Your burdens shall be set free!

7.30.2013

This was a guest post I did a while back for the wonderful gals over at Overcome The Lie. I urge you to hop on over to their site where there is more inspiration than you may know what to do with!

This is a topic I have touched on before, but I have felt more of a need to share this with my readers lately. Enjoy, and I hope this helps you today.

Fear, anxiety, loneliness. 
Yes, I'm afraid a lot of women know all too well the emotions and feelings that come with those three simple, yet complex words. If you're one of these women, I urge you to take a moment to read on and then send your anxieties up to the Lord. 

This world can be a daunting place. Sin is everywhere we walk, talk and breathe. Bills, appointments, arguments and stress overwhelm our daily lives. When such things pull at our heart strings and push us to our limits, some people may turn away from God. We may ask over and over, Lord, why me? 

Did you know that the Lord gives us only what we are able to overcome? When he brings us to these stressors and difficulties in life, did you know he will also bring you through it?

I myself deal with daily anxiety. I fear what emotion could overcome me, or if I'm capable of making it through the day. I will be the first to tell you, that I do make it through every day, but not without the promises and grace of God. 

God promises us that if we just stick by him and fully trust in His grace, we should have no fears or worries. Challenges in our lives need to be embraced, so that we may be eager to discover the blessings that come from our hardships. Anxieties become areas of growth and opportunity. 

On the days when my anxieties have overcome me, I take the time to pray and recite Proverbs 3:5-6. It's my daily mantra and one that lets me know that I can definitely survive these next few seconds, minutes, hours, days...

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your path."



As women, we stand together as a support system through His grace. There are things you can't forget:
  • You are strong.
  • You are loved.
  • You are not alone.
  • Trust in Him with all your heart, and your burdens shall be set free!

Proverbs 31:25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future."

Luke 1:37 "For with God, nothing shall be impossible."


Living in the Moment: Carabox Reveal

7.26.2013

As you know, I'm a huge fan of the monthly Carabox swaps that happen all thanks to Kaitlyn from Wifessionals . This month the theme was Nautical. I especially enjoyed this theme this because there are so many cute and trendy nautical items out right now.

I was such a lucky gal this month to be paired with two of my favorite bloggers. I first gave my box to Kaitlyn, the lovely behind the idea of carabox. You can find what I sent her here. I was so excited when I saw I was paired with Kaitlyn. I have been a huge fan of her blog, and I was thankful to get to know her much better this month. I can't wait for the debut of their precious little girl in the upcoming months.

Stephanie from Living in The Moment sent me a sweet box all the way from LA. Talk about traveling from sea to shining sea. I was excited to get to know more about her this month. She is an awesome gal who is 120% supportive of her man being in the special forces. She is such a pro at sending care packages. I know Joe (her boyfriend) is a lucky guy!


I love all of the goodies Stephanie included in my Carabox this month. 
She must have figured out that my favorite colors are green and navy blue :)
//The sweet seashells will look great in our guest bedroom. 
//I can't wait to put a wedding picture in the great navy frame. 
//The tumblers are perfect and wonderful for our outside patio dinners. 
//I can't wait to use the massage soap bar that smells fantastic. 
//The cute napkins will pair perfectly on the patio with our tumblers, and 
//I can't wait to use the cute little cards for snail mail in the near future.
Thanks Stephanie!

Ahoy,
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Aslan Abode: Part I

7.25.2013

I have had a few requests for a tour of the Aslan Abode. Now I'm by no means any sort of interior decorator so don't judge too harshly! I'm not even sure what the "theme" of our home would be.

I leu of getting a new office chair, I thought I would start off by sharing our office nook with you. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in the apartment. I hate that these pictures are blurry...they were taken with the Canon but edited on my phone. Not the greatest quality. 

1// "Prayer Jar" that Joe's mom gave us the night before out wedding. All prayers that have been answered are placed in the jar and are remembered and given thanks! Very AWESOME!
2// Sculpture is one that has been in the family for YEARS. Even though it's quite unique, it has been one of my favorites since the bridal shower. So glad it made it to New York in one piece!
3// "Drool Art" made by the hubby. This is a product of what goes on in the lab on a daily basis. Not quite sure of the process involved, but it is a useful vase nonetheless.
Better picture of the sculpture. It has a man's face in the center. 
Also, the very bottom book in the stack is Joe's dissertation/thesis. So very proud of him for this accomplishment!
This is my little corner of the desk...I LOVE the background on my computer. "Awake my soul to sing" 
I will not take credit for it, but I forget where I found it...so if I do, I will share! And of course my corner must be decked out in peonies! 
If you're looking for a great daily devotional, be sure and check out "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young. 
It seriously gets me through the rough days! 

P.S. Sorry for the RIDICULOUS spacing issues in this post...I cannot figure out the issue. Enjoy the white space!


From our little space, to yours,
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Because Tuesdays are [usually] better than Mondays!

7.23.2013

Happy Tuesday! Since yesterday was Monday, and we all know how we can feel about Mondays, I'm joining some lovely gals and giving away some great summer essentials!
This lovely group is all brought to you by the wonderful Rachel who I just can't seem to quit chatting about...I know she'll forgive me. So enjoy this Tuesday and enter to win some great FREE goodies!

July Sponsor Giveaway
Postcards from Rachel July Sponsor
Postcards from Rachel: 1 month "Postcard" ad space
Lost in Travels: 1 month "Nomad Traveler" ad space
Life With A Side of Coffee: 2 months large ad space
Chasing Happy: 1 month "Happy Package" ad space
Aslan's Auspicious Albany Adventure: $10 Sephora card & "Upstate NY" ad
Rainstorms & Love Notes: 2 months large ad space
Hang On, Honey: 1 month "Glass of Chardonnay" ad space
A Fabulous Life in Jamaica: $35 Pacifica gift card
Jade and Oak: $10 Target gift card & "Glitter Gold" ad space
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Home Alone

7.22.2013

Casey, pity party of one, your table is now ready...
Serious guys I get a little sappy when Joe leaves on business trips. Where did that fiery independent woman go who could "do life" sans man circa 6 years ago?

Oh that's right...she got swept off her feet and turned into a puddle of goo because of a handsome man.
Ok, ok sorry I'm probably gagging you right about now.

Unfortunately Joe has to travel about every other month for training purposes with his new job, and I am left in the big scary apartment to fend for myself in the wild North East...haha whiney right?
Well I decided that instead of lulling you to sleep with whining moping, I thought I would share the few positives to my week alone.

1. I get to eat ALLLLL the meatless dinners I please! Joe isn't a huge fan of dinners without meat, and I love everything all veggies have to offer. We always seem to meet in the middle...but I'm breaking out the broccoli and mushrooms this week and going to town.

This is a no meat zone! Carbs welcome!
Is butter a carb? YES! (catch that one?)
 2. I can continue my seasons of Pretty Little Liars on netflix. I'm pretty sure Joe is allergic to chick flicks so we refrain when it comes to sharing TV space on weeknights.


3. I get to sprawl aka "starfish" as Joe likes to call it smack in the middle of the king sized bed...life is gooooood!



4. Because Joe's car is gone, I get to take over the sweet underground parking spot at the apartment.

5. I get to pick up beautiful pity pick-me-up flowers to cheer up a sad apartment.
I actually do this on a weekly basis but shhhhhh we don't have to tell.

Peonies are a girls best friend
So there you have it, I have no real reason to be mopey. I mean he will be back on Thursday... I know a few gals who have it WAY worse off than I do. So I thank you women for being stronger than I!

I realize that the title of this post could bring on some serious stalkers...so stay away you stalker you. Just because the hubby is gone doesn't mean you can come pull antics on me. Hey, just thought I'd throw it in there...

Check in tomorrow for a sweet Tuesday that will pick anyone up! FREE STUFF!

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River Oasis

7.19.2013

Today I ran the farthest I have run EVER (5.6 miles). It felt amazing afterwards but I was asking all kind of WHY ME's? during the process. I still have quite a ways to go before the big 13.1

One of my favorite things about the North East is how green it is. Yes, simple as that, it's green.
Back home things are marginally "green" but mostly burnt and brown. Up here I am able to be distracted by the beauty of the nature while running. I often find myself looking side to side during my runs which takes a lot of the noticeable aches and pains away.

I thought I would share with you the beauty of my morning run this morning.
It was so refreshing, even in the intense humidity. It was just me, my Gungor Pandora station and the Hudson river flowing directly beside me.

This whole running gig has turned into more of a therapy rather than work. As soon as I hit the pavement my mind turns off and I am just able to disconnect and take in the sights and sounds of nature. The stressors of life take the back burner and I am at peace.
It's a wonderful feeling that I would highly recommend to anyone!

Meet: The Corning Preserve




The Hudson is divided up into different "River Islands"

It always makes me laugh because I often think that I'm getting away from real life on my runs, and then I'm always reminded that I'm not in some river oasis but really in the city! 


Short post today, but hey it's Friday and I'm also posting over on Rachel's blog: Postcards from Rachel. Stop by and say hi!

T.G.I.F,
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That time I thought I wouldn't survive a huge move

7.17.2013

Yes, you read right...there was a time, back in the beginning of our "auspicious adventure", that I didn't think I could possibly survive a move across the country. I just knew that I would melt into a sobbing anxious puddle of hot mess constantly and that I would drive my new husband right up a wall.

Today, I am here and still standing on both feet, sans puddle.
Yes friends, today marks my sixth month mark as an official Yankee New Yorker! I can't believe how fast the time has flown, and all of the fun we have had.
It hasn't been without its up and downs, but it has been 100 times easier than I had expected, which I am entirely grateful for.



I figured I would share some of the highlights from our time here in the North East.

I have come leaps and bounds from my first run with being busted. You know? When my accent got me in trouble...

Or

One of my first nights to experiment in the kitchen with a loaf of bread and you joined me in learning how NOT to use a kitchen aid mixer.

What about the time I shared advice on how to hang onto your marbles and keep your sanity after a huge move across the country.

Have you wondered what exactly the meaning behind our Auspicious Adventure is all about?

We have also really enjoyed being up here on our own, as newlyweds, trying to figure out this little thing called life and marriage.

We've enjoyed many weekends together, but this FREE weekend has still been my favorite!

A huge thanks to our readers for the love and support. Because of you, this blog is still going strong, and I haven't melted into that puddle we previously talked about!


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Starlet On-The-Go

7.15.2013

Thanks to Mary Kay, I had the opportunity to try out/review some great products through Influenster
I will tell you that this little surprise in the mail couldn't have come at a better time! 
I had just returned from Texas and realized I had forgotten my entire makeup bag...and my feet were then in New York. 
Talk about a BUMMER.

Thankfully this little gem was waiting on my doorstep!

Disclaimer: All views and opinions are solely and 100% my own. I received these products in return for my honest opinion. 

Products Received:
1// Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I [heart] black.
2// Mary Kay Lash Primer
3// Mary Kay Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm
4// Mary Kay Eye Color/Concealer Brush
5// Mary Kay Ture Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie

With a little help from my Fifth & Mae jewels and some red Mary Kay lipgloss [previously purchased by yours truly], I was able to create a great Friday date night attire using all of the great products I received from Mary Kay this month. Take a look for yourself... 



Review:
1// Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I [heart] black.
>> I enjoy this mascara for a lighter look but it also has the ability to turn dramatic. I have short and sometime thin lashes so I tend to go with a more dramatic volumizing mascara to make my lashes pop. 
I was surprised that once paired with the lash primer, I was able to achieve more of a dramatic look.

2// Mary Kay Lash Primer
>> I had never used a lash primer until now, and I will say I am smitten! The primer helps smooth and spread lashes before mascara application. It helps prevent clumping of mascara when trying to separate lashes.

3// Mary Kay Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm
>> I tend to be skeptical of cream shadows because it tends to not stay put throughout the day and ends up in a messy glop in the crease of my eye lid...with the Cream Eye Color, this isn't the case. The cream  eye shadow lasted all night and the purple hue was perfectly subtle enough but could easily be intensified for a deeper purple look.

4// Mary Kay Eye Color/Concealer Brush
>> Hands down, this is a great brush for eye shadow, and especially the Cream Eye Color. I love any sort of makeup brushes!

5// Mary Kay True Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie
>> A great lipstick full of moisture that will leave your snaggletooth baby bottom soft...catch that reference? However, I did not care for the color at all. It's probably because I don't like any shade of pink, but I do plan to look into a bright red hue. In order to get the color seen in the pictures, I applied my red Mary Kay lipgloss [not part of the influenster box]. 
The True Dimensions lipstick is a great summer go to because of the moisture that is locked in with each application. 

Do you have Mark Kay favorites? Be sure to share your tips and tricks!

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Watch for the boom and switch the jig!

7.11.2013

A while back I created a 26 before 26 list. This list is a bucket list of to-do's that I would love to accomplish by 26...a mere 18 months.

I was reflecting and laughing over some of the things I selected (Mediterranean Cruise??!!) I wanted to keep you updated on some progress that I have actually made thus far.

#4 Go Sailing:
As I have probably mentioned before, our close friends here are from Texas and we are just so thankful to have met them through our church that we love.
Funny thing is, these two lovebirds met in college in the sailing club (cute right?)

A couple of weekends ago they invited us out for some sailing on Thompson's lake in Knox York. Talk about exhilarating.

It's definitely not the sit there in your model bikini and lounge. Sailing has a lot of technique, physics and work to it; not to mention the nautical jargon we picked up that after noon.




Any sailors out there? How about this for you: "We are coming about, so watch for the boom and switch the jig"? Eh? Impressed yet?

Definitely lots of fun, especially when you can enjoy a glass of sangria while you're at it...
Sangria recipe to be posted ASAP.

I am pumped that I was able to cross that one off the list during our first summer here in NY. We hope it won't be our last time this summer as well!
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Cooking Catastrophe

7.10.2013

So I would by NO means call myself Julia Childs, but I tend to be pretty fantastic in the kitchen...as in cooking (not baking).
I tend to branch out with new recipes (often to Joe's horror) and they usually don't turn out too shabby.

Well...let. me. tell. you.
Persian cooking (hubby is Persian in case you didn't know) is a work of art.
All recipes call for spices that I have never in my wildest dreams heard of, and some of which, can only be bought at a persian supermarket.
Which, sadly this white girl has not yet worked up the courage to enter.

Each Persian recipe also will feed feast an army...as in Christmas dinner feast portion worthy.
Each Persian recipe also has a prep time of over an hour as well as cook time of over an hour.
Buttttt...always a big butt, they are delicious if you prepare properly.

I was so excited that on my day off I would be the awesome housewife and try my hand at my second Persian dish. The first try came off too "white girl" so I figured I would try my luck again.
I was able to find the exotic spices or their Walmart distant cousins and I just knew I had it in the bag...

WRONG-O

First off...when a recipe calls for 3 cups of rice and a full bag of beans, and you're only serving two people, wait until the next company potluck. We will be eating dill rice for months.

Enough rice to feed us until Christmas

Secondly, select the proper cookware sizes if attempting to cook 3 cups of rice and a full bag of beans...I washed my fair share of dishes that night.

Thirdly, when making cutlets, make sure that your skillet is turned down low and your ingredients are more pureed so that your hard work of meat-ball rolling won't end up down the tubes.

Hot mess potato explosion express

Must be more pureed...ugh
Fourthly, don't try to be cool and organic by buying fresh dill. You will and I repeat you WILL spend hours picking dill from the stem with little return in the end.
Dill...what a sneaky little spice
After these mishaps for a second time, I decided to throw in the towel. It is much too labor intensive for this novice housewife and (Persian) take out is much easier, and less of a headache.

What are your kitchen mishaps?


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Home is wherever I'm with you

7.08.2013

Thank you everyone who sent prayers, encouragement and love our way this week. It was a hard, but wonderful week home celebrating the life of one of the most amazing men I have had the privilege of knowing.

Hard times tend to bring people closer. Although we are missing an integral part of our family, we have become a stronger blended family unit. I was amazed at the strength and love that my family is capable of. It is truly an honor to be part of such an amazing family.

This world is filled with materialistic ideas and wants. We tend to get caught up in the daily "must have's" and forget our bare necessities.

When we were home a few weekends back, it was the first time at my parent's new house.
We decided to take a walk down memory lane and drive by our old houses. Talk about blast from the past.
These are the homes I grew up in, back in Texas. The best part of these homes are not the features on the inside, but the multitudes of memories that were shared in the homes.
1989-1999
1999-2013
May 2013-Present

A home is not a place with the newest appliances, fancy granite or trendy decor. Home is where your loved ones are.
A home does not reside on one street, neighborhood or in a single state. Home is where your loved ones are.
A home is not a tangible structure, in a set location. Home is where your loved ones are in the present, past and where they will be in the future.

Home is wherever I'm with you!

You don't need money, cars or even a roof over your head to feel like you are home...all you need are your loved ones close. 
Don't waste a moment or chance to tell your loved ones how incredibly important they are to you.