Monday, February 24, 2014

Respond

I did it again. 

I lashed out, said the words that I now regret.
I was hurt and those words covered my wounds.
It made me feel strong.
 At the moment.

Now, I just sit here.
Ashamed.
Angry at my myself.
Hurt.

I did it again.

I reacted

I allowed my feelings to take over.

I spoke before I allowed my heart to respond. 

To show 
Love.
Gentleness.
Sincerity. 

To 
Respond. 

How different reacting and responding is.

One depends on temporary feelings and a harsh, quick tongue.
The other depends on love and a tongue that is slow to speak. 

Reactions are like a harsh wind.
It blows quickly and then ceases, but the damage is already done.

By responding, love can slowly reach to every corner of my life. 

Love, take me over. 
I heard this song while driving to class. 
Beautiful Timing. 
Love, take these words that I'm speaking
Love, take these thoughts that I'm thinking
Love, take me over

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23

No man can tame the tongue… 
James 3:8











Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snow Day Fun

If you have been around my family very much, you know how much we love to go outside.

Our vacations usually center around climbing a mountain, canoeing or wild life watching.

I was born in New Mexico and learned to ski when I was two.

Snow is like my best friend. 

Some of my greatest memories involve fort building, snowman building and sledding.
We have some pretty crazy stories to tell.

Alabama, unfortunately, does not get snow very often.
But when we do, the whole town shuts down and the neighborhoods come alive!

Last week so fun, and I would like to share some of it with you. 


Woke up to this lovely surprise
My little brother Matthew and our snowman
My excitement is clearly shown
Sledding
I love the cold and snow, but I got to wear my chacos today for the first time in months and it made me so happy. 
(Snowed last week, low 70's today…welcome to Alabama)
I am so excited to share with you some of my outdoor adventures since the weather is getting warmer.
Believe me, I have some fun things in mind. 
Stay tuned.
:)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Shout Out to Singles

Today is Valentine's Day. 

Kind of hard to forget.

Walmart is filled with heart-shaped balloons, candy, cards and those adorable, huge teddy bears that you know any girl would love.
And that's just at Walmart.

I am at home, alone.

I pushed my parents out the door to go on a well-deserved date.

My brother is on a youth trip with my church.

It's just me and my cat.

How romantic.

Is there something wrong with me? 

I am a sophomore in college, and there is no significant other in sight.

Probably the most common question asked to me is, "met a special someone yet?"
I would always smile and laugh that I hadn't and quickly change the subject.

Beneath this independent spirit, there are some very high walls.
It's safe.

But, there is also a girl who wants to be seen.

To be told that she is pretty, to be loved, to be spoiled, because lets face it, 
it is a wonderful feeling. 

I am not here to complain about being single.
I love being single.
I can do what I want, when I want.
I have goals and dreams not centered around a boyfriend.
I have been able to meet so many amazing people and grow within myself.
I can focus on things that I probably couldn't have as easily with a guy around. 

Sure, it can get lonely sometimes.
Especially when half of your friends are out on dates and people are getting engaged or married everywhere you turn. 

But sweet girls, you are never truly alone.

There is nothing wrong with you. 

There is a special place in your heart that not even that dreamy guy can fill.

Only God can. 

Those beautiful eyes, nice hair, warm smile and gentle touch may seem fulfilling, but it's not.

It may fill another part of your heart, but it will never fill ALL of your heart.

Instead of complaining, or wishing you were with someone on this special day.
Remember, your time WILL come.
Patience is so important in relationships.
Keep those standards high, because I promise you there are good guys out there.
Become friends with them, get to know them before you start dating.

It takes time. 

It's okay to be just you and to not have a boyfriend. 

Having a guy does not define you.
My image is in Christ. 

Wait patiently, because trust me, the most beautiful surprises happen when we least expect them to. 

<3




Stop focus on being loved. 
Focus on showing love. 
Annie Downs. 





Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Okay guys, I read this book in one day.

ONE DAY.

I warn you, it is emotionally damaging to do such a thing.

I couldn't help it.

The Fault in Our Stars has become one of my most favorite books. 

Recommended by a dear friend, it is story filled with true love, adventure and heartache.

Hazel Grace is a normal teenage girl.
She loves to read.
She goes to the mall with friends.
Her parents get on her nerves, but she still loves them dearly.
She falls in love.
She is dying.

This is her story.  

This book made me realize how beautiful life truly is. 

Simplicity is beauty. 

True love is shown at its deepest level. 

This book is unlike any romance novel you will ever read, because it has more than just romance. 

It has a meaning that we all can learn from. 



P.S. 
The movie is coming out June 6! I get anxious when books are made into movies, but the trailer looks so splendid. 
Just read the book before the movie and let your imagination soar! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Soon Today

I wonder so many times how life works.

It is such a mysterious thing.

People I haven't seen in so long, somehow find their way back into my life.

New opportunities, new feelings, new plans.

That's just it.

A lot of my plans have changed.

My idea for how my life should work, well let's just say that it has brought many surprises.

You know what I have learned to do though?

Laugh.
Dance.
Enjoy.

All the worry that has plagued my life, why?

Why should I worry about tomorrow?

Why can't I enjoy this beautiful, cold day in February?

Sure, I have to prepare for tomorrow, but I do not need to dwell in tomorrow.

I need to dwell, to fully live today

Some of the most beautiful things happen completely unexpectedly. 

I won't be able catch those special moments if I rush through life. 

Oh, how I had wished I had enjoyed life more. 

But, today can be a new beginning.

Even though I haven't even eaten lunch yet and my computer is about to die, I smile. 

Cause I do not have to worry about tomorrow or what will even happen next year.

Because I have Someone who has my life's blueprint in hand.

So, why not enjoy today?

Soon today will be ten years ago.  

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Skin Care Routine

I am sure that you have read countless blogs and ratings about all the different skin cares. 
At least, I know I have.

I didn't really struggle with acne until 10th grade.
I was blessed with only an occasional blemish, but then all of a sudden by face went crazy and I broke out all the time.

It was beyond frustrating.

I have very oily skin, so finding good skin products is a challenge for me. 
I am no skin expert or makeup expert or anything like that.

I have gotten to the point where I prefer not to wear makeup or at least very little.

This goes with my skin care routine.

Simple, quick and efficient.
I don't have time to mess around with lots of products needless to say the money.
Poor college kid here.

Before I show you my products, I guess one of the key things I have learned is drink a ton of water, exercise, sleep, eat healthy and MOISTURIZE.
Even with oily skin, moisturizing actually helps keep the oil production down. 

Also, wash your pillows. I wash them once a week. 
I really don't want to know what kind of oils or germs get on them...

Like I said earlier, I am no expert.
I just started using all these products together a few months ago, and I have noticed a pretty big change in my skin.
It just feels and looks healthier.

Here are the few products that I use and really love! 

Use products like Eye Makeup Remover and Oil-Free Makeup Remover Towelettes to get rid of that makeup of yours!


Love, love, love. I use this every night.

So refreshing. I use it every morning. Just splash some water on your face first. 

Moisturizer is so important for healthy skin. Use every night and morning on clean skin.




I use this at the very end on old remarks and scars. I have seen a huge difference over the past few weeks.

It changes colors!! Just warn your roommate before hand. 
:)

This stuff is amazing. I put a dime sized amount all over my face after it is clean, right before moisturizing. Use morning and night. 

I hope you this has given you some skin care ideas!
Just remember, true beauty comes from within.




Thursday, February 06, 2014

Am I Lovely?

I recently read a book called Captivating.

It is a book about the woman's heart.

A woman desires intimacy, adventure and to be beautiful. 
We want to be sought after.
To be treasured.

We want to be needed.

We simply want to be lovely. 

What I enjoyed most about this book, was that it really emphasized a woman's relationship with God.

He is supposed to be our "first love."

Only when we find that rest in Him and know where our true beauty lies, will we be able to fully live the life God has called us to.

This book was encouraging for me to read, because I am very (did I mention very) single and the book still gave me the desire to be content with where I am in life and to continually grow in Him. 

I do not need a man to complete me.

Did I really just say that? Especially with Valentine's Day coming up? 

There is a God-shaped hole in my heart that only He can fill.
But what is even more incredible, is that there is a place in His heart that I can only fill. 

Makes you feel special, huh?
Maybe it is because simply YOU are. 

I also was really encouraged about how the book challenged me to daily get out of my comfort zone.
I believe women often believe we are so limited in life that we can't do certain things.

This is simply not true.

Yes, there are specific roles that men and women have that are commanded by God.
But, we so often limit what we ask God to do in our lives.

Women are warriors. 
Countless stories were given that honestly, really empowered me.

Beauty is the most essential quality God has given to this earth.
He has given it to us, as women. 

You know the glow of a women in love.

It is beautiful.
It is inspiring.
It is mysterious.
It is inviting. 

Christian women need to have that glow, because we have the most beautiful love of all!

With that love, think of our future relationships, the people we could inspire.
Our children and grandchildren.

That glow did not begin when we met our Prince Charming.
It can begin right now.




Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Mom's Meatloaf

My family loves meat. It must be a Houts' thing. 
This is probably one of my favorite meals my mom makes.
I know a lot of people don't like meatloaf, but this is so good it is definitely worth a try.
It does not take much time at all, and it will feed about four-five people. 
Enjoy
:)
Mom's Meatloaf Recipe
Cooking Time:
35-40 minutes
375 degrees
Ingredients:
Meatloaf Balls
2 pounds of hamburger (lean)
2 eggs
1 medium onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
(optional) 
1 cup of oatmeal
1/2 tsp. sage
1 1/2 tsp mustard
Meatloaf Topping
3/4 cup of ketchup
1 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp of light brown sugar
Directions: 
Mix together Meatloaf Ball's Ingredients.
Create small balls.
Put in cooking pan.
10 minutes before meatballs are finished cooking, mix together Meatloaf Topping Ingredients.
Put mixer on top of meatballs.

Dinner is served! 



To complete meal, add cornbread or biscuits and a vegetable of your choice.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Challenge Accepted: Part 3

Getting in shape can be rough.

My dad and I are running an average of 20 miles a week.
If you had told me that in December, I probably would have laughed at you.

You know what is so crazy though, I absolutely love it.
My body is starting to crave running.

On our rest days, it feels great to relax but my body also feels like it needs to go run for a bit.
It's pretty crazy. 

I thought I would share some of my exercise routines with you.
My dad and I are training for a half marathon, so you may want to look up some running schedules on your own, but if you are wanting to train for a half, this has worked great for us!

I also do abs, arms, and butt/legs. 

I am no fitness trainer.
(That would be so cool though. I am looking into that)
Here are just a few things that I like to do and have helped me tone a bit. 

Abs:
My mom found this video on YouTube and it has different levels.
Eight Minute Abs, boy will you feel sore after. 

Legs:
20 squats
30 lunges
40 calf raises
50 second wall sits
30 leg raises
(You can repeat, do more or do less. It is completely up to you)

Arms:
Lateral Raises 
(2 sets of 15)
Horizontal Raises
(2 sets of 15)
Bicep Curls
(3 sets of 15)
Tricep Extensions
(3 sets of 15)
Hammer Curls
(3 sets of 12) 

I switch between the 5 pound and the 10 pound weights. I have the world's weakest arms, so I am trying to get some strength there. 

Running Schedule:

You can switch up the days, because I know that it can get busy and scheduling is hard.

I hope this has encouraged you in your workout routine!  



If I could run with that view everyday, I would always be out on the trails.