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