Sweeter than Serenity: August 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Denim Days

Top: Goodwill (I know, crazy!) // Skirt: OASAP 
// Bracelets & Necklace: Love Always
// Shoes: BEARPAW c/o  

These shoes from BEARPAW are ones that I just cannot get enough of! I love how comfortable they are, and I especially love these because of the denim look to them, which makes them match perfectly with my shirt! I am really excited about BEARPAW's newest additions to their fall line of shoes and boots. They are so cute, and I'm sure very comfortable just like every other shoe of theirs that I have!

This shirt is one of my favorites, and I still can't believe I found it at Goodwill. Seriously, it was only $3.50! The skirt is also one of my favorites (I have two of them even!), because it so comfortable, and can be dressed down for casual or dressed up for those special occasions. 

I hope everyone has been having a good week! I'm completing my first full week of physical therapy school today (we have tomorrow off for studying, yay!). It has been exhausting, but I have learned so much even in just one week. I'm sure it'll get harder before it gets better, but I am so excited to start getting more in depth. 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 - "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."

God Bless!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, Monday

Top: Forever 21 // Shorts: Forever 21 // Sandals: Target (old) 
// Headband: Forever 21 // Glasses: Firmoo c/o

I decided to get a little bold and try out a boho-style outfit, and I have to say, I really loved it! Forever 21 does an amazing job of supplying you with just about any boho-style outfit you could ever want, and at a price that is great. This shirt is only $3.80 right now!

I hope everyone is having a happy Monday! My blogging schedule is decreasing to only two or three posts per week due to the insane amount of studying that I am currently doing (seriously, the to-do list is infinitely long). Hopefully after I finish anatomy at the end of the semester I can increase back to four to five posts per week!

Hebrews 11:1 - "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

God Bless!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

UCA Colors

Dress: old (similar style dress) // Cardigan: old (love this one!) // Shoes: Chinese Laundry 

In honor of my very first day of physical therapy school (well, technically orientation, then class on Thursday, but close enough!), I am wearing UCA colors on the blog! I am super excited to finally be starting school, but all the studying that is about to start is something that I am not looking forward to! (I already have to study for quizzes in my first class on Thursday!). 

I wore this outfit at church on Sunday. It's perfect for this time of year when it's warm outside but cold inside. I'm also excited to start transitioning to fall by pairing booties with dresses now instead of just heels or wedges! I am definitely ready for cooler weather! 

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I'm keeping these words in mind this week as I begin my three year journey through plenty of studying on my way to becoming a doctor of physical therapy. I hope this will encourage you whether you or your children are beginning school again! 

God Bless!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How I Keep Myself Eating Healthy

It's no secret that I eat totally differently than most people do. With multiple food allergies and intolerances, keeping myself fed properly can be a challenge! The easiest way to keep myself healthy is by keeping my refrigerator stocked and organized. Here are a few tips on how I keep organized and on budget.

1) Buy whatever produce is on sale. There are so many diet plans out there that specifically tell you to eat this many pieces of asparagus, or this many ounces of kiwi, etc. I don't follow those (because I mean, have you checked the price of asparagus and kiwi lately!?). I shop at Kroger and I have a Kroger card that allows me to get all the special discounts. I make my way through the produce section, and I buy whatever is on sale that week. I absolutely love fruits and vegetables (obviously), so I have to work hard to stay on budget with that. This week I scored some organic kale for just 99 cents for the whole bundle! I also came away with some other great deals, but that definitely was the top one!

2) Always prep your food ahead of time. If I don't prep my food ahead of time, then when I'm actually hungry, sometimes I don't have the time to prep it, so it gets left in the fridge. As you can see, I have several tupperware containers in my fridge. I have washed grapes, chopped peaches, chopped strawberries, cooked quinoa noodles, and cooked ground deer/beef. I also prepped my kale by washing and chopping it so it's all ready in a bowl for me to pull out and make a salad. 

3) Stock up when things are on sale. I usually just buy a 6 pack of eggs when I go to the store, but a dozen eggs were on sale for just 99 cents this week, so I bought the whole dozen! Powerades were also on sale, so I got quite a few of those as well! 

4) Your shopping cart should reflect what your plate will look like. The ideal plate will have more fruits and vegetables than carbs and meat, and so should your shopping cart. I always hit the produce section first and get all my items there, then I decide what grains will go best with whatever produce I chose, which is usually steel cut oats and Ezekiel  tortillas or bread, with some occasional noodles in there when I get a craving. I never buy more than two grains at a time because it can get expensive, and sometimes it can go bad before I eat it all. 

5) Make a list before you go to the store. People say to never go to the store hungry, but I take it a step further and never go to the store without a list. I always sit down and decide what meals I want to have for the week (I have the Kroger app so I can see what produce is on sale before I go to the store). I always stick to my list because it keeps me from spending excess money, and it keeps treats from ending up in my cart that I might regret eating later.

6) For when the budget gets really tight. This one is hard, and I'm actually dealing with it right now (thanks to the price of college textbooks!). You have to be really choosy when this happens. Instead of getting some of your favorites, you just have to go with the cheapest. My grocery store trip today totaled just $37, and that included a few household items that I needed, plus my haul of $12 worth of powerade. This is the time that stocking up can really save you. I didn't have to buy any grains or meat because I had stocked up on tortillas and oats when they were on sale, and I am stocked up on deer meat (seriously, boyfriends that like to hunt are great!). 

7) Set a monthly grocery budget. This one is really important to me. I usually get some treats at the end of the month if I have money leftover, but if I don't, then I don't get the treats. This keeps me in check on making sure I buy nutritious food first, and then if I can, I buy a treat for myself. Many people say that eating healthy is expensive, but really, if you would just trade out the chips/popcorn for some grapes, it's the same price. So I keep the junk food and sweets out of my cart unless I have money leftover for a splurge. 

8) Things I always have on hand. I always always always have bananas (they're cheap!) and lunch meat. Bananas are a great snack, they are great in oatmeal, and they work great to have a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Lunch meat is great for wraps, sandwiches, and even chopped up on a salad. Neither are expensive, and both are great nutrition for a tight budget. 

1 Corinthians 10:31 - "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 

God Bless!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Falling into Fall

Tunic: Riffraff // Vest: Eddie Bauer (old) // Leggings: Forever 21 // Glasses: Firmoo c/o (on sale!)
// Boots: BEARPAW c/o // Necklace: Born Pretty Store c/o (use code HHAT10 for 10% off!)

I can't believe it, but this is my very last week of freedom before I start physical therapy school next week! I have so many projects to tackle this week, including plenty of home decor fun and diy painting some of my furniture! 

With back to school comes a new back to school wardrobe! I'm a big lover of all things nautical, and this necklace is just perfect from Born Pretty Store. They have tons of great jewelry and accessories at very affordable prices! Also, don't forget about the 10% off code when you make your order! 

These boots from BEARPAW are another new favorite of mine for fall. They are incredibly comfortable (I mean, they have fur lining for your feet even), and I cannot wait to wear them to keep my feet warm during my walks to school during the colder months! BEARPAW has also just came out with tons of new great styles for fall that I cannot wait to check out soon! 

These glasses from Firmoo are quickly becoming my favorite pair of glasses ever (yes, they may even beat out the Ray-Bans, crazy I know!). In just the past week I have gotten so many compliments and questions as to where I got them, and I'm happy to say that they are on super sale right now for just $13! They are very comfortable and incredibly easy to order. As long as you know your prescription for both eyes (if you have contacts it will even say on your box what the prescription is), then you will be fine! Everything else is step by step instructions for how to find just one other measurement needed to fit you for your glasses. I highly recommend them!

Deuteronomy 31:8 - "The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

God Bless!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Let's Rise Up

When it comes to camp in general, most people think of the beds that are basically more like sleeping on a board, the food that more resembles plastic or cardboard, the ice bath showers, and the incessant snoring of a dozen other people in the bunk house. While this is all a pretty good generalization of the living situation of camp, there are many other aspects of camp that I truly just cannot get enough of. Taking part in a worship service of 800+ young adults, learning and growing in my relationship with Christ through fellowship with my fellow cell group leaders, seeing growth in the members of my cell group and watching them open up....ah, it just never gets old! See, I'm not the type of person that will beat every person on the street with a Bible trying to get them to listen to me share the Gospel with them, but if you give me even five minutes, I seriously become giddy at the opportunity to talk about Jesus. So, stick me in a camp and give me thirteen young adults and tell me that I can talk about Jesus with them? Oh my goodness, I become ecstatic.

Meet my cell group (minus two!). They were the coolest people, and I legitimately loved hanging out with them, talking with them, and growing in Christ with them. These cool kids inspire me to be better, and push me to grow in my relationship with Christ. If you ever begin to feel discouraged about some of the kids in high school these days, let me tell you, there are some awesome high schoolers out there, and these great people are proof of that!

Throughout the week, we had some great speakers bring messages. One of the speakers we had is the pastor of the church that sponsors my old student ministry back at the University of Arkansas. The other speaker we had is the pastor of a new church here in Conway that I'm excited to attend for the first time this Sunday! They were incredible, and I learned so much from them!

One message that particularly stuck out to me was one about rising up. There were some great examples used about not sitting back and watching others do things, but actually getting out there and doing things yourself. As a Christian, it's not my job to sit on the sidelines and watch other people serve, but instead, it is my job to answer the call that God gives to me. Sometimes it can seem scary, but it's my job to rise up and do it. After leaving camp, this was one thing that I knew I wanted to remember each and everyday, and I'm definitely working on doing that. 

Overall, camp was a great experience, and I'm just hoping that school for the next three years won't keep me from being part of it again! I also want to share a verse that has been on my mind quite a bit lately.

Isaiah 55:8-9 - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Don't forget to lean on God for help with your decisions and future! After all, He knows what's best!

God Bless!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Simple In-Home Workout

Today I want to share with you one of my go-to workouts for when I'm crunched for time and can't make it to the gym. This workout requires no equipment and doesn't even require hardly any space, so you can do it at home easily. I love this workout because it combines both cardio and strength training, and it targets the entire body, which makes it the one stop shop for a successful workout!

I tend to repeat this workout three times if I'm super crunched for time, but if I have a little more time but not enough to make it to the gym, I'll repeat it five times instead. Hopefully this will help you in achieving your fitness goals on those days when you just don't have time for the gym!

Here's a little bit of encouragement for your day:

Proverbs 31:30 - "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

While working out is a wonderful part of staying healthy, don't forget that your goal should be health, not a certain clothing size or number on the scale. You are beautiful inside and out, don't ever forget that!

God Bless!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lovely Reds

// Shoes: Bearpaw c/o // Glasses: Ray-Ban 

This is an outfit that I wore for a day out in Little Rock. I love to pair up bright colors that compliment each other well as I feel it just expresses my personality so well! These shoes were incredibly comfortable for wearing while walking around the city, and I highly recommend them! 

My words of encouragement for today come from Ephesians 5:1-2.

"Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Don't forget to look on one another in love today! Have a great day!

God Bless!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pattern Play

Top: TJ Maxx // Skirt: OASAP // Wedges: Bearpaw c/o // Belt: JC Penney
// Necklace: Born Pretty c/o // Bracelets: Alex and Ani Love Always
// Glasses: Firmoo c/o 

I want to start off by apologizing for being MIA so much recently! It's been a crazy past couple weeks with camp and my move, but I am happy to announce that I am officially a Conway resident now! I am slowly but surely getting all unpacked and settled in, and I am thrilled about starting this new chapter of my life!

I am excited to be bringing you a post talking all about camp later this week, and I am very excited to get back to a normal routine in my blogging! Before I end this post, I just wanted to share a couple verses that have been on my heart lately!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Have a wonderful and blessed week!

God Bless!