Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo credit to CJ for capturing this beautiful shot


Sunday, December 16, 2012

It Feels Like Christmas

Three weeks ago, I returned home from the warm beach temperatures of Sydney, to be greeted with a beautiful white snowfall the next day. But, even with the snow, my  sunburn-turned-tan and wardrobe of summer dresses has made it hard for me to actually feel like Christmas is coming. Usually I have time to prepare – autumn leaves start falling in October, the warm weather slowly drifts away, and Thanksgiving comes around. By then I usually start getting excited about Christmas. So in an attempt to make myself more excited, I have been:


It worked! 
10 more days until Christmas everyone!! 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Travel: Blue Mountains

About a week ago, my cousin, CJ, and I drove up to the Blue Mountains (an hour away from Sydney) as tourists and met up with some other friends. We hiked around the Three Sisters (pics below), a popular and beautiful tourist destination of the Blue Mountains. If you are ever in Australia, this is definitely one place to visit if you're looking to get out of the city and for a bit of an adventure. And, a bit of trivia: It's also where the Australian movie Tomorrow When the War Began, was filmed. To all my American friends, I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are getting excited for the Christmas season.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful for Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again. Autumn, Thanksgiving, and preparing for Christmas. Although I'm not a huge fan of the transition from hot summer weather to the freezing cold days of a Colorado winter, I do enjoy the perks of these holidays. The first snow is always exciting to me – the pure white snowflakes covering everything in sight, frosting the green pine trees and gracefully dancing in the air– everything outside at peaceWatching snow fall truly captivates me. 

"snowflakes covering everything in sight... everything outside at peace"

It is one of nature's most beautiful abilities and one of God's most beautiful creations. It emulates a perfect atmosphere for sipping hot chocolate by the fire and listening to Christmas music. I can also attest to being snowed in with 4 feet of snow just outside my front door– an invitation to go sledding in the street, build snowmen and snow tunnels, and the excitement of having a day or two off of school. As sad as I am to be missing some of these festivities, I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to get a university degree and spend time with lovely friends in a beautiful country. 

"an invitation to go sledding in the street, build snowmen and snow tunnels, and the excitement of having a day or two off of school"

And for those who are pondering why I am missing Thanksgiving (I have had a couple friends who have asked me what Australians do for Thanksgiving), sadly, Australians do not celebrate this wonderful American tradition (although Halloween is becoming more popular here, so perhaps in the future, Australians will adopt our Thanksgiving traditions? ). If you recall, it was the pilgrims and indians in Plymouth, Massachusetts who shared the Thanksgiving Harvest. Check out a brief history of Thanksgiving here! Did you know that it was President Abraham Lincoln that declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday?? 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever" –Psalm 107:1

As I read all of the Thanksgiving statuses on Facebook and see the pictures of turkey, cranberry, and mashed potatoes on Pinterest, I can't help but get excited. I am so thankful for all of the years that I have spent time with my family at Thanksgiving and all of the wonderful memories (playing hide-and-seek, sitting at the 'kids' table, playing football, and eating leftovers the next day). Even though I'm spending this Thanksgiving away from my family, I am still so thankful for all of the blessings God has given me. 

What are you most thankful for in your life??

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Being Tourists

This week my beautiful cousin is visiting me in Sydney! So far, we have hung out with koalas and kangaroos, gone to some of the beautiful beaches, had fish & chips in Manly, and walked around the The Rocks & Circular Quay, as all good tourists do! We have even been blessed with some beautiful weather and consequently got sunburned. Check out some of my favourite shots :)

"Ready for my close-up!"
My boyfriend and his new furry friend

How many koalas can you spot??

My cousin & I in front of the Harbor Bridge!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tips & Tricks to Making Delicious Home-made Pizza

I've been cooking on my own (and with friends) for about a year now, and have attempted to make home-made pizza on multiple occasions. This is the best way that I have found to make fool-proof pizza. I usually use an easy dough mix from the grocery store that provides the base mix and a yeast packet, and all I have to do is add warm water and knead the dough. (Pretty simple). I've found that mixing together this type of dough tastes much better than buying an already partially cooked pizza base, and it cooks much better in the oven. 

Step 1: 

  • Mix pizza dough according to package instructions. *Remember to use warm water if there is a yeast packet because this makes the yeast react, thus allowing your crust to rise* 
  • Preheat the oven according to the directions on the pizza dough package.
  • Cut veggies and prepare toppings. As for the cheese, instead of shredded mozzarella, I cut slices to layer on top of the sauce (but this is just my personal preference). I also bought a pre-made sauce from the grocery store which turned out to be pretty good. You can also use tomato paste, or even make a white sauce if you are feeling skilled or have some extra time. 

Step 2:
  • Flatten/roll out dough and lightly grease the oven pan that you are going to use. 
  • Add sauce and spread over pizza base with a spoon.
  • Assemble your pizza with your fresh toppings (I used red peppers, red onions, and mozzarella). 

Step 3:

  • Bake your pizza for the time according to the pizza dough mix box. (My oven was 240*C (not fahrenheit) and it took about 12 minutes to cook- but it depends on the oven that you use as most ovens are different). I would suggest checking it every 5 minutes. 
  • Enjoy your home-made pizza :) 

*If you want to make thick crust (as seen in the left pizza above), use a pan similar to the one pictured on the left that has some height on the sides. Pizza pans (like the one on the right) work well for normal crust. 

*You can also use pizza dough mixes to make delicious garlic bread- there are usually recipes located on the sides or back of the package. 

Comment below to let me know your tips for home-made pizzas and how yours turns out :)  *Kirsten

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator- Mahatma Gandhi

Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord- Psalm 45:11

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams- Eleanor Roosevelt

Love is the beauty of the soul- Saint Augustine 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Time

Election Reminder

As this time of year approaches, there is often a lot of tension that comes from the presidential debates, television ads, and the campaigning in general that goes on. But, as I was reminded by Annie from What She Saw, we have to remember that ultimately, God is in control no matter what happens. I think we tend to forget this when we get so worked up over who is going to win. As Christians, we have an assurance that no matter what happens, He is in control and He already knows the outcome.

 In God of This City, Chris Tomlin sings: 

You're the Lord of this nation,
the King of these people, 
the Light in this darkness,  
                              and the Hope to the hopeless.

As we go into this election tomorrow, these are words to remember and reflect on. We have so much to be thankful already- that we are a nation with freedom of religion and speech; a privilege that many countries around the world do not have.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


There is a certain peace that comes from being outside before the sun has risen; before everyone has woken up, when the birds, the ducks, and the rabbits have full reign of the earth. It feels like a completely different world: a calm and peaceful world without the busy everyday life commitments of work, busy schedules, and requirements of life.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ –Romans 5:1

I'm not someone who regularly ever gets up before the sun, but today, when I had to wake up at 5 to get to work, I experienced this sense of peace. The weather was mild; a perfect balance of the fresh feeling of morning mixed with the beginnings of summer, and for a person who is usually cold, there was no sign of any cool-weather induced goosebumps or shivers.

I imagine that this is what God experienced when he 'hovered over the waters of the earth" in Genesis 1:2. This is a sense of peace that I want to experience more in my life. As I have been studying the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22), I have been looking for examples of application of these fruits to my life. And today, I felt PEACE. A peace that was necessary. A peace that made me thankful to have experienced when I left my room at 5:45 even though it was early. A peace that got me through the 11 hours of work ahead of me that I was so anxious about before.

Thank you God for Peace. I needed it.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Spring has sprung!

Get ready (southern hemisphere), Spring is here! This is one of my favorite times of the year; all the flowers are blooming and the weather is becoming nicer (almost ready for the beach!). For all you northern hemisphere's, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Autumn too, but I just saw millions of gorgeous flowers today and am craving the Springtime weather. You'll understand why when you see these photos:

We even got to see a baby goat at the petting zoo :) ADORABLE!

Today my wonderful boyfriend took me to Floriade, a flower festival in Canberra, Australia (approximately 4-5 hour drive from Sydney). IT WAS AMAZING! All the flowers were bright and beautiful and there were so many to see! We even got to paint some cute garden gnomes (pictures to come).

What are your favorite seasonal festivals??


Monday, September 17, 2012

Movie Review:

The Sapphires

Tonight I went to see The Sapphires which I had heard was really good, but little did I know how good it actually was. This movie is excellent; One of the better films these days with a captivating plot line and great actors. It depicts the story (based on the real life story) of three Aboriginal sisters (one played by Jessica Mauboy) and their cousin who form a singing group called The Sapphires who travel to Vietnam during the Vietnam War to sing for the American soldiers. The movie follows their incredible journey combined with their captivating voices. It definitely deserves to win an award and you won't be disappointed.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 


This week's favorite...


 Psalm 143:8

        "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." 


Floriade (Canberra, ACT)

Hope everyone is having a lovely week so far! 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birthday Weekend

What an incredible weekend it was. The weather couldn't have been better, and I got to spend it with some really great people!

He made the weekend extra special :) Blessed with such a great BF!

Beautiful fireworks display in the harbor right outside the restaurant :)

Friends :)

Friend :)

My lovely gift table :) 

Reading my birthday present in bed- LOVE it :) 

I got a tea cup for my birthday!! So obsessed :)

What did everyone do this weekend??


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photo Reel

Tea Time

Fun with Friends

Time to Relax

Time to Celebrate: Happy 21st!

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weekend Fun

Apologies for the lack of posting in the past few days. This weekend was a bit busy with the Annual College Ball on Friday night, the beach on Saturday, and soccer games on Sunday. For starters, the ball was wonderful :) Every year the college that I live at hosts a formal ball usually overlooking the Sydney Harbour. This year, some of the highlights were the delicious cocktails and food, as well as the photograph area where professional pictures were taken. Everyone looked absolutely gorgeous in their dresses and the boys looked quite handsome in their tuxes. Needless to say, it was a smooth and fun filled evening- success! 

And guess what?? Summer is coming!! I'm super excited for beach days and shorts and beautiful summer sunsets. It's a strange feeling knowing that everyone at home is getting ready for wearing scarves, boots, and watching the leaves change colors, but I'm really starting to get over the windy, cool weather here in Sydney. I'm ready to take the ferry to Manly, and maybe even daringly take a swim in the ocean (if only I was good at surfing). 

What are you most excited for in SUMMER??


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Today is unique! It has never occurred before and it will never be repeated. At midnight it will end, quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever. But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities" -Charles R. Swindoll 
 As I was reading through Psalm 90 this morning, I was reminded about the truly short length of our lives. Moses compares our lives to a blade of grass that is new and vibrant in the morning when it 'springs up', but by night it is 'dry and withered'. This is a perfect example of the above quote, which coincidentally happened to be on the page of my journal that I wrote on this morning. Each day that we have is an opportunity to live to the fullest and be joyful, and to make the most out of it. 

   I've been thinking about this a lot as my grandparents are getting older, and it has made me realise that spending time with family and making time for them is an important part of our lives. I feel like I definitely don't do this enough and I tend to rush around worrying about things that don't even matter, like something my mom said to me that upset me or something my brother did that made me mad. Honestly, in the scope of things, these instances are minor, and frankly, don't matter. Just because my brother ate my leftovers from Olive Garden, doesn't mean that my life is going to end (as much as I was looking forward to that breadstick for lunch). But seriously, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and somewhere to sleep. I am so blessed. I don't want to spend days being upset at my family or being so angry that I keep reliving those moments, making it more difficult to forgive and forget about them, especially when they don't even matter. The above quote is such a good reminder that days are short, but we have the opportunity to really make a difference on a daily basis. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Nails

As someone who loves to change up my nails every couple of days, I'm always looking for new, easy and creative designs. While I was on Pinterest today, I came across this leopard print and had to try it. (It's really pretty easy to be honest). You can even do your 'bad' (non-dominant) hand without it looking significantly worse than your 'good' hand. In fact, my 'bad' hand is the one that's pictured. I saw a couple of different examples of this on Pinterest (mostly ones with a white undertone and multi-colored leopard spots on top), but I really like the pink underneath (maybe I'm just biased, as pink is my favorite color). Anyways, if you're in the mood for something different, try the leopard print and mix it up with your favorite colors! 

What are your favorite nail designs??

On a completely different note, one of my best friends got engaged today!! I'm SO excited for her :) We all knew it was going to happen, but just didn't know when. This is the first time that one of my close friends has gotten engaged- so you can imagine I was really stoked and freaking out when I heard. Anyways, just thought I would share the exciting news. 

Also some exciting news, I have my first sponsor from imCarly :) YAY! Be sure to check out her newly redecorated blog (the link is on my sidebar)- it's really cute and I'm in love with her bright colored layout!!  


Fajitas- easy cooking

For all those self-catering college students, this meal might in fact be one of the easiest in the history of cooking. It takes about 20-30 minutes to prep & cook and involves 6 ingredients. Take note:

What you'll need:
1 Green Pepper (aka Capsicum)
1 Red Pepper
1/2 or 1 Whole Red Onion (depending on how much you like onions)
2 Good Size Chicken Breasts
Taco Seasoning Packet

Step 1: cut chicken into 3 or 4 inch strips
Step 2: cut peppers and onion into strips (as pictured)
Step 3: cook chicken in a pan on medium-high heat and add taco seasoning packet
Step 4: once the chicken is fully cooked, add the veggies to the mix (keeping the heat on medium)
Step 5: cook veggies until they look glossy and fade in color
Step 6: Heat up tortillas & enjoy!

*These are so easy to make and taste delicious!! 
What are your favorite easy dishes to cook??