Penny Lane Coat

I got this coat from my mom for my birthday. It’s from a brand called Show Me Your Mumu and I really love it. It’s so cozy and makes such a statement. I already know it’s going to be one of my fall/winter staple pieces. For more info, check out the link below.

Penny Lane Coat

 

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Bestie Ballet Class

When I was little I did ballet from about age 4 to age 12. For the last 10 years I have been dreaming about signing up for classes again.

Every time I considered signing up, I chickened out or told myself that it was weird to take ballet classes as an adult.

I am so happy to say that, with the help of my best friend, I took a ballet class and absolutely LOVED it. I left with new confidence in myself and a huge smile.

Cheers to following your dreams!

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Our Engagement

I’ve been wanting to write about our engagement for a while. Mainly because I am a memory collector and I always want to be able to peek back into this part of my life. It truly has been the sweetest time of my life so far. I am getting ready to marry the love of my life!

Quentin and I got engaged on December 16th, 2017, seven months after we graduated. We met at Rockhurst University in the fall of 2013.

It was truly the most perfect proposal. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better day.

That morning, I went with my mom and sisters to go and get my nails done. I was a little bit suspicious but my mom did a really great job of throwing me off. I got my nails painted Christmas-y red. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.

That afternoon we got dressed and ready to head down to Top of the Rock (one of my all time favorite spots in the Ozarks). My parents, Paige and John-David all left about 20 minutes before us to go pick up John-David’s friend Joey.

30 minutes later, I was starting to get stressed. Claire was taking so long to get ready. I was beginning to think that we would miss our reservation. We finally left the house and just as we got to the highway, Quentin realized that he left his wallet at home. I was so frustrated! We were definitely going to miss out reservation.

Little did I know that Q was timing everything perfectly. We finally arrived at Top of the Rock. It was a beautiful, unseasonably warm December night. The sun was just beginning to set over the lake. Quentin and I strolled around looking for my family who had beaten us there.

We walked out on a patio with a stunning view of Table Rock. I realized that no one was around. Somehow, we were the only two people around. We took in the view for a few quick minutes. It was enough time for me to realize what was about to happen. I turned towards Quentin who was getting down on one knee.

He pulled the ring out from under his shirt. He drove the entire way to Branson with the ring hidden in the armpit of his sweater! Haha!

He said a few things that neither of us can remember, but I’m sure they were so sweet. And then finally the words, “Will you marry me?”.

I burst into tears and feel onto my knees. I was wearing huge shoes and was worried that I would trip from excitement. Quentin pointed up to a balcony above us. His family had traveled all the way from Kansas City to celebrate with us that night. Both families had a perfect view of the proposal. It was the best night of my life.

We had dinner in a small, secret room. You had to enter through a false bookshelf! I remember not being able to eat. I’ll never forget the feeling of gratitude I had that night; celebrating with the people I love, cozy in a small room lit by the fireplace.

We are getting married on June 15, 2019 at the same church where my parents were married 27 years ago. Quentin, I cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together!

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Quentin timed everything so perfectly. I can’t believe the beautiful sunset we were blessed with that night.

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JD and his friend Joey we’re so cute. They Shirley Temples were flowing.
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Our wonderful family. So many emotions!
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Quentin and I and all of our sisters.
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One of my favorite pictures. Our “first time in public as an engaged couple”. We went to Target ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Drinks at the Chateau on the Lake later that evening. We we’re so excited. Christmas carols were being played on the piano. There was a huge Christmas tree near the bar. We ordered espresso cocktails.

 

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Another one of my favorite photos. Everything still hadn’t set in the next day. We were on Cloud 9.

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Books I’ve Read in the Last Few Years

Reading is one of my favorite past times. There’s nothing better than, for a few hours, escaping to someone else’s world.

For the past few years I have been keeping a running list of which books I’ve read throughout that year. It’s fun to look back on each one. It almost serves as a little time machine into who I was in that small phase of my life.

One of my favorite weekend activities is going to Half-Priced Books and browsing the clearance section. One time I left with 10 books for just $30.

Sharing with others is a such a huge part of who I am so I thought that I would release my lists out into the world.

2016:

  1. Something Blue by Emily Giffin
  2. Vision in White by Nora Roberts
  3. Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
  4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  5. Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
  6. Happily Ever After by Nora Roberts
  7. Bloom by Kelle Hampton
  8. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  9. A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
  10. Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
  11. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
  12. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  13. The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson

2017:

  1. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
  2. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
  3. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  4. Watermelon by Marian Keyes
  5. The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin
  6. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store by Robin Sloan
  7. The Language of Flower’s Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  8. Mr. Miracle by Debbie Maycomber
  9. At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
  10. Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews

 

2018:ย 

  1. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
  2. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

 

If you have any book suggestions send them my way!

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Morning Routine

As part of my Lenten goal for this year, I decided that I wanted to take a break from social media and really make an effort to live in the present moment. I didn’t know how this would effect my blog writing. I decided that, if I was feeling inspired, I would write. I did not want to push myself to meet any deadlines or stretch my self to live up to unrealistic standards that I tend to set for myself.

A large part of living in the moment began with my morning routine. I have never been much of a morning person up until this year. Mornings have since become my most cherished part of the day. A great morning makes for a fantastic day.

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There is something about waking up and having time to sip some coffee and watch the sun come up. I was blessed with an absolutely beautiful sunrise this morning. Even better than watching the sun rise over the rainy clouds, was opening my copy of Jesus Calling and reading this:

“Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun.”

Could that have been any more perfect? God is always speaking to us. We just have to take the time to listen.

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I love to take the time to journal and pray first thing in the morning before I have the chance to become distracted by my to-do list or my iPhone. Even if five minutes is all I have to offer to God, those five minutes have the power to influence the rest of my day. God knows exactly how to speak to you and what you need to hear. This morning I was reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to be able to see the sunrise.

Meditation is another great tool for staying mindful. Many people struggle with the concept of meditation. Sitting still with your thoughts, even for just a few minutes, can seem incredibly daunting. ย The key is to remember that practice always helps. Stay positive and be patient with yourself. With time, meditation will become second natured.

Guided meditation can be very beneficial to a meditation practice. There are endless options for guided meditation on YouTube or on your smart phone. I use a free app called Calm. Guided meditations can help you to stay focused and in the present. Here is a quote from my afternoon meditation:

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We have the power to have a fantastic day, everyday! Let things go by giving them to God.

Finally, have fun with your morning routine!ย 

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I like to start my day with a big glass of lemon water. This helps keep me hydrated and the bright citrus flavor never fails to wake me up.

 

 

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I sleep with my curtains open to make sure I wake up with the sun. This makes hopping out of bed a lot easier!

Add things to your room that make you happy. Keeping fresh flowers or your favorite stuffed animal by your bed will never fail to put a smile on your face ๐Ÿ™‚

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House plants: A story of young love

I am coming up on a year of living in my apartment. Having been in college the last four years, I’ve moved around a lot. As in like, once a year. My apartment definitely feels like home and it’s somewhere I want to stay for a long time.

As a little gift to myself for signing a new lease, I decided I wanted to spruce up my room with a few new decorations. I did some research and got some inspiration from numerous talented bloggers on Instagram. I have been especially inspired by the style of blogger Lunar Over Linear. Check out her blog here ๐Ÿ™‚ย I began to notice how popular house plants have become. That was exactly what I needed to add some life to my bedroom.

I set out to Home Depot having done no research on house plants. I was excited when I found that they had a huge section of indoor plants available. I was nervous that this would not be the case considering it’s the middle of February.

I scanned over the plants, judging only on price and appearance. I quickly settled on a large Majesty Palm. I took it home and found the perfect spot for it in my room.

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I was so excited about how it looked. I felt like I was at the beach. My room was turning into a secret little oasis and I loved it.

Now here’s the sad part of the story. I figured out that it would be pretty smart to do some research into the care of my plant. I googled “how to care for a Majesty Palm”. Disaster struck. Every website, every blog, every post I could find, strongly warned against buying a Majesty Palm for your home. Apparently, they are one the most high maintenance, dramatic, temperamental plants you can find. They also attract spider mites… gross.

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Sorry Majesty Palm, as majestic as you looked, my personal oasis does not include spider mites.

It was back to the drawing board. This time I decided to take my time and do my research. The unanimous opinion by almost all of the online sources I found, was that the snake plant is the best indoor plant you can get. Even researchers at NASA have said that the benefits of having a snake plant in your home are huge.

I consulted my good pal Kolt. He loves plants and is very knowledgeable on the subject. He recommended that I go to a little place called Soil Service on the corner of Troost and Gregory here in KCMO. They staff were so incredibly friendly. I worked with Caleb to find the perfect Snake Plant for me. He was not only incredibly knowledgeable but also so passionate about plants.

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I am in love with my new plant. And I actually mean it. It is the perfect size and so low maintenance. It only needs water about once a month!

At night while were sleeping, the Snake Plant works tirelessly to convert carbon dioxide into fresh and pure oxygen. It also removes toxins including formaldehyde and benzene from the air. This is so beneficial for creating an ideal sleep setting. It’s pretty magical.

I have to say, this may be my first house plant (with the exception of a few succulents I already have), but it won’t be my last. Everyone should consider the benefits of owning a house plant. Not only do they provide physical health benefits, but they can also provide mental stability and wellness. Being able to love and care for something in order to promote its growth and well being is always a great thing!

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