My Winter Season Reflection & 8 Questions to Get You Started

    Winter has come and gone. I hope.

    This means the first quarter of the year is over, so I wanted to pause and take some time for reflection.

    At the beginning of the year I didn’t set any real goals, intentions, or resolutions. Lots of people did “words” this year, but in the moment nothing was coming to me, so I wasn’t stressed.

    Now, I feel like I have my word for 2018. Settle.

    So much of 2017 was a time of transition. It was crazy and busy and all over the place. Now that I have been in D.C for almost 10 months now I feel like I’m reaching a settling point. Settling into my adult life. Settling into a new city. Settling into a career. Settling into a church. Settling into new friendships. Settling.

    The Winter

    Looking back over this season of life, I feel good about the decisions I’ve made and where I am personally. Especially with my relationship with R. Obviously long distance is tough, but I feel like we are in a really healthy, positive space about it right now, and I know when it is time for something to change the pathways will be open for that to happen.

    In this season, I started a new bible study plan that I really enjoy. Like always, sticking to the plan is hard, but I feel like I’m in a better place with my personal relationship with the Lord than I was a few months ago mostly because I’m just trying to show up more often.

    In this season, I continued to save a lot of money, despite my stipend living. I was saving so much each month because I was unsure what my taxes would look like with my stipend, but surprise I have a good amount left over! I feel secure and settled knowing it is there, and excited for what I think I am going to use it for (insert dramatic sound effect).

    In this season, I ate a lot of cookie dough.

    In this season, I had a top tier spring break!

    In this season, I’m feeling more confident about being in the classroom.

    In this season, I have been trying to reconnect with long distance friends.

    In this season, grad school sucked. But I’m that many months closer to the end.

    In this season, I’m looking forward to spring, but really looking forward to summer break.

    Next season, I want to find two local organizations to get involved with.

    Next season, I want to make a goal of exploring more of the city.

    Next season, I want to read at least two books.

    Questions to Get you Started

    If you don’t have a regular reflection time scheduled, you should! Whether it’s once a week, once a month, once a season. Pick something and do it!reflection questions

    If you’re not where you want to be in every “category” that is okay!  Now you know and now you can start making a plan for improvement. We live such busy lives and without a dedicated time and space for reflection there is so much that can go unattended to. Take time to check in with yourself, you deserve it.






    Shopping for Spring Jackets on a Budget | Monthly Purchase

    Hey Friends!

    If you’ve been following along, you know that I’ve been living on a stipend during this first year of working as a resident teacher and in graduate school for Elementary Education. So stipend living = hard core budgeting living. 

    Also, you may remember that last month I went through my closet and donated/got rid of a bunch of things I’ve had since middle school. If you’re interested in how to declutter you closet and curate your ideal wardrobe I’ll link them here! 

    So what does this all mean? 

    I have less clothes in my closet and I’m still living on a budget, so I need to find a way to purchase new quality pieces and stay within my budget. To do this, I have decided to commit to purchasing one high quality item a month in order to add to my adult wardrobe. Through this process I’m going to share the category of clothing i’m looking a purchasing, the options I’m looking at, and what I ultimately decide on. First up….

    Spring Jackets 

    When I think about spring I think about jackets. Which is unfortunate because at the moment I own like two… Haha, but I love the idea of being able to wear a few cute layers and not feeling like your about to start sweating, plus a jacket does something to make an outfit look complete.

    Eventually I would love to own one of each type of jacket: moto, trench, utility, denim, rain, leather, etc. But for now, here are my favorite picks for spring jackets this season. If you could only choose one, which would you get?

    Ultimately, I have decided on the Democracy Bell Sleeved Jacket. It such a versatile color, I’m obsessed with the bell sleeved look right now, and I can already imagine the outfits I can make with it!


    How to Study the Bible with your Head Not Your Heart

    Raise your hand if you have a Bible but don’t really know how to read it, or understand it.

    Raise your hand if you feel like you have a “Sunday School” understanding of the Bible.

    Raise your hand if you just need something new to do during your quiet time.

    If you raised your hand for any of these, this is for you!

    Continue reading


    Closet Clean Out: 7 Questions to Help You Declutter

    The other day I was getting dressed for work and I said to myself, “Wow, I bought this shirt in 8th grade.” Uhhh, I’m 23 now. Yeah. I think it is time to get rid of some things in my closet. So a few weekends ago, I washed all my dirty laundry and spent my Saturday in my room doing a closet clean out session.

    closet organization ideas

    I started by just shuffling through what I had hanging up. Asking myself when was the last time I wore this? And then putting things in the donate pile…or the trash pile, if my answer was last year, or I’ve only wore this once because I needed a red shirt, or oh wait this has a stain. Bye. Get rid of it.

    I like to tell myself that there are pieces in my closet that I simply forget about and just need to put back into my weekly/monthly rotation, but that rarely happens. If I can’t make an outfit (really multiple outfits) with a piece, it needs to go. I promise you won’t think about it after its gone, and your closet will look a lot better too.

    closet organization ideascloset organization tips








    For now, I just went through all my winter shirts/sweaters, my dresses, skirts, and pants. I’ll get to some more of my summer pieces later. As I’ve transitioned into a full-time adult, so much of my closet consists of things that I wear to work, and I find myself only purchasing things that fit within my work dress code. For me, this means lots of cardigans, a turtleneck, oxford shirts, cotton long sleeves, the occasional v-neck and a few “silky” blouses.

    closet organization ideas

    Somehow I made it through winter with only 3 pairs of pants that actually reach past my ankles….crazy I know. I wore a lot of chino capris and just walked really fast so my ankles didn’t freeze…I should probably invest in some more for next year.

    Anyways, on days that were slightly warmer (so like three days this winter), I got a chance to wear a skirt or a dress with tights. I have really taken the time and money to invest in quality skirts. So I kept all of mine. I have about 4 pencil skirts, 4 casual skirts that are a little shorter and good for summer, and one vintage midi skirt that I got from my mom!

    closet organization tips

    By the end of my closet clean out, I had two bags of clothes to donate, and it feels so good to have a more organized closet. I hadn’t worn a lot of these pieces in awhile and didn’t feel like they were quality pieces I needed in my wardrobe going forward. Honestly, I feel like my personal style is changing a little bit, so this gives me a good place to move forward with as I find new pieces that better fit the look I’m going for.


    Using Your Talents to Bring Glory to God: What I Learned From FCA

    This weekend is the two year anniversary of meeting R. We’ve never been the couple to be into counting each month of our relationship, but I do feel like the day we met is pretty important to me. Mostly because the location that we met at is truly foundational to our relationship. Two years ago, I met R at a bonfire at the end of a weekend retreat with the organization Fellowship for Chrisitan Athletes.

    Today on our “meeting anniversary” I want to share the #1 thing I learned from being a part of FCA for three years during undergrad. If you are not familiar, FCA is a campus ministry for student-athletes. Funny though, at the time R and I met, neither of us were collegiate athletes anymore, but that’s a story for another day.

    Each week, FCA large group consists of a fun ice breaker-like game and a sermon/message designed to relate to collegiate athletes. So lots of one-liners about being busy, and tired, and competitive in all things. There is also a lot of real talk moments about all the temptation around us, how to build community with like-minded people, and most importantly, how to use your athletic ability to bring glory to God.

    There are many mottos similar to this last idea:  “Playing for One” and “I am Second” are two that immediately come to mind. When you first hear this you’re like yeah okay, that sounds nice. But when you actually internalize it and apply it to your sport, your work life, or your school life it is truly a game changer.

    I know that there was a point in my athletic career as a collegiate rower that practice terrified me. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t that great at the sport, but I was a good enough athlete to at least make it on the team as a novice who had never rowed before. I only ended up rowing for two years, but for the last year I was there, I was scared of two things. One, that my body wasn’t going to perform the way I needed it to for an array of reasons, and two, that my coaches and teammates wouldn’t value who I was as an athlete and teammate, aka would think I sucked. This fear paralyzed me each and every 5 am workout.

    The message of “Playing for One” changed everything for me. No longer should I be anxious about how my body was going to react to a workout because the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘fear not, I will help you’ (Isaiah 41:13) and worrying about my coaches? Why? The Bible says, trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

    Maybe you’re an athlete now and you’re reading this like…..say what, girl? Isn’t being an athlete about winning National Championships and being the best? And yeah, I would agree with you, but what if the change in perspective from what you can do alone, to what you can do with the Lord, gave you clarity and perspective to perform your best? This doesn’t mean that you stop working hard because you believe that “God’s got it.” It means that you work hard and you don’t have to worry about the outcome because God does have it.

    It worked for me. The more I gave up walking into practice trying to impress my coaches the better I performed. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear, I felt free to focus on what was truly important, bringing glory to God. I did this by being positive, supporting my teammates when maybe I wasn’t doing well myself, and attributing any success to the Lord.

    Surprise! This doesn’t only apply to being an athlete. This can apply to other roles we have, like being an employee or a student. You are not worthy because you make all A’s or scored that promotion. You are worthy because you are a child of God. That’s it. It is that simple.

    If this all sounds foreign to you or you are curious to know more about the Lord, I encourage you to comment below or shoot me a message. I would LOVE to talk with you!


    Long Distance Relationships Are Tough: 8 Helpful Tips For Making it Easier

    Yeah, long distance relationships are tough at times, but oh so worth it. Today I want to share what I’ve learned since being in a LDR, as well as take this as an opportunity to share what I’ve learned from other women with long distance relationship experience.

    In preparing for this post, I reached out to gather some other people’s experience with LDRs. Reaching out really reminded me that while couples in LDRs have similar “issues,” they are not all alike. The women I gathered quotes from below are in all kinds of long-distance relationships. Some are long distance because of their spouse’s military service. Others are separated by an ocean where one partner doesn’t have internet access. One could only receive one email a week from her partner and another is navigating the world of citizenship to officially close the distance for good.

    The LDR label may illustrate a common experience, but when you look deeper everyone has their own story. So if you’re reading this today, and you’re in an LDR, know that ultimately, you have to know your partner and what works for some couples may not be ideal for you too.

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    Meal Prep for the Week: A Guide to How I Plan & What I Buy

    This meal prep post was requested, and then confirmed in a recent Instagram poll (i’ve been loving those lately) so I’m excited to share how I’ve been selecting my meals, grocery shopping, meal prepping etc!

    First a little background. Due to my schedule, I pack all three meals with me when I leave the house in the morning, which meals I eat all my meals out of tupperware. Yay. I’ve also found that if I’m not looking forward to my meals the day is infinitely less fun….and there is a higher chance that I end up at the drive through of the McDonalds across the street from my night classes. In addition, ya girl is living on a budget so meal prepping is also cost effective! Last thing, Sundays are when I grocery shop and cook two different meals for the week. The two meals allow me to alternate throughout the week and sometimes I’ll throw in a frozen meal to change it up. It does get a little repetitive but I’m okay with it.

    Meal prep

    Chicken Divan


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    5 Things to Look for When Finding a Church Home

    This past summer I moved for the 4th time in my life. I am no stranger to the process of making new friends, starting somewhere new, and having to find a new church. In undergrad, I spent an entire year and a half trying out different churches, and while I loved the one I ended up going to, I wish I could have been more involved and that I could have been there longer. With my move to D.C I knew I wanted to get a jumpstart on the process of finding a church home.

    Searching for a church in D.C can be a little overwhelming. Basically, there is a church on every street corner, and many more “undercover” ones housed in places like schools, movie theaters, and even clubs. So when I was looking for somewhere to start I first visited places recommended to me by friends, then I just started googling. Mark Batterson, the author of the amazing book, The Circle Maker, has his church here, so I visited there. Hillsong has sister churches, so I visited the two of those. All in all I think I visited six (maybe seven) different churches.

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    Where ya Been: An Update with ‘Lysse

    Hi hello did ya miss me!?

    It’s been far too long since I’ve posted something new, so I thought I’d finally tell you why. For a second there, I thought about doing a Day in the Life vlog to make this a little more fun, but the problem with that is time.

    If you follow me on any other social media, you may know that I am currently a 4th and 5th grade resident teacher during the day and taking 15 credits for grad school at night. You see…I don’t have a lot of time. Continue reading