Tuesday, May 24, 2011

makeover mondays!

Okay....so just when I was on a pretty good blogging roll, life got busy.  Not so much busy, but full.  Full of the great stuff of life.  Between work, family activities, freezing fresh sweet corn, precious time with friends, bible studies,date nights, sleepovers, picking tomatoes, canning said tomatoes, and all the things that fill my life....I didn't find time to blog.  Major fail.  Actually, no regrets here.  I wouldn't trade a single minute.  So, let's dust off the cobwebs and get right to it, shall we?  :)

7 Ways to LIGHTEN UP your Monday

1. Lighten up your morning with a spot of tea!!  I have to admit, I am NOT a tea drinker, by choice.  But...lately I've been trying to limit my coffee intake and have made the switch to tea in the mornings.  I know.  It's crazy.  Two teas that I'm learning to enjoy (basically because I'm told they provide energy just like my friend Cuppa Joe) are Oolong and Yerba Mate'.  These are the brands I currently use.

 And...over the weekend my friend Jill introduced me to some of the best tea I've EVER tasted.  Seriously...it felt like all the flavor notes were dancing in my mouth.  It was insane!!  It's Cha Yen Thai Black Tea by Teavana.  Gotta get some of this stuff - it's amazing!  She brews it, sweetens it, and chills it. and it. is. good.  Get it at a Teavana store near you or visit www.teavana.com.

2.  Lighten up your home (if you have the space) with this firework!  This hanging light always catches my eye at Ikea and I want to take it home every time, but I have absolutely no working space to put it.  There's a downtown boutique that has it front and center in their entry way and it makes me happy every time I see it. 
3.  Lighten up your summer wardrobe with these cuties.  I love white and I love the femininity of breezy summer clothes.  These are a perfect accessory to any summer outfit.  I wear them all the time!  Pick up a pair from Stella and Dot.  Click here to visit my friend Carolyn's website to get your own pair.

4.  enLighten your Monday with special mementos.  (not to be confused with mentos candy)  Do you ever see something and instantly it takes you to a special place in your memory bank where you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  For some, it may be a photograph.  For others, it may be an heirloom that has been handed down from generations before.  My husband has a bible that his grandfather used during his sermons.  It includes notes in his own handwriting.  It's a special memento.  I think special mementos are neat.  They are not of utmost importance, but often serve as a reminder of people we've known, places we've been, or who we hope to become.  With the help etsy and my husband, I recently added this little memento to my charm necklace.  It's so special to me because it signifies a step on my life's journey.  I'll get a little honest here for a second and tell you that I am currently on a journey to get healthy and fit.   My goals are big, but my God is bigger.  He has been my strength through it all - all glory to Him!  This "50" charm signifies my first goal fulfilled - a 50 lb weight loss.  It's such a sweet reminder of God's goodness and faithfulness every time I look at it.  Take a little time and create your own special mementos for you and the ones you love!!

5.  Lighten up snack time with these kale chips.  I have to admit when I first heard about these things I was a little more than skeptical.  But in all honesty...these things are really good!!  Kale is a super hearty green that I believe is in the cabbage family.  It's super good for you - loaded with lots of nutrients!  Now don't be fooled - this is definitely a vegetable and doesn't taste "just like a potato chip only good for  you".  :)  (don't I wish!)  But it does cure the salty/crunchy cravings.

It's crazy how something that starts out like this
Can turn into this - salty and crunchy!
(these are the ones I made)

All you need is a bunch of kale, sea salt, and a little olive oil. You can experiment with different spices and seasonings as well.  Here's the recipe I followed, however instead of letting them bake for 15 minutes (like the recipe calls), I suggest checking them around the 10 minute mark and keep an eye on them.  Mine got a little dark.  These are definitely worth a try!  Enjoy!!

6.  Lighten up your day by....lightening up!  Haha!  Laughter really is good medicine and I've had a prescription since the day I was born.  :D  Humor abounds in my family, so laughter is never in short supply.  Good thing I married a man that appreciates my sense of humor and has a bit of his own to spare.  A great way to lighten up is to not take yourselaugh at yourself every now and then.  And what better way to laugh at yourself than with a random ridiculous picture

or two
or three

Oh my gracious...I could keep going here - that's the scary part!!  AND...these are all pictures I posed for, and in some cases, sent to people.  I may need help.  Haha!!  Go ahead.  Laugh at my expense.  I know I have.  ;)

7.  One last and final one (I'm about to get a little deep here) would be to WRITE.  Huh?  Yes.  You heard right.  When your Monday (or any day) has taken your emotions over the edge and you've reached the breaking point...write.  Let me explain.  Okay...I am not an avid journal-er (yes...it's a word...I'm like 20% sure).  Lately I've become a little more intent on journaling and I love it.  When I'm going through a tough time, a major change, or a time of incredible breakthrough - sometimes it just helps to write about it.  Not for someone to read (gasp!), but simply for me to do something with my thoughts.  A lot of times my thoughts become prayers and I begin to pour it all out to Jesus with every stroke of the pen.  There's just something about the written word.  I think our thoughts and emotions need a place to land and my journal has provided that place for me.  Just recently I picked up an old journal that I knew held some pretty deep things inside.  In it were thoughts and feelings that only God knew.  I was only ambitious enough to write 2 entries in that journal and then I put it on the shelf and never touched it again.  It was a pretty journal too...my favorite color, green.  I remember it catching my eye at the store and knowing I had to have it.  In the back of my mind I knew why I had started this journal.  (I'll try to explain without going into great detail)  I had been in a place of extreme desperation.  That first journal entry was me crying out for help.  The kind of help only God could deliver.  And that meant laying all my baggage bare before Him and letting it land smack dab on the pages of my journal.   Let me tell you....I honestly felt better after, (by the end of the entry I was actually joyful) but it wasn't an altogether happy journal entry that I planned on reading every day.  In fact, I didn't know if I ever wanted to read it again.  I mean, imagine picking up a beautiful book, opening it, and finding someone had vomited all over the forward.  Ga-ross!!  (sorry for that awesome mental picture) That's what it felt like to me.  In a nutshell...not a fun read.  Anyhoo....yesterday I felt it was time to open it.  I read it.  All of it.  And instead of heaviness and pain, what I felt was freedom and joy.  As I kept reading, I knew that the person who had written those early words was not the same person who was reading them now.  It was liberating!!  Because let me tell you, I could visibly see evidence of a life changed by Christ!!  Amen??  AMEN!!  Answer to prayer!!!  In that first entry, I saw the beginning stages of change.  A heart desperate for it.  Crying out for it.  He is faithful.  I don't fear those words on the pages anymore - this journal has a story to tell and God's not done writing it on my heart.  God has me on an incredible journey (I'm only a part of His ultimate story) and all the glory belongs to Him.  What started as a simple journal entry that seemed to go nowhere, God used as a catalyst to the faith he wanted to build in me.  And when our faith is strengthened in Him..everything feels lighter!!

A brand new journal entry

Isaiah 40:31
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." 

1 comment:

heather said...

Awesome Jessica!! I'm so proud of you and your "50" lb. weight loss. Adorable charm!!! Love your journal idea...I've done that on and off....and I know if I'd start up, I'd be better for it. I love writing my prayers out too. Love you Cuz! <3