Monday, March 30, 2015

March Loves

My Inspire Notebook // Purchased from Home Goods! One of my absolute favorite stores to shop for my house decor in. I picked up this notebook before I came to Uganda and have been recording all of my thoughts and adventures in it. Home Goods always has an amazing assortment of notebooks and it continuously helps to fuel my notebook obsession I mentioned here.

Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo // Loving this purchase for real! And the best part is, it's so inexpensive and is an incredible product. It keeps my hair feeling clean without weighing it down or making it feel filmy. I try new dry shampoo all of the time and this has definitely become a new favorite find of mine.

Make It Happen // I can not put this book down! It is written by the incredible Lara Casey and it is wrecking my whole life in the very best way. The pages are thoroughly saturated with information about how to live life on purpose, complete with workbook style inserts where you can write down your heart's own thoughts and ideas. Seriously pick it up! It will change and enhance your world.

L.A. Colors Nail Polish // I ran over to the Dollar Tree before I left for Uganda and grabbed a bunch of these L.A. Colors nail polishes and wow, they are awesome! They are super colorful and gorgeous on my nails, perfect for Africa. And they last for almost a solid week without chipping. I can't even believe they only cost a dollar! I'm gonna be picking more of these babies up as soon as I get home.

He Knows // by the amazing Jeremy Camp. I've had this song on constant replay all month. I just can't get enough of it. Especially heading into this Easter season, it speaks to the depths of my soul of just how much He completely understands pain and suffering. Listen to it! It's incredible.

ASOS // Browsing this website for my spring wardrobe inspiration is my absolute favorite. The sun dresses are gorgeous and I can't wait to get back to the states and do some long overdue and enjoyable ordering so I can look super fancy and fun for the upcoming spring and summer.

Allison Anderson Blog // I have been enjoying this blog so very much. Allison has such a sweet heart that pours out in her lifestyle oriented writing. She gives me great ideas on how to decorate an area of my house or what fun new makeup items to try. This particular post gives you some great light and easy reads for this upcoming spring season. You have to check her out!

Exposure Africa Craft Market // This market is so incredible. It is an area where some of the local craftsman can congregate together and sell the items they have designed. There are gorgeous clothes, picture frames, bags, pretty much anything you can think of. All of it absolutely stunning!

Scandal // Obsessed is not even the word for this incredible series. I have not been able to stop binge watching this show like crazy. It's thrilling and drama filled. I honestly can not get enough of it. My rooms and I watched all four seasons in the past two weeks. Seriously, go to Netflix now, if you haven't already watched (or even if you have) and get on it!

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Top 5 Favorite Restaurants in Kampala

Cafe Javas // This delicious restaurant is a chain throughout Kampala and a veteran favorite to most westerners. The menu includes burgers, wraps, salads, and even some tex mex. The service is fantastic, the coffee is incredible, and the ice cream....oh the ice cream. Well, you can see from the picture, it's worth the two day flight from the US, let's just put it that way lol.

Brood // Probably my most frequented restaurant of all, this is the perfect little sandwich shop, deli style. The bread is so fresh and the sandwiches are always so incredibly filling. Just right for packing a hearty lunch (and they deliver off of hellofood too). They also have delicious croissants, cheese sticks, muffins, pretty much any kind of doughy bread product you can think off. Amazing.

Endiro Coffee // One of my good friends here introduced me to this place, right across from the Acacia Mall, and I've been back several times since. The restaurant has such a large variety of food and treats, with some of the best smoothies I've had here. It is also perfect for finding some home favorites, like the Couscous Salad, that you don't normally see around Kampala as often. Yums!

Prunes Cafe // My rooms just recently took me to this amazing cafe for breakfast and the pancakes were to die for. So super light and fluffy. I couldn't even get through two of them! With an incredible cup of french press coffee, this place made my whole morning. And the ambiance is adorable with an entire outside garden area to eat, complete with soft jazz music playing throughout. I'm in love.

Mantra // This was the first restaurant I ate at while being in Uganda this year and it was so delicious. If you love Indian food then you need to check this place out. There is an outdoor patio where you can enjoy your meal as well as some good music. There are live events on the lawn from time to time and it's a complete experience, not just a restaurant.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kampala, Uganda Mall Tour // Acacia Mall

Heading over to the mall is one of my favorite past times here in Uganda (and let's face it, probably anywhere). However, when I tell my family and friends back home that I am spending the day at the mall, they can never seem to picture just how gorgeous it is here. So this is a bit of a photo diary style mall tour of one of the local malls here, Acacia. The rooms and I went out for family night a few days ago to see Insurgent, seriously so good by the way, and I compiled some good pics for ya'll to see. Enjoy!

The Acacia Mall Entrance

All the rooms looking super cute
Cafesserie Restaurant 

Local grocery store, Nakumat
Movie snacks


Monday, March 23, 2015

My Bucket List Inspiration

Creating a bucket list for your life can be such a helpful way to check off the important adventures and goals that you want to achieve while you are here, enjoying this gorgeous earth. It's also fun to look back at the bucket list items that you have already experienced so they can inspire you to work towards those dreams you have not yet accomplished. So here is a small sampling of my bucket list (and I say small sampling because I truly do believe my bucket list could eventually be infinite), but these are my top 20 items, either accomplished or not, with some fun photos of the ones completed!

1) Marry the Love of my Life

2) Be a mom

3) Live in a foreign country

4) Ride in a hot air balloon 

5) Visit every continent

6) Go skydiving

7) Own a house

8) Write a book

9) Be able to speak on a stage confidently

10) Own a coffee shop

11) Bungee jump

12) Create a business

13) Make a life changing discovery

14) Adopt

15) Live in the sun for a whole year

16) White water raft the Nile

17) Run a marathon

18) Be fluent in a second language 

19) Float on the Dead Sea

20) And the infamous, be in two places at once

Like I mentioned before, this is nowhere near the end of my list but these are some of my top items. What are some of the big things on your bucket list?? What's stopping you from doing them right now? Make a list and start checking it off. You'll be so grateful that you went for it!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Favorite Blogs for a Good Weekend Read

Blogging has become such a passion of mine over the past few months, and even more so, blog reading has become an equal obsession. Here are a few of my very favorite blogs that I am loving at the moment and honestly can't get enough of on a regular basis. 

Lara Casey // What an incredible and inspiring woman of God! Her blogs consistently lift my spirits and push me to follow my purpose. I truly believe that iron sharpens iron and her Christian walk definitely sharpens mine. Her book Make it Happen has been a game changer in my life. I would completely recommend it to anyone who is ready to start living a life of purpose. Check out this wonderful blog if you desire some practical ways to Make Things Happen in your life.

Dear Lillie // I am absolutely in love with the gorgeous photos in this home decor blog. Not only is Jennifer's style so incredibly close to mine, but she is a wonderful resource for romantic decorative inspiration. (Not to mention she has some fantastic links to awesome purchases). Her style is classic with a bit of southern charm that makes you want to snuggle up on the coach with a cup of tea. If you're looking for some decor motivation and inspiration, check out this beautifully written blog.

Stephanie May Wilson // This incredible woman gives me such great strength in her blog posts. She writes uplifting pages that inspire me and help me to realize I am only human and that I can make mistakes, and still live a life that can inspire. This particular post on change has been helping me through a time of change myself that I talked about earlier in the week here. She has an amazing online book that I am reading at the moment and loving. It feels like chatting with a friend. Check her out if you enjoy great conversation.

Funky Junk Interiors // If you like a good DIY, as I do, you will go nuts for this amazing blog. Donna is a passionate junker and an incredibly talented designer. Her creative eye is impeccable and she continuously makes me want to haul up in my backyard with some wood pallets and a hammer. She is genius. Check her out if you have a free weekend and you feel your creative juices flowing.

Now it's time to grab your favorite drink, curl up on your sofa, and read away. Your welcome!

And for more incredible reads sign up for Bloglovin, where you can follow some of your favorite bloggers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

25 Random Facts About Me

I always enjoy reading these kind of posts because it helps me to realize that there are real people behind all of the blogs I read. Plus it helps me to get to know them better and on a more personal level. So here are 25 random facts about me!

*I could literally spend hours in Home Depot. Home design is a passion of mine and I get so many amazing ideas from Home Depot.

*My best friend has been my best friend for 31 years. She's my other half.

*I could probably eat a sandwich every day of the week. I love sandwiches. 

*Dancing around my living room in my PJs is an almost regular thing.

*I've had the incredible opportunity of living on the continent of Africa 5 separate times.

*I can become incredibly addicted to a television show and binge watch for hours.

*I'm a cheerleading coach. I'm also a huge joker.

*Collecting notebooks is kind of my thing. I have tons of them, but hardly write in them. 

*I truly love to vacuum. Not even joking.

*There is a deep passion that I hold for learning new languages, but only actually speak one. 

*I enjoy the idea of gardening but never have the patience to see the planting process through.

*I'm a terrible bowler.

*Mexican food is my absolute favorite.

*Spending time coloring (like in a child's coloring book), helps me to relax and clear my head.

*I have a hard time doing nothing. I constantly have something planned on my schedule.

*The smell of summer rain is amazing and running through it makes me feel alive.

*I rock out in my car, like full on concert style.

*If I have as much time as I want to get ready, I can take a full three hours.

*I had a small obsession with the Wizard of Oz growing up (and by small I mean gigantic).

*God has placed a major call to adoption on my heart.

*If I get into a good book series, I can read for days until I'm through it.

*Public speaking makes me sick to my stomach.

*I'm easily distracted...

*Making new friends is a passion of mine that I never knew I had til recently. And I love it!

*I love smiling. Smiling's my favorite.


Monday, March 16, 2015

A Season of Change // Closing Babies Home Kampala


This one word can be so intensely scary and sad and overwhelming all at once. There aren't many people who jump for joy and yell, "Woot! Woot! Life is completely whirling upside down and moving in a totally different direction. I'm so excited!" 

It just doesn't happen often. Most people are threatened by change. It tends to make our insides curl up with butterflies (or nausea). We fear the unknown, the unexpected, and cling so tightly to the comfortable because we've become accustomed to knowing what to anticipate.

In the past year and a half, so much change has happened for me. Some of it has been exciting. Some of it very scary. And some of it even extremely sad. In this short time, my dance studio that I was at for 27 years, closed down (sad). My parents sold my childhood home and moved to Florida (double sad). I got married and we bought our first house (crazy exciting and scary). I've had the privelge of participating in new ministry opportunities (exciting). I've lost some beautiful people who were large parts of my life (again super sad). I've been able to spend time living in Uganda (exciting.) And just this week, the babies home location that I have invested so much of my time and energy into over the better part of 4 years, has officially closed (yep you guessed it, sad). But all of these things have redirected my life's path in incredible ways. 

Each situation has been a life lesson that has not only shown me who I am, who I was created to be, but they have brought me closer to God. These lessons have taught me trust, patience, peace, perseverance, love, joy, and a deep inner strength I never knew existed. Change has helped me to grow even when I didn't want to. And I have been able to navigate confidently through the changes because I know that God himself never changes. He is the same constant through my entire life and His love endures forever. 

I know that change can feel intimidating. It takes us straight out of our "normal" and drops us into the unknown. But we are promised change in His Word:

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven."

But He has made all of it beautiful. That is how we know that we can trust Him in the change. 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss my babies home Bulrushes very much and I would be lying if I said there weren't tears shed as we walked out on our last day. But it is on to bigger and better things. New journeys and adventures. I'm so excited to see what God has planned during this time of change for all of us in Uganda and where He will lead us to next.

Maybe there are some scary, sad, exciting changes that you are going through now. You don't have to go through them alone. He is with you. And so am I. What changes are you going through at this moment? Write them here. Let this post be a place of leaning for you in those hard times. We are all here to help each other get through it. Let us embrace the change headed our way and delight in the one who always stays the same.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

First and foremost, let me say, I love you very much. It's taken me a long time to be able to say that, but it's absolutely the truth. Never let anyone tell you that you are less than. You have been created on purpose, for a purpose and the journey to finding that out will be an incredible one. 

Don't be discouraged when plans don't unfold the way you expect them to. God's got everything under control and His ways will always trump your own any day of the week. Be friendlier to people and don't become frustrated if you aren't able to click with everybody. Some people are only ever meant to be acquaintances and that's ok. It's still important to treat everyone with love and respect no matter if they're your best friend or not. 

Dance will always be one of your greatest passions, so work hard at it and don't take it personally if someone corrects you. Corrections are what make us improve in life, they are not limitations. Don't pretend that you know everything and stay humble in all that you do. 

Smile bigger.

Always take a risk in going for those big leaps. for they are the ones that will help you to fly.

I know that elementary school sucks, but you will get through it. Kids are mean and say hurtful things. You will rise above it. You will make long lasting friends. And in 20 years, you may even become friends with the people who hurt you. Everyone has an awkward childhood period. You are not the only one. Just because you are the tallest girl now, doesn't mean you will tower over everyone forever. Don't let one broken friendship affect the trust you have in people for the rest of your time in school or in life. 

It will get better.


Some people are worth holding on to a little tighter because you never know when you will lose them.

Losing people will hurt. Alot.

But you will be ok and you will get through it. You will even find a peace in their loss one day. Hold on tight to God and know that His ways are always better than your own even when you can't understand why things are happening. His strength will get you through the hard times. No other person and no other thing will complete, fix, satisfy, or mend your heart. Trust Him.


College will be an amazing experience, but it won't be the only highlight of your life. I know how hard ending that season will be. However the best is always yet to come. It's ok to let go. Enjoy each moment and soak it up, because it will go so fast. Pay more attention in class and don't skip as much. College is about more than just parties and friendship. Although you will have some of the most incredible friends and sisters in the world. Love them as much as you can will you have the chance.

Letting go of great love will feel crushing, but God has the ability to mend your broken heart.

Grace will be a concept that you won't truly understand until you are 23 years old and this woman will teach you the honest meaning of it. This will lead you to a life with God. One of purpose that you never even believed was possible. She will teach you the toughest and most worthwhile lessons.

Oh, and after what will feel like a lifetime of arguments, you will realize that you are her carbon copy.

People will come and go in your life but best friends are a treasure that are worth holding on to and fighting for no matter what. Your best friends will carry you through every major challenge and celebrate with you through every great joy. Never take them for granted. Love them fiercely. Your life is infinitely better because they exist.

Don't beat yourself up about mistakes that you've made. Cause you will make ALOT of them. You're human and everyone makes mistakes. Don't let that define who you are as a person. Don't let it incapacitate you from doing great things with your life out of fear or self-loathing.

God has forgiven you. Forgive yourself.

This moment...will change your life forever.

The right guy is soooo worth waiting for. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no timeline for him to show up. Just because you haven't met him in the timing you had expected doesn't mean he isn't coming. Wait for him. He shows up at the exact right moment. (God's good at planning like that.) He will teach you what real love is all about. He will truly love you.


Spend as much time as you can laughing. Life will fly by way to fast to be serious all of the time.

Love those around you. Help them to feel their purpose. Follow God's word. It truly is the very best advice for your life. Make others laugh. Don't be afraid to cry. Speak up for yourself. Resolve old hurts. Extend your heart fearlessly. Show the strength God has given you. Stand up to your fears.
But most importantly...

Enjoy Every Beautiful Season.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Happiness Post

There are so many things to be happy about in this world. I know that for all people there are sad days and tragedies that effect our lives, but on a regular basis I try my best to choose happiness and joy. I honestly believe that happiness is a choice that we can decide to pursue every day. To focus on enjoying this life as much as we can while we are here on this earth. The beauty of life is found in the details.

True joy is found in the details. Those precious moments that we get to share with each other.

 So this is my happiness post! The things that are making me happy at this very moment in time, right here in Uganda.

First and foremost, my amazing little family. These ladies have become more then just incredible friends and I love each of them so much. Family can come in so many different packages. It doesn't need to just be the blood line you were born into but it can be created by the people who are there for you when you need them most.

 Happiness is...the family you have created.

The gorgeous city of Kampala. It is crazy, busy, beautiful, and always full of life. It is a bustling city with new places to enjoy every day. I'm constantly finding a new cafe to get coffee at or a road I haven't traveled down yet. It's exciting having the opportunity to learn about somewhere new.

Happiness is...exploring a new city.

The sweet babies of Watoto. These children make my heart full every single day. They are the most precious little faces I've ever known and I fall in love with them more and more every day. They are the bright and shining future leaders of Uganda, given a second chance at life thanks to God and His incredible ministry that is Watoto.

Happiness is...embracing the love of a child.

My supervisor Vicki. She is one of the strongest, most beautiful women inside and out that I have ever met. It's been incredible the bond that we have been able to form just by sitting down and having great conversation. Really getting to know and depend on each other. She is not only my boss but an incredible friend and I love her dearly.

Happiness is...loving the people you work with.

Spending time with my beautiful friend, Katelyn, who was my roommate in 2013 has been a true gift. Having the opportunity to reconnect with this incredible woman of God has made this trip even better. She is consistently faithful to God's call and I pray that I can one day be as brave and selfless as her.

Happiness is...catching up with old friends.

My African Dance class with my roommates. We're pretty incredible. We should be taken on tour. lol Every week we have a teacher come to our home and we rock out as best as we can. It's always a blast and we get a great workout in as well.

Happiness is...dancing in your living room like no one is watching.

Cafe Java's! This delicious restaurant is a frequented stop on my daily routine, whether it be for coffee, lunch, or just amazing ice cream. They always have an incredible selection of food and the coffee is out of this world.

Happiness is...your favorite restaurant.

Sunshine! I am so in love with the gorgeous weather that I get to bask in on a daily basis. I already did a post here about my seasonal depression and living in a warm climate during the winter absolutely combats that entire situation. I adore living in the warmth and sitting by the pool is my favorite day off past time.

Happiness is...soaking up the sun!

Happiness is...a choice! And one that you get to make for yourself every day.  I personally have decided to stay attuned to the little details that make life happy because, well it's alot more fun than being miserable all the time. We can either focus on the negative that is around us or we can choose to notice all of the beauty, no matter how small, that permeates our daily lives and makes them joyfully worth living.

I want you to spend the day noticing all of the little details that make you happy. What are they? Let me know in the comments below. Let's all motivate each other with our happiness posts!
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