This Little Light

Something positive has changed in me. And I can’t tell if it’s going to stick around for a while or not, but it’s a good energy that I need right now in my life. And I think it has something to do with faith.

Faith has contemporarily become a word associated with foolishness. Whether it’s faith in a higher power, yourself, love… If you aren’t “realistic” about things then you are a fool.

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But, what then do we owe our own feelings late at night when we are all alone. We must cope, yes, with faith and hope, but this is beyond seeing things with a silver lining or getting over the hurt of a painful relationship experience. Faith and hope are truly ways of life. Whatever your religion (or non-religion) may be, accepting faith in what you believe gives you strength, but you must also accept that there is a positive outcome to things. (and it is my hope that you have a faith in something that brings you goodness and joy… and hope of everlasting life. That pardons your sins and delights in you completely…JESUS!)

It has taken me 27 years to understand this. Am I explaining it well enough? Probably not, but let’s talk about it!

It hurts me to see so much cynicism in our daily lives. People being critical of themselves and others, people bearing their hearts out about their body image because they think they owe it to the world to give the world an explanation of who they are.

YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. Have faith in who you are, and hope. Know that you have talents and a purpose here on this amazing Earth and you do not owe anyone an excuse of who you are or what you do. Answering you call is the best thing you can do for yourself. It has taken me many years to decide and realize this. That I have talents and that I can enjoy something I never thought that I would.

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Now, DO NOT let me have you fooled that if you have faith and hope alone everything good will come to you, but it has definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things, and for now it’s intangible. I just have a much more euphoric feeling about life.

I still battle with hurdles. Chronic fatigue, for example, mostly likely onset by stress and little sleep. I eat and sleep my college and work, but my attitude keeps me going, and my faith has been giving me a brighter attitude lately.

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Thank you for letting me share this personal message. I hope that no one is offended and that I made sense, but then again, this isn’t for everyone to accept because I accept myself and so does my higher power.

God Bless.

 

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Lust List: March ’16 Edition

Well friends, in my last post I shared a fabulous table I purchase with the help of an amazing little blessing.. So, basically, all of my farmhouse decor wishes were answer…

HA!

Of course I’m always thinking of what else I could possibly have to bring me to the level of white and farmhouse I’m searching for.

I have not yet purchased anything from my January Lust List, but in the last two months I’ve had a lot of time to window shop! My goal again is to create a list of someday items that I have a good feeling about and others that I could purchase next paycheck if I so desired… I tend to get distracted at Hobby Lobby though!

1. Galvanized Pedestal/Cake Stand

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I have seen several variations of these. This set is from Antique Farmhouse and the solo one is available at World Market. I can see placing a white pitcher full of lavender or wheat on it. It would be great in the awkward corner of the kitchen.

2. Metal Laundry Basket

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As far as design and function go, I think it would be nice to have a laundry basket that is kept in the laundry room to help on big laundry days when there is lots of sorting and overflow to deal with. I would really like to have one of those vintage style ones that have legs to bring the clothing up higher, but they are pricey. There are also many other places to by this style of laundry basket, but at less than $20, Walmart wins.

(Speaking of the laundry room, I can’t wait to share mine with you all! We are making some progress!)

3. Accordion Drying Rack

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Farm life has it’s perks… And one of those pastoral/not so realistic ones for the modern woman is drying clothes on a clothesline. Yes of course we have one, but I am rarely home during the day to dry things outside. My life is sporadic and I often have to do laundry when it’s inconvenient to use the clothesline. I work 9-6, Tuesday-Saturday… My Sundays are split between playtime and housework, so the clothesline will get used some, this is just another option that will get use A LOT. I’m VERY thankful my someday mother-in-law is helping me get this in the laundry room.

4. New Bedding

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I am inspired by this photo for my bedding. I just love how simple it is. No fuss, except to keep the dog from snagging the threads! This creamy quilt will work nicely to throw my current duvet over in the winter. I’m hoping to find a nice big chunky afghan for accent at the foot of the bed. Some pillowcases with a small amount of frill such as crochet or a very simple linen ruffle… ahhh farmhouse heaven!

5. Small Flower Pots

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I’m hoping to grow maybe 3 herbs in the kitchen this summer: Basil, Oregano, and Chives…? I haven’t really decided yet! But these little pots are available at my favorite shop in town! You can also find them at Farmhousewares.com. Or perhaps I will decide on different pots to plant my herbs in, but these are definitely darling!

 

Lilacs & Honeysuckle

And just like that it was time to brighten things up around the farmhouse and celebrate spring and the resurrection. A little here, a little there.

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Don’t tell anyone, but Im starting to get fond of this ugly old headboard. It’s become quite the work-horse! Alas, I must wait to find the right furniture for this room because after a few months or so it will be serving as our dining room! No sense rushing out to find something for a space you can’t predict.

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Again, I just love using printables and whatever scrapbook paper is around to give them a personal touch. The dandelion print was a gift, the fauna were thrifted many moons ago and the white deer is definitely in my top ten of favorite things to decorate with.

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The mossy friends have been EVERYWHERE in the farmhouse circle. Grabbed the last two at my local Hobby Lobby. Score. Wood candle holders and hobnail candle are from The Faithful Farmhouse, a local shop that sells handmade items like my GIANT gather sign in the kitchen as well as many items from Creative Co-op.

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This tray in the kitchen is always the most fun and easy to fix up! I love the ease of using my everyday pieces and mixing in a few small seasonal things.

I created this embroidered image myself. Back when Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros had just come out with this song and I was swooning. Times were so different then! I was Tumblr-in’…#hipster much? Things never change… I still love my pretentious records!

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I decided to give the classic blue color a try for the mason jar. I saw some of the “eggs in a jar” at Hobby Lobby and thought eh, I can make up my own! Burlap plant is The Faithful Farmhouse.

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In the spring, lilac is an absolute must for me. Nothing brings back such tender wonder-filled memories as the scent of lilacs. We had a row of them in our backyard in the part of the yard I call ed my secret garden. Next would have to be the honeysuckle in grandpa’s backyard.

Again with the printable, and behold: deer shed! I knew eventually I would get my hands on some. This piece was given to me as a hat for my dog… My boss is hilarious.

The small moss bunnies and nests are from Hobby Lobby and they are just the perfect size to tuck into the nooks and crannies. Again I wasn’t trying to go too overboard with the Easter/Spring stuff… Michael is probably like “What is with all the froofroo stuff?!” These little guys were actually plant fronds…? If thats what they are called… They are made to be stuck into floral arrangements. So, I took the long wires off or curled them around under and voila!

I feel like the most blessed person right now. Even amidst my trivial trials I see so many good little things that happen in my life and find myself quietly saying “Thank goodness for…”

This last weekend I was the first prize winner of a gift certificate to my FAVORITE store in Dodge, Boot Hill Antiques! (Where The Faithful Farmhouse is). So I thought it was a sign to go ahead and buy the one purchase I NEVER thought I would be able to, and probably still shouldn’t have, but eh… Go with it when it’s good!

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So I feel like I am a giant leap closer to something. The look I want to achieve? SOMETHING. An man… There’s some major curving in these photos. I guess I will start looking into wide angle lenses… Sheesh…

Have a blessed week everyone and HAPPY SPRING!

Lucky, Blessed

It’s way over due, but I had to share this years St. Paddy’s decor. This is the first time I have ever decorated for St. Pat’s and, unless I have a good handful of people over, i will probably keep it at a minimum! I’m definitely beginning to get “holiday-ed” out!

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But as I am a wee bit Irish myself, I must partake in the observance of it.

I’m not downing kegs of green beer, but I like to play with all of the traditions, and every year I learn a little bit more.

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I love that this holiday is really more of an Irish-American phenomenon. The foods we eat are not generally prominent in Ireland. There’s a ton of comparisons and facts online. BUT… whether we are talking true Irish or Irish-American aren’t all of us irish and part Irish people a little bit of both? We have ancestors from the mother land and those that came here, I mean that’s how we ended up here after all!

So YES! EAT the eats, DRINK the drinks, and WEAR the GREEN!

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The food I made was a fiasco that I don’t really wish to reflect on, but we DID eat Corned Beef and Cabbage, Soda Bread, and Bread Pudding. I also have a ton of recipes for the future to sprinkle into every day life. I can’t believe I haven’t tried making Shepard’s Pie yet!

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When decorating I am a HUGE fan of free printables on Pinterest! I do NOT claim this print as my own, but it is easy to find there and adds some instant charm and fills up a good amount of decorative space. Makes them however big or little you need and jazz them up. I may start keeping a folder of them all together for easy access.

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So whether the meal was a fiasco or not, I still feel so blessed. I get excited when I am able to claim my own heritage. We spend so much time learning about the importance of diversity and immersing ourselves into other cultures, but we should definitely reflect on our own as well! The banner I made up above was done using some antique postcard images found online and washi taped to some spare paper and then taped to twine. I love a quick and dirty DIY!

Irish blessings to you through the year!

Running Record Resolution

I’m back with another resolution update. I hate to leave everyone hanging, it has been som e times since my last post, but I also try not to constantly post OOTD/Update type stuff… I like stuff with real substance, but then what would a blog be with out a real person behind it?!

So here’s another update of a different kind!

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I mentioned that fitness is always a part of renewing myself or personal growth, especially in the new year. Normally I keep plans and goals that are risky to myself. I’m afraid of be scoffed or failing, or worse… scoffed into failing! But I have learned that there is a great freedom in being open with your goals, and it is humbling to fail and try again.

Last year I did a fair amount of working out. I decided to try to embrace the gym. Oh, man do I really love lifting weights! I really do! But I did not like it enough to continue after my membership expired. There was something about spending an hour or more with all kinds of grunting sweaty strangers that were using all of the things you wanted to. There was something difficult about thinking of what were the right exercises to be performing and reps and sets. There was something exhausting about planning my day around all of it and not seeing results as fast as you wished. I can truly appreciate the sport because I have given it an Ashley try. I commend weight lifters and body builders. You have strength, focus, drive, and patience.

So here I am. Avoiding a yoga class that I am afraid will cost me our the ying-yang and that I will end up not liking… And I put on my running shoes instead.

I looked at the amazing past progress I had made on Nike+, then the coach feature of the app. A beginner 10K program that took 8 weeks. I looked up a race that was a little over 8 weeks out and set up my program and did it. I’m just doing it. I am only in the 3rd week, so I might be getting my hopes up. But Ashley really is a runner. She just never felt confident enough to call herself one until now.

Funny things always happen when you make a choice like this in your life. Here I was worried about paying so much for memberships… My Lunar Flyknits have 13 miles on them according to Nike+ and they are clapped. They probably have more than 13, but not 250!

So yes, of course I got some new shoes! My ankles were bleeding and me feet were so sore. So… here I am still spending money, but there is something different about doing it for something that you love. Whether the love is in the moment or not. I’m about as impulsive as a Taurus gets! Good news is I am feeling NO pain in the side of my knee now!

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How’d my very first run go?

I felt terrible. I felt worse starting out than I can ever remember starting out before. I am officially getting older and it’s time that I take charge of my health and not take such a long break between. I hadn’t been to the gym since AUGUST! What was my excuse all winter? I was working full time, going to school…But I was giving up. I felt I had done all that I could do. Here I am, full time with two internships and trying to kill it. I guess some desperate times make you finally reach for a little salvation.

So running has always been there for me. I’ve been running since the 7th grade. But for the first time in my life, I feel like I am there for running too. Looking back at these photos I am so impressed with what I have accomplished in the last 3 weeks!

So yes, while I wish I had the money and time to blog about nothing other than home decor and crafts, I am a real person, trying really hard to better themselves in more areas than one! This Taurus is a jack of all trades! I can’t wait to share more with you. A progress update before I get to sure of myself about this race! Yes, I’m still nervous!

Are any of you runners? What are your favorite ways to stay healthy?