Welcome Summer

Happy Summer!

Today is the first day of summer! Although, I would argue that it’s felt like summer for a few weeks now… hehe The sweltering sun is hard to ignore, and not exactly my favorite element of summer. I’m more of a fall, cool and crisp weathered gal. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sun. I just don’t love all of the heat and humidity.

However, the sun is actually one of those blessings I believe many of us take for granted. For instance, it shines faithfully each morning and sets each night. It provides us vitamin D and gives us that goddess glowing skin. And it offers the perfect weather for an afternoon swim or a barbecue. The sun is a a blessing God has given us, a gift actually! So even though summer isn’t my favorite season, I do love the sunshine and a few other elements about summer…

So I thought I would make a list of ideas for your summer bucket list! Last year I made a list of all that I wanted to do and try throughout the course of the summer. It was a neat way for me to make the most out of my summer. So if you find yourself bored or lacking ideas, use mine or make your own list!

 

  1. Read a new book
  2. Plant something- a garden , flower, herb, or succulent!
  3. Visit somewhere you’ve never been
  4. Try a Pinterest recipe
  5. Clean out a junk drawer/ organize your closet or room
  6. Try yoga
  7. Try a new workout class
  8. Make an Instagram-inspired smoothie bowl
  9. Go on a hike
  10. Go camping
  11. Watch a movie you’ve never seen before
  12. Form a morning/night routine
  13. Host a sleepover
  14. Make a homemade face mask
  15. Visit a local coffee shop
  16. Go to the farmer’s market
  17. Sign up for a 5K
  18. Try a new hairstyle
  19. Find a new DIY to try
  20. Go to a movie-in-the-park
  21. Write a story
  22. Buy a new devotional
  23. Try calligraphy
  24. Write down your dreams
  25. Listen to a podcast
  26. Send a card to someone
  27. Visit an antique shop
  28. Go to an amusement park
  29. Catch lightening bugs
  30. Go on walks
  31. Take pictures of nature
  32. Drink a cup of coffee
  33. Journal

 

There you have it! These are some ideas to help you create a bucket list of your own! You can make a list with as many or as few things as you want. Just remember to take a moment and enjoy the little things in life- like the sunshine! And enjoy this summer by making the most of it! ❤

~Sophie Buchanan

Do It Yourself- Frothy Coffee

Screenshot_2017-06-14-14-30-30My Coffee Obsession…

As long as I can remember, I have loved coffee! It’s one of those things for me that puts a smile on my face and makes my heart happy. In my opinion no event is complete without a cup of Joe. My sisters also have equal obsessions. Anytime were together, my mom actually gets annoyed and waits for the question, “Can we stop at Starbucks?” Haha Like I said, no trip is complete without some Joe!

However, coffee can be expensive. Grabbing one here and there adds up, especially if you regularly go to Starbucks. I’m honestly a lover of all coffee, and I haven’t met a cup that I’ve stuck my nose up at yet! hehe So as long as I have my stevia and they have almond milk, I’m a happy camper! I’ve even grown to like coffee occasionally black or as long is I at least have stevia, because unfortunately, most, but not all places offer almond milk.

Anyway, to cut down on costs, the economical choice would be to use a thermos or Tervis cup and make your coffee at home. Though, if your like me, and you like froth, coffee at home just isn’t quite the same. I actually tried putting my coffee once in a jar and shook it to achieve froth. All I got was some sad bubbles. I also tried boiling it, which resulted in simply hot almond milk. Then the other day, it hit me to blend my coffee! I’m actually not quite sure what prompted me to try it, but I did! And the result… was perfect! Something in the blending process actually creates a thick, creamy layer of froth, and unlike my other methods, it doesn’t dissolve.

The best part is that you can blend your coffee hot for a latte or cold for a frappe! You can even pour over ice! So if you love coffee, definitely give this recipe a try! It’s incredibly simple, and the creamers, milk, and sweeteners can all be modified to your liking for the perfect, made-at-home, cup of Joe 😉

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Recipe Instructions:

 Coffee (Hot or cold)
 Milk of choice (I like almond milk best)
 1 Tbsp. Creamer (*optional) (My favorite is either the vanilla or caramel 
 almond milk creamer by Silk 
1 Tsp. Coconut Oil (Adds to smoothness, but most importantly helps 
counteract the acidity in coffee (+) keeps you full!)
Sweetener (*optional)
Ice (If making a frappe)

 ~Simply pour all of your ingredients in your mixer and blend until a creamy appearance is achieved and a layer of froth appears. Then pour your coffee into your cup of choice and enjoy! *You don't have to be strategic when pouring your coffee into your cup. The froth natural sits at the top. Also, if making a frappe but using hot coffee, add extra ice. *Tip: If taking your coffee to-go, you can add a tablespoon or two of protein powder, which will keep you fuller and add more nutritional value ;) Screenshot_2017-06-14-14-30-41 

Christ is Enough

christ is enough for me

In my last devotional post I encouraged you to love your life. After all, we do have so much to be thankful for. I’m thankful for my health, especially after just reading an update from my English teacher, whose battling her second round with breast cancer. Loving your life just seems an appropriate response to the grace and mercy of God in our lives! However, what do you do, or how do you love your life when things aren’t going right in your life- when cancer or sickness knocks at your or someone you love’s door, when your parents fight, when friends betray you? How do you live joyful amongst the chaos?

Maybe you aren’t going through anything at the moment, or maybe you’re in the  midst of a trial now. Either way, the Bible says that regardless, we WILL suffer and face trials in our life. Although this may seem like a dull, despairing statement, it actually brings hope, because God promises to work everything for our good, and He promises to NEVER leave or forsake us. He has a plan and a purpose for every struggle we endure, and only He can take those trials and work beyond what we could ever imagine if we allow Him to.

See, loving your life and possessing joy can be your way of life, regardless of the good or the bad, when you choose to be filled with Christ. The funny thing is that when we “fill” ourselves with temporal things, like people and pleasures, instead of Christ, we actually find ourselves unfulfilled. But when we choose Christ, and decide that He is the only “thing” in which we can be filled with, we find ourselves in a state of fulfillment, even peace. Loving your God-given life and living a life full of joy becomes less about your circumstances and more as a result of the goodness of God.

As you read this, ponder the idea of being fulfilled in Christ, choosing Him over the shallow and temporal options the world offers. Ponder the hope that the fulfilled life offers! It means hope during the good times in your life and peace during the trials. It means you can live beyond your circumstances. So when life brings you trials, only a fulfilled life- full of Christ, will give you the tools you need to endure. That tool being Christ Himself!

In closing, here is an important thought. My teacher, Erin Sipe, whose battling cancer, made a wise statement in her recent post. She said that it’s important, like Noah did, to build your ark when life is good. That way you’re prepared for the trials. When you’ve chosen a life that says Christ is all you need, lean into him and prepare. When the trials hit, the Christ within you will sustain you.

Psalm 42:8 and 11:

V. 8 “Yet the Lord will command his loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

V. 11 ” Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Natural Products

   Care for your whole body.

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I love simple things. Even better, I love simple products with natural ingredients. It was about two years ago, in a home economics class, that I became acquainted with the idea of said “natural” products. Before then, I didn’t know that my shampoo and conditioner might contain sulfates or parabens, or that some ingredients in my products could cause or lead to cancer. Thankfully, I had a teacher who educated my class about it. Ever since, I have had an interest and excitement about all things natural!

Today, I wanted to give you a list of my favorite natural products that I love! If you are looking to try more natural products, definitely give these a go. I will be honest and tell you that the world of “healthy, natural, and organic” can be overwhelming. Many brands put labels on their products claiming certain benefits, but remember, life is all about balance. Don’t over complicate it! Do some research and keep it simple. With that, here are some of my favorite and most simple products that I love to use:

 

1.) Coconut Oil                                                                                                                                        Coconut oil seems to be the rave these days, but in my opinion, it is rightfully so. I love using this healthy fat as a moisturizer and even as a makeup remover at night. I recommend buying it solidified and only using it before bed as it can make your face a little too oily right before applying your makeup. The best part is that it contains only one ingredient and it gives you a lot of bang for your buck as a little goes a long way!

2.) Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel                                                                                     These two are two more products that are great for your skin and for your wallet. I use both of them as astringents with a cotton ball after I remove my makeup. Although extremely potent in smell, apple cider vinegar balances your PH levels and helps with your acne. I do recommend only using this one at night though or if you don’t have anywhere to be, as the smell is a little strong. If you find that it burns your face, just dilute with water. Witch Hazel, on the other hand, is less potent and wonderful for everyday use.

3.) Toothpaste                                                                                                                                         I decided to try a natural toothpaste and so far I’ve used both Tom’s toothpaste and Hello toothpaste. I love Hello because it has a nice consistency and a good flavor, but it’s a little pricey. Overall, I like Tom’s for it’s price and qualities. However, it is a little less lathery, so to speak, than normal toothpaste and not an overly strong mint flavor, but to me it’s not a huge deal. Feel free to experiment with some other brands and see which one you like best.

4.) Alaffia                                                                                                                                                This brand is definitely one of my favorites and has a variety of different products.  Now, I am currently using there body lotion and love it. I’m also getting ready to reorder there shampoo and conditioner, as well as try their face soap. It’s a fair trade product with great quality. However, I might add that if normally using normal shampoo and conditioner, it might take a period of adjustment for your hair. Normal products strip your hair, causing your scalp to compensate by producing more oils, and because Alaffia doesn’t strip your hair, your hair might be a little oily until it adjusts.

5.) Deodorant                                                                                                                                          This one is a little tricky for me because I have very sensitive underarms.  I recommend trial and error to see what works best for you. If you have some time on your hands, you can try making your deodorant from scratch, using various recipes on Pinterest. However, for on the go use, I recommend trying either a deodorant made local, or trying Arm in Hammer’s Essentials deodorant in the scent “fresh”. I especially recommend Arm in Hammer if you prefer a less essential oil scent. Of all the products I’ve recommended so far, I place a special emphasis on this one. Normal deodorants contain an active ingredient known as aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Well, there you have it! A list of a few of my favorite natural products! I hope by reading this you see how easy and inexpensive using natural products is. In most cases you actually get more for your money than traditional products on the market. If anything, I hope this at least educates you a little. I see being natural as a step towards better self-care. However, I think it’s important to note that everything I use is not natural. Ex. Bath and Body spray. So don’t feel obligated to throw out all of your products just yet. From personal experience, wading in produces longer-lasting effects. You can start by replacing some of your products as you use up your current ones. 🙂

,

Love your life!

Happy Friday!

     It’s officially Friday, almost the weekend, and very close to summer! I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of a summer break, and today I officially finished my Sophomore year. I honestly can’t believe I’m finished! This particular year has been especially busy and a little hard to juggle. I’m an organizer and a list-maker. However, I might be the world’s worst procrastinator… Needless to say, making myself be productive and stay on top of assignments amidst my busy schedule has been a challenge.

     You might be able to relate, or maybe you are opposite of me 😉 but regardless, I’d say we could all use a breather. Today, life easily seems to drag us along. In addition to school, there are so many other commitments plaguing our undivided attention : sports, hobbies, church commitments, ect. So if your feeling a little stressed, then I hope today I can encourage you!

Here is a passage out my devotional this morning:

     “I’ve loved you since the beginning. I formed you in your mother’s womb. I knew you before you existed, so you can trust that I know what’s best for you. You can trust that I know how to guide you into maturity and build character in you worthy of heavens delight. Love your life today and appreciate My hand leading you.   I’m appointing you to a place of safety and contentment. Many afflictions can beat at the doors of my chosen ones, but I deliver you from each threat.”  

~Talk to me, Jesus by Marie Chapman

Here are some passages that went along with it:

Psalm 34:19,  139:10;   Jeremiah 1:5

     Today, as you go into the weekend, just remember that God knows you, and He wants you to trust Him. The God of the universe wants to carry your burdens so you don’t have to! So unload the stress that plagues you, and lay it at His feet. Enjoy your life today, tomorrow, and everyday! 

Apple Pie ~Happy First Day of Fall~

I love fall! I have a tiny obsession…. well a BIG obsession! I love everything about it. The cool weather, camping, campfires, sweaters, boots, apples,  apple pie, pumpkins, pumpkin lattes, football games, and the color burgundy! Soooo anyway today is the first official day of Autumn and I thought, what better way to celebrate than to start with an amazing apple pie!! Apple pie is by far my favorite fall time dessert! P.S I found this pie crust recipe about a year or so ago and it is delicious!

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So first thing first… grab the ingredients 🙂
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Mix all of the crust ingredients together. Then mix them with a wooden spoon. Once the wet and dry ingredients mix, you can use your hands to form the dough.
Now slice your apples and mix in the sugars, flour, lemon juice, and spices, and spread your dough in your pie pan.
Now slice your apples and mix in the sugars, flour, lemon juice, and spices, and spread your dough in your pie pan.
Next make the pie crust recipe again. After you have made it, sprinkle some flour on your surface and using your hands spread
Next make the pie crust recipe again. After you have made it, sprinkle some flour on your surface and using your hands “roll” out the dough. You will probably have a hard time picking the dough up, but do the best you can and whatever falls a part you can piece back together on the pie.
When you pop the pie in, douse it in either milk or egg whites, and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar. Then put it in the oven at 350 degrees, checking it after 20 min. Then checking it in 5 minute increments.
Before you pop the pie in, lightly coat the crust in either milk or egg whites, and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top. Then put it in the oven at 350 degrees, checking it after 20 minutes. Then check the pie in 5 minute increments after that.
Once it is out of the oven, cut a slice and scoop some vanilla ice cream on top! Then ENJOY!!
Once it is out of the oven, cut a slice and scoop some vanilla ice cream on top! Then ENJOY!!

This apple pie recipe was inspired and adapted by raininghotcoupons.com 🙂

Pie Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 6 apples (Galas or Granny Smith work well)
  • 2 tbsp. of flour
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon sugar ( it’s sugar and cinnamon mixed together)
  • 1/2 tsp. of apple pie spice
  • App. 1 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice

Pie Crust topping

  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1/4 of milk
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • Cinnamon sugar (to sprinkle on top of the crust)
  • egg whites or milk (to brush on top of the dough)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beginning with the crust, put all of the pie crust ingredients in your pie pan. The perfect thing about this crust is it is oily enough that you don’t have to grease it before hand 🙂 Now with a wooden spoon mix the ingredients. Then, using your hands, finish mixing the ingredients and form a ball of dough. Next spread the dough out in your pan and set it aside. Now, grab a cutting board and slice your apples. I used an apple cutter, then cut the apples more thinly using a knife. In bowl toss all of your apple slices (whether or not you peel the peeling is your preference) along with all of the sugars, spices, flour, and lemon juice. Once you have finished, pour the apple slices in the pie pan, and in another bowl make the crust a second time. After you make the crust, sprinkle some flour on your surface and spread the dough out using your hands. The crust will probably try to fall a part when you try to pick it up, but do the best you can. Whatever falls a part you can piece back together. After you put the crust on top, apply either milk or egg whites and then sprinkle some cinnamon sugar.  Now you are ready to put the pie in the oven! My pie took somewhere around 35 to 40 minutes, so I would put your pie in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes then after that set your timer every 5 to 10 minutes to check on it. Also, with this crust recipe the crust gets “crusty” without turning very brown so make sure to not over bake it.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I did/do!! Just be sure to add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream! Let me know what you think! And…. happy first day of fall!!

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, my name is Sophie!

I am so excited that you have decided to visit my blog! Starting this blog was taking a leap of faith and hoping a net would appear. I thought it would be a neat way for me to express myself and inspire others! However, I doubted myself because I didn’t have any experience, and I didn’t know if my content would be enough. Starting anything at first can be scary, but I believe God wants us to use our talents and passions for his glory and just take a single step. He will guide us the rest of the way!

With this blog, all I know is that I am passionate. God has given me a unique passion and zeal for life. And I want to share it with YOU.

Life to me is wonderful.

What I hope you experience when you visit this blog is inspiration for your life. I believe God cares about the details of our lives: our hopes, dreams, passions, likes, dislikes… You are the only you there is. It sounds cliché, but it is true. The common thread for humanity is our need for Jesus and His grace. As Christians that means we have a common goal: sharing the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The awesome thing is that how that is done is different for everyone. Some of you will be missionaries across the world, some of you will be missionaries across the street. But the bottom line is that your life is full of purpose and you have an amazing assignment from God. The question is, how does God want you to accomplish your assignment?

My blog is here to inspire you in your day to day life, in all the little ways and details- because God cares about you in all those ways and areas. ❤

My mantra for this blog is: “Be all you can be in Christ and you will set the world on fire.” ~Catherine of Sienna

Life was never meant to be boring or mundane, so live your best life for Jesus. I guarantee you won’t regret it.