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Simple Moments Stick

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
stephanie has read 1 book toward her goal of 30 books.
Prayerful Bloggers

Things I love about Disneyland

22nd September 2014 || adventures || 1 comment

Things I Love about Disneyland // justalittlebitlouder
I want to start by saying that I used the above picture of the Disneyland map because once William asked me if that was me in the Disneyland map. and it made me so happy, so now I like to pretend like I am on the Disneyland map.

Today I’m going to Disneyland with Jess! and in honor of that, here are some reasons why I love Disneyland. Because I REALLY love Disneyland.

Disneyland ducks // justalittlebitlouderThe DUCKS! ESPECIALLY when there are baby ones! It’s like there I am at this magical theme park and I see something “ordinary” like baby ducks and I freaking lose my brain.

Disneyland Castle // justalittlebitlouderThe castle. Seeing that thing just takes my breath away because suddenly I just want to live there forever. It’s just magic. Walking through it is magic and looking at it is magic.

Partners statue at Disneyland // The partner statue. I mean really.

IMG_9357The attention to detail! I feel like every time I am at Disneyland I notice something I’d never seen before, like these squirrels all along the castle!

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and finally, one of my all-time favorite things! The Starbucks there secretly has COCONUT SYRUP! Caramel/Coconut is my FAVORITE flavor combo and I can get it at DISNEYLAND!


What are your favorite things about Disneyland?

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a visual journal of my best friend’s engagement

19th September 2014 || everyday life || 4 comments


Tomorrow one of my very best friends ever is getting married, and I am SO EXCITED. The whole engagement has been exciting for me, and I’ll show you all about it.

ONE //
Rachel sent me a picture of the ring, so I sent her a picture of my excited face.

TWO //
Izzy, the boy Rachel is marrying, gave me a box. In the box was another box. I opened it and it had this cute little bouquet and calendar. I asked someone “what do you think this means?” and they said “she’s inviting you to her wedding!” and I was kinda confused because I’d already told her I wouldn’t miss it for the world. But as I was putting the lid back on, I noticed a message under the lid. I ran to Izzy and gave him the hugest hug and almost cried because I was SO EXCITED.

It became real when I  GOT THE INVITATION IN THE MAIL! It’s really happening. They’re really getting married. and I get to be there and watch it and ugly cry the whole time.

I got my bridesmaid dress all altered and put it on. I’ve only put it on very briefly twice, because I don’t want anything bad happening to it. It’s made it safely to California so I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that. I can’t wait until we’re all in our dresses and fancy and !!!!!


Soon will come FIVE // …. WEDDING! The actual wedding! TOMORROW!

Am I the only person that gets stupid excited about weddings? I LOVE them. They are perfect.

Speaking of weddings, let’s discuss how Queen Lauren Conrad got married last weekend and I am DYING to see pictures of everything. Pinterest is going to freaking EXPLODE!!!! How perfect is this?



18th September 2014 || uncategorized || 1 comment

Hello internet.
I’m currently in California.
I had roughly eight zillion post ideas for this week, but then… life.

Actually, TRAVEL!
So I’m alright. I’d rather be living life than blogging about living life.

But in the mean time. I’m co-hosting That Friday Blog Hop this week! Link up below! <3

Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you’d love to share. 
That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening
While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here


That Friday Blog Hop


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DIY: 3 ingredient, all natural face scrub/wash/mask

15th September 2014 || everyday life || 9 comments

Right now I’m taking a quick pause from unpacking/laundry/re-packing to tell you about what is on my face.

I started getting acne when I was in 4th grade. I washed my face faithfully, but nothing really helped. Eventually I started using ProActiv, which would work so long as I continued to use it, but once I took a break from it my acne would flare up again. and that stuff is EXPENSIVE.

Last summer I started to deal with my crazy consumerism when it comes to toiletries. I’d buy whatever was on sale, so my shower would have a zillion shampoos and conditioners and body washes, and my bathroom counter would have tons of different ineffective face washes that I’d rotate through. I stopped spending money and started making things myself. One day I’ll tell you about how I haven’t used conditioner in a year and only use shampoo two or three times a month.

But for now, like I already said, I want to tell you about what is on my face!

DIY 3 ingredient all-natural face wash mask scrub to reduce acne

3 ingredient, all natural face scrub/wash/mask.

This stuff is simple, and Acne Skin Site is gonna tell you why.

You start with honey. 
Honey contains numerous anti-microbial properties and is a natural antioxidant. Honey fights microbial infections that cause acne without irritating your skin. This sweet goodness literally pulls out impurities from your pores that would normally stay clogged with festering bacteria and oil that cause pimples.  Honey will also help restore your skin’s texture and reduce damage done to your skin by the sun and daily environments you come in contact with. (via)

Then you add some cinnamon.
Cinnamon works to kill acne by drying out the affected area and bringing blood and oxygen to the surface to open the pores and de-clog bacteria and oil. Use in a homemade face mask with honey and nutmeg and see how beautifully your skin clears up! (via)

Finish it off with nutmeg.
Nutmeg is wonderful when used as a spot treatment for pimples. It reduces inflammation, redness, and acne-causing bacteria. It will dry out the pimples quickly and with no further irritation to the skin. Nutmeg is much safer than using a topical acne treatment that contains ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. (via)

3 ingredient, all natural face scrub/wash/mask.
A squeeze of honey
A shake of cinnamon (not too much or it will BURN)
A generous shake of nutmeg
Smear it together in your palm, then spread it on your face.
For a scrub, wash it off after letting it sit for a minute. For a wash, rinse it off immediately. For a mask, let it sit for 15-20 minutes and then rinse.

There are sites that give you very specific measurements, but let’s be honest. Measuring honey is a fool’s job. Some people cannot use this every day, but once a day works for me. I keep mine in an old coconut oil jar, scoop it out and replenish as needed. It also allows me to take it in the shower and use it for a scrub.

And there you have it! A way to keep the acne at bay. Now I must finish packing.

Warning: the honey/cinnamon/nutmeg might forever ruin your banana bread experience because you’ll smell it and think of washing your face. Or at least I’ve found that to be true!

DIY 3 ingredient all-natural face wash mask scrub to reduce acne


Okay, but why not?

13th September 2014 || faith. || 0 comments

At the end of July I wrote this post about being a coward and disguising it as Christian living. Let me continue to be real with you and tell you that the thing I struggle with every single day is this:

I love Nashville, Tennessee.
and I could move there.
Not just like “yeah I could move there and then figure things out.”
Like… I could move there, with a job, and live with the people I spend all my money and vacation time to go visit.

and basically for the entire week and a half I was in Nashville it kept coming up. and in the quiet of the Halter’s guest room I would lay in bed, excited to wake up and spend the day doing absolutely nothing with my favorite twin girls, and I’d think “okay, but why not?” Why not take people up on their offers and get in my car and drive across the country to a city I can’t get enough of, with people I miss sitting across from them, knowing that they will only be occasional fixtures in my life. Okay, but why not?

It’s both a very hypothetical and a very real why not, because I know why. I have reasons. Like the ministry I have at my church. All of the waterfalls in the northwest that I haven’t seen. Camp Arnold and my favorite little gingers. There are plenty of reasons, which is where the “Okay, but…” part of it comes in. All valid reasons to stay. All understandable hesitations. Okay, but why not?

We only have one life to live, and from what I’ve heard, when our life is running out, we regret more the things we didn’t do than the things we did. We can clean up after messy choices, but we can’t really re-open doors that have closed before we went through.

I don’t want to live my life shrugging and saying “IDK” after someone asks “okay, but why not?” I really do say IDK in real life, it’s something I’m working on. But anyway, I don’t want to live in ruts and well worn paths for no real reason except that I want to live comfortably.

“Okay, but why not?” is a valid question to ask, because sometimes our why not’s are big deals. Knowing what is keeping us from something is just as important as knowing what is pulling us towards it, because that’s the part of us that keeps us safe. It’s when that safety is hiding fear, anxiety, the desire to succeed and impress, that we need to evaluate where we put our self-worth.

So now you know the question I’m forcing myself to answer honestly and openly over the next few months. I need to decide this soon, because if I’m not going to move to Nashville then I’m going to continue to buy plane tickets for three days there. If I am going to move to Nashville, then those few hundred dollar trips need to go into my savings to make this thing come to life.

Pray for me as I wrestle with the why not’s.


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101 | #85. Hold Lucy and Layla

12th September 2014 || 101 in 1001 || 1 comment


So I first made a 101 list almost 3 years ago, in a frantic state because I was getting ready to go to California and I was going to see my friend Ernie and his wife and their two infant babies and I knew – I just KNEW – I NEEDED to put that on my list. It was the first thing I crossed off my last list, and I strategically added it to this list. It will probably be the last time I can add “hold Lucy and Layla” to a 101 list – if I did another one, it’d be more like “hug Lucy and Layla” or “high five Lucy and Layla.” But they are still little people, and so this was still possible:

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101 v. 2

11th September 2014 || 101 in 1001 || 1 comment


Okay. So 2.75 years ago I posted my first 101 list and then got on a plane to California so I could cross off “hold Lucy and Layla,” who were then 7 months old. They’re now 3 and sleeping downstairs in their room in Tennessee. and I’ve flown here four times in one year to be with them. It’s crazy how much swirlier life is than we could ever imagine.

I am excited to share with you my new 101 list. I’ve spent MONTHS looking through other people’s lists and thinking about what I loved about my other one (um the coffee shops and the sleeping in places FOR SURE) and what I didn’t like (basing items on my list off of who I wish I was rather than who I am). I have very carefully selected my new 101 items. Some are left over from the last one and others are adaptations of items from the last list.

My new thing is this: I am going to rally the troops and try to get as many people as possible to agree to do these things with me. But more on that in the post about what I learned trying to do 101 things in 1001 days.

Here’s the list, and it’s also displayed in my navigation bar!


start date: september 11, 2014
finish date: june 8, 2017
number completed: 1
percentage completed: .99%
bold ones are works-in-progress.

1. Write a letter on Day 1 to be read on Day 1001
2. Take a selfie on Day 1, 101 and 1001
3. Save my change. Splurge on Day 500 & Day 1001.
4. Create a new 101 list

5. Build a snowman
6. Build a gingerbread house
7. See the Nutcracker
8. Celebrate 5 ridiculous holidays
9. Two words: CORN. MAZE.
10. Send Christmas cards to 20 people
11. Send 30 Valentine’s Day cards

Adventure + Explore
12. Stay the night in treehouse point
13. Touch an elephant
14. Sleep under the stars
15. 35 different coffee shops
16. Go to 20 concerts
17. Sleep in 30 different places
18. Go to an aquarium
19. Go horseback riding
20. Meet John Mayer
21. Walk across the Golden Gate bridge
22. Ride in a hot air balloon
23. Go to a pro sports game
24. Stand in the Atlantic Ocean
25. Go on 20 hikes
26. Hold a snake
27. Go to the Woodland Park Zoo
28. See the Grand Canyon
29. Go fishing
30. Leave the Denver airport

31. Read 50 books
32. Read the entire Bible
33. Re-read the Harry Potter series
34. Watch all of the Star Wars movies
35. Bake something with Lavender extract
36. Listen to every song in my iTunes
37. Empty my tea jar before buying any new tea
38. Perfect a signature gluten-free banana bread
39. Watch all of the best picture nominees before the Oscars
40. Learn how to make an omelet

41. Attempt a 5k
42. Document 5 ordinary days in pictures
43. Finish a list of 1001 things I’m grateful for
44. Organize my CDs
45. Take 1 craft class
46. Pay off my Dental First debt
47. Complete one project from 5 pinterest boards
48. Fill up my journal
49. Put aside $5 for every completed # to go towards completing other #s
50. Finish/empty 50 smelly things
51. Lose 20 lbs
52. Use up a disposable camera
53. Come up with a list of things to do when I’m bored. Do some of them.
54. Learn how to ride a bike
55. Fly a kite
56. 3 miles a day for 2 weeks
57. Clean my room before bed every night for 2 weeks
58. Organize under my bed
59. Bowl over 125
60. Give away 100 items
61. Finish my t-shirt quilt
62. Become a Birchbox Ace
63. Spend a day at the beach alone
64. Fix my license plates

Internet/computer things
65. Unsubscribe from dumb e-mails
66. Write 1,000 words a day for a month
67. Accomplish my secret blog/social media goals
68. Finish a 30-day photo challenge
69. Blog about each completed number (as it happens!)
70. Earn $200 selling things on eBay
71. Win 5 giveaways (I AM DETERMINED!)
72. Co-host 5 link ups
73. Participate in a She Reads Truth Bible study
74. Organize all of the pictures on my computer
75. Re-design my blog

76. New glasses
77. iPod classic
78. new pair of TOMs
79. Redeem rapid rewards for a free flight
80. Buy 5 things from Etsy
81. 10 new vinyl records
82. Personalized stationary

83. Send 200 letters
84. Have a picnic
85. Hold Lucy & Layla
86. Finish Krystin’s gift
87. Let one of my friends make this one up. Accomplish it with them.
88. Release floating lanterns
89. Have 10 people change their FB pics to pictures I’ve taken. Without me asking ;)
90. Be paid to take pictures
91. Send Hannah birthday letters (2015 / 2016 / 2017)
92. See 5 people get married
93. Win a game of Catan against at least 3 people
94. Ask 100 people the same question
95. Color an entire coloring book and give it to Travis Batista
96. Send 5 packages using old Birchboxes

97. Leave a $20 tip for a bill under $10
98. Help someone cross off something from their 101 list
99. Tape manufacturers coupons to products at a store
100. Compliment 5 strangers
101. Do a Purpose Project for The Mocha Club

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What I learned attempting 101 things in 1001 days.

9th September 2014 || 101 in 1001 || 4 comments

Tomorrow my 101 expires.
I can’t believe it. It’s like I’m flushing my goldfish or something! Goodbye…!!!

101 in 1001 lists are pretty popular these days. The idea is pretty simple: you make a list of 101 very clear goals and set a limit of 1001 days to accomplish it – 2.75ish years. I didn’t complete mine – I actually didn’t really hit 50%, and I wanted to share with you the things I learned about my list. // what i learned while attempting to do 101 things in 1001 days
#1. A lot can change in 2.75 years.
When I first made the list, I had just purchased a plane ticket to spend the weekend in California to visit the girls I used to live with. I worked 3 days a week and had 4 days to do whatever I wanted, and I built my list around that. I now have a full time job with no real consistent schedule. That affects my ability to plan. Oh and I bought a new car which takes a lot of my $$ every month.

#2. Priorities can change a lot in 2.75 years.
3 years ago, I was allll about wanting to write songs on the guitar. I thought it would give me more opportunities to play music. I am consistently able to play the piano in various groups now, and so things like “buy a guitar” just no longer interested me.

#3. Friends make things more fun.
I had my friends walk across the i5 bridge with me. It was rainy and my shoes got really dirty, but it was so much fun. It’s not anything we would have just randomly thought to do. It was one of my favorite things to cross off because my friends bought into it. Completely a list that keeps you isolated and doing a bunch of things by yourself is no fun.

#4. The 101 things can’t be an attempt to become a new person.
I gave up coffee for a week. But I still drink coffee. I gave up soda for a month. I still drink soda. I gave up technology for an hour before bed for a month. But I’m back to that. Some of the things I put on my list are there because I want to be the kind of person who does those things. If you want to know what those things were, go look at the ones that didn’t get crossed off.

#5. The 101 might spark some new habits.
In August of 2014, I spent nothing but gas money for the month and I did a huge downsizing of my stuff. Over the past year I’ve continued to let go of stuff and have been way more mindful of my spending. I am grateful for the change it kickstarted.

#6. If you make a goal to do more of what you already love… you will love to do it.
I love coffee and I love couch surfing. The two most fun things to be intentional about were sleeping in different places and trying new coffee shops, because those were things I already love doing. I just had to be intentional about doing it more often.

#7. 1001 days goes by REALLY FAST if you’re not paying attention.
Seriously, I looked at this list SO OFTEN and I’d think “oh I will have plenty of time to………” and here we are and time ran out.

#8. The list doesn’t really matter. It’s about life.
I live a pretty spectacular life. So even though I kind of failed at crossing some things off on my list (for example, I never sent Travis Batista a colored in coloring book) I did even cooler things (like actually spending time with Travis and his wife when I went to Nashville).

I don’t feel like I failed at my list at all. I have been excited to start a new one (it’ll post in a few days) since I realized the overwhelming amount of work it would have to take to finish my old one.

Hopefully some of this is useful and encouraging to those of you who have 101 lists or are thinking of making one. I’ve loved having one to help me break out of my comfort zone (um I took a picture of what I wore every day for a month. That was soooo weird for me) and to keep track of small memories I wouldn’t remember otherwise.



3rd September 2014 || adventures || 1 comment

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Three years ago I spent 5 hours holding precious Layla.

Last September I saw her for the second time. I got in the car and she was silent, unsure of how to act around me.
I visited in January, and I was sleeping on the couch when she ran in the room and started asking questions about me.
When I came in May, she was taking a nap when I arrived and ran out and gave me a hug.
Today I went with Ernie to pick her and Lucy up from their baby-sitter’s. We laughed in the car and played for a little bit. In a moment of silly honesty, Layla looked at me and said something I never want to forget.

She said, with all the 3-year-old love in her heart,

“My toenails love you, Snephnee.” ~Layla, age 3



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hello, september.

1st September 2014 || adventures, everyday life || 4 comments


This month, I am looking forward to:

  • flying to Nashville to spend time with Ernie, Kristen & the twins.
  • going to church with my friends Travis and Megan while I’m in Nashville.
  • driving to California. I didn’t drive to California ONCE in 2013.
  • taking my sweet little friend Chloe to Disneyland as an early birthday present.
  • standing alongside one of my best friends in the whole wide world as she marries the love of her life.
  • visiting all of my favorite places in SoCal.
  • going to Disneyland with Jess!
  • in general, taking time to enjoy the people I love.


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