Cupcakes and Sunshine

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Coffee Date: February Edition

Hey, hey!
It's been a really long time since we've had a coffee date! Like maybe since October 2016?! That can't be right. But friends, I do believe it is.

So pour yourself a cup, sit back and relax, and let's chat!! We have a lot of catching up to do.

If we were having coffee right now....

I'd tell you I've eaten a lot of Chipotle in bed lately. I've been out of town on a work trip, and most evenings have looked a lot like this:

...sweatpants and chips and queso. (& the olympics!)

If we were having coffee right now....

I'd ask you if you've read any good books lately? I just started Annie Downs 100 Days to Brave, and it's a good one.

(also Buc-ees in bed? I promise I get up and move sometimes!)

Day One's devotion is to tell someone you're starting a 100-day journey towards a braver, I'm starting it friends! I'll keep you updated!

If we were having coffee right now...

I'd tell you to run as quickly as you can and read The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption.

A friend recommended it to me in college and wow, oh wow! It has changed my outlook on so many things. It's been a long time since I've gotten lost in a book, and I looked down after beginning and was on page 98!! Girls, guys, married, single, GO GET THIS BOOK!!!

I'd let you borrow mine, but I've underlined and written in all the margins. Please even if you don't read, read it! Or audiobook it. Or have someone else read it to you! This book has changed my life.

If we were having coffee right now, 

I'd be really honest and vulnerable and also tell you that this article has also changed my life. A few weeks ago, I had some tough conversations with some good friends about where my heart was. And honestly, it has been in a rough spot. I've really struggled with CARING! Caring about people, caring about time, caring about how I spend my time, caring about the mistakes and paths I was taking. And no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't pull myself to care. These past few months, I could whittle down my actions and thought process to I just don't care. I've felt like I've been faking it. And I don't think this really has been something that I've ever really struggled with before.

After those long (but loving) discussions, I've realized that in the past year since starting a new job, I've really struggled with APATHY.

At my workplace, we've been encouraged to put others at the center of our maps. When the first cartographers created maps hundreds of years ago, they put their location and starting point at the CENTER of the map, and every other destination would follow. The best leaders make others feel like they are the center of the map when it comes to hospitality, selflessness, and care. They make others feel like they are the focal point.

But somewhere between starting that job and now, I think I've forgotten to put Jesus at the center of my map. And because of it, I've lost all direction. I've strayed. I've taken some wrong steps. I've lost primary motivation for why I do what I do both personally and professionally, and the way I lead and love others has definitely taken a big giant step back. And if you know me, I have a terrible internal GPS (I can barely get to Target even though I've been 100 times.) But thankfully, I have the word and some incredible godly woman pouring into me, holding me accountable, and pointing me back on a Kingdom-seeking trajectory.

A few days later, I was speaking with one of my work friends while we were on our travel trip, and I asked... do you think apathy is a sin? Or a result of sin? I did a quick google search and the above article came up and my mind. was. blown.

Apathy is both! It is a sin and a result of sin. And after talking to a few others, I've learned that I'm not the only one struggling with apathy. I think with the busy of work, some of the (careless) choices I've made, and how I've been spending my time, my heart has been hardened with some apathy.

I was working at an elementary school this past week, and each morning before the start of school we sang sweet hymns with the younger grades. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing is one of my very favorites, and the words were so real to me...

"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it" YES. I've definitely felt like I've been wandering.

BUT... "Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above." 

Because "His streams of mercy are never ceasing" and "call for songs of loudest praise." 

There's GRACE. and TRUTH. And HOPE in the Lord. 

And I'm praying that my heart will be softened.

If we were having coffee right now, 
I'd tell you some days are tough and I'm walking through a lot of heart-healing, but days are full of sweetness, Where's Waldo....

....and some glitter!!

It's been a heart-filled February!

If we were having coffee right now, I'd finish with... 
Hey! It's been great having coffee with you! Happy 3-day weekend, and let's do it again real soon <3 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Meal Planning!

It's been a looong time since I've done any form of meal planning, but this year my word of the year is INTENTION, so I've decided to put that to use and be more INTENTIONAL about the meal choices I'm making.

My job is pretty active and I spend a good amount of the time teaching and doing fitness activities. Last year, I spent many days going through the drive-thru after work because hey! I had been active all day and needed french fries. And I also ate frozen pizzas way more times than I could count.

But I was tired and sluggish all. the. time!

So I'm changing things up, prepping ahead of time, and making some healthier intentional choices!

Here's my plan for the week. +probably a lot of snacks!! :)

(also checkout those Territory Food meals!)

How are you preparing for the week ahead? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

January Favorites!

My roommate pointed out today that it has already been almost a month since Christmas. A month!? How is that even possible. Time is flying, friends.

It's been a long time since I've done a favorites post, so I thought I'd share some of the things I'm loving this January!

1. Blue Bell Ice-Cream

Does anyone know why I always crave ice-cream when its cold out!? I'll take a 1/2 gallon of each flavor please!

2. Glam Glow and Clinique Moisture Surge

Glam Glow and Clinique moisture surge masks are seriously incredible. I have really dry skin in the winter, and these two have saved me! Absolutely my top two favorite skin products ever, and I suggest them 100%.

3. JOY!

I purchased this bright copper JOY sign from Target last year during Christmas, but we've decided to keep it up year-round. It makes me happy just looking at it! 

I usually like to think about or sleep on ideas for a little bit before taking action or making purchases. And I slept on the idea of purchasing a Naked Palette for MONTHS. Just do it! They are wonderful, worth the price, and last forever!! 

I've had this devotional for a while, and I love it! "Intention" is my word of the year this year, and this devotional and journal have helped me to spend more intentional time with the Lord each morning! 

I got this diffuser for Christmas and didn't realize how much I LOVED it until I was sick this past week!! I heard that essential oils help with the stomach bug and WOW, lavender and peppermint oils worked wonders!!  

7. Talking about things I'm loving this January...

It's cold and flu season--gross! Couldn't have made it through January without some Gatorade and crackers. And also this really great text from my roomie who was also sick...

We're on the mend, and feeling much better now. 

8. Vitamin C and Charcoal! 

Vitamin C for cold and flu season. Also it has many other benefits

And activated charcoal as a teeth whitener is pretty incredible. I didn't believe it at first, but after hearing about it and trying it out, I believe it! It looks pretty gross, but hey! it works! 

And that concludes all of my January favorites. Hope your January has been great and filled with lots of favorites as well! 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Rainy Day Tuscan Soup and a Rainy Day Playlist

Cloudy weekend days are the best for staying inside, listening to a rainy day playlist or watching a rainy day movie, and probably making this Tuscan soup....

This soup is one of my favorites ever! It's hearty and filling and perfect for rainy or wintry days. 

Soups are the best, because you really don't need a true recipe.

Simply cut your potatoes, peppers (Trader Joe's fireroasted peppers are a must, but you can roast your own if you don't have a TJs nearby), and onions. 

Brown spicy Italian chicken sausage and cook onions... 

And throw everything in a pot and simmer for about an hour (or until potatoes are cooked through)! 

If you want the full Italian soup experience, you could butter and toast some Italian bread. 

But hey, today we are having a southern Texas rainy day, and I suggest baking up some skillet cornbread on the side while your soup is simmering. 

If you're feeling really fancy, you could add a tablespoon or two of Italian seasoning to it as well. 

Serve and top with kale and maybe a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and ENJOY. Let me know if you give it a try! 

Tuscan Soup: 
  • 1 package spicy Italian Chicken Sausage 
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion 
  • 2 lbs. potatoes
  • 1/2 cup roasted/chopped tri-color peppers
  • 2 cans coconut milk 
  • 32 oz. chicken broth 
  • 1-2 Tbs. cornstarch 
  • 2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Kale
  • Parmesan cheese 
1. Chop onion, potatoes, red peppers, and Italian sausage
2. Brown Italian sausage, cook onions until done
3. Add all ingredients to a pot, add salt and pepper, and simmer until potatoes are cooked through
4. Top with kale and parmesan cheese. 
5. Serve with cornbread or toasted Italian bread! 

Happy weekend, friends! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Territory Foods UNBOXED! Review

At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to try out Territory Foods this week and you guys-- I'm SO impressed.

Dallas friends, there's no turning back.

I was sent a coupon code to get $50 of free meals for my first order, which ended up being 6 whole meals for less than $10. No gimmicks. No subscription that I had to sign up for (Except now, I really think I will sign up for weekly orders). 

Just delicious, healthy meals ready to go for this crazy week ahead! 

Territory Foods focuses on creative local chefs, nutritious ingredients, and delicious meals that are ready to eat! 

And all I had to do was pick them up at a Crossfit gym one mile from my house. Seriously so easy. 

You simply log into the website, select your dietary preferences, place your order, and choose a gym location to pick up your meals. And boom. You're done. I don't have to worry about making lunch or dinners this week.

Each week, each delicious meal varies. 
In my box this week I had...

  1. Tagine Chicken with Golden Raisins and Vegetable Medley
  2. Tuscan Chicken and White Beans with Squash Noodles
  3. Spicy Taco Salad
  4. Sweet and Spicy Meatballs with Grilled Veggies and Rice Noodles
  5. Asian Chicken with Vegetable Fried Rice and Sesame Ginger Sauce
  6. Mediterranean Chicken with Sweet Potato Mash and Grilled Veggies
So good, right?

I love cooking and making healthy meals, but with all the busy of work and travel, I've made way too many trips to Chick-fil-a or have chosen the frozen pizza route. Territory Foods has changed that, and now I can have delicious healthy choices all week long. Talk about fast food. 

Friends, if you're in the Dallas area, act FAST! The $50 promotion ends January 18th, and I want you to get in on this deal too!!

If you're looking for more healthy choices to kick off 2018, I suggest...


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