Friday, July 11, 2014

Howdy Strangers!

So I haven't posted in a while. Life got real busy. A lot. I had finished up my spring semester but not one week later I was starting my 6 week condensed summer courses and working at Starbucks and doing carwashes, picnics, and preparing for our trip to Chicago with our youth group.

I'm still pooped. Lol. Vacation is so close though! August 18th, I'm headin' west!

Which brings me to the most recent thing keeping me busy, VBS, and our theme is Gospel Light's SonWest Roundup! At the end of our VBS last year, I was going through some of our crafts and seeking out ideas via Pinterest for what our next theme would be, and I was just so inspired by the western theme, so my hubby picked this one to please me. :)

I am having so much fun planning everything, but here it is, just over a week away and I'm struggling to put everything into action. We do not have a children's pastor or any kind of children's adviser, AND our head pastor and his wife (who is truly gifted by God to work with kids!) are on sabbatical until August, so my husband and I pick up the slack. I have quite a bit of experience participating as a VBS volunteer at my old church, but never was I the one to be calling all the shots--other than God, of course! ;) --and giving instructions. Delegating is something I can do, but I get scared people won't do something the way I want them to do it; it's something I'm working on. I'm thankful that I have extremely amazing volunteers doing snacks, games, and teaching, but their role hasn't exactly kicked in yet and the mass of the preparation will start after our Saturday morning volunteers meeting and promotion day. We'll be splitting everyone up and assigning them to focus on their jobs, then go out to the neighborhoods surrounding our church to promote with door hangers and poster invitations. Busy busy busy!

Everything's been great, and I'm looking forward to what God will be doing through this VBS. I'm sure He is working on stretching me through this whole experience; I rejoice in that because why?! Here's why, of course:

"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.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." -James 1:2-4 (NIV)

I hope whatever your trial is this week or this month or this year or EVER, as tough as it may be, allows you to grow! God bless, and check back for VBS details! Ya'll come back now ya here?! :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dear Pinterest...

Are you a Pin-aholic like me? Are there features of Pinterest that you love and features that you'd like to see? Well, I'm kind of making this a fun, unofficial letter to Pinterest developers to list the things I'd like to see done to Pinterest in the future. In the comments, tell me, and Pinterest, what YOU would like to see done, and I'll create a new post including them.

Also, if you haven't followed me yet, here's a link to my Pinterest profile! I've pinned lots of great stuff, so follow me to not miss out on anything, and browse through my many many boards for kicks and giggles. :)

Dear Pinterest, I love you. You give me so much inspiration by gathering so many beautiful and interesting things in one place. You have come so far since I first started using you in 2011-2012, but there are a few things I'd like to see done in the future. Here are a few suggestions if you need some inspiration:

A "select" and "drag and drop" feature to organize boards. For instance, you can open your folders on your computer and select multiple things, then drag them and move them all to a new location. Sometimes I want to create a new board based on a sub-category I see emerge on one of my boards and editing and moving all the pins/repinning and deleting the pins one at a time is really time consuming.

A way to move pins on the boards. We can organize the order of our boards in our profile, but not the pins on the boards. Perhaps that would be under the same category as the above suggestion. As of now, I'd have to pin everything in the exact order I want it in to have it organized, and honestly, that's a lot of work. Call me picky, but I think it'd be a nice feature to add, especially for those of us who like to feature certain pins at the very top of our board.

Specific identification of the specific boards I follow. I wish that when I followed a specific board of a person, not follow every board, it would tell me the board I followed and not just the person. It would make it easier for me to go back to a specific board I want. Because it just shows the person whose board it is, I currently have to click through people and then look through all their boards to find the specific one/s I followed. I suppose I could try "Search", which sometimes helps, but I may not remember the name enough to type it in (or some people have abstract names for boards that I may not think of), and why follow a specific board if I can't go directly back to it?

A way to see which of my pins was pinned the most. A girl likes to see which pins are being pinned the most to see what kind of content she wants to cover in her blog and/or pin for her own inspiration! A quick way to see the pins that were most pinned would be very nice. (Not the "popular" pins, the ones I personally have pinned. And not MY content, but the content of others' that I've pinned. If you want to count how many times your specific blog/content has been pinned, go HERE)

Search suggestions. I'm sure you're in the midst of adding it soon, but I LOVE the search feature you've added to the Android mobile app (I don't know if it's on iOS or not...) and would like to see it via computer, too! I love how I can type in words and you add more suggestions!

Quick Pick feature. Again, a feature from the mobile app that I love and that I'd like to see for computer is the "Quick Pick" feature. When you pin something, it gives you the most recent three boards for you to choose from to pin it to. I love this feature on mobile so I don't have to scroll through my boards (85 of them!) to find the board I want.

Now, I know you are all hard at work at Pinterest and that the suggestions I have may be difficult to do, but there's no harm in throwing my ideas out there. ;) Thanks Pinterest peeps for all you've done to inspire everyone and keep up the good work! :)

Don't forget to leave YOUR Pinterest suggestions down in the comment section! I want to hear what YOU have to say!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Make My Monday: A Tiny Cactus, Tiny Hamster, and More!

Ever get the Monday grumps? I totally do. Mondays are just THE WORST to me. Even if I'm having a good one, Monday somehow gets me down. But don't fret! I'm taking back Monday today! Today is not going to be about study study study--okay, yeah it will be, but I'm taking a break right now--it's going to be fun fun fun! Here's a roundup of some fun things to make your Monday brighter. :)

Frappy Hour is back at Starbucks! 
From 3pm-5pm, May 1st-10th, get half off all your favorite frappuccinos!

Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos. Because who wouldn't love that?!

Have you seen any of Blimey Cow's videos yet? They are all super cute and always put me in a better mood! Follow them on Facebook or over on YouTube to catch more of their great videos!

Fun, Time-Wasting Apps!
Triple Town: Android & iOS
Triple Town is an insanely addictive puzzle game where you must combine elements like bushes and gravestones to grow your town as big as you possibly can! 

Angry Birds Star Wars II: Android & iOS
May the 4th be with you! Revenge of the 5th! See what I did there? ;) An expansion of the ever-popular and fun game, Angry Birds! Will YOU join the "pork side"?

Frozen Free Fall: Android & iOS
Who didn't love at least one aspect of Frozen? It was SO cute! Frozen puts there spin on a classic match-3 game for more ways to enjoy everyone's new favorite movie!

I hope these things made your day a little brighter!
I leave you with a tiny cactus to motivate you through your week!

Have you found anything across the world wide interwebs that you found fun? Share it with me here in the comments below, and I'll feature it another Monday! :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Today in History: Kent State Shootings

Picture by John Filo/Getty Images via Slate

After my last blog post mentioning I went to Kent State for a bit, it is no surprise that I'd like to take a minute to reflect on the lives lost during the anti-war protests 44 years ago today. Four lives were lost and nine were injured, May 4th, 1970. I never really thought about this event very much when I was attending Kent State until I would walk by the memorials of the victims when I would then imagine what it would be like to be there that day.

While I won't say the protesters or the National Guard was right or wrong in how they were handling protesting, and I really have no comment to make on the event as a whole, I think it is important to take a moment to reflect on any tragic day in history to see what went wrong, what could have been done, and what could be done if a situation like this were to arise again. If we don't know history, it's only doomed to repeat itself. Take this as a moment to reflect and pray for our country in hopes that nothing like this happens again.

Here are some sources to look into this day in history:
Personal Remembrances of the Kent State Shootings, 43 Years Later
Kent State 1970
The New York Times, On This Day In History, Front Page

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Christian University: The Things I Took For Granted

With graduation season upon us, and with me in my last year of college, I've been reflecting over my college experiences. It's been a series of ups and downs, on campus, commuting, single, married, private, public, community, etc., leaving me at now having attended 4 colleges; Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Kent State University, Lorain County Community College, and now Cleveland State University, where I am currently attending. Each college I've attended has given me a variety of college experiences, making me a well-rounded college student.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mexican Cornbread Bake - A great pantry dish!

This one is brought to you by... the leftover things in my pantry and fridge! I had a box of corn muffin mix, some fresh onions and peppers in my fridge, frozen corn, and salsa and cans tomatoes. What do you get when you put it all together? THIS little casserole-like bit of deliciousness. I loosely followed a recipe I found here, and omitted meat, since I didn't feel like thawing any and I didn't have any fresh meat available. Laziness at it's finest, people. Ha. ;) Anyway, I had a hodge podge of ingredients that I threw together for the veggies and just spread the cornbread mix on top following the directions on the box. It really could not be simpler. You could adjust it to whatever veggies you like and whatever you have on hand. The prep time was only as long as it took for me to preheat the over and chop the veggies, really, so this is a super fast and easy meal that can come together in less than 30 minutes! I hope you try it and enjoy it!

Tell me if you do, and tell me how you made it in the comments below! :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Day!

"He is risen!" "He is risen, indeed!"
I'm not always a super big fan of long-lasting traditions, but I LOVE the call and response "He is risen" we get to hear every year when we celebrate Jesus' resurrection! I hope whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you do, etc. that you come to know Jesus' love. He died for your sins and then conquered death so we can live forever with Him! Happy resurrection day! 

For anyone else who may be reading this that is not a believer, just know I love you. And God loves you. Even if you don't believe in Him, I hope that knowing at the very least that I love you means something. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

20 Awesome Autism Speaks Products

April is Autism Awareness month! I am a psychology major and have friends and family that have autism, so this is a subject near and dear to my heart. It is so unfortunate how people view mental illness in general, but when someone has autism, people think all they have is a weird problem that they need to grow up and get over. Well, guys, let me tell you, autism is something you can't just "get over" it's a part of someone just like we all have personality traits that may not be "desirable" that are a part of us. We need to stop viewing people with autism as people with only negative traits and people with strengths and weaknesses that are just different than ours.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Amish Mac N Cheese - Easy One-Dish Recipe!

          Okay, I just looked at it, and that title is kind of misleading. We aren't Amish. Haha. We got this recipe from an Amish cookbook that his parents bought in Amish country, and my husband LOVES to make this for whatever potluck we got to b/c it's such a lazy, easy, cheesy, delicious dish. You don't even need to precook the noodles! I make this a lot for our church potluck and it always goes! We always add some sort of extras such as paprika (though not Amish, my husband is 3/4 Hungarian) or garlic powder just to give a little something extra. I'll try to find out what book it is if you would like to get it, but I have a feeling it's not something you could just buy online or at a bookstore. Anyway, here is the best from scratch mac n cheese you'll ever have! Recipe after the jump...

The Alphabet Game: A Road Trip Classic & 5 Variations For MORE Fun!

The ever-popular and classic Alphabet game. Keeping families and friends from being bored since..... well, since road trips happened... Anyway, I found that while the game is fun in and of itself, it can become dull when you play it every trip, so I came up with a few variations to keep it interesting! Keep reading after the jump!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

50+ Essential Things To Bring On Youth Ministry Trips

Are you a youth leader that can't figure out what hings they may need to pack for a youth conference? Are you worried you're forgetting something? Well, I've got a ton of ideas for you! You'll never be without all the useful things youth leaders should have with my handy dandy list that I developed myself. Over 6 years of camp and missions trips in Junior High and High School as well as my experiences being a leader for the past 4-5 years have prepared me well, and I hope it prepares you. Here are 50+ things you should bring on youth ministry trips and how to use them to help you survive. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Disneybound Outfit: Mary Poppins!

My youth group and I will be taking off this week for Baptist Bible College where we will be attending a youth ministry training. I'm excited for one day in particular when we will be playing a conference-wide game of Clue and a day to dress up as Disney characters!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Take My Life And Let It Be - One Song, Two Ways!

Today at church we're singing the hymn, Take My Life and Let it Be. I love this song, though the original hymn version was not the version I was familiar with. I went to a contemporary church service most of my life, so I was more familiar with Chris Tomlin's version of the hymn. I like the bridge he adds to it; give you a moment to just repeat, "Here am I, all of me, take my life, it's all for Thee" to tell God exactly that. I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday wherever you are today. :)

Here are the two versions on YouTube so you can enjoy them as much as I do.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Starbucks "Secret Menu" Lemonades Cookie Frappuccino *BONUS* Thin Mint Frapp!

lemonade cookie frappuccino
This one goes out to all the little girls selling cookies. Actually, at my college the other day, the Girl Scouts were set up right next to the Starbucks in our student center. And they were SO cute. I couldn't say no to their shining, hopeful faces... and that is how I justify buying a box each of Samoas, Tagalongs, and Thin Mints. Haha. ;) For the link to the recipe and my review, read more after the jump!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Photo Editing Apps - *Bonus App*

I have had a lot of my friends ask what apps I use to edit my pictures and put them into a collage when I post them to Instagram and Facebook, so I thought I'd share the apps I enjoy using. Take a look at my top 5 + 1 Bonus after the jump!