Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Journey of Young Life

I know I have been a stranger more than I would like on this little blog. I have been so incredibly busy this semester with school, job applications and designing I would definitely appreciate y'alls prayers for peace about the future and knowing that He has it all under control!
I wanted to share a little more about myself today. We're going to take it back eight years ago. My freshman year of high school I was invited to a thing called Young Life by one of my friends, Laura, who was a senior. So needless to say, I felt super cool. I did not know this at the time but Young Life is a non-denominational Christian ministry that reaches out to high school students by being present in their lives in a positive and encouraging way.

Young Life was held at another seniors house in the notoriously wealthy neighborhood and seemed to be a great place to have fun and hang out with friends. Even though I had no idea what Young Life was really about, I continued to go and I continued to have a girl from Davidson College asking me to hang out, which at the time I thought was super odd (and now having been that college student asking high schoolers to hang out... it's hilarious!).

After the seniors graduated, we combined with our rival high school in a mutual territory. I started to invite one of my best friends at that rival high school who I have known my entire life, Matt Powell. Eventually, the Lake Norman/Mooresville Young Life ended but that would not be the end of Young Life for Matt!
Matt and I both ended up at North Carolina State University for college. I was immediately brought back to Young Life and it would end up being the reason why I did not transfer away from NCSU. I always invited Matt but he would find his own way to Young Life a little bit later on in our college career. 

Friends, last night Matt gave his first Young Life talk!! I was only able to get five minutes of the talk because of a low battery but five minutes is long enough to see his HEART for the Lord and for sharing that love with others. This ministry has incredible power to meet people wherever they are in life and love them through the ups and downs. I am so thankful to all the friends I have made through Young Life and how they are changing others lives!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Day at the Circus

The other day I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the circus with an animal science class! I must say, the benefit of my major has been getting to work with SO many different kinds of animals. I have never thought highly of the circus but it was an incredible learning experience to hear from the circus' vet, animal behaviorist and specific trainers.
All of the animals are not asked to do any task they would not preform in the wild. The animals are trained using positive reinforcement in order to learn when to preform these tasks. Also if an animals does not want to preform that day or ever, then they don't.
It was amazing being so close to the Asian elephants. As soon as a group of us were in front of them they started showing off breaking sticks or rolling tires around! The youngest elephant on this show's circuit is 7-years-old and the oldest is in her 50s.
The trainer took time to explain each of the elephants show moves and how they are natural behaviors that would be demonstrated in the wild. One that really surprised me was that elephants will stand on their head in the show. I always thought this was a show taught trait. However, in the wild an elephant will stand on  it's head to squish a predator!
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey elephants have a successful breeding program for this highly endangered species. The elephants are raised at the Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida and will return there when they decide they are tired of the circus life or when it is time to retire!
I was thankful to learn more about the life of the circus and see it in a different light!
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day DIY

Happy Valentine's Day! I love Valentine's day because it is a day where you can show all the important people in your life how much them mean to you! But shouldn't everyday be Valentine's Day? I am such a gifter. I adore giving gifts! It's so fun to surprise people with a little something. Whether it's a handwritten note, or a cake-pop from a Starbucks run or even a pretty gold rim tea cup find!

This Valentine's Day I decided to make a little book for my roommates filled with "Reasons You Are Loved." Who doesn't need a little daily reminder that you are dearly loved by friends and a Heavenly Father!

What you will need:
Blank Notebooks
Pretty 8x8 Scrapbook Paper
Washi Tape
Gold Paint pen
A Bible

For this DIY, I found most of the supplies in the Dollar Bins at Target! I started with blank teaching books and then covered them with 8x8 pretty paper also from the Dollar Bins. I used washi to seal the paper edges to the books also from.... yep, the Target Dollar Bins! Then I wrote my sweet friends names on the front in gold ink!

On the first page in the book I wrote "Reasons Why You Are Loved" and then added a little Valentines Day note underneath.

I filled their books with words I think best describes who they are and also a bible verse or quote to go along with the word! My roommates are my closest friends and I couldn't have had more fun filling their books with encouraging words and verses:) 

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Goals!

Introducing my goals for the year of 2014! Phew, these took me a while... sorry y'all! I have been working through my set of PowerSheets and the last thing I wanted to do was to rush through them just to have goals when I thought I needed them. Goals and checklists are how I like to work. I love the feeling of checking off a little box that I made for myself. Of course, some-days I am overly excited about making those little boxes and it can get overwhelming. 

Powersheets are a great way to keep your goals in front of you while not completelyyy overwhelming yourself with lists of tasks. This year is a life changing year. This year I will graduate from college, start a career, potentially move away from home and launch my business. 

One of my first steps for this year was to work through Lara Casey's Goal Setting Series. Through this intensive series you get to reflect on 2013 as well as look forward to 2014! One of the steps in the series is to pick a word that you want to live out in 2014.
I picked the word "trust" because 2014 will be a year of change and change is not something I am confident in. I need to learn to trust in God because "His will is good, pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 My goals are all based in the Word because I truly want God to be evident in my life throughout 2014.
GOAL ONE | For 2014 I want to spend more time reading the bible and writing in my journal. I am the worst about continually going, going, going. I just love being busy! But, I need to learn to be still and to spend time with Him without distractions or letting my mind wander elsewhere. I plan to do this by going through the new testament in 2014 and reading three(ish) chapters a month! Read more about being still here

GOAL TWO | Going back to my word for 2014, this goal is to TRUST more. To trust that God has the plans for my life all under control and that I do not need to spend my time worrying or being fearful about not knowing those plans. Being a planner, it is extremely hard to trust and let go of trying to plan out my life. 
GOAL THREE | I know this one is not a bible verse but doesn't Teddy Roosevelt just say it so perfectly?! I am unique and I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I do not need to compare myself to anyone else. We all have different life stories that make us who we are and to compare ourselves to each others is not possible! This year I want to embrace the fact that I do not need to be like anyone else and I do not need to make my brand to be like anyone elses!

GOAL FOUR | Contentment. This year I am challenging myself to be content with the worldly possessions that I do have. I want to push myself to give wholeheartedly without regret whether it be things, time or money. I will post more on this later!

GOAL FIVE | This year I want to bring glory to God by using the gifts and talents He gave me to bring joy to others through what I make. There is no better time than now to reveal that I am going to be launching a new brand and a shop in the spring! will be launching in a few weeks and will be a place where people can find meaningful prints, design, and stationery that can and will bring joy into lives and homes! Small can make a HUGE difference in the world we live in and my brand will have goals to do just that. I want to create a meaningful brand that helps people focus on what truly matters in their lives!

What are your goals or visions for 2014? I would LOVE to hear them!
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Friday, February 07, 2014

A North Carolina Snow

I love snow! It is definitely the only positive thing about cold winter weather. I think snow is magical because it can bring out the child inside almost anyone! So when the snow started falling (and sticking) in Raleigh, I made sure to run around my house and ask my roommates to come outside and play!
We ended up running around the neighborhood for a while and it was great to see so many other college students doing the same! The next morning, with my sister and her pug in tow, we headed to the art trails at the Art Museum to go sledding. Attempt one was on a storage bin lid.... so after two sled purchases later we were all set!Love these action sledding shots of Emily!

Ava, the pug, was a diva as usual! But we made sure she was wrapped in a blanket before going on a few sled rides... :)

NC State students have the best snow day tradition. A HUGE group of students head to the Court of Carolina for a school-wide snowball fight! This picture is of the aftermath when most students had retreated to warm-up with hot chocolate.
Later my roommates and I made delicious snow cream and snuggled in with hot chocolate. Snow days are good for the heart! What is your favorite part about snow days?
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Monday, February 03, 2014

February Goals

January flew by!  I am one month closer to being a college graduate-- good thing y'all can't see my knees shaking-- and I am continually looking for jobs. January definitely kept me very busy. But looking back on my goals list shows me that it was filled with lots of encouragement, goal planning and joy!

January Goals
work through Lara Casey's Goal Setting series | Took my merry ole time but I finally finished the series and am looking forward to sharing my vision for 2014 soon!

continue working on my personal goals for 2014 | I am not completely finished with digging deep to uncover these yet... 
be completely transparent and honest while working through my set of PowerSheets Definitely being completely honest!

begin working on some lovely paper products | I am so excited to begin sharing these with y'all soon! Check out my first handmade print here.
keep practicing Adobe programs | I'm learning! Anddd I set up tutoring sessions with a sweet friend in graphic design :)

work on my new website, YAY! | I am so excited about this one! I am can't wait to debut my new brand and a name that reflects who I am and what I want my business to stand for!

DAILY quiet time in The Word and my journal | So... I am not a morning person. No matter how hard I try I can't drag my butt out of my warm, cozy covers to have morning quiet time. I finally embraced this fact and have started having evening quiet times. Any other night owls out there??

dance around my room to music daily | Done and done!

go on more friend dates | SLACKEDD on these majorly, sorry friends. I'll try again in February...

SIMPLIFY | I simplified a few things in my life this month including my email, to-do/goal lists, my closet and my hair!
continue to BE PRESENT | still trying to spend meaningful time with the people around me who matter most!

volunteer and serve at a local charity | Yes and yes. I have started volunteering at the special needs preschool where my sister teaches and I LOVE IT! I have been a swim coach for 8 summers in a row and the past three summers I have taught a little girl with Down syndrome how to swim. I understand the love, patience, encouragement in teaching special needs children and I adore seeing others that possess the talent and love necessary.

February Goals
     Continue with my Contentment Challenge of not buying new clothes

     Daily quiet times with my journal, bible and in prayer

     Finish 2014 goals
     Write letters to friends

     Set a date for rebranding launch!

     Create more :)

     Set aside intentional time with friends

     Being prayerful throughout my job search

May this month be filled with lots of love, laughter and friends. Oh and did anyone tally up the number of times I said the word love in this post? :) Happy Month of Love!
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