January 31, 2015

Pastel Dreams...

I can officially say winter has been nice but I'm ready for Spring and warm weather! I thought I would share some recent pastel treasures I've come across along with the new official song for Spring thanks to Abbey!
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” 
-Leo Tolstoy 



“She turned to the sunlight And shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbor: "Winter is dead.” 
-A.A. Milne

January 30, 2015

8 Free Photo Sites Every Blogger Needs //


Having good high quality photos can make or break your blog. I can't stress this enough! Many times it can be the turning point on whether I follow the blog or not. 
But no worries, luckily there are numerous free photo editing sites all over. Here are eight of my favorite photo sources.

3 Photo Editing Sites
 PicMonkey - Definitely one of the best photo resources I've found. Free, high quality and easy to use. 
Picasa - Technically a download but still does a great job. If you need a fast photo edit (cropping, brightening, tect) Picasa is there for you. 

FotoFlexer - This has glitter text and a lot more text options than PicMonkey or Picasa.

5 Free Photo Image Sites

Picjumbo - This is a random jumble of nice high-quality pictures. I like to use these pictures when I need to write on a picture, for example in a how-to post. 



Weheartit - is your home for inspiring images & the people who heart them. Discover, collect, and share daily inspiration & beautiful images every day.

Favim -Be careful with this site because even though it has super cute girly pictures, I have seen some swear words and some inappropriate pictures. My advice would be to search very specifically for what you want, and you should be fine. :)



Unsplash - Adds ten new free photos every ten days and all photos are free to do with what you want. Very nice.
Pixabay - Has a wonderful selection of free images without any strings attached.

Also, click here for a great list of 30 free image sites. 

-Grace

January 20, 2015

How To Be Pretty //


Being pretty is not just what you wear or the new hairstyle you're trying out. Being pretty is about much more then you think.

Being pretty is about first realizing that you are beautiful and that nobody can determine you worth and happiness.

You are beautifully and uniquely you. I know you are probably like yeah yeah Grace I already know all this stuff. I hear it all the time.


I understand that -- but I don't think you actually do. If you did believe that NOBODY can define your happiness then you wouldn't compare your clothes to the newest trend or the way you speak or carry and present yourself. You wouldn't try to change YOU to try to fit in with that group who they themselves don't understand what being pretty really means, because if they did they wouldn't send of this vibe to you that says in order to be accepted and blend in with us you have to change what makes you you and what sets you apart.

Those people that do that aren't pretty because if they we're truly pretty that would show in all areas of their life, their speech, their spirit, and in their demeanor.


What a shame it is to go through life having those people determine your happiness and your worth.

Every-time you wake up in the morning with air in your lungs and a pulse, there's a purpose for you and your life. Every single one of us is here for a reason. We get one life. One chance. You do have a choice. You have the freedom to live your life to the fullest. If you find yourself not in a place you want to be you can change that right now! It might not be easy, it will probably be scary and uncomfortable but you just need to believe in yourself and surround yourself with those people that will help you get to where you want to be and who you want to become.

I often see and hear from many girls about being pretty. We are constantly surrounded by what we aren't and what we don't have instead of what we do have. We are such a superficial society.

The truth is that society see's pretty as being x inches tall or x pounds on the scale or having long curly flowing hair or beautiful tan skin. And that's sad. We shouldn't have to fill this mold of society's pretty.


Sometimes we might wish that we were friends with that pretty girl next to us in class and that if we were maybe some of her prettiness will rub off on me and once I'm "pretty" all my worries and struggles will go away. But the truth is, they won't. Because happiness and fulfillment doesn't come in trying to fill this "mold of perfection" or even in being friends with the pretty girl. Happiness and true beauty will shine forth when we give ourselves permission to be that unique individual that we were created to be.

The pretty people aren't the ones who spend hours on their hair and makeup. The real pretty people are the ones that try to make others feel pretty. How you make other people feel says a lot about you. 

The ones that randomly come up to you without ever having met you before to say that they like your shoes or your hairstyle. They are the pretty ones because they are going out of their way and stepping out of themselves to self assure another person.

Compliments can save a person's life. You never know what a few words of encouragement could mean to someone, because you never know what somebody is going through. And you may never know what your few words meant to them you just did your part and followed what your heart was telling you at the time.

So you see beauty is so much more than the makeup. As much as I love makeup and all the beauty paraphernalia, the makeup industry has killed the teenage girl, and until we find another mode of pretty besides trying to find the perfect hair extensions, that's just how it's going to be.
We need to make a change and start seeing pretty for what it actually is. Pretty is about perspective.
Pretty is the face of a down syndrome child, who though may not have a face of a model contains the purest and truest beauty out there because they radiate joy to everyone who comes in contact with them.

The first step in transforming the way the world sees pretty is first understanding what pretty means to us and living it.

-Grace

January 18, 2015

What I Wore || Sunday Maroon





T-shirt //Old Navy
Pencil skirt // H&M
Heels // Amazon
Scarf // my mom got it in Italy
Watch // Amazon 
Pearl earrings // Amazon
Nail Polish // Nicole by OPI in Positive Energy 
Lipstick // Maybelline New York Color Sensational in Rum Riche

January 13, 2015

Erin Condren Life Planner // Review

 
Well I finally took the plunge and purchased an Erin Condren Planner. I decided to finally get it because I know it will really come in handy for me at college. I also was able to get $10 off through a referral link. Major score! If you are planning to order one click here for your $10 off.

I have never owned an Erin Condren product before, but I have heard of many bloggers who have and just love them! I of course watched plenty of YouTube videos before ordering my planner.


Erin Condren takes a lot of pride in their packaging.

The Platinum Life Planner is gorgeous. GORGEOUS! The coils are dipped in silver and the cover has silver foil. It’s sturdily laminated but not too thick.

Check out that elastic band! Love it! Oh and of course my name. I decided not to use my real name and instead use my brand name. So happy with the way it turned out. 


They provide an 18 month calendar, which is awesome for those who plan months down the road like I do. ;)


There is a layout for each month, with notes on the side. Everything has a laminated tab, so they are easy to grab.


The weekly spreads are divided into morning, day & night which is a very nice touch. Every week has a weekly goals and notes section and each day has 4 lines underneath – use them for whatever you want.

  I love the snap-in page holder/ruler. This is a great way to mark what week you're in.
 

There are inspirational quotes scattered all over the planner which I really love.


Every planner comes with several pages of pre-printed stickers and blank ones too. There’s an entire page of “birthday” stickers.



The planner is also stocked with some blank and line papers which are perfect to jot down blog post ideas or to-do lists.


There's also a two sided folder to keep all that excess stuff that you know you should throw away but can't bring yourself to do it yet.


The pouch is also a great feature to hold business cards, gift cards or silver paper clips that come with the Platinum planner. You also get some really nice gift labels with it.


I love that I have a place to hold EVERYTHING! From things for my blog to school to church. It's perfect! Plus it's just down right GORGEOUS! The price might hold you back a little bit, but if you have a busy schedule and need a little organization in your life then I would definitely consider looking into an EC planner. You have to be your own judge on what you consider expensive.

"Failure to plan is planning to fail"

XO

January 11, 2015

Baptism of Our Lord Sunday // OOTD





Skirt // H&M
Blouse // Burlington
Cardigan // Goodwill
Tights // old
Booties // Burlington?
Bubble necklace // Amazon
Purse // Plato's Closet

Well, Christmas is now over. 2015 is in full swing. School has begun. My last semester of HS is now upon me. I can't even imagine what these next few months will have in store for me. 

On this feast of the Baptism of Jesus...

The Lord was baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that those waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of baptism.
 -St. Ambrose

January 7, 2015

+ On the Divine Office +

The Divine Office aka Liturgy of the Hours aka the Breviary is a collection of daily psalms, prayers, and scripture readings that has been part of the Church's liturgical prayer life almost from it's very beginnings. It is prayed in the morning, midday, evening, and night.
Many people only pray one or two of the liturgical hours each day rather than all five. The two principle hours are Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, and these are what the Church recommends to lay people above all the others.  And no it doesn't take hours to pray it only takes a few minutes. 

The prayers of the Divine Office rotate in a four week cycle throughout the year, with additional variations for the liturgical seasons and/or feast days.
The word "office" comes from a Latin word meaning "service" or "ceremony".


Here is an in-depth look at the Divine Office by EWTN, General Instructions of the Liturgy of the Hours.


Book v. Mobile
If you already do most of your reading on a mobile or e-reader then you probably just want to forgo buying the book (at least for now) and just download a Divine Office app (ibreviary, Divine Office, Universalis) to initially learn how to pray the office. Personally, I rather use a book form especially when in church, I just feel awkward using an electronic in church.
The 4-volume version has all the liturgical hours for every day of the year. If you are committed to praying more than just Morning, Evening and Night Prayer, than you want to get the 4-volume. If you are only planning on praying Morning and Evening, like I do, then I recommend getting the Christian Prayer.

Glossary

You don't have to memorize these terms in order to pray the office. It just might be easier to have one place where you can read what all those different terms mean.

Antiphon - the verse said before and after each psalm and canticle.

Canticle - a psalm-like passage from a part of the Bible other than the book of Psalms.

Invitatory - The psalm that is recited before the first liturgical hour that you say each day. Usually Psalm 95

Benedictus - Latin for the Canticle of Zachariah
Magnificat - Latin for the Canticle of Mary
Nunc Dimittis - Latin for the Canticle of Simeon

Morning Prayer/Lauds - one of the two main hours of the liturgical day, morning prayer may be said any time from when you wake up until mid -morning.

Evening Prayer/Vespers - the other main hour of the liturgical day, evening prayer may be said between 4 and 7PM.

Night Prayer/Compline - to be said later than evening prayer, usually close to bedtime.

Daytime Prayer - a liturgical hour with 3 subdivisions: Mid-morning (terce); midday (sext); midafternoon (none). The general custom is to choose one of these, according to what suits one's schedule. Most Monastics still use all three.

Office of Readings- also known as Matins, this was the hour that monastics rose during the night to pray. It may be prayed at any time of day, although generally it is done preceding morning prayer, or after evening prayer on the previous day. The Office of Readings consists of psalms followed by two longer readings; one from the Bible and one from the writings of the fathers/doctors/saints of the Church.

Proper of Seasons-the first third of the breviary. It gives all the readings and prayers substituted for what's in the 4 week Psalter during the seasons of  Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.

Proper of Saints - gives the dates, and prayers for saint's feasts and memorials, plus directions on which of the Commons to use if you want to do the day's  hours  in honor of  the saint, rather than just going with the psalter.

Commons - these are all generic offices for celebrating a feast of Our Lady or of a saint, with headings such as Apostles, Martyrs, virgins, holy men, pastors, doctors of the church, etc.


********************************************
For those just starting out I would suggest beginning with Night Prayer.
-It is shorter than Morning or Evening prayer.
-Night Prayer is on a simple 7-day repeating cycle. It does not change during Advent, Lent, or for feast days.
-And for those who already have a nightly prayer routine this wouldn't be that must of a change in routine. 

Okay, so now I am going to walk you through the process of Night Prayer.
Also, Saturday night is called Sunday I (as in the vigil of Sunday) and Sunday is called Sunday II.

1.Begin with the sign of the cross while reciting O God come to my assistance. O Lord make haste to help me. say the Glory Be. And unless it's lent, you may add Alleluia
2. Do a brief examination of conscience and make an act of contrition.
3. Skip the hymn or poem unless you really like these. These elements are optional suggestions.
4. Recite the antiphon. Recite the psalm and the Glory Be. Repeat the Antiphon. (note: the subtitle and the scripture citation directly under the psalm number is not meant to be recited out loud as part of the Office. It is there for private meditation.)
5. Do this with the second psalm if there is one.
6. Read the reading. Pause a moment for reflection.
7. Recite the responsory.(Into your hands,Lord, I commend my spirit, etc.)
8. Canticle of Simeon Aniphon, canticle, Glory Be, Antiphon.
9. Recite the final prayer, and then the concluding verse: May the all powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death. Amen. Then recite one of the traditional Marian Prayers listed. (Hail Holy Queen, Hail Mary, or Ave Maris Stella)
 
Amen. The whole thing takes 5 minutes. Longer depending on whether you linger, etc.

Below is a video from the local Benedictine Monastery here in Oregon by Fr Jeremy Driscoll, OSB. He explains the Liturgy of the Hours, composed of Psalms, canticles, antiphons and prayers, the Liturgy of the Hours finds its historical roots in the ancient and venerable prayer of the synagogue.



“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.”  
 – Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship.

January 2, 2015

Greetings...♥

Happy second day of 2015 dearies! I just wanted to let you know that I am still guest blogging on Abbey's blog for a couple more weeks. Here are the links if you want to catch up on past days:


January 1, 2015

2015: Looking Ahead

 Linking-up with Natalie at Here I am

1. Do you think you will be going to school at any point in 2015?  If so for what?
Yes! I will graduate high school in June then attend Benedictine as a Mass Communication major.

2.  Will there be a job change for you in 2015?
Umm...not really sure yet. Maybe something on campus or an internship.

3.  What adventure or event are you most looking forward to during this coming year?

There will be many adventures in 2015 that I don't even know at the present moment. Graduation, 18th birthday, last summer home, college, new friendships, & flying more than I have in years.

4.  Do you think there will be a move to a new house/apartment/city/state/country in 2015?

I will be moving over a thousand miles away from home to a new state, city, and atmosphere.

5.  What do you see as the direction of your blog in 2015?  Design update plans?  Link-ups coming down the pipes?  More or less posts?
I will definitely keep up this blog and continue growing it. So many wonderful things have already happened thanks to the blog that I can't even imagine what else could take place.

6. If you could guarantee that one thing could happen this coming year what would it be?
I will grow and mature in all aspects of my life from faith, personal, & educational. I will experience lots of joy but also lots of heartbreak. 

It would be sooo much fun if you could join Natalie in this new year link-up, so head on over to her blog and show some love! ♥