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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

5 Tips On How To Stay In Shape With A Busy Schedule

Hey y’all! With a busy schedule like mine, I sometimes find it hard to stay in shape. Between classes, work, sleep, studying, and other day-to-day things, it gets a little tough to find time to squeeze in a workout. In this post, I’m going to give y’all some tips on what to do to stay in shape when you have a busy schedule. Let’s get started!

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ONE.

Do a 3-minute workout before you get in the shower or when you get in or out of bed. For example, every time you get out of bed in the morning do 100 ab crunches, 10 push-ups, 20 squats, and 30 calf raises. It’s fast, easy, and wakes you up and gives you endorphins to start your day on a good note. As Elle Woods from Legally Blonde says, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands. they just don’t.”

TWO. 

Take the stairs to class instead of the elevator. And let me tell you, that elevator looks really lovely at 8:00 am when your course is on the 3rd floor. But taking the stairs adds a little workout to your day, and just think: even if you didn’t do anything else today, you walked up a few flights of stairs. Be proud. 

THREE.

Take a pure barre class or other fitness class that’s in your area. Lots of places offer cycling classes, barre classes, yoga classes, or pilates classes where you can just show up and pay for a class. These classes are usually only an hour-long and really work all of your muscles.  Also, a lot of gyms have classes like these every day, so if you have a gym membership, you can usually go to these classes at your gym for free. 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetFOUR. 

Go for a walk. Yeah, I know, a lot of people don’t have time. But on weekends, or after dinner when your usually scrolling through Instagram (and hopefully following @simplejoyofbeing), take 15/30 minutes and go outside if it’s a beautiful day. I love being outside, and sometimes that’s all you need. 

FIVE. 

Simply find the time. I know, easier said than done. But this last semester I blocked off an hour and a half on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays that I would go to the gym. Mondays & Wednesdays, I would go right after I got out of class & finished homework at 3pm. Fridays, I went in the mornings before grocery shopping. After a few weeks, I got into a habit of going and HAD to go, or I felt like I didn’t accomplish my day. Next semester, I’m going to figure out a different time to go, but I’m going to block off the time and go to the gym never the less. Once you figure out a day and a time to go to the gym or do a home workout, you get into the habit, and it really makes a big difference. 

I hope you found this helpful! Now go workout instead of being on my blog 🙂

Much Love,

Chloe

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8