the importance of a vacation!

sometimes life just gets so crazy for me. my husband and i stay extremely busy so when we get the chance to go away for a couple of days, we jump at the chance. a vacation is something i will always recommend to anyone who has a busier then normal lifestyle. even if it’s just for a few days, go away and recharge yourself. when my husband and i decided to go on a cruise, i was beyond ready and excited for this. we only did a 4day/3night cruise, but that was exactly what we needed. time away from the craziness and our phones for a chance to relax and just be together. most of the time, even when we’re together, one or both of us is on our phone so we’re not really together. which is another tip for newly married couples, put the technology down when you’re spending time together. learn to talk to each other about things. joke around together. act silly with each other. just have fun together and learn to be together with no interruptions. even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day, trust me, you’ll see a difference in your relationship.

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we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, which was through royal caribbean to the bahamas. this was our first cruise together as a married couple so it was a fun experience. normally, you need to go through an experience so you can be more prepared for the future. after this trip, i now know what i need to bring on my next cruise just in case. the first excursion we did was a beach day. and let me tell you, that sun down there is no joke. even though i applied sunscreen like 4 times that day, we still got burnt. and not just a small little sun burn but like lobster face burnt. it was terrible and i was so upset. clearly the sunscreen i brought was not strong enough. the only good thing is that we didn’t plan to do a lot of excursions. this vacation was more for lounging around and relaxing. so we brought our books to read and were able to hang out on the pool deck under the covering.

so what i wanted to do is share my experience and let you guys know what i would recommend that you bring with you on your next vacation. i always like to be over prepared and im sure you do too!

  1. sunscreen: so we brought 30 spf with us. not strong enough. i would highly recommend going with 50 spf or higher, especially if you’re going to the caribbean. the sun down there is not the same so don’t act like you know it is. be safe!
  2. aloe vera: i would highly recommend bringing some aloe vera with you especially if you’re going on a cruise. that stuff sells out quickly on the boat and it’s so overpriced anyways. in the case that you do get burned you’re going to be happy you brought this, trust me. if you don’t have aloe available to you, bring preparation-H.  it may sound crazy but this stuff legit helps relieve any burns you may get being in the sun. we tried it for my husband and it worked.
  3. small handbag: normally i love to tote around my huge MK wherever im traveling. but i have learned to carry light. bringing only the essentials. and for those times where i need to bring a lot of with me, i will always bring a small cross body with me. whenever you’re traveling, no matter where you go, i would always recommend a cross body with a zipper top. that way you can ensure your belongings are protected.
  4. books: the best things about vacation is that you can spend all day reading your favorite book and relax without feeling judged. this is the place and time to do it! sometimes cruise ships can seem boring if you’re not into drinking or gambling (which im not) so having another form of entertainment for yourself is key.
  5. comfortable shoes: this is something i missed. i wish i would have gone to like sketchers or nike to grab some comfy sandals to wear around the beach. having good shoes is no joke either.

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so there you have it! 5 of my top suggestions for traveling, either on a cruise or on land. what are your favorite travel goodies?? leave them in the comments below!

xoxo

nyc fun

hello everyone! this past weekend i spent some time in nyc with my hubby and two of our really close friends. i wanted to share some of the places that we visited cause they were pretty awesome!

  • cookie dough confections: normally this isn’t a place that i would ever go to. i’m not a huge cookie dough fan but because of who i was with, i made the exception. when we got there we soon realized that the line to get in started across the street. that’s right, across the street. now mind you it was like freezing cold this day so that didn’t add to our excitement. but we all decided to just stand in line and wait because we made the trip out there anyways. we waited about an hour in line before we got inside the place. than waiting another 15ish minutes before we got served. side note: one of the servers told us that the line was about 4 hours long earlier in the day so our wait wasn’t bad. 4 hours!! craziness! anywho, once we got in and defrosted, it was actually a really cool experience.

    i was able to take some pictures of the inside so you guys can see what it looks like. they give you a menu while you wait and on that menu is a ton of different cookie dough options that you can choose from. you can basically order your cookie dough like you would ice cream. cup or cone. 1 scoop or 2. so crazy. i never would have thought to create something like this, but hey, people love sugar so i guess it works! i got the heavenly mix which consisted of sugar cookie, chocolate chips, nutella, caramel bits and sea salt. plus it was gluten free! they also have some vegan options too which i thought was pretty cool.

    as much as i’m not really a cookie dough person, i thoroughly enjoyed this experience. the waiting in line was a little crazy, but it was something different for me so i’m glad i did it. plus the cookie dough tasted really good. not even gonna lie on that one. granted i couldn’t finish it all because it was a lot of sugar for me and i hardly ever eat anything sweet. but the taste was amazing. the customer service was just as equally amazing. everyone that worked there was extremely friendly and helpful. some of us had some questions and they were very gracious with us. they even had the back section of their store walled off with glass so that you can see them mixing the different flavors. that part was super cool too. pricing wasn’t bad either. i got 1 scoop in a cup and my husband got 1 scoop in a cone and that came out to a little less than $10. which for nyc, is not bad at all! personally, i don’t think i can say that it would be worth the wait if it was more than 1 hour. because i’m not into it that much. but if you love cookie dough and won’t mind waiting, then go right ahead! also, i would suggest waiting closer to spring time and not winter. its too cold to wait outside like that. but if you’re in nyc, definitely try to add it during your visit. the décor on the inside is super cute you’ll really enjoy it!

  • chelsea market: okay so the chelsea market is beyond cute. it’s an indoor market with tons of cute restaurants and shops. its perfect during the winter because it’s indoors so you can escape the frigid cold air. it was so fun just to walk around and see the different restaurants and shops. they had this super cute flea market style area with at least 12 different pop-up shops. it was really fun to see the creativity that is out there and what kinds of fashion or jewelry items people create. how cute is this wall of lights?!?! can i please have this in my house?…IMG_4218
  • los tacos: within chelsea market, we decided to eat at los tacos. of course there was a line which told me it was going to be great. so they sell tacos individually, so you can get like one chicken and one steak, or whatever you want. we decided to share 4 steak tacos and chips with guacamole. the steak was amazing. i would go back just to eat those tacos again. the guac was pretty good too. the flavor was really good but it wasn’t as dense as i like my guac. for me personally it was a little runny, but it was still good flavor wise. this is definitely a place i would go back to again.IMG_4222
  • hampton inn seaport-financial district: since i spent the weekend, i thought i should speak about our hotel experience. we decided to stay at the hampton inn. it really wasn’t anything special it was just a quick booking through booking.com. the customer service was amazing. the room was great. the only issue we had was the first room we had, the hvac was not working properly, but they worked extremely quickly to move us to a different room and they actually upgraded us in the process. i would definitely go back to this location to stay again.

there you have it guys! just a few of the stops i made this past weekend. make sure you subscribe to my email list so that you can stay up to date with my posts and other travel tips! do you have some favorite places in nyc?? leave a comment and let me know so i can check it out! xoxo

let’s get real

do you guys ever have those days that you wish could just disappear and you could start over? like just get back into bed and restart everything. anyone? well i had one of those days today. seriously it was tough. and getting myself to stay in track with this blog is even tougher. because all i want to do is crawl back into bed and pretend like nothing happened. but i can’t. i have to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. as much as i hate even telling myself that. 

the hardest thing for me is not being completely in love with my job. i like it. i love my co-workers but i really wish i could be doing something else to be honest. but like i’ve said in previous posts, this is where God has me right now. so i’ve been trying to make the best of it. well today, it wasn’t the best day. started out okay. but than i got to work and had this crazy migraine. then i didn’t even have a chance to make my coffee until lunch. and of course the migraine stayed all day. and some other issues happened at work that i won’t disclose, but let’s just say i couldn’t focus all day because of it. i just kept wishing that i would wake up and this would all be a dream. do you ever feel like that? Like if you sit and stare at the wall long enough you’ll wake yourself up from your nightmare and be able to start over and forget what you just went through. but the hardest thing for me sometimes is realizing that, staring at a wall isn’t going to wake me up. because i’m already in reality. 

when you’re just a kid you don’t really understand what it means to be an adult. you live life carefree because your parents are taking care of you. they provide everything you need and want. so when a child thinks about what a grown ups life is like, at least for me, you think that someone will always be there to take care of you. someone will always be there to make you dinner or fold your clothes or make your bed. but the reality of it is, that’s not the case. when you grow up, and have to face tough situations, there isn’t anyone there to shield you from the pain. you just have to grin and bare it. you just have to take it in, realize you can’t change it, and figure out how to move on with your life. 

there are so many things i could say, but as i’ve gotten older and my relationship with Christ has grown, it hasn’t always been a walk in the park. i think that’s a huge misconception that people have in regards to Christians. that we have it so easy, we don’t understand what the “real” world is all about. but that’s far from the truth. we still go through stuff. we still have bad days. we still get migraines and sometimes our bosses just make us so mad with decisions they make. that’s normal. but it’s how’s we deal with these situations that make us stand out as Christians. 

today i had the opportunity to really tell someone off. i mean really give him a piece of my mind. i was angry. i felt it would have been well-deserved. this person has treated other co-workers of mine wrong, so i felt it was my duty to give him this long list of wrongs he’d done. and he even gave me the opportunity to speak my mind and share my thoughts with him about a situation. but within moments of me speaking, the only words that actually came out of my mouth were “i’m not concerned because God is in control.” my biggest opportunity and spotlight moment came down to those 8 words. “i’m not concerned because God is in control.” 

i almost couldn’t believe myself after i said it. like “hey stupid this was your shot what are you doing?!?” and i still stuck with my first sentence. nothing changed. today i realized how much a persons actions can change the plans of God. today i realized how important it is for me to always be in His will and make sure that the decisions i make are what He wants me to make. because i really don’t know how my actions can affect others. and today, while i was sitting in that room, listening to this person speak to me, literally all i could think of was “i’m not concerned because God is in control.” and you know, i actually believe that. yes, i was angry in the moment and saddened, but i still know everything will be fine. i’m seeing day by day how God is shifting things and moving things into His perfect plan for us. it’s amazing. i’m so amazed at how God can take something He originally intended for good but man kind of jacked it up, and still make something beautiful out of it. 

just know, no matter what you’re going through, God can still make something beautiful out of it. no matter what it is..

xoxo

closet clean out aka the purge

okay so i don’t know about you guys, but everytime i look at my closet, i’m always thinking, “man i really need to go through this stuff..”

well tonight was the night for me to finally take the plunge and actually go through my clothes and get rid of what i don’t wear or need or is no longer in trend. so i wanted to share some of my tips on how i clean out my closet, from the first-time purge to the serious purge.

 

first-time purge: so the first-time purge is one i do solo. i go through my clothes and kind of put them into different piles.

  1. the first pile are the clothes that i like but haven’t worn in a while. i check out what i have and think of last time i wore these items. if it’s been a while, but i still love the piece, it goes into this pile. this pile will normally go back into the closet.
  2. the second pile are things that i haven’t really worn nor do i really care for. be honest ladies, sometimes we have those days where we just buy things because it looks cute on the hanger and it’s on sale. but when we get home and actually try it on, it looks terrible on us but yet we think that at some point we might actually start to like it and wear it. or we think, when we lose a couple pounds we’ll definitely wear this. be honest with yourself, you know you do this. i know i do.

 

once i go through my piles, i will normally get rid of a few of my items from the second pile. usually it only ends up being a few pieces and i keep the rest. as long as i get rid of a few items i tend to feel accomplished.

 

serious purge: okay so now is the serious purge. a few months after i do my first-time purge i will tend to relook at my wardrobe and again put my clothes in the same two piles as above. but this time i enlist the help of a friend or family member. why do i do that? well, i know myself. i know that unless i have someone else helping me i will convince myself to keep everything. and this serious purge time is not the time to keep convincing myself to keep the same clothes that i don’t wear!

 

so, with the help of a friend, i go through the same piles but this time i actually get rid of a good amount of clothes. what do i end up getting rid of?

  1. clothes that i haven’t worn in more than 6 months
  2. clothes that don’t fit right on me
  3. clothes that are no longer trendy
  4. clothes that are certain colors that i know don’t look good on me

your closet should be filled with items that you love to wear. things that fit your body the way you want it to. things that are the right colors and/or patterns that look great with your skin tone and hair coloring. clothing that you can’t wait to wear. if your closet is filled with items that don’t match this criteria, it might be time for you to start purging your closet. this is the first step towards creating an amazing capsule wardrobe as well. once you have the basics down and pieces that are unique and love, you are more strategic about what you buy.

think about what is in your closet. need to purge? use my tips above! let me know how it goes!

xoxo

patience.

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patience. waiting. two words not many people like. i know i didn’t. well i don’t. most of the time. while i’ve gotten used to waiting for things, my patience is taking a while to grow. there’s a difference you know. between waiting and being patient. patience, my own definition of course, is waiting for something or someone but waiting with a good attitude. waiting, for me, doesn’t come with much of a good attitude. i don’t like waiting. i’m a go-getter. i like to do things right when i think of them. i’ll work day and night on a project just to see it completed. i’ve never been a patient person because of that. i don’t like waiting. that’s just something i’m still working on with the Lord. and you all know, it’s never about our timing it’s always about His. so you can imagine how frustrated i can get. waiting on God. waiting on Him to show up. waiting on Him to answer. waiting on Him to move. for a person that is a go-getter, that loves change, waiting on God isn’t an easy thing for me. it’s sucks actually. but that waiting, has taught me patience. at the very beginners level of course, i’m not perfect.

patience, like i said before is waiting with a good attitude. my patience lately is wearing thin. i’m in a place right now that i am waiting on God. i have no choice but to wait on Him. while he is still opening doors in certain areas, the biggest area of my life right now, my career, is the one that is in the waiting room. and everyday, i’m getting more and more tired. tired of waiting. hoping that the next day, He’ll show me the next step. hoping the next day, He’ll tell me what to do. but it just hasn’t happened. and that is so frustrating. i’m just being real with you. waiting on God isn’t an easy thing nor is it fun.

my dream, is to travel the world and worship God. i want to help churches grow their worship teams and departments. i want to teach others about worship, about true worship to God. i want to inspire young people to live lives on fire for God. to live a life of integrity. of honesty. of love for people and for God. that is what i want to do. that is my dream job. but right now my reality is working at a university in the financial aid department. now, i like my job, love my boss, and love my co-workers. but lately the stress levels have increased greatly and the fun just isn’t there anymore. my heart isn’t completely in it anymore. and for me, that kills me. everything i do, no matter what it is, i put my heart and soul into it. my last job, i didn’t like some of the aspects that job at all. i would get sad when i had to go to work. i would go to work sick, even though i knew i should stay home and rest. but no matter what i was feeling, i put in overtime when they needed me too. i was there on my days off when they needed me. i poured my whole life into that job, not because i liked it but because i knew i had to do this. it’s wasn’t for my boss; it was for God. i’ve been working for Him for years now. but there comes a time when you stop and think, when can i work at my dream? when can that be my only job? am i missing something? did i do something wrong?

those are the thoughts that go through your mind. and i’m sure you’ve thought the same thing too. it’s a tough place to be in. and as i sit here writing this, i’m in that tough spot. what do i do? i came home today from another long and stressful day at work, and just put on some worship music. my favorite song right now is here waiting by david and nicole binion of covenant worship. there’s a part that says, “don’t be far from me. i’m here waiting for you. God i’m not moving, i’m here waiting on You.” once i heard that, it all became clear to me again. a little bit of true patience just grew in me tonight. this song helps to remind me in situations what true patience is all about. it’s about here, waiting on God. doesn’t matter how long it takes. it’s about not moving, but waiting here for Him. i may not like the place i’m in right now. but i choose to wait here for God to move. and i choose to love every moment of this waiting period, even though at times i know i will get frustrated. i will continue to wait for Him to show up and show me where to go.

in times like today, i need to tell myself, “it’s not about my timeline it’s about Gods.” Gods timing is the most important. i hope when you’re reading you feel encouraged. you may not like the stage that your in right now. it may be difficult. it may feel like your being stretched in ways you never thought you could be. it may be emotional and just down right now fun. but know that where you are at right now is where God wants you to be. he is in the process of breaking and molding you to remove the impurities within you. He’s drawing you closer to His heart. during times like these, remember to continue chasing after Him even if you don’t feel like He’s chasing after you. He’s still there. and He will never leave.

patience. it’s a learning process. Xoxo