Repost | Beating the Winter Blues

Y’all. I think the groundhog lied. I’m starting to feel as though winter will never be over. I try not to complain too much because I know there are places much colder than Oklahoma. However, I’m over the teasing of the Oklahoma weather system. One day it’ll be 20 degrees and the next it’ll be 70. I feel like I could go crazy at any moment, haha! Not to mention, also, that my hands and feet are chronically frozen. Whatevs.

Today I’m reposting a blog post that I wrote a little over 2 years ago. It’s so easy to write content and then just forget about it. However, I thought it would be fitting to repost this one–because maybe some of these tips will be useful to you too during this frigid and glacial time. Ok, I’ll stop being dramatic now. Enjoy!

Beating the Winter Blues 
December 17, 2016

Now that daylight savings time is over, the days are much shorter and it gets dark SO much earlier. The other day it was almost pitch black at 5:00 in the afternoon and I felt exhausted because it felt like it was 10:00 at night. Does anyone else get into hibernation mode and become a complete couch-potato? Not to mention that it is also becoming colder and blankets, comfy clothes, and blasting the heat sound so much more appealing than anything else. In case this fits your description here are some things you can do to help beat the winter blues.

Stay active

The winter weather and darkness can make you feel like a completely unmotivated blob. Try to get in at last 30 minutes of exercise a day by either bundling up and going for a walk, going to the gym, or park a little further away from the front doors of places where you are Christmas shopping. I know that my mood and energy levels are significantly different when I make an effort to get moving.

Be around people

Surrounding yourself with people who care about you and vice versa can lift your spirits so much! Being with family and friends is definitely better than secluding yourself. I know that some people can only handle so much “people time” and need some time to be alone–but don’t make the being alone part a lengthy habit.

Plan things

Instead of just going home and planting yourself in front of Netflix, why not plan something fun? Some ideas are going ice skating, going out to dinner or having friends over for dinner, driving around to look at Christmas lights, go see a movie at the theatre, FaceTime or Skype someone who lives out-of-town, go see a Christmas play or show, etc.

Fun night at home

On the nights that you just need a relaxing evening at home, plan what you are going to do that evening. Find a movie that you love, pop some popcorn, make some coffee/tea/hot chocolate, put on a face mask, read a book, give yourself a manicure/pedicure, etc.

Light

Just because it is pitch black outside, it does not mean you have to be in the dark, as well. When you are home, light some candles, plug-in those Christmas lights, light a fire in the fireplace, and just make it cozy.


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Bath England Travel Diary

The last few weeks I’ve been recapping my big trip to England this past October. The previous posts were about Falmouth in Cornwall and can be read here and here. The next portion of the trip was to Bath, England–the land of Jane Austen! This post is a long one, so get comfy!

I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and her work. I’ve grown up with Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Emma, Mansfield Park, etc., and they each have a special place in my heart.

As soon as we got off the train in Bath, it felt like we stepped into a new era. The people and their dress were completely different than those in Falmouth and it felt like a new experience. It also felt a little bit like Harry Potter-land because there were school children running around in their “Hogwarts” uniforms.

“If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”

–Jane Austen

Once we got to our Airbnb, we rested for a bit and dropped off our luggage. Then we began our walk back into town for dinner. I really wanted to plan for our lodging to be close to the train station and most of the places we would be eating.

Cosy Club

Dinner was at Cosy Club–which was a very unique restaurant. The interior was modern, eclectic, yet also had historical components that felt like you were in another time period. We ordered a pot of tea (because, England) a salad, and gluten-free fish and chips (because, why not?). The food was so good and just what we needed after a long day of traveling. Cosy Club was also a great option for finding gluten-free meals.

After dinner, we walked back to our small renovated boathouse, watched Persuasion, and then went to bed. The next morning we slept in a little bit and then got ready for the day.

The Whole Bagel

We had breakfast at The Whole Bagel and ordered coffees and hot bacon sandwiches. If you’ve never had a hot bacon sandwich, you’re missing out. The morning was chilly and drizzly, so we took our time drinking our hot coffee and planning our day. The Whole Bagel had so many sandwiches and bagel options, and each was also served on gluten-free bread. The staff was very knowledgable about Celiac Disease and helped us decide what to order.

After we ate breakfast, we walked around the city and began exploring. The Royal Crescent and the Circus were two landmarks that we wanted to visit. They are both historical rows of terraced houses and are seen/mentioned in many of Jane Austen’s writings.

“Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?”

–Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Next, we went to the Jane Austen Centre for tea and a guided tour. The tea service before the tour was very reasonably priced and they had delicious gluten-free scones. The tour was very enlightening about Jane’s life, work, and time in Bath. I learned that Bath was not always a happy place for Jane and in fact, it was a place of a lot of pain and suffering–and her writings depict many of those feelings. But the city was still beautiful, historical, and quiet.

We walked around the city some more and visited places like the Bath Abbey, The Pump Room, and looked around shops.

By then, we started to get very tired and felt the day catching up with us. We stopped by a local Pret A Manger and grabbed some gluten-free soup and drinks. Pret is a great option for fresh, on-the-go food and there are so many options for different dietary needs. After we ate, we went back to our Airbnb boathouse, watched Northanger Abbey, and then went to bed.

Stay tuned for the upcoming travel post all about London!

You Are Loved: Encouragement on Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the international day of love, sentiment, and all things lovey-dovey/mushy. If you are single, married, dating, etc., I hope you’re able to celebrate the day with those you love.

I feel like there is so much pressure associated with Valentine’s Day that sometimes it’s not a day that people enjoy. Some may have experienced pain and heartbreak on this day or might just be longing for love. Regardless, I want to share some encouragement with you, in case you need it today.

First of all, you are incredibly unique, precious, and loved. I hope you never forget that. You have a valuable purpose in life and there is no one else like you. You are fully equipped and have what it takes for life, in Jesus’ name. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and of self-discipline”– 1 Timothy 1:7

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”–Numbers 6:24-26

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…”– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”–Galatians 5:22-23

God’s love will never be taken away from you. He loves you so much and has given His life for you. In the scope of the universe, humans are just tiny specs. But yet God loves you so much that He came to die for you. God cares for you and you are valuable to Him. He will never leave you or forsake you. You are not alone and are not forgotten.

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.”– Psalm 36:5-6

“The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.”– Psalm 119:64

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”–Romans 8:28-29

Because of God’s love, you now have an example of how to love others. You are part of a fellowship of other believers who love Him and you just the same. Because of God’s love, you are part of a community that is different than all the others.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”–Romans 12:9

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”–1 John 3:18

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”–1 John 4:7-8

“We love because He first loved us.”–1 John 4:19

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”–John 15:13

Happy Valentine’s Day my friend!

Book Giveaway!​

Hello my faithful readers! I have a really fun and different post up today! In honor of a brand new year and another year of writing, I would LOVE to give you something! You probably know by now that I love to read and always have a pile of books waiting to be read. I would like to share some of those books with you! Below are the items that I am giving away and here are the steps to enter:

-Comment below, on my blog Facebook page, or my Instagram Stories something that you are looking forward to this year, and also which book you would like to receive.
-You can comment on each platform for an additional entry as well!
-The contest will end on Tuesday, February 12th at 5:00pm CST.
-I will enter each entry for each book in a drawing and will select a winner at random.
-Once a winner has been selected, I will contact you for your shipping information.
-I am currently only shipping within the United States at this time.

Love Skip Jump: Start Living the Adventure of Yes by Shelene Bryan

Enough: 10 Things We Should Tell Teenage Girls by Kate Conner

Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen

Make Your Mark: A 40-Day Devotional by Gateway Women

Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World by Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl

Good luck and enjoy!

Falmouth Cornwall: A Special Little Harbor Pt. 2​

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you part 1 of my trip to Falmouth, Cornwall in England. Today I’m sharing part 2 and will tell you all about the things that I did during my visit. If you would like to read the first post–click here.

Our first morning there, we got up early and walked down to the high street. High streets are the primary business or city streets in England. It was so quiet in the morning and no one seemed in a rush to get anywhere. The leisurely pace of life is something I definitely wanted to bring back with me to the states. After walking through the high street, we walked down to the harbor. Being near the water, watching the boats rock, and hearing the dinging of bells were definitely highlights of the morning.

After leaving the harbor, we walked through other areas of the town and observed everyday life. The people in this town were so kind and welcoming–and even suggested things we should see in the town.

After we explored the town, we hiked up to Pendennis Castle (a fort constructed by Henry VIII). The views were breathtaking and worth the trek. It did cost to be able to enter the grounds, but I think it would have been a shame to pass up the opportunity.


On our hike back down from the castle, we stopped at a beach cafe and had a hot cup of PG Tips tea. Sitting on the beach, drinking tea with my mom, and looking out to the sea was my favorite part of Falmouth. This special little harbor town left such an impression on my heart and I’ll remember that trip with such fondness.