Wednesday, January 1, 2014

This year I will...

Be Thankful
photo by me!

Well, it's 2014! I spent a while last week thinking about my goals for 2014. I can't say that I managed to achieve all of my 2013 goals (I did manage to do #2 and #5, though!), so I wanted to try something different this year. There were a few things I could have put on this year's list: ambitions about exercising regularly, eating healthily, setting aside time to spend with Dannii/friends/family... but this year, what I want to do is cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

In the latter half of 2013, I found myself bogged down in worries and negative thinking. I stressed about my uni workload, wedding planning, my future work/life balance, our finances... pretty much every aspect of the near future. I found myself falling into the social media trap of envying the adorably adorable lives I saw presented on Facebook, Pinterest, and the blogs I read, and became discontent with my life that seemed so bland in comparison. I stopped blogging original content because I wasn't enjoying my creative projects for the sake of making any more - I was making things and blogging so I could somehow make my life look like the ones I saw on the Internet. I forgot to trust in God and I forgot to be thankful for all of His everyday blessings.

This year, I want to learn contentment. And one of the biggest (and perhaps hardest) steps towards that for me is to be thankful for everything I have. My everyday life does not look like, say, A Beautiful Mess, and that's okay, because the life I do live is full and complete as it is. I want to spend some time every day meditating on and rejoicing in all the good things in my life. I want to keep my heart and mind focused on the God who gives me all of those good things, the God who is faithful and who provides of all of my needs, the God who has given my life meaning and purpose. And I want to keep being grateful for all of that even when times are tough.

So that's my goal for 2014: to be thankful. What are your goals for this year? ♥

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Love
Love by Love From Ginger

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
- 1 John 4:9-11

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Family room at the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee
Family room at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee by State Library and Archives of Florida

It's almost Christmas! I really love this time of year (as long as I avoid the shopping centres...)! I love Christmas carols and spending time with my family; I love wrapping gifts and writing in cards; I love decorating the tree at home and driving past the holiday-lit houses in my neighbourhood when I go home from church. I know it's often easy to feel jaded by the over-commercialisation of Christmas, but I think the holidays are what you make of them. So I'm just feeling happy to be able to rejoice in the birth of Christ with my family this year. :)

This will be the last weekend post until the new year (and maybe in the new year, I'll get back to writing original content again...? We'll see!), so I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday, however you're spending it. ♥

In the midst of the sales and Christmas shopping frenzy, this First World Problems Anthem video by Water Is Life is an excellent reminder about what "problems" are.

Cinnamon sugar sourdough French toast bake with whipped yoghurt cream. Woah. And this chocolate cream slab pie!

Joy the Baker shares some of her baking secrets! Also, her chocolate peppermint icebox yule log cake looks amazing, and the accompanying video is so cute!

In music news: Daft Punk is performing at the Grammy Awards!!

Sometimes prank videos are legitimately hilarious. Check out Cell Phone Crashing by MediocreFilms - brilliant!

A Charlie Brown Christmas is probably my very favourite Christmas show, so I just love this flashmob!

I am loving Apartment Therapy's Best of 2013 round-up posts, especially this one with ideas and inspiration to get organised in the new year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Summer Days
Summer Days by martinak15

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me lately, so I'm looking forward to a quieter and more relaxing weekend! Dannii and I have a few wedding-related things to check off our to-do lists, but other than that it should be a pleasant and chilled-out couple of days. Hooray for lazy summer weekends!

What are you up to this weekend? However you spend it, here are a few links to make it a little sweeter. ♥

One of my favourite things about this time of year is the sheer number of peppermint-related recipes floating around on the internet! Like this red velvet cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting, or this candy cane chocolate tart, or this crunchy peppermint bark, or even peppermint bark petit fours!

Make your own chocolate liqueur!

Jamie Oliver and Hannah Hart made a bloody Mary together! Puns ensued!

This is a pretty interesting idea from Design*Sponge: give the gift of a new tradition.

Another interesting article: In defense of Christmas consumerism.

The Idea Channel asks: do digital natives exist?

This Q&A post on iHeart Organizing is full of organising tips, tricks and inspiration!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy weekend!

All you need
All you need by Giovana Medeiros

Holidays! They are great for catching up on reading! I've rediscovered the magic that is the local library, and right now I'm reading Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. Next of my to-read list is A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. If you have any book recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

What are you up to this fine weekend? However you spend it, here are a few links to make it a little sweeter. ♥

Have a read about Nelson Mandela's legacy. Such an inspiring life.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, this post on the modern etiquette of gift-giving is pretty timely!

Speaking of holiday planning, Jen from iHeart Organizing shared her holiday planning binder, and I seriously admire her organisation and planning skills!

I'd love to make these peppermint marshmallows! Or maybe for breakfast, this crispy hash brown cake!

Would you play a Jane Austen MMORPG?

Watch this fun music video called Get Off The Phone! Truly, a PSA for our time.

The Idea Channel Q&A video is really interesting!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy weekend!

picture by Linh Nguyen
photo by Linh Nguyen via unsplash

It's the weekend! It's been a pretty long and busy week, so I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend! Some of my girlfriends and I are heading on a mini road trip to Maleney and Montville: a lovely long day of coffee shops, scones, and alllll the delicious things!

What are you up to this weekend? However you spend it, here are a few links to make it a little sweeter! ♥

These creme brûlée doughnuts look amazing.

This bird's nest newspaper lamp shade looks time-consuming to make, but really cool!

Kelly Williams Brown challenges us to face the holidays like an adult. Challenge accepted!

Did you catch the teaser trailer for Sherlock season 3? I can't wait to watch the new episodes!!

Read this pretty cool textual analysis of three big YA novel series: The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter. The table of most commonly-used sentences in each series is pretty interesting/amusing!

Ryan North made a bunch of awesome things this year!

This article about cultivating gratitude in kids has some good general advice, not just for kids!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Weekend!

Intelligence is super cute
Intelligence is super cute by Giovana Medeiros

Only one day to go until the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special! I am excited but have been conscientiously trying to avoid reading much information/news about all things DW-related so as to avoid raising my expectations. Let's just say that Moffat and I do not see eye-to-eye on most things... But I am looking forward to watching the episode tomorrow with some friends! It'll be the perfect cap on what has been a relaxing and surprisingly productive first week of holidays. :)

What are you up to this weekend, friends? Whatever you do, here are a few links to make it a little sweeter! ♥

Mum and I have been watching Nigellisima every night, and it's been inspiring me to get in the kitchen! I am particularly keen to make this meringue gelato cake with chocolate sauce. It looks so easy!!

Joy the Baker continues her Baking 101 series with a list of buttermilk substitutes! And then she posted this amazing-looking cupcake recipe. Delicious.

Segway polo. It's a real sport. Gob would approve!

A toy company called Goldiebox is encouraging a new generation of female engineers, and their ad features an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine made entirely with 'traditional' girls' toys. Check it out!

You all heard about the BatKid, right? Well now check out his super-sweet movie trailer!

Oh man, the How It Should Have Ended tributes to Doctor Who are hilarious: How Doomsday Should Have Ended, and Super Cafe!

The Idea Channel considers the idea that the Doctor is a set of signs rather than a character in the latest video!