Monthly Archives: September 2012


…is amazing. Have a fantastic and relaxing weekend! xx


accepting grace & forgiving yourself

Everyone makes mistakes – whether we want to admit it or not. Overanalyzing and holding on to our own and other people’s mistakes and hurts doesn’t make life any better, but instead keeps us from enjoying life and moving forward. I talked about forgiveness in this post and wrote: “Holding it in just made the pain and hurt and anger stick around – I truly found peace when I decided to LET. IT. GO. You’ll truly be letting yourself free when you forgive! You don’t deserve the added weight of bitterness and resentment. YOU, my lovely beauty, deserve to be surrounded by peace and love. Love yourself enough forgive someone else. Rise above the other person’s actions and move forward.”

The funny thing it’s pretty easy for me to forgive others, but quite difficult and a HUGE challenge to actually forgive myself. I can easily and confidently say that holding on to bitterness and resentment towards others  is bad – and robs me from enjoying life. I guess it’s just that I feel like I don’t deserve the same forgiveness. It’s crazy – and sad…and something I’m really working on fixing. All too often, rather than feel guilty for things I’ve done, I feel ashamed of who I am. The wonderful promise that I keep reminding myself is that I am showered in grace and forgiveness {more on that here}. Something I’m really working on is not listening to that small voice of shame in my head saying I’m defective, a mess, unworthy of forgiveness. Instead, I need to listen to the voice of grace saying I’m valuable, I’m free from my past, I’m forgiven. My slate is wiped clean.

Do you ever have trouble forgiving yourself? I hope you can join me in taking on the challenge of letting go of the mistakes and dark pieces of your past and running full force ahead out of grace and forgiveness. I don’t think it’s easy – but we can both do it! What we DON’T need is to sit around being miserable and feeling terrible about ourselves. We need to accept our mistakes and at the same time, graciously accept that we are forgiven and that actions don’t define us. We need to move forward making better choices and living better lives based on what we learned from the past. That’s what being a queen is all about. xo

Paris Snapshots

I shared photos from our trip to Versailles, but haven’t posted anything else about my trip to Paris! Here are some of my favorite snapshots from wandering around the beautiful city. I’ll try to sprinkle more photos from the trip in upcoming blog posts too.
Have a wonderful day! xo

dear young me

I shared this wrote and shared this post in August 2011 and really enjoyed rereading the letter to a younger version of myself. Now I’m a year older and hopefully a tiny bit wiser – feels kinda crazy! I wanted to repost the letter again today. A few more things I would tell a younger version of myself as of today? Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks, spend more time offline rather than glued to a screen, set really big and crazy goals for yourself, jump on any scary or uncomfortable opportunity, celebrate frequently, don’t be scared to grow up!

What advice would you tell a younger version of yourself? I’d love to hear!

dear young me,

Don’t fall for the bad boys. They will hurt you and break your heart.

Don’t give in. Don’t give up.

Read more books – and not just the ones you’re required to for class.

Be open to the beautiful, wonderful and magical opportunities every day brings.

Talk to your grandparents at least once a week.

Don’t forget to say thank you to the people who have made a positive contribution in your life.

Drinking to fit in is not the right reason to be drinking. Ever.

Don’t let your age define you.

Be kind to everyone. Go out of your way to introduce yourself and be friends with as many people as possible.

Listen to mom and dad’s advice. They really are a lot wiser than you think.

Work hard.

Strive to be the best person you can be.

Be open to possibilities.

Wear whatever you want!

Stop caring so much about what other people think of you.

Say yes.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t determine your worth by your body size, GPA, relationship status.

Learn to laugh at yourself.

Enjoy your little sisters. They look up to you!

Never second guess who you are, where you’ve been and where it is that you are going (okay, SATC quote…but still valuable advice!)

Stop settling.

Keep you standards high and hold your head up even higher.

Quit overanalyzing.

Quit basing decisions around popularity. Don’t be scared to do something just because “someone will be mad at you.”

Write down your favorite memories – you’ll want to remember them later.

Limit yourself on the dining hall food.

Embrace your flaws.

Don’t put up with people who bring you down.

Stop beating yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes – you will make plenty more. Dust yourself off, learn your lesson and move on living a better life.

Have fun, but be smart.

Befriend people who are both older and younger than you.

Take time to remember at least five things you’re thankful for every day.

Trust God.

With freedom comes responsibility. 

Tell your parents thank you. Often.

People are rooting for you. Learn to root for yourself.

It’s more important to be nice than it is to be funny. lt’s more important to be kind than it is to be cool.

Surround yourself with people who build you up, encourage you, love you.

Be nice to people even when they don’t deserve it. Be quick to forgive.

Love. yourself.

Life is beyond what you imagine. It’s so much better.

love, still learning and growing 22-year-old me.


wedding celebrations!

I spent this past weekend in Pittsburgh for a wedding celebration! I flew in to visit queen Paige and her family and had such a wonderful weekend with everyone. Paige and I were random roommates freshmen year of college and over five years later, we still remain friends – and sisters. I’m so thankful that I could spend the weekend catching up and celebrating her older sister’s wedding.

PLUS My parents and sisters drove to Pittsburgh for the day and I spent all day Sunday with them. I could cry just thinking about how awesome it was to spend time with my family. I miss them so much!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

{1} Pre-wedding photo with Paige
{2} My wedding hair! I showed the lovely Linz this curly updo for inspiration
{3} Kisses + bubbles
{4} THE coolest limo ride with the wedding party. This pic is with the beautiful Amanda!
{5} Photo from the

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wedding reception with Paige! I wore this Adrianna Papell metallic dress

Thursday Thankful List: Places

Have you ever thought about your favorite places? The places where you can unwind and relax, where you can spend time with the people that mean the most or learn something completely new. I haven’t actually wrote down my favorite spots in a really long time and today’s Thursday Thankful List was a great refresher on places – from nooks in my apartment to large cities – that are important and meaningful to me.

What places are you thankful for?

A cozy coffeeshop
Sitting around a kitchen table with family
The porch swing at my house growing up
Swimming pools
Grandma and Grandpa’s couch next to the fireplace
Wintergarden Woods {preferably when walking with Max & Rugby!}
My neighborhood in San Francisco at sunset
 The Ferry Building for lunch
New York City in the fall
The hiking trails at The Ridges in Athens, Ohio
Lake Tahoe
Bubble baths
Corona Heights {where I hike with Zach}
Any and every beach
Where I’m from {Bowling Green, Ohio}
 Art museums
In a car on a long, unplanned roadtrip
Outside patios
The tire swing hanging in a tree at my grandparents house
Coffee Bean
In a big bright garden with a good book
The library

Under the covers in bed early in the morning
A new brunch spot
Perks in Athens, Ohio
My living room on Christmas morning with my family
A really comfy reading nook
Apple orchards
Along the Seine in Paris

All photos my own except #2 from the adorable Mariah!

how to live well

We made it to Wednesday! That means the weekend countdown starts…now. I’m always on the lookout for inspiration, advice and ideas on how to live my life in the absolute best way possible. It’s a simple thing, really. I’m interested to find out what it means to live well – and then actively do just that. Here’s a few favorite quotes and bits of advice that piece together what it means for me to live a full, happy and wonderful life – to live well.

Loving well, stepping over hurt, laying aside self and desires, draws on more of our interior resources than investing in a career, a skill, a personal pursuit. And yet, there are no promotions. No public status. No guarantees.Relationships grow only in the soil of humility, selflessness, open-handedness. Relationships are inherently risky: for all that, you can’t control the outcome. –Ann Volskamp

The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last. -Nicholas Sparks

If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try. -Seth Godin

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. -Cecil Beaton

What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. -Nora Ephron

It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about.  What’s hard is figuring out what you are willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about. -Shauna Niequist

Embrace relational uncertainty. It’s called romance. Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It’s called mystery. Embrace occupational uncertainty. It’s called destiny. Embrace emotional uncertainty. It’s called joy. Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It’s called revelation. -Mark Batterson

How do you live well?