Where you direct your thoughts is where you direct your life.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The way I see it is you can either choose to focus on all of the positives in your life or all of the negatives. It could be on those who don't like you and don't seem to want support you, or you can focus on those who do and who love you and think that you leave a trail of glitter everywhere you go. Everyone goes through rough things. That's just one of the cycles of life. Everyone has people who aren't fond of them, even if you have no clue why. It's crazy how we tend to dwell on one bad thing when so many other things could be taking precedence. It's sometimes hard to see all that we should be thankful for when we get comfortable with them. Like for instance, being able to walk. It seems so mundane, but once you hurt your leg or lose the ability to do so, it becomes a very big deal, showing you how you took the ability for granted before. It's unfortunate that it often comes to us losing something for us to see how valuable it is. It doesn't always have to be a tangible item or an ability necessarily. It could be your peace of mind or a good friendship. When you continually dwell on the bad, you're going to continually see more and more bad, but when you choose to shift your eyes to all the good, you'll be looking everywhere you go for more and more reasons to be grateful. More goodness to soak in and thank God that you're alive! Even when you go through those bad things, this time can be a period when you can look back and be thankful for all the time before that you weren't having to deal with these things. Or a time to be thankful that your God is bigger than any situation you've been put in so it's just a new opportunity for Him to show His glory and a new testimony for you to share. There's just always, always a different perspective for the situation you're in. You just have to figure out which way you're going to look at it.


Choose to look on the bright side of life. Count your blessings. TWICE. And then thank God for them. Not just through your words but through how you live your life. Give back and use all He's given you to give to someone else. It will set you on a path of gratefulness and fulfillment and make you want to find more ways to serve, which can in turn bring you even more joy. Now, I'm off to go find more ways to apply my own tried & true advice.

 COMING SOON: TXSC recap!! Can't wait to share! :)

Summertime Projects: Chalkboard Wall

Monday, July 29, 2013

I've always had fascination with chalkboard accents and have wanted a chalkboard wall for theeee longest. So after contemplating for the longest about making chalkboard frames or little accents for my room, I finally decided to chalkboard paint my closet wall!!!

So what did I learn? 

A) DO NOT use chalkboard paint on your wall. It is not guaranteed to come off of chalkboard painted surfaces... and that's what happened with me. After scrubbing and scrubbing and only removing the little heart shown above, I've decided that this is the most important quote in the Bible, so it's more than good enough to have a permanent residency on my wall. I could repaint it and use chalk next time instead, but I'm happy with it.

B) Make sure you really shake up and stir your chalkboard paint. A smooth coat goes a long way. The bumps you may see while painting on the wall don't dissolve. Therefore, there are a few rough spots on the wall which could've been prevented, but they don't really take away from the overall wall.

C) Prime prime prime! Use that chalk and prime the entire surface by scraping it completely over the entire surface a few times and wiping away and then repeating. Do NOT use chalkboard paint to prime... if you're wondering why, please refer back to A! I bought my chalkboard paint from Home Depot, but there are many people who have actually made their own chalkboard paint with a white paint and grout, such as here on Darling, which also has more instructions on painting your very own chalkboard wall!

life moves so quickly

and it can be indefinitely harder and harder to keep up with blogging on a regular basis... but hopefully after this weekend, all of this will change! I'm so excited to announce that I will be attending the Texas Style Council Conference with my soul sister, Esther Oh, this weekend!!!

I am so excited for everything I am going to learn and all of the wonderful people I'm going to meet. I've racked my brain for outfit ideas each day, googled yummy places to grab a bite to eat in Austin, and gone over the schedule multiple times trying to decide which speakers to attend out of the many exciting and informational sessions! I can't wait to come back and share so much with you all, in addition to some new ideas I have for this blog this summer and the remainder of this year. My heart is set on fire for passionate people and I feel like there's going to be a lot more of them in my life in the next coming weeks and months. I feel so fortunate that Esther told me about this conference and already know what a blessing it's going to be. I'm also excited to get to volunteer a bit and meet even more of the amazing ladies that helped make it all possible! I really cannot wait!

Of Food & Friends: Grimaldis

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So after working so diligently at the shoot last weekend, Erika and I decided to treat ourselves to something delicious for an early dinner... well early for me considering I usually eat dinner after 9 pm. 

After a failed attempt to catch the end of the Main Street Art Festival and aimlessly driving around for about 15 minutes, we decided to stop at this restaurant called Grimaldi's! I so badly wanted pasta, so this was seemingly perfect!!! However, as it turned out... all they serve is pizza.... With the exception of a few salads, beverages, and desserts. I was slightly heartbroken, but obviously not for long!

I mean seriously, do you see that string of cheese?
Grimaldi's ended up being delicious! The pizzas are completely customizable, so you can choose pretty much everything, down to whether you want tomato pizza sauce, garlic white sauce or pesto instead, to be smothered upon the crust of your pizza!

Erika and I were probably a little too hungry, and a little too excited. Look at her playing it cool though. She's such a beaut :')

Erika's pizza
Erika got the pesto sauce on her pizza and topped it with their delicious Italian sausage, tomatoes, and more pesto I believe. I got the white garlic sauce on my pizza, topped with Italian meatballs. Both were just delicious. We kept stealing each other's slices of pizza and we so stuffed, we had to take remainders home in to go boxes!

The crust was thin and crispy yet still satisfying to a doughy crust lover, such as myself! The meat was very flavorful and all of the ingredients seemed to compliment each other really well! I'm not sure how easy it would be to concoct a pizza from Grimaldi's that would not be delicious!

Told you she was hungry. 

This place was awesome. They also had many favorite Italian desserts like Tiramisu and cannolis, however we were so stuffed we couldn't even look that way. It was all so delicious, however I wish they would diversify the menu a little bit more. I bet they'd make a mean pasta dish! ;) 

Grimaldi's: ★.5

Uncommon Bonds of Fellowship

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 

Throughout high school, my best friend and I used to read the Bible together over the phone every night and whenever I would jokingly tease her about hurting my feelings, I'd read the first few lines of this scripture. It's honestly not until today, that I read, or at least realized, the last line: "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." In doing my Beth Moore Bible Study, "David: Seeking A Heart Like His," this line was brought to my attention. The whole message is about two, but in the final line, three is brought into the picture, meaning the presence of God. In the study, this particular lesson was about the uncommon bond of David and Jonathan and their special friendship in 1 Samuel. They were knit, yoked together, almost resembling a marriage, in my opinion. And as I studied more, and arrived upon this final verse in Ecclesiastes, it made so much more sense. The presence of God was alive and active in their friendship, giving them a bond that was not easily matched.

This led me to begin to think more and more about fellowship, which I intend to have a few other blog posts about. As I've grown older, but particularly in this past year, I've become more aware of how people are able to feed into each other's souls. Like, I always knew of this and how "as iron sharpens iron, one person sharpens another" but I guess as I grew older, I've had more opportunities to encounter this phenomenon.

One thing that simply constantly leaves me amazed is how much the glory to God I find is given in the photography and wedding industry. It's really just so exciting and encouraging for me. I seriously stalk (or intently follow via social media...) so many people that ignite this passion inside of me! I wish I could meet them all and send them all cute little gold foiled cards thanking them for just being them... which is probably slightly strange since no one would know who I was, but that's just a byproduct of social media. You inspire people you don't even know about!

I've really enjoyed the opportunities I've had to engage in this fellowship, through friends that I've met, especially this past year through the wonderful girls in my Bible study in both the fall and spring semester, and also the beautiful SMU souls I met this past year as well through Emily! This past weekend, ended up also being a great opportunity to share in fellowship. One of of my oldest friends, Erika, who happens to be a very talented make up artist, and I collaborated with our friend Jacky, who happens to be a model and the recent winner of Miss Arlington USA. She's entering the Miss Texas Pageant competition and needed a few head shots.  I contacted a friend of mine and fellow cohort from Goolsby, Sebastian, who so graciously offered to let us use his studio and was basically our light guru for the day.  From the moment we got a small tour around the place and entered the studio, Sebastian pretty much had everything set up, including the Sunday afternoon playlist, which featured some of my favorite Christian artists.

The whole process was so awesome! Though I've had experience working in a studio before and working with make up artists before, I've never had the opportunity to work in a studio, with a make up artist, professional model, and someone who's actually very skilled with lighting! It was such a cool experience to work with an entire team! And even more so with a group of young, talented Christian individuals who I'm lucky enough to be able to call friends. Even in between the breaks, it was beautiful how well we were all able to get along, to talk about what we were doing, the directions we were hoping to go and just converse on all topics from faith to travel to our opinions on recent events. It's really encouraging seeing what great role models my friends have become and are becoming. All of their talents are so inspiring to me and give me the desire to do more with my life as well. Just being the people they are. I'm so incredibly lucky! Here are a few images from Jacky's shoot. Blog post to come, with many more images, on our Lemons & Tea Blog soon :)

Look at those eyes! Erika did such a phenomenal job!
Jacky even styled her hair all by herself! Loved working with them. Loved it all. I thank God for all of these awesome opportunities He's granted me with and all of the beautiful relationships I've been able to engage in and grow through. I hope all of you have had opportunities of fellowship recently, and if not don't be hesitant pray for some! That's one of the things I did this past March at Campus Harvest and they've been continually so rewarding!

Life advice from my little!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sometimes, life's just awesome because you just get all this unexpected advice, love, and encouragement. Today was one of those days. If you aren't sure where life is leading you, please take this sound advice from my little. She'll be making a "little" appearance (as she calls it) on the blog next week, so get excited! She just has to gather all of her thoughts of wisdom ;) Hope it can potentially help all of you too... "maybe."

"But really your plan is already set. God has that all set.. remember telling me this?! :) lol

Little advice on life choices: Answer these questions..

1). Does it sparkle? (does it make you happy?)
2). Is it important to you?
3). Is it what you are going to love doing every day?
4). Is it what you want your life to mean/ matter?
5). What do you want?
6). If your confused on that like yo little then go to the crazy side and come back it will do ya wonders. When your back from the crazy side reread the questions and answer them. Write those down and then look at it tomorrow.
7) Lastly life is confusing its what makes it wonderful and magical. And to be confused is a blessing. 

8) I'm crazy. But so are you. 
 your little. 

9). Also this is a serious survey that could potentially help you! :) ... 

Of Food & Friends: Kirin Court & Sweet Mix

I have this thing about me, where I just really, really like my friends. I don't know how or why but I was blessed with some of the most beautiful people to come into my life and despite ups and downs, distances, and circumstances, I've been able to maintain relationships with some incredible people.

After discussing relationships with people with my little the other day, I realized how much I value the relationships I've cultivated with people and how I can easily turn to many different friends for a variety of different things. All I know is that I'm very grateful for all of them and especially these three right here, who have all touched my life in unexpected and immeasurable ways. Honestly, each one of them has shown me so much love and such true friendship that I probably never even deserved to begin with. I don't really know how to put into words the appreciation I feel for all of them, but I hope they know that they've each had a great impact on me and who I am now.  

It's great getting together over delicious food, but even more so when the company is a bunch of good friends that allow you to feel so comfortable in your own skin. It's so much fun getting together with old friends and catching up, or just being flat out ridiculous. Here are some images from the day! Ivy took us to Kirin Court & Sweet Mix, both of which I'd heard raves reviews about, but never visited.

I would give Kirin Court ★.5! I really enjoyed the ambience and from the moment I walked into the restaurant, I immediately felt like I stepped into China or at least Chinatown. The food was good and affordable and we were able to eat a bunch of different dishes. I was stuffed to the brink for about $12 or $13 (per person) including a +20% tip (collectively)!  It really depends on how many items you order though and what beverages you get. For those of you who have never experienced dim sum, it's an awesome way to dine, if you ask me! You are seated and immediately food begins to surround you, pushed in carts by waitresses every few minutes. The moment you are out of a dish, you can instantly order another one! And if you don't like it, it's not that big of a deal, because it was only a few dollars and split between the group of you, less than $1! On average, my compadres gave Kirin Court a 4.067, given that they probably shouldn't have eaten a few dishes that I smartly opted out on! Haha

There should be a website for black girls taking pictures of asians taking pictures of food.

Pretty sure I asked her to take a picture of my teacup in hand, and got this. HA, IVY.

After we stuffed our faces, I made them take a picture outside, because the flowers were seriously so cute, but it began raining harder and harder and I gave up on hopes of a decent image, so here we have this hahahaha.

Then, we ended up at Sweet Mix! On average, the items here received .6 from my friends and  from me. I just got a juiced boba tea, which wasn't very impressive (though I did think I was ordering a smoothie and mistakenly ordered this instead) while my friends got dessert crepes. I wasn't a big fan of the crepes, simply because I prefer mine to be crispy and these crepes were soft. I was less than impressed with them, but believe that the waffles and french toast looked delicious and the customer service was great! I think we also could all agree that the ambience set for a good time and they had a great soundtrack, as if they knew we were ready to embarrassingly bust out into song as if there weren't at least 5 other customers in the restaurant... Bowie kids.

Ivy's "Strawriffic" Crepe complete with strawberry ice cream on the side!

Kelly's "Chocolate Lover's" Crepe, filled with nutella and a side of chocolate ice cream!

ugh, why are they so stinking cute?

She really loves me though.

Told ya.

We were born this way.

Love Huyzee, so much!

completely oblivious to whatever is going on with them...

#selfies, as if all the other pictures weren't enough!

& For sticking around so long, here are some embarrassing vines from the day :)

Me, making fun of Kelly's accent hahaha


As you can tell, we were all really excited to take pictures of our dim sum. Ivy was just ready to dive in...

Me, imitating Huy and the country boy A&M has made him. Gosh, I love my friends hahaha.
And to finish it off, a sweet little end note from Ivy!
AW, IVY. you're the sweetest.