Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Psalm 103

How amazing is God's love! Like this verse says, he "redeems [our] life, crowns [us] with love and compassion, and satisfies [our] desires with good things". 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just like each one of these flowers is completely different and uniquely beautiful in their own way, so is each and every person. 

Apart from adding the text from this photo, nothing else has been modified or edited. In fact, these flowers are so completely beautiful that they don't need any altering or added touches. 

This is how God sees each and every person; beautiful the way that they were created; no airbrushing necessary

That is why I love Psalm 45:11 so much. This verse truly encompasses God's nature and the way that He views us, despite what we might think or choose to believe. 

It says that he is ENTHRALLED by our beauty. 

The dictionary says that to enthrall means 'to captivate or charm' and includes 'enchant' as a synonym. 

How incredible is it to realize that God is captivated by us?? 

It is such a wonderful reminder that we are simply beautiful in God's eyes, and that our creator is 'enthralled', captivated, charmed by our beauty. 

My hope is that you truly feel beautiful; not just today, but everyday, and that you can look to God's definition of beauty, rather than the world's definition of what 'beautiful' means. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

"He will take great delight in you"

I came across this verse today and just love it. What a great reminder of how God sees us! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What is Faith?

This verse captures entirely what FAITH is about. There are constantly times in our lives when we have to have FAITH even when we can't see the whole picture. 

Martin Luther King Jr., possibly one of the most persevering persons in history, once stated that 

"Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase"

Friday, May 10, 2013

Oh the places you'll go...

As some of you might now, a few months ago I created a brief bucket list of things that I wanted to do at some point in my life. Yesterday as I was watching the TODAY show (I recently set a goal to be up early enough every day to watch it- my quest to becoming a morning person), I was inspired about various places that I want to travel to, most of which, I have never been to. As of right now, my goal is to go to at least one of these places each year. Is this realistic? What are your Bucket List goals??

My Travel Bucket List:

*during the Spring/Summer when it's warm

**The Italian parts of Switzerland (Switzerland is surrounded by Italy, France & Germany which influences the various cities throughout different regions. I've briefly been to the German & French parts of Switzerland)

Just realized that Norway was not on my list. Consider it added and towards the top! Definitely a place to go in the Summer I'm thinking. 

What places are on your bucket list?? Let me know in the comments below! 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March Music Madness

I was listening to the radio this morning and heard this song that I had heard before but didn't know the name of, so I found it online and bought it and I'm obsessed! I just love Francesca Battistelli, and her new song "Strangely Dim" is so upbeat and just wonderful (see for yourself below). Her song called "Beautiful, Beautiful" is also on my playlist! 

As for up-and-coming bands, I am in love with For KING and COUNTRY whose album Crave is just awesome! (Check it out on iTunes). They are well known for their song "Middle of Your Heart", but all the songs on the album are top notch. I've also randomly seen them on different TV shows like Jay Leno and Mike Huckabee so be on the lookout for them as they are becoming quite the craze. They are also related to the incredibly talented Rebecca St. James, amazing singer and author of Wait For Me, who happens to be married to lead singer of the band Foster the People. Must run in the family. But seriously check these guys out!! Oh and did I mention, they are originally from Australia?? Which makes them that much cooler!! 

Also on my playlist is the recent hit from P!nk featuring lead singer Nate Reuss from the band Fun. titled: Just Give Me a Reason. Ever since I heard it on Triple J back in February, I've been obsessed! It also happens to be the first song my boyfriend (CJ) beat me to downloading on iTunes. Warning, it's catchy.. 

And last but not least, my current CD choice for my car is Crowded House: The Very Very Best of Crowded House, not to be confused with The Very Best of Crowded House. They've been around for a while, but still better than ever, especially with the recently-again-popular hit "Don't Dream it's Over" (one of my favorites). Oh and yes, they are from Australia :) But seriously, I'm in love with this CD, all 19 tracks of it. 

Which band are you currently obsessed with?? Let me know below in the comments section!! 


Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Day Dreamer

Guess what fellow dreamers??

                                         Yesterday it snowed... and snowed... and snowed.. until: 

Over a foot of snow! All in one day! Isn't it so peaceful and pretty??

So...  I decided to shovel: 

And got my dog dressed for the weather (but let's be honest, she hates the pink sweater... with a passion, and is humiliated whenever I make her wear it, but it was BELOW freezing, so with her best interests at heart (of course) I put it on her). Aint she just the cutest?? 

Then, we made delicious treats called, well I'm not sure they have a name, but we'll go with Saltine-Caramel-Chocolate-Pretzel Bars, and let me tell you, they are AMAZING!! Like seriously, this whole plate was gone by today (that's less than 24 hours of existence) and there are only two of us living here (good thing I shoveled earlier!). 

What are your favorite snow day activities??



Sunday, March 3, 2013

My exercise for the year..

The other day we took an epic hike from  Mui Wo (Lantau Island, Hong Kong) to Discovery Bay. I'm pretty positive there were over a thousand steps to climb, which might not sound like a lot, but man was I sore the next day.. I would definitely recommend it if you're interested in seeing some beautiful sights, but if you aren't in shape (like us) it takes about 3 hours. We trekked up the mountain and first saw a 180 degree view of Mui Wo Pier: 

It was cloudy and overcast but made it really nice weather to hike in

My brother and I after the first flight of stairs.. unaware of the hundreds more to come

And of course I had to photograph the lovely flowers along the way... 

I love the bright and natural beauty of these local flowers (no editing done)

Stairs... after stairs... after stairs... after stairs. 

We walked through a couple villages:

It was interesting to see the disparity between these villages and Discovery Bay (below). The people who live in Discovery Bay are mostly expats (people from Western countries that come to work & live abroad) and live in nice apartments or house boats. It felt like we were invading these peoples' homes as we walked through their villages because the path went straight through their houses. 

Two hours later....

And we could see our destination! 

After a whole 3 hours of walking, we came to the pier at Discovery Bay, tired and ready to eat and rest: 

Whats the longest hike you've ever gone on??


Recipe: Lemon Meringue Pie

The other night, CJ and I went to a friend's house for dinner and I always like to bring a dessert as a sign of appreciation for having us over. I'm not sure why it popped into my head but with 4 hours until we had to leave, I came up with Lemon Meringue Pie. It was delicious by the way and it says it needs at least 3 hours to make but we managed to whip it out in 2. I did however forget to separate the egg yolks and egg whites, but it turned out fine (just a bit less together, so don't forget that crucial step). It was fairly easy to make (I was especially impressed with how well the crust turned out-- I would definitely recommend making it rather than buying it-- it's super easy and tastes wonderful). 

Oh and this was our first time making this dessert. 

Click on "Read more" to see the recipe! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Kung Hai Fat Choi– Happy Chinese New Year! Hong Kong Travels

Last week my brother and I set out for the distant land of... Hong Kong, China, and by distant, I mean 15-hours-away-distant, a.k.a. LONG flight. But it was well worth it. My dad lives on Lantau, an island where people mostly ride bikes, cows roam the streets (see below), and local life is a slower pace and chill. My brother and I have spent our days riding bikes 5 minutes to the grocery store, where we discovered a local fav of Brazilian chicken feet (toe nails included), and some of our favorite items: Milano cookies, popcorn, and Tim Tams (not all the food choices are as exotic as the first). 

The Chinese New Year is here (10th of February, I believe), and everyone has decorated with beautiful red paper lanterns and lovely trees with small oranges filling their branches. Most people get between 4 and 8 days off of work, school, etc., to be with their families. There is also usually a huge fireworks display at Victoria Park, as this is the most celebrated holiday here. This year is the year of the Snake

Hong Kong Island (View from the ferry)

Hong Kong Ferry

Mui Wo local beach

Hong Kong Island at night

A decorated orange tree (for New Years) and pretty flowers

Flowers at the Pui O local garden shop

My brother and I spotted this lovely herd of cows wandering up and down the streets of Mui Wo on our bike ride and I couldn't help but notice how cute the calves were! So, being the picture taking guru that I am, I dismounted my bike to capture some photos of the baby calves. The little ones immediately came over to me and started licking my jeans as well as the red fire hydrant. Loving the local wildlife!

What is your favorite place you've traveled to & why??

Happy New Year (Kung Hai Fat Choi)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Update: Final Cake

So, I finally finished my cake decorating class and this strawberry and whipped cream filled chocolate cake was the end result: 

Ok so on the lettering, I cheated... Truth is, I only got a picture before I did the Happy Birthday message, but it looked similar to this. I wanted to put it on so you could get a feel for how the cake looked when it was finished. But everything else is 100% real. And the cake didn't taste so bad itself :) We took it over to my friend's mom for her birthday! And I had such a fun time decorating it! Next challenge: fondant! 

Happy Chinese New Year!!

With love from Hong Kong


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trying New Things

At the beginning of this New Year, I decided to try something new and different: taking a cake decorating class. It's something I have been wanting to do for a long time and I'm excited to finally get to have some time off to do it. 

My progress so far:

Week 2: (It looks orange but the flower is actually pink, I promise- looked much better in person so excuse the horrible lighting of the photograph)

Week 3: Cupcakes :) Happy Valentines Day in a couple weeks!!

Look forward to next week's cake– it's the final cake of the class so will be doing something special for it! Super excited :) Expect flowers and bright colors! And it will be 10 times better than week 2's cake! 

Oh and by the way, today we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. so I end on a quote from him:

 ‎"I have decided to stick with love... hate is too great a burden to bear".

What an inspirational man full of great words and actions, who left an incredible legacy. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day and a happy start to a new week!  


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year & "Forever Changed"

I hope that everyone had a blessed and fun Christmas holiday and is excited about the New Year! Apologies for my M.I.A. status– my Christmas has been a bit hectic. My mom, brother and I spent Christmas in California with my grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins, and it has been really wonderful to see everyone. I am cherishing every minute that I have with them and enjoying every bit of sunny weather. 

As the start of 2013 is only a couple days away, I have an exciting story, blog, and initiative to share with you. A couple months ago, I came across a news story which led me to a blog called "Forever Changed". Check it out– it is such an inspirational blog with sweet photos I might add. This blog belongs to an incredibly driven, faithful, and beautiful young woman who has moved to Rwanda from the United States. As I read more of her story, I became more interested in what she was doing so I decided to contact her to find out more about it. Have a read: 

Me: How did you get started working in Rwanda?
Elise: In December of last year I went on my first missions trip overseas to Rwanda and Ethiopia. While in Rwanda we visited three orphanages. Noel, Rwanda's largest, was our last stop. After one day I knew in my heart I could not go home, I knew Noel was where I was meant to be. I remember my dad picking me up from the airport and telling him on the car ride home I was moving to Rwanda, and four months later I did just that. 
Me:  What inspired you to start His Imbaraga & what does that stand for?
Elise: My reason for moving to Rwanda was Noel, but after several months I did not feel I was doing enough. When I eventually leave Rwanda I want to leave knowing I ha[ve] made a difference. With that in mind I started look[ing] for opportunities to start something that is sustainable and would help the most number of people. Business is not my forteit. I have never taken a single buisness class, I still don't have a degree, I've never had to manage money let alone people. All odds were stacked against me but I felt God calling me down that path none the less and so His Imbaraga was born. 
Imbaraga stands for Power in Kindyarwanda. The inspiration for the name came from 2 Cor. 12:9. When I was still unsure about starting a business I read 2 Cor 12:9 which says, "for my power is made perfect in weakness." After reading that verse I knew without a doubt this was something God was asking me to do so I took a deep breathe and jumped, knowing that He would indeed catch me. 
 Me: What does a day at His Imbaraga look like and what is the goal?
Elise: No day is ever normal here in Rwanda but for the most part the men show up for work at 8 am. We open in word of prayer and read from the bible. After they get straight to work. We have several designs going at the moment that they are working on and eventually we will narrow it down to the top five. They go for an hour long lunch at noon and finish the day at 4 pm with a word of pray[er]. Myself and my manger will do the odd jobs of getting leather, fabric, buckles, zippers etc. anytime they are needed. 
We are hoping to open a website in the coming months and begin to sell. Our target group is America. I want His Imbaraga to be sustainable and eventually get to the point where we are at such a high demand we can offer more jobs to men of Rwanda. His Imbaraga is also a "give back" business. A portion of each sale will go into a give back fund. At the moment we are still trying to figure out exactly what that fund will go towards but two options are a feeding program and/or paying the school fees for children of Noel. The dream is for His Imbaraga to become the new TOMS. 
 Me: How can people get involved? 
Elise: At the moment there are three big things anyone can do: 1. Donate. His Imbaraga is being run solely by donations at the moment and I would be lying if I told you that doesn't stress me out on a daily basis but I know God is in control and He will continue to provide. 2. Talk about it! Tell everyone and anyone about our story. Go like us on facebook and tell your friends to do the same. Be our marketing team. 3. If your super crazy and interested in interning for His Imbaraga email me!

*Thanks so much to Elise for taking the time to answer these questions. If you have a chance, go visit her beautiful blog and if you are interested in interning for His Imbaraga, her email address is:

Happy New Year!