Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Love Dare - Day One

Day 1 - Love is patient.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." - Eph 4:2

Love works. It is life's most powerful motivator and has far greater depth and meaning than most people realize. We are born with a lifelong thirst for love. Love changes our motivation for living. Relationships become meaningful with it. No marriage is successful without it.

Love is built on two pillars that best define what it is. Patience and kindness. Love will inspire you to become a patient person. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger. Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm.

Impatience causes you to overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways. Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks. It is a choice to control your emotions rather than allowing your emotions to control you, and shows discretion instead of returning evil for evil.

If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.

Patience makes us wise. It doesn't rush to judgement but listens to what the other person is saying. The Bible says. "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29)

Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it.

Can your spouse count on having a patient wife or husband to deal with? Can she know that locking her keys in the car will be met by your understanding rather than a demeaning lecture that makes her feel like a child? Can he know that cheering during the last seconds of a football game won't invite a loud mouthed laundry list of ways he should be spending his time?

What would the tone and volume of your home be like if you tried this biblical approach: "See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another" (Thes 5:15).

Few of us do patience very well, and none of us do it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their marriage relationships. This Love Dare journey is a process, and the first thing you must resolve to possess is patience. Think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. But it's a race worth running.

Today's Dare

Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next week, resolve to demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.


After completing this dare, please answer the following questions in your own notebook but also please share with us your answers too!!

Did anything happen this week to cause anger toward your mate? Were you tempted to think disapproving thoughts and let them come out in words?

-Taken from The Love Dare by Stephen & Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough

Monday, June 28, 2010

An old message for a new generation.

Not so long ago we were celebrating a great economy. Wow, can't times change? Sky-rocketing fuel prices have us carpooling, parking our gas-guzzlers and riding the bus. We'd never heard of a sub-prime mortgage crisis; now the equity in some of our homes is evaporating like steam, or they're being auctioned off on the courthouse steps. The headlines say a tsunami hits Burma and 100,000 people die. Earthquakes hit China and thousands of children perish in the rubble of their school. Twisters, hurricanes, fires and floods hit the U.S. heartland leaving untold heartache and ruin. It seems our security blanket has been stripped away and our comfort zone shaken to it's core.

But there's a groundswell. If you listen you'll hear it: "It's time to seek God, to repent, to change the way we're living." It's an old message for a new generation.

"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

You say "The people around me aren't saying that." Then examine the company you're keeping! Jesus said that when the blind lead the blind they both end up in a ditch.

We don't need a majority to turn things around. God told Abraham that just fifty people with a heart for righteousness could save Sodom. Even in a pampered church that majors in "what God will do for you, and how to get Him to do it" there's a remnant who know what revival means, and how to seek God until it comes.

The question is, will you be one of them?

-The Word For You Today

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Friday, June 25, 2010

Changes in Latitudes

Good morning!!!!!! I am so so so excited about the response to The Love Dare!! I was so nervous that no one would find it interesting or be willing to join in but I definitely think I got a few joiners which is enough for me!!! Hopefully as the weeks go by, more people will join in. Thank you guys so much!!!!!!!!!

Well, I'm headed to the beach!!!! I can't wait to get there. Me and my husband are fishing today and getting settled in. Our friends will come in tonight around 9 or 10 so we have this first day all to ourselves. :) On another note, I have some AMAZING news to tell y'all!!! Have you heard about this?

Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band are all going to perform at this free concert!!! The concert is to help support the Gulf Coast. My brother told me about it Tuesday and said the tickets were free and will become available on Ticketmaster at 11am on Wednesday. There will only be 35,000 tickets given out and you can only get up to 4 tickets. Well, at 10:30am yesterday, my brother and I were each sitting at our computers with the Ticketmaster screen pulled up, refreshing it every couple of seconds until the tickets were available. In the end, we both got 4 tickets giving us 8 tickets to this AWESOME concert!!!!!! We found a hotel about 8 miles from the concert for only 80 dollars per night. It's going to take us about 8 hours to get there...but this is going to be a road trip and concert to remember!!!!!!!! I can't wait! Don't worry, I will take plenty of pictures to post!!!! Is it legal to post video of concerts?? I've never known whether I could do that or not...Well, if I can, I'll post video too! So, did anyone else get tickets for this concert???? They are also going to have a souvenir T-shirt designed for this concert. I'll definitely have to get one. I'll post the link as soon as they have it available so y'all can buy one online too!!

I'm going to have to find a great hawaiian, parrothead like outfit to wear!!!!! How about this??

Okay, I'm ready!!!!! Hahaha. Well, I hope y'all have an amazing relaxing weekend and I can't wait to hear all about them on Monday morning!! Love you guys!!! :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Love Dare

Good morning friends!!!! Hope y'all are doing wonderful today! We are halfway through the work week and I'm getting extremely excited about my beach trip this weekend!! I wanted to run something by y'all. I purchased The Love Dare not too long ago but I haven't done it yet. I thought it would be really cool for us to do it together!!!

The Love Dare is a 40 day journey for a spouse to go through to become closer to God and closer to their spouse. If you have seen the movie Fireproof, it is the book used to mend the couple's relationship back together after some trying times. It's a great movie and if you haven't seen it, I really recommend watching it!!

The Love Dare has a passage for every day teaching you how to be a better spouse and giving you examples from the Bible. At the end of each day is a "dare" in which you perform a task and once it is completed you move on to the next passage. I know 40 weeks is a long time but I thought we could do one passage per week rather than each day. Some weeks I may do 2 or 3. We'll just see how it goes! I feel like doing one per day doesn't really give you the time to think the passage through and apply it to your life. I don't know that I'll type out every paragraph word for word because that would make for a very long post but I will hit the most important parts of every passage. I really hope y'all will join me in this journey and we can all learn and grow together!! I thought I would start next Wednesday and do a passage each Wednesday. Throughout the week y'all can leave comments on the post telling me how it's going and what you think about the specific passage. I'm really excited about this and I hope we can all share this journey together!! I can't wait to learn more about y'all and your relationships and have the opportunity to help and be helped!! So what do y'all think? Are you in??

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Beach Checklist

Not to rub it in for those of you not taking a trip to the beach anytime soon...but I am super excited about my beach trip this weekend!!! I have been excited for a couple of weeks now actually. As with all trips I take I have to start planning way in advance, buy new outfits, tan, get a pedicure...etc. I have gotten most of these things done already but there are few little last minute things I just learned about that I'd like to do before I leave!!

1. Purchase thickening foam for my hair. It's always good to give your hair a break from blow-drying but it's even better to let your hair air dry when you're at the beach! Since my hair is stick straight, I never usually like to let it air dry because it ends up looking flat. Well I just recently learned a great tip! Let it air dry, then apply some thickening foam. Divide hair into 4 sections and twist into knots on top of head. Before going out, unpin and voila! Instant volume. I can't wait to try it out!

Jonathan Product Infinite Volume Thickening Foam - $24

2. Stock up on black tea. Yesterday I received a great tip from E l l e S e e s on how to soothe sunburn. She says "You'll need a bathtub, pitcher, water, rag, and three bags of black tea. Fill the pitcher with warm water and soak the tea bags in it until the water is almost pitch black.

After stripping down and exposing the affected area, soak the rag into the water and apply it on your skin without wiping it off. It's recommended to do this treatment as soon as possible, or before going to bed so your body can heal itself more effectively. A combination of the cool water and components of the tea (like tannin) help soothe the skin and speed recovery."

Thanks Elle!!! :)

P.S. This isn't the only great way to use black tea! Check out my post Black Tea for Sugar Cravings.

3. Shave with baby oil instead of shaving cream. The baby oil creates a barrier between the razor and your skin that won't rinse off plus it seals in moisture! No razor burn AND smooth, silky legs!

4. Scrub my lips with brown sugar. Using about a teaspoon of brown sugar on a damp cloth to rub on lips will soften them and create a sexy pinkness!

5. Paint my toes purple. According to Self Magazine, astrology can tell you what your perfect summer shade is. My sign is Libra and it says "Libras are the arbiters of taste; they love to spot the next new thing...demonstrate your fearless fashion prowess with a double coat of grapy purple polish." While I don't necessarily believe in horoscopes, I think purple would be a pretty change from my usual bright pinks! If you want to find out what your horoscope's summer shade is, click here!

6. Perfect the messy rope braid hairstyle. I found this cute hairstyle on Maegan and I think it's perfect for the beach!!

 What are some of y'alls favorite beach trip essentials??

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lake Lure

Last Friday was such a beautiful day here in NC. On my way to the mountains, I decided to take a little detour off the highway and visit Lake Lure. It's such a cute little area with a "beach", beautiful views and cute little shops and restaurants. I love visiting there for a little picnic or walk around the lake. I think the last time I was up there was with my mom for our birthdays. We went horseback riding, shopping and had a great dinner at a local restaurant.

Friday was super hot and there was a crowd of people on the "beach". As I walked by I could hear children laughing and splashing in the water and smell the suntan lotion and picnic lunches. I thought it was a beautiful day to take some pictures so I'd like to share them with you today!! Have y'all ever been to Lake Lure??

Monday, June 21, 2010

Need More Strength?

Wait on God!!

God usually doesn't tell us how He will answer our prayers, or even when. But He does promise those who wait on Him one thing - strength. So each time you wait on the Lord you add another thread to your rope; you get a little stronger, a little more able to cope. Do you feel like you're just hanging on by a thread today? Spend more time in God's presence and God's Word, and watch your thread turn into a rope. The Bible says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee" (Isa 26:3).

If you're at the end of your rope today, grab hold of these three promises: 1) "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord" (Ps 27:14). 2) "Wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him" (Ps 62:5). 3) "As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their our eyes look to the Lord our God" (Ps 123:2). Do you need more strength? Wait on God!

Boy did I need this passage today!! The financial aid process is not working out for me the way I hoped it would. Actually it isn't working out at all. I had really hoped that if going back to school was what God wanted for me, that He would show me by helping things to work out. I should know by now that it isn't that easy and I can't give up that easy either. I just need some time to think and pray about it and see what my next step is. Like this passage says, I need to spend more time in God's presence and God's Word. I hope this post will help you find strength today too! I know we are all going through something right now and we may feel weak and tired, but we can all gain strength and "add threads to our rope" today by trusting in God! :)

On a lighter note, I did get a prayer for judgement in court on Friday!! I'm very thankful for that. I was so nervous to go in there and thought I'd have to speak in front of the whole court room. Thankfully, the Assistant D.A. called you up one by one and spoke to you in private. In my case, I also had to wait and speak to the judge, but she called me up and spoke to me in private as well. Whew!! We also had a great weekend at the beach with my dad!! Unfortunately, my back got super sunburned and it still hurts today! :/ I hope it's gone before my beach trip this weekend! How was y'alls Father's Day??

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ramblings and Father's Day 2010

Happy Friday my sweet blog friends!!! I have had a rather exciting week and an even more exciting weekend coming up!! I had been freaking out about my placement test to get into the community college and studying for a couple weeks. I was too scared to go take it because I felt like I could never study enough. Well, Monday I woke up and said today's the day! I'm just going to get it over with. So I did, and  passed every section with flying colors! Whew!! What a weight lifted! I talked with an advisor about what I needed to do and got registered for classes starting in August!!! I'm so excited!!! I just have one thing holding me back. Money of course. I am going to meet with the financial aid advisor on Monday to see what I qualify for. Keep your fingers crossed for me please!!

Do y'all remember the speeding ticket I got on my way home from the Derby??

Well, it was going to cost me about $400 to hire an attorney to take care of it and it would end up costing me $800 per year if my insurance went up due to the my only option is to go to my court date, which is this morning at 8:30 in the mountains, and ask the judge for a prayer for judgement. I'm so nervous!!! I've never actually been to court and I certainly have never had to speak to the judge! Ahh!!! I hope he will give it to me. I mean I'm still having to pay $160 in court costs!! Since it would have taken me about 3 hours to get there from my house, I stayed last night with my mom who lives in the mountains and I'm leaving from here in about 15 minutes for court. At least I got to spend some time with my mom! Wish me luck y'all!!

Now on to the main reason for this post! Father's Day!!

If there's anything my dad loves more than his wonderful children and would be Blackjack! My dad is an amazing Blackjack player and he is always traveling to casinos around the country. I love to watch him play and sometimes even play beside him. He helps me but I've still never won a whole lot. I'm not a gambler. I think it's so much fun and could care less about winning money but if I lose $20, I'm depressed. We love to go on the gambling boats out of Little River, SC. The boat goes out into international waters for about 5 hours and then heads back.

My husband has to work this weekend my dad and my brother and I are heading to Little River on Saturday. We will spend the day at the beach, eat dinner at a nice seafood restaurant then jump on the gambling boat!! I can't wait!! I hope I have time to make my dad some meatloaf cupcakes too. He's been begging me to make him some so I think Father's Day is the perfect time! This ought to be interesting huh?? LOL

                                               So, what are y'alls plans for Father's Day???

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Broiled Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Dressing

I love love love asparagus!!!!! It screams summer to me and also has great health benefits! I usually stick with my favorite way to eat asparagus, still crisp with a hint of lemon and butter, but I thought I'd try a little something different last night for dinner. Here's what I came up with and it was easy and delicious!!

Broiled Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Dressing

1 bunch of asparagus spears, trimmed
4 teaspoons of olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons of crushed or slivered almonds
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven's boiler on high and set the oven rack 6 inche from the top.

2. Toss the asparagus and the next 3 ingredients together.

3. Spread on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for about 7 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.

4. Prepare the dressing by whisking all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

5. Once the asparagus is done, place it on a serving plate and pour the dressing on top. Toss asparagus so that the dressing completely covers it. Serve! The asparagus is a still a bit crisp and definitely a bit tangy with a taste of yummy cheese. I think y'all will love it!

What's your favorite way to cook asparagus??

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Party Time!!

I absolutely love to entertain and summer parties are my favorite!!! We have a great big screened in porch and a nice secluded backyard...well for the most I'm always looking for ways to spruce up the parties and make them more Martha Stewart-y. Well, where better to go than I spent hours looking at ideas and recipes and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you!! I won't be throwing a Fourth of July party this year because I'll be attending a pool party that day but you better believe I'll be bringing some fun appetizers and of course cupcakes! Maybe they will let me help decorate? Fun!! :)

Rubber band ID's for glasses! Genius!!

Wrap different colors of tissue paper around glass candle holders!

Thyme Lemonade...yummy!!

What is your favorite way to decorate for summer parties??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Self Tanning Tips

Good morning lovelies!!! I hope y'all had a great weekend and a promising start to your week. My long awaited, glorious boating day set for last Saturday was a fail because my husband ended up having to work. Boo. So I spent the day at the mall of course! I picked up a great new makeup primer from Sephora that I can't wait to review for you guys! I also needed some new jean shorts. I always have such a hard time finding shorts that are an appropriate length for mid twenties, respectable women but I managed to find some good ones amidst all of the barely there styles at Forever 21. Only $10.50!! Can't beat that. :)

So, it's finally summertime and we are all headed out to the lake or the beach or a summer wedding...and we all want to look tan right?! I thought I'd share with you my favorite self tanner and some tips for self tanning.

Sun Labs Ultra Dark Self Tanning Spray - This is my absolute favorite tanning spray. I have tried all of the drugstore brands, Fake Bake, Clinique and Bare Escentuals and none of them deliver as good of a brown color as fast and last as long as Sun Labs. I don't always spray it on. I usually spray it on this mitt I have (I just picked it up at Ulta for $5) and apply it by smoothing it all over. You will want to rub it in slightly to make sure you have it on evenly. However, do not rub it in too much or you will sacrifice the darker color. When I first started using it I rubbed it in like crazy to make sure I had no streaks and I ended up not seeing any color.

Then after smoothing it on, if I want a darker tan I will also spray over top. Here are a few self tanning tips I have picked up over the years.

1. Exfoliate and shave just before tanning and make sure that your skin is completely dry before applying product.

2. Apply moisturizer to any dry spots on your face or body or they will grab product and you will have dark spots.

3. If you choose to spray the product instead of using the mitt, make sure you wear flip flops because as you spray, you will end up walking in what settled on the floor and you will have bright orange feet. I promise! I've done it too many times to count.

4. Start with your legs. Spray or smooth the product very lightly over the tops of your feet and your knees. These places will grab more product and look darker than the rest if you spray too much here.

5. Next, apply to your stomach, back, chest and neck.

6. Save your arms for last so you aren't smudging the product as you work. Apply lightly over elbows and tops of hands. Do not get any product on your palms or in between your fingers. If you do, wash off immediately.

7. I don't usually apply any tanning spray to my face. It always seems to sit in my pores and leave dark dots. I usually use a gradual tanning face lotion on my face. I'd rather use my same makeup shade and just add bronzer to get to my desired face color. :)

8. Stand under or in front of a fan for a couple of minutes to dry the product.

9. The color will be noticeable already if you chose to use the Sun Labs spray. With any of the drugstore brands, your color should show up in a few hours.

10. Do not take a shower for at least 12 hours after applying the product. The longer you wait, the better it will sink into your skin.

Self tanning is a bit of a nuisance but it's definitely better than risking your skin in the tanning bed. I've always loved the tanning bed and I would have owned one if I had the money! I knew all of the risks but it was so hard to care. I mean tan skin is beautiful skin right?? I even think I look much thinner with tan skin. But once I realized that I could get a good tan safely, I chose to say goodbye to those dangerous beds! If you are a tanning bed junkie, I encourage you to try self tanning and break your bad habit!!