I’m still alive, I promise.

I am SO SORRY. I have been MIA for practically a month. Preparing for finals on top of work and multiple other things are just killing me (but that’s life, so I don’t really have an excuse do I?) But I promise I’ll be back with more posts coming your way in the next week. I have so much to catch up on! One of those things being nominated for a liebster award (to be honest I had no idea what this was and had to look it up). But that will be the first thing I do after finals!

Another thing I have really neglected is posting about my #100happydayscb on my blog. I’ve been keeping up with it on insta but clearly not on here. So I just wanted to share yesterday’s post with all of you. With all that’s going on, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed. So yesterday, I chose joy 🙂

 

“where your treasure is your heart will be also” // reflection

“Jesus said “where your treasure is your heart will be also.”  Don’t let your treasures determine where your heart is, let your heart determine where your treasures are.  Some of you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goal, I appreciate and respect that.  My desire here is not to attack your dreams but to challenge the ‘undecided’ 18-year old to think about the decisions that they are making today and how they could affect their future before they sign that big note that chains them up for 30 years.”

Is college worth it? (Link to article)

This is a section from a post called “Is college worth it?” from the blog brettshoemaker.wordpress.com. I cannot describe how true this statement is and how deeply I can relate. Coming from a broke college student who is paying her own way through school, this is so important. When it was time to apply to schools, I only applied to three schools in Tennessee because I was determined to live out my dream of going down south (specifically to TN). I found my dream school, looked at the tuition, and convinced myself I could make it work. And it did work out (thanks God!). But come end of July after my freshman year (2 weeks before I was to go back for sophomore year) I realized I could afford another year at my school, but I wouldn’t be able to afford any school (or anything else for that matter) after that. Long story short, after a weekend of tears and prayers, and a semester off, I’m now commuting to a state school, have a $34,000 loan to pay back (plus all those other small unsubsidized/subsidized loans), and 3 more years of tuition and fees to pay until I can graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Life is rough.

But the good news is that this is what was supposed to happen. It is all apart of God’s plan, and I can say I’m very grateful for the one year I got in TN. I am still sad and disappointed, and sometimes I dwell on it a little too much, reminiscing and or comparing my life now to my friends’ lives who are still there. I’m not loving where I am in life right now, but hey, God’s on my side, leading me down the path He has chosen. So what’s there to worry about?

I will say this: I do not regret taking out that loan. The relationships, the experiences, the lessons were all worth it. But I was so focused on the present and wanting so bad to move far away and experience something different, that I didn’t take the time to look at the big picture. And when I prayed about it, it was more willing God to let it work out than asking if this was the right thing for me.

Overall, I’m happy with the experiences I had. I’m just not thrilled about my bills. But, who is?

{Pin of the Day}

I found this pin and had to share because 1) I think it’s a very important topic and 2) it has some great ideas!

 

How to keep your faith in college by Virginia Macias

Keeping up with your faith is extremely important, especially when you are in college where the world is being thrown at you in all different directions. I can say that I have no idea where I would be right now if it weren’t for my relationship with God. This article offers great ideas for making time for growth and devotion. I especially like the Pinterest board idea 😉 Definitely check it out!

#100happydayscb {day one}

100 Happy Days.

Everyday goes by so fast, and people are so oblivious to life around them. 100 Happy Days is a challenge to help find the little things in life that make you happy. Take a picture each day of something that makes you happy, for 100 days. I’ll be posting here, as well as my Instagram account (@theclarissab). Ultimately, at the end I will be more aware of what makes me happier, making me a more optimistic person 🙂

I decided to accept this challenge because I’m at a point in my life where I’m just not happy. I’m not where I want to be physically, emotionally, geographically, socially. 2013 was a hard year as I had to make the decision to not return to my dream school in Nashville. I spent pretty much my entire childhood dreaming about moving to Nashville. I had this strange obsession with Tennessee; I only applied to colleges in the state! But alas, it was not God’s will for me to stay in Nashville, at least for the time being. I got my one year living away at school which I am incredibly grateful for. But this transition into living at home, being a commuter, and having all my friends at schools far away is really hard. I’m trying to turn these feelings over to God, but it is very, very hard. I can, however, say that after I made the decision to not return, I’ve only cried about it once (this decision was made last summer). Regardless, I think that this challenge on top of devotion, prayer, and worship will help me reach a happier place and have a better outlook on life. I know God has a plan for my life and that I need to be patient and see how He works, so this is just something to do while I wait.  🙂

Join me in the challenge! I’ll be using this hashtag for all my photos (#100happydayscb). Check out their website for a full description at:

http://100happydays.com

I’d love to follow along so comment with your hashtags if you sign up, or are already doing it!

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100happydays(1)

Today is March 1st, 2014 & the first day of my challenge.

I want to start it off by posting a picture of my journal (purchased at Target). This is more of a prayer journal, where I write down favorite bible verses or when my devotional for the morning really speaks to me. I’ll occasionally write about different events that happen or how I’m feeling, but it’s ultimately dedicated to the growth of my relationship with God. I started this journal during my semester off last fall and I’m really happy I did. I think it’s brought me closer to God and is helping me understand the Word and pay closer attention to what it has to say. It’s basically an outlet for me to write down what’s relevant in my life at the current moment. It definitely makes me happy when I open it up to reread verses and write down new ones.

Room Makeover {Roselande & I Edition}

My family is currently in the process of adopting a sassy, fun – loving 15 year old girl from Haiti, named Roselande. We started the process back in November of 2010, and are now coming up on 3.5 years. Haitian adoptions take EXTRA long unfortunately, but it’s all in God’s timing, and we are in the home stretch thankfully.

I am one of three – I have two brothers, so naturally I’ve had my own room growing up. But now that I have a sister coming, I’ll be making room for her. My older brother has the biggest bedroom out of the three of us kids, so we made the decision to switch bedrooms; Richard, my older brother, moved into my bedroom, and Roselande and I will have his bigger bedroom. I have so many ideas for what I want to do (I love nothing more than a clean slate!), that I thought I’d share the before and after, and all the little projects in between. Like I said, I have A LOT of ideas, so I’m very excited to share them and can’t wait to see the finished project myself! As of now, there’s nothing to share but once we get the ball rolling, I’ll be sure to post. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Roselande and I together in 2012, which was the last time I was in Haiti. I’m beyond excited to have her home, which HOPEFULLY will be within the next few months.

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Be sure to check back for updates 🙂

Black Friday Traditions + Haul 2013

Black Friday Haul

Black Friday aka my favorite shopping day of the year. It’s a day when you can shop all hours of the day, get incredible deals, and the crazies come out. But it’s more the experience than anything else.

Every Thanksgiving, I spend the night at my aunt and uncle’s house. We cut coupons while watching Elf and plan out our shopping trip. I’ve been doing Black Friday with them for the past 8 to 10 years. When I was younger, we would get up around 4am or 5am and shop throughout the day. The past couple years the tradition has changed up a little bit. For example, two years ago the outlets opened at 12am. So we decided to try them out. Needless to say, after waiting an hour in traffic half a mile away from the exit and shifting through the HUGE crowd, I will NOT be doing that again. But afterwards we went straight through the night, stopping by different stores on our way back only going home for a quick nap before heading out again. The next year (last year) we decided to go see the new Twilight movie at 10pm, and since it ended at 12am, we just went straight to shopping! I think last year was the best year gift wise for me. I basically got all my shopping done in one night!

This year to be honest I was a little disappointed. The sales just weren’t as good as years past (although, I can’t argue with American Eagle and Old Navy – 50% off entire purchase was great)! Also, I personally reserve Black Friday for my Christmas shopping, picking up a few items for myself as I go along. This year, I bought more stuff for myself than I did gifts (oops!). I did go out the Sunday after and pretty much finished off my Christmas list then which made me a happy girl 🙂

So without further ado, here’s a detailed list of some of the items I picked up, not including gifts (for obvious reasons) :

{Riding Boots} Payless $25

I had to throw away my riding boots last Spring and had yet to find another pair I liked as much until I found these gems! I originally bought them about a month ago when they were on sale for $50 at Payless. But after one day of wear, the threading on the sides started to come undone. I felt for $50 (originally $60), I could definitely find a better quality boot. But, on Black Friday, they were on sale for $30 PLUS I had a 20% off coupon. Considering I hadn’t found another pair I loved, for $25? Totally worth it. 

{Sweater} Old Navy $13

Love a basic crew neck sweater. Perfect for layering! Wish I had bought more colors though, a girl can never have too many sweaters!

{Statement Necklace} Old Navy $10

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect floral statement necklace. I absolutely love this type of necklace. It’s trendy, yes, but oh so cute! I know many people say, “Don’t follow trends, just be yourself” but hey, if you like a certain trend, then go right on ahead and rock it! They definitely add a little pizazz to any outfit, and who doesn’t love a little pizazz?

Statement Necklace

{Candle} Bath & Bodyworks $11

I’ve heard wonderful things about B&BW candles, so I figured I’d try one out. It was very hard to pick out my favorite scent. I loved so many! They had a sale going where you buy 2 for $22, so my aunt and I each got one for $11. I decided to go with Sparkling Icicles. It’s not so Christmasy that I can’t light it after Christmas, but still perfect for the holidays. I definitely recommend checking out their selection!

Sparkling Icicles

{Tank Top} Old Navy $5

This was just a steal. Plain and simple.

Tank Top

{Movies} Target $4 – $10

Target is hands down my favorite place to go on Black Friday. Mostly because of movies and everything else is just an added bonus. Now some of you may be thinking, dvds? Who buys those anymore when we have Netflix, iCloud, etc? But I have good ole dvd case that I put my movies in and bring to my best friend’s house when we do movie nights. Call me old fashion but I like having the physically dvds. But seriously guys, Target has awesome movie deals ranging from $4 to $6 and TV Series for $10! I picked up Vampire Diaries (Favorite TV Show!!!) Season four for $10, and Silver linings Playbook, Pitch Perfect, This Means War, and Warm Bodies.

So there you have it. Even though I’m a little disappointed about how I wasn’t as successful in years past, I’m pretty excited about the deals I got for myself and the few Christmas gifts I bought too. But you can get good deals the entire Black Friday weekend – I just like the idea of shopping in the middle of the night 🙂

One last note – I want to mention that as much as I love shopping and the holiday season, it’s very easy to get caught up in the commercial aspect of this time of year. Thanksgiving is always rushed (some malls opened at 8pm on Thanksgiving this year! I mean what?!) Thanksgiving is the time for family, food, and reminding ourselves of all that we have and should be grateful for. And as for Christmas, it’s the time of year we celebrate Christ’s birth. Stores may play O Come all Ye Faithful and First Noel on their speakers but the true meaning of CHRISTmas is overlooked by many.

“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2 : 10 – 12

Very important that we remember and acknowledge this. Merry Christmas!

Be sure to check back for other Holiday posts coming this month 🙂