Friday, December 21, 2012

And the Winner is.....

The winner of my Nutella giveaway is.... *drumroll* Lydia Albano! Congrats, girl!

You should have received an email with more instructions! Please respond by tomorrow morning or I will pick a different winner! :) 

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Moment of Silence

Due to the tragic shooting that has taken place in Connecticut, my regularly scheduled post, Friday Favorites, will resume next week. Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm Nutella You Something! {A Giveaway}

{Summer 2012}

"What is it again?"
"Nutella. It's a hazelnut spread with chocolate. You want to try some?"

And in that moment, I knew I had tasted a little bit of heaven. {Figuratively, that is.}

I was in love.

Fast forward from the Summer to December 9th, 2012. My small group is playing Dirty Santa and it's my friend's turn. She eyes the Starbucks gift card in my possession and motions for me to hand the card over to her. I reluctantly trade my newly acquired Starbucks card for 53 oz. of Nutella. Yes, you heard me correctly. 53 ounces.

That's 3 POUNDS of Nutella. 

I literally had no idea what to do with this much Nutella.

"I could feed a starving village in Guatemala/Africa/Thailand with this amount of chocolate-y goodness."

"I could make the most divine, heavenly fudge on the face of this earth."

"I could sit in my closet and eat it all one night and in the morning wake up with a sugar hangover."

What on earth was I to do?

Then, on Monday, I realized I could give it one of y'all. I had been wanting to have a giveaway since November and what better thing to giveaway then a great, big jar of Nutella?

So, dear blog readers, here is my gift to you this Christmas season. One big jar of Nutella and a $15 Starbucks gift card. {I decided to throw in a little something extra. It is Christmas after all. You're welcome! ;) }

So, you want it? Here's how to enter...
{Note: You can enter up to SEVEN times! Please leave a SEPARATE comment for EACH ENTRY.}

How to enter:

1} Comment on this post telling me if you have tried Nutella before OR telling me your favorite holiday drink from Starbucks. {Please leave your email address too in that comment.}

2} Tweet, blog, or Facebook about the giveaway. Leave a comment with a link to the tweet, blog post, or  FB post.

3} Follow my blog. {Click the "Join the Site" button on the side bar and comment and let me know.}

4} Follow me on Pinterest. {Comment and let me know}

5} Follow me on Instagram. {Comment and let me know}

Rules {aka the fine print}:
      You must live in the United States.
      You must provide a valid email address.
      You must leave a comment for each entry.

Giveaway closes next Thursday (12/20/12) at 11:59PM CST. Winners will be announced the following day.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
 and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; 
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned."
Isaiah 43:2


Friday, December 7, 2012

¡Friday Favorites! {One Direction Edition}

{sorry for posting this incredibly late! I'll have next week's up in a timely manner!} 

I lied.
Last week I said I would list my favorite Christmas stuff, but I decided to feature my favorite covers of One Direction songs instead. You'll have to forgive me. :) I'm pretty sure you'll like them though...

So, without further ado, here they are in no particular order....

1) What Makes You Beautiful Cover by The Piano Guys.


Isn't this amazing? Honestly, I totally geek out over this version because of the pianist within me.

What do y'all think of it?

2) What Makes You Beautiful/One Thing/Gotta Be You cover by Anthem Lights

All of my favorite One Direction songs, from their first album, arranged so nicely together! *sigh*

3) Live While We're Young by The Warblers {from Glee}

I love acapella music so much!

{In fact, until this year, NBC had a show called The Sing-Off where acapella groups competed against each other for a recording contract. There were some amazing groups; I was completely blown away at some of the songs they sang.}

Anyway, before I stopped watching Glee, the show created a group called The Warblers that were, (guess what??), acapella. They even have a whole album featuring all the songs the group has sung. I recently discovered their cover of this One Direction song!

4) They Don't Know About Us by We Struck Lucky.

I really love this one mainly for the piano part. It is SO pretty.

5) Little Things by District 3 die for. Love this so much. I know it's like the original but... :)

So, what do you think of the covers? Love them or leave them? Let me know in the comments! :)

Oh, and y'all get a bonus this week....

As I was searching for covers, I ran across this little video.... #1DB? Maybe...

Alright y'all, it's late and this old girl needs some sleep.  I'll see you next week with my Christmas favorites... ;)

{Shout out to Kjia Z. for #3, 4, and 5! 
Thanks so much girl!}

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

¡Friday Favorites! {Edition 2}

I'm back with my favorites from this week!

Here they are in no particular order...

1) The hilarious conversation I had on twitter when I asked people for song suggestions for a slideshow I was creating for the XC Team. Here's a few of them....

Chariots of Fire
Call Me Maybe
Gangnam Style
Run by Snow Patrol
I'll Make a Man Out of You from the Mulan Soundtrack {I ended up including this one because it was an "order" from the "Team Captain."}

2) Meekakitty's vlog on Depression and Panic Attacks.

I like Tessa as a vlogger on YouTube probably because she reminds me SO much of my friend, Becca J. This video really helped me understand what one of my close friends is going through currently. I would encourage you to watch it as it gives a good perspective on what goes on during a Panic/Anxiety Attack.


This site lists free ebooks everyday that you can download to your computer! How cool is that?!

4) Dez's exit interview from The Voice. {Yes, my friends, he was voted off. :( But, I'm pretty sure he'll be out soon with an album!}

5) Lastly, this HILARIOUS video about the SEC and the BCS Championship!

Well, I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back next week sharing my Christmas favorites! :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving {2012 Edition}

So, last week was Thanksgiving and a short break. I arrived back home on Saturday evening and thus began a stress filled three {tiring} days. Now, I'm finally posting about this national holiday a week later. *sigh* {Better late than never, right?}

Anyway, my family and I decided to head to Nashville with some extremely close family friends of ours for Thanksgiving. We totally ditched our blood-related family to spend time with people who we like to call our "adopted family." We have known them for 13 {long} years! {And considering we have spent the last two Thanksgiving's together, why not celebrate it again with them this year?!}

Of course, traveling on Thanksgiving meant that the only place open was Cracker Barrel.

Thank you Cracker Barrel for the delicious, traditional holiday meal. And the biscuits. {which I totally took as a snack for the road. =O}

That night, both families enjoyed the delicious food {including the cheesecake} at the Cascades restaurant in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

{in case you were wondering, it was totally worth the calories!}

And yes, I took individual photos with all three of my siblings! :) 

I am so grateful for all of them! 

We also stopped by Greece to visit the Parthenon. ;) 

And, I scored some fancy new boots {via Black Friday} which I wore to the Grand Ole Opry!

Oh, did I mention LSU played Arkansas the day after Thanksgiving? A tense game right there...

My Arkansas friend and I were going back and forth the entire game...Both of us did not expect it to be *that* close!

His score prediction: "45-10 lsu :) haha.."

His final thoughts on the game: "Dang that was close..."

Yeah, we pretty much had the same expectations at the beginning of the game and the same reactions at the end of the game. I ended up downloading the ESPN App and watching it right there in the restaurant. Yeah, I take my college football seriously.

{And this is the part of the post where y'all say a prayer for my future husband. Because, honestly, he's marrying a crazy college football wife. Bless him.}

Also, if you're unfamiliar with the LSU/ARK rivalry, you can read more about it here. It's insane. But, not as crazy as Alabama/Auburn. ;)

So, that was my Thanksgiving weekend. How was your's?

Friday, November 23, 2012

¡Friday Favorites!

So, I thought I would start a feature on my blog every friday listing my top five favorites from my life.

{How does that sound? =O}

Here they are in no particular order...

1) Flash Mob for Freedom

This was an event created by a local organization here in Birmingham, The Wellhouse. They are a 24/7 shelter for girls who are in the sex trafficking industry. They have rescued over 50 girls since opening in January 2011! {Praise the LORD!} Please watch this video and share it with your friends!

{Their goal is 60, 000 views, but I think we can do more than that!} Spread the Word!

2) Dez Duron

Yes, I've been captivated not only by this guy's charming looks, but also his voice! Not to mention, he's from my hometown! Crazy, right?  I love the twist he's put to the songs he has performed on The Voice this season.

Here are a couple of my favorite performances, so far...
{That's right, ladies and gentleman, this man was voted into the Top 8! Go Dez!}

It should also be noted, that he has a heart for Christ. He openly talked about God and how God directs our steps during one of his Ustream chats. He even quoted Romans 8:28! {Bonus points, anyone?}

3) Left-Handed Toons. This site is so crazy yet extremely hilarious. Well, only if you get this type of humor. My friends and I have been going back and forth all week, posting different cartoons to each other's wall.

Here's a current favorite of mine:

4) Ellen Degeneres. This video made me cry. Also, this is the sole reason I watch the show. I love these segments too much! *brb crying*

5) Last but not least, I discovered a new blog! {Yay, go me! Not really, lol}

Touch of Serendipity

Y'all, this girl is so precious! And she and her husband make one of the THE cutest couples, too! Better yet, I know her sister-in-law, her husband's sister. So, we're like almost friends. ;) Click on the link above and show her some love!


Well, that ends this weeks Friday Favorites! I'll be back next week with more of my favorite things! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's just take a minute...

...and admire one of my favorite things:


Dear Future Husband, 

You will rock a bowtie. 

Your Future Wife 

{all photos from

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Leave of Absence

Hey y'all.

Thought I'd left you?

No, I just took some time away from this blog.

I kinda needed it + school was killing me.

I also realized that Starbucks came out with their holiday drinks yesterday and I knew I just HAD to update y'all with my life. Brace yourselves, it's a long post. You might want to grab some coffee due to the length of this update. I'll wait. Go ahead, you know you want some! 

 Are you ready, now? 

Well, at the beginning of August I had the privilege of attending TeenPact Congress.

 {all of us in the FL House}

 {new friends, old friends}


{THE Southern Belle}

{the last night}

Despite having streph throat the whole week, I still had an awesome time. I grew in my relationship with Christ, meet some amazing people, and put my photography skills to work!

Speaking of my photography, I've put it on the back burner for now. Aside from events, I'm not really doing much with it these days. BUT, I did *ahem* work on my modeling skills with Allison Lewis. Y'all can click here and check them out. :) Below is my favorite one from the entire shoot!

Back to August....

I came back from Congress and jumped right into "life." Since then, I have grown closer to Jesus, my small group, and Starbucks.

I'm pretty sure if Starbucks was a guy, we'd be married by now. Not kidding.

Dear Future Husband, I promise to be loyal to you like I have been with Starbucks. 
And then some. 

My online English class through the University of Alabama has been treacherous. I'm pretty sure the only thing saving me is my mom's willingness to help with my paper writing. I think I owe her some chocolate. And coffee.

Fast forward to the end of September.....

After much prayer, I decided to attend another TeenPact event, Endeavor. Yes, I did blog about it, but not in that much detail. I had resurfaced for *just* a bit.

 {my room. oh, the irony}


 {my favorite person}

{tea at the ritz carlton}

{all dressed up}

{on the way home}

I did have a wonderful time with my awesome roommate, Julia, and all the other girls! I so enjoyed talking with the moms and learning from them, too. I also dressed up for a fancy dinner one night. And, I took tons of pictures because, well, ummm, I don't get dressed up that much.

At the end of October, I took my last ACT. Of course, getting up in the wee hours of the morning probably didn't help with my score.

yeah.....*no comment*

Moving on.....

I have recently found my current favorite verse.

This is so applicable to my life right now. I need to remember to have my time in the Word everyday so  that I can be filled with the Spirit and have the truths from His Word fresh in me. This will allow me to shine with His glory so that all people will see Him!

I also have a new favorite song.


I'm longing for that day when I can finally see my Savior face to face.

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
 Revelation 21:3&4

"They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever."
Revelation 22:4&5

So, that's how life has been treating me lately.
What about you? 
How has life treated YOU? 

Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Teenpact Endeavor 2012


Laughter :: Bunco :: Talks with Mrs. Shanks :: Laughing about Kaleigh's bear that sins :: Healing :: Forgiveness :: Grace :: New Food :: Addy {said in a Michigan accent} :: Coffeehouse :: Tea {bags} from the Ritz Carlton :: Rendezvous :: Julia :: Oatmeal Squares :: Mary Kathryn's monologues :: "snappin' snappin' snappin' my heart.....and sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, sometimes" :: MK and Lauren's 7 minute long song :: Phantom of the Opera :: Eating lunch with Mrs. Cocks :: Teaching from the Moms :: Mrs. Moore's devotion :: Relaxation :: Meaningful talks :: Caroline :: Finding somebody who is passionate about the same thing as me :: Adventurous Beauty :: Jello Twister :: Extremely cold water :: Jumping in the pool :: Worship :: Brenn :: Reciting Proverbs 31.10-31 :: Reuniting with friends :: Having Julia as my roommate :: Dressing up :: My earring falling down two flights of stairs :: Gratitude :: Mrs. Lydia Martin :: Hearing Adoption stories :: The ride from the airport :: "I'M NOT LEBANESE" :: Cargo and Margo :: Killing bugs in Kentucky :: Lauren :: Scaring Mary Kathryn :: Bonjour on the porch :: Dahlias :: Laughing my head off in Mississippi :: Four course dinner :: The intern girls displaying servant leadership :: Trying to scare Lauren and Julia :: Shooting clay pigeons {skeet} :: Shelby :: The obstacle course :: The Wall which brought us closer together :: SharaLee :: Walking with a book on my head :: Breakfast tea :: Delaine's talk :: Identifying idols in my life :: Shelby and her spiritual parallels :: Bonjour :: Talking with the workers at the Ritz Carlton :: Katelyn :: Tears :: Courageous Femininity :: Tidbits :: Changing a flat tire :: The Alphabet Game ::

(Pictures coming soon!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tears of Change

{This is part 2 of how I became pro-life. Part 1}

It all started with a book called Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. I began praying that the LORD would show me what hard thing He wanted me to do something about during my teen years. Well, He brought to mind two things - one of those being abortion.

"Okay, I can do something about that. I'm pro-life, right?" 

[Laughs] Little did I know.... :)

So, I simply went to their website and started looking at different links to different pro-life groups. I don't remember how many I clicked on before settling on I came across this video which so happened to be shot not 30 minutes from where I live. You can watch it below.

Then, I came across and just glanced at it; took note of a few things.

Fast forward to a couple of months later and I watch a video of an ultrasound of a little girl. Within ten seconds, I'm weeping. That little girl was moving inside of her mommy. There was life inside of her. She wasn't a clump of cells or a blob of tissue. 

Shortly after that, I read the book Gianna which tells the story of an abortion survivor, Gianna Jessen. Y'all, I cried while reading the first chapter. {Seriously, go pick up a copy today and read it. You'll cry, I promise.}

Well, lets just say, one thing led to another and I became an advocate for the unborn! I started wearing T-shirts, voiced my opinion on the matter, followed several organizations on Twitter, liked some on Facebook, and supported pro-life films.

But, I still wasn't that convinced. My brain continued to go back and forth between pro-choice and pro-life. Its like it couldn't make a decision. Until, one night in October....

{Part 3 to follow soon}

Thursday, August 23, 2012

80% Fear, 20% Flawed

{Since I don't have ENG 101 for a few more days, I decided to blog and count it as "school".}

"This is a story all about how my life turned flip side upside down..." {don't you just love The Prince of Bel-Air. =o}

Anyway, my life has taken a turn in the past few years and I'm not just talking about Jesus here. :)

My story is weird and true. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is obscure primarily because of the circumstances.

I was raised (and still am) in a Christian home with wonderful, loving, God-honoring parents. They have and continue to teach me all that I know - give or take a few things. My parents taught me about God, how Jesus can save me from my sin, etcetera. They have guided me along the path teaching me to recognize false teaching, to not believe everything you hear, and the consequences of lying, cheating, and disobeying. My Mom and my Dad also taught me to serve, love, and care about people.

Growing up, I talked with my Mom about certain things but never any moral issues like homosexuality,  same-sex marrriage, birth control, and abortion.  It wasn't that I didn't want to talk about it, I just didn't have that much interest in those issues. But, if I did have a question, I would go to the internet (or a book) first and then follow up with my parents if I wanted more answers. That is, when I started having access to a computer on a regular basis.

I got my first email address when I was 11 almost 12. I only emailed 4 people with three of those being members of my family - Mom, Dad, and my Aunt. I only had one friend at the time who I corresponded with electronically. I maybe got on the computer once or twice a day and only went to "mom-approved" sites like and No.Big.Deal, right? Wrong. You see, I had to go through a homepage to get to my email. So, I would always look at the headlines which led to me clicking on one or two articles every now and then.

And that is when I first learned about abortion.

I don't remember quite how I was informed about it, per say. I think I clicked on maybe one or two news articles when they were featuring something about the issue or I probably saw one or two news casts on TV about the subject of Women's Choice/Reproductive Rights. I started to believe what I was hearing/reading and that is when I become scared.

"What if I get pregnant?" 
"What if I get pregnant and don't want the baby right now?" 
"My body is not ready for a baby just yet. This might be a good solution just in case." 

Those questions and concerns swirled around in my head for days on end.

The enemy had used one of my weaknesses to his advantage - Fear.

I then, made up my mind to start supporting the inhumane act of abortion. Even if I didn't fully believe in it.

Every day I talked to myself, repeated this phrase over and over again.

"Abortion is okay in the first trimester because its not a baby then. It becomes a baby after 12 weeks." 

I also repeated these other phrases to remind myself I wasn't totally for it.

"I don't believe in partial-birth abortion because it is for sure a baby then."
"Yes, a woman should have her choice in what she does for her body. But, I don't think she should have an abortion after 12 weeks." 

So, for two whole years, this is what I did. I didn't bother to talk it over with my parents or anyone else for that matter. I just simply believed that it was okay. In fact, I actually thought I was pro-life. Weird, huh?

You're probably thinking, "How could Christian parents allow this to happen to their child?" "Why weren't they watching her every move?" "Surely, they're not doing their job as parents." "I would have monitored her more if I were her parents."

The thing is, no one knew I supported it. I kept that belief to myself.

But, you have to understand something, God is sovereign. Meaning, He knew about this all along and when to "interrupt" my view and change my beliefs. And....

He did it all in his perfect timing.

{Part 2 coming soon}

Thursday, August 2, 2012

17. *Blinks* 18.


*picks mouth up off the floor*

This is crazy.
This is insane.
This is wild.

But, at the same time, this is true.

I'm now an "adult."

I no longer have a limit on how many people can be in my car at one time. (Meaning I can fit as many people as it i'll hold, not just two!)

I can vote now with the fate of the country resting on my shoulders. (No pressure. ;) )

I can become a truck driver. (According to my friend, Ruth.)

I can be tried as an adult in a court of law. ("Don't do anything stupid, Giann." - Wise words from Nanny. :)  )

It's all scary but at the same time exciting! (I mean, seriously, this TeenPacter can actually vote now! :) )

These past few weeks have been kinda surreal. I don't think it has settled in yet that I'm 18.

Anyway, I had a lovely birthday.

I made a cookie in a cup,

watched TV,

gave cupcakes to my kids,

ate at my favorite restaurant, had Steel City Pops for the first time, and enjoyed time with my family.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Listening and Reflecting

Well, New York was amazing, incredible, life-changing, unforgettable, etc. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll be back soon. very soon. [smile]

The memories that I will never forget.....

  • Teaching someone who didn't know a lick of English.

  • Seeing my teammate help a little boy.
  • Ministering to people through my henna tattoo

  • Praying with a lady from Europe outside a restaurant
  • Running through the streets of New York City after the fireworks show.
  • Having a passionate conversation about the state of our country with Kelly, Chris, Mark, and Gabe.
  • Eating Chipotle for the first time! yum! 

  • Going to Rainbow Bakery.
  • Grand Central Station 

  • Ordering almost the exact same thing at Starbucks. 

  • Crying/Hurting on behalf of the people in the Hindu/Sikh temples we visited. 
  • Hurting for the millions of lost souls in New York City
  • Praying for my brothers-in-Christ purity as we walked around Times Square
  • Riding the subway 
  • Falling asleep on the subway
{photo credit: Mrs. Julia T.}
  • Finding out I'm not alone in a particular struggle I'm dealing with currently.
  • Reuniting with Jojo
  • Meeting Donielle, Ben, Will, Gabe, Kristen, Kelly, Mrs. Camille, Adam, Erin, and Shannon.
  • The bromance between Mark and Chris

  • Mark using his belt as a leash
  • Hyper active asian girl named "Grace". 

  • My little 8 year old ESL student
  • Vlogging with Crystan and Abby
  • Eating McDonalds for the first time in YEARS.

  • Trying a strange Indian dish
  • Watching an intense game of checkers in the airport
  • Going to bed late and waking up early
  • Metting a little girl who had henna done
  • Tiffany's

  • Reading the Word/Praying in the early morning
  • Eating poptarts for breakfast
  • Trying a Gyro from a street cart. 

  • The LORD giving me 2 Cor. 3-4:6 as the theme for the week
  • The gospel presentation Mr. Mark shared on the last day
  • Listening to the kids guess my age
  • Watching a New York Sunset. 

I'll continue to add more as I remember them.... :) 

Sorry for the low quality of my pictures! Jessa (My DSLR) couldn't fit in my suitcase! :(