Friday, August 29, 2014

Pinspired for August!

I had so much fun trying to put together an outfit last month that was inspired by one of my Pinterest pins, that I decided to go for it again!  With Labor Day approaching I knew I wanted to make sure to include white jeans in this look since our summer season will soon be replaced by fall!  Of course in Texas, where I live, the temps will certainly feel like summer through October at least. :)

Here was my inspiration look for this fun linkup hosted by Sheaffer, Shay and Mel:

This look is from a gorgeous blog called Blossom Everyday.  Read more about their encouraging mission here.  They also have a store with a wide variety of fun treats from clothes to candles!

I was drawn to this particular look because of the great use of neutrals and white.  As I thought through my closet, I realized I had some potential pieces that might be able to recreate something like this!  
Here is what I came up with:

Again, a fashion blogger I am not, but it was so fun to put together some pieces from my closet to recreate a similar look!  You should definitely try it. :)  Enjoy your long weekend!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday's Words

I feel so often that I am my own harshest critic.  Recently, I found this quote on Pinterest and it spoke to me so much that I made a print and have it framed in my office.  I find myself looking at it and thinking about it throughout the day and it helps me put life in perspective.  Aren't we all doing the best that we can?  So many times I let the stress of life consume my heart instead of releasing it to Christ and allowing Him to guide my steps.  These words have become a reminder for me to pause and remember Whose I am.  I hope they are an encouragement to you this day as well.
Wednesday's Words
I am so thankful to be linking up with Jenni, Martha Kate and Anna for this encouraging linkup.  
Thanks for hosting, ladies!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baylor Football Fashion

Home Sweet Ruby

Today, I'm linking up with Cait @ Home Sweet Ruby for College Football Kick-Off Week!  I'm so happy this week has finally arrived!!

My mom's precious friend gave me these adorable collegiate ballet flats as a special treat and I cannot wait to wear them to cheer on the Bears!!  I am a Baylor fan through and through and this year is bound to be one of the most exciting yet with the opening of our new stadium.  In fact, part of me feels that if I just click my heels 3 times, these shoes might just take me to McLane Stadium immediately!

The line is lillybee U and oh my goodness, they have ever so many schools!  Best wishes to all our teams this season!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Recap!

This weekend was a lot of fun!


Friday night we had a group over for dinner and I made these brownies for dessert.  I wasn't able to cut them in perfect squares, but they were perfectly gooey in the middle.  
Betty Crocker knows what she is doing!  

Saturday morning I embraced the Fall vibe that seems to be floating around the interwebs about this time each year and lighted one of my favorite candles to enjoy with my coffee.  I am serving the Chi Omega Alumnae chapter in my area as president this year, so I hopped right on the computer and accomplished some "to-dos" for our upcoming meeting.  Something about a yummy smelling candle and delicious coffee makes me more productive!

Then, we went over to our dear friends' house and celebrated a special 5 year old for his birthday!
His mom made this amazing plane cake!  I loved the fondant sky and clouds. 

The cake was so yummy, too!!  Perfect in every way!

After the party, G took me on a fun food truck lunch date!

We have wanted to visit this new group of food trucks near our downtown and decided that would be the first stop on our list of errands.

We tried the cheeseburger and sweet potato fries from Dave's Burger Barn, which the hubs touts as one of his all-time favorite burgers and he LOVES burgers, so I new it would be delicious.  
Such a fun treat!  Now, we can't wait to try the other food trucks!!

Next on our list was mission: organization. 
We stopped by Office Depot for some office organization items and also visited Hobby Lobby and HEB before heading home.  Then, we both got in the organization zone and got to work!  We have lived in our house for over a year and many of the walls were still bare, so we found some new homes for a lot of the decorative items we had put in a closet during the move and got rid of what we didn't need.  We also were able to utilize this great built-in bookshelf that is in our master bedroom for lots more storage.  We still have lots to do in our house, but it is amazing what a difference each little step makes!  One area we are unsure about is large wall spaces.  What are tips you have for decorating large areas in your home?

Yesterday, we had an all-church breakfast before the service and brought blueberry muffins.  I loved getting to use an adorable basket we had received for our wedding to carry them in. :)  It was so nice to visit with familiar faces and meet some new ones.

After a few meetings and some grocery shopping, we met G's parents for a yummy dinner.  I'm so thankful that they live nearby and we are able to see them often.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  I am so happy to be linking up again with AndreaErika, and Narci and talking about my favorite things this week.

To Read

I have just finished Inferno by Dan Brown and it is a page turner!!  I love how he incorporates so much art history into the story and uses different art pieces to solve the mystery.  This one is set in Florence, Venice and Turkey.  Italy is on my list of "must-see" places, so I loved getting to visit for a bit as I turned each page.

Next on my list is Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple and I cannot wait!  I have heard so many wonderful things about this book from so many different places, I'm looking forward to reading what all the buzz is about.

To Watch

My mom visited us last weekend and we got to see The Hundred-Foot Journey.  It is literally one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.  The way the story weaves culture, friendship, family, love, and discovering yourself and your dreams is truly magical.  I wholeheartedly encourage you to see this film if you haven't yet -- good stuff!

To Utilize

I have discovered My Fitness Pal and it has been a total game changer for me as far as keeping up with my daily calories and nutrition.  I love how you can input all different types of food and get the calorie counts plus the nutrition values.  You put in your height, weight, a few other stats, and your goals.  Then, the app calculates the number of calories you need to achieve the goal.  In fact, at the end of the day, it tells you where you would be in 5 weeks if you ate the same as you did that day everyday.  It also allows you to input workouts, too.  I've really enjoyed the accountability.

To Remember

Last week the Mister and I headed to South Padre Island with some friends and had the most wonderful time!  I hope to post a recap of our trip soon -- it was such a relaxing beach vacation. :)

Hope you all have super Friday and enjoy your weekend!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

St. Anne's Church

After seeing the Pool of Bethesda, we went into St. Anne's church.  
This church is located on the traditional site of Mary's birth and St. Anne is traditionally known as Mary's mother.

I loved this beautiful wrought iron cross outside of the church.

Outside of the church.

Our group entering the church.

This church had the most glorious acoustics and as we entered, another tour group was seated and had been singing.

We joined in with them.

They were from West Virginia.  

As we sang together I was immediately transported to First Baptist Church, Sulphur Springs with many of the song we sang, including "Alleluia".

One woman from their group had called her mother on her cell phone and we sang a song she loved.  

What a precious blessing.  

I am amazed by technology sometimes, it's power to connect us in ways that would have never previously been imagined.

The group from West Virginia left and we were able to sit and sing some songs together.

I felt in my soul I had been to church as I walked out the doors.
For me, it was one of the most glorious experiences of the trip.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Favorites!


I'm linking up today for Friday Favorites with Andrea, Erika, and Narci, and just had to share some of the things I'm loving this week.  I also wanted to say hi to my new followers!  Thanks so much for joining me on this blogging journey. :)

1.  Cutest commercial!

I saw this commercial this week and just had to track it down on YouTube to share it with y'all -- so adorable!

2.  Liebster Award!

Sweet Anna at Park Avenue Blogger nominated me for the Liebster award and I am thrilled!  Anna writes the cutest posts.  She and her hubby took a trip to Italy, which she will be recapping soon, so you should definitely hop over and check it out!  She is also a teacher and wrote a special prayer thursday about going back to school.  It was so inspiring.  Thanks, Anna!

The Liebster award is given to bloggers who have 200 or fewer followers as a way to build community and get to know bloggers better. :)

The rules are to post 11 things about yourself and then answer the questions the person nominated you posted.  Then, you get to nominate some bloggers and write questions for them.

Here are my 11 things:
1.  You've Got Mail is quite possibly my favorite movie of all time.  I saw it in the theater 3 times when it came out!  Perhaps part of this love has to do with #6 and it brings in my favorite book of all time, Pride and Prejudice.
2.  I was named after my maternal grandfather, which is why I spell Carroll with two Rs and two Ls.
3.  I grew up in a small town in Northeast Texas and my great-grandmother, my grandparents, and my family all lived on the same street.
4.  I met my husband at a Baylor men's basketball game 9 years after I had graduated with my undergrad.  We overlapped our time in college by 2 years, but never knew each other -- further proof that God's timing is perfect!
5.  I cannot wink.  I've tried and tried, but I can't close one eye without closing the other.
6.  NYC is one of my favorite places on the planet.  I love the energy of the city and have always thought it would be amazing to live there for a season.
7.  I also love musical theater and my dream career would be to star on Broadway.  I love watching musicals live, in movies, and have gotten to be in few.  A lot of times I wish life could be a musical where we just break out into song and choreographed steps!
8.  I'm a girly girl at heart.  A weekend that includes a mani/pedi, shopping, and lunch with the girls will always be a favorite for me.
9.  My faith is an essential part of who I am.  I am a believer in the complete and saving grace of Jesus Christ and am eternally grateful for the abundant love God has for all of us.
10.  My dream vacation would be a tie between Italy, England and Greece.  Actually, I have a lot more places I want to see and love to travel.
11.  I love to cook and host people.  Preparing menus and trying new recipes are fun adventures to me.

Here are Anna's 11 questions for me:

1. If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be? Greece

2. Why do you blog?  
I blog to remember my life.  In fact, the very event that spurred me to blog was dropping an entire tray of food in the middle of the cafeteria!  I knew I needed to start writing down some of these crazy adventures, so I wouldn't forget what all happened in my life! :)

3. What is your favorite food?  Mexican food.  All day.  Every day.

4. What does your typical day look like? 
Wake up, do a little exercise (if not working out after work.  Lately, I've been using this pin and it has made me sore!), have my quiet time (I'm loving She Reads Truth and, get ready for the day and drive to work.  I spend my day meeting with students and enjoy my work a lot.  After work, either I meet the hubs at the gym to workout or we head home and either cook something from our Pinterest boards (our key to meal planning) or eat leftovers.  Occasionally, I may have a Junior League meeting, book club, etc. in the evenings as well.  Really, G and I are homebodies and I love spending my evenings with him and also writing and reading blogs! :)

5. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?  
Calligraphy!  I have a beginner calligraphy set on my birthday wish list and would love to take a class.

6. What do you miss most about being a kid?  I don't know.  I still feel pretty much like a kid at heart!  

7. What is your dream job?  
Star in a Broadway musical, host a TV show on the Travel Channel, speak at church retreats, write

8. What are your goals for this year/month?  
Continue writing here, read two books, and work on my series on fear at Hope and Holiness.

9. Pink or red lipstick?  Pink (Chanel's Boy is my favorite shade of all time!)

10. What cheers you up?  Flowers, sweet texts from Grady

11. What is your greatest strength? 
Being passionate about things I believe in keeps me motivated to press forward when I might shrink pack or give up.

I nominate:
Erica @ The McGrath Family 
Habitual Spender
Finley @ In it for Love 

Here are your 11 questions:
1.  What is your favorite season?
2.  What is your favorite childhood memory?
3.  If you were an animal, what would you be?
4.  How do you describe your style?
5.  Beach or Mountains?
6.  What is your favorite book?
7.  When you have free time, what do you like to do?
8.  How many different cities/towns have you lived in?
9.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
10.  What is your favorite scent?
11.  What do you want to be when you grow up?

3.  Target Giveaway

Also, this week I got to participate in my first giveaway ever thanks to Whitney!  Hop on over to enter to win a $75 gift card. :)

Those are my favorites this week!  Hope you have a fabulous weekend. :)  Can't wait to read what your Friday favorites are!! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pool of Bethesda

This post is one in a series of posts about my trip to Israel in March 2011.
For other posts in this series, click here.

Once we left the Lion's Gate, we walked into the city.

First we passed a traditional site for Mary's birthplace.

Aren't those doors gorgeous?  I just loved all the ornate detail.

When we went inside, we saw the pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed a miracle:

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes.  
Bethesda ruins
In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.  One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”  

Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.”  At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.  John 5:2-9 NRSV

And here we were right where Jesus performed an incredible miracle of healing.

I was amazed at all the unique architectural details surrounding this space.

Another unusual thing was that cats were everywhere! 
I quickly snapped a pic to remember that as well. 

Next stop St. Anne's church.