Thursday, September 24, 2015

24 | Top 5 Blogs

I've been so excited for this post! I've had it written for a few days, because I didn't want to worry about writing on my birthday, so there's that.

I'm not sure if it's Kosher or not...but one of my favorite blogs, which is now private, is going to be included in this list. Maybe I'll add 6 total so that you don't feel gypped.

1 |
Aubrey is one of my best friends. I love that she's serving Jesus and she's following His calling on her life. She's teaching English in Bangkok, Thailand right now and I'm living vicariously through her. She's got a heart for people and for serving. Go check her out. And you'll see my post there from yesterday!

2 | Camp Patton
Grace is a momma of 5 children, ages 5 & under. She's snarky, sassy, & absolutely hilarious. I've been reading her blog for the last few years. Unfortunately, her blog has recently become a private blog. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will be back to the web-o-sphere sometime in the future.

3 | The Life of Bon
Bonnie is a wife, momma, & English teacher. We share 2 of those 3 characteristics and I hope that we will share all 3 one day. I love reading her stories about what has worked for her in class and what hasn't. I also adore hearing about her sweet family and the projects that are going on around her house. Check her out.

4 | The Fisk Files
Britt has one of the sweetest spirits. Her writing really expresses her heart and love for her family and others. She's a momma to 4 and #5 is on the way! I love seeing photos of her sweeties.

5 | Words that Sing
Kelsey is a momma and a former English teacher. Funny enough, she went to college with my sister-in-law! That connection was fun to make! She's sweet, lovely, and all around a very real person who shares what's on her heart. And if you're in her area and looking to have photos taken, she's your lady!

6 | The Girl in the Red Shoes
Julie has the prettiest red hair and the sweetest children! Hudson & Sadie are such sweet little things! I love reading about her life adventures and she just makes me smile. Say hi!

What blogs do you like reading?

Brave Love Blog

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

23 | Guest Post by Aubrey

Today you'll have a chance to read Aubrey's words about our friendship. And because I can't keep to myself...I'll be throwing in my 2 cents. That being said, I answered the same questions over on her blog. Check it out!

And away we go...

How did we meet? We met at an InterVarsity Christmas party my fourth (her third) year of college. We were at Eric and Lyndsey’s apartment and somehow ended up duct taped together. I think we became friends mostly over texts and cat videos, but I suppose our common faiths, majors, and love of road trips kept us going as well.  --It's me, Kelly. I'll be the purple one. Go see Aubrey's blog to see photographic evidence of us duct taped together.

How old is Aubrey/Kelly? When is her birthday? Kelly is currently 2* (a woman never reveals her age, sheesh!) and will turn 2*+1 on September 24. That's tomorrow!

Where does she currently live? She currently lives in a house with a lovely olden charm in Grand Forks, ND.

What is her dream job? Kelly’s dream job is to be a mama who runs a cupcake business on the side.

What was her first job? Her first job was at the Dairy Queen (or A&W?) in Fosston. False, my first job was technically at the Dollar Store in Fosston. DQ was my second. :)

What is her shoe size? 9. I think. Most days. Sometimes 9 1/2 or 10.

What is her favorite color? Red. I should know this but I don’t. False again. Purple.
What is her favorite book? Does Kelly have just one favorite book? I’m going to say To Kill a Mockingbird because it’s the good English major (now English teacher!) answer. Good answer.
What is her favorite (non-alcoholic) drink? An iced Americano, two pumps hazelnut with a splash of cream. Hazelnut? Seriously? Barf. 1 pump sugar free vanilla. It's okay, I forgive you. Just remind me to not let you order me coffee.
What is her favorite cosmetic item? Mascara. Sure? I don't wear much makeup. I do love me some Essential Oils though. Want some? Let me know!
What is her favorite TV show? Psych or Arrested Development. Two of the best!
What is her favorite dessert? Cupcakes! Kelly loves cupcakes! Woohoo!
What is her favorite season? What’s her favorite thing about that season? Fall because she loves the scarves, skinny jeans, chunky sweaters, and lovely coffee drinks to match!

What was her high school mascot? The Greyhounds, of course! Aubrey, you love playing the "Guess that school's Mascot" game!
What is her favorite restaurant? Darcy’s Cafe or Parrot’s Cay, I’d say. (Look at all that rhyming!)

What is her favorite movie? She’s the Man I really do love it.
Who is her celebrity crush? Ryan Reynolds? Liam Hainsworth? So many choices!

What are Kelly & Aubrey most likely to do on a night together? We are most likely to go grab half price apps, take a lovely evening drive, and then come back and crash for a movie, all while treasuring the few minutes we are in the same place at the same time.

What keeps them being friends? As above, mostly texting, now ridiculous memes instead of cat videos, and our common faiths, now occupations, and love of road trips kept us going.

What is your favorite memory with Aubrey/Kelly? Honestly, the little life moments with Kelly are my favorite. I thrive off of quality time spent with people so the times that Kelly and I have been able to just kick back and do life, whatever that may mean at the time, are what I treasure most. I have many memories of late nights spent talking and/or eating HApps (half price apps, for the non-lingo savvy), planning shenanigans, and just dreaming of what life is and could be-- all of which I treasure with this sweet gal! 

It's me again. Thank you, Aubrey for sharing with us today! This was fun...I'd love to have more guest posts. Just let me know! My post for tomorrow is ready to no blogging on birthdays for this girl! Happy Wednesday!

Brave Love Blog

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

22 | Creativity is a jerk

When you think of creativity, what do you think of? Like today's prompt, most people think of things like drawing, painting, dancing, playing/performing music, etc. Now, I feel that I'm a pretty creative person. Oddly enough, I don't draw, paint, dance, or play/perform music particularly well.

Here's about how good my drawings are:

The most unfortunate part about this "drawing"....I created it on Google Drawings. Which means the head and eyes and shoes are way better than I can actually make.

But, just because I can't do these things doesn't mean I'm not creative, right?

This is what I consider myself creative at:

You tell me. Is this considered creativity?


Thursday, September 17, 2015

17 | Obsessions? Please.

What current obsessions am I dealing with right now? Well, depending on the time of year, I'm obsessed with coffee. Who am I kidding? I drink coffee like it's going out of style.

Right now I'm watching Pretty Little Liars...and even though I don't love it like I love Psych or Arrested Development or even The OC, I've become hooked. Oops.

I'm obsessed with these jeans from Old Navy:

And this sweater is super comfy too:

So really, I'm just like any other white girl in North Dakota. Skinny jeans and oversized sweaters. Now the only other thing I need is a PSL.

Kidding. I'll never have a Pumpkin Spice Latte, even if you paid me.

What are you obsessed with right now??

Brave Love Blog

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

16 | The Real Deal

Today's prompt for the Brave Love Blog Blogtember Challenge is "[t]he real you vs. the online you. Are they the same or different?"

I really would love to say a little of both. But I cannot in good conscience say that I'm the same online as I am in person. But in the same breath, I cannot say that I'm different either.

Here's the thing. What I post is real life. Sometimes I choose to not post about the dirty, the gritty, or the otherwise unpleasant. I don't write about the #dirtypics part of my life. Kelsey has some great posts about that part of life that we tend to not share online.

Aside from that, what you see is what you get. But by no means am I perfect. I don't post the #dirtypics on Instagram. I don't rant on Facebook. But I do love my job. I adore my husband and family. 

So, I'll let you judge for yourselves. Am I the same person in real life that I am online? If you don't know me in real life yet, let's talk. Find me here, here, or here.

Brave Love Blog

Saturday, September 12, 2015

12 | Currently...

The fall right around the corner, here are a few things that are currently going on around our neck of the woods. *Yes, I'm from the sticks. Deal with it.*

Reading... The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci. My friend Sue lent it do me over the summer and I'm just now finally getting around to reading it.
Playing... my Film Scores station on Pandora.
Watching... Pretty Little Liars and Psych. PLL is a show I just started on the recommendation of a friend and Kyle and I are just rewatching Psych, because...Psych. Also, Gus' nicknames?
Trying... to stay on top of grading. I love my job, but I do not love the grading aspect.
Cooking... healthier meals. I've completed a few cycles of 21 Day Fix and we've I've realized that we both need to eat healthier more consistently.
Crafting... birthday gifts for some sweet friends.
Eating... spinach dip I found at SAMs Club. Yum.
Drinking... lots of water and coffee.
Calling... my mom to figure out when she and Grandma are coming next week.
Texting... Aubrey all of the time. She's in Bangkok, so it's so great to connect with her daily.
Pinning... cupcake and frosting recipes. I love baking long as I don't eat them all.
Tweeting... about my book as a part of our book talk project in class.
Going... to the 2015 UND Potato Bowl Parade with some friends!
Loving... each new season in our home.
Hating... that my tomatoes haven't ripened yet!
Discovering... that the older I get, the more I appreciate the people I've held close.
Thinking... about how to make my curriculum engaging and challenging for my students. Suggestions?
Feeling... like I don't have enough time to get everything done I'd like to.
Hoping (for)... a productive school year for myself and my students.
Listening (to)... the sounds of fall. I love the crispness in the air.
Celebrating... friendships with some wonderful friends!
Smelling... coffee. All day, erry day.
Ordering... too many treats from Bath and Body Works.
Thanking... our friends for supporting us in this time in our lives.
Considering... what our next projects are for our house.
Starting... to clean our room and our kitchen. Our next big project is to paint our kitchen cabinets and walls.
Finishing... putting our basement living space back together so it's not so kitty whompus. mom's birthday gift...from May. Oops!

Check out Brave Love Blog for more Currently posts!
And Happy Saturday!

Blogtember Challenge 2015. Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. Day 5. Day 6. Day 7. Day 8. Day 9. Day 10. Day 11.  

Friday, September 11, 2015

11 | Friday Night In

I haven't linked up with A. Liz Adventures for her Five on Friday posts in a while. So while I'm working on my Sept. 11, Blogtember Challenge post, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.

One  |  Pizza
We truly having a night in tonight. One of my favorite Friday night traditions is making homemade pizza for Kyle. I'm not a true master chef...I don't make my own crust. I don't make my own sauce from my tomatoes from my garden. But I do make a mean Margherita pizza. And unfortunately fortunately for you, my recipe will be up in the coming weeks. *clap clap clap*

The traditional Margherita pizza is made with tomato sauce, but I've opted for the kind that looks more like this. Mostly because we love olive oil and garlic so much. But also because I don't eat fresh tomatoes unless they're in fresh salsa (pico) or on this pizza.

Oh. And we make it on our grill.

Two |  Friends

What is a Friday night without friends? More often than not, we invite people over for supper on Fridays because we know what we're making and we don't have much planning that has to go into it. We already know that we're going to make two pizzas. Since we know we're going to have plenty of food, why not have people over? 

One thing we've really loved about having our house, is that we are able to entertain company and not feel like we're filling up the entire place. Yeay for a wonderful dining room table that seats eight!

Three |  Coffee
We are suckers for coffee. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Coffee Company has the best coffee. Ever!

Sarah roasts her own beans and usually a few times during the week. That being said, the beans are never more than 14 days old. They'll even ship the beans to you! AND! If you order on Mondays and buy two pounds, you'll get your second pound for 1/2 the price! Woohoo!
*No, Sarah does NOT pay me to say these things. I just really love their coffee.* and order. 701-772-1995

We will make coffee to go with our conversation and maybe our...
Four |  Dessert
I'm not sure if you know this or not. But I love to bake. If you've read this blog here before, you may have seen some cupcakes. I try to post recipes as I'm able and as I've found one I love. But, I've been going back to my same-old, same-old chocolate cupcakes lately. But tonight, a new type of cupcakes will be made for our company. 

Stay tuned...I'll share! If you're on Instagram, make sure to follow me over there. I'll be adding photos as the cupcakes are done. 

Five |  Games
Kyle and I are also big fans of games. We tend to play Hand and Foot quite a bit. We also love Rook. But don't think we're so shallow to only associate with card games.

A friend introduced us to Ticket to Ride, we play Settlers of Catan quite a bit too. If you play card and/or board games, come over for a visit. Odds are, we'll pull our decks of cards out and offer to play anything else with you. 

Got a good board game? Let me know. We're always looking for good games. 

Our Friday nights usually look different, but we do love a good night in. If you have any suggestions on how to improve our Fridays in, shoot me an email or contact me via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook too!

Happy Friday!  

Brave Love Blog 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

5 | What does music say?

Since I haven't listened to my iTunes or iPod in ages, I've decided that instead I'm going to list 10 7 songs from my stations on Pandora that I'm really digging right now. Or that I've been digging lately.

One I See Fire--Ed Sheeran

Kyle and I are big fans of LOTR and The Hobbit. We watched the entire LOTR trilogy in our apartment in CO during our honeymoon. No joke. And the three years that The Hobbit movies were released during the Christmas holiday? We went with Kyle's dad every year. Big fans.

Two Down to the River to Pray--Alison Krauss

This song frequently pops up on my CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) station. I'm not sure what it is, but I love Alison Krauss. Maybe it's her voice?

Three Down On The Corner--CCR

Who doesn't love some good ole CCR? Their Pandora station is playing on my computer as we speak write. There's just something about their vibe. MMM.

Four Bad Blood--T Swift

Kyle hates that I listen to T-Swift, but that doesn't stop me. I still listen to her music and I still want 1989 for my birthday. No, I'm not hinting...directly. I could probably find tickets to her concert in Fargo next month, but I'm too cheap.

Five Honey I'm Good--Andy Grammer

This song just makes me want to get up and dance. It almost reminds me of this song. Amiright?

 Six Boy from Ipanema--Diana Krall

 Kyle added this song to our Wedding Reception playlist. 

Seven A Wink and a Smile--Harry Connick Jr.

Because, Harry Connick Jr.

And as much as I want to share the last three...I really can't come up with any more right now. My music style & taste is kind of all over the board. If you really want to know what I like or if you have suggestions, please send them my way! Email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram me and we'll get to be friends.

Check out the other participants' playlists over at Brave Love Blog for some more inspiration! 

Brave Love Blog

10 | 30 by 30 .:. An Update

So with this Blogtember Challenge over at Brave Love Blog, I've been tryyyying to get these days done. I'm far far behind, but I'm working to get caught up. I'm going to give you 10 of my items off of my 30 by 30 list. My idea came from Aubrey, who is so good at updating hers.

Here are 10 things from my list.

3. Become more active (by using the C25K program) and be at my goal weight
  I've decided that I don't have to use the C25K program. We bought a gym membership, so I'm currently working toward that goal weight.

4. Read 100 new books.
  --This year my goal is 24 books total...I'm not quite there yet, and by not quite there, I mean nowhere close.
  1. Twisted (Laurie Halse Anderson), 2. The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams), 3. Flight (Sherman Alexie), 4. The Princess Bride (William Goldman)

9. Send out Christmas cards every year (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

10. Read through the Bible with Kyle

11. Bake "just because" cupcakes for people 8 times (twice per year)
     One done! Will & Vicki's house when we went out for supper (8/30/15)
12. Make salsa with the tomatoes from our garden

14. Create a cookbook for both sides of my family (mom's & dad's sides)

15. Compile 100 new recipes that our family LOVES & put them into a database

16. Visit & review all of the local restaurants and businesses in town with our friends

26. Build something for our house--by myself! (a shelf, a cupboard, a table, etc)

What do you have on yours?

Brave Love Blog

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9 | Dear Sixteen Year Old Me

This letter to my sixteen year old self is coming at an appropriate time since my birthday is mere weeks away. Enjoy.

Hello little girl,

You just turned sixteen and you're pumped. Trust me, I remember. Whatever you do, don't forget to enjoy the time you have with your friends, love fiercely, and don't care what anyone else thinks or says about you. Life is short and you have so much left to live. Also, your future husband isn't who you're dreaming about right now. Get over him.

This year you will play lots of volleyball, get a job, get your drivers' license, and lose a close friend. You will laugh and enjoy your time on and off the court with your friends. You and your best friends will fight over stupid things. You will finally have your license and drive into the ditch on your way to church. It was slippery! Have fun with all of this. Laugh. Love. Make sure to cherish the time you have. Go snowboarding. Don't wait until "next year." You won't have the same people around next year.

Show the people around you that you care about them. Don't assume your siblings know that you love them. They really might not. There will be a day when you wish you'd have listened to me. Honest. Don't waste the time you have now to build your friendships (yes, you can be friends with your brother and sister). There will be a day in the not too distant future when you won't talk to any high school friends. It's coming. Prepare.

Finally, don't care what everyone else thinks of you. No, you won't know about the parties when you're in High School. You're going to be so busy with sports, work, and youth group that you'll hear about the parties after the fact. You won't even be invited to your Senior Class Party. You'll be sad and hurt for a while, but you'll survive. You'll even laugh about it one day. Choose the things and the people that you invest in carefully. You've got one life to live. Make sure you live it well.

You have no idea how much time and energy you're wasting on people who don't matter. Enjoy your time in YLI. Invest in those people. Don't worry about boys. You'll end up with the perfect man for you. He will be your first true boyfriend and he will woo you. He'll ask your dad if he can date you. He will make you food (don't worry, he'll let you make the food once you're married). He will pursue Jesus and long to grow old with you. Don't be anxious. But enjoy the time you have. Enjoy the people you're with. Your life won't look like you've always imagined, but it will be wonderful.

Enjoy your now, love fiercely, and be you.

Your 25 year old self

This is me (at 17? I couldn't find a 16 one...) and one of
my best Aussie friends, Alannah. Miss you! xx

Head over to Brave Love Blog to link up!

Brave Love Blog

Friday, September 4, 2015

4 | My passions.

Today's prompt is to explain what I'm passionate about. And I don't know about you, but that's really tough for me. My passions are extremely varied and sometimes I have a difficult time deciphering between things I love to do and others that I would call a passion.

How do I decide where my passions lie and what I simply love?

To me, passion and love vary. They vary in that if I'm passionate about something, I do love it. I long to make time for this passion each and every day.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines passion (v.):

         a. To excite or imbue with passion; to excite

What truly excites me?

 I am truly excited to spend time with my husband. I'm excited about spending time with my family. I long to show them how much I love them.  

 But what really is my passion?

 I think it's investing in others. What do I do when we've had multiple nights at home, just the two of us? I ask Kyle if we can invite someone over for supper. 

 I love to cook, but I don't invite people over because I think I'm a wonderful cook and that they'll love my food. I invite people over because I long to know them and their hearts. I long to invest in their lives. If I can put a meal in their belly and hopefully warm their hearts, I feel like I'm doing my job. If others can know that I care about them, I've fulfilled my calling.

 I believe that my calling is to invest in others. God knows what He's doing and He put that desire in my heart for a reason. 

 I also believe that He called me into teaching to invest in the lives of my students. I work at an alternative school where many students long to have someone invest in them. If I can show them that I care about them instead of only my curriculum, I've done my job. I don't desire to just teach English. I desire to teach students

 Who knows, my passions might change and God's calling on my life might change. But until that happens, I'll live in peace knowing that I'm called to invest in those around me.


Check out Brave Love Blog for more updates on the 2nd Annual Blog-tember Challenge 


Thursday, September 3, 2015

2 | My Perfect Day

Well...Aubrey already stole the cinematic reference I was going to use. So I guess I just have to be all practical and follow the rules like the rule follower I am.

Who am I kidding?! Click on the link under "cinematic reference" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Sorry, Aubrey. I had to!

But for reals now. I was just talking to my students yesterday about my perfect day. Granted, my front porch would have to be finished just the way we are dreaming about, but I digress.

I'd love to have a day where I can wake up on my own around 7 o'clock or 7:30am and shower and walk downstairs to a house that's completely put together. I know, it sounds menial so far, but if you saw our'd understand. It's a "work in progress".

I would make a carafe of The Coffee Company's Cowboy or Colombian French and sit on my front porch. While on my front porch, I'd sip my coffee and read. I would do my devos for the day, followed by reading my current book.

I wouldn't need to care about cooking for other people (unless I wanted to). I wouldn't need to worry about going anywhere or seeing anyone. I could just be.

Some days I feel like I don't have enough time to just be and that can be hard. I'm a naturally extroverted person. But when I am looking forward to my time, I begin to crave it.

What about you? What's your perfect day like?

Linking up with The 2nd Annual Blog-tember Challenge over at Brave Love Blog.

Brave Love Blog

Blogtember Challenge 2015. Day 1.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

1 | Who Am I?

It appears that I'm a day late and more than one dollar short. Woof.

Who am I?

My name is Kelly and I'm a twenty something Minnesota native, currently calling North Dakota "home". I'm a wife to a North Dakota native, who loves it here and currently has no thoughts on leaving the Midwest.

I teach English to 16, 17, 18 (and sometimes 19 & 20) year olds. I love what I do and I hope and pray that I make an impact in some of their lives. I believe that teaching isn't solely about the curriculum, it's about showing students how to think, communicate, grow, and be good people.

My husband and I are new-ish homeowners  and there's not much that beats coming home from work to my (usually messy) home!

I have a passion for anything alive, including (but not limited to) people, (other people's) pets, plants, MY GARDEN!, etc.

I've been passionate about plants and gardening for a good long while. I grew up in a town of 1500 where my English teacher also happened to be my choir teacher AND boss at the local greenhouse. She instilled in me a love and knowledge of plants that has continued to grow as I moved away from home and started my own garden.

My garden is full of tomatoes...and I hate them.
My heart gets glad every time I can pick something from my garden. (cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers, peas, potatoes, etc)
Even when it's hot, I love going outside to look at my plants.
I especially love looking at how my garden has changed from the moment I planted my first seeds on my kitchen table to the enormous tomato plants that reach my shoulders.

I love coffee and Jesus.
    Jesus wins every time.
I love baking cupcakes.
I love to read, I just don't do it enough.
I love the color purple.
I love breakfast more than any other meal of the day.

One of my best friends is living and teaching in Bangkok, Thailand and as a result, I have a severe case of wanderlust. The more places I see, the more I want to travel.

If there's more you'd like to know, please ask. I love making new friends and I look forward to meeting you!

Linking up with the Second Annual Blog-tember Challenge over at Brave Love Blog! Check it out!

Brave Love Blog

Blogtember Challenge 2015.
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