Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby Sis!

"A sister is a forever friend."

My little sister Kristen turns 21 today! It's hard to believe since sometimes I feel like she should still be about 5 years old, but she's legal! The lucky duck got a snow day off from school today, and I was a little jealous when she texted a picture from her mid-afternoon happy hour.

I distinctly remember holding her, so soon after she came home from the hospital, when this picture was taken.  Truly, where does life go?

Being four years apart, sometimes growing up it was hard to relate to each other-- being 8 is very different than being 4, and being 16 is sure different than being 12! But the older we get, the less the age difference matters, and the closer we become.

Don't worry, there have been plenty of times where drive each other completely crazy, like when she'd try to bite me as a toddler or eat my flavored lip gloss.  And I might have used my older wisdom to outsmart her and get my way, and try to tell her what to do a little too often.

But having a sister is like no other bond in life.  You don't always like each other, but you know you always love each other.

Happy Birthday, Sissy! Thanks for being the connection to my childhood, my built-in best friend, and a source of unconditional love.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

High Five for Friday


This seemed like a long week to me... anyone else?  TGIF!




1. My roomie at her finest. Yes, she went out in public dressed like that, shoes and all. I know you all wish you were so lucky and lived with her.
2. Sushi date with said roomie.  One of my favorite foods- yum!
3. Lilac nail polish from my swap buddy Abi.  I'm totally ready for spring.
4. My dear friend Liz all the way in Thailand posted this on Facebook and tagged me.  Hilarious and true.
5. The ideal way to start a Saturday morning- blogging, a magazine, and coffee in bed.  Complete with my new mug from Heidi. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Peplum has been popping up in dresses, skirts, and even shirts and jackets over the past few months.  On a shopping spree with friends last month, I finally decided that I needed a piece of peplum in my closet!

I think the look is so feminine and fun, yet classy, adding a pop of interest to just a normal dress.

Paired with short boots with bows, this was the perfect outfit to wear to work for our big evening lecture event. 
Dress: Esley at Frenzi // Boots: Rampage

One guest who attended the event said "I like the peplum! I think it will start making a comeback!" And I told her, "It already has!!"

What peplum pieces do you have or want?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Liebster Award- also known as the "fun facts of Julie"

Janna over at Faith, Love, and Hope was so nice to nominate me for a Liebster Award! I loved reading her answers and getting to respond to her questions, as well as come up with my own for my nominees! It's good to do some self-reflection once in a while- you gotta know yourself! Thank you, Janna!

The Rules

1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

11 facts about me

1. Pink and purple are my favorite colors.  If you've spent any amount of time with me or perusing this blog, you probably already know that! 
2. I've never been skiing and am a total beach girl.  
3. I'm a native Texan and love living in Dallas/Fort Worth.  I'm not opposed to trying somewhere else someday, but so far, I've got everything I need and want right here. 
4. My beverage of choice is usually bubbly- champagne/prosecco.  Closely followed by a margarita, or a good glass of wine.    
5. Foods that I'd be more than happy to eat all the time- chips & salsa, sushi, and pizza. 
6. I love to travel, even if it's just a weekend roadtrip to another Texas city.  It's a big world out there, and we need to be reminded of all the beauty God has created for us. 
7. I rarely watch TV, but love to read when I actually make the time for it.  And I probably spend a little too much time on social media! 
8. I enjoy scary movies and ghost stories.  
9. I took dance and gymnastics and was in colorguard for 8 years, but never played sports. I don't think I was cut out for them!
10. No matter how many times I've tried, I pretty much lack the ability to blow a bubble with gum. 
11.  Sometimes I'm told that I'm "too nice," but I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  And I am extremely loyal to those I love. 

My Questions from Janna

1. Why do you blog? I have always loved to write, and blogging is a way for me to share this passion with the world, while "meeting" so many others who share this love with me!
2. What 3 people (fictitious or real) would you want to have lunch with? This has always been a hard question for me! Okay- Jesus, Ronald Reagan, and Ryan Gosling.  I hope I'd be having lunch with each of them separately, because that'd be an interesting mix!
3. If you could have any super power, what would it be and why? The ability to fly.  I sometimes dream about it!
4. What was your favorite cartoon as a kid? Hmm, I know I loved Tom & Jerry. 
5. Favorite movie of all time? Again, this is hard! I used to say The Notebook, but I really don't think I have a hands-down favorite at the moment!
6. Paperback or Kindle Fire or Nook? Why?  Well, my sweet friend Caroline just got me a Kindle so I'm exploring that option and it seems pretty cool! But I don't think I'll ever give up on paperback.  There's just something about holding a book in your hand and feeling the pages that you lose when you go electronic!
7. What is the best part of your day? Depends on the day! Probably in the late evening when I just have "me time" to relax and decompress from the day. 
8. Who has influenced you the most in your life? My parents.  They are amazing.  They've inspired me as individuals, and as a couple.  From Day 1 they've been a united team and the most incredible support system in my life. 
9. If you could back in time, where would you go?   The late 1800's, on a Southern plantation.  I've always been fascinated with the way people of the past lived day-to-day.  I used to think that meant I liked history, but I think sociology or anthropology might be a better way to describe it? 
10. What are your top 3 goals for 2013?  I have lots, so I'll list them all! Read at least 12 books this year. Work out four times per week.  Only go to Starbucks twice a week.  Only drink three Cokes a week.  Try something new and preferably out of my comfort zone. Spend less time on my iPhone. Continue to grow in my faith. And plan a trip somewhere fun. : )
11. What is your least favorite chore to do? Scrubbing the inside of the microwave.  It just grosses me out for some reason!


Questions for my Nominees

1. Describe your dream job. 
2. Morning person or night owl?
3. What would you choose to eat for your last meal? (or as my former co-worker used to ask, your "death row" meal. morbid, but you wouldn't believe the feasts we dreamed up!) 
4. Who is your celebrity crush?
5. What's the best book you've ever read?
6. Any trips planned for 2013?
7. Who do you admire most?
8.  If you could go back and re-live any part of your life, would you do it?  When would it be?
9. If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be?
10. Do you prefer dogs or cats? Or neither?
11. Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

V-Day Mug Swap

I'm a big fan of cute coffee mugs and have recently started collecting them during my travels.  And I also love meeting new friends and sending thoughtful presents, so I knew I had to participate in The Valentine Swap, hosted by Sew Caroline and Alissa @ Rags to Stitches
We were randomly paired with a partner to swap a cute mug, filled with something fun that they like.  My partner was Heidi at Antlers and Roses.  She lives out in California, and I enjoy reading her fashion posts and seeing the pictures on Instagram of her two precious children! 
Heidi sent me this mug that I LOVE.  Does it not just scream Valentine's Day, and really just a bright pick-me-up any old time?  I forsee a relaxing Saturday morning in the near future spent sipping the coffee Abi gave me in my new mug!
Check out all the other fun goodies Heidi included with the mug!
Don't worry, I've already put the heart-shaped ice cube trays to good use.  Combined with some pink food coloring, they were perfect in the mimosas that my roommate and I served at our Mary Kay party last weekend, and I have a feeling they may re-appear for our "single girls only" Valentine's Day party this evening!
Thanks for such a fun gift, Heidi!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Turn-ons & Turn-offs

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I've been thinking about what is attractive in a man, as well as the things that are deal-breakers.

[This post might as well be called- what I'm looking for, while also avoiding, in my search for Mr. Right]

  • Strong faith and firm morals.  This is first and foremost for me, and what really defines a person. 
  • Family oriented.  After my faith, family is the most important thing in the world to me. 
  • Intelligence. It's important for a man to be able to carry on intelligent conversations and keep up with what's going on in the world.   
  • Good sense of humor.  It's refreshing for someone to be able to see the fun in life and not always take everything so seriously. 
  • Sense of purpose and direction in life.  You never have it all figured out, but I am so much more intrigued, and confident in, a guy who knows what he wants to do with his life and is striving to achieve his goals. 
  • Ryan Gosling looks.  Just kidding.  But really, if you resemble my favorite celeb, you might score some extra points...


  • Smoking.  Sorry, but it's just a terribly unhealthy habit.  And don't even get me started on dipping...
  • Heavy drinking- frequently. I promise I like to have fun, but any man that parties hard night after night is just not for me.
  • Lack of ambition.  Don't really know what you want to do with your life? Aren't willing to work hard to get there?  I'm gonna have a hard time with you.  
  • Disrespectful to others. I pay close attention to how a guy talks about/to his family, friends, and even total strangers.  
  • Bad attitude.  I think of myself as a generally happy, positive person who appreciates the little things in life, so I'm drawn to someone who has a similar outlook. 
What have I left off of the list?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pretty Things

This was a lovely weekend filled with lots of pretty things, including plenty of pink! My favorite, of course.

My co-worker, Shelly, is expecting a baby girl next month, so her friends threw her a book shower at Rise, a Dallas favorite known for its souffles.  The weather outside may have been gloomy, but Shelly's creative friends made the table so cute, complete with quotes from children's books written on each of the placecards.

I was a major bookworm growing up and remember my parents reading to me night after night, so I loved picking out Courduroy, a favorite, for Shelly's baby girl, as well as a new book I'd never heard of.  I can't express enough how important I believe it is for parents to read to their children, starting with infancy.  A book shower will be a must for me someday!

Our work team

After the shower, I rushed home because my roommate and I were hosting a Mary Kay party! Pink-themed, of course. 

Our table

Who doesn't enjoy learning about skin care and playing in make-up?!  I usually stick to neutral eyeshaow and no lip color (just Chapstick, which I'm addicted to), but opted to try a "dramatic" look.  I ended up buying the eye shadow, so I may wear more color for special occasions now!

Friends pre-makeup... but still naturally gorgeous!

All done up and ready to go out!

In addition to playing in make-up, yesterday I got to watch my dear friend Morgan play dress up... and ultimately say "YES" to her wedding dress!  For years we have talked about our weddings someday, and I couldn't believe that I was really watching her pick out the dress that she will become a "Mrs." in!

Of course, a celebration was in order as she was leaving the boutique...

Was your weekend filled with pretty things, too? I sure hope so!

Friday, February 8, 2013

High Five for Friday


This week was a rollercoaster! Some not-so-good news mixed with plenty of good things too... such is life!

Here's a little look at some of those good things:





1) Bridesmaid dress shopping for my friend Sarah's wedding! It was like playing dress up, and we found the perfect dresses!
2) A huge bag of Sour Patch Kids and wine.  Guaranteed to make any day better.
3) I love February days that pretend to be spring.
4) Such a sweet package from my new blog friend Abi that I told you all about yesterday.
5) Adorable mug and package from Heidi as part of a V-day mug swap that I'll be blogging about next week!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine Gift Exchange 2013


One of the things I love most about the blogging world is meeting new people.  It is amazing how someone may live thousands of miles away from me and I've never met them in person, but through blogging, they become a friend to me, and someone I think about and pray for often.

I instantly felt a connection and found a new friend in Abi over at A Cup of Whimsy, who I was paired with for a lovely Valentine's Day link-up hosted by NicoleLaurenAlycia, and Ashlee.

It was too perfect that we were paired together.  Abi is a brand-new blogger, and I've only really been blogging regular for a couple of months, so we can relate.  I was instantly drawn to her friendliness as we chatted over email, her great sense of style and appreciation for pretty things and finding joys, and of course, her faith.  We shared our favorite things, and the lists were almost identical- pictures, making our apartments pretty, painting our nails, traveling, reading, blogging, and spending quality time with people.  If only we lived in the same state!

I told Abi that it was the first time I've ever mailed a package to Oregon, a state I've never visited and about which I have very limited knowledge.

Well, clever and thoughtful girl that she is, Abi put together a package of goodies that are relate back to Oregon in some way and kept a predominately purple theme throughout- she sure knows how to make me happy!  Did I mention that I love absolutely everything in the package? I told my mom that it's seriously me in a box!

For starters, everything was beautifully wrapped.  Purple and music paper?! I love.

The whole package!  Nail polish (PURPLE- can't wait to wear it; perfect for spring) purchased in Oregon, chocolate handcrafted in Portland (yum), coffee from a shop in downtown Corvallis, and a book from one of her favorite series with an author who used to live in Oregon.  Abi wrote me the sweetest note explaining the meaning of everything, which was such a personal touch that let me know just how much thought went into my Valentine's Day gift! 

Chocolate and sea salt? Yes please!

I will certainly treasure the notes she wrote me! I love the photos on them, and Abi wrote out Ephesians 3:14-21, which is such a beautiful reminder of God's truth and love. 

Abi, thank you so much for the thoughtful, beautiful gift! It is amazing how well you seem to know me already. : )  I hope you make it to Texas one of these days, because I would love to show you Dallas!

 You can check out my little package for Abi that she shared about here.

Happy almost Valetine's Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Some Days are Best Ended with Wine... and a Little Faith

Today was one of those days.

The ones that are just best ended with a glass of wine.  And a little faith that tomorrow will be better, and that soon you'll forget about what made up this not-so-great day.

Thank goodness God gives us far more wonderful days than hard ones!

In addition to wine and Sour Patch Kids (my guilty indulgence- who cares that they aren't supposed to be paired with wine?!), I plan to go to bed early tonight.  I'm a believer that laughter, a hot shower, and a good night's sleep can cure just about anything.

How do you end a less than stellar day?

Helene in Between

Friday, February 1, 2013

High Five for Friday


I've realized that linking up with Lauren for High Five for Friday has made me really look around to find all of the little joys in life- and then making sure I capture them!

Here's to the small wonders that surround us daily.  Happy Friday!

In case you didn't already know, I'm in love with my new couch, and our living room in general.  After a full week, I'm ready to spend some time just enjoying it this weekend.

Why yes, it was 77 degrees in January. And I loved it.  Definitely a fan of warm weather.  #TexasGirl

Lemon pepper salmon.  Delicious. I love trying new recipes for one.

Sweetest picture of my little sister and I.  Just re-discovered it and want to frame it somewhere!

My ring fling made it into the TCU Magazine! Such a fun story with a happy ending!