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High 5 For Friday!

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If you’re excited it’s Friday, raise your hand!!! *hand raised* This week has been a long one, and I’ve been battling a sore throat/beginnings of a cold all week! I’m so ready for a relaxing weekend, and catching up with friends!

 

1. The wedding of a dear college friend last weekend was simply beautiful. Everything about it was a perfect reminder of His love. I’m so happy for the newlyweds! (And it snowed on Saturday, so it made it extra beautiful!)

2. A night of worship & prayer at the Summit was just what I needed to start my week! And a Cook-Out run afterwards with fun friends and talking in the car while munching on hushpuppies … priceless!

3. Finding out that my alma mater was ranked 2nd in the nation for best professors was pretty neat. That story was all over my newsfeed on Facebook!

4. I bought a domain and am in the process of getting things set up with my NEW blog. Remember last week’s issue? Yep. I took care of that pronto. Stay tuned for news on the new URL next week! 🙂

5. A sick day was just what I needed. Complete with a green tea frappuccino to help my sore throat!

 

There were lots of other highlights from the week, that you can find on twitter: veggie burger at Bull McCabe’s, lunch with Ash, supporting Sevenly, seeing Robin Roberts back on GMA, cuddling with a puppy, watching a Hitchcock film (Foreign Correspondent),  and making weekend plans. Yep, this week has been a good one!

Link up with Lauren and share your top 5 from this week!

 

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Daily Prompt: Proud

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For me, words of affirmation are big. They rank as my second top love language, both on the receiving and reciprocating end.

Being told “thank you” is one of my favorite things to hear. No matter what that “thank you” is for, I always feel good knowing that in some way I’ve helped someone out. And in the same way, I like letting people know I’m thankful for something they’ve done. I haven’t been too good about doing that lately, but I’m going to make more of an effort in the future!

Another thing that I enjoy hearing, but that doesn’t happen too often, is the phrase “I’m proud of you.” 

When I was in college, I would get that phrase a lot- in an email from my parents, in a text from a friend, and every now and then I would hear it from someone at church. I liked knowing that people were proud of what I was doing. It didn’t give me a big head, but reassured me that I had people in my corner supporting me in my studies and life choices. 

Now that I’m a “big girl” in the world, that phrase isn’t heard much. I know my parents and family are proud of me for the things I’ve accomplished, but sometimes it would be nice hearing it. Just this past Sunday when I was visiting my grandma in the nursing home, she was blabbing on and on about her wonderful grandchildren and how proud of them she was. When she introduced me to her roommate, beaming, she said, “and this is my lovely granddaughter Meredith who I’m so proud of!” Although half the time she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, that time I felt like she really did… like she really was proud of me. And it made me smile on the inside and outside

That simple phrase “I’m proud of you” can carry so much weight, and can really turn things around for someone. I don’t know about you, but I want to make an effort to use it more often to encourage the people around me. Whether it’s for something education or vocation related, or even something as simple as being proud of your little brother for cleaning the bathroom 😉 

When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you? 

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Daily Prompt: Clean Slate

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Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?

 

As I push open the white door into a room of green and brown, I at once realize I’m inside the bedroom of a single post-college female. Something about the stacks of books that range from British Literature to Linguistics to Spanish textbooks, gives off that vibe. My eyes are drawn to the books first because nearly every surface of the room is covered with a few books… the nightstand, the dresser, the bookcase, the desk, the chest under the window… This female clearly likes to read.

Next, my eyes are drawn to the walls: a family photo, a collage of pictures of little tanned-skin children, a black and white mask, a painting of a lake and mountain, a scroll with flowers and Chinese symbols written in calligraphy, a painting of water lilies, a red and white flag, empty frames, a poster of Audrey Hepburn. I’m sure these items tell so much about the person who sleeps here, and I’m curious as to why each item is so special.

The bed is made, but the end of it is covered with shirts and jeans and cardigans; I’m sensing the occupant of the room is indecisive in her outfit choosing. A pair of brown boots lay carelessly on the floor alongside a red purse. A heavy-duty backpack is on its side in front of a closet door, its contents spilling out, including a word search book, a ziploc baggie of travel items, and a vest. A camera sits on the edge of the nightstand, next to an empty glass bottle of Izze with a dead flower in it. 

The desk is covered with mail, papers, books, and it’s a wonder that anyone ever sits at it. 

The dresser is cluttered- necklaces, an ipod speaker, tank tops strewn across the top, and of course a few books stacked here and there. A beautiful teal blue stained glass lamp lights up the corner of the room, adding a warm homey feel to the room.

There’s a stand with movies aligned across a shelf, books across another, and craft supplies across yet another. I wonder how many of those movies get watched?

The bookcase in the little alcove is, you guessed it, covered with books. New books, children’s books, old antique books… there’s no telling how many dozens of books reside in this room. 

Despite the fact that the female who lives in the room is graduated, she clearly has a penchant for learning and expanding her horizons. I see little trinkets of other countries in different places throughout the room… a jade elephant, a box of chopsticks on display, a wooden box with “Peru” in cursive… a traveler sleeps here, and possibly dreams of traveling the world. 

This bedroom is cluttered, but comfortable and I wonder if the personality that lives here is as eclectic as this room would suggest.

 

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It’s kind of ironic that this topic is the daily prompt because my Sunday plan was to clean my messy room! It’s always hard coming home after traveling and having a busy work week and having to sleep in a messy/cluttered room. I’ve already started a pile to take to Goodwill 😉 

Also- about all the books- it’s impossible for me to get rid of a book… unless it’s one I hated reading. I’m a bibliophile and am constantly adding to my collection. And oh, I got a Nook for Christmas so clearly my family is only feeding my addiction to books and reading 🙂

I promise there will be some California recap posts this week so stay tuned! 

 

High Five for Friday

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Choosing favorite things from this past week was a breeze… except for the narrowing it down to 5 part. There were so many favorites from this week!

1. The tour I took to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles! I made a new friend on the walk uphill, and got to see the sign super-close up!

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2. Acting a fool in Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It was fun.

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3. A delicious veggie burger from Kitchen 24 in LA! Seriously, I’m craving one now!

4. Coming home to one excited & sweet puppy.

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5. A blog signature thanks to Design Eat Repeat!!! Mel is sooo talented with graphic design and I highly suggest that you check her blog out!

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Also, this is my first time linking up with Lauren although I’ve been reading her blog for months! 🙂

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Vanilla

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I have a weakness for chocolate, it’s true. 

Just a few days ago I was in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square and I was in awe of all the chocolate, literally spending nearly half an hour in the store picking out the perfect bars to take home for family. 

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I was clearly so excited that I forgot how to spell Ghirardelli

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just a small section of the shop

(Side note- if you ever go on a trip and want to bring me back something, chocolate is always welcome with an open mouth embrace.)

I can’t get enough of the flavor… and whether it’s white, milk, or dark, it is one of the things I treat myself to occasionally.

And I may or may not have eaten two pieces of dark chocolate last night before bed…

One would assume that when it came to choosing an ice cream flavor, chocolate would naturally be the number one flavor scooped into my bowl, but alas, one’s assumption would be incorrect!

When it comes to ice cream, vanilla is my go-to!  

I like the clean, crisp, fresh taste of vanilla. Sounds like I’m describing an apple or something, right? hah. 

Vanilla can be paired with anything and it intensifies any accompanying flavor. A single scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a warm brownie… on apple pie… with a square of birthday cake… with sprinkles… with fresh fruit… I think it’s hard to go wrong with vanilla ice cream.

I didn’t discover my love for vanilla until a few years ago. My dad has always gravitated towards vanilla ice cream, and I guess I picked up on it from him.

Plus, when a girl craves ice cream and all that’s in the freezer is vanilla, you better bet she’s going to eat the vanilla ice cream! 😉

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Are you a fellow vanilla lover?

 

I’m linking up with the Daily Post for today’s prompt

First Impressions of San Francisco

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I’ve been in San Francisco for about 30 hours now and wow.

A few first impressions (typing from my Nook so it will be short & sweet):

-there are soooo many people!!!

-there is soooo much diversity!!!

-with the tons of people and diversity comes lots of different languages…aka it’s a Linguist’s paradise! 😉

-traffic, parking, and roads are crazy. I would never drive a car here.

-it honestly feels like I’m in a different country, or back in Peru even. With the whole relying on public transportation, not knowing where you are, etc.

-there are lots of stores that sell the same cheap touristy San Fran stuff. And some of it is quite tempting. SF mug? Yes. SF tshirt? Of course. Alcatraz shot glass? Duh! Ok, totally kidding. I haven’t wanted to buy any of those things!

-the poverty is heart-wrenching. Seriously… so many homeless on every street. I saw a girl with a “pregnant and hungry” sign tonight and although she could be faking, it was sad.

-the drunks are idiots. I got called a “bleeping bleep bleep bleep
today in Chinatown by a white hippie who had just called a man a “bleeping Commy!” and spit on him. True story. When he addressed me, i booked it, telling Ashley to “come on!” lol. In retrospect its comical but it kind of freaked me out.

-the Muni isn’t as daunting on day 2. I kinda have the hang of it!

-i have a decent sense of direction here! And it helps that the city map is quite easy/understandable 😉

Have you ever been to San Francisco or a new (big) city? What were your first impressions???

Flawed

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When asked, “What is your worst quality?” one might not have an immediate answer. I know I don’t.

But, when given time to stew over that question, a few qualities of mine come to light. I’m not proud of any of the qualities I consider as “bad” but then again, who IS proud of their bad qualities? And I think we can all admit that we have them.  We’re all flawed in different ways… I mean, we are human, it’s only natural.

My worst quality is jealousy, and this is a quality that has surfaced lately in my life.

I’ll admit it- I’m somewhat of a jealous person. Of course I don’t notice it until my jealousy is in action, so to speak. And although it might not be very noticeable to outsiders, I’m aware of my jealousy and I hate it.

I get jealous over stupid things which include, but are not limited to: dating couples, married couples, those gorgeous model girls that guys adore, people my age who have babies of their own, people who claim to have the perfect job, people who have everything figured out in life, those who can drop everything and travel in a split second without having to worry about finances. Argh.

As you can see, I covet silly things… things that really don’t matter in the overall scheme of things. This quality of jealousy is something that I’m aware of and try to combat daily, whether it’s being jealous of something small or silly. The Bible is clear that jealous is a work of the flesh… and I don’t want to walk in the flesh but in the Spirit.

 

Galatians 5:19-24 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with itspassions and desires.

Romans 13:12-14 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

 

Jealousy is even one of the Ten Commandments! Talk about convicting…

Exodus 20:17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

 

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This post was a response to the Daily Prompt. What’s your worst quality?

Last Days of November

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As the last days of November are approaching, I’ve been getting all emotional. Yes, I’m a girl.

December is almost upon us, and after 31 days of that month, we’re onto a new year. 2013. I can hardly believe it.

This month has truly been a month of transition, changes, stretches, new experiences, and obstacles. I’m glad to see the month ending, but in a way, I almost don’t want it to end. I don’t want to step outside of this comfort zone, this security blanket, that November has enveloped around me.

December is going to be an extremely busy and exciting month for me. It will include taking the GRE, sending in my grad school application, going to see The Nutcracker, hoping I can make ends meet on an AmeriCorps budget, a lot of time off work & tutoring, Christmas, catching up with friends, end-of-semester work deadlines, and a trip to California for the first time.

Thinking about the month of December has me nervous, excited, and stressed all in an instant… and it will be here and done before we know it! Yikes. Read the rest of this entry