Thursday, August 16, 2018

From That to This: Watermelon Salad

Summer is coming to an end and I intend to take advantage of every last minute of it. I want to soak up all of the sun, play all of the lawn games, go to all of the farmers markets -

-- and eat ALL of the watermelon!

Elissa shared a picture of a watermelon salad on her Instagram a few weeks ago and I have been eating it non-stop ever since.

It's been a hot minute since I've posted a recipe, so I thought I would share it with you guys. Fair warning, you will become addicted. It's really that good.

Ingredients (Single Serving)
1 cup Watermelon 
2 tbsp Feta Cheese
2 tbsp Balsamic Glaze (or just balsamic)
5-6 Chopped Mint Leaves

Place your watermelon in a bowl, sprinkle on the feta, balsamic and mint and voila! You have a super easy, super delicious and healthy dish. And if you make enough to share, you'll definitely be the hit at a potluck.

What recipes are you loving this summer? Any seemingly odd combinations that you can't stop eating?


Friday, August 3, 2018

Currently - August

Hello August!

School will start again in a few short weeks and y'all, I'm not sure I am ready to give up this slow, easy summer flow. I suppose I should just soak it in while it lasts and make sure to do some of the things on my summer bucket list before it's actually gone.

Linking up with Anne in Residence again for another "Currently" update because the blogging bug has caught hold of me again and this is probably my favorite link-up. 

following: lot's of lovely ladies via Instagram such as: Shannon, Nell, Laura, and Katrina

Go check out their accounts and show them some love! #followfriday

ordering: nothing at the moment. But I am daydreaming about this embroidered mini skirt, these tassel earrings, and this yellow dress. Oh, and these scalloped booties are so cute!

pinning: ALL the wedding inspo. My wedding board is private (I may or may not have had it for years) but you can follow my other boards HERE. When I'm not pinning wedding things, I pin a lot of interior design for our someday home.

watching: Travelers. A colleague introduced M and me to this show this winter, but I gave up Netflix for Lent and are getting back into it. It's about a group of people from the future who take over current bodies right before they die to try to end certain tragedies that affected the future. Sounds super nerdy, but it's REALLY really good. 

counting: down the hours until Michael is done with work so we can start the drive back to Ohio. We haven't been home since Easter and are both excited to see family and friends along with visiting some potential reception venues and meeting with a few photographers. It's going to be a long short visit.

And there you have it. My "Currently"s for August 2018. What are you up to this month, friends? Any show recommendations or Instagram accounts you can't get enough of?


Monday, July 30, 2018

4 Lessons Learned As A [New] Plant Lady

Freshman year of college my mom gave me a tiny cactus to make my dorm room feel a little more homey. By the spring semester of that year, the cactus was dead and I had pretty much given up on any chance that I could care for plants of any kind.

I mean, who kills a cactus?!  This girl.

Fast forward nearly 10 years (woof) and you will find 15 different plants living in my apartment and 1 outside. To be fair, a bunch of those plants were gifted to me, but nevertheless, I have definitely become a full-fledge plant lady. What started with caring for a few succulents in grad school (you may remember THIS POST) has slowly blossomed and taught me a few lessons along the way.

[Ironically, the plant collection really took off after I wrote a post for Blessed is She detailing my struggle with keeping foliage alive. At that point in time I had only managed to care for 1.5 succulents and my spider plant who miraculously survived 3+ drops from the top of the refrigerator curtesy of Zelie.]

(More Cute Baskets HERE, HERE, and HERE)

Try Try Again

Cheesy and cliche, but so true and so important to remember.

I felt SO embarrassed after killing my cactus in college and had pretty much given up on ever having a garden. Had I not inherited a bunch of succulents when I moved into my apartment in California, I probably would have never tried again - seriously though.

But you can't learn if you don't try. So if you are sitting there thinking that you are not made for plant care even though the idea of it excites you, take a chance friend! If I can do it, you can do it!

The same philosophy should be applied when working on anything new skill. You've got this!

Google is Your Friend

(But you have to know what you need to find.)

My pothos plant's leaves were turning a gross brown color that clearly signified something was wrong. The only problem was, I didn't know what the issue was. I thought maybe it was getting too much sun - it wasn't. Or perhaps it needed more water - it didn't. In fact, it turned out to be the exact opposite. I was overwatering it and probably not giving it enough sunlight. Classic.

The only way I found this out was by Googling like crazy for the information I needed, which wasn't as easy as it sounds. I found pages and pages on how to care for a pothos or how pretty grown ones look in hanging pots or why you should get one for your home, but that didn't really help me. I didn't need the pictures of thriving plants. I needed pictures of dying ones with notes on what exactly was killing the plant and if it was possibly to bring it back. My learning style is very visual and rather than assume the words describing overwatering matched my plant, I needed to see it.

Thankfully just about everything you could ever need is on the internet, sometimes you just need to know specifically what it is you are looking for.

It's Not Dead Yet

I moved from "easy" house plants to a trickier (for me) outdoor plant this summer. It required a lot more watering and a lot more pruning. While I was away with students, I had M watch the apartment and care for the plants and Z. He did so well with all of them... except my verbenas. 90% of them were gone when I came home and there was a lot of dead plant to cut away. I tended to it, but was pretty sure it was pointless. Slowly the leaves regained their dark green hue and even grew fuller in the pot, but there were still no blooms to be seen.

At that point, I was ready to toss the thing. Sure it was nice that it was technically growing, but I really didn't need a flowerless, needy plant that couldn't grow back the following year anyway. So, I dialed my on-call gardener (aka Mom) and told her I had met my match. She listened patiently as I described what it looked like and then told me to give it another few days because the flowers just might start to come back.

I kid you not, the next day little specs of blue started showing up and two days later there were bunches of little flowers soaking in the sunshine.

Similar to the above lesson of trying again, don't fool yourself into thinking there's no use trying. Mistakes can be mended. New growth can occur. And lucky for us, our growth is always possible by the grace of God, when sometimes plants are actually dead (please note aforementioned cactus).

Don't Discount The Little Things

The verbenas were not the only plants currently in my apartment that I was sure were goners. From the pothos dying a slow, hydrated death, to my succulents being ripped from their soil by a bratty feline, I'm pretty sure I've been convinced every plant I own, with the exception of a weird tree-ish plant from Ikea (the technical term, ladies and gents) was dead at one point in time.

But when my mom came to visit in June, she pointed out a very important feature on a plant I was ready to toss in the garbage - baby leaves. There were tiny little leaves sprouting from the end of its vines!

Sure the plant had seen better days and the leaves that didn't quite reach the light of the window were wilting, but there was still so much going on internally that I couldn't see. It is alive and it is growing!

And by some strange miracle, this seems to be a trend with all of my plants. It hasn't happened overnight, and it hasn't happened without error, but my once deadly, anything-but-green thumb is doing alright with it's new garden. And all of this plant care is definitely teaching me lessons on the importance of resiliency, asking for help, and searching for small pieces of growth when it seems like all hope is lost.

Any other plant ladies/gents out there? I'm curious what advice you have for how to best care for your gardens and would love any book/blog suggestions for continued learning.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

5 Things I Am Loving in July

Hey friends,

Happy Tuesday! On Saturday I came back from my last summer immersion trip which means my summer schedule is finally here! I am very excited for a slower pace and more time to just go with the flow.

Summer also means a bit more free time to create and for whatever reason, my blogging bug seems to be coming back so maybe that means I will be posting more than once a month? Maybe. I make no promises other than to follow where the Spirit is leading. And that's really about all we can do, right?

Today I thought I'd share a few of the things I am loving this month. Nothing too earth shattering, just a good old fashioned round-up of things catching my eye this July.

1) The Blessed is She Mini Planner

I have been waiting for this baby to arrive since May and am so happy it's finally here. I love it's unique, intentional design that will help me remember to center my days around God and the gifts I've been given. The large size was just a bit too big for my taste but the mini is PERFECT. I'm already gearing up for August and my little planner heart is happy :)

2) Fr. Pedro Arrupe

One of my favorite examples of faith is on his way to beatification and I am so happy.

From my Instagram post a few days ago:

If you have never heard of Arrupe, I can’t recommend reading about his life enough. He answered the call to the priesthood while studying to be a doctor, which was put to good use when he was missioned to Japan. Living just outside of Hiroshima, Arrupe turned the Jesuit residence into a makeshift hospital for those who survived the devastating dropping of the atomic bomb. 

As Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Arrupe called out Jesuit institutions stating that we are called to be men and women for others, emphasizing a faith that does justice - something that I strive to teach my students every day.

There is so much beauty and depth to this man and his faith in God. He is a great leader of the Church that who I feel a great closeness to. I have been praying for his canonization for a long time and I am SO grateful that the recognition of his sainthood is underway.

3) Sour Patch Watermelon Gummies

My students introduced them to me on our Appalachia immersion and I'm obsessed. Usually I'm not a huge gummy/non-chocolate candy fan, but for whatever reason these things are what I'm craving lately. SO. GOOD.

4) The N Sale

Nordstrom is having their big annual anniversary sale and I am loving the sneak peak into trends to come this fall. The sale is open to anyone on July 20th but if you have their card, I think you can jump the line and start now. I don't really shop at Nordstrom at any other time of the year - department stores aren't really my jam - but I do love scanning the picks of this sale. I have bought these leggings in the past two sales and LOVE them. I live in them under dresses in the fall and winter or just lounge around the apartment with them in a cozy sweater. This year, I am loving this floral dress (this one too!), this scalloped sweater, this cozy cardigan, and these booties.

5) The Beach

This I was not expecting. Honestly, I have never really been a beach lover. Maybe it was being too self-conscious in a bathing suit or maybe it was the burning sand, but going to the beach was never something I desired to do. I would go if friends or family invited me, but it would never be something I chose to do. This summer I can't get enough and lucky for me, there are several community beaches 5-10 minutes away and M is always up for a visit. Has anyone else found themselves growing into loving the beach or maybe the reverse of now disliking it?

What about you, friend? What are you loving this month?


Monday, July 16, 2018

We're Engaged!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - Best. Day. Ever.

Y'all, it's been almost a month and my head is still spinning and my heart is still overflowing with gratitude and love. I'll probably sit down and write out the story of how Michael proposed at some point (or have him write it) along with explaining why exactly my nephew was dressed like a duck. But for now, I am still processing what it means to be engaged and trying to soak in each and every moment of this new stage with this incredible man.

If you have any tips or suggestions on how to embrace this stage of engagement, I am all ears. We are being very cautious to not make it just a planning period for a wedding and really entering into this time of preparation for marriage together.

As of right now, we have a date set and church confirmed, but that's about it... I'm pretty relaxed about everything and am starting to wonder if that is good or bad. I guess we shall see.

If you are any good at coming up with catchy hashtags, I'm all ears. Our last name will be Rose.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Floral Sundresses for Summer

Summer is here which means sunshine, gardens, and a whole lot of sundresses. There is nothing I love more than a good floral dress in the summer, so I thought I would round up a few I've been admiring and share them with you all!

You'll probably notice that the majority are longer in length which is partly to do with what's trending, partly to do with #tallgirlproblems, and mostly to do with maxi dresses being crazy comfortable.

Seriously though, it's like wearing pajamas.

Top Row

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  

Bottom Row

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  

I really can't get enough of all of the color combinations and flower types that have been popping up recently. You could easily style any of these dresses for a variety of occasions - from work, to a summer wedding, to a casual date. You really can't beat clothing items that are super versatile! I've linked a few more of my favorites below for some more inspiration. I'm especially fond of this sunflower-filled beauty.

How do you plan to style a floral sundress this summer?


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Our 5 Favorite Long Distance Dates

Michael and I met at a mutual friend's wedding in September of 2016. I had just moved to Connecticut after grad school and came home to Ohio for the event. Meeting someone at the wedding was the furthest thing from my mind. My most recent relationship had been nearly two years of long distance and I was not interested in getting back on that boat any time soon - if ever.

And yet, after a night of dancing, months of talking, a visit home, his visit here, and even turning him down when he first asked to be exclusive, there was no denying the pull on my heart to give this man and this relationship a chance.

Thankfully, in February, after 484 days of distance (not that I was counting), M joined me here on the East Coast. It was sooner than we had anticipated. A colleague needed a roommate, we were both pretty done with the whole distance thing and it turned out he would be able to transfer pharmacies way smoother than we could have ever imagined. It was such a whirlwind and honestly, couldn't of happened any easier had we spent months planning it. God has been so good to us.

Now that we're done with distance and I'm not solely focused on how hard it was to maintain, I find myself looking back and am so thankful for all of the love and memories that our time together while apart created.

I'm often asked how we kept our relationship fun while living hundreds of miles apart, so I thought I'd share some of our favorite date nights via Skype. I consulted with Mike prior to writing this post, and he has given his seal of approval on the selections shared.

1.) Cook a Meal Together - About once a month M and I would pick a night we wanted to have dinner together and choose a meal to cook. That evening we would Skype as we prepared the meal and then sit down at our dinner tables and eat "together". It was a great way to learn new recipes, teach one another new cooking tricks, and just spend time together. Plus it put my mind at ease to see he was eating something other than mini muffins and baby carrots.

2.) Watch a Movie Together - Similar to cooking, we'd also choose movies or shows on Netflix that we wanted to watch with each other (I don't have cable). We said a countdown for pressing the play button and became pretty good at syncing up our televisions. We even began to wait for one another if a new movie was released and we thought the other would like to see it. For the record, I only fell asleep once or twice on these dates which is practically a miracle.

3.) Pray Together - One of my favorite things to do with Michael is pray. There's no wrong way to pray and it's wonderful learning new ways and new prayers to say with the one you love. We pray extemporaneously, follow an Examen via this app, pray novenas, etc. Fun fact, we actually found out that M's pharmacy transfer would happen on the last day of the Immaculate Conception Novena after a bit of a scare that it wouldn't be possible due to store closings. The news was such a welcomed answer to our prayers.

4.) Play Games Together - We both LOVE board games and thanks to technology and fellow nerds, there are so many apps available to play games on your phone with other people on the same app. Is playing Catan online with strangers the same as playing it in person? No, of course not. But it is still a ton of fun and you don't have to worry about having side conversations while the game is going on when no one else can hear you.

5.) Be Vulnerable Together - This one is not as creative or "fun" as the others, but when I was talking with Mike about what to share, we both agreed that some of the most fruitful Skype dates we had consisted on intentional check-ins on how we were feeling in the relationship and how we could make the other feel more loved even though we were so far a part. Obviously in distance you are going to be doing a lot of talking, but make sure you don't dance around those hard conversations. They may be uncomfortable and they may bring tears, but ultimately they will bring you closer together and allow your relationship to grow in ways that can be stifled by living so far apart.


Distance is a TON of work and can be exhausting and emotional and life-giving and heartbreaking and exhilarating and all of the feels all at the same time.

It's a lot.

There are days when you'll wonder if it's worth it and there are days when you'll feel closer than ever. And while I am SO glad that we are out of that stage of our relationship, I am incredibly thankful for the time we spent getting to know one another and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Any fellow LDR survivors out there? What were your favorite ways to date while apart?