Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blogging for Books Review: Five Years in Heaven

Oh you haven't heard about Blogging for Books yet? Well you are hearing about it now.  If you have a blog you can read and review books you actually want to read for free!  Sign me up and that I did.

The first book I have reviewed is Five Years in Heaven by John Schlimn.  I was intrigued with its quick tag line "What is heaven on earth? The answer lies in this true story of one young man's journey to find hope and purpose with the help of an unlikely teacher--a compassionate and wise old nun, whom the world had long-forgotten."  Spiritual memoirs you get me every time.   There is just something great about a story that reads like fiction but has faith weaved through it.

The stories of John visiting the pottery shop, chatting with Sister Augustine about life and faith, promoting her work and admiring her pottery kept me reading the book.  Was it the best book I have ever read, no. Is it worth a read, yes. Although sometimes the writing can get long and drawn out it doesn't take away from the story but fluffs it up.  And I have to say, I want a Gussie's Special for myself.  With these summer days long and hot this book is a great book to enjoy while relaxing the days away.

*I received this book for free from blogging for books in order to review.  
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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Some Questions

The lovely Jen @ Jumping in Puddles recently introduced me to the podcast Building Bridges associated with the Blessed is She movement. First off, check it out.  If you are a podcast lover like me this is one you want to add to your playlist.  Just two ladies talking about faith, family, and being a lady.  In their first episode, they asked each other some questions and I thought to myself 'I should answer those on my bloggity'.  I may not have gotten them all but I got a handful.  If you would like, answer along too and please share your link in the comments so that I can make sure I check it out.

1.  What is one thing you would want to do over?

This one is really hard because I think the all the twists and turns in my life have molded me to be who I am-the great, the bad, and the ugly.  However, two things that come to mind that really go hand in hand is first, college taking 5 rather than 4 years and second, the debt I incurred in college.  Although I would be in a very different situation today were it not for the amount of student loans I have which would be awesome I also fully recognize the way it is molding me.   First off, I think that I was supposed to be at Franciscan for 5 years for whatever reason that I may never understand.  Second,  I would not be as organized financially or frugal would it not be for my need to be and my determination to pay off my loans quickly.   So while I get annoyed I also realize the ways it all has blessed me.

2.  What thrills you?

I don't know if thrills is the right word but I come alive when I am spending quality time with good, holy people.  Sitting out on the deck until the fireflies come out engaging in awesome conversation and I will be floating on cloud 9 for days.

3.  What in your life do you turn your noise up?

Night shift.  Lets not talk about it.

4.  What do you do for work?

I need to do another day in the life but I am a labor and delivery nurse.  This involves taking care of women in labor, pushing with women, attending deliveries, and taking care of mom and baby during the 2ish hour recovery period following delivery and any repair that takes place.  If I went into details about all this there would probably be some gagging mixed with the expected awws.

5.  What was the hardest Church teaching to accept?

I vividly remember a time in high school were I just naively thought I wouldn't follow the Church's teaching for sex and family planning.  Oh how little I knew about the wisdom in God's plan for families.  Now I realize the brilliance and truth the Church has to teach and the freedom that comes in God's plan.  I think now the hardest thing is often trust in His plan for my life and that if he provides for the birds of the fields how too he will provide for me, his beloved daughter.

Any random questions you want to throw at me?  Comment below.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Creating a Home

This is something I have been wanting to write about for a long time.  This blog has sort of evolved from a mismatch of pinterest and outfits to really focusing in on the things that affect young single Catholic ladies and I am not complaining.  It is this beautiful challenging time that involves alot of transitions, unknowns, decisions, and joys.  One such thing is choosing how and where to live.

Without going into too much detail I moved to Pittsburgh last October with a job, a one bedroom apartment and a roommate.  Since then I have moved into a four bedroom house, gained another roommate and gotten two other job offers but still have the same job...for now.  One thing that has become very important, especially since moving is cultivating a home.

So often creating a home goes hand in hand with hubby and a litter of children, but why can't us single gals also talk about cultivating a home of love and joy?

I have tried to be purposeful, despite large ever present loan payments, to create a home with pieces and spaces that I love, and I hope my roommates love it just as much as I do.  Arranging furniture to be warm and inviting, adding pieces that inspire joy, religious articles that point back to Him, plants that bring a breath of fresh air, and a flow that just works.  It is by no means perfect but a home is an ever evolving space with things, people, ideas, hopes, dreams, and sometimes even failings flowing through it.
Cozy corners. 
Much of the furniture in our home has come from thrift stores, hand me downs, and trash day but somehow all comes together as if we choose them out of a magazine. Just a few weeks ago one of my roommates and I were discussing how much we disliked our kitchen chairs and would love if we could change them.  Wouldn't you know that not three days later on trash day there were three nearly perfect condition chairs that were just sitting in the trash on the curb.  I like to think that the Lord also wanted us to have a beautiful home that worked with our budget.

We recently had our home blessed and hosted the priest for dinner even more emphasizing that the definition of a home doesn't necessarily include a traditional nuclear family but also can include three single ladies striving for sainthood and their vocation.

I have seen it all over instagram (@avcrawford and @ymgal13 I am looking at you) this creating of beautiful living spaces but I say to all of you ladies keep on creating.  Create homes you love living in. 

A sink overflowing with dishes normally means a night laughing and chatting with friends.

Nothing better than a summer evening on the patio.
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Answer Me This

1. How long have you lived in your current home?

Since this past Palm Sunday.  It may seem weird that I know the exact day but it isn't so weird when it was a significant liturgical day.  And we have been loving it every minute since that day. 

2. How do you find out about news and current events?

So I wish I could sound like an educated person and say the Pittsburgh Post Gazette,, or Fox News but to be honest whatever I catch on the radio during my 10 minute commute or what is significant enough for people to talk about it.  Or to be super duper embarrassingly honest-Facebook. There I said it.  Sometimes I learn about significant world events because people feel the need to write a status about said event or post a link.  

3. Would you be able to make change for a twenty right now? For a dollar?

Uhm fat chance.  Don't tell Dave Ramsey I said that.  

4. What's the craziest food you've ever eaten?

I think alligator.  My family was at Gator Land in Florida and I thought their chicken nuggets were called Gator nuggets just to be cute.  Nope they were alligator meat.  

5. Which of the commonly removed parts have you had removed? (tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, etc.)

I had my wisdom teeth removed in high school and I pretty much don't remember the whole day, that is how out of it I was.  Doctors would probably have suggested I get my tonsils out when I used to have tonsillitis a few times a year but I always went to urgent cares or the university clinic conveniently so that my PCP didn't pick up on just how often I was getting it.
6. What's your favorite sport to watch on TV? 

In general, I don't have enough focus to watch sports but if I had to I would say Olympic figure skating, swimming, diving, or gymnastics or basketball.  But I am from Cleveland and basketball is a sensitive subject right now #allin #clevelandpride

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Night Shift Survival

If you look at the glass half empty, half of my schedule is night shifts.  Glass half full, ONLY half of my shifts are at night.  As I round out the end of my two weeks of night shifts, this glass is defiantly half empty.

This really bothers me.  I don't want to survive half of my life, I want to thrive in all my life.

First, I am going to attempt to fix this by changing my attitude.  Giving up on the attitude of survival and trying to embrace the attitude of thriving.

Second, I want to create a night shift routine.  When I am awake during normal hours aka the daylight, I have a routine.  I read scripture, I eat three meals, I have a bedtime routine, I just function better.  Well if half my life is spent working nights I have to have a night shift routine too.  I have to find a time that I open scripture.  I need to eat healthy food.  I need to thrive when I work night shift.

Now I know that I know something about doing night shift.  My tips to anyone else trying to thrive with night shift is try different things to see what works for you and don't expect them to always work.  Sometimes the night before I work I stay up as late as possible so that I can sleep in as late as possible.  Other days I don't sleep much at night so that I can take a good nap.  That however is a risky move because if I can't nap I haven't slept much before I go into work.  Above all, believe in Benedryl.  If you work two days in a row and it is bright, sunny, and hot outside take a half a Benedryl and you will sleep the whole day through.  Benedryl and I are best friends when I work nights.

Any other night shifters out there?  Anyone else switch between nights and days?  What are your tips and drinks?  Love a night shifter desperate for help.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Here I am sitting in my favorite New York apartment with one my my best friends.  The cool breeze is blowing through the hanging on the wall, blankets are strewn about from a weekend of friends and laughter, the corners are in a desperate need of dusting and the taste of the delicious New York bagel is still fresh in my mind.  I am here and trying to be still for a moment to just be.

Being still long enough to realize the adventure the Lord is already taking me on rather than worried that I am not on all the adventure I could be on.  

Being thankful for the friendships that contain intense prayer and soul deep laughter.  

Closing my eyes to never forget the wedding of a dear friend with heartfelt for life vows, stuffed shrimp, on the water views, genuine smiles and the excitement of real authentic life and love.  

Struggling to be content waiting for the one the Lord wants for me.  The one to dance with, share with, dream with and kiss under the stars with.  

The Lord says be still and know that I am God and we read it over and over again yet how often do we purposely stop and be.  Be still.  Be reflective.  Be prayerful.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quick Just Because Not So Serious Takes

Things on the blog lately have been a little serious so I wanted to slap up here a few lighter things jumping around in this brain of mine.

1. I know you have all been on the edge of your seat wondering but I have picked up some running again now that the temps aren't frigid and the risk of slipping has subsided.  I am doing couch to 5k again but this time to get quicker.  So rather than just running during the intervals I run fast during the intervals. Before you know it I will be winning marathons I am sure.  Hardy har.

B.  Because 2 would be too serious.  Sunshine is the name and tanning is the game.  Ahh somehow every article of clothing looks a little bit better with a glow of the skin.  Remind me of this when I get skin cancer in 30 years.

C.   So I have one of those longer in the front and shorter in the back hair cuts right now with the back hitting just about at the bottom of my neck and the front 3-4 fingerbreaths below my shoulders.  My bangs have grown out to this stragely stage and I just can't decide what I want to do about any of it.  Most indecisive person am I.

4.  In less than a month I begin the first of six weddings this year.  'Tis the young and Catholic season of life.

E.  Coffee.  Because every post needs a coffee shout out.  Why is it so good?  Honestly that first sip in the morning is probably my favorite part of the day.  Shallow, maybe.  Honest, yes.

6.  We have lived in this house for almost two months and I am going to pretend like I am completely unpacked because pretending is better than reality.

G. Ok I had to throw one serious one in there.  Are you ever terrified that you are not actually doing the Lord's will no matter how hard you are trying.  Obviously I need some prayers.

VIII.  Don't you love when you return more than you buy?!  Returned two of the dresses I bought to try on for the weddings and only picked up a handful of things like socks, drying mats, and capris.

9.  Who wants to see another essential oil post?  With the pollen a swirling I am relying on my trusty lavender and cedarwood to help my throat not hurt the whole day long.

10.  Who knew how enjoyable gardening is?  Not I.  However I broke down and bought mulch because I am already sick of wedding it is not even June yet.  Now to buy a watering can...

Join along and add your quick just because not so serious takes so that we can read them.  There are no rules to this link up except to add thy link below.