North East Adventures: Rhode Island

What I’m Listening to: Sit Next to Me by Foster the People

Hello and welcome to part one of my new series, North East Adventures! The series where I explore the only part of the United States I’ve never really lived in before (Army brat). First up on the list: a road trip that will span Maryland to Maine and back again. Without further ado, lets get started!

Welcome to Rhode Island

Isn’t it breathtaking? Even in the middle of summer the breeze is cool (not exactly the stagnant humidity of the South or the dry desert air of the southwest). I think I could have stood there forever. Still, soon enough, it was time to eat, and, sitting on a glassed-in porch eating fried seafood and the biggest powdered sugar donuts I’d ever seen, I was taking in the view. (what a view)

Walking down to the beach, you can wade in; some people were swimming but if you’re accustomed to 30A temperatures (like me), you might just want to get your feet wet. Isn’t it beautiful? Rhode Island really surprised me in how beach-y it felt, and I know I’ll be coming back soon!

Peace,

Kick

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Happy Easter!

What I’m Listening to: Just What I Needed by The Cars

Happy Easter! (April Fools!) Isn’t this rose pattern pretty? When I saw it I knew it was going to be my Easter dress. There’s something so spring-y about it! Of course I couldn’t not do a statement shoe, but I wanted to look outside the typical white Easter shoes. These 1980’s inspired red patent leather pointed toe heels were exactly what I was looking for. (Try saying that 5 times fast!)

Peace,

KJ

DIY Fancy Easter Baskets

What I’m Listening to: Needles and Pins by The Searchers

Is this really my first DIY post? Well no time to start like the present. If you follow me on Instagram then you knew this post was coming. I’m making two fancy Easter baskets, all with supplies bought at Michael’s craft store. I bought everything on sale, as part of a sales event. For two baskets, here’s what you’ll need.

2 wicker baskets, plain

1 plastic garland with fake flowers (whatever kind strikes your fancy, I went for pink roses with white accents)

2 bags of decorative moss

(You’ll also need a pair of scissors to cut the garland)

The first thing I did was unwrap the moss and fluff it. The moss, much like regular Easter grass, gets flattened by being in the bag, so I pulled it apart to give it some more volume in the basket. Below you can see a comparison of the moss, pre- and post- fluff.

Both of the baskets that I bought were on the small side of what Michael’s carries, small enough that I was able to cut my plastic garland in half to wrap both basket handles. I started with just a basic wrapping technique until I was satisfied with how it looked. I secured both edges of the garland by tucking the ends inside the basket.

Finally, fill that Easter basket with candy!

Ta-da! A truly easy DIY that gives so much pretty character to a simple wicker basket.

Peace!

KJ

Prodigal Progenies

What I’m Listening to: (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding

We are, truly, God’s worst creation. Nothing else on the planet rebels against Him. The trees grow and die as he beckons them to. The animals, the birds and the fish and the mountain lions, all of them obey their innate directions given to them by God. And yet, God loves us most. He put us in charge, He sent His own Son to die for us. Us. His biggest mistake, His worst creation. We reject and rebel against Him at every turn. He should have long ago stripped our responsibilities away, reduced us to nothingness and let something more worthy step into our place. Something more obedient. But He didn’t. He knew we would fail, but He gave us the job anyway. Because we’re not supposed to do it on our own. We are not in charge of the planet; we do not have to rule over ourselves and the other beings. We are apprentices. Servants. The infants that He is raising to be something greater than our genus species. He is shaping us, we are His children and He would never abandon or replace us.

“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.

– 2 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)

Lean on His understanding, for He is teaching us His way, not our way. When you don’t want to, look up at the sky. See the way He paints each cloud, formed each bird, see the care, love and patience.

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

– Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)

He is our Father, our protector who will never fail or abandon us. He trusts us, despite every failing, with a deep and unworthy devotion. He does not limit our responsibilities, He increases them, because He knows He will be right alongside us, to help us take our wobbly first steps on the path He designed. God is not looking for our fear or sacrifices. He does not want the things that our earthly leaders do.

Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.

– Mark 12:17 (NIV)

All He asks is that we don’t try to solve things on our own, that we turn to Him and let Him show us the way. He does not wish to watch us struggle on our own when He can instead help us succeed.

Prayer Prompt: Ask God to show you the way to tackle a struggle or issue you are facing right now, even if you think you know how to solve it. He always has a better way.

Cats on a Dress

What I’m Listening to: Wish I Knew You by The Revivalists

First off, I know. Isn’t it amazing? A timelessly romantic silhouette, ready to sink into the river à la Ophelia but with bold graphic script and photo printed kittens to make it exactly the sort of statement piece I love. This kind of dress needs an equally trendy shoe, so my Ash platforms give me that fashion feel (and the height I love, fight me I like being extra-tall).Peace,

KJ

Hey Nineteen

What I’m Listening to: Take My Love and Run by Bad Suns

And just like that I’m in my last year of being a teenager. Somehow 13 seems like it was both yesterday and a very long time ago, so I guess that evens out to, like, 6 years. Life is weird, but I don’t want this post to just be me pondering the concept of how life seems to move fast and slow at the same time, so let’s talk about my birthday. I went to New Orleans for the weekend and it was a total blast. I went to see live jazz playing on Bourbon Street, ate beignets at Café Du Monde and just generally explored the best of New Orleans. Here’s the greatest hits (yes, I did buy one of those paintings): 

Peace, 

KJ

Mark 11 [Part Two]

What I’m Listening to: God Will by Johnny Cash

I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to talk about into one post, so here is part two to wrap up this mini-series. 

Now, I want to talk about the two stages we see in Mark 11. We talked before about how we have this emotional “downswing” from the jubilation of Palm Sunday. This is because after Jesus is essentially lauded as a king, He makes some judgements, He points out the failures that the Jewish community has. In a way this is a real life parable. 

When we learn of God, it is an awesome day! We celebrate, we cry out with joy. But after that initial happiness comes one of the hardest periods that every Christian faces. When we invite God into our lives, He starts to look around and point out where we need to improve. And in a lot of cases, that can make us angry, make us plot to make Him go away, much like the Pharisees. This is because now that we are being called to make difficult changes and choices we begin to think it might not have been so bad without Him. That’s our sinful, evil nature of course, to seek our old, threadbare comfort rather than letting God guide us to a new, better, eternal comfort. Now, this is most pronounced when we first know God, but we feel this rebellion all the time; in fact I would even go so far as to say most of us believers feel this discomfort almost all the time, we just push it into a corner of our mind so we don’t have to think about it too much. We live most days trying not to think too hard, we look at our Bibles and our religious Facebook posts and we reassure ourselves that that’s what God wants from us. 

Is it? Because I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to go to church and only half-listen for fear they might feel called out or to exchange uncomfortable conversations with God for buying a pun-based Christian shirt. God is not a nanny, our immediate comfort is not His only concern. He cares about our forever, He wants us to spend it with Him. So yes, He is going to push us outside our comfort zone, He is going to point out the sin that clouds our life but He is also going to rebuild us so much better and stronger than we ever were before (if we will just put ourselves aside for literally two minutes). 

So, today, just take a moment to ask God what He actually wants you to do. Don’t shy away when you start to feel uncomfortable, realize you can’t live for yourself and recognize what God’s calling you to do. Don’t face this conversation or the  next steps He’s going to have for you with fear, because He’s right there with you and He is so excited to help you. He literally has the best of intentions for us. 

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

            ~ 2 Corinthians 12:10 (KJV)

Peace, 

Kathleen-June