Thursday, January 31, 2013

*Count Your Blessings*SPD Thursday




Pinned to Amanda's "Need to Try" board
Originally from this site
 I came across the pin (original shown above) in December, 
while I was thinking about New Year's Eve.
I adore this idea.
We so frequently recall all of the terrible things that have happened throughout our year,
but how often do we take some time to stand back and count our blessings?
The description below the pin stated:
 
"Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. On New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year" 

I couldn't wait to get started on this project!
I have been all about identifying the little things in my life lately.
Life is so much more fulfilling when you stop dwelling on the most minute details,
but rather, appreciating everything from a movie day with friends to an A on an exam.

I started off with these supplies.
Mason Jars are cute looking on their own,
but I wanted to jazz mine up a little bit 
with some scrapbook paper, stickers, and ribbon.

 I also cut-up assorted scrapbook paper to
write each "blessing" on.

Voila!
I used a smaller jar, spray painted it, and placed it next to the main jar.
The smaller jar is a nice way to organize the scrap paper.

I placed our jar on top of our big tv, in the living room.
It is in a convenient location so that my roommates and I never forget to 
"count our blessings."

As you can see,
we have already partially filled the jar.
So much to be thankful for!


Don't forget to check out the other pins that bloggers tackled this week.
I love the inspiration I receive from these ladies.



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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Little Things

In the midst of my hectic lifestyle,
I am always amazed by how easily the simplest things are able to brighten my day.
Whether I am running across campus--from class to class,
attempting to learn  memorize every last detail of glycolysis  
(that quiz is tomorrow, I might add--prayers are welcome, in fact, they are encouraged),
or trying to focus on writing goals and objectives for my internship--
somewhere in between,
I always seem to experience the kindness of those around me.
Isn't it crazy how something as simple as receiving a compliment on your outfit
or how a stranger smiles and opens the door for you can make your entire day?

And don't even get me started on how a surprise supper topped off with homemade
cheesecake can brighten my whole week.
 You're lying or you just really hate cheesecake if you say that
a boy making this for you wouldn't make your day!!

Not only is cheesecake my favorite dessert,
but receiving packages in the mail also tops my "favorite things" list.
This past month, I took part in my first ever Cara Box exchange over at Wifessionals.
Kaitlyn selects a theme each month and matches-up bloggers.
I was able to get to know Katie at Unwritten.
Since this month's theme was New Year's Resolutions,
we discussed some of Katie's goals for the New Year. 
I also tried to grasp some other ideas of things she might like to receive to aid her in 
her endeavors.
I hope she likes the items that I sent her! :)

In addition to "meeting" Katie,
I also became better acquainted Tanya from The Baksha Five.
We are both students, so it has been fun chatting with Tanya about everything
from classes to the latest movies in theaters. 
I must say, she nailed my New Year resolutions with her package. 
I absolutely love everything.


The package started off with a sweet note from Tanya herself.
Each kind gift was cradled in purple tissue paper--my favorite color.
She made the most adorable bookmarks out of paint samples. 
These will be great for marking the pages of my textbooks.
She also included a notepad to help keep track of assignments and other "to-do" items.
I am a HUGE list maker, so this was perfect.
Trail mix was also incorporated as a healthy study snack.
I will be needing that extra protein in the upcoming weeks, believe me. 
Since Tanya realizes the importance of taking a break from studying now and then,
she also included a calming candle and nail polish with files.
I can't wait to try these colors out this weekend during a study break.
To remind me of my goals, 
Tanya framed the words "Mind Body Soul."
I love reading these words each morning , as I get ready for the day.
Such a great reminder!
For fun, note cards and heart shaped ice cube trays
I write thank you notes for everything--and I mean everything.
With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, 
I have some ideas brewing in my mind for ways to incorporate the heart ice cube tray.

Thank you, Tanya!!
I have genuinely enjoyed getting to know you and am excited to continue reading your posts!
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saw it. Pinned it. SUCCESS!

The past month or so, 
I have been going crazy with Pinterest projects. 
I made several Christmas gifts, New Year crafts,
and tried other clever suggestions from the creative site. 
If you remember my post from around Thanksgiving,
then you know that my Pinterest projects do not always go as planned. 
In fact, I have not been able to eat Greek Yogurt with honey since that last fiasco.
Maybe it is because I now associate it with chunky, honey scented gunk plastered onto my face...
My luck with Pinterest projects has been looking up since then, thankfully.
Today, I wanted to share the make-up brush holder that I made for both myself and as
a gift for my best friend, Kacie. 
I must admit, 
I actually discovered this project on YouTube before seeing it on Pinterest.
Sooo....this may not be a true "Saw it. Pinned it. Did it" post.
I am a bit obsessed with the YouTube beauty videos and blogs from 
Ingrid aka MissGlamorazzi,
which is where I first discovered this idea.  



I started with a burned-out candle. 
This particular one was from the Walmart candle section.

Then, I followed the Modge Podge steps with some glitter 
that I also purchased in the Walmart craft section.

After allowing the holder to dry a couple days,
I shook out any loose glitter into the trash can.
Then I filled the holder about half full with decorative filler.
I found my purple filler in the wedding decor section of Hobby Lobby.
(I could live in that store and Target and be one happy young lady.)
For the holder I made for myself, 
I filled it with my brushes. 
However, for the gift for Kacie,
I purchased some brushes from the Elf line at Target.
I have always had great luck with these brushes in the past
and to top it all off, they are quite affordable.



Here is the one I made for my vanity area.
I have been using it for over a month
and I love the style and organizational aspects it brings to the area.



 
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

But You Gotta be Happy

 
If you have been wondering where on earth I have been lately 
(which you probably haven’t been)
I would have to ask myself another question in return: 
“Where in the heck HAVEN’T I been?!?”

Life has been a bit crazy, to say the least. 
I have this problem—a problem where I like to take on more tasks at once than should really be legal. One of these days I may be arrested. 
I’m just waiting for a SWAT team to dramatically barge into my house and say 
“Amanda Lambrechts, you are under arrest for taking on too many tasks 
than you are capable of doing well at once.”

Crazier things have happened, right? 

I’m starting to realize that maybe one dietetics student shouldn’t do undergraduate research, design nutrition curriculum for the Boys and Girls Club for an internship, coordinate a Health and Nutrition Conference, write a blog, and serve as a peer minister of development for a church group on campus…
Oh and take 17 credits
that should have probably been prioritized at the top of my list, huh?!

So true. Between working full time, finishing school, and taking care of a newborn baby, there is no "me time."

 Normally, I can get by and tell myself “it will be worth it in the end” and carry on. 
But lately, I have been struggling to maintain a healthy balance in my life. 
Mostly, I have been failing to find any time to sleep in the midst of all this. 
Trust me, I am a girl who needs her sleep. 
Not only does my appearance give off a haggard “haven’t slept in a week” vibe, 
but I struggle to think straight and stay on task. 

Exhibit A.
I was so sleep deprived at one point that I convinced myself that writing a novel at 3am was a
good idea. Not a proud moment, not a proud moment at all.





 Last May, I was extremely sleep deprived after a long semester of school. I would just assume not relive that part of my life ever again, thank you very much. 

Moving on.

Even though it may seem like I have a million things on my plate right now, I am constantly trying to remind myself of how important it is to inhale, take a deep breath and always make time to take care of myself. 

Sounds simple.
But it is so easy to forget.

Today as I was tapping my toes in the back of the post office line,  
a little girl alongside her mother turned to me and greeted me with a hello and said
"We're mailing a special package."
 She must have been about 4 years old and such a friendly little girl.
One glance at her little face and you could see the innocent curiosity
about absolutely everything around her--
and I mean everything.
That little girl probably touched each and every display box in the place
 while waiting in that line.
When she and her mother finally got to the front of the line, 
she turned to me again and said 
“It’s your turn next. But you gotta wait first. And you gotta be happy.”
I giggled and told her,
"I'm trying to be patient."
She then finished our encounter by saying, 

"Good. But you gotta be happy."

In the midst of my hectic week,
the best advice I could have received came from a little girl at the post office.
Sure, be patient with the plan that God has in store for you from day to day.
Yes, work hard for the things that you want in life.
Make time for friends and family.
But most importantly,
"You gotta be happy,"
because in the end, isn't happiness what we are striving for after all?

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

UNsturdy Foundation



There are many words and phrases that are never fun to hear come out of someone’s mouth. Some that come to my mind include: 
We need to talk.” 
Have you put on a little weight?” and 
The walls of your house are threatening to cave in.

Does that third one seem a bit too specific?
 Allow me to explain.

This past week, my roommate, Amanda (there’s two of us under one roof...because one Amanda is simply not enough) noticed a crack in the wall of her bedroom that had not been there just days before. Since we don’t exactly have the most sophisticated home, she decided it would perhaps be in our best interest to contact our landlord about the matter. 
Recently, we also noticed light in our basement, after opening the door and looking down. 
The catch?
 We don’t actually have any windows down there...
so the fact that light was shining down there was a bit of a concern
Now I’m no architect or construction guru, but I do know when a house is uneven. 
In fact, if you walk from one end of my bedroom to the other, you may start to wonder if you are hiking up a hill as opposed to venturing across my room. 
In other words, you definitely don’t need a level to inform you that our house is pretty uneven

Alright, back to the crack in the wall. Amanda called our landlord and he sent over some people yesterday afternoon to check things out. 
I was actually at work while all of this was happening.
 I honestly had no clue about these events taking place. 
Before long, 6 people were in our house, inspecting our basement. 
Speaking of which, I’ve never actually been in that basement. 
Crazy, right?
 I’ve been living here since August but I haven’t worked up the courage to meander on down those creaky old steps. 
After we had some electrical issues in November and my roommates Alyssa and Amanda braved the basement to check things out, I think my desire to go down there hit negative levels. 
In fact, while they were in the basement, they came across our 5th housemate, Eugene.


This little guy has been living in our basement all along. 
I always knew there was a reason for the strange noises coming from underneath us. 
Anywho, of those 6 people at our house yesterday, 
2 were owners of the house and one was our landlord
You definitely know there is an issue when the landlord and owners arrive on the scene. 
Poor Alyssa had to sit here all by herself while all of this was taking place. 
To make a long story short, more workers came this morning and the first comments I heard were something along the lines of “Well, you can see from the outside that the foundation is not very sturdy” and “The walls of your house are threatening to cave in.” 
As you can imagine, we (my roomies and I) were a bit concerned. 
The words coming out of our mouths today ranged from 
I always knew our house was caving in.” 
We’re going to be homeless, living in a box, going from door to door looking for kind souls invite us in.” 
to “WE’RE GOING TO DIE!!!” 

We’re not dramatic young women at all, are we?

Finally, after hours of pounding, banging and drilling in our basement, 
the workers came up and called it a day.
 I asked one of the men “Is our house going to collapse?” and he informed us that it probably won’t collapse but we need new walls put in this Spring. 

Twas an eventful day.
I guess I can add “New house walls” to my spring calendar.
Say a little prayer for my house, my roommates and me…
it may be a looooong semester.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Juggling a Blog and School

 This week marked the beginning of my 6th semester of college...to save you from any extra math on the weekends, that means it is the Spring Semester of my Junior year. At the beginning of the week, I had anticipated having all of this extra leisure time during the week to fit in a few posts. However, after opening my agenda, I realized my schedule was full of meetings, work, registration, textbook purchases, more meetings, classes...you get the picture. Before I knew it, it was already Friday. 

Luckily, I have a treat for you guys today. One of my favorite bloggers, Shelby, is here to share some advice about staying organized as a student blogger. I have always loved her blog, Chasing Birdies, and it amazes me how consistent she is with her posts while managing her hectic high school schedule. I definitely could have used her advice this week while I was very unorganized with my blog. 
 
With that said, take it away, Shelby! :)
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Hello Faith Love Strength readers! I'm Shelby from Chasing Birdies. I'm so excited to be here today guest posting for Amanda. She is my featured sponsor this month, but I've known her for quite some time. She has always been one of my favorite bloggers to work with!

As you may already know, Amanda and I are both student bloggers. But while Amanda is college student, I am only a high school senior. Either way, it can be very difficult to juggle school work, a part-time job, friends, and a blog. I have just a few simple tips for keeping your life organized and finding the time to blog as well!

1. Keep a planner.

I don't think I'd be able to function without my weekly school planner! I write everything in it, and I mean everything. Homework. Upcoming tests. Extracurriculars. Work schedule. Sporting events. It's all written down and planned out to make sure I don't forget anything!








2. Schedule posts ahead of time.

Once school gets into full swing, I tend to do this a lot! I usually have some free time on the weekends, so I schedule 2-3 posts for the upcoming week. By doing this, you'll still be posting regularly, but you won't have to worry about your blog at all on those weeknights when you have a huge paper to write or calculus homework to finish!

3. Remember that school comes first.

Yes, I know it's more fun to write blog posts than do homework. However, it is important to remember what your priorities are. Education is extremely important, so never neglect your school work to spend hours blogging instead (even though I know we've all done that at least once before!).


I hope these tips help you become both a better student and a better blogger. Thank again, Amanda, for letting me guest post today!




Friday, January 4, 2013

Bring on another semester! Bring on more textbooks!



As most of you probably are aware, I am a college student.
You may have come to realize this after I obsessed about Biochemistry in this, this, or this post.
Yeah.
I guess that class kind of controlled my life this past semester.
While I basically despised that textbook, at the same time, it was a lifesaver…
my light in the darkness called chemistry…
my beacon of hope…
okay, okay I’m being a bit dramatic, but you get the idea.
When everything my professor was saying in class was like a foreign language to me,
thank goodness my textbook was in English.
But do you want to know the best part about my Biochemistry textbook?
The best part about my textbook was that once I was done, it was out of my life!
Sayonara thermodynamics!
No, I did not throw it on the curb for the Monday garbage truck to pick up.
I shipped it right back to where it came from.

Amen to CampusBookRentals! Amen!

This has been my second year renting books online.
My first year I had it in my head that I would buy all of my books and then sell them online and make loads of money.
Genius! Right?  
Wrong.
It turns out, book companies like to update their books and professors like to use that updated version. I am still left with my speech book from freshman year.  
Any takers?!?
CampusBookRentals has made renting textbooks such an easy process for me.
All I have to do is log on to their website and easily locate the book I am searching for.
When the book arrives, they even provide an envelope to ship the book back in.
You will realize how nice this is as you frantically try to round up an envelope to mail your other books in by the deadline. Trust me!
And did I mention free shipping both ways?!
And don’t even get me started on how much they have saved my checkbook!
With CampusBookRentals, you are able to save 40-90% off of the bookstore prices.
Just look at how much I saved on one of my nutrition books by renting via the site:

 http://www.campusbookrentals.com/textbook/Krauses-Food-and-the-Nutrition-Care-Process/Mahan-L-Kathleen-and-Escott-Stump-Sylvia/Elsevier---Health-Sciences-Division/9781437722338 .

Not too shabby, eh?
When I shop for books, I always write down the comparison between competing book stores and CampusBookRentals always seems to win.
CampusBookRentals makes my wallet happy!
Not only is my wallet smiling, but the organization that they sponsor is smiling as well— 
Operation Smile.
Did you know that with each textbook you rent via CampusBook Rentals, the company donates to Operation Smile?
With CampusBookRentals there are smiles all around!

As I enter another semester of college, I am sure to be bombarded with a long list of books that must be purchased. However, it is always comforting to know that I can go straight to CampusBookRentals and I am in good hands.
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