October 31, 2011


Today is Halloween!  In light of the holiday, I thought I'd share some pictures from past Halloweens.  Ironic that my favorite Halloween costumes have all been Christmas inspired.  I guess you all know where my loyalties lie...

Oh, and this next one... its a real treat and only comes out of "The Gustin Family Photo Archive" for special occasions.  I was 12 years old and sewed this puppy all by myself (which is not hard to tell! hehe).  I like to call it the 50/50 costume.  50% casual, 50% dressed up.  When I wore it to school, I sported two different hair styles (pigtail on left and curled on right) and only put makeup on the right side of my face.  Needless to say, I had quite the imagination!

Happy Halloween everyone!

October 28, 2011

Tea Time.

I am slightly obsessed with all things having to do with tea.  I love the taste of it, the cute tea cups that you put it in, and the tea parties where you get to drink it with all your closest girl friends.  With the cooler weather creeping in, it seems as though there is always a pot of hot tea brewing (using a fancy new electric tea kettle, of course) in my apartment.  Its a beautiful thing.  I'm glad I have roommates that love tea just as much as I do!

Image credit: FlorMartha StewartFood Gawker

October 24, 2011

One year...

So almost a year ago, God put it on my heart to not date for a year.  Sounds a bit crazy, I 
know.  When I decided to make the commitment, it wasn't as if I had a bunch boys lined up to ask me out- or any for that matter.  But as girls, seeking our fairy tale romance, we often get a little caught up in the "husband hunt" instead of trusting in God's plan and perfect timing.  I definitely fell into this trap.  Entering into college, I met a ton of Godly, smart, and handsome men (a rare combo, indeed!).  Being the matchmaker that I am, I got straight to work determining who I would classify as "datable" and who fell into the "un-datable" category.  The problem with this is that I wasn't seeing these guys for what they are- my brothers in Christ.  As this year rapidly is comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year and all that the Lord has taught me.  It has definitely been challenging at times, but so worth it!  I feel as though I have gained a whole new perspective on dating and what it means to find my confidence and in the Lord. 

With exactly one month to go, I am determined to finish the year strong.  I want to look back on this season of life as something that was very meaningful and transforming.  I came across this "31 Days of Praying for Your Future Husband" plan and thought that this would be the perfect time to do it since I have exactly 31 days left.  Now, I am completely conscious of the fact that finishing the year is not synonymous with getting a boyfriend right away.  It could be years until that happens (although, I kinda hope its sooner- not gonna lie! hehe).  Either way, I go forth encouraged by the fact that I believe that God has a plan for my life that is better than anything that I can orchestrate or dream up myself.  And he does for YOU too! 

Image credit: happie reading

Be present.

Fall Retreat 2011

CRU's Fall Retreat this past weekend was absolutely incredible.  I've been to countless retreats like this one and often walk away feeling somewhat disappointed.  I think I go into them with very high expectations and when God doesn't reveal himself to me in extraordinary and mind blowing ways, like he does to others around me, I get discouraged.  I seek the emotional high, which often times causes me to miss some pretty powerful things that God wants to teach me.  This weekend was different.  I had no expectations but simply an open heart and mind to hear what God wanted to tell me.  I came away with better understanding of Christ's love and some practical ways to maintain a passion for reaching the world with the good news of Jesus.

One of the things that really stood out to me this weekend is the concept of being present in whatever I am doing.  During a season of my life, I was so busy and over committed that i would go from work to school to CRU to church without really experiencing what I was doing.  I would be there physically but not mentally or emotionally.  I was going through the motions of life but my mind was off worrying about the next place that i had to be and whether or not I could be there on time.  As a result, the conversations I had with people would be dry and unsubstantial. This certainly is not the way that God intended us to live.  He wants us to experience community, and joy, and to have peaceful moments where we can here his voice.  In the Bible, he says "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."  How cool is that?!  

October 21, 2011

Heading up the "mountain!"

Today I'm headed up to Idyllwild, CA for a retreat with around 300 other students from Campus Crusade.  This morning I am starting to pack (last minute, much?) and pull out my warm jackets from their summer of hibernation in the back of my closet.  Instead of sleeping in tents, we will be in cabins and the place we are staying at is more of a "high dessert" than legit mountains.  Aside from these truths, I can't help but feel like I'm heading off to a camping trip.  And that makes me very happy!  In fact, it inspired a whole new board on Pinterest called "Camping Trip in Style."  This is some of what is inspiring my outfits for the weekend thus making this packing process more of a fun game than a chore.

Have a great weekend!

October 20, 2011

Foodie: Tuna Mac and Cheese.

Note: Mine absolutely did not look this perfect or appetizing!

Thus far in my college experience, I have been pretty successful at avoiding the typical college student diet.  But last night it was cold and I was tired (oh so tired!).  And I saw that bright blue and gold box of Kraft Mac and Cheese sitting all pretty on my pantry shelf and just couldn't resist.  I jazzed things up a bit by adding a can of tuna to the mix- a combo I remember eating whenever I'd have play dates at my best friend's house from elementary school.  And let me tell you, I enjoyed that bowl of tuna mac and cheese and all of its starchy, artificial goodness!

Image credit: Verses From My Kitchen

October 19, 2011

Crafty: Crochet Quilt.

I've been on the hunt for the perfect crocheted blanket pattern for some time now.  I'm looking for something that is nostalgic and vintage-y without being too granny.  Know what I mean?  Crocheting a blanket is a big time commitment so I want to make sure that it will be something that I absolutely love.  Who knows, maybe I'll be passing it down to a daughter someday.  Here are some of the contenders.  Suggestions are greatly welcomed!

October 18, 2011

Loot: Dollar Store Makeup.

So its pretty much no surprise to anyone that I am a huge fan of a good bargain- especially when the deal is on something that I would have to buy regardless of the price.  This weekend I visited my local dollar store and was beyond excited to find about 5 huge buckets full of discontinued drugstore makeup!  Each for just a DOLLAR!  Now I know that drugstore makeup is supposed to already be good deal in comparison to the stuff at department stores...  But hey- I'd still rather pay one dollar than five for a tube of mascara that will only going to last a few weeks anyways.  So yay for dollar store finds and the thrill of saving money!

October 12, 2011

Breakfast goodness.

I'm a firm believer that eating a good breakfast is essential to starting the day off right.  I have several breakfast staples that include soft boiled eggs on toast, these breakfast smoothies, and this oatmeal.  Coach's brand steel cut oats from Costco are my very favorite.  Throw in some fresh blueberries, flax seed, peaches, raisins, walnuts, or banana, finish it off with a splash of milk and you have yourself a VERY good breakfast!

October 11, 2011

On the map.

This past weekend I found an antique glob in my parents attic that now sits on the corner of my desk.  When I'm sitting here stressing out about not understanding my statistics homework, I glance over at it and remember just how big our world is.  It makes my worries seem pretty small in comparison.  And I like that.  I absolutely love how maps and globes can be used in the home to give any room a sophisticated and eclectic feel.  Another great thing about maps is that you can find them for super cheap.  I found a huge world map on amazon that sells for like 80 cents!  So go put a map up.  I promise you won't regret it!

Here are some creative ideas for how to incorporate maps and globes in home decor.

Map chalkboard.
 Decorated globe.
 Framed map from your summer vacation destination.
Maps used as wallpaper.

October 4, 2011

Attitude Check.

I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  I have a God who loves me, I am healthy and well, and I couldn't ask for a better set of family and friends.  I do not deserve any of these blessings.  And yet, I have probably found around 20 (maybe more?) things to grumble about today.  And its only 2:30!  The bus driver who left the bus stop late, the sniffly kid sitting behind me in econ class, the wind making my hair stick to my lip gloss (okay this one is actually really annoying!).  My point being, this rotten- "the whole world is against me today"- attitude stops right now.  I will choose to be thankful and try to see the situations that I am presented with as opportunities to learn and share God's love with other.  The words of Rick Warren from his book A Purpose Driven Life echo in my mind... "Its not about you!!!" (or in this case, me).

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  - Ephesians 4:29

October 1, 2011

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" -James 4:6

That is a pretty bold verse!  I don't know about you, but I definitely don't want my all powerful, sea parting, mountain moving God opposing me.  What a scary thought!  Or at least it should scare us.  This week I pray that I could stand before my God with a humble heart.

Old School

With classes starting, there are so many test dates to remember and club events to keep track of.  I've given the whole google calendar a try- and I must confess- I crave the tangibleness of a weekly planner and the tremendous satisfaction I receive from crossing things off my to-do list.  I have a few more months left in the old agenda I bought last year and then I am considering possibly investing in the infamous Moleskine brand planner.  Like my dad always says "its better to only cry once" and get the quality that will last you much longer.  Now that's my kind of philosophy! 

  Image source: Moleskine