Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's the weekend!

Good morning! Thought I’d share a few things that made me happy this week. 

1.       Went to my childhood friend’s wedding on Friday night.  The wedding was beautiful.  I had never met the groom before the wedding but I thought he was perfect for Robin! Sweet and genuine and thoughtful.  Congratulations to them!

2.      Spending the whole week with my precious and beautiful little sister.  I love her!!!

3.      My new favorite nail polish… Essie “Over the Top.” Sorry it's blurry.

4.      Getting ready to go to Youth Conference next week.  I will be gone the whole week at a church campout for ages 17-35.  The theme of the week is Thessalonians, so I will be sharing what I learn.  Can’t wait!

Hope everyone has a blessed week! 

Joyfully yours,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Finally finished!

Hey everyone!

I am soooo excited because I finally finished a giant (625 pg!!!!) book on Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom.  This book was very interesting, but just about 400 pages too long.  Seriously, I don’t think it has ever taken me so long to read a book.  So, why did I read this book, you may ask?

I love GOALS.  When I set a goal, I love completing it!  My younger brother just graduated from high school and my mom bought him a boat-load of books.  There are a huge range of books, from Nelson Mandela to classic children’s books.  So I decided that I am going to read ALL of these books this summer.  Right now I have in my book bag the following:
·        Journey to the Centerof the Earth by Jules Verne

·        The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

·        Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

·        The Ides of April by Mary Ray
Naturally, Long Walk to Freedom was the latest on my list of books to read.  Definitely glad to be through that one so that I can move on to the next one!  I will keep you all posted on the books and which ones I love (or hate!).  I am hoping to get through these books much faster.

Here's me excited to be on page 625!!

Have a great week!

Joyfully yours,


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pure deliciousness... Pesto Panzanella

Pesto Panzanella
I made this recipe the other night and fell in love with it.  It is so fresh and summery! I found out (yes, from Wikipedia) that a “panzanella” is a bread and tomato salad.  This one is just flat out delicious.  It is super fast and easy to make.  We ate it with grilled chicken…. YUM!
6 cups ¾-in rustic bread cubes
3 heirloom tomatoes, in 1-in chunks
3 thin slices from a large red onion, quartered
3 tbsp. snipped fresh basil
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. basil pesto
½ tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

<--check out this honkin’ gorgeous tomato!

Toast bread cubes on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 450oF or until toasty and firm.  Let cool.

Place bread in a large bowl with tomatoes, onions and basil.  Stir together remaining ingredients, drizzle over the salad, and toss to coat. 

A few notes…. If this salad looks small, it is because I cut it in half.  Also, I used balsamic wine vinegar because I prefer it to white wine vinegar.  I found this recipe in one of my favorite cooking magazines, Something Extra.  This a great FREE magazine put out by Raley’s.   My favorite part is that it shows all the nutritional information!  Check it out online:


Joyfully yours,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Radical Joy.

Hi!  Today is my first REAL blog post and I am very excited about that.  Since my blog is called PURE JOY, I figured I would make my first blog about just that…. JOY.  The Bible says a lot about joy.   We are told to be joyful in our sufferings, to be joyful in our hope, to be joyful always.  And I’ve been thinking… how in the world do we do that??!  Be joyful when we are in a car accident? Be joyful when someone we love is dying?  Be joyful in the mundane tasks of life?  I mean, that’s just not for me. 

“Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).”

Most people would say that it is a little extreme to be joyful ALWAYS.  Most of the time… yes, but always?! Sounds a little ridiculous; a little radical.  What happened to the saying “Moderation in all things”?  Guess what? That is NOT a scriptural principle.  In fact, I believe that God wants us to be extremists.  In life, in love, in JOY, we need to be extreme.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3).” 

Not only are we to be joyful in all circumstances, but James tells us specifically to be joyful at trials.  How could he say such a thing?  How can we do it?  I feel a bit presumptuous to tell others to be joyful in trials when my trials have been few and small.  But if you are unwilling to listen to me, certainly you can agree that the apostle James endured many dreadful trials, the likes of which most of us cannot imagine.  If James and Paul can tell us to be joyful in our trials, then we should take notice. 

But how?

What is this joy that the Bible speaks of? Is it simply laughing and smiling all the time, or thinking everything is funny? Definitely not.  “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish (Proverbs 10:28).” More than laughter and happiness, joy comes from our certainty of the future and what God has promised us.  Despite what goes on in the world around us, we can find joy from the comfort from God that if we “worship in spirit AND in truth” that we will be saved.  We must be confident, not in our own righteousness, but in God’s grace.  As Nehemiah says, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).”  So take heart, for our joy is not determined by the circumstances that surround our lives, but from the constant reminder of the wonderful plan God has for His Kingdom, and the promise that we CAN be there.  We CAN be joyful in ALL things!

Joyfully yours,


P.S.  Along with my own research, this has been written with the help of the wonderful book The Fruit of the Spirit by Colin Attridge.  This book is AWESOME and I would highly recommend it.  You can buy it here:

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Hello friends!

My name is Danielle and I am the creator of the PURE JOY blog.   Recently, I have noticed that many of my favorite things begin with the letter "F"...Faith, Family, Friends, Food, Fitness, Fashion... and those will be the things that I will be sharing with you!  I am sooo excited to start this journey and I sincerely hope that each one of you will share it with me. 

For several months now, I have been looking at this blogging world.  And I LOVE it.  It has taken me a while to get to this point, and will certainly take me a while to figure out the whole blogging "thing" so please be patient!

Why Pure Joy? Because!  I have been thinking about JOY for a few weeks now and what it truly means to be joyFUL.  During this time, I have time and time again stumbled upon the verse "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perserverance (James 1:2-3)."  So now I am going to take this verse to heart and try to share it with my readers the best I can. 

A bit about me... I am a full time college student, nanny, daughter and sister.  I am getting my degree in Kinesiology, before pursuing a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.   I love to help people and I adore my family.  Most importantly, however,  is my faith.  I will be sharing a lot more about my beliefs on future posts... so stay tuned!  I would be delighted to hear from each and every one of you.

joyfully yours,