Thursday, February 27, 2014

Striped V-Neck Tee & The Perfect Small Crossbody Purse

Striped V-Neck Tee and Sneakers
Striped V-Neck T-shirt: Gap Body, Jeans: Express, Shoes: Vans, Necklace: c/o StarrJoy, Watch: Timex, Purse: Vera Bradley, Men's Ring: c/o Emitations
Striped V-Neck Tee, Crossbody Purse
Striped V-Neck Tee, Fleur De Lis Necklace
Vera Bradley Little Flap Hipster Crossbody
StarrJoy Fleur De Lis Necklace
Striped V-Neck Tee and Sneakers

This shirt, you guys, is the shirt that I need in every style and every color. It's the perfect tee. No joke. I not only bought it in striped gray & white, but I also bought three of the black crew neck t-shirt version to take with me to Basic Training. I've never worn a more comfortable or versatile t-shirt. Oh, and the shirts run a bit small (they have a "compression" fit), and I'm wearing a medium if you need a reference to size/fit. Plus, Gap is having a 20% off sale right now, so don't miss that.

The fleur de lis necklace I'm wearing is art turned into jewelry by the amazing StarrJoy on Etsy. Starr is an artist who recently began transforming her paintings & art into jewelry—and some amazing jewelry with incredible, feminine designs—I might add. I was torn between this rose print, this leopard print and the fleur de lis, but the fleur de lis reminded me of my sister so that was the winning ticket.

Last but not least, Vera Bradley is having some major sales right now, and the purse I'm wearing, the Little Flap Hipster in Canterberry Cobalt, is on sale for half off! I think they're discontinuing the style, so if you want a small crossbody that holds a wallet (I use this one), phone, keys, gum, chapstick, pens, checkbook, etc.—this is the one to get!! Plus, they have 23 different colors to choose from, so there's a pattern for everyone. Oh, and I'm not making any money or affiliate change for telling you about my favorite VB bags, so take it from me... they're the best!

Well that's enough from me today. I could go on and on about my shirt, necklace and purse... so the least you should do to help me celebrate my half birthday (Why not, right? Happy Half B-day to me—still in my golden year of being 27 on the 27th!) is go check them out & score some good deals!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Girls' Night

Girls Night Bowling
Girls Night Bowling

Some of my favorite nights are those that are simply spent with your best girlfriends—eating dinner out, black-light bowling, laughing, and sharing stories. So grateful for good friends, good food, and good times together.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Doubt Your Doubts

Doubt Your Doubts

I listened to a message at church this last Sunday that was so powerful and I wanted to share it with you. Regardless of whether you share the same beliefs as me or not, this can apply to you. It's so simple—so beautiful—and so incredibly profound.
"Doubt your doubts. Believe your beliefs."
How many times have I found myself worrying about the little things (or the big things) and placing too much emphasis on things that I've created in my head—things that aren't even real? Too much time. I can tell you that for sure—whether it's about my marriage, my career, my future, my social interactions, my past mistakes... I have spent way too much time wasted in doubt and worry.

Already this week I found myself creating lies, made-up situations, and worry within myself over things that aren't even true... so what did I do? I told myself, "Doubt your doubts." Sometimes I have to repeat it over and over. Doubt your doubts... doubt your doubts... doubt your doubts.

Because that's all that they are—doubts. They are not real. They are not worth it. Believe your beliefs. Believe what you know. Believe what is true and right in front of you. It's so simple, yet so powerful. It's my mantra right now, and it's a game-changer, I promise. When you have that little bit of confidence in yourself to rid the doubts from your mind, you can conquer anything.

Doubt your doubts.

Friday, February 14, 2014

All Love, No Expectations

Happy Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day With No Expectations, Valentine's Day Heart Balloon

Happy Valentine's Day!

Also known as... the day of expectations. The day filled with kisses, showers of candy, presents, bows, wish lists, pink & red, love, puppies, jewelry, and oodles of gushy, romantic Hallmark cards.

Obviously Valentine's Day isn't my favorite holiday. I wouldn't say I dislike it by any means, I just don't typically choose to go all-out and celebrate it.

I think it's because I've been that girl too many times in my life. That girl who gives people expectations of what they're supposed to give me or how they're supposed to act on this "special day." That girl who has broken up with not one, but TWO boyfriends on V-day (... terrible, I know). That girl who felt "disappointed" when the day didn't go as planned. That girl who is absolutely no fun to be around whatsoever.

So a few years ago, I decided to stop being that girl—because truly, she was miserable, even for me to deal with!

These days, I take each day as it comes. I'm learning to worry less and be a little more carefree. I'm learning to let go of expectations. I'm living how I want to live, not necessarily how the media/culture these days says I should live. I've found a happy place and it's so great to finally be here.

Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day. Wishing you lots of love—without all the expectations—on this truly special day. Aren't they all? ♥

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness

Every month that we've gone out to drill weekend with the Air National Guard since December, it has snowed (granted, it has also snowed at other times during those last 3-months as well, but without fail, it has also snowed every drill weekend). This isn't such a big deal, except for that when we come home from a long day out at the Air Guard, typically the last thing we want to do—though we always end up doing it anyway—is go out in the cold and shovel our driveway and sidewalks.

[Enter a brief moment to reflect & be thankful that we have our very own driveway and sidewalks here!]

Saturday evening, upon pulling into our driveway, we noticed an odd sight. Our driveway and sidewalks had been shoveled. We looked around, astonished, and immediately asked, "Who would be so kind to do this for us?" We had absolutely no idea. Upon further investigation, it wasn't just our driveway. It was our driveway along with several driveways and sidewalks of our neighbors that had all been shoveled clean of show and ice.

Well how nice was that? Right? We still don't know who took the time to do that for us, but I can tell you that we are entirely grateful—from the bottom of our hearts—to the person/people who came and did this for us & our neighbors. They didn't have to spend their Saturday afternoon shoveling snow... but they did—and for strangers (we presume), no less!

Whether it's gestures like shoveling snow, treating a friend to hot chocolate, baking someone a little treat, holding the door for the person behind you, or any random act of kindness—I promise it won't go unnoticed. To our anonymous shoveler(s), thank you. Thank you so very, very much.

Monday, February 10, 2014

ANG Student Flight Drill 3

ANG Student Flight, Air National Guard Student Flight, Air Force Core Values, Idaho Air National Guard, 124 Fighter Wing

This drill weekend's Student Flight was a success. How do I know? Because I can hardly move today—I'm so sore—in a good way, of course. After all the push-ups, PT, marching and running, the soreness brings on a feeling of accomplishment. And just imagine—that was only two days... I can't wait to go down to Basic Training and experience the full 60-days & all the intensity it will bring.

Student Flight was a bit different this time around. I was in a student leadership position, so there was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. Some of it was great—it was awesome to be a leader and to be able to see orders fulfilled & the trainees come together to work as one—and some of it was not so great, as I was the first person to get in trouble if any of my trainees (or myself, for that matter) made a mistake. I feel like I held that weight pretty well... and it gave me the tiniest glimpse into what holding a leadership position at Basic Training is going to look like. Notice I say "tiniest"—and that's because it's true. I know that Student Flight and what we experience is absolutely nothing like what we'll experience at BMT, but it is at least helping prepare me.

Honestly, I can't say enough about Student Flight and how awesome it is. I love everything we're learning and the discipline we've started to show. The relationships I'm forming with my future trainees who I may never have gotten to know without Student Flight has been invaluable. We are all coming from so many different walks of life, yet at Student Flight, we are all the same. It doesn't matter what our age is, our AFSC, our backgrounds or what the future holds... we are all trainees who are preparing for BMT and learning to be as one. It's a very, very neat experience that I'll never get to have after I leave for Basic, so I'm taking in every minute.

Student Flight is helping me prepare to be that "American Airman" that I keep hearing so much about. And let me tell you what... it's awesome.

PS // I wrote more about my overall Student Flight experience at Aim High Erin's blog. Her blog has been my biggest resource for learning about BMT & readying myself as a future Airman. If you're joining the Air Force, Air Guard or AF Reserves, her blog will be an undeniably helpful tool as you prepare to leave for training.

See my other Air National Guard Student Flight experiences here: UTA 1 │ UTA 2 │ UTA 3UTA 4 │ UTA 5

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Power in His Delay

God's Perfect Timing

I've been journaling and reflecting on life lately each night before going to bed. It's become a bit of a routine—and it is so calming & relaxing. I write down a few sentences about something good that happened in my day or something that I'm grateful for (I don't ever write the bad stuff—who wants to remember that?). It's simple, it's quick, and it's so amazing to look back over all the good that's been happening in my life lately.

The other day, I had been particularly frustrated while waiting and waiting for Tech School dates for the Air Guard. I felt as though I'd been waiting forever—though it's only actually been a couple months—and began writing to help release that frustration. What I wrote wasn't a complaint, or even negative for that matter. I essentially wrote a prayer. A prayer for peace & trust in God's perfect timing. Sure, I may have wanted to know those dates right that moment, but my wants were selfish and mistimed. I journaled about how thankful I was for all I've been given and how I knew that God will reveal those dates to me in His time.

And what do you know? Two days later I received those dates. It was as though I had finally put it out of my hands and given my trust to God when he took that burden right from me and answered that prayer. Now granted—they were not the exact dates I had hoped for—but see? God's working within me to trust that those are the right dates! I didn't even realize that my prayer had been answered—and so quickly, too!—until I was reading over my journal last night. What a beautiful thing it is.

While we may have that now now NOW mentality, sometimes all it takes is letting it and the worry and the concern and the control go for it to happen. I heard this incredible phrase a few months ago and wrote it down in all caps in the back of my Bible so I could always remember it. It said:
"There is power in My delay."
To me, that is so powerful. Realizing we are not in charge of what happens around us—we are only in charge of ourselves, our thoughts & our actions—is so freeing. Is it not? There is power in His delay. That's so beautiful & makes me ever so hopeful for all that lies ahead.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Yes, I'm in the Military—Yes, I Still LOVE Camo

Camo Scarf, Leopard Top, Mens Camo Tungsten Ring
Leopard Shirt: Nikibiki, Jeans: Silver (similar), Booties: Mootsies Tootsies, Camo Scarf: C. Wonder (similar), Camo Ring: c/o Emitations
Camo Scarf, Mens Camo Tungsten Ring
Camo Scarf, Leopard Top, Mens Camo Tungsten Ring
Mens Camo Tungsten Ring
Camo Scarf, Leopard Top

I've been told that now that I'm in the military—there will come a time when I no longer find camouflage to be fashionable. I suppose if your day-to-day uniform is an ABU (Airman Battle Uniform), this could be true. But for me? I'm still sitting at a civilian desk during my workday and taking the traditional Air National Guard one-weekend-a-month route, so camo is still totally "in" in my book. Plus, add a leopard top for a little pattern mixing and it's a total win/win.

The camouflage ring I'm wearing is from Emitations, and while they have some beautiful and blingy jewelry that's very eye-catching, I was particularly drawn to their collection of men's rings. In fact—I was initially asked to take a look at one of their sparkly large cocktail rings—but you guys know me and know it just isn't my style. But a heavy tungsten men's ring that lasts forever, doesn't scratch, and has a bit of a camo flair? I was all over it.

Double camo + leopard for the win!