Seriously, Sarah?
22. 07. 2014

cinnamon cold coffee

It’s summertime, and I love cinnamon cold coffee. I’ve been experimenting with different flavors all summer, but I decided to take it to the next level this week.

Ingredients:

Black coffee
Cinnamon
Hazelnut Creamer or Hazelnut Syrup and Milk

Directions:

Prepare the coffee grounds as normal, but add a generous amount of cinnamon to the grounds. The amount will vary, depending on how much coffee you are preparing.
Brew the coffee as normal.
Put the coffee in airtight containers to refrigerate overnight.
In the morning–or afternoon–combine the cold coffee with the Hazelnut creamer and sweetener of your choice, over ice.

cinnamon and hazelnut cold coffee 2

Again, you can customize this anyway you want, but you need to try cinnamon cold coffee! I love my hazelnut creamer in it, but I’ve added vanilla almond milk before, too. I think that next up might be cinnamon cold coffee with caramel syrup! Honestly, the best part for me, is that I can make this at home for pennies and it’s completely customizable. Plus, no driving in the heat!

Are you going to try cinnamon cold coffee with hazelnut? What’s your favorite summer coffee drink?


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21. 07. 2014

Today, I will be getting my shots. In one way, I’m happy because that means pain relief in a few weeks. In another way, I’m extremely terrified because I’m already in pain, the shots hurt, and it takes several weeks for the shots to take effect.

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shots

I would like to start this post off with a great quotation that I read from an open letter from a person with chronic pain:

Please understand the difference between “happy” and “healthy”. When you’ve got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but I’ve been sick for years. I can’t be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you’re talking to me and I sound happy, it means I’m happy. that’s all. It doesn’t mean that I’m not in a lot of pain, or extremely tired, or that I’m getting better, or any of those things. Please don’t say, “Oh, you’re sounding better!” or “But you look so healthy!” I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you’re welcome.

Awhile ago, I wrote a post about how irritating it can be for people with chronic illnesses to be given unsolicited advice, especially when the advice giver doesn’t even begin to understand the illness.

I have secondary Cervical Dystonia, which is brain damage to the basal ganglia. Cervical Dystonia is NOT a muscular problem. It’s a fairly long explanation to describe how the damage causes movement and pain, but it’s painful and absolutely ruins your life. I’ve heard it described as a life sentence, rather than a death sentence.

While I am a huge advocate of reducing pain through non-drug methods (especially since medication caused my cervical dystonia), stretching, herbal supplements, and witch-doctors will never cure it. At most, things like local anesthetics, alpha stim machines, and ice might offer pain relief, but at the end of the day, I need Botox shots every 12 weeks.

That being said, I thought I would give the world a glimpse of Shot Day.

Preparation:

Taking ibuprofen every 8 hours for 2 days prior to the shots, so that the inflammation from getting the shots won’t hurt as much.

The Day Of:

The shots are only given every 12 weeks because the body can build up antibodies, if one gets the shots too often.
The shots only last about 8-10 weeks for me, so by the time I wake up on shot day, I am in excruciating pain.
I have to travel an hour and a half to get to my neurologist, so riding in the car makes me extremely uncomfortable.

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By the time that I get to the hospital, I am almost in tears because the knowledge of the pain that is about to come is terrifying.
The needles are longer than I can stand to look at. The doctor stabs (that’s the most accurate description that I can come up with) me around 20 times in the tightest muscles on the right side of my neck and upper part of my shoulder.
Since I go while I am in a lot of pain and barely able to walk after my shots, I am always dependent on a family member to drive me to the shots. It’s sad to be in my mid-20′s and have to depend on someone to take you.

Post-Shots:

The few days after the shots, my neck hurts terribly. It’s almost impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep.
Flu-like symptoms usually accompany the shots.
After about a week, my neck and shoulder are extremely weak and it takes a few weeks to regain use of my neck and shoulder.

So, please bear with me if I am MIA for the next few days!


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20. 07. 2014

Sew My Soul | Just a little bit Louder | Seriously, Sarah? | Robyn’s Nest

the giveaway is run via rafflecopter & will be open for one week. it is open internationally – Robyn will mail the giftcard anywhere! you may enter as much or as little as you like! if you already follow, you are entitled to a free entry! enter using the rafflecopter below & good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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19. 07. 2014

I was provided a bottle of the serum in exchange for my honest review.

I know I’m only 26, but I get worried about aging–that’s why I own so much sunscreen and sunless tanners! A few weeks ago, I started using Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioidant Serum. While I haven’t noticed any difference in my own skin, especially because I’ve been having stress breakouts, I did really like the packaging.

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I hate when I pack my favorite beauty products, only to find them spilled all over my non-beauty products. Case in point: the time my facial oil got all over my journal #fail.

This bottle has an awesome pump that twists up when you want to pump some out and then you can simply twist it the other way for travel. If you’re as absent minded as me, you might lose the caps to everything. No need to worry here!

face serum

Click HERE to go to Radical Skincare’s website.


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18. 07. 2014

hi! my name is Robyn & i blog over at Robyn’s Nest – a blog founded as a creative outlet & a place of rest. i love blogging because it helps me process life & it gives me a place to let my right brain side have some fun! you will find a variety of topics covered on Robyn’s Nest including faith, marriage, crafts, recipes, and just the everyday moments of life! i absolutely love connecting with other bloggers & making new friends, so pop on over and say hello!

i am a new reader of Sarah’s blog, but can already tell how awesome she is! i was so excited when i read through these questions because they are so fun! i had a lot of fun answering them & hope that you enjoy reading them! :)

What is one of the best movies that you’ve ever seen?

oh gosh! it is always hard for me to pick favorites! i would say some of the best movies i’ve seen are the first 3 Star Wars movies! i know there are movies that are made better & have better effects, but i really enjoy the story line of Star Wars. as a kid, my family would watch these 3 movies on New Years Eve and i always looked forward to it! the story captured me like few movies do!

What is one of the worst movies that you’ve ever seen (go ahead and be controversial!)?

i don’t watch a whole lot of movies, but there have been a few that i didn’t really enjoy. i am having a hard time thinking of them, but the first one that sticks out in my mind is Revolutionary Road. have you seen it? it came out in 2008 and i had high hopes because it had the stars of Titanic in it. i love when movies have the same stars as a prior movie. i can’t even remember the story line of this movie, but i just couldn’t get into it. i remember it seemed really slow and i kept waiting for it to pick up and it never did.

What was one of the most memorable weddings (other than your own) that you have attended?

believe it or not, a lot of my friends have yet to get married! so i haven’t been to many weddings! but i was in my sisters wedding when i was 15! it was the first wedding i was actually in & it was my sister…. so i think that makes it most memorable to me! it was just a classic wedding – before pinterest & etsy so nothing huge! but she is my only sibling so it was still a huge deal that she was getting married & leaving home!

if you’re like me & you love seeing other people’s weddings, i did briefly blog about mine! you can find the posts on my love story page! :)

Do you have any collections? Did you collect anything as a child?

i collected 2 things as a teenager. one was poptart boxes (because i was SO cool!) and that lasted until we moved to a new house and my dad made me throw them away “because what are we going to do with all of that cardboard?”

another was foreign money. i don’t know about you, but every single bill being green is just boring – i noticed that foreign money was always so pretty & unique so i loved it! my dad had some bills that he gave me & i started collecting whenever i found some! i worked at a grocery store & found quite a few foreign coins throughout my years there so that added a lot to my collection! plus i went to Europe after high school and collected some of my own!

If you could own and operate your own business (and be guaranteed of its success), what would it be?

well, my answer isn’t really a business. but i have always been intrigued by adoption and foster care. so if i could do absolutely anything in the world, i would want to own an adoption center! i know the work would be hard & you would be so exposed to the evil and hardship in this world…. but it would be so rewarding as well!

What was your favorite childhood tv show or cartoon?

i think all i did when i was a kid is watch tv… because there are SO many shows that come to mind! i used to love Doug on Nickelodeon. i probably liked it so much because he was always journaling! and i loved Porkchop’s igloo doghouse! my dog actually has an Igloo doghouse now and it is awesome!

i also loved Boy Meets World and Sabrina the Teenage Witch! Boy Meets World seemed like any situation in my life i could relate to an episode on that show. even though it was sometimes cheesy, i love watching it sill! Sabrina the Teenage Witch was cool because i wished that i had magic powers!

Who is the most joyful person you know?

this question is so easy! my dad! he will take any situation or conversation and find the positive in it. not only that, but he will constantly remind you of the positives! he is nice to every single person he meets, even if he doesn’t particularly care for them! he is basically amazing! :)

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” What is a gift that gave you a lot of satisfaction in giving?

i absolutely love giving gifts! i will buy gifts months in advance and then be so anxious to be able to give the gift and see the person open it! it is one of my favorite things! i always have fun picking out gifts for my husband because we have so many inside jokes and we know each other so well! i love finding something that he wouldn’t buy for himself but wants, or something that shows i pay attention to the little details!

one of my favorite gifts i’ve ever given him was a book i made for him on Shutterfly! i put pictures of us all throughout our relationship in it and added some quotes or inside jokes or just letters to him! he really loved getting it & loves reading through it still today! i love personalized gift and this book was all us!

In retrospect, what is something that your parents were wise in doing in raising you?

the first thing that comes to mind is that if me or my sister were dating a guy, my parents would have him come over for dinner. it was super awkward when i was a teenager and my dad would have the “trust & responsibility” talk with the guy right there at the dinner table. but it’s wise because they got to know the people i was spending my time with and knew that i wasn’t getting mixed up in a bunch of stuff!

If you could take a course in any subject right now, what type of course would it be?

i always said that i loved school except for the homework & tests! if you could eliminate those and just learn i am all for it! :) i went to a Christian school and there were some classes focused on missions that i would have loved to take! so i think a class on missions would be cool to take now! either that or a photography class because i would love to learn more about cameras!

thank you so much Sarah for having me & thank you for taking the time to get to know me! these questions were a lot of fun to answer & i kinda feel like we were just sitting down having a conversation! please pop on over & say hello! i would love to meet you & hear your answers to these questions!


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18. 07. 2014

I’m here to link up with Meagan of All the Joys today! I’m so excited for this new link up!

All The Joys Friday Favorites

 

Here are my five favorite blog posts that I read this week!

Chronic Illness & Body Image by Ariane
My favorite part: Should my pants match my level of pain?

Welcome to My Bookshelf by Kate the (Almost) Great
You all know how much I love to read!

How to Be Nice on the Internet by Jessica Lowler
Everyone wants more friends!

Beauty on a Rocky Path by Emily at Ember Grey
Emily is such a lovely writer, who happened to guest post on my blog! Check her out!

What to Buy at Costco by Fun Cheap or Free
My new official job is meal planner, and my husband has a Costco membership–I can’t grocery shop on my own because I can’t lift things, so after reading this article, I know what I should have him get at Walmart and what he should get at Costco. We still tend to buy our meat at Costco because of our large freezer.

And in honor of my brother’s wedding tomorrow, please enjoy a song that I’ve been rocking out to in the car a lot–and I will during my roadtrip!

What are your favorite reads from this week?


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17. 07. 2014
He has made everything beautiful in its time.  
Ecclesiastes 3:11

A few weeks ago, while on a walk in the country with my dad, I couldn’t help but notice the pretty blue flowers that lined the gravel road. My dad pointed out how the flowers weren’t really growing in the lush grass or by the creek, but rather growing in the dirt road, far from any water source. He told me how he’d once tried to transplant some of them into my parents’ yard, but they didn’t do well there. They didn’t survive. How strangely beautiful it was that these pretty little flowers would do so well in gravel, dirt, “harsh” conditions. Regardless of their surroundings, they were still beautiful, still growing.

I got to thinking about other people – some in other countries and others right down the road from where I live – who have hard lives, rough paths. Maybe it’s the choices they’ve made that have brought them pain and hardships, or maybe it’s something they have been born into. I thought about the rocky roads others have been forced to walk even though they 1. never asked for it, and 2. didn’t “deserve” it in the slightest. My own life, even. The rough roads I’ve walked in certain chapters of my life. They were the hardest and most painful roads I’d ever had to travel. And yet? God never left me. He never stopped loving me, guiding me, reminding me of His beauty, even through the pain. And what’s more – he took my rough road and made it beautiful. He made me beautiful, all for His glory. Who am I?!

You’ve most likely heard the saying, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I actually disagree with that. I think sometimes we are given more than we can handle; I for sure have been there. It’s those times though that I do need Him the most, when I truly cannot handle one more thing and I call out to Him. How amazing that we have a God who would 1. want us to call out to Him and 2. listen to each cry?! I think those are the times that matter the most, when we’re stuck traveling the gravel dirt road, because it’s in those times it would be easy for us to give up. It would be easy for us to turn from God, to toss our faith to the side, to believe the lies that satan slips into our wavering thoughts, “God has left you.” These are the times that most certainly matter – because it’s in these times that we truly need Him. It’s in these times perhaps we are present and “desperate” enough to open our eyes and hearts to the sweet miracles He works every single day. It’s in these times when we hold tighter to His word, seek deeper into His truths, and fight harder to remember that He never leaves us.

The road my not always be a pretty one. Times in our lives will not always be easy. Our days will not always be smooth sailing or with a constant unwavering of faith. But God is constant. He still grows us. He always loves us. And He continues to meet us on that dirt road… all to make us beautiful.

 

“Beautiful Things” by Gungor.
(If you have trouble listening to this song, click here to go to YouTube.)
Thank you for hangin’ out with me today! 

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16. 07. 2014

Hello! Today I am co-hosting Community Brew with Madison and Rachel. The theme for today is marriage! I’ve been married for 8 months, as of a few days ago.

community brew link up

As I anticipated writing this post, I was thinking about the topic of what marriage has been teaching and what I could say, while I was driving to a doctor appointment (surprise!). And for the second time in the last month, it was a song that spoke to me. Last time, it was Ellie Holcomb. Today’s post is inspired by Lecrae’s Don’t Waste Your Life. So, while these are my thoughts, a few lines from that song have been on my heart, especially as they relate to marriage.

I don’t want to waste my life. I never have, consciously, but I’ve lived like I did want to waste it–or at best, didn’t care.

For freedom Christ has set us free (Gal 5:1):

I still struggle to find my identity apart from where and if I work, my health, my relationship status, and material possessions. Instead of finding my identity in Christ, finding my self-esteem in my inherent worth because of Christ, I worry about all of the previously mentioned items. When I was single, I was consumed with trying to find a relationship. Now that I’m married, I’m worried about “keeping up with the Joneses.”

Your money, your singleness, marriage, talent, your time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine  

What I neglect to remember is that marriage is a beautiful gift that has been given to me to sanctify me and bless me. In fact, my marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ’s love. A refrain that I keep finding in my life–through songs, scriptures, sermons, books, and even some very beautiful blog posts–is that it is for freedom that we’ve been set free. I can’t escape that idea. It keeps showing up all over my life.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Phil 2:3):

I think that marriage is a great place to live out that freedom. I can serve my husband in love, in the same way that he serves me in love. Neither person submits to the other out of obligation; rather, because we are trying to show the love that Christ modeled for us.

When I was in college and single, I lived in a townhouse with 5 other Christian girls. When my friends later in life found out that I had lived with 5 girls, they said that it sounded terrible. They supposed that our house was full of fighting and drama. Instead, no one considered themselves better than the rest of the girls (most of the time!), so it was fairly peaceful and actually quite fun. So, while I thought that I was wasting time being single, I was actually living out practices for a good marriage. While I don’t get to keep up with all of those girls, that was one of the best years of my life.

Exposing Sin:

People get to living for a job
Make a little money start living for a car
Get ‘em a wife, a house, kids and a dog
Then they retire they’re living high on the hog
But guess what, they didn’t ever really live at all
To live is Christ, and that’s Paul I recall
To die is gain, so for Christ we give it all

When I was single, I held up relationships as an idol. You wouldn’t have known if you saw how many second dates that I turned down, but I did want a relationship so badly. I met, dated, and married Brian quickly. Then another idol reared its ugly head. I saw that my identity was in my job. I wanted us to have a bigger house. I wanted us to have kids. All of those dreams became my idols. My health, however, has put all of those dreams on the back burner, if not snuffed them out forever.

Now, though, the fog of my idols is fading and I can see that instead of living for my job, the perfect house, and the most picturesque life, I can refocus on how to live for Christ. I am not perfect at it–not even close–but, daily, it looks like loving Brian when I want to be selfish. It means being patient when I want to be impatient. It looks like dying to my absolute selfishness, which is a lifelong process.

Currently, I’m trying to find out what all of this means long term. I want to do big things with my life. I want to help other chronically ill people, but I don’t know what that will look like unless/until I get better. I am not going to worry about all of that quite yet, because right now, I am called to love my husband well.

And that’s what I’ve been learning from marriage–marriage is about way more than just two people.

To link up:

Follow your hosts and co host
Comment on at least two other blogs
Grab the button and link back here so everyone can join in on the fun!


community brew link up



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16. 07. 2014

Today, I’m hanging out over Jenni’s blog, Frankly, My Dear. You can read my thoughts on how to pray for foreign missions. Click HERE!

DR 1

 

Frankly My Dear

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15. 07. 2014

I am so excited to finally introduce you to Meagan from All the Joys! Meagan writes super fun posts that you should check out. You can read her About Me here.

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Fun Questions:

What was your favorite childhood toy?
When I was two, my aunt made me a stuffed elephant. I couldn’t say “elephant”, so his name became “Ellie”. He slept with me until I went to college, and is now in my daughter’s closet. He needs a little T.L.C., but I hope to fix him up and give him to my oldest.

Describe your perfect vacation!
Laying on a beach with a drink in my hand – just my husband and I, getting a tan and sleeping in. It’s been way too long since that happened!

What is your favorite song right now?
“Stay with Me” by Sam Smith. I love how you can almost feel his emotion (especially while singing along!) When I first heard it, I listened to it about five more times. But, a lot of songs that I initially love are eventually overplayed on the radio.

What is your favorite number? Any significance?
I actually don’t have a favorite number and I can’t pick one. My anniversary and daughter’s birthdays are all on different days!

babies

Who is the most famous person that you’ve seen (even if it was far away!)?
I wrote a whole post on this – but I’m hoping for a bigger encounter!

What is your perfect breakfast like, other than served in bed?
Scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, hashbrowns, toast with butter and ice water. I’m not a big sweets in the morning or coffee fan.

Which holiday is your favorite?
Christmas! I love giving gifts and watching the expressions on people’s faces when opening them. Now that my girls are a little older, it’s fun to start traditions with them as well. We do Elf on the Shelf, one Christmas book a day in December, and will be adding some more this year.

What is your favorite “game-night” game?
I love love love Monopoly. The problem is, that no one ever wants to play because it’s too long (and maybe a little boring?). If its just my husband and I, we like card games like Rummy or Phase 10. If it’s a group, I like any game, really. I love playing games and wish people did it more!

Do you have a signature dance move?
I love to dance! I’m not sure I have a signature move, but I assure you – none of them are great!

snow

 

Don’t forget to check out Meagan on her blog//bloglovin//twitter//instagram//facebook//pinterest.


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