Friday, September 28, 2012

Uhh, rude?


I have a question for you lovely kiddos:  Is it rude to tell someone they look like a young teenager?? Let me explain.  Recently, I have had about five people tell me that I don’t look 21.  I get various comments such as: “You don’t look older than 18.”  One lady even said, “You are not 21! You don’t look a day over 14!”  To some extent, I get this.  I do look young.  Maybe I don’t look 21.  But I am 21.  I don’t think I am some super mature person, but I do hope to get a little more respect than is given a 14-year-old.  My 14-year-old self was far different than my 21-year-old self.  She had braces and 14-year-old style.  I don’t have 14-year-old style (I hope)! Come on people!!  If you think I look young, is there really a reason you feel the need to say that? What if someone told me they were 40 and I blurt out “You aren’t 40! You look at least 80!”  How’d ya like that? 

Rest assured, I would never say this.  This is just a little reminder to think before you say something OUT LOUD.  How will others perceive what you have said?  I’d love to hear your stories about this!   

Joyfully (and youthfully) yours,

Danielle

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What does it take to be thankful?


What are you thankful for?  Or maybe a better question: Are you thankful for the things that you should be?  I recently read 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik.  Everything that could go wrong for this guy, did go wrong.  His life was a mess.  He was lonely.  He was practically bankrupt.  But in a life-changing moment, he realized that he truly did have so much to be thankful for.  Ain’t that always the way?? We complain about our lives before we realize… We are so blessed.  So John decided to write a thank you note every day. For a YEAR.  That is a heck of a lot of thank you notes.  Can you think of 365 things to be thankful for?  I betcha can’t!  But really--- most of us have a multitude of things we should be thankful for.
 

This book has taught me to really appreciate the little things people do and to simply say THANK YOU.  To realize that I have so much that I have been blessed with and I better quit all that whining.  A friend of mine said in a talk at church:  “Perspective: looking at what God has given you, not what God has taken away.”  What a concept.  I used to think that this way of looking at things was slightly na├»ve and pointless.  But I have changed my mind.  We can’t change our situations BUT our perspective changes the way we react to them. So, what do you think…Is this glass half-full or half-empty?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Choose Joy Tuesday // Laugh out Loud


Today I will choose joy because…

1)      MY FAMILY IS COMING HOME TODAY! (That was easy one)

2)      I can laugh at myself.  Man, oh man, I do the most embarrassing things but I sure do get a good laugh out of them sometimes.  Like yesterday, when someone in my class said “I’m hungry” and in response I said “Good morning!”  Then, I realized what they said.  Oops.

3)      I have some new followers from Life of Bon today! Whoo hoo!! Welcome all of you!

4)      For my hilarious friend Forrest.  Just in case I don’t get enough laughs at myself, he can always make me laugh.  You might just agree….

TIPS FOR 3RD WHEELING

Forrest shared these with me when I was in a third wheeling situation… if you don’t know what third wheeling is, lucky you (-:  If you have ever been in this situation, here ya go!  In the words of Forrest….

1)      Avoiding awkward interaction is always key, try to never just walk into the room.  I suggest maybe making a loud cough to let the couple know you are about to enter.

2)      When stuck interacting with couple, as you will undoubtedly find yourself situated in, never make eye contact with either person.  Talk to them, but look at a wall.

3)      Also, I’ve always wondered what to do when the couple begins snugglage.  My favorite thing to do is watch TV if it is available in that room, but it’s not always attainable.  So I suggest that you “discover” something weird on your skin and look intensely at it.

4)      Making fun of yourself is always a hit; it gives the couple something to join in on, plus if you’re lucky they will be caught off guard and stop doing whatever awkward thing was previously being done.  Genius.

5)      Your phone is your best friend, never forget this.  It gets you out of any awkward situation because you can always fake a text and not have to deal with the awkwardness of the couple whispering to themselves (my favorite technique).

6)      Never overly smile/smile at them for extended periods.  It’s just creepy.


So there you have it!  Hope it made your day a little cheerier! 

Joyfully yours,

Danielle

Friday, September 21, 2012

Blue and White

 
A huge tiny obsession of mine? Blue and white china. How can you not love it? So elegant and classy.  In my dream home, my kitchen will be full of this stuff!

 
 




And how can you help but love this dress??!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Choose Joy Tuesday #2


Today I am joyful because:

1)      The weather is absolutely gorgeous.  It’s pretty hot but much cooler than it has been.  The skies are perfectly blue.  In my break between school and work, I went outside and laid on the swing to take a nap.  Ahh..

2)      Skype.  It’s been a bit lonely around my house lately because most of my family is on vacation.  But I’m so, so thankful that I can Skype them.  It’s has also been a newfound way to keep in touch with faraway friends (hello, Sophie!)

3)      In the past couple semesters, I have had so many exams that I haven’t been able to get away to go to any of our church youth conferences.  However, this semester I’m thrilled to be able to say that I was able to work out a weekend where I COULD go to one.  For any students out there, you probably understand how much it helps to have something to look forward to mid-semester.  Yay for breaks!

Hope you are feeling equally blessed and joyful today!

Danielle

Monday, September 17, 2012

Live Better America (.com)

Have you heard of this website?  I think it is awesome.  They have everything you could ever want (ok, ALMOST everything you could ever want).  They have all kinds of healthy eating recipes.  They also have classic recipes that they have “healthified” which means that they take an unhealthy recipe and make it healthier.  It might not be the best thing for you but it’s a great way to lighten up your favorite meals.  They also have recipes for all different diets--- gluten free, heart healthy, low sodium. 

In their Food 101 section, they have tips on buying fruits and veggies, how to prepare them and all about their nutrients.  Cool,  huh?  And my last little blurb about this website?  They have a blog with all kinds of tips on how to change up your lifestyle. 

One of my favorite recipes from this website is Healthified Pumpkin Cheesecake.  Since I’m raring to go with all this fall-ness, I can’t wait to make this cheesecake again soon!  I have taken it with me to several potlucks and it has been a big hit.  Check it out! 

Hope you enjoy this website!

Joyfully yours,

Danielle

P.S. While it may seem like I am getting paid to promote this website, I’m not.  I just really like it.  Although, I think they should pay me (-:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Failed.

I have failed as a blogger this week.  I have been so busy.  Will be back more next week!  Hope each and every one of you has a wonderful weekend.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Choose Joy Tuesdays


Hi all!  Hope your weekend was excellent.  Today I am going to be starting something new… Choose JOY Tuesdays, inspired by this Pin I saw on Pinterest. 
 
Every Tuesday I will choose 3-5 things that are blessings in my life (or blessings in disguise) that I don’t always acknowledge.  Monday and Tuesday are my hardest days of the week so it will be like a little pick-me-up for the rest of the week.  Because it is true that we don’t always appreciate what we have until it is gone.  I don’t want to live like that.  I hope you will join me by commenting with something YOU are joyful for. 

These are the reasons I will choose joy today:

1)      I have been frustrated because I haven’t been able to get into all the classes I need at school to be full time.  This is the third week of school and I am still trying to get into a neurophysiology class and I don’t think I will.  But maybe this is just God’s way of not letting me get in over my head.  I will be joyful because this semester won’t be too stressful.

2)      I suffer a lot from tension headaches (about 5 a week).  This has caused me to feel angry/sad/think life is unfair.  However, I am so blessed to have family members who will gladly give me a massage, which greatly helps.  The doctor told me I should get weekly (I stretch this to about 2 weeks) professional massages, so I am thankful that I am able to afford them, because many people couldn’t!  Although they don’t make the headaches go away, these things help reduce the pain.  My friend Beks loves to wear perfume, but she doesn’t around me because she knows it makes my headaches worse.  So I’m thankful for her too!

3)      Sometimes I really hate technology.  I think it has a lot of negative effects on our culture.  BUT today I am thankful for technology cause it has allowed me to this awesome thing called starting a blog, which has been an enormous blessing.

Hoping you all are choosing joy today!

Joyfully yours,

Danielle

Friday, September 7, 2012

7


I recently read the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.  This book blew me away.  I will give my “disclaimer”--- I don’t agree with all Jen’s doctrine, but I love this girl’s heart.  In fact, the very dedication of the book was enough to make me want to read more.  It reads “For Jesus, who lived so lightly on this earth, he didn’t even have a place to lay his head.  I want so deeply to be like you.”  Could there be more telling words?  Do we REALLY want to be like Jesus? Yes, I definitely would say that I do in terms of his character.  But his life also lacked a LOT of the comforts that mine hold--- do I really have to take that part of the “package?”  Jen sets out on a journey to change her lifestyle and stop ignoring the fact that often, our daily lives have nothing to do with the life of Christ.   Each month, Jen picked one area that she was going to change and simplify.  She chose food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, shopping and stress.  Each month, Jen boiled one of these things down to the basics (like eating only 7 things or wearing 7 things for ONE MONTH—how basic can you get?)  Sound extreme? It does to me.  But like Jen, I am an extremist.  When I see something that needs to change, I can’t just keep going.  It weighs me down and makes me feel like a hypocrite.  Similarly, Jen saw that she was buying into the materialism of our culture and she wasn’t okay with it.

So what is the point?  Did doing these things make Jen more holy?  No, certainly not by the acts themselves.  But I am supposed to mature my character and be more like Christ.  Do I think Christ had a bunch of expensive outfits to wear?  Do I think Christ ate wonderful feasts with all sorts of flavors all the time?  Cause I hate to break it to myself—the Christ I follow is a man of simplicity.  He put God first. All. The. Time.  Do I?

The thing I like about Jen is that she is real.  She isn’t some weirdo who wants the world to notice her extremism.  No, she is just like me.  She loves good food.  She loves her family.  She loves comfort.  But she also loves God.  She doesn’t pretend like she enjoys giving up her comforts (although she also doesn’t constantly whine about it either, cause that would defeat the point).  What did she learn from these 7 months of giving up on excess?  She learned to be closer to God, to care more about others, to realize that she is living in a culture OBSESSED with stuff we simply don’t need.  Why does any of that matter?  I will end with a quote from her book:
“Love God most.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  This is everything.
If we say we love God, then we will care about the poor.
This earth is God’s and everything in it.  We should live like we believe this.
What we treasure reveals what we love.
Money and stuff have the power to ruin us.
Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God.  This is what is required.”

This book is not about doing exactly what Jen did.  It is about looking at our lives and drawing closer to God.   I know that I want to always be growing, going forward in my walk following Jesus. 

Joyfully yours,

Danielle

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Resourceful

I love pesto, but buying it is a little expensive. So when I found this recipe, I had to try it out!  I even used basil that we are growing.  I feel so resourceful. (-:  This recipe is rich and garlicky.  I have been eating it on everything I can (and maybe even sneaking tiny spoonfuls out of the container…).  Here goes!

Classic Pesto

In a food processor, pulse 2/3 cup loosely packed basil leaves, 2 TBSP pine nuts, 1 peeled garlic clove, ½ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper until chopped.  Continue processing while adding 1/3 cup olive oil in a steady stream.  Add 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese; pulse to blend.

Makes ½ cup
Sorry for the terrible quality pics!

 

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Spending Fast

By “spending fast” I do not mean spending my money quickly, but rather a fast from spending money for the month of September.  Let me explain.

I recently read the book “7: A Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker.  I’m not going to tell you much about this book because I have a blog post coming up about that.  However, this book touched me so deeply.  It really, REALLY made me realize how much stinkin’ stuff that I have.  And yet, I just keep buying. And buying. And buying.  I love to shop, for pretty much anything—whether it be clothes, tennis shoes, music, books, nail polish, makeup, skin products, or food.  I am trapped in the never-ending wheel of consumerism and IT NEEDS TO STOP!  What does it say about me that I say I’m a God lover, and yet I spend so much time on myself and things that I don’t actually need?  I think it says something bad.  I certainly know that Christ is not going to look at my self-loving attitude toward spending money and congratulate me. 

For the month of September, I am not going to spend money on myself.  Please note this does not include gas money, necessities (toothpaste or the like), or an occasional food item (for example, going out to lunch with a friend).  This is about thinking about how I am throwing around my money, not about making strict rules.  I am going to use this month to start that change.  Change my attitude.  Change my priorities.  Fill the time I was spending thinking about myself and what I want to focus on others.  Obviously, not spending money is NOT the end all and be all.  It is simply a step toward stopping the continual gratification of my every whim and, more than that (hopefully), cultivating a better attitude.

I am not doing this because I think it will make me more holy.  I do not think you are less holy than me because you are not doing this.  I am doing this because, as it says in Lamentations 3:40: “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.”  I have looked at my own lifestyle and been saddened by what I see.  I want to humbly return to the LORD.   Jesus told the rich man to sell all he had and give to the poor and then he would have treasure in heaven.  I find ways to exempt myself from this by saying that the man loved his stuff too much but that I’m not like that.  But honestly, HONESTLY, would I be able to do it?  I don’t think I would. 

Have an opinion on this? I welcome you to share it! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend, my dear readers.  Joyfully yours,

Danielle