Friday, October 30, 2009

living out the gospel

this week i had the tremendous opportunity to partner through our {church} with the mission of {feed my starving children}. i hadn't heard of this organization before they presented it at southland but i am blown away by their heart for the lord & kids & by there huge mission to "feed god's starving children, hungry in body & spirit." they are a non-profit christian organization that sends nutritious food to over 60 countries in the world to little ones who need it most. they had a watch a video about the kids who would be receiving these life saving meals & it was so difficult to watch BUT so eye-opening.

i say i'm "starving" after a few hours without food. these tiny children are going days or even a week without a real meal. they eat dirt so their stomachs think they are full. gosh, they have to be taken care of! in 'crazy love' chan talks about how many people question god saying: how can god let little children starve? chan says god has more right to ask us that same question. how true is that!? he has given us the means to feed the entire world and yet so many go without.
i feel convicted. how could i be so selfish? out of sight, out of mind? the lord calls us to take care of the poor and the hungry. check out {isaiah 58:5-11}. i don't want to be the lip-service 'follower.' i desire to be the latter - the person who genuinely gives with all they've got: gives to the poor, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked & frees the oppressed - oh how god would be glorified if christians lived like that - if we really lived out the gospel!? my hope would be that the lord would grow my heart to be more like his & that he would help me step out in action, even when it is uncomfortable.

to add to this awesome experience i got to do it with my h.s. biblestudy girls. it was a joy to serve with them. they got to see a taste of what other kids lives are like. what a way to humble us & show us our rightful place of thanksgiving & service. together {with about 600 other volunteers} on our 1.5 hour shift we packaged meals. they package small bags of food that contain 6 1-cup meals in each bag. They are made up of rice, soy. chicken flavoring w/ vitamins & vegetables. they are very adamant about their commitment to excellence which i really admired. they wanted each child to have the most clean & nutritious meal they possibly could. so we strapped on our hair nets {yes, every single person} & poured on the hand sanitizer & had a very efficient & clean operation. in that hour & a half we packaged over 141,000+ meals. they said that was enough to feed 380-some children a meal a day for an entire year. these packages cost $0.17 a piece to make. think of how many kids i could feed with the cost of a chipotle burrito - 39, i could feed 39 starving kids a meal. 'feed my starving children' hopes so send out 93 million meals this year alone. wow!

i looked up some really startling & heart-breaking statistics from {this site} like...

--1.02 billion people across the world are hungry.

--EVERYDAY, almost 16,000 children die from hunger related causes --> one child every 5 seconds

i hope thinking about the unloved that god treasures so deeply would spur us on to 'love & good deeds.' remember:

"the king will reply, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." matthew 25:40
.let's go live out the gospel.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

lament my ailment(s)

sometimes i don't know what is acceptable blog material & what is not. but it is my blog & the majority of the people reading are friends & family or bloggers that will keep with me no matter what direction my topics tumble. so here is a non-decorating, non-house-related, non-adventure related post. read at your own risk...i won't sneeze on you.

welp i caved in and went to the dreaded doctor. i hate going to the doctor's office {no offense to any of you doctor's out there in blogland} i just hate it. i put it off until death is knocking at my door. but since i had a list of symptoms as long as my arm i thought i should head in.

anyway...nothing drastic happened i got some antibiotics for one ailment & i made an appointment with a specialist for another. that part kind of scared me. ok, really scared me but now i'm feeling much more at peace about the idea. i know that whether they find something serious or nothing at all that i am in the powerful & protecting hands of my good god. in addition i have a fantastic husband that always takes care of me when i'm sick & a wonderful family who blesses me daily - i don't have a whole heck of a lot to fear.

prayers welcome for good health & good doctors. and don't forget to praise our great lord for all the amazing ways he is constantly at work. he is so good.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

planes, trains & automobiles

i have so much left to see!

i tried not to highlight any states that i've only driven or flown through, instead only states that i've actually spent time in. i've only been to 44% of our great states, not even half! the west & the north east aren't getting any love from me. geesh, how disappointing! i have so much adventuring left to do...and this is only the U.S.!

.world here i come.
of the states i haven't ventured to what would you reccommend??
maybe it will be my next vacay.

make your own map {here} & i saw this fancy gadget on jenny's blog {here
.now some adventure quotes for your enjoyment.
let me start this off right...
"the cool thing about being famous is traveling. i have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada & stuff"
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

not really about travel but too good to not share:

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes." -- Jack Handey

i found these quotes {here} & {here}

to be wrapped up.

i've had this image tucked away on my desktop {& my head} for weeks now. i don't know what about it i like SO much...but i sure do like. i love all the light pouring in those three bay windows. they have barely there window treatments that don't take anything away from the space. i love the pops of color in the pillows, i like the throw, the comfy floor pillows, the small book shelf litered with treasures and the three prong candle holder. it looks comfortable & lived in & SIMPLE. it's even kid friendly, note the little bears on the window seat. OH...and i really love the idea of a window seat & this particular window seat. i've been wanting to put a bench under the window in our bedroom, does that count? this looks like the perfect place to curl up & read a good classic. or my 'real simple.'
hope you are having a great day & that you have a space where you feel cozy & relaxed {at least at some point today}. what makes you feel most 'at home'?

{apartment therapy by frances weiss}

Monday, October 26, 2009

.come away with me.

as promised, here is our girl's weekend getaway recap. if you know me at all you know that i 1. love my friends 2. love road trips 3. love visits 4. love the combo of #1, #2 & #3. visiting little shan shan was definitely one of the highlights of my year. i can't wait to go back & visit again. as i predicted before the car ride down was a funfest. ryan adam's has a song called 'my sweet carolina' that we probably should have listened to this song all the way down to easley, sc but instead we listened 'river of dreams' by billy joel. holly sometimes like to call it 'field of dreams' like the kevin cosner movie. we also hit about every other billy hit out there.

here we are in the car. there's jenna & holly. i made jenna laugh on purpose for this one. she's a giggler.
rach drivin' us down!

me SO pumped {as if you couldn't tell}.

also as predicted we did get a little lost on our way down - but only ONCE - and we feel that it was a legitimate confusion. who knew that we should follow signs to atlanta instead of greenville when we were GOING to greenville. legit? yes. not to mention that south carolina has now been coined the darkest state in the U.S. by our car. not a street light in sight. pitch black with tiny street signs = lost kentucky girls. but we prevail! we made it! the trip back home was a little less fun for me. i got super sick & even had to ralph in a walgreen's bathroom. ew.

the drive both ways was absolutely beautiful. all the leaves were changing throughout the mountains. i don't think that words or apparently a picture can really capture it {at least not at 70 mph}

we got to shan's apartment around 10 pm or so. we got to see her super precious place for the first time & made a mickie d's run & just caught up. it was fantastic. that night we stayed up later than i had in a while & i loved every minute of it.

the next morning we got up early-ish as to not waste our day away. we got cleaned up & headed out for some good ol' bo-berry biscuits from bojangles. we don't have a bojangles so this was a special treat for us girlies. i got one bo-berry & one cinnamon. :)then off to shop. my #5 on my list is that we love to shop. not just buy things but look around.... and sometimes buy things. we found a new store that might be our downfall. it turns out that we have one here in ky just an hour away. we had no idea what a little treasure 'world market' is. i think we may be obsessed with their unique & INEXPENSIVE housewares. i wanna go back!

no these are not all my bags. its all of our bags. we got lots of pretties for our homes. i'm sure i'll be showing you mine very soon.we also stopped in some vintage stores, outdoor stores, boutiques, tea shop, a dog barkery and more.

here's shan in her gorgeous jean boots. made of actual jeans. eek.this sign was on the window outside the shop. sad.
we also had some nature time. we went to the reddy river in downtown greenville {i think}. it was so pretty and we had the most perfect weather for being outside. not too hot, not too cold, breezy & sunny.

we had to make a friend bridge to get from the side to the waterfall and back. i thought one of us was definitely going down but we all made it - safe & dry.asking strangers to take pictures is kind of awkward. BUT the bench pic is my favorite of the trip so i'm glad i waited & waited for a sweet mom to take the shot.saturday evening we went out to 'trio' to celebrate shan & my birthday's. i ate a yummy calzone, laughed & talked with my besties. it was glorious.i am so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends & i am continually encouraged by their hearts & lives - they are such faithful women of the lord. i hope that you have people like that in your life as well. the lord has blessed us with much!

hooray for friends, adventures & celebration

that's amore monday <3

what you all have been waiting for - a little treat on the worst day of the week. that's amore monday. this past weekend we ventured to south carolina, it was wonderful on top of wonderful on top of wonderful. a glorious trip that i plan on sharing with you VERY soon {like tomorrow}.

today for that's amore monday i honor sensational decorating books. while on my carolina holiday we stayed at my dear friend shannon's new apartment. on her coffee table was a gem that was just waiting for me to drool over {not literally; shannon i didn't spit on your book}. as most of you probably know our beloved domino magazine is no longer being published, to the distress of many. shan said "as soon as i heard they were closing i went right out & grabbed the book." how wise is she?! the book is 'Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy.' it is chalked full of gorgeous rooms, fabric, layouts, wallpaper, lighting & the list goes on & on. its a hardback book & it is a masterpiece. i want it! i need it! it is a great resource & a creative inspiration. it's going on my christmas list fo sho. mom(s) did you see that?

if you haven't checked it out yet i highly recommend it. here is a pic for your viewing pleasure.

other books that i have NOT had the pleasure of sneaking a peek at but would like to...if you have read either please do share your thoughts.
happy monday. happy reading. happy decorating. happy drooling.
that is that's amore monday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

could i be more excited? no!

i am counting down the hours until something i like to call "girl's weekend" kicks off. me & 3 of my bestest friends in the whole world are road tripping down to the great state of south carolina to visit another one of our very best besties, shannon. you may remember me mentioning her move in this previous post. i am beyond excited to get down there. i'm not sure what the word is that i should be using instead of excited, but i'm that. i plan to take lots of pictures to capture all our memories & adventures & of course, to share with blogland.

you will find me here...
with her. shannie poo.
and them. holly & jenna.
and of course little rach.
i'm pretty sure that we are all terrible with directions so it should be nothing less than a miracle that we arrive without error but i know the trip down & back will be almost as fun as being down there. i can't wait to see shannon, can't wait to see her new big girl apartment, can't wait to see her town, hang out with all the girls, wander around the little shops, restaurants & parks, dance, sing, celebrate, catch up, eat, drink {diet coke} & be merry.
i'll be sure to give you a weekend recap upon our return. i'm smiling as i post...i'm so pumped!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

i wish i may, i wish i might...

things i would like to have arrive on my doorstep. for free.
{i would be pleased to let both keep me toasty & warm}
{to dress me up}

minako wrap blouse from anthropologie

{for some frills}

{to fancy up the den}

white down comforter from target
{to create some neutral in a room full of color & print in the guestroom re-do}

amelia earrings from candy's art design
{every girl needs some dainty treasures}

{to make my couch & i warm & look cozy while doing it}
all of the titles are linked to where they can be purchased. but like i said i would not like to purchase them, but rather have them fall from the sky and into their appropriate places in our home. what would you like to have 'poof' into your life??

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

thoughts of the day

--today is a GORGEOUS fall day in kentucky {finally}. the sun is shining, the leaves are turning & i'm not wearing a coat. yippee.
--i love crafts but i get really frustrated {even mean} whenever i am creating crafts so maybe i actually love the idea of crafts and not the activity of crafting.
--i don't want to work. i want to be at home with my husband.
--i always wanted a little puppy. ben always wanted a big puppy. we dog sat for a week and a half & now neither of us want a puppy.
--we don't get to watch our beth moore video this week & i'm scared to miss her big hair
--i am going to eat a fudgesicle tonight
--one of my favorite YL girls told me last night "i'm 16 now, its time to cut the crap & really run after the lord." how awesome is that!?
--we have lots of bills due right now in the brzinski home & it stresses me out - even though i knew all of them were coming. i wish all the companies would communicate with each other and decide to come sparatically instead of filling my mailbox all on 1 day.
--i found the most dainty classic photos on esty today AND they come in card form. i'm getting a set of 4, framing them & using them as art in our guest room {which is on its way to a transformation}. i couldn't be MORE excited! -->i'll show pics soon.
--tonight is date night. i hope this includes a gift card meal, carving our halloween pumpkin & maybe even seeing where the wild things are. i don't know if there will be enough time for all of that though. irregardless {mean girls reference} i know we will have a wonderful evening together. can't wait.

do you have some thoughts for the day? please share.

{image from photobucket and linked to owner}

Monday, October 19, 2009

look what my bff won!!!!

the first thought i had when i found out, in the infamous {and unrelated} words of dear rachel -"tell them they need to know!" so i shall share this treasure with you....
please do check this out. i know you won't be disappointed. rach will be so glad i'm sharing this with you.
if you want to congratulate her {which you should} go leave her a message @

that's amore monday <3

today is monday. that's amore monday.

welcome again to the crazy land of jen's loves. as time goes on i hope to be less & less predictable with my unveiling of loves; i think that i've kept it far - here's hoping that continues. i also hope you enjoy feeding your eyes with the images from today's 'amore' as much as i enjoyed gathering them. today i honor you lovely shutters. i cannot for the life of me figure out what is so intriguing about a little wooden slatted board but i just love them. i love all different colors, shapes, sizes. the possibilities are really endless. they dress up the outside of your home & give it personality. unfortunately at my abode right now the impression my shutters are giving to the outside world a blah one. perhaps i will find some inspiration below!

i don't think i'll ever own any like these but i love the bright colors framing each window.

i love outdoor shutters...each with their own little story
i love inside shutters.

beautiful distressed wood...pitter patter

brighten up a breakfast nook

create privacy and an atmosphere
sometimes i even think that i love pictures of shutters as much as the real deal. i have seen so many artistic & beautiful photos of simple shutters. one may grace our home one day. is that strange?

old, worn, dirty shutters may be my favorite of all. i wouldn't want them hanging off the front of my house but i just adore they way they look with their chipped paint & scuffed up edges. i just can't get enough.
shutters have a multitude of uses other than their original purpose of boarding up a window. here are a few ways to get creative with a fabulous shutter.
as a magazine rack.

as a book case.
as a room divider.
as a mail holder / sorter. {for no extra charge...multiple other unique re-purposed items for this job}. i'm actually currently in the market for a way to sort our mail. i think i just fell in love.
as a headboard.
if you have an affinity for shutters as well please do share.
{images from all over the place {none of which are mine}. each pic should be linked to their rightful owner.}