12.15.2015

PINK VELVET HOMEMADE CAKE



trawberry cake baby! I'm not in love with strawberry but this cake is too delicious! Like seriously, if you're trying to be good don't bake this cake, because it won't be in your fridge for more than two days! I made this a layered cake, which is my favorite! Instead of canned frosting or even homemade frosting, I made homemade whipped cream. The texture and taste is so much light and delish than any cool whip you could ever buy. This would be a wonderful dessert to serve this holiday season, and a great cake to bake before the New Year, haha!



                         METHOD: 

This cake honestly could be the most easiest I've ever baked yet! To begin, just select your favorite cake mix at the market, just as long as it's a strawberry, or in my case pink velvet. Both are basically the same, but the pink velvet seems to be lighter and less strong.

Now onto whip cream. My mom has made this fresh my whole childhood and it's my favorite. I don't know how my thirteen year old self favored canned frosting best, crazy! For this you'll need a large bowl, spatula, and hand blender. Pour in the heavy whipping cream very easy into the mixture of sugar, and vanilla extract. You'll have to blend for a good solid five minutes, and then stop once your mixture becomes fluffy and looks perfect to top on the cake!

To top it all off, frost your cake, and for that extra beauty top with fresh strawberries! Sadly, I ate all the strawberries in my fridge before this baking session, but nevertheless it's still delicious!

12.04.2015

MY FAVORITE IPHONE PHOTO EDITOR APPS


diting photos is so much fun to me, and you'll never see an Instagram photo unedited! Girls who edit have a bad rap in society photoshop and not loving their true selves. Even though I understand that too much is just not even real anymore, but editing a few flaws, or brightening the lightning doesn't qualify as crime in my book! Editing a photo isn't just simply whitening the teeth, making the subject slim, or adding makeup. Rather, it's creating a collage of photos, adding sisters and quotes, changing the colors, and adding borders! So all the photography editing apps below all provide these different types of editing effects to your photo! One or two of them might cost, but the majority below are free! What are some of your favorite apps?



AMB: Of course most of you have heard of the app created by A Beautiful Mess, but It just so happens to be my favorite! This is always my go-to app and I love how you can add fun doodles to your photos making them more personal and creative!!!

Doodle Snap: This is such an awesome app, and so fun when you have those non-serious selfies! This app isn't always my first choice but it's fun to have as a backup or as something fun to play around with.

Aviary: Okay this app includes everything from photo filters, teeth whitening, and cropping! This is the most helpful app I have on my iphone because it's a lot like Pic Monkey which I use for my photos here on the blog all the time!

Collage World: So if you like making collages, then I promise you this app is perfect for you! I love the way it lets me rearrange each photo, making different shapes and sizes! Even the color of the background changes and there's text options as well! I've had this app for about three years now, and I hope to never get rid of it.

VSCOcam: This app editor has the best filters and makes my photos so sharp and full of color! It's of course one of the most popular iphone photo editors so I had to include this to my list! It's easy to use and only takes a few seconds to do!

11.30.2015

BOOK CLUB 02 / KISSES FROM KATIE


I read this book back when I started highschool and I remember it being such a powerful novel, I never could put it down. The story of this girl and her life is so beautiful and inspiring. It truly felt me feeling speechless because everything about it was so perfect. Let's dive in because I have so much to say! Instead of answering questions or only writing about the book in long detail, I'm going to point out three things I learned from reading the novel!

Background information if you haven't read the book yet; The book is about a girl by the name of Katie who leaves her friends, home, family, school, boyfriend, and the comforts of America to follow a calling she had from the Lord. It required her to travel to Uganda and care for the orphans and help the little village in anyway. She started out as a school teacher, however the language was not english, and the culture there is extremely different. Katie writes about her experience, emotions about leaving home, and the struggle of living in a community of poverty. Her faith is strong and she uses Christ as her strengths to keep pursuing her calling. She ends her novel with opening up about her final decisions and opens an orphanage to all the little girls she can take care of  in the Uganda village, and becomes a "Mommy" to more than four little Uganda girls!

                                             BOOK CLUB: 

1. Her Faith: Katie's faith and willingness to speak the truth is more than inspiring! She shares the gospel to all she meets and has a heart for the lost. I love that she trusts the Lord's plan and embraces it. She's not shy to admit her struggles and fears, and through them she's able to rely on the Lord and commit memory verses to every situation. In the strange village of Uganda that she's not use to, has little friends, living in remote areas, and eating very little, she turns to the one true rock in her life, Christ!

2. Her Willingness to Follow: The Lord called her to leave her family, comforts of home, a solid education of college, her boyfriend, and bestfriends, and yet she still followed. She was willing to leave it all behind her, to begin the ministry of God. Throughout the book she talks about missing home, even visiting during one holiday after a year of seeing her family, and how it all felt so different. Even though it was extremely difficult, lonely at times, and even dangerous, she had a heart of contentment and gratitude. Being a missionary is never easy, yet the way Katie displays the role, is more than beautiful!

3. All of Her Stories: The book is full of fears, struggles, happiness, excitement, and most importantly stories. She shares the most amazing stories of the people she meets, and helps in her village. Writes about the girls she adopts and cares for, and truly captures the personality of each little girl, and while reading you feel like you're there and you know who each person is. Through each story you're able to learn a glimpse about the culture in Uganda.


                                    BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS: 

1. What qualities do you admire in Katie?
2. What is your favorite story in the book about the people she meets? How did this story touch you?
3. Would you be willing to give up your life dreams, and become a missionary? Why or why not.
4. What did the Lord teach you through reading this novel?
5. How can we be more like Katie in our own lives?

11.24.2015

A GRATEFUL HEART

                                       THANKFULNESS

Thanksgiving is the one holiday that warms my heart in such a different way than Christmas ever will. Thanksgiving begins that "Holiday Season" and makes everyone very happy and joyful! Christmas is wonderful because you're able to gift your loved ones, and witness the smile on their face when they open it. However, when you're able to sit around the table with loved ones, and share your personal blessings throughout the year, over a delicious turkey feast, no gifts can compare in my book! November first I always create a list of all that I am grateful for, so I wanted to share my list with you today on my blog!

Creating this list whether it's on your iPhone notepad, computer document, on the back of a receipt, or a beautiful journal, it's such a beautiful moment for myself personally. My perspective on life and priorities change. I become more content and realize it's not about the material items that bring me joy in my life, rather it's the people I spend my time with, and the blessings I have on a day to day basis! I like to post this list on my corkboard or use some washi tape to hang it where I can visual see it the most throughout my day, to remind me of all that I have to be grateful for...especially when those thoughts creep in on what to add to my Christmas list.


1. Family: I believe this will never disappear on my grateful list, because my family members are more than a blessing in my life. They have my back, and I have theirs. Their constant encouragement and support in my life means the world to me.

2. Friendships: Friendships are the family you chose! I have always cherished my friends, however since my two best friends have moved out of state for college, it's made me appreciate, love, and miss them more every day!

3. Lily: My puppy Lily! Or more commonly known as, my sleeping partner! Haha. This little cutie will forever be my favorite, and I truly believe no other dog can replace her.

4. A Beautiful Heart Blog: This space has blessed me in more ways than I care to admit. Not only have I made great blogging friendships, but I've been able to focus, learn, and grow my creative talents and abilities, and for that I am beyond thankful my bestie introduced my to the blogging atmosphere.

5. Education: Many of you may not know, but I was homeschooled all throughout my life! Stepping into college it's given me such an appreciation for all the sacrifices my parents have made. My education has equipped me skills that I failed to recognize in High School, and now that I am no longer homeschooled it makes me treasure it even more.

6. California: I am so thankful that I live in sunny So-Cal! I love that I don't wake up to snow, rather I can enjoy the view of sunshine and palm trees!

7. Coffee Talk Conversations: I believe this has been on my thankful list for two years in a row, but rightfully so. It's a special time for myself to reflect on my feelings, along with growing my relationships with dear friends.

8. Traveling: I've been able to cross off so many dreams of mine on my bucket list, and I count it all as joy! I've crossed off; flying, visiting Hawaii, swimming with Dolphins, and attending a concert.

9. Traditions: My family has many traditions for every holiday and I love how it makes the season complete.

10. Bible College: I attend a Bible College because I wanted to be feed the word through my college years! I'm so thankful for the chapel/worship every Sunday night, it's so uplifting for my week! The messages are always exactly what I need to hear. So thankful for the ministry of the Lord.

11.11.2015

REIMAGINING YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED


The theme of your instagram is becoming a true work of art. If a photo doesn't fit with your theme, it will not be posted. Every theme has something special about it, maybe it has neon pop of colors, white border, white wash filters, or only selfies. I know girls who will purchase certain novelty treats just to match their theme. Or who will spend hours searching for the perfect backdrop for outfit of the day. And...I'm afraid I too am guilty of this! It's funny how you will do a certain something all for the perfection of your instagram feed, isn't it?

My theme is a little bit all over the place, however with a few things in mind while posting. From the photo you can see the pop of color, white border, and simplicity in my product styling. I have a few tips on how to maintain or create an instagram feed, because I love growing and changing up my photography skills, so let's begin!



                                                          TIPS & TRICKS 

PICK A THEME YOU LOVE: Photo's have the power to speak a million words without actually voicing anything. Browse through the popular feed and explore what colors, and ideas really speaks who you are. You don't have to copy anyone, rather use your own ideas and photography skills.

REPEAT EDITING FILTERS: This one is important because the way you edit your photos can either make them all the same or completely different. I use AfterLight, and it's my favorite. I'm able to create the white border theme, along with brightness and increase of saturation!

DON'T RUIN THE THEME: This may seem simple, but trust me it's hard to stick with! It's always fun to post about your daily activities and special times with friends, but if it doesn't match the theme, don't post it. Every photo needs to be on fleek ;).

BUILD UP THE THEME: Try to constantly post with the same theme in mind, that way your gallery will look full and it will give your new followers the right outlook on your profile.

11.08.2015

NATURAL EYEBROW ROUTINE



y eyebrows have always received compliments - it's a compliment I love, yet others laugh when they tell me! I mean it's a weird and uncommon compliment, hey I was staring at your eyebrows, and wow they are so on point. As weird as it may seem, eyebrows definitely define a persons face and eyes. There are many different shapes of eyebrows, but today I'm going to talk about mine specifically and how to maintain them! First let me begin with saying I regularly get them waxed every month. I know It seems like a lot but I have dark hair and therefore it makes them more visual. Even though I get mine waxed, I will still fill them in for special occasions. I don't do this often because I don't like the unnatural look, so I'm going to show you how I do them!

To begin take a brush or pencil, and place it where your eyebrow begins. Follow it down to see exactly where it stops. This will help you remind to not overdo the shape and size of your natural brow. This tip is perfect when plucking little hairs, or even filling them in with makeup!




Like I said above, I will from time to time fill in my brows, just depends on my mood, time, and occision. I really dislike the look of overdone - just plain perfect brows. To me, they look very unnatural, fake, and drawn on! But, I do like the look of bold dark brows, so overtime I've had to find a good balance of both.

You can use brow pencils but again I don't like how they make the brows so overdone. Instead I use an angle brush like this Mac 208 angled brow brush, and a brown eyeshadow that matches my brows. Because my brows are so dark, it's difficult to find the right shade that isn't filled with a little bit of shimmer, like most palettes seem to include. I love bareminerals faux mink  color because it matches perfectly!

For certain occasions I love doing my brows because it just finishes the look of my eyes. It seriously takes me 5 seconds to do them, which is perfect because I'm not one to spend hours on my makeup! Hope this helps you in your everyday makeup routine!




11.04.2015

HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF



believe it's so hard to take care of yourself, especially when chaos is surrounded in your life. Piled up homework, unfolded laundry, running errands, helping out friends, busy work schedule; all these's things make a day crazy and lack that "me-time." Not every day needs to include relaxation or extensive alone time, but once or twice a week is needed to keep yourself rested, feeling loved, and to keep producing that strong motivation in your world. Every person is different, so I've created a list that will (hopefully) appeal to many girls! Alone time isn't just about watching tv or taking a nap, instead it can be productive, new, and adventurous! My favorites are definitely #1, 3, 4! What are yours?



1. Buy yourself some flowers: I don't know what it is, but flowers make me feel so happy. I love how they brighten up my space and make everything so cheerful! I promise, this will do the trick.

2. Have some alone time: Yes you've heard this before, but have you listened? Step out into nature and go for a walk along the beach, your neighborhood, or a hiking trail. Go to your favorite bookstore and browse around for a while. Rent a new movie and treat yourself to a chocolate bar. Bring out your craft supplies and make a DIY via Pinterest. You name, do it!

3. Girl time: Spend quality time with one of your girlfriends and have a heartfelt conversation over coffee. Catch up on each others lives, and ditch the gossip for a rewarding and wonderful time together.



4. DIY Spa night: Break out your nailpolish, cotton balls, and glitter because what's better than a mani/pedi? I love having magazines near, or a movie playing in the background! Pour some chips and cookies or anytype of your favorite go-to snacks!

5. Enjoy sunshine: There are many ways to tackle this, and spend some time outside. Go on a local hike, take your dog for a walk, try a new workout exercise, day at the beach, or relaxing by the pool. All of these are great options to try with friends. Each can be relaxing, and enjoyable depending on your hobby and personal outdoor activity preference.

11.01.2015

MY FAVORITE FALL CANDLE PICKS


all is my favorite season, so it's about time to take out my fall candles! A cozy and warm bedroom isn't complete without a fall candle burning in the background. I shared my favorite summer candles a while ago, so I thought I'd do the same for the fall season too! So let's begin!



                                                DARK CHOCOLATE

The candle above is dark chocolate by Bath & Body Works and it's just heavenly! Every who knows me, know's that I love anything covered, dipped or flavored in chocolate I'll eat it, so a chocolate scented candle is just ah amazing. Now I'll warn you it's pretty rich, so if you're prone to headaches because your sensitive than this candle may not be for you!


                                            CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR 

I received this candle last christmas, and I'm just now lighting it! I really do enjoy this candle so much. Out of these three candles this one truly represents fall. This candle is from Yankee candle, and I love how big it is compared to others I've purchased because it burns up to 40-60 hours!! Now, I really love Bath & Body Works as I've expressed many times here on the blog, but this candle really makes me enjoy Yankee Candle a whole lot more than I ever thought I would!



                                   CARAMEL PUMPKIN SWIRL

This candle keeps me from craving those caramel apples (okay, maybe that's a lie). I've shared a rich candle, and the ultimate fall candle, now onto my favorite the sweet/dessert candle! This is super sweet, and makes my room smell like a caramel pie with a hint of pumpkin ha-ha. This candle is from Bath & Body Works, and it's from there mason jar collection. Believe it or not, this candle burns longer than the big one's (like the dark chocolate), and it's less money! Score!

10.28.2015

LIFE OF A COLLEGE GRADUATE // THE DARING ONES WITH HALEY BURKHEAD

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Today my dear blogger friend Haley over at Stylish Muse, is taking over today's post and sharing her college experience as a college graduate (well this year). I'm so excited for you to hear her tips, and advice because it's truly inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and being apart of "The Darling One's" series, Haley! xoxo


College is this little bubble where you are allowed to find out who you want to be in this world, what you're passionate about studying, and being able to grow as big as the bubble will let you without bursting. It's great. God played a large role in shaping my faith to become a sturdy one during my four years at Harding, not a faith that is achieved with the possession of a faint heart. He challenged me to let go of my past that was dwelling in my home town, festering because I refused to squash the situations that haunted me. As a freshman, I was confused and felt so alone. There was this dark, lonely world that I did not know how to add light to and so I became a recluse. Shying away from everyone that was around me while I sulked over the way life was treating me at that time. I had a lot going on but I also did not handle it the best. College taught me how to be independent because at that time no one else was there to fight the internal battle I faced. I was alone, it was God and I and the many decisions I had to make on a daily basis. But I learned so much about myself during this time that you don't normally learn when life is going great and nothing bad seems to lay a hand on you. We all go into college with high aspirations I believe. I walked into my first class believing that in seven years I would walk out with my doctorate in Physical Therapy and run my own clinic. Now here I am at 21 and have started my own business designing web sites for small companies and all sorts of blogs for fellow bloggers. My husband, boyfriend at the time, strongly encouraged me to seek something I was passionate about, something that made my fingers tingle and heart jump for joy at the thought of going to class. So I ended up in the Registrar's office changing my major to Web Design and Interactive Media because hey chances are fun and it all worked out. This May I will graduate with a bachelors in Web Design and because of college, I was able to work with a multi-million dollar company on their website, start my own studio as a freelance designer, intern with a consulting business that emphasized building web sites, and work as a web editor for the campus newspaper. I mean wowza does college give you opportunities or what? My largest piece of advice is specific to only certain majors but here it is: your resume is more important than your GPA. Grades matter because that means you are capable of knowing the material and are a knowledgeable human being. What a great quality in a future employee! But experience on your resume? Priceless. Going out and experiencing your major first hand, even as a volunteer, is incredible and you will make connections within your field that you would have never made sitting in a classroom. So yes choosing adventure over studies in an academic way is probably one of the best choices you will ever make for your future career.
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They say college is where you meet your bridesmaids and oh how true this was for me. I got married this past summer & the best part about the time around the wedding was spending it with my girls. College is like a factory for lifelong best friends that you get to keep forever no matter how far away you are from each other, it is fantastic. My dad's roommate from college is still his bff and he flies me up to where he lives so that he can hang out with his old roommates daughter. It's pretty neat. So don't sit in your dorm or twiddle your thumbs if you are off campus. Get out and maybe take a little Netflix break. It is definitely worth spreading your wings, I would prefer a new best friend over catching up on a whole season of whatever. Once you find your best friend anyways you can spend quality time catching up on the whole season of whatever together so hey win-win. Real friendship is hard to find, the kind of friend that cheers you on even when they are a tad jealous or the kind of friend that encourages you to see how beautiful you really are when everyone else could care less about your self esteem. My real friends are irreplaceable. If you make real friends that put the old high school ones to shame then high five for you.
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I got married in college and I don't think it was a huge mistake like most people today do. I was married at 21 years old and I 100% believe I made the right decision. College is all about making these huge choices that will determine the course of your life. I chose to live life with Creed and life is definitely a lot easier with a 24-7 cheerleader that you know will always be on your side. I mean when you find the man of your dreams you have to snatch him before some other girl does. Four years is enough time to rip out all the old high school stuff and replace it with a bunch of super cool adult stuff. I found my best friends, my awesome husband, and a career path that I am extremely passionate about. Live for God and God alone throughout all four years because the "ups" in life are easy to handle but the "downs" tend to hit you really hard. Never forget who should be sitting on the throne of your heart, your Prince. Thanks for letting me share my sporadic thoughts on college with you! Jenna is such an incredible blogger and I was so honored that she asked me to be a part of this series! I'm Haley and I blog over at Stylish Muse and also run a studio called élite studio designs. I am a Web Designer that works for several blogs and also small companies around the area. I absolutely love meeting new bloggers and making new friends! Please e-mail me at stylishmuseblog@yahoo.com so that we can say hi and become friends.


10.25.2015

HOW TO BE A GREAT NOTE TAKER


ote taking is an obsession of mine! I love being able to write down my thoughts. I know a lot of people who take notes via their iPad's or calendar on google, but I guess I'm more of the old fashioned type. Physical paper that I can take with me anywhere, regardless of wi-fi is definitely more my style. I'm touched on the topic of journaling, so today I wanted to share my thoughts on note taking for all purposes!


1. Organize Your Thoughts - It's so awesome being able to write out my thoughts. It helps me so much. Without writing them down, I seriously can't think clearly. I usually color code every different category of things I have to do just to make sure it stays in my brain. Plus I'll add some washi tape to my lists and make it all cute looking that way I'll want to pick it up and read it.

2. Physical Paper - I like my lists/notes written down on paper, that way I can take it everywhere with me. It's so easy to accidently delete an email or note on your iPhone, but so much more difficult to throw away a piece of paper.

3. Great Reminder - I love making lists for everything! School homework for the day, daily chores, weekly get togethers, and other such things I need to note. In the morning one of the first things I will do is map out my day, and write down everything that needs to get done. I love doing it right when I wake up, because it's my way of organizing my thoughts and this way I won't forget anything.

10.21.2015

MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS




alking all about my favorite most watched tv shows yet! Binging on Netflix is a regular thing during my summer, so I thought I'd share with you some of the shows I feel in love with + can't stop re-watching! Huge plus is that every tv show I share with you, is all on Netflix currently right now!




Gilmore Girls - This one is a true classic! I can't enough about this show. It was aired in the early 2000's but I love the characters and personalities. If you've never seen or heard anything about it here's a few words to sum up the show; funny, drama, family, and relationships. Lorelai who is the main character is so amazing, her personality is upbeat and hilarious. I love all the flashbacks of previous movies, artists, and trends. There are so many references to back generations - so I'm sure there will be a few you can relate to. I love the mother and daughter relationship between Lorelai and Rory in the sense of how close they are. They are best friends and I love that. Rory is such a sweet girl and I love how all her relationships with her boyfriends, make you love/hate them. All in all, it's a great show, and I love that there are seven seasons!


Psych - Drama isn't involved, but serious humor is! This show will crack you up within seconds! I love Gus, probably my favorite character because his scream is the best (aka little girl scream). This show is completely clean, and it's all about the life of working in a police department and being detectives! Now the main character, Sean is a psych, not for real but only for show so he can work in the department. Gus and Sean are best friends who work together at "Psych", and are all about goofing off and cracking jokes! I'm so late to the Psych trend, but it took me so long to get into the show, but once I did...I couldn't stop watching it!

When Calls The Heart - Nothing can get better than this tv show! It's based in the early 1900's and is placed in a small town called Coal Valley. It's about this girl who dreams of being a teacher and feels lead to travel to Coal Valley and become their teacher permanently. She comes from lots of money, and is viewed as the city girl who doesn't know any thing but knowledge to teach their children. Romance always peeks its way in with the first few episodes, which is my favorite thing!


House Hunters International - Yes I love watching these type of shows! It gives me so much inspiration for my future home. The best part is being able to see what the living conditions are like around the world, especially my dream locations, europe! I've seen one when this couple wanted to live in France, and the footage they took around Paris and the country side of France was so breathtaking and great to see for future trips!

10.17.2015

HAPPY MAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE


appy mail is something I look forward to every month! It is such an amazing subscription service and it's from the creators of A Beautiful Mess. This box is all adorable stationary, sisters, and bonus items! Each month your box is filled with 4-6 blank cards, 1 art wall print, 1-2 postcard type cards, and 1-2 special cards that include a saying inside the card, + cannot forget the fun special items that are included such as emoji stickers, pencil, washi tape, or an envelope. Every month is $20 or an annual fee is $115! I purchased the annual fee, that way each month is a total of $15 instead of $20. All in all, I really do think the price is worth everything you receive!  The photos in this post are a collective of my random favorites from the past four months I've received Happy Mail. The motto of this whole service is "Bringing thoughtful back." I absolutely love this because it's so important to drop a thank you card in the mail for someone, or send a feel better card to let the one you care about know how much you've been thinking about them. Receiving a hand written card is so much more special to me than a quick text, email, or facebook message. Yes, I'm old fashioned. Okay so you're probably thinking about this point, "but I don't send thank you cards, or get well soon" "this service isn't for me." Let me assure you, this service is filled with more than just those types of "gushy cards." It has a range from birthday wishes, thinking of you, just married, new home owners, what's up, and plain artwork blank cards.                                               


The photo above showcases the stickers I've received in my Happy Mail! I love that they include the "bonus items" because these are great for spelling out your friends name inside the card, or sealing the envelope with a cute succulent sticker! This is also great for scrapbooking or adding it into your daily planner! The very last photo in this post is the artwork print that quotes Whatever makes you weird, is probably your greatest asset. These prints are great to frame and hang in your space, or use as a gift for your friends! So if you haven't assumed already, I just love Happy Mail and I count down the days until it ships in the mail!