I am not enough, but Jesus is.

It has become a common thing that people say to each other as a form of encouragement. When someone is feeling down and out. When they are hurting, we want to say something to comfort them, right? This is one of those go-to phrases that we like to run to during those times.

Maybe we’ve been told that it is a great Daily Affirmation to tell ourselves. But it may seem like no matter how many times we try to remind ourselves of it, it just still doesn’t quite feel right. Maybe it doesn’t seem completely true.

Which phrase am I talking about?

“You are enough”

Now, before you go and get angry with me for being a heartless person, hear me out.

Firstly, I just want to say that this post is towards those following after Christ, so if you don’t profess to be a Christian, then this might just sound like a bunch of crazy talk. If so, this post may not be for you and that’s okay. I will be having other more general posts in the future so be on the look out for those!

With that being said, before I get into this, let me first ask you, does Scripture ever say that we are enough on our own? Does it ever say that we are good enough? Smart enough? Strong enough? Perfect just the way we are? All on our own?

It may surprise you to know that it does not.

And who has the ultimate authority to determine what is good and bad, if not the creator of the universe? When we say that someone is ” enough”, enough for what exactly?

In Romans 3 10-12 ESV it is stated “As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All  have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even ONE.” (emphasis by me)

It is also written in Romans 3:23 ESV “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

And again in Ecclesiastes 7:20 ESV we see ” Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

As we can see from Scripture, God takes righteous and “good”ness very seriously. He doesn’t compare us to each other to decide what is considered good. He doesn’t look at one person and say “Well, even though he has sinned in this way, he has still done many kind and good things in his life. So he is good.”

Nor does he say that one person is more good than the other because one has sinned less than the other.

No, we are compared to His perfect righteousness. And in comparison to Him, we are dirty, sinful and would never be “good enough” to be in His presence.

And this is why it is so important that we recognize this fact.

The more that we continue to tell others and ourselves that we are “good enough” all on our own, the more we take away the actual message of the Gospel! We turn people away from depending on Jesus for the salvation that they truly need and towards themselves to almost be there own “savior”.

If people start to believe that they are good and perfect as they are, why would they feel the need for a Savior?

I can honestly say that I have been guilty of doing this for probably most of my life, until I really took a look at Scripture. It is easy to follow the advice and “wisdom” of the world, because it becomes catchy and spreads easily. It becomes a part of our everyday lives.

But once this finally got through to me, I saw Jesus in a whole new light. I hungered for more of Him because I realized HOW MUCH I so desperately needed Him. And that was when my whole relationship with Him started to really change and deepen. My faith is stronger than it has ever been before.

And not in this way of just fearing Him and His mightiness (which is also something that is actually a positive thing! I will get to that in another post) but just soaking in the fact that Jesus, who was perfect and sinless took the place of an imperfect, sinful, hateful, vengeful person because God loved me? Yeah that changes the game completely.

And the amazing news is that when Jesus took our place on the cross, once we place our faith in Him and follow after Him, God sees us as He sees Jesus, good and blameless. So therefore, with Christ alone we are good enough! See, that’s the difference. Being able to encourage someone by saying “remember that IN CHRIST, you are enough!” is amazing. It points that person to the Truth about them and it is something that they can trust and believe with their whole hearts because God says so.

But this is why it is so important that we take any beliefs, or worldly wisdom circling around, to Scripture to find what is actually Truth.

I had put my faith in man for a long time. And it got me absolutely nowhere, just deeper and deeper in depression and sin. So I choose to put my faith in God and His Word. It is the only thing that has brought me healing, joy, and peace that is lasting.

If this is something that you haven’t really thought much on, like as was in my case before, I would just say to take this matter to God. Ask Him to show you the Truth. Ask Him to deepen your understanding of it, and to bring to light any lies you may be believing today.

If you’re saved, ask Him to strengthen your relationship with Him through this! And if you’ve not yet given your life over to following Christ, why not ask Him into your heart today!? He’s waiting with arms wide open just for you.

If you enjoyed this post or got anything beneficial from it, or even if you have a totally different thought about it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! If you have any other topics you’d like to hear my take on, let me know those too.

I hope you have a great day!

 

Christmas Gift Guide 2018 FOR HER

 

Christmas shopping can be just downright stressful sometimes. It can be difficult to know what people would like or need! So we put off our shopping until the last minute, and get overwhelmed as the day gets closer!

And what happens when we’re out of ideas? We head over to the gift cards. Let me say now that there’s nothing wrong with getting gift cards for someone! Especially if you know they go to a certain place often, that could be a great gift. But, I personally feel that they are just too impersonal of a gift for family members and close friends.

So if you’re looking for some thoughtful, affordable gift ideas for the women in your life, then keep reading further!

 

  1. Bath Bombs

 

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What woman doesn’t love a good bath bomb? From the moisturizing oils that fill the tub, the pretty colors and fizzy show we get to watch, to our favorite scents that fill the air and put us in whatever mood we desire, there is something about bath bombs that say “this is me time”.

Women are naturally givers. Constantly doing more for others. Many times, we tend to put our own wants and needs to the side because of it. So, this is a great time to show the women in your life how much they mean to you, by giving them the gift of “me time”. I can assure you that a gift like this will be well received.

You can either DIY your bath bombs if you like getting craft, purchase them at the store, or buy them handmade and customized from sites like Etsy! Either way, you can’t go wrong with this gift. I personally love to get creative and make bath bombs to give as gifts. If you’re interested, click here and here to check a couple of them out. You can totally customize them for your loved ones and even add a tag with a message!

If you’re looking to make your own gift basket of goodies, keep reading on for more ideas!

2. Body Scrubs

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This is another great gift for any woman! If you don’t know what body scrubs are, they are a product used to exfoliate and renew skin. Normally they are made up of sugar or salts and oils that make your skin soft and smooth! You can also add essential oils and flower petals/buds for even more health benefits.

Around the Holidays, there are some really great scrubs out there geared towards those who love the smells of Christmas! Sugar cookies, candy canes, hot chocolate!!

I’ve also made some of my own scrubs and given them as gifts. Scrubs are always a big hit! I recently put up some Peppermint Patty Sugar Scrubs on my site that smell SO good! I love adding some holiday ribbon, a little wooden spoon for application and cute personalized gift tags. It just makes the gift that much more special! If you’d like to check them out, click here.

3. Hot Cocoa in a Jar

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If you’re not having hot chocolate on a cold Winter night, then you’re not doing the season right! There’s just something about the warmth and sweet aroma of hot chocolate on a bitter cold day that just makes sense. So, although it may seem like a simple gift, you can get creative with this one and I guarantee your loved one will be making use of this gift REAL quick.

Hot cocoa in a jar is such a sweet gift (pun intended), and this is another that you can personalize with cute packaging and gift tags or labels! Even if you’re not very crafty, you can purchase one! If you’re looking to find where to purchase, I actually sell them on my shop if you’d like to check it out! Just click here. But even just the set up of each ingredient being leveled in a jar makes for lovely decoration. Add a hand written card, package it up and you’ve got yourself a great Christmas gift that anyone will love!

 

4. Bottle of Wine

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This one is great for any adult woman (especially moms)! As long as she is of age, wine is always a lovely, and pretty practical gift. How many women do you know of that appreciate a good glass of wine every now and then to relax after a long day? Most likely, a lot. This gift is a safe option, especially for those that you may not know very well. Unless she is not able to have alcohol (which you should probably make sure of first), this is a great option for anyone.

You can even get a nice gift box or bag to wrap the bottle in. And if you order online, there are some sites that will personalize the bottle for you with a message or name of the recipient! Check out sites like this one if you’d like to go that route!

5. Tea Sets

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(From jtreelife.com)

If you know a tea lover, you’ve got to do this one! There are sites like this that offer quality tea for any occasion and they’re even able to gift wrap your package for you! Decaffeinated tea is always nice in the Winter when settling down for bed. There are a ton of health benefits from tea, and the warm steam is sure to leave your loved one feeling cozy and at peace. They’ll definitely remember that you were the one to give them such a delightful gift this Christmas.

6. Monthly Subscription Box

A monthly subscription box like Birchbox or FabFitFun are great for lovers of all things beauty. They are perfect for someone who enjoys makeup, skincare and haircare. Basically, each month they will get a cute box at their door with some different beauty products. You can choose to pick what they will send you, or be surprised! I love being surprised because it’s like Christmas every time you get the box from the mail!

7. Polaroid Camera

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This is a gift any teenage girl or young adult will LOVE. With social media taking over, everyone is looking into the best ways to make the pictures they post STAND OUT. Polaroids made a comeback a few years back and are still going strong! Along with their vintage feel, the fact that the pictures are printed out immediately are new and intriguing for young people who are used to their pictures being mostly digital and online!

8. Throw Blankets

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So this one is just a given. Every female ever loves throw blankets. We get cold. Easily. And there’s SO many comfy, fluffy throw blankets that make us feel like we’re floating in a cloud when all bundled up. You can get some ultra soft throw blankets at Walmart for super cheap right now! This gift is just needed. Like forget all of the others I told you about. Go get one of these for everyone and call it day!

9. Coffee Cup

For the coffee lover in your life, I can guarantee this gift will be a major hit. All of us love a nice cup with relatable sayings and quotes. They hold our favorite drink, and they’re Instagram worthy. What better gift is there?

10. Tumbler Cup

Like the coffee cup, tumblers are super popular these days. Everyone seems to have at least one. But it is a gift that never gets old! This is for not just coffee lovers, but really anyone who may have work or goes to the gym early and needs to take their breakfast to go!

11. Fluffy Pillows

I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with fluffy pillows. If I could fill my bed with them and sleep like that, I would. Whether they are decorative, for sleep, or body pillows, this is a gift that will be used often! Keep in mind those that may have a significant other that works overnights (like myself), or a college student who is getting stressed from all their homework assignments and just needs to cuddle something. Fluffy pillows are always the answer.

12. Phone Ring Light

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It’s difficult these days to get your posts noticed on social media because of all of these new algorithms. As many of you probably know already, having bright, clear, awesome pictures makes a HUGE difference in how much traffic we get to our sites and pages. So for your fellow blogger, vlogger, small online business owner, or anyone else who uses social media for their work, a phone ring light is a serious life saver! They make pictures come out so much brighter and super crisp! If they don’t already have one, they have probably heard of it and have wanted one. So, this gift will be a pleasant surprise that they will appreciate for years to come!

 

Thanks so much for checking out my post! This is part 1 of my Christmas Gift Series! Follow my blog for more Gift Ideas! Coming soon.

I’d love to know what your favorite ideas in this list were and what gifts you’re thinking of giving out this year in the comments!

#Christmasgifts #Christmasgiftguides

A Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

So I’m doing this challenge: Write a Letter To Your Past Self, which is meant to help bring healing to your present life. I thought it was a really interesting, helpful exercise, so I had to try it out for myself!

If  I could write a letter to my 16 year old self and give her some insight on what is going on, or give her some advice on how to handle things, just stuff that I wish I could’ve known back then, this is probably what I would say.

Dear Dayna,

I know how things are going to unfold for you. There’s going to be a lot going on this year, but you need to stay strong. Your heart is going to get broken by the first guy you ever loved, and you’re going to want to jump into another relationship. But if you do, it will take you so much longer to heal. You won’t truly be able to love another until you’ve accepted and felt everything you need to.

So please, I know it’s going to be hard, but I think you’ve seen it coming. You two don’t belong with each other. You had great times but you’re still so young. As you get older, both of you will have gone in totally different directions, and you’d probably have to compromise your values to stay together. It’s not worth it, girl. You both have someone so much better in store for you. I’ve seen it for myself. So when the time comes, don’t hold bitterness. Let go of any guilt you have. It’s going to be a process. It will take a while, but not as long as it did for me..that’s why I’m warning you now. Don’t let your heart wander off to the next one to show you attention, as nice as it might seem at first, it’ll only make things worse for you in the end.

In case you decide to be your stubborn self any way, you will get close to another, and he’s going to be VERY different from the last. That’s why you’ll be drawn to him. He’ll be the adventurous, rebel boy who shows you new things and takes you to new places. I know it’s going to look like he cares so much for you. But please don’t be fooled by his words. You’ll know in your heart that he doesn’t truly love you, but remember what I said before about what happens when you don’t allow time for healing?  Well, it’s going to cause you to stay in this relationship because you don’t want to face your pain. You want to believe that THIS is what love is, and you’ll try to convince yourself that you’re happy, when you know you deserve better. It’s going to be a rough few years for you, Love. I wish that wasn’t the case, I really do. But just something to keep in mind during that time, you need to start learning to love yourself.

You act like you’re so confident with the people around you, but I know you don’t truly think you deserve much. You wouldn’t allow others to treat you the way they do. You wouldnt blame yourself for every issue that comes up. You wouldn’t keep trying to avoid TRUE love from others, because you think you don’t deserve it. You wouldn’t always think you’re a burden and shut yourself away or get quiet when you have something important to say.

I need you to see the beautiful heart and awesome personality that I see when I look back at you. There are so many days where I think of you and wish I could relive the next few years you’ll be going through. You’re going to change, a lot. After holding in so much for so long, and refusing to heal from the bad things that happen to you, your smile and laughter is going to lessen. Your excitement will be practically nonexistent. You’ll be a walking, breathing anxiety attack waiting to happen. That’s why I look back to you.

I miss you so much. You’re the part of me that I always wish but am not sure I can ever get back. The part of me that was innocent, and looking forward to every new day. Who had hope for humanity, for making a difference in the world. The Dayna who wasn’t afraid to be her crazy, random, goofy self, and didn’t care if people judged her for it.

This is why I’m writing to you, to help you realize how wonderful you are. To show you that even if you’re having a bad hair day, or you and your best friend are fighting about something stupid, or if your relationships aren’t always going so great, don’t forget who you are in the midst of it all. Don’t let any of that stuff change you. Don’t give up hope just because you have some bad days. People are going to screw up, you’re going to screw up, take the time to learn to forgive and move on. You’re going to need to do that MANY times down the road.

Also, the friends you have right now, don’t take them for granted. They really care about you. Don’t get so caught up in your relationships that you forget to show them how much you appreciate them. Because one day, you’re going to end up losing a lot of them, and you’ll hold a lot of guilt for that. So the ones you know are looking out for you, don’t just let them go and be mad at you when you’re in the wrong. Let go of your pride and make things better.

But also don’t let yourself get close to just anybody, they’re not all looking out for your best interest. Be wise about who you keep in your circle.

Just be true to yourself and do what really makes you happy. Don’t let the world rob you of your joy, there’s people out there that need it. I need it. Stay strong girl 👌🏻

 

While writing this “letter”, I was able to think back to how my 16 year old self felt back then and how untrue my negative feelings about myself were. I realized a pattern in my negative behaviors at that time and what may have caused such a change in me, a change I don’t like. This has helped give me a ton of insight. I’d definitely recommend this exercise to everyone!

Thanks for taking the time to read! I hope you got something helpful from it or at least could maybe relate to some of it. Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you 😊 xoxo

How I Went From 4 Cups of Coffee A Day Down to Zero, Cold Turkey

So when you saw this title, you were probably thinking one of 2 things. Either “Who would want to stop drinking coffee?” or “How is that possible?! I wish I could do that!”. If you were the latter, then this post is for you!

I did a poll on Twitter, and you wanted to know how I went from drinking 4 cups of coffee a day down to ZERO. I know, it sounds crazy even typing it out, but it’s true. So let me just get right into it!

If you’re anything like me, having any kind of synthetic caffeine gives you the jitters, anxiety, and you get hardcore crashes once it wears off. The feeling I got when I drank coffee was literally taking over me and making me miserable, but it was something I HAD to do.

See, I was working in an EXTREMELY fast paced, high stress environment, and if I didn’t have some kind of caffeine, I was always exhausted and feeling groggy, so I couldn’t keep up with the proper pace needed. So I had to force myself to go through these terrible feelings every single day, and then come home from work and crash, barely moving for the rest of the night. Let me tell you, I was not living at all.

And this went on for YEARS…

I knew I HAD to do something, or I was LITERALLY going to go insane. I was developing severe anxiety because of this pattern.

Meanwhile, I had been watching a friend of mine on Facebook posting about these products that she had been using. They changed her life, made her feel amazing, all that jazz. I was super skeptical about it, because I’ve heard SOOO many people claim that their products work and then you get stuck with some crappy supplements that you never feel working and you just wasted your whole paycheck. But I kept seeing her consistently every day talking about how she stopped drinking coffee after the first day of using these products, never had to take naps again, had crazy energy ALL day, getting SO many things done… It sounded like magic. Some kind of miracle.

So now I was even MORE skeptical. Like..how even?? But I had to try something, I couldn’t live like that anymore. So I messaged her one day and asked if I could try a sample.

I can’t even put into the proper words how much these products changed the game for me. On the first day, I felt insane energy flowing through me all day, and because it was all natural vitamins and minerals, it wasn’t that crazy, jittery crap you get from coffee and energy drinks. I just felt GOOD inside. Like gaps were being filled that I was never able to before with not only living off of coffee (which made me barely hungry through the day), but when I did eat it was always unhealthy snacks. During the 3 days that I took these products, I was literally buying SALAD when I went to fast food places, because I WANTED to. Like, my body was craving it.

My body didn’t need what coffee was giving it anymore. I had everything I needed flowing through my body, and like I said, it’s crazy to even say out loud, but I didn’t even think about getting one coffee the entire time. It’s happened with countless other people who tried them as well. It’s breaking addictions!

I really don’t think people realize how important it is to get the proper vitamins and nutrients in your body. That it can literally help you break bad habits and get your health to a place where you’re going to love yourself and your life again. I know it can be super frustrating to have a stock of 100 different vitamin bottles stored away because none of them even worked for you. Trust me, I’ve been there.

I’m someone that needs to see results quickly. But these products completely changed my outlook on health and how extremely important it is to get it in order! The great thing about these products is that it’s SO SIMPLE! There’s no taking 5 different pills a day, on top of having a strict diet, drinking gallons of water, working out every single day. No none of that. It’s 3 easy steps first thing in the morning and BOOM, you’re on top of the world all day long!

No more naps

No more crashing

No more jitters

No more anxiety

No more bad cravings

No more addiction

No more brain fog

If you want to know more about the products let me know! I’d love to see you CRUSH that coffee addiction and make the absolute BEST of your days!!

Regardless of what you use, I just want you guys to remember this: if you’re slacking on taking care of your physical health, that needs to become a priority. Because THAT is what is going to effect every other part of you going forward. If you’re not sleeping right, eating right, being active at all, you’re not going to see great results for yourself mentally or spiritually.

 

Take care of you, everything else will fall into place ❤

Inexpensive Hobbies To Try

 

Just a few years ago, my life was all about work and sleep. I didn’t have much free time on my hands, but when I did, I can honestly say I didn’t make good use of it. I usually spent my time watching movies or on the Internet. It never felt like I was getting much done. And on top of that, I had no idea what I actually enjoyed anymore because I wasn’t trying anything new.

So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone to find myself and what made my soul happy. If you’re having trouble figuring out things to do in your free time, and find yourself giving in to the Facebook-scroll addiction, I hope these ideas can give you some motivation to put the phone down and try something new! Who knows, it may even inspire you to start a whole new career!

(This post will be a List only. If there are any that you would like more info for, or ideas of how to start, I would be more than happy to make a series going into more detail!)

1. Blogging and/or Vlogging (Of course :D)
2. Making Your Own Bath & Beauty Products (Check Pinterest for Tips on How to Make Your Own. Research what Each Ingredient Does and Start Your Own Recipes!)
3. Designing Printables/Labels/Stickers On Your Computer (You may find you are more creative than you thought) (Super easy, free programs to use for this)
4. Try Out Different Instruments. (If one doesn’t work for you, that doesn’t mean you’re not musical at all, just try something else!)
5. Play Puzzle Games On of Offline (Sudoku, Crosswords, WordSearch, Hidden Object, Actual Puzzles)
6. Read Nonfiction AND Fiction (Fiction is actually extremely beneficial to your development)
7. Go Walking or Running in the Park and Take in the Scenery
8. Photography (Use Iphone and apps if you don’t have a camera)
9. Freelance Writing (for blogs, magazines, etc about topics that interest you)
10. Refurbish Old Furniture From Thrift Stores or That Neighbors are Throwing Out.
11. Cake Decorating (Cheap supplies from your local Craft store or Supermarket) (This is actually super fun once you get started!)
12. Journaling
13. Start an Instagram page and Share Pictures of Your Life and Passions (Use Editing Apps to Get a Clean, Consistent Look Throughout Your Feed)
14. Get the SkillShare App and Start Developing All Kinds of Skills That Interest You
15. Create Your Own Wooden Signs
16. Painting (It’s Actually A Lot Easier Once You’re Shown How To Do One Step by Step)
17. Smule: Karaoke App (If you love singing and would like to join others online in a duet to your favorite songs)
18. Bike Riding
19. Grow Your Own Indoor Plants

As I said, this was a list only post, but I will gladly share more info if any of these interest you! I hope you enjoyed. Make sure to leave a comment if you were able to get something from this!

My Favorite Family-Friendly Halloween Movies

I used to love watching horror movies in my early to late teens. I would even go so far as to say it was my favorite genre to watch! But in recent years, I’ve cut out Horror movies completely, and now even if I see a trailer to one coming out, I cringe and need to turn it off. My fiance doesn’t like them either, so it makes things much easier when it comes to choosing movies to watch together! We are all about keeping our movie choices family-friendly.

So if you are looking for movies to watch with your kiddos or if you and your SO are like us and are looking for some clean, fun movies to watch this Fall season, then keep reading!

1. Halloweentown 1 & 2

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This may be one of the most popular Halloween movies of all time. 90’s kids couldn’t wait for the Fall season to hit so that they’d start playing movies like this again on TV! I remember in elementary school, checking the TV guide all month and writing down in our calendar which days Halloweentown was playing so that I could stay up to watch it!

Such a fun one with a great story, engaging characters, and a deep message about fighting against segregation and intolerance. It’s slightly creepy with a ton of comedy and adventure. If you haven’t seen this one yet, I can pretty much guarantee this will be a new tradition for you every year!

2. The Scream Team

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This was another one of my all time favorites around Halloween time. This one doesn’t seem to be as talked about, but it was definitely a classic Halloween DCOM! With plenty of comedy and adventure, this movie is perfect for family movie night.

2 siblings team up with friendly ghosts after they find out that their grandfather never crossed over to the other side because his spirit was stolen by a vengeful, evil ghost (Zachariah). Now they must defeat Zachariah and help their grandfather finally cross over after 200 years!

3. Phantom of the Megaplex

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This is another one that is mainly for nostalgia value or to watch with your kiddies! I’m pretty sure if I watched it now as an adult, it wouldn’t be as enjoyable as it was back in the day. But your kids will love it!

The main character Pete Riley and his other coworkers are getting their megaplex theater prepared for a premiere gala that night. However, some creepy and mysterious things start happening. They start to wonder whether it is due to a haunting of the ghost of the person who was trapped in the theater when it was demolished, or if it could be someone much more familiar to them causing the chaos?

This one will keep your kiddos glued to the screen trying to figure out what will happen next!

4. Corpse Bride

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Our main character, Victor Van Dort, is set to be married to Victoria Everglot. But when things don’t go too well at their wedding rehearsal, Victor goes out into the woods to practice his vows again, to ensure everything goes smoothly. However, as he gets everything down perfectly, he soon finds himself married to a corpse bride named Emily. He then needs to find a way to get out of this situation and back to Victoria.

This is honestly a movie I’ve watched pretty much every year, because it’s just that good! As with all Tim Burton movies, there is this somewhat dark tone to the movie, but still completely appropriate for any age! If I had to choose one Tim Burton movie to watch around Halloween, call me crazy, but I would pick Corpse Bride over The Nightmare Before Christmas any day.

5. The Haunted Mansion

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I know Eddie Murphy is one of those actors you either love or hate. I absolutely loved him in this movie. Hilarious and engaging. Eddie stars as a real estate agent who takes his family to the creepy (like basically every old mansion) Gracey Manor, with the intent to help the owners sell their home. Little did they know what is really going on in the Manor.

With the help of a supernatural psychic, they must work to break the mansion’s curse before it is too late!

This is another one that has comedy and a story for both children and adults, making it enjoyable for everyone!

6. Ernest Scared Stupid

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If you don’t know who Ernest is, you are missing out! I would say he was like another Jim Carey. With the many faces, voices, quirks, and outlandish behaviors, it’s no wonder they’re both great at bringing originality to any comedy. This movie is set during the Halloween season, and has some eerie scenes, but also a ton of comedic relief!

I used to watch this movie every single year without fail, and even without Halloween being nearby! It’s always good for nostalgia, especially since it stars Ernest and actually this movie is the reason that I fell in love with the Ernest series!

7. Don’t Look Under The Bed

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This one is a must-see. Back when this movie first came out, there were parents that thought it was too frightening for their kids to watch. And for a DCOM, they didn’t feel it was appropriate. So, they stopped airing it on TV. I have to admit, there are some pretty scary scenes, I remember being totally freaked out as a kid when I watched this.

But, at the same time, the whole movie was done so well, and kids could relate to the “Boogeyman under the bed” idea, as well as having imaginary friends.

In “Don’t Look Under the Bed”, a teen gets help from an imaginary friend to deal with a boogeyman who has been pranking the whole town and trying to frame her for it. Back when it first came out in the 90’s, it was such a different concept for what would be considered a children’s movie.

If you’ve watched it before, you totally need to again as Halloween is drawing near! If you’re worried that your kids may be scarred after watching it, I’d say watch it yourself first and then decide!

8. Hocus Pocus

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I put this movie last in my list because, well everyone knows why it’s great and is a Halloween time must-see. But I had to add it because it’s definitely always been in my top favorites. Halloween just isn’t the same without it!

I hope you enjoyed going through the list of my favorites and must-sees for this Halloween season! If there are some of these that you haven’t seen yet, I’d love to hear which ones! And if you have seen them, let me know which are your favorites!

Now go set a date, get your family and friends together, get your popcorn ready and enjoy a Halloween movie night!!

Is a Hustle and Grind Mentality Really Good For Us?

Unless you have been on both sides of this, it is difficult to say whether “hustle and grind” is a good motto to live by.

Before my “hustle hard” days, I was working hard, but I was not “hustling” so to speak. I wasn’t losing nights of sleep to get projects done. I wasn’t losing friends or family because I was so busy with work. My relationship was not put on the line because of all the time and effort I was putting into my work.

Hustling seems like a pretty noble thing to do in one sense right? Making all kinds of personal sacrifices for a long period of time in order to reach your greatest goals and dreams? Choosing work and self development over everything else because one day it will pay off?

My Experience

Back when I wasn’t working from home, I was going to my job, coming home and relaxing for the night. I will be honest, I wasn’t motivated to do much else. I had even lost my motivation to work harder and get better at the job I was already in. I just went through the motions, which brought me to a very empty,unfulfilling place. I had no goals and nothing more to work toward.

At the time, I had never been introduced to the new concept of “hustling”. But when I started working from home, it’s all I seemed to ever hear from people! It was in posts and memes all over Facebook, people standing by this concept religiously. So, of course I had to see what it truly meant and why it seemed to be the new way of life.

I had started up a business online, and my team was all about us pushing past the feelings of wanting to give up, and working hard with our heads down and not listening to any negative comment that came our way. I heard of women who for months barely had time with their spouses because they were in their office hustling so hard. But that it was worth it in the end when they could tell their spouse to come home!

Stories like this made me want to hustle too! I wanted to tell my fiance that he could leave the place he was working at and pursue his dreams too! So I decided I would put my ALL into this business at whatever cost.

Hustle PROS

In my experience of hustling, there are some big pros that brought me many positive life changes!

1. Gained the motivation to work towards something bigger than I had previously been.
2. Learned a TON of things about myself, and gained confidence in who I am and the person I was becoming.
3. Pushed past limits that I originally had for myself and found that I am capable of much more!
4. Was drawn to more positive, uplifting, inspiring people, rather than the toxic ones I was previously around.
5. Was dreaming again and dreaming BIG! It was interesting to see what kinds of things had been sitting on my heart for so long.

Hustle CONS

As you can see, there are plenty of positive benefits to hustling, grinding and pushing yourself. But as with anything else, there is also another side to this. Maybe it doesn’t affect everyone the same way, but these are some of the things that I started to notice were happening.

1. My fiance was feeling that I wasn’t truly present when we were together, because I was always on my phone taking care of my business or some kind of project.
2. I experienced “burn out” OFTEN. “Burn out – physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress”
3. I barely spoke to my family or friends anymore, and didn’t hang out with ANYone for months because I was so focused on getting things done and working harder every day.
4. Sometimes I wanted to just deal with negative emotions I was feeling and work through them, but I felt like I couldn’t, and just needed to push away anything negative and avoid it at all costs.
5. I started losing my sense of peace, and space to just breathe without feeling that I was wasting time and needed to get back to work.
6. I had a hard time getting to sleep every night because my mind was constantly going.
7. I was relying more on my own hard work and abilities rather than God. I was barely praying anymore, thinking that I had everything under control.

Conclusion

Now, like I said, we don’t all handle situations the same. So, maybe you have a “hustle and grind” mentality and are able to keep a good balance between work and personal life. But I believe that like with anything else, moderation is key.

If a football player is starting to slack in the final few minutes of a game, the coach may tell them to “hustle!”. And in that case, when it counts the most, I believe having a “hustle” mentality is hugely beneficial. It can get you through a rough spot, or kick negative obstacles out of the way.

However, I don’t believe that we should make this a way of life. There is a season for everything. And sometimes we need to go through a season of rest, time away from the busyness to refresh and re-energize so that we can go back out there with a clear head and new perspective.

If I can bring up the example of Jesus for a second. He worked hard and traveled far to share the Gospel with people. But there were also many times that He pulled away from all of the noise and busyness around Him, and sat with God alone in prayer for hours. He discerned when he needed to go out and do His work, and when He needed to rest in His Father’s presence and focus on Him alone.

It’s great when we take time for self-development. We read our self-help books, pamper ourselves at the salon, listen to informative or inspirational podcasts etc.. But there is a peace like no other that comes when we not just focus on ourselves for a time, but shift our focus over to God and who He is.

I feel that those times not only help me get back to work even sooner but with much more enthusiasm and strength to keep going because I am not longer relying on my strength alone.

So yes, I believe that the Hustle and Grind mentality can be a positive thing, in the right seasons and situations in our lives. And it may be necessary more often for some than others, depending on your personality, strengths, and skills. But if you start to find that you’re losing your sense of peace, or you experience “burn out”, maybe it’s a sign that you need to pull it back a bit.

Don’t listen to what everyone else tells you. Some may say to avoid something, some may say to embrace it. Everyone has different opinions and have different experiences. So, you decide what is best for your life. Don’t be afraid to experiment, question, doubt or go against the grain sometimes. It may even lead you exactly where you need to be!

I hope you enjoyed and were able to take something from this post!! If you did, let me know in the comments, or send me a quick message so we can chat! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

Deciding to Work From Home

I’ve had a boss since I was 16. At the time, I just wanted to have some freedom to get what I wanted, when I wanted. So getting a standard, minimum-wage paying job was the only option I knew. I was a waitress for 4 years, then went onto working as a cashier at a grocery store, then a bakery clerk, and then back to fast food (Chick-Fil-A).

When I was in my teens, I was A-Okay with these types of jobs because it provided me with some extra cash to pay my small bills and not have to pinch pennies when I was out with my friends.

I never knew what I wanted to do when I left high school, so I just went to my community college to study some different things and hopefully find something I loved. And although I realized a lot of things I DIDN’T enjoy, I was never truly set on a specific career path. So I left school, and continued working in fast food and retail.

I figured, at LEAST I’m able to survive,take care of my bills and occasionally grab a pizza on the way home. But at the same time, I always had this desperate hope in my heart that it would only be temporary, and eventually I’d be doing something where…what do they say again? “I’d never have to work another day in my life”. That was my dream. But, that wasn’t specific enough to me. Was I just being lazy, not wanting to work at these places anymore? I mean come, everyone does it right? They drag themselves through everyday and make it work…

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When I say I desperately tried to keep pushing on, I really did you guys. For 8 years! But as the years went on, that sinking in my heart kept getting deeper and deeper. And I felt that God had an entirely different plan for me. I wasn’t meant to just “get by” every day. I don’t believe that is what God wants for ANY of us. My spirit was on the line here.

I found myself in depression, constant exhaustion, withdrawing from everyone and everything. I had no willpower to go on like that anymore. So I finally got on my knees and gave it to God. I had no idea what He wanted me to do, but I knew this wasn’t it anymore.

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This idea popped up that I needed to leave my job, and that scared me. I tried telling myself “that’s probably just me. Just something I wish could happen”, but the tug on my heart never left. In fact it only got more intense. At the time, it made no sense for me to leave my job because I was living with my now fiance, (please, kindly leave your judgments at the door!) and we were both working full time to just make ends meet and be able to go on a date once in a while! If I left my job, we weren’t going to make it!

But every time I prayed, it’s like God was telling me “I have a purpose for you, do you trust me?” and of course I would say “Yes, Lord!” but deep down, I really wasn’t sure about the whole thing. So I asked God to put it on my fiance’s heart if this is what He really wanted. I wanted to know that if I was making a big decision like that, that we’d both be on the same page.

At the time, my fiance had a lot on his plate already and we were going through some pretty big stuff. And I had brought up to him about me leaving my job once before when I was stressed, and he seemed nervous about the whole thing. So I figured, yeah he totally won’t be on board with this, and that will give me my answer!

But…the next day when I asked my fiance what he thought about me leaving and focusing on what God has been putting on my heart, in a completely calm & relaxed tone, he said “I think you should do it.”….I was in complete shock. Of course I came back with “wait, seriously? Like do you think we’d even be able to make it?” and he just said “we’ll make it work.”

Immediately, I thanked God for answering my prayer, but now I had no idea how to go about this! I was about to be without a steady, weekly wage, and that was terrifying to me! I wanted to help bring in the money. I felt like I’d become a burden. I wasn’t used to relying on anyone else for anything. But again, I kept hearing “Trust me”.

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So I did. My fiance and I talked about it some more that day, but it was settled, I was leaving my job and going to work for myself from home. I put in my 2 weeks that next day. To say that the whole thing took a toll on me for a while is an understatement. When you make a huge choice and transition like that, you go through a lot of mental and emotional changes.

I had lots of doubts and insecurities that I brought up to my fiance, and each time he confirmed to me that this was the right choice. There have been times when I’ve been so discouraged, and feeling bad for my fiance having to take over, that I’d just get online to start looking for jobs, and then he would say “Please don’t do that. We’ve got this. I believe in you.”

The fact that he cares so much about my happiness and freedom to create & work for myself, continues to confirm why he is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. God is showing me His love through this man daily, and helps me to strengthen my trust in Him when I start to fall.

I can’t say that I’ve got everything figured out right now. Or that God has put anything specific onto my heart that He wants me to do since leaving my job a few months ago. But what I do know is that with this freedom to tap into my creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, and time to spend with God alone studying His word and listening to Him, I’ve come to realize a few things…

  • I have gifts that I never would have known about had I not had this time away.
  • I have a LOT to learn, and He has a LOT to work on in me.
  • He took me out of my job, not because I couldn’t handle it, but because He wanted something so much MORE for me.
  • Working from home doesn’t make me a burden. I get to cultivate a peaceful, warm, inviting atmosphere for when my fiance gets home, while managing our system to keep our relationship with each other and God thriving, planning out events & projects we’d like to take on, as well as managing my businesses and freelance projects! God has helped me to see those things I was once so insecure about, in a new light.

There are some that do thoroughly thrive in and enjoy their jobs outside of the home! In fact, every time I go to the bookstore and sit by the cafe to read a bit, there is an employee (who seems to practically live there!) who always has a cheerful attitude with every customer, chatting up about life and smiling away. That woman is a blessing to the people around her, and God is using her in such a simple yet beautiful way.

So if that sounds like you, stay where you are! Don’t feel the need to leave, God could be using you in ways you may not even realize! But for me personally, although this has been quite a roller coaster so far, it has also been one of the BIGGEST blessings in my life. It is also giving me the time, freedom and creativity to be a blessing to others, which again in turn blesses me.

If you take anything at all out of this, I hope it’s this…God has a plan for your life, whether you have an idea of what that is or not yet. It might be scary to trust when you have no idea where it will lead you, and it may come along with some scary, discouraging, hard moments. It was never promised that this journey would be easy or without some painful times. But it is always worth it!

So don’t just follow your heart, give it to God, and follow Him! He knows why you were created, so He knows what is best for you. You CAN trust Him. Be blessed 🙂

 

If you enjoyed this post, and/or were inspired in some way, I’d love to connect whether through a comment, message or email! Don’t forget to subscribe to stay updated on new posts!

Quick & Easy Pasta Bake Recipe

If you’re having one of those days..you know which one I mean. Where you’ve been out and about all day, or chasing your kids around, or even just having one of those lazy days with ZERO energy to put into dinner that night, but you still need to feed everyone…then this recipe is for you.

Not only will you fill some bellies, and have leftovers, but you won’t have to spend the rest of your paycheck to do it! So if you want to know how to make this delicious Mac & Cheeseburger Pasta Bake, keep reading!

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My fiance and I have had crazy schedules lately, and with wedding planning and needing to save our money, we’ve had to get creative and figure out some cheap, quick, healthy meals to whip up. We mainly look to make our meals in bulk so we have food ready to go for a few days. If this sounds like something that would be helpful to you, we’ve got loads of recipes that I will be sharing on this blog that will hopefully help you!

Now we are no chefs, but when you’re needing to be frugal, it can definitely get your creative juices flowing when it comes to how to you will spend your money wisely. So if you’re on a budget and you’d like to a cheap (but still delicious!) recipe that you can tweak to your own taste, I think you’ll like this one.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
Cooking Spray
1 1/2 lbs Elbow Macaroni
1 Jar of Vodka Sauce (We used Bertolli brand)
1 Can of mushrooms
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (We use a generous amount of cheese, but you decide what works for you!)
1 Cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
3 tbs garlic powder
2 tbs basil
2 tbs parsley
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

1. In a large pot, boil macaroni.
2. In a large skillet, cook ground beef along with Parmesan cheese, and half of the total amount of all other seasonings. (You’ll be adding the rest in soon)
3. Add mushrooms, and saute until beef is cooked all the way through.
4. Once macaroni is finished boiling, drain and add the jar of vodka sauce.
5. Add beef and mushroom mix to the pot.
6. Add the rest of your seasonings and mix together. (Here you can add or subtract the amount of seasonings you would like. We like to have our meat pretty flavorful, but if you’re trying to cut back or don’t want as much of an ingredient, do what suits you!)
7. Spray the bottom of a 13x9in saucepan, add one layer of pasta (ends up being about half of the total amount).
8. Sprinkle 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, covering the pasta layer.
9. Add the rest of pasta, creating another layer.
10. Add rest of the shredded cheese.
11. Bake at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes (or until cheese is fully melted)
12. Let sit for 5 minutes.
13. DIG IN!

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