Saturday, December 21, 2013

Go To Christmas Gift Ideas


As the Christmas season is now upon us, the hunt for Christmas gifts has commenced.  I cannot believe there are only a few days until Christmas! I am so loving this time of year. In this post I shall endeavor to help you with gift ideas for people who aren't the easiest to find gifts for.

The first thing that just about everyone loves is, CHOCOLATE! Its a good gift for women but also your dads and such. You could do this with really any candy, just wrap it with a big bow and it makes an enjoyable gift.


Along the lines of food items, tea bags are a thoughtful gift for teachers, moms or any women who love tea as much as we do. There are many Christmas-ey flavors out in the stores right now. One of my family's favorite brand of tea is Stash, it has pleasant flavors that come in many varieties.


The next idea I have is for any girls you know. In my household these items are popular with my 8-year-old sister all the way to my mom. My point with this is that these items are appropriate for almost all ages. Bath and Body Works puts out a variety of products including, perfume, lotion, shower gel, candles and many other products. They have many scents, one of my favorites is Paris Amour. For the holiday season they put out several Christmas scents. For younger girls I suggest Sweet Pea, it is soft and girly.




EOS lip balm is another little stocking stuffer that I highly recommend. They come in many flavors, my favorite flavor is the mint. They feel amazing on your lips. I usually take one of these to speech and debate tournaments and apply it between rounds. It is really a lifesaver when it comes to chapped lips. 



The next gift is for the brothers, uncles and guy friends. They seem to be the hardest to buy for, but between chocolate and the next couple of ideas we should have them covered. Below is a pocketknife I actually got at a cabin near the lake last summer with some girl friends, it is not super fancy but it is practical and serves me well. You can find really nice ones online or at stores such as Bass Pro. It's a nice thoughtful gift that they can use often. I actually inherited my Grandpa's Old Timer pocketknife that he carried in his pocket every day. It is definitely one of my favorite earthly possessions because I know it was something he used often. 




Have a very merry Christmas as you hopefully get to spend time with family! Remember that this season is about The Messiah who came two thousand years ago to be our redeemer. It's all about Christ and His love, this season as we give to others let's keep in mind it was Jesus who gave the ultimate gift!
Merry Christmas! 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Music, Music and More Music

I thought I would take some time to make a post full of songs to share with you that I have enjoyed.  I hope  enjoy it and take time to listen to some of these songs which have each encouraged me or just make me happy. 


This first song has become one of my favorite songs just because of how powerful it is. The message that we can make a difference when we stand up for Christ. When we speak truth it can be a powerful thing.
Proof of Your Love by For King & Country



This next song was written and performed by one of my favorite musicians and biggest role-models, Moriah Peters. 
Bloom by Moriah peters



This next song is from the upcoming The Hobbit the Desolation of Smaug movie which comes out this Friday. They released this one song from the soundtrack early. The guitar fingering in this song is really incredible as well as the voice. 
I See Fire by Ed Sheeran




I am not very familiar with this artist but this song has a really cute bubbly sound that 
makes me happy.
The Show by Lenka 



This song has a really sweet sound and a is a great reminder to look up and see The Lord's beautiful sunshine. I have loved this band since 2007-2008, I used to have all of their lyrics memorized. As I have gotten older a lot of their lyrics have become powerful reminders in my life. I got to meet the girls in the band at WinterJam 2008, they were as sweet as can be and were very encouraging to me even as a much younger girl then. 
Hello Sunshine by Barlowgirl


This next song is an electronic song by a group that one of my friends really got me hooked on. I saw them last year at WinterJam, their songs are encouraging and high-energy. They are good to listen to when you are in a mood to get energetic and pumped up with good lyrics and fun music. 
I Feel So Alive by Capital Kings


This video is an original song by Lindsey Stirling, she is a super talented violinist who puts a fun twist on classical violin. 
Minimal Beat by Lindsey Stirling



I hope you enjoyed listening to some of the music I like. I hope you all have a wonderful day! 
Don't ever forget you are loved and were created for a purpose. 

P.S. Let me know if you like these music posts 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ellie Mae


Ellie, and I agree that today is a sleeting, snowing, homework-doing, hot chocolate-drinking, chillaxing kind of day. 


This post is also a little introduction to Ellie Mae, my four-year-old, long-haired mini dachshund. We adopted her about 3 and a half years ago on a really rainy, cool, spring day.

 On the day we adopted her I had just done a kid-athalon (a mini triathlon for kids) and was once again hit with the fact that I am not a very athletic person. I was a little disappointed at the time. We stopped at Walmart on the way home. As we pulled into the parking lot we saw a little Volkswagen Bug with a cardboard sign stating "Mini Dachshunds for sale". My dad, who a few weeks before had learned he loved our cousins dachshund, decided that we should stop and look at the puppies while my mom went into the store. Just before my mom got out of the car to brave the rain that stood between her and the store my dad, gripping the steering wheel and staring straight forward deep in thought, turned towards her and cooly says "I think the girls and I are going to go look at those puppies". My mom turned and said "You can't just take the girls to look at puppies! If you do that we'll go home with a dog!".  At this statement my heart skipped a beat, I had wanted a dog for years. We stopped, looked, and our hearts melted. My little sister and I liked the little brown girl almost immediately. My mom came out of Walmart and my dad somehow convinced her that she needed to see the puppy. We have now spent the past three years completely loving the little blessing God gave us when He gave us this little fluff ball. 

A few facts you need to know about Ellie
1. She likes chopped veggies, just as well as any other human food.
2. She is a great listener 
3. She doesn't like being wet, or too clean.
4. She really likes cats, as friends, not as food.
5. She is generally scared of tall men but loves them after about 15 minutes of getting to know them.
6. She is really cute... (I couldn't help but put that last one in)



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug




Well, my friends, I got a text earlier saying that our tickets for the midnight premiere of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug have been ordered! I have to say I am immensely looking forward to it. It is the second of The Hobbit films to come out directed by Peter Jackson. Also, it is going to be in 3D! Ahhhh, I can't contain how excited I am.

There are a few new characters that are going to make appearances in this movie who we have yet to see in action.

One is Tauriel, an elvish warrior. In the picture below she is joined by Legolas who is also making an appearance in the next movie. I have heard and read several discussions about her, some are skeptical about the addition of her character, while others are excited at the idea of a new elf.


Another character that will be joining the cast is Beorn, a man who takes the shape of a bear at some times. I am looking forward to seeing his home, which was described as a warm, rustic home with beautiful scenery all around in the book. There have not been many pictures of him released, this is one of the only ones I could find.


The dwarves will be back in all of their glory and humor, to the delight of many fans. I am especially looking forward to the barrel scene (pictured below).


I hope this post satisfied the Hobbit fan inside you, or possibly encouraged you to look into reading the classic book and join the Hobbit fans worldwide in the theaters on December the 13th if you have not discovered a love of The Hobbit yet.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thoughts of a Child of The One True King



I am redeemed. When I committed my life to Christ years ago I stepped into a life of fulfillment, a life full of God's satisfying love. The problem with this is that I am a very emotional girl. I tend to base some of my thoughts and feelings on my emotions. Because of this I can sometimes let myself say, "Where are you God? Can't I just have a hug? Let me feel Your love". That is when He reminds me that He is always with me and He is always loving me. Its in those moments He comes to my side and says, "Can't you see, dear one? I have been here all along. I woke you up this morning. I gave you friends and family to make you smile. I gave you life. More importantly I gave you eternal life. I am here with you. Look up, darling. I am here". Even when life seems rough, He is with me. He is by my side offering me His eternal, loving hand to hold on to. One of my favorite things about Christ is the hope that He offers. Hope. Isn't that just the most amazing word? Hope. Say it again. Hope. The definition of hope is a certain knowledge. Hope isn't just something you wish for, its something you can depend on. That is why our emotions aren't always reliable.  We need to turn to God and trust that He is there. He is our hope. We were all born into a messed up world, we are all sinners. Meaning that we have all done something wrong at one time or another. We all deserve death. Let that sink in, you cannot get to heaven by your own power! In the moment we realize that, we realize that we need hope. We need to turn to a higher power. Christ offered to pay the price for our mistakes. He offered to give us hope. There is no hope without Him. He died on a cross 2,000 years ago and paid the price for our mistakes. In this He said that if we commit our lives to Him, acknowledge that hope is found nowhere else, and receive His love we can step from a life of death to one full of life. This is why I am so thankful for Him, but yet not thankful enough. One day I will die, because of His gift I will be in heaven with Him forever, fully consumed in His glory. All of these thoughts remind me how blessed I am to know God, how blessed I am to have a relationship with Him. People all over the world are in need of hope, in need of the Ultimate Hope. Turn to Christ Jesus. Accept His love. Give your problems to Him. In a speech I am doing this year there is a King who represents Christ, He turns to a little orphan girl, one of the main characters, who longs to be His child and says, "You will be my child, and I will love you just the way you are". To read the whole story read Just The Way You Are by Max Lucado. I hope that in this post you have seen a little glimpse into the hope I have in Christ. 

Have a wonderful day lovelies!





 P.S Don't you just love Fall sweaters?? 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Homemade Bread Recipe

This is a recipe that I got in my cooking class, It turned out wonderfully the first time I made it. The second time I used this recipe I was a little too generous on the flour and made it a bit too dense, although It still tasted wonderful. It's a very easy recipe and doesn't take too long to make.

Light Wheat Bread
(makes 4 small loaves)
1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 white flour
2 pkg. yeast
1/4 C. sugar
3/4 t. salt
2/3 C. milk
2/3 C. water
6 T. butter

In a medium sized bowl, combine all the whole wheat flour and 1/2 C. white flour; mix in yeast, sugar, and salt, stirring well. Heat milk, water, and butter in a small saucepan to 125 degrees. (Your butter may not melt completely.) Make sure liquids are not hotter than this, or it will kill your yeast and your bread wont rise. Mix liquids into flour mixture in bowl with electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula; then beat mixture on high speed for 2 minutes. With a spoon, stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. (Make sure you are mixing it well enough that it is not too sticky but yet you are not putting in too much flour)

Place dough on a floured surface, and kneed about 6-8 minutes. Cover dough and let it "rest" for about 10 minutes. (This will make the dough to shape and roll out later.) While dough is still resting heat over to 200 degrees.

Divide into 4 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece out to a rectangle about 4-inches by 6-inches. Starting at the 4-nch side, roll up tightly; pinch seam to seal. Press ends to seal, and tuck under loaf. Place loaf, seem side down, in a greased mini loaf pan.

Place loaves in a 200 degree for 20 to 30 minutes to allow dough to rise. When dough has risen to double its size, turn temperature up to 350 degrees, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done. Cool on a wire rack. Then.. enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Than a Failure

Failure. 

What a nasty word.  Far too often it seems to plague our thoughts.
It taunts us, makes us feel unworthy. It tells us the lie that we aren't good enough. It tells us we aren't tall enough, small enough, smart enough, that we are inadequate. 

God tells us a different story. He tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We were created in His image. In GOD'S OWN IMAGE, yet we still criticize ourselves. God made you for an invaluable purpose. He created you for a life of giving Him glory, for a life of joy and thanksgiving. 

Today turn to God, conquer the lies society tells you. You are beautiful, intelligent, creative, created in God's own image, and most of all you are worth it.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Words. Thoughts.


pictures. 
memories.
time.
life.
short.
peace.
hope.
Jesus.
Savior.
redemption.
forgiveness.
joy.
love.


Words. One thought leading to another. Sometimes a simple  w o r d  makes and impact. 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall is Here!


Fall is finally here! Or at least it feels like it. Today felt so cool that I could just close my eyes and feel like the new season was here. The cool air embraced me and brought a smile to my face. I don't know about you but the whole idea of a new season gets my heart pumping just a little faster. The realization that God created the world itself to run like clockwork is so amazing to me. Why else would the trees know it is time to let loose their heavy leaves? The Creator of the universe made everything to work so well that it points to Him.

Romans 1:20 says, "Since the creation of the world, God's invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood as what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse."

In other words, nature itself so plainly declares His glory that we are without excuse to not believe that God created the world. There is that word again- created. What does created mean?

Create- To bring something into existence.

God brought the world into existence by the His eternal power! That my friends is exciting!

Have a wonderful day, lovelies.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Thoughts of The Day

As I sit here curled up in our big green chair with my sweet little dachshund, I am savoring the last bit of the day. Because really each day is short and we need to enjoy each day as well as use it wisely. Personally I tend to procrastinate often and I have to dig in and remind myself that I can't put things off. Today is the day. Today is the day we step up. Today is the day we realize that God created us for something more. Today is the day we decide to make an impact in our community. Today is the day that we show someone some love, even if it isn't easy. So today make the choice to make a difference and do what you need to do.

"Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord's work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September is here!


September is here! 

What are your goals for this month? Here is a quote to start this month with-

"You are never to old to set a new goal or to dream a new dream" -C.S Lewis

So today set a new goal, dream a new dream. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Day


Today was one of those days that just makes me feel happy inside. Speech and debate started and I got to see my friends and make new friends. I got home, had a smoothie and emailed one of my friends. Today was just a reminder that its the little things that brighten your day.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fulfilled

Matthew 7:24 says, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock."

When we commit to following Jesus and truly desiring to do as He has commanded us, our lives are more fulfilled.

ful·filled
adjective1.
satisfied or happy because of fully developing one's abilities or character.

When Christ is the center of our lives we have purpose. We have a strong foundation.
This doesn't mean that life as a Christ follower will be easy, but it will be worth it.  It means we can be like Paul and Silas, praising God as they sat in prison. It means we can be like the man in Acts 3 who was lame from birth and was healed in the name of Jesus Christ, we can run, jump and rejoice.

I want to be fulfilled. Do you?





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Revamp Your Charger

Today I revamped my iPhone charger with this cute tape I found at the store earlier.
 

You can find this kind of tape at most craft stores and stores such as Wallmart, Target, ect. 

I put the tape on the charger making it as even as possible and then trimmed the small bit of extra tape on the edge. 
I am quite pleased with the end result ( pictured below) 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sweater Season Is Almost Here!!

People are starting school and cool weather is on its way. At this realization I started thinking about getting to wear sweaters agian. Sweaters are a fun, cozy, and most importantly modest.


They are a good option for a cool, fall day. They can be casual or you can dress them up with cute, classy accessories and cute flats. To do a more casual look wear moccasins or combat style boots. 

One newer trend is animal sweaters and sweatshirts, with a vintage flair such as the one pictured below.


Have a wonderful day lovelies! 




Monday, August 19, 2013

Beautiful Day

Has anyone else noticed what a beautiful day today is? No, I'm not just talking about the weather, I'm talking about what a blessing it is to be living! Each day is beautiful, sometimes a day may feel more rough that others but it is still a blessing to be alive and praising our Creator! 

     (This is a picture of my youngest cat, Violet) 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thinking

I am a thinker. I think about things of little importance as well as things of monumental importance. I think about how annoying some things are, and yet I think about how beautiful other things are. I am an over-thinker, I tend to replay things I said earlier in the day over and over in my head wondering if I said the right thing. I think about simple things, like the life of a leaf and how it flourishes just to fade. I think about complicated things, like growing older and the responsibility that comes with it. Think, think, thinking the night away.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My New Blog..

Hello Sunshines!

   My name is Julia Anne, some of you may know me in real life and some of you may know me as the author of The Beginning of Wisdom blog. I had some technical difficulties with my last blog and thought I would start fresh.  Over the next week or so I may repost some of my favorite posts from my last blog and then start posting new and exciting things as well.

   I will start with telling a bit about myself, I am a Christian believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to receive eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). I have a wonderful family and amazing friends of all ages. I am a homeschooler and have a really great homeschooling community. I am a Speech & Debate kid and am in a homeschool choir. I love, love, love to play the guitar and sing. I enjoy many genres of music including Christian contemporary, classical, electronic, jazz and some bluegrass.

   I am so incredibly excited to start sharing with you and hopefully learning more about you as well.

                        Yours Truly,
                            Julia Anne