Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Ok Thursdays ~ Addictions and Crushes

It's ok that I'm totally craving a GIANT coca cola right now!  I am supposed to NOT be drinking sodas but I'm really craving one right now and I'm thinking about hopping in the car and driving to McDonalds for one.....

It's ok that I've turned into a night owl.  I used to be a granny and go to bed at 9 or 10ish but my granny days have been non-existent lately and I've turned into a night owl. 

It's ok that I'm still feeling cruddy after a week of being sick.....ugh, ready for this congestion to leave me alone!

It's ok that Daisy is snoring right now.  My dog is cuter than your dog. 

It's ok that thanks to being sick over and over again in my new surroundings of Lubock, Texas....I am now ddicted to Mentholatum.

It's ok that I've developed a cute little crush on this children's author from New York.

Check him out at his work is amazing!  Clever guy!

It's ok that I'm totally digging being with the parentals all of the time now, never thought I would say that but it's been really nice being back home and with momma every day!  I know, I know.....grow up Crystal! HEHE

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday ~ Photography, Family, and Happiness

I am loving that I'm getting more photography clients!  I'm so excited for my business to grow!

I am loving being home and having home cooked meals made by Momma almost every night! 

I am loving the new season of life I am entering in.... so much to be excited about!  SO MUCH! Eeeee..... happiness happiness happiness!!!!!

I am loving the experience of watching God work so much out in my life!  It really has been amazing to see all He is doing for me and in me!  He's so amazing!  GOD IS SO GOOD!!! Thank you Jesus!

I am loving that I get to have lunch with two very special Godly women tomorrow!  Fellowship with amazing Godly women is always a fun time!!! 

I am loving working on these two beautiful people's portraits! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crystal's Rosemary-Infused Watermelon Lemonade


* 2 cups water
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
* 2 cups lemon juice
* 12 cups cubed seeded watermelon
* 8 cups ice cubes


1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in the rosemary, and set aside to steep for 1 hour.
2. Place half of the lemon juice, and half of the watermelon into a blender. Strain the rosemary syrup through a mesh strainer into the blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Strain into a pitcher, then puree the remaining lemon juice and watermelon. Stir the lemonade before serving over ice.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Valentine's Day Photo Contest

Sunday Social ~ Family, Love, and God

It’s Sunday and y’all know what that means- Sunday Social!
What is your ideal way to relax?

Even though I have never been to the beach....I am assuming it is super relaxing and super beautiful, so that is my "ideal" way to relax.....someday, someday, someday... 

My general way of relaxing is my booty in front of the tube watching reality shows all day! Don't judge....

Where is your favorite place to be?

My favorite place to be is Seattle! I LOVE that place!  So much to do and the atmosphere is sooooo laid back!  I'm pretty sure I was meant to live there....

Who do you consider your biggest role model?

My biggest role models are these three lovely ladies!!! My Mommy in the pink, my Great Aunt (Sister Celine), and my Aunt Ofelia!  My Mom and my Aunt Ofelia lost their dad when my Aunt was a baby and when my Mom was still in my grandmother's belly.  These three women are amazing women who have endured hardship yet remain amazing!  My Aunt Sister Celine is the most amazing woman I have ever come into contact with.  Every time I am around her I feel so blessed and at peace.  I am blessed to just have her in my life, much less share the same blood as this woman!  LOVE HER and I miss her so much and can't wait to see her again! 

What does your life look like in 3 years?

Hopefully married to an amazing man of God with either a baby or one on the way and a successful photography business.

If you could go back and change one decision what would it be?

Not allowing God to take over my life sooner than what I did.  However, I did learn lots of valuable lessons and He has certainly used them for His plan either way!

What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?

I would say handing over my life to Christ and I mean FULLY handing it over to Him.  For the longest time I rode the fence but the day I made the choice to quit drinking and partying and to fully give Him ALL of me, that was the BEST day of my life!!!!!!  I owe that decision to these group of friends!  They each contributed to my growth with Him in one way or another and I'm SO THANKFUL to have been blessed with such amazing people!!!!!!! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Letters

I normally do High Five Friday but today, I decided to link up with this pretty lady for Friday Letters!   Check out her blog, it's inspiring and she's a beautiful person inside and out!

Dear Candy Crush, I would really appreciate it if you would stop being so addicting.  I find myself wasting too much time playing every free second I get.  I even play while I'm falling asleep and doze off while playing every single night, this can't be good!

I need to Lollipop Hammer this addiction AWAY!!!!!
Dear Sickness, I'm really tired of you coming around and visiting me!  I don't like you....period. 
Dear Motivation, can you please come back to me.....I haven't been very motivated lately. 
Dear Weather, can you please stay nice and pretty?  Pweeeeeeeaaaasssseeeee.... Thank you!
Dear Dr. Pepper, you are yummy and make life tasty! Winning!

The End Will Be Amazing!!

“My ears had heard of You before but now my eyes have seen You.”  Job 42:5

I have often been told that during suffering, is when we experience God’s love the most.  For the longest time, I agreed but didn’t really understand this.  I had faith in it but I wasn’t quit sure if my time would come where I would truly realize this as truth.  Yesterday afternoon I spent a couple of hours with the Lord.  As I was praising Him for all that He has blessed me with, I realized that over the last few years, I have changed and grown so much!  I immediately started to thank Him because at that very moment, I had realized that my suffering over the last few years had given me so much faith and love in Him.  Everything about me has changed gradually over the years and all I can do is fall to my knees in thanksgiving and praise Him.  My lifestyle is different, my desires are different, my approach on life and situations is different,  my relationships are different, my outlooks are different….I could go on and on with all that God has changed in me.  In my storms, I saw Him and I clung on to Him and He restored me and changed me!

“Come near to God, and God will come near to you.  You sinners, clean sin out of your lives.  You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure.”  James 4:8

This scripture has always hit home to me, for years that verse ALWAYS stood out to me.  For many years I lived life on the fence.  I loved God with all of my heart but my lifestyle did not reflect that.  I partied and would get drunk and would go to Church on Sunday and would walk away from service KNOWING that I needed to change.  I knew I needed to totally give my life over to the Lord and stop living my “Christian life” with just one foot in the door.  I knew I was not being fulfilled this way.  Every time I would try and do this, the enemy would lurk his head into my business and play his games.  Whether it was a group of friends inviting me out to the new bar or making a new friend who had to go out with me so we could get to know one another or meeting a new hot guy who would invite me out to the hottest club in town; somehow, he would get me.  Whatever the situation, I would give in.  Satan knew my weaknesses and boy did he use them!  So, I would find myself back in the same pattern….partying, guilt, Church, guilt….I allowed Satan to run so much of my life. 

“The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.”  Proverbs 25:11

Thank God for Godly family and friends in my life.  During my times of riding the fence, I would always find myself randomly opening up a text or an email from one of my Christian family members or friends with an encouraging word.  Whether it was a scripture, quote, or prayer; those spoken words at the right time encouraged me to get stronger daily!  Over the years I have slowly changed my lifestyle and who I am as a woman of God and I could not be happier!  Am I perfect, not by a LONG shot!!!  Will I stumble or make mistakes in the future, why I am sure I will but I have Him and He guides me and changes me from the inside out on a daily basis!!!! 

“I didn’t have a good start but I’m gonna have a good finish!”  Joyce Meyer

The moment we accept Christ into our lives, we accept His amazing plan for our lives!  We accept that He has something better in store for us than what the world can give us.  We accept His grace, mercy, and love.   We accept that He has a perfect will for our lives and all we have to do is ask and follow Him!  There was a time in my life that I did not think I was worthy of Him or His goodness let alone any blessings from Him.  Christ died on the cross for these gifts!  Take them and love them and appreciate them!  Stand in awe of His love for YOU and see how He will change your life!!!! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's Ok Thursdays ~ Mariah, Tattoos, and Church

It's ok that Nicki Minaj totally gets on my nerves as a judge on American Idol.  I actually have always liked her but.....Mariah's my girl so....whatevs.... over it.

It's ok that my dog is gaining weight....oh wait, so am I.  Work out and diet, starting..... ugh, who knows when.  My momma feeds me TOO WELL!

It's ok that I'm totally loving life right now but at the same time missing everything about North West Arkansas.  It's a very weird feeling but I guess being near the fam makes it happy happy joyful times!

It's ok that I suddenly think a man with tattoos is sexy.... I've never thought they were until recently....

It's ok that I'm torn between two different Church homes. I know I should make a decision soon but it's SO HARD when I LOVE both of these congregations!  They are two totally different styles of preaching but I LOVE them both!  So prayers please, I'm ready to make one of them my Church home! 

It's ok that I'm ready and excited for the WEEKEND!!!!!  LIFE IS AMAZING!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday ~ Smiling, Mommy/Daughter Time, and HOME

I'm loving that today was an AMAZING day!!!

I'm loving that I was hired to be in a commercial.....I got to get paid for smiling, that was fun! 

I'm loving that I get to have mommy/daughter time by watching my favorite movie with my momma

it was filled with lots of my momma!
I'm loving living back home!  I miss my NWA friends like crazy but I must admit that it has definitely been nice to be home with my family! 
I'm loving that Valentine's is right around the corner.  I LOVE me some LOVE BUG DAY!!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crystal's Chocolate Pudding Cake


* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2/3 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup milk
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/4 cups hot water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In an 8x8 inch square pan, stir together the flour, white sugar, 1/4 cup of cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add milk and oil, mix well. Sprinkle brown sugar, remaining cocoa and chocolate chips over the mixture. Add the vanilla to the hot water, then pour the water over the top.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the surface appears dry. Serve warm with a spoon or at room temperature

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans ~ Girl's Night, Parentals Night, and Work oh my!

Thank you Ty Ty for the Weekend Update Link Up!!!! 

My weekend was rather laid back!  Friday night, we had a girl's board game night with these beautiful ladies!

Sat, I hung out with the parentals and watched movies.

Yesterday, I mosied on over to Margo's and watched the Casey Anthony movie and Catfish.  It was a rather interesting movie..... I won't comment on it because I need to be nice.  I am not the judge and jury nor am I God, however, I will just say that it's very heartbreaking! 

I also worked and edited sweet pics of this sweet boy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Social ~ All About 3s

Top 3 Favorite Kinds of Food:

2) a juicy steak
3) anything chocolate 

First 3 Things you do in the morning: Bible Study, walk Daisy, check email

Last 3 Things you do at night: Brush teeth, check email, Bible Study

3 TV shows you NEVER miss: The Bachelor, America's Next Top Model, and Forensic Files

3 Places you want to visit: the beach (never been, I know.....I'm deprived), New York City, Italy

3 People you can always count on: Besides the obvious family and boyfriend:

These three girls.... DUH! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crystal's Bread In A Bag


* 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
* 3 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise yeast
* 1 cup warm water
* 3 tablespoons non-fat dry milk
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


1. In a large resealable freezer bag, combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and warm water. Squeeze most of the air out of the bag, and seal. Squish with your hands until the well blended. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, or until bubbles appear.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour, dry milk, oil and salt. Pour into the resealable bag and squeeze out most of the air. Seal, and squish until well blended. Add the last cup of flour to the bag, and continue mixing in the same manner until well blended.
3. Remove the dough from the bag, and place on a floured surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Form into a small loaf, and place in a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise for about 30 minutes, or until your finger leaves an impression when you poke the top of the loaf gently.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5. Bake the bread for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's Ok Thursday ~ Cute Stuff And Such

It's ok that I have the cutest dog in the world!  My dog is totally cuter than your dog!!!!!!

It's ok that I totally loved Wreck It Ralph.....yes, I'm a 9 year-old-child trapped in a 34 year-old's body!   I'm pretty sure I fell in love with Venelope! 

It's also ok that I totally called my friend Chris after watching this movie and repeated everything he said to see how long it would take for me to annoy him....didn't take long. :)  LOVE YOU CHRIS!

 It's ok that I'm totally digging the Justin Bieber song "As Long As You Love Me".  I be jammin'....

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A New Year Brings New Smiles

So, I haven't yet written about my 2012.  Since I have been blogging, I have always made it a point to write about the year.  However, this year, I was hesitant.  I suppose I did not want to be "negative" and was trying really hard to just stay away from it all together.  2012 was not my favorite by any means.  It was a year filled with lots of not so pleasant experiences BUT it was definitely a year of GROWTH and for that, I am so thankful! 

The year was definitely a year of ups and downs.  To just give you an idea of how my year was.... at the beginning of the year, I watched a first cousin take his last breath and at the end of the year, I watched my best friend give birth to Andrew.  Literally, I watched somebody leave this earth and literally watched a baby enter into this world.  Both of these experiences impacted and changed me!  I really have no desire to discuss the in betweens of the year.  Bottom line is that the year's changes have brought me back home with my family in Texas and it has been a GREAT thing!  I'm super excited to see what 2013 brings! 

I was able to bring in the new year with my best friends and her kiddos and that was a WONDERFUL way to start the year!  I'm totally blessed with such great family and friends!!!!!  LIFE IS SOOOO GOOD!  GOD IS AMAZING!  BRING ON 2013!!! WOOT WOOT!

Friday, January 11, 2013

High Five For Friday ~ Momma's Encouragement and Lots Of Preciousness

High Five Number One:

I spent a lot of time with Momma this week!  We had a pleasant week filled with Bible study and her motivating me to follow my photography dream to the next level.  She gave me so much encouragement this week and really reignited the fire in me for my business.  Needed that!  THANK YOU MOMMA!

High Five Number Two:

I have four opportunities for four different missions trips this summer.  I need prayer on where God wants me to serve.  Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Kenya...... all are wonderful opportunities with wonderful groups!  I just need direction on where HE wants me!

High Five Number Three:

Daisy is cute!

High Five Number Four:
I love my new Antonio Melani boots that I finally got to wear today!  I'm in love.....oh why do I love shoes so much....

High Five Number Five:
This morning was a neat one because Regina and I got to check out the KAMC Weather lab with Matt Posgai. 

Isn't she cute? I love my cousin!

and isn't he precious?? I kinda have a crush on him....shhhhh....don't tell anybody.

Gina and I learned some neat things and it was really cool!

Glad it's Friday and now it's time for a very busy weekend of photography jobs! WOOT WOOT!!!! Hope you all have an amazing weekend!