Tuesday, March 31, 2015

{Tuesday Teatime} Lenten Reflections

Hey everyone!

I'm joining in on the new series of Tuesday Teatime hosted by Clare at Sweet Wakings! This week, we're reflecting on what was most spiritually fulfilling for us this Lent. A great reflection as we enter into the final stages Lent!

Of course, I forgot my tea...but I had tea earlier in the day, if that counts ;) Either way, here's my contribution! (I apologize for my rambling and for the not-so-great video quality...)


Have a blessed Holy Week!

~Stephanie

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

{Midweek Musings} Feast Day Edition

Currently:

Listening: to my Taylor Swift station on Pandora. So far, I've heard music from the likes of Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, and of course Taylor Swift herself.

Reading: finishing up excerpts of The Decameron by Boccaccio, and beginning The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer ~ courtesy of my awesome Medieval Literature class.

Eating/drinking: a chocolate milkshake. Because today is a FEAST DAY!
Wearing: a white lacy top + a royal blue maxi skirt + flip-flops. I'm wearing blue on purpose ~ for Mary! Because TODAY IS A FEAST DAY!
Planning: my Easter break! I get to go home in a week for the Triduum + Easter! I'm excited to be going home again, although I feel like I was just there (it will have been less than 3 weeks since I was there for spring break). I'm especially excited because I get to go visit my dear friends from my former college ~ and two of them are even coming to spend Easter at my house!

Feeling: so excited + joyful. BECAUSE TODAY IS A FEAST DAY!

Celebrating: the feast of the Annunciation! Have I mentioned that today is a feast day? ;) Not only is it a feast day, it's a solemnity! It's a wonderfully celebratory day in the Church: the day Mary said YES to God's invitation to be the Mother of God. Because of her fiat, God Himself was able to become man and enter the human world to redeem all of mankind from their sins and give them hope of eternal life. OHMYGOODNESS.

Not only is the Annunciation a wonderful day in the universal Church, it's an especially celebratory day for my school, because it is our patronal feast day! This evening, the bishop is coming to celebrate Mass and to consecrate our whole school to Mary! Afterwards we're having a steak dinner outside on the quad, complete with live music and yummy food. The whole school, including students, faculty, staff, our president, and our founder, will be there to celebrate. To make the festivities even better, it's a brilliantly sunny, 86-degree day here in Florida ~ and it is gorgeous!

TODAY IS SUCH AN AMAZING DAY!

I encourage you to pray the Angelus today ~ what a perfectly fitting prayer for today! We prayed it at the beginning of my philosophy class today while gazing at the image below. When we did so, I tried to really think about the words of the prayer, while looking intently at the painting, and that's when it really hit me how wonderful a feast today is. I kinda got goosebumps.

I hope you enjoy today, friends! God bless!
~Stephanie
The angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary,
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to your Word."
And the Word was made flesh,
And dwelt among us.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord,
Thy grace into our hearts,
That we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son
Was made known by the message of an angel
May by his Passion and Cross
Be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Liebster Award

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by Grace at Graciela. Thanks, Grace! The Liebster Award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers as a way of helping their blog get recognized and discovered.

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you (Grace at Graciela).
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3. Nominate other bloggers (however many or few you would like).
4. Create 11 new questions for them to answer.
5. Notify the new nominees of their award.


Here are my answers to Grace's questions. I had a lot of fun answering them, and I hope my answers help you all to get to know me a little better! (Thank you, Grace!!!)


1. Favorite ice cream flavor? I love, love, LOVE ice cream, so it's very hard for me to pick just one favorite flavor. But I might have to say triple brownie. Or any flavor that is as chocolatey as possible.


2. Who is your favorite style icon? I'm not really someone who follows style icons, but I definitely have to say I love Lauren Conrad's style!


3. Three qualities you look for in your future spouse? Good one! :) Three qualities that I look for are: 1) Faith: I want a husband who is devout and strong in his faith and will be a spiritual leader for me as well as our future family. 2) Gentlemanly-ness: it's important to me that my husband is a respectful, thoughtful, and selfless kinda guy, to me as well as to others. 3) A good sense of humor: I come from a family with a great sense of humor and enthusiasm for all things ridiculous + hilarious. So I would love a husband who can appreciate and share in some good, weird humor!


4. Who is your favorite YouTuber? Well, I mostly watch funny videos on YouTube (does this surprise you after what I just said about humor?). Thus some of my favorite YouTubers (these are family favorites as well) include Rhett and Link, Miranda Sings, Gayle Waters-Waters, Kid History / Kid Snippets, and my own dear cousin Kate Spellman. My sister and I also happen to have our own YouTube channel. If you're brave enough to check it out, please enjoy and don't be completely weirded out ;)


5. If you could only shop in 1 store for the rest of your life what would it be? Target. It's got great clothes, home furnishings + accessories, food, and movies + technology. Basically, it's a wonderful place.


6. Would you rather live near the mountains or the ocean? I'd probably have to say the mountains. I think mountains are so beautiful, and I don't think I would ever tire of seeing them every day.


7. Biggest online pet-peeve? Ads. I despise seeing ads on websites. Not only are they sometimes inappropriate, they are always extremely annoying. That is why AdBlock is my friend. If you hate ads and you don't have AdBlock, install it! With AdBlock, all ads are *poof* gone.


8. What Disney movie would you like to be in? If I had to pick just one, I'd have to say "Beauty and the Beast." Mainly because the Beast is one of my favorite Disney princes, and also because I love Belle. Speaking of which, is anyone else as excited for the upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" movie as I am?!? Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast (*shriek*), Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts... I don't think the cast could be any more perfect!


9. What is your favorite go-to summer accessory? Probably a cute pair of sunglasses. Not only are they practical + helpful, they also are super cute looking, add a little extra color to your look, and make you feel kinda cool ;)


10. Favorite music album? Right now, "Fire Within" by Birdy and "Head or Heart" by Christina Perri. I bascially love every single song on both of those albums. And those two singers are two of my favorites ever. (And I got to see them both in concert about a year ago! It was AMAZING.)


11. If you could drop everything and travel to 3 specific places, where would you go? Oh my gosh. This is so hard. How about everywhere in Europe, everywhere in Europe, and everywhere in Europe?? If I have to narrow it down to 3 specific places though, I'd have to say: 1) Rome. This place has been on the top of my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember. I especially want to go to the Vatican and see the Pope! 2) Florence. Since I've been taking Medieval Literature this semester and studying Dante rather in depth, I really want to go to Florence! It's a beautiful city full of history. 3) England. I went there about 3 years ago and I quite literally fell in love. England is a lovely country full of so much history and breathtaking beauty. I get to go there again in May, and I cannot adequately express my excitement! (Check out my travel page to read more about my past + (hopefully) future travel adventures!)

Now, I nominate:
Mariah at Within the Grey
Abbey at Abbey Noelle
Clare at Sweet Wakings
Gabrielle at A Dabbler's Journal
Grace at My Spare Oom 

Here are my 11 questions:
1. Favorite season?
2. Coffee or tea?
3. Three qualities you look for in a spouse?
4. Favorite Christmas movie?
5. If you could only eat at one restaurant ever again, what would it be?
6. Would you rather go skydiving or mountain climbing?
7. Favorite / ideal study spot?
8. Sunny days or rainy days?
9. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
10. If you could drop everything and travel to 3 specific places, where would you go?
11. What inspired you to start blogging?

If these blogs feel so obliged to accept the award and participate, just follow the rules listed above and have at it! I really like this Liebster Award as a way for all of us bloggers + our readers to get to know each other better! 

Have fun! :)

God bless,
~Stephanie

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{Midweek Musings} 3.18.15

Currently:


Listening: got some Birdy + Taylor Swift going on Pandora ~ two of my favs. 

Reading: parts of The Decameron by Boccaccio for my Medieval Literature class.

Eating/drinking: well, I just ate some Pop-tarts, and now I'm drinking water. Exciting, I know.

Wearing: a greenish dress with a blue + pink floral design (Forever 21) + flip-flops.
forgive the terrible picture quality.
you can thank my phone.
Feeling: chipper. This sunny, 86-degree Florida weather certainly has a summery feel to it, and it makes me happy. 

Planning: I'm starting to get a plan going for my classes for the fall semester. I can't believe it's already time to start thinking about that...

Striving: to crack down + be super studious for the rest of the semester. Sophomore slump will not get the best of me!

Enjoy the rest of the week! This is a week full of celebrations ~ Laetare Sunday this past Sunday, St. Patrick's Day yesterday, the feast of St. Joseph tomorrow, and the first day of spring on Friday. What an exciting week!

God bless,
~Stephanie

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Break Favorites

My favorite things about this spring break: 

~ sleeping in my own bed
~ cuddling with my dog + cat
~ Sunday Mass at my home parish
~ lunch at my favorite restaurant
~ enjoying the late-winter / early-spring temperatures + sunshine
~ the feeling of spring being on its way
~ sitting in on my favorite class from high school
~ staying for lunch + recess at my high school
~ helping out at rehearsal for my high school's upcoming play
~ spending time at my grandparents' house
~ dinner + fun games with good friends
~ coffee + shopping with my grandma and sister
~ driving my car
~ avoiding homework
~ brunch + catching up with my best friend of 10 years
~ coffee with two close high school friends who were also home on spring break
~ playing Dutch Blitz with my family
~ discovering a new favorite drink at Starbucks: a vanilla chai tea latte
~ an evening of tea, popcorn, + laughter with my sister and 3 of our closest friends
~ Friday fish fry at my home parish
~ one of my grandma's delicious home-cooked feasts

It was a wonderful spring break. It didn't seem too short like most breaks do ~ instead it went by at a nice, relaxing rate. I got to do a lot of hanging out with friends and family + experiencing the things that I love and miss the most from home. I feel ready to go back to school and hit the books, see my friends, and soak up some Florida sunshine.

And guess what? I'll be home again in less than 3 weeks for Easter. See ya again soon, Michigan!

God bless,
~Stephanie

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

{Midweek Musings} Spring Break Edition

Currently ~

Listening: to the sound of the dishwasher running in my kitchen. One of the lovely sounds of home.

Reading: take a wild guess. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. How did you know?!
Actually, I've kind of been letting homework fall to the wayside this break, so I haven't really been reading much. But if I was reading something, that'd be it!

Eating/drinking: a new kind of tea that my grandma brought home ~ it's called "afternoon lift," an organic wellness tea made by Allegro. It's yummy!
Wearing: a blue, green, and white argyle sweater and sweatpants. One of the benefits of being home on break.

Feeling: happy. It's brought me much joy to revisit some of the things about home that I've missed. For instance, today I stopped by my beloved high school, and I sat in on my old favorite class, had lunch, chatted with some of my old teachers, and hung out with my friends who still go there. It was so nice to visit, and it brought back so many memories.

Planning: I'm currently on one of my crazy travel ideas kicks, which means I'm planning every detail of a kind-of-potentially possible trip to Europe. Who knows if it will actually happen, but I wouldn't object if it did!

What's new + exciting with me this week: on Monday, after a six year hiatus, I began Braces Round 2! Yep, I already had braces (from when I was 11 till I was 13). And yep, I'm getting them again, to fix my overbite. I'll have them for up to a year and a half, but I'm hoping it won't even take that long. My top 6 brackets are clear, so they're actually not too noticeable at all, which is nice.
Despite some sore teeth and the fact that it feels like there's weird things in my mouth (which is accurate), so far so good!
Happy spring break to any fellow spring breakers, and the rest of you enjoy your week as well!
~Stephanie

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

{Midweek Musings} 3.4.15

Currently:

Listening: to whatever comes on in the coffee shop I'm sitting in, which has included some Taylor Swift, Plain White T's, and Imagine Dragons. I approve.

Reading: like last week, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics for my philosophy class. Our midterm is on Friday, so the Ethics has basically been my life lately, and will be for a few more days!

Eating/drinking: a beautiful, wonderful, delectable chai tea latte. My usual at the coffee shop on campus. (I may or may not be slightly addicted...)
Wearing: a cap-sleeved, lacy white top, a royal blue maxi skirt, and flip flops.

Feeling: thankful that I get to go home for spring break on Friday! Being the homebody that I am, my heart is so happy to be headed home for nine whole days.

Planning: my spring break! I'll get to see lots of my family, my dog and cat, my childhood best friend, several of my best high school friends, as well as some other friends still at my high school. I'm so excited!

Creating: well, I think I succeeded in French braiding my own hair today for the first time ever. Does that count?

Striving: to be better at my Lenten sacrifices and resolutions. Two of them include going to Mass every day and not snoozing my alarm in the morning ~ both of which I have already failed at more than once. Just this morning, in fact, I failed to get up as soon as my alarm first went off. Ugh. I'll just have to try harder next time. Penance is difficult ~ so it's a process, isn't it? But it's so important and worthwhile.

Happy Wednesday, everyone, and have a blessed rest of your week!
~Stephanie
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