January 22, 2012

Book Worm

I always have enjoyed getting lost in a good book. As a little girl, I was an avid Nancy Drew reader thanks to my Grandma Hartman, a mystery lover herself, who introduced me to the beloved sleuth. One of my favorite stories she tells of her childhood is of her using her bus change to buy two Nancy Drew books instead of one, which meant walking to the bookstore. Not much of a sacrifice considering her passion for books. A passion she so lovingly passed on to me through frequent trips to the library when I was young and giving Barnes and Noble gift cards at Christmas. Between her and my step-mom, Tami, who always challenged me to read more, it's no wonder I'm such a book worm!

Unfortunately, the busyness of college left reading for fun on the back burner, but I am thankful to say my post-grad life has given me a chance to fall in love with reading all over again. Since Christmas, I have read four books, going on five, and I thought I'd do a little sharing!

1, 2, & 3: The Hunger Games series, by Suzanne Collins. Talk about three books you cannot put down. Each book is filled with suspense, action, romance, and did I say SUSPENSE? If you like good unexpected turns of events throughout a book, then you NEED to read this series. Just be prepared to put the rest of your life on hold while doing so, though. And at least read the first one before the movie comes out in March, which, can I just say how excited I already am?

4: Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. Inspired by the book of Hosea, this is a breathtakingly beautiful story filled with so much Truth about love and the way God intended it to be. After 464 pages, I was left wishing for a sequel and dreaming of my own love story that I trust God has written for me. I recommend this book to all woman. Single. Married. Engaged. Whatever! So much can be learned from the characters in this story. 

5. The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. This is my current read, and it's literally changing the way I pray. Each chapter leaves me challenged to pray harder, more often, more specifically, and with more faith. Even if you are happy with your prayer life, I encourage you to get your hands on this book! "Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears." 

So what about you? Read anything worth while lately?

January 16, 2012

Green Tea Toner

I finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, and I'm so glad I did! The insane amount of cheap DIY projects are easily my favorite Pinterest quality. How else would I have found out how to make my own green tea toner?

Source: glamour.com via Eliana on Pinterest

I've only used the toner for two days, but each time has left my skin feeling so refreshed! The best part is the simplicity. Here's what you do:

Fill up a small container with cold water.
Let one green tea bag steep for a couple of minutes.
Dip a cotton ball in the toner.
Apply generously to the face.

I use the toner right after washing my face and then follow it up with a moisturizer because it can be a little drying. 

And that's it! It's that simple, and I highly recommend it! 

Sunday Style

These days it's not very often that I get to embrace my love for clothes. My Panera Bread uniform consists of black/khaki pants and polos, and I don't exactly wear the best my closest has to offer just to run to Walmart. That being said, I look forward to Sundays when I no longer have to neglect the pretty clothes (and shoes) waiting to be worn. Thus, I present to you the first "Sunday Style" post (sorry for the awful photos):

Canvas Handbag: H&M
Dark Wash Jeans: Aeropostle (Don't judge! I'm 5'1 and finding jeans is difficult!)
Blazer: Zara
Purple Tank: Forever 21
Scarf: Forever 21
Flats: Target

Oh, and let's not forget the Fishtail Braid...

This outfit was simple and comfortable, yet classy. Just the way I like it!

January 11, 2012

The Mountain

It's been one of those mornings. Early to rise. Icy windshield with no ice scraper. Low gas light bound to turn on any second. Dreary weather. Life worries flooding my brain. I admit, my drive to town turned into a pity party.

Then I was reminded of Abraham.

No doubt about it, Abraham was a man of trying circumstances yet incredible faith. I am currently going through my own share of trying circumstances, but this morning's pity party didn't help me in the incredible faith department. In fact, compared to Abraham being told to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (the same son who was supposed to assist in fulfilling God's promise to Abraham a few chapters earlier), my circumstances don't seem as trying.

Despite such a confusing and scary call to obedience from God, Abraham, without question, made his trek toward a mountain, hand in hand with Isaac, who he bound and laid "on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son." (Gen. 22:9-10)

And we all know how this story ends. There was no slaying. There was rejoicing! An angel of the LORD said, "Do not do anything to him. Now I know you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." (Gen. 22:12)

And let's not forget, there was provision! "Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (Gen 22:13-14)

I can't help but feel strongly convicted, yet immensely encouraged to continue on my own trek toward the mountain of the LORD, where He WILL provide.