Happy Blogiversary: My Thoughts on Year Three

Today is the 3rd anniversary of starting this blog! Woohoo! Yippee!

The last year was an interesting one for my writing and personal life, but I learned a lot of things along the way. If you are in the blogging and writing world, I wanted to share with you my takeaways and thoughts from year three.

Sometimes blogging is not the main priority. Sometimes you need a break for your own mental health or tend to things that are more important. There were a few months that I just needed to stop writing and focus on work, family, and rest and that’s ok. Sometimes you need to take a break to find your vision again and gain inspiration. I think that earlier last year I lost my vision and didn’t even know how to move forward. I found my purpose and vision for blogging again at the end of the year, but I’m so glad that I let myself take that break.

You need to take care of yourself. You cannot serve your audience, your friends, or your family if you are exhausted, weary, or just faking it until you make it. You can’t preach what you can’t practice!

Your blog is YOURS. Take the pressure off and don’t compare your work to someone else’s. You get create your own vision, mission, and have creative freedom! You may not have a huge amount of followers, blog views, Instagram likes, etc…but that’s ok!

Unless blogging is your full-time job, don’t treat it like that. You do not have to keep to a strict posting schedule. Earlier last year I told myself that I would post three times a week for the whole year. However, that happened for about a week and then burnout ensued. Since then I have learned how much I can handle so that I can also thrive in my full-time job.

My Favorite Blog Posts from 2018:

26 Hours in LA & San Fran–It should not come as a surprise that one of my favorite blog posts was related to traveling. This trip was so memorable and great to see different parts of California.

A Weekend in Napa & Sonoma–This post was part 2 of my California trip!

My Home Interiors Inspiration–This was such a fun post to write during the process of purchasing my house!

28 Things About Me–I think it’s fun to learn random facts about people and I hope it’s the same for you!

Welcome to My House: The Living Room–I loved this post about mt living room interior design! I can’t wait to post more house reveal posts soon!

I can’t wait to write more this year and also learn a lot! Thanks for still supporting me on this journey!

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Falmouth Cornwall: A Special Little Harbor Pt. 1

Happy January and New Year to you! I hope 2019 is treating you well so far!

A couple of months ago, my mother and I took a trip across the pond to England. We had been talking about taking this trip for years and the timing and arrangements just worked out perfectly. I have a few blog posts to recap our trip because we did and saw a lot. I hope you enjoy these posts and learning about the places that we traveled to! Some of these posts will be lengthy and might be split into multiple parts. This is one of those posts! Part 1 will consist of all the culinary aspects of Falmouth, and part 2 will be everything else that we did. 

After arriving in London and spending a day in Southampton with my sweet friend Maggie–we took a train to Falmouth in Cornwall! (PS–Maggie has a super cute Etsy shop that you should check out here) We decided to travel by train this trip, as I was not particularly keen on driving as much as we would be traveling. If you can find decent flights and save your pennies for rail passes–I highly recommend this mode of transportation!

We’re both huge fans of Poldark and seeing areas of Cornwall on the show made us want to travel there. Upon research, Falmouth in Cornwall was a harbor town that had a lot of history, breathtaking views, and amazing food. 

We arrived in Falmouth mid-afternoon and walked from the train station to our Airbnb. We booked our house for two nights, and I’m so glad we did because we were able to get more rest than if we went to a different place each night. Once we checked into our house and dropped off our luggage, we made our way down to the high street and walked to dinner. I did A LOT of food research for this trip and so we knew exactly where we would be eating each day. 

Zizzi Italian Restaurants Falmouth

We were so hungry that I didn’t even remember to take food-pics but, trust me, the food was so good! We shared gluten-free garlic rolls and then had seafood kinds of pastas. If you need to eat gluten-free–there are so many options at Zizzi! We both said that as long as we were in a coastal town, we were definitely going to eat as much coastal food as we could, haha!

 Courtyard Deli & Kitchen

The next morning we went to The Courtyard Deli & Kitchen for a coffee and gluten-free rolls. To me, there is no better way to celebrate traveling than with a cup of coffee. The rolls were served with butter, jam, and marmalade and were the perfect meal for beginning a busy day. The staff was so friendly and the atmosphere was really cozy. The deli was tucked away behind some buildings on the high street, so the deli felt really quiet and relaxing. 

 Oggi Oggy The Pasty Company

Around lunchtime, we were getting cold, tired, and jet-lag had majorly kicked in. Our Airbnb hostess recommended that we go to Oggy Oggy for Cornish Pasties (pronounced past-ies, not paste-ys). We made our way back to the high street and found the emerald green eatery. The staff was, again, so friendly and made us fresh gluten-free pasties. It took about 30 minutes for our food to be ready, but it was warm and gave us a chance to rest while we ate. I had a cheese and potato pasty and my mom had a steak and potato pasty. I definitely recommend you try Oggy Oggy for pasties, even if you can eat glutinous ones, haha!

Rick Stein’s Fish

This is the meal that I was most excited about while we were in Falmouth. We made a reservation to eat gluten-free fish and chips at Rick Stein, and the night we went there was also a special that included a glass of Prosecco. BEST FISH AND CHIPS EVER. The serving sizes were giant, but don’t worry–we managed to eat it all. The fish was fresh and the breading was crispy, crunchy, and best of all, gluten-free. The chips (or fries as we call in the states) were delicious and were also served with sweet green peas. Mashed peas are a staple with fish and chips, but we were unable to eat the mashed version due to it not being gluten-free. For the price that we paid for dinner, we could not believe the incredible quality. The restaurant was also very family-friendly as there were many families with small children the night we were there. 

More on Falmouth will be coming in part 2. I can’t wait to share it because of how much I loved Falmouth and I wish we could have stayed longer.

Allow Your Soul to Rest

Hi friends, happy Thursday. I hope you are having a great week! I have been settling back into my routine after being at The Declare Conference this past weekend. It wasn’t until the conference that I realized how life had taken a toll on my soul and spiritual life–but I am so glad to feel rejuvenated after the conference.

There’s something about being in a worshipful setting that allows your heart to become quiet before God and open to the things He has to tell you. The biggest eye-opener this past weekend was the revelation that I have been trying too hard to do all of the things (ie work, home, putting pressure on myself, going non-stop, etc) that I have forgotten to focus on The One thing. That One thing is my walk with God–because only He is my purpose, strength, and peace. He is the only One that provides rest to my soul–when I feel like I run it into the ground.

If you are needing rest for your soul–let me encourage you to do so!

Remember the faithfulness of God. Remember what God has done for you and how He has answered prayer. I think that so often we tend to forget these things, even after praying so hard and for so long for that thing to happen. When you feel like life is just all bad and not turning out how you thought it would–stop and think about how God has worked in ways you did not expect.

Go to God. I have been waking up earlier this week so that I can have time in prayer and Bible study before I begin my day. Going to God first thing each day needs to be my first priority–and I’m ashamed to say that sometimes it’s the last. Let God be the best part of your day and allow Him to guide you in the words you speak and work you complete.

Literally stop and let yourself rest. It’s ok to say “no” to things and spend that time instead to care for yourself. You know what flight attendants tell you–“put your oxygen on first before assisting another person?”–well that is true in the sense that you can’t help anyone if you are just totally done. Also, you cannot minister or encourage anyone else as effectively if you are not right with the Lord. So, stop and let yourself rest before God.

Love from Amy Signature

Welcome to My House: The Living Room

Here it is–my first home blog post! It’s taken me a while to be ready to post a “before and after” post, but I wanted to make sure it was just right. I moved into my new house in May and have had so much fun making the place mine and putting my finishing touches on the house. It’s been a lot of hard work but I am loving being a homeowner! Today’s post is going to be all about the living room–a room that has been the central focus since moving in and having people gather. Welcome to my living room!

Before

Living Room Before

This room was a little dark and cave-like, but had such a gorgeous window with a deep windowsill. I knew that I wanted to brighten up this room and paint it a lighter color–as having bright space was one of the most important design elements to me. I love the hardwood floors and knew I definitely wanted to keep them because they were in such good condition. Other than painting and interior design, there was not much else that this room needed.

After

Living Room After

Tadaaaaaa! I love this room so much and I’m so happy with the way it turned out. I have had so many movie nights in here and it’s just been so cozy and relaxing. A lot of this furniture I already had but I will tell you about the new pieces and where you can get them, if interested. The walls were painted a very light grey–I wanted a light color but didn’t want just flat white all over. I think the grey works so well and is such a great neutral background for my style.

Living Room After

The white upholstered chairs were my grandmother’s and were originally pink, striped silk. My mother worked tirelessly to make new cushions for me and paint the fabric with a fabric medium. The finished texture is a little bit linen-like and turned out so much better than we had thought it would. The couch was purchased from a coworker who was looking to sell–I couldn’t find this couch online but I think it is a Pottery Barn couch. It is such a deep couch and has been the central place to hang out in this room.

Living Room AfterThe coffee table is from Amazon (as are a lot of things in this house because it was so much easier than hunting for items) and was so easy to assemble. It’s pretty sturdy as well and I just love the faux marble laminate.

Living Room After

The curtains in the front window were also my grandmother’s. It has been so special for me to have pieces of her home now in my home, after she passed away this year. She had immaculate taste and style and I’m so glad that I have incorporated them into my style, as well.

Living Room After

The rug is from Rugs USA and I purchased it over Memorial Day during a sale. I can’t find the link to the exact rug anymore but there are so many interesting and colorful designs on the site. I believe this rug is an 8’x10′ in dimension.

Living Room After

The lamp is another Amazon find and I think it adds a nice touch of texture and a unique design element to the room. The lamp was easy to assemble and acts as my main light source in the evenings, since I don’t have overhead lighting in the room.

Living Room After

I had this side table already but knew I wanted to add some unique knobs, to blend in with the design aspects. I found this gemstone knob at World Market and knew it was the perfect one for this room.

Living Room After

My mother was so wonderful to make some of the couch pillows for me, and I bought a few others from TJMaxx. I love that these pillows are all velvet-y and they will be super cozy for the cold months ahead.

I hope you have enjoyed the first post of my home reveal–stay tuned for more coming soon!

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28 Things About Me

In the spirit of still celebrating my birthday month, today I’m sharing with you 28 random facts about me. I wrote one of these posts 3 years ago (I can’t believe it) and it’s funny to look back on those facts as well, haha! If you want to read that post, I’ve linked it here. If you are new to this blog, I hope you enjoy reading these things and getting to know me a little better.

  1. I love making lists.
  2. I cannot braid my own hair anymore–it’s too short and I don’t remember how to do it for myself. I can braid other people’s hair–just not mine.
  3. On my days off you can find me wearing ripped jeans and a black hoodie.
  4. Cooking and experimenting with food has become such a hobby of mine.
  5. I am a huge advocate for the importance of self-care, rest, and taking care of your body, mind, and soul.
  6. I have a never-ending stack of books always waiting to be read.
  7. I recently started taking boxing classes with some of my friends and I love that it makes me feel so tough.
  8. I’m trying to stop saying the words “anxious, scared, fearful, afraid, etc.” so much. I realized the other day that I had been doing that a lot and I don’t like that.
  9. My closet is pretty much black, grey, navy, and stripes.
  10. I cut my hair super short this year and I think this look is sticking for a while.
  11. I learned how to make my own almond milk this year and it’s pretty yummy.
  12. Family and my community of friends are essential in my life–I couldn’t do life without them.
  13. I think that fall mornings are just wonderful.
  14. I cry every time I watch Little Women and/or Anne of Green Gables. Every. Single. Time.
  15. I collect candles–there’s always an occasion for one.
  16. I could eat breakfast food for any/all meals of the day.
  17. I am so excited to do some traveling next month.
  18. This year I rediscovered my love of camping.
  19. Sour Patch anythings are my favorite kind of candy.
  20. Boy Meets World is my favorite show to watch if I need something to binge-watch.
  21. I believe that ice cream should NEVER be made in savory flavors. I saw a carrot and tumeric flavor the other day and, I’m sorry but, that’s just wrong.
  22. I sleep with about 6 pillows every night.
  23. I believe in speaking life into one another, and I’m trying to do that more for myself also.
  24. My cup of coffee is a highlight of my mornings.
  25. I am always planning a next vacation.
  26. When I was younger I had a yoyo named “Jimmy” and I would drag Jimmy around like a dog.
  27. I am slightly considering getting a dog next year.
  28. I am eating waffles for dinner (Can you tell that I’ve run out of facts this evening, haha!).

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