Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Five Foods

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Quesadillas

Red Velvet Cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Need I say more?

Almost there!!!

First things first...

Khloe Kardashian's SHOE closet ....

I absolutely LOVE this dress & outfit

ummm yes please!

Cutest outfit ever? I THINK YES

Then there's stuff for the home:

Absolutely love the bedding & pillows :)

Can I pleaseeeeeeeeeee have this headboard?

Then comes the tattoo obsession....

I love the placement of both of these :)

On to the randoms.....

I want this puppy!!!!

Love this saying!

Once again... maybe one day :)

Too much hottness for one photo

I wish my hair would do this!

And last but not least...

all photos courtesy of pinterest

To The Youth

About a year ago I started gonig to Park Ridge Baptist. It changed my life. I finally found a place that would give me so much fulfillment with my life. The biggest passion I have is teenagers. I love them! I'm a firm believer that they have what it takes to change the world. But I also know that teens have it much harder than most of the rest of us, as far as a spiritual walk goes.
I remember when I was in high school it was the hardest time in my life to be a Christian and actually live the part out. Trying to be a Christian in a world that is determined to take God out. And In all of the chaos, the one place I had to turn to was my youth group. I had such an amazing youth pastor Ryan Gillespie. His wife Mandy, and also my small group leaders Heather Collins and Sherry Wright helped me in so many ways. Sherry was actually the one who prayed with me when I accepted the Lord! The best part about it was that they weren't judgemental towards me. They listened to my stories and when I vented about life.  I opened up to them in ways I've never done with anyone. I was comfortable enough to do that because I knew they would never judge me or look down on me.
So many people now look at the teens of this world and pass judgement towards them. So many people point fingers at them and try to tell them how to live their lives and how to make choices and if they don't do it that way then they're doomed for Hell.

So here is my letter of promise to the youth at Park Ridge and any others I may come in contact with in my life,

I've prayed long and hard about my relationship with you guys. Prayed that I could be the kind of influence on you that I had in my small group leaders. Prayed that I could build strong relationships with you, that you could feel comfortable with me, and share with me. Prayed that I could be that person you confide in and trust. Because I won't pass judgement. I understand where you're coming from completely. I was just there a few years ago! I promise that I will never tell  you that you're "screwing up your life" or that you need to change. I know that no one is perfect and everyone on earth is flawed and makes mistakes. So who am I or anyone else to tell you that you're wrong? God even tells us not to judge one another, because that's his job.

"Do not speak evil of one another. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is only one law giver who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge one another?"
- James 4:11-12
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen"
- Ephesians 4:29

 So my biggest promise is to love you like you are my own family. Love you like God would have me to. I promise to listen to you when you come to me. I promise to have compassion and understanding. I promise not to pass judgement but to give advice when you ask me. I will never think any of you are "hopeless" or "a waste of time". We are all children of God and we are all equal. It is my duty as a Christian to do whatever I can that is in my power given to me by God to help you follow him. Not push you away.

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring peace to God"
- Romans 15:7
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves"
- Romans 12:10
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in God forgave you"
- Ephesians 4:32

I am here for you. To help you and to guide you. To love you and care for you. To laugh with you and to cry with you. To help you up if you feel you have fallen. To rejoice with you when you do well. To encourage you and strengthen you. To build you up. I am here to help you do good. But most of all, I am here.

"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share"
- 1 Timothy 6:18

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lately . . .

So lately I've been thinking about how much my life has changed these past few years. So I kind of felt as though I should do a recap so that you guys could follow along with me.

One of the greatest years of my life. I finally told my good friend my true feelings for him and we had a "whirlwind romance". I learned so much about myself and life with him. It was the first real relationship I ever had. I was passionately in "puppy love" with him and had the time of my life. I had a huge group of terrific friends, most of my graduating class to be exact. We all got so close that year and just did so much together. I was strong and confident within myself. I turned 18 and got my first taste of what being an adult felt like. I graduated high school and moved out of my parents house and onto the college campus. I got my first breeze of freedom and independence. It's also the first year I truly experienced heart ache. I lost my grandfather that year and it literally brought me to my knees. I loved that man more than you could ever know and I always will. But losing him brought me back to my family and showed me who my real friends were. I got my first job and moved back home. I decided to take time away from school and try to figure out my life.

This year was insanity. I had my first time of "rebellion" against my parents and learned the hard way that they were'nt gonna stand for that. I wound up losing my car and my cell phone. So I had to get my own. It made me feel like a "big girl" for the first time ever though. My high school sweetheart and I decided to end things. He made some choices that were very serious and affected me in very negative ways. I had to make the choice to move on with life and let go of that relationship. I started a new relationship with a guy I always refer to as "cowboy cassanova". He swept me off my feet with his charm and good looks. He knew exactly what to say and do to make me fall hard for him. He's the first guy whose ever been able to come between my family and I. I had a serious rebellion at this time against my parents. I moved out of my house and in with him. Crazy, I know. He wasn't completely bad. In reality I don't think he's a bad person at all. We were just both young and wild and were wreckless together. We were like fire and gasoline. I learned so much from this relationship too. I learned that I have to do what makes me happy, and I can't live my life for others. I also learned to stand up for myself, and I finally saw what life was like without my family ... not good. But I did have a lot of fun that year.

In 2010 I had the worst break up of my life. It was hard to leave "cowboy cassanova". But it was for the best. I made amends with my parents and moved back home. Right after moving back home, we went on our annual family beach trip and I had the time of my life! I made a bond with my cousin K and my little brother that year that I will cherish forever. I got back into my strong bond with my parents because I realized that no matter what they will always love me and be there for me. I finally listened to their advice, and though I never like to admit it, they were right! I'm so glad they were! I ran into an old friend and I'm so glad I did! I met V and F and made lifelong friendships with the two of them that I will cherish forever. I got  very close to my lovlely friend J and we helped each other through hard points in our lives. I had the time of my life being single and making new friends. I got reacquainted with God and got back into church. I met some amazing people and made terrific and loving bonds with strong christians who I know will always be there for me. And I met a man who would forever change my life. I fell hard and fast in love with an amazing man and his wonderful family. I learned what it was like to love and to be loved whole heartedly. I grew up in ways I never thought imaginable. I met so many great people through him, who I still hold close to my heart.

This year so far has been a roller coaster of events and emotions. I watched three great women marry the men of their dreams. I was there when one of my great friends found out she was preggo with her baby girl. I got engaged. I turned 21, which was amazing! I also lost one of my good friends to some stupid drama, but it brought me closer to V. I learned just how much my family meant to me, and how much I should cherish them, when both of my great-grandmothers got sick at the same time. Life is short, so take advantage of the time you have with people before it's too late. I also ended an engagement with someone who I loved dearly, because I loved him enough to let him go. He and his family will always be special to me, and I still love them unconditionally. I got a new job at SCBT and realized finally what I wanted to do with my life! I reached all of the goals I made for myself, and it feels amazing. And the best part of this year so far, is that I set out on this amazing journey to find myself. Who I truly am, not who someone else wants me to be. I started this little blog and so far, it has been life changing. I have encountered some terrific women on here whose stories have helped me in so many ways that I can't even put it into words. Mainly these two ladies. Right now, I'm perfectly content with exactly where my life is. I love all the people I have in it. And I absolutely love where my life is going. I can't wait to see what's in store for me these last few months!

6 places

My top pick:

Of course I would LOVE to go to Australia

Then there's Germany because I mean..
I'm German :)

I think on everyone's list is The Grand Canyon.
Gotta see it before I die.

You can't have a "place" list without Italy :)

And last but not least I would DIE to be able to go to Spain

Happy Tuesday :)

Friday, August 26, 2011


This one is a little harder than the others. You would think saying what you want would be easy right?

So let's see...

* I want to be a good mother like my aunt was to me. She is truly amazing.
She and my uncle made so many sacrifices for me to make sure I would have a better life.
And for that I am forever grateful.
If I can turn out to be just half of the amazing mother, best friend, role model, and woman
as she is... I'll be a happy girl

* I want to marry a good man. I don't want to be another statistic.
50% of all marriages end in divorce. I don't want to be one of those marriages.
I don't expect a fairytale. But I do believe in soulmates.
I believe there is that one special person God creates just for you.
And I want to find him (when its right) and have my own "fairytale"

* I want to be successful. Not necessarily rich --I mean that would be nice but... :)
I want to have a career that I enjoy and want to pursue for a lifetime.
I want to be happy to go to work everyday.
But I also want to make the world and other's lives better.
I don't just want a job that I come to 5 days a week and that's it.
I want to do something that can benefit others.
Something that is fulfilling and means something.
To me, that is true success.

* (This kind of goes along with the first one)
I want to have a good family of my own.
A family that lives for God.
A family that is happy and loving.
A family that wants to do right and good by others and themselves.
A family that is strong and confident.
A family that strives to be the best at whatever they chose to do.

* I want to be a good friend.
I know that a lot of people always have the "flake" or the "critic"
I don't want to be these. I want to be the
"loyal, loving, have your back, thick & thin"
I want to be the caring and compassionate friend that I have been so blessed to have in others.
Basically I want to be the kind of friend I love to have.

* I want to be a positive role model to all those who look up to me.
I don't really know who they are, if any.
But I know at some point in a woman's life, someone looks up to her.
And when that happens, I don't want to disappoint.

* (This kind of goes with the second one)
I want to be a strong woman of God.
I want to be a submissive woman who respects and supports my husband (one day)
I want to be everything God has called me to be in my life (which  I also associate with success)
I want to be a Godly wife, mother, and woman.

I'm sure there are other things but these are the most important things to me.
Happy Friday Bloggers :)

"Cabs Are Here!"

So I fought it for forever. I tried so hard to skip this bandwagon hoping that maybe it would blow over. But I must say, I caved. I am now a Jersey finatic! So heres to Jerzday!!

That's right Guidos and Guidettes :) I was literally INCHES away from DJ Pauly D last night! He was DJ'ing at Republic in Charlotte after the Britney Spears concert last night. And of course, knowing V and me, we aren't ones to sit in the back. We pushed through the crowds and stood RIGHT IN FRONT of his DJ booth! We actually touched him and he made eye contact and a face at V. Best night ever!!!

Happy Friday Bloggers :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

8. I'm deathly afraid of the dark.

7. I'm not scared of heights, I'm scared of falling.
Let me elaborate...
I do well with roller coasters and things like that because I'm strapped in.
What I don't do well with are things like stairs, curbs, things like that.
Falling absolutely terrifies me, from any height.

6. I'm scared of open spaces.
I'm not scared of small dark spaces. I'm scared of open fields, big houses, parking lots, stuff like that.
Strange, I know.

5. I'm scared of the "unknown".
Not knowing what's going on or what is about to happen...
freaks me out.

4. I am absolutely scared of razors...
The thought of something cutting my skin makes me cringe
like ... can't even watch it in movies... cringe

3. As cliche as it may be, I hate clowns.
Something about a grown man/woman
dressing up in that ridiculous outfit with that AWFUL make up
to spend "quality time" with children

2. I'm terrified of disappointment.
I hate letting people down
It's the one thing in this world, that when I do it, I feel awful

1. I'm scared of being "left behind"
I know that I'm saved, but sometimes preachers can make you think twice about it.
I freak myself out worrying about whether or not I will go to heaven when I die.
Like, did I actually do what it takes?
Does God believe me that I meant it whole heartedly?
Did my life actually change?

Weird things I'm scared of... I know.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How To LIve A Great Love Story: For The Girls

Living a great love story doesn’t look like winning the lottery, it looks like training for a marathon. It’s hard work and you have to do the work long before you ever meet Mr. Right, otherwise you’ll be the girl who shows up for the marathon having eaten a gallon of ice cream every night, listening to Taylor Swift songs and watching love stories about vampires. No good man can run with that girl, not for much longer than a mile.

In movies and books, there are formulas for great love stories. Not all movies follow them, but we can depend on a variation on certain themes. They go something like this:

1. Boy meets girl.
2. Boy falls in love with girl.
3. Girl is a bit hesitant knowing her heart is tender and could get hurt.
4. Boy proves himself strong enough to handle and defend her heart.
5. Girl trusts boy and they live happily ever after.

All love stories are different, of course, but these are central themes that weave in and out of the good ones. And if they don’t, the stories are normally tragedies.

Juliet does not trust Romeo right away, for instance, but he pursues her and he wins her love. The same goes with the characters in The Notebook and Twilight (I confess I labored through both) and in the great romantic novels of Jane Eyrie and Charles Dickens and so on and so on.

So, if these are the principles of a great love story, how do we play them out in our lives? How do we live a great love story? Here are some suggestions:

1. Don’t hook up: Girls shouldn’t make it too easy on the guy. Don’t hook up, in other words. A recent article in Scientific American revealed when a girl hooks up with a guy, she esteems him very highly. She may think of him as powerful or famous, somebody who is strong. But the opposite is actually true from the guys perspective. Guys hook up with girls they find less attractive and sexually easy. All they want is sex, and so if they perceive she will give them sex and then get out of their lives, they are going to jump at the chance. The girl may feel very wanted and beautiful but the truth is he’s insulting her. If he thought of her with respect, he’d sit and ask questions about her life and her family. He’d try to get to know her because he wants to develop a friendship and perhaps a romantic relationship. In other words, guys don’t hook up with girls they would marry. They marry the girls they get nervous around and are made to pursue. So, if you become a “hook up” girl you get labeled, in the minds of guys as a girl you really don’t have to fight for. And when your husband finds out you were the “hook up” girl he’s going to have to have a lot of grace, which is fine, it just puts you in the category of “charity” in his mind and not “equal” or “partner.” He may still love you, but he will have serious questions about whether you’re in the kind of shape it takes to run a marathon. Unless you get over it and move on and do a period of time where you put it all behind you, he will and honestly should lose respect for you. Respect is not free. Respect is earned. Grace is free, but grace and respect are different.

2. Make him work for it: When a guy is made to fight for a girl, he esteems her much more highly. She becomes more attractive in his eyes, and for that matter she becomes more attractive to other men, too. That said, most of the time this will backfire because lots of guys are just looking for cheap and slutty sex and for her to get lost afterward. Still, it’s your chance to weed them out. And believe me, girls, there are a lot of weeds.

3. Weed them out: Guys who are just looking for a hook up need to hit the road. By weeding them out you definitely end up with a smaller pool of guys to choose from. It’s unfortunate and that is truly bad news. But there’s good news, too. There are fewer girls with the strength to not have one night stands, and those girls become much, much more attractive to men. Those are the girls who present a challenge, and who are esteemed more highly. These are the girls guys recognize as the kind of women they want to partner with in raising a family. In other words, it’s a great strategy to be more attractive to a smaller group than cheap and easy to a larger group. Plus, the stronger guys are up for the work while the weaker guys are just trying to get laid.

4. Be willing to suffer: What this means for you is that your love story needs to have a lot of lonely crying in it. Believe it or not, there will come a day when a man will fall madly in love with you and you will have the honor of sitting down with him one special night to explain that, while you weren’t perfect, you turned down plenty of guys and and cried yourself to sleep hoping somebody would come around and treat you with respect. He will be honored by this, and he will love you and feel humbled. If he doesn’t have the same story, he will feel intensely convicted and unworthy. You’ll really be giving him the foundation he needs to love your heart.

5. Have some faith: I’ve noticed that most women who complain a good man won’t come along are actually interested in the wrong guys. They make lists of their perfect gentleman coming to rescue them meanwhile they’re hooking up with guys who have a track record of just having sex with random women. Really? Your husband won’t really care what you say, he will care what you do. We tell our love stories with our actions, not our words. Life isn’t a Taylor Swift song, with all the hardship left out. It works more like a Normal Mailer novel, with all the gritty garbage left in. Stop falling for the romantic version of life, and start realizing that a romantic story is told with an enormous amount of pain, sacrifice, suffering and patience.

6. Don’t be thirteen: Unless you’re thirteen, ladies, grow up. Many women claim that men just won’t grow up, but then you sit and talk to them and realize they haven’t grown up either. They aren’t strong enough to demand something more from their men. They aren’t strong enough to say no to a guy who just wants to use them. These are all elements of immaturity. And it’s the stuff of a bad love story. A good man will attract a good woman. And a victim will attract a predator. Stop acting like a victim. If you want a strong man who can protect you and your children, stop trolling for predators by crying all the time. Act like a dignified woman who believes her company is valuable and should come at a price.

So, if you want a great love story, start training for it today. Start suffering, like somebody training for a marathon. Do the pain, suffer through the nights where you cry in your pillow, have some faith and stop cheapening your love story with scenes you’ll never be able to edit out.

You’re love story may not work, it’s true. Plenty of them don’t. But the chances of your love story succeeding are greatly increased when, on race day, you can actually run.

So, what do you do if you’ve completely screwed this up:

1. Be honest about it. Don’t hide it. If you went through a slutty season, don’t act like you were a helpless victim, a sweet girl who got caught up. You probably weren’t. A confession and an excuse are entirely different. Excuses talk about being hurt or drunk or being lied to. Confessions start with a radical and real understanding of how bad your human nature actually is and how you were caught up in a selfish search for validation and pleasure. Don’t lie to yourself and don’t lie to him. Don’t act like the sweet girl who “accidentally made twenty-five mistakes.” He won’t trust you because what you say and what you’ve done are different.

No good man is going to marry a woman with multiple personalities. And besides that, you’d be surprised at how much unbelievable trust you can build by being brutally honest. You shouldn’t share a bunch of details, but you should definitely share you went through a slutty season and have very few, if any, excuses. But now you want more. Now you want to put that behind you and build a love story. Honesty is very rare, and an honest girl is a girl you can build a family with, regardless of her past. I really mean this, too. If you’re brutally honest about your motives (keep the details vague, ladies. I’m serious about this. He doesn’t need visual images) then you ARE BUILDING TRUST and he can love you. If you play the victim, he’s going to walk away. And he should. A victim is great material for a counselor, but not for a husband.

2. Find out why you did what you did. Why are you capable of having sex without love or commitment? What are you using sex to accomplish? When those questions are a mystery to you, you aren’t healthy enough to get married and no good man should marry you. Those questions need to be answered and understood in a way that the two of you can build on as a foundation.

3. Start training for the freaking marathon. Marriage is the hardest job you’ll ever have. It works nothing like a hookup. The sex is more sloppy and vulnerable and affected by all kinds of emotional contexts. If you’re used to one off sex acts where you’re having crazy experiences, you’re husband is never going to be able to match up because, well, he’s got to stick around and do the laundry and argue with you about the electricity bill. That’s not sexy stuff, that’s the stuff of real love stories. It feels boring in the moment, but twenty years in you’ll be crying your eyes out over this man who stuck with you through the thick and thin and who honestly didn’t care that you got fat! Why not give yourself to the one who didn’t care whether you got fat than give yourself to the one who makes you feel like you’ve got to throw up after eating a lolly-pop? That kind of love story sucks so stop living it!

4. Work through your need to be validated by men. You’re going to marry a man, not men. So cut the slutty dresses and facebook photos. Start acting like a woman a man can partner with to build a family, not a woman who would make a great romp on a drunk and emotionally foggy friday night. And stop using alcohol as an excuse. Nobody gets drunk and accidentally sleeps with a hamster. You know what you’re doing, drunk or not, so cut it out. In other words, become the woman who fits the character in the love story you want to live.

5. Don’t act. Don’t pretend. Don’t pretend to be a wholesome girl who is starting over when you’re secretly still wanting to hook up. These changes need to be internal and they need to be real. You are going to have to go through the withdrawal of using guys for validation. If it helps, just know you’ll stand before God one day and you want him to be proud of you. That’s the only thing that helped me stop validating myself with women. I couldn’t do it for Paige, but I could do it for God. Turns out God loves Paige more than I do. Go figure. Anyway, get over the acting part and start doing the real living part. Every great story demands enormous sacrifice. Start sacrificing your validation with other men to make a real love story happen.

Tell a great love story and you’ll dazzle the world. Do the work and enjoy the benefits. The world needs some great love stories, but few people are willing to do what it takes to tell them. No wonder we all love them so much.

Do you want a great love story. Do you want to run the marathon it takes to be married to the same man after fifty years. Do you want him to look you in the eyes with so much respect it bring tears to his. If you do, start training for the marathon. No good story comes easy. A great love story is still possible. Go for it!

* Will you do me a favor and print this blog out and read it with the women in your life who you love, especially the young women who are dating? I think you’ll be shocked at what a great conversation you’ll have when we talk openly about what it takes to live a real love story.

How To Live A Great Love Story: For The Guys

Any great story contains the following elements:

• A person (or group of people)
• That wants something.
• And are willing to overcome conflict.
• To get it.

A great love story is no different. In a love story, a guy, wants a girl, and is willing to fight the dragon, to get her. Or at least some variation on this theme.

If you’re like me, though, you don’t like to sit and watch romantic movies. If it’s a comedy, I can bear it, but I’m the guy who fast-forwards romantic dialogue they throw in to endear a female audience. I could care less.

That said, though, men were designed by God to live a great love story.

But there’s a difference between men and women, here. Men were not designed to have love stories “happen to them” as much as they were designed to “make a love story happen to a woman.” Do you understand? You’re the writer of the story. You’re the guy who initiates and has the character to follow through. You’re the one responsible for how the love story turns out.

I think we can all agree we live in a culture of guys who couldn’t write a love story to save their lives. Honestly, American love stories suck. If you want a girl to be crazy about you, you’ve got so little competition that it’s easier than ever.

The only thing is, it looks nothing like the sappy stuff Hollywood is selling to our current culture of women who are, perhaps, lost in fantasy. Those kinds of stories have men stuttering about feeding women’s egos by falling all over themselves and practically peeing their pants. In real life, women think those guys are losers. A woman wants a man who is confident, who knows where he is going, and knows exactly where she fits into his life. Her preference, of course, is that she fits into his life as a best friend, lover, wife, and the mother of their children. At least that’s the case in the love stories I want to talk about in this blog.

Women do like bad guys for a period of time. Usually, this lasts between the ages of 18 to about 24.The reason is simple. Their bodies are looking for somebody who is strong enough to defend their offspring, and they mistake strength for, well, the general characteristics of a jerk.

But, as she gets a little older, a woman’s chemistry begins to change and she enters into a more mature understanding of strength. As a woman matures, she literally loses interest in the bad guys and looks for somebody more dependable. She loses interest in guys who can’t be faithful and, well, can’t seem to stop smoking pot. After that, women become interested in stable, well adjusted men headed somewhere that involves safety, security and emotional stability. That’s where you come in because the real love stories, the ones that don’t end with her bailing her loser boyfriend out of jail, or worse, catching him with another woman, happen when two healthy people finally find each other. If you’re reading this and you’re young, you might have to put up with a few years of girls chasing guys with tattoos on motorcycles, but don’t worry about that. You start down a solid career path and girls will be knocking down your door in a few years. I promise.

Most people think love stories only benefit women. But don’t be fooled. There’s a lot in this for you. A man can have sex with a thousand women and he’ll never feel as masculine as he will be leading a woman through a good love story. God designed it so a man felt his most powerful while guiding a woman through an amazing love story.

Love stories, though, are told through sacrifice, patience and pain. It may take you five years or more to get your act together, but when you do, every woman around you will recognize a potential leading man in the love story they are dreaming about.

Here are some things to work on to lead a woman through a great love story.

Want something. Every story involves a person who wants something, and you’re love story can’t be any different. First of all, you should want some kind of career or impact. You should want make the world a better place and you should be very focused and dedicated to making this happen. This means going to college, starting a company, coaching a team or teaching a class. If you want to make a woman’s dreams come true, pick up your X-box and throw it in the trash and start doing something with your life. Have you ever noticed that ancient paintings of women always have them draped over a bed or a couch, arms outstretched in rest? And yet the guys are yielding a sword or riding a horse or captaining a ship. That’s because men were designed to work. Want something. Work hard to become good at a craft. Get off your couch and move. My friend Henry Cloud actually recommends that when a father is approached by a young man asking for is daughters hand in marriage, he withholds his blessing until the man presents his last few years worth of tax records. No kidding, it’s true. It’s not because Henry believes the man should make a lot of money, it’s because the young man should be responsible enough to file taxes and have a job. How else is he going to provide for a family. All that to say, part of being a leading man in a love story is being a dependable, action-oriented worker.

Choose the right women to date. The book of Proverbs was primarily written to men, and while there is a great deal of advice in the book about work ethic and finances, a significant percentage of the book is spent warning men to stay away from certain women. Is she seductive? Stay away. Is she nagging? Stay away. Is she sexually promiscuous? Stay away. In my dating history, I’ve dated some amazing women. But on two occasions, I dated girls who were pretty seductive in nature, and I paid dearly. I lost sleep and nearly lost my sanity. I’ll never forget taking a flight to Vancouver BC one night, reading through the book of Proverbs and realizing what the source of my problems was, I was dating a girl the book told me not to date. I broke up with her immediately and sanity returned.

Now this does not mean you shouldn’t date a girl with a past. One of my all-time favorite girlfriends, a girl I consider amazing and will make a terrific wife to somebody some day, actually spent years living with a guy and has a fairly liberal standard regarding sexuality. That said, though, she’s not seductive, and she’s completely honest about her philosophy. In other words, we may not agree about everything regarding sex, but the woman has integrity. I’d take a non-christian woman with integrity over a Christian seductress any day, and I’d be a happier man for making that decision. You want a woman who is looking for a man, not a woman who is looking for men. Seriously, guys, just stay away from the woman who leads with her seductive side.

Have a plan. Did you know John Wooden, who won 10 National Championships with UCLA actually never won the championships the first 16 years he coached? It’s true. It wasn’t until he sat down one off season and created a plan that he began to succeed, and he’s of the most successful coaches in all of sports. My question to you, then, is do you have a plan? Do you know what kind of father you want to be? Do you know what kind of wife will be required to make your vision come true? If you don’t have a plan, you’re leaving your success up to luck.

Be honorable with the women you date. I made a rule a long time ago and it’s served me well. I told myself I’d never kiss a girl unless I cared deeply about her. For the most part, if not completely, I’ve never kissed a girl I wasn’t dating. Though looking back I think there were a few in there that weren’t quite defined. That said, though, I’ve never used a girl just for sex or just to hook up. I am so grateful for this, because I don’t want my conscious entangled in all that mess. While there are a few girls I’ve dated who may not like me, I think most of them think I’m pretty okay. At least that’s what they’ve told me. So here’s the thing. You can either wreck a girls heart, or build it up. You can either help her understand that she’s beautiful by protecting her heart and her body, or teach her she’s just a girl worth using for sex. To be sure, there are plenty of girls who actually just want to be used for sex, but remember, Proverbs says stay away from these women. Seriously, I’ve taken the bait a couple times and it’s a living nightmare.

Stop validating yourself with women. This is a pretty serious problem for many men, especially men who grew up with womanizing fathers or no fathers at all. Men who do not believe they have what it takes to live life well and with strength will validate themselves with women. They just aren’t sure they’re manly, so they have to test themselves all the time by trying to knock down girl after girl. Even if it’s not sexual, it can be emotional. A guy can get hooked on that feeling of having a girl like him. If you are going to tell a great love story, you are going to have to figure out how to let go of this tendency. Stop validating yourself with women. Stay focused on the one girl you’ve chosen and make it happen with her and her alone.

Stop having sex and learn to make love. I’m amazed at how many women hook up with guys and talk about how terrible the sex was. Seriously, I hear them talk about this all the time. But why? Why would a man who has slept with hundreds of women not be very good in bed? Well, the main reason is a woman wants to connect in ways beyond just a physical connection. Most “players” have no idea how to make love to a woman, precisely because they don’t even care about the woman they are sleeping with on a given night. They are so busy trying to get laid, they take no time to actually find out who she is. Essentially, sex to them is just mutual masturbation. It usually leaves the woman feeling dissatisfied and, well, disgusted and if she’s honest, a little used.

I mean sure she wanted to have sex, but she may have wanted something else, too. A woman often wants a deep, soul connection. Even though she hooked up with a stranger, she was just going through the motions of something else she really wants. She wants words of affirmation and eye contact and playful fun that only happens in intimacy. Why was the sex no good in the hook up? Because the relationship was no good.

That said, start being a man who knows how to connect with women. I’m not suggesting becoming a player. I really think you should only be connecting with a woman who is worthy of becoming your wife. But when she is your wife, make love to her heart, not just her body. As ferociously as possible, find that woman’s heart and connect with it. Learn everything about her and connect with her in as many ways as possible. Understand her story and care about her past. In fact, for the first several months, I wouldn’t even try to make a move. Just get to know her, become her friend, do things with her that she enjoys, take the relationship to the place where you smile when you hear her name. Once you get there, the sex will be great. Once you have earned the respect only a husband deserves, her body will respond in ways she never thought humanly possible, and, for that matter, so will yours.

Bring peace into chaos: I firmly believe that the job of a man is to bring peace into chaos. A man (and a woman too for that matter) can look into an empty field and see a house. He can look into a woman’s lonely heart and see how easily it could be loved. He can walk into a room and settle a group of wild children. Look at your life and ask yourself this question: Wherever I go, do I leave a trail of peace behind me? If not, then start practicing the art of ordering chaos right now. Is there chaos in your personal life? Clean it up. Is there chaos in your relationships? Clean them up. A man brings peace and order into chaos. You have what it takes to do this, I believe it firmly. You were designed to leave a wake of peace everywhere you go.

Surround yourself with good men. Years ago I asked about five guys who didn’t know each other to meet me for breakfast. I hand chose these guys. Each of them were intelligent, driven, successful and emotionally stable. We got together early one morning and I introduced them to each other. Then I did something very strange. I told them we all needed to be friends. I told them the world was in need of good leaders, and good leaders only become good leaders if they affect each other. As odd as it was, that group continued to meet for two years, and now we are all deeply imbedded in each others lives.

Lose your loser friends. This brings me to something hard. If you have some friends who are dragging you down, that is they are knocking down chicks and not applying themselves to a career, it’s time for you to invite them into something better, and then if they don’t want to come, cut them completely out of your life. I’m sorry to say it so bluntly, but it’s time for them to go.

Develop strength. A woman loves a man who can be tender with her, but believe me, while you’re holding her in your arms and she’s being comforted about her hard day, you’d better have a baseball bat behind your back, ready to obliterate anybody who tries to hurt her. Be tender to her, but be absolutely ferocious with anybody who takes advantage of her. If you aren’t a strong man, practice. Take stands, don’t be a pushover, protect the ones you love, and be willing to make a few enemies.

Okay, so what does this have to do with telling a good love story. Well, it has everything to do with telling a good love story. Women don’t just fall in love with flowers and chocolate. All that crap is fine. But what they fall in love with is dependability, strength, kindness, community, structure, strength and character. Being the leading man in a love story is, basically, about being just that, a man that leads. Be a good man, a man with character. Have a vision, lead the story, and be the man she’s been dreaming about.

Found here

Wednesday :)

Its that time again :)

Let me start this off by saying one thing.
Adam Levine.
Enough said.

Can  you tel I LOVE tattoos?

Speaking of tattoos....
I love the placement of this!
I want one just like it but a different saying.

On to the home...
These are just pieces of styrofoam
covered in fabric.

Love this wallpaper :)
I'm doing my room in grey and purple....

There are a few recipes I will definitely be trying when I get moved in

Buffalo Chicken Dip:
Servings: 4 cups dip
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 20
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch salad dressing
1/2 cup any flavor FRANK'S® REDHOT® Sauce
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cans (12.5 oz. each) SWANSON® White Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
HEAT oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth.
MIX in salad dressing, Frank's RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken.
BAKE 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Garnish as desired. Serve with crackers or vegetables.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares:
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Skippy All Natural Creamy)
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips, about 1 cup (I use Guittard or Ghirardelli.)

1.  Stir all ingredients until well blended. (If it is too difficult to stir, 10-20 seconds in the microwave will soften up the peanut butter.)  Form into a ball.
2.  Place mixture on parchment paper and roll out to 1/2 an inch thickness. Cut into 1 inch squares. Place on parchment paper, and refrigerate while you melt the chocolate.
3.  In a microwave safe bowl, microwave half of the chocolate chips at thirty second intervals until fully melted.  Stir in remainder of chips.  Continue to stir until the new chips are almost melted.  Microwave for 10-20 more to ensure all chocolate is fully melted and a smooth, flowing consistency.  Use a fork to dip the squares in chocolate. Set on parchment paper. Refrigerate until the chocolate sets.

French Toast Cupcakes:

3/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
3 egg yolks
1 3/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbs maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c milk

1  egg
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Combine the butter and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy, scrape the sides as needed. 
2. Add the applesauce and the egg yolks and continue to mix.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 
4. In another bowl, whisk the maple syrup, vanilla, and milk. 
5. Add the flour and milk mixtures alternatively to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Raise the speed and continue to mix until fully combined. 
6. Put cupcake papers in a pan and fill 3/4 with batter. 
7. Cook at 375 for 10-12 minutes(mini cupcakes) or 15-17 minutes(regular cupcakes) or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
8. While they are cooking, whisk the extra egg, 2 Tbs of milk, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Once the cupcakes are done, quickly pull out of oven, and brush with the egg mixture. Place back in the oven on Broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture has dried. 

Maple Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 c confectioners' sugar
2 tsp milk
3/4 tsp maple extract

1. Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping the sides as needed. 
2. Reduce speed on mixer, and add the milk and maple extract. Raise the speed to high and mix until fluffy. 
3. Coat cupcakes with frosting, then sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!!

Speaking of cooking...
I'd love this in my kitchen..
especially since I have a slight OCD

And last but not least...
my random love :)

(Maybe one day right?)

Happy Hump Day Bloggers

9 Loves

First and most importantly
I love my savior.

Of course being southern
I love pearls :)

Fall is by far my favorite season

I absolutely love the mountains :)

The state of South Carolina

My awesome job!


High Heels

and of course make up :)

*I also love my family & friends but those are a given :)