Vegas, my first dress fitting (my mom is visiting for this), our final venue walk through (and endless other wedding things), and the local Pedaler's Jamboree (a big bike ride)!


May Goals:
1. Send out 10 letters snail mail style.
2. Have someone over for a meal.
3. Continue reading my chronological study and journal through it.
4. Memorize a Bible verse.
5. Mow the grass (you're allowed to laugh at me, this allergy girl doesn't do grass)
6. Read 2 books.

What are you goals for this month? Do you have anything exciting coming up in May?!

Don't forget tomorrow is In the Word Tuesday! We would love for you to link up and share what God is placing on your heart lately. 

4.26.2014

A Simple Mother's Day Gift

M and I both gifted our moms Dogeared necklaces for Christmas this last year and they both LOVED them. They are very simple and flawless, just like both of our moms, so it was a match made in heaven. Our moms are very different, yet they both loved their necklaces. There is truly something for anyone and they are fairly affordable (but still great quality). I don't own one myself yet, but I have a wish list a mile long hiding away for my birthday (in December- I know, I know, but I'm a Type A!). I would highly suggest looking at their collection for a Mother's Day gift this year! Below are some of my favorite Mother's Day options.

http://www.dogeared.com/one-in-a-million-sand-dollar-necklace%2C-gold-dipped/MRGG100603999.html
http://www.dogeared.com/i-love-mom-large-pearl-necklace-pearl%2C-gold-dipped%2C-18-inch/1A0G200105698.html#start=19&q=mother's%2Bday&sz=12
http://www.dogeared.com/i-love-you-mom-sparkle-karma-necklace%2Cgold-dipped%2C-18-inch/1AGG200105498.html#start=14&q=mother's%2Bday&sz=12



*This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts are honest and my own.

4.25.2014

Five on Friday

ONE: I am beyond thrilled to take a little trip with M to our FINISHED wedding venue this weekend!!! We will also be finalizing with the caterer and decorator which we could not be more thrilled about. We also plan to stay in a fancy hotel in downtown Kansas City and finally visit the River Market!


TWO: Everyone is probably getting tired of me talking about our garden BUT it is just coming along so perfectly! We have oregano, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, spinach, and squash popping up like crazy! It has been so fun to watch our first garden grow together. PLUS I created these pinterest inspired wine cork garden stakes that are pretty cute!


THREE: Sooooo...my cat ate soap this week. Yes, you heard right. She really loves to get up on the bathroom counter while I am getting ready, which doesn't typically bother me, until this time when she scurried down, cowered in the corner, and began foaming at the mouth. It was really funny... once I realized she wasn't foaming at the mouth due to a seizure. She literally ate a chunk of liquid soap and was spitting up foamy bubbles. I. DIE. She's not very smart.


FOUR: My hard drive crashed this week at work. Within hours my office mate's computer basically blew up due to a power surge. It was an eventful day, let me tell you! Thank God we have a secure drive we save everything on to! But I had a moment where I was likeeeee:


FIVE: I really enjoyed the first In the Word Tuesday link-up. It was great reading about what God is teaching everyone lately. Please join us next Tuesday!


I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, I know we will!


4.24.2014

A Total Truth Thursday Free Vent on American Blogger: My Thoughts

My first reaction to American Blogger was not a thought. It was tears. And not the pretty tears. I question how anyone could ever criticize the heart of these people and the goal behind this film; they are so genuine and have such a passion for the blogging community. Casey's response to the controversy, in my opinion, conveys the same thing. Her response is grace, PURE GRACE.

That being said, I feel this blog accurately conveyed my experience as an American blogger, and a small American blogger at that. And for that, it spoke to me. Even though most of these women are very different from myself, we are all connected through blogging. THAT is an American Blogger. And for that reason, I will continue to support this film (although yes it can be a little cheesy, but blogging IS cheesy guys...yeah, I said it).


I loved seeing some of my favorite bloggers. Many of the words these and many other women shared with us really stood out to me. Take, for example, "Sometimes you know more about your blogger friends than you do your real life friends." This is SO true. Sometimes I even catch myself telling stories about my blog friends to others, which I usually disguise as "friends" because "blog friends" sometimes sounds a little odd. I have met some of my dearest friends through blogging and social media, and I love that part of this community. I really hope this film will help people that are unfamiliar with the blogging community better understand these wonderfully acquired friendships many of us have with each other.

For me, blogging is many of the things these women pointed out: it is a time stamp of our lives that evolves with us and gives us a space to celebrate both the happy and the not so happy things in our world and the world around us. And guess what, what we have to say does matter. It might not matter to other people, but it matters to us, and that's perfectly alright. If you are writing for others, I would encourage you to explore what writing for yourself means; it is SO powerful.

I write mostly for myself, but also to connect and inspire others. I write to be true to myself, and to those around me in hopes that my experiences might help others going through similar things. Seeing my own intentions and goals for writing reflected in this film was great, and I am so thankful for this little piece of work that sheds some light on this uniquely wonderful community. 

If you haven't seen the film, I suggest you go check it out. I'd love for you to share your thoughts with me!

In case you missed the trailer, here it is:


What did you think about the film?

Total Truth Thursday

4.23.2014

Wedding Wednesday: A Leap of Faith

Let me start out by saying that I am fully confident that our venue choice was the best wedding planning decision we have made up until this point. That being said, we took a HUGE leap of faith in choosing it. When we found Buffalo Lodge, our venue space was merely a blueprint. We saw "inspirational" photos for the building, but nothing had been finalized. Despite that, we just fell in love with the atmosphere and story behind the location, and signed the contract without looking at any other venues. And I am SO glad we did because the venue is coming together SO perfectly. The venue space has a top notch bridal boudoir and a groom's cabin, which is just the icing on the cake! It is just about finished and we are heading out to see it this weekend for the first time since the construction started. We can't wait!


Here's the story behind the venue: Owners, Amy & Michael Billings, purchased the 200 acre ranch in 2008, leaving behind city-life to fully indulge in nature. Dreamers at heart, they often imagined buffalo wandering among the lush pastures. In 2011, they took the plunge and acquired a young herd and feel blessed and honored to provide a home for such majestic, awe-inspiring creatures.

After witnessing the joy that visits brought to family and friends, they expanded their vision to include Buffalo Lodge, a premier destination for weddings, retreats, and getaways. The response went beyond expectations and led to the decision to build a state-of-the-art reception facility featuring green technology. The Roosevelt at Buffalo Lodge opens May 2014 and offers guests all the luxury they expect while being sensitive to the beauty that surrounds it.

Magical right?! I can't wait to get married in here in LESS THAN 2 MONTHS!!!!

4.22.2014

In the Word Tuesday

I am so happy to be sharing my heart with you all for the first In the Word Tuesday. Please consider joining Cassie and I today by linking up and using #inthewordtuesday on social media.


I have talked about my AMAZING church quite a few times, and I always feel like our lessons are teaching me so much. I feel absorbed by the gospel, especially lately. Last week we went through Acts 16. Acts 16 is a continuation of Paul, Timothy, and Silas's missionary journey. Although the Spirit leads them through many places, they finally stop in Phillpi. Here, they meet and save three very different people.

The first person, Lydia, is the "good girl." She is a businesswoman and a religious one. They stumble upon her at a prayer meeting, despite the fact that she is not saved. Here, Paul witnesses, and God saves her.

The second person, the slave girl, is Lydia's opposite. She is the demonized girl; owned by men. She mocks them and calls out after them sarcastically, but despite this, Paul still feels burdened for her (don't we all wish we could be more like Paul here?). The chapter then implies she is saved.

The third person is the jailer whom, after Paul and Timothy are beaten, imprisons and tortures them in the worst part of the prison. After, Paul and Silas start praying and singing hymns. God sends an earthquake upon the prison, resulting in the prisoners release. When the jailer discovers this, he attempts to kill himself, but Paul stops him. The short version here is: and then he was saved.


So, here we see God saving three VERY different people. If this does not imply that God's salvation isn't earned, I don't know what does. The gospel can and does work for anyone.

Some of us have a hard time really believing that God can save anyone, although we would all most likely verbally agree that He can. This really reminds me of my own testimony, because I was as far gone as one could be. I was an adamant atheist. I put my worth in my accomplishments, men (well.. boys honestly), and other tangible objects. Although I felt I was a good person with decent morals, something was still missing. I was the slave girl. I mocked religious people and their joy, and although I did not call out after them, I may as well have been. But then, God saved me. Not by my own will, but by His. And by my faithful fiancé M, who stuck by my side through all of my doubts and questions. BUT GOD STILL SAVED ME.

If you struggle with how God can ever save you, trust me when I say that He can.  You can't save yourself, but He can save you, and He will. If you struggle with witnessing to others because you fear they are "too far gone" remember that no one is too far gone. I hope that you would be as encouraged by this message as I am. If you would like to hear the full message, I would encourage you to listen to our podcast.

Thank you so much for joining us today, friends.


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4.21.2014

Easter Weekend

This weekend was just what I needed, a reminder of our salvation and all that God did for us, plus being surrounded by some awesome friends! This was the first Easter I celebrated since being baptized! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend as well. Here are some tidbits from yesterday. Also, linking up for Mingle Monday today!

bonessphoto.com

Don't forget to join Cassie and I tomorrow for the first In the Word Tuesday link-up! I'll be chatting a bit about Acts 16 and how I'm basically the slave girl.

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4.19.2014

How to Meal Plan for the Month

One of my 101 in 1001 goals was to meal plan for an entire month. Not only does this make the whole "what's for dinner tonight?" issue disappear, it is a great way to save money each month! Here's how I do it:

1. Start searching the internet/pinterest for recipes that look tasty. This is the fun part! I'll list some of my favorites at the end of this post. Make sure to bookmark the recipes on your ipad, cell phone, or computer. I keep in mind what each recipe will cost roughly. Often times if a dish has an expensive addition, I just choose to leave it out when I make it instead of completely eliminating the meal. We also try to only eat meat one or two nights a week, so I like to keep that in mind.

2. Open up Microsoft Publisher or your favorite calendar making program, and create a calendar for that month. Add colors to make it fun!

Here is a little idea of what my monthly meal plans look like:

We block out one date night a month, Thursday nights as we have small group, and any days we plan to be out of town during the month. M cooks a few nights each month (although he usually helps me anyways), so those are the days that have an (M) by them. Once this is done, I print it out and slap it on our fridge for the month.

3. We grocery shop on Sundays after church, so sometime Saturday I sit down with the calendar and my Emily Ley grocery list sheet. I pull up all the recipes for that week on my ipad that I bookmarked previously and jot down the ingredients I need, keeping in mind what we already have in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. I also check with M to see if he wants me to add anything I don't have already. We've developed this system where we go to Sam's Club at the beginning of each month to get our meats and other things that we use throughout the month. I make sure to write down all of that stuff that we will need for the month on the week we go to Sam's.

4. And that's it! It's so simple and I actually love planning the upcoming month at the end of the previous month. It's also nice because now you have a record of all the things you have tried so you can go back and make them again the next time!

Check out some of my favorite recipes
(I am gluten free so many of these I adjust to accommodate this, if you need suggestions on how to do so please contact me!).
Can you tell which kind of food is my favorite?:
Happy meal planning friends!

4.18.2014

Five on Friday

ONE: My sweet friend Cassie from Living on Cloud Nine will be co-hosting a weekly link-up with me every Tuesday starting this coming April 22!!! The link-up, know as In the Word Tuesday, will give us all an opportunity to share what God is teaching us through the Word. No rules, restrictions, or prompts; we just want you all to write and share your hearts! We are excited about this project and hope that it will give us all an opportunity to connect! Please consider joining us this coming Tuesday and help us spread the word.

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TWO: Our pastor posted this on our church's networking website this week:

"Hey guys I wanted to remind everyone of Easter Sunday and how great of a time it is for us to bring people to church. I have been praying and hoping to see God use this Sunday as a time to do work in people’s hearts. If there is a time to be bold in inviting your community to church, I think it would be this week.
So I’ll ask you to join me in prayer and to make an effort to ask multiple people to join us this Sunday. What a story it would be to look back and know that we invited people that we probably wouldn’t have normally and see that God used that to save them. I’m hopeful that we will be able to share that story, so please don’t waste your Easter and lets pray for big things this week.
No matter how many people show, I am excited to worship with you all. Friends this week more then any we get to remember what hope we have in a savior that has defeated death, sin and our brokenness. And we get to remember that very savior is our king that loves us and is still at work in us.
Thankful for you all and what God is doing in us together."

Oh gosh, how I love this church. This man has an amazing heart. That being said, I would really like to encourage you all to be missional these next few days as Easter is approaching. What an amazing celebration of our Savior. I think our pastor said everything I wanted to say, but I would again encourage you to invite someone with you this Sunday so that they might come to know the treasures He has to offer them. Happy almost Easter, friends! 

THREE: M and I have been bingeing out on Dexter lately. We might have a slight problem. Anyways, we just started season 5, but I think I am still in shock after how season 4 ended. I literally wanted to throw up at the end of it. Please tell me I'm not alone.


FOUR: I was looking back on some posts from this time last year, when I started blogging the first time around. I wrote a few posts on doubt, a cause I can't brag enough on, my baptism, and Christ-centered relationships that still speak so strongly to me. I love being able to look back on the old posts I wrote, another reason I am so glad to be back in the blogging game!

FIVE: I'm still trying not to be bitter about the fact that last week it was in the 80s and earlier this week we got snow. These Midwest winters are sure giving me a hard time... Thankfully some nicer weather is in our future the next few days!

Happy Friday!

P.S. Some fellow bloggers and I are giving away an ADORABLE coffee mug and $20 gift card over at Brittany's blog, check it out!