I'm still alive!

Well hello!

It's been quite a few days since I've been able to sit down and write a post because of the craziness that is midterm season *cringe*. I was dreading the fact that I had to study for three midterms all in one week but thank God I made it through! I'm sure my fellow university students can understand the horror that is midterm season. If you're not through the madness then I hope you will be done soon and that you're persevering through it! 

Sidenote: Something that always helps me feel a little bit better when going through exams is taking  little time off to myself even in the middle of all the chaos just to recentre and not feel like I'm drowning in a sea of books. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a break and listen to some music and talk to God. He's the best study buddy! And don't forget to indulge a little. If you're in the need for a bit of a caffeine pick-me-up, have a yummy white chocolate mocha at Starbucks and get some Madeleines while you're at it (sooo delish --- and yes, I'm not a fan of the pumpkin spice latte *gasp*). Make the most out of the situation and kill your exams girl! You go Glen Coco!!!

Turn that frown upside down, it's almost Friday. Hello Weekend!

Glorious Peonies.

OPI Pamplona Purple

The past week or so I've been letting my nails take a bit of a breather. Let me tell you, that's probably the biggest challenge I could be faced with. I paint my nails basically twice as much as I breathe and my #thestruggleisreal moments consist of what colour I should paint my nails next. Fall is such a fun time for nail polish trends, and even though I love bright pinks and fun neons, there's nothing better than a nice dark vampy nail or some nude, taupey colours. (Can you tell my excitement for nail polish?) To break the no-nail-polish streak I decided to go for a not so traditional colour. OPI Pamplona Purple has been in my collection for quite a few years now and what I love most about it is that its super creamy but it's a bit brighter than the typical fall colour so it stands out in the sea of "greige" fingers. Two coats is more than enough to get a rich, opaque colour! Although this was part of the España collection from a few year back, I'm sure you can find this colour or maybe try a close shade like Zoya's "Keiko". That's all for today! Pamper yourself this weekend or go out and get a mani with a friend!

Verse of the day: "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honour" - 1 Peter 5:6

 Glorious Peonies.

With everything.

This post wasn't planned. At all. I'm sitting here on the bus going to school and I'm am so overcome with how good God really is that I have to share.

I've been having one of those weeks where there's so much going on that you feel God is distant. You know He hasn't gone anywhere but you still can't manage to feel him like you usually do. It's so easy to get wrapped up in daily life and struggles we all have to deal with that we forget that we have someone to pick us up and carry us through it! We're not alone here and we never will be.

As I've mentioned before, I have a special connection with music. I don't know what it is but it has a way of communicating something that words alone can't do. I was just sitting here listing to the song With Everything by Hillsong United and I burst out crying. Not kidding. There are tons of people around me and without hesitation I felt God's presence around me so strongly that I couldn't hold back. That's something I've learned. If you wanna be radical for Him and have Him do amazing things with you then you better be prepared to let go and not hold back anything! So as I was listening to the lyrics, it was like an expression of what I so deeply want God to know I feel and the music is just woah! If you listen to the live version it's actually insane!

It says that God is Great and Mighty to be praised! And that every eye will see Jesus! You make the difference in whether people around you will see Him! Be that light. Be that change.  Share what He's done for you. Glorify Him!


So go on, shout his praise if you need to. Dont be mediocre in your love for God because I can assure you He's never been mediocre! Praise Him with everything, absolutely everything and you will see things change, I promise!

Hope this blesses anyone who reads it and that you're having a great week!

Glorious Peonies

Vanilla Cupcakes

Whenever I get a little overwhelmed with school work and need to de stress, I love to bake! It's so gratifying to work on new recipes and share them with other people -- especially when they turn out delicious! Saturday night I decided to make an easy recipe since I didn't have time to go out and buy specific ingredients so I made vanilla cupcakes. I looked around for a recipe that was fairly simple and found this one. They turned out yummy and my family and friends approved! The cupcake itself wasn't dry and it had a fine crumb just like the recipe advertised. The buttercream was great especially since I didn't have 4 cups of icing sugar in the house to make a traditional buttercream.  I was a little skeptical at first since the recipe said to whisk egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water but it made the frosting have a meringue taste but with a creamy butter texture mmm mmm good! I was feeling a bit lazy so I decided to opt out of the fancy icing techniques and just used a knife to frost them and put some leftover snowflake sprinkles on top. Not the most seasonal sprinkles but they looked cute ;) Hope you try out this recipe!

Book Worm #1

One of the things I wish I had more time for is getting to read books just for fun. I had a huge list of books I was determined to read this summer but I decided to take classes all summer long so my plans of reading didn't stand a chance. For the past three months I've been reading a book on and off and although I'm not finished yet, I need to talk about it!

I haven't mentioned this yet but I'm a huge history lover! When I was younger I was hooked on anything Egyptian or Greek (probably the reason one of my majors is Classics!) and I could spend hours talking about it. Learning about modern history on the other hand is a different story. That being said, I am completely fascinated with anything to do with African American history and the topic of segregation in general. That explains why I cried during the movie 42 about Jackie Robinson, why I love Hairspray, and why To Kill A Mockingbird was probably my favourite book I was made to read in high school. 

I watched The Help when it came out and I have to say, it's one of my favourite movies! The topic was obviously interesting to me but the humour, the fashion from that time period and Emma Stone, I was sold! After watching the movie I decided I'd read the book. It made me a bit nervous because I wasn't sure how the book was compared to the movie but I'm so in love with it! I've been caught laughing out loud on many occasions and I carry it around wherever I go hoping I'll have time to catch up on some pages!

The subject matter can be tough but it's definitely thought provoking! I think that's one of my favourite things about the book. You get to see the story from the perspectives of different characters and it makes you really think about discrimination and being cruel to others. I hope I can be as courageous as Skeeter is in the book and really stand for what's right! --- But can I just say that Minny is just amazing haha! She tells it like it is and any chapter where she narrates I can't help but laugh out loud hysterically. 

Hopefully you give it a read and tell me how you like it! I have quite a few books on my To Read list so I'll continue doing Book Worm posts as I get through them. 

Have an amazing week and know that God is with you giving you courage when you need to stand up for what's right! Thanks for stopping by xo

Glorious Peonies. 

Everlasting Love.

We all go through times in our lives where we don't feel loved, or loved enough sometimes. Sadly, I've found through my own experiences and observing the experiences of others, that when we feel like we have a void, we look to fill it with things of this world. What do I mean by that? Well, I've seen countless girls trying to find love and affection in the wrong place, namely guys. The worst part is that in that moment you think that if someone pays enough attention to you, you'll somehow forget how lonely you felt. But something that is clear to me now is that it won't get you anywhere, or at least anywhere far. 

A lesson I've had to learn the hard way is that whatever lack of love or loneliness I feel can't be filled with a boys attention and smooth words. When I finally started to realize that the only thing big enough to fill that void was God, things began to change. Yeah, I know -- easier said than done. Trust me, I completely understand how nice it is to hear someone tell you that you're beautiful, that you mean so much to them and that they love you. Oh, those three words - "I love you". When someone says those word to you for the first time you don't even know how to react. Sometimes I've felt like turning around and looking for the person standing behind me and being like "Wait, are you talking to me?". But guess what? If it's coming from a guy who isn't the man God has for you, those three words and all the attention you get are TEMPORARY. I've said this to girls around me whenever they ask me for boy advice, there's only two ways this relationship can go. You either get married, or you break up. So, are you willing to make yourself as vulnerable as you can in order to fill a void which will ultimately only temporarily be filled up? I hope your answer is no!

Don't worry, I have amazing news for you! There's someone who loves you so much that their love supply for you never ends. Crazy right?! A love so big you can't escape it no matter how fast you think you're running away from it. God looks at you and just desires for you to surrender and let that empty bit inside of you be His so He can fill it!

"I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" - Jeremiah 31:3

God himself feels this way about you. Do you feel special or what? The Creator of the entire universe has never stopped loving you and never, ever will. His love for you never ends. It doesn't matter how many times you mess up, He will still be there with open arms.

I have a very important question for you. Are you guarding your heart? Imagine it in this way. Your heart is surrounded by this huge, strong fortress and when you allow someone to play around with your feelings with their words, you're deliberately tearing down those walls. You're exposing yourself to someone who may want to hurt you and just be plain mean. This is why the Bible tells us that:

"Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it" - Proverbs 4:23

There's a reason for why your heart is so important and needs to be guarded. Absolutely everything you do will flow from it. So if you allow those walls to break down for just anyone and let them do with your heart what they wish, the things that flow out of your heart won't be very pretty. But God is telling you that He has drawn you with unfailing kindness. Unlike the jerks you may have encountered in your life so far, God doesn't hurt your heart once you let Him in. On the contrary, letting God transform your heart will be the best decision you ever make. His kindness for you is unfailing!

Are you seeing a trend? While other people may love you with a temporary love and draw you in with a kindness that fails, God is perfect. The only perfect thing there is.

My final question for you is this. Now that you know that it's your choice, are you going to guard your heart and be open to everlasting love or just settle for a love that is temporary and destructive?

Glorious Peonies. 

Thanksgiving (a few days late.....)

This past Monday was Thanksgiving which is one of my favourite holidays! Why? I love spending a day with family and friends and just being thankful for everything that happened in the past year. But, the other reason I love it so much is because of the FOOD! I love getting to cook and bake for Thanksgiving (since I'm the only one willing to follow new recipes in my household). Before I impress you with my baking skills (haha) I will say that I can only make the things I make because of Martha Stewart. Ever since last year, I've been obsessed with their site whenever I have the chance to cook and I've found some great Thanksgiving recipes that I continue to use every year.

I realize that these recipes are obviously a little late for Canadians to make Thanksgiving dinner, but don't fret! You can use these recipes for Christmas dinner too and Thanksgiving in the States is not for another month ;) -- a little early prepping never hurt anyone, right?

This year, I decided to make their Roast Turkey with Herb Butter, which is delicious and super easy to make. For sides I made their recipe for Perfect Mashed Potatoes and an easily thrown together tomato and cucumber salad, and for dessert (my fave) I made Pecan Pie and Apple Pie. I had one of my best friends over and she said everything was delis, and since she's a huge foodie, you can take her word for it!

TIPS: The pecan pie recipe calls for 3 cups of pecans but that's way too many for the amount of filling so stick with around 2 cups and a few more. If you want the pie to slice more easily, try chopping up half of the pecans and decorating just the top with the pecan halves -- I may need to take my own advice on this one for next time! This recipe doesn't say to pre-bake the crust but I would definitely encourage you to that way the bottom crust doesn't get soggy. Bake the bottom pie crust with aluminum foil filled with dried beans (so it doesn't get random air bubbles all over) for about 10-15 minutes and them put the filling in and bake for the remaining time or until the pie is slightly jiggly in the centre. Don't worry it firms up as it cools. Then you'll have the perfect pie!

Here are some pictures of the result of my hard labour! (btw, the biscuits are Pillsbury - I didn't have time to make my own rolls for Thanksgiving this year #lazygirlprobz)

Can you tell I love tomatoes?
Can I get an AMEN!!!!
Sorry, had to dig in ;)
After my friend had reached food coma status! LOL

Now, I'd like to introduce you to the man in my life.......
My five month old Bichonpoo puppy, CHARLIE. Isn't he the cutest?!
We ended the night playing with Charlie and showing off his new skill of playing fetch. We got some great pictures!

 This long hair of his definitely makes him look like Max from the Little Mermaid, don't ya think?
Oh happy day, tomorrow's Friday! Enjoy the weekend xo 

Glorious Peonies. 

Fashion and Beauty Favourites: October 2013

As I've mentioned previously, fashion and beauty makes me really happy. I get so inspired by everything I see on blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube (basically every social media outlet that exists). So I thought I'd share with you what I'm currently loving right now. I might continue doing this monthly or maybe by season, but since I love everything, these posts will probably be quite frequent. I blame the internet!
C. Wonder Pumps

I'm completely obsessed with these C. Wonder pumps. I saw them on The College Prepster's blog (which is amazing!) and I fell in love. How awesome is the chunky heel for fall? Definitely to die for. Plus they come in so many different colours and prints, there's bound to be something for everyone. 

White shirt: Forever 21 // Jeans: H&M // Rain Jacket: The North Face // Rain Boots: Sperry // Earrings: J. Crew // Necklace: Max & Chloe // Bag: Topshop // Dress: Forever 21 // Tights: Newlook // Booties: H&M
Here are some of the things that I love fashion wise this month, put into outfits. As much as dressing up is fun, sometimes a comfy (but cute) outfit does the trick on lazy days. I love a crisp white shirts with dark skinny jeans and rain boots. Add a fun, bright rain jacket and you're set! When you're in the mood to get a little more dolled up, I love a nice striped dress with maroon tights! The black booties make the outfit a bit edgy but the emerald green statement necklace is a fun touch of colour! (can you tell I like statement necklaces?) Of course, I pair everything with pearl earrings and a neutral bag goes with just about everything. What are your fashion favourites? 
beauty favourites
Nail Polishes (Clockwise) : Essie Fishnet Stockings, Essie Ladylike, Essie Good as Gold,  Sally Hansen Pat on the Black // Lipglosses : Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector // Mascara: Benefit They're Real // Powder: MAC Studio Fix Powder // Blush: Lancome Blush Subtil in Rose Fresque // Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
My current makeup look has been extremely natural and super easy. I only use five products each morning which makes getting ready a pretty easy task. My favourite product definitely has to be the Clarins glosses. They're amazing! I think I'll do a separate post on them because they are the best thing to happen to this Earth since red velvet cupcakes --- and since red velvet is my life, you can take my word pretty seriously. Nail polish is another thing that I basically hoard, my mom thinks I have a problem but you can seriously never have enough! A cheaper alternative to Essie's Good as Gold and Ladylike are L'Oreal Because You're Worth It and Greyt Expectations. I'm really impressed with the quality of the L'Oreal polishes and the price is even better! 

There ya have it, my current fashion and beauty favourites! I hope you're all enjoying your week thus far! xo

Glorious Peonies. 

Who you REALLY are.

I was talking to someone recently and I asked them "Who are you?" The person replied with giving me their full name. My response was "You aren't defined by your legal name!" 

At the time I wasn't sure where those words came from. But I know that it was all in His purpose because this is something I want to share and talk about. 

If someone were to ask you that same question, how would you reply? Would you also give them your name? Would you describe yourself in the way you think others would describe you? Or would you say nothing because when you gave it a longer thought, you'd realize that you don't even know who you are?

Let me give it to you as simple as I can. Your identity is not in your name, your clothing, your grades, what people think of you or what you look like. Your identity lies in Christ. He made you in HIS image. When you hear that you are worth so much to God, it isn't because of who you are in your own doing, it's because of who you are in Him. You will not understand who you truly are if you don't give God his rightful place. 

C.S. Lewis said it so perfectly in Mere Christianity:

"Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. (....)  Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in. 

As humans, we tend to look inward and only see the negative. If this becomes a habit it's as if we dug ourselves a hole and fell in. It's so hard to get out of it. But how awesome is it that God has given us His identity. If we search for Him, and I mean really search, (not just, reading a verse or two before you crash and fall asleep, or only praying when we want to get an A on tomorrows test) we will be able to find who we really are. We aren't just His friend or acquaintance, we are His creation. He made us, shaped us, thought we were the most beautiful thing He had ever seen. Better yet, we are His children. That's right, the King of Kings is your Dad!

The Bible says:
"Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir" - Galatians 4: 6-7

How amazing is that? He loves us as a Father, but he is a father who never fails, never stops loving, always cares for our needs! Pay attention to the part in that verse that says that His Spirit is within us. So, when we search for Him and truly believe that who we are is who He is, then looking inside of ourselves will only display the fact that He is in us and with us ALL THE TIME. (#mindblown) You can't escape this identity because Christ, the person in which your identity lies, is in YOU!

Last night while on youTube I saw the video I posted above and thought Wow, because of Him, I'm awesome! I highly encourage you guys to watch it and really think about who you are. I love how perfectly this all happened because I was already planning on writing about identity!

There's so much more to say about this, and I will hopefully continue to go more in depth into our identity as women in the future. But for now, I guess this is an intro. Be encouraged this week to seek Him more and really meditate on who He is because that's the only way you'll know who you are!

Cheer up, the weekend is almost here! Yay!

Glorious Peonies. 

Currently: Listening To

Is there anything better than music? I mean really? There's something so special about it. The way one song can literally turn your day around. In my case, one band is doing that for me! (well, two actually...)

I've always loved Hillsong! Their ministry is awesome and their music is such a good demonstration of it. They have a few different worship teams but I've been loving Young and Free, and UNITED, of course!

A week ago, the Young and Free album came out which was so exciting because I'd been listening to the songs "Alive" and "Wake" like a mad woman. No seriously. If you could ask my friends they could tell you about my jam sessions. (I embarrass myself sometimes, ha! it's pretty bad). I love the way they are creating music that honours God and makes our generation excited to worship Christ again! Honestly, it's refreshing to see young people who are crazy in love with God and not afraid to show it. What struck me the most with their catchphrase, "We Are Young & Free" is that we really are! So often I find young Christians themselves acting like they are in chains when Jesus died to make us FREE. Completely free from captivity and bondage. We should be living in a way that exemplifies that! 

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" - John 8:36

Hillsong UNITED is just ah-mazing! Their latest album Zion is a departure from what they usually do, but it is oh so good. My absolute favourite song on the album is Oceans. I highly encourage you guys to listen to it. The idea behind the song was inspired by the story of Peter being called out by Jesus to walk on water. I love how beautifully the story is translated through the lyrics. I mentioned this in my first post, but a few months back I was struggling with following Christ wholeheartedly and when I heard this song, I couldn't help but break down. The bridge says:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders // Let me walk upon the waters, whoever you would call me // Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander // And my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour 

Is that not so powerful?! Our desire should be to follow Him without fears, where we can say "Yes Lord, I'll dive in and go wherever You tell me to go!" There shouldn't be limits to how much we trust in Him because He has everything under control and He'll pull you out of whatever situation you're in in due time. Remember, the process you go through in your hardships is what will mold you and transform you. Even something as beautiful as gold has to be tested through fire to be purified. Don't get angry with God because your current situation is difficult, thank Him because in the end you will have realized that He makes everything work for your good!

I'll close with something my friend texted me the other night that couldn't be more true, or fitting for today's post,

"He takes you into deep waters not to drown you but only to cleanse you! Into fire only to refine you!"

Thanks for stopping by xo

Glorious Peonies. 

Neutral + Colour Pop

Shirt, Winners (old) // Jeans, Old Navy // Boots, Spring // Necklace, Costa Blanca

Being silly, as always. 

Fall is my absolute favourite season (it's kind of a tie with spring). There's nothing better than the crisp air, falling leaves and cozy outfits! Sometimes I get stuck in the rut of wearing darks and neutrals so much that I forget to bring in colour. Solution? Statement necklaces! I love wearing simple outfits and adding that extra pop of colour through jewelry. I thought the fun bright orange statement necklace was a great way to tie in all the pretty fall colours this season is famous for. Plus, a bright fuchsia lip doesn't hurt right?

Hope you're all enjoying these beautiful fall days! I encourage you to take some time out of your hectic, busy schedules and take a little walk and just admire the beauty of the season. God seriously amazes me  all the time and He is so evident in all the gorgeous trees that are losing their leaves. Take this season to let go of the leaves in your life that need to go, and get ready because before you know it, spring will arrive and He'll make things new and better than you could've ever imagined. Only thing you need to do is BELIEVE.

Thanks for stopping by! xo.

Glorious Peonies. 

Girl Behind The Blog

I thought it might be nice to introduce myself a little bit more today. Mostly because I didn't do that last time, whoops! Can you tell I'm still getting the hang of this thing? Well, I want to share some of my passions with you and things that inspire me because I want that to show through in the posts to come. 

As I said previously, my goal here is to transmit my love for God through all that I write. I want to share the things that I learn as I walk through my journey with Him. WARNING: this journey might get rocky! ---- But I'm learning that the lows are just as great as the highs because you learn! (yeah, learning can be hard sometimes, but I'll tell you more about that in the future).

I love a lot of things! So, I want to write about all the things that inspire me and hopefully, might inspire you. Now, let me just start off by saying that I'm a girly girl through and through. Anything to do with beauty and fashion - I'm there! Sephora is dreamland for me, as you can see below. 
Something I find a lot of the times is that as a Christian girl you get told that these things make you vain and you should stay away from them but I truly think that the saying "everything in moderation" really applies here. I think dabbling in these things is fun and a way to express your creativity. But this should never take your focus off of the fact that your beauty lies within who God is. He made you in His image. Let that sink in for a sec. Loving who you are is a challenge at times but when you make this revelation a reality in your everyday life, you won't see your imperfections. All you'll see is His image reflected in you.

Another one of my passions (which I'll hopefully get to live out more in the future) is traveling. Ever since I was a little girl, the world fascinated me. I love all the different languages, the cultures and how in a few hours you can be in a completely new place. Last year I got to live out my dream of exploring Paris and Brussels which was incredible. It was the trip that sparked an interest in photography in me so it was pretty special. Hopefully I can share any more travels with you when they happen. Here are some of my favourite pictures!

Apart from all the things I mentioned above, I love cooking and music! I've been playing the piano since I was 11 years old and it has truly become one of the things in life that has really defined me as a person! The best part is that I've been able to play in the worship team at church and that has been amazing! Can't wait to share more of that with y'all! And cooking (....more like food in general) is so fun! I've always been quite the experimenter in the kitchen and making desserts should probably be my job during any holiday. Can't wait to share some recipes with you, especially with Thanksgiving just around the corner! Here are a few of my attempts at being domestic ;)

So there are a few things I wanted to share about myself! I'd love to incorporate these passions into posts for Glorious Peonies in the near future. I hope you have all had an amazing week so far! Yay for the weekend :)

Glorious Peonies.
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