We are several days into May, but it's never too late for a currently post, right? Here's what's been up lately and then a few favorites I'm loving right now.
I always set out with the intention to do a detailed blog post of places I go and things that I do. Yet, that clearly doesn't always happen. After all, I spent nine months in California and I'm pretty sure I haven't shared half of the things or places I saw when out there. It's never too late...right? I saw Anne do a recent photo share from her phone and Kiki often shares her month in photos, so I thought I would take a cue from both of them. Here's a photo dump of some things I've been doing since the beginning on the year.
Resolving | My resolutions aren't really the norm this year. I instead have a list of 27 things I would like to do this year. Some are silly and some serious. Of course, there is a lot I could add to this list, but these are things I've been wanting to do, need to do, or would just be fun. I'm using this list and breaking it down to form monthly goals and then weekly and then daily. To kick start the year I'm really focusing on these for January: read one book, write a letter to a friend, write my Compassion child, finish one month of daily Bible reading, wake up an hour earlier than needed, eat breakfast daily, clean out closets/drawers and take clothes and shoes to Goodwill.
Reading | One of the things on my list this year is to read the Bible in its entirety. I've always started this and then quit somewhere in March. But before, I never really had a plan that I was following. This year, I found a Bible reading plan that is five days a week, allowing for catch-ups on the weekend if necessary. It combines Old and New Testament readings with Psalms spread throughout. Other things I'm reading: And the Mountains Echoed, Having a Mary Heart in A Martha World.
Organizing | Blogging. Always blogging stuff. I attempted to keep a planner last year for just blogging things and it worked...for awhile. A couple months back, I deleted all the draft posts I had hanging around forever, because I realized that I really wasn't going to finish those. Now, I feel like I know the kind of blogging schedule I want to do for this year and I want to focus more on quality than quantity. I'm getting away from the numbers. Other things I'm organizing: my closets and drawers by getting rid of what I don't need or use and my banking account. This year I'm hoping to really start saving in big ways.
Loving | That the cold weather of winter finally decided to come with 2016! It felt like we were living in summer forever with that weather we had in December. So glad that I can actually wear cardigans and scarves now without feeling like I'm going to suffocate. Other things I'm loving: roommate and I started the Making a Murderer series on Netflix, that I can type fast and get this post out before I have to get ready for work, that 2016 decided to begin with a weekend, and coffee. Always coffee.
Craving | Something yummy and delicious and healthy to eat for breakfast during the weekdays! If I wake up an hour earlier than I want to, I'll have time to enjoy breakfast. I've been having breakfast the past couple of days and it's amazing how my body knows I've been eating in the morning and starts craving it. I need to look up some easy and delicious breakfast ideas...that isn't all eggs. I love eggs, but can get burned out on them quickly.
What are you currently up to this first month of 2016?
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Back towards the beginning of fall, I was visiting my parent's one weekend when mom and I decided to create some seasonal fall wreaths to decorate our doors. I honestly thought this was going to be a Pinterest fail moment for me, because I had never created a wreath of my own before. Luckily, with mom by my side, we found some great floral pieces and were able to create some pretty wreaths. Mom decided to decorate some wooden, rectangle frames creating a really unique wreath. I decided to stick with a natural grapevine circle wreath.
I am a big fan of the natural, earthy look, so I love these grapevine twig wreaths! I could just hang a bunch of these all over the place and be happy. I also love berries, so I knew I wanted some of those to be included. I liked the idea of decorating just a corner of the circle, mainly focusing on one side, because I wanted a lot of the natural wreath to be seen. The colors of fall are beautiful with the oranges and reds and I love the different texture that the berries and the red poms give. I also wanted to personalize the wreath a little more, so I added the initial. Luckily, my roommate and I share the same last name initial, so I painted our letter in gold. I think it was a great contrast with the other colors in the wreath, but still added to the natural feeling I was aiming for. I was so happy with the way that my fall wreath turned out, (and for how easy it was to make!) that soon after I started thinking about my winter door wreath!
Since I love the natural look and love berries, my first thought for my winter door wreath was to keep it simple and beautiful by using the same grapevine wreath and circling red berries all around it, creating the sunburst look. I absolutely LOVE the all berry wreaths. So, one day I set out to Hobby Lobby to see what kind of berries they had. I was walking the aisles of Hobby Lobby while scrolling through Pinterest for alternate ideas, because in order to fill my grapevine wreath with berries, I was probably going to have to buy out Hobby Lobby in red berries. Then, I saw a grapevine wall basket and thought it would make a great door piece! I switched from my all berry idea to a more woodsy, Christmasy, wintry feel. Of course, berries would still be involved.
After finding the basket, I spotted the green pine pieces and knew they would be the focal point. I loved the contrast of the green with the brown, natural basket, but wanted some pops of color. And what better way than by, of course, adding berries? Anyone sensing a theme here? So, I gathered some red berries and then decided to go with gold berries to tie in with the initial from my fall wreath. I filled the bottom of the basket with natural colored moss to give more texture and hide the stems of the pieces. While I was piecing everything together in the basket, I wasn't sure if the piece would fit on the door. I thought it was going to be too wide! But, it ended up being the perfect width! And one twig piece of the basket had enough space and tension to hold the initial in perfect place. It was meant to be!
Back in the fall, I honestly thought that I would just pick the pieces and mom would fix everything together. But, together we were able to create a beautiful wreath and it made me even more excited to put together this winter piece myself. I love that my winter wreath isn't really a wreath at all. It's more of a statement piece. I absolutely love walking up to it everyday when I get home. I would love to create something smaller for my bedroom door. And of course, it will need berries.
Do you like to create wreaths or pieces for your door?
What are your favorite styles or ways to decorate wreaths for the winter?
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Wishing | That I was going to Memphis this year as normal. My Dad is having surgery next week and his recovery time is over Christmas. So, for the first time since moving to Alabama, I won't be in Memphis with family and friends. I was pretty sad when I first learned the news and not seeing family will be hard, but we will be able to go within the new year. I'm more wishing now for a safe surgery and good recovery for Dad. I know Christmas will be just as wonderful just being my parents and I.
Remembering | That this is the month I turn 27! My golden year is soon to begin. I've been excited for this year to begin for some time, more so than other birthday years. I can't wait to see where the Lord takes me and what He has in store for this upcoming year.
Wrapping | I haven't begun to shop for any presents, much less wrap any yet! Although there is one gift laying under the tree that is for my niece. I have some good ideas for some gifts this year and I'm excited to get them and then wrap them of course! Wrapping is the fun part for me!
Baking | I haven't baked much lately, besides some biscuits and cornbread last month. The last time I baked a pie was for the fourth of July and I ended up not baking any for Thanksgiving. I would love to bake one for Christmas though! I'm thinking either Pecan or Cherry Pie! Which would you vote for?
Decorating | I really want to think of some cute, inexpensive ways to decorate my room and apartment for Christmas. I'm a fan of simple and classic decorations, so I may add some garland to my gallery wall or above my door in my bedroom. My roommate put up the Christmas tree a couple weeks ago, other than that our living room isn't much decorated. I also need to change up our door wreath. The great thing about our wreath is that the leaves and flowers are just stuck inside the wreath itself, making them easy to pull out. I'm thinking of just filling it with red berries for winter and leaving our gold "B." Suggestions?
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Eating | All things fall related. Pumpkin cookies, sugar cookies with pumpkins on them, pumpkin muffins that are the epitome of fall in your mouth, chili, homemade buttermilk biscuits, crock-pot soups, and coffee. Which you don't really eat, but I'm including it anyways. And in an effort to take back my mornings and enjoy them, I'm going to try and actually eat breakfast in the morning. My day would go so much better I think.
Exploring | I would love to find some new places around me to explore for fall. Visiting a pumpkin patch would be so wonderful. I've only done that a couple of times and I always had so much fun! Also, for my birthday this year (27!!) I'm wanting to take maybe a weekend trip somewhere and maybe stay in an Air B&B. I've heard some good things and I think it would be a fun way to explore a new area. I want to go somewhere that is in driving distance, but somewhere I've never been before.
Wearing | Y'all, I was actually able to pull out my boots and that cardigan (pictured above and on your right) this past Sunday. I was so excited. Hasn't exactly gotten to scarf weather, but we are close. I'm choosing to believe! Also, I'm dying to pull out my flannel shirt I found last year. Fall weather is the best weather.
Admiring | How wonderful our God is. He never ceases to amaze me in the ways that He provides for me. Whether it's my car breaking down near where I go to Bible study, so I was near help. Or multiple friends offering me rides until I got it back. Or how He gives us beautiful days to enjoy with our windows down and music praising His name. He gives us great friends to walk through life with. And He gives us protection when we need it. He gives it all, whatever our need, He gives. Generously.
Collecting | Pictures for an October photo challenge that I found. Let's just say I'm cheating some days, because there are days that I forget about it. But, it's fun thinking about ways to capture the moment. I'll be sharing some soon!
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Well, now that fall is officially upon us (Yay! It's my favorite season!) I thought it would be fun to do a big summer recap! I haven't been around here much this summer, but I've come to realize that, sometimes, that is okay. It just means that life has been happening and I've been trying to not miss it. Fall really is my favorite season, but I love them all because they each bring something different. For me, spring brings new beginnings, summer brings adventure, fall brings relaxation, and winter seems to bring closeness with its long, dark days and holidays.
I'm really looking forward to fall this year, but before I talk about those things, let's recap summer!
First, the beach. No summer is complete without an adventure to the beach. And there were several. I wish there had been more, but I greatly enjoyed the ones I was able to have. I bought a new bathing suit for the first time in forever, found a place with incredible shrimp pizza and mimosas, read some books, took some naps, had great beach hair, and only got sun-burnt once!
Friends were also an important part of summer, as they are in all seasons of the year (and life). I got to see my best friend and her husband as they passed through Mobile one weekend. Road-tripped with my roomie to watch two dear friends get hitched. Reunited with a wonderful friend after three years of separation (and we live in the same state, that is horrible). And took a late night trip with friends to play putt-putt and stick our feet in the Gulf. I also dressed up like a cow for my first ever Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a with a new important group of friends, my grow group from church.
Adventures were had this summer. From hitting the beach to an evening of baseball. To visiting museums around the city. Watching friends compete in a dragon boat race. Showing friends around town. And Friday nights downtown at the ArtWalk. Not every day or weekend got filled, but the ones that did were fun and meaningful.
The Fourth of July. My favorite holiday in my favorite month (which ironically is not in my favorite season). I love the fourth of July weekend because it literally screams summertime. I love it so much that it gets its own shout out. One of my good friends from college came down to visit me and it was her first time visiting Mobile. Of course we hit up the beach during the day and then hit up another beach that night where we watched Jaws. On the beach. It was awesome. Then we celebrated Independence Day by making our way through an entire battleship and submarine. We ended the night by watching fireworks over the battleship and driving home under a patriotic city skyline.
Home. I didn't go home much this summer, but the times that I did were special, as they always are. My parents were even able to visit me a couple of times in Mobile and we have now created a tradition of ordering Chinese food when they are in town. I feel like this summer my relationship with my parents changed once again. I believe it's possible for your parents to also be your friends. Parents first and always, but also your friends, especially when you get older. I had this realization when my parents were sitting in my living room, at my dinner table, and I was serving them. I was able to welcome my parents into my home and serve them. I was able to give them a small portion of what they have given me many, many times over the years.
Summer was full of wonderful adventures, but I'm just as excited for fall. I feel like fall brings about times of fun, but also relaxation. Things I love about fall: football, the fair, ability to wear scarves and cardigans again, falling leaves, music festivals, candles lit all the time, baking pies, and carving pumpkins. Things I'm looking forward to doing this fall: baking more, reading more, waking up earlier and enjoying slow mornings (not just on Saturdays), buying an actual alarm clock to wake up to and not my phone, writing more, and enjoying whatever other adventures the Lord decides to bring my way.
To see more of my summer adventures, check out #PolishedArrowSummer on Instagram.
What are you most looking forward to this fall?
Keep following me into Fall! :)
Reading | Oh, friends. I love to read and I'm usually caught reading multiple books at one time. The one thing I haven't gotten into is listening to audiobooks, but maybe I'll start that for some of my morning drives. I'm just afraid that I'll get sucked into a story and then stay in my car all afternoon instead of actually going into work! Right now I'm reading Wild (almost finished finally), Multiply, Job: The Wisdom of the Cross, The Pursuit of God, and The Longest Ride (had to have some cheesiness in there somewhere! ha!). I'm not sure if I'm going to make my goal of 24 books in a year, but check out my BOOKSHELF to see what all is on the list.
Making | Lots of pasta salad. We have been having lots of birthday parties at work and that is my go to right now. I also made a green bean casserole this past week for Bible study. Who says they are only for the holidays? I'm really craving some homemade biscuits though, so those will probably be made again in the very near future.
Pinning | Lots of food related things. Apparently I only Pinterest when hungry...hmm. Speaking of food and biscuits, here is a recipe for homemade biscuits I'm wanting to try.
Anticipating | Fall. Football. Flats. Falling leaves. Pumpkins (But not the Spice Latte kind). Apple picking (is it possible in the South?) Scarves. Cardigans. Cooler mornings and nights. September 23rd, the official beginning of all of these things.
Loving | That this weekend is a long weekend and that it is going to be an enjoyable one. First, there is a party for a very sweet kiddo from work who is turning one. Second, I'll be heading to my parent's house for the second half of the long weekend (and it feels like forever and a day since I've been to visit my parents). Third, college football is back and that means Alabama Football watching parties with my best friend, Dad. Fourth, I will be enjoying my parent's back porch and reading all the books listed above.
What are you currently up to?
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Hello, August! The month of back to school and more hot weather for the South. Although I'm a pre-school teacher, I wish I was still a student some days. Only because I'm obsessed with school supplies and cute backpacks.
Creating | Sadly, nothing at the moment. Yet, there are many things I want to. Maybe this will finally be the month that I create my California photo book. I've also been thinking about business cards for the blog, but I'm not sure whether I've reached that point or not. Whatever "that point" is supposed to be.
Wishlisting | So many things! New car, money to pay off student loans, a puppy, a new, more grown up wardrobe, anything for my room or apartment. Speaking of, Mobile just got a new HomeGoods store and guys, that is going to be dangerous. I did just purchase a cute new laundry basket though. Fingers crossed I win that $1,000 shopping spree. Hey, they don't call it a wishlist for nothing!
Hoping | That the Lord continues to work on my heart when it comes to my job situation. I feel stuck in between two main thoughts: I'm not happy there and want something new, but maybe it is where the Lord wants me. I want to be able to wake up and be excited about going to work, not go to bed and wake up dreading it. The Lord knows our wants and I feel He will honor that in one way or another. But, I need to remember that this is ultimately about His will and where He wants me to be so that He can use me in the best way possible. I've already been through a year of job searching and it was not a fun year. I just need peace for the whole situation.
Eating | All the bad stuff again. At least, that is what it seems. It's a new month and summer is soon to be over. Splurging needs to stop happening and discipline needs to come back.
Watching | If you went to my Hulu+ account, you would see: Pretty Little Liars, Baby Daddy, Chasing Life, The Last Ship, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. If you went to my Netflix account, you would see: Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, and the Jack Ryan movies. Also, it's summertime, which means Big Brother is in full swing! #HelloTVaholic
What are you currently up to?
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