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!

img_4456.jpg

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. 

img_6455.jpg

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. 

img_4332.jpg

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!

 

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”. 

IMG_3019

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!

a732e222-2c17-4d64-8d78-fdba66bba97d

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!

37a46230-0abe-4e7e-a27f-e64df4af4d5e

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. 

265bc5cf-d874-408b-84fa-78ef8a42c638

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. 

b00793e8-00a4-4fd8-9cb5-a35655395f8d

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!

1ce8c4da-6c35-46e0-bd02-a99be3e84088

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. 

1f0d6f6f-02ba-4a31-a2d5-f67ccd4a3f2c

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!

78f319ed-3b75-4769-81e1-a044c85648ab

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

6a30efc6-ca3a-41e0-96b4-5314bd43b139

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!!!

41cb9abc-f8e1-4a3b-9421-1a8ec37c50cb

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! 

 

 

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! 

64404652-52e2-478a-b449-ad830ee44ea9

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. 

img_066764ee717a-7d9e-49fc-b4a3-590c63cfcfab.jpg46acac0e-1c41-44f0-94a6-b48a362aab1f

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!

22b040f8-55f7-4f00-88af-a075a6534e85
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

 

 

Strawberry Picking + A Really Happy Day

 Hey y’all!

For today’s blog post, I’m going to share with y’all my day of strawberry picking, seeing Avengers: Infinity war (no spoilers, I promise), and just having an all-around good day. I usually don’t do blog posts like this, but it was such a happy day that I wanted to share it with you all!

I started out my day by going to mass with my best friend before driving an hour to a strawberry farm in the absolute middle of nowhere. We ate SO many strawberries and had an amazing time. The sun was shining and I could feel the glory and presence of God in those happy moments. It was beautiful!img_0427

56040f9d-c48d-4b31-8d66-fa8965d389f6

P.s.: My best friend moves to Hawaii in less than a month! Pray that she and her family have safe travels and that she finds peace and comfort in her new home♥

982a8dae-d8c8-4274-bb10-19504019d585c295125d-61b9-48b1-8cd6-4332fa03c91f

Later in the day, I went to dinner at Oshi, a local Poké bowl restaurant.  (& psst … it’s pronounced “POH-keh.”). If you haven’t heard of poké, it’s a Hawaiian dish has chunks of tofu (my fav), fish, or other protein tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and delicious sauces. My personal favorite is rice topped with tofu, edamame, mango, pineapple, & avocado topped with a spicy sauce. I have yet to perfect making poké at home, but as soon as I perfect it I will post a recipe here! I meant to get a picture of what this delicious food looks like, but it was so yummy and I ate it too quickly. oops 🙂

532ef9cc-8b89-49e8-addb-4408724ad1a8

After dinner, we went and saw Avengers: Infinity War. I won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it, other than I seriously debated going again the next day to watch it again. 

All in all, it was just an amazing day and I wanted to share my happiness with all of you♥

Much love + too many strawberries,

Chloe♥

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. 

e7c9b979-3fef-4692-bc25-b2f1d9ececd0

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. 

bb5eca04-16bc-443d-8726-0fcea7b04a00

04df57e5-0f35-45f4-9c96-3dc4d16b9bf9

a338b8d4-978a-4777-b5f3-0cc95087cc11

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

 

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. 

a514dca6-c99f-4209-bad8-2e415e295ef1

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.)

IMG_8470.JPG

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

3 Ways I Stay Rooted In My Faith As A Catholic College Student

Hey y’all! Just realized I’ve talked about two pretty deep subjects in the past week. New year, new me? Or maybe my brain just isn’t dead from homework/finals/essays? Anyway, I want to talk with y’all about some ways that help me stay rooted in my faith as a Catholic college student, which, I admit, can be pretty stinking hard sometimes. I saw this picture on Blessed Is She‘s Instagram, and the words in the photo really inspired me to write this.  I hope this inspires and helps not only Catholic college students but people of all ages and all religions that want to become closer to God.  

Sometimes I find it hard to reflect His light in the darkness of this world. It can be so tempting, especially as a college student, to brush aside our faith in order to appear more like others you know who may not care as deeply about their faith. It can be hard to be strong in your faith at all times and to be the light.  It’s so easy to get caught up trying to live in the lives of others rather than trying to live as we are called to as followers of Christ. As Catholics, we are called to be a light to the world and to shine the light of God upon others who may not now His everlasting love. 

ONE.

If there’s a Catholic campus ministry at your college, go check it out! I have met some of the most amazing people I know at my college’s campus ministry, who are college students just like me who also want to grow deeper in their faith. The meetings we have every week make me think deeper into the words of God and inspire me to be a better Catholic. 

TWO. 

I know, it sounds cliche, but get a bible that you love. I recently received the Catholic Journaling Bible from Blessed Is She, which is absolutely beautiful and includes wide margins with lines for note taking, endnotes, and footnotes, an easy to read one column format and hand-lettered verses for each book. It’s SO PRETTY♥ This is helpful for me because I can write down any thoughts I have while reading, and I also just love flipping through and reading the hand-lettered verses in each book. 

THREE. 

Another cliche, but I’m serious about this. Go. To. Mass. And not just on Sundays, either. Look up your church’s mass schedule, find a time that works for you, add it to your schedule (Write it down!), and stick to that schedule. On the other hand, look up mass times for the different Catholic Churches in your area, because they might have different mass times! Go when it works for you to go. Most daily masses are usually about 30-45 minutes long at most! I like to go in the morning before my 9:30 am class because my parish has 6:15 mass on Tuesday.  I love starting my day with mass because it sets such a good foundation for that day. 

I hope this inspires and helps not only Catholic college students but people of all ages and all religions that want to become closer to God.  

Much love,

Chloe♥

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

Want to read more about my two favorite Catholic Blogs? Click here!

New Years Resolutions + Being More

Hey yall!

Today’s post is going to be a little more real. I want to let my guard down and talk about my new year’s resolutions, which tie a little into the name of this blog. I wanted my new year’s resolutions this year to not be about the usual “new years resolutions”, such as working out more, losing weight, saving money, or about other physical things. Yes, those are good goals and I applaud anyone who has goals such as those, but I wanted this year for me to be deeper than surface level goals. 

IMG_8476.JPG

I started this blog to keep me on track with the things that matter most to me, and I chose this name for my blog because that is what I want to focus on. I want to simply focus on the joy of being, the joy of existing, and finding joy in whatever comes my way. This is what I like to think of as the simple joy of being. 

I want to tell y’all about my main resolution for 2018, which is to simply be more. Be more kind. Be more patient. Be more present, be more welcoming, be more thankful. I want to really be who I am meant to be and who God intended me to be, which is more than I am now. I want to be more driven, be more determined, be more honest with myself. I want to be more excited about the small moments, be more loving towards people I may not agree with, and be more helpful to the people around me. Focusing on being more lets us focus on what really matters in life and keeps us from being too caught up in the distractions of daily life. 

I want to find joy in small moments not become caught up in the tangible things of daily life. I want to experience the joy that comes from God and the joy of simply being. or, as the name of this blog puts it, the simple joy of being. I encourage you all to join this journey with me and to live in the simple joy of being. ♥ 

 

My Favorite Blogs for Catholics

Hey y’all! Time to talk faith. I’m going to share with y’all my two favorite Catholic blogs & why they make such an impact on my life. Whether you’re Catholic or not, I hope you can benefit from these blogs as much as I have. 

Emily Wilson is a speaker, author, and musician who travels the world sharing her faith through witness and worship. I had the joy of meeting her one summer at a Catholic youth conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and let me tell you, she may have changed my life.  Listening to her speak really made me recognize my own identity and worth in Christ. Not only does she write blog posts that have such deep meaning, she also makes video blogs and posts them on YouTube. These are amazing to watch when you have something on your mind because there’s almost always an answer to what you’re  looking for on her blog or youtube. She’s such an amazing inspiration to women of all ages and I really hope you take the time to read some of the words she has to say!img_7655.png

Blessed Is She help women be in community with one another while growing deeper in their prayer lives. I follow their blog & follow them on Instagram, and seeing their daily faith-filled words helps to keep me on track with my faith. Also, you can enter your email to receive daily devotions sent straight to your inbox. Blessed is She will walk with you on this crazy journey as a daughter of the King, and I’m so glad I stumbled upon this a while ago!

I encourage all of you to check out these beautiful blogs, whether you’re Catholic or not, to just see what good they bring to the world and how much the words of one person can inspire another. 

Emily Wilson’s website: http://emwilsonmusic.com

Emily Wilson’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/emilyywilsonn

Blessed is She: https://blessedisshe.net

Much love,

Chloe

“Nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)

 

(Photos from @blessedisshe_ on Instagram)