Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Reason Why I Wear a Purity Ring

"A purity ring is kind of like baptism in that it's an outward example of an inward commitment."

Four years ago today, I started wearing a purity ring. And yes, if you're doing the math, that made me 21. It's not exactly common to see a 21-year old make that kind of choice. It was bold, but something I felt very called to do. I'm often asked why I chose to wear one at 21 and why I continue to wear it at 25. Today, I've decided to share with you the reasons I wear a purity ring through two prayers I made four years ago.

From the night I made my decision:

August 23, 2013

Dearest Lord,

For a while now, I've been thinking about my physical boundaries within a relationship and what it means to respect and serve you in that way. Last night on my way home from Ian's, I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed something tangible to show my decision to wait for all physical interaction (outside of kissing) and I still feel that way. Lord, I've decided to wear a purity ring in honor of you and that commitment. You've truly shown me your faithfulness, love, and grace, and I want something close to my heart to always remind me of that.

In your honorable name,

The prayer I made over my ring the night I began wearing it:

August 29, 2013

Dearest Lord,

I bought my purity ring today and I love it!

When I wear this ring, I want it to give me a sense of peace and be a reminder that I'm loved. When I look at it, I'll be reminded of the promise that I'm making to you tonight. I'll feel grounded in Christ and in the grace you have for me.

Tonight, I promise this to you: I will remain pure until I'm married. For me, this purity means anything physical past kissing. All things that I've done in the past are not forgotten, but are a reminder of what I don't want to do in another relationship. This ring will remind me of that, along with the clean slate that begins with this ring. I promise to give all my sexual and impure wants to you so that I can overcome them through you. This is my promise to you, Lord.

Whoever the man is that you've chosen for me, please be with him. Allow him to rely on you through his own struggles and to remember your overwhelming grace and forgiveness.

As Psalms 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew a steadfast spirit within me."

In your name,

Four years later and I'm still just as sure of my decision. Each day, I look down at my hand and am reminded of the grace Christ has shown me. I know that I'm taken care of and that I'm saving something incredibly special for my husband. I'm proud of my choice.

Happy four years, ring!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

National Rum Day: Piña Colada Punch

When I found out that yesterday was National Rum Day, I knew I had to celebrate (even if it was a day late). I love piña coladas - they just scream vacation - but sometimes I don't want to take the time to blend a drink. My solution? Piña colada punch!

What you'll need:
1/2 can of ginger ale
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1.5 ounces Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

How to make it:
1. Fill glass a third of the way with ice.
2. Pour in 1.5 ounces (about a shot) of rum.
3. Pour in half a can of ginger ale.
4. Pour in half a cup of pineapple juice (I like Dole).
5. Give it a quick stir.


Will you be enjoying a little slice of paradise with a punchy piña colada tonight?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Three Things You Should Do to Get a Better Night's Sleep

Sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your body. It increases your mental health, allows your body to self regulate, and helps with your daily production levels. I am, by nature, a night owl. I tend to get more done when the clock strikes nine, but am slowly realizing the difference it makes when I go to bed before 1AM. Working full time is a whole new ball game for me, so sleep is extra important to my productivity and alertness at work. If you need a little help in the sleep department, too, then you'll definitely want to add the following three things into your nightly routine. 


Whether you're reading, journaling, or praying, you're allowing your body to relax, while also spending time with God. One of my goals this month is to get back into this nighttime routine. What does this look like for me? Reading a chapter in a "Christian Growth Book" and journalling my prayers. Science says that reading and journaling can help you have a better night's sleep, so why not strengthen your spiritual bond at the same time? Two for one benefits. 


When I go to bed, I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt and have the fan on high. I like it to be cold when I sleep, and, turns out, there are some serious benefits to a sleeping in a cool room. Not only does it help you fall asleep faster, but it allows your body to produce more melatonin, helps with insomnia, and increases your metabolism. 


Doing simple stretches before climbing into bed can help alleviate tension that has built up throughout the day. If you need some stretching inspiration, check out these basic stretches by Shape Magazine. Trust me, they will help relax you before falling asleep.

Tell me: how have you been sleeping?

Monday, August 7, 2017

25 Things To Do at 25

Today, I am officially 25 ½, so in honor of my half birthday, I'm sharing my 25 at 25 list. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I'm really into lists! There's something so fun about having a set of goals to complete and, of course, checking them off. Today's list is everything I want to complete before I turn 26. Some things I've already started checking off, others I still have to finish within these next six months. Without further ado, here is my list of 25 Things To Do at 25!

Rent a car (without the added under-25 fee).

Start saving for my retirement.

Take a trip to another country.

Find a form of exercise I actually enjoy.

Practice being charitable.

Live alone for the first time.

Start a career I'm passionate about.

Get my own medical insurance, a part from my parents.

Learn to cook at least three meals that are staples in my diet.

Find a community of women to do life with.

Spend a week in California visiting my friends.

Drink water everyday.

Learn to play a new game.

Go to a dermatologist to get my moles mapped.

Spend more time outdoors.

Continue to invest in growing Southern Magnolias.

Consolidate my closet to reflect my current style.

Keep a prayer journal.

Decorate a space to truly make it my own.

Check off books from Christian "Must Read" list.

Take a weekend trip to a new city.

Continue to build up my savings.

Curate my Instagram and build up my blog.

Attend a minimum of five concerts.

Visit my endocrinologist and gastroenterologist.

Anything you think should be added to my list?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My Favorite Bridesmaid Dress Styles

In preparation for today's bridesmaid dress shopping adventure, I decided to do some research. If you didn't know, my sister is getting married and I'm her Maid of Honor! Throughout my research, there were six styles that stood out to me. I love subtle details that add something special to simple dresses, floral patterns, and beautiful necklines. Our bridesmaid's dress scouting trip was a total success! I tried on a couple styles - and I loved them!

Here are all of my favorites:







What are some of your favorite bridesmaid styles?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Weekend Recap: Caitlin's Wedding

This past weekend I took a trip to Southern California for one of my best friends' weddings. I flew in on Friday and left Sunday evening, so it was a short trip, but so worth it! Below is a recap of my weekend.

As luck would have it, one of my high school girls was visiting family in Irvine while I was there. We were able to meet for lunch at Cheesecake Factory in Irvine Spectrum. One of the best parts was that I finally got to meet her daughter! She is such a little peanut and so smiley. It felt so surreal. I've known Camille since I was 15, was a bridesmaid in her wedding, and now she's a mom. It was so cool to see her love on her daughter and gush about her in person. We had a three hour lunch (my mom joined part way through), just catching up and enjoying quality girl time.

That evening, I met up with my childhood best friends, Shannon, Keiko, and Caitlin (the bride) for dinner with the rest of the bridal party. We had a blast getting to know everyone at Public House in downtown Fullerton!

Shannon and I decided to have a morning of pampering before the wedding. We went and had pedicures, Shannon went to a dry bar to have her hair styled, and then I went to the hair salon. I've been toying with the idea of cutting my hair for a while now and for some reason, this weekend seemed like the time to do it. I cut at least twelve inches off and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. And I have to say, I love it!

Our evening was spent celebrating the marriage of Caitlin and Ryan. The Muckenthaler Mansion was the backdrop to their day, with every bit of the wedding outside. The ceremony was held in the Italian Garden, the cocktail hour on the Circle Center Patio, and the reception in the Adella Lawn. It was beautiful!

I've known Caitlin since I was eight years old - we met in Mrs. Matthews' third grade class. Watching her promise forever to her best friend was amazing. The way they look at each other says it all; they are just meant for each other. We spent the evening dancing, taking photos in the photobooth, and sampling different cocktails. After the wedding, a group of us went out to downtown Fullerton and spent time celebrating the newlyweds!

Sunday was relaxing. We slept in, watched some tv, and hung out by the pool.

I'm so blessed by these three girls that came into my life seventeen years ago and am so excited that Caitlin has found her forever love.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My July Recap & August To Do List

Can you believe that summer is almost over!? These last two months have flown by. Today I'm recapping my July To Dos and sharing what I want to accomplish in my last full month of the season.

Finish decorating my bedroom.
I've created the layout and bought some fun pieces, but still haven't finished.

Connect with old friends.
I caught up with some high schools and even met one of them in Irvine (where I met her beautiful baby girl).

Start journaling again.
I bought a new journal, but that's as far as I got.

See fireworks at least twice.
Yes! I actually saw them three times and I was in heaven.

Start working out with Blogilates and My Fit Coach.
I was doing so well, but then somewhat came to a halt. Going to start again though!

Start my new thyroid regimen.
I did not. But today, on August 1, I'm starting!

Start drinking water with the help of the iHydrate app.
I've seen a difference in my skin!

Buy a cold shoulder white dress.
This has been the hardest thing to find! I should have starting looking in June.

Attend Intersect at my new church to meet other young Christian adults.
Yes! I even tried out two Bible studies.

Attend my best friend's wedding in California.
Such a beautiful wedding, so full of love! (I'm sharing all the details on Thursday.)

Continue to go to Bible study and bond with other Christian ladies.

Start physical therapy for my shoulder and ankle.

Head back to Urbana for a weekend (and maybe pack up more of my stuff).

Apply for a full-time HR role at my company.

Be published twice for two separate photoshoots with Southern Magnolias.

Start reading a book off of my Christian Growth Book list.

Update Southern Magnolias' website with our latest weddings and photoshoots.

Return to my nighttime routine of reading, journalling, and praying.

Buy a light blue bed skirt (and some matching accessories).

Try out some different hairstyles with my new short 'do.

Have a wonderful last month of summer!