December 16, 2013

The Future From a Wider Perspective

What we see depends on what we look for

"I urge all young scientists to keep their minds open to alternative careers. Having "tunnel vision" will only stifle your creativity and maneuverability in science." 

There is something special about time. It is ever constant. Measurable, though it can neither be contained nor restrained. Time reveals much. It lends a certain wisdom. You know, the kind that comes with time. It is a beautiful thing, that time. Beautiful because it has taught me so much over its course: How to be patient. How to suffer long. How to wait. How to be...

I am the first to say that I absolutely suck at keeping up with time. I wait until the very last minute to get ready to leave for an event and I always arrive just in time to be considered right on time. The lessons learned here is that time waits on no one. It has taught me to manage it better, to allow for peace of mind and good standing among fellow peers.

More recently, however, time has taught me something else: how as mutable beings, we are subject to change, especially where our hearts and passions are concerned. With time, I've learned that what I have come to love and pursue as a lifelong career is no longer my sole interest. When asked what I planned on doing with a degree in Biomedical Science, I answered swiftly and confidently: "Cancer/Laboratory Research!" Afterall, I fell in love with the thing 2 years into college and it was all I could think about. However, after a year plus of career searching, job descriptions involving cellular & molecular techniques no longer interest me. The education I have in biomedical science is so broad. It qualifies me for positions in a wide range of scientific fields. I am currently pursuing numerous science related positions in the areas of Science Administration and Clinical sciences. With a position in either of these fields, I will be able to perform a wide range of tasks on any given work day. But what I love most is the opportunity to interact with various people in different career levels so that I may be able to draw from others and build myself up in the process.

I have truly watched myself blossom over the last few years. I've gone from the girl who barely spoke above a whisper, to the young woman who can boldly speak her mind. Interacting with people used to scare me terribly. And though my hands still shake when meeting new people, I warm up more quickly to others now than I ever thought I could. It actually brings me great joy to interact with people from all walks of life. My current part time job as a bank teller allows me such an opportunity on a daily basis. Who would've thought that this would be me?! Again, I have to say that we never know where certain paths in our lives will lead us, but everything certainly happens for a reason and I believe that my current part time position is building me up to be great in something greater.

Don't get me wrong, I still love working with my hands. I still love research. But I have learned that I also love people and interacting with others outside of the box I have placed myself in for so many years.

As that quote at the beginning of this post suggests, I have taken my blinders off. I am keeping my mind open to alternate careers. And if not, prayerfully it will be in something that will continue to widen my perspective on things in life.

*** image via

December 9, 2013

Wishlist 2013

Every year, since the start of this blog, I have created a wishlist and they're usually tangible items I want. This year consists of a hodgepodge of things. Here is my wishlist for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Wishlist 20131

1. I have been really into furniture a lot lately. Like, majorly. Mostly unconventional/vintage items that can be altered (i.e. painted, stained, etc) to give it a different look and feel. My first major task is to find an unconventional media stand for the living room. This Patchwork dresser from West Elm is perfect. It wouldn't need any paint or stains. The color scheme matches perfectly with what we have going on in our living room right now.

2. I am in dire need of a new every day handbag. This satchel by Fossil is a good size and a great color to go with just about any outfit.

3. The Curly Girl Handbook. As my hair grows longer, I am falling more and more in love with my natural hair texture-- A bit of curls and a lot of kinks. I would love to learn how to style it and allow it to do its own thing naturally without too much manipulation. This book (along with Youtube) is my key.

4. PUBLIC bicycle... or any other high performance bike. I would like to get out of the house more and engage in some kind of physical outdoorsy activity. I haven't been on a bike in ages, but I would love to start again.

5. Glass Jars. Sauces, seasonings, spices... We normally have a stash of these leftover mixes that require air tight containers to retain freshness. These jars are cute and would be extremely useful.

6. Chalkboard Paint. Yes! I've finally hitched a ride on the wagon. Beau and I would love to paint one of the smaller walls in our kitchen with this paint and use it for meal planning, shopping lists and love notes.

7. Wall(flower) Plug-ins. Funny story, I rediscovered a gift from my bridal shower this year and it included this wall plug-in. This thing smelled amazing, lasted long, and covered a wide surface area. I would love to stock up on some more. (The scent I received as a gift was Sensual: Jasmine Vanilla... It was lovely)

8. Take a Photography Class. Nature in and of itself just allows for beautiful photos. At least, that's what I have learned these past few years I turned into a photographing fiend. However, I would love to build my skill and learn techniques on how to get a beautiful photo in any situation. Of course, I may need a DSLR before I can get into a photography class, but this is definitely something that will be worthwhile... for me, anyway.

December 4, 2013

Weekend Getaway: Skytop Lodge

We spent a nice weekend away in the Pocono mountains for our one year anniversary. It felt good to get away and just be. Here a few photo highlights from our trip.

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▲We stayed in a beautiful historic hotel. Literally half mile before we turned on to the property, it began snowing, and it stuck. It snowed on and off for the duration of the weekend with crazy wind gusts and windchills bringing temperatures down into the negatives. We braved the cold to get a look around the property and snap some photos. It was so worth it!▲

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▲ Every area of the property was decorated for the Christmas season. They had several trees spread throughout the lobby area, wreaths hanging on every single room door, and a full-size gingerbread house made of real gingerbread and candies. That place smelled divine. ▲SAM_2638 SAM_2652 SAM_2656 SAM_2679 SAM_2742
▲ Temperatures elevated above freezing the day we were set to leave, so we took a little hike out to Leavitt Falls. It was there where I discovered my fear of heights is really real and not just a figment-of-the-sitting-in-the-3rd-mezzanine-of-the-opera house imagination. I'm glad I sucked up my fear of high, rocky places however, because I would have missed seeing the falls which was literally around the corner from where I wanted to stop. ▲

November 24, 2013

One Year Married

Our Wedding_November 24_2012

As we approached November, I could not believe how quickly this year progressed. Wow! And here it is, November 24th, one full year since my sweet Beau and I said committed our lives to each other before our family and friends. It has been one crazy year. Many bloggers  post about how sweet and incredibly amazing their first year of marriage has been. I have to be honest and say that it has definitely been a long ways from crying the day we came back from our honeymoon. (It wasn't anything bad. haha. It was just a complete shock to my system... I suppose.)

I can boast about our first year being rather sweet and amazing, too, though. This was such a growing process for myself (and Beau, I'm sure). I learned so many great things about Beau that I never knew while dating or engaged. Like, how he would have been a Philosophy/English major in college had he not pursued a degree in architecture. I have also learned how one of his deciding factors in marrying me was the fact that I made "bangin' ackee and saltfish"- a traditional Jamaican dish. But on a more serious note, I learned how hard-working he is and how committed he is to making me happy. I have also learned how incredibly calm and placid he is. I think that is my favorite trait about him, to date, although it drove me nuts in the beginning. Most of all, I loved that he loves me HARD. That is something that I have been lacking in my life. It was something I needed. I never really asked of it from him, but he gave it to me, full and big. This has been the most rewarding part of our marriage for me. Someone who loves me wholeheartedly, even in the midst of my complaining and less-than lovable times.  

This year has truly been amazing. We faced some difficult times, but through those times, we were able to see the hand of God working out those tough situations for us.

I am so incredibly happy I get to share life with my sweet Ansel. I look forward to many more years of learning, growing and loving with him!

November 4, 2013

Open Doors

God has opened up a door of employment for me and I am so very grateful. Beau and I are grateful. The job is no where close to my field of study and it's only part-time, but the extra income will help us greatly. When I was offered the position and began submitting paper work and prepping for orientation, it all felt like a dream. Maybe not a dream, but I struggle to find the words to even explain how it felt. I have gone almost two years searching for employment-- 360+ applications submitted  in my field (this is not an exaggeration. I keep track of all of my applications in an Excel Spreadsheet) and countless others not in my field and nothing came from any of it except several interviews here and there. I am entering into my second week of training for this position today and the fog is starting to lift. You guys don't even know what this means for us. We've never struggled to pay mortgage/bills, neither were we ever in need of anything, but it surely got discouraging not having extra money for other important things or even to spend on just a day out sometimes. I truly know that the Lord's hand is in all of this. Many may wonder why God would do such a thing to those He love, but I am beginning to learn why. His ways are past understanding (Romans 11:33). This time has been difficult for Beau and I, but we stuck it out, and God brought us through. 

I am still looking for work in my field. But who knows where this position will take me? Never in my life would I see myself in this position. I am sure that the lessons I will learn from there will be invaluable to me in the future. 

photo via

October 30, 2013

Our Fall Wreath

Fall Wreath_ Painted Wooden Letter

Being a part of the blogging community has often sparked the creativity in me. That spark finally blazed into a roaring fire as I completed my first DIY/home decor project: a Fall Wreath. 

This wreath was inspired by a post I saw on BlogHer early September. I thought the first wreath pictured was the most beautiful ever and just had to recreate it. I slowly gathered supplies and finally sat down to paint and design the wreath last week. Beau was absolutely against polka dots, so I tried stenciling a leaf pattern on the wooden letter, but that was unsuccessful on many levels, so I opted for clean, neutral rugby stripes. I quite like the outcome, and Beau does too. Our wreath is now displaying on our front door. I am so proud. I now see why artsy people are into this kind of thing. Painting was surprisingly very relaxing. 

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October 23, 2013

One Year in Our Home

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One year ago today (literally like one month and one day before our wedding day), we purchased our first home. It's a quaint little row home on a somewhat busy street in a borough right outside of Philadelphia. I don't think we knew it at the time  (not sure how), but it does get extremely busy and noisy during the morning and evening rush hours. Our street connects two major roads, has a middle school at the end of the block and two large high schools in close proximity, so I guess it makes sense. It was difficult trying to sleep with the windows open once the warmer months rolled around, but I got used to it.

Our neighborhood is diverse. I love it so so much. Since I'm a homebody, I haven't really gone out to speak with our neighbors, but I see them walking by. I remember the first weekend in our house, I saw all kinds of people walking by, and I thought "oh my goodness! we have Asians in our neighborhood!". haha. It seems silly, but I grew up in Philly and the inhabitants of our block were predominantly Black. We did have a mixed race couple living on our street, but then they moved a couple years later. In any case, I am really glad to have the diversity here. Our immediate neighbors are- I think- Liberian, Eritrean, and Indian, and we see many other people of various racial backgrounds taking a stroll down the block on a nice, sunny day. I really think that is the highlight of living here. I no longer feel like I am stuck in a box where demographics are concerned, and I can honestly say that I feel pretty safe living here as well. (Although, the neighborhood my mom lives in Philly is also relatively safe).

Now for the house itself, it has it's ups and downs. Firstly, who knew that hardwood floors throughout would be so challenging to maintain?! This was one of the top things on my wishlist when searching for a home, and when we got it, I really wanted to renege. The house is a dust magnet! It's okay though. I prefer dust congregating on the floors than in the carpet. My allergies and sinuses also prefer it.

Our home was in move-in condition when we purchased it. But of course, that came with hidden faults (eg. wall accents in the bathroom falling down, taking patches of paint with it. The previous owners used Command Strips to hold them up. What in the what??;  Crazy draft during the winter months; a broken thermostat in the fridge leading to a super cold freezer and a lukewarm fridge... goodbye orange juice, eggs, and milk). Overall, it really is a good house. Mishaps and breakages are to be expected when owning a home.

In regards to decor, we have yet to get the ball rolling on that. Right now, we have the basic necessities: bedroom furniture, dining set, bookshelves, and a desk. We also have a set of recliners in the living room that Beau's parents gave us. To be honest, I dislike the things, but they work for now.  It is really hard, financially, for us to get other things to furnish and decorate our home to my our liking, but I know that the opportunity will come-- slowly, but surely. We've been told many tales of our family and friends getting their first place and having to furnish it piece by piece and finally getting a desired result years down the road. They always say that it is discouraging at first, but it is also very rewarding to look back on where they started to see how far they've come. Their stories are such an encouragement because being a part of the blog community, I see so many young couples who get married, purchase their first home and are then able to (what seems like) fully furnish it within weeks. I am fully assured that we will be able to do the same in no time, so no worries here.

So, that is an update of where we are one year after purchasing our first home. I've recently had a sense that we won't actually be residing in this house for long. Strange, I know. I'm not sure why I feel that way, but it was a feeling I got a couple weeks ago while thinking about our home and what it would be like once fully furnished. I don't know if or where we will be headed to, but I am sure the Lord will provide- just as He has this past year.

October 17, 2013

Pleased to Cook or Cook to Please?

Life of a Newlywed with text 

Ever felt like you've lost some of your capabilities after getting married? I do!

I am the observant type. I learned how to cook by watching my mom and older sister in the kitchen. The gist of preparing Jamaican cuisine is all the same: season very well, brown (sear) meats, and finish off with a cup or two of water and allow to simmer. Of course, that is just for cooking meats, but the methods for preparing other dishes also followed a pattern that was easy to remember.

My favorite thing to cook for the longest time was pan-seared pork chops. Yes, ma'am! That was my specialty. During college, I was on a pasta kick, and I still am. I really loved making pasta with bolognese sauce (something about big meatballs turns me off, so I prefer meat sauce with smaller chunks of meat). Then, I tried my hand at making alfredo sauce from scratch and fell. in. love. Shrimp fettucine alfredo is my favorite to make. I love it, and Beau loves it too. It was the first meal I've ever prepared for him.
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Since that meal was a hit with Beau, I never really feared preparing meals for him (on occasion)... until we got married. I mean, I don't even know what got into me. But a crazy desire to be spontaneous, unique and fun came over me and I started trying new things in the kitchen, only to hate the taste of it when dinner time came around. Not complete kitchen disasters per se, but substandard flavors, for lack of a better term. I am not sure if he was being polite, but Beau liked those meals. I, on the other hand, was not impressed. I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with my cooking, until Beau pointed it out-- I was cooking only to try and please him. I can't even explain what that entails. But if I must try, I will say that I tried to be fancy with different sauces and things and I also tried really hard to not make things salty. Now, don't get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with cooking to please your spouse, but when it causes you to mess up completely, it's not worth it.

The thing is, Beau liked the way I cooked before we got married. I cooked with no frills or tricks up my sleeve-- just using the skills I learned while observing my mom and sister in the kitchen. I have recently gone back to cooking that way I used to and it is so much better.

Baking? That's a different ballgame. I suck at it.
 -- Exhibit A: my chocolate chip muffin muffin-shaped bread baked from scratch

Do you cook to please others (spouse, family, friends) or do you cook to meet your standards?

October 10, 2013

Company Picnics and Overcoming Social-Awkwardness

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I feel like I have been seeing a lot of Beau's co-workers lately. Not that I'm visiting him at work everyday (or, ever), but his firm has been hosting some events lately, and we've been attending them.

Note, this is actually an exaggeration because there really has only been about 3 events, but I think that's enough to make it seem like a lot.

In any case, we drove up to Point Pleasant Beach for his company's picnic last weekend. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but I knew some awkwardness would arise. I have a self-diagnosis of social anxiety, so it made complete sense why I would expect awkwardness at this event.  I hate being at the center of attention. I don't feel confident when meeting new people, and I am just all-around terrified of anything going wrong.

The company picnic wasn't half bad though. I learned that contrary to my belief, people don't bite.


October 8, 2013

My Faith Story

My Testimony_smaller

I guess you can say that I grew up in the church. I sang on the choir. I played Gabriel in the Christmas pageant every year until I was too tall to blend in with the younger 'angels'. I was meek. I was quiet. I was just an all around "good kid".

When I was in the 7th grade, I decided that I wanted to get baptized. I'm not even sure what got into to me to want to be baptized. I don't remember the exact date like most people do, but I do remember the day after like it was yesterday. As I was riding on the bus to school, I felt different. I no longer wanted to do the things that the other kids did. I remember a consciousness of sorts in my mind that "I am baptized now. I have to be different. I have to live like a Christian should live" -- whatever that meant. I wasn't quite sure what it meant at the time. I just knew that cursing and thinking bad of people just wasn't the way to be. My pressing conscience was seared soon after. I stopped having a pressing conscience, but I always strived to be "good" to the best of my abilities.

During my high school years, I faced some really discouraging times (which I will write more about in a future  Testimony post) and I got myself into an inappropriate relationship at the age of 17. That secret became exposed. My mom was absolutely livid and it seems as if my reputation was marred in the sight of my church members. I felt judged and unloved by many of the members there. After some time, I began hating church and everything about it. I hated the stares. I hated the whispers. I hated the judgmental spirits. The things mothers said to their daughters about me indirectly, but loud enough for me to hear. I hated how hypocritical the people were. I could not wait to get away from there and head to college in hopes of never returning.

I went to college with a freedom in my heart that I was free and can and will do whatever I wanted. I went to college with that liberation mindset, but sill had a bit of conscience  left. And with that bit of conscience, I sought out a church and I chose to live on a substance-free floor my freshman year of college. I lived pure that entire year with the exception of a party every couple weekends or so. With the start of college, I thought I had gotten away from my home church for good, but during school breaks, I had no where to go or stay but home. My mom always went to church on Sundays, so I never got out of attending service. Nothing changed when I went back to my home church. I still felt rather bitter towards the members and I still felt as though they could not look past my mistake. I felt like they didn't love me

The next couple years in college. I moved from the freshman substance-free floor to a dorm with upper classmen and I found friends. Other than the one church service I attended freshman year, I never attended church again during the months I spent away at university.  I became more open to trying things and got into drinking and partying with my friends just about every weekend. My conscience was still there however because I would never go more than one or two days without praying. (Ever since I was a child, I found that if I did not pray before going to sleep, I would have nightmares at night. This fear of nightmares caused me to keep a line of communication between God and I-- even though I had no relationship with Him outside of it).

At the start of the Spring semester of my Junior year in college (January 2009), I began talking to my sweet Beau. He shared his personal testimony, and something about it spoke to my heart. I found myself wanting less of partying and drinking with my friends. Whenever my friends and I went out, I found myself bored to the point of wanting to fall asleep (seriously!). I still mingled with them though. I never quite knew how to just drop friends or explain to them why I no longer desired to do the things they were doing. A part of me wanted to live pure and clean for the Lord and to allow my relationship with Beau to blossom, while the other part of me also wanted to continue doing what my friends were doing for fear of having to explain 'why not?'.

Fast-forward to 2010 when I finally graduated college and started graduate school in Connecticut. I felt like I was finally able to live a clean, pure life. I searched for a church the day that I moved in and attended it the very next day. As I walked through the door and into the entry way, a woman there greeted me with great smile and a big hug. And as I entered the sanctuary, everyone greeted me with a smile and a handshake/hug. I left there thinking two things:
(1) 'Wow. Beau and I were about 2 out of 4 Black persons in that church today'...
(2) "Wow.... those people were so warm and loving."
Weeks went by. I fell more and more in love with the church. The service was shorter than I was used to (I attend a Caribbean Pentecostal Church-- so, you know), but every sermon seemed to have sparked my interest and left me wanting more. I found myself wanting to attend just about every mid-week service; if not to learn more about the Word of God, then to bask in the fellowship of these loving people. My heart was so full. These people, who did not know me from a can of paint, accepted me into their church and loved me. They invited me to their homes for casual dinners, annual holiday parties, Christmas brunch, Thanksgiving dinner, etc. They prayed with me and for me. One person even prophesied over my life that very first day I was there.

My time at Cornerstone Church ended after grad school and I moved back home. I received a gift card as a graduation gift and used part of it to purchase a Study Bible. I bought it thinking that I need to read the Bible more and since I was having a hard time trying to find a job, it also gave me something to do. I started reading it and discovered truths about the Bible I had never known before. I was able to fill in the blanks to  Bible stories I had heard about as a child, but never knew in full detail. I read through Genesis for the first time ever, and then embarked on also reading through Exodus. As I got to Exodus 6:2-3, I broke down into tears. It says:

And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the LordI appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them.

You see, God has always been that all-powerful, all-mighty being to me. I recognized this when I decided to get baptized in the 7th grade. I knew this when I had a conscience regarding doing right and wrong. I knew it when I prayed to Him only to keep my nightmares at bay. I even knew this when I sought a church while attending university. I knew this. I understood and accepted that He is God. That He not only exists, but He is worthy enough to be deserving of obedience and powerful enough to keep away those bad dreams. Yet, I only knew Him as such. I did not know Him as Lord... Jehovah. Yahweh. The I AM. In that moment of reading those two verses of scripture, I felt the Lord asking me to make Him Lord of my life. To make Him the I AM over every situation in my life. That whatever I sought at the time (a job, love, deliverance from abuse) , He is.

I can't quite explain how, but I am absolutely positive that everything that occurred in my life, both good and bad all played a role in bringing me to God. As I read those verses in Exodus, I decided in that moment to give up trying to do everything on my own and many things began falling into place over a short period of time,  including purchasing our home, planning our wedding and having peace of mind. As I continue to dig into the scriptures, I uncover so many truths. I discover the sovereignty of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the unconditional love He has for us. I am then reminded that all those times I felt unloved by others around me, and those times when I fell into sin, He loved me.

God loves you too... Even when you feel hated and rejected by those you feel should love you... Even when you feel as though there's no one there to love you. Yup, even if you mess up...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In lovehe predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace  
~(Ephesians 1:3-7)

October 3, 2013

My Testimony Series: Intro

My Testimony_smaller

Lately, I have had this burning desire in my heart to use this blog as a medium to share my testimony. There are so many things that I have endured during the course of my short twenty-five years of life. Situations that I know many other young girls can relate to. Stories that I know many women my age and maybe even a little bit older can read and say "Wow. This really speaks to my heart". Stories that, looking in retrospect, I know that it is the grace of God that brought me through, gave me a forgiving heart and continues to sustain me today.

I have been pretty open about most things on here, but some stories that I've wanted to share in the past, I've recoiled from sharing for fear of it being too much. Some things just hurt to the core. Some stories are so incredibly miraculous. Others, I just never thought anyone would want know.

But I feel my heart strings being tugged at. I hear a voice saying to me, "Tell your story, so that others may hear and know how you overcame... and find hope in it."

So, I'm diving in. Knowing that this is not anything of my self. No, it serves a greater purpose: To share how my life has been changed through Christ's redemption; To share how The Lord often uses our tests and trials to bring about a testimony of His goodness, grace and unfailing love. Not for anything that we have done to be deserving of it all, but because He loves us.

"...that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."
Philemon 1:6

** Feel free to post any questions or comments regarding these posts. And, if you have a more personal question or comment, please feel free to send me and email-- the email addy is located under the "contact" button on the right, or more directly if you click the envelope under "Welcome" note.

October 1, 2013

The Weekend: Museum Day Live

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This past Saturday (September 28) was National Museum Day. Hundreds of museums across the country offered free admission that day! My first choice would have been the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but they did not participate in this event, so we opted for a museum outside of the city: The Brandywine River Museum.

The Brandywine River Museum is about a 40 minute drive from where we live (really, really close to our wedding  reception location). The exterior is similar to that of an old barnyard. The interior has a rustic look with thick wooden beams, heavy wooden doors, and floor to ceiling windows. 

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The museum featured paintings from the Wyeth family and painters from the 19th century to present day  - many of which were landscape and still life. Beau and I really enjoyed our time here. I especially loved reading the story behind some of the paintings and seeing various depictions of Philadelphia and surrounding towns... We recognized Manayunk in one of the paintings almost immediately. 

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The exterior of the museum was also beautiful. The building overlooks the Brandywine river where we saw many painters drawing inspiration from the scenery. There was also a river trail behind the parking lot the lot that yielded a peaceful view of the river. This was a nice outing for the both of us. I really enjoy getting out on the weekends -- not only to get out of the house, but to spend good, quality time with Beau. 

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Did any of you participate in Museum Day? 

September 25, 2013

This & That

old fashioned clothespin
images via

Ever had one of those times where you regret not making a purchase? I am currently kicking myself for not getting a pair of shoes I saw a few weeks back. They were tan open-toed clog-like shoes and I loved them. They were super comfortable, and they weren't even my size! 'Why didn't you get them?', you might be wondering. Well, because I initially went to the store for nude pumps for church, and when it came down to it, I went with what was practical. Now all I have left to remember those lovely shoes by is a blurry cell-phone pic. I can't even find them online... Almost makes me think it was just a dream.

Speaking of shoes, I won a giftcard from DSW again. That makes like, win number 5 or 6? I'm not even sure. I've lost count. Not all wins were gift cards, however-- one was a handbag, and two were brand sponsored giveaways, so we had to choose shoes from those specific brands. Since one of the requirements when you win is to post a status on Facebook (or retweet on Twitter), my friends and family are all like -- "omgsh! how do you keep winning these??!!"
and I just smile and say-- "speed and a bit of luck, I suppose'.
As if I actually believe in luck. My response is true, though.

I recently rediscovered one of the gifts I received at my bridal shower. I had it buried in a drawer somewhere. It was a bath and body set that actually came with a plug-in diffuser. I plugged that bad boy in and I am in love. It has a strong smell, but it's very pleasant (better than a Glade plug-in, in my opinion). I plan on investing in more of these.

Being a newlywed comes with its share of miscommunication--or lack thereof. But what about those times when you really just don't understand each other? Beau's lingo is a myriad of slang (stems back to his MC/emcee-ing days and continual love for hip-hop, I suppose). So I sometimes have my share of misunderstanding whenever he speaks. One night, we had a long discussion on if the other person said whole stir or holster. They sound pretty similar-- homophonous-- but are clearly different words. Add to that the fact that my short-term memory is pretty basic and I honestly didn't remember: (1) which word I used and (2) how I had used either word in the sentence previously spoken. Needless to say, that conversation went no where.

I don't have a tumblr account, but I love the concept. There are 2 tumblr accounts that I frequent because of content. Check them out:
(1) My Revelment -- I have been following this blog for over a year now and I like the beautiful landscape images,  typography, and the overall simplicity of it.
(2) Life is Beautiful -- This one is my absolute favorite! The images are so stunning and the layout is very aesthetically pleasing. The blogger is Christian and she not only shows it through the beautiful posts, but also in the way that she responds to many of the questions she gets.
** Bonus** The Murmuring Cottage -- makes you feel like you're living in the countryside, like Anne of Green Gables, or something.

September 23, 2013

Mary and Max

Strange things happen when you leave your husband home alone for a couple of hours on a Sunday night. Last night, I returned home to find Beau watching a movie on Amazon Instant Video. It was a black and white claymation film. "Mary and Max" was the title-- a film that, according to Beau, was "funny so far, but also a little sad". He explained the general idea of the film a little further and I became intrigued, so I joined him and immediately found myself giggling during certain scenes. Then towards the end of the movie, I thought "what kind of craziness is my husband really watching??", all while still being sucked into it. It ended and I wanted to cry a bit, but I refused to since I started watching in the middle and it made absolutely no sense to be so attached to characters I met half-way through a movie. I still thought the movie was a bit strange, and Beau even more strange for finding such a random movie to watch on a Sunday night.  I would totally recommend it, though.

Here's a graphic that summarizes the film (click to enlarge):

** image #1 found here
** image #2 found here

September 21, 2013

The Week Word // 001

Human Circuit Tree
- noun: a complete route or course, especially one that is circular.

This week felt very much like a circuit-- as it should, I suppose. But, aside from the normal course of Sunday through Saturday routines, it also felt like I went through a complete course of emotions: joyful on the weekends when I get to spend more time with Beau and be around more people when we fellowship at church, and a little more down during the week as I spend more time with myself and my thoughts.

I am thankful for circuits this week, however, because they support life. Much like the circulatory system that pumps blood from the heart, to our arteries and veins, and throughout our entire bodies and back to the heart again for refreshment, so are our lives. Circuits propel us, direct us, and provide a source of power. And no matter how monotonous it may seem -- since we really are living in a "circle of life"-- or how often we get stuck with your own thoughts, there is an assurance in knowing that there is always something to look forward to again at some point during the course.

This is the highlight of my week.

// The Week Word (WW), is about choosing, only one word -if you had to- to describe a highlight of your week.
via Cocorrina

** photo via

September 11, 2013

The Weekend: Football Game

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 I was two steps away from naming this post "I hate football, but I love my husband". But that would be a lie, because now that I understand football a bit more, I actually like it. Not enough to sit and watch every single game in the season, but enough to get excited during the superbowl and surely enough to cheer on a team from Beau's alma mater.

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Saturday morning, Beau and I and a couple kiddos from our church headed out to the football stadium to watch the first home game for the Temple Owls. We had box seats- which belongs to Beau's firm- and so it was a comfortable and enjoyable experience. I clearly missed the memo that we should wear colors that coordinate with the team's color, so I wore the most brilliantly yellow shirt and awkwardly stood among a sea of cherry and white at the entrance. Yup.... awkward.

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Our team lost the game. They had to potential to win, but it just didn't happen. Maybe next time, Temple Owls. Maybe next time... Although, Beau did tell me that they have never actually won any of the games he's attended as an alumni.But I'm sure they've won at some point.
--hashtag optimism

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