Monday, August 11, 2014

Path of the Single Girl- Beware of Words

This weekend I spent exploring my new hometown! I truly love this place and there is so much to see and do! I thought I would immerse myself in the Texas culture by going to a local country bar. 

I think I experienced complete culture shock when I entered. It should have been named honky tonk USA. The place was full of cowboy hats, boots, belts, and this really strange dance called the 2 step. 

My roommate and I sat at a table that overlooked the dance floor and people watched for about 2 hours. We watched everyone dance, twirl, spin, dip, etc. I quickly realized I was the only one in the bar without cowgirl boots on and kicked myself for not making it my first purchase in the state of Texas! 

After hours of just watching I was approached by my very first cowboy. I will remember him forever seeing as he was the first actual cowboy to ask me to dance. He taught me how to do the two step and gladly glided me across the dance floor spinning me, twirling me, smiling with his big bright white teeth. He made me feel so special telling me that "he had my back" and "would never let go" (I know I know, I should have realized that was a line from the titanic). Except I was too swept away from this cowboy I couldn't think straight. 

We talked for awhile after the dance, I learned a lot about him and his family. We flirted, we laughed, blah, blah, blah. Until he told me he was going to the bar and grab another drink….thats when I saw him on the dance floor with another girl! Spitting the exact same lines he told me! 

How could I have been so stupid!? I will tell you how, my love language is words of affirmation thats how. Words build me up and they make me feel loved and wanted. What I didn't realize is that actions actually do speak louder than words. How many of us have fallen for the charming lines that men may dish every once and awhile? The "I have your back baby," or "I will never leave." Those things melt our hearts! 

Why? Because thats what we see in society, just a lot of words that build love up and build up people to think they are actually in love. There is just one really important thing that these words are missing, and thats the actions behind them. The best thing about love is that someday some guy will tell me "I've got your back," and "I will never leave," and the difference is he will SHOW me that those words are true.  Very similar to how God SHOWED us that he loved us so much he gave his one and only son to die on the cross for our sins! He didn't just tell us, he showed us! 

So moral of the story: Beware of words that aren't backed up by actions, too many times we are told to believe one thing but never take the time to look at the intentions of those words and how the play out. 

Erica Ashley

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The Rachael Way

Friday, August 8, 2014

5 Friday Favorites

I am linking up with Amanda this Friday with my Five Favorites of the Week!

1) My new home :) I truly love it here and I actually have not been too homesick….yet. I love the weather, then nice people, and the great food! I have to keep reminding myself I am not on vacation and because this food is incredible! 

2) My new room! I posted about creating and designing my bedroom on a budget yesterday, I did the whole thing for under $600! 

3) Football is back! Moving into a state that LOVES football suites me well. I haven't decided if I am going to cheer on the Longhorns or Aggies, but being closer to Texas A&M I am leaning one way ;) 


4) Speaking of football, lets go Tom Brady! I also picked up a Houston Texans shirt so hopefully that number 1 draft pick lives up to the high expectations! 

5) Spending the week with my Mom and Dad. I am so happy they got to see my new home and help me set everything up! We also got to do a little sight seeing! I miss them like crazy but November is right around the corner :) 

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Venus Trapped in Mars

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moving In

I think moving might be the most stressful thing that can happen to an individual! The past three days have been absolutely crazy and packed (hehe get it, packed?) I arrived in Texas sunday night, which if you follow my instagram you can see that it wasn't the most pleasant drive down (if you don't follow it you should because I post super cool pics…kind of.) Anyway Monday morning was finally move in day!! 

I can't believe I finally hold the keys to my very first big girl apartment all paid for by myself! It was so exciting, especially because I have only seen it via FaceTime with my roommate and never in person. 

The only problem is that no one told me unpacking was going to be a pain in the butt, especially when you live on the third floor. Luckily, my Dad, being the superhero he is, hired some moving guys to carry my trailer full of stuff upstairs :) Thanks dad!! 

After getting all my stuff moved in came the not so fun part of moving. The stuff everywhere and you don't know where to begin! I had a minor panic attack which brings me to this very important rule of moving


My mom helped me put each box in each room by the way I labeled the box which made it much easier! 

I also had to decorate this bad boy and make it feel super homey so that when my mom and dad left I wouldn't drown myself in a pile of tears :) This is the finished product! 

I LOVE my new home and I am settling in. ALthough I was a hot mess last night when my mom and dad just left me in the middle of a big city like it was no big deal (just kidding, they cried like babies) I am surprisingly doing very well and I attribute it all to my brand new big girl bed with super cute bedding and the silver glitter sticks next to it, because whose day doesn't getting brighter with glitter.

The best part of my room is that I didn't have to spend a ton of money! I was able to design my whole bedroom for a budget! The headboard/footboard/frame, bedding, tables, decorations, and bookcase cost less than $600 (does not include the actual mattress)

headboard from, bedding from marshals

    Bookcase from Walmart 

Table from Walmart, Lamp from Walmart 

Vase from Homegoods, Sparkle sticks Hobby Lobby, Table Walmart 

Next to come will be the dreaded organization of the bathroom…stay tuned!! 

Any good advice about being away from your family for the first time!? 

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Monday, August 4, 2014

The Drive

I am finally in my new hometown!! Although it hasn't even been 24 hours I am in love! I have never actually live in a city, or even a suburb of a city and when I pulled in to my new apartment I was completely and utterly over stimulated. 


There is SO much to do, to see, to eat, to drink. At first I thought I was on vacation and I felt the need to go eat, drink, and see everything this city had to offer. Then I realized, wait I live here now, I can go do this stuff whenever I want to! 


Although I am lovin Texas and I unpack my apartment later today. I really despised the drive down here for a few reasons:

1) How do people live Arkansas and Illinois. I don't mean this to be a bash on your hometown, I am sure its great! However, staring at endless amounts of soy bean fields and corn fields that went on for miles and miles and miles (8+ hours to be exact) about put me in the loony bin. All I have to say is God bless our farmers and farming families because that gig is no joke! I will never eat another veggie with out giving thanks to the hands who prepared it. 


2) There was nothing to look at. Literally nothing at all. Not a building, rarely did we see a home, it was just us and the open road. I thought I could live out in the country some day but this trip quickly changed my mind. 

Now there were some highlights:

1) Southern Hospitality. These people might be the nicest people I have ever met in my life! After night one of travel we stopped in who knows where in Arkansas and was directed to a local cafe. When we entered the cafe the ENTIRE staff, literally everyone that was in the kitchen and their moms, came out to greet us at the door! (okay maybe not their moms, but it felt like it). 

2) Southern Food. I don't think I have ever had such good Catfish before in my entire life! The food down here is no joke! I had homemade corn bread, catfish, the best roll my body has ever encountered, some green stuff that might have been the best green thing I have ever put in my mouth, and I even tried a frog leg. 

3) Palm Trees. Palm trees make me happy!! I can't help but smile when I see one (which means I will be in a good mood all year round now!) 

Moral of this post: Don't drive 8 hours in corn fields, and if you do go eat at a local cafe and have catfish, you won't regret it! 

Wish me luck unpacking today! 

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Shopping for a New Top

Today is the day I pack up the trailer and tomorrow morning bright and early I hit the road for the great state of Texas! 

1,234 miles is about to separate me from my family and friends :( 

This is probably the most crazy thing I have ever done in my life. Moving for a job, that is over 1,000 miles away, where I don't know 1 single person, in a place I have never even visited. 

Some of you might be reading this thinking this girl is nuts, and sometimes I wonder that too. The cool thing about this experience is that it is a total leap of faith. The ONLY person I have to lean on is God and his faithfulness. Although it is super scary, it is has been the most humbling experience knowing that my faith has no boarders and that I have complete trust in his will for me life :) 

Over the past week I had to say goodbye to some pretty awesome people. I can attest that a lot of tears were shed Wednesday night after going to dinner and hanging out with my best friend Erin. However, the best thing about these friendships is that they will last forever :) Even though I may be 1,234 miles away I know that no matter what we will ALWAYS remain friends and thats a great feeling! 

One of my friends used this analogy to calm my nerves Monday night. He said,

"Think of this as a shopping spree. You have your one green top that you love and have been wearing for years. Sure, its hard to set that green top down because you have so many great memories wearing it. Except you are about to go on a shopping spree and try on a bunch of new tops. You might like the new tops and you might hate them but you know that the green top will always be there for you to put back on. Someday you might go back to only wearing that green top or you might find a new top you LOVE. Regardless the green top will always be there to support you and love you." 

Well here is to my new shopping spree! Although its hard to leave, I am so thankful for my green top and I can't wait to come back and "wear" it again in November :)   photo Signature_zps758aa3db.png

Monday, July 28, 2014

Last Weekend in Michigan

I could not have asked for a better weekend in Michigan! Being my last weekend, I was so happy to spend it at the greatest place in the state Mackinaw Island. 

For those of you who have never heard of this hidden gem, Mackinaw Island is a historic treasure in Michigan. This island has been around since the 1600's and is about 8 miles around. The whole island never operated any vehicles so to get around you have to have horse and buggy. 

The island is home to the Grand Hotel which was built in 90 days! There, we ate a 5 course meal celebrating my grandparents 50 years of marriage!! I can't even imagine being married for that long, so cool I am able to celebrate such a wonderful marriage. 

I felt fancy eating at such a nice establishment :) In order to get in women have to wear a skirt or dress and men a tie and jacket...Ohhh we fancy huh!? 

Not only was this a fun weekend but it was so fun to spend with family. All my cousins were able to make it and we had fun doing as many things the island has to offer as well as taking family photos for my grandparents. 

Hope you all had a great weekend! The countdown is on to 5 days till the big move! Stay tuned for some good packing advice I learned first hand :) 

The Rachael Way

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The last Whoo-rahhh

I had my going away party last night and yes, some tears were shed. I recently posted about how lucky I am to have great friends but I truly mean that. These people are awesome! Anyone who gets to know them will be lucky! 

My biggest fear, which sounds so stupid when I say it out loud, is that I will get replaced. I am so scared I will come back in November for Thanksgiving and everyone will be talking about funny things that I know nothing about, everyone will go do fun things and forget I am even in town, they will have a new best friend and our group of friends no longer has space for me, or worst of all they won't recognize me! (I am being over dramatic about the last one but hey, it might happen). 

So, I hope this going away party was rocking enough that people will look back over their summer and think of me, their bff who now lives in a different state but will be back to visit and they must make time for me :) Here are some photos from the evening :)

As of now I am on the lake kayaking and sipping on coffee (after eating my bagel sandwich) and in a few hours I will be heading to Mackinaw Island for a family vacation. I am jam packing these next few days because I will have time to rest later (21 hours to be exact on the car ride down..eww). 

Also one last announcement! I am partnering up with Tiny Prints! Keep a look out in the fall as I feature my new apartment and classroom with some help from this amazing company!! They have a new line of home decor that I am in LOVE with and I can't wait to decorate the new pad! 

Things I am Loving

I am linking up with the wonderful The Other Juliette and blogging everyday in July (except not really, I am just joining when I can which is okay too :)

Todays topic is Currently reading, writing, listening, thinking, smelling, wishing, hoping, wearing, wanting, loving, and needing.

I am currently reading my favorite blogs! I should be reading about economics and History seeing as I am taking my Texas Teacher Certification Test tomorrow, but instead I am being inspired, learning some fashion tips, and catching up with my friends! 

I am currently writing this blog post. I LOVE to write. Although I mostly am saying some pretty meaningless stuff, I love the idea that I can express myself via writing and words. Its so fun to look back on this blog and see my life take place! 

I am currently listening to "Another One Bites The Dust" lol its on Starbucks radio right now. 

I am thinking how much I have to do before I move! I am emotionally exhausted from wedding dress shopping with both my sisters yesterday (yes, they are getting married a month apart. And yes I completely lost it when they put on their dresses!! I am going to be a big baby the day of the weddings!) However, being exhausted won't keep me from my friends and family. In the next week and half I will be
- going to dinner and drinks with my old teaching staff
- Studying for and Taking my Texas Certification Exam
- Kayaking around the lake with my bff
- Taking one last trip in MI to Mackinaw Island with my extended family
- Throwing a cookout/bon fire going away party with friends and family
- Watching the last Bachelorette as part of my weekly bachelorette date with my bff 
- Going to a fabulous steak house down town Grand Rapids with my grandparents, 
- Oh yea, I should probably pack
- and last but not least hit the road to the great state of Texas

I might sleep in there, I'm not sure! 

I am currently smelling some brewed coffee and breakfast sandwiches at the local Starbucks! Yummm! I love going to this place to study and blog :) 

I am wishing that I will find a church in Houston ASAP and meet some great people! I am such a people person and I am very afraid of feeling lonely. I can't wait to make some new friends! 

I am hoping my test tomorrow night won't be super hard! I have had awful testing experience before, read here. I am hoping this goes much better!

I am wearing a long black Maxi Dress (Thanks Meijer for the $10 gem!) A teal J-Crew Necklace, and some cute black flip flops :)

I am wanting some more coffee! 

I am loving the air conditioning! I shouldn't complain since I am moving into sauna known as the city of Houston. However, its is a HOT day in MI! 

I am needing some more time in my day! 

How about you? What are you Currently reading, writing, listening, thinking, smelling, wishing, hoping, wearing, wanting, loving, and needing?

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friends, Brides, and Dresses

I am currently on the way to wedding dress shopping with my sister!!! Both of my sisters are engaged and are getting married a month apart next summer!! 

I will have more on the engagements later but let's just say with one child moving and two getting married my mother might actually loose her mind! 

Anyway it was my last weekend in Grand Rapids and I spent it with my best friends at a beautiful wedding. This wedding was the most beautiful venue I have ever been too! 

Here is the beautiful bride :) she was looking gorgeous!! 

And some more photos from the wedding :) 

I am going to miss these guys so much! I am not going to lie, I had a slight breakdown when leaving my friends house yesterday at the lake! After spending all weekend with these amazing people and out on the beautiful lake yesterday I realized this was the last weekend I would spend with all these people before I move. 

I know it's not the last time ever, but i can't help but realize that things will be different. I am so blessed to have these people in my life and I wouldn't be able to take this leap of faith with out the love and support from them :) 

The best thing for me to realize is that these friendships are true friendships full of support and love and that they will be able to withstand the distance and support the change in my life! I love these people and I wouldn't able to get through this without them! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Shout Out to my Blog Buddies

I said I wouldn't be on this thing for awhile so I can spend ample amount of time with friends and family before I leave. Until I found myself studying for my State of Texas Certification Exam…which is super boring…so here I am. 

I love finding new blogs, reading blogs, hearing about other peoples lives. It can be inspiring, I can relate to them, or I find them hilarious. All in all the following people make me super happy :) 

 I love this lady! She was my first ever blog friend and has my go to blog. I love the way she writes, the awesome fashion tips she gives, as well as all the great crafty DIY projects. She also designed my blog and is going to give me a good face lift in the next few months! She is hilarious, awesome, my favorite blog buddy. Make sure to check her out :) 

Love, Fun & FootballErin's blog is another must read for me. Titled Love, Fun, and Football (which are all of my favorite things) I just love hearing about her life, tackling her student loans with a special update from Sallie and Perkins, to hearing about her sweet job working for the Cincinnati Bengals! I advertised my blog with Erin before and I loved how she got to know me as a person and the amazing posts she made to get my blog out there! Check her out at Love, Fun and Football! 

I love reading Erin's blog because not only is she a real life friend (as if blog life is fake) but she has so many great ideas and pictures! I love looking at all the photos Erin posts along with the great stories that go along with them. Her life as a newly wed (1 year into marriage), new home, new puppy make her very relatable to so many people. Check out her blog for some good advice, stories, and photos!

Liz @ Fitness BlondieLiz is a must read for me when it comes to fitness, health, and diets. Liz has one of the most amazing and inspirational fitness stories! She motivates me daily with instagram posts to her daily blog posts and link ups. The best thing about Liz is she is very involved with her blog! She will read what you write, respond to your comments, and genuinely want to get to know you :) Check out Liz's blog for some great recipes and inspiration, I promise you won't be upset! 

My Life In High HeelsAmber is such an inspiration! She has just picked up her life and moved across the world! She is an inspiration to me from her strong faith to her ability to express that faith in her blog. She has written many of posts about being single as well as adventure and living life to the fullest! If you want to be inspired check her out, she is AMAZING! 

So these are just a few of my favorite blogs! I have more listed on my Favorites Bar on the right side of my blog :) Who are some of your favorites!? I love finding new blogs! 

Linking up today with the topic my Five Favorites :)