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December 31, 2014

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My 2015 theme is:
Walk upon the water...

This coming year is going to be full changes, challenges, and tests . There will be times when I'm in a I'm in a storm and terrified of what will happen. But Jesus will call out "Don't be afraid. Take courage. I am here!"

 With trust I will hopefully step my foot into the unknown and have faith that He will be holding my hand and guiding me back to the shore.

This is my year to walk on the water. This song will be on repeat.






















What I really want in 2015:
-To break out of my comfort zone
-To grow in the virtue of charity
-Learn to make French Macaroons

What I really need in 2015 is:
-To finish high school
- To cherish each moment
-To join a dance club

What I will share in 2015 is:
- Send more snail mail "just because"
- Try to meet new people everywhere I go

In 2015 I will succeed at:
-Embracing new possibilities
-Organization
-The winged eyeliner

Hello 2015

14 Lessons in 2014


 
2014 is a year that I would never trade. It is a year that will bring to tears when I think about it. I guess that means it was a good year. Here is why...

I. What you put into life is what you will get out of it.

II. Love deeply.

III. Friends are invaluable. I have gained new friendships + cultivated old ones. Both I hope to have in my life for many years to come.

IV. God lets you go through a storm to come out with a new insight to life. He has surely shone this to me these past few months as I start the whole college process.

V. Try to understand the persons circumstances instead of judging them.

VI. Even though you have always loved the idea of something and have always thought that is where you're suppose to be, doesn't actually mean that is HIS will for you. He has definitely taken me by surprise with this one...

VII. Hanging out with people who people who are complete opposites of you is not always a bad thing. I have learned a lot about this this year and continue too.

VIII. Following #7 is that hanging out with holy people is not a bad thing either. You just have to find your balance between the two and have an open heart to both.

IX. Homeless people are humans too. Ever since volunteering at a soup kitchen since October I have taken away many messages from it. Many times they are Jesus disguised, sometimes we don't always see that because we blind ourselves from seeing it.

X. I have a very bright future and will make my mark on the world somehow. My SAT score is not the end of my life. I will still wake up tomorrow with many dreams and opportunities even if I didn't get that perfect score.

XI. Cherish each moment and opportunity because you don't know if you'll get it back.

XII. Even though it hurts to say goodbye to someone who has had a great impact on my spiritual well-being I have to trust that we were only suppose to cross paths for a short time.

XIII. Theology of the Body is mind-blowing!!! Seriously, you need to take a TOB class! No wonder he's a saint. #boyfriendinheaven

XIV. "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit."-Aristotle

2014, you've been real. 2015, I can't wait to see what joys, struggles, pain, memories, and friends you bring.
December 17, 2014

My Sisters the Saints // Book Review

  9780770436513
Number of Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3651-3  
Released: September 23, 2014

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 // Book Synopsis //
A poignant and powerful spiritual memoir about how the lives of the saints changed the life of a modern woman.In My Sisters the Saints, author Colleen Carroll Campbell blends her personal narrative of spiritual seeking, trials, stumbles, and breakthroughs with the stories of six women saints who profoundly changed her life: Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Faustina of Poland, Edith Stein of Germany, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Mary of Nazareth. Drawing upon the rich writings and examples of these extraordinary women, the author reveals Christianity's liberating power for women and the relevance of the saints to the lives of contemporary Christians.
// My Review //
This is one book that I will read more then once in my lifetime. I loved reading this powerful memoir because it made me stop and think about my role in society as a Catholic woman, and also hearing about her struggle between motherhood and being a woman in the workforce. I have to admit that there were a few times when I teared up because the author was pouring her heart out to the reader.


I love the straightforward approach that the author used when incorporating the lives of the six female saints into her own life. You can truly feel the genuineness about her relationship with the saints and it makes you want to cultivate that same relationship in your own life. I highly recommend this spiritual read to all woman with one instruction: read it with an open heart.


 About the Author:
Colleen Carroll Campbell is an author, print and broadcast journalist, and former presidential speechwriter. She writes an op-ed column on religion, politics, and women's issues for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, blogs on those subjects for The New York Times and The Washington Post; comments about them on such networks as FOX News, CNN, and PBS; and discusses them as host of Faith & Culture, a weekly television and radio show that airs internationally on EWTN, the world's largest religious network, and on Sirius Satellite and Relevant Radio. A former speechwriter to President George W. Bush and the author of The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy, Campbell contributes frequently to national publications and speaks to audiences across America. Her website is www.colleen-campbell.com.

 I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
December 11, 2014

Stillness...






Black and white photo's draw you into a calming, beautiful, yet mysterious world.

They present an unknown stillness. 

They hold a mystery and we have to solve it, in other words we have to find the color.

Find the hidden little things.

Find the joy in sorrows.

Find the innocence in the wordly.

Find the peace in chaos.

Find the beauty in the unshapely.

We find all of this when we first find HIM.

Find the Christ Child in every crevasse of our life.

Find the Christ Child in every face we encounter.

Find the Christ Child in our daily chores.

Find the Christ Child in our studies.

Find the Christ Child in our prayers.

“We must confess that we all have need of silence (stillness), filled with the presence of him who is adored.  This is what man needs today; he is often unable to be silent for fear of meeting himself, of feeling the emptiness that asks itself about meaning; man who deafens himself with noise.”
-St. John Paul II in 1995 Apostolic Letter, Orientale Lumen
November 6, 2014

What I've Learned in Nine Months of Blogging

Wow, nine months have flown by since sitting down and pressing that "new blog" button. Blessed is She has taken on a whole new meaning since the original idea and is still growing into what it is meant to be. I wanted to reflect on the 5 best things I've learned about blogging!


1. Stay true to yourself. There is no point setting yourself unrealistic goals or trying to blog about things you aren't passionate about. To love blogging, you have to love what you're blogging about!
2. Networking is amazing. Don't be afraid to contact some business's like Etsy shops. They love when you do, because they in return get free publicity. I have gained so many incredible contacts and key people in so many places. I feel incredibly blessed.
3. Bloggers are the nicest people you will ever meet. They are unbelievably supportive of one another! These are just some of the lovely bloggers Abbey, Mariah, Gabby, & Grace.
4. Being a blogger isn't 'easy'. Bloggers do not live a glamorous life and become internet sensations over night. There is an incredible amount of hard work that goes into every single post and picture. But I love it!
5. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. Ask any blogger... It can really make your day when someone takes just a little bit of time to acknowledge what you are writing about and leaves a lovely comment on your blog. I am so grateful to every single person who reads and comments on my blog.
 
October 9, 2014

Dresses are a Girls Best Friend //Review

eShakti believes that all women have the right to wear affordable fashion that is made for them and makes them look their absolute best.

Our Story: eShakti began as a small website offering basic cottons and modestly embellished pieces. As we grew, we were tasked with providing design and fit solutions to meet our customers' needs. Today, we are an international fashion design company making custom clothing. Offering both style and fit customization for women size 0 through 36 is the heart of our business.

//Product Review//
I am was beyond thrilled to be given the opportunity to receive a custom made dress from eShakti in exchange for a review. After scrolling through literally hundreds of dresses I finally chose this black high-low dress. First off I chose this one because I actually don't have that "little black dress", and since I didn't want a "little" black dress I fell in love with this one! It is so versatile, I can wear it in the summer with some bright colors or in the cooler months with darker tones (I might even wear it for Christmas if I find some red heels). I am gonna call this dress my international dress because it shipped from India to Germany then finally arriving in the States! One thing I appreciate about eShakti is the feature of customization that you can use at checkout! Dress length, sleeve type, neckline, and your personal measurements. This is wonderful for ladies who want to be stylish yet modest. I had so much fun modeling this dress! I would highly recommend checking this wonderful company out. Oh, I also want to give a shout out to my brother George who took these awesome pictures! (I think someone has a future in photography:)
 Facebook
Twitter: @eShakti 
Pinterest 






Dress | eShakti
Heels | Payless
Earrings | similar 
Sunnies | similar 

Gertie & Baxter // PR

G&B is all about dressing your life! the shop was started by two friends, jen and julie. both of us are interior designers with a passion for the unique. years ago, we started a small, custom drapery shop. we started to notice the large amount of remnant pieces piling high in our storage room, and decided to start re-purposing our materials into women's fashion pieces.

since then, we have started offering more pieces in our line, but always choosing fabrics from local and family-owned businesses in chicago and los angeles. we also try to source many of our supplies from other etsy sellers!

G&B is managed directly by julie & jen, from sourcing fabric, handcrafting products, photographing, modeling, listing, and packaging- our hands touch every piece we sell.

we hope you enjoy!
G&B
 

-Product Review-

A few days ago I received a "brown paper package tied up with string"... It was a vintage brown infinity hole scarf. I love how this scarf adds texture to any outfit without being to overpowering. It adds a unique dimension to any fall outfit including the ones I put together below:









 Thanks to Jen and Julie for allowing be to do a review for you! It was fun!

DIY Beauty // Lip Scrub

Those chilly months are soon going to be in full swing, and that means those annoying dry, chapped lips. So, to show those lips who's the boss I want to share with you a lip scrub that you can make with items that you probably already have on hand. Happy first of October and remember to keep those lips hydrated!


  • 1 Tablespoon of white/brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vaseline (this is optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon flavoring (I used Coconut extract)
  • Small container 
  • Toothbrush (preferably not one that you're already using, just thought I'd put that :)
Combine honey and sugar in a bowl. If your lips are sensitive I would recommend using white sugar as it is more gentle. If you are using Vaseline mix it in with honey and sugar now. Mix it until a paste is formed.

Using your toothbrush, rinse in a few drops of warm water. Dip the toothbrush in the paste and scrub your lips for about two to three minutes. Wash off using warm water afterwards.

If you have any leftover paste, scrape it from the bowl into a small container. This scrub can be used whenever you have chapped pealing lips. I use the scrub every three days for best results.



Blessings on your day! 

If you want to see any other beauty related DIY or anything just let me know in the com box below!
September 5, 2014

{Recipe} Passion Tea Lemonade //Starbuck Secrets


 Perfect sunshine refreshment! Just like Starbucks!


8oz boiling hot water
Tazo Passion Tea
Sweetener  
Lemonade

Steep 2 tea bags in hot water for 15 minutes. While still warm, stir 2 spoons of sugar (you can use any sweetener and as much or as little as you want). Taste and then refrigerate till ready to use.
When you are ready for a glass, just fill your cup with ice, and pour in the tea and lemonade. I do a ratio of 1 part tea to two parts lemonade.


March 11, 2014

Three Gifts of Thérèse of Lisieux {Book Review}


 “Thérèse has been such a presence in my adult life—it is as if I have known her personally; she is as real and alive to me as my lifelong friends... I’ve identified three gifts that Thérèse has given me, which I would like to offer in this book to everyone seeking to find more meaning in their faith and their journey to find God.” 
-Patrick Ahern

Number of Pages: 128
ISBN: 9780385347907
Released: January 1, 2014

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 // Book Synopsis //
Taken from Good Reads
 Transformation in our lives happens when we live with the confidence that "God is nothing but mercy and love.” In this inspiring book, beloved author Patrick Ahern looks at the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, through the lens of his own personal experiences in which this  "saint for our times" played such an important role for more than seventy years.  With honesty and humility, he delves into the transformational love that infused her faith, led her to be named one of only four female Doctors of the Catholic Church, and gave Ahern’s own journey direction and meaning. 

Ahern focuses on what he calls the three gifts of Thérèse:  her universal appeal, her conviction, and her little way. Echoing Therese’s recognition that bureaucracy, penances, rules and commandments miss the message of love that she knew to be true, he says, "She convinced me that someone as ordinary as I could aspire to the love of God, which filled her heart to overflowing." He hopes the same for his readers. 

// My Review //

Saint Therese of Lisieux is perhaps one of the most well loved saints even to this day. Mostly known for her little way. But what is the little way?

In this simple work of Bishop Patrick Ahern he shares the impact St. Thérèse had on his life and the lives of others through her "three gifts."

Universal appeal
Bishop Ahern shares about Thérèse's early sensitive childhood and how it shaped her.

Conviction
The most telling example of her conviction is the now infamous story of how she personally asked Pope Leo XIII to allow her to join the Carmelite convent early.

Little Way
"Her spirituality is within the reach of everyone..." 

This is a wonderful introduction book to Thérèse and her spirituality. Though simple it certaintly gives a clear message and makes you want to read. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to develop a personal relationship with Thérèse.




"Whoever possesses the present moment possesses 
God
+++
Therefore whoever possesses the present moment 
possesses everything
 +++
The present moment is enough
Don't let anything trouble you."
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
March 5, 2014

Lenten Meme



I came upon this Lenten meme and thought it would be a great post to do on this Ash Wednesday! Anybody who wants to join in please do. Just leave me a comment so I can go see yours!

What is your favorite Sorrowful Mystery?
The second mystery - Jesus is Scourged at the Pillar. What endless love comes from this mystery. Jesus whipped and flesh ripped open in reparation for my sins. 

"Jesus, 
You remained pure of heart even when
 Your flesh was torn and scourged by those who hated You.
 Help me to grow in the virtue of purity even when I suffer."


What is your favorite Station of the Cross?
The fifth station, Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His cross. The message to me in this station is will I help to carry the cross of Jesus? Am I willing to endure all the hatred, rejection, and pain that comes with it? Many are called to carry that cross but few pick it up and put it on there shoulder.  


Do you fast during Lent? As far as food goes I fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstain from meat on Fridays as required. Fasting can also include refraining from any activity you indulge in. It is a form of self-denial.


What is your Lenten Resolution(s)?
Well, every Lent I use Maria Von Trapp's guide to a lenten reading plan. Here are my reads:
  1. Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis
  2. The Sanctifier by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez
  3. Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way by Bl. Pope John Paul II
There are some virtues that I am going to take this Lenten season to work on. I want to cultivate the virtue of moderation by limiting time on social media to one time in the early morning and then one time at night. And industriousness meaning don't put things off. "Do what your suppose to do, when your suppose to do it, in the way its suppose to be done."


Do you use Holy Water during Lent? Yes I do. I bless myself with Holy Water as I enter/exit the Church. The removal of Holy Water fonts does not take place until the Sacred Tridumm.


How many times do you go to Mass during Lent? I go to daily Mass with my family throughout the year. So for me its not a lenten resolution since its a daily blessing for me. But I highly recommend to those who are able to attend daily Mass to do so. Either in the morning or evening. You will be changed forever!
February 27, 2014

My 2014 Lenten Journey...


Look at His adorable face.
Look at His glazed and sunken eyes.
Look at His wounds.
Look Jesus in the Face.
There, you will see how He loves us.

  -St. Therese of Lisieux
:: Prayer ::

 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God" 
-St. John Damascene

There are many forms of prayer, both interior and exterior. I try to do these things throughout the year but in the Lenten season I try to make an even greater effort.
  • Go to Daily Mass (Which I already do in the rest of the year)
  • Frequent the Sacrament of Confession. A very wise and holy priest once told me if one goes to daily Mass then they should go to Confession every two weeks. If one only goes to Sunday Mass, then once a month will suffice.
  • Attend the Stations of the Cross on Fridays.
  • Go to weekly Adoration. 
  • Adopt a priest. They rely on our prayers. 
  • Another form of prayer that enriches ones spiritual life in the recitation of the Divine Office. I get to morning Mass early and do it then. And then finish the day with vespers and compline (evening & night prayer).
During Lent (and throughout the year) we need spiritual enlightenment. We can find this through spiritual reading. Maria Von Trapp suggests three categories for a Lenten reading program:
  1. Something for the mind. We should do some research, study the papal encyclicals, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, delve into Church history, study Catholic philosophy.
  2. Something for the soul. This should be deeper spiritual reading that gives a program, guidance, and spiritual direction, including writings of the saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Thérèse of Lisieux or St. Francis de Sales.
  3. Something for the heart. We need inspiration. The best way is to read biographies of Christ, Mary, saints or people who put their spiritual life into action. Bishop Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ is excellent Lenten reading. 
Here is what I will be reading using Maria Von Trapp's guide:
  1. Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis
  2. The Sanctifier by Archbishop Luis M. Martinez
  3. Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way by Bl. Pope John Paul II
:: Fasting and Abstaining ::
We must fulfill the minimum requirements of the Church for fasting and abstinence. But there are other forms of abstaining and fasting.
  • Instead of listening to secular music, listen to some lenten themed music or some Christian songs that draw you into the desert with our Lord. Here are some suggestions on songs: 
  1. O Sacred Head Surrounded
  2. Via Dolorosa - Sandi Patty
  3. Stabat Mater
  4. The Glory of These Forty Days
  5. Attende Domine
  6. Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days
  • Or listen to some homilies that are online. Here is a wonderful site of sermons: Audio Sancto.
  • In replace of TV or movies choose a religious movie such as:
  1. The Passion
  2. For Greater Glory
  3. or any saint movie

 In fasting, we are also practicing Self-Denial. This is the area that tests our will-power.


:: Almsgiving and Good Works ::


Almsgiving is often associated with donating money. But it is also giving of your time and talents to others. 
  • Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, homeless center, nursing home. 
  • Stand once a week during the 40 days for life
  • You could also look into volunteering at your parish or Newman center.
  • Save the money that you would spend on your daily coffee, or app and music purchases and at the end of Lent give that money to either the Church, religious organization or turn it into gift cards and the hand them out to the homeless.


"God gives the growth." 
(1 Cor. 3:7)

Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can so this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.
-Pope Francis Lenten 2014 message

February 24, 2014

Hello Monday {1}


{Hello Monday} 
{hello morning Mass and the Sacrament of Confession}
{hello very busy week and long “to do” list}
{hello homemade Mocha}
{hello schoolwork}
{hello Pandora}
{hello pondering thoughts on the season of Lent}
{hello chatting with sweet friends for a few minutes}
{hello praying for some special intentions}
{hello listening to the audio version of "Love Does" by Bob Goff} 
{hello dinner with the family}
{hello new Downton Abbey episode & When Calls the Heart}
{hello evening prayers}
{hello warm bed}

If you want to participate in {Hello Monday}, then please give credit to Lisa in your post. She is the first one to start this little blog series.
February 11, 2014

Grab A Cup of Tea... {Book Q&A}

 {These questions were taken from Miss Rosamund Gregory from her blog.}

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack:
Popcorn, chips, anything crunchy.

What is your favorite drink while reading? 
A nice lovely cup of tea, preferably harvest peach passion or sugar cookie tea with a touch of cream. 

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the thought of writing in books horrify you?  
I cannot write in books. Unless I really have to like for a class or something like that.

How do you keep your place while reading a book?
Usually a holy card or sometimes these Pinterest inspired Pom-Pom bookmarks.


Fiction, non-fiction, or both?  
Both. I am quiet varied.

Are you the type of person who tends to read to the end of the chapter, or can you stop anywhere? 
Why to the end of the chapter of course.

Are the type of person to throw a book across the room or onto the floor if the author irritates you? 
Neither. I can't throw something on the floor. That's just not me.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you look it up right away?
Yep I bring up the dictionary app.

What are you currently reading?  
Well, here goes the list...I am reading two books for school, Christianity and American Freemasonry, Romero: A Life, and then one that I decided to read after hearing his story on TV, When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi. But then of course there are the audiobooks that I'll listen to when I am to tired to actually read a book but I want to read, if that make any sense.

What is the last book you bought?
Three Gifts of Therese of Lisieux by Patrick Ahern and Only You, Sierra by Robin Jones Gunn.

 Do you have a favorite time/place to read?  
At sunrise before the world wakes up... It depends on my mood if it's nice outside then I will sit out there, or inside with a candle burning, warm socks, and some soft melodies playing in the background.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
Series. I like getting attached to the characters, their lives, and in the last book crying because...the story is over.

Is there a specific book you find yourself recommending over and over?
Pretty much anything Jane Austen or L.M. Montgomery.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
I would say that I "try" to organize them by genre.




"I was born with a reading list I will never finish."
 - Maud Casey


February 1, 2014

Here in This Place...


Welcome to Graciela! 
 I am so excited to start this new journey in the blogging world, I have had a blog before but with a different agenda. This blog will be completely different compared to my previous blog!

The mission of this blog is to inspire a tribe of passionate, confidant & authentic girl-bosses who want to change & challenge the world together. It is a place where I can share what I have learned as a young woman millennial living in today's culture. My desire is to encourage young women to find their feminine dignity, confidence and unique voice in this world. The possibilities are endless, and I aspire to inspire ladies out there to dream big, go after what you want, but still stay true to who you are. In my small attempt to make a difference through this blog, I hope to write to young women millennials on fashion, beauty, media, and leadership.

As a woman, being confident in who you are is often difficult, because we have so many mixed messages thrown at us of who we should be and look like. I believe an important aspect in fully living out your femininity and truly finding that confidence is being able to have fun with a feminine guilty pleasure: FASHION! Find your style and what makes you feel beautiful, but most important,  what brings dignity and respect to your feminine being.

I hope to create a platform for young women millennials in fashion, media & entrepreneurship. But it doesn't stop there, my main motivation is to challenge young women to dream and don't stop till you have achieved it!