Cupcakes and Sunshine: May 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Friday Favorites (on a Saturday!)

Good SATURDAY morning!! Bringing you some Friday Favorites (on a Saturday) today, because Saturday Favorites just doesn't have quite the same ring to it. and it's summer. and all the days run together anyways in the summer so it all works out! :)

1. Can we talk about a La Croix sparkling water obsession real quick!? I mentioned these earlier in the week, but they are just so nice I had to mention them twice! Our house is stocked:

2. Love, love, LOVING this top from Pitaya. Bright summer colors have my heart.

3. Talking about bright summer colors, my good friend Carly and I just picked up some new teal pans from HomeGoods and how cute are they!?

New pans calls for pancakes every day this summer. right?!

4. These GEESE! This is quite possibly one of my most favorite Friday Favorites (on a Saturday) ever. Our Target had a few nesting geese move into the parking lot a few weeks ago & THEY BUILT A CONSERVATION AREA FOR THEM!!!

Every time I'm there (uhhh...which is once a day.... at least.) I drive by the back of the lot and do a couple of donuts to check up on them and see how they are doing.Yay Target for environmental preservation. #targetdoesitagain

5. CHI Hairspray. This stuff is the And smells wonderful. I get mine at TJ Maxx/ HomeGoods, or else it will cost you a pretty penny. But it is my favorite hairspray ever.

6. The Best Yes:

Y'all. I am probably one of the most indecisive people you will ever meet. And even the easiest life choices cause me so much anxiety! What if I don't choose what's best and regret my decision, ya know? I love restaurants, but when the waiter hands me the menu...instant menu anxiety. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE THE BEST MEAL WHEN THERE ARE A HUNDRED CHOICES!?

Are you one of these people too!?

Well this book not only shows you how to pick the Best Yes in small situations, but also discerning God's will in everyday instances and big life decisions. It's been a GREAT summer read and I recommend it 100%.

7. Jonas Brothers: Okay, I don't know what happened but I completely missed the Jonas Brothers stage in middle school. Well, I'm making up for that now. If I'm in my car, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm listening to the Jonas Brothers this summer. Embarrassing? Maybe. One of the best summer decisions ever? Mhmm. Better late than never to jump on the JoBro train y'all.

9. Go Picnics lunches:

These are wonderful. Head to Target right now because they are on sale. They have so many fun, healthy choices. Sometimes I break the boxes up and put everything in my snack basket just so I can have a variety of treats to choose from.

Happy weekend, friends!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What to Bring on A Mission Trip- Mission Trip Essentials

I can't believe that in just a few days I'll be headed on a mission trip to Haiti! To tell you the truth, I am pretty nervous. I have been on mission trips in the states, but this will be my first mission trip out of the country. It is going to be an amazing experience and an eye opener. Being out of my comfort zone is going to be a great learning experience and I'm ready for it.

I know the Lord is going to provide safety and comfort as we create relationships with Haitian communities. Fears of discomfort have been taunting me here and there, but then I think about how many times I have grown in the unknown. The Lord works in wonderful ways.

I have been doing a lot of reading on what to bring on a mission trip and I thought I'd make a little list of things to pack when you are going on a mission trip:

1. Face Wash: I'll be packing my R+F facewash, sunscreen and moisturizer. The bottles are all small enough to pack in my checked bag for this mission trip and I won't have to worry about breakouts, dry-skin, or sunburns while in Haiti.

2. Snacks and Meal bars: We've been told that in Haiti, most families eat two meals- breakfast and dinner. I'm bringing Luna Bars, fruit cups, dried fruit, laughing cow cheese wedges, and crackers for mid-afternoon meals.

3. Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Well, this is an essential for any trip. But always something I seem to forget and have to head to a drugstore to pick up. I don't think there will be as many options to do that in Haiti, so I'm definitely remembering to pack it!

4. Dry shampoo and headbands: WOWOWOW I love dry shampoo. If you don't have dry shampoo, head to your local Walgreens and grab it now. It is a must-have for mission trips. I'll be packing my Headbands of Hope Headbands as well so I can just toss my hair in a bun each day. Easy breezy.

5. Bobby pins and a mini hairbrush

6. BUG SPRAY: Mosquitoes and malaria are pretty rampant in Haiti, so I've been told to bring lots of bugspray and bug repellant LOTION to cover up with. It's currently in my Amazon cart.

7. Wet Wipes: For quick cleaning and handwashes. These are great.

8. Cheap sunglasses: You know those $1 cheap sunglasses that they give out at festivals and fairs and as giveaways? This is the perfect time to use them. The weather in Haiti is usually hot and rainy. These will be useful!

I'm still raising money for Haiti and would love your support in prayer. If you feel called to support me financially or through prayer,please head to my Go Fund Me page HERE

See anything I have forgotten? Let me know! & Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer Lovin's

There is really nothing I love more than summer. (well...maybe pumpkin spice lattes are pretty close) But life is just better in the summer, don't ya think?!

This past Memorial Day weekend, I was able to spend some time Sodapalooza-ing and poolside hanging with these cuties:

It was a great weekend of fun in the sun, lots of laughs, and even some crazy tricycle adventures around the neighborhood. 

I wanted to highlight some of my other summer favorites, or "Summer Lovin's" that I think you would love to try out this summer as well!


My summer citrus cupcakes were featured on and you HAVE to check them out. They are incredible and taste like summer in every bite! With hints of pineapple, orange, and do NOT want to miss these!

2. These gluten-free brownies. I had a bag of brown rice flour in my pantry that I have been dying to try, so I googled brown-rice brownies and these were the first to appear. They are delicious. And the brownie batter is even delicious-er.

3. La Croix Sparkling Water: I absolutely DESPISED these the first time I tried them & now I've grown to love them. I'm not a picky eater, but I'm a VERY picky drinker. I can pass on most sodas and drinks just because I don't like them. But even water gets really boring, so I wanted to try something different and refreshing. I've now acquired a taste for La Croix and can't get enough! I really want to try the coconut one next.

4. Rodan+Fields sunscreen &....

...Rodan + Fields moisturizer.

Don't know where I would be without these this summer. They are a MUST-HAVE, I'm telling you! My future skin will thank me bunches. (& my present skin is thanking me NOW!)

5. Marti's at Midday: I went here today with one of my good friends, Amanda, and my salad was so huge it will last me the rest of the week. I will definitely be visiting again this summer! And now I'm so excited I get to cross it off of my Athen's restaurant bucketlist.

6. HONEST TEA. Obsessed. My roommates know it. My co-workers know it. This stuff is an addiction.

7. These Warby Parkers.

How cute are they?

The best part about Warby Parkers? You can try before you buy. They'll send you five pairs (sunglasses or regular!) to try on in the comfort of your home before you make any decisions. Love 'em.

8. Pitch Perfect Radio: Have you seen the new one? I think the first one will always have my heart, but the second one you have to see too! Pitch Perfect radio has become my go-to workout station each day this summer.

And I think that just about takes care of some of my summer favorites for now! Have an awesome humpday, my friends!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Guest Post from Stellar Propeller: Are you a Traveler or a Tourist?

Hello, hello! How is everyone's Friday going so far?

I am a part of a wonderful blogging community called Bloggish where I am able to connect with some really incredible bloggers all across the US. Today Colorado-based, Allison from the Stellar Propeller, is here to tell all about her travels and photography abroad! Her beautiful photography and stories are awe-inspiring.

Meet Allison!

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”

This quote says so much that I hardly want to say anything to accompany it. I’m scared I may take away from it or add to it if I do, and that quote doesn’t need anything from me. I just know that I’ve been on both sides of that coin (traveler and tourist), and being a traveler is by far the best. Sometimes there are things we can only be shown when we’re not on a mission to find anything in particular, when we’re just content to be in the middle of a journey and take in whatever our Good Father wants to show us. We can miss so much when we have our mind set on what we think we need to see.

I travel all over the world for my job. I’m a photographer, which is the best job on the planet. Here are a few photos of some things I found when I wasn’t looking for anything… 

This first one is from Aran Island in Ireland. My friends and I ended up on this island because we got on the wrong bus, but it was one of the greatest mistakes of my life! We spent an entire day biking around in the green glory and the stone fences and castle ruins. It was magical. 

We were just outside of Petra here, which is obviously the main attraction since it's one of the 7 wonders and all. But the way the sunset hit the rocks out there was just too beautiful not to stop for. 

I was in Albania to rock climb, teach Myers Briggs, and see some good friends. I wasn't there to play with this ADORABLE little girl, but it quickly became a favorite part of coming home at the end of the day. She lived with her grandmother next door to the house where we were staying, and you'd never guess by the light in her eyes that her grandmother often told her to stop playing, stop smiling, and that she was a bad girl. It reminded me how resilient the spirit in a child is. 

Part of my work in Jordan was to photograph at an olive wood shop that an American woman has started. She employs lots of Jordanians and has done great work in the community. The men do the initial carving and shaping, then send the pieces upstairs to the women to be perfected and polished. This one hadn't been sent upstairs yet, and I was very caught by it. The longer I stared at it, the more the Lord spoke to me about. He told me this was me... unfinished, but in His arms. 

Speaking of not looking for ANYthing... once upon a time in Italy, I was waiting alone for my friends to return from the WC and this handsome Italian fellow started asking me for directions. We ended up spending the next 2 days together (with all of our friends), wrote letters to each other for over a year, and then I went back to Italy the next year and stayed with him and his family. There's nothing like having an Italian lover for a souvenir. 

A note from Haley: Allison is a part of our Bloggish community (don't you just love her?!) and we are doing a guest blog loop. You can find her blogging at her blog Stellar Propeller. Today I will be blogging at The Rose Garden Blog so head on over there and follow the loop!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Weekend Travels and Fun Finds

Hello, hello! It's about time for some weekend fun finds and travels, don't ya think?

I was back in the Big Apple this past week and had a blast!

1. We had breakfast at Tiffany's...

  2. And I found my dream home:

 3. We survived a stormy but not-so-dramatic trip on the Staten Island Ferry. There was only one bolt of lightening.

4. Ate my weight in fluffy pancakes at Blue Fin in Times Square:

5. Is it a trip to the city without getting cheese fries and a shake? 

 6. I have a really bad case of travel bug fever. Where to next? Anyone with me?

And now onto the fun weekend finds:

7. Karla Pruitt is an incredible artist that one of my good friends interns for. She has designed the prettiest playing cards...

& has started a Kick Starter campaign to get them up and going! If you'd like to back this project, head over to Karla Pruitt's site!

8. Looking for more art?

I'm selling paintings (by donation!) to fund my mission trip to Haiti this summer. Head over to to make a donation or email if you'd like to purchase a painting or place an order!

9. Have you entered my Headbands of Hope Giveaway yet? There are only a couple of days left to enter! 

10. Flying Trappeze classes are on my summer bucket list and I can't get them off of my mind.

11. Fangirling over these harem pants:

12. Currently Googling:

***except I currently love my job. I just wouldn't mind learning how to travel professionally.
 13. Love this article on how to have a "staycation." Anyone want to staycation with me? Athens is a nice place to staycation.

14. Considering Whole 30. Not sure if I can part with sweets for 30 days though!

15. Fifteen best travel apps. I want to download them all and take advantage of each and every one of them.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! Soak up the sunshine!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Headbands of Hope {GIVEAWAY}

Happy Friday, friends! 

Today I am highlighting one of my absolute favorite companies that is making a BIG difference! Headbands of Hope is an incredible shop that donates $1 to childhood cancer research and gives a headband to a young girl with cancer for every headband sold. 

Through Headbands of Hope...

2. At checkout, you are able to pick your research partner where $1 from each purchase will be donated 
3. For every handband purchased a fun, floral band is given to a girl with cancer
4. You can submit hospital choices to where headband donations will be given

I absolutely love the heart and mission behind this company and couldn't wait to tell you all about it.
Headbands of Hope has released its newest Knot Collection and I was so excited when they sent some headbands to try out! 

Photocreds to my sweet friend Jenny for the pictures above!

I am also so excited because if you keep on scrolling, YOU can enter to win two headbands below!

I love the variety of bands... from casual to workout-wear and formal-wear... and knowing that I am making a difference for girls and cancer research with every band I purchase! Since Headbands of Hope has started, 30,000 bands have been donated and $30,000 to research.

Their new Knotted Collection is one of my favorites, but I also love their Aztec headbands for everyday-wear and their Diamond bands for more formal occasions. 

And now this is your chance to receive two bands! Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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