We Are Called to be More

Hey Y’all!

Today’s blog post is just me spilling my heart into semi-coherent words. Here are some of my thoughts that I felt the need to share! 

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Going with the world will never lead you to peace.

I’ve kinda found this out the hard way multiple times in my life, and each time I’ve thought “ maybe this time.” Maybe this time I’ll be pretty enough. Maybe this time I’ll wear the right clothes. Maybe this time I’ll write the perfect blog post and get lots of views. I tried to find a better way to describe it, but I only came up with two words: “less than.” This is a feeling that I have struggled with since I-don’t-even-remember-when. Less pretty than my friends. Less perfect than the people you see on social media. Less popular. Less known. Less wanted.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good! I hope you never feel this way. But if you have, and if these words seem familiar, you are not alone. you are not broken. you are more than. You are worth more than all of the priceless things on this earth because of the one who created you made you perfect! Not perfect to society, but perfect in his eyes. We are in this world, but not of this world, so why should we try to conform to the norms of a world in which we don’t belong to?

You are more than your past. You are more than your emotions. You are more than what people may say you are. You are more precious in His eyes than anything this world has to offer: you are more than!

Living a life of doubt is not how God wants us to live. I have come to realize that no matter how hard I try to be a part of this world, I am made for something more. We are all made for something more as followers of Christ.  This is a little reminder to take a step back and ask yourself “is this who I want to be? Is this who I really, truly, deep down-no-matter-how-hard-I-try-to-get-perfect-winged-eyeliner am meant to be?” My answer to that question was a hard no. And maybe yours is too, or maybe you are exactly who you are called to be. But we are all called to be more, called to love one another, and called to be who God creates us to be.  Go out there and be you!!!! You are loved.

Much love & go be a light,

Chloe♥

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Photography by Madison Martin Photography

 

 

5 Ways to Beat the Cold Weather Blues

Hey yall!

The holiday season has come to an end, which means cold, cloudy, rainy weather with ZERO holiday cheer. I don’t know about yall, but January and February I tend to fall into a kind of slump. I want to stay inside, I don’t get things done, and honestly, I just want some sunshine. In this blog post, I’m going to give yall 5 things that I do to get out of my slump and feel good about life!

ONE.

Get to the gym. Or do an at-home workout. or do some yoga, go to a barre class, whatever. Just get moving! I always feel so rejuvenated and happy after I workout (and sore), so make some time in your day to get those endorphins pumping. Because “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t!” (name that movie!)

TWO.

Find some yummy seasonal fruits and veggies and try out a new recipe! Cooking is such a stress reliever for me, and I love finding new ways to incorporate seasonal fruits and veggies into my meals. Make a smoothie for breakfast, try a new recipe for lunch and dinner, and you’ve got a refreshed, healthy day set out for you!

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THREE.

Go shopping! (but do I really have to tell you to?) I always find it fun to buy myself something cute when I’m feeling down, whether its a new shirt, on-clearance shoes, or even a new $1 face mask or chapstick. Having a new little something to wear out makes my day so much fun, and I always like to incorporate something summery into my buys.  Floral tops, coconut scented lip balms, cute sandals to get me excited for the warmer weather, you name it. 

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FOUR.

Listen to new music! I’m loving songs by Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer right now. Jason Mraz’s music is so happy and reminds me of warm weather, so its the perfect thing to listen to when I’m not in the mood for the inevitable cold weather.

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FIVE.

Be content with where you are! I know it can be so easy to get caught up in the dreams of tomorrow (and warmer weather), but take each day as it comes and live in the moment! So many wonderful things happen in these colder months, so live it, love it, and know that you are so loved!

Much love,

Chloe

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Hey y’all!

I LOVE to bake lots of goodies during the holidays. Cookies, cakes, loaves of bread, pastries, lunched, dinners, you name it. Now that I don’t eat gluten, it can be a lot harder to make my favorite holiday recipes. Even using gluten-free flour, sometimes it just doesn’t turn out the way I’d like. That’s why I was SO HAPPY to find this recipe from A Latte Food! It is so yummy, and works beautifully with gluten-free flour! (I use King Arthur All Purpose gluten-free flour). This banana bread turns out so soft and I looove the crumble topping! It’s sweet, easy, and packed with banana yumminess. This is a perfect recipe for when you have no clue what to do with those overly ripe bananas on your countertop, and it only takes about an hour to make!

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I switched up a few things from the original recipe to make it gluten-free. I also like to mash the bananas with a fork, so you get a few little banana chunks in the bread, but if you don’t like the pieces, feel free to puree them! I also added oats to the crumble as you can see in the picture above, but feel free to leave them out if you prefer. I love to serve it with butter on top and coffee or hot chocolate. So cozy! Happy baking!

Coffee Cake Banana Bread

This classic banana bread recipe is topped with a sweet crumb topping making it a cross between a quick bread and coffee cake! Coffee Cake Banana Bread makes the sweetest treat (and best banana bread recipe), and it’s such an easy banana bread recipe!
Servings: 2 Loaves     |     Prep time: 25 mins     |      Cook Time: 40 mins 

Ingredients

Bread

  • 3-4 medium or large bananas
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt

Crumb Topping

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free oats (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 8×4 pans.
  2. In a small bowl, mash bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs and beat until mixed.
  5. To the wet ingredients, sift in flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Stir until just combined. Add in sour cream and stir.
  7. Pour in mashed bananas, and mix until combined.
  8. Pour batter evenly into the two greased loaf pans

Crumb Topping

  1. Combine cinnamon, flour, oats (if you’d like) and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, and mix until the topping looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle coating evenly over the batter in both pans.
  2. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
  3. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Move to a wire cooling rack.
  4. Slice and enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!
Much love,

Chloe

“Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,  make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding  will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” -PHIL 4:4-7

Holiday Kickoff + Family Traditions

Hey yall!

It’s the holiday season and I couldn’t be more excited. From Christmas music and holiday foods to winter fashion and family traditions, it all seems so magical! Since the holidays are upon us and family traditions are at large, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things that my family does every winter!

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1. Holiday kickoff brunch

Although this isn’t a very “traditional” tradition, it’s still one of my favorites. The week before Thanksgiving, my mom and I go get brunch at a local cafe, then go shop for Christmas gifts for the rest of our family. This year I got a blueberry quinoa bowl with granola and fruit and it was so yummy! My mom got a goat cheese omelet, and although I’m not a huge egg fan, I gotta say it looked pretty tasty. I love this time that my mom and I spend together because it’s such a nice time to catch up on life and breathe for a while. Since I’m either in classes or working for most of the day, we usually don’t have time to just sit and chat, so I love the times that we have together. 

2. Christmas tree chopping

Every year since I can remember, my family has gone to a Christmas tree farm about an hour away to pick out the *perfect* tree. It’s usually freezing cold, and walking around a Christmas tree farm for an hour or so may not seem like the most fun thing, but it’s always so fun and memorable! After chopping down the tree, we tie it to the roof of the car and drive the hour back to our house, where we put lights, ornaments, and LOTS of silver sparkly tinsel on it. There is always lots of Christmas music, hot chocolate, and LOTS of pine needles stuck in my hair, without fail. every time. 

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3. Baking one of my Great-grandmother’s chocolate pies

As a little girl, I always loved my great grandmother’s chocolate pie, which my grandmother would make every Christmas. Now, I have the chocolate pie recipe and it’s always so special to make that pie on Christmas morning! I absolutely love to cook, and so making something that’s so special and close to my heart makes Christmas morning even more amazing. 

4. Christmas Shopping

Umm… shopping. Need I say more? 🙂 But really, I absolutely love finding gifts for my friends and family to give to them on Christmas. Christmas shopping is always so fun and festive in my family, as it usually involves early mornings, peppermint mochas, and lots of laughs with my sister. 

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5. Midnight mass on Christmas Eve 

Time to share my FAVORITE thing about the holiday season: Midnight mass! Every Christmas Eve, after my family has dinner at my grandparent’s house, we go to Mass around midnight. Mass is always a great addition to any day, but there is something so special about going to mass with my family on Christmas eve. 

I’d love to know: what are your favorite traditions in your family? I love hearing other traditions and fun things that other families do during the holidays!

Much love,

Chloe

Have you entered my JORD wooden watch giveaway? If not, click here!

 

4 Things I Love About Fall

Hey yall!

Happy October! My favorite season is finally upon us! The hint of a cool breeze has me ready to pull out my sweaters and cook s’mores around a fire. If you have been staying up to date on Instagram, you know that (1) The Simple Joy of Being has some super fun stuff going on, and (2) that everyone and their dog are going apple picking, going to pumpkin patches, and drinking lots of pumpkin spice lattes ( I still haven’t had a PSL yet this year… is it even fall?). Well…I’m here to add to that overabundance of fall and tell you a few of my favorite things about this season! 🙂 

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Fall clothes

Y’all already know I’m a huge fan of breezy summer dresses, but by now I’m ready to stash those in my closet and bring out the fall clothing. Sweaters, scarves, and boots look fantastic paired together and are oh-so-comfortable. Sweatshirts are 100% acceptable, especially when paired with leggings. Personally, my go-to fall outfit is cozy flannel, jeans, and black booties. Cozy, comfy, and stylish… yes, please! The flannel that im wearing in the picture above is from Old Navy, the jeans are from Gap, and my boots are from Target!

Fall colors

The leaves change, pumpkins are everywhere, and suddenly everything looks like it could go on Instagram. That tree in the middle of a field? …photographed, uploaded, posted, #nofilter. Between the leaves changing, everything being yellow and orange, and all of the fall-themed coffees… what’s not to love?

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Crisp Air

There’s nothing better than being outside as the air starts to get colder! Add roasted marshmallows, hot chocolate, and you’ve got yourself the perfect fall night. (bonus points if there’s a pumpkin nearby). Cooler air makes me so happy and feels like such a fresh start. 

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Candles!!!

What’s better than your entire house smelling like a pumpkin? Nothing. I have way too many fall candles (if that’s even possible), and love to light them and make any space instantly more cozy. My favorite fall candles come from Bath and Body Works, and all smell soo good! My favorite candle from Bath & Body Works is called Gather and is the perfect fall candle. Going out and getting fall candles is such a fun event for me: it always involves coffee, flannels, driving with the windows down, and the perfect fall playlist. AKA, total fall overload. and I love it. So much.

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And that’s a wrap! I would LOVE to hear all of your fav things about fall, so comment and let me know! I hope you enjoyed this post, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog to get blog posts sent straight to your inbox! Also, if you want to keep up with the styles & looks im loving, follow me on Pinterest!

Much love,

Chloe

My Thoughts on Change

Hey y’all!

Grab your hot chocolate and get comfy, because this post is going to be deep. I’ll start off by saying that a few times in my life, I have had people tell me “you’ve changed”…maybe they’ve told me directly, maybe they’ve told someone that I’m close to. But y’all, I’d sure hope that I’ve changed. Don’t ever apologize for changing, growing as a person, weeding negativity out of your life, etc. As long as you’re not changing for the worse, don’t ever be apologetic for it. Change is good and the people who are worth your time and energy will grow with you and accept the change!

I remember the first time someone ever told me “you’ve changed”. I honestly didn’t know how to feel. Was it an insult? Was changing as a person a bad thing? I’m here to tell you that it’s not. Like I said earlier, as long as you’re not changing for the worse, and are growing as an individual, don’t ever be apologetic for it. Change can be so good! The people who are truly worth your time and energy will accept your growth and grow with you and accept the fact that people change!

Another thing you should never be apologetic for: weeding negative people out of your life. You should surround yourself with people who inspire you, build you up, make you happy, and help you grow into the person God created you to be. God will send people into your life that you never knew could have such a positive impact on the way you see yourself and the world. As soon as you find the strength to leave the negative behind, accept change, and move forward with complete trust that God has a plan for your life…you will find so much happiness. (I speak from experience). 

The funny thing is, I don’t like change. At all. I am 100% the type of person that likes to plan out every aspect of everything and will completely freak out if something even goes slightly off plan. This is kinda where the whole “Trusting God” thing comes into play… and I will be completely honest in telling you that sometimes, (or more times than not), it can be really hard to put all of your trust in Him. But here’s the thing that i have to tell myself multiple times a day… God has a plan for me. And He has a plan for you. Maybe you’re reading this and can’t relate one bit to what I’m saying, maybe trusting God comes easily to you. But maybe you’re like me, and need that little constant reminder of “God’s got you”. 

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Friends, whatever changes you may be going through right now, pray for the grace to be at peace with the present. Be grateful for the blessings that you have today instead of being constantly preoccupied with what’s around the corner. Honestly, I am 100% guilty of focusing too much on the future and paying no attention to the people and blessing that I have in the moment. Go to God with a patient and trusting spirit. He’s got you

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

“Do not fear, beloved. Peace! Take courage, and be strong.

-Daniel 10:19

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalm 18:2

Much love,

Chloe

Simple Joy Of GIVING: FOCUS Missions

Hey yall!

It’s time again to launch The Simple Joy Of Giving! This is the second month of t-shirts & charity donations, and I’m so excited to see what we can accomplish this month!

Order your shirt here!

The Simple Joy Of Giving is a not-for-profit campaign that directly benefits the less fortunate worldwide and in local communities. Every few months, I will be selling newly-designed t-shirts to raise money for a different cause or organization! One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to that month’s selected cause. In April, my readers raised over $200 for a soup kitchen in my hometown!

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I started The Simple Joy Of Giving as a way to give back to my local community. My initial thought was to just raise money to fund a future mission trip, but then I realized that I could do so much more with this project! I came to the realization that, since I have this platform of my blog, I could expand this campaign into an ongoing fundraiser for my local community, and will hopefully one day grow to spread the Word of God and to help struggling communities worldwide. I also hope to one day go on a mission trip, and hopefully, this little project can help me reach that goal!

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In my hometown alone, 18.2% of the population lives in poverty. That’s almost a fifth of the population of Huntsville, Alabama, but it’s a small percentage compared to the worldwide statistics: approximately 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly 50% of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.   1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. Researching these statistics and seeing the widespread, but little known, disaster of poverty in this world has helped me realize that people are in need everywhere, every day. I have volunteered at this local soup kitchen many times, and it filled me with so much joy that so many people were willing to help me raise money to purchase meals for the less fortunate in my hometown. 

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Before I started this campaign, I prayed that the Lord would fill me with compassion and patience and wisdom to help me with the whole process of this campaign. after the first month passed, I finally realized that so many prayers had been answered! Not only my prayers but maybe even other people’s prayers that I don’t know about. It has definitely shown me that prayers DO get answered, even if not the ways we initially imagine them. 

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This Month’s Cause

For the month of August, the proceeds will be donated to a FOCUS mission trip. FOCUS, The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a group of people passionate about changing the world and helping college students live a life of purpose through Christ. FOCUS Missions believes that we have a unique opportunity to reach the world and be forces of good, both in uncharted territory and in our own familiar homelands. I’m so excited to help fund someone’s mission trip through focus, and I hope that others are as excited about this as I am! Click here to order your shirt and make a difference in this world!

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And to the person who wants to start something similar for the glory of God:

GO FOR IT! It’s definitely a long process of waiting, praying, and waiting some more, but the results can be so beautiful. Even if you don’t raise as much money as you wanted, or if it doesn’t go quite as planned, Trust in God’s timing and in His will and everything will go the way He planned it to. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people around you, and don’t be afraid of any problems/struggles you may encounter. You are doing good for the world and your community and spreading the Love of God; that is such a beautiful thing! 

Order your shirt here!

Much love,

Chloe

Our deepest hungers are not for food and drink, not for amusements and recreations, not for property and wardrobes, not for notoriety and gossip. We hunger for truth, we thirst to drink beauty, we yearn to celebrate, we stretch out to love and be loved. This is why anything less than everything is not enough.

– Father Thomas Dubay

 

My Favorite At-home Workout {Full Body}

Hey yall!

Since the start of 2018, I have been extremely motivated to workout and take care of my body, so I wanted to write a blog post about my favorite workout to do when I can’t get to the gym. It only takes about 10-15 minutes if you do it on its own, or you can turn it into a circuit and do this entire workout a few times in a row for a real burn. 

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Growing up as a dancer, I never really had to worry about getting my exercise in. I would work out at home when I wasn’t at the studio, but it was never a worry as to whether or not I was active that day. After graduating high school and starting college, I realized that I was spending more time at a desk and less time at the barre. Because of this, I’ve discovered a new love for the gym, and I’m so happy to now incorporate weight training as well as cardio into my gym routine!

I know some people would much rather workout from the comfort of their own home (this workout is for you!), but I find something so motivating about being at the gym! It’s become such a stress relief for me. Although I love the gym, sometimes it just doesn’t happen in a day. Studying, spending time with my family, and getting everything prepped for the week ahead are all things that can make it hard to drive the loooooooong 15 minutes to the gym for a workout. I mean, I can do this entire workout in the time that it takes for me to even get to the gym!

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Leggings (S) *I linked similar leggings bc they don’t carry my favs anymore 😥 *

 Sneakers (These are SO lightweight and comfortable. luv u Nike)

 Shirt (S)  This shirt is sooo soft and comfy!

Sports Bra (M) Kora has some of the cutest workout clothes and it’s all so soft! Get 15% off of your Kora purchase with code Chloe15. Savin’ y’all some $$$ 🙂

Fitbit Charge 2 (S) I got the pink sports band on Amazon for $6!!! It’s so lightweight and comfortable!

 

My Favorite At-home Workout {Full Body}

  • Warm up with 2 minutes of jumping jacks 
  • Continue with 3 minute run in place
  • 2-minute of ab crunches
  • 1-minute of mountain climbers
  • 1-minute break… breathe, breathe, breathe!
  • 30 seconds of push-ups
  • 3-minute of squats
  • 1-minute plank
  • 1.5-minute squat jumps
  • Cool down with 5-10 minutes of yoga or stretching

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Working out can definitely be difficult. Starting to get into a routine with working out is even more so. Just enjoy the process and take the first step. Don’t walk into the gym your first day and expect to walk out with a six-pack. Just walk into the gym the first day. Do a few crunches or push-ups when you get up in the morning.  The best thing about working out is that it is about iterative and gradual steps of improvement. Just take the first one!

Much love,

Chloe

All of the opinions of the products in this blog posts are my own. This post is in no way affiliated with Gap, Under Armour, Nike, or Fitbit. 

 

Life Update!

Hey yall!

Wow. Its been over a month since I last wrote a blog post! Crazy, right? I have been taking a full semester of college courses this summer (chem 2… I strongly dislike u), along with working at the dance studio and having the opportunity to choreograph and teach solos to some AMAZING dancers. I am so thankful and so blessed to be able to do what I have done this summer!!!

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Although my head has been full of words such as “equilibrium concentrations” and “mitochondrion” (powerhouse of the cell!!!)… the words “me time” is a term that I haven’t had in my vocabulary lately. I’ve tried to set aside time to go outside, write for this blog (oops), or actually having FUN (whaaaaat? In summer??? no way.), I have to say that I have pretty much failed at all three of those things. But that’s ok! Because… 

All of this craziness of life has made me come to realize the importance of taking a moment to breathe every once in a while. With all of the hustle of life, taking a few minutes to slow down and be present in the moment is something that I know and acknowledge to be important, but is something that I struggle with. If you’re like me, you tend to work a little too hard under pressure and ignore everything but the thing that you need to get done. Words that have gone through my head are “I don’t have time to go golfing with my family, I need an A on this test”, or “Why am I crying, I don’t have time to cry, plz stop.” (true story on multiple occasions). I should have realized that yes, I can spare an hour to go to the driving range to hit some golf balls with my family. Yes, its ok to stress out and cry for a solid 5 mins, and then get back to work. After all, stress is stress, and stress is valid. That being said, there is a real importance of relieving that stress and having an outlet to get away from the crazy for a while. All of this has also made me see God’s role in my life a little more clearly. Why stress so much about what is to come when everything is in God’s hands? Yes, it is still important to study and strive to do your best in all that you do, but God has a plan for your life, and as hard as it is to admit sometimes, He is always right. His timing is perfect, His path for us is perfect, and He made us perfect in his eyes. I really don’t think God will be super salty if I get a not-so-great grade on a chem test, although I myself might be a little salty :). God wants us to enjoy the people and places around us. My advice to anyone else in this situation is to work hard, but to also take time to live in the sunshine, enjoy your family and friends, and always put God first 🙂

And that’s a wrap, y’all. I hope you enjoyed my little life update/ stress-out-then-come-to-Jesus blog post! Let me know if you’d like to see more occasional life update posts in the future. 

Much love,

Chloe

Coming up in the next few blog posts:

So I went to Ulta and Sephora the other day and spent too much money (it’s called retail therapy, mom) which means you will most likely have a makeup/skincare haul blog post coming your way soon!

ALSO!!! The Simple Joy Of Giving is launching its second campaign starting August 1st! eek!! I’m so excited. The t-shirt designs for August are done, so be on the lookout on social media to see some sneak peeks! 

 

 

4 Easy Breakfasts (Gluten-free + vegetarian!)

Hey y’all!

In this weekend’s blog post, I wanted to share with you my top 5 healthy breakfast recipes. All of these recipes are so quick and easy, and so good for you too! Also, they’re all gluten-free & vegetarian, so there are options for every diet. Hope you enjoy! 

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AVOCADO TOAST

Avocado toast is so easy and is such a good way your start your day! It’s so full of healthy fats and antioxidants to get your brain going. I like to use gluten-free bread or a rice cake!

  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice 
  • A pinch Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Sliced bread or a rice cake

Mash avocado, mix with lemon & salt. Spread on a piece of toast or a rice cake, top with tomato (and some Sriratcha 🙂 ) and you’re good to go!

APPLE CINNAMON OVERNIGHT OATS

These Apple Cinnamon overnight oats are SO yummy!  I don’t think there’s an easier, healthier, more delicious breakfast out there. Throw everything in a jar, shake it up, and it’s ready in the morning for an easy grab-n-go breakfast! Linked here is another overnight oat recipe that I hope you’ll love too.

  • 1/2 cup Vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1/4 cup Plain or Vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce or freshly grated apple (my fav)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a container with an airtight lid ( I like to use a jar) and shake well to combine. refrigerate overnight, top with chia seeds, more cinnamon, or whatever you’d like! 

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SMOOTHIE BOWL

If you watch my Instagram stories ( @simplejoyofbeing ), you have probably seen this smoothie bowl a MILLION times. I decided to include the recipe here, because y’all, I’m obsessed. This is definitely my all-time favorite smoothie. It reminds me of a fruit sorbet that I had at the beach once, but full of good-for-you yumminess! Linked here is another one of my favorite smoothie recipes that I hope you love as much as I do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped + frozen fruit (I like mango, strawberry, pineapple, & peach!!!)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or kale, whichever you prefer (I like both!)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (vanilla or unsweetened)
  • 1/2 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 5 ice cubes

Toppings:

  •  Goji berries
  • Chia seeds
  • Fresh fruit
  • Granola (see next recipe) 

Blend all ingredients in a blender & pour into a bowl. Top with the toppings I have listed here, or use your own!

“COOKIE DOUGH” GREEK YOGURT

Y’all, this yogurt tastes EXACTLY like cookie dough, but it’s so good for you ( and acceptable to eat for breakfast:) ). It also only takes a minute to whip up, and definitely gives your everyday greek yogurt an upgrade. It’s packed with protein and has chocolate, so whats not to love?  

  • 1 serving container vanilla or plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • A few chocolate chips to top it off 🙂

Mix all ingredients and top with a few chocolate chips. Enjoy your cookie dough for breakfast… you’re welcome 🙂

I hope you all enjoy these super easy breakfasts as much as I do! 

Much love, 

Chloe♥

“Let all that you do be done in love” 1 Corinthians 16:14

 

 

 

 

Spring Favorites

Hey yall!

It’s time for Spring favorites! A little style, a little skin care, and a whole lot of spring favs – I’m sharing the pieces I’m loving for this season and hope you love them too! 

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FASHION

I absolutely love spring and summer fashion! It’s so light and airy and happy. A few of my favorite pieces for this season are florals, floppy hats, and chunky heels. These pieces are so cute paired together too! Hats just as such a touch of elegance to an outfit if paired with the right outfit. 

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This dress is from Jessa Kae and is my absolute favorite dress of all time. It’s made with the lightest, softest material and has the cutest geometric pattern. The shoes are from Toms and are the most comfortable heels ever! They go with practically everything, from jeans and a cute shirt to dresses. I got this hat from H&M, and I’m obsessed. It adds a gorgeous touch to any outfit!

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SKINCARE

Skincare is so important in the spring, due to the temperatures changing, more sunlight, and humidity.

First up is my absolute favorite moisturizer. The Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator leaves my skin so hydrated without making it oily.  It has aloe water and hyaluronic acid, which is the perfect combination for hydrated skin.

Next is the Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum with SPF 40. This product can be worn alone or as an invisible makeup primer! It acts as a sort of tinted moisturizer; I never even have to wear foundation when I have this on. It also has SPF 40, which is PERFECT for hot spring days.

The Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment is my all-time favorite charcoal mask (and trust me, I’ve tried almost all of them). This mask has a mix of black and white charcoal, where white charcoal is known to absorb 1,000 times its weight in impurities. The charcoal pair works together to minimize the appearance of pores while lifting away impurities and excess oil. I’m obsessed with this mask because it leaves y skin so smooth and clear so I hardly feel like wearing any foundation!

My favorite mascara right now is the LashCraft Big Volume Mascara by Sephora Collection. It lengthens my lashes so much with just one coat! This mascara lasts all day, even through working out at the gym & the high humidity levels ( gotta love living in the south:) ). 

 

 

Discount Codes:

10% off Jessa Kae: CHLOE10 

20% off Pura Vida: CHLOEMCALPIN20

 

 

The Simple Joy Of GIVING

Hey y’all!

I have something so so SUPER exciting to share with you. Over the past few months, I have been working on a project that will help raise money for local charities, the less fortunate locally and worldwide, and one day will allow me to hopefully raise money to fund a mission trip. This is a big goal, I know, but with the help of you, my readers and friends, I believe we can make a difference in the world and make it a better place.  I am so, so, SO excited to finally get this started and in motion. 

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The first month’s (May of 2018)  T-shirts that I’ve designed feature my favorite quote from Mother Teresa on the front and my logo and the hashtag #SimpleJoyOfGIVING on the back of the shirt (they’re super cute 🙂 ). Every other month, I will put the shirts on sale, each month’s shirts having a different design and color scheme. New shirts every sale, new cause every sale… let’s go do some good in this world.

The Simple Joy Of Giving: What is it?

The Simple Joy Of Giving is a not-for-profit campaign that directly benefits the less fortunate worldwide and in local communities. Every other month, we will be selling newly-designed t-shirts to raise money for a different cause or organization. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to that month’s selected cause. 

Why did you start this?

I started The Simple Joy Of Giving as a way to give back to my local community. My initial thought was to just raise money to fund a future mission trip, but then I realized that I could do so much more with this project. I came to the realization that, since I have this platform of my blog, I could expand this campaign into an ongoing fundraiser for my local community, and will hopefully one day grow to help struggling communities worldwide. I also hope to one-day fund someone’s mission trip, whether it be me or someone else going. 

Why should I care?

In my hometown alone, 18.2% of the population lives in poverty. That’s almost a fifth of the population of Huntsville, Alabama, but it’s a small percentage compared to the worldwide statistics: approximately 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly 50% of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day.   1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. When you buy a t-shirt supporting The Simple Joy Of Giving, 100% of the money earned goes directly towards funding struggling soup kitchens, charities, mission trips, and more, that help lessen the poverty rates locally and worldwide. 

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

Mother Teresa of Kolkata

Ok, so I ordered a shirt. When will I get to wear it?

The shirts will go on sale for 21 days, and the proceeds from that 21 days go towards a single organization or charity. You should receive your shirt(s) one to two weeks after the sale ends.  The more you wear your shirt, the more it spreads awareness for The Simple Joy Of Giving, and more people are impacted. They’re cute, soft, and for a good cause… why not wear it?

What organization will my shirt be supporting? 

Depending on the month, the shirts will be supporting different organizations and causes. To see what you are supporting, take a look at the paragraph below the shirt’s order form. You can also visit the website of the organization (if available) to learn more, donate, or sign up to volunteer. In May of 2018, proceeds will directly benefit a struggling soup kitchen in my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. This non-profit, non-denominational ministry to the homeless and needy daily serves warm meals to the homeless and assists in their material and spiritual needs. The consecutive charities will be announced a few weeks prior to when the corresponding shirts will be available to purchase. 

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Now go forth and do good in the world! (and buy a Simple Joy Of Giving T-shirt 🙂 )

Much love,

Chloe♥

“We can all do small things with great love” – Mother Teresa

 

5 Spring Fashion Essentials

Hey yall!

Spring one of my absolute favorite times in regards to fashion. The weather is not too hot, not too cold, and florals are totally acceptable at any time of day (yes please!!). I wanted to share with you a few of my fashion essentials for spring that I absolutely cannot live without! Spring & summer fashion is my personal favorite to wear and shop for. It’s finally time to get rid of all the many winter layers! I absolutely love how easy it is to throw on a dress and some accessories and you don’t have to think twice about it when the weather is nice.  

 

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ONE.

A plain white t-shirt

Plain white t-shirts are so simple yet so stylish and go with absolutely anything. Pair it with a floral kimono-style wrap, a light cardigan, or simply some pretty jewelry. you cant go wrong! This will also look good worn simply with jeans, under a blazer, or tucked into a high-waisted skirt

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TWO.

Colorful Shoes

Colorful shoes, like the ones in the picture above, can turn a plain outfit into a fashion statement. I love the pop of color that they bring! The favorites that I have I got from Target (clearance aisle, who’s with me?:) )

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THREE.

Boho Jewelry 

Simple, bohemian style jewelry (like rings and bracelets)  is so great for spring. I love the way this simple but pretty accessories pair with florals and spring colors. A simple set of stacked bracelets can add so much more excitement to a casual spring out, like jeans and a white tee or even florals. My absolute favorite places to get simple, pretty boho jewelry are Pura Vida and Sand Cloud. You can totally get 20% off of your Pura Vida order with my code: CHLOEMCALPIN20 & 15% off of your Sand Cloud purchase with my code: ChloeMcA15 

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FOUR

Collared shirt.

This is a timeless wardrobe staple that can easily add a touch of class to any outfit.  It looks great when styled with a high waisted skirt, denim shorts, or jeans. These shirts are so comfy and look effortlessly elegant in any outfit.  My sister is totally rocking this outfit (above picture) and I may or may not steal it from her closet… sorry not sorry 🙂

 

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FIVE.

Anything Floral!

Y’all already know my obsession with florals. I really think that they go with everything and look so classy if styled right. The most important thing to keep in mind with florals is to not overdo it. You don’t want to look like you had a flower explode on you 🙂 Keep it simple, and pair your floral piece with a basic. For example, pair a cute floral top with some skinny jeans or a floral printed kimono with a basic tee (like my outfit in the picture above). Let the floral piece be the staple of your outfit! The dress that I’m wearing in the first picture is from Jessa Kae. They have some SUPER cute floral clothing (I have 3 floral dresses from JessaKae now… oops)  and you can get 10% off of your entire purchase with my code: CHLOE10

Side Note: I have some AMAZING news coming to you this Sunday, April 15th! I’m so excited to share it with you all, I’ve been working on it for a few months now and it’s finally ready for the world! Mark your calendars for this Sunday 🙂

Much love,

Chloe♥

“We can never have too much confidence in our God, who is so mighty and merciful”-St. Terese of Lisieux

All of the opinions in this post are my own, it is not sponsored in any way.

The Importance of Giving Back to Your Community

Hey y’all!

Today I wanted to talk about how important it is to give back to your community, and how doing so has shaped the person I am today. Giving back to your community through volunteer groups, non-profit organizations, charity, or other means does so much to help those in need and contribute to the common good. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe the significance of giving back. Even the most simple acts of benevolence — the ones we think of as “random acts of kindness” or “no big deal” — are actually incredibly important.

I read this quote from Pope Francis today and it really inspired me to write this post:

“…have the courage to go against the tide of this culture…the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading…There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person in the street. Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter!”

– Pope Francis  

I have personally volunteered at my local soup kitchen many times, and I love seeing and hearing the stories of the people who come in to have a meal there. One of the most amazing things that I have noticed as I volunteer there is that anytime I ask any one of the people who walk through the door about their day, they always respond with a positive, happy response. These people are going through the worst times in their lives, and yet their genuine response is always a positive one. Having the opportunity to connect with the people in my community through volunteer work never fails to make me want to better myself as a person, and it also just lights up my day. Not only does volunteering impact the lives of others, but it has also greatly impacted my life as well. Giving back to my community has not only shown me how to love others the way we as Christians are meant to, but it has taught me the importance of being thankful for what I have and taught me that happiness does not lie in the material things of this world. 

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Volunteering at your local soup kitchen, donating money to charity, and donating old clothes to St. Vincent de Paul are just a few ways you can make an impact in your community. Not only are you helping others when you volunteer, you are also bettering yourself by being the hands and feet of Christ as we are all called to be. 

Now go out and do some good in this world! 🙂

Much love,

Chloe♥

I Choose The Sky

Hey yall!

I have collaborated with one of the sweetest bloggers I know to bring you a few books that have influenced our faith as Catholic women. Read about more books and check out Maddy’s blog here! I am so blessed to be able to collaborate with such a faith-filled young woman and I hope you all take the time to go check out her blog! 

The book that I chose to write about is a small but impactful devotional by Emily Wilson. In this post I’m going to be telling y’all a little about how this book has influenced my faith journey, and I invite you all to go read the full post (linked at the end of this post) on No Greater Love!

I Choose The Sky by Emily Wilson has immensely influenced my faith journey,  and I cannot stress enough how much I believe each and every young woman should read this book! This book focuses on 17 women mentioned in the Bible who chose to lift their eyes towards heaven by living lives of great faith. Reflecting on women such as Tabitha, the crippled woman, Mary, and Martha has shown me that no matter what situation I may be in, Jesus still has an immense love for me. This book can help women of all ages to grow their faith and has changed the way I look at myself and the world. It was so powerful to re-read the stories of those women. Emily’s reflections on who these women are and what we as Catholic women can learn from them truly touched my heart. This book really helped to deepen my understanding of my identity in Christ as a woman, and I hope everyone who reads it can find a new light and a new understanding of these often-overlooked women in the Bible. e1ff6e80-a404-4296-9956-face80be0062Something that stood out to me the most in this book is Emily’s reflection on the story of the crippled woman in the Bible. After reading the story of the crippled woman, the book reflects on our perspectives in life, and how we can choose our perspective. I found this part of the book to be so inspirational; I, too, can often be like the crippled woman, constantly looking down and not having the spiritual strength to raise my eyes to heaven. Choosing to focus on the sky, not just physically, but spiritually, has opened up my world in a new light. Although I still find it hard to “choose the sky” sometimes, I have that conscious effort pushing me to focus on the good. Here’s an excerpt from this section of Emily’s book that I love:

“Our perspective and our outlook have an amazing impact on our day-to-day lives. Our perspective dictates how our days seem to go, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, and how we see the world. We have the power to choose whether we approach life with positivity or negativity. We make the decision to be cheerful, loving, and kind, even when life is challenging…or to give in to envy, self-loathing, or despair when we just wish things were different, or better, or easier. We get to decide which outlook we have: Are you looking at the ground, or are you looking up at the sky?

“If given the choice between the ground and the sky, I choose the sky”

-Emily Wilson

I hope you all are inspired to “choose the sky”, and I hope you all have the opportunity to read this book. I’ll link Emily Wilson’s website below so you can take a look! 

Much love,

Chloe♥

Emily Wilson: http://emwilsonmusic.com 

No Greater Love Blog: nogreaterloveblog.com

Read about more books that have inspired our faith: Books Of Greatness

“God indeed is my salvation, I am confident and unafraid. For the Lord is my strength and my might and he has been my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

Staying Focused​ On What Matters

 

Hey y’all!

These past few weeks have been pretty crazy; I have been so busy with school, work, and so many other things.  My second semester of college is in full swing, and although I’m loving (almost) every minute of my classes, it can be pretty difficult to stay on top of things sometimes. Homework due here, essay due there, and chemistry labs and calculus tests to top it all. Not only has school been keeping me busy, but I’ve had to juggle teaching dance classes, relationships, and having time to stop and take a breath every once and a while. 

That being said, all this craziness of life has made me realize the importance of staying focused, not only on school but on the things that matter most.  I have also realized that it can be a struggle to effectively divide your attention between so many things (i.e school, work, relationships, going to the gym, and having “me” time, just to name a few.)

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The first thing that has kept me focused lately is writing everything down. And I don’t just mean the big stuff either: plan out every detail of your day.  I like writing down all of my big, pressing tasks first, then fill in the blanks of when to go to the gym, what I need to study, and even when to get on social media. This really helps me to not waste time by eliminating the constant worry of when I’m going to get something done, and it also helps me to not aimlessly waste time on Instagram :). Find a planner you love and use it! I absolutely love the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley, it has so much room for me to plan out my day.

Eliminate clutter. Whether it is your workspace, your mind, or the 12 tabs you have open on your browser, clutter is one of the biggest distractions that I have in life. Whether you dedicate 5 minutes a day to do yoga, clean your desk, or organize your workspace, it helps so much! 

Stop comparing your life to the lives you see on social media. This can be hard, especially since a lot of us do this without realizing it. Social media makes it so easy for people to only highlight what they want to portray themselves as in their lives and relationships without showing the real-life aspects of it. Stopping that constant comparison can be hard to do, and is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. My daily scrolls through Instagram always result in negative thoughts of comparison. I subconsciously compare my blog, outfit, makeup, hair, weight, lifestyle, and so forth. Limiting my time on social media and unfollowing those accounts that I found myself comparing my life to has helped me with this so much is. Life is too short waste time comparing your real life to the “perfect” strategically highlighted areas of other’s lives. 

Last but definitely not least is prayer. Praying about your worries and giving everything that is on your mind to God has made a huge difference in my life lately. Even if things may not go the way YOU planned, you need to realize everything happens in Gods timing. Pray about it! Give it all for the glory of God. 

Heres a list so you don’t forget 🙂

  • Write everything down
  • Eliminate clutter
  • Stop comparing
  • And most importantly, PRAYER

Even if you can’t eliminate everything negative, you can eliminate the unnecessary.

I hope these things can help you all stay focused on what matters. Even if you can’t eliminate everything negative, you can eliminate the unnecessary. This topic is something that I have struggled with, and I hope these things that help me can help you too. 

Much love,

Chloe♥

I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. Psalm 120:1

My Top 5 Tidbits of Advice for College Freshman

 

Hey ya’ll! Time to talk college.

When people said my first semester of college would go by quickly, I didn’t believe them. How can twelve essays, six exams, two speeches, and a partridge in a pear tree POSSIBLY go by quickly? Now that this first semester is over, I finally see what they meant. In this post, I’m going to tell y’all a little about my college experience so far and give any incoming college students (or high school students) some tips and tricks I’ve learned.

ONE.

Do not trust “rate my professor.” While it may seem useful, the reviews from students can be influenced mainly by the grade that person received in the class. Didn’t come to class and failed the final? Bad reviews. The teacher didn’t teach the needed material and passed everyone because they didn’t learn a thing? Possible good reviews. See what I mean? Instead, talk to your advisor about what you’re looking for when it comes to classes, and they should be able to point you in a right direction.

TWO.

Do your homework. On time. Seriously. Don’t wait for the end of the semester when everything is due to do it. DUE today does not mean DO today. Do it now, and do it well. (Your GPA will thank you).

THREE.

Use your resources. Ok, first off, this took me a while to do. Being the person I am, I don’t like asking for help. ever. BUT my first semester of college has COMPLETELY changed that. Writing labs, tutoring, on-campus libraries, whatever your school has to offer: use it. Also, grammar sites such as Grammarly can be beneficial but don’t rely on them too much. Use them as checkers, not crutches, that way you can learn from your mistakes and become a better writer rather than relying on them too much and not being able to write quality content without them.

FOUR.

Organize. Color code. Do whatever you need to do and more to make sure no piece of paper or information gets misplaced. (that being said, I can assure you that my desk is not as pristine as it once was. just being real here.) Get a planner you love that has a TON of room to write down every little detail about your homework. (again, your GPA will thank you). I use the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley, which I will link Here. Use a different color pen for writing down each of your classes in that planner. And, seriously, organize your desk! Do NOT let all of your spare notes and past essays become a pile in the drawer of your desk.  Do not take organization lightly; it is a powerful force. “Use the force, Luke!”- Obi-Wan Kenobi.

FIVE.

Don’t stress. I know, I know, easier said than done, and this is coming from a girl who is currently dealing with finals as I write this. (procrastination, anyone?) But trust me, stressing out accomplishes nothing.  Take breaks when you need to, write everything down and check it off as you complete it, and pray about it. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Aaaand that’s a wrap! I hope this helped, whether you’re applying for colleges, in college, or struggling with finals like I am. Don’t forget to check out my other posts for food, fashion, or other ramblings of my mind 🙂

( Image by @rekitanicole )