some of my instafavs

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Guys I love Instagram. I use it more than any other social media platform. I think it’s because my fav people are active on it…or something. I just like it. I thought I’d share some of my favorite people I follow that I don’t actually know in real life. 🙂

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1. @letthelordbewithyou Oh Lord Scott Disick…you are just one of the most entertaining characters in all of reality TV. If you don’t watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians, you probably will think he’s just another rich idiot…which he is. But he is just not aware at all of how ridiculous he actually is…which makes his instagrams of bajillion dollar watches all the more entertaining.

2. @eurasia_cafe Wow…bet they never thought they’d end up on a list with Scott Disick. Haha Anyway, I love Eurasia Cafe in general but I especially love that their social media and graphic design is done so well! They sell/market coffee and use the proceeds to bring the Good news to places that have never heard. I’m a fan. 🙂

3. @fitgirlrecovered. I asked Maggie what instagrams she recommended and her response was, “What? Like fitgirlrecovered?” Haha but seriously- this is Rihanna’s health & fitness account. If you’re looking for a balanced approach to getting fit, this account is perfect for you! No “omg I just ate stevia! Cheat meal!” posts here.

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4. @WhereShouldWeEat I have a lot of opinions about most things but I am very passionate about good food– especially in the Phoenix area. This account posts about all sorts of restaurants in the Valley and is connected to a website by the same name. Every time they post I think, “Welp, I’m adding that one to my list!” A must follow for Phoenix Foodies!

5. @kristin_ess Sigh….Kristin Ess….. The genius behind/cofounder of The Beauty Department and my beloved Lauren Conrad’s hair stylist. I just love her style & overall aesthetic. Plus she has really cute handwriting.

6. @appsandapps This is an account that I just started following but I’ve already gotten some good ideas from it! They post the apps that “insta famous” people use to edit their photos and different ideas to make photos using apps! I would avoid reading the comments, though. They are almost as bad as @justinbeiber’s.

Honorable mentions go to @findthesloth (they haven’t updated in 4 weeks, but I love the concept!), @granmawithmuscles (Maggie’s other idea), @toneitup (super positive health account), @womenshealthmag (they always have fun weekend challenges that I never do), and me…duh @katiecannonnn.

Do you have any instafavs?!

My Experience with Mending the Soul

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Last night, I got together with 4 other women who are very dear to me- women who make me laugh and share recipes with me, and women who know most of my deepest, darkest secrets too.
For 15 weeks, we journeyed together through the Mending the Soul curriculum. Karrie Meyer led our group and she is A GENIUS. Seriously- if you’re looking for a great Christian counselor, contact her! Between Jesus, Karrie,and the other ladies in my group, I have had a crazy healing experience! I seriously feel like a different person! I think everyone who has a particularly impacting experience feels like it would work perfectly for everyone, but if you’re ever given the opportunity- go through Mending the Soul! I’m not going to go into specifics in this space (I’d love to share with you over coffee!), but here are a handful of things I learned that have shifted my perspective:

-It’s ok to let your self matter. Even if it feel uncomfortable, it will get easier.

-Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation. It may, but reconciliation requires 2 repentant parties and that may never happen.

-Just because someone tries to give their insecurities, fears, or judgements to you, doesn’t mean you have to take them. In fact, you can give them back.

-Sometimes just telling your whole story- and all the gritty, ugly details- can be insanely freeing.

-All people are created in God’s image, but they were also given free will. This means people can make really hurtful choices. And really beautiful choices.

-Life is not black and white. There are gray areas. Which I hate. Haha but it’s possible to learn to navigate the grays.

-Sometimes you don’t have to accept or reject an idea or relationship or situation. You can just sit with it and see how it feels BEFORE you react.

-Acknowledging that someone hurt you doesn’t mean that you hate them or wish them harm. It means you’re being honest with your self. And you’re opening the door to healing & forgiveness.

-Minimizing situations helps NO ONE. Again, it’s important to be honest.

-There is a level of freedom available in the secure arms of Christ that I never knew was possible.

-While community/relationships are vital to fulfilling our needs, we can help fulfill some of our own need to be loved by being kind to ourselves.

On our very last meeting, Karrie gave each one of us a bling-y shovel. She gave it to us to say- even though we’re all still digging through crap, at let we can do it with a bedazzled shovel and look good. Haha

This whole experience led to something I’m calling “The Summer of Risks…. Which if youve been around me you’ve certainly heard about..But more on that another time! I’m so so thankful for this experience and so excited to see where we all go from here!

To learn more about Mending the Soul, check out their website.

The Fourth of July! #redwhiteandbetsy

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With Betsy moving on the fifth, we decided the Fourth of July was a perfect time o throw one last hurrah! We celebrated with food, friends, and mandatory swimming!!

I had grand plans to do a lemonade bar and a million other Pinterest ideas…but I had to work every day except for the fourth…so I decided sleep was more important. 🙂 I made pulled pork in the crock pot and other people brought great food too!

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The flag pizza cookie was easy and looked like it was more work than it was! I used store bought cookie dough and frosting. Easy peasy. The cupcakes with sprinkles were on sale for a dollar at the store. Sold!

Continue reading “The Fourth of July! #redwhiteandbetsy”

the proposal: jen & clark 4 ever.

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Can I be honest with you for a moment, Internet? One time (sort of recently) I started crying while watching Saved by the Bell because I wanted a group of friends that were as tight and diverse as the kids at Bayside. It can be so hard to make good girl friends and Jen has been such an answer to my prayers! It has been so great to see her grow in relationship with Clark and tackle issues head on. Naturally, when Clark started secretly planning the proposal, I was elated. He has done nothing but honor her throughout their whole relationship. I think it’s rare to find a man who has character like Clark- willing to apologize, a man of his word, and more. Plus it’s clear that they are disgustingly in love with each other. Here’s how it all went down… In pictures:

Continue reading “the proposal: jen & clark 4 ever.”

lately by the letters.

These are all things that shouldn’t get their whole own post but have happened lately or that I’ve found or whatever! As always, it’s my blog & I do what I want! Haha here they are from A to..I…not Z…because again- I do what I want. Haha

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a. See the last sentence above. For some reason this is really funny to me.

b. this is a picture of some of the lovely ladies I work with. I keep trying to decide if I fit in the picture. Most of you that know me, know of my blonde phobia/intimidation so this picture may come as a surprise to you.

c.dude- did you know gelato is like SUPER popular in Gilbert? Well it is. There was a line out the door. Which I voluntarily waited in. Which is weird because I hate lines. I did run into an old friend and eat some delish gelato. So…worth it.

d.im loving spending summer with my sisters. Just loving it.

e. best QT drink combo: half dr pepper/half regular dr pepper. Ok that is after they got rid of strawberry fanta- because the best combo before was strawberry fanta/squirt.

f. this is funny to me too. Sorry about the language. Or not. YOLO.

g. Switching gears, Beni J posted this & Bridgette told me the exact same thing a few months ago. about a year ago Sarah gave me a word about arrows/ this arrow statute and about 2 years ago Steve gave me a word about getting shot out of a bow. So- I think God may be trying to tell me something! Ha

h. Little Betsy has set a moving date. 😦 but :). She’s doing the missions base that Marina wrote about here. She has to raise like $2800 to go. Support her?

i. My fb has been giving me ads for hijabs & raver wear. Prettttty accurate depiction of my life, fb.

What have you been up to, world? Any fav Qt combos?

how I started to suck less at praying.

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You guys…I wish I was like some crazy intercessor who could spend hours on her knees trevailing over our nation. But the fact of the matter is…I’m not. There are about a bajillion verses in the Bible that liken life to running a race. You wouldn’t start off running a marathon, right? You’d train up to that! So I have this weird little thing I do to remember to pray more for people I really care about a little bit at a time. I pick out symbols or things that remind me of them, and then when ever I see or hear that thing, I pray for them right there.

I’ll give you some examples….don’t laugh.

When Taylor Swift’s “We are never getting back together” comes on the radio, I pray for Kristen because she told me that she heard it a million times on a road trip one time.

When I see this one kind of bush, I pray for Sam to be healed of allergies because one time she told me she was allergic to that kind of bush.

My neighbor has a license plate that says “LILYPOP.” For some reason that reminds me of a girl named Lily that I met and got to pray for from the Wilder Tour. I see the license plate every morning when I leave!

When I see a white truck, it reminds me of Shawn…I remember to pray for Shawn & Candi and Chi Alpha and their fam.

I know it’s weird, but it’s a way to work some prayer into my day. I’ve known people to “name” their fingers and then pray through their fingers throughout the day. Also, the car & shower are prime houses of prayer too. I don’t think that this all replaces spending time with Jesus and the Word, but it’s a way for me to train myself into praying more and bringing a little Phillipians 4:6 into my life : “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Can’t we all afford to have a little less anxiety in our lives?!

Do you have any weird prayer techniques?! I’d love to hear them! I won’t laugh, promise!

lately.

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my parents came into town in honor of my little sister Betsy graduating! We have a pretty consistant playlist of restaurants we go to when they come: Mission Palms Hotel brunch, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant on Mill, Chompies on University, Spinatos in Tempe, and my mom’s ultimate fav… In n Out. Haha All are delish and get my high recommendation.

it was nice to have a weird sort of staycation. we spent friday napping at the pool and ordering food to our cabana. haha who am i?

we sent little betsy off on an XA expedition on Saturday. She is miles away, advancing the Kingdom and I could not be more proud. If you’re the praying type, Mag & I are praying every day at 7pm (AZ time) for Bets & her team. Id love for you to join us! We got an email from her this morning while we were eating breakfast- she’s drinking lots of tea and enjoying the hospitality of the locals.

we put mom & dad on a plane this morning back to IL…theyll be back in just a few months for their annual summer vacay to AZ. it was nice to see them and it will be nice to see them again in the summer!

PS: OH! and if you’re wondering about the results of my latest YOLO POLL-O, i have decided to slowly go lighter! the results this time around weren’t super dramatic, but next time- ill post before and after pics!

PPS: Shout out to all you weirdos who stalked your way to my blog ;). Glad to have you along for the ride! I’m toying around with doing some interview posts- let me know if I can interview you!

Kurtis & Jordan Say I Do! #kurtisandjordansayido

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This past Saturday I had the extreme privilege of attending Jordan & Kurtis’s wedding! I knew it was going to be a great wedding…I did not know i was going to burst into tears when I saw Kurtis! The wedding hadn’t even started yet! I don’t know if I’m just in a hyper emotional season of life or what, but it only got worse as the ceremony began. Jordan looked beautiful. Their pastor shared an amazing message about how Christ loved us while we were still sinners and we are called to that same sacrificial love. He talked about how one day Jesus will come back for His bride and how glorious that day will be. Tears, tears, and more tears!

I calmed down once the reception started. If you’ve never been to a Chi Alpha wedding- they are like part party/part serious conversations/part reunion/part sobfest. Ok only a sob fest for me. I sat at the best table (All the tables were named after significant/fun things for the couple. I was at the Party Playoff table- a legendary game.) I got to have a great conversation with Angela. I sang a little California Love, danced a bit, and got overwhelmed by all the people in the room. Morgan gave a great toast (tears again for me!), there were so many cute DIY details, and it was just plain fun. This wedding was a true testament of 2 great families raising 2 great kids and all coming together to celebrate the beginning of their new family.

Here are some photos of the night:

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Click the link below to see even more!

Continue reading “Kurtis & Jordan Say I Do! #kurtisandjordansayido”

My new fav nail place!

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A while ago, I heard there was a nail school in Mesa that had killer deals on nails. After some googling, I found out Nail Logic- The Institute of Nail Technology was really close to me! Unfortunately, their Yelp reviews make them sound like it totally sucked.

I mean- I love a good Cosmo school service. I’ve had good & bad experiences but I’m always a risk taker if it means saving some cash! (My fav place in Sacramento is Federico Beauty Institute– I had great luck there!)

Ok back to Nail Logic. I called to make an appointment and. it took FOR.EV.ER to get ahold of them on the phone. Maybe because I called when they first opened? When I finally go through, it was easy to make an appointment for a $15 gel manicure for that afternoon.

When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually looked semi cute! I tried to take a picture of the front desk, but I wasn’t crafty enough. Haha I did get a sneaky pic of the polish/glitter wall…
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They checked me in and handed me a ring of a million gel polish colors!Yay! I love choices! I had to wait about 15 minutes past my appointment time. This would have been fine (because I hate being rushed picking colors!) but I had to endure listening to the woman at the front desk describe-in depth- the cockroach infestation of her house to another employee. Sick! I think she’s one of the instructors…and it just seemed unprofessional to me.

Anywayz, I had it narrowed down to 2 colors. When my nail tech came to get me, she helped my pick “Shake It Till You Samba”.

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It’s hard to tell from the picture, but it’s a hot pink- almost neon. Alyssa, who did my nails, took me all the way to the back of the building so I could wash my hands and scrub my nails. Hey- what do you expect for $15?! Hah she was very nice, but it was clear she wanted to focus on painting my nails and not chit chat. I was ok with that- she did an AMAZING job. Seriously- it was the best gel mani I have ever had! She did a great hand massage with a lotion & scrub of my choosing (ginger lime, please!). I have VERY small nails, and usually nail techs have a difficult time painting them. Well Miss Alyssa was no phased and made them look great! Also, unlike other beauty school services, it took the same amount of time as a service in a salon.

When she walked me to the front, I had to get my nails checked by her instructor. (Different lady. Cockroach lady left for lunch or something.) She grabbed my hands and started PICKING WITH HER NAIL THAT HAD BEEN GOD-KNOWS-WHERE AT THE SKIN AROUND MY RING FINGER! I mean I appreciate attention to detail and the polish was a little bit on my skin, but this felt a little bit like an invasion. She had Alyssa redo one of my nails, I paid my $15 (plus tip!) and went on my way!

Look how cute they turned out!!!

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Overall- would I do it again? Definitely! The place was clean, the students are well monitored, and you just can’t beat the price! I just hope next time there will be less picking and cockroach talk. 😉
Xox